Jul 24, 2020

Summer Break Time

I'll be posting my cards on Instagram. However, for those of you who don't want to go to IG, I'll come back here about once a month and post a round up of my cards. 

My IG account is HERE.

Thanks, and hope summer is kind to you and your family!!

Jul 23, 2020

Merimekko Style and Some Tips

Merimekko was huge in the 70s -- fabric, dinnerware, bedding -- I loved the big bold bright patterns. I googled to see if the company is still in business, and yes it certainly is. Now I want to buy something with one of those patterns!

In the meantime, I made this card, hoping to emulate the feel of those designs. I don't have Scandinavian style stamps to get the look I wanted, so I used this beautiful large solid flower from Watercolor Bouquet from The Stamp Market. Added a black dot image from Flora & Fauna. The sentiment is All Lined Up from The Stamp Market.

Inks: Blueprint Sketch and Lemonade Distress Oxide, Versafine Onyx, and Versamark.

If you like this look (it's not for everyone, but I love it), here are a few tips.

1. Merimekko is usually: 1. one big bright color + 2. a smaller bright color + 3. black + 4. white.
2. Think ahead about the sentiment. You don't want to cover up that smaller bright color. 
3. Unless you have a stamp set with the perfect coordinating stamp, finding a way to incorporate black can be tricky. Again, think ahead.
4. Repeatedly stamping a large image requires patience. I wanted a solid image and I knew I could get that with the MISTI, but I was careful to clean and dry the stamp before I moved it. Otherwise, as soon as I put the stamp on the paper I wouldn't be able to move it as the ink would transfer. All that moving and cleaning means your hands will get dirty. Wash them while you are stamping or you'll ruin the panel (expert on this one!!).
5. Enjoy! Using Distress Oxide inks or other pigment type inks is a sure fire way to get a solid image. However, repeatedly stamping with dye inks can work too. I stamped twice each time with the Blueprint Sketch ink and got a great result.
6. If all this rich color isn't your thing, try colors you like. I think this would look great with pale pink instead of bright blue. 

MOOD WHEN DONE: Happy!! And I hope you are too.

Jul 22, 2020

Missing Us

Oh yes I do. I miss seeing people!!

Pulled out an older heart stamp from The Stamp Market and used my new Concord & 9th inks -- Honeysuckle and Aqua Sky. Because this is large image, I stamped them 3 times and the color darkened quite a bit. Drew a black line around the insides of the hearts because the 2 hearts looked like they needed something. 

Sentiment is from a CZ Design sentiment strip available at Simon Says. And that little heart? I wandered around my craft room looking at embellishments and decided to look for a tiny stamp -- this is from an old Hero Arts ice cream cone set.

Speaking of which, an ice cream cone would be awesome! 

MOOD WHEN DONE:  Great! Hope all is well in your life.

Jul 21, 2020

Won't You Be My Neighbor?

Got my hands on the new Concord&9th inks and decided to use them right away. I bought the ink cubes. They are foam and all I've done with them so far is make this card by rubbing the inks on a plastic sheet and lightly watercoloring. LOVE these colors. I hope to swatch and talk about them after I've had more experience with them. I haven't used foam ink pads and already I can see how different they are. Stay tuned! 

Used this great set called City Stacks, also from Concord&9th. I've wanted this for a while and was so happy when it arrived! (It's the little things.) I skipped the coordinating dies. Dies are so pricey that I only get them now when I think I would use them a lot

MOOD WHEN DONE: Good! Yesterday was a washout as I wasn't feeling great but all that's behind me and I am so happy to be back in my stamp room. Amazing how much this hobby helps! 

Jul 19, 2020


Craving a good cake lately. A friend dropped off some killer "Hostess Style Cupcakes" (but made from scratch), and they were sooo good. Ever since then, I've had cake on the brain. Rather than make one, and scarf down even more sugar (don't ask), I made this card instead. 

Used Altenew's Layered Cupcake set  (colored mine with Copics, rather than use the layer stamps). 

Made a shaker card and filled it with these super cute Hai Confetti Sweet Treat embellishments. I like that they are flat and very thin. Hai makes a lot of different types of adorable embellishments. 

After I made the shaker card, decided that a plain white card front just didn't look right, so I blended some Distress Tattered Rose and Altenew Mountain Mist inks on the top and bottom of the front, trimmed, and adhered to a white card. Then I added the pre printed sentiment. 

MOOD WHEN DONE: Happy! I think I put a bit too many of the confetti embellishments in the card as they obscure a bit too much of the cupcake, but live and learn....

Jul 15, 2020

Colorful Cacti

Had a great idea for a card using Reverse Confetti's Multi-Step Cacti, but it hasn't worked out -- yet.

Decided to go the Laura Bassen route and make this fun and colorful card using one of the cacti in the set and this awesome sentiment from Voices in My Head  designed by Julie Ebersole. I mean you pair up those two designers, and how can you go wrong? 


It's funny how I can be anxious to go to a restaurant and whine about it, and at the same time,be incredibly grateful for a kitchen full of food. Life's a mystery. 

Jul 14, 2020

Stripes + Sentiment = Happy

Fun and simple to make (really) card today.
  1. Stamped the sentiment onto Bristol Smooth paper with Versafine Onyx and embossed in clear. (Love the different sized fonts on Reverse Confetti's Best Sentiments.) 
  2. Embossed in black ink/clear embossing powder.
  3. Painted stripes, starting right above the sentiment and worked up. Used Adirondack Sail Blue reinker (no longer made) and a size 12 round brush. No water, except a damp brush. The different shades came from dipping just the tip of the brush into the drop of reinker every few stripes.
  4. Needed something. Found a heart stamp on the shutter on the window above my table! Stamped with Distress Oxide Salty Ocean. A great match. 
  5. Trimmed panel so that the finished card would be about 3/8" narrower than an A2 card. 

MOOD WHEN DONE: Happy. Makes me want to be at the ocean! 

Jul 13, 2020

5 Easy Cards Using Carly's Download

You want fast, colorful, fun, and easy?
Well, I've got all that today.
And NO sequins or gems!

Used a free downloadable template from Carlytee Minner. You can find it here. Super simple -- download the template, print on cardstock, trim, score, and add your stamping or other items. You will use one piece of cardstock for one card, but for me it was more than worth it. 

This uses a floral stamp from Penny Black, which I ink blended in pale blue.

Added some color with a stamp from Pinkfresh Studio Abstract Builder and some dots from a My Favorite Things set.  Purple is not my go to color, but I'm stretching! 

Borrowed Carly's design here. She stamped a cascade of pretty flowers down the card from Everyday Doodles. I substituted butterflies. (This is my favorite of the bunch.)

Stamped a small heart in 3 different colors. Sweet. 

The simplest -- ran two shades of Altenew ink cubes over the sentiment.

Thanks to Carly for providing the starting point and the ideas for decorating these cards. If you aren't familiar with Carly, check out her IG feed and her blog. They are chock full of colorful clever cards.


Jul 12, 2020

Stained Glass Butterfly

Another card with Reverse Confetti's Stained Glass Butterflies and Best Sentiments. Copic colored.  Wink of Stella on the butterfly. 


Jul 10, 2020

I Care

Used a couple of Reverse Confetti sets for this card -- Stained Glass Butterflies and Best Sentiments. There are 2 big butterflies that steal the show, but my eyes fell in love with this flower first -- it looks a bit tropical.

1. Trimmed a panel of 110 lb. white cardstock to 4" x 5.25".
2. Stamped the sentiment in the center with random ink (I knew I'd be covering it up).
3. Die cut the flower image as shown (practiced on typing paper first to get the placement right.)
4. Stamped the flowers on assorted colors of cardstock with Versamark and embossed in white. 
5. Colored the center of the flowers with Copic markers. 
6. Hand cut roughly to fit underneath the die cuts.
7. Then came the hard part -- getting those flowers in the right place onto another piece of cardstock.
8. Took a bit of trial and error. Ok, a lot of trial and error! 
9. Adhered the top layer with foam tape.
10. Made and trimmed the sentiment and adhered it with more foam tape.
11. Added the panel to a cream A2 card. 

MOOD WHEN DONE: Delighted! This card took a while to make, but I loved the result. 

Unfortunately, just as we were hoping to be able to get out a bit, Covid exploded in Dallas. That was a jolt, but we cope by staying home. It's super hot and humid so staying inside isn't so bad! 

I mentioned early in June that I was reading White Fragility and that I would talk about it when I was done. I read a bit of it, and then didn't finish it. I went on to read much shorter pieces by black authors (I have a short attention span!). When I sat down to write about my thoughts, I decided that I didn't have much to say that was unique or helpful. But I have found the national conversation about race to be long overdue and illuminating in many ways.

Hope you have a good weekend! 

Jul 9, 2020


Stamped a panel with a set of solid flowers by The Stamp Market (I don't think it is available anymore). Any set of various sized solid florals and greenery will work. Used a variety of Altenew green and teal inks. Stamped and embossed that sentiment in the middle of the panel and messed it up.


Cut out the center to salvage something. Popped up the frame with foam tape and then stamped the sentiment (Altenew). In other words, backwards. Added the gems, which may be more than this card needed, but sparkle they do!

MOOD WHEN DONE: Ms. Moody McNasty this morning, but played a board game (Dominion) with the husband, and that always brightens my day, even when I lose, which I often do. I lucked out when I sweet-talked that man into marrying me! HA. 

Hope you are ok!!

Jul 7, 2020

Using Part of a Background Stamp

Decided to make a few cards using only a portion of Pinkfresh Studio's Lemon Lush background stamp and here is one of them. This stamp is gorgeous! 

Stamped in Versamark Onyx and colored just the background with a teal Zig Clear Color pen. Trimmed and adhered. Added a sentiment from CZ Designs Sentiment Strip Miss You (these are preprinted) and a tiny blue heart from a collection from Altenew. 

Originally planned on adding a few sequins, but after I laid them out, they looked like an afterthought. Ah, the great embellishment mystery! 

MOOD WHEN DONE: This was fun! Coloring just the background was also different for me -- if you decide to do this, proceed slowly. When you are right on top of an image, it can be hard to differentiate between the background and a large flower, etc. Ask me how I know....

Jul 6, 2020

Adding Color When You Can't (or Don't Want to) Color

Love the lush, realistic, florals that Power Poppy sells. This Azalea stamp set is gorgeous!
However, every time I stamped and tried to color the flowers in this set, I didn't like the result. 

Finally, saw a scrap of leftover watercolor paper sitting on my desk and stamped part of the image over a part of the scrap paper. Used Versafine ink, and with the MISTI I only needed to make 2 impressions to get a clear image.  

At first I thought the black frame was too dark for the card, but I showed it to a couple of friends on a Zoom chat and they liked it -- so I kept it. To add some dimension, I die cut and stacked 4 of the frames. Added a few clear sequins and some white Nuvo drops and the card came together very quickly.

MOOD WHEN DONE: Good! This is a great technique when you are stuck. Assuming, of course, that you get stuck!

It's another cloudy, rainy day in Dallas today but our lawn is getting fed for free, so I'm not complaining.  Hope you are having a no complaint day! 

Jul 5, 2020

Hot Foiling: Should You Take the Plunge? (My Son Weighs In!)

My first card with hot foiling! 

Should you take the plunge and buy hot foiling supplies? 
Read on, and keep in mind that I have no affiliation with any company. 
I paid full price for everything.  

What is hot foiling and how does it differ from embossing?

Hot foiling is a method of impressing metal plates (a "foil stamp") and special foil into paper. Basically, you create foiled letterpress. In contrast, embossing leaves a raised impression. 

My son: "How much does this stuff cost?"

What do you need to in order to hot foil?

1. foil stamps,
2. foil (thin sheets with a metallic shine on one side) specifically designed for hot foiling,
3. a hot foil machine, and 
4. a compatible die cutting machine.

While I have not tried it yet, I've seen videos showing how you can hot foil using embossing folders and some of the dies we already have. Some foil stamps also die cut or have coordinating dies. 

The 2 companies I am aware of that make a hot foil machine and foil stamps are Spellbinders and Crafters Companion. A few other companies, like Picket Fence Studios, also make foil stamps. You'll see them called by different names. Picket Fence, for example, calls them Foil Impressions Dies. 

Son: "It's like a printer. The machine itself doesn't cost a lot, but they get you with the supplies. How much do those foil stamps cost?"

We raised a person who does not like to spend money!


The machines cost between $75 and $130, depending on which machine you buy and where you buy it. The foil stamps vary as well but the cost seems comparable to dies.

Spellbinders frequently has sales and you should always check out their shop before buying Spellbinders hot foil supplies elsewhere. 

What's the learning curve?

For me -- moderate. I have the Crafter's Companion machine (more on why I got that particular machine later). I found the written directions confusing. Luckily, there are many videos on how to foil and how to use this particular machine, and frankly, I had my husband help me. 

Unlike most die cutting, you cannot see what you are designing. You place the foil stamp (or plate) on the platform, then place the foil on top of it, and then the paper on top of the foil. Doing it this way makes it near impossible to get precise placement because you cannot see the foil stamp when you place cardstock on top of it. 

However, Yana Smakula (the hot foiling queen), who works for Spellbinders, created a clever work around using light weight washi tape to create a hinge to secure the foil stamp, foil, and paper.  

For the card above, I used Yana's washi tape technique to secure the foil stamp sentiment and foil onto the center of my stenciled cardstock. Nevertheless, the sentiment came out a bit crooked, so I had to trim the panel to center the sentiment. 

I need more practice. There is a definite learning curve, but it can be done! 

Son: "Does that thing get hot?" Yes, it does. Be careful.

Do you "need" hot foiling?

Not at all. You can continue to make great cards without hot foiling.

I resisted this purchase for a long time. My friend Pam was my hot foil enabler. She has the Spellbinders Glimmer machine and brought it over. I saw her make some beautiful cards using that machine and my old Big Shot. She also gave me a bunch of foiled sentiments. It helped to see it in action.

I was mighty tempted, but it wasn't until I was staying home and not spending much money on anything that I bought a machine. I am glad I did. I'm a big fan of the result.

Son: "Mom, I like the embossing better." 

A fad or here to stay?

When Spellbinders and Crafter's Companion first came out with hot foil machines, there was a flurry of posts on social media featuring hot foiling. Since then, I don't see a lot of cards using hot foiling. In addition, a few stamp companies released hot foil plates. But, I don't see a lot of companies doing so now. (Luckily, the plates that Spellbinders sells are gorgeous. Laurie Willison, Yana Smakula, and Becca Feeken all have lines.)

This tells me that hot foiling hasn't taken off like die cutting, but I think there are enough fans that it is here to stay.

Son: "I like that card you made with it."

Should you take the plunge?

My bottom line: It's a fun option, but not a must have. It's another expense, it's time consuming to figure out how to incorporate foiling into cardmaking, and the stuff takes up space (I ended up buying a 4' x 2' folding table to keep my hot foil machine and supplies segregated from the rest of my supplies.)
  • If you are new to cardmaking, get a MISTI, invest in high quality basic supplies, learn techniques, and pass on hot foiling for now. 
  • If you are looking for something new, love letterpress foiling on cards, and have the $$, patience, and space -- go for it!! 
  • If you are on the fence, wait. Watch some videos, and look at cards non-professionals make with the machine. Don't know about you, but I'm never going to make Yana-quality cards and I like to see what folks like me can produce.
Am I glad I bought it? Yes.

My son: "This room is getting crowded."

Yes, it is.

I want to hot foil. Which machine should I get?

You need to choose a machine that is compatible with your die cut machine (or buy a new die cut machine). 

The Crafter's Companion hot foil machine only works with the Crafter's Companion Gemini Jr. die cut machine (or the Gemini with a special plate). It will NOT work with your Big Shot or other die cut machine.

The Spellbinders hot foil machine works with the Spellbinders die cut machine and I understand from friends and videos that it also works with the Big Shot and other die cut machines. However, it will NOT work with the Gemini Jr. or Gemini die cut machine. They are competitors!

I have a Gemini Jr die cut machine so I got the Crafter's Companion hot foil machine. I love the Spellbinders foil stamps and use those in my Crafter's Companion machine.

I've linked a video below that does a great job comparing the features of these machines. 

Son: "Are we done discussing this?"

Yes, we are! 

Below are some links to useful information.

Crafter's Companion (Note, I got my machine on Amazon for less)

Spellbinders (Their supplies are often on sale and they have a monthly hot foil kit)

Yana Smakula's You Tube Site (Search for hot foil videos. Yana has a ton of beautiful ideas and many tips and tricks. A must read.)

Nancy Stamps This you tube channel has a LOT of fantastic information on how to hot foil.

About the card -- I die cut different sized circles into stencil material and stenciled the background using 3 shades of Distress Oxide ink -- Picked Raspberry, Worn Lipstick, and Tattered Rose -- onto Neenah Solar White 80 lb cardstock. 

Using a foil stamp from the Spellbinders June 2020 Hot Foil Kit of the Month, I impressed the sentiment using gold foil. Here's a great video explaining what's in this kit. Trimmed and popped up with foam adhesive.

Kits are funny -- you are buying blind, but I decided to take a chance and subscribed. Loved the June kit; don't like the July kit. I'll see how it goes and then decide whether to keep the subscription. Edited to add: I've been advised that you can skip a month, which I did so I won't get July's kit. Thanks to my friend Pam and to a commenter below for letting me know. 

MOOD WHEN DONE: I'm happy with this simple card. 

So, what do you think? Do you have a machine already? Are you using it? Is this just not for you?  I would love to hear your thoughts. As always, if you cannot leave a comment, you can always email me

Jul 2, 2020

Be Happy

Can't get enough of the Mondo flowers designed by Julie Ebersole. I only have 3 of them, but it's clear I need more! (I think I saw on IG that a Mondo Violet ?? is coming out in July. If so, I want it!). 

1. Sprayed water on watercolor paper and added reinkers. Sprayed again and let dry.
2. Stamped Mondo Gerbera Daisy with Versamark and embossed with Hero Arts white embossing powder (my favorite).
3. Hand cut the flower and trimmed to fit card.
4. Made an A2 Kraft card and stenciled Hero Arts Unicorn ink, using a stencil from Altenew.
5. Added black dots/splatters.
6. Trimmed a preprinted sentiment (the original says Always Be Happy) from Simon Says Stamp.
7. Adhered the sentiment and the daisy with foam tape. 


I have what seems like a minor problem with my eye and that has kept me from stamping and blogging, but hopefully it will heal soon. (We don't know exactly what the problem is because I'm not inclined to go to the doc unless I have no choice. So the doctor is guessing at this point!).  

Hope you are having a good week!