Jun 28, 2022

Choose Happy

 Hope you are able to choose some happy.

Used dies from Spellbinders Simply Perfect Layered Blooms & Mini 3D Vignette Floral Mason Jar (large flower) and a CZ Design sentiment strip to make a folk art design. 

My favorite red cardstock is Concord & 9th Poppy, which is a very warm bright red. It seems to need other colors to tone it down, so I used blue, black, and a cream base. (I've tried pairing it with a bright green and it looks almost neon.) 

MOOD WHEN DONE: Choosing happy today.

Jun 19, 2022

Stitched Hi


Decided to use up some of my purple cardstock. It's not my favorite color, but I do like the way this came out. Uses the Stitched Hi die. That die, and the other dies and the embossing folder, are all from Spellbinders (paid for by yours truly).

MOOD WHEN DONE: No complaints here! 

Jun 16, 2022

Ellen Hutson Appreciation

More about this card, featuring products exclusive to Ellen Hutson, later in the post.

(Note: this post is unsponsored. I paid for the products used in my card, am not an affiliate, and am writing this on my own.)

From the beginning (August 2006), Ellen has been about education and customer service at good prices. And, starting a few years ago, Ellen Huston has its own line of awesome products. It's the total package! Not sure what motivated me to write this today, but I've been thinking about how much I appreciate the industry and thought I'd write about one of my favorites. 


Ellen Hutson has always been about education. However, recently, she's put education on the front burner.The Ellen Hutson blog and you tube channel are full of design advice lately, and I am loving every single post. 

Stampers are inundated with products and beautiful samples from dozens of fabulous companies and vendors. However, few explain how they achieved such a great look. The EH design ambassadors are doing so and with great skill. 

If you are looking to improve your design skills, I strongly encourage you to check out this series, which has covered everything from layout composition to using a color palette. They are full of so much information I am rewatching and rereading. 

Customer Service

 I buy craft stuff from a variety of vendors, and if I have a problem with a vendor more than once, I stop buying from that company. Honestly, problems are rare and there are many fabulous vendors out there. But, Ellen's customer service is without flaws. Examples:

- My order was missing an item. I called the customer service number (rare to have one). No questions asked (it's hard to prove a negative), they shipped it out to me that day.

- I was a guest designer a few years ago and, as such, received the release. Shortly thereafter, I got an email asking me to check whether a particular product was defective. Turns out a few of them were, but most were fine. Ellen Hutson pulled the product from the release until it could ensure that each item was fine. 

- Shipping times are amazing. It's like there is a box with my name on it waiting for my order! I ordered the products used in the card above last Friday and had them in my hot hands on Monday. 


I'm a comparison shopper. I never buy an item without checking out prices. Ellen's prices are often a little cheaper or the same. Are they always the cheapest? Can you find a better deal elsewhere? Possibly on any given item. If I find it cheaper (on sale) elsewhere, I'll go elsewhere. 

However, on a regular basis, Ellen's prices are great. Example: I wanted a high price set of alphabet dies. They were $20 cheaper at Ellen's compared to another vendor - $30 versus $50! I waited for one of Ellen's sales, and bingo snagged them at an amazing price. 

And don't forget to the check out the Clearance Section (currently on sale until June 17th with prices even lower). I don't care how old a product is. If I love it I love it. It's the first place I check.

Finally, if you buy in one month, you get a coupon for 10% off the following month. I use that wisely (bundling higher priced items together). 

Essentials by Ellen Line

This line of products is unique - sassy sentiments, adorable designs, classics, etc. If you love Julie Ebersole's style, you will love these products. She's not the only product designer, but her items dominate and just slay me. There is also a line of basics under this name - for example, I love the vellum. 

And, the dies and stamps come in labeled packages. No need to organize them, and the dies are precut - my fingers are happy. Plus, the prices on this line are fantastic. 

Speaking of Essentials by Ellen...

I used the stamps and dies from the new One in a Buzz-illion set by Julie Ebersole to make this fun and colorful card.

Stamped the hive with Versafine Onyx, kept it in my Misti, ink blended over the hive and then put it back in the Misti. Re-stamping over ink blending helps bring the black back to life. Colored the bee with Arteza alcohol markers. I only have 12 pastels as I don't color much any more. They come in handy though and because the ink on the bee had set for a while, the ink didn't blur.

After watching a video by Julie on composition, I intentionally placed the items on this card in a gentle upper left to lower right pattern. I didn't follow a specific rule so much, but I remembered her lessons on movement and following where the eye goes. 

Why did I choose a rainbow? No clue, but it made me happy and the mood of the card is happy. Added the embellishments thinking that the card needed more color. But now I'm second guessing that decision. I'm also second guessing putting such a large bee on a small hive (there is a larger hive die that I did not buy). I've decided a giant bee is fine!!  

Hope this makes sense and I hope it worked! 

MOOD WHEN DONE: Grateful for the crafting community.

Jun 14, 2022

Happy Birthday Spellbinders

Spellbinders is celebrating 20 years in business. That's 200 years in craft store years! Congratulations to a company that always produces such innovative designs.

To celebrate, Spellbinders is releasing a Birthday Collection and I've got my hands on the Balloon Party Animal die (thank you Spellbinders.)

First up, a pinkalicious card. 

Struggled with placing this balloon on a card until I saw a card by Carissa Wiley. Carissa placed strings from the bottom of a different ballon shape and a great big light bulb duh went off. 

Created a panel by blending pink ink around some post it tape. Added a few flowers from the Simply Perfect Layered Blooms dies to the balloon and adhered with foam tape. Hot foiled a sentiment using Mini Everyday Sentiments and Glimmer Bright Pink hot foil

My second card goes in a more masculine direction. I added "highlights" on the Party Animal Balloon die with a die that hasn't been released yet. Breaking all the rules!! Sentiments from Birthday Unboxing Sentiments.

MOOD WHEN DONE:  I was thinking about what I was doing 20 years ago and I can barely remember! But I did a little research. In 2002:

George W. Bush was President. 

Tom Daschle was the Majority Leader in the Senate. 

No Child Left Behind became law. 

A Beautiful Mind won Best Picture Oscar. 

Kelly Clarkson won the first American Idol (I swear everytime I turn on my TV, she is on). 

The Washington DC Beltway Sniper attacks began (unbelievably scary). 

Congress authorized the Iraq War. 

One of my favorite authors, Chaim Potok, died. 

I spent 7 million dollars on craft supplies....

Jun 10, 2022

Modern Quilt Design

 Got this idea from the cover of the book, Modern Quilts

Used one of the dies from Geometric Builder Squares by Simon Says Stamp. I put off buying those dies because I didn't want to spend the money, but I am so glad I bought them (and the companion circle dies). I've used them so many times. 

Hard to see, but some of the triangles have stacked die cuts - 3 or 4 - for more dimension. I had to do it because the bottom row of light pink triangles were originally teal and that didn't work. So, I covered them up!


Jun 5, 2022


In case you missed it, Yana Smakula wrote a personal and heartbreaking appeal on what is happening in Ukraine. As our own closer-to-home news takes precedence, it is good to remember that others continue to need us. 

There are so many organizations helping with refugees and other issues in Ukraine, but Yana and her husband and others are providing direct relief to the soldiers on the ground. It is a privilege to help.  There is also a card drive and an Amazon wish list to send items that will be sent directly to soldiers. So many ways to help. 

Check out Yana's post linked above and Free Ukraine 2022.