Monthly Archives: February 2009

CASEing the best


Are you paralyzed with possibilities when you start a card?  Which stamps?  Paper?  Ink?  Accessories?  Techniques?  Layout?  It’s overwhelming!  And if you surf the Web and print out lots of fabulous projects, it gets even worse.

At a workshop last Saturday — a small group that enabled lots of talk and instruction — I described one approach to this dilemma:

  1. Stop looking at online galleries. You probably have enough ideas.
  2. Check out any samples you already have — or, use the Stampin’ Up! catalog.  Find a card that immediately appeals to you. I loved 55C the first time I looked through the catty.
  3. Write down three things that you noticed.  Here’s what I liked:
    1. The circle shape.
    2. The mostly monochromatic color.
    3. The pattern stamping of the circle.
  4. Then re-create the card, using what you have. I chose different colors (from the Color Coach!) because one of our other cards for the workshop was monochromatic. Instead of using the Designer Series Paper, we created a panel with texture and a different scale using a Texturz plate. I don’t have rub-ons or metal edge tags, so we used heat embossing to create the accent. The striped ribbon contrasted with the dots from the Texturz and the floral motif. Instead of stamping the sentiment on the card, we stamped and punched. A perfect card? No, but one that is pleasing to the eye, I think.

You become more confident the more you practice. I’ve made plenty of duds! Big deal. It’s paper crafting, not plastic surgery. Send your cards and make someone happy!  Someone lonely or sick or heartbroken isn’t going to notice that the knot is a little off-center or remark that I could have done some piercing along the edge.

OK, enough of the lecture.  Try this little exercise next time you’re stamping and see what you come up with.

Stamps:  Garden Birthday

Ink:  Cameo Coral, Certainly Celery, Bashful Blue, Apricot Appeal, VersaMark

Paper:  Apricot Appeal, Certainly Celery, Whisper White

Other:  Big Shot and Backgrounds I Texturz plates, Coluzzle Cutting System, Word Window punch, Stampin’ Emboss Powder (White) and Heat Tool, 1/2″ Striped Grosgrain Ribbon (Bashful Blue), Stampin’ Dimensional

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“Nice!” says he


Well, I thought so, too!  We made this card at a workshop this afternoon, and it’s just about ready to head down to Florida for an anniversary next week.  No doubt they have the spring-like weather that this evokes.  Here — not so much!

Stamps:  Friends 24-7

Ink:  Staz-On Jet Black, More Mustard (sponging)

Paper:  Barely Banana, So Saffron, More Mustard, Watercolor

Other:  Big Shot and corresponding pads, Ovals die, SU! Backgrounds 1 Texturz plates, Watercolor Wonder Crayons and Aqua Painter, Stamping Sponges, Eyelet Border punch, Fresh Favorites II buttons (So Saffron), embroidery floss


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Soup’s on!

This is one of my favorite soups, but anything I can put into the crockpot and leave for hours and hours is good!  Plus, we are expecting several inches of snow tonight, and we can look forward to this tomorrow with homemade biscuits.

Just as my husband was recovering from his cold, I got it.  I don’t manage a cold as well as he does; I want to be in my robe all day, drinking tea and reading.  He gets on with life.  I feel personally attacked by the virus.  He’d prefer not to even talk about it.

Anyway, the recipe, adapted from one by Joanne Lund:

Chunky Ham and Corn Chowder

(Mix all in crockpot and cook on Low until the vegetables are cooked))
2 cups diced lean or fat-free ham
1/2 cup diced onion

1½ cups chopped celery
1½ cups whole kernal corn (I use frozen)
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup diced raw potatoes
1 cup (1 can) cream-style corn
1½ cups (one 12-oz. can) evaporated fat-free milk
1 can fat-free cream of celery soup
1/2 cup fat-free milk
1 tsp. dried parsley flakes
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. Mrs. Dash seasoning (or more, to taste)


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Trendy Tree Trio


I discovered I was stuck in a rut — it seemed as though most cards I was posting here had the same layout.  And way too many landscape orientations!  So I’m making myself think “up”!  This card is for a friend of ours who will be 91 next week weekend.  I really love Trendy Trees; so far I’ve kept to the same summer/fall pallette, but I’d like to make something resembling an apple tree in bloom.  Sigh.

Stamps:  Trendy Trees

Ink:  Close to Cocoa, Kiwi Kiss, Old Olive, Artichoke marker for thumping

Paper:  Kraft, Always Artichoke, Close to Cocoa, Very Vanilla

Other:  Crimper, Hemp, Stamp-a-ma-jig, 1¼” Circle Punch, Stampin’ Dimensionals

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My love for you is … clear


This simple, monochromatic card was a project at my January camps.  It was my variation on our sketch challenge last month.  Too bad you can’t see the shine on the transparency — it’s a great contrast!  Using a transparency designed for ink jet printing (with a somewhat rough side) means there is less change of sliding when you stamp.  Tiny drops of Crystal Effects under the heart adhere it to the paper and are hidden by the half-back pearls (also adhered using CE).

Stamps:  Love You Much

Ink:  StazOn White

Paper:  Riding Hood Red, Very Vanilla, DSP Riding Hood Red Patterns

Other:  1¼” Square Punch, Crystal Effects, Pretties Kit, Taffeta Ribbon (Riding Hood Red), Stampin’ Dimensionals, ink jet transparency

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Happy Birthday, Leslie Neilsen

As soon as the radio guy said his name, I started laughing. When he said the actor was 83 today, the other radio guy said, “Surely you’re kidding,” and you know how the rest went. This is a gag that never fails to get my family laughing like fools. Even my mother, in advanced stages of Alzheimer’s Disease, may smile if we work this in.

OK, so this is not a birthday card.  I could have used the Texturz plates on the Olive panel, but I wanted something with a smaller design, so I used the criss-cross crimping technique used on this card.


Stamps:  Trendy Trees, Sweet Little Sentiments (masked)

Ink:  Close to Cocoa, Kiwi Kiss, Old Olive (marker for thumping), Chocolate Chip

Paper:  Sahara Sand, Old Olive, Kiwi Kiss, Close to Cocoa, Very Vanilla

Other:  Stamp-a-ma-jig, Crimper, Wide Oval Punch, 5/8″ Grosgrain Ribbon (Old Olive), Stampin’ Dimensionals

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Simple and delicious


Carol, here’s a “white card” for you!  “Everyone” is doing this card, in one variation or another.  I added the crimped lines for fun, recalling one of my favorite-ever camp cards.  It’s a challenge, however, to get the crimps straight.  I did a pretty good job; it looks better IRL than here.

(Actually, it’s a TY for the hostess of our dinner last weekend.  Hopefully before long I can call her my DIL, but I have agreed with certain parties in this house not to press the issue!)

Stamps:  Sweet Little Sentiments (hostess only)

Ink:  Riding Hood Red

Paper:  Whisper White, Candy Lane Designer Series Paper

Other:  Crimper, Heart to Heart Punch

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