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April 2014

Penny Black Stencil Techniques

I don’t have to tell you how popular stencils are right now.  Stencils offer dozens of ways to make creative backgrounds for die cuts, stamped images and sentiments.  Penny Black has entered the stencil arena recently with stencils reflecting her incomparable flower images.  She has also shown great originality by offering coordinating stamps and stencils which can be used separately or together as a pair.  Here are three examples of using the Penny Black Promenade stencil alone:


StitchedFor this card I secured the stencil to my cardstock with removable tape and working on a piercing mat, I pierced holes all along the open parts of the stencil.  Then using a big-eye beading needle and four strands of embroidery floss, I stitched the image using the backstitch which is quick and easy.  This image can be sized down by simply piercing just a section of the stencil.  The greeting is from Penny Black’s new Friendship Flowers clear stamp set.


Iron-Off Embossing

Shimmer-SparkleThe photo here does not do this beauty justice.  I secured the cardstock then my stencil over it to my craft sheet using Post-it tape.  Next I applied Versamark pigment ink through the openings in the stencil and removed the stencil.  Note: Use stamp cleaner like Judikins brand to clean the ink off your stencil.  I wanted to add a little more interest to the card so I squirted a little Versamark re-inker on my craft sheet, picked up some with the tip of my paper piercer and dotted the background randomly.Then I heat embossed the card with clear embossing powder.   Note: In order to better see where to place your “dots”, I suggest sprinkling on the clear embossing powder over the stencil image first.  Then heat emboss everything at once.

Next add Distress inks (picked raspberry and squeezed lemonade) using the new round ink blending tool.  The photo doesn’t show it well but the yellow and pink overlap to make a pretty orange.  Be sure to make your colors as dark as possible so the white images and dots stand out.

Now you can choose to leave the embossing in place or iron it off.  To iron off set your iron on the highest setting with no steam.  Place a piece of copy or printer paper on top of the embossed image and iron – I twist the iron side to side and work on my craft sheet which protects the table.  You are melting the embossing powder so when you see all image on your copy paper, you’re done.  Lift the paper and you should see no shiny areas. If you do see some shiny, just place a clean piece of paper over the area and iron some more.

To add a little shimmer I spritzed the card with Tsukineko Shimmer Spray (Sparkle).  The sentiment is from Penny Black’s new Friendship Flowers clear stamp set.  The very small scalloped border is part of Impresson Obsession’s Border Duo 2.  Just give me a call if you have any questions about this technique.

Distress Inks

SmileTape the cardstock and stencil to craft sheet.  Using the round ink blending tool, I applied Peacock Feathers to the flowers and Mowed Lawn to the leaves and stems.  The “Smile” is part of Penny Black’s new die set “Hooray.”  In order to have the “Smile” match the card colors, I inked a scrap of cardstock with Peacock Feathers then die cut it.  I also inked the borders of the card with these two inks so they would match too.

Watch for more samples using the matching stamp soon!

Flowers, FLowers, Flowers

Hello everyone!  I took a little walk down memory lane yesterday when I did some spring cleaning of my stamping stash at home.  My stamps are organized but I have 14 years of samples that needed lots of attention.  As I looked through the old samples it struck me that there was a time when we used stamps instead of die cuts. I enjoyed looking at the cards and remembering when I made them and many times with whom.  For the most part, the cards showed a creative use of stamps and inks.  Look through your own stash at old sample cards – it may inspire you to start stamping as much as die cutting!

Today I have many cards to share with you so let’s get right to it.

Classes … Classes … Classes

Sat, April 26 at 10am to noon and 2 to 4pm – A Trio of Triangle Fun! Scroll down to last week’s blog for samples and class description.

Sat, May 3 at 10am to noon and 2 to 4pm and Wed, April 23 at 1pm – Flowers, Flowers, Flowers Use new Impression Obsession dies to create floral scenes.  Learn how to “rust” a water pail or watering can; how to make dimensional flowers; and how to add Flower Soft to your scenes for colorful, realistic flowers!  NOTE:  These samples were inspired by samples posted by Kittikraft – thanks!

Birdhouse-Garden-Pots Hollyhocks-Fence 








Hollyhocks-Pail MB-Alder-Tree-Flower-Soft














Sat, May 10 at 10am to noon and 2 to 4pm and Wed, April 30 at 1pmMore Flowers– Penny Black has the most gorgeous new flower clear stamp sets.  We will use two of them (Petal Power and Friendship Flowers) with both dye and pigment inks; create a background using an acrylic block; and color bold images with multiple inks and line images with Copic markers.  On all these cards I used only 1 die cut ("Smile" from the new Penny Black "Hooray" die set) – hard to believe!!!  Join us and create some beautiful cards.  Bring class kit.

Bloom-where-planted Friends-were-flowers   Wheelbarrow Row-of-Poppies 









Rose-Love Smile-Flower-Pail








Other Sample:  Crackled Die Cuts

Here’s a really fun technique that can work on any die cut with a little surface area (so crackles show).  I die cut the fern (Memory Box Delicate Fern) and Memory Box Tulip Stems; colored them with distress inks; then heavily painted on Viva Décor Crackle Paint Transparent.  Set it aside for about 30 minutes and you will see the surface crackle!  Next reapply ink in the darkest shade used to bring out the crackled finish even more.  Fun, quick and easy!

Fern Tulips 








1 more Sample:  Memory Box die Butterfly Vine; IO die Border Duo 1









Enjoy your week!

A Trio of Triangle Fun!

Update on Chloe’s Excellent Adventure


Thanks to all of you who expressed their relief that Chloe was safe and happy after her adventure last week.  Needless to say she came to work with me the next few days.  But by Saturday she was ready to stay home again so I let her.  Surely lightning wouldn’t strike twice right?  I checked the door and it wasn’t budging so I felt all was well.  Imagine my horror when I pulled up to the house about 6:45 that evening and saw the door was once again wide open.  I quickly parked the car and ran into the house screaming Chloe’s name.  To my relief she was right there on the couch looking at me like I was a crazy woman!!!  After giving her a big hugs and kisses, I moved a very large piece of furniture in front of the door so it can’t open again!  The handyman is coming next Monday to fix it permanently.  Honestly, I think the door is haunted!


Classes … Classes … Classes


MFT-Die-3Sat, April 26 at 10am to noon and 2 to 4pm and Wed, April 15 at 1pm – A Trio of Triangle Fun! Take a Triangle background die, a tiny triangle embossing folder and a triangle background stamp and you’ve got the formula for 3 times the creative card-making fun!  You will think you are seeing an optical illusion when you see the samples for this class.  Using double stamping, layered die cuts and coloring embossing, your cards will be loaded with impressive results!  Bring class kit.  Here are sample cards:


MFT-Die-1 MFT-Die-2








Bliss-Butter-1 Bliss-Butter-2   Hero-Congrats Hero-Enjoy



























  The die cut words are from the new Penny Black "Hooray" die set.  Aren't they fun!  And perfect for the upcoming graduation season!






Products used on these cards:


Hero Arts stamp “Tiny Flags”; My Favorite Things die “Triangle Screen”; My Favorite Things die and matching stamp set “Blissful Butterflies”; My Favorite Things stamp set “Get Well Wishes”; Die-versions On the Edge die “Hello”; Penny Black die set “Hooray”; Penny Black stamp set “Friendship”; Lifestyle Crafts embossing folder set “Linear”; Taylored Expressions die Label Stacklets 1; Memory Box dies Darla and Vivienne; Paper Smooches dies “Stars” and “Hearts”; Impression Obsession stamp set Real Life Sentiments; Prismacolor pencils, glossy accents, Hero Arts inks, Tsukineko Delicata ink

Versatile Die


Blue-Ice-CreamI was making a few more 3” x 3” notecards Sunday with the new Doodlebug Sugar Shoppe paper – which is toooo cute!  For my first one I used the Impression Obsession die “Ice Cream Cone” and loved the way it looked with the darling ice cream cone paper.  Here’s a look at the one I showed last week using the same die.  For the “blue” cone, I die cut the ice cream scoop from decorative paper; for the colorful scoops I die cut them from white cardstock then colored them with Copics.  The Taylored Expressions “Tuck and Close” die is just perfect for these little cards because it makes its own envelope.  The happy birthday sentiment is also from Taylored Expressions (Banner Day stamp set).

Ice-cream-cone-outsideNext I turned to the cupcake paper and started looking through all my dies for the right size cupcake.  It’s hard to believe I have only one cupcake die and it was too big.  Then I looked at the ice cream cone and realized that if I cut off the bottom, it would be a cupcake!  Sure enough, I cut off the bottom, rounded the corners, placed a “scoop” on top and I had a darling little cupcake!  How fun to find a die that can do double duty!  For the cupcake cards, I also used Taylored Expressions Bracket notecard die and Spellbinders Labels 1 die.

Blue-cupcake Yellow-cupcake









Another Really Fun Die


Spin-it-to-win-itThe new Taylored Expressions “Spin it to Win it” die is really unique.  All the triangles cut individually so you can mix and match patterned paper and plain as well as stamped sentiments.  Spin the arrow to wherever you want it to land!  I found two stamp sets with small enough words to fit: Impression Obsession Real Life Sentiments and Penny Black Summer Fun.


Easter Stamps and Dies


          We still have bunnies and eggs and chicks so hurry in for Easter items.  Selected Easter stamps are 50% off.


See you soon – come to class and learn new tips and tricks to enhance your stamping and papercrafting!





Chloe's Excellent Adventure

Told from her point of view:

Chloe-outsideLast Wednesday, I decided to skip work and spend the day at home sleeping on my fluffy blanket, playing with my toys, and occasionally walking around the backyard – you know when “nature” calls!  But little did I know that Wednesday would be a different kind of day.  Late in the afternoon as I lay on the couch sound asleep, a big gust of wind blew the front door open.  Suddenly I could see the front yard and beyond.  I was a little wary and looked around for Mom, but she wasn’t there.  So I jumped off the couch, walked to the front door and sniffed.  Was it really standing open?  Yes, it was and the outside looked so inviting that I warily stepped off across the threshold and onto the front porch.  So far so good, I thought, as I took a few more steps.  I knew it was wrong to be outside without Mom, but so many delightful smells and fun sights beckoned me that all thought of her left my mind.

I spent some time sniffing around the front yard.  It’s not very large but it’s filled with smells from other dogs and I needed to identify find every one.  Eventually other smells wafted over from next door so I walked down the sidewalk to the neighbor’s house.  I was deep in thought and discovery when 2 young boys suddenly appeared and started talking to me.  I don’t really understand “human” but they were very nice and made me feel special.  They seemed really interested in the tag hanging off my collar.  One boy left then reappeared with a dog leach which he hooked onto my collar.  I was happy to continue my adventure as I walked along with the boys to a very large house around the corner and across the street from my house.

At the boys’ house I played with them and their very large, rambunctious German Shepherd.  Their Dad, Rick, made a phone call and soon my Mom appeared at the house.  She seemed particularly happy to see me and after a little conversation, we left and returned to our house.  The front door was still standing open, but Mom quickly closed it, latching the locks and telling me it wouldn’t open again in the wind. Too bad!

Mom said we needed to make a card to thank Rick and his sons for rescuing me (I didn’t know I needed rescuing!) so she made this card.  I like the “lucky dog” sentiment because I did feel lucky to have such an excellent adventure on windy April day.

Lucky-Dog-Outside  Lucky-Dog-Inside








All products from Paper Smooches: stamp sets Woofers & Tweeters, Lucky Dog and Paws for a Cause; dies: Dog Icons and Woofers.  The alphabet die is Impression Obsession’s plain alphabet lower case.

Mom’s Comments:

Chloe is fine and I am recovering from my shock of getting a phone call from a stranger asking if I had a dog named Chloe.  I am so thankful for wonderful neighbors!  I had to make him a special card which led me to playing with all the dog sets I have in stock from Paper Smooches.  Here are some other samples.  Other products I used: Paper Smooches die Word Bubbles; sentiment stamps from my stash; Penny Black die heart string; Bo Bunny Happy Tails 6” paper pad.  Here are some other samples made with the same supplies:

  Birthday-Wishes Ruff-Day








Word-Bubble-Bday-1 Word-Bubble-Bday-2













Ice-cream-cone-outsideI am still making 3” x 3” notecards and the newest die I am using is called “Tuck and Close” from Taylored Expressions.  It’s great fun and the good thing about this notecard is that it needs no envelope.  You can barely see the little tab under the knot of the ribbon.  Here's the inside of this note:

Ice-cream-cone-insideFor these samples I used   Penny Black’s “Summer Fun” stamp set to decorate these little notes.  The ice cream cone is a die from Impression Obsession and the flourish is the Memory Box “Elegant Scrollwork” die. 





Happy-Birthday Sunny-hello Sweet-friend

Another set of notes I made features the Treat Topper Birthday die set from Taylored Expressions.  The bracket notecard was made with Taylored Expressions Bracket Notecard die and the scalloped notecard was made with a Spellbinders Mega Scalloped Rectangles die.  The mats for these notes were made with Spellbinders Blossom 1 die.

  Bday-Treat-Top-1 Bday-Treat-Top-2 Bday-Treat-Top-3

One more set – these are made with the Taylored Expressions Totally Tags Spring stamp set and the coordinating dies.  This stamp set is still in stock if you need last minute Easter cards.

  Sheep Spring-is-in-the-air





Bunnies Bunny-in-Carrot Chick-cracked-egg Chickie-with-egg Chickie-with-egg


















Toulouse-FloralHere's another sample (A2 size) – Memory Box die Toulouse background; Memory Box stencil honeycomb; stickles glitter glue lime green and cinnamon





Lighthouse-ShipThanks to Harriet Head I have a delightful set of cards to share with you.  These are sooooo cute!!!  The background for the cars and houses card is the Memory Box “Wave” stencil inked with Distress inks.  I love the way Harriet always keeps the scale of her images in line – that’s quite a talent!  Thanks for sharing Harriet!!!

Lighthouse – Cheery Lynn die lighthouse; Memory Box die mini clouds; Savvy die Summer Fun (sailboat); IO die seagull and IO sentiment stamp

Birthday-Candles Cars-Village-StencilCandles – Poppystamps die birthday candles; sentiment unknown. Cars – Memory Box stencil wave; Memory Box dies auto parts, mini clouds, calm countryside (trees), tiny village; IO die sun and moon

New Hot Products

Wood paper sheets by EK Success -- 8 per pkg; 5” x 7”.  Die cut it and make inlaid cards -- they are spectacular!!!

Bazzill Card Shoppe cardstock in 12 colors!!!  100 lb – heavy, smooth and luscious!

Doodlebug Sugar Shoppe pattern paper and 6” x 6” paper pad

Doodlebug Hip Hip Hooray 6” x 6” paper pad (good for boys!)

Round distress ink blending tool – sold out but back next week

Mini distress ink pads – fun bright colors


Easter Sale … Easter Sale … Easter Sale

Selected Easter stamps are now 50% off!

A note about classes:  I am so sorry that I have not been able to develop the samples for the announced classes.  I have been so busy with customers, custom classes, Chloe and creating new samples that I just haven’t had time to make the samples that are in my head! I appreciate your business and interest in stamping and paper crafting – please keep it up so I can continue to bring you lots and lots of exciting new products.  I will really, really try to create and post the class samples soon!

Stop in soon and please know I greatly appreciate your business and friendship!

New Classes Posted

Happy April’s Fools Day to you!  I promise I won’t fool you today when I show you a variety of new samples!  First a quick peek at some incoming products.  Many of you have asked for a hummingbird die and Taylored Expressions has answered that request with a new stamp and coordinating die set that features not 1, not 2, but 3 hummingbirds plus an attractive flower!  Yeah! 


  HoveringBy-dies WhereverYouGostamps









I expect deliveries this week from Impression Obsession, Memory Box, Taylored Expressions and Poppystamps.  The new Tim Holtz round ink blending tools are here as is his new spritzer that lets you air brush with any brush-tip marker.

One thing that has always "bugged" me when I use a 6" x 6" paper pad is how to keep all the little pieces of paper collected together.  If I put them back in the pad, they just fell out all over the place.  No longer!  I ordered cellophane bags that are the perfect size to hold the paper pad.  You can buy them in a package of 25 for $3.99.


March Make it and Take it


Bunnies-in-GrassLast week I had a delightful group of ladies come in for this make and take.  We had a great time and everyone’s card turned out beautifully.  Stop in anytime (except during class times) and make this card featuring adorable bunnies.  No need to bring any supplies. 

Here's another card that usesMITI-BunniesImpression Obsession dies: Rabbits, grass border and tulips; IO “Spring” stamp; card by Paper Cut





Because I didn’t blog last week to show the class samples, and due to late deliveries of items needed for class, I am moving my classes back a week so please take note of the new dates below:


Classes … Classes … Classes


Sat, April 5 at 10am to noon and 2 to 4pm and Wed, April 2 at 1pm – More Envelope Punch Board FunPut your Envelope Punch Board to good use and make the cutest clutch purse box that holds cards. Plus make six 3” x 3” enclosure cards to fill the purse!  Bring your punch board and class kit supplies including score tape in ⅛” and/or ¼”. Don’t have a punch board?  You can borrow mine during class.








First set of cards I made used matching paper, various border dies and sentiments.  Here are 2 examples:

Half-Squiggle-Border Savannah-Border








Then I got in a set of tag stamps with coordinating dies from Taylored Expressions:

Totallytagsoccasionsstamps TotallyTagsdies









Here are some samples I made with these:

Baby-Boy Birthday-Balloons Birthday-Cake Dome-Tag-Love Dome-Tag-Thank-You-2 For-You-Flowers-1 Showered-with-love-1 Tag-Graduate







Sat, April 12 at 10am to noon and 2 to 4pm and Wed, April 9 at 1pm – Double Stamping You will think you are seeing an optical illusion when you see the samples for this class.  Learn to make a set of quick, easy card using one background stamp and butterfly dies.  Choose any 2 colors you like and stamp away for impressive results!  Bring class kit.


Sat, April 19 at 10am to noon and 2 to 4pm and Wed, April 16 at 1pm – Flowers, Flowers, Flowers Use new Impression Obsession dies to create floral scenes.  Learn how to “rust” a water pail or watering can; how to make dimensional flowers; and how to add Flower Soft to your scenes for colorful, realistic flowers!



Sat, April 26 at 10am to noon and 2 to 4pm and Wed, April 23 at 1pm – Crackle Die Cuts Give your die cuts a whole new look with vibrant color and a crackle finish.  It’s quick, it’s easy and this technique will work on lots of different die cuts.  Come have fun and learn a new technique!  Bring class kit.



Other Samples


Bag in a Box


Bag-in-a-BoxPerfect for holding a few Easter eggs is this “bag in a box” created with the envelope punch board from one 6” x 6” piece of decorative paper.  I used Taylored Expressions die Mini Tags and stamp set Tag Sentiments plus Doodlebug “Springtime” paper collection.


Paper Smooches


Flowers-BirthdayThe new “Flowers” die from Paper Smooches is packed with enough flowers, stems and leaves to create a bouquet of cards.  I used just a few of the images on this one die for this car.  Paper Smooches “Flower” die; Taylored Expressions Label Stacklets 3; Spellbinders Labels 8; Viva Décor Pearl pen in ice white; “Happy Birthday” sentiment by Printworks; “29 again” sentiment by Technique Tuesday; Doodlebug enamel sprinkles




“Thanks” Quotables


Quotables-thanksPaper Smooches dies Quotables and Thanks; Doodlebug enamel sprinkles






“Greetings” Quotables


Quotables-GreetingsPaper Smooches dies Quotables and sentiments from various Paper Smooches sets









I needed birthday cards for my brother-in-law who has a big dog and my brother who has a cat so here’s what I made:



Top Dog


Top-Dog-BirthdayPoppystamps die “Labrador”; Memory Box dies scalloped cake stands and petite cakes; sentiment by Taylored Expressions “Tanner” stamp and die set






Kitties-BirthdayPoppystamps dies “Birthday Background” and “Baby Kittens”




Thanks for reading my blog and please stop in and shop soon!