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April 2016

Sweet Samples With Penny Black Stamps and Dies

Hello Friends.  I hope you had a good weekend and are looking forward to a great week.  It's spring which means lots of wind in El Paso, but since that and a little dust are about as bad as the weather gets here, I don't mind it.  It is annoying that the wind shakes a storm of little twigs out of my mature elm trees all over the back yard, but compared to the massive floods my brother has had in Houston and the upcoming tornado season in my sister's hometown of Dallas, I will take a few little twigs.  I hope the weather is pleasant where you are.

Today's blog is all about Penny Black stamps and dies.  Penny Black is known for her gorgeous floral images and her dies are just as artistic and unique.  For the cards I will share with you today I used new dies, but per usual there are even newer dies coming soon!  Be sure to check the What's New Page  to see all the dies and stamps in stock and on their way!



Sweetest Sound -- Two sweet little birds sitting on a branch take center stage on this card (Penny Black die Sweetest Sound II).  I die cut a circular frame from two Spellbinders Classic Circles dies and mounted it over a background stamped with the music score from Penny Black's clear stamp set Footnotes.  The large flowers were cut with Penny Black die Pinwheel and the smaller flower with PB Tweet Things. I also used two Memory Box dies: Create Art and Tender Leaves.  The card's design was inspired by Jill Foster. 


Playful Posies – Penny Black die Playful Posies is so sweet and it includes three more flowers that I did not use on this card.  I stamped the background with an old Notebook paper stamp from Hero Arts (it's so old they just reissued it in their latest stamp collection!)   The notepaper edge is punched with EK Success Binding Edge punch.  The cute little H.e.l.l.o. sentiment is from Penny Black clear stamp set Snippets -- if you don't have it get it -- it's been extremely popular and Penny Black just released a new set called Happy Snippets (see it here.)  Design inspired by Jill Foster.


Butterflies – This butterfly flew out of the store as soon as I made this card!  But good news:  he's already on his way back! The solid butterfly comes from a set (Penny Black Flights of Fancy) with several other smaller butterflies in different poses.  The overlay butterfly (appropriately called Swirling Wings!) is a perfect match.  I die cut the background greenery with Taylored Expressions die Bloomers Greenery and added the sentiment using Penny Black die Doodles.  Design inspired by Heather Telford.


Petal Power – Yes you've seen this flower before.  It's from Penny Black clear stamp set Petal Power, a classic set with lots of flowers, leaves and sentiments.  Speaking of sentiments, the happy sentiment on this card is from a new Penny Black clear stamp set called Sprinkles and Smiles.  Design inspired by Marion Vagg


Birdhouse – This birdhouse from the Penny Black clear stamp set Fly High makes a colorful house for all the birds of spring!  I stamped the birdhouse then colored and cut it out.  The background was stamped with Penny Black stamp Letter; to get the "splotchy" look, ink the stamp, dab off areas with a baby wipe then stamp on background.  I distressed the background with Distress Inks Brushed Corduroy and Walnut Stain and colored in a patch of green using Copic markers.  Next I made an oval frame using  Spellbinders die Classic Ovals and popped it up with foam tape.  To complete the card, I die cut the feathers (Taylored Expressions die Fine Feathers) and sponged them with two colors of yellow ink.  The birdhouse was popped up over the frame and the cute little sentiment was stamped on the wonky frame (both are in the Fly High stamp set), cut out and mounted over the feathers and a messy thread nest.  Design inspired by Jill Foster.

 Penny Black Medallion


Blue and White – The new Penny Black die Medallion is so stunning.  I die cut it from blue cardstock and cut the separate center medallion from yellow cardstock.  The Cricut Cuttlebug embossing folder Rebecca forms a perfect frame for this handsome die.


Love – Look how different the medallion looks as a background image.  I die cut the Impression Obsession die Boy with Flowers from dark grey cardstock and a rectangle to mount him on using Memory Box Pinpoint Rectangles die from lighter gray cardstock.  The sweet "love" die comes with the Medallion. The pretty papers are from Penny Black paper pad Beau Jardin.  Inside the card I die cut Happy Mother’s Day using an Impression Obsession die and mounted it on a background die cut with Paper Smooches die Notebook Basic.  You can see the inside of the card in out Gallery here.


Purple Medallion – For a quick and easy card for just about any occasion, die cut the Penny Black Medallion and mount it on a background embossed with Taylored Expressions embossing folder Dotted Lattice.  The sweet little bow was cut with Paper Smooches die Baby Bow.  Add a few gems and you're done!

 Penny Black Pillow Box


Pillow Box – The Penny Black die Pillow Box includes a die to make the pillow box and the little stitched label shown above.  In addition it includes dies to cut the Happy Birthday Ice Cream Cone shown below, plus decorative little stars, hearts, button and another smaller stitched label.  The pillow box is just large enough to hold a gift card.  To complete the pillow box above, I die cut Penny Black Leaves and sponged them with inks then mounted them behind a butterfly (Memory Box die Cascadia Butterfly 3) and the label stamped with a sentiment from Penny Black clear stamp set Snippets.


Ice Cream Cone Striped – Penny Black die Pillow Box; Taylored Expressions die Label Stacklets 2; design inspired by Elizabeth Allan


Ice Cream Cone Plaid – Penny Black die Pillow Box; Memory Box die Pinpoint Squares; design inspired by Judy Jung


Va Va Voom – Isn't this the cutest card?  I stamped the new Penny Black cling stamp Va Va Voom in black ink and colored it with colored pencils.  The sentiment is from the Penny Black clear stamp set Sentiment Collection and the clouds are from two sets (both retired) Memory Box die Puffy Clouds and Poppy die Fancy Clouds.  Design inspired by Judy Jung who has a precious bichon named Cooper!

New Make and Take

It's graduation time and our free make and take card this month is perfect for any graduate.  We will be using special die cut paper from The Paper Cut and a boy or a girl graduate die from Impression Obsession.  Please stop in any time and make a graduation card.

And speaking of graduation, we have everything you need to make or decorate graduation cards, party favors or other paper crafting projects. Stop in and see our selection.

Have a great week and I hope to se you soon! 





Fun with Art Impressions Stamps

Hello Friends!  Today I want to share with you some funny cards using stamps from Art Impressions.  Some cards are decorated with a die cut here and there, but the real stars today are stamps and coloring.  OK, I can already hear you saying "I can't color" or "I don't have time to color."  For me coloring is therapy time - just me, my markers and the TV or radio.  I lose myself in the pretty colors.  And speaking of colors -- choose what you like best: Copic markers, watercoloring with water-based markers or inks, colored pencils -- whatever you have on hand and enjoy.



I personally added a wing on to my dentist's office so I feel like I do deserve a crown!  I colored this lady in Copic markers and cut the crowns from sparkly cardstock using Poppy die Regal Crowns.  I created the background by sponging ink (Distress Spun Sugar) with a Jumbo Dauber through the My Favorite Things stencil called Cow Print. As with most of the AI sets, the sentiment is included with the main stamp.  Design inspired by Karen Day

Celeste-front Celeste-insideI used the same stencil on this card with the "Celeste" stamp.  Love the sentiment inside!  Design insired by Amy Rysaa.



I used Art Impressions stamp set "Picture Perfect" for this card, colored with Copic markers.  Other supplies include Taylored Expressions dies Film Strip Border and Skinny Mini Borders 1; Tim Holtz stamp set Hashtags; and Simple Stories paper pad Daily Grind.  Design inspired by Cheri Burry.


Same stamp set (it includes three sentiments!) and a different layout using Taylored Expressions die Picture Perfect Hello/Smile frame set.  The decorative paper is from a Doodlebug paper pad called Day to Day and the design was inspired by Karen Day.


And here's one more using the Picture Pefect set.  Design inspired by Tammie Koehner.


For this card I stamped Art Impressions stamp Rockin’ Ruby on white cardstaock, colored her and cut her out -- yes a little tedious but so cute!  For the card I created a reverse mask by cutting a piece of masking paper (slightly self adhesive) the same size as my card front(4¼” x 5½”) then die cutting a circle in the center of this mask with Spellbinders die Classic Circles large.  Once this mask was adhered to the card front, I sponged the background using Memento inks Pear Tart, Summer Sky and Bahama Blue.  Next I removed the mask, adhered Rockin' Ruby to the card and stamped the sentiment.  Design inspired by Judith Gowdy.



Art Impressions has really cute guys as well as girls!  Here's a card I made with stamp set "Old Guy's Club" and single stamp Happy Birthday Ole’ Geezer.  Design inspired by Karen Amidon.


This longhorn is from the brand new Art Impressions collection called Texas Zoo Crew!  The longhorn and the sentiment are in a set called Long Horn (I guess they don't know how to spell longhorn in Oregon!).  For a perfect masculine birthday card I stamped the longhorn and colored him with Copic markers and cut out the panel with Memory Box die Pinpoint Layers Square.  The background "wood" decorative paper is from Authentique and the rectangle on the left is from Prima -- it looks and feels like leather!  I added a few embellishments and some twine.  Inside the card I stamped the longhorn again in brown ink and the sentiment in black ink.  Design inspired by Reneé Matarese.


Same stamp set, different layout.  I love the Dymo labeler "Hey!"  Art Impressions stamp set Long Horn; design inspired by Diane Zechman.



Here's a fun birthday card with a signature Art Impressions Back and Front stamp set called Maturing.  I stamped the front and the back images on cardstock, colored them with Copic markers then cut them out with the matching dies.  For the card I adhered the decorative paper inside and outside the card then cut all three layers at once with a Spellbinders Circle die.  You may have to run it through a couple times to cut through all 3 layers.  Next adhere the front image to the front of the card; the back image will fit perfectly over the front image inside the card.  Finally stamp the sentiment in two places so only part of the image shows through the opening.

I just placed a big order with Art Impressions for more funny ladies and gentlemen -- be sure to check them out on our What's New page here.  To reserve or order any item, just email Polly at polly@stampactelp.com or call me at 915-833-9500.  I tidied up the Big Sale page so browse through it here.

Happy Stamping and paper crafting.  Stop in soon and shop!








Accent on the "Negative" ... Die Cuts!

Hello Friends.  Today's post is all about turning the negative space left from die cutting a shape into beautiful cards.  Using the negative space is easy if you keep a few tips in mind.  First, choose dies that look recognizable in the negative.  Second, plan the card's design and spacing keeping in mind what will be placed behind the opening.  And third, keep any small pieces cut out in case you need to reinsert those to complete the design.  Finally, make the negative space pop with colorful cardstock, decorative paper, washi tape or sponging inks.  Let's look at some samples.


For this card I used Taylored Expressions die Hey, Hello and it illustrates the importance of spacing the design before cutting.  I cut the three words out of the white cardstock panel initially cut with Memory Box die Pinpoint Rectangles leaving room to add the telephone on top of the panel.  To highlight the words, I mounted colored cardstock behind each opening then matted this panel on black.  For a cute embellishment I created a telephone cord using Taylored Expressions Skinny Mini Borders 2.  This card's design was inspired by Kim Singdahlsen.


For this card I cut the Taylored Expressions Silhouette Stems 4 die three times from turquoise cardstock being careful to keep the small pieces cut out so I could reinsert them to complete the flowers.  I sponged a piece of white cardstock with an ombre effect using dye inks of light and medium yellow and light and dark orange.  Other supplies used on this card are TE stamp set Free Spirit, TE embossing folder Leafy Vines and Penny Black die Polaroid Frame.  The design was inspired by Jean Manis.


Here the negative space of the pot is filled with decorative paper while the leaf and the flower are filled with colored cardstock.  Again planning the design before cutting is crucial.  I used Taylored Expressions dies Bloom Where You're Planted, Various Vases and Frame in Frame to cut the openings and orange panel.  Notice that the leaf is actually a positive and a negative!  The negative leaf shape in the orange cardstock panel is filled with a positive leaf cut from green.  To finish the card, I added a tiny butterfly (Memory Box die Mini Butterflies) and a Smile sentiment (Penny Black die Hooray Words).  This card was inspired by Joan Ervin.


Negative space is perfect for a clean and simple look.  To create the opening I cut two of the feathers from Taylored Expressions die Fine Feathers one at a time overlapping the tips.  For the background I sponged Distress Inks Twisted Citron and Peacock Feathers.  I added a tiny twine bow to tie the feathers together and a sentiment from TE stamp set Free Spirit.  This card's design inspired by Courtney Kelley. 



Colorful and whimsical, this card shows off Taylored Expressions dies Bloomers Greenery, Mini Bloomers and Bloomers 1 as well as the TE stamp set Free Spirit.  IRL you can see the white panel is popped up with foam tape so the colorful negative spaces really pop.  The flowers are embellished with sequins with tiny rhinestones in the centers.  Design inspired by Charmaine Ikach. 

For the final card today I cut Taylored Expressions die Silhouette Stems 1 from an oval white cardstock panel (cut with Spellbinders die Ovals Petite).  This panel is mounted to a vellum oval just a bit larger then to a vellum panel cut with TE's Bold Lace Background.  The white card is sponged with Distress ink Squeezed Lemonade and Memento inks Rosebud, Tangelo and Morocco.  I colored the seam binding with Distress Stains Squeezed Lemonade and Picked Raspberry, tied it into a bow and mounted it to a paper flower. This card's design was inspired by Julia Stainton.

I hope you've enjoyed learning more about stretching your dies by using the negative space.  Be sure to check our updated Class Calendar here and stop in soon to shop.  Have a great weekend!


















Negative die cuts will be our class this Saturday, April 2 at 10am. For more information, just click here to go to our class page.  Let me share some samples with you.