Category Archives: Inspiration

Christmas in July Colorful Seasons

A few weeks ago I talked about having a “To Go” stamping kit.  Well, I had TO GO to that kit for today’s card because I was away from my studio!  I also had just received my “goodies” from the new catalog – I always order all the paper, inkpads, reinkers and markers from the new colors, along with a stamp set or two and maybe a few of the new embellishments.  So I was well set to make a card, but a Christmas card?…uhhh not so much!  I did have some Dapper Denim cut into card layers, a piece of watercolor paper, Very Vanilla cut into A2 cards, and a Dapper Denim inkpad, a versamark inpad, an empty spritzer, white embossing powder and my embossing gun in my kit.  I also had the Foxy Friends Stamp set – it is so cute and I have been wanting to use it for a while.  I had purchased the new Colorful Seasons stampset which has a couple of snowflake stamps, which I stamped and embossed on the watercolor paper.  Then I spritzed the water color paper with a good drench of water, pressed an acrylic block several times on my Dapper Denim inkpad, spritzed that with water and let it drip onto the watercolor paper, and spritzed the watercolor paper again just to get that blue ink moving all over the paper.  I dried it with the embossing gun and set it under a book to dry flat.  I used the Trees from the Foxy Friends stamp set and stamped with the new Tranquil Tide inkpad, fussy cutting them out.  (I am going to LOVE that Green/Blue shade this year!)  I cut a little banner using a sentiment from Colorful Seasons, and tied a bow using the new Mini Chevron ribbon in Old Olive, and Voila’!  A Holiday Card!  A note about the ribbon – it is one of the nicest ribbons Stampin’ Up! has offered – so soft!  Sadly only 3 colors so far, though (Old Olive, Bermuda Bay, Crushed Curry).  I am definitely going to use this ribbon on some of my sewing projects!

And that’s it!  Another holiday card, “on the go” this time, totally unplanned, but it didn’t take long to come together once I paired the snowflakes with the trees.  Click on the “Shop Online” button to order Colorful Seasons and Foxy Friends if you want to recreate this card – or just about any card – they are both so versatile! …and remember, a $50 purchase will earn a $5 reward to spend in August!

Christmas in July?

“Christmas in July?”, you ask… Not one but TWO Christmas presents in July! First, start earning Bonus Days coupons to use in August! Here’s the deal: for every $50 you spend July 1–31 (before shipping and tax), you’ll get a $5 Bonus Days coupon that can be used August 1–31.  Second, start your holiday cards HERE!  I’ve got holiday card ideas galore coming your way this month!

Here’s one with the Flurry of Wishes Stamp set and dies, Real Red cardstock, Gold Glimmer Paper, Vellum and Pearl Basic Jewels, and Mini Sequin Trim!  

And here’s what’s coming in August!  You’ll be able to PRE-ORDER a brand-new holiday card BUNDLE for 10% off, AND use those Bonus Days coupons too!

Are you ready for Christmas in July? Contact me or click on the Shop Online button to start earning Bonus Days Coupons!

Say Something Nice Day!

Who knew?  June 1st is “Say Something Nice Day”!  The nicest thing I can say today (with some crazy excitement thrown in) is that it is the first day of our NEW CATALOG!


Yes, every year Stampin’ Up introduces 5 new colors, that will stay around for 2 years.  Sometimes they come back and go into the “Permanent” collection, but they are here for at least 2 years.  This year’s new colors: Powder Pink, Fresh Fig, Berry Burst, Lemon Lime Twist and Tranquil Tide! – Just LOOOOVE the Lemon Lime Twist!

Last year’s colors are still good for another year (Thank Goodness – because that Flirty Flamingo is so NOW!)

Would you like something nice?  Message me and I’ll send you a CATALOG!!!   Then you can say something nice TOO!



My Paper Pumpkin

The March Paper Pumpkin is just stinkin’ cute! If you have been thinking about getting a subscription, now is the time to sign up for the April kit! In fact, there is a special on a 3-month subscription, AND you will qualify for a free item from the last few days of Sale-A-Bration (through March 31st)! Our 3-Month Prepaid Subscriptions (item 137859) are just $55! The April Paper Pumpkin has been designed by Stampin’ Up’s CEO, Sara Douglas. Make sure you’re a subscriber by April 10 to receive April’s exciting box. Watch this video from Sara to learn more!
What could be more fun than 30 minutes of pure creation each month? Everything you need to make the project is in the box – ink, stamps, supplies and instructions. From Cards to Gifts to Decor – a crafty surprise every time! Are you ready? Contact me to sign up by March 31st to qualify for a free stamp set or other goodies from the Sale-A-Bration catalog.
When will you get your Paper Pumpkin on???

So Very Thankful!

Today I am VSo Very ThankfulERY thankful!   I just received my Stampin’ Up! order and APPARENTLY I had ordered both of these stamp sets!  At first I thought, Well THAT’S a LOT of Thank Yous!, but then, really, I am Thankful for so many things – and I should send Thank You cards more often!  (just like birthday cards!!!)  I’ve always liked having LOTS of fonts at my disposal, and there are so many lovely ones with these stamps!  I know I’ll be embossing the BIG Thank You in GOLD and spritzing or stenciling a pretty background.  What can YOU create with these sentiments…and what are you So Very Thankful for???

Sheltering Tree Inspiration

Sheltering Tree is a stamp from the Annual Stampin’ Up! Catalog – I was reminded of this stamp when I wasSheltering Tree Inspiration
driving today on N. Charles Street in Baltimore – the trees are in BLOOM and are soooo beautiful!  I immediately thought about how I could recreate these beautiful trees on a card using the Sheltering Tree stamp set.   Stamp the tree base in Early Espresso (on my favorite card stock, Shimmery WhSheltering Treeite), stamp the “leaf” part in versamark ink and emboss with white embossing powder.  Either leave the background plain or spritz or lightly sponge the background with several blues.  The embossing powder will resist the ink and the blue will just show in the background.

White Embossing Powder

While this stamp is in the Annual Catalog, you can STILL order it (Photopolymer $25), along with Shimmery White paper ($8/10 sheets), White Embossing Powder ($5), Early Espresso Inkpad ($6.50), Versamark Inkpad ($7.50) and with your $52 order, get a FREE item from the Sale-a-bration catalog through March 31st!  Spring is officially here!  Is there a “Sheltering Tree Inspiration” in your yard or your travels this weekend?


Boho Hearts Inspiration

In honor of Valentine’s Day, here is a fabulous Boho Hearts Inspiration Photo.  I want to make these, eat these and WEAR these.  So COLORFUL!  But wouldn’t these make a great CARD, too?  Stamp or draw your favorite heart outlBoho Hearts Inspirationine and fill in with doodles or even Zentangle.  Different color markers would make this so easy.
You could also take this idea and “marker” your stamp – below is a perfect image from the Bordering Blooms stamp set in the 2015-2016 Catalog for this technique.  Embellish the stamped image with dimensional dots or crystal effects to add texture and bling!  What will YOU do with this Boho Heart Inspiration?

Bordering Blooms




One of my fave’s from Stampin’ Up!, Shannon West, has come up with a brilliant idea, called #imbringingbirthdaysback!  The premise is that we have gotten away from sending birthday cards and become more dependent on the quick and easy social media way.  Now who doesn’t LOVE a birthday card (or any card, really) that you receive in the mail???  I used to send a ton of them out, and I have gotten out of the habit, too!  Stampin’ Up! thought this was SUCH a good idea that they are now going to issue a stamp EXACTLY as Shannon made her own above.  As soon as it is available, I’ll post a link, but no need to wait to jump onto this great idea – start your own revolution!  If you want a great stamp set with birthday sentiments and images, too, “Endless Birthday Wishes” would be a great start!  If you want a hand-stamped birthday card from ME, just comment with your request, and message me privately with your name, birthday and address, and VOILA! your card will hit the US Mail when the time comes!  #imbringingbirthdaysback – how about you???

stack of IBBB cards

30 Day Coloring Challenge!

I just Love Sandy Allnock!  I’ve taken a class with her (at The Queen’s Ink), and she is fun and so great with her color lessons.  I have all the Copic Sketch Markers (!) and just can’t get enough coloring with them.  Sandy’s blog is on my everyday list and she has inspired me to go in directions that I would never have thought of (and to drool over several watercolor products that I hope someday to afford, because, like the Copics, I have to have ALL the colors!).  This week Sandy talked about the 30-Day Coloring Challenge on Kathy Racoosin’s blog THE DAILY MARKER.  Who doesn’t like to color? (I say…)  So I got started this am, not very far, I admit, but it’s a START!

First I stamped and fussy cut THIS imageColoring Challenge1a from the Helping Me Grow brand new stamp set in the new Occasions Catty.  Then I stamped it again on my favorite paper (Shimmery White), placed the cut-out on top and spritzed with a couple different Smooch Spritz’s.  Clearly I was not worried about keeping the underneath image pristine, because I will be coloring and layering colors on top and often the serendipity of my “sloppiness” will actually enhancColoring Challenge1be the final image.  This coloring challenge is all about going out of your “safe” coloring zone and using OTHER coloring products in your stash.

So what will day 2 bring?  I have some ideas already! – Stay tuned!

Keeping it RAW!

2016-0115 Salmon and tunaLast June I embarked upon a new journey, food-wise.  Up until then, I was consuming 2 Venti latte’s plus at least a 2-liter bottle of diet coke daily- and NO water (good grief there is plenty of water in diet coke isn’t there?).   I had been eating a somewhat vegetarian (including eggs, cheese, milk products and fish) diet for over 40 years, and was generally healthy,  but the pounds had slowly mounted up and I was just not happy about the weight, the caffeine, or the fake sweeteners.  So with some inspiration from the guys at work who were eating raw every other week, I decided to try it.  That first weekend with no caffeine was pretty brutal, but I stuck with it and lost about 10 lbs the first couple of months.  Plus I was off all caffeine, sugar, fake sweeteners, and milk products, and drinking LOTS more water.  I was feeling pretty good.  Then I discovered raw cashews.  Let’s just say that the weight loss came to a screeching halt (yup I was grazing through 3-4 lbs of exPENsive cashews every week).  Ok, had to give those up, too.  So now I am losing weight again.  To get the all-important protein quota each day, half is coming from protein-based Naked juices (which I make a 50/50 mix with the Naked Juice Green Machine) and the other half from sashimi – the raw fish they sell at sushi counters.  I have an orange and a slice of Ezekiel Flax Seed bread with a dollop of natural honey for breakfast, naked juice for lunch and sashimi for dinner.  If I am hungry later, I’ll have another Naked juice mix.  And to be perfectly honest, I still have a Venti Latte’ every day, but now they are Decaf, Soymilk and only 105 degrees.  This past summer, I was making my own juices using a Nutri-bullet juicer (that thing is FABulous), but by late fall I found the quality of the fruit and veggies I was juicing went way down at the grocery store, so I switched to the Naked Juices.

This journey has had it’s bumps along the way – mostly figuring out what was considered “raw” and where I could get it.  It has not been CHEAP either!  One bag of “raw chips” cost me $8.00! (Won’t be buying another at that price.)  Sashimi is at least $10 a day.  Organic fruit at the grocery store? – more expensive and sometimes a lot worse quality and smaller too.  Sheesh!  I was invited to several parties over the holidays – I had to bring my own dinner (although there were some salads I could eat).  Is it worth it?  I would have to say, over all, yes it is.  I crave the fish every day and I know when I need to drink more water (which I still don’t “savor”, but I don’t mind so much any more).  I was losing about a pound a week without exercise, and I have just started a fitness challenge at the health club, so maybe a few more pounds down and certainly a more muscular physique.  12 weeks – I’ll keep you posted on my progress.  This week (week 1) – weight 155, 35% fat (actually a LOT better than I expected).

Needless to say, this isn’t the diet for everyone.  But I do much better with fewer choices, and I just.feel.better.  Have I been perfect?  No.  Food is my go-to salve when stress is making me crazy, so PERHAPS a western fry or mini kitkat has passed over my lips, just sayin’.  But sugar and frying oils are not my friends any more and my “falls from grace” are short lived, thank goodness!

Is it time for you to examine YOUR diet?  Aspartame, caffeine, sugar-loading and chip bingeing could be affecting your health in more serious ways then just the extra calories or energy boost. You might be surprised at the energy level you can maintain by eliminating the peeks and valleys caused by depending on chemicals, additives and artificial foods.

Have I piqued your curiosity?  If so, you can join me at the sushi bar!