Friday, December 21, 2012

The Merchant, the Pearl and the Price

In the midst of preparing remarks that I've been asked to give tomorrow at a Christmas Tea, this thought occurred to me:

How ironic that the Saviour Who was born to a carpenter's family was laid in a wooden crib in a stable on His way to a wooden cross on a hill.

I was asked to speak on the Pearl of Great Price, which is not the usual Christmas verse.  However, after meditating on this parable over the past couple of weeks, I've come to see just how appropriate it is.  The Merchant who gave up all that He had for the Pearl is a beautiful picture of Christ Who sacrificed everything in order to purchase His church.  In fact, it is the reason He came...Christmas!

These bookmarks will be given to each of the ladies who attend as a reminder of how the Lord humbled Himself  in order to raise us up.

NOTE:  If you would like a copy of my talk, just email me.  I'd be happy to email you a copy.

Sunday, December 16, 2012


Mike Huckabee answered this question on his program after the terrible tragedy at Newtown, CT.  Please click HERE to listen to his remarks.  I found them to ring so very true.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


...YOU THROW YOUR SUPPLIES IN A BASKET! Notice the abundance of yellow and white Stickles in my newly arranged container. Now that I can see what I have, I won't be buying any more of those two colors for awhile!

TIP:  Don't make the same mistake...

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Our two cats love to relax in front of the Christmas tree while they snooze or watch TV!

Thursday, December 6, 2012


This card was inspired by a tag published on a blog HERE, and I do hope you'll visit "The Classroom" for some other wonderful ideas.

We'll be doing this one for the next Moms Club, which is now the Advanced Class!  The blue background was done in Distress Inks (Broken China and Tumbled Glass) on a Penny Black background stamp (Crystal Pattern.)  Funny how the names of the inks and the stamp coordinate ;) (not intentional.)

After inking the background, I tore some white cardstock for the snow and attached it to the bottom of the stamped piece using only a small line of snail so that the deer would have room to be inserted beneath. The tree and deer trio dies are from Memory Box and were added to the scene as shown. I used chunky glitter for the snow, but next time I think I'd rather use a softer kind such as SU prisma glitter. Check out the blog link above for further details and photos. Once the scene was finished, I attached it to the cardfront with dimensionals. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 29, 2012


 It's probably hard to tell by this picture, but it's been fun learning a new medium.  The colored pencils enable me to do some grown-up coloring!  Since I never did well in arts and crafts classes during my school years, I actually have to laugh!

The brand of pencils I used is "Fantasia" which I purchased on Amazon at half the cost of a set of Prismacolor pencils.  The only comparison I have is with the Crayola pencils I have in the tower, and these are much better indeed. YouTube is indispensable for learning new things, especially artist techniques like this.

The card I made looks a bit washed out here (but not IRL.)  I started with Very Vanilla cardstock for the base and stamped the poinsettia with Versamark as a background.  The red banner was embossed with a Cuttlebug leafy folder.  The flower was stamped twice on drawing paper, colored in, cut and layered.  Yellow glitter was added for the center.

What medium have you always wanted to try?  I took a seniors class in watercoloring two years ago, found out I didn't like working with it, and went on to other things.  I didn't look at that as a failure, but rather as an opportunity to try something new.  You're never too old to learn new things, so give it a try!

 Like I used to say to my kids when they balked at new foods, "What if you never tried ice cream?"

Friday, November 16, 2012

Challenge: Second Chances

A Blog Named Hero (HERE) is challenging us to remake a card that we made before.  The one I chose is the one shown here on the top.  I liked the way it looked, but wanted to incorporate some of the new techniques I've learned since.

To start, I chose Very Vanilla for my card base and clear embossed the Christmas hymn for the background.  Then I sponged Tea Dye and Forest Moss Distress Inks over it.  Then I gave it a sheen with Glimmer Mist spray.

For the poinsettia, I first stamped the music with black ink on a piece of Very Vanilla and heat dried it.  Then I clear embossed the poinsettia over it, doing this twice so that I could layer it.  After sponging Wild Honey and Fired Brick Distress Inks  over them, I cut them out and layered them, slightly offset, with a dimensional and mounted the flower as shown.  Next, I added pearls in the center and several loops of jute twine for embellishment.

The greeting was stamped on a piece of scrap and mounted with glue dots.  I rounded the top right corner for the final touch.  I like this card better than the original!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Merry Snowflake Card

This is one of the cards the Moms Club will do next.

After embossing a piece of dark blue cs with a Cuttlebug snowflake folder, I sanded the cardstock to bring out  the white core.  (NoteThis technique will not work with SU cardstock  due to its solid core; but you could gently rub a white inkpad over the raised snowflakes after sanding for a similar effect.)

Next, I used a Marvy punch for the large snowflake and a Martha Stewart punch for the smaller one.  After attaching a large square of silver paper to the cardfront where the cutout would go, I mounted the snowflake panel over it with SU dimensionals. I mounted the white snowflake in the center with a thicker pop dot so that it would stand above the blue cs beneath.

The blue metallic center is from Hero Arts and is self-stick.  For the silver cord bow in the upper left corner, I adhered it with a glue dot and added the tag with its tiny blue metallic embellishment.  (This card looks more sparkly in real life than it does here.)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Thanksgiving Pumpkin

What is it about an oval window card that works so well?  Just that little bit of detail adds depth to a card that would have seemed plain otherwise.

After cutting the oval with a Nestabilities die, I attached the green panel to the back with thick pop dots so that it would add a deeper shadow to the card front.  I then stamped the greeting on a piece of scrap and embossed it in white.  My square punch was used to create the notches on each end.

The pumpkin was cut with a Provo Craft die and embossed with the matching embossing folder.  I sponged it lightly with brown ink and taped the banner across it.  To attach it to the card, I used a mini glue dot on each end of the banner and added the orange gems.  The last finishing touch was the rounded corner at top right.

Assembling it this way allowed me to use the inside for a larger greeting and a note. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

CASEing the iPad #7

I think my favorite stamp set of all time is the French Foliage set from SU!  Here I used it as the background for the barn scene and Happy Thanksgiving stamps.

First I stamped a variety of leaves on the left panel of a gate card and the left side of the main image.  Then I stamped over them with India Ink black with the barn stamp, coloring in just the pumpkins in the foreground and the windmill blade.  After stamping a separate oak leaf in brown, I cut it out by hand and attached it to the card with a dimensional.  I'm amazed at how realistic that leaf  looks.

Next I covered the right panel of the gate card with autumn leaf dsp.  Then I mounted the front panel on green cs and attached it to the left panel of the card base.

(I apologize for not having the blog address or name of the card-maker who inspired my card.)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Storm Story

Yesterday was Moms Club at our church, which has heat.  It was delightful!  We made this card using an overlay and the Sizzix snowflake die.

When I got home later, I decided to do some stamping in the tower while it was still light enough.  As it started to get dark, I was determined to finish what I was working on and then go downstairs to see what I could make for dinner.

Just as I was getting ready to leave the "tower",  I heard a strange sound.  It took some time before I realized it was the heat gun that I had tried to use several days ago and forgot to turn off.  Then it took a few more seconds to realize that it was on because the power had returned!

In His Providence. the Lord had led me to spend time in the Tower so that I would be in place to prevent the house from burning down!  I can now once again personally testify that His tender mercies are AWESOME!

(Scroll down to previous post for storm photos.)


These photos were taken from my car AFTER the roadway was cleared.  This is the lower end or our street.


This picture shows a generator hooked up by the phone co. to restore our phone and internet lines.

The rest of the photos speak for themselves and were all taken from my car as I drove down our street.  The blue "sky" is actually the tint on the windshield.  We've had sun for a total of 4 hours since before the storm, making it gloomy and colder.

Last night we got a dusting of snow, which is nothing compared to what they got closer to the coast.  One area got a foot of snow overnight!

Notice the transformer laying in the dirt on the side of the road in the last photo.

Our power returned last night at 5:00, but we don't dare put the storm supplies away yet!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Autumn Hello

Here's a card that couldn't be easier and uses very few supplies.

First, I used this embossing folder on white cs and added some color with chalks--just the pumpkins and one side of the tree trunk.  I used a gray marker for the bush on the left side, but you could also use orange for berries instead.  After rounding the corners, I sponged the edges with Wild Honey Distress Ink.

The "hello" stamp is from a Simon Says Stamp set of greetings in the handwriting of Kristina Werner.  I added the dashes below to bring it closer to the top of the fence.

Finally, I mounted the panel of the kraft card with dimensionals.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Musical Birthday Card

This card involved several steps, although it was quite easy to do for such a dramatic effect.

First I stamped the music notes from a Hero Arts set in black on a piece of  Very Vanilla cs and sponged lightly over it with Distress Inks (Wild Honey and Peeled Paint).  Then I stamped the G clef in Versamark ink and clear embossed it.  Next, I sponged more distress inks over it  to make the clef "pop" and wiped off the excess ink.

For embellishment, I added two white Hero Arts blossoms over a sliver metallic cord bow, placed some pearls in the center and mounted the panel on the card front.  To finish, I sponged the edges of the card and rounded the top right corner.

Stamp set:  Hero Arts "Musical Clef" cling stamps


This is one Halloween spider I could do without! After I picked up the grill cover and placed it on the barbecue (in preparation for the coming storm) I noticed this scary Halloween monster! I'm grateful it was not on my clothing, since I hadn't noticed it until after I placed the cover on the grill...and yes, it was alive. Since it wasn't in the house, I brushed it off into the grass below where I hope to never see it again.


 This really is fun!  Most of the actual stamping is on the inside, with sayings that are appropriate to the images used.

The top card is on a fancy fold card.  The second one was just cut with my personal trimmer to fit the card front.  The top was hand cut around the circle.  The bottom card was cut with a label die, taped to a piece of red cardstock and then cut by hand to give it a thin border of red.  The "merry" tag was added with a glue dot and embellished with a tiny red gem.

For the final card, I punched out the wreath, added a tag and metallic cord bow over the bow in the image and mounted it to the plaid dsp with dimensionals.

I can't believe how fast if was to reuse all these card fronts!
Why not ask your non-stamping friends for some of their old cards and see what you can do with them.

Friday, October 26, 2012


 Here's what I've been working on lately.  Ruth gave me a stack of  cards that she had received for Christmas in 2009, so I took them apart and made new ones.  The Moms class did the same with others in the package and just loved recycling them!

Most of them were very easy to do by taking off the card front and discarding the rest.  After cutting them down further, I mounted them on contrasting cardstock and attached them to new card bases.

The angel card now features metallic cardstock and coordinating gems on Very Vanilla cs.  The blue card is a Z-fold card with the image attached to the left side only.  The manger scene was cut down, mounted on green cs and attached to a white card base.
Christmas Joy was cut down from a much larger card and mounted to a piece of red cs for contrast.  After wrapping the red and white bakers twine around it, I mounted it to the white card with dimensionals.

Once I gathered all the materials together that I thought I'd need, these cards went very quickly.  It was just a matter of  cutting them down, matching up the best color cs for the contrast and mounting them to a new card base.  Since most of them were on shiny paper, very few embellishments were needed.

(Click on the images for a closer look.)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Grateful for Leftovers

This leaf was left over from a previous card, so I used it after seeing this card HERE.

The notches at the bottom of the card front were done with my square punch (as were the strips above) and an additional strip of dsp was attached to the inside of the card so it would show through.  Just thought it would add of touch of continuity...

This will make a nice Thanksgiving card for someone who feels as I do that we have many blessings to thank God for!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Here's a simple card starting with a solid card base, a dsp oval and a semi-circle of double-sided dsp.

First I attached the oval to the card.  Next, I folded the tree and attached it to the oval with double-stick tape.  Then I cut a piece of brown cs for the tree base, added a glittered star and "merry" tag for embellishments, and that was it--done!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Christmas Deer

I designed this card for my Dad who gave me the evergreen stamp used inside.

After using the die to cut out the deer silhouette, I then cut out an oval on the front of the card.  Then I inked the pine tree with black India Ink, stamped off on scrap paper once and stamped it on the inside left.

Using dark green and chestnut roan inks, I picked up the colors with a watercolor brush and gently painted over the tree image.  The inside is stamped with "Merry Christmas" at the bottom right, leaving just enough room to sign it where it won't show through the opening.  A knotted piece of jute adds the finishing touch.

This masculine Christmas card is just right for my Dad!

Here's the simplified version I came up with for Moms Club this week.  I added a silver star so the deer will look like they're focused on something other than the trees.

Note:  Die set from Memory Box.

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Here's the design I came up with for the next Moms Club class.  Since I abhor Halloween for its emphasis on things of the occult, (anybody else with me on this?) I placed the fence and the eyes to strategically cover up references to witches and ghouls.

The rest of the stamping projects that I've planned for Halloween will focus on candy corn and pumpkins!

(How appropriate that a shadow from the window was cast across this card!)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


The previous design I tried for my blog was not working well from a viewing and commenting standpoint, so I'm back to the original layout.  However, I do hope you like the Autumn background I chose!  (At least that's another way to give the blog a new look.)

I just love this time of year when the air is clear and crisp, with warm afternoons and cool nights.  Of course, that final burst of color before the bleakness of winter is the highlight of October, my favorite month!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


...not yet, anyway...

This Penny Black stamp set came the other day, and I finally got a chance to play with it.  I first stamped the snowflakes in Versamark on white cs and clear embossed them.  Then I sponged Broken China Distress ink over them.  After cutting down the image, I mounted it on a darker blue cs, tied the silver cord around it and popped it up on a white card with dimensional tape.

The tag was stamped and hand cut to fit the lettering.  I wanted one that was narrow so as not to cover too much of the design.  I added pearls and gems for embellishment.

Someone in Florida may appreciate this as a Christmas card!

TIP:  To adhere a panel that tends to curl after using a lot of inks or watercoloring, I use my Xyron machine to hold it down flat.

Saturday, October 6, 2012


We celebrated our day with a small, intimate gathering at the Tower.  After stamping images on plain white cs for future use, we made this one acetate card.  We thought of making up our own greeting inside of "Have you been naughty or nice?" but decided to use "Wishing you peace and joy this holiday season"  or "Ho! Ho! Ho!" instead.

The image was stamped in gold ink on white cs and mounted on the front of the card with the green cs behind it on the inside of the front.  The kraft piece was mounted on the outside of the back panel with the greeting attached on the inside of the card.

When we finished the card, we cleaned up the table and had lunch.  Joan received the door prize of a clear Christmas stamp set.

TIP:  If a stamp doesn't stamp evenly, check out the ink coverage on it before you stamp.  I find that "working" the stamp does a better job of  eliminating lighter spots than pressing harder on the paper.  Simply rub firmly with your thumb or two fingers on the back of the stamp before releasing it from the paper.  This usually does the trick!

Also, as you can see in the second photo, acetate static "attracts" dust and fingerprints, so be sure to clean off your card before slipping it into an envelope for mailing.

Friday, October 5, 2012


Festivities have been planned here at the Tower for tomorrow, Oct. 6th, in celebration of World Card-Making Day.  Imagine that!

Stamping friends are invited to bring their favorite holiday stamp sets, a stack of white cardstock and a sandwich to cut into quarters and share.  I'm supplying beverages for the sandwiches and black dye ink for the stamping.  We'll be spreading the stamps out on the table and sharing them to take home a bunch of images for use on later cards.  For the "finale" we'll make a card from whatever is on the table.

Check back tomorrow night for photos.  (If I remember to use my camera...)

  This is going to be FUN!

Friday, September 28, 2012


 (Don't forget to click on this post first so you see both photos.)

 From this turkey place card on the table setting (which didn't photograph well off the iPad) to the turkey card below, this was a fun project.

Instead of using the tail feathers to list trivia facts about Thanksgiving, I thought it might be more appropriate to count our blessings.  The "feathers" on the bird were done using Versamark ink and the pointed leaf from the "French Foliage" SU set.  This is another good way to use up some scraps.

Inside reads "Count your many blessings, name them one by one."  We certainly do have much to give thanks for!

Thursday, September 27, 2012


Here's another card inspired by the napkin/plate setting from Martha Stewart Living.

While she used a bright white for her table decor, I chose an off white cardstock.   Instead of a feather, I used a leaf with a similar shape.  Her border is brown on white, mine uses some other Fall colors.  Her ribbon is black, mine is gingham.  Her napkin is plain white linen, my cardfront is embossed.  In addition, since mine is a card rather than a place setting, I also included a greeting.

Unfortunately, since the photo was taken after sundown, my card looks much darker here than IRL.  It's definitely white, just not as bright as the iPad picture.

Check back tomorrow for one more card inspired by Martha Stewart Living!


One of the ways suggested in the Hero Arts Kickstart classes to get inspiration for cards is to look through non-stamping sites.

The Thanksgiving card on the right was inspired by the plate shown on the Martha Stewart Living magazine that was "delivered" to my email today.  I loved the browns on the wheat-colored background, so I started with my Hero Arts "Wreath of Leaves" as the base for my leaves.  I stamped the wreath (barely seen here) with an Autumn Leaves Kaleidacolor pad onto a piece of plain dsp, then stamped the brown leaves over it using Chestnut Roan Colorbox chalk ink.  For each leaf, I first stamped off on a paper towel, then onto the dsp to keep a more muted look.

Next, after adding strips of brown textured cs on each side, I mounted the wreath on the card.  A little bit of jute, a sponged greeting, and the card was done--all under 15 minutes!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


 Well, the card on top was made in class and was a disaster!  Because I tried to do it by memory, I forgot the part in the instructions about not putting tape too close to the slider mechanism.  Everyone had a beautiful card with a slider that kept getting hung up.   Very embarassing...

As soon as I got home, I remade the card the right way, and the slider works perfectly.  Of course, I had to discard the original top piece; but I think I like the plainer one better anyway.

So the moral of this story is:   FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS!    (HERE)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Here's what I came up with for tomorrow's Moms Club.  It's quite easy to make and a lot of fun for the person who receives it.

Check back tomorrow night for details and photos from the class!  (Gotta run...)

Sunday, September 23, 2012


After spending this past week with Hero Arts "Kickstart" classes, I was challenged to look for new avenues of inspiration.  Since I often CASE cards I find online, this gave me the opportunity to start coming up with my own ideas instead of borrowing from other sources.

Today when I walked into my "tower" the first thing I thought of was this die I hadn't tried using yet. Instead of coloring in the trees, I cut a strip of green dsp along with the white and glued the green trees over the white ones.  I then added a chimney and red door on one of the houses by attaching a tiny piece of red underneath so that a corner of it would stick up beyond the roof.  I added the smoke with a black marker.  It didn't take long, either.

If you haven't signed up for one of the online classes at Hero Arts, it's not to late to try one.  I can tell you it definitely is worth the cost!

Friday, September 21, 2012


 Here's a card made with one sheet of white cs,  a fancy fold, and a minimum of other supplies.

First, I stamped the poinsettia in India Ink Black on a scrap of white cs, colored with two markers and cut in a square.  After running the edges across the inkpad, I added yellow Stickles and set it aside to dry.

Next, I folded the card as shown and added the background paper from 2 sheets in a 4.5" x 6.5" pad of Christmas prints.

For the inside, I chose a stamp that would fit underneath the square on the front, stamped it in black and taped it to the inside.  You'll notice that it's slightly off-center so it doesn't show when the card is closed.

Yes, cards can be made with just a few supplies.  Add a fancy fold and some interesting background paper, and you have a really simple card.

BTW, ten years ago (before I moved into the "tower") ALL my supplies fit into a pencil box!

Supplies used:  white cs, poinsettia stamp, sentiment stamp, black India Ink, background paper, yellow Stickles, red and green markers, double-stick tape.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Well, here we are a month later and my stamping room is still in good shape!  In fact, if you'll notice and compare, I even recovered the desk chair cushion with fabric that coordinates perfectly with the carpet.

This time of year is the busiest stamping season for me.  I've got Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas all going at once, with preparations galore for various classes and workshops.  Not to mention the usual Autumn birthday cards to keep up with.  They call it "multi-tasking" but I call it "mayhem"  in a fun way.  If I ever get to feeling overwhelmed with it all, I'll just cut back.  So far, I'm keeping organized and able to get the things done that I really want to get done.

One of the ways I stay organized is to give away a lot of stamps and supplies that I no longer plan to use.  It was hard at first, but I've learned not to get sentimental about my stamps and view them as tools instead.  If I hadn't learned to do that, I'd have filled three rooms by now!

TIP: To keep things separated, I have a container for Christmas stamps in use, another for Autumn and later on I'll have another for Halloween, all sitting on my table in reach.  Just the stamps in use at the time.  Then they get put away before I pull out more.  These are mostly inside sayings.  Sets get used one at a time and returned to their storage spot.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012



I just love the French Foliage set.  If I had to choose just one set for Fall, that would be it.

The main image was clear embossed on Very Vanilla cs and washed with Twinkling H2Os.  After drying, I mounted it on dark brown cs and laid it aside.

I used the french words as a random background and covered it partially with a piece of vellum to soften the look.  Then I mounted the painted piece with dimensionals, added a jute bow and some shiny stickers at the bottom for embellishment.

This was easy to make, but time consuming because of the drying process.  I like the soft look I ended up with, so it was worth the effort.  Enjoy!

Monday, September 17, 2012

CASEing the iPad

Jackie and I worked on this card at her house as we followed the tutorial on this BLOG.

Although the card shown on the iPad is for Christmas, we decided to do Fall leaves.  It was a little tricky getting the folds right at first, but they turned out great in the end!  Sponging the folds helped to define them, and adding the dsp underneath highlighted the design even more.

These will make beautiful Thanksgiving cards!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Penny Black Mini

Here is my entry for the Penny Black mini card challenge HERE.

First I stamped the SU City of David in Denim Blue ink.  Then I sponged the sky with the same ink and the sand dunes with TAC Tumble Weed ink.  After adding a clear gem in the center of the star, I mounted the image onto a scrap piece of dark blue cs with dimensionals.  Before attaching it to the card front, I stamped "joy" at the bottom.

The inside reads "Wishing you the joy and wonder of the first Christmas" from the same SU set.  The finished card measures 3 3/4" x 4 1/4".

Christmas Ice Skates

Since I enjoyed making other cards with this layout (see previous post) I used it again for these skates.  This is a fun image to use because it requires so little coloring.  All I used was a silver pen for the blades, red and green markers for the Holly and a black Spica pen for the heel.  The Martha Stewart punch added some interest on the edge of the red dsp.

The bottom looked a bit plain to me, so I got out my Scor-pal and added three scored lines across the bottom.  It's just enough to add interest and texture without detracting from such a small, delicate image.

I'm too old for ice skating now, but I can remember the sheer  joy of lacing up my white skates and getting out on the frozen river for an afternoon of fun!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

CASEing the Ipad #6

For World Card-Making Day on October 6th, I decided to hold a workshop.  When I saw this card on Simply Stamped HERE (July 12 post,) I thought it would make the perfect Christmas card.  Thank you, Maile Belles!

For the workshop, we'll do 3 of these poinsettia cards and three Autumn cards with a leaf.  To make the poinsettia, I used the main part of  a stamp from Our Daily Bread Designs and stamped it twice:  once on white for the leaves and once on red for the rest.   After coloring in the leaves and assembling the blossom, I mounted it on the corner of the white overlay with a dimensional.  Instead of a button, I used three tiny red gems on the side to make it more postage friendly.

This design lives up to Maile's beautiful work on her "Simply Stamped" blog.