Green Celebrations (RRR135)

GreenCelebration1 copy

The class I teach at the local Senior Center is always a challenge for new ideas.  Not that I don’t have lots of ideas and inspiration from the many blogs I subscribe to but finding things that can be done in a classroom setting, far from my craft room, and with limited time means that I am looking for specific types of projects. And I want to be giving the ladies a learning experience not just a kit they can glue together following a set diagram.

When I come up with an idea for a technique I want to share, my next challenge is color.  Since we are fast approaching March and St. Paddy’s Day, I thought green would be appropriate for any type of card we might do.  Having just purchased a set of “Celebration” stamps with balloons and stars, again I thought I might have a winner.  (I have been obsessed with finding balloon stamps for awhile and was so happy to find them at a recent Rubber Stamp and Crafting Show in our area.)

A friend lent me her recent copy of Card Maker magazine a few days ago and it was chock full of techniques that were right up my alley.  The one I chose to do is one that uses embossing as a mask on watercolor paper and various watercolor applications over the masks.  My personal choice always defaults to my Distress Reinkers for watercolor effects.


I used Versamark on my stamps for the smaller section and then used Versamark with a brayer over the textured watercolor background paper to get a random effect. White embossing powder was then applied and heated with my heat gun.  Mowed Lawn Reinker mixed with a little water and some Perfect Pearls in various spots finished it all nicely.

The very day I was putting together my sample card and kits for the group, I saw that Really Reasonable Ribbon was having a card challenge  with “Celebrate” as their theme.  Click on the link below to see all the entries.


I haven’t done a challenge is such a long time and really missed doing them.  So, with a few slight changes (yellow ribbon rather than white and Tim Holtz stars rather than silver paper punched stars), I duplicated the basic card we had done in class.  I hope my ladies will see this and be inspired to check out some challenges of their own!  And I hope folks will comment on my creation ’cause I love to hear from subscribers!

Blessings and Hugs, y’all..!

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Secret Sisters Communiques


My new line of Secret Sister Communiques note cards will be available to see here on this blog in the very near future. Special requests for card styles will happily be entertained. Simply make your request known in the comment section below.

If you would like to be aware of what becomes available, simply add your email to follow my blog (right side of this page) and you will be notified of upcoming designs and availability. Remember, proceeds from the sales of the notecards will continue to go to our Theta group until the first of the year so place your orders as soon as possible.

While you are here, scroll through my designs.  Aside from the fund-raising note cards, I can make special greeting cards for all occasions and you will find many examples of the exquisite and detailed items I can create and have for sale in my Etsy Shop at   (click on the  link to take you to the Etsy Shop. Free shipping for all sorority sisters!) These items are not part of the fund-raising effort but will guarantee you an unusual and distinctive card at a reasonable price which will have a Secret Sister designation added to the card and put a lavish spin on your Secret Sister Communique!

Included here are two examples of multi-dimensional cards which are housed in a special, deep envelope for protection if being mailed.  Feel free to scroll through my blog posts to see other examples of cards (and gifts!) that are all available for the added designation as a Secret Sister item!  Most of the cards are 5 inches by 6.5 inches generous sized. Impressive, unusual, fresh and beautiful!AquaScallopedEdge

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Breezy Day


My paper crafting class has been keeping me ever so busy these days!  This is the project I designed and created for our first class in July.

It reminds me so much of my youth…  For most of my young life, we hung laundry out on rope lines in the yard to dry. When I was about ten years old, it became one of my chores in the summer months.  I had been pulling clothes off the line and stacking them in a basket for mother after school since I was six or seven but hanging them was a much bigger responsibility and heftier task.

With my mother, it had to be done just so…  no drooping lines or sloppily hung clothes on the line.  We had long wooden poles with a notch in the top to push the middle of the clothes line up if the weight of the wet laundry caused the line to droop.  The clothes pins had to be kept clean, as well, so they didn’t leave marks on the clean laundry.

We had a dryer by the time I was twelve or so but, as far as my mom was concerned, nothing could match the wonderful smell of clothes hung out in the sun to dry and, I suppose, my labor was cheaper than the cost of running the dryer!  So the dryer went unused most of the time when the weather was good.

(Years later, when I was a young married woman with a washer and a dryer close at hand, I hung out the sheets, towels and the diapers whenever possible in the warm weather so I could enjoy that wonderful, fresh smell of the newly changed linens on the bed or clean towels in the bathroom (or diapers on the baby’s bottom!)  The apple didn’t fall far from the tree, I suppose.)

BD (Before Dryer), on rainy days or cold winter days, we hung the laundry on lines in the basement.   In the winter, the old-fashioned furnace was chugging out heat and the clothes dried as quickly as they had out in the sun.

On days when it might rain,  Mother was alway calculating when to do the washing and hanging of the laundry so as to maximize the time on the line.  Sometimes, by the time I woke up on a Monday morning, the washing for a family of five (at the time) was almost done and most of it already on the line in hopes that the rain would hold off long enough for everything to dry.  Mom believed that the sunshine had magical properties for sanitizing everything and brightening the whites. There was none of the usual slow motion daydreaming for me while hanging out clothes on those days.

Can you believe I still wash the white things first and the dark things last?  Mother did that so that the “whites” were on the line the longest amount of time (so the sun would brighten them) and the “darks” the shortest (so they didn’t fade).

And, I said “Monday” because Monday was “Wash Day”.  Every house in the neighborhood had clothes hanging on lines in the backyards on Mondays unless it was raining all that day… or the lady of the house wasn’t much of a housekeeper (by the neighbor ladies’ standards)… or someone was seriously ill at that house and a visit was in order to see if help was needed!

If Mother miscalculated about the rain, it was a mad race to get everything off the lines outside before they were drenched.  It was “all hands on deck” for Mom and any capable children. My brother, Carl, would pull the clothes down off the line and clothes pins would go flying in all directions! I think he gave the clothes an extra hard snap to see how high and far the pins would go.  Mother tried to discourage this but we couldn’t help but laugh as the pins went every which way. I’m not sure anything was considered “disposable” in the 1950’s… Every pin had to be rescued by my brother when the rain stopped.  I think Carl considered it a fair price for the fun.

Several years ago, I was visiting Amish Country in Indiana and marveled at the fact that every house I saw had laundry hanging out…  it took me awhile but then I remembered… it was Monday!

I hope you have enjoyed my card and all the memories it evoked for me.  Could you share some of your memories of “Wash Day” when you were younger?   Do you know what “sprinkling the laundry” means?  Did your mom every keep laundry in the refrigerator?  Let me hear from you.

Blessings & Hugs ya’ll…

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Victorian Mother’s Day Card


Before the day is come and gone, I thought I had better get the card that I made for Mother’s Day on my blog!  This design is based on the design by Becca Feeken at her site  I love the simplicity of the black and white with just a touch of beige.  The swirl of pearls was the icing on this cake!

victorianMothersDay2My card is slightly different because I do not have all the same dies that Becca has and I had to create my focal piece from free images on line, inks and stamps from my stash.  The original card I saw on Becca’s site was described as a purchased digital image but I could not locate it.  At my husband’s suggestion I looked at free images and found the exact lady which I printed out and then manipulated with the tools I had at hand.

I hope you enjoy this card…  And, I’d love to hear from you!

Blessings and Hugs, ya’ll !

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Sheepy Easter


My granddaughter, Hannah, gave me some polka-dotted paper out of a pad she got on clearance at WalMart.  She knows I am a sucker for polka dots…  just love ’em!  My taste is a little too fluffy for her; she was after the very retro patterns in the paper pad.

I also love chocolate brown together with pink.  So a color theme was born.

When I was wandering through Hobby Lobby awhile back, I saw these adorable sheep stickers.  I seldom use stickers but these were just so doggone cute!  And all the Hobby Lobby brand Easter stuff was 50% off.  What could it hurt?  If I didn’t use them, my other granddaughter, Jade, and her little girl friends who live across the street from me most certainly would.  But the idea for a brown and pink card with a sassy sheep on it niggled at my mind.

When I finally sat down with those three elements, things came together nicely.  The additional elements were minimal.  Layering was kept to a minimum for mailing purposes…  I even took the fat foam dot off of the back of the sheep. (It seemed pretty dimensional on its own.)  Then touched up its bow and added lips!

This card and a box of Godiva Truffles will accompany my oldest two daughters and each of their daughters, my sweetie grandgirls, on their drive to Disney World on Easter Sunday.  This will be 9 year-old Jade’s first time and she is so excited she can barely sleep. Even Hannah, who is 18 this month and has been to Disney World many times, took time off from work so she could revisit her childhood favorite.  The two girls get along beautifully despite their age difference and Hannah’s greatest joy will be showing Jade all her favorite spots.

It will be quiet back here at home but I will be soothing myself with a box of Graeter’s Opera Creams that I ordered online for our Easter Sunday goody.  I am originally from Cincinnati, Ohio where Graeter’s became a legend for their ice-cream and other confections. Most trips to our local mall ended with an ice-cream cone from Graeter’s.  I don’t find Opera Creams here in the south so I have to import them from Ohio now and then to satisfy my craving for a candy I particularly loved back in the day.

I hope you all have a joyous and delightful Easter.  Don’t forget to cater a little bit to your inner child.  And, please, leave me a comment.  I love it so…  Blessings & Hugs, ya’ll…

Paper:  Recollections and Recollections 4 x 5 1/2 envelopes, No-name dotted paper from WalMart.  Ink:  Distress Ink Pads and Markers in Milled Lavender and Worn Lipstick. Dies & Punches:  Sizzix Scalloped Ovals, Lawn Fawn Grassy Border, WaltzingMouse Easter and a Fiskars Flower punch.  Others:  Hobby Lobby Easter Stickers, Cotton Candy Stickles.

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The Lord Liveth –


I got a lovely comment from Karen at Word Art Wednesday (here)  who invited me to participate in the challenge Word Art Wednesday sponsors, the current one being #176 (  This invitation came along right at the same time that I was attempting to recreate a flower from a tutorial on Becca Feekin’s blog, Amazing Paper Grace.

So I decided to use the crinkled flowers from Becca’s tutorial in a card using the inspirational verse that Word Art Wednesday had set forth as a downloadable free image. This is the result.  If you click on the image you will get a larger version.  I hope you find some meaning in the words I chose to use from the verse.

I used Recollections paper for the card and the flower.  I have a lovely dandelion background stamp with no name (sorry!) which I used with Versamark Embossing Ink and Sweet Stamps Fine Embossing Powder.  I added three tulips from Wild Orchid Crafts.  The bow is made with Snug Hug Rayon Seam Tape and crowned with a Paper Studio brad. Pearls for the flower centers were also from Paper Studio.

I printed the words on the same cardstock I had made the card with using my inkjet printer.  I am getting pretty handy with and dependent upon these digital helpers!

Let me hear from you…  Blessings & Hugs, ya’ll.

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Pink Time In Effect Here…

Pink Policy copy

It is always Pink Time for me!!  I love pink: light or dark or hot pink…

I’d had in mind to do a couple of what I call “Eastern European” style cards.  I am subscribed to three sites that originate in that part of the world. Thankfully, the blogs translate from what it says on my screen is Russian to English.  It still takes a little imagination to understand that type of direct translation but I get the drift and the projects on these sites are breathtaking.

What you see here is my attempt at their very feminine, very loose Shabby Chic style.  They will frequently choose a color palate and have their design team members create individual projects using that color palate as their only unifying theme.  When they hit upon a pink theme I was already hooked but the beauty of the projects they created gave me a rush.

Nowhere could I find the deep, bright pink that had been used on some of their cards.  A lot of cardstock that passes for a bright medium pink looks a little peachy when up against the paler, softer pinks or the very deep pinks.  What to do!?!

Answer:  Make your own design on paper… once again.

Remember, if you click on a picture here, you will get a more detailed, larger image.

Right after CHA, I purchased a set of Color Bursts powdered watercolor pigments and just had to play with them.  Ken Oliver’s red color, Alizaron Crimson, some watercolor paper and water did the trick.  I added a dusting of Perfect Pearls powder in Pearl and had exactly what I wanted.  I love it when that happens!  From this paper, I cut some of my Prima Leaves and then added a few in plain white cardstock.

I made one central flower from plain white cardstock and the other from crepe paper.  Then filled the centers with various beads and pearls.  Somewhere online, I saw a demo using crepe paper for flower making and was reminded me that I had a mini-stash of some pastel crepe paper I bought several years ago.  The box was sitting on my shelf clearly marked yet passed by so often it had become invisible to me.  Now was the time to get working with some of that pink crepe paper and this was the resulting BIG flower!

There must be a gluing technique I need to learn because their cards had mounds of pearls and such in the centers of their flowers.  I couldn’t quite get mine to mound up the way I wanted but I was happy with them nonetheless.

I used the Weathered Clock die and the Shabby Flowers die from Tim Holtz Alterations and the Madera Corner die from Memory Box, as well as that beloved Prima Leaf die.

Digital components have never been used much in my crafts but I’m beginning to find a great deal of fabulous stuff.  My flowered paper was a digital purchase.  The little clock face that so perfectly says “Take time to love the little things.” was a free image online.  Both of these were printed out on cardstock right on my inkjet printer.

With the addition of some lace, I had the card I had imagined after taking in the details from all the cards I had seen and loved.  I hope you like it as much as I do and I also hope to hear from you…  give me a comment won’t you?

Blessings & Hugs, ya’ll




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The Icing on the Cake

Eastern Blue copy

It may seem like a strange title but this card does seem to me to be the icing on the cake… goodies galore..!!

This was another of our projects for my paper crafts class.  I think it may have served to solidly implant the idea of  “more is more” rather than the old axiom”less is more”.  Well, look around my site…  there isn’t much here to support that old axiom.

Remember, if you click on any of the pictures, you will get an enlarged image.

I am working to make my blog a place where my students and friends can look for some direction should they want to repeat a design that was done in my class.  This one goes back a way, however, and I can no longer recall all the details of papers and inks, etc.

Eastern Blue 2 copy

I can share with you some of what I do remember.  This bow is 1/4 inch pure silk ribbon which is why is drapes so beautifully.

I used a wonderful little faceted , baby-turquoise crystal drop that I snipped off of a flower embellishment piece I have had for some time.  (The whole embellishment piece was too chunky so I’d never used it and, with a little help from my sister in Texas, I realized how charming the little bits on it could be.  Now I have tons of them!)

Another nameless piece from the past was the strip of lacy fabric trim around two edges of the card.

I don’t recall using any ink on this.  I did use embossing “ink” on the large, swirly background stamp and then gold embossing powder to give my background paper some texture and sparkle.  Metallics were a big focus at CHA this January and I am all for it!

I have a retired Prima Leaf die set that I use over and over on my cards…  I love it!  In this case, I cut leaves from metallic gold paper and from pale turquoise vellum.  I cut a lacy flower from the same vellum with another Prima die.  I used a Sizzix die for the angel wings and a Spellbinder’s die for the lattice piece.

All in all, we were quite pleased with our creations.  I gave one of mine (I always make at least 3) to my DH’s boss to use for his lady friend’s birthday and created the Belly Band (seen in another post) to cover the clear, acrylic box it was packaged in.

Let me hear from you…  You know it makes my day!  Blessings & Hugs, ya’ll…

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Dreaming of Paris!


ParisTag (3) copy copy

The ladies in my Paper Crafting Workshop decided they would like to enter a drawing that Michael’s is conducting… first prize: a trip to Paris, France!  To participate one must create a project with Paris as the theme, anything from cakes to quilts!  So, I searched out everything in my craft room that was Paris related and pulled together the bits for a tag.

Being a great believer in using what I have whenever possible…  and dreading a fruitless search through our three local big-box craft stores (or online)…   I decided we would make our own Paris-themed background paper.

(Somehow, whenever I go looking for something to match exactly what I see in my mind’s eye, it becomes an exercise in frustration.   In most cases, when designing a new project, I either see a paper design that becomes my inspiration or I have to create the paper to go along with the inspiration I  have within.)

Remember, if you click on a photo, you will get a larger image to see more detail.

ParisTag copy

Making our own background paper is a great way to exercise our creative muscle, loosen up a bit and add a personal spark to each individual piece.  Everyone has a different vision once the stamps are laid out for them to use or inks are spattered and manipulated. It’s like being a kid again!!  Kindergarten 101!!  I am showing here two tags I used as finished examples for the kits I made for class…  one is lightly stamped, the other a bit more so.

Our inspirational elements were the Fleur de Lis & Eiffel Tower die and the Weathered Clock die from Tim Holtz Alterations,  Victorian Velvet and Milled Lavender Distress Ink Pads, Stampendous “Charm Collection” clear stamp set and an Inkadinkado rubber stamp of French post marks.  Other necessaries are listed below.

ParisTag copy

The basic tag (Advantus paper) was cut with the Tim Holtz Tag die and shaded around the edges with Milled Lavender; then stamped with a black ink pad.  Clock hands & face (Advantus paper), Fleur de Lis and Eiffel Tower (Old World paper) were cut and inked around the edges with Milled Lavender before placement.  Clock hands were attached with a brad.

A larger piece of paper was glued to the back of the tag (concealing the arms of the brad and adding strength & dimension). This was trimmed to leave a 1/8 inch border around the tag, the edges of which were inked with Victorian Velvet.  Flowers, bow and tag string were added and then Stickles were used to add some sparkle to various stamped images on the tag.

One of my new students asked what one does with a tag (!?)…

In case you are also wondering, these may be tied on to a gift or given much the same way a card is given. There are tag envelopes that can be purchased for mailing but I either tie mine to a gift or wrap it in tissue and tie with a ribbon.

My daughter likes them because she can hang them up on a push-pin as a little “love reminder”.  I have made some inspirational ones that were totally flat so they could be used as a bookmark.  No rules here… just imagination and creativity.

Wouldn’t it be fabulous if one of us won that trip to Paris!!  Keep your fingers crossed for us…   And, thank you for stopping by.  Best wishes and hugs, ya’ll…

Other…DCWV Old World Mat Stack, Tim Holtz Idea-ology Advantus Paper Stash; Stazon Jet Black Ink Pad; flowers from Lavish Laces and The Paper Studio; hand-dyed “Snug Hug” rayon seam binding (a gift from Paper Sweeties) and string from Hobby Lobby; Brads from Michael’s (Recollections); Black Diamond Stickles.






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Belly Band for a Card Box

AquaBellyBand copy

I love very dimensional cards and have found a way to mail them that suits me… finally!

And the same idea works well for a card that may accompany of gift (I humbly consider my card a gift in itself and want it to look appropriate to that idea.)  The clear acrylic boxes I use tend to take away the element of surprise.  Up to now, I have wrapped the boxed card in tissue and tied it with ribbon.

Today, that presented a challenge.  I made a card for my husband’s boss to give to his lady for her birthday.  I couldn’t wrap it myself because he had to be able to write a message in the card and sign it…  personally.  There was no way he was going to wrap it in tissue and put a ribbon on it; he’s not a guy who would handle that process very well, if at all.

The belly band idea has served me well as an added decoration to a handmade envelope in the past.  Not wanting to glue a beautiful, handmade envelope closed and the recipient having to tear it open, I have added a band a little over an inch wide to go around the envelope.  It is loose enough to slide off fairly easily and decorated matching the card.

So, a belly band it would have to be… one that would cover most of the acrylic box and that the boss-man could manage.

I’m afraid the idea of simple decoration got away from me but, in my defense, it is a much larger area to fill!  I couldn’t capture it with my camera but the stems for the two bow-tied flowers are gold foil; very shiny and bright.

Thank you for visiting!  It has been awhile, I’m afraid.  Please leave a comment; it warms my heart.  Blessings & Hugs to one and all..!

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