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Sunday, November 29, 2015

When inspiration fails, try a one-sheet-wonder!

Here's a stack of 13 cards made in about an hour with a one-sheet-wonder template

I teach lots of classes as we approach the holiday season, AND I have a kid in marching band. The combination can sometimes mean that I approach creating my own cards with a little dread!

This year, I found a great way to get unstuck -- the one-sheet-wonder template. I was able to create more than a dozen cards in an hour, which helped me feel inspired again AND got me a good chunk of the way toward the number I need to get done.

Never tried it? The idea is that you cut a single sheet of DSP to create lots of smaller pieces, and then use those pieces to make a stack of cards. There are tons of templates online; I used this one, purely based on the simple cuts.

Here, I've used a sheet of retired paper from last year with a mix of retired and current stamps. I did have one teeny piece that I didn't use, but I decided not to stress over it!

Tips for creating one-sheet-wonder cards like a pro:

  • Starting with a monochromatic piece makes everything really simple -- you just pull out coordinating cardstock and ink and go to it.
  • Adding bling from glimmer paper and rhinestones really helped to jazz up these CAS cards. 
  • Using die cuts or punches also adds some interest, as do dimensionals. 
  • Try matting some pieces to see how that adds sophistication to your cards.
  • The small pieces were the hardest for me! I finally put four small pieces on one card and was happy with the result.
  • Finally, after you do a stack with monochromatic paper, try some with a mix of color! Once I got myself creating, I did another set with some current paper and love how they turned out.

Your challenge: Pull out a sheet of DSP and give the one-sheet-wonder a try!!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Here's a simple card, inspired by one that Jessica Taylor posted this morning. Hers is part of a one-sheet wonder set. Mine uses Season of Cheer DSP. Hers uses Lots of Labels; mine uses Tags and Labels. You'll see her card in mine, but they're very different. That's what makes CASEing fun!

It's a little hard to see the piercing in the picture, but I pulled out the Updated Essentials piercing template, which I bought ages ago. I just got the die set, and hadn't realized that they coordinate. Happiness! This die set has two shapes and SIX layering sizes for each -- I'm going to use it a ton.

Stamp sets

  • Wondrous Wreath


  • Cherry Cobbler base
  • Pear Pizzaz at 2 1/4" x 5 1/4" plus scrap for the die cut
  • Season of Cheer DSP at 2" by 5" 
  • Whisper White scrap for the die cut, plus a piece for the inside of the card


  • Cherry Cobbler
  • Pear Pizzaz

Tools and accessories

  • Tags and Labels framelits
  • Updated Essentials piercing template, piercing mat, and tool
  • Cherry Cobbler bakers twine
  • Glue dots
  • Dimensionals

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Wonderful Christmas trees

This Christmas card uses Stampin' Up! Festival of Trees and Season of Cheer DSP

This is a CASE of my own CASE! I love this snip-and-flip DSP layout and wanted to use it in a class, so here's a holiday version. I've combined new DSP and in-color cardstock with two stamp sets and a punch that are carried over from last year for a fresh take on these trees.

Stamp sets

  • Festival of Trees
  • Wondrous Wreath


  • Mossy Meadow base
  • Season of Cheer DSP at 3 3/4" by 4" and 3 3/4" by 3/4"
  • Whisper White at 4" by 2 1/2" plus scrap for the trees


  • Cherry Cobbler
  • Mossy Meadow

Tools and accessories

  • Tree punch
  • Corner rounder from my stash; you could use the Project Life Corner punch
  • Dimensionals

Saturday, September 19, 2015

CASE study: Happy birthday, Meg!

Stampin' Up! Endless Birthday Wishes makes this Taupe and Mint Macaron birthday card unique

This design, for my daughter Meg, is a straight-up CASE from Holly's design. I loved her color combination and use of the handwriting stamps to make her own DSP. I swapped out the stamp set, the die-cut word, and the embellishments to make it my own.

I stole the wooden heart here (and the butterfly I put on a second version of this card) from the Watercolor Wishes kit. I didn't think I'd like chunky pieces on my cards, but I was wrong!

I used the new Fine-Tip Glue Pen to stick the die-cut word on. It's my latest crush!

Stamp sets

  • Endless Birthday Wishes


  • Tip Top Taupe base
  • Mint Macaron envelope paper at 5 1/4" by 4"
  • Whisper White at 4" by 2" plus scrap for the circle
  • Mint Macaron scrap for the die cut


  • Tip Top Taupe

Tools and accessories

  • Fine-Tip Glue Pen (it's in the new holiday catalog)
  • Wooden bits swiped from the Watercolor Wishes kit

What do you do at a card class?

I get this question a lot! Of course the answer varies by demonstrator, but at my classes, here's what to expect.

You'll make some cards

Of course, we stamp! 

At my card classes, we make four designs. For most of the year, we make two of each, but as we approach the holidays, we start cranking up stamp-a-stacks, where we make three of each design for a total of 12 cards.

You bring your favorite glue and scissors, and I have everything else prepared for you. If you run out of glue during class, no worries -- I keep a stash that you can cash-and-carry.

No worries if you've never tried stamping before -- I'm here to help!

Christmas card made at a Stampin' Up! class in Apex, NC.

You can play with new products

My customers like to see the newest products! We use them in the cards we make, but I also put out products that we're not using in class for folks to see in real life. Sometimes, the catalogs don't do justice to some of the fabulous papers and bling that Stampin' Up! creates.

You can enjoy time with new -- and old -- friends

My classes typically have about eight attendees. That's a nice-sized group to feel comfortable chatting in! I provide snacks including a home-infused water (this one is strawberry-basil) and a sangria each time. 

Sound like fun? If you're in the Apex, NC area, you can register for upcoming classes on my Stampin' Up! site. I'd love to have you!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Happily ever after!

Elegant hand-stamped grey and silver wedding card from Pink Paper Bakery

I get completely freaked out over wedding cards. I think because, unlike birthday cards, you (typically) only get one shot at getting them right. So I stress over the perfect perfect perfect design and color palette and ... eventually I give up and make a card.

This one, I made two of. The first was for a friend at work, and was the card from our team. I showed it to my teenager and she said "It's kind of meh." I replaced a silver bow on that version with the pink punched flowers on this one.

And then I didn't show it to anyone other than my stamping group. :-)

Stamp sets

  • Big News


  • Basic Grey base
  • Silver Fancy Foil Designer Vellum at 4" by 5 1/4"
  • Whisper White thick cardstock for the die cut
  • Scraps of Blushing Bride


  • Basic Grey (I don't have the new archival ink yet, so I heat-set this to prevent smearing)

Tools and accessories

  • Glue dots (artfully placed under the vellum's hearts)
  • Dimensionals
  • Apothecary Accents framelits (retired: you could use Lots of Labels)
  • Itty Bitty Accents punch

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Sweet birthday wishes

Wish a happy birthday with this summery card that uses Sprinkles of Life and Happy Birthday Everyone

The Sprinkles of Life set has become my go-to set for office birthdays. Here, I've paired it with the gorgeous greeting from the Happy Birthday Everyone hostess set and a layout I cased from Pinterest. I loved how Amy's card used patterned paper and a big Project-Life-styled label.

My version flips the sentiment direction and pops up the ice cream instead of the label. I really like how this came out!

Stamp sets

  • Sprinkles of Life
  • Happy Birthday Everyone


  • Whisper White thick cardstock at 4" by 2 3/4"
  • Scraps of Bermuda Bay, Crushed Curry, Watermelon Wonder, and Delightful Dijon
  • Cherry on Top DSP at 3 3/4" by 3/4" and 3 3/4" by 4"


  • Bermuda Bay
  • Crushed Curry
  • Watermelon Wonder
  • Delightful Dijon
  • Tip Top Taupe

Tools and accessories

  • Corner rounder
  • Tree Builder punch
  • Dimensionals

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Witching Decor Project Kit: Tips and tricks

Close up of the witch hat made from Stampin' Up! Witching Decor kit

Did you ever fall so helplessly in love with something in the Stampin' Up! catalog that you could barely wait to order it, barely wait to get the package, and barely wait to open it up? Oh my goodness, this witch hat from the new holiday catalog spoke to me in a way that was like "GET IN MY HOUSE, WITCH HAT."

Needless to say, it was the first thing I put on my preorder list, and the first thing I tore into when the order arrived. It. Is. Gorgeous.

If you also fell in love with this kit, but are ordering it during the regular period (starts Sept 1! Yay!) there are a few things I figured out while I was putting it together. Ready?

Halloween centerpiece from Stampin' Up!

Before you start

This kit is actually really straightforward, PROVIDED you watch the video. I watched it one full time through before I even ordered the kit, and then I pulled it up and watched the relevant bits again while I was putting the kit together. The kit comes with glorious full-color photo directions, but the video has great details that aren't in the instructions.

I'd suggest that you break the assembly into a couple of sessions -- it took me about 3 hours to do this one. My suggestion: Do the hat/base assembly, the label, and the fringe in one go, and then come back and do the messy bits (the burlap and the leaves).

Clear a good bit of room on your table to start. I used the cardboard from the package as my work zone, instead of grid paper. You do you.

Gather up all the extra stuff you'll need: Scissors, bone folder, Soft Suede ink, glue, tearable tape adhesive, Memento black or the new archival Basic Black ink.

The hat and base

Follow the video directions, but be SURE you are generous with the measure of the cone for the hat's point. I did mine a scootch too tight and had to do some glue gymnastics to recover. A little big is a thousand times better than than too small, and you really can't make it bigger once you tape (ask me how I know this).

Don't crumple the cone yet. I know you want to, and I know the printed instructions say to. Don't do it. 

The label

You'll be thrilled by how much extra stuff is in this kit! Lots to use on another project later. If you are a thrifty stamper, like me, you'll cut your doily in half. Then you've got a piece for something else. 

Where you might get frustrated: Ink up the GIGNORMOUS Happy Halloween stamp and practice on paper before you use the actual label. I messed up the front and back of two labels before I finally got an impression I was happy with on the third (and final!) label. The kit comes with three labels in this size and three of the size that would fit the other label in the stamp set, so you could swap out if you wanted to. 

Use Memento ink. I know, it says to use the new archival ink. I tried it, and the black was definitely richer, but I couldn't get full coverage on the stamp. If I'd had a brayer, this would have been the time to pull it out, for sure. I used the giant F block, and I stamped onto a piercing mat for extra give. The final version is a little fade-y, but it looks good once the whole thing is together.

Sponge the vanilla label part before you glue on the other bits. 

You can swap up the colors of the little pennants and the "31" piece if you want. I didn't, but I liked that SU! included the option. 

The fringe

Nothing special here -- the instructions are fine. I was worried about the big numbers on the reverse of the fringe paper, but they don't actually show at the end. I did use 3 of the 4 pieces, just as it says in the video. 

The burlap ribbon

If you take nothing else from this post, take this advice: Take the ribbon OUTSIDE and trim it there. When you take off the edging and fray the ribbon, the burlap will leave 3 billion tiny bits of burlap hair all over your table, your project, your rug, and your clothes. You'll have some shedding no matter what, but if you can get the bulk of it outside, so much the better. You're welcome, says the woman who did not get that advice and will be vacuuming for the next month.

The leaves

I followed the instructions and used "about half" of the leaves. If I were doing it again, I'd set aside a couple more of the acorns -- I felt like I was drowning in acorns as I was stringing the garland.

You have two stamps to use on the leaves: A cross-hatch one and a spider web. The cross-hatch one looks great on the acorn caps, but I didn't like it on the leaves. Up to you, of course. I stamped only one side of my leaves and then strung them carefully. I love stamping, but even I have limits.

Crumple the leaves before you sponge -- the sponging will get into the wrinkles and make them look even more aged (what you want).

Do, as it says in the video, tie one of the leaves to the end of the thread as you string. 

Assembling the glorious hat

It is a lovely, lovely feeling to have all the bits ready and just put it all together. Bask for a moment in that glory before you let it go.

Putting the fringe and ribbon on is easy (particularly if you use the tearable tape adhesive). Three bits of fringe is enough to go around the hat twice. Do be mindful of the OTHER end of the fringe, or you'll get it stuck to your craft table. (Cough, cough.)

If you did NOT succumb to the urge to pre-crumple your hat, you'll be able to put lots of glue on the label and tuck it in easily, just as she does in the video. If, like me, you crumpled early, you will want to be a little more selective in where and how you apply glue, because the crinkles don't make for easy sticking. It'll work anyway, but it's a little harder.

Witching decor kit makes a gorgeous 3-D Halloween accent
Premature crinkling

Crumple! With joy and vigor!

Use a dab of glue to hold the string that holds the bell that makes the witch hat festive.

And then delicately arrange your lovely leaves, and you are DONE. Now call your family in so they can admire the wonder that is your beautiful witchy hat! Hurray! 

I hope you have as much fun with this project as I did. If you've put your kit together and have tips to add, drop them in the comments!

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