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Are you just starting to craft but don’t know where to begin?

Are you looking for card and scrapbooking ideas and techniques to try?

Whatever the reason, I’m glad you’re here.  If you don’t see what you’re looking for, contact me.  I enjoy answering your crafting questions and inspiring creativity.


Thumping Technique for Whip it up Wednesday

Today I have a cool technique to use with Background stamps.  Background stamps are useful for creating your own designer paper or to add texture and interest to a project.  In the past, you’ve seen me use the Marbled and Hardwood backgrounds. Today I have samples with the Handwritten background stamp.

I was surfing some of my fellow demonstrators’ videos on YouTube and found one where France Martin showed how to do the thumping technique with the retired Swallowtail stamp.  (To see the video, click here.)  I loved the results and wondered if the technique would work with a stamp that didn’t have a specific image but was a true background.

The technique involves two steps. First, ink up the stamp with a light colored ink.  Smoky Slate, Sahara Sand or even Soft Sea Foam would work well. Next you use markers in a few colors, hold one horizontally over the stamp and let the end drop to pounce the brush end randomly over the stamp adding splats of color.  It’s best to start with the lightest color first to minimize the cross contamination effect.

Dropping the marker end onto the stamp creates a thump sound. After you have added as much color as you like, huff on the stamp to rewet the ink and then stamp onto glossy paper.  Why glossy paper? Well, you’ll see with my samples that glossy paper shows the contrasting ink much more clearly than standard cardstock.  Both work, glossy just works better.

Stampin Up Handwritten Anniversary Card

Here is card number one with the glossy paper.
See how the background has Shaded Spruce, Blackberry Bliss, and Crushed Curry accents?  I used Sahara Sand as my base ink.

This card was an anniversary card for my husband.  The pens are from the Crafting Forever stamp set.  I hand colored them with the same assortment of markers I used for thumping and then fussy cut them.  They are layered over a vellum heart heat embossed with the Handwritten background stamp in gold.  The sentiment is from the retired Oh So Succulent stamp set, stamped in Blackberry Bliss ink. The ribbon was from the Fifth Anniversary Paper Pumpkin kit back in March.

I used Thick Very Vanilla as the card base.  Yes, my husband loved the card.

The next sample is a case of a card by Leanne Johnson.  You can see her card here.

Stampin Up Handwritten CASE

For this card, I used the same technique and I think the same colors, but instead of glossy paper, I used Very Vanilla cardstock. The sentiment is from Flourishing Phrases.  I heat embossed it with copper and added a length of Copper Trim.

I like how the card came out, but in the future, I will probably stick with doing the thumping technique on glossy paper or at least Whisper White so that the colors pop.

Background stamps are a lot of fun to use. The full assortment of current stamps is on page 172 in the 2018-19 Annual Catalog.

Blissful Blooms – Two Alternates for Tuesday

If there ever was a Paper Pumpkin that needed no alternatives, it’s the August 2018 Blissful Blooms.  The watercolor flower images are a gorgeous riot of color. The sentiments are varied enough to be useful for a variety of occasions.  But, I have promised my subscribers a Christmas card alternate with every box.  And I try to always keep my promises.

Paper Pumpkin August 2018 Blissful Blooms 2Paper Pumpkin August 2018 Blissful Blooms 1If you haven’t seen the two cards that come in the kit, they look like this. I used bows instead of nests of twine under the sentiment because I’m rarely happy with how my nests come out.

Pretty, right?  The vellum leaves add a beautiful touch of texture. The best part is that these cards come together in minutes.  So fast, so lovely.  How was I going to build on that?




Paper Pumpkin Blissful Blooms GatefoldThe first alternative I made was a simple alteration. I used Blackberry Bliss cardstock to make a gatefold card.

This is probably the easiest fancy fold card. Cut a standard piece of cardstock in half on the long side at 5-1/2″.  So you have an 8-1/2″ x 5-1/2″ piece.  Score the long side of this piece at 2-1/8″ and then do the same thing at the other end.   The two 2-1/8″ panels fold in over the center 4-1/4″ part, like a gate.

Then I cut the back off one of the flower frame cards (above on the right).  I trimmed the white backing to 4″x 5-1/4″ to be the inner panel. Add any sentiment to this.  The flower face I used for the panels. I cut a 2″ strip from each side – so I had two 2″x5-1/2″ pieces of designer paper essentially. I trimmed a bit off the length – 1/8″-1/4″ as you prefer.  Then I adhered each DSP panel to the card base “gates”.

I stamped the banner from the kit and added a bow.  I adhered it to one side of the gate – this is the key.  If you add glue to both sides, the card won’t open.  Not a huge change from the original card, but I like the way the Blackberry Bliss card stock makes the flower pop.

Paper Pumpkin Blissful Blooms Christmas CardNow for the promised Christmas card.  I used Old Olive, Real Red, and Whisper White cardstock to complement a piece of Under the Mistletoe DSP.  I used the flower stamp from the kit and a Stamparatus to make a wreath on a 3-1/4″ square piece of Whisper White.  (I’ll add instructions for creating a wreath with the Stamparatus to the site in the next few days and add a link here.) The leaves were made from the heart stamp in the kit inked with Old Olive. Then I added some touches of Soft Sea Foam with a flower stamen stamp in the kit. That was mounted on a 3-1/2″ square of Real Red.

The sentiment is from Beautiful Baubles, now available in the Holiday catalog.  Gold crystal gems and a bit of twine were the final embellishments. And there you have a Blissful Blooms Christmas card.

Hope you are enjoying your Paper Pumpkin. If you aren’t subscribed, click here.



Last Picnic of the Summer – Throwback Thursday

Remember when you were a kid and there was always that last thing before school started.  All the other days at camp, or overnights, or staying out late on front lawn playing tag until dark, none of them were as memorable or meant as much as that last one. That’s how I feel about these last few Picnic Paradise projects.

Strawberry Shortcake Picnic Paradise Paper PumpkinThe first card I have for you is my take on Strawberry Shortcake. Not only is it an awesome dessert, but you might remember that it was a popular doll years ago. I had a Strawberry Shortcake themed bedroom for a time when I was little.

The base is Blushing Bride with a layer of Whisper White.  This layer helps keep the color of the “tissue” checked layer from the kit. The next layer is a scrap from a Memories and More pack.  I know I’ve said it before, but these packs are an economical way to have more “DSP” type accents for your projects.

I used the vellum square under the front of one of the envelopes that I cut up.  The sentiment is from the retired Fruit Basket, stamped in Blushing Bride.  The heart was punched from the leftovers of the cut-up envelope.  A few pearls, and a super sweet card for a friend.

Next, I have a tag that uses pieces from previous Paper Pumpkins.Picnic Pardise Paper Pumpkin Tag  I used a shipping tag base, but Thick Very Vanilla would work if you don’t have those handy.  I layered on the checked tissue.  The grass is from the Positively Picturesque Paper Pumpkin.  It’s the last scrap that I had. But a picnic needs grass.  I cut down a short side of the basket from the kit and attached a “handle” with the included brad.  All the fruit was harvested by fussy cutting the fronts of three of the envelopes in the kit.   Finally, I tied on a tag from the  Layered Leaves Paper Pumpkin, stamped on the reverse side in Granny Apple Green. The sentiment and the twine were in the kit.

Wouldn’t this be great on thank you gift or a welcome to the neighborhood?

Cat punch Picnic Paradise Paper PumpkinSince I had cut up all of those envelopes, I felt like I should use them if I could.  Here’s where a great punch comes in handy.  This card is a base of Whisper White with a layer of Blueberry Bushel.  That blue is phenomenal and pictures don’t do it justice.  The layer of the Granny Apple Green checked tissue is adhered on to a scrap piece of Whisper White, again to keep the color true.  It is about 2-1/4″ by 5-1/4″.  The focal point uses a 4″x3″ piece of Granny Apple Green cardstock. The Whisper White layer is a quarter inch smaller all the way around.  I used the sentiment from the kit in Blueberry Bushel and a bow in the white twine.

I think I’m getting the hang of the clean and simple cards. Of course, it still has layers and textures, an embellishment and a sentiment. But, also plenty of white space and only three colors including white.

I love using my scraps and making use of those Memories and More packs, especially now that Stampin Up!Paper Pumpkin Large Memories and More Picnic Paradise has come out with cards and envelope sets that are perfectly sized for the pack.  This card is ideal for a group thank you where everyone wants to sign with a little message. There is so much space.

I used the sentiment from the Sprinkled with Love Paper Pumpkin along with the YOU die cut that I had done on a card a few months back. That card used the negative space so I had the word left over. And you know, I don’t throw anything out. It goes in the scrap box.  I like how it almost looks like it was cut out of the apple. Okay, only if you squint, but work with me.

Some of the leaves were printed on the card and some were die cuts I had left over from other projects.  I like the layers and texture it adds to the already beautiful preprinted background. A few gems to add some sparkle and it’s done.

I hope your summer has been filled with wonderful memory making moments and some happy crafting.