A Great Sketch

Have you gone to the amazing sketch website, www.papercraftcrew.com? If not, you are in for a treat. There are lots of sketch sites out there where you can go for card inspiration, but the Paper Craft Crew sketches are beyond awesome.

Why struggle with making a card? Instead, pull up a sketch so you have a starting point. Paper Craft Crew sketches are particularly well balanced. Your cards will be beautiful – and you won’t be copying (not that there’s anything wrong with copying…..) but you’ll be following loose guides that will help your card look stunning and put-together.

Click here to see this week’s challenge (PCCC#216).

Here is my card for today’s challenge:


Here is the sketch:


I followed the sketch and put some colorful Petals and Paisleys paper along the side. Can you tell that next to the paper is a thin strip of copper? I love anything shiny, so that makes the card special for me.

To make the leaves, I did some rock ‘n roll stamping. With this technique, you first ink up your stamp in a lighter color and then dip the edges of the stamp into a darker color, using a rock ‘n roll motion. I use this technique a lo since it has a neat effect. There are a ton of techniques you can use to make the leaves look interesting. It’s an incredibly versatile stamp set.

Under the leaves is some Delightful Dijon ribbon from the 3/8” Ribbon Pack in the holiday catalog. To finish it off, I added some linen thread under it, along with a sweet ribbon for the stems.


What makes the card look so “put together,” though, is the splatter under the circle. Cool, no? Truthfully, I don’t know if I would have thought to put the splatter on the card if not for the sketch. The splatter is made using an image from the Gorgeous Grunge stamp set. Using Soft Suede ink, I first stamped off onto scrap paper, then lightly stamped the card. I love the effect it gives.

Come join us and play along! It’s fun. And who knows. Maybe you’ll be picked as one of the challenge winners!

Supplies Used:

Stamps: Vintage Leafs, One Big Meaning, Gorgeous Grunge
Paper: Petals and Paisleys, Soft Suede, Very Vanilla, Copper Metallic Sheets
Ink: Soft Suede, Crushed Curry, Rich Razzeberry, Mint Macaron
Other: Leaflet Framelits, 3/8” Ribbon Pack, Linen Thread, Metallic Sequins

Click here to place an order. I love my customers 🙂 You will get a class tutorial via email, as well as a hand stamped card.

Love and Affection

Have you seen the new Love and Affection stamp set? It has some sweet flowers in it and is a lovely set. However, in my opinion, what makes the stamp set so special is sentiments. Wouldn’t you love to receive a card that says one these phrases?

“You make me ridiculously happy”

“You are every lovely word I could possibly think of”

“Sending a smile your way”

My favorite sentiment is “sending a smile your way.” I especially love the sentiment for a get well card. However, it is also the perfect sentiment for just about anything. What about a friend who is going through a difficult relationship or a divorce? A friend who is taking care of a sick relative? A friend you haven’t seen in a while?

Love and Affection stamp set by Stampin' Up!

Oh, I forgot to mention that the font on the sentiments is ADORABLE! It uses a cute script (for those of us who are old enough to know how to read script…). The stamp set also comes as a suite with other coordinating products. Click here to see all the products in the suite.

Using the Paper Craft Crew Sketch for Love and Affection

My card today follows the Paper Craft Crew sketch #211.


I chose the Love and Affection stamp set for this sketch because I wanted to use some coordinating paper. Gotta use our paper and not hoard it, right?

I started the card by first laying out the paper (without adhering it down!). Once I had it right, I embossed some flowers on some pretty, bright paper and got cutting. Once I put the flowers down, I had to take off some of paper on the top, per the sketch. Don’t forget – a sketch is a GUIDE, only! If you use most of the elements but one or two just doesn’t work with your card, go with what looks beautiful. There was so much going on with my card, that I had to remove the top layer of DSP so my card wouldn’t be overdone.

Love and Affection stamp set by Stampin' Up!

I love the way it came out in the end! The designer paper at the bottom adds soft colors, yet also a pretty gentleness to the card. The flowers are bright yet the bronze embossing keeps them from being too bright. And of course, the sentiment is ideal for so many situations.

You can follow the sketch, too! You have till next Tuesday, September 20, to submit your card on the Paper Craft Crew Challenge site.

Supplies Used:

Stamps: Love and Affection
Paper: Very Vanilla, Mint Macaron, Affectionately Yours DSP, Flirty Flamingo, Peekaboo Peach, and Daffodil Delight
Accessories: Copper Metallic Thread, Copper Embossing Powder

Happy Stamping,

Click here to place an order. I love my customers 🙂 You will get a class tutorial via email, as well as a hand stamped card.

If your order is less than $150, please use hostess code A6JGP6JM.

Stamping Gives Me Energy

How is your summer going? If you have young kids like me, summer can be an incredible joyful time to make memories. However, it can also be challenging since schedules are so different. Despite how hectic life seems to be in the summer, I relish the time I get to stamp. Time in my stamp room provides me the energy I need to deal with anything challenging going on in my world. Stamping gives me energy.

Stamping Gives Me Energy

When I created this card, I was having a rough day. After the kids went to sleep, I went downstairs and calmly made this card. It was time for ME and it put a smile on my face after a hard day. This is why I stamp. If you are having a challenging day, for whatever reason, make a card. It’s amazing how such a simple thing it can change our mood and bring smiles to our faces.

The card below is based off of the Paper Craft Crew Sketch # 203 (PCCC#203). I love being on the design team of this amazing team because the sketches really get me working outside of my comfort zone. The angle of blue paper is part of the sketch and it adds elegance and a unique twist to the design.

Botanical Blooms stamp set by Stampin' Up!

I designed the card around the blue Floral Boutique paper. The blue makes a statement on its own and I wanted the rest of the card to be subtle so the blue paper would pop. I therefore made the rest of the card in coordinating colors that didn’t compete, such as gray and a little bit of sparkle in the silver.

Here is the sketch – feel free to play along!


To make gray tag, I simply cut notches out of the sides with scissors. I didn’t use a punch!

Botanical Blooms stamp set by Stampin' Up!

When I was done with the project, I realized that my mood had shifted. I was smiling and filled with creativity. Actually, since I’m a night owl, if my husband hadn’t reminded me how late it was, I would probably still be in my craft room. . .

I encourage you to keep crafting. Do things that give you joy. It is amazing how stamping gives me energy. I know it will do the same for you. Wishing you only joy in your hobbies and your life.


I love getting comments!! If you’d like to say hello or share your thoughts, I would enjoy it if you left me a comment.

Click here to place an order. I love to spoil my customers. You will get a class tutorial via email, as well as a hand stamped card and a little gift to make you smile.

If your order is less than $150, please use hostess code BCTSHTY7.

Don’t forget – For every $50 you spend between July 7 and July 31 (before shipping and tax), you’ll get a $5 coupon that you can use between August 2–31, 2016.

Supplies Used:
Stamps: Botanical Gardens
Paper: Night of Navy, Silver Glitter Paper, Smoky Slate, Basic Gray, Floral Boutique DSP
Ink: Basic Black
Other: Botanical Builder Framelits, Silver 1/8 Ribbon, Rhinestones, White Thick Twine, Delicate White Doilies

Life is a Beautiful Ride – Really!

My absolute favorite set from the Occasions catalog is Beautiful Ride. It goes back to my childhood. I lived in a modest court with a man who was a famous baseball player and coach for the Baltimore Orioles. He was an amazing person. One of my earliest memories was this wonderful man cruising around in his orange VW Beatle. He was a great dad. Every morning he would drive his children to the end of the court and they would wait in the warmth of his car for their school bus.


When I saw the stamp set, it brought back great memories. It’s also an adorable stamp set.
My card today follows the Paper Craft Crew sketch #196.


If you were ever hesitant to follow a sketch, this sample shows that you don’t have to follow one exactly. I started off working on this card with a butterfly, but I wasn’t in a butterfly mood. When you try to force yourself to stamp something you aren’t “feeling” that day, the card making process doesn’t flow. Once I recognized that I wasn’t stamping what was in my heart, the card design went quickly and easily. And it’s so much more fun stamping when that happens!

Watercoloring using the Beautiful Ride Stamp set by Stampin' Up!

To make the car, I watercolored Daffodil Delight onto Shimmery White (my new favorite card stock. It watercolors so beautifully!). I cut it out and tucked some balloons over it, to follow the sketch. Isn’t it fun when a sketch encourages you to add some fun details to a card that you wouldn’t have otherwise done?

Try the sketch and have some fun!

Supplies Used:
Stamp sets: Beautiful Ride, Gorgeous Grunge
Ink: Smokey Slate, Black, Daffodil Delight
Paper: Smokey Slate, Shimmery White, Birthday Bouquet DSP, Blushing Bride, Pear Pizzazz
Other: Doilies, AquaPainter

Order-pinkAll orders receive a free card tutorial. My way of saying thanks 🙂

Sweet View

Dear Friends,

There is something very special about the stamp set “Happy Home.” Its name fits the design. Every card I make with it puts me a happy mind frame, thinking about joyful things, such as playing outdoors, a beautiful view through a window, flying a kite, or sitting on a bench and watching nature.

The idea to add a matching window frame thinlits is fresh and fun. I’ve enjoyed playing with the set immensely.

My card today follows the Paper Craft Crew PCCCS195 sketch. As soon as I saw the sketch, I knew it would be ideal for the window shape. I had fun playing with it.

Happy Home Stamp Set by Stampin' Up!

Here’s the sketch I followed. Another amazing sketch by the Paper Craft Crew!


I used a few techniques to make the card:

  • For the tree, I used a bunch of different markers. You never know how the finished project will look when you color randomly, and I was happy with how it turned out – it’s hard to make a mistake when you use the same color tones within a picture.
  • For the background, I sponged Marina Mist and Wild Wasabi ink. To control the sponge, squeeze it as you use it, and that will give you control over where the ink lands.
  • The gray ribbon is thick Smokey Slate baker’s twine, with some threads removed, to make a loose bow.

Happy Home Stamp Set by Stampin' Up!

After I’m done writing this post, I’m heading outside to take a walk . Even though it’s raining today, being in nature and seeing scenes similar to the card, is good for the soul. Don’t you agree?

Have a happy day. And who knows – maybe after reading this post, you’ll also head outside.


Supplies Used:
Stamps: Happy Home
Paper: Smokey Slate, Soft Sky, Whisper White, Botanical Gardens DSP
Ink: Smokey Slate, Marina Mist, Wisteria Wonder, and Markers for the tree scene
Other: Hearth and Home Thinlit Dies, Metallic Sequins

Order-pinkAll orders receive a free card tutorial. My way of saying thanks 🙂

Choose Happiness

Dear Friends,

As you know, Stampin’ Up! is retiring some products soon to make room in the catalog for new products. Of everything that’s retiring, there is one set that makes me sad. The set is called “Choose Happiness.” It was my favorite stamp set from the ENTIRE catalog the year it came out and I’ve used it many times.

What I like most about it, though, is what it taught me about myself. I used to be a neat and structured stamper. Using Choose Happiness, I learned to do some grungy stamping. Later in this post, I’ll be sharing some of my favorite cards I’ve made with this stamp set and you can see the different styles I used.

For my card today, I am combining my favorite stamp set with a challenge. This week for the Paper Craft Crew challenge, we’re supposed to stamp flowers. Since 90% of my cards have flowers, this wasn’t a challenge for me, this was my comfort zone.  LOL. Come play along with us at the Paper Craft Crew! Click here to see all the cards and submit one of your own, if you wish.


My card for this week uses a very cool technique. Simple, but also effective. The picture  does not do it justice. The flowers are embossed in gold and I used a sponge dauber to color in the flowers. It was SO simple and yet so effective. I LOVED using the technique.


The close-up shows some of the depth of embossing.


As promised, below are some cards I’ve made with Choose Happiness.

The card below is one of my favorite cards that I ever made.


Here’s another favorite. It uses Lost Lagoon, which is an awesome color, retiring in a few weeks.


The sample below showcases some different colors and is my favorite part of the project.


The good news is that I certainly got my money’s worth out of that stamp set, didn’t I?

Supplies Used (Pink Flower Card):
Stamps: Choose Happiness
Paper: Whisper White, Rose Red, Pink Pirouette, Gold Foil
Ink: Versamark, Rose Red, Daffodil Delight
Other: Gold embossing powder, Gold Thread

Free class tutorial with any online order! Click here.

Happy Stamping,

Paper Craft Crew Design Team

Dear Friends,

I am an uber excitement announcement to make today: I have been invited to be a member of the Paper Craft Crew Design Team!!! It is a true honor to be on this team of amazing men and women. Their work is gorgeous and the sketches are some of my favorites. An added perk is that I also get to see the sketches in advance <smile> so that’s been lovely, too.


Why follow a sketch?

Simple – it’s F-U-N. Starting a card from scratch can be daunting. It’s great to have a template (also called a sketch) as a starting point. When sketches are well designed, they help your card design flow smoothly and make the process fun. I stamp because it’s fun, so anything that makes it even more enjoyable is terrific.

My other reason for loving sketches is because they help you grow your skills. Great sketches are properly designed to add interest and balanced elements to your cards. As you continue to follow sketches, you will learn to add these enhancements to your own card designs, too.

Design Sketch:

Here’s what the sketch looks like this week:

PCCCS 162-205-009

And <drumroll> Here’s my first card for the Design Team!!! It’s for PCCC193.


Since it was my first challenge project, I decided to leave my comfort zone and do some watercoloring. The flower color is a combination of Crushed Curry and Melon Mambo. I LOVE how they look together. I also used white embossing powder rather than a typical black to get a softer effect.

The stamp set, Blended Bloom is on sale right now, while supplies last. Click here.


  • To make the flower, first emboss white embossing powder onto Shimmery White paper. Using an aquapainter, color in the flower petals in Crushed Curry, then Melon Mambo directly over it. I did only a few petals at a time so the Crushed Curry would still be wet when I put the Melon Mambo over it.
  • When cutting out the flower, I cut right up to the white embossing. Usually I leave a little space, but with this card, cutting it tight to the flower looked the best.
  • I can’t get enough of Wink of Stella. Each of the dots in the background are colored with the shimmer. It adds a lot to the card.
  • The sentiment is embossed in gold on vellum. When embossing on vellum, it’s best to heat the powder with short bursts rather than holding the heating tool over the vellum for a while. This keeps it from curling.

I hope you join me and play along with the challenge. Click here to enter your card. It’s easy to upload your card to the challenge. And be sure to report back and let me know if you didn’t have fun making it!!

Reminder: I’m offering a free class tutorial for all orders placed in my online store. Please use hostess code 9ZXKV46G if your order is less than $150.

Supplies Used:
Stamps: Blended Bloom, Sheltering Tree
Paper: Whisper White, Smoky Slate, Shimmery White, Vellum
Ink: Versamark, Crushed Curry, Melon Mambo
Other: Dots Embossing Folder, Aquapainter, White Embossing Powder, Gold Embossing Powder, Clear Wink of Stella, Vintage Buttons, Gold Thread, Rhinestones





Can today really be ridiculously amazing?

Dear Friends,

Happy Monday!!  I usually start off my blog on Monday wishing you a good week. Today’s card fits that theme.

Recently, I discovered something that has helped me have brighter, happier days. You’ve probably known this for years, but I only recently discovered it. Here’s what I learned: If I have a good evening it usually carries into the next day. There are many nights after putting my kids asleep and cleaning the house (ha ha, thought I’d throw that one in for laugh) that I’m tired and stressed out. When I wake up the next morning, my mood usually carries over and it takes me a bit till my forced smile feels authentic. However, if I do nothing except relax in the last hour before bed, I seem to sleep better. I usually wake up more refreshed and happy. And my smiles are real 🙂 Guard that last hour before bed. Forget the dishes in the sink and all the “stuff” that needs to be done. Relax. You will be happy that you took the time for yourself.


To make the card above, I used a sketch from the Paper Craft Crew. I was excited to do the sketch since I thought this stamp set would be ideal for it and I hadn’t used it in a while.  (See PCCC189). It was a fun sketch and I enjoyed making the card.


I stamped the sentiment several times in various colors, then snipped out the parts I wanted for the card. Choosing the colors for the card was the hardest part. In the end, I went with a light blue background since I wanted the card to be bright and cheerful.

Supplies Used:
Stamps: Amazing Birthday
Ink: Rose Red, Perfect Plum, Crushed Curry, and Sahara Sand
Paper: Rose Red, Whisper White, and Pool Party
Accessories: Rhinestones (of course), Pool Party Ribbon, Silver Buttons, Metallic Doilies, Silver Thread

Hope your day truly is AMAZING.

If your order is less than $150, please use hostess code VRPRC4R3