Watercolored Avant Garden

Hello, my friend. Thank you for reading my blog today! I’m so glad you stopped by. Talking about friends, this past weekend I did something special. I arranged with another crazy busy Mom friend to meet late Saturday night, when kids were asleep…at a coffee shop. We were laughing because it was so late, we thought the only place open would be a bar. To put it mildly, we’re not the type of women who would ever step foot in a bar. Not that I have a problem bars (my husband would live in a bar if he could), it’s just not me. I’m more of the crunchy, vegetarian, tree-hugging type.

It was so great to get away from our houses and just enjoy each other’s company. I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve never asked this friend to get together with just me. We have kids the same age and we always get together as a family. She and I are both SUPER busy and I thought she’d never have time. But I love her and when we’re all together as a family, we can’t usually talk as much as we’d like (another understatement). It was so refreshing to get away and talk about anything and everything. We were both thrilled and will need to schedule this regularly!

Going with the Flow

My card today makes me remember the importance of going with the flow and not forcing things to go “your way.” When I first started stamping with the Avant Garden stamp set, I went in an entirely different direction. I was going to color the flower with markers, etc. I started in this way and after stamping the image onto scrap paper, I wasn’t happy with it. The stamp wanted me to use it an entirely different way. Without guilt, I scrapped my original idea and went with the watercoloring!

Watercolored Handmade Card using the Avant Garden stamp set by Stampin' Up!

I’m so glad that I went with my second idea. I love how the card came out! It’s so much more fun to stamp when you go with your intuition and don’t keep chasing an idea that doesn’t want to work. I had intended to stamp for only a few minutes, but once the inspiration hit, I finished the whole card in one session!

Tips and Tricks

To do the watercoloring I started with Shimmery White paper. I first stamped the images in versamark and then embossed it with clear embossing powder. Using my Aqua Painter, I brushed some water all over the cardstock (lightly!). I then painted Flirty Flamingo ink all over it.

Watercolored Handmade Card using the Avant Garden stamp set by Stampin' Up!

If you’ve never watercolored, give it a try! After you do it the first time, the process is easy and you get better and better.

As a final touch, I added some glitter. I did this my putting tombow over the card in random places and then sprinkling it over with silver glitter. Before putting on the glitter, make sure the card is dry or you’ll have glitter everywhere. It would later come off (it’s just water) but you may make a huge mess. As me how I know. LOL.

Wishing you a wonderful day. Thanks for stopping by my blog.


Supplies Used:

Stamps: Avant Garden (Sale-A-Bration)
Paper: Falling in Love DSP, Shimmery White, In color Assortment Pack, Whisper White (card base)
Ink: Flirty Flamingo, Versamark
Other: Clear Embossing Powder, Silver Glitter

WOW with Watercoloring

Usually when I head down to my craft room, I make a card from start to finish. I usually allocate a good amount of time because I can be slooooow when it comes to card design. This week I decided to try something new. Instead of using a large chunk of time, I ducked into my craft room when I had only a few minutes to play around.

I’m not yet sure if I like this way of stamping better. I do happen to live the rest of my life in this manner. I usually get things done little by little…. However, with stamping, I found that it made me more experimental in my stamping.

The Process

The card below did not start out looking like it did. That I can promise you! I started the process by pulling out the stamp set, “Love and Affection.” I grabbed some paper and inked it up. However, I wasn’t real happy with the results. The flowers looked nekked to me. LOL. Like they needed some clothes on. The images from the stamp set are outlines of flowers. And they needed adornment!

Love and Affection Rubberstamped card using Stampin' Up!

The next time I sat down to stamp, my initial playing around really helped me know exactly what I needed to do! I had to dress my flowers. The stamping went FAST.
Watercoloring the Flowers

I decided to fill in the flowers with ink, watercoloring them. I didn’t feel like getting out the embossing powder and doing anything fancy. Here’s how I did it:

– I started with Shimmery White Cardstock. (My go-to for watercoloring)

– Next, I first stamped all the images in regular ink. I did not clear emboss the images. I kept it simple!

– With a Aqua Painter, I used the same color ink as the outline and colored in the flowers. Ohhhlala. I love how it looked!

– After the flowers were colored in, I added the centers in Smoky Slate.

– I also added some leaves in Wild Wasabi. I did get a little fancy here. I grabbed a scrap piece of copy paper and put it over the images as I stamped the leaves, so the leaves would stamp only on the white and not over the flowers.

Love and Affection Rubberstamped card using Stampin' Up!

Isn’t that a cool effect?

Now, tell me your thoughts on stamping! Do you think it’s better to stamp only when you have time to make a full card, or would you rather squeeze in a few minutes here and there? I’m anxious to hear your thoughts!

Supplies Used:

Stamps: Love and Affection
Paper: Whisper White, Shimmery White, Flirty Flamingo
Ink: Flirty Flamingo, Peekaboo Peach, Daffodil Delight, Wild Wasabi, Smoky Slate, Archival Black

To place an order, click here. If your order is less than $150, please use hostess code RVJET46W. If it’s more than $150, please leave the hostess code field blank.

Copper Trees? Why Not?!

It’s less than a week before the holidays start! Today I’m uber excited because my kids will be performing in their Chanukah play and I know it’ll be adorable. One of my kids will be a candle and the other will be a Greek. Should be adorable. They get so excited to perform on stage. Personally, I’d be terrified, but they always get over their stage-fright and enjoy it so much. We can learn a lot from our kiddies….

For today’s card I wanted to use some of the new copper embossing powder. I’ve also sorely neglected the stamp set, Totally Trees. I’m really hoping this stamp set doesn’t retire and carries over to the next Annual Catalog. There’s so much I can do with it…we’ll have to wait and see! In the meantime, I’ve inked it up for the card today.

Totally Trees stamp set by Stampin' Up!


Watercoloring is so trendy right now. It’s been trendy for a while and it’s getting more and more popular since it looks so gorgeous. Luckily, it’s not hard to do. LOL. Also, like with everything in life, the more you do it, the better you get.

I started with Shimmery White card stock, which I embossed in copper. I then used Cherry Cobbler and my aqua painter to paint some ink over the tree. Much to my surprise (and watercoloring is full of surprises) the watercoloring came out pink instead of red. Oopsie. I really wanted a red card. I let it dry and went over it again with Cherry Cobbler ink and it got a bit darker, but still pink. See, watercoloring is an experiment no matter how often you’ve done it. I’ve never watercolored with red before so now I know! And now you know, too. LOL.

The reason why I wanted the watercoloring to be red is because I wanted to use more of my Warmth and Cheer designer series paper. If you had a chance to see my post on Monday, I shared that I am loving the paper and sad to see it retire in a few weeks.

Totally Trees stamp set by Stampin' Up!

My card features as much as the Warmth and Cheer paper as I could put in without overdoing it. That’s always a delicate balance, isn’t it? Pretty, without overwhelming. I also brought in some of the copper foil to highlight the copper in the tree.

A pretty doubled bow in Cherry Cobbler baker’s twine finishes off the project and adds some whimsy to it. Of course, I can never stop there. When I was done I splattered some gold “Wink of Stella” over the whole project to give it that “ Shabby Chic” feel. I can’t resist. It brings the whole project together!

Wishing you a most fabulous last few days before the holidays. I cheated a bit and bought some of my holiday food ready-made. I never do this since I don’t like eating processed food (bleh) but sometimes we’ve got to give ourselves a break, right?

Happy Preparing,

Supplies Used:

Stamps: Totally Trees, Endless Birthday Wishes (sentiment)
Paper: Warmth and Cheer, Cherry Cobbler, Whisper White, Shimmery White, Copper Foil
Ink: Versamark, Cherry Cobbler
Other: Copper Embossing Powder, Aqua Painter, Cherry Cobbler Baker’s Twine

Lovely Elephant

Following a sketch

Have you ever followed a card sketch? I bet you have, even if you don’t realize it! If you’ve copied another card, or copied the layout of a card, you’ve followed a sketch. Most of us have done this, especially early on, when we were first introduced to stamping. It’s a great way to learn and to create gorgeous cards without knowing anything about ink and rubber.

There’s another fun way of copying great layouts. There are websites that are dedicated to producing wonderful layouts, also called sketches. One of these sites is called the Paper Craft Crew (www.papercraftcrew.com).

My card for today (and every Wednesday) follows the sketch from this site. I am one of the designers for the Paper Craft Crew, which is fun since I get to see the sketches early!

I love following sketches because when well done, you learn from them. They take your stamping to the next level because the cards are balanced in their layouts. Below is the sketch for the Paper Craft Crew sketch #210 (PCC#210).


You can see balance in the sketch at the top, with the banner and ribbon. There are also several layers on the sketch, which adds interest to a card.

Watercoloring using the Loads of Love stamp set by Stampin' Up!

As you can see in my picture, you don’t have to follow a sketch exactly. For example, my sentiment is higher up then is shown in the sketch. Also, I used a doily for the round layer.

I encourage you to follow sketches! They are fun and you can learn so much! After you follow a sketch, you put a picture of your card onto the sketch website and it’s fun to see the comments people leave on your blog. If you don’t have a blog, you can link to Facebook, Pinterest, wherever you have a digital copy of your card.

Creating the Card

This card was created exactly opposite of my norm. I usually start with a stamp set, and then pick my colors, paper, etc. This time I designed the entire card (I even glued the layers down) and then decided on a stamp set! I picked the cute Elephant from Loads of Love because I thought gray would go nicely with the dark blues shown in the card.

Watercoloring using the Loads of Love stamp set by Stampin' Up!

I stamped the image in archival black ink onto a scrap piece of Shimmery White cardstock. Using an aquapainter, I then watercolored the elephant using Smokey Slate ink and the mouse using Early Espresso ink. The paper looked like it needed a little something else, so I grabbed some Emerald Envy and watercolored a little grass under the animals. So cute!

The card came together FAST because of the sketch – so that’s always a plus.

I hope you give sketches a try! If you have a favorite sketch site, leave a note in my comments! I love a good sketch.


Supplies Used:

Stamps: Loads of Love
Paper: Moroccan DSP, Dapper Denim, Delightful Dijon
Ink: Archival Black, Smoky Slate, Early Espresso, Emerald Envy
Other: Delicate Doilies, Brights Enameled Dots

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.

Birthday Blooms is Stunning Watercolored

Do you have the same “problem” as me,  some stamp sets get used and used and yes, used again? Birthday Blooms is a stamp set I reach for again and again. Sometimes I use the large flowers, other times I use just the sentiments in the beautiful fonts. For the card below, I used both!

Later in this post, I’ll be discussing my vacation. But first I want to tell you about the card!

Birthday Blooms stamp set by Stampin' Up, Watercoloring and Emboss Resist

Watercoloring is one of my favorite techniques. I also love to emboss. When you put them together, you have a technique called “Emboss Resist” or “Watercolor Washing.”

Below is a video I made on how to do this technique. It’s striking, isn’t it?

I first embossed the image using versamark ink and white embossing powder. I embossed on Shimmery White cardstock (my favorite for watercoloring. It shimmers, after all! Gotta love it.) I then used my AquaPainter to color in the flower.

  • Crushed Curry for the the center of the flowers
  • Watermelon Wonder for the outer flowers
  • Wild Wasabi for the leaves
  • Soft Sky for the area around the flowers

Here is a close up:

Birthday Blooms stamp set by Stampin' Up, Watercoloring and Emboss Resist

Isn’t it a fun technique? I chose the yellow Crushed Curry ink for the center because I love the coral color that it turns into when it meets up with the red Watermelon Wonder ink.

The “For You” sentiment is embossed onto vellum with Copper embossing powder. I used vellum so it would have a soft effect and not detract from the flower. You can also see through it to the soft sky ribbon under it.

This effect is gorgeous and I hope you’ll give it a try!

Birthday Blooms stamp set by Stampin' Up, Watercoloring and Emboss Resist

My Vacation

Last week I went on vacation and unplugged. This was huge for me and it was something I really needed. I stayed in Upstate New York, in the mountains. It was beautiful!!! Here’s a view of the Hudson River. I took the train up from Maryland, and rode alongside the Hudson for two hours. It was a treat!


While on vacation I did a lot of reading. I was lucky because the place where I stayed had a library. It was gorgeous and there were little cozy areas to read throughout the library, along with gorgeous views. I could not focus on my book, I kept gazing outside, at the beauty around me. Can you blame me?


This picture shows some flowers and just one of the gorgeous views.


I did one thing that I’ve wanted to do for months now. Since reading Henna House by Nomi Eve with my book club, I’ve been obsessed with Henna. The book talks about the history of Henna, the meaning of it, and the beauty of it. There was a Henna artist at the spa, so of course I had to book an appointment. I asked her for a meaningful design with swirls. Here’s what she did.


The Henna was the icing on the cake for me. I loved it and I was so thrilled to experience it. The artist explained that the design was for new beginnings, specifically used in India. Every time I glance down at my hand I smile and remember something wonderful about my vacation. It was a great trip and who knows, maybe I’ll make this an annual vacation?

Supplies Used:

Stamps: Birthday Blooms
Paper: Shimmery White, Vellum, Soft Sky
Ink: Versmark, Soft Sky, Watermelon Wonder, Crushed Curry, Wild Wasabi
Other: Soft Sky Ribbon, Copper Embossing Powder

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.

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


Vintage Leaves Glisten with Gold

On my blog I talk a lot about comfort zones. I don’t think that comfort zones are necessarily bad, though they have a very bad reputation! If you think about it, almost everything we do well is within our comfort zone, because we’ve learned and practiced the skills. For example, I’m really good at creating cards that use soft, subtle colors since those are the colors that appeal to me. I think the reason why comfort zones get a bad reputation is because we do sometimes need to leave our comfort zones so we can learn and grow. The Vintage Leaves stamp set has helped me grow since it’s a stamp set that can be used for so many different techniques.

Using Vintage Leaves for Watercoloring

I decided to use Vintage Leaves for watercoloring this card. I’ve done a lot of watercoloring this year, but it’s a skill that I’m still learning to use in different aspects of card making. I’ve been experimenting with using it for backgrounds (my favorite!), coloring images, even watercoloring using an acrylic block!

Vintage Leaves stamp set by Stampin' Up!


For this card, I used a technique that combines embossing with watercoloring I love to emboss when I watercolor because the image stays crisp. The embossing also gives nicely defined lines that make using a paintbrush easier since the color doesn’t get everywhere.

For this card, I did another fun technique by combining ink colors. I love love love the effect of combining different colors to create a totally unique color for a card.

The gold embossing makes the leaves stand out and looks so gorgeous in real life. I had a difficult time getting a picture of the sparkle, but in the close up below, you can see how bright and stunning the leaves look.

Vintage Leaves stamp set by Stampin' Up!

I had wanted to do a card for a while that was surrounded in white, with just a pop of color in the border. I’d seen a card with this sketch on pinterest. The colors among the white made the design elements stand out.

Tips for Making this card:

  • I used Shimmery White for the watercolored images. If you haven’t watercolored on this paper, you should give it a try. It is lovely to work with and has a pretty shimmer.
  • Before embossing, always use an Embossing buddy so that you have less static on your paper. Less static means that the embossing powder doesn’t go all over your paper, just where you want it.
  • The large leaves at the bottom are cut out using the matching framelits
  • Here are some color combinations I used for the leaves:
    • Pumpkin Pie and Real Red
    • Cajun Craze and Cherry Cobbler
    • Per Pizzazz and So Saffron

Making this card was so much fun! I hope you join me by sometimes dipping a toe outside of your comfort zone and trying new color combos or a new technique.

If you love new techniques, join my Creative Challenge, where I introduce a new technique every month and we make cards using the Technique and share them on a private Facebook site to inspire each other. Click here to join.

Supplies Used:
Stamps: Vintage Leaves, Endless Birthday Wishes
Paper: Shimmery White, Whisper White, and Watermelon Wonder
Ink: Versamark, Pumpkin Pie, Real Red, Cajun Craze, Cherry Cobbler, Pear Pizzazz, So Saffron
Other: AquaPainter, Leaflits Framelits, Gold Embossing Powder, Embossing Buddy

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.

Happy Stampin’,

Watercolored Birthday Blooms

The Birthday Blooms stamp set by Stampin’ Up! is ideal for watercoloring. The big flower looks spectacular when watercolored and it’s large enough to make the process easy. Are you comfortable with watercoloring? For some people, watercoloring is intimidating. When people tell me they’re afraid to do it, I remind them — it’s just paper! What’s the worst that can happen? I love it when my friends decide to take the leap and learn to master the technique.

Birthday Blooms Watercolored

I decided to make watercoloring the feature for this card. Not only is the flower watercolored, but the background is, too. Why not, right? When you’re already getting out the AquaPainter, you may as well keep going 🙂

The flower from Birthday Blooms was pretty easy to watercolor. I first stamped the image in Archival Gray Ink on Shimmery White paper. I fussy cut the image and colored it in using my AquaPainter.

Birthday Blooms stamp set by Stampin' Up! using Watercoloring

Tips for Watercoloring:

  • For the paper, I used Shimmery White card stock. I love how this paper takes ink and water. It also has a beautiful shimmer.
  • For the background watercoloring, I first tacked the paper down using old washi tape so as it dried, it wouldn’t curl up.
  • Before adding ink to the card stock, I first brushed water onto the card stock.
  • The colors I used for the background was Night of Navy and Crumb Cake.
  • After watercoloring, the colors weren’t bold enough for me. I dried the paper using a heat tool and watercolored it a second time. This made the colors pop.

Below is a close-up of the watercoloring. Do you see the sparkle in the middle of the flower? I did it using Silver Dazzling Details. Very sparkly 🙂 But hard to see in the photo!

Birthday Blooms stamp set by Stampin' Up! using Watercoloring

For a video on how to do this technique, click below:

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: Birthday Blooms
Techniques: Watercoloring
Ink: Night of Navy, Crumb Cake, Daffodil Delight, Wild Wasabi
Paper: Dapper Denim, Shimmery White
Other: Silver Dazzling Details, Silver Metallic Thread, Aquapainter

Happy Stamping!

Have a Snappy Day!

I have to confess – when I first planned to do a video on Acrylic Block Stamping, I didn’t realize how much I’d love the technique. Sure, I’ve done the technique before and liked it. But after experimenting more and more with it, I’ve fallen head over heals with it and now use it all the time.

Before adding the background to the card below, I was really struggling. The crab looked too “cutesy” and not my style. I put it aside and when I came back to it, I realized it needed a beach background. I decided to use Shimmery White cardstock. My friends, if you love this technique, you MUST try it on Shimmery White. Although the technique works on all card stock, there’s something about the Shimmery White card stock that takes the ink so nicely and blends the colors. And then it shimmers when you’re done! Can’t go wrong.

You're Sublime stamp set by Stampin' Up!, Acrylic Block Stamping

After I made the background for the card, I absolutely adored it. To follow the Paper Craft Crew challenge (PCCC#199) I added the little sunshade. So stinkin’ cute! I used the Hearth and Home framelits to cut it out.

Paper Craft Crew Challenge #199

You're Sublime stamp set by Stampin' Up!, Acrylic Block Stamping

Here’s the video on how to do Acrylic Block Stamping.

Supplies Used:
Stamps: You’re Sublime
Paper: Sahara Sand, Real Red
Ink: Sahara Sand, Real Red, Marina Mist, Soft Sky, Crumb Cake
Other: Hearth and Home framelits, Metallic Sequins

Click here to place an order.


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 🙂

CASing the New Catalog!!

Dear Friends,

Per Stampin’ Up!’s rules, I can’t take a picture of pages of the upcoming new catalog — but I can replicate projects and show them to you! The buzz is that the new catalog has the BEST samples. I decided to replicate one so you could see it.

WARNING: I did change the card a bit. I am not able to copy things exactly since I’m a perfectionist. If I see something that I could easily tweak, I can’t help myself. I added the blue card base and also the very thin layer of whisper white behind the watercolor paper. I love the original card but I also love the effect my few tweaks have on the card. It gives it a different effect and I’m lovin’ it.


Now that I’ve gotten over my fear of it, I love watercoloring. I used to be intimidated by it. Really. That was a long time ago — back in March. In April I decided to force myself to conquer my fear by teaching it for my creative challenge. There’s nothing that makes you learn something as well as when you teach it. Nothing. So here it is, a month later, and I just grab my aquapainter and go for it, without hesitation. That’s why I’m a demo. I love to learn, so I teach.

If you’d like to join me in my journey, click here and read about how I came to be a demo and consider joining me. You’ll have a ball! And you’ll learn, more than you ever thought you would. I promise.

Supplies Used:
Stamps: Kinda Eclectic
Paper: Pool Party, Whisper White, Watercolor
Ink: Watermelon Wonder, Daffodil Delight, Pool Party
Other: Baker’s Twine, Pearls, Butterfly Punch, Aqua Painter

I have a new class!  All orders (any size) receive a free class tutorial with gorgeous cards using the Circle of Spring stamp class.

Have a great week,