A Tisket, A Tasket…

By | February 22, 2018

… I have a new stamped basket!

The 2nd Release products for Sale-A-Bration are now available, and I love the Blossoming Basket Bundle stamps and coordinating embossing folder:

Blossoming Basket front

I stamped the basket of flowers with Tuxedo Black Memento ink so I could color the images with some of the new Blenders markers in light and dark shades of Pink Pirouette, Old Olive and Crumb Cake. I cut out the image with my super sharp Paper Snips and mounted it with Stampin’ Dimensionals on a scalloped circle of Pink Pirouette card stock.


I used Pear Pizzazz card stock with the Basket Weave embossing folder. The finishing touch was the cut out heart tag that I punched and tied onto the basket handle with Linen Thread.

Here is the color scheme of the You Are Loved Pink Roses card:

And these are the Stampin’ Up! supplies that I used to create the card (click on any picture to read more, or to go to the online store!)

Price: $110.00

Supply List

 The 147505 Blossoming Basket Bundle of stamps and embossing folder are a free gift with a $100 order, through March 31st. (The Basket Weave embossing folder will be available in the 2018-2019 Annual Catalog in June.)

Blossoming Basket side


“Lavender’s Blue, Dilly, Dilly” … or Not!

By | February 21, 2018

Do you remember this English folk song and nursery rhyme from when you were little?

Lavender’s blue, dilly, dilly, lavender’s green,

When I am king, dilly, dilly, you shall be queen.

While it’s true that the lavender flower is usually a shade of purple, some varieties are pink or white.

English Lavender

Luckily, when it comes to stamp art, we are free to choose any colors for our floral images, from strictly traditional to something entirely different, using colored pencils, watercolor with ink, fill-in stamps or markers.

Lots of Lavender

This free Sale-A-Bration set, 147194 Lots of Lavender, is perfect for any of these coloring treatments, so I used my new Stampin’ Blenders alcohol markers to color these blooms in with light and dark shades of Calypso Coral and Old Olive:

Coral Lavender

I also used a “thank you” sentiment from my 143675 Eastern Beauty photopolymer stamp set, but any small greeting of your choice would work well.

Here is the color combination that I chose for this Thank You Bouquet card:

And here are all of the Stampin’ Up! supplies (click on any picture for more info):

Price: $110.00

Supply List

 I  am enjoying these new Stampin’ Blenders, and will be showing more cards using these new alcohol markers soon! (One tip to remember is that when stamping an outline for use with these pens, it is important to use a Memento Ink Pad to guard against bleeding or smearing.)

The Groundhog Got it Right

By | February 20, 2018

Groundhog Day was a couple of weeks ago on February 2nd, and according to the reports, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, which means 6 more weeks of winter.

Now, even though the rest of the country was doomed to continue with the cold and the snow, here in California we were already enjoying weather in the 70’s and blossoms popping on the trees! I decided we were exempt from Phil’s prediction – but I was wrong; our weathermen informed us that tonight we are expecting a “killing frost” of 28 degrees!

Mindy Birches

So, in honor of the weather, I am posting this seasonal birch tree card made by Mindy Degree. She knows it’s still officially winter, since she and a friend walked three miles across a frozen Lake Champlain on Saturday, from North Hero to Knights Island:

I admire these hardy Vermonters; there is no walking on frozen water here in Northern California!

Name That Song!

So remember, New England friends and family, February is the very best time to come out and visit us here to enjoy some spring weather (even if we do have a freak 28 degree frost in the middle of the month!)

Men Love Valentines, Too!

By | February 19, 2018

At least, my husband does! Among the many things that I love about Reggie, one thing that is particularly sweet is his sincere delight and interest in the cards I make. And he even reads my blog! So, when a card-giving occasion comes around, I always enjoy making something special for him:


I used a couple of newer products for this card: the Sure Do Love You stamp set on page 19 of the Spring Occasions catalog, and the Basket Weave embossing folder that is one of the 2nd release Sale-A-Bration choices (part of the Blossoming Basket Bundle, free with a qualifying purchase.) But the great thing is, this Dynamic Textured Embossing Folder is going to be included in the new 2018-2019 Annual Catalog in June.

The leafy laurel heart border was stamped in clear Versamark ink, and then heat embossed with Gold Stampin’ Emboss Powder. I don’t do a lot of heat embossing, but I’ve got to say, it is pretty fun and impressive to do it once in a while!

Here are all of the Stampin’ Up! products that I used to make Reggie’s Valentine Card this year: (click on any picture for more information):

Valentines From Vermont

By | February 18, 2018

When you live far away from family, one of the best ways to keep in touch is to send a card. The first handcrafted Valentine we received this year was made by Sherry Pakulski of Colchester, VT:

Sherry Valentine 2018

Sherry and I both have the same “all you need is love” stamp; a great sentiment for  a Valentine, wedding or anniversary cards (or just because you love the Beatles!)

The next hand stamped Valentine that we received was from Sherry’s sister, Kathy Degree of Colchester, VT:

KathyValentine 2018

I can tell you a little more about this one because I have this same Stampin’ Up! stamp set, Sheltering Tree, and it is a favorite of mine! This tree image can be used for any season, and as you can see on this card, for different holidays as well.

Here are some of the supplies that Kathy used on her card (and she subtly glittered the small hearts with Wink of Stella!) Click on any thumbnail to read more or to order from the online store:

Happy 66th Anniversary!

By | November 17, 2017

Today Reggie and I will be joining my parents at lunch for their 66th anniversary – really an event to celebrate!

Mom and Dad August 2016

Vernon and Jean (Webber) Krause were married on November 17, 1951 in Auburn, CA

My dad was a draftsman in the Air Force when I was born, and after leaving the service he completed a teaching degree in Art/Industrial Arts. He was a public school teacher for over 40 years.

My mother was a homemaker and worked for a while as a switchboard operator at the local hospital. Later in life she was a member of the Planning Commission in their hometown of Auburn, CA.

My parents always win the prize for “Longest Married” at their Placer High School reunions. As my dad always says, “We started young!” (19 and 17 respectively!)

Here is the card I made for my parents this year:

Here are the cardstock and ink colors on this card:

And here are the supplies that I used:

September Sunflowers

By | September 1, 2017

Happy first day of September (rabbit, rabbit, rabbit, Mindy!) My cousin Renee is also celebrating her birthday today, and if I counted correctly, it’s the big  6-0 for her!

Sunflowers are such a common flower, seen from east to west planted in fields, volunteering by the roadsides and in many gardens. They could be called the Giving Flower, because like Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree, they seem to delight in sharing their bounty with us – seeds, oil and beauty!  Where we live there are huge fields of sunflowers; this one is in Dixon, California:

September Sunflowers

Last fall, while visiting Vermont, I took this picture of myself with some stray sunflowers growing on Main Street in Colchester:

September 1st is also the first day of the new Holiday Catalog! I’m always attracted to the Harvest and Thanksgiving stamps first, and on page 49 we’ve got a fun new two-step photopolymer set called Painted Harvest. The stamp group ladies and I used this set to make a Z-fold card last weekend:

The technique for making this different style card is easy; just cut your cardstock the long way (4 1/4″ x 11″) and score it in the middle. Then take the front panel and score that in the middle, too. Fold it back and attach the stamped panel to it.

Here are the colors that I used for the two-tone flowers and leaves, plus the brown sunflower centers:

And these are the supplies that I used to make our September Sunflowers card. Click on any picture to see more, or to order (Current Host Code is BZK3MCGM.):

What I Did on My Summer Vacation!

By | August 30, 2017

Oh, my goodness, Dear Readers, when my computer broke down in the middle of July I never thought it would take me six weeks to get back on here and post again! But a lot has happened, so let’s get right to it with a throwback to those old school essays that we used to write at the beginning of each new school year:

The first thing I did on my Summer Vacation this year was shove everything from the family room and kitchen…

Stuffed Front Room

…into the front room! We did some remodeling in the other rooms  – wall texturing, paint, ceiling popcorn removal, flooring and lighting.

Egypt on Ladder

During the work, Egypt just couldn’t resist climbing to the top – I watched her nimbly negotiate every ladder step up there!

After we got everything done, Ziggy enjoyed stretching out on the new laminate flooring in the family room:

Ziggy on new floor

Adjoining the family room, new linoleum in the kitchen and a fresh paint job really brightened up the place!

New kitchen floor

This is where we stamp on the 4th Saturday of each month, in the breakfast nook on an antique oak table.

Later in July, we started putting everything back into place, but that is a big job and it isn’t done yet!

After the front room was at least partially put in order, I was able to retrieve my art supplies and start stamping again:

Brick Wall Primrose

Here’s one that we made in the 4th Saturday stamp class; I love how the Brick Wall embossing folder looks with Cajun Craze cardstock and a little White Craft ink to lighten it up. I used some of the watercolor swash stamps from the Work of Art stamp set to apply the white ink to the bricks.

Here are the supplies that we used on this “Yellow Rose of Texas” card, so named to honor my grandmother Imogene who was born there in 1917:

Price: $110.00

Speaking of Texas, we want to send our love and prayers to our friends on the Gulf Coast who are enduring the terrible rain and flooding from Hurricane Harvey. May all things work together for the good as they rebuild their towns and their lives.

My Personal Best!

By | July 7, 2017

In November, Stampin’ Up! will hold gatherings for demonstrators in locations all around the world; I’m going to attend in Salt Lake City, Utah! One thing we always do at these events is bring card swaps to trade with each other, giving us new ideas to share with our stamping friends. Also, some demonstrators are invited to prepare project samples for the display boards. To that end, I am sharing some examples of my cards and projects for consideration!

First, I’ve chosen three cards that I have already shared on the blog, to show what I consider some of my “best work.”

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I made this first card with the new Label Me Pretty stamp set, coordinating Pretty Label Punch and some Fresh Florals Designer Series Paper:

I used Powder Pink, one of the new 2017-2019 In Colors, along with Wild Wasabi and Early Espresso. The flowers were watercolored with Blender Pens, and I die cut some leafy accents with the Pretty Pines Thinlits set from Wild Wasabi and Vellum cardstock.

This card was specially made for my mother, who loves pink carnations. The images from the Touches of Texture set were just right!

I used Rich Razzleberry and Pink Pirouette ink and cardstock, plus a little Pear Pizzazz ink for the leaves. One of my favorite techniques is making my own background paper by using one color of ink on the same color of cardstock. It gives a subtle pattern that looks lovely with coordinating focal images.

This card is one that I made for a demonstrator’s swap, using images and a sentiment from the Garden In Bloom set and dies from the Swirly Scribbles Thinlits:

A little ink sponging behind the die cut flower swirls makes this a quick card to reproduce. I used Peekaboo Peach, Blushing Bride, and Crumb Cake cardstock, plus Daffodil Delight, Blushing Bride, Old Olive and Chocolate Chip inks.

This next project is new to the blog, although I have made a lot of Post-It Note holders lately! These are very fun to make and use:

This is constructed with some new In Color products; Fresh Florals DSP, Fresh Fig cardstock and ink, and Berry Burst cardstock and Crinkled Seam Binding Ribbon. I also used my set of Layering Circles Framelits and a little bird from the Birds & Blooms Thinlits. The sentiment is from the Label Me Pretty stamp set.

This tealight candle holder is made with another new In Color, Tranquil Tide:

I love the Eastern Medallion Thinlits used here; so many in this set would be perfect for these tealight holders as well as for cards and other projects. I used a Fresh Fig Mini Tassel and some 1/8″ Gold Ribbon on the side. The cut panels are covered on the back with squares of Vellum cardstock attached with Mini Glue Dots – perfect for letting a soft glow of light through the die cut designs!

And finally, here is a scrapbook page dedicated to my mother, Jean and my daughter, Anne:

I’ve used a color scheme of Pink Pirouette, Berry Burst and Basic Black, with lettering from the Labeler Alphabet stamp set, a sentiment from the Colorful Seasons stamp set, the Layering Ovals Framelits and leaf images and scallop from the Seasonal Layers Thinlits dies.

“May all your tomorrows be as happy as today” – a wonderful thought and a wish for all of my stamping friends!




Garden Gazing through the Window

By | June 27, 2017

The Jar of Love photopolymer stamp set has an amazing 37 stamps to mix and match! When it came out in last year’s catalog I remarked that this set could keep you creating for a long time with all of those images to pick from. So, now that we have some new In Colors to play with, I decided to give my Jar of Love stamps a try again, this time with a garden window motif:

Window Garden front

One of our perennial favorites, Rose Red, provides a wonderful complement to the two new In Colors, Powder Pink and Fresh Fig.

Another standby, Old Olive, is the perfect green to go with these shades of pink.

Window Garden side

All of the stamp images, from the flowers and sentiment, to the hearts and the bow, are part of the Jar of Love photopolymer set. I used two dies sets; the Everyday Jar Framelits that coordinate with the stamp set, and the Hearth & Home Thinlits for the window and sill. And look at that background made with the Hexagons embossing folder; this is one of the new 3-D Dynamic Textured Impressions style with deeper embossing power. I love how this industrial-style can go soft and feminine with the right color of cardstock!

Here are the supplies that I used to make my Garden Window card. Click on any picture to read more (the current Hostess Code is 9EUM7XB2):

Price: $110.00

While we’re on the subject of new flowers and new In Colors, here is a card that I received in a recent swap with other demonstrators in my Stampin’ Up! group:

Swap by Vicky

Vicky used the new Berry Burst In Color cardstock, ribbon and the Color Theory Designer Series Paper that peeks out behind the punched Daisy image. This punch was so popular at the beginning of the month that it went on backorder – but we have a new stock of them now!

Flower stamps, Thinlits dies and punches are some of the most fun to work with; do you have a favorite?




Easy Layout for June Celebrations

By | June 21, 2017

I posted the card that I made for my dad for Father’s Day last time; today I want to show you the simple layout that I used for Reggie’s Father’s Day card:

Guy Greetings and Suite Sentiments (retired) stamp sets, Ruffled Dynamic Textured Embossing Folder.

The thing my husband loves best is baseball – “America’s Pastime!” So, I made this card with a simple layout of embossed cardstock background and a baseball focal element at the top left-hand corner. Although I used a retired stamp from the Suite Sentiments set (Best… Ever.) I stamped the word “husband” from Guy Greetings, cut it out and applied it on top of the other greeting. I stamped the “World’s Greatest” on Smoky Slate cardstock and cut out the banner with my Paper Snips. And what do you think of the embossing on the Real Red cardstock? Ruffles can be feminine, but look how great they work on this card to give the look of movement with the baseball motif!

Tip: You can easily make a baseball image by cutting out a Whisper White circle from the Layering Circles Thinlits (I used the 1 7/8″ size for this card.) Then, with a Real Red Stampin’ Write Marker, just draw the lines and stitches onto the circle! I also sponged a little Smoky Slate ink all around the sphere for dimension. And here’s something I’ll bet you didn’t know – there are 108 stitches on a baseball!

We are lucky to live close enough to enjoy some Sacramento Rivercats’ baseball every season – AAA affiliates of the San Francisco Giants!

Now here is another card that I made for a celebration this year – nephew Joe’s graduation from the University of Vermont with an BS in Computer Science:

(Retired products used: Blue Ribbon stamp set, Lucky Stars Embossing Folder. Gold Satin Ribbon.)

I didn’t realize at first that these two cards were made with virtually the same layout – an embossed cardstock background with a focal point in the top left-hand corner. But it works in Emerald Envy/Night of Navy as well as Real Red/Basic Black! And it is quick and easy when you need a card fast!

Here are the current products that I used on Reggie’s Best Husband Ever card. Click on any picture to read more or to order online with Code HGHWSG7J:




Happy Father’s Day!

By | June 19, 2017

My sister and I are very lucky that we ended up with such a nice dad, and that he is still here with us so we can wish him a “Happy Father’s Day!”

Happy Father's Day!

My dad, Vernon Krause, my Sister Karla, and her new puppy Riley.

The card that I made for him this year was a hybrid; I have a stash of older cards that I’ve made or swapped for in years’ past, and this card started out as another card that I had made, maybe 15 years ago. It was a nice enough card, but what I made then and what I make now are two different things! So, I took the rather plain card, cut it apart and used the front of it, including the ribbon, the leaves and the gold embossed sentiment. I then attached that smaller panel onto the front of a new card base with Designer Series Paper on the background, and I die cut a bird from Birds & Blooms Thinlits to attach to the front of the card as a focal point:

Happy Father's Day!

Chocolate Chip and Old Olive cardstock, Gold Stampin’ Emboss Powder, Birds & Blooms Thinlits.

Have you ever given your dad a gift of flowers? My sister Karla and I both did on Father’s Day; men like flowers too!

Guy Greetings and Best Birds Photopolymer Stamp sets, Chocolate Chip ink.

As I mentioned, this card was started years ago and so it has some older stamped images on it along with the current ones. Here is a list of the things that are still available:

Supply List

 I hope you were able to celebrate with your dad this Father’s Day, or remember him with love in a special way!

Wish I Could Be… Under the Sea

By | June 15, 2017

We have several SU! colors with names and shades reminiscent of the ocean, Bermuda Bay and the new In Color Tranquil Tide being two of them. Using them together is a double delight because they evoke the peace and calm of a seaside scene, and another new In Color, Lemon Lime Twist,  is the perfect bright complement to these two!

Wouldn’t you agree?

I enjoyed the card swap that I attended a few days ago with my Stampin’ Up! group, and I wanted to be sure and show you a card that I made, designed by one of the other demonstrators:

Wish I Could Be... Under the Sea

Magical Mermaid (144017) is one of the new stamp sets in the catalog, and as you can see, a little Melon Mambo doesn’t hurt, either! Our friend had these mermaid gals stamped for us in Basic Black Archival ink on watercolor paper, and it was fun to fill in the color with Aqua Painters and ink from the stamp pads. Tip: Press the lid in with your thumbs a couple of times before opening your pad, and you will have a little patch of ink on the inside of the lid, perfect for watercoloring!

Wish I Could Be... Under the Sea

We made this Eastern Beauty card at a recent stamp class!

This card of mine is stamped with the new Eastern Beauty photopolymer stamp set, with the coordinating Eastern Medallions Thinlits (Available as a bundle -145348.) I know it looks very similar to a card that I already shared (with a peacock feather on it!) But when I prepared the materials for my class to make it, I decided to stamp right on the 3-D lotus flower as well as on the strip of Eastern Palace Specialty Designer Series Paper. I liked being able to take this up a notch with extra stamping, and my friends loved it too! I used the new Oh My Stars embossing folder (142710) on the background panel of Tranquil Tide cardstock.

Here are some of the supplies that were used on both of these cards; click on any picture to see more or to order online (and be sure to use the current Code H6HWSG7J):

Do you know some of the other “ocean” or water-inspired colors that we have in our catalog? See the answers below!

Wish I Could Be... Under the Sea

(Answers: Island Indigo, Pacific Point, Calypso Coral, Marina Mist and Pool Party)

Stampin’ It Up With My Friends!

By | June 12, 2017

This weekend the Stampin’ Up! demonstrators in my group got together for a Shoebox Swap. This is where we each design a card and then bring all the supplies for our friends to make their own copy of it!

Stampin' It Up With My Friends!

Valory Degree, Ann Clemmer and Susan Anderson from the 24/7 Stampers group.

We do have a friendly competition with this; you can see in the background the board where we all clip a sample of our cards, then we vote for our favorite. I usually don’t try to be the “winner” with this, though; when we get together and stamp, we might have 15 or 20 demonstrators together, making each other’s cards in the allotted time! This can be a challenge, so I usually try to make a card that will be simple enough to reproduce quickly. Here is the card I designed:

Stampin' It Up With My Friends!

The new Label Me Pretty stamp set, Pretty Punch, and 2017-2019 In Color, Tranquil Tide.

We always have the cardstock cut and scored to size, leaving only the stamping, embossing and assembly to do. Sometimes we help out by having some of the stamping done ahead of time, too; on this card I stamped and punched out the sentiment circle beforehand to save a little time.

Here is the color scheme for this You’re The Best thank you swap card:

It’s always nice to have a few color combo ideas to start with when working with the new In Colors for the first time!

After I made the swap card, I still had some of the supplies sitting on my work table, so I designed another card with similar colors:

Stampin' It Up With My Friends!

Eastern Beauty set, Hearth & Home and Detailed Dragonfly dies, Layered Leaves Embossing Folder.

The addition of Cajun Craze is a good complement to this card:

Another combination for the new Tranquil Tide In Color!

Here are the supplies that I used to make both cards; click on any picture for more information or to order online with Code H6HWSG7J:

Price: $110.00

What do you think of Tranquil Tide? What other color combinations could you use with this new In Color?

Representing Idealized Love

By | June 11, 2017

I’ve had a few commissioned projects in the past couple of months, and today’s extra large card is the latest! My friend Karlyn will be teaching a lesson today for the women’s group at church on the topic of marriage. She asked me to make a card that would represent the ideal of love, the kind that we all dream of and expect when we first marry, before the challenges of life set in (and things settle into a more realistic version of what love is!)

Representing Idealized Love

My friend had some specific elements that she wanted on this card, and I showed her step-by-step what I was doing. She liked these die cut hearts from the Bloomin’ Heart Thinlits set, and although they look nice in solid red like this, I suggested that we decorated them with some gold embossed flowers:

Representing Idealized Love

The flat spots on the heart die cuts are designed to be embellished with these large and small flower stamps and dies.

Representing Idealized Love

Here is the completed card, with the word “love” die cut in Gold Glimmer Paper, and some understated dry embossing on the white background.

Representing Idealized Love

Here is a another view of the background embossing. Karlyn wanted a very large card, 9 inches tall, but I didn’t have an embossing folder in that size. So, I embossed several images onto another sheet of Whisper White cardstock, then cut out the designs with my sharp little Paper Snips. I carefully glued the designs onto the card front as shown. Necessity is the Mother of Invention, as they say!

Although the embossing folder and the sentiment die cut are retired Stampin’ Up! products, several of the other supplies that I used on my Ideal Love card are available in the latest catalog! Click on any picture to read more, or to order online:

Have you ever made a very large card like this? This was my first, and I was happy with the result!