This week, the CAS-ual Fridays challenge was to create a square card.

I stamped the Lawn Fawn “My Cup of Tea” steam stamp on a kraft tag with Versamark ink and heat embossed it with clear powder to create a bit of texture on the card. In order to get the tea bag into the cup, I had to create a mask for both the tea bag and the cup. It took several tries to get the masked image to work out!



Supplies: Lawn Fawn My Cup of Tea stamp set; Stampin’ Up + Neenah cardstock; Ranger Archival ink; Versamark ink; Hero Arts white embossing powder; Ranger clear embossing powder; October Afternoon button; May Arts twine; Spellbinders circle die; MFT tag die

Bear Hugs

Our youngest son left to go back to college at the beginning of this week. Our oldest leaves in September (his school is on the quarter system, so they start later and get out later than schools on the semester system) – we’re not in full “empty nest” mode yet.

I had my youngest son in mind when I created a card for the Retrosketches #24 sketch challenge.

I set out to create a masculine-looking card in fall colors. I paired camping-themed papers from American Crafts with dry-embossed brown cardstock. It was my first time using the A Muse Studio impression plate. In fact, it was the first time I’ve ever used an impression plate. (I have several embossing folders that I use on a regular basis). I tried several Big Shot sandwich formulas before finding one that worked. I sanded the paper after embossing it to bring out the woodgrain.


Supplies: Paper Smooches Happy Camper stamp set; A Muse Studio impression plate; Papers: Echo Park; Stampin’ Up; Neenah; American Crafts; Fiskars punch; Spellbinders circle dies; Versamark ink; Stampin Up’ embossing powder

Neat and Tangled “Fresh Blooms”

This past weekend I had a chance to play with the Neat & Tangled “Fresh Blooms” stamp set. With the hint of fall in the air, I find myself turning more and more towards autumn colors in my paper crafting. I used a combination of Distress Inks – Wild Honey, Spiced Marmalade and a touch of Barn Door – to color the heat-embossed flowers. I’m already looking forward to using these blooms for some holiday-themed cards and projects.

Fresh Blooms

Supplies: Neat & Tangled Fresh Blooms stamps; Distress inks – Wild Honey, Spiced Marmalade, Barn Door, Peeled Paint, Shabby Shutters; Neenah cardstock; Stampin’ Up embossing powder

August in the PNW

While you may hear a lot about the rainy, Seattle weather, August is historically the “best” month weather-wise. For the most part, August brings warm and sunny days; it’s our only real “summer” month.

This past week we had family in town and took the opportunity to get out and about in Seattle and its environs.

Our first destination was a ferry trip to Bainbridge Island. Before the ferry departed, I took a photo of the new Seattle ferris wheel, technically called Seattle Great Wheel, which I mockingly call the Seattle Eye.


On Bainbridge, we toured The Bloedel Reserve, a 150-acre forest garden created by the son of a prominent lumber company owner. He and his wife lived in a French Chateau-style home, which had been built by the property’s previous owner. Unfortunately, I didn’t snap any interesting photos of the beautiful, immaculately-maintained gardens.


Our final stop was Kerry Park on the south slope of Queen Anne Hill. The park affords views of  Seattle, Elliott Bay, West Seattle, and Mount Rainier.


Neat & Tangled Release Week – Just Hello

The Just Hello stamp set is extremely versatile. For my first card, I took a chalk-on-chalkboard approach by white embossing the stamp set’s graphics and sentiments (in Danielle Walls’ adorable handwriting) onto black cardstock.
Supplies: Neat & Tangled Just Hello stamp set; black cardstock; Fancy Pants patterned paper; Bo Bunny paper (teal); Versamark ink; Hero Arts embossing powder; Basic Grey button; Divine twine

For my second Just Hello card, I created a square card with a similar set of colors. I happen to really like the turquoise, black and white color combination.


Supplies: Neat & Tangled Just Hello stamp set; Neenah cardstock (white); Hero Arts cardstock (turquoise); black cardstock; Versamark ink; Hero Arts embossing powder; MFT conversation die; Basic Grey button; Divine twine

Don’t forget to head over to the Neat & Tangled Blog to enter today’s giveaway – the winner will receive a Neat & Tangled stamp set of their choice. This week’s featured stamp sets will be available for purchase at the Neat & Tangled store tomorrow, Friday, August 10.

CAS-ual Fridays – On Cloud 9

This week the CAS-ual Fridays challenge is to create a Clean And Simple project featuring things you’d see in the sky.

My mind went wild imagining a variety of scenes from many different viewpoints. But alas, given that I needed to craft my image from stamps, there were some limitations! We had amazing weather this past weekend in the Pacific Northwest, and my husband and I took a long walk with our golden retriever on Whidbey Island. I snapped this photo of two evergreens against the clear sky as my inspiration for the challenge.


For my card, I white embossed the tree from the Lawn Fawn Critters in the Forest set a couple of times and colored the trees with distress inks. I white embossed the set’s dragonfly, (there are dozens of dragonflies buzzing around when the sun shines), colored the sky with distress ink, and then used markers to color the dragonfly.


Supplies: Lawn Fawn Say Cheese stamp set; Lawn Fawn Critters in the Forest stamp set; Sizzix embossing folder; Versamark ink; Hero Arts white embossing powder; Distress inks; Memento markers

Neat & Tangled Release Week

I’m so excited to be part of the design team for Neat & Tangled Stamps, featuring hand-drawn, heart-warming images and sentiments by Danielle Walls. The stamps are made from high-quality, clear photopolymer.

I had a lot of fun working with the Hey Cookie and Sweet Home stamp sets. I didn’t actually bake gingerbread as I prepared my cards, but I did buy gingerbread cookies to get into a holiday frame of mind!

For my first card, I envisioned a cup of hot cocoa and a peppermint stick with my color choices of cocoa brown, red and white. The white embossed images stand out crisply on the cardstock. I put a grommet through the top of the stamped house and added silver cord.


Supplies: Neat & Tangled Hey Cookie and Sweet Home stamp sets; Stampin’ Up cardstock; Versamark ink; Hero Arts white embossing powder; Making Memories grommet; silver cord

I enjoy paper piecing, and for my second card using the Sweet Home set, I created a scene primarily using Echo Park patterned papers. I love this house so much I want to move in!


Supplies: Neat & Tangled Sweet Home stamp set; Echo Park patterned paper; Stampin’ Up and Neenah cardstock; Versamark ink; Hero Arts white embossing powder; Hero Arts midtone ink; Distress ink; machine stitching

The Hey Cookie people are simply adorable. I stamped and embossed the pair onto cocoa cardstock and added them to a die cut tag. Those are Pepperidge Farm gingerbread people inside the box, wink.


Supplies: Neat & Tangled Hey Cookie stamp set; Echo Park patterned paper; MFT tag die; Stampin’ Up and Neenah cardstock; Versamark ink; Hero Arts white embossing powder; Hero Arts midtone ink; Doodlebug twine; Michaels treat box

Head over to the Neat & Tangled Blog to enter today’s giveaway – the winner will receive a Neat & Tangled stamp set of their choice. And be sure to visit there all week to see the rest of the releases, enter additional giveaways, as well as check out the inspiration from the design team and guest artists. This week’s featured stamp sets will be available for purchase at the Neat & Tangled store on Friday, August 10.

Simple Scrapper August Premium Membership Blog Hop

I particularly enjoyed scrapping with this month’s Simple Scrapper Premium Membership templates. I prefer to scrap seasonally, so I used photos and memories from previous summer vacations in my layouts. (We’re having a stay-vacation this year.)

For the single-photo template, I chose a photo from a 2003 vacation to Maui. We met up with photographer Rick Larsen in Kaanapali at sunset for a family photo shoot.


Supplies: Template from Simple Scrapper Premium Membership; Echo Park Paradise Beach; Everyday Storytelling: Summer by Kristin Cronin Barrow and Jenn Barrette (chevron paper); Katie Pertiet kraft; photo by Ric Larsen; Pacifico (title) and Futura (journaling)

With the two-photo template, I scrapped photos from a vacation to Martha’s Vineyard in 1999. To be honest, it’s hard for me to tell if these photos are from 1998 or 1999, but Paul happens to be wearing a hat in the photo that he received from my aunt in April 1999. Thank goodness for clothing clues!


Supplies: Template from Simple Scrapper Premium Membership; Pink Paislee; Designs by Dani; Echo Park; Katie Pertiet; Fonts: Lobster (title), Traveling Typewriter (journaling)

For the multi-photo template, I scrapped our tour of the Eiffel Tower in 2007. The photo of the tower worked well in the tall photo spot.


Supplies: Template from Simple Scrapper Premium Membership; Echo Park Note to Self; Patti Knox brads; Fonts: Gloucester MT (title) and Futura (journaling)

Check out the inspiration from the rest of the Simple Scrapper Design Team and be sure to enter this month’s giveaway for a one-month trial subscription to Simple Scrapper.

Julie Aldridge
Sue Althouse
Lisa Corbin-Polak
Ronnie Crowley
Jess Forster
Michele Holcomb
Margrethe Aas Johnsen
Aimee Maddern
Valerie Mangan
Amy Kingsford
Pam Lozano
Kat Tankersley

The Premium Membership at Simple Scrapper provides skills and shortcuts to help you simplify and find more meaning in your memory keeping.

Simple Scrapper August Challenge

This month the Simple Scrapper Challenge is to create a layout using a 3×3 grid, based on the sketch below. There’s a link at Simple Scrapper for a free digital template.

I scrapped photos from a 1998 vacation to Tortola primarily using the Echo Park Paradise Beach digital kit, along with elements from assorted Echo Park kits and a custom-blend of Katie Pertiet’s kraft papers. I haven’t done much scrapping using bits and bobs or a miscellany of items. It was fun to work on each square individually while at the same time take into consideration the whole picture.



CAS-ual Fridays Challenge #63

This week the CAS-ual Friday challenge is to create a Clean And Simple project using the colors-lime, aqua & navy.

I almost always enjoy color challenges and had some time to take two different approaches with my submissions.

The first uses one of my favorite Paper Smooches sets – “Reflections.”


Supplies: Paper Smooches Reflections; Paper Smooches Simply Said; Memento + Archival inks

My second approach was a happy accident. I don’t own a nesting star die set; I own a Sizzix set that has four stars on one block. It took some finagling to position the banner strip in just the right place on the star die. I had planned to adhere the three banner strips to the card and have the negative space be empty. In other words, the stars would be the white of the cardstock underneath. But when I saw that the punched stars could be put back into the banner die strips, I decided I liked that idea better.


Supplies: Echo Park papers; Paper Smooches Simply Said; MFT banner die; Sizzix star die; Memento ink