Tranquil Tulips

One of the great advantages of being the hostess of a workshop or party is that you can then select any of the “hostess only” stamp sets listed in the back of the catalog as part of your FREE Stampin’ Rewards. Today’s card was made using the hostess set Tranquil Tulips and was inspired by a gift box from demonstrator Erica Cerwin.

The tulips are 2-step, meaning you use two different stamps to create the image. The first stamp, the bottom part of the tulip, was stamped with Pumpkin Pie ink. Then the second stamp was stamped over it with Peekaboo Peach ink. I find it is much easier to line the images up if you stamp the darker image first. I fussy cut two of the tulips and popped the larger one up with a Dimensional. The polka dot designer series paper is retired paper I was trying to use up but there is other black and white papers available (check out the Holiday Catalog). The sentiment is from Wood Words. I was sad when our seam binding retired and now we have an even prettier new seam binding in this years catalog. It makes the best bows and mails easily. 

Here is the inside of the card:

I love to use a coordinating mat giving layers to a card however it does use more paper so I just used narrow strips of Peekaboo Peach to give the illusion of the designer series paper and the white cardstock being matted.


Holiday Catalog Live Today

This years Holiday Catalog is packed with great products and lots of fun and creativity. If you don’t have one yet be sure to let me know. I would be happy to get one to you.

Paper Pumpkin – 50% off – only 10 more days to take advantage.

Don’t forget the Paper Pumpkin 50% off special on the first kit for new subscribers. You have until September 10th to take advantage of this offer. It’s the best time to give it a try. You can cancel it at any time. Just use the code HALFOFF0917 when you sign up.

Hostess Code: 6QAFF3YY for online orders that are less than $150. 


I hope you had a great day. Mine was good up until the dentist told me I needed to have a crown! 

Have a great weekend and a happy and safe Labor Day







Paper Pumpkin 50% Off!

If you have never tried Paper Pumpkin before then here's a deal for you! Until September 10th new subscribers can get their first kit half off. That's certainly worth giving this a try and you can cancel it at any time.

Here's the details. Each month, your kit includes a stamp set and one or two stamp spots. Stamp Spots are small ink pads in official Stampin' Up colors. These alone are worth the money! And it's a way to build up your ink colors. I love the small ink spots because they are small and easy to take with you when you plan on stamping away from home. Your kit will also contain everything you need to make that month's projects except some glue or adhesive. The best part is that with each kit you get stamps which you can use over and over. Your first kit also comes with an acrylic block. After the first kit at 50% off you will receive each upcoming month's kit for $19.95 plus tax (shipping is free).

Here are the kits from the last few months:

Some kits may make 8 cards while other kits like the one above had a combination of cards and gift bags. Because this subscription comes to you as a surprise, and who doesn't love a surprise, you may not like the product one month (highly unlikely) so when that happens you just check out the Paper Pumpkin Pinterest posts where you will find so many alternate ideas using the products in that month's kit. I like to go there even when I am loving the designs in the kit just to see what others have done with it.

How do you sign up? There is a link on the lft side of the blog or you can go to to sign up. There will be a place to enter my name as your demonstrator. Remember that you must subscribe by the end of the day September 10th to get this special and use the code HALFOFF0917.


Fall Pull Up Card

With temperatures soaring up into the 90's it's a bit hard to think about Fall and Christmas but having the new Holiday Catalog makes it easier. If you don't have the new catalog and want one be sure to let me know. You will just have to wait to order from it until September 1st.

For this card I combined Colorful Seasons stamp set and coordinating framelits from the annual catalog with sentiments from Painted Harvest stamp set and the Painted Autumn Designer Series Paper from the Holiday Catalog. I got the directions for this pull up card from demonstrator Lyssa Zwolenek. You can see her card and directions here.

When you open the card the inside piece of vanilla card stock pulls upwards.

The card base is retired Kraft 12×12 paper. I should have double checked the catalog before making the card because I thought it was still available. sad However, we do have Vanilla 12×12 paper which is the size you need to make this card and I believe the card would be just as pretty on a vanilla card stock base.

Animal Friends Birthday

I have to admint when I first saw the BIrthday Delivery stamp set and coodinating product I wasn't too wowed by it. I immediately thought I won't buy this one. But it only took seeing some samples at the last On Stage event and realizing that some of the images in the Birthday Memories DSP could be cut out with the Birthday Friends framelits and I had to have it. This has become one of my favorites in the annual catalog and I have used it to make several cards. This card below has very little stamping as most of it is done with the DSP.

The grass, the animals, and the balloons are all cut from DSP.

This is the inside of the card.

So you see that the only stamping is actually the sentiment. A very easy card if you don't mind doing some fussy cutting. I know some of my friends and stampers don't like to have to cut things out by hand but I find it relaxing, especially if I am watching TV.


Did you watch the eclipse today? I didn't have any of the special glasses to view it outside so I watched live on TV. It was especially cool because my friend, and upline, Catherine Harwood's husband, who I have known for years, is a news reporter for CBS news and he was in Carbondale today reporting on the eclipse. It was amazing to see how dark it got in the locations with the total eclipse. Here in FL we only had about an 80% eclipse and it got just a tad bit darker out. I know because I was fussy cutting some DSP for another project and all of a sudden I couldn't see what I was cutting very well.

I thought you might enjoy some of my adult kids humor today.


My youngest son's dog, Pepper, ready for the eclipse. (No, he didn't take his dog outside)

Hope you had a great day.

An Amazing Trip – Part 3, Amsterdam

The final leg of this amazing vacation was two days in Amsterdam. Our first night was on the ship and then we transferred to a hotel.

I had been warned by friends to be very aware of the bicyclists and they were so right. This city has 800,000 people and 1.6 million bicycles. They are everywhere!

One of our tour guides said that a car will stop to let you by but a cicylist will run you over. I didn't find any rude cicylists however you really did need to watch out for them. What I noticed is that there were very few expensive bikes. Most were very old. That's because they often are stolen so people don't want to pay a lot for a bike. The guide said they often pay more for a bike lock than for the bike.

This photo is a little blurry but I wanted to show the bike box, used for transporting children.

We started our first morning with a canal boat ride around the city.

This is a car that is available for a very small fee to the disabled. Very small and it seemed more like a toy car than a real car.

One of our tours included a diamond house where we learned all about diamonds, how they are cut and what determines their worth. It was especially interesting because my friends father was a diamond setter in NYC.

Then they brought out trays full of diamond which were passed around for us to try on. When I travel I have some fake jewelry I wear instead of taking my good rings. So in the bottom right photo I have on my fake $30 ring along with a $3000 ring. Can you tell which is which?

We were told by friends to be sure to see the red light district so we signed up for a tour with a guide and I am so glad we had the guide. The tour was at 9 PM and the streets were very crowded. I knew ahead of time that there were prostitutes in windows but was still a bit shocked. Prostitution is legal in Amsterdam and the women have to be licensed. They rent space in this district and have a small area with a large window where they sit or stand waiting for a customer. Of course they were appropriately covered in the right places. Photos were strictly forbidden and I would have been too embarrassed to take one anyway. The other thing interesting on this tour was the strong smell of marajuana in the streets. That's because it's also legal. If you want to buy it or hash you go to a "coffee" shop. If you want a cup of coffee you go to a "cafe".

One of my favorite tours from this whole trip was the Anne Frank tour. This was a private tour and full of history. We started with seeing where she lived with her family prior to going into hiding. That's the top right photo and their apartment was the one on the third floor with the open window. The brass plates are set into the sidewalk in front of her home. These are called Stumbling Stones and mark the last known place a person from the Holocaust freely lived. They have been placed in numerous European cities. A person's name and dates of birth, deportation and death, if known, are engraved into the brass plate.

We next walked to the school where Anne Frank and her sister attended. It is still a school today. I love how they painted the side of the school with excerpts of her diary in her handwriting.

From the school we walked to the bookstore where her father bought the diary that Anne Frank used while she was in hiding. He gave it to her for her 13th birthday and the cover of it was the red plaid in the bottom photo. This was such an interesting bookstore, very old, quaint, with lots of narrow aisles and nooks. Of course we both bought a book there.

This was the end of our vacation. We flew home from Amsterdam after spending 13 wonderful days in France, Germany, and Amsterdam. I was more worried about the long flghts but they actually were not bad. The longest leg of the trip was about 8 hours with a connection in Detroit and then another few hours to get back to FL. I watched five movies! It made the time go by faster and I got to see several I had been wanting to see. I had heard that coming back was harder than going over and what I experienced was two days of doing a lot of sleeping. I just couldn't seem to stay awake. But now I am back to my normal and doing some stamping and excited that the new Holiday catalog is coming out with some really great products.




An Amazing Trip – Part 2, Germany

After our 4 days in Paris we boarded a high speed train towards Luxembourg and the beginning of the river cruise portion of of trip. 

Champaigne greeted us as we got on board.

There were only 104 passengers on this cruise so not crowded and by the end of the trip everyone knew each other well and the crew knew everyone also.

We cruised up the Mosel river which is beautifuly lined with vineyards. Some of them were planted on steep inclines and the rows were always perfectly straight. The grapes are harvested by hand. It looks like a lot of hard work.

All along the river were beautiful swans.

Berncastle, Germany – my favorite little village.

The house in the bottom left shows how so many were built with a smaller ground floor then getting bigger as they go upwards. This is because taxes use to be determined by the size of the ground floor.

Cochem, Germany – Reichsburg Castle

Once we left the Mosel River and made it onto the Rhine River the quaint villages were replaced with larger, more modern looking buildings. Expect for the many castles along the river.

Cologne, Germany

This cathedral is one of the only surviving buildings from the bombings during the war. All around it was destroyed however the cathedral remained intact.

The visit to Cologne also included a Jewish Heritage Walking tour and the Documentation Center. This building contained several very small cells where people were held prior to being sent to the deportation center and concentration camps. Many cells had messages and calendars written on the walls. The cells often held up to 30 people.

And just a few random photos ….

So many bakeries and outdoor markets. And right next to this market was a McDonalds. No contest which one I would choose.

Being a medical technologist I just had to take a picture in front of this lab.

The food was incredible onboard the ship.

Thanks for stopping by and check back later for part 3 of my amazing trip.


An Amazing Trip – Part 1, Paris

I just returned from the trip of a lifetime. I spent two weeks in Europe on an Avalon River Cruise. A year ago I started talking to my friend, Alice, about going on a river cruise and it seemed like the day would never get here and then quickly it was over. Our trip started with four days in Paris. I loved Paris. We mastered the Metro quickly and found it very easy to get around. We had tours set up in advance to see the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Versailles, and Notre Dame.

The blinking lights of the Eiffel Tower didn't occur until 10:00 PM because it doesn't get dark until about then and they blink for about 5 minutes and then quit. It was worth the extra metro ride to get there to see it.

My favorite tour was the Palace of Versailles. This is the Hall of Mirrors.

The King's chambers. His bed was quite short and he slept sitting up.

The Louvre, my least favorite tour of the trip. It was so crowded, hot and overwhelming. But I was determined to see the Mona Lisa.

And there she is in the background. It was almost impossible to get this photo and I was in the middle of a huge crowd of people.

Winged Victory

I survived the Louvre!

Oh la la! These sunglasses were a mere $550. No, I didn't get them!

Arch de Triumphe

Notre Dame Cathedral

Paris was very crowded even though it was the time of year locals were away on holiday. I was surprised at how many people there smoked especially seeing that they tend to eat healthier than we do in the US. And because of that we finally gave up on eating in the quaint outdoor cafes because you were surrounded by smoke.

Check back later for the next leg of our trip,

Hello August

This is from the CD calendar which is an annual class I do each year. The stamp  set is Seaside Shore and the coral was made using the tree die from Thoughtful Branches framelits.

I can hardly believe it is August already. This year is just whizzing by and schools will begin again shortly.