Category Archives: Rubber Stamping/Paper Crafting

Craft Room with a View

After almost 15 years in my large stamp area, I have downsized my work area (and many supplies!) to create a [stamp] room with a view!27913165782_75731d6508_k








My old, basement stamp area

My old, basement stamp area

My previous stamp room was about half of our home’s basement office.  I had a lot more storage above and below my work table.  But after struggling to find stamping motivation for well over five years, I began to suspect that what I really needed was a stamp area with natural light.  With three kids age 15 and under, none of our four bedrooms were going to be available anytime soon.  The only space left with a nearby window was our south facing dining room.

My plan for my new work area was to create a space that could easily be moved out of the way when we wanted to use the dining room for entertaining.  I selected only my favorite stamps and supplies, and set up six shelf storage cubes in a corner.  Then I used a folding table in front of the window so that I can fold my work table and set it against the wall under the window when needed.  I added a rolling cart of drawers for extra storage that can be rolled into the corner when packing up.  I am able to convert my area in about 5 minutes from stamping work space to packed up and out of the way!

I gave away many extra stamps and supplies to my stamping friends (if it doesn’t spark joy, set it free! ~ KonMari), but I wasn’t able to give away all my extra stamps yet.  So I’ve stored extras in the basement such as off-season stamps, and sets I don’t use often.

Since my work space is viewable from our front hallway, I reserved a storage shelf for a box that works as a drawer for holding works in progress out of sight between crafting sessions.



Another view of my stamping area shows the work table in front of the window, rolling cart of drawers off the left of the photo, white cube shelves to the left with paper storage and a display board above, ink pads stored in a former audio cassette shelf to the left of the window.  I have since added a small white table lamp (from Target) for my work table for extra light when needed.

It surprises me how many supplies I can fit in such a small area and that I can work very happily with a greatly reduced selection of paper, stamps and tools.  I am beginning to believe that having fewer supplies actually increases my creative inspiration as there are fewer choices and distractions.

I still have less time to stamp than I’d like, but when I do have time I look forward to creative time at my table by a window!

Fiskars Warranty

I was very happy with Fiskars’ customer service recently, so I wanted to give them a plug and let other’s know about their great product warranty.

I have a Fiskars paper trimmer that I really like (compact, lightweight, extending arm, wire cutting guide, better for cutting small pieces of paper than my full size paper cutter).  The guide wire had started to unravel which was causing the trimmer blade to get stuck and the wire ends were sharp.  I wasn’t able to find a replacement wire in stores or online so I contacted Fiskars about their warranty.  They promptly agreed to send me a replacement ruler arm including new wire, which arrived in a week at no cost!  Being someone who hates to generate trash when not absolutely necessary (“tree hugger” my husband and 15 year old daughter suggested) I was very happy to be able to replace the wire and not have to throw away the entire trimmer, not to mention saving money!

Several years ago I had a Fiskars border punch on which the handle broke.  Because of their Full Lifetime Warranty, they sent me a new punch at no cost.  I think I only needed to email them a photo of the broken punch.


Great products and great customer service!

Butterfly Border Punch Gate Card

Butterfly Border Punch Gate Card

I designed this card using the Martha Stewart Monarch Butterflies Trim punch.  It is a gate card meaning that it opens in the center.

The blue card stock and the ink for the vertical Happy Birthday rubber stamp on the right is Stampin’ Up! Bliss Blue.  Floral decorative paper is attached to the inside of the left front flap of the gate card.  Light green ribbon is tied to the left side fold and tied with a bow.


  • 5.5 x 8.5″ solid colored card stock
  • 4.25 x 5.5″ decorative paper
  • Martha Stewart Monarch Butterflies Trim border punch or similar border punch
  • Scoring tool
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Adhesive


  1. Start with an 5.5 x 8.5″ piece of solid colored card stock.
  2. Holding the card stock horizontally (5.5″ ends at the sides) , mark it with a pencil 1/4″ from the top on the left and right.
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    Step 3 – Pencil mark lined up along left edge of punch

    Hold the butterfly border punch upside down and place the right hand side of the card stock in the punch.  You should be able to see the pencil mark from the previous step in the punch window so that you can line it up along the right edge of the punch.

  4. Turn the punch right side up and punch a second time using the punching guide images on the top of the punch.
  5. Repeat the previous two steps on the left side of the card.  This time with the punch upside down, the pencil mark will line up along the left edge of the punch.  Punch the second time on the same side using the punching guide images.
  6. Holding the card stock horizontally (5.5″ ends at the sides) with the pencil mark side up, score at 2 1/8″ from the left and again 2 1/8″ from the right.  (A score board works very well for this.  This Martha Stewart score board is my favorite since it can score at 1/8″ increments all the way across and it’s 12×12″ for larger card stock.)
  7. Fold the card on the two score marks.
  8. Trim the top and bottom edges on both sides that were not cut by the border punch.
  9. Add a 4.25 x 5.5″ piece of coordinating colored decorative paper inside the card with adhesive inside the left front flap the the gate card.
  10. Finish by decorating as you like.

This card can be adapted for use with different border punches by calculating how much border to leave at the top and bottom of each side before punching, depending on the width of the punched design.

Simple Birthday Cards

Back in December, I challenged myself to make more simple cards in the coming new year.  I have to admit that it’s been hard for me to feel that simple cards are good enough, so I haven’t attempted to make simple cards in awhile.  Then I also got distracted with the (really cool!) Cards in a Box which are decidedly Not Simple.

But this past week, I needed six birthday cards for family and friends, and I had limited time.  So again I challenged myself to make simple cards.  It was difficult to make the cards work to my satisfaction, but in the end, I was very happy with the overall results!  It also made me very happy that I made more than four of the cards in just over two hours, where as it normally takes me two hours to make just one non-simple card!

What I have learned so far about simple cards:

  • paper with a texture or fibers embedded (such as the confetti card stock) adds a lot of interest to a simple card.
  • A great image can stand on it’s on with just a touch of color if it’s an outline stamp.
  • Humor can add an extra element to a simple card, such as a funny image, or text (see the Boynton cow below where I wrote inside “Have an udderly fabulous birthday!”)

Boynton Birthday Cat Card


Boynton Birthday Cow Card (I wrote inside, “Have an Udderly Fabulous Birthday!”)


Silhouette Flower Cards


Sailboat Masculine Card


Pink and White Cake Card (Thanks to Iris for the layout idea!)



Boynton Birthday Cat Card
RS – Kidstamps Boynton birthday cat
SU Teeny Tiny Wishes set Just For You
Card Stock – White confetti cardstock
Ink – Stampin’ Up! Cool Carribean
Accessories – aqua grosgrain ribbon,
Sanford Prismacolor Pencils

Boynton Birthday Cow Card
RS – Kidstamps Boynton birthday cow
SU Teeny Tiny Wishes set happy birthday
Card Stock – White confetti cardstock
Ink – Stampin’ Up! Taken With Teal
Accessories – Wildberry ribbon (Michael’s),
Sanford Prismacolor Pencils

Silhouette Flower Cards
RS – Just For Fun silhouette wild flowers with Queen Anne’s Lace and A Muse Queen Anne’s Lace,
Seaside Stampin’ Ink Happy B-day Calligraphy
Card Stock – Stampin’ Up! Daffodil Delight, Bashful Blue
Ink – Stampin’ Up! Taken With Teal
Accessories – Black satin ribbon

Sailboat Masculine Card
RS – Stampin’ Up! Simply Summer sailboat,
Stampin’ Up! Small Script set Wish
Card Stock – Stampin’ Up! Cool Carribean
Ink – Stampin’ Up! Bermuda Bay
Accessories – Teal ribbon tied with square knot

Pink and White Cake Card
RS – Paper Salon cake, Hero Arts Happy Birthday
Card Stock – white
Ink – Stampin’ Up! Melon Mambo
Accessories – Bright pink ribbon,
Stampin’ Up! Sizzix Designer Frames Oval embossing folder

Seashell Card in a Box


My family just celebrated Father’s Day with my parents yesterday. Since I had made a card in a box for my “special mom” it only seemed reasonable to make a card in a box for my “special dad” as well. 🙂 Once I make a card in a box for each of my three kids’ birthdays (already past!! But better late than never.) I can take a break to make some simpler cards.

A box with an arrangement of seashells seemed like a better choice for a dad than flowers and is also apropos since we visit the beach with my parents each summer. This card is a fun start to summer!

Second Generation Stamping
The gray ink is noted below as “2nd gen.”  This means that after I inked the stamp, I stamped lightly on scrap paper then stamped on the card stock. This makes the ink lighter so that it’s a softer gray.

Card Stock – Stampin’ Up! Bashful blue, blush blossom, sage shadow
Ink – Stampin’ Up! Close to Cocoa, Chocolate Chip, Going Gray (2nd gen), Brocade Blue
Leaves- Sizzix little leaves, bird punch branch
SU Modern Label punch
RS – PSX wentletrap shell (on blush blossom) F-1448,
PSX olive shell E-1450,
Inkadinkado seahorse,
Inkadinkado sand dollar,
Seaside Stampin’ Ink Soaring Gull Left D-234,
SU Teeny Tiny Wishes set Happy Father’s Day

Mother’s Day Cards in a Box

UntitledMother’s Day for two extra special mothers calls for extra special cards.  When a friend showed me the Card in a Box I knew I’d found just the thing.

These amazing cards are a three dimensional box full of flowers (or other items) which fold flat for mailing.


The Serene Stamper has a good sample card and instructions linked on Pinterest that I used, including a helpful video tutorial.



Purple Card Supplies:
Rubber Stamps – Stampin’ Up! Delight in Life (large flowers, small purple flowers and leaves from flower petals), SU Punch Potpourri triple flower (small flowers); All Night Media greetings set Happy Mother’s Day;
Cardstock – Stampin’ Up! Lovely Lilac, Certainly Celery, Barely Banana, Almost Amethyst;
Inks – Stampin’ Up! Lovely Lilac, Lavender Lace, So Saffron, Certainly Celery;
Accessories – Spellbinders Nestabilities Scalloped Oval (stamped with Happy Mother’s Day), Stampin’ Up! Bird Punch (leaf branch), Stampin’ Up! Three flower punch (small flowers on flaps), Martha Stewart large Monarch butterfly punch

Red Card Supplies:
Rubber Stamps – Stampin’ Up! Delight in Life (large flowers and leaves from flower petals), SU Punch Potpourri triple flower; All Night Media greetings set Happy Mother’s Day;
Cardstock – Stampin’ Up! Pretty in Pink, Mellow Moss, Primrose Petals;
Inks – Stampin’ Up! Raspberry Ripple, So Saffron, Pretty in Pink, Mellow Moss;
Accessories – Spellbinders Nestabilities Scalloped Oval (stamped with Happy Mother’s Day), Stampin’ Up! Bird Punch (leaf branch), Stampin’ Up! three flower punch (small flowers on flaps), Martha Stewart large Monarch butterfly punch

Easter Greetings

Happy Easter and Happy Spring!


I started this card with the rabbit ribbon that I’ve had for more years than I want to admit. I combined that with this sweet bunny stamp. Finally I chose colors to coordinate with the ribbon.

Card stock: Stampin’ Up! Creamy Caramel, Pumpkin Pie and Very Vanilla
Rubber stamp: Inkadinkado bunny 97796
Ink: SU Close to Cocoa
Accessories: Spellbinders Nestabilities oval and Lacey ovals dies

Stamping Away From Home

Last fall I was very fortunate to be invited for a wonderful weekend at the beach by a very generous stamping friend (Thank you, Sue!!!).  Knowing that the plan was to do some stamping together, I gave some thought to the question of how to stamp away from home.

The challenge, of course, is to bring enough supplies to be productive, but not so many supplies that you require a U-Haul to transport them!  Here is the list of basic supplies that I recommend.

  • Compact paper trimmer such as Fiskars Portable Paper Trimmer, 12 Inch
  • Rubber stamp markers for inking stamps and coloring images
  • Black ink pad
  • Scissors
  • Adhesive of choice (I like Scotch Double Sided tape)
  • Rubber stamps
  • Stamp cleaning supplies (or make do with wet and dry paper towels)
  • Card stock
  • Storage case such as Iris 12×12″ Scrapbook Case (if you can get everything in a smaller case, even better!)

These items are fairly basic and obvious.  The real question that I struggle with is what stamps and card stock to bring.

One option is to choose a pack of decorative papers (DP), then bring card stock that coordinates, and one or two stamp sets to use with these.  Depending on space available, you may then want to bring ink pads to match the card stock chosen.  You could also do this without DP, just select one or two stamp sets, then choose three to five card stock colors to use with the stamp sets.

This still leaves me anxious that I’ll be making a card with these limited supplies and wish I had a certain die, punch, ribbon, etc.

Coloring Images

One option is to stamp images at home and just bring Copics, colored pencils (my favorites are Sanford Prismacolor), or another coloring medium of choice.  Coloring can be very relaxing and the colored images can be made into cards when you get home.

Card Kits

A great solution that was proposed by my recent hostess was that each of us design a card and create card kits for the other three stampers to make five of the same card.  We all then took turns assembling the card kits with each others’ supplies.

In addition to all the supplies needed to assemble the cards, we prepared our card kits by pre-cutting the card stock and DP needed and in some cases stamping the images for the cards so that everything could be packed more compactly. This reduced the need for large sheets of card stock, stamps, ink pads and stamp cleaner.  Finally each stamper brought her own adhesive of choice to use in assembling her card kits.

The card kits had several great advantages.

  • All the supplies needed to make the card were planned out ahead and provided.
  • Assembling the cards was really easy, so we were able to socialize at the same time.
  • We learned techniques from each other such as coloring with Copics and how to use a paper tearing tool.
  • Sometimes we made slight changes to the card design and the card designer gained new ideas.
  • We each went home with fifteen finished cards!

The card kit method worked great in a group, but it would also work well for an individual stamper.  Plan out one or more cards, then bring the supplies you’ll need to complete the cards.

I’m excited to try this idea for stamping while enjoying the beautiful weather from my porch as opposed to my windowless basement stamp room this summer.

I’m interested to hear other suggestions for stamping away from home.  How do you stamp away from home?

Happy Stamping!


The Simple Stamping Challenge

This post was originally on my previous blog December 2013.

I have challenged myself for the next year to create simple greeting cards.

Now this may sound odd since most people challenge themselves to do things that are harder or more advanced than they have done before.  But for me, this will be quite a challenge.

I have long admired rubber stampers and paper crafters who make very simple cards, such as the beautiful cards of Susan’s Simplicity blog.  But having made cards that usually have multiple layers of card stock and embellishments for over 18 years, it’s hard for me to feel that one layer cards are “good enough.”  I am also a member of a wonderful local rubber stamp club which I helped start and continue to coordinate.  So when I make cards for these ladies, I feel guilty giving a simple card.

Yet when I make a simple card, I often find much satisfaction with the result and especially enjoy the reduced anxiety over creating a “masterpiece.”  Furthermore, making a great clean and simple card can sometimes be more challenging than one that is elaborate since you have fewer elements to arrange in an artistically pleasing design.

With three kids aged almost 13 down to 6, time for stamping is limited and it’s my hope that removing the burden of creating a time consuming, elaborate card will help to fuel my creative inspiration.

So starting now, through this coming year, I give myself permission to make and give simple cards without guilt.  I hope to learn whether my family and friends will be just as enthusiastic about the simple cards as my elaborate cards of the past.  I also hope to discover whether making clean and simple cards helps me find my lost stamping mojo.  (More about finding inspiration in the future.)

I would very much enjoy hearing my readers’ thoughts on simple vs. elaborate cards.

I start my Year of Simplicity with the following cards.

Butterfly and Ferns Wish Card
Butterfly and Ferns Wish Card
Snowflakes Thank You Card
Snowflakes Thank You Card

Happy Stamping!


Butterfly and Ferns Wish Supplies: Natural card stock with fibers, Hero Arts Butterfly with Ferns stamp colored with Berol Spectracolor pencils (love these art pencils!), Stampin’ Up! wish stamp in Not Quite Navy ink, navy ribbon.

Snowflakes Thank You Supplies: Stampin‘ Up! Snowflakes in Baja Breeze ink and script thank you stamp in Not Quite Navy ink.

Christmas Stocking Tags

This post was originally on my previous blog December 2013.

Christmas Stocking TagsMy kids don’t always choose the same Christmas stockings each year, so I made stocking tags to help Santa.  The tags have a loop of ribbon on them so that they can be switched to a different stocking if needed.  I added the kids’ names to their tags after taking the photo.

Happy Stamping and Happy Holidays!


Supplies:  Each has a circle and scallop circle made with Spellbinders Nestibilities circle dies, names written with Sanford or Zig felt tip calligraphy pen;
Stampin’ Up! Snowflake stamp in SU Ballet Blue ink, layered on SU Bliss Blue card stock;
PSX Carousel Horse stamp colored with Copic markers, layered on SU Raspberry Ripple card stock;
Snoopy and Wood “Snow Sledding” stamp colored with Copic markers, layered on SU Handsome Hunter card stock;
Stampendous Holy Night nativity silhouette stamp in SU Handsome Hunter, layered on SU Raspberry Ripple card stock;
Delafield Santa rabbit stamp G619 colored with Copic markers, layered on SU Handsome Hunter card stock.