Handmade Card Makeover

By | March 22, 2017

I love to challenge myself with handmade card makeovers!!  Wondering what card makovers are all about??  Well, I’m sharing a handmade card makeover project today, so read on to learn more.

Quite often I see a card design I love, but don’t have the same products as the original project.  That’s where the “card makeover” goes to work.  I look in my collection of stamps and tools to find thing that I own that I can use to re-create the card.  Handmade card makeovers are great ways to use what you already own!!  And, who doesn’t like to get more mileage from their crafting investments!!



Today’s card is my most recent handmade card makeover.


Handmade Card Makeovers


Here’s the original card idea that I found in an old Paper Crafts Magazine I had in my collection.  This original design was created by Jessica Witty.

Handmade Card Makeovers


Design Process:

  • When I first saw the original card, I loved the clean and simple look of the card.  The darker gold stamped images reminded me of a stamped image in the Timeless Textures stamp set.  With that thought in mind, that was my starting point.
  • My next decision was to decide on a sentiment.  I liked the lettering style of the original, so I went through my collection of sympathy sentiments until I found a style that was close.  The stamped image I used is from the Rose Wonder stamp set.
  • My next decision was cardstock colors.  The closest colors Stampin’ Up! has to the original card was Early Espresso and So Saffron, so my color decision was made.
  • With all those decisions made, it’s time to create the card.  When I looked at the layout of the original card design, I didn’t like that all the “weight” was in the lower right corner.  So, when I designed my card I changed it up a bit.  I still have most of the weight in the lower right, but I moved the sentiment up a bit and also added a repeated stamped image toward the upper left corner of the card.  The card becomes “my own” as a result of small design changes like this.
  • I only used one color of ink on my card, Delightful Dijon.  I stamped the sentiment full strength and then I “stamped off” before stamping the flourish elements onto the So Saffron card stock.
  • The last element I added was the rounded corners.  I don’t have a punch that matches the punched corners of the original card, so I used my Project Life Corner Punch instead.


Here are the products I used on my card:

Timeless Textures stamp set (Wood 140514, Clear 140517); Rose Wonder stamp set (140697, Photopolymer); Project Life Corner Punch (135346)


As long as I was already playing with the stamps and ink, I decided to try another “version” of this same card.  I used the same elements and colors and here’s the result.

Handmade Card Makeovers

Design Notes:

  • I used Delightful Dijon cardstock for the card front, in place of the So Saffron used in the first card.  This meant that I stamped all of my images “full strength” so that they would show on the card front.
  • I added a border stamp around the sympathy sentiment and moved it towards the center of the card front.
  • On this card, I moved the “weight” of the design to the upper left corner of the card front, then added a “border” around the rest of the card.


I hope it helps  that I share my thought process as I create a handmade card makeover.  As you can see, it is easy to take other’s card ideas and use them to make similar cards with products you already own and I’d encourage you to try your hand at handmade card makovers.  Then, let me know the results.




By | March 21, 2017

I’ve got a GREAT offer for my customers today…..


TODAY ONLY…Place an order with me and receive FREE SHIPPING on orders of $50 or more. This is an offer I am personally offering my customers.  


And, because it’s Sale-A-Bration time, you will get to choose a FREE Sale-A-Bration item for every $50 you spend!!

In order to get the free shipping I will need to submit the order for you as this is NOT a Stampin’ Up! offer.  Call 952-432-4023 or email deb@beebugcreations.com.  Orders will need to be placed using a credit card.  I’ll be around for phone calls from 10am – Noon, and then from 3pm – 8pm.  I will also check email throughout the day today, but orders must be received by 8pm CST.  If ordering by email, please include credit card information.


Another option is to place your orders ONLINE. If you choose to do this, you will pay the shipping, as this is not a Stampin’ Up! offer.  After you place the order, I will send you a check to reimburse your shipping costs.  Use this code for online orders: JDZHXVPH  Online orders will need to be placed by 11:59pm MST.  You can shop my online store and order here.

How to use focal points on handmade cards, part 2

By | March 20, 2017

I have three Stampin’ Up! catalog “copied”  projects that I’d like to use to continue our discussion on how to use focal points on your handmade cards.  But, before I get started I want to remind you that the Stampin’ Up! catalog is a great source of cardmaking inspiration when you’re stuck for creative ideas!  That’s where I found the ideas for today’s cards.

In my last post, I  shared the importance of having a focal point on your handmade card projects.  You can see that post here.

As you look at the three cards I’m sharing today I’d like you to notice that the sentiment is the focal point on all the cards.


Here’s there first card.   I found the inspiration on page 122 of the Stampin’ Up! Annual Catalog.

How to use focal points on handmade cards

Design Notes:

  • I got my card idea from the photo in the upper left corner of the page, but changed up my card design.  The focal point of this card is the sentiment.  It stands alone.
  • I used a small piece of PeekABoo Peach ribbon and a PeekABoo Peach scallop circle as accents to help draw eye to focal point.
  • I liked the creative way that the catalog used the lined image from the Gorgeous Grunge stamp set to create the background.  When using an all-over background, it’s important to make sure the background enhances the focal point, not take attention away from it. 
  • I also stamped a few lines from the Gorgeous Grunge stamp on the top and bottom of the sentiment circle piece for accents.


Products used on this card:

Gorgeous Grunge stamp set (Wood 130514, Clear 130517); Flourishing Phrases stamp set (Wood 141531, Clear 141534) – sentiment; Layering Circles Framelits (141705); Colors used: PeekABoo Peach, Flirty Flamingo and Sweet Sugarplum.


The inspiration for my second card is found on page 52 of the annual catalog.

How to use focal points on handmade cards

Design Notes:

  • I pretty much followed the catalog layout, but changed up the colors.  I stamped the vines in Mint Macaron and used Perfect Plum for the sentiment. Also, I prefer to use a color card stock card base, so I mounted the stamped background piece onto a Perfect Plum base.  I used just two color instead of three as shown in the catalog.
  • Again, the sentiment is the focal point of this card, and the background is subtle enough that it doesn’t take away from the focal point.  The folded Mint Macaron ” Sheer Linen Ribbon adds a nice decorative element and draws the eye to the focal point.
  • If I made this card again, I’d make one change.  I think that the sentiment needs a bit of a color pop behind it.  The sample in the catalog gets its pop from the orange ribbon.  I think a Perfect Plum matte piece would help the sentiment to stand out.

Here’s the card sample from the catalog.  You can see how the bright ribbon pops the sentiment.

How to use focal points on handmade cards


Products used on my card:

Thoughts and Prayers stamp set (Wood 128751, Clear 127805); Layering Circles Framelits (141705); Colors used: Mint Macaron and Perfect Plum.


Here’s the last catalog inspired card I have to share with you, found on page 122.  In my opinion, this card has the best use of focal point.

How to use focal points on handmade cards

Design Notes:

  • The versatile Work of Art stamp set was used to make this card.  The sentiment is still the focus, but what makes this card different is that several elements were combined to create the focal point of this card.
  • Nothing says that a focal point needs to be only one element.  Another way of creating focal point is to combine several elements together.  Here’s the elements that are combined to create the focal point: stamped images, die cut shapes, metallic thread and Stampin’ Dimensionals.  They are clustered together in a way that is pleasing to the eye and draws it’s attention.
  • Again, notice that the clustered focal point elements aren’t placed exactly dead center on the card front.  They are raised slightly towards the top.  Remember, this is a more pleasing placement for the eye.  Check out the first card on last Wednesday’s post to see another example of how this works.


Products used on my card:

Work of Art stamp set (Wood 134111, Clear 134114); Sweet and Sassy Framelits (141707); Colors used: Emerald Envy, Dapper Denim and Sweet Sugarplum.


I hope that you keep these tips in mind as you create focal points on your own handmade cards.  Having one point of interest that draws the eye is a crucial element of a awesome handmade card.

Did you learn anything new about how to use focal points on handmade cards?  If so, I’d love to have you share it in the comments section at the top of this post.

How to Use Focal Points on Handmade Cards

By | March 15, 2017
Do you know how to use design principles in your card making? Many of my stamping friends ask me about how I design my handmade greeting cards. So, I’m taking some time to share some card design principles here on my blog.
Card composition is simply the way in which card elements are combined and arranged. There are some basic “rules” that work well when combining elements to create a card layout. Using these rules creates unity, resulting in a pleasing project.
There are many different elements that go into the composition of a handmade card. Today we’ll be examining one of these elements, the focal point, a familiar term to most everyone who makes cards.

The area of the card to which the eye is first drawn is the focal point. This is the most emphasized area of the card. Another way of defining focal point is “the deliberate point of interest on your project”.


It’s easy to determine the focal point of your project by asking yourself one question: “What is the first thing I see?” This is the focal point. I use this trick quite often in my card making.  This is the first question I ask if a project doesn’t seem to look right. If my eye has trouble resting on one specific spot, then I know that my card is lacking a focal point.


There are several ways to create focal points on your cards. The cards I’m sharing today use a classic layout design to create a focal point. This is a layout style that I use over and over on my cards because it’s easy to make and it works. In fact, if you look back through many of my card samples on this blog, you will see I use it again and again.

Here’s my first card.  I copied the idea from a card made by Carolyn King.

How to Use Focal Point on Handmade Cards

Design Notes:

  • The dragon fly is the focal point of this card design, the first thing that draws your eye. It is cut out and popped up with Stampin’ Dimensionals, drawing the eye even more. (By the way, I stamped the dragonfly using the rock and roll stamping technique – a fun one if you haven’t tried it!)
  • The Whisper White cardstock piece “accents” the focal point. Strategic placement of the stamped dots works to help draw the eye to the dragonfly. Matting the focal point in this way is one method to use to draw the eye.  (The square is cut with the Stitched Shapes Framelits die. The dots are stamped off using Bermuda Bay ink.) 
  • One other note about this layout, the Bermuda Bay borders on the top, left and right of the die cut square are even sized. There is a larger border to the bottom. Placing the focal point a bit higher than card center is pleasing to the eye.


Here’s my second Dragonfly Dreams card.  This is a card I created, but I found this idea on Pinterest.  The photo didn’t link to a name or blog so I can’t give credit to the original creator.

How to Use Focal Point on Handmade Cards

Design Notes:

  • The focal point on this card is placed exactly in the card center. The top and bottom borders are equal size as are the left and right borders. Notice though, that the top and bottom borders are bigger than the two side borders. This card design certainly looks balanced, but doesn’t “pop” like our first card. Attaching the focal point in exactly dead center of the project causes it to be a bit “lost”. Placing it a little higher on the card (as in the first example) is more pleasing to the eye.
  • If I made this card again, one thing I would change is to flip flop the focal image and ribbon. This would allow me to move the focal image a bit higher, creating better balance on card.
  • I made the background for this card front by repeatedly stamping dragonfly images (stamping off using Soft Sky ink).


These are the products I used in today’s cards:

Dragonfly Dreams Photopolymer Bundle

Stitched Shapes Framelits

3/8″ Metallic Ribbon Combo Pack (Sale-A-Bration Item)


The classic card design layout I shared today places the focal point front and center. And, don’t think that using this layout over and over will result in boring card projects. Use the following ideas to vary the look of the card:
  • use a variety of stamped images and/or die cuts
  • use different color combinations
  • change up the pattern papers and embellishments


I hope that this discussion on how to use focal points on handmade cards has helped you. I’d encourage you to “file” this classic layout in your catalog of “go-to” card layout ideas. It’s one that you can turn to again and again, yet still make each project unique, as you’ve seen in the cards I’ve shared today.
How about you? Do you struggle knowing what makes a good card design? I’m planning to offer help in this area by posting more blog posts about card design principles. Please make sure to stop back and visit often.  And, let me know what areas of card design you struggle with by leaving me a comment. (The comment link is at the TOP of this post.  If you are reading on my home page, you will need to click into this specific blog post to leave a comment.) 

How to use a border stamp to make a background

By | March 13, 2017

Last week I wrote a blog post about how to use a border stamp and showed several card projects using the Delicate Details border stamp set.  (You can see those here.)  Today I’m back with another blog post about how to use border stamps…this time how to use a border stamp to make a background for your card project.


Here’s the card I made.

How to Use a Border Stamp to make a background

I created the background pattern by repeatedly stamping a border image onto the Whisper White card stock using Dapper Denim and Calypso Coral as my color combination.


Here’s a photo tutorial that shows you how I made the background.

How to Use a Border Stamp

Step One:  I stamped with Dapper Denim ink, creating fairly equally spaced rows of the stamped image.  I didn’t worry about the rows being perfectly spaced though.  Notice that my stamped card stock is on a piece of grid paper.  I used the lines on the grid paper to help me line up the stamped lines.

Step Two:  Time to stamp the second row, so turn your paper so the previously stamped lines  (Dapper Denim) are now vertical.  For this row, I changed my ink to Calypso Coral, but you could certainly stamp in the same color as the first row.  I think adding a second color gives a bit of contrast to the background however.  You can see that I stamped the first row of Calypso Coral toward the bottom of the card stock.

Step Three: Continue stamping rows as you did in Step One.  Again, I used the lines on the grid paper to make sure I was stamping fairly evenly.  Also, notice that I “spaced” two Dapper Denim diamond shapes between every stamped row of Calypso Coral.  If your border image has some sort of pattern like this, you can also use that to help in your spacing.

Step Four:  This photo shows the completed stamped background piece, ready to be attached to the card front.


Here’s a list of the products I used to make this card:

Lovely Stitching Stamp Set (141930) – this stamp set has four great border images to use for your projects!!

Birthday Blast Stamp Set (Wood 142854, Clear 142866)


I hope today’s technique and the cards that I posted last Wednesday give you some inspiration of ways to use border stamps.   I’d encourage you to try making some projects using border stamps and see how easy they are to use!!  And, feel free to email me a photo of your project…I’d love to see it!!



How to use border stamps

By | March 8, 2017

I LOVE rubber stamps that are border images and today I’d like to show you how to use border stamps on your card making projects.  Border stamps open up a whole new world of possibilities for my stamping projects because they are so versatile!!

The Delicate Details border stamp set, a FREE product pick during Sale-A-Bration 2017, is a border stamp set that offers a variety of border styles.  Several of my customers have told me that that this set doesn’t appeal to them because it looks too “boring”.  Well, I hope to change their minds today, and offer some great ideas for using the Delicate Details border stamp set.

Of course, the most obvious way to use border stamps is as their name implies…for a border!!  Here’s a quick and easy card example I created.

How to Use a Border Stamp

  • Border stamps are a great option when your card needs a “border” but you don’t have a coordinating designer paper. The border image can be stamped in any color, to match the theme of your project.
  • They are also great for creating single layer cards.


Here’s another card that uses one of the Delicate Details border stamps to create a border.  I stamped the image on a strip of Very Vanilla card stock and matted it with Calypso Coral card stock to make it stand out.  I also heat embossed the border design using Gold Embossing Powder (109129).

Handmade cards ideas Stampin' Up!


On this next card, I used the Delicate Details border stamp set to create a double row of stamped images.

How to Use a Border Stamp

  • It’s easy to line up the stamped images because the stamps in the Delicate Details border stamp set are photopolymer.  This means that they are clear and you can see all the way through them to determine placement on the project. 
  • I did a pretty good job of lining the two stamped rows up, but the card still needed some narrow ribbon added between the two images to give it some contrast.



This next card was made by fellow demonstrator Brenda Cardinal. She stamped all five of the border designs from the Delicate Details border stamp set to create her background piece.

How to Use a Border Stamp

Here’s a trick for creating a card like this.  Attach ALL FIVE of the border stamps all together onto a large clear block, making sure they are lined up as you’d like for your project.  Ink up the stamps and stamp as usual.  You can then move below the first stamped group image and repeat.  This is a great way to make a piece of background paper to coordinate with your project.


Here’s the last card I have to share.  This was made by another demonstrator friend…Joan Spevak.

How to Use a Border Stamp

  • She stamped a border all around the edge of this card using one of the Delicate Details border stamps.  It certainly makes for a beautiful card!!
  • One thing to note about the Delicate Details border stamps is they are 5 ½” wide.  That’s long enough to create a stamped border image for a card front and only have to stamp one time!!

Have I convinced you of the value of the Delicate Details border stamp set yet??  How about giving you some ideas of ways to use border stamps in your card making and paper crafting??

Hop on over to my online store if you’d like to add the Delicate Details border stamp set to your crafting collection.  You can get this stamp set FREE with any purchase of $50 or more from Stampin’ Up! (offer good through March 31, 2017).

And, stop back on Monday when I’ll have another blog post with ideas of how to use border stamps in your card making.

More Unique Handmade Cards with That’s the Tag

By | March 6, 2017

Today I’m continuing to spotlight one of my favorite new stamp sets for creating unique handmade greeting cards.  It is the “That’s the Tag” stamp set, found in the 2017 Stampin’ Up! Occasions catalog.  I really had fun playing and experimenting with this stamp set and the coordinating Timeless Tags Thinlits Dies.


I LOVE the first card I’m sharing.  It is very clean and simple, with lots of white space.

That's the Tag Stampin' Up!

Project Notes:

  • Color combination on this card is Blushing Bride and Soft Sky.  These two colors together creates such a soft feel to a project!
  • All of the stamped images on this card are found in the “That’s the Tag” stamp set.  The flowers are colored using Blender Pens (102845) and ink (pooled in the lid of the ink pad).  They were then die cut using the coordinating die in the Timeless Tags Thinlits Dies, then glued around the stamped oval.
  • CARD DESIGN TIP:  The large amount of white space on this card works to draw the eye to the focal point in the center of the card.


Here’s another card I created with this same stamp set.  I wanted to try using the “scroll” image.

That's the Tag Stampin' Up!

Project Notes:

  • On this card, I used the scroll-like images to create a border on the oval and think it frames the sentiment nicely.
  • The Gold Foil Sheets (132622) piece in the center of the card was cut with the Project Life Cards & Labels Framelits (135707).  I cut a Basic Black matte just a bit bigger and rounded those corners with the Project Life Corner Punch (135346).
  • The gold background scallops are actually a sheet of the Fabulous Foil Designer Acetate (141653).  It really adds an elegance to this card.
  • The 1/8″ Gold Ribbon (134583) was used to add an accent to the border and also a bow to hide the hole at the top of the die cut oval.


Here’s a third card using the long, skinny flower image from the “That’s the Tag” stamp set.

That's the Tag Stampin' Up!

Project Notes:

  • Here’s another clean and simple card with lots of white space. I stamped the flower image on each of the four corners to create the idea of a border.  I colored the flowers and stems using the Watercolor Pencils (141709) and Blender Pens (102845).
  • Sentiment is from the Window Shopping stamp set (Wood 142920, Clear 143265).


The last two photos I have to share aren’t card projects.  The original idea of the “That’s the Tag” bundle is to make tags to attach to gifts.  That’s what these are.

That's the Tag Stampin' Up!


That's the Tag Stampin' Up!


I hope that you have enjoyed all the projects I’ve shared using the “That’s the Tag” bundle (144725).  If you missed the projects I shared with this same product last Wednesday, you can check them out here.

Now, I have a question for you…which project was your favorite??  Please leave a comment in the comments section of this blog post.  (The comment link is at the TOP of this post.  If you are reading on my home page, you will need to click into this specific blog post to leave a comment.)



That’s the Tag makes for Fun Handmade Cards

By | March 1, 2017

One of the fun new stamp sets in the 2017 Occasions Catalog is “That’s the Tag“.  I KNEW as soon as I saw this one that I HAD to have it.  There are so many things you can do with this stamp set and the coordinating Timeless Tags Thinlits Dies.  The stamps and dies work together to created unique handmade greeting cards!!

Here’s my first card share.  It’s one I created for a swap I participated in.


That's the Tag Stampin' Up!

Project Notes:


Here’s another card I created with That’s the Tag stamp set and Timeless Tag Thinlits Dies.

That's the Tag Stampin' Up!

Project Notes:

  • This card demonstrates how the Timeless Thinlits Tags dies coordinate with the That’s the Tag stamp set.  The dotted image around the “Happy Birthday” has a die that coordinates to cut it out.  When you cut out the starburst oval die image, the center part of that oval cuts out, allowing the white sentiment piece to fit right in!!
  • The white background piece was textured with the Festive Textured Impressions Embossing Folder (141471).
  • Color combination on this card: Melon Mambo and Rich Razzleberry.


This next card is one that I received in a recent card swap.  It was made by Anita Dicksen.


That's the Tag Stampin' Up!

Project Notes:

  • What a striking color combination…Watermelon Wonder and Mint Macaron on a Basic Black card base.
  • The Petal Burst Textured Impressions Embossing Folder (141493) was used to add the texture on this card.
  • The dotted oval stamp image was used to create the oval border.  The two flowers at the bottom of the oval were colored, then cut out with the coordinating Timeless Tags Thinlit die.
  • A piece of Basic Black Baker’s Twine (141682) was tied in a bow to cover the hole in the oval created by the oval tag die.


Here’s the last card I have to share today.  It highlights the flower die in the Timeless Tags Thinlits Dies.

That's the Tag Stampin' Up!

Project Notes:

The flower die cut makes a great focal point on this card.  The banner the flower is mounted on is Smoky Slate and is made using the Banners Framelits Dies (132173).

The Basic Black card stock piece was textured using the BoHo Chic Textured Embossing Folder (138286).

Sentiment on this card is from the Rose Wonder stamp set (140697).

5/8″ White Organza Ribbon (114319) and Basic Black Baker’s Twine (141682) was used to create the center border.


As I said at the beginning of this blog post…the “That’s the Tag” Bundle (144725) is one of my favorite products in the 2017 Stampin’ Up! Occasions Catalog.  I see so much potential in all the stamped images and thinlit dies….the possibilities are endless!!  You can check out the bundle in my online store by clicking the link above.  Make sure to stop back next Monday when I’ll be sharing more unique handmade greeting cards using these same products!




Troubles with my Blog

By | February 13, 2017

Hi All – I’ve been having some technical troubles with my blog the last week or so.  I’m hoping to have them sorted out soon.  My attention has been on this issue, so haven’t had a chance to write a post.  Hopefully it will be resolved soon and I’ll be back to posting inspiration.  Thanks for you patience in this.

Celebrate National Pizza Day!!

By | February 9, 2017

Today is National Pizza Day!!  I know…it has nothing to do with stamping, BUT…I thought it might be fun to check out some facts and figures regarding pizza.


I did a quick Google Search and learned the following:

  • Pepperoni is the most popular pizza at 36% of all pies ordered.
  • Over 3 billion pizzas are sold in the USA each year.  Add another 1 billion of frozen pizzas
  • 17% of all US Restaurants are pizzerias.
  •  Antica Pizzeria, the first Pizzeria, opened in Naples, Italy, in 1738.
  • Gennaro Lombardi, the first Pizzeria in the United States, opened in 1895 in New York City.
  • Americans consume on average 23 pounds of pizza per person each year.
  • 30% of Americans eat pizza every week.
  • Pizza ranks the #2 most popular fast food in America behind hamburgers. (43% of Americans rank pizza as their favorite.)
  • 2% of Americans say “I don’t like pizza.”


I found this to also be interesting:

It’s hard to imagine that before World War II, pizza was little known outside of Italy or Italian immigrant communities. Allied troops, tired of their limited rations, found pizza—and once they returned home, the popularity of this bread-y, cheesy, saucy dish skyrocketed.

So, celebrate National Pizza Day today….enjoy a slice of pizza!!!

Watercolor Pencils meet Falling Flowers

By | February 8, 2017

One of the fun products in the 2017 Occasions Catalog from Stampin’ Up! is the new Watercolor Pencils (141709).  Recently I’ve had a couple hostesses hold Sale-A-Bration parties.  I wanted to give those attending a chance to try out this new product, so I had them make a project using the new Watercolor Pencils.  Everyone thought they were fantastic!! Today, I’d like to share the two watercolor pencil techniques I used to make the card.

Here’s the project they made:

watercolor pencils Stampin' Up!, Watercolor Pencils techniques

Project Notes:

  • The stamped flower image is from the Falling Flowers stamp set (Wood 139553, Clear 139556).  The flower is cut out with the coordinating May Flowers Framelits (140276).  The birthday sentiment is in the Cottage Greetings stamp set (Wood 138940, Clear 139962).
  • A medium sized Metal Rim Pearl (138394) was used for the flower center.
  • This is a super simple card to make, and it uses two different tools to blend the watercolor pencils – the AquaPainter (103954) and the Blender Pen (102845).  I used Watercolor Paper (122959) for the background rectangle piece and Whisper White card stock for the flower.  Shimmery White card stock (101910) would also be a good choice for the flower, and would add a bit of a sparkle.
  • I used Melon Mambo and Rich Razzleberry as the color combination for this card.


Here’s how I created the background watercolor piece.  I scribbled some pencil lines diagonally on the watercolor paper using the Watercolor Pencils.  I chose Melon Mambo for the two outer colors and the Rich Razzleberry for the center color.  Next, I took my AquaPainter and colored over the pencil lines with water. This created a water color wash.  Let dry (it should dry rather quickly).

Here’s what the two pieces looked like.  Notice how I scribbled my lines on the piece on the left.

Watercolor Pencil techniques

I used the same two watercolor pencils to color the flower image.  Rich Razzleberry was colored in the flower center, and Melon Mambo was colored on the outer petals.  I then used a Blender Pen to smooth out the colors.  One thing to note about my coloring…I didn’t completely fill in the flower image before using the blender pen.  I also used circular motions with the pencil as it makes filling in the image with color go faster.

Here is what the flower looked like when I colored it (notice the white space on the petals).  You can see where I used the blender pen on some of the flower petals, and how pencil spread to cover the white space areas.

Watercolor Pencils Techniques


One last note about this project.  The ink you use makes a difference!!  When using an AquaPainter and Blender Pen it is important to use a NON-WATERBASED ink, otherwise you will end up with muddy images!!  I used Basic Black Archival Ink (140931) from Stampin’ Up!.  One more ink tip….plan ahead and allow the ink some drying time before using the AquaPainter or Blender Pens.  You will achieve a better result.  I’ve found that if I don’t allow enough dry time for the black ink, it may “bleed” slightly into your colors.  Then, I have to start all over.  Patience on the front end prevents frustration with the results!!


I hope you will give coloring with watercolor pencils a try.  As you can see from the two watercolor pencil techniques I shared today, it is very easy to color using watercolor pencils.  You can click on any of the product links in this post to shop my online store.


Unique Handmade Cards with Happy Celebrations

By | February 6, 2017

Stampin’ Up! has come up with a fun, new product that will help us in creating unique handmade cards to give to our friends and family.  The Celebration Duo Textured Impressions Embossing Folders (142760) are two embossing folders that create de-bossed image impressions.  So, instead of raising the embossed image on the card stock, these folders actually press the image (in this case a word) into the card stock.  And, this opens up a whole new world of possibilities for creating unique handmade cards.

The Happy Celebrations stamp set (143012) coordinates with these embossing folders, allowing images to be stamped into the de-bossed area of the card stock.  The stamps are photopolymer, allowing the stamper to see through and place the stamped image exactly where desired on their project.  Here’s what that looks like:

make unique handmade cards stampin

Project Notes:

  • The most important thing to remember about this technique is to complete all the stamping on the debossed card area BEFORE using the Big Shot and embossing folder.  Stamping first and then embossing ensures that the stamped area will line up and fill the de-bossed letters.  It’s easy to line up the embossing folder with the stamped image.
  • The Happy Celebrations stamp set has some fun phrases that you can add to your card.  In this case, I added “birthday to you”, but there are other thoughts as well.
  • Obviously, this is a masculine card.  And, frankly I think Happy Celebrations is the perfect no-frills stamp set to use for creating birthday cards for guys.  Colors are Crumb Cake and Soft Suede.  I added some sponging to create a worn look.
  • Background piece is textured with the Hexagons Dynamic Textured Impressions Embossing Folder (143231), a perfect accompaniment to this stamp set.
  • Sentiment piece is cut using the Lots of Labels  Framelits (138281).


Here’s another way to use the Celebration embossing folders and Happy Celebrations stamp set images.  I received this card in a swap…it was created by Dena Lenneman.

make unique handmade cards stampin

Here’s one that I made, copying her original idea but changing it up to make a birthday card for a guy.

make unique handmade cards stampin

Project Notes:

Notice how the colors used on a card make all the difference!!  The original card has a feminine feel with the soft Pool Party and Sweet Sugarplum colors.  By switching up the colors to Smoky Slate and Basic Gray, the same card design can have a masculine feel.

Other design differences:  The masculine card uses a strip of Silver Foil (132178), instead of the 1/8″ Silver Ribbon (132137).  The other difference is that the second embossed piece is attached to a piece of Urban Underground Specialty Designer Series Paper (142783),  The first card is attached to a piece of colored card stock.

One element that adds a bit of subtle “swoosh” to the cards is the stamped off images on the top left and bottom right corners of the card base.

Wondering how the image piece was created?  First, create your embossed word by using the Big Shot and Celebrations embossing folders.  Then, use some of the “swoosh” stamp images to stamp OVER the de-bossed letters.  The ink will transfer to the raised areas, but not stamp in the recessed areas.  Stamp off to get a lighter look, and stamp full strength for a darker image.


Here’s a video from Stampin’ Up! that show you some great ideas to use with these products.

I hope you enjoyed the samples I shared today using the Celebrations Duo Textured Impressions Embossing Folders and Happy Celebrations stamp set from Stampin’ Up!  I’d encourage you to consider adding these two coordinating items to your card making supplies.  This is a very versatile stamp set that can be used for making unique handmade cards for many occasions.  (You can shop my online store here.)  And, as we’ve seen in my post today, it’s easy to change up the theme of the card just by changing the colors.  Which card was your favorite??



Stampin’ Up! Catalog Inspiration and Creativity

By | February 1, 2017

Today I’m sharing some handmade greeting card ideas that I copied directly from the 2016 Stampin’ Up! Annual Catalog.  The Stampin’ Up! catalog is a great source of inspiration/ideas for you to copy.  This was one of the first years I tried copying some of the cards from the catalog.  I enjoyed it so much that I have decided that I’m going to make it a habit!

Here’s my first copied catalog creation (found on page 104).

Stampin' Up! Flower Patch

Project Notes:

  • This card is pretty much an EXACT copy of the card found in the catalog except I mounted the stamped piece onto a color card stock base and didn’t add any twine.
  • Colors used: Melon Mambo, Blushing Bride, Wild Wasabi (solid leaf, stamped off) and Cucumber Crush (leaf center).
  • Sentiment is from the Suite Sayings stamp set (Wood 140709, Clear 140712) and flower images are from the Flower Patch stamp set (Photopolymer 134207).


Here’s the next card, made with the Garden In Bloom stamp set (Photopolymer 139433).  This card is found on page 146 of the catalog.

Stampin' Up! Garden in Bloom

Project Notes:

  • Background flowers and leaves were stamped in Melon Mambo and Old Olive.
  • A piece of Vellum Card Stock (101856) was attached over the background piece.  I attached it with four glue dots, one in each corner (trying to strategically place them over a stamped image to hide them a bit).
  • Sentiment is from the Garden In Bloom stamp set.  I matted it on two pieces of coordinating card stock and attached with Stampin’ Dimensionals.
  • Even though I used a card sample from the catalog, I changed it up to make it my own.  One of the changes was the color of the card base.  The other change was the sentiment I used, as well as how I matted it.  No ribbon was used on my card.


My last card project was inspired by on that I saw on page 150 of the catalog.  It uses the Flower Patch stamp set (Photopolymer 134207).

Stampin' Up! Flower Patch

Project Notes:

  • My card is totally different from the card you see in the catalog, but the sample on page 150 was my inspiration.  I had wanted to replicate the wreath on the catalog card.  I made MANY attempts to stamp the circular wreath, but wasn’t happy with ANY of the results.  It became a very frustrating experience for me, and that’s when I decided I needed to take a different direction. (Just want to say…IT IS OKAY TO TRY SOMETHING ELSE WHEN ONE THING ISN’T WORKING!!)
  • I kept some of the same original elements, the banner greeting, the leaf image and the same flower images.  I just presented them in a different manner, using a similar color scheme.  No designer paper was used on my card.
  • The Banner Triple Punch (138292) was what I used to create the flagged ends on the sentiment banners. 
  • Instead of creating a circle wreath, I made leaf borders.
  • Colors used were Crushed Curry, Watermelon Wonder, Marina Mist, which are a bit different from the yellow, blue and red shown in the catalog.


I’d like to issue a challenge today….use an idea from one of the Stampin’ Up! catalogs for your project inspiration.  Then, share it here or send it to me via email (deb@beebugcreations.com).  I’d love to see how the Stampin’ Up! catalog inspires handmade greeting card ideas for you.

More Balloon Adventures Handmade Birthday Card Fun

By | January 30, 2017

Last Wednesday,  I shared some handmade stamped birthday card projects I made using the Balloon Adventures stamp set and Balloon Pop-Up Thinlits Dies from Stampin’ Up!  Today I have two more projects to share with you using these same products.  They are both a step up from the ones I shared last week and have a 3-D dimension to them.


On my first project, I created a handmade stamped birthday card using the Balloon Pop-Up Thinlits Dies just as they were intended to be used.

The front of the card has die cut balloons attached over the stamped balloon images.

Handmade Birthday Card, Stampin' Up!

Here’s the inside of the card.

Handmade Birthday Card, Stampin' Up!

Project Notes:

  • I chose my color scheme based on the Party Animal Designer Series Paper (142738).  This paper pack has some bright, colorful designs that make fun, eye-popping cards.
  • The Emerald Envy and Tangerine Tango balloons on the card front were first stamped on Whisper White card stock using the Balloon Adventures stamp set (142823).  Then I die cut two balloons from solid color cards stock using the coordinating dies from the Balloon Pop-Up Thinlits (142753). I glued these over the stamped balloons on the card front.  The dies allow the stamped shape to peek through the dies!!
  • Can I say I just LOVE the confetti stamp image in the Balloon Adventures stamp set!!!.  It is such a great accent image for any celebration themed card.
  • The pop-up image on the inside of the card is made with the largest die in the Balloon Pop-Up Thinlits set.  I stamped the coordinating images on the pop up piece and added two strips of Party Animal designer series paper on either side for accents.
  • If you’d like to learn more about the Balloon Pop-Up Thinlits dies, you can watch this video from Stampin’ Up!


The second project I have to share with you is over the top!!  The idea and design for this gift box isn’t original with me.  The directions I followed came from Michelle Miller.

I first stamped the images onto the balloon cut out piece.  I decided they weren’t bold enough.

Balloon Adventures 3-D Box

So, I cut some balloons from coordinating colors of card stock and added these over the stamped balloons.  Here’s the result.

Balloon Adventures 3-D Box

Project Notes:

My only comment is that this project isn’t for the faint of heart.  The box is wicked cute, and went together easily.  However, the challenge for me was getting the two lids to fit (and mine still don’t fit perfectly…one of my sides bows in).  The devil is in the details, and in this case, make sure that you have a perfectly square box!!

Wouldn’t these make cute table centerpieces at a milestone birthday celebration??  And how about putting a battery operated candle inside to add some glow?? I could think of a dozen ways to use this cute box!!


I hope you have enjoyed the Balloon Adventure projects I have shared here the past two days.  If you’d like to check out the projects I shared last Wednesday, you can find them here.  Remember, you can find these and other Stampin’ Up! products here, in my online store.  This is a great coordinating stamp and die set (also sold in a bundle, 144708) to add to your craft room and use to make some great handmade stamped birthday card projects!


Handmade Birthday Cards with Balloon Adventures

By | January 25, 2017

The Balloon Adventures stamp set, found in the new 2017 Occasions Catalog from Stampin’ Up!, is a perfect stamp set to use for making handmade birthday cards.  It’s got some great greeting stamps, as well as balloon and banner images that can be cut out with coordinating dies.

I love it when we have a new product catalog from Stampin’ Up!   I don’t know about you, but I’m like a kid in a candy store as I look through the catalog for the first time.  It’s always hard for me to decide exactly which products I want to buy.  I looked long and hard at the Balloon Adventures stamp set (142823), but in the end decided to purchase other items instead.  Fortunately for me, a fellow demonstrator friend purchased this set and allowed me to borrow it to have some “play time”.  I’m excited to share the outcome with you today.

Here’s the first card I have to share.  The design of this card isn’t original with me.  I’ve seen several other demonstrators make a similar one.

Handmade Birthday Card, Stampin' Up!

Project Notes:

  • Stamped images (banner and sentiment) are in the Balloon Adventures stamp set (142823).
  • I created the balloon themed frame, colored balloons and die cut bow with the Balloon Pop-Up Thinlits Dies (142753).   Both the stamp set and coordinating framelits can be purchased in a bundle (144708) at a 10% savings.
  • Card color combination (Crushed Curry, Emerald Envy, Pacific Point, and Tangerine Tango) was taken from the Party Animal Designer Series Paper (142738).  I used the Crushed Curry piece of Party Animal designer paper as the background.
  • CARD DESIGN HINT:  If you have difficulty choosing color combinations for your projects, check out the designer papers in the Stampin’ Up! catalog.  There’s no need to purchase the paper packs, just use the color combinations in the papers as a starting point for choosing your own colors!!  That’s what I did on this card.
  • I used Stampin’ Dimensionals to “pop up” the Balloon Frame.


Here’s a second card I created.  The background on this card was actually created for another project (one I will share on Monday).  I decided that the confetti was too busy for the original project, so I used it as the starting point of this card.  No sense in wasting a perfectly good background piece!!

Handmade Birthday card, Stampin' Up!

Project Notes:

  • The color combination on this card is the same one I used on my first card.  There’s nothing wrong with repeating a great combination!!
  • Sentiment and confetti stamp is in the Balloon Adventures stamp set.  I used the Layering Ovals Framelits (141706) to cut out the sentiment and a matte.
  • I used the two ribbon/bow like dies found in the Balloon Pop-Up Thinlits Dies (142753) to create the gift package.  I used the piece without the dangling strips to create the Emerald Envy box.  I cut a Crushed Curry piece using the ribbon die with strips, then attached it over the green loops to make it look like a bow on top of the package.  Don’t you love how these two pieces coordinate together!!
  • The Sparkle Textured Impressions Embossing Folder (141468) was used to add some texture and dimension to the gift package.  I created by own to and from tag.


Here’s the final card I have to share today.

Handmade Birthday Card, Stampin' Up!

Project Notes:

  • I went with a Black and White color theme for this card.  I might have been adapted this from an idea I found on Pinterest.  I didn’t make myself a note about where the idea came from.
  • Black and white designer paper is from the Neutrals Designer Series Paper Pack (138435).
  • Circle is cut with the Layering Circles Framelits (141705). It is approximately 3 inches.
  • The die cut loops are from one of the dies in the Balloon Pop-Up Thinlits Dies (142753).  It is the same one I used to create the loops on the green card stock in the last card.  For this card, I just trimmed down the solid part so it was hidden behind the sentiment.


On Monday I will have two more great ideas using the Balloon Adventures stamp set and coordinating Balloon Pop-Up Thinlits Dies. You can purchase it in my online store.  It’s a great stamp set to add to your collection and use when creating handmade birthday cards.