Happy Birthday with Celebrate Today

happybday2Once again, I’m playing with new product from the Occasions catalog.  Here’s another Sneak Peek!

I received a beautiful Christmas card from my friend Bonnie Garrett. She had used her Tree punch to create a trio of trees by using both the positive and negative punched pieces.  When I received my new Celebrate Today stamp set and Balloon Framelit Bundle I thought of her card immediately.

Creating Dimension with Negative and Positive Punched Pieces:

Here I’ve used the Balloon framelit three times. The balloons on the left and right are punched with the new Birthday Bash DSP. They are the “positive” punched pieces that are attached with Stampin’ Dimensionals to the white cardstock.

On the white cardstock, I also punched out a balloon. This is the “negative” punched piece that I’m using. The Night of Navy base cardstock has a piece of DSP attached where that middle balloon will be. So when I used Stampin Dimensionals to adhere the white cardstock to the Night of Navy base cardstock, you see a balloon that’s recessed.

Creating Balance:

IMG_3559When I was done, the excess white space seemed flat. There was a lot going on with the three balloons and the greeting. And I usually like the simplicity of white space. But in this case, there was too much white space. The card was suffering from the ole “missing something” syndrome. That’s when the tiny stars in the balloon stamp made me think of the star punch from Itty Bitty Accents Punch Pack. That star punch saved the day! I even attached the top star off the white cardstock to create more interest.  I’ve made several items since then with this stamp set and almost every one has a few punched stars here and there! 🙂

Note: This is a Photopolymer stamp set. As such, it requires a clear block. I used Clear block “D”.

The new items aren’t listed below.  After the 6th I can list them with the product number and cost.

If you are interested in hosting a Stampin’ Up! event or if you’re interested in becoming a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator, I’d love to hear from you!




Creative Blog Hop

I was thrilled when Debbie Crowley of Expressively Deb nominated me to participate in the Creative Blog Hop! Debbie is vibrant and fun and has a wonderful wit and an amazing eye for clean and classy card design.  She is a master of “collage style” cards and works so well with color and pattern combinations. Needless to say, I was honored when she nominated me.

I’ve been asked to share my creative process with you with four essentials questions.

1) What am I working on?
I am in the creative throes of playing with new items from our Occasions and Sale-A-Bration catalogs which go live on January 6th. I’m preparing for an Open House on January 9th and 10th so I’m working on stamped samples to display at my Open House.


2) How does your work differ from others in your genre?
I tend to keep to a simple layout.  I typically don’t have many layers or embellishments. threeleavesI do LOVE to use ribbon, though,
xmasxercisepurplemooseand I’ve noticed a tendency to use banners a LOT for my greetings. 🙂
givethanksthanks-for-your-supportOne thing I do enjoy is finding ways to use a stamp set in a unique way.  For instance, I used the pinecone stamp in Ornamental Pine to make a wreath.
xmascardAnd I used ink spots from Gorgeous Grunge to create what I called Truffula Trees! It’s a thrill for me to find that unique twist.


 3) Why do you create what you do?
I love paper!  In the past I would lose time when I wandered through the scrapbook paper aisle at retail stores.  From that love, I began to rubber stamp. And the very moment someone told me about Stampin’ Up! and a party she was having, I knew right then and there that  I would be a Stampin’ Up! Consultant.  Rubber stamping relaxes me.  It’s my “therapy” as well as my joy.  If I’ve had a rough day, my husband will often say, “I got this. Why don’t you go to your craft room and stamp.”

craftroomBut I also enjoy teaching different techniques such as how to create this cool, mottled background with a stamp block.xmas02And I LOVE the opportunity to spend time with my gal pals.IMG_3068

IMG_31824) How does your creative process work?
If I don’t have a particular project in mind, I often turn to various challenge sketches that groups post online.  I often participate in the Pals Paper Arts challenges as well as Mojo Monday.  cat01card_spinAnother great source for inspiration comes from our Designer Series Papers. I am a paper fiend and our DSPs boost my creativity when I see the various colors and designs working together. challenge1Other times my creative process is just that – – a process. After making a project I often think “it’s missing something” or it looks “flat”
so I add to it until I’m happy.

I’m so pleased to have had the opportunity to “hop along” and share my creative process with you.

Now I’m super excited to pass you along to Candy Ford.  Candy has always had a love affair with paper too. As a young child she made cards for her family with construction paper and crayons! Now, as a Stampin’ Up! Consultant, she’s creating much more than cards. She’s a master at teaching stamping techniques to create gift items and home decor too! On Monday, January 5th, learn more about Candy’s creative process here.


You Made My Day – PPA 233


Today’s post is another Sneak Peek of what’s to come on January 6th when our new Occasions and Sale-A-Bration catalogs go live. It’s also my entry for the Pals Paper Arts Challenge this week – which at first site was a doozy! The end result, however, ended up being quite simple.


The bike is from our sweet and wonderful new stamp set Sheltering Tree.

I stamped the bike with Blackberry Bliss and then, without re-inking, continued to stamp to the left three more times. Before stamping the bike for the third and fourth time, I huffed on it to remoisten whatever ink remained on the stamp. The end result was a graduated color which hopefully emulates the bike’s movement.  Did it work?

punch boardThe dimensions of this card are 8-5/8″ x 3-3/4″ to accommodate the space needed to show the bike’s movement. Here’s a great opportunity to make the envelope with our Envelope Punch Board!

The DSP strip on the left is from a new DSP stack, Painted Blooms.  It coordinates with a new floral stamp set, Painted Petals, which is beautiful!!!!

Note: This is a Photopolymer stamp set. As such, it requires a clear block. I used Clear block “D”.

The new items aren’t listed below.  After the 6th I can list them with the product number and cost.

If you are interested in hosting a Stampin’ Up! event or if you’re interested in becoming a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator, I’d love to hear from you!



Playing with my Celebrate Today Bundle!

I’ve been playing with some of our new stamp sets and Designer Series Papers (DSP) these last three days. Up to now, everyone has been using a lot of earthy, regal, rich colors for Fall, Winter and the holidays.  But now, as Stampin’ Up! gets us ready for Valentines and Spring, they’ve introduced new DSPs with colors that are light, bright and cheerful. You’re going to LOVE them!  And you’ll notice that some of the DSPs have an etched look as in the Bermuda Bay striped DSP in this card. The “etchiness” adds an interesting texture and playfulness!


Here I’m using the Celebrate You stamp set, the coordinating Balloon Framelits and the Birthday Bash DSP, all from the new Occasions Catalog going live January 6th. And the great news is that the stamp set and framelits are offered in a Bundle for a savings that’s big enough to cover the cost of several new items, ie. our new Something Borrowed Embellishments (so beautiful!!!), our new Sahara Sand Lace Trim,  our new Hello Honey Cotton Trim Ribbon, and our new Itty Bitty Accents Epoxy Stickers.  And it’s almost enough to cover our new Embossing Folders (wait to you see Spring Flowers!!!) and our new Chalkboard Paper and Colorbox Chalk Ink Pads.  Yes! Chalkboard!

There are soooo many new, exciting products that I can’t wait for you to see!

PPA232The sketch that I used to design the layout of this card is the current Pals Paper Art Challenge. If you’re familiar with my blog you know I often do challenges that various groups post online. The challenge sketches require that I design a card in a way outside of my normal style.  Some work better than others. But it’s good to do something different every now and then, right?

The new items aren’t listed below.  After the 6th I can list them with the product number and cost.



Coming Soon – New Occasions Catalog and Sale-A-Bration!!!!


Our new catalogs, the Occasions Catalog and the Sale-A-Bration catalog, will go live on January 6th.  I CANNOT WAIT to show you everything. You will put a sticky note on every page of both catalogs! Check out some of the new framelits (above).  The Butterfly Framelits are beyond incredible!!! Can. Not. Wait. To. Show. You!

But I can’t until the 6th… As a Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator I have early access to new catalogs and products. And I’m telling you … the buzz among us demonstrators is that these are the best catalogs yet!  We know YOU will love them too!

What is Sale-A-Bration?
If you’re new to Stampin’ Up!, you aren’t aware of this very special promotion. From January 6th through March 31st, you will have the opportunity to earn FREE stamp sets, Designer Series Paper, Blendabilities (!!!) and other accessories from our Sale-A-Bration (SAB) catalog.

For every $50 worth of product that you purchase from our Annual and/or Occasions catalogs, you earn a FREEIMG_3432 item from the SAB catalog. So, if you purchase $100 in product, you earn two FREE SAB items; $150 qualifies you for three FREE SAB items, etc.

I would love to hold a Craft Event or workshop for you and your family and friends so that all of you could earn FREE SAB products.  And if you’re interested in joining Stampin’ Up! this is a great time to do so! Leave me a message below or email me at amymwhelan@comcast.net so that we can discuss your interests.

In the meantime, I will be posting “sneak peeks” of some of the items over the next several days.

“Follow My Blog” and “Like” my Facebook page  for email updates when I post projects, techniques and video tutorials.

Birthdays are Like Hairballs …

cat01Giggle Greetings was the first stamp set I ordered from our current Annual Catalog. It made me “giggle”. The eyes get me. See a fun spinner card with the dog stamp that I posted several months ago here.

Every stamp in Giggle Greetings has a greeting and an image. I chose to separate the two so that I could use the greetings in a variety of ways – such as in this card where the second part of the greeting is inside the card. cat02If you cut your stamps like this, you need to be extra careful. Hold the rubber side up, not the sticker side, so that you can be sure you’re not cutting into the image or text. Our stamps aren’t designed to be cut apart, though, so any mishaps in cutting will be solely your responsibility.

The design for this whimsical card is my interpretation of the PPA#232 challenge sketch. PPA232You see me do a lot of various challenges because they stretch my mind and make me consider different layouts that would have never crossed my mind otherwise.

Aside from the humor, I also chose this stamp set early on because I enjoy watercoloring. I typically press the lid of an ink pad down and then use the ink spot inside the lid as a paint palette. Aqua Painters are typically what I use as a “brush”. In this case, though, because I don’t have a Smoky Slate ink pad and because I wanted a more dry brush, I grabbed my Many Marvelous Marker collection and a Blender Pen. I scribbled Smoky Slate, Daffodil Delight and Pink Pirouette markers onto one of my stamp set boxes and used a Blender Pen to transfer the “paint” to the cat.

Inking one stamp with several different colors:
On the inside of the card, I wanted the ink spots of Gorgeous Grunge to be all three of the main colors on the outside of the card: Lost Lagoon, Pear Pizzaz and Smoky Stale. I used the brush end of these markers to color the stamp and huffed on the stamp to remoisten the inks before stamping.
FYI – Lost Lagoon is one of our five 2014-2016 In Colors. Those markers are purchased as a set of five, not individually or as part of the Many Marvelous Marker set.

I just received my pre-order of items from our Occasions and Sale-A-Bration catalogs. These catalogs will go live January 6th. Over the next several days, though, I’ll be showing you a “tease” of some of our new product line with the projects I post. These new catalogs are FABULOUS!!!!! You will fall in LOVE over and over again as you turn the pages. And you will have a chance to earn Sale-A-Bration stamp sets for FREE. More information on that to follow …

To order any of the items shown in the project above, head over to my online store by using the Shop Now button.

Visit and like my Facebook page and “Follow My Blog” for email updates when I post projects, techniques and video tutorials. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Celebrate the Season with Mojo Monday


You’ve heard me ooh and ahh over Stampin’ Up!s Designer Series Papers MANY times before. And here I go again.  I love them.  I do!  Some of our DSPs are beautiful, some are “yummy” as I’ve said before, and others are simply whimsical and fun!  Santa & Co. DSP falls into that category. Whimsical and fun! And the star in this card.

My card design was inspired by the Mojo Monday 376 design sketch. Mojo376SketchI love any opportunity to use our fabulous punches and with Christmas quickly approaching, I also wanted to use Christmas DSP while I could. It was a simple one-two punch.  Punch intended. 🙂

To order any of these items now, head over to my online store by using the Shop Now button.

Visit and like my Facebook page and “Follow My Blog” for email updates when I post projects, techniques and video tutorials. You can unsubscribe at any time.


Making Christmas Cookies!


At the last minute I thought I’d share what I’ve been doing this evening – – making Christmas cookies to share with co-workers tomorrow!!!  As I made a quick tag (gotta love that Scallop Gift Tag Topper punch) it made me realize that many of you are probably doing the same thing this week. So tonight’s post isn’t really about Amy’s Inklings.  It’s more about Amy’s Baking. 🙂

Growing up we had four types of cookies that we traditionally made for Christmas – Chow Mein Cookies (most people call them Haystacks), Mama Jessie’s Date and Coconut Cookies, Shortbread cookies and what I made this evening –  Lace Cookies.

Lace Cookies are the bomb! With very few ingredients you get a wafer thin, delightfully buttery, sweet crisp. And if you hold one up to the light, they look like lace! So they’re pretty too! These just need a little planning as the dough needs to refrigerate overnight.

So what is your favorite holiday cookie?

And BTW – for those of you celebrating this evening and over the next several days – Happy Hanukkah!

Lace Cookies
1 cup old fashioned or quick cook oatmeal (not instant)
1 cup sugar
3 T flour
1 tsp salt
1 stick butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
1 beaten egg

Mix first four ingredients listed above. Add melted butter and mix. Add vanilla and egg and mix well. Refrigerate overnight, or mix in the morning and bake at night.
Preheat oven to 325. Line a cookie sheet with thin foil. Drop very small amounts on cookie sheet, 3 inches apart. They spread a lot while cooking. Bake for 11 – 12 minutes. The cookies should be turning light brown (Not quite as dark as they appear in my photo. I took the picture at night so it’s not the best). The longer they cook, the easier it is to release them from the foil.
After cooking, slip the foil off the cookie sheet to cool on the counter. Once cool, carefully peel back the foil from the cookie.  It helps to run your finger gently under the cookie as you pull the cookie off the foil.
As my Aunt Freddie wrote on the recipe card, “Bake these when home alone, or they will disappear as fast as you can bake them.” That’s so true!





Scallop Tag Topper Tote for Giftcards and Envelopes


One of the perks of being a Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator is receiving our magazine, Stampin’ Success. On page 18 of our last issue Judy Sumner had submitted an adorable tote like this one. I HAD to figure out how Judy made the width of the tote wider than the 2″ gutter of the Scalloped Tag Topper punch. After much consideration and trial and error I figured it out.  And when Mary Fish of Stampin’ Pretty asked if I would be her guest stamper today, I thought you might like the directions too!

Directions for the giftcard and envelope were provided in an earlier post and can be found here.

The tote we’re making today is actually a little larger in depth than the one photographed above and as indicated in the video tutorial. The template provided below gives all of the dimensions and directions you will need to make a tote large enough to fit eight to ten sets of cards and envelopes.

IMG_3333The trick to getting the sides of the tote wider than the 2″ gutter of the punch is to slide the cardstock into the punch above the gutter as shown. It will slide in but might take a little careful maneuvering.

boxdiagramSteps to use with the template below:
1)Begin with cardstock measuring 7-1/4″ x 10-3/8″ and score as shown.
2) Make a tiny pencil mark in the middle of the top and bottom (5-3/8″ from both ends)
3) Line the top of the scalloped edge of the Scalloped Tag Topper punch where you marked with a pencil. Punch. Do so for both top and bottom.
4) Trim excess pieces on the top and bottom as shown.
5) Fold all score lines.
6) Cut score lines for the bottom of the tote and remove half of the flaps as indicated.
7) Apply sticky strips to both sides as shown.
8) With side A facing up, pull the bottom flaps up to reveal the sticky strip. Remove the backer. Pull one side up at a time and adhere bottom flap to each side.
9) Remove backer of sticky strip on the sides and adhere to the other side.

If you have any questions, please leave me a message below. I LOVE making this project and I want YOU to love making them too!

Sending Every Good Wish for Mojo Monday



Here’s my entry for Mojo Monday 375.  It’s a simple design yet it didn’t come together quickly. In the end – around 2:00am – I was very happy with the outcome.

Do you ever have those nights when you completely get “in the zone” and lose all concept of time? Yep. It happens here all the time. And when my alarm goes off at 6:00am the next morning I swear I’ll go to bed early that night. And then I don’t. 🙂

Card Concept:
I knew I wanted to create a peek-a-boo window.  On the white cardstock, I punched a 1-3/4″ circle window. To create the Lost Lagoon frame around the window, I punched a 2″ circle of Lost Lagoon, stuck that circle to a sticky note, and then punched it again with a 1-3/4″ circle in the center creating the frame. The frame was then glued onto the front of the card.

white christmasCreating the New Years greeting :
I created two lines of text from one stamp. I inked only “Sending every good wish” with a marker for the front of the card and only “For the coming new year” for the inside.  I used a Stamp-a-ma-jig to help me stamp the lines exactly where I wanted them.

Finding Balance:
The front of the white cardstock was missing something. It needed a subtle hint of “something.”  When I stamped the three small snowflakes in Lost Lagoon from Endless Wishes I felt the card still needed something. I ended up heat embossing the mid-sized snowflake with Iridescent Ice.  It gives the card a frosty, blingey look.  And it also created balance without taking away from the focal point – the snowman.

To order any of these items now, head over to my online store by using the Shop Now button.

Visit and like my Facebook page  and “Follow My Blog” for email updates when I post projects, techniques and video tutorials. You can unsubscribe at any time.