Shana Gaff
Independent Stampin' Up! Demonstrator

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Missin' my Honey!

Well, Brett has been in the DR for less than 12 hours and I already miss him so much!  It is crazy how different life is without him here. :( I had to make him a card with my new goodies to let him know I am thinking about him, even though he won't even get my messages until he gets back to the states. At least he will see I was missing him while he was gone!  I used the sketch from Create with Connie and Mary for my card.
2013 Thursday Challenges-012
I used to have such a hard time cutting into brand new sheets of DSP. Not anymore!  I dug right into this pack of Quatrefancy Specialty DSP. It is so yummy!

I stamped the sentiment from Really Good Greetings on the printed window sheet in Black StazOn ink. I then found out that Framelits do not cut through window sheets! lol It made a nice etch that I was able to cut out though.  I used some strategically-placed Tombow Multi Glue to adhere it to Daffodil Delight cardstock. The ink splatters on the back are supposed to represent my tears of loneliness from missing Brett. lol They are more likely to be Janae's though because she cried herself to sleep tonight wanting to talk to him. :( She is such a Daddy's girl! 
Edited to Add: As I was finishing up my post, Brett called!  I woke Janae up to talk to him but I am sure she won't even remember in the morning. :)  I was so glad to hear that they made is safely. Now I can go to bed with a peaceful heart.
Stamp Sets: Mosaic Madness, Really Good Greetings
Cardstock: Daffodil Delight, Pool Party, Whisper White
Ink: Black StazOn, Island Indigo, Pool Party, Pumpkin Pie
Tools: Oval Framelits, Mosaic Punch, Modern Mosaic Embossing Folder, Stamping Sponges
Accessories: Pool Party Seam Binding Ribbon, Quatrefancy Specialty DSP, Dimensionals


New Goodies!!!

My new preorder goodies arrived today!  Yippee skippy!  I was babysitting all day though so I didn't get a chance to play until now.  I wanted to participate in the challenge at Black Tie Fridays because I have a good friend who is graduating from college with a 4.0 on Saturday!  Go Mandy!  I am so proud of you!  If you are checking out my blog you get to see your card here before you get it on Saturday at your PARTAAAAYYY!!! :)
I got a video from my 5th upline, Linda Bauwin, on how to make a kite card, which I thought would be perfect for a graduation card.  You can see her video here.
I made my kite card but then decided I wanted it to be anchored on something, so the base is just a 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" piece of Soft Sky cardstock that is embossed with the Clouds Embossing Folder. I had forgotten how light Soft Sky was! The stamp is a Sneak Peak from the new catalog, Really Good Greetings. I LOVE this set of sayings. There are a lot of greeting sets that are right up my alley in the new catalog. Go figure. lol
Stamp Sets: Really Good Greetings, Up Up & Away
Cardstock: Daffodil Delight, Melon Mambo, Soft Sky, Whisper White
Ink: Black StazOn, Island Indigo, Melon Mambo
Tools: Window Frames Framelits, Paper Piercing Tool, Clouds Embossing Folder
Accessories: Summer Smooches DSP, Daffodil Delight Seam Binding and1/8" Taffeta Ribbon, Brights Collection Brads, Dimensionals

Addicted to Colors

I was excited to see that we have a color challenge this week at Addicted to Stamps and More!  Color challenges are much easier for me than marker challenges...or anything goes...that one is a killer for me! lol Here are the colors that we were given and I paired them with the sketch at retrosketches
Our challenge at Addicted to Stamps and More! this week is sponsored by Whoopsi Daisy.

Prize 2 sheets of digis (8 images)
They will be sponsoring the whole month of May!  Cool!
When I first saw the colors I was unsure what I wanted to do. I don't use that many brights altogether, usually!  But my bestie Steph was here and I wanted to show her the White Wash technique so I thought I would give it a try with some flowers!
The Pacific Point cardstock changed the color of my Melon Mambo ink a little bit, but I think it still ended up looking really cool!  This is my absolute favorite new technique, if you couldn't tell. lol I think I have used it on three cards this week alone.  It is fun to experiment and see what the colors are going to look like.  This card looks so tropical to me with these bright colors.  Makes me want to take a trip to Hawaii!
Stamp Sets: Bring on the Cake, Secret Garden
Cardstock: Melon Mambo, Pacific Point, Whisper White
Ink: Melon Mambo, Pumpkin Pie, Whisper White Craft Ink
Tools: Fancy Fan Embossing Folder, Aqua Painter, Blender Pen, Heat Tool
Accessories: Whisper White Taffeta Ribbon, Rhinestone, Dimensionals

Retiring Madness

Well, it is that time of year when the retiring madness starts. Things start selling out and people become frustrated that they didn't get the ink refills or cardstock that they wanted before it retired.  If you are one of those people who are like this, GET YOUR RETIRED items now before they are gone!  Some items are already sold out, so don't wait any longer!  I am one of those people who sells her retired items, so this doesn't apply to me.  The madness that I experience this time of the year is trying to use all of my retiring stamp sets, dies and accessories one last time. :) I did this with my card for CAS(E) this Sketch today.
I used retiring stamp sets, framelits AND DSP on this card.  These particular stamps have never even seen ink!  Others in each set were very frequently used, but these stamps were nice and clean. :)
I really like these pears and wish I had gotten around to using them sooner!  I'm also sad to see the Cannery Framelits go. I get so attached to my Big Shot items, even if I don't use them all that much. I am somewhat of a collector, you might say. :) 
Stamp Sets: Friendly Phrases, Friendship Preserves
Cardstock: Pear Pizazz, Whisper White
Ink: Early Espresso, Pear Pizazz, Summer Starfruit
Tools: Cannery Framelits
Accessories: Summer Smooches DSP

Monday, April 29, 2013

Con Amor, todo es posible.

Brett is leaving for the Dominican Republic tonight to lead another group from work, so I decided I would use the challenges at Freshly Made Sketches and Stampin' Royalty to make a card for the little girl we sponsor, Ana Raisa. 
When I opened up the Stampin' Up! demonstrator website I saw they were going to have a new flower kit available this afternoon, so I was inspired to make some similar flowers for my card!
I am so bad about pulling out my Bigz dies to use, even though I HAVE to have all of them. lol Fun Flowers was on the bottom of my stack of dies, so that shows you how much I use it! I enjoyed making these flowers though!  I used our Permanent Adhesive Sheets to hold all of the layers together. This was much faster than pulling out the hot glue gun. I am so impatient and hate waiting for that puppy to heat up! :) I hope Ana Raisa likes her card. I used Google Translate to write her a message on the inside. I can speak some Spanish, but mostly just words here and there, not full sentences. Hopefully it translates better than I do! lol
Stamp Sets: Betsy's Blossoms, Everything Eleanor, Paz y Amistad (retired)
Cardstock: Midnight Muse, Summer Starfruit, Very Vanilla
Ink: Gumball Green, Midnight Muse, Summer Starfruit
Tools: Fun Flowers Bigz Die, Perfect Polka Dots Embossing Folder
Accessories: Vintage Faceted Designer Buttons, Print Poetry DSP Stack, Adhesive Sheets

Saturday, April 27, 2013

A Night of Frustrations

We had a great day today, so I should have known that things wouldn't go my way tonight! First I sat down to watch my recorded finale episode of Project Runway. I had missed the first run and taped one later in the night. The recording caught the very end of the previous run, telling me who won. Ahhh!!! Of course, my luck. Then it turned out the Program Guide was wrong and it taped Dance Moms instead so I didn't even get to see the final episode yet. I know it will be on again, but I had time to watch it NOW!  To top things off, I realized I had lost my favorite earring and we have been so many places today that it could be anywhere AND my camera battery was dead when I tried to take a picture of my card I made tonight. Sigh. Hopefully it will charge enough while I work on my post so I can get it posted tonight!  Luckily, there are only 32 minutes left of today, so it can't get any worse, right?

So sorry for my rant. :) The card I made tonight is for the challenges at CASology and Less is More.

I love these two challenge sites because they allow for simple card designs, my favorite. I like making detailed cards sometimes, but clean and simple, stress free cards are what really relax me and make me love stamping.
Stamp Sets: Everything Eleanor, Feel Goods
Cardstock: Whisper White
Ink: Island Indigo, Pool Party
Tools: Lacy Brocade Embossing Folder, Color Spritzer
Accessories: Rhinestones, Pool Party Seam Binding Ribbon, Dimensionals

White Washing...for real this time!

So I went back and looked at the instructions for this technique and WOW, I completely messed up the steps. lol I'm kind of glad I did though because what I did yesterday is more like painting, and I like that technique too!  Today I decided to try the REAL white washing for the challenges at Nacho Average Challenges and colourQ and I LOVE the results. 
Here are the white washing steps that I used:
1. Emboss the image with white embossing powder.
2. Put a few drops of Whisper White Craft Ink Refill on a plastic plate.
3. Use the Aqua Painter to add a few drops of water to the craft ink to thin it out and paint it over the image.
4. Use the heat tool to dry the image.
5. Pick up ink from inside of the lid of the ink pad with a Blender Pen and color the image.
I initially had the butterfly embossed directly on the card base but I didn't want to cover it up with the banners. I showed it to Brett and he had the fabulous idea of cutting out the butterfly and putting the banners underneath it.  I loved that idea so I decided that since he helped me I would finish the card off for him. :)  I have such a wonderful hubby.  I love you honey! ;)
Stamp Sets: Seasonal Sayings, Swallowtail, Hey There
Cardstock: Crumb Cake, Whisper White
Ink: Lucky Limeade, Melon Mambo, Pumpkin Pie, Whisper White Craft
Tools: 3/4" Circle Punch, Aqua Painter, Blender Pen, Heat Tool, Embossing Buddy
Accessories: Brights Collection DSP Stack, White Embossing Powder, Dimensionals

Friday, April 26, 2013

White Washing...kind of

I decided to give this technique that I have been seeing everywhere a try today for my one layer card I am entering at The Paper Players.
I wanted to use the set Countryside because it is one of my favorite masculine sets and will sadly be retiring at the end of this catalog.  It is a great set to watercolor, so I thought this white washing technique would be cool to try.  Every card I have seen has first been embossed with white, but I thought that might look funny with the truck so I embossed in Early Espresso instead. 
I cannot believe I did not try this technique sooner!  I don't know if my version is technically called white washing or not. lol  I did use Whisper White Craft ink with my Aqua Painters, so does that make it white washed?  I don't know!  Anyway, this is the next best thing to having paint available in Stampin' Up! colors as far as I am concerned.  I put drops of WW Craft ink on a plastic plate and then used reinkers to add color to each drop. I used Not Quite Navy, Garden Green, Cherry Cobbler, Soft Suede and Basic Gray.  Then I just picked up the "paint" and colored on my embossed image. So easy and what a great way to add and blend color nicely on the cardstock!  I am just ecstatic over the final results and can't wait to try some of the beautiful white flowers I have been seeing everywhere!
Stamp Sets: Curly Cute, Countryside
Cardstock: Crumb Cake
Ink: Basic Gray, Cherry Cobbler, Garden Green, Not Quite Navy, Soft Suede, Whisper White Craft
Tools: Heat Tool, Embossing Buddy, Aqua Painter, Simply Scored
Accessories: Early Espresso Embossing Powder

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Post-Retirement List Anticipation

I got up very late last night/early this morning to see the Stampin' Up! Retirement list, so now that that anticipation is over I am exhausted!  Add to that my early morning trip to the dentist to have some teeth drilled and a pounding migraine...I just want to go to bed so this will be quick!  I made this card yesterday for the challenges at Create with Connie and Mary and retro sketches.
2013 Thursday Challenges-011

I decided to turn the sketch sideways to fit better with the images I wanted to use. I see now that the Lacy Brocade embossing folder will be retiring at the end of this catalog! I am so sad by that one. It is one of my favorites.  I know there will be other fabulous embossing folders to replace it though. ;) ;)

Stamp Sets: Feel Goods, Secret Garden
Cardstock: Midnight Muse, Summer Starfruit, Very Vanilla
Ink: Gumball Green, Midnight Muse
Tools: Circle Punch, Lacy Brocade Embossing Folder
Accessories: Gumball Green Stitched Satin Ribbon, Rhinestones, Print Poetry DSP Stack, Dimensionals

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Traced Doodling

I was really excited to try a new technique for the challenge at Just Add ink, which is to try something you have never done before.  Since our challenge at Addicted to Stamps and More! is to use markers, I went searching for a marker technique and I found Traced Doodling. I have never even heard of this technique but it brought me out of my comfort zone and I had a lot of fun with it!
I started by stamping the flower from Mixed Bunch in Whisper White Craft Ink. I let that dry and then outlined the entire thing with the fine point tip of my Calypso Coral marker.  I went around that with lines and dots of Lucky Limeade.  The centers are each filled in with Pool Party.  This is a great way to be able to doodle if you aren't comfortable with your own doodling skills! lol  I did the same thing with the butterfly but used a different flower that I could color in more of.  I also did a little bit on the inside, keeping with my promise to myself to add a little something to the inside of each card. :) 

Stamp Sets: Itty Bitty Banners, Mixed Bunch
Cardstock: Calypso Coral, Lucky Limeade, Pool Party, Whisper White
Ink: Calypso Coral, Lucky Limeade, Pool Party
Tools: Finishing Touches Edgelits, Blossom Punch, Circle Punch, Fancy Fan Embossing Folder
Accessories: Pool Party Seam Binding Ribbon, Rhinestone

Monday, April 22, 2013

Up in the Air over CAS

I have really been getting into making CAS cards lately!  I whipped up this card in about 10 minutes while I was waiting on Brett to get ready to go get ice cream. :)  We should be saving our pennies for Convention in Salt Lake City but ice cream at the Magic Wand has just been calling our names lately. lol  This card is for the challenges at colourQ and Try Stampin' On Tuesday.
I don't have any Bermuda Bay ink yet so I had to go with Tempting Turquoise.  I wasn't sure about this combination at first but I really ended up liking it!  I think the key to using such a variety of colors well is to use a lot of white, so that is what I chose to do.
Nothing too complicated to explain on this one!  I put the birds in the corners in place of the three circles for a little added accent.  I almost forgot to decorate the inside but remembered right before I took the pictures, but I kept it very simple.
Stamp Sets: Oh Hello, Up Up & Away
Cardstock: Whisper White
Ink: Concord Crush, Melon Mambo, Poppy Parade, Tempting Turquoise
Tools: Scallop Circle Punch, Circle Punch
Accessories: Whisper White Taffeta Ribbon, Dimensionals 


There are soooo many new things that Stampin' Up! has introduced lately that I am in love with. I love the individual stamps that they have for sale on the website that are not in the main catalog, the new This in That line, the photopolymer stamp sets and the My Paper Pumpkin kits that come monthly to my door.  I combined a little of each of these into my CAS card for the day that uses the challenges at Dynamic Duos and Freshly Made Sketches
The Dynamic Duos challenge was great since I am on this kick of making masculine cards!
That Spec-Tacular stamp is SOOOO easy to line up multiple times, even without the Stamp-a-ma-jig!  I stamped it on a separate piece of Whisper White cardstock cut to size and then adhered it to my card with the Epic Day Washi Tape.  No glue needed on my entire card because the banner and arrow are adhered with Dimensionals!  Here is a peek at the inside, which I have vowed to do on each of my cards from now on. :)
I stamped the second part of the sentiment directly on the Washi Tape.  I love this stuff!  It is repositionable too, so if you don't get it quite right the first time you can pull it up and try again!
Stamp Sets: Designer Typeset, Hey There, Seriously, Spec-Tacular
Cardstock: Basic Gray, Whisper White
Ink: Black StazOn, Basic Gray
Accessories: Epic Day Washi Tape, Dimensionals

Saturday, April 20, 2013


Janae and I got up super early this morning to go to a children's clothing resale and then some garage sales, so I am soooo tired right now.  I did get in a little nap, but all three kids kept coming in and bothering me, so it was not GOOD sleep. I had big plans to get my stamping studio cleaned, purged and organized today, but my supplies were calling my name to make a card. I promised it would just be a CAS one though, so I didn't take up TOO much time.  I decided to use the challenges at CASology and Nacho Average Challenges for my card. 
Aren't those great masculine colors?!  I just love them.  I thought they would look great with the word that I chose to use from my new My Paper Pumpkin kit that arrived yesterday. As soon as I saw the kit this month I fell in love with it. It is so different from anything I already have and has a little humor to it.  If you love getting a surprise in the mail you can sign up by going to It's just $19.95 a month and that includes shipping and handling!  The great thing is it comes with everything you need to do to complete the project except for adhesive, including stamps and ink that you can use over and over!  The first kit you receive also includes Clear Block D so you will always have a block that fits all of the stamps that come in your future kits. I don't know about you but I LOVE getting a surprise in the mail every month!  Okay, on to my card. :)
I just LOVE that big "seriously."  Janae says that all of the time so I know I will be getting some use out of it. It will be great in her This and That journal that she recently started on too!  This card was so CAS that I had enough time to decorate the inside too. I rarely do this but it really makes the card look complete.  I need to remember the inside needs some lovin' too!
Stamp Sets: Hey There (My Paper Pumpkin), Seriously (My Paper Pumpkin), Oh Hello
Cardstock: Midnight Muse, Very Vanilla
Ink: Midnight Muse, Old Olive, Soft Suede
Tools: Apothecary Accents Framelits
Accessories: Dimensionals
Yippity do dah!  I was chosen as one of the Honorable Mention favorites at CASology this week!

Oops! A little late!

I can't believe that I forgot to post my card for our challenge at Addicted to CAS!  I have had the card finished for a few days just sitting here but just completely forgot to blog it. DUH!  Our challenge this week is a good one...and one that I have used probably more than any other image in my stamping career. :)
Our amazing sponsor this week is Bugaboo Stamps!!!! They are generously offering you a pack of 7 digi's from their store!!!
The hardest part of this challenge was trying to decide which flower stamp to use. I have SOOOO many and I keep telling myself that I'm not going to buy any more but Stampin' Up! always seems to come out with more fabulous flower sets that I just HAVE to have. :)  This is one of my new favorites.
I love this big background stamp because it makes such a quick and easy card.  Stamp, color with blender pens and ink, add an embossed frame over the top with a bow and a little tag and you're done! Oh, and don't forget a little bling in the center of the flowers. :)
Stamp Sets: Pleasant Poppies, Tiny Tags
Cardstock: Old Olive, Whisper White
Ink: Midnight Muse, Old Olive
Tools: Ovals Collection Framelits, Honeycomb Embossing Folder, Jewelry Tag Punch, Blender Pen
Accessories: Whisper White Taffeta Ribbon, Rhinestones

Friday, April 19, 2013

Girly Girl

I am somewhat of a girly girl, although I don't often make girly girl cards.  I decided to bring out the girl in me with a pink card for the monochromatic challenge at SUO Challenges, combined with the sketch at Mojo Monday.
I can't even remember the last time I made a pink card. It's just not one of those colors that I reach for.  I don't even have any pink embellishments!  I had to sponge my ribbon and flower with pink ink to get them to coordinate with m card!  I love being able to do that though. It really adds versatility to the supplies that I do have.
After I got my picture all edited I realized that the corner is not glued down all of the way so I had to go back and fix that. :)  The sentiment is shadow stamped, first in Pretty in Pink and then stamped off with Regal Rose. It just occurred to me that both of these colors will be retiring at the beginning of July, so I am glad I decided to get some final use out of them!
Stamp Set: Feel Goods
Cardstock: Pink Pirouette, Pretty in Pink
Ink: Pretty in Pink, Regal Rose
Tools: Sponge, 2 3/8" Circle Punch, Lacy Brocade Embossing Folder
Accessories: Brights DSP Stack, Flower Trim, Victoria Crochet Trim, Dimensionals

One Layer Frustration!

Aren't one layer cards supposed to be the easiest to make?  I mean, come on, there is ONE layer of cardstock and some ink. How hard can that be?  Apparently pretty hard because I had to start over about 5 times while working on the One Layer Film challenge at Less is More! It was seriously one of those moments where the kids knew that if they came in and asked me one more question while I was working on this card they might not see tomorrow! 

I knew that I wanted to use the movie "Sixteen Candles" for my theme. Who doesn't love some Molly Ringwald?  I still watch her on "The Secret Life of the American Teenager."  She starred in some great 80s movies and "Sixteen Candles" is one of my absolute favorites!  But when it came time to actually getting my simple idea transferred onto a card, I wasn't loving it so much!  I started using Basic Black ink and it smeared on 3 different card fronts before I smartened up and decided to emboss it in black instead.  I got the second card almost complete and decided to also emboss the sentiment.  Should have used the Embossing Buddy!  Yup, embossing powder specks all over my nearly-complete card. :(  By this point I knew exactly what I needed to do to get my card perfect though! lol I know you are expecting some spectacular card, but it really is a very simple card so don't get too excited! :)

I carefully colored in 16 of the candles, double checking each time that there were exactly 16 colored in. I even counted them again once I saw my card on my computer screen. After my luck with this card so far this morning I wanted to be sure it was correct!  I was so nervous when I used my marker to make the streaks across the sentiment. I have seen others do this and it looked great but I didn't want to ruin my card...again! I love the way it turned out though. Very simple and random. :) 

Stamp Set: Bring on the Cake
Cardstock: Whisper White
Ink: VersaMark, Calypso Coral, Daffodil Delight, Island Indigo, Lucky Limeade
Tools: Simply Scored, Heat Tool, Embossing Buddy
Accessories: Candle Crazy Builder Wheel, Black Embossing Powder

Thursday, April 18, 2013

A Lil Bit Retro

I've been seeing lots of retro-looking cards in blog land and I REALLY love this style!  I don't have a lot to work with in my Stampin' Up! stash though so I have to make due with the few stamps that I do have. I am hoping that we get more of this style in the next catalog, just for something different to play with.  I made this "lil bit retro" card for the challenges at CAS(E) this Sketch! and The Play Date Cafe.

 I just love these bright colors! It has been dark, dreary and pouring down rain all day so they really cheered me up just seeing them!  Aren't the glasses adorable?!  It is one of the single stamps that are now available...Spec-Tacular.  The bubble and arrow are from the Photopolymer stamp set Designer Typeset.  I am in love with the shapes in this set. I haven't used the alphabet too much because the letters are super tiny and I am afraid I am going to lose them!  But I just love that arrow! 

Stamp Sets: Designer Typeset, Notable Alphabet,Spec-Tacular
Cardstock: Daffodil Delight, Whisper White
Ink: Basic Gray, Daffodil Delight, Melon Mambo
Tools: Corner Punch
Accessories: Rhinestones, Dimensionals

A New Strategy

I have been really bad about cleaning up my stamping studio lately, so I decide to try out a new strategy today.  From now on, as soon as I finish ONE card, I have to put away all of the supplies I got out and clean up my mess! Before I even take a picture of my card, I MUST put away my ink pads, markers, tools...even my scraps!  I did this and you know what?  It felt so good that I can't wait to make another card!  It's a lot less stressful sitting here in a clean room. Okay, it's not exactly clean...more like "picked up." :)

My card today is for the challenges at retro sketches and The Paper Players
Baja Breeze is retiring at the end of this catalog year and I didn't really think I would miss it too  much until I actually got it out to use it!  It is a nice calm light blue. It has kind of a "dirty" look to it too, which I like for vintage or old-world style cards.  I haven't used it in a while and it kind of got me teary just thinking about it leaving. What a color-addicted dork! lol
I haven't really used Friendship Preserves all that much but I thought it worked well with the sketch and colors. It stamps so nicely when colored with markers too!  For my flowers at the top I first pressed them into my Baja Breeze ink pad and then Rich Razzleberry.  I love adding color to these flowers. They are so gorgeous!  I really hope they carry over into the next catalog. It is nice that they are all joined so you can use a strip of them or cut them apart.  The twine at the bottom is a strip I cut from the Natural Cotton ribbon and pulled the fibers apart. I used some on another card earlier this week and had this extra lying on my table and thought it looked to nice to throw it away. :) 
Stamp Set: Friendship Preserves
Cardstock: Baja Breeze, Crumb Cake, Very Vanilla
Ink: Baja Breeze, Crumb Cake, Island Indigo, Rich Razzleberry
Tools: Window Frames Framelits, sponge, Lacy Brocade Embossing Folder
Accessories: Natural Cotton Ribbon, Flower Trim, Dimensionals, Subtles DSP Stack