Gingham friend

When I started the Big Studio Makeover yesterday, I had no idea what I had started!  So I am not quite ready to show you the “after” pictures.  It’s amazing what I uncovered.  Let me just say that I have more Sahara Sand ink refills than any one stamper should!

So in the meantime, I am sharing this camp card from February, CASEd from Tammy Beard.  The little piece of magic on this card is that both the gingham panel and the white panel were cut with the same Rectangle Stitched Framelit (but not at the same time).  This shows you how cool these dies are:  one die produces stitching on both the positive and negative (frame) pieces.  Love this.

Needle & Thread | How sweet is this?  Hope you can see those self-adhesive sequins -- please click to read more! | Stampin' Up! | HeartfeltInkspiration.com | Debra Burgin

But it’s that piercing die that steals the show, don’t you agree?

This is a sweet card, especially with the addition of the Gingham Gala Adhesive-Backed Sequins in the center of each flower. When I ran out of the Highland Heather gingham, I changed the card base to Balmy Blue and the flowers to Crushed Curry. Equally sweet!

Click the images below to add products for this card to your cart in my Stampin’ Up! online store.  Disclosure:  I get commissions for purchases made through these links.

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Wonderful Romance with gingham

I’m so excited for tonight’s Love It, Chop It class featuring the Floral Romance Specialty Designer Series Paper. Kylie Bertucci, a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator from Australia, popularized the notion of prepping your DSP so that it is ready to use. Tonight’s class is the first of two. I love to have stampers here!

While I was designing the LICI projects with my Stampin’ buddy Jennifer Taylor, I couldn’t resist playing with the Wonderful Romance stamp set and Wonderful Floral Framelits. Sadly, the dies are no longer available; I’m happy I have them, as that leafy lattice die is really stunning.

Anyway, I wanted to do some more watercoloring and chose the large floral image.

Wonderful Romance | Heat embossing this image with gold powder made the watercoloring easy.  The raised outlines kept the color from spreading too much.  Please click to read more! | Stampin' Up! | HeartfeltInkspiration.com | Debra Burgin

I created this when we had only the promise of spring on the calendar (but not in the air), and I wanted some bright, happy colors for this birthday card.

Wonderful Romance | Heat embossing this image with gold powder made the watercoloring easy.  The raised outlines kept the color from spreading too much.  Please click to read more! | Stampin' Up! | HeartfeltInkspiration.com | Debra Burgin

By heat embossing the image (with gold powder), the water is contained in little pools, making it less likely you’ll color outside the lines, if that’s a concern. The technique is a bit like decorating cookies — outlining, flooding the little areas with color, letting them dry, and adding more color where desired. The tiny areas at the top of the image were too small to watercolor, so I used a Stampin’ Blends marker there.

Wonderful Romance | Heat embossing this image with gold powder made the watercoloring easy.  The raised outlines kept the color from spreading too much.  Please click to read more! | Stampin' Up! | HeartfeltInkspiration.com | Debra Burgin

I hope the birthday girl loves this card next week!

Click the images below to add products for this card to your cart in my Stampin’ Up! online store. Disclosure: I get commissions for purchases made through these links.

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Painted Seasons: Succulents

On this final day of March and of Sale-A-Bration, I have one last Painted Seasons project to share with you, this pretty card essentially CASEd from Kim Vogel:

Painted Seasons | All Adorned | A perfect, springy card for this last day of March!  Please click to read more! | Stampin' Up! | HeartfeltInkspiration.com | Debra Burgin

My stampers this month weren’t surprised I admitted wasn’t my original design.  Aside from the fact that I gave credit to Kim in the directions, all those layers gave it away!  And yet, I think this card is perfect. (I apologize that I neglected to credit her in the watermark on these photos before saving them.)

Painted Seasons | All Adorned | A perfect, springy card for this last day of March!  Please click to read more! | Stampin' Up! | HeartfeltInkspiration.com | Debra Burgin

A note on adhesive for this project:  although you may find using SNAIL second nature, a wet adhesive like Multipurpose Liquid Glue will get into all the nooks and crannies of the heavily embossed Country Floral panel and assure a complete bond to the Pool Party mat.

Click the images below to add products for this card to your cart in my Stampin’ Up! online store. Disclosure: I get commissions for purchases made through these links.

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Food Friday: Chewy Cocoa Brownies

Chewy Cocoa Brownies

Lost in the blog devastation of the last few months was a post about my favorite brownie recipe.  I know it seems impossible, but I could never make a successful brownie from a boxed mix.  Just couldn’t.  I remembered my mother making “one-bowl brownies,” but I didn’t have the recipe.  Then somewhere I found this one.  It has never failed me.

Stampers know a slight variation to these brownies:  after spreading the batter in the pan, I sprinkle the top with ½ package (i.e., 4 oz.) of Heath Milk Chocolate Toffee Bits. (You can find them in the baking aisle, by the chocolate chips. They are not candy, LOL.)  They sink down a tiny bit and add something interesting.  Not that a naked brownie is not interesting, of course! This picture shows powdered sugar sifted over a doily die cut stencil.  I’ve used a heart stencil, too. Fancy!

Chewy Cocoa Brownies

1⅔ cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup butter, melted
2 tablespoons water (I always use brewed coffee)
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1⅓ cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup baking cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup chopped nuts (optional)

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9″ x 13″ baking pan.
  • Combine sugar, butter and water in large bowl. Stir in eggs and vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt; stir into sugar mixture. Stir in nuts. Spread into prepared pan.
  • Bake for 18-25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out slightly sticky. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into 36 bars.
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Painted Seasons: Christmas Wishes

Making a Christmas card in March is not typical for me, but the winter stamp and paper in the Painted Seasons bundle made me do it!

More Than Words | Painted Seasons | Love this Sale-A-Bration bundle, and the sentiment set that coordinates is wonderful!  My secret weapon for perfect alignment of these 2- and 3-step stamps is the Stamparatus.  Please click to read more! | Stampin' Up! | HeartfeltInkspiration.com | Debra Burgin

The sentiment is from the More Than Words photopolymer set available only in March (and only while supplies last!).  The images in this set coordinate with sets offered during Sale-A-Bration.  I particularly love the two- and three-set stamping possibilities of “WISHES,” with its multi-occasion pairings.  I can’t imagine creating this layered image without using the Stamparatus.  Each stamper at each stamp camp this month produced perfect results!

Click the images below to add products for this card to your cart in my Stampin’ Up! online store. Disclosure: I get commissions for purchases made through these links.

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Painted Seasons: Amazing You

This card has one of my favorite design elements on it:  an open circle or oval with flowers attached.  It’s a kind of wreath effect, but not too literal.

Today’s card is the only March camp card that did not use the corresponding pattern from the Painted Seasons DSP.  I love the flowers in this set, and it seemed to me to be too much to use the floral print.

Painted Seasons | Another 2019 March camp card.  This one uses the Botanical Butterfly Designer Series Paper, also from Sale-A-Bration.  Please click to read more! | Stampin' Up! | HeartfeltInkspiration.com | Debra Burgin

Instead, I just had to use the sweet dotted pattern from the Botanical Butterfly Designer Series Paper – also a Sale-A-Bration offering.  Hard to say which got the most use in the last three months, this print or the black-and-white check.  Never can have too many small B&W patterns in my world!

Painted Seasons | Another 2019 March camp card.  This one uses the Botanical Butterfly Designer Series Paper, also from Sale-A-Bration.  Please click to read more! | Stampin' Up! | HeartfeltInkspiration.com | Debra Burgin

Offsetting the dots is the striped ribbon, another favorite of mine.  And of course you can always use some glimmer – I’m just not sure you can see it here, in the form of leaves punched from the Sparkle Glimmer Paper.  Did you know that all the Glimmer Paper was reformulated for the Stampin’ Up! 2018-2019 Annual Catalog?  In addition to the paper being easier to cut, the sparkle stays on the paper, not on your face.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course!

Click the images below to add products for this card to your cart in my Stampin’ Up! online store. Disclosure: I get commissions for purchases made through these links.

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Painted Seasons: Celebrate your day

All the Heartfelt Inkspiration stamp camp projects in March featured the wonderful, beautiful, fabulous Painted Seasons bundle, free during Sale-A-Bration.

Before I introduce the first project, please don’t overlook the fact that Sale-A-Bration ends in less than one week!  Time is running out to earn free product during this Stampin’ Up! promotion:  the deadline is March 31, 2019, at 11:50 p.m. (MT).  As you’re aware, the free items are available while supplies last – and some of them didn’t make it through the entire promotion.  You can find all available SAB freebies here.

The Painted Seasons bundle, with stamp set and coordinating Designer Series Paper, was appealing to me as soon as I saw it, and when Stampin’ Up! offered a set of Framelits dies for the stamp set, that made everything so easy!

I CASEd this first card from super stamper Erica Cerwin.  The woodland pattern on this paper is whimsical and perhaps a bit masculine, so the stampers in March agreed that this would be an appropriate guy card.

Painted Seasons | Love this autumnal woodland pattern!  I paired this 2019 Sale-A-Bration with a sentiment from another SAB set.  Please click to read the little trick with that circle! | Stampin' Up! | HeartfeltInkspiration.com | Debra Burgin

The background panel is a little deceiving:  there’s not a separate circle adhered to the woodland print.  Simply die cut a circle from the paper and flip it over in the “window” to create this look.  Genius!

Click the images below to add products for this card to your cart in my Stampin’ Up! online store. Disclosure: I get commissions for purchases made through these links.

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Just Because birthday card

Last week I shared a “thinking of you” card made with the host set Just Because (2019 Occasions Catalog). During the same time when I was playing and experimenting, I got started on some birthday cards using one of the other images.

Stampin' Up! Just Because (#148786)

The potted plant with the implied window is charming – another great image for coloring – but I didn’t want the Mother’s Day sentiment.  I could have masked off the sentiment and stamped the rest of the image, but instead I took the bold move of slicing it right off the stamp!

I’m not sure I’ve ever done that! It was shocking but so, so right. Now I have the option to use that image with whatever sentiment is appropriate, or none at all. Question: do you prefer to have a sentiment on the front of your card, or not?

Just Because | This image, from a host-only set in the 2019 Occasions Catalog, includes a sentiment I didn't want.  Please click to read more! | Stampin' Up! | HeartfeltInkspiration.com | Debra Burgin

The coloring on this card was with Stampin’ Blends, but in the hands of the recipient now, so I can’t remember the exact colors I used. (I get a lot of colors out of the drawer when I start to work, I can tell you that!)

As you can tell, I cut the image out with the wonderful Rectangle Stitched Framelits Dies. What may not be obvious, however, is that this is a custom size. That is, I shortened the height of the cut to better fit the image. How did I do that? Stay tuned, friends!

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Food Friday: Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I bake a lot of cookies, but usually only one or two varieties each month. Peter knows where the cookies are kept, and I’ve seen him perched on the counter getting to them. They’re not forbidden, but sometimes I’m not prepared with his after-school snack
as he bursts through the back door, ravenous (they eat lunch at 11:15!). “What’s in the hot seat?” he’ll shout, and start rummaging through the cabinets. I don’t know where he heard that expression, but it makes me laugh when he refers to the cookie jar that way.

The hot seat, with a more healthful snack behind it.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies are my husband’s favorite, and as with other favorites, I’ve tried several different recipes in search of the perfect one. You’d think a name like “best ever” would be a winner, right? Not really. So although I pin lots of cookie (and other) recipes, only the ones that earn a thumbs-up mark of approval get saved to My Recipe Box, a private Pinterest board.

But I think this is indeed the perfect cookie. I’d expect it to be, as it’s right off the Quaker Oats container! I double the recipe in my stand mixer until I’m ready to the add the six cups of oats; even the mighty KitchenAid struggles with that and the bowl is really not big enough, so I use a giant stainless steel bowl (one of the best things I ever bought for the kitchen, decades ago) and muscle my way through it.

These cookies live up to their name. I baked 110 of these to last the entire month — hah!

I always bake on parchment paper, but I never enjoyed measuring and trimming and uncurling the paper from the roll to prep the pans. A few years ago I decided that the amount of baking I do justified the expense of buying pre-cut sheets, which are useful for more than just baking, as it turns out, like keeping kitchen science experiments under control. This is what I bought, which should last me until I hang up my kitchen apron for good!

And just who will be stocking the hot seat then, I wonder?

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Just Because I’m Thinking of You

Easily overlooked in the Stampin’ Up! catalogs, I think, are the “Just for Hosts” stamp sets at the back. You can only get these when you qualify as a host, that is, when your order is at least $150 in product (before S/H and tax). A host set is “purchased” with Stampin’ Rewards, the product credit you earn based on your product total.

Read more about the benefits of being a host here, and note the extra benefits during Sale-A-Bration!

I’ve really enjoyed playing with Just Because, a host set from the Stampin’ Up! 2019 Occasions Catalog.

The images in this host set are much bigger than they appear on page 54. I know it actually says there that the images shown are at 50%, but until I saw the stamps in person I didn’t really understand!

Just Because | The images in this host-only set are much bigger than they appear in the 2019 Occasions Catalog!  They are beautiful for coloring with your choice of medium.  Please click to read more! | Stampin' Up! | HeartfeltInkspiration.com | Debra Burgin

I sent this card — flat, #SimpleStamping (but not necessarily quick) — to someone whose daughter is very ill. I also sent this prayer, which I found in the final days when my older sister was dying of cancer:

Watch, O Lord,
with those who wake,
or watch,
or weep tonight,
and give Your angels charge over those who sleep.
Tend Your sick ones, O Lord Christ.
Rest Your weary ones.
Bless Your dying ones.
Soothe Your suffering ones.
Pity Your afflicted ones.
Shield Your joyous ones.
And all for Your love’s sake.
Amen

You may also be interested in this prayer set to music by Marty Haugen,

Peace.

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