Inkyfingers Papercrafting

Posts Tagged ‘the crafty life

I’ve been really busy in the craft studio lately, creating lots of different projects to showcase the beautiful new products in the Occasions and Sale-a-Bration catalogues. I’ll share some of those creations – along with what I hope is a useful insight – with you today!

broadway cut card front

I created this card for a sketch challenge I found on another demonstrator’s page. I admit, the end result is not as awesome as I was hoping – but experimenting and trying different things is part of living a rich creative life, and I can learn from creations I don’t like as much as I learn from creations I’m proud of. In any case, this card prompted me to notice how little of the Broadway Bound paper I had left, and I decided to go ahead and use it all up….


… which led me to the creation of this card! I like the way the gold glimmer paper coordinates with the gold foil numbers on the DSP, and the two-step stamping from the Broadway Birthday stamp set matches the stylistic dots on the numbers as well!

butterflies squares

Butterfly Gala is one of my favourites, and I loved creating this card as my swap for this month’s team meeting. I’m really pleased with how it came together! Although cutting out all those squares took some time, the result is well worth it. I hope my teammates enjoy the cards!


Inspired by Stampin’ Up!’s recent #simplestampin campaign, I wanted to create a card that showcased simple tools and techniques, featuring the “Hoppy for You” stamp set. You can earn this adorable stamp set free when you spend $60 during Sale-a-Bration! This card, along with the next two, are for next month’s workshops.


Home to Roost” is the style of stamp set that is totally out of my comfort zone, but once in a while it’s good to try new things, right? I love the sentiment stamps (including the font!) and the grass, and that rooster looks good no matter what colours are used. This stamp set can also be earned free with a $60 purchase!


I can’t believe how long it took me to play with Pop of Petals from the annual catalogue – especially considering it was one of the very first things I ordered! I’m glad I finally got around to it, and I think the Gingham Gala DSP makes a perfect match for it. The sentiment stamp is from “Part of My Story“, a free Sale-a-Bration item.

And here’s the useful (I hope) insight. We’re often reminded that social media is a “highlight reel”, while we may be living a life that feels more like a collection of bloopers. Crafting is no different. When I post my creations online, or demonstrate them at a class, readers and attendees see the end results – the card I’m proud of – and may not be aware that I had to work through several versions I tried and hated, before figuring out how to make something I love. So, the beautiful Pop of Petals card above? Here’s what the first version looked like (I’m cringing, but sharing anyway!)

2019-01-20 09.19.14
So next time you sit down to create something, and then find out that you’re unhappy with the results – YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Don’t give up – you’re at the first stage of the creative process, and you might have to try a few more times before your disappointment turns into satisfaction and then pride.

Lesson over – moving on! 😉


After using up the last of my Broadway Bound DSP, it was time to dive in (heh) to Tranquil Textures DSP! I made a big batch of these charming octopus cards last summer and they were very popular, so I decided to stick with the same design to use up the last pieces of this wonderful paper. I really love the rich colours and the textures in the paper – it has a hand-painted look to it, and is perfect for masculine cards.

twin girls

And finally, this is one of my very favourite cards that I’ve created lately, using a mix of old and new products. The paper, stamps, and thinlits are retired, but the ribbon is new (another free Sale-a-Bration item), as well as the “Congratulations” stamp which is from Hand-Delivered. I’ve had the Twinkle Twinkle bundle on my list for a while, but hadn’t gotten around to buying it … meanwhile, a customer contacted me for a custom job, needing a card for the birth of twin girls. She and I were both very pleased with the result!

Leave me a comment and show me one of your recent creations! I’d love to see what you’re up to! If you’re inspired by any of the above, remember you can shop 24/7 at my online store – and if you’re local to Nanaimo, you can sign up for a workshop on my events page.

Happy Stampin’!


Please visit my 24/7 online store by clicking above, or contact me:

Have you subscribed to my monthly newsletter? You’ll receive project tutorials and inspiration, as well as all workshop dates and special promotion news. Don’t miss out, sign up today!



During Christmas break of 2017 – yes, just over a year ago – I spent a lot of happy hours in my craft studio, churning out holiday cards to give in 2018. I figured I may as well use up all the Christmas paper I had on hand, while I was still in the holiday spirit, and knowing that I’d get excited about new paper and products when the next holiday catalogue appeared! That practice served me really well, since the lead up to Christmas 2018 was extremely busy with my involvement in Nanaimo Theatre Group’s Christmas panto production. It was awesome to already have 200+ Christmas cards on hand for personal giving as well as stocking my two consignor stores and participating in craft fairs.

I decided to continue the practice this year, but as you can imagine, the project didn’t get done over Christmas (see above note re: theatre busyness!) so I’m still working on it now. I hope you’ll forgive me for sharing some out-of-season Christmas cards with you … or even get inspired to join in and use up your Christmas papers throughout the off-season, so you’re ready for the holidays ahead of time!


Here’s one of my Christmas creations, using up the red foil paper I’ve been hoarding for a couple of years. Since I had so much on hand, I indulged in this simple yet striking design. The multipurpose adhesive sheets were very helpful in attaching those detailed ornaments to the card! I just need to add one finishing touch, a silver glimmer cap on top of the ornament.


“Making Christmas Bright” is one of my favourite stamp sets from the 2018 holiday catalogue, and it is still available! I used up the last of my “All is Bright” designer series paper to make a batch of these adorable cards.


These charming reindeer are made with the Cookie Cutter Christmas stamp set and co-ordinating punch. It’s a simple card but will brighten someone’s day for sure!


I just had to add a touch of sparkling gold glimmer paper to offset this beautiful paper from the “All is Bright” DSP pack. I can’t wait to give these cards out next season!

joy joy

And finally – who remembers the “Merry Music” pack that Stampin’ Up! released in 2017? I still had almost a full pack of it left, and the time has come to turn that beautiful paper into beautiful cards. Which variety do you like better?

What kind of Christmas cards do you like to create? Share your creations in the comments! If you’re inspired by the creations above, remember you can shop 24/7 at my online store. Happy Stampin’!

Please visit my 24/7 online store by clicking above, or contact me:

Have you subscribed to my monthly newsletter? You’ll receive project tutorials and inspiration, as well as all workshop dates and special promotion news. Don’t miss out, sign up today!


If you’re just starting out with stamping, it may seem overwhelming to look through the 240-page annual catalogue and figure out what to buy. Here are my top recommendations to get your craft space outfitted – without breaking the bank!

1. Bone Folder

This was the very first tool I was given as a new papercrafter, and it really is an absolute necessity. Every card you make is going to need at least one fold, and the bone folder makes it crisp and flat.

2. Trimmer

I made do with a Fiskars trimmer I bought from SuperStore for quite a while, but when I finally bought my Stampin’ Up! trimmer, I wondered why I’d EVER put it off for so long! With a fold-out arm that allows you to measure and cut paper as large as 12×12″, and two repositionable blades for scoring and cutting, this trimmer makes it easy to create projects from simple to stunning.

3. Stampin’ Scrub

Once you start stamping, you’ll need a way to clean your stamps. Read this post to learn the best method, then get yourself a Stampin’ Scrub and a bottle of Stampin’ Mist to go with it.

4. Acrylic Blocks

Bundling the whole set together will save you 10%, but when you’re starting out, it may make more sense to buy one or two blocks at a time to keep your investment affordable. Every stamp listing in the catalogue will include information on what blocks are recommended for use with the stamp set (see this post for more information).

5. A Stamp and Punch Bundle
We’re halfway through the list and we’re finally getting to the fun stuff! You may not have a Big Shot yet, but there are plenty of fun stamp and punch bundles that will have you creating perfectly co-ordinated projects quickly and easily. But how do you know which bundle to choose? Well, you’ll want something versatile, that can be used for a variety of projects and occasions; and something with a good combination of images and sentiments. And of course, you’ll want to pick sets that appeal to your personal taste! Here are some sets that fit the criteria:

6. A Standalone Stamp Set
For beginners, I look for stamp sets that have a lot of bang for your buck – this means large stamps (so you can complete a project quickly and easily), and, as above, versatility. Here are some that fit the bill:

7. Designer Series Paper and Cardstock
Here’s where personal preference really starts to affect your choices. Some colour combinations will excite and inspire you, while others will leave you feeling “meh” … and my preferences might be totally different from yours! Page through the Designer Series Paper section of the catalogue and see which papers draw your eye again and again. The heart wants what it wants, and when you choose a product you love, you’ll love creating with it! Don’t forget to include a pack of co-ordinated cardstock with it as well – and a pack of white cardstock, for your card inserts.’


8. Inkpads
Use the above DSP and cardstock as a jumping-off point; now that you know which papers appeal to you most, review the list of co-ordinating colours and choose one or two of your favourites to add to your collection. If you’re feeling spendy, choose a whole inkpad family bundle to save 10%. Oh, and grab a black inkpad while you’re at it, because everyone needs one of those!


9. Blender Pens
As I mentioned in this post, blender pens can resolve a host of beginner mistakes – and they are also a very economical stand-in for the entire family of beautiful markers! Just dip them in any colour of inkpad, and use them like a paintbrush to add detail or cover up a mis-stamp.


10. Adhesive
Now that you’ve created something wonderful, you’ll need to hold it all together! There are lots of options, depending on what kind of projects you’re creating – Stampin’ Up!’s Snail is the basic double-sided tape that you’re probably already familiar with.


Got another suggestion for a must-have tool? Comment and let me know!

Please visit my 24/7 online store by clicking above, or contact me:

Have you subscribed to my monthly newsletter? You’ll receive project tutorials and inspiration, as well as all workshop dates and special promotion news. Don’t miss out, sign up today!

The Occasions catalogue is now live! Here are some of the products I’m excited to get my hands on. Will this help you narrow down your wish list, or perhaps add a few more items you hadn’t considered?

Best Item for Beginners – Vibrant Vases stamp set.

With this fun, two-step stamp set, including a charming collection of sentiments, you’ll be able to create beautiful cards for a variety of occasions right away. And if you want to step it up, you can add the Vases Builder punch from the annual catalogue.

Best Sentiment Stamp Set – Strong and Beautiful. I love these empowering sentiments, for way more than just Mother’s Day. If you, like me, like to surround yourself with fierce awesome women, you’re going to love these sentiments!


Best Graphic Stamp Set – There are a lot of great sets to choose from, but I keep coming back over and over again to Flowering Desert. Rather than one more floral motif, this fun stamp set will be great for both masculine and feminine cards, offering a lot of versatility and charm.


Best Embellishment – Gingham Gala Adhesive-Backed Sequins. 250 sequins in 5 colours, 2 sizes, and 2 shapes … AND they’re self-adhesive? Add. To. Cart.


Best Bundle – it’s a tossup between the Piece of Cake bundle and the Butterfly Gala bundle. Both come with a hefty selection of photopolymer stamps, including lovely sentiments in charming fonts; both will be useful for variety of occasions; both are in the $40 range; and both come with a hand-held punch that co-ordinates with the stamped images. Bonus: Butterfly Gala allows you to stamp two butterfly images at once, and then punch them both out – and the punch also co-ordinates with the images on the beautiful Botanical Butterfly DSP, available during Sale-a-Bration.

Best Paper – All My Love. These beautiful paper features whimsical hearts and elegant florals in a classic colour combination, co-ordinates with two thinlits sets (Lovely Flowers and Be Mine), and is perfect for sending your loving messages for Valentine’s Day and all year round. With Crumb Cake, Balmy Blue, and Soft Sea Foam included on the colour palette, it won’t be too girly for those masculine cards!

all my love

Best New Tool – The big news with the Occasions catalogue is Cling Stamps. As announced in November, Stampin’ Up! will be phasing out their wood-mount rubber stamps; instead, stamp sets will be available in photopolymer or red rubber clear-mount. While the clear-mount stamps will be the same high-quality stamps you’re used to, the new double-sided labels are so sticky and clingy that Stampin’ Up! decided to rebrand them as Cling Stamps. Many crafters, myself included, have previously opted to leave the labels off our stamps because they don’t cling as well to the acrylic blocks – with the new labels, this will no longer be the case. In fact, you’ll want to take a bit of care when you mount your stamps, to make sure you don’t apply the labels incorrectly – because once they’re on, they are ON, and you’ll be able to ink, stamp, and clean without your stamp sliding off the block. Can I get a hallelujah?


ICYMI: Rectangle Stitched Shapes framelits. Demonstrators and customers have been asking for rectangle framelits for a while, and Stampin’ Up! is listening! I love how these 13 dies are stitched on the inside and the outside, to make your projects stand out no matter how you are using them. You can bundle the framelits with the charming “Amazing Life” stamp set for an affordable $67.50 (and get a free Sale-a-Bration reward while you’re at it!)


The Lace embossing folder. I didn’t see it on my first look through the catalogue, but when I saw some samples online, I HAD to have it! So gorgeous!

And don’t forget these awesome hostess sets, which you can only order if you host a qualifying party before May 31st!

Did I leave your favourite product off my list? Comment and let me know!

Please visit my 24/7 online store by clicking above, or contact me:

Have you subscribed to my monthly newsletter? You’ll receive project tutorials and inspiration, as well as all workshop dates and special promotion news. Don’t miss out, sign up today!

Why did I sign up to do two craft fairs this month? I have no idea.

That’s how I roll sometimes, though! (Note: Sometimes = All the Time. As my long-suffering husband would tell you.)

I decided to up the difficulty level on this particular project by not ordering any additional Stampin’ Up! tools or supplies prior to the event. I could only use what I had on hand, as well as buying supplementary items that I could get locally (e.g., chapsticks for my chapstick holders).

Me at Vendor Splendor fair, November 3rd.

Here are the items I had for sale at the two fairs I attended – in addition to good old-fashioned greeting cards, which I was selling by the singles and in an acetate box as a five-pack.

Most of these projects were new for me, so I had lots of fun learning how to make them, and discovering along the way which ones were worth the time and effort, and which ones weren’t. Given more time (and more varied supplies), there is certainly no shortage of charming gift projects to make, and I found plenty of inspiration on the Craft Fairs, Stampin’ Style Facebook group.

I went for variety of products rather than huge quantity in any one product, which meant I sold out of a few things, including the beautiful candle cards below. On the second day of the two-day event, I had people coming back to my booth to ask about the candle cards they’d seen the previous day…. but they were all gone!

Front of candle card
Inside of candle card

I also sold out of the star photo albums I made several years ago, the last time I was doing craft fairs. Last time I offered these, they were not a hot item. I got them out of the box they were stored in, figuring I might as well give it a shot … and by noon on the second day, I had none left. You never know!

Surprise, surprise …. after making all those gift items, the biggest sellers were CARDS! I sold over 85 cards, in singles, trios, and 5-packs (which I packaged in clear acetate boxes).

Which of these projects would you like to make? Comment below, and I’ll share a tutorial in the coming weeks!

Please visit my 24/7 online store by clicking above, or contact me:

Have you subscribed to my monthly newsletter? You’ll receive project tutorials and inspiration, as well as all workshop dates and special promotion news. Don’t miss out, sign up today!

Yup, you read that right – my last card class of 2018 is approaching! I’m not going to hold any classes in December, so November is your last chance to craft with me, as well as your last chance to order from the fabulous holiday catalogue. Naturally, the theme for this month’s classes is “Spotlight on the Holiday Catalogue”! Here are some sneak peeks at what we’ll be working with this month.

I’ve been super keen on the new line of Distinktive stamps since last January, when Heartfelt Blooms was introduced as a Sale-a-Bration item. Distinktive stamps bring an amazing texture on your project, with detailed shading that bring the images to life. So one of the products I’m excited to showcase this month is Wishing You Well, a Distinktive set from the holiday catalogue.

This beautiful set allows you to create stunning cards without a lot of effort, and features images that will be useful all year round.

Speaking of year-round crafting, the Frosted Floral suite is also perfect for holidays and for the rest of the year! We’ll be using this gorgeous Specialty Designer Series Paper for one of our projects this month. This paper is “Specialty” because the designs are printed on shimmery, pearlized paper. It is STUNNING!

The Swirls and Curls embossing folder has made a big splash this season, and we’re going to pair it with shimmer paint to create a project with elegant shine.

The foil-edged cards and envelopes are products you might have missed in the catalogue, but in real life they are quite eye-catching, and will add a real “wow” factor to any project. You’ll get to try them out yourself at class this month!

If you want to see what else I’ve got in mind for this month, you’ll have to register for one of the workshops! I look forward to crafting with you!


Please visit my 24/7 online store by clicking above, or contact me:

Have you subscribed to my monthly newsletter? You’ll receive project tutorials and inspiration, as well as all workshop dates and special promotion news. Don’t miss out, sign up today!

World Cardmaking Day is this Saturday, October 6th. To celebrate, Stampin’ Up! has offered 10% discounts on a select list of products until October 7th. There are some amazing deals here, and with such a range of products – kits, stamp sets, specialty adhesives, cardstock, and paper supplies – you’re sure to find something you love! Don’t miss out on these great savings – they are only available through Sunday, October 7th!

The entire list is below, but I want to highlight a handful of items that I think are particularly tempting.

Around the Corner photopolymer stamp set – $18.00

around the corner

Lots of Happy Card Kit – $43.20

lots of happy

Petal Palette Stamp Set – $57.60 (wood) or $43.20 (clear)


Whisper White Narrow Note Cards & Envelopes – $7.88


Delightfully Detailed Notecards & Envelopes – $11.70


Stampin’ Dimensionals & Mini Dimensionals – $4.95


Tear and Tape Adhesive – $8.55

tear and tape

Don’t forget to use hostess code JYDGQ7ZZ to get a free gift from me!



Did I leave your favourite product off my list? Comment and let me know!

Please visit my 24/7 online store by clicking above, or contact me:

Have you subscribed to my monthly newsletter? You’ll receive project tutorials and inspiration, as well as all workshop dates and special promotion news. Don’t miss out, sign up today!



I am an independent Stampin’ Up! demonstrator in Nanaimo, BC. I love creating cards and other handmade projects, and I love showing others how they can make their own creations! I hope you can find creative inspiration through my blog and my classes. Thanks for stopping by!

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