Watercooler Wednesday Challenge – WWC93 – Noel Bells or should that be Noel’s Bells?

WWC93 – Deb’s Color Challenge


Welcome to this weeks Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.

Deb has given us a cool set of colors to work with this week.  I have to admit I had a hard time moving past those very cool and modern splotches and it took some time for my mind to wrap itself around a project idea.  In part because of the colors and the splotches I kept thinking retro of some kind and masculine.  Christmas never entered my head until I started seeing some of the rest of the teams ideas.  Then I hit my head and said…of course…red and green and a couple of neutrals.  Totally traditional and perfect for Christmas.  Of course by that time I was down the modern rabbit hole so…ta..da..here’s my mix of retro modern with a hint of traditional for a Christmas card perfect for a guy.


Noel Bells

(or should that be Noel’s Bells?)

(as always click the picture to see a larger image)

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge - WWC93 - Deb's Color Challenge - Noel's Bells - Jean Fitch

I really wish you could see this card in real life.  Or that my photography set up was better.  The dark vividness of the Real Red against the black mat and the stark white of the cardbase is really something.  Then add the pop of green from the Old Olive and until you get to the Soft Suede bells this card has color that pops.    It was quite a fun project.  I found myself thinking modern graphic arts mixed with California Mission styles.  Quite a combo.  I’d love to know what you think.


Stamps:  Merry Medley, Seasonal Bells

Inks:  Memento Tuxedo Black, Soft Suede

Paper: Thick Whisper White, Real Red, Old Olive, Soft Suede, Basic Black Cardstock

Punches: Bell Punch

Tools & Adhesives:  Big Shot, Pretty Pines Thinlit Dies, Christmas Stockings Thinlit Dies, Simply Score Tool, Bone Folder, Tombow Liquid Glue, Dimensionals, Glue Dots & SNAIL.



Tip: When inking the Merry Medley background stamp place the stamp on it’s block face up on the table and ink by dabbing the pad onto the stamp.  This lets you see where you might need extra ink for a well inked image.

Tip: If you would like a wonderful set of greetings (about 14 I think) you can cut the background stamp into the individual sentiments that make up the whole stamp.  Of course if you want the whole stamp back together again just keep track of a picture of the whole stamp to serve as a map for the complete block.

Cardbase:  Thick Whisper White – 5-1/2″ x 8-1/2″  Score at 4-1/4″

Black Mat Layer: 4″ x 5-1/4″

Red Focal Layer: 3-3/4″ x 5″

1) Place your background stamp face up on the table and ink with Memento Tuxedo Black or Basic Black Archival ink.  Decide where you want the placement of the Real Red Layer to best feature the sentiments you want to see.  Adhere the red layer to the Basic Black mat layer.

2) Die cut the boughs and mistletoe from the Pretty Pines dies with Old Olive scraps of paper.

3) Stamp and punch two bells using your favorite bell image (I like the one that resembles mission bells) and Soft Suede ink on Soft Suede paper.

4) Assemble your boughs and bells and adhere to the focal layer.  I glued the greenery directly to the paper using small dots of Tombow Liquid Glue.  I let the glue set up a bit before attaching to the paper.   Attach one bell with glue dots and the second with a couple of Dimensionals for varying height.  If you want you can pierce the tops of the bells and thread some Linen thread or a very thin ribbon through and tie a bow or knot.   My linen thread has gone walk about so I skipped that step.  I was afraid thin black baker’s twine would look too funereal.

5) Add your focal piece to the white card base with dimensionals and voila!  You’re ready to decorate the interior and envelope and then mail!


Want to join in the challenge but can’t quite think what to do? Check out page 30 of the Holiday Catalog and find the Merry Medley sample at the bottom of the page.  It’s perfect.  Just swap out the black sentiment for a Soft Suede one and you are all set.


That’s it for this challenge.  To see the rest of the design teams contributions to Deb’s Color Challenge head on over to the Challenge blog website here.   That’s also where you can add your own creation with the linky doodad.  When you add your own design and there are more than three entries, one of you will be a challenge winner or runner up and have the option to place our badges on your own site.  Of course…you’ll also win bragging rights!

Check here to see the winner of last weeks challenge.  And here to see all of last weeks other linky and Artist Team entries.  Check the challenge site for rules on competing for future challenges.

I hope you will add your own creations this week to the linky.  I love the inspiration I find in your shared creations.

I hope you’ll also join us next Wednesday for yet another Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.

Jean Fitch in pink




















Thoughtful Branches – Winter White (with a pop of red :D )

Thoughtful Branches – Winter White

Here’s another entry in my Thoughtful Branches set of samples I mentioned in yesterdays post.

WWC82 - Tree Theme Challenge - Thoughtful Branches - Jean Fitch - 03


Stamps:  Thoughtful Branches

Inks: Sahara Sand, Watermelon Wonder Classic Inks and Versamark

Paper: Whisper White both Thick and Thin Cardstocks.

Punches: none

Tools & Adhesives: Big Shot, Beautiful Branches Thinlit dies, Magnetic Platform, Precision Base Plate, Big Shot Die Brush (love, love, love this tool!),  Heat Tool, Whisper White Embossing Powder,  Dimensionals, SNAIL

For my readers that are fellow demonstrators you’ll probably recognize this design as one originating with the Stampin’ Up office artists and the set of class projects they provided.   What you might not recognize is the set of directions I created.  {grin}   Mine are much more specific and not intermingled with the other two projects in the set based on what I found worked for a group setting.   Feel free to download and use from the link below. 😀

Thoughtful Branches Winter White Directions – Jean Fitch

For my non demo readers enjoy and let me know if you have questions or need clarifications.   Ideas as well as directions can always be improved right?  😀

As a side note….I tried heat embossing the sentiment in copper.   The class I shared with project with agreed…the Sahara Sand was better by far.  Softer and more in keeping with the overall white feel.  The copper was just way to harsh.  A well…not every experiment works. Sigh.

Oh…and FYI.  Another experiment.  I tried Real Red for the birds but agreed with SU after the experiment that Watermelon Wonder was a much better choice.   Of course it still being summer you might try blue or pastel shades of birds as well.    For some reason I have this card fixed in my head as a winter scene so I loved the red of the watermelon shade.   I rather think that at least a few family and friends will be receiving Christmas versions (i.e. a change in sentiment) of this same design.   Thanks Stampin’ Up for sharing the creativity!


Tip to save your Precision Base Plate and still get a good cut:

Alter the layering of your cutting sandwich when using the Precision Base Plate.  You’ll save a great deal of wear and tear on your PBP and still get the same great cutting action.   When paired with the new Basic Platform that comes in two pieces it works especially well since the new platform has a stiffer and more solid center section.  This method works with all three platforms.  For best results I would run the sandwich through and then back at least once and then use the die brush.  Easy Peasy and no tears!

Here’s the details on the sandwich:

Place the tree die between the two stamped birds and cut it out using the Precision Base
Plate on top (in place of the usual clear cutting pad) and a clear cutting pad below on the
new Big Shot Platform.  Sandwich looks like this from the top and moving down:

Precision Base Plate (with the cutting surface facing down)
Thinlit Die (remember…we don’t use the Precision Base Plate with Framelits)
Clear Acrylic Cutting Plate
Platform (either the older Multipurpose Platform fully closed, the new basic platform with
both pieces together or the Magnetic Platform)
Big Shot Deck


That’s it for this sample design.

With the promotion period winding down I’m working like mad to see just how many different designs I can complete before August 31.   Of course….since this is a keeper set for me I daresay you’ll keep seeing it being used in the future as well.  Check back another day for more ideas.

Hugs and happy creating!

Jean Fitch in pink

Here’s a closer look of all that’s included in the Thoughtful Branches Bundle.

Don’t forget…last day to purchase this wonderful set is August 31.

Thoughtful Branches Image


To see the purchase details and a larger view of the images click the link below.

Thoughtful Branches Flyer – purchase details


Wacky Watercooler July 2016 Blog Hop: Our Third Anniversary Celebration!

Wacky Watercooler 3rd Anniversary Celebration Banner

Welcome to our July Third Anniversary Celebration Blog Hop

Hello and Welcome to the third anniversary of the Wacky Watercooler Blog Hop series.  After three years together I can’t help feeling I should be making Anniversary cards for each of my hopping buddies.  I love my fellow artists and you dear readers as well, for sticking with us, and visiting today!

Who are the Wacky Watercooler Artists?   Most of us are Stampin’ Up demonstrators (or were when we started the hops) who hang out in a back corner of our company chat site and do precisely that…chat.  We’ve shared our ups and downs.  Funny and sad lives and stories for so long that even though most of us only know each other from online or the occasional meet up at conventions or on the phone you’d believe we’ve been neighbors for years!   It’s amazing how close we’ve gotten and how the friendships have grown.  Bless you Internet and Bless you Stampin’ Up!

It’s hard to believe it’s been 3 years since we started the hops.  At the beginning I was the captain and I was honored to lead such a wonderful gang of friends and rubber stamping artists.   Behind the scenes was so much fun (and occasionally challenging) coming to consensus for designs and hop policies as we got started.   We’re all strong minded but with loving spirits so the best of the best always came out in the end.   If you’ve been following us for all that time you know that Heidi is now at the wheel of the bus and is also our able and beloved captain and there have been a few other changes in the line up over the years.   I’m jazzed that so many who were in at the start are still regular contributors and even more that Heidi was able to bring the entire gang from the first hop back together to join the celebration along with newer members of the band to share some inspiration.  If you are as nostalgic as I am you can see the very first hop here.

As usual you can follow this hop in a circle going either direction.  Of course you can also return to the home hop site if you ever get lost along the way.   That site will also, with a bit of scrolling back lead you to any and all of our past hops that you might still find inspiring.   In fact…we’re hoping to lead you there with many of our CASE projects this time around from the original hop.  Enjoy!

Now that you’re here I hope you’ve arrived from  Gail’s blog.   Gail is another dear friend I first met in the Watercooler.  She’s also one of our many (and talented) Canadian stampers.   I seem to be bracketed by my sisters from the north this hop. {grin}   I hope you found her as inspiring as I always do.  While not an original hopper Gail has jumped in with a heart and soul that keeps the Watercooler itself (and our hop) hopping with her original take on life and stamping.


Today’s hop, as part of our celebration has us featuring older stamp sets that are still current on our stamping shelves – a mean feat for some sets to last that long don’t you think?  Two in particular.  Gorgeous Grunge and Wetlands you’ll see as you follow along through the hop.  Of course we may throw in other sets as well to keep it interesting (or ones we hope will still be around in another 3 years).  At least I did.  LOL

Here’s my first celebratory offering.   Appropriate don’t you think that it’s mixed with a set called Picture Perfect.   Beaches and wetlands so often are don’t you think?  A perfect picture?  And also gorgeously grungy?  Sorry…I couldn’t resist saying that. 😀

The secret ingredient is gold.  Check the directions I’ve shared in PDF form and you’ll see touches of gold everywhere that add to the texture.

Picture Perfect Starfish

(click the image for a larger view)

 Picture Perfect Starfish on the Beach - Jean Fitch - Wacky Watercooler Hop 07/21/16


Picture Perfect at the Beach - Jean Fitch - inside - Wacky Watercooler Hop 07/21/16 - Jean Fitch

A version closer to Penny’s with a wonderful and inspiring sentiment from Rose Wonder.

Picture Perfect Star Fish - Rose Wonder - Jean Fitch

And a detail of the gold embossing that gives the starfish so much life and texture.

Starfish Detail - Jean Fitch

Note:  This lovely design is a CASE of fellow artist Penny Hanuszak who shared the original version on a Watercooler Wednesday Challenge posting a few weeks ago.  Thanks Penny!  I added a sun and different sentiments to change it up just a bit.  Check the post for Penny’s directions or my own PDF below.

Do you have Gorgeous Grunge yet in your stamping arsenal?  It took me a while to add it to mine but now it’s there that speckle image is one I reach for time after time.  Here I’ve also gotten the lined image baptized with ink.  Another popular image for creating roadways and waves in their respective places.

Do you remember that saying that “today is the first day of the rest of my life”.  It was popular as a philosophy and even in song back in the day.   Probably why I fell in love with the Suite Sayings “Forever begins today” sentiment.  Possibly it’s just me but I find it applies to so many occasions.  I’ve left a sentiment off the inside of this so I can decide later on the occasion Forever will be paired with.


Stamps: Gorgeous Grunge, Kinda Eclectic, Picture Perfect, Wetlands, Suite Sayings.

Ink: , Early Espresso, Crumb Cake, Island Indigo, Crushed Curry, Soft Suede, Versamark

Paper:  Soft Suede (5-1/2” x 8-1/2”), Island Indigo (4″ x 5-1/4″), Crumb Cake (3-1/2” x 3-1/2”) for the Starfish, Whisper White (3-3/4″ x 5″, 4″ x 5-1/4″)

Other: Gold Embossing Powder, Heat Tool,  Stampin’ Sponges, Paper Snips, Dimensionals, Glue Dots, SNAIL

Picture Perfect Star Fish-Jean Fitch – PDF directions and dimensions

Tool Tip:  Do you remember this old trick for keeping your sponges organized?  A punch piece folded and stapled to the bit of sponge with the paper and title that reflects the ink color.   I’ve added to it with a plastic cup to keep the sponges in while working with them so I don’t get ink all over the table (or where I don’t want accidents to happen on projects in progress).

Sponges for coloring


Next up is a fun popup Spring Fold card using our stamp and punch combo Grateful Bunch.  I also used the brand new copper embossing powder.  I wish you could see this in person.  Much more coppery!

Pop up Grateful Bunch Spring Card

Grateful Bunch Spring Card - WW Hop 072116 - Jean Fitch

View from the back

Grateful Bunch Spring Card - back - Jean Fitch

Collage that shows you the full front, side and folded flat

Grateful Bunch Spring Card Collage Image - Jean FitchAs you can see from the pictures the card folds flat for mailing.  The flat size is a 4-1/4″ square so it’s perfect for our regular envelopes.   This version made use of our new Peekaboo Peach In Color.  Another color combo that has a bit more zing a bit less vintage look uses Watermelon Wonder.   My sideline Linda made off with that version before I could take a picture so I’ll have to share that version at a later date.  Smart woman.  The stampers at the Stamp Camp where I debuted this all loved the Watermelon Version and grabbed for those papers.  Myself…I rather like the vintage look of the peach.  A bit Victorian don’t you think?


Stamps: Grateful Bunch, Rose Wonder

Ink: Soft Suede, Mint Macaron, Versamark, Peekaboo Peach

Paper: Mint Macaron (4-1/4” x 8-1/2”), Soft Saffron (2-3/4” x 2-3/4” & 1-3/4” x 1-3/4”), Peekaboo Peach (2-3/4” x 2-3/4” & 1-3/4” x 1-3/4”), Whisper White (2-1/2” x 2-1/2”). Measurements apply only to the colors you choose to use. White and Background color scraps.

Punch: Blossom Bunch

Other:  Stampin’ Trimmer, Bone Folder, Heat Tool, Copper Embossing Powder, Copper Metallic Thread, SNAIL, Glue Dots, Dimensionals.

Here’s the directions in PDF form and if you don’t have a bone folder yet…you’ll want one now!

Pop Up Grateful Bunch Spring Card Hop Version-JeanFitch

And a link to Dawn’s video that showed me how the folds work for the basic Spring Card.  The decorative design is mine (grin):  https://youtu.be/LE5p70Rwx9s


I encourage you to play with the products that I’ve showcased today.  As you can see, they coordinate with products you may already have or can find in our new Annual Catalog.


That’s it for my share of the hop.  Time to move on over to my friend  Terri’s blog   Terri and I met up online originally and then in person at a Stampin’ Up! convention.  One of my fondest convention memories ever!   We’ve been friends ever since.  So many of her fun, interesting and inspiring projects have landed on my CASE lists over the years that I’m expecting that to be the “CASE” this time around too! {grin}  Can’t wait to  see which of her wonderful projects I’ll be making next!   Terri is another one of the original hoppers.   Take it away Terri and Happy Anniversary!

To follow the hop click on the link below:

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Watercooler Wednesday Challenge – WWC72 – Balloons That Shake Rock and Roll to Celebrate

WWC72 – Jean’s In Color Color Challenge

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge Graphic - WWC72 Jean's In Color Color Challenge - new in colors

Welcome to this weeks Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.

Today I’m asking you to play along with Stampin’ Up’s newest batch of In Colors.  A fun set that has a color name that includes my favorite material…Denim!   I’m not sure that denim qualifies as dapper but since the name includes denim…I’ll take it!

Create your own design or CASE (copy and share everything) from the challenge artists or wherever you find your inspiration.  Play with all 5 colors or with the 3 or 4 favorites you have in your studio.  Are you feeling Flirty?  Seeing Sugarplums in your dreams?  Down with Denim?  Whatever your preference grab 3 or 4 (or more) and get down and inky.  On your mark…get set…go!



 Balloon Punch Shaker Card

(as always click the pictures to see larger images)

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge - WWC72 - Jean's In Color Color Challenge - Jean Fitch - Bitty Balloon Punch Shaker Card - Thoughtful Banners Stamp Set

Here’s a close up of the shaker element:


Watercooler Wednesday Challenge - WWC72 - Jean's In Color Color Challenge - shaker detail - Jean Fitch

And the inside of the card.

Only needs a name and a word or two to be good to go.  And gives proof that I used all 5 of the new in colors!

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge - WWC72 - Jean's In Color Color Challenge - Bitty Balloon Punch inside of card - Thoughtful Banners Stamp Set

Can you tell I’m not letting go of the small retired balloon punch?  Yep…it’s just too perfect.   Especially for adding to the shaker bits.  Covers up a few little inky boo boo’s too.  Nope…not saying where they are.  {grin}


Stamps: Thoughtful Banners, Build a Birthday

Inks:  Dapper Denim, Emerald Envy, Flirty Flamingo, Peekaboo Peach, Sweet Sugarplum

Paper: Dapper Denim, Emerald Envy, Flirty Flamingo, Peekaboo Peach, Sweet Sugarplum, Thick Whisper White Cardstocks.   Window Sheets.

Punches: Bitty Balloon from the Party Punch Pack (retired from the 2016 Occasions Catalog)

Tools & Adhesives:  Big Shot, Lots of Layers Framelit Collection,  Metallic Sequins Assortment, Foam Adhesive Strips,  SNAIL.

Technique:  Shaker Card

Cost without envelope: Approx. 40¢


I’ve gotten so addicted to shaker cards lately.  With the new foam adhesive strips they are just so easy.  Now when an idea strikes I can grab the strips and go!  My only limitation?  Keeping enough sequins and window sheets on hand!  Of course if the sequins run out I can use my various punches (especially the confetti stars and hearts punches) to create what I need.

Not sure how a shaker card goes together?  Stampin’ Up has created a video that explains the role of the strips and the basic idea here.   I did a couple of different steps on mine.  I used the Embossing Buddy to take down the stickyness of the sides of the strips (or I would have if I had remembered that step.  LOL) and…I built my shaker on the top of the card base front instead of on the inside of the card.  I feel that makes a neater presentation and adds a bit of height/texture to the card itself.  However you do it…it’s a fun presentation for the recipient.   If you choose the top down approach you’ll add the strips to the back side of your shaped cover/window combo.  Stamp on your card base and pile the shaker bits on top of the stamping and place the window combo piece directly on top.  One other tip…before you add the window sheet piece and strips you can flip the cover piece so the backside is facing up and use that “window” as a mask to stamp your images through without getting ink on the front side.  Easy peasy once you get the hang of it.   I’ll try to put a pictorial tutorial together so you can see the basic steps.   Probably will be a week or two for that since the Watercooler gang has a Blog Hop coming up this Thursday.  Stay tuned for that Hop…it’s shaping up to be a doozy what with all the new product available to play with.  And…there will be another shaker card creation I’ll be sharing during the hop (see the method to my madness with the lateness of the tutorial now?).


That’s it for this challenge.  To see the rest of the design teams In Color Color Challenge contributions head on over to the Challenge blog website here.   That’s also where you can add your own creation with the linky doodad.  When you add your own design and there are more than three entries, one of you will be a challenge winner or runner up and have the option to place our new badges on your own site.  Of course…you’ll also win bragging rights!

Check here to see the winner of last weeks challenge.  And here to see all the other linky and Artist Team entries.  Check the challenge site for rules on competing for future challenges.

I really hope you will add your own creations this week.  Really…this challenge is an easy one.  Grab your colors and play!

I hope you’ll join us next Wednesday for yet another Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.

Jean Fitch in pink






WCC28 – Sending Wishes

Watercooler Challenge #28

WCC28 Buffy's color challenge

Buffy’s Color Challenge

Welcome to a new challenge.  This time Buffy has tossed out a unique grouping of  five colors and dared us to do our best!   After just a bit of grumbling…and a few questions about the sanity level she enjoys…hee, hee….we all buckled down to creating.  And I have to admit…I’m now interested in making a few more cards with this color combo!  I think too that I finally figured out their appeal.  They’re all tones found in Vintage creations from decades and possibly centuries past.   All together they reinforce that look and feel.  Yep Miss Buffy…you converted me. 😀

After a good bit of head scratching…and truthfully…a bit of looking at other entries on our Design Team site (I swear…at least a few of my sister artisans stole my first ideas!)…here’s my entry:


WCC28 - Buffy's Color Challenge - Sending Wishes  by Jean Fitch

What do you think?   Does this reflect a bit of vintage look and feel?   The more I look at it the more I think of my Grandmother’s handkerchief box.  Many of them delicate with embroideries or printed patterns of flowers and butterflies and yes…many with these same colors!   And keep in mind…my grandmother was born in the late 1800’s.   And her handkerchief box reflected the various years…and also included some from her own mother.  Now I’m wondering if I should have gone with a faux silk background to get even closer to those handkerchiefs.   Hm…maybe next time.


Stamps: Butterfly Basics, Floral Wings (hostess set)

Ink:  Pool Party, Wisteria Wonder, Pink Pirouette, Melon Mambo, Rose Red, Early Espresso

Paper: Pool Party, Wisteria Wonder, Pink Pirouette, Melon Mambo, Rose Red, Whisper White

Punches:  Bitty Butterfly

Other:  Big Shot, Oval Collection Framelits,  Rhinestone Basic Jewels, Dimensionals, SNAIL

The trickiest part of the card, I found, was deciding which color butterfly should hang out with which colored flowers.  Finally, before my head could explode I decided to simplify it and keep color with color.  Easy peasy.  So why did it take me most of a day to figure that out!


Join the rest of the design team over at the Challenge blog website here to see the rest of the teams designs and to add your own with the linky doodad.  When you add your own design and there are more than three entries, one of you will be a challenge winner and have the option to place the winner’s badge on your own site.  Of course…you’ll also win bragging rights!

That’s it for this challenge.   Sadly we didn’t have a winner for the linky added projects last time.  We need three or more submissions to award that prize.  I hope this time you’ll join in the fun and grab a friend or two as well and get creating!  Check the challenge site for rules on competing for this and future challenges.

Hugs and Blessings to all my friends and readers.

Jean Fitch in pink

WCC27: Hearts & Folds and a surprisingly full box!

WCC27 – Iris Twist

Jackie’s Technique  Challenge

WCC27 - Twisted Iris - Jackie's Technique Challenge for the Watercooler Challenge

Welcome to a new Watercolor Challenge.   Jackie has provided us with a wonderful (and yes a bit challenging) technique to work with.  Today’s challenge is a “twist” on the original Iris Fold technique.  I’m overjoyed at that since it’s a tad easier and gives us more than a few options.   As you’ve likely seen (on the challenge blog) we’re, most of us, choosing a faux version or “twisted” version.  And trust me when I say…many of us were stretching to twist our brains around this version of the technique simple as it really is.

Here’s my version of Jackie’s wonderful technique challenge.  I decided to work with a small 3-D canvas.  Fun but requires a high degree of dexterity…and an ability to work with gluey fingers!   Hard to believe from the picture that this is a little 2″x2″ mini treat box.

WCC27 - Jackie's Iris Twist Challenge - Hearts and Folds creation by  Jean Fitch

And with a hidden prize inside….an accordion fold card insert!

WCC27 Card - Hearts and Folds by Jean Fitch - insert accordion card extended - front view-Floral Wings & Butterfly Basics stamp sets.

Can you believe that all fit inside such a tiny box?

WCC27 Hearts and Folds Collage - Iris Twist - Jean Fitch

Side views and more. Click on the picture for a larger view.



One of the things I love about this project is that the simplicity of the outer shell gives no hint of the play of color and folds to be found inside.   My twist on a Shaker or Amish look outside and a riot of a slightly more vintage color and style inside.  Most boxes of this type have the thread or ribbon showing outside…I decided to hide the full surprise inside the box…like a jack in the box with the lace ribbon swirled at the top to provide a pull up handle.  Another nice thing about this colorful design…I have lots of room on the backside of the accordion card insert to hand write or further stamp a personalized note.   Hm…should I put a note in there for the person to pull it out and turn it over do you think?


Stamps: Butterfly Basics, Floral Wings (hostess set), You Brighten my Day (Sale-a-Bration 2015 now retired)

Ink:  Calypso Coral, Old Olive

Paper: Basic Black, Very Vanilla, Pretty Petals Paper Stack, Kraft Mini Treat Boxes

Punches: Sweetheart, Itty Bitty Accents Pack (heart), Bitty Butterfly, Ornate Tag Topper, 1-3/4″ Circle

Other:  Big Shot, Butterfly Thinlits,  Simply Scored Scoring Board, Victorian Crochet Trim,  Rhinestone Basic Jewels, Paper Snips, Bone Folder, Dimensionals, SNAIL


Tip: You can fit larger die cuts into a smaller space if you use your bone folder.  The small lace look butterfly die cut was actually too big for the tiny treat box and the accordion fold strip…until…I curled the wings and locked them more or less in place with a double (next time I’ll use triple) set of stacked dimensionals.

One further note:  I CASE’d  the basic idea and measurements from this post and video by Sarah-Jane Rae and added my own touches as well as the challenge technique.  The concept of accordion cards inside boxes has been around for ages but Sarah-Janes video is really wonderful for this particular design so I encourage you to watch the video and check out her blog for other wonderfully creative ideas.  I know I’ll be making many of these in the days to come…they are really addicting.  Of course…they may not all be Iris Twist versions.  LOL.


If you’d like to try your own addition to the challenge here are a few resources you might find helpful:

For a faux version…here’s a video similar to the technique that I used – https://youtu.be/IjmmEE5WmjU  I hope this video in particular will convince you that this really is a fairly simple technique that gives a big bang visually.

If you want to learn more about the true Iris Fold technique:  I first learned about the true Iris fold technique and found helpful information and patterns here: http://www.circleofcrafters.com/irisfolding/

You’ll see their patterns all over Pinterest and other sources and community boards.

Of course being a Stampin’ up demonstrator I had to see what people in my own community were doing and the Stampin’ Up papers they were using.  A few years ago I came across this very helpful post by fellow demo Anne Hayward. It shows a variety of styles and templates and is followed up by a wonderful video on the traditional method she is teaching. At this point in time it’s a tad dated as to papers, etc. but still the real deal with great tips and examples.  Scroll on down to the bottom of her posts for the video.


Join the rest of the design team over at the Challenge Blog website here to see the rest of the teams designs and to add your own version with the linky doodad.  When you add your own design and there are more than three entries, one of you will be a challenge winner and have the option to place the winner’s badge on your own site.  Of course…you’ll also win bragging rights!

That’s it for this challenge.   Check out the last challenges winner for the linky added projects.  We had a wonderful set of 7 submissions so we were able to award the prize (three are required to award a prize).  I hope this time around you’ll join in the fun and grab a friend or two as well and get creating!  Check the challenge site for rules on competing for this and future challenges.

Hugs and Blessings to all my friends and readers.

Jean Fitch in pink

WCC26 – Lemonade anyone?

WCC26 – Jean’s Lemonade Pie Color Challenge

Welcome to a new Challange.  This time around we are focusing on three colors and if you want you can also use the picture for inspiration…or just let it make you hungry!  LOL

The official start of summer is just a few short days away.  Well alright…more like a week.  But hey…Mother Nature has been getting in some practice in my neck of the woods with an early start on turning grass to hay and soaring temperatures.   So I thought…what better time for lemonade pie and colors that will also work for Father’s Day…also coming up in a hurry.

Check it out.  Isn’t that pie scrumptious?   I like the china plate and the table runner too!   If you want to make the pie…here’s the recipe link  If you want to play along…check out the information at the bottom of the post.

WCC26 - Watercooler Challenge -Lemonade Pie Color Challenge - June 14 2015Here’s my version…non edible but it has soft and fluttering butterfly embossing, a cool trick with the Note Tag punch from Stampin’ Up and a few other yummy bits and pieces.   Best of all…whether it’s given for Father’s Day or another occasion…it tells the recipient how much they are loved.  Click the picture to see all the detail close up.

WCC26 - Jean's  Lemondade Pie Color Challenge - recipe included!


Stamps: Lovely Amazing You (still available for a short time), Papillon Potpourri

Ink:  Marine Mist, Daffodil Delight Classic Inks

Paper: Crumb Cake, Blackberry Bliss, Marina Mist, Daffodil Delight, Very Vanilla

Punches: Note Tag, Itty Bitty Accents Pack (heart), Bitty Butterfly, Banner

Other:  Big Shot, Fluttering Embossing Folder (new),  1/4″ Daffodil Delight Cotton Ribbon, Rhinestone Basic Jewels, Dimensionals, SNAIL

I wish this design had shown off the very cool Fluttering folder a bit better.  Perhaps I need to sponge some color onto the layer to show off the wings.  This new and very cool folder is a new 6″ x 6″ size and trust me when I say…you are going to love it and want it.  The new catalog is all about the butterflies this year.  Well…cake and cupcakes makes it in too…and of course trees, flowers…and more.  But really…look at the butterflies…that’s a big trend…and I’m loving it!!

The newish cotton ribbon is pretty cool too.  Soft, silky and very easy to tie.  Yes it was in last years catalog but somehow I never got around to trying or discovering it.  Yep…I do foolish things sometimes.  If you don’t want to follow in that path…try it!  ’nuff said.

Tool tips: Note Tag punch does more than tags.  Are you wondering what die was used to create the window layer?  No die…it’s the Note Tag punch!  Brenda Quintana has a fun video showing how to create this window and others.   I used a square of 3-1/4″ for mine.


Join the rest of the design team over at the Challenge blog website here to see the rest of the teams designs and to add your own with the linky doodad.  When you add your own design and there are more than three entries, one of you will be a challenge winner and have the option to place the winner’s badge on your own site.  Of course…you’ll also win bragging rights!

That’s it for this challenge.   Sadly we didn’t have a winner for the linky added projects last time.  We need three or more submissions to award that prize.  I hope this time you’ll join in the fun and grab a friend or two as well and get creating!  Check the challenge site for rules on competing for this and future challenges.

Hugs and Blessings to all my friends and readers.

Jean Fitch in pink

Watercooler Challenge – WCC25 – Mandarin Wetlands

WCC25 – Mandarin Wetlands

also known as Kath’s Challenge Photo

For this challenge my fellow artist Kath provided us with a beautiful photo of what I think is a Mandarin duck.   Beautiful isn’t it? I kept coming back to the photo (I finally put it on my desktop) trying to decide on the colors I wanted to use.  Using feathers or a bird image or the idea of water was a given for me.  It was the colors that kept my brain running in circles.  There are so many wonderful ones to choose from don’t you think?  And surprisingly some have an almost neon look too.  How does Mother Nature do that? Got me thinking that Stampin’ Up needs a copper metallic paper…don’t you agree?

WCC25 - Kath's Inspiration Photo Challenge


Here’s what I finally came up with:

Watercooler Challenge WCC25 - Mandarin Wetlands - Jean Fitch

Now if only my camera could have shown the right shade for the Crisp Cantaloupe! (ARGHH).   With the retirement of so many favorite products only days away I took the opportunity to bring out some of the ones I will miss featuring the most for another playtime.   I was late to the party in loving Crisp Cantaloupe…I know…dumb huh?   But now I can’t stop picking it up and working it into any number of designs including this one.  Until this week I hadn’t even realized how beautifully it pairs with Cajun Craze.  In looking at our inspiration photo at first I was caught by the darker and brighter colors…then I looked a bit more closely and what do you know…there were a few almost pastel shades to offset the deeper, darker colors.  Can you see the Cantaloupe color in the small section of the neck?  The Cajun Craze & Early Espresso were a no brainer for me and the Night of Navy was a nod to the slightly more neon blue that shades to a deep purple.

Then I scratched my head about how to show the feathery texture and the edging of cream color that seemed to outline so many colorful sections of this beautiful bird.  Then my eyes lit on my Sahara Sand Lace from the soon to be gone Occasions Catalog.  Perfect!  After all sand and water birds go together right?  That outlining as well as the water ripples was also the inspiration for the scored lines at the top of the Crisp Cantaloupe layer.  I’ve seen quite a few cards on Pinterest that use the scoring technique as an accent and it was fun to give it a try for myself.  Especially since I didn’t want the lace edging overwhelmed by an overall embossed layer.

The use of the Wetlands stamp set (thankfully not retiring) was a tough choice in some ways.  I wanted to play with the retiring Four Feathers but decided in the end that ducks had a lot in common with other shore birds and I wanted something a bit delicate to go with the lace.  I heat embossed two stampings of the single long image from the set with Whisper White Craft Ink and then Whisper White embossing powder on my Early Espresso paper then punched sections from both stamped images with the 1″ square punch.   The mat layer was a nod to the new catalog using Tip Top Taupe with the retiring Postage Punch.   Why oh why did Stampin’ Up have to choose that punch when looking to make room for new ones.   Sigh…it was the perfect layer for the 1″ Square punch don’t you think?   And you know how much I love creating layered inchies.


Stamps:  Wetlands, Label Love (retiring)

Ink:  Whisper White Craft Ink, Night of Navy Classic Ink

Paper: Cajun Craze, Crisp Cantaloupe (retiring), Early Espresso, Night of Navy, Tip Top Taupe (new In Color) Cardstock

Punches: Artisan Label (retiring), 1″ Square, Postage (retiring)

Other:  Heat Tool, Whisper White Embossing Powder, Sahara Sand Lace (Occasions Catalog and thankfully carrying over to the annual), Sticky Strip, Dimensionals, SNAIL

Tool tips:

1) To create a grouping of scored lines you need to take your courage in hand and allow yourself to freehand the look.  Start at your desired point and then draw lines of varying lengths 1/8″ apart.  The Simply Scored Board is perfect for this technique since the entire board is sectioned in 1/8″ lines. 

2) To create the mat for the sentiment – punch another Artisan Label shape in a contrasting color.  Cut the piece in half across the middle, snip the bottom corners and adhere each section to the back of the stamped punch piece.


Join the rest of the design team over at the Challenge blog website here to see the rest of the teams designs and to add your own with the linky doodad.  When you add your own design and there are more than three entries, one of you will be a challenge winner and have the option to place the winner’s badge on your own site.  Of course…you’ll also win bragging rights!

That’s it for this challenge.   Don’t forget to check the Watercooler Challenge Blog post here to see who was the winner of the last challenge submissions by linky artists.    Check the challenge site for rules on competing for future challenges.

Hugs and Blessings to all my friends and readers.

Jean Fitch in pink

WCC02 – CASE THE NEW CATALOG – Watercooler Challenge


CASE: Copy and Share Everything.

I’m totally loving the new Watercooler Challenge Blog.   It’s a new kid on the block as card challenges go but promises to be fun and since many of my Watercooler friends are on the design team it seemed a friendly and fun place to get my feet wet in the Challenge arena.

Have you ever been stuck for a place to start a new card.  Wondering what design features, what stamps, colors and so on would work together….check out the world of Card Challenges and especially the Stampin’ Up catalog!    While Stampin’ Up no longer officially calls it’s catalog an Idea Book it still works that way for me.  Many talented concept artists create the samples shown in the Annual Catalog and I find that a truly inspirational place to start.

For my first jump into the  world of card challenges…here’s my CASE of the Circle Card Thinlit die sample on page 138.  What I call a Circle Flip Card.    To see the samples the Watercooler Team came up with as well as other entries to the challenge visit this post.

CASE the Catalog - CASE of Stampin' Up's 2014 Annual Catalog page 138 - Jean Fitch - Circle Card Thinlit die, Trust God, Petite Petal and the Arrow embossing folder and Moonlight DSP.   More pictures and details in post.

WCC02 CASE the Catalog Watercooler Challenge


Stamps:  Trust God, Petite Petals

Ink: Basic Gray, Basic Black Stampin’ Write Marker

Paper: Hello Honey, Lost Lagoon, Whisper White, Vellum Cardstock.  Moonlight DSP stack

Punches:  1-3/4″ Circle, 2-1/2″ Circle,  Bitty Butterfly, Petite Petals

Other: Big Shot, Circle Card Thinlit Die,  Arrow embossing folder, Whisper White Baker’s Twine, Rhinestone Basic Jewels, dimensionals and glue dots

All products Stampin’ Up unless otherwise noted.


The very cool thing about this die are the options you have.   The basic card die creates a simple flip.  I decided to add an extended fold to it (hidden until you open the card) to allow a bit more scope for my written message once I add that and send it off to the friend who encouraged me to jump into the challenge (hi Miss Marsha!).   Then there are the many additional dies that come in the set ( 10 in all including the basic card die) that make layering fun.  For a quick tutorial on how to add that extended flap I have the video pinned here.

The first change to the CASE I made after the added flap was the color choice.  I decided to showcase this years new In Colors instead of last years.   So Hello Honey and Lost Lagoon teamed up for the first time in my stamp studio.    I had a wee bit of trouble getting the Arrow embossing folder just right (next time I’ll now to change the sandwich to a tighter fit) so I altered and added the strips of designer series paper (the new Moonlight DSP paper stack reflected the arrow theme perfectly!) as needed.    I also decided that the die cut chevrons would look better reflecting the arrow pattern of the paper so I fit them  into the tracks created by the embossing folder.    I don’t know about you but I’m loving this folder that carried over from the earlier Occasions catalog.   It fits the Prairie School or Arts & Crafts design styles from earlier decades to a T – Prairie School is one of my favorite styles that architects like Frank Lloyd Wright made popular.

Here are a few views of the card from different angles that also show a few of the extra die pieces from the card set that I used:

CASE the Catalog - CASE of Stampin' Up's 2014 Annual Catalog page 138 - Jean Fitch - Circle Card Thinlit die, Trust God, Petite Petal and the Arrow embossing folder and Moonlight DSP.   More pictures and details in post.

Three tips:

Tip 1: As you can see from this back view of the front flip circle I die cut another scallop circle using the die that comes with the card set.   You may not know this…but the scallop die in this card set is identical in shape and size to our 2-3/8″ Scallop Circle Punch.   Since I don’t yet have this punch I’ve been able to use the die in it’s place for many, many projects!  Score!  That’s $16.95 I was able to put towards a new stamp set!

Tip 2:   When you don’t have a circular stamp to use to step up a punched image…grab your Stampin’ Up Project Life journaling pen or a coordinating Stampin’ Write Marker.    I used the heart die in the set to create a window and then realized the threads peeking through weren’t exactly the look I was going for so I die cut another heart in Mossy Meadow and inserted into the Lost Lagoon scallop piece.    Looked a little plain and I wanted to echo the circle motif I had going on so I grabbed my Basic Black Stampin’ Write Marker and added my sentiment.   It’s those personal details that really share the love don’t you think?

Tip 3: When you create with these flip cards keep in mind how you will deliver it to your intended recipient.   If you add rhinestones or other hard accessories to the back of the circle it will leave marks on the layer underneath when you fold the card and mail it.  If you are hand delivering it’s probably not as much of an issue but a trip through the post office has the potential to leave all kinds of indents from things like jewels and buttons and so on.  Something to think about as you design.  Flatter is better on the under layers.

Here’s the back view of my full card.  I left that extra back flap unembossed for easy writing before I pop it in the mail.   And speaking of mailing…this is one of those cards that will likely take a bit of extra postage what with the flap, layers  and rhinestones that I’ve added.  If however you keep the card simple and less dimensional the flip cards will mail just like any other standard one layer card.

CASE the Catalog - CASE of Stampin' Up's 2014 Annual Catalog page 138 - Jean Fitch - Circle Card Thinlit die, Trust God, Petite Petal and the Arrow embossing folder and Moonlight DSP.   More pictures and details in post.


CASE the Catalog - CASE of Stampin' Up's 2014 Annual Catalog page 138 - Jean Fitch - Circle Card Thinlit die, Trust God, Petite Petal and the Arrow embossing folder and Moonlight DSP.   More pictures and details in post.

Here are the two main ingredients you need to CASE this card:

arrow embossing folder

Stampin’ Up’s Arrow textured embossing folder. Item# 132187

To see more fun examples of what you can do with this cool die set check out my Pinterest Board for flip cards here.

Circle Card Thinlit die store image

Circle Card Thinlit Die (10 pieces) – Item# 133480


Thanks for joining me today and I hope you’ll check out the Watercooler Challenge Blog.   And don’t let the Canadian spelling you may find there throw you for a loop.  Really…we do speak the same language.  LOL

Hugs and blessings…

Jean Fitch in pink

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

St. Patrick's Day banner

Whether you celebrate it in the religious manner

with Mass and sermons on the Trinity

St. Patrick


 your thoughts turn to gold & rainbows

pot o goldToday is the day everyone is Irish

and wears a bit of the green.

green sheep


Here’s how we celebrated at our March  Stamp Camp.

And check further down in the post to see how you can celebrate with

Free Shipping today!

Lucky Day Card - March 2014 Stamp Camp - watermarked

Once again the Envelope Punch Board was front and center creating the grass and my many punches did the rest.  I’ve been hooked on all the sun’s everyone is creating with the new Banner punch from Sale-a-Bration (luckily you still have a couple of weeks to take advantage of getting it for free!) so had to try my hand at one.

I counted them up and in addition to the Envelope Punch Board which probably qualifies as a punch in and of itself I used 12 other punches to create this card!  I think that’s a record for me.  It sure added to the weight of the boxes being transported to the church hall for this event.  Filled the center of the table too.

Here’s the supply list.


Stamps:Occasions Alphabet, Petite Petals, Teeny Tiny Wishes & Trust God (inside).  Assortment of retired St. Patrick’s Day stamps.

Ink: Gumball Green, Real Red (optional Black Journaling pen/marker for making a sun face.)

Paper: Gumball Green (1”x 4-1/4”), Real Red, Daffodil Delight, Naturals White, Basic Black Cardstock & Champagne Glimmer Paper.  Little hearts: Real Red, Daffodil Delight, Pear Pizzazz, Gumball Green, Island Indigo, Pumpkin Pie

Punches: 1-3/8” Circle, Petite Petals, 1-1/4” Scallop Circle, Decorative Label, Owl Builder, Word Window, Banner (from SAB), Bird Builder, Scallop Oval, Small Oval, Large Oval, Itty Bitty Punch Pack.

Other: Envelope Punch Board, Big Shot, Square Lattice embossing folder, Daffodil Delight ¼” stitched grosgrain ribbon, two way glue pen, tweezers, adhesives.

And here are the directions I shared with my stamp camp attendees:

Lucky Day Card Directions with picture

And a few tips on creating the various elements (no worries…these pictures are also in the directions):

Line up the 8 banner punched pieces on the back of the sun circle in two sets of overlapping squares.   Then run through the Big Shot with the Square Lattice folder and add another circle on top.

sun piecessun pieces

For the Pot O’ Gold I punched a Decorative Label piece then put the half piece on a post it note for better control and using the small oval punch I snipped just a hint out of the middle to get rid of the point and preserve the “legs” for the pot.  Added a word window punch and a half a scalloped circle of glimmer paper and there’s the pot.

Pot o' Gold

For the grass I created a base piece and a rick rack piece.  Embossed with the Square Lattice and overlaid the two pieces at the base of the card.

Create your two grass strips with the two 1”x 4-1/4” Gumball Green strips + the Envelope Punch Board. Strip 1: Place the strip first with the edge of the paper lined up with the tip of the score guide. Punch.

First punch lined up with the score guide

Slide strip over to the 1-1/2” mark, punch. Slide strip to the 2-1/2” mark, punch. Continue sliding down 1 more inch and punching till you reach the end of the strip.

Strip 2: Create the same as Strip 1 then flip over and center each “mountain” then punch, continue sliding and aligning and punching till you have a full rick rack looking strip.

Punching between the hills

Base & rick rack pieces to form grass

Place both completed strips in the Square Lattice embossing folder the longways and run through the Big Shot. Over lap both strips so you have a series of peaks and valleys between the two strips, adhere strips together and then adhere “grass” piece to card base. Trim edges if necessary.

overlapping base and rick rack

Cool trick isn’t it.  Creating rick rack with the Envelope Punch Board.   It does take a bit of flipping around to get the right orientation so the peaks show between the valleys but it’s a fun puzzle.    Of course if you have the Tasteful Trim die it might be a bit quicker but I love that with the Envelope Punch Board I’m not limited to the length of the rick rack pieces I create.   Oh…and the “mountain” base piece also works for a sponging mask to create hills.  Especially if you vary the measurements you use to punch the base.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this fun project.  I can’t tell you how many movies I watched while punching enough “owl” hearts for 12 people to create this card.  Fun!

Please note:   In honor of St. Patrick’s Day I am offering FREE shipping on any Stampin’ Up! orders over $25 placed today March 17th 2014!

And don’t forget to pick up more FREE product during the last two weeks of Sale-a-bration.  I’d be happy to be your demonstrator.  When you click on the online store button in the sidebar select me as your demo and place your order.    I especially recommend the Envelope Punch Board.  It really is a wonder!   You can see what else it can do on my Pinterest board here.

You have a couple options for ordering:

  • Visit the online store, select me as your demonstrator in your profile and place your order~ I will refund your shipping after the order is placed or
  • Email me at  jlfstudio@live.com  and let me know what you want to order – include your phone number and email ~ I will then contact you to make arrangements for payment minus shipping.
  • Don’t forget to place your order (minimum $25) or send your email before Midnight – March 17, 2014 to get your free shipping.  😀


To celebrate my own Irish roots let me leave you with this traditional blessing and a few YouTube videos with blessings and Celtic music to enjoy the day.

Irish Blessing card 2-500x500

Hugs & blessings – Jean

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