Digi delights

I am such a fan of digital stamps.  Although I have many (hubby would say too many) clear stamps and some wood block/rubber stamps, too, I really enjoy the immediacy and the ease I can get with digital stamps.  And folks, they are serious bang for you crafting buck, which I like, too.

My first date with a digi was from powerpoppy.com.  And a couple of years, and many projects later, Marcella Hawley’s designs are still my hands down favorites.  You can see previous posts for a couple of examples or better yet, try my instagam site for a whole lotta digi powerpoppy madness.

Recently, Marcella released a “va-va-voom” valentine bundle of digi fun on Power Popppy–six pretty punny designs for $6 and I’ve played with three of the six so far.  Wanna see?


The fan is delightful and I loved foiling it in silver to play with the metallic shine.  I added some whit accents after coloring with copics and colored pencils and a handful of flat silver confetti.



The socks  just tickle me, and I’v tried this one two ways–in a pretty preppy colorway that was in this week’s Hues to Use color challenge at Power Poppy and also in a red white and blue color which I like even more.  This one  is rebuilt–I didn’t like my original backing, so I reworked it this morning.



And the last design I’ve played with–so far–are these flowers and princess slippers.  Such fun to color!  Not sure how  I’ll make this one a card, but this one really makes me think about spring!

And for now that’s all–but I have a fun radio, a frying pan and a cheese grater to play with between now and Va-Va valentines Day.



Tagged! Holiday tags using foil

Fellow crafters, don’t you agree?  Any holiday gift worth giving ought to, if possible, be wonderfully presented.  Last year’s tags were more exclaimed over than the gifts, honestly, so I am compelled to do it again.


A couple of nights ago, I finally got a few tags assembled for our far away family. I printed out my favorite holiday digi, the Power Poppy Gingerbread Family digital stamp set, colored the images with my copics, and then turned on my foiling machine.    Magic!  That photo above may look like cute gingerbread images foam mounted on tags (which they are…these are darn cute little cookies!) but the close up handling will, I think, get the oohs and aaahs I’m going for.



Capturing the shine in a photo is tough, but in person, these images just shine like crazy.  Very satisfying.

I also added white Ranger Enamel Accents as the white frosting and Glossy Accents over the candies on the house–which looks amazing over the foiled bits.  I die cut some small snowflakes from the Simon Says Stamp snow flurry set, which is my favorite new die for the winter season.  I may as well just leave it on my craft desk until spring!

The images are mounted on fancy paper under vellum  I used the largest of the Tim Holtz tag dies, which gives me plenty of room for a nice note on the back.

I’ll enter these tags in:

Power Poppy’s December challenge

The MaleRoom’s Challenge #75

Simon Says Stamp’s Monday challenge 


Simon Says Stamp’s Wednesday Challenge

And now, off to weekend activities . . . in our first snow of the season!

Easiest. Shaker Cards. Ever.

Jillibean Soup Jar Shaker

Okay, I really love shaker cards. The idea that you can make a card and push a bunch of glittery, shiny awesome sequins in the middle of it and let them move around. Sigh. That is just the coolest.  Like a rattle…but for grown ups–or at least not for babies. (although hey, a rattle card that’s a shaker. . . could be a must try!)

However, I am NOT the most precise of card makers. Honestly, if there’s a way to mess something up, I’ve done it. And shakers have not been an exception. My first two were so wonky and warped and gluey that I did not send them. Over time (and lots of video watching) I got better–and discovered Jillibean soup on one of my weekend stakeouts at Michael’s crafts.

So, Jillibean makes these pre-cut cards with envelopes in a few designs (big circle, little circle, star, cloud, and jar are the ones I’ve indulged in so far) and then they sell, separately, fitting shaker inserts with adhesive strips already on. You just stamp/color your card incorporating the cutout. Open the card and pop the plastic insert into the opening. Fill the shaker. Remove the liner that covers the adhesive on the shaker. Firmly close the card and the shaker adheres to the inside of the card. Genius. The example above is  one I made last month for my husband’s best friend using Hero Arts stamps and HA stencil.  (Guy cards always take a little extra thought.)  Anyway, SO easy!

Below, another super fast one–this time using zig clean color markers on a great Mama Elephant image.

Over Thanksgiving, I bumped into the Jillibean Soup web site for the first time:  www.jillibean-soup.com and wahoo–massive sale in progress!  I now have many more shaker inserts and the DIES (yes, the dies!!) that match the inserts so that I can makes these cards with any cardstock I like.  I do still make other shakers, but the premade inserts are my favorites for  fast, “oooh-worthy” results every time.

(and no, I have no relationship with Jillibean Soup–I just think they have a great, product that you don’t see enough of!

Just another crafty enabler, here to help you spend a little more green stuff. 🙂


Finally! Started a giveaway on Instagram, had an anniversary, and I haven’t crashed my website in 48 hours!

Image by #mamaelephant - 21st Anniversary card
Me and My Yeti

For those of you dropping by thanks to my IG giveaway, welcome!  I hope this is a first visit of several!

I confess that I’ve been reluctant to start this site–I have so little free time, that making cards has been winning out over getting this blog up and running …. for FIVE months.  Wow, I can really procrastinate with the best of them!

So, why blog, anyway? Well, I have a little daydream about being on a design team, and doesn’t seem achievable without a website, near as I can tell. Hence, essiecards.com .  And since I mostly write for a living, this shouldn’t be too bad, once I synch with the technology.

The giveaway:  Some of my favorite companies and favorite stuff–because I wouldn’t run a giveaway with stuff I don’t want.  So, enter away and then, if you win, I hope I get to see what you make!

And now I know how to use Instagram overlays and even how to use ye olde Random Number Integrator.  Given that I predate the era of computers, I’m darned proud of myself.  And my kids think I’m kinda cool, which is never a given.

And today is my anniversary.  It’s been, as my husband says, “21 magical years.”  And they’ve flown by.  Am I the only person out there married this long who still hasn’t cleaned and “preserved” her wedding dress?  Hmm.  Maybe I’ll dig it out of its bag for another post.  It’s VERY 1990s.  Lots of silk, lots of pearls and pretty over the top.  Probably the birdseed people threw at us is still caught in the skirt.

The post:  the anniversary card from me to the one I’d marry all over again in a skinny minute.  He’s the best thing that ever happened to me.


Don We Now . . . Our Ugly Sweaters

I have a thing for ugly holiday sweaters. I don’t own any (these days), but they remind me of my childhood and college days–when everyone sported a big bright bulky monstrosity during the holidays.

So I was thrilled when my favorite Etsy seller/digital stamp maker, Kimma of Le Petite Market, put together a digi collection of the best of the worst. And I’ve had a great time coloring them this weekend, in between internet bargain hunting (that’s fodder for another post, I think), and enjoying some quality time with family and friends.

I LOVE digital stamps–so easy to use and they don’t take up room in my overloaded craft lair! And Kimma’s images are just the cutest and always feel thoroughly original! I’ve used them tons in the last few months–just check out my Instagram feed to seem more. Oh, and Le Petite Market is running an amazing sale–you almost can’t afford not to try them out! (gratuitous shout out…I have no business/other relationship with this lovely Etsy seller, I simply like what I like).

Anyway, I colored the entire set of six sweaters/vests, cut them out using my Brother Scan-n-Cut (this machine makes me smile every time I use it!) and made two of the images into finished products already (one card, one gift tag).

Finished card and tag

The rest are waiting for another burst of inspiration.

Welcome to my Blog – First Post

Hello new and old friends!  After acquiring this website…nearly six months ago! I’m determined to go live and learn by doing!

This is a place for me to share my cards, and a little more informations about them than I can cram into an Instagram post.  Maybe, from time to time, I’ll blog about  some new crafty techniques and perhaps even the occasional non-crafty post.  Just because.

For tonight, I’m sharing a card from earlier this month–the image is by the delightful and talented Marcella Hawley who owns Power Poppy stamps–some of the most beautiful floral and whimsical images I’ve found.  Her stamps always make me feel like an artist, and make me willing to try new things.

For this card, I embossed Ranger watercolor paper (which is precut to 4.25″ X 5.5″ and a great bright white–so easy to use!) with copper embossing powder by Wow!  I had expected the embossing to be raised–as it is when I emboss on less porous paper (like Neenah Solar White 80 pound–which is my go-to).  That’s not what happened:  the embossing powder sank into the watercolor paper, leaving me with a very different, more exacting process when I added my water color.  But–in the end, I really like the result.  It wasn’t what I planned, but I like what I got.

And that’s a good lesson for me:  Keep going.  When it starts to go in a direction you didn’t expect, just keep going.


And that’s enough for a first post.   Thanks for dropping by, and if you have comments for me, that’s terrific!