International Blog Hop May 2016 | Highlighting Retired Products
Swallowtail Butterfly – GDP033
Soft Pretty Gorgeous- GDP032
Botanical Blooms – GDP031
Newsletter Challenge Winners
International Blog Highlight
Going Global Featured Product
Awesomely Artistic – GDP029
What I Love? Global Design Project challenges.
Birthday Gallery

International Blog Hop May 2016 | Highlighting Retired Products

International Stampin' Up! Blog Hop

Welcome to our International Blog Hop highlighting some of our favourite Stampin’ Up! products that are retiring at the end of May. I am very excited to be participating in this (my first) Blog Hop, especially being in such talented company from around the world. We are sure that you will find some incredible inspiration from the projects that you are about to see as you visit each blog on the list below.

You may just be starting the blog hop here at my blog – Cheryll Miller (Sense of Whimsy) or may have come from the person previous to me in the list. If you get off track at any time, the full lineup below will help you move along from blog to blog so you see all the projects.

If you have just “hopped” into my blog, you are visiting Cheryll Miller and I live in Australia. If you live in Australia and were wanting to purchase some Stampin’ Up!® Products I am happy to help you. Remember that all of the projects in this Blog Hop feature retiring products which are available only while stocks last, so don’t delay if something really catches your eye.

One of my favourite retiring stamps is Blended Bloom.  It has been my “go to” flower image since it landed in my craft room … it is large, a feature on it’s own, easy to colour and easy to fussy cut. I also love the retiring Greetings Thinlits dies. These are fabulous … the set includes three words … thanks, hello and cheers. They are a perfect size for cards and the filled in areas on the letters make them so easy to adhere with little dots of multipurpose glue.

Blended Bloom Retiring

I stamped the Blended Bloom image onto Watercolour Paper with Basic Black Archival ink, watercoloured with an Aqua Painter and then used a Blender Pen for the more finely detailed centre. The flower colour is Real Red, with Crushed Curry, Tangelo Twist and Basic Gray in the centre. I added a little bit of dimension in the centre of the flower with some glue from the Fine Tip Glue Pen.

Blended Bloom Colouring

The background is created by sponging over a rectangular frame mask (I used the Square Framelits dies, also retiring, to create the frame first cutting one square and then moving the die down a little and running through the Big Shot again to create a rectangle cut out piece), applying ink colour in bands of Bermuda Bay, Old Olive and Tangelo Twist.  To create additional interest behind the flower, I used another retiring set “I Think You’re Great” (Wood Mount or Clear Mount). This set has two fabulous background images, and I just love the swirly background. I selectively coloured a portion of the stamp with Basic Gray marker and stamped over the sponged area, keeping the frame mask in place.

Masked Background

It is always very exciting to reveal the background when you remove the frame mask … or maybe that is just my weird sense of excitement!?

Greetings Thinlits


While I was in sponging mode, I also decorated the inside of the card and the envelope.

The Inside Story

Blended Bloom Retiring

Thank you for taking part in our international blog hop, there are so many amazing ideas and inspiration you don’t want to miss. It certainly makes me quite sad that some of these wonderful products are retiring. Remember that currently you are at my blog – Cheryll Miller, so check the blog hop line up list to see who is next in the list.

Here is a list of all the retiring products used in this project …. clicking on the items will take you directly to my online store! Products only available while stocks last or up until 31st May 2016, whichever is the sooner.

Blended Bloom Wood Mount Stamp Set available at 20% discount
I Think You’re Great Wood Mount Stamp Set  available at 20% discount
I Think You’re Great Clear Mount Stamp Set  available at 25% discount
Greetings Thinlits Dies
Squares Collection Framelits  available at 40% discount
Tangelo Twist Ink Pad  available at 30% discount



Swallowtail Butterfly – GDP033

What a wonderful Saturday! I have been hunkered down in my craft room, creating up a storm. With Mother’s Day coming up very soon, I figured I had better get some cards created for that very special day. I also took the opportunity to participate in the Global Design Project Colour Challenge for this week.
GDP033 Colour ChallengeNight of Navy, Calypso Coral and Sahara Sand … a wonderfully elegant colour scheme. Perfect for Mother’s Day. Luckily, I don’t think my Mothers follow my blog! 😉

Calypso Butterfly GDP033

I have used the retiring Swallowtail stamp which is a large background stamp (only available now in Wood Mount) … sniff, sniff (that’s me being sad). And Timeless Textures (Wood Mount or Clear Mount) which is carrying over to the new catalogue … yay!!  Be warned, you are going to get a lot of this … new catalogue time is always an emotional roller coaster for Stampin’ Up! demonstrators!

The most time consuming part of this card was the butterfly.  I heat embossed the Swallowtail image … stamping with Sahara Sand classic ink on Whisper White cardstock and heat embossed with Clear Embossing Powder. If you work quickly, it is possible to get a lovely fine embossed image using the Stampin’ Up! dye inks, especially on the lovely super smooth Whisper White card stock.

Embossing Swallowtail Butterfly

I used Calypso Coral Ink and a blender pen to colour the butterfly wings, then fussy cut …. well not very fussy really, it is a large image … even I managed to do an okay job! :)

I did NOT fussy cut the butterfly antennae however … that is beyond my patience levels.  I stamped the butterfly with Sahara Sand ink directly onto the card front and then used an Aqua Painter and Sahara Sand ink to colour around the edges, deliberately going outside the lines to create a slight “shadow” for my Calypso Coral butterfly. Fortunately, I have no troubles going outside the lines!

Some textural elements from Timeless Textures down the left hand edge of the card front brings in a touch of Night of Navy and adds some additional Sahara Sand elements.  Don’t you love those flourishes!! I added a very fine sponged edge to this layer with Sahara Sand ink and a sponge dauber.

Swallowtail Wink of Stella

I added a touch of Clear Wink of Stella Glitter over the embossed parts of the wings … almost as difficult to photograph as Calypso Coral Ink (is it just me who has trouble with photographing Calypso Coral?). The butterfly in all his/her glory is then adhered over the (very boring) Sahara Sand stamped butterfly, trimming off the right wing to the edge of the stamped layer.

My words come from the Hostess set Happy Birthday Everyone, and this set will also be retiring at the end of May.  This is my favourite Hostess Set … the large Happy Birthday is fabulous, usually I put the additional phrases on the inside of my card.  This time the smaller font phrase takes centre stage. To get this set in Wood Mount or Clear Mount, just place a $250 order prior to to the end of May and this set can be purchased with your Stampin’ Rewards.

Happy Birthday Everyone


I had a few Mother’s Day cards to create, and so changed up the colour layers “just because I can”.

Swallowtail Butterfly Alternate Colourway

This one makes Sahara Sand the feature layer and the greeting is from Greatest Greetings (Wood Mount and Clear Mount).  This set is carrying over into the new catalogue.

Which is your favourite?

GDP033 Calypso Butterfly

The Retiring Product lists are posted here.  Remember these items are only available while stocks last, or on 31st May (whichever is the sooner). Email me or shop online with me here if you would like to grab any of the retiring product before it is gone.


Soft Pretty Gorgeous- GDP032

Soft pretty gorgeous …. this is what I see when I look at Krista Frattin’s delightful card on the Global Design Project challenge site. This week the challenge is to CASE (Copy and Selectively Edit) Krista’s card.

GDP032 Kristas Card

I love Krista’s work, so I decided to stick to the soft pink colouring (although mine didn’t quite come out as soft as Krista’s card), with a touch of gold, and I also went with a similar layout.

Soft Pretty Gorgeous GDP032
The Hardwood background stamp (wood mount or clear mount) has been white embossed onto Whisper White card and then sponged with a combination of Pink Pirouette and Blushing Bride (resist technique).  The label is from the Project Life Cards & Labels Framelits, sponged with Pink Pirouette.Hello Hardwood Emboss Resist
The die cut “Hello” is from the Hello You Thinlits, die cut out of Whisper White card and coloured with Gold Wink of Stella Glitter Brush …. very pretty! hello Hardwood Greeting
I have added some leaves from the Botanical Builders Framelits die cut out of White Vellum and continued the gold touches with Gold Metallic Thread and some gold sequins. The word “you” is from the Crazy About You stamp set (wood mount or clear mount), stamped with Smoky Slate ink.Hello Hardwood Close

I continued the same theme to the inside of the card.Hello Hardwood Inside
So all in all, I have picked up on a lot of the elements from Krista’s card.

I created three different versions in the creative process, and my submission for GDP was my favourite. Here are the other two versions …

Just a Little Bit DottyThis one is very similar …

Totally DottyThis one is not! The dots have been sponged using the Dots mask and the Happy Patterns Masks. The gold dots are sponged with Gold Wink of Stella Glitter Brush … I squeezed a little bit onto a pallette and then sponged with a sponge dauber.  I found the dots a little bit too distracting … my “Hello” doesn’t really stand out like I wanted it to. Hence this one was relegated to “also ran”. :)

How do you create? Do you start out with a fixed plan or a sketch? Do you just create “on the run”, making it up as you go along. Do you make one card at a time, or multiple versions until you are happy?

It is interesting to read how the Global Design Project designers come up with their project ideas when casing another designer’s card. Pop on over to the GDP site and check out the gallery. So much inspiration!


Botanical Blooms – GDP031

Botanical Blooms Stamp Set … I have had this one for a while, but not really explored it properly. Global Design Project has a theme challenge this week, and the theme is “Nature”. What a perfect opportunity to play around with the Botanical Blooms set and the co-ordinating Botanical Builder Framelits.
And the good news is that these two come as a bundle at a discounted price.

Global Design Project 031 Theme Challenge Nature

I also wanted to pull out my poor neglected spritzers … I love the sense of the unknown when using spritzers … you never quite know how it will turn out. Here is the final result.

GDP031 Botanical Blooms

The white frame is created with a stencil applied before spritzing. I love the way the white frame “pops”. I created the stencil frame out of standard weight Whisper White card and two sizes from the Squares Collection Framelits. To attach it to my card while I spritzed, I used the Two Way Glue Pen. Just a couple of swipes … if you let it dry to clear before attaching to your card, the bond is non-permanent.

I spritzed with Calypso Coral and Wild Wasabi spritzers … The trick is to know when to stop, green and pink make brown if it all gets too heavy! I create my spritzers with rubbing alcohol and re-inkers. If you haven’t done this before, check out my really quick video on creating them.

I stamped the background images (also from the Botanical Blooms set) with Archival Black Ink while the frame stencil was still in place.

Botanical Blooms Doodled Frame

The big reveal … peeling off the stencil frame is quite exciting. But it looked a little bit boring, so I took a black marker and doodled around the edges really quickly, and to continue the doodle look, I added a quick scalloped border as well. It’s very imprecise, it is very loose and it is FUN! I was totally amazed at how this simple addition really made the frame pop.

Botanical Blooms Stamping and Die Cutting

There are a few different options for floral dies in the Botanical Builder Framelit Die set. I chose to stamp the solid flowers and leaf and then die cut them with the co-ordinating framelits.  I have used Calypso Coral ink for the flowers, and Pear Pizzazz and Wild Wasabi inks for the leaves. I stamped some images without re-inking to get different tones.

Botanical Blooms Leaf Detail

Using a grey marker (Smoky Slate) to run around the edges of the die cut flowers and leaves takes away the white edge (seeing as I stamped these onto white card), and also adds a faux shadow which helps define the flowers, especially when layering tone on tone.

Botanical Blooms Frame and Flowers

I layered the large flowers and leaves into the frame. The greeting comes from the Sheltering Tree stamp set and the loose, handwritten font totally complements the doodling in the frame. I stamped with black ink onto white vellum so as not to compete with the frame.

To solve the problem of how to adhere the vellum without glue show through *gasp*, I positioned the smaller flowers so that a couple of petals covered the strategically placed mini glue dots, and layered some of the flowers with Stampin’ Dimensionals (cut into teeny weeny pieces) to create height and interest.

Botanical Blooms Inside

I added some doodling to the inside of the card too! Once you start, you can’t stop!  The spritz has also crept onto the inside (ooops) but that sort of adds to the effect! :)

GDP031 Botanical Blooms

This one ended up nothing like the idea I had in my head, but I was pleasantly surprised with the result. What do you think?
xx  Cheryll

Newsletter Challenge Winners

Each month, I hold a newsletter challenge for my newsletter subscribers. Participants either text or email me a photo of their card project and I then randomly select one entry as the winner of a prize.

In March, the challenge was to create a card with a scallop feature. This was my creative project.

Congratulations Card

Thank you to the ladies who submitted cards to the challenge. And the winner is …. drum roll …. Joan Patton. Congratulations Joan, your prize of 4 card kits and a pack of Designer Series Papers will be on their way to you soon.

Here are some of the entries ….

Joan Patton Newsletter Challenge Card

Joan has featured a couple of different scallops in her card. The greeting is from the Wetlands stamp set (available in Wood Mount or Clear Mount). Thank you for entering the challenge Joan and congratulations on your win.

Dianne's newsletter challenge card

Dianne’s card features the Balloon Celebration stamp set and the co-ordinating Balloon Bouquet punch. These two do come as a bundle at a 15% discount on both … great value.

Dianne has used the technique featured in the newsletter, which is to create a scallop using a circle punch. Dianne stamped the balloon texture stamp in many colours and then punched them out with a circle punch (as opposed to the balloon punch), which has allowed her to position them behind her blue layer to create a scalloped border. I love how the texture shows in each punched circle! What a clever girl!

Dorothy's newsletter Challenge Card

Dorothy’s card features a scalloped edge over a glittery piece of cardstock and the old favourite Dress Up Framelits (a discontinued Stampin Up! die set).  I love this set of dies … hands up, who has this set? I am inspired to pull it out and give it an airing … thank you Dorothy! And thank you for consistently entering the challenges .. I am so glad you are being inspired!

If you would like to join in the newsletter challenge each month, why not sign up for my newsletter? The sign up box is in the right hand column here >>>>>  … when you subscribe you will also receive access to past creative project PDF tutorials, exclusive to newsletter subscribers. Scroll up to the top of the page, the newsletter sign up box is towards the top!  The sign up box at the bottom of the right hand column is to get an email each time I post on the blog. If you would like to get access to the PDF tutorials, you need to sign up in the top sign up box (newsletter sign up box).


International Blog Highlight

Going Global Love CardKylie Bertucci is featuring an International Blog Highlight at the moment. The theme is LOVE. I have entered my Going Global Love Card from the previous post into this challenge.

You can vote on your favourite submissions by visiting Kylie’s page after 6:30pm AEST 8th April (voting is open for 6 days). I would love it if you pop on over and maybe even vote for me! 😉

This card features Going Global stamp set (available in Wood Mount or Clear Mount) and the World Traveller Embossing Folder, which are my featured products for April. If you purchase either (or both) of these products from me in April, I will mail you card kits for four projects (including this one) and email the PDF tutorials as a thank you gift for your purchase.



Going Global Featured Product

Hi everyone! My featured products for April are the fabulous “Going Global” stamp set (wood mount 140745 or clear mount 140748) and the World Traveller Embossing Folder.

Going Global Stamp Set

World Traveller Embossing Folder







I was attracted to these two items when I first saw them in the Occasions catalogue … mainly because they had a “masculine” feel. However the greetings are quite varied. I have had fun creating a variety of cards using this stamp set since the Occasions catalogue launched, and have created four brand new projects for the featured product card kits this month.

These two items are not a bundle, so if you purchase either one or the other (or both) from me during April, you will receive from me the card kits with all cardstock and embellishments to make these four projects via post, along with PDF tutorials via email.

Here is a sneak peak of one of the projects included in the card kits. I have entered this card in Kylie Bertucci’s International Blog Highlight … the theme is LOVE. You can visit Kylie’s page and vote for your favourite five entries anytime after 6:30pm AEST on 8th April (voting is open for 6 days).

Going Global Love Card

And here are some of the creations I have previously blogged.This one was really fun to create … click here for more details.

Inspired by Monday Going Global plus Hardwood

This one was for a Global Design Project Challenge ….. Click here for more information on this card.

GDP019 Main Image Going Global

So if you think you can use a handy stamp set like Going Global and/or the fantastic World Traveller embossing folder, order then from me in April and get the four card kits and pdf tutorials, absolutely free. Click here to order via my online shop, email me, or give me a call on 0438 464451.  I always love to hear from you.


Awesomely Artistic – GDP029

Awesomely Artistic … no matter what the images in this set, I really love that name!

Thank goodness for Global Design Project to keep me blogging at least once a week! This week has been a colour challenge, a very bright colour challenge.  Thanks Bruno! 😉

GDP029 Colour Challenge

Wow, what a colour scheme! I love Bermuda Bay and I love Tangelo Twist, but I don’t think I have ever used these two bright colours together, especially with Early Espresso!

I seem to approach each challenge a little differently, depending on what else I am working on at the time. The last few days I have been designing cards for my monthly featured product and using a technique where you diecut a shape from the top layer to reveal an image beneath. So I created a card using Bermuda Bay cardstock and went from there.

Awesomely Artistic GDP029

I used the Awesomely Artistic stamp set (Clear Mount or Wood Mount) from the Annual Catalogue, mainly because I was looking for an image I could colour with Tangelo Twist ink. The floral image from Awesomely Artistic is stamped on Watercolour Paper with Basic Gray Archival ink because it is waterproof (stamped off onto scrap paper to create a slightly lighter image) before being watercoloured with Tangelo Twist  and Early Espresso Ink. Once I had completed the colouring, I felt that a lot of the detail of this delicate image had been lost, so I added some lines and detail back into the flowers using a black marker (make sure your image is totally dry so the black marker doesn’t bleed).

Awesomely Artistic Flowers

A pretty frame for the flowers (Chalk Talk Framelits) is die cut out of the card front, and the floral image adhered behind it.  Note: I cut quite a small piece of Water colour card, so had to add a full sized bermuda piece over it on the inside of card so it didn’t show on the inside.

Awesomely Artistic Friend

Some Tangelo Twist and Early Espresso touches complete the card.

Now this is a colour combination you will either love or hate. I have chosen to go full on with the colours, softened with the watercolour floral image. But check out what the GDP designers have come up with .. an amazing array of different versions of this colour scheme from amazingly soft to stunningly dramatic.  Colleen also entered a card for this challenge and it is stunning. Check it out here.

GDP029 Awesomely Artistic

Now what do you think my featured product for April is going to be?


What I Love? Global Design Project challenges.

What else I love? Sale-A-Bration!! There is only a couple more days of Sale-A-Bration, which finishes on 31st March. So I am using Sale-A-Bration sets while crafting over these last few days.

For Global Design Project #028, I have used Sale-A-Bration set “What I Love”, combined with the Sale-A-Bration Designer Series Paper “Wildflower Fields”.

This week we are Casing the Designer, Jessica Williams. Now Jessica always creates amazing projects, so it should be a real pleasure to create something based on this fabulous card!

GDP028 Jess Williams CASE the designerHowever I struggled! Maybe it is because I am working on financials this week, so my creative side is being impeded?   Anyway, here is my submission …. these flowers are actually Calypso Coral! I can assure you that Calypso coral is nowhere near this bright … it is after all in the Subtles colour palette. However for some reason, I always have a lot of trouble photographing Calypso Coral. Maybe it is the light I use for taking my photographs?What I Love GDP028

I flipped Jessica’s card layout and used DSP behind the vellum layer instead of stamping. Instead of using Washi Tape to adhere the vellum over the DSP, I used two strips of card from the Shine On Specialty Designer Series Paper … the fine silver diagonal stripes on Kraft card. It adds an elegant shimmer element to the card without me resorting to Wink of Stella! 😉

What I Love Embossed FlowersI stamped the shadow layers of the flowers from the What I Love Sale-A-Bration stamp set with Calypso Coral ink onto Whisper White Card then stamped the outline with White Craft Ink and embossed with white embossing powder. The flowers needed a little more colour, so I sponged some more Calypso Coral ink onto them before trimming out.  The leaves are from the Botanical Builders Thinlits Dies …. I am going to have to stop myself from using this particular leaf die, love it.

What I Love Wood Veneer Thanks

I knew I wanted to use one of the Expressions Natural Elements Wood Veneer words on this card, but it was too plain when I added “Thanks” unadorned. I inked it up with Whisper White Craft Ink, but it was still very flat. So I embossed it with Whisper White embossing powder to match the embossed flowers.

It is still not exactly the effect I was looking for, but I had been pfaffing about with this card all afternoon, and enough was enough! Easter chocolate was calling!

As usual, I am running very close to deadline with my submission for Global Design Project challenge.

What I Love GDP028

Don’t forget to get your orders in before 31st March to get your free Sale-A-Bration products before they are gone forever!

And if you were considering taking up the fantastic Stampin’ Up! Sale-A-Bration joining offer (Bonus $60 worth of product), the deadline is also 31st March!


Birthday Gallery

I had a birthday earlier this month. While I believe that every birthday should be celebrated simply because you are here to celebrate it, I must admit this one slid by without much fanfare because there is so much going on here at the moment. Some years are like that … I still counted my blessings! :)

One of the joys of birthdays for me is receiving cards and calls, and I was very spoilt this year! I get particularly excited when I receive handmade cards.  These beauties arrived in the mail this year and I just had to share (in no particular order).

Handmade cards from Kim Murray

Kim’s card is a delight, delicately coloured to create an ethereal effect. Kim said this was a card she found difficult to give away (and we all get those!), so I feel extra special to have received it. You can see more of Kim’s work here.

Handmade Cards from Colleen Johnson

Colleen’s card is a wonderful colour scheme of Mint Macaron and Watermelon Wonder. I was inspired to put this embossing folder (Elegant Dots) on my next order, isn’t it fabulous?  You can see more of Colleen’s work here.

Handmade cards from Dorothy Newton

The greeting on Dorothy’s card made me smile! And I love the way she has picked up the colours from the ribbon to colour the very stylish lady!

Handmade Cards from Grace McAndrew

I was very excited to see Grace’s card … we had been talking about the Bokeh technique over Skype and she has given it a whirl.  A bokeh effect is a photography term, where you deliberately blur a photo to create an aesthetic effect with light.

Close Up Birthday Card Grace

There are a few different ways to re-create this effect in papercrafting. Grace has created a template by punching different sized circles out of acetate and then repeatedly sponging with a white craft ink over a coloured background (either watercoloured or sponged), moving the template after each application. How pretty is this effect?  The little touches finish this card off perfectly …. the glittery butterfly over the black die cut butterfly with those gorgeous little wire antennae, and the whimsical touch of the pink decorative ribbon along the bottom.

Thank you all, ladies, for making my birthday extra special.

Don’t forget, if you would like to experience the joy of a handmade card for your birthday, just email me your birthday date and your address and I will add you to my #imbringingbirthdaysback calendar! Handmade cards going out left, right and centre here just lately.


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