Artwork by Mary Engelbreit {via Pinterest}

Hi Friends!

I was secretly very happy that it was a rainy day on Saturday! Gardening was out of the question, as the rain poured down hour after hour. I had planned for this day for many weeks… an entire day in my paper crafting studio! It was time to plant the seeds of inspiration… and challenge my creativity to grow, hour by hour.

Saturday was the annual  Papertrey Ink  Stamp-A-Faire.

Once a year, Papertrey Ink hosts a day-long celebration of creativity, called Stamp-A-Faire.

For the past two years, I had watched this exciting event unfold. This year would be different… I would participate, learning and growing all day long! Although I worked alone in my studio, I felt like I was part of something much bigger. Card makers from across the globe were all finding inspiration, creating, and sharing their handmade cards.

This year’s Stamp-A-Faire had a ‘Project Runway’ theme, filled with fashion challenges from dawn until dark. The very talented Papertrey Ink (PTI) Design Team members shared so much inspiration, great tips, and lots of encouragement. Every two hours a new Challenge began. Inspiration from Stamp-A-Faire kept me growing all day long!

Take a peek! (Click on each Challenge title to find lots of inspiration!)


‘Bridal’ Challenge

Challenge ~ Create a wedding card using only white supplies. A neutral colored ink may be used for the sentiment.

'Bridal' Challenge

Goodies Used:

Paper:  Recollections 110 lb. White cardstock, SU ‘Whisper White’ cardstock

Ink:  Versamark, with Ranger ‘Seafoam White’ embossing powder

Stamps:   SU ‘Wild Hearts’ background stamp, PTI ‘Twig Wreath’

Sentiment: PTI ‘Twig Wreath’

Also: SU ‘Petit Petals’ stamps/punch, The Paper Studio ‘Pearl’ gemstones

Listening to: great Oldies on the radio

Feeling:  Brave  and excited to share my handmade cards at Stamp-A-Faire today!


‘Pattern’ Challenge

Challenge ~ Create a card based on one of the patterns (sketches) to help you warm up for the day. My card was inspired by Heather Nichols.


Goodies Used:

Paper:  Kraft cardstock, SU ‘Whisper White’ cardstock, Teresa Collins ‘Fabrications’ patterned paper

Ink:  SU ‘Calypso Coral,’  ‘Pear Pizzazz,’  ‘So Saffron,’  Memento ‘Tuxedo Black’

Stamps:  Wplus9 ‘Spring Blooms’

Sentiments: PTI ‘Big Hugs’ die + stamps (inside)

Also:  PTI ‘Branching Out’ die (for masking), Judikins Color Dusters, Heidi Swapp ‘All My Heart’ stencil, SU Project Life corner rounder, Dritz tracing wheel (faux stitching), PTI ‘Embroidered Frames: Dots’ die (inside)

Listening to: golden Oldies

Feeling:  So happy! Heather’s sketch was great for playing with patterns and techniques!


‘Threads’ Challenge

Challenge ~ Use thread or twine in unique ways on your card.  I decided to create a nest of hemp twine, inspired by Danielle Flanders’ technique.


Goodies Used:

Paper:  Recollections 110 lb. White cardstock, SU ‘Whisper White’ cardstock

Ink:  SU ‘Marina Mist,’  ‘Pumpkin Pie,’  ‘Pear Pizzazz,’  ‘Always Artichoke,’  ‘So Saffron,’  Ranger Distress Ink ‘Spiced Marmalade,’  ‘Rusty Hinge’

Stamps:  PTI ‘Brushed Off’

Sentiment:  PTI ‘Grateful’ die (3 layers)

Also: Natural hemp twine, PTI ‘Branching Out’ die (diecut for stamp ‘kissing’ technique)

Listening to:  great Oldies

Feeling:  Grateful for a day filled with creativity and new learning! Overjoyed to share handmade kindness with family and friends!


‘Mix + Match’ Challenge (Mixing Patterns)

Challenge ~ Create a card that mixes at least three different patterned papers. I was inspired by Betsy Veldman to choose large, medium, and small prints, and to include white space (a solid area)  for the eye to rest.


Goodies Used:

Paper:  Recollections 110 lb White cardstock and Pink Linen cardstock, SU ‘All Abloom’ DSP

Ink:  Memento ‘Tuxedo Black’

Dies: PTI ‘Quilted Summer’

Sentiment:  PTI ‘Quilted Summer’

Also: Embossalicious embossing folder

Listening to:  Smooth Jazz

Feeling: Very focused! Mixing three different patterned papers on a tiny paper quilt requires real patience!

‘Pins + Needles’ Challenge

Challenge ~ Create a project featuring a trinket pin. Melissa Phillips inspired me to use a trinket pin for the first time!


Goodies Used:

Paper:  Recollections 110 lb White cardstock,  DIY Shop patterned paper

Ink:  SU ‘Wild Wasabi,’  Ranger Distress Ink ‘Gathered Twigs’

Stamps:  SU ‘Gingham’ wheel,  Stampablilites scissors + thimble

Also:  SU Tag Topper punch,  DMC embroidery floss, button, PTI ‘Tiny Tags’ dies, Zig marker, Uni-ball Signo broad pen (faux stitching) and stick pins (of course!)

Listening to:  Disco!?!? (It was getting late, and I really needed a burst of energy to complete one more Challenge!)

Feeling:  Happy!!


‘Make It Work’ Challenge

Challenge ~ Use some of the bits and pieces left on your table at the end of the day to create a card.


Goodies Used:

Paper:  Recollections 110 lb. White cardstock, SU ‘Whisper White’ cardstock

Ink:  SU ‘Marina Mist,’  ‘Pumpkin Pie,’  ‘Pear Pizzazz,’  ‘Always Artichoke,’  ‘So Saffron,’  Memento ‘Tuxedo Black’

Stamps:  PTI ‘Brushed Off’

Sentiment:  PTI ‘Choose Joy’

Also:  PTI ‘Branching Out’ die (diecut for stamp ‘kissing’ technique),  Neat & Tangled sequins

Listening to:   More great Oldies

Feeling:  Tired… but very happy! 


Saturday was truly a day of growing!! It was so exciting to participate in Stamp-A-Faire 2015, along with card makers from across the globe. Although we were working in our own craft rooms, we could all feel a common bond. Throughout the day, we uploaded our cards to the Papertrey Ink blog, so that we could all share our creations with one another.


I am so grateful to the talented Papertrey Ink Design Team for all of the seeds of inspiration they planted. Crafty friends are always willing to share and help one another grow. I’m already looking forward to next year’s Stamp-A-Faire!

But first… I’m off to share handmade kindness with special friends!

The very best part of card making is sending off the cards to make family and friends happy!


Wishing you a wonderful start to September!

It’s a whole new month to let your creativity grow!


Thank you so much for joining me in the studio today.

I’m so happy that you stopped by for a little visit!

Rabbit! Rabbit!

♡ Dawn

P.S.  Growing new skills is always exciting! How have you challenged your creativity lately?


34 thoughts on “Growing…

    • Rabbit, Rabbit, Judy! You are so kind!! I just love making cards and spreading a little bit of sunshine. The whole time I am making the card, I am thinking about that person. So, it almost feels like a ‘visit’ with them! 🙂 I thought of you while making the little quilt card! Thanks for visiting today! ♡

  1. Dawn – what lovely cards. I pinned the embossed quilt like one. I hope I can replicate that some day. Haven’t been up in my card craft loft this summer. Gardening takes precedence. As the weather cools I’ll be headed up there to craft and to read. One of my favorite spots to read in the winter. I’ll have to share photos of that space someday.
    Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Rabbit, Rabbit, Marcia! I’m so glad that you found a bit of inspiration! Even using a PTI quilt die, it was tricky (but fun!) to piece together the tiny quilt. I really want to work on combining patterned papers on cards! I have nicknamed my studio the ‘Paper Garden.’ I feel so blessed to be able to spend time in the ‘garden’ all year long! 🙂 Since it’s in the basement, it’s chilly in the Paper Garden during the winter months. So, I have to bundle up and bring hot tea along! I would really LOVE to see your craft loft, Marcia!! So glad you stopped by for a visit! ♡

      • Rabbit, Rabbit, Alys! It was always my dream to set up a studio space in the basement where I can be messy! So, last winter I hung dried flowers and herbs from my garden from the ceiling rafters, used antique wooden boxes for storage, and set up a little paper crafting studio! It’s not fancy at all, but I love it so! It’s just my style. With the Paper Garden and my perennial gardens, now I can spend my whole year in the ‘garden.That would be impossible here in the Midwest! So grateful for your visits and kind words, Alys!! ♡

      • Alys, in the archives for March, you will find the post ‘Creative Spaces.’ Just a few close-up photos, though. Do you have a craft room at your house? You are so creative in all that you do! ♡

    • Rabbit, Rabbit, Karen! You are so sweet! Each Challenge forced me to try new things. It’s good to move out of your comfort zone every so often. The white-on-white wedding card looks really nice in real life. I just couldn’t capture it in a photo. Wish we knew someone getting married! I think it might also work for a milestone anniversary though. Although I was working hard all day in the studio, it felt like a little vacation! 🙂 We should gift ourselves with blocks of time to pursue our passions! That was one of the most important things I learned during the Stamp-A-Faire! Wishing you a great start to September! ♡

  2. What an inspiring way to start off my new day and new months! Wow, Dawn, your creativity keeps flowing and growing. These are all wonderful cards, but, I especially like the challenge with take it one stitch at a time. That is so appropriate for a quilter or seamstress, but, also for someone recovering from surgery.

    I am also, once again, struck by your photography. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing your rainy day accomplishments.

    • Rabbit, Rabbit, Penny! Your kind words mean so much! I’m not usually brave enough to share my cards online. I just love the ‘one stitch at a time’ sentiment, too. So many reasons to say those encouraging words on a card! Oh, Penny, it was so hard to photograph these cards on a rainy day. I try to use the natural light coming through my lace curtains in the dining room to photograph cards, but it just wasn’t possible on Saturday. They look nicer in real life! I wasn’t sure about posting the photos at all. Heartfelt thanks for visiting and offering such encouraging words! Try to stay cool during this hot week, Penny! ♡

  3. My creativity these days seem to revolve around the garden, Dawn. I usually reserve more crafty projects for fall and winter. This morning I did get out an old quilt top that my sister gave me years ago. I intend to do something with it—not sure what yet.
    Your cards are just beautiful, Dawn! What a wonderful creative day you enjoyed. So many lovely uses of different mediums make for lovely cards. I’m sure your friends will love it when they receive these handmade with love cards. ♥

    • Rabbit, Rabbit, Martha Ellen! It was so nice to set aside an entire day for paper crafting! I really enjoyed the Challenges that required me to try new techniques. The hours just flew by. It’s always a sunny day in the ‘Paper Garden!’ 🙂

      The garden is also my very favorite creative place during the summer. So much fun… and so much to do! Your quilt project sounds like fun! What pattern is the quilt top? It must feel so heartwarming to continue the work on your sister’s quilt top, Martha Ellen. I’m so curious to see what you will create! As Autumn approaches, my thoughts also turn toward stitching projects. Just the thought of hand stitching on cold day (with a cup of tea) warms my heart! My friend, Dulce, is going to teach me to do Punch Needle embroidery. I have some primitive designs in mind. I’m also looking forward to some embroidery projects. I haven’t done embroidery for decades! 🙂 Card making will always be my number one creative joy during the colder months. We just need to grow and create pretty things! Big hugs! ♡

    • Rabbit, Rabbit, Jodi! Thank you, my very creative friend! 🙂 The funny thing is that the moment the ink is dry on a card, I mail it off to someone special. So, I never have an extra card when I need one!! Does that happen to you? I just love to think about the recipient the whole time I’m making their card. It always feels like a little ‘visit’ while I’m busy making each card. Have you discovered the amazing design team at Papertrey Ink? So much inspiration there!! Big hugs! ♡

      • Hi Dawn! I had to look up what “Rabbit Rabbit” meant! 🙂 Are you wishing me good luck? Wiki says it is a British tradition on the first of the month to say for good luck. I was not familiar with this 🙂 I know what you mean about sending the cards when the ink is barely dry. Did that today with two cards. Was actually blowing on them to assure! 🙂 Can’t make enough for all I need, but never want to buy as it is not as meaningful to me. I’m sure your family and friends love receiving your cards. I received a handmade card recently, and I can’t believe how special it felt! 🙂 I hope that is how I make people feel when they receive mine. Rabbit Rabbit, Dawn! Oh – and I need to look into Papertrey Ink design team. I love your twine wreaths on your cards! May copy that idea! 🙂

      • Hi, Jodi! I am wishing you good luck!! 🙂 I learned this tradition when I was very young. WGN Radio was playing in the kitchen while we ate our breakfast before heading off to school. On the first day of each month, they always wished us ‘Rabbit!Rabbit!’ Such a sweet thing to say!

        Kindred card makers! I have to be extra neat with the Tombow Mono adhesive, so that the cards don’t permanently stick to their envelopes! Your cards are real treasures, Jodi! Your cards with your beautiful watercolor artwork should be framed and displayed. Definitely check out Papertrey Ink, Jodi! (So happy to share. You introduced me to Neat & Tangled stamps! I’ve just started using their beautiful sentiments.) The twine wreaths are just right for Autumn cards! CASE anything you like! Happy crafting! ♡

    • Rabbit, Rabbit, Dulce! So happy you stopped to visit! This year’s Stamp-A-Faire would have been perfect for you, Dulce! So much inspiration from fashion and using sewing techniques on cards. (If you click on the title of each Challenge, you can see the wonderful videos the design team created.) Some of the designers used metallic gold or silver thread to create a nest behind the sentiments, too. It will be fun to try that next time! Hope you had a wonderful anniversary celebration! See you soon! ♡

    • Rabbit, Rabbit, dear Anne! You are such a sweetheart! Wish we lived closer to one another! YOU are one of my watercolor inspirations.:) Years ago, you planted the seeds in my heart, and I am planning to make more time to pick up a paintbrush. As soon as the garden goes to sleep, I am going to take a wonderful class, ‘Watercolor for Card Makers.’ Can’t wait to grow in new ways! Wishing you a lovely start to September, Anne! ♡

  4. Dawn!!! Oh my goodness this post makes me happy in so many ways. I read it through the first time on my phone, smiling away, but couldn’t wait to get back to a bigger screen so I could see all the beautiful details. What a terrifically inspired, fun day. And look at all your gorgeous cards.

    I love the idea of a virtual card-making class/seminar/get-together. I can just imagine the joy of spending so many hours creating in like company. Thanks for sharing so many of the details, too, including he music and how you were feeling. A special day.

    • Thanks so much, Alys! It really felt like a big community of card makers, as we linked up our cards on the Papertrey Ink blog after each Challenge! The past two years, I just watched the Stamp-A-Faire. One year it was a baking theme and last year it was an Art history theme. They always come up with new inspiration! So glad you enjoyed the idea of a virtual get-together. It’s so easy to connect now! Wishing you a great start to September! ♡

  5. Good morning dearest Dawn! Love that rainy weather; it brings out a coziness to the home, it makes me want to stay in and create. Not work, not clean house, but PLAY (and that includes baking!)

    Enjoy your midwestern day; I have to drive in a thunderstorm to school this morning, but hopefully, no falling trees in my path! Much love, Anita

    • Good morning, Anita! So true! Baking instantly makes a rainy day oh-so cozy! Those are the days that home feels like a cocoon, just right for playing. Safe travels on a stormy day, my friend! Wishing you a wonderful Labor Day weekend, dear Anita! ♡

  6. Oh my, Dawn! Those are so beautiful! You have quite a creative eye for a nice layout and perfect details for your cards! I love them. So glad you had a rainy day. It was very productive for you! xo

    • Oh, thank you, Karen! It was so much fun to be inspired by all of the Stamp-A-Faire Challenges! Hope you are having a wonderful visit with your family this week! Safe travels, Karen! ♡

    • Hi Deb! I wonder why you don’t have access? I just checked all the links and they are working fine. Try going to the ‘Papertrey Ink’ You Tube Channel directly. 🙂 All of the videos from Stamp-A-Faire are there. I wish you could see the Design Team blog posts. So much inspiration from those talented card makers! Hope you are having a lovely weekend! ♡

    • Good Morning, Deb! I wonder if small companies that might not ship product internationally set their social media that way? I’m so sorry that you weren’t able to access the Papertrey Ink sites in Wales. I really wanted to share all of the inspiration with you, my friend! We must plan another crafty day together soon. Wishing you a nice start to the week! ♡

    • Oh, Ericka! Thank you so much for your kind words. It was an amazing day of card making fun! Every two hours there was a new Challenge, so the whole day flew by very quickly. I’ve never set aside an entire day for card making. I loved the feeling of being part of a worldwide community of card makers that day! Are you a card maker? I wanted to remind you about the ‘Love Notes’ bunting. You mentioned creating one for your children for the holidays! I think it’s a lovely idea for a new family tradition! So happy that you stopped to visit today, Ericka. Wishing you a sunny week! ♡

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