Still Growing…

Hi Friends!

A special welcome to everyone visiting for the Papertrey Ink February Blog Hop!

Our thick blanket of snow has finally melted and throughout the week heavy rains watered my perennial and herb gardens.. Although the garden is sleeping, the gardener is still growing! I’ve spent so many happy hours in my little Paper Garden studio downstairs during February…. growing as a cardmaker.

Papertrey Ink, one of my favorite stamp companies, is celebrating their 11th Anniversary this month. There were several interesting cardmaking Challenges. Playing along was the perfect way to step out of my comfort zone, try new techniques, and learn new skills. Part of the fun was bravely linking photos of my cards to the Papertrey Ink blog and sharing them with the stamp designers and lots of other cardmakers. Now it’s time to share a few peeks here, too!

For the ‘Anniversary Sketch Challenge,’ I was inspired by designer Dawn McVey’s sketch and stamps that she designed. I know that she appreciated the sunshine sent her way! ♥


The ‘Transformation Challenge’ was another opportunity to grow! The card on the LEFT is one that I created for a dear friend. Although she liked it, I knew that I could improve on it. The card on the RIGHT feels so much cozier. I embossed a soft quilt, using a die and an embossing pad. Then I sponged ink onto a doily to create a soft, textured rug. I fluffed up the pillow to add dimension and die cut the sentiment. I also stamped a cheerier ‘headline’ on the newspaper. Now the card has a bit of hygge and I’m much happier with the way it turned out! ♥


My card for the ‘Floral Challenge’ was inspired by designer Lexi Daley. I embossed a stitched rectangle on the white cardstock layer to ground the floral image. It really helped pull the stamped, die cut flowers and gold embossed sentiment together. ♥


For the ‘Retirement Challenge’ we had to use a retiring stamp set to create a card. I chose the ‘Together’ stamp set and created a Valentine for my husband. I love the sentiments in this set and have used them in so many different ways in the past years. It’s a perennial favorite… and I will continue using these sweet sentiment stamps for years to come! ♥


The ‘Use Only Dies Challenge’ was one of my favorites! I love die cutting borders, images, and sentiments for cards. I blended some Distress Inks for the background and then used only dies to create this card. It was great fun to make a card without any stamping! ♥


For the ‘Color Challenge,’ we had to choose a favorite color palette. I was inspired by designer Heather Nichols to create a card filled with rustic charm on Kraft cardstock. To make the floral images show against the simple Kraft background, I stamped a first layer with white pigment ink and then stamped the second layer with each color. Next I embossed a stitched frame to highlight the sentiment and dusted the edges with ink to add a vintage feel. The garden in bloom highlights this heartfelt sentiment. I stamped for almost three hours to create this card. It was definitely a growing experience! I think it’s my favorite card for February! It holds a special place in my heart, just like the friend who received it. ♥


For the ‘Stripes Challenge.’ I used a soft, striped patterned paper for the background. The soft floral images and layered sentiment added a a bit of texture. This card came together very easily. I’m already thinking of several ways to improve it. It was such fun to learn and grow while completing each Challenge! ♥


Several members of the Papertrey Ink Design Team participated in the Release Party Live on February 15th. What a treat to gather together as a papercrafting community in celebration!  It was fascinating to watch as these talented designers, who inspire me to create, shared stories of their own creative processes.  My self-confidence as a cardmaker grew as I listened. They talked about how the hardest part of the creative process is often getting started. They talked about spending several hours to create a special card. They talked about making several versions of a card before their final design was ready. From now on, I will carry their words in my heart while I am busy creating in my little studio. I feel so grateful to be a part of the Papertrey Ink community of papercrafters, soaking up inspiration as I learn and grow!

I have already reserved the weekend of August 25th-26th on my calendar for the 2018 Papertrey Ink ‘Stamp-A-Faire.’ It will be another virtual gathering of creative cardmakers across the globe. This year’s theme will be a Garden Party. 🙂 An entire weekend filled with Challenges will most definitely keep me growing! I have such warm memories of participating in ‘Stamp-A-Faire’ in 2015, 2016, and 2017.

For today’s Papertrey Ink February Blog Hop, we were challenged to create a card inspired by this photo:

What a lovely breath of Springtime! I was inspired by the round metal trays in the centerpiece, the chartreuse grass, the pastel eggs, the sunny feeling, and of course, the Spring flowers. ♥     (Photo Credit: The Goodwill Gal)



Last night, I worked downstairs in my little studio to create this card capturing the cheery Springtime feel inspired by the photo (above)….

I created my own version of the metal tray holding a garden of early Spring delights, pastel blossoms, and a bright, sunny background. I can’t wait to mail it off to a sweet friend! ♥

Papertrey Ink supplies:

Stamps:  Forest Floor: Spring, Keep It Simple: Friendship

Ink:  Sweet Blush, Lilac Grace, Simply Chartreuse, Ripe Avocado

Paper:  Harvest Gold cardstock, Smokey Shadow cardstock, Bitty Big: Harvest Gold, Stamper’s Select White cardstock

Dies:  Forest Floor: Spring, Shape Shifters: Circle 1, To the Point Edgers 2

Other:  Memento Tuxedo Black ink



February has been a very busy, creative month filled with the seeds of inspiration, wonderful supplies, interesting Challenges from Papertrey Ink, and lots of happy mail for family and friends.  I’m still growing… and enjoying every moment! 🙂

Thanks so much for stopping to visit today!



Paper hugs, from the heart!

♡ Dawn
















48 thoughts on “Still Growing…

  1. Dawn, you are an inspiration to all who come to visit your paper garden. Every project you create is from your heart and shows in your work! I adore each and every card you have created for your challenges. How lucky your recipients are to be gifted a piece of your work. The card you created for Valentine’s is lovely and I’m sure your sweetheart loved it.
    I have been working slowly in our outside garden, cleaning out perennial beds. It’s such a joy to see the earth come alive again. I hope the floods are not affecting you, my friend. Have a happy day! ♥

    • Such sweet words, dear Martha Ellen! The whole time I am working on a card, I am thinking about the friend or family member who will receive it. So, it truly feels like a little visit with that special someone. While I love creating each card, my very favorite part will always be mailing it off! Every chance I get, I enjoy hand delivering a card, too. Every card makes two people happy ~ the cardmaker and the recipient! ♥♥ I’m sure that you feel the same warm glow when you mail off your handpainted cards. I have felt the same warm glow when I open a card from you, my friend!

      You are so lucky to be able to spend time in your garden already! I’m glad that you are working slowly and carefully. It will be quite a while before I can begin cleaning up my perennial and herb beds. It was just so nice to see the garden again after all the snow melted! I’m already looking forward to this year’s Garden Journal! I’m so happy that there are enough blank pages left to continue in last year’s journal. 🙂 Sending bright sunshine and warm hugs across the miles, Martha Ellen! ♡

  2. Dawn, you’ve created not only a beautiful card for the February Blog Hop, but an amazing array of Spring-time loveliness as well….. full of florals, polka dots, stripes and plaids. SO very pretty!

    • Heartfelt thanks, Michelle! It has been fun to spend snowy days playing with florals, polka dots, stripes and plaids! The Bitty Big collection really has me finding great ways to use patterned paper on my cards again. It’s all about the paper!! 🙂 Spring is coming… I can feel it in my little Paper Garden studio! Thanks so much for visiting today, Michelle! ♡

    • Many thanks, Rosemary! It was fun to try out the new Forest Floor: Spring stamps and dies last night. It’s the perfect way to add a few hours of Springtime to a cold Winter’s day! Thanks so much for hopping by today, Rosemary! ♡

  3. Honestly, Dawn, you should and must go into the card business. Perhaps, at first, with limited and very exclusive offerings. Then, who knows!!!

    • Heartfelt thanks for the wonderfully encouraging words, dear Anne! That does sound like a fun way to use my cardmaking supplies. Maybe some day… in the meantime I’m still growing with each and every card I make. I try to take a photo before I mail off each card. It’s fun to look back and see how I have grown as a cardmaker since I retired! Sending warm hugs on a cold Winter day! I think of you every single day, Anne!♡

    • Thanks so much, Betty! Thank goodness for photos. I gathered up the photos from all of the Release Week Challenges to share in today’s post. I hope the recipients smiled as they opened their Happy Mail, Thanks for stopping by to visit. Happy hopping today!💗

  4. Your cards are truly works of art. I love each and every one of them including your response to the challenge. I also love the lupines. I cannot imagine how you create them, but I’m glad you do and share their loveliness with all of us. Hope you have a great trip this year. 🙂

    • Such sweet words, Judy! Thank you from the bottom of my heart! The lupines were easy to die cut and stamp using some special tools: a Big Shot die cutting tool and a MISTI stamp positioner. It was fun to stamp flowers inside while my my garden was sleeping under a thick blanket of snow! We are both so blessed to have hobbies that allow us to create throughout the year! Keep enjoying the SC sunshine, Judy!💗

  5. What a gallery of BEAUTIFUL cards Dawn…and here I thought I was just coming to look at your GORGEOUS blog hop photo! Easy to see that you have definitely enjoyed yourself and they all make me smile…well done!! :0)

    • Warmest thanks, Marcia! All of these interesting PTI Challenges really inspired me to try new things. They encouraged me to share my cards online. The feedback from our online crafting community is always so kind and helpful. I can feel my skills growing with each new cardmaking Challenge. Thanks so much for visiting today, Marcia!💗

  6. What a wonderful community you and your papercrafters are, Dawn. I love your cards, especially your “together” card. This post was a joy to read and to soak in all the beauty your have created. Thank you.
    I have so much to do in the gardens, which were neglected last fall with all that was going on here. Still . . . the daffodils are poking through close to the house. 🙂

    • Penny, the worldwide papercrafting community is so kind and helpful! We love to encourage and cheer one another on. Sharing ideas, tips, and designs is such a big part of papercrafting. I love this hobby that is all about sharing kindness! Papercrafters share so many of the same qualities as gardeners. 😊

      It’s such fun to know that your daffodils are poking through already, Penny! All of the rain and melting snow has watered our gardens so deeply. I’m going to check out all of the garden beds tomorrow. Can’t wait! Springtime is just around the corner! Enjoy our milder weather this week. 💗

    • Thank you, Helen! The new Shape Shifters: Circle dies arrived at the perfect moment. It was nice to create a ‘silver tray’ with open spaces to weave the flower stems through. It was almost like using a flower ‘frog’ to create an arrangement!😊 Thanks for visiting today, Helen. Happy hopping!💗

  7. These are so beautiful Dawn. A perfect fit for the gardener in you. I know nothing about this craft but I love seeing this range. How special to receive a card like this. I recently wrote a letter… with fountain pen. Can’t even remember the last time I wrote a proper letter. Felt good and the person receiving it really appreciated it. 🙂

    • Heartfelt thanks, Vicky! I’m learning and growing with every single card that I create. So, it’s a fun, challenging passion of mine. I love that you wrote a real letter using a fountain pen! Are you celebrating International Correspondence Writing Month (#InCoWriMo), Vicky? I have been writing letters this month, too.

      I haven’t been good about popping in for our Book Club this month. But I have been writing Morning Pages, going on Artist Dates, taking a few Solo Walks (weather permitting), and I am giving much thought to writing Memoir. I’m working on one chapter each month, from the 15th-15th. I truly need more hours in each day! Hope you are enjoying nice Summer days, Vicky! I think of you often.💗

  8. Oh wow! Look at all these amazing cards you’ve created for PTI’s anniversary celebration! I came here from the February blog hop, and loved checking out all your lovely creations! ♥♥

    • Oh, thank you, Lea! Wasn’t it an exciting 11th Anniversary celebration? All of the Challenges were such fun! So, I decided to share all of the photos in one long post. It’s such fun to hop around to see everyone’s creations. So much inspiration! Thanks for stopping to visit today, Lea!💗

  9. Wow! What gorgeous cards, ALL of them! I noticed the plaid design paper of a few of them–what a nice touch that is. Great inspiration!

    • Many thanks, Kathryn! All of the Anniversary Challenges kept me very busy during Release Week! I am totally smitten with the
      Bitty Big patterned paper designs. The plaids, polka dots, and stripes just make me happy! Thanks so much for visiting today, Kathryn!💗

    • Thank you, Mona! I think Gardening Fever has hit my craft studio, too! I am really enjoying my floral stamps this month. Thanks for hopping by today, Mona!💗

    • Your kind words truly melt my heart, Betty! The Papertrey Ink Challenges this month were such a blessing for me. They inspired me to try new things and to use my favorite stamps and dies in new ways! I’m really loving the Bitty Big collection of patterned papers. The plaids were such fun to use for holiday cards and the pastel stripes and polka dots are perfect for Springtime cards. I’m really enjoying visiting everyone’s blogs on the Hop… and finding inspiration around every corner. I just have six more blogs to visit today! I’m so happy to be a part of this amazing community of crafters!! Thank you for stopping to visit and saying “Hello,” Betty. Wishing you a creative week ahead!💗

  10. Hi Dawn! I’m so happy that you stopped by my blog for a visit. What a delightful blog you have here! Your cards are all so beautiful and I love that you draw inspiration from your flower gardens. I too, have several flower gardens but not a glorious as yours. Mine are tired and needing new life. I moved some things around last fall so we’ll see how they look this spring. We just got a new blanket of snow yesterday. I’m so ready to get outside and get my hands dirty again! Until then, I’ll play with paper flowers too. ;0) It’s always nice to meet a kindred spirit!

    • Kindred spirits, Birgit! It’s so nice to connect through papercrafting. I loved your snowy family photos. I just made plans to try snowshoeing for the first time with a dear friend, and then our deep snow quickly melted. I’m sure that we will have another chance in the coming weeks. I’ve been dreaming ‘garden dreams’ lately, too! Springtime is my favorite time in the garden. I’m going to take a walk through the garden today to see if anything is popping up. We are in Zone 5 here. So, we just have to wait…

      Over the past year and a half, I have made big changes in the garden. I have made my flower beds smaller and eliminated a few beds. Less time weeding means more time for cardmaking and family time!😊 It will be so exciting to see all of the changes in your garden this Spring, Birgit. As I was digging, digging, digging and transplanting, it felt as though I was watercoloring with real flowers!

      Let’s enjoy our paper flowers ( no weeding!) as we dream of Springtime! So nice to meet another kindred spirit! Wishing you a creative week, Birgit!💗

    • Many thanks, Lainey! I’m dreaming of Springtime… and it must be showing in my paper and ink colors! I can’t wait to play with the Forest Floor: Spring stamps in other colors, too. It’s a great set! Thanks so much for hopping by today, Lainey!💗

  11. Those are some beautiful cards! You make them looks so easy. Getting close to where I can start playing with paper. You make these look so professional. Spring is almost here and your cards are making an early appearance of it.

    • Oh, thank you, Marlene! It takes me a long time to make each card, but it’s time I really enjoy. I just keep learning and growing with each new project! I used Papertrey Ink products for all of these cards. You must visit their website for great inspiration!

      I’m so happy to hear that you are close to having creative time and a good space to play with paper! 😊 Take a peek at Hallmark Scrapbook online, Marlene. Last week they had all of the newest Art Impressions Watercolor stamps on sale. There are some wonderful new additions to the collection for 2018!

      Yes, I’m ‘thinking Spring’ already. Tomorrow I’m going to pack away my folk art snowmen and bring out the bunnies and baskets. We are ready for a breath of Springtime here! So happy that you stopped to visit today, Marlene. Have a happy week!💗

  12. WOW, Dawn, you came up with some beauties! I’m sure your lucky recipient’s are thrilled and smile when they open your card. Very clever way to create a tray on your blog hop card. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

    • Many thanks, Kathy! It was really fun to stretch my skills and grow with all of the February Challenges. The openings in the ‘metal tray’ worked like a flower ‘frog’ to hold my paper blossoms in place (with a bit of Tombo Mono). It was an unexpected bit of serendipity!😊 So glad you stopped to visit today. Wishing you a happy, creative week, Kathy!💗

    • Heartfelt thanks for your kind words, Marlena! February was a very busy month in my little Paper Garden studio. Thanks to all of the Papertrey Challenges, I can feel my skills growing with every card I make. Thank you so much for visiting today, Marlena. Wishing you a nice, creative week!💗

  13. Dawn, what gorgeous cards! I enjoyed reading the various challenges and what you chose to do with them. The card with all dies is stunning. Isn’t it amazing what you can do with just dies? I really like the changes you made to the quilt card as well. Though I like both cards, I can see how the changes made different elements pop. I’m tempted to lay down on that quilt. 🙂

    Thank you for the tip on using white first on the craft card. That makes so much sense. Otherwise the colors are dulled by the paper. Most of all, I can tell you really had fun, and you never had to leave your house or shovel snow to find your car. xo

    • I just love our crafty chats, Alys! Celebrating Papertrey Ink’s anniversary added special warmth to our cold February days! I always learn so many new skills when playing along in Challenges. They take me out of my crafty comfort zone. Having a deadline to finish each card really motivates me! 🙂 I just love working with kraft cardstock. It’s such a rustic, old-fashioned look. I am constantly inspired by the ways Papertrey Ink designer, Heather Nichols uses kraft cardstock. I learned that tip from Heather’s cards. Although it’s very chilly in my little Paper Garden studio on Winter days, at least I don’t have to shovel snow downstairs!:) However, there was a flurry of teeny, tiny paper scraps all over the rug by the end of the week. So, a bit of vacuuming was required!
      Welcome home, my friend, after your amazing adventure in New Zealand! It was such fun to tag along via your blog! Wishing you nice, creative days ahead, Alys! ♡

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