Retiform Technique

Hello stampers. When is the last time you really played with your stamps? This retiform technique is a great one for encouraging just that. Retiform means “netlike”. The Webster dictionary says:

Definition of retiform. : composed of crossing lines and interstices : reticular netlike; specifically : being the connective tissue cells of the framework of the lymphatic glands.

Well, we are not interested in the lymphatic glands, but the crossing lines and all the other fun stuff involved with this technique is truly addictive. Here is what you need to have on hand to do this technique. Two coordinating colours of ink, a lighter shade and a darker one. A sponge. Sticky notes of varying sizes. The five inch by three inch is ideal and then the smaller square ones are great too. Rather than describing the technique in writing, it is much easier to simply watch the video, so I will post that at the end. In the meantime, check out the various cards that I have made. I was originally inspired by a video I saw on Pinterest by Randi Collins. Here is the link to her video.



I used three different Christmas sets to make this card: Night in Bethlehem,Hearts come Home and Musical Season.



For this card I used early espresso for the stamping and soft suede for the sponging. I used the stamp sets Night in Bethlehem, Hearts Come Home and Musical Season. I accidentally stamped the one drummer boy in soft suede, but it still looks good I think. For the next card I used the exact same stamp sets but switched it up a bit. No two cards are alike, and that is the fun part.



Early espresso and soft suede combine for a monochromatic Christmas card.


This one is different mainly because of the straight segment at the top of the card. Do you think this adds to the card or takes away from it? The next two cards use the stamp sets So Many Shells and High Tide and the colours marina mist for sponging and dapper denim for stamping.


This great retiform technique card uses High Tide and So Many Shells from Stampin'Up.


The next card is done by my customer and friend Heather Adams. She left a bigger white line between segments and I really like that look as well.


Bolder segments with a bigger white space between them make this retiform technique card really pop.


The last card has a bit of a twist in that it uses a pop of colour. I used the stamp sets Painted Harvest and Vintage Leaves. Colours are soft suede, early espresso, crushed curry and cajun craze.


Vintage Leaves and Painted Harvest are used to make this retiform card with a pop of colour.


This last card was made by my team member Aileen Boersma. She made it for her grandson using No Bones About It.


Great retiform card for a kid's birthday


So there you have it! A great new technique called “retiform” which sounds more complicated than it really is. Just mask off sections with sticky notes, sponge and stamp till you fill up your card front. Watch the video for full details and then get down and dirty and make some of your own. I would love to hear how you make out with it. If you need any supplies and you live in Canada, please use the host code on the side bar when you place your order and I will pop a card in the mail to you as a thank you. Are you a true addict? Then save yourself a bunch of money and join my team by getting the starter kit, it really is the best deal in the entire catalog. Click here to do that, or message me if you have any questions.



Embossing Paste and Pattern Party Stencils

What lives in the heart

I grew up on a farm and whenever I am driving through the countryside I always look with longing at the red brick farmhouses. They evoke such happy memories for me. Baking bread with my mom at the kitchen table, eating breakfast at 5:30am with my dad and brothers before going to milk the cows and bundling up in front of the woodstove to go outside and play in the snow. So when I saw the brick wall stencil and the embossing paste in the new catalog, I knew what I wanted  to do. I wanted to recreate those beautiful red brick walls and make some cards that bring back those same nostalgic feelings.

To get the perfect look for the bricks I added some cajun craze reinker to a small amount of embossing paste. I smeared some of it over the stencil onto whisper white cardstock. Then I added a drop of early espresso reinker to another small amount of paste  and smeared it over and around the cajun craze tinted paste. Perfection! Just the right hue for what I was looking for. Be sure to clean your stencil and your palette knives as soon as you are done so they don’t dry out and harden.


Add some drops of reinker to get just the right colour "bricks".


Brick decorative mask and embossing paste combine beautifully with Half Full for a vintage card.


On this card I sponged soft suede in between the bricks to give it less of a stark look. I love the look of an “exposed brick wall” with this Half Full stamp set, just what a wall in a nice wine bar or cafe would look like! The bricks also look better when they are left a little rugged with unfinished edges and also not covering the whole card front. Leaving the top corner unfinished is perfect for placing your sentiment. Remember to let your embossing paste harden before sponging around it or on it. If you have smeared the paste so that it is even with the decorative mask (in other words, thinly) then it takes about an hour to dry. When I made these cards I did all the background first. Then I stamped my images that I needed to fussy cut. Of course there were lots of other “mom” things happening in between too.


"Big Questions" comes from the great stamp set "Five for All".


I made this masculine card because my Pap had a truck just like this one before I was born! Add that to the fact that the colour of these bricks is exactly the same as the farm house that I grew up in and you have a winner for a card. Did you notice that the windows are black? The reason is that I am covering up a mistake! When I was watercolouring the truck I couldn’t manage to stay within the lines for the windows and it didn’t look nice at all, so I used a black marker to colour the windows in. I think it is rather effective!


When watercolouring goes a little wrong...try this marker trick.


The sentiment is from the stamp set Five for All. The truck is from the set Country Livin’. 


Using the Decorative Masks with Sponging

While my first instinct was to use these decorative masks with our new embossing paste, they also work great with simple sponging. You can use three tools to accomplish this: stamping sponges, sponge daubers or our sponge brayers. For the next card I used stamping sponges with early espresso ink on cajun craze card stock. The images were stamped in archival black, coloured and then stamped direct to paper with versamark and clear embossed. The images are from Country Livin’.


Country Livin' and a brick wall.


You wouldn’t know it, but there are three other masks in this set. The brick wall is definitely my favourite, but I also played with the cloud one. The other two are going to have to wait. What a great value they are. Four masks for $8 Canadian. Check out the Pattern Party Decorative Masks on page 201 of the catalogue.


Fluffy White Clouds with embossing paste


I used the smallest palette knife to make these clouds and give them texture the same way you would with icing on a cake. The sentiment is from a brand new set coming in the Holiday Catalog called Painted Harvest. I used the sponge brayer to make the background. The sand is done with soft suede and the sky is marina mist and island indigo. Card base is island indigo. The lady from Beautiful You is paper piece with real red and crushed curry.


White craft ink clouds with decorative masks.


The “cloud nine” card is definitely very textured. In Dutch you would call this a “misbaksel”. In other words, a few things went wrong with this one but I still wanted to show it. I started with a watercolour background which really is quite stunning. Then I decided to sponge the clouds with white craft ink. This was a bit of a mistake. The white just didn’t pop enough. So I decided to add white embossing powder, but some of the powder stuck to my watercoloured background making for a bit of a messy look. No worries, clouds sometimes look like that don’t they? I still think it is a bright and cheerful card and I would be most happy to get one in the mail.


Collage stamping with Post Script and Wherever You Go.


I do love the collage stamping on this masculine card. I used the stamp set Wherever You Go as well as the new background stamp called Post Script. I used embossing paste for the clouds but they kind of disappeared into the busy background. Sponging them with white craft ink after they dried really made them pop. I used sponge daubers to do this without getting white craft ink on the background. You can see that the bottom cloud is a little bit blue. I first sponged over it in blue and didn’t like the look. The craft white couldn’t quite cover that up!


Coffee Cafe and brick wall


This last card really has a rustic feel to it. Maybe it is because I actually painted with coffee on it! Yes, the brick wall on white was just too stark and I had some cold brew coffee in the fridge to make iced coffees so I thought, why not? I stamped the words repeatedly on the top right corner to give a chalkboard feel. You’ll notice a tinge of bluish green on some of the words, that is because I had done a watercolour background on a previous card and my grid paper was a little messy so some of the ink transferred to this card. I like it, but it would be hard to copy this look again. I have made a video to show how I did some of these cards but for some reason it has failed to upload to Youtube, so you can see it on my Pampered Stamper Facebook page.


Have you had a chance to try out the new embossing paste yet? I am looking forward to using this in my technique club. All clubs start in September and I still have room in technique club, upon request club (at this one the host gets to choose what we do) as well as the man,oh man club where we make exclusively masculine cards. Have a super day!


ps. the video has now uploaded to YouTube, so here you go!



Using the Masking technique to make a frame with Wood Words

Hello stampers. I truly love the masking technique. It is amazing what one little piece of paper can do when you stamp over it and then take it off. You really create a work of art and transform the look of the stamp. For this card I used the new stamp set Wood Words which will be available on June 1. When I first saw this step I thought the floral image included in it just didn’t fit with the rest of the stamps, but now I am happy that it is in there! Here is the card that I made. I do know that this is not a “Jackie original” but I cased it a long time ago and can’t remember who to give credit to, so if it is yours, please let me know.


Gold thread, gold glimmer paper and berry burst hearts combine with Wood Words for a great card.


It is amazing what happens when you switch up the colours. Instead of Berry Burst I used Lemon Lime Twist with silver glimmer paper and silver thread. It now has a totally different feel to it. What do you think?


Wood Words used to make a frame


Here is a quick peek at how I did the mask. You start with a 5″ by 3 3/4″ piece of white cardstock as your base. The mask is made of computer printer paper and measures 3 1/2″ by 2 1/2″. Simply put a little two-way glue or Tombow on it the night before and let it dry. It will now be tacky and removable.  You can re-use this mask many times before it loses its tackiness.


Use this mask (normally it is plain white but I have already used it) to make a patterned frame around your sentiment.


The last trick I want to show you with this card is to cut out a circle out of your glimmer paper. Whenever I am using more expensive paper I try to get the most use out of it as possible. So this has two advantages. One, you get to use the gold circle for another card. Two, glimmer paper is kind of like sand paper, nothing sticks to it very well. So now you can put adhesive in the “hole” and your card front will adhere to it much better!


Stretch your glimmer paper and get more bang for your buck.


I purposely used tear and tape so you could see it better. Normally I use Fast Fuse because it is quicker and equally strong. I hope this helps you to see how the card was made. To drive home the point, here is a quick video for you.



I think this card would be great for wedding, anniversary or birthday. Instead of hearts you could use stars. I would love to see your take on this card. Happy stamping!




Soft Sayings Card Kit

Hello stampers. I just finished playing with the Soft Sayings Card Kit. Now I must admit that not all kits are created equally. In fact, there are some that I really don’t like at all. This one is different. It reminds me a bit of the kit in last years catalog called Watercolour Wishes. The card bases are really nice, the stamp set is versatile and the cards are really just lovely. The kit also comes with a very nice sized acrylic block and a basic grey ink pad.


All the elements from the Soft Sayings Card kit.


I made up half the cards just the way they are shown in the kit and now I have the other half left to play with and try something new. There are twenty cards in the kit so it is nice to be able to make some quick and easy cards and then get more creative with the second half. For the first time ever, there is also a refill kit available if you want to make more of these beautiful cards. The original kit is $46 Canadian and the refill kit is $28.


Collage of some of the cards you can make with the Soft Sayings Card kit


Here is a close-up of two of my favourite cards in this kit:


Soft Sayings Kit has ten different card styles, two of each. Great value and such soft pretty colours.


The washi tape and the twine as well as the tranquil tide and lemon lime twist leaves and the gold glimmer leaves are all included in the kit. Dimensionals and a mini basic grey ink pad are also included. This kit is great to take along to a trip to the cottage, or camping for a rainy day. I like taking one with me when I visit my 85 year old mother so that we have a nice activity to do together while we chat. She loves to get creative and then be able to give a special card to someone on her mind.  I am hoping to offer this as a fun class in August combined with a barbecue potluck. It is always a nice change to come and make a whole stack of cards while visiting with friends and then enjoying great food. Then you get to go home with great cards and a stamp set and block that you can keep using for many more beautiful creations.


When I first saw this kit I knew I would use the pretty die cuts as masks. This morning I quickly made a few very simple cards using our wonderful foam brayers along with night of navy, lemon lime twist and berry burst. I am very happy with how they turned out. Take a look!


Soft Sayings die cut used as mask with lemon lime twist and foam brayer


No, you’re eyes are not playing tricks on you. This truly was a very quick card and I just held the die cut in place for a mask and it is slightly askew. No time to fix it though. Sometimes there is beauty in imperfection!


Three brayers and a die cut for a mask make for a pretty stained glass effect.


I really love how that card turned out. I used three foam brayers, one for each colour:  night of navy, berry burst and lemon lime twist. I used washi tape on the back to hold the die cut mask in place. It really is quite sturdy so you should be able to reuse it many times. The last card could easily be used as a masculine card. It uses two colours, night of navy and lemon lime twist.


Great masculine card using one of the die cuts from Soft Sayings card kit.


I hope you like this kit as much as I do. I barely touched the tip of the iceberg as far as all the options available with this great kit. Happy stamping!!


Soft Sayings card kit die cut used as a mask with berry burst and powder pink.


I had a bit of time to make one more card and I decided to use a different colour palette, berry burst and powder pink. Looks great with some of the new glitter enamel dots. I kind of like that I can add an “addendum” after I have posted a blog post. I hope you don’t mind! The suitcase is packed, pedicure booked last minute for tomorrow morning and then I can relax on the plane and hopefully catch a snooze.

Sponges, Masks and Clouds

Hello stampers! What do you get when you combine sponges, masks and clouds? Not a rainy masquerade party. A lovely, subtle patterned paper for a background. This is such a simple technique and one that is often overlooked. Let me explain what you do. You will need a sponge wedge. I usually cut my Stampin’Up! sponges into 6 pieces, first in half and then each half into thirds like a pie wedge. I then cut out two large cloud shapes using the framelits from the Up and Away thinlet die collection. Using Pool Party ink I sponged around the cloud shapes on a piece of white cardstock. There will be a video at the end of this post so you can see how it is done. A picture is worth a thousand words and a video even more so!!


Use sponges, masks and ink to make a cloudy background.


This is an ideal background for a busy card that has a lot of other details happening. It is also so very easy to coordinate it to suit your card by choosing various shades of blue. Since my “wall” is going to be early espresso and my flowers are going to be red, the pool party is a great choice. Here is one of the cards I made using this technique. I was inspired by Bronwyn Eastley’s card. She made hers with a fall theme since that is the season it now is in Australia.


This is the z-fold card that I am going to be giving to the host families that showered Rachel with love during her Rotary exchange year in France.


You may be wondering where all those great supplies come from that are featured on my card. Well….you will be able to get them too on June 1, unless you want to join my team now and get a great deal on the starter kit. You pay only $135 and you get to pick out $165 worth of product AND you get to choose items from the pre-order including this beautiful wood paper, the Colorful Season stamp set(#143726) and the Seasonal Layers thinlets (#143751) or get the bundle (#145348) Click here for that option. The branch, the flowers and the chair as well as the leaf all come from that set. It has all the seasons covered!


Super simple card with background sponging to make clouds and a pop of red with the chair and the flowers. the branch is a die from Seasonal Layers.


This simple card has the sling lawn chair which is a two step photopolymer stamp done in early espresso for the frame and real red for the seat. The flowers are stamped in real red and the branch is cut with a die from the Seasonal Layers in early espresso. The saying is also from Colorful Seasons. Here is a simple video that shows you how to do this yourself. I hope you have a lot of fun with this great little technique.



Merry Christmas and to all a good night!

Christmas is always a good time to reflect on your blessings and to be thankful for family and friends. This is also a difficult time for people who have either lost loved ones or who have strained or estranged relationships. Remember that you are loved. That is what we are celebrating after all. God sent his son Jesus to be born into this world so that he would grow up and save us from our sins!

I do love the Christmas season. Getting together with family and friends that you don’t see often is especially wonderful. Gathering to share food and gifts is all a part of it.

I just want to take this time to thank each and every one of you for your love and support this past year, also with this brand new venture for me, the world of blogging!! I decided that a blog would be another way I could share with the world what I love to do, to brighten people’s lives with the joy of creativity and also with the surprise of a handmade card. I am looking forward to sharing many tips and tricks and card ideas with you in the coming year. If you did not get a card in the mail or with your order, here is a favourite vintage card that I made (sometimes I wish our stamps would never retire!!)Vintage Merry Christmas with retired Stampin'Up stamps. Love the gold embossing, the cherry cobbler bakers twine and the Travel Post stamp set!I did take a few minutes today to do a video on the masking technique. The card I made uses two new stamp sets from the Occasions catalog that I truly love:  Beautiful You and Mediterranean Moments. Thanks to Randi Collins for the card idea!! Here is the card (my girl had to be in red as it is my favourite colour and it is Christmas after all!)Masking technique with Beautiful You and Mediterranean Moments, coloured with the new Stampin'Up! watercolour pencilsHere is the video showing how I made this card. The whisper white card front is 3 1/2″ by 4 3/4″ and the real red mat is 4″ by 5 1/4″. I distressed the white with our old distressing tool. I really want that to come back. If you do too, be sure to call Stampin’Up and let them know.You could also use the edge of your scissors or even your finger nail to do it, but this tool is way better!

I will probably talk to you again in a few days, in the meantime, enjoy your Christmas holidays with your family and friends. Cherish every moment. Hugs, Jackie

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