Mind The Gap!

Hello stampers and happy Friday to you. When writing a blog post you always have to decide what to call it and the blog people don’t like it when you use the same words too often. When I was in England 27 years ago, “Mind the Gap” amused me greatly. This is what was said in a lovely accent every time you were on the subway platform. “Mind the Gap” applies to my card today since it is a divided front card with a lovely gap that I really want you to notice.


Mind the Gap Card


Mind the Gap card


If you look closely you will see that the “Rest & Relaxation” panel bridges that gap between the top and bottom of the card. People really notice this card when they are in my stamp room, it is really quite striking and piques ones interest. Let’s take a look at the inside.


Mind the Gap card inside


Yes, I know this picture is slightly blurry. I am blaming it on my muscle relaxant pills. They apparently also affect my brain and ocular tissue. You get the idea though and that way I don’t have to take and edit another photo. I used the Tropical Oasis Memories and More cards to make this fun card.


Tropical Oasis Memories and More


Have you heard about our Memories and More cards? While they are meant for scrapbooking or memory keeping as some people like to call it, they are also fantastic for quick and easy card making. I have included lots of these great cards in my latest tutorial which I am happy to report is now available. Just click on the buy it now button below and you will get hours of easy crafting without any Google searches or frustrating mismeasurements that waste your cardstock and ruin your joy. There are twenty cards in this fun tutorial.


Here is a sneak peek of 16 cards in the tutorial.


Tropical Oasis tutorial


If you want to see some other cards that are in this tutorial, check out this blog post.


I made a short video that shows 19 of the 20 cards (one was forgotten on my desk!!)




Free with Purchase


Did you know that if you buy the Tropical Oasis bundle you will get this tutorial for free? Definitely. I want to guarantee your stamping success. With any $50 purchase in March you will also get the Demo Design Dream Team tutorial, or you can get it for free if you join my team. Here is the link for joining and getting the amazing deal on the starter kit.

Here is the sneak peek for the March DDDT tutorial.


free tutorial

Thanks for Participating

I just want to thank you for participating in the happy mail for Gerard contest. The cards are flowing in and I am so very excited to see his face. This will be a surprise because he doesn’t read my blog. He does follow my Facebook page because he loves the interaction we all have there, but he thinks my blog is all technical about card details. Let’s keep it that way. If you send a masculine card to me for him by March 29 you will be in a contest to win a free masculine stamp set from the mini catalog. I will also blog about your card and do a video of Gerard opening them all. Please address your cards to Gerard van der Sar, c/o Jackie Bultje 81 Delaware Avenue, Chatham Ontario, N7L 2W3.

Thanks for stopping by today as well. I hope you have a super day, that you spread some joy with your cards and that you exercise some mindful gratitude for the blessings in your life.


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Colour Washing With Aqua Painters

Hello stampers and happy Thursday to you. Today I want to share with you a very simple colouring technique, colour washing with aqua painters. I used this technique yesterday on one of my Tropical Oasis cards and I will share with you a few valuable tips and tricks to enhance this technique.


Tips and Tricks for Colour Washing with Aqua Painters


Totally by accident I found a very important tip for colour washing with aqua painters, but I will share a few more here with you as well.

  1. Use thick whisper white cardstock instead of regular cardstock. The thickness of the cardstock will allow deeper grooves from the embossing with the dies and this allows for lovely variation of colour.
  2. Use an acrylic block pressed into your ink pad of choice as your “ink pad” for picking up the colour for your aqua painter.
  3. Hold the aqua painter on a bit of an angle as you brush the colour on to get better and more consistent colour coverage.
  4. Play with different colours or even use more than one colour on your die cut cardstock. You might be surprised that the colour you first chose is not the best one. That is what happened to me with my pineapple topper. Originally I used granny apple green because I loved the pop of fresh colour. Turns out that garden green looked a LOT better.
  5. If you are colour washing a background then your best choice is either shimmery white cardstock or Fluid 100 Watercolour paper.


Compare the Difference


Last night during my Facebook Live I didn’t have the pineapple topper that I needed on hand, so I had to improvise. Caroline had accidentally cut a white topper in the morning at coffee ad a card so I used that and did a colour wash with it using garden green. It looked fabulous, so I thought I would share it with you here.


Colour Washing with Aqua Painters



Tropical Oasis pineapple


Do you see how the granny apple green topper now seems to lack depth and reality when you compare it to the garden green colour washed one? Great things happen when you are forced to improvise and experiment. This is also a great trick to remember when you are all out of a certain colour of cardstock.


Palm Trees and Tropical Prints


These last two cards really don’t have anything to do with colour washing but I wanted to share them with you anyways. Again, it is interesting to see the change in the card that happens simply by switching up the patterned paper. It is the same sheet of paper, just turned over!


Tropical Oasis paper and palm trees



Tropical Oasis palm trees


You would choose which paper to use based on your recipient. Does he or she wear subdued, classic Hawaiian shirts or vibrant and boisterous ones?


Clean Vintage Card


There were lot of improvising opportunities last night! I was missing a pineapple topper in garden green that was supposed to be the bush under my palm trees so this is the card that ended up being created! I loved the clean and simple vintage look and it also shows you how to use a partial label die with the woodie. This was also the only sentiment that I had not yet used in the Tropical Oasis stamp set.


No Colour Washing but great vintage!


Answering Your Questions


I just wanted to address something here since I know that many of my readers are fellow demonstrators. As most of you know, I love to share what I do freely, however I do have only so many hours in a day. So please don’t be offended if I cannot take the time to explain to you how I run my classes or events. About a year ago I started a private Facebook group just to address those needs. It is available to anyone in the world and it is super affordable, only $5 a month in your own currency payable through PayPal or etransfer. I do weekly live videos and also share other files and great information there. We have a wonderful tribe of people on this group and that is where you can go if you want to learn business tips and training from me. Thanks for understanding!


Looking Back


Do you ever look back on your work from the past? I love to go back to some of my old blog posts to see what I made a year or two ago. If you are like me, your cards are kind of like your babies. You really, really get attached to them and they hold special memories. Check out this blog post for some lovely cards and a heartwarming story too. Don’t let the attachment and affection you have for your cards prevent you from giving them away! Just take a picture of them and know that they will be going to a very good home and spreading love around the world.


Facebook Live


Every Tuesday I do a Facebook live video showing the three cards that we made at coffee and a card that morning. If you missed the one from yesterday you can see it here.  If you like it, please share so your friends can see it too. Thanks so much for joining me today and have a super day.


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Vintage Station Wagons

Hello stampers and happy Tuesday to you. I love vintage, so the vintage feel of the tropical oasis suite really appealed to me, especially the vintage station wagon on the patterned paper. Of course I wanted to use as many of these great images as possible without sabotaging too many of them. I think I came up with quite a good solution without having to fussy cut too many of them. Let’s take a look!


Vintage Station Wagon


I used one of the dies from the So Sentimental bundle to cut out nice shapes that could be the focal point of a card. Each of the frames has a vintage station wagon in it. They face different ways so that will affect where you place your palm trees, but it is fun making each card a little differently.  A picture is worth a thousand words so I took one for you.


Tropical Oasis paper with vintage station wagons


So you can see that I got five full images, two partial images and a few fussy cut station wagons as well. Now let’s look at it on a card.


Vintage Station Wagon Card


Vintage Station Wagon


This was the first card I made but there was something about it I just didn’t like. I decided that the braided burlap trim under the bush was just too stiff looking. It felt like it was just put there as filler, so I took it off. I then deconstructed the ribbon and put the loose pieces there instead and that was the look I was after. Yay!!


Vintage Station Wagon


Truth be told, the card above is not mine, I decided to use Caroline Seward’s card as an example because she stepped it up a notch by making her bush two dimensional. The bush is actually the pineapple top with the bottom cut off. She added the bottom part as an extra layer and I think it looks fantastic. Everyone at coffee and a card class loved making these cards.


vintage station wagon


During the class Jean Saunders remarked that the label shaped frame actually looks recessed from the card because of the sponging around the edges with the saddle brown StazOn. What a great effect! If you want to see the other cards we made with the Tropical Oasis suite you can check out yesterday’s blog post here.


Colouring on Stamps


Using your markers to colour on stamps is a great way to make your image more beautiful. Just use the broad tip of your marker angled sideways. Do a little healthy huffing after you are done colouring to remoisten the ink before stamping. (that means to simply blow some hot, moist air on it!)



The Next Tutorial


I have enjoyed working with this suite so much that I think it will be the subject of my next tutorial. If you love making cards but hate trying to figure out all the measurements and the techniques involved, these tutorials are perfect for you. They will jump start your own creativity and build your confidence to create beautiful things. Tutorials help you get the most out of your stamping supplies. After you have made ten cards with a product suite you really have your groove on. You can also use the card styles or the techniques to work with other stamp sets. The cost of a tutorial is the same as the cost of an in person class but with a lot more information. I highly recommend them. You can access all of my tutorials at the top of the blog.


Monthly Free Tutorial


Did you know that I belong to an amazing group called the Demo Design Dream Team? Every month we collaborate on a 16 project tutorial which is NOT for sale. Instead we give it away to our team members and to customers who order $50. (that is the Canadian equivalent) If you have ordered from me and I have inadvertently forgotten to send you this free tutorial, please remind me!!


free tutorial with purchase in February


Happy Mail for Gerard


I finally decided to make it Facebook official that I am in in a relationship with Gerard. This isn’t news to you my faithful followers, but it sure did prompt a storm of well wishes that really touched my heart. He is coming to visit me on March 29 and I thought it would be wonderful to surprise him with happy mail. I am offering a draw for a free masculine stamp set of your choice from the mini catalog if you send a card for him. Your card will also be featured on my blog. This was such a fun thing to do when I was in Holland that I thought we could do it again on this side of the ocean. Here is the address if you want to participate:  Gerard van der Sar c/o Jackie Bultje 81 Delaware Ave, Chatham, Ontario N7L 2W3.


Some More Vintage Feels


I’m feeling a little nostalgic today with all these vintage cards and that super cute station wagon so I thought I would share a link to a great web page and also this photo. I hope it brings a smile to your face and also some happy memories. We can all use some “warm and fuzzies” once in a while. Thanks for dropping by and have a super day!!




vintage station wagon


Saleabration Urgency


We are almost two thirds of the way through saleabration and I thought I should exercise due diligence and let you know that some free saleabration items are now running out. If there is something you have your eye on that you would really like for free, be sure to get it before it’s gone. I really hate high pressure sales, so this is not what this is, it is just a gentle reminder that some nice things don’t last. He who hesitates sometimes misses out. The kerchief card kit and the metallic baker’s twine and sequins are both gone now. Now this really is the end of my blog post!


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Tropical Oasis Suite

Hello stampers and happy Saturday to you! I was over the moon happy to receive Gertie Boven’s happy mail yesterday. There had been a bit of a dry spell for happy mail, so this was a welcome surprise. What a beautiful card it is too! Thanks so much Gertie.


Gertie Boven’s Card


Gertie used Tropical Oasis to make her bright and cheerful card. She is also from Dutch decent, so she is well aware that Dutch winters can be dreary and that this card would be a ray of sunshine. I love all the textures that Gertie incorporated into her card. She used the basket weave embossing folder in the background, some gorgeous burlap and a big gold double bow. The flowers are nestled among some beautiuflly detailed cut and embossed mossy meadow leaves. Let’s take a look.


Tropical Oasis Card


Of course I have to guess at how Gertie coloured her hibiscus flowers. I didn’t take this bundle with me so I can’t take a close look at the stamp set either. You know you have made a great card when I can wait to start playing with the set! It could be watercolour with aquapainters, it could be watercolour pencils or even Blends. I do know that she used Wink of Stella on the flowers. Here is a close up shot of all  the lovely details.


Tropical Oasis closeup


Emo, Ontario


That is the town that Gertie comes from, although she is originally from Chatham, Ontario. I first met Gertie when she was in town visiting her parents. She had seen some information about my classes on Facebook and she is a cousin of one of my team members, Linda Brouwer. Small world! Emo is even smaller!! This is what Wikipedia said “It is a human settlement along the Rainy River in northwestern Ontario.” Really? A human settlement? As opposed to aliens? I found this so peculiar. Maybe it is because the wildlife population is so high there.


not exactlly a tropical oasis


With 1200 people it isn’t such a tiny community. It looks like it is a vibrant, scenic community with lots of hunting, fishing and even race car driving. You can read all about it here. I really do love this part of the Happy Mail in Holland Contest. Now I know what the “MOM’s Way” is: the Manitoba, Ontario, Minnesota scenic route. Thanks again for your beautiful card Gertie!!


Embossing Folders


I had hoped to show you some other cards that I had made with the basket weave embossing folders, but my search turned up empty. What to do? Well, I was inspired by the natural beauty of the Emo woodland, so the woodland embossing folder would be a good one to share as well. If you check out this blog post you will see how to stamp on the woodland embossing folder for an amazing technique! Embossing folders really are amazing tools.


More History


On Monday I will share another great vintage family picture and the very fascinating story that goes along with it. It really is so amazing to spend a chunk of time in the land of my forebears and learning all this great history. Thanks so much for joining me today, and stay tuned. I hope you still remember to shop with me and that you haven’t forgotten about the great opportunity with the starter kit. You might forget that I am actually in this for a business and not just as a storyteller!! Have a super day.



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