Introducing the Beautiful Backgrounds Series

This series will showcase basic or simple techniques that you can use to make a background mat for the front of your cards, a scrapbook page or a book cover, among other things. The techniques cover a large area of paper, making them perfect for a *WOW* look behind a focal image such as a sentiment on a card or a photo on your scrapbook page. Just choose a size that will fit your specific project.

Some of the projects will help you use your scraps. Other techniques will use items that you probably already have in your craft stash. You might need to purchase a few items for a couple of the backgrounds, but these supplies will make good additions to your crafting tools. Some of the things you might need to purchase are a brayer or a glittery ink or pen like Wink of Stella. I will list all of the materials needed for the technique in each blog post.

These techniques are easy to do once you know how to do them and will add a nice *POP* to your cards and other paper projects.  I have about 26 different background styles to share with you. I hope you enjoy this series and try the techniques for yourself. Let me know how it goes! I love hearing from you so leave a comment.

PLEASE NOTE: These techniques are ideas that are passed around the crafting community. I do not know who originally created these techniques. Most of the ideas have been around since before YouTube, Pinterest and blogs. I will try to mention the person who taught me the techniques if I can remember a specific person who introduced them to me.

I do not own these techniques. Feel free to use them at home for yourself, in classes or for items you sell. You may not copy my photos, images or blog posts for use on your own blog or business page or website. However, feel free to post a link to my posts or pin pictures to Pinterest, share on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites. You may use any PDF printouts in classes or for your own use as long as you leave my copyright and contact information on the printout. 



New 2018-2019 Stampin’ Up! Annual Catalog

The new 2018-2019 Stampin’ Up!® Annual Catalog is here!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! No, it’s not Christmas, but I do have a gift for you.


If you do not already have a Stampin’ Up!® demonstrator and are interested in ordering products from this year’s catalog, I’d be happy to send you a free catalog. Simply click on “Contact” in the menu at the top of this page to send me a private email. (No one else can see the contents of the email.) Please send me your name and mailing address. The only two stipulations are that you do not already have a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator who you routinely order from and that you live within the United States.

To find me on the Stampin’ Up! website, click on “Find a Demonstrator” at the top of the page. Click on “Find My Demonstrator” in the middle of the page. Fill out the form with my name, Sara Eby, and my state, which is Michigan (MI). Click “Search” and my information will appear on the page. Click on “Shop Now” to the right of my information to begin shopping with me. After clicking “Shop Now”, my contact information is in the top right  corner of the page. You can email or call me to place an order. I can help you with your order or answer any questions you have about Stampin’ Up! products.

I do recommend that you make an account and log in to place an order. That way I can see that you placed an order and send you a thank you card. Sometimes there might also be goodies included with the card, so you don’t want to miss out.

You can see a copy of the catalog online here.

Catalog Corrections

It is a huge endeavor to publish a catalog and there are bound to be a few mistakes. Here are the corrections for the 2018-2019 Annual Catalog. The information on the website is correct.

  • page 122, item 147377–The stamp set has a grammatical error. “Grateful Everday for You” should read “Grateful Every Day for You.” If you order this stamp set, contact me to get a replacement stamp. (You will receive only the “Grateful Every Day for You” stamp, not an entirely new set, so make sure you keep the rest of the set.)
  • page 188, item 146344Graceful Glass 6″x6″ Designer Vellum was misprinted. One line is missing from the arch. This will not be corrected. The image is sixth from the left in the catalog listing, if you would like to see which one it is.
  • page 202, item 101406 and 102566–The StazOn ink pad and StazOn ink refill require special cleaner to clean the ink from stamps. The description should read, “Clean with StazOn Cleaner (p. 206).
  • page 206, item 127552–The correct price for Half Wide Stamp Cases is $5.00, not $6.00 as listed in the catalog.
  • page 206, item 119105–The correct price for Standard Stamp Cases is $6.00, not $7.00 as listed in the catalog.

Packaging Corrections

You will need these corrections only if you order theses items. The descriptions in the catalog are correct. The information on the website is also correct.

  • item 142748–Up & Away Thinlits dies–The packaging says there are 14 dies. There are actually 15 dies.
  • item 144101–Brusho Crystal Color–The weight listed on the box packaging is incorrect. The correct weight is 0.5 oz/15 g. The correct weight is listed in the catalog.


Images including Video © 2018 Stampin’ Up!®

Stamping 101 Terms: “Stamp Off” or “Generation Stamping”


A card front using generation stamping–only two ink colors were used.

In my last post, I used the phrase “stamp off“. These are words we in the stamping world use often and assume everyone else knows what we mean. Just to clear things up, I’ll explain it to you.

To “stamp off“, or “stamping off“, is simply to remove ink from the stamp by stamping once or more before stamping onto your final project. It literally is a shortening of the phrase “to stamp a layer of ink off the stamp.” See why we just say “stamp off“? Some people also use the phrase “generation stamping“. The first generation of stamping is using full strength ink. Second generation is when you stamp off one layer of ink on scrap paper and then stamp the second layer of ink on your project. Third generation is when you stamp twice on scrap paper and use the third layer of ink on your project. With a good quality ink, you might even be able to stamp five or six generations of your image before running out of ink. All of the stamping is done without re-inking the stamp.


I used Rose Red ink on this stamp from the Flower Shop stamp set and stamped four times without re-inking the stamp. See how I get different shades? This is why I recommend getting darker colors of ink before buying the lighter colors. You can always stamp off a layer or two of ink to get lighter colors, but it is close to impossible to get a light ink to stamp darker.

Stampin’ Up! Classic inks are great for this technique. If you don’t use Stampin’ Up! inks, test your ink before stamping on your project, because not all inks give good results like the Stampin’ Up! ink does. I am not just saying that because I now sell Stampin’ Up! I would have told you the same thing before I became a demonstrator.


You can also use generation stamping as a design technique on your card. I used Garden Green on the fern stamp from Butterfly Basics. I stamped the image off-center, then stamped five more times at different angles to make a cluster of fern leaves.

I punched out the red and pink flowers with the Pansy Punch and made a little card front design. I’ll make it into a card later by adding a sentiment and gluing it to a card base.

Materials and Tools:

  • Stampin’ Up! Classic ink pad
    • Rose Red Classic ink ( 126954 )
    • Garden Green Classic ink ( 126973 )
  • Stamps:
  • Whisper White cardstock ( 100730 )
  • Acrylic Blocks C (118486 ) and I ( 118488 )
  • Pansy Punch ( 130698 )

As always, I appreciate any orders placed at my Stampin’ Up! store. All of the product numbers above will take you directly to my online store. Your order will be shipped directly to your home. You must live in the United States to shop at my store.

Stamped imgaes © 1990-2018 Stampin’ Up!®     Photograph images © 2018 Sara Eby

Lots of Lavender Friendship Cards



I made a few cards with the 2-step™ stamp Lots of Lavender from the Stampin’ Up! 2018 Sale-a-bration catalog. I left most of them blank on the inside so that there is room to write a nice note to a friend.

Here are the cards

Lots of Lavender Card 1

The sentiment is embossed with Silver embossing powder.

Lots of Lavender card 2

This card could be used for a get well or sympathy card.

Lots of Lavender Card 3

This card has “Hope your day is wonderful!” stamped on the inside.

Lots of Lavender Card 4

This card base is from the Tutti-Frutti Cards and Envelopes from the Sale-a-bration catalog.


Here’s How I Made the Cards

  • Card Base: 4 1/4″ x 11″ cardstock, scored at 5 1/2″ on the 11″ side and folded in half.
  • First Layer: 3 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ Calypso Coral cardstock or textured purple cardstock (from my stash)
  • Flagged Layer: Use the largest banner from Banner Framelits or cut Designer Series Paper to 2 3/4″ x 4 7/8″. Cut a 1″ slit in the center of the 2 3/4″ side. Cut from each corner to the top of the slit to flag the end of the paper.
  • The image is stamped onto Very Vanilla cardstock and cut out with the largest oval from the Stitched Shapes Framelits.
  • Line the inside of the cards (except the Tutti-Frutti card) with Very Vanilla cardstock cut to 4″ x 5 1/4″.

I recommend using a dark color like Soft Suede or Basic Black ink to stamp the outline image of the flowers. I tried using a green ink, but it didn’t look good. I used Perfect Plum ink on the filler stamp for the flowers. The plum ink was too dark at full strength so I stamped off twice to get a lighter shade before stamping onto the flower image. I used Calypso Coral or Bashful Bride ink on the ribbon and bow area depending on what the main color in the Designer Series Paper was or to match the Calypso Coral in the first layer.

I stamped the sentiments with Versamark ink onto scraps of cardstock and heat embossed them with gold or silver embossing powder to match the foil on the Designer Series Paper. It doesn’t really show well in the pictures, but in person, the embossing adds a little bit of wow. Don’t forget to rub your Embossing Buddy over your cardstock before stamping with Versamark and sprinkling your embossing powder. It really does make a difference in the crispness of your embossed image, and you won’t have stray specks all over your project.

The last card is made with a card base from the Tutti-Frutti Cards and Envelopes from the 2018 Sale-a-bration Catalog. I also used a scrap of pink left over from cutting out one of the flags for another card. I stamped the flower image on Whisper White cardstock and fussy cut it. I tucked the sentiment behind the flagged Designer Series Paper.

You can get the Lots of Lavender stamp set or the Tutti-Frutti Cards and Envelopes for free with a $50 order at my Stampin’ Up! store.  If you spend $100, you can get both free. You need to hurry, though, because Sale-a-bration ends March 31, 2018 or while supplies last. All of the  products and tools I used are listed below. Click on the item number for a direct link to that item in my store.

Materials and Tools

  • Cardstock:
    • Perfect Plum ( 101889 )
    • Calypso Coral ( 122925 ) and scraps
    • River Rock (retired)
    • Very Vanilla ( 101650 )
    • Whisper White ( 100730 )
    • Soft Suede ( 115318 )  or Early Espresso ( 119686 ) scraps
  • Ink:
  • Painted with Love Specialty Designer Series Paper ( 145580 )
  • Tutti-Frutti Cards and Envelopes ( 147242 )
  • Stamps:
    • Lots of Lavender ( 147194 )
    • Sheltering Tree ( 137163 )  “thinking of you”
    • Six-Sided Sampler (retired) “My Friend”
    • Cottage Greetings (retired) “Hope your day is wonderful!”
    • Greatest Greetings (retired) “sending smiles”
  • Embossing Powder:
  • Adhesive:
    • Stampin’ Dimensionals ( 104430 )  and Mini Dimensionals ( 144108 )
    • Fast Fuse
    • Multipurpose Liquid Glue ( 110755 )
  • Tools:

Any questions or comments? Please leave them below. You can also click on “Contact” in the menu bar at the top of the screen to send me a private email.




About Me

Hi, I’m Sara Eby, an Independent Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator from Fenton, Michigan. Paper crafting is something that brings me immense joy. I’d like to share my craft with you.

I have been stamping and making cards for almost 15 years after a friend invited me to a Stampin’ Up! party. I started making all of the cards I give away when I could not find an appropriate card for my then-8-year-old nephew. I also discovered scrapbooking with mini photo albums about 5 years ago and fell in love with designing albums for myself. Mini albums are my favorite scrapbooking style since I am intimidated by a blank 12×12  page, and I could never make up my mind on what to put where in pocket-style scrapbooking pages.

I want to bring you ideas, designs and techniques that spark your creativity. Whether you are a beginner or a more seasoned crafter, I hope you will find inspirational, fun and usable instructions to make your own cards, photo albums and three-dimensional projects like bags, boxes and home decor. I want to inspire you to sit down at your own table and make something. The main idea is to get crafty and get your fingers inky, because inky fingers are happy fingers!

Let me help you plan your Escape to Paperland, where fingers are always inky, creativity abounds, and stress melts away at the touch of cardstock.