GF Sugar Cookies

  • 1 stick salted butter  (8 Tablespoons) – room temp
  • 1/2 stick cream cheese (4 Tablespoons)  – room temp
  • 1 1/2 c sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1.5 teaspoons extract*
  • 2 c GF flour mix with binder (Cup4Cup)
  • 1/2 c nut flour**
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
*I wanted a warm buttery flavor so I used 1/2 teaspoon each of almond, pistachio, and vanilla bean paste.  You can use all vanilla, or add in the flavor of your choosing.
**I used pistachio flour which is delicious and super expensive.  Almond flour would be good, pecan flour would be good, or you can just sub in more GF flour mix.
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Cream butter & cream cheese until smooth, add eggs and extract and mix until blended.  Scrape down the bowl.  Mix dry ingredients and add slowly on low speed.   The dough will climb the beaters, watch out and scrape it back down.
Chill dough in freezer for at least 10 min, or the fridge if you have hours to spare. More chilling is better, but who has that kind of forethought and time?
Scoop using a medium cookie scoop (2 T size balls) onto a parchment or silpat lined cookie sheet.  Roll in sugar or coconut or ground nuts if it makes you happy.  Chill for at least 10 in the freezer on the cookie sheets.  (If you are low on chilling time, the cookies will just spread more.)
Result should be very pale, very soft, almost cake-y cookies.
Bake at 350F for 10 min.  Makes around 36 cookies.
I made one dozen plain, one dozen rolled in nonpareils, and one dozen with chopped candied ginger stirred in rolled in sugar.  I love the ginger, but they overpower the pistachio flavor a bit, so if I was making a ginger batch in the future I would go with straight vanilla.

CAS Mix Up May 2019 – Reminder

Don’t forget to enter the CAS Mixup Challenge for May!  The challenge closes on May 24.

vine card small

This month’s challenge is Baby Wipes, the crafter’s best friend.


For my reminder card, I chose to layer distress oxides on photo paper, and then wipe off the pigments with a baby wipe.   I swiped my palette with various colors, sprayed them with a little water, swiped the photo paper through the inks and then glared impatiently waiting for them to dry in between layers.   Once I was happy with the coverage, I used a baby wipe to clean off the photo paper and reveal the shiny bright colors underneath.

So that you too can never unsee it, the dark blue splotch looks like a little upside down yorkie terrier.  You are welcome.

The white card front was cut using my scanncut and a cut file from the Silhouette store.  (I love my scan n cut, but they could get so much more of my money if they had a store like the Sil store and not huge bundles of mostly ugly designs for horrifying prices.)  I cut the front twice and glued it together for a little depth before layering it over the photo paper.  I added a butterfly cut from the momenta butterfly confetti plate that I had wandering on my desk left over from an earlier project.  I used my MISTI to stamp the sentiment to the left in Tuxedo Black.  In retrospect, I should have started with the sentiment – I would have liked to have clear embossed it, but I was afraid I would bubble the photo paper.  (I may or may not have melted several pieces of photo paper while experimenting.)

gel pen detailing

Then I took out my white gel pen and doodled all over the card front.  I liked the result, but it was a bit too subtle, so I added black, and that wasn’t subtle enough, so I layered in some silver.

Stamp a quick envelope, and Hey Presto! into the the mail.

vine card envelope

Badge 2019 guest designer

Stamp: Hampton Art SC0724 sentiment, Hampton Art SC0722 envelope
Paper: white cardstock 110 lb, photo paper
Inks: Distress Oxide Inks – Lucky Clover, Pine Needles,  Blueprint Sketch, Salty Ocean, Twisted Citron; Memento Tuxedo Black
Dies & Cut Files: Garden Vine design file(Silhouette), Butterfly Confetti (Momenta)
Accessories & Tools: White & Silver gel pens, Micron pen, Brother Scanncut, BigKick, Multi Medium Matte glue (Ranger), MISTI

Bonus Yorkie:



Definitely not a Mimic


mimic bday card front

Reader, it definitely IS a mimic.

*For anyone reading this who is not a big geek, a mimic is a D&D monster that looks like something innocent like a chair, and when you go to sit in the chair, the chair eats you.

mimic bday card

My nephew J just turned 13 this week.  J talked my brother into running a biweekly Dungeons & Dragons campaign last year, and every family dinner involves D&D discussions.  (My brother & I are big geeks, and so is my brother in law – my baby sister just stares at us and wonders if maybe she was adopted.)

The 4 year old grabbed the card from her brother and went running around the table saying Rawr! Rawr! and attempting to bite noses with it.  I judge it a success.

I love mechanical cards.  And I especially love them for kids.  There’s a challenge right now at CAS Watercolor to make a kids card, and I’m coming up completely dry because I make cards that move and shake for the nephews and niece.    Happily, there’s a new card challenge in town, AAA Birthday Cards, and this month the theme is Anything Goes.


If you would like to start making mechanical cards, Robert Sabuda has excellent instructions for making a v fold mouth card.  (And a lot of other spiffy pop ups on his site & books.)

The layers of the card are a card front, a black shell, an orange layer, and a glitter paper/black layer.  The front is printed on white cardstock with a diecut for interest, layered over the offcuts from the glitter paper I used inside.  I peeled the glitter paper sticker off its backing and applied it to black cardstock so that the underside peeping through the popup would be black.

(For those interested, the glitter paper does not die cut nicely, will cut with scissors/knife, can be stretched around a curve a bit, does not crease nicely in a valley fold.  You can see where it stretched and bubbled a bit on the left and would not sit nicely.)

prototype eye

This is a 3×3″ square, with additional cuts half way up the top sides to make the eyes.  To get a good monster-y eye, I start with a 90 degree 1/2″ straight cut, and then cut a teeny sliver off of each side so that there is a skinny diamond instead of a slit.  I drew a zigzag on the black side and cut the jagged teeth with an exacto knife.  I cut a tongue shape from the V of the orange layer, added a V crease at the base, and colored it with abandoned coral distress oxide.   I used a black Sharpie to draw in the pupils.

Protoype Eye

To get a good sharp crease, I do the initial line with a stylus on a scoring board, then I bend the crease, then I score it with a bone folder.  Each layer gets glued, then I lay it flat with a nonstick paper on top and weight it under a large book and a 5 pound dumbbell for an hour.  When all the layers are dry, I fold it in half with the card front up and weight it again for a couple of hours/days/overnight.  It’s not absolutely necessary, but it helps, especially if you want to mail it.

The additional diecut inside may or may not be on top of a spot where I dripped glue…  I added the white rectangle at the last second after I tried to write a message inside and none of my pens would stick.  Oooops. It looks a bit plain, but when you need to hop in the car and go to dinner, what can you do?


Dies & Cut Files: Christmas Knick Knacks (Cheery Lynn)
Ink: Abandoned Coral Distress Oxide
Accessories & Tools: bone folder, scissors, exacto knife, Sharpie pen, inkjet printer, embossing stylus, Martha Stewart Scoring Board, Multi Medium Matte glue (Ranger)


CAS Mix Up May 2019

It is my pleasure and delight to be a Guest Designer for CAS Mix Up for May.  The May challenge is “Baby Wipes.”  I have two examples today of liquid watercolors on baby wipes.

swipeflowercards medium


I started by making a super sized pile of stamping attempts using liquid watercolors on a baby wipe, then I swiped a few sheets of cardstock with my wet wipes to use up some ink, and then I used the wet wipes through stencils, and then I realized that the pink ink was refusing to wash off my fingers… so then I spent a few days explaining my pink fingers to all and sundry.  So that was fun.  😉

love blooms small2

To make the Happiness Blooms card, I poked through the stack of experiments and found my favorite stamped flower which I fussy cut.  The center white circle didn’t please me, so I die cut a smaller fringed flower out of my scraps and glued it on as a stamen. I cut a 4×4 white cardstock square, and dry embossed a square a 1/4 inch in, using an embossing stylus and a scoring pad.

foam stamped flower

I used my Brother scanncut to cut out the vine from a wreath, and I die cut a bunch of different small white flowers from various die sets and played around until I found a couple that I liked with it.   The original plan was many different flowers, but even keeping the palette pure white it was too busy.  I glued on my stamped and fussy cut flower for color and shaped the petals a bit for dimension.

I used my MISTI to stamp the sentiment in the center in Memento Tuxedo Black, then again in Versamark.  I heat embossed in clear EP to make the sentiment stand out a bit more.  In a happy moment of serendipity, I set my square card down on top of a striped piece I had swiped, and I loved it.  I trimmed the background down to 4″ wide to match the square, glued them together, and then glued them to a pale yellow top folded card base.

happiness envelope

I like to stamp a matching envelope when I make cards, partly for pretty, partly to forestall the mad find-an-envelope-that-fits dash at the last minute.

Stamp: Let Love Bloom (Carta Bella), flower foam stamp from Hobby Lobby W0904942 (discontinued), Sunshine (Hampton Art)
Paper: white cardstock 110 lb, pale yellow cardstock
Inks: Brea Reese Glitter Ink – Medium Magenta, Orange; Memento Tuxedo Black; Versamark
Embossing Powder: Clear (Ranger)
Dies & Cut Files: Flowers & Fence (Sizzix) larger white flowers, Rain Boot Planter (Sizzix) 2 smaller white flowers, LoveSVG flowers monogram frame (wreath foliage)
Accessories & Tools: Brother Scanncut, BigKick, embossing stylus, Martha Stewart Scoring Board, Multi Medium Matte glue (Ranger), MISTI, heat gun


I chose the inlaid die technique for this second card.

Love small2

Using a large LOVE die from Momenta, I cut once from white cardstock card front and once from a piece of cardstock swiped with my wet wipe.   I glued the card front to a larger card base and inset the colored die cut and white bits.  I fussy cut one of my flowers that I had previously stamped using the wet wipe stamping pad, added details using a white gel pen, shaped the petals a bit with a stylus, and finally finished out the center with a yellow jewel before glueing it to the card.  It was looking a bit plain, so I did a bit of dotting and doodling with a pink gel pen and a white gel pen, and then I outlined the edge of the top piece in a slightly paler pink gel pen.

white details

White on white is kinda hard to photograph, but it adds a brilliant subtle texture.

love envelope

Stamp: foam stamp from Hobby Lobby W0904942 (discontinued), Hampton Art SC0722 (envelope)
Paper: white cardstock 110 lb
Inks: Brea Reese Glitter Ink – Medium Magenta, Orange; Memento Tuxedo Black; gel pens, EKSucess markers
Dies & Cut Files: Love (Momenta)
Accessories & Tools: BigKick, embossing stylus, Multi Medium Matte glue (Ranger), MISTI

And if you made it this far without your eyes crossing, here are a couple others I made.

pink and yellow

Plus the emergency Easter card.  It’s amazing what you can do in 3 min when you have a stack of extra experiments sitting on your desk.  (I told dad to sign the card, so he added “& Grandpa” to the front.  I died laughing.)



One last random tip – Another thing to keep in mind is that most liquid watercolors are dye inks, and watercolors are pigments with binders.  This link has details if you would like to know more.  If you decide to swipe a piece of photo paper with your wet wipe when you are done stamping, it will pick up dye inks nicely, but not so much watercolor pigments.





or The Tale of How I Bought Even More Embossing Powder.

butterfly shadow

So there it was, the turn of the month, and the new CAS Mix Up challenge for April popped up.  Layered Stamping with Heat Embossing.   I’m trying to participate in more challenges this year and to plump out my stock of cards.  This one was tough, because most of the layered stamps on the market are so not my style, and my embossing powders come in red, black, clear variations, and all the gold and a bit more gold.  OK, and one green with gold.

But part of the point is to push my boundaries and work in new colors and mediums.  So I sat down and searched Simon Says Stamps for “layered stamps” until I found a layered bug that I liked.  Who can’t use another butterfly stamp, right?  The plan was to order a couple of useful colors in embossing powder like blue and green.  That’s how I ended up with orange, orange glitter, hot pink with orange glitter, and a really odd shade of maroon.

orange butterfly

Now that I have blathered on for half a page, to actually make the card, I started by cutting out the butterfly confetti plate.  I pasted one butterfly in place using a piece of tissue on the back with glue to make a strong thin bond.   Using an embossing buddy and versamark, I stamped my butterfly over the remaining butterfly piece.  The first layer is orange, then a center section in Hot Gossip (pink with orange glitter), and finally the detail stamp with black.  (I am now in love with Wow! embossing powder and I must have more!)

Foam tape on the back (and an eternity of pick off the non stick bits) over a white card base to give it depth.  I love the shadows.  Sharp corners on the card base looked wrong, so I dug out my large corner rounder and clipped the corners.  I had originally planned to add a sentiment to the top, but it was just too busy.

butterfly shadows interiorI like to add detail to the interior, for interest and to stiffen the back a bit.  The butterfly is embossed with Tiger Lily and the sentiment in black.  Plenty of room to sign it and add a little note.  I added a little sentiment to make a matching envelope and called it good.

butterfly shadow with card

Stamp: Layered Butterflies (Spellbinders)
Paper: white cardstock 110 lb, tissue paper
Inks: Versamark
Embossing Powder: Golden Flame, Hot Gossip (Wow!), Black (Zing!), Tiger Lily (Ranger)
Accessories & Tools: Butterfly Confetti (Momenta), foam tape, Multi Medium Matte glue (Ranger), corner rounder, MISTI


Poppy Fairy

Poppy Fairy red

I was browsing around looking for poppies when I stumbled across this Poppy Fairy.  Instantly smitten.  A Day for Daisies is a terrible addictive place, you have been warned.  (And they do have other poppies for anyone else with no poppy stamps!)  Generally speaking for a CAS card I go for one bold image, but I just could not resist.  Maybe I will do another one later with more bold and less cute.  😉

Many many thanks to Tammy Thompson who dug the image out for me.

I am entering Poppy Fairy in this month’s CAS Watercolor Challenge – Poppy .  There are a ton of gorgeous cards already.  I want to sneak into Hannelie’s studio and steal all of her cards.

Poppy Fairy is printed on watercolor paper using an inkjet printer.  I painted Poppy Fairy with Distress Inks because my watercolors were in their appointed place and the markers were rolling around on my desk from another project.  The perils of picking up your supplies.   The sentiment is stamped in the standard Memento Tuxedo Black, placed with my Misti, and is from a series of really fun Hampton Art stamps that are sadly out of print.

I cut her out using a die offset to the bottom right for visual interest, and popped her onto a green cardstock back.  I added a second sentiment from the same stamp set to an A2 envelope and called it good.

Poppy Fairy and envelope


Stamp: Hampton Art SC0722 sentiment; Digi File from A Day for Daisies
Paper: watercolor paper, green cardstock 110 lb
Inks: Distress Inks – Festive Berries, Abandoned Coral, Carved Pumpkin, Mowed Lawn, Twisted Citron, Vintage Photo; Memento Tuxedo Black
Accessories & Tools: Double Pierced Rectangle (Avery Elle)

poppy fairy 1 reshot

I loved Susan’s card and I had an elegant writer hanging out in my pen box, so I gave it a whirl along with some picked raspberry, vintage photo and green DIs.  All those purples and greys and the palest pinks are from the black pen, I am impressed.


poppies on printer paper

Since Julia asked, here’s a bit of playing I did to see if the inkjet would bleed. The only bleeding on there is the elegant writer calligraphy pen and the distress markers I used, even after multiple applications of water.  I did give it a couple of hours to dry before I tried painting on it, and I suspect it might bleed on coated cardstock.  Watercolor paper and printer paper are both meant to soak in the colors.


Faux Stained Glass Reindeer


Nothing like last minute!  I am entering this card in the CAS Christmas March challenge.  The deer was one of my sample pieces when playing with the faux stained glass technique this month.  I applied silver flashing tape to card stock and ran it through the big shot with a tag sized embossing folder with the deer and snowflakes scene.  Colored it with a blue sharpie and purple alcohol ink, then verrrry carefully cleaned off the silver with a q-tip and rubbing alcohol.  So fiddly.  I’m not entirely happy with the pen marks I left, although at some point I will use the idea to make intentional marks I think.

reindeer shiny just deer

I glued on a couple of stacked frames and flooded with Glossy Accents.  Two lessons learned – wait until the stacked frames are dry or it will want to seep under and make bumps, and dry it on a flat surface not my gently sloped elderly card table.

I die cut Peace and then heat embossed it in silver.  The card front is dry embossed with the snowflake folder and I dry embossed the lines with an embossing tool and my scoring pad.  Glued and taped all the elements together and popped it onto a white card base.   I think in retrospect I should have recessed the deer element into the card front, it sticks out a bit.

Edit: Today is the best day!  outstanding design

Stamp: Oh Deer (interior, unknown)
Paper: white cardstock 110 lb, silver flashing tape
Inks: Blue sharpie, Purple alcohol ink from an old sharpie thrown in alcohol
Embossing Powder: Silver embossing powder
Accessories & Tools: Peace die from Sizzix Dove set, Snowflake embossing folder (Momenta), Deer embossing folder (Momenta), Glossy Accents


Dragonfly Dreams Part 2

watercolor dragonfly 2

I am entering a second card for funsies in the CAS Stencil challenge for March – Ghosting.  I made a second card with another piece of the same background as the last card.  I’m not as happy with the card itself, but I love the focal piece!

The background is white cardstock layered with gesso, then various green and blue distress inks sponged on and copper misted over that.  Stencil over the top, mist with water, whisk the stencil away, wait a few seconds, press down with paper towel, hope that it actually works this time.

After the cardstock dried, I ironed it to make it flat.  Then I weighed it under a large book and a 5 lb dumbbell overnight in the hopes that it would actually get flat.  I cut a dragonfly stamp in my scan n cut, popped it onto my card front in my MISTI, and discovered that the stamp was too thin to adhere.  A complex tower of tape and foam sheets later, I had enough height under the card front to make it all work.

dfly blue dream watercolored

I started with a base of Twisted Citron, and slowly layered on color using distress markers, blending with a damp paintbrush between layers.  (See Heather Telford for a proper explanation of the actual technique.) The gesso keeps all the colors on the surface, making water colors an interesting game in “don’t leave any white spots.”

dfly dream outlined

A gold gel pen for added details, and I was done. (Dragonflies do not actually have antenna, I am a doofus.)

I popped it onto a white card base with a scrap of blue, glued on a sentiment and called it done and sent it off in the mail as a birthday card to my brother in law.  Tbh, I now wish I had put it on the same green cardstock as the other one, but I can’t exactly fish it out of the mail.

Stamp: cut with scanncut stamping material from Dragonfly cut file
Paper: white cardstock 110 lb, blue Hobby Lobby cardstock
Inks: Mowed Lawn, Twisted Citron, Cracked Pistachio, Broken China, Mermaid Lagoon distress inks, white gesso, Perfect Copper perfect pearls mist, gold gel pen
Accessories & Tools: Dragonfly cut file, Japanese Water Stencil cut file, dream die from Cut & Emboss Flowers (Momenta)