Big Cats Card Idea

My oldest granddaughter is a big fan of big cats, and I created this handmade card for her 12th birthday.  It's a fun fold card that really showcases your pretty Designer Series Paper, and I have a free tutorial download for you here.

My big cats card idea is super fun to make and a treat for the person receiving it as they begin to open up the flaps to reveal a little something different each time.

Click here for the free tutorial for my fun fold card, a great Designer Series Paper project with a big cats theme.  In the Wild Designer Series Paper is perfect for the nature lovers in your life and lovely for scrapbooking, too!  It's on sale through May 2nd while supplies last.  

Here are a few tips for executing this fun fold card design:

   I cut the DSP at 11" x 4" and added a contrasting strip cut at 4" x 1".  If you like the back of the DSP you are using for the contrasting piece, simply leave your DSP at 12" x 4" and fold back 1" on the right to reveal the contrasting pattern.

   This fun fold design is perfect for those times when you have DSP and no coordinating stamps or dies.  Although Olivia is a big cat lover, I didn't have the budget to justify the bundle (stamps and dies).  So I purchased In The Wild DSP knowing I could make several cards for Olivia, have paper for some excellent scrapbook pages, and be well in budget.


Thanks so much for popping in today.  Keep up with all my classes and news:

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Graduation Card Idea

Blog Hop-Trip Achievers stampinupgraduationcardslimsayingscandyrattray



Welcome to the April installment of the Trip Achievers Blog Hop where achieving demonstrators across the globe gather to inspire YOU with creative ideas galore.  You are at Candy Rattray's blog,  The full list of participating demonstrators is at the bottom of this post.  Simply scroll all the way to the bottom to see them all and be sure to click so you can hop:)

I'm sharing a super simple graduation card today, perfect for graduation season, showcasing one of the fabulous bold greetings in Slim Sayings stamp set. Although the Slim Sayings cling rubber stamp set is part of a die bundle it's a stand alone stamp set you NEED for your greetings stamp stash!

I had 2 purposes in creating this card:

I received a graduation announcement for a lovely high school boy from our church and wanted to make a special card to accompany a little cash gift:)

My Southern Sweet Stamper demonstrator team runs 3 Creative Challenges each month.  This was for a DSP challenge, and I do like to participate in the SSS Creative Challenges to challenge myself as well as inspire my team:)  Click here to learn more about Southern Sweet Stampers.

A few things to note about the Stampin' Up! products I used in my graduation card since we are in a time period where publications overlap and there may be some confusion about availablility:

  • Waves of the Ocean Designer Series Paper is part of a special product collection available through May 2 or while supplies last.  (The coordinating bundle is in the new annual catalog which debuts May 3.)
  • Resin Star Embellishments are perfect for so many occasions and designs but especially good for masculine cards.  They have a matte finish and are a Mini Catalog item.  That means they are available through June.
  • Slim Sayings (and the bundle) are in the Mini Catalog and available through June.
  • Slimline Envelopes are in the Mini Catalog but carrying over into the new annual catalog--yay!

All products are listed below for my Stampin' Up! graduation card for your shopping convenience.  Make the graduates in your life feel extra special by making handmade cards to celebrate their achievements!





Starry Sky Color Combo with Sending Smiles Sneak Peek

I'm so excited to share sneak peek card ideas with you today!  The following are NEW CATALOG sneak peak products used in my cards:

  • #158701, Sending Smiles photopolymer stamp set $22  sendingsmilesstampinupstarryskyincolorcandyrattray
  • #158707, Sending Smiles bundle $49.50

Starry Sky In Color:

  1. #159212, Starry Sky Ink Pad  $8
  2. #159263, Starry Sky Cardstock  $9.25
  3. #159254, In Color 6" x 6" DSP  $12

Each Thursday @4PM CT I share Simple & Stepped Up stamping (#simplestamping) as a free, live demonstration at  I download that recording and share it on YouTube as well so anyone can access it easily.  

I love sharing beginner cards, perfect cards for those who are new to card-making.  And truth be told, #simplestamping are beautiful cards for any level crafter--if done right:)

Then I step it up.  I think this shows versatility and also gives card-making ideas for all card-makers.  With the new annual catalog on the horizon, I've already begun sharing how to use the new In Colors.  Colors are one of my strengths as a card-maker, and I love helping others learn to actually use the new In Colors.

starryskyincolorstampinupcandyrattray Sending Smiles Starry-2









Please click on the video below to see how these cards come together.  They are quick and easy plus bright and cheery--guaranteed to be fun to make and a delight those on the receiving end!

Please follow me on YouTube and for twice weekly live demonstrations and plenty of crafty inspiration! 

Keep up with all my classes and news:

Click here for my Affordable In Color Club information.  Registration ends April 30th, so hurry to join me!









Affordable In Color Club 2022

I'm in love with ALL the new In Colors and so happy to offer you my 2022 version of  Affordable In Color Club.  I do things a bit differently and divide things up in ways I think you will appreciate and enjoy.

This allows you to sample and try out one color each month with many (or all!) of the many In Color products.  Then YOU DECIDE which ones you want full packages of for your creative endeavors.

As I said, I truly love each new In Color.  Some years, it takes me awhile to warm up to one or more color.  This year, I fell in love with them all at first sight!  My affordable In Color Club is a service I offer each year to help you gather the In Colors affordably without breaking your budget.

I do like to change things up, so this year I'm offering 2 options for my Affordable in Color Club.  Each month, May-September, you will receive the following products.

$45 Regular In Color Package

  • Classic Ink Pad
  • Classic Ink Refill
  • Stampin' Write Marker
  • 8-1/2" x 11" Cardstock (4 sheets)
  • 6" x 6" Ombre Glimmer Paper (2 sheets)
  • 6" x 6" Designer Series Paper (4 sheets)
  • Metallic Woven Ribbon (2 yds.)
  • Bakers Twine Pack (10 yds.)
  • Matte Decorative Dots (30)
  • Handmade Card using your color of the month
  • First Class Shipping

$69 Deluxe In Color Package

  • Classic Ink Pad
  • Classic Ink Refill
  • Stampin' Write Marker
  • Stampin' Blends Markers (2)
  • 8-1/2" x 11" Cardstock (4 sheets)
  • Tea Boutique Cards & Envelopes (2)
  • Tea Boutique DSP (24 sheets)
  • 6" x 6" Ombre Glimmer Paper (2 sheets)
  • 6" x 6" Designer Series Paper (4 sheets)
  • Metallic Woven Ribbon (2 yds.)
  • Bakers Twine Pack (10 yds.)
  • Matte Decorative Dots (30)
  • Fun Flowers Resin Shapes (30)
  • Handmade Card using your color of the month
  • First Class Shipping

I package all this up so it looks pretty and ship it out to you each month May-September.  I regularly hear from my In Color Clubbers that it feels like a little Christmas package each month.  That makes my heart so happy!  Pay nothing now. I will bill you monthly starting May 3rd. You will receive your products by the 25th of each month.  

Essential Details:

  • I will bill you on the 1st of each month through Pay Pal.  If you prefer to pay by check I will need to receive your payment by the 5th of each month, May - September.
  • After you sign up, you are a member of my In Color Club! 
  • 5th month get your choice of host stamp sets (annual or holiday!)  for free as my special gift!

Click here to register by April 30th only.

Creative Ideas for Using Cardstock

Cardstock Blog Hop timelesstulipsstampinupcandyrattrayStamps, Ink, and Paper are the backbone of what we use as cardmakers.  The paper is primarily cardstock!  It is an amazing product, but you do want to use top quality cardstock.  With Stampin' Up!, you never have to be concerned about quality or color coordination.  It is unmatched in the crafting community! 

I remember when I first began stamping after I attended a Stampin' Up! party.  I bought everything I needed to make my Christmas cards.  And then I got the bug to visit a big box crafting store and bought a whole stack of cardstock.  Boy, was I disappointed!  After experiencing the best, there was no comparison.  That "cardstock" ended up in the kids classroom at my church and I never bought another piece of cardstock again from anywhere except Stampin' Up!

My project today showcases one of my favorite cardmaking techniques to show off our amazing Stampin' Up! cardstock:  adding ink to a dry-embossed piece of cardstock.  Dry-embossing is the kind we do when we run the cardstock through the Stampin' Cut & Emboss Machine (aka Big Boss:) with an embossing folder.   I added ink in the same color (using the Blending Brushes) to the cardstock--tone on tone--for a rich, dramatic effect. 

I'm showcasing several retiring Stampin' Up! products because they are only available for a wee bit longer, and I love them!  Some are even on sale:)

  • Timeless Tulips stamp set--on sale! timelesstulipsstampinupcandyrattray
  • Stitched So Sweetly Dies
  • Tulip Builder Punch
  • Parisian Flourish Embossing Folder--on sale!


The complete list of products I used is linked and listed below for your convenience.  Be sure to click on the next link on the blog hop to get more inspiration and ideas on the many, many ways to use cardstock creatively!

Summer Crafting Retreat in San Antonio, TX

Summer 2022 Retreat (1)

Are you in the San Antonio are?  My crafting retreats in San Antonio are popular, and we always have some joining us from other parts of Texas as well as out of state.  It's a weekend to remember which I offer 4 times each year, packed with positive creativity and a whole weekend to do what you want when you want!

Who is Creative Escape Crafting Retreat in San Antonio for?

  • crafters
  • quilters
  • scrapbookers
  • paper crafters
  • stampers
  • card-makers
  • diamond-art makers
  • journal creators

We love to have a variety of creatives, so come join us and make what you enjoy making all weekend!  Your retreat hosts, Candy Rattray and Cheryl Peery, bring all our stamps, inks, and tools so you can travel light.  We will spoil you all weekend with goodies, gifts, and TLC.  Our positive creative environment will fill your cup to overflowing!

$50 non-refundable deposit holds your place.  Early Bird Pricing ends June 15th.  Tickets must be paid in full by that date for the $190 price. Regular pricing:  $215  

Thursday Option:  Add an extra day and make it a 4-day weekend!

Ticket provides:

  • Awesome goodie bag ($50 value!)
  • Daily spoiling gifts:)
  • Make & Takes
  • Exclusive Retreat Tote Bag
  • Use of all our stamps and ink pads
  • Punch Station with a wide selection of punches
  • Die-Cutting station with 2 Die-Cutting machines plus lots of dies and folders
  • Scraps station with free scraps
  • Table space:  6-foot table for each person.  
  •  All activities are optional--but they are popular!
  •  Daily Challenge with prizes
  •  Prize Patrol all weekend
  •  Bingo on Saturday night!
  • Optional add-on classes for a deluxe weekend experience.
  • pdf tutorials for all the classes are sent to all retreat attendees:)
  •  Wi-Fi

Click here to register and/or get more information.

Scrapbook Ideas for Sweet Symmetry Designer Series Paper


Sweet Symmetry Suite is on the Last Chance List (retiring and only available while supplies last) and there are some excellent elements. Sweet Symmetry stamp set has already sold out, but Sweet Symmetry DSP is still available.  Its small, repeating patterns are excellent for scrapbooking.

My Sweet Symmetry Scrapbook pages show how a repeating stamped image can help bring focus and definition to your pages while not adding bulk or texture where you don't want it.

Stampin' Up! Designer Series Papers are outstanding for scrapbooking.  With the unsurpassed color coordination with top of th
e line cardstocks, ribbons, embellishments as well as inks, you can achieve a truly coordinated look with minimal time spent shopping.  Click on any of these photos to get a close-up look.

Scrapbooking is a great way to record and document the your own life as well as those you love.   sweetsymmetrystampinupscrapbookideascandyrattray

Be sure to get the following retiring items--list and linked below-- from my scrapbook pages still available through May 2nd only:
  • Stitched So Sweetly Dies
  • Sweet Symmetry DSP
  • 2020-2022 In Color Square Gems
  • Just Jade & Gold 3/8" Braided Ribbon
  • Just Jade Cardstock and Ink Pad

Just Jade is a cool green and really nice for scrapbook pages.  It's a retiring In Color, so consider adding it to your scrapbook supplies while you can.  



Enjoy the Moment Card & Scrapbook Ideas

Blog hop-Sunday enjoythemomentstampinupmistymoonlight
Welcome to Share it Sunday Blog Hop where demonstrators across the globe share special creativity with you to help you relax and enjoy this day of rest.  You are at Candy Rattray, and the full list of connected blogs is at the bottom of this post.

Enjoy the Moment is one of many retiring stamp sets (click here for the full list of Last Chance Products) and it's a classic that bears consideration for your stash of crafty supplies.  I have a bevy of projects to share with you today to inspire your creativity and help you see the many possibilities for Enjoy the Moment stamp set.

I love nature images for my crafting, and Enjoy the Moment delivers that as well as some really nice greetings.  The sale price makes it a must-have!  (I do love a good bargain:)

Before I share some scrapbook pages with you featuring Enjoy the Moment stamp set, let me point out a few things about my card which I created for a live, in-person card class.  It was a big hit which is why I thought to share it with you:)

  • The seeds image makes for a perfect repeating image on the side of my handmade card.  I used tone-on-tone, stamping in Misty Moonlight ink on Misty Moonlight cardstock.
  • Misty Moonlight is a retiring In Color, and I will miss it!  To me, it's like denim--super versatile.  Its lighter counterpart is Balmy Blue which is what I used here to really bring out the Misty Moonlight background.  
  • The black and white geometric patterns make a perfect accent for my nature-inspired stamped images. I used Pattern Party DSP which is a host-only item.  That means you can get this big stack of DSP for free when you place a $150+ order! It has really great patterns with loads of colors on one side and all black and white patterns on the reverse.  Pattern Party DSP has 48 sheets of 12" x 12", so it's another retiring must-have IMHO.
  • A few rhinestones bring a bit of light and shine to my rather subdued design.  They are the perfect touch to bring it all together. 

The scrapbook pages are done with the same Enjoy the Moment stamp set, and I think it's terrific for scrapping your generations.  Seeds are a great theme, and I went to town with it.  The designer series paper I used is Tailored from the Spring Catalog of 2021.  That DSP was all menswear patterns and particularly useful for scrapbook:)

enjoythemomentstampinupscrapbookpagescandyrattrayenjoythemomentstampinupscrapbookpagescandyrattray enjoythemomentstampinupscrapbookpagescandyrattray

Please note that the Stitched Rectangle Dies used in my scrapbook pages are retiring and available only while supplies last.  Get them while you can!

Now hop along to the next blog for more Sunday inspiration!  











Sweet as a Peach Fun Fold Cards

sweetasapeachstampinupcandyrattraycardideasfunfoldcards sweetasapeachstampinupcandyrattraycardideasfunfoldcards













I'm so sad to see Sweet as a Peach Bundle on the Stampin' Up! Last Chance List!  If you already have it, I have 2 fun fold card ideas for you today.  If you don't yet have Sweet as a Peach, run to my online store before it sells out!  It in the 20% off Bloom in Spring sale which makes it just $32.75--INCREDIBLE value!

You're a Peach DSP is also on sale at just $9.20 and is absolutely gorgeous.  It is another must-have IMHO.

The Sweet as a Peach Fun Fold card on the left was created for a class held right after the 2021-2022 annual catalog released.





I created another Sweet as a Peach Fun Fold card this week for my #simplestamping Facebook Live demonstration and it's on the video below.  This is a perfect beginner card for new card-makers, or for anyone who loves to stamp!

I used only stamps, ink, paper, and an embellishment.  That is the Stampin' Up! #simplestamping challenge for March.  Click here for the inspiration sheet with measurements, photo, and supply list.  It's a free download.

Watch the demonstration on the video. Please follow me on YouTube and Facebook for twice weekly demonstrations (4PM CT on Tuesday and Thursday on Facebook) and plenty of crafty inspiration!

Please remember that Sweet as a Peach Bundle and You're a Peach DSP are on the last chance list, on sale, and while supplies last only.  Get them while you can!  They are listed and linked below.









Flowering Rain Boots Card Idea

floweringrainbootsstampinupcandyrattraywatercolortechniquesThis was a super fun card to make and another great idea for using Flowering Rain Boots, my April Card Class by Mail.  (Click here to see my class video with 8 more awesome Flowering Rain Boots card ideas.)

Each Tuesday I do a Facebook Live Demonstration I call Teach Me Tuesday.  I decided to share some fun, EASY ways to layer texture and color.  I'm a quick and easy girl, so this comes together quickly but uses way more ink colors than I normally use for one card.  But it's a garden card, so it suits!

     I added layers of color by using a Water Painter in small areas of the flowers and leaves (on top of the already distinktive stamps) with a small amount of water and various ink colors.

     I added texture by running my DSP--which already has a textured look via the palette knife artwork--through an embossing folder that mimics the artwork.

     I also added texture with the Frayed Ribbon--which I dyed and further frayed by cutting and shredding!  Super fun!

Check out the video demonstration below and click here for the free Inspiration sheet with measurements, photo, and supply list.

Please follow me on YouTube and Facebook for twice weekly live demonstrations and plenty of crafty inspiration!