A Peek Behind the Scenes

Do you love to hang out after an event to watch everything come down or arrive early so you can watch it all go up?  What about watching out-takes from a movie or TV show?

As a teenager, I used to sneak out and go back to the carnival and watch them take down all the rides.  The “Carnies” were real and raw then.  You got to know them a bit.  And, they came back year after year, so eventually, you would get free rides and stuff!

So, I am going to let you have a sneak peek into my world!

Y’all have already seen my craft room.  If not, you can see it here, http://keepitsimplestampers.com/a-craft-room-tour/.  But, this isn’t the only place I work.

Once I have completed cards and projects, I take them to my office at my job and take photos.  I do this because I am still fairly scared to purchase anything like a mini-photo booth or whatnot to take my photos with.  And, my photo-geek friends out there would kill me to learn that I don’t mind the fluorescent lights above me.

So, here is my “photo booth”!  I can say this because I live in Southern Illinois… It is sort of a hillbilly set-up… isn’t it!  What it is is four sheets of cardstock – two up against the monitor holding thingy and two on my desk.  Then I use my cell phone to capture the picture…

It’s a little dark.  But, I have learned that with the click of two buttons in photo shop, I can fix that. (Image -> Auto-Contrast).  Then, I crop it and add my watermark.

And, that my friends, is how I take my photos for my blog.

A little about this card…  It was CASE’d from Georgia Giguere.  And, don’t you just love that Designer Series Paper?  It’s called Delightful Daisy (144137)!  #loveitchopit

I won’t bore you with the little details because… here…  I did a project sheet!

Proj Sheet – Daisy Birthday

If you really like the behind-the -scenes stuff… you should really think about becoming a Stampin’ Up demonstrator!  We learn about all the products before they are released to the public.  We can get our hands on them and play around!  Wouldn’t you love to do that?

Just click on the link above and come join my team!  I would love to have you!

Until next time… keep it simple, Stampers!

🙂  Joanne


The One Left Behind

Lemme ask you this.

Have you ever made a card that you just didn’t love.  Something was wrong with it, but you couldn’t pin-point it?

That’s exactly what I ran into while making my cards for the Stamper’s Dozen Blog Hop on Monday.  I will admit… I actually screwed up something on one of the cards so I thought I would re-do it.  Then I liked the screw up better.  Still, I couldn’t let all that other work go to waste so I tried to create another card using it… but it just didn’t have the same feel about it.

Well, here it is.

Now, of course… if you don’t know what I did wrong… you won’t know what this picture is really all about.  It’s the foil… but I don’t mind this foil here… I just didn’t like it as much.  But, I still feel like there is something missing or too much added or something.  Maybe it’s the brightness of the copper in the back with is drawing my attention away?  I don’t know.

What say you?  What is wrong with the cards… what would you have done differently?

Oh – and that mistake I made… When I ran the foil through the Big Shot in the Embossing Folder, I forgot to do any distressing to it first.  (FYI – this technique is called “tarnished metal”.)  So, I set it aside and tried again.  But then, I didn’t think the embossing was deep enough, so I ran the second one through again… but the wrong way! I DEbossed instead of EMbossed.  Ugh!  But, I kept working with it and didn’t seem like it would work.  I went back to the other silver foil snowflake to see if I could reclaim it.  It didn’t turn out bad.  I just liked the other one better.  Couldn’t let it just go to waste so I tried to create a card with it… but my brain wasn’t functioning and I got the card above!

Now… it’s not a terrible card.  At least, I don’t think it is.  But, it’s just not hitting that “great” card spot in my soul.

Does a card have to hit you like that for you to consider it worthy?  What do you do with it if it doesn’t?  This one will probably be my nephew’s Christmas card this year! You better not tell  him this was a cast-off!

Well… Until next time… keep it simple, Stampers!

🙂  Joanne

Stampers Dozen Blog Hop – August Holiday Catalog Sneak Peek

Hello and welcome to my first hop here with the Stamper’s Dozen Blog Hoppers!  I am so excited and honored to be a part of this group!  This month we are featuring our favorite sets from the NEW 2017 HOLIDAY CATALOG.

I have chosen the Snowflake Sentiments Bundle (146052/146053) featuring the Snowflakes Sentiments Stamp Set (144817/14420) and the Swirly Snowflakes Thinlits Dies (144678).  When you get your catalog, you can find the set on page 35!

This first card is simple yet elegant!

For this card, I used Silver Foil to cut the band of snowflakes using the Thinlit.  I used silver embossing for the sentiment and other snowflakes.  A little silver edged ribbon and some rhinestones is all it too to add that touch of sophistication to this very easy card!

The next card has a completely different feel! It was inspired by Robin Messenheimer.

Who says that you have to use red and green on a Christmas card?  This one uses two of the new In Colors…  Berry Burst and Lemon Lime Twist.  They play really well together on this modern, non-traditional card.  And, BONUS…  I made a project sheet for this one!

Proj Sheet – Christmas with a Twist

And, my last card with the set…

Now this one is very masculine.  I just love that “TARNISHED FOIL” effect.  Don’t you?  I actually used the NEW Winter Wonderland Textured Impressions Embossing Folder (144686) to de-boss the snowflake image in the silver foil.  Add some black ink and embossing powders and you get this great effect.  That little snowflak in the corner comes for the same Thinlit used on the top card.. I just cut it away for the bunch.  Wouldn’t the man in your life love to get this card this Christmas?  (PS – the sentiment came from the NEW Christmas in the Making stamp set (144841/144845).)

I hope you enjoyed these projects.

Remember, you are currently visiting Joanne Cantrell…

Now, hop on over to Patty Chenail

Or hop back to Debbie Naylor

Until next month… keep it  simple, Stampers!

🙂  Joanne






Paper Pumpkin Promo

** Disclaimer… this product and offer is only available to those living in the United States or Canada.  Sorry about you gals over yonder… 🙁 **

I’m going to start off today by telling you about this promotion that Stampin’ Up is offering.  Today, August 11, 2017, through Monday, September 11, 2017, NEW subscribers can receive their first Paper Pumpkin box at 50% OFF!!!

Just visit my paper pumpkin link to subscribe!

Now… what sort of person would I be if I just left it there!  Many of you may not even know what Paper Pumpkin is.  Broken down into it’s most simple form….


Really!  It’s that simple.  But, here are a little more details…

“Stampin’ Up does all the work, so you can skip to the fun! Paper Pumpkin is a fully designed project kit that arrives at your door each month with stamps, ink, and paper—everything cut and ready to go, so you can skip to the fun. They’ll surprise you with fun projects like cards, gift packaging, home décor, and more for just $19.95 USD/$26.95 CAD a month (shipping included).”

Or, for those of you that prefer images… here’s the video!

Still not convinced you need to subscribe to Paper Pumpkin?

Let’s look at what comes in the box…

Each kit comes with and stamp set and  pre-scored cardstock or other pre-cut, perforated, ready-to-use base items.  Also included in the box are little ink pads in all the colors needed (usually 1-2), embellishments, and adhesive.  So, you can just grab your kit and an CLEAR D Block and go stamp anywhere.  (Your first kit comes with a block… so don’t worry about that if you don’t have one!)

Here is the July 2017 Kit – Positively Picturesque.

This kit came with enough supplies to make 8 cards – 2 each of 4 different styles.  Look at those wooden elements!  Those are soooo cool!

Following the directions, I made one of each card.  It took me less than 30 minutes.  Making the other 4 as well would have only added about 5 more minutes.  These were really simple!

Here are the finished products!

How cute are those.  Perfect for all sorts of people and occasions.

But, Paper Pumpkin isn’t always a card-making project.  There have been treat sacks, boxes, tags, home décor… it’s really a surprise each month.

Check out all the past kits on the Paper Pumkpin YouTube channel!


And, you may just find yourself needing two subscriptions because there are a lot of alternative things you can do with the supplies instead of the ones in the directions.  Check out Pinterest!

Until next time… keep it simple, Stampers!

🙂  Joanne


Baby Moon

No, this isn’t about the small moon I saw last night.  But, hey, did you see it?  It was almost full but tiny.  Got me thinking about the Total Solar Eclipse coming up in a little over a week.

Is the moon going to be full to completely block out the sun?  And, can a total solar eclipse happen if the moon is not full.  I mean, really, the whole moon will be in front of the sun… so that’s a total eclipse, right?  I partial eclipse is when the sun is only partly covered by the moon.  Oh great!  Now I am so confused…  Well, back to topic at hand!

So, have you seen this beautiful sleep baby on top of the moon?  It’s a great set to welcome new babies into the world!

This card was inspired by Kirsten Aitchinson… and by inspired, I meant I copied it pretty much exactly!  But, who wants to recreate the wheel some days!

It’s just some cardstock, water color pencils and a sleeping baby!  What could be easier?

Until next time… keep it simple, stampers!

🙂  Joanne

Make It Monday!

Welcome to another week in your life!

This Monday is so not that Monday-y sort of day.  Sure, it’s rainy and drizzly outside… but it’s a great day to start new routines!

This morning, I hopped out of bed, workout out, went shopping for healthy food for the next couple days, and went to work.  I know… I had a super weekend, so it was so easy to get a move on this morning!

So, speaking of starting new routines.. I am doing that right here on my blog too!

Every Monday morning, I will post a new card sketch.  I would love to see what you do with it.  Simply, jump on over to my Facebook page and post it in the comments of the sketch.  I will post mine there too!

On to today’s sketch…

This sketch was inspired by the new papers in the 2017 Holiday Catalog!

What, you haven’t seen the new papers?  It’s a perk of being a Stampin’ Up demonstrator.  You get to preview and preorder products from new catalogs.  For me, I love getting my hands on the product first.  I feel like it’s Christmas when the boxes arrive!  And, who isn’t ready for fall and Christmas yet?  I’m so done with summer!

So, remember – head on over to my Facebook page and upload your creation using this sketch to the comments under the sketch!

Until next time… keep it simple, Stampers!

🙂  Joanne

Tuesday’s Excitement

Today is one of the most exciting days in the Stampin’ up world.  It’s the first day that demonstrators around the world can pre-order items from the brand-spanking new 2017 Holiday Catalog.

I cannot wait until I have my stuff and can create beautiful Christmas cards and other projects for you all.

But, in the meantime…

Here are a couple of birthday cards that we made at the July Stamp Camp.

This card uses the Happy Birthday Gorgeous stamp set (143662) available in the 2017-2018 Annual Catalog… check it out on page 77.  I’m pretty sure I CASE’d it from someone.. just am not sure who.  If it’s yours, please let me know!

Here I used the “masking” technique where I placed a piece of super sticky Post-It notes across the middle of the card and stamped over it.  Then, I was able to peel it off and stamp the sentiment in the void left.

I also used the “stamp off” technique to create the lighter background of the flowers and the leaves by simply inking u the stamp and stamping first on a piece of scrap paper.  Then I stamped the flowers full strength to add the detail.

And the next one…

This is such a simple yet elegant card that I CASE’d from Megan Daves.  It also uses the Happy Birthday Gorgeous stamp set.  But, that lovely die cut birthday wish really makes it stand out, don’t you think!?!  The Happy Birthday Thinlits Die (143700) just bumps up the wow factor of any card.  And that Falling Snow Textured Impression Embossing Folder makes the bubbling so real you can feel the fizz!

So, while I am in a rush to get the new Fall and Christmas stuff, I would be remiss to just toss aside the Annual Catalog when it is chocked full of such great product!

Until next time… keep it simple, Stampers!

🙂  Joanne



Total Eclipse of the Heart

Have you heard?  A total solar eclipse is getting ready to cut it’s way from Washington state to South Carolina.  It will be darkest the longest right over my house!  They have been planning for this day for a couple years.  Hotels are booked… people are renting out rooms in their homes.  Tourists are searching for off-the-beaten-path locations to view.  Ozzy Osborne is giving a concert!  Schools are out. Area-wide shutdown of life!   In fact… we locals have all been warned!  It’s going to be like a snowstorm in the middle of summer!

So, what is a Stamper to do but make a card to celebrate the occasion?

Here is the one I think I have finally settled on..

What had me so confused was the placement of the saying.  Where on earth should it go?  I opted for directly on the card.

(PS – let the ink dry very thoroughly before embossing.  It took me three tries and the heat tool to get it this good and it’s not even that great!)

Here were my other options…

Which one do you like the best?  Which on gave your heart a total eclipse?

As far as technique goes, I watched a couple of different tutorials on YouTube to figure out how I was going to do this.  But, In the end, I settled on sponges and the following colors…  It’s all about the layering.  Start light then darken!

Crushed Curry, Pumpkin Pie, Tangelo Twist, Rich Razzleberry, Perfect Plum, Elegant Eggplant, and Basic Black.

(Don’t mind the messy workspace…)

So… What events come to your area that inspire you to make cards?

What else inspires you?  Trust me, I see inspiration everywhere.  In fact, the next Ink & Inspiration Blog Hop (on August 24th) is all about recreating something that inspired us!  Just wait!!!

Until next time… keep it simple, Stampers!

🙂  Joanne


Ink & Inspiration Blog Hop – Watercolor

Welcome to the July edition of the Ink & Inspiration Blog Hop!

Our theme this month is WATERCOLOR!

I will admit that watercoloring is not my forte.  But, Stampin’ Up provides the tools that make it easy and mistake-proof.   And, there are plenty of tutorials around the interwebs to help you learn the umpteen bazillion different techniques.

So, since really like sets of cohesive cards, I decided I wanted to do something kind of fall-y.  I created a color scheme…

Then I chose a stamp set…  I went with Colorful Seasons because of the coordinating dies.

And, then I chose a technique.  I went with the block spritzing technique.  It’s really simple.  You take a clear BLOCK and color it with Stampin’ Write Markers. Then you SPRITZ it with water using a Stampin’ Spritzer. Then you place the block onto your paper (thick white, thick vanilla, shimmery white and watercolor paper work the best… but you can use regular whisper white in a pinch).  Pull off the block and let it dry.  Ta-da!  You have water colored!

I also did a full page f watercolor paper where I used the markers to color randomly then used an AQUAPAINTER with blur it.  I couldn’t figure out why this didn’t seem to work as well.  Oops!  I had grabbed the aquapainter with the alcohol instead of water.  But, in the end, it worked!

Well, here are my creations!  Hope you like them!!!

I hope the projects you’ve seen here on my blog today have inspired you & brightened your day. You are currently visiting JOANNE CANTRELL. Please see the list below & hop through all of the people on the list to see all our projects. You don’t want to miss any!”

#IIBH if you’re into hashtags.

Until next time… keep it simple, Stampers!

🙂  Joanne

Everything is Coming Up Dasies

What a great sentiment, huh!?!

When is everything thing in you life traveling right on track, just like it should be?  Well, that’s kind of that situation I am in.  Sure, I am busy…  Sure there are a ton of things I could be doing – that I should be doing.  But, for the most part life is just humming along fine.

How are things going in your life?  No really, I care.  If you just want someone to talk to, you can always email me.. jlcantrell@toast.net.  I may not have been where you are… but I am here for you!

Well, that got deep quick.  It’s true though.  But, I am going to lighten things up a bit and show you some cards.  But, first… the back story!

So, I was alone at work at Yankee Candle one night.  I had brought my catalog with me because I knew I had an upcoming swap to plan for.  I was looking through the catalog and decided I wanted to use the Daisy bundle.  But, I didn’t know when the punch would be off back order, so I didn’t want to use the punch at all.  And, since I didn’t want to use all my pretty DSP (Designer Series Paper) up on one project, I decided to go simple.  Well, sometimes my ideas start out as simple but turn into something a little more elaborate.

I decided to take a page out of the Stampin’ Up book.  Literally, I did a little CASEing (Copy A Share Everything) of the catalog and combine a couple looks into one.  Here is the sketch I came up with.

But, then my mind started racing and I had to keep pulling it back in.  But, one of the things that Stampin’ Up does is teach us demonstrators about “Stepping Up” a card.  They make a card that is very simple.  Just a few parts.  Made to be done a new stamper.  Then, they recreate the card but add a little to it.  This is for the stamper who wants to do a little bit more but still a bit on the edge about getting too crazy.  Then, they give us a final card that fancy schmancy and may have a few more embellishments and techniques.  So, that was what I decided to do.

Here are the three versions of my card.

See how it gets a little more intricate with each one.

The one that I did for my swap is in the middle.  Because it is a group of fellow demonstrators, I could have done the last one, but since we are making other cards, I decided it would take too much time.

Proj Sheet – Thoughtful Daisies

And, since it’s been awhile since I gave you a project sheet… I did one for the middle card as well.  You can easily step it back by not stamping the leaves or adding the embellishments.

Oh – you want to get all fancy schmancy?  I used the solid leaf stamp.  I also embossed the daisies in clear and sponged Daffodil ink over them.  I kept the leaves masked so I didn’t turn them another color.

Have you ever done a stepping up card?  Share it below!

Until next time… keep it simple, Stampers!

🙂  Joanne