March 10, 2013

clean & simple sunday no. 73 + some news…

Happy Sunday everyone, and Happy “Spring Ahead” for those of you who set your clocks ahead one hour before you went to bed last night, for Daylight Savings Time. Spring is on it’s way even if it doesn’t feel like it today…

I wanted to use some green in today’s card… I feel like I need a little Spring, and to me, that wasabi ink screams spring and summer! I also wanted to try something super simple for today’s design, using my new Modern Zinnia stamp set…


I LOVE this stamp set. You will absolutely see it very soon in a “Featured Set” post. I have lots of ideas for this baby!

Anyway, I took a sheet of vanilla card stock and cut it in half on the short edge. I rounded the corners opposite the fold and stamped a solid zinnia in wasabi ink and then an outline zinnia of the same size (the larger ones) in heather ink. The “hello” is from the Just My Type stamp set and I stamped that in the Memento/Rich Cocoa. I added a strip of three tiny sparkle stickers to add a little bling.

I hope this card will inspire you to try something really simple in your stamping today!

A little news…

When I started this blog, I did so to have a place to share A Muse|Studio and to hopefully provide you with ideas and inspiration you could translate to your own stamping projects. I also have an Etsy Shop and wanted to have a place for my customers to come to get to know me as a stamp artist and to get to know my “craft” a little bit more if they wanted to…

This has worked out GREAT.

Over the last few months, I’ve been feeling a little bit stuck as far as my Etsy shop goes. I LOVE to make cards as you all well know, and I have had some relatively good sales on Etsy and I measure this by the fact that when I post things for sale, I usually MAKE a sale within a week of posting. Finding the time to post is tricky… I work full-time, I’m a wife, I’m a mom to a very active 11-y.o. boy, I do workshops for A Muse|Studio and work with the products to make samples (which I sometimes post in my Etsy Shop!), and I write this blog, which I really enjoy, plus I do a million other things in any given week, just like everybody else!

After a few months of wrestling with different ideas, talking with my husband, bouncing ideas off of friends, I’ve decided that I want to do more with my “Shop”.  I’ve decided to do some craft fairs this year. This is new for me. I’m excited but I have some anxiety too—will my cards sell? will people like my booth? will I make enough cards  (and other things) to bring with me? will I have TIME to make enough? Will I even be accepted into any of these fairs?  Well, I can answer that last one—I did get accepted, to a juried, artisan fair in Marlborough, CT on April 6th at the Congregational Church!

I’m completely thrilled, because I DO want to take my Shop this route, in addition to having my space on Etsy, I just want to talk with my customers, provide them with a card boutique experience and with any luck, sell more than 2 cards!

In an effort to make my business of THIS BLOG + MY ETSY SHOP more cohesive, I’ve rebranded Checkerberry Lane Studio.  My new business card fronts look like this:


The back contains the logo again, along with my contact info. I feel like they project just the image I want for my little card shop.  I designed these cards after selecting a new template for my blog which brings me to the news…

VERY SOON, I will be migrating to a new blog address —
In fact, the migration is currently taking place and should be finished early next week. I will then be loading in a new blog template (a pretty page design that coordinates with those business cards)  and as soon as the new blog is ready I will redirect all of you to the new version with some behind the scenes magic! If you get emails when I update my blog, you will be automatically redirected, you won’t have to do a thing! If you just pop in here occasionally to see what’s going on, you hopefully, will be automatically redirected as well, but I’m still working on how to make that happen…

I’m going to be a little busy with this transition the next week, maybe two, so it’s going to continue to be a little bit quiet on CheckerberryLane while we get through it.  Thanks so much for your patience!!  I can’t wait to share my new blog with you, my craft fair experience as well as more creative fun with A Muse|Studio.  I sincerely appreciate your support and your interest… thank you for reading!!

March 3, 2013

clean and simple sunday no. 72

The clean and simple card for today brings together a couple of strips of paper from my scrap bin, a row of tiny pearl stickers, a ribbon and a cute saying from one of the brand new stamp sets in the 2013 A|S catalog/idea book…Southern Sass


click on image to enlarge

I chose a sugar polka dot organdy ribbon, but a black, satin ribbon would have definitely given this card design more impact. I like the subtle texture that the organdy ribbon gives to the design so I went with it, but it always surprises me how a simple detail can change the whole look!  Even the rounded corner of the card base at the top makes the card look more interesting than if I’d just left it a point.

I challenge you to pull out a few strips of card stock from your scrap bin and a favorite sentiment stamp and have a little fun with this design!

March 1, 2013

2013 catalog now available!

The *brand new* 2013 A Muse|Studio Catalog & Idea Book is available!!  I’ve posted it in the right margin of my blog, under the green circle with the a|s inside—-but it’s a large file so it *might* take a few minutes to load…  while you’re waiting for it to show up so you can open it and save a copy, here is all the scoop on what’s new from A Muse|Studio for 2013…

Stamp Sets
1. 31 new stamps sets featuring a variety of art styles…

1. 3 new signature colors: Mermaid, Berry, & Apple.
2. 10 Petite Polka Dot colors: Added Papaya, Wasabi, Grapefruit, & Mermaid.
3. 10 Chevron colors: added Papaya, Mermaid, & Onyx.
4. All 10 colors featured in Petite Pinstripe!
*Grapefruit *Cherry
*Orange *Papaya
*Wasabi *Bermuda
*Mermaid *Navy
*Seattle *Onyx

1. Signature seasonal collections now have 12 colors per palette.
2. Venetian palette has been transitioned to the main seasonal palette
*Burano = Poppy
*Belini = Melon
*Lido = Saffron
*Rialto = Moss
*Titian = Mushroom
*New labels for ink pads will ship with ink orders as HQ transitions to the new color names. This will occur only with the remaining stock of inkpads to allow shrinkwrap to remain on these inkpads, which keeps the ink fresh.
3. 3 new signature ink colors: Mermaid, Berry, & Apple.

1. New Pennant Die in 2 sizes: Perfect for custom banners!
2. 11 stamp sets with matching dies.

1. Now in 15 colors: Added Bermuda, Pistachio, Lime, & Mermaid.

Washi Tape:
1. 3 new collections: Vintage, Tuxedo, & Keep Calm (which features one double wide roll!)

1. Baker’s cording in Navy/White.
2. Satin ribbon in Sugar.

New party supplies:
1. Paper straws now in 10 colors (these were the #1 wedding supply item in 2012).
2. Treat bags: Added 2 new styles in 6 colors and 2 sizes.
3. 2 styles of wooden spoons.

I hope you enjoy this wonderful stamping reference guide/ idea book / inspiration station! I hope you’ll contact me should you want to earn some of your WISH LIST for FREE by holding a workshop—what could be more fun than getting your crafty girlfriends together and sharing this beautiful catalog with them?!  (besides winning the lottery, I mean)… 🙂

I’m booking workshops for April & May in CT, MA & RI and would love to reserve a date for YOURS!  Email me at to set something up!

February 26, 2013

featured set: you’re too kind…

One of the perks of being an A Muse|Studio consultant is the opportunity to pre-order certain new stamp sets and supplies before the catalog is released to the public! I had the chance to order some of the new items while I was away in SC a few weeks ago and I was so excited when the box from A|S arrived on my doorstep last week!

You’re Too Kind was one of the sets available as a pre-order…  this set is very cute. It comes with a bird, a nest, an egg and several sweet card sentiments, all in a hand-sketched style with script, elegant fonts. This is also one of the 11 stamps sets that also has a coordinating die set to match. The dies are sold separately but I love that purchasing the dies is an option for so many of these new stamp sets.

I used this set to create a few items I want to share with you today, as a little sneak peek of the fun that awaits out of the brand new A|S catalog…


This first card is similar to one of the samples I saw at convention. I used washi tape, a strip of kraft card stock and both currant and french roast inks. The base card is blush, with a currant mat on the sugar panel. I used a few of the tiny pearl stickers to embellish.


This next card is just as clean and simple… I started with a base card of lichen and added a small doily to the card front. I cut a strip of vanilla card stock, rounded the corners with my corner-rounder punch and stamped a row of eggs in lichen ink. I then stamped the sentiment in french roast ink over top of the eggs. Finally, I cut a bird shape out of latte card stock and stamped the bird image directly on the shape in french roast ink. I tucked the bird behind the sentiment and glued the sentiment strip to the card with a few foam squares.


This last little “project” is a perfect example of how you can turn an ordinary lunch bag into some adorable gift packaging with a stamped tag and some ribbon!

To create the tags, I cut some pebble card stock into 2.5 x 3.5″ rectangles and rounded the two bottom corners. I stamped one of each of the main images from the You’re Too Kind stamp set onto each tag in french roast ink. I used the Labels 8 die set to cut three labels out of the smallest die shape to create a decorative “reinforcement” for the hole I punched using my 1/8″ hole punch in each of the tags. I threaded some french roast twine through the hole as the finishing touch.

For the gift bag, I just took an ordinary lunch bag, folded over the top edge about 1.5″ and punched two holes through the folded piece, side by side about a 1/2-inch apart in the center of the flap. I threaded some bermuda satin ribbon through the holes, both ends into the holes front to back, crossed them in the back and brought both tails through the front again to create the little “bow”, and trimmed the ends to match. I then wrapped the tag with the bird around the bow.  The tag gives the bag a decorative touch and it’s perfect for writing a little message + the recipient’s name!

Here it is without the other tags on it for a better look…


A cute, homespun way to package a gift in a pinch or to create a special touch on a gift bag of food, like cookies for a friend or a new neighbor!! These tags would really make any plain gift bag look special.

So, the *NEW* A|S catalog is just days away from it’s public debut on March 1st!  Check back here on Friday morning if you’d like to see/download an e-copy. The spotlight specials for March will also be posted but keep in mind that February specials are still available so get those great stamp sets on sale while you still can!  I’ve added a new tab to the top of my blog so accessing the sale flyer any time of the month is as easy as a “click”!  You can always shop A|S through my safe and secure webstore.

February 24, 2013

clean and simple sunday no. 71

So we are still trying to build up that stash of birthday cards this month and with that I bring you today’s clean & simple sunday card…


This design features images from the A|S Charming Gardeners stamp set, both leaf and flower. The sentiment comes from a brand new stamp set called You’re Too Kind, which is also being featured in a post later this week, so more to come on that one and a sneak peek you won’t want to miss!

The colors used in today’s card include cherry card stock, ink and ribbon as well as sage ink for the flower stems. I also used my Quickie Glue Pen and some glitter to dazzle up the flowers a bit and add some sparkle to the card.

Lots of white space on this card with just a pop of color, keeping true to the clean & simple design.

February 17, 2013

clean and simple sunday no.70

I received the Mar/Apr issue of PaperCrafts magazine this week. When the issue comes, I grab my sticky notes and a pen and start going through it. I look for overall card designs or design elements that I love, I look for color combinations that strike me, I look for great use of embellishments that spark my own creativity, making notes on the stickies to use the magazine as a way to fuel my own creativity…

With that, I bring you this week’s clean & simple card design. If you too, have the latest issue of PaperCrafts, you’ll see that my design for today was inspired by the “hogs & kisses” card on page 36.


For my card above,  I used some of the retiring gingham card stock in bubblegum. I also used the medium butterfly from the Butterflies Trio die set and some of the new grapefruit baker’s cord to embellish. The sentiment is from the Essential Sentiments stamp set.

This card would be very quick and easy to replicate using different patterned (or solid!) card stocks and different die shapes to cut out, like stars for boys, hearts for Valentine’s or anniversary cards… or for any holiday using the dies from the candy box dies set.

A clean and simple design to start your week and another idea for building on that birthday card stash!

February 14, 2013

a few words on color…

Some of you have wondered what will happen to the colors introduced just last year in the A Muse|Studio Venetian Color Palette… well I’m here to tell you that these colors are here to stay, in fact, A Muse|Studio has changed the names of these colors and incorporated them into their gorgeous seasonal color palette for the 2013 Catalog/Idea Book being released on March 1st. They have also added THREE NEW COLORS, bringing the total to 54 Signature Colors!

The {former} Venetian palette contained, Burano, Lido, Bellini, Rialto and Titian. Very Italian-sounding names to go with their home in the Venetian Color Palette. Now that they have been incorporated into the regular signature seasonal color line they have been renamed …

Burano = Poppy

Lido = Saffron

Bellini = Melon

Rialto = Moss

Titian = Mushroom

Same beautiful colors…only the names have changed.

The three *NEW* Colors being added are hues that fill a gap in the A|S color spectrum,; a gap that needed to be filled. The new colors are:

MERMAID:  A beautiful greenish-blue…

APPLE:  brighter, lighter and a bit warmer than cherry…

BERRY: A gorgeous, bright raspberry color

The A|S signature colors are more beautiful than ever with the incorporation and addition of these wonderful colors.

February 13, 2013

swap cards to inspire + a sneak peek

One of the most fun aspects of any “stamping conference” is the swapping of card ideas. Before most of the consultants left home for the conference last weekend, they put together batches of swap cards for trading with other consultants. This is a photo of my swaps being put together (on my lunch hour at work, in a spare, empty office) two days before I left…


After the conference (over the last couple of days), Chelsea Comer, a fellow A|S consultant and very talented stamp artist, put together a little slide presentation to share the swap cards that came out of this year’s conference… this little slide show also features the fun make & takes we put together which are sneak peeks out of the new catalog!  If you’d like a peek at some of the fun stamping stuff that comes out of an A Muse|Studio National Conference, take a look right HERE.

Today I’ll leave you with that… more fun to come this week, so stay tuned.

February 12, 2013

going, going, gone…

A Muse|Studio is about to launch a brand new catalog on March 1st, so to make room for the 31 new stamp sets we’ll be introducing, a few of the current catalog sets have to be retired…

The list of retiring sets and accessories can be found HERE.  The best part is that it’s also a clearance sale!

There is still plenty to choose from, but the following is a list of items already sold out:

Sold out product from the 2012 retiring list:

– enamel card frame vertical – white

– felt, slate (5-pack)

– felt – assorted pack (12 sheets)

– washi tape – spring collection

– a/s cardstock, petite polka dot grass

– a/s cardstock, petite polka dot assorted

– life is a song

– the scoop

– cushioned in comfort

– winter wood

– as die set – cloud duo

– snowflake trio die set

– grand calibur base and cutting plates

You don’t want to miss out on any of the remaining products at such an incredible discount so get them before they are completely gone!  Shop my webstore 24/7 or send me an email at and I will be happy to be of service in placing that order for you!

Here are a few samples of stamp art using some of the retiring stamp sets…













Just a few ideas for using these wonderful sets that are going, going, gone forever at the end of February.

February 11, 2013

clean & simple sunday no. 69

This Sunday I’m coming to you from beautiful, Charleston, SC!  I’m attending the 2013 A Muse|Studio National Conference and it has been such an exciting couple of days! I am very excited to share some of the wonderful A Muse Studio product information I received at this convention!


Charleston, SC is such a charming, welcoming city!  People are very friendly, helpful and very kind to tourists. The history is rich, the food is W O N D E R F U L, we even had a chance to try some native dishes such as shrimp & grits with fried green tomatoes…amazing and quite delicious!

So today’s clean & simple card is from the first night of convention, a make & take we created during the kick-off event…


This card features a base card made from the brand new petite pinstripe card stock in papaya. A very subtle print that offers amazing variety to the A|S patterned paper line. Its surprising how the subtle pattern (which I just realize is impossible to see in this photo–I’m so sorry!) adds such a nice detail but it’s very easy to stamp on top of; it does not detract from images stamped directly on top of it.  We folded the base card, stamped the greeting and then used a the corner of a square punch to create little chevron arrows out of different strips of colored card stock and glued them down on the card front with tape runner adhesive.  It was so fast and easy! This is a great card design to add to your sketch list so you can whip out a cute, quick birthday card whenever you need one.

I will have lots of samples of stamp art coming to you the rest of this week… tomorrow is a travel day for me but starting Tuesday I will be featuring new sneak peeks and A|S info every day — you won’t want to miss it!!