Category Archives: chit-chat

The Creative Blog Hop

Happy Monday morning to you!  I am usually not a morning person…or a Monday person…lol…but today is an exception.  🙂   I received a lovely e-mail from my friend, Cathy McCauley, a few weeks ago, asking me to participate in the Creative Blog Hop that is circulating around the net.  I am so very honored that Cathy nominated me as someone that she is inspired by!  Here is my dear friend Cathy…


Cathy is such a sweet lady whom I’ve had the pleasure of meeting a few times in real life.  I love the fact that she is very open with her faith and encouraging to others.  We work together on the Sweet ‘n Sassy design team and Cathy is a big help to Korin with her business.  Cathy also designs for Our Daily Bread.  Cathy loves Golden Retrievers, hence her blog name Golden Inkspirations.  She is known as cathymac on Splitcoaststampers where she is a Dirty Dozen Alumni and very active in the gallery and forums.  Cathy’s projects are very inspiring!  She tries new techniques and adds various details and stitching to her cards to create the most perfectly finished look.  You can read more about Cathy here in her blog post for the Creative Blog Hop.

Now it is my turn to answer the following four questions:

Question 1: What am I working on right now?

The past several months I have been working on projects for my daughter’s wedding (loving every minute of it!) and trying to keep up with design team work.  Now that the wedding is over, I will be focusing more time back on my design team work and some stamping “just for fun”.  With Halloween around the corner, I am participating in an ATC swap with some local friends in which I just finished 2 different Halloween ATCs with special cuts and folds.  I’ll share those in the upcoming weeks but here’s a sneak peek.

witch way ATC sneak diane zechman

I am also looking forward to designing some new stamp sets.  You can find my Sweet ‘n Sassy stamps here.

Question 2:  How does my work differ from others in it’s genre?

I really don’t think my work is “different” since I love to create in all types of styles…multi layers, CAS, trying various techniques…whatever I am in the mood for. When life gets busy (like the past year) I tend to go CAS (clean & simple).  I am looking forward to adding the layers back in now.  I am easily bored so I always love to change things up and learn something new.  I signed up for the Watercolor class online but haven’t had time to start yet so I am looking forward to dabbling in that!  I also love to push my brain a bit and create my own tutorials and templates.  I love creating 3-D projects as well as cards.

Question 3:  Why do I create what I do?

One reason why I create is to escape the everyday stress that life throws your way.  But I guess my creative mind goes way back.  I have been a “crafty” person for as long as I can remember.  I enjoyed various crafts as a child and young teen…including painting ceramics and making macramé plant holders.  Remember those?  🙂


I’ve always wished that I paid more attention to my grandmother when she tried to teach me to knit and crochet.  As a young mother I started sewing and even made tiny Barbie clothes.  Later on in life, as a wife, mother, and part-time worker outside of the home, stamping became the perfect fit for me and my busier life.  It allows me to create and see a finished product in a short amount of time.  It also allows me to share what I create with others.  I love knowing that my cards or small gifts have brightened someone’s day.  We can all use a little extra sunshine, don’t you think?

Question 4:  How does your creative process work?

Most times I am creating for my design team work so my projects start with those products…using stamps or dies by Sweet ‘n Sassy (love, love, love these) or using the Scor-Pal and Scor-Tape (awesome stuff!) to create 3-D or creatively scored projects.  I find inspiration everywhere and anywhere.  This card I recently shared was inspired by a blouse in a clothing store.  Occasionally I play along with some SCS challenges which are great for jump-starting your creativity.  I doodled this card for a challenge one time and later the drawing was turned into a stamp.  You can find that stamp set here. I also love trying new techniques or card shapes and folds.  I like using different styles of stamps but I tend to lean toward the cute/whimsical images that make me smile.  Lately I’ve had a little fun with the Art Impressions people.  You can see those cards here.  And when I am feeling tired or stressed…I just need to walk away because I know the creative process won’t work at all.  lol.

I have put off typing all that until the last minute…LOL.  I guess I was afraid I wouldn’t have anything to say!  Now for the easy part.  I have SO MANY friends that I have met or worked with in real life or on the internet that are SO very inspiring…I am blessed!  I could be here for days!

First, I want to give a shout out to someone who was nominated before but I want to mention anyway because she is so inspiring to me…Michele Boyer.


If you haven’t read her Creative Blog Hop post, please RUN and read it here.  Michele and I were on the SCS Dirty Dozen together way back in 2005.  We don’t have weekly or even monthly contact but the friendship remains.  I want to be Michele when I grow up.  She is funny, witty, and someone I hope to meet in real life someday.  Her cards are Eye Candy.  period.  I love her perfect choices of paper and fun layouts.  And I am envious of how she takes the extra step to finish off the insides of her card to match the outside.  I love doing this but rarely take the time.  Michele is also awesome with coloring…earning her a spot on the Copic team.  Michele. is. fabulous.

Now I want to nominate Cheryl Rowley.


Cheryl is just the sweetest, kindest person and I’m lucky to call her my friend.  Even though we live a few hours from each other, I have been fortunate to stamp with Cheryl a few times.  I wish/hope that I get to spend more time with her.  Cheryl has designed gorgeous cards for Magnolia-licious, Whipper Snapper, and Mo’s Digital Pencil to name a few.  She is currently designing for the “Just Us Girls” challenge blog.  Cheryl’s coloring is fabulous and her cards are very cheery and eye-catching!  (I am very lucky to have a few!)  Please visit her blog, Cottage Creations, to see her wonderful work!

Thanks so much to Cathy for nominating me as one who inspires her and be sure to check out Cheryl’s blog next Monday as she shares a little about herself!

Have a blessed day!

♥ Diane


Spring Fest 2012

I had an awesome time this weekend with 80+ stampin’ friends at the Spring Fest event in Buffalo, NY!  It is always so much fun to meet up with these ladies… some of them I only get to see this one time out of the year.  After months of planning, the weekend always flies by too quickly!  The only thing I’ve unpacked so far is my camera, so here’s a few photos of the day…

Lynn, Tracy (our leader), and Cheryl… ♥ these ladies!

Some attendees waiting to get started…this is about half of the tables.

Arlene and others hard at work…

Here’s just a few of the projects these talented ladies brought to share!

Fab table favors made by Beth (who seems to have escaped all my photos).  Perfect for our Wizard of Oz / Over the Rainbow theme!

A few of the wonderful doorprizes that were so generously donated!

A lucky recipient of some Crafters Companion goodies…

Tracy put together a candy bar with several of “Dorothy’s” baskets…

Time for a break!  Greg and the kitchen crew spoiled us with a great lunch!

Some ladies brought a dish to share and Laura Albertson made these CUTE-AS-CAN-BE olive penguins!  They were really yummy too!

Having fun, Lisa?

Our “LUCKY” winner, Pam, and Lou Ann…

MaryAnn looks like she’s having fun.  And could that be the elusive Beth in the kitchen?  I think so! 

Sherry Czarnecki was very “a·muse-ing”  ;0)

What a fun day!!!  After all of the clean-up, everyone shopped at the best stamp store ever…Buffalo Stamps & Stuff.  Then we went out for a yummy, relaxing dinner.  Here’s our annual shot before we say goodbye…a few left and missed the photo.  🙁   Cheryl, Lisa, me, Michele, Tracy, Jeannette. 

I’ll be back with photos of my projects soon.  Have a great week!

Promarker Ultra-fine Nibs

I recently received a few Ultra-fine Nibs that attach to the Promarkers and was asked to try them out.  I thought the best way to share this with you was to take a few pics so you can get a visual of what they are like.

Promarkers are often compared to Copics so I thought I’d include those as well, showing the thickness of the lines in each.

The top 2 markers are Copic Ciao and Copic Sketch…they have a brush tip and a chisel tip.  The Promarker (bottom) has a bullet tip and a chisel tip.  The Promarker bullet tip gives a slightly thinner line than the Copic brush.  The chisel tips are very comparable as well, but the Promarker chisel tip is slightly wider.  I like both products and honestly, it took a bit of practice to get used to a different tip.  But after a few tries, I really started to feel comfortable with the bullet tip and I like the “feel” of how the ink flows in the Promarker. 

Now as far as the Ultra-fine Nib, here’s a close up…

The Ultra-fine Nib definitely gives a thinner line!  It is very easy to use…just snap it on over the bullet tip and within seconds the ink is flowing.  Very cool idea!  I took one more pic so you can see how easy it is to color tiny spaces with the Ultra-fine Nibs…

My opinion?  Letraset came out with a great product and I give it two thumbs up!  :0)

Have a great night!

it’s even better!

Do you love your Scor-Pal as much as I do?  I use mine on every card!  And now Diana Crick, the creator of the Scor-Pal made it even better!

This new, improved version has:

*the pretty new blue color!

* 1/4″ grooves across the board!  YAY!!!  I ♥ this!

*1/8″ grooves in the first and last inch!

*highlighted and easier to read numbers!

*a reference point at 6″ on the bottom! (Sorry you can’t see it in this pic…I wanted to get a close-up of the numbers across the top)

*a magnatized area under the logo to hold little brads, etc. while you are working!

*and an asterisk at the 4 1/4″ mark!  This will be so handy for finding the right groove at a glance!

I hope I didn’t miss anything.  I am gonna love those 1/4″ grooves!  Personally, I am glad that it doesn’t have grooves every 1/8″ across the board like the “other” scoring board.  I tried one a few weeks ago and I found it very confusing and hard on my eyes to find the groove that I needed.  The scoring tool also kept wanting to jump the track I was in, but that may have been user error.  😉 

Keep your eyes peeled on the Scor-Pal website…they should have full inventory of these in a few weeks!  I received this one now because I am on the new Scor-Pal design team!  🙂  I can’t wait to play with it!  ♥

cards available for a donation

Please check out my new “Sale” page by clicking here or on the tab at the top of this page.  I am going to try putting a few of my cards up to help aid my friend, Michelle Oatman.



“Kickin’ It” For Michelle with a digi download!

Hello friends,

In our efforts to support our dear friend, Michelle Oatman, Tina Wenke and Stampavie have worked together to provide the *cutest* little donkey image as a digital download. 

Please visit the Stampavie DT blog to find out how you can download this sweet image.  In return, Stampavie simply asks that you donate $3 or more to Michelle’s PayPal fund.  Thanks for your support!




“Kickin’ It” for Michelle

smalldonkeys10.JPGDear friends,

We at Stampavie would very much appreciate if you would join us in supporting our US Representative, Design Team member and dear friend, Michelle Oatman.

On Wednesday evening, June 23, Michelle had an accident while tending her beloved donkeys which has left her blind in her right eye. She has shared the news of her accident in her blog post here ( Michelle is an amazing stamper and is eager to be able to start crafting again. But she also has a lot of healing that needs to occur and she needs our support.

We at Stampavie want to help her on her road to recovery. While we all would like nothing more than to support her in person, some things are just not possible. So besides sending cyber-hugs, we are asking for PayPal donations which will be sent directly to Michelle to help “kick” the mounting medical costs associated with her surgeries and also to help her obtain an artificial eye.

To show your support for Michelle, please, please log into your PayPal account and make your donation payment, no matter how small, to the account [email protected].

Tina Wenke is also kindly working on a digital download (of a donkey, of course!) so please check back here or on the Stampavie DT blog for more details on that. You’ll be able to download it directly from our DT blog, all we ask in return is that you donate $3 to Michelle’s PayPal fund.

Michelle is a very loving and caring person and we are all lucky to call her “friend”! Michelle says that she is lucky to be married to her best friend. Together, they are parents to their 2 Toy Australian Shepherds, a cat, and their Miniature Donkeys that they raise. The love she gives her animals comes right back, as they keep her busy, entertained and happy. Now, we hope that the love she sends out to the stamping community and beyond will come back as well! Thanks for your help!

*PLEASE copy and paste this to your blogs and help spread the word!

a special day…

…in more ways than 1! 

Today is the sneak preview of my new set, Special Day, at All That Scraps!  And if you scroll past my sample, I have a pic from a very special day this past weekend!  It was sooo much fun! 

My sneak preview card here was actually sneaked on Saturday, a little early, at the 3rd Annual WNY Spring Fest in Buffalo, NY.  This was my shoebox project for the ladies at my tables to make.  Tracy had the best idea this year to not only hold a shoebox swap in the morning, but in the afternoon as well.  With some careful planning, she managed to seat everyone so they didn’t get the same projects twice and we came away with double the fun!

I used two of the images in the set here along with two sentiments (one was on the inside and I forgot to get a pic). 


I love the ribbon woven through the punched border…that was a trick I saw on my friend Cheryl’s blog.  Thanks, Cheryl!

You can check out the other samples made with this set on the ATS blog.  And check back each day for new sneak peeks!

And here’s another pic from our special day on Saturday.  This was taken after the day’s big event was over and after clean-up, shopping at the fab Buffalo stamp store, and our dinner out at My Tomato Pie.  We were pretty tired but look how happy we are!  I actually lifted this pic from Tracy’s blog since my pics are still unpacked, but I figure since she copied it from my camera, it’s all good.  lol! 

This is only a few of the ladies who attended (there were almost 100 from NY, PA and Canada!) and I think each of us in this pic attended every year so far.


This is Melissa (Tracy’s SIL), Tracy (our fab hostess), Lisa, Michele, Cheryl, me, and Karen.  What fun ladies to spend the weekend with!  More of our friends were still inside eating…I wish I had taken more pics at the event.  sigh.  Tracy and I are wearing the cutest shirts she made for the helpers so they could easily be spotted for anyone who needed help.  She thinks of everything! 

card deets:

stamps- Special Day by Cookie Crumbs; paper- Pink P., white; ink- Memento Black; accessories- Spellbinders Fancy Tags and Labels 4, Copics, ribbon, pearls, Cuttlebug Love Language, Martha Stewart garden trellis punch.

yummy sneak peek

hc-ll-strawberry-fair-sneak-diane-zechman.jpgCheck out the 2nd sneak peek on the Stampavie DT blog!  I LOVE this bunny!!! 

Today Stuart posted one of my projects…a 6×6 recipe page. 

shhh….don’t tell him but I haven’t actually tried this recipe yet.  It was the only one I found that included strawberry jam.  LOL!  But it does sound yummy, doesn’t it?  he he.  Let me know how it is if you try it out!  ;0)

Valentine Critters

Sorry I am so late getting this post up! SCS is having an issue with their blogs and I am unable to post any photos.  :0(    I’m sure they will get it fixed soon, but in the meantime you can check out the previews for my new set, Valentine Critters on the ATS blog.  And while you are there, post a comment to enter for a chance to win it!  All of the sets will be available on Monday at All That Scraps .  I’ll be back later with a pic here and more info.  Have a good night!