Thursday, December 31, 2009

Got My Creative Mojo Back!

Hello, my crafty friends!

You may not have realized (unless you're one of my Facebook friends) that I had lost my creative mojo. Well, thanks to a little (okay, A BIG) inspiration I found in a recent Papercrafts magazine I believe I have found my mojo! Take a look:

Not having any of the exact supplies that were used in the inspiration card, I had to get creative! I created the patterned paper using a stamp from the Circle Circus stamp set--isn't it amazingly similar to the inspiration paper? I was pretty impressed with myself for being able to eyeball stamp all of the circles! Nope, no stamp-a-ma-jig used here! To carry the tempting turquoise color throughout, I decided to color the centers of the circles.

As you can see, I decided to add some color on the butterflies too. The butterflies are 3 of the 5 diecuts that come from the Beautiful Wings Embosslit Die that is NEW in the Occasions Mini catalog (available on January 5!). They are cut out of whisper white card stock and then I used the embossed designs on the butterflies to add color to make them POP. I simply used a black stampin' write marker on the top and bottom butterflies. And I used a neat technique to add the pumpkin pie color to the middle one. Check out the close-up and you will see there's a shine to the spots on the butterfly along with the brad and centers of the circle stamps:

All I did, was add a drop of Pumpkin Pie re-inker to a bit of Crystal Effects, stirred it up and used the ball end of a straight pin to dot it on where I wanted it.

You may wonder why I created a mirror image of the inspiration card. Well, that happened out of a happy accident while I was putting the card together. I went to punch the corners of the various blocks before attaching them to the card front and, wouldn't you know, the very first corner I punched ended up being on the wrong corner! Thankfully it was an easy fix to flip the layout.

I'm excited to have my creative mojo back. There is another card I made this morning using more new products in the Occasions Mini that I will share with you next time. So be sure to check back soon!

Hope you'll be Happy Stampin' into a Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Pretty Packages... well, how about a decorated Tin?!

In thinking about what I should blog about next, I thought, Hey, I haven't shared the projects we made at my Pretty Packages class! Oh, and I have that tin that I decorated to put a gift in for my hubby. Well... somehow, I made 3 of each of the projects (9 total) for the class (one as a sample and one at each of the 2 classes as I demoed the steps)... but didn't manage to take a picture of any of them before I mailed them off with presents inside! Luckily, I did remember to take a picture of the tin. So here you go:
Here's a close-up angled picture so you can see the poinsettia. You may recall I used this same flower on a tag, but in case you missed it... it's made by layering several of the 5-Petal Flowers punched out, rotating each one slightly. For this one, I decided to use 3 old olive brads in the middle.

The belly band is simply wrapped around the tin loosely. That way, it will just slide off when my hubby opens it on Christmas morning.
I think I may have one of the boxes from my class around here somewhere. If I can find it and get a good picture of it, I'll share it with you.
Happy Stampin!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Friendly Birthday Gift

Last weekend, my kids and I had made plans to go out to eat with another deployed family. Our date had been set for a couple weeks. Through the magic of Facebook, I discovered that it would be my friend's birthday the day before our dinner date. Knowing how she must feel without her hubby on her birthday, I decided to make her a special gift. Here it is!

I took a simple junior legal pad and an RSVP pen and decorated them!

If these stamped images look new to you, YOU'RE RIGHT! THEY ARE NEW! The set is called Vintage Vogue and it is a sneak peek from the upcoming Occasions Mini! This set happens to be clear-mount... a new option coming in January! The stamps are still made of our high quality, deeply etched rubber & foam... the additional option of the clear-mount sets just come with a repositionable backing that can be used with clear blocks (instead of wood), making it easier to see where you're stamping! It also cuts down on the space it takes to store the stamps. These sets come in a DVD style case. Oh, and another key advantage... they cost less! I can't wait for you to see them up close and personal, once the new mini catalog goes live on January 5!

Here's a close up of the card:

The 5/8" satin ribbon is new too! It comes in 9 colors!

Of course, you can't give a pretty gift without pretty packaging...

The bag was repeatedly stamped with a single 1" x 2" (approx) flower & vine image to create a climbing vine. I rotated the stamp to give it a meandering "vine-y" feel.

I hope y'all are finding time to relax and enjoy yourself during the holiday season. Sorry I've been lax in posting lately. Now that my Christmas cards are signed, sealed & delivered and most of my crafting projects are done or I've sent an IOU and am very close to completing them... I promise I'll be back to post some more projects before Christmas.
Happy Stampin!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Lots to be Thankful for...

It's raining outside (with a rumbling of thunder in the distance)... a good day to snuggle up with a cup of coffee and listen to some holiday music... I'm thinking about doing that and then pulling out the stampin' supplies to get working on my Christmas cards. I've already stamped today... but that's not going to stop me! I had my Give Thanks Card Class this morning. Would you like to see the cards we made? Whether you do or not, here they are (cover your eyes if you don't want to see them): :)

This one may look familiar. I used the layout of another card I made for a class awhile back--changing up the colors and adding twine.

Supplies: Nature's Nest, Fundamental Phrases, Bermuda Bay Textured CS & ink, Soft Suede CS & ink, Naturals White CS, sponge, blender pen, tearing edge and dimensionals.

I dusted off a stamp set that I haven't used in awhile to make this card...
Supplies: Pick A Petal, Sincere Salutations, Basic Black CS & ink, Whisper White CS, Melon Mambo Ink, Crushed Curry Textured CS, grosgrain ribbon, piercing tool, mat pack & Hodgepodge Hardware (genuine brad).

Pick A Petal is such a fun and versatile set. If you have it, have you used it lately?

This last card is perfect for Thanksgiving! Gotta love the wheels!

Supplies: Best Wishes & More, Teeny Tiny Wishes, Bright Blessing Jumbo Wheel, Kraft CS, Always Artichoke CS & ink, More Mustard CS & ink, Ruby Rose CS & ink, jumbo handle & cartridge, Rich Regals & Earth Elements Brads, 1/16" hole punch and dimensionals.

So, with Thanksgiving less than a week away, I'll share some of the things that I am thankful for.

First and most importantly, I am thankful for my family (near and far). I wish we could all be together, but knowing we are together in spirit means the world to me. I pray for everyone to stay safe (especially my hubby who is in the Middle East) throughout the holidays. I am also thankful for my craft-abilities. I can't imagine my life without crafts--especially stampin' & knittin'! I have met so many wonderful people IRL and online because of my love of crafts. If you are reading this, I am thankful for you too--whether you are a customer, friend, fellow demonstrator, someone who just happened upon my blog... I want to say Thanks! Seeing my counter continue to raise lets me know you're out there and perhaps slightly interested in what I have to say and enjoy seeing my creations.

Well, I'm off to enjoy the gloomy weather in the comforts of my home (yup, thankful for that too!) ... stampin' and knittin' all the way!

Happy Thanksgiving!


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Holiday Tags Class Projects

Take a look at the tags we made at my Holiday Tags Class last week:

Here's a close up look at the different tags we made.

This first group of tags are not my original design. They were a make-n-take at Stampin' Up!'s Convention this year. The tags were cut out using the Two Tags Biz Die & Big Shot. The scallop circle punch coordinates perfectly with the scallops on one of the tags. That is one of the reasons why I LOVE using Stampin' Up!'s products--coordinating colors, shapes, images, etc. could not be easier!

Stamp Sets: Tree Trimmings & Sweet Seasons

Here's a super simple tag. We used the marker to stamp technique to highlight the poinsettia.

Stamp Set: Holiday Punch (Hostess Set)

This is another super simple tag that is stamped in White Craft Ink and heat embossed with Iridescent Ice Embossing Powder.

Stamp Sets: Snow Swirled & Holiday Punch

These next tags were a hit with the ladies who came to my classes.
They are made with 3" circles (cut out with the Circle Scissor Plus). The top of the ornaments are Round Tab Punches. The snowflakes are stamped in Frost White Shimmery Paint and some additional shimmery paint is sponged on around the edges.
And the final tag:
The poinsettia flower is made using three 5-Petal Flower punches (2 in Ruby Red & 1 in Old Olive). They are rotated slightly and then held together by a 5/16" Jumbo Brad.

Consider making your own holiday tags--even the most simple handmade tags will brighten any package. This would be a great project to use up some of your scraps leftover from other projects. Cut 2" x 2 1/2" pieces of card stock, punch the corners with the tag corner punch, decorate with your favorite stamped images and you have an instant tag!
The next class I have coming up is Give Thanks Card Class on November 20, 10am-noon. We can never have too many thank you cards in our greeting cards stash. If your stash is running low, give me a call and sign up for my class! Check the events calendar on my official Stampin' Up! website for my complete class schedule.
Happy Stampin!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Is it really November already???

Oh my! How time flies! Did y'all miss me? :) I did not intend on ignoring my blog for so long. I guess it's the same old excuse... life got away with me. I do have some projects to share with you. We made these at my Christmas Card Stamp-A-Stack class last week:

Stamp Sets: Pattern Pines (hostess) & Teeny Tiny Wishes
Accessories: Top Note Bigz Die, Big Shot, Modern Label Punch, 1/16" circle punch, Silver Encore Ink, Iridescent Ice Embossing Powder, Heat Tool & Silver Elastic Cord

Stamp Sets: Holiday Best (Hostess) & Baroque Motif
Accessories: Scallop Edge, Wide Oval, Scallop Oval & Double Rectangle Punches; Sanding Block; Sleigh Bells Ribbon (Holiday Mini); Texturz Plate; Big Shot & Stampin' Write Markers.

This last card was inspired by a make-n-take project we did at the Stampin' Up! Convention last summer.

Stamp Sets: Tree Trimmings & Sweet Season
Accessories: Silver Brad, Chocolate Chip 1/4" Grosgrain Ribbon & Merry Moments Designer Series Paper.

I didn't have the same ribbon we used for our make-n-take, so I changed it up for some Designer Series Paper and narrower ribbon. I also used a silver brad, instead of the rhinestone brad we used on the original project. These are simple changes you could make to any project you see in a magazine, the Idea Book & Catalog or online that you'd like to use as inspiration. The same goes with stamps. For the ornament card, you could easily use another style of ornament stamp. Or how about just punching a couple circles or ovals out of holiday colored papers to use as ornaments? You could also use real string or simply draw a string. The possibilities are endless!

Check out the holiday themed classes I have coming up at the events calendar on my Stampin' Up! website.

Happy Stampin!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Deals of the Week 3

Check out this week's deals!

1/2" Library Clips
Regular Price: $5.95
Sale Price: $3.99

Basic Jumbo Grommets
Regular Price: $6.95
Sale Price: $4.49

Circle Designer Brads
Regular Price: $5.95
Sale Price: $3.99

Mini Library Clips
Regular Price: $12.95
Sale Price: $8.99
Shop online through my website (click on SHOP NOW) or contact me directly... but don't wait! These awesome deals are only good through Sunday!
Happy Stampin!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Handcrafts + High Tech = Happy Birthday Boy!

My son, Nicholas turned 13 years old today. Thankfully he still enjoys receiving my handmade goodies... meaning, he doesn't think they're not cool... or sick... or whatever slang they use these days. Here are the party favors I made:
Stamp Set: Just Perfect Alphabet
Accessories: 1 3/4 Circle Punch, Crimper, Crop-A-Dile, brads (retired), large cello bags

and his birthday card...
Stamp Sets: Nature's Nest & Celebrate Everything
Accessories: 1 3/4" Circle Punch, 3/4" Circle Punch, 1/16" Circle Punch, Slit Punch, Designer Circle Brad, Large Polka Dot Texturz Plate, Big Shot, Clear Embossing Powder, Heat Tool, Versamark Marker & Basic Black Craft Ink
I was so excited that Stampin' Up! came out with a new turtle stamp in the 2009-10 catalog! Nick LOVES turtles! I didn't want to go with the traditional colors with this birthday turtle, so I decided to use some bright cheery colors. First, I stamped the turtle in black craft ink and heat embossed it with clear embossing powder. Then I colored him in with our Stampin' Write Markers and let him dry a little... I got impatient, so I dabbed off the excess ink before I used a Versamark marker to color over the entire turtle to be able to emboss him with more clear powder. Had I not dabbed off the excess color from the markers, I would have smeared my work of art. Then I cut him out and attached him to the card front with dimensionals.
Here's a closer look:

As I said before, Nick LOVES TURTLES! So when he requested that the laptop he gets for his birthday be different from the rest of our laptops (yes, we're a laptop family), I immediately thought...

What a fun day!
Happy Stampin!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Snazz Up Those School Photos!

I'm guessing many of you get those silly school photos of your kids and wonder if there's a way to actually make them look good. Well, I had some of those silly pictures of my sons to send to my hubby in Kuwait and had to do something to snazz them up. So I made this:

This is the front and I just stamped directly onto the blank coasters, as I would a card. The saying is from the Service & Sacrifice stamp set (115992), it's punched out with the Wide Oval Punch (112082) and layered with a curly label cut out from the Movers & Shapers Curly Label Die. The background is stamped with the Medallion Background Stamp(115223) and swirl from Baroque Motif (113490).

There are 3 coasters tied together with ribbon. The holes were punched out with the Crop-A-Dile (108362). To get them all lined up, I punched 2 holes on one coaster to start--using the movable edge guide to make them the same distance from the edge. Then I laid that over the other 2 coasters (one at a time) and punched. For the middle coaster I flipped the coaster over, lined it up with one of the other pre-punched coasters and punched again. The grosgrain ribbon is simply tied into knots to hold them together. I used the Tailor Made Simply Scrappin' Kit (114326) to decorate the inside.
The pictures are attached with clear corner photo tabs (from my stash) so that my hubby can remove them and put them in his wallet if he'd like.
This would make a great gift idea for grandparents. If you don't have a stack of blank coasters sitting around, you could use the On Board Book Basics Small (110712) or scrap cardboard cut to size with a craft knife. Don't forget! Christmas is coming and this would be a quick and easy gift! Go to my website or contact me directly to place an order for the supplies you need to get started!
Happy Stampin!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Deals of the Week 2


Flower Burst Stampin' Up! Embosslits Die (114515)
Regular Price: $11.95
Sale Price: $5.99

Perfect Setting Stampin' Up! Bigz XL Die (115961)
Regular Price: $42.95
Sale Price: $25.99

Three Tier Cake Pop-Up Bigz XL (116760)
Regular Price: $39.95
Sale Price: $25.49
Just so you know, the pictures are not scaled to size. The diecut flower burst measures about 1 3/4" and the overall length of the XL dies is 13-1/2".
If you'd like to take advantage of these awesome prices, goto my website and click on SHOP NOW or contact me today! Hurry, DON'T WAIT! These prices are only good through Sunday!
Happy Stampin!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

I'm Back... with my Sept Stamp-A-Stack Projects!

I can't believe it's been so long since I last posted here. It appears life has gotten away with me. I did warn y'all when my husband left on his deployment that things might be a bit crazy here.

Here are the projects we made at my last Stamp-A-Stack.

The first 2 are actually from the same supplies. My customers had the choice to make either or both of these cards. I also added an additional option (not pictured here) of inking the butterfly in Melon Mambo and then sponging it with Rich Razzleberry around the edges to create a 2-toned butterfly.

Stamp Sets: Simple Friendship & Sincere Salutations
Accessories: Razzleberry Lemonade DSP, Wide Oval Punch, Scallop Edge Punch, Piercing Tool, Sponge, Sanding Block, Big Shot & Perfect Details Texturz Plate.

This next card is perfect for Autumn...

Stamp Set: Best Wishes & More

Accessories: Card Stock Vellum, Versamark Ink Pad & Tearing Edge

This last card was a total CASE from a card I found in the Nov/Dec issue of Paper Crafts. While looking for inspiration for card ideas, I came across the card on page 76 and knew it would perfect for this class. Aside from changing out the colors & stamps, I did make a couple other alterations. Instead of attaching a plain rhinestones, I used Stampin' Up!'s rhinestone brads. I also decided to bring all of the colors together in the sentiment by inking each letter separately with markers.

Stamp Sets: All Holidays, Nursery Necessities, Itty Bitty Backgrounds & Circle Circus

Accessories: Rhinestone Brads, 1" Circle Punch, Small Star Punch, 1/16" Handheld Circle Punch, Corner Rounder Punch, In-Color Stampin' Write Marker Set & 8 1/2 x 11 Textured Card Stock

Something I have to point out about all of these cards, I did not use one inch of ribbon! I think that might be a first for me with my classes. Usually at least one, if not all of the cards have ribbon of some sort on them. I don't think any of these cards needed it...

I am hoping to get back into the routine of blogging on a more regular basis. I have a class coming up to make a really cool box out several Pillow Box Die cutouts that I found on Splitcoaststampers. I will be sharing my version of it with you soon!

Happy Stampin!

Monday, September 28, 2009

My Digital Studio Coming Soon!

It's coming October 1!

Click HERE if you can't automatically view video clip.

Host a workshop of at least $400 and get My Digital Studio for 50 percent off the retail price (retail price: $79.95; promotional price: $39.97) when you use your free hostess dollars! On top of that AND the regular hostess benefits, you will also get to choose any item (except for My Digital Studio) in the Holiday Mini for only $10! It's never been a better time to invite your friends and family over for some stampin' fun! Contact me today to learn more or to schedule a workshop between October 1 and November 30.

Happy Stampin!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Recycled Spots

I received a beautifully wrapped gift from a friend a couple weeks ago for my birthday. I wish I would have thought to take a picture of it before I ripped it open... but I didn't. The paper and ribbon were so gorgeous that I was inspired to use them to make my friend a thank you note!

I actually had enough of both to make 2 cards. How cool is that?! The stamp is from All Holidays and I used the marker to stamp technique to color the words in different colors. What a simple, yet eye-popping card!

So, if you think you don't have just the right patterned paper for a card, think outside the box and look through your rolls of wrapping paper! All I used for this card was a 3 7/8" square of wrapping paper, layering it with a 4" square of black cardstock, on a 4 1/4" square card. This is also an awesome idea to coordinate your gift card with your wrapped gift. There would be no need to hide your card inside an envelope... just punch a hole in the corner and tie it on with a pretty ribbon!

Scallop Square Punch Tip: In order to get the perfect scallops behind the saying, I punched 4 scallop squares and overlapped them to create just the right size.

Now, I challenge you to make a card using one of those little scraps of wrapping paper that are too pretty to throw away! I'd love to hear/see how your card turns out!

Happy Stampin!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Check Out My New Blog Header!

Check out my new blog header! It's the first from-scratch project using a mix of embellishments, papers, stamps, etc. that I've made with my new My Digital Studio software!

Happy Digital Stampin!

Holiday Mini Open House Make-n-Takes...

In case you missed my Holiday Mini Open House last week, I thought you'd like to see the make-n-take projects we made.

The first one uses the Gobble, Gobble stamp ($6.95/116535) from page 31 of the Mini, along with the Bright Blessings jumbo wheel ($8.50/115626).

My sample doesn't show it, but I also gave the make-n-takers an "advanced" step option to use on their cards. After inking the turkey in Crushed Curry and using a sponge dauber to add Always Artichoke around the edges of the feathers, they could then use another sponge dauber to add some Champagne Mist Shimmer Paint ($5.95/116806) over the entire image... then stamp. This made the turkey sparkle and shine! I will be showing other projects using this new Holiday Mini product in the near future.

We also made this bookmark with the Twick or Tweet stamp set ($18.95/116497) from the mini, along with the Medallion stamp ($17.95/115223):

The word background is one of the papers in the Night & Day Specialty Designer Paper pack ($11.95/116768). Something I didn't realize when I ordered this paper (even though it's listed right in the description in the mini) is that it also includes 2 pieces of black polka dotted window sheets! I'm going to do my best to not hoard these pieces and will hopefully be posting a project or 2 using them soon.
A tip I'd like to share with y'all about both of the mini stamp sets I used on these projects... The images all include sayings that are attached. Consider cutting the saying apart from the picture image and mount the words on the side/edge of the stamp. This gives you freedom to stamp just the image or just the saying much more easily. With the Gobble, Gobble stamp, it's like you're getting 2 stamps for the price of one!
Happy Stampin!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Things I love... (a special card for my hubby)

Before sending my hubby's first care package, I decided to make him a very special card. Here's the outside:

It is a tri-fold card with a belly band holding it together--hiding a "cheeky" message inside. Here's a peek (warning: you may want to cover your little one's eyes before scrolling down):

This panty card was an idea I found several years ago. Stored in the back of my mind, it seemed perfect to include in my hubby's first deployment care package. The Thing I Love stamp set was sort of an after thought to use. I didn't necessarily want to have the derriere out on the front of the card, just in case the package was inspected as it entered the conservative country of Kuwait. Needing something to decorate the outside of the card, that set seemed like a good choice...
I had what I think is a clever idea to alter the inside saying... Take a closer look:

I used the marker to stamp technique to first color the "but" in red and added an extra "t". Then I cleaned the stamp and inked the rest of the saying with a brown marker... and stamped. :)
Happy Stampin!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Challenge Successfully Completed!

Wow! Was I on a mission OR WHAT?! Not a bad day when I can stamp guilt-free for over 4 hours straight! What are my kids doing you might ask... well, they are teenagers and are actually happiest when I let them do whatever they want all day long. So my best guess is that their eyes are going buggy while playing on the computer. 8)

Okay, here are my final 2 completed projects. I'd like to share the thought process for the first one. Do you ever look through the Sunday ads or a catalog and see something that just strikes you... whether or not you'd actually wear it. Something about the color combination or the style just calls out to you. Well, when that happens to me, I cut it out and paste it into my inspiration journal. Today, I was actually opening my journal up to write out a list, but the book opened up to this page and it re-inspired me all over again!

So I pulled out the colors that best match (Garden Green, Tempting Turquoise, Gable Green, Chocolate Chip & Bermuda Bay) and came up with this:

Here's a better look:
Stamps: Fifth Avenue Floral, Simple Friendship
Accessories: Cardstock Vellum, Wide Oval Punch, 5/8" grosgrain ribbon, markers, Crop-A-Dile (to punch hole for bow)

What do you think? Yes, it involved a lot of masking (I cut out 2 flowers stamped on a post-it note and just moved them around as I stamped)... and coloring in. This is all done on cardstock vellum and layered over Gable Green cardstock. Pretty neat, huh?!

Here's actually the first card I made today (it may be hard to see, but it's very sparkly):
Stamps: Tree Trimmings, All Holidays
Accessories: Sleigh Bells Ribbon (Mini), Backgrounds 1 Texturz Plate, Big Shot, Horizontal Punch, Wide Oval Punch, Scallop Oval Punch, Iridescent Ice EP, Dimensionals

I used the dryer sheet technique. Ever since I received a swap card at Convention using this technique, I have been wanting to give it a try! In case you were wondering what the heck the dry sheet technique is, I'll share what I did to make this project. First, I stamped the ornaments on a piece of white cardstock and gave it some time to dry. Then I attached a piece of used dryer sheet over my pre-stamped cardstock with a simple glue stick. I sprinkled iridescent ice embossing powder over it and tapped of the excess. Then I carefully heat set it (with a little smoke and laundry fresh smell).
Now that I have done my Happy Stampin today, I'm going to go take a break... Thanks for the challenge, Ellie!