Sunday, December 30, 2007


Greetings! I hope everyone had a SPLENDID Christmas! I sure did... but as always, it's good to be back in my stamp room.

I was playing around with a card tonight and in trying to decide which method I wanted to use to color in this cute little mouse, I thought I'd share with you some differences between several Stampin' Up! products. Here are 5 different methods to color in this image from the new Happy Heart Day set. I used the same colors on all examples - Ruby Red, Old Olive, Brocade Blue, and whichever Gray each method allowed. I have included my own personal description of the pros and cons below each image. I hope this gives you some insight on the many ways you can color your images!

1) Blender pen with ink pad lids

For this method, you take a Blender pen and dip it into a well of ink that you create inside the the lid of your ink pads by squishing the ink pad together while it's closed. If you need more ink (the squishing technique typically doesn't give enough ink for the lighter colors), you can squeeze a drop of ink from the re-inker bottle directly on the inside of the lid. Tip: You should always start coloring where you want it darkest, and then blend it out from there.
Pros: Quick method; creates a strong, vibrant look; easy to blend and make areas darker than others (the Olive shirt looks fabulous using this method!); not limited by colors because all 48 standard Stampin' Up! colors are available plus In Colors and neutrals
Cons: Not practical for larger areas as the Blender Pens only blend so far before needing to re-ink (I do not like the way the big heart turned out using this method... it was too big); if you color too long in one area (ie. to make an area darker) you will rub the cardstock raw

2) Watercolor Wonder Crayons with Aquapainter

For this method, you use an Aquapainter (which is a brush tip that stays wet using the water stored in the barrel) and touch it to the Crayons to ink up the brush.
Pros: Fairly quick method; this is by far the easiest method to blend; all 48 standard Stampin' Up! colors are available plus black, gray, white, ivory, and sand; creates a vibrant, but more loose look
Cons: A little more difficult to create dark areas (notice the Olive shirt is not as dark and vibrant); you have to be careful at how much water you use - too much water prevents the vibrant color from showing

3) Stampin' Pastels with QTips

The Stampin' Pastels come with several fine-tip applicators which I use for small areas (like the Brocade stripe and flower). For larger areas, I just use QTips.
Pros: All 48 standard Stampin' Up! colors are available plus black, white, and gray; you can use the eraser (included) to remove errors; very affordable at $24.95 for the whole set
Cons: Not practical for small areas; hard to blend; not as precise as other methods (ie. the color doesn't go all the way to the lines); typically a lighter look

4) Stampin' Write Markers

Self-explanatory method... I prefer the markers when I'm coloring very small, detailed images, like a bunch of flowers. This is not the method I would normally choose for an image such as this one!
Pros: Strong, vibrant color; all 48 standard Stampin' Up! colors are available; you can purchase the markers individually, in color families, or the whole set; markers have a brush tip and a fine tip, so it's easy to color larger areas as well as small, detailed areas
Cons: Cannot blend at all; not available in In Colors; not all neutrals are available (that's why the mouse is not colored - there's no gray!)

5) Watercolor Pencils with Blender Pen

For this method, you start by loosely coloring in the image with the pencil, and then use the Blender Pen to blend it all together.
Pros: Easy and fast to use; very affordable at $19.95 for 24 colors
Cons: Colors are not Stampin' Up! colors so you have to just pick the best one to match; hard to gauge how much to color because once you use the Blender Pen on it, you can't add more color

And there you go! Wanna know my personal favorite? I typically use either method 1 or 2... but I do reach for the other methods when the circumstances call for them. What about you?? Have I left anything out? Do you have a Pro or a Con that I should add to my lists? (it's late and I'm sure I've left a few things out!)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Merry & Bright Christmas

Here is one last Christmas card that I want to share with you...

I used one of my favorite color combinations - Soft Sky and Blue Bayou - with a touch of Real Red thrown in. The darling little snowman is from Merry & Bright (from the Holiday mini) inked with black StazOn, and the Merry Christmas sentiment is from All Holidays which I embossed using Real Red craft ink and clear powder. The gentle snowflake background is in Soft Sky ink on Naturals White cardstock. I colored the snowman's scarf & hat using my Real Red marker, and then I glittered up his hat with some Dazzling Diamonds! I also shaded his body using a blender pen with the Soft Sky ink pad. I layered the snowman with the circle and scallop punches and then also punched the scallops with the 1/16" handheld punch. Here is a closer view:

Some Real Red grosgrain ribbon, metallic silver cord and a little Merry & Bright tag finish it off. Inside, I tucked our photograph and letter underneath the red ribbon since it goes all the way around. It was a perfect place for it.

And I want to extend a special Thank You to Dianne for her wonderful Christmas gift to me... the fabulous Ott light that I used to take these pictures under! It is a BLISTERY day outside, and even if I could stand the cold, there's no way the card would stay in one spot with this wind! I could never get a decent photo inside... until now! I think this light did the trick and I'm so pleased to have an alternate location to photograph my cards - right on my work table.

Well everyone, have a simply glorious Merry & Bright holiday!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Origami Tree

Here's a really neat card to make... a 3D Christmas tree! It was inspired by this card on Splitcoast, and she has some basic instructions listed.

The tree presses down flat, so it can go into an envelope just fine. But when you pull it out... POOF! It pops out like this - here's a side view!

I made this one using the Wintergreen DSP, and I used a different pattern for each bough. But you could do this so many different ways and get all kinds of different looks. The boughs are just folded up squares... very simple to do (okay, so that smallest one was a little tricky!). I used Certainly Celery as the base card color, then a layer of Naturals White with Antique brads, and the tree is mounted on Always Artichoke with the corners punched with the ticket corner punch. The background snowflakes are from Merry & Bright, inked in Versamark. The base of the tree is just a scrap of Chocolate Chip and I inked the "Be Merry" stamp from Warm Words with the Chocolate Chip marker - I did each word separately so I could place them on top of each other. The star is from the Season of Joy set and it's stamped in Soft Sky ink with Dazzling Diamonds glitter (hard to see).

I have just one more Christmas card to show you before I "sign off" for the holidays... I will do that tomorrow, so stay tuned!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Forgotten Holy Triptych Card

First of all, be sure to keep your eye on the Retiring Accessories List... these items are only available through the end of December and many of them are already sold out! Remember, too, that you can still get that gorgeous satin ribbon from the Holiday mini catalog at Buy One Get One Free! It comes in Chocolate Chip and Pomegranate - 2 rolls for $9.96! Get your orders in while you still can!

Second of all... I GOT MY NEW CATALOG in the mail YESTERDAY!! I'm always SO excited to see all the great new stuff! And if you haven't already figured it out, one of the MANY benefits of being a Stampin' Up! demonstrator is that you get to see it all FIRST! They send each demonstrator a complimentary copy of each new catalog... So what do I think? Well, I'm VERY excited about the Level I Hostess Sets, that's for sure! They are easy to acquire (a $150 order does it), and they are so cute... and once you've acquired all of the Level I sets, you can start stocking up on their new Level I Designer Series Paper pack! This is just perfect for those of us who end up owning every Level I set there is... (and multiples of many of them). Now we have a consumable to choose! Aside from the Hostess items and many, many new stamp sets, I am also very excited about the new accessories... Sticky Letters that you can make glittery with new glitter colors, Felt flowers in a reusable tin, Rub Ons that can be used to embellish glass and other hard-to-stamp surfaces... just wait, you're in for a treat! If you would like to reserve your copy of the new catalog, please just let me know! Mine have been ordered and should arrive in time for the New Year.

Okay... now for that Forgotten Holy Triptych card. I should've shown this a while back, but for some unknown reason, it never made it! I know this set is currently unavailable, but perhaps you were lucky (or smart!) enough to grab it up before it went into hiding... and you never know, maybe it will make another appearance in mid-2008! In any case, this was one of the cards we made at an earlier Christmas Stamp-a-Stack workshop.

The star and the sentiment both came from Star-Studded Season, also in this past Winter mini catalog. I have a thing right now for Blue Bayou and Soft Sky... I find that I use it a lot. Paired up with the white taffeta ribbon and gold embossing powder and brads... it makes a stunning mix.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmas Iris Folding

I wasn't too crazy about these two cards, but every time someone sees them, they just oooh and aaaah, so I thought it only fair that I display them for the world. This is a technique called Iris Folding. This is a very basic design - probably the simplest Iris folding design out there! It's a fun way to use up scraps of your Designer Series Paper (DSP).

The one above uses scraps from Dashing DSP along with Real Red and Old Olive cardstock, and the one below uses scraps from Wintergreen DSP along with Sage Shadow and Always Artichoke cardstock.

Maybe after the hustle and bustle of the holidays is over, I can create a tutorial showing you how to do this. The funnest part is that you don't really know what it's going to look like until you are finished and turn it over... sometimes it can take your breath away!! But as I mentioned, these particular cards didn't exactly have that effect on me. :o)

Sunday, December 16, 2007

More Gift Boxes

It's almost time to give the teachers their Christmas gifts, so I made these three boxes for them using the beautiful Dashing double-sided Designer Series paper. (See my other examples in this post.) I made these a bit different in that I placed the rhinestone brads on the OUTSIDE of the box. It wasn't that hard - you just have to use a sharpie marker to make a dot where it needs to go, and then pierce the box with a paper piercing tool. The "Very Merry" tag is even on the outside of the top box!

Inside, I placed a gift card along with some mints. I will probably get some different mints as these are too big, but I took the photos with these so you could get the full effect. Also, I left one of the gift cards out in this photo so you could see the vellum pocket better.

I know teachers love practical gifts, and a gift card certainly fits that bill... but to hand them just a gift card is no fun! These are so much cuter, don't you think?

These would also be great throughout the year for birthdays and other special occasions, but you'd better stock up on the boxes now, as they are on the Retiring Accessories list! (See this post for the list, which I continue to update with the items that are sold out already.) You get 4 of these extra small size Stamp & Supply boxes for just $5.25. Hurry up and grab some before they're gone! Order through me and I'll send you the dimensions to make these boxes... they are not hard to make at all. I will be out of town from the 23rd through the end of the year, so if you need to place an order, please have it to me by the 22nd.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Keeping Score

I'm taking a chance that the person this is intended for won't happen to peek at my blog in the next few days... and if you do, Angela, well then SURPRISE!! This is what will be arriving in the mail shortly!

My dear friend, Angela, in Utah (see this post if you don't remember her) and I always play cards when we're together. So I thought a neat gift would be a scorepad with a deck of matching cards. I found this cute spiral notebook with an attached pen at Target and I just dressed it up a bit! I created a new front panel using Kraft cardstock and the gorgeous Baroque Motifs swirl in black Craft ink with clear embossing powder. I used ModPodge to glue it securely to the front, and then sanded the edges for a smooth look. I added the black scallop (punched with the corner rounder, guide removed) at the top, some black grosgrain ribbon, and some other ribbons for pizzaz. The pink section at the top of the notebook is how it came, and the closest color it matched is Purely Pomegranate, which is why I used a scrap of the Purely Pomegranate double stitched ribbon. Then I stamped the word SCORE using my rough edges alphabet, embossed it, matted it, and attached it so she'd be sure to know what this is for... as if that perfectly matched deck of cards wouldn't tell her!

This was a fun gift to make! I can't wait until Angela and I can play cards again... she's fun to beat because she's so competitive!! (I don't beat her too often, that's why I get to make a big deal out of it when I do!)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Winter Anniversaries

First - real quick... I am continuing to update the retiring accessories list in my prior post to show items in red that are no longer available. I will keep doing that throughout the month.

Do you have anniversaries to celebrate in December? I have two special ones that I needed to make cards for. Here's what I came up with - and you'll have to forgive the photographs this time... we're having such dreary weather and I couldn't get good lighting (oh, if Santa would only bring me one of those little indoor photo studios... *sigh*)

The swirlies in the background are really much lighter in real life. Here's another one with a different color scheme:

This is the first time I actually used my Pretties kit, and I was thrilled with the way it dressed up the otherwise simple cards! Only problem is that I'm not sure how they'll fare through the mail... but I'm going to give it a try. The first card has a Naturals Ivory base color, with River Rock, Le Jardin DSP, and Bashful Blue Taffeta ribbon. The second card has a base color of River Rock (that beautiful color that is virtually IMPOSSIBLE to photograph well!), with Chocolate Chip, Brocade Background DSP, and Chocolate Chip Taffeta ribbon. That Chocolate ribbon is really interesting... it has a kind of sheen to it that makes it shimmer. The stamps for both cards are from Carte Postale and Hugs & Wishes. I paper pierced the bottom edge for added interest using my Mat pack and paper piercing tool from the Crafters' Tool Kit.

These were both very simple to make, and very fast! Just right for this busy time of year!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Retiring Accessories

Here it is... the list of accessories that will retire at the end of this month. Order now before supplies are depleted! Items marked in RED are already gone.

109198 Accents & Elements Borders & Blossoms
109199 Accents & Elements Little Reminders 2
109197 Accents & Elements Tagged
100700 Album Leather Post Black 8-1/2x11
105385 Album Linen Post Mellow Moss 8-1/2x11
104520 Album Linen Post Natural 8-1/2x11
104517 Album Linen Post Navy 8-1/2x11
105382 Album Linen Post Real Red 8-1/2x11

105392 Album Linen Ring Mellow Moss 8-1/2x11
104510 Album Linen Ring Natural 8-1/2x11
104513 Album Linen Ring Navy 8-1/2x11

105388 Album Linen Ring Real Red 8-1/2x11
105067 Boxes & Tags Pockets & Pieces Assortment I
105068 Boxes & Tags Pockets & Pieces Assortment II
108798 Boxes & Tags Tiny Takeout Confetti White
107246 Boxes & Tags Tiny Takeout Kraft
105747 Boxes Stamp & Supply Extra Large
105748 Boxes Stamp & Supply Extra Large Divided
105744 Boxes Stamp & Supply Extra Small
105749 Boxes Stamp & Supply Jumbo
105734 Boxes Stamp & Supply Large
105746 Boxes Stamp & Supply Medium
105745 Boxes Stamp & Supply Small
101052 Brayer Attachment Foam
107293 Cards & Envelopes Greeting Very Vanilla Medium
109149 Designer Series Paper Brocade Background
109161 Designer Series Paper Cerise
109162 Designer Series Paper Charbon
109155 Designer Series Paper Creepy Crawley
109152 Designer Series Paper Darling Doodles
109150 Designer Series Paper Dashing
108503 Designer Series Paper Petals & Paisleys
109156 Designer Series Paper Linen Prints
109147 Designer Series Paper Notations No. 2
109148 Designer Series Paper Outlaw
109158 Designer Series Paper Uptown
109157 Designer Series Paper Wintergreen
107285 Envelopes Open End Very Vanilla Large
107284 Envelopes Open End Whisper White Large
107296 Envelopes Shimmery White Medium
107287 Envelopes Square Vellum Large
107310 Envelopes Square Very Vanilla Mini
107294 Envelopes Vellum Medium
107290 Envelopes Very Vanilla Large

107291 Envelopes Whisper White Large
101016 Eyelet Tool Kit
105317 Eyelets Bold Brights II

105379 Eyelets Silver
105315 Eyelets Soft Subtles II
107282 Fancy Fibers Bella
107283 Fancy Fibers Elizabeth
103352 Stampin' Glitter Romantic Red
103349 Stampin' Glitter Silver Shine
106650 Greeting Glue
102620 Liquid Glue
103145 Page Protectors Post 8-1/2x11

104523 Page Protectors Ring 8-1/2x11
103598 Paper Vellum 12x12
105543 Pastel Refills Bold Brights
105544 Pastel Refills Earth Elements

105547 Pastel Refills Neutrals
105545 Pastel Refills Rich Regals
105546 Pastel Refills Soft Subtles

105962 Perfect Layers Tool
104184 Post Extenders
106522 Punch Spring Bouquet Flower
109722 Simply Scrappin' Creative License Hostess Level 1
109611 Simply Scrappin' Happy Me Hostess Level 3
109596 Simply Scrappin' Out & About
109626 Simply Scrappin' Primary Colors
109649 Simply Scrappin' Round Up
109635 Simply Scrappin' Secret Garden
109663 Simply Scrappin' Winter Bright
107415 Simply Sent Friendship Shapes
109230 Simply Sent Happy Day
105580 Spectrum Pad Blue Frost
101492 Spectrum Pad Celebration
105579 Spectrum Pad Cotton Candy

101336 Spectrum Pad Pumpkin Patch
100000 Spectrum Pad Un-inked
103953 Stamp-a-ma-jig Imaging Sheets Refill
104432 Stampin' Around Cartridge & Ink Refill Clear Embossing

101460 Stampin' Around Cartridge & Ink Refill Whisper White
102391 Stampin' Around Ink Refill Clear Embossing
103017 Stampin' Around Ink Refill Whisper White
103151 Stampin' Emboss Powder Hologram Highlights
105677 Stampin' Kids Pad Bear Brown
105676 Stampin' Kids Pad Beetle Black
105675 Stampin' Kids Pad Boxcar Blue

105674 Stampin' Kids Pad Gumball Green
105673 Stampin' Kids Pad Poppin' Purple
105672 Stampin' Kids Pad Princess Pink
105671 Stampin' Kids Pad Robin Red
105670 Stampin' Kids Pad Yahoo Yellow

103174 Stampin' Pastel Applicators
100852 Stampin' Pastel Erasers
100081 Stampin' Write Marker Going Gray
100945 StazOn Ink Refill Timber Brown
103088 StazOn Pad Timber Brown
107235 Tag Sheets Bold Brights
107239 Tag Sheets Confetti White & Kraft
107236 Tag Sheets Earth Elements
107240 Tag Sheets Kraft
107237 Tag Sheets Rich Regals
107238 Tag Sheets Soft Subtles
100894 Watercolor Brush Flat
101551 Watercolor Brush Medium
101331 Watercolor Brush Small
105395 Wire Works Metallic
105652 Wrapping Paper Whisper White

Retiring Wheels:
100360 Acorns
109812 All about Birthdays*
109690 All about Christmas*
109812 All about Gratitude*

109676 Autumn Dots
104070 Bloomin'
107466 Bodacious*
105750 Bouquet*
107481 Butterflies & Blossoms
104065 Fishy
100267 Happy Jacks
107563 Ho Ho Ho
104312 Hot to Dot
104279 Leaf Prints
106062 Leaves Awash*
107479 Rough around the Edges*
101927 Snowman Fun

107465 Speckled*
105521 Spooky Skyline*
108979 Spotted*
107480 True Hearts
105033 Wings & Things
* Jumbo Stampin' Around Wheels

More Decorative Coasters

We had the first Coaster Class last week and it was a smashing success!! We churned out 120 tiles (or 30 sets)... and they all looked so beautiful! Here are a couple more of my samples that were popular:

I do have another Coaster Class on the 15th, but because it's also full, I'm going to open up one last date... Tuesday, December 18th at 7pm. If you want to sign up, please do so quickly!! And let me know how many sets you'd like to reserve. The cost is only $7.50 per set (4 tiles). They are super fun (and EASY) to make! Skip the shopping... who wouldn't love a homemade gift like this?

I also want to give a plug for my dear friend, Marelle... she's been working her little tail off giving us the 12 Cards of Christmas, and let me tell you, they're fantastic!! I don't know how she has time to do all of this right now, but please go take a look and you'll find a plethora of beautiful Christmas card ideas! Love ya, Marelle!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Christmas Thanks

Some of our wonderful neighbors came by the other night singing "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" and handed us a yummy homemade spice cake! Don't ya just love the holiday season? To thank them, I whipped up this card:

This is just like some others I made a while back in different colors, but I don't think I ever got them on this blog. In any case, it's using the All About U stamp set and to make it Christmassy, I chose the colors to coordinate with the Dashing double sided Designer Series paper (Old Olive, Real Red, River Rock, and Very Vanilla). The little snowflake in the background came from the Perfect Presentation hostess set and was done in Versamark ink. I paper pierced the bottom edge for more interest. There's nothing fancy here... just a simple card that's easy to duplicate for all the thanks we're bound to be giving out this season!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Out With the Old...

December 1st brings with it the list of Retiring Stampin' Up! stamp sets. The bad news is that everything on this list is going away FOREVER. The good news is that January 1st brings not only a new year, but a NEW Stampin' Up! CATALOG too! If you would like to purchase any of these retiring items before they are gone forever, let me know before the end of this month.

Here's another Christmas card for you, and it just so happens that these jovial snowmen are on the list of retiring sets.

This set is called Flaky Friends and it's due to retire in one month. I always have a lot of fun coloring them. This time, I used only two colors on them: Real Red and Old Olive. The base cardstock is Naturals White with Old Olive on top. The snowflakes in the background are stamped with Versamark, and the "Happy Holidays" is embossed in Basic Black craft ink with clear embossing powder. To give it some balance, I added some Real Red grosgrain ribbon and a Real Red photo corner.

Have a happy day!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

'Tis the Season for Parties!

I was playing around with my new "Merry & Bright" stamp set the other night, trying to come up with a Christmas card to use myself... and this little snowman told me that he wanted to have a party! So instead of a Christmas card, I ended up with this cute little Christmas party invitation:

This is a super simple pocket card, and would be adorable if you're planning on having a little holiday party in the next few weeks. Here's what the slide out looks like:

I used Naturals White, Brocade Blue, & Real Red here. The snowflakes in the background are stamped with Brocade ink, as is the "You're invited" sentiment. The little snowman is stamped in black StazOn and then colored using a blender pen and the ink pad lids. Plus, I used a 2 Way Glue pen on the rim and ball of the hat and then sprinkled some glitter on it to give him some sparkle - unfortunately that's not very visible in the photo cuz it's just so cute! He fits perfectly in the 1 1/4" circle punch, and can then be layered onto the 1 3/8" circle and finally the scallop punch. I also used the 1/16" handheld circle punch to make the little holes around the scalloped edge - I think it adds so much character like that. The Merry & Bright tag was made with the word window punch and then just stuck behind the scallop. The Real Red scalloped edge was made with the slit punch (kind of opposite of the way you scallop with a corner rounder punch) and then tucked under that 1" lip. Silver brads go all the way through to hold that lip down and create the pocket. Then another silver brad holds the ribbon (Brocade grosgrain used here) on to the slide out. The "time, place, date, rsvp" and "You're invited" stamps came from Hugs & Wishes. You can either stamp that and then hand write the information, or, if you're inviting a lot of people, keep it simple and print it all out on the computer, cut it to size, and stick it on the slide out!

Thanks for looking - hope you're getting geared up for the season!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Very Merry Snowmen

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday (and for those of you in Australia who visit me, I hope you had a wonderful week). I had one more Fall card to show you, but I sent it to my friend and fellow stamper, Nancy Morgan... so you'll have to visit her to see it!

So we're on to winter cards now, full of Christmas cheer! Here is a fun card I made using my Flaky Friends stamp set. I got to use a lot of cool hardware - including those jumbo eyelets! And how can you set one of those puppies without the amazing Crop-A-Dile? It just isn't done, my friend, any other way!

I think the reason I like this card so much is because of the soft watercoloring. Have I told you before how much fun it is to watercolor? It's super easy, too, if you have the right tools. And speaking of tools, I will take this opportunity to mention that I am starting a Watercolor Wonder Club in January! This is a four month commitment where you will receive all four color families of the Watercolor Wonder Crayons, PLUS ALL the tools you need to use them! In addition, you will receive a total of THREE stamp sets that are great for watercoloring, including one Hostess set. We will even meet at my home for some training so I can show you how to use all this great stuff! The cost is $54 each month, which includes the products, shipping, tax, and the training. If you would like to hear more about this club, including a list of all the supplies you will receive, let me know - and you don't have to be local to do this. I can ship anywhere, and I will have a detailed tutorial with photos and written instructions that I can send you in lieu of the training class. Fun! Fun! Fun! Give yourself a gift this Christmas and see for yourself how much fun it is to watercolor!

Card Recipe:
Cardstock: Mellow Moss, Always Artichoke, Rose Red, Naturals White
Ink: Black StazOn, Always Artichoke Craft & Classic, Versamark
Stamps: Flaky Friends, Short & Sweet
Accessories: Jumbo Eyelets, Crop-a-Dile, Hodgepodge Hardware, Photo Corners punch, Tag Corner punch, Watercolor Wonder Crayons, Aquapainter, Burgundy Grosgrain ribbon, Clear Embossing powder

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Christmas Box

Before I head off to spend Thanksgiving with my family, I wanted to share another Christmas project with you. This is the same wooden box that I used for the turkey (see this post), only I decorated it for Christmas this time. Remember that I found these boxes at Michael's for only $1.00 each.

And it looks real nice with a clear bag full of peppermints in it!

I used that wonderful Wintergreen double-sided Designer Series paper again (can you tell it's my favorite paper right now?!) along with a Level 2 Hostess set called Perfect Presentation. The star is from the On Board Accents chipboard pack, inked up with Whisper White craft ink. You can also see a hint of the gold elastic cord - that stuff is great! It ties so well and adds just the right amount of sparkle. If you need extra sparkle this Christmas, don't forget to order your elastic cord in either silver or gold (or both!) before November 30th!!

By the way, since I only had one comment left on my Thanksgiving challenge, I skipped the random selection and am sending the talented Nancy Morgan a beautiful card that I haven't shown anyone yet! I hope she likes it.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!

Monday, November 19, 2007

More Christmas Gift Ideas!

Got another one for you! I got this idea from another talented fellow stamper by the name of Michelle Tate. (I'd link her name, but she doesn't have a blog currently.)

These are made with Stamp & Supply boxes - the plastic boxes that hold our stamp sets. You may not have known that Stampin' Up! sells them empty too! This project uses the extra small size and then some gorgeous double sided Designer Series paper (DON'T FORGET, it's "buy 3 packs get one FREE" this month!! Don't let time run out on you!) Here's a picture of one of the boxes open:

Inside, you can place candy (or other small objects), and the lid has a pocket that you can slip a gift card into! How perfect is that?! What about putting a pair of earrings or a necklace inside for a little girl, or a hotwheel car for a boy, along with a gift card to their favorite store? Here are some other photos:

I do need to mention that one of these boxes is shown with a print of paper not currently available - I didn't realize it until I was almost done. The Christmas box uses the current Wintergreen paper, while the birthday box uses the Enchante paper from last year's winter mini catalog. It's almost the same patterns as the current Le Jardin paper, but in different colors. In a nutshell, almost ANY paper would look lovely on this project.

I know we all tend to give at least a couple gift cards away during the holidays (this is a great idea for teachers!)... So guess what?! I'm going to have another class! On December 15th, at 1:00pm, we will be making these boxes. The class fee of $10 includes the use of my stamp sets and punches, embellishments such as ribbons and brads, TWO stamp & supply boxes, and two sheets of double-sided Designer Series paper (more than enough for two boxes). I will have several patterns of paper available to choose from - be on time for the best selection! If you wish to purchase additional boxes to make during class, they will be available at $2.00 each.

Contact me right away to sign up! Please reserve your seat by December 5th, and if you have an idea of how many boxes you'd like to make, that would be helpful for me to know for ordering purposes. Remember that the $10 fee includes the supplies to make TWO boxes.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Christmas Gifts... the fun & easy way!

Great news! I have the perfect Christmas gift for everyone on your list! Take a look at this:

It's a decorative coaster made out of tile! These are so much fun to make - and they're super easy too! What a statement they make... even more so when your loved ones learn that you made them yourself!!

So here's the details: Instead of the originally scheduled Stamp-a-Stack on December 6th, we're going to do this instead. We'll gather at my home in Allen that evening starting at 7pm and we'll crank out as many as you need! Then you'll get to sit back and relax while everyone ELSE is frantically searching for those last minute gifts! The cost for this class is on a per set basis... A set of 4 coasters costs only $7.50. You can make as many sets as you'd like, but you'll need to let me know by December 2nd how many sets you'd like to reserve. All supplies are included. I will have the one pictured above, along with a few others, to serve as examples, or you can get creative and design your own. There will be several stamp sets and different colors for you to choose from.

Drop me a note to say you'll come join us! ...and don't delay, because this class is filling up FAST!

Simple Thanksgiving

Here is a card that the girls made at our last Girls Club workshop. It's another version of the brayered card I made before, but this one is simple and quick!

The colors are More Mustard, Ruby Red, Naturals Ivory, and Chocolate Chip. The base card is randomly stamped with a leaf from Autum Fest inked in Versamark. The tree comes from A Tree for All Seasons, stamped in Black StazOn (could use Basic Black classic ink if you want) and colored with the Stampin' Write markers. The sentiment comes from Holidays & Wishes, stamped in Chocolate Chip. I added some Chocolate Chip grosgrain ribbon (this particular size is retired, but I had some left) and I finished it off with three Ruby Red brads for balance.

How are you coming along on your Random Thanksgiving Card?? (see prior post)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Thanksgiving Challenge

Ready for a challenge?! I hope you are all working on a few Thanksgiving cards... sending a homemade card is a perfect way to let someone know you are thinking of them this Thanksgiving. I have a platter on my counter that says "Don't count your blessings, Share them." I challenge you to send a card to someone you don't normally send cards to. Let them know you are thankful for their friendship this year. When you've done this, leave a comment on this post and let's see how many blessings get shared this year that otherwise wouldn't have! On Tuesday, November 20th, I will choose a random comment from this post and that will be the person I send my card to!

To get you in the mood, here's another Thanksgiving card that's fun to do:

The focal point, of course, is the multi-color background behind the tree. It's done with glossy paper, the Pumpkin Patch Spectrum pad, and a brayer. You simply ink up the brayer over the spectrum pad - I leave the pads separated so I don't mix the colors on the brayer or on the pad - and then roll it over your piece of glossy cardstock. The ink stays wet long enough to be blended in as you continue to brayer over it. You need to move the brayer slightly to the right and left so you get the colors to fade into each other. Just beautiful! I then stamped a tree from A Tree For All Seasons using StazOn ink, mounted it on Naturals Ivory and then Chocolate Chip. I finished it off with a couple of Old Olive brads to balance it out.

The card base is More Mustard with a leaf from Autumn Fest inked in Versamark and rocked in More Mustard (you've seen me use this technique before here, here, and here. I love the look this gives). The sentiment is from Holidays & Wishes, stamped with Old Olive ink on a piece of Naturals Ivory with the corners punched using the Ticket Corner punch. I inked up the edges to give it just a hint of an outline. I used the Horizontal Slot punch so I could slide the 5/8" Chocolate Chip grosgrain ribbon through and tie.

Have FUN with this... I guarantee your cards ALWAYS turn out better when you're having fun!

Monday, November 12, 2007

What? Another Tutorial?

Yeah, I'm on a roll... 'course, the house is a mess and the laundry is piling up, but I wanted to get this one out there since it would be great for Thanksgiving!

The girls made the boxes (see this post) on Sunday and did a great job! So now it's YOUR turn! You can view my newest tutorial here. Remember to show some love by making a small donation... otherwise I'll have to fire the maid. ONLY JOKING!! (I wear ALL the hats in this house... maid, cook, mom, wife, taxi, and card creator. And not necessarily in that order!)

Have fun!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Snowflakes Spin, Don't They?

...if that title doesn't make sense to you, it will after you read this post. I promised I'd create another spinning card with something that's a little more "appropriate", so here it is!

And I did you one better... I finally made that tutorial I mentioned! You can view it here.


Thursday, November 8, 2007

Stamp-a-ma-jig Made Easy!

I promised some photos of the Stamp-a-ma-jig in action, and it's a promise I'm going to keep! I have created a tutorial on how to use this handy little guy... you can view it here.

Here's a sneak peak at what's in this tutorial...

Please let me know what you think... I strive for easy-to-understand instructions with crystal clear photographs. Did I deliver?

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

My All in the Family Arrived!

Yippee! My new All in the Family stamp set arrived yesterday afternoon and I got right to work assembling it! I wanted to make something right away (ie. I didn't want to take the time to design something myself!), so I browsed through other people's cards for something to CASE ("copy and share everything"). I found this lovely card on Splitcoast, so I ran with it and made both a girl and a boy birthday card.

On the boy card, I punched the circle in the front of the card for more interest. Here's how it looks when you open it:

How much fun!! These will be perfect for nieces and nephews, friends' kids, grandchildren... and they weren't hard to make at all. I used the Cutie Pie double-sided Designer Series paper (REMEMBER!! Buy 3 DS Papers and Get 1 FREE this month only!) which has wonderful colors to choose from. The girl card is So Saffron and the boy card is Brocade Blue. The little children are matted onto Rose Red. I chose a ribbon for the girl card, but used a couple eyelets and a strip of Naturals White (same as what the kids are stamped onto) for the boy card. The sentiment is from Think Happy Thoughts with a flower punched from the Spring Flower Bouquet punch. That's a fun punch because you get 3 different flowers with just one punch. You see two of them on the cards above... you can see the third kind at left.

For the kiddos, I used my Stamp-a-ma-jig to get them lined up perfectly. That's a REALLY cool tool... I hadn't really used it much before now, but now that I have mastered it, I can see all sorts of uses for it! For example, when I stamped the little girls' legs, a portion of it didn't show up because I had a scrap of paper stuck to the rubber (that's what I get for not cleaning off my stamp table before I started working!). Usually, that means I'll have to cut another piece of cardstock and start again. NOT ANYMORE! I used the Stamp-a-ma-jig to stamp those legs a second time in the EXACT same spot! It worked beautifully. I really do recommend this tool with this set.

That's it for now... but stay tuned! I'm Stampin' Up! a storm these days!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Happy Birthday, Ray & Michael

Today is a special birthday... it's my husband, Michael's, and our good friend, Ray's - both born the same year, too! Here's a card I whipped up real quick to give to Ray. ...come to think of it, I didn't make a card for Michael this time - what was I thinking?? Ah well, I made him a cake and I can promise you he appreciated the cake more than he would've a card!

I do not currently have a lot in the way of masculine stamps, so I relied on my old trusty Baroque Motifs to help me out! I thought this card kind of had a "tuxedo" feel to it. I embossed the black swirl for extra flair, but you can't tell from this photo. The sentiment is from All Holidays, but I inked it with the Real Red marker so I could stamp it on two separate lines. Simple card - and I honestly made it in 15 minutes... just before we headed out the door last Friday to go to a hockey game with Ray & his wife, Jazen. Had a great time, too!

Happy birthday, guys!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Let's Talk Turkey!

Now that Halloween is over and done with... well, except for this enormous pile of hip-expanding-sugar-coated-chocolate-bombs... we can start focusing on all the things we're thankful for! Here is what we will be making at the next Girls Club workshop:

What a terrific gift this would make... that is, if the girls will part with it! It can store pencils, candy, a bag of bath salts... get creative! I had a blast making this little guy, and I know the girls will too. This workshop will be held on Sunday, November 11th at 2pm. Girls ages 8 through 15 are welcome to attend, and yes, Mom can come too! Sign up now to reserve your spot! The class fee is $10 per child, or $15 for a mother/daughter pair. NEW: If you place a $15+ dollar order, you can take $5 off of your class fee! All supplies are included (even the wooden box!), but please bring your own adhesive and scissors.

Let me take this quick opportunity to tell you about Stampin' Up!'s November promotion... it's awesome!! When you buy 3 packs of double-sided Designer Series paper, the 4th on is FREE!! Take advantage of the sale and STOCK UP! There are no limits. I will be posting several projects this month that use these papers - like today's for example! The turkey box pictured above was covered with Certainly Celery monochromatic double-sided paper. Everything is dressed up when you cover it with DSP!

And finally, if you haven't checked my blog in the last few days (shame on you!), please be sure to read the previous post. I really want us to do all that we can to support the family of Dave Abbott. I ordered my All in the Family set yesterday and it has already shipped out... Yippee! As soon as it arrives, I'll be making some samples to show you. Remember that I am passing my demonstrator discount on to you by offering 20% off of this set during the month of November. Let's show Dave's family that we care!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

In Honor of Dave Abbott

Many of you may know that Dave Abbott, Stampin' Up!'s General Manager in Australia, passed away on October 18th from hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), a rare blood disease. He became ill in November 2006 and went through various treatments to fight the disease. I never had the honor of meeting this wonderful man, but I have heard so many great things about him from my friends in Sydney. Even though he was in and out of the hospital, Dave remained involved in building the company and getting to know the demonstrators in Australia as well as in the United States. Dave was only 41 and leaves behind a wife and three small children.

Stampin' Up! has set up a fund to help his family through this devastating loss. During the month of November, they are donating 100% of the proceeds from the sale of the 28-piece All in the Family stamp set in ALL of their markets to directly benefit Dave's wife and children.

I want us all to do our part... I will be purchasing my set immediately and would love for you to be able to do the same. To help you, I am giving up my commission on this set in the hopes that we can make a big difference for a family in need. From November 1st thru 30th, order this set from me at 20% off... instead of $36.95, your cost would be $29.56. It's a fun set - and essential if you have kids of your own! You can see it on page 83 of the current Idea Book & Catalog (you can access the catalog from the link down at left) or click here to view the official flyer that includes the set along with a picture of Dave's family. Let me know if you would like to purchase a set of your own and show Dave's family that we care.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Tent Topper

Here's a new fold design for you, it's called a Tent Topper.

This one is made with the Heartfelt Thanks stamp set, and the "Thanks" part of the sentiment is stamped inside the card.

The dimensions of this card are the same as any standard card - 4.25" x 5.5" - but that's measuring from the bottom to the tip top of the flower part. So the base cardstock is not a full half sheet like usual. This particular one has a base cardstock dimension of 4.25" x 8" and it's scored at 4". The colors are Lavender Lace, Old Olive, Elegant Eggplant, and Naturals Ivory. I used Artichoke Grosgrain ribbon and made a half-circle notch where it ties around the card to keep it from slipping. To make the flower two different colors, I colored it with the Stampin' Write markers. It is so wonderful to have the whole set - you give yourself the freedom to match any color cardstock! When you are attaching the flower to the card, you need to lay it all out next to a ruler so you can be sure you're making the card 5.5" tall... oh, and be sure to use glue dots to attach it!


Monday, October 29, 2007

Blisters Don't Need Chemo

I usually keep this all "business", but I want to mention why I've been away. I spent this last weekend completing the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer 3 Day Walk with my team, Footprints of Faith. Together, we walked a total of 60 miles over the course of 3 days. What an incredible journey it has been - one of emotional tears, muscle pain, and a fair dose of blisters... but not without complete admiration for the wonderful women who persevere through this horrible disease, and those that have lost their fight. We were honored to walk in their memory. This photo is of all of us just after we crossed the finish line!!

I encourage you to check out the 3 Day website for information on how you can get involved in a city near you. It is a well run event for a very worthy cause.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Holy Triptych Angel

Here's one of the cards we made at last night's Christmas Stamp-a-Stacks:

I am very pleased with how this card turned out. It was one that I struggled with for quite a while, but it was worth the effort. This stamp set is called Holy Triptych - what a gorgeous set! I stamped it onto Naturals White paper with Timber Brown StazOn ink. Then I colored her using the blender pens and ink pad lids (when the ink pads are closed, you squish the top and bottom together to form a puddle in the lid when you open it). Her gown is Purely Pomegranate (same as the base card color), her wings are River Rock, and I just had to make her brunette (like me!) with Close to Cocoa ink. Coloring like this is really very easy - the main thing you need to remember is that after you load your blender pen with ink, be sure to begin coloring where you want the color darkest because it will fade from there. The River Rock ink pad didn't create an adequate puddle of ink, so I just grabbed my re-inker bottle and squirted out a drop into the lid. This allowed me to really get some good, rich color without having to scrub too much.

The corners of the angel pieces are cut using the Ticket Corner punch. The ribbon is the 5/8" Chocolate Chip Grosgrain done the easy way... I took a 5" strip and put glue dots on the ends, wrapped that around and stuck the ends to the back of the cardstock. Then I took another 5" strip and did a half-knot around the first strip. This uses less ribbon, looks just as good (if not better), and is much easier than tying!

The River Rock swirls behind the angel are from the Baroque Motifs set - truly one of my favorite stamps! And the "Peace" sentiment comes from a stamp in All Holidays, but since the stamp actually says "Peace Love Joy", I just inked the Peace part using the Rose Red marker (there isn't a Pomegranate marker). It's punched out with the large oval and threaded with a piece of gold elastic cord from the Mini Catalog. Very elegant and easy to tie! To keep the tag from flopping around, I stuck one dimensional on the back of it to hold it in place.

Thanks for visiting!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Groovy Guava Birthday Pocket

Here's a neat way to fold a card... we made this at my last Stamp-a-Stack:

There's a nice pocket to slide in a photograph or a little coordinating notecard such as the one shown here:

To make this card, you start with the same half sheet of cardstock as usual, but instead of folding it in half, you score and fold it at 2 1/2" and 6 1/2". The top flap overlaps the bottom by 1/2", which also makes the whole card 1/2" skinnier than a usual one. But it still fits in the envelopes just fine. If you want it to be the exact same size as a standard card, you'd either have to lose that little bit of overlap, or you'd have to cut the sheet of cardstock a different way and lose the opportunity to make two cards with one sheet. My notecard is 3 3/4" x 4 1/2" and fits beautifully without struggle (I hate it when you have to fight to slide something back in!). This card style would lend itself well to a Christmas card. Change out the colors and choose a more Christmassy stamp set (or, if you're like my good friend Marelle, you can find a way to make the butterfly wear ornaments or something!), and then tuck a family photograph in the pocket. You could even include a gift card if you wanted!

The colors I used here are Groovy Guava, Mellow Moss, Chocolate Chip, and Naturals Ivory. The stamp set is Priceless with a sentiment from Hugs & Wishes. The ribbon is the double stitched Guava, and you can use whatever brads you have on hand - I think these are silver. It's a simple card to make - the only thing to watch out for is when you're ready to attach the butterfly piece to the base, only use adhesive on the top portion since the bottom hangs off. Oh, and because it hangs off, I recommend using Glue Dots instead of SNAIL.

I hope you like it!