Thursday, October 30, 2008

Happy Halloween!

I'm back! ...not done with all my house projects yet, but I took a break long enough to wish all of you a Happy Halloween with this card:

This is a new set for me, called Autumn Harvest, and I just LOVE it! I wanted to squeeze in a quick Halloween card with it since it has the adorable Jack-O-Lantern face, but I guarantee you'll see more of it as we head into Thanksgiving!

I did a lot of cutting on this one, so it's not a good one to duplicate for a lot of people... unless, of course, you're "giving" it to hundreds of loyal blog readers, in which case one nicely photographed card will do! *giggle* My Coluzzle hasn't been used in awhile, and I immediately envisioned this Jack-O-Lantern sitting next to an oval cut-out. It would've been better if I could've stamped the sentiment straight. :)

One thing you can't see really well in the photo above is how I embossed the leaves onto the Basic Black background. I used Old Olive ink and clear powder, but it doesn't really matter because the black cardstock all but takes away any "color" you use. Here's another shot in the glare so you can see it better:

Now, before I get back to my household chores... don't forget - Tomorrow (October 31st) is the LAST DAY that you can take advantage of the Birthday promotion where several birthday stamp sets are 20% off! It is also the last day that you can order this cool Decor Elements Spider. Remember that you can place an order any time, day or night, through my Stampin' Up! Website. Just click on Shop Now in the upper right-hand corner.

I hope you all have a wonderfully safe Halloween!

Card Recipe:
Stamp Sets: Autumn Harvest, All Holidays
Ink: Basic Black, Old Olive Craft
Cardstock: Basic Black, Old Olive, Pumpkin Pie, More Mustard, Really Rust
Accessories: Pumpkin Pie Grosgrain ribbon
Tools: Coluzzle

Monday, October 27, 2008

Takin' a Little Break...

Hi folks, I hope you had a glorious weekend - I sure did! We went camping and had some fabulous family time. That's so important to me... here's a couple shots of our weekend, along with the beautiful fall colors we're experiencing here in Texas.

I wanted to pop in and let you know that I need to take a little break (only a few days) from blogging. Nothing is wrong - just need to get caught up on some household stuff, including finding my stamping table again! It's gotten burried! You only think it always looks like this. *giggle* Who can relate?!

Catch ya real soon!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Loads of Love

My friends and I are wanting to thank some childcare workers who so lovingly care for our boys each week (between us we have 8 boys). My sweet 2-year old Maddox literally RUNS into their arms - and that says A LOT about the way these women nurture our boys. They are two dear, sweet ladies, and a true blessing in my life. What better way to express that than with a homemade card, and what better set to use than the old standby, Loads of Love?!

These adorable trucks were watercolored with an Aquapainter and the Watercolor Wonder Crayons - except for the hearts, where I used the Riding Hood Red ink pad lid. Remember what I said in this post about how the ink pad lids give you a more vibrant color? These cards are the perfect example... the trucks are a softer color coming from Watercolor Wonder Crayons, and the hearts are more vibrant, coming from the ink pad lid. I chose to keep the trucks softer, because I wanted to draw attention to the hearts. Oh, and don't forget that you can get a single Aquapainter this month for only $7.25 - that's a great savings, and one is really all you need. No minimum purchase, no limits, but only while supplies last.

I knew I wanted to put some ribbon on these cards, but I struggled with it because it was too much when laid across the whole card. I knew I just wanted a touch of ribbon... and voila! The perfect solution presented itself!

One of my favorite things about these cards are the fun new Clips Assortment that is in the current catalog (#112580, pg. 184, $6.95). These things are so stinkin' cute!! I love the little chunky paperclip - which is what I used on the cards above. It provided the perfect way to tie on just a touch of ribbon. Another one of my "gotta have" products!!

Thanks for visiting, friends... Have a blessed weekend!

Card Recipe:
Stamp Set: Loads of Love
Ink: Black StazOn, Riding Hood Red
Cardstock: Certainly Celery, Bashful Blue, Brocade Blue, Watercolor Paper, Banbury DSP
Accessories: Riding Hood Red Taffeta ribbon, Clips Assortment
Tools: Watercolor Wonder Crayons, Aquapainter, Cutter Kit

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Trick or Treat Tutorial!

Look what I'm making to give out for Halloween this year using our Ghostly Greetings DSP and some ribbon!

Aren't they adorable? They are little Pillow Boxes and each one has a fun size candy bar in them (which fits PERFECTLY)!

These are super easy to make... I've taken a few photos to show you, and I have a few tried-and-true tips to share with you as well.

First, you'll need the following supplies:

Big Shot machine and the Pillow Box Die

Designer Series Paper - SEE the *NOTE* below!!


12" Ribbon in a coordinating color

Sentiment of your choice stamped and punched as desired (I've used one from All Holidays and punched it with the Word Window punch). Alternatively, you can stamp right onto the DSP if you prefer.

I also recommend having a Premium Crease Pad to use with this particular Die. It has been my experience that when you try to cut through several sheets of DSP, the machine starts *cutting* through the score lines. The Crease Pad eliminates that. If you don't have a Crease Pad, you'll have to cut these only 1 or 2 at a time.

*NOTE* I MUST stress that regular cardstock will NOT work for this! Not only is it harder to fold, but it will NOT stay sealed. I've used SNAIL and Glue Dots and both have popped open. DSP works beautifully, and it's easier to use anyway because you don't have to stamp it with a ghooly pattern! Edited to add: I should've added that I have not used Sticky Strip with regular cardstock, mainly because it's a longer step... but a commenter says that it works. So there you go! But DSP is still easier, in my opinion!

Step 1: Crease the pattern along the 2 long score lines. Don't worry about the short sides right now. If you want to stamp directly onto the DSP, I recommend doing it at this point.

Step 2: With the desired pattern face up, apply some SNAIL along the long flap.

Step 3: Working on a flat surface (not up in the air), line it up and seal it shut. The box will be a little bit "poofy" at this point, and not completely flat.

Step 4: Gently squeeze the box together by pressing on the long sides and fold in the smaller flap on one end.

Step 5: Fold in the larger flap. There is no need to use SNAIL on these sides, as the ribbon will hold it closed.

Step 6: Holding that end closed, place your candy treat inside. Fun size candy bars work great!

Step 7: Fold the other end shut as in steps 4 and 5.

Step 8: Place the box on the table with the larger end flaps folded away from you (you want the nicer folded edge to be the front). Tie your ribbon around the box to hold the sides closed.

Step 9: Embellish your box as desired!

And there you have it! I figure I'll make as many of these as I can before Halloween. If you already have the Pillow Box Die, then all you need is a pack of DSP and a couple spools of ribbon! That'll be enough to make 48 boxes... okay, better get two packs of DSP! When else will you use this adorable Ghostly Greetings DSP anyway?!

Have fun!

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Writing on the Wall

I finally put up one of my new Decor Elements and I want to share it with you! This beautiful design is called Home is Love, and it's from Phase II of the Decor Elements line. The best news is that you can get this one for FREE with a $300 workshop!!

Those of you who have been to my home for workshops recognize where this is - it's above my piano in the dining room, which is where I hold my workshops.

This design is 13" x 24", and it comes in either Black, Chocolate (like mine), or White. Here's a close-up:

These self-adhesive vinyl elemets are super simple to put up (and take down when the time comes) - it took me only 10 minutes to do this one! If you haven't tried one of Stampin' Up!'s Decor Elements yet, what are you waiting for?! You really should have a look at our brochure and give it a try!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Between Friends

I hope you liked all of my Christmas card designs! I had to keep them simple so they are easy to mass produce, but hopefully there's something there for everyone.

You will recognize the following two cards, as one of the Christmas cards is the same design. I actually made these two first, and liked them so much, I decided to add it to the Christmas line-up. The first one was for a dear friend of mine, and the second is for my neighbor's (and upline!) birthday. I used textured cardstock on these, whereas I didn't for the Christmas card, only because I can't buy textured cardstock in bulk.

Both of these flowers were colored with an Aquapainter and the ink pad lids. When you want a rich, vibrant look like this, it's always best to go with straight ink... the Watercolor Wonder Crayons are fabulous as well, but won't give you this strong of a color. I will also mention that you need to be mindful of what type of cardstock you are using when you use an Aquapainter. Watercolor paper is, of course, the best to use, but you can also get away with using Confetti papers as I've done here. It all depends on how much "play" you need. For these flowers, I only used one color, so I didn't need a lot of time to blend... therefore the Confetti paper provided enough time for me to get the varied shade. Oh, and ALWAYS use StazOn ink when you're going to be adding water! Otherwise, you won't be too pleased with the look... trust me!

The sentiments were inked with my Stampin' Write markers and punched with the Designer Label punch. I just love this new Best Yet Hostess Level I set! my opinion, it's one of the best ones yet! :)

Enjoy the rest of your weekend...

Card Recipe:
Stamp Sets: Wonderful You, Best Yet
Ink: Black StazOn, Ruby Red, Old Olive, Lavender Lace
Cardstock: Old Olive, Ruby Red, Lavender Lace, Confetti Cream
Accessories: Old Olive Grosgrain ribbon
Tools: Designer Label Punch, 1/8" Circle punch, Aquapainter

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Christmas Card Buffet!!

Okay, so here they are... the TEN different designs that will be included in my Christmas Card Buffet! All cards come with a coordinating envelope that can also be stamped to match, which is included in the photographs. I intentionally designed each of these cards so that they would be easy to mass produce. None of them are difficult to make, so even beginning stampers can make homemade Christmas cards this year! Keep in mind, too, that the sentiments are interchangeable.

The way this works is that you pick only the cards you like, and make as many of each as you like! My only restriction on quantity is that they be ordered in sets of 2. So, for instance, you can order 8 of one design, 24 of another, and 12 of a third... and so on. No odd numbers.

My local readers can sign up to come to my house to make the cards using my stamps and ink, and my non-local readers can order the supplies by mail. Details, dates, and full pricing information is at the bottom of this post.

Ready? Here we go...

Card #1: Uses Heard From the Heart and Merry & Bright. Colors are Real Red, Kiwi Kiss, and Whisper White. Tools include the Scalloped Edge punch. Optional: you can use a 1/16" circle punch on the scallops. Edited to add: I forgot to mention that this first card is actually a CASE from Susanne Purvis. I did make some minor changes, but the overall look is her design and I loved it immediately. I'm usually good about giving credit where credit is due, but I flat-out forgot to do it in this case. Sorry, Susanne!

Card #2: Uses Season of Joy, Many Merry Messages, and the So Swirly jumbo wheel. Colors are Brocade Blue, Night of Navy, Kiwi Kiss and Whisper White.

Card #3: Uses Snow Swirled. Colors are Old Olive, Elegant Eggplant, Ruby Red, and Naturals Ivory. Tools include the 1/2" Circle punch. Sentiment inside: "May the true spirit of Christmas fill your heart with peace, your home with love."

Card #4: Uses Season of Joy. Colors are Bashful Blue, Real Red, and Whisper White. Snowflake uses a Glue Pen and Dazzling Diamonds (not visible in photo).

Card #5: Uses Scandinavian Season, Scandinavian wheel, and a sentiment of your choice for the inside. Colors are Baja Breeze, Chocolate Chip, and Kiwi Kiss.

Card #6: Uses Wonderful You and Best Yet. Colors are Old Olive, Ruby Red, and Naturals White. Flower is watercolored using an Aquapainter. Tools include the Designer Label punch.

Card #7: Uses It's a Stretch, Holiday Blitz, and Classic Stripes background. Colors are Elegant Eggplant, Almost Amethyst, Whisper White, and Real Red. Stocking is colored with Stampin' Write markers.

Card #8: Uses Season of Joy and Many Merry Messages. Colors are Riding Hood Red, More Mustard, Garden Green, and Whisper White. The Vellum mutes the design, as shown in the second photo.

Card #9: Uses Season of Simple Grace. Colors are So Saffron, More Mustard, Night of Navy, and Whisper White. Tools include the Tearing Edge. Star is sparkled with Dazzling Diamonds (not visible in photo). Sentiment inside: "May your season be touched with the simple grace of Christ's love. Merry Christmas!"

Card #10: Uses Bold Snowflakes jumbo wheel and Many Merry Messages. Colors are Bravo Burgundy and Whisper White. The snowflakes are embossed with Irridescent Ice powder, and was difficult to photograph, that's why it's on somewhat of a slant in the picture.

And there you have it!

Listed below are the dates I have available to come and make these cards at my home. You can come on more than one date, which I recommend if you plan to make a lot of cards. Upon signing up, you must indicate how many of each card you would like to make. I do have deadlines to sign up for each date to ensure that I have enough supplies for you. There is no cost to come to the class - only the cost of the cards that you order. All cardstock will be pre-cut and scored. Because of the high quantity of cards to be made, I will not be supplying adhesive. Please bring your own SNAIL (or equivalent) and Glue Dots (if desired). I will, however, provide Dimensionals where necessary.

Card Buffet Class Times:
Monday, November 3rd, 7-9pm (deadline to sign up: 10/27)
Saturday, November 8th, 10am-noon (deadline to sign up: 11/1)
Saturday, November 8th, 2-4pm (deadline to sign up: 11/1)
Tuesday, November 11th, 7-9pm (deadline to sign up: 11/4)
...and one last date for my procrastinators, or those who just didn't finish:
Thursday, December 4th, 7-9pm (deadline to sign up: 11/27)

Pricing Information:
Orders must be in sets of 2. Each set of cards costs $2.50, OR just $2.00 with a $50 catalog order (before tax & shipping). Both prices include the envelopes.

Shipping Information:
If the supplies need to be mailed, Priority Shipping costs will be added to the order. This will be $4.80 if the supplies can fit in a flat-rate envelope, or $9.80 for a flat-rate box. I will notify you which applies upon receiving your order. All mail orders will receive a full color Instruction Sheet for each card style ordered. Please allow up to 2 weeks for me to prepare your order for shipping.

If you wish to purchase any of the stamp sets and/or ink used on these cards, you may do that at anytime through my website - just click on Shop Now in the upper right-hand corner. Or, if you prefer, you may contact me via e-mail and I can place the order for you. Remember that a $50 catalog order qualifies you for the discounted Christmas Card rate!

So there you have it! Now all you need to do is pick out your cards, contact me to sign up and/or order, and get 'em done long before you even put up the tree!

As a final note, would you kindly leave a comment with your top 3 cards? I'm conducting a survey to get a better feel for what my readers like to see. Thank you so much!!

PS: In a post this long, I'm bound to have left out some important detail. Let me know if you have any questions and I'll edit the post accordingly.

Not Quite Ready...

Just a quick note to let you know I'm still working on the Christmas Card Buffet cards... I had them all done, but then I got another card idea and I figured you'd forgive me for adding one more?!

Believe me, it will be worth the wait. Never before have I shown you so many cards in one single post. Keep checking back... it will be soon! I promise!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Girl-y Birthday!

Hi folks! Sorry I've been MIA for so long... but you will be happy to know that I've been working so diligently on the cards for my upcoming Christmas Card Buffet, that I've not had time to stamp anything else for you! I have created 8 different cards for it and I am hoping to show those to you by Wednesday, if all goes well.

In the meantime, here is a card I whipped up for a dear friend's little girl over the weekend. I love having a chance to make girl-y pink cards!!

Nothing tricky about it! I used my Stampin' Write markers to color in the cake, and even though the cardstock is Pink Pirouette, the Pretty in Pink marker works fine. That's not always the case, though. I really hope that Stampin' Up! decides to give us Stampin' Write markers in the In Colors someday... and for those of you who agree with me, how about sending them an e-mail asking for it? If we all join forces, maybe we can make it happen! Their e-mail address is

Card Recipe:
Stamp Sets: It's a Stretch, Best Yet, Classic Stripes background
Ink: Basic Black, Pretty in Pink, Tempting Turquoise, Versamark
Cardstock: Tempting Turquoise, Pink Pirouette, Whisper White
Accessories: Pink Gingham ribbon, Pretty in Pink brads
Tools: Scallop Punch, 1-3/8" Circle punch, 1/16" Circle punch

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Blog Candy Winner!

Today is the day I said I'd draw the winner... and if you didn't even know about it, then you can call yourself a blog "looker" and not a blog "reader"! Review this post to learn what I mean. In any case, I was thrilled to receive all the great comments (more thrilled that you all READ my posts), and I got some good Halloween ideas out of it too! Every year I try to talk my family into dressing up as M&Ms since we're all Ms, but no one ever goes for it. :( So if you ever see a lonely M&M wandering down the road on Halloween, you'll know who it is.

Okay, on to the winner... I let a random number generator pick the number, and it spit out lucky number 13! Therefore, the winner of the blog candy is MIA! Here is Mia's comment:

Hi Michele... Halloween is one of my favorite times of the year, & I love your candy corn card! My 2 boys (9 & 11) change their minds about what they want to be about as often as they change their underwear! (Which, by the way, IS every day!! LOL!!) As of this moment, the 11 yr. old will go as Indiana Jones, wearing my husband's old leather bomber jacket that I can't believe ever really fit him, & my younger son wants to be something from Star Wars. Should be lots of fun!

My older boys are the same age as yours, Mia... but I will admit that there are times when they procrastinate bringing the laundry downstairs, so they have been known to go with day-old underwear a time or two! There aint nuthin' like natural consequences to teach them a thing or two about responsibility! Hee hee! Anyway, here's what I'll be sending you:

Some of you regulars may recognize parts of this from the last blog candy I tried to give away... but Skool Teacher never did contact me. So I'm trying again, and I added a couple things to sweeten the deal! Needless to say, Mia, I do hope YOU will contact me!

Wonderful You

Here's a new set I recently purchased and decided to let it meet some ink last night... it's called Wonderful You. It has a gorgeous wheel that coordinates with it, and my intention was to use it on this card as well... but once again, the card had a mind of its own. None-the-less, here it is:

This is another example of where I let the Designer Series Paper make my color choices for me. Those stripes are from Sweet Always, and so I used a Pink Pirouette background, with some Pumpkin Pie and Regal Rose layers. When I originally looked at it, I thought it used Tangerine Tango. So in actuality, the outline of the flower is stamped with Tangerine instead of Pumpkin! Oops! I was feeling lazy, though, and didn't feel like re-doing it. I think it looks fine regardless... probably one of those instances where you wouldn't have known if I hadn't pointed it out, huh? Why do we open our big mouths to point out all of our flaws anyway?? My husband always chuckles at dinnertime when I set the meal on the table and say something to the effect of, "I accidentally left out one ingredient, so I hope it's okay"... Why can't I just set it in front of him and hope for the best?! I mean, how would he know it's missing something anyway?! He even TELLS me to stop pointing out those things so he can just enjoy it the way it is!

I digress... no real tricks to this card, so I guess that's why I got off on that tangent. Besides, you guys said that you DO read my posts, right?! Speaking of which, I will be coming back at you later this afternoon with the winner of my Blog Candy! ...and if you didn't know there was some to be had, then you probably aren't reading this right now anyway. ;)

Card Recipe:
Stamp Sets: Wonderful You, Best Yet
Ink: Pink Pirouette, Pumpkin Pie
Cardstock: Pink Pirouette, Pumpkin Pie, Regal Rose, Whisper White, Sweet Always DSP
Accessories: Pumpkin Pie narrow grosgrain ribbon, Fire Rhinestone brad

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Retired Sets For Sale

It has been my intention to add my retired sets to my For Sale page, complete with photographs and everything, but it just isn't getting done. So I thought I'd at least list them for you here and see if anyone was interested. All of the following are from the Spring Summer 2008 Idea Book & Catalog, but I can send photos upon request if you need me to. If you see something you like, drop me a line and ask if it is still available. I will try to keep this post updated as much as possible. *edited to add* I did just take some time to add this list to my For Sale page - only I didn't include photos at this time.

Priority shipping costs will be added to each order - US shipping is $4.80 if it can fit in a flat rate envelope. If they do not fit, or if you are out of the US, I will give you a shipping quote.

Used Stamp Sets:
Amazing to Zany - excellent shape, only 4 words mounted - $30
Artfully Asian - great shape - $18
Be Happy - great shape - $15
Big Pieces - mild staining on blocks - $20
Blossoms Abound - mild staining on blocks - $18
Just Like You - excellent shape, 4 stamps not even mounted - $20
Little Pieces - mild staining on blocks - $10
Polka Dots & Paisley - excellent shape - $12
Print Pattern - well loved, but still stamps beautifully - $10
Sweet Thing - excellent shape, 2 stamps not even mounted - $12
The Snowflake Spot - great shape - $15
Touch of Nature - great shape - $22
Year After Year - excellent shape, only 3 stamps mounted - $24

Used Hostess Stamp Sets:
From the Garden (level 1) - excellent shape - $10
For a Friend (level 1) - excellent shape, only 1 stamp mounted - $11
Time Well Spent (level 3) - excellent shape, only 6 stamps mounted - $25

BRAND NEW Hostess Stamp Sets:
A Little Bit of Happiness (level 1) - $12
For a Friend (level 1) - $12
Cause for Celebration (level 2) - $18
Infinite Goodness (level 2) - $18

Other Items:
Unopened "Home Again" Simply Scrappin' Kit - $20
Three for You punch box - stamps and spots only (pomegranate, wasabi, black), packaged in regular stamp box instead of tin - $16

Don't forget that I still have other items available that are older than those listed above. Please check out my For Sale page for a complete listing.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Girl Time

Hi everyone! Happy Monday to you... I'm feeling refreshed and, if it's possible, all shopped out! As I mentioned on Friday, my girlfriends and I took our annual girls retreat to an outdoor market just east of us called Canton First Monday Trade Days. There are acres and acres of vendors selling all sorts of goodies... and you would not believe how much we bought this year! I'm surprised we got it all home in my husband's truck (I drove) without having to strap one of us to the roof! Aside from all the great shopping, we also stayed in our usual cabin and talked the night away... girl stuff... you know how it goes. Here's a photo of 5 of us - the 6th one had to leave early.

I know, I don't normally post stuff about my personal life, and I regret to inform you that because of my fantastic weekend, I did not do any stamping! I do have a fabulous card that my friend Marelle sent me, though, and I will show that to you instead. As you all know, Marelle is an incredibly talented stamper in Australia. She and I met about a year and a half ago and became fast friends. I am always honored to receive one of her beautiful cards!

Here is a close-up of the gorgeous flowers:

Thank you, Marelle, for brightening my day!

And thank you WISDOM, for another unforgettable weekend!!