Baby Bear Banners

I created this card for a demonstrator swap for Sale-A-Bration (SAB) products. You can faintly see the banners hanging from the line in the upper-right panel. Those stamps are the SAB product that I used for my swap submission, they are called Any Occasion. These stamps are very versatile and can be used for loads of different occasions (hence the name wink). I have seen some great creations online using this set with lots of different banners. I'll have to create some more with it to experiment some more.

I also inked up the Baby Bear stamps for the first time. I purchased that set when it was on sale a couple of months ago, and I was very happy to get to use it. I did learn a trick to ensure success when stamping this one. To create the depth of the image, there are three different stamps and you do what Stampin' Up! calls "Two Step Stampin" which is building up layers of different colors. Typically you start with the lightest color and work your way to the darkest. I found that I could line up the stamps for this image perfectly when I stamped from darkest to lightest, matching the bottom of the bear.  The darkest color is the image that has the least stamped area, and the lightest is the most solid image.

I followed this sketch to create this card. I am drawn to grid-styled cards, and I've been looking at this particular sketch for a while now. I did try to use a vanilla panel in the upper right section to better show off the stamping of the banners, but that made the card feel off balance with too much of one color on the right. So, I substituted a Sahara Sand panel instead. I do like the balance better, but I'm still not in love with the lightness of the banners. To be honest, I was scrambling to meet the swap deadline, so this had to do. I envision using this sketch again for cards that use up some patterned paper scraps. 

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Posted on : Jan 20 2017
Posted under Sketch Challenge, Stamping |

Sending Love

I created this card for the January stamp club gathering we had last week. I designed this one to be the easier project of the pair (we always do two things). We all agreed that it is best to start the evening with the "complicated" project and end it with a simpler one. The ladies cruised right through this one and had it wrapped up super quick.

I got my color inspiration from the gorgeous patterned paper that you see at the bottom of the card. The patterns in the paper are so soft and pretty, I can't wait to use it for more projects. I think that the patterns will be especially wonderful for wedding related projects. We are past the time of attending weddings regularly, but we do have a friend that will be getting remarried this summer, so I'll have to create a special card for the couple. Stay tuned to see what I come up with!

I used this sketch as the basis for the card. This actually was a challenge that was active last week; I'm just a few days late in being able to participate. Dang! Nevertheless, I do enjoy this sketch, and I'm happy to share my creation here. I used the wavy edge of the long Swirly Scribbles die to make the bottom edge of the Very Vanilla paper. The heart is cut using a die from the Sunshine Wishes Thinlits – we all joked about how ugly the inner heart is that is left over from the die cut. laugh I also busted out three different stamp sets to created the grung-y look for the stamped sentiment. Easy-peasy lemon squeez-y.

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Posted on : Jan 16 2017
Posted under Sketch Challenge, Stamping |

Sympathy with a Flourish

In 2016 I offered an In Color club to feature the gorgeous colors that came out with the new catalog. Each month the participants received an ink pad, an ink refill, a marker, a pack of cardstock, a roll of ribbon, and a card sample that I created all in one of the colors. This card is the sample that I created to feature the oh-so-gorgeous Flirty Flamingo. It really is a gorgeous pink, and I really like how it looks paired with some lighter pinks to soften the look. I'm so glad that the In Colors are around for two years before they are retired, and I look forward to getting lots of use out of this color (and the others).

The watercolor-y background is a stamp that has been around for a while, and I am glad to show it here again. The flourish and sentiment image are from an absolutely gorgeous set that came out in June in the "big" catalog. It is bundled with some amazing dies. I admit that it is a spendy bundle, but there is so much included, and it is so versatile that it really is a great investment. I also added a touch of the lovely Clear Wink of Stella on the flower images – alas you can't really see the subtle glimmer in the photo.

I used this sketch as the starting point for the design of this card. I swapped the side for the focal image and the banner due to the orientation of the large flourish stamp in the set, but I think you can still see the sketch in the finished result.

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Posted on : Jan 12 2017
Posted under Sketch Challenge, Stamping |

Sale-A-Bration 2017

It's that time of year again – the biggest sale that Stampin' Up! offers, and it's really fantastic! This is your opportunity to get some great Sale-A-Bration (SAB) exclusive products for free with a qualifying purchase. There are stamp sets (of course) along with a cute kit, some accessories and some fantastic Designer Series Papers. This annual promotion is running until March 31st this year, so there is time to collect several of these exclusive goodies.

The Sale-A-Bration promotion seems a little complicated, but it is actually pretty straightforward. The interesting part is that there are additional perks available while the promotion is going – I'll attempt to describe them all here:

  • For every increment of $50 in merchandise that you purchase, you can pick a SAB exclusive item for free. For example: purchase $102 in products (before shipping and tax) and you can select two free SAB products. Purchase $156 in merchandise and you can pick three free SAB items.
  • When you host a party during the Sale-A-Bration promotion, if the total amount of merchandise ordered for the party is > $250 then you will receive an additional $25 in host rewards. That is even more free goodies for you on top of the normal host benefits that you can earn. Because of this Sale-A-Bration is a fantastic time to host a party – contact me to schedule one today!
  • If you have been considering joining Stampin' Up! as a demonstrator, Sale-A-Bration is a great time to do it. You can join for the regular price of $99 and get the usual set of products to get your business off the ground. Additionally during Sale-A-Bration you get TWO additional stamp sets of your choosing for FREE!

There are so many great SAB products this year – I thought I would highlight some that I think are going to be super popular.

Since Stampin' Up! has added some amazing watercolor pencils to our crafting arsenal with the Occasions catalog, I just had to point out some SAB products that coordinate wonderfully with them:

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There are also some SAB products that coordinate with suites of products from the Occasions catalog. I'll list them here so you can check them out.

Lift Me Up bundle:

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Falling in Love Suite:

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Custom Tee bundle:

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There are several other products that I haven't listed – click on the Sale-A-Bration link on the right to check out the catalog on your computer so you can see all of the great stuff. Please let me know if you have any questions regarding SAB, and I look forward to talking with you about holding your own party.

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Posted on : Jan 09 2017
Posted under Announcements |

Welcome 2017

I know that I'm a little late in posting a New Year's Day card – I was down for the count with a truly horrible bug that grabbed me a bit before the New Year and finally released it's grip. I'm feeling much better now, and I'm now ready to welcome 2017 with gusto, and not just a whimper. I hope that 2017 proves to be much better than 2016 ended up being. Actually, I'm suffering from recent-ism… the second half of 2016 was awful on so many different fronts, but the first half wasn't too bad. So, here's hoping for some great things in a fresh beginning!

This was the "easier" card that we made in our December stamp club gathering. And this one truly is super easy! The snowflake patterned paper along with the glittery numbers does all of the heavy lifting on this card. The pretty starry swoosh stamp below the numbers was the biggest challenge here, and it really is no challenge at all. The gals seem to appreciate a quick and easy card after I've made them work on something more complicated. I'll share soon the challenging project for the evening – it's really cute.

Speaking of that starry swoosh stamp, that was from the Holiday catalog, but I'm super happy to share that it (and the coordinating Thinlits) are on the "carryover" list and still available for purchase. In fact, the list of items that are still available from the Holiday catalog is quite extensive. You can use this link to view all of the products that are still available from the Holiday catalog. I'm so glad that they carried over so much because that set is just plain stunning and I'm glad you'll still have the chance to get it! Remember, Christmas may have just passed, but you can always get an early start for next year. Believe me, you may think I'm silly, but you'll be glad you did.

I followed this sketch when creating this card. The sentiment in my finished card is clearly smaller than in the sketch, but that's the beauty of sketches – they are a launching point, not a contract. 😉 I think that the glittery numbers more than take up the slack. I'm really pleased with how this card turned out, and I look forward to sharing more with you in 2017. Happy New Year!

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Posted on : Jan 05 2017
Posted under Sketch Challenge, Stamping |

Rustic Noel

Sorry about the quality of the photo here – I snagged this one on a sunny day way back in early September. Remember back then when it wasn't cloudy and gloomy all the time? This was actually my first creation with the amazing Christmas Pines bundle – I made it for a demonstrator swap that I joined to get ideas for the Holiday catalog products. I am so in love with this bundle, and I'm so glad that the stamps and Thinlits will continue to be available past the end of the Holiday catalog period. They coordinate so wonderfully and make it very easy to make gorgeous Holiday cards. In fact, all of the elements that I used on this card will continue to be available because the remainder of the supplies come from the "big" catalog, so they'll be available for a while.

I drew inspiration for this card from this sketch from another fantastic sketch challenge site. I like the way that they make their graphics for their challenges, some of them make it pretty easy for me to step off and get crafting.

Clearly I can't get enough of the Hardwood stamp set lately – I love pairing it with the Christmas Pines sentiments and coordinating diecuts. I sponged the edges of this card to make it seem more rustic; sponging freqently adds just the perfect touch to finish off a card.

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Posted on : Dec 23 2016
Posted under Sketch Challenge, Stamping |

Blessed feelings

With today's post I'm taking a break from all-Christmas all-the-time. This was actually a card that I made with the stamp club gals back in October. I originally created this as a Thanksgiving card, and the color scheme has a definite fall feel. That being said, I think this card is good for any time of year because the sentiment is true year-round. The inside panel has a greeting from the stamp set that says "My world is brighter and more beautiful because of you." Isn't that an awesome sentiment for any time of year?

The layout for this card was based on one of the sketches created by Stampin' Up! when they were having their Designer Series Paper (DSP) sale for the month of October. I am especially attracted to grid-based designs, so I just knew that I had to use this one. The DSP and coordinating ribbon are on the Holiday catalog retirement list and are both on sale right now (while supplies last). If you want to snag them up, please use this link to see these products and all of the others that are on close-out right now. You won't find the stamp set there, tho because that is on the "carry-over" list so you will still be able to purchase them and other great products from the Holiday catalog beyond the end-date of that catalog. Yippee!!! However… all of the bundles (including this stamp set and matching Framelits) that have products carrying forward will not be available at bundle pricing any more, so keep that in mind.

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Posted on : Dec 22 2016
Posted under Stamping |

Christmas Host Stamps

I CASE'd this card from one that I found on-line from another demonstrator (sadly I don't remember who). Her card featured the same stamp set, but it had a fall theme instead of the Christmas theme of this card. I designed this for a workshop that I held for a friend back in November. A few of the attendees were new to stamping and this card did take them a while, but they were pretty pleased with the result when they were all done.

As with several cards that I've featured lately, all of the supplies for this card are available from the main catalog. This card is a little different because the greeting and holly leaf stamps are from a Host exclusive set. There are several other banners and accent stamps in that set, so it is good for many different occasions. I love this set, and if you do too, please contact me to schedule a workshop. If the workshop total is > $150, then you can pick this stamp set for free as part of your host rewards.

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Posted on : Dec 21 2016
Posted under Stamping |

Jolly Tree

This was another of the cards from the Stamp-A-Stack event that I held earlier this month. I pre-cut the "jolly" and circle diecuts to save time at the event, and the gals just zipped through assembling these cards. As always, there were lots of oohs and ahhs over the versatile Hardwood background stamp. I hope that Stampin' Up! NEVER retires that one – I love to use it for so many different purposes.

The exciting thing about this card is that all of the elements are from the big catalog – except the stitched circle die. But those dies will continue to be available, once Stampin' Up! has replenished their supply of this popular item. If you don't have those dies, you can substitute a regular circle die and it will still look great.

I drew inspiration for this design from a recent sketch from Freshly Made Sketches. I'm not posting while the challenge is still active, but I'm pretty sure that I created the design shortly after the sketch came out. This is such a simple look, and I can readily see lots of ways to use it so don't be surprised to see it come back in the future. I loved the opportunity to use the diecut words for this card – the "jolly" just pops right out in a wonderful way. Hmmmm – perhaps I can come up with a Valentine's day card using this design…

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Posted on : Dec 20 2016
Posted under Sketch Challenge, Stamping |

Cable Knit Wishes

cableknit_christmasThis was another card that the ladies made at the recent Stamp-A-Stack event. This card took just a little extra time to assemble due to the embossing and die-cutting the oval around the stamped greeting. Also, this was the only card that had a stamped panel on the inside. Since the card base is Early Espresso I wanted to include a Very Vanilla panel so that the gals wouldn't have to use a white gel pen (or something like that) to write out the greeting. The ladies seemed to enjoy the texture from the embossing folder, and it really did go together pretty easily.

This card was actually the first time that I used the Cable Knit "dynamic" embossing folder. I purchased it a while after the Holiday catalog had been out, and for some reason I didn't use it right away. I knew that I just had to use it for the Stamp-A-Stack, so that is how this card came to be.  Both the stamp set and the embossing folder are from the Holiday catalog, and I am very happy to report that they are both on the carryover list, so you'll still be able to purchase them for Holiday card making next year.

Above I said that it is a "dynamic" embossing folder, which is how Stampin' Up! describes it. That means that it creates extra detailed impressions, and it is super thick. Check out this video below to get the secrets of this very cool folder:

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Posted on : Dec 19 2016
Posted under Big Shot Ideas, Stamping |

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