Prince George Birthday

I'm a bit early with my celebration of Prince George's birthday – his special day is actually on July 22nd. But isn't this just the perfect card to give a child to help celebrate their special day? The cute characters on the stamps and the coordinating Designer Series Paper (DSP) remind me of some of the animals from Beatrix Potter and Richard Scarry books. When our son was small we enjoyed several of the different Richard Scarry books, and my husband still says "slow it down Lowly" every so often.

I actually created this card as a Make 'N Take at the OnStage event I attended in Savannah. We had the opportunity to play with several of the new products from the new "big" catalog, and as always it was a blast! I love the bright, cheerful colors from the DSP and I was super excited to find that the Framelits not only cut out stamped images, but images from the coordinating paper as well. Isn't that fabulous?!? And to make it even better, Stampin' Up! is offering a bundle that includes the stamps, Framelits and DSP all together for 10% off. Woo hoo!!! I personally am unlikely to purchase the bundle, but that is only because of my personal stage in life. If I had young kids or (perish the thought) grand kids, I would snatch up this bundle lickety-split.

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Posted on : Jun 19 2017
Posted under Stamping |

Lemon-y Greeting

We had the Essex stamp club meeting last evening, and I was super-excited to showcase a few new items from the shiny new catalog. This card that you see here was the easier project of the two for the evening. The most challenging part ended up being punching out the stamped lemon pieces – those tricksy papers slide around on you in the punch as soon as you take your eye off them. wink I will admit that I find the builder punches to be a little challenging because they punch out multiple pieces at once. If you don't plan your stamping carefully, you can mis-punch a section of one stamped image when you are punching out a second one. I try to plan the paper pieces that I'm using so that I stamp on a piece that is only the size needed for the image I want to punch – and I make sure (most of the time) that the paper is long enough so I have a "handle" to hold while lining up and punching.

I used this sketch that you see here as the inspiration for this card. Sometimes I struggle a bit to pull something together from a sketch, but this card actually came together pretty quickly and easily. And, I'm pleased with the finished product (even if I do say so myself). Can you see the sketch elements in the finished product?

This card features many new products from the new catalog that came out earlier this month. In fact, the only thing that isn't new are the cardstocks and inks. All of the other elements and tools are brandy-dandy new.  Here's a tip – the light background that you see is created using one of the new masks and a stamping sponge.

Isn't this a great summer-y greeting? I had a great time playing with some new toys to create this card for the club gals.

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Posted on : Jun 16 2017
Posted under Punches, Sketch Challenge, Stamping |

Summery Beach

I created this card for the South Burlington stamp club group. We were meeting at the end of May, so I wanted to highlight a product that wasn't retiring due to "flexible" inventory levels. I didn't want to entice them with something that was gone by the time that I placed their order. This set was introduced in the Occasions catalog and has carried forward into the new catalog that just launched. I'm so happy about that because the scenes that you can create with this set are truly amazing.

We used the masking technique to create the illusion of the land and lighthouse being in front of the ocean. We stamped the sandy beach in Crumb Cake first, and then stamped the shadow-y side of the lighthouse in Basic Gray. There is a little opening in the beach stamp to hold the bottom of the lighthouse. Then we created a mask in copy paper using the same stamps and cutting along the edges. Once the masks were in place with repositionable adhesive, we stamped the water stamp to create the ocean. We used an aquapainter very lightly to add a little water and cause the ink from the water to spread out a little bit to soften the edges. The white layer is Thick Whisper White which can handle a little water without warping better than regular Whisper White. After that was done and dry, we removed the masks and completed the rest of the stamping. I do have a funny to share… I just realized last evening when I was getting this photo ready to post, that the sun is on the wrong side of the lighthouse to create the shadow that you see. Oh well, I still really like this card, and imperfections like this tell the recipient that it is home made. laugh

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Posted on : Jun 06 2017
Posted under Stamping, Techniques |

Celebrating Dad

This is the second card that we created at the Essex stamp club gathering last week. I had this Paper Pumpkin kit from last year in my stash, and I thought it would be a perfect easier project for these ladies. Actually, I thought of showing them this kit a few months ago, but I wanted to save it for when we're closer to Father's Day. The stamps in this kit are so versatile, and they allow you to customize the greeting to "Dad", "Uncle", "Grandpa", "Friend", and "My Love". Also, there is a Birthday greeting so you can go in a totally different direction when you make up these cards.

I also wanted to highlight a Paper Pumpkin kit because there is a special deal on them right now. If you sign up before June 10th for a monthly subscription, you will receive 25% off your June, July and August kits. You can use this link here to subscribe, and make sure to enter the promo code "STARTHERE". There are a couple of restrictions on this promotion tho – it is only available to new subscribers, and it is not available for pre-paid subscriptions. I encourage you to check it out and sign up during this special promotion – these kits are a lot of fun!

And, on a slightly different topic… today is the very last day to purchase products that are retiring from the 2016-2017 Annual Catalog. If you've been planning on buying something that is retiring and you've been procrastinating, your time is up – you have to order your retiring products now! Click on the OnLine store link so you can get shopping.

Posted on : May 31 2017
Posted under Announcements, Stamping |

Congrats Grad!

This is the graduation card that I created for the South Burlington stamp club gals. When we met in April, one of the ladies requested that we do a graduation card at our May session. Actually, several of the members of this club have a student that is graduating this spring, so this project helped out several of the participants. I designed this card to use the South Burlington colors, but I swapped the colors for one gal who has a student graduating from Rice Memorial. 

I used this older sketch as the inspiration for this card. You can clearly see the sketch in my interpretation here. After I created this sample, it occurred to me that it would be fun to include an embossed starry background, and the participants agreed. I brought along my stars embossing folder, and they all embossed the white panel with it before moving on with the rest of the assembly.

Almost all of the elements on this card are retiring at the end of this month (ahem – that's tomorrow). If you want any of them, then I strongly encourage you to go out to my online store to grab them before they are gone for good. And just so you know, the fun tassel that you see on the side is from the Embellishment kit from the Occasions catalog. It seemed like the perfect touch to add to a graduation card.

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Posted on : May 30 2017
Posted under Sketch Challenge, Stamping |

Flowery Gratefulness

We created this card last evening at the May gathering for the Essex stamp club. This was the more involved project for the evening, and the ladies did great! I am so impressed at how quickly they are gaining confidence – they all were quite pleased with how their projects turned out.

I wanted to highlight the stamp set and punch that I used for this card because it is currently available as a bundle in the current catalog. The two parts of the bundle will still be available in the new catalog, but the 10% discount will be gone. This bundle is so versatile – you will be able to create many different looking flowers with it. If you think you're interested in it, I encourage you to get it before the end of the month.

One tip for this card – the pretty pearl center of this card is fairly thick. If you want to send this in the mail, using a padded mailer would be the best bet. It is pricier, but it will be worth it. I also think that if you send a card with one of the larger pearls, it will be too thick and require extra postage for hand canceling.

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Posted on : May 26 2017
Posted under Stamping |

Balloon Prototype

I created this card when I was coming up with different designs for the Cards for Cancer stamp-a-stack that happened earlier this month. I always have fun coming up with cards for these events, and this year was no different. I decided against this design when I was all done because I felt that it was too involved. All those balloons was going to be wayyyy too much. Either it was loads of stamping up front by me, or using the same stamps with multiple inks at the event (a recipe for an ink disaster). Given all that, I knew that I had to simplify. The layout is the same on the card that I did go with, and the embossed panel even uses the same embossing folder. This card will go in my stash for my own purposes – I'll send it to a friend (or family member).

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Posted on : May 23 2017
Posted under Stamping |

Bird Cage Cuteness

I created this card for the Essex stamp club meeting in April. I'm not sure why I've been so long in getting this cute card posted… at any rate, I've gotten off my duff and I'm sharing it with you today.  Actually, I do know why – I've been caught up in working on my homework for the Mystery Quilt class that I've been taking. We had our big reveal class on May 13th, and I have to say that the finished design is a stunner. I have finished my quilt top, so I can now re-focus on stamping again.

This card was the more involved project of the two at the stamp club gathering. The front actually doesn't seem too crazy, but the inside involved some multi-step stamping to decorate the panel. I've got a (somewhat dark) picture here that shows the inside of the card. I enjoyed playing with this stamp set so much, I'm very sad that it is retiring and not carrying forward into the new catalog that starts up on June 1st. Tuesday is the day when availability of retiring stamps is no longer guaranteed. If you are interested in this stamp set, I encourage you to order it in my online store before it is gone.

In fact, a few of the items that I used on this card are retiring. The patterned paper that you see at the top and bottom of the front panel is already gone (*sigh*). The Calypso Coral thick bakers twine is also retiring along with the Tip Top Taupe cardstock. We do have some great new products that will be unveiled at the beginning of the month, but I will definitely miss some of these retiring goodies. Thank goodness that the brick wall embossing folder is hanging around – I am still totally in love with that one!

I was inspired by this sketch when I designed the front of this card. It is an almost exact lift of the design for the finished card. The only thing that I changed is the bow next to the greeting is a substitution for the heart shape on the sketch. I am pleased with the finished result on this card, and I hope that you like it, too.

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Posted on : May 22 2017
Posted under Sketch Challenge, Stamping |

Celebrating Bono

I have enjoyed many U2 songs over the years, and I would love to send a birthday wish to Bono as he celebrates his special day today. He has done so much to bring enjoyment to many people, and his advocacy for many social causes is especially noteworthy. I hope that he gets to enjoy a special celebration today!

This was the easier card that I created for the Cards for Cancer event I participated in on Sunday. I pre-stamped and punched the balloon and embossed the Pumpkin Pie layer, so the guests stamped the string and assembled the card. It went together lickety split! Several of the guests commented that they appreciated the bright cheeriness of this card as well as the ease in assembly.

I used this sketch here as the launch point for this card design. I didn't include the little strip with the sketch name as part of the design, but the rest of the layout is a direct match to the sketch. For some reason I tend to create cards that are vertically oriented, so it was nice to make one in a horizontal orientation instead.

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Posted on : May 10 2017
Posted under Sketch Challenge, Stamping |

Succulent Prettiness

This was the more involved card that I created for the Cards for Cancer stamping event that I participated in yesterday. Even though there were several stamping steps involved to created that image in the circle, this card actually was pretty easy for the guests to put together. I had them start by stamping the outline images first, and so many of them were pleasantly surprised that there are stamps to fill in the color. They thought that they would have to color in the image by hand. They also discovered that the images are really easy to line up, so they were much more pleased with the outcome than they expected.

I used this sketch for the inspiration for this card. The square panel and circle are a little smaller in my version so that you can see more of the pretty brick embossed layer behind it all. I didn't want to have the circle image dwarf the card; rather I wanted it to be a clear focal point, but the other aspects still get some visual attention.

I can't get enough of the brick wall embossing folder, and I am so glad that it is not retiring at the end of this month. Many other elements on this card are retiring – the stamp set, DSP, ribbon and the colored cardstock. If you want these things then I encourage you to order them quickly before they are gone for good. I'm especially sad to be saying good-bye to this stamp set because I have not given it this love this year that I should have. Succulents continue to be popular and I'm sad to see these images go away.

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Posted on : May 08 2017
Posted under Sketch Challenge, Stamping |

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