London Friend

dragonfly dreamsMy heart is heavy today as I'm listening to updated reports regarding the attach that happened in London yesterday. I visited this fine city for work several years ago, and I was amazed at the friendliness of the people that I met and the wonderful cultural opportunities that abound. If I could send a card to a city, I would love to let London know that they are a "wonderful friend" as this card says.

I created this card for the February meeting of the Essex-based stamp club group. This was the more challenging card, but it really is not that hard. This one does have several steps due to alignment of the DSP strips, the stamped greeting, the ribbon, and lastly the pretty dragonfly. You can't see it from this photo, but the dragonfly is blinged up with some of the gorgeous Wink of Stella. This inexpensive accessory truly is a great way to add a special touch to your creations.

You may recognize the layout of this card, and if so, you are right. I shared a Valentine that I made with this design a little over a month ago. This design is a great way to show off some of the gorgeous Stampin' Up! Designer Series Paper (DSP). I love the pretty, bright colors that are featured in the Fruit Stand DSP. Isn't this card just the perfect pick-me-up on a really cold (at least in VT) spring day?

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Posted on : Mar 23 2017
Posted under Stamping |

So Much SAB!

This was the easier card that I created for the Essex stamp club gals for our February meeting. I wanted to take the opportunity to highlight some of the amazing products that Stampin' Up! has offered as Sale-A-Bration (SAB) rewards this year. There really are some great options on offer with quite a bit of variety. I used three of those products for this card: Avant Garden stamps, Delicate Details stamps, and the 3/8" Metallic ribbon. I love how they all come together to create this soft, pretty card.

I have one little tip for you if you want to recreate this card on your own. The lacy image from the Delicate Details stamp isn't quite long enough to stamp the full width of the paper in a landscape orientation like you see here. My trick is that I stamped the right side first, and then stamped the left – I did this stamping so that the edges of the stamp would meet on the left side of the card. In this way, I could cover the the meeting spot (which may not be perfect) with the stamped panel, and nobody is the wiser. I also used the grid lines on a Stampin' Up! grid paper sheet as a guide for the placement of the lace stamp so that I could have it peek out above the patterned paper, which I attached after stamping the lace.

I do have an update for you regarding Sale-A-Bration. We are nearing the end of the promotion (March 31st), and Stampin' Up! has now announced that these promotional products are available while supplies last. Sadly, the inventory of the cute tin has already been depleted, so it is no longer available. If there are products that you have been planning on getting, I encourage you to place your qualifying order sooner rather than later to make sure you have the best selection. As a reminder, you can select 1 free SAB product for every $50 in merchandise (before tax and shipping) that you purchase. 

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Posted on : Mar 15 2017
Posted under Stamping |

Birthday Fun Fold

I created this card for the February meeting of stamp club. I have been trying to give some love to various stamp sets that I haven't used lately, and this birthday set from the big catalog needed to see some ink. This stamp set coordinates with a cool banner Framelit set along with the balloon punch that was released last year. The coordinating Framelits are available in a bundle with another very versatile stamp set. I definitely encourage you to check them out!

This "fancy fold" card layout was shared at a recent Stampin' Up! On Stage event for demonstrators. I used the basic measurements to create my own take on it for this birthday card that you see here. Some of the panels have pieces of the Playful Pallette DSP (which is so bright and cheerful) along with some stamped panels. I pre-cut the base and the panels for the club gals, so they could focus on stamping and assembly at our gathering. While it wasn't hard, this was the more time consuming project for the evening. The most challenging part on this card was hand drawing the balloon strings using the Emerald Envy marker. laugh

I must confess that I wasn't that enamored with the Playful Pallette stack when I saw it when the big catalog "debuted" in June of last year. Some of the patterns are quite loud and potentially overwhelming. But… the colors used in the stack are fantastic, and Stampin' Up! does a great job of putting a less crazy pattern on the reverse side of their bold DSP patterns, so it is easy to use them. The gals at the club meeting switched up which patterns they used in the various panels, and all of the cards turned out great!

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Posted on : Mar 13 2017
Posted under Stamping |

Nailed It!

I created this card ages ago for a demonstrator swap featuring products from the Occasions catalog. I signed up to create a card featuring the Nailed It stamp set, and I'm happy to share it with you here. I love participating in these swaps because I get some fantastic samples to share with people and I appreciate having a commitment with a deadline to get the creative juices flowing. For this card I also pulled in a few products from the main catalog that I think coordinate nicely with the featured set for this finished card. I especially like how well the "congrats" greeting from the Sunshine Wishes dies goes with the "Nailed It!" sentiment in the stamp set.

I drew inspiration for this card from the sketch that you see here. This sketch was a challenge from last summer, but I love to say that they never 'go bad', and these sketches are always available for future inspiration. I thought it was a good fit for the elements that I wanted to feature in the card.

You may be wondering how I created the shape around the "Nailed It!" sentiment on this card. I used a small window-like die from the Bunch of Banners Framelits. The die is longer than the shape you see here, tho. To achieve this look, I die cut the full shape once. Then, I ran the die cut through the Big Shot again, but moved in the other end of the die so it would only be cutting one end of the shape. You can use this technique to create smaller shapes any time that you want, and increase the versatility of your dies.

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Posted on : Mar 07 2017
Posted under Sketch Challenge, Stamping |

One Sheet Wonder Take 2

On Sunday I held a One Sheet Wonder (OSW) class using a bright and sunny color scheme which was perfect to brighten the gloomy days that we've been having. This is an alternate set of cards that I created using the same cutting template and stamp set for the OSW sheet. This time I changed up the color scheme, the coordinating die cut words and greeting stamps, and the washi tape. I have always been attracted to a blue and yellow color scheme in stamping and in quilting. I decided that I would take the opportunity to create my own paper using this technique and a very pretty (to me at least) color combination. I really love the One Sheet Wonder technique for creating a bunch of cards to flesh out a stash for a quick grab and send. I also really love how the greeting stamps and die cuts that I used for this set coordinate – this pair was originally released as a bundle. They are still available, but you need to purchase them separately. 

I'll give you a tip that I shared with the class participants on Sunday. Almost all of these cards use washi tape as part of the design, so I look at the washi tape colors that I have as a starting point for picking a different color scheme. I have the go-juss Floral Boutique washi tape which is all in Night of Navy, so I started with that color as part of the combo for this card set. I'm quite please with how this set turned out, what do you think?

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Posted on : Mar 02 2017
Posted under Stamping |

Yum Treat Box

Bakers BoxI created this cute box for the inaugural session of a new stamp club that started up in January. I have some customers that HATE making boxes, and I wanted to get a feel for the tolerance of these ladies for them. I was very happy to learn that they don't have a problem with them, so I'll gladly incorporate box style projects in the rotation with this group… occasionally.

This box is made easy by the fantastic Baker's Box Thinlits die and the coordinating Homemade for You stamp set. I used both of them here on this project. The DSP mat, the holes that the ribbon is threaded through, and the "yum" sentiment are all cut using this set of dies.

I chose the color scheme based on colors in the Moroccan Designer Series Paper (DSP). I love the richness of the Emerald Envy color of the ribbon and the die cut mat from the DSP. And Delightful Dijon is a lovely contrasting and equally rich color. Both of them are In Colors, Delightful Dijon is part of the suite that will be retiring at the end of May. Thankfully, Emerald Envy is part of the newer suite, so it will be staying around for another year.

I have a little tip to share with you. See how the word "yum" looks like it is raised up a little bit? I achieved that by rolling up mini glue dots and using them to adhere the die cut to the box. Dimensionals (even cut down) are a little too unwieldy for this, and since I was doing tone-on-tone, a little height was needed to help it stand out. The rolled up glue dots gave just the right amount of differentiation between the word and the box.

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Posted on : Feb 24 2017
Posted under Big Shot Ideas, Stamping |

Valentine DSP

I created multiple of this Valentine to send out this year. I wanted to feature some of the pretty DSP in this stack from the Occasions catalog, and this layout was just the ticket. The designs are all white and red, so they are perfect for Valentine's day. Some of the designs have more subtle heart patterns (like the center panel) that makes them useful for other projects as well. I'm sorry I'm sharing a little past the holiday, but I definitely wanted to share this card and design here. You could use this same design for a wedding or anniversary card if you want, since Love applies to more than one occasion. wink

This card features products from all three catalogs that are current right now – main, Occasions, and Sale-A-Bration. The patterned paper and the wooden embellishment are from the Occasions catalog, the gorgeous ribbon is one of the free offerings from the Sale-A-Bration catalog, and the stamp set and coordinating dies are from the main catalog.

This layout is really great for using up some DSP scraps that you may have; each of the sections is 1 1/4" x 3" which works nicely with 12" x 12" or even 6" x 6" papers. I'm going to be going to a Stampin' Up! event in April and we'll be doing loads of swapping. I'm considering using this layout, but stamping the sections rather than using patterned papers. When demonstrators swap, they are hoping to get samples that they can share with customers to show different ideas for products that we sell. Since April is so close to the roll out of the new catalog I would prefer not to use patterned papers because they will retire (in all likelihood) with the new catalog, and therefore give a limited life-span to the card idea. If I stamp them however… as long as the stamps haven't retired, it should be good for the next year.

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Posted on : Feb 16 2017
Posted under Stamping |

CASEd Valentine

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

I decided to CASE this card from a sample on page 47 of the "big" catalog. I substituted a couple of products, but you can clearly see that this card is pretty darned close to the sample. I didn't have the wider Mint Macaron ribbon, but I do have the gorgeous linen ribbon. I also didn't want to have to take the card down to my sewing machine to stitch the label and ribbon to the card, so I substituted one of the amazing wooden embellishments from the Occasions catalog. I'm quite happy with how this turned out – what do you think?

You may be wondering what CASE means. It is an acronym for Copy And Stamp Everything, and it is definitely encouraged in the stamping community. If you are copying someone that you see online and you are sharing with others, please give credit to the original stamp artist (that's just good manners). I also wanted to show you that Stampin' Up! catalogs can be fabulous inspiration for CASE'd projects. And if you don't have all of the supplies used, it is totally ok to make substitutions with supplies you do have. I hope that you will find inspiration in our amazing catalogs to get crafting!

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Posted on : Feb 14 2017
Posted under Stamping |

Easy Peasy Valentine

I created this card for a new stamp club that started up in January. I wanted to show them our gorgeous patterned papers and I didn't have (at the time) the pretty red and white DSP from the Occasions catalog, so I improvised and pulled out these patterns from the Playful Pallette paper stack. They don't have a Valentine's pattern per-se, but the colors are great for a sweet wish, even if it is a non-traditional color combination. This card came together so quickly and easily – and the end result is quite lovely. I also took the opportunity to showcase a stamp set that is in the main catalog, that debuted in the Occasions catalog last year. I do love this pretty floral heart, and I was glad to have a chance to ink it up again.

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Posted on : Feb 08 2017
Posted under Stamping |

Dragonfly Prettiness

I created this card for a demonstrator-only swap featuring Occasions catalog products. The first time that I looked at the catalog, my eyes were drawn to the Dragonfly Dreams bundle – that was the first thing that went onto my wish list. The rest of the products used on the card are from the "big" catalog because I wanted to show off these fantastic products that we tend to forget about when we are dazzled by a shiny new mini catalog. The picture doesn't show off a couple of features that you can see when looking at the card IRL; I used some of the super-fine copper metallic thread in higgledy-piggledy loops under the dragonfly, and I painted the wings with Clear Wink of Stella to give it some sparkle.

I used some of the colors from the Succulent Garden patterned paper because they are gorgeous together. I actually do this quite often – look at the color combinations of papers to select colors for a project – even if I'm not using the patterned paper in the design. So, I encourage you to look at you catalog in this new way to find color combinations that go together beautifully.

The card layout may look a little familiar to you. It is based on the sketch shown here, and I used it for a card that I designed for a stamp-a-stack event that I participated in last spring. This sketch is so versatile, and I love how it can show off some pretty DSP with a great focal image. Changing up the colors and the focal image creates an design that looks quite a bit different. I very well may hit up this layout again, so stay tuned.

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Posted on : Feb 03 2017
Posted under Stamping, Techniques |

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