Friday, September 27, 2013

"Back" to the Blog ;)

Hi Stampers!

Had (once again) an unexpected break from blogging.  Don't you hate it when your "real" job gets in the way of creating?  My schedule is still crazy at work, subbing in the stress lab, training my fellow NCM how our Dr. Dean Ornish's the Spectrum classes run, and then of course my own nurse case manager duties.  Anyway, I'm actually at a crop weekend right now (woo hoo!) and thought you might like to know what I've been up to.

Last Friday, my Calendar Club girls were over and had fun making six different card designs (two of each).  I posted all of them previously, so you all got to see the sneak peeks ;)  Then, last Saturday, I proceeded to begin moving furniture to give myself some studio or creative space.

Unfortunately, in the midst of all the furniture moving, I locked up my back and had to cancel my Sunday class.  (Don't worry, I WILL reschedule!!!)  In the meantime, check out what I'm now calling my studio:

 View from the door, left side of room.
View from the door, right side of room.
 Corner desk area.
Modular storage from Michael's plus bookcase from Walmart on top.
Corner desk from IKEA that will eventually replace brown desk.
Re-purposed my big bulky coffee table to make a cutting table (lifted on a set of dorm risers!)
I am so excited to finally have my own space!  We really never used the living room anyway - not sure why, but people tend to come in my house & head straight to the dining room table (maybe they think I'm going to feed them??).  It wasn't my first pick, but since re-wiring the cable from the back family room would've entailed major headaches, I settled for this room and now that it's in progress, I'm pretty pleased!
Next time you come to class at my house, this is where we'll be!
I'm working like crazy this weekend designing Christmas cards for the next two months' Calendar Club.  Stay tuned!
Happy stampin'!
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Friday, September 13, 2013

Fall Friends

Hi Stampers!

Continuing this week with our "Use 3 Sets" theme, today's card features Gently Falling.  This is another set that uses the 2 Step Stampin' technique, but I wanted to work with my gold embossing powder and one of the new embossing folders from the Holiday Catalog, Pretty Print.  So instead of using both images (the light & dark ones), I used just the "bottom" or more "solid" image to stamp leaves in Versamark and then coated them with gold EP.  Unfortunately, my experiment with Versamark-ing my embossing folder & using EP didn't exactly work - my "image" is sort of backwards and indented - but I think it still turned out to be very pretty and "antique-y" looking.

See what you think:

The pretty DSP under all that embossing is from Venetian Romance.  I cut strips from 3 different patterns in the same color family and layered them onto Early Espresso, which is also the card base color.  Isn't that a nice, rich, autumn-y card?  Sweet Essentials is used for the sentiment, once again.
I remember the first time I used embossing powder.  I wanted to emboss EVERYTHING!  Check out my online store to see all the pretty colors our EP comes in.  It's one of my favorite tools to use to add dimension and a little oomph to any project.
I'll be back next week with more cards and ideas - heading up to see my Baby Girl march for the SRU Marching Pride at Saturday's football game, then visiting my mom overnight.
Happy stampin'!
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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Make a Wish

Hi Stampers!

Are you ready for more Stippled Blossoms?  Great!

I recently reorganized my Designer Series Paper to make it more easy to use.  The biggest obstacle for me is to actually cut into it - I tend to be a paper hoarder :-)  What I did was cut it into 6" x 6" squares so it would be easy to pull it out and USE it.  Hardest part was actually cutting into it - now it's cut and ready to go when I'm ready to create.  Here's how I've got it organized - these cases are actually sold by Close to My Heart (my bestie Debbie is a consultant).  Now I can just grab & go, whether I'm crafting at home or heading to a crop:

This little box actually fit ALL of my DSP packs cut down into 6" x 6" squares!!  Sweet!!

OK, here's today's card:

Once again, we see Stippled Blossoms, this time in Raspberry Ripple and Black Stazon ink, the leaves in Pear Pizazz and Always Artichoke.  I "fussy cut" the images again and layered them.  That gorgeous DSP is from the Modern Medley pack (I just love it!!).  The card base is Raspberry Ripple, as are the pretty little accent pieces, cut out with the Adorning Accents Edgelits.  I stamped the image in Raspberry Ripple, and added a few Basic Rhinestones for some bling.

What do you think?  A blogger loves to get comments - it's kind of the reward for our creativity ;-)

Happy stampin'!

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

2 Step Stampin' continued . . .

Hi Stampers!

Well, did yesterday's post take some of the mystery of using the Stamp a Ma Jig away for you?  I hope so!  It really is a helpful tool.

So, I know you want to see the card:
Couple things going on here - first, the polka dot DSP is from our paper stacks and it's actually Pear Pizazz - not sure why it looks so beige-y here.  I knew I wanted to use the scrumptious ruffle stretch trim, and the card base is also in Baked Brown Sugar.  Used my Big Shot along with Edgelits and embossing folder, stamped a sentiment from Sweet Essentials right on my DSP in Raspberry Ripple, and there are the flowers we worked on yesterday.
Drop me a comment and tell me what you think!
Happy stampin'!

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

2 Step Stampin'

Hi Stampers!

I'm glad you're back :-)  Are you ready to learn 2 Step Stampin'?  No, it's not a dance step (ha ha!).  2 Step Stampin' is a GREAT way to add dimension and depth to a stamped image.  Lucky for us, Stampin' Up! makes several sets that incorporate the 2 Step Stampin' technique.

One of my FAVORITE tools is the Stamp a Ma Jig.  What a silly name, huh?  And I'll admit it, when I first learned about the SAMJ, I was totally intimidated.  The SAMJ is a 2 piece tool consisting of a plastic handle and a clear square sheet.  When I took it out of the package, I was like, "Huh???"  I had to head on out to You Tube to search for an instructional video.  Once I saw how easy it was to use and how fantastically it helps you line up stamped images, I was HOOKED.

Now, if you've got a very good eye, you may not even need the SAMJ.  I do pride myself on having a good eye, but really, to get perfect results, I count on my SAMJ every time.

So, ready?  OK!  Let's get started with 2 Step Stampin'.

First, I stamped my clear sheet.  Pardon how messy mine is - it's well-loved.  To prepare for 2 Step Stampin', you'll need to line up your image and stamp your clear sheet.  Don't worry about what ink color you use - just use something dark enough to show up.  In the photo below, what I've done is placed the black "handle" piece down on my cardstock and then lined up the corner of the clear plastic sheet in the corner of the handle.  Then I slide my inked stamp in place and gently press down to stamp the image on the plastic.

Below you can see all my stamped images on the clear plastic sheet.  For Stippled Blossoms, I'm getting ready to line up the "top" or darker images to my "bottom" lighter images.
Next, I'll stamp the lighter, "base" image onto my cardstock,  I've used Blushing Bride here:

Now comes the fun part!  Using my clear plastic sheet, I'll line up my second image.  It's a little hard to see, but what I've done is lay the clear plastic sheet with the stamped image over top of my "base" to see where I want to stamp the "top" or darker image:

Once I've determined that my placement is correct, I line up the handle with my plastic sheet.

Finally, I remove the plastic sheet and again, gently line up my inked stamp with the handle and press down to stamp my second image:

. . . and voilĂ :

Gorgeous, no?!

So, I just repeat the process and 2 Step Stamp my flowers and leaves.  For the card I have in mind, I've "fussy cut" these:

Stop back tomorrow to see the card I came up with using these beautiful images!

Happy stampin'!

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Monday, September 9, 2013

Sweet Essentials, Gently Falling, and Stippled Blossoms

Hi Stampers!

Here are the sets I'll be using this week:

I think Sweet Essentials has some great basic sentiments, and Stippled Blossoms & Gently Falling are two good sets to start with if you want to master 2 Step Stampin'.

Wait, you say - what's 2 Step Stampin'?  Well, I'm glad you asked!  Stop back tomorrow for a lesson ;-)

Happy stampin'!

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Sunday, September 8, 2013

Variety is the Spice of Life, But Sometimes the Budget Dictates . . .

. . . that you make do with what you already have.

Hi Stampers!

I think this week I'd like to show you how you can "make do" with just one or two basic stamp sets.  Maybe you're a little short on funds or maybe you just don't have a lot of time to think about mixing, matching, checking Pinterest for ideas, or whatever.

SO - I'm gonna check my stash & choose one or two sets and create 7 or  more cards this week just to prove you DON'T have to have every set in the catalog - although, of course, if you'd LIKE to buy every set, well - don't let me stop you lol ;)

Stay tuned!!!

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Saturday, September 7, 2013

Peace On Earth

Hi Stampers!

Last Christmas card!  (This round, anyway.)

I wanted to REALLY use a different color for a card this time, and had a good supply of Early Espresso cardstock on hand.

This one uses the Calm Christmas set (clear mount, #132739, $14.95) from the Holiday Catalog.  I used Versamark ink and Gold EP for the image and sentiment, and then I ran the edges of my card layer through the Versamark pad, sprinkled it with the Gold EP and heat set the edges to give a "bordered" look.  It's kinda hard to see in the photo, and I didn't put my watermark on it so you could see it better, but this REALLY came out nicely - I wish you could see it in "real life".

That concludes this week's Christmas card postings!  I'll be back next week with who knows what :)  In the meantime, leave me a comment or two if you liked this week's cards.
Happy stampin'!

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Friday, September 6, 2013

Cool Christmas Color Scheme

Hi Stampers!

I know I've mentioned before how much I love the combination of blue and brown together.  Here's a card I came up with that uses some of my favorite colors - Early Espresso and the now retired (boo!!) Baja Breeze.  I used the Festive Flurry and Christmas Greetings stamp sets again, Very Vanilla for the top layer, and one of the absolutely GORGEOUS Frosted Finishes Embellishments from the Holiday Catalog.

What??  You don't have a Holiday Catalog yet?  Well, honey, give me a call and I'll get one into your hot little hands.  In the meantime, you can peruse it online right here.

Here's today's card:

One last Christmas card tomorrow, and then we'll see what I come up with next week!

Happy stampin'!

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Thursday, September 5, 2013

More Christmas Pretty

Hi Stampers!

Continuing with the Christmas prettiness this week, I've CASEd another lovely card from the Split Coast Stampers Gallery.  I just ADORE how Carole used a stamp from the Flowering Flourishes set and made it "Christmassy"!!

Here's my card:

Again, I've used the Christmas Collectibles Bundle and Christmas Greetings; cardstock colors are Old Olive and Real Red; ink is Gumball Green and Real Red; accessories used were Early Espresso Baker's Twine and Cherry Cobbler Dazzling Details - see, you don't always have to be "matchy matchy" ;)  It all blends!
Happy stampin'!

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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Christmas, Continued

Hi Stampers!

How've you liked my Christmas cards so far?  Today's card features the more traditional colors of red and green.  Once again, I've dipped into my stash of "papers on hand" - in this case, some scraps of retired DSP from last season . . . . aaaaaand, once again, I've CASEd a card from the Split Coast Stampers gallery.  I loved this card by Lynn.  So simple, but a great way to add texture and use up DSP scraps.

Here's my version:

I used items already mentioned this week - the Christmas Collectibles bundle and the Christmas Greetings stamp set.  Colors used were Real Red and Garden Green.  Oh, I also used the Petals-a-Plenty embossing folder - around this time of the year, it makes me think of poinsettias.  Gold EP and Versamark ink add a little "glitz", and there you have it - a very simple and elegant card that is easily mailable yet really striking.

What do you think?  Pull out some of your Christmas paper "stash" and whip up a few of these little pretties.  The DSP squares are 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" and the "banner" is about 1 3/4" x 2".

Happy stampin'!

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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

More With Thinlits

Hi Stampers!

Yesterday I promised you another Thinlits card.  Today we'll look at one featuring the Circle die.  Remember how I mentioned the lack of space to write a greeting?  Well, Patty Bennett, one of our top demonstrators, very kindly posted a video and instructions on how to extend the length of the card using the existing Thinlits die.  (One of the things I absolutely LOVE about working for Stampin' Up! is how we all share tips and ideas so freely!)

Here's the card:

One of my goals for this year is to start doing instructional videos.  Here's my first sad little attempt - this is pretty bad, but Rachel filmed me a little using my iPhone (anyone besides me absolutely HATE their voice when they actually hear it??  I sound so different in my head!!):

This was just to show y'all how the card "moves" with the Thinlits, and the extension of the card.
ANYWAY (shudder) . . . .
Card Recipe:
Thinlits - Circle card (133480) $32.95 (Again, notice all the other little dies you get!)
Bundle:  Festive Flurry Clear Mount Bundle (133285) $46.95

Stamps:  Christmas Messages (wood mount) $28.95

Cardstock/Ink/DSP/Accessories:  Whisper White, Pool Party, Not Quite Navy (retired), Winter Frost DSP Stack, Island Indigo Classic Ink, Basic Rhinestones
Stop back tomorrow for another Christmas card :)
Happy stampin'!

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Monday, September 2, 2013

Loving the New Thinlits Dies

Hi Stampers!

We've got Thinlits, and they are to "die" for ;)  This weekend I've been designing/CASEing Christmas Cards for my Calendar Club ladies.  We're doing holiday cards for the next three months.

Have you ever wanted to make a moving, flip, or "swing" card, but didn't want to fussy cut to get the motion?  Well, SU! has got just the thing for you - two new Thinlits dies.  So far we've got a Circle and a Label - I'm personally hoping for more in the future.

Here's the first card I made using the new Labels card die:

There are TONS of examples on Pinterest and other websites.  I'd also like to point out that I was short on cardstock that exactly matched the colors on my little strip of DSP here - BUT since our colors really blend so well, I was able to pull out some Pool Party and Not Quite Navy (retired) from my stash without breaking the bank or placing another order right now :)  Hey, I'm on a budget just like all y'all :)  NEVER feel like you "have to have" everything a card shows.  CASE it up a little, change the stamps, make it your own and use up some things you already have!  Maybe someone else's design will inspire you to break into YOUR stash and think out of the box, no?

Now, maybe you ALSO noticed (like I did) that there really isn't a whole lot of space on the card to add a greeting or write a note, unless you flip it over to the back.  Stop back tomorrow & I'll show you another card I made using a tip from a fellow demonstrator which adds more length to the card.

Card recipe:

Thinlits - Label Card (133479) $32.95 (notice all the other fun little pieces you get with this set!!)
Labels Collection Framelits (125598) $26.95
Cardstock/DSP: Whisper White, Pool Party, Not Quite Navy (retired), Winter Frost DSP Stack (132183) $6.95
Punch/Stamp Bundle:  Christmas Collectibles Clear Mount Bundle (133283) $27.95
Ink/Accessories:  Basic Gray, Versamark, Silver EP, Island Indigo Baker's Twine, Basic Rhinestones, Heat Tool, Delicate Designs Embossing Folder
As always, if you'd like to order any of the above supplies, I'd be honored to become your SU! demonstrator.  Feel free to browse my online store any time :)
Don't forget to stop by tomorrow for another Thinlits card - I'll be posting Christmas cards all this week!
Happy stampin'!

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