Monday, December 30, 2013

Getting Ready to Say Goodbye to 2013 . . .

Hi Stampers!

Well, here we are at the end of another year.  I hope yours was a good one, and I wish you "enough" in 2014:

". . . enough rain that you enjoy the sunshine; enough sorrow that you treasure your happiness; enough joy to overshadow your pain . . . "

That's not an exact quote, but I read something recently along those lines, and so I simply wish you "enough" :)

I'll be back on January 1st with another blog series, in which I'll feature three of my FAVORITE stamp sets - Perfect Blend, Gorgeous Grunge, and Tape It.  I'm challenging myself to come up with 31 projects that will primarily use stamps from these sets:

Perfect Blend
WM 130745, $13.95
CM 131392, $10.95

Gorgeous Grunge
WM 130514, $24.95
CM 130517, $17.95

Tape It
WM 130712, $26.95
CM 130715, $18.95

. . . aaaaaannnnnd just for fun, here's a card I did right before Christmas, for my mother-in-law.  Husband wanted a card with some "slits" in it to put folded bills in, and asked if I had a sleigh stamp.  I didn't - until the Clearance Rack Blitz.  (Have you checked it out yet?  NO??  Oh my gosh.  Get OVER there!!  TONS of goodies!!  Click here to shop.)  He actually came up with the idea of putting the slits in the sleigh so it looks like Santa's bringing some money (isn't he clever??).  This turned out so cute I plan to use the idea for my Christmas Calendar Club next December.  One thing I did forget to do though - he wanted me to hand-letter it to read, "HO HO HO, it's off to the casino we go . . . ".  Oh well - still darn adorable:

 
 
Stop back soon and check out my January Blog Series - til then . . .
 
Happy stampin'!

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Monday, December 16, 2013

A Few Tags, and Hiatus til After Christmas :)

Hi Stampers!

Just another quick post to show you some tags I worked on over the weekend, and to let you know I'll be on a little hiatus til after Christmas.  My mojo is struggling, and like all of you, I'm also busy getting ready for the holidays.  I may post a little in the next few weeks, but if you don't see much activity, don't panic - I'll be back & posting regularly SOON!


 
Now, I have to confess - I had a good laugh at myself when I made these.  Remember I used this stamp a while back and mentioned it coordinated with the Chalk Talk Framelits?  Except I was grumbling that I didn't know how they could say that, since the whole stamp image didn't fit on the largest tag from the set.
 
DUH.  I realized they probably mean that you can use the tiny punch framelits with this stamp, to MAKE it into a tag.
 
I was giggling pretty hard, let me tell you!!
 
Anyway, in case I don't get back here before next week, have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
 
Happy stampin'!

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Saturday, December 14, 2013

A Messy Desk is the Sign of a Creative Mind ;)

Hi Stampers!

. . . or so the saying goes, right?

It's cold & snowy today, and I haven't gotten out of my pajamas yet (and it's already after 2 p.m.!!).

I was supposed to have some card & papercrafting classes today, but cancelled them due to the weather this morning.  Of course, right now, it's just wet out - figures!!

Since I had some unexpected free time, I pulled out some of the supplies I had pre-cut from my fall Christmas card classes and started completing the cards and checking my own mailing list.  My desk is a MESS right now, but I'm having fun:

 
There's my ever-present mug of tea and a stack of partially finished cards behind that, with the ones I've finished to the right.
 
The funny thing is, you'd think I'd do more of this, but I spend more time designing cards & projects for my classes and this blog.  I'm not overly fond of mass-production, but when the pieces have been pre-cut and just need stamped and put together, I'd actually forgotten how much fun this is!  I'm hoping that's the same feeling my friends have when they come over to stamp with me during my classes :)
 
What are you up to on this winter weekend?  I hope you're finding time to do something relaxing and fun for YOU . . .
 
Happy stampin'!
 
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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Rose(s are) Red and (Wild Wasabi) Green

Hi Stampers!

Still trying to find my mojo, so today I stopped over to Pals Paper Arts to see what challenge they came up with for this week.  It's a color challenge, which I do like, since I can come up with my own design.  I dredged up a card sketch I found way back when out on the web and conjured up a fresh and pretty Valentine's Day card:

 
 
This is the color challenge:
 
 
 
I've been forcing myself to get out of my little comfort zone & use my Designer Series Paper.  This card used papers from the color stacks, all in polka dots.  I went "old school" and also pulled out my good old Modern Label and Word Window punches and my "go to" sentiment set, Teeny Tiny Wishes.  A few scattered hearts with the Small Heart Punch and some Whisper White Candy Dots finishes it off.
 
Clean and Simple and just my kind of card :)
 
Have you looked up any challenges this week?  Play along!  It's a great way to get the artistic juices flowing again!
 
Happy stampin'!


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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Mojo is Emerging . . .

Hi Stampers!

Welllllll, the mojo is showing a little of its face today.  Inspired by yesterday's attempts, I be-bopped over to Hand Stamped Sentiments and Freshly Made Sketches to see what challenges were posted this week.

HSS has a color challenge and FMS has a card sketch, so I combined the two to create this card:

 
This is the card sketch from FMS:
 
This is the color challenge from HSS:
 



Confession:  The stamp I used isn't from Stampin' Up!, although we do have one with a similar layout in the Holiday Catalog:



The stamp used on my card is from Close to My Heart - my good friend Debbie is a rep for them & I just loved this stamp from their September Stamp of the Month.  It had come out before our Holiday Catalog :)

Have you found some mojo yet this week?  I hope so!

Happy stampin'!

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Feeling SO Uncreative!!!!!

Hi Stampers!

UGH.  I feel like I don't have any creativity these past several days!  My mojo must've taken a Christmas break.  Seems like a lot of my stampin'/demo friends are also having the same problem, from what I see on the boards I follow.

I sneaked over to the Mojo Monday Blog to see what this week's sketch is, and to see if I could find a little inspiration.

For some reason, the Silver Foil sheets popped into my head and this is what I came up with:

 
I get annoyed with myself that I almost ALWAYS feel compelled to follow a card sketch to the letter.  Not really liking this card, but I wanted to share it with you because I know we all get into that "no mojo" slump as artists.  This needs something, but I'm not sure what.  I was toying with the idea of ripping it apart and putting some thin black ribbon behind the baker's twine for more contrast, and maybe even adding some dry embossing to the black card base for even more texture . . . what do you think?
 
Comment & give me your suggestions!  I love to hear what you think :)
 
Happy stampin'!

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Monday, December 9, 2013

HEADS UP! Clearance Rack BLITZ Begins Tomorrow!

 
Hi Stampers!
 
I'm posting this today so you can get a jump on the bargains tomorrow!  This sale begins at 12 midnight Mountain Time (that's 2 a.m. for us in southwestern PA) and everything is while supplies last and there will be markdowns up to 80% off!
 
Personally, I'm hoping for some embellishments and Designer Series Paper (perfect for using with my Envelope Punch Board), but who knows??
 
All I DO know is when Stampin' Up! loads the Clearance Rack, it goes QUICK.  So be ready to get some great bargains tomorrow on your papercrafting supplies!
 
My online store will be ready for you :)
 
Happy stampin'!

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Sunday, December 8, 2013

Quick Christmas Tags

Hi Stampers!

I've been doing a whole lot of nothing today, because it snowed fairly heavily this morning and I've been just keeping warm inside.

This has been a good day for looking over my stash of retired supplies as well as ribbon (which I seem to acquire a LOT of but don't use much).  SO, I thought I'd play around with making some gift tags since I was kinda bored.  Tags aren't one of my "things", but hey, why not try something different, right?

These aren't really fancy or anything, but I did use up a short length of sparkly Lucky Limeade ribbon that's been hanging around since Sale a Bration a couple years ago :)  Instead of stamping in black on the red cardstock, I believe next round I'll emboss in gold or silver to be more festive.  They look prettier "in person", but a little sparkle would be nicer, I think:

 
I also pulled out a little tool I have called "Bow Easy" - it really DID make the bows go a lot quicker, once I located a You Tube video giving directions ;)  I've put that closer to my work area for future use!
 
Well, it's getting dark here and that makes me sleepy.  Time to go check if there are any Christmas movies on tonight ;)
 
Happy stampin'!

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Saturday, December 7, 2013

Mini Coffee Cups

Hi Stampers!

These little coffee cup treat holders are all the rage on many papercrafters' blogs and the Stampin' Up! boards.  Of course, you know I HAD to try my hand at them :)


 
The first photo is the second project I did.  I actually like it somewhat better, so I'm going to use that as my Advanced Papercrafters class project in January.  I got the dimensions and idea from Becky Roberts' Inking Idaho blog.
 
The second photo idea came from Donna Wicks on the Stampin' Connection board on the SU! demonstrator website.  This is the tutorial I'm going to attempt to walk you through :)
 
You'll need a 5" x 11" piece of cardstock, scored at 1 1/2" inches on all four sides, plus score again at 3" at each end of the 11" length.  Next, snip both score lines on the shorter sides, crossing over the 1 1/2" score lines.  Then snip down to the 3" score lines and cut off both outside corner squares:
 
 
Assemble your box using Sticky Strip to hold the inside flaps down firmly:
 

 
For the handle, cut a strip of cardstock 1 1/4" x 12" and punch along the 12" edges using the Scallop Trim Border Punch.
 
 
The mini coffee cups are "taster" cups that I bought online at The WEBstaurant Store.  They were out of the plain white ones when I ordered, so I got the printed ones.  It doesn't really matter, because they're white inside and the price was the same :)
 
To cover the cups, I did find a template on another demo's website, but it was a little "off" so that was driving me batty.  I decided to cut apart two cups to make my own templates instead.  This actually turned out to be better, because the templates from the cups themselves are much firmer and easier to trace around.  Winning!
 
 
Next, I used my templates to trace around and cut out DSP to cover my mini cups.  For the cup lid, I used the third circle from the center of my Circles Framelits to cut out a "topper":
 


 






 
Finally, I decorated my holder using DSP cut into strips to cover the sides.  You'll need 2 each of 1 1/4" x 4 3/4" and 1 1/4" x 1 3/4".
 
I hope you enjoy this tutorial!  Shoot me a comment.  I always love to hear your feedback!
 
Happy stampin'!




 
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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Noel Kit

Hi Stampers!

I was so excited to open the My Paper Pumpkin kit for November.  This is really one of the cutest MPP kits EVER!!

This is one of the cards made from the kit:

 
My gosh, isn't this just ADORABLE?????
 
Here's what came in the box:
 


The kit had 5 strings of that SUPER CUTE star garland, which the instructions said to "wrap around" the Noel piece.  NO way was I wasting that stuff!  I used ONE of the strings, cut into 4 sections, so I have 4 whole strings left to use on another project - woo hoo!

I'm even more excited, because I won a prize from SU! for World Card Making Day - and my prize is another of these Noel kits!!!  Can't wait to get it and maybe adapt the kit to make something other than cards.  SO.MUCH.FUN.!!!

Happy stampin'!

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Monday, December 2, 2013

Finished Bags

Hi Stampers!

Short post today.  Just wanted to show you the finished treat bags, from the tags I blogged a few days ago:

 
Wondering about that "Wahoo!  You Did It!" sentiment?  Ahhhhhh :)  Well, those are two stamps from one of the My Paper Pumpkin kits.  Those are exclusive, never to be seen again stamps :)
 
Want to get in on the MPP kits?  Go to My Paper Pumpkin to sign up and choose me as your demonstrator.  For only $19.95 a month (includes shipping) you'll get a cute little kit complete with stamps and ink to create cards or another simple project - it's your "paper escape" for the month!  Some of the kits have been completely awesome, others a little too simple to suit me, but the stamps alone will provide you with enough creativity to last you quite a while!  Give it a try - you have no obligation to continue if you try it and don't like it!
 
That's it for today.
 
Happy stampin'!

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