Friday, June 29, 2007

Oldie but goodie

Yet another night when I had no time to stamp anything new, so I'm posting this oldie but goodie stamped with the Best Fiends, Just among Fiends and Tags so much sets. The sentiment was stamped using various letters form the Just Between Fiends sentiments and the stamp-a-ma-jig. Since the just between fiends set did not have all of the letters of the alphabet, I had to improvise somewhat to create this sentiment. i used an upside down "U" for an "n" and half of a "w" for a "v".

I stamped this card last fall in a challenge to use Halloween sets for a non-Halloween card. I loved how it turned out and I'm so sad that the Best Fiends set did not make it into the catalog.

On the other hand, there are some awesome Halloween stamps sets, wheels and designer papers in the new catalog. I can't wait to place an order on July 1!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

This year's hostess sets are awesome!

Tonight I participated in another demo only swap. Unlike our typical demo swaps, though, this time we stamped full cards using the hostess sets from the new catalog. Late last night I designed two cards for this swap and I just love how easy it is to make cool looking cards with these sets.

This first card is stamped with the Vases In Vogue Level III hostess set. I used pretty in pink card stock as a base. I stamped the regal rose strip with the flower in regal rose ink and filled in the center with the new purely pomegranate color using a blender pen. I stamped the flowers on a piece of whisper white card stock and colored them with markers in regal rose and certainly celery and purely pomegranate with the blender pen. I used my cutter kit to distress the edges and added regal rose ink with the direct to paper method.

I stamped the vase on regal rose card stock, trimmed it out with my snips and colored the decorations with purely pomegranate. I then attached it to the main image with dimensionals and adhered the whole thing to a mat of purely pomegranate card stock. I stamped the sentiment in purely pomegranate ink and added crustal effects to the flowers, the leaves, the decorations on the vase and the centers of the flowers on the regal rose strip. When everything was dry I added the white grosgrain ribbon and assembled the card. I think it turned out pretty cute!

I designed the second card with the In the Spotlight Level II hostess set. This was a fun card because it's a bit of an unusual fold. I started with a piece of 5.5x4.25" now quite navy card stock for the base. I then stamped the largest "wheel" in this set in sky blue ink on sky blue card stock that measures 5.25x4". I adhered this to the base. I then took a piece of sage shadow card stock that measured 8.5x3.5", punched it with a slit punch and then folded it so that the edge of the card stock would slip under the slit. Once the card stock was folded, I stamped it with sage shadow ink. I stamped the thank you sentiment in not quite navy on sky blue card stock and punched it out with the 3/4" circle punch. I then adhered it to the top of the slit.
For the main image I stamped two different flowers in sky blue ink and added leaves and a stem stamped in sage shadow. I pierced the corners of the image and covered both flowers with dazzling diamonds glitter using 2 way glue. I stamped the two different small flower images in not quite navy on whisper white card stock and punched them out using a 1/2" circle punch, then attached them to the center of the flowers with dimensionals. I matted the main image with not quite navy card stock and adhered it to the top of the card.
I notice now that each of my cards is a bit monochomatic -- I guess I'm going through a phase. I really like them, though. Hope you do too.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Reason to Smile

Tonight I was supposed to be working on my swap cards and cleaning my stamp room, but I didn't feel so hot ofter work so I laid down for a little while. Well, now it's 11:06, and I still have to stamp my cards and clean the stamp room. Needless to say, I don't have a lot of time to post.

So why is the title of my post Reason to Smile? Because even when I have nothing new to show you myself, you guys come through for me and create wonderful cards that I can direct other readers to. Many, many thanks for that! And "reason to smile" also happens to be the name of the post that Lori uploaded to day with her sketch challenge card.

Lori used paper piercing, spring showers designer paper and Primas of different sizes to accent her card. It turned out really lovely, and I like how the flowers provide just that little something extra! Beautiful! Check out Lori's card and give her a nice round of comments!:

Is it wrong of the challenger to admit that I really like this challenge and this sketch? I can't wait to make another card! Hopefully I'll have a little bit of time Thursday evening after I get everything ready for the hostess appreciation night this Friday.

Monday, June 25, 2007

First out of the gate

And the two stampers who were first out of the gate for this week's challenge are . . . drum roll please . . . Rita and Teresa. Yay!

Rita did an amazing job on her card for several reasons. First, She used a really neat technique on the brilliant blue strip. I don't remember what this technique is called, but I can tell you I've seen directions and it involves the use of the hobby blade to make precise cuts, which means that you probably will never see me doing it. I love to cut with the paper snips and I can do OK with the hobby blade in a straight line, but there's no way I would try to use it to cut curves. S that's pretty impressive right there. And then Rita manage to pull off a recent limited supplies splitcoast challenge too, and I don't even know if she did it deliberately. Not so long ago there was a limited supplies challenge which required stampers to use shades of red white and blue to make a patriotic card without using traditional patriotic images. The challenge was so hard I'm not even sure if anyone did it (there was an easier alternate which most stampers gravitated to). But Rita's card definitely fits the bill. It's the perfect patriotic card and no stars or stripes in sight. Awesome! Please check out Rita's card and tell her how impressed you are with her talents:

The second stamper is Teresa and she even went beyond the call and created two cards! WOW! Teresa used designer paper on both of her cards for the strips. The first card uses a piece of patterned paper from the friends and flowers hostess simply scrappin kit and a piece of the saffron prints paper. I love how Teresa colored in each word on the sentiment in a different color. Very Cool! On her second card Teresa used scraps of the spring showers paper. On this card I love how the shape of the vintage brads mirrors the argyle pattern in the larger strip. Very, very cool! You can check out both of Teresa's cards here: Don't forget to leave her a not to tell her you love the cards!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

A Couple more RAKs

I wanted to share a couple more RAKs with you today. The first is a lovely card from Allison. Allison hails from Calgary and is a fantastic stamper and blogger. Instead of telling you about this card, I will let Allison do it in her own words. It's a beautiful card and I hope you leave Allison some nice comments. She's going through a bit of a hard time lately and I know she will appreciate knowing that we very much appreciate her artwork and all of the hard work she does on her blog! Thank you Allison for everything, especially this most excellent card, and please let me know if there's anything I can do to help with your current situation.

The second card was stamped by my friend and fellow demo, Wende Leverton. She brought this lovely card along with a plate of really yummy cookies over to my shoebox swap in may (which shows you how behind the times I am in posting RAK's. Wende wanted me to let everyone know that the design is by Heidi Funk a/k/a Inkylady on SCS, though Wende used different colors and designer paper on her card. It may be hard to see in the photo, but the main image is stamped in encore copper ink (retiring this year and already out of stock) which makes the image shimmer on the edges. It's really beautiful! Thanks Wende!

My challenge card + more square steps punch

As everyone knows by now, I am trying to convince Stampin' Up! to save the square steps corner pocket punch. If you'd like to help, please see this post. If you want to see what else you can do with this punch, keep reading. I'm about to show you something new.

It's not quite as easy as the medallion, but I love the effect.
Start by taking 2 2" squares of the same pattern double sided designer paper. Punch all 4 corners on one square and just two opposite corners on the other. You can see the way you need to punch the squares in this photo. please note that this paper is the same, you are just seeing both sides of it.

On the square with two punched corners, fold the corners to the inside as shown here.

On the other 2" square use scissor snips to cut off the punched corner pieces.

This is what the square should look like with one corner piece cut off.

And these are the pieces you should be left with after all 4 corners are cut off.

Now adhere the two corners on the first square and apply some adhesive to the top of each turned corner.

Use two of the corner pieces you trimmed off the other square and adhere them to the first square directly over the turned in pieces, making sure that the since of designer paper that matches the two unpunched corners is facing up. In this picture the punched piece was applied on the right side, and the left side still needs to be done. After you are finished you should only be able to see one design on the paper.

Now take the remainder of the second square (the piece with the corners trimmed off) and adhere it to the 1st corner as shown in the photo, making sure that the opposite design shows so that you have a contrast.
That's it. It took a little more work but now you have another cool medallion to decorate your cards with.

I used my medallion to finish off my challenge card for this week. I started with a perfect plum base, which I stamped in pale plum ink with the small flowers from the petite patterns set. Unfortunately the background pattern is really difficult to see in this photo.
I then layered on a piece of the enchante double sided designer paper from the winter mini. I was crossing my fingers that this paper would make it into the big catalog because it's so beautiful and it does not use any in-colors, but I think I'm out of luck on this as well, so I figured I might as well use the remainder of it on this card.
On top of the enchante paper strip I layered a piece of pale plum card stock which I first ran through the crimper for a little added dimension. I stamped the "congrats" sentiment from All year Cheer III in perfect plum on very vanilla card stock and punched it out with the small oval punch. I layered it on a Large oval punched out of perfect plum card stock and adhered it to the center of the medallion with a dimensional. I then added a couple of silver diamond brads from the vintage collection in the corners of the medallion of additional interest, and adhered the medallion to the card using dimensionals.
I like this card because it's just a little bit different and it's interesting but understated. Hope you like it as well.

Before you start on this week's challenge

I know I already posted today's new challenge, but it seems I neglected to direct your attention to one entry from last week's challenge, and it's just too adorable to pass up! Lori created this fantastic card. She also used the Love Ya Bunches stamp set (like me!), but used a different image. Her card is so cute! I love how the sentiment is highlighted by being stamped on a separate word window punched piece and popped up on dimensionals! Please leave a comment on Lori's blog to tell her what a great card she made!

Sorry for being so late in posting this, Lori! Hopefully you'll have time to play again this week!

Sunday Morning Sketch Challenge

I'm sure you will be happy to know that this is the last Sunday Challenge this year using retiring Stampin' Up! stamps. Next Sunday the retiring stamps will officially be gone and we'll have a whole new exciting Stampin' Up! collection tofawn over-- WOO HOOO.
Last week you were not allowed to use sentiment and background stamps, and I thought this week I would "flip" that restriction. So this week the challenge is you may not use any image stamps.
You may use any sentiment from a retiring Stampin' Up! set, but only the words, not any images. You may also use any background stamp (small or large), as long as it it intended to be a background. So no main images stamped repeatedly to create your own background.
For your color choices please limit yourself to one of Stampin' Up!'s color families (including the retiring in-colors, if you wish) plus neutrals. You may use any accessories, embellishments or designer papers. Feel free to modify the layout dimensions as needed for your card, as long as the general layout remains the same.
After you're done, e-mail the card to me so I can upload it here or include a link to your blog, website, or SCS gallery in a comment to this post. Happy Sunday Everyone!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

RAK's I've received

Tonight I wated to share with you some cards that I received from other stampers. I got the first card from my friend Jen, and instantly fell in love. it's a simple card, but the color combination is so nice and the black mat around the main image is so striking -- it's just the perfect card! And, as I mentioned last Sunday, this card served as the basis for last week's challenge. Cute, isn't it?

Diane form Canada sent me this second card as athank you for sending her my Chef card for her SIL. I really like that thank you sentiment, though it kind of makes it difficult to figure out the orientation of the card. I hope I got it right -- LOL! What I like about this card is that there are a lot of different flowers on it, yet the similar colors really pull all the different stamps together. Great job, Diane!

Tomorrow I will show you a couple more cards I received and will also show you other things you can do with the square steps corner pocket punch!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Retiring Accessories List Update

Please note that I have updated the retiring accessories list, which you can find in this post. All of the items that are no longer available are shown in red.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Save the square steps corner pocket punch!

WARNING - If you're tired of reading about this punch and the medallion please stop reading now and come back tomorrow for a post that I promise will have nothing to do with square steps. Really!

So tonight I met with a demo friend to help her out at a Girls Night Out event at a nearby club. Unfortunately, unbeknownst to either of us, the event was canceled (bad event organizer, bad!) but we made the best of the situation by heading to a nearby restaurant to grab a bite and chat. Of course the discussion quickly turned to the retirement list and I bemoaned the fact that I was going to lose my beloved square steps corner pocket punch to retirement (and, by the way, as of tonight the punch is sold out, so if you don't already own it, it's too late to get it -- sorry!). Well my friend, who is a member of SUDSOL, an on-line demonstrator group, told me that some ladies there are encouraging other demos to call SU to save the punch just because they like the medallion.

My first though, of course, was "how cool would that be?", replaced almost immediately with "SU will never reverse a retirement decision." To be completely honest, I did e-mail SU to express my disappointment at the retirement of this punch, but I figured I was the only one. However, now that I know there are other people out there who are also pulling for this punch, I'm starting to think that maybe we can get SU to reverse this decision and maybe place the punch on the dormant list, to triumphantly return like a Phoenix rising from the ashes in the January catalog? After all, isn't that what happened with the in-color stitched grosgrain ribbon? It was going to be discontinued after the expiration of the holiday mini until a call-in and write-in campaign made SU reconsider.

So tonight I'm here to thank the members of SUDSOL who are trying to save this punch, and I'm asking everyone else who wants to have this punch available again to call or e-mail Stampin' Up! and make your request known. Customers can e-mail Stampin' Up! at or call at 1-800-STAMP UP (1-800-782-6797). Demonstrators can e-mail or call demonstrator support. Thanks in advance for taking the time to do this. SU really does listed to customers and demonstrators, so if enough of us make the call or take the time to write a quick e-mail, we may just become agents of change and the square steps corner punch may be saved!

As a thank you to you all I stamped what may very well be my last square steps medallion card. I used the retiring going gray card stock for the card base and certainly celery card stock for the mat. I stamped a piece of whisper white card stock with itty bitty backgrounds in certainly celery and the soon to be retired cool Caribbean.

On another piece of whisper white I stamped the note image in certainly celery, and punched it out with the 1 3/4" circle punch. I adhered it to a mat of cool Caribbean punched with the 1 3/8" circle punch.

I then made two medallions (you can see the tutorial here), one out of a 2.25" square piece of cool Caribbean and the other out of a 2" square of notations double sided designer paper, which will also retire at the end of June. I used Cambria's technique to weave a strip of certainly celery through the cool Caribbean medallion (see her tutorial here) and adhered the Notations double sided designer paper on top. (You can see that this paper was the inspiration for the color scheme of this card). I mounted the circle with the main image in the center of the Notations medallion with a dimensional.

For the cool Caribbean corners I simply took a 1.5" square of cool Caribbean card stock and punched it in two corners, then cut it on a diagonal. I inserted these corners onto the white piece of card stock and mounted the whole piece onto the certainly celery mat. I then added the medallion strip and the card was done. It's a cute little card and I hope it will serve as a token of my gratitude to everyone out there who tries to save our punch. Thank You!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

And so the wait begins . . .

So today was it -- the release of the retiring accessories list. And now all of the mystery about the 2006-2007 idea Book and Catalog is over -- we know what's staying and what's going. And now we're all just waiting on pins and needles for the arrival of the 2007 Fall-Winter collection.
I am especially nervous as I just worked really hard yesterday to create this card -- only to find out this morning that the ribbon, cord and vintage brad I used on it are all on the retirement list! How very disappointing -- my sample is potentially obsolete before the new year even starts! There is a little hope -- Stampin' Up! has said that select ribbons will be offered again in a different format, so it's possible that the black grosgrain ribbon will make it. But what about the cord and the vintage brads? The new catalog cannot come too soon. The suspense is killing me!
Just in case anyone is still interested, I made the tassel from shredded black grosgrain ribbon and silver cord. I glued it onto the image with 2 way glue. The image is colored with garden green ink using a blender pen and I used a black vintage brad in the center of the mortar board. I used the silver end of the zig painty to do the faux stitching. I can;t say that this was a quick card, because the tassel took a little time, but I'm very pleased with the results.

Monday, June 18, 2007

It's too early for thanksgiving, but . . .

I have a brand new pumpkin image and a brand new Thanksgiving sentiment! So what's a girl to do? I gotta stamp!

I stamped this card with the new Year after Year and Holiday Wishes stamp sets. I used old olive and real rust ink on the pumpkin image and colored it in with pumpkin pie ink using a blender pen. I stamped the sentiment in old olive. Both the pumpkin and the sentiment are stamped on Naturals Ivory card stock and they are both matted with real rust. I used a piece of the new Brocade backgrounds double sided designer paper for the center panel and matted it with pumpkin pie card stock. I finished off the card with three rust buttons popped up on dimensionals and threaded with gold cord. I just love, love ,love how this card turned out and how easy it was to put together. In fact, the same is true for all of the year after year images! They truly make card making quick and easy!

This is another card I stamped with the year after year set. This card was a bit more difficult only because it involved the use of the hobby blade. i used the blade to create the panel on which to mount the matted flowers. the flowers are stamped in basic black on shimmery white card stock and colored in with so saffron and certainly celery. i also used the new fire round rhinestone brads in small and medium sizes for the flower centers. I added the sentiment, Prints double sided designer paper in so saffron and black gingham ribbon. I also used the slit punch to create a closure for the card. I know it's a bit monochromatic, but I still think it's kind of cute. The tone on tone designer paper adds just enough interest without distracting from the main image. Cool!

More challenge cards!

I felt like such a heel this morning -- I went to check my e-mail and found this card in a message from Amy that somehow I never opened yesterday -- I don't know if it arrived late or if I just missed it, but yesterday would have been the perfect day to post it. So I just want everyone to know that Amy forwarded this to me on Father's day, and I'm the dodo that missed the right day to upload!

Anyway, this is Amy Kennedy's entry -- Amy is a Stampin' Up! demonstrator and she used a tutorial she found on Cambria's blog to create the shirt on this card. Amy is so clever! By using the origami folded shirt for her main image she could use the retiring All Year Cheer II set to stamp her sentiment! It's a fab card, Amy! If you agree leave Amy a comment.

Rita decided to play this week as well. She has not been able to play the last couple of weeks because I kept choosing sets she didn't own, which is part of the reason why I left the challenge open wide to all retiring sets this week. So welcome back, Rita! It's great to have you playing again!

Rita used the spring garden set to create her lovely card. I really like the two narrow strips -- way ti get the most use out of parts of designer paper that others just toss away! And I love the little butterfly! You can find Rita's great card here: Stop over by her blog and let her know how much you like her card!

And we have a brand new player this week! Teresa is a Stampin' Up! demonstrator in the southern Chicago suburbs (hi neighbor!) and she used A Reason to Smile on her card. This is such a cute hostess set -- hopefully you had a chance to earn it this year! Teresa also scalloped two of her three strips, and I just love how much this extra step enhances the card. These little touches really do make a card extra special! You can find Teresa's card here: Be sure to stop over and let her know how fabulous you think her card is.

And last, but certainly not least, Michelle decided she liked the sketch so much she stamped another card. She used the mix and mingle set and you can see her card here: I love Michelle's excitement so I won't even deduct any points for not following the color and single stamp set rule-- LOL! I've said it before and I'll say it again -- if a challenge inspires you to be creative, then it doesn't matter if you break a few rules. It's all fun and it's all good!

Hopefully we'll have more challenge cards to share tomorrow!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

The first challenge cards are in aleady!

I hope everyone had a fantastic Father's Day today! It was a super hot day here in Chicagoland but the heat and the 17-year cicadas did not deter us from our Father's Day tradition -- a picnic at the Duffy forest preserve in Lamont. I didn't realize this, but I guess the tradition goes back 45 years, so it's no wonder that no one let the weather and what are essentially harmless bugs spoil our fun. As uncomfortable as it may have been this year, it was a vast improvement over last year when we bar-b-qued while huddling under vinyl tablecloths during a horrendous downpour!

Over the years the number of attendees has grown so much that this year we were warned that we should have obtained a park district permit for our group. Fortunately, my uncles were able to convince the park district police that a warning was sufficient, assuring them that we would certainly follow the rules and obtain a permit next year. LOL! We're picnicking outlaws!

But enough about me -- let's talk about the fantastic cards that have already been stamped for this challenge! The first is by Nikki, who came up with this totally awesome (and very topical, given the date) card. I really love Nikki's coloring, her simple but poignant sentiment, and her use of twill and buttons. Great job, Nikki! If you agree, be sure to post a comment for Nikki here and let her know!

The second card is from Dawn. She used the Ruff Day stamp set which may sound odd considering the color combination but actually looks really adorable! I love how Dawn gave the dog almost amethyst spots and a rose red nose. It makes him look so playful! The scalloped edge at the bottom is very pretty as well. Way to go, Dawn! You can find Dawn's card here: Be sure to leave her a sweet comment!

Michelle used the sketch to create a card using the Glam Girl set. She used a scalloped edge on her card and added some rickrack to emphasize the curves. I really love how she used the hairdryer cord to wrap around the mat of her main image. Very Cool! Here is Michelle's card: Check it out and let her know how much you like it!

Today's final card masterpiece was created by Marie. Marie used the Spring Bouquet set to create a lovely background and main image. I am so amazed at this card because I struggle so much any time I try to fill up a blank piece of card stock with a variety of stamps. For some reason I just do not have the "vision" to be able to create this kind of collage, so I really admire stampers who make it look so effortless! Another cool thing about Marie's card is the way she used crystal effects on the matted image to emphasize certain aspects of the design and the way she used a simple center of the flower stamp to create a design across one of the strips of card stock. All I can say is WOW. You can find Marie's card here: Go see it for yourself and please leave a nice comment as you visit!

that's it for challenge cards today, but hopefully we'll get more players throughout the week. Come on, everyone -- it's a lot of fun and a great way to get re-acquainted with sets that you haven't used in a while and are now slated for retirement! You will find the rules of the challenge here

Sunday Morning Challenge

I'm cheating! Normally I post the challenge first, and then make a card, but since tomorrow is Father's Day and I may not have time to stamp a card, this time around I did things backwards. I first stamped my card and then wrote up the challenge to match the card. Sorry! But at least this way you'll get to see a sample right away!

The challenge is a little different as well, in that you will have a wide variety of sets to choose from. Your cards should be stamped with any 1 of the Stampin' Up! sets slated for retirement at the end of the month. Given the lengthy retirement list, I would think everyone will have a stamp set they can use for this challenge. The trick is, you may not use any other stamp set, so no other backgrounds or sentiments allowed. Some sets, like the Love Ya Bunches set I used in my sample, make this a little easier because they include sentiments. But then again a card doesn't always need to have a sentiment. Sometimes we should let the beauty of the image speaks for itself.

The layout for this week's challenge is fairly basic and the colors - Rose red, So Saffron, Almost Amethyst and Certainly Celery - are taken directly from the Palette O'Prints - last month's Stampin' Up! designer paper sampler. You may use the designer papers if you have them, but the colors are lovely enough to use together even without any designer paper. You may add up to 2 neutral colors to the mix and you do not have to use all 4 of the challenge colors if you don't want to, but you should use at least 3.

This is my card. It was inspired by a lovely RAK I received from my friend Jen (I will show you that and other RAKs I received recently in an upcoming post). In trying to decide which stamp set to use I remembered telling you that I loved all of my stamp sets and realized that this was a lie. I do have a couple of stamp sets I don't love, and this is one of them. Why don't I love this set? Simply because I haven't had a chance to use it much since I bought it in December. I'm sorry to say it has been kind of neglected, and now it's retiring! How sad! So as soon as I realized this I knew I had to use it for this card!

And here it is. Once again very simple (I'm on such a simple card kick lately!). I stamped the image and sentiment in basic black ink and I colored in the images using my ink pads and a blender pen. I used strips of the prints designer paper in different colors but the same pattern to add a little interest to the card. Nice and quick -- nothing to it.

So there you go. When you finish your cards include a link in the comments to this post or e-mail the photo of your card to me at and I will upload it here. Happy stamping and Happy Father's Day!

Double duty punches

I spent a good part of the evening working on more flip books for my hostess appreciation party, but I managed to stamp this quick little card. The heart image, stamped twice so that the hearts look intertwined, is from a new set called Year after Year -- a perfect all-occasion stamp set. The sentiment is from a new set called Hugs & Wishes. I loved how quickly this card came together. I don't know about you, but I never seem to have an Anniversary card on hand when I need one. Now I won't have to worry because even if there isn't one in my card stash, I know I'll be able to put one together in a jiffy.

I know I mentioned before that I used the designer label punch to achieve the type of corner effect seen in the card above, and I thought I would post a couple of photos to show you exactly what I mean. This photo shows the underside of my designer label punch. Hopefully you can see the two sets of lines on either side of the upper left hand corner of the designer label. I drew these in with a sharpie marker so that they would be a permanent guide for me when I'm punching my corners. This way the corners will be the same on the image and the mats.

I use these guide lines when I insert a corner of my card stock into the punch. If I want a "shallow" corner, I use the first set of marks. If I want a deeper corner I use the second set of marks. For this card I wanted shallower corners, so I made sure that the outside edges of the corner of my card stock was lined up with the outside edges of the first set of lines. It's a little hard to see in the photo because the card stock is white (Note to self -- take better photo tomorrow) but I think you can make out what I mean.
This way, I don't need special corner scissors or decorative edge scissors to get a fancy corner shape -- my designer label punch helps me by working overtime. Cool!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

more new stuff -- I can't help myself!

Wow -- I guess I'm really weak. I really wanted to keep these new projects to myself, but I'm just too excited about these new stamps not to share! Here is another card I designed using the Baroque Motifs set. I used Gable Green and Purely Pomegranate ink and card stock as well as a 3/4" circle punch and whisper white card stock. I stamped the flourish set in gable green on the gable green base. I then stamped several of the small flowers in purely pomegranate and colored the centers with my gable green marker. I punched them out with the circle punch and spaced them randomly among the flourishes. I stamped the square medallion in purely pomegranate on whisper white card stock and colored the inside with gable green marker. I then stamped the large flower on another piece of whisper white card stock, colored portions of the inside with the gable green marker, trimmed out the flower and adhered it to the top of the square medallion image. i matted the square with a piece of gable green and purely pomegranate card stock and that's it. It was that easy! What a fun, bright card. Demonstrators got a sneak peak of some new ribbons that are coming so we know that there will be a double stitched pomegranate ribbon! I can't wait -- that would have been the perfect finishing touch for this card!

I designed the second card using the Pick-A-Petal stamp set. I stamped the polka dot petals individually with the new sky blue ink on shimmery white card stock. I then stamped the petal outline in not quite navy and trimmed out each petal. I stamped the center in purely pomegranate, also on shimmery white card stock, and trimmed it out as well. I created a background paper on a piece of purely pomegranate card stock by stamping it with three of the "center" stamps from the Pick-A-Petal set in purely pomegranate ink. I took a strip of sage shadow card stock and stamped the sentiment from much appreciated using purely pomegranate ink. I matted this strip on a slightly wider strip of not quite navy card stock, and adhered the whole strip to the purely pomegranate layer, which I matted with a layer of not quite navy. I adhered this whole layer to a sage shadow card base. I adhered the petals in a circle until the entire flower was formed, inserted a not quite navy brad into the middle of the flower center and adhered the flower center to the top of the flower. Voila -- a fantastic thank you card using a hot new color combination that is the perfect blend of the permanent color families and the new in colors! I just love it -- hope you do too!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Pink Snow

Another player has decided to take up the challenge. Lori didn't have the Snowflakes set, so she improvised and used Snowflake Spot and Snow Flurries. She stamped the snowflakes in two shades of pink craft ink and made them sparkle with iridescent ice. she also used paper piercing, a self-adhesive rhinestone and the poppin' acetate technique! Woo Hoo! A truly excellent card. Check out Lori's work here and make sure you leave a comment to let her know you love it!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Goodbye gorgeous!

I've been busy in my stamp room working on samples with the preview sets from the new catalog, but I don't really want to unveil them all quite yet. After all, I have to save some surprises for the open house! Besides, I still want to use this time to pay homage to all of the retiring sets, like the gorgeous grapevine I used to stamp this card.

My compromise was that even though I was using a retiring set, I still used something new -- a couple of the new in-colors. I used the Purely Pomegranate to stamp the grapes and the River Rock to stamp the lighter shade of the leaves. I really love how well River Rock coordinates with Old Olive! I'm going to have a lot of fun using that combination in the coming year!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Simply Irresistible

One of the best things about being a Stampin' Up! demonstrator is being able to pre-order things before they are available to the general public. This month all of the demonstrators were able to order 1 of each item featured in the Fall-Winter 2007 Collection preview brochure. Yesterday I received my delivery, and I am in love! As much as I wanted to play with some of the retiring sets tonight, these new stamps and papers were simply irresistible. I could not concentrate on anything other than creating some samples with my new toys.

Here are two samples I designed with the Baroque Motifs set. The first is an altered picture frame. I covered the outside of the frame with the Brocade designer papers that coordinate with the Baroque Motifs set. By the way, I adore these papers -- they are so beautiful in real life! I left the designer paper alone for the most part, though I did stamp the corner medallions in chocolate chip ink and added just a bit of chocolate grosgrain ribbon.

For the inside of the frame, I started with a 4x6 piece of naturals ivory card stock which I stamped with the linen background inked up in sahara sand. I then stamped the flourishes with River Rock - a brand new In-color for next year. I really love how this color coordinates with all of our permanent colors as well as with the other in-colors. It's fabulous!

I stamped the cherish sentiment in the upper right hand corner in chocolate chip and randomly stamped the small flowers in old olive. I then stamped the large flowers on naturals ivory card stock in chocolate chip ink and trimmed them out. I added old olive brads to the centers and popped the large flowers up on dimensionals. Because they're popped up on dimensionals, some of the large flowers spill over from the photo area onto the frame, creating a neat effect. I think this altered frame will make a lovely decoration for my stamp room, and it may just show up as a future class project!

My second project was this wedding card. I couldn't wait to see what this flourish would look like heat embossed in silver and I was not disappointed. All you need is that single stamp and a sentiment for an absolutely gorgeous and elegant card. I once again used the Cherish sentiment from the Baroque motifs set and embossed it too with detail silver. I stamped the little heart in a circle image from the In The Spotlight Lever II hostess set in encore silver ink on brushed silver card stock and heat embossed it with detail silver to create a little charm. I hung the charm using silver cord from a narrow silver organdy ribbon tied into a bow. I added a brushed silver mat and adhered the matted image to a 3x6 whisper white base. And that's it - the perfect wedding card.

If you'd like to see these and more samples made with the new stamp sets, designer papers and in-colors in person, contact me for information about my new catalog open house. I look forward to seeing you in July!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The opposite sketch

Do you remember the Nickelodeon program "You can't do that on television"? Remember how they used to do the opposite skit, where everyone would behave the opposite of the way they would normally act? Well, this card is my opposite take on this week's challenge sketch. I made the strip that goes across the whole card very narrow and the featured image very large. Still within the challenge rules (hey, it's fun when you get to make the rules) but I suppose not really faithful to the spirit of the challenge.

Oh well, here it is anyway. The base is blush blossom with the small snowflakes stamped in blush blossom across the top. The medium snowflakes are stamped in perfect plum on a strip of shimmery white card stock flamed by a strip of perfect plum and pale plum card stock. The large snowflake was colored with perfect plum and pale plum markers and stamped on shimmery white. I punched the corners with the designer label punch and matted the image on perfect plum. It's still shades of pink and purple, but it's so different from my other card. Where the other card was warm and cheerful, this one is more cool and reserved. I still like it though, What do you think?

Monday, June 11, 2007

Pretty Princess Birthday Card

Remember the Pretty Princess card I made a couple of weekends ago -- the one I couldn't show you because I was afraid the recipient might see it here before her birthday? Well, her birthday is today and by now she must have received the original, so I can share a photo of the card with you.
The card is 5.5x8.5. I used the stamp-a-ma-jig and stamped a cake several times to create this multi-layered cake. I used the candles from Blooming with Happiness and the stamp-a-ma-jig to stamp 13 candles on top of the cake (the recipient is turning 13). I colored the cake with pixie pink and pink passion and used a 2 way-glue pen to add glitter to all of the "frosting" on the cake and the candle flames. I used the wrought iron corner punch to frame out the cake image and the sentiment. I really like the way this turned out and I hope the new teenager will too!

Flakey Friends!

I'm so happy that my Snowflakes challenge did not scare everyone off. I know this time of the year no one wants to think about snow, but it's really the best time to think about it because you can just enjoy the fun memories of the beauty of snow, without the cold harsh and grey reality of the icky slush and frost and ice that usually comes with it.

I'm very happy to say that Nikki stamped two cards for this challenge, and they're both super! I love the way she used the eyelets on this card and the little snowflake charms on her second card, which you can see below.

You can read the details about each card plus check out all of Nikki's lovely stamped creations on her blog. And please be sure to leave her a nice comment!

Marie also posted a link to her beautiful challenge card, complete with snowflake embellishment and blink. Check it (and all of her other cards) on her blog and leave her a nice comment as well!

Thanks Nikki and Marie for playing. I just love seeing all these snowflake cards. As Holly said in a comment to my card, they remind me of snow cones, and who wouldn't want to think of snow cones in June?

The challenge is open all week and anyone can play, so get out your snowflakes set and join us!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Raspberry Snow

Well, as always, I sure enjoyed stamping with this set. I just really love these snowflakes and they turned out just delicious in shades of pink and purple. For this card I used card stock and classic ink in Pretty in Pink, Rose Red, Regal Rose and Lavender Lace. I first stamped the larges snowflake in pretty in pink on the pretty in pink base. I then stamped the random snowflake pattern in all four colors on a strip of whisper white card stock. For the "featured" snowflake, I used shimmery white card stock and craft lavender lace ink. I also used the lavender lace ink for the "winter" sentiment. I then heat embossed both the featured snowflake and the sentiment with detail clear embossing powder.
It's definitely not your typical holiday card, but wouldn't you just love getting a pretty pink card like this in the middle of winter? I know I sure would!

Sunday Morning Challenge - Snowflakes in June!

I think by now everyone realizes that I absolutely love all my Stampin' Up! sets. Choosing a favorite set is a Sophie's choice. Can't be done!

Having said all that, if there were five sets that I would recommend everyone have in their collection because of their beauty and versatility, the Snowflakes set would definitely be in that five. It's a gorgeous set with snowflakes of just about every size and with a sentiment that is both beautiful and can be used on holiday cards for just about everyone on your list. So in honor of its retirement, today's challenge is to use Snowflakes in June.

The fun part? The colors are going to be a little non-traditional. We'll be using all the shades of pink and purple that we were forbidden to use with last week's challenge. I can only imagine the yummy snowflake cards that will be created for this challenge!

So that's it. Use the Snowflakes set for your main image. You can use any other background or sentiment set and any techniques or embellishments. The layout is take directly from last night's card, though you can change the sizes of the stripes and the square to fit your card. Get out those pink and purple inks and have a great time! Don't forget to post links to your finished creations here or e-mail them to so I can upload them to this blog. I will post my first card a little later today.

scrappy wheely fun tutorial

I know you were probably expecting a challenge, but I was so excited this morning I had to take pictures for this tutorial before I could even think about writing up a challenge. (Don't worry -- the challenge is still coming and I think it's going to be fun!)

But we'll start off today with a tutorial on how you can isolate sentiments from the new All About Birthdays and All About Gratitude Jumbo Wheels. This is a great way not only to get more uses out of your wheels, but your scraps as well (and we all know how much I love my scraps!)

The first thing you need to do is grab a piece of scrap card stock slightly wider and longer than you wheel and wheel yourself an index print.

Here is my index print. The eagle eyes amongst you will notice that it's not the same as the piece I started wheeling in the above photo. Unfortunately, I did not line that one us correctly to get the entire wheel design on one page, so I had to turn the scrap card stock over (thank goodness for the second side, right? Waste not, want not!) and wheel the design again, doing a better job of lining things up this time.

Measure the sentiment you want to isolate with a ruler and grab a piece of scrap card stock that is slightly larger (you can always trim it later). You can see in this photo that my scrap piece is covering the entire "Make a wish" sentiment.

Clean your wheel very well before going on to this step. I cannot emphasize that enough! After the wheel is clean and dry, use your stampin' write marker to color in your desired sentiment, being very careful about not getting ink on any of the adjoining sentiments.

Take you scrap piece of card stock and press it onto the wheel over your chosen sentiment. Make sure you are holding one end securely as you wrap the card stock around the wheel, and then hold the card stock on at both ends, as shown in the photo below.

Once your entire sentiment is covered, hold the scrap card stock at both end with the fingers of one hand while using the fingers of the other hand to gently press the card stock into the wheel -- similar to the way I recommend stamping background stamps. You may wish to breathe or "huff" on your wheel before covering it with the card stock to make sure the ink is active.

When you release the card stock from one end you can see that the sentiment made a perfect impression! If yours did not come out perfectly the first time, just re-ink your wheel with your marker and grab another piece of scrap card stock.

Here is the "Make A Wish" sentiment on top of the original index sheet. If you're using this stamped piece along with the rest of the wheeled images, you can now trim the card stock to more closely match the size of the sentiment. You can see on my card from last night how I "featured" this sentiment on a background made with the rest of the wheel. Or, if you prefer, just use the sentiment by itself on a card that doesn't make use of the rest of the wheel.

If you have a lot of time on your hands and love playing with markers as much as I do, you can use this technique to color in the entire wheel. Here I used stampin' write markers in real red, brilliant blue, green galore, only orange and yo yo yellow.
Because ink from the markers dries quicker than ink from the ink pads, you might have to "huff" on the entire wheel and you may not get a "superb" impression from every sentiment on the wheel. However, you can always go back and add a little color with your stamping write markers. Because of the time factor, I would not recommend using this technique when you have to make many copies of the same card, but the unique effect would make a great card for a very special someone.
Also, learn from my mistakes and if you invest the time to color in each individual sentiment with markers use the wheel guide when wheeling so that your design is wheeled perfectly straight. In this photo you can tell that my hand wavered a little towards the end.
Well, that's it. Hope you enjoyed this tutorial and can now see even more possibilities with this exclusive hostess set (available exclusively to Stampin' Up! hostesses between July 1-December 31, 2007). Call or e-mail me to save the date for your party so you can earn one of your own!

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Wheely Fun!

I spent a good deal of time in my stamp room today, but not on anything worth showcasing on the blog. I did, however, have a chance to make this card with one of the new hostess sets from the Fall-Winter 2007 collection. This is a level II hostess set and it comes with a 4 piece stamp set and 2 jumbo wheels. I just love jumbo wheels -- they're great for both scrapbooking and card making and make really quick work of covering even a large area. And the two wheels that come with this hostess set are particularly cool because they're comprised of a bunch of sentiments, which can be used together or separately.
This card uses one of the stamps and one of the wheels. I wheeled the sentiments in read red ink onto a wide strip of real red card stock. I then cleaned the wheel, chose one of the sentiments to feature and used the wheel to stamp just that sentiment in brilliant blue ink on confetti white card stock. I inked up the candles stamp with my stampin' write markers and used crystal effects on the flames. the "make a wish" sentiment and the candles are popped up on dimensionals.
I like this card because it was easy to stamp and it would work well for men, women and kids. And the bold bright colors make me happy! The layout is kind of cute too and you may just be seeing it again tomorrow morning ;-). Until then, goodnight!
P.S. If you like this set as much as I do you can earn it based on sales at your July party. Call or e-mail me to book your date.

A tortured sketch

Before I show you the tortured sketch, I just wanted to post a photo of a couple more cards from the designer paper One Sheet Wonder. Actually, these cards were originally supposed to have more designer paper on them, but I decided it wasn't necessary. The single 1/4 inch stripe makes enough or an impact just on its own. Both of these layouts would be great for using those tiny strips of either designer paper or card stock left over from your other projects!
And here is the tortured sketch. For whatever, reason, I've been really hung up on both this sketch and the idea of paper piecing flowers. Tonight I had the idea to rotate the sketch 90 degrees. Can I hear "That's a lousy idea?" Well, as it turns out, it was in fact a really lousy idea. It actually may have worked if I chose to use another stamp set, but I was really determined to use this birthday best set. In the end, the card just looks weird and I probably should not have posted it here for all the world to see, but I always loved outtakes and bloopers so I wouldn't dream of depriving you of this gem from my very own blooper reel. ;-). Have a great Saturday!