Start With a Button…

In New England there is an expression that goes something like, “Start with a button and make a shirt,” meaning to begin with something small and make something larger out of it.

worktable

Yesterday I spent the day with my friend Ann, and we worked on several different projects, each of us sharing a new stamp set that the other doesn’t have. We had a great time together as we let the creative juices flow! Does your work table ever start to look like this when you get going on your projects? Wait, don’t tell me – I know the answer to that!

Before I left, Ann had unearthed a long-ago leftover die cut from the Rose Garden Thinlits that she had cut out of a piece of Rich Razzleberry  from the Designer Series Paper Stack. She handed it to me with the challenge, “Make something from this.”

So, when I got home I took that “button” and made a whole project around it:

Dotty Rose

What do you think? Was this a successful “button” transformation? You can just barely see it in this photo, but I also sparkled up the “hello” script with a coat of Clear Wink of Stella.

Sparkly Hello

Here are the colors that I used for the Dotty Rose card:

 

You can click on any color swatch to see what products Stampin’ Up! offers in those colors.

Did you notice anything different about the card? It is purely papercraft; no stamping at all! And something else; Ann and I had been talking about how neither one of us tend to use Always Artichoke in our cards, so I made a point to use that color in this one. I quite like it along with the other colors in the group, how about you?

Here are all the supplies I used and links directly to more information or easy online ordering. Here’s a tip: I mounted the script “hello” onto three rolled up glue dots; they are narrow enough to stay hidden and provide a modest height for dimension:

 

Kitty Cats and Cards Don’t Mix!

Mallett's Bay Boat

Ok, I am finally ready to tell this story; it isn’t pretty, but Real Life is messy, as I’m sure anyone who has ever had a dog, a cat or a small child will understand!

I mentioned at the beginning of June that I had attended a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator’s event where we met together to make each others’ cards in what is called a Shoebox Swap. Everyone brought a card sample and all the materials for everyone in attendance to make their own copy of the card. They ranged from quick and easy to more elaborate, but hands down, this card, designed by our colleague Mary, was the most detailed and time-consuming card there. Not only was the front gorgeous, but the  inside was decorated too:

Mallett's Bay inside

It was so detailed, in fact, that to save time, I took a picture of it and just brought the materials home to finish the card. It had originally been made into a birthday card, but I decided to make it into a Father’s Day card for Reggie’s dad. I thought it was perfect; it reminded me of Mallett’s Bay, the part of Lake Champlain in the town of Colchester, VT near where Dad lives, and this Dapper Denim blue and Cucumber Crush green are the exact colors of Colchester High School. What could be more perfect?

I usually finish my cards late at night, after my husband has gone to bed, so when this one was done, as usual, I set it up on the kitchen table so that he could sign it before he left for work and we could get it in the mail on time.

The next morning, imagine our supreme annoyance when we found the card knocked over, flat on it’s face, and a giant hairball thrown up on the back of it!

Now, we have four cats, but we knew immediately who the culprit was:

Eddie. The Emeritus Cat. He’s the Old One, and lately he’s made a habit of plunking himself down on my work table, right in the middle of the stamps, cardstock and embellishments.

So, what to do? Too late to make a new card, and this one had taken so much time! I did what any other paper arts lover would have done – I cut the front of the card off, mounted it onto a new, clean card base, cut the little boat out of the inside and re-used it, stamped the greeting again and die cut another lake from the Swirly Scribbles Thinlits Dies for the boat to float on!

If any of my sisters-in-law from Vermont are reading this, you may have seen Harold’s Father’s Day card; now you know the rest of the story!

Would you like to attempt this card in your own home? I challenge you – but keep the kitties away! Here are the supplies that I used:

Have you ever had a pet-related disaster while making cards? What did you do?

How to Get Inspiration From Swaps!

Touches of Texture Ann Swap

I attended a demonstrator’s gathering earlier this month where we swapped different card ideas, and this one was designed by Ann with the new Touches of Texture set, with a sentiment from the Perfectly Wrapped set. Her color scheme is Very Vanilla, Delightful Dijon and Night of Navy with a little Always Artichoke on the leaves. The corner accents of are made with one of the new Pop of Pink Designer Washi Tapes.

I also love working with the new Touches of Texture images, so I decided to make another card inspired by Ann’s yet different enough that it has my “stamp” on it (so to speak!) Here is the card that I designed:

Touches of Texture Denim

I used the same central flower image, and a similar color family, and the bee as an accent image. Here are the colors that I used on my card:

I also used a base of Very Vanilla, and a little Pear Pizzazz on the leaves, and the Basic Black Archival ink for the outlining of the images.

I used small images with tone-on-tone ink to make decorating the outside edges of the dark blue panel quick and easy. I first stamped the solid color piece of the flower center with Crushed Curry, then re-inked it in Pumpkin Pie and stamped again in a different spot to give the variegated color.

Mounting the flower-stamped card onto a piece of Pumpkin Pie cardstock at an angle gives it a little different look. The 5/8″ Gold Satin Ribbon is so beautiful but easy; it’s just tied in a square knot and then angle cut on the ends.

The last detail was the most whimsical; I stamped the bee on a scrap of Very Vanilla cardstock, cut it out with Paper Snips, colored it in with Crushed Curry Stampin’ Write Marker (but this could be done with a Blender Pen too) and I finished it with a little Clear Wink of Stella on the wings for sparkle. The bee was then attached with a small piece of Stampin’ Dimensionals for depth.

So here are our two cards, Ann’s and mine, one for inspiration and one as a result – both lovely:

Touches of Texture Pair

Here are the supplies that I used to make my card; click on any picture for more information or to go right to the online store for ordering:

These colors say “summer” to me; what colors would you use when stamping with this flower image?

 

Helping Each Other Grow With Stampin’ Up!

Helping Me Grow

As I mentioned in my last post, I got together with some other Stampin’ Up! demonstrators from the Stampy Wackers and the 24/7 Stampers groups on Saturday to stamp and share ideas using some new products from our just released 2016-2017 Annual Catalog!

This card, made with the Helping Me Grow set, was water colored with Aqua Painters using some of the new 2016-2018 In Colors. Here is the color palette we used (notice that some subtle spotting has been added with a hint of the new Sweet Sugarplum!) Click on any color swatch to see coordinating products in that color:

Aren’t those colors beautiful together?

Speaking of “Helping Me Grow,” one of the best things about being a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator is the opportunity to be with a group of like-minded friends who help each other grow by encouraging creativity and sharing ideas in a fun and supportive environment.

SU! Girls Have Fun

Back row: Valory, Grace, Denise, Liz, Susan. Front row: Ann, Sharon.

Here are just a few of us Northern California demonstrators who attended the get-together in Vacaville yesterday, and after we made our 16 swap cards we shared business ideas over dinner.

June 2016 Swaps

There are some terrific incentives for signing up as a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator, and during the month of June you can even get two extra stamp sets in your kit for free – (click here if you would like to know more!)

Back to our Helping Me Grow swap card; here are the products we used to make it; click on any picture for more information or to order from the online store:

Have you seen the new 2016-2017 Annual Catalog yet? If so, what is your favorite new thing – a stamp set, die cutters, punch or a new color? Let me know in the comments! I will be posting more new product swap cards soon.

 

New Catalog Means New Card Designs!

I’m excited that the new 2016-2017 Stampin’ Up! catalog goes live today! This week I have been working on a card design with some new 2016-2018 In Color card stock and inks and the new Swirly Scribbles Thinlits Dies for a demonstrator’s swap that I will be participating in this weekend:

Swirly Scribbles Swap Card

The pink sponged centers and the lighter die cut flower image on the right are made with the new Flirty Flamingo In Color ink and card stock, and the taller flower is die cut using the new Peekaboo Peach In Color card stock.

I paired these new colors and dies with the Garden in Bloom stamps that I’ve had for the past year, but it’s fun to get a very different look by using updated products with a well-loved set!

Technique Hints: Want to know how I colored the centers of my die cut swirly flowers? It was easy; I punched a circle in the center of a Post-It note with the 1″ Circle Punch, stuck the mask on my card where I wanted it and then dabbed the ink on lightly with Sponge Daubers! Also, when I stamped the solid part of the leaf image, I stamped the Old Olive ink off onto some scrap paper first before stamping on my card so it would be lighter than the outline of the leaf.

Here is one color scheme used in the Swirly Scribbles Swap card.  Be sure to click on the swatches to see other coordinating products that Stampin’ Up! carries, and check the bottom of this post for all of the new 2016-2018 In Colors:

And here are the products that I used to make my card. You can click on any image and go straight to the online store for more information or easy ordering:

Price: $5.25

The Hostess Code for June is XXPKMTJ7. If you use this code with an online order this month, I’ll send you a reusable card hand stamped by me! (Just be sure to allow demonstrator contact so I’ll know where to send it.)

I’m loving the new 2016-2018 In Colorsespecially Flirty Flamingo and Peekaboo Peach together! What do you think of them, and which is your favorite?

Retiring Stamp Idea #5 – “I Meant to Do That!”

Bliss Butterfly

In my last post I showed you an example of how to use this gorgeous retiring Swallowtail stamp with Aqua Painters on a card made of Shimmery White cardstock:

Today I’ll explain how I took this a step further to make the Butterfly Bliss card shown above, and how this card came to be!

The Stamp Group ladies came over on Friday May 13th, right before my husband and I left on vacation to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary (a cruise to Alaska via Vancouver, B.C.) They also made the Swallowtail in Plum card watercolored with AquaPainters, and theirs came out beautifully, but as I was making one to demonstrate, I picked up some ink on my left hand and smeared a spot on my card.

Later, after my friends left, I decided to fix my card by using it in a different way – and this is a great illustration of the maxim, “there are no mistakes, only opportunities for embellishment!” I carefully cut out the Swallowtail image with my Paper Snips and then constructed a very different style of card, using the butterfly as an embellishment on the front. I used images from the Awesomely Artistic set with Pear Pizzazz ink on the same color of cardstock to make the background, added a few gold sequins and a sentiment stamped in Elegant Eggplant ink on Delightful Dijon cardstock, with torn and sponged edges.

The result is a Boho Chic-style card, and I had just enough time before I left on my trip to send it to my sister Karla and her husband Bob to wish them a Happy 31st Anniversary!

Karla's Wedding

Norman, Valory, Karla and Bob – San Jose, CA, May 18, 1985

Here are the color selections that I used on the Bliss Butterfly card; you can click on any color swatch to see what other coordinating products Stampin’ Up! offers:

And here are the products that I used to make this Boho Chic-style card. Remember that the Swallowtail stamp is on the Retiring List and it will only be available through May 31st, and only while supplies last:

Share in the comments your favorite stories of “I meant to do that…” – your  experiences of salvaging a card or project “boo-boo” into something completely different and wonderful!

Pocketful of Paper Pumpkin Fun!

March 2016 Paper Pumpkin

Sometimes the stars align just right, and my Paper Pumpkin Peeps and I have the same days off from work during the week. That happened yesterday, it’s the perfect time for an impromptu get-together to pull out our kits and start stamping!

Can I just say how much I love this kit? Pocketful of Cheer is in my favorite color combination of blues and greens and it’s got stamps for some of the most needed Spring events – baby, graduation and thinking of you. And in addition to regular-sized cards there are mini cards and gift card holders.

16 March Paper Pumpkin Variations

We followed the directions pretty closely but made a few variations: Kathy S. asked me for some red ink and she stamped the red heart on one card; I punched out a red card stock heart and glued it to the balloon on the other card. Also, instead of using the patterned paper inside with a gift card enclosure as was shown in the example, I decided to put one of my cards into the envelope with the patterned side out and tie it up with a piece of extra Cucumber Crush Lace Trim that I had. There are always extra pieces left over from the Paper Pumpkin kits, and we just save them in a box for use on later projects.

Special Offer! Stampin’ Up! will be celebrating three years of Paper Pumpkin in April 2016 by including a free exclusive stamp set called “All About Everything” (in addition to the regular kit!) We don’t know what it looks like yet because the art is a surprise, but it you want to receive this special gift with your Paper Pumpkin subscription, sign up here by April 10th!

 

Sweet Spring Treats

Kathy S Bags

Before the Easter season has completely passed I wanted to show these beautiful treasures that my friend Kathy Sawyer shared with our friends in the Hostess Stamping group. She made these with the  Mini Treat Bag Thinlits Dies and the Decorative Label Punch (she used some paper that she had found in San Francisco’s Japantown.) They were filled with a selection of Easter candies for her friends – how sweet!

Kathy S Baskets 1

For her own kids and grandson she made these great Easter baskets from the Berry Basket Die,

Kathy S Baskets 2

decorated with the Petite Petals and Scalloped Oval Punches. Kathy is always busy making thoughtful gifts for the people she cares about!

Here are some of the products that Kathy used to make her projects. Most of these things are found in the big annual catalog, except for the Designer Series Paper used on the Berry Baskets, which is from the Spring Occasions catalog.

Hint: Did you know that you can color your pearl and rhinestone embellishments with permanent Sharpie markers to coordinate them with your paper colors? Now you know!

Click on any picture for more information or to go directly to the online store:

 

Supply List

What other ideas do you have for using the Mini Treat Bag and the Berry Basket Die during for other holidays or seasons?

Triple Dipping – in Cards & Cones!

Triple Thank You

When the Stamp Group met this weekend we made a card that we had seen on page 16 of the big Annual Catalog. The card in the catalog example was made with Mint Macaron ink and floral embellishment, but I had a container of Blossom Accents in all of the 2015-2017 In Colors so I let them choose which colors they wanted.

Only three of our six members were able to come and stamp this month, so in my mind I was imagining that everyone would choose the same color – silly me! Of course they all picked something different. It reminded me of a story from my childhood:

ice-cream-cone1

When my family and I moved from California to Vermont, for the first few days we were just tourists, driving around stopping here and there, seeing the sights. We stopped at a rural outside eatery and ordered ice cream cones. As we were used to doing in California, I ordered a double, one scoop of one flavor, and another scoop of something different. The girl behind the counter gave me the strangest look, and said slowly, “Well… I guess I can do that,” but I realized immediately that I had crossed over some invisible cultural barrier by asking for something out of the ordinary.

That was so many years ago, long before the excitement of Ben & Jerry’s, and no one would bat an eye at a request like that in Vermont these days!

Dijon Thank You

Anyway, choice and variation make things interesting, wouldn’t you agree? Here are the In Colors that our Stamp Group friends chose for their cards, and the supplies used. If you try this, remember to stamp the ink on the flower image onto scrap paper one time first before stamping on your card so it will be light enough to overstamp the sentiment.

Click on any color swatch to see our coordinating products in that color!

 

Price: $5.25

Little Things Mean a Lot!

Stampy Wackers in Auburn

Me, Ann and Denise enjoying a break at Ikeda’s in Auburn, CA

I recently met with a couple of members of my Stampin’ Up! business team to catch up and share ideas (and a slice of berry pie!) It’s fun to get together with like-minded friends and sharing little gifts with simple wrappings is a favorite way that we show our appreciation for one another:

Denise quick gift wraps

Denise did a quick but cute wrapping job on these Iced Rhinestones and Glue Dots accessories packs with 1″ strips cut from the It’s My Party Designer Series Paper Stack and tied them up with Two-Tone Baker’s Twine, both from the Spring Occasions catalog.

Kathy S Tag Gifts

The ladies in the Hostess Stamping Group also enjoy making paper-crafted treats for each other when we meet for our monthly stamping sessions. These chocolate candy holders were brought last month by Kathy, made with the Love Blossoms Designer Series Paper Stack, a couple of heart punches and the Scalloped Tag Topper Punch!

Here are the products used in both of the simple gift ideas shown above. Click on any picture for more information or to order!

 

 

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