Sunday, 19 August 2012

Yes, I'm still here!

What a long time between posts!  I hadn't realized just how long it has been until I logged on and saw the date of my last posting.  I hope everyone hasn't forgotten about me during my long silence.  I've been busy de-cluttering, making what feels like thousands of cards for Swaps, getting caught up in my daily life, and, finally, trying to get over what feels like never-ending bouts of illness.

Of course during all this time a lot has happened in the Stampin' Up! world.  We've introduced a brand new Annual Catalogue with some goodies that I have, naturally, ordered and played with.  We've also introduced a brand new Holiday Catalogue with some even more tempting goodies that I have been using in Swaps and planning classes around.

Where to begin?  I think what has rocked the Stampin' Up! world the hardest has been the changeover to the new Stamp Pads.  It appears that people either love them or hate them.  There isn't much of a middle ground.  The new pads are made of a dense foam material and if you use them the right way, actually present a better inked solid image than the old felt pads were capable of doing.  The right way is being gentle.  A few light "taps" to ink the stamp is all it takes.  If a person hits the new stamp pad as hard as it was necessary to hit the old felt pad, the result is a well inked number of fingertips and a messy, over-inked stamp.  There is a learning curve, but it's a sad life if we have nothing left to learn.

Another fun addition to the catalogue is the new paper piercing tool and Stampin' Pierce Mat.  They work so nicely together, especially if one invests in the Essentials Paper Piercing Pack which includes three plastic templates featuring grid patterns coordinating with some of the most popular punches, edgelits and framelits.  The results can raise a project from "hey, that's nice!" to "Wow! I love how you did that!"  And don't we all want reactions like that?

Over the next week or so I'm hoping to get a bit more caught up with the new items that I really want to share with you.  Right now I'll leave you with two cards featuring one of my favourite stamp sets from the new Annual Catalogue (my list of favourites, unfortunately was very long...)
This  is a real explosion of colours and not my usual style but somehow the peacock just begged for bright colours.  It all started while I was simply playing around with some of the International Bazaar Designer Paper.  I was folding it into a rosette to add to the decorations in my craft room when I suddenly realized that the design reminded me of a peacock's glorious tail.  Well, what could I do?  Of course for the body of the peacock I had to use the wonderful new stamp set: World Treasures.  I added some bright cardstock to compliment the colours in the Designer Paper and voila! a card was born.  That beautiful embossing across the bottom and top of the Lucky Limeade cardstock was done with one of the new Delicate Designs folders and the top scallop was easily cut with the new Large Scallop Edgelit.

This was the second design that I tackled with the World Treasures stamp set.  The card was inspired by one that I saw in the Stampin' Success magazine and I knew I had to try it in colours rather than the neutrals the original demonstrator had chosen for her own card.
Again, I added a rosette to this card.  Rosettes add a lot of dimension to the card and would be tricky to send by mail, but if you're simply going to hand-deliver the card, a rosette can really add that extra WOW to your project.  For this peacock, I inked in the various colours with my Stampin' Write Markers, gave the stamp an extra "huff" of damp exhale to re-wet the ink and stamped the whole glorious peacock in one fell swoop (or stamp).  I added a few colours to the tail by colouring in areas with my markers, added "Imagine" from the Loving Thoughts stamp set, and absolutely love the finished creation.

Oh, there's so much more to show!  I can't wait to post more cards and also post a few tutorials as well in the next while.  Until then, keep stamping.

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