Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Single Stamps are HERE!

For everyone who just wants a single (or two) stamp out of a set this special time-limited promotion from Stampin' Up! is just the way to go.  Several stamp sets have been chosen for single stamp sales and Stampin' Up! has even presented us with several brand new, never before seen stamps.  How great is that?
To see the stamps and their prices, since these single stamps are not featured in our catalogues, just click on the links listed below:

Monday, 29 October 2012

Special Stampin' Up! Kit Available Now

Just when you thought the specials were going to stop coming, Stampin' Up! has released a special kit.


Get everything you need to make six cards for only $17.95 (item 132319)! If six isn't enough, add Note Cards to your order (item 107311)-we've already included extra rhinestones in the Fancy Friends kit.
To assemble the cards:
  1. Stamp the doily image in Daffodil Delight or Old Olive ink three times on the card and once on the envelope, re-inking between uses.
  2. Stamp "Friends" in Daffodil Delight or Old Olive ink on the front of the card.
  3. Adhere the flowers to the card. Adhere Rhinestone Basic Jewels to the center of the flowers.

This is a great way to become introduced to stamping.  Watch here for more kits to come in the future.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Huge Spooktacular Stamp Sale! MONDAY ONLY

Just a reminder that the most amazing stamp sale is coming up in a few hours.  Only on Monday, October 29th will you be able to buy your stamps for 15% off.

one day spooktacular sale - stamping up

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Huge Stamp Sale Monday, October 29th---Don't Miss Out!

Get your Grin on!  Stamps on Sale!!

15% off Stamp Spooktacular

How it works:

Monday, October 29th & today here at Stamp a Stack almost every stamp we sell will be 15 percent off. 
This discount applies to all stamps in the current catalogs including
    • Background stamps
    • Personalized name stamps
    • Cookie press stamps
    • Single-image stamps – including those just released this week
Current Catalogs include the Annual Catalog, Holiday Catalog and the Celebrando Creatividad Spanish Catalog.
This DOES NOT include
    • Hostess sets
    • Bundled stamp sets (like the Christmas Gift promotion or stamp and die sets in the Holiday Catalog)
    • Digital stamp brush sets (My Digital Studio downloads)
Note:  Hostess dollars cannot be used to buy the reduced price stamps either.  Sorry!
· There is no minimum purchase, and no limit to the number of stamps you can order.
· For Customers any order type qualifies for this promotion-customer, workshop, or online.
Combine this discount with today’s free shipping offer and it means you in effect save almost 25%!!  Wowza…now that’s worth grinning about!

Note:  The newest stamps that are being sold singly are all posted on the Stampin' Up! site.  Please go there to check them out.  Since a few of the stamps they are offering are NOT in the catalogues, it is difficult for me to post them here.  Just go to My Store (click "Shop Now" in the right column of this blog, and then click on "Stamps" when you get to Stampin' Up!  The next thing to click is "Single Stamps" and you will see all the single stamps and the prices for them.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Want a quickie?

Whether you have a long list of people on your Christmas card list or a short one, you don't want to spend days or weeks making your cards.  This card is simple to make but still has a real "wow" factor.  Best of all, it's a quickie!

First of all I start off with a 8 1/2" x 5 1/2" piece of Ivory Naturals cardstock.  I love using this cardstock as my base when I want a cream base for my card because it is a really nice weight.  If I'm stamping on cream then I prefer Very Vanilla cardstock because the image is incredibly sharp on that paper but for the base  of a card in cream, I'll take Naturals Ivory anytime.I also pick a pattern from the great new mini pad of Designer Paper, the Festival of Prints collection.

I cut my Designer Paper to measure 4" x 5 1/4" and put the narrow strips aside for later use on this project.  In this case, because I want to keep the circles in the pattern centred, I cut strips away from all four sides of the Designer Paper.

Then I line up the round Holiday Ornament framelit to cut out the lower full circle and cut it out using my Big Shot.  At this point I take my Naturals Ivory base cardstock, used the Simply Scored to score the centre at 4 1/4", and then line the Petals-a-plenty embossing folder to cover the cardstock up to the scored line.  I put that through the Big Shot and love the look of the embossed cardstock.

My next step is to centre the Designer Paper over the embossed base card.  When I am certain that it is perfectly centred, I take a pencil and lightly trace the shape of the ornament cut-out onto the embossed cardstock.  You can just see the outline if you click on the picture to enlarge it.

Putting aside the Designer Paper once more, I take my Champagne Mist shimmer ink and a flat paint brush and paint the outlined area on the embossed cardstock.  I purposely go over the pencilled lines to ensure that  no unpainted area will show once the card is assembled.

My next step, while the ink is drying, is to take the Designer Paper and place a strip of Victoria Crochet Trim across the top of the paper and anchor the ends on the reverse side.  While I am working on the reverse side of the Designer Paper, I also place Dimensionals around the paper, making sure that I place some around the cut out design.

After I adhere the Designer Paper to the embossed side of the base cardstock, I tie a short piece of the Victoria Crochet Trim to the strip of trim and add a small banner.  The banner is Very Vanilla cardstock which I stampe with Lucky Limeade to match the Designer Paper and cut out with a Bitty Banners framelit.

For the inside of the card, I get to use the cut out ornament and two strips of the Designer Paper as decoration and stampe my sentiment in Lucky Limeade.

To use the last strips of Designer Paper, I take an envelope and glue a strip to the back and the front bottom.  I love the effect and also love the fact that I have only about a 1/2" x 1" piece of Designer Paper left over.

And there you have it: a quick card that really does have a "wow".  In person, the painted ornament really shimmers and shines.  I just love it!

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Coming October 29th! Specials you don't want to miss.

Yes, Mondays can be dreary, dreadful, back-to-work days after a wonderful weekend.  Well, Monday, October 29th is going to change all that.

Starting midnight and all day Monday, Stampin' Up! is offering all those beautiful stamps they carry at 15% off.  This will end at 11:50 p.m. Monday, so you don't want to do a Cinderella and miss that glorious "golden coach".  Of course this special won't include stamps such as the hostess sets which you earn for holding a workshop or the special bundles Stampin' Up! is already offering at a greatly reduced price.  But it does include wood-mounted or clear sets, background stamps and single stamps.  This is a sale that you (and I) really don't want to miss!

Also beginning Monday, October 29th, Stampin' Up! launches the all-week Digital Scrapbooking Special.  To celebrate Digital Scrapbooking day, all digital kits will be 50% off and there will be FREE digital downloads all week long.  You will just have to check each day for the new FREE digital downloads to make sure you don't miss one you've been thinking of getting.

What a great way to end the month!  It almost makes up for the early snowfall we've had here.  Now if we could get that thermometer to read in the positive digits, it would be wonderful, indeed.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Jumping on the "twisted wagon"---with a twist!

Have you noticed how many "twisted" cards have been posted lately?  It's another one of those fads that was popular some years back and has come back good and strong.  And no wonder!  The cards really are so different in appearance and can offer so many uses.

I've noticed that most of the cards don't utilize that wonderful pocket that is formed on the front of the twisted card.  I think that's such a shame.  What a great opportunity to offer the recipient that little bit extra and still have a terrific card with or without that extra.  What am I talking about?  Well, who wouldn't like to have a home-made ornament to add to their tree, especially if the ornament happened to be in some of their favourite colours?  This cute little ornament, for example, gives us the traditional Christmas red with the added "pop" of blue that is appearing on so many trees.

Don't you just love the ornaments in the Ornament Keepsakes stamp set?  I love the variety of shapes and designs.  And who doesn't like the convenience of those Holiday Ornaments framelits dies?  When you have multiples to cut out, those framelits sure do beat hand-cutting!  I used Cherry Cobbler and Baja Breeze inks for this ornament and love the contrast, especially when the moving air hits it and it spins to reveal the alternating colours.

This ornament, I think, is the perfect addition to the twisted Christmas card.  Of course it could go into the inside pocket of the card or the front pocket.  I like the idea of leaving the inside pocket for little added gifts like cash cards or movie tickets...or, for a personal touch, the Christmas newsletter.

Because I decided to add this ornament to the twisted card, I made the card all about ornaments.  Two of the ornaments use the Holiday Ornaments framelits dies and one uses that wonderfully versatile punch, the Ornament punch.  Even my Designer Paper and sentiment on the front of the card highlight ornaments.  The paper with all those pretty coloured ornaments on it is from the Snow Festival Designer Series paper.  The sentiment is from the Word Play stamp set and, for a short time, could be bought singly if you would like this distinctive sentiment without the other eleven in the set.  You can see that I've coloured the ornament in the sentiment to reflect the colours in that beautiful Designer paper.

And there you have it: my twist on the twisted card: adding a removable ornament to the front pocket.  If you'd like to make one of these eye-catching twisted cards, watch for my tutorial which I will post on my blog this week .

Friday, 19 October 2012

Bargain Alert!!!

I just want to give you a "heads up" about the Clearance Rack which is accessible through my Stampin' Up! store link.  It has suddenly doubled in size as Stampin' Up! has added some wonderful new items and reduced the price of others.  You really should take a look for yourself, but I'm listing just a few of my favourites that have just now been added to clearance.

Some of my favorites are...
AND one you can use endlessly, the ever-popular...
  • Daisy Flower Die 114520 YES - it's in the clearance rack, but I'm sure it will surely sell out fast, as this is a much sought after die.  At only $9.99 (reg. $24.95) it pays to cut your own daisies.
Clearance Rack items are only available via my Stampin' Up! Online Store.  You can't order from the Clearance Rack at a party or Workshop order but you can add any current Stampin' Up! product to your online order as well.

Just a few words about those Stampin' Spots.  If you're just starting out and would like a lot of Stamp Pad colours at your finger tips, the Stampin' Spots are the way to go.  Even though Stampin' Up! is only offering Stampin' Spots as a Getting Started set, the Brights and the Subtles that were just retired are now in the Clearance Rack.  Since they used to be $24.05 and are on sale for an incredible $9.99 right now, they are definitely a great buy.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

The first step--admitting you need help.

Yes, it's true.  I've fallen off the wagon again.  Right now I'm in the middle of putting together another set of SWAPS.  *sigh*  I wonder if I should take up meditation to clear my mind and rid myself of the need I seem to have developed for Swapping.

Of course the first thing I'm going to say is what all addicts say:  "but this one is different".  But it's true!  Really--I'm not kidding myself about this just to excuse my addiction.  This SWAP really is different.  Before you judge me, just read on and you'll see what I mean.

This SWAP is all about technique.   Technique is so important in our creative lives, isn't it?  Well, what I will get out of this SWAP is over 40 different techniques, each one shown on a sample card and described in detail on a separate sheet.  Didn't I say it was different?  When you're relatively new at card-making, learning new techniques is one great way to keep your cards different and interesting.  Lots of times, however, even when you find a sample of the technique online, it's hard to figure out the logistics of beginning, middle and end in order to achieve the final product you're just itching to create.  This technique SWAP should really help.

The other great thing about this SWAP is that I get to submit my own technique examples.  Some I'm very familiar with and have used on my own cards already, but a couple are techniques that I've heard about, found on the Internet, and never tried.  Last night I sat myself down and tried one of those.

It's called the Retiform Technique.  That's a fancy way of saying it's a card made in a grid pattern.  I had a lot of fun with it and, happiness of happinesses, I managed to make a really nice one with my first try.  I love the colours and the stamp sets that I used.  For the stamp sets, I have to admit that this is their first meeting with stamping ink.  (It's so easy to buy stamp sets and then forget to actually use them, isn't it?)

For this card I used Early Espresso as my base cardstock and then did the Retiform technique on a 3 3/4" x 5" piece of Very Vanilla.  I cut varying widths of typing paper to mask the areas which weren't being sponged.  The sponging was done with three colours of ink:  Pool Party, Crumbcake, and Early Espresso.  The two stamp sets that I decided to use because the components compliment each other are:  Clockworks and Established Elegance.

This is a fun technique and can work with any variety of stamp sets.  You can bet I'll try this again.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Put a little "Joy" in your day!

Talking about all those single stamps made me have a look at one of my favourite sets, "Word Play".  Instead of simply having a sentiment, you have a mini work of art.  Take the stamp for Christmas, for example.  It's easy to find a stamp that says "tidings of comfort and joy".  It can come in a variety of fonts, from simple to quite ornate.  What I love about the stamp in "Word Play" is that it combines art with the letters.  In other words, "joy" is very large, has a solid, upper case "J", the "O" is actually an ornament, and the "Y" is beautifully penned.

Just looking at that stamp gave me an idea for a card, so I went with it.  The resulting card really makes me happy.  It's probably my favourite Christmas card so far.  I love the colours, the background...well, the whole of it.  Have a look and see what you think.

The base cardstock is Island Indigo and the ornaments are daubed in Island Indigo as well.  I've used the Stampin' Dazzle marker in silver for the tops of the ornaments.  Then I stamped an image from Winter Memories and the Word Art stamp on Whisper White and cut those out with the Ornament framelits.  The background is a layer of Brushed Silver cardstock and White Naturals cardstock.  The White Naturals was stamped with a snowflake from the Snow Swirled set in Bashful Blue and then stamped again with the Illuminate ink.  To top it off, I put the Naturals White through the Big Shot in the new Brocade embossing folder.

A front like that requires a fancy interior, in my opinion.  So I stamped the skates from Winter Memories onto Whisper White and cut that out with the Ornament framelit.  After adhering it to the Whisper White inside the card, I cut around the top left, along the shape of the ornament.

I love the way this turned out!  And it all happened because I was admiring the Christmas stamp from the "Word Art" stamp set.  This is definitely one of the stamps I would buy as a single!

More Single Stamps for a limited period.

There are two more sets of stamps that Stampin' Up! is trying out as singles until January 2nd, 2013.

Perfectly Penned is one of the sets being sold as single stamps.  The price for the full stamp set in clear mount would be $15.95 Cdn. The prices for the stamps as singles are as follows:

 $6.25 Cdn      132306      Thank You                Block D
 $6.25 Cdn      132308      Get Well                   Block C
 $7.50 Cdn      132307      Celebrate Today       Block H
 $7.50 Cdn      132309      Happy Birthday        Block H

NOTE: The Blocks mentioned are simply suggestions as to the size of block needed for the stamp, the block is not included in the sale of the stamp.

And the final set that is being tried out for single stamp sales is "Seasonal Sayings" which would cost $20.95 Cdn for the full stamp set.  The prices for the single stamps are as follows:

$7.50 Cdn      132310      Christmas           Block H
$7.50 Cdn      132311      Halloween          Block H
 $7.50 Cdn     132312      Thanks               Block H
 $6.25 Cdn     132313      Love                  Block D
 $7.50 Cdn     132314      Celebrate           Block H

NOTE: The Blocks mentioned are simply suggestions as to the size of block needed for the stamp, the block is not included in the sale of the stamp.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Sometimes just one is exactly what you want!

Some stamp sets offer a big bang for the buck.  Take the "Word Play" stamp set, for example.  Yes, the set is $35.95 Cdn for the clear set and that can seem like a lot of money, especially if you're fairly certain that you'll only use one or two of the stamps in the set.  Well, for those who have been wishing but waiting, your wait is over.  For the next little while, Stampin' Up! is trying out something new: selling the stamps in several sets singly.  Yes, now you can actually get that stamp you've loved on other people's cards and wished you had yourself.

Buy your favorite single pieces from this popular stamp set!  This limited time offer is only valid until January  2, 2013.

$6.25 CA
Block C

$6.25 CA
I Do
Block C

$7.50 CA
Block D

$6.25 CA
Wish Big
Block C

$8.95 CA
In My Thoughts
Block H

$7.50 CA
You Mean the World
Block D

$6.25 CA
Worth the Wait
Block C

$6.25 CA
Block D

$8.95 CA
Remember When
Block I

$6.25 CA
Block C

$8.95 CA
Block E

$6.25 CA
Thanks a Million
Block D

I think this is a great deal!  Okay, I can do the math.  Add all those singles together and it comes out to a lot more than buying the set.  I get that.  And Stampin' Up! gets that.  But the important thing here isn't whether it adds up the same if you're buying singles as when you're buying the complete set.  The important thing is that if you are probably only going to use one or perhaps two of the stamps in the set, you get to buy those two.  End of story.  You don't have all the rest gathering dust, waiting in their stampy prison to finally be acknowledged.

This is the same as when we go out and buy an asorted box of something at another store, whether it be crafts, groceries or car parts.  When we buy a boxful, we save.  When we buy singles, we pay more.  But paying for just what you'll use makes sense despite that.  You wouldn't buy an assortment of candy bars if your family only liked one type, right?  Okay, there's Hallowe'en, but you aren't going to save the extra candy bars your family doesn't eat all year long.  So you buy only the type of candy bars your family is going to eat and in the long run you actually save because you're just buying what you need.

Until January 2nd, 2013 you can just buy the candy bar stamp that you actually need and will use instead of the whole set.

Of course if you enjoy all sorts and like the variety, buy the set.  It really isn't all that expensive considering how many pieces there are in the set.

Tomorrow, I'll show you the other two sets that can be bought as single stamps.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Happy Easter! (Wait...isn't it Thanksgiving?)

Kids say the funniest things.  Some kids do the funniest things, too.  My grandson, Xavian (X-Man to his friends), is a fine example of the second.  A whole volume could be written about some of the funniest things he has done during his short life, but I'm only going to mention what happened this morning.

Apparently X-Man thought it was Easter this morning and not Thanksgiving!  The little munchkin decided to wake up extra early and, self-sufficient little guy that he is, took the eggs out of the fridge and coloured them all with his markers.  He's not known as our junior Picasso for nothing!  My daughter woke up just in time to  gently persuade him not to hide all of the freshly coloured eggs all over the house.  Wouldn't that have been interesting when they began to share that odor that only eggs can produce?

Our X-Man doesn't just march to his own drum...he marches to his own drum BAND!  My daughter says she's almost ready to begin volume 2 of his exploits to date.  Have I mentioned that he's only five?

I hope everyone here in Canada has had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend.  For those whose Thanksgiving is a few weeks away, remember that there is always time each day for a moment of giving thanks.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Beyond Stamping on Paper

Stamps are wonderfully versatile.  They can transfer images and sentiments to a host of materials other than paper.  You just have to choose your ink.  The regular classic ink pads, for example, are fine for card-making or adding special touches to your scrapbooking.  Sometimes, however, you want to go beyond stamping on paper.

My ink of choice for stamping on non-paper materials such as plastic, glass, candles, wood and rocks, for example, is StazOn.  Yes, it has quite a strong odor and yes, it is virtually impossible to remove from your fingers if you get messy, but it does its job very effectively.  I was amazed when I used it to decorate some white candles (more on that in another blog entry).  Of course I had to test its abilities further.  My sister likes to have decorated rocks sitting among her plant display.  What could be nicer, I asked myself, than to use one of the gorgeous images from my Stampin' Up! stamps on a rock?

For the first rock on I tried the StazOn, I chose a polished river rock.  The lovely smooth surface just seemed to cry out for some decoration and I was pleased to supply it.  I used one of my retired stamps on that one and, overall, I was quite pleased with the effect.
  The highly polished surface did not faze the StazOn.  The stamped image was quite clear and, once dry, remained permanent.  Colouring the image, however, was not as easy.  The Stampin' Write markers are water-based and it took many layers of dabbing to colour the image.  There are still spots where the ink simply would not stick.  I knew that covering the image with Crystal Effects would make it look brighter and better as well as help it to become permanent but I also knew that the colour that had taken so much work to place on the image would probably run if I brushed Crystal Effects over it.  So I sprayed the painted rock surface with hairspray, let it dry, and then sprayed it again.  After that I covered the image with Crystal Effects and was quite happy with the final result.

Of course I had to try the technique out on a found rock.  On my next trip to the river, while the dog wandered happily along the shore examining sundry interesting scents, I wandered along looking for the perfect rock.  My primary criteria was that it be flat along at least one side.

Once I found my rock, I cleaned it thoroughly at home.  It takes a while for a rock to dry since it is porous, so I waited a few days before going on to the next step, which was to stamp it with an image from that beautiful Christmas stamp set, Beautiful Season.  The bird sitting among the holly was my chosen image.

As you can see in this image, the rock was relatively flat but not perfectly and so I chose to use my stamp unmounted.  By using it this way I knew I could massage the image onto the rock and curve it into its shape, retaining the full stamped image.  Of course you have to be careful not to move the stamp at all during the process, but it doesn't actually try to move on a rock's surface the way it would on a polished surface.

By using the stamp in this manner, I could also contour the stamp around the bottom of the rock, having the image continue past the straight top surface of the rock.
My finished stamping left a good image on the rock's surface.  All the lines were in place and would allow for good colouring.  I left an area free to the top left of the image where I planned to stamp a sentiment after working on the bird and holly image.

Colouring on the natural river rock was far easier than colouring on the polished river rock.  The Stampin' Markers worked beautifully.  I had to go over each colour twice to ensure even colouring, but overall, I was very happy with the finished results.
Because the Stampin' Markers are water-based and because the rock is porous, I chose to spray the surface with hairspray after colouring the bird and holly.  Then I used the sentiment from the same stamp set, using only the words "bright and beautiful", and stamped that with StazOn into the clear area at the top left.

Even though the StazOn is waterproof and permanent, I sprayed the whole surface one last time with hairspray and then, about a half-hour later, making sure everything was dry, poured a small pool of  Crystal Effects in the centre of the image and used a flat brush to drag it over the entire image.  Because of the imperfections of the rock, some spots ended up with slightly deeper coverage, but the important thing was to make sure the Crystal Effects actually covered all portions of the image and the sentiment.

It took about three hours before I trusted that the rock was perfectly dry.  I'd rather err on the side of caution than get a fingerprint on a tacky area.  The finished rock is really gorgeous.  I'll definitely be doing this again with another image.  Since my sister loves elephants, it may very well be the image from the "You're Amazing" stamp set.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

SWAPs---Should there be an intervention?

Over the past few months I've become involved in the world of card-swapping.  It began modestly enough, when I joined a group swapping masculine cards.  It's not always easy to come up with new ideas for masculine cards, especially when so many of the stamp sets are aimed at female customers and recipients.  I thought to myself "this is great!  I make 9 identical cards and get 8 back, made by various other demonstrators."  And so it began...that insidious slide into Swap Addiction.  Most people don't talk about it but I am going to give you an unvarnished look at the condition first hand.

After that first Swap it was easy to get involved in another one.  Some of the swapped cards were great and gave me wonderful ideas.  Of course I had to join another swap to get more cards.  And then came the Big One: the 2012 Canadian All Catalogue Swap. The stamp sets are divided into groups and only one person can sign up for each stamp set.  Just imagine joining a swap where, if you wish, you can join enough groups to get sample cards using every stamp set in the entire catalogue!  Of course if you get really carried away and also join the 2012 Holiday Catalogue, you can sit down one day and begin adding up the numbers of cards that you have to make and almost have a coronary.  I, for example, wound up having committed to make 268 cards.

When the numbers began to stop spinning around in my head and I could feel my legs becoming steady under me, I began to put the whole commitment into perspective.  I didn't have enough cardstock, for one thing.  Each card takes a number of layers.  I probably didn't have enough adhesive, or embellishments.  The time required for the whole project was daunting but nothing could be done without supplies.  So I began designing all the cards.  I made sure that I used different colours for each stamp set but even then it was clear that I would have to make a large order as soon as possible.

While I was signing up for the swaps, I had been blithely going along without thinking about product use at all.  This was a real awakening.

After completing all the cards for which I had signed up I swore that I would think twice or even three times before ever again committing to such an enormous undertaking.  And then I looked at the list of Swaps again and a few looked really interesting, especially the ones for Technique Swapping.  Learning new techniques and getting samples of those techniques...well, how could I ignore such a wonderful opportunity?  There was a Canadian swap for techniques and a US swap as well.  Would you be surprised to learn that I signed up for both?

By the end of September I will have to have 89 technique cards completed and in the mail.  That's a far cry from 268 but I can see the future looming ahead: more swaps, at least one each month, endless swaps.  Where will I put the cards?  Will I have time for classes, workshops, stamp-a-stacks?  Is it time for an intervention?  Do they have Swappers Anonymous groups?

One benefit to the swaps that I've done over the past couple of months is that I've used stamp sets which I have bought but haven't used.  In other words, I've been forced to stop simply using what was familiar and comfortable.  Amazingly enough, I really like some of the cards that I have made using stamp sets that I kept ignoring.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Life is Good!

I lived through my very first Open House and loved it.  Yes, it was hectic.  Yes, I was disorganized.  Yes, I had a good attendance.  Yes, my make-n-takes were all enjoyed.  In other words, it was a very positive day.  I'm glad it's over.

It got my stamping juices flowing.

And so on Sunday I relaxed.  I did not do a total clean-up of my Craft Room but instead, wallowed in the enjoyment of am Open House well done and used a new product.  I made a card just for the enjoyment of it.  It was great.  My "toy" of choice was the brand new, just introduced in the new Holiday Catalogue, Bigz Autumn Accents die.  Since the wonderful fall colours are all around us now and since it was a gloriously bright day, I chose to use cardstock that fell into the warm fall range:  More Mustard, Cajun Craze, Early Espresso and Naturals Ivory.  The inks I used were So Saffron, More Mustard, Cajun Craze, Early Espresso and Old Olive.

I cut maple leaves out in the More Mustard, Cajun Craze, Naturals Ivory and the new Core'dinations Early Espresso.  Then I went to work on them.  I took the More Mustard leaf and used daubers with More Mustard, Cajun Craze and Old Olive to give it a mottled effect and then sponged the edges with Early Espresso.  I did the same to the Cajun Craze leaf.  The Core'dinations leaf was left uninked but I ran it through the Big Shot in the Fancy Fan embossing folder.

For the next step I spread out some newspaper and spread out the three leaves and spritzed them thoroughly with the mixture of Champagne Mist shimmer paint and alcohol that I had shaken up in my new Stampin' Spritzer.  I love that thing!  It's so nice not having to try to find the colour I want in a spritzer.  I can make it when I need it.  Anyway, I sprayed those three leaves until they were wet.  Then I did the unthinkable.  I picked them up one at a time and crunched and folded and crunched some more until each one was a sad little wad of paper.  Carefully, I straightened them out and the resulting texture was remarkable.  I was so happy!  The Core'dinations paper is a bit less sturdy than the normal cardstock and the embossing had already broken the surface somewhat so I wound up with a few spots of the surface breaking of, but the result was actually really stunning.

If you've kept track, you'll remember that I still had one maple leaf, the one cut from the Naturals Ivory, which had not been touched.  I decided to emboss one of the lovely images from the Full of Blessings stamp set on the leaf along with "Thank You".  Of course I used the brand new Early Espresso embossing powder introduced in the Holiday Catalogue for that.  The colour was great: strong enough to show up the image and words really well but less harsh than black would have been.  I'm going to be using that Early Espresso embossing powder often.

I used my daubers over the image on the leaf, adding some So Saffron, More Mustard and Cajun Craze and finished the leaf off by colouring the bird and then brushing some Crystal Effects over the bird.

Time to assemble.  My base cardstock is Early Espresso.  The next layer is 4" x 5 1/4" Cajun Craze.  The next layer is 3 3/4" x 5" More Mustard which I ran through the Big Shot in that beautiful new Woodgrain embossing folder.  Once I had adhered the three textured leaves to the card, I knew I wanted some ribbon and when I saw the new 7/8" Natural Cotton Ribbon it all fell into place.  I used my dauber to add some Cajun Craze to the edges and then adhered some So Saffron 3/8" Taffeta Ribbon to its centre.  Then came the embossed leaf which I adhered with Dimensionals and to finish up, two of the small Naturals Designer buttons with a small bow in the Linen Thread in each.

And this is a close-up of the buttons and leaves so that you can really see the texture.

I love this card.  It was fun to make.  It was great to relax and just play with my new products.  Most of all, it was wonderful to wind up with a card that I truly love looking at.  I hope you like it, too.