Friday 30 November 2012

Tomorrow---such a long time away!

Why am I waiting for tomorrow, you ask?  Well, tomorrow is the first day that Demonstrators are able to order from the brand new Spring Catalogue.  It becomes available for public orders on January 3rd, but tomorrow it's available for Demonstrators.  Excuse me while I do my little "happy dance".

I'm planning on having an Open House (heads up for those who enjoy my classes) between Christmas and New Year's.  When I have the exact date, I'll post it here.  That's when I'll be able to let everyone handle some of the brand new items that I've showcased in cards and projects and also by letting everyone who attends try them out in a card or small 3-D project.  By that time it will be a treat to do something not related to Christmas, won't it?

Once my order goes in, it won't be long before I receive my new supplies and then---well---stay tuned for new posts, all about spring.

Thursday 29 November 2012

In search of the family Christmas card

It was easier when I bought cards.  I'd go out, fall in love with a card, buy a box or two or three and that was that.  But now I'm making cards and it seems somehow wrong to go out and buy what I love making.  And I really do love making cards,  It's just that I have so many colours, so many stamp sets, so many choices.  It was easier last year when I was just starting out and had a mere fraction of the choices.

I've made three tentatively so far.  Three cards!  Each a different design!  And I'm still waffling about the merits of this one or that one.  And time is not my friend.  I hear the clock ticking.  Christmas is coming.  Post Office deadlines are coming.  I have to decide on a design!  Of course those that know me well, know that I get a bit carried away.  What works for one card can be a major nightmare for a few dozen.

This card, for example, was in the running.  I thought it was cute.  The colours worked for me.  But then reality reared its ugly head and I had to acknowledge the fact that putting the components through the Big Shot five times for each card could take me until next July or so.

And, of course, there is the hand-colouring on each card.  This could not be our family Christmas card.

Another favourite of mine included masking and colouring and although I really liked the finished scene, I didn't even go so far as to put a sentiment on the card because I knew it couldn't be our family Christmas card.

So then I thought, "why not go a bit smaller?" and decided to do a fun shape card.  I used my Window Frames Collection framelits and cut over a fold in the cardstock so that it would wind up being a shaped card.  Of course when it was finished I realized that I would have to do that several dozen times, put the square shape through the Big Shot in an embossing folder, put the stamped image through the Big Shot using the Ornament Keepsakes framelit, not to mention hand-colouring the image.  Too, too much work.  This could not be our family Christmas card.

The hunt goes on.  I'm thinking Lovely as a Tree has potential and have a couple of ideas.

Right now, however, I have to start another card.  I just looked at my calendar and realized it's my husband's birthday tomorrow.  Christmas will have to wait.

Tuesday 27 November 2012

Through the beveled windowpane---Another WOW

Sadly the beveled windowpanes were retired and are waiting to be discovered in the Clearance Rack.  Why do I say sadly?  Well, those windowpanes are one of the big WOW components of this card.  Everyone loved them.

Even though they were retired, I decided to use the beveled windowpanes for my Christmas Card WOW class because they are so one-of-a-kind.  They suited the card I had designed perfectly.  The card, a large square measuring 5 1/4" x 5 1/4", showcased a lot of different techniques and embellishments.  The two layers on the front of the card were each cut out with the Window Frame framelits.  The Gumball Green one was left plain but the Naturals White was embossed with the Northern Flurry embossing folder.  The sentiment was stamped in VersaMark and then heat embossed with the new Gumball Green embossing powder.  Finally, the embossed snowflakes were lightly daubed with Dazzling Details.

That wonderful little bird from the Beautiful Season stamp set was stamped on Shimmer White cardstock and coloured with the Stampin' Write markers.  The White Organza ribbon was pulled through the slits in the Beveled Windowpane, the stamped and coloured bird was slipped between the ribbon and the pane and then the bottom of the ribbon was fastened with some White Baker's twine and a Medium Faceted Vintage Button.

A couple of glittery snowflakes finished off the front of the card.

This would have been enough to give the card a place in the Christmas Card WOW class, but then I took it one step further.  It became a twisted easel card.

Two more snowflakes on the inside of the card, held with a glittery brad, provided the "stop" for the easel to rest on.  Now that is a WOW card!


Monday 26 November 2012

It's NOT a scrap---it's potential!

One of the results of card-making is a heaping pile of left-overs.  There are strips of cardstock, strips of Designer Paper, bits of Glimmer paper---literally bits of everything that has, at one time or another, been cut.     When I was first starting out, the piles seemed to be winning and I feared an avalanche might trap me in my room.  So back in February I started a discussion on the Stampin' Connection, a terrific online meeting place for demonstrators through which first-timers and old-timers can share wisdom, fears, hints and all things stamping.  I love the place!

That discussion left me with a lot of helpful advice which I've since implemented.  The very first thing I did was to stop thinking of the left-overs as "scraps".  Scraps are headed for the garbage.   Scraps get thrown out. They are the unwanted bits that clutter up our daily lives.  They are useless.  Changing my perception of the left-overs changed everything!  Thank you to Darrah Hopper for sending me the message which ultimately changed my perception:  "I don't have any scraps, I have small pieces...".  Simple words---huge impact.

Storage still remains a challenge but little by little I discover solutions that work and change from the trials that did not work.  The best system, I find, is a flexible system.  If it's "written in stone", you're closing your eyes to better solutions.

I try to use some of those pieces of potential whenever possible.  Lately I've also been trying to think of cards which lend themselves wholly to using more of them.

This card, for instance, is absolutely perfect for using strips of varying widths and lengths.  The results are so eye-catching, too.  Bonus!  It's called the Herringbone Technique and leaves you, basically, with a spiraling "windmill" shape.  The great thing is that you can so easily mix complimentary colours of cardstock with the strips of Designer Paper.

Another technique I tried last night used some of my leftover Designer Strips, but could easily also be done with cardstock.  In this card I simply wove the strips together and mounted the woven piece onto a background of Naturals Ivory cardstock.  Then I ran the whole thing through my Big Shot using my Square Lattice embossing folder.  Then I mounted that onto my base cardstock of Cherry Cobbler.  Really, all I needed after that was a sentiment.

But, of course, I couldn't leave it at that.  I decided to use the Jolly Christmas sentiment out of the No Peeking stamp set, stamped it in Gumball Green on Very Vanilla cardstock and added the little bird which is also from the same stamp set.  Then I added some silver Glimmer Paper stars.  And I used the Decorative Label Punch (on sale at 30% off right now) for the sentiment as well as the backing for the sentiment.

Would you call this a card made from scraps?

I wouldn't!  I'd say these bits and pieces finally lived up to their potential.

Sunday 25 November 2012

For the love of creating...

How many of us make up our minds before we really try something out?  It's sad.  So often we lose out on great opportunities to stretch ourselves and to find new talents within ourselves.  I fell into stamping purely by accident.  I had no desire to make cards or stamp or do paper-crafting beyond scrapbooking.  That was my mind-set.  I had made up my mind before even giving stamping a chance.

So why did I suddenly embrace stamping and card-making and all sorts of paper-crafting?  It happened at a scrapbooking crop.  It was an all-day crop, beginning at 9 a.m. and ending at midnight.  My daughter and I had a family vacation that was taking forever to scrap and we thought that this might just be the place to finish it.  Well, that didn't happen.  We scrap too painstakingly and take way too many photos to finish anything in one day, even a very, very long day.  But that was the day we both tried our hands at stamping simply because a local craft store was offering make-n-takes at the crop.  To give ourselves a break from what was becoming the everlasting project, we decided to do one of the make-n-takes.  It was a card.  The result was terrific.  It seemed so easy to achieve something very, very nice, indeed.  We were hooked.

One of the things that we learned as we made the card was heat embossing.  It was magical to see that powder become glossy.  So magical and wonderful that we went out and purchased our very own heat guns and Versa Mark pads and embossing powder.  And stamps.  Of course we needed stamps.  The local craft store was suddenly our favourite place to shop.

And then we were invited to a Stampin' Up! workshop.  Oh my, the goodies in those catalogues!  And then came the Open House we attended, put on by the same demonstrator that had the workshop.  That's when we joined a card club.  It was inevitable that one of us would become a demonstrator, right?  Well, I drew the short straw.  And I haven't looked back since.

There is something about stamping and card-making that fulfills a creative need within me.  Each of my cards is a tiny canvas on which I create a little masterpiece using stamps, techniques, embellishments, etc.  I never know where a card is going to lead me or when something I'm doing is going to lead to a card.  I love it!

Sometimes I drift, not quite sure what I want to do but sure that I want to do something.  Those are some of the times I've made the best of my cards.  Sometimes a piece of Designer Paper will lead me.  For example, when I was making a paper rosette and suddenly realized it reminded me of a peacock's tail.  That's what I began with: the rosette.  That grew into such an awesome card.  All the colours were decided by the Designer Paper---it simply grew out of the paper and became the card.  I've had that happen with painting or sketching, but it was a new experience with card-making.

This is the card that grew out of a Designer Paper rosette.

Isn't it wonderful when something is right there, asking to be released into the world, and you are the lucky person to release it?  I loved being part of releasing this card into the world.

25 & Counting

No, it's not the count-down to Christmas quite yet.  I'm talking about that terrific stamp set, 25 & Counting.  It's on sale until November 28th at 50% off!  That's a price that's hard to beat!

I've used this stamp set for Christmas cards:

I've also used this stamp set to make this wonderful Perpetual Advent Calendar, using magnets to hold the pieces on a mini-muffin pan.  The muffin holes are perfect for those treats the little ones love to find as they count down towards the big day.

Wouldn't you like to buy this stamp set while you can get it for half price?

Thursday 22 November 2012


I feel as if I'm celebrating a second Thanksgiving since so many of my online friends are celebrating today.  While I don't have a turkey to put on the table today, I thought I'd share my favourite turkey.  He made it through our Thanksgiving unscathed and will continue to share his Thanks is for Giving sentiment for many more celebrations to come.  I posted my instructions to make this cute little fellow back on September 18th if you want to have a turkey of your own. :)

Hope your day is filled with friends and family, and above all, Thanks.

Wednesday 21 November 2012

Extraordinary---Extravaganza---Exciting Sale!

I love sales!  Who doesn't like to get what they want at a bargain price?

Sometimes I feel a "twang" when I see an item on sale that I purchased a little while back at full price.  But then I remind myself that I couldn't have done so many things if I had waited and that appeases the feeling somewhat.  But you don't have to miss out on the great savings.  The items are there, waiting to be snapped up at these wonderfully low prices.

Today I'm going to show off the Petal Cone Die.  This is such a versatile die and can be used year-round,  for all sorts of terrific occasions.  I've only touched the tip of the iceberg of possibilities with the samples I'm about to show you.

With Christmas coming, everyone is thinking of having special little treats, either to hang in the tree or to have as part of a wonderful table setting---or just for general decorative purposes.  The Petal Cone Die lends itself perfectly for this.

How about an adorable Santa Claus that can be filled up with candy or a small gift?  He can be hung from a branch of your tree, the banister of your stairs or he can stand on the table as part of the decor.

Or how about a nice Christmas Tree, again filled up and used as part of the Christmas decor?  And then there is a Christmas Angel or Elf---really, with this Die, your imagination is the only thing that limits what could be done.

Why stop at Christmas?  The Petal Cone Die can be used to make a piece of birthday cake or the full birthday cake and each piece can be filled with party favours and given out to the guests.

Wedding favours, Easter, etc.  The list is endless.

And this week only, this wonderfully versatile Petal Cone Die is on sale at 30% off.  In other words, the catalogue price of $40.95 drops to an amazing $28.67!

Considering everything that you could make using this Die, can you afford to miss this sale?

Tuesday 20 November 2012

Fabulous Florets---One of my favourites!

I have used the Fabulous Florets stamp set so many times!  It's one of my "go-to" sets when I think of stamping flowers.  And now it's available this week for a 50% savings!  WOW!

I'm posting a small sampling of cards that I've made using the Fabulous Florets stamp set so that you can see why I keep going back to it.

This is a "Z" fold card that features the Hello Doily stamp but it wouldn't look as great without the wonderful silhouette from the Fabulous Florets set.

I hand cut these flowers and covered them in Crystal Effects to give them dimension and stiffen them up.  Don't the flowers from Fabulous Florets look gorgeous?

This "Hidden Door" card uses the same silhouette but a different flower from the Fabulous Florets.

This is a close-up of the corner of a mini-album I designed.  The flowers were hand-cut and covered with Crystal Effects.  Love the Fabulous Florets.

During the Extravaganza Sale this week, the Fabulous Florets stamp set, in the catalogue for $28.95 in wood mount, is only $14.48.  Listed in the catalogue for $21.95 in clear mount, it's on sale for $10.98.

If I didn't have this set already, I'd have it near the top of my list right now.

Monday 19 November 2012

Extravaganza Sales---Don't miss out!

Yes, today is the first day of the Extravaganza Sale!  Yes, there are some fantastic buys!

Today only, you can buy the Big Shot, that wonderful embossing and die-cutting machine, for 20% off.  That means instead of the catalogue price of $122.95, you can buy it today for only $98.36.

If you already own the Big Shot and love to take it along with you on trips or to a friend's house, you'll know how awkward it can be to transport.  Today only you can buy the Big Shot Doctor's Bag which houses the machine and dies comfortably and makes carrying it around so much easier.  That means instead of the catalogue price of $93.95, you can buy it today for only $75.16.

The rest of the Extravaganza items are on sale all week long.  There is another one day special on the last day, but we'll get to that next week.

I've decided to spotlight one of the stamp sets that is on sale:  Snow Much Fun.  This is a great set that appeals to old and young.  It's fun and lends itself to a great variety of card styles.  Here is one that I created on a special fold card: the Centre Stage Fold Card.  I'll post a tutorial for that fold at another time.

I like the old-fashioned feel of the sepias and the Morning Post Designer Paper.  The wonderful characters are all from the Snow Much Fun stamp set which is on sale for 50% off this week.  That brings the catalogue price down from $33.95 to $16.98 for the wood mount set and from $24.95 to $12.48 for the clear mount set.  Fantastic prices you won't wish to miss!

Peace on Earth - another WOW card

Peace on Earth!  A wonderful sentiment and it's also a wonderful card. When the people at my Christmas WOW Card Class saw it, their first reaction was "Wow!" which is always very gratifying.  It's a fancy fold called the Joy-Fold, but as long as you take it one step at a time, it's not very hard to do.

It's funny, I don't use the Brushed Silver Cardstock all that often.  It's another one of those "but if I use it, it will be gone".  A silly thought since I can just order it again if I run low, but, well...old habits die hard.  Embossed using the Vintage Wallpaper Embossing folder, the brushed silver looks like embossed metal.  It's gorgeous!

Another one of the products that really looks stunning on this card, besides the brushed silver, is that new Illuminate Glimmer Watermark ink.  This is an ink that really "pops" when it's used on a dark cardstock.  I had everyone stamp snowflakes on the Midnight Muse in the Illuminate and they almost shone, really they did.  Such a little bit of work to get such a fantastic effect!

And to tie it together as well as add another real WOW factor, I used the Flourish Designer Frame for the sentiment on the front of the card.   The sentiment was stamped in Midnight Muse on the Shimmer White Cardstock and is perfectly set off in this frame.

When you add all these pieces together, the result is a stunning card.  Really, quite simple, but what a WOW factor!  Don't you agree?

Saturday 17 November 2012

When will the madness end??? Another SALE?

Of course here, in Canada, Thanksgiving has come and gone.  In the United States, however, it is coming up shortly.  And with Thanksgiving in the United States comes Black Friday.  The two are linked in people's minds.  No, Stampin' Up! is not offering a Black Friday sale.  They're offering something even better.  After all, why stop with a one-day sale?

For the entire period of November 19th to the 28th Stampin' Up! is holding its annual Extravaganza Sale.  I experienced my first one last year and thought the prices were excellent...especially for someone starting out who had to stock more supplies as soon as possible.  But this sale isn't just great for Demonstrators.  It's geared to appeal to everyone.  And it's bigger than ever, as a warm-up for Stampin' Up!'s 25th Anniversary next year.

There are two special days to keep in mind:  November 19th and November 28th.  Those two day will have all the sales listed online for the whole Extravaganza Sale PLUS they will offer several extras that will only be on sale for that one single day.  If you see something listed for either of those days and want it...get it on that one day or...well, you know what they say: you snooze, you lose.

You can order everything in the Extravaganza through my online store OR you can contact me and I will add them to the current order for you.  Let me know what you want to do.  Just have a look because once the sale is over, it's done and all those wonderful items are right back to full price.  Wouldn't you rather get them at 20% to 50% less? I know I would!

Thursday 15 November 2012

The First WOW Class---a real WOW!

Sometimes you can just have a lot of fun doing something you love.  Tonight was one of those times.  I've limited the number of people per WOW class because the cards are complicated enough to require hands-on guidance.  One person was sick but is coming to next Wednesday evening's WOW class instead.  Even so, we had some real laughs, some interesting mishaps and, above all, lots of fun.

The interesting mishap occurred because of the extended length of the new embossing folders.  What a nuisance it is that they are slightly too long to fit comfortably through the Big Shot sideways!  Not to be deterred, I decided to cut about 1/4" from the bottom of the fancy scallop edge embossing folder.  There was no other choice since the card I designed was oversized and wouldn't fit into the Big Shot any other way.  Even with the 1/4" reduction, it was touch and go to get the card through the Big Shot.  One went through slightly a-kilter and the resulting embossing was a sight to see.

Luckily there was time and material for a do-over and that one went through the Big Shot properly.

This piece is from one of my favourite of the Christmas WOW cards.  It requires quite a number of techniques, including masking and heat embossing, but the finished card really is gorgeous.

I love the old-fashioned sepia tones in the card.  There is just enough understated glitter on the branches of the tree and the snow on the roof of the lodge to catch the light.  I'm so glad that everone loved it!

Tuesday 13 November 2012

Finally! The promised "Twisted Christmas card" tutorial!

Yes, I posted the picture of my twisted Christmas Card on October 21st and here it is, November 12th and I'm finally posting the tutorial.  All I can do is offer my deepest apologies for waiting so long.  Now, let's get on with this tutorial.

The twisted card has become quite a popular card.  There are many ways of doing them but I prefer using the front pocket instead of covering it up and making it a "normal" card.  After all, it's twisted already.  Why not make it totally different?

You can see in the picture, there is a diagonal pocket running across the front.  I emphasized this by using two different Designer Series Papers that compliment each other.  Tucked safely into the pocket is a sweet little ornament made using the Ornament Keepsakes stamp set along with the matching shape from the Holiday Ornament framelits.  The receiver of this card not only gets a Christmas card, but also gets to keep a handmade ornament for their tree.

The ornament is simple enough.  You choose one of the ornaments in the stamp set, stamp 4 images, use the matching framelit to cut all 4 out, fold each on lengthwise and then adhere each half to a matching half until they are all joined.  Voila!  A perfectly good ornament.

Now, on to the twisted card.  This takes a bit more work.

We begin with a piece of cardstock cut to 4 1/4" x 11".  This has to be folded diagonally and I find it works best to score the diagonal line on my Simply Scored before folding because my fold is much more crisp, not to mention more accurate.  The easiest way to use the Simply Scored for this is to "run" your scoring tool down to near the bottom  from, say, 8".  Put the one corner tip at the 8" mark and then line up the diagonal corner with the scoring tool.  You can see what I mean from this photo:

Actually, since I had to prepare a number of these for a workshop, I cheated and used my white pigment uni-ball pen to mark down the entire 8" line to make it easier.

Now put the cardstock lengthwise along the top of the Simply Scored  and, using the tip of the scoring tool, put a little dent into the edge at 4 3/4".  Flip the cardstock over and put another dent into the other edge at
 6 1/4".

Then line these two dents up along the 8" line again and score from one dent to the other.

Now that you have your two score lines, first fold along the long diagonal score line.

And then bring the two 4" ends together by folding along the second score line.

And there is the beginning of your twisted card.

 It may not look like much yet, but with some Designer Paper and other embellishments, this will be a really eye-catching card.

For the top portion of the front, I cut a 4" x 4 1/4" piece of Gumball Green from the 2012-14 In-Color Designer Series Paper.  I cut this in half diagonally.  For the bottom portion, I cut a 2" x 5 1/2" piece of the ornament design from the Snow Festival Designer Series Paper.  I cut this in half diagonally as well.

After this, assembly is actually quite easy.  The diagonally cut pieces of Designer Paper fit perfectly in the diagonal areas of the folded card and allow a nice border of cardstock to show as well.

 Besides tucking the ornament into the front pocket, there has to be a sentiment on the front of this card.  What better way to add the sentiment than to use that wonderful "tidings of comfort & Joy" from the Word Play stamp set?  It's the right size to be cut out with the Ornament Punch and, to top it off, the "O" in Joy is an ornament.  How perfect is that?  I chose to stamp it in Cherry Cobbler since there is some of that colour in the Designer Paper and it is also the colour of my base cardstock.  I also chose to use my Stampin' Write Markers to colour in the ornament, using Baja Breeze and Gumball Green since those colours are also in the Designer Paper.  Before using dimensionals to adhere the ornament onto the top portion of my card, I sponged the edges with Baja Breeze and silvered the top with my silver Stampin' Dazzle marker.

The inside of the card is a mirror copy of the front of the card.  For this pocket there is no end to the little extras that could be tucked in as a surprise:  a gift card, a special little sentiment card, theatre tickets...the list is endless.  That's what makes this such a special card.  You can leave the inside plain cardstock or choose  to use DSP on the pocket (same dimensions and instructions as for the front of the card) and leave the top cardstock plain.  It's your choice.  To finish I added another ornament stamped with a sentiment from the More Merry Messages stamp set and the inside is complete.

This is a fun card to make.  The folds and diagonals can be a bit tricky to begin with, but taking it one step at a time, you should be able to make these twisted style cards on your own and begin making changes to add your own signature to them.  Whether you decide to use the front pocket or decorate up the front like a regular card, it's a very eye-catching card.

Let me know how yours turn out. :)

Saturday 10 November 2012

Getting ready for my WOW Christmas Card Class

Well, I've done it now.  I've advertised a WOW Christmas Card Class and have people coming to two classes in the coming week.  The pressure is on.

I love making cards and I especially love going that extra little way into WOW territory.  There's a lot of satisfaction in making a card that makes people take a second, third and even a fourth look.  Then there is making a selection of cards for people to make and wondering if the card I've just designed is "WOW" enough.  I find that since I am presenting these cards as examples of WOW cards for people to make in my class, I am questioning their "WOW" factor.

So far I have two that I am fully satisfied are up to WOW standards.  I have three more on the "bench", waiting to see if I can create something better to take their place(s) or if they will be "players" for the class.  I've advertised that there will be five samples to choose from with three being made during the class.

My first WOW Christmas Card Class is this coming Wednesday.  That will be the test of the cards.  I can always adjust a little or tweak them before Saturday's class.  It's the waiting that is the killer.

Sunday 4 November 2012

The Retiform Technique meets Christmas!

I just finished doing the Retiform Technique for a SWAP that I had joined.  Doing this technique over and over again to make sufficient cards to swap almost did me in.  It's gorgeous!  I love that grid effect.  It also takes time and making a whole bunch at once isn't easy.

I began with a 3 ¾” x 5” piece of Very Vanilla, a 4 ¼” x    5 ½” base cardstock of Cherry Cobbler, another cardstock layer of Crumbcake and a final cardstock layer of Early Espresso.  The Very Vanilla would be used to make the Retiform (grid) pattern and stamping, it would be adhered to the Early Espresso to frame it.  The Crumbcake would be mounted on the base Cherry Cobbler cardstock.  Then I would use dimensionals to mount the stamped and framed Very Vanilla layer to the base.   

I also used 3 stamp pads (Cherry Cobbler, Crumbcake and Early Espresso), the Clockworks stamp set, the Open Sleigh stamp set, the Scentsational Season stamp set and the Jolly Bingo Bits stamp set , 3 sponges and copy paper cut into three strips.

I stamped my centre image in Cherry Cobbler and then  began using the strips of copy paper to mask off sections in a grid pattern around the image.  To sponge in the sections around the centre image, I used only the Crumbcake and Cherry Cobbler, making sure to keep the mask in place to get clean, crisp lines. Once I had all my sections sponged, I dabbed a bit of Early Espresso lightly in areas to create more contrast.  Then I stamped images into each section, primarily using Crumbcake but also adding several stamped images in Early Espresso and Cherry Cobbler.  I finished by sponging a bit of Crumbcake lightly over the centre image.

Just for a little "WOW" I stamped the cardinal from the Jolly Bingo Bits and fussy-cut him out.  Then I covered him generously with Crystal Effects.  Once dry, I mounted him on dimensionals and added the "Merry" from tiny tags.

This is an eye-catching technique once you get started.  It lets you create a mood using a variety of stamps and colours.  I just love the way the Christmas card turned out, don't you?

Saturday 3 November 2012

November - Huge Ink Pad give-away!

Let's face it, stamping is a lot more fun when you have a variety of colours to stamp with.  But those ink pads   get expensive when you're starting out.  Well, guess what!  For the whole month of November Stampin' Up! is offering a special way to get those ink pads FREE!  I really do love that word: free.  Isn't it fun when the things you want are free?

For all of November and up to December 16th, those who hold a workshop or party have the opportunity to get an entire "family" of ink pads free of charge.  Of course some conditions apply.  This is the real world, after all.  What you have to do is invite friends and acquaintances who love stamping about as much as you do or who love creating things but haven't caught the stamping "bug" yet.  If that workshop or party totals $575 in sales, you, the hostess, get an entire "family" of ink pads free.  This applies to the Regals, Brights and Subtles, only, since there are fewer ink pads in the Neutrals family.

Of course your usual hostess benefits still apply.  So, for this qualifying workshop or party you would get the full family of ink pads PLUS $90 hostess spending "money" which is good for either current catalogue PLUS 50% off on one item of your choice (no matter what the price).

Has the pot been sweetened enough for you?  Call me today or email me to set up your November (or early December) affair and get in on this incredible gift.

Thursday 1 November 2012

Imagine a sunny beach!

Right now I'm closing my eyes, imagining the warm sun above me, the white sand beneath me and the sound of the waves simply relaxing me.  This is the life!

Of course then I open my eyes, look outside, and see the snow on the ground and still feel the chill in my hands after going out trick or treating with the kids tonight.  The temperature?  In Celsius it was -4 degrees which, for our southern neighbours would be about 24 degrees (why doesn't it sound as cold in Fahrenheit?)

So, of course I want to continue my beach fantasy.  I've been making Christmas cards lately but today,join me in making a nice summery card.  I think flip-flops and flowers and sand sound like the right combination for this fantasy.

To begin I'm using some great Designer Paper from the Floral District Series.  The combination of Baja Breeze, Rich Razzleberry, Daffodil Delight and Whisper White just screams summer.  When I look at it I swear that I feel a tropical breeze move my hair.  So I"m making the card base in the Rich Razzleberry with the next layer in the Daffodil Delight.

I've cut the Designer Paper to be 3 3/4" x 5" and the Daffodil Delight to be 4" x 5 1/4".  And then there should be flip-flops.  I've seen several cards online but no measurements for the flip-flops.  So I'm going to have to design my own.  After cutting and recutting, I've come up with a very promising template.

I'm cutting two of these soles out and turning one over so that they will be left and right.  Then I'm using the trio of flowers and leaf from the Betsy's Blossoms stamp set and am stamping the flowers on the soles in Rich Razzleberry ink and the leaf in between the flowers in Baja Breeze.  To make them look more like real flip-flops, I'm putting the pieces into my Square Lattice Embossing folder to run through the Big Shot.  I love the resulting textured look.

The next step is putting straps onto the flip-flops so that they will look real.  The 1/8" Taffeta Ribbon in the Baja Breeze looks as if it has been designed for this purpose.  I'm piercing a hole approximately 3/4" down from the top and 1/2" in from the inside edge and then, am folding the ribbon in half and pushing a retired Rich Razzleberry Glimmer Brad through the ribbon and the pierced hole.  Then approximately 1 1/2" down from the brad, I'm cutting a 1/8" slit near each side of the sole and inserting each end of the ribbon, using a glue dot to adhere the end.  I'm leaving the ribbon loose on top so that it looks as if a foot could slip through.

 Using my Tombo liquid glue, I am adhering the soles to pieces of Rich Razzleberry.  I prefer to use the Tombo because of the intense texture.  Snail doesn't have as much to hang onto, I find, and sometimes doesn't hold embossed pieces as well.

Then I am cutting around the shapes of the textured flip-flops, leaving  a 1/8" border of  Rich Razzleberry around them.  My flip-flops look good enough to wear!

To carry on the look of the Floral District paper and also to carry out the fantasy I have of tropical flowers on the beach, I'm cutting three daisies with the Blossom Party Originals die, one in Baha Breeze, one in Rich Razzleberry and the third in Daffodil Delight.  I'm also cutting three flowers in Whisper White using the flower framelit from the Cannery Set.  For the centres I'm using more Glimmer Brads.  The sand is easily provided by tearing a piece of Crumbcake.

Assembly begins with the Crumbcake, then the blossoms at the bottom left and then placing the flip-flops as if someone has just walked out of them.  For me, the sentiment "So Worth the Wait" from the Word Play stamp set is perfect because I'm just waiting for warmer weather but other sentiments would work just as well depending on how you're going to be using the card.

I hope you enjoyed my beach fantasy as much as I have.  Now lie back and dream of soft tropic breezes and the sound of waves.