Sunday 24 March 2013

I'm Off!

Off on vacation, that is. :)  So please bear with me if my blog lags behind a bit.  I will be all rested up and raring to post once I get back.

One little reminder about the brand new product:  This and That.  I just ordered mine this morning before I shut down for vacation.  This and That should be a lot of fun and bring a new flavour to your journaling/scrapbooking.  Such an easy thing to take along on vacation and fill with "this and that".

Other than that, I'm off.  Off to what I'm hoping will be a sunny vacation (although apparently there will be rain and a thunderstorm on Monday---*sigh* I hope the weather gets the bad out of its system so the rest of the time will be warm and toasty.)

I've posted this card before, but it says it all.

For those who haven't seen this card before, I have a complete tutorial with pictures and a template here.

Thursday 21 March 2013

Huge changes for My Digital Studio!

Effective immediately Stampin' Up! is offering My Digital Studio (otherwise known as MDS) at an enormous savings of 75% off.  Yes, you can now buy the full package for only $24.95.  Astounded?  I certainly was.  And this isn't a special price for a limited time.  No, the MDS will be regularly priced at $24.95 from now on.

You're probably wondering if I'm calling it MDS because it's the original programme.  Nope, that programme no longer exists.  And since it doesn't exist, it makes sense to simply call it MDS instead of  MDS2 and MDS2+.

Why is Stampin' Up! offering MDS at such an enormous saving?  Apparently we have now moved to another level in the production of the programme.  The producer of the programme, because of the large numbers we are now able to sell, is giving Stampin' Up! a better price and Stampin' Up! is passing that new, much more affordable price down to its customers immediately.

There is no time like the present to try out your own hand at digital cardmaking or digital scrapbooking.  The prices for the finished printed product were dropped a few months ago, making it much more affordable to have it produced by Stampin' Up!  But you aren't limited to having your cards or photobooks printed by Stampin' Up!  Creations made in My Digital Studio can be exported and printed on your own printer or by other photo printing companies.

I enjoy making hybrid cards using My Digital Studio.  I print out part of the card and then add layers or embellishments, thus making it into a half-and-half, or hybrid.

This is the front of an Anniversary card that I made combining both "normal" card-making and digital card-making.

This is the next "page" of the card, showing the full figures of the bride and groom on the tandem bicycle.  The figures are actually a stamp brush set that wasn't available in a stamp.  I loved the look and so decided that having it digitally was better than not having it at all.  It printed out beautifully on my Whisper White cardstock and then I trimmed around the figures so that they would fit into the design of my card.

This is the whole card opened.  I love these double-fold cards.  I also love the fact that I was able to put together a card just the way I wanted because of My Digital Studio.

For more information on My Digital Studio, you can click here and check it out.

Wednesday 20 March 2013

Faux Metal meets Need for Speed

I was trying to come up with an idea for a masculine card.  What is more masculine than a Quad and some bright and shiny metal?  Sounds like a match made in Heaven, right?   Using the Need for Speed stamp set and some embossed faux metal, I managed to make a card that just shouts out "I'm a masculine card!"

The faux metal is an easy technique, using some aluminum foil wrapped around a piece of cardstock and then run through the Big Shot in an embossing folder---in this case the Houndstooth folder.  A bit harder was cutting out the little Quad since there was some fussy cutting around the handle-bars.

The hardest part of making this card?  Taking the picture.  Without the flash, the darker colours simply became too dark.  With the flash, I had the worst bright centre and everthing else was too dark.  The solution?  I finally stood across the room, zoomed in and the flash was weakened by the distance.  It's still not quite right because of the colours the metal reflects, but it's mot bad.

Tuesday 19 March 2013

This and That!

Oh my!  Another sneak peek!  This new catalogue won't have any surprises at this rate, will it?  Or maybe it's going to be such a big catalogue that some of the good stuff is simply spilling out.

Introducing This and That.  What is it, you ask?  Good question.  It's what could be called an un-scrapbook.  It's also an un-journal.  It's a bit of both, mixed together with all sorts of colours and pockets and surprises.  It's easy to take on a trip and make little comments and notes and stuff full of all those souvenir pieces of paper and things. It's one of those things that will make you smile and share all those great memories over and over again.  You can leave spots for photos.  You can do anything---fill it up with this and that and every other thing.  It's your choice.

This and That will be available for early purchase beginning March 23rd.  And as a special treat all five products in the This and That line can be bought separately or, better yet, bought in a bundle.  That won't last.  After April 30th it will go right back to being available only by buying the products separately.  So doesn't it make sense to get the bundle and save 15%?  With the money you save you can buy some of those other products you're always running out of.

Epic Day This and That Journal                         #131268    $13.95
Epic Day This and That Designer Series Paper  #130814    $13.50
Remember This and That Rotary Stamp            #130133      $7.95
Epic Day This and That Designer Stickers         #133271      $5.95
Epic Day This and That Designer Washi Tape   #131269      $6.50
Epic Day This and That Bundle                         #133350    $40.67  (15% off retail value!)

Remember---that's March 23rd.  You can order this terrific bundle of possibilities online or by contacting me.  I'll bet you can't wait to try this out!

Monday 18 March 2013

Harbinger of Spring

I'm so ready for Spring.  For a few days it was actually beginning to seem as if Spring was around the corner.  I didn't even have to wear my winter boots for nearly a week.  I was daydreaming of wearing flip-flops.  And then it snowed again---and again---and again.  I guess Winter isn't quite ready to let go.

I've been picking up the Nature's Walk stamp set off and on but hadn't really decided what I wanted to do with it.  When it began snowing again, I knew I had to have a Robin in my life.  If they weren't ready to fly back to this snowy area, then I was going to make my own.  And so I did.

I really like my little robin even though cutting him out was a bit of a chore.  Still, he looks almost as if he's going to burst into song, doesn't he?  That's what gave me the idea to use the Natural Composition Designer Paper with the musical notes embossed on it.  A perfect background for one of the more musical birds.

I wanted flowers, too.  I have loved the Fabulous Florets stamp set from the very first time I saw it.  The flowers in that set are wonderful.  This time I decided to make some very delicate flowers using the Creped Filter paper.  Yes, that's very flimsy paper, but with a couple of layers of watered-down Crystal Effects on  the fronts of the flowers and a layer of the Frost White shimmer paint on their backs, they had a lot more body.  I loved the effect.

I used my watercolour pencils in order to get the very subtle colours in the flowers and also in the robin.

My finished card definitely made me feel a lot better.  If it isn't going to look like Spring outside, then I've at least managed to bring Spring inside.

Doesn't the card make you feel as if Spring is here?

Sunday 17 March 2013

Shhh---this is a Sneak Peek!

There are always speculations around this time of the year as to what the new catalogue, due out for public view on June 1st, will hold.  Usually there are sneak peeks available and, very occasionally, there is something from the upcoming catalogue that we can order early.

Do you recognize the punch?  It is on page 16 of the Spring Mini catalogue and co-ordinates with the "Ciao, Baby" stamp set.  No, there are not 24 little stamps in this set.  The picture shows the 8-piece set in English, French and also in Spanish.

For the time being, this set is being offered as a bundle along with the punch for a 15% discount.  If you're like me, there is frequently only enough room on the front of a card for a small sentiment and this is definitely an attractive way to get one.  Just think how cute this would look layered onto a complimentary colour of cardstock punch with your 1" circle punch.  I'm already thinking of new ideas for it!

This Spring Surprise Bundle (stamp set and punch) will be sold only until May 30th after which they become two separate products with no discount.  For this period, the stamp set will be available only in the clear mount.  Item number for the bundle is:  #133899 at a cost of $29.95.

If you like this opportunity as much as I do, and want to take advantage of the lower shipping available with workshop orders, here's a tip.  Now that Stampin' Up! is providing us with a Hostess Code, your order can be included in a workshop order to give you 10% shipping rather than the $9.95 you would be paying for shipping by placing an online order.  So now you can go online, make your order as usual, and as long as you've gotten the latest Hostess Code from me, your order will become part of the workshop.  How cool is that?

Tuesday 12 March 2013

Trying out the Photopolymer

Well, my Photopolymer stamp set finally arrived yesterday.  It's hard to be forced to wait sometimes.  I have tried the transparent stamps made by other companies, but there is always the question when something new comes along: how does it compare to what I have tried?

My first thought was "Oh my goodness!  What tiny pieces!"  I already had a sense that the pieces would be very small, given the size of the stamp pad next to the Photopolymer stamps in the picture that Stampin' Up! had released in the initial announcement, but actually coming face-to-face with the set really brought the size into perspective.  "Ah well," I told myself.  "All the better to have a little balloon coming from a character, making a comment."  I already had a set in mind to combine with the Photopolymer for its trial run: the Everybunny stamp set.

So I stamped the little bunny sitting in front of an egg, apparently talking to a wee chick.  Perfect, I thought, for a comment balloon.  The bunny image, of course, stamped in beautifully slender lines--a perfect image--but I wouldn't expect anything different from rubber stamps.  Next, I stamped a balloon coming from the little bunny.  The lines were very heavy.  I immediately wondered if that was going to be something one would have to expect from the Photopolymer or if that was simply the nature of this particular stamp set.

Then came the letters for the comment within the balloon.  I had seen a couple of videos from other demonstrators showing their own trial runs with the Photopolymer but doing it myself brought several things to light.  The "natural" spacing, if I simply put an entire word onto an acrylic block, allowed a bit too much space between letters.  Obviously in the future I would have to stamp each letter one by one in order to have spacing that, for me at least, was more aesthetically pleasing.  The lines of the letters were as heavily stamped as the lines of the balloon but I didn't mind it in the letters.  The balloon just looked heavy and slightly out-of-place against the finer lines of the Everybunny stamp.

Before getting down to colouring, I decided to use the Photopolymer image for the multiple banners across the top of my cardstock.  Again, the lines were very heavily drawn but at least they balanced the balloon, making it appear less out of place.

After colouring, I stamped inside each individual banner to get the word "EASTER" and then stamped a little butterfly image into each end banner using the Itty Bitties stamp set.

Overall I'm happy with the finished card.  Since we haven't any other Photopolymer stamps available at the moment, I'm not able to decide whether I like the stamped images or not.  If they continue to be heavily drawn, I won't be buying any more sets.  I do like a light touch in my images.  If this is simply what they've come out with for the Photopolymer premiere, I question the sense of having a set that doesn't show the capabilities of this type of stamp to its fullest advantage.

The best part of the experiment was being able to see perfectly where my stamped image would be.  That really was a pleasure.

Remember that the Late Night Stampers are having a Spring Treasure Hunt.  To read more about it, just click here.

Discovering Everybunny!

When I got the Everybunny stamp set it was too late to use it for last year's Easter cards.  So the set sat on my shelf, waiting patiently for all those other occasions and holidays to pass.  Finally it's getting to that time of the year.  My Everybunny stamp set is finally being used.

I had been wanting to make a diamond-fold card for a while and the images in the Everybunny set just seemed perfect for that type of card.  And so I took two things off my to-do list: I used Everybunny and I also made a diamond-fold card.  I love it when things work together like that, don't you?

Because the diamond-fold is a multi-fold card, normal cardstock doesn't work as well for the base as a good, heavyweight Designer Paper.  I decided to use a 4" x 12" piece from the Floral District Designer Series Paper.  The colours I chose to highlight just seemed so "Easter-y" to me:  Lucky Limeade, Tangerine Tango, Baja Breeze, Daffodil Delight and Whisper White.

First of all I used my Simply Scored and scored at 2", 4", 8" and 10".  Then I mounted my Diagonal plate and scored at 2" and 6" and then flipped the paper over and again scored that side at 2" and 6".  I found that I had to use the fatter end of my scoring  because the Designer Paper will tear if you use the skinnier end and push too hard.  The best thing to do is to fold along every line, just to get the paper used to being folded.  then you have to make sure the original "straight" scored lines become valleys and sort of pinch the angles from the diagonals so that it "accordions" together with a diamond shape in front.

I've shown you the side view and top view of what it should look like once you've folded the Designer Series Paper.

There are basically three spots which can hold an image and so I took full advantage of that with the sweet Everybunny images.  For the left side, I chose the image with the little bunny in the eggshell.

For the right side, I chose the image with the little chick in the eggshell.  As you can see, I used half a doily for each side, just under the images which I had cut out using one of the Labels framelits. 

Then, for the centre, diamond shaped portion of the card, I chose the little bunny flying away in his hot air balloon.

When I coloured the stamped images, I used the colours already within the Designer Paper for continuity.  I also used the Lucky Limeade and Whisper White cardstocks for the same reason.

This is how the whole finished card looks, expanded.

And this is how it looks folded up.

I had such fun making this card.  I can't wait to use the Everybunny stamp set again.

Remember that the Late Night Stampers are having a Spring Treasure Hunt.  To read more about it, just click here.

Saturday 9 March 2013

Making a Framed Fashion Set

Remember playing with paper dress-up dolls?  I think almost every girl has in some form or another.  Some are fancy, some are quite basic, but all of them let a girl enter the world of fashion and make-believe.  Well, after making the easel card back on February 22nd, I knew I had to try a framed collection of dressed up "dolls".

It was fun playing with the Dress-Up framelits set and making this framed fashion set.  Isn't there someone in your life that would love to receive a gift like this?

And just a reminder about the Late Night Stampers' Treasure Hunt.  You can go here and read all about it.  Maybe you'll be the next grand prize winner.

Sunday 3 March 2013

Going Single

Going single can be a lot of fun, especially when it means you just have to buy a single stamp.  Among the single stamps available in my Stampin' Up! store at the moment is one that really "spoke" to me.  The name of the stamp is You Are My Sunshine.  How many people have said that to their children?  I wouldn't even venture a guess.  

I can still remember holding my daughter in my arms, trying to calm her down by walking back and forth, singing softly "you are my sunshine".  It's a wonder that those weren't her first words; she certainly heard them frequently enough---especially during those awful teething nights.  For me, however, those words---that song---stayed in my heart as a special bond with my daughter.  Imagine my delight when I saw the stamp!  I had to have that stamp.  And, on the first order after the stamp became availalble, I included that stamp (Item #132671, available only until March 31st).

Sunshine Clear-Mount Stamp Set
I wasn't immediately sure what I wanted to do with the stamp and so it sat neglected (but not forgotten) for a few weeks.  And then we had a wonderfully sunny day and I thought about Spring and spring flowers and an idea was born.

I began with a 3 1/2" x 4 3/4" piece of Whisper White and the You Are My Sunshine stamp.  I decided to stamp the image in the top right quadrant of the paper.  Then I took a 2" x 2 1/4" piece of typing paper and masked the entire stamped image.  My next stamp was the daisy stamp from the Secret Garden set (Item #129144)---a happy flower that always makes me think of sunshine.  Then I grabbed three of the sunniest colours that Stampin' Up! offers in its inks: Daffodil Delight, More Mustard, and Tangerine Tango.  I loved the way those colours compliment each other.  Beginning with the Daffodil Delight, I stamped daisies all over the Whisper White.  After cleaning the stamp, I went on to stamp several daisies in More Mustard and, lastly, a few more in Tangerine Tango.  When I took the mask off, the result was exactly what I had hoped for.

I finished off the card by mounting the stamped Whisper White on More Mustard cardstock using snail.  I chose Naturals White for my base cardstock and, after using my Honeycomb embossing folder on Tangerine Tango cardstock, mounted it using snail.  Then I used dimensionals to mount the stamped piece.  Finally I coloured in the You Are My Sunshine and filled the centre of the "O" with Crystal Effects.  A few large rhinestones in the centre of my  daisies were the finishing touch.

It's a very, very happy looking card, isn't it?  If you want that stamp, too, remember that you only have until March 31st to buy it.

And just a reminder about the Late Night Stampers' Treasure Hunt.  You can go here and read all about it.  Maybe you'll be the next grand prize winner.

Saturday 2 March 2013

Spring TREASURE HUNT--Don't Miss Out!

Remember that fun Treasure Hunt that the Late Night Stampers held back in the fall of 2012?  The lucky winner of that Treasure Hunt, Tricia Miller, walked away with a prize of $150 in Stampin' Up! products.  That could be you for this Spring's Treasure Hunt.

This Spring's Treasure Hunt will run from March 1st to May 12th, 2013.  The last list of clues can be submitted to me right until midnight PST of May 12th.  Interested?  Just read the guidelines below:

-click on the page (listed at the top of my blog) titled "LNS Web Ring"
-visit each of the blogs listed (it's always nice to leave a comment)
-look for participating Treasure Hunt players--they will have the picture of the SU! box (pictured below), and they will list their clue
-make a note of what the clue is, and whose blog it is on
-once you've collected all 50 clues, email them to ME at listing each clue and where you found it
-Remember, you have from Friday March 1st until Sunday, May 12th, 2013 to collect all 50 clues and email them to me, in order to be entered for the prize draw

Here is the box that tells everyone I'm participating in the Treasure Hunt

Here is my clue--you'll want to write this down, and the name of my blog:

Kraft Gift Box - by Stampin' Up!Item #124106, Kraft Gift Box

Now---go hunting! Remember to keep checking back to my LNS Web Ring because more demonstrators are adding their blogs every day.  Some blogs, by the way, may be offering additional prizes as well, so it's a good idea to check them all out.

Just a little note about my clue.  I fell in love with these simple Kraft Boxes when I realized their potential to be embellished and made into a true little treasure box.  I'll be posting one of my special Kraft Boxes later this week.  You'll be amazed at the transformation possible with just a bit of imagination and product.

Friday 1 March 2013

Never say "never"!

Those words are so often repeated, aren't they?  How often do we say we'd never do something only to discover a while later that "never" has actually come around and is happening right now?

Well, it's happening with Stampin' Up!  How often have demonstrators said that Stampin' Up! would never offer acrylic stamps?  Their trademark has always been the rubber stamp.  Whether it is wood-mounted or able to be mounted on an acrylic block, the Stampin' Up! stamp has always been rubber.  Well, no longer!  Right now, beginning March 1st, 2013 (a day to remember on your calendars!), Stampin' Up! is offering photopolymer stamp sets on a trial basis.

What is a photopolymer stamp and why would you be interested?  Photopolymer stamps are basically 2nd generation from the original digital art while molded silicon stamps are generally 4th or 5th generation from the original digital art.  The fewer steps (generations) between the digital art and the finished stamp, the higher the resolution.  And resolution is one of those attributes that is so very important in a stamp.  Besides this, they stick to the acrylic block beautifully and they're clear so that you can actually see precisely where you are stamping.

So, yes, Stampin' Up! has always said never, ever!  That began back when there were no real choices in the type of materials from which clear stamps were made.  After extensive testing of the longevity of the photopolymer stamps and their image quality, however, Stampin' Up! is going to give us a chance to try them out.  If we like them, it looks as if there will be even more choices in the Stampin' Up! store.

The first set is this one

Designer Typeset Photopolymer Stamp Set - Stampin' Up!

It comes with a mind-boggling 57 pieces and costs a mere $16.95 (Item #132956).  Could you ask for a better introduction to the photopolymer stamp sets?

As soon as mine arrives, I'll post an update of my impressions as well as a sample card using the set.  If you don't want to wait, just order your own from my online store or contact me and I'll included it in my next order.

Isn't this exciting?