Thursday 25 July 2013

The Wacky Watercooler New Catalog(ue) Blog Hop

Wacky Watercooler New Catalog(ue) Blog Hop

How exciting!  Our very first blog hop!  It's fun chatting around the virtual watercooler on the Stampin' Connection, but expanding into a blog hop is an incredible feeling.  By now you will have been to the very talented Terri Antoniw's blog.  She's a tough act to follow, but I'll  do my best.

This blog hop is all about the new Annual Catalogue which was released on June 1st, 2013.  It's a fantastic catalogue, full of great new products, a surprising number of discounted bundles and, of course, new colours, papers and other surprises.  I love this catalogue!

My first project is a card that showcases the Six-Sided Sampler stamp set, available in wood or clear.  Hexagons are such fun to play with and this is certainly a playful card.  I love that Stampin' Up! bundled the stamp set with the brand new Hexagon Punch.  Saving 15% by getting the two together in either wood or clear is a sweet deal.  I wanted to use primarily warm colours for this card and so I used a base of the new In-Color, Baked Brown Sugar, and found a yellow and white pattern in the Quatrefancy Specialty Designer Paper.  To those colours I added my old friend and upgraded-from-retired-In-Color-to-permanent Subtle Color, Calypso Coral.

I used the Baked Brown Sugar ink and the Calypso Coral ink to stamp several of the patterns from the Six-Sided Sampler stamp set.  Then I layered the piece of Specialty Designer Paper onto a piece of Calypso Coral cardstock and then adhered the punched out hexagons onto that.  I liked the effect but decided to give it a real quilted look by running it through my Big Shot using the Square Lattice embossing folder.  Then I adhered it to my Baked Brown Sugar base using Stampin' Dimensionals.

To finish it off, I punched a 3/4" circle out of a piece of Champagne Glimmer Paper and then centred the circle in my Hexagon Punch and punched that out.  That circle hole allowed me to arrange my banner greeting, which I stamped in Baked Brown Sugar ink onto a piece of Daffodil Delight cardstock, through the hexagon shape.  I adhered those  with Stampin' Dimensionals as well and then, just for the fun of it, added three Champagne Glimmer rings which I punched out using my 1/2" circle punch and 3/4" circle punch.

One of the products which jumped out at me when I went through the catalogue was the new Modern Medley Designer Series Paper.  The colours are very simple: Very Vanilla and Basic Black.  Simple, yes; boring, no.

My next project, therefore, is a masculine card that not only highlights the Modern Medley DSP, but also puts the spotlight on that wonderful new stamp set, Wetlands, clear or wood mount.   For this card I used the Naturals Ivory cardstock as my base and layered it with Basic Black and  the Modern Medley DSP.  I think the flying birds printed on the Designer Paper makes the perfect background for the Canada Goose and rushes.  It's hard to tell from the photo, but I've heat embossed the goose and "Thinking of You" in black.  That helps it to "pop" behind the Window Sheet onto which I stamped the rushes using Black StazOn ink.

My final project also uses the Modern Medley DSP but aside from that is completely different.  This time I made an elegant Pillow Box using a pattern from Stampin' Up!'s famous Pattern Library.  It was a hard choice with so many striking designs to choose from, but I finally settled on the baroque design with the faint stripes in the background.  By adding Vellum flowers using that wonderful bundle: the Flower Shop stamp set (wood or clear) and the matching Pansy Punch as well as some Vellum leaves cut with the Secret Garden framelit, I added a bit of whimsy to the black girdle which I adhered around the centre of the Pillow Box.  A few touches of gold heat embossing on the flower and in the sentiment, a little black Simply Pressed clay flower, and it was done.  If you want to try your hand at making one of these pillow boxes, I have provided the template here for you to print out and use.

Of course if you really like the Flower Shop stamp set and matching Pansy Punch, your best buy is to go for the bundle in wood or clear, which saves you 15%.  Just look at the flower close up---this is a wonderful bundle to own and use.

Well, that's about it.  I hope you've enjoyed my projects as much as I enjoyed making them.  Your next stop on this Blog Hop tour  is the terrific stamper, Deborah Smart.  I'm sure you'll love seeing her creations.

Terri's Blog

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Deborah's Blog

Blog Hop Home Site

Wednesday 24 July 2013

Small Sweet Notes---Fun to make and receive!

The majority of cards that I make are 4 1/4" x 5 1/2".  They may be conventional folds, fancy folds, or even hybrid cards, but usually I use that sizing for my cards.  Occasionally I make larger cards, especially for my WOW classes or special events.  It occurred to me that I seldom make smaller cards and yet a nice small note is just perfect to enclose in a package to someone or to slip in among the flowers in a bouquet.  And so, of course, I had to make one.

This card uses one of my new favourites from the 2013/14 Annual Catalogue, the Backyard Basics bundle (available in wood or clear).  I love that the bundled stamp set and matching framelits give you a 15% dfiscount!  For this card I used the tulip stamp from the set and stamped it using Stazon black ink on Whisper White cardstock three times.  After colouring the tulips with my Stampin' Write markers, I used the tulip framelit and my Big Shot to cut them out.   Then I used the third smallest of the Window Frames Collection framelits to cut out a piece of Whisper White cardstock and then put the window shape through the Big Shot using the brand new, beautiful Pretty Print embossing folder that will be available in the Holiday Catalogue beginning August 1st.  (I can see myself using that embossing folder a lot in the coming months!)

I cut a piece of 3 1/4" x 3 1/4" Smoky Slate cardstock (love that new colour) and embossed it using the Perfect Polka Dots folder.  Then I adhered the piece to my base cardstock of Naturals White using the SNAIL adhesive.  I also used the SNAIL to adhere the window shape, centred on the Smoky Slate.

For the tulips, first I took a 4" piece of Whisper White Stitched Grosgrain ribbon and adhered it with one Glue Dot near the bottom, inside the Whisper White window shape.  Then I adhered my first tulip directly to the window shape at an angle and the second tulip was also adhered at an angle but the head of the tulip was raised using a Dimensional.   The third tulip was centred and mounted on strips of Dimensionals all the way down from the head to its stem.  Then I tied the ribbon in a little knot to make it appear as if the bouquet was tied together.

Really, this was such a simple card, despite the lengthy directions.  It was such fun to make and I'm definitely going to make more of this size.  Sometimes small can be every bit as special as large.

Oh---just a "heads up".  I am participating in a Blog Hop which will begin Thursday, July 25th at 7 p.m. and continue until July 28th.  I hope you'll enjoy visiting my blog as well as all the other blogs that will be a part of this "hop".

Tuesday 23 July 2013

Meeting the Challenge

I've never entered a card-making challenge before.  Today I joined one---it's a colour challenge and I'm excited about it.  How it works is that the person in charge presents three colours and a time limit during which those three colours become the main focus of a card.  The three colours chosen were:
The good thing is that I like the three colours.  They're fresh and happy looking and immediately reminded me of a flower garden (or in this case, flower shop).  What better way to show off the colours than to make them into beautiful flowers using the Flower Shop stamp set and the matching Pansy Punch?

You can buy the Flower Shop stamp set alone or as a bundle with the Pansy Punch.   I think it makes a lot more sense to get the bundle because that way one can save 15%, and who doesn't like to save money?

I decided to use the Coastal Cabana cardstock as my base.  Then I cut a smaller piece of Whisper White and stamped the "Love You" from the Seasonal Sayings stamp set towards the right lower part of the paper using Coastal Cabana ink.  I didn't want to leave the little heart in the stamped image that colour so I took a bit of Crisp Cantaloupe cardstock and punched out the heart using my Owl Builder punch.

After that I stamped a flower onto the Whisper White using Crisp Cantaloupe ink and then another two using Wisteria Wonder ink.  I knew I couldn't leave it like that because I wanted some dimension to the card.  So I took another piece of Whisper White cardstock and stamped another three flowers using Crisp Cantaloupe ink and another two using the Wisteria Wonder.  If you're keeping count that comes to a total of eight flowers.  Those last five that I stamped on a separate piece of the Whisper White were cut out using the handy Pansy punch.  I scattered those across the card using dimensionals.

Not bad but it still needed something.  So I used the tiny flower punch from the Itty Bitty Shapes Punch Pack and punched out eight tiny Coastal Cabana flowers.  I adhered those to the centres of the flowers using dimensionals.  To top it all off I took out my Rhinestones and went to town adding them to the centres of the flowers and the heart and then to two of the corners.

Now there's a card that's up to a challenge!  Love the colours!  Love the happiness of the whole design.  What do you think?

Saturday 20 July 2013

Convention surprises! Making the 25th extra-special!

Well, Convention is over.  The big, long-awaited 25th Stampin' Up! Convention has come with a bang and is leaving its mark on everything to do with Stampin' Up!  Yes, we just had a brand new Annual Catalogue.  Well, suddenly there are new items that no-one could have anticipated and they were all introduced at the Convention.

Beginning immediately, we are offering a new way to look at stamping.  Instead of having to find a stamp to say or show what is in your mind, now you can make your own stamp.  It's a whole new concept that we're calling the Undefined Stamp Carving Kit.  The kit contains everything that you require to make your very own wood-mount stamp.  Or, if you prefer clear-mount, there are sheets of clear-mount cling foam available for purchase (Item #124236---$13.50).  How cool is that?  There are even some sample images if your imagination has suddenly gone blank.  And it's not only about making your own gorgeous stamp!  Can't you imagine making a stamp out of your child's written name or one of his/her drawings?  There is no limit as to what you could do.  And if you just can't get enough of making your own stamps, there is a refill kit available as well (Item #134808---$12.95).

There is even a great video on You-Tube that shows you how to carve your stamp and mount it which you can access by clicking HERE.  

If you thought making an orginal hand-made card was great, just think what a terrific "look what I made!" moment you'll experience when you make your next card using your very own hand-made stamp.

There are some more surprises, too, but since they won't be available until August 1st, we'll talk about those another time.

Saturday 13 July 2013

Walk In the Wild

Those of you that know me, also know how much I love photography.  I love taking photos in the wild.  How appropriate, therefore, is this stamp set which Stampin' Up! just introduced in the new Annual Catalogue?  Don't you just love the moose in it?
Walk in the WildWood 130354, Clear 130357

I've always wanted to take a photo of a bull moose in full rack.  So far I've been lucky enough to have taken photos of several cow moose and some half-grown calves.  Someday---this is on my bucket list.

In the meantime it's easy to indulge myself by using this beautifully detailed stamp set for some of my masculine cards.  The one I've made today is very neutral in tone.  I wanted the main focus to be on the moose rather than the colouring or anything else in the card.  Of course I had to use the wood embossing folder after stamping my background with some of the trees from the Lovely as a Tree stamp set.  It just added the right amount of texture, didn't it?

I also got to play with some other items from the new Annual Catalogue: the Magnetic Platform and the Squares Framelits.  All I can say is that using the framelits has never been easier.  No more taping or any other fussing around.  All I do is centre the framelit, hear the metallic "snap" of the magnet grabbing the framelit, and roll it through the Big Shot.  The magnets are so strong that the framelit never moves.  This is perfect and fool-proof.  Now I'm looking for excuses to use my framelits.

The colours in the card are Whisper White, Early Espresso, Sahara Sand and Naturals White.  I love the way they work together, don't you?