Monday, October 16, 2017

Merry Mistletoe

Hello friends!

Another week has come and gone and what a week it was!  I awoke last Monday to the news that major fires were devastating my hometown of Santa Rosa.  It is hard to see the devastation and hear the news of so many homes destroyed and lives lost.  It is heartbreaking that so many families lost everything.  It is heartbreaking to hear the stories of those who weren't able to get out of their homes in time. I have to wonder what the upcoming holidays will be like for those families. No home to gather in, no special ornaments made by the kids when they were small, Christmas stockings gone. Everything gone. It's going to be a rough holiday season for so many this year.  

That's why I feel a little strange about showing you a Christmas card today, but Christmas will come regardless of what's happening in our lives.   I show it to you not in the spirit of merriment, but in the spirit of hope for better times ahead for so many people, from Puerto Rico to Santa Rosa. 

  

Just a reminder.... not all the new Christmas stamp sets are in the holiday catalog.  This one... Merry Mistletoe... is in the big catalog on page 113.  It's part of a suite of products called the Be Merry Suite.  The designer paper, stamp set, and that fun ribbon are all found right on page 113 of the annual catalog.  I needed a small sentiment to fit on the two-inch wide tag and I found "Merry Wishes" in the Oh What Fun stamp set on page 115 of the annual catalog.  

The card base is Garden Green and I embossed it with the Sparkle embossing folder on page 210 of the annual catalog.  The Designer Series Paper is called Be Merry and it's part of the big "Buy Three, Get One Free promotion that is going on now through October 31st. Now is definitely the time to stock up on pretty paper to last you through Christmas and on into the new year.  The deer is stamped in Soft Suede, the trees in Garden Green, and the sentiment is in Cherry Cobbler.  I used the Scalloped Tag Topper Punch on page 206 of the annual catalog to create the tag.

Why not host a stamping party through my Party-in-a-Box program?  This fun card could be one of the ones you'll create.  Once I get my new Blends alcohol markers, this guy will morph into Rudolph, with a Cherry Cobbler colored pearl for his nose!

The host code for October is KTNP764Q.  Please use the code when placing online orders of less than $150 (before shipping). If your online order is $35 or more I will add your name to my October Host Code drawing that I will do at the end of the month.
You could be the winner of a host stamp set of your choice!  Of course if your order is $50 or more, I'll put your name on my 50-50 Board for each $50 you spend.  The winner of that drawing will win a $50 gift certificate from me!

That's all for now, dear friends!  I hope all is right in your world today.  I think of you often and smile when I remember all of the fun times we had!  Thank you for being my customers!  I'm very grateful.
Love and hugs,
Susan





Monday, October 9, 2017

Count my Blessings

Helloooo!  Are you there?  I really hope someone will be reading my post today!

We've been having some very blustery winds the last few days, so much so that all the leaves have been torn off my pretty sweet potato vines that are planted in pots in the back yard.  I love those vines for their lime green leaves, which add such a summery look to a pot of flowering annuals.  Well, they are pretty no more.  I guess it's time to look for some new plants for those pots... something sturdy that can stand up to 25-30 mile-an-hour winds for a couple of days in a row.  Ugh!  We had winds like this last week too and I thought they were gone, but this morning we woke up to blowing dirt that made this area look like the Dust Bowl.

OK... time for the card!  I made several cards this past weekend and could have made more except I wasn't feeling very creative.  Have you ever been in a creative slump?  I think most of us have been there at one time or another.  I've begun working on Christmas cards and even selected one of my Christmas stations on Pandora to help me get into the mood.  Too bad that didn't work!  I will try again later and hopefully the creativity will start to percolate in my brain. Since it is early October, I'm going to be focusing on fall cards for a little longer.  Then toward the end of the month I'll get serious about Christmas cards.



This stamp set, Count My Blessings, in the Holiday catalog caught my eye right away because of the font.  I liked the images too, but the swirly font really makes this set something special.  I stamped the leaf and acorn clusters in Pear Pizzazz ink on Very Vanilla card stock.  The sentiment is stamped in Early Espresso and the Early Espresso is repeated again in one of the mats.  I'm sorry you can't see how sparkly the ribbon is.  It is the new 3/8 inch Shimmer Ribbon in Pear Pizzazz.  

Yes, I probably could have added the sentiment on a separate layer and perhaps I could have used some Designer Paper to add another design element, but sometimes clean and simple is the way to go.  That clean and classic look is what I try for 90% of the time.  Cards with torn edges, distressed paper, doilies, staples, lace trims, and an abundance of pearls, rhinestones, and sequins just look like someone tried too hard and the end result is usually pretty sad.  I think that look is called "Shabby Chic" but to me it looks just plain shabby.

Here's a quick list of what I used:

Count My Blessings stamp set, annual catalog, page 50, 144790, 20.00
Pear Pizzazz Shimmer Ribbon, annual catalog, page 199, 144153$7.00
Card Stock:  Very Vanilla, 144237, $7.00
                      Pear Pizzazz, 131201, $8.00
                      Early Espresso, 119686, $8.00
Ink:  Pear Pizzazz, 131180, 6.50
         Early Espresso, 126974, $6.50

The host code for October is KTNP764Q
Thank you, dear customers!   Your business, your friendship, and you are greatly appreciated by a very grateful me.
Hugs to all,
Susan


Please use this code before checking out when placing an online order of less than $150 (before shipping and tax).  If your order is over $150, please DON'T use the code.  Then you will get the host rewards.  For the month of October, I will add your name to my Host Code Drawing when you place an order of at least $35 before shipping and tax.  You could be the winner of the host stamp set of your choice!





Monday, October 2, 2017

Welcome, October!

Hello friends!  

I guess we have to admit that summer is really over and we've officially entered into Pumpkin Spice Season.  Here's one of my  favorite quotes about October...
   
          "Listen, the wind is rising and the air is wild with leaves.  We have had our summer
            evenings, now for October eves!  
                                                                      Humbert Wolfe

I'm ready for some cool, windy, October eves and I wouldn't mind if some rain was thrown into the mix as well.  Fall seems to be a super-windy time in Woodland, CA.  I thought we were going to blow away yesterday!  Still no rain, though.  The forecast for this week is temps in the low 80's and lots of sunshine.  Hopefully we'll get some much-needed rain by the end of the month.

In celebration of October's arrival, I've got a "Hello Fall" card for you today!  I made this for a color challenge that my upline posted on Facebook.  She asked us to use Rich Razzleberry, Tangerine Tango, and Crushed Curry... all great colors for this season of rich colors and falling leaves.



I used the Color Theory Designer Series Paper Stack that's on page 187 of the annual catalog for the background.  This particular piece is shaded from dark to light in Crushed Curry.  Then I simply stamped some leaves from the Colorful Seasons and Merry Café stamp sets in Rich Razzleberry and Tangerine Tango.  The Adirondack chair was cut from the Wood Textures Designer Paper Stack (also on page 187 of the annual catalog).  
The sentiment comes from the Merry Café stamp set that's on page 46 of the Holiday catalog.  

Be sure to check your email inbox for my October Update.  There are a couple of great sales that started yesterday on October 1st.  The first is a sale of selected stamp sets, note cards and envelopes, and Fast Fuse adhesive. The second is a Buy Three, Get One Free promotion on Designer Series Paper.  

Also on the horizon are new, improved alcohol markers that will not evaporate like the first models did. They are not available for ordering by customers yet.  I have ordered a selection of these markers and I will try them out before I decide to recommend them to you.  Let me be the guinea pig here.  I'll give you my honest opinion once I get my hands on them.

Here is the host code for October  KTNP764Q
Please use this code when placing an online order.  I will add your name to my October Host Code Drawing if your order is $35 or more.  Remember, if you have a larger order of $150 or more before shipping and tax, please don't use the code.  Then YOU will get the host rewards.

One last thing before I go... This coming Saturday, October 7th, is World Card-Making Day.  Why not gather a few friends for a little stamping fun?  It is always more fun to stamp together.  And while you're stamping, be thinking of the creative people all around the globe who are stamping too.  This world can use all of the peace-loving, community-creating, and people-loving stampers it can get.
Stamping and creating can make you happier, but it can also make a difference in a world in need of more people who have love and human kindness as their top priorities.

Stamp on!
Susan



Monday, September 25, 2017

Hello Friend, Stampin'Up!

Hello Fall and Goodbye September!

Whoa!  Where did September go?  Wasn't the first of September just a few days ago?  I keep wishing that time would slow down, but instead it seems to just keep speeding up.  

I hope that all of my Portland friends have been enjoying the cooler weather and some rain, but it looks like the week ahead is going to bring you some sunny fall weather and a little more warmth.  We're going to be up in the 90's again by the end of the week and almost everyone I talk to is ready to be DONE with summery weather.

I have quite a few stamp sets sitting on my desk that haven't seen the light of day, let alone any ink, so today I've got a card which uses one of those neglected stamp sets... Hello Friend, (#144059, $21.00, p. 17 of the annual catalog).

My upline gives us a weekly color challenge and this week I decided to play along.  The colors she challenges us to use are out-of-the-ordinary color combinations that I wouldn't come up with on my own.  It is good to stretch out of my comfort zone and try something new.  This week's colors were Smoky Slate, Soft Sky, and one of the new In-colors
Tranquil Tide, which is a fairly dark green with a blue tint.  

Here's my card...




I used Whisper White as my card base, then a layer of Tranquil Tide and a layer of Soft Sky which I embossed with the Petal Burst embossing folder.
I stamped the background pattern in Smoky Slate (a soft gray), then stamped "hello" over it in the strong Tranquil Tide.  A daisy, stamped in Soft Sky on Soft Sky card stock  (stamped with the Daisy Delight stamp set #143669, $17.00, p. 127)and punched out with the new daisy punch (143713, $18.00 p. 206) adds a nice accent at the top of the card, as does the Tranquil Tide ribbon at the bottom. (#144136, $7.00, p. 198 of the annual catalog). 

I hope you know by now that I don't endorse all Stampin'Up! products indiscriminately.  But I do recommend those that I truly love and that are good values.  One of those products is the ribbon I used on this card, the new 1/2 inch Finely Woven Ribbon on page 198 of the annual catalog.  This is great stuff!  It comes in all of the new In-colors and it is soft, pliable, and easy to tie.   If you try it, I know you'll love it as much as I do!

Well, my friends, it's time to bring this post to a close.  I've got a very busy week ahead and I'll bet you do too!  Don't forget that there are just a few days left to use the September Host Code
2S7KBFCF.  I will close this code out at noon on September 29th.  You can use this code for any size order, except if your order is $150 or more before shipping, then please don't use the code.  Then YOU will get the host benefits!

I'm wishing you all a productive week ahead filled with good things!  Positive thoughts are winging their way to you right this minute!
Hugs,
Susan







Monday, September 18, 2017

Basket of Wishes

Hello stamping friends!

How was your weekend?  I'm so sorry that my Portland friends were still suffering over the weekend with heavy smoke from the horrific fire in the Columbia Gorge.  Forest fires are always sickening, but this one in Oregon's most beautiful scenic area is just heartbreaking.  I hear that rain may be on the way and perhaps by the time you read this on Monday morning the rains will have helped with the fire.  

My parade of fall cards continues today, this time with a stamp set from the annual catalog, Basket of Wishes, which you can find on page 125. (#142200, $17.00).  This is one of those all-season stamp sets, which gives you lots of options for cards all year long.  

Let me show you the card, then I'll share the details...




The card base is Very Vanilla card stock and layered on top of that is a panel of Tangerine Tango, which is darker and more orange-y than Pumpkin Pie.  Some Painted Autumn DSP (#144613, $11.00, p. 49 of the holiday catalog) matted with a panel of Crushed Curry card stock adds a nice resting spot for the circle of watercolor paper (#122959, $5.00, p. 194 of the annual catalog) that was cut with the Stitched Shapes Framelits (#145372, $30.00, p. 214 of the annual catalog).

I stamped the bushel basket in Archival Basic Black ink (#140931, $7.00, p. 201 of the annual catalog).  You'll want to use this permanent ink when water coloring, as it won't run when water hits it.  I used an aqua painter to color the veggies and the basket.  I've always had a bit of difficulty when water coloring images, but I've discovered that leaving a bit of white showing through here and there really improves the finished work.

That little bow (added with a glue dot) is made from some of the new Crushed Curry Baker's Twine (#144354, $3.00, p. 199 of the annual catalog).  I just felt that the basket needed a little something and that baker's twine filled the bill!

The sentiment, which I love, is from the Orange Blossom stamp set on page 175 of the annual catalog (#143765, $17.00).  I agree that if we look closely enough, there IS always something to be thankful for, but sometimes it is an almost overwhelming challenge to find something good amid extremely trying circumstances.  


My wish for you in the week ahead is that you will be surrounded by many blessings and that you will recognize each and every one that comes your way... smiles from healthy children, good food to cook for your family, the roof over your head, I could go on and on... all of the everyday blessings that, most of the time, we don't even think about.  

Of course I would love it if you'd place an order and use this September host code   2S7KBFCF  Please don't use the code if your order is $150 or above, then YOU will get the host rewards.

Sending virtual hugs and happy thoughts your way!
Susan

Monday, September 11, 2017

Finally, Fall is in the Air!

Hello, it's me, wishing you a happy Monday!

I'm happy to say that we are getting some weather that is cooler than we've had for ages.  We were able to open the house and turn off the a/c last night around 8:30 pm.  That hasn't happened since I don't remember when!
 
With the children back in school, everyone back in their regular routines,  and fall just around the corner, it's time to turn our thoughts toward making cards that feature beautiful fall images and colors.  When I think of fall, I think of gorgeous fall leaves and pumpkins and I suspect that if asked, most people would name one or the other as the iconic image of fall in the Northern Hemisphere.

To celebrate the coming season of cooler days and pretty leaves I've got a leafy card for you today...






I love the colors traditionally used for fall leaves, such as Crushed Curry, a nice warm gold and Cajun Craze, a rusty orange, but I sometimes get tired of those very conventional colors and start thinking of other color combinations.  For this card I used Fresh Fig card stock, ink, and ribbon and added in some Soft Suede and Old Olive leaves as well.

The stamp set I used is Vintage Leaves (# 138802, $26.00), a great set that's available on page 125 of the annual catalog.  There's also a coordinating set of Framelits (#138283, $27.00) that you can find on page 213 of the annual catalog.  So if you'd like to cut out some of the leaves and give them a 3-D look with some dimensionals (foam dots), you won't be forced to cut all of those little jagged edges by hand. 

The ribbon is the new Finely Woven Ribbon in Fresh Fig (#144132, 7.00, p. 198 of the annual catalog).  It's soft, very flexible, and easy to tie.  I tied it into a loose knot on this card, which will allow the card to be easily mailed.  

To give the card a bit more of a vintage look, I added some speckles in Sahara Sand using the speckles from the Touches of Texture stamp set (#143251, $33.00, p. 152 of the annual catalog).
If you have the set Gorgeous Grunge, there are some good speckles in that set as well, but Gorgeous Grunge is now discontinued.

The sentiment is from So Many Shells, (#143695, $26.00, p. 38 of the annual catalog), stamped in Early Espresso.  Aside from the fabulous images of seashells, this set has some nice sentiments that are quite different.  I bought this set as much for the sentiments as I did for the images.  Then to add a little interest, I added a Very Vanilla panel on the inside of the card and stamped a few more leaves and speckles to give a little surprise when the card is opened.

Thank you for taking time out of your busy week to read my blog.  If you have this stamp set, or another one featuring leaves, I hope I've inspired you to get it out and make a few cards for the fall season.  With an appropriate sentiment added, this card could be a sympathy card, a thank you, a birthday card, or a thinking of you card.  With a few cards like this tucked away, you'll be ready for any occasion... no last-minute run to the store for a card!
 
With so much devastation... fires, flooding, hurricanes, earthquakes... we are forced to admit that much is beyond our control.  And yet we can all work toward making the world a better place.  Send a card with heartfelt love inside, share a smile with someone who needs a smile, offer a helping hand to a stranger, cook a good meal for your family, make a donation to disaster relief.  Every positive act creates a ripple and that ripple goes on and on and may inspire others to act positively.  

May the week ahead find you being grateful for all of the good in your life and remember... life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful.

Stamp on!
Susan

The September Host Code is 2S7KBFCF. Please use this code when placing an online order that is less than $150.  If your order is over $150, please don't use the host code... then YOU will get the host rewards!
 




Monday, September 4, 2017

Merry Cafe Stampin'Up!

Helloooo stampers!  Happy Labor Day!

It has been another weekend in the blast furnace and today, thankfully it is going to be a little cooler... right around 98 or 99.  I know that doesn't sound very cool to most of you, but after 109 and 107, we are happy to see something under the 100 mark.

I don't know about you, but I can't wait for cooler weather and "pumpkin season,"  you know... that time of year when everything is suddenly pumpkin.  (My apologies to Jodi, a friend who hates pumpkin with a passion).  I checked with the customer service desk at Trader Joe's the other day and was told that pumpkin season would begin mid-September.  There'll be pumpkin bread mix, pumpkin coffee, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin pancake mix, pumpkin-cinnamon breakfast rolls, pumpkin ice cream... about 40 products in all.  And then to top off all of that pumpkin-y goodness,  Starbucks will be whipping up Pumpkin Spice Lattes by the millions... which brings me to today's card.





If your eyes are not the best at reading fine print, the sleeve on the cup says "Hello Fall, it's pumpkin spice latte season."  The inside of the card has a little pocket where you can slide in a Starbuck's card.
This is one of the cards we made at my stamping class last week.  I thought it would be a perfect way to welcome in the change of seasons.  My daughters both love coffee, so they'll be getting one of these cards once Fall officially arrives on Sept. 22nd.

That pretty DSP is called Painted Autumn (#144613, $11.00, p. 49 of the holiday catalog).  The stamp set is Merry Café (#144965, $17.00, p. 46 of the holiday catalog).  That lovely ribbon is my new favorite, Crinkled Seam Binding (#144192, Peekaboo Peach, $8.00, p. 199 of the annual catalog).  The card base is Early Espresso, the cup is Crumb Cake, the lid is Very Vanilla, and the sleeve on the cup is Peekaboo Peach.

Surely you've got some friends or family members that are fans of the fall season and love everything pumpkin.  Why not make a few of these to send out?  That crinkled seam binding is so silky and ties without a lump or a bump, making this card easy to mail.  Finding one of these in the mailbox would give anyone a lift!  

The host code for September is 
2S7KBFCF
if you'd like to place an online order.  You can place your order by clicking on the shop now button at the top of this blog. And please feel free to call with any questions or problems.  My cell phone is 503-539-1572 and my home number is 530-402-1041.

Thanks for reading!  Make the week ahead a good one!
Hugs and happiness are coming your way,
Susan