Monday, January 15, 2018

Show some love!

It's Monday and that means it's time to blog again.  And since Valentine's Day is the next big card-sending event, I've got another Valentine to show you today.

But first, let's talk about just how big Valentine's Day is.  According to the site www.statisticbrain.com, 180 million Valentine cards were exchanged in 2017 and 85 % of those were purchased by women.  The Fortune.com site reports that 18.2 billion was spent on Valentine's Day in 2017... on things like flowers, chocolate, jewelry, dining out, clothing, cards, and even gifts for pets.  Yikes!  That's a LOT of money!

We who love to stamp can show our love for a lot less than what people spend on a store-bought card (usually somewhere around 4.95 and up to 8.95).  Check out this pretty card...



I have a confession to make, though. You won't be able to purchase the embossing folder I used here to make this background of tiny hearts.  I can't recall the name of it, but it is now discontinued.  However, you could certainly use the Softly Falling embossing folder on page 211 of the annual catalog for a very similar look.  

I used the new Painted with Love Specialty DSP that's on page 19 of the Occasions catalog for the heart, which I cut out with the Sweet and Sassy Framelits on page 214 of the annual catalog.  I think you can see the shimmer of the gold foil on this gorgeous new paper.  

The sentiment is from the Bloomin' Love stamp set (page 88 of the annual catalog).  I stamped it in Melon Mambo ink on Whisper White card stock, then punched it out with the Duet Banner Punch
(page 206 of the annual catalog).  

That pretty gold ribbon can be found on page 198 of the annual catalog.  Sadly, the tiny heart sequins are no longer available, but you could easily substitute some of the pink sequins in the Sequin Assortment that's on page 197 of the annual catalog.

Here's a quick list with item numbers and prices, just in case you'd like to make a similar card:

Whisper White Thick Card Stock, p. 194, #140272, $7.00
Painted with Love Specialty DSP, p. 19 (Occasions catalog), #145580, $13.00
Softly Falling embossing folder, p. 211, #139672, $8.50
Sweet and Sassy Framelits, p. 214, #141707, $35.00
Bloomin' Love stamp set, p. 88, #140643, $17.00
Duet Banner Punch, p. 206, #141483, $18.00
1/8 " Ribbon in Gold, p. 198, #134583, $5.00
Sequin Assortment, p. 197, #144212, $5.00

Don't forget, I'm offering FREE SHIPPING on orders of $50 or more only during the month of January when you place your order online and use the host code, so if you'd like to take advantage of my special offer, then please submit your order by January 30th.  The January host code is HTZ4RFVG.  If your order is $150 or more, please don't use the host code!  Then you will get the freebies you are entitled to!  I will send you a refund check by snail mail for the amount of your shipping.  If you have a large order ($150 or more) I will still refund your shipping charge, even though you are not using the host code.

One last reminder.... today... January 15th is the last day to sign up for my 2018 Card Challenge, where we are committing to send one card a week to someone who needs a lift, is having a birthday, etc. Any occasion works... even a "just because" card.  The point is to make the world a happier, kinder, more loving place... one card at a time!  We can all do this!  It's just ONE card a week! If you'd like me to count you in, just send me a quick email at sjrstamps@gmail.com and I'll add your name to the list.  You will be entered into a drawing to win your favorite $50 level Sale-a-bration product!  The drawing will be held on January 16th, so be sure and let me know you are participating asap.

That's it for today, my friends!  Have a great week!  
Hugs,
Susan
PS  We are excited that rain is in our forecast this week... yippee!  We really need it!

Monday, January 8, 2018

From the Heart

Hello there, stampers!

Sale-a-bration is now in full swing!  What a fun time of year to be a stamper and a Stampin'Up! customer!  I made time to stamp this past weekend, even though I had a million other things to do.  Valentine's Day is sneaking up on us, and I wanted to be prepared with some cards ready to go.  Having some fun Valentines tucked away in advance is almost better than having money in the bank. Almost.  

Here's one of my Valentine creations...






This card is called a Triple Z Fold card.  If you would like the directions, just type "triple z fold card" into the google search box and you'll see several sites that will give you the measurements.  
Note:  The small heart DSP that you see is not part of the card.  I just used it for the background of my photo. It is part of the Painted with Love Specialty DSP on page 19 of the new Occasions catalog.

That cute panda is part of the Party Pandas stamp set that you can get for FREE with a $50 purchase.  You can see it on page 15 of the Sale-a-bration Brochure.  The base of the card is Powder Pink, and the inner Z fold is cut from Smoky Slate card stock.  The Powder Pink base is embossed with the Polka Dot Basics embossing folder on page 210 of the annual catalog.  The inside sentiment "I just love you" is part of the new Petal Palette stamp set that's on page 23 of the Occasions catalog.  The ribbon is 3/8 inch Shimmer Ribbon.  I used Powder Pink to match the card stock.  You can find this silky and sparkly ribbon on page 199 of the annual catalog.

I hope that more of you will join in my 2018 Card Challenge.  I'm challenging you to make 2018 a kinder and more loving year by making a commitment to send one card a week.  It can be a birthday card, thinking of you, thank you, get well, etc.  The point is to give those who might be going through a difficult time a little encouragement and love.  Please sign up for the Card Challenge by January 15th to have your name put into a drawing for a free host stamp set of your choice.  I think we can all manage one card a week, don't you?  

FREE shipping continues throughout the month of January!  This offer is from me, not from Stampin'Up!   I will send you a check via snail mail for the amount of your shipping charge.

When you place your online order for $50 or more and use the Host Code HTZ4RFVG,   I will add your name to my January Host Code drawing.  And of course your name will go on my 50-50 board, for a chance to win a $50 gift certificate from me!  And you'll get one Sale-a-bration item for each $50 you spend!  

I hope I've inspired you to get started on your own Valentines!  Valentine's Day is more than a romantic occasion to celebrate love with our husband/wife/significant other.  Valentine's Day is much more than that!  It's a day to spread love around like confetti to everyone... brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, moms, dads, friends, neighbors, children, grandchildren, grandparents... everyone!
May the week ahead find you busily creating some cards to spread love and affection to everyone you hold dear!

Happy creating!
Susan

Monday, January 1, 2018

It's Almost Here!

Good Morning Stampers!
Happy Monday and Happy New Year!  

I know that I've mentioned in the past that Monday is my favorite day of the week, because I'm one who just loves a fresh start.  And what could be better than a Monday that starts off a fresh new year???  This is definitely my kind of day!  And in just TWO more days, we can begin with a fresh new catalog... the 2018 Occasions catalog!  If you don't have one yet and would like to get one, email me right away at sjrstamps@gmail.com and I'll send one to you, along with a Sale-a-bration brochure.

Wednesday, January 3rd is the starting date for both the Occasions catalog AND Sale-a-bration.  I'm sooo excited and I hope you are too, because Sale-a-bration is the BEST time of the Stampin'Up! year.... a time when you get to chose a free item from the Sale-a-bration catalog for every $50 purchase.  There are other items for purchase shown in the Sale-a-bration brochure, so don't be confused.  Each FREE item has a little blue or orange seal next to it that tells you the item is free with a $50 purchase (blue) or $100 purchase (orange).  New this year... there are some larger items that you can earn with a $100 purchase.

OK, I think I've rambled on enough about the new catalog.  Now let me show you some new goodies!



This card was made with my favorite new suite of products in the Occasions catalog.  It's called Petal Passion and you can find it on pages 22 and 23.  This card features not only the Petal Palette stamp set, but also the Petal Passion embellishments, the new 1/4 inch Whisper White Organza Ribbon, and the Petal Passion Designer Series Paper.  The paper is Basic Black and Whisper White in a variety of prints, stripes, florals, and geometric shapes but what makes it so versatile is that you can add your own color.  In this sample you can see that some of the small flowers are colored in with a marker.  You can also add color by sponging, using a brayer, colored pencils, or ink and a blender pen... just whatever medium you'd like to use to add a pop of color... or not.  It's beautiful in black and white as well.   


The Petal Palette stamp set comes with a nice variety of sentiments along with some very pretty images (love that little bird!).  

Let's all resolve to make 2018 a kinder, gentler, more loving year.  We have to power to do that simply by creating and sending more cards.  We all have people in our lives who are facing challenges of one kind or another.  It could be a health challenge, a financial challenge, a mental or emotional challenge, or just the challenges of growing older.  Whatever the problem or issue is, it always helps to know that someone is thinking of us, is supporting us, is wishing us the best.  If we could all send just one card a week to someone who could use a little love and support, this world would be a happier place.  Will you join me in this effort?  If you'll resolve to do this (much easier than resolving to lose weight or beginning a new exercise program!) please email me by January 15th and I'll add your name to my 2018 Card Challenge drawing for a free host stamp set of your choice.

May the year ahead bring many, many blessings your way!
Happy New Year!
Love to all,
Susan




Tuesday, December 26, 2017

More cards and a box!

Hello Stampers and happy day after Christmas!

Did you have a good day yesterday?  I sure hope so!  We spent the day with our Woodland daughter, son-in-law and two granddaughters Allie and Lindsay.  It was a fun-filled day of breakfast, gifts, more gifts, and later on, dinner.  By 8 pm both girls were exhausted and it was time to go home and put the girls to bed.  That's the only sane thing to do with two tired and grumpy girls. They'll be all full of smiles and energy this morning!

As promised, today I'm showing you the remaining two cards from my recent thank-you note class, as well as the box we made to store them in.  Many of you have made this box, but should you need the directions again, please email me at sjrstamps@gmail.com and I'll send them along. 

OK...here are the cards


This card uses the Awesomely Artistic stamp set on page 153 of the annual catalog.  The colors are Crumb Cake, Pool Party, and Basic Black.  The sentiment is from the Background Bits stamp set, which is a set you can earn by hosting a stamping party.



The last card in the four card set is made with the Background Bits stamp set, which you can see on page 220 of the annual catalog.  Again, the colors are Crumb Cake, Pool Party, and Basic Black.

Now let me show you the box...



I'm sorry this picture is a bit blurry, but I think you get the idea.  I'm pretty sure that most of my customers have made this box at one of my classes, but if you haven't had the fun of making one, please let me know and I'll happily send you the directions. The front panels of the box are embossed with the Garden Trellis embossing folder on page 210 of the annual catalog.

If you've got some time on your hands in the coming week, get out your stamps, ink, and paper and make a similar set of cards.  Then you'll have a handy little hostess gift that's ready to go at a moment's notice.  This collage style of stamping is almost impossible to mess up.  Just keep adding images until the white space is filled, then top off the focal panel with an image stamped in black.  

Well, my friends, that's all for now!  I hope the week ahead will be a good one.  I'll be closing out the December Host Code on Thursday, December 28th, so if you'd like to use your Christmas $$ to buy yourself a gift, the December code is QK66QF7K.  If your order is $40 or more, your name will go into my December Host Code drawing for a free host stamp set (pages 220-223 of the annual catalog).

Oh, and one last reminder... The new Occasions catalog and Sale -a-bration both start on January 3rd, so there's not much longer to wait for the best time of the Stampin'Up! year!
Hugs and happiness,
Susan





Monday, December 18, 2017

Are you ready???

Hi there, stamping friends!

Well, it won't be long now.  Christmas will be here before we know it, so I hope you are almost ready!  I'm happy to report that my "do less this year" plan has been fairly successful.  We have managed to attend 4 concerts and a musical version of "It's a Wonderful Life,"  and I'm also reading a silly Christmas romance.  These are things I wouldn't have had time to do in previous years, as I went on a decorating, entertaining, shopping, and baking binge.  This year I'm making only 2 kinds of cookies.... not 5 or 6.  

Today I've got something to show you that we're all going to need right after Christmas, as well as year-round.... thank you notes.  Are you a thank you note writer?  If not, I encourage you to start.  Thank you notes are so very appreciated, as many people don't send them anymore.  Of course it's a great way to express appreciation for a gift, but a handwritten note is also a wonderful way to thank someone for an act of kindness.  Or how about sending one to a special friend to say thank you for your love and friendship?  Or thank a teacher or mentor who has made a difference in your life. Everyone likes to feel appreciated, and there's nothing that does the job better than a handwritten note sent via snail mail.  It says that you cared enough to sit down and take a few minutes of your time to write and address the note, add a stamp, and then mail it.  I hope I've convinced you to be a thank you note writer!

OK... let's get to the photos, shall we?






These are two of the cards in a four card set that we'll be making today at a card class I'm having.  The first card uses the Background Bits stamp set, which is one of the free host sets on page 220 of the annual catalog.  The second card uses the Awesomely Artistic stamp set on page 153 of the annual catalog.

I wanted the four cards to be similar, so that they'd be a set.  I used Whisper White card stock and stamped in Pool Party, Crumb Cake, and Basic Black.  I'm a big fan of collage stamping and since most of the stampers are beginners, this is an easy technique to start out with.  There's almost no way to make a mistake with collage-style stamping.  I love layering on the images to fill the white space.  

I hope I've inspired you to pull out some stamps, ink, and paper and create some of your own thank you notes.  Or are you working on finishing up your Christmas cards?  Whatever you might be working on these days, remember to take a creativity break each day!  A few minutes spent with stamps, paper, and ink can be a sanity-saver.  

The December host code is QK66QF7K in case you'd like to place an online order.  The easiest way to get to my shopping site is to just scroll up to the top of my blog and then hit the "shop now" button.

Thank you for reading my blog!  I need more readers, though, to make it worthwhile.  So if you can steer any of your friends my way, I would be very appreciative!

Have a great week-before-Christmas!
Susan

Monday, December 11, 2017

Back on Track

Hello stamping friends!

Sorry I missed last Monday's post... just too many things going on!  Does December sometimes get away from you as well?  After being out of town for many days in November, I'm finally beginning to feel like I'm catching up with the many tasks that needed my attention.  

Have you mailed your Christmas cards yet?  Or should I be asking if you've started your Christmas cards yet???    If you need a break from making and sending Christmas cards this year, I'm sure your friends and relatives will understand.  If you just cannot face the task or if you just plain don't have time, why not consider sending New Year's cards in January?  Or maybe send Valentines in February.  It's quite routine to receive Christmas cards in December, but just think of the pleasant surprise of getting a New Year's card or a Valentine!  

As a demonstrator, I was able to place a pre-order for products in the new Occasions catalog.  Now those new stamp sets, DSP, and accessories are just sitting here on my desk, awaiting the day when I will have time to unwrap them and actually create something with them.  It is frustrating, but Christmas preparations take precedence over playing with new goodies, unfortunately.

To pass the time while you are waiting to see some of the new stuff in action, I've got a quick and easy card for you today, made with the Hearts Come Home set (#145416, $21.00) on page 39 of the Holiday catalog.  The good news is that this set is carrying over into the new Occasions catalog, as are the matching Edgelit dies.
However, the stamp set and dies will not be bundled in the new catalog, so if you want both for the bundled price, you'll need to get them before the Holiday catalog ends on January 2nd....(#146068, $47.50).


The colors aren't the best in this photo... sorry about that!  The card base is Whisper White, the top panel is Crumb Cake.  I used one of the Layering Oval Framelits to cut out the scalloped oval.  The houses are stamped in Soft Suede, Cherry Cobbler, and Old Olive.
The ribbon is Cherry Cobbler and is found on page 198 of the annual catalog (#144117).  I have to admit that I was naughty and used the discontinued oval punch for the sentiment.  I cannot explain how Stampin'Up! chose to discontinue this very basic and popular punch.  I've decided that most of you probably already have this punch, so it is OK to use it once in a while.  If you don't own it, I suggest the new Pretty Label punch (#143715) on page 207 of the annual catalog or the very popular Everyday Label punch (#144668) on page 12 of the holiday catalog.  

The big news for today is that Stampin'Up! is giving us one more day of FREE shipping.  It started last night at 11pm Pacific Time and ends tonight at 10:59 Pacific Time (which is 11:59 Mountain Time... Utah is on Mountain Time).  Order as much or as little as you want... you won't pay even a dime for shipping!

Please use the December Host Code  QK66QF7K when placing an order under $150.  If your order is at least $40, I will add your name to my December Host Code drawing for a free host stamp set.
If your order is $50 or more, I will also add your name to my 50-50 board for each $50 you spend.  When all 50 spaces on the board are full, I draw one name for a $50 gift certificate. 

Speaking of gift certificates... I've got them for sale!  Just let me know the amount and I'll get one in the mail to you.  Gift certificates are the perfect gift for your friends and relatives who love stamping.  You send me a check, give the certificate as a gift and when the recipient is ready, they email me to let me know what they'd like to order.  I place the order and the merchandise is delivered directly to them.  What an easy way to give a gift!

I hope all is well with each one of you!  May the week ahead be a good one.  I'm sending happy holiday thoughts your way!
Hugs,
Susan













Monday, November 27, 2017

In Just a Few Days....

Hello Stampers!

I'm hoping that all of you enjoyed a Thanksgiving that was a time of grateful reflection on all of our many blessings.  As I'm writing this, it is Sunday night around 10 pm and we are still in Seattle.  This post will appear in your inbox on Monday morning and by then we'll be on our way back to California after spending the holiday weekend with our daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren.
We are sad to leave, as we know that we won't be seeing them again until next June, when we'll drive up to deliver the many bins of belongings that we've been storing for them while they lived in very small university housing quarters.  And after that, they'll be flying out to Cincinnati to begin their new life.  

In just a few days, December will once again be upon us!  Are you ready?  I'm looking at a calendar that is very full of all sorts of obligations at the beginning of the month, but the closer it gets to Christmas, the more blank my calendar is, and that's a very happy thing indeed!  I don't want the month of December to be all about crossing things off a long "to-do" list of chores.  I want to leave as much unscheduled time as possible so I can have time to bake cookies with the granddaughters, read some Christmas novels, watch a few Christmas movies, and a Christmas concert or two... things that create memories.  

It is too easy to get caught up in the quest for a perfect Christmas... overspending, working to create the most amazing tree ever, baking cookies that look as though you had help from Martha Stewart or Ina Garten, when really none of those things will make your Christmas one bit better or happier.  So this year I invite you to join me in taking the whole thing down a notch or two or three.  Send fewer cards, bake simple treats, and leave some of the Christmas decorations in the bins.  Give yourself and your family the gift of a simpler Christmas.  With the money and time that you'll save, you can contribute to a toy drive, meals for the homeless, and perhaps volunteer some of your time for a worthy cause.  

I know you didn't come here to listen to me carry on about simplifying Christmas, so here are more photos of fun stamps and products that are coming your way in the new Occasions catalog.
I will be able to order your catalog on December first and I'll be in touch via email to let you know your pick-up point.  Until then, enjoy these photos...


 












Don't forget that there's FREE SHIPPING today (Monday Nov.27th, up until 10:59 pm our time).  It's a great time to stock up on card stock, adhesives, DSP, or even a stamp set or two while the shipping is free!  

Make this last week of November a great one!
Hugs to all,
Susan