Saturday, December 17, 2011

Win a stamp set!

Hello Stampers!

If any of my readers out there in Blogville haven't heard the BIG NEWS from Stampin'Up!, here it is!  The Clearance Rack has been loaded up with over 200 new discounted goodies for stampers.  There are tons of punches at 9.59, rolls of ribbon, many in current colors for $3-$4, Simply Sent Card Kits for $4.79 (these make a great gift) and many pretty packages of Designer Paper, including Greenhouse Gala, Love Letters, and Botanical Gazette--- three of my favorites from last year.  Then there are buttons, rub-ons, hardware, and too many other accessories to list here. 

I know you are all terribly busy with Christmas coming up in just one week, but you really need to take a break from all that and take a look at the Clearance Rack.  You will be amazed, I promise. 

Wouldn't you like to win a stamp set of your choice, priced at $15.95 or less?  Here's how you can enter:
Simply go to my personal business web site at http://www.susanrodgers.stampinup.net/ and place an order of $15 or more to be entered into the drawing.  This Clearance Blitz is over on January 5th, so we'll keep the contest going until then.  But items are selling out quickly, so the sooner you order, the better your chance of getting what you'd like. 

If you have trouble placing your order, email me or give me a call and I'll walk you through the process.
Good luck, everyone!
Susan

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

That's All She Wrote

Hello Stamping Friends!
It's Wednesday and as I check out the weather from my stamping room window, I see sunshine again today!  Sunshine always makes me feel happy and energetic and since I have a lot to do today, I'm glad to see old Mr. Sun.  How are you coming with your Christmas preparations?  Do you have your tree up?  House decorated?  Cards sent?  Gifts purchased and wrapped?  Baking finished?  I've checked off most of those items but haven't even made one cookie yet.  I'm waiting until next week to do that, because if I make them now, I'll just eat them and then I'll have to make more. Sigh!  I can't resist a yummy cookie! 

OK,  enough chatter... let's get to the project.  This little mini-scrapbook has been made at several stamping workshops and parties.  I like it because it can be made for just about any occasion.  It makes a perfect little memento of an engagement, wedding or special anniversary.  It also makes a great birthday card, baby announcement, or thank you card.  The possibilities are limitless!  Check it out...


The first photo shows the mini-album closed and the second one shows the inside where you can add photos and journaling.  I used Cherry Cobbler, Lucky Limeaid, and Crumb Cake card stock.  The stamped stockings are from the Holiday Mini-catalog (p. 34) and then they're punched out with the matching Stocking Builder Punch, also on page 34.  The toe, heel, and cuff of the stocking are punched from the new Silver Glimmer Paper, page 41 of the Holiday Mini-catalog.  The little loops on the stockings are Cherry Cobbler Baker's Twine (p. 194 of the big catalog) and the ribbon on the front of the card which ties the whole thing closed is the Scalloped Dots Ribbon in Cherry Cobbler (p. 195). The "Merry Christmas" sentiment on the front is from Teeny Tiny Wishes (p. 157).

If you would like the easy instructions on making this little mini-scrapbook, please email me and I'll send them to you.  Then you can make some of these fun mini-books to amaze and delight your friends and relatives.

Well, stampers, I think I've come to the end of my Christmas posts.  I'll be taking a break for a while... probably until after Christmas.  Hopefully you'll be so busy with your own Christmas activities that you won't even miss coming here!  I'm now turning my attention to all of the new stamp sets I purchased from the new Occasions Mini-catalog.  I'm going to be dreaming up new cards and projects as well as focusing on Valentines... which I'll start showing you in January.  Make sure you mark your calendar  for the big Stampin'Up! open house on Saturday, January 28th at New Hope Community Church in Clackamas.  I'll be sending more info on that after Christmas.  Meanwhile, I hope each of you will have a wonderful Christmas surrounded by those you love.  Thanks for stopping by today. I appreciate each and every one of you!
Merry Christmas!
Susan

Monday, December 12, 2011

Ho, Hum... feeling a bit bored

Hello Stampers!

Welcome back to The Classic Card and welcome to Monday!  It looks like a sunny day out there, so hopefully you'll be able to bundle up against the cold and get out into the sunshine at some point during the day.  I don't know about you, but I'm getting a bit bored with Christmas cards.  I've been showing them for so many posts that I have to admit I'm looking forward to a change of scenery.  Are you there with me?  I think that most of you-- if not all of you-- have either finished your cards for this year or are almost finished, so I'm not sure there's much point in continuing to post Christmas cards on the ol' blog.  So this week I'll be winding down with the Christmas projects. 

Today I've got a fun card for you that is anything but boring.  This great card is the work of one of my talented downline members, Janet Jones.  I love how Janet's cards are always clean and classic and she's very good at using her stamp sets in ways I never would have thought of.  Check out this beauty!

Isn't this a great card?!  The colors Janet used are Always Artichoke, Whisper White, and Real Red.  The stamp set is called Pendant Park and you can find it on page 79 of the big catalog.  This is not a Christmas set, but Janet figured out how to make it Christmas-y.  The tree on the focal panel is stamped in Always Artichoke and then that panel is backed with a panel of Real Red card stock.  Janet has punched holes in the top panel, so that the Real Red behind it shows through.  So now the tree has little red berries on it... such genius!  The sentiment on the card is from Teeny Tiny Wishes (p. 157) and the bird is from Season of Friendship (p. 102).  A scalloped strip of Designer Paper (Designer Paper Stack, Regals Collection, p. 186) and some Real Red grosgrain (p. 195) complete this beautiful card.  Thanks, Janet, for allowing me to share this card on my blog!

Well, stampers, today's going to be a busy one, so I'm off to tackle my "to-do" list!  I'll be absent on Tuesday, but will be back on Wednesday with a fun project that is adaptable for any season.  Thanks for stopping by today and I'll hope to see you back here on Wednesday.

Susan

Thursday, December 8, 2011

It's Not Too Late!

Hello stampers and welcome to a sunny Thursday in the Northwest!  I love it when the sun comes up into a clear sky... how about you?  There's just nothing like a little sunshine to recharge my batteries.  I guess you could say that those of us who come from sunnier climates are "solar-powered," so no wonder we get a little run-down and grumpy when we don't see the sun regularly!

Today is the 8th of December and while Christmas is sneaking up on us, there's still time to make a few hand-stamped cards if you haven't done so already.  It isn't too late if  you keep the cards simple.  And you don't have to make hundreds.  Just make a few for the very special people in your life--- the people who will appreciate and value the time and effort that went into making a hand-crafted card.

Today's card is one that we made at a stamping party or two in October or November.   The stamping is pretty quick and simple and a couple of punches speed things along.  If you don't own this set, you might want to get it quickly as the Holiday Mini-catalog expires on January 3rd.    Here's the card...


The stamp set I used on this card is called Pines and Poinsettias and you can find it on page 21 of the Holiday Mini.  I used markers to color directly on the stamp... Early Epresso, Old Olive, and Cherry Cobbler.  I punched it out with the smaller Scallop Circle Punch and then layered it onto the larger scalloped circle punched with the 2 3/8" Scallop Circle Punch in Cherry Cobbler.  Both of these punches are on page 210 of the big catalog.  I embossed the top section of a Very Vanilla panel with the Vintage Wallpaper embossing folder (p. 219), then stamped the sentiment on the un-embossed area at the bottom of the panel in Cherry Cobbler. This elegant greeeting is from the Hand-Penned Holidays set on page 15 of the Holiday Mini-catalog. I've used this set over and over again this fall and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it will be in the new 2012 Idea Book and Catalog when it comes out in July.  I used some Scallop Dots Ribbon in Cherry Cobbler (p. 195), turned over so the dots don't show.  Then simply adhere the Very Vanilla panel to a Cherry Cobbler panel, to a folded Very Vanilla card and you are finished!  This is a quick but elegant card that someone would love to find in their mailbox!

I must run now, stampers!  I've got a lot to do today and I'm sure you do too. Oh, and I wanted to mention that my posting is going to become a little more sporadic as we get closer to Christmas. I'm going to running be in and out all weekend and then next week things get even crazier, so I won't be posting as often. Hopefully you'll be just as busy and won't even notice that I'm not here every day! 
Get outside and enjoy the sunshine!
Susan

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

No Coal in Your Stocking!

Hello Stamping Friends and welcome to The Classic Card!

Where do you fall on Santa's list?  Are you on the Naughty list, or the Nice list?  If you're a stamper (and I'm sure you are since you are reading a stamping blog) you are definitely on the Nice list!  I've met so many nice people in my 11 years as a Stampin'Up! demonstrator.  Without all of you, my loyal customers, I wouldn't be able to be a demonstrator!  So I'm extremely grateful to all of you for allowing me to continue. 

I've got a fun stocking for you today--- one that won't hold a lump of coal!  But it will hold a candy treat, theatre tickets, a gift card, cash, and even jewelry.  If you have the Holiday Stocking die (p. 24 of the Holiday Mini-catalog) for the Big Shot, you can make multiples of this cute stocking and be Santa for all your friends and relatives.  Here it is...

In case you haven't seen one of these, it is 6 inches tall and 5 1/2 inches wide, so it will not fit into one of the standard envelopes.  For this stocking I used Cherry Cobbler cardstock and embossed it with the new Snow Burst embossing folder (p. 33 of the Holiday Mini-catalog).  The cuff, heel, and toe of the stocking are cut from Soft Suede card stock.  The bow is the Cherry Cobbler striped grosgrain (p. 195 of the big catalog)
and the hanging loop is Cherry Cobbler Scallop Dots ribbon (also on page 195).  I sewed around the edge of my stocking to adhere the two sides, then stuffed some paper shreds inside.  The button, alas, is non-SU.

I was amazed how quickly these stockings go together!  If you don't have a sewing machine, or just don't like that look, you can use another adhesive, such as Sticky Strip (p. 206) to glue it together.  These would also be adorable using Designer Paper for the stocking body and then solid card stock for the cuff, heel, and toe. With all the Designer Paper and card stock available, there's an almost unlimited number of combinations you could use.

Thanks so much for stopping by today.  Please let all of your stamping friends know about my blog.  I need more readers!  I'll be back tomorrow with another card to inspire your creativity.  Meanwhile, I hope you'll be able to take a few minutes out of your busy day to stamp something.  We all need a little stress-relief at this crazy time of year, and nothing beats stress like a little stamping!  It looks like another brrrr-y day out there, so stay warm!
Susan

Monday, December 5, 2011

BRRR! It's Cold Out There!

Hello Stampers and welcome back to The Classic Card!

It's a frosty morning in Sherwood and no doubt everywhere else around the great Pacific Northwest.  But the sun is shining and I'm a happy camper!  I checked the temperature on my front porch and the thermometer reads 21 degrees.  I'm sure Mr. Sun will be warming things up soon.  Meanwhile I have a frosty card for you, made by another member of my talented downline.  Today's card is by Mary Colvin, who likes to surprise our group of demonstrators with different techniques on her swap cards.  I received this great card at one of our recent Stamp2gethers, where demos gather for dinner, stamping, and swapping cards. (It is great fun to be a Stampin'Up! demonstrator!  If it sounds fun to you, I'd love to take you out for coffee and discuss the benefits and enjoyment of being a demonstrator).

Here's the card...



Isn't it beautiful? Here's what Mary used to create this card:

Stamps:  Season of Friendship ( p. 102), Hand-Penned Holidays (p. 15, Holiday Mini-catalog)
Ink:  Cherry Cobbler
        Crumb Cake
        Whisper White Craft ink ( for the snow and snowflakes)
Paper:  Cherry Cobbler
            Crumb Cake
White Signo Gel Pen, p. 203 (for the snow on the branches)

To create the snow at the bottom of the card, mask with a torn piece of paper, then sponge on the Whisper White Craft Ink.  Don't forget that craft ink doesn't dry immediately the way regular dye-based ink does, so you'll need to use your heat gun to set the white ink. To soften the look of the card, Mary sponged on some Soft Suede.

This would be a perfectly mailable card, as there are no baubles, ribbon knots, or other embellishments to give the Postal Service grief.  I often wonder what some of my cards look like when they arrive at their destinations.  I hope the recipient is not faced with a ripped envelope, a loose pearl, or a mangled card, but I have a feeling that it might be the case, based on some sad-looking cards I've received. 

OK stampers, that's it for today!  I've got a lot on my plate today, as I'm sure we all do.  I will miss seeing you here at the ol' blog tomorrow, as it is my day to take care of my granddaughter.  But I'll be back Wednesday with another classic card.  Meanwhile, put on a sweater, some sweatpants, a hoodie, mittens, a hat... whatever it takes to stay warm!

Cozy stamping!
Susan



Friday, December 2, 2011

Tree Time Again!

Hello Stampers and welcome back to The Classic Card!

I had a fun day babysitting Allie yesterday, and now I'm back to share a very fun card with you.  As promised on Wednesday, it is another folded tree card.  Unlike the first card I showed you, this one doesn't appear to be simple.  But please don't be intimidated by all the folds.  It really isn't difficult. 

This adorable card was designed by Kathy Milano, one of the talented demonstrators in my downline.  Kathy is known for coming up with cards that everyone in our demonstrator group loves, and this one is no exception.  I think you'll love it too.  Check it out...


Here's what Kathy used to create this card:

The Sentiment is from the Christmas Lodge stamp set, page 29 of the Holiday Mini catalog.  If you didn't purchase this set yet, you might want to make sure you get it before the Holiday Mini expires on January 3rd. It is stamped in Cherry Cobbler and Garden Green on Whisper White cardstock.  The panel is then backed with Garden Green and Crumb Cake card stock.  The base of the card is also Crumb Cake, topped with a Cherry Cobbler panel which has been embossed with the Perfect Polka Dots embossing folder. 

And now for the tree... isn't it cool?  It is made with the Frostwood Lodge Designer Paper on page 28 of the Holiday Mini catalog.   You'll need to cut 4 squares of Designer Paper in the following sizes:
3" square, 2 1/2 " square, 2 inch square, and 1 1/2 inch square.  Then fold each square like this...

Fold the square in half, then open.  Fold in half the other direction, open. Fold the square diagonally, open. Fold diagonally the other way, open up and lay the square flat.  Fold in the sides so you have a triangle.  Fold the left and right sides of the triangle to meet in the middle.  Fold all the squares like this, then stack one on top of the other to form the tree.  A Fire Rhinestone Brad, p. 198 of the big catalog adds the perfect touch to the top of the tree.  If you try folding the squares and just can't "get it," email me and I'll send you an actual folded square so you can see exactly how it is done.  Thanks to Kathy for allowing me to share her great card with you. 

Well, that's it for today, stampers!  I'm sure we all have a busy weekend ahead of us as we prepare for Christmas.  Putting up the tree, baking, stamping Christmas cards, shopping, wrapping-- whatever this weekend finds you doing, don't forget to step back and take a minute to feel the joy of the season.
Have a great weekend and I'll meet you back here on Monday for another classic card.

Susan

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

One, Two, Three, Tree!

Greetings Stampers!  Welcome to Wednesday and welcome back to my blog!

It's definitely "tree time!"  I'm seeing them everywhere... on tree lots, on top of cars, and in living room windows... and it's not even December 1st yet!  I'm a big fan of fresh-cut trees and we'll be making the journey over to our favorite farm early next week to pick out a beauty.  Meanwhile, I have a cute little instant tree that you can create with just three folds.  So easy to do and it makes a great focal point for the front of a simple card.  Check it out...


To make the tree, start out with a scalloped circle of double-sided designer paper.  Here I used a sheet of Old Olive from the Designer Series Paper Stack (Brights) on page 186.  To cut the scallop shape, I used the Scallop Circle Die on page 222.  Next, cut the circle in half.  Then using the picture of the card above as a guide, fold the half circle into the tree shape.  It takes just 3 quick folds and you're done! The base of this card is Real Red and on top of that is a panel of Early Espresso.  The Very Vanilla layer is embossed with the Petals-a-Plenty embossing folder, found on page 219.  The sentiment is from the new and fabulous Delightful Dozen stamp set (p. 167) and it's stamped in Early Espresso.  The sentiment panel is backed with a panel of Early Espresso to give it definition.  Some Real Red grosgrain ribbon (p. 195) and a Basic Rhinestone (p. 198) finish off this simple but cute card.  Oh, and one other thing... don't forget to cut a tree trunk from a scrap of Early Espresso.  Otherwise your tree will seem to be floating in space.
I saw a similar card on Dawn Olchefske's blog and she had seen it on yet another demonstrator's blog, so there's really no telling who came up with the original idea.  That's what's fun about card-making.  You can see an idea, change the colors, change the layout, use a different stamp set and make the card your own!

Thanks for stopping in today!  I hope you'll all have a great Wednesday and that your schedule will allow you a few minutes of creativity somewhere in your day. I won't see you tomorrow, as I'll be off babysitting, but I'll be back on Friday with another folded tree card that I think you'll love.

Stamp something pretty!
Susan

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Perfect Little Gift

Hello stampers and welcome back to The Classic Card!  I know I told you yesterday that I wouldn't be posting today, but my babysitting day has been moved to Thursday this week, so here I am! 

Sometimes gift-giving at the holidays can be a bit awkward.  You need to give a small gift to your co-workers, yet you aren't so close to them that you need to give them something "big."  You just need a token gift to show your thoughtfulness which will avoid the awkwardness of making them feel like they need to reciprocate.  Have you ever been in that situation?  I know I have!  For these types of gift-giving situations I have the perfect solution.  Here it is...



This set of mini-cards in a little box would also be perfect as a hostess gift if you'll be attending any holiday parties this year.  Who couldn't use some beautiful little cards to top off their gifts??

These little cuties measure 3 inches by 3 inches and nestle into a mini-pizza box.  The box is held closed with a belly band and the band has been embellished with a die cut circle and a stamped bird which was cut out by hand.  If you'd like the directions for this box, please email me.  The bird stamp, Young Vermillion,  is one of the a la carte stamps and can be found on page 20 of the big catalog.The scalloped square in Cherry Cobbler that decorates the top of the box (under the belly band) is from the Scallop Squares Duo Die (p. 223).  The circle is from the Perfect Pennants Die (p. 221). The box is made from Early Espresso card stock (p. 180), the circle is Lucky Limeaid (p. 176) and the belly band is Soft Suede card stock (p. 180).  The Young Vermillion is stamped in Early Espresso ink on Very Vanilla card stock (p. 180), then cut out by hand with the wonderful Paper Snips (item # 103579, p. 208).  If you don't own these scissors, you'll want to add them to your next order.  They are only $9.95 and are made especially for "fussy cutting."  Their small size and thin sharp blades make detailed cutting a breeze!
The cards are so easy to make!   Cut the cardstock for the cards at 3 inches by 6 inches and fold in half to form the card.  You'll need a contrasting card stock panel cut at 2 1/2 by 2 1/2.  The Very Vanilla panel on top is 2 inches by 2 inches.  I colored directly on the pinecone stamp in the set Pines and Poinsettias (p. 21 of the Holiday Mini-catalog) with my Lucky Limeaid, Cherry Cobbler, and Early Espresso markers, then stamped.  I sponged the edges of the card, and each panel with Early Espresso ink.  The Chantilly crochet trim (p. 194) adds a pretty touch. The sentiment is from Petite Pairs ( p. 164).  I added some Mini Sqaure Envelopes to the box (p. 182), but you could also punch a small hole in each card and thread some of the Baker's Twine (p. 194) through the hole to have the cards function as gift tags. 

There is still time to order the supplies and make several of these little gifts. Just give me a call and I'll put your order in for you! Then you'll be prepared for giving "a little something" to your co-workers and holiday hostesses.  Thanks for stopping by today!  I hope you'll meet me back here tomorrow for a card with a fun folded tree. 

Have a great Tuesday!
Susan

Monday, November 28, 2011

Tag, You're It!

Hello Stampers and welcome back to The Classic Card! 

The bad news... I missed 4 days of blogging last week, due to Thanksgiving and the fact that our three grandchildren and their parents from Seattle have been with us since last Wednesday.  The good news... we survived their visit and are now busily putting our lives (and home) back in order.  It may take awhile, as they just departed this morning.  Oh. My. Goodness!  I'm pretty sure God knew what he was doing when He gave me two fairly mild-mannered little girls.  I'm not sure I would have survived twin boys, especially in twin boys in the "terrible twos."  Add in one busy five-year-old and you have a three-ring circus for sure.  I feel a little older this morning.  Hopefully I'll recover soon.

Meanwhile, let's get back to stamping, shall we?  I'm more than ready!  Today I have something to show you that will come in handy in the weeks ahead... something we all need.

These fun gift tags are made with two great stamp sets that are both in the big catalog.  The one in the lower right that says "Even the naughty deserve something nice" is from the Tags 'til Christmas set on page 32.  The rest of the tags are from the set Sweet Season on page 35.  Tags are even quicker to make than cards and they are a great way to use up all of those card stock scraps that  you've been accumulating.  Add some of our cute Baker's Twine (p. 194) and you are ready to add these sweet hand-stamped tags to all of your holiday gifts. 

Here's another fun idea...make up a batch of tags, slide them into a cello bag (p. 181), tie with one of Stampin'Up!'s great ribbon (p. 194-195) and you have a fabulous hostess gift to take to a holiday party! 
That's it for today, stampers!  I've got a LOT of cleaning to do!  Thanks for stopping by and I'll look forward to seeing you back here Wednesday (Tuesday is my day to watch my 3 month-old granddaughter) for another classic card!

PS.  Don't forget that today is Cyber Monday... the day that millions of shoppers go online to shop for Christmas gifts.  Stampin'Up! is having a big sale, so be sure and check it out at http://www.stampinup.com/
To get the best price, place your orders at my personal site http://www.susanrodgers.stampinup.net/.
Happy Stamping!
Susan

Monday, November 21, 2011

Onlline Extravaganza Starts Today!

Hello Stamping Friends!
Welcome to a new week and a great sale! Today is the beginning of Stampin'Up's annual Online Extravaganza... a fun sale to kick off the holiday shopping season.

I  have sent a flyer to you if you are on my customer mailing list.  In case you didn't receive the flyer, go to the Stampin'Up! web site at http://www.stampinup.com/.  There are some great deals, including some stamp sets at 50% off, so be sure to check it out.  If you decide to place an order, please go to my site http://www.susanrodgers.stampinup.net/ to get the best price.

In addition, there are 2 items that are on sale for only 24 hours.  Since the sale started last night at midnight, that means that it is over tonight at 10:59 pm, as Stampin'Up! in Salt Lake City is on Mountain Time. 

                        122334 Simply Scored scoring board, p. 7 of the Holiday Mini is on sale for 23.96
                        125152 Sweet Pressed Cookie Stamps, on sale for 13.56
The Simply Scored board would make a terrific gift for a stamper on your list, and the cookie stamps would be a great gift to take to the hostess of a holiday party.  Children would love it as well, not only for real cookies, but also for pretend "cookies" made with play-dough.

Today's card features one of the sale items in the Online Extravaganza.  Check it out...


This card features the Lots of Love Letterpress plate that can be found on page 217 of the big catalog.  The item # is 120983 and it is on sale during the Online Extravaganza for only $3.98!!

Here is the way to use the letter press plates.  First, ink up the plate with Craft ink (that's the pigment-based inks that are darker and more opaque than the regular dye-based pads we use for stamping cards).  Then you place a piece of watercolor paper on top of the inked plate and run it through the Big Shot.  What you end up with is a beautiful debossed image.  For this card I used Cherry Cobbler and then cut the image apart to make four panels, which are layered on top of  Cherry Cobbler and Early Espresso panels.  Some Cherry Cobbler seam binding (p. 195) and a flower accented with an Antique Brad (p. 198) add a nice accent.  What a perfect card for a Christmas wedding or for Valentine's Day!  For the exact "sandwich" for the Big Shot, please see page 217 of the big catalog.  At the bottom of the page you'll see a little box that says "How to build a Letterpress sandwich."

That's it for today, stampers, as I've got lots to do for Thanksgiving.  My daughter and family are arriving from Seattle on Wednesday and Tuesday is my regular baby-sitting day, so blogging this week will be hit and miss, probably mostly "miss."  I hope you won't notice, as you'll be just as busy as I am with Thanksgiving preparations.  Thanks for stopping by today, and I'll look forward to getting back to a regular blogging schedule after Thanksgiving is over. 
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Susan

Friday, November 18, 2011

A Nifty Gift

Greetings Stamping Friends!  Welcome back to The Classic Card! 

I'm happy it's Friday, how about you?  I'm sure we all have a full weekend planned as we get all our ducks (or should that be turkeys?) in a row for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.  Before I go any further, let me say how thankful I am for all of you, my faithful readers and Stampin'Up! customers. I want you to know how much I appreciate you!  Being a Stampin'Up! demonstrator has really been a blessing in my life.  I have met so many wonderful people (you!) through Stampin'Up!  I look forward to many more years of fun as we stamp our way through life!

Once the turkey has been reduced to leftovers, I'm afraid we have to face the music and start the inevitable shopping that the Christmas season brings.  Are you one of those amazingly organized people who has all of the shopping done?  If so, I applaud you!  Now for the rest of us, I have an idea that could bring peace and serenity into your life--- the gift card!  No, this isn't a new idea... I'm very aware of that.  I have not fully embraced the gift card as the solution to all of my shopping dilemmas, as it seems to be a cold and rather impersonal gift.  I must admit, though, that I love receiving gift cards and so I think others might love receiving them as well.  The trick is to turn an impersonal gift into something more warm and fuzzy.  And for that, I have the perfect solution!  Please check it out...

How cute is this nifty gift card holder?   You can easily make dozens of these in a snap if you have the Petite Pocket Die (item # 123131,  $42.95, page 221 of the big catalog).  This die cuts the pocket and scores the lines.  All you have to do is add the gift card, fold the sides and top, and then add a ribbon or belly band to hold it closed.  You really don't have to use glue.  I've dressed this one up with some die cuts (holly and berries)  from the Stocking Accents Die ( p. 24 of the Holiday Mini-catalog).  The little tag is made with the Jewelry Tag Punch (p. 210) and is tied on with some Cherry Cobbler Baker's Twine (p. 194).

By using different colors of card stock and different embellishments (ribbon, die-cut flowers, brads, tags, Linen thread, etc.) you could use the Petite Pocket Die all year to make gift card holders for every occasion, from birthdays to Easter, Mother's Day, Father's Day and of course graduations. If you use an embossing folder to add texture to the front of the folder, it adds even more pizzazz.  The possibilities are really endless, so this is a sound investment.  In a snap, you've turned what could have been an impersonal gift into something very personal... something hand-crafted with your own two hands!  If you'd like to order this versatile die, give me a call or send me an email.  Of course you can always go online at my SU! site and place your order that way.  To do that, click on the "shop now" button at the top of my blog. 

OK, stampers, that's it for today.  I'm off to prepare for tomorrow's workshop, which will be at my house at 10:30 am.  If you'd like to join us for some fun NEW cards, please let me know.  You'll learn how to fold a scalloped circle into a cute Christmas tree and we'll use some white pigment ink and the masking technique to create snow!  Give me a call or send me an email... my contact info is shown at the top of my blog.  Thanks for stopping by today and I'll look forward to seeing you back here on Monday for another classic card.
Enjoy your weekend!
Susan   

         

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Last but not Least

Greetings Stamping Friends!

Wow... that was quite a storm we had last night!  I drove to a demonstrator meeting in Oregon City and on the way home a gust of wind hit my car as I was driving over the Oregon City bridge and I felt my car move sideways.  So glad it didn't blow me over the side!  When I got home, I noticed that my normally sheltered front porch was wet all the way up to the house!  I guess we have to admit that even though it is not officially winter, we are definitely experiencing winter weather.  Ugh!  My advice ( I know it gets boring) is the same... stay inside, make yourself a cup of something hot, turn on some lights to brighten things up, and then stamp, stamp, stamp!  It is great therapy for the winter blahs.

Well, there's nothing blah about the project I'm going to show you today.  This will be the last Christmas Lane posts.  Do I hear some of you cheering?  Today's project is an easy box that will hold your Christmas Lane cards.  Check it out...

I know a few of you have made this in one of my classes, but here it is again, all dressed up for Christmas. If you would like the directions for this box, please email me and I'll send it to you via snail mail so you'll have my hand-drawn diagram showing all the score lines and cutting lines.  That will be so much easier to follow than just the printed directions.
The base of the box is one sheet of Early Espresso card stock.  The front panels have been gussied up with some of the Designer paper from the Christmas Lane Simply Scrappin' Kit.  The belly band around the box is a strip of Cherry Cobbler card stock and the Lucky Limeaid scallop was cut with the 2 3/8 inch Scallop Punch (p. 210 of the big catalog). The snowflake was punched out of the new Silver Glimmer Paper (p. 41 of the Holiday Mini-catalog) with the Snowflake Punch (p. 210 of the big catalog).  I would not advise you to try punching the glimmer paper with this punch, though.  It was extremely hard to do and I think I very nearly broke my punch in the process.  The more detailed the punch, the harder it is to punch with it.  And this snowflake is the most detailed punch in the catalog.  Instead, I'd suggest that you use a die (such as the Stocking Accents die ---p. 24 of the Holiday Mini--- to cut a cute shape from the Glimmer Paper.  As you know, the dies with the black foam on top cut metal, leather, thin wood, etc., so you'd have no trouble slicing through Glimmer Paper with them.  I certainly don't want any of you to ruin a $16.95 punch, so please don't do what I did! 
And that wraps up my series of posts on Christmas Lane.  However, this concept can be used with any of Stampin'Up!'s Simply Scrappin' Kits.  One of my customers (Hi, Marilyn!)  bought several Simply Scrappin' Kits and made sets of cards in a box like this for Christmas gifts for friends. Who wouldn't love receiving a pretty box full of hand-stamped cards and envelopes?  It is a creative, thoughtful, personal, and best of all, hand-crafted gift! And for those of us of a certain age who are having thoughts of down-sizing, it is a consumable gift, which means one less "thing" to store or display. 

OK, stampers!  I think I'm beginning to ramble on and on, so it's time to say goodbye for today.  Thanks so much for stopping by and I'll look forward to meeting you here tomorrow (Yay for the weekend!) for another classic card.

Stay warm!
Susan

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A few more steps along Christmas Lane

Hello Stamping Friends!
Welcome to Wednesday and welcome back to my blog!  I missed you yesterday, but I had a fun day with my little granddaughter Allie.  She is a snuggle-bug and loves to be held, so that is what I did for most of yesterday.  I know how quickly this infant stage passes, so I'm enjoying it before it is gone.

I sure hope you are not getting sick of this Christmas Lane kick I'm on!  I promise, our "walk" down Christmas Lane is almost over.  There are just a couple of cards/projects left to show you and then we'll move on to something new.  But for today, I have yet another Christmas Lane card for you...


Again, here's one more super-simple card using the Christmas Lane Simply Scrappin' Kit.  The card starts with a base of Crumb Cake... the one constant in all of these cards.  Then I layered on a panel of Lucky Limeaid (note to Stampin'Up!...  how can Limeaid be Lucky?)  A wide strip of the Christmas Lane Designer Paper is next, followed by the focal panel of Crumb Cake and Cherry Cobbler.  The tree is a die cut from the Stocking Accents die (p. 24 of the holiday mini).  This would be a great die to add to your collection, as it has many shapes... a candy cane, this Christmas tree, holly leaf and berry, a Christmas light, and a Christmas ornament.  These shapes are not only perfect for decorating the Holiday Stocking die (also on page 24 of the Holiday Mini), but they make wonderful focal points and/or embellishments for cards as well. The final touch is a Basic Rhinestone (p. 198 of the big catalog) at the top of the tree. I colored it with a red permanent marker.  (You can color both rhinestones and pearls with permanent markers, such as Sharpies.) 
You could make a LOT of these cards very quickly with the help of the Christmas Lane Simply Scrappin' Kit, (p. 26 of the Holiday Mini-catalog, item # 124007, price $21.95)  I hope I have convinced some of you that this kit needs to go on your next order!

Have a fabulous Wednesday everyone!  Thanks for stopping by today and I'll hope to see you back here tomorrow for another classic card.

Susan

Monday, November 14, 2011

Still wandering down Christmas Lane

Welcome back, Stampers!   Wow... that was one busy weekend!  I'm hoping each one of you had some time to yourself to relax and recharge and of course I hope that you made a bit of time for stamping.  Whatever else the weekend holds... errands, grocery shopping, yard work, cleaning, etc., setting some time aside for being creative is a great way to relax and recharge for the busy week ahead. 

Today we continue our wanderings down Christmas Lane with another card made from the amazing Christmas Lane Simply Scrappin' Kit (page 26 of the Holiday Mini-catalog).  Speaking of Mini-catalogs, I received my copy of the new Occasions Mini-catalog this past weekend. My reaction is WOW! It begins on January 4th and you are going to be surprised and delighted by many of the new products.  My suggestion is to ask Santa for a Stampin'Up! gift certificate.  Then when January rolls around, you'll be able to get some of the new goodies right away! 

Check out today's Christmas Lane creation...

It couldn't be simpler... just start with a base card of Crumb Cake card stock, add in a Cherry Cobbler panel which has been sponged with Early Espresso, layer on some of the great designer paper that comes in the kit and then add a focal panel of Early Epresso, some sponged Crumb Cake, and one of the die-cuts from the kit. I stamped the sentiment (from the Petite Pairs stamp set, p. 164 of the big catalog) in Early Espresso and sponged around the die-cut with Early Espresso.  Some of the sweet Scallop Dots ribbon in Lucky Limeaid completes the card.  This card took under 10 minutes to make, yet it is still a card that you'd be proud to send and that anyone would love to receive.  Simply Scrappin' Kits are the way to go for fun, easy, and great-looking cards!  To purchase your own Christmas Lane Simply Scrappin' Kit, click on the "shop now" button at the top of the page.  The item number is 124007 and the price is 21.95.

Ordering a gift certificate is easy too!  Just send me a quick email sjrstamps@gmail.com or give me a call at 503-925-1929.  You can send me a check and I will mail your Stampin'Up! gift certificate right away. Your "Santa" can do the same thing... email me or give me a call, send me a check, and I'll mail the gift certificate to the North Pole so he'll be able to deliver to you on Christmas.  You'll be so glad to have that certificate in your purse once you see that new Occasions Mini-catalog!  Oh my! 

Make it a great Monday and though I'll miss you tomorrow (I'll be babysitting for Allie all day), I'll hope to meet all of you back here on Wednesday as we continue our stroll down Christmas Lane.

Susan

Friday, November 11, 2011

11-11-11 on Christmas Lane

Happy Veteran's Day, everyone!  Today is not just another day off of school, or a day to shop the sales, but a day to contemplate the service and sacrifice of so many men and women.  Please don't let the meaning of Veteran's Day get lost in the shuffle of a three day weekend. 

Yesterday I mentioned that for the next few days we'll be strolling down Christmas Lane, looking at projects made with this wonderful Simply Scrappin Kit that you can find on page 26 of the Holiday Mini-catalog.  With one of these kits, you can make an amazing amount of cards, especially if you add in some Whisper White or Crumb Cake card stock as the base of your cards. 

Today's card is another quick and easy one, and that's just what we need with the holidays looming ahead!
Check it out!

This one starts off with a folded card in Crumb Cake card stock, which is layered with a panel of Cherry Cobbler.  On top of this panel, I placed a die-cut strip of Christmas lights (just peel and stick!).  The focal panel of Crumb Cake is adorned with three peel and stick lights from the kit, along with some Cherry Cobbler Baker's Twine (p. 194 of the big catalog). For contrast, the focal panel is backed with some Lucky Limeaid card stock.  The sentiment is from the Holiday Happiness stamp set (p.34 of the big catalog) and is stamped in Early Espresso onto one of the die cuts in the kit.  Voila!  It's a great card and it only took minutes to create. 

If you'd like to order one of these fabulous Simply Scrappin' Kits, just give me a call at 503-925-1929 and I'll add it to my next order.  Or you can click on the shop now button at the top of my blog and order it online.  The item number is 124007  Christmas Lane Simply Scrappin' Kit and the price is 21.95.

Happy Friday, Happy Weekend, Happy Veteran's Day to all!  Take a few minutes for yourself  this weekend and experience the relaxation and happiness that being creative brings to our lives.

Susan

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Walk Down Christmas Lane

Hello Stamping Friends! 

This morning as I look out my stamp room window, I see sunshine and blue skies!  I hope it stays that way all day, so I can take a nice walk in the sunshine after I post this for you.  For the next few days, I'll  be taking you on a walk down Christmas Lane, as I show you some fun projects I made with the Christmas Lane Simply Scrappin Kit, which is shown on page 26 of the Holiday Mini-catalog. 

For only $21.95, you get 8 sheets of 12 by 12 solid card stock, 2 sheets of each of the following colors: Cherry Cobbler, Luck Limeaid, Soft Suede, and Early Espresso.  Then you also get 6 sheets of double-sided Designer Paper, plus three 12 by 12 sheets of die cut embellishments that have an adhesive backing, so all you do is peel and stick. 

As I will show you, this kit makes amazing quick and easy cards... it's not just for scrapbooking!  To make the kit stretch even farther, I used some Crumb Cake card stock for the base of my cards, then used the solid card stock and the Designer Paper that comes with the kit for accents on my cards.  Take a look...


This fast but cute card uses some of the solid Lucky Limeaid card stock layered onto my basic Crumb Cake card.  I used a strip of one of the Designer Papers on top of that, then layered on my focal image, which is a panel of Cherry Cobbler, topped by a Crumb Cake panel, and then decorated with two of the peel and stick die-cut candy canes.  A Cherry Cobbler button (p. 197) with some Linen Thread (p. 194) accents the candy canes.  The sentiment was stamped onto one of the die-cuts.  You might be wondering where I found that tiny word "joy."  Don't spend a lot of time looking for it in the catalog, because you won't find it.  I used the word "enjoy" from the You're a Gem stamp set (p. 156) and just inked the "joy" part of it with my Early Espresso marker.  What a fast and easy card, and I love how it turned out!

I hope all of you will enjoy a sunny Thursday as well!  If you can't get outside for a walk, join me again tomorrow and we'll continue our "walk " down Christmas Lane.  Thanks for stopping by today!

Susan

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Rich Dark Espresso

Happy Wednesday stampers and welcome back to The Classic Card! 

I had so much fun babysitting Allie yesterday.  She has a slight cold, yet she was still all smiles--- such a sweetheart!  But now I'm back with another classic card for you. 

Today I'm focusing on my new favorite Stampin'Up! color, Early Espresso.  Many of you know that I love coffee, but that I'm a decaf coffee drinker.  Real coffee keeps me awake all night, so I've had to give it up.  If I drank a cup of rich dark espresso, I would feel the effects for 24 hours, so the only rich dark espresso in my life is Stampin'Up!'s Early Espresso card stock and ink.  I love this color mixed with just about everything.  It looks great with blues like Soft Sky and Marina Mist.  It is also great with Pink Pirouette and Pretty in Pink.  It also looks fabulous with greens such as Old Olive and Certainly Celery, and with yellows like So Saffron, Daffodil Delight, and More Mustard.  And paired with Cherry Cobbler, it reminds me of a luscious chocolate raspberry truffle or perhaps a chocolate covered cherry--- yummy!  If you haven't discovered the versatility of this rich dark espresso, put some on your next order!  I promise you'll love it!

Staying with our Thanksgiving theme, here's today's card...


The base of the card is Very Vanilla, with the panel on top in Early Espresso, which was run through the Big Shot with the new Hound's Tooth embossing folder.  The focal point of the card is a 2 1/2 inch circle punched out of Watercolor Paper and stamped with the basket of pears and the word "Grateful" from the
Always Thankful set in the Holiday Mini-catalog.  I used Jet Black Staz-On ink for the basket, so that the black ink wouldn't run when coloring.  I used Watercolor Wonder Crayons in Soft Suede, More Mustard, and Old Olive with a blender pen to color.  I sponged around the circle in Early Espresso and the sentiment is also stamped in Early Espresso.  The focal circle is popped up on dimensionals and adhered to a panel of Spice Cake Designer Paper.  Some of the gorgeous new Quilted Satin Ribbon in Early Espresso finishes off the card.

Here's a quick list of the products used:
Early Espresso Card stock and Classic ink pad, p. 180
Very Vanilla Card stock, p. 180
Watercolor Paper, p. 181
Spice Cake Designer paper, p. 17 of the Holiday Mini-catalog
Always Thankful stamp set, p. 19 of the Holiday Mini-catalog
Hound's Tooth embossing folder, p. 218
Watercolor Wonder Crayons, p. 202
Jet Black Staz-On ink pad (solvent based, so it won't run), p. 203
Blender Pens, p, 203
2 1/2 inch Circle Punch, p. 212
Quilted Satin Ribbon in Early Espresso, p. 30 of the Holiday Mini-catalog

A glance out my window reveals that today might be a good day to stay indoors and stamp the day away!But what can we expect, really?  It is November in the Northwest. Be sure to come back, as
tomorrow's post will be the beginning of a series featuring Christmas cards. If you haven't already done so, NOW is the time to get started.  Thanks for stopping by today,   Have a great Wednesday!
Happy Stamping!
Susan

Monday, November 7, 2011

Thankful Thoughts

Greetings stampers and welcome to another week of The Classic Card! 

I hope that you all enjoyed a relaxing weekend and that you made some time to just "be" instead of doing, doing, doing like I did!  Being a Stampin'Up! demonstrator, my weekends are pretty packed, as that is when most people want to have their stamping parties.  So my rest and relaxation time has to happen during the week.  As many of you know, I have a brand new granddaughter, Allie, who is two months old.  John and I take care of her on Tuesdays, so you won't be seeing any blog entries on Tuesdays and I hope you are OK with that. 

As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, I have another fall card for you.  This one features the great a la carte (single) stamp Leaves of a Tree, which is found on page 43 of the Holiday Mini-catalog.  What a great addition this stamp would make to your collection, and it sells for only 9.95.   Let me show you the card before I tell you about it...

This is another gate-fold card.  If you'd like to have the dimensions and measurements for scoring, please email me at sjrstamps@gmail.com and I'll send them along to you.  The base of the card is a panel of Early Espresso card stock.  Then adhered to the base is a gate-folded Very Vanilla card.  The panels for either side are More Mustard card stock, embossed with the Finial Press embossing folder (p. 219). The focal panel is Very Vanilla, with a contrasting panel of Early Espresso behind it.  Here's how to get a nice variegated look on the tree stamp:  first, ink up the entire tree with either Crumb Cake or Soft Suede ink (here I used Soft Suede).  Then using a separate sponge dauber for each color, randomly daub on Old Olive,  More Mustard, and Cajun Craze ink.  Breathe on the stamp to re-moisten, then stamp.  Voila! -- a lovely fall tree with multi-colored leaves!

The sentiment "thankful thoughts of you" is from the set Grateful Greeting (p. 27 of the big catalog).  This versatile set has paired sentiments (one for the outside of the card and another for the inside)  for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and even Valentine's Day.  I stamped the sentiment in Early Espresso on Very Vanilla card stock, then punched it out with the Large Oval punch (p. 212) and popped it up on a dimensional on an Early Espresso oval punched with the Scallop Oval Punch (p. 210).

I'm sure there are many friends and family members that you are VERY thankful for, and what a nice way to remind them on Thanksgiving that you are thinking of them with thankful thoughts.  Speaking of being thankful, I'd like to remind you that I'm thankful for all of you, my readers and customers!  You are the reason for this blog.   I'm so enjoying the time we spend together here on my blog and stamping together at parties!  Many thankful thoughts of you all are heading your way today.  Thanks for stopping by and I'll meet you back here on Wednesday for another classic card.

Thankfully,
Susan

Friday, November 4, 2011

It's a Great Time to be a Stamper!

Hello stampers and welcome back to my blog!  Sorry I missed posting yesterday, but I'm back today with another classic card for you.

In case you're wondering about the title of this particular blog, let me give you just a few reasons why it is a great time to be a stamper:

#1  Check the weather.... cold, gray, and threatening to rain.  With stuff like this going on outside, how cozy would it be to stay inside and pull out your stamps, ink, paper, and embellishments and just play?

#2  It is almost the weekend, so you'll be able to make some time to be creative.

#3 The holiday season is coming up and you'll have plenty of excuses to stamp... Thanksgiving cards, Christmas cards, invitations to holiday parties, plus gift tags, bags, and other holiday packaging... lots of reasons to spend time being creative!

#4 Stampin'Up! has a great special going on which was announced on November 1st.  It's called "It's Good to be the Hostess."  If you host a $350 ( or more) party between November 1st and December 15th, you'll get an extra $35 added to the regular hostess benefits.  So for a party of $350, you'll get $85 in free product of your choice... that's more than a hostess usually gets for a $500 party! 

#4 You can get a FREE Big Shot (or $100 in extra product) for signing up to be a demonstrator.  This offer is good through 11/11/11.  If you'd like to get the demonstrator discount, plus a kit valued at $345 (plus the $100 extra), please contact me.  You don't have to hold workshops ever!  You just need to submit $300 in sales every quarter (every 3 months), which you could easily do if you get friends and family to order from you.  Of course your own orders count as well.  Send me a quick email at sjrstamp@gmail.com if you'd like more information.

So I hope I've convinced you that it's a great time to be a stamper.  By now you're probably wondering if I'll ever get to the card.  Thanks for being patient and here it is...


This pretty card in fall colors is what we'll be making this weekend at my "Give Thanks" class.  It's a gate-fold card, meaning that it opens in the middle.  I'm so bored with the traditional card that opens on the left, so I'm always looking for something... anything... different.  The base of the card is Very Vanilla, layered with More Mustard card stock which I put through the Big Shot with the Vintage Wallpaper embossing folder (p. 219). The Designer paper on the focal panel is the gorgeous Spice Cake paper, which is available in the Holiday Mini-catalog (p. 17).  The flower on the front was stamped with the Triple Treat Flower, which is one of the single stamps found in the a la carte section of the big catalog (pages 18-20).  I stamped it three times in Early Espresso on Old Olive, More Mustard, and Soft Suede card stock.  Then I used the 3 coordinating punches (1/2 in circle, Fancy Flower, and 5-Petal Flower) to punch each layer.These punches can be found on pages 209-213 of the big catalog.  Each layer is then popped up on a dimensional to give the flower more interest. The sentiment is from the great set Grateful Greetings, on page 27 of the big catalog.  It is stamped in  Early Espresso on Very Vanilla card stock, then punched out with the Large Oval punch (p. 212).  Some Scallop Dots ribbon in Chocolate Chip (p. 195, turned so the dots don't show) adds a pretty touch under the flower.  So that's it, stamping friends... a pretty yet classic card that you can be proud to send and anyone would love to receive for Thanksgiving. 

Have a great weekend and don't forget to take time to stamp something!
Susan
Happy

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Simple Gifts

Hello Stampers and welcome back to The Classic Card!

Let's face it...the season of shopping is upon us, so we'd better get started.  Back in the day, my goal was to have all of my Christmas gifts purchased by Halloween.  While I'm no longer that ambitious, I do try to be finished with shopping right around Thanksgiving, or shortly thereafter.  Finishing early makes December so much more pleasant and serene, and I can turn my attention to the more creative aspects of Christmas... such as decorating the house, planning a Christmas brunch, and wrapping the gifts... all things I enjoy doing a lot more than shopping. 

We all have friends and co-workers we need to remember at Christmas with "a little something."  These gifts need to be something fairly inexpensive, but still thoughtful.  Today's idea focuses on presenting those "little somethings" in a creative way.   
While this bottle tag is stamped in a Thanksgiving theme, perfect for presenting a bottle of wine or sparkling cider to your Thanksgiving host or hostess, you can easily stamp a similar tag with a Christmas theme and vary the size of the tag to fit the bottle.
 Here are the dimensions of this bottle tag.  Start with a piece of cardstock cut 4 inches by 8 1/2 inches.  Score at 2 3/4 inches from one end.  Punch a hole in the top with a hole punch that corresponds to the size of your bottle.  For this wine bottle, I used the 1 1/4 inch punch.  I added a focal panel cut with the Top Note Die (p. 222).  In fact, the only reason my bottle tag is 4 inches wide is to accomodate the Top Note.  You can make your bottle tag much narrower if you aren't using the Top Note.  Slip the tag over the bottle, add some raffia or ribbon, and you are done!  I used Clear Block C as a shadow stamp and inked the block on my River Rock pad.  Then I overstamped with the maple leaf from Gently Falling (p. 16 of the Holiday Mini-catalog). I inked the stamp with Old Olive, then rolled the edges in Cajun Craze before stamping.  The sentiment, "Give Thanks" is from the elegant Hand-penned Holidays set (p.15 of the Holiday Mini-catalog) and is stamped in Early Espresso.

There are many things that come in bottles that you could decorate this way...your gift doesn't have to be a bottle of wine or sparkling cider.  For a friend who cooks, you could give a bottle of olive oil, fancy vinegar, maple syrup, ice cream sauces... there are tons of yummies that come in bottles!  For a girly friend, try a bottle of bubble bath, lotion, body spray, or other "spa" product.   Almost anyone would enjoy a pretty pump bottle of kitchen soap to place next to their sink and it is a good "little something" gift to take along to a holiday host or hostess. 

OK stampers,  you know what you have to do.  Ready, set, shop!  Oh, and don't forget to come back tomorrow for another classic card!

Susan

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Yikes, it's November!

Hello stampers and welcome back!

Yes, it's true... the page has turned and now it's November.  But don't panic... there's still plenty of time to get ready for the upcoming holidays. Thanksgiving and Christmas don't have to be stressful times if you make a plan of what needs to be done and allow yourself plenty of time to accomplish the tasks.  I think the key here is to sit down and make a list of what is important to you about each holiday.  For some people, Christmas baking is important and they put a lot of energy into making lots of different kinds of cookies.  For others, decorating the house takes the top spot on the list of priorities.  Figure out what makes you and your family happy and then let other things go... things that aren't as important to you.  If the holidays leave you feeling frazzled instead of merry, it is time for a change in your routine.  Simplify, simplify, simplify! 

One thing I love about Thanksgiving is that it is a fairly simple and straightforward holiday.  You don't have to decorate like you do at Christmas, or buy gifts, or send out hundreds of cards (although I do send a few to my family and special friends who are far away).  Just set the table, cook the meal, and be thankful... I can do that!

Since Thanksgiving will be here before we know it (better get that turkey ordered!), I've got some fun things for your Thanksgiving table....

The "Be Thankful" place card is made with a fun set in the Holiday Mini-catalog called "Gift Givers."  You can find it on page 39 of the mini-catalog.  It is a very versatile set and contains images for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, winter, Valentine's Day, and St. Patrick's Day.  Best of all, there is a punch that matches each stamp to make crafting even easier!  You can order this set by clicking on the "order now" button at the top of my blog.

The little pumpkin mint cover is made with the Large Oval Punch, (p. 212).  Just punch 3 ovals in Pumpkin Pie card stock, ink the edges with Pumpkin Pie ink and overlap for a cute plump pumpkin.  The stem is just a tiny scrap of Soft Suede cardstock and the vine is a thin piece of Old Olive cardstock that I curled around my paper-piercing tool.  Are you wondering why this is square instead of round?  The answer is that York Peppermint patties aren't round anymore... they're square!  I guess they were trying to upgrade their peppermint patties and make them more like Ghirardelli Squares.  In any case, these would look festive scattered on your Thanksgiving table and they are quick and easy to make. 

Thanks for stopping by today!  I'll see you back here tomorrow for another Thanksgiving idea!
Susan

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

Hello stampers and welcome to another week of The Classic Card!

I don't know about you, but I can hardly believe that it is the end of October already.  Will somebody please drag their feet with me and maybe we can slow this mad whirl of days down a bit.  It's kind of like a merry-go-round that is going too fast.  A glance out my stamp room window this morning shows blue skies and pretty fall trees that look so much more vibrant in the sunshine.  I hope that you are enjoying a spot of sun this morning as well!

Since today is Halloween, I've got just the card for you.  It is a little something different, using a Letterpress Plate for the Big Shot. 


You can find the Letterpress Plates for the Big Shot on page 217 of the big catalog.  We haven't played with these much at stamping parties, but they give the look of a card printed on an old-world letterpress.  The image is debossed (pressed down into the paper).  If you've ever been to Oblation Papers in Bridgeport Village, you know how expensive this type of card is.  You'd be shocked to see that they run $5 and up just for a simple card with no embellishments.  With your Big Shot and a Letterpress Plate ( $5.95- $7.95), you can easily achieve this high-end look. 

I inked the words "Trick or Treat" with a Pumpkin Pie Craft spot (the small ink pads) and the trim with an Old Olive craft spot.  You must use craft ink (pigment-based) with the Letterpress Plates.  The card is then "printed" ( run through the Big Shot) on watercolor paper (p. 181).  After printing, dry the craft ink with a heat gun, then set your card front aside for a while to cool.  I adhered my letterpressed focal panel to a Chocolate Chip card and added some Pumpkin Pie and Old Olive grosgrain ribbon to repeat the colors of my printing. 

Speaking of Trick or Treat... do you have plenty of candy for tonight, or have you been raiding your supply? I have found a great way to stay away from the Halloween candy.  I only buy candy I don't like... that way I'm not tempted to sample it.  So I have all 285 Tootsie Roll pops ready for the little goblins tonight.

Have a great Monday everyone and meet me back here tomorrow for another classic card.

Susan

Friday, October 28, 2011

Out to Lunch

Happy Friday, Stampers! 

I'm sorry to have missed blogging yesterday, but I was out to lunch.  No, I don't mean I just forgot because I was in a mental fog.  I mean I really was out to lunch, as in having fun with friends.  Yesterday was such a beautiful day, I decided to play hooky from all things stamping related and just have a day off.  So a few of my Bunco buddies and I went shopping and then had lunch.  It was a refreshing change from my daily routine, that's for sure!  But now I'm back and I have another card to share with you. 

As I get older, and I'm sure many of you have noticed this too, suddenly I seem to need more sympathy cards than ever.  I guess it is an unavoidable sign of aging.  So today I've got a card that makes a perfect expression of sympathy to send to someone who is grieving.  It is clean and simple and strikes the right balance between too cheerful and too gloomy.  Here it is....


The base of the card is Very Vanilla and the focal panel and sentiment are also stamped on Very Vanilla.  The other colors are Cajun Craze, Crumb Cake, and Always Artichoke.  The stamp set is Love and Sympathy and can be found on page 76 of the big catalog.  I colored directly on the stamp with my Cajun Craze and Always Artichoke markers (p. 179).  The sentiment was stamped in Early Espresso (p. 180) and punched out with the Extra Large Oval punch, (p. 212).  To give a little extra interest, the Cajun Craze panel was embossed with the Stripes embossing folder (p. 218).  The lack of ribbon, brads, or other embellishments make this card easy to mail. And since these types of cards are usually mailed, rather than hand-delivered, it just makes sense to leave off all the knots, lumps, and bumps that embellishments cause.  That way, your card will arrive in an envelope that is intact, instead of one that is a sad-looking ripped and torn mess.

Thanks for stopping by today, stamping people!  Please come back on Monday when I'll have another classic card to inspire you.  Meanwhile, enjoy the weekend and don't forget to take a little time out just for you to stamp and just enjoy being creative.

Susan

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Better Late than Never

Hello Stampers and Happy Wednesday!

I'm sorry I'm very late in posting this today, but I had an early start this morning running around doing lots of other things and wasn't able to sit down at the computer until this afternoon.  But never fear, I'm here and I have a great card for you today.  Well, I like it and I hope you will too.  Since I'm leaving in a couple of hours to drive to a meeting with other Stampin'Up! demonstrators, I'll just cut to the chase and show you my card right now.


Side note to my readers...
I'm looking forward to having my son-in-law, the photography expert, help me figure out what is wrong with  the software for my digital camera.  Apparently, having this yellow cast to photos is quite common with Canon cameras.  It is fixable, I'm sure, but I wouldn't know how to go about doing that.  I'm hoping he can help me figure it out and fix it when they are here over the Thanksgiving holiday.

The colors I used on this card are River Rock (for the base layer and the panel behind the focal panel), Elegant Eggplant, Old Olive, and Watercolor paper for the stamped focal panel.  I used the new Houndstooth embossing folder (p. 218) to add texture and interest to the Elegant Eggplant layer. The stamps are from the classic Nature's Pace stamp set (p. 129).  I stamped the grapes on the Watercolor paper (p. 181) with Staz-On Jet Black ink (p. 203), then colored them in with Watercolor Wonder Crayons (p. 202) and a blender pen (p. 203).  To add a bit more age to the piece, I sponged the edges in Early Espresso and spritzed some  Early Espresso ink dots on it with the Color Spritzer Tool (p. 203) and an Early Espresso marker (p. 180).

To align the Mini Brads (p. 199), I used the Mat Pack (p. 207) and the Paper Piercing Tool (also p. 207).
Please, please, please invest 9.95 in the Mat Pack so that all of your brads will stand at attention in a straight line.  I don't think anything looks worse than brads that are supposed to be in a line, but are wandering all over the card.  It is such a sad look, and so easily avoided!  Some linen thread tied around the panel finishes off the card and adds to the rustic look.  The sentiment  (another Ralph Waldo Emerson quote) is from the Nature's Pace set as well.

Thanks for stopping by!  I hope I have inspired you to stamp something pretty today.  Meet me back here on Thursday for more ideas for classic cards.
Susan

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

More Sunshine on the Way???

Hello stampers and happy Tuesday!

Wasn't yesterday a beautiful day?  I hope you enjoyed that warm and wonderful sunshine while it lasted!  I got to sit on the porch yesterday afternoon in the bright sunshine and it was almost hot, so I was glad I had a cold glass of Diet Rite Cola, my favorite.  I wouldn't normally take time out of a busy Monday to sit on the porch, but I felt I needed to take advantage of the beautiful day and just absorb some sunshine.  I'm hoping we'll have more of the same today and maybe a few other days this week as well.  I can dream, can't I?

In celebration of yesterday's sunshine, I've got a card today with the sentiment "Live in the sunshine," a Ralph Waldo Emerson quote.  The set is a big favorite of mine called Field Flowers (p. 120).  I've used this set a lot and I'm sure I will continue using it.  If you don't own it yet, you might want to click on the "order now" button at the top of my blog so you can start playing with it!
Check it out...



This is an easel card in a slightly different size.  The folded base that makes the easel is a strip of cardstock 3 1/4  inches wide by 11 inches long.  Score it cross-wise at 3 1/2 and 6 3/8.  Fold into a Z shape and that will be the base of your easel card.  If you'd like all the measurements for this card, please send me a quick email sjrstamps@gmail.com and I'll send you the complete directions. 

The card stock colors I used on this card are Old Olive, Rich Razzleberry, and Whisper White.  The flowers were stamped first in Calypso Coral and then overstamped with Rich Razzleberry.  Some Rich Razzleberry grosgrain ribbon makes the perfect accent. 

I'm off to babysit for my 8 week old granddaughter today, so I've got to run. Thanks for stopping by today my stamping friends!  Meet me back here tomorrow for more stamping inspiration and another classic card.

Susan

Monday, October 24, 2011

A Flower for all Seasons

Hi everyone and welcome back to my blog!

I hope you had a good weekend and enjoyed the amazing fall colors that are showing up as the trees put on their prettiest "clothing."  I drove out to Hillsboro yesterday and even though the day was cloudy, those reds and golds really lit up the landscape!  Our huge red maples haven't dropped yet, but once they do my attitude toward those gorgeous leaves might change a bit as I'll be out there raking daily.  But for now, I'm just enjoying the fall season.

I've been busy designing fall cards and Christmas cards for upcoming workshops, but today's card features a stamp set for all seasons... the wonderful Build a Blossom set (p. 112).  You can vary the look of this set by simply changing the colors of the petals and leaves. Of course the color of the background that you place it on can change the look significantly as well.  Check it out...


A few of you might recognize this card, as it was one we made when this set first came out.  The colors here are Whisper White on the base of the card, which was cut with the Scallop Square die for the Big Shot ( p.223) and embossed with the Perfect Polka Dots embossing folder (p. 219).  The ink on the petals is Daffodil Delight and the green I used for the center of the flower and the card stock accents is Certainly Celery. The petals were punched out with the Blossom Petals Builder Punch (p. 213). The sentiment is from the Teeny Tiny Wishes set (p. 157) that can always be counted on when you need a small greeting to fit into a circle or oval.  The tiny oval punch shown here is no longer in the catalog, but the Large Oval Punch, (p. 212) layered on top of the Scallop Oval Punch ( p. 210) would work perfectly as well.  So while this card says spring, you could make it more like fall by using More Mustard ink on More Mustard card stock with an Early Espresso center, or even use a darker color like Cajun Craze.  The possibilities are endless with this set!

If you have this set in your collection, you might want to try creating a poinsettia with it.  Use the pointy petals and stamp them in Real Red on Real Red card stock.  Then punch out a bunch and layer them up.  I've seen this done somewhere ( I really should write these things down) and it makes a beautiful poinsettia, although I wouldn't suggest using this idea for your Christmas cards.  You might go crazy with stamping and punching and gluing all those petals.  Perhaps it would be fun for one or two special cards, but I don't want to be responsible for any stamping meltdowns!

Thanks for stopping by today!  Make it a great Monday and I'll see you back here tomorrow for another classic card. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Easy Breezy

A happy fall Friday to you, stampers!  Thanks for coming back to see what I have for you today!

It's a breezy fall day out there, but at least it's not raining (yet!).  The birch tree just outside my window is a beautiful shade of gold and I wish those leaves could cling for a while.  Unfortunately, they are falling like crazy and that means only one thing.... I'll soon be outside in the breezy fall day with a rake in my hand.  I do love the gorgeous colors of autumn... who doesn't?  However, I think those gorgeous colors are even more amazing with a backdrop of blue, blue sky (big sigh).  We sure haven't seen much of that lately, have we? 
But carry on we must, through gray and drizzle and whatever else mother nature has in store for us. 

Today's card is a little something different again, like yesterday's, for those of us who are easily bored and looking for something other than an ordinary 5 1/2 by 4 1/4 card.  Here it is...



This little gem is a 4 x 4 card.  You know, the one the US Postal Service likes to charge more for, if you mail it in a square envelope.  You can get around that, though, by just mailing your square card in a regular envelope.  I wouldn't suggest mailing this one, however, as the fabric ribbon makes quite a bulky knot when tied.  I would suggest hand-delivering this to the recipient.  If you must mail it, then a padded envelope (p. 182) would be the best way to go.

The colors here are Cherry Cobbler, Always Artichoke and Very Vanilla.  I just love that color combination for Christmas... so rich and classic.  The base of the card is Very Vanilla and the Cherry Cobbler and Always Artichoke panels are layered on top.  Inside, there's a little pocket that holds a gift card or cash.
I'm sure just about everyone on your guest list would like receiving one of these with a little surprise tucked inside.

The stamps are from the fabulous Tags til Christmas set (page 32).  This set of 9 tag stamps will keep you in Christmas tags for years and it's priced at only $22.95 for 9 stamps.  That's 2.55 per stamp, people!  What a great bargain for stamps.  And these are no ordinary stamps, as all of them have punches to match.   If this set is not already in your collection, you'll want to add it to an order very soon.

The December 25th stamp is punched out with the Decorative Label punch (p. 209) and then I added some of the beautiful Glass Stampin' Glitter ( p. 201).  This chunky glitter gives a vintage look and is so easy to apply.  I just went around the oval with Crystal Effects (p. 206), sprinkled it with the glitter, and set it aside to dry.  Crystal Effects not only gives a shiny look to leaves, flowers, and other stamped images.  It is also a powerful adhesive and it works great in an application like this.  The Very Vanilla panel behind the focal point is embossed with the lovely Finial Press embossing folder (p. 219). 

Tying the card closed is a strip of Deck the Halls Designer fabric (p. 196).  These beautiful fabrics come in an extra large "fat quarter" size.  I'm not a quilter.  I admit that I don't have the patience for a long-term project like that, so I don't really know what the term "fat quarter" means.   The actual dimensions of the fabric that you get from Stampin'Up! is 27" by 18".  The great thing about Stampin'Up!'s fabric is that it matches our designer papers, buttons, card stock and everything else, which makes color coordination so very easy.  Making ribbon from this fabric is easy too, just tear it into strips or cut it with pinking shears and you've got tons of "ribbon" to add color and dimension to your cards and paper-crafting projects. 

OK stampers!  That's my easy, but different, card for Friday. Thanks for stopping by today!  Enjoy this beautiful breezy fall day while it is still dry outside.  I hope you'll all enjoy the weekend ahead and that you'll have time to stamp something pretty.  Meet me back here on Monday for another classic card.

Susan

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Change of Pace

Hello there!  Welcome to Thursday's blog post!

Are you one of those people who are easily bored?  Are you always looking for something new... whether it's a new restaurant, new recipe, new place to visit, or maybe just a new card design?  I have to admit that I get very tired of the standard card format of a 5 1/2 by 4 1/4 folded card that opens on the left.  So when I find a different fold, different size, or something that varies a bit from the "same old, same old" card format, I'm one happy stamper!

And today I have a great card for you that will provide a refreshing change of pace.  Check it out---


This fun design folds out when you pull down on the point at the bottom. It opens out to reveal the center panel which is glued to the base.  This panel is stamped with the greeting.  We've made this type of card at some of my events in the past and I'm thinking I need to include this design in one of my upcoming classes or parties.  The theme can be varied to suit the occasion, but I especially like this format for children's birthday cards. 

The base of this card starts off with the Scalloped Square (p. 223, cut with the Big Shot) in Early Espresso card stock (p. 180). The folded layer on top is Crumb Cake card stock (p. 180)  stamped randomly in Cherry Cobbler ink (p. 179) with the medallion from the Artistic Etchings stamp set (p. 129).  The focal point is Very Vanilla card stock (p. 180) stamped with the En Francais background stamp (p. 151) in Crumb Cake ink (p. 180), then overstamped with images from the Artistic Etchings set (p. 129).  The Eiffel Tower is stamped in Early Espresso ink (p. 180) and the medallion image is stamped in Cherry Cobbler (p. 179).The focal panel is layered onto a panel of Cherry Cobbler card stock (p. 179) and is accented with a bit of Early Espresso grosgrain ribbon (p. 195).

So there you have it stampers, a fun card that is different from the usual to help relieve a case of stamper's boredom!  If you would like the directions for creating this folded masterpiece, please send me an email at sjrstamps@gmail.com and I will email you the instructions. 

Thanks for stopping in today and I'll see you back here tomorrow (Yay for Friday!) for another classic card.

Have a great sunny Thursday!
Susan

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tea Time

Happy Wednesday, stamping friends, and welcome back to my blog.  I wish you could come in and join me for a nice hot cup of tea on a blustery fall day.  It would warm us inside and out as we chatted about stamping and our latest creations. 

On a recent trip to the grocery store, I shopped the tea aisle and stocked up on some of my favorite teas, like Constant Comment (orange spice), Earl Grey (bergamot), and Sleepy Time Extra (with camomile and valerian to help me get to sleep on the nights when the sandman just can't seem to find me).  With our weather taking a turn for the worse, this might be a good time to stock up on tea for your household as well.  There's nothing like a comforting cup of hot tea in the afternoon to take the rough edges off the day.  If you invite a friend to stop by and join you, you'll have a spot of brightness in what might have been a lackluster day.

Speaking of tea, Stampin'Up! is coming out with a new product suite called Tea Shoppe and you'll be able to see it in January, when the new Occasions Mini-catalog comes out.  I've seen some sneak peeks of it and you will LOVE it.  Meanwhile, we have the cute Morning Cup (p.54) set to play with.  Today's card is a "girly" card featuring this same set.  Unlike yesterday's manly card with the hairy fibers, this one is accented with lace and taffeta...so feminine!  We made both of these cards at a recent "Coffeehouse Crafternoon" at Symposium Coffee here in Sherwood Oregon.  We had a nice room upstairs all to ourselves and sipped our lattes while we created.  We had a great time just relaxing and creating.  If you'd like to join us next time, watch your email inbox.  I'll be doing another one soon.  Here is today's card:



Again, I used the Mocha Morning Specialty paper (p. 183), but this time a flowery design instead of the stripes I used on the manly card. The base of the card is Very Vanilla card stock (p. 180).  The Two Tags Die (p. 222) was used again to cut the bookmark in Crumb Cake card stock (p. 180).  I used Crumb Cake taffeta ribbon (p. 195) and the Chantilly crochet trim (p. 194) for the top.

 I know you have a friend who would love to receive this card in the mail.  Then she'll be able to remove the bookmark and every time she uses it, she'll think of you... her "tea-riffic" friend.  To make the card even more fun, you could tuck a tea bag inside (use a glue dot on the back of the wrapper).  If you wanted to make this into a gift card holder, you could  make a little pocket by gluing a strip of cardstock inside at the bottom of the card and sliding the gift card into it.  There are lots of possibilities with this stamp set!

Have a great Wednesday everyone!  Hope you can take time for a "spot of tea" as the British say and I hope you'll come back tomorrow to see what I have in store to spark your imagination.

Susan

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Wake Up and Drink the Coffee

Hello stampers and welcome to my Tuesday blog!

Are you a coffee lover?  If so, you have a lot of company here in the great Northwest, where sometimes coffee is the only thing that keeps us moving through day after day of gray skies, rain, and chilly weather.  I do love my coffee, but I hate to admit that most of the time I'm a wimp and order decaf.  I've found that even one cup of real coffee after lunchtime can keep me awake most of the night.  Not fun.  Back in the day, I could drink coffee with the best of them, with no ill effects.  It must be old age setting in. 

Today's card features the fun set Morning Cup.  Check it out....

You can find the Morning Cup set on page 54 of the big catalog.  If you don't already own this cute set, you might want to add it to your next order, as it can be used to make all sorts of fun coffee and tea cards.  This set would also be perfect to use when making gift card holders.  What a great way to give a Starbucks card to a friend! Who wouldn't love getting a fun card  like this, with a removeable bookmark on the front?  This card was designed to be a "manly" card, but I think anyone would like it.  The bookmark is cut from Crumb Cake card stock with the Two Tags die for the Big Shot.  (page 222).  It is adhered to the card with a tiny bit of adhesive, so that it can be removed easily. The base of the card is made with Crumb Cake card stock as well.  The handsome striped designer paper is from the Mocha Morning specialty collection, found on page 183 of the big catalog.  This great collection features some beautiful flocked papers as well as regular printed designs.  You'll be able to make some striking cards if you have this paper in your stash. And yes, I admit that the fibers on the top of the bookmark are not Stampin'Up!  But for this card, I wanted something more masculine and I think the hairy looking fibers give it that "man card" look I was going after.

It looks like it's going to be a beautiful fall day out there, so I hope you'll make some time to get outside and enjoy the sunshine!  Meet me back here tomorrow for another classic card.
Thanks for stopping by!
Susan