Friday, December 19, 2014

Fresh as Springtime!

Hello and Happy Friday!

Today's the day that the kiddos are out of school for the holiday break.  It wasn't all that long ago that I was as happy as the kids for this day to finally arrive.  I'm hoping that you've noticed that I've moved away from Christmas cards and I'm now moving forward using new sets and accessories from the Occasions catalog.  I'm hoping that most of you will be receiving your new catalog in the mail, probably around the first of January... or perhaps a bit sooner.  
Today I wanted to show you another spring-like card.  I'm kind of sick of Christmas colors and ready to move on the the pretty pastel colors of springtime.  Here's my card...

I was going for a fresh, clean look.... something reminiscent of white sheets flapping on a clothesline on a sunny, blue-sky spring day.  I used the new stamp set called Painted Petals which is in the Occasions catalog.  I used Whisper White, Coastal Cabana, and Daffodil Delight card stock.  The ink colors are Coastal Cabana, Pear Pizzazz, and Daffodil Delight.  Some of the great Thick Baker's Twine in Coastal Cabana adds a simple touch of color while still keeping the design super-simple.

With family arriving in just two days, I'm going to be taking a much-needed break from blogging.  I'm simply going to be too busy with family to keep up my regular blogging schedule.  And with Christmas coming up in just a few days, I'm sure there are other things that you need to attend to as well.  I'll be back after the holidays.  Monday, January 5th will be my first day back.  Until then, have a wonderful Christmas and I'll look forward to visiting with you in the new year!

Holiday Hugs,

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Brightening Your Day

Hello there, stamping enthusiasts!  

Yikes!  After today, there are only 7 days left until Christmas!  Does that strike a note of terror with you?  I thought I was keeping up the pace pretty well, but suddenly my "to-do" list is looking a little scary.  

We are approaching the shortest day of the year... Dec. 21st.  Or I guess you could also call it the longest night of the year.  After that, the days will slowly start becoming longer... thank goodness!  I realize that you working people are getting up in the dark, going to work in the dark and coming home in the dark.  With all of that darkness going on, I thought it was my duty to brighten your day, so here's my contribution...

Let me briefly tell you about the new goodies I used to create this card.  I used two new stamp sets, some new designer paper, and a new punch.  The new DSP is called Best Year Ever and is one of the free items you can get with a $50 purchase during Sale-a-bration, which starts on January 6th this year.  I pulled the color combination of Calypso Coral, Coastal Cabana, Crushed Curry, and Soft Suede directly from this pretty pack of paper.  The saying is from a new Sale-a-bration set called Best Day Ever.  I stamped it in Coastal Cabana.  The flower is from a new set in the Occasions catalog called Petal Potpourri.  I stamped in Crushed Curry on Crushed Curry card stock.  The flower center was stamped in Soft Suede on Soft Suede card stock.  I used the new Flower Medallion punch and the 7/8 inch scallop circle punch for the flower.  
Aren't those big dots on the Calypso Coral panel fun?  They are part of the Best Day Ever set, one of the freebies for Sale-a-bration.

When I look at this card, I'm reminded of a sunny day on a tropical beach.  Sounds good about now, doesn't it?  Well, I can't dwell on that mental picture too long... I've got things (many things!) to do.
Please come back on Friday when I'll have another springy card for you.

Monday, December 15, 2014

A Change of Pace

Hello Stampers!  

Thanks for stopping by this fine Monday!  Wasn't that blue sky yesterday just glorious?   

As promised, I'm going to give Christmas a rest.  I think I've designed, cut, stamped, and assembled my last Christmas card, for this year anyway.  It is time to turn our attention elsewhere, before we are thoroughly sick of all things Christmas.  Don't misunderstand.... I love everything about Christmas, but since I started making Christmas cards in October, I hope you'll understand that I need a change of holidays.  

My box of pre-order products from the new Occasions catalog arrived last week, but I was so busy getting ready for my hostess event on Saturday that I barely had time to glance at the stamp sets and accessories in that lovely big box.  Well, yesterday I finally had a chance to try out some of the stamps and accessories.  I only made one card, however, because I must confess that my stamp room is a mess... a very big mess!  I haven't put the stamps and supplies from the hostess event away yet.  Then on top of all that, I pulled out some new goodies to make today's card.  Needless to say, my number one task for today is putting everything away and restoring order to my stamping space before I break out in a rash just looking at the mess.

OK...enough dithering... here's the card

Yes, it's time to think about Valentine's Day!  I pulled the colors of Calypso Coral, Crisp Cantaloupe, and Real Red right from the new Stacked with Love designer paper stack that's in the new Occasions catalog.  The stamped images are from the new stamp set You Plus Me, also in the Occasions catalog.  This new catalog goes "live" on January 6th.  If you are one of my regular customers, you should be receiving one in the mail shortly after Christmas.   I used the Sweetheart Punch (page 222 of the annual catalog) to punch out a glittery red heart and then used some of the 1/4 inch cotton ribbon in real red ( page 207 of the annual catalog) for another accent.  I don't think I would have thought of this color combination on my own, but I think the three colors, along with the white look warm and happy... a perfect look for a Valentine!

Please come back on Wednesday, when I'm going to try to have a card made with some of the free Sale-a-bration goodies!  Until then, happy stamping!

Friday, December 12, 2014

A Classic Combination

Hi again, Stampers!  Happy Friday!

Hasn't this week just flown by?  I know I mentioned that I'd be making some non-Christmas cards for a breath of fresh air, but I'm pretty sure you're not surprised to hear that I just haven't had time yet.  I'm hoping to get some time next week to do a little creating with my goodies from the new Occasions catalog and the new Sale-a-bration Brochure!

By the way, I think you are going to love, love, love the offerings in the Sale-a-bration brochure this year.  There are all sorts of great things that you can get with a $50 purchase!  

Here's the card I want to share with you today... a card with the classic color combination of blue and white... with a little gold thrown in for a festive holiday note...

This pretty card was stamped with the Many Merry Stars stamp set that is in the Holiday Supplement.  I stamped some of the images in Gold Encore metallic ink, then added dimension by punching out some of the images and layering them over the gold stars.  The colors here are Very Vanilla, Night of Navy, and Gold Metallic Encore ink (page 211 of the annual catalog).  The gold ink is pigment-based, which means you need to set it aside to dry or dry it with a heat gun.  The sentiment is part of the Many Merry Stars set, so no additional stamps are needed.  I started with a base of Brushed Gold card stock, then added another layer of Night of Navy, with the Very Vanilla panel on top.  The Night of Navy Seam Binding (page 207 of the annual catalog) adds a soft and silky accent which, along with the pearls, adds an elegant touch to this quick and easy card.

Thanks for stopping by this Friday!  I hope the weekend ahead is filled with some fun holiday activities!

Holiday hugs,

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Tree Trio

Hi and Happy Wednesday!

These December days are just going by so quickly that it's almost alarming!  If you are getting a tad tired of Christmas-related stamping, I don't blame you!  Hang on, because yesterday I received my Occasions Catalog pre-order goodies and as soon as I have a spare minute I'll be creating some non-Christmas cards.  
The Holiday Catalog ends on January 5th, so if there are any Christmas stamps/papers/accessories that you'd like to add to your stampin' stash, you have until then to order.  On January 6th the new Occasions catalog goes "live."  This is the spring catalog that covers Valentine's Day, Easter, Mother's Day, Father's Day, weddings, babies, and graduation... all those springtime events.  There are some great general sets in this new catalog as well. 

If you are one of my customers, you should receive your new Occasions catalog in the mail by mid December.  You are going to love the gorgeous new stamps, papers, and accessories in this catalog!  

Meanwhile... back to Christmas and this fun card by Janet Jones, one of my talented downline members...

Isn't this a great clean and simple card?  It has such a fresh look, which is always the case with a white-background card.  First Janet embossed the front of the card with the pretty Filigree Frame embossing folder on page 15 of the holiday catalog.  Then, using the Festival of Trees stamp set, she stamped two of the trees directly on the card front in Mossy Meadow ink and stamped the third tree on a scrap, punched it out with the matching tree punch and then popped it up on dimensionals.  The sentiment comes from the ever-fabulous Teeny Tiny Wishes stamp set.  I don't know what I'll do if Stampin'Up! ever retires that set!  It is stamped in real red, then punched out with the Word Window punch and then adhered to a Real Red base punched out with the Modern Label Punch.  The sweet little cardinal was stamped in Real Red, cut out by hand, and stuck to his little nest of Linen Thread with a dimensional.  To make the nest, just twirl some Linen Thread around a pencil, and  secure the ends to the card with a couple of glue dots.  

OK, stampin' peeps, that's it for today!  I'm off to get ready for my big Hostess-Only Stamp-a-Stack which is happening on Saturday afternoon.  This event is to show appreciation for those stampers who opted to host a stamping party,  If you'd like to be included in events like this, you know what to do... just call or email me and set up a date for your very own party!  You'll be happy you did when you see the gobs of freebies you'll get!

Hugs to all,

Monday, December 8, 2014

So easy, even a child can do it!

Hello Stampers and happy Monday!

Well, the big countdown to Christmas has started.  Let's see, counting today (Dec. 8th) there are only 17 more days to get everything done.  I didn't count Dec. 25th, because by then it's too late.  On the 25th, all the things on your list that didn't get done will just have to be forgotten.  

Are your Christmas cards in the mail yet?  If not, don't despair!  There's still time to stamp up a few and send them off.  Take a look at the cute cards that Emma (my sweet 8 year-old granddaughter) and I made when we were in Seattle for Thanksgiving.  

These cards are super-simple, but cute!  We started off with a plain white card base and a colored panel cut 1/4 inch smaller (5 1/4 by 4 inches).  Then we took a piece of white card stock that was cut the same size (5 1/4 by 4 inches) and tore it to create a snowy hill for the trees to sit on.  Emma had fun stamping and punching out the trees and she very carefully picked glue dots off the strip they come on and applied them to the gold sequins and the gold glimmer paper stars.  We made the card on the right with the Soft Sky background and the Mossy Meadow ribbon for her teacher, who just happens to be a former Stampin'Up! demonstrator.  I think she's going to love her card!  Then we made several of the cards with the red background for Emma's classroom friends.  

I hope all of my stamping friends are happily enjoying this holly-jolly time of year!  It's true... there's a lot to do, but most of things on our lists are fun and creative... like baking and wrapping and decorating and making gifts and sending cards.  Really, friends, we are so incredibly LUCKY to have these kinds of "to-do's" on our lists.  We don't have to walk miles to try to find clean water for our families, then return home with muddy water that will make our children sick.  We don't have to walk miles to get to a clinic that might not have the medicines we need.  We don't have to send our children to bed hungry or go to bed hungry ourselves... although I think I should probably start trying that.  Thinking about how lucky we are should help us speed through all the things we need to do with great big smiles on our faces!

Thanks for stopping by today and please come back on Wednesday for more stamping ideas.

Friday, December 5, 2014

There's still time....

Big News, Stampers!

Stampin'Up! Year-End Closeouts, up to 80% off started today, Dec. 5th at 11:01 (midnight Mountain Time).  If you didn't see my email last night about this awesome sale, you've now been informed.  Run to the Clearance Rack and see what goodies you can score!  Everything is "while supplies last" so I expect some things will sell out quickly.  OK, now back to the regularly scheduled blog...

Hello Stampers and Happy Friday!

It's a little scary that the first week of December is almost over.  Even if you haven't started your Christmas cards, there's still time to make them.  Especially if you keep them clean and simple, like the card I'm going to show you right now.

I'm a big fan of square cards, but NOT a big fan of having to use extra postage to mail a square card in a square envelope!  My solution is to mail my square cards in regular envelopes.  That way I have the fun of sending a square card, but no extra expense is involved.  

This card starts with a base of Whisper White card stock which is 4 1/4 inch square.  Next, I added a layer of Early Espresso, cut 4 inches by 4 inches.  Then I layered on a piece of All is Calm Designer Paper cut 3 3/4 by 3 3/4.  I wrapped the top two layers with some Early Espresso Seam Binding before adhering them to my card base.  I punched a two and a half inch circle from Early Espresso card stock, then layered on a 2 3/8 inch Crumb Cake Scalloped Circle over it.  Last, I stamped a tree from Festival of Trees in Pear Pizzazz on Whisper White, then stamped over it with the sentiment from "Mingle all the Way" in Early Espresso.  Then I punched it out with my 2 inch circle punch and added it on top of the other two punched circles.  I popped up the sentiment with some dimensionals.  

This card comes together quickly.  A little cutting, minimal stamping, and three punches is all it takes to make this clean, simple, and cute card... no Big Shot required!  

Hope your week went well and that you are enjoying the preparations for Christmas.  Thank you for being my readers!  I appreciate each one of you!
Have a fun and festive week end!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

There's No Happy Like Holiday Happy...

Hi there stamping friends!

How are your Christmas plans shaping up?  Have you decided what you're giving your co-workers, your children's teachers, and the neighbors?  In years past I've given Gingerbread Muffin Mix in cello bags, Twelve Bean Soup Mix in jars, and of course all sorts of baked goods such as pumpkin bread, cookies, and one year I made a yummy white chocolate bark with cranberries and pistachios.  Oh, and don't forget the chocolate dipped pretzels decorated with holiday sprinkles... those are always a hit!  

When you are giving home-made treats, the packaging is almost as important as the present.  Fortunately, Stampin'Up! has many fun options for you when it comes to gift packaging.  Here's one of the new products from the holiday catalog that would be perfect for giving some spiced nuts, dried fruit, or home-made granola.  It's called the Petite Cafe Gift Bag...

You can find these on page  10 of the holiday catalog.  You get 10 bags for 5.95, so that works out to just 60 cents a bag.  The great thing about these bags is that they are plastic lined to keep your goodies fresh.  The lining will also keep oils from soaking through the bag.  Of course they are food safe.  They have a tin tie closure, just like a coffee bag from the supermarket, so the top stays securely closed. Another great feature of these bags is their small-ish size.  You won't need a ton of treats to fill it--- a definite plus!  I decorated mine with snowflakes stamped in Cherry Cobbler, then added some decorative banners to the top of the bag.  The tag was stamped with the saying "There's no happy like holiday happy" from the Mingle All the Way set on page 17.
I topped it all off with some Cherry Cobbler baker's twine.  

You'll  get to make one of these if you attend my Santa's Workshop class on Saturday Dec. 6th at 10:30 am at my house.

I'm off to tackle my holiday list.  It doesn't seem to be growing smaller, though, as I keep adding to it.  

Have a great Wednesday and I hope you'll come back on Friday for more stamping inspiration.


Monday, December 1, 2014

Yikes, It's Here!

Happy Monday and Happy December first to all! 

Yes, stampin' peeps, it's here... the most wonderful time of the year (as the song says).  I'm afraid it's also the most harried and crazy time of the year as well.  The secret to staying sane, my friends, is to pace yourself.  Everything on your list doesn't need to be accomplished in the first week of the month.  Another helpful way to cope with so many demands on your time is to stand in front of a mirror and practice saying the word "no" with a smile on your face and warmth in your voice.  It does take a bit of practice, but you'll get better the more you say it.  Give yourself the gift of a slightly emptier calendar so that you'll have time for getting together with friends instead of baking 10 dozen cookies for the school program.  (You can buy those cookies and no one will care!).  

Speaking of cookies, here's a fun box that will hold a stack of cookies very neatly and show them off as well.  

You'll get to decorate this rectangular box with a clear acrylic sleeve that slips over it if you attend my annual Santa's Workshop class this coming Saturday at 10:30 am.  The box is called the Tag a Bag Gift Box and can be seen on page 201 of the annual catalog.  You get 8 boxes and sleeves for just 6.95, so that works out to 87 cents a box.  What a great deal!

I used the new Under the Tree specialty paper on page 5 of the holiday catalog to make a belly band for the box.  Then I used more of the same paper to punch out a tag.  I tied a large bow with the gorgeous new Cherry Cobbler Sheer Linen Ribbon on page 7 of the holiday catalog, then added the tag with some Cherry Cobbler Baker's Twine (page 206 of the annual catalog).  This is a food-safe box, but I'd probably line it with some waxed paper, parchment paper, or foil before adding my cookies or candy.  It's also a nice sized box for jewelry, perfume, cosmetics, bath products, golf balls and tees, socks--- you name it!

Thanks for stopping by today.  Now I think we both need to move forward with our day.  I've got a lot on my list and I'm sure you do too!  Be sure to come back on Wednesday when I'll have more stamping ideas for you.

Don't forget that the Online Extravaganza continues through tomorrow, Dec. 2nd,  There are some great doorbusters today!