Friday, January 30, 2015

Good-bye for another year

Happy Friday, stampin' peeps!

We've made it through another week and it's almost time to say good-bye to January.  That won't be so hard to do, will it?  January in Oregon is not our best month... cold, gray, rainy, frosty, foggy... doesn't make for a great month! Of course February and March can hold the same kind of weather, but I'm happy to have one month of it behind us!

Today, as promised, will be the last of the Valentines I'll be showing.  Then we'll get back to birthdays, thank yous, and then move on to other spring occasions.  

The idea behind the cards I'm showing you today is that you can make non-Valentine stamp sets into Valentines, just by adding some hearts.  Take a look and you'll see what I mean.

I used the smiling octopus from Sea Street for both cards and added some small hearts around him.  The sentiment is from the Just Sayin' stamp set on page 109 of the annual catalog.  It was cut out with the Word Bubbles Framelits (page 230).  The designer paper used on both cards is from the Maritime collection on page 187, which coordinates with the Sea Street stamp set.  I used the Hearts Collection Framelits on page 231 to cut the shapes for the card at the top.  It has a tiny 3" by 3" card on the back so you can write a  sentence or two along with your signature. Both of these would be great for a  boy or a man... not a bow or flower, or bit of lace in sight!  I hope I've inspired you to go to your stamping space and take a second look at your stamp sets to see what you could turn into a fun Valentine with just the addition of a few hearts.

May the weekend ahead be a great one, full of relaxation and fun and football (if you're a fan). If football isn't your thing, may you have lots of time to stamp!
Hugs to all,

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Happy "Hump" Day!

Hey there, stampers!  

It's Wednesday and you know what that means! After today we're over the hump and all that's left is gliding downhill to the weekend. I've got just a couple of Valentines left to show you and once I'm done with those, we will leave Valentine's Day behind for another year... I promise! 

Check out this fun card and then I'll briefly tell you what I used to create it.

First of all, the colors here are Blushing Bride, Early Espresso, and Cherry Cobbler.  This combination always reminds me of a raspberry truffle.  And what says Valentine's Day more than chocolate?

I don't know if you're as lazy as I am, but sometimes when I'm creating I just hate to get up to find a die and cut it on the Big Shot.
So when I got the Party Pennants Die, I cut quite a few of them so when I wanted one, I'd have them pre-cut.  I did the same thing with the Hello You Thinlets, so now I have some pre-cut "hellos,"  "yous," "thanks," and "happys" in my drawer, ready to pop onto cards.  I cut them in several of my most-used colors so that I have a bit of variety.  Now I don't have to interrupt the creative process and that's a happy thing.

The white panel is one of the pennants cut with the Party Pennants Die.  The word love comes from the Crazy about You set on page 31 of the Occasions catalog.  And of course the "you" was cut with the Hello You Thinlet dies on the same page.  You can bundle these two together and save.  The hearts were cut with the Hearts Collection Framelits in the annual catalog and of course the cute little bow was made with the Bow Builder Punch (page 13 of the Occasions catalog).  Those tiny sequin hearts are found on page 208 of the annual catalog.  Oh, and I embossed the Early Espresso layer with the new Happy Heart embossing folder, which is on page 9 of the Occasions catalog.

If you left off the girly bow, this card would work for a guy, too.
But as it is shown here, it would definitely be a card for a girl or a woman.  Guys just aren't into bows. The sequins would probably have to go as well, but you could stamp some small hearts instead.

Hope your week is going well and that you've had time to sneak in a little bit of stamping time!
Hugs to all,

Monday, January 26, 2015

Don't be like me!

Hello stampers and a happy Monday to all!

It was a stamping good weekend, with gatherings in Hillsboro and Salem.  It is great to be busy during Sale-a-bration!  But don't do what I did on Saturday night!  I was pitting an avocado and the knife slipped and I ended up pitting the palm of my hand instead.
After a visit to the ER, a tetanus shot and a couple of stitches, I think I'm good to go.  I tried to get out of cooking for several days, but the doctor said I only needed to keep it dry for 24 hours... darn!  I plan to milk this injury for all it's worth.  Oooh, the terrible pain that shoots through my hand!  (Just kidding!).  

Shall we take a little break from Valentine's Day?  I think we could do that, since I've been showing nothing but Valentines for the past several posts.  So, like a breath of fresh air, here is a non-Valentine card for your stamping inspiration.  We actually made this card at Megan's party in Salem yesterday.

One thing is for sure.... that Butterfly Basics set  (page 26 of the Occasions catalog) is fabulous, especially when combined with the coordinating butterfly thinlets. 
 The base of this card is Crumb Cake, with Very Vanilla layered on top.  The colors I used are Crumb Cake, Calypso Coral, and Early Espresso.  The beauteous butterfly was cut using the medium-sized butterfly thinlet.  I adhered it with a couple of glue dots.  There are so many great images in this set... the possibilities are nearly endless! 

Thanks for stopping by today.  Sorry I can't stay and chat longer, but I've got to run... today is our SOS meeting (Stamp Out Stress) at Symposium Coffee in Old Town Sherwood.  We'd love to have you join us sometime!

May the week ahead be a good one for you!  The forecast shows some sun, so that's a happy thing... unless it gets changed before the sun shows his golden face.
Happy stamping!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Sweet and Simple

Yay!  It's Friday!

How nice that the weekend is almost here.  I've got a lot of stamping going on this weekend, both in Hillsboro and Salem so I'll be all over the map!  

There are only a couple of weeks left until Valentine's Day, so I've got to show Valentines while I can.  The birthday, thank you, and thinking of you cards will have to wait.  Most of us won't be going into assembly-line mode for Valentine cards, like we do for Christmas cards.  Far-flung friends and relatives really do not expect a Valentine the way they do a Christmas card.  So you're off the hook for stamping 100 Valentines!  But why not make a few simple ones for some of the most treasured people in your life?
Today's card would be perfect for a special friend...

This very clean and simple card was a snap to make.  I used Basic Black, Whisper White and Blushing Bride as my colors.  The black/white designer paper is from the new Stacked with Love Designer Series Paper Stack on page 5 of the Occasions catalog.  The fun thing about this new stack is that one side of the paper features Valentine-y prints while the reverse is all black and white.
So once Valentine's Day is over, just use the great black and white patterns for all sorts of cards.
I made that adorable bow with the new Bow Builder Punch that's on page 13 of the Occasions catalog.  You just punch, fold, and glue and you've got a sweet little bow!  I've found that the best way to glue these together is with glue dots.  I used one of the heart framelits in the Hearts Collection (page 231 of the annual catalog) to cut the black and white heart.

This is one of the cards that we'll be making at my Valentine class on Saturday, January 31st at 1 pm at my house.  I'd love to have you join us for stamping, chatting, snacking, and relaxing! Send me a quick email if you'd like me to save a spot for you.

Have a restful and restorative weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

I {heart} you!

Hello again and happy Wednesday!

OK... we did a friendly Valentine on Monday, so today let's go for a more romantic one.  Now this one isn't full of lace and flowers and pastel colors and pearls.  No, this one is a "manly" Valentine!
Take a look and I think you'll see what I mean

I started with a panel of Real Red card stock, then embossed it with the new Happy Heart embossing folder that's on page 9 of the new Occasions catalog.  Then I used some of the Stacked with Love Designer Series Paper Stack on page 5 of the Occasions catalog and punched out three large hearts with the Sweetheart Punch on page 222 of the annual catalog and three smaller hearts using the tiny punch that's part of the Itty Bitty Accents Punch Pack on the same page.  The sentiment is from the stamp set Pictogram Punches on page 89 of the annual catalog.  I stamped it on Whisper White card stock using the Tuxedo Black Memento Stamp pad (page 212), my favorite black.  This black ink is dark, dries quickly, and doesn't smear.  If you haven't tried it, you really should.  I think you'll end up loving it as much as I do.  I punched out another small heart and adhered it on top of the heart in the sentiment with a dimensional dot, just to accent the heart.  The great black and white chevron ribbon can be found on page 207.

I think this card has a nice "Valentine-y" look, without being girly.  Although it would be perfect for a guy, it could be given to almost anyone.  If you haven't already started, it's time to get going on your Valentines.   As I mentioned in an earlier post, Valentine's Day is the second most popular card-sending holiday, with over 151 million cards being sent.  Think of how happy your friends and family will be to find something other than a bill or an advertisement in their mailbox.  "Real mail" is a cause for celebration these days!

Here's a fun idea.... invite some friends over for a "crafternoon" of making Valentines.  Make some cookies or cupcakes, brew a pot of tea or coffee, get out some stamps and paper and have some "girl time."  Your friends will love you for it! Oh, and don't forget chocolate.  You've got to have chocolate when stamping!

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

Monday, January 19, 2015

Friendly Valentine

Hi there stampers!  

I'm glad you decided to join me on this cool January Monday.  Hope your weekend was filled with relaxation and maybe even a little creativity and fun, if you had the chance to stamp something.
I had a great time at Maryrose's house in Forest Grove with some very enthusiastic stampers.  

You know that Valentine's Day is a day to show your love for everyone, right? Not just the romantic type of love, but the kind of love we feel for our good friends.  Valentine's Day is the perfect day to let our friends know how much we appreciate having them in our lives.  The card I'm going to show you today is perfect for giving to your friends who just happen to be women.  I would never suggest giving a pink card to a guy... it just isn't done... but a special girlfriend would love this, especially if you included chocolate in the envelope.

Here it is...

That's the outer part of the card.  Now here's a photo of the card inside that pulls out

The sentiment on the front says "Hello sweet friend" and the inside says "Happy Valentine's Day."  So it's nothing romantic... just a pretty card for a friend.  

The outer envelope was made on the Envelope Punch Board, using Blushing Bride card stock.  I cut the hearts with the Hearts Collection Framelits on page 231 of the annual catalog.  The hearts on the inside pull-out are from the stamp set Groovy Love, which is on page 110 of the annual catalog.  I stamped them in Blushing Bride.  The inside sentiment is from Teeny Tiny Wishes, page 18 of the annual catalog.  I used some of the Thick Baker's Twine in Crisp Cantaloupe ( page 207 of the annual catalog) to serve as the "pull" for the inner card.  I punched some tiny hearts from some gold foil card stock (page 193) with the heart punch from the Itty Bitty Accents Punch Pack on page 222 of the annual catalog. I adhered them to the envelope with glue dots.  The "hello sweet friend" sentiment on the front of the envelope is from the Six-Sided Sampler stamp set (page 146 of the annual catalog).

This card would look equally nice in other colors too.  Cherry Cobbler is a great choice for Valentine's Day, as is Real Red, Melon Mambo, or even Pink Pirouette.  

I hope I've inspired you to get out some pretty papers and create some fun Valentines for all of your friends.  You'll have such a good time creating them and your friends will think you are the most creative and thoughtful friend ever!

Hope your week is off to a great start!

Friday, January 16, 2015

A Flowery Friday

Hello Stamping Friends and a happy Friday to you!

I saw something at the grocery store yesterday that gave me a little "zing" of happiness... my first primrose sighting of 2015!  I might be a little weird, but I'm always excited by the first primroses of the year.  I love their brightly colored little "faces" and I just love how all of the reds, purples, pinks, yellows, oranges, and whites blend so harmoniously.  I would never put all of those colors together on a card, but when Mother Nature mixes them all together, the result is so bright, happy, and uplifting!

You might have guessed by now that I have a flowery card for you today, but it's much more restrained.  Here you go, have a peek...

The flowers aren't exactly primroses, but they could be.  The name of this set is Painted Petals (page 19 of the Occasions catalog).  I inked the flower stamp in So Saffron, then used my Pumpkin Pie marker to dot on some color near the center of each flower.  Then I stamped.  The leaves are stamped in Wild Wasabi, as is the sentiment.  I used the new Spring Flowers embossing folder, which is also on page 19.  I brayered So Saffron ink over the flat side of the folder, inserted my white card stock, and then ran it through the Big Shot.  I just love how it turned out.  Of course it is even prettier "in real life."  I'm sure you've noticed by now that my photography is not the best.  But to be honest, I'd rather spend money on stamps than on a new camera. 

Thanks for visiting with me today!  I'm off to get ready for another weekend of stamping fun.  Hope you'll make time to be creative at some point in the weekend.  Take a little time for yourself... you deserve a sanity break!
Hugs and weekend happiness,

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Friendship is a Sheltering Tree

"A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out."
                                                                                Walter Winchell

True friends are one of life's greatest blessings.  I hope you have a few true blue friends... the kind you can call at 2 am if you need to.
We cannot choose our family, so what a relief it is that we get to choose our friends!  The card I'm going to share with you today celebrates friendship.  

This sweet card with its fresh springtime colors was designed by another one of my great downline members, Susan Sadzikowski.
The stamp set is called Sheltering Tree and you can see it on page 22 of the Occasions catalog.  This is definitely one of my top choices in the new catalog.  I love how you can change the colors of the leaves/blossoms to make a card for each season of the year.  And the fun little "accessories" like the swing, rake, bicycle, flowers, and snowflakes add a great accent appropriate for each season of the year.  Here's the card...

The colors here are Soft Sky, Pistachio Pudding, and Wild Wasabi.
The bicycle wheels, seat, and handlebars are stamped in Tuxedo Black Memento ink and then the bicycle frame was stamped in Versamark and heat embossed with Pool Party embossing powder.
I'll bet one of your "besties" would love to get a card like this from you, so why not surprise her with a work of heart?

Hope your week is going well!  If it's not, take heart!  After today, you are over the "hump" and it's all coasting downhill to the weekend.

Please come back and visit on Friday for more stamping inspiration!
Love to all,

Monday, January 12, 2015

Pajama Day

"How beautiful it is to do nothing and then to rest afterward."
                                                                                                           Spanish proverb

Hello stampers and happy Monday!
Can today be a pajama day for you?  Or did you have to get up early, shower, dress, and drive to work?  If at all possible, why not let today be a pajama day?  If you are retired like me, you can occasionally indulge in such a day of relaxation, rest, and renewal.  The key word here is "occasionally," because it wouldn't be a treat if you stayed in your pj's every day.  But to my way of thinking, there's no better pj day than a rainy Monday in January.  I've been known to shower, shampoo, and then put on fresh jammies for a day at home.  There's nothing cozier!  Put on the teakettle, grab a good book, and settle in for some quiet time!  

Hope you had a good weekend!  It was Grand Central Stamping Station over here.  On Saturday I had 26 stampers attend my Sale-a-bration Kick Off and then on Sunday I hosted a meeting of my downline members.  It was a stamp-packed weekend for sure!

Today I'm going to share a card designed by Mary Peterson, one of my talented downline members.  Is there anything more classic than a Valentine in red, white, and black?  

Mary used some of the great black and white paper in the Stacked with Love designer series paper stack (page 5 of the new Occasions catalog).  She also used the new Happy Heart embossing folder on page 9 of the new Occasions catalog. The sentiment comes from the Pictogram Punches set on page 89 of the annual catalog.  A heart punched from  Dazzling Diamonds Glimmer Paper (page 193 of the annual catalog) adds a nice touch of sparkle.  This card would be perfect for anyone on your Valentine list!

Wish I could say that today will be a pajama day for me, but such is not the case!  I'm off to Curves to do my first workout of the week, then it's home to clean up my stamp room and get some work done.
Maybe tomorrow I'll get to have a pajama day!
Thanks for stopping by today and please come back on Wednesday for more stamping ideas!
Hugs to all,

Friday, January 9, 2015

Gearing Up for Valentine's Day

Hello again and happy Friday!

It isn't surprising that Christmas is the biggest card-sending holiday, with approximately 1.6 billion cards sent.  And it isn't at all surprising to me that Valentine's Day comes in second, with approximately 151 million cards sent.  I got these numbers from a site called, in case you want to double check the numbers.

So, stampers, there's no slacking off when it comes to stamping!  Now that you've got Christmas crossed off your "to-do" list, it is time to gear up for Valentine's Day.  And no, you don't get a pass if you don't have a love-interest, significant other, or whatever term you prefer.  Moms, dads, sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, grandchildren, grandparents, friends, BFFs, co-workers, etc. etc. etc. would all love getting a card from you on Valentine's Day. You could even deliver a sweet treat to the neighbors with a nice Valentine attached.  

Over the past weekend, I started working on a fun Heart-y Party Valentine class that I'm offering on Saturday January 31st at 1 pm at my house.  You'll make 5 projects... 2 cards, a treat bag, a small box perfect for holding Hershey's Kisses or Lindor Truffles, and a fun card that pulls out of a pretty envelope.  Here's one of the cards you'll be making

This pretty Valentine tree is from the set Sheltering Tree on page 22 of the Occasions catalog.  I stamped the tree in Tuxedo Black Memento Ink, then stamped the blossoms in Blushing Bride.  Next I inked up the small heart that is part of the Sale-a-bration set Best Day Ever in Calypso Coral and added some sweet little hearts to the tree.  The swoosh of color under the tree is actually a stamp in this set.  I stamped it in Blushing Bride as well, then stamped the sentiment in the Tuxedo Black Memento ink.  What a quick and easy card... but so cute!  (Hope you like it too!)

Next week I'll have more classic cards to share with you, including some more Valentines, so please come back on Monday.  Meanwhile, have a great weekend!  I'm looking forward to seeing many of my stampin' friends tomorrow at my Sale-a-bration Kick Off!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Best. Day. Ever.

Hello out there!  Hope your Wednesday is shaping up to be a good one!
Thanks for coming back to see what I have for you today.  I'm using another one of the "free with purchase" Sale-a-bration sets today, as well as some of the free Designer Series Paper that you can pick as well.  The colors in the paper remind me of a sunny summer day at the beach.  

This paper pack is called Best Year Ever and here are the colors:
Calypso Coral, Coastal Cabana, Crushed Curry, Sahara Sand, Soft Suede, and of course Whisper White.  I used Coastal Cabana card stock for my base layer, then added the designer paper, then the sentiment, which I stamped in Coastal Cabana ink, then punched with the Scalloped Tag Topper punch.  Even the Calypso Coral ribbon is a Sale-a-bration freebie.  I stamped one of the flowers from the Flower Shoppe set in So Saffron ink on So Saffron card stock, then added a Calypso Coral center.  This designer paper is one of the best Stampin'Up! has offered.  I think you're going to love it when you see it up close.  
Here's another card I made with this same designer paper.  This was shown in one of my mid-December blog posts before I signed off for my two-week break.

I just love the beach-y, tropical colors in this paper.  I think Stampin'Up! wanted to give us all a mini-vacation from the wintry weather.  I feel warmer just looking at it, don't you?

Again, I appreciate everyone who took the time to check my blog today.  On Friday, I'm going to show you a cute Valentine idea.  Have you noticed that all the stores have their Valentine merchandise displayed already?  I think it was put out the day after Christmas!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Avoid the Winter Doldrums.... Stamp!

Hello stamping friends!
I don't know about you, but I'm happy the holidays are over and we are into the winter months.  I love being in my stamp room while the wind whips the birch trees around and the rain beats against my window.  It's positively cozy up here and I don't need to feel guilty that I'm not outside exercising or pulling weeds.  The holiday "shoulds" have all been completed for another year (decorating, shopping, wrapping, baking, card-sending, etc.) and I can devote myself to stamping with a clear conscience.  And that's just what I did all day yesterday.  For a while I was worried that I'd forgotten how to lay out a card.  After all, it had been over two weeks since I'd stamped anything.  Thankfully, though, my "mojo" didn't desert me and I was able to get right back into the swing of things.

Here's one of the cards I made yesterday...

Today I'm featuring the new Lotus Blossom stamp set, which is one of the free Sale-a-bration sets you can earn with a $50 purchase.
The great thing about this stamp set, aside from the fact that you can get it free with a purchase, is that it is a three step stamping process.  To make it easy-peasy, the stamps are labeled 1,2, and 3 so you'll never forget which image to stamp first, second, and third.  The other fun thing is that there's an arrow at the top of each image so you'll never be confused as to which end is up!  Oh, and one more thing that's unique.... you only need one color of ink to achieve the tone on tone look of this image.  I stamped the first two images with full-strength Calypso Coral ink, and for the third and final image, I stamped off once before stamping over the other two images.  This is a completely clear photo-polymer stamp, so lining up the images is very easy.  
I used Pear Pizzazz ink for the stem and Early Espresso for the sentiment.  Then of course I used all three colors--Calypso Coral, Pear Pizzazz, and Early Espresso for the card stock as well as some Early Espresso ribbon.  This card is definitely my style--- clean, crisp, and classic.  I hope you like it!  
Thanks for stopping by today!  I hope  your Monday is off to a great start!  Don't forget to come back on Wednesday for another classic card.
Stamping Hugs,