Tuesday, December 26, 2017

More cards and a box!

Hello Stampers and happy day after Christmas!

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

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

OK...here are the cards

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

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

Now let me show you the box...

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

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

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

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

Monday, December 18, 2017

Are you ready???

Hi there, stamping friends!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a great week-before-Christmas!

Monday, December 11, 2017

Back on Track

Hello stamping friends!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 27, 2017

In Just a Few Days....

Hello Stampers!

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

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

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

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


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

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

Monday, November 20, 2017

Display cards from OnStage

Hello Stampers!

It has been a crazy couple of weeks around here!  I no sooner returned from OnStage in Salt Lake City than it was time to repack my suitcase for travel to San Francisco for my nephew's wedding.  It was a great occasion, but we are pretty exhausted.  Thankfully we'll have a few days to rest before we head out to Seattle for Thanksgiving.  I will be seriously thankful when November is over and we can stay home!

Today I'm going to post some photos I took of various displays at OnStage.  I'm hoping you can get an idea of some of the stamp sets that are in the new Occasions catalog.

Aren't there some fun new sets in the Occasions catalog?  I think you're going to find many new stamp sets that you're going to want to add to your collection!

Before I go, I want to remind you of the Online Extravaganza that started last night at midnight and goes through 10:59 pm our time, which is 11:59 Mountain Time where Stampin'Up! is located.  There are selected stamp sets that are 20% off.  To shop, click on the shop now button at the top of this blog.  I'm not 100% certain that you can use the November host code with this sale, but if you'd like to give it a try, the November host code is YG4QQEEX.  I will add your name to my November host code drawing if your order is $50 or more and I'll also add your name to my 50-50 board, where you could be the lucky winner of a $50 gift certificate from me.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration!  I'm very thankful for  YOU, my wonderful customers!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Sneak peeks from OnStage!!!!!

Hello again, Stampers!

Here are some sneak peek samples from On Stage in Salt Lake City.  

Come back next Monday for more sneak peeks from the new Occasions catalog!

Stampin'Up! fun in salt Lake City

Hello Stamping Friends!

It is Sunday morning and the OnStage event wrapped up last night.  The fun is over and I'm sitting here in the hotel lobby waiting for my shuttle to the airport.  I thought this would be a good time to write a little about my time here in Salt Lake City.  First of all, the weather was absolutely perfect...sunny and cool every day, so no complaints there!

One of the best parts of being a Stampin'Up! demonstrator is making friends with people from all over.  I had a great time reconnecting with my friend Miriam from Mt. Juliet TN (near Nashville).  I also enjoyed hanging out with my friend Karen from Beaverton OR.  Plus, I got to see many demo friends from the Portland area, so that was fun too! 

I was able to attend a special dinner on Thursday night called CentreStage, which is for demonstrators at a certain level.  We had a lovely dinner with beautiful table decorations, wonderful food and absolutely hilarious entertainment.  

Stampin'Up! gives away quite a bit of goodies during OnStage and this year was no exception.  We got a nice tote bag filled with a stamp set, a great planner, pens, and a pretty mug.  Then, during the general sessions where there are business and stamping presentations, they also give products away during "Prize Patrol."  I won a very cute set from the new Occasions catalog, but I can't show it to you yet.  We cannot show any of the new stamp sets or items made with the stamp sets in the new Occasions catalog or Sale-a-bration brochure until 2 pm on Monday November 13th.  So if you'd like to see some of the amazing new goodies, come back around 3 pm today.  I'll post some of the photos then.

I wish everyone who loves stamping could experience a Stampin' Up! event.  There is stamping inspiration everywhere you turn.  It is sooo much to take in, but so much fun.  My brain is stuffed with new things I want to make, and of course it's also stuffed with new things I want to purchase!

The new Occasions catalog begins on January 4th this year and it is a doozie!  So many incredible sets!  And the Sale-a-bration brochure has some fabulous products too.  I think we're all in serious trouble!

Stay tuned for details on the delivery of your new Occasions catalog and Sale-a-bration Brochure.  Both are amazing this year and you are sure to find lots of products that you are going to want to add to your stampin' stash!

Make it a wonderful week, and if it's turning out less than wonderful I know how to make it better.  Spend some time with stamps, ink, and paper.  Taking time to be creative always makes life better and can help put life's troubles into proper perspective.

Happy thoughts!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Swap card for OnStage in Salt Lake City

Hi everyone!

My suitcase is out and I'm starting to fill it!  I leave on Wednesday for Salt Lake City and the big Stampin'Up! event OnStage.  The fun starts the minute I get there and doesn't stop until I'm on the plane back to Sacramento on Sunday evening.  While I'm there, I'll be seeing old friends from previous Stampin'Up! events and hopefully meeting some new ones.  And of course I hope to reconnect with demonstrator friends from the Portland area as well.

One of the fun things about attending Stampin'Up! events such as this one is swapping cards with other demonstrators.  It's a great way to get ideas, be inspired, and build a great display board.  Because there's a limited time left on the Holiday catalog, I decided to look beyond the holidays and make a swap for spring.  I don't know what I'd do with a whole display board full of Holiday cards once Christmas is over.  I hope at least a few other demonstrators are thinking this way!

Take a look at my very spring-y card...

The colors I used are Lemon Lime Twist, So Saffron, Powder Pink and Early Espresso for the flower centers and sentiment.  The dotted Designer Paper is from the Whole Lot of Lovely collection at the top of page 188.  I embossed the Lemon Lime Twist card stock panel with the Polka Dot Basics embossing folder on page 210.
The stamp set is one I use a lot... Blooms and Wishes, page 139. 
I used the Stitched Shapes Framelits, page 214, to cut out the oval for the sentiment.  The bright and lovely Lemon Lime Twist ribbon can be found on page 198.  

I made 20 of these, plus 20 more of two different designs.  I hope to get some great swap cards in return and I'll share the best ones with you when I return.  Meanwhile, I'd love for you to place an order, using the November Host Code:  YG4QQEEX. 

Just in case you'd like to order some of the supplies to make this card, here are the numbers to make it easier:

Blooms and Wishes stamp set, #141784,  $21.00
Whole Lot of Lovely DSP,  #144110,  $11.00
Lemon Lime Twist Card Stock, #144245,  $8.00
Polka Dot Basics Embossing Folder, 143709, $ 7.50
Stitched Shapes Framelits, #145372, $30.00
Lemon Lime Twist Ribbon, #144135, $7.00

May the week ahead bring nothing but blessings your way and may you be a blessing to everyone you meet this week. In a world that seems to have gone mad, kindness, compassion, and love are needed more than ever!  Open your heart and share your love and compassion with a world that so desperately needs it.

Love and hugs and happy thoughts are on their way to you from me!

Monday, October 30, 2017

My glass is half full!

Hello Stampers and welcome to a new week!

Did you have a nice relaxing weekend?  Whatever you did, I hope it was enjoyable.  We had a "working weekend" around here.  We had planned to work on reorganizing some of the storage cupboards in our garage and unpacking 5 large boxes of framed family photos.  Our plans didn't include taking all of my stamping supplies out of a large storage cabinet in the garage, but when three of the shelves collapsed, all of the items spilled out onto the garage floor.  What a mess!  It's all been put back now, but what a job that was! I'm glad the weekend is over so I can now relax a bit.

Today's card was made with the Half Full stamp set on page 42 of the holiday catalog.  If you are a wine enthusiast, you will love this set!  Check out all of the fun coordinating images... a wine bottle, a large wine glass, and several fun sayings.

The colors I used are Whisper White, Old Olive and Berry Burst.  I stamped the sentiment in Berry Burst, cut it out with my trusty paper snips, and then colored the grapes with ink from the stamp pads and a blender pen.  I used the new 5/8 inch Seam Binding in Berry Burst. You will love this new ribbon for its silky texture, light weight, and lustrous color.  The little crinkles make it look like silk and it ties like a dream!  I give it my highest rating! You can find it on page 199 of the annual catalog.

Are you a glass-half-full type of person, or do you often see your glass as half empty?   One of my favorite quotes is this... "I don't care if my glass is half empty or half full. I'm just happy to have a glass!"  

If you aren't a fan of wine, check out the cute hot chocolate stamp set on the same page (page 42) of the holiday catalog.  You can accessorize your mug of hot chocolate with a candy cane, a spoon, whipped cream, a cinnamon stick, or some steam wafting up from the mug... lots of fun options!

It won't be long now until I leave for the big Stampin'Up! OnStage event in Salt Lake City. I leave on November 8th.  I've made 40 cards to swap with other demonstrators and I'm planning to make at least 10 more.  I will take my laptop and hopefully I can send you some photos of all of the fun.  I won't be able to show you actual merchandise, but I think I'll be able to show some of the displays.
Demonstrators at this event will get a copy of the new Occasions catalog that will begin January 3rd, 2018 and we'll also get to see the new Sale-a-bration brochure.  I can't wait!   

Today, Monday October 30th is the last day to order using the October host code: KTNP764Q  I will be closing out the order at noon today.  If you place an online order of $35 or more, I will add your name to my October host code drawing for a free host set of your choice! Of course if you place an order of $150 or more, please don't use the host code.... then YOU will get the host rewards.

May the week ahead be a good one for you and your family!  I'm sending love and happy thoughts your way!

Monday, October 23, 2017

Merry Little Labels

Hey there, stampers!

The month of October is going by just like every other month... way too quickly!  As we are now approaching the end of October, I'm going to be concentrating on Christmas cards for a while, although I might be throwing in another Thanksgiving card or two.

I hope the past week was a good one for you and that you also had a fun weekend.  If your weekend wasn't exactly fun, perhaps you were very productive and accomplished a lot of things on your "to-do" list.   We managed to complete a task that had been put off for far too long, and what a good feeling that was! 

Here's my card for today and after you check it out, I'll tell you what I used to make it...

                                Here's the view from above

and here's another view that shows more of the golden shimmer.

I started with a base of Very Vanilla, cut to make a square 4  1/4 inch card.   No worries about paying extra postage for a square card such as this, as it will fit just fine in a regular envelope.  Square envelopes do cost more to mail, so I don't use them.

The gorgeous gold designer paper can be found on page 103 of the annual catalog.  It is part of the Bundle of Love Suite.  The fun little tag that says Let it Snow is found in the Merry Little Labels stamp set on page 12 of the holiday catalog.  I stamped it in Versamark ink (p. 200) and heat embossed it with gold embossing powder (p. 201).  I punched it out with the coordinating
Everyday Label punch, also found on page 12 of the holiday catalog.That lovely gold foil snowflake is found on page 37 of the holiday catalog. I think these are quite a bargain, as you get 24 of them (12 gold and 12 silver) for 6.00.   To add the finishing touch, I tied a small bow with the 1/8 inch gold ribbon at the top of page 198 in the annual catalog and adhered it with a mini glue dot.  

If you are making cards in quantity for Christmas, this could be quite quick to make and it's sure to impress your friends and relatives with its golden elegance.  With all the snow and ice you Portlanders had last year, I'm not sure that you are going to want to use a "Let it Snow" sentiment, though. Sadly, it's never going to snow here, but the exciting news is that we did have rain last Sunday night.  It was wonderful to hear the raindrops and smell that great "wet earth" fragrance.  The forecast for the week ahead is temps in the high 80's... today 86, Tuesday 87... and it goes on like that.  We're still in sandals and capris mode here, if you can believe it.

There's not much time left to take advantage of the "Buy 3, get one free" offer on DSP as the promotion ends on October 31st.  Unfortunately, that offer doesn't apply to the Bundle of Love Specialty DSP that I used on this card.    The October host code is KTNP764Q.  If you place an online order of at least $35 in October, I will put your name into the October Host Code Drawing for a host stamp set of your choice.  I will be closing out the October Host Code on October 30th, so please place your online order by noon on October 30th.

Hugs and happy thoughts are coming your way!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Merry Mistletoe

Hello friends!

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Monday, October 9, 2017

Count my Blessings

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

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

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

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

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

Here's a quick list of what I used:

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

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

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

Monday, October 2, 2017

Welcome, October!

Hello friends!  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stamp on!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Hello Friend, Stampin'Up!

Hello Fall and Goodbye September!

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

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

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

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

Here's my card...

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

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

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

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

Monday, September 18, 2017

Basket of Wishes

Hello stamping friends!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sending virtual hugs and happy thoughts your way!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Finally, Fall is in the Air!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stamp on!

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

Monday, September 4, 2017

Merry Cafe Stampin'Up!

Helloooo stampers!  Happy Labor Day!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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