Author Archives: Sandi Phelan

Contest! Guess Which Stamp Sets Will Retire!

contest which stamp sets will retireIt’s time for my Annual Contest! Guess which stamp sets will retire!

On Monday, April 10, at 1 pm (Mountain Time), Stampin’ Up! will publish the list of items that will retire with the current catalog. Is the year really almost over?

So, let’s have some fun and guess which stamp sets will retire. Are you ready to play? It’s simple and fun!

Look through your U.S. Annual Catalog. Send me, via email (, your list of 10 stamp sets that you believe will retire with the current catalog. The winner is the person who picks the most correct entries. Simple. Right?

Here is the fine print:

  1. Include only stamp sets.
  2. If there is a tie, then the entry I receive FIRST wins.
  3. Stamp sets must be from the current Annual Catalog only. No Holiday, Occasions, and Sale-A-Bration stamp sets. It also excludes stamp sets that are sold only online (e.g. carry-over lists and any limited editions).
  4. It excludes all hostess stamp sets and the Ronald McDonald stamp set (i.e. My Hero).
  5. By the way, I heard that these stamp sets are not retiring, so don’t include them on your list:
    • Dragonfly Dreams (photopolymer 142924)
    • Jar of Love (photopolymer 141587)
    • Banners for You (photopolymer 141710)
    • Touches of Texture (wood 141934, clear143251)
    • Swirly Bird (photopolymer 141749)
    • Beautiful You (wood 143004, clear 143637)
  6. Deadline is Sunday, April 9, at noon, Central Time. NO exceptions.
  7. Only one entry per person.
  8. This contest is not open to Stampin’ Up! demonstrators.
  9. The contest is open only to addresses in the United States.
  10. I reserve the right to shut down the contest early, if the retiring information is leaked.

The prize

The winner will get to pick one of my sets that’s on the Retiring List!

The Procedure

As I receive your guesses, I’ll confirm by email that I have them. So, if you don’t hear from me, please re-send. (Email is not completely reliable.)

Everyone can play! But you can’t win if you don’t enter!

So, what do you think is going to retire? Is this the year that Lovely as a Tree retires? This set is always on people’s list. But we love it so much!!!

Which Stamp Sets Will Retire?

Start guessing! You may be the winner of the contest to guess which stamp sets will retire!



Another Sale-A-Bration Thank You

I’ve said it before and I’m saying it now. I love the So Very Much stamp set. It’s one that you can earn for free during Sale-A-Bration – which runs until March 31.

I love this stamp set so much, I used it on other cards. You can read about one of them here. The other card designs are still sitting on my work table. But trust me. I made almost as many of these as the cards from Hey Chick! As always, you can click on the photo to see the card enlarged.

Sale-A-Bration Thank YouCombine Simple and Detailed Lines

I love the simplicity of the font in this stamp set. It stands in the center of the top layer of the card front. Enough said about that.

For the background, I randomly stamped two images from the Paisleys & Posies stamp set, which was carried over from the last Holiday Catalog. I used VersaMark ink so that the images are the same “color” – although darker – as the background card stock.

Supplies I Used to Make this Card

I stamped the sentiment on a square of Whisper White cardstock, then mounted it on a square of Basic Gray cardstock, 1/4″ bigger all around. I randomly stamped the detailed circles all over the card front. I attached the matted sentiment to the center of the card front. Finally, I added a couple of rhinestones to some of the letter.

This card is so simple, in fact, it’s suitable for mass production. That means that you can easily make up a stack of these, perhaps in different colors, to keep on hand. Best of all, you can earn this stamp set for free during Sale-A-Bration! How perfect is that?

Designer Tee Is Designer Easy!

As we approach the end of Sale-A-Bration, I’m starting to bring out the stamp sets I haven’t used yet. Among them is Designer Tee. To be truthful, the whole T-shirt thing doesn’t appeal to me a lot, even though I wear T-shirts a lot. go figure.

Designer Tee EasyBut more than the T-shirt images, I love the sentiments in this set.

I combined the sentiment and cake, with the birthday balloons. Fun!

Just an example of how easy the Designer Tee is. But it’s here only until March 31. So, don’t forget to place your Sale-A-Bration order at my online store.

7 New Sale-A-Bration Items Added

Did you hear the BIG news – Stampin’ Up! added 7 new Sale-A-Bration items! With only a few days to go in the promotion!

Here are the newest additions. You can earn any one for FREE with a $50 order. Be sure to use the product numbers listed here, and NOT the ones in the catalog. Otherwise, you’ll be paying full price for them.

  • 147361    2016-2018 In Color 8-1/2″ x 11″ Cardstock
  • 147365    Party Animal Designer Series Paper
  • 147363    Succulent Garden Designer Series Paper
  • 147364    Tasty Treats Specialty Designer Series Paper
  • 147362    Party Animal Designer Series Paper
  • 147360    Seaside Textured Impressions Embossing Folder
  • 147366    Sparkle Textured Impressions Embossing Folder

What to do?

While you’re thinking, take a look at this card.

7 new sale-a-bration items

The 4-1-1

  • 2 ways to cut out images – The stamped flower is fussy-cut by hand. The flower behind it is die-cut. All the ovals are also die-cut. Don’t ever forget to fussy-cut when necessary. It adds some interest. (And I will NEVER do it often!)
  • Random straight lines add interest – The background is stamped with straight lines. It makes the card more interesting, than just leaving it plain. Yet the lines don’t take away attention from the flowers or the sentiment. And event thought they are straight lines, don’t they make you think of flowing water?
  • Pop up shapes liberally – I used Stampin’ Dimensionals behind the main flower. I also used them behind the matted Happy Birthday. Never feel that you need to pop up only one shape or all the shapes. Variety is the spice of cards. (Or is that Life?!)

Supplies used to make this card

While you’re deciding… the Emerald Envy cardstock is part of one of the new Sale-A-Bration freebies. Just saying’…

Have you LIKEd my Facebook page? If not, please head on over there and LIKE it. Small businesses like mine depend on it. And if you do it today, you’ll see another card design made with a FREE Sale-A-Bration item! How great is that?


Hey Chick – Happy Pi Day!

Happy Pi Day! It’s March 14. For those who are mathematically inclined, that’s 314. (Pi is 3.14. Get it?) Okay, it’s the one day of the year I can celebrate the geek in me!

(Aside… my daughter seemed a little shocked that I didn’t have a pie on my Happy Pi Day card. My Pi has 0 Weight Watcher Smart Points…)

Here’s my card to share.

Hey Chick - Happy Pi DayThank goodness for Sale-A-Bration! Without it, it would have been so difficult to come up with the sentiment on my card! Lol.

Different Ways to Use a Stamping Sponge

There are 2 different stamping techniques on this card design.

The one you probably noticed is the random sponging all over the card front. I had planned to sponge only around the border of the central image. But that was a little boring. So I added splotches all over the card front.

After carefully stamping and coloring the central chick, I gently rolled up the vanilla card stock. Then I opened it up again and lightly sponged along the fold lines. Interesting effect, don’t you think?

A Gold Surprise

Every card should have a little surprise. The WOW factor.

On this card, it’s the chick’s comb. I colored it with Gold Wink of Stella. Just for fun! It’s hard to see in this photo. Bit it’s ever so special cute and fun in real life!

Supplies List

Here are the supplies I used to create this Pi Day celebration card. Click on any photo to go to my online store and purchase that product.

So have a little fun today. Eat some pie. Make some cards. Whatever you do, be sure to enjoy it. Happy Pi Day!

Card Design for my Sister

Today is International Women’s Day. It’s also the birthday of the woman who’s been the best role model all my life… My sister! Happy Birthday to YOU!!

Because she is so special, the cards I design for her are also so special. You can see the best card I ever designed for her here. Although I didn’t say anything about it then, I had designed that card with her in mind.

This year’s birthday card was mailed last week, but I’m not yet sure if she’s opened it. So, I can’t share this year’s card just yet. However, here is one of the designs that I made, which I later decided not to send to her. I liked it so much, I decided to base a Card Class project on it.

Card design sister -

The 4-1-1 on Card Design for my Sister

  • Elegant Eggplant provides pop of color – Colors chosen are Mint Macaron, Sweet Sugarplum and Bermuda Bay. Elegant Eggplant provides a little pop. It focuses your eye on the central design. Who would ever expect a jewel tone like to pop?
  • Vary blooms on your stems – I’m pretty conservative in my  designs. However, on this card I used totally different flowers on my stems! I also inked-once-stamped-twice. Who would ever expect me to do that?!
  • “Ooops” provides an opportunity for embellishment – Time to come clean. This card was supposed to be in portrait mode. You know, where it’s taller than it’s wide. But I mis-stamped the pink swipe. So I rotated and moved the central image to hide the error!

How to Design a Card for Someone Special

This is a question I hear often. How do you design a card fro someone special. Well, to quote my lawyer-daughter, “It depends.” Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Use a particular image that would resonate with the recipient.
  • Choose favorite colors
  • Add a lot of detail (Or keep it really simple if that’s the recipient’s style.)

The most important thing is to do your very best work!

Maybe that’s why I finally rejected this card design. It had a small problem.


Here are the products I used to create this card design for my sister. Click on any picture to go to my online store to make your purchase.

In any case, today is special! That’s the reason for my card design for my sister! And there’s nothing more important than that!

Step Up Your Thank You Card Design

It’s so easy to step up your thank you card design! Here’s an example.

step up thank you card designI originally started this card with only the Mint Macaron card base, the Basic Black Layer and the Succulent Garden Designer Series Paper (DSP). I stamped on the DSP. Simple. Easy. Quick. And very pretty.

But I wanted MORE.

The 4-1-1

  • Detailed design – Delicate Details, a stamp set that you can earn for free during Sale-A-Bration, adds some special lines along the left side of the card. The balance is perfect.
  • Baker’s Twine supports the design lines – The Basic Black Solid Baker’s Twine along the left helps to emphasize the detailed stamped image. It draws your eye to it.
  • Rhinestones – On this card, they give your eyes a place to rest. They appear at the beginning and end of most swirls, making them even more special!


step up thank you card design

Supplies to Step Up Your Thank You Card Design

Here are the supplies I used to make this card. The stamp sets are all from Sale-A-Bration. Click on any photo to buy the product from my online store.

CASE this Card Design!

I like this card design I’m going to CASE (Copy And Share Everything) it for my next Card Class on Tuesday, March 21.

Don’t know about my Monthly Card Class? We meet during the evening of the second Tuesday of each month. Each person makes 6 cards – 2 in each of 3 designs. Bring your favorite Go-to 2-sided adhesive (like SNAIL or Multipurpose Liquid Glue). I provide all other supplies, including Stampin’ Up! envelopes.

So, if you live near Elburn, IL, and would enjoy spending a couple of hours working on cards, then come to class. Contact me to reserve your spot. It’s a lot of fun!

And if you don’t want to attend class, then try using the techniques I presented today to step up your Thank You card design!

It’s Your Birthday, Dr Seuss!

It’s your birthday, Dr. Seuss!

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”
― Dr. Seuss, Happy Birthday to You!

Birthdays are fun. Dr. Seuss is really fun! So, today, March 2, which is Dr. Seuss’ birthday is the MOST fun!!

Here’s a fun birthday card. What do you think? Leave a comment and let us know!

It's your birthday Dr Seuss

When I started to design this card, I was intending to make it gender neutral. So flowers were out. And I’m a little tired of balloons. I’ve been making a lot of cards with hot air balloons. (Hmmm. I guess those cards were made for Card Class or for specific people. So, I can’t show them here on my blog.) As a result, stars seemed to be the best fit.

Those birthday stars are just exploding off the card! You can’t see it in this photo, but I added some Clear Wink of Stella to each star – both filled and outlined!

Colors are Rich Razzleberry and Sweet Sugarplum. Those colors certainly sound like sweet fun!  I admit that this color combination is feminine. but it’s easily changed to more masculine or neutral colors.

Supplies I Used to Make this Card

A Note about Adhesive

SNAIL Adhesive is my adhesive of choice when making cards or scrapbook pages. However, it’s not the best solution in all cases.

This card has small stars. While I could have used SNAIL on these, the Mini Glue Dots work better. They are stronger than SNAIL.

So there you have it. A practical tip. And a fun reason to celebrate. It’s your birthday, Dr. Seuss!

Never Waste Any Glimmer Paper

It’s so precious that I must try to never waste glimmer paper. Do you feel that way, too? Check out today’s card design.

Never Waste Any Glimmer Paper The sparkly Mint Macaron glimmer paper is part of the Glimmer Paper Assortment Pack, which was added to the Sale-A-Bration offerings last week. That means you can get it for free if you purchase $50 in current Stampin’ Up! products.

In this month’s Card Class – I hold card class on the third Tuesday of each month in my home – We made cards with stars die-cut from the glimmer paper. I cut out the stars for the class participants, to be sure that I was able to get very last bit out of the glimmer paper. It’s far too pretty to waste! I thought that I would punch out some other shapes from the leftovers.

And then I had a brilliant idea! The smallest stars were just under 1-1/4″ in diameter. Why not punch a circle around any star with enough margin left around it? Take a look to see my leftovers now.

Never Waste Any Glimmer PaperI punched additional 1-1/4″ circles from Daffodil Delight cardstock and glued them to the underside of my glimmer paper.

Not to brag, but this is an original idea. Please feel free to use and share it. But be sure to tell everyone where you learned about it! 😉

By the way, I popped up the circles with Stampin’ Dimensionals, to give them even more importance.

Never Waste Any Glimmer PaperIf you’d like to make this card on your own, be sure to subscribe to my newsletter. The next issue will talk about this technique!

In the meanwhile, a recipe follows.

Supplies I used to make this card


So, when you’re trying to never waste glimmer paper – or any other paper, for that matter – be sure to try this technique. Remember, you read about it here first!

Life Looks Beautiful Card

This card says, “Life looks beautiful.” And it’s so true! From the instant I first saw the Beautiful You stamp set at a Stampin’ Up! meeting last November, I loved it. I posted two other cards on my blog using Beautiful You. You can read them here and here.

Life Looks BeautifulThe 4-1-1 on Life Looks Beautiful

  • Stamp on Designer Series Paper – The first cool thing that I did on this card was stamp the woman twice. First I stamped on the card front, where I wanted her to be. Then I stamped her on the Designer Series Paper. I carefully cut out her dress and hat. I never cut outside the stamped lines and often cut inside the stamped lines. Then I glued the two cut out pieces on top of the stamped piece. Isn’t she beautiful?
  • Cut Banners of any width from the Triple Banner Punch – the Triple Banner Punch cuts banner tips that are 1″, 1-1/2″, and 2″ wide. However, my middle banner is about 1-1/4″. To make it, I cut the banner 1-1/2″ wide. Then I sliced 1/8″ from each side using the Paper Trimmer. Easy peasy. It was the easiest way to be sure that the banner ends matched!
  • Make the sentiment the focus of the design – While I love the stamped and cut out woman, I wanted the sentiment to be the focus. Using 2 layers under it helped. Popping the whole thing up with Stampin’ Dimensionals helped. But adding the row of 3 Rhinestone Basic Jewels was the crowning touch!

Supplies I used to Make this Card

For those of you who believe the Beautiful Stamp set is too limiting, consider this. My card design can be used for many occasions for a woman: thinking of you, congratulations, birthday. Pretty much for any happy event. Life looks beautiful. I really believe it!


Miss You, Blue Hair Chick!

Miss you Blue Hair Chick! It seems like days and days since I last posted a photo of you. You can see a couple of cards I made with the Hey, Chick stamp set here.

Miss You Blue Hair Chick!

The first thing you might wonder is why in the world did I ever decide to color her (or is it “him”?) with blue hair. The answer is that I love the color blue. And THAT is the best reason ever!

Miss You Blue Hair Chick -

The 4-1-1

  • Take the time to let your ink dry – First I stamped the chick using Basic Black Archival ink and let it dry well. I colored her/him with my Stampin’ Write Markers and let that dry even better. In fact, I let it dry until I completed and assembled the entire card. Then I added the glitter, so it wouldn’t smear the ink. Patience is a virtue. And it makes for better hand stamped cards!
  • One Stamp. Two Uses – Can you figure out how I made the chicken foot prints on the card front? I used the cup cake sprinkles from Sprinkles of Life stamp set! Would you have thought of that? Award me a point for creativity!!
  • At least 6 layers in my card design – When I first started to make cards, I was taught that every card should have at least 6 layers. Excluding the die-cut ovals, this card has 6 layers of cardstock, 2 layers of oval cardstock, 1 layer of ink on the Tip Top Taupe cardstock, 1 layer of ink on the top oval, 1 layer of glitter, and 1 layer of ribbon. Phew! That makes 11 layers! Definitely meets the minimum requirement.

Here are the supplies I used to make this card:

By the way, you can earn the Hey, Chick stamp set for FREE during Sale-A-Bration! Spend $50, before shipping and sales tax, and this is one of the Stampin’ Up! products you can choose for FREE!

My Favorite?

So what’s my favorite part of this card? Well, probably the chickie. I love her!! Or him!!

Maybe it’s the glitter or ribbon.

Nope, it’s the use of Stampin’ Dimensionals. They really make the blue-haired chick pop!


Miss You Blue Hair Chick -

But, whichever way you look at this card, I can definitely say, “Miss you blue hair chick!

Share the Love Simply

Share the Love Simply because it’s almost Valentine’s Day! I make “love” cards for my husband – any occasion that I make a card for him expresses my love.  Above everything else, taking the time and making the effort to design and assemble a card for him expresses my love for him.  But Valentine’s Day is different.

Here is a card a made. But it won’t be for my husband! While he tolerates glitter, he’s not the biggest fan of it. So, this card is for my blog readers!

Share the Love Simply -

What I Love about this Card

  • The sentiment – Live Laugh Love – I just love this sentiment. Every time I see it, I feel happy, both inside and out!
  • The colors – Basic Black, Blushing Bride, Very Vanilla. This muted combination is almost soothing.
  • The glitter – Okay, HE may not love glitter, but I do! I find the glitter stands out against the other textures of the card. It also nicely frames that fabulous sentiment! I even added a Rhinestone to the “i” for more bling!

The supplies I used to make this card

Other Ways to Share the Love Simply

After all these years, I still don’t know what to call my style, but I know that I prefer simpler lines and designs. Take a look at Valentines I designed in the past. You can view last year’s Valentine here and one from 2013 here.

What’s your style? Please leave a comment and let me know. I love hearing from my readers and I respond to every comment.

This Valentine’s Day, share the love simply!

Do-Over Design Snowflakes

Do Over. That’s what kids like. It’s the chance to ignore your first attempt at something and to repeat the effort, hopefully with better results. In the world of card designs, somehow,  I always feel I can do better, if I only give it another try. A Do-Over.

Here’s the original card. You can read about it in this blog post.

Dec2011_snowflakes - http://stampedimpression.comKind of a dark photo, I know. But that was the best that I could do in 2011. It’s amazing how much things have changed!

The original card was black, gold and vanilla. Here’s the updated version.

The Do-Over Design Snowflakes

Do Over Snowflakes - http://stampedimpression.comSince it’s January, and I’m not as organized as my customer SM, I didn’t keep the design for Christmas. (She’s already started her cards for Christmas 2017!!) But “Celebrate” could apply to the holidays, couldn’t it? So, what did I change?

The 4-1-1

  • Colors are shades of blue – specifically, Marina Mist, Soft Sky and Whisper White. I’m loving blus and greens for winter cards!
  • Some of the snowflakes are cut out – specifically, punched out. Cutting out some of your stamped images is such an easy way to add dimension to your cards!
  • The embellishments were updated – While I still used Rhinestone Basic Jewels, I also wound some Silver Metallic thread around the bottom. This “ribbon” is extremely thin. But it adds a touch of sparkle AND elegance to every card design.

The sentiment is from Beautiful You, that gorgeous stamp set in the Occasions catalog. Sometimes, you need to look past the images to see what works on a card design. While the stamp sets make it easy to put together your card designs, don’t let them stifle your creativity!

I also stamped a few snowflakes on the inside of the card. Can you see them?

Do Over Snowflakes -

Here are the supplies I used:


A Note About Stampin’ Dimensionals

I tend to use a lot of Stampin’ Dimensionals. They are an easy was to add interest to a card design. Use them to raise an element, but just a little bit. The effect is subtle and it won’t raise the cost of your postage!

Do Over Snowflakes -

So, when you’re looking for inspiration, consider a “do-over” like my Do-Over Design Snowflakes! Leave me a comment and let me know how it turns out!

Using Awesomely Artistic Dragonfly Thinlit

Awesomely Artistic Dragonfly Thinlit. This Thinlit is absolutely, wonderfully gorgeous! On top of that, it’s versatile. Sometimes, a detailed Thinlit has only one way to be used. But I have found several to use it on my cards. Perhaps I can do that because there are 2 layers to it.

Awesomely Artistic - The set of dies is called Detailed Dragonfly Thinlits. Straightforward, don’t you think? I took The top detailed dragonfly and created it from Basic Black cardstock. Then I created the solid dragonfly, of the same size, in Vellum cardstock. I sponged different different colors from the Subtles collection all over it, then glued it to the back of the black dragonfly. Don’t you love the effect?

By the way, I also stamped some of the details from the card front on the inside of the card. Take a peek.

Awesomely Artistic -

Here’s the list of supplies I used on this card

The 4-1-1

  • While Old Olive is used all over the card front, Island Indigo is there for contrast. Pink Pirouette and Melon Mambo were used on the flowers.
  • The banners were created with the Triple Banner Punch. After creating the Very Vanilla layer, I trimmed 1/8″ from each side.
  • The green Enamel Shape heart adds a special detail, but remains flat. That means you won’t need extra postage to mail this card!

This Awesomely Artistic Dragonfly Thinlit is so special. This is my favorite way to use the die-cut, as a focal point!


Get Well Wishes & Flowers

This card design sends Get Well Wishes & Flowers to someone special. Who wouldn’t feel better after receiving this card?

Get Well Wishes - http://stampedimpression.comThe 4-1-1

  • Use both punches and dies cuts – Don’t feel that you must make an either-or choice when making a card. The flowers were stamped, then cut out with a handheld punch. The leaves in the background were die cut. The lines in both shapes work well together!
  • Add shimmer wherever you can! – The flowers are pretty, but glitter always makes things prettier! If you examine the photo below, you can see a little of the Wink of Stella I added to the petals. Ahhhhh.
  • Never let a mistake hold you back – Please don’t share this with anyone… If you look below the matted sentiment, you can see an extra green mark. Confession time. I dropped an open ink pad on my finished card. I had to redo the sentiment and all it’s layers. I added the stamped butterflies as camouflage. Did it work? Please leave a comment and let me know. Thanks!!

Get Well Wishes -

Here’s the list of products I used

Some Additional Details

There are lots of extra details in this card design. Did you notice the stitching around the stamped sentiment? The Stitched Shapes Framelits are again available for ordering. They add a special touch everywhere they appear.

And what about the enamel flower centers. Love them!

Take a close look and see how special this Get Well Wishes & Flowers card design really is!

#imbringingbirthdaysback with Cool Treats!

#imbringingbirthdaysback with Cool Treats! Need I say anything more?

Do you remember the campaign to bring back birthdays? It started about a year ago. It’s designed for people who want to send (and receive) cards in the mail. Don’t get me wrong. It’s nice to be remembered, in any happy way. But it’s not nearly as much fun to read birthday wishes on social media, as it is to find a card in your mailbox!

I posted some simple card designs for the campaign last year.  You can see one of those posts here. But a birthday card designed for #imbringingbirthdaysback is long overdue. So, here we are!,

#imbringingbirthdaysback -

My monthly birthday campaign usually featured 2 cards with the same base design. One was feminine, while the other was masculine. This month I decided to create only one design that is suited to both genders. After all, cards for women don’t have to be pink and red, with flowers and butterflies. Cards for men don’t have to be blue and brown, with cars or abstract images. Hmmm. What do men and women like equally well? Ice cream, of course!

While this card has a lot of pieces, they are all cut out using the Big Shot die-cutting machine. It really made this card easy (and fast!) to assemble.

The 4-1-1

  • Your design doesn’t need to be symmetrical – I have a friend who really likes everything to be symmetrical. It all must be straight up-and-down, and centered. Symmetry makes me comfortable, too. But it’s nice to mix it up a little. I started by placing my little ice cream cone to one side. And then I needed to turn the Bermuda Bay square. I admit that it looked a little “odd” to me when I was finished. But now that I’ve stared at it for a couple of days, I really like it. I think I need to shake up my designs a bit more often!
  • Use an assortment of shapes – This card started with one rectangle matted beneath another. I had lots of layers. All similar. But adding the oval and the square and the ice cream shapes made it so much more interesting. Keeping wide “margins” prevents the shapes from being too busy and interfering with each other.
  • Pop-up the main element – A tried-and-true technique is to use Stampin’ Dimensionals under your main element to make it stand out. By die-cutting the ice cream cone – and adding Wink of Stella to it – it is clearly the most important part of the card front.

#imbringingbirthdaysback - http://stampedimpression.comHow do You Know it’s a Birthday Card?

It says so on the inside!

If you don’t have enough room on the card front for everything, keep something for the inside – In this case, I couldn’t fit in the sentiment. So, I stamped the words on the inside! Easy solution 🙂

#imbringingbirthdaysback -

Here are the supplies I used

Big Shot – Important Tool

Do you have a Big Shot? I use mine nearly every day. I can’t imagine card making with out it.

Do you own a Big Shot? Do you use yours often? If not, do you know why? Head on over to my Facebook business page and learn my #1 Big Shot Tip!

Be sure to like it and share it with your friends!

Then think about #imbringingbirthdaysback with Cool Treats!

Sunday Save – Busy Card Design

What do you do when you end up with a busy card design? Especially one that is TOO busy. That’s the topic of today’s Sunday Save.

Here is my first draft of my card.

It’s okay. But I wasn’t really happy.

What I did wrong

The design really isn’t too bad. However, I cut the Very Vanilla card stock quite small, leaving little “white space” around the stamped and watercolored image. As a result, the woman is buried in the very busy pattern of the Designer Series Paper.

I could have stamped the woman again on a larger piece of card stock. That would have solved the problem. However, I didn’t want to watercolor the dress and hat again. (By the way, this is SO easy to do. It really would not have been a hardship to repeat the effort.)

In any case, I found an even easier and faster solution to my problem. Can you figure it out? Here’s the answer…

Add a Mat

I added a mat under the stamped card stock. Matching the card stock to one of the major colors in the paper, created a kind of white space. It gives your eye a wider spot in which to rest. Can you feel the difference?

Busy Design - http://stampedimpression.comThe repetition of color keeps the monochromatic feel of the design. Easy peasy, as they say!

Some Additional Tips

Because the card front is so busy, I didn’t want to add a sentiment to it. I felt the lines would be too busy. So, I stamped the sentiment on the inside.

As an aside… This is one of my most favorite sentiments of all time! <3

Finally, in a desire to keep the design from appearing “flat”, I popped up the central image. Stampin’ Dimensionals, the foam-backed adhesive pieces, raise the card stock. The shadow that they create make the mat appear even more important!

The Lesson Learned

So what do you think? The next time you find that your card design is too busy, try adding a mat that blends in with a main color. See if that helps!

What Would You Like to See in this Column?

Do you have a particular problem or issue with your card making/design? I’d be happy to address it in a future blog post. Just send me an email and I’ll cover it!

Check out your cards. If you have a card with a busy design, try adding a mat!

Noteworthy Birthday Pop-Up Card

Birthday Pop-Up Card! Has there ever been a design more fun than this? I don’t think so! Let’s take a look.

Birthday Pop-Up -

Overall Card Design

Well, this starts out kind of like lots of birthday cards. Bright colors –  Real Red, Daffodil Delight, Bermuda Bay. Then there are balloons a-plenty – each is stamped and punched out.

But the sentiment is definitely energetic: “Open me ALREADY”. Hmmm. Does it mean to open the attached present or the card? Let’s open the card to find out. Wait. There’s definitely a surprise on the inside…

Birthday Pop-Up

Ahhh, there it is. A pop-up of balloons. How festive!!

Birthday Pop-Up -

How to Easily Create the Pop-Up

If you examine the pop-up, it seems pretty intricate. How in the world can you do this quickly? I mean, it’s great to create a card that looks special. It doesn’t really matter how long it takes or how much effort it requires. But using tools to make the job faster and easier is an added bonus. That’s just what I did here.

The Balloon Pop-Up Thinlits dies are new in the Occasions catalog. I have balloon stamps. I have the Balloon Bouquet Punch. (In fact, you can see a card I made with the balloon stamps and punch by clicking here.) But I never bought a pop-up die before. I never thought it was worth the money.

Until the Balloon Pop-Up Thinlits. They just called out to me. And stood up tall! I just love them. Sometimes, I stamp a balloon image over the die-cut shape, like I did with the middle Daffodil Delight balloon. Sometimes, I die-cut patterned balloons and attached them over the die-cut shape of the pop-up, as I did with the Bermuda Bay and Real Red balloons.

I mean, is this festive?

The die-cut shape is scored, so that you can easily attach it to the inside of the card. Here’s how you do it.

  1. Fold the die-cut pop-up along the 3 scored lines, making a zig zag.
  2. Apply adhesive to the back quarter.
  3. Place die-cut on the inside right side of card.
  4. Fold up die-cut and apply adhesive to front quarter.
  5. Carefully, close over card front.
  6. Gentry rub your hand along the front of the closed card, to make the adhesive “take” well,

That’s itI

Let’s See the Products I Used

When you look over the supplies list, I omitted the paper trimmer, the bone folder, the different adhesives. If you want more information on these, then just holler!

Also note that if you buy bundle containing both the Balloon Adventures stamp set and the Balloon Pop-Up Thinlits Dies, then you’ll save 10%. By the way, the bundle costs $53, so it qualifies you to choose 1 FREE Sale-A-Bration item! Woo-hoo!!

Birthday Pop-Up Card. It’s the BEST!!!







How to Earn Free Products during Sale-A-Bration

Do you need ideas on how to earn free products during Sale-A-Bration? It’s a dilemma that many people face. The way it works is that for every $50 you spend, before shipping and sales tax, you can pick one Sale-A-Bration item for FREE!

One of the most popular Sale-A-Bration freebies is the Hey, Chick stamp set. I featured that a few times last week. You can click on any photo to see the blog post about it.

Hey Chick -

Hey Chick Sale-A-Brate - http://stampedimpression.comHere are a few ideas of how to spend $50 and earn some free products!

Lift Me Up Bundle

This bundle from the Occasions catalog contains both the Lift Me Up stamp set and the Up & Away Thinlits dies. If you choose wood-mount rubber stamp, then you’ve spent $53 and you can choose a Sale-A-Bration item. How about the Carried Away Designer Series Paper? That was made to go with the hot air balloons in the stamp set!

If you choose the clear-mount rubber stamps, then you’ve spent $45.75. You need another $4.25 to reach $50. How about a Sequins Assortment? These cost only $5.00 and they will enable you to choose another item for FREE!


Select the Balloon Adventures stamp set and the Balloon Pop Up Thinlits dies, and you’ll spend $59. That earns a Sale-A-Bration item!

Here’s a card from a card class where we used Balloon Adventures. So fun!

Balloon Adventures - http:/

Watercolor Magic

A few days ago, I featured the Beautiful You stamp set and the Watercolor Pencils. Click on the photo to read that blog.

Own stamping business - http://stampedimpression.comTeam the stamp set, Watercolor Pencils and either Blender Pens or Aqua Painters, and you have enough earn a FREE Sale-A-Bration item!

Masculine Stuff

How about something I haven’t shown yet?

I love the color combination – Basic Black, Basic Gray, Delightful Dijon – of the Urban Underground products. These include the Specialty Designer Series Paper, The Designer Washi Tape and the Embellishments. Team these with the Hexagon Dynamic Textured Impressions Embossing Folder and the Nailed It stamp set, and you have a winning combination for any guy’s card. Here’s a sample that Stampin’ Up! designed.

Nailed It -

How to Earn Free Products During Sale-A-Bration

I could go on and on. But here is the process:

  1. Identify an item that you REALLY like and want to have. Say, it’s a stamp set.
  2. Note the price.
  3. Repeat step #1. Add the price to the price you noted in step #2.
  4. Continue to do this until you reach $50, or a multiple of it.
  5. If you go over, stop and pick your Sale-A-Bration items.
  6. If you’re close to $50, or a multiple of it, then add a little item to bring you to the Special Number. Think riboon, or adhesive. Maybe Washi tape.
  7. If you’re stuck, then contact Sandi and she’ll help you!!

Just make sure to earn your Free products!

Sunday Save – Card Orientation

Today’s lesson is what I call the Sunday Save – change your card orientation.

Many of you know that I sell “finished product”, specifically, custom hand-stamped cards and invitations. Designing cards for others to use presents lots of challenges. Many of them are the same that all of us face in our regular card making. I thought I’d share one today.

Here’s the card I agreed to make.

Sunday Save - card orientation - http://stampedimpression.comI won’t go into a lot of detail about the card construction. The sentiment comes from All Things Thanks, a stamp set in the Occasions catalog. That large stamped snowflake is from Peace This Christmas. (Sh-h-h-h the small snowflakes are from a retired stamp set.)

Colors are Bermuda Bay, Pool Party and Whisper White. I think I’m stuck on green-blue these days. Sigh. I love blue (my favorite color) and green and everything in between!

So, what happened? Let’s retrace my steps.

What I did right

I cut out all the card stock. Measurements were accurate. Edges were sharp.

Then I stamped all the layers of the card front. No problems there. The snowflakes are random, so there’s no need for exact placement.

What I did wrong

The next step was to print the message on the inside of the card.

The finished card’s design is portrait mode. That means it’s taller (5-1/2″) than it is wide (4-1/4″). (Landscape more means it’s wider than it is tall.) Easy. When I print the inside of the card, the card stock is open, so it’s 5-1/2″ x 8-1/2″. I put the card stock into the printer’s paper tray and printed it in portrait mode, with respect to the open card stock. Guess what? When you fold over the card, the text on the inside is now in landscape mode. Oh oh.

Usually, when I work on a large order, I print just one card, assemble it and make sure that everything goes together correctly. Not last week. I thought t was only 30 cards. What could go wrong. Certainly, I had it right!

Well, I didn’t notice my error until I started to assemble all the card pieces. I could have re-printed. However, I admit that this was a “pro bono” assignment, so I didn’t want to spend even more to get the job done. Instead, I re-arranged the card elements.

Change the Card Orientation

Sunday Save - card orientation - http://stampedimpression.comThe card looks fine. I told the woman who asked for the cards if my change was acceptable. It was. Phew!

But here is the lesson learned

When you make a mistake, you don’t need to discard the whole project. Try to use everything you have. changing between portrait and landscape mode is an easy fix. I was able to use all my cut and stamped products, so there was no waste!

Every “mistake” is an opportunity for a design change. Remember that.

And this is the easiest one to do. My Sunday Save – Card Orientation!