Category Archives: Techniques & Tips

Still Loving Eastern Beauty

I’m still loving Eastern Beauty. I worked with this stamp set a lot during May, since it was the ONLY  product I could sell from the upcoming 2017-2018 Annual Catalog. But now that the entire catalog is open for sale, I find than many people are leaving this stamp set on the side.

Why? This stamp set is still amazing! It works so well with our other Stampin’ Up! products. Bus most importantly, it makes it easy to implement good design practices. Pull it off your shelf and use it. Here is a fun – and well-designed – card that I designed.

Eastern BeautyCan you guess what stamp set I paired with Eastern Beauty? I’ll tell you, even though I think you might have figured it out. (I don’t want you to need to work your way through my post!) The background splotches and the repeated Celebrate are part of Beautiful You. Love it!

Eastern Beauty stamps contains intricate lines and there are almost an infinite number of ways to combine them. The result is that Eastern Beauty easily lends itself to forming a focal point in almost any project design. An that’s exactly what I did here.

I stamped the sentiment, then cut a circle around it, sponging the edges. then I stamped the unusual shape for a mat. I could give this stamp set and card stock to a dozen people and each one would come up with something totally different!

The best feature of Eastern Beauty is that no matter how simple or detailed your stamping taste is, you can easily design a fabulous focal point. And every project – whether a card or a scrapbook page – needs a focal point!

Supplies I Used to Make this Card


Bundle and Save $$$

Did you notice in my supply list that you can buy the Eastern Beauty stamp set with the Eastern Medallions Framelits in a bundle? Why buy a bundle? To save money, of course. When Stampin’ Up! bundles products, they reduce the price by 10%. So, if you like the products and believe that you’ll buy both, then purchase the bundle and save! Another WIN-WIN!

Just one more reason why I’m still loving Eastern Beauty!

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Working with Delicate Florals

I love working with delicate florals like the ones on this card. You may remember this stamp set from last year’s catalog. Here it is in some softer, newer hues. It shows a whole new look!

working with delicate floralsThe primary thing that gives this stamp set a new lease on life is the introduction of the new In Color, Powder Pink. Softer than Pink Pirouette and more “pink” than Blushing Bride, this color is such a welcome addition to the Stampin’ Up! colors collections!

I also added a knotted length of ribbon in Old Olive. This certainly isn’t a new color. However, it certainly looks rich when paired with Powder Pink and Rich Razzleberry. The easy weave of the Mini Chevron Ribbon adds texture and strength to the overall card desgin.

Products I Used to Make this Project


Why You should be Working with the Delicate Florals

The key technique I described today, is how to add a couple of new products to your existing stash, to create an updated card. I love to buy new products whenever a new catalog is presented. But that’s not practical. Plus, I’ll run out of storage space in my craft room. But adding a few key pieces to your existing products is an excellent approach. It requires a small financial outlay, for a Big Return!

If tips like this make sense to you, why not subscribe to my newsletter? You’ll pick up all kinds of information – products, techniques, tips and hints. It doesn’t cost anything. However, you’ll learn something new lots of times.

Just complete this box and you’re in! Thanks.

And then you work with new and old products together, too!

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Using the Negative Die-Cut on a Card

Using the negative die-cut is super easy with the Eastern Medallions Thinlits. Take a look at this card.

Using the negative die-cutI purposely kept my card design simple. I find that’s the best way to allow the detailed elements to stand out. On this card, there were 2 elements that are important – the sentiment and the die-cut circular design on the left.

The 4-1-1

  • Stamp and pop up the sentiment – The sentiment was cropped with a stitched circle shape, then mounted on a slightly larger circle. Additional circles were stamped in a light color on the card front. The cropped sentiment was attached with Stampin’ Dimensionals. It certainly stands out!
  • Use a negative die and let the under layer show through – I took one of the simplest dies from the Eastern Medallions Thinlits and cut it on the top layer. Bu attaching that layer to the card front with Stampin’ Dimensionals, creates a slight shadow. This makes the cut out image stand out.
  • Stamp off to soften ink color – With 2 important elements, I didn’t want to overpower the design with a busy background. So each time I stamped a circle on the card front, I first stamped it off on some scrap paper. Adds interest, too. Don’t you think?

I stayed with a monochromatic design, which is my favorite to do. My colors are Pink Pirouette and Melon Mambo. Not a typical combination for me. I love pink, but I tend to shy away from bright colors. Yet this worked well.

By the way, I’ve designed other interesting cards using these stamps and dies. You can view one of my designs here.

Supplies I Used to Make this Card


Just a quick reminder that while you’ll be able to buy all the parts to the Eastern Palace Bundle in the new catalog starting June 1, you can purchase the bundle only until May 31. Something to think about…

Regardless of when you purchase these items, and whether you purchase these items, I think you’ll agree that using the negative die-cut makes for a really interesting! So, head on over to my online store and order your bundle today.

#1 Best Tip for Your Stampin’ Scrub

The Stampin’ Scrub is clearly one of the most critical tools in my craft room. It’s needed to keep my stamps clean and in top condition for years. But did you realize that the Stampin’ Scrub needs some TLC, too, so that it can do its job effectively? Well, it does.Best tip Stampin' Scrub

 

Here is the #1 Best Tip for your Stampin’ Scrub: Keep it clean.

Sounds kind of funny, doesn’t it? But, think about it. It really makes perfect sense.

When you clean your stamp, the ink transfers from the stamp to the Stampin’ Scrub pad. If you don’t clean the pads, eventually they will be full of ink

Here is the #1 Best Way to Clean your Stampin’ Scrub

  1. Open the Stampin’ Scrub and lie it flat in your sink. (If it’s too big to do this, then you’ll need to clean one half of the Stampin’ Scrub at a time.)
  2. Run hot water from the tap directly onto the Stampin’ Scrub. I also like to hold the unit under the running water, running my hand repeatedly across the pad to press out the water. This causes dirty, ink-filled water to run off. Continue until the water runs clear.
  3. Repeat on the other side of the Stampin’ Scrub.
  4. Allow the unit to dry in the sink, by standing it like a tent. More dirty water will run out.

I’ve had my Stampin’ Scrubs for several years. They still look like new! And they even smell good.

Some tips:

  • Do not remove the pads from the plastic case. It’s too difficult to re-insert them again. (The pads are not “sealed”. Therefore, if you air-dry the unit, it won’t get moldy.)
  • Do not use soap or detergent of any kind.
  • Wash your Stampin’ Scrub often. Once it’s full of ink, it won’t clean your stamps.
  • Invest in a few Stampin’ Scrubs if you stamp a lot or do a lot of stamping at one time. You always want to have a clean unit ready to use!

I promise that following these instructions will keep your rubber stamps clean and beautiful Use with Stampin’ Mist and you’ll also condition the rubber of your stamps, while keeping them clean smelling! It’s really the #1 Best Tip for your Stampin’ Scrub!

I Invented Something! Or, Maybe I Discovered Something!

What a productive day I had yesterday! I invented something new!

Or so I thought. Later on, I found someone on Pinterest who made the same “discovery”. I guess Great Minds think alike!

First, My Discovery

Here are 2 of the stamps in the Eastern Beauty photopolymer stamp set. Simple. Clean. My favorite kind of design… other than a flower, that is!

Eastern Palace - I discovered somethingThen, I stamped each image again. But the second time, I rotated the stamp a bit. Since they are photopolymer, I could sort of see through them to place them accurately on the cardstock. Here is what I stamped.

Eastern Palace - I discovered something Eastern Palace - I discovered somethingAren’t these designs cool?

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think.

Card Design with the Technique I Discovered

Eastern Palace - I discovered somethingSo, I started with my cool design. I stamped it on Whisper White cardstock. Cropped it with a die from the Layering Circles Framelits. Then I matted it on a circle cropped with a Stitched Shapes Framelit.

The next challenge was to create a card to go under this fabulous element. Do you ever do that? I think it’s a backwards way to design. True confession time. I do that sometimes. Sigh.

The card is done in Bermuda Bay, Soft Sky, and Whisper White. Other than my main image, the stamped images are from Timeless Textures. I created a collage on the card. The Thick Bakers Twine “grounds” the central circle, so that it doesn’t float in the air.

Here are the Supplies I Used

The stamp set is part of the Eastern Palace bundles, here until May 31. The items making up the bundles will be in the new catalog. But not the bundles. Hmmm. Decision. Time

But, I’m serious. Tell me what you think about this discovery. Please leave a comment. I love to hear from you!

Then , fell free to share your discoveries!!

Proud to have discovered something new!!!!

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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 - http://stampedimpression.com

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.

Supplies:

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!

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!

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 - http://stampedimpression.com 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 - http://stampedimpression.com

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!

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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!

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!

Simple, Colorful, Fun, Easy Card Design!

Simple colorful fun easy – This is a perfect card for a cold winter day! Makes me feel happy and warm inside. Plus, I used a new amazing stamp set from the Occasions catalog – Carousel Birthday!

Simple colorful fun easy - http://stampedimpression.com

Let’s Start with the Products I Used

Product List

The 4-1-1

This is where I describe some of the key points about the card!

  • Shimmery White card stock – When I started this card, I intended to use my Blender Pens to shade the hand coloring of the Carousel horse. At then end I did very little of that. However, Shimmery White card stock is really good for this type of technique. So, I left it in, as a reminder! With my memory…
  • Let your ink dry – I’m often in a bug rush to see how my card is going to turn out! (Do YOU have that problem, too? Please say Yes.) But your hand-coloring won’t smear the outline of the stamped carousel horse, if you give the stamped image a minute to or 2 to dry first. (Can you figure out how I learned that lesson??
  • Thick Baker’s Twine used in a different way – I wrapped some thick Baker’s Twine around the vertical card stock, so that the strands touched each other. Isn’t that an interesting effect?
  • Combine regular adhesive with Stampin’ Dimensionals – Look carefully at the carousel horse. I attached it to the card front with SNAIL Adhesive along the left side, but with 2 Stampin’ Dimensionals along the right side. If you look at the card from the side, the horse is “flat”; it doesn’t lie at an angle. I think this makes for a more pleasing final design.

Simple Colorful Fun Easy

This card was just so much fun to pull together. While the carousel horse is very detailed and precise, the swirls on the Soft Sky card stock are light and random. The straight lines of Thick Baker’s Twine add an unexpected twist.

Between you and me, every time I add an unexpected twist, I’ve accomplished something amazing. That’s really the most fun thing I do in my card designs!

So, try this out. I’m sure that you’ll agree with me that this is a simple, colorful, fun and easy card design!

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Stampin’ Up! Provides Excellent Videos

Did you realize that Stampin’ Up! provides excellent videos? They have a library that provide both sales information, as well as sound instructions and advice. Each video is fairly short. Most are quite entertaining and are easy to watch!

Pretty Pocket Card Kit…

Pretty Pocket Card Kit - http://www.stampinup.com/ECWeb/default.aspx?dbwsdemoid=99633Did you notice the Pretty Pocket Card Kit in the Sale-A-Bration brochure? Perhaps you passed by it, because you didn’t know what it was or you found it confusing. This kit contains everything you need to create 8 pocket cards. The Stampin’ Up! video begins by showing the kit contents. Then it goes on to show how to assemble the cards.

… and the Excellent Video

Watch the video here. It’s less than 4 minutes long

Just thought I’d point out the video. In fact, I suggest that you subscribe to the Stampin’ Up! video channel. You’ll find all kinds of useful information there!

Just trying to help!

The Fastest Christmas Card You Can Make. Ever.

Today I’m showing the fastest Christmas card you can make. Ever.

It’s so much fun to create elaborate card designs. But, sometimes, I just don’t have the time to do it. Do you have this problem?

Today’s card came together in minutes. Literally. Take a look and we’ll examine how I was able to accomplish this.

Fastest Christmas Card You Can Make Ever - http://stampedimpression.com

The 4-1-1

  • Use color combination from Designer Series Paper – I LOVE the Presents & Pinecones Designer Series Paper from the Holiday catalog. All the patterns are small to medium size – I’m not fond of large images on my paper. So I started with the “conservative” striped paper and chose the Emerald Envy, Cherry Cobbler and Whisper White combination. Perfect!
  • Repeat a stamped image – The green shouted “TREES!” to me, so I picked the evergreen tree from Jar of Cheer stamp set. Each time I inked the photopolymer, I stamped 3 times. Creates interest and depth.
  • Limit the number of shapes of card stock to 2 – The card base and card front layers are all rectangles. I like that. But I wanted the sentiment to stand out more. So, I chose die-cut ovals for the sentiment, stamped from Flurry of Wishes.

To make the design I needed some different textures. I used the Clear Wink of Stella Glitter Brush – okay, it’s hard to see in the photo – on the dark trees and the ground. I added some Soft Sky sponging and snowflakes in the sky. I used a Stitched Framelit for the sentiment. I added 3 Rhinestones to the sentiment. Finally, I used Stampin’ Dimensionals to make the ovals stand out.

Easy, easy, easy! From the time I stepped into my craft room, until I took a photo, I think 15 minutes elapsed.

By the way, Jar of Cheer stamp set and the Presents & Pinecones Designer Series Paper appear on the Year-End Closeouts. Be sure to pick up these products before they run out. The paper is reduced by 30 percent!

Getting back to the card… Although this is a simple design, it is certainly worthy to give to someone! And it was so easy to put together.

So, if you haven’t finished making your holiday cards, this design can help you out. Be sure to stop by my online store to pick up what you need. And contact me if you have any questions!

This is truly the fastest Christmas card you can make. Ever.

Stitched from the Heart

I’m ready to start posting projects for the holidays, but there’s a new promotion from Stampin’ Up! I didn’t want to delay in getting these details to you. So the cards will have to wait a day.

Stitched Shapes Framelits. They add a special detail to your projects. They are sold as a set of 12 – 4 squares, 4 circles and 4 ovals – in the sizes that are most often used. When you run your card stock through the Big Shot with these Framelits, they cut the shape AND provide an outline of tiny holes that look like stitch marks! How cool is that?

Watch the video now.

In addition to the Stitched Shapes Framelits, Stampin’ Up! is offering several coordinating stamp sets at 25 percent off. Some are from the current annual catalog, but most are from the Holiday catalog! Really! Rather than listing them all here, download the flyer and check them out!

The Stitched Shapes Framelits will be in the 2017-2018 annual catalog. This is just a way to jump in on this popular, yet classic, trend in paper crafting. The Framelits and the discount on the stamp sets are here only for the month of November.

So don’t wait. Head on over to my online store and order yours today.

They say it’s a watch to Stitch from the Heart. I agree! I just ordered mine. I can imagine using it on so many projects. What can you do with Stitched Shapes Framelits?

12 Weeks of Christmas (Projects) are About to Start!

Can you believe that holidays are just around the corner? That’s right. Christmas is just 12 weeks and a few days away!

Every year, I send my newsletter subscribers a special bonus subscription. I call it the 12 Weeks of Christmas. It’s a set of 12 projects, sent one per week, to help you get ready for the holidays. I provide projects descriptions for cards, gift items, and tags/bags/wrap, all made from the highest quality Stampin’ Up! products. Each description includes a photo, a list of materials, and detailed instructions to complete the project. Use these exactly as I present them, or let them inspire you to create your own works of art! It’s one way I can ease a little of the holiday planning stress for you!

Why do you need these 12 Weeks of Christmas projects? Here are the top 3 reasons:

  1. They make your holiday preparations easier.
  2. They save you money, since you don’t waste time and materials starting projects you can’t complete.
  3. They make you feel good about your projects, as they are provided exclusively to my newsletter subscribers.

By the way, they are simply a lot of fun!

Here’s a card that I had planned to include in my 12 Weeks, but then decided to show here. (By the rules I set for myself, I will not share 12 Weeks projects anywhere – not on my blog, Facebook page, Twitter feed, Pinterest pins, etc.)

Merry Medley - http://stampedimpression.comThis card is made using only one stamp!! How cool is that?!

I used the background stamp, Merry Medley, to create the background in Smoky Slate ink on Whisper White card stock. I wound a little Cherry Cobbler Metallic Thread around the bottom of the white card stock. Simple, right?

I layered the stamped image on Smoky Slate, Real Red, then Thick Whisper White.

Then the Magic happened.

I stamped the image again on a scrap piece of Whisper White card stock. I ran it through the Big Shot with one of the Layering Ovals Thinlits dies. I ran Real Red card stock through the Big Shot with the next bigger oval. These were glued together and attached to the card front with Stampin’ Dimensionals. Notice how I matched the text to that on the background. Now that is real magic.

A couple of Rhinestone Basic Jewels complete the card!

So, if you’re looking for a little holiday inspiration, be sure to sign up for my newsletter now. The first issue of the 12 Weeks goes out tomorrow at 1 pm Central Time. The only way to receive all 12 issues, is to sign up for my newsletter before.

To sign up, complete the box at the top right-hand column.

Then get ready to start being inspired!

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TBT Embellished Ornaments

I’ve already designed a few cards using Embellished Ornaments. This stamp set was introduced last year in the Holiday Catalog, but has been carried over to the Stampin’ Up! Annual Catalog. However, before showing my new designs, take a look at one of my favorites from last year. You can go here to revisit the details!

Embellished Ornaments - http://stampedimpression.comThe black-and-gold design are simply elegant class!

I used the Big Shot to cut out the ornament. When I designed this card, we didn’t have the Precision Base Plate to make the work easier. Now, it’s so quick to do. I may even use this ornament on my cards this year!

Or maybe not. There is so much fun stuff to use this year.

If you still need a copy of your Holiday Catalog, send me an email with your name, address and telephone number. I just received a new shipment, so I’ll get one out to you.

Wait until you see what I’ve been working on this month…

I Love a Good Challenge!

My upline issued a design challenge to us… to create a card using one of the doilies in the catalog. I used a Gold Metallic Foil Doily… as a flower!

Gold Foil Doily Flower - http://stampedimpression.comThe stamped images are all from Garden in Bloom. Who would have expected such fun, informal images to work so well with a formal foil doily?!?! But they do! Honest!

The stem is supposed to be a straight line. But the magic of photopolymer allows you to bend the image. I prefer the curved stem. What do you think?

When I stamped the leaves, I stamped the outlines first. Then I stamped the “solid part”, by stamping off on my grid paper first. If you look real close, you can see a texture on the leaves, not just a solid color. Really cool!

Finally, I wound some Emerald Envy Metallic Thread around the bottom of the top layers. It doesn’t show in the photo, but the shine is ever so pretty. And easy to see!

What do you think? I believe you need to add these shiny products to your holiday order. If you’re waiting until the start of the Holiday catalog, you need to remain patient for a while longer. Until September 1.

But be sure to add the doilies and the thread to you holiday projects. They are so very pretty!

You Can Never Have Too Many Flower Stamps

I’ve said it before and I’m saying it here, “You can never have too many flower stamps!” Maybe we all don’t like the same flowers, but I have never met someone who doesn’t like any flowers. Check out this flower card design.

Fabulous Flora - http://www.stampinup.com/ECWeb/default.aspx?dbwsdemoid=99633Inspired by my sideline, Sue Arendt, i had so much fun working on this card design. Stamp sets used are Fabulous Flora, Timeless Textures and Work of Art.

The 4-1-1

  • Continue lines from one element to the next – The right margin of the watercolor swipes on the top layer, match the right margin of the Peekaboo Peach card stock layer right beneath it. To do this, I stamped the swipes and the flower on a piece of Whisper White card stock, then cut it out by running it through the Big Shot with a Layering Oval Framelit. Once the layer was complete, I attached it to the stamped peach card stock, in just the right position. I attached the completed unit to the card front at the end.
  • Black is used for a pop of color – I used very little black on this card, but it makes every important element POP. This is possible, first, because the black contrasts with the rest of the card colors, and second, because all the black elements are thin. It’s a subtle touch.
  • On the focal element, only the main flower is colored – all other leaves and flower buds are left as black outlines, with the background colors showing through. The main flower was colored with In Color Stampin’ Write Markers, fussy cut out (!) and then attached to the top of the other flowers.

As the Thick Baker’s Twine stands up a little from the card stock, I decided to pop up the main flowers with Stampin’ Dimensionals. Otherwise, they are lower than the twine and seem to fall to the background. Crazy, don’t you think?

By the way, are you having a little trouble finding Fabulous Flora in the catalog? It’s at the back on page198 with the Host Rewards. This stamp set would normally retail for $25. But if you host a home workshop for $150, or spend $150 by yourself, you can purchase this stamp set for $15 from your Stampin’ Rewards. You can’t buy them any other way. Makes it kind of special.

In any case, you can never have too many flower stamps!

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What to do When You Don’t Like the Paper Pumpkin Kit

I subscribe to Paper Pumpkin. I love subscribing to Paper Pumpkin. I like that everything I need comes to me in that cute orange box. It arrives right to my mail box, without any extra effort on my part. And most of the time, I really like the projects. Even when they’re not cards.

But this month. Sigh. I really hate the project. It’s a set of boxes with tassels. They’re shaped like diamonds. You can fill the boxes with chocolate. They’re okay. But they’re not my style.

I dislike them so much, I can’t even give them away. How do you make a gift of something you think is ugly?!?!?!? That’s not who I am.

Just like there are no errors in card making, only opportunities to embellish. There are no ugly kits. Just opportunities to make something cute! So, here is what I made.

Ugly Paper Pumpkin makes cute butterflies! http://stampedimpression.comThe glossy cardstock that was supposed to be used to make the gift boxes has shiny copper marks across it. It cried out “butterflies” to me. I punched two from the Bitty Butterfly Punch. I attached each with a Mini Glue Dot under one wing, and then folded up the other wing. I also ran a piece of cardstock through the Big Shot with the detailed die from the Bold Butterfly Framelits. Perfect!

The Emerald Envy Thick Baker’s Twine is part of the Paper Pumpkin kit. You can’t buy it from the catalog, so this is an extra bonus to me! I stamped the flowers in Emerald Envy and Calypso Coral. That made the baker’s twine a comfortable embellishment. I need to feel comfortable with my finished card designs. It’s hard to explain. But it’s a way that a design pleases me.

Colors used on this project are Emerald Envy, Soft Sky and Calypso Coral. Plus a little white and copper to make things pop.

The stamps are from the Number of Years stamp set.

So, if you’re a Paper Pumpkin subscriber, feel free to use the contents of the kit in another way. It’s simply what to do when you don’t like the Paper Pumpkin kit!

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