Tuesday, May 29, 2012

More Fun with the Petite Purse Die

Well, of all the dies I have for my Big Shot (die cut machine), the most fun I've had so far has been with the Petite Purse die.  Not only does it make adorable teeny purses...

it makes all manner of cute containers.  Your imagination sets the limits.  I only wish I could think of these things before other people come up with them.  I posted the picnic basket I CASE'd from Lynda Lee a while back.

And my latest is CASE'd from a video tutorial by Dee Slater that I found on Stampin' Connections:

A watering can complete with a flower growing in it!  I can't believe how cute this project is!  I'll have to come up with my own idea. As Winnie the Pooh would say, "Think! Think! Think!"  Hmm!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Notes on Turning 60

60 is a freaky number!  Really!!  You can't call yourself middle-aged with a good conscience anymore.  You can't hide those laugh lines, no matter how much spackle you trowel into them.  You catch yourself shuffling a little when you first get up.  Walking as fast as you can, you get passed right and left by younger folk.  You're old.  I like to think of it more as "oldish"!  The "ish" just softens the physical trauma a little. Because getting old is definitely not for sissies.  It's darn painful and inconvenient, but there you are... we all have to do it, because think of the alternative!

But, that being said,  it is also a fun time of life.  You may be retired and now get to do what you love to do (in between doctor appointments).  You may have grandchildren that you get to play with and then hand back to your son or daughter to discipline and look after.  You probably have lost most of that disabling fear of what others think of you.  So it's not all bad! And many seniors are looking after themselves and enjoying this time of life for a lot longer than our parents did.  Really, inside we still feel we're 18, with 42 years of experience.

With these thoughts in mind, I set out to create a card for a good friend's sixtieth birthday.  I used the MOJO Monday sketch for the layout and picked the square option, going for a 5 1/2 x 5 1/2" card base.

Here's my take on the sketch:

I used Old Olive cardstock for the card base and added a panel of Basic Black.  The vertical panel is Tempting Turquoise which was embossed using the Big Shot and the Vintage Wallpaper embossing folder.  I sponged it with some Soft Suede ink to bring out the embossing more and to distress it a little.  The flag is Old Olive run through the Big Shot with the Stripes embossing folder and again sponging with just a little Soft Suede.  The stamp sets I used were  Established Elegance, still available in the new 2012-13 Idea Book and Catalogue, and a retired hostess set called Happiest Birthday Wishes, available only until May 31st for those who host a workshop.  I punched out the typewriter with a 2 1/2" circle punch, newly delivered to me this week, and matted it with Pacific Point cardstock.  I used linen thread to attach the Trinket Key, a lovely little accessory that I've just discovered, but which will no longer be available after May 31st.

I added the 1952 to the ESTABLISHED stamp, a year that all of us 60 year-olds will recognize as a vintage year!

 I love reading your comments and getting to know more paper crafters!  Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Not Too Shabby!

I found this card on pinterest the other day, and having many, many cards to make, and being a little short on designing mojo, decided to try to CASE it.  I really love the light blue, black and cream colours and the vintage look.  And I struggled with it - mostly with the border trims for the Pool Party pieces.  I still don't have that technique down pat.  Help, anyone?  Anyway, this is what I came up with, using SU products.

Not sure if I was entirely successful, but I'm really loving making those rolled roses.  I think there's too much Very Vanilla around the edges, but I did try some paper piercing and double bow tying... ahem.  I think that would have gone easier if I had not aged the ribbon first.   Oh, well, it's done.  Now to try something a little more clean and simple.  I'll post that tomorrow. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Doing Pennants

Well, I'm not perfect, are you?  So sometimes one has to do "pennants"!  Anyway, that's what I've been doing when I had time this weekend.  I made this pennant garland as decor for my Stampin' Spectacular Drop In on Friday, June 8, at 7 - 9 pm.  This event features products from the new catalogue and is a kick-off for Stampin' Up's 2012-13 Idea Book and Catalogue!  It's going to be a lot of fun with lots of specials and give-aways and my Rubber Rummage Sale, where I sell some of my gently used and unused, in some cases, retired stamp sets at reduced prices.  Check it out on Facebook

These pennants are all made with the new 2012-2014 In Colours and new Comfort Cafe DSP.  I used two stamp sets from the new catalogue as well:  A hostess set called  Four Seasons and another called Layered Labels, which coordinates beautifully with the new Apothecary Accents Framelits.  I know you're going to love the new products!

I'm also planning to use this garland to decorate my table/booth at the Annual Glenrosa Elementary Craft Fair and Garage Sale on Saturday, June 2.  Come out and support a wonderful school where I taught for many years before retirement.  I'll see you there!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Summer time!

Okay, I know I already posted once today, but I'm so excited to show you what I created this afternoon, that I can't wait until tomorrow.  Let it be tomorrow's post a few hours early.  Are we okay with that?  Good, because this is the cutest thing ever!  I wish I had thought of the idea first, but I didn't.  I CASE'd this amazing project from Lynda Lee on her blog, Lynda's Quiet Time.  This lady is a doctor and is a Stampin' Up demonstrator in her spare(?) time!  And this isn't the only amazing idea she has come up with using the Petite Purse Bigz L die.  Check out some of her other designs!  But enough gabbing!  Here is my project:

A Picnic Basket!

I don't know about where you live, but around here, summer has kind of overtaken spring
and we are getting temperatures in the high twenties. (That's Celsius, for all my lovely readers in the US. In Fahrenheit, it would be in the eighties!)  Just right for a picnic! 

What I like about this project is the amount of detail on it. The basket weave texture using the Square Lattice embossing folder, to the toggle closure (a toothpick with some linen thread, to the double layered reinforcement strips with the little nail marks on them. 

I actually made this as a hostess gift for my next workshop!  It's going to be hard to give it away, but now I know how to make it, I will be making several more, I'm sure.  To see how to construct this beauty, Lynda gives a great tutorial on the link above.

So get out there and enjoy this beautiful weather, and watch your "pikanik" basket carefully, as Yogi Bear would say!

Workshop Samples

I'm just preparing for a workshop this week, and I find it so difficult to choose card designs that will be best for a workshop.  This design is one that I will demo, just to familiarize people with stamping and with the catalogue.  It has a little bit of everything, but isn't so complex that it will take forever.  It features a stamp set that I am promoting with a Get Started Stamping package that will help people purchase what they need to create some cute cards without being overwhelmed by the catalogue choices.  The features of this stamp set, Kindness Matters, are that it has both images and sentiments and it is attractive and inexpensive - a good value.  Here's the card:


The colour palette is from an old Pals Paper Arts challenge using Calypso Coral, So Saffron and Baja Breeze - so pretty together.  The DSP is, unfortunately, discontinued, but I have so much Attic Boutique left, and it's the only one I could find that had some So Saffron in it.  Have I mentioned how much I LOVE Attic Boutique.  I can't believe SU didn't carry it over.  Do you think they would if we started a petition???  The ribbon is Baja Breeze seam binding ribbon and I tied a faux bow on it.  The sentiment is a clear mount stamp (so I can explain the difference between clear mount and wood mount) from the retiring Hostess Set, Happiest Birthday Wishes. 

So there it is....

Do you have any favourite demo designs you use?  Please share them with me.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


I went to my demonstrator's website today and was graphically reminded that only TWO WEEKS remain for the retiring stamp sets and accessories.  If you haven't checked out what  will not be carried forward into the new 2012-2103 Idea Book and Catalogue, you'd best get on that.

I don't want you to be disappointed, and soo many stamp sets and accessories are being discontinued, that I wouldn't be far wrong if I said that at least one of your favourites will be gone for good after May 31st. 
The stamp sets will be available until the end of the day on May 31st, but the accessories are only available while remaining supplies last and many have sold out already.  Click on My Stampin' Up Store link to shop online any time of day or night, and have it delivered right to your door.  You can also call me with your order.

The good news is that I have seen the 2012-13 catalogue, and you're going to love all the new stamps and accessories that will be coming your way.  If you would like a copy of the new catalogue, just reply to this post or on my Facebook page,  and I will see that you get one. 

Here once again are the lists of retiring stamps and accessories, as well as the Definitely Decorative line.  Hmmm... I'd better get a couple of those decor blocks sets myself, before they're all gone!  See you!  Gotta shop!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Monday MOJO

Well, my DH is away for a few days, and, much as I love him, it sure gives me more spare time in my day to stamp away.  So, therefore, I am somehow able to do Mojo Monday ON Monday this week, and I also coordinated a colour challenge from The Paper Players at the same time.  This folksy styled card is quite a bit different from my usual vintage style, but it was fun to do and I learned how to make rolled roses as well.  Here's a good tutorial on that.

This is my card:

The colours in The Paper Players Challenge #95 were Poppy Parade, Baja Breeze and Daffodil Delight. 

I welcomed a chance to use up some of my Poppy Parade, which I rarely use, and which is retiring at the end of the month, and I actually really love this combination.  I am becoming familiar with some of the new stamp sets I was able to order in the sneak peek promotion for demonstrators. (You could also get to see the new catalogue early and pre-order some things by becoming  a demonstrator for the new low cost of $125!)  The set I chose for this layout for the MOJO Monday Challenge #241:

is a new set called Forever with You, and it just seemed to fit these challenges perfectly.

 I made the image multicoloured by using different coloured Stampin' Write markers to colour the stamp.  The rolled paper roses are made using Baja Breeze and Daffodil Delight cardstock and a new DSP, which will be available for order on June 1, along with all the new catalogue items, called Comfort Cafe.  Here's another look at the image and the roses:

The Comfort Cafe DSP forms one of the back panels as well.  Give those rolled paper roses a try.  They really are very easy and give a totally charming look to your cards!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day Thoughts

Just a quick post tonight to wish all you Moms out there a Happy Mother's Day!  It was a stunning day in our neck of the woods today.  Beautiful sunny skies and very warm temperatures.  Just right for Mother's Day.  My drama group performed this skit in church and got lots of laughs.  I got three beautiful cards from my three daughters and talked to them all via phone or skype at different points in the day.  My DH took me out for a Mother's Day brunch that exceeded all expectations and I got all my bedding plants into their respective hanging baskets or planters, while Ken planted all the annual beds!  I can hardly wait to see them bloom and grow.  Last year I planted gobs of petunias and faithfully dead-headed them all until I never wanted to see a petunia again.  I went to the local nursery and looked around for alternatives, but there didn't seem to be anything as colourful and reliable as petunias.  I was almost resigned to another year of slavery to my hanging baskets, when I found it - The Supertunia.  Says right on the tag - "Deadheading not needed!"  Yay!  And the pictures of the blooms are incredible.  We shall see what happens with those.  I'll keep you posted. 

Finally, I spent my evening doing what I love most - Stamping!  And can you believe that what I worked on today, Mother's Day, was a manly card for Father's Day and also for my next Technique Class, June 6, where the focus is on masculine designs and techniques.  Here's what it looks like:

This uses a technique called "Faux Mosaic", which I learned from my upline, Tamara.  The card design is very similar to one we did at one of her Technique classes.  For this technique you create your own mosaic stamp using left over rubber from Stampin' Up wood mount stamps after you have mounted your stamps on the bases.  This is what mine looks like:

I stamped the image, which comes from a great set called Countryside, which will still be available in the new catalogue, coming June 1.  I used StazOn Jet Black ink on special watercolour paper.  Then I used aqua painters to paint the image using two new In Colours for 2012 - 2014, Raspberry Ripple and Gumball Green, as well as good old Early Espresso.  I then spritzed the image using a Chocolate Chip Stampin' Write marker and the Colour Spritzer Tool.  When the image had dried, I inked up my special mosaic stamp with Versamark ink, and stamped it over the image.   I covered it with clear embossing powder and heat set it.  Then I sponged Soft Suede ink over the embossed areas and the outer edges, to bring up the mosaic design.  Great fun!   Here's a close-up of the mosaic design:

And that's all there is to it.  Hope your Mother's Day was a satisfying as mine was.  What would your ideal day look like?

I'm loving your comments, so don't hesitate to leave one!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

MOJO Creation

Finally got to my MOJO Monday Challenge last night, but it was way too late to post so I'm getting it done today.  Not much to say about it, but it was a challenging sketch, mostly in terms of proportions, and I recut and restamped several features.  But I'm happy with the overall result.  It would make a good Administrative Assistant Day thank you card.  I know I owe a lot to the many I worked with over the years.  In a lot of cases, they are the "glue" that holds an organization or business together!  Too bad the official "day" was on Apr. 25, and I'm a bit late, but better late than never, I always say.

Here's my card:

The stamp sets I used will be showing up in the new catalogue. They are Established Elegance, Daring Adventure and Teeny Tiny wishes.  My colours are Pink Pirouette, Bravo Burgandy and Very Vanilla.  The DSP is Beau Chateau, which, you have probably guessed, is one of my favourites, but is being retired.  I've already stocked up on it, and so should you, if you love it like I do!  The little flowers are made with SU Paper Daisies and the Boho Blossoms punch, topped with Basic Rhinestones.

I struggled with the bow, as usual, but I am beginning to realize that the difference between a good and bad bow is directly related to how much fiddling and fixing you do to it AFTER you tie it!

I am entering it in the MOJO Monday Challenge #240.  This is what the sketch looked like:

Thanks for dropping by.  I'd love it if you left a comment or question!

LIfe is Uncertain

Just had word recently about a former colleague and friend, whose husband  was suddenly taken gravely ill.  She is a very positive person and both she and her husband were fitness enthusiasts and nutrition experts, and they were the last people you would expect to have health problems.  We are sending our love and prayers to them, but we all can expect to face moments like these at some point in our lives.  No matter how many crunches we do or don't do, how much tofu we eat or don't eat, there will come a day when we must face our own mortality.  And we don't know when that day will be.

So take some time today to hug a loved one and tell them just how much they mean to you.  Stop in your busy schedule to play with your child, or visit your aging mom, or just admire the beauty in God's world around you.  Take the time to talk to your Creator and thank Him for the goodness in your life!  Face those First Order Questions that you keep putting off to think about another day.  Why are you here?   What happens when you die?  Is there more to life than you are experiencing now?  There are answers to those questions, if you investigate carefully.  And whatever length of life you have left to you could be incredibly rich and filled with purpose.  Don't put it off.  Life is uncertain!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

What is Masculine Part Two

Okay, here's my second attempt at Masculine!  This elicited a much more favourable response from my husband.  It was, after all, his anniversary card for our 34th anniversary.  Wow! 34 years!  Where have they gone?

 I used Baja Breeze and Early Espresso as my palette and The Open Sea stamp set, which, although unavailable now, is making a comeback in the new catalogue and will be available June 1!  I'm really excited about that because it is a great masculine set. The back panel is dry embossed with the Stripes embossing folder, using the Big Shot.

 The baker's twine around the rectangular panel is in Pool Party!  Have I said how much I love that colour?  The new In Colours for 2012-13 are also really awesome.  Just wait until you see them.  I have had a sneak peak at the new catalogue and I am really impressed.  I'm just waiting to receive my advance order and then I will be creating up a storm to show you the great things you have in store for you.

Speaking of the Big Shot, did you know that if you join my Stampin' Up team, that our NEW starter kit has become much more affordable and versatile.  For only $125, you get to choose ANY merchandise you want from the catalogue, to a maximum value of $155.  That means you could get a Big Shot if you wanted to, plus a few other supplies to start your business, or to add to your hobby supplies. Stampin' Up will also send you a business supply pack worth $70, for a total value of $225.  In addition, your first order as a new demonstrator allows you to get a 30% discount, a full 10% increase over the regular 20% discount.  It sounds like a no brainer to me!!  Contact me for more information.

Friday, May 4, 2012

What is Masculine?

Well, I attempted to create a masculine Father's Day card for several purposes: for a card swap, as a sample for my next Technique Night; and to use for someone in my family for Father's Day.  I thought I was doing well, considering my lack of masculine stamp sets and how they keep retiring the only ones I have!  I'm sure there will be many more masculine sets in the new catty, which, by the way, will be available in a couple of weeks, and will come into effect June 1, 2012.


I thought with the colour choice, the plain black ribbon, metal embellishments and simple image, I was hitting the masculine bull's-eye!  I showed my DH (dear hubby) and asked him if he thought the card was masculine-looking and there was a telling pause before he responded oh-so-carefully, "Um, well, I guess some men might think so!"  Swallowing my pride, (hard to do - quite lumpy!)  I asked what it would take to make it more masculine.  "Less busy.  Not so much like wall paper," was the reply.

I do like the card, and maybe there are some men out there who would think it was elegant, but perhaps a change in sentiment would be in order - something more gender neutral!

I used Lucky Limeade, Basic Black and Whisper White cardstock, and some DSP from the Well Worn Collection (which is retiring, and is available while supplies last.)  The stamp sets are Daring Adventure and Teeny Tiny Wishes - which are NOT retiring, thank goodness.  I used StazOn Jet Black ink for the image and sentiment, and Soft Suede ink for sponging the image and sentiment panels on the edges for the vintage look.  I used Vintage Trinkets for the little metal button brad and an Antique Brad on the black satin ribbon.  The black satin ribbon is also retiring, so if you like it,  make sure you order before supplies run out.  The sentiment was punched with the Word Window punch, and adhered to a Lucky Limeade piece punched with the Modern Label punch.  I punched a Decorative Label shape from Basic Black then cut it in half lengthwise, trimming off the little points on the short sides.  I adhered them to the sentiment, overlapping them to create a narrower backing.

And now it's back to the drawing board, to try and come up with a CAS (Clean and Simple) Male Father's Day design. Sigh....

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

I'm NOT Senile!

I was supposed to post this on Monday, but I completely forgot!  I can't believe I did that!  I am getting so absent-minded!  (Not senile, you understand!!!)  There is just SO much accumulated information up there, that occasionally there are traffic jams in my neural pathways!  That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

I have a special offer for my new customers, who are just getting started in their stamping hobby.   These offers give you all the basics so you can begin stamping right away at 10% off.  Each offer includes your choice of cardstock, ink and ribbon, some adhesive and a choice between 2 stamp sets.  Here is the flyer.

Package Two of the offer contains a choice between two stamp sets, Kindness Matters, and Pretty Postage.  They are not expensive sets, and they both contain images and sentiments, which make them very versatile.  I wanted to display their talents with two quick cards I completed on the weekend. 

Here is the one I created using Kindness Matters:

It has an almost masculine simplicity to it, so I added some bling, and of course, the butterflies definitely feminize it, but the Bravo Burgundy and the grey DSP from the Twitterpated collection from the Occasions Mini Catalogue, are really a masculine combination.  I'll remember that for the next time I want a "man-card"!  By the way, the Twitterpated Design Series Paper is on the carry-over list, meaning we can still order it even though the Occasions Mini was over on May 1.

The next card I made used the Pretty Postage set:

The colours featured in this card are Rich Razzleberry, Always Artichoke and some DSP from the old Botannical Gazetter collection (I think), which is now discontinued.  I ran the Always Artichoke panel through the Big Shot with the Vintage Wallpaper embossing folder and used the Postage Stamp punch to punch out the little 1" x 1" squares on the front.  They were stamped using Rich Razzleberry ink, and then a So Saffron ribbon was added.  All the 1/4" grosgrain ribbon is being discontinued next year and is available now while supplies last only, so don't be disappointed.

Being Grandma

I used to dream a bit about what it would be like to be a Grandma.  Beyond the obvious reminder that time is rapidly marching on, the reality of being a Grandma is so much better than I ever imagined it could be!  And that's even taking into account that I only get to see the little guy every few months, because my daughter and her family live about a 10 hour drive from us. 

My little grandson, Parker, is only  31/2 months old, but he is such a little character already!

I wanted to create a special Mother's Day Card for my daughter for her first Mother's Day!  I used the MOJO Monday sketch for this week, #239

and the criteria from The Paper Players challenge for this week's Tic Tac Toe:  I chose square card, ribbon and designer paper, but I also have some dry embossing happening and some blue colours!

Here is the square card I designed:

I used Perfect Plum and Pool Party cardstock, and the Twitterpated DSP I used is in Blushing Bride.  At first I thought it might be Pink Pirouette, but six alliterative "P" colour names is a little too much, don't you think?  The stamp set is Baby Prints from the Occasions Mini catalogue, which has now expired, but there is so much exciting stuff to come from the new Stampin' Up Idea Book and Catalogue 2012-2013!  I'm going to order some the of sneak peek products today, and I will be showing them to you in the near future, so keep checking back.  The new catalogue comes into effect June 1, so I will be hosting a Stamping Spectacular around that time, with great deals and prizes, based on the new catalogue items.  Keep an eye open for that announcement, too.