Thursday, November 29, 2012

Dazzling Diamonds Distress

DH:  Dear, why are there sparkles on the keyboard?  And why are there glittery things in the bathroom?  Just a minute, my toast is sparkling!  What's going on around here?

Me:  Uhh, I was sort of using Stampin' Glitter last night!

DH:  Well, whatever that is, it's evil!

Me:  I know.  It kind of held me captive while I was trying to craft this great ornament!  See, here it is on the front cover of the Holiday Mini Catalogue.

DH:  That doesn't look too bad.  How come Stampin' Ups' offices aren't swimming in sparkles?

Me:  I think they must use some kind of computer-generated virtual glitter there. I was totally covered in the stuff before I came to bed last night.

Well, you get the picture!  I love shiny!  I adore glimmer and sparkle!  What I don't love is the mess that the very fine Dazzling Diamonds Stampin' Glitter makes!  There's got to be a better way! 

Yes, I finally got around to crafting the ornaments on the front cover of the Holiday Mini catalogue.  I thought I'd whip up a few for the Glenrosa Elementary's Christmas Market coming up on Friday.  There is a contest for the most well-decorated booth, so I thought these would make an impression.

Just a word of warning - one does not simply "whip" these up.  After several hours I managed these two!

They use the Ornament Keepsakes stamps and the Holiday Ornaments framelits to create the 3D shapes you see.  The inks are Lucky Limeade and Real Red on Very Vanilla card stock.  I used the Cherry Cobbler and Crumb Cake scalloped tulle ribbon, but I think my pieces were too long.  I could have folded it in half.  The rosettes in the middle were created using the Simply Scored Scoring Tool and Candlelight Christmas Specialty Designer Paper Series.  They were topped with a Vintage Faceted Button and a Jumbo Pearl.

I used a Jumbo Sticky Round to assemble everything, but I think everything could have been moved closer to the center.

If you attempt this, make sure you have several hours free.  It took me a long time.  I opted to cut the shapes with the framelits first, before stamping, because then I could cut more than one at a time.  You need 20 of each ornament, so it's a big job.  Stampin' Up doesn't recommend cutting more than one at a time with the framelits, but I've never had a problem with cutting two layers, especially the lighter weight Very Vanilla or Whisper White.  To stamp the image on correctly you could use the Stamp-a-ma-jig, but I used my grid paper and the see-through clear mount block to help line it up.  The second one went much more quickly, but think I'll attempt something simpler to enhance these for the decorations.

Finally, I just want to thank all my customers who ordered during our recent sale, On Line Extravaganza!  November was my best month EVER!

Stamps:  Ornament Keepsakes (w128048; c128051)
Paper:  Candlelight Christmas DSP (126901); Very Vanilla card stock (101650)
Ink:  Classic Stampin' Pads in Lucky Limeade (126984) and Real Red (126949)
Accessories:   3 1/2" Tulle Ribbon in Cherry Cobbler ( 127841) and Crumb Cake (127840); Vintage Faceted Designer Buttons (127555), Large Pearl Basic Jewels (125577); Linen Thread (104199); Dazzling Diamonds Stampin' Glitter (102023)
Tools: Simply Scored Scoring Tool (122334); Holiday Ornaments Framelits (127816) or bundled with the stamp set above (w129949; c129950); Jumbo Sticky Rounds (127852)

Ornament Keepsakes Bundle
Dazzling Diamonds Stampin' Glitter

Simply Scored Scoring Tool

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thanks with a Flourish!

I mentioned a while back that every year at this time, I organize an outreach event for our church, entitled "One Night in Bethlehem".  I explained it more fully on this particular post.  I have an amazing committee helping me to get this huge event off the ground each year, and each year I like to thank them with a small gift and a hand-stamped card.  This year was no exception.  I picked up a nice poinsettia plant for each one and created a Thank You card for them.

Not easy taking photos of such a silvery, shiny card.  My camera needs a flash for good focus, but the glare is blinding!  Sorry for any of you with sensitive eyes...or migraines!  I did try to tone it down without darkening the whole shot.  The colour palette was chosen in order to enter the Dynamic Duos challenge #30 this week:  Midnight Muse and Silver.  Very classy together, I must say.

 And I took advantage of this design to use up my Flourish Designer Frames.  The card base is Midnight Muse, but that's kind of obvious isn't it.  I layered it with Whisper White and you might be able to see a little peek of the Houndstooth embossing folder around the edges of the next panel of Midnight Muse.  The sentiment is one of my favourite fonts from Lacy and Lovely and you may have noticed how the Decorative Label punch coordinates with the Flourish Designer frame.  The main image is from a stamp set that I've just now used for the first time: Rejoicing with You.  It is perfect for heat embossing with silver embossing powder.  And I used Window Frames framelits for the Silver Glimmer Paper and Midnight Muse backing.

 My special VIPs, the One Night in Bethlehem committe members, were so happy to get these cards, so I was happy that they were happy, and it was all one big happy fest!!  We will all be genuinely happy when the event is successfully completed and we can actually start planning our own Christmas celebrations!  But it is so rewarding to see something like this help people to understand the real reason for the season!

I want to remind you that Wednesday, Nov. 28 is the last day to take advantage of our On-Line Extravaganza sale.  Wednesday only, the door busters are:
Pg. 7
118941Clear Block Bundle (Blocks A-I)
Pg. 7
120279Clear Block Storage Caddy
Pg. 175
109127Stack & Store Caddy

On top of this are all the other amazing deals: up to 50% off!  Don't lose out.  Email me or call today.  Order goes in at 6 pm. 

Several items are in backorder status or are running low and may not be shipped until some time in January.  They are: Crosses of Hope Clear Mount set; 25 and Counting Clear Mount set, Dr. Bag for the Big Shot, You are Loved Clear Mount set; Scallop Edge Punch; Petite Pocket Bigz XL die and Rhinestone Basic Jewels.  If you have ordered one of these items during the sale, there is a chance that it is back-ordered and unavailable until January.  If it doesn't arrive within 21 days, you could get a full refund or exchange.

Stamps:  Rejoicing with You (w126300; c126302); Lacy and Lovely (w122885: c122887)
Paper: Midnight Muse (126843) and Whisper White (100730) card stock; Silver Glimmer paper (124005)
Ink:  VersaMark (102283); Classic Stampin' Pad in Midnight Muse (126860)
Accessories:  Flourish Designer Frames (127835); Silver Stampin' Emboss Powder (109131); 3/8" Stitched Satin Ribbon in Midnight Muse (126847); 1/8" Mini Brads in Silver (122941)
Tools:  Window Frames Collection Framelits (129021), Heat Tool (129053); Houndstooth Embossing Folder (123134); Paper Snips (103579)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Only 5 Days Left

Just a reminder that there are only 5 days left in the Online Extravaganza sale.  I don't want you to come to me with sad puppy dog eyes because you missed all the great deals - 20% to 50% off! 

 Many of my customers have already taken advantage of the bargains to order everything from stamp sets to accessories to tools to digital products!   If there are any of you digital scrapbookers out there, you should definitely look into My Digital Studio 2.  It is 50% off right now and it's an amazing program!  And there are so many great downloads for it as well.


Here's the scoop on the sale!  Call me or email me if you would like to order.  I will have an order going in on Wednesday afternoon, November 28th.

In other news, I just wanted to share with you a clean and simple card I made for a church friend who just lost her husband.  He was 98 years old and lived a good, long, full life, but it is always hard to say good-bye, even when it is time.

 This one uses the stamp set, Thoughts and Prayers, and the Lacy Brocade embossing folder.  The simple palette of Not Quite Navy and Whisper White keeps the clean and simple look.  I used Not Quite Navy 3/8" Taffeta Ribbon, but because of it's texture, the photograph makes it look quite a bit darker that it is in real life.

Stamps:  Thoughts and Prayers (w113252; c127805)
Paper:  Not Quite Navy (101722) and Whisper White (100730) card stock
Ink:  Classic Stampin' Pad in Not Quite Navy (126971)
Accessories:  3/8" Taffeta Ribbon in Not Quite Navy (122978); Pearl Basic Jewels (119247)
Tools:  Lacy Brocade Embossing Folder (127819)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

When Gandalf the Grey Comes Calling

One thing you should know about me is that I'm a huge JRR Tolkien fan.  And I loved everything about the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy.  It would be hard to beat in my books, but I am looking forward to the release of the new Hobbit movies.  Peter Jackson knows how to do Tolkien right!

Of all the beautiful scenes from Lord of the Rings, one of my favourite is of the Shire, land of the Hobbits.  It's peaceful, idyllic setting is delightful.  And hobbit houses with their round doors are so charming.
My son-in-law is a bigger Tolkien fan than I am, and, as his birthday is at the end of this week, I decided to try to design a Hobbit card for him.  First, I searched the internet for some inspiration, but I couldn't find any cards with Tolkien designs, so I had to design it myself.  Here it is:
It features Gandalf the Grey, a wizard, knocking at the door of Baggend - Bilbo Baggins' home in the Shire.  Now, I used the MOJO Monday sketch for this week, but I must say, I took quite a bit of artistic licence with it!!!  Can you see any resemblance?

It's funny, because the first thing I thought, when I saw Carole Burrage's sketch was:  Hobbit Door!
Didn't you?  Of course you did!  Whew!  I'm not the only one with an overactive imagination!!

 The card base is Crumb Cake card stock, embosses with the Argyle embossing folder, which was the nearest I could find to a stone or brick look for the front of the house.  I added some Old Olive card stock to the top of the card and embossed it with the square lattice folder to be the sod roof.  The door is the 3" Circle die embossed with the Woodgrain folder.  I added a frame of Early Espresso embossed with the same folder.  I made it by die-cutting a 3" Circle out of card stock and then centering the leftover card stock on the 3 1/2" Circle die.  I got the circular arc trim under the roof the same way and then just added some straight pieces, all embossed with the Woodgrain folder.  The window was created by hand-cutting a circular section of the Lattice Bigz die cut of Early Espresso embossed in Woodgrain.  I punched out a  1 3/4" circle of Very Vanilla and glued the lattice section on it, but I had to trim it to fit.  I sponged it in Crumb Cake, as I did all the parts of Gandalf.

Gandalf's hat was made from the Large Oval punch and the Petite Pennants punch, from Baja Breeze card stock and sponged with Crumb Cake.  His beard was the Petite Pennants punch again in Basic Gray.  The wizard's sleeve and arm are the larger pennant with the scallops trimmed off and the Word Window punch.  His gown in Baja Breeze was made from a 1 1/4" piece of paper rounded at the top with a circle punch and another layer free-handed to make folds in the gown.  His staff was free-handed with an antique brad at the top.  I added a couple of Naturals Designer Buttons just for whimsey's sake.  It was a blast designing it.  I don't get to do that enough!
See you at the movies!
Stamps: From My Heart (w126555; c126557)
Paper:  Crumb Cake (120953), Early Espresso (119686), Very Vanilla (101650), Basic Gray (121044), Always Artichoke (105119), Baja Breeze (111352) and Old Olive (100702) card stock
Ink:  Classic Stampin' Pads in Baja Breeze (126960) and Crumb Cake (for sponging) (126975)
Accessories:  Antique Brads (117273), Naturals Designer Buttons (127554)
Tools:  Argyle (127750), Square Lattice (119976) and Woodgrain (127821) embossing folders;  Lattice Bigz die (115958); 3" Circle die (122125); 3 1/2" Circle die (121811); Large oval (119855), Petite Pennants builder (122361), 1 3/4" Circle and Word Window (119857) punches.

 Argyle Embossing folder
Word Window Punch
                                                                   Square Lattice Punch

                                                              Woodgrain embossing folder
                                                         Petite Pennants Builder Punch

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

In Praise of Stepmothers

I lost my mom to breast cancer when I was 23 years old.  As difficult as this was, there was more pain ahead.  As the eldest, I felt a burden to hold the family together, when my mom was the real glue of the family.  I watched helplessly as my dad tried to cope with his suddenly lonely, solitary life, and my two younger sisters were suddenly cut adrift, much too young.  I was incredibly relieved when my dad met and married Edna, my stepmom!  Edna was so good for my dad, full of life and joy.  She was just what Dad needed at that time in his life.  And Edna worked so hard to bring the two sides of our families together to be a unit again.  This was not an easy job and not always successful, but I will always be grateful to Edna for trying and for being there for us.  I wanted a way to say thank you to her as her birthday approaches.

Edna was born in England and for some reason, the Everything Eleanor stamp set makes me think of the British Isles and all that the English countryside embodies.

Here's the card I created just for Edna:

Marina Mist isn't the blue I usually choose for my cards, but I love it when combined with Basic Black and Whisper White.  This is the combination chosen this week for the Dynamic Duos challenge #29.  This is Black Tie Week and the challenge is to use Marina Mist and Basic Black with a dessert option of a Snowman Theme, although that wasn't mandatory.

I think the reason I like Everything Eleanor so much is the variety of beautiful elements it has.  The
flowers are exquisitely represented, but not difficult to fussy cut and curl with a bone folder. The flourish is so...well, flourishing!  And I love the treatment of the label!  And pearls work so well with it!  It was such a welcoming break from designing Christmas cards! (I never thought I would hear myself saying THAT!) 

 The card is fairly self-explanatory.  The blue panel in the background is embossed with the Fancy Fan embossing folder and the Big Shot.  To get the black shape shadowing the Happy Birthday label, I stamped the label on Basic Black with the Marina Mist and then traced around the border with a silver Stampin' Dazzle marker so I could see to cut it out.  Stampin' Up:  We need a framelit to fit this shape!  We have a smaller version in Apothecary Accents framelits, but not this size!  It's just begging for one!  (There!  Do you think they heard me? I'm sure you'll see one introduced in the next few days! lol)
I hand cut it and positioned it so it was off-set to the sentiment label. Speaking of the sentiment, it is one of the new single stamps from the Perfectly Penned stamp set - just perfect for this card!

Well, that's all my secrets revealed here....regarding this card I mean!  Let me know what you think of Everything Eleanor!  And do any of you have a special stepmom in your life?  I love to read your comments and get to know you a bit better.

Stamps:  Everything Eleanor (w124162; c124164); Perfectly Penned Happy Birthday (single stamp) (c132309)
Paper:  Marina Mist (119682), Basic Black (121045) and Whisper White (100730) card stock
Ink:  Classic Stampin' Pad in Marina Mist (126962); StazOn Jet Black (101406)
Accessories: 3/8" Taffeta Ribbon in Whisper White (109070); Pearl Basic Jewels (119247); Large Pearl Basic Jewels (125577)
Tools:  Fancy Fan embossing folder (127751); Paper Snips (103579); Stampin' Dimensionals (104430); Glue Dots (103683)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Busy! Busy! Busy!

A quick post today to remind you of the BIG Online Extravaganza Sale that begins tomorrow, Monday, November 19th and continues to Wednesday, November 28!! 

There are some amazing deals!  Check out the savings.  I want to alert you that on Monday, Nov. 19th for 24 hrs. only, you can save 20% on The Big Shot.  It will be selling for $98.36. The regular price is $122.95.  Let me know if you have anything you want to order.  Stampin' Up products make great Christmas gifts for the crafters on your list.

I have also updated my Classes page with some great new classes in December and January, including a new monthly class for beginners.  Just click on the "Classes" button on the top menu.  I'll be back with more card ideas on Tuesday.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Surprise, Surprise!

Those tricky folks at Stampin' Up are so full of amazing surprises these days!  First there is the new Stampin' Up iPhone app that lets you design and send cards from your iPhone (Don't worry, Android users - there is one coming for you soon!)  It's free and you can download the app from iTunes!

Then today, I woke up, checked the website and there were two new ultra-cool products introduced.  The first one is the Texture Boutique Embossing Machine!

Isn't that the cutest thing?  It embosses paper just like the Big Shot, but unlike the Big Shot, it doesn't do die cuts.  But if you love texture in your cardmaking, this is the tool for you.  Only $36.95, and if you bundle it with two embossing folders:  Stripes and Flower Garden; it's only $45.95!  Just in time for Christmas!  But you have to act fast because there's only 4000 of them available for all Canadian and American customers!  Give me a call today, email or facebook me if you want one of these great tools.  I've ordered one to use at workshops to speed things up in the Big Shot corner!   Here's a Stampin' Up video giving you all the details:

The second amazing product is something called Talking Tags, which allows you to use your smart phone (Apple or Android), to record messages for these tags and add them to your cards for the recipient!  Brandi explains it much better:

That's crazy enough, but if you go to Stampin' Up's website tomorrow there will be details on an Online Sale coming soon with savings up to 50% off, if you shop online.  Don't forget to pick me as your demonstrator for more savings!

Now if all that doesn't get your MOJO going, I don't know what will!  Please contact me with any questions you might have!

Texture Boutique Embossing Machine (132657) and bundled with the two embossing folders (132700) ; Talking Tags (129723) for 10 tags.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Hurtling Train

Does anyone else out there feel as if they are in a speeding train hurtling toward December 25?  Or maybe it's in a plane nosediving directly at Christmas?  I probably say this every year but every year it is truer:  Christmas comes faster and faster all the time.  I can't believe it's almost here!  I just put my capris away for the year.  I just tucked my flip-flops in the closet!  How can it be almost Christmas?

Oh, well, Christmas will come whether I'm ready for it or not, so I might as well......
stamp another Christmas card!

This one was inspired by the MOJO Monday sketch #267 by Julee Tilman.  I just felt like it had a vintage feel, and I hadn't used my Christmas Lodge stamp set enough yet this year.  Or my red glimmer paper either!

The base is Cherry Cobbler card stock, with a piece of Candlelight Christmas DSP as the back panel.
The next layer is more Cherry Cobbler card stock with some Early Espresso Core'dinations card stock embossed with the Woodgrain embossing folder.  I punched one edge of the Red Glimmer paper with the Scallop Trim punch and added a layer of Very Vanilla, stamped with the lodge from the Christmas Lodge set in Early Espresso and the sentiment from Come To Bethlehem in Cherry Cobbler.  I tied a little fork bow using Real Red 1/8" taffeta ribbon and added it to the panel, then mounted it on dimensionals to give it some vertical interest.  Finally, I used the Snow Flurry BigZ die to die cut the two smaller snowflakes, combined them with glue dots and adhered them to the project.  I think red and brown is my favourite Christmas combination - it looks so warm and rustic.

And that's my card for today!  Focus on your Christmas tasks, but don't take any hurtling trains!

Stamps: Christmas Lodge (w123767; c123769); Come to Bethlehem (w118732; c120591)
Paper:  Cherry Cobbler (119684) and Very Vanilla (101650) card stock; Early Espresso Core'dinations card stock (127848), Candlelight Christmas Specialty DSP (126901), Red Glimmer Paper (121790)
Ink:  Classic Stampin' Pads in Early Espresso (126974) and Cherry Cobbler (126966)
Accessories:  1/8" Real Red Taffeta Ribbon (119251)
Tools:  Snow Flurry BigZ die (127813); Scallop Trim Punch (118402), Woodgrain Embossing Folder (127821)

Christmas Lodge

Monday, November 12, 2012

New Video

It's SOOO late.  I stayed up chatting and previewing the new cattie with my upline and sidelines!  Oh, my heavens - it is amazing!!! and huge!!!  There are so many cute, new products and papers and stamps and embellishments!  I can hardly wait to start ordering in December so I can start to show you all the neat things!  You're gonna love it!  Let me know if you want to have one mailed to you.  And you've got to become a demonstrator, so you get these awesome first peeks!

But I finally finished a new video, a tutorial for making Christmas illuminated easel cards like these:

So here is the video.  Enjoy!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

We Remember...

Tomorrow is Remembrance Day in Canada.  It's a day to take the time to remember.  To remember the courage of a past generation, fighting for the rights we all take for granted so often.  A Canadian soldier in WWI wrote these words:

In Flanders Field

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
~ John McCrae (1872-1918)

My card today honours those who gave their lives in two World Wars and in many conflicts since.  It includes my own father, who was wounded in France and carried the scars until he died a few years ago.

This is a hybrid card, using some elements created on My Digital Studio 2, including the cross and the sentiment.  I used the Pleasant Poppies background stamp, inked in StazOn Jet Black and embossed with clear embossing powder, then watercoloured using an Aqua Painter and Cherry Cobbler and Sahara Sand ink.

When I saw several beautiful photos on Facebook today of the poppies in Flanders Fields, I was inspired to create this card.  Of course, I can't do the real poppies justice, but I think the card gives the right feel of honour and respect.

Dynamic Duos challenge this week is a subtle combination of Sahara Sand and Cherry Cobbler, the perfect colours for this card.

I used Crosses of Hope and Words of Courage Stamp Brush sets for the MDS2 parts of the card, but added an Antique brad and some metallic brads to both.  I hand-cut several poppies as well and added them for the look of 3D poppies, blowing in the wind.
I hope you like the card, and I hope you pay tribute this weekend to some aging heroes and to the concepts of courage and sacrifice.  Don't let their deaths be in vain.

Stamps: Pleasant Poppies (w126480; c129499); Crosses of Hope (129595); Words of Courage (130858)
Paper: Sahara Sand (121043), Cherry Cobbler (119685) and Whisper White (100730) cardstock
Ink: Classic Stampin' Pads in Cherry Cobbler (126966) and Sahara Sand (126976); StazOn Jet Black (101406)
Accessories: Antique Brads (117273); Metallic Brads (119741); Clear Stampin' Emboss Powder (109130)
Tools: Aqua Painter (103954); Heat Tool (129053); Lacey Brocade Embossing Folder (127819)
Pleasant Poppies Stamp
 Crosses of Hope Stamp Brush set

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Pacific Sunset

No, I'm not posting from a South Pacific Island (I wish!!).  This is the name of a maple tree in our back yard - a Pacific Sunset maple, and from this photo, I think you can see why.

Aren't the colours lovely?  So warm and glowing!  This is what I see everyday when I look out my kitchen window.  This tree actually inspired my next card:


I used the Mojo Monday #266 sketch for this one, designed by Julee Tilman, and it created a lovely, balanced design.


The palette, taken from the autumn colours on my maple are Pumpkin Pie, So Saffron, More Mustard and Cajun Craze, with a little Soft Suede thrown in there for good measure!  And it uses a sentiment from the Trust God stamp set, to comply with The Paper Players' Challenge #120, where the theme is "Give Thanks".  Thanks, Ann Schach, for that topic, because even though Thanksgiving is over here in Canada, it is still an awesome idea to be grateful everyday!

The stamp set I used for this card is a favourite of mine, and Ann Schach's too, I'd say:  French Foliage.  It has such a lovely vintage feel to it.  I started with a card base of Pumpkin Pie and added a piece of So Saffron embossed with the Square Lattice embossing folder.  I added a vertical flag from some Orchard Harvest DSP mounted on Pumpkin Pie, then stamped the rectangle panel with images from French Foliage.  I distressed and sponged the edges and mounted it on Cajun Craze.  The small square panel is a piece of Polka Dot Parade DSP on Pumpkin Pie.  I punched out a circle of Very Vanilla using a 1 3/4" Circle punch and backed it with a 2 3/8" Scallop Circle punched out of Cajun Craze.  The image is also from French Foliage and the sentiment, again, from Trust God.  The horizontal flag is made from Victorian Crochet Trim and I added a Naturals Designer Button threaded and tied with some linen thread.

So try this one out - great for lots of occasions!  Thanks for dropping by!

Stamps:  Trust God  (w126700; c126702), French Foliage (w120845; c121166)
Paper:  Pumpkin Pie (105117), So Saffron (105118), Cajun Craze (119684) and Very Vanilla (101650) card stock;  Orchard Harvest DSP(126895); Polka Dot Parade DSP (126902)
Ink: Classic Stampin' Pads in Soft Suede (126978), Early Espresso (126974), Pumpin PIe (126945) and More Mustard (126964)
Accessories:  Victoian Crochet Trim (118481); Naturals Designer Buttons (127554) tied with Linen Thread (104199)
Tools:  Stampin' Sponge (101610); Square Lattice Embossing Folder (119976); 1 3/4" Circle Punch (119850); 2 3/8" Scallop Circle punch.(118874)