Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year! Looking Back! Blog Candy Coming Soon!!

Well, it is the last day of 2012!  What are you planning to do to ring in the New Year?  Me?  I'm busy making Swap Cards for Leadership 2013 in Orlando.  My hubby is coming with me, so we are leaving early and spending a few days together, complements of a free time share week!  Yay!  But that means I have to have everything completed a few days sooner than others. (I don't think my DH would be too happy if I spent our holiday making swap cards!)

We will be partying tonight with some good friends, who always throw the most creative and amazing New Year's Parties.  We have done Murder Mysteries, Tacky Tourists, A Minute to Win It - just to name a few.  This year we are doing a Progressive Dinner!  I'm doing the salad.  Here's a couple of recipes I'm considering from Pinterest:

Apple, Cranberry and Endive Salad:                           or                Cranberry-Avocado Salad:

 I thought I would share some of my favourite projects from 2012.  Just click on the photo, to take you to the post that describes it:

Thank You for the Support


   A Quick Post

 Peter Piper Picked a Peck
You Can't Catch Me

A Midsummer Christmas Card
Make sure you come back tomorrow for a visit, because I will be posting some Amazing Blog Candy you could win, just for leaving me a comment and following my blog!  And don't forget:
Only  2 more days left to order from the Holiday Mini catalogue.  Don't be disappointed!
Only 3 more days before you will get to order from the new Spring Mini Catalogue!  Ladies, start your Wish Lists!   Whoa!  The noise is deafening!!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Nails on the Blackboard

Ha, ha!  Like my title?  I entitled this post "Nails on the Blackboard" just to get a delicious shudder from my middle daughter, Kristen.  She has quite a phobia of that horrible phenomena, so I guess it's kind of a mean thing to do, but she never tires of teasing us and finding our weak spots, so it may or may not be justified!

My youngest daughter, Jaimie, and her hubby and our grandson, just left after a short visit with us.  Parker is so entertaining right now that I didn't get much stamping done, so now I need to make up for lost time!

My second sample for my up-coming Technique Night uses a technique that I've been wanting to try forever, Chalkboard Art!  Some of the new stamp sets in the Spring Mini catalogue are perfect for this technique!

I used Wisteria Wonder for my card base and background, because it goes so well with the Basic Black chalkboard oval.  Aren't you excited that Stampin' Up has finally come out with Oval Framelits?  Yay!

I used the new stamp set, "Amazing Family" to create the chalkboard illusion.  I am planning to post a video after my Technique Nights to show you how to create this effect, but basically, you stamp your sentiments in VersaMark ink and heat emboss with White Stampin' Emboss powder.  Then, using the Stamp-a-ma-jig, you reink your stamps with StazOn White, and stamp again, slightly off-setting the image to make it look like a softer, slightly grayer shadow.  With a Stamping Sponge inked up in the StazOn white, add some sponged areas on the black to look like left-over chalk dust.  The little butterfly is from the Papillon Potpourri stamp set.

The Wisteria Wonder backing was embossed using the Chevron embossing folder, and the beautiful lace from the Artisan Embellishments Kit.  It was topped with Wisteria Wonder ruffled ribbon.

Here's a quick glance at the inside, which also uses the Chalkboard technique, and more new stamp sets:  "Feel Goods", from the Spring Mini and "Vintage Verses" from the Sale-a-Bration" brochure.
As well as the video tutorial  and the Spring Mini products to look forward to, I also have some
new product shares and and some blog candy give-aways coming up!  Keep watching for them. 

In other news, Stampin' Up has added 15 more products to the Clearance Rack.  Don't forget to check it out from time to time.

The new products are:
  • Neutrals Flower Brads
  • Regals Flower Brads
  • Subtles Flower Brads
  • Pretty in Pink 5/8" Satin Ribbon
  • Bashful Blue 5/8" Satin Ribbon
  • Chantilly 1/2" Crochet Trim
  • Artichoke 3/8" Denim Jean Ribbon
  • 2010-2012 In Color Stampin’ Write Markers
  • 2011-2013 In Color 12" x 12" Textured Cardstock
  • Timeless Portrait Designer Series Paper
  • Beau Chateau Designer Series Paper
  • Well Worn Designer Series Paper
  • Beau Chateau Side Notes
  • Sweetest Stem Embosslits Dies
  • Flower Burst Embosslits Dies

  • And remember, you can start ordering from the Spring Mini catalogue on January 3, 2012.  Of course, that means that all the wonderful products from the Holiday Mini will only be available for the next couple of days 'til Jan. 2, 2012.  Shop on-line here or give me a call or email, if there's something you want that you've been waiting to get.  It's now or never!

    Stamps:  Amazing Family (w129189; c129192)*; Papillon Potpourri (w123757; c123759); Feel Goods (w129681; c129684)*; Vintage Verses (w129633; c129636)**
    Paper:  Wisteria Wonder (122922) and Basic Black (121045) card stock
    Ink: VersaMark (102283); StazOn White (106960)
    Accessories:  3/8" Ruffled Ribbon in Wisteria Wonder (125576); Artisan Embellishments Kit (129328)*, Stampin' Emboss Powder in Whisper White (109132)
    Tools:  Chevron Embossing Folder (127749); Heat Tool (129053); Ovals Collection Framelits (129381)*
    *Available Jan. 3, 2013 from the Spring Mini Catalogue
    **Available to be earned free from the Sale-A-Bration 2013 brochure, January 22 - March 22, 2013

    Thursday, December 27, 2012

    Buttons and Bottlecaps

    I am going to write a rather abbreviated post today, because my youngest daughter and son-in-law and my oldest grandson are here, having arrived yesterday with plans to leave on Saturday.  I want to spend all the time I can with them!  My little grandson, Parker, is cuteness personified right now.  He is almost a year old (Jan. 13) and he is walking all over the place, and learning to handle stairs (but we put up a baby gate anyway!) and has all sorts of games including "Where's Parker?  There he is!" involving the living room drapes, and "Where'd it go?" which involves throwing something on the floor and putting up both hands in a puzzled shrug!  I love skype because it helps so much with keeping in touch, but its 200 times better having them here in person!

    My daughter is having fun going through my paper scraps and retired sets and while she was collecting a nice little grab bag to take home with her, she helped me with the design of my first card for Technique Night next week, the theme of which is Spring Mini Catalogue products!  Here it is:

    This uses gobs of Spring Mini and Sale-A-Bration products.  The Spring Mini comes into effect on January 3, and this year's Sale-A-Bration starts January 22.  If you haven't received your catalogues yet, email or call me and I'll see that you get one. 

    The first thing to note is the new Embossing Folder called Honeycomb.  Love that hexagon pattern on the new Pool Party Core'dinations Card Stock.  This card stock has an inner layer of a lighter colour which you can reveal by sanding or distressing.  It also comes in Primrose Petals and Real Red.

    The stamp set is from the Sale-A-Bration brochure and is called Vintage Verses, and you will be able to get it FREE with a purchase of $60 of product after January 22, 2013!  What a deal!

    Then notice the cool burlap ribbon and the bottle caps.  These are both found in the Spring Mini!  The bottle caps come in two sizes.  This is the small size.  Hope you like this little sneak peek and if you would like to make it, register today for my January Technique Nights, either on Jan. 2 or 3, at this link:  Register before Dec.31.

    Stamps:  Vintage Verses (w129633; c129636)**
    Paper: Sahara Sand (121043), Pool Party (122924),Summer Starfruit (126839) and Very Vanilla (101650) card stock; Pool Party Core'dinations card stock (129321)*
    Ink:  Classic Stampin' Pad in Basic Gray (126981)
    Accessories:  Natural 7/16" Trim Ribbon (129287)*, Sycamore Street Ribbon and Button Pack (130812)**, Soda Pop Tops (129388)*, Pool Party Baker's Twine (125574
    Tools:  Honeycomb Textured Impressions Embossing Folder (129378)*; Labels Collection Framelits (125598)
    *Available Jan.3, 2013 from the Spring Mini Catalogue
    **Available to be earned, Jan. 22, 2013, from the Sale-A-Bration brochure

    Monday, December 24, 2012

    Wise Men Still Seek Him

    I just want to take this time to wish all of my blog readers a very Merry and Meaningful Christmas!  I can't tell you how much I've enjoyed writing this blog and hopefully entertained you and motivated you to express yourself creatively!

    I wanted to leave you with a clean and simple Christmas card.  Clean and simple, because the message of Christmas, the reason for the season is very clean and simple.  God loves us.  We separated ourselves from God through sin, unbelief.  God came to dwell with us on earth through his Son, Jesus, as a tiny, helpless baby.  He experienced all we experience in life, then he gave up his life, the ransom for our sin and separation, so that we could again be with the God who loves us.  It's as simple as that.  It's the greatest gift you will ever be given.  Will you unwrap it and accept it?  Your choice.

    Merry Christmas! 

    Friday, December 21, 2012

    Some Days It just Doesn't Pay

    Ever have one of those frustrating work-hard-but accomplish-next-to-nothing days?  That's the kind of day it's been around here.  Phone calls, door bells, and things just not working out!  I had a Thank You card commissioned by my pastor for a member of the congregation, and I set to work, all excited about using some more new Spring Mini products, and a technique I saw in the Spring Mini as well.  The technique worked, after a couple of trial runs, but I just didn't like the way the card turned out.  In fact, I made 2 versions of it, and didn't particularly like either.  You be the judge:

    This is version 1.  That beautiful butterfly in the background is a new stamp set from the Spring Mini, called Swallowtail.  I stamped with VersaMark on a Crumb Cake background and embossed with Melon Mambo embossing powder.  Then I painted areas with Champagne Mist Shimmer Paint and heat set it.  So far so good.  But the more intense colours on the flags and the circles just don't seem to go with the butterfly, even though I used Melon Mambo card stock.  What a difference in intensity!  Maybe because of the fine lines in the stamped image.   That cute little thank you shape is stamped with a new set called Pretty Petites and punched with a new punch called Petite Curly Label Punch.  Each of these products you will be able to earn free with every $60 of product you order during Sale-A-Bration starting January 22, 2013!  Excited yet?

    Well, I thought I would remove the flags with their more saturated colours and then see how that looked.  (By the way, the flags were cut with the Hearts a Flutter Framelit dies, new in the Spring Mini catalogue.  These dies can be bundled with the Hearts a Flutter stamp set, also new.)

    Here is the result: 

    This one seems a little more balanced, by taking off the flags and adding the butterflies, stamped with the Papillon Potpourri stamp set in VersaMark and embossed using Early Espresso embossing powder.  But still not sure I like it.  Maybe I should have used the lighter Pretty in Pink for the embellishments.  Oh well!  Onwards and Upwards, I always say!  Let me know what you think.

    These are the last few days for the Holiday Mini catalogue, which you can order from until Jan. 2, 2013.  Were there some sets or tools or accessories that you have been meaning to order?  I will be putting in my last order of 2012 on Saturday, December 22, so make sure you phone or email me before then!  Enjoy your Christmas celebrations, my friend.  I will be doing one last post before Christmas, on Dec. 23.  See you soon!

    Stamps: Swallowtail* (w129213; c129216); Papillon Potpourri (w123757; c123759); Pretty Petites** (w129639; c129642)
    Paper:  Pretty in Pink (100459), Early Espresso (119686), Melon Mambo (115320), Crumb Cake (120953) and Pool Party (122924) card stock
    Ink: VersaMark (102283)
    Accessories:  Stampin' Emboss Powder in Melon Mambo (123223) and Early Espresso (128980 - a product that will carry over from the Holiday Mini, and be available until June), Dazzling Diamonds Stampin' Glitter (102023) -mixed with the embossing powder for some more sparkle; Champagne Mist Shimmer Paint (116806)
    Tools:  Petite Curly Label punch** (129405), 2 3/8" Scallop Circle punch (119854); 1 3/4" Circle punch (119850), Curly Label punch (119851), Elegant Butterfly punch (127526), Heat tool (129053)
    *From the Spring Mini Catalogue, coming into effect Jan.3, 2013
    ** Fron the Sale-A-Bration brochure, coming into effect Jan. 22, 2013

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012

    Posh Thank You

    Why, hello!  So nice of you to drop by, especially so close to Christmas!  Everyone is so caught up in preparations at this time of year, that it's hard to just enjoy the season! 

    My Christmas this year will be very different from my usual celebrations.  You see, since my girls all got married around the same time, we tried to coordinate a "home" year, where they all come home for Christmas, and an "away" year, where they spend their holiday with their in-laws.  I say "tried to coordinate", because it really hasn't worked out the way it was planned from the beginning.  There was always someone missing.  Now that they are beginning their families, it is even harder.  Of course, we are always welcome to go to their homes, but this year, my DH, who's been retired for two years, found himself a retail job that requires him to work both Christmas Eve and Boxing Day.  So no travelling for us this year.

    For the first time in as long as I can remember, I will not be spending Christmas with anyone but my hubby!  I felt mighty sorry for myself for a week or two, but I started looking at it as an opportunity to focus on some different aspects of Christmas.  We are usually so busy with preparations, that Christmas comes and goes without any time for solitude and reflection.  I have all my gifts shipped already, and just have a few stocking stuffers for DH to get and I will be done.  I don't have to cook a turkey.  We will have Christmas dinner at our church with other members of our congregation who don't have any family with them either.  One dish is all I will have to prepare!

    I will have lots of crafting time and time to organize my business.  I am really looking forward to being more intentional about what I do in the new year.  I am looking forward to creating projects for you to read about and using all the new products in the Spring Mini catalogue.

    But for now, one last seasonal card.  Many people from the community came and offered their talents to make our "One Night in Bethlehem" a success, and I wanted to create some classy cards to thank them for their efforts and generosity.  I came up with this design:

    It uses a Stampin' Up product which has been around for a long while, but which I seldom see used on papercrafting blogs I read.  It is a specialty paper called Brushed Gold, and it really is very beautiful.  I don't know why I haven't used it more often.  I brought it out of obscurity to use because I wanted to enter Dynamic Duos challenge this week:
    As you can see, the colours are Gold and Basic Black, and we don't really have a gold glimmer paper.  We have champagne which is really not gold at all.  Amazingly, this card also qualifies for two more challenges:  MOJO Monday #272   and The Paper Player's Challenge #126

    It's rare that you can find three challenges that work together so well.  Mojo Monday's sketch by Carole Burrage is clean and simple as is Ann Schach's CAS Challenge using a snowflake for The Paper Players. 

    Of course, my repeating design was a snowflake from the Hostess Set, Four Seasons. It was stamped in VersaMark and heat embossed with Gold Stampin' Emboss powder.   It is the perfect size to punch out using the 1" Circle punch.  And that fit perfectly on the Postage Stamp punch, used on some Brushed Gold card stock.  On a panel of Basic Black, I also embossed in gold the Thank You sentiment from the Lacy and Lovely stamp set.  I mounted all this on a panel of Brushed Gold and tied a bow around it using 5/8" Organza Ribbon in Whisper White.  This, in turn, was mounted on the card base of Basic Black.


    Simple, but elegant.  Hope you like it!  Please leave me a comment to let me know what you think!  I love to read all your messages.  Let me know how your holiday celebrations have changed over the years.

    Stamps:  Four Seasons Hostess set (w12683; c126832); Lacy and Lovely (w122885; c122887)
    Paper:  Basic Black (121045) and Brushed Gold (102935) card stock
    Ink:  VersaMark (102283)
    Accessories: 5/8" Organza Ribbon (114319) in Whisper White; Gold Stampin' Emboss Powder (109129)
    Tools: 1" Circle Punch (119868); Postage Stamp Punch (122344); Heat Tool (129053)

    Sunday, December 16, 2012

    The Best of Both Worlds

    Well, we have only a few days left with our Holiday Mini catalogue.  It's become so well-loved, it's like one of the family, but it never promised to stay, and we only have until January 2, 2013 to order from it!  So better make sure you get what you want, because January 2 is only 17 days away!!

    But just wait until you see what's in store for you with our new Spring Mini catalogue!  I just received my preorder on Friday and I could hardly wait to start creating with all the gorgeous products!  I know you're going to love it as much, if not more than you do the Holiday Mini!

    My sample today is a Christmas Card, as is fitting 9 days away from Christmas, but it also includes some of my favourite embellishments from the Spring Mini!

    The two stamp sets I used for this sort of shabby chic style of Christmas were Water Colour Winter from the Holiday Mini and Rejoicing with You from the 2011 - 2012 Idea Book and Catalogue.
    But do you see that gorgeous lace and ribbon?  That's all from the new Spring Mini, and also that wonderful little medallion!  They are all part of the Artisans Embellishments Kit!  So happy to be able to use more lace!  I think they work well!  What do you think?
    It's definitely winter here!  We had a huge snowfall yesterday, and it is starting again tonight.  Looks like it might be a white Christmas!  I love Christmas time, but the rest of the winter is kind of meh!  So it's nice to look forward to Spring with all the amazing stamps, embellishments, embossing folders and more in the Spring Mini.  I've got a lot more to show you in the days to come!  Stay tuned!
    Stamps: Watercolour Winter (w129724; c129727); Rejoicing with You (w126300; c126302)
    Paper:  Crumb Cake (120953) and Very Vanilla (101650) card stock
    Ink: Classic Stampin' Pads in Soft Suede (126978), Primrose Petals (126858) and Raspberry Ripple (126859)
    Embellishements:  Artisan Embellishments Kit (129328)*
    Tools: 3 1/2" Circle Die (121811); Fancy Fan Embossing Folder (127751); Big Shot (113439)

    Wednesday, December 12, 2012

    Twelve Twelve Twelve

    Well, this is the longest I have been MIA since starting this blog last spring.  I have been overwhelmed with working on our church outreach, One Night in Bethlehem.  But it is done now and was very successful, so I can now turn my attention back to stamping!  Yeah!

    I don't have much for you in the way of samples, but didn't want to let this day get by without a post!
    It's 12/12/12 and it won't happen again in our lifetimes, so let's have some fun and savings for you with this event!

    The first twelve people who post what they love the most about Stampin' Up on my Facebook Page, before 12 midnight tonight, will have a 12% saving on their December order - basically, I'll pay your sales tax!  Don't post here, but follow the link above to my Facebook Page!

    Then we'll have a list of the top 12 things people love about Stampin' Up!  Awesome!  See you soon with a sample to share.  It's good to be back!

    Tuesday, December 4, 2012

    Thanks for the Lovely Gift, Aunt Mabel!

    The shopping is winding down for some of us!  We are getting our Christmas cards ready for mailing.  The decorating is almost complete. What's left?  Well, baking.  If you want to make some cute Christmas cookies check this out:
                                                 125152 - Holiday Sweet Pressed Cookie Stamps
    These make great holiday entertaining snacks or gifts.  Note that you have to use them on recipes without leavening so that the cookies don't expand in the oven and destroy the pattern on top.

    If you still have some decorating to do and want a unique idea, how about the paper crafted ornament on the front cover of our holiday mini catalogue.  As I told you a post ago, they take a LONG time to create, but with some help from Stampin' Up, in the form of a new kit, you can put them together a lot more quickly and easily.  All you need are some scissors, hot glue or gluesticks and glitter.

      Ornamental Elegance Kit (132832) $17.95
    There, everything is well taken care of.  Now the next thing you're going to need is a pack of Thank You cards.
    I know, I know!  You hate and detest writing those difficult pieces of communication:
    Dear Aunt Mabel,
                       Thank you for another lovely Christmas sweater (NOT)!  I hope you are well and had a nice Christmas.  We had a nice Christmas here.  Looking forward to seeing how you top this gift next year!
    Yours truly,
    Your loving niece
    But dear Aunt Mabel went to some pains finding you a sweater THAT ugly, and needs to be recognized.  Maybe it would be more fun if you could MAKE a thank you card and send it.  Here's an example:
     I made this card using the Make a Mitten stamp set, which I haven't used at all up until now.  I wasn't too sure how to design with all those cute knitted design patterns, and I was kind of waiting until I got the coordinating punch, but thought I'd better hurry up and use it before the season is over!!
    I used some Snow Festival DSP, which has some beautiful coordinating prints, and the sentiment is from the From My Heart stamp set.  I stamped the double mitten stamp twice in Cherry Cobbler, cut it out and glued the two images together to make double sided mittens.  I used Baja Breeze 1/8" taffeta ribbon between the layers  and tied in a bow to attach them to the card.  I'm going to be using this design for my next Technique Night:   Thanks Yous and Tags!
    So maybe you could make one of these cards for your Aunt Mabel, and she wouldn't even care how lame the inside message sounded, she'd be so impressed that you made the outside just for her!
    Stamps:  From the Heart (w126555; c126557);  Make a Mitten (w127940; c127943)
    Paper: Snow Festival DSP (126908); Baja Breeze (111352), Cherry Cobbler (119685) and Whisper White (100730 card stock
    Ink: Classic Stampin' Pads in Cherry Cobbler (126966) and Baja Breeze (126960); Stampin' Write Markers in Cherry Cobbler (119681), Baja Breeze (119700 - in the Subtles Colour Collection) and Gumball Green (126856 - in the 2012 - 2014 In Colour Collection)
    Accessories: 1/8" Taffeta Ribbon in Baja Breeze (122964)
    Make a Mitten stamp set
    From My Heart stamp set
    Snow Festival DSP

    Saturday, December 1, 2012

    That's a Wrap!!

    I had a great time at Glenrosa Elementary's Christmas Market yesterday evening!  I met tons of interested crafters, listened to great Christmas music, sold some of my retired stamp supplies and a few cards, took some orders!  Thanks to all the organizers!   Congratulations to Violette Stedham, who won the grand door prize in my draw for a free $25 stamp set.  And congratulations, as well, to Samantha Cloutier, Dana Schofield, Eleeta Armit and Kim Kuntz, who won a free private Stamp Class!  I will be contacting you with the details!

    And it's December 1!  Are you getting excited?  But there's sooo much to do in 25 days!  Maybe this will help:


    Here's the details!

    And a cute video:

    And I'm excited because I get to order some products from the new Spring Mini Catalogue starting today.  I will be sharing some projects with some sneak peeks later on this month to help you get excited about what's coming up starting in January!  And believe me, it won't be hard to make you manic about the new stamp sets and accessories! 

    Have you seen the newly designed Stampin' Up Website?  You've got to check it out here! Blogs, videos, project ideas, promotions and more on a magazine style page, but still easy to find the product shopping.

    Don't forget to let your loved ones know what your wish list is and then give them my number.  BONUS:  I'll even wrap it for them!