Monday, September 07, 2015

Thanks a Latte

I believe I have mentioned before that I fell in love with the July's Paper Pumpkin stamp set. If you missed that post, let me say it again...I love July's Paper Pumpkin stamp set. That tea/coffee cup stole my heart and I just could not stop using it. 

This cute envelope-looking thing is actually a gift card holder made with the Gift Card Envelope & Trims Thinlits. Wouldn't this be perfect to give someone a gift card to a super expensive coffee shop? 

Stampin' Tips:
  • Colors: Rich Razzleberry, Very Vanilla, Tempting Turquoise
  • Papers: Bohemian DSP, Silver Glimmer Paper
  • Cut a 1-1/4" x 6-1/2" strip of Very Vanilla to serve as your belly band. Cut a 1" x 6-1/2" strip of DSP to adhere to the Very Vanilla strip. 
  • Punch out four stars from Silver Glimmer Paper. Adhere two stars to the ends of the baker's twine, sandwiching the twine between the stars. 
  • Don't adhere any of the flaps. Allow the belly band to hold everything together. 
  • Use the little swoop image from the Work of Art stamp set to add a little bit of Tempting Turquoise color to the cup. If the color is too dark, stamp off (stamp once on a scrap piece of paper and then on your cup). 

Are you still on the fence about joining Paper Pumpkin? May I suggest taking advantage of the Half Off promotion. Visit My Paper Pumpkin website and use the code HALFOFF to join Paper Pumpkin before September 10, 2015 and get 50% off the first two months! After that, keep the creativity coming for only $19.95 + tax per month (shipping included). 

Happy Stampin' 

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Hello New Holiday Catalog!

Christmas makes me happy. Stamping makes me happy. So the Stampin' Up! Holiday Catalog makes me extremely happy.

I'm one of those people that tend to get grumpy with change, and I'll confess that as much as new catalogs excite me, I often get a little grumpy and overstimulated with new catalogs. That did not happen with this catalog. I could not get enough of this catalog when I first saw it.

It. Is. Amazing.

Check it out for yourself! And then head over to my website to make your first Holiday Catalog purchase.

Enjoy!! I believe you will not be disappointed.

Happy Stampin',

Monday, August 31, 2015

Happy Bokeh Birthday

Have you heard about the Bokeh technique? It's a neat technique that mimics the photographic Bokeh effect which is on trend in photography these days (or so I'm told). The Bokeh effect involves blurring part of the picture that is out of the focal point. I am often drawn to the circles of light that seems to be highlighted in these photographs. Some very talented crafters have adapted this effect to ink and out came a fun technique to use your aqua painters, whisper white craft ink, and circle punches. I have grand plans of writing my own Bokeh technique tutorial, but usually I have grand intentions of doing all sorts of things and nothing ever gets done. I need better time management. Until then, I encourage you to check out a fellow demonstrator's blog for a picture tutorial on how to accomplish the Bokeh technique. 

One of the unique characteristics of the Bokeh technique is the circles, which you can't really see in this picture. I promise they are there. This is one of those cards that I feel that a photograph doesn't portray how cool the card is. Maybe if I was a better photographer I would be able to highlight those Whisper White circles a little bit more. 

Stampin Tips:
  • Colors: Mint Macaroon, Delightful Dijon, Whisper White
  • Apply the Bokeh technique to a 5"x3.75" piece of Whisper White Cardstock. I used Delightful Dijon and Mint Macaroon on my background. 
  • Stamp "Happy Birthday" from the Happy Birthday, Everyone stamp set in versa mark on Vellum. Use gold embossing powder to emboss the greeting. 
  • Use a few glue dots to adhere the vellum to the card. Make sure your Bokeh background has dried. 
  • Cut a few sequins from a piece of Gold Sequin Trim. Use glue dots to adhere to the card. If any of your glue dots underneath your vellum sheet can be seen, use a sequin to cover it.
I had so much fun with this technique. If you have tried this technique, head over to my Facebook page and post a picture of your project. I would love to see how you use the technique.

Happy Stampin',

Built for Free Using: My Stampin Blog

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Snowflakes in Mint

As an active Stampin' Up! demonstrator, it is my job to keep up with the latest trends, stamp sets, and accessories that Stampin' Up! has to offer. We are often encouraged to use only current product in our classes and workshops. I do this because I want to provide my customers with the latest and greatest...but....sometimes it's hard to let go of really awesome retired stamp sets. Festive Flurry is one of my favorite retired Christmas stamp sets. As I was preparing entries for the County Fair, I kept  picking up this stamp set and relishing the moments I got to stamp with it. I love love love love this set.

Also during my fair prep I kept reaching for the Mint Macaroon cardstock. You'll see in the upcoming Holiday Catalog that Mint Macaroon is on trend with the Christmas colors, so I decided to try it out. It's an interesting color to use for Christmas, but I think it's going to work, as you can see in my Festive Flurry card.

What retired stamp set (or stamp sets, because I know I have several) do you absolutely cling to? And what do you think of Mint Macaroon as a Christmas Color?

Happy Stampin',

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Project Life meets Paper Pumpkin

My two favorite Stampin' Up! offerings lately have been Paper Pumpkin and Project Life by Stampin' Up! I have been spending most of my crafting "free time" playing with these items and recently I decided to combine the two.

Each month, Paper Pumpkin sends you a kit with a ready-made project that you can stamp and assemble. But what's even greater is that you can use the included stamp set for future and personal projects.

I loved July's Paper Pumpkin stamp set. The mug has become one of my favorite stamps and I used it on several projects. And then I thought about how cute the images in the July Paper Pumpkin stamp set would look on Project Life cards. So I quickly made a few using the Moment's Like These card collection and accessory pack. I have yet to use them on a page, but they are sitting in my card box ready to be used when the time is right.

Have you used your Paper Pumpkin stamp sets outside of making the kit? If not, I encourage you to do so. Follow me on Pinterest to keep up with some of my ideas or follow the Paper Pumpkin boards for even greater inspiration. 

Happy Stampin', 

Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Results are In....

This year, I stepped a little out of my comfort zone and entered two cards and a scrapbook layout into the Nevada County Fair. I have never entered any of my work into any contest. Two reasons - I'm usually scared to get my work judged and I'm also too lazy to put the effort into preparing the entry forms, sending off or delivering the entries, or posting the right blog posts to my blog to be judged.

However, this year, since it's such a year of new things and change for our family, I figured I'd give it a shot. Plus, preparing my entries gave my daughter and me something to focus on during our last weeks before school and during the time my husband had to work crazy ridiculous hours. The child entered three items into the fair and I entered three items.

I didn't think I'd be so excited and anxious to see the results, and this past Wednesday, as we attended the fair for the first time, we got to see how our work did.

The Booger had to enter in the Mommy and Me category because she didn't meet the cut-off date to participate in the Youth categories. She received blue ribbons on all her items.

The castle card and the butterfly painting above her are two of three of her entries.

I placed on all three of my items, which I was pretty happy about. I received first place in my class for the scrapbook layout, first place for my Christmas card, and second place for birthday card.
I was quite pleased with the results and was excited that I had placed at all.

First place for Holiday Themed scrapbook layout. Yes, that's my now five-year-old child gracing the spread.

The Snow Flurries stamp set is still one of my favorite sets that I still use a lot even though it is retired. I also love the triple-stamping technique. 

This Coastal Cabana card uses a retired color with current stamp sets. I love the bold bloom flower.

As you can see, I used several retired stamps sets and paper. I have so much retired product laying around that I decided to play with my favorites while preparing for the fair.  In the upcoming weeks, I hope to share with you the different cards I prepared for the fair that didn't get entered.

On another note, the Nevada County Fair is by far the best fair I have ever attended. We had such a great time attending as a family, and there as such a joy that I felt as I watched the booger squeal with delight as she rode ride after ride. The fair also provided an opportunity to learn more about our new community as we strolled through booths that ranged from political affiliations to reading programs to solar companies. And of course, you can't go to the fair without looking at the cute animals. We were quite fond of the pygmy goats.

Is it bad that I'm already starting to think about scrapbook layouts to create for next year's fair? And I can't wait to see the cards I create this upcoming year that may be fair-worthy. Here's to a year of creativity!

Happy Stampin'

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Family that Stamps Together

I don't think I can say enough how much I love love love Paper Pumpkin. So let me tell you: I. Love. Paper. Pumpkin.

It truly is a form of Christmas that comes once a month in the mail. I love getting that cute little orange box that is my creative escape. The awesomeness of Paper Pumpkin has been discovered by my daughter as well. She gets just as excited as I do and now expects to participate in assembling the kit. It has become a great mother-daughter crafting activity. Apparently too great, because this past month my husband decided that he wanted in on the fun. He joined us as we created our cards and it became a cherished a family time.

As you can see, my husband had to have the included instructions to make his card. He tried to follow them to the dot, but I kept encouraging him to do what he pleased. The instructions are more of guidelines, not rules. Straying from the instructions and the proposed design is what makes your card unique. Of course, there is nothing wrong with following the instructions, but if it stresses you out, maybe you should reconsider your approach to stamping. After attempting to use duct tape for his adhesive, he made this cute card, and then announced he had enough for the night.

My little crafter-in-training needed less help than her daddy. I gave her all the supplies, showed her the finished picture, answered any of her questions, and then let her loose. She has been itching to play with the aqua painter later, so I let her use the aqua painter on her card and subsequent creations.

So easy a five-year-old can do it

Creativity unleashed
You want in on this fun? Make sure to sign up for Paper Pumpkin by the 10th of each month to receive the current month's kit. Sign up here to skip to the fun.

And here's the best part of signing up before September 10th: you get your first two months for 50% off (first-time subscribers only)! Make sure to use the promo code: HALFOFF.

Happy Stampin',