Saturday, January 31, 2009

It won't be a party without YOU!

I promised you details about the upcoming Sale-A-Bration Mystery Hostess Party, and here they are!

Stampin’ Up! Sell-A-Bration Mystery Hostess Party!!

**Sunday, February 22, 2009, 1:30-3:30 PM**
At my home—S6W31661 Christopher Way, Delafield

Enjoy a GREAT afternoon of stamping and surprises
featuring this year’s SIX Stampin' Up!
Sale-A-Bration products that you can get for FREE!

**Door Prizes!**2 Make & Take Projects!**
**Refreshments**Drawings at 3 PM to Win Hostess Benefits!**

Lots of Ways to Earn Tickets for the Drawing!!
**1 ticket for RSVPing by February 20th
**1 ticket for arriving by 1:05 PM
**1 ticket for each $25 order

**2 tickets for bringing an outside order (maybe from a friend who can’t make it to the party?)
**2 tickets for bringing a friend that I have not met
**2 tickets for when you register & prepay for my Mar. 20-21
“Spring-y Shapes” Stamp Camp (shaped floral cards)
**5 tickets for booking a workshop date
**10 tickets for signing up to be a demonstrator
Hope you can join the FUN! RSVP TODAY!!!

For further information or to RSVP, call (262) 264-0201
or email
Here are a couple of cards made with the "Polka Dot Punches" stamp set, one of this year's Sale-A-Bration sets that you can get for free with a $50 purchase. Each of the four stamps (2 different flowers, a heart and a scallop design/flower) can be punched out with punches featured on page 184 of the catalog (1-1/4" circle, Full Heart, Scallop Circle, and 5-Petal Flower punches).
The cards also feature the "Delicate Dots" Designer Series Paper that is also available as a Sale-A-Bration choice.

As a bonus, for reading my blog (thank you!), you can get an extra ticket for the drawing by asking for the "blog bonus ticket" when you RSVP!

Sale-A-Bration is Here!

Sale-A-Bration! If you don't know what that is,well, then I'm not doing my job!! It's only one of the coolest promotions of the year!! Place an order of $50 and you get to select one of 6 free limited-edition products: 4 different stamp sets, a selection of ribbon, or some Designer Series Paper. There's no limit, so you can get all of them for yourself or as a gift for someone! Take a look at the brochure and pick out your favorites! You can email or call me to place an order, or you can log on to my website and place an online order any time of the night or day. A bonus for trying the online ordering feature is that Stampin' Up! will include a free Spring/Summer '09 catalog with your first online order.

Of course, as usual, I got to order some "sneak peek" sets and participate in some swaps with some of my online demonstrator group. I have a few of them to show you today. This first card, designed by Dawn Olchefske, uses the stamp set, "Botanical Blooms." She cut out the flowers, and then stamped them again, cut out the centers, and added them to the card with Dimensionals. Designer Paper from the Bella Rose collection and Pink Pirouette double striped ribbon give additional texture to this gorgeous card.

This next card uses the Sale-A-Bration stamp set, "Congrats" as well as saffron ribbon from the ribbon bundle you can choose as one of your free selections. You're going to want to have "Congrats" in your collection--it has so many great greetings that aren't always found in a set of the "standards." Kelly Acheson also used the "Good Friend" stamp set. She stamped the "puffs" (upper part of card) on glossy paper and used Designer Paper for the pattern on the lower part of the card.

This next card is the one I designed for the swap. Like the pink card above, it also uses the "Botanical Blooms" set. If you only knew what the original sketch for this card looked like!!! And how the finished product is a "gazillion miles" different than what I was planning!
When deciding which stamps to pre-order for swaps, I usually make some notes based on my first impressions of the stamps offered in the pre-order. I will also make a sketch of any ideas that pop up while I'm deciding. About the only things that stayed the same are the colors and my use of vellum on the card! Not that the way I USED the vellum is even remotely close to my sketch!! It's no wonder that my craft room looks like a tornado's gone through it most of the time!

I had planned on a "portrait" style card; this is a "landscape" design. I had planned on tearing the vellum--and oh, I tore plenty of vellum. It's too bad that it all just ended up in the recycling bin! Wasn't going to use any punches, because my "swap mom" JoAnn teases me about how I love to use punches--but what did I go and do but use 3 different punches! Oh well, the bottom line is that the card is quick to stamp and that's always a good thing.

I used Eggplant, Rose Red and Artichoke ink on shimmery white cardstock. There are actually 2 strips of vellum, one narrow and one wider. They both had artichoke ink sponged on the edges before being layered with artichoke grosgrain ribbon and the punches (Designer Label, 1" circle and small oval. Stamping with this set is so easy. I was able to easily stamp the floral design in a dimly-lit ski lodge while my kids were at ski practice and still get a result I was pleased with.

There are lots of other ideas to share in the coming days, and you'll be able to come see them in person too at my annual Sale-A-Bration Mystery Hostess Party on Sunday, February 22. Details to come later this week.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Yippee!! Today's the Day!!!

The Stampin' Up! Spring/Summer '09 Catalog "goes live" today at noon Mountain Time!! That means that at 1 PM my time I can take my new spreadsheet and translate it into NEW TOYS!!! I've made myself a to-do list to help me stay focused this morning--not that unusual of a thing for me--but I really need something to keep me on task today! I know, I know, even with expedited shipping (something I treat myself to only 2 or 3 times a year), the new stuff won't be here until Thursday, but I'm still excited about putting in the order for new stuff!! You'd think that after this many years, this many new catalogs, I'd be able to contain myself. NOPE!

Another good thing about the catalog starting today is that I can show you swaps that I made using new sets and accessories! This first card uses a new hostess set called "Goody-Goody Gumdrops." Although there is a gumdrop stamp and a greeting that says, "goody-goody gumdrops!," the name doesn't really do a lot to describe this 19 piece set (9 images and 10 greetings). No, I don't really have a better name, but for a set that can be used for just about every occasion except maybe Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter, it could use a different name.

Anyway, I made this little 3" X 6" window card using the flower and the greeting "thoughts of you. . . are happy thoughts." Those of you who know me can see that I've moved into my "winter doldrums" selection of colors already. Only colors and layouts that are warm and cheery will be finding a space on my desk for the next couple months!

I embossed the flower with black powder onto vellum cardstock, used my stylus and paper-piercing pad to dry-emboss the petals and leaves of the flower, giving the flower more texture, and then used markers to color both the front and back of the vellum so the flower looked the same from both sides of the window. The vellum piece then gets sandwiched between the white card base and the piece of Bashful Blue cardstock on the front. The trick to making the window line up the way you want it to is to lightly adhere the blue piece onto the front of the card in the position you want and then use the wide oval punch to punch through both layers at once. Pull away the blue a bit, slide the vellum in, add some more adhesive and you've got it!

Added a Barely Banana cardstock square that I stamped with the "Polka Dots" background stamp (currently on the dormant list, but still available!), some of the 1" Double-Stitched Grosgrain Ribbon, and one of those darling little clips with a bit of white taffeta ribbon to finish off the front. I stamped the greeting in Basic Gray ink because black was just a bit stark for this Soft Subtles card. I actually cut the 2-line greeting apart and mounted one line on each side of a wood block so that stamping was quicker. Of course, you can color one line with a marker, stamp, clean, and then color the second line and stamp, but when I'm making swaps I like to streamline the process if possible.

This next card is a swap I made using the set called "Sweet Stems." I like this set because it has lots of different stamping possibilities including watercoloring, and isn't too expensive, but I was really drawn to it because it has a Big Shot "Embosslit" that coordinates with it. An Embosslit is a small folder die that embosses an image AND cuts it out AT THE SAME TIME! How cool is that??? I just had to try it out:

For this 4" X 4" card, I stamped the flower image that goes with the Embosslit onto Apricot Appeal and Very Vanilla cardstock with Apricot Appeal ink. (Notice--WARM colors again!) Then I embossed the "thanks" from "Thank You Kindly" onto vellum using Pumpkin Pie Classic Ink and clear powder. (Yes, I seem to be on a vellum kick--the swap I'm currently working on uses it too!) Embossing with Classic ink (dye ink/water-based) works with vellum because the ink doesn't soak into the vellum, allowing more time to get the embossing powder onto the ink. Tied a little linen thread around the Embosslit cut-out, adhered it to the vellum with Mini Glue Dots, and the card was done.

Here's a close-up of the Embosslit. Getting such a detailed piece in one step is so great! Can't wait to see what some of the other new Big Shot accessories in the Spring/Summer catalog do!

If you'd like to get one of the first peeks at my new toys, come join me at the Birthday Bonanza stamp-a-stack this Friday and Saturday. I still have a spot or two available in each session.

Another way to get to play with new things from the catalog is to join a Stamp Club. I currently have openings in the Wednesday morning club, and will open more clubs as necessary.

Off to tackle that to-do list. . . I'm going to be watching the clock CLOSELY!

Friday, January 9, 2009

The New Catalog Frenzy is Starting!!

First, a few announcements. . .

I continue to update the availability of the retired accessories on the list below and will do so each afternoon at 4:30 until January 18th, the last day to order from the Fall/Winter catalog.

New stamp club rounds start in February and I have two spots available in my first-Thursday-of-the-month Morning Club that meets from 9:30-11:30 AM. If you'd like to learn new techniques, stamp and swap with a fun bunch of ladies, get your new catalog FREE, and a whole bunch of other extras, let me know ASAP that you're interested!!

Now back to regularly-scheduled programming. . .

The "where in the world are the new catalogs" frenzy is beginning, as some Canadian demonstrators received their new catalog shipments yesterday, and we're anxiously hoping that some of us will be lucky today! We demos all drive each other nuts on Splitcoaststampers, hoping that someone who lives near us will post saying she received her shipment, increasing the possibility that we'll see our boxes soon.

Those of you who have reserved copies of the Spring/Summer catalog, I will email you as soon as I see the UPS man pull the dolly out of his truck to bring my boxes to the door! I will only have 4 copies of the catalog that are NOT spoken for from this first shipment. I have another shipment coming, but it will not be here until after the new catalog takes effect January 19th. (Who knew I'd have this many pre-orders without even advertising??) Let me know if you want a catalog. From now until January 31st, I am selling them for $5, half the cover price.

I'm spending this snowy Friday doing design work for a few upcoming projects. Here are a couple of simple Valentines that will be part of an upcoming church-group stamp camp:

Stamp sets--Think Happy Thoughts, Holiday Blitz (heart), Sanded background, All Holidays (for you); Paper--Riding Hood Red, Very Vanilla, Pirouette Pink, Candy Lane Designer paper; Ink--Riding Hood Red & Basic Gray ink pads; Other--Scallop, 3/4", 1-1/4",1-3/8" circle punches, Vanilla Taffeta ribbon, paper piercing tool, Dimensionals.
Stamp sets--Priceless & Holiday Wishes; Paper--Real Red, Pretty in Pink & Whisper White cardstock; Ink--Real Red ink pad; Other--Big Shot Top Note die, 2-Way Glue, Dazzling Diamonds glitter, Dimensionals.
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Stamping Opportunity: Birthday Bonanza Stamp-A-Stack

Both of my stamp clubs had their meetings this week, and like we do at every stamp club meeting, the two projects we did practiced the techique that I presented. The technique we focused on this month was "color blocking." We did two examples using the technique, a small framed piece, and the birthday card show below. The stamp clubs were really getting a sneak peek (and I guess you are too!) as this card is one of the designs that those who sign up for the Birthday Bonanza Stamp-A-Stack on Friday, January 23, (6:30-10 PM) or Saturday, January 24, (1-4:30 PM) will be doing. There will be 4 different card designs with coordinating envelopes and each participant will make 3 of each design. Cost for this stamp-a-stack is $15, payable in advance. Each of the two sessions only has room for 8 stampers, so send in your check soon so you won't be disappointed. Registration deadline: Monday, January 19th. Email me for further information or if you need my address.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Stampin' Up! Inventory Blow-out Sale List!

They've never done this before!! Click on the picture at the right to see the list. Let me know if you'd like to order any of these items. I suggest NOT waiting on ordering anything that you have your heart set on--some stuff moves ridiculously fast.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Love You Much #3

Back again with another of the samples I received from the Love You Much swap I participated in. Unfortunately the artist did not give herself credit on the swap nor upload her card on the website where we post our work, so I can't give her her due credit, but I really like the combination of elements she used in her design.

The large cut-out is, of course, the Top Note die cut, cut from Pirouette Pink card stock. Then another Top Note is cut from the Candy Lane Designer Paper, cut in half, with the narrow perforated edge removed. The hearts were punched with the new triple heart punch, again from the Designer Paper. The "hugs & kisses" design was stamped 3 times: once on Riding Hood Red cardstock with Riding Hood Red ink and punched out with the Scallop punch; once on Close to Cocoa with Close to Cocoa ink, punched out with the 1-1/4" punch; and finally on Pirouette Pink with Close to Cocoa ink, cut out with scissors, and topped with pink seed beads from the Pink Duo Bead Duo collection (p. 190 in the SU catalog). Crystal Effects or the Tombow Multi-Purpose Adhesive (in the green and white tube--that I sometimes just call "green glue!") can be used to easily adhere the beads. The ribbon on the card is the Pink Pirouette 1-1/4" Grosgrain Ribbon. At first this ribbon might seem overly-wide, but just a few inches tied once turns into that nice "bow" detail. It can be added to the front of the card with a few Mini Glue Dots or a 1/2" piece of Sticky Strip.

I was having a hard time catching the beaded detail on the little pink heart, but you'll get the idea.

Hope you have something fun to fill your Saturday!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Another "Love You Much" Design

Whoa! It's Friday! That "really long" Christmas break that the kids have is nearly over!! Now how does that happen??? Before it starts it seems as if there'll be all sorts of time for games or movies or whatever--and then, poof! I guess it's because in those grand plans, I always forget that there will need to be time allotted for clearing the driveway, laundry, meals, and all those other everyday things that really don't stop just because it's Christmas vacation. Darn!

Oh well, let's just forget about that for now and take a look at another card made with the Love You Much bundle: This card, designed by Toni Tessler, a talented stamper in one of my swap groups, uses 2 other stamps that are included in the Love You Much set, and another design from the Candy Lane Designer paper. The hearts on the Pirouette Pink paper at the top of the card are stamped with the stamp that coordinates with the triple Heart-to-Heart punch that also comes in the bundle. I love the zig-zag design on the Designer paper. Somehow that is "just so Valentine's Day." Guess I must've used a lot of my mom's rick rack on valentines when I was a kid or something!!

If you'd like to get going on some valentines like these, you can email me to place your order for the Love You Much Bundle - or shop 24/7 via my website.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy 2009!

Happy New Year! Hope you had a fun celebration--but not too fun!! For the first time in maybe ten years I actually saw the ball drop at midnight--but that's only because I woke up about 11:54 after about a three hour nap on the couch!! I'm such a party animal!!

I'll blame needing a nap on my husband! He doesn't cook much, but the few things he does make are AWESOME--and we were treated to two of his signature creations last night. We traditionally have fondue for dinner on New Year's Eve and Mike's cheese fondue has us watching the clock, counting the minutes until dinner's ready! Mmmmm!! We topped that off (a little later in the evening) with his Crème Brulee for dessert. That recipe, a rich vanilla custard with a baked brown sugar topping, has had more than a few people wanting to lick their plate clean. I'll keep making the mundane, everyday stuff, Honey, if you'll keep making the ABSOLUTELY AWESOME stuff!!

Uh, okay. I need to come out of my yummy food-induced euphoria and remember that this is a stamping blog, not a cooking blog!! I've actually gotten quite a bit of stamping done in the days between Christmas and now, but I'm not sure if getting a few extra Christmas cards done AFTER Christmas should really be reported! I also got a good number of birthday cards out too, but I can't show those because the surprise'd be ruined for the recipients!!

What I can show you (finally) is a swap that I made using the new "Love You Much" stamp set and Candy Lane Designer Series paper that is included in the special "Love You Much" product bundle that Stampin' Up! is offering right now. The "bundle" includes the 6 pc. Love You Much stamp set, a really neat triple heart punch and the Designer paper and until January 31st, it's going for $41.48, 20% off the retail price. Click on the picture at the top of the page for more details.

So if anyone's wondering why in the world a SU demo would NEED to be stamping Christmas cards after Christmas, it's because she's cranking out valentines in the weeks BEFORE Christmas! This little square card uses 2 of the designs from the pack of paper and the "hugs & kisses" stamp that fits in the scallop punch. The stamped image is actually peeking out from inside:

I used Riding Hood Red cardstock to make the "frame" for the stamped image, added Crystal Effects to the heart after I colored it, and "cheated" with the brads on the front of the card. Whenever I add brads to ribbon, invariably I end up snagging the ribbon. So to avoid that this time, especially with this nice Riding Hood Red taffeta ribbon, I snipped off the "arms" of the brad and adhered the brad head to the ribbon with a Mini Glue Dot that I "smushed" on the back of the brad. The glue dot is a bit bigger than the brad head, thus requiring the "smushing."

Enjoy the parade, taking down the tree, or whatever might fill your New Year's Day, and come back tomorrow to see another card made with this set.

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