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!

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