Monday, July 26, 2010

The Vote is In--Cherry Cobbler it is!!

I held my New Catalog Open House last Friday, and as usual I had two projects out for everyone to do. As usual, narrowing down which items from the new catalog I would use was the hardest part of all the prep. All the new colors, all the new sets, ALL the new bling!!! It was REALLY hard, but about 3 days before the Open House (I know, a lot of you are saying, "Three days! Not the usual 3 hours???" Amazing, huh?) I simply bit the bullet, made myself choose a couple colors and a couple sets and got busy!

This first project had everyone ooohing and aaahing over the new Cherry Cobbler cardstock. It's my new top pick too. (It took awhile for the light bulb to come on--of course I love this color! My car is this color, my laptop is this color, my phone is this color. . . . Duh!)

It's a pretty simple design, but it incorporates the concept of "white on a white mat," something that I would have never thought of, but I loved the way it looked on a sample I saw. The sample was a very colorful card, but here the Cherry Cobbler is bold enough to make the idea work all by itself. The stamped foliage (from the new "Just Believe" stamp set) cardstock piece is adhered to the mat with Dimensionals to really make it pop.

This project also uses the "Happy Birthday" from the new "Perfect Punches" stamp set as well as the new self-adhesive Pearls and the "Vintage Wallpaper" embossing folder to use in the Big Shot. At first glance I wasn't sure this folder design was going to be something I liked because it seemed a bit "chunky" for my taste, but then I turned my embossed piece over and I was in love! That's the great thing about these folders--it's like two folders in one! If you look closely at the samples below, you can see that the design in first one is raised (typically called "embossed") and in the second one, the design is "sunken" ("debossed").

I used the "debossed" version for my card because the look seemed more subtle and appropriate for this design.

The second Open House project uses the new "Morning Cup" stamp set, my current favorite new set. I wanted to share an additional way to use the clear mount blocks and the scale of this set was perfect!

If you take a look at the "shadow" surrounding the tea cups or percolator, you might notice that we don't really have a stamp like that. BUT if you take the clear "C" block, stamp it on the Marina Mist stamp pad (just the block, with no stamp attached!), stamp the block off on scrap paper once, and then go to your cardstock to stamp the shadow, that's the image you'll get! Kinda cool, huh?

The base of this card is "Crumb Cake" (formerly known as Kraft), and the mat behind the center image is Marina Mist. This project also uses the Dotted Scallop Ribbon punch and Marina Mist taffeta ribbon in the new 1/8" variety. The images were colored in with Blender Pen and markers (Marina Mist, Real Red, Pumpkin Pie, and Always Artichoke). Everyone chose the stamps they liked and whether to use Pumpkin or Red with the punch. The inside of the card got a bit of embellishment courtesy of the coordinating "Take a Sip" wheel, a collection of coffee mugs and tea cups.

I know both the stamp set and wheel are going to get lots of personal attention from me. The images are so cheery and comforting at the same time. And as I'm rarely more than an arm's length away from my main vice, it's perfect! Speaking of which, it's time for a refill!! Hope you get some stamping time in this week!


Monday, July 19, 2010

That "New" Demo Feeling. . .

Little by little, I'm getting to all the areas in my craft room that need to be switched over to the new Stampin' Up! Color Collections. When I finally made a list (so I could feel like I was making some progress!), all the areas that needed an overhaul were pretty amazing. Cardstock, pads, markers, cartridges, spots, reinkers, ribbons, embellishments. . . . No wonder I was feeling a little overwhelmed!

Of course, someone who shall not be named who lives under this same roof might make the comment that if I didn't have so much stuff, there wouldn't be. . . . Yeah, yeah, we're not even going to go there, Mr. I-have-so-many-different-electronic-gizmos-I-don't-know-which-cable-is-which! It's MY stuff and I NEED ALL OF IT!

So anyway, back to the project. As I've been working on swaps and things, I've found myself floundering a bit, not knowing quite where a particular color belongs. Is Regal Rose really a "Bright" now? Then shouldn't we rename it "Bright Rose?" I feel like I did when I was brand new to Stampin' Up! Back then I had everything labeled BB, SS, RR, or EE, depending on which color family it belonged to, and here, 10 years later, I'm finding that I need to do the exact same thing so that I can learn that my ol' EE friend, Old Olive, is now a Brights guy.

I started with my ink pad collection, making labels for the ends of the pads on the computer. There are numerous ways to organize these things, but I decided that I would store my pads and markers in their color collections, alphabetically by color name. Brights pads are on the first two shelves, Neutrals on the next two, then Subtles and Regals.

When I typed out the labels, I had to also include the name of the collection so I will keep everything straight while I adjust to the new system. I also penned in a letter and number to help keep them in alphabetical order. I know, a bit much, but my brain seems to need this much organization.

My markers, despite several color updates over the years, have always lived in my original marker box, the one with the insert that has the colors listed on the side rather than the back of the box like they are now. I can see it from my desk chair and I'm used to it. Of course it was a major pain to re-do this because I needed to cut samples of each color and stick them to the box, but the now-retired triple arrow punch actually made this a little easier. One of the arrow parts was the exact width I needed. I did this over the course of a few days, so it didn't get too tedious.

When I went through my ink cartridges, I was really surprised at how many cartridges I had in colors that were no longer current. I saved a lot of them, but there were a few that I knew I'd probably never need again, so it was off to the kitchen sink for them! Ten minutes under a stream of cold water (or until the water coming out of the cartridge runs clear), paper towel and some drying time, and voila! Cartridges ready for a new life!!

I've been doing this for a number of years because I'd much rather buy a new stamp set or another roll of ribbon than a new ink cartridge. It works very well! I just make sure to grab a "pre-used" cartridge of similar color, in case there's some residual ink in there. I don't think I'd grab a previously-red cartridge and plan on putting a blue or green in there, but one of those cartridges in the picture was probably Forest Foliage in its previous life, and it's just waiting to become Wild Wasabi or maybe Early Espresso.

So anyway, that's what I've been doing to fill up any spare time I might find. (I'm also unmounting a some retired stamp sets, but that's a story for another day.) As usual, there are all sorts of projects going on here. Melissa's having a party for her 16th birthday, I'm prepping for my New Catalog Open House this coming Friday (11 AM-7PM--if you're in the area, please stop in!) and we just finished several weeks of involvement with the musical our high school puts on every summer.

I got to "play" a bit while wrapping the gift cards for the directors of the play, making some boxes out of cardstock I decorated using My Digital Studio. The boxes look like they've been wrapped with Designer Series Paper, but because I wanted the boxes to be a bit more sturdy, I printed the designs onto the cardstock and went from there. It's always fun to "have" to use my "toys" when working on an outside project.

Hope you're getting some time to play with your toys too--and like I said, if you're in my area, please stop in Friday to see lots of the new toys we have in the new catalog. I'd love to see you!!
Blog Widget by LinkWithin