I cannot believe it's already Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend! I've had a blast this weekend, starting with a great Thanksgiving Dinner, a workout at the gym on Friday, and a visit to my local scrapbook store for Small Business Saturday (yes, I succumbed to the sales she had!).
So this is my last chance to promote Stampin' Up!'s annual Online Extravaganza! Mostly I've promoted this in my November Newsletter, but I would be remiss in not showing off some of the fun products that are included in this sale. In fact, what I'm showing off today I myself bought as part of the sale. I wasn't ready to buy either product before this, but the sale pushed me over the edge. And am I glad it did! I wish now I'd introduced you to this whole project sooner.
It's the Stitched With Cheer Project Kit and the accompanying Stitched With Cheer Stamp Set.
If you've checked out the project kit in the Stampin' Up! 2016 Holiday Catalog, you might see a few changes in my layouts – but not many! I was determined not to make the exact card shown in the catalog and elsewhere online. But I didn't make as many changes as I'd thought I would. Before I go a bit into each individual card, I thought I'd pass on some of my thoughts about the kit as a whole.
- The kit has SO MUCH STUFF! Yes, you can make all 18 cards that the catalog promises. But there are tons of pieces in the kit that you won't need to make the cards, and you'll be able to use for lots of other cards!
- While the stamp set really does help add to the features on this card, I can easily see using other stamp sets to make these cards just as nice. So if you might be interested in buying just the kit – 40% off!!!! – you can make it without the stamp set. I won't have time to make the substitute cards before the Online Extravaganze is over – but I will do that in the next week or so to demonstrate if you'd let me know you'd like me to do that!
- The sewing is SO SEW EASY! I was hesitant about something that required me to take needle in hand as I long ago gave up counted thread needlework as taking too much time to complete a project. But I'm going to be very happy sending these cards to my old counted thread buddies (yes, we go back to the original Delphi days, continued into AOL forums, and still keep in touch today!) No, they're not hand-stitched ornaments, but they're STITCHED!
- When it came to the stitching, I made things easy on myself, and didn't back-stitch. I made a running stitch forward and then a running stitch backward. It worked just fine with all of the stitching. Don't know what I'm talking about? No worried – just follow the instruction book steps!
First, I used my own 5/8" Burlap Ribbon for the back layer behind the star. I had originally thought to cut notches in the large burlap ribbon that came in the kit. But as I was getting the ribbon out, I found that it was wrapped tight to the point that there were creases across the ribbon, and I wanted. to. do. it. now! I didn't want to wait to spritz the ribbon with some water and lay it out to dry. And I don't know where my iron is (sigh).
Next, I'd already decided to use the Christmas Joy banner stamp in one of the other cards, so I used the Merry & Bright stamp for this card. I also am SO not stamping Holiday Sentiments in black (unless I'm using that fab black/vanilla snowflake pattern in another Designer Series Paper set!). So I used Emerald Envy Classic Ink for this stamp.
First, I was so not seeing the Kraft circle as one that went with this card front. Besides that, since the Holiday Catalog was published, we had a short time where we could order the Stitched Shapes Framelits. What the heck – why not use one of the circles from that set, and mat it with a colorful doily from the 2015-2017 In Color Doilies set – Watermelon Wonder, to be exact. Doesn't that go well with the Mint Macaron color of this card front?!
And then I was being told to stamp in Basic Black again – and I chose the Emerald Envy, which is the same color as the sparkles stamped around the card.
Third, I have a tip for the star stitching: Don't start/stop in one of the points. One of the things you'll want to do with all of the stitching is to tape down the ends at the start and finish. If you're up there in the point, there's really no place to tape. So start in one of the sides or at the bottom of a point.
Finally, I really do not like bumps as thick as the gold half-circles were going to make on the card front – I mail my cards, after all, and I want them to arrive in one piece without a ripped envelope. So I added some of the star-shaped sequins from the Brights Sequins Assortment. But you can certainly use the gold embellishments if you wish.
First of all, both the instructions with the kit and the videos I've watched state to punch through the holes on this card and its trees before stitching. I did that with the first tree, but found that I was stitching as if my needle was looking for the holes. So I saved myself the trouble of poking out holes prior to stitching.
Next, I totally did not like the die-cut shape or the sentiment planned for this kit card. So I chose to use one of the extra (yes, there are extras!) banners and stamped Christmas Joy using Emerald Envy ink NOT black. Why not keep the holiday colors!?
Here's all you really need to make this project (well, add some ink, adhesives, scissors and tape)
And here are some of the other products I mentioned using when I made my own projects from the kit:
I have a BFF who has a birthday at Thanksgiving time. Yup, it happens every year. No matter when Thanksgiving is, her birthday is within no more than a few days of it. With all my Thanksgiving and Christmas stuff out on my craft room table, I always really make an effort to make a card with her favorite color (blue) and with NO Christmas, Thanksgiving, or any other holiday products.
OK, I have to admit to having added some Mint Macaron ribbon from a the 3/8" Ribbon Trio Pack from the Stampin' Up! 2016 Holiday Catalog. But other than that, this card is mainly made up of images from the Birthday Blossoms Stamp Set. The flower, the leaves and the sentiment are all from that stamp set. And what a pretty design they make, especially with the flowers backed by the fab new Stitched Shapes Framelits circles. (Remember that, as of this writing, these framelits are not orderable. But that's just to give Stampin' Up! time to get the stock replenished. If you use the number below to try to order them right now, you'll get a pop-up box in which you can enter your e-mail address to be notified when they arrive back in stock. There is no purchase requirements – you just get notified. But I'm sure you'll want these when they're available!)
The main colors in this card are Pacific Point, Mint Macaron, and, of course, some Whisper White. There's also a bit of Peekaboo Peach in the center of each of the flowers. To accent that Peach center, I added a Pearl Basic Jewel to the center of each. White a nice elegant touch for this somewhat fancy card!
This project is the second in the last week that prompted me to drag out my heat embossing tool, this time using it with White Stampin' Emboss Powder. It's been ages since I've done any heat embossing and now twice in one week. Well, the heat tool is out and about again, so I daresay you may be seeing more as December comes in!
Oh, and about those cut-out shapes! While I hand-cut (or "fussy cut" as stampers call it) the leaves, there is a punch that punches out those flowers, called the Pansy Punch. While these flowers may have a pansy shape, they're certainly not pansies, at least in the parts of the world where I've lived in my life! But whatever they are, they're blue, and perfect for my friend! Happy Birthday, Janet!
My husband and I are so fortunate this year to have a friend ask us to come to her home for Thanksgiving. It's going to be a large gathering, we'll have lots of dishes brought by her guests, and we'll be enjoying lots of friendship as we spend the afternoon with friends old and new. So how could I go to her home without taking a card that I've made to express our gratefulness for her hospitality on this festive occasion.
While this will be given on Thanksgiving Day and probably well recognized as a Thanksgiving card, I'm sure that this sentiment will be one that I'll use at other times during this holiday season. Even beyond Thanksgiving, there are people for whom to be thankful, and using this stamp is a great way to let them know that's how I think of them.
But now back to the actual Thanksgiving card. You've seen this folded-back layout at other times during this fall, and I have no doubt you'll see it again. What a fun way to show off Stampin' Up!'s Designer Series Papers, to fold one side back to accent the front. ( If you're interested in the instructions for making the background layers that I used in this card, just click here and read down a bit into the Halloween card post.) This particular set of papers is the Petals & Paisleys Specialty Designer Series Paper set from the Stampin' Up! 2016 Holiday Catalog. I especially like the way that the design on the lighter side of the paper coordinates with the floral motif at the bottom of the stamp from the Suite Seasons Stamp Set. OK, that may be stretching it a bit, but the pointy designs both caught my attention.
The two basic colors for this project are Cajun Craze and Mint Macaron, both of which are colors in the Designer Series Paper. The card base is the Cajun color, and the Mint Macaron Doily is from the 2015-2017 In Color Doilies set. I really like the size of these doilies for card fronts! The ribbon is the Mint Macaron ribbon from the 3/8" Ribbon Trio Pack also from the Holiday Catalog.
The highlight of this card for me is that I was able to use one of the new (and currently back-ordered) Stitched Shapes Framelits. I do hope they get back in stock soon!
Now here are the products that I used in today's project. The Stitched Shapes Framelits are not orderable. But if you put their number in your order and you'll be given the chance to enter your e-mail address to be notified when they're back in stock.
Taking a break from Thanksgiving today, I'm back to sharing one of my Christmas Cards – because it's time for the Stampin' Up! Only Challenge biweekly post. And the challenge this time is to show off some Holiday Cuteness. And aren't these little Christmas Mousies cute?!
When it comes to "Holiday Cuteness" and "Stampin' Up!" this year, there is one Stampin' Up! stamp set that reaches out and grabs me every time I think "cute." The set is called Merry Mice and it's in the Stampin' Up! 2016 Holiday Catalog. Not only that, until November 30th, Merry Mice is on sale! It's 25% off, so it's $12.75 for the clear mount set and the wood mount set is just $17.75. To buy either set, just click on a graphic at the end of this post!
Besides being just so cute, these little guys and gal give me something to color! And I do love coloring. As an aside, I've not ever bought one of those adult coloring books for myself because, if I want to color, I just go to my stamp shelf and find an outline stamp to stamp! What could be easier than that?
But back to the mice. The original has the little critters marching along to the right with their holiday decorations and goodies. But when I first saw the stamp, I wondered how I'd use them if I wanted them to march to the left. That really was a passing thought – for a while. Then it came time for this challenge. I really wanted to use the Merry Mice Stamp Set, but I imagined that others in the Design Team would be using it, too, even though there are other truly cute stamps to use this year. So what could I do that was different? Aha! That idea of making the mice march to the left grabbed me and wouldn't let go.
It's been a long time since I made a mirror image of a stamp, and usually that has been to form a reflection as in a body of water. In that case, I don't really have to be that careful to get all the stamping clean. But I tried it anyway, stamping the mice first on a piece of smooth plastic (one side of my Stamp-a-ma-jig plastic). Then I laid my Whisper White Cardstock over the stamped image and pressed down on it – lightly at first and then with a firmer smoothing motion. Those lines weren't as clean as the original stamp, but tracing along them with my Basic Black Stampin' Write Marker helped the lines out a bit. Not perfect, but it was going to do, especially when I started coloring the critters and their clothes in.
The final touches for this card, after mounting this image first on Garden Green then Real Red Cardstock, was to add some Enamel Dots. I added a star to the tip of each of the mice at the back of the line and then some small dots at either end of the piece of cardstock on which I'd stamped the sentiment.
This not only was definitely fun, but it also got the mirrored mouse brigade idea out of my head! Once is definitely enough, and now I'll go onto some other crazy idea! Meanwhile, check out the other Design Team Members' projects at suochallenges.com. At least one card has just one of these little mice on it. That's fun, too – and that might be my next try at using this stamp set – quickly becoming my favorite for this holiday season!
I knew it had been a long time since I last posted here. But when I opened my blog this afternoon, I found that it had been even longer than I thought! The last cold I had really knocked me for a loop. It's taken me a long time to get back to the point that I could really sit/stand and do some crafting for any length of time. But today I felt like I was back to normal. It's a good thing, because if Thanksgiving cards don't get mailed the Saturday before the holiday from here in Hawaii, there is very little chance they'll make it on time. And I still had to make a bunch of Thanksgiving cards!!
And these are the last four cards that I made today.
Can you say, "Copper"? Believe me when I say I didn't start out planning to make a card that screamed, "Copper!" But when I got out the papers and other materials that I'd planned to use, one by one they went to the side of my work area. What I ended up with was lots (and lots) of copper!
This is the first time that I've worked with the Copper Foil Sheets that are featured in the Stampin' Up! 2016 Holiday Catalog. Hmmm. It's also the first time I worked with the Copper Stampin' Emboss Powder and the Copper Metallic Thread, both of which are featured in the 2016-2017 Stampin' Up! Annual Catalog. Oh, my, that's a lot of copper! Oh, and then there's the sheet from the Petals & Paisleys Specialty Designer Series Paper set that includes Copper polka dots on a Very Vanilla background. That paper is just a gorgeous complement to the Copper Foil Sheets, especially when they've been embossed with the Elegant Dots Textured Impressions Embossing Folder! Dots DO go together well!
What started me on this whole escapade was that I wanted to use the new (and quickly going onto "not-orderable" status), Stitched Shapes Framelits. That last comment was a small warning – these framelits have been so popular that Stampin' Up! has had to order MORE! Well, they would have anyway as they'll be in the 2017-2018 Stampin' Up! Annual Catalog. They were just released early as they were so in demand by many people in the Stampin' Up! Community. But Stampin' Up! didn't understand how much they were in demand. So it will be a while before we can order them again. On the other hand, if you order them before November 21st, you'll be put on a "back order" list and may get them sooner than others! My first thought was that I wanted to have an oval Stitched Framelit for my sentiment. Then I wanted to add some square Stitched Framelits as a background. So that's what I ended up with.
And then there was that lovely stamp set from the Holiday Catalog, Suite Seasons. There's a perfect sentiment in that set for Thanksgiving – "In Everything Give Thanks." That was the other product that got me started on this project. Well, heck, with all the other copper, why not do some heat embossing! So that's what made me break out the Copper Stampin' Emboss Powder. Then the Oval Stitched Framelit. But what to add as a mat? Ah, one of the scalloped oval shapes from the Layering Ovals Framelits set.
Copper and Ovals and Stitched, oh my! That's what this whole project is all about. And I had a blast putting it all together – assembly line style. I got those last four cards made in no time once I had my design figured out.
If you'd like some hints about assembly line stamped card production, you'll get it in my next newsletter, which I promise will be out tomorrow (well, maybe late if you're on the United States east coast). I have an assembly line style last minute Christmas project all ready to go for the newsletter, along with news about Stampin' Up!'s fun annual sale! I can hardly wait to put in my order. So sign up in either of the forms up to the left, and you'll get my next newsletter! And I'm already prepping the early December newsletter with last-minute Holiday gifts! I'm so glad I have my energy back – because I need ALL of it!
Here are the products I've featured in today's project. This is the time of the year to start thinking about what you might like for a Christmas gift related to Stampin' Up! products. Maybe some of these will beon your list? Do let me know – or send me the Wish List that will be in my November newsletter and I'll help you get started!
Happy Holiday Stamping!
I mentioned, perhaps in passing, that there are several Stampin' Up! stamp sets on sale for 25% off just in November 2016. Today all I'm going to do is to post links to each of the sets that are on sale. I personally bought a few that I'd decided not to buy because I thought perhaps I wanted to spend my $$$ on other sets. But with the sale, I was hooked. I hope you are, too!!!
Here's the list. You can click on any of the pictures to get directly to my Stampin' Up! store, and then use any of the product numbers under any of the pictures to add products to your order! If you have any questions, be sure to let me know!
Today's blog post subject is part of a regular challenge that I and quite a few other Stampin' Up! demonstrators get from the organizer of a group to which we belong. And I have to tell you that this one kind of threw me a curve. I had to think back to the last time I saw a really badly constructed greeting card and wondered what ONE thing could have helped that card not be quite so bad.
For a card to be truly bad, there has to be a lot wrong with it. After all, home made is heart made! But when I thought of this card, I remembered that the card base wasn't folded nicely; the cut edges were frayed; ink was smeared; the wrong kind of glue had been used to put it together; and the paper itself was not the best quality. In considering this card, I wondered what skill I could have taught the person who made it that might have helped her make a nicer card. Then it came to me: the skill is to learn how to understand the most important part of a card – the paper! Once you know what kind of paper you're dealing with, you have a much better chance to use it properly.
Here are some examples to explain what I mean:
Light vs. heavy paper.
- Light paper is much easier to fold than heavier paper. So you can get a nice, crisp fold with just a small amount of effort to crease it nicely. On the other hand, heavy paper, such as cardstock, is a better base for a greeting card. Knowing that will clue you in that you should score heavier paper before folding it. Stampin' Up! introduced Whisper White Thick Cardstock this year to provide us with a good heavy card base. I always score that, or any of the colored cardstock, before I fold it so that my folds are clean and crisp.
- Light paper doesn't take as much pressure to create a clean cut as heavier paper. Whether you're using scissors or a paper trimmer, you'll find you have to use a bit more pressure to get a clean, clear cut from a heavier paper than from light paper, such as Designer Series Papers. Stampin' Up!'s paper trimmer has a great cutting blade and surface. But the blade doesn't last forever – to keep your trimmer cutting smoothly whether your paper is heavy or light, replace it at the first sign of paper fraying.
Smooth vs. textured or porous paper.
- Smooth paper will take a stamped image without allowing the ink to spread into adjacent areas. Porous paper, such as construction paper, allows ink to sink into it and spread outside the lines of the stamped image. Textured paper, including watercolor paper and Specialty Designer Series Paper, or paper that you've texturized with an embossing folder, may not allow your stamped image to transfer completely. If you're not sure how your paper will react to being stamped, test a scrap-sized piece of it before you stamp on your project. Most Stampin' Up! cardstock, whether light or heavy, is made to accept a clean stamped image. You should definitely test any Designer Series Papers before you stamp on your project.
- Adhesives act differently on textured or porous paper than they do on smooth paper or cardstock. Liquid glue is likely to soak through porous paper. Monoadhesives may not adequately cover textured paper to allow it to fully adhere to another layer. And the list of how different adhesives act with different papers goes on! In the Stampin' Up! Catalog's description of their adhesives, you can get some information about how it should be used. But the best way to find out which adhesives are best in which situation is to ask your Stampin' Up! demonstrator – ME! That's where I really shine – helping you know which products to use with Stampin' Up! paper to best show it off!!
I'm sure you can imagine that knowing paper is a bit more complicated than this. But the key point here is to look at your paper before you start working with it to get to know it a bit better so that you can make the best use of it. And by all means, let me know if you have any questions! Yes, I use Stampin' Up! papers exclusively when I post projects on my blog. But I've used – and continue to use – papers from many other manufacturers. For example, as Stampin' Up! no longer sells alcohol markers and I like to use alcohol markers, I have several kinds of papers in my stash that are specifically designed to deal with the propensity of alcohol markers to leak through. So, yes, I may be a Stampin' Up! demonstrator. But first and foremost, I'm an experienced paper crafter! And who better to help you with your own paper questions than someone with my experience!
Whatever kind of paper you're using, Happy Stamping!
I am so excited to have the new Stampin' Up! Stitched Shapes Framelits in my hot little hands! I'm also in the process of making the last of my Christmas Cards, and haven't yet used my fun new Merry Mice Stamp Set (on sale November 2016 only!). As I stared at that set trying to decide how to use both it and my new Framelits together, I had a flashback to one of my favorite techniques, spotlighting.
I wondered if the three little mice (not three blind mice, either!) would allow me to use the smallest square shape to cut out the center critter. Yes. It. Did! Isn't she just the cutest!?
After I colored the little mouse, I mounted the square onto a very slightly larger piece of Emerald Envy Cardstock.Then I mounted the larger stamped image (die cut with a non-Stampin' Up! stitched rectangle die) onto Emerald Envy and Whisper White Cardstock, tying all that together with a piece of Emerald Envy ribbon from the 3/8" Silky Taffeta Ribbon Combo Pack from the Stampin' Up! Holiday Catalog. Finally for this layer, I mounted the center square back onto the larger stamped layer using Stampin' Dimensionals.
For the background, I used one of the sheets from the Presents and Pinecones Designer Series Paper set. I really liked how this Emerald Envy pattern included the white stars which seem to complement the Whisper White layers nicely. Finally, I adhered the whole card front to a card base made with Whisper White Thick Cardstock.
This project was so much fun! And I have more new Christmas (and Thanksgiving!) stamp sets that I want to use to help show off the fun new Stitched Framelits!
Here are the products I featured in today's project. On Monday I'll publish a list of all 9 Stamp Sets On Sale in November Only!
I cannot believe that one of my favorite kinds of thin dies not only is going to be in the next annual Stampin' Up! Catalog – but they're now available for us to buy – just for the month of November. By the time you read this, I will have put in my order for these dies and hope to get them by the end of the week. Woo-hoo!
Stitched Shapes Framelits are Squares, Circles and Ovals with STITCHING along the edges! For quite a while, I have owned some rectangular dies with stitching, made by another company. I use them a lot, but don't post them here as much as I use them because I really do like to promote Stampin' Up! products first and foremost. And yesterday I was so excited to think about getting these new Stampin' Up! Stitched Shapes Framelits, that I just had to get out the stitched framelits I already have and make a card showcasing how much a stitched edge adds to a card!
Just the little bit of stitching makes a lovely impression on a card. OK, maybe I went a bit overboard on this card – I mean, THREE layers with stitching?? But I just wanted to make sure you didn't miss the stitches.
The great thing about this framelit set is that you (and I) can buy it NOW! It will be available beginning today – November 1, 2016. Not only that, there are quite a few stamp sets that pair nicely with these framelits that Stampin' Up! is putting on sale for 25% off, but just during the month of November. Those sets are:
- Greetings from Santa
- Hang Your Stocking
- Christmas Pines
- Merry Mice
- Tin of Tags
- Suite Seasons
- Oh, What Fun!
- Baby Bear, and
- Blooms and Wishes.
Everything else on my card today is Stampin' Up!, though. The Basket of Wishes Stamp Set is one that I'll be using a lot for my Thanksgiving cards this year. With its 3 different baskets and 4 different sets of fruits, flowers and veggies to put in them, along with 4 great sentiments, this stamp set will get me through November just fine!
The twine is the Halloween Night Baker's Twine that didn't come in time for some of my Halloween cards (my fault – you'd think I'd know how to place Stampin' Up! orders by now!). With the Pumpkin Pie color in it, I think it will work going forward, too!
As soon as I get my hands on the Stampin' Up! stitched shape framelits, you'll be sure to see them here! Until then, you could really start some great fall and Thanksgiving cards with this stamp set!
I may have mentioned before that I am the person responsible for making sure that all members of one of my service clubs gets a birthday card in the mail. Of course, any birthday card that I send is handmade! In order to make this less of a chore and more of a creative challenge, I choose to make two or three months' worth of cards all at once. That means that the cards have to be fairly easy to mass produce. Today I thought I'd share with you my latest card in this program. Besides that, the current SUO Challenge is "All Kinds of Celebrations," and making these cards to celebrate birthdays certainly fills that bill!
This is one of two slightly different designs that I chose for birthdays from the beginning of November through the first week of January. For this set of birthdays, there are 7 women and 7 men to whom I need to send cards. The slight difference is that, for the women's cards I feature a bow at the top of the card and for the men's cards, I simply tie a knot to embellish the ribbon.
Now here's how I make this as quick and easy as possible:
To begin, I put all the card fronts together first, leaving the cutting and folding of the card bases and adhering the card fronts to them, until the last step. Then I got all of the pieces of the card fronts cut and lined up. My work area did not look like the work area in this photo as, at any one time, I had just one of the elements that make up the card front out in front of me. If you're interested in this process at a more detailed level, I plan to do the last of my Christmas Cards using this pattern, but with different papers, inks and embellishments. I need about a dozen more cards, and it's getting close to time to start addressing envelopes and writing notes! AND I'll take photos of each step as I go along.
Does this sound like a tutorial? Well, it is! And it will be FREE to those who are on my newsletter mailing list, which includes those who signed up for the 12 Weeks of Christmas Mailing List. I hope to be mailing out my newsletter by the end of this week – a bit late as, once again, my health hasn't been the best which has slowed things down in my craft room. BUT I'm much better now and ready to take on the week!
Even though I have the products listed in the photos, above, I'd still like to share product links that will take you to my Stampin' Up! store in case you'd like to buy any of them. Once you've clicked any of the links, you can add any of the other products directly onto your order form. One of you mentioned that you'd like to have the product number in this presentation to help with the ordering. So, beginning this week, I'm including that in the product description below. Do let me know if you have any requests that would make your ordering easier!