The Stampin’ Up! Retiring List is Getting Serious!

Aloha, all!

     If you've been keeping up with what's available on the retiring product list (there's a link at the top of the column on the right), you may have noticed that Stamp Sets are starting to appear on the list or products no longer available! There are likely going to be more and more on that list as the week goes on – until Wednesday night, when everything will go dark for a bit!

     You see, Stampin' Up! makes their own stamp sets. And, at a certain point in the catalog life, they stop making them. Yes, there may be some in stock at that point. But, once they stop making those stamp sets, they're not going to be made again!

     So – a word to the wise shopping: If there's a stamp set you're really interested in, you might consider ordering it NOW! Like today!!! I'm not sure we're going to get an update to the retiring list until Tuesday when the regular work week starts again. So, even if it looks like it's there today, who knows what's going to happen come Tuesday.

     If you really want a stamp set, either order on my Stampin' Up! store or just send me an e-mail to let me know what I can order for you!

     Time's a wasting!

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Posted on : May 28 2017
Posted under Announcement |

It’s a Busy Time in the Stampin’ Up! Year!

Aloha, all!

     If you're wondering where I've been, I've been in my Craft Room getting ready for the new Stampin' Up! Catalog – which is just a week away from being published! Yay!!!

     So two things have been going on, with many steps involved in each:

  • First, I have been clearing retiring Stampin' Up! products out of my shelves, drawers, closets and other places where I store my supplies. Here's evidence of one part of that process:

     This is all that's left of my stash of 12" x 12" Designer Series Papers from the Stampin' Up! 2017 Occasions Catalog. Yes, they're all cut up into pieces that will fit on the front of an A2 sized greeting card. Those cards are 5-1/2" x 4-1/4" when folded, and these pieces of paper are 5-1/4" x 4", which leaves a nice margin of the card base around the paper. That size is also fairly easy to cut and I end up getting 6 card front pieces from each full sheet. Of course, much of what I had left weren't whole sheets of paper, but they were still easy to cut.

     Today I finished cutting all the left over papers from the Stampin' Up! 2016-2017 Annual Catalog, and organizing all my 6" square "stack" papers into piles. I have a total of 4-1/2 pounds of paper cut up and bagged for my sale of retiring products (which will be in late summer/early fall).

     Everything else, including my retiring stamp sets (I'm keeping three, two of which I'll be using in a scrapbooking project next month), ribbons and other embellishments, are already packed away in boxes to be stored until I get them ready to be sold.

  • The other part of this project is studying the NEW Stampin' Up! catalog to determine what I should be buying to demonstrate here and in person over the next year. I think my list is pretty well complete.

     These two projects go hand in hand, of course. My Craft Room is cleaned up and ready for the new product shipment! It may not look like this by Wednesday as I do plan to do a bit of crafting with products I've been able to pre-order as Stampin' Up! demonstrators can do. I'm really itching to get those other new products, though!

     In case you're wondering about all those punches in the storage units – those are products that I hardly ever get rid of. I've had to really retire some as I've run out of room. But these babies are really hard to find and, even if I only need one once or twice a year, it's worth it for me to keep them, and they don't take up much space. And, yes, I'm rationalizing!

 


Posted on : May 27 2017
Posted under Announcement |

An Early Birthday Card for My Husband!

Aloha, all!

     At the end of next week, my husband will celebrate his 75th birthday. That's a big one as far as I'm concerned. Actually, at our age, every birthday is a big one! But from now on, any that ends in a 5 or a 0 will get extra special treatment. Extra special in the case of Harry's birthday card is one that's made with the popular Pop Up Twist design. (OK – everyone I know calls is the "Twist Pop Up" card. But I just like the way it rolls off my tongue when I say, "Pop Up Twist."

     This is also the day that the Stampin' Up! Only Challenge group starts its next challenge, which is to make a Masculine style card. No frou-frou or flowers this time! But that doesn't mean that it can't be a really nice card, and I think that this one is!

     As with most of my recent cards, I made today's project using a retiring set of Designer Series Paper. Yep, just one retiring product – the Floral Boutique Designer Series Paper. And wouldn't you know that it's already beyond retired – it's gone! Don't forget – even though it might still be on a page in your catalog, if it's retiring, it could run out soon! So don't hesitate to order something you might really like! Order at my Stampin' Up! Online Store!

     To decorate the front of the card, I used the Balloon Celebration Stamp Set to stamp the "strings" and three solid balloon in the background. Then I punched balloons from the Designer Series Paper using the Balloon Bouquet Punch. I adhered two of them using SNAIL adhesive and two using Stampin' Dimensionals to pop them up a bit.

     For the inside of the card, after I'd adhered two sheets of paper to the top and bottom, I stamped the "Look Who's Turning" and "Happy Birthday" using stamps from the Number of Years Stamp Set. For the Pop Up section, I stamped two more balloons – this time just the outlines – on the two center sections. Then I die cut the 7 and 5 using the Designer Series Paper and the Large Number Framelits die set. I cut the two hearts using the heart shape in the Sunshine Wishes Thinlits set. That's all I put on this as you really need to keep the layers in the folded section a bit on the flat side so that the card will close cleanly.

     I debated adding some embellishments onto the front of the card. But my final decision was not to as I think this card has enough interest with its Pop Up feature. And those balloons on the front are in three different layers, and that seems to add a bit of interest.

     I hope that you like this idea for a masculine card and will try either this or some other design to enter into the Stampin' Up! Only Challenge this time. It runs through June 3rd, and that's actually my husband's birthday. We're going on a short vacation to celebrate, and I know he'll love this card. If you'd like to try out this Pop Up Twist technique, I highly recommend the Split Coast Stampers website. The video there was definitely helpful!

     Here are the products I used for this project. All of these products are in the current Stampin' Up! Catalogs AND will be in the upcoming 2017-2018 Stampin' Up! Annual Catalog!

    


Posted on : May 22 2017
Posted under Challenges, Family and Garden, Punches, Sizzix, Stamping, SUO Challenges |

Retiring Products Have Just 2-1/2 More Weeks!

Aloha, all!

     Well, it's actually less than 3 weeks before everything that's on the Stampin' Up! List of Retiring Products will really be retired. Now I know that some things don't actually sell out and end up on the Clearance Rack a couple of months down the road. But when it comes to things that I want, the products really do run out before the retiring date gets here. Just a thought….

     Anyway, here's another recent project that I made to show off several retiring products.

     Unfortunately, I had to make a sympathy card to send to a friend whose husband just passed away after a long illness. I was quite thankful that I still had some large pieces of the retiring Blooms and Bliss Designer Series Paper to use for this card. The pinks and purples go together so well to make a soothing card. I used one sheet that's primarily Blushing Bride in color and another – the mats behind the sentiment and the main card layer – that's primarily Rich Razzleberry. Since I was on a mission to use up some retiring products, I used the lace stamp from the Grateful Bunch Stamp Set, and stamped it twice along the right side of the card front.

     To give the card front some texture beyond the faux texture provided by the lace stamp, I added a layer of Very Vanilla Cardstock that I embossed using the retiring Elegant Dots Textured Impressions Embossing Folder. Then for the final touch before adding the Sentiment Layer, I tied a piece of the retiring Blushing Bride 3/8" Stitched Satin Ribbon.

     For the sentiment, I chose one from the NOT retiring Flourishing Phrases Stamp Set (so glad this isn't retiring!), which I stamped using Rich Razzleberry Ink onto Very Vanilla Cardstock before die-cutting it and the Designer Series Paper layer using the also NOT retiring Lots of Labels Framelits. For just a tad more texture and interest, I included some Rich Razzleberry Enamel Dots just below the sentiment.  I adhered this layer to the card front using Stampin' Dimensionals.

     Now off to make some more cards using some of my favorite retiring products. Believe it or not, I've already packed most of them away in boxes that will be stored until the Fall, which is when I usually put all my retiring products up for sale on eBay. But there are a few still hanging around, and you'll see some of them as long as they're still available. This is the time in retirement season when stamp sets start getting sold out, so keep thinking about stamp sets you'd like to buy – better sooner than later! Rarely do rubber stamp sets end up on the Clearance Rack. Just sayin'

     Here are the products in this project that will be retiring come May 31st:

And here are the products I used that are NOT retiring

 


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Posted on : May 15 2017
Posted under Announcement, Sizzix, Stamping |

New Stampin’ Up! Catalogs Are Here!

Aloha, all!

     I just finished packing up a bunch of new 2017-2018 Stampin' Up! Annual Catalogs for mailing to my customers. Yay for me getting them done a couple of weeks before they "go live"! I've included several helpful inserts with each catalog, of course. But I also couldn't resist making a note card to go with each one!

     I got quite a way into my envelope stuffing before I realized that I'd not taken a photo of the little 3" x 3" cards – but I think this grouping makes a nice picture, don't you? What's especially nice about these cards is that I used 3 brand new products in putting them together: There's the super-lovely Delightful Daisy Designer Series Paper, the Daffodil Delight 1/4" Double-Stitched Ribbon, and a bit of the new Tranquil Tide Ink that I used to stamp the sentiment from the Teeny Tiny Wishes Stamp Set.

     The Delightful Daisy paper set has some gorgeous designs, but this side of this sheet is almost my favorite. I promise to get out my absolute favorite sheet to show off before too long. The Double-Stitched Ribbon will come in 3 colors: Blushing Bride and Cherry Cobbler, besides the Daffodil Delight. As you can see from the photo, the stitching on one side is a cross-stitched 'X' and the other side has a double running stitch. This is what two different sides of my cross-stitching looks like when I make a row of 'X's, and it makes both sides fun to work with. It's also fun to tie a bow. Now, I could have sworn I tied every bow the same way as I was doing it off the spool. But, as you can see, the bows turned out differently. It doesn't matter, though, because the patterns are so much fun.

     Besides the new products, I turned to my favorite sentiment stamp set, Teeny Tiny Wishes, for the sentiment and the Modern Label Punch to punch it out of the Whisper White Cardstock on which it was stamped.

     So – I've used up my supply of catalogs for the moment. But I would be happy to order some more and get one out to you if you're not one of my current customers. All you have to do is to change that non-customer status and place an order of $50 or more before the end of June, and I'll send a catalog off to you FREE! This means you can order now from the 2016-2017 Stampin' Up! Catalog (click on the "Current Stampin' Up! Catalogs" picture over on the right) or from the upcoming 2017-2018 Stampin' Up! Catalog when it is published June 1st. I'll have a link to an online copy of the catalog in the same spot on the right when it's published!

     For those of you who are already my customers, you should get your catalog in your mail box next week. If you don't, be sure to let me know!

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Posted on : May 12 2017
Posted under Announcement, Punches, Stamping |

Fun With Watercolor Pencils!

Aloha, all!

     I have just never been good with Watercolor Pencils. I've been through several iterations of Stampin' Up! Watercolor Pencils. I still have a set from years ago, along with the current set. Then this month's Paper Pumpkin set came along and I'd promised one of my downline that I'd put the kit together with her and her kit. So I had to just do it! The best thing ever was Sara Douglas' Paper Pumpkin video for the April set (which she designed). I didn't do too badly with that set, so I decided I'd better keep doing this so that I can finally get to be at least an intermediate watercolorist. Today I was kind of forced into doing this because it's time for another Stampin' Up! Only Challenge. And the challenge is Watercoloring!

     My first intent was to make this simple – just a few colors and not too complicated a design. The water lily stamp from the Remarkable You Stamp Set seemed to be just simple enough. It allowed me to use two colors (Rich Razzleberry and Melon Mambo). I was just going to stamp it on Watercolor Paper, but then decided it needed something else. Well, heck, it's a water lily, so why not some water?! So out came the Pacific Point and Bermuda Bay watercolor pencils, too.

     After that, I assembled the card with the sentiment stamped in Bermuda Bay Ink on a piece of Very Vanilla Cardstock that I punced using the Banner Triple Punch, tied it with some Bermuda Bay Thick Baker's Twine, and adhered to the card using Stampin' Dimensionals.

     The key part of the watercoloring that I've been paying attention to is how much water is on my brush. I had been using an Aqua Painter in all my watercoloring efforts. But with the Watercolor Pencils, I just don't need as much water as I thought I needed. My basic watercolor training back in the day used tubes of paint, and I knew how to use the paint out of the tube to do my dry brush painting. I don't think I can do dry brush painting using Aqua Painters. So I'm back to using a brush (thank you, Paper Pumpkin kit!), and I have a nice selection for just about any project I might try. Oh, and for the watercolor pencils, i squeeze most of the water out of the brush. Who knew!?

     I hope you have fun with your own watercoloring! Why not try a project over the next two weeks and join our challenge? You don't have to use the Watercolor Pencils – just get a bit of ink from your favorite stamp set and start watercoloring away!

     Here is the one product I featured today that is retiring this month:

     And here are the other products I featured, all of which are current and will continue in the new Stampin' Up! 2017-2018 Annual Catalog:

 


Posted on : May 08 2017
Posted under Challenges, Paper Pumpkin, Stamping, SUO Challenges |

My Projects for a Fund-Raising Fair!

Aloha, all!

     As many of you know, I belong to a group called Family and Community Education (FCE). It's part of a USA national group of the same name, which is also part of a worldwide group called Associated Country Women of the World. In our small part of the world, my club focuses on educational projects such as giving books to newborns, providing materials for 4th graders to participate in a Character Counts art and essay project, and supporting healthy cooking demonstrations (many more,too).  We also do some charity work such as (and you may have to live in Hawaii to truly understand this) providing the local elementary schools with rubber slippers. OK – the explanation is that many children in our area where rubber slippers to school (not a problem – I wear rubber slippers everywhere, too!). But what they wear may be their only pair and, if they break during the school day, they'd have to go around barefoot the rest of the day, and maybe for a while longer. So we give the schools some extras so they can help these kids out.

     To raise money to do all of this, we participate with other clubs in our local FCE council in hosting an arts, crafts and baked goods fair every May. That's what I spent this past Saturday doing. But I spent a lot of time before the fair making covered composition books to sell at the fair. I'm the paper-crafter in the club, so I get to choose the paper-crafted project for the year, and this year it was the notebooks.

     This is one of the books that I made this year. I use 4 sheets of the same patterned paper to cover one book. The way Stampin' Up!'s schedule works, Sale-a-bration is always the perfect time for me to stock up on good quality Designer Series Papers for this project (which I've been doing for several years now). Then decorating the fronts of the books with Stampin' Up! die-cut flowers and other shapes, using coordinating cardstock, really makes the books stand out in the crowd of crafts.

     I also add a pen for each notebook. These pens, called "R.S.V.P." pens have a clear cover over the ink tube, and all I have to do is cut a small piece of matching Designer Series Paper, roll it into a tube, and slip it into the pen. Voilà, matching pen.

     Here's a notebook I made with paper that's not Stampin' Up! paper – it was 25¢ at a local craft store, so I snatched it all up! But I used Stampin' Up! Ribbon to hold the pen, and I added a Watermelon Wonder Butterfly die-cut butterfly that perfectly accented the butterfly printed on the paper. These books sold fast!

     There were several other designs, but these were my favorites! And our club ended up making enough to keep us in our projects for yet another year – even enough to perhaps up our donation of those rubber slippers!

     I hope you had as great a weekend as I had!

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Posted on : May 07 2017
Posted under 3D Projects, Sizzix, Stamping |

Thinking of Friends

Aloha, all!

     My husband and I have moved long distances twice during the last 25 years. And each time that we've moved, we've left good friends behind. Some of them we were fortunate enough to have had the chance to visit when we were on our trip last month. But some were away when we visited, and others have themselves moved to different places. But as I thought of many of them when we were traveling, I thought it might be a nice idea to send them notes to let them know we were thinking about them. Today's project is the first of the cards that I made to send to a friend in Florida.

     And, yes, there are retiring Stampin' Up! products featured in this card! The most prominent of these is the delightfully lovely Fruit Stand Designer Series Paper. My original intention was to stamp images from the coordinating Fresh Fruit Stamp Set. But when I decided on the sheet with the peaches on it, I realized that I could do just as well (if not better) by die-cutting some of the fruit from the paper. Once I made that decision, it was just a quick step to pull out my Stitched Shapes Framelits and arrange them on a card front.

     Once I had the shapes on the card front, I needed a sentiment to fit in that little space down in the right front of the card. The sentiment I chose is from the retiring, Love and Affection Stamp Set. The final touch for this card was a little bow using the Peekaboo Peach 3/8" Ruched Ribbon. While Peekabook Peach is a color that will be around for at least another year, the whole set of Ruched Ribbons will be retiring at the end of this month. I'm almost out of the Peekabook Peach!

     Oh, and the color I chose to mat everything on this card was Pear Pizzazz Cadstock. That's not going anywhere, but it seemed to be the right color to use for this!

     Here are the products in this project that will be retiring this year:


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Posted on : May 05 2017
Posted under Sizzix, Stamping |

For Our Friends and Family – Thank You!

Aloha, all!

     The best part of all the traveling that we did last month was seeing so many friends and members of our families. And everyone was so welcoming when we came to visit!

     One of our favorite hostesses – on any of our travels! – is my husband's Aunt Margrit. She is the most thoughtful person, and always seems to have wonderful ideas about what we might want to do  when we visit her in her Sarasota, Florida, home. Harry especially loves the outdoors, and Margrit always finds a place that will interest both of us (plenty of shade for me) and get us outdoors as well. It's impossible to explain how much she pampers us when we visit, but I definitely never feel more pampered than when I'm at her home.

    So, for someone so thoughtful, I always make a special Thank You card. I chose the stamp set for this card first and, as I was looking at ideas to use it in the Stampin' Up! catalog, I found a great card to CASE (Copy and Share with Everyone). If you have a catalog, you can see the basic idea that started my idea for this card on page 143.

     Did I mention how elegant Margrit is? So I put away any cutesy or super-colorful design ideas, and out came the retiring Blooms & Bliss Designer Series Paper (again this week) and the lovely, and also retiring, Penned & Painted Stamp Set. This stamp set is another set that I really love and am so disappointed that it only lasted in the Stampin' Up! catalog for one year. It's been so much fun to use, especially as each flower and leaf in the stamp set has three stamps that make every thing so pretty.

     For the flower I used just two colors – Rich Razzleberry and Blushing Bride. I stamped the outline in Razzleberry, and stamped the fill stamp and then the shadow stamp using Blushing Bride. I outlined the leaves and stem using Garden Green and used the retiring Mint Macaron Stamp Pad. That stamp pad still available as I write this, as are the 2016-2017 Stampin' Write Markers. So the color is still available, though the reinker is not.

     The final stamping was the sentiment, which came from the retiring Bunch of Blossoms Stamp Set, and which I stamped using Rich Razzleberry Ink (that's a color that's not retiring). The final touch is a couple of strips of Mint Macaron 3/8" Sheer Linen Ribbon, an idea that I got from the design I CASEd.

     Here are the retired products that I feature in this card:


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Posted on : May 04 2017
Posted under Family and Garden, Stamping |

Birthdays Don’t Take a Vacation!

Aloha, all!

     As soon as I got back from my travels, I had to get right into making birthday cards for friends and family members who had birthdays coming right up. Neither of the soonest birthday girls seemed willing to delay their birthdays until I could get a card made, so I definitely hustled. One may have made it a day or two late (takes longer for mail to get places from here in Hawaii!). Actually, it was this one, which I sent to my sister-in-law. Hopefully she'll have it by the time it shows up here!

     And, of course, since May is the month of retiring Stampin' Up! products, I used a whole bunch of them for this card.

     Both stamp sets that I used for this card are retiring, one of them from a few years back, and one from the most recent (and still current) Stampin' Up! 2017 Occasions Catalog. The Petite Petals Stamp Set has been around for a while, along with its coordinating  Petite Petals Punch. I didn't use the punch for this project, but I probably will in some other project this month, just to give it a proper, "Goodbye." The sentiment is from the Balloon Adventures Stamp Set, which I really liked, and which I hope to use for a few more birthday cards as the month progresses. So sorry it was only around for a few months!

     The Blooms and Bliss Designer Series Paper is one that you're going to see more of this week as I really, really like this paper and hope to use up most of my remaining stash before it retires. As of the time that I'm writing this post, there is still quite a bit of this paper left, so it's probably not too late to order some (the yellowish icon over to the right).

     Finally, I'm rapidly using up my one last spool of the Blushing Bride 3/8" Stitched Satin Ribbon. This is another product that's still available as I write this, but other colors in this kind of ribbon have already sold out, so this may not be far behind.

     Still in the upcoming 2017-2018 Stampin' Up! Annual Catalog will be the Lots of Labels Framelits, which I used to cut the stamped sentiment layer as well as its mat, as well as the Subtles Enamel Dots (love the heart shapes in these sets!).

     Here are the products that I used in this project that will be retiring at the end of this month:


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Posted on : May 03 2017
Posted under Family and Garden, Sizzix, Stamping |