How lucky that today is both the first day of the newest Stampin' Up! Catalog – the 2015 Holiday Catalog, "Handmade for the Holidays,", and also the first day of a new Stampin' Up! Only Challenge! I was sure that I'd find something from the new catalog to use for this challenge, even though the catalog is focused on the fall and winter holidays, and the theme of the challenge is Cards for Friends. Sure enough, I found not one but two new products to show off this theme!
Is this Designer Series Paper not gorgeous!!! It's the new set, Into the Woods. This set is part of the newest Thanksgiving suite of products that includes papers, stamp sets, and embellishments. This lovely, Rich Razzleberry 3/8" Cotton Ribbon is one of those embellishments. This is a beautifully thick ribbon that is so easy to tie and accents the papers in this set so nicely.
For the card layout, I used a quick card-design technique demonstrated by Patty Bennett on her blog back at the beginning of the summer. I loved the idea, but I hadn't yet found the perfect paper to use for myself until I saw this set (though some of the Christmas papers will work well, too!). The two papers on this card are two sides of the same sheet of paper. The "technique" is called, "Snip, Flip, Cut a Strip." I only took the first two steps – I "snipped" the 4" x 5-1/2" piece of paper 2" from the bottom and "flipped" the bottom piece to show the other side of the paper. That third step is to find a 1/2" strip of paper from another in the DSP set to finish the layout. I thought using this ribbon in place of the strip would make such a nice accent – and it did!
The sentiment is from the Banner Blessing Photopolymer Stamp Set. You won't find it in any of the Stampin' Up! Catalogs as it was issued last year as part of a regular issue of new Photopolymer Stamp Sets. It's current and you can find it in the Stampin' Up! Catalog – its product number is 136720. This was issued at Christmas time last year, and it's a great set for the holidays. There's a picture of it at the end of this post.
I stamped the sentiment using Rich Razzleberry Classic Ink, then again using Old Olive Classic Ink. I cut the Biblical reference banner out of the Old Olive image and glued it to the Razzleberry image. This was SOOO EASY TO GLUE, using yet another new product from the Holiday Catalog, the Fine-Tip Glue Pen. It's really in a bottle, but you wouldn't believe how easy it is to make just a teensy strip of glue along a thin piece of paper such as this – or just a drop for something like a sequin!
I matted both the sentiment and the DSP layer using Rich Razzleberry Cardstock. When Patty Bennett made her cards, she didn't mat the DSP layer and the cards looked lovely. Imagine how quickly you could make a whole lot of cards with this technique! In fact, as I write about this, I may just snatch some more of that paper and whip out a few more cards! I'll show them off later in the week!
Meanwhile, I hope you'll visit the SUO Challenges Blog after you've read this and look at all the fun projects made by our talented Design Team – including our newest member, Cindee Wilkinson who is one of Patty Bennett's downline, and who also demonstrated this technique earlier in the summer. Then make your own card and enter it in the challenge!
Now here's that stamp set:
When I bought the Stampin' Up! Stamp Set, Watercolor Words, I really only focused on the greetings and sentiments in the set. But yesterday I wanted to make a card that had a wreath of flowers, yet wouldn't be too delicate. I wanted a card with some bold color, and the wreath stamps I have just weren't going to work. I then proceeded to look at all of the stamp sets in my bookcase to see what I could find – and out jumped Watercolor Words – with a bold flower and leaf!
This ended up being just the wreath I wanted, even though I wasn't sure when I started if it would work.
I stamped the flowers using Pacific Point Classic Ink, and the leaves using Cucumber Crush Classic Ink. To create the wreath, I used a non-Stampin' Up! tool that's been in my craft room for over a month now, but which I haven't used a lot. It's called "MISTI," which is an acronym for "Most Incredible Stamping Tool Invented." It really is incredible! If you're interested in finding more about this, you might just want to look around in YouTube to find one of the dozens of tutorials on its use that are out there.
Basically, what happens is that I position a square on which I've drawn a circle in the tool. Then I position the flower stamp where I want it on the circle. The tool keeps the stamp in position, and all I have to do is rotate my square cardstock (in this case, Stampin' Up! Whisper White) and apply the stamped image on all four sides. Then I reposition the flower stamp so that it's between two of the first four flowers, stamp, turn the square, restamp, and so forth. I repeat the same process with the leaves. Then I erase the circle with a white eraser and, poof! a beautiful circle of flowers!
Now that I had that wreath, which is kind of bold – as I wanted it – I needed a background that didn't have much in the way of delicate lines. So I decided just to place the one layer of the Pacific Point Designer Series Paper Stack onto the Whisper White Thick Cardstock card base. But before I did that, I embossed the card front using the Stampin' Up! Decorative Dots Embossing Folder, and tied a short length of Pacific Point Stitched Satin Ribbon around the top of the Designer Series Paper layer.
The only thing delicate about this card is the sentiment in the middle of the wreath. That stamp comes from the Watercolor Wishes Stamp Set, which is part of the Watercolor Wishes Card Kit that I mentioned in my last blog post. It was delicate but (1) it fit and (2) it was just what I wanted to say.
I finished the card off by attaching some of the smallest in the White Perfect Accents embellishment pack. I thought about coloring them, but then realized that I liked the monochromatic look of the card. Maybe next time!
My friend, Becky, came to visit my Craft Room this afternoon after we'd both been to our monthly book club meeting. I wasn't quite sure what we were going to do, but I knew if we started with a Stampin' Up! kit, we'd be in good shape. Sure enough, it was just right to get us started.
Right from the start, Becky was captivated by all the ideas in the kit folder, and off we went to play! As you know, this kit contains not only card bases, die cuts and a couple of ink spots. It also comes with the stamp set of the same name, Watercolor Wishes. Two of the stamps are shown on the projects in this photo.
The project on the left is one that is done pretty much the way that the idea folder laid it out. Over on the right, though, Becky picked out a different background and a different layout than anything in the folder. With this kit – and all Stampin' Up! kits you can do that! There are no "kit police" around telling you what you can and can't do, and there are still plenty of die-cuts and embellishments to make another dozen or so cards (I've made a few in the past weeks since I bought the kit).
If you read my last post, you may remember that it costs extra to mail that little square card if you put it in the square envelope that comes with the kit. So Becky went home with a standard A2 sized to use for sending it off to a friend. No extra postage for this card!
If you'd like to get more details about the Watercolor Wishes Card Kit, just click here to go the Stampin' Up! website and read all about it! It's a great kit! There's even a video that gives more details about the kit and shows you each of the cards as it is finished. All you need to add is adhesives – it even includes Stampin' Dimensionals to raise images up off the card base, as in the card on the right! If you decide to buy the kit, you're already right there in my own Stampin' Up! store, so just click, "Add to Bag," and go from there.
If you're in the United States and make and mail your own greeting cards, I'm sure you've noticed that some of your cards have needed more than just a First Class Stamp to mail them. I've found that there are three main reasons that I end up with a card that requires more than the first class stamp:
- It weighs more than 1 ounce.
- There's a button or large brad layered up such that there's a big bump in the card, or the card is so thick or rigid that it can't easily go through postal processing rollers.
- The card and envelope are square.
The last two reasons mean that the card is "non-machineable." This means that the card cannot just be put into the postal processing sorting and cancellation machines without some kind of human intervention.
Up until now, finding that I had a card like this meant I had to remember what our current first class postage rate was and then what the extra cost was for the card being non-machineable. I have a good stash of stamps with different values, so I can pretty much always put together the exact postage. Right now, if I have a Forever first class stamp, I can just add 22¢ worth of postage to come up to the current 71¢ rate. I also have a stash of 70¢ stamps that used to be the rate for stamps that required extra postage. So I have a nice collection of 1¢ stamps to get that one up to 71¢.
NOT ANY LONGER!
As of earlier this year, the US Postal Service has issued a stamp that has "Non-Machineable Surcharge" printed on it. While it doesn't say, "Forever," it is indeed a stamp that will work for as long as you have them for a non-machineable first class greeting card in an envelope. Right now they cost 71¢ to purchase.
And guess who they worked with to come up with this idea! The "Greeting Card Industry." Here is a quote from the Postal Service website about this Butterfly stamp:
"The square format of the stamp was developed in partnership with the greeting card industry to indicate that this stamp may be used for square envelopes weighing up to and including one ounce. Greeting card envelopes printed with a silhouette of a butterfly indicate the need for an additional postage-or the use of this butterfly stamp. The butterfly stamp may also be used to mail envelopes with irregular sizes and shapes."
While this is the first Butterfly Stamp to have "Non-Machineable Surcharge" on it, the square butterfly stamp has been around since 2009, and its purpose every time a new value has been issued has been to put it on non-machineable mail. It's always been a square stamp – to go on a square card! Of course, it's much more than that. Oh, and what if your envelope is square AND has a big bump it in. It's still just a non-machineable envelope – you only pay for the non-machinable features once for one card!
Now back to my first reason for needing more postage – it weighs more than an ounce. There is also a separate stamp called a "Two Ounce" stamp, which has a vintage tulip design. Right now, the price for both non-machineable and two-ounce stamps is exactly the same – 71¢. The consensus seems to be that you can use whichever stamp you wish for either non-machineable or mail that's more than one and up to two ounces. Things get a bit more complicated if you have, for example, a card that is BOTH non-machineable AND weighs more than one ounce. In that case, you've upped your postage a bit to 93¢. There's now a Three Ounce Stamp that covers the 93¢.
There's one other type of card that requires that "Non-Machineable Surchage" stamp. A card in an envelope where the height of the card is greater than the length, which is the side parallel to the address on the envelope. But the length of the card – parallel to the address – has to be at least 5" for it to be mailable at all. So you can certainly mail a card that's 6" high and 5" long. But why not turn the envelope around and save yourself the additional postage?! For a first class letter, the largest length is 11-1/2" and the largest height is 6-1/8". If you get into that size of a greeting card, you might be looking at weight that will put you into the range of that Tulip Stamp!
For more information on all of this, check out the US Postal Service website, http://www.usps.com.
As a final note – with some members of the "Greeting Card Industry" adding butterfly silhouettes in the stamping corner to indicate extra postage is required, why not start adding a Stampin' Up! butterfly stamped image in the upper right corner of square envelopes for cards that you sell or give as gifts? Just a thought.
This weekend marks the 4th and final blog hop of the 2015 VC Rocks season. As I've mentioned before, VC Rocks is an online group made up of Stampin' Up! product lovers who have created a "Virtual Convention" experience online, from May to August each year. The group "Rocks!" Most who are members of our group do not get to go to big Stampin' Up! events, so this virtual event is great. Going forward there will be no more summer Stampin' Up! Conventions – events will be at other times during the year. But I'm sure that VC Rocks will be back next year for us to continue to having fun.
Besides swaps, Make n Takes, and even the odd class, the Blog Hops are part of the fun and a way for us to share projects not only with our group, but with anyone who follows our blogs. This summer the overall theme of our blogs has been "Celebrate," and for this last Blog Hop, we're celebrating our friendships with each other.
For my project, I'm going to divert from my usual chatty blog experience, and use my projects to as a tribute to all my VC Rocks Friends. All of the stamps are from the Banner Blessings Photopolymer Stamp Set (available online here), the papers are from the Cherry on Top Designer Series Paper Stack, and the ribbon is either Cucumber Crush or Watermelon Wonder 1" Dotted Lace Ribbon.
Each and every friend I've made in VC Rocks, not only this year but in many years past, means a lot to me. We share each other's projects and Stampin' Up! experiences, along with stories of how our lives are going. There just is not a better group for Stampin' Up!-loving friends to meet and share.
Thanks to all of my VC Rocks friends for a great summer! I so look forward to chatching up at Christmas and to a new VC Rocks season in 2016.
As we close VC for the summer, I wish you all a great Fall and hope you all will shine throughout the holiday season with memories of VC Rocks 2015!
As a Stampin' Up! Demonstrator, I have quite a complete craft room, and I really don't need to be subscribing to Stampin' Up!'s Paper Pumpkin Monthly Kit. But, as I explained yesterday, I love getting a new stamp set and new papers in the mail every month – whether I need them or not!
Unfortunately, what has happened with me much of the time is that I look at the kit, take out the stamp set to use in other projects, and leave the kit sitting there. So, yes, I have a stack of red Paper Pumpkin Boxes in my craft room. So last month, I decided I definitely needed to DO SOMETHING with my monthly Paper Pumpkin Kit when I get it in the mail. My August kit arrived late Monday, and yesterday I made three cards. This morning, I had to get my craft room work table cleared off for a big project I'm starting, and I almost just packed up the kit to set aside.
But no! I kept my promise to myself, and made three more cards with materials in the kit, as well as some additional embellishments from my own personal stash.
To start the finishing of this project, I made two Sympathy Cards. I do not have any in my stash at the moment, and I do try to keep a few in my card box. For the top card, I just added a strip of Gold 5/8" Satin Ribbon as an additional embellishment. As with yesterday's projects, I used gold heat embossing rather than the chalk-looking White Craft Ink. The second card uses a piece of a cover of one of the boxes in the kit. I'm not making the boxes as I have no idea what I'd do with them and they'd just sit around taking up precious space in my craft room. I stamped directly onto the glossy cardstock using Jet Black StaZon Ink.
This card was just something whimsical I came up with as I really didn't want to waste that lovely pink cardstock that was meant to be used for flowers to embellish the boxes. As I was holding one in my hand wishing for some inspiration, up the inspiration popped as I glanced at my table and spotted the Papillon Potpourri Stamp Set I had out from a project earlier in the week. Bingo – butterflies! Again, I used gold heat embossing and then punched them with the Elegant Butterfly Punch. I stamped "hello" using Night of Navy Classic Ink and finished the project off with a bit of Gold 1/8" Ribbon tied around the middle of the flower die-cut.
So this month's Paper Pumpkin kit is done and history! The box and left overs are in the trash and I'm on to other projects! Now I can hardly wait until next month's Paper Pumpkin!
If you're like me and subscribe to Stampin' Up!'s Paper Pumpkin Monthly Kit, then you might be a bit disappointed when the kit features a 3-dimensional item. Hey, if I want a box, I know how to make one. What I do like with every kit, however, is that each and every one includes a new stamp set and some new paper or cardstock I've never seen before. Once I home in on the stamp set and cardstock, the rest of the stuff is just incidental.
And so it is with the August 2015 Paper Pumpkin Kit. What fun are those metallic card bases! But oh that chalk look on Basic Black Cardstock is just not going to work. And the boxes? Not going to happen. What am I going to do with a box with pink and black flowers? But that kit is not going to waste! Do you know what those boxes are made of? Cardstock! There are some pretty strips to be had from just cutting them up. And the black die-cuts? Heat embossing will work just fine with those. Sure, I could use the heat tool on the Whisper White Craft Ink. But I never have liked the chalk look very much anyway, except in a school type setting.
In addition to adding a layer of the cardstock from one of the boxes, I included a bit of Basic Black Cardstock to use as a mat to separate it from the striped background. I used three of the stamps in the August 2015 Stamp Set, stamped in VersaMark and then heat embossed with Gold Stampin' Emboss Powder. Finally, I added some Gold 5/8" Satin Ribbon to accent the stamped images. This is a nice card to send off with a quick note to someone!
For this card, with the bows in the background, I took one of the pink banners included in the kit, matted it with a bit of Mint Macaron Cardstock, tied a bow of Gold 1/8" Ribbon, and made that the central background image on the card. Again, I gold embossed two of the stamps in the set, this time on Mint Macaron Cardstock, cut it with one of the framelits in the Chalk Talk Framelits set, and adhered it with Stampin' Dimensionals onto the banner element. This is a much lighter card for saying "hello."
I just couldn't stop with this kit! As I was writing this blog post, I noticed how close in shape the Chalk Talk die was to the shape of the black die-cuts in the kit. I still had the Mint Macaron Cardstock out, so I stamped on it with the new Archival Basic Black Ink, trimmed the top to be straight across, then adhered it to one of the black die-cuts. I trimmed it's top, too, added some Pink Pirouette Cotton Ribbon and a few Pink Pirouette Candy Dots, and that element was done. But what to use as a background. Hmmm. I kept moving one of the pink banners around to see how that would work. Then I glanced down and saw that there were LOTS of those pink banners sitting on my work table. Two would work nicely. So I adhered them together and then ran them through the Sizzix Big Shot using the Elegant Dots Embossing Folder. Voila! Done.
I believe my next step will be to use some of my floral punches to punch some images out of those big flower shapes that were meant to go on the box. Those will also make some fun additions to card fronts!
For sure, I'm going to take this opportunity to make a few sympathy cards. I'm out of them at the moment, and it never hurts to have some around. The sympathy stamp in this set is really nice.
OK – back to other projects! I hope you enjoy your Paper Pumpkin kit this month as much as I have!
A couple of years ago I was in a gift shop and saw a set of note cards that really caught my eye. On the front of each card was a quilt design. The designs all had pieces that looked just like a piece of quilting fabric might look. Of course I thought, "Why buy these? I can make my own!"
As we all know, that's easier said than done. Nonetheless I tried it out using Stampin' Up! products and came up with several designs that I shared with you, and I made my own box of quilt designed cards. You can click here to see that set, and just use the search function down at the left to search for "quilt" to find many more..
Anyway, up came today's Stampin' Up! Only Challenge theme, which is "Cards Without Words," and those quilt cards came right back to my mind. I love having a few cards around that can be for just about any occasion, and quilt patterns are perfect for that.
I'm sure you recognize this paper as being from the Stampin' Up! Pretty Petals Designer Series Paper Stack. I had never looked at that set as having the possibility of being in quilt designs. But now that I've looked more closely, I think I can see some more in the future!
As with so many of the quilt designs I've seen, I haven't a clue about what this pattern is called or even how to go about looking it up. It certainly has a Pinwheel around the center – or maybe not! But whatever it is, it was fun to make. With a pattern like this, I just go ahead and make a square card so that there's an even set of mats all around. I also like to texturize quilt block cards just to give the impression of some quilting over that paper piecing. For this card I used the brand new Fluttering Textured Impression Embossing Folder from Stampin' Up!
The colors in the butterfly patterned paper, besides the Basic Black Background are Old Olive, Mint Macaron, Calypso Coral, and Pacific Point. I decided to pick up the last three colors in the matting. The central square in the project is a Calypso Coral pattern, and is, in fact, the opposite side of the Butterfly pattern in the Paper Stack.
For the small butterfly in the center, after much trial and error with stamped and non-stamped images, I decided on a plain Whisper White butterfly, topped off with a Calypso Coral Candy Dot.
The squares are about 1-3/8" square. I trimmed the layer 1/16" all around to make the square design 4". The mats are 4-1/4, 4-1/2, and 4-5/8. I just wanted a sliver of white showing around the card. So I made the card base of Whisper White Thick Cardstock a 4-3/4" card.
I hope you find this to be a fun design and maybe even make one yourself! But whether you make this or another design, try making a card without words and entering it in the SUO Challenge! It is open until 6 am Eastern Time on August 29, 2015.
Believe it or not, I've been busy, busy, busy making cards. I'm not showing most of them here because I'm going to be including them in some tutorials that I'll be offering as rewards for Stampin' Up! purchases, or for sale. But that's a few weeks down the road. For today, I picked out a new set from the Stampin' Up! 2015-2016 Annual Catalog that's a "Hostess Set." That's a set that we can purchase for much less than market value once we've placed an order for $150 or more. If you host a workshop or class and you and your friends purchase the $150, then you have $15 to spend, and this set as a clear mount rubber stamp set is only $10!
I had not planned on buying this set for one main reason. This looks like a beautiful flower – but what kind of flower is it? I can tell you right now that it is NOT a hydrangea. I have hydrangeas in my garden, and I have not been able to find either florets as large as those in this flower OR stamens this pronounced. Someone said it's a rhododendrun. Nope. I have tropical rhoddies in my garden – lots of different varieties – and NONE have as tight a head as does this flower, nor do they have leaves like these.
But then I realized that everything in the Stampin' Up! catalog is artistic – it's not necessarily real. What was I thinking? So what you have here, dear readers, is a pink flower. Period!
So now let's look at that butterfly. Whether or not there's a butterfly with these markings, what is so special about this critter is the way the artist who created this design made it look like it was flapping those little wings in the air. It's not a 3-dimensional butterfly. Among the requirements that I put on a card that I make is that it has to fit nice and neatly into an envelope. My cards are made for sending, and a 3-D element would lose its shape in an envelope. Not this butterfly, though! It's flat as a pancake. I did adhere it with a Stampin' Dimensional which gives it the shadow. But that's it.
The main Stampin' Up! colors in this card are Daffodil Delight and Garden Green. I sometimes really like the effect of several mats, with one larger than the other, as is the Daffodil Delight Cardstock mat in this project. I stamped the sentiment in Garden Green and the outline of the butterfly in Memento Black ink. But all the rest of the color comes from a set of alcohol markers. I thought this would be a good card to help me keep practicing using and blending the colors as you can only do with alcohol markers. I'm still a total amateur at this, but I think I'm improving a bit!
If you'd like to find out more about my greeting card layouts and tutorials that will be coming out in late summer, be sure to sign up for my newsletter mailing list – the form is just up and to the left on this page!
Ever since I saw Joanne James' entry in the SUO (Stampin' Up! Only) Challenge to make a card with other than a straight edge, I have been dying to try out an idea that popped into my head. And, here we are again for the biweekly SUO Challenge, and the theme is Butterflies. Oooh, and Joanne's card's edge was made with butterflies. So I decided to try my idea out.
Tje idea was to use the small butterfly in the Butterflies Thinlits, and just cut half of each butterfly out to create the front edge of my card. Then I would stamp butterflies using the Watercolor Wings Stamp Set before decorating the rest of my card. It didn't quite work out the way I'd hoped, so today you're getting a two-fer. First the original card and then another card that turns out to be a tad easier than than my first one and I like it a lot better.
I really was successful in partially cutting the butterfly framelit three times on the card front. Each of the three times I ran the Whisper White Cardstock through my Sizzix Big Shot, I placed the edge of the cardstock at exactly the same spot on the Magnetic Platform. And I didn't do too badly with the stamping of the butterfly either. It was what was left with the rest of the card front that made it difficult for me to create what I felt was a well-designed overall pattern.
But I did finish it, using some printed papers, one layer from a sheet in the Cherry on Top Designer Series Paper (DSP) Stack (the Bermuda Bay layers) and one from the Pretty Petals DSP Stack (the Calypso Coral layers). I stamped a sentiment from the Birthday Blossoms Stamp Set and texturized the top of the Whisper White Cardstock layer with the Elegant Dots Embossing Folder. Then I adhered all the front layers together and tied them together with a bow made of Calypso Coral Seam Binding Ribbon. To try to tie the whole card front together, I used a craft knife to clip the left tips of the butterflies to allow them to overlap the stamped layer grouping. That just wasn't enough, though.
Then I made this card. To me, the card seems to be more of one piece of art rather than several smaller pieces put together on the same card. The difference is that I first stamped each of the three butterflies. Then I cut each completely using the same thinlit. After I put the inside layers and the card front layers (both (Bermuda Bay DSP and Daffodi Delight Cardstock) together, I simply adhered the left wing of each butterfly over the right edge of the card front. The ribbon on this one is the Daffodil Delight Seam Binding Ribbon. The sentiment is also from the Birthday Blossoms Stamp Set.
Oh, and I like the yellow and orange butterflies better than I like the Bermuda Bay critters!
What do you think? And be sure to add your own butterfly-themed project in the SUO Challenge this time!