Celebrating Lots of Birthdays!

Aloha, all!

     Have I mentioned our plans to travel away from home for pretty much the entire month of June? Well, so far that's our plan. And with June just a few days away, I hope it works out. Crossing fingers and toes that hubby's current medical issues allow this to happen.

     But in any case, I have a ton of birthday cards to send out in June, and I won't have much (any?) time to do any paper crafting while I'm away. So I need to get these birthday cards made and ready to go into the mail in somehwat of an appropriate time frame. Our house/pet sitter has agreed to do this for me. But, even though she's thinking about signing up as a Stampin' Up! demonstrator, she declines to make the cards for me. So that's up to me.  So here's my first batch of really quickie cards!

Paper Pumpkin Cards

     If you recognize the papers in this first set of cards for the day, you'll know they're from the March 2016 Paper Pumpkin kit. I shared a couple of cards that I made with this kit when I first got it. That kit was full of smallish cards to make – gift card inserts was the theme. But I rarely send gift cards, so I needed to make full A2-sized cards, and I did that with most of the kit. I stuck the leftovers on a shelf and forgot about them.  Until today.

     I was about to get out some other papers when I spied the box on the shelf and wondered, "what's in that?" When I saw all the leftovers, I went right to work. I made 2 each of 3 designs, and here's where I came up with each of the 3 designs.  Note that, for all of them, I used Bermuda Bay Thick Baker's Twine to tie the designs together.

Card2 The first card is made almost entirely with products from the kit. The square behind the greeting was a punch-out from the kit, and I cut a smaller square of Whisper White Cardstock to place on top of it. I used a stamp from the Tin of Cards Stamp Set which seemed to fit very nicely with this square. The two banners on the bottom left are also from the kit and placed as one of the kit samples had them placed. After tying on the Baker's Twine, I adhered this whole group to a card base that was one of the last two I had in the kit (I used the other card for the duplicate of this one). Then I punched a piece of Bermuda Bay Cardstock using the smallest flower in the Boho Blossoms Punch, and added one of the Candy Dots from the kit.


Card1I based the second card on one of the business-card sized pieces in the kit. It was the front of a folded card. The Bermuda Bay Cardstock thin mat around it was not from the kit. The printed border, green liner inside the print and the white center were all on the original mini card. I stamped the greeting from the Watercolor Wishes Stamp Set. I mounted this with Stampin' Dimensionals over left side strips made with a rectangle cut from the envelope paper in the kit, and a striped cardstock strip also from the kit, but cut to size.



Both this card and the previous one had card bases made with Whisper White Thick Cardstock. For this last card, I used the same papers as a background as in the previous card, but I cut them to different sizes, tying the Baker's Twine around the two pieces which I'd adhered together before adhering it all to the card base.  The Bermuda Bay banner at the bottom is a self-adhesive die-cut piece from the kit. You can see the whole piece and how this card is laid out in the main photo, top, center. Again, I used the sentiment from the Watercolor Wishes Stamp Set, centering it at the bottom of the card.



I love Paper Pumpkin kits – there's always so much you can do with them!  I also love that I can stop the kits from coming at times, like June!, when I'm going to be away and won't have time to play with them. If you'd like to know more about Stampin' Up!'s Paper Pumpkin, just go to the Paper Pumpkin website. Let me know if you have any questions!

     One of the reasons I added some photos to this blog post, besides the fact that they do help show you how I made the cards, is that this post is part of a blog hop for a summer online group to which I belong. It's a fun group of people who like Stampin' Up! products – some of are demonstrators, but most are not. If you'd be interested in joining, let me know this weekend and I'll send you the information you need to join. Sign up deadline for this year is May 31st, but there's not much to be done before being accepted in the group.

Posted on : May 27 2016
Posted under Challenges, Paper Pumpkin, Stamping |

Weddings Are Happening!

Aloha, all!

     It's hard to believe that many of my friends have GRANDCHILDREN who are planning weddings this summer! I had no idea that I would have a real-life reason to make a wedding card this year, but I do! The good news is that it's also time for a wedding-themed challenge at Stampin' Up! Only Challenges, so today's project is a two-fer!


     This card not only is a wedding card, but it's also a "Something Old, Something New" card when it comes to Stampin' Up! products. The old and soon-to-be-retired is that lovely Whisper White Stitched Satin Ribbon. So sorry to see it go! But it's got some replacement cousins coming to the new catalog, so I won't be too sad. Also old and retiring is the Petite Pairs Stamp Set from which I took the sentiment in the middle of the wreath.

     The new is one of the brand new Stampin' Up! 2016-2018 In Colors, Sweet Sugarplum. I love all the new In Colors, but this is my current favorite. Also new are the wonderful scalloped squares that are part of a new Framelit set. There are 19 dies in this new set and they all go fabulously together!

     I also used Sweet Sugarplum to color in many of the flowers in the wreath from the Circle of Spring Stamp Set. This is a set that's in the current Stampin' Up! Catalog, but will also be in the upcoming catalog. For the other colors in the wreath, I used Blushing Bride, Daffodil Delight, and then a mix of Pear PIzzazz and Old Olive for the leaves.

     The background is textured with the Elegant Dots Textured Impression Embossing Folder, which also continues on into the new Stampin' Up! catalog.

     If there's anything in this project that you'd like to buy from Stampin' Up!, you can click here to go directly to my Stampin' Up! online store. And be sure to visit the SUO Challenges blog and enter our challenge!

     Oh, and if you'd like a full tutorial on how to make this project, I've included one in my latest newsletter. If you're not on my mailing list, be sure to sign up (the form's up to the left) before Friday, May 27th, when I'll send out a second copy!


Posted on : May 23 2016
Posted under Challenges, Sizzix, Stamping, SUO Challenges |

More Retiring Products – and More Fun with the Drapery Fold!

Aloha, all!

     I've been spending most of my time the past few weeks getting my craft room ready for a new year of Stampin' Up! products. Thankfully, I'll still have a lot of what's in here now to continue to work with into the new Stampin' Up! year. But also thankfully, there are plenty of new products with which I can renew my creative interests for quite a while!

    In my last post (last week??!!) I showed off a Drapery Fold Card. I just had to try it again, and here it is.


     I have definitely not spent a lot of time using the gorgeous Everyday Chic Designer Series Paper. And I wasn't even sure that any of the sheets had the kind of design that would lend itself well to the Drapery Fold technique. But here it is, and I think it does quite well, thank you!

     Other retiring products in this project are:

  • Whisper White 3/8" Stitched Satin Ribbon
  • Large Oval Punch
  • Scalloped Oval Punch
  • Petite Pairs Stamp Set

     The Boho Chic Textured Impressions Embossing Folder, as well as all the cardstock in this project, will continue to be around for a while (at least another year through the end of May 2017).

     Now back to restructuring my craft room. I'm going to be out of town the whole month of June, and I want to hit the ground running with the new catalog when I get back! Meanwhile, if you have any questions or would like a new catalog, just send me an e-mail and I'll take care of it as quickly as I can!


Posted on : May 18 2016
Posted under Sizzix, Stamping |

More Retiring Favorites!

Aloha, all!

     If it's Tuesday, it's likely to be time for a Stampin' Up! Only Challenge! I love having this challenge every two weeks because it forces me to make something specific. Most of the time, I walk into my craft room, look around, and say, "Let's try (something that I happen to see) today!" Today's project is a case in point.

Drapery Fold

     When I saw that the theme for this challenge was for us to focus on our favorite retiring papers, I knew I had to start with papers. Rarely do I start with the paper and work from there. Most of the time the starting point is the purpose for the card – Birthday, Hello, Anniversary, and so forth. This time, though, I first had to select the paper and build on that. So what did I choose?

     For this project I did NOT choose my favorite paper. I have been hoarding my real favorite paper sets. I live in my husband's gorgeous Botanical Garden, and the paper set. Botanical Gardens is my absolute favorite, now and for a long time. And I'm not just hoarding 1 pack. I have a box of 5 packs and am using it sparingly. It's now sold out at Stampin' Up!, so what I now have will have to do.

     So now for my NEXT favorite paper set – Birthday Bouquet Designer Series Paper. Not only do I have a favorite set, I have favorite sheets, and the sheet I've used today is one of them. I picked this specific paper for this project to show off the currently popular Drapery Fold Technique. I had half a sheet of paper left, and this design only used half of that. I've seen this way of making the drapery fold in several projects online, but couldn't find directions for exactly what I wanted to accomplish. Now that I've figured it out, I've starting writing a quick tutorial, and I'll publish it in my newsletter later this week.

     There are other products in this project that are going to retire at the end of the month, too. Candy Dots! What, no more Candy Dots? That right. But they're going to be replaced by something that looks like it might be even more fun that the single-sized Candy Dots! And that beautiful Pool Party 3/8" Glitter Ribbon. Why can't we have more of that? Who knows, maybe we will. But it's not in the upcoming Annual Catalog, so we have to say goodbye to this, too.

     Finally, one of my all-time favorite stamp sets, Sassy Salutations, is leaving the catalog. This is one of those sets that I'm considering keeping around. Hmmm.

     OK – now let's hear about YOUR favorite retiring paper! Just head on over the the SU Only Challenges blog and enter your project in the challenge. I can hardly wait to see what it might be!!!

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Posted on : May 09 2016
Posted under Challenges, Stamping, SUO Challenges |

Retiring Soon: Four More!

Aloha, all!

     Today's project is my project for the biweekly Stampin' Up! Only Challenge. If you check out this challenge blog at all, you know that ALL Stampin' Up! products are welcome in your projects, not just current projects. Usually (well, 99% of the time) I use current projects. Of course that's the case with this project because, while four of the products in this project are going to retire come June 1st, they're still current as of today. So my record holds!


     The theme of the SUO Challenge this time is "Congratulations." So I went to the Tin of Cards Stamp Set to find what I thought would be a retiring stamp. But no! The actual "Tin of Cards" kit in the current Stampin' Up! Catalog will retire this June. But the stamp set will NOT! Not only that, there will be a fun NEW Tin of Cards kit along with another Tin of Cards stamp set (with a slightly different name). I can hardly wait to show all this off to you!

     But there are retiring products here though, including the Lost Lagoon Ink with which I stamped my Congrats. Then there's the lovely Lost Lagoon Stitched Satin Ribbon and the Arrows Textured Impressions Embossing Folder, both of which are retiring and still available for purchase if you're interested. Unfortunately, the Lost Lagoon Paper and the whole 2014-2016 In Color DSP Stack not only are retiring, they're gone – sold out! Sigh. More and more products are selling out every day!

     The other products in this card are the Whisper White Cardstock and the Watermelon Wonder Cardstock, which will be around for a while.

     If you're interested to read what's retiring as well as what's sold out as of today, just click on the "Farewell – Click Here" image up on the right of this page. I will keep it updated as I learn about more products that are sold out. Just let me know if you have any questions!

Posted on : Apr 25 2016
Posted under Announcement, Challenges, Sizzix, Stamping, SUO Challenges |

Retiring Soon: Be the Star and 4 Others!

Aloha, all!

     Today's project is one that was inspired by a creation of one of my downline. I only have one downline member who lives close to me, and she's moving away next month. So we're trying to spend some time together crafting before she leaves. This past Monday, we had a great get-together as we spend over an hour looking at the list of Stampin' Up! retiring products and then oohing and aahing over the new 2016-2017 Stampin' Up! Catalog. So I decided to CASE her project using some retiring products so I could keep up as much as possible with my projects showing off products you'll not be able to order from Stampin' Up! come June 1st.


     The design created by Dana uses the Sunburst Thinlit from the Stampin' Up! 2016 Occasions Catalog. This thinlit is NOT retiring! Whew, because there are so many ideas using it that I've not tried. What she did was fold paper and run the paper through the Sizzix Big Shot with the fold outside of the Thinlit so it as not cut. Of course you could just cut two pieces and match them up to make this design. But it's so much easier with the fold!

     Now onto the retiring products:

  1. The stamp set I used for this is called Be the Star and it's been a fun set to use for cards I made for my oldest grandson. It's a great set for card for a teenager.
  2. The 1-1/4" Scalloped Circle Punch not the only Scalloped Circle Punch that's retiring. They're ALL retiring! There's a product in the upcoming catalog that will make up for this a bit. But I'm going to miss those scalloped circles.
  3. I added Black Candy Dots to the stamped Scalloped Circles. Not only are the Black Candy Dots retiring, ALL of the Candy Dots are retiring. They are being replaced by another product that I think will be fun to use. But I'll miss my Candy Dots!
  4. The Botanical Gardens Designer Series Paper is retiring as are all of the Designer Series Paper sets currently in both active catalogs. This card shows off both sides of one sheet in this set. As the paper is very tropical in nature, I have a good stash of it that I'll be keeping in my Craft Room. There are quite a few garden photos that I've not yet scrapbooked, and this will be perfect for that!
  5. Finally, that beautiful Basic Black Stitched Satin Ribbon is going away. OK, I didn't use it a lot. But it is just perfect for Sympathy Cards. I guess the good news is that I haven't needed to make many sympathy cards this past year. The bad news is that I have to make two this week!

     So that's it for the retiring products today! I'll have some more to share on Sunday or Monday – definitely Tuesday when it's time for othe biweekly Stampin' Up! Only Challenge Blog Post.

     Once I finished this post and really looked at the project, I realized it's one that definitely needs work! If you didn't see the "face" in that design, I sure did. So this concept needs more work – or at least it needs to be saved for Halloween!

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Posted on : Apr 24 2016
Posted under Punches, Sizzix, Stamping |

Soon Retiring: Chalk Lines!

Aloha, all!

     I'm beginning to figure out which Stampin' Up! products in my Craft Room are going to be retiring. Alas, there are many favorites that are going to have to find a new home come June 1st. One of them is the Chalk Lines Stamp Set. Two features of this stamp set make it a favorite: One, the stamps are Photopolymer, which has become my favorite kind of stamps (lots of reasons). Two, it's such a versatile set that can be used in so many different ways.

     Today's project shows off both features that I love about this set.


     This project is NOT a card – it's an Envelope! I was inspired to make it as a project for a small swap sponsored by one of the online stamping groups that I recently joined. What made Chalk Lines perfect for this project is that I could easily use my MISTI tool (not a Stampin' Up! product) to get all those stamped images almost perfectly aligned. Yes, I can use clear mount rubber stamps in the MISTI. But I really like seeing through the stamps while I'm working.

     For this project, I needed to make sure that there was a place in the center of the card, towards the bottom, that was unstamped so that an address could be written in. (Someone who has a larger handwriting style may need a larger space.) To make the space, I first cut a piece out of a sticky note using one of the framelits in the Tags and Labels Framelits. I found after testing this design that it was best placed so that it was centered between the left and right edges to keep the stamped design somewhat symmetrical. To do this, I placed a piece of grid paper in the MISTI, found the correct place for the left edge of the sticky note, made a mark on the grid paper, and finally used a ruler to place the sticky strip vertically.

     Once all the Chalk Line images were in place, I colored in the closed images using Pear Pizzazz and Pink Pirouette Stampin' Write Markers. Finally, I traced around the Sticky Strip with the small end of the Cherry Cobbler Stampin' Write Marker to define the address space.

     A fun project! Now to put this stamp set as the first in the stack of Stampin' Up! products that I'll be selling later in the year. Sniff.


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Posted on : Apr 21 2016
Posted under Challenges, Sizzix, Stamping |

Stampin’ Up!’s 2016 Retiring Products

2016 Retiring GraphicBlogPost

Aloha, all!

     I'm not sure if you noticed, but I usually end my blog post titles with an exclamation point, mostly because I'm excited to show off or tell about the subject of the blog post. But when it comes to announcing retiring products, I just don't feel as if the exclamation point belongs. Sniff – too many products that I'll not be able to show off after the beginning of June.

     But I'm sure you'll like to know what's retiring, so I'm sharing my very own version of the retiring product list here today. It's my "very own" because I took Stampin' Up!'s list and reorganized it so that I find it easlier to read. I also like to take the list and go through my working copy of the catalogs page by page and put an X over the retiring products. Of course, that makes me feel even worse – but I'll get over it when the new catalog comes out and I can buy stuff from IT!

     To see and/or download the list, just click on the graphic at the beginning of the blog post. Those items that are no longer available are marked in red, with the text lined through.

     See you soon with some projects with retiring products!

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Posted on : Apr 19 2016
Posted under Announcement |

It’s Almost Time for the Retiring List!

Aloha, all!

     Have you heard that, on April 18th, Stampin' Up! is going to publish its list of products that will be retiring from its catalog at the end of May. These products may be from the 2015-2016 Annual Catalog or from the 2016 Occasions Catalog. So check out the list when I post it here on Monday! You will want to grab your favorite products before they go away!

Delete-Catalogs     Or should you? I was in an online discussion about this earlier this week, and several of us came up with some reasons why waiting for the retired list to come out may not be the way to approach our Stampin' Up! year-end purchasing. Here are three of the arguments for ordering products now rather than waiting until the retiring list is published:

  1. If you’ve been putting off ordering products that you really want to have, chances are that others are thinking about those same products. If they end up on the retiring list, you may be out of luck if they sell out fast. You’re better off ordering them now!

  2. When the retiring list comes out, there are some products that you know are going to be on the list – the 2014-2016 In Colors and all products relating to them; Designer Series Papers (rarely do they carry over); or maybe that cute Ronald McDonald House set, Sprinkles of Life. All those products are going to go fast – so why not buy them now if they’re on your “wish list"?

  3. If you order now, you’ll be focusing on buying those items that you really want. If you wait until the retiring list comes out, you may be tempted to buy other items that appeal to you because they’re about to become unavailable. Possible scarcity is a powerful incentive to buy something!


     That last reason is the one that traps me just about every year. Oh, man, do I really want to let that fun ribbon go away forever? No, I don't keep a lot of retired stuff. But ribbon has a special hold on me, and there's lots of retired – and rarely used!!! – ribbon in my craft room. I'd have been better off spending my money on something else that I'd have been more likely to use throughout the year.

     Just my thoughts for the day! I hope they help you decide when to place your next Stampin' Up! Order!






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Posted on : Apr 14 2016
Posted under Announcement |

April Showers Bring Rainbows!

Aloha, all!

     It's time for another challenge at the Stampin' Up! Only Challenge Blog, and this time the challenge could be taken in several ways. The challenge is to make a project with the theme, "Showers of all kinds." My original thoughts about this was that I would make a card to celebrate a baby or a wedding shower. But then we started a discussion about the "real" kind of shower – the kind that comes our of the sky as a light rain, as in "April Showers bring May Flowers." Hmmm.

     I thought it would be a good thing if at least one or two members of the Design Team could show off a project that included the rainy kind of shower. But I looked around my craft room and found absolutely nothing that would fit the bill for the latter kind of shower. I didn't buy much from this year's Stampin' Up! 2015-2016 Catalog, challenging myself to use what I had in my stash. Yes, I did buy some sets from the annual catalog as well as some from the 2015 Holiday and current 2016 Occasions catalogs. But nothing included rain. So here I was left with making a baby/wedding shower card.

     Then during the last week, I was searching through my Designer Series Papers to make my Triangles card when I came across the sheet from the Shine On Specialty Designer Series Paper set that had (gasp!) rain drops on it! There was my shower!!! But what was I going to do with it. Well, here in Hawaii, when there are showers, rainbows are not far behind.


     Out came a set I'd never used (it arrived in my craft room courtesy of a Stampin' Rewards benefit back in December) – Over the Rainbow. I saw that big "Rainbow" stamp and knew right away that I wanted to cut a curve at the top or bottom of the Shower Paper that would wrap around the curve of the stamp. As you can see, I chose to cut the paper at the bottom as I was better able to work with the group of 3 stamps from the set that way. I cut the curve at the bottom of the paper using the scalloped Oval from the Ovals Collection Framelit dies.

     Several stamps in the stamp are of the watercolor-wash variety. You can stamp them and place them by themselves or over/under other stamps to look like you've used a brush to create a watercolor wash. I used one of the small stamps for this, stamping each color off onto scrap paper once after I inked it up so that the final product looked softer than if I'd used a fully-inked stamp. The colors that I used, from left to right are: Watermelon Wonder, Pumpkin Pie, Daffodil Delight, Pear Pizzazz, Bermuda Bay, Soft Sky, and Perfect Plum.

     For the card's accents, I chose to use Bermuda Bay Ink, Thick Baker's Twine, and Cardstock.

     I keep leaving my Bermuda Bay stuff out on my work table, and I think I'll just have to put it away for a bit and focus on another color for a while. We're getting close to the end of the annual catalog period and the end of the 2014-2016 In Color Collection. So maybe it's time to focus on those colors. On the other hand, they have not been among my favorite collection of Stampin' Up! colors. I'll miss Mossy Meadow most of all – so maybe I'll get some of that out.

     Check back later in the week so see what I've managed to accomplish!

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Posted on : Apr 10 2016
Posted under Challenges, Sizzix, Stamping, SUO Challenges |