Fun With January’s Paper Pumpkin Kit!

Aloha, all!

     I love it when each month's Paper Pumpkin Kit from Stampin' Up! arrives. Now, I may not always be thrilled with the kind of project when I first see it. But all it usually takes is a few minutes of thinking about the possibilities of the new goodies that have landed in my Craft Room. The January 2017 Paper Pumpkin Kit was one of those. On the front of the booklet that comes with every kit I saw 6 treat bags. Oh, great (no exclamation point here). What was I going to do with 6 kits. They're cute, but even the smallest club to which I belong has 10 people these days. What the heck was I going to do with this – well, use the stamps of course.

     NOT! There in teeny print below the cover's picture was, "Kit contains supplies for 24 treat bags." Now that deserves an exclamation point!!!  Or three!

     That's the good news. With 24 kits, I can easily take a basket of treat bags to my Book Club Meeting later this month – we frequently have 20 or more people at our pot luck lunches.

     The not so good news is that, to make these lovely treat bags – all 24 of them – takes well over 2-1/2 hours. It will be close to 3 if you don't take some short cuts. This is not your 30-minute Paper Pumpkin kit. How do I know about the time? I had an afternoon all to myself yesterday, and I decided to have a go at the kit because who knows when I'll have a day to myself before the Book Club meeting, so I might as well get them done. They're not actually completely done because I do not have treats to put in them on hand. But putting treats in the bags and sealing them should only take another 15 or 20 minutes max. Nonetheless, I timed myself and did not let myself get side tracked while I was working on them.

     Here are my notes on trying to get this project done in full in 3 hours:

  1. Definitely make this one of those projects you make assembly line style. Do all of one thing, then go onto another.
  2. Stamp the hearts before you punch them out. Those little critters are hard to hold onto when stamping individually. I know it looks easy in the Stampin' Up! video, but I did not find that to be true in my Craft Room. A possible downside is that, if you overstamp a heart you may end up getting ink on another heart. How did I come up with that? Guess. So I ended up stamping some of my hearts on the "back" side of the sheet that held them all.
  3. Think about just using one sentiment on all your bags. It was an easy decision for me because all of the book club members are my friends. But that way you're only inking up one stamp.
  4. Adhere the banners to the bags before you construct them. It's just easier to adhere the banners on a flat surface.
  5. If you have any vellum tape, use that to attach the vellum banner to the white banner. The time and fuss of putting two glue dots on each of 24 banners adds up quickly. I used the Tombow Vellum Adhesive in a tape runner like SNAIL's.
  6. Wait until the bag is made before pinching the gussets. It's tempting to fold them while you're folding the other scored lines, but you'll save time folding them at the end.
  7. Watch how you put the hearts on the dowels. The bottom of the heart is supposed to be the point on the arrow.
  8. I did not add the Gold Thread behind the hearts. The metallic threads and I do not have a good personal relationship. Heaven help me if I've allowed any adhesive to be out on my work surface because that thread is going to find it and stick to it! You can see the photo above. I think the gold thread is just a bit too much.
  9. Buy the treats to go into the bag first. Now I'm going to have to get them all out again and do the last few steps.

     The bottom line with this project is that it's fun. I'll enjoy the oohs and aahs and smiles when my book club friends pick them out of the basket. That's worth every minute!

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Posted on : Jan 19 2017
Posted under 3D Projects, Paper Pumpkin |

Embossing and More Embossing!

Aloha, all!

     Once again it's time for the Stampin' Up! Only Challenge, the biweekly challenge for all lovers and users of Stampin' Up! paper crafting products. The new challenge is "Embossing of All Kinds." There are so many ways of embossing that we're really looking forward to seeing what people come up with for their challenge entries.

     But for today, I'm going to share with you my own Design Team entry for the challenge.

     For this project, I'm featuring two kinds of embossing. The first is on the heart in the middle of the project, cut with one of the hearts from the Sweet & Sassy Framelits set, using Watermelon Wonder Cardstock. I heat embossed the sentiment from the Sealed with Love Stamp Set (from the new Occasions Catalog) using Versamark Ink and White Stampin' Emboss Powder. I added a larger heart behind the stamped and embossed heart for a nice bit of matting.

     The other kind of embossing is that which you can make using Stampin' Up!'s Textured Impression Embossing Folders. For this project, I used the Happy Hearts Textured Impressions Embossing Folder on both a piece of Blushing Bride Cardstock and a piece of Very Vanilla Cardstock.  I twisted the Very Vanilla layer a bit so it showed up more under the Blushing Bride Layer. Wouldn't you know when I went to upload all the projects by the Stampin' Up! Only Design Team, the one right next to mine has this same kind of offsetting layers. Hmmm. Is that "great minds"?

     I tied my project all together with a piece of the brand new Very Vanilla 1/4" Satin Ribbon, and then one of the larger pieces from the Rhinestone Basic Jewel set.

     Now for a few side notes on "issues" I had with the heat embossing. First of all, I've always thought that the "white" embossing powder (not just Stampin' Up!'s, but others, too) looks more like a cream color than the white that's in the Whisper White Cardstock. So that's why I used Very Vanilla cardstock and ribbon as accents in this card. On the other hand, my container of White Stampin' Emboss Powder may be just a tad too old to be as nice as I'd want it. So it goes on my next Stampin' Up! order.

     The next issue was that I really wanted the accents to be gold. But no matter what I did, I found that the gold embossing didn't shine like I wanted it to. So my first thought was that the gold embossing powder was too old. But then I realized that my Versamark Pad might not be juicy enough. First subproblem: my Versamark Reinker is a bit too much on the thick side. Can you say, "old"? But, while the gold embossing was definitely better with more Versamark ink, it still wasn't up to what I consider par. So out came the White Stampin' Emboss Powder, which I covered in the previous paragraph.

     Let's see, that's 1, 2, 3, 4 products to add to my next Stampin' Up! order. Oh, and I may just have to add that Real Red and Emerald Envy embossing powder that I never ordered from the 2016 Holiday catalog. Oh it will be a fun week next week when that box hits my doorstep!

     Here are the products I used in this project. Don't forget that, until the end of March, for every $50 you spend you get to pick a FREE PRODUCT from the Sale-a-bration Catalog!  Oooh, that means I'll be getting some of that fun stuff, too!

 


Posted on : Jan 16 2017
Posted under Challenges, Sizzix, SUO Challenges |

Happy New Year to a Special Group of People!

Aloha, all!

     Beginning in 2013, I had several years of being sick on and off pretty much all of the time. Because of that, I had to have frequent lab work done. The ladies (and the occasional gentleman) in the lab and I developed a friendship born of the need to make what could have been a difficult time a bit more enjoyable. Of course, I made them little gifts and cards when occasions came up – it's what I do, after all! They have a large refrigerator in the lab and every year they displayed my Christmas or Thank You or New Year's card on the front of it.

     At the beginning of 2017, I'm now in good health, and it's been a while since I've had to go to the clinic. But yesterday I had to go there for a regular physical, which gave me the opportunity finally to take my friends in the lab a New Year's card. When I walked into the lab, there on the refrigerator was the 2016 card, still in a place of honor. I almost cried. They explained that they knew I'd bring them a new card, and they thought my 2016 card was so beautiful that they didn't want to take it down until they had a suitable replacement. Now they have it.

     All sorts of thoughts went through my mind when I was trying to decide what kinds of papers and layout I should use for this card. Most of what's out on my work table right now is birthday-related, and that just wasn't appropriate. When I opened up my paper box, Valentines papers were at the top and I nearly dismissed them as inappropriate also. But, no! Anything with a heart is TOTALLY the right thing to use for a group of people who deal with blood all day. My heart's pumping the stuff just fine these days, so why not highlight that!

     The first thing I did was to decide that the card would have a top-folded 5-1/2" high by 4-1/4" wide card base. The main reason is that last year's card had a landscape orientation with 2016 across the card. I really wanted something with a different layout, but wanted to have the year's numbers on the front. Once I had that settled, I grabbed the heart border framelit from the Love Notes Framelits Dies and used it to cut the right front of the card. Then I trimmed the back of the card so that the hearts stood out from the whole card, not just from the front.

     I cut the Large Numbers Framelits 2017 out of a piece of paper from the Sending Love Designer Series Paper Stack and then mounted that onto a piece of Whisper White Cardstock. Both of these pieces are narrower than usual because the heart framelit trimmed the size of the card front down a bit.

     Once I had this all put together, I needed a place to put the Happy New Year. My first thought was to put it on the inside of the card with my note. But then I realized that those little hearts gave me a perfect place to tie a tag! Out came the Classic Label Punch and a piece of Cherry Cobbler Baker's Twine, and I tied the greeting onto the right side of the card. Nice! One little side note about the hole I punched into the end of the Label-Punched piece: While the 1/8" Handheld Circle Punch is available, I find that I get a much nicer hole for a project like this by using the smallest holes in the Owl Builder Punch. There's no wasted paper because those little holes are right at the edge of the punch, so I just slip the punched label in and I've got my nice hole for the Baker's Twine!

     Now I've got those pretty letters that I punched out of the Designer Series Paper! I'll be making another New Year's Card today for sure!

    


Posted on : Jan 13 2017
Posted under Punches, Sizzix, Stamping |

New Year’s Gift for My Customers!

Aloha, all!

     It's a new year, and I definitely want to remind my customers that there are new Stampin' Up! Catalogs out there as well! So today I sent out my latest batch of Stampin' Up! New Year Calendar cards to several of my customers. While there are certainly more to send, I wanted to share with you one of the little things you might expect if YOU become one of my customers!

     These little calendar cards are based on a card that I found on the blog of fellow Stampin' Up! demonstrator, Debra Simonis. The best thing about having to make a bunch is that I can get two calendars out of one piece of 8-1/2" x 11" cardstock, and they fit into a standard A2 (Stampin' Up!'s Medium Size) envelope.

     Here's a side view of the stand-up card, showing the finished measurement of 8" high x 5-1/2" wide. I followed Debra's cutting and scoring directions – cut a piece of cardstock 5-1/2" x 8-1/2", and score along the 8-1/2" side at: 3"; 4"; 5"; and 8". I applied adhesive on the 1/2" strip at the end and adhered it to the front of the card. Oh, and it's even easier if you score the whole piece of cardstock before you cut it in half – because you only have to score once for both pieces!

     To make things easier all around, I decorated the front of the card, except for the little calendar pad, before I adhered the folded base to the card front. Leaving the calendar pad off just kept it from flopping around and, possibly (but it didn't happen the one time I put it on first) coming apart. I've seen cards where crafters have stapled these little calendars to the card, but I think that leaves an unsighly tear each time you have to remove a month's sheet from the pad.

     The paper that I used for the top layer on the card front is from the Sending Love Designer Series Paper Stack in the new Stampin' Up! 2017 Occasions Catalog. The stamped image is from the Avante Garden Stamp Set in the Sale-a-bration Catalog, which means I got it for FREE for purchasing $50 worth of Stampin' Up! products. The die-cut shapes were made using two of the dies in the Stylish Stems Framelits Dies set, also in the Occasions Catalog.

     As a side note, I considered using something other than Real Red as the base for the calendar. But the Month Name on all the sheets in the calendar pad are printed in Red, so all this red stuff that's sitting around waiting for Valentine's Day seemed to be just the right accompaniment for the calendar.

     If you'd like me to send you one of the calendars, you can get a double bonus: Spend $50 on any Stampin' Up! products between now and March 31st, and you get a FREE product from the Sale-a-Bration Catalog – and a FREE completed project from me – your choice of colors! Look closely, and everything (except the calendar pads and a little scrap of white cardstock) that you need for this project add up to just over $50 – so you can get that stamp set FOR FREE – and still have lots of "stuff" left over to make other projects!

     Happy Stamping!

 


Posted on : Jan 09 2017
Posted under 3D Projects, CASEing Projects, Sizzix, Stamping |

Need Ideas for Luncheon Favors!

Aloha, all!

     Here I am with a different twist on my usual posts – I'm asking YOU for your ideas!

     My specific need right now is for a quick and easy favor for a friend to make for a convention that will take place on our island early in the summer. So here's what I am faced with: I don't know what the budget is; I don't know how many volunteer crafters there are or even if they're experienced crafters; but I do know that the favor has to hold something. Oh, but I don't know what it's supposed to hold. Hmmm. The idea, though, is that my friend will present an idea or ideas to a committee next week with a proposed budget and ideas of what could be in the favor.

     Here's the first idea I gave her, and I should hear back in a day or two about whether it's what she had in mind. But it would really help if I could give her another idea or two. Yes, I've searched Pinterest, but, outside of having something that holds a glassine or plastic bag with a tag topper, nothing grabbed me except the box that I made.

     I made this somewhat origami-style box using two sheets of paper from the Playful Palette Designer Series Paper Stack and Peekaboo Peach 3/8" Ruched Ribbon, both from the Stampin' Up! 2016-2017 Annual Catalog. The sheet for the top is the full 6" square that comes in the Paper Stack. I trimmed the sheet for the bottom to 5-5/8", so the top fits snugly over the bottom. It took me about 9 minutes to make one box, and I estimate the cost of materials to be about $1. That seems reasonable to me. If we have 20 people making boxes for 4 hours, given that we'd certainly spend time chatting and not necessarily be focused on the box making, we could knock out at least 300 boxes in one afternoon.

     So – do you have anything comparable that I might try out? If so, please send me an e-mail, and even include a link if you know of any ideas that are shown on the internet! 

 


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Posted on : Jan 06 2017
Posted under 3D Projects, Announcement |

Love the New Succulent Garden Designer Series Paper!

Aloha, all!

     On Tuesday, I shared a project using a Mint Macaron sheet from the new Succulent Garden Designer Series Paper set. Once I had that paper out, it was hard for me to put it away!

     So here is a project with a whole card front made out of the paper, with a mat of the solid Mint Macaron Cardstock. Love it! I may have to buy a new pack of paper just to stock up on this design.

     If you're a Stampin' Up! demonstrator, you may recognize the layout of this card. We demonstrators get a bi-monthly magazine with ideas from Stampin' Up!, and this basic layout was in an article in the current edition, though the focus there was on watercolor. I'm not working with watercolor right now (soon – but I've got other stuff I want to do first!), so I read right past that project. It was one of my downline who came over to play with new stuff who suggested the layout. Fun!

     You can see certainly see how easy this layout is. Just pick a piece of paper (3-3/4" x 5"); a coordinating piece of cardstock (4" x 5-1/4") and some complementary cardstock (5-1/2" x 8-1/2", folded to make a card base). Then pick a sentiment (any sentiment, any stamp set), a coordinating piece of ribbon (8" or so, folded or cut in half and trimmed at an angle on each end), and a bit of Baker's Twine or Cord for the greeting element. And you're done! (The gold cord I used is a Stampin' Up! product, but no longer current.)

     I promise tomorrow's project for this first week of the New Year will  NOT have this paper in it – though I dare say you'll see it again before too very long.

 


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Posted on : Jan 05 2017
Posted under CASEing Projects, Punches, Stamping |

It’s Time for New Stampin’ Up! Catalogs!

Aloha, all!

     The past few days, I've been sharing projects that use quite a few new products that are in the brand new TODAY Stampin' Up! 2017 Occasions and Sale-a-bration Catalogs. Now I'd like to share links to the products that I used for these projects so you can learn more about them – and purchase them at my Stampin' Up! Store!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

 

Monday, January 2, 2017

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

 

 


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Posted on : Jan 04 2017
Posted under Announcement |

More New Stuff!

Aloha, all!

     Welcome to the very first project of the year made for one of the Stampin' Up! Only Challenges! Of course the theme revolves around the "new stuff" that Stampin' Up! has coming out in its newest catalogs tomorrow – January 4, 2017! That's when the Stampin' Up! 2017 Occasions Catalog and the Stampin' Up! 2017 Sale-a-bration Catalog go live! My project for this challenge – and for you today – includes my current most favorite product in the new Occasions Catalog, the Window Box Thinlit Die set.

     This Thinlits set is SOOOO much fun to use, and I've already made several of the boxes using different cardstock, papers and embellishments. For today's post, I chose one made with Whisper White Thick Cardstock and with a variety of Mint Macaron-colored products. Those that you can see from this photo are the Mint Macaron 3/8" Sheer Linen Ribbon, a Mint Macaron colored print paper from the Blooms and Bliss Designer Series Paper set adhered under the decorative die on the top;, and another Mint colored sheet from the new Succulent Garden Designer Series Paper set, matted with some Mint Macaron Cardstock.

     On this side, you can see one of the square Thinlits from the Window Box set that can be used on the side of the box. I mounted this on a layer of Mint Macaron print, then created a square frame for it using Stampin' Up!'s Layering Squares Framelits Dies and Stitched Shapes Framelits Dies. I like the way that there's a bit of a textured feature between the cutting lines on this frame.

     In this straight-on view of the box top, you can better see how pretty the decorative die is with the paper behind it. And there's a bit more Mint Macaron as I used Mint Macaron Classic Ink to stamp the sentiment with a stamp from the Teeny Tiny Wishes Stamp Set that's punched with the Classic Label Die.

     I found this box really easy to make. It does take a bit more time than making a greeting card, but the end product is so worth it! The best part of this project is that the top opens and closes, and LOTS of candy can fit inside! Or jewelry? Hmmm, that's what I'd like to see in it! But what made this box so easy to make was that I took the time to view the video that Stampin' Up! has made with hints about how to put the box together and how to use the various parts of this set. Here's the video – well worth your time if you're planning on purchasing this set!

 

 

     Tomorrow – the day that the Occasions and Sale-a-bration Catalogs go live – I'll have a list of all the products that I've used in my blog post projects the last few days. Meanwhile, if you have any questions or comments, be sure to post them in the comment section below!

     Happy Stamping!

 


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Posted on : Jan 02 2017
Posted under 3D Projects, Challenges, Gifts, Sizzix, Stampin' Up! Tools, Stamping, SUO Challenges |

Color Fusers Blog Hop – January 2017!

Aloha, all!

     And welcome to the very first Color Fusers Blog Hop for 2017! This month we have four colors from which we had to choose at least 3 for creating our project. I really wanted to use all 4, but, with all the holiday busy-ness going on, I didn't have much crafting time, and so just settled for 3.

january

cfjanuary

     The colors I picked for my project were Tangerine Tango, Crushed Curry, and Very Vanilla. You may recognize the Stylish Stems Framelits Dies from yesterday's project. If I didn't think you'd like it better if I showed off lots of different products in these blog posts, you might just end up seeing this Framelits set all week for the whole month of January! But I won't do that – I'll branch out a bit. That's not a problem at all with all of the fabulous products in the upcoming Stampin' Up! 2017 Occasions and Sale-a-bration Catalogs!

     The framelits set not only has the dies that cut negative shapes into cardstock, it also has the outlines for those negative image dies. I promise I will show some of that over the next 5 months of the Occasions Catalog. But I also used the outline dies for the cardstock that I put behind the negative images to "color them in." That saved me a bunch of the Tangerine Tango Cardstock that's the main color behind the two flowers. To bring in the Crushed Curry color, I punched some Crushed Curry Cardstock using the Blossom Punch and adhered those punched flowers behind the die-cut flowers using Tombow Multipurpose Liquid Glue. That was easier that trying to figure out exactly where to place them by adhering them to the larger Tangerine Tango die-cut outline images, which I adhered behind the flowers simply by using standard transparent tape.

     I actually thought about just layering the Very Vanilla top layer over a layer of Tangerine Tango Cardstock. But I really wanted to emphasize the Crushed Curry color a bit more, so made that the layer that mats the top layer. It's really going to be fun seeing what I can do with this set of framelits!

     Finally, I added a bow using the Very Vanilla 1/4" Satin Ribbon that will be in the Occasions Catalog, and stamped the sentiment from the already-current Greatest Greeting Stamp Set.

     Fun project! As I said yesterday, I'll post Wednesday with the products for the projects for yesterday, today and tomorrow, when you'll be able to order all the new "stuff" I'm using now. I'm sure you'll love it all!

     And now I hope you'll continue on this blog hop by checking out Pat Ertman's project which features other new Occasions Catalog products – that I'll be buying this month for sure!  Here are those Stampin' Up! demonstrators who are participating in this month's hop:

Patty Bennett

Paola Phillips

Jo Anne Hewins

Melissa Kerman

• Robin Messenheimer – You're Here!

Pat Ertman

Debbie Henderson

 

 


Posted on : Jan 02 2017
Posted under Challenges, Color Fuser's Blog Hop, Punches, Sizzix, Stamping |

Happy New Year!

Aloha and Hau’oli Makahiki Hou!

     Yes, that's "Happy New Year," in the Hawaiian language. And here I am, still in Hawaii, having spent a wonderful year in the land of Aloha. And I'm looking forward to yet another in this beautiful place I call home. One of my favorite activities that help make my life here so special is that I have a special place in which to create with my paper and inks, most of them from Stampin' Up! and all of them fun to work and play with!

     I've not been here at my computer much in the past week or so as we've been having a very busy holiday season – fun busy, not work busy. Part of that has been crafting, both by myself and with friends and downline here in my craft room. So I have quite a few things to share with you over the next few days to help you catch up on what I've been doing – all of it with new Stampin' Up! products that will go on sale to the public this coming Wednesday, January 4, 2017.

hbnewyear

     First of all, I copied the basic layout of this card from fellow Stampin' Up! demonstrator, Jenny Hall, who published this in a demonstrator-only Facebook group. I think that the negative image that we can create with the upcoming Stylish Stems Framelits Set goes just perfectly with the also soon-to-be-for-sale Sending Love Designer Series Paper Stack. I made the card base using Whisper White Thick Cardstock (much better for a card base than plain Whisper White Cardstock!) and also used some of the Thick Cardstock for the top layer. Both the flower and the stem cut beautifully with no fussing with getting those little pieces out of the cut image. I just touched those that didn't come out by themselves and they popped right out.

     The sentiment is from the upcoming 2017 Sale-a-bration catalog, and you can get it free with a $50 Stampin' Up! product purchase. I did some quick math and found that, if you buy the Framelits Set, the Sending Love paper stack, the Whisper White Thick Cardstock and the Real Red Classic Stampin' Pad for stamping the sentiment, you could then get the stamp set FOR FREE!

     You just have to wait until Wednesday! But I'll be sure to remind you come Wednesday. I'll reprint this card and the projects for the next two days in a Wednesday post so you can see what to buy!

     Meanwhile, I hope you are having just a wonderful New Year's Day wherever you are (and maybe some of you are already past New Year's Day?).

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Posted on : Jan 01 2017
Posted under CASEing Projects, Sizzix, Stamping |