At the beginning of this year, with our lives in much of an upheaval, I backed off from much in the way of crafting. Let's not go into all the messy details as I'm sure I've covered that before here – Tropical storm, lava flowing toward our home town, moving to rental home, illness. But the big deal for me was that, in January, I looked into the future and figured that, with all that was going on, I should be able to commit to being back up and running with my crafting by May 1st. Guess what? I did it by April 29th! OK, that's just two days early. But I am so glad to be back where I can walk into my craft room and start making cards and other projects with my Stampin' Up! products!
Here is a photo of my craft room shortly after our move back into our own home in early March.
Oh my, you can believe me when I tell you that it was a lot worse than it looks. I had to kick other boxes out of the way to get to this angle. Not only that, several of the storage bins that I use for storing my 12" x 12" papers and cardstock, as well as other products I like to be able to get to quickly, were broken in the move – to the point that I could not use them the way I need to. So I had to order new bins and then add those to the mess. OK – that's enough of those messy details, too!
And here's my craft room work table as it looks today!
Is that not cool?! I am so ready to just make a card – and I'm going to as soon as I finish this update! Those of you wish eagle eyes probably note that I still have my Stampin' Up! Blendabilities out and ready to use. I still haven't decided if I'm going to keep (and use) them. I've had enough going on without making that decision yet. I also continue to use my guillotine-style cutter (retired a couple of years ago) for many of my projects, especially when I'm cutting lots of paper and cardstock for classes. But my Stampin' Trimmers (yes, two; one has the rotary cutter in it) are right there on top of my storage bins ready to use for my individual projects.
So now I'm off to make some cards! You'll be seeing them in a day or two for sure. Thanks SO much for your patience while I've been getting my life back together.
Have a great May. I am certainly doing all I can to make sure that I will!
Update: After this posted, I had a question about storing my 8-1/2" x 11" cardstock. I have a built in set of shelves in my closet for my paper and other craft items (crochet, sewing, etc.). Here's a photo. You can see that it's not decluttered yet. But it's still totally functional. I just ordered a new sewing machine, so it will have to have a home and that's when I clean it up!
I need to store my cardstock where it will not be subject to the sun's rays – and being bleached out! The 12" x 12" cardstock in the drawers in the middle picture have to have a piece of cardboard in the front so that the edges do not bleach out. The old bins had less transparent drawers, so I didn't need cardboard with them.
I am so excited to say that my craft room is almost all moved and unpacked. Just a bit of rearranging to do, and I'll be up and running and back in business! Well, it's more fun than business, but you know what I mean.
To begin, today I'm sharing the first of several Mother's Day cards I'll be making over the next couple of weeks. I had to get started this early because it's once again time for the Stampin' Up! Only Challenge! We at the challenge had a bit of a stumble a couple of weeks ago when our hosting got a bit mixed up. But we're up and running again, and I'm so happy to have a project to share in it.
I'm sure you'll recognize the main designs as being part of the "Painted" suite of products in the Stampin' Up! 2015 Occasions Catalog. The striped paper is the Wild Wasabi Stripe from the Painted Blooms Designer Series Paper (DSP) set. Once I had cut the piece of the striped paper, I cut a wider piece of Whisper White Cardstock, and stamped a column alternating the Double Rose stamp from the Painted Petals Stamp Set with the Double Leaf stamp set from the same set. I bought the photopolymer version of this stamp set, which makes it SO much easier to stamp images like this close to one another. My stamping's not perfect, but then it's handmade, not made by machine.
For the flower and the mother's day greeting (from the Teeny Tiny Wishes stamp set), I used Rose Red Ink, which is one of the colors in the DSP set. When it doubt about a color to use, look at a DSP set with the other color you're using (in my case, Wild Wasabi) to see what other colors are in the set – Rose Red it was!
After I'd stamped the roses/leaves, I fussy-cut down the stamped side and adhered the striped paper to the left of it. I mounted it on a layer of Wild Wasabi Cardstock, and matted it with Rose Red Cardstock,tying a bow using the 5/8" Organza Ribbon before mounting the whole card front on a Whisper White Cardstock base.
Alerts about Retiring Products
Beginning today, I'll alert you at the end of my blog posts about any items that I used that will be retiring. Today, the only products about which you should have any concern are the Painted Petals Stamp Set and the Painted Blooms DSP set. These are in the 2015 Occasions Catalog which is current through June 2nd. While it's possible that the stamp set may carry over to the new Annual Catalog, I wouldn't count on it. It's also been rare that papers carry over from one catalog to another. I will have a preview copy of the new Annual Catalog later this week, and will update this post accordingly. But these are still available until June 2nd! Update: The Painted Petals Stamp Set is NOT in the upcoming Stampin' Up! Catalog. So, if you're interested in this set, it might be a good idea to purchase it now. Gorgeous set! You can purchase it directly from my Stampin' Up! store here.
With a blog post title like the one above, I'll bet you thought there was going to be something about flowers or surf. But not this time! It's time for the Stampin' Up! Only challenge, and this time the challenge is to make a project using the colors of a favorite team.
Now I have lots of "favorite teams," both collegiate and professional. So what I decided to do was to look at the colors of all my favorite teams and decide which set of colors would be most fun with which to work. So I chose the colors of the University of Hawaii Rainbow Warriors, and I used them to make a birthday card. Thus, "A Hawaii Birthday Greeting"!
In looking at this, you might think that the colors of this team are Green and White. But actually, the colors are Green and Black, and I just used white as my neutral background. Granted there's not much black in this card, but I used it enough for matting that I think this fits the bill.
When I was making this card, I had most of my stamp sets packed for our move back to our home in Pahoa, Hawaii. That the Geometrical Stamp Set was still available was also a factor in deciding which team's colors I should choose. Here is an example of the University of Hawaii logo.That definitely made me think of the triangle stamps in the Geometrical set.
The sentiment is also from the same stamp set and, while it definitely does not say, "Birthday," when I included it with a birthday gift, the person who received it certainly recognized it as a birthday greeting!
For the background, I used a separate sheet of Whisper White Cardstock, and embossed it with the Sizzix Zig Zag Texturized Impressions Embossing Folder. That was a nice fit, too!
For an update on our move and travel, I can tell you that so far my inks, punches and papers are all unpacked. I even found the turntable with my scissors in it on Sunday. Yay! But now I have to put my unpacking aside until we return from our 3-week trip to visit siblings, an aunt and all of our grandchildren (well, their parents, too). When I come back, it will still be about another week before I'll be back into the swing of all things papercrafting.
But there will be one or two more SUO Challenges between now and then, so you'll get a chance to see the last of my projects done before our move AND catch up with where I am in my move.
Once again it's time for the biweekly SUO Challenge! This time, the challenge was to make a greeting card with a Fun Fold. With all that's going on in my life this early Spring time, if it's going to be fun, it has to be EASY! And this card is SUPER EASY!
As we get closer to the end of March 2015, we're also getting closer to the end of Stampin' Up!'s Sale-a-bration 2015. This is so sad, as I really like the products in this year's Sale-a-bration catalog, including the fun Big Day Stamp Set, which is perfect for just about any birthday Celebration. I'm also crazy about the Best Year Ever Designer Series Paper, which I used as the base for this fun fold card.
I used three of the stamps in the set on the front of the card (the candle, cake, and Happy Birthday stamps), and then I added the other two to the inside of the card. Oh, and what fun it was to color in these line drawings. Unfortunately, I made this card long before the Stampin' Up! Blendabilities were taken off the market, so you wouldn't be able to duplicate the exact look that I have here. BUT, long before Blendabilities, I used the Stampin' Up! Blender Pens to create a shadowed look on Whisper White Cardstock, and I'm sure I could reproduce this look with the Blender Pens. As I won't be back in full crafting mode until after Sale-a-bration is over, I'm not sure that I'll have the time to reproduce this card with Blender Pens myself (lots of other current products to demonstrate!). But you should try it yourself!
Now for the fold and the finishing. The name for this fold is, "Diagonal Z-Fold Card." The basic fold is so simple. You'll need a 12" x 5-1/2" piece of Designer Series Paper (better than cardstock in my humble opinion!). Lay the paper out so that the long edge is along the top/bottom, and the design you wish to be on the front is face up. Cut the paper from the top left corner of the paper to 2"" from the top right of the paper. Score from top to bottom at 4" and 8", using either the Stampin' Trimmer or the Simply Scored Tool.
Fold the paper with the first fold on the left being a Valley Fold and the second fold a Mountain Fold. That's your basic card!
For finishing my card, I punched along the top diagonal edge using the Scallop Edge Border punch. Then I adhered a strip of the Calypso Coral Pompom Trim. I began at the lower right corner on the front of the card. When I reached the first fold on the left, I made a small slit on the top edge and rearranged the trim so that it would go along the inside top edge of the paper until I got to the second fold, now on the right, and repeated the slit and moving the trim back to the front of the card.
Another thing that you can do with this fold is to adhere the middle section to the back section, giving you a slot into which you can place such items as bookmarks or another kind of greeting – or even money or a check! Here is a link to an older blog post where I illustrate how this can be done.
As this post "goes live," I'm about to start on a 3-week long trip the U. S. mainland. In about 6 hours I'll be on the first of a dozen airplanes that will take us from place to place, including visits to all of our grandchildren. I can hardly wait! I can also hardly wait to get back and unpacked AND back to my regular Craft Room activities! See you then.
I'm 75% moved into my own home after having been away for 6 months. Unfortunately, the 25% not unpacked and put away is what's in my Craft Room! I decided to do that by design so that our household would be back into commission and everyone would be ready for daily activities before I started in on my crafts. Yes, my crafts are important. But the good news is that my Stampin' Up! business seems to be running along just fine while I'm out of commission for a time!
Nonetheless, I still am staying active in the Stampin' Up! Only challenge Design Team work while I'm trying to make my way back to full steam craftingwise! And so I've made a quick little card to celebrate Easter – coming up all too soon!
As I knew I'd be moving AND traveling around Easter time this year, I did not purchase any of the new Stampin' Up! Easter products in the fun 2015 Occasions Catalog. But I made sure I had SOMETHING Easter-y to use for my projects. And what could say more about the fun that children have at Easter than a Bunny! This cute little gal (yes, I'm of the opinion that the Easter Bunny is a "she"!) is a stamp from the Life in the Forest Stamp Set. This is such a simple design, but I love it for a quick and easy Easter Card! I'm hoping that I will get some of my Craft Room unpacked before we leave on our family vacation later in the month so I can make a few more of these.
I made the "Happy Easter" sentiment tab using the oldie-but-goodie Teeny Tiny Wishes Stamp Set and punching the sentiment out with the Word Windows Punch.
The dark accent color for all this white is Strawberry Slush. The light color, including the color I used for the bunny herself, is Pink Pirouette. When I made this card a few weeks ago, I used the Pink Pirouette Blendabilities Markers. I love this set as I loved all the Blendabilities, and am so sorry that Stampin' Up! Has had to discontinue them. Rats!
As always, I like a little ribbon on my cards. But it was hard not to try the Strawberry Slush Thick Baker's Twine to go along with the accent color. And it works quite well, don't you think?
For the other accents on this card, I embossed the top layer with the Perfect Polks Dots Textured Impressions Embossing Folder. Then I punched all the lower corners on the card front and back with the Project Life Corner Punch. This punch is definitely NOT only for Project Life projects. It's for cards and any other paper crafts which you make!
As I write this, I've been invited to a 50th Birthday Party and I have GOT TO FIND my stamps and inks so that I can make a card for the occasion. I just cannot imagine going to a store any buying a card. That's against my core beliefs! If I can't make it myself, I won't use it.
Hmmm. But if someone else hand made the project, maybe that would work? Any volunteers? Not kidding! Just send me a note below or an e-mail
Meanwhile, I hope you'll start thinking about your own Easter projects and enter them in the current Stampin' Up! Only Challenge! It's easy – and fun!
I've already mentioned to those on my Newsletter Mailing List that I'm going to be a bit scarce online for the next couple of months. It's all good news, but sometimes even good news in life gets in the way of some activities. In my case, it's best for all concerned if I back away from my Stampin' Up! activities and focus on my family.
You may know from reading here that, back in the fall, lava bearing down on our little town of Pahoa, Hawaii, scared us into moving out of our home and into a rented house, at least until we could get our bearings and decide what we would like to do on a permanent basis. On top of that, we had to cancel a trip to visit many members of our family on the U.S. mainland. It was a bit of a stressful time and you may have noticed that I was missing in action back then a bit, too.
But this time we're not reacting to something imposed on us. We've decided that we are going to move back into our own home. The lava is being very slow in deciding what it's going to do. Besides that being a good thing in and of itself, it also means that our local and state governments have made some plans about what to do if (likely when) the lava cuts off our main road. So we're comfortable moving back. But to get ready, we've decided to do some much needed renovation and updating of our home. With that and the move, you can imagine where my focus is going to be for a while.
On top of that we're once again planning our trip to the mainland, and we're going to try to see as many of our family members as possible. Can you say, "Long Trip"?
I'm still going to be on here now and then, and certainly every other Tuesday for the Stampin' Up! Only (SUO) Challenge blog post. But as of last week, my craft room has once again been packed up, and will likely not be unpacked until just before our travel.
My plan is to be back in full Stampin' Up! "swing" by the end of April – just in time to get our demonstrator preorder peek at the new 2015-2016 Stampin' Up! Catalog. Wow! This year has gone fast!
I'll be online for sure, and am still an active Stampin' Up! demonstrator. So, if you have any questions, feel free to post them here – I get notifications any time there's a comment. And my Stampin' Up! store is open and ready for any orders that you'd like to place between now and then. You know how easy that is, so keep it up! It will definitely help me to keep my sales up for the time I'm gone.
The Stampin' Up! Only (SUO) Challenge this time is to make a card for a teen. I have a teenaged grandson, so making this kind of card was a fun challenge for me. As I was making this card, Quin's mother posted some wonderful photos on Facebook showing him making dinner for the family as a Valentine gift. And he did everything on his own. The menu looked like I would have been more than happy to be there. What a wonderful kid!
Besides being a cook, Quin is also involved in theater and is a singer with a group of budding musicians – great stuff for a teenager! So when I first saw the Be the Star Stamp Set in my Stampin' Up! Catalog, I knew I'd be using it to make cards for him. It's already in the mail to him to let him know how proud of him I am!
The background paper for the card front is from the Painted Blooms Designer Series Paper set. Yes, this set has fabulous floral prints. But the painted stripes on the reverse of a couple of the floral prints are fun prints to use, too. This print is Daffodil Delight, but it also has some hints of orange in it. I decided the orange I would use to accent this card was Tangelo Twist, which is the square mat between the striped paper and the Whisper White Cardstock on which I stamped the words. I stamped the top two using Tangelo Twist ink, and then I used Mossy Meadow for the third stamped sentence.
I used Mossy Meadow to stamp the small star groupings in the background and also used it to mat the entire card front. Back to the Daffodil Delight, I used Daffodil Delight ink to stamp the two larger stars, with the largest star stamped on Daffodil Delight Cardstock and the smaller on Whisper White Cardstock. After cutting the stars using the Stars Framelits set, I attached a piece of Mossy Meadow 3/8" Stitched Satin Ribbon behind the stars for a fun accent. I adhered the star group onto the card front using Stampin' Dimensionals. For the final accent, I added a Rhinestone Basic Jewel to the center of the stars, with a few smaller Rhinestones on the smaller star groupings. Gotta have something shiny with stars!
If you have a teen in your family or circle of friends, think about making a card for him or her and sending it off – "just because." Teenagers need that from us now and then. Of course, then you'll want to add it to the SUO Challenge Blog! We'd all love to see it.
And if you'd like to use this wonderful stamp set, following are links to my online Stampin' Up! store where you can buy it and the other products I featured in this blog post!
I mentioned a couple of blog posts back that I really don't like wasting paper. This is especially true of paper out of which I've die cut something. A former neighbor taught me years ago not to throw out the negative images when I'd cut the then new Top Note Die. Not only did the Top Note shape get used, but the rectangle from which the die cut was made was used as a frame for another project!
Do you remember the birthday card I made for my sister-in-law, Deb, last week? I was sure to cut the "hello" from the Hello You Thinlits Dies so very little was wastede. Yep, I purposefully cut it from the bottom of a Whisper White Cardstock rectangle – and here it is! With that Crisp Cantaloupe Cardstock showing through the "hello" makes a lovely card all by itself. Of course, it's hard for me to be THAT plain. So I picked another product from the Stampin' Up! 2015 Occasions Catalog – the Spring Flowers Textured Impressions Embossing Folder. I only wanted the texture to be on the top of the card, so I just ran the embossing folder through the Big Shot part way. Then I tied some of the Crisp Cantaloupe Thick Baker's Twine asround the Whisper White layer where the textured area met the plain cardstock.
There's another addition that you could make to this card, and that would be to capture the little pieces that were cut out for the hoops and glue them onto the card, too. I think both ways work just fine!
So remember when you're die-cutting with your Sizzix – look to see if there's something you can do with that negative space that's left!
Here are the products I featured in this project. Do take advantage of being able to order any of these directly from my Stampin' Up! store by clicking on any of the images!
Earlier in the week I posted a Hexagon-shaped card and said I'd tell you how to get the tutorial later in the week. Well, now is later as I've made a Valentine Card with the same shape!
What fun making these cards with "different" shapes is!
As I'm sure I mentioned before, this is not a true hexagon. To get to the shape of a true hexagon I would have had to have some really hard measurements in my instructions – 3/32"? Probably not. But for a greeting card, I think the shape is fine – if you want a hexagon look! The only issue when you have a not-quite-hexagon shape, is that you have to pay attention if you're cutting layers. What fits one way may not – will not! – fit another way. So I found myself putting "up" arrows on the back of each layer as I made it. Otherwise it's like doing a jigsaw puzzle trying to turn pieces around to see which way they might fit. But it's paper, and a little bit of trimming makes it work!
For this card, I used the Stacked With Love Designer Series Paper Stack from the Stampin' Up! 2015 Occasions Catalog for the background layer. This is the first time I've used the Black and White sides of any of the designs in the Paper Stack. They really do set off the red very nicely.
The stamped image is one of the stamps in the You Plus Me Stamp Set, also in the Occasions Catalog. I've really enjoyed using the set for Valentine cards, and I'm sure I'll find some uses for it after Valentine's Day is over – that would be after today!
I accented the card with a doily from the Tea Lace Paper Doilies pack, as well as a couple of Real Red hearts punched with the heart punch in the Itty Bitty Accents Punch Pack. The final touch was Rhinestone Basic Jewels in the middle of the two hearts.
Fun little card! And here are the Stampin' Up! products that I used for this project. Don't forget that, to order any of these products, simply click on the picture below and you'll be whisked away to my very own Stampin' Up! store! If you have any questions, please add them to the comments below and I'll get right back to you!
OH! And how do you get the tutorial for this card? Just sign up for my newsletter using the box up to the left! I published the tutorial in the newsletter that I sent out earlier this week, and I'm going to send out a second publication of it next week!
Today I had an idea for a card, and my card ended up looking JUST like I wanted it to – unlike yesterday's disaster.
To begin, I had a challenge – the biweekly Stampin' Up! Only (SUO) challenge in fact. The challenge this time was to make a card with a shape other than a rectangle or square. With all the different Sizzix Dies that Stampin' Up! has in its catalog, this should be no problem.
But I had to make it more difficult than it needed to be. I wanted to make a Hexagon Shaped Card!
And I finally figured it out! This card is made from a folded 4-1/4" x 5" card base, with the fold at the top (the 5" side of the card). I'll be making another of these cards later this week or next, and I'll let you know then how to get a copy of the tutorial for it.
For this card, I used the Butterfly Basics Stamp Set, which I bought as a Photopolymer set. I love that I can see just where I'm stamping something with this style set! The colors I chose for the card were Mossy Meadow, Tangelo Twist and Baked Brown Sugar. Except for the main fern leaf on which the die-cut butterfly is perched, I stamped the inked stamp on scrap paper once before stamping on the Very Vanilla Cardstock that I used for the stamped layer.
I made the butterfly with the middle sized die in the new Butterfly Thinlits Die set. This makes such a stunning butterfly which fits so many kinds of paper crafted projects! I cut the die using Tangelo Twist Cardstock. Did you know? There's a great "sandwich" recipe for cutting thinlits. Thanks to fellow Stampin' Up! Demonstrator extraordinaire, Patty Bennett for this! The Sizzix die sandwich is this: from the bottom up, a platform (I like the magnetic platform); a cutting pad; a piece of a plain dryer sheet (yes, the thing by your dryer); the cardstock; a piece of waxed paper (yes, the stuff in your kitchen); the thinlit die; and another cutting pad. What an easy way to use these delicate dies!
On the inside of this card, I added the Happy Birthday stamp from the same stamp set, and accented it with another little stamped butterfly – this time fully inked!
If you have a favorite shaped card or want to try one out, just stop by the Stampin' Up! Only Challenge Blog, first to get ideas, and then to enter your own project in the challenge! It's so much fun!
Here are the two main Stampin' Up! products that I used for this card. What great products from the Stampin' Up! 2015 Occasions Catalog!