Summer Swap Review – Be a Big Shot!

Aloha, all!

     Last month, just after the 2016-2017 Stampin' Up! Catalog was released, I went through the catalog page by page and chose some projects on those pages to CASE (copy and share with everyone). There were a couple that left me kind of, well, disappointed in what I ended up creating. The original projects were gorgeous – but I'm not the professional those guys are! So here I am with a somewhat different take on one of the CASEd projects.


     The original project was on page 44 of the catalog and my "original" CASE was in this blog post. I like the idea of using a stamp positioner to stamp a design in a square. To do this, you position each stamp in a certain spot on one side of a square, stamp the image, turn the square 90 degrees, stamp again in the same position and so forth. But the design the last time was just too large and trying to use the same images as the original on a smaller square than the original just didn't work as well as I wanted. So this time, I just used smaller images – and it works much better, I think!

     As I mentioned in my last post, the three projects I'm posting this week are are projects that I made for a series of swaps with members of my summer Stampin' Up! online group, VC (stands for Virtual Cruise) Rocks! We do "rock"! So rather than use the stamp positioner that Stampin' Up! sells (the Stamp-a-ma-jig), I pulled out my MISTI tool and stamped away with that. Oh, did these 11 identical cards go SOOOO fast! No repositioning every time I turned the square – yay!

     The stamps are from the Love and Affection Stamp Set. Most of the stamps in this set are of the smaller variety, though there are one or two that are a bit larger than those shown in this project. I do like them all, and certainly will be using them for other projects as the year goes on. The sentiment is from another set, the Flourishing Phrases Stamp Set.

     But now you'd probably like to know about the theme of this swap. It was "So You Want to be a Big Shot?!" Of course, that means that we had to show off at least one use of a Stampin' Up! product that's used with the Sizzix Big Shot. For this project I used two of these products. The first was the Layering Squares Framelits. For this project I used two of the squares from the set (there are NINETEEN squares in this set!!!). The scalloped square is a 3" square and the plain square is a 2-5/8" square. The other Sizzix product I used was another new product, the Seaside Textured Impressions Embossing Folder. It's part of the suite that includes the Seaside Shore Stamp Set and the accompanying designer series paper. But I think it goes well with so much more – including this project!

     The swaps for VC Rocks have some baseline requirements, including that there have to be at least two layers in the card (I have 3, including the Watermelon Wonder Cardstock layer and the textured layer) and there has to be at least one Stampin' Up! embellishment. For this project, I used two designs from the Affectionately Yours Designer Washi Tape set. Love those colors!

     My next blog post later this week will show off another redo of another CASE that I published last month. I had a lot of fun with that one, too, and look forward to showing it off! Meanwhile, here are the products that I used for this project. Click on any of the pictures and you'll be magically transported to my personal Stampin' Up! store to find out more about the products – and buy them, too! They're all so much fun to use.


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Posted on : Aug 24 2016
Posted under CASEing Projects, Sizzix, Stampin' Up! Tools, Stamping |

Summer Swap Review – Holly Jolly!

Aloha, all!

     Believe it or not, the Stampin' Up! Holiday Catalog will be released next week! I just cannot believe that the summer is almost over and I have to start focusing on the holidays. Yikes!

     When it comes to the "holidays" in the catalog, my first focus is on Christmas. Yes, I do enjoy fall favorites such as Halloween and Thanksgiving. But all my life, THE holiday has been Christmas. And, when you're in the greeting card making business such as I am, Christmas Cards are a big part of that. So of course I jumped at the chance to participate in a summer swap that involves Christmas Cards, even though it was still summer at the time of the swap!


     This week, I'll be sharing the projects that I made for each of three swaps that was part of the activities of my summer Stampin' Up! online group, VC Rocks. The "VC" now stands for "Virtual Cruise," and it's meant for those of us who either cannot or choose not to go on the Stampin' Up! summer cruise. Most of us don't qualify for the cruise, as it's a reward for big-time demonstrators. Many of us aren't even demonstrators and those who are tend to be people who concentrate on their craft more than their selling. I like to do both, but not to any great extreme!

     For the first of the three swaps, I wasn't yet able to take advantage of any of the products that will be coming out with the Holiday catalog next week. But there are plenty of Christmas images in the 2016-2017 Annual Catalog, and I chose one of my favorites from last year – the Peaceful Pines Stamp Set. The stamp set includes quite a few images, not just of pine trees of various shapes and textures, but also of items that you can use to decorate the trees (you'll see them all in the photo at the end of this post). But I chose this tree because I think that it's lovely just as it is, with no decorations, save the star on the top.

     The green that I use throughout this project is Cucumber Crush, and the red is Watermelon Wonder. I usually think of other greens and red when it comes to Christmas, but for now these colors work for me. I do believe that the Holiday Catalog will be featuring some more traditional colors!

     When it came to the ribbon, I wanted something a bit more delicate than the wide ribbon that has a Cucumber Crush color, and a bit fancier than the Thick Baker's Twine of the same color. I couldn't believe that I actually had a spool of the 1/8" Gold Ribbon in my stash! So gold it was, and I really like the look and the way it complements both the green and the red. Not only that, I also had some of the new Metallic Enamel Shapes, that include gold and silver stars, as well as circles and hearts. That gold star is just the perfect finish for this tree!

SwapChristmasInside     For this card, and for most of my Christmas Cards this season, I added a bit of a decoration inside the card. I think it adds a nice statement to a card, and I guess I'm just too lazy or busy most of the time to add that extra stamp. But I'm working on that little issue, starting now!

     So I have my first Christmas Card of the season done, and by now I'll have some more in my stash as I should have my swaps from other players back in the mail by now. What fun this swap was!

     Stay tuned for my other two swap projects on Wednesday and Friday this week! I had a blast with them all.

     I featured the following products in today's project, and I hope you'll like them enough to check them out on my Stampin' Up! online store. All you have to do is click on a picture and you'll find yourself at that link in no time! Have fun with whatever Christmas projects you're working on this season!

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Posted on : Aug 22 2016
Posted under Challenges, Sizzix, Stampin' Up! Tools, Stamping |

Trying Out Colors!

Aloha, all!

     This weekend is the last Blog Hop for my summer online Stampin' Up! stamping group, VC Rocks. The "VC" this year stands for "Virtual Cruise," as those of us in the group tried our best to enjoy swaps and one-on-one treat sharing as roommates on a cruise might do.

     But we undertake other activities during the summer, including a monthly blog hop. The theme of this month's hop is "Cruisin With Color," and we are supposed to focus on color in our projects. While there are lots of different ways to focus on color, I chose to make the very same card using different colors schemes. And, since we're getting towards the end of the summer and I need to start thinking about making all my own Christmas Cards, as well as designs for my tutorials and classes, I really had to make this month's blog hop project all about Christmas!

     I started with a card with traditional colors – red and green – and went from there. All the projects use sheets from the same Designer Series Paper set – This Christmas Specialty Designer Series Paper – and stamps from the same stamp set – Flurry of Wishes. There are Enamel Shapes on the first three cards, and Pearl Basic Jewels on the last.  The large snowflake was punched using the Flower Medallion Punch. All of these products are in the current Stampin' Up! 2016-2017 Annual Catalog, so you don't have to wait until September 1st to buy either if you'd like to try out my cards!

     The colors in the paper set are Cherry Cobbler, Garden Green, Basic Black and Very Vanilla, and those are the colors I used, with all of the cards Very Vanilla as the card base and for all the stamping layers.


     The first card uses both Cherry Cobbler and Garden Green.


     Then I split up the colors, first making a card just with Cherry Cobbler…


     … and then using only Garden Green for the third card.


     While you might think that Basic Black is only an accent color in this paper set, there is actually a Basic Black and Very Vanilla snowflake pattern, which is perfect for this set of cards!

     What do you think of these cards? I'd like to know which is your favorite!

     I have to tell you that these cards were VERY easy to make, especially once I decided on the measurements for the various layers. I'm going to include the layout sketch and instructions for making this card in my next newsletter, which I plan to send out by e-mail on Monday, August 22. If you're interested in this layout, please sign up for my newsletter up at the top left section of this blog and you'll get it soon enough to start your own Christmas cards in August!


     Here are all four cards in one picture – it makes comparing them a bit easier on the eyes!  And here are the products I used for the cards. Click on any of the pictures to go to my Stampin' Up! store to order any of these products!

Posted on : Aug 19 2016
Posted under Challenges, Punches, Sizzix |

Cute and Cuddly!

Aloha, all!

     Once again it's time for the Stampin' Up! Only Challenge, and what a challenge it was for me. You have to know that I'm one of the group that's involved in deciding what our challenge themes are going to be. When we came up with the theme, "Cute and Cuddly" for this challenge, I had no idea that I would still not have bought any of the Stampin' Up! Stamp Sets that have cute and cuddly animals – which is what I was thinking when I agreed to this theme! Yikes! OK, I have the Fox stamps, and I could make a kitty out of that set. But I just wasn't happy with that idea so I kept looking.

     Finally I found a teeny little baby "onesie" in the stamp set, Every Occasion. OK. When it comes to cute and cuddly, it's hard to beat how cute and cuddly a baby is! So the onesie it was.

     But what to do with it.  It finally occurred to me that I was just not in a "cute" mood. But I had to get this card made, so I had to do something. I started rummaging through my Designer Series Papers, and out popped the Playful Pallette Designer Series Paper Stack. The word "playful" caught my eye, and I thought, "Why not play with it." So that's why there are these bright colors in what will some day be a baby shower card!



     And I think that, after all, it did turn out kind of, well, cute!

    I stamped the little onesies using two of the new Stampin' Up! 2016-2017 In Colors, Peekaboo Peach and Sweet Sugarplum. Hey, if those color names aren't just meant for a baby, I don't know what would be! Then I took off with the embellishments, adding a heart to each of the onesies and then ribbon to match both of the onesie colors. I matted the center stamped element and the background papers using another of the new In Colors, Emerald Envy.

     I fussed around with the idea for a greeting, but decided I'd just put one inside. The purpose of this card is pretty obvious, so I don't think it needs something on the front.

     Here are the products I'm featuring in today's project, and I hope you'll find at least one of them cute enough to click on the picture to find out more about it – and even to buy it for your next card, even if it's not a baby card! Have fun with whatever you make!!


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Posted on : Aug 15 2016
Posted under Challenges, Stamping, SUO Challenges |

Color Fusers Blog Hop August 2016-Part 2

Aloha, all!

     Today's post is the second in the two monthly Blog Hops hosted by the group called the Color Fusers. What a great group it is, and the projects that everyone has posted in the challenges so far are just amazing. I'm learning so much about how to think about color from the rest of the gang! But I also try my best to give you and everyone else some ideas about how to use a variety of colors in our Stampin' Up! crafting!

     This is the second blog hop where we have been challenged to use these three Stampin' Up! colors:



     My project for this blog hop is just a little bit different from projects that I usually post here. What's the same is that I love layering up papers and I did that with this project. What's different is that I spent a lot of time using my Stamping Sponges to color one of the sheets from the new Irrestistibly Floral Specialty Designer Series Paper set.


     The "Irresistibly" in the name of the paper is derived from its design as plain white paper with white printed designs that resist any effort to place color on them. So, by rubbing my sponges over the paper, only the underlying paper gets colored – not the design itself.

     To color the piece of the paper for this card, I inked up two sponges, one with Cherry Cobbler Classic Ink and the other with Watermelon Wonder Classic Ink. Then I took turns sponging sections of the paper. I didn't try to plan the sponging around any of the patterns on the paper – I just did what I felt like doing until the whole piece of paper looked like I wanted it to look!

     Once I had the piece of paper colored, I needed to work in the Smoky Slate third color in this challenge. I went back and forth with a variety of greetings and a variety of shapes for my central stamped element until I found a sentiment that I liked from the Watercolor Words Stamp Set, and the oval shape for the die-cuts, using the Layering Ovals Framelits Set.

     Then there was the problem of what to use as an embellishment. There's no rule that said I had to use an embellishment. But I'm not sure I really know how to make a card without at least one! So I picked out the Smoky Slate 1/8" Stitched Ribbon, and first just tied a bow around the top two layers. That bow quickly got lost in the jumble of shapes on the sponged paper. Of course my next thought was, "Why not make a jumble of the ribbon, too?!" And so I did, and that's how this design ended up.

     I have a confession to make. I never intended to order this paper set. But I was in such a hurry to place an order one morning that I typed in the wrong number. Imagine my surprise when the paper showed up in my box of new Stampin' Up! stuff. I decided to keep it and threw it into the bottom of my Designer Series Paper box. I figured it would still be there come next June when the new catalog comes out. But no!!! I was looking for paper with these colors in it, and realized I could make my OWN colored design! So now the paper is on the top of my DSP box, and will likely be close to the top for quite a while – until I use it all up!

     I do hope that you will take the time to visit all the wonderful Stampin' Up! demonstrators who are a part of this Blog Hop! Here is a list of their names, with links to their blog posts. And after that, there is a list of the main products that I featured in my project this time. Don't forget to click on any of the pictures that interest you (the paper?)!

Patty Bennett

Jason Loucks

Heather Osborne

Nicole Tugrul

Tammy Civello

Paola Phillips

Jo Anne Hewins

Melissa Kerman

Robin Messenheimer – You are here!

Posted on : Aug 15 2016
Posted under Challenges, Color Fuser's Blog Hop, Sizzix, Stamping |

Wrapped in Warmth Again – With DYNAMIC Embossing!

Alohal, all!

     Once again, I'd like to show off a project that I made with the Warmth and Cheer suite from the upcoming Stampin' Up! 2016 Holiday Catalog (to be released on September 1, 2016.


     There were two products in this suite that I really wanted to show off with this card. The first is the great new Cable Knit Dynamic Textured Impressions Embossing Folder. Did you notice the word, "Dynamic" in that product name? Yes, it's new to Stampin' Up!, and refers to an embossing folder that has a lot more in the way of 3-dimensional feeling to it than other embossing folders. Look at that Cable Knit line and how much it pops out from the card! Love it!  You'll find that the embossing folder itself is a lot thicker than other folders, too. For that reason, the directions are to use one Standard Cutting Plate only with this folder.

     The sandwich is:

  • Big Shot Platform on the bottom
  • then the embossing folder with one piece of cardstock in it (It's always important to load embossing folders so that their folded edge goes through the Big Shot first. It's really, really important to do that with this folder.)
  • and finally one cutting plate.

     The other product that I wanted to show was one of the plaid sheets from the Warmth and Cheer Designer Series Paper Stack. This is the first sheet I've shared from that stack that has NO green in it! The two main colors in this sheet are Cherry Cobbler and Delightful Dijon. There I am with that seldom-used color! I an see it's going to be used a lot with this suite for Christmas Cards this year!

     I'm going to be working with this suite a lot over the next few weeks, but you won't see any more cards here. I actually bought this suite because I can see lots of possibilities for easy-to-make Christmas Cards. And that's the kind of card I like to design for my tutorials. So my objective is to use products from this suite to write a tutorial booklet featuring the Warmth and Cheer suite (with a bit of that Cherry Cobbler Ribbon from the Presents and Pinecones Suite). None of these products is very expensive at all and you can make tons of cards for your Christmas giving that won't break the bank!  I'll be announcing the tutorials after the Holiday Catalog goes live on September 1st!

     Meanwhile, enjoy your stamping! I'll be going back to producs in the Stampin' Up! Annual Catalog starting next week. I hope you enjoy them!

Posted on : Aug 12 2016
Posted under Sizzix, Stamping |

Washi Tape Instead of Ribbon!

Aloha, all!

     Once again, I found an old project of mine that looked like I could make it into a card with one of the new Stampin' Up! product suites that will be in the upcoming 2016 Stampin' Up! Holiday Catalog.


    As with my last project, for today's card I used products from the Warmth and Cheer Product Suite in the Holiday Catalog. Both the sentiment in the central image and the tree stamped on the top background layer are from the stamp set, Wrapped in Warmth. This is a rubber stamp set, and it stamps beautifully on the Whisper White Cardstock I used for the stamped layers.

     The colors in the Designer Series Paper from the Warmth and Cheer Stack include Garden Green and Delightful Dijon. So I went with those colors for the stamping. I'm thinking it's been months since my Delightful Dijon ink pad has been out on my craft room table. But as it's featured in this paper set quite a bit, it's probably going to be used more frequently over the next few months.

     In the original project (here), I wrapped ribbon around the upper left corner. But once I decided on the color scheme, I was left without any ribbon using the two major colors in this project. While there is a ribbon that uses the Delightful Dijon color, it was just a bit too wide for this project. But then the light dawned – I have Warmth and Cheer Designer Washi Tape in my collection now! Not only that, I could use two pieces as neither is too wide for this project.

     For the final touch for this card, I added just one of the lovely gold stars in the Metallic Enamel Shapes set. The perfect final touch, I think!

     One of the items that I frequently used to put in my blog posts were the layouts for cards. That was the case for this card. You'll find the sketch at the old blog post here!


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Posted on : Aug 09 2016
Posted under Stamping |

Something Old with a New Product Suite!

Aloha, all!

     As a Stampin' Up! Demonstrator, I have the opportunity to see – and order from – the 2016 Stampin' Up! Holiday Catalog a month before its release. I have to tell you that I never give up this opportunity to see new stuff really quickly! Now, I don't usually order much in this pre-order period, but I do try to order a suite of products so that I can play with them to see how they work together.

     One of the suites of products in the upcoming Holiday Catalog is called, "Warmth and Cheer." In this suite there are papers (a paper stack), Designer Washi Tape, Trim, a Textured Impressions Embossing Folder and, of course, a stamp set. I'm going to try out all of these products this week to see how they work with my layering style of card making.


     For today's card, I used a layout that I used for a project back when the "new" 2010-2011 Stampin' Up! Catalog came out. That's the "Something Old" of this project. Wow, 6 years ago, and I still had lots of fun using the same layout as I did back then! If you'd like to see what I made in 2010, just click here.

     For the 2010 card, the vertical element at the left had stamped images on it. But I wanted to show off some Designer Series Paper with today's project, so I replaced the stamped image with one of the sheets from the Designer Series Paper Stack that goes with the Warmth and Cheer suite. The Garden Green layer on the bottom of the card front is the reverse side of the pattern in the vertical element. This is a really nice DSP Stack, and I'll show you some more designs from it as the next week goes on.

P1090509     The stamp is one of the 10 Rubber Stamps in the Wrapped In Warmth Stamp Set. If you look at the stamp and the paper, you'll see hints of why this suite has the word, "Warmth," in its name. There are knitted images all over the place! Knitting and warmth are perfect for the holiday season! Certainly, many gifts that are given during the holidays are hand-knitted, especially this year with knitting having such a great resurgence in popularity.

     One thing in this project that's not in the Warmth and Cheer suite is the ribbon. This is new Cherry Cobbler Ribbon, that's in a 2-spool pack that is meant to coordinate with another suite. The other ribbon in this set is Emerald Envy, and that's a much brighter green than the Garden Green of this suite. But it's so much fun that there are coordinating products all through the upcoming Holiday Catalog. I just love this about the Stampin' Up! catalogs!!

P1090507     I made a couple of slight adjustments to my original layout. I finally figured out that I didn't care for the open space above the bow in this project because the Crumb Cake background is lighter than the rest of the card and it looked to me like it was just "blah." So I cut out one of the ornament patterns from the Designer Series Paper and popped it up on the Crumb Cake Layer with part of a Stampin' Dimensional. I added in a gold metallic Enamel Dot (available now!) to make it sparkle a bit.

     The other adjustment was that I shortened the stamped Crumb Cake layer. That layer is larger on this card than on the original, which had a stamped image that was shorter than the one I used today. So it didn't hide the underlying DSP pattern as today's did. So I snipped the length to show more of the DSP.

     For my next post, I'm going to use another layout that I used back in 2010. And I'll tell you the story of how I came across the 2010 cards in the first place! Meanwhile, I hope you're having fun with whatever Stampin' Up! products you're using yourself this week!

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Posted on : Aug 06 2016
Posted under Stamping |

Best Fishes?!

Aloha, all!

     One of my favorite bundles in the Stampin' Up! 2016-2017 Catalog is the Jar of Love Stamp Set with the Everyday Jars Framelits Die Set. There's so much you can do with this set, but one of the stamps that caught my eye right at the start was the little gold fish. I thought, "How cute to have that swimming in a mason jar!" And then I saw the sentiment, "Best Fishes." OMG, that was just too over the top cute! So finally I have had to use those two cuties together.


 FMS Final 247-001    I actually made this card a week ago to enter into the Freshly Made Sketches challenge. It's not a challenge I usually follow, but I ran across the sketch on Facebook, and I knew it would be perfect for the challenge. Unfortunately, I had three blog hops/challenges all in a row last week, with no place to park this little guy on my blog. So I posted him on Split Coast Stampers and he's just now making his appearance here.


     One of the fun stamps in the jar stamp set is the stamp that you can use to look like there's water in the bottom of any of the jars. I liked this jar because it fit into the sketch better than either of the others (you can see them in the set below where I show the products I've used for this post). A trick to getting this photopolymer stamp to stamp evenly is to place your paper or cardstock on top of a surface that gives a bit, such as the Stampin' Pierce Mat.

     I used the Sizzix Framelits Die set to cut out both the jar and the fish. Isn't she so darned cute! I wanted the sentiment under the Calypso Coral Thick Baker's Twine to look like it was coming directly from the fish. So I grabbed another stamp set – Seaside Shore – and used the little bubbles from that set to look like they were coming out of the little fish.

     Here's another little trick I use when I have a small sentiment such as this one and just want to cut it into a little rectangle. If you happen to have the Bow Builder Punch, you might have noticed the little piece that's supposed to be the part you wrap around the punched bow. Well that little rectangle fits several little stamps in the Stampin' Up! collection! And it's easy to pull off the shelf and punch!

     I liked the circle element in the sketch. Though usually that means just put something in its place, I liked the circle, so I pulled out the Layering Circles Framelits Dies, and made the perfect circle on which to mount the jar image.

     The final element in this card is the Seaside Textured Impressions Embossing Folder. I just thought that was the perfect touch to give the whole card some background texture.

     Once again – as usual this summer! – I had a fun time making this card. It's hard not to when Stampin' Up! provides so many wonderful products to keep me crafting! Here are the main products featured in the project today. I hope you'll click on some of the pictures to find out more about the products and even purchase them from my Stampin' Up! store! Have fun with them!


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Posted on : Aug 04 2016
Posted under Announcement, Challenges, Layout Sketch Provided, Punches, Sizzix, Stamping |

A Triple Banner Die!

Aloha, all!

     I am so excited finally to be showing off one of my favorite new Sizzix Framelits Dies from the 2016-2017 Stampin' Up! Catalog. And it comes at a perfect time, as it's time for the new Stampin' Up! Only Challenge, with its new theme of "Delightful Dies."


     When I first looked through the current Stampin' Up! Catalog – when it was still only online – and I came across so many die-cut banners, I could hardly wait to get to the back of the catalog to see what the whole framelit set would look like. Of the 5 dies in this set, this one is my absolute favorite!  Three banners in one! And yes, there is a stamp set that has the perfect banner for cutting.

     The dies are in the Bunch of Banners Framelits Set, and the stamped triple banner is in the Banners For You Stamp Set. The best deal to get BOTH of these products is a Stampin' Up! bundle for a 10% savings over the price of each of these sets individually. Of course, I had to have this, and what fun this card was to make with them!

     In the stamp set, there are lots of words and phrases that you can use to fill up both this triple banner as well as other banners in both sets. But I chose just to use one phrase three times – Happy Birthday – from the Birthday Banners Stamp Set (yes, I had to get that to go with the Bunch of Banners Framelits Set, too!).

     The paper that I used for this really accents the Birthday theme perfectly. It's from the A Little Foxy Designer Series Paper Stack. Yes, there are foxes and mushrooms in this set. But most of the sheets in the set can be used for so many other projects than just the Fox suite of products. The colors in the paper set are Pool Party and Calypso Coral. So I added some Calypso Coral Thick Baker's Twine to tie the whole project together.

     Once again, I had so much fun with this project! It was for a special friend, so I even added a little Calypso Coral heart from the Subtles Enamel Shapes set!

     For my list of products today, I'm including only the bundle that includes the Framelits Die set and the Banners for You Stamp Set. Of course you may buy them individually. But at a 10% savings, I'd go for the bundle! Just click on the photo of any product to go to my personal Stampin' Up! store to get more information about these products – which you can buy from me, too!


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Posted on : Aug 01 2016
Posted under Challenges, Sizzix, Stamping, SUO Challenges |