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.

Envelope

     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.

ShowerSUOC

     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 |

Still Playing With my March Paper Pumpkin!

Aloha, all!

     I just have to get started on some of my April projects – yikes, it's already the 10th! But I just couldn't put my March 2016 Paper Pumpkin Kit away without making some more birthday cards for my "I'm Bringing Birthdays Back" collection!

 

PaperPumpkin3     These are not the cards that were meant to be made with the kit. But there is absolutely NO rule that you have to make the kits as they were designed.  In fact, the March kit focused primarily on cards to hold gift cards. As I usually do not give gift cards as gifts, this wasn't what I wanted to make.

     Let me tell you about all the pieces of this card:

  • The stamped layer is all from the kit. The 2" square with the dashed border, along with the "Happy Happy" and Balloon stamp are all from the kit, and I used the Bermuda Bay Stampin' Spot from the kit to do the stamping.
  • The mat behind the stamped layer is also from the kit, but was originally part of a small envelope intended to hold a gift card. The width of the Kraft colored paper envelope was 2-1/4", which made it the perfect size for this mat.
  • The two banners hanging from the stamped layer are also from the kit, and I used them just as they came in one of the die-cut sheets.
  • The 2" wide banner on the left side of the card front is a piece I cut out of one of the larger envelopes from the kit. It started out as a 2" x 5-1/4" rectangle, and I punched the notch using the Banner Triple Punch.
  • The main layer is one-half of a card base included in the kit. I cut each card into two pieces, and I've used each piece for another card. I trimmed the layer to 4" x 5-1/4" for this card. I then matted it with a piece of Bermuda Bay Cardstock, NOT from the kit.
  • The card base is a folded 8-1/4" x 5-1/2" piece of Whisper White Thick Cardstock.
  • I made the bow for the card front from an 18" length of Bermuda Bay Thick Baker's Twine.

     So it didn't take much from my regular stash of stuff to complete this project.

     Now I can hardly wait to see what the April 2016 kit is like! For one thing, I know that there is going to be not one but TWO STAMP SETS in the April Paper Pumpkin Kit! I can hardly wait!  Not only that, I've ordered 4 extra kits to use for my regular monthly card-making class in May. Once my regulars have decided whether to attend this class, I'll publicize any available openings on my Robin's Craft Room Facebook Page.

     Now to clean off my work table and get to work on other projects!

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Posted on : Apr 10 2016
Posted under Announcement, Paper Pumpkin, Stampin' Up! Kits |

CASEing Out of My Comfort Zone!

Aloha, all!

     Back again after a bit of a health setback. But finally I'm feeling better and I wanted something BRIGHT (yup, with all caps!) to speed up the process of getting back in the groove.

     My default position in my household has been sitting on a sofa with my iPad. Yesterday that paid off as my digital copy of the newest CardMaker Magazine popped up. Yes! I always find inspiration there. Sure enough there was something bright that I could make with my stash of Stampin' Up! products. So off I went to case one of the projects in their article about triangles.

Triangles

     Now if a card made with a cardfront all of Crushed Curry isn't bright, then my sense of bright is all off. But I'm starting almost at the end.

     The CardMaker Magazine article was about triangles and how they are fun to make and work with. To begin, I had to make my own triangles to get the sizes I wanted. Occasionally I will punch the Tree Punch and cut off the trunk to make an triangle. But I liked the magazine's arrangement of different sized triangles, so I cut my own. Their hint for this is to cut a square; mark the top center of the square; and cut from the top center to each of the bottom corners. I made all of these triangles this way. The large started with a 2" square, the two middle sized with 1-1/2" squares, and the small with a 1" square.

     For the 3 largest triangles, I used sheets from the Shine On Specialty Designer Series Paper set from the Stampin' Up! 2016 Occasions Catalog. The "specialty" part is that the patterns on the other sides of each of these papers are metallic designs. But I wanted color, so that's what I used! The 4th triangle is a cut piece of Kraft Corrugated Paper.

     It took me a while to figure out what color to use for the background. But once I slipped a piece of Crushed Curry Cardstock under the triangles, I looked no further. Then I said, "oh, heck, why not!" and snatched a piece of Pumpkin Pie Cardstock to complete the colors.

     I was about to pick up the Tiny Triangles Embossing Folder, when I spotted the Zig Zag Embossing Folder on my work table (yes, I'd not yet put the last project's stuff away – bad Robin!). Those aren't exactly triangles, but they do nicely accent the cut triangles.

     Cutting the top layer at an angle at the bottom formed yet another triangle as it showed off the background sheet of Pumpkin Pie Cardstock. I used that blank space to stamp, "Thank You," from the Sassy Salutations Stamp Set.

     I added a bow of Bermuda Bay Thick Baker's Twine to the large triangle, adhered the triangles using Stampin' Dimensionals, and finally added some Bermuda Bay and Pumpkin Pie Candy Dots to complete the layout.

     Definitely fun! With this bright card perking up my work table, when I return to my work table this afternoon, I should be inspired to get some more projects done!

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Posted on : Apr 06 2016
Posted under Sizzix, Stamping |

You Little Furball!

Aloha, all!

     I spend very little time – maybe none? – talking about our "critters" on this blog. Now that I'm thinking about the Stampin' Up! Only Challenge that goes live today with the theme, "Cute Critters," maybe I should talk about them more. After all, they spend most of their day around my feet as the glass doorway from my Craft Room is their favorite place to be. They can check everything out or sleep in the sun or lie on my work table (well, maybe not the 75 lb dog).

     Our black cat, Cholla, is sleeping on one of my storage boxes even as I write this. But the minute that I act as if I'm going to get up from my computer, she'll be right there with me to let me know she's hungry. And she gets fed when she wants. She's 19 years old, so she's treated like an elderly queen, thank you very much! So, when we were challenged to make a project with cute critters as a theme, I went right to one of my least-used stamp Stampin' Up! stamp sets, You Little Furball.

furball2

     This stamp set comes with a variety of little kitty heads and little kitty bodies. It's mix and match! So I chose one that allowed me to add a bit of a sparkle in a collar around the kitty's neck. Believe me, my Cholla has NEVER agreed to wear a collar. She's an indoor kitty, and she has a chip should she escape and get lost, so I've never insisted on the collar. But in a card like this the cat didn't argue!

     One of my favorite colors in the Stampin' Up! collection is Calypso Coral, and it's been really nice having a pretty Calypso Coral print in the Sale-a-bration Designer Series Paper Set, Wildflower Fields.

     STOP! Do you realize that Sale-a-bration,
where you get free papers and stamp sets for every $50 of Stampin' Up! productds,
is over tomorrow!  So now's the time to get that last minute order in!

     OK – back to today's project. As I was using a little-used stamp set, I also picked out a little-used Embossing Folder, Elegant Dots. With such an elegant kitty, why not elegant dots!

     Just in case you're interested in seeing more of this stamp set, here it is. To purchase it, you can go right to my very own Stampin' Up! store and check this purchase off your list!

FurballStamps


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Posted on : Mar 29 2016
Posted under Challenges, Family and Garden, Sizzix, Stamping, SUO Challenges |

Happy Easter!

Aloha, all!

     I spent some time last week decided which of my Easter cards I wanted to send to my grandchildren. They all – 2 girls and 2 boys – have such different personalities.  I was able to decide on cards that I'd already made for three of them. But the fourth, the oldest and definitely a teenage boy, was a puzzle. So I went through my stack of stamp sets that had any kind of an Easter theme. While I had two of them in my hands, I had a "bingo" moment! But when it came to the final design, I still made a big change after I had finished the card.

     Here's the card after the final final change.

Eggstraordinary

     Now I wish I'd left myself more time (can you say, "proscrastinate"?) because I would have reorganized the elements a bit. But I still like the idea of having all the plainly colored eggs upstaged by the egg with the brightly-colored Stampin' Up! Designer Series Paper, Wildflower Fields.

     In the original card, I'd left all of the stamped eggs uncolored (and yes, I just recolored the original card – I used the small end of my Stampin' Write Markers to get in under the already-adhered sentiment).

Egg

     Once I finished the final card, I looked at the photo of the original "final" card, and knew exactly what I would have done if I had time to make the card again. I would have left the eggs uncolored, and I would have changed the sentiment layer to have a colored layer (matching another of the colors – maybe Lost Lagoon?) and stamped and heat-embossed the sentiment on it.

     But it's already in the mail – hopefully, in my grandson's mail box by yesterday! I'll just have to figure out something else to stamp on a card for him before long and try my idea out!

     In any case, Happy Easter to everyone who celebrates this delightful, and for many holy, holiday!

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Posted on : Mar 26 2016
Posted under Family and Garden, Sizzix |

Paper Pumpkin is 3-years old!

Aloha, all!

     Before I get into today's greeting card project, I'll take a minute to remind you that the April 2016 Paper Pumpkin Kit will have an extra stamp set to celebrate the product's 3rd Anniversary! Sign up before April 10th to get that kit. OR sign up for 3 months, by March 31st, and get a 3-month subscription for only $55 – AND get a Sale-a-bration product FOR FREE! Like the Party Pants stamp set that I used for this project! Click here for more information.

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     It's hard to believe that Stampin' Up!'s My Paper Pumpkin has been around for 3 years!  As a Stampin' Up! demonstrator, back in the beginning of this product line I didn't see a need for me to subscribe to the monthly My Paper Pumpkin kit. But in the last year, I've realized that I've missed a lot of really cool papers and stamp sets by not being a subscriber. Take this month's kit and how I've used the papers to make a card that's my own style with papers that I'd never have had the chance to use if the March 2016 kit hadn't arrived in my mail box yesterday!

PaperPumpkin1

     I just love the Bermuda Bay color that's the main color in this kit. And the green (Cucumber Crush? The kit doesn't say, but that's what it looks like to me) is just a perfect accent. And oh how I wish I had a complete sheet of that lovely floral print! Um, actually, with the square pieces and long strips (shown here), it looked like I did have enough for at least 4 or 5 full cards. But then I saw those envelopes included in the kit! Yes, they're cut to be envelopes. But, as I was getting ready to include the envelope in this photo, all of a sudden I saw LOTS more of the printed paper to use.

     Besides the printed paper, the kit also comes with some notched strips of a solid Bermuda Bay, and that little Whisper White square with the faux Bermuda Bay stitching around the edge.

     Oh, and the main background! The whole card (front and back) for the larger project in the kit was made of this cardstock that looks like it had been lightly sprayed all over with the lighter blue in the kit. But why let it be just one card? I cut that card in half, and now I have a layer for 8 cards with lots of different layout designs.

     With my current effort to get lots of birthday cards out as part of Shannon West's #imbringingbirthdaysback effort, I really wanted this to be a birthday card. But the stamp set that came with this kit did not have a birthday greeting per se. So I looked around at the sets I'd been using, and there was a fun greeting in the Sale-a-bration stamp set, Party Pants. To square it off a bit, I used 2 of the green "candy dots" that were in the Paper Pumpkin kit.

     And those of you who have been following me a while know that I love to finish a project by tying it up with a bow! So out came the Bermuda Bay Thick Baker's Twine, which matches this project perfectly!

     Wow! I can hardly wait to get back from a few days out of town to finish up this kit.

    


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Posted on : Mar 23 2016
Posted under Announcement, Paper Pumpkin, Stampin' Up! Kits, Stamping |

Happy Birthday to Our Youngest Granddaughter!

Aloha, all!

     Ten years ago this week, we were introduced to our youngest granddaughter, Kiara. What a darling little girl she was – and still is! To make a birthday card for her, I was so glad to have the Number of Years Stamp Set and the Large Numbers Framelits Dies. They're both in the Stampin' Up! 2016 Occasions Catalog, which is still current until May 31, 2016. If you're interested in buying either of these, you still have time. AND you still have time to buy BOTH at a 15% discount. Click here to order this bundle!

Turning 10

     The "Look Who's Turning" stamp is from the stamp set, and the 10 are two of the numerals from Framelits Dies set. To make the curved banner with the stamped image, I cut the top and the bottom using ovals from the Sizzix Ovals Collection Framelits. Then I trimmed and notched the ends.

     Notches are the feature all over in this card, as I used them in the banners behind the stamped element and in the punched decorations on either side of the 10.

     All of the papers in this card are from the Cherry on Top Designer Series Paper Stack. I love this set of papers, and I'm actually close to using them all up already. There's still enough for another card or two and, as this is a favorite of mine, you'll probably be seeing more of the set here.

     Now off to put it in the mail to Kiara! I just wish we were there to give it to her in person. We'll see her this summer, though!

 

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Posted on : Mar 21 2016
Posted under Punches, Sizzix, Stamping |