Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Simply Bella Bleu

Today we spent some time at my sister's house. We planned on a relaxing day of lunch and games. We started with playing Chinese Checkers. Have you ever played that game? It was one of the games we grew up playing and made me feel very nostalgic. My hubby didn't like that one at all and griped just about every move he made. (He didn't win at it either!) So we moved on to playing UNO. Now that one he likes. And he should because by the time I had 500 points and lost, he still had fewer than 200 points. How come he only likes playing the games he wins at? hmmm... If I only played games I always won, I'd never play any games anymore! Yeah, that's right. I'm horrible at most games!! Now you know one of my deep, dark secrets. Don't tell anyone, ok?
Since getting home this evening, I've been spending time planning for the next time the ladies get together to stamp for 'From Our Hearts'. I usually try to come up with simpler cards as some of the ladies joining us are not really stampers at all. I don't want to overwhelm them with anything too technical, but make sure everyone has a good time and we get as many cards made as possible.
With that in mind, this is one of the cards I made this evening. I really like so many of the prints in the Bella Bleu Designer Series pack. Very vintage looking and pretty. The card is simple, but not too plain I hope! Here's how it's made.
Stamps: Sweet Little Sentiments (retired)
Cardstock: Bordering Blue, Very Vanilla cardstock with Bella Bleu Designer Series Paper
Ink: Bordering Blue
Accessories: Big Shot with Simple Flower Embosslit, Scallop Trim Border Punch (new Sale-A-Bration free item!!), Pretties Kit, Paper Trimmer, Sponge Dauber, and Mini Glue Dots
I hope you liked the simplicity of this card. I thought it would be a great way to start winding down the year.
Enjoy the rest of the year! Be safe and happy!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Serene Selection

Yes, that's what I'm sharing with you today. A softly serene looking card that would be perfect for sending on so many different occasions. The big trick with making this card easily, is to get all the layering done in the correct sequence. I know, because it took a couple tries to get it done just right! lol
This is the card for today, and here are the details...
Stamps: Pocket Silhouettes and Teeny Tiny Wishes
Cardstock: Sahara Sand, Mellow Moss, and Very Vanilla
Ink: Mellow Moss and Always Artichoke
Accessories: Big Shot with Elegant Bouquet Impressions Folder, Movers and Shapers Die, Curly Label Punch, Vanilla Taffeta Ribbon, Sponge Dauber, and Adhesive.
When making a card like this, I found the easiest thing to do first is run the top layer through the Big Shot with the Impressions Folder and then sponge the edges to get that layer all set. Next step is setting up where you want the movable die in the Movers and Shapers Die so it lands correctly on the card front. Then run the card through the Big Shot and fold. Lastly, stamp your main images on cardstock and punch with the Curly Label Punch so it tucks right in the window nicely. See, easy peasy when all the steps are done in the correct order. Don't forget the sponging before layering. And don't bother trying to run the layers through the Big Shot separately. If you do, it almost never lines up correctly.
So go ahead and make this quick and softly serene card! It's lovely and easy too! It just might become addicting! You can thank me if it becomes your next favorite go-to card layout.
Happy stamping,

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Wishes

I just wanted to wish you a very blessed Christmas this year and thank you for being part of our lives through this blog. Your comments and suggestions have all been greatly appreciated and eagerly awaited. I hope you'll continue to stop by for stamping and papercrafting inspiration through the coming weeks.

This has been an eventful year for us as a family, as it has been for many of you. This past January, our daughter was married and they are now expecting a little one in May. How very excited we all are!! Then earlier this month my husband, Rick was laid off from his job. This looks to be a permanent layoff. Consequently, we are looking into retiring a little earlier than planned. The downturn in the economy isn't helping matters right now either. So at this point in time, everything in our lives is in a state of flux. No telling where we'll be at this time next year. But that's part of what makes life interesting, right?! Come join us on our journey and be part of our extended family.

Blessings and peace to you from the newborn Child in Bethlehem,

Monday, December 21, 2009

Shades of Purple

Today I'm stepping away from all the Christmas cards and sharing some ideas that are part of a gift for my sister. I know she doesn't read this, so it's safe to share early here! lol My sister has been a fan of purple for as long as I can remember. Some years I'm able to incorporate this into her gift, and some years I'm not so good at it. This year I decided to make her a gift of cards handmade to suit her. Now why didn't I think of that years ago?! duh... Anyway, this is part of the selection of cards made for her.....
As you peruse the samples, you'll see that the thing that ties these together is the absolutely gorgeous Cottage Wall Designer Series Paper. The cardstock and ink colors used aren't always the same, if fact there are several different combos I used. But everything does tie in with the colors on the DSP. And most, but not all of the cards have some Cottage Wall DSP used on it somewhere.
Without breaking down each card made, let me give you a run-down of materials used for these.
Stamps: Sprinkles, Heard From The Heart, Bella Toile, Wedding Sweet, On Your Birthday, and assorted sentiment stamps I've owned for years
Cardstock: Whisper White, Pale Plum, Rich Razzleberry, Orchid Opulence, Old Olive, Mellow Moss, and Brushed Silver, with Cottage Wall Designer Series Paper
Ink: Rich Razzleberry, Orchid Opulence, Perfect Plum, Old Olive ink pads, and Rich Razzleberry and Old Olive markers
Accessories: Big Shot and Elegant Bouquet Embossing Folder, Scallop Border Punch, 1 3/8" Circle Punch, Scallop Circle Punch, Ticket Corner Punch, Word Window Punch, Rich Razzleberry Polka Dot Ribbon, White Satin Ribbon, Old Olive Narrow Grosgrain Ribbon, Old Olive Narrow Twill Ribbon (retired), Square Ice Rhinestone Brads, Piercing Tool and Mat Pack, Gold/Silver Zig Painty (retired), Sponge quarters, and Dimensionals
Whew, I think that's the total list for this batch of cards. No wonder my table looked like everything I owned was scattered and piled up around me! There are more cards and doubles of some of these with the the sentiment changed on them. I certainly hope she loves these. And I must admit, I'm thoroughly tired of looking at all the different shades of purple. And there's more purples I haven't even used yet because they ddin't match up with the Cottage Wall papers! Maybe I need to expand the idea to any purples and not just the Cottage Wall DSP purples. What do you think??? hmmm.... there's the Tea Party DSP with purples in it too. and.....
I'm off to check out what other purples I can use. So I guess I'm not off my purple kick yet!
Hope you have a 'perfectly plummy' day!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Another Sneak Peak

Oh, I'm so dog-gone excited! Guess what I figured out? Oh, first I'd better explain... A new Stampin'Up! Bigz Die that will be showcased in the Occasions Mini Catalog is call Mini Milk Carton. Sounded interesting to me, so I just had to get it during the pre-order because I had to play with it. Oh, it's just darling! And look what I made with it!!!
Doesn't it make just the cutest little birdhouse? I've got ideas swirling in my brain for spring and/or Mother's Day. I can hardly wait! Which is so funny since Christmas is still a whole week away! Yikes, I'd better quit playing around and get finished with my Christmas shopping, baking, and card sending pretty soon!!!!
Anyway, I thought you'd like to see that this die makes the cutest little box. I punched a hole for the birdies to get in, then promptly put in a window sheet so they couldn't get in. But I did fill it with blue and silver Hershey Kisses instead. Chocolate is always good!
Stamps: Serene Snowflakes
Cardstock: Bashful Blue, Chocolate Chip
Ink: Whisper White Craft Ink
Accessories: Winter White Embossing Powder, Heat Tool, Big Shot with Mini Milk Carton die, Bashful Blue Narrow Grosgrain Ribbon, 1/4" Circle Punch, 1" Circle Punch, Sponge Dauber, Window Sheet, and Adhesive
Looking at the little birdhouse, I'm thinking it needs a bit of glitter on the snowy roof so I'll do that before I give it away. And maybe one of our retired small snowflake punch to add 1 dimensional snowflake to the roof too. What do you think? I guess when I did this late last night, I just wasn't thinking it through to a great finish. I know it's the little touches that really make something special, but I wasn't thinking clearly anymore by that time! Ah well, that's one of the great things about this - it's only paper and I can keep playing around and making adjustments and additions! lol
Have a great weekend. Hope you get all your Christmas planning finished so you can really enjoy the holiday! Happy holiday hugs...

Monday, December 14, 2009

New Vintage Vogue

Is that an oxymoron - new, vintage??Yes, I do believe it is. But it's also the truth too! This is another sneak peak at the new Occasions Mini Catalog coming to your door soon. There are so many great stamp sets in there, it was hard to choose just a couple to pre-order! Ah, the perks of being a demonstrator! If you'd like first crack at all the new sets and products (and get them at a discount too!), come join my team. We're a great bunch of ladies and would always welcome 1 more!

Ok, back to the card I'm sharing with you today. I didn't know it at the time, but it fits us so well now. Vintage Vogue has some cute flowers and some nice sentiments. And the sentiment I had chosen for this card is all too true. "Life happens. Love helps." It's funny that I made this card last Thursday, and my hubby was laid off from his job on Saturday. Life is very strange indeed! Anyway, I hope you enjoy the card!

Stamps: Vintage Vogue
Cardstock: Kraft, Soft Suede, Not Quite Navy, and Very Vanilla cardstock, with Bella Bleu Designer Series Paper
Ink: VersaMark, Sahara Sand, and Not Quite Navy
Accessories: Modern Label Punch, Big Shot with Movers and Shapers Dies, Soft Suede Polka Dot Grosgrain Ribbon, Sponge quarters, and Dimensionals

Don't you just love the look of the flower stamp with the script writing on it? It's just one of the fun touches of whimsy that is a part of this stamp set. Did you notice the added design element of the viny flowers along the edges of the Vanilla cardstock that were stamped with Sahara Sand? Add to that the wonderful designs in the Bella Bleu DSP pack for another kick of texture. And then all the final sponging gives the whole card a real feel of vintage, don't you think? I was so happy with how this card came together. Hope you like it as much as I do.

Have fun with you stamping and Christmas preparations today. Later this afternoon I'll be out in the rain hitting the stores with my daughter to get some gift shopping accomplished. Wish us luck! lol

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Sneak Peak look at Easter

Can you believe you just read "Easter" already??? Yes, the 2010 Occasions Mini Catalog will be arriving in mailboxes in another week or two. And yes, there are so many cute and lovely Easter ideas shown along with all the other holidays it has. But today I'm focusing on just Easter.
When I got my first look at the new Mini, I fell in love with a set called 'Abundant Hope'. The set has a beautiful line-art image, some very meaningful sentiments, and a tiny accent border piece. I must admit it was love at first site for me. I love watercoloring images and love, love, love pastels. So this was the first set I ordered, and the first set I played with too!! And while you're reading this today, my downline is probably making this card right now during our Shoebox Swap. he he

Isn't it just lovely?? Spring always means Easter to me and one of my favorite things at this time of year is all new flowers bursting out of the frozen ground and springing to life. (I know we're just getting into the beginnings of winter here, but I can always dream, can't I?) I've had daffodils growning along my fence for years, so this was the perfect reminder of spring.

Stamps: Abundant Hope acrylic-mount stamp
Cardstock: Barely Banana, Certainly Celery, Very Vanilla
Ink: Stazon Jet Black, So Saffron, Certainly Celery, Pumpkin Pie
Accessories: Apricot Appeal Grosgrain Ribbon, Modern Label Punch, Scallop Oval Punch, the brand new Scallop Trim Border (that you'll be able to earn free during Sale-A-Bration starting January 5th!!), Aqua Painter, sponge quarter, and Dimensionals

I just had to share with you a close-up of the new border punch. Isn't it great? And there's a corner punch to co-ordinate with it too!!! Am I excited about these new products? Oh yeah! I can hardly wait to share them with you. Won't you consider booking a party with me to play with all these awesome new products? Or if you're not in the area, you can always order online from me. Just click on the button on the right to go shopping. Now remember, you have to wait until January 5th to order any of these new items. Yah, I know - gotta save some of those Christmas dollars to use next month!! LOL

Have a Merry Christmas and enjoy the holidays!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Snowman Collection

The weekend is coming and I can hardly wait! My downline and friends are coming for a Christmas Brunch and Shoebox Swap tomorrow. It's going to be fun spending time with some of my favorite ladies, eating, and stamping. Yummy! What could be better than that?! One of the things I've been doing to get ready this week, has been making all these little snowmen boxes. Each one was watercolored on watercolor paper and is very individual. No matter how hard I try to paint them the same, each one seems to have a life of it's own and takes on it's own personality. (Or else I've just been spending way too much time with them!) lol

Each of the boxes are made out of one 8 1/2" x 11" sheet of Chocolate Chip cardstock. The sides of the box are scored at 2 1/2" intervals. The top is scored at 1 1/2", and the bottom is scored at 1".

Stamps: Serene Snowflakes and Snow Buddies (Hostess Level 2)
Cardstock: Chocolate Chip and Watercolor Paper
Ink: Chocolate Chip Classic, Whisper White Craft
Accessories: AquaPainter, Watercolor Wonder Crayons, Champagne Mist Shimmer Paint, White Gel Pen, Sticky Strip, and Circle Punches (for the snowflake on the bottle lids that you can't see!)

They've been stamped with the Serene Snowflakes in both Chocolate Chip and Whisper White inks to give the box some detail.

And I love how the Champagne Mist Shimmer Paint looks painted over the watercolors on the stars! So shimmery and pretty - very subtle! I hope each of my ladies likes the boxes. If not, they can always re-gift them!! LOL

Oh, I forgot to mention that each box has a 'Starbuck's coffee' bottle inside filled with hot chocolate mix and marshmallows. It's to keep them warm on those cold winter nights that we have here in Michigan!

Thanks for stopping by today. Enjoy the rest of your evening. Wish you could join us for stamping, eating, and fun tomorrow! If you'd like to be part of our group - Carr's Crazy Stampers, get in touch with me and I'd be happy to give you all the details!

Stampin' Up! Gives You a Clear Choice!

That's right! Stampin' Up! is offering the stamp sets in the new 2010 Occasions Mini Catalog and the 2010 Sale-A-Bration Catalog with either a wood or clear acrylic mount choice!! I know so many of you have been patiently waiting for this day. Let me give you some detailed information.

I am so excited!! Stampin Up has taken the best of both worlds to create these clear mount stamps. They are the same excellent quality rubber stamps they have always had but now the blocks are clear so you can see through them. I just got my first set yesterday and wasn't sure how I would like them but I have to tell you that they are FABULOUS! So easy to use and you can see exactly where you are stamping. These will be available to customers on Jan 5th!
Over the past few years, there has been enormous demand from demonstrators and customers alike for a line of repositionable clear-mount rubber stamps. Well, you asked for it, and now you have it! Starting with stamps in the 2010 Occasions Mini Catalog and the 2010 Sale-A-Bration Brochure, Stampin' Up! now offers our exclusive stamp art in both traditional wood-mount, and the new clear-mount option.
Our new clear-mount rubber stamps are the result of extensive research with the intent to maintain the very best image quality in the stamping industry, while at the same time offering the ease-of-use and storability inherent in repositionable clear-mount rubber stamps.
Clear-Mount Rubber Stamp Features
* Nine different sizes of clear blocks available individually or as a discounted bundle.
* Blocks have ergonomic grooves on all four sides for easy grip and traditional wood-mount feel.
* Stamps and blocks are durable and easy to clean with your Stampin' Scrub and Stampin' Mist.
* Optional image labels on stamp backs let you decide if you want to see the image through the block or not.
* Tight die-cutting for easy image positioning.
* Large clear blocks can be used to create collages or spell words with alphabet sets.
* Stamps store easily in standard, DVD-type cases with artwork on front and spine, making organization easy.

So what do you think? Maybe you need to book a party right now so you'll be one of the first to see and stamp with these new products! If you're anywhere in the greater Detroit and surrounding areas, I'd love to come and share these new products with you!!

Stampin' Hugs,

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Embossed Tree

Life has gotten just a bit crazy this past week. I hated to answer the phone after Tuesday, because it seemed like each call was about another death. There were 3 calls about 3 deaths in two days. Why does it happen in bunches like that? One of the guys that my husband went to school with and has known for most of his life passed away last week. He'd been fighting pancreatic cancer for almost 3 years, and the end was rather hard. Jim was a terrific man and wonderful father. He's going to be missed by so many people. God bless him and give Jim's family His everlasting peace.

With all this going on, I haven't been in the mood for much stamping. Actually, I'd probably have felt better if I had been stamping, but I just couldn't seem to concentrate. This card was one I'd been working on before all the craziness started. It was a bit hard getting the embossing on the tree shape only. (I have several ugly embossed cardstock pieces laying around to prove it too!) The trick was to cut a triangle shape from chipboard and lay it under the embossing folder. Then it was a matter of finding the right amount of pressure (shims) to emboss just the tree. I honestly can't tell you what the final layering was - I didn't write it down and really don't remember. (I hate when that happens!!!) When I have more time, I want to play around with this again and keep track of what works! It's just too lovely to make only one!

Stamps: All Holidays
Cardstock: Soft Suede, Whisper White, Brushed Gold
Ink: Soft Suede
Accessories: Big Shot and Petals a Plenty Embossing Folder, Mat Pack and Piercing Tool, Clear Rhinestone Brad, Kraft Taffeta Ribbon, Small Star Punch, and Zig Gold/Silver Painty(retired)

This card is so absolutely elegant in person. All the white and gold always look so perfect to me. I just had a thought that this would be a terrific card for a Christmas wedding. Even the words would be fine for that. Anybody want to get married so I can send it out to you?

Have a blessed day today! Count your blessings, and find some time to stamp and unwind.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Valentine Cards Already??

Oh yes, the ladies were hard at work stamping cards for our troops last night. Several had to cancel at the last minute because of the flu bug hitting the school. Everyone there last night is either connected to the church or school, so when the flu starts making it's rounds through the school it affects us all. Anyway there were 5 of us stamping and we finished 53 cards. Not the 100 I was hoping for, but there's always next month! Here's pictures of 2 of the cards we made. (Had to quick take pictures before they get sent out tomorrow!)
I tried to keep the cards fairly simple with not too many layers. The ladies thought this was pretty, hope you do too!
Stamps: You & Moi, Simply Said
Cardstock: Whisper White, Pretty in Pink, and Melon Mambo
Ink: Pretty in Pink, Melon Mambo
Accessories: Melon Mambo Pollka Dot Grosgrain Ribbon, Scallop Square Punch, Word Window Punch, Trio Flower Punch, Piercing Tool and Mat Pack, Sponge quarters, (I forgot what the retired trapezoid-shaped punch was called), and Deckle Scissors (retired)
This was a fun card to make with all the different components coming together. Each of the ladies found her favorite part of the card to work on, and then it all came together quickly.
This second card seems geared more for a child. Since there are so many parents fighting this war, we needed to make cards for them to send home to their kids. Right?!
Stamps: Owl Together
Cardstock: Real Red, Chocolate Chip, Whisper White
Ink: Stazon Jet Black, Real Red pads, and assorted markers
Accessories: Crop-a-dile, Jumbo Pewter Eyelets, Red Gingham Ribbon, and Snail Adhesive
Again the ladies outdid themselves getting everything colored just right. Don't you think some child would love to get this from their daddy or mommy? We thought so, and really enjoyed making them. So now it's time to get them all packed and in the mail for the "From Our Hearts" ladies to package them up and send them on their way.
Thanks for visiting today. Have fun stamping for others - it really warms the heart!