Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Convention tips

I was finally awake enough tonight to go through my convention notes. I thought I'd share my favorite stamping tips from the Stampin' Up! convention here with you today.
  1. From Brent Steele: Tie a bow onto the top of your card using narrow grosgrain ribbon and then thread a teardrop bead from the Pretties Kit onto each end of the bow, tieing a knot to secure the jewel. This looked so elegant!
  2. From Paula Hudson:
    1. The 5-petal flower from Ginormous Flowers lines up perfectly with the 5-petal flower from In the Spotlight for a cool 2-step stamping look. Then you can punch it out with the 5-petal flower punch.
    2. The snowflake punch fits perfectly with the funky looking flower in In the Spotlight.
    3. The star in the Punches Plus classy brass template is slightly smaller than the Star Punch and they look great paired together.
    4. The three poinsettia flowers in Punch Pals line up perfectly in the punch from the Three For You Punch Box.
  3. From Shelli Gardner:
    1. Use the Color Spritzer Tool with the Versamarker and then emboss to get cool splatter of gold.
    2. Make icicle embellishments by drawing a string of icicles onto wax paper with Crystal Effects then sprinkle with Dazzling Diamonds and let dry. After an hour, you can peel off the icicles and adhere them to your project.
  4. From Carrie Cudney:
    1. Color with markers on watercolor paper and then blend streaks with a Blender Pen. This gives you that vibrant copic marker look in all of Stampin' Up's colors.
    2. After coloring with your marker directly on the rubber of a stamp, dab it with a sponge dauber to blend the marker streaks for a more even stamped look.
    3. Color the pearls from the Pretties kit with a marker and then emboss with clear embossing powder to seal the color in.
  5. From Amy Yingling:
    1. The self-adhesive die cut flower from the Special Delivery Girl Simply Scrappin' Kit fits perfectly on the chipboard flower in On Board Blossoms & Basics.
    2. Highlight the main lines in the On Board Simon Upper chipboard with the leftover self-adhesive ribbons from the Simply Scrappin' Kits.
  6. From Pam Morgan:
    1. Tap the embossing buddy to the back of stickers to remove the stickiness if you want to pop-up a self-adhesive die cut on dimensionals. It's much less messy than baby powder.
    2. To cut out the snowflakes in the Snowfall stamp set, use a 1 1/4" circle punch to punch semi-circles out of each of the snowflake notches. Then just snip off the pointy ends. This gives a very easy rounded look to the cut-outs.
  7. From Linsay Mahon during the Workshop Wows:
    1. Use the ric rac stamp from the Trimtastic stamp set on a lower layer to get a scalloped edge look.
    2. Faux Foil Tape technique, make a straight line using Sticky Strip and then cover with a metallic embossing powder & emboss.
    3. Mix crystal effects and a drop of reinker and then paint onto the same color card stock using a foam brush. This gives a cool darker streaky look.
  8. From one of the other Workshop Wow presenters (sorry I missed her name): Cover chipboard with craft ink and then emboss with Iridescent Ice embossing powder. Then cover in Versamark and emboss with Glassy Glaze embossing powder. This gives it a cool shiny/glittery look.
There were a couple of others that were also very cool, but a little complicated to explain quickly including Deb Valder's bow and Stephanie Johnston's typography coluzzle template.

Finally, I thought I'd leave you with a few pictures from the SSUS dinner at the Cheesecake Factory and the SSUS shoebox swap. Thanks to Marjie and Rose for organizing these two events. They were a blast!

Sunday, July 29, 2007


Wow! I am back from convention in Denver and I'm finally awake enough to reflect. My flight landed in NYC this morning at 6:30 this morning, so I spent most of today sleeping. Sorry I didn't post from Denver, but my schedule was packed tight and I was exhausted by the time we got back to our room.

The Denver convention center has the cutest giant blue bear peering into the building. I think this is the coolest public art I've ever seen. Inside the convention center, I was able to purchase a mini blue bear for only $9. I can't wait to find a spot to prop him up.

I was lucky enough to spend the week with my stamping demonstrator friends from all over the country. It was wonderful spending time with everyone in "real life" and we quickly filled all of our free evenings with planned get-togethers.

We took this group shot one morning after breakfast. Not everyone is in the picture, but it's pretty close.

I'll share my favorite moments from the official parts of convention in later posts. I just wanted to stop in and share how much fun I had with my friends. I am so blessed to have found them and to have them in my life. Would you believe that they threw me a surprise baby shower during our shoebox swap? I was totally surprised and overwhelmed by their thoughtfulness.

One last picture before I leave tonight. When we were looking at the display boards, I spotted a card I made back in December. I was trying to point to the card, but I ended up pointing to the divider instead. Anyway, here's my blog post for this card.

More tomorrow. I have pictures to share from the shoebox swap and our SSUS group dinner.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Last Convention Card

Well, my swaps are all done and I'm flying out to Denver this afternoon. It's a good feeling because now it's all going to be fun, fun, fun! No more worrying about finishing on time!

This is my second card for the SSUS group swap at convention. It was supposed to be my "easy" swap since the All in the Family one was a bit time consuming. I have to chuckle now because while it might not look like much, this card was not a quick and easy card. At least not when you are making 30 of them.

This is a standard trifold card. The front of the old olive card base is cut about 2 inches short. I then took a piece of whisper white and made a scalloped border using the new 3/16" corner rounder. I like the smaller scallop that it produces compared to the old small corner rounder. It's more delicate looking.

Then I just topped the front off with a piece from the Petals & Paisley designer paper. I still had a ton from the Spring Mini catalog, so I figured it would be good to stop hoarding it. Finally I stamped the sentiment on the so saffron piece. This strip is actually 11" long and goes all the way across the inside of the card. I thought it looked weird to have it end 3" in. The saffron was still getting a little lost on the darker colors so I cut a piece of whisper white to mount behind the flap. I think this makes it pop quite nicely.

Finally, I added some dazzling diamonds glitter with my two-way glue pen. It was the perfect finishing touch!

Because I didn't have enough sheets of this particular pattern to make all 30 cards, I have 3 different versions. I've attached smaller thumbnails below. You can click them to make them larger.

My next post will be from convention!

Stamps: Wonderful Favorites
Ink: More Mustard
Card stock: Whisper White, So Saffron, Old Olive, Petals & Paisley Designer Paper
Accessories: Dazzling Diamonds Glitter

Tools: 3/16" corner rounder punch, Two-way glue pen

Monday, July 23, 2007

Family Portrait

This isn't our family portrait right now, but it will be in January! We are expecting our first baby on January 23 and this couple looks pretty much like my husband and I -- you know, if we were stick people.

This is one of my swaps for the SSUS group at convention.

So, for this card, I first stamped the baby's body and head in the center of the white card stock using Timber Brown Stazon Ink. Then I covered the baby with a mask made out of post-it notes and stamped the mom and dad on top. Then I watercolored using my ink pads and an aquapainter.

The little safety pin and the sentiment both come from the new Short & Sweet stamp set. You can't tell from the picture, but the sentiment and family are popped up on pop-up glue dots.

The layout is from sketch challenge 121 on splitcoast.

Stamps: All in the Family, Short & Sweet
Ink: Stazon Timber Brown, Wild Wasabi, Groovy Guava, So Saffron, Blush Blossom, Close to Cocoa
Card stock: Whisper White, So Saffron, Close to Cocoa, Wild Wasabi, Groovy Guava
Accessories: Chocolate Taffeta
Tools: Small Oval punch, Large Oval punch, Pop-up Glue Dots

Friday, July 20, 2007

Christmas Ornaments

I know, I know. Enough with the Christmas stamps already! It is a bit early for all this Christmas stamping. I promise once the Stampin' Up! convention is over, I'll put all the Christmas stamps away for a few months.

These ornaments are my 3-d swap for the SSUS convention group swap. Actually, just the snowman one is the swap and I made 18 of them! The others are for a special friend. (I don't want to ruin the surprise!)

Anyway, these turned out even better than I had hoped when I saw the Jolliest Time of the Year stamp set in the new Fall & Winter Collection. Even though I have tons of Christmas sets, I don't have a lot of good Santa images and this guy was just perfect! I love the look of wonder in his eyes as he dances around in the snow.

The ornaments come in a 3-pack from Ranger. They are called Inkssentials Memory Frames and come in polished chrome, antique copper and black patina finishes. I used the polished chrome in the 2 x 2 inch size. They also come in 1.5 x 1.5 inches and 1 x 3 inches! The frames do not have any glass in them, so you'll also need to pick up some Inkssentials Memory Glass from Ranger. They come in the same sizes as the frames and you can choose between clear and frosted glass. I used clear glass on mine, but I want to order the frosted now to see how that would look. You can buy all of this from skybluepink.com. They have great prices & fast shipping. I've ordered bracelet blanks and mini dominoes from them in the past as well.

So, for each ornament you will need 1 memory frame and 2 pieces of memory glass. The frames don't have a back, so your ornament will be two-sided.

I stamped the snowman, Santa and tree images with jet Black Stazon ink on 2" x 2" pieces of watercolor paper. (I actually stamped the front & back with the same image.) Then I colored in both sides with my watercolor wonder crayons and an aquapainter. The great thing about watercolor paper is that it is thick enough to stamp & watercolor on both sides without anything bleeding through. On the outside edges of the snowman, I applied a little bordering blue color to make the snowman look even whiter. This is a trick I learned from Julie Ebersole.

Once the paper was completely dry, I made a sandwich by sticking the watercolor paper between 2 pieces of memory glass and then inserted it into the frame. The manufacturer recommends that you don't open and close the frame more than once. The hinges aren't really designed for repeat use.

To finish it all off, I tied a 12 inch piece of bashful blue taffeta ribbon on as the hanger. I love the new taffeta ribbon so much! It is super lush! I plan to add the rest of the colors to my next order. ;)

I think these ornaments would make great gifts! Besides stamps, you could put pictures of your kids inside or their own tiny artwork. Maybe a wedding picture for newlyweds. I think the possibilities are endless!

Stamps: Jolliest Time of the Year
Ink: Stazon Jet Black
Card stock: Watercolor Paper
Bashful Blue Taffeta Ribbon, Ranger Inkssentials Memory Frames, Ranger Inkssentials Memory Glass

Blogger's Challenge Friday #4

Well, it's Friday so that means it's another blogger's challenge. This time we were supposed to use the layout of the Sassy Stems card on page 97 of the new catalog. Here's a link to the card.

This is going to be super lame since this is only my second week in the group, but I had no time to make this card. I have been stamping convention swaps every night this week when I got home from work and I'm still not done. I have visions of assembling swaps on the plane. If I can just get all the cutting, stamping and coloring done before I fly to Denver...

Anyway, the other blogger's challenge participants are better at time management than I am, so make sure you check out their fabulous creations! And check back here later today because I should be able to post my 3-d swap for the SSUS group convention swap when I get home from work. Just needed some daylight to take the pics!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

One week and couting...

I leave for convention one week from today and I am so not ready! I thought with convention being later this year, I would have more time to make swaps and it would be less stressful. Somehow though I am in the same situation I always am in.

This card is for the SCS Christmas card swap. I'm in group one. The layout is from sketch challenge 77 on splitcoast. This is one of my favorite sketches!

I used the Christmas Tree from Big Celebrations again. The sentiment and the snowflakes on the so saffron strip are both from the new set Short & Sweet. This set is what I always wanted Warm Words to be -- real sentiments, not just random words.

I think these colors go so well together and give a classic Christmas look as opposed to my blogger's challenge card last week.

I added Silver Shine glitter to the tinsel and dazzling diamonds glitter to the star. So here's the question. Do you think I should have glittered the ornaments as well. I don't have the red glitter, so if I did it would be dazzling diamonds. Post here and let me know what you think!

Stamps: Big Celebrations, Short & Sweet
Ink: Stazon Jet Black, Wild Wasabi, Real Red, So Saffron, Blush Blossom, Close to Cocoa
Card stock: Whisper White, So Saffron, Real Red, Wild Wasabi
Wasabi Double Stitched Ribbon, Silver Shine glitter, Dazzling Diamonds Glitter
Tools: Horizontal Slot Punch, Two-way glue pen

Friday, July 13, 2007

Blogger's Challenge Friday #3

I joined the Blogger's Challenge group this week! Our challenge this week was to make a Christmas card using any stamps we wished but without using traditional Christmas colors. I thought I would be smart and combine this challenge with my hostess' make-n-take request of something "complicated". So I chose to try one of Cami's trifold cards.

I also wanted to use my new stamp set Big Celebrations. I know some people find these stamps creepy because the little people don't have faces, but I thing it's whimsical. I just love the idea of little elves decorating the Christmas tree.

So for the Blogger's Challenge, I chose to use Regal Rose and Certainly Celery as my main colors. I also used a little Sky Blue, So Saffron and Close to Cocoa to color in the tree.

Here's a picture of the inside half-way opened.

The little snowflakes are from the Snow Flurries stamp set and are stamped with Regal Rose ink on Regal Rose card stock. I love these little snow flakes so much and was so happy to see them in the big catalog this year!

I also cracked open my Many Merry Messages set that I never mounted last year. I thought the "Jolly surprises" stamp went really well with the Big Celebrations tree.

Finally, I used the Coluzzle to cut the oval opening in the front of the card.

Here's a picture of the whole thing open.

As I mentioned before, my slit punch is busted. So I used the horizontal slot punch instead and threaded ribbon through the whole to tie the card shut.

Don't forget to check out the other Blogger's challenge cards! I posted links in my sidebar to everyone's site.

Stamps: Big Celebrations, Many Merry Messages, Snow Flurries
Ink: Stazon Jet Black, Regal Rose, Certainly Celery, Sky Blue, Close to Cocoa
Card stock: Whisper White, Regal Rose
Tools: Horizontal Slot Punch, Coluzzle, Narrow Celery Grosgrain Ribbon

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Free Standing Pop-up Tutorial

I am not the creator of this fold. I found the directions on splitcoast stampers from Joelyn here. I just thought a step-by-step tutorial might be helpful to others.


Stamps (All in the Family, Family Accessories, It's Your Birthday)

4 1/2" x 11" card stock (for the base Tempting Turquoise)
2 1/2" x 5 1/4" card stock (for the pop-up message Groovy Guava & Whisper White)


Paper Scorer

Bone Folder

Sticky Strip

Step by Step:

Step 1:
Decorate the front of the 4 1/2" x 11" cardstock. Then, flip it over and score at the following marks:
1", 2 3/4", 3 3/4", 5 1/2", 7 1/4", 8 1/4", 10"

Step 2:
At the 5 1/2" mark, cut down the score line from 3/4" to 3 3/4". This creates a slit in the center that is 2 3/4" long.

Step 3:
Fold along the score lines to make assembly easier later.

Step 4:
Mask off the bottom 1" of the 2 1/2" by 5 1/4" card stock. This inch will be hidden, so you want to make sure your design doesn't go that far down. In my case, I wanted to make sure the little boy would stand above this line.

Step 5:
Decorate the pop-up message. As mentioned in step 4, most of the grass at the bottom will be hidden when assembled.

Step 6:
Apply sticky strip to the bottom of the pop-up message on the front and back.

Step 7:
Slip the top of the pop-up message through the slit in the base.

Step 8:
Remove the protective film off the Sticky Strip on one side of the pop-up message and adhere to the bottom flap on that side. Be careful to keep the pop-up part straight during this process.

Step 9:
Repeat step 8 for the back side of the message. Once again, keep the pop-up message straight.

Step 10:
Prop up your card, because you are done!

Birthday Boy

My best customers are having a workshop tonight and they wanted to do something complicated. So, I thought a Free Standing Pop-up card would do the trick. I got the instructions from Joelyn on splitcoast stampers. There are some great diagrams in that thread to help explain how it all comes together.

However, I couldn't find a step-by-step tutorial anywhere, so look for one here in the next day or so!

On to this sample, I just love the new All in the Family stamp set from Stampin' Up! I think it is so cool that you can make cards that actually look like the recipient. For this card, I stamped everything in Jet Black Stazon and then colored with either markers or a blender pen and ink pads. I don't like using the blush blossom marker directly because I feel it gives too dark of a color. So, for his little face I used a blender pen and the blush blossom ink pad. I also used groovy guava for his shirt and one of the balloons, so that had to be done with a blender pen as well.

The grass at the bottom is from the striped stamp in the Background Sampler set stamped in wild wasabi.

Here's a picture of it closed for mailing.

I tried mounting All in the Family in the corners of the blocks so I wouldn't have to use a stamp-a-majig for each piece. Wouldn't you know that I hate it! The blocks feel off-balance and wobbly. I ended up using my stamp-a-majig anyway. So, after my workshop I will be remounting this set to center everything!

I can't wait to use this set again. It was too much fun!

Stamps: All in the Family, Family Accessories, It's Your Birthday, Background Sampler
Ink: Stazon Jet Black, Tempting Turquoise, Groovy Guava, Blush Blossom, Wild Wasabi
Markers: Gable Green, Tempting Turquoise, Basic Black
Card stock: Whisper White, Groovy Guava, Tempting Turquoise
Tools: Fiskars Paper Cutter, Sticky Strip, Bone Folder

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Glitter Paper Revisited

The last thing I wanted to show at Lisa's meeting was my glitter paper technique. It's not often that I have an original idea (one that didn't originate on splitcoast), so I'm pretty proud of this one.

This card might look familiar, because it is very similar to this one that I did with Roses in Winter. Once again, the original layout was from Cindy Lyles' Butterfly Kisses card.

This time, I used Loads of Love to make a Christmas card. I stamped the little truck on whisper white card stock in Timber Brown Stazon ink so it wouldn't smear. Then I used an aquapainter and my ink pads to color the truck in. I used rose red for the truck, basic black markers for the tires, going gray for the bumper and hubcaps, so saffron for her hair and the headlights, bordering blue for the windshield and garden green for her shirt. The I masked the truck bed and stamped the tree. To ink the tree, I used a chocolate chip and a garden green marker to color the trunk and needles. When all was done, I added Dazzling Diamonds glitter to the headlight, hubcaps, bumper, tree and the driver's hair. The rest of the card was going to sparkle, so I didn't want her to feel left out!

For the so saffron strip, I used my two-way glue pen to go over some of the lines. Then I sprinkled on some more Dazzling Diamonds. I've found that you shouldn't do every line or else it will look really bad. Instead, randomly alternate between thick lines and thin lines. I also added glitter to all the polka dots on the rose red tab in the same manner. Finally, I used a mini glue dot to adhere the Wild Wasabi Stitched Ribbon knot to the tab. I just couldn't resist!

Last night I mounted most of my new stamp sets, so new samples should be popping up soon!

Stamps: Loads of Love, Loads of Love Accessories
Ink: Stazon Timber Brown, Rose Red, Going Gray, So Saffron, Garden Green, Bordering Blue
Markers: Basic Black, Chocolate Chip, Garden Green
Card stock: Whisper White, Chocolate Chip, Wild Wasabi, So Saffron Prints Designer Paper, Rose Red Prints Designer Paper
Accessories: Dazzling Diamonds Glitter, Pop-up glue dots
Tools: Round Tab Punch, Two-way glue pen

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


I've been tagged by Dana Lea at Will Blog for Stamps and Lori Barnett at Stamp Scents! This time, we're supposed to share seven things about ourselves.

1. I was an only child until my dad remarried my freshman year of college. Now I have an older step-brother and step-sister.
2. I got married 1 month after graduating from college and then started my first "real" job 2 weeks after that.
3. I also love to knit, although I only learned how to one year ago. So far I've knit scarves, hats, sweaters and I'm working on a blanket.
4. I am an Air Force BRAT. My dad retired when I was in the 8th grade.
5. I was born in Germany and lived there for 8 years in two separate tours.
6. I have a 1.5 year old puggle named Lucy. She is too stinkin' cute!
7. I am a software engineer which is a glorified name for computer programmer. So stamping is my creative outlet for sure!!

Once again, I think I caught the tail end of the tagging game. If you haven't been tagged yet, consider yourself tagged and post here so we can read all about you!

Slit Flower Frame

Last month, Leigh O'Brien shared the tutorial to the slit flower frame with the SSUS group. At the time I was too busy to try it out, but I thought it would be a great technique to demonstrate at Lisa's downline meeting last night.

So, here's my first attempt. The card base is close to cocoa. I cut an oval out of my wild wasabi card stock using the oval coluzzle template. (It was the 5th oval from the center.) Then I inserted my slit punch in the middle of the oval to punch all the way around creating the petals. Using a sponge dauber, I applied some garden green ink to each petal to make them stand out more. Then I stamped wild about you all over the front.

The alligator was stamped with garden green since I didn't have my wild wasabi ink pad yet. I did stamp off once to tone him down a little. Then the little bird was added in groovy guava ink.

Be really careful where you put your adhesive when gluing the white card stock to the green card stock. On my first try, a couple of my petals ended up glued down. After fixing that little mishap, I popped up the green & white layer with dimensionals on the close to cocoa card base.

I think this came out pretty cute. The alligator and the birdie make a cute couple and this technique really frames them in.

The one thing I will change for next time is my slit punch. When I first got it as a brand new stamper, I tried punching through 3 layers of card stock and my poor punch has never been the same. It gets stuck very easily and not the kind of stuck that can be fixed with punching through wax paper. I think there's a broken spring or something inside the lever. Anyway, if you look closely to the bottom left of the oval, you'll see where my slit punch tried to chew up the card stock. I can take a hint. I'll be putting a new slit punch on my next order. ;)

One more sample to go.

Stamps: Wild About You
Ink: Garden Green, Groovy Guava
Card stock: Whisper White, Close to Cocoa, Garden Green
Accessories: Stampin' Dimensionals
Tools: Slit punch, Coluzzle

Monday, July 09, 2007

New Catalog Stuff!!

My expedited order came a day early and it was perfect timing! Why you ask? Because I was scheduled to demonstrate a few cards at Lisa Gentile's downline meeting tonight! Lisa is my sideline and she is a fabulous stamper, demonstrator & person so I was more than thrilled when she asked me to come to her group meeting tonight.

Okay, on to the cards! The first one was a simple monogrammed card. When finishing this card, I realized that all of my smaller alphabet stamps are retired. You could use any alphabet stamp from pages 158-160 for this.

Enough about the old, what's new on this card? Taffeta ribbon for one. This is the Chocolate Taffeta and I think it is divine - a little shiny and very smooth. It also cuts much more nicely than the retired organdy ribbon that would always fray a little.

Also, that scalloped circle is the new Scallop circle punch. The 'l' was punched with the 1 3/8" circle punch and it is a perfect fit! I can't wait to find more images to stick inside this frame.

Finally, I used the old corner rounder punch to make the scalloped border at the bottom. I then traced the scallop with my two-way glue pen and sprinkled some Dazzling Diamonds on top. All in all, I think this is a very simple, yet elegant card.

Tune in tomorrow for another card from my demonstration.

Stamps: Whimsical Alphabet Lower
Ink: Chocolate Chip
Card stock: Whisper White, Chocolate Chip, Regal Rose, Polka Dots & Paisley Designer Paper
Accessories: Pop-up glue dots, Chocolate Taffeta Ribbon, Dazzling Diamonds
Tools: Scallop Circle punch, Retired Corner Rounder Punch, 1 3/8" circle punch, Two-way Glue Pen