Sunday, March 29, 2009

New Stamps, New Colours

I know that you're all eagerly awaiting the arrival of the new Stampin' Up! Idea Book & Catalogue ... not long to go now (official release date - April 1!). I can tell you that it's full of lovely things, as well as six new In Colours - these colours will only be available (in ink, paper and accessories) for 12 months, so get in while you can. I can vouch for the fact that at the end of the catalogue period, these colours sell out really quickly.

Anyway, one of the perks of being a demonstrator for Stampin' Up! is being able to preorder a few things from the new catalogues - we are only given a small selection, but it's still very exciting trying to decide what to buy. I had a long think before settling on this set, called Echoes of Kindness, which is a Level 2 hostess set from the new book. I love the sketchy look and figure it will be a useful addition to my collection.

To celebrate the arrival of this little beauty, as well as the new In Colours, I made this card - totally CASEd from my friend Bridget Larsen (thanks Bridget!).

I have used two of the new In Colours here, Pacific Point which is a bright, clear blue and Baja Breeze, a softer blue. The flower was stamped in Pacific Point, then the petals coloured in with a white gel pen - I love how simple this looks while being very effective at the same time.

Images © 1990-2009 Stampin' Up!®

Supplies used:

Stamp set/s: Echoes of Kindness
(Hostess Set), En Francais
Ink: Pacific Point
Cardstock: Pacific Point, Baja Breeze, Whisper White

Other: Uniball White Gel Pen, 1/4" Whisper White Grosgrain Ribbon, Cutter Kit, Stampin' Sponges

While I was on a roll, I used the same set to make this ... inspired by a card on Splitcoast Stampers, but very much simplified. The background on the pink panel is just the same flower stamped randomly and overlapping to create an illusion of texture.

Images © 1990-2009 Stampin' Up!®

Supplies used:

Stamp set/s: Echoes of Kindness (Hostess Set)
Ink: Pretty in Pink, Basic Black

Cardstock: Basic Black, Whisper White, Pretty in Pink

Other: 1/4" Pretty in Pink Grosgrain Ribbon

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

CASEing myself

You know when you see a lovely creation somewhere and just have to make something similar? You get inspired by someone else's creativity and the next thing you know you've made your own version?

Well, I was inspired by myself LOL.

I was reading a blog or something (it's hard to remember where I've been on the internet some days) about people having a hard time using certain colours - a lot of people are stumped by Stampin' Up!s "Bold Brights" colour family, for instance. Yes, they're bold, and they sure are bright but that doesn't make them scary.

To test this theory, I took this design from a few months ago and challenged myself to remake it BOLD!

The colours in this photo are a little off ... the Summer Sun layer looks almost orange to me. And technically it's not from the Bold Brights range, but I don't have YoYo Yellow ink, and I like my inks/cardstocks to match (because with Stampin' Up!, that's what they do).

It came out BRIGHT.

I like it. This stamp set is a really good one, and with the variety of stamps in the set (including a present and a balloon) you can make a lot of very different cards without getting sick of it.

Images © 1990-2008 Stampin' Up!®

Supplies used:

Stamp sets: Big Bold Birthday
Ink: Summer Sun, Real Red, Tempting Turquoise
Cardstock: Summer Sun, Real Red, Tempting Turquoise, Whisper White

Other: Stampin' Dimensionals

And while I was making my bright experiment, DD10 asked if I would make her friend a birthday card using the same design. Of course I said yes (before she had a chance to change her mind). DD chose the colours ...

Again, super-bright, but it turned out to be a really fun card!

The little purse from my post the other day (for the same friend) was made to in these colours as well, to match.

Images © 1990-2008 Stampin' Up!®

Supplies used:

Stamp sets: Big Bold Birthday
Ink: Green Galore, Pink Passion, Summer Sun
Green Galore, Pink Passion, Summer Sun, Whisper White
Other: Stampin' Dimensionals

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Gift Card holder

I stumbled across Jackie Topa's blog the other day, following a link from somewhere (probably Splitcoast Stampers) to her "faux alligator skin" tutorial. From that I found her "gift card purse" instructions. So simple and effective! So I whipped up one of her sweet little handbag gift card holders to see what it came out like (well, surprise! Just like her picture!).

Anyway, it turned out that DD, who has a birthday party to go to this afternoon, wanted to give her friend a gift card. And was quite happy for me to make a holder to put it in. This is unusual, normally she would rather store-bought packaging and cards, so of course I leapt at the idea.

I tinkered with Jackie's instructions a little, making the handbag a little narrower overall because I only have a 4" circle cutter, making the base narrower as well, and adding an extra fold at the top so I could use a strip of cardstock as the handle (because I don't have wire, or matching ribbon). I love how it came out - I hope DD's friend does as well!

Can you see the sparkly, glittery centre to the flower? Love those Dazzling Diamonds! I stamped the same flower in pink and punched out the middle after using Heat & Stick powder to stick the glitter down.

Oh, and DD said I "cheated" ... the stitching on the green strip of cardstock is actually holes pierced with my paper piercer and Stampin' Up! Mat Pack, with "stitching" drawn on with my white gel pen. She didn't realise until she took a really close look *g*

Supplies used:

Stamp sets: Eastern Blooms

Ink: Summer Sun, Pink Passion, Versamark

Cardstock: Pink Passion, Green Galore, Summer Sun, Whisper White

Other: 1-3/4" Circle Punch,
Horizontal Slot Punch, 1/2" Circle Punch, Mat Pack, uni-ball Signo White Gel Pen, Heat & Stick Powder, Dazzling Diamonds,

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I've got a surprise ...

... and I can't show you till April 1!

All I can say is it's 160 pages of catalogue-y goodness.

Hey, book a workshop with me for April and you can have one of your very own to have and hold and read in bed ... not to mention the other benefits of hostessing a workshop (having a stampin' evening with friends, the potential to earn great freebies, making some cute cards, learning something new from me).

Contact me today!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Attempting a Card Sketch Challenge

So this challenge was put out quite some time ago by Makeesha Byl ... I don't usually do these challenges, but was feeling a little short on creative inspiration by myself and needed the shot in the arm to get going.

Turned out to be a lot harder than I'd thought!

Usually when I make a card, I don't really have a particular idea in mind as to how it will come out. I'll pick a colour combination, or a stamp set, and see what happens. So to start at what I would consider the finish was tricky!

It took a while, but I ended up with something I actually liked. I figured if I was going to do this, the challenge was in using the sketch so I'd better make the colours easy, which is why this particular card is Pretty in Pink, Chocolate Chip and Very Vanilla - you can't go wrong with this combination! And using Baroque Motifs was also a little bit of a cheat, because it's pretty hard to make an ugly card with this stamp set *g*.

Supplies used:

Stamp sets: Baroque Motifs, En Francais

Ink: Chocolate Chip, Pretty in Pink

Cardstock: Chocolate Chip, Very Vanilla, Pretty in Pink

Other: Scallop Circle Punch, Mat Pack, Cutter Kit, Stampin' Sponges

Friday, March 13, 2009

Love these flowers

I have loved using Bud Basics over the past 16 months - this set is now on the retiring list and it will be hard to say goodbye to it *sniff*.

You might remember the One Sheet Wonder project I did using these stamps (have a look here and here) - I had tried this previously but only got as far as two cards (the remainder of the One Sheet is still tucked safely in an envelope waiting for me to get back to them). I love the combination of Pixie Pink, Tempting Turquoise and Certainly Celery.

Supplies used:

Stamp sets: Bud Basics, Itty Bitty Backgrounds
, Warm Words
Ink: Pixie Pink, Tempting Turquoise, Basic Black, Certainly Celery

Cardstock: Whisper White, Tempting Turquoise
Other: Large Oval Punch, Small Oval Punch, Tempting Turquoise 1/4" Grosgrain Ribbon, Stamp-a-ma-jig

I wanted to post the other card, however Blogger is up to its old tricks today and refuses to post my landscape picture correctly. I will add it when Blogger is playing nicely again *grrr*.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

An oldie, but a goodie

I dragged out Heartfelt Thanks the other night, to challenge myself to use one of the few stamp sets I own that aren't retiring at the end of this month. When so many favourites are being gently put to one side (to make room for new stuff *g*) it's nice to revisit familiar favourites.

The first card was totally inspired by this one over at Splitcoast Stampers ... it had never occurred to me to create a beautiful background with the single flower stamp from this set.

I've used the Rock & Roll technique to give the petals of the flowers a darker pink hue.

I overstamped the main flower using my Going Gray marker (must buy the inkpad one day) rather than using black ink, as I didn't want the outline to detract from the soft colours used on the flowers.

Supplies used:

Stamp sets: Heartfelt Thanks

Ink: Pretty in Pink, Rose Red, Mellow Moss, Summer Sun

Cardstock: Basic Black, Rose Red, Whisper White
Other: Going Gray Stampin' Write Marker, Pretty in Pink 1/4" Grosgrain Ribbon, Cutter Kit, Stampin' Sponges, Stamp-a-ma-jig

The other card turned out to be a lot bolder colour-wise than I'd thought ... but using Ruby Red, Not Quite Navy and More Mustard will do that *g*. The flower head and the word "thanks" are popped up on dimensionals.

I pinched another idea from the card referred to above, and used my Ruby Red marker to outline the letters in the word - it gives it a little more dimension without being too "in your face". Worked quite well, I thought.

Supplies used:

Stamp sets: Heartfelt Thanks

Ink: Ruby Red, Old Olive, More Mustard

Cardstock: Ruby Red, Not Quite Navy, More Mustard
Other: More Mustard and Basic Gray Stampin' Write Markers, Stampin' Dimensionals, Stamp-a-ma-jig

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Retiring Stamps

I thought it was time to drag out a few old favourites that have been ignored for far too long - and now that they're retiring why not give them one last look?

This one was released in a Mini catalogue a couple of years ago, and I had to have it as soon as I saw it. As well as the little single flower and phrase shown here, it also has an outline to stamp over the flower, another word ("happy"), a stylised paisley and a little dotty background. I called this my "happy stamp set" because just looking at them made me smile.

What happened? One day I just started using something else and put these aside - now I feel bad for ignoring them LOL.

So this is a quick card using some colours I wouldn't normally put together but it just seemed to be the right thing to do.

By the way, this stamp set is one of those that Stampin' Up! has chosen to assist in raising money for the Bushfire Appeal here in Victoria. This means that if you buy this set (it costs $35.95 plus postage), half that amount will be donated to the fund.

Just saying, that's all ... *g*

Supplies used:

Stamp sets: Polka Dots & Paisley

Ink: Pumpkin Pie, Certainly Celery

Cardstock: Bashful Blue, Certainly Celery, Pumpkin Pie, Very Vanilla
Other: Certainly Celery 1/4" Grosgrain Ribbon, Mat Pack, 1-1/4" Square Punch, 1-3/8" Square Punch

Friday, March 6, 2009

Embrace Life

No, I still haven't bought this set *sigh* ... I really want to but can't justify it at the moment - with a bunch of bills sitting on the kitchen bench and yelling at me every time I go past, I am having to be strong *g*.

So Embrace Life, currently available in the Stampin' Up! Summer Mini might end up being one of those sets I never buy. Unless (and I have my fingers and toes crossed here) it makes it into our next catalogue - due out on April 1. I might even be able to afford it in a few months' time LOL.

In the meantime, I have borrowed my friend's set again and made these.

I was playing with reinkers the other day (see my previous post) and was showing a friend the kinds of things you can do with them. If you don't have any rubbing alcohol and metallic reinkers, you can still make a stunning background with a damp cotton wool ball (or makeup sponge, or baby wipe) and a few drops of ink, dabbed randomly onto a piece of white glossy cardstock.

The first card here was created using exactly that method. I liked it so much I didn't want to cover it up so just stamped the single flower over the top in Stazon, trimmed and there it is. You might just be able to make out the stamped images on the Rose Red cardstock as well, just for a bit of texture.

Supplies used:

Stamp sets: Embrace Life

Ink: Black Stazon, Pretty in Pink, Rose Red
Cardstock: Pretty in Pink, Basic Black, Rose Red, Glossy White
Other: Pretty in Pink 1/4" Grosgrain Ribbon, Classic Ink Reinkers in Pretty in Pink and Rose Red

The second card was a quick experiment to see what it would look like if I stamped the flower onto the prepared glossy cardstock and cut it out.

Turned out it looked good!

I borrowed the layout from the cards at Stamping with Hulda; I was really taken with the simple elegance of the design and knew it would work with this stamp as well.

I've popped the flower up on a dimensional just to separate it a bit from the rest of the card.

Supplies used:

Stamp sets: Embrace Life

Ink: Black Stazon, Pretty in Pink, Rose Red
Cardstock: Pretty in Pink, Rose Red, Whisper White, Glossy White
Other: Pretty in Pink 1/4" Grosgrain Ribbon, Classic Ink Reinkers in Pretty in Pink and Rose Red, Stampin Dimensionals

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Playing with Fish again

I have quite taken to Ocean Commotion. At first I knew I had to have it, but didn't know what to do with it once it was here. I am now finding that there are things that I can do with it, and the Polished Stone technique background was one of them.

Have you seen this technique? Basically you put on a pair of disposables gloves (trust me on this), saturate a cotton ball or makeup sponge with rubbing alcohol, drop a couple of drops of dye reinkers in coordinating colours onto it and a drop or two of metallic (Encore in this case) reinker and dab all over a piece of glossy white cardstock.

The alcohol makes the metallic ink sort of run around the cardstock in a random fashion and the effect is quite pretty and not a little like a quartz stone with a vein of metal running through it.

Anyway, after reading a discussion about Polished Stone on a mailing list I'm on, I realised it had been a long time since I did this myself, and voila, here it is.

You can't actually see the silver streaks running through the fishy background in this photo, and it really is incredibly subtle even in real life.

An idea that I have borrowed from a blog I was visiting the other day (Karen Thomas' Luv To Stamp - lovely work there!) was to use my Crop-A-Dile to emboss dots for the bubbles, then I used a little Two Way Glue to stick some Dazzling Diamonds glitter onto them.

Supplies used:

Stamp sets: Ocean C
Ink: Black Stazon
Cardstock: Basic Black, Certainly Celery, Bashful Blue, Not Quite Navy, Glossy White
Other: Scallop Edge Punch, Crop-A-Dile, Two Way Glue, Dazzling Diamonds Glitter, Classic Stampin' reinkers in Certainly Celery, Bashful Blue and Not Quite Navy

And an update: A few days ago (well, maybe a week or so) I posted this card, which was a little unfinished at the time. I have since had another look at it and used some advice from Pauline to finish it a off bit better.

Thanks Pauline!

Supplies used:

Stamp sets: Ocean Commotion
Ink: Real Red, Ballet Blue, Pumpkin Pie

Cardstock: Ballet Blue, Pumpkin Pie, Real Red, Basic Black, Old Olive, Whisper White
Other: 1-1/4" Square Punch, 1-3/8" Square Punch

Monday, March 2, 2009

Continual Retirement List Updates

Rather than posting updates on the availability of retiring items on this blog, I have set up StampStuffNotes ... take a look to see the latest in what's gone and what's still available for now.

I hope to update this list daily, or as often as new information is available.

There is also a permanent link to StampStuffNotes on the sidebar to the right for your convenience.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

So long, farewell ...

It's that time of year again when we find out what stamp sets and accessories from the current Ideas Book & Catalogue are retiring to make way for new goodies. While this is a sad occasion for many of us, as we have grown to love certain stamps and colours, it is a time to look forward to April to see what new things are in store for us.

So, the retirement list has been released. Click on the picture to the left, take a look at it and see if any of the stamps on your wish list are on there. If so, please contact me as soon as possible to arrange your purchase, because once these are sold out they are gone, gone, gone.

Note that some stamps and accessories are marked with asterisks - a single asterisk means that the price has been discounted by 25% from the catalogue price. Two asterisks mark items that were inadvertantly left out of the 2008-09 catalogue, and are being sold out for 50% of the original price. Three asterisks mark those stamp sets which are on the Bushfire Appeal list (ie. 50% of the retail price is being donated to the Red Cross).

Some items are already sold out - the reinkers for many of the In Colors have already been selling fast and are no longer available (sorry). A reminder to us all to buy the reinker at the same time as the inkpad! Something I learnt the hard way last year.

I have also heard that some prices are going up in the next catalogue, particular ink pads (from $9.95 to $11.95) and reinkers (from $4.95 to $5.95), so you might want to stock up on these this month as well (I will be *g*).

Contact me by email or phone to place your order, but remember that any or all of the items you select may no longer be available. I will let you know before placing the order, based on the list which is available to demonstrators (hopefully updated each weekday during March), what is no longer in stock.

And to refresh your memory, here are links to my blog posts featuring some of the retiring stamp sets ...

Bodacious Bouquet, Bud Basics, Bundle of Joy, Carte Postale, Circle of Friendship, Eat Cake, Happiness, Polka Dots & Paisley, Time Well Spent.


Editted to add: In the past hour the "unavailable" list has been updated, and I can tell you that the following items are no longer available for order:

Flip Flops wheel, Classic Ink Refills in Soft Sky, Purely Pomegranate, Wild Wasabi, Groovy Guava and River Rock, eyelets in Earth Elements, Basic and Soft Subtles, Best Friends Numbers and Mateys Map wheel.


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