Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Cup of Thanks

You may have noticed I'm not posting as often. I would really love to post atleast 3 times a week, but with the holidays fast approaching, time is at a serious premium. I'm aiming for 1-2 times a week right now and hope to update my class list for the winter soon, too! Thanks for hanging in there with me :)

Today's Pals Paper Arts Challenge was a sketch challenge ~ my favourite type of challenge! I have been itching to try out my Tea Shoppe stamp set, another sneak peek from the Occasions Mini. I have recently become a very avid tea drinker but what I really loved about this set was the mug - it's so pretty! Look at the little flowers on it, which I strategically adorned with Dazzling Diamonds Glitter. :)

I also used a new DSP ~ Sweet Shoppe. It is a specialty DSP with two embossed designs. The Wisteria Wonder Polka Dot paper has debossed polka dots :) It is so cute, so beautiful. A great variety of designs that work so well together and I love the idea of tea and cakes!

Tips & Tricks:

*Sometimes the right DSP can add a lot to your card. Even though the tea cup is the focal point of this card, the cake DSP adds a whole other element to the card.
*Love the ribbon? It's the new Pool Party Seam Binding Ribbon.
*The Tea Shoppe stamp set comes with a myriad of lovely greetings, it's a great everyday stamp set :)
*Do you have trouble inking big stamp sets? Usually we put our ink pads on our work surface and ink our stamps by pushing them into the ink. For bigger stamps, try putting the stamp on your work surface upside down and pushing the ink pad down on the stamp.

Hope you've enjoyed this 'tea card'. I know atleast one person who will love it! You know who you are ;) 'Til next time, keep letting stamps bring out your creativity!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sale-a-Bration will be here soon...

With my Occasions Mini Preorder, I was also able to preorder some Sale-a-Bration (SAB) exclusive stamp sets and accessories. How exciting!!! Even more stuff. Even better was I got it all FREE ~ I love being a demonstrator :)

What is SAB? It's the most wonderful time of the year for SU! customers, hostesses and demonstrators, and runs from January 24th to March 31st. As a customer, you get to choose 1 FREE SAB item with every $60 in merchandise you order! What types of free items are we talking about? SAB exclusive stamps, designer papers and accessories, as well as some catalog merchandise such as the Brights Designer Buttons and Stripes Embossing Folder. Wait, it gets better! There's NO LIMIT!!! If you join SU! during SAB, you get your Starter Kit for $150 (tax free in Ontario ~ Canada only) as well as a FREE package of Designer Paper every month 'til December 2012. Do you see a trend? As in FREE???

You can take advantage of this awesome Demo Starter Deal before Sale-a-Bration through me because I'm going to Stampin' Up! Leadership conference. Sign up on December 13th or 14th and get your business off to a great start in the new year, taking advantage of Sale-a-Bration right from the get-go!!! You can sign up easily at ~ but only December 13th and 14th for the $150 + free DSP deal :)

This week's Pals Paper Arts Challenge asked us to dress up our card for a special occasion. I used some new SAB goodies as well as the Labels Framelits to dress up my card:

Tips & Tricks:

*Love the ribbon? So do I! It's the new Lucky Limeade and Calypso Coral Organdy Ribbon. Get 10 yards of each PLUS 30 Everyday Enchantment Printed Brads (top left - Pool Party flower brad) in a SAB bundle. The ribbon is nice and narrow, but a good weight. Just gorgeous.
*The DSP is also the SAB Everyday Enchantment DSP and it is beautiful. The snippits in the brochure do NOT do it justice!
*I wasn't sure about the SAB Fresh Vintage stamp set, but it's has definitely grown on me. The larger flower image fits perfectly into a medium Labels Framelit. Because the Framelit has not center (it's a frame - go figure ;) ) you can position it perfectly on your stamped image. The square stamp coordinates perfectly with the 1" Square Punch.
*I love the Framelits. I've never used a similar product. I did, however, learn the hard way that making a frame is a two-step process. First cut out your larger die-cut. Then, position the smaller framelit on your larger die-cut and cut out your frame. DO NOT put both the large and small framelits on at the same time... you run the risk of them shifting in the Big Shot and cuttin into each other ~ been there, done that and even though the framelits are super sturdy, I wouldn't want to do it again ;)

Wow! Long post... That's it for today, keep letting stamps bring out your creativity!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Layers Upon Wonderful Layers

It was like Christmas in Stamping Monica's stampin' studio today ~ my Occasions Mini preorder came! I ordered WAAAAAY more than I was planning and also got a ton of FREE loot... just because SU! is such a fantastic company :) :) :) I love love love being a demonstrator!

There were tonnes of awesome new products in the Mini: pleated ribbons, designer buttons, Framelits (Big Shot dies that create shapes in multiple sizes, similar to Spellbinders dies), Edgelits (card stock edge cutters) and coordinating edge embossing folders! Oh and some really great stamp sets. And Designer Papers. Actually everything :) I also got a bunch of Sale-a-bration loot (SAB runs from Jan 24 to March 31).

Gorgeous Pleated Ribbon and Designer Buttons

Today, I had absolutely no idea where to start. None. So many great products, which ones to work with??? I had to make a project for my upcoming stampers group (I promised them a project with new products) as well as some swaps. The swap cards will be a smidge different to make them a bit easier to make, but the idea will be the same.

I also chose to use the new stamp set P.S. I Love You. It is a super Valentine's stamp set, perfect for kids' valentines, as well as adult ones. This super cute sketch is from Freshly Made Sketches. It's a keeper, for sure. I love the Heart Framelits, coordinating hearts, or make a frame! Place it right over an image and cut it out with precision. Totally AWESOME :)

Tips & Tricks:

*My 3D butterfly and ornament have been real hits! So I thought, why not do it with the Heart Punch and coordinating image from P.S. I Love You. Need some details on how to make the 3D heart? Here's a previous Blog Post on 3D Butterflies - different punch, same idea :)
*This card is an angled easel card. I saw this concept at a demo meeting about a month ago and have been making it ever since. Love. It.
*I cut cupid out by hand ~ sometimes doing a bit of cutting has a great effect.
*Like the Designer Paper? It's the new Twitterpated DSP. It coordinates with the Blushing Bride Pleated Ribbon and Twitterpated Designer Buttons, both used on this card. Isn't it gorgeous?

I hope you've enjoyed this little Sneak Peek :) I'll be back with more soon because there's just so much awesome stuff! 'Til next time, keep letting stamps bring out your creativity!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Happy Birthday, Sweet Baby Boy

My family lives overseas and my cousin just had her first baby. He came a few weeks earlier than planned and was almost born in their car. Other than being teeny tiny he's doing well. I wish I was closer so that I could give him a little snuggle ~ he's the sweetest little guy ever! (well, except for my own little guy of course ;) ).

I decided to use today's Mojo Monday sketch to make the little guy and his proud mommy and daddy a card. I used a stamp set I haven't used in a while but absolutely love, Baby Bundle. It's got so many cute little baby accessories and is perfect for two step stampin'. If you're feeling like putting in a bit of extra effort, you can cut out some of these accessories for your card, like I did.

Tips & Tricks:

*Want a Designer Series Paper that works for feminine, masculine, kids and baby cards? Look no further than Beau Chateau. I know I've sang the praises of this DSP before, but now I've used it for this baby card... how awesome is that?
*Create and extra special customized card by lining one of our Medium Envelopes with a coordinating Designer Series Paper.
*Once again I'm using the Basic Jewels - Pearls on my card. I love how it adds a bit of special detail to the stroller.
*The Perfect Polka Dot Embossing Folder is my go-to embossing folder for kids cards.
*I popped my main stroller image on as well as the booties and onesie on Stampin' Dimentionals to make sure they're a focal point on my card.

I hope my cousin and her husband enjoy the card and are enjoying their new little bundle even more! 'Til next tiem, keep letting stamps bring out your creativity!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Design Shake-up

I have my monthly Fast & Fabulous Class tonight and the ladies are going to make 6 gorgeous Christmas cards. I do this class the last Wednesday of every month and it's always a big hit! I had a few Christmas card kits left over and ran out of Whisper White Card Stock... again (it's been a busy season!) so I decided to shake-up one of my previous designs. I also made it work with this week's Freshly Made Sketch. When you're as busy as I am, you have to multitask ;) Here is the original:

Based on this sketch

I came up with the card below. Not sure which one I like better, though I'm leaning to this new one :)

Tips & Tricks:

*I love SU!'s A la Carte stamps, such as the one above. I ink up my Something for Christmas stamp, stamp it down and voila - my card is almost done!
*You can't go wrong with punches, stamps, DSP and ribbon. Five minutes and this cute card was done!
*Want to stamp in bulk but not make the same card over and over? Try changing up the design just a bit on each card. Keeps your creativity going wile simplifying your card prep.

I hope you've enjoyed this card. Can't believe tomorrow is December and we'll *really* be in the Christmas season. I have one last Christmas card class next week so if you need more cards, don't forget to sign up :)

'Til next time, keep letting stamps bring out your creativity!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Creative Elements Mojo

I took a little break last week from the Mojo Monday Challenges. I've been so with Christmas Classes and scrapbooking! But this week I'm back at it. I used our gorgeous In Colors as well as one of my favorite stamp sets, Creative Elements. I especially like making thank you cards for my hostesses and congratulations cards for my downline with this set. I just think the 'Create' stamp is so fitting :)

Don't you just love the In Color Ruffled Ribbon? I think it's still my favorite ribbon ever!

Tips & Tricks:

*I used the 'Rock & Roll' Technique on the butterfly. So easy, yet adds a lot of pizzazz to any solid image. To do it, choose two colors that complement each other, such as Pool Party and Wisteria Wonder. 'Rock' the whole stamp in the lighter color and the 'roll' the edges of the stamp in the darker color. You'll get a two-toned look that will be slightly different each time.
*Don't you love the In Color Designer Printed Brads? I love the subtle patterns on them and the fact they come in all of the 2011-2013 In Colors!
*Want to start stamping? Our Getting Started Stampin' Spots are on sale 'til November 30th during the Online Extravaganza! Check out and go to 'Shop Now'.

Hope you've enjoyed my creative mojo! 'Til next time, keep letting stamps bring out your creativity!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Birthday Cupcakes with Pearls

Today I was feeling a little tired and needed a little stamping pick me up. Freshly Made Sketches had a fantastic simple but fun sketch for us. Pals Paper Arts challenged us to us beautiful, classy pearls in our creation. I knew I wanted to do something other than Christmas and when I need a little extra inspiration I head to my stamp set wall and look for a stamp set I haven't used in a while. I bought Create a Cupcake and loved it instantly. I still do, just haven't used it much lately with all the Christmas excitement. So I grabbed it and played :)

I also wanted to show off this awesome two-color ribbon technique I learned at a demo meeting a few weeks back. It looks so great with the In Color Ruffled Ribbon and is super simple but so effective!

Isn't it fantastic? And.... I *finally* got to use my new Curvy Verses stamp set. I just love the font used in this set and the variety of the greetings. The tiny pearls in the Basic Pearls were perfect as sprinkles on my cupcake :)

Tips & Tricks:

*I used the Perfect Pennants Bigz L die to cut out the scalloped circle. Then I adorned it with the lovely large and medium Basic Pearls. I love how much fancier they make the card look.
*This year's In Colors coordinate absolutely beautifully together. I especially love the Wisteria and Lucky Limeade paired up, but the Calypso Coral cherry just pops out :)
*I popped my cupcake up on Stampin' Dimensionals to make sure it really stands out.
*Want a more masculine card? Change the colors to Pool Party and Island Indigo. Then swap out the Pearls for Rhinestones. Easy!

I made this card with my daughter's friend in mind - her party is on Saturday. Hope she loves it :) 'Til next time, keep letting stamps bring out your creativity!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Universal Children's Day

November 20th marks International Children's Day. As a special treat, my daughter's school allowed them to have a 'pyjama day' today and asked us to put a special treat or note into our kids' lunch bag. Of course, what better opportunity to make her a handmade card with one of her favorite stamp sets, Pony Party.

My daughter is almost 6 years old, loves pink and loves glitter. To give the winged pony even more glitz, I embossed her in the new Pewter Embossing Powder. I also used this week's Freshly Made Sketch for this card's layout. It worked perfectly with my central image. I tied a knot on my ribbon instead of adding a sentiment where the circle is. I hope my daughter liked her little surprise ~ I'll find out soon enough!

Tips & Tricks:

*All of the patterns in the hostess DSP, Cheerful Treat, coordinates so well together. I love how the Melon Mambo polka dots coordinate so well with the Lucky Limeade polka dot blooms.
*What can be more fairytale-like than our In Color Ruffled Ribbon? It is so beautiful!
*To give the wings a bit of extra dimension I embossed them separately, cut them out and mounted them on dimensionals.
*I made sure to use as much Dazzling Diamonds Glitter as I could - inside the unicorn and around.

I wish all the children of the world a wonderful Universal Children's Day. 'Til next time, keep letting stamps bring out your creativity!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Spring Blooms...

... they're a way's off. Today we got some SNOW!!! Christmas is coming, but I'm somewhat "Christmas'ed" out - not for good, just for today - so I thought I'd do something more spring-like. This week the Pals Paper Arts had a sketch challenge for us. Nice, clean, simple lines - just the way I love sketches :)

I did two-tone embossing using Tangerine Tango and Melon Mambo embossing powders on the flowers from Fabulous Florets. Gives the flowers a nice and fresh feeling. The Beyond the Garden DSP also has Daffodil Delight in it. So I used the 1/8" Daffodil Delight Taffeta Ribbon on my card. I love how colors in DSP tie together so well. And isn't it great how the stamp set and DSP coordinate so well together?

Tips & Tricks:

*I always do simple cheater bows. Today I decided to mix it up. I wrapped my ribbon around the Whisper White base twice and ended in a full bow. Uses a lot more ribbon, but it gives my card a more original look, too.
*The Whisper White background looked too plain so I embossed it with my Flower Garden embossing folder. It also coordinates with my DSP and stamp set, creating a perfectly coordinated look. Product coordination is one of my favorite things about Stampin' Up!
*Love the two-tone embossed look? It's easy. I did a quick tutorial a few months back. I actually called it 'tie-dye heat embossing' :)

Hope you've enjoyed my completely unseasonal card ;) 'Til next time, keep letting stamps bring out your creativity!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Christmas Lane Scrap Page

This past Saturday, our local mall had an event for kids to welcome Santa. I took my almost 6-year-old daughter to meet him, write him a letter, get cookies from Mrs. Clause and also get her face painted. She had a blast and I was one happy mommy when they told me Santa pictures were free for the special event :)

Next week, I'm doing a scrapbooking class using the Christmas Lane Scrapbooking Kit in the Holiday Mini. I had yet to make one page but with my daughter's new Santa photo as well as the class looming I thought I'd better get cracking :) I used this week's Mojo Monday Sketch for inspiration. A few months ago, my upline Marlayne posted her fall scrapbook pages and I CASEd some elements from them, too.

Tips & Tricks:

*For my big 10" diameter circle I used Marlayne's 'plate technique'. I took a paper plate, traced it on the wrong side of the DSP and cut it out with my Paper Snips.
*I love Simply Scrappin' Kits for scrapbooking and card making. They come with textured paper, DSP and adhesive decorative elements. You could do a bunch of pages with just the kit!!!  Easy peasy.
*I used Dazzling Diamonds Glitter and my 2-Way Glue Pen to add a bit of 'bling' to my snowflake.
*The Delightful Decorations stamp set is perfect for any project: home decor, cards and scrapbook pages.

I hope my daughter loves her page as much as I do ~ and I hope you like it too. 'Til next time, keep letting stamps bring out your creativity!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Note of Gratitude

When you're in direct sales, and especially with Stampin' Up!, having a great upline is key. Having a good relationship with your sidelines and other demos is also important. But the upline, she's absolutely key. The business itself isn't hard, but sometimes, especially at this busy time of year, extra support is sometimes needed. Like extra card stock when you unexpectedly run out or DSP when you don't have the right pattern for your project. Or sometimes you just need to bounce ideas off someone a bit more experienced

I am so lucky because I have the.most.fantastic upline. She's helped me many times before and I always try to help her when I can. But this past week I was in a real bind with DSP. She came through. Then, a few hours later, I realized I was out of Real Red card stock and I had forgotten to order it! YIKES!!! In less than 6 hours, she came through for me twice! How lucky am I?

To show her how grateful I am I made her a card using today's Freshly Made Sketch. I love the simple stripes in today's sketch and I jazzed it up a bit with the Victoria Trim Crochet Ribbon. My upline's favorite color is Pink Pirouette and I know she loves vintage so I used the Beau Chateau DSP for my card. I also know she loves pearls :)

Tips & Tricks:

*Do you love the ruffled ribbons? Don't pre-cut it to ensure you have enough. Adhere one end on the card with Snail or scotch tape and ruffle. That way you can make sure you have enough.
*I love the strips of Adhesive Jewels - they're perfect for underlining words like I did with the Pearls and 'gratitude'.

*To add a bit of interesting texture I ruffled the two lines of ribbon in opposite directions.
*This card took me about 10 minutes to make. A great looking card doesn't have to take hours to make :)

I really hope my upline knows how much her help means to me. And I hope she loves this card! 'Til next time, keep letting stamps bring out your creativity!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Snowflake Shaker Card

I just love shaker cards. They are super fun for kids and adults. Who doesn't like shaking a snowglobe. Well, this is the same idea but in a card :) I had to design a project for my Stamper's Group on Saturday and knew we would be using SU!'s new Shaker Frames and Mica Flakes. But I had no idea what my card would look like. Then I saw this week's lovely Mojo Monday Sketch. And my card materialized.

I've been using the Sweet Snowglobe so much this year, I wanted to do something different. So I used the gorgeous big snowflake from the Snow Swirled stamp set. I also wanted to show my ladies how to emboss ~ many of them haven't done it before. Our embossing will be done using the gorgeous new Pewter embossing powder.

Tips & Tricks:

*I love the new Shaker Frames. They make making shaker cards a snap! I've had a lot of questions on how to use them. I will be back with a tutorial next week, after my ladies have done their class. 
*Use SU!'s Window Sheets to create the window on your shaker. They can be punched with punches, cut with a paper cutter or die-cut with the Big Shot.
*To create interesting dimension, I embossed both the Whisper White layer and Marina Mist 2-1/2" circle with the Snowburst Embossing Folder. I love the look!
*The Shaker Frames are about 1/8" high whereas Stampin' Dimensionals are about 1/16" high. To adhere my top Marina Mist layer, I doubled up on the Dimensionals - one on top of the other!
*Yes, I used retired ribbon. It's the 1-1/4" Early Espresso Ribbon. But it worked so well with this card :)

Hope you've enjoyed my card and love my little 'snow flurry'. I also hope my ladies will love it on Saturday. 'Til next time, keep letting stamps bring out your creativity!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Very Sparkly Christmas

*Quick* post from me today. It's November, which means it's a very very busy time of year! This week's Freshly Made Sketch is so simple and fresh. Love it!

I've been doing tonnes of card classes and private stampin' parties (I have one tonight :) ) and this has been hands down the most popular card. It's funny, because I call it a 'Pool Party Christmas Tree', which is a bit ironic, but that's what it is. What I especially love about this card is how easy it is to make. Stamp the tree, attach the ribbon with cheater bow, stamp the greeting, punch out a few snowflakes and you've got a gorgeous, simple, fresh Christmas card.

Tips & Tricks:

*Don't you just love how everything SU! coordinates so well? I adore how the ribbon is exactly the same color as the card stock!
*The pictures of the Glimmer Papers in the Holiday Mini just don't do them justice! The silver is just so sparkly and bright ~ when I first got it the sun was shining on it and I was almost blinded :p  Love. It.
*A gorgeous card doesn't have to be complicated. This card takes no more than 5 minutes to make yet it's my most popular card of the year. At my workshop last year, one of the ladies said she had no idea how easy it was to make a card like this ~ she thought it took hours! Now *that* is what I'm going for.
*The color is Pool Party but I also think it makes a really great icy blue for Christmas cards. It works so well with the silver!

Well, that's it for today. Hope you enjoyed this simple yet beautiful card and keep letting stamps bring out your creativity!