Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Stampin' with Kids

A lot of my friends and customers are truly shocked when I tell them that I not only let my 5-year-old stamp with my supplies, but I let my 2-year-old stamp with them too! In fact, he's been stamping since he's been 8 or 9 months old - he saw his big sister doing it and wanted to join in. I figured, why not? The ink is non toxic, washes off (eventually - depending on color) and is great for mastering those fine motor skills :)

Do I let them use MY stamp sets? The ones my customers use? Heck ya! Why not? Half the time my customers get them dirtier than my kids do. And really, who cares? If they're being enjoyed, that's all I care about! Dirty blocks don't stop the stamps from working ;) As for inks, as you can see below, Charlie has his 'own' inks so he can mix and match colors as he pleases. And they ARE SU! inks... a number of years ago there used to be a 'Stampin' Kids' line and I bought them before they were discontinued. My 5-year-old has graduated to be allowed to use two SU! ink pads at a time ;)  But when she wants to muck around, she uses the Stampin' Kids inks too.

Tips & Tricks: 

*Don't worry too much about mess - in the grand scheme of things, stamping is one of the less messy crafts you could be doing with your kids.
*If you really don't want to share your stamps, get your child his/her own stamp set and an ink pad or two - you won't regret it!
*My daughter makes all her own birthday cards for her friends. Think about how much time and money this will save you in the long run ;) So what if sometimes the cards say 'Get Well Soon'... 
*Now that my daughter has been stamping for a while, I LOVE the fact that she's getting into techniques like 'Rock and Roll' and 'Two-Step Stampin''.  I love having this creativity to share with her.
*I get more stamping done since both my kids stamp too. I just set them up at their own station when I want to get something done and it keeps them occupied for half an hour to an hour. Even my 2-year-old!

So get out there, give your kids some stamps, some ink and let stamps bring out their creativity!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Sailing Away Into the Open Sea

I know, I know, I know... The Open Sea again. But cut me some slack, I only have 'til August 31st to use it because then it's not current anymore and I only like to showcase current stamp sets on here. I'd hate for you to fall in love with something you can't buy anymore ;)  So, for one last time, The Open Sea.

Today's card is for the Mojo Monday Challenge. I love this sketch and I hope that the ladies at my monthly Fast & Fabulous class love it too since we'll be making this card :)

Tips & Tricks:

*Stamps with random text, like the nautical log in The Open Sea, make excellent backgrounds.
*When you don't want a bow but want to give your card a 'ribbon-like' effect, use our new Baker's Twine. It's inexpensive ($3.95 for 25 yards) and you can wrap it around several times to get the look you want.
*Want the look of brads for less?  Use the Basic Jewels - Pearls or Rhinestones.
*I love how beautiful the Nautical Expedition DSP coordinates with The Open Sea stamp set.  Get them 'til August 31st only. Visit my Online Store to order yours.

Hope you've enjoyed this last sample of my favorite stamp set from the 2011 Summer Mini. Next up, the 2011 Holiday Mini!  Don't have one yet? Email me to get yours (if you don't already have a current demonstrator). 'Til then, keep letting stamps bring out your creativity!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Soft and Fabulous Florets

Quick post for today - I'm busy busy busy :)  But it's Thursday and that means a Pals Paper Challenge. Today we were challenged to 'soften the edges' and 'take the edge off'. I just love how soft the flowers are in Fabulous Florets and wanted to showcase this gorgeous stamp set, found in both the Summer Mini AND carried over the the 2011/2012 IB&C. Best of all, we'll be making this card at my monthly Fast and Fabulous card class!

Although I do often think of my own card designs, I got the idea for this card from my upline, Marlayne Hardy, at a super fun Stampin' Meeting!  I love these meetings because I get ideas for my business, class ideas and technique ideas. Best of all though, they are SUPER FUN!!!!!!!  Always a great time. If you'd like to join me at these meetings, join my team, Creativity Ink! There's no commitment and the Starter Kit is a great deal! Best of all, you can do whatever you want with your business - go full steam ahead like me or join to get the awesome 20% discount, preorder opportunities and perks only demos get.

Tips & Tricks:

*If you don't want to do a bow, but want to do something other than a plain strip of ribbon tie a knot in it!  I love this look, nice soft edges and still adds that 'je ne sais quoi' :)
*Glitter - don't be scared of it!  So it may get all over your workspace - it will add a bit of inexpensive bling to your card that makes it all worth it!
*I love how this year's In Colors work so well together, especially Wisteria Wonder, Lucky Limeade and Pool Party.
*Ruffled In Color Ribbon... need I say more???

I know I've been very quick today, but I hope I've still inspired you. Most of all, hope to see you at my Fast & Fabulous Class next week!  'Til then, keep letting stamps bring out your creativity!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Trifold Shutter and Embedded Image Tutorial

I had my bimonthly Saturday night stamper's group this past week-end and we did a lot of embossing with new embossing powders. We also used some new accessories as well as some stamps that are sailing into the sun when the Summer Mini ends on August 31st.

The first is a Trifold Shutter card using The Open Sea stamp set. We embossed the sailboat with the new Cherry Cobbler Embossing Powder. I love these new colored embossing powders, they really make an image 'pop' on a card. I also wanted to try the new Pewter-colored embossing powder (sneak peakfrom the UPCOMING Holiday Mini!!!). I love how it is just a smidge thicker than the Silver embossing powder. It will be great for the Faux Metal Technique.

Isn't the Trifold Shutter just a great looking card? Best of all, it folds down to a 4" x 5-1/2" card! It's very easy to make, too:
1) Cut a piece of card stock to 12" x 5-1/2".
2) Score on the long side at 2", 4", 8", and 10"
3) On the short side, cut slits at 1-1/2" and 4" from the 2" score line to the 10" score line.
4) Fold the 2" score line to make a mountain and the 10" score line to make a valley.
5) Alternate the folds at the 4" and 8" score lines as pictured.
6) Decorate as desired.

We also did the Embedded Image technique. I love how easy it is and next time I plan on combining it with the Cracked Glass technique.  

The Embedded Image Technique is very easy!  Here are the steps:
1) Stamp and image or background stamp on your card stock. Here I stamped the larger flower stamp, 'Create' and 'No. 3' from Creative Elements.
2 ) Cover the entire surface of the stamped card stock with VersaMark ink and emboss with Clear embossing powder. Let cool and repeat to create a nice, smooth surface. Make sure your VersaMark ink pad is nice and juicy to make sure that the embossing powder sticks well and you get a good layer of it on your image.
3) Choose a coordinating image. Stamp in VersaMark OVERTOP of the clear embossing powder in a contrasting color (here I used Cherry Cobbler). As you emboss the contrasting image, it will embed itself into the clear embossing powder creating the cool look pictured here!

Tips & Tricks:

*The Nautical Expedition DSP is perfect for men's and little boy's cards. As is The Open Sea stamp set. I'm so sad they're leaving us with the Summer Mini - get your while you can!
*Use a Bone Folder to fold your score lines evenly and crisply.
*The 1/8" Taffeta Ribbon is perfectly sized to fit through the little slits of the new Lace Ribbon Border Punch. How cool is that?
*I didn't use an Embossing Buddy to prevent the Cherry Cobbler embossing powder from sticking to the clear embossing powder in my embedded image so I have speckles throughout that look pretty neat. If you don't want this to happen, make sure to use the Embossing Buddy.

Hope you've enjoyed these two quick tutorials. Contact me for more info about joining a Stamper's Group and learning advanced techniques. In the mean time, keep letting stamps bring out your creativity!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Enjoying the Summer Mini While We Still Can!

It's August 22nd and that means we only have 9 days left to order from the Summer Mini. Yes. 9 days. There are some sets I'm really going to miss... we all know how much I love The Open Sea, but I love Summer Splash just as much. It's fun, fresh and perfect for scrappin' those summer memories.

For this week's Mojo Monday Challenge, I not only used Summer Splash, but I made a card with the Scalloped Square Die. A customer asked me this week-end how it's done  and I thought I would give you a quick tutorial here. Take a piece of card stock 8-1/2" x 4-3/4" and fold in half. Place on your die making sure that the fold is not touching any of the cutting blades of the die - you want to cut through only three edges of your card (see photo below). Run it through the big shot like you usually would and voila - you've got a scalloped square card!

Tips & Tricks:

*Want to cut out fine details like the mouth on my turtle friend? Use a sharp, fine-tipped pair of scissors like Stampin' Up!'s Paper Snips.
*The 1/8" Taffeta Ribbon is great for cards with fine details. It's thin enough that it doesn't take over the card, but adds that bit of details you want
*Try mixing and matching two colors of ribbon for added effect.

I have my monthly Fast and Fabulous Class coming up on Wednesday August 31st, the last Wednesday of the month. We'll be using stamps and accessories in the Summer Mini to bid farewell to it. If you're in the Ottawa area, be sure to join us - we're going to have a lot of fun! For now, hope you've enjoyed my tutorial and card, keep letting stamps bring out your creativity!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Sailing into the 40s...

A good friend of ours is turning 39 next week. I loved the sketch challenge at Pals Paper Arts this week and couldn't wait to make our friend's card with it. To symbolize how he's sailing into his 40th year, I used my favorite stamp set from the Summer Mini, The Open Sea. This set is only available until August 31st so be sure to get it before it's gone!

With The Open Sea, I often use the Nautical Expedition DSP (also retiring with the Summer Mini). I wanted to do something a little different and used the new Beau Château DSP. As I've mentioned before, this is a *great* DSP if you're looking for something that can be used on both feminine AND masculine cards. It coordinates with Marina Mist, Very Vanilla, Soft Suede and Pink Pirouette. Since this is a masculine card, I made sure to not use any of the papers with Pink Pirouette ;) As you can see, I also flipped the sketch - it worked better this way with my images.

Tips & Tricks:
*SU! makes coordination EASY! Although I used Chocolate Chip for my card base and mats, the Beau Château DSP has Soft Suede in it. So, I used some Soft Suede 3/8" Taffeta Ribbon to bring that color out.
*Don't you just love how the Postage Stamp Punch adds a bit of interest to the card rather than plain squares?
*Stamping the map of the world on the Very Vanilla card stock in Crumb Cake adds a bit of subtle detail to the card while accentuating the 'sailing into the world of the 40's' aspect of the card.
*I love how the DSP doesn't have Pink Pirouette on all of the pages - how versatile!

I hope our friend loves his card... keep letting stamps bring out your creativity!

Monday, August 15, 2011

'I Dig' Peekaboo Frames

Another Monday - another Mojo Monday Challenge. It's my son's little friend's second birthday on Wednesday and I need a card fitting for the occasion. That's one of the things I LOVE about making my own cards, I can customize them as much or as little as I want :) And what little boy doesn't love trucks and tractors. This is why I just had to have this new stamp set, I Dig You.

I also got a new Bigz L Big Shot die with my Holiday Mini preorder, Peekaboo Frames. I love love love it!  You can make frames with little flaps in a variety of shapes and sizes! I finally got a chance to use it on my card today, to hide the little guy's age, but you could also use it to hide a greeting, to make an advent calendar, or to hide a treat in your card.  I can't wait to use it in my upcoming Holiday and Christmas Classes.

The birthday boy can also be a little monkey, so I thought the circus-themed Big Top DSP was a perfect fit, with the perfect colors. I changed the orientation of the sketch to fit my card. I also punched out the circus balls from the DSP using my 1-inch Circle Punch and used those in place of a strip of ribbon or card stock as shown on the sketch.

Tips and Tricks:

*SU! makes coordination easy with their Designer Series Papers. With the Big Top DSP, I knew that Real Red and Tempting Turquoise would coordinate perfectly! 
*Even though I love SU!'s clear mount stamps, I got I Dig You in wood mount. When I want to stamp with my kids, wood mount is much easier to use and I knew that my 5-year-old and 2-year-old would want to use this set (and I was right!).
*The curly label Peekaboo Frame is 2-1/8" x 2" (inside dimensions). The Simple Numbers are 2-1/4" tall. To make my number fit I simply snipped the frame slightly bigger with my Paper Snips. And voila: Peekaboo, I see '2'!
*Use Stampin' Dimensionals (under the circus balls) to add a bit of dimension to your card.ling
*Add a bit of bliiiing to your card with our Basic Rhinestones.

*Love our Designer Series Paper? This month Buy 3 Get 1 FREE!  Now *that's* a deal!

Hope you've enjoyed this little Holiday Mini 'peekaboo' and keep letting stamps bring out your creativity!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Wedding Dress from the Manhattan Flower

We found out that good friends of ours eloped over the July 1st long week-end. And by eloped, I mean eloped. They were married at a New Hampshire Lighthouse and it was them, their 18-month-old daughter and the Justice of the Peace. Truth be told, sounds like a FABULOUS wedding to me. Nice and simple. Focused on the happy couple and their happy little family :)

Of course I need to send them a card. I *wish* I could say that this was my idea, but it's not. I had recently seen this card at fellow demonstrator Amy Celona's Blog (though I believe the original idea was another fellow demonstrator's, Betty Button's - this is what we do - we CASE the things we like :) ) and was excited to find out I had a 'reason' to CASE it :) It's so easy, if you have the Manhattan Flowers Big Shot Embossing Folder and a pair of Paper Snips, you'll be good to go.

Curious where I get the Wedding Dress? Look at the embossing folder below... I've outlined the dress in it. Pretty cool, isn't it?

Tips & Tricks:

*To get around the fine corners, maker sure to use sharp-tipped scissors like Stampin' Up!'s Paper Snips.
*I wanted the main focus of this card to be on the dress, but I embossed the Whisper White mat with the Manhattan Flowers embossing folder because it was a little too plain on its own and I wanted to tie the two images together.
*I used Marina Mist for the rest of my card because I feel it perfectly highlights the oceanside lighthouse wedding this special couple had.
*Like how I created the mat for my Modern Label Punch?  See the tutorial.
*As always, a few adhesive rhinestones add a little classy 'bling' to this card.

That's all today ~ I just couldn't resist sharing this card and other demonstrators' ingenuity. Keep letting stamps (and embossing folders) bring out your creativity!


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Simple Stockings

Okay. I know it's August and I've got another Christmas card. Truth is I LOVE Christmas. I also love clean and simple cards. They're fun, they're easy and people love them. Often times just as much, if not more, than the complex, time-consuming ones.  That's why when I saw the Stitched Stockings stamp set and coordinating Stocking Punch in the upcoming Holiday Mini ~ I got to preorder from it on Aug. 1, just another perk of being an SU! demo ~ I knew I had to have it!  My package came today, just in time for the Pals Paper Arts Challenge.

We were challenged to use 1) one piece of Designer Paper, 2) one punch, and 3) one sentiment stamp. I finally got to see the Letters to Santa DSP in the IB&C and even though many people aren't sure about it, I can tell you, after seeing it full size, it's AWESOME!  I LOVE LOVE LOVE it! So much so that my downline who had ordered it kindly gave me her package to work with and I'll reorder her one :)  The preview in the catalogue simply does not do this DSP justice!  It really is gorgeous, as can be seen from the sample below:

Tips & Tricks:

*I stamped a stocking, punched it out and voila! Had a gorgeous element for my card!  I LOVE coordinating stamps and punches :)
*I did use a bit of Dazzling Details (preview from the 2011 Holiday Mini) on the stockings to give them a bit of glimmer - think glitter glue for adults... how fun!
*See the little bell?  It a mini jingle bell - also a preview from the 2011 Holiday Mini!  Isn't it cute? And it really jingles!
*Don't know what to do with 'busier' designer papers? Use as a background for simple elements on your card.

Don't forget to check out my Christmas Class page for more info on how you can make Christmas cards with me. 'Til then, keep letting stamps bring out your creativity!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Christmas in August Mojo

I know... the challenge is called Mojo Monday. But I was on vacay 'til yesterday to beautiful Old Orchard Beach in Maine and Lincoln, New Hampshire. So although I'm a bit late this week, but I'm back at it.  Who knew I'd miss stamping so much?!?!

Whatever the sketch was, I knew I would make it work with the "A La Carte" stamp, Something for Christmas. It's a single stamp and is all you need to make a gorgeous card.  I did use a few other stamps, but that's just because of the sketch - it would've looked just fine with the stamp centered on the middle white strip. The minute I saw this stamp in the catalogue I knew that a) I had to have it, and b) I'd ink it up with my Stampin' Write Markers so that it's multicolored.

 Little Hints:

*Stampin' Write Markers contain the same ink as Stampin' Up! Ink Pads - use them to ink up your stamps in multiple colors.
*Consider using Whisper White as your card mat for a clean, fresh look. It's not done very often but it certainly make the gorgeous stamp art 'pop'.
*Love embossing? Love color? Use our new COLORED embossing powders to really make your images POP! Here I used Cherry Cobbler Embossing Powder for the larger ornament on the right.

Looking to make your own Christmas cards but don't know when you'll have the time? Join me the 2nd last Friday of September, October and November - we'll be making 12 Christmas cards so by mid-November you'll have 36 cards ready to send to your loved ones!

Hope this starts you thinking about your Christmas stampin'! Keep letting stamps bring out your creativity!