Afterglow of the big event

I am in the AFTERGLOW of the weekend! Last Saturday I got to attend a Stampin' Up! convention that was held right in my own hometown, Madison, WI! They brought in a large group to present new product and ideas to us, but they also had some local demonstrators present as well. My head is on a swivel looking forward to what I now know is coming, but I know I have to keep focused on more pressing matters, such as my upcoming events. I have three Christmas card classes coming up, starting this Saturday and two smaller events on Thursday night and next Sunday. So instead of me rambling on and on about things, I thought I would just let you take a look at some of the fun!

















Whenever demonstrators gather, we swap card ideas! This is a photo of a smaller group swap we held after the main event. I think you should have the song, "This is the way we swap our cards, swap our cards, swap our cards" in your head as you view this! I know I do. We asked each person participating to make 20 of the same card and then they would get 20 new card ideas back! Doesn't that sound like fun? This was my swap card:

I know! I know! It's time to make Christmas Cards, but I like to plan way in advance for designs so this one is for the spring. In additon to the Swirly Bird stamp set and framelits, I used the colors from the Bliss and Blooms cardstock pack which are Island IndigoSweet Sugar Plum, and Mint Macaron (ink and ribbon) as my colors. I like to stick with a great design when I have it so I did a slight variation to this card  from earlier in the year (it had a monochromatic color scheme with a pop of color and bling). You could use the directions given and update the color choices shown here, or just use what you have on hand!

Take a peek at all the swap cards I got in return. Lots of ideas for Christmas and into the next year! I got to see display boards with some of the new product coming in January, but let's not jump ahead to that just yet. Just make sure that you have placed an order with me this year to get your free copy or sign up to be on my catalog list to make sure you get the two upcoming catalogs when they are available!

When one attends an event there will always be CHOCOLATE!  Here is a fun treat holder that Eileen B swapped that uses the Detailed Santa die as the base and I love the rhinestones for Santas eyes! It held a couple of nugget sized chocolates wrapped in some pretty paper. It was very clever and original idea! 

This is only a small glimpse of the fun we had! My team member Anna E got to join me this time and it was her first time attending a big event. She was impressed with the amount of free product we got (4 stamp sets, several embellishments, and business products such as a planner/journal, pens, and a leather notepad cover) and how nice everyone was! I'd love to have you join me at our next big event which will be in several locations in the US in April, but the closest one to me is in Minneapolis. I think there is a rollercoaster at the Mall of America that has my name on it! This is the perfect time to get started in your papercrafting business. Ask me how or check out some additional information here.

Remember I am in full Christmas card design mode, so please let me know if you need any help with your Holiday card design! Let's use something you have already or I can steer you towards the perfect product to meet your taste!  

A Tale of Two Designs

I imagine that sometimes it can be confusing that I show pictures of the homes I have designed on my Facebook page, but I only show my stamping projects here on my blog. They are both a big part of my life. I can't imagine not having either creative outlet. They are quite different, and both haven't always come very natural to me. I see and feel the homes I design. They become part of my mind and I am fortunate that I am able to let the ideas escape my imagination and that other people allow me to create their dreams. Sometimes they are grand and impressive homes, but more often they are standard livable everyday homes. 

I love to design so it is not more fun or more rewarding to work on a larger homes. Knowing that what I design is someone else's dream is rewarding in itself. It is heartbreaking when a home I designed is not built and it is joyous when homeowners move into a finished home. I make a special bond with each family that I design for because it is never about what I like or how I would do it for myself, it is about them. I have to get into their heads and figure out what is the best solutions for them and how their families live in their homes. It is something that I do very well and it is what makes each project unique and fun to work on. 

The same could be said for my card designs, they are each unique and fun, but I actually have a harder time with my card designs than I do with home design. I think it is a struggle for me because I have to design with my own wishes in mind. I am not trying to please someone else. It has taken me awhile to find my style and trust my decisions on the cards I design. I find that I do my best work when I get inspired by something else and put my own spin on it. I saw a card on Pinterest by a designer named Lisa which inspired me. So then I put my spin on it.

I used the same panel size and colors, but used a different stamp set, different greeting, and added embellishments. The main thing that I love here are the colors, Pool Party, Sahara Sand, and Crumb Cake on a crisp Whisper White base. The panels are 1 1/8" wide x 5 1/4" high and then spaced to create equal looking spaces. Play with it a little. The greeting strip is stamped with Crumb Cake ink and is a skinny 1/2" high x 4 1/4" wide. I love how the card turned out and in my mind it is my own design, as I didn't copy the other card completely. In fact, if I hadn't told you about that other card, you would have only seen mine and thought it looked wonderful! My point is, use what inspires you and copy a little if you need to, but just get out there and create!


Pretty Paper Everywhere

Who doesn't love pretty paper? Can you imagine the cute, cute cards you could make with just one pack of paper, some ink, and a stamp set or two? Maybe something like these! Would this give you a great start to your Christmas cards this year? There is such an awesome sales special going on right now called Buy 3 papers, get 1 Free! It is awesome! There are 8 paper packs to choose from that would get you through Christmas and into all the cards you will need for next years card giving times!  You could use the same card layouts shown here, but change up the colors by matching the card bases and ink to the papers that could let you create dozens of cards for any occasion! Did you know you could get all 8 packs of paper for only $66 plus tax and shipping? Such a great deal! Here are the two Christmas papers:

But, as I said you don't JUST need Christmas cards! Maybe you want some pretty wedding or more feminine feeling cards? I suggest the classic and beautiful Floral Boutique or Blooms and Bliss papers. There are going to be times when you need whimsical and fun cards! Then you will want to go with the bright and cheery Festive Birthday or the luscious Fruit Stand papers. You are covered when you need something classic or masculine when you choose the By the Shore paper or the exotic Morrocan paper. All in all, there really are papers and color options for every taste. 

Go check out all the papers available and get your favorite paper pack today!

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Grateful for Fall

There is just something magical this time of year. I don't know if it is the way sights and sounds can easily take me back to my younger days or just the way colors seem to change before my eyes. Have you been seeing children kicking through leaves on their way to school or heard that infectious giggling when they jump in puddles? It immediately takes me back to my days of walking to school and making sure that every leaf pile or puddle between my house and school got a sample of my footprints in them. Were you that way too? It didn't seem to matter to me then that my feet would get wet even through that extra protection layer provided by an old bread bag in each boot (or maybe you're not as old as I am). Crunching of leaves under my feet is still a favorite sound to my ears, and it makes me imagine I could run and jump into that pile of leaves like I am the next great Olympic high jumper or a youngster of 6 or 7.

Most of all this time of year just makes me feel grateful and I find I start to count the blessings in my life. It doesn't take me long to start thinking about all the special people in my life and why I am thankful to know each of them. I like to design and make Thank You cards as often as I can. I just think they are appropriate anytime and don't get sent as often as they should be. This week's card was presented at a recent card making party as one of my "fall" cards. It could easily be turned into a sympathy card or a masculine birthday card as well. 

Here are the card basics:

  • Cardbase (Soft Suede) 8 1/2" x 5 1/2" folded in half. Put fold to top for a horizontal opening card.
  • Accent Layer (Very Vanilla) 5 1/4" x 4"
  • Embossed Layer (Cajun Craze) 5" x 3 3/4"

There is something special about the Petal Burst embossing folder. It blends in nicely with a floral background or it it right at home with this leaf look. I love it when products are so versatile. It brings value to the purchase. Speaking of value, this set of framelits looks beautiful when the leaves are stamped and then cut-out, but as you see I am using the "negative" effect on my background. I cut my leaf using the Leaflets framelit out before I embossed, because I wanted to put the leaf inside the card for an extra embellishment, but you could cut the leaf out after you emboss to have a little texture on that accent piece as well.

Some tips to help assemble the card. 

  • Adhere the accent layer to the cardbase.
  • After embossing and cutting out the leaf use Stampin' Dimensionals to pop up the embossed layer to give some added shadow to the card.
  • Attach the greeting to the cutout accent layer then tie a cut bow with the gold ribbon.

You can get additional help with the instruction page or if you don't have these great products in your stash do a little shopping today!


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Warm and Snuggly

Wrap yourself in a cozy knitted throw and grab a cup of something warm.

It is that time of the year when the nights get cool and bundling feels like the right thing to do. This card gets its bundling from the extra texture of the dynamic embossing and the layers of colors on both the main card and the greeting accent.

This card uses a Classic Layout.

  • Cardbase (Rich Razzleberry) 8 1/2" x 5 1/2" folded at center for Left fold
  • Accent Layer (Crushed Curry) 4" x 5 1/4"
  • Embossed Layer (Very Vanilla) 3 3/4" x 5"

To create the embossed layer you will use the Cable Knit embossing folder. There is an amazing difference in how deep the embossing goes with this "dynamic folder". Because it is different you will have to use a special layering “sandwich” .

  • You use the platform
  • the embossing folder with paper inside
  • top with one acrylic cutting pad.

Add a pretty Greeting Layer. 

  • Using the Lots of Labels framelits select size large enough to allow desired greeting and then select one size up for accent color.
  • Stamp greeting in Rich Razzleberry ink on a scrap piece of Very Vanilla cardstock.
  • Run the greeting piece through the Big Shot with the appropriate Lots of Labels framelit. With placement you can also run the Crushed Curry accent piece on the platform at the same time to make the most of your pass through the machine.

Some tips to help assemble the card. 

  • Adhere the accent layer to the cardbase.
  • Wrap the approx. 4 1/4” of ribbon around the embossed layer. Adhere the two ends at the back of the embossed layer using Glue Dots. Adhere the embossed layer to the accent layer using Fast Fuse for a little extra staying power.
  • Attach the greeting to the cutout accent layer. Then using Stampin’ Dimensionals attach the combined greeting over the ribbon.

You can get additional help with the instruction page. 

tams# 9402

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Snuggly warm and filled with Love

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Wrap yourself in a cozy knitted throw and grab a cup of something warm. It is that time of the year when the nights get cool and bundling feels like the right thing to do. This card gets its bundling from the extra texture of the dynamic embossing and the layers of colors on both the main card and the greeting accent.

No Bones About It

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I adore the Cookie Cutter bundle and the extra Cookie Cutter Halloween stamp set! There are so many clever uses for this set and I am just starting to create with it. I provided this card at our September cardmaking party. I had to put a little of the sparkly Pumpkin Pie Glimmer paper on there. I used my absolute favorite Halloween color combination, Pumpkin Pie, Elegant Eggplant, and Crushed Curry.