Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Just in "CASE"

I try to always emphasize that you don't have to always be at the top of your creative game to make a nice card for someone. One of the best options for a quick card is to CASE a card from the Stampin' Up Idea Book and Catalog (IB&C). The acronym CASE stands for Copy And Share Everything.

For the card below, I paged through the IB&C until I found something that I liked. Now, a lot of times, I would have looked at the layout below, and changed the hearts to something else if I didn't have hearts that were the right size. However, I did have a heart that would fit, and it IS coming up on Valentines Day, so I copied pretty closely.

Here's the original design in the catalog:

And here's my copy:

Click on either photo for a larger, more detailed view.

The great thing is that you don't have to use anything that you don't want to! In this example, I wasn't very interested in the small rectangle that the sample used for the word "cherish" so I omitted it and stamped directly on the cardstock, figuring that if nothing else, if I messed up and stamped it crooked, I could stamp the word on a rectangle and hide my mistake.

You may also notice that the button that was with the blue heart in the sample is yellow with my yellow heart instead, and the yellow brad that was with the yellow heart in the sample is now a blue brad with my blue heart. Why's that? Well, I didn't have any yellow brads in the right color, so I just switched things up! Another difference in the original sample is that their dashed lines are actually stitched. While I think this is very cute, I was going for quick, so I did some faux stitching with my white gel pen, and quick-fast, I had a very similar card!

One of the most important things about CASE'ing (at least for me) is to remember that:

The recipient will never see what you copied from (so they can't compare one to the other)

  1. You're giving a hand-stamped card! Who wouldn't love getting that?
  2. Even if you're copying, you're still putting your time and energy into it. It's still a valuable token of your feelings.

Monday, January 29, 2007

A love like "no udder"

I think I'm in love with this card. I try not to pat myself on the back too much, but boy, oh boy, do I LOVE this card. Love the colors, love the cute cows, love the ribbon and the spiral clip.


The paisley background is an Ellison texture plate that I ran through the Cuttlebug, then I rubbed the Cranberry Crisp cardstock with its matchin ink to highlight the paisleys. The strip that the cows are on is sponged in brown at the bottom and blue at the top, then dotted with the fine end of my Chocolate Chip marker, to make it look more like the ground. The cows were made by masking the cows off so that they have some perspective and looking like they're in front of and behind one another. The cows are colored in using markers. Their little nostrils got lost after being colored in, so I dotted them back on using my white gel pen.

You can click on the photo above for a much larger view. I hope you enjoy this card, and that maybe it even inspires you to get stamping!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Hello Bunco Ladies!

I'm glad you're here! This is a post specially targeted for my Bunco gang that I added to this month's evite for February Stamp Camp. I didn't have enough room to give you the low-down on stamp camp, so I hope you've followed the link over here for the full scoop!

I host a monthly stamp camp at my home where we get together and for a $5 fee, you get to make projects that are prepared in advance and you do the stamping and assembly based on the sample I've already prepared for you. I am an independent demonstrator for Stampin' Up because I love rubber stamping, and I assure you that there is never any pressure to buy.

Are you asking yourself, "what the heck is she talking about? Stamping?" You can check out some of my posted cards in my gallery at Splitcoaststampers for an idea of what sort of projects we might make. Or, check out other areas of my blog for a consistently updated journal of what I'm up to in the stamping arena (like my new incentive program for 2007).
If you have other questions, please post a comment to this blog, or email me!

Can you say "anal retentive"?

Even as I was making this card, I actually thought to myself, I can't believe I'm putting this much effort into what's bound to be a simple-looking card! Then I kept going. :)

The sentiment was punched out using the large (1 3/8") SU circle punch then free-cut in increasing dimensions for the Cool Caribbean and Taken With Teal circles layered under it. The Marigold paper behind the girl has a dotted grid line drawn in behind her using a ruler and white gel pen. Then I further mimicked the elements of the printed Loves Me paper using a circle stamp from the set Little Pieces. THEN the white ink was too bright, so I sanded it just a little to tone down the white. Finally, I covered the heart in Crystal Effects (one of the best cheap thrills for card embellishing).

There are two products that really made this card work out and let me keep from pulling my hair out. The sanding block, for toning down a too-bright gel pen, and in particular, thank heavens for paper snips because the girl would have lost a foot (or two) without them!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Shiny Blossom

Another Big Blossom card. Imagine that!

The embossed flower and yellow background piece had been glued together and had been sitting on my desktop for about a week, and I knew it had potential, but I sure wasn't having any luck bringing it out! Finally, I just started placing card-size pieces of cardstock behind them, trying to find a color that coordinated well. I knew I was trying for something soft, so I was avoiding contrasting colors and colors that were too dark. As soon as I slid the Certainly Celery behind, I felt like I was on the right track. Then I decided to use the Word by Word background stamp because it was mounted, and I'd had it for quite a while now, but hadn't ever used it.

The flower was embossed on Stampin' Up's Designer Series Double-Sided paper in the Spring Flowers pack. I used Versamark and ultra thick embossing powder then cut the flower out. The yellow polka-dotted paper behind the flower is the reverse of the pink paper (so they're designed to match each other) and it has extra, smaller dots drawn over the existing dots with my white gel pen, then has dots of Crystal Effects over that. The background stamp was stamped on Certainly Celery cardstock in Certainly Celery ink, then traced over (very loosely) with the white gel pen. I got the idea for the tracing in white because I thought the Celery ink looked a little stark as a background. The button's ribbon knot is actually threaded through the buttonholes and the button is attached to the card front using a big glue dot which raised the button up a bit.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

This card has been sitting around for a while now, but it was in pieces. I was having a hard time pulling the elements together. But when I added the "mesh" embossing (using the Cuttlebug), I finally felt like it had direction. This was also my first time of getting to use the beautiful Stampin' Up "Flirty" Ribbon Originals teal velvet ribbon (from the winter mini).

I started out wanting to make a card using the set Like it a Latte (also from the winter mini). In her January 17th blog post I saw that Amy Rysavy had embossed her steam and I had a huge "duh" moment! It looked fabulous. Then I wanted to use my new "Mesh" Cuttlebug embossing folder... so I had to work that in, too. The Mesh was embossed, rubbed over with the Choc. Chip ink and then sanded off because it was a little too dark. Also the word "thoughtful" is an embossing mini-folder for the Cuttlebug that was sponged, sanded off and then re-traced with Choc. Chip ink. The middle of the coffee mug is up on 2 dimensionals with the edges stuck down using mini-glue dots so the cup actually curves out at the top.

Over the next few days I'll post my other two cards, but I have to say that after showing them all to Ky, this one was his favorite because of all the textures. In person, it really is very dynamic because of all the things to touch on it. Also, I'm guessing he likes this one best because it is the most masculine. I used Ky's very own advice to me that if I want a card to be masculine, I shouldn't put any elements on a slant; always go with right angles and straight up-and-down layouts. I've tried this several times, and it really does seem to be the key. I don't think he checks this blog too often, but he really is my biggest supporter, and I really appreciate that he always makes time to stop and look at what I've created. Thanks, Ky!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Save the date for February Stamp Camp!

We just wrapped up the two sessions of January's stamp camp, and looking ahead, I want to give you advance notice to put February's camp on your calendar. I am not sure if we'll need a Friday night session again, but if that's something you're interested in, please let me know either by emailing me, or by commenting here on the blog!

February's stamp camp will be held on Saturday, February 17th at 10:30 a.m.


Orders from today's stamp camp will be finalized in the Stampin' Up system on Tuesday morning. Please get your orders in no later than 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday. Don't forget! For orders placed in conjunction with stamp camp, I am offering free shipping and handling, which is equivalent to 10% off of your order. Also, keep in mind that it is sell-a-bration time, and when you purchase $50 in merchandise, you'll get to pick one of the promotional items from the sell-a-bration mini catalog FREE.

If you weren't able to attend today's camps, I made an announcement about my new incentive program for stamp campers. Every three months I will have a drawing that will work a little bit like a raffle. There are three options for earning tickets for the "raffle":
  1. attend stamp camp

  2. bring someone new with you to stamp camp, and

  3. make a purchase.
Thanks to all of you who attended, it was great seeing each of you! I look forward to seeing you next month.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


The Cuttlebug is a die-cut and embossing machine, and it's small and green (and cute). It weighs 9-pounds, and when you put down the trays to slide your materials through, it creates suction to hold onto your table/surface.

The background of this card was made using my new Cuttlebug! Everything else (except the button) is Stampin' Up. Because the background is raised, I sponged over it with Regal Rose ink and then used my sanding block to sand the ink back off of the raised portion -- so easy and quick! The cardstock for the Big Blossom stamp was first inked in Tempting Turquoise using the Spot On jumbo roller, then I inked up Big Blossom and stamped over the dots and circles, then cut it out.
It's kind of a crazy layout, but it looks really happy and fun. As usual, I think this card is so much cuter in person, and if you're attending this week's stamp camp, you can check it out in person for yourself as one of the samples that I'll have on hand. It's pretty rare that I use something that isn't Stampin' Up for cardmaking, but this shows how non-SU items can play so well with SU stamps, cardstock and ink.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Well, it's a start...

Click on the photo for an enlarged version.

I mentioned in my last post that I was going to make a sign based on the word "create." I'm not sure it's finished, but I thought I'd post a photo of where it stands currently. I'm not sure how I'll hang it on the wall either, so that will definitely need to be figured out...


The majority of the background is this cool adhesive-backed cork found at Archivers, the green weathered-looking paper on the right is one side of a piece of Basic Grey paper. I found the lock and key at Michael's last year, and the buttons at Archiver in September of last year. The chipboard on the far left is Basic Grey's "naked chipboard" which I pressed into my Stampin' Up Ruby Red inkpad. The word "life" is from the Stampin' Up set "Happy Everything" on Stampin' Up's Old Olive and Very Vanilla paper, which was stamped in Ruby Red and then sponged over with Creamy Caramel. The rocks are from Pier One, and actually were originally purchased to go at the base of a pillar candle, but I had extras, and liked their earthiness.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


I was looking at the blog of a woman that focuses on scrapbooking. She even sends out a newsletter focusing on her life and being a "life artist," and I was intrigued by her idea of choosing ONE word for a year to focus on and direct her life.

I think that I likely won't record it on her blog, but I do think that I'm going to have my word be Create.

There are so many things that I always want to get done! I think that they are all things that I can make happen if I just work at it and make time for it. I'm going to make some sort of art or frame or letters to embody the word create and I'll post photos of it later.

In choosing my word, I also came across some quotes that match how I see things, or how I would LIKE to see things. I hope one of them inspires you as well. If you would like to choose a word to work at with me, I'd love to hear about it from you.

  • "Keep away from small people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great."- Mark Twain
  • "Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around."- Leo Buscaglia
  • "Man's greatest actions are performed in minor struggles. Life, misfortune, isolation, abandonment and poverty are battlefields which have their heroes - obscure heroes who are at times greater than illustrious heroes."- Victor Hugo
  • "I don't measure a man's success by how high he climbs but how high he bounces when he hits bottom."- Gen. George Patton
  • "Just don't give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don't think you can go wrong."- Ella Fitzgerald
  • "Shun idleness. It is a rust that attaches itself to the most brilliant of metals." - Voltaire
  • "Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair, but manifestations of strength and resolutions."- Kahlil Gibran
  • "Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers, but to be fearless in facing them. Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain, but for the heart to conquer it. " - Rabindranath Tagore
  • "In things pertaining to enthusiasm, no man is sane who does not know how to be insane on proper occasions."- Henry Ward Beecher
  • "My mother drew a distinction between achievement and success. She said that achievement is the knowledge that you have studied and worked hard and done the best that is within you. Success is being praised by others. That is nice but not as important or satisfying. Always aim for achievement and forget about success."- Helen Hayes
  • "An inexhaustible good nature is one of the most precious gifts of heaven, spreading itself like oil over the troubled sea of thought, and keeping the mind smooth and equable in the roughest weather."- Washington Irving

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Quick Card

This card was stamped on Sunday night when I was still feeling very creative from my weekend stamping session. It was a quick card with the excuse of using buttons.

The background is Bashful Blue with Paisley background in Chocolate Chip ink. The faux-wood on the left is Close to Cocoa cardstock which had the ink pad dragged across it vertically and then ink lines drawn over it. The flowers are from Looks Like Spring stamped in Chocolate Chip and Bashful Blue which was stamped twice without reinking between impressions to get the lighter flower. The word "wonderful" is from the set Warm Words.

Monday, January 8, 2007

Sunday stamping session - Sample #3

Another "Big Blossom" card with paisleys from a spring mini set sent to all current demonstrators by Stampin' Up's founder, Shelli Gardner. I mimicked the flower in the paisley design on the center of the big flower using a white gel pen.

I hope these samples help get you excited for sell-a-bration like they have done for me!

Sunday stamping session - Sample #2

This card features two background stamps (Paisley and Print Pattern), the mini-alphabet "Rough Edges", the monogram K stamp, and cut-out flowers from the set "Big Pieces" which is in our current winter mini catalog. The faux-stitching was created with a white gel pen. This card has very bright colors that diverge widely from my usual color selections, but they're really growing on me!

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Sunday stamping session - Sample #1

I spent Sunday afternoon working on some samples at Jeanine's house, and I'm pretty pleased with what I've come up with. The following samples feature sets from both the winter mini and sell-a-bration catalogs.

This color combination was created with the help of the Color Coach. I love the bright, springtime feeling of this card! The background stamp is "Dotted", the main image is the sell-a-bration stamp "Big Blossom" with the cute stamp from "So Very" which is also a sell-a-bration set. The small flowers were cut out from stamped images from "Big Pieces" which is featured in the current winter mini catalog.

I''ll post more of my samples later!

Friday, January 5, 2007

Just another snowy Friday

This is the THIRD Friday in a row in Denver that we have had a substantial snow storm.

I have to admit, I'm getting a little tired of it. I also have to admit that I felt some surprise that it wasn't a blizzard, and some disappointment that they weren't likely to close my office today.

This is a picture of Berkley that was taken about 6:30 a.m. today. (Yep. She's still very much alive, even after her shennanigans on Wednesday.)

And then, there's Lily, and this is how she handles a snow day.

Thankfully, it has now stopped snowing downtown, and I know I'll be able to get together with Jeanine, and hopefully Amy, this weekend to do some stamping! We've been having to cancel get-togethers because of the crazy snowfalls. If I create anything I feel is worthy, I'll be sure to post it here. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Sneak Peak - January Stamp Camp Valentine!

(click the image for a larger view)

Waking up to MORE snow in the metro area, I needed something to make me smile this morning. I made this card for a demonstrator swap that I am part of, and I fell in love with it! The colors are Pretty in Pink, Pixie Pink, Elegant Eggplant and Old Olive (thank you Color Coach wheel for the combination). This card uses stamp sets Sweet Shapes, Print Pattern, Dotted, and Rough Edges Alphabet. For accessories, I kept it simple and used Crystal Effects on the hearts so they are shiny and added an accent around the main image with my white gel pen.

This card is one of the cards we'll be making at the January stamp camp. Interested? Check back for more samples next week.

Stay warm today!

January 20th - Stamp Camp!

Happy new stamping year!

Please join me for our January stamp camp on the 20th at 10:30 a.m. January's camp will feature a Valentine card, a paper purse and at least one project featuring one of this year's great sell-a-bration sets! (see below for more information on sell-a-bration) I will post a picture of the Valentine card later this week.

The camp is just $5 and you're invited to bring guests. Please let me know by January 15th if you will be attending. Click here to go to the evite associated with this stamp camp.

Bring a new guest in January and your stamp camp fee is FREE!
Purchase $50 of merchandise and qualify for at least one sell-a-bration set in January and your shipping and handling is FREE.

Sell-a-bration Information:
When you purchase $50 in products during the months of January and February, you may choose one of five featured stamp sets or one featured simply scrappin' kit for FREE! There is no limit to how many sets you can earn. You can access the sell-a-bration brochure here to see all the great sets and the scrappin' kit. There are also specials for signing up as a demonstrator during this time and for hosting a workshop. Contact me if you're interested in either of these options.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Oh sure, she's cute...

I was home sick today with my increasingly rarer migraines, and had started feeling well enough to be up and sitting on the couch. The dogs and I hung out downstairs on the couch for quite a while and then I thought I would do some of these pretty ornaments that my friend Jeanine introduced me to on New Year's Eve (the instructions are found here on another stamper's blog). I'd taken a few pictures of the one I was working on as I got closer to the top because I found a way that I like finishing off the ornament so none of the styrofoam shows through the very top around the ribbon hanger.

As you can see, I was almost done, and I went upstairs to get something for the next ornament (can't even remember what it was now...) and when I returned, well, this is what I found.

Yep. Our little "angel" Berkley had DEMOLISHED the ornament. Good thing she's cute, or she'd be toast! Anyway, I'm glad I got the pictures first, and after too I guess...

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Blog Start Up

This is my new blog, to go with the new year.

I'm thinking it will mostly be about my passion for my hobby of hand-stamping and paper crafts, with a bit of the rest of my life thrown in as well. None of my stamping hobby would exist without the (strong) influence of my friend and stamping mentor, Jeanine, who I have now known for about 12 1/2 years. You can read her stamping blog here.

I started demonstrating stamping in February of 2006 as an independent demonstrator for Stampin' Up! and I continue to love it! I have enjoyed the comraderie and companionship that I've experienced from it and have been so encouraged by my ability to branch out, and reach out, in situations where I might not have before, simply because I have something that I feel I can offer to others. I hope that in 2007 I can continue to share stamping with my loyal group of stamp-campers as well as new friends who would like to learn about this hobby.