DATES TO REMEMBER

  • June 1: FIRST DAY of 2017-18 Annual Catalog
  • June 1: New Catalog Open House, 4:30-6:30 pm
  • June 10: Technique Training, 10-noon
  • June 24: Stamp-A-Stack, 10-noon

Friday, September 30, 2011

September Stamp-A-Stack Card #5

Don’t you love it when you buy a product and then find out there are other ways you can use it? That’s what I love about Stampin’ Up! punches! They can be used to make so many different shapes and designs! Have you seen the Stocking Builder Punch in the Holiday Mini Catalog? It coordinates with the Stitched Stockings stamp set and makes it so easy to get cute little stockings! But wait…there’s more!

Ta da! It’s a stick horse!

StockingHorse

Isn’t this cute?!? I wish I could take credit for coming up with it! I’ve seen several of these made by other demonstrators (I love how everyone shares their ideas!) and had to make one myself. The colors for mine are Crumb Cake, Early Espresso, Marina Mist and Wild Wasabi. That’s the new Houndstooth embossing folder. The greeting is from Short & Sweet. I also used the 2 1/2” Circle, Large Oval and Word Window punches. The ribbon is 1/8” Taffeta in Early Espresso. I used an Early Espresso marker to draw in the eye and mane. Cute, cute, cute!

Hope you have a great weekend! I hope to see you soon at a class, workshop, or craft sale!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

September Stamp-A-Stack Card #4

I do not sew. I took a Home Ec class in Junior High and enjoyed the cooking/baking part of the class. The sewing, not so much! We could make whatever we wanted and I chose a sweatshirt. It was supposed to be easy. I ended up getting sick and missed a week of school and we went on vacation so I missed another week. The teacher graded me on what I had done and luckily I passed the class. I never did finish the shirt. John’s Mom gave me her old sewing machine when she bought a new one. I’ve never used it, except to put things on top of it. Smile 

Then Stampin’ Up! came out with fabrics. I thought they looked nice, but didn’t plan on ever buying any. What would I do with it? At Convention, there were several projects demonstrated with fabric and some of them were NO SEWING! Woohoo! Sounds perfect for me! So when demonstrators were given the opportunity to pre-order items from the Holiday Mini Catalog, I bought a pack of the Spice Cake fabric. It took a while for me to open it up, but when I did, I was impressed! It is really pretty- the picture in the catalog doesn’t do it justice! It took even longer before I was brave enough to cut in it and use it for a project. But look at what I made: 

FabricThanks

This was a card that was demo’d at Convention. Again, it looks much better in person! But it was “sew” (ha, ha!) easy! Did you know that fabric tears in a straight line? I didn’t! Just make a small cut to get it started, then pull! Perfect strips every time. I liked this card so much I decided to use it for the Stamp-A-Stack. Everyone liked it!

The greeting is from the Hand-Penned Holidays set in the Holiday Mini Catalog. It’s stamped in Soft Suede on Naturals Ivory cardstock. I swiped the edges on the ink pad to pick up some color. The fabric strips are adhered to a Naturals Ivory card base with Sticky Strip. I found using a Bone Folder to really rub the Sticky Strip onto the fabric helped it to stay when I pulled the backing off.

I still don’t think I’ll ever sew, but at least I know other ways to use fabric now! I stepped out of my box! Good thing I went to Convention! You should join the Stampin’ Up! family and come with me next year!

I’ll be back tomorrow with Card #5.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

September Stamp-A-Stack Card #3

Have you heard of a Telescoping circle card? I’m not sure who originally came up with the idea, but they are really clever! Here’s what one looks like when it’s all together:

TelescopingLeaves

Here’s what it looks like when you open the first circle:

TelescopingLeaves2

And this is what it looks like all the way open:

TelescopingLeaves3
The large More Mustard scallop circle is a Big Shot die (113468) and the diameter is 4 3/8”. The Very Vanilla layer on that scallop circle and the middle circle are the same size and are 3 1/2”. The top More Mustard circle is 3” and the Very Vanilla layer on that is the 2 1/2” Circle Punch (120906). I don’t have all of the circle Big Shot dies so I’m not sure which ones would work for which sizes, but you can use the Circle Scissor to make any size you need.

Isn’t this a cool card? The ribbon loop on top (Lucky Limeade 3/8” Ruffled Ribbon) acts as a pull to open the card. The stamp set is Gently Falling from the Holiday Mini Catalog. The solid leaves are stamped in More Mustard, the outlines in Early Espresso and the acorns in Lucky Limeade. The greetings are from On Your Birthday and are stamped in Not Quite Navy 3 gold brads act as the pivots for the circles. To assemble them, I lined the middle circle upside down on the bottom circle, punched a hole at the top and put in the brad. I opened them up, held them so the middle layer was on the bottom closest to me and lined up the top layer right side up, punched the hole and put in the brad. Then I opened it all the way up and punched the hole at the top and attached the ribbon loop with the last brad. I found that was the easiest way to get all the layers lined up correctly. Hopefully I explained it so it makes sense!

If you would like to make cards like this, book a workshop or come to my classes! I’d love to teach you some new techniques! Check out my Calendar of Events page for upcoming dates!

See you tomorrow for card #4!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

September Stamp-A-Stack Card #2

Another cute Halloween stamp set, but a non-Halloween card! I saw a card like this made by Ilina C. and CASE’d (Copy And Share Everything!) it from her. I changed the colors for my card.

OwlThankYou

This is Out On A Limb from the Holiday mini catalog. The colors I used are Whisper White, Chocolate Chip, Crumb Cake and Lucky Limeade. Did you notice the embossing?  Or should I say the lack of embossing in the center? This is actually very easy to do!

I used the new Simply Scored to score lines on the Whisper White layer at 1 5/8” and 1 3/4”, then turned it 180 degrees and did the same thing on the other end. I found this to be much easier than measuring it all out at once and getting the ends the same. The next step is to put the end of the card stock into the embossing folder, just up to the first scored line. Run it through the Big Shot, then repeat for the other end. If your scored lines aren’t as defined after running it through, just score them again.

The punched pieces are from the Boho Blossoms Punch and each has a Basic Pearl on it. I finished the card with Chocolate Chip 1/2” Scallop Dots Ribbon. I love that ribbon! And it’s been the most popular ribbon share so far! Have you checked out my Product Shares page? It’s a great way to get a little bit of all the colors of ribbon and/or brads without buying it all your self!

I'll be back tomorrow with Card #3!

Monday, September 26, 2011

September Stamp-A-Stack Card #1

Sorry for the long absence…life has been hectic again the last few weeks! Between the new puppy, Chase being back in school, jury duty, and trying to keep up with daily life, there hasn’t been a lot of extra time. Especially with not much sleep! Thankfully Gypsy is sleeping thru the night now and not making a mess in her crate!

We did have a Stamp-A-Stack on the 17th, but I completely forgot to share the cards! Here’s the first one:

HalloweenOwl

I don’t send out Halloween cards. Now that all the kids in my family are too old (14-24) for trick-or-treating, we don’t really celebrate it. We don’t get any trick-or-treaters because of where our farm is (along the highway, not much around us) so if I buy any candy we end up eating it all ourselves. Usually we close all the blinds and watch TV. Pretty boring!

Anyway, there are so many cute Halloween stamps I can’t resist making a few cards to share! I rec’d this card in a swap and it’s made by Dawn O. This little guy is from the hostess set “Warmest of Wishes” in the Holiday Mini Catalog. This is a great set with images for several holidays. The owl is stamped in Basic Black, beak and goodie bag colored with Pumpkin Pie, then punched with the Owl Punch and layered on a piece of Whisper White. The orange layer is embossed with the Spider Web folder. I love how Dawn did the ribbon- a piece of Basic Black 1/2” Scalloped Dots with Pumpkin Pie 1/4” Grosgrain tied in a knot around it. What a clever way to get 2 colors!

Check back tomorrow for Card #2!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Introducing…Gypsy!

 

GypsyCouch

We have a new puppy! Her name is Gypsy and she is an 8 week old Black Lab. She is part of the Can Do Canines program and we are all hoping that she will grow up to raise litters of service dogs! She is from a litter of 9 and they all have names that start with “G”.

GypsyElephant

Gypsy has made herself at home, including playing with Sydne’s toys! My Mom and I picked her up at Can Do Canines last night. These pictures are all from this morning.

GypsySydneChase

Gypsy weighs 9.6 lbs. Sydne weighs about 53. They’re quickly becoming friends! Chase is happy to have a puppy again!

SydneSmile

So is Sydne! Don’t you love her smile?

If you don’t hear from me much for the next couple of weeks it’s because I’m busy with the puppy! Luckily Chase doesn’t start school until Monday (the 12th) so he can help keep an eye on her.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Open Sea

The stamp set "The Open Sea" from the Summer Mini Catalog is still available as a write in item!

One of our most spectacular stamp sets ever, The Open Sea gives you a full range of images for designing masculine or travel-themed projects with old world appeal. Created to coordinate with the Nautical Expedition Suite, this five-piece set is a must-have.

Set Quantity: 5

Wood Mount  #123030  $26.95
Clear Mount   #123032  $18.95

This will be a write in until June 30th, 2012. Hopefully it will make it into the next Idea Book & Catalog!

Here's one of the cards I made with this set:

Friday, September 2, 2011

Organizing Your Sponges

Do you use sponges on your stamping projects? Do you wonder how to store them after you use them? Here’s a letter from another demonstrator’s newsletter:

Dear Mad Stamper:  I can't figure out what to do with my sponges after they have ink on them.  I have seen that some stampers keep them in divided containers, one for each color of ink.  That just seems like too much trouble, and meanwhile I never know if I am going to pick up a clean one or not!  What do you do?--Stumped

Dear Stumped:  I have chosen a very simple solution.  I have a small drawer I keep clean sponges in.  They don't look clean because they are stained with ink, but if they are in that drawer I know they are clean. After I use them they go to my kitchen.  Next time I do dishes, I drop them in the soapy water, squeeze a few times, rinse, and set out to dry.  When they are dry they go back in the drawer.  I haven't gotten them mixed up so far, and the system works for me. 

Another option is to collect the dirty ones in a lingerie bag, then the next time you do laundry, throw them in the washing machine.  When they are clean, just hang up the lingerie bag while the sponges dry.  I have thought about trying this, but have found it so convenient to do them in the dishwater that I never got around to it.--The Mad Stamper

I’m one of those stampers that likes to have everything organized, so I have a container for all of mine.


And they’re all labeled. I know, Obsessive Compulsive! I can’t help it!


Here’s another shot, just you can see how purty they are, all lined up!


You can do the same thing with Sponge Daubers. I only have one set of them, and I keep them in a small stamp case.
Next Month: Ink Spots

Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Scoring Comparison...

THANK YOU Ann Nelson for writing this comparison and allowing me to share it! GREAT information!

Stampin’ Up! unveils its newest tool!
Yep, it’s a SCORING TOOL
(Available to order on September 1).

"But," I hear you say, "there are already TWO scoring tools out there—Scor-Pal, the original scoring tool, and Martha Stewart’s scoring tool."

You’re right. And I have all three. Which makes me an expert. So here is my expert opinion, and I am trying to be as fair and non-partisan as a Stampin’ Up! Demo can be. 


The size, look, and feel:

All three tools are sized to handle a 12 x 12 sheet of paper. Scor-Pal (SP) is medium gray, Martha Stewart (MS) is creamy white, and Simply Scored (SS) is dark gray.




The SP has half-inch-spaced scoring grooves, with a few extra lines for frequently used, non-half-inch measurements, like 4.25; etc. The SP has 1/8 inch hash marks for the first half inch on the top ruler, so that you can adjust the paper to get perfect scores for odd measurement
(e.g., to score at the 3.75" mark; move your paper to the .25" hash mark; then score on the 4" score line). Both MS and SS have grooves every 1/8 inch, making those odd measurements easier to find without straining your brain.


The scoring tools:

SP has a smooth, plastic tool that handily snaps into place at the top of the tool. It’s easy to pop out, and when brand new, makes smooth, even scores and stays in the groove, especially when you hold it correctly. (Staying at a more parallel angle to the platform works better… a 45 degree angle or less.) I also like using the tool as a creasing tool. It’s fast, and I don’t need to get out my bone folder. HOWEVER, after hundreds of scores, the plastic tool starts to wear down, flatten, and get thicker. (The one pictured below [bottom stylus] is new, scoring point on the left.) The scores become shallower, and the tool will slip out of the groove. You can buy new scoring tools, but you have to remember to do that, and then wait for delivery.


While some may disagree with me, I, personally, HATE the MS scoring tool (photo, middle, scoring point on the left). It’s too thin and sharp for my taste. It’s very easy to tear through paper (not cardstock so much, but the lighter weight designer papers), and it doesn’t flow as smoothly. It seems to drag on the cardstock, and slips out of the groove easier. Because I use my forefinger on top of the stylus to apply pressure, it hurts after a few scores. I also find it harder to use as a crease tool. And it doesn’t attach to the front. You have to get it out of the storage compartment.

I really LOVE the SS score tool (photo, top). It’s a stylus with two ends, one bigger than the other. The two smooth, metal ends score smoothly, stay in the grooves (again, keep the angle 45 degrees or less), and you have the choice of thicker or sharper score lines. The tool snaps into place on the bottom front of the tool, so it’s always easy to get to. Doesn’t work as a creasing tool, though.
 


Special Features:

The SP was the original scoring tool, and at the time, that was special enough by itself.

The MS tool has a storage compartment at the top, with two stickers to use for scoring measurements. You can store your scoring tool, and there is room for your bone folder, pencil/pen, etc. However, the door on mine will not stay shut if you turn it on its side, so I’m always having to retrieve my tools from the floor, table top, bottom of my bag, etc. The MS tool also has a nifty angled tool stored in the back of the platform, and it slides onto the left side and helps you score perfect angled lines for envelopes.

The SS tool has a storage compartment at the top as well, but to open it, you sort of lift up on the back edge, which "unhooks" the lid, which will then fold back. It will stay shut when it’s properly closed. It took me a minute to figure it out, but I’ve got it now! The compartment is divided, and the left side is large enough to hold a bone folder, pencil, extra scoring tool, etc. The right side is smaller and holds the other special feature: the scoring markers. Along the top of the scoring ruler on the platform, there is a little rectangle for each 1/8 inch groove. The SS comes with three arrow markers which snap into the rectangles pointing to the groove.




(See picture.) It’s perfect for marking projects with multiple folds so you don’t have to keep checking the ruler or using Sharpies to mark the grooves. (Both my SP and MS tools are marked up!) You can purchase extra markers in packages of six (which I did when I bought the tool… you ALWAYS need more markers!). 

Let’s not forget the feet!


The SP
(see photo, left) has 4, quite small rubber feet (1 in each corner) to prevent slippage… sort of.

The MS (photo, middle) has 4 larger non-slip feet, but the material is very spongy, and my sponges are already smooshed too flat to do much good.

The SS (photo, right) has 8, very study, textured feet made of translucent material that keeps the platform from slipping on your work surface. The feet are at the top, middle, and bottom of both sides, and there are two more in the middle of the platform at the middle and bottom. It doesn’t slip. Period.

 
Add-ons:

Since SP has been out the longest, it has developed related tools. One of the add-on features you can buy is a self-healing cutting mat/work surface that fits on the SP platform so you can leave the SP on your work surface and use it for cutting and gluing, etc., and still get to your SP for scoring without hassle. There is also a special carrying bag you can purchase, or they have a bundled kit you can purchase (how I purchased it) with the bag, SP, extra tools, Scor-Mat, glitter cloth, and Scor-Tape. They have also created an improved SP, with more grooves for easier measuring, and a Scor-Buddy. It’s smaller, and costs less ($19.95).

Cost (for the tools with 12 x 12 inch platforms):

The SP is $39.95 + tax & shipping; the MS is $19.95 + tax and can be purchased at Michael’s (many people use a 40 or 50 percent off coupon, making the price very desirable); and the SS is $29.95 + tax & shipping.

Overall impressions:

Until now, I’ve preferred my SP over the MS tool. Love the 1/8 inch grooves, but hate the scoring tool, and the SP stylus was just a tad fat for the MS grooves. And, though the angled scoring tool is a very cool, I find I really don’t score on angles unless I’m making envelopes, and I really don’t have the patience for that. I love that the stylus snaps onto the front of the SP. I hate the MS storage compartment.
(Sorry, Martha.)

Now that I have the SS tool, though, I prefer it over the SP. I like the metal stylus with two tips. I have the choice of thin and thick score lines, and the metal won’t flatten and wear out. And I like the way it snaps onto the front, AND we still have a storage compartment, and it stays closed. What puts SS over the top for me, though, are the score-line markers. Finally—a tool that I don’t have to mark up with Sharpies. (I mark my paper cutters up, too—maybe we can work on that, next.) 


The price differences:

The SP is more expensive for the 12 x 12 size, and the MS is cheaper, even without the coupon. However, my MS score tool has spent most of it’s time on a shelf, and if I don’t use it, it’s not much of a value, so I’m glad I got it with a 50 percent off coupon. The price of the SS is below the SP, and has better features. It’s higher than the MS tool, but again, better features.

And the winner is:

Until someone thinks of a new way to add features to a molded plastic, 12 x 12 platform for scoring, in my expert opinion, the Simply Scored Tool by Stampin’ Up! wins. Really.

But even if it didn’t, as a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator, I’d still have to use the SS tool to demonstrate at workshops and for classes. But I’m also going to be using it in private, because for me, it has all the features I want and need! And THAT’S a win!