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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Stamper’s Week Before Christmas Poems

With apologies to Clement C. Moore

Twas the week before Christmas and all through the den,
were scattered my ink pads, my stamps and my pens.
The cards I had hoped to send off in the mail,
were still on the table and my hand felt quite frail.

I'd stamped through the evening in hopes I would find,
I'd finished my cards...but I was still far behind.
When out in my driveway, there arose such a clatter
that I sprang from my chair as embossing powder splattered.

The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow,
made me wish that my white ink was not running low.
When what to my tired, bloodshot eyes should appear
but a red SUV and my stamp friends so dear.

Susie, Dianne, Carol, Rita and Jill,
all from the car in the driveway did spill.
With a handful of treats they knocked at the door,
then dashed up my stairway to the second floor.

They surrounded my table with laughter and glee
and stamped up those cards as fast as could be.
Embossing guns warmed, and powder was spread,
as I felt pass beyond me my feeling of dread.

As they finished each card with a gentle, "It’s Done",
their smiles told me they were having fun.
The cards were all stacked, with their envelopes too,
and it dawned on me that my chore was now through.

They left as they'd come in the blink of an eye,
and I just murmured "Thank You" as the group hurried by.
And I heard them exclaim as they drove out of sight,
The best kind of Christmas is where Stampers Unite!

The Week Before Christmas (in a Stamper's House)

'Twas the week before Christmas and the house was a hush
Save the stamping of rubber in a last-minute rush.
The cardstock was cut with precision and care
In hopes that a greeting would soon be stamped there.

The children were tucked in their beds around eight,
But now its ten-thirty...How'd it get so late?
And I in my PJs with bleary red eyes
Had finally arranged all the stamping supplies.

It started out simple. (It does every year.)
Just make a few cards for friends who are dear.
I pressed ink to paper. (It looked crisp and clean.)
A sprinkle of powder, heat to a sheen.

When what on my green Christmas card should appear?
Why, a tiny gold Santa with sleigh and reindeer
On pigment! On powder! On heat from a gun!
Now ribbon and glitter! Can I make eighty-one?

"I can do it!" I said with all of my might
And looked at the clock -- 'twas well past midnight.
I went straight to stamping out card after card
"This might take all night, but at least it's not hard."

But after I finished, they looked a bit lame.
I didn't want fancy, but these were too plain.
And then in a twinkling, a thought came to mind:
"I'll dress them up, and then they'll be fine."

So I went to my craft room and looked all around,
Then back to the table with all that I'd found.
My Fiskars I brandished (I wasn't a quitter),
And soon I was covered in EP and glitter.

The cap of a marker I held in my teeth.
I'd lay in some color or maybe gold leaf.
My broad little face was all beaded with sweat,
But I wouldn't give up -- well, not at least yet.

There was glue on the table and ink on the floor.
I laughed at the site, though my fingers were sore.
I did not complain, just kept up my work.
When more things went wrong, I did not go berserk.

When finally finished, one card about six,
It looked pretty good after all of my tricks.
"I'm keeping this one. My work on it shows."
So clutching my card, up the stairs I arose.

I crawled into bed at the crack of dawn.
Creativity all spent, motivation gone.
But to make no mistake, I promise one thing:
You'll all get your cards, but not till next spring!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Holiday Extravaganza!

During the holiday season, crafters and non-crafters alike are in the market for crafting supplies to make cards, decorations, create packaging, or even to give away as gifts. As a Stampin' Up! demonstrator, I have the resources to meet those needs! The Holiday Extravaganza will focus on four main areas relevant to the holiday season: card making, decorating, gift giving, and packaging & tags. I would like to provide you with information to make the most of the holiday season!
Card Making
Everyone loves a hand-stamped card, and the holidays are a perfect time to send them! Stampin' Up! has hundreds of beautiful samples in the Fall-Winter 2008 Idea Book & Catalog and Holiday 2008 Mini Catalog that you can share with family and friends. With so many samples to choose from, all you need to do is pick a few favorites and start stamping!
During the holidays, many people are excited to decorate! You'll want to start early so that you can have your decorations on display throughout the holiday season. Here are some suggestions:

* Holiday ornaments using the Star Bright Designer Series Paper Ornaments Kit
* Country Living projects
* Christmas garlands using the Sizzix Pennant Bigz XL Die
* Holiday party favors that could include any of the following:
+ Treat boxes/candy bowls as centerpieces (holiday Rub-Ons work great here!)
+ Holiday-scented candles decorated with your favorite Designer Series paper
+ On Board Trinkets Ornaments Kits decorated and used as ornaments on garland
+ On Board letters, in any shape and size, to add a fun touch to party favors; just choose a favorite holiday word like snow, santa, or cheer
Gift Giving
Stampin' Up! offers products that make great gifts, whether they're intricate projects for dearest family and friends, or smaller gifts such as party favors or gifts for neighbors. Our products offer you endless options--for any budget or recipient. And for the stamping, paper crafting, or décor enthusiast, Stampin' Up! product itself makes a great gift! Here are some ideas:
* Ornaments using the Star Bright Designer Series Paper Ornaments Kit or the On Board Trinkets Kit
* Handmade wrapping paper or gift tag collection
* Country Living Kit items
* Hand-stamped calendars using the Creat-A-Calendar '09 Kit
* Scrapbooks (Simply Scrappin' kits work great!)
* Journals
* Home Décor items: framed art or holiday decorations
* Card sets
* CD with CD holder
* Gift boxes filled with treats
* Stampin' Up! products
Packaging & Tags
Do you remember looking under the Christmas tree during the holidays and seeing that one special package that you hoped was just for you? The one with the perfect wrapping paper, the bow tied just right, and the extra special tag? With so many perfect products for creating that beautifully-packaged gift, your won't need to go anywhere besides Stampin' Up! to wrap up your holidays this year!
* Use wheels to create your own wrapping paper. With several wheels (i.e., Christmas Chatter, Bold Snowflakes, Santa's Lineup, Snow, and So Swirly) and multiple colors to choose from, Stampin' Around wheels are the perfect way to create personalized wrapping paper.
* When creating tags, be sure to use punches (i.e., Tag, Small Tag, Scallop Circle, Scallop Square, and Curly Label punches) that coordinate with tags in your favorite stamp sets. This makes it easy for you to create beautiful gift tags!
* If time is an issue, try the Season to Share Accents & Elements tin offered in Kiwi Kiss, Riding Hood Red, and Kraft instead of stamping and punching your tags. This is a great way to include creative tags on packages without spending a lot of time. Another option is to choose a favorite holiday stamp set and then stamp on our metal edge tags for a classic and simple look.
* The Sizzix Top Note Bigz die, one of Stampin' Up!'s exclusive dies, easily creates both bag toppers and tags. Check out the Holiday Mini for ideas.
* Beautiful holiday Designer Series paper, such as Holiday Treasures, makes great wrapping paper for smaller gifts.
* The Simply Sent Handmade Holiday Card Elements kit and I Wish Simply Scrappin' kit include self-adhesive die cuts that are an easy way to add that extra touch to packages and tags.
* For extra special packages, create tags using Hodgepodge Hardware and the Crop-A-Dile that will really step up the style.
* Gift and cello bags are a simple and stylish way to personalize gifts for neighbors, teachers, and coworkers. Simply tie some holiday ribbon (check out Alpine Ribbon Originals or 1-1/4" Riding Hood Red/Very Vanilla striped grosgrain ribbon in the Holiday Mini) at the top and add a festive tag!
* Chipboard always adds great flare; the Onboard Trinkets Ornaments kit dresses up any gift package.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Halloween Cards

These are the 2 versions of a Halloween card that I did for a swap. Last Sunday I went to "Stamp Share For Leaders", which is a business training for Senior Supervisors and above, put on by a demonstrator who is my upline's sideline. This was my 1st time going to this event. There were about 30 other SU! demonstrators there and we did a swap using stamp sets from the Holiday Mini Catalog, so I have lots of cool new samples! There were lots of great demonstrations and business building tips- kind of a mini Convention! I learned a lot!
I would really like to get some classes going, but I need you to come to them! Please let me know what kinds of things you would like to learn, and when would be a good time to do classes. During the day? At night? On weekends? What days work better for you? Do you want to learn techniques or do you just want to make cards? Do you want classes that would include products for you to use and then take home? My job as a demonstrator is to teach you about stamping, so let me know how I can help!
Have a great weekend!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Halloween Projects!

Spooky Block, Cardstock Pumpkin, Punch Spider

I don't normally do Halloween projects, but I have seen so many cute ones this year I couldn't resist! It all started with the new "Spooky" Decor Elements. It was shown at the SU! Convention on a big treat jar. I don't want that much candy sitting around and I wasn't sure where I'd store it the rest of the year, so mine is on a glass block. I put some snack size candy bars in it, but the wrappers were dark and the spider didn't show up very well. I'm thinking I might get some orange lights, but until then I just put some orange cardstock behind it. The spiders come in black or white and in 3 sizes. This is a small. They are available until October 31st.

The pumpkin is made from strips of cardstock. I put them in a stack and used the Crop-A-Dile to punch holes on both ends, then put a piece of ribbon thru the holes and tied knots on both ends. Very easy! I wish I would have made the ribbon longer so the pumpkin would be taller and more round. I added some stamped leaves that I cut out and tied a bow on top. See why I usually do knots?

The little spider is made from card stock scraps and punches: Scallop Circle for the body, Photo Corners for the legs, then 1/2" circle and 1/4" circle for the eyes, and 1/4" circle for the mouth. There's a York Peppermint Patty in the middle for the body. I'm having a hard time not eating him! I LOVE dark chocolate and mint!
Tomorrow I'll show you the Halloween Cards I made for a swap.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Online Ordering from Stampin' Up!

Online Ordering from Stampin' Up! is here! Woohoo!

Good news! Stampin' Up! has just made Online Ordering available! Now you can place an order any time! All you have to do is go to my Stampin' Up! website: (or click on the Online Ordering picture in the right hand column) and click on "Shop Now" in the upper right hand corner. You'll be taken to a screen that will have pictures of the current specials and on the left will be a list of product categories. Check it out! Any orders placed this way will be shipped directly to you! And if you place an order of $150 or more, you'll earn Stampin' Rewards, which are the same as the Hostess Benefits for holding a workshop.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Big Shot!


There's a new big shot in town--the Sizzix Big Shot for Stampin' Up! The Big Shot is a sturdy manual die cutting machine used to die cut materials for use on crafts, home décor projects, and even clothing--it's a big deal! You'll love what the Big Shot machine, a 6-time winner of Creating Keepsakes Reader's Choice Award for best die cutting equipment and dies, can do for you.

Design your own custom pillow appliqués using the Tulipe Bigz die or make custom fabric flowers to embellish a quilt. From sewing to quilting to home décor, the Big Shot is the perfect tool for many types of crafting. Use our Stampin' Up! exclusive dies to create die cuts and stencils with our artwork and designs for all your craft needs.
Planning and preparing projects is fast and economical with the Big Shot machine. Cut out eight of the same chipboard letter or 20 scalloped pennants in just a few minutes. You'll be able to cut and score 3-D items in seconds. Or create embellishments for cards, scrapbook pages, or any other type of project by cutting multiple images at once.

The Big Shot works with ALL competitive dies, and the steel rule dies can cut through an impressive list of 50 different materials, including fabric, foil, and chipboard. It's important to note that there are different types of dies. Originals, Bigz, and Bigz XL dies- these steel ruled dies cut through virtually any material and multiple sheets of card stock and Designer Series paper. Sizzlets dies- these dies are small and detailed, often creating scored or perforated details. These dies cut through thin materials, and multiple sheets are not recommended.

1. What is the Big Shot?
The Big Shot is a manual die-cutting system that you can use for a number of projects and crafts. The simplicity of the Big Shot makes it a great addition to any one's crafting hobby.

2. How does the Big Shot work?
Using steel-ruled and chemically-etched dies, the Big Shot cuts out images by passing card stock and other materials through rollers that utilize pressure to cut through the materials. With just a couple turns of the handle, you'll be able to cut through a wide variety of materials. The Big Shot also comes with special cutting pads and a cutting platform that not only make the Big Shot safer and easier to use, but also lengthen the life of the product.

3. What are the different types of dies that you can use with the Big Shot?
Currently, the Big Shot utilizes two types of dies: Steel Rule and Chemically-Etched.

Steel Rule: When you think of steel rule dies, think of cookie cutters--they both work on the same principle. Steel rule dies are made by embedding an elongated razor blade into a hard wood base and then covering that blade with foam for safety. When the die is passed through the Big Shot, the foam is compressed and the blade punches through the material being cut. Because steel rule dies use a blade, you can cut more types of material as well as multiple layers of that material. Additionally, the cutting blades can also be designed with scoring blades to create fold lines.

Chemically Etched: Unlike steel rule dies, chemically etched dies can cut intricate designs. To create these dies, elaborate designs are etched into the metal using chemicals to burn away the unwanted metal. While these dies can create more intricate designs, they cannot cut as many types of materials nor can they cut multiple layers of material.

4. I have dies from other companies; can I use them with the Big Shot?
Yes, you can. The Big Shot is the most versatile die-cutting machine on the market today. Using the multi-purpose platform, you can use dies, embossing plates, and other products from a wide variety of sources.

5. I've heard that you can run multiple sheets of card stock through the Big Shot at the same time. How many can I run through at once?
Using the steel rule dies, you can run multiple sheets of card stock through the Big Shot. The number of sheets depends on the die being used. Simple shape dies--dies that do not have perforation or scoring--can cut through up to eight sheets of card stock at once. Dies that feature perforation or scoring or that are more detailed may not produce the exact cuts when cutting multiples. You'll want to experiment and see how many sheets you are comfortable passing through the Big Shot at once to get the desired effect. Chemically-etched dies should only be used to cut one sheet of card stock or paper at a time.

6. What materials can I cut with the Big Shot?
You can cut over 50 types of material using the Big Shot. A good rule of thumb is that if you can cut the material with your Craft & Rubber scissors, you can cut it with the Big Shot.

7. Why would I want the Big Shot?
You will love the Big Shot because
You can use the Big Shot to create projects quickly and easily.
You'll be able to cut out intricate designs, plus you can create multiple cut outs at the same time.
The Stampin' Up! Big Shot line features exclusive designs that can't be found anywhere else.
The Stampin' Up! Big Shot line opens up new possibilities for projects and hobbies.

8. Is the Big Shot exclusive to Stampin' Up!?
No, the Big Shot machine is not exclusive to Stampin' Up! However, the Big Shot produced for Stampin' Up! features a handle color as well as a beautiful logo that are not available on any other version of the Big Shot. In addition to the hundreds of dies already available through Sizzix, we've created dies exclusive to Stampin' Up! And, as we continue to develop this product line, you'll see more and more Stampin' Up! exclusive dies.

9. Who is Sizzix?
Sizzix is a brand owned and operated by Ellison, Inc. Since 1977, Ellison has manufactured and distributed professional die-cutting machines and dies largely for the crafting and educational fields. Recognizing the potential of die-cutting machines in the scrapbooking and paper-crafting industries, Ellison developed the Sizzix machine for home use. At the same time, Ellison launched the Sizzix brand. Known for innovation, product development, and commitment to high quality, Sizzix is the perfect partner to bring die cutting to Stampin' Up!'s demonstrators and their customers.

10. Will Stampin' Up! create more exclusive dies? When?
Stampin' Up! is known in the crafting industries for it's beautiful and innovative art. The Stampin' Up! Big Shot line will be no exception. Our introductory Big Shot line includes dies that coordinate beautifully with our current stamps and accessories. As our Big Shot product line continues to grow, you'll see additional exclusive designs released. Additionally, you'll see raw materials that you can use to cut in the Big Shot.

Whew! That's a lot of information! Please let me know if you have any questions!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Happy Anniversary to me!

August 21st is my 7 year Anniversary with Stampin' Up!

THANK YOU! to all of my customers!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

My Stampin' Up! Demonstrator Website

Would you like to learn more about becoming a Stampin' Up! demonstrator? Or Stampin' Up! in general? There is a great video on my Demonstrator website: Just click on "Join Stampin' Up!" in the upper right hand corner. The video is in 3 short parts. There's also other great information on the site: project ideas, the Stampin' Up! online catalog and current promotions (click on "Stampin' Up! Products" to see them), my calendar of stamping events, and information about being a hostess. Check it out! And please let me know if you have any questions!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

We're refinishing the wood floor in our bedroom- Part 3!

When we did Chase's floor, it had been stained before but there were some spots that needed to be touched up. I ended up staining the whole floor to get it even! It looked so much nicer- warmer. Our floor looks like it never had any stain, so I ended up doing 2 coats on it. The first picture is the closet after it was done, compared to the rest of the wood that wasn't yet. The second picture is with the whole floor done.

John did the first coat of varnish last night and it looks so nice! He wants to do at least 3 coats, so it's going to be awhile before we get back in there, but it will be worth it!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

We're refinishing the wood floor in our bedroom- Part 2!

Here are the pictures of the floor after it has been sanded- what a difference! John did about half one day and the rest the next day. He could barely stand up straight when he was done! We're not sure why the middle of the room is darker than the outside. It's like the outside was never stained or finished before.

Tomorrow I'll post the pictures after I put a coat of stain on the whole floor. I've actually done 2 coats now, but the first coat was much more dramatic! Now hopefully John will get home early enough to do the first coat of varnish before it gets dark tonight. He found it much easier to see where he was working with natural light when he did Chase's floor.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

We're refinishing the wood floor in our bedroom!

Sorry it's been so long since I've posted something- not much has been happening around here that was worth sharing! Until now! We're refinishing the wood floors in our bedroom. We did Chase's room last fall and it turned out so well John wants to do ours, too. Our house is around 100 years old and has the original wood floors that have been covered with carpet. These pictures are what the room looked like after we pulled out the carpet and vacuumed. There's plaster and paint all over. Nice, huh?

Tomorrow I'll post the pictures of the floor after it has been sanded. What a difference!