Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Holiday Bingo is Coming!

It's hard to believe that it's already the end of November!  But 'tis true...I've had lots of turkey and stuffing and now it's time to get ready for the holidays.  This is my favorite time of year because there are so many great things--parties and family and friends.  But it's also incredibly busy, and so many of the people I want to see are far away and hard to get to.  So this year, I decided to do something new and fun, so I can share the holiday excitement with everyone regardless of where they are.  

I used some of my initial favorites from the Holiday Mini to put this plan in action.  I made Holiday Bingo cards using Jolly Bingo Bits and the Bingo Card stamp.  However, there are some modifications here, and the most important is that this is a hybrid card--which means it's part My Digital Studio, and part hand stamping.

While I normally love background stamps, the Bingo Card background stamp is just too big for a normal card front.  That put a serious crimp in my plans, because how would I mail cards that are too big for the envelopes?  I had my fingers crossed that Stampin' Up! would release the bingo card as a digital download...and SU came through for me.  :)  I bought the file, installed it into My Digital Studio, and I was all set.  After some resizing and test printing on scrap paper, I had a bingo card that was just big enough for the bingo bits to fit in the boxes, but still small enough to mount on a piece of 4.25" x 5.5" paper.

I stamped a stack of bingo cards over the break, and put them in the mail yesterday.  The cards are on their way to customers, friends and family.  Starting tomorrow, I'll be posting a bingo piece a day--in addition to our usual projects--and there will be prizes!  Stay tuned, and be sure to check out our December blog look starting tomorrow as well.


Stamps: Jolly Bingo Bits
Ink: Marina Mist, Wild Wasabi, Cherry Cobbler, Real Red, Pumpkin Pie, Perfect Plum, Daffodil Delight
Paper: White Naturals, Ruby Red (retired)
Extras: My Digital Studio

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Fall Wedding Invite #3

This is the third of the fall wedding invitation samples I made up.  This is also a small format invitation, measuring 5.5 x 4.25.  The horizontal layout is different, but also poses some challenges for text layout.  I've been tackling those challenges though, because this is the layout the couple chose.

But I'm getting ahead of myself here.  These colors are Cajun Craze and Chocolate Chip, and Day of Gratitude is inked in Chocolate Chip as well.  I'll be making some alterations to this for the final invitation, but we're getting close.

Here's a look at the insert when it's pulled out of the pocket.  A great thing about these invitations is that text can go on both sides of the insert--we'll be including a map to the location on the back of the invitation text, so that it doesn't get lost and cuts down on inserts.  A perfect fit!

Don't forget all those great sales--let me know if you have any questions or would like me to place an order for you.


Stamps: Day of Gratitude
Ink: Chocolate Chip
Paper: Chocolate Chip, Cajun Craze, Naturals Ivory

Monday, November 22, 2010

Two Great Deals

In addition to the half-price starter kit announced last week, Stampin' Up! has another great sale starting today.  It's the Online Spectacular and, much like it's name, it is spectacular.

Check out the website for great deals, from 30% to 50% off, which are available until November 30th.  Our favorite?  My Digital Studio, which Kiran and I use to give our blog a facelift each month, is half off!  If you haven't tried MDS, now is the perfect time.  And if you already have MDS, check out the steals on the digital downloads, 20% to 40% off and just right for the holidays.

There are also decor elements, fantastic stamps, and fun embellishments.  Email us if you'd like to place an order.

Happy holiday shopping!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Fall Wedding Invite #2

Here's the second fall wedding invitation sample I came up with.  I got my colors from the Autumn Spice Speciality Designer Series Paper, which currently graces our blog header and background--I love using Designer Series Paper (DSP) for new and different color combinations.  I'm doing a similar borrowing for my Christmas cards!

Other than the colors, this is very similar to yesterday's invitation--except for its size.  The invitation I shared yesterday was quite large, but this uses half sheets of paper for each side of the cross over pocket, so the finished product is the same size as my normal card, approximately 4.25 x 5.5 inches.  

I used the same With Gratitude (retired) stamp set for the leaf images, and stamped them in matching colors to the paper (so Old Olive on Old Olive and Early Espresso on Early Espresso) to have a sharp tone on tone look.  With darker colors of paper, I find that stamping tone on tone is more visible than using VersaMark ink.

I wasn't sure how I felt about More Mustard as the background for the invitation text, so I also made an insert with Naturals Ivory.  I think that small change tones down the entire palette, and gives this invitation a more refined look.  And this is very close (but not quite!) to the invitation that the couple choose.  Stay tuned for more!


Stamps: With Gratitude (retired)
Ink: Old Olive, Early Espresso
Paper: Old Olive, Early Espresso, Cajun Craze, More Mustard, Naturals Ivory

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Fall Wedding Invitation #1

Recently, I've been very busy with wedding invitations, so you can expect to see lots more of these in the coming weeks/months.  I have three samples for a wedding next fall that I'll be sharing first.  The couple is planning to take advantage of all the fall color, and wanted to carry that theme over to their invitations.  I can do that!!

You'll recognize this criss-cross pocket style from Hitty's and Steve's bold and bright summer wedding.  With just a quick change of the colors and stamps, this is ready for fall.  I used Chocolate Chip and Tangerine Tango (which has suddenly replaced Pumpkin Pie for my go-to fall shade of orange) for the folder, and stamped images from With Gratitude (retired) in Cajun Craze.  I'm so glad I got that stamp set!

For the cluster of falling leaves, I used my Big Shot and the Leaves #2 die to cut out Cajun Craze, So Saffron, and Old Olive, then embossed the couples' initials in gold using the Lovely Letters stamp set.  The amphersand is inked in Chocolate Chip, and all the leaves are popped with the dimmensionals for a little extra interest.

The insert card you see, which is where the invitation text will go, is Naturals Ivory mounted on Cajun Craze, and I rounded all the corners with the Corner Rounder Punch.

This is a large format invitation, 5.5 x 8.5 inches, which means that I need full sheets of each Chocolate Chip and Tangerine Tango to make the pocket.  The couple decided they want something smaller...so this invitation is up for grabs.  Are you planning a fall wedding?


Stamps: With Gratitude, Lovely Letters
Ink: Cajun Craze, VersaMark, Chocolate Chip
Paper: Chocolate Chip, Tangerine Tango, Cajun Craze, Naturals Ivory, So Saffron, Old Olive
Extras: Big Shot, Leaves #2 die, Gold Embossing Powder, Heat Tool, dimmensionals

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Red, Green & White Makes Merry & Bright!

Sorry, I can't help myself with the catchy titles!

I didn't know what else to add to this card but the more I looked at it, the more I realized it is perfect exactly for its simplicity.  The statement the real red makes against the whisper white is really nice and the trees do all the talking here.  One thing I encourage you to try is ribbon.  I had some of it but never used it (unless Mel and I were filling someone's card order that requested it).  I think it's just the perfect touch and adds something really classy.  And best of all, it's still easy to mail in a regular envelope because it lays flat.

Hard to believe I still don't have my own top note die and had to borrow Mel's.  Crazy!  That's definitely on my next order.

Happy Stamping!

Stamps: Patterned Pines (retired)
Ink: Garden Green
Paper: Real Red, Whisper White
Extras: Big Shot, Top Note die, Double Slit punch (retired), white ribbon

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Holiday Time, On My Mind...

Ok, I cheated that rhyme but you get the idea.  This card is a collaboration of 2 pretty awesome stamps: "the pointsetta wheel" and the 'Seasons Greetings' sentiment from the Many Merry Messages set.  I received these recently and couldn't wait to use them.  I'm sure you can see why!  Isn't this greeting simply beautiful???  The script had me from the first time I laid eyes on it.  Embossed in gold, it's simply elegant.  I tried something different by layering a few shapes from the decorative label punch.  I must say, punches do make card making easy-breezy.  Try layering some of your favorite shapes...even different sizes...and see what fabulous things you come up with.  =)

Happy Stamping!

Stamps: Many Merry Messages
Ink: Cherry Cobbler, Versamark
Paper: Crumb Cake, Cherry Cobbler, Confetti White 
Tools: gold embossing powder, heat tool, wheel guide, decorative label punch

Monday, November 15, 2010

Stop the Presses! This is AMAZING!!!

[Note: I've always wanted to say that.  If only I were in journalism!]

Starting today, and going until November 30, Stampin' Up! is offering its most amazing deal ever on the starter kit.  For 15 days, you can sign up at half off, so you'd get all this for only $87.50...

3 wood-mount stamp sets
1 clear-mount stamp set with clear block
1 Stampin' Around wheel with ink cartridge and handle
1 ink refill
2 card stock pack
1 Patterns Designer Series paper stack
4 Classic ink pads
1 VersaMark ink pad
2 Stampin' Write markers
Stampin' Dimmensionals
Stampin' Scrub
Stampin' Mist
Stamping sponge
SNAIL Adhesive
Blender pen
Decor Elements piece with applicator
8 catalogs
Business supplies, forms and tools

If you bought all of that on your own, it would cost you over $300.  And it keeps getting better--when you sign up, you can choose the stamps and inks that you want.  You also have the opportunity to become a demonstrator, but you don't have to sell a thing if you don't want to.  If you love to stamp, but have been worried about the idea of getting started because it would cost so much, this is the perfect deal for you!  It's also perfect if you've been thinking about becoming a demonstrator but were worried about the start up costs!

Either way, email if you'd like to join my team--Kiran and I would love to have more people to share the fun.  Join us!


Snowflakes Get Spoiled w/Aluminum Foil!

Gotta love a good rhyme, huh?  Happy Monday!

It's been one stressful weekend, jam-packed with things to do...namely, moving!  Ahh, the chaos, the stress and finally, the sense of completion when it's all done.  I'm almost there.

Good thing I made this card (and the next few) during our Spooky Saturday Stampin' Celebration over Halloween weekend.  I know it's hard to believe but Thanksgiving is almost here!!!  And that means, the holidays are right around the corner.  I like to get a head start on all things holidays by buying gifts early and getting my cards out early so my friends and family have more time to display them! =)  I hope this post gets you motivated to start your holiday cards.

You've already seen what I am sending out this year (if you missed it, search "Dasher") and though it's a beauty, I had fun playing with some other holiday stamp sets as well.  For this one, I tried to add shimmer with ordinary kitchen aluminum foil.  I think it's a quick & easy way to add some bling (without having to get out the embossing powder heat tool).  What do you think?

Hint: Use heavy duty aluminum foil.  I didn't have any on hand so I used the regular thin foil and it was hard to get the intricate cut-out of the die.  Plus, heavy duty foil is much easier to run the tape runner on (without tearing the snowflake) and much easier to handle when adhering to the card.

Happy Stamping!

Stamp Sets: Northern Hearts, Jolly Bingo Bits, Many Merry Messages
Ink: Pacific Point
Paper: Crumb Cake
Extras: Big Shot, Northern Frost Decorative Strip die, aluminum foil, white ribbon

Monday, November 8, 2010

Weekend Wrapup

It was a busy weekend, stamping-wise.  Not only did I make this lovely card, but I got to share it with others because my good friend Kathy hosted a small, private class for some of her friends to learn the stamping basics.  Kathy was there at the very beginning, and took part in an entertaining session of Valentine making with Kiran and myself way back when--lots of laughter involved!  I'm glad that we still had lots of laughs on Sunday...and that our cards turned out a little bit nicer than those Valentines.  

I got the initial inspiration for this card from LeeAnn Greff's great double medallion card.  I thought layering the medallions is a brilliant idea!  But I wanted a bold palette for my card, so I decided to use the combination of Rose Red, Elegant Eggplant and Baja Breeze that I found in the Stampin' Up! Color Coach.  I love how these vibrant colors look together, so I'm sure I'll be using them again.

Though there's lots on this card, it took minimal stamping, thanks to background stamps.  While I love the medallion on medallion look, I was afraid that there was too much open Rose Red space, so I added En Francais in Elegant Eggplant over the Rose Red Medallion.  Perfect!  Next, I stamped the Day of Gratitude medallion in Versamark on the Elegant Eggplant, then heat embossed in gold.  PAUSE: If you've never heat embossed, you've got to try it!  I still ooh and aah when I see the transformation from dusty powder to a polished finish.  Everyone at Kathy's party loved this!

I needed a sentiment, and Thank You Kindly came to the rescue yet again.  The sentiment fits perfectly in the new Decorative Label punch from the Holiday Mini.  My final touch was just a few of the pearls.  I don't know if the card needed them, but I definitely needed to use them.  Fun, fun.

I was also making out a new wishlist this weekend, because the Occasions Mini catalog appeared on the demonstrator website last Friday.  Customers can't see the catalog until January, but a great demonstrator perk is getting both a sneak peek and the chance to order a month earlier than everyone else.  Plus a discount!  If you've ever thought about being a demonstrator, you should do it--send me an email and I'd be happy to answer all your questions.


Stamps: Medallion, En Francais, Day of Gratitude, Thank You Kindly
Ink: Rose Red, Elegant Eggplant, Versamark
Paper: Rose Red, Elegant Eggplant, Baja Breeze
Extras: Paper Snips, Embossing Buddy, Gold Embossing Powder, Embossing Trays, Heat Tool, pearls

Friday, November 5, 2010

Have a Seat and Celebrate!

This is my favorite card made with Have a Seat--something about these chairs just works perfectly for an engagement (or a party, as in yesterday's post).  Maybe an engagement party?  I don't have anyone lined up for this YET, but I'm sure that someone will snatch these up very soon.

TIP: For an easy, refined look, put an 1/8" border in a neutral color around your layers.


Stamps: Have a Seat, Together Forever (retired)
Ink: Early Espresso, Basic Black
Paper: White Naturals, Blushing Bride, Basic Black

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Have a Seat

...and enjoy these cards!  Last year I fell in love with the elegant line art of the silverware in Compliments to the Chef.  This year, I can't get enough of Have a Seat for the same reasons.  There's something about the simplicity and the realism of these images that just appeals to me.  I'd seen a number of cards that pair the chairs with this sentiment from Word Play, so I had to make one of my own while playing with this new set of Kiran's.  What do you think?

TIP: With clear mount blocks, you can assemble a number of stamps at once and mass produce your cards.  Since I already had the three chairs lined up on a clear block, I decided to make another card for another occasion.  I replaced the sentiment from Word Play with one from Afterthoughts (hostess level 1), and now have a perfect party invitation.  Hopefully I'll have a reason to use this soon, because I love it!  Check back tomorrow for my favorite (thus far) of Have a Seat cards.


Stamps: Have a Seat, Word Play, Afterthoughts
Ink: Early Espresso, Cherry Cobbler
Paper: Crumb Cake

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Kiran's Holiday Cards for 2010

I realize I'm revealing the cards before they go out, but just look at them!  Can you blame me?!?!  Last year, I used the Medallion and this year I've been dying to use Dasher.  He's just so regal and elegant looking in his pose, isn't he?  I added some extra sparkle (snowflakes coming off his antlers) thanks to Serene Snowflakes and combined it with the gorgeous sentiment from Many Merry Messages, this card is a stunner!  I think the "snow" vellum is the perfect finishing touch.

I really wanted a holiday card this year that wasn't red or blue or green and was still distinctive and elegant.  I think I accomplished my goal, don't you?

Happy Stamping!

Stamp: Dasher, Many Merry Messages, Serene Snowflakes
Ink: Versa
Paper: Chocolate Chip, Crumb Cake, Vellum
Extras: Gold embossing powder, heat embossing tool

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Clean and Simple Christmas

Now that it's November, I'm beginning to anticipate the holidays.  Will I be ready?  It's hard to say...so I'm getting started now.  This week's sketch over at Clean&Simple Stamping, Fall-To-Layout 114 immediately made me think of my Bingo Bits stamp set--it's perfect for a simple card like this, and the combinations are endless.

I used Cherry Cobbler, Early Espresso and Garden Green to stamp the images on Crumb Cake.  I was also using Pacific Point, but smudged my snowman.  No worries!  I stamped the snowman onto a scrap of White Naturals, and then punched it out with the 1/2" circle punch.  I did the same with the snowflake, just to keep it even, then attached both to the card with dimmensionals.  The final touch is my sentiment, from Four the Holidays, inked in Early Espresso.

This would be a very easy card to reproduce.  I have grander visions (of course!), but if those don't work out, this will certainly do the trick.


Stamps: Bingo Bits, Four the Holidays
Ink: Early Espresso, Cherry Cobbler, Pacific Point, Garden Green
Paper: Crumb Cake, White Naturals
Extras: dimmensionals, 1/2" Circle Punch

Monday, November 1, 2010

Our Super Scary Stampin' Set-up!

I'm sure you've wondered what it looks like when Mel & I get together to stamp it up, down & all around.  Well, here's the visual.  This was our table from our scary Halloween sleepover.  It's always fun to just spread out and see what you've got & play!

Hope this inspires you to get creative (and even a little messy)!

Happy Stamping!