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SUOC11 – Cherry Espresso Valentine

SUOC11 – Cherry Espresso Valentine published on 5 Comments on SUOC11 – Cherry Espresso Valentine

Today’s challenge over at SUO Challenges is Valentine’s Day cards.  Appropriately enough, I am kicking off Sale-a-bration with a card class that includes a Valentine’s Day card.  I can’t wait to make this card with my classes this week! 

I started with two of my favorite colors and a new stamp set from the Occasions Mini called Be My Valentine.  I inked the entire stamp in Cherry Cobbler and stamped it on Very Vanilla paper.  Then I cleaned off the red and inked up the word banner in Early Espresso and stamped it again.  As a helpful hint, stamp your reds first and set them aside to dry.  Something about red inks take longer to dry, especially on Stampin’ Up’s ultra-smooth card stocks (like Vanilla and Whisper White).  I took my smaller Espresso piece and ran it through my Big Shot using the Square Lattice Embossing Folder and then did the ribbon scrunching technique on top of a line of Sticky Strip.  Once that layer was completed, I went back to the Cherry heart and cut it out leaving a little border and cutting the banner from the edges.  The Espresso banner was cut next to layer on top of the Cherry heart.  A couple of helpful hints:

1.  With any broad flat stamps, it is helpful to take a sanding block to the surface (gently, of course).  I sand in all directions and then clean it off with Stampin’ Mist on my Stampin’ Scrub.  This gets rid of the “too smooth” finish on the stamp and helps ink adhere better (yes, I noticed AFTER the card was done that I needed to do this…it is fixed now!).

2.  After the banner is cut, take a Stampin’ Write marker and ink the edges of the paper to finish the look.  If you work from behind the image, you reduce the chance of a mistake.

The banner was attached to the heart and the heart was popped up on Dimensionals, as was the inner panel.  Finally, I added some Basic Pearls to the flowers on the heart to add a little elegance.

I can’t wait to see your Valentine entries into the challenge.  Don’t forget to go see the amazing work of the whole design team!  I’ll be back Thursday with another ColorLab challenge and on Friday with Stampin’ Addicts Sale-a-bration Blog Hop!

Stylish Blogger?

Stylish Blogger? published on 6 Comments on Stylish Blogger?

Who would have thought that I could be stylish??!!  Apparently, two of my favorite stampers do and that means a lot to me!!  Cindy over at Heart’s Delight Cards and Heidi at RunningwScissorsStamper have awarded me this honor.  Thanks to both of them!!

Now the rules of this are:

I have to tell you 8 things that you may not know about me and pass this on to 8 of my favorite stampers.  So here goes with what you may not know:

1.  I grew up in Orlando, Florida and much of my family still lives in Florida.

2.  I was a Math major at Florida State University and was in Air Force ROTC there.  This is where I started flying and had the good fortune of being selected to go to Pilot Training.

3.  I lived in the country of Panama for three years.

4.  I have been qualified on lots of airplanes in my life:  T-37, T-38 (Instructor), C-130E/H, B727 (Flight Engineer), B737, B757, B767, Airbus 319/320.

5.  I look forward to the day that the pilots and other employees of United Airlines get reprieve from the bankruptcy contract where they took 50-65% pay cuts to save the company.

6.  I love stamping with my friends!  They make the most beautiful cards and they have a wonderful variety of styles.  I always learn something from them.

7.  I really, REALLY want to go to Stampin’ Up’s Convention this year so that I can meet in person some of the lovely stamping friends I have met through my blog.

8.  I have never been very artsy until the last few years.  While I was on maternity leave with my oldest, my husband deployed for the beginning of the Iraq war.  In order to fill time, I went to Stampin’ Up classes, sewing classes, cake decorating classes.  One of the reasons I love Stampin’ Up so much is that the products proved to me that I have a creative side and made it easy to make beautiful things!  Oh, and I still make cakes too.

Cindy and Heidi are a great source of inspiration.  Others whose blogs I love (in no particular order):

1.  Sarah Wills –

2.  Debra Burgin –

3.  Krystal De Leeuw –

4.  Yapha Mason –

5.  Lisa Young –

6.  Jen Mitchell –

7.  Jennifer Weide –

8.  Karen Barber –

I hope you have learned a little about me and maybe found a new favorite blog to go visit.  Thanks for stopping in today.  I’ll be back next Tuesday with SUO Challenge #11 and I’m busily working on my projects for the Stampin’ Addicts SAB Blog Hop that starts in a week.  See you soon!

ColorLab 25

ColorLab 25 published on 10 Comments on ColorLab 25

While my weather outside certainly doesn’t match, I am starting my “seasonal stamper’s disorder” color switch over to spring colors.  Good thing ColorLab has some colors just for me this week! 

Umm, Jen…Old Olive and More Mustard kind of feel like Fall, you are saying??  Not when paired with Pacific Point!!  Ok, and not when used with a fun little flower set.  I just knew that the Pacific Point HAD to be used for flowers and what better set that A Flower For All Seasons?  This is a set that never lets me down when I want a fun little note.  I just pulled out my blender pen and had this little image colored in no time.  I used my Watercolor paper to insure the best blending.  A little Old Olive on the Frog and the stems, More Mustard on the pail, the bright and happy Pacific Point on the flowers and a little more Old Olive to ground the image.  The sentiment comes from the Hostess Level 2 set Apple Blossoms.

That Olive DSP looks familiar doesn’t it?  It is from the Jolly Holiday pack…not just for Christmas!  I almost made this one without ribbon and a bow but then…well, I was compelled by the magnetic pull of my ribbon drawer to pull out my narrow Vanilla taffeta.  What can I say…I love a bow!

I hope you have time to join us this week over at ColorLab.  I’d love to see what you can do with these colors!  I hope you have a great end of your week.  See you again soon!

Stamps:  A Flower For All Seasons (111592), Apple Blossoms (118531 – W); Paper:  Jolly Holiday DSP (117159), Old Olive (100702), Very Vanilla (101650), Watercolor (105019); Ink:  Old Olive (100079), More Mustard (100076), Pacific Point (120968); Accessories:  Blender Pen (102845), Scallop Edge Border Punch (119882), Very Vanilla 1/8″ Taffeta Ribbon (119960), Brights Buttons (119747), Dimensionals (104430)

Crazy about MDS!

Crazy about MDS! published on 10 Comments on Crazy about MDS!

You may have noticed that I have updated the look of my blog banner!  It may even look familiar and you would be right.  It is the Travel Journal DSP from last year’s Summer Mini made into a Digital Kit for My Digital Studio (MDS).  The digital kit not only includes the paper but the stamp set too!  I have to admit that it seems tailor made for a blog called Stampin’ on the Fly!!  All I had to do was copy the paper as a JPEG file and insert it into my header.  Easy, peasy!! 

With that done, I moved on to making my own shopping button.  As promised, I now have an on-line store and wanted my button to match the blog header.  I started with a blank card template, filled an oval punch with “paper” then added my airplane stamp and a text box.  A little swirl (made with low opacity) and I was done.  I love it!  I also love that I can change the look anytime I want.

I have a couple more pictures to show you from an MDS calendar I created for my husband as a Christmas present.  I downloaded the Notable Desktop Calendar Kit and all I had to do was put in the pictures.  I changed very little because the pages are so great! 

I might be a little biased but aren’t these pages awesome??!!  This is what the kit contains:

The “paper” in the set is really fantastic and you can see how well done the layouts are.  Both of these kits are available for MDS in Window or Mac OS X.  I am a My Digital Studio Certified Instructor so if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.  If you want to see more of the downloads available, take a look at the Digital Crafting section of my online store.

Thanks for stopping by today.  Let me know what fabulous things you have created with MDS…I’d love to see them! 

All products are Stampin’ Up!

Birthday Party and a Blog Candy Winner!

Birthday Party and a Blog Candy Winner! published on 19 Comments on Birthday Party and a Blog Candy Winner!

Thank you, thank you, thank you to all who left comments last week for my blog-iverary!!  I am so thrilled that you have joined me on this creative journey and it was so nice hearing from you.  Right to the blog candy winner.  Using, here are the results:

True Random Number Generator


Jen Conrad, that means you are the winner.  I will e-mail you to get your mailing information and if you don’t hear from me today, please contact me. 

It seems that I’m not the only one with a reason to celebrate.  Stampin’ Celebration has madeover their blog and are throwing a bit of a party!  Here is their inspiration challenge for this week:

I also saw that the Operators over at Stampin’ 411 have a sketch challenge this week and it is a great one.  It includes tearing on the base layer.  Always a great way to add quick texture to a project! 

While I love the balloons, I also noticed the little pennants on the table of the inspiration piece.  I decided to pull out my Brights Patterns Designer Series Paper Pack and my Party Hearty stamp set to see what happened. 

The little hats turned into pennants!  Oh, I love this stamp set for the variety of cards it makes!  The words are from a retired A La Carte set called Birthday Wish.  These little sets really are super for specific stamp needs!  I colored a piece of thread with my Daffodil Delight Stampin’ Write Marker so I could “hang” the pennants.  I really love the torn Melon Mambo piece with the pop of Daffodil Delight torn above it. 

Thanks again to all my followers!  I’m looking forward to another fun year of stampin’ and blogging!  I’ll be back tomorrow to tell you about my new blog header and some fun with MDS.

Stamps:  Party Hearty (111532), Birthday Wishes (retired); Paper:  Brights DSP Pack (117155), Melon Mambo, Pacific Point, Daffodil Delight (Brights Card Stock 119706), Whisper White (100730);  Ink:  Brights Stampin’ Write Markers (119701); Accessories:  Brights Designer Buttons (119744), Glue Dots (103683), Dimensionals (104430), Non-SU Thread

All products are Stampin’ Up unless otherwise indicated.

Sale-a-bration Starter Kit Bonus Bundle

Sale-a-bration Starter Kit Bonus Bundle published on No Comments on Sale-a-bration Starter Kit Bonus Bundle

We all know that Sale-a-bration (SAB) is truly a time for celebration at Stampin’ Up!  If you have received your SAB flyer, take a look at the back page and you will see a special offer.  If you start your Stampin’ Up business during Sale-a-bration (Jan. 25th – Mar. 31st), you will receive a bonus bundle of over $50 in free products.  That’s right, more free products!!  Take a look at what you can get:

Color Coach   p. 155

Something Special Simply Sent (or any Simply Sent Kit)   p. 183

Live, Laugh, Love Stamp Set (or any Simply Sent stamp set)   p. 183

Heart to Heart Punch (or any punch values $17.95 or less)   p. 202  

 This is in addition to the amazing savings already offered on the Starter Kit!  There are so many advantages to starting your business during Sale-a-bration!  When you sign up to be a demonstrator, you save 30% on your first demonstrator order (made within 45 days).  During SAB, you will also receive your SAB benefits and free stamps for that order along with any hostess benefits.  WOW!!

I’d love you to consider starting your business with me.  If you have questions or need further information, you can click here for my contact information.  Becoming a Stampin’ Up demonstrator is one of the best decisions I have ever made.  Let me help you take your next step on your creative journey!

CL24 – Blushing Blossoms

CL24 – Blushing Blossoms published on 12 Comments on CL24 – Blushing Blossoms

The colors for today’s ColorLab Challenge 24 are really beautiful!  Just take a look:

These colors lend themselves to soft, vintage style cards.  While I would love to tell you that is what I made today…it wasn’t happening.  Believe me, I tried to make it happen but I had to cut my losses and make something else.  After over an hour of trying to force things, I pulled out my Apple Blossoms hostess set to see what came of it.  Thankfully, a much better card.  I inked up the big and little blossoms of the set with Blushing Bride and used a sponge dauber to add Rose Red around the edges.  How pretty they are together!  Soft Suede for the stems and the flowers were done.  The stem for the little flower is just the stamp for the stem done upside down.  I inked the words in Blushing Bride and sponged on the residual Rose Red to make the sentiment match.  My touch of Crumb Cake is the new Crumb Cake Seam Binding from the Occasions Mini.

While the colors are soft, they aren’t as soft as this picture looks.  I guess some days are just like that when you are stamping.  The layout comes from the wonderful team over at Stampin’ 411 and their SSC185.

Thanks so much for stopping in today.  I can’t wait to see the beautiful things you create with these colors!!  Don’t forget to go to this post to see the blog candy offered for my blog-iversary!  See you again soon!

Stamp:  Apple Blossoms; Paper:  Soft Suede, Blushing Bride, Very Vanilla; Ink:  Rose Red, Blushing Bride, Soft Suede; Accessories:  Stamp-a-ma-jig, Crumb Cake Seam Binding, Basic Pearls

All products are Stampin’ Up!

My Blog-iversary Celebration!

My Blog-iversary Celebration! published on 24 Comments on My Blog-iversary Celebration!

Technically, my blog-iversary was last week (Jan. 5th) but this seemed a better week to celebrate.  As promised, I am bringing you a box tutorial today and, as part of the celebration, some blog candy!  Ohh, I love blog candy!!  Since the box used to make the tutorial is already spoken for, I made another one with a little set of matching cards.  Now in order to be in the running to win this set, you have to do two things.  First you have to leave me a comment and (a little harder) tell me which of my cards has been your favorite over the last year (I love to see which ones are really hits!).  I will randomly choose a winner from all the comments left through 10pm EST on Sunday, Jan. 16th and announce the winner on Monday.  Winner must have a U.S. mailing address.  I think my favorite is from the post Monochromatic Wish and I used this as a model for some of my Christmas cards this year. Now to the tutorial.

Start with 2 pieces of card stock measuring 4 1/8″ x 6″, 2 pieces of designer paper measuring 3 1/4″ x 4 3/8″ and 2 pieces of designer paper measuring 3 1/4″ x 7/8″.  Any additional embellishments are up to you.  Score the card stock along the long side at 4 1/2″ and 5 1/2″ and on the short side at 3/4″.  Fold along all the score lines and cut off the little rectangle as shown in the picture.

Attach the designer paper and then run a line of Sticky Strip down the narrow flap on each piece of card stock.  Pull the red protection layer off of one strip and attach it to the inner side of the large rectange on the sister piece of stock.  Finish the sides of the box by doing the same with the other narrow flap.

Tuck the little bottom flaps in first and then run another line of Sticky Strip along one of the bottom flaps (the one that will be at the outside of the box bottom).  Now you can decorate the box however you want!  This will hold 4-5 cards and their envelopes depending on the decorations on the cards.  I like that you can see the top part of the cards and any stamping on the envelopes.  It is also great because it is super quick to put together…perfect as a gift or blog candy!!

Oh, yes…back to the blog candy!  Here are some pictures of the set you are entering for:

This is a four card set with two “thanks” cards and two “for you” cards.  Only four fit in the box because of the size of the bow.  That said, it would be easy to give the box more depth by simply making the stock a little longer and scoring wider apart.  I used the Friends Never Fade stamp set and the Greenhouse Gala DSP to decorate this box and make the cards.  They are done in Pear Pizzazz, Early Espresso and Whisper White.

I pulled out the tag punches and flowers cut from Greenhouse Gala to make the little tag on the box.  It was stamped with Teeny Tiny Wishes, a wonderfully versatile set that I reach for all the time!  The bow on the cards uses the technique I showed in a previous tutorial – Ribbons and Bows.  The only difference is that I left tails on the cards’ bows.  This is a bow I use all the time and I can show that further if there is enough interest (just let me know by your comments).  The bow on the box uses a threaded button to cinch it down but is very similar.  I tried to keep the embellishments down to a minimum since the simplicity is part of the joy of this project!

This first year with the blog has had quite a learning curve and I so appreciate the lovely comments and support you have given.  Things to look for in the upcoming year…a new Demonstrator Based Web Site (DBWS) where you can order from the comfort of your home (coming Jan. 17th), added features to help with the blog ease of use and, of course, more projects!  Thanks for stopping by today.  I can’t wait to see your comments!

Stamps:  Say It Simply (Occasions Mini), Friends Never Fade; Paper:  Greenhouse Gala DSP, Pear Pizzazz, Early Espresso, Whisper White; Ink:  Pear Pizzazz, Early Espresso; Accessories:  Espresso Satin Ribbon, Neutrals Buttons, Sticky Strip, Glue Dots

All products are Stampin’ Up!

SUOC 10 – Hello Baby

SUOC 10 – Hello Baby published on 10 Comments on SUOC 10 – Hello Baby

Our challenge over at SUO Challenges today is to create baby cards (or anything related to babies like baptisms, showers, etc.).  Talk about great timing!  A sweet friend of mine just had her first baby and I knew just what I wanted to make for her.  One of the greatest things I got when my oldest was born was a set of cards for him.  I had no idea then how many thank-you cards I would need for all the fantastic support I would receive.  I just knew that the new mommy would appreciate some cards for her little one.  Ever since she found out she was pregnant, the baby has been called their little monkey and the nursury is full of wonderful monkey themed items.  Naturally, the monkey from Fox & Friends was required for this project!  Here is the total set and then I’ll follow up with individual shots and specifics:

I made a box with five thank-you notes and a coordinating gift card.  The box template was created by me to accomodate the 4 1/4″ x 4 1/4″ cards and their envelopes (details on the box will follow tomorrow).  I made two styles of gift cards, one with an Early Espresso base and one with an Old Olive, that are very similar.  Finally I wanted a more personalized gift card for little Logan.

Logan’s nursery is decorated in green and brown so I used a design from the Play Date DSP as a starting point.  I really wanted to put the baby’s name on the card but didn’t have an alphabet set that was the right size.  Hmmm…what to do??  My Digital Studio (MDS) to the rescue!!  You may recognize the letters as the ABC Alphabet Lower.  The beautiful thing with MDS is that I can re-size things and that is just what I did here by shrinking the letters a little.  I printed it out on Whisper White card stock and then cut it to the layer size I wanted.  Of course the colors coordinate perfectly since MDS uses just the right color codes.  The rest of the card was really quick with a stamp of the monkey in Early Espresso and a little piercing with my piercing tool.  I tied on a little bit of Early Espresso Satin Ribbon to finish.

You can get a better look at the front of the box here and the two styles of cards.  I really just flipped the card stock colors and tied the buttons on opposite sides.  This makes the cards stack a little nicer in the box.  The sentiment is from Say It Simply (Occasions Mini) and seems to be just the right word set for everything I am making lately.

Here is the box with all the cards in place and the gift card.  I did stamp the envelopes too just to complete the package.

I hope that she loves this little set.  Mommy is one of my stampers who moved away and I want her to know how happy we are for her and her husband!  I hope that you can play along with this challenge (remember that you have two weeks to play).  Don’t forget to stop over at the SUO Challenges site to see the other amazing projects!  Thanks for stopping in today.  Please join me again tomorrow for the box tutorial and a blogiversary celebration!

Stamps:  Fox & Friends, Teeny Tiny Wishes, Short & Sweet (inside card); Paper:  Play Date DSP, Early Espresso, Old Olive, Whisper White; Ink:  Early Espresso, Old Olive; Accessories:  Early Espresso Satin Ribbon, Old Olive Wide Grosgrain Ribbon, Designer Buttons (Brights and Neutrals), Mat Pack, Paper Piercing Tool, Glue Dots, Sticky Strip, My Digital Studio

All products are Stampin’ Up!

ColorLab 23

ColorLab 23 published on 11 Comments on ColorLab 23

Welcome to the first ColorLab Challenge of the new year!  Our first color combination is so beautiful, so spring-like, so….well you get the point.  I love it!  Take a look:

The new focus this year for the color challenges is to use the actual ColorLab as the inspiration.  If you ever wonder “what goes with ____ (color of choice)”, then this is the place for you!  We all have our go-to palettes but struggle with certain others.  This will help you put colors together that are sure to work! 

My card today was one of the last thank-yous that I needed post-Christmas.  I told you that my stamping resolution was to try to get cards out on time and I only needed one more.  Pretty good, given my normal track record.  I’ll say that this one came together quickly since I was definitely ready for a change of pace. 

Marina Mist is really a fantastic blue.  I admit that I hadn’t take a serious look at it until recently.  I was so excited to see Baja Breeze come back in the Color Revolution and then I was straight into Christmas stamping.  I can’t wait to use this one more (and to get more coordinating accessories…translated, taffeta and satin ribbon).  The grosgrain I used was a gift from my upline who knew I would fall in love with it.  The background paper is the Playdate DSP and the Pear Paper comes from Greenhouse Gala.  I inked up the flower from Friends Never Fade using my Stampin’ Write markers and used the sentiment from Say It Simply (Occasions Mini).  I love that the DSPs do all of the work and make the most of a basic layout! 

Don’t forget to go over to the ColorLab Challenge and see the fantastic work of the other designers!  I’m going to be un-decorating my house for the next few days but I have another fantastic project planned for Tuesday and the next SUO Challenge.  Thanks for stopping by…see you soon!

Stamps:  Friends Never Fade, Say It Simply (Occasions Mini); Paper:  Play Date DSP, Greenhouse Gala DSP, Marina Mist, Whisper White; Ink:  Marina Mist, So Saffron, Pear Pizzazz; Accessories:  Marina Mist Narrow Grosgrain, Neutrals Designer Buttons, Dimensionals

All products are Stampin’ Up!

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