Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Something New: AN Online Class

Stampin’ Up is now offering a downloadable class.  It costs $14.95 and is item 133385.  You can buy it online and then download it immediately to your Mac or PC.  It does NOT require the My Digital Studio program.   After making your purchase the system will prompt you to download and you need to select “For Other Applications” even if you do have MDS.

I purchased it this morning to try it out.  I made a card from the tutorial to share.  I did make a couple of modifications because I think the content probably has a copyright since it’s not free and I didn’t want to get into trouble.  lol 

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The download has written tutorials for 34 projects (mostly cards), along with complete supplies lists and training tips.  The only downside is that while there are dimensions listed for the completed projects, you have to guess when you cut the elements to make the projects.  (I’ve filled out a form suggesting that they add cutting dimensions, but whether they will is another thing.)  The download also includes 8 video tutorials that correspond with a project to better describe the technique and offer some quick tips.

There are 6 sections which include: Basic Stamping, Stamp-A-Ma-Jig, Masking, Embossing (dry & heat), Markers & Watercoloring, and Big Shot & Punches.  It starts with very basic stamping and progressively adds tools and techniques to help the stamper become more comfortable and confident creating the projects.  The lessons are short, but have good information.  The card I made today was from the basic stamping section and featured 2nd generation stamping. 

I think the tutorials are great for beginners because they teach stamping techniques without being overwhelming.  Stampers will learn to stamp off, omit images with markers, use two-step stamps, do several masking techniques, use the stampin' spritzer, use blender pens, use aqua painters, use embossing folders, do heat embossing, use the stamp-a-ma-jig, use the Simply Scored Tool, create drop-shadows, do emboss resist, learn simple shading, learn several watercoloring ideas, see the versatility of the Big Shot, and MORE!  All with quick lessons that are easy-to-follow.  While more experienced stampers already know how to do these basic techniques, it’s nice to have the project ideas for when “stamper-block” hits (not that I know anything about that!  lol) or to use the ideas as a springboard to fancier cards.

Happy Stampin’

Monday, February 25, 2013

Vintage Floral

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I didn’t make this card, but I watched as it came together.  My friend, Margaret, was here crafting and had this idea.  I love the vintage feel.  She stamped the outline images from the Stippled Blossoms stamp set and then ran the cardstock through the square lattice embossing folder.  I have a thing for butterflies, so I suggested she add some & I love them on there.

Happy Stampin!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Beautiful Butterflies

I love butterflies.  My name, Vanessa, even means butterfly.  That said, I didn’t buy the new Swallowtail stamp.  I liked it because it is a butterfly, but I didn’t know what I would do with it.  Now I might have to get it.  I’ve seen some really pretty cards that use this one large stamp.

First, I received this card from my friend & customer, Joyce F.  I love the bright colors and the way the embossing makes the butterfly really pop.  I really like the design of this card too, with the extra mat that sets off the image.

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I also did some Make-n-Takes at the local demonstrator meeting last week.

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I love this brown & pink theme.  It reminds me of a Vera Bradley purse I’ve been wanting.  This card design was created by a local demonstrator, Melody.  I love her style.  Melody’s sample card looked better than my version because she didn’t put her thumb into the edge and mess up the embossing power.  lol  I guess that will be “my” signature for this one. 

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It’s great how the same stamp looks so different depending on the color scheme.  I don’t remember who created this idea (sorry!)  I love the Pool Party embossing powder against the white cardstock.  I also like that my thumb didn’t mess up the image on this one.

I really love these.  Sigh.. I guess this means Stampin’ Up will get more of my money.  It’s good I’m a demonstrator to help support my rubber stamp addiction.  hehe 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Chalkboard Fun!

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This month I introduced my hostess club members to chalk art.  I think it’s a fun technique that’s really hot in the crafting world right now.  (Actually it’s hot elsewhere too.  I just saw a tv ad for the grocery store, Safeway, and they are using it as their theme!)  Most of all, it’s easy and takes only some black paper, white ink, & a white pencil. 

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine’s Day

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I call this my “Minnie Mouse” Valentine because the red dot designer paper reminds me of Minnie.  I made the card for my husband because he has a thing for Minnie Mouse.  She’s his all time favorite Disney character. 

While I had out the “One in a Million” stamp set, I also made a wedding card in the same color scheme. 

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Hope you have a day filled with love & stamping! 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

It’s Mardi Gras time

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Ok, so technically this isn’t a Mardi Gras card, but when I looked at it that’s what I thought about.  The gold & purple (it is purple, not black) just needed a bit of green to make it fit in perfectly!  Anyway, enjoy your Fat Tuesday!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Lunar New Year

Happy Chinese New Year!  Today marks the beginning of a celebration that will last for 15 days.  2013 is the year of the snake, so I made “snake” themed greeting cards for a couple of close family & friends.  (Honestly I intended to send cards to lots of people, but I waited too long & only had a chance to make a couple.  Maybe you know how that goes?  lol)

Here is the card I created using Stampin’ Up supplies, but my images were stamped using another brand of rubber stamps.  (Dear Stampin’ Up, please make some Asian-themed stamps…)

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I kept my color theme classic with red & gold.  Red is symbolic of happiness & gold is a symbol of power.  These are colors that are always used in celebrating the Lunar New Year. 

We’re celebrating on Monday night by going out to dinner with friends.  I’m looking forward to some yummy Chinese food.  I may have some long noodles to symbolize long life & I know we’ll eat lettuce wraps, not only because they taste so good, but because the Cantonese (my husband’s family speaks Cantonese, not Mandarin) word for lettuce sounds like rising fortune and we can certainly use some good fortune for the new year.   

Gung Hay Fat Choy!
(Peace and Prosperity!)

Friday, February 8, 2013

My Online Stampers Team

I do have local customers, but the majority of my customers live out of town.  While they miss out on my events, I’m still here for them to help in any way I can.  I maintain this blog for them so that I can provide some crafty inspiration.  I also keep in touch on a personal level.  Stampin’ Up has allowed me to make friends all over the USA & I think that’s awesome!  Once I started a downline (stampers who sign up as a demonstrator through me,) I needed a name for the group.  Since so many people found me online, that’s what I named my team:  Online Stampers.  This isn’t to say that all of my downline are out of town, because I do have some local folks, but I did meet most of them online because we share a common passion of stamping. 

No one ever just finds me and signs up as a Stampin’ Up demonstrator.  They start out as customers & really good customers at that!  One such person is Doris S.  She lives in Minnesota and has been my customer for some time.  In December she took the plunge and decided to become a demonstrator.  People sign up for many reasons and Doris signed up to be a “hobby” demonstrator.  She wanted the perks and discounts.  Now she can place her own orders & save money every time.  That is a great incentive!  She’s always sent me really pretty cards & recently she shared some of her current works so that I could share them with you. 

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She made this pretty card with the Secret Garden stamp set & coordinating Framelits.  I love purple, so I was happy to see this card!  It looks so much like spring.  It’s a little hard to tell from the photo, but I think those flowers have some bling too!  I don’t own this stamp set, but now I think I “need” to buy it.  hehe

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This cute card uses some of the Sale-a-Bration items to make a Valentine.  She used the Pretty Petites stamp set & coordinating punch with the Vine Street Embossing folder.  I love how she punched out the hearts and added them to the images.  It’s really hard to make a Valentine that isn’t too “girly” for the men in our life, but I think this one hits the mark. 

If you live in the Jackson, Minnesota, area & are looking for a demonstrator or a stampin’ partner, please let me know so I can get you in touch with Doris.

What about you?  If you’re reading this, you’re probably one of my customers.  Have you thought about becoming a demonstrator so you can get discounts on your supplies?  Feel free to contact me for more info on how you can be part of my Online Stampers team. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A Little Sentimental

I’ve been playing with the Feeling Sentimental stamp set, which may be selected for free with a $50 order during Sale-a-Bration.  While I like all the images, I think the phone booth (aka- telephone box) is my favorite.  I wanted to capture it’s “British” feel by using red, white & blue on my card.  I used A Fitting Occasion set to make the tags for both cards.  I like the simple card better, but I’m sharing both.

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**Tomorrow (February 7th) is national Send a Card to a Friend Day!  Now that’s a holiday we can all enjoy!  Smile

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Celebrating 25 Years

In celebration of their 25th Anniversary, Stampin’ Up is bringing back some of your favorite stamps.  Each month they will release a themed stamp set with some of the best images of the past 25 years.  Plus each set will have one, brand-new, never before released stamp.

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Also beginning this month, when you buy the “Best Of” set you’ll receive a sticker and a Collector’s Card.  SAVE THOSE STICKERS!!  You’ll want to adhere those to your Collector’s Card.  Once you’ve purchased 6 “Best Of” sets, you can send in your Collector’s Card for a free stamp set of your choice valued up to $14.95!  What an awesome deal!  

**Note:  The January set of Best of Birthdays does NOT include the Collector’s Card & Sticker.  It’s still a cute set, but it won’t count toward your purchase of 6.**

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Friday, February 1, 2013

Simply Scored Borders

Did you notice the new scoring tool in the Spring catalog?  I ordered it thinking that it does the work of my embossing folders and I wasn’t sure it was something I needed.  Well, I now understand why it’s available!  Have you ever been making a project and wanted an embossed edge on a part that wouldn’t fit thru your BigShot or Cuttlebug?  I have and in the past I end up cutting an extra piece of cardstock so I can add the embossing folder and make it fit through the machine.  This little tool solves that problem.  I can do it without a folder and save cardstock by using this Simply Scored Border plate.  I also love that I can add an embossed border on bigger sheets of cardstock when I’m doing my scrapbook pages.

I made a sweet, retro-style Valentine using this scoring plate.  That plus the Storytime designer paper made this card a snap to put together.  Plus it gave me a chance to use the new That’s the Ticket stamp set.  I don’t even own the coordinating punch (yet!) but they were easy to snip out.  (Unfortunately I left this card on my craft table while I was making other cards and I accidently got the outline from another stamp on it.  Eeek.  I was going to re-do it, but I didn’t have any more of this paper.  I guess that just shows it really isn’t perfect, but rather homemade with love!)

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Here’s the video about this new product from the Stampin’ Up home office: