Saturday, September 20, 2014

Choose Happiness

I thought sharing this card would be a good choice for me today. The stamp set I used is called "Choose Happiness" and it was one that Stampin' Up Co-Founder & President Shelli Gardner presented with at Convention this past July.

This set is perfect for the vintage style that I love oh so much. There are two sentiments in this set: "When I need a friend you're there" and "Choose Happiness." I love them both.

I have actually made a conscious decision lately to choose to be happy so this stamp set is perfect. It's so easy to let life get you down and beat you up, but if you just face each day looking for the "happy" or the joy, life is so much more fun!

I'm thinking I might send the card above to a special friend at Stampin' Up. She's been so super helpful to me not to mention very encouraging as I've tackled some new goals.

Here is another card I made with this stamp set. It's the perfect reminder of my current mantra.

As I said, vintage is my go-to style and I think this one has plenty of that. Lots and lots of layering.

I love how this set is perfect for collage stamping. Have you tried collage stamping? It's basically just layering image on top of image like I did with the flowers in Hello Honey ink and the leaves in smoky slate ink. I also layered the Blackberry Bliss border image on top of the flowers (it's just peeking out on the left hand side).

What is your favorite stamping style? Clean & Simple? Collage? Vintage? I love experimenting with new styles. It's one of the great things about being a Stampin' Up demonstrator. We often do swaps with other demonstrators and it's the best way to see new styles.

Anyway, I'm off to enjoy the beautiful fall-ish weather. I'm not really sure I'm ready for it, but for today I'm going to be thankful that we are not in "snow" season yet!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Tap, Tap, Tap.... Is This Thing On?

Good Morning (yes, I'm actually writing this in the morning - very shocking!). What's even more surprising is it's the morning after a Cool Crops weekend -- amazing that I'm up and ready to go before 8am.

But anyway, I had a great time with the amazing ladies of Cool Crops and I had this card on display in my booth all weekend. What is funny is that I had multiple people tell me how much they loved this card.

Want to know a secret? I cased it right out of the catalog. Yup. Page 107. Yes, it is that exact card. That's what I love about our catalogs -- they have the most amazing samples and there is no shame in copying what the fabulous Stampin' Up concept artists made for us (the fact that they actually get paid to sit at their desk and stamp -- well, that's another story. Actually, if I think about it -- I do, too!)

Another interesting tidbit I learned this weekend? People actually read my blog (imagine that?!) AND they've missed me! Well, I have a lot of explaining to do for the past few months... honestly, life has been super hectic and I thought "eh, no one is reading anyway..." so I stopped paying attention over here. But I am truly going to make the effort to get back into this little blog world so do come back and visit me. In fact, if you want to tell me what are your favorite posts -- I'll even try and do more of that for you!

And of course, a little blog love is always a good incentive (as you can see from the few comments I got this weekend -- not only am I blogging again, but I'm up early on a Monday to do it! Now that's love, friends! :)

Thanks so much for sticking with me...

Have a wonderful week!

And in case you're interested the color combo for this card is Crushed Curry, Early Espresso, Very Vanilla & Bermuda Bay and below is a list of products I used to make this card:

From My Heart Stamp Set
Hardwood Stamp
Mosaic Embossing Folder
Apothecary Accents Framelits
Labels Framelits
Elegant Butterfly Punch
Bitty Butterfly Punch
In Color Sequin Assortment
Vellum Cardstock

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Meet the Crafter: Linda M.

 Hello, Hello! Welcome to my second edition of "Meet the Crafter." I don't know about you, but I love to read about other crafty folks and find out what inspires them, what they're favorite tools are and get that "backstage pass" to what their crafting life is like!

I introduced this series with Sarah K in June and now I'd like to introduce you to Linda M. We spent some crafty time together back and June and this lady can make a card like nobody's business! :)  Without further ado... here's more about Linda:

How did you start paper crafting and what is your paper craft of choice (card making, scrapbooking, etc.)?
I started making Christmas cards about 15 years ago. The first two years I used construction paper! From there I moved on to scrapbooking, but my favorite craft of choice is still card making.

Where do you find inspiration for your projects?

I find inspiration from other people's work and all the materials that are available. There are so many talented people out there. I have really fallen in love with doodling, different stamping techniques and using twine, ribbon and buttons. 

What is your favorite Stampin' Up product and why?
My favorite Stampin' Up product has to be their stamps. There is a stamp for every theme, like "Coffee and Friends are the Perfect Blend" (from Perfect Blend, page 116 of current catalog). I thought it was the perfect stamp for a card to someone to suggest getting together (maybe for coffee) or just to say, "Hi."

What project(s) is on your to do/try list?
I want to make a heritage book. I recently found a lot of old pictures and would like to tell their story. I have never taken on anything like that. I have seen heritage books other people have made and really like them. It is a great piece of history.

Thank you so much, Linda for playing along with my Meet the Crafter series! Would YOU like to be featured in my next Meet the Crafter profile? E-mail me and I'll send you the details.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Stampin' Up! Convention 2014: Project Life Tips From Becky Higgins

Hello there again friends... Can you believe it? I'm back again within two days! I'm really going to try and be better about my poor old blog... but I'm not promising anything!

Today I wanted to pop in with some fun pictures from the Meet & Mingle with Becky Higgins (Founder of the Project Life scrapbooking system) that I attended while at the Inspire. Create. Share. Stampin' Up! Convention in Salt Lake City. She limited the amount of people that could attend to 120 so she had the opportunity to chat, sign and take photos with everyone present. I became a little starstruck when I saw her (I've been following her blog/products for the past 14 years!). So I didn't ask her anything profound (actually I didn't ask her anything -- she was actually asking me questions! I told you I was starstruck... just "crickets" from my side of the conversation!).

Anyway, before the "meet and mingle" portion she did a little Q & A and a demo of her new Project Life App (so cool, but top secret right now!). She also had some of these yummy treats for us:

Don't they look delightful? It was breakfast time when we started this session so I went with the strawberry flavored cupcake as I figured fruit could pass as breakfast, right? Really, it was the chocolate covered strawberry on top that drew my attention! And boy was it yummy! I totally want another one right now...

I digress... Here's another photo from the event (below) -- this was me with the fabulous goody bag each of us was given. Inside was a brand spanking new Project Life by Stampin' Up card collection kit (Playground) as well as a bunch of other PL goodies. So, so fun.

Becky shared a bunch of tips with us during her presentation and I thought I would share those tips with you! But first, let me explain the Project Life system a little bit for those of you who are not familiar.

Basically, Project Life is a pocket-based scrapbooking system. Becky created this product because she found she was spending hours to create one layout (what scrapbooker doesn't now that pain??) -- and while that's a great creative outlet, it's not a great way to get pages DONE. So she came up with this system that basically involves you slipping photos into photo pocket pages and then adding adorable, decorated journaling cards (and just a few accessories if you'd like) to tell the story. The basic principle is to tell your stories in a fast and simple way, while also making it a fun book to look at and enjoy for generations to come.

Here is a sample of a Project Life by Stampin' Up page. This was showcased at convention by the fabulous Carrie Cudney (one of the demonstrator trainers for Stampin' Up). The card collection she used was Love Story (which is now available for purchase here):
Did you notice that she even stuck a ticket stub in the scrapbook? I love that it is so easy to include life's mementos into this style of scrapbooking. I also love this size album -- it's the 6 X 8 Expresso album (I'll be sharing some photos from my Key West album of the same size soon...).

Boy... I've gone off on a long tangent! Let's get to the "meat" of this post... Becky's tips! As I mentioned she gave some great tips for getting started with Project Life... here they are:

1. Keep it Simple! Don't overthink this method of scrapbooking... otherwise it gets daunting and that's the exact opposite result of the intention behind Project Life. And don't try to plan too much. Print all your photos 4 x 6 (rather than trying to decide which ones to print 4 x 6 and which ones to print 3 x 4) and then crop if necessary.

2. Focus on One Project at a Time! You know what happens when you start worrying about your daughter's graduation album, the baby album for your friends' neighbor, your wedding album from eight years ago and that friendship album you wanted to make for your best friend... you get overwhelmed and do nothing. Becky recommends "batch processing." So if you are working on your vacation album just focus on that project until it is completed. Begin by selecting/printing photos, then work on journaling for the trip and then assembling the album. 

3. Get over your dislike of your handwriting! So many of us are guilty of not writing in our albums because we hate our handwriting. One of the attendees shared a story about why she always includes her handwriting and since you don't know her I thought I'd share a story about me and why I always include my handwriting at least once in each of my albums. You may not know this, but my middle name is John. Yes, as in the boy's name. (My Mom wanted a boy and I didn't cooperate... but that's another story). Anyway, I was named after my great grandfather who I was fortunate enough to know. He was 89 when he died and I was just 9. He used to say that he had Johns all over England (where he was from) named after him, but I was the only girl. I am so fortunate to say that he gave me a handwritten birthday card for my 9th birthday... and I still have it today. I cherish his writing -- especially that it is messy and hard to read. You know why? Because he was aging and it was hard for him to write by that point... but he still made the effort to write that card for me... and I will cherish it always. Be sure you are not behaving in a selfish manner and depriving your friends, family and children from having that little piece of you -- your writing and thoughts - generations from now. I assure you it will be one of their most treasured items.

Ok... I think that's enough babbling for now... feel free to visit for more info about Project Life and be sure to visit my store to see all the Project Life by Stampin' Up products. In fact, from now through Thursday, July 31 I am offering a special to help you get started with Project Life. Order any Project Life by Stampin' Up Card Collection and Accessory Pack and I will give you a free set of Project Life pens. These pens are amazing for journaling, but they are also fabulous for your stamping projects, too! Check out some of these samples from Lydia Fiedler - a fellow demonstrator - that all use these Project Life pens... trust me, you'll want some of your own!

The above samples were made by just drawing thick-to-thin black lines all around the petals. Beautiful, right?

The two samples above were used by drawing a "crosshatch" pattern on each of the petals. Totally amazing! Want some Project Life markers to use for yourself? Visit my online store and purchase any Project Life by Stampin' Up card collection and accessory kit by Thursday, July 31 and I'll send you your very own Project Life pens!

And since I'm so hit or miss here on the old blog -- feel free to comment below on what Project Life album you'll be starting with... it might encourage me to keep visiting this little blog of mine! ;) Thanks for visiting today... see you soon!


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Stampin' Up Convention 2014

I so love this photo from the Inspire. Create. Share. Stampin' Up convention in Salt Lake City. This is what the streets look like when nearly 4,000 Stampin' Up demonstrators take over the city. Nearly ever crosswalk was littered with ladies! Too funny...

I had such a great time at convention and came home with a boat load of goodies.

I should have done this post right when I got back because reality has already erased some of my memory from this spectacular event. It's really a highlight of my year... that and Leadership! :)

One of the things I love about Stampin' Up's events is the attention to detail the events staff has. Check out some of these photos of the event:

Yummy beverages at the Paper Pumpkin Night Out

The recognition room for awards achievers -- that was me this year! :)

 Main stage set-up

One of my favorite parts of convention each year is connecting (or re-connecting in this case) with my Stampin' Up demonstrator friends from all over the country. This is my friend Susan from Minnesota. She "adopted" me at one of my first conventions I was attending by myself. Now we seem to run into each other at least once at every event. I love that!

Well, my to do list is fourteen miles long tonight so I'm going to jump off line now. I need to plan some cards for my next card class on Tuesday, July 29. Want to come? This will be our last session of all-occasion cards before we switch over to holiday cards for four months -- can you believe it??

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Meet the Crafter: Sarah K

Howdy stampers! Boy, it's been a long time. I've been thinking often of this poor neglected blog. I'm hoping to change that. I miss checking in with you, connecting and sharing! I thought today I'd start off with a new feature I want to add on a regular basis to my blog.

I don't know about you but I love to read about other crafters - what inspires them, what their favorite techniques are, favorite products, etc. So once a month I'd like to feature a different crafter friend who will share all the juicy details of their crafting life.

For first volunteer for this fun series was my friend and fellow Cape Codder, Sarah K. Here is a very happy picture of her after a fabulous crafting "score" from Craigslist! Let's get to know her a bit...

How did you start paper crafting and what is your paper craft of choice (card making, scrapbooking, etc.)?
My grandmother bought me my first rubber stamp at a craft fair on the Dennis green when I was a kid.  I loved to make stationary and gift tags!  A small collection of stamps followed.  Today I enjoy cardmaking but continue making gift tags.

Where do you find inspiration for your paper crafting projects?
Nature is a huge inspiration and a great way to clear thoughts in order to get creative.  Walks or just camping in the woods helps to ground me.  Any time I can get away from technology and just THINK. I often bring carding magazines camping and find it a great jump start for ideas.

What is your favorite Stampin' Up product and why? 
Dimensionals!  Can't get enough of them!  There are no substitutes for Stampin' Up Dimensionals and I use every piece.

What project(s) are on your "to do/try" list?
I need to get more adept at embossing.  I love the finished look but really don't feel I have mastered it.  I'd also like to explore more with vellum. I love the shadowed effect.

To the right is a photo of Sarah's Easter card this year. Cute, right?

Thanks so much for sharing, Sarah! I really appreciate it. So who is next? Want to be featured on my Meet the Crafter Series? Send me an e-mail and let me know!

Until next time... (which I promise... won't be so long!!)

Friday, April 25, 2014

Join the Club - Stamp Club, that is!

Hello, Hello Stampers. Happy Friday. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping. Yay! Spring is here :)

I wanted to pop in today and share with you a card that I created for my Stamp Club program. This class is offered both live at my house (on the third Thursday of every month - next class is Thursday, May 15) and as a "To Go" option for those of you who do not leave nearby. 

Each month I feature a different stamp set and show you a variety of ways to use it. This month (April) was the So Very Grateful stamp set from the Occasions Mini Catalog. I like this class because it gives me the opportunity to really play with techniques and showcase the versatility of stamping. Card class (the last Tuesday of every month in Chatham) is great for mass producing cards (cute, simple designs), but this is the class if you want to learn new things. (And hey, who says you can't attend both, right? wink, wink)

This is how it works: If you are local -- it's pretty simple -- you come to class make the cards and place your minimum order. Easy, peasy (we have a fun group of ladies that meet at my house, too!) For the "To Go" option, at the start of the month I e-mail you the supplies I use on the cards and then you place the minimum order in my online store using a hostess code. I then send you the pre-cut card kits and written directions (with pictures) for the cards. Each month a new member is the "hostess" meaning she earns the hostess benefits from all the orders (which is why the online orders need to use the hostess code). So you're guaranteed $30 worth of free product during your hostess month. The minimum order each month is just $30 (of course you could collect outside orders or host your own private class during your hostess month to earn EXTRA free hostess dollars!).

If you are new to stamping  Stamp Club is a great way to not only build your stash, but to also learn how to use it, too!

I thought I'd share with you today a sample of the directions. The card to the right features the "stained glass" technique. Click here to download the directions for this technique.

Do you like the idea of getting together once a month to learn some new stamping? Or maybe you'd like to get some "happy mail" each month to get your creativity started? I have openings in both the live stamp club class and the "To Go" option. E-mail me today to join!

Have a great weekend!

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