Dec 27, 2016

A New Year, A New Look!

Hey there friends! I hope you had a wonderful holiday. I'm just coming out of the fog of Christmas and wanted to pop in here to tell you some exciting news, and launch my brand new design of my blog. Do you like it? It's been a good six or so years I think since I first purchased one of the pre-made templates from Designer Blogs. If you're in the market for a new blog look, I'd highly recommend them. Their pre-made templates are only $15! (and if you use my link, I'd surely appreciate it as I am a part of their affiliate program).

This time, I went a little crazy and purchased a custom design... cost quite a bit  more, but I really love it... My designer Kate did an amazing job. I also have to thank my friend Siewleng Hiraldo from Time2Scrap for my photo... her and I met up over the summer for a fun (albeit a little stinky... there was a smelly dumpster nearby) photo shoot. She did a great job (considering what she had to work with... wink, wink)! I'm hoping this will make me come back here and visit more often, too. I know I've been really bad about staying on top of the blog!

But, that brings me to my exciting news for today!

I was actually asked to be a part of the Stylin' Stampin' INKspiration Design Team earlier this month and I accepted! It was such a total shock and honor to be asked and I'm super excited to take part. It's a group of Stampin' Up demonstrators that will create and share projects three times a week (Monday, Wednesday and Fridays) and participate in a monthly blog hop -- so lots of inspiration for you. I will be a part of every blog hop (they are on the second Thursday of each month) and participating in at least one of the SS INKspiration challenges each week. My first post is scheduled for Friday, January 6th so stay tuned! It will be posted here and on the Stylin' Stampin' INKspiration blog here. I'm not official until January 1st so you won't see anything from me until then, but be sure to check back here and on the SS INKspiration site often as you can play along, too!

Well, sadly my stamps have been largely neglected of late with the holidays and all. So I don't really have much else to share here yet other than my news and my new look. But you'll definitely want to make a visit to a more regular occurrance as it is soon to be a hoppin' place!

Until next time,

Nov 21, 2016

That's A Wrap... Cape Cod Creative Escape 2016

Phew! What an amazing (albeit tiring!) weekend. I held my sixth Cape Cod Creative Escape crafting retreat this past weekend and it was a fantastically fun time! We had lots of new friends join us this year so that was super exciting. Everyone seemed to have a great time so I thought I'd share some highlights with you.

Many folks arrive on Thursday night (especially those that were traveling far from home -- we had New York and Connecticut in the house!). So everyone gets settled in their space and set up for four days of focused creativity. This was the room at the height of the weekend -- jammed packed with any possible tool you could think of!

These girls are serious! We had a full house with 60 ladies joining us. We started by giving the attendees a welcome gift made out of the Stampin' Up Glassine bags, embossed with the Cable Knit sweater embossing folder. Then tied with ribbon and stamped with the adorable reindeer from the Cookie Cutter Christmas bundle. This little cutie was designed by our endlessly crafty team member Linda Johnson.

Here you can see the whole lot of them at the registration table as I awaited for all my friends to arrive.

We had all the tables decorated with a little Charlie Brown Christmas tree and each attendee's holiday stocking stuffed with brand new Stampin' Up goodies that they used on their five free make and takes.

Here's a picture of the tables:

And a close-up of the cute little stockings:

I was in a total panic because five days before the event I still hadn't found the right stocking yet (most of them were too cheap looking), but I finally found these cuties at Target. They were filled with 6 x 8 cello bags, Gold Natural Ribbon, Christmas Trinkets embellishments, a package of Stampin' Dimensionals, a package of metallic enamel dots, the Cherry Cobbler/Garden Green marker duo, and a package of the gold and silver doilies. We also wrapped the Warmth & Cheer 6 x 6 paper stack and left that at each seat.

Two of the five free make and takes are actually "make in your seats," so we provide all the materials for them to create them on their own right in their registration packet.

These were the two "make in your seat" projects.


The tag was designed by yours truly and my fantastically creative friend (and team member!) Sherry Prada of Scrap Right Meow designed the 6 x 6 scrapbook page.

Here are the other three make and takes that we did "live" with each attendee. The little teabag/chocolate holder was designed by the one and only Anna Keyes of Little Bay Stampin', another Shore Stamper with an impeccable eye for design! The holiday card was yet another creation of Linda and the M & M treat bag was by me.


Here is Anna teaching one of the Make & Take sessions:

Lots of busy crafters! We also had pillow gifts each day. Here are those...

Pillow Gifts 2-6 (The glassine bag - which was filled with animal crackers, by the way - was the first pillow gift):

The presentation of the last pillow gift was different this year. Usually the pillow gift fairy just places each gift on the tables. But I had been playing with my new Instax Mini camera all weekend and decided to surprise everyone.

Below you'll see the Christmas tree as we had it set up all weekend.

This year, because of the fabulous Buy 3, Get 1 free special in October, I was able to get EVERYONE a free package of either Designer Series paper OR a collection of 12 x 12 cardstock. However, we gave away all those presents by Saturday night so the pillow fairy needed to get crafty!

Check out the tree on Sunday morning when the ladies returned to the craft room for their final day:


Me and my adorable niece Heather stayed up until almost 3 in the morning getting this tree all decorated (Thankfully we had an early-to-bed crowd!). It was so much fun, we actually considered staying up all night so we could see everyone's wide-eyed faces when they arrived. We quickly decided that probably wasn't the best idea and snuck off to our hotel room to catch a little sleep.

Of course any weekend full of craftiness (and lack of sleep) is bound for some silliness... this was me wondering why they make the peep holes in hotel rooms so high up -- clearly not designed for shorties like me!!

I was jumping up and down saying whose out there and it just started a bit of giggle fit with me and my niece... and later a discussion about how Heather sounded like she was "wrestling a dragon" as she tried to get comfortable one night caused yet another uncontrollable fit of laugher. You know how you get when you are lacking sleep and everything seems so hysterical... yeah. That. 

I think there was lots of laughter and memories made this weekend and I'm looking forward to next spring when me and my fabulous team host the next Cape Cod Creative Escape. Save the dates: Thursday, April 20 - Sunday April 23rd. Registration will open in February and is only announced in my weekly newsletter so be sure to sign up for that if you'd like to join us next time!

And just a couple more things before I stop babbling about how much fun I had this weekend... First, a huge shout out to my helpers for this event... it would most definitely not be possible without them!! So thank you Linda Johnson, Anna Keyes, Sherry Prada, Linda Cyr and Heather Stephens (Unfortunately Linda Cyr had already headed home when we took this picture, wah)! You are all the best... I hope you'll still be up for helping out next time :)
And just a few more candid shots:



Okay... if you've made it through this much babbling and photos today I think you need a reward! Be sure to check out Stampin' Up's Online Extravaganza today through November 28. There are tons of great deals including one day "Flash Sales" only available for 24 hours on November 21st (that's today!) and Monday, November 28th. Go check it out now and get some holiday shopping for your crafty family and friends d.o.n.e.

Okay... I think it will be another early to bed night for me... thanks for sticking through this long post. See you again soon when I start recovering from my sleep deprivation. :)

Nov 8, 2016

Teach Me Tuesday: Watercolor Wash Technique

Hey there friends...
Well, it's another Tuesday and I'm back with another Teach Me Tuesday! I'm on a roll. However it seems like I've mastered the Tuesday post, but not much else! I'll work on touching base more often here on the blog, but for now at least I've got this routine up and running, right?

I don't know about you but I am NOT a good watercolor-er. I love to color, but for some reason I've never been able to get the hang of shading and creating shadows. However, I have pretty much mastered the Watercolor Wash technique and today I wanted to share with you three ways to accomplish this look... all in one pretty quick video! Have a look for yourself...

What do you think? Will you give it a try? Here are pictures of the two cards I showed in the video:

Fast and simple... my favorite. Have I ever told you that I'm a lazy stamper?? (wink, wink). I hope you enjoyed today's projects.

Next week is Cape Cod Creative Escape (eek!) so hopefully I'll be able to squeeze out another Teach Me Tuesday video... lots to do though between now and then to get ready. So excited to spoil all my friends!

And just in case you've found some things you *need* here is a list of the product that I used in today's projects:

Watercolor Paper
Stampin' Write Markers
Stampin' Spritzers
Bermuda Bay ink pad
Christmas Pines Stamp Set
Pretty Pines thinlits
(buy the bundle -- it's cheaper!)
Cucumber Crush mini-stripe ribbon
Real Red baker's twine
Bermuda Bay 1/8" Stitched Ribbon

Thanks so much for stopping by... see you soon!

Nov 1, 2016

Teach Me Tuesday: Emboss Resist

Hey there stampy friends! Happy Tuesday! It is a glorious day here on Cape Cod. I went for a walk this morning, it was such a great way to start my day (albeit a bit chilly). I have a ton of ideas swirling around in my head for Teach Me Tuesday videos -- and all of you have provided some great inspiration as well!

In fact, today's Teach Me Tuesday video was a special request from my friend Verna. She tagged me in a Facebook post a few weeks back asking if I could show her how to create a card shown in the video. And it turned out that the technique (emboss resist) made for a great topic for Teach Me Tuesday! It actually teaches TWO things in one video. First is how to heat emboss. While this is an oldie (but oh so awesome!!), it is still new to many and it is an incredible "wow" when you first see it. I know it was one of the first things that hooked me on stamping over a decade ago! The second thing you'll learn in this week's Teach Me Tuesday video is the emboss resist technique, which is literally about ink "resisting" the embossed images.

Check out the video below to see how you can make some fun cards like this one:

Here is a close-up of the emboss resist part of the card:

This is such a fun technique... I hope you like it, too. Here is the video to show you how to re-create the look yourself...

What do you think? Easy enough, right? I love the ka-pow it creates. And I love when you first start adding the ink and the images start popping off the page, so fun! And as a bonus tip, I find it a perfect antidote when I'm lacking creative inspiration. You should try it!

Here is a picture of the other card I showed in the video:

In Other News

I wanted to share a couple of other things with you today... It's a big day in Stampin' Up land! First we have a brand new product available... it's the Stitched Shapes Framelits, and they are going to be so much fun to play with, trust me! Check out the product video here (Whoa... two videos in one post???):

What is even more great is Stampin' Up is offering 25% off select stamps that work perfectly with these new dies! Click here to see all the stamps currently 25% off.

Paper Pumpkin is Blue!

Finally, there's some fun news with Paper Pumpkin as well! Check out a sneak peek of the November Paper Pumpkin box:

Looks fun, right? While the inside is still a surprise, Stampin' Up did tell us that if you like the outside of the box, then you will LOVE the inside. Curious? Sign Up for Paper Pumpkin by November 10th to receive your own special BLUE box!

Okay... that is all for today. I hope you enjoyed today's video. Let me know if there is something you'd like me to show YOU how to make in an upcoming Teach Me Tuesday video! Until next time... Happy Stampin'!

Oct 25, 2016

Teach Me Tuesday: Progressive Scrapbooking

Hey there friends... guess what day it is? It's Teach Me Tuesday! Today I have a video for my scrapbookers... you know who you are! And even if you're not a scrapbooker, there may be some hidden tips and tricks in there for project coordination if you want to take a peek, too! :)

Almost Two Decades of Scrapbooking!

In case you didn't know, scrapbooking was what got me addicted to paper in the first place. I've been scrapbooking for 16 years! Crazy, right? What is even crazier is that I really should have more pages finished... I need to stop giving everything I make away! Seriously, though, I think 90 percent of the pages I've made have gone in someone else's album. Dumb, right?? I'm on a mission to start scrapbooking some photos that I can keep! And first up is to document the three Mother's Day trips that my sister and I gave my Mom. You can read a bit more about that tradition HERE, but today I want to share with you a tip I use to face the blank 12 x 12 page (and the first page of my Mother's Day "trips" album). It's called Progressive Scrapbooking and I totally didn't invent it. It was a method that was pretty popular back in the day and I've just continuously used it over the years. Check out my video:

What do you think? I totally think you should give it a try next time you're stumped. It really does help you conquer that big, blank page!

Did you know?

I also wanted to make sure you noticed that Stampin' Up brought back some 12 x 12 sized cardstock in the holiday catalog. In all honesty, we truly have THE best cardstock for scrapbooking. It's very sturdy, smooth (so you can stamp on it) and just overall great quality.

Here is what we currently have available (and I'm hoping if we start buying it up, they'll introduce more coordinating color packs!):

Real Red 12 x 12 (Designed to coordinate with the Candy Cane Lane Suite)
Warmth & Cheer 12 x 12 (combination of Cherry Cobbler & Garden Green cardstock; Designed to coordinate with the Warmth & Cheer Suite)
Halloween Night 12 x 12 (combination of Basic Gray and Pumpkin Pie cardstock; Designed to coordinate with the Halloween Night Suite)

And we always have Basic Black, Whisper White and Kraft 12 x 12 cardstock (I'm hoping they bring back Crumb Cake 12 x 12 -- that's my absolute favorite for my scrapbooking bases!)

And last "commercial" before I show you some pictures of my scrapbook page... don't forget that all of our Designer Series Paper (priced at $11) is currently on sale for buy 3, get one FREE! You can see all the patterns available here.

So here is "step 1" - the 6 x 6 starting point. (Of course, I didn't add the flower embellishment until the final step -- I just forgot to take pictures BEFORE I assembled the page!!)

Here is "Step 2"

On the Step 2 layout I added the Whisper White 8.5 x 11 background, the flower patterned paper and the photo mats.

And finally here is step 3:

Here I added the Night of Navy mat around the 8.5 x 11 Whisper White and the Watermelon Wonder patterned paper, and of course the stamped embellishment. Here is a close-up of the embellishment:

Easy peasy, right? If you want to take a look at some more Progressive Scrapbook pages I've done, you can see some in the links below:

Family Page
Lake Mead (another one of my favorites!)
30th Birthday
Happy Birthday Hey Hey
Water Fight (the one I show in the video!)

I hope you like this technique! Be sure to let me know if you'd like me to teach something specific in my next "Teach Me Tuesday" video. These have been a lot of fun and I really appreciate all your kind words and feedback! You are all the sweetest :)

Have a great day!

Oct 11, 2016

Teach Me Tuesday: Big Shot Basics

Hey there friends! So I think you'll be able to tell from today's post and video that I'm struggling from the Monday-on-Tuesday blues. I'm feeling a little "off" today after coming down with the fastest cold ever last week (seriously, one minute I was fine and then two minutes later I felt like crap). I'm also still trying to sort out what to do/when with my new schedule. I'm having a blast, but still feeling a little discombobulated...

Anyway, today, I'm sharing a card I made with the random pieces of cardstock I stamped and cut in this week's Teach me Tuesday video. I really had no rhyme or reason when I pulled out scrap pieces to demonstrate with, but I figured out a way to make it work.

So here is the finished card:

Nothing super fancy... just playing with paper. Want to know what is really funny about this card, though (and further evidence that I'm struggling a bit this week??)? Look at how I put this one together:

Oopsie... see, I told you I was off today! No worries, I'll just chop it apart and layer it on a new card.

Big Shot Basics
Today's Teach Me Tuesday video is all about the Big Shot -- my go-to tool for papercrafting. I know it can be a little intimidating, though, so I thought I'd do a little Big Shot Basics video for you this week. I'm hoping it's not as discombobulated as I feel! I will warn you that I interchange a few of my words on a couple of occasions (like when I tell you to put the cardstock inside the cutting mat instead of the embossing folder -- oy!) - but hopefully, the fact that it is video and you can see what I am doing will help.

I promise I'll be back on my game next time (or at least as game as I'm normally capable of!) -- in the meantime, feel free to leave me any comments/questions here or on the video and I'll answer them ASAP. Also, don't forget to let me know if there is anything you need help with in the crafting world -- maybe it could be the subject of a future Teach Me Tuesday video!

Okay... without further ado, here it is:

Such a pretty face I'm making ;) In case you need them, here are the links to the items I talked about in today's video:

Big Shot
NEW Big Shot Cutting Platform (comes standard with all Big Shots ordered June 1, 2016 or later)
Precision Base Plate (the BEST for those really intricate dies)
Magnetic Platform
Big Shot Die Brush
Embossing Folders
Thinlits & Framelits

And here's a little cheat sheet again for you when using the Big Shot:

Framelit - "Frames" an image, often will perfectly cut out a stamped image designed by Stampin' Up (and therefore, is often good for use with the Magnetic platform)

Thinlit - Thinlits look similar to framelits except they don't have "open space" inside. Many of these are pretty intricate and work best with the Precision Base Plate, the new Big Shot Cutting Platform and the Big Shot Die Brush. (Visit page 194 in the 2016-2017 Stampin' Up annual catalog for a listing of the thinlits recommended for use with the Precision Base Plate).

Precision Base Plate  - This piece is a cutting surface and will replace one of your cutting mats when rolling through the Big Shot. Place the label side down and cardstock on top (of the black part of the plate). Use this one with the very detailed thinlits only - NOT framelits (framelits aren't as strong and can't hold up to the pressure)

Magnetic Platform - This little guy is a must-have when using framelits to cut out a pre-stamped image. It will perfectly hold in place as you roll the image through the Big Shot.

Okay, that's all for today. Thanks so much for dropping by! Don't forget to let me know what help YOU could use in your craft room!

Until next time,

Sep 27, 2016

Teach Me Tuesday: Shaker Cards

Hi there my friends! I have some exciting news to share with you today. I've been stupid busy lately with work and stamping and just life in general, but things are going to get way more fun in a few more days. If you've been hanging around me for any length of time, you may know that I have been dreaming of quitting my full-time job and going full-time Stampin' Up for quite some time.

Well guess what? That day has arrived! My official last day in the office is September 29th, making me a full-time Stampin' Up demonstrator as of October! And I've already got a super busy schedule lined up. I'm so excited!

In  my excitement I thought I'd try something new. So let me introduce you to Teach Me Tuesday. This will hopefully become a series of videos -- and I'm not committing to every week yet, but whenever I feel like I have something to share with you (on a Tuesday... ha ha) -- well, there will be a Teach Me Tuesday video. :)

So today, the Teach Me Tuesday Video is focused on shaker cards. I sort of got addicted to making them a couple of weeks ago after doing one for my Stamp of the Month class. Then a friend saw it and wanted a class featuring all shaker cards -- so I made four more! So today, I'm going to share with you how to make two different types of shaker cards.

Here is the first one that started my shaker binge. It features the Jar of Love stamp set and the coordinating Everyday Jars framelits.

Here are the products I used for this card:
Jar of Love Stamp Set
Everyday Jars Framelits
(Get the bundle! It's cheaper!)
Pool Party Ink
Bermuda Bay Ink
Basic Black Ink
Mica Flake Trio Pack
Window Sheets

I also used Crumb Cake (#120953), Bermuda Bay (#131197), Basic Black (#121045), Daffodil Delight (#119683) and Whisper White (#100730) cardstock.

Okay, second up is a fun holiday shaker card. The card is created a bit differently than the one I made above and I show you how to make both of them in the video below. Here is the card:

Fun, right? Here are the supplies I used for this one:

Hang Your Stocking Stamp Set
Christmas Stockings Thinlits
(Get the bundle!)
Window Sheets
Mini Jingle Bells
Candy Cane Lane Baker's Twine

And here is the video! I hope you enjoyed it... please leave me some love if you like the Teach Me Tuesday video idea... and if you have some things you'd like me to "teach" you - let me know that, too! And just so you know... I chatted a bit too much this time so the video ends rather abruptly. Oops! I'll be better next time... promise! :)

Have a wonderful Tuesday!

Jul 17, 2016

VIDEO: Pop of Color with Peekaboo Peach

Howdy friends! So I posted this photo on Facebook last week and asked people to "like" this photo if they'd like me to post some of this big stack of cards I've made using new Stampin' Up products on my blog. And well, I got 30 people who wanted me to share! So I figured today was as good as any to get started! :)

As I said on Facebook, I clearly have been stamping as you can see from this stack of cards! There are so many fun new toys in the new 2016-2017 Idea Book & Catalog and I know I say this every year, but I really, really think this is the best one yet!

Anyway, on with my sharing for the day. I thought I'd start with this card featuring the Flourishing Phrases stamp set. Seriously, this is a must have set -- it's full of great sentiments and this flourish image is perfect for so many different occasions. I think it is perfect for sympathy or thinking of you type cards, but it would be just as great for birthday and happy occasions, too. I'm super excited to try it out on my scrapbooking pages, too!

I decided to share this one today because I also have a video! Did you know that I have a YouTube channel? Yup, I've been venturing out of my comfort zone a bit and trying to put myself on camera more (gasp!).

This card is really super simple, but I did the video because I wanted to share a quick and simple way to really highlight a color that you love... and of course with Stampin' Up's product coordination, highlighting a color is pretty easy!

Well, I'm off for some yummy breakfast and then maybe some more stamping later! Hope you have a wonderful weekend! And if you head over to my YouTube channel, please be sure to subscribe! I've actually probably been better about posting there than here these days!

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