Throwback Thursday, a Concept Card, and a Contest!

Hi Everyone,

I hope everyone is having a good week. It’s been a very busy week here. A coworker and I were just talking that 4-day workweeks are often busier and crazier than 5-day weeks, perhaps because we inevitably have to fit 5 days of work into 4, or because we feel like we’re already behind when we start our week on Tuesday – who knows! Anyway, even though it’s been busy, I wanted to post tonight two “newbie” topics to my blog:

Throwback Thursday:

First, if you follow social media, Facebook and Instagram, a lot of people post pictures from years past with captioned with “Throwback Thursday” or hashtagged #tbt or #throwbackthursday. While I haven’t gotten into that fad on social media (yet!), I figured I’d give you a card on here from last year. As (I hope) you all know, the 2014 Holiday Catalog was released last week! With its release each year, I begin thinking about the holiday card I’m going to make (in large quantities) and send out to friends and family.

In honor of Throwback Thursday, here is my holiday card from 2013:

TBT Holiday 2013The stamp set I used for the trees was the Lovely As a Tree Stamp Set (Item #128655 – Wood or #127793 – Clear), which is still available in the 2014-2015 Annual Catalog.  The card base is Night of Navy and the card front is actually a piece of Whisper White cardstock. To give a shadow effect, the trees were first stamped with Staz On Jet Black ink and then re-stamped with VersaMark ink for wet embossing. Now, most people that know me know that I’m not a huge fan of wet embossing; it’s just not my thing. However, to make a pretty holiday card, I’ll take a deep breath, a deep sigh and get out the embossing powder and my heat gun! For this card I actually mixed Iridescent Ice Stampin’ Emboss Powder (Item #101930) and White Stampin’ Emboss Powder (Item #109132) to give it a white and shimmery/glittery effect. I applied both at the same time, heat set, and voila, a beautiful effect! From there, I used my Stamping Sponges and Night of Navy ink to color in the sky and Sponge Daubers and Pool Party ink to shadow the snow.

The Greeting Contest:

I cheated a little bit with the greeting. It’s actually from a retired stamp set. Without using Google (please no cheaters!), can you guess which stamp set the greeting came from? Using past holiday or annual catalogs is acceptable, or if you know it by heart, I’ll give you credit as a totally awesome stamper. Anyway, the first person to COMMENT on this post with the correct answer will win a holiday-themed Stampin’ Up! prize! Again, to win you need to guess the stamp set the greeting came from and comment on my post. I have to approve all comments, but will take the first correct commenter. In order to receive your prize if you’re right, I’ll email you to get your address or if you’re local I’ll drop it off! Good luck to everyone!

Concept Card:

I receive a number of questions from fellow stampers and blog readers about how I come up with some of the ideas for my cards. Most card ideas come from my head and some come from inspiration from Pinterest or other blogs. Very rarely do I “CASE” cards, which means “copy and share everything” or “copy and share exactly” – essentially, copying an idea exactly as it is demonstrated by Stampin’ Up! or another demonstrator. (By the way: I have no problem with CASE-ing and encourage anyone that does so to give proper credit to the author!)

Because I rarely ever have a blueprint to work from when making my cards, I typically make a few iterations of cards over the span of a few days. My early cards I call concept cards and very rarely does any concept card I make become my final product. I usually add, delete or change something. It could be as drastic as the color scheme, card base or card front, maybe I reposition a greeting or change stamped images, but I usually do something!

Here is a card I made tonight. It’s meant to be a very simple Halloween card:

Halloween Card Concept

This is my first attempt at this card and it’s a concept card. Since I’m finished with it to my satisfaction for now, I’ll leave it on my display shelf. I’ll probably look at it once more tonight and again over the next few days. I’ll probably come back to it on Sunday or Monday and recreate it from scratch – keeping the same concepts but changing something. I’m not sure what I’ll change yet, but as I work through my iterations I’ll post pictures.

One rule I have about how I handle my concepts: I never alter the original or iteration cards. They were my original works and ones that I learn and modify from. I recreate from my concepts rather than add or change the original. Now, after I’ve settled on a final product, I don’t waste my concept cards either. I typically take a picture (or multiple pictures of them) to see the progress I’ve made. If they’re of acceptable quality, which they typically are, I’ll package them and give them away as I would my final card. Just because I wasn’t happy with my creation doesn’t mean someone won’t be happy receiving it!

Each stamper, creator, imagineer, artist, inventor (or whatever you call us!) has their own method to creating cards. It may not work for everyone but I enjoy going through this process. It makes it fun for me and I also feel accomplished when I look back at the pictures of my various concepts to get to my final product!

I hope you enjoyed learning about my process a little bit. Like I said before, when I come back to the card above in a few days, I’ll post the next iteration/concept. It *could* be the final product or there could be many more rounds from there. Stay tuned!

Wishing you all a very happy Friday and weekend! I’ll be back tomorrow or Saturday with September party dates… looking forward to seeing you all soon!

Let’s stamp the day (and night) away!

-Steven

From 35,000 feet!

Hello Everyone!

Well, I am on my way to Convention! That’s right, as I write this post, we are at 35,000 feet about an hour and a half into our four hour flight to Salt Lake City.

In my downtime here on the plane, I wanted to post and talk about my final swap I made for Convention. I made this card for general (unscheduled) swapping and literally squeezed it in at the last minute. My flight this morning was at 7:54 a.m., with arrival to the airport at 6:00 a.m., which meant I had to be up at 4:15 a.m. to get on the road in time to make it! Even with an early wake-up, I was up until 11:00 p.m. finishing this card up.

Here it is. I made 50 for general swapping and am very pleased with how it turned out:

Open Sea Card

For this card I used The Open Sea Stamp Set (Item #128454 – wood or #123032 – clear), Work of Art Stamp Set (Item #134111 – wood or #134114 – clear) and Four You Stamp Set (Item #130535 – wood or #130538 – clear) for the ‘hello’ greeting.

The card base is Basic Black cardstock. The card front and compass background is Kraft 12″x12″ cardstock (item #133674). The card is also embellished with Basic Black Baker’s Twine (Item #134576).

While it is difficult to see, the background of the Kraft card front is actually stamped using the charter page stamp from The Open Sea Stamp Set and So Saffron ink. Up close, this adds a pretty cool effect. The sea is stamped with the horizontal brush line from the Work of Art Stamp Set with Lost Lagoon ink. To get the effect, it took 8 or 9 impressions with the stamp to add depth to the sea. The globe is stamped with Night of Navy ink and the compass, ship and greeting are stamped with Jet Black Staz On ink.

(Aside:  Now, some of you will be surprised that I used Staz On ink rather than the Memento ink available in this year’s catalog. Many of you know that I prefer the Memento ink to Staz On because Memento is water based and easier to clean and work with. However, for this card, Staz On worked better after testing because it gave a clearer, crisper image when stamping on the Kraft cardstock.  For stamping black ink on Kraft cardstock, I would highly recommend Staz On ink for a clearer, crisper image.)

I hope you all enjoy this card and feel my excitement as I successfully completed all the swaps I signed up for and committed to, plus had time to squeeze in a general swap! I’m so excited for Convention and can’t wait to arrive in Salt Lake City. I’ll be posting over the next few days the news, tidbits and other information I hear and learn while at Convention. I’ll also be posting pictures of the rest of the swap cards (and the 3-D project) I made for Convention. Some of my blog readers are in these swaps and I did not want to spoil the surprise!

Have a great Wednesday. For my Maryland friends, enjoy the ‘polar vortex’. It is supposed to fall into the 70’s for the next few days. Meanwhile, I’m looking forward to 95-100 degrees of dry heat in Salt Lake City and 70-75 degrees in San Diego with not a drop of rain in the forecast. Woohoo!!

Wishing you a happy day!

Let’s stamp the day (and night) away!

-Steven

Monday Flowers

Happy Early Monday Morning!

I wanted to wish everyone a Happy Monday.  Mondays are my least favorite day of the week because, well, it’s Monday.  The weekend is over and it’s back to work, school, and the busyness of the week.  If you’re like me and dislike when Monday morning comes around, I made you a special card:

Gift of You Card

The card is made from the Flower Shop Stamp Set (Item #130939 – Wood or #130942 – Clear) and coordinating Pansy Punch (Item #130698) and Petite Petals Stamp Set (Item #133152 – Wood or #133155 – Clear) and Petite Petals Punch (Item #133322).

The flowers are colored with the new Blendabilities markers in Rich Razzleberry, Daffodil Delight, Cherry Cobbler, Pumpkin Pie and Coastal Cabana, and the vase is cut from an Oval Collection Framelits and colored with Blendabilities – Daffodil Delight.

The card base and sayings base is Blackberry Bliss.  The card front is Pumpkin Pie.  The beautiful saying is from the Gifts of Kindness Stamp Set (Item #130441 – Wood or #130444 – Clear).  The ribbon adorning the vase is the new Blackberry Bliss 3/8″ Stitched Satin Ribbon (Item #133668).

Please accept this beautiful card (idea) and flowers to cheer up your Monday morning!

I hope you have a great week!

Let’s stamp the day (and night) away!

-Steven

Where there’s a will…

Hello Stampers!

So it’s been a busy few days!  Monday and Tuesday after returning from the Stampin’ Getaway I spent some time catching up on house-related things and paying bills (bummer!).  Yesterday I finally got upstairs to my Stampin’ room and got cleaned up.  Why you might ask?  Because TODAY my box of new Stampin’ Up! stuff was coming (actually 3 boxes, but that’s not important!)  Anyway, I wanted to be able to unload the boxes and start playing right away, so cleaning was done last night and tonight I got to stamp all night!

The first thing I did was find my two stamp sets from my Top 3 from Monday – Tap Tap Tap Stamp Set (Items 134201/134204) and Ray of Sunshine Stamp Set (Items 134339/134210).  When I located them, I prepped them (I buy clear mount stamp sets, so that involved cutting and placing the decal on the back of the cling foam) and started thinking… could I incorporate the new In Colors (item #1 from my Top 3) plus both stamp sets into a card?  The wheels were spinning, the wheels were spinning… finally I discovered…

Where there’s a will… there’s a way.  And voila, here is my creation… see what you think!

SunType

Now, it may not be the prettiest card ever created, but it has some meaning.  As I mentioned in my previous post, the Tap Tap Tap Stamp Set has special meaning to me as a transcriptionist.  To all my transcribing friends out there, especially those who work from home, isn’t this the most beautiful way to work – transcribing while looking out the window on a beautiful sunny day?  Now granted, no one wants to work, but I would rather work on a sunny day than a cloudy, raining and dreary day!

I’ll post a card recipe here in a few days.  I can tell you, however, that the vase for the flowers was punched with an oval punch and colored with Coastal Cabana Blendabilities markers!  Are you getting excited for them?  Are you tired of me teasing you?  I’ll be posting a blog entry next week all about Blendabilities and they’ll be available later this month!

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this new creation!  The background is one of the new In Colors – Hello Honey and Hello Honey Designer Series Paper!  The Melon Mambo flowers have beautiful rhinestone accents!  If you have any questions, need some ideas or inspiration, please feel free to contact me!  I’m always available and more than willing to help you with any of your creations!  I’m also available to host a party or workshop at my house or yours!

Have a great Friday!

Let’s stamp the day (and night) away!

-Steven

P.S. – There was a “second” thing I did tonight with the new What’s Your Type Stamp Set.  Can you find it?  (Hint:  Where on my page do you find the name of my blog?!)  I’ll post more about this later!  Happy Stampin’!

Top 3 for Monday, June 2nd

It’s here!  It’s here!  It’s here!

I’m so excited!  June 2nd has finally come!  Today is the first day of the new 2014-2015 Annual Catalog and boy, I think you’ll love every one of the 249 pages!  Online ordering officially opened at 2:00 p.m. ET (12:00 p.m. MT) and by 2:05 p.m. my first order was in!  Have you ordered yet or do you have a wishlist of your “must haves” yet?  If not, or if you want a free catalog to browse through, please contact me.  I’d love to share ideas and inspiration with you and answer any questions you may have.

Now, as I mentioned in my previous post, every Monday in June I’ll be highlighting three NEW products from the 2014-2015 Annual Catalog.  I’ll let you know why they’re my favorite and when I get my catalog and can play with the new products, I’ll post some pictures of some projects you can make!  Sound good?

Let’s take a look at the Top 3 for Monday, June 2nd.

#1 – 2014-2016 In Color Cardstock & Pad Kit

(Item #133673, page 179, $29.95)

Cardstock_Pad Kit

Each year Stampin’ Up! releases five new colors called In Colors.  New In Colors are available for a two year limited engagement.  After the two years, the colors are placed back in the Stampin’ Up! vault (aka retired!) and we’re sad, but that also means new colors for us to play with!

This year I especially love the new colors!  They are deep, vibrant and rich and can be used for so many projects!

The new colors are:

  • Blackberry Bliss
  • Tangelo Twist
  • Hello Honey
  • Mossy Meadow
  • Lost Lagoon

The new In Colors are available in the package above, which is a great value that includes all five stamp pads and a paper assortment.  You can also buy the stamp pads, ink refills or paper by individual color, a set of Stampin’ Write Markers, Printed Clothespins embellishments, or new 3/8″ Stitched Satin Ribbon.

What will you make with your new In Colors?

Here is a picture of a card I made with the new In Colors.  The card base is Tangelo Twist and the stamped images are Lost Lagoon, Hello Honey and Blackberry Bliss.  Sadly, Mossy Meadow got left out, but no fear, there will be plenty of projects I’ll find for him!

You are a Fabulous Work of Art

 

#2 – Tap Tap Tap Stamp Set

(Wood #134201 – $26.95 or Clear #134204 – $18.95 – Page 126)

Tap Tap Tap Stamp Set

Okay, I realize you might be asking yourself why someone of my age might LOVE this stamp set?  After all, I may offend some by saying that this technology was NOT in my school when I was growing up.  I never had the pleasure of hearing the “ding” of a manual typewriter and Selectric was not a name brand I readily recognize.

However, this is one of my favorites because I am a transcriptionist, which makes this stamp set near and dear to my heart!  While we don’t use typewriters to prepare transcripts anymore, the beauty of these images makes my job seem so much more fun and, dare I say, vintage?  I smile as I say that with my tongue pressed against the inside of my cheek as I know some of you may direct a small expletive at me under your breath!

Anyway, please stay tuned to the blog over the next few days.  My order comes on Thursday and believe me, this will be one of the first stamp sets I go rooting for to play with!

#3 – Ray of Sunshine Stamp Set

(Wood #134339 – $27.95 or Clear #134210 – $19.95 – Page 159)

Ray of Sunshine Stamp Set

Everyone needs a little sunshine in their life, which is why I love this stamp set.  When I was preparing for a workshop in March, I looked with no success for ANY current Stampin’ Up! stamp set with a sun in.  It didn’t exist.  I finally had to use a flower as a makeshift sun.  It worked, but imagine how excited I was to see this beauty arrive in the new 2014-2015 Annual Catalog?

Imagine sending a card with a sunshine on – don’t you think that would “brighten” someone’s day?  The winter months in Maryland are cold and snowy at times.  Imagine sending your best friend, sister, mom, or even a perfect stranger a card to bring some sunshine to their day!  How special would that be?

Check back in a few days for some pictures with my new Ray of Sunshine stamp set!  I hope my ideas will put some sun in your step!

That’s it for this week’s Top 3.  Feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you think about the Top 3!  Do they make your favorites list?  What projects could you see yourself making?  Could you combine all three of my Top 3 into a single project?  Wow!  What fun that would be!

Also, please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or would like to place an order!  I’m always available to help with ideas, inspiration or to host a party and feature some of these wonderful new products in our 2014-2015 Annual Catalog!

I hope you have a great evening!

Let’s stamp the day (and night) away!

-Steven

A Million & One Thanks!

Welcome to StevenStamps.com!  I’m very excited to post my first “official” post on my new blog (and even more excited I figured out how to do all of this)!  This blog is dedicated to creativity and the fun things you can make with Stampin’ Up!

I hope that you will check back often for updates on the fun things I’m creating and new techniques, tools and stamp sets I will be demonstrating!  Stampin’ Up!’s new annual catalog will be debuting on Monday, June 2, and I’m excited to share a bunch of fun new projects using new stamp sets and colors!

In the meantime, I’ve created a card that conveys how I feel with this first post.  It’s called “A Million & One Thanks!” and it’s made using none other than the Million & One stamp set.  This stamp set is a carryover from last year and in the new 2014-2015 Annual Catalog it can be found on page 151.  It comes in wood mount (Item #126375 – $16.95) or clear mount (Item #126377 – $12.95).  Also featured on this card is a “sneak peek” at a new In Color for 2014-2016, Blue Lagoon.  Every year Stampin’ Up! introduces 5 new colors that are with us for a two year limited engagement.  I’ll be previewing the other four colors later this week – stay tuned!

So please accept my Million & One Thanks from the bottom of my heart for visiting my blog.  I hope you’ll decide to follow my blog and I look forward to sharing with you all of my fun times ahead and some great Stampin’ Up! products and projects.

Have fun creating!  Let’s stamp the day (and night) away!

-Steven

Card created on 5/24/2014 by Steven Zeigler
Card created on 5/24/2014 by Steven Zeigler