A Bowl of Cherries!

Hello!

I hope everyone had a good week. I can’t believe it’s Saturday already! I also can’t believe we’re winding down summer and it’s already Labor Day weekend! I hope everyone enjoys it. If you are traveling this Labor Day, please be safe. I’ve spent the last two days with friends and will be spending the rest of the weekend with friends and family, both in D.C. and York, and I couldn’t ask for a better weekend!

For some of my friends (and for me), this last week was long and rough! School started this week and I spent a good part of the week finding classes that would both satisfy my remaining few credits I have left in my MBA and ones that I would be able to survive for the next 15 weeks! I think I found two good ones on Tuesday night and Friday afternoon. Wish me luck!

Surviving a difficult week got my creative juices flowing. I started to think about the Giggle Greetings Stamp Set (Item #131062 – Wood or #131065 – Clear). This is a great stamp set to own because the pictures and the greetings are just TOO CUTE! Here’s a picture of the stamp set:

Giggle Greetings Stamp SetThe other reason this is a cute stamp set is because you can use Blendabilities to color the images. Based on the title of my post, you can probably tell which image and saying I decided to use on a card! Here is the finished card:

Giggle Greetings Card

The card base and matching Blendabilities color is Coastal Cabana. I also used Cherry Cobbler Blendabilities and cardstock, and 3/4″ Chevron Ribbon in Cherry Cobbler to provide accent. The greeting is from the Gifts of Kindness Stamp Set (Item #130441 – Wood or #130444 – Clear) punched using the Modern Label Punch. This card is dedicated to anyone and everyone who had a difficult week like me! My hope is that next week life will be a sweet bowl of cherries and not the pits!

So with this post, I also wanted to let you know about a few other announcements!

#1 – the Holiday Catalog was released this week! That’s right, it may only be the last week of August but it’s not too early to start looking at the holidays. The 2014 Holiday Catalog includes Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s! Feel free to click on the link above to browse the online catalog on the Store. If you’d like a physical catalog, please feel free to contact me and I’d be happy to drop one off or mail one to you! I just started my second year as a demonstrator and this is my second holiday catalog! This one is even more exciting than last year’s. It’s more colorful and the new stamp sets are so cute. I’ll be spending some time over the next few days making some cards from the holiday stamp sets and will post them on here and Pinterest! Stay tuned!

#2 – please stay tuned to the blog! My upline, Wendy, and I are working on finalizing dates for September for a few great parties – our monthly Paper Pumpkin Party AND a Holiday Wreath Party! We will be coming together to share company and make the Frightful Wreath Simply Created Kit, found in the Holiday Catalog! Please consider joining us for these awesome workshops!

#3 – through September 10th, the Paper Pumpkin Promotion is still going on! Remember, if you sign up by September 10th, you’ll receive the September 2014 and October 2014 kit for 50% off! I know you’ll love your Paper Pumpkin kits, but remember, Paper Pumpkin is a monthly subscription, so you can try out Paper Pumpkin for September and October and if it’s just not for you, that’s fine; you can stop your subscription and/or take a month off if you’d like! To sign up for Paper Pumpkin and receive the 50% off offer, simply click on THIS LINK. When prompted for a Promo Code, enter HALFOFF2 and you’re all set! Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

#4 – Finally, please remember that Stampin’ Up! posts new Weekly Deals each Tuesday. Since the Weekly Deals will be ongoing, I will be posting a permanent link on my blog for you to preview the deals each week! Please remember that Weekly Deals expire (and new ones are posted) each Tuesday at 12:00 a.m. MT!

Again, wishing everyone a very happy, festive and fun Labor Day weekend! Please be safe and enjoy! I’ll be posting holiday cards soon and the dates for September parties! I look forward to hearing from you and possibly seeing you at a party soon! Take care!

Let’s stamp the day (and night) away!

-Steven

 

Anniversaries and Blendabilities

Hi Everyone,

Happy Saturday! I am so happy it is the weekend; it’s been a long week. The not so fun part, which I’ll only briefly mention, is I had a medical procedure at Johns Hopkins this week that was supposed to be a quick few hours procedure. Well, because of low hemoglobin, it turned into an overnight hospital stay. Not so much fun – but I’m home, recovered and luckily that was only a small part of the week!

The larger parts of my week and the fun times – there were two! First, today our family celebrated my parent’s 40th wedding anniversary. Individually, my parents have always served as amazing role models to my sister, to me and now to their four grandchildren (my nephews and niece). My father and mother each have their own unique personalities, life journeys and life lessons to teach. They are amazing mentors and advisors to our entire family. Together, their love is inspirational. Every relationship has struggles and tribulations, but my parents have shown our family what unconditional love is – to each other and to all of us. With 40 years under their belts, they show us that a relationship can be built on love and trust and to never give up!

We celebrated today as a family at Hickory Bridge Farm in Orrtanna, Pennsylvania (just outside of Gettysburg). My sister chose the restaurant, which is also a bed and breakfast and event site for parties and weddings. It was beautiful. Not only that, but it was great to celebrate this occasion with our parents complemented with a “family-style” meal. The food was delicious and home-cooked and the ambiance of an old barn setting was beautiful. We were greeted upon entry with cheese and crackers and fresh, homemade apple juice. Once seated, we enjoyed cucumber or spiced peaches, iced tea and lemonade. Our salad course was topped with bacon infused dressing. For dinner we enjoyed chicken and gravy topped dumplings, baked ham and crab imperial. Finally, for dessert, we enjoyed apple crisp and cherry ice cream pie. Needless to say, if you left Hickory Bridge Farm hungry, it was entirely on you!

After dinner, we visited the country store on site and spent some time in the scenery to take some pictures of the happy couple!

Photo Aug 16, 6 12 40 PM

It truly was a beautiful evening and I’m so happy (and grateful) for my parents!

The second fun time had this week was a Stampin’ Up! get-together on Monday night to learn, play with and create using Blendabilities markers! I hosted the event at my house for another demonstrator and 16 guests. It was a great time! This is the second time I’ve had the opportunity to teach others about Stampin’ Up!’s new Blendabilities markers. It’s such a great experience and since the product is brand new, it’s always fun showing someone who has never used Blendabilities markers or may be afraid to try them out all about them, and to see their comfort once we’ve gone over the basics!

At the get-together we made two cards. The first is called Snapshot:

Snapshot

This card is made using Blendabilities markers. The camera is stamped with the Snapshot stamp set (Item #133812) using Smoky Slate Blendabilities markers (Item #131005). The card base is Smoky Slate and the card front is Very Vanilla. The top border is stamped with Real Red using the Dotty Angles (Item #133658) stamp set. The greeting is from the Fabulous Four stamp set (Item #134171 – wood or #134174 – clear). Once colored, the camera was cut out and mounted using Stampin’ Dimensionals (Item #104430) on a piece of Flashback Designer Series Paper (Item #133699).

I chose to use the Snapshot stamp set for a make-and-take because, as I’ve been talking about Blendabilities with my customers and about this stamp set, I’ve received a lot of questions about how you color this, or why you would use Blendabilities since it doesn’t look like there’s a lot to the image, in terms of shading, shadowing or blending. However, as you can see above, you can actually get quite creative with Blendabilities. Blending doesn’t have to follow a specific rule or logic even. It can be how YOU perceive the image or whatever fuels your creativity! In this case, as I isolate this image in my mind, this is how I’d picture it – colored and blended exactly as I’ve done it. One additional thing to note: not all cameras are Smoky Slate (grey). In fact, Stampin’ Up! has 11 other colors and I’m sure the Snapshot camera would look good in any of those colors!

The second card made for the get-together is called Bloom for Hope:

Bloom with Hope

This card was made using a stamped image from the Bloom for Hope Hostess Stamp Set (Item #133949 – wood or #133952 – clear). It is colored with Wisteria Wonder (Item #131002), Daffodil Delight (Item #130998AND Smoky Slate (Item #131005) Blendabilities markers. The card base is Wisteria Wonder and the card front is Whisper White. The card front is stamped using Wisteria Wonder ink with Petite Petals (Item #133152 – wood or #133155 – clear) and the greeting is from the Four You stamp set (Item #130535 – wood or #130538 – clear). To make the background, I glued an inch strip of Daffodil Delight to a 2.5 inch strip of Wisteria Wonder from the Designer Series Paper Stacks (Item #130134 – Brights and #130135 – Subtle), angled it a bit and trimmed to fit it on the card front. Finally, the ribbon is 1/2″ Seam Binding Ribbon in Wisteria Wonder (Item #134572) with a rhinestone (Item #119246).

I chose this card for two reasons. First, I wanted to highlight a stamp set, the Bloom for Hope Hostess Stamp Set, as a set you can use with Blendabilities even though it’s not “officially” endorsed to be used with Blendabilities. Simply put, you can use any stamp set you’d like with Blendabilities. Stampin’ Up! recommends some sets that have larger areas to color and blend, but really almost any image has the potential to be spruced up with some Blendabilities color!

The second reason I chose this card is because of the blending technique. As I mentioned above, the flower is colored with Daffodil Delight and Wisteria Wonder, which are fairly easy to see. What may not be easy to see at first glance is the flower is also blended using Smoky Slate (grey). When Stampin’ Up! initially launched Blendabilities back in June, they released six of the twelve colors initially. My biggest disappointment was that they did not release Smoky Slate with the initial offering. In using alcohol-based markers before, I love using greys to further blend my designs. Grey works especially well when coloring with purples and blues (medium or darker blues) but can be added, in moderation, to other colors as well. While it may be difficult to see from the picture above, the shadowing just outside of the stamen is accented with grey, as well as some of the darker shading on the petals of the flower. If you haven’t tried already, I recommend you try adding some grey for blending to your design. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the results!

With the time spent at the hospital, hosting the Stampin’ Up! get-together and celebrating with my parents (oh, and working, too – have to pay for Stampin’ Up! somehow!), it’s been a very busy week! I’m happy to have shared the highlights with you and I hope you’ve found some inspiration in the two card ideas! I’ll be focusing a bit more on Blendabilities in some upcoming blog posts.  As always, I’m available to host a workshop, a demonstration or provide more information about Blendabilities or any Stampin’ Up! product. Feel free to contact me. Also, the Bloom for Hope Hostess Stamp Set can be yours for hosting a get-together with some friends to learn about Blendabilities or maybe to take advantage of the great Big Shot Promotion going on right now. Contact me for more details.

Have a great week! For my readers who are teachers and heading back to the classroom this week, I wish you my best! Thank you for all you do and cheers to you for a great school year ahead!

Let’s stamp the day (and night) away!

-Steven

Weekly Deals – July 1st

Weekly Deals Banner

Happy 1st day of July!

I hope everyone’s July is off to a great start.  Mine is!  What better way to start July than some great Weekly Deals!  (And if that’s not enough, remember that today is the public release of Blendabilities markers!)

Here are the Weekly Deals for July 1st.

07012014Of particular note from this week’s Weekly Deals are the 2013-2015 In Color Stampin’ Write Markers. Now, I’m a little partial to these In Color Stampin’ Write Markers because they contain one of my favorite colors – Baked Brown Sugar! But also, Stampin’ Write Markers are a great deal because they are multi-use. Not only can you color in images with them, you can also stamp with them. Simply color directly on the stamp with the markers and let dry for a few moments. When you’re finished coloring, “huff” on the stamp to reactivate the ink, then stamp.  Using this technique, you can even stamp in multiple colors.

Here is a card we made at a Stampin’ workshop I hosted in March.  The flower was stamped by coloring with two Stampin’ Write Markers – Garden Green and Melon Mambo:

Butterflies

If you haven’t tried Stampin’ Write Markers, I encourage you to do so!  They make a great (and cheap) addition to your Stampin’ supplies and can take your ink possibilities a long way! Plus, they’re a great way to try new colors before you invest in the stamp pad or paper, if you’re unsure!

As always, please remember that if you’d like a demonstration of the Stampin’ Write Markers, the “huff” technique, or any other products or techniques, please let me know. I’m happy to work with you to customize a workshop that will fit your attendees and be over-the-top fun!

Since it’s July 1st, also in this post I wanted to provide you the active links for the new Blendabilities markers and supplies:

All of the Blendabilities colors and supplies listed above are available now. Even if Blendabilities are not your thing (yet!), I really like and suggest considering the Memento Ink Pad.  When used, this ink pad creates crisp, beautiful black lines.  Plus, unlike the Basic Black Classic Stampin’ Pad from Stampin’ Up!, it doesn’t smear on Whisper White cardstock, which is a known problem that Stampin’ Up! is aware of. Also different than the Jet Black Staz On Ink, the Memento ink is water-based.  As a result, you can use your Stampin’ Scrub to clean your stamps and don’t need any special cleaner.

While this appeared in a previous post, I wanted to repost this card that was colored using Blendabilities markers:

Vivid Vases

All six of the colors available now are featured in this card!  Notice how you can use different techniques to get a truly wonderful, special and personalized final product!

Between the Weekly Deals and release of the Blendabilities, there’s a lot to celebrate this July 1st and month of July!  I hope you have a great start to your month and you make the most of this summer!  Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

Happy creating!

Let’s stamp the day (and night) away!

-Steven

 

Stampin’ Up! Announcements!

Hi Everyone,

I hope you’re having a great weekend!  I’ve been busy getting ready for Convention and I should have some new, fun projects to share with you soon!  Plus, I think I’ve finally finished my prototype for my 3-D project for convention next month.  I previewed it with my upline, Wendy, and others Saturday at a Paper Pumpkin event and it was a hit! It’s relatively easy to put together and does look cute, so I think I’m set!  Now to make 12 more of those and 200 more cards and I’ll be ready to go!

Before I get started on projects, I wanted to write and let you know about TWO very important Stampin’ Up! Announcements.

First, Blendabilities will be released on July 1st.  This is the first time they will be available to the public.  They have been available for preview by demonstrators since May 1st.  On July 1st, the following items will be available (all items appear on page 212 of the catalog:

  • Stampin’ Blendabilities Markers – $11.95
    • Coastal Cabana (Item #131000)
    • Cherry Cobbler (Item #130995)
    • Daffodil Delight (Item #130998)
    • Old Olive (Item #130999)
    • Pumpkin Pie (Item #130997)
    • Rich Razzleberry (Item #131003)
  • Stampin’ Blendabilities Skin Tone Assortment – $22.95 (Item #129370)
  • Color Lifter – $4.95 (Item #129369)
  • Memento Ink Pad – $5.95 (Item #132708)
  • Memento Ink Refill – $4.95 (Item #133456)

On Tuesday when the links are active on Stampin’ Up!, I will repost with active links for you to click through.  I am so excited about the release of the Stampin’ Blendabilities markers.  As many of you know I am a free drawer as well as a papercrafter.  Before starting with Stampin’ Up! I owned alcohol-based markers by another manufacturer.  Needless to say, when Stampin’ Up! announced they were creating an alcohol-based marker in January at Leadership Convention, I was already hooked. Since getting the Blendabilities in the May Sneak Peek, I’ve been playing almost daily with them and incorporating them into many projects.

If you’d like to see the projects I’ve used Blendabilities in, please click on the Categories tag on the right hand side for Blendabilities.  All previous posts featuring them are available there.

When the Blendabilities are released, I will be posting another blog post about them, including how to use them and some general techniques. Of course, I am available to demonstrate them to your friends and family at a demonstration event.  I’ve taught three classes so far about Blendabilities, including one to 12 students at the Stampin’ Getaway.  I enjoy them and enjoy showing others and I am super excited for the public release!

The second announcement is starting on July 1st and running for the month of July all Designer Series Paper (DSP) will be on sale Buy 3, Get 1 free.  This is an excellent sale and basically amounts to 25% off when you buy four.  The Designer Series Paper can be found on pages 186-187 of the Annual Catalog.  I’ve posted images of them below from the catalog.

DSPp186

 

(Click on the images to make them larger)DSPp187

I can’t believe July is approaching so fast and Convention is just a short time away.  I’m looking forward to the next few weeks, making cards, attending Convention and sharing great ideas and new projects with you.

If I haven’t said already, thanks so much for reading and subscribing! Have a great week ahead!

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’!

Stampin’ Getaway 8 – 50 Shades of Color

Hello again!

As I mentioned yesterday, I had the privilege and opportunity to attend a Stampin’ Getaway this past weekend hosted by a fellow demonstrator, Kim H.  The Getaway was held in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, about an hour and a half from Germantown.  David and I attended as the only male participants, joined by over 50 women!  We both had such a wonderful time and it was so neat to be surrounded by a bunch of other people who shared my same passion for Stampin’ Up! and cardmaking/papercrafting!

While at the Getaway, I had the opportunity to teach a class about Blendabilities, the new alcohol-based markers that are featured in the 2014-2015 Annual Catalog and will be released from Stampin’ Up! soon!  I can’t wait to post more about these markers, but I figured I’d wait until closer to the release date to not tease you too much!  Anyhow, the class was great.  I had 10 wonderful ladies join me that made the class a terrific one to teach.  I had the “coveted” time slot of 9:00 a.m. on Saturday and some of my students, as well as the instructor himself, weren’t quite awake, but I believe our good spirits, laughter, and love for Stampin’ Up! kept us all moving!  In the class we had the opportunity to make three cards.  One of the cards is Vivid Vases, which was featured in a previous post.  The other two were Blended Bloom and In This Together.  I’ll be featuring them soon in my Blendabilities post.

From Friday at 7:00 p.m. until Sunday at noon, including staying up until 4:00 a.m. on Sunday morning, I got to make 28 different cards (60 total).  Here is a picture of the wonderful cards I got to make!

Getaway 8 Cards

While I love EVERY card and give the fullest credit to the wonderful designers for their AMAZING talent, there were five cards that I absolutely love and are my favorites from the Getaway.  Here is a close-up of my five faves.

Getaway 8 Faves

 

OOPS!  I guess there were six; how did that happen (smiles).  I know some of you may be surprised that a card with butterflies, of all things, made my favorites list!  I should point out that Pacific Point, which is the background on the butterflies card, is my favorite Stampin’ Up! color!

I hope you enjoy these pictures from the Stampin’ Getaway.  As a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator, I host events in which I can demonstrate how to make wonderful cards like these.  I’m happy to host a demonstration or a workshop, in which you and your attendees can make various different cards, including variations of some of the ones featured above.  Please feel free to contact me for more information!

Before I conclude my post, I’d like to thank Kim, George, Elaine, and Emily for hosting such a wonderful event.  Through blood, sweat and tears (almost all literally!), you all did the most amazing job.  Kim, you’re an inspiration to me as a demonstrator and person.  Thank you for your wonderful hospitality this weekend!

Have a great night everyone!

Let’s stamp the day (and night) away!

-Steven