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

Weekly Deals – July 22nd

Weekly Deals Banner

Hello Stampers!

Happy Tuesday! I am currently writing from San Diego. I’m up early (it’s only 5:00 a.m. here) waiting for a ride to Disneyland! I’ve had a great time in San Diego so far and can’t wait to fill you in. Before I depart for Anaheim, however, I wanted to post this week’s Weekly Deals. These deals will be current through Monday, July 28th at 11:59 p.m. MT.

07222014While my comments about this week’s Weekly Deals will be short, with Halloween and the fall holidays fast approaching, consider stocking up on the Pumpkin Pie or Crushed Curry 3/4″ Chevron Ribbon, both on sale this week. Pumpkin Pie adds a nice ribbon embellishment to a Halloween card, wreath or other project since it is Stampin’ Up!’s “official” color of Halloween. Crushed Curry is rich enough that, combined with other festive fall colors, adds great ribbon embellishment for those “giving thanks” cards or other projects for Thanksgiving!

I hope you enjoy this week’s Weekly Deals! Also remember that Stampin’ Up!’s Designer Series Paper is still Buy 3-Get 1 Free through the month of July. You only have 9 more days to stock up on Designer Series Paper with this great deal! Don’t delay!

Here is the link to the Designer Series Paper Sale:

DSPBuy3Please enjoy this wonderful day. I’ll be in Anaheim at Disneyland today and tomorrow but hope to catch up on my blog posting soon!

I’ll say hi to Mickey Mouse for you when I see him!

Let’s stamp the day (and night) away!

-Steven

 

 

Two new cards!

Hi Everyone,

Happy Saturday! I hope everyone had a great Fourth of July! I did. This was the first year in three years that I wasn’t in the hospital over the Fourth of July.  The last two years, I was “privileged” enough to hear the fireworks from Frederick Memorial Hospital.  This year, however, I heard them from my house, which is a much better place to spend the Fourth!

The weather was beautiful yesterday. I hope everyone had a chance to play outside during the day! I had lunch outside and then took the dog for a nice walk later in the afternoon. I haven’t been outside yet and will be traveling today, but am hoping the weather is as nice as yesterday!

For the Fourth of July, I made you two cards that I wanted to showcase here.  The first is a promise from earlier in the week; it’s a card made for my cat-loving blog friends.  It was made with the You Little Furball Stamp Set.  I will be posting a card recipe later for this card:

You Little Furball

Now, this is truly a prototype card.  I wanted to experiment with the Strawberry Slush Thick Baker’s Twine to see if I could make a yarn effect, which turned out nicely; however, if I could change anything, I would’ve made the word “cats” in a different color than black, as I feel it pulls away from the card.  But those are just my self-critiques.  I hope you enjoy this card!

The second card is actually a Holiday Preview card!  It was stamped with the Beauty of the Season Stamp Set, which will be released with the holiday catalog.  As a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator, we prepare for the holidays early. The holiday catalog will be released to demonstrators at Convention in two weeks, and they will allow us to purchase some product from the catalog at that time, and then the holiday preorder starts on August 1st for demonstrators. Can you believe we’re preparing already? I’m so excited for this season to come and to share some great holiday cards with you. Last year, being a brand new demonstrator, I did not make a whole lot of holiday cards. I made one to send out and helped a few friends with theirs, but I didn’t make a whole lot of different designs. I’ll be happy to change that this year and post to the blog with new, great ideas!

Here is the card.  The cardinal was stamped with Stampin’ Write Markers (Cherry Cobbler and Soft Suede) and the ribbon is the Cherry Cobbler 1/2″ Seam Binding Ribbon.

First Christmas

I hope you all have a great Saturday and weekend! Convention is only 11 short days away! I’ll be traveling to York, PA (my hometown) today for a brief visit, but am continuing to chug along with swaps for Convention.  My excitement is growing and I can’t wait to return and share some of our fun experiences with you!

Enjoy!

Let’s stamp the day (and night) away!

-Steven