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 – August 12th

Weekly Deals Banner

Hello Everyone!

I hope everyone has had a great start to August and you are enjoying your summer! I am sorry that I’ve been out of touch or disconnected for the past few weeks! I haven’t been feeling well for the past few weeks and have been majorly distracted by medical tests and procedures. While I’m not feeling great now, I’ve also missed all of you, my Stampin’ family, and I’m glad to be back online and reconnected.

I have a number of things to update you about and will be posting here over the next few days. On this post, however, I wanted to provide some Stampin’ Up! news about Weekly Deals and the Big Shot Promotion.

Here are the Weekly Deals for this week:

08122014This week’s Weekly Deals are amazing.  From a price point-of-view, some of the more expensive items in our catalog are on sale at great savings! Also, most of the items on here are a great value because you can use and reuse them, like the Envelop Liners Framelits Die and Rosette Designer Bigz XL Die.  Click on the Weekly Deals Banner or the picture above to check out all the deals.

Do you like the Weekly Deals but are you thinking — “I don’t own a Big Shot yet?”

If that’s the case, Stampin’ Up! is running an excellent promotion for the month of August:

Promo PicHere’s how it works – buy a Big Shot for $99.95.  During the month of August, you’ll also receive a free stamp set and Framelits dies (specific bundles) for free. You can choose between wood mount or clear mount. The value is up to $60!

Own a Big Shot already but want one of the cool bundles?  For the month of August, the bundles included in the link above are 15% off! How great is that?

Click on the picture above for more information and to see the stamp sets and Framelits bundles available under this promotion!

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the Big Shot Promotion or any of our Weekly Deals! I’ll be placing a workshop order this week, so if there is anything you’re interested in, please let me know!

Thanks for your emails of concern while I was AWOL. I appreciate the concern and I’m sorry for my absence!

Let’s stamp the day (and night) away!

-Steven

 

 

Mark Your Calendar – August 19th

paperpumpkin

Paper Pumpkin Party

Each month my wonderful upline, Wendy, hosts a Paper Pumpkin Party where we all gather to put our fabulous monthly Paper Pumpkin kits together. In August, Wendy will be out of town and she has asked me to host her Paper Pumpkin Party! I’m so excited!

Please join us for our monthly Paper Pumpkin Party on Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 from 7:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. If you are a Paper Pumpkin subscriber, please bring your August Paper Pumpkin kit, snips (scissors) and your favorite adhesive. Everything else will be provided. I will be serving refreshments, including drinks and wine or sangria.

If you’re not a Paper Pumpkin subscriber and would like to “test the waters,” Stampin’ Up! is currently running a promotion. Receive 50% off your first two months! So for about $10 per month you can join our August party and September party and see if you like it. If you do (and I’m sure you will!), you don’t need to do anything to continue. If you don’t, you can cancel anytime.

Click on the picture below to access the Paper Pumpkin website if you’re interested in signing up!  When you sign up, make sure to use Promo Code “HALFOFF2” (without quotes) to receive this phenomenal offer. This promotion expires on September 10, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. MT.

50pct paper pumpkin j

If you are still unsure, I will have a few August Paper Pumpkin kits available for purchase. The cost is $23.00, which includes tax and shipping. To make sure I have enough one-time kits, you MUST let me know you’d like to purchase one when you RSVP.

Please RSVP for this event by August 12th, 2014 to stevenlovesstamping@gmail.com. If you have never been to my house before, I will provide you directions and further information in my confirmation email.

I look forward to seeing everyone who can attend on Tuesday, August 19th!

See you soon!

Let’s stamp the day (and night) away!

-Steven

Back in the Air Again…

Hi Everyone!

I hope you had a good week! It’s Friday again! I can’t believe how fast this week has gone by. I’m so sorry I’ve been absent for most of the week; I was vacationing in San Diego visiting my cousins. I’m currently on a flight from San Diego to Dallas/Ft. Worth and then on my way back home to D.C.

While I will be happy to be home, I have to say that the last nine days have been amazing. From starting my trip in Salt Lake City at Inspire. Create. Share 2014, to then visiting San Diego, Legoland and Disneyland, it’s been quite a packed few days.

I promised last week that I would provide a recap of my first Stampin’ Up! Convention, and I do not want to disappoint. However, before I move on to my Thursday recap, I wanted to share this picture with you. It’s a picture of Pluto and me at Disney’s California Adventure.

Pluto and Steven

Pluto is my favorite Disney character since my first trip to Walt Disney World in 1998. I’m not sure why he’s my favorite but I guess it’s because he’s the most “normal,” meaning he doesn’t stand on two legs and talk all goofy (lol); rather, he’s like a regular dog and Mickey’s best friend. I hope you enjoy!

Moving on to Convention!

Thursday was a most wonderful day! Wendy, Pauline and I woke up extra early and enjoyed a good breakfast at the Hilton Salt Lake City Center – to make sure we were good and nourished for our long day ahead. We headed over to the Salt Palace Convention Center at about 8:00 a.m. While we were waiting for the Main Stage doors to open at 8:30 a.m., we were swapping cards. I made about 50 general swap cards and was happy to be able to distribute them. In general, the cards I received during the general swap were beautiful and I was happy to swap with everyone. I received a lot of great feedback about my card too and many people were happy to see a male demonstrator.

Thursday’s General Session started at 9:00 a.m. and it was amazing! To start the General Session, company employees from various departments appeared on stage. Departments such as information technology, human resources, sales, demonstrator support, etc. were announced overhead and then ran down the main aisle to great audience applause. I know from running a small business that the success of the business depends on everyone, and it was nice to get to see the people that help support Stampin’ Up! everyday and make my creativity with great products possible!

After the introductions, Shelli Gardner came on stage and welcomed us to Inspire. Create. Share 2014. Now, if you’ve never heard Shelli speak, all I can say is wow. I’ve heard her a few times on YouTube videos, at the Catalog Premier and on the Grand Vacations trip, but not otherwise live in close audience. Shelli is not only an amazing speaker, but she’s also very motivating. Her enthusiasm not only impresses me as a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator but also as a business owner myself.

One of the big things that was announced and unveiled at the first General Session was the 2014 Holiday Catalog. This is the first time Stampin’ Up! has unveiled the holiday catalog at Convention and it was amazing!

While I cannot show you individual pages of the new holiday catalog yet, I can tell you that it’s amazing. The products being offered for the holidays are awesome and (IMHO) much better than last year. The kits are awesome (more about those later) and gift wrap is back for this year.

The holiday catalog will be available to order from on August 28th. In the meantime, I’ll be doing a holiday preview in August where I’ll have some of the holiday items on preview.

In the meantime, and as a little sneak peek, here is a picture of the cover of the 2014 Holiday Catalog. I hope you enjoy:

Holiday Catalog Preview

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the upcoming holiday catalog, dates you can order, or if you’d like to be put on my mailing list to receive a new holiday catalog in August!

After the General Session concluded, our group, including Pauline and Wendy, and Cathy, Jane, Kim and others moved to Hall C where we had our first of two Inspire. Create. Share 2014 Workshops. At this workshop we made cards using the new Kinda Eclectic Stamp Set. This stamp set is a wonderful addition to anyone’s stamp collection and includes beautiful stamps that can be used in any design.

Here is a preview of the stamps available in the set:

Kinda Eclectic

Unfortunately, the cards I made at the first workshop got buried in my luggage before I could take a picture, but I’ll be posting a picture later of the cards that we made at this great workshop.

After the Workshop, our group split up for a bit. Some went to some breakout sessions that were being held. I attended my second Convention Swap.  It was the All Occasions swap. We were asked to make cards that celebrated all occasions, such as birthday, holiday, thanks, etc. I made 25+2 cards for four groups and swapped with some truly amazing and creative demonstrators. In a later post, I’m excited to showcase some of my favorite swaps from this event.

After finishing at the swap, I accidentally (lol) ventured into the Gathering Place where the Convention Store was located. Now, for this year Stampin’ Up! did something a little different. In conjunction with unveiling the holiday catalog, Stampin’ Up! allowed demonstrators attending Convention to purchase select merchandise from the catalog. If you carried it with you, you were not charged shipping and you even received modified host benefits.

Well, as I wrote in text message to a few of my friends, the Convention Store got me into a little trouble (i.e. they gave me a BOX to carry out my goodies instead of a bag or two!)

Convention Store Sign

Needless to say, I needed a quick stop back at the hotel to drop off my new toys. I met Wendy at the lobby and we ventured back to the hotel for a quick pit stop!

After unloading my Convention box, we ventured back over to the Convention Center. Upon looking at our schedule we realized that the time we had scheduled to visit the home office in Riverton would not be sufficient in order to make it back for our 7:00 p.m. class (that we had paid for). To remedy this, we stood standby for an earlier bus and were soon on our way to Riverton.

It took about 25 minutes with traffic to arrive in Riverton but was well worth the time and the trip! The home office is beautiful. The 2-story water effect on the lower level is amazing and Wendy and I were both wow’ed by the distribution center! If you’re familiar with Amazon’s distribution center model, Stampin’ Up! uses the same model. The distribution center is divided into various zones. Your order being fulfilled is transported by conveyor and if an item you’ve ordered is in that zone, your box drops to a lower belt and lights light up letting the zone fulfillment person know which items to pick. They’re then placed in the box and reset to the upper conveyor. We were told at the distribution center that as many as 18 pickers could pick your order if it’s a large order! The center was truly amazing.

Upon returning from the Home Office, Wendy and I grabbed a bite to eat and then made our way back to the Convention Center for our 7:00 p.m. class. At the class we worked on a Simply Created Kit to be released in the 2014 Holiday catalog called Watercolor Wonder. In a previous post, I previewed a card made at this class and I’ll be excited to further work with this kit when I return home. As an aside, I must tell you that this was Cathy’s favorite kit of all at Convention. And Cathy, if you’re reading this, I’m so excited to see all the fun projects you’ll be making with watercolors! 🙂

Finally, our busy first “official” day of Convention ended with drinks at Spencer’s in the Hilton. For our drinks we were joined by others we had traveled with for a larger group and had such a great time in each other’s company. We all agreed that one of the best parts of Convention is the company, catching up with existing friends and making new friends!

The first day of Convention was so great. I’m so happy to share it with you. I’ll be back later on in the flight or this evening to post about Friday! Also, I plan to clean up my Stampin’ Studio (new name I learned in Convention) tomorrow and I should have some new projects for you by the end of the weekend!

Please enjoy your weekend. Thanks for reading and I can’t wait to share more with you 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

 

 

Weekly Deals – July 15th

Weekly Deals Banner

Hello and Happy Tuesday again!

I hope this blog post finds you well! It finds me quite busy. I’ve been working most of the day to finish up on last minute swaps (I’ll post about that later) and finishing up at work for my upcoming vacation!

I can’t believe that I leave for Convention tomorrow. My upline, Wendy, and I have been talking or texting almost daily in utter excitement. I feel like a kid waiting for summer vacation or Christmas to approach and have stopped just short of having a countdown!

Before I leave for Convention though I wanted to post this week’s Weekly Deals.  These deals are good from 12:00 a.m. Tuesday, July 15th through 11:59 p.m. (MT) on Monday, July 21st.

Here are the Weekly Deals for July 15th:

07152014

It appears from the Weekly Deals this week that it’s “punch week”! Both the square punch (Item #124094) and the triangle punch (Item #133375) are great deals for the price and can be used for so many different designs, on scrapbook pages, cards, or for your best memories in a Project Life album!

I encourage you to take a look at these Weekly Deals and see what might be of interest to you. If you have any questions, please feel free to email or call me. Even though I’m at Convention, I’ll be checking my phone and email regularly and I’m happy to assist you however I can.

Also remember that for the month of July Designer Series Paper is Buy 3, Get 1 Free. This is a great deal and this year’s Designer Series Paper designs are amazing. They really make a page pop-out and add extra color and life to your favorite project.

Here is the link to the Designer Series Paper sale:

DSPBuy3I hope everyone has a great week!  I look forward to posting updates and information while at Convention. If you have any questions or need any further information, please feel free to contact me! I’ll be available this evening before I leave for Salt Lake City, then checking in while I’m away!

Have a great day!

Let’s stamp the day (and night) away!

-Steven