Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Check Out Stampin' Up!'s New Clearance Rack!

Stampin' Up! has just opened a new section in the online store, with special, deeply discounted items!  Right now, there are some wonderful ribbons, papers, rub ons, and more -- great supplies for fall and winter crafts, at an amazing price!  However, these are only available while supplies last -- so be sure to check them out soon!

You can click on the link in the image above to see what's in the Clearance Rack (just make sure to enter my name as your demonstrator to get the best possible price), or you can visit the Clearance Rack through my website -- (click on "shop now", then select "Clearance Rack" in the online store).

Please let me know if you have any questions!

- Michelle


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sunny Day

It definitely feels like fall here today . . . sunny, but cool and windy!  A bit of a challenge when I went outside to photograph the cards I want to share with you today.  But, these cards are so bright and cheery, I think it was worth it.  These are from a set of 30 cards I made using the Sunny Day Simply Scrappin' Kit.  I actually assembled them while on the plane to and from Illinois for my brother's wedding.  Finally got around to adding a few finishing touches today -- after I had finished my first album using My Digital Studio and sent that to Stampin' Up! (Whoo Hoo!  Totally addicted to digital papercrafting now!) 

Anyway, without further ado, here are some of my favorites from this card set:

The cards just need some stamped greetings, and they'll be ready to use.  If you'd like to make some like this, please email me about purchasing a kit!  These cards are wonderfully fun and easy to assemble.

- Michelle

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Already Time for a Twick or Tweet?

Fall is officially here . . . and I've noticed that almost all the stores have Halloween candy and decorations out!  Guess it's time to start working on Halloween crafts now, too!  Here's a Fancy Favor bag I recently created using the Night and Day Specialty Designer Series Paper from the Holiday Mini.  I love how this project shows off both sides of the beautiful paper!  (Think how fun this paper would be if it were brayered so that the white is turned another Halloween color, such as Pumpkin Pie or Dusty Durango, as well! )

After assembling the bag, I cut out the window in the front using the Scallop Oval Punch.  The candy inside the bag is packaged in a cello bag, tied with Dusty Durango Polka Dot Grosgrain ribbon.  
The handle was created using a piece of the designer paper that was left over from cutting out the box, plus a piece left when I cut a box out of the Polka Dot Window Sheets from the Night and Day Specialty Paper.  I used white brads from the 5/16" assortment to attach each side of the handle to the box.

The finishing touch was the tag, stamped using the adorable Twick or Tweet set:

The chick was colored using Water Color Pencils and a Blender Pen.  I sponged the edges of the tag with Basic Black ink, and attached it using more Dusty Durango ribbon plus some gold Elastic Cord.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Up, Up, Away . . . and Back Again!

We were away this weekend for my brother's wedding, and that was a wonderful time with our family!  Now, I'm back again with one more balloon card to share with you.  This one is created using the Sweet Centers stamp set again, but this time, with a Sweet Treat cup holding some candy.  These little plastic cups are self-adhesive -- so easy and fun to use to add a little something extra to a card!  (Tip: Stampin' Up!'s 1 3/4" Circle punch works great to create the spot for the cup to come through the card stock.  Here, I used dimensionals between the "sky" card layer and the base of the card to make it easier for the card's recipient to remove the candy without destroying the card.  After making this, I received a wonderful swap card from my friend Marlene, who used a clever card stock insert to hold the candy in!  Will have to try that next time!)

Here's a close up on the balloon:

To create the banner, I stamped the greeting (from the Teeny Tiny Wishes set), then sketched the shape around it using my brown watercolor pencil.  The banner was then carefully trimmed from the card stock and adhered to the card using two way glue.  (Great stuff for adhering small paper pieces!  . . . and, glitter, and more . . . )

The background was created using a brayer to add Tempting Turquoise and Bermuda Bay inks onto Whisper White card stock.  I wiped a baby wipe over the card stock after applying both colors, to help blend and soften the colors.  If you use this technique, and don't like the way it looks immediately, be patient . . . as the ink dries, it continues to blend and soften.  So, it may look better after about fifteen minutes to an hour than it does initially!

For the clouds, I used the scallop oval punch, and punched pieces of  Whisper White card stock.  After I adhered these to the card, I finger painted some Frost White shimmer paint onto the clouds for some added interest.  Kind of hard to photograph, but did try a close up so you could see it better:

Thanks for stopping by!


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Up, up and away . . .

Here is a card I created for a recent swap . . . this card shows off the new In Colors as well as a fun alternative way to use the new Sweet Treats set from the Holiday Mini (also fun to use with the 1 3/4 Circle punch and the sweet treat cups shown in the Mini -- have a sample to show you with that soon, too).

For the balloon top, I used the wide oval punch to create the Soft Suede piece in the center, then surrounded that with the other In Colors, punched with the large oval punch.  The Bermuda Bay one in the center is popped up with Dimensionals. 

To create the sky background, I used a sponge dauber and gently dabbed some Bermuda Bay ink around on the Whisper White card stock.

Also used Crystal Effects to attach a silver bead on the balloon basket for a fun 3D effect. 

For the greeting, I used a stamp from the Teeny Tiny Wishes set, punched out with the Word Window punch and layered onto a piece of Crushed Curry punched out with the new Modern Label punch.  Added a whisper white Scallop Oval cloud behind that.

There are also a few circles from the fun new Circle Circus stamp set stamped in Soft Suede on the card base. 

Thanks for stopping by!

- Michelle

Monday, September 14, 2009

Golden Wings of Friendship

I recently made some cards using the Wings of Friendship Set (this is one of the beautiful new hostess sets in the 2009-2010 Idea Book and Catalog!)  The bird image in this stamp is so beautiful, and reminded me of an image on one of my favorite t-shirts.  So, that was the inspiration for the first card I made:

 The bird and flowers were embossed in gold on textured Very Vanilla cardstock.  (I love the way the embossing looks on the textured cardstock -- almost like linen.)  After embossing, I sponged on some So Saffron and then Pale Plum and Rich Razzleberry inks.  This piece is layered on Rich Razzleberry card stock and a Pale Plum card stock base.  Then, added a piece of Apricot Appeal that had been punched with the Eyelet Border punch for trim.  The greeting was stamped on Very Vanilla with Rich Razzleberry (also sponged around the edges after punching with the Scallop Oval punch).  I finished it off with an Apricot Appeal grosgrain bow tucked behind the greeting.

After making the first card, I decided to experiment with some other color combinations on some other images I had embossed. The next combination I tried was sponging Regal Rose, Rose Red, and Melon Mambo inks.

Here's the first card I made with this piece.  Originally, I decided to keep this card kind of simple.  I layered the main image onto a piece of brushed gold cardstock, and then onto the Soft Suede card base.  For the final touch, I added a Chocolate Chip grosgrain bow.

However, the more I looked at it, the more it seemed that the bow was just too big for the card.   So, here is what I came up with instead:

For this card, I again used the Eyelet border punch, this time with the brushed gold card stock.  I layered a small strip of Soft Suede on top of that piece.  Then, dyed a small silk flower from the Pretties Kit (sponged on some Regal Rose and Melon Mambo), added a pink circle rhinestone from the Fire Rhinestones, and viola.  Much happier with how this looks!

Still have a few more embossed pieces to color . . . will have to try some more color combinations!  Any suggestions?

- Michelle

Friday, September 11, 2009

Build a Bear Tea Party!

My first Build a Bear Tea Party was yesterday, and it was so much fun!  I took lots of photos, and decided it would be fun to make some scrapbook pages with My Digital Studio to help share the photos with you.  The first page shows the pieces we could choose from in dressing our paper bears, and how I had those pieces organized.  I discovered that the littlest accessories fit perfectly in an empty Hodgepodge Hardware TM tin that I had around, just waiting to be reused.  The clothes were organized into little boxes cut out using the Big Shot Matchbox Die.  The shoes were organized into a segmented plastic box (the kind some Stampin' Up! alphabet stamps come in). 

The second page is a collage with the different bears everyone created (tried to get everyone's in here -- if yours is missing, I apologize!)  Really enjoyed seeing the different outfits and choices everyone made.  Although I did notice that the one must-have accessory for every girl bear was a purse! 

In addition to creating a bear, we also used the Build a Bear stamps and Pawsitively Prints paper to create a card.  There were two versions of the card from which to choose -- one with more girly colors (Certainly celery and Regal Rose) and the other with more boyish colors (Ballet Blue and Pumpkin Pie).

If you missed out on this Tea Party and want to make these projects, please let me know . . . I may try to host another one again soon . . . or would be glad to arrange one for you and your friends!  Also, please contact me if you are interested in purchasing any of the Stampin' Up!/Build a Bear projects used to make these creations!  (Or, you can order them from my online store by clicking any of my catalog links in the sidebar, and then clicking "Shop Now" once you get to my website.)

- Michelle

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Beary Girly Build a Bear Card

Seems like I have Build a Bears on the brain right now -- had to tear myself away from My Digital Studio to finish up preparations for my Build a Bear tea party tomorrow, and am really looking forward to that!  Anyway, thought I'd share with you a card that I created last week for a sketch challenge.  The card uses the Beary Best Friends stamp set and Pawsitively Prints designer paper (really excellent paper -- for card making, scrapbooking and creating bear outfits -- as those at the tea party will find out tomorrow!)  The colors in the designer paper are so bright and happy -- decided to use the Old Olive from it for my card base and Bashful Blue for the piece behind the bear, then Apricot Appeal ribbon.  Also enjoyed using the scallop edge punch for another girly touch along the polka dot paper. 

The bear and her balloon are colored using Stampin' Up!'s watercolor pencils and blender pens. We'll be using this technique tomorrow, too, for the card we'll make at the tea -- should be able to show you that soon, too.  Stay tuned! 

- Michelle 

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

My first My Digital Studio Creations!

Stampin' Up!'s My Digital StudioTM software will be available starting October 1st, but demonstrators are able to pre-order it now.  So, I ordered it last week, and my copy arrived today!  I installed the software right away.   My friend Jana happened to be over shortly after it arrived, so we had fun trying all the cool features out.  In fact so much fun that I think she was going to order her own copy as soon as she returned home!

You can create cards, scrapbooks, calendars, and more with this software.  And, it is amazingly easy to use!  There are professionally designed layouts you can personalize, or you can design your own projects from scratch.  Plus, there are digital stamps, brads, ribbons, and so much more to dress up your project.  After you print it, you can also add actual brads, ribbons, etc.... to create a hybrid project.  Very exciting!!!

Anyway, the first project we decided to create was a card, and we decided to try one of the professionally pre-designed cards -- specifically a Christmas card made using the Christmas Jingle Scrappin Kit elements that are included in the software.  We were able to add my family Christmas photo from last year, switched a ribbon knot that was in the original design to a bow, added some Chocolate chip zig zag stitching on the ribbon, and ended up with a great, personalized card front!  The inside pages could be created in a similar fashion, with text and additional photos and digital embellishments -- lots of fun and creative possibilities.

We also checked out the calendar and 8 x 8 scrapbook templates before creating a 5 x 5 scrapbook page.  For that one, we decided to use a pre-designed layout.  We added the photos to the preset photo boxes, and selected some background paper.  Then, we added the title, digital ribbon, flower embellishments (two with digital brads in the center, and one made opaque to kind of look like a floral watermark!  Too much fun!!!). 

Can't wait to play some more with this software!  If you are interested in learning more about it or in ordering your own copy when it becomes available in a couple weeks, please leave a comment or email me.

- Michelle

Friday, September 4, 2009

Blog Candy Winner!

Thanks to everyone who left a comment on my blog candy post -- and to everyone who is visiting the blog!!!  Really appreciate the kind comments and support. 

Took the names of those who had entered today, and had my kids help me draw a name.  The first name drawn was Sun's.  So, congratulations, Sun, you have won the stamp set and ribbons!  The kids didn't want to stop with just one name, so they kept drawing, and I decided that everyone who entered is going to receive a little something special!

This week, I have been finishing up projects for a swap with one of my demonstrator friends.  Finally mailed those out today, and I will start showing those to you next week.  Had great fun playing with new stamp sets and papers from the Holiday Mini for that!

I have also started preparing for the Build a Bear Tea Party I'm having next Thursday -- here are some sneak peeks of what I've been doing so far to get ready.

P.S.  Ginny, please email me your contact info, so that I can send the surprise to you!   

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas . . . Cards, Anyway!

The Holiday Mini is now online!  So many wonderful new products in this "mini" catalog (I believe it is actually the largest "mini" catalog Stampin' Up! has ever released . . . and includes several great new product lines, including the Build a Bear Workshop(R) stamps and dies and the My Digital Studio(TM) software, which will be available for order starting around October 1st).  I've been working on some samples with the new products and will be sharing those with you very soon. 

In the meantime, one of the projects I finished this weekend is the samples for my upcoming 30 card class using the Christmas Jingle Simply Scrappin' Kit.  These cards are so easy and so much fun to make.  Really love how everything coordinates, and how easy it is to dress up the cards with the die cut adhesives from the kit!

Anyway, wanted to share just a few of my favorite cards:

The new Real Red Polka-Dot Grosgrain that you can see on the last two samples also was very fun to use -- especially because it is double-sided (the polka dots are on one side, on the other side is just the white stitching). 

Please send me an email if you'd like to join me for the class or would be interested in information about a class kit!  You can see more information about this class and other upcoming classes here as well.