Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Scrapbook catch up ... and a star on the rise

I am playing scrapbook catch up ... months of photos in packets, end of the school year, Christmas and Birthday parties, new skills and new experiences to document and journal ... For a five year old (almost turning six) and leaving kindergarten everything this year is a big event. Especially when your teacher is leaving at the end of the year and you have just been a star in your school spectacular (every child in the school was involved) ... to capture the innocence of kindergarten as it is replaced with the self assurance of a big school girl performing on the stage

... our little star is on the rise:

Elegant Eggplant textured cardstock, Silver Metalic cardstock
Ink: Silver and White Signo gel pen.
Stampset: In the stars, Lovely letters alphabet,
Star wheel.
Star Punch.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Designer series paper: And the Colours are...

At first, I found it very difficult, to distinguish between the gingers, greens and the reds, not now ... with the list below:
These are the colours from the Designer Series papers in the Summer Mini :

Bali Breeze
· Pumpkin Pie
· Rose Red
· Taken with Teal
· Old Olive

Afternoon Tea
· Chocolate Chip
· Groovy Guava
· Soft Sky
· Wild Wasabi

Ginger Blossom
· Cameo Coral
· Groovy Guava
· River Rock
· Ruby Red
(If you are looking for a new colour palette give these a try).
And these are a few cards I have been making recently - I am playing with a new blog header photo (note: no purple in current coloured papers).

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Small gift box - big ribbon

When you have something small but special to give to someone ... the wrapping is the first part of the present ...
My daughter loves to give gifts to her aunties, sometimes it is a couple of pebbles or a sweet, chocolate or mint ... and sometimes it is all three, so we wrap it nicely to let them know just how special we think they are.

Stampset: En francais
Ink: Chocolate chip and creamy caramel.
Box: paper mache (from local craft store)
Ribbon: Chocolate chip silk.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Embrace Life ... En francais

Bon jour! I have finally bought that En francais background stamp from this year's catalogue ...

the ginger blossom paper perfectly matches the Embrace life stampset ... so naturally with help from a punch or two and tafetta ribbon this card came together very quickly and in record time for moi!

Stampset: Embrace Life, En francais background
Cardstock: Whisper white
DS Paper: Ginger blossom
Ribbon: White tafetta
Ink: Close to cocoa, creamy caramel.
Punches: Scallop edge and Large oval.

Ginger blossom punch !

Truly, these colours are just not me ....
but I like them together: Ruby red, Groovy guava, Cameo coral, River rock and very Vanilla.
Punch art: - I haven't tried it before but it was a little bit of fun.
You could guess which punches I have used ...
But I'll tell you anyway: the scallop circle punch, Round Tab punch, and the Tag punch for the sentiment, it looks a bit like a tea bag now .
The ribbon is Very Vanilla tafetta and the only stampset used is lovely labels.

What was in the box?

This is the box:And this is what was in it...

A Star punch, the small star wheel, a pack of Ginger Blossom paper, cardstock, the En francais background stamp and a very useful roll of sticky strip... just in time for an early Christmas present. I will post a bit later with some projects i have made.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Its bright and its pink and very girly...

These are my daughter's invitations to her 6th birthday ... we started with the idea of princesses, then Dora the Explorer, and fairies, but when it was half finished Jess announced it doesn't need any stickers or more on it ... leave it like that! So we did.

Cardstock: Pink passion, Taken with Teal and whisper white.
Ink: Taken with Teal.
Papers: Summer Picnic (from the previous Spring mini)
Stampset: Lovely Letters alphabet
Tools used: Slit punch, square-scallop punch, Circle Punch, Tab punch.
Accessories: Old olive wide Ribbon, Tempting Turquoise Ribbon.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The big brown box ...

I am so excited!!!
I bought myself some Christmas presents and they arrived today in a big brown cardboard box, only 2 days delivery - I really like the courier truck pulling into my driveway.

I havent even had a chance to try them out, just had to share my excitement.
Most of us dont want to bother with adult presents at this time of year, just buy for the children ... we say in our family.
So who is going to buy my gift?
Me of course and i know just what i want.

Stamped gifts

I love candles. Scented candles.
Even when they're not lit they give off their scent into the room.
I think they make the lovliest gifts ... I am looking for a coffee scented one at the moment.
They're not that expensive either.

These three were made using bits of scrap papers with brads and ribbon to hold them on.

The front one is the Embrace Life flower in Pumpkin pie, watercoloured from that previous project. With a jumbo eyelet in the centre and a clear rhinestone from the pretties kit.
I did another in rose red using the french fleur de lys stamp from Carte postale and another in close to cocoa from the "Its all good" stampset - It says: Live, laugh and Love - thats a good approach to anything.

Ribbons are the double stitched wide grosgrain from the Summer mini catalogue
and I have used the square scallop punch a couple of times, too.

Live your dream ... words of wisdom from my mum

Are you living your dream? Do you have one?
Its never too late, to have a dream .... you might just like to say: "yes, I am living a dream-life"!
Being December it is always a good time to reflect - My wise old mum used to tell me that she used to review her life every year and ask:
" Is this the best work I could be doing?
Is this the best place I could be at? Am I happy how things are going at work, at home? And am I treating people the way I like to be treated?
If no, well then you know what to do about it ... change what you are doing, saying, thinking and do something about it."

She lived by that and lived a successful and fulfilling life, she had hardships like everyone, but she was always practical and considerate of others ... and on that I think she lived very well.

My mum always had birds and animals: Bantam chickens when we were young (in the backyard), miniature dogs (in the house), canaries (in the garage and then they moved into the laundry), budgies, ducks (only once - they were too noisy), she had 40 canaries at one stage ... she always started out small and built her collections very gradually... with thought and patience and care.

Live your dream stampset
Wild wasabi, confetti white and soft sky textured blue cardstock
Choc chip wide grosgrain ribbon
Inks: Wild wasabi for the butterflies, choc chip for the bird and greeting.
White gel pen (for faux stitching), Mat pack for making holes for faux stitching.
Designer series paper: Afternoon Tea from the Summer mini catalogue.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Stamp a ma jig tutorial - stamp positioner.

If you havent seen or heard of one of these before, or you have one but haven't used it ... or have lost the instructions, then this for you.
The first time I saw it used, I said " I need one of those!"
What do they do? Well, They help you line up your stamps straight- but Why?
It is a very handy tool to use for titles, headings, words on your cards and scrapbooking and when you want to over-stamp an image, or get it very close to, or just touching another stamped image ... that can be near impossible to do by eye alone.

It comes with a handle and an imaging sheet.

First, you put your imaging sheet into the corner of the stamp a ma jig (SAMJ).
2. Align your stamp in the corner and stamp it onto the imaging sheet.
3. Position your imaging sheet on the paper where you want to place the stamp. You can see exactly where it will go.

Line up the stamp-a-ma-jig with the imaging sheet.

4. Hold the Stamp-a-Ma-Jig in place, and carefully remove the imaging sheet.
Align the stamp into the corner of your Stamp-a-m-a-jig and stamp the word or image.
That's it! A straight, perfectly positioned stamp, just where you wanted it!

The instructions also add:
  • Use the rough side for craft ink and the smooth side for classic ink pads.
  • Achieve perfect stamp positioning every time
  • Designed for left or right hand use
  • Sturdy non slip surface
  • Clean with a damp cloth or Stampin' mist spray.

Embrace Life and finally a project finished

OK, you were wondering what I was going to do with all those watercoloured flowers weren't you? I posted about these originally on 8th December.
I cut them out while watching the TV and created a gate-fold card (it opens in the middle).
The inside flap is scalloped with the scallop edge punch ... got one of these yet?
The Stamens are dotted with the white signo gel pen.
And I made that greeting straight by using my Stamp a ma jig. Never heard of one?
I will show you how it works when I upload the latest photos on my computer.
Cardstock: Pumpkin pie and watercolour paper.
Ink: Black stazon (for the outline), pumpkin pie (for the greeting and colouring)
Accessories: Scallop edge punch, bone folder, white gel pen.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Rose red and pumpkin pie on a Bali Breeze

I am not alone am I in loving these colours together?

I must be very conservative with my colours but I never think of putting Teal, turquoise, orange and red together with Olive green .... Thank you for a beautifully refreshing new paper pack in the Designer series for opening up my colour palette!!!

Here is another matchbox-fold card in rose red cardstock, this time. Using my favourite scallop edge punch and the large oval punch.
I've mixed my stampsets using the Embrace Life flower and the Live your dream "Thanks".
Mixed my ribbons too: Rose red double stitched ribbon, underneath the regal rose wide grosgrain ribbon.
And the centre of the pumpkin pie flower is a sparkly clear Rhinestone brad from the pretties kit.

Please leave me a comment, don't be shy ... this is a dialogue, e-correspondence, you can remain anonymous ... share your thoughts - tell me what you like so I can give you more of it.

What can you do with one stampset?

The projects in the photo above are all created using just one stampset:
"Live your dream" and this years "in-colours" range.

It comes as a set of 8 separate stamps including a big dotted line stamp for journalling on to, two large long stemmed flowers, 3 single flowers, a floral branch, a butterfly, a bird, "Thanks" word stamp and the quote mentioned in my previous post using this stampset . If you scrapbook you can get a lot of use out of this and do cards aswell.

The stampset coordinates with the Afternoon tea DS Paper, beautifully (it was designed that way) You can see it in the 6x6 inch scrapbook page that I made using Wild wasabi textured cardstock and choc chip to mount the photo. The patterned paper was trimmed using the scallop edged punch which I love using (no more corner rounding disasters and aching fingers ...)

I have stamped the butterfly in groovy guava (it kind of grows on you this colour in small amounts though) cut them out and attached them to the layout to go with the little square punch of guava overalpping the photo and the small snip of guava ribbon attached with a silver brad. I don't do many 6x6 scrap book pages so I am going to extend the layout with a title and second photo as I have below. Its not stuck down yet, as I haven't decided where to put the journalling stamp. This is my daughter when she was about 2 years old on Christmas day 2004 ...

It was one of the only photos I had that matched the groovy guava cardstock. havent quite decided on that layout yet ... must share some of the ideas from the catalogue again.

A purse full of lollies

We made these at the launch night ... thought I'd put up a photo, I forgot the pic in my earlier post. I have used The Afternoon Tea DS paper for the "purse" It is half a 12x12 inch sheet of Double sided paper. I like the fact that you can choose which side of the paper you want to use for the lining or the outer to-be-seen pattern.

We used the confetti white cardstock to stamp the "Live Your Dream" flowers and mounted that on either choc chip or rose red textured cardstock.

The handle is punched out useing the large oval punch and both ovals kept to be used for the clasp and the label where we attached a jumbo eyelet (with the crop a dile tool).

The gorgous wide stitched ribbon is chocolate chip grosgrain.

If you are still thinking of this ribbon let me know and we can arrange a ribbon swap of all or a combo of the 3 colours. I will be using them heaps over the next 3 months I warn you.

The second version is made using the Brocade Background DS paper (page 134 of IB&C).
The colours are choc chip ribbon, textured cardstock.
Also close to coco and Almost artichoke ink using the "Live your dream" stampset.
I really enjoy using the little butterfly and flowers it also comes with a quote:
"Go confidently in the
direction of your DREAMS."
- Henry David Thoreau

Oceans of Joy!!!

This particular card we all made at Angela Sargent's Get together down at Chatswood awhile ago ... but as it is a stampset from the current Summer Catalogue I know you would all like to see it made up in a card.

Marelle created this card as a make and take on the day ... she used the Idea book and catalogue (IB&C) for both the layout (see page 85 ) and the colour scheme from the Spring Break paper pack (on page 136). Thats what the idea book is all about it has so many layouts and cards to copy and share and if you don't like that particular colour scheme just flip to a paperpack that you do like from the catalogue or a mini catalogue and use those ... voila a new card design.
This stampset is from the Summer mini called Ocean Commotion (available until March 09)
The cardstock colours are: Soft sky and blue bayoux, old olive and whisper white.
Designer series paper is Prints DS Pumpkin pie.
Ribbon: Old olive wide.
Inks: Blue bayoux, soft sky and Pumpkin pie.
Punches: Large and small squares (page 142 IB&C)
Tearing edge used on blue bayoux cardstock.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Embrace Life and pumpkin pie

How did I spend my Sunday morning? Practicing my watercolouring technique ...
Here I have stamped a page of watercolour paper with images in stazon black ink. You can use the stampin' up basic black ink pad aswell because it is waterproof (ie. it won't wash away with water or other inks). You can see why Embrace Life is my favourite stampset at present. There is this lovely sprig of blossoms and also the open petal flower. I can't quite figure out what flower it actually is ... I thought perhaps it is a Hibiscus, but they have only one stamen ... any horticulturalists out there who know?
I took my inkpad and squeezed the plastic lid down onto the ink pad. (While it is closed) The plastic is quite springy to do this, so that there is a small amount of ink on the lid.
Then using my aqua painter I picked up some ink and coloured in one end of the petal.

At first the colour is quite solid and dark ... As you draw it from one end of the petal to the other you can gradually lighten the colour by allowing more water to fill the brush. If its too dry very gently squeeze the water chamber of the aquapainter. Not too much or you will have a flood. But that can look OK. You can come back and add deeper colour later.
Depending on the look, you may wish the colour to be deepest in the centre of the flower or towards the edge.
Dont worry if you cant keep between the lines you can cut the flower out neatly later.
Keep experimenting, most people find it is quite a tranquil act as you eventually come into the "zone". Time slips by, you relax a bit and either get quicker and more in the flow or slower and neater ... more particular.
I have taken a few photos because not being on video link yet, it is hard to hold the camera and painter at the same time.

Practice is the key with anything. Try different colours together.
Another way is to use your markers direct to the paper in lines across the petals or image and simply use the aqua painter to wet and blend the inks on the paper.
Here's a photo of the whole stampset, it is kind of like a opened rose, ... a rose, a blossom and a branch of bamboo? better pull out my rose red and regal rose to see if that works too. I will come back with the finished project later.

Friday night slide show...

Here are a few more photos that I took of the room full of women and launch night projects on display.

Getting started pack!

When I first started stamping I remember feeling completely overwelmed with what I needed to get going. I wanted stampsets but what tools were essential and what would I use the most?

Here is my list of essentials that i use nearly every day stamping:
It might help you if you are figuring out what you need.

To clean your stamps: Stamping scrub $28.95
Stamp cleaner (spray) $7.95
Black ink pad (waterproof) $9.95
Snail adhesive $12.95
Colour family Cardstock (36 sheets) $14.50
Whisper white or very vanilla cardstock $13.50
Bone folder $11.95
Versamark Ink Pad $13.95
Normal Cost of a starter pack: $113.70*

You can get all this from me this month for:

Add ons:
2 colour stamp pads (this is the hardest to choose)
eg. Rose red and Old olive ($9.95 x2) $19.90

A stampset (or two)
eg. Baroque motifs, Be Happy, or Eastern Blooms $39.95

Add this to your pack for $59.85 and receive a pack of
Dimensional adhesive for free. (rrp $7.50).

If you have any questions about getting started leave a comment or email me and I will throw in a gift from me.
* Plus 5% postage.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Summer mini Launch Party!

...weeks of preparation, a flurry of activity leading up to the night: cutting cardstock paper and scoring all the projects, measuring lengths of ribbon, pondering colour combinations, experimenting, last minute printing and packing and so much anticipation ...

Last Friday night was my first Mini Catalogue launch party!

I had a very exciting time and the three hours of paper crafting flew by, it seemed everyone had a fun night and I deem it to be a success because all of my gorgous ladies at my table completed the three projects before 10pm and went home happy with what they made...

Here is a photo of the wonderful women on my table ...

And here is a glimpse of the three projects that we made(and name cards you can see on the table above - we used the "in the stars" stampset and "Lovely Letters "alphabet for our initial).
The first one is a matchbox-fold card using Pumpkin pie textured cardstock and bali breeze DS paper, Rose red stitched ribbon, the large oval punch, scallop-edge punch and scallop-square punch.
We used the single markers to colour (direct to rubber) the bird and flower branch of the "Live your Dreams"and the ribbon is folded in a tailored bow style, to sit flat and neat.
The Second project was a Lolly hand-bag made from the Afternoon Tea DS papers in the new summer mini.

And our third project was a matchbox-slide box:

We made them using the Bali breeze papers (from the Summer mini catalogue) for the sliding cover and the Prints DS paper (from the Certainly celery and Rose red paper packs on page 136 IBC) for the little box.

"Embrace Life" - love this stampset, especially for watercolouring which many of you had a go at colouring on Friday night.

Most of us are not frequently called on to watercolour and it takes some practice to get it right so I am planning a little tutorial on my blog in the next week to show you how I am endeavouring to improve my skills.

Here is another version of the box in the Bali breeze DS paper and the Stitched ribbon in Rose red.

We used the styled silver hodgepodge from (you guessed it) the Summer mini catalogue.

It comes with 100 pieces of hardware! Ten 0f each piece (including large chunky brads with flowers, stars and words embossed onto them) and over 100 small silver brads.
So, thank you to everyone who made the night a success for me, I hope that you will encourage me to do the next Catalogue launch in April 2009.

Can't wait that long ... I can do a mini launch at yours or a friends place ... and wait until you see the great little stampsets that are being offered FREE in the Jan-Feb SaleAbration!!!

I am off to practice my watercolouring ...

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Bright and Joyful Bali Breeze Dream

I am loving these bright colours from the Bali Breeze DS papers.
This one uses two of the new scallop punches in the Summer Mini: The small white square is made with the Scallop-Square punch and the pumpkin medallion is made with the Scallop-Edge punch.
And, that is the new Rose Red stitched ribbon threaded through the middle, layerd on Rose red cardstock and small strips of Old Olive, on a Taken with Teal base card.

I have used the square scallop to put a hanging hole on the end of the tag which is another little trick to use the scallop square punch for. The words are from "In the Stars". (The only stamp used on the card) coloured with the olive, teal, pumpkin and rose red markers.
And the paper square in the centre of the card is cut from the Bali breeze DS paper.

What does a Launch night look like?

On Monday night a whole group of women came to the 2008 Summer Mini catalogue launch, there's another one on this Friday - Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

December specials!

I mentioned this yesterday ... if you were wondering what to get yourself (or a friend) for Christmas or for those last minute cards, presents, a calendar...

I checked out my card list and my stamped card stash, that I have been working on since about July ... it is over 50 cards, but the hardest thing is deciding which cards to give to whom? Last year I made multiples of everthing and this year I made only one or two so mostly they are one offs, so very few will be a duplication this year's card list.

When someone phones and says "I loved your christmas card", no doubt, I am going to be thinking: Thanks, but which one did you get?

Monday, December 01, 2008

Summer mini catalogue launched today!

Today, December 1st is
  • the launch of a new Summer mini Catalogue,
  • the beginning of a new 20% offer, and
  • the Single marker November promotion has been extended until the 14th!

You can view the Summer Mini here.
The promotion for December is a continuation of Stampin' ups Birthday celebrations. You can get 20% off 12 great items, just by spending $20.

Here's a list of items that are 20% off:

Festive Favourites stamp set (page 27) was $45.95 now only $36.76
Crazy For Christmas stamp set (page 28) was $39.95 now only $31.96
Snow Flurries stamp set (page 29) $20.95 now only $16.76
Tag Time stamp set (page 43) $53.95 now only $43.16
Many Merry Messages stamp set (page 111) $64.95 now only $51.96
12″x12″ Days-to-Remember Calendar (page 133) was $20.95 now only $16.76
6″x6″ Days-to-Remember Calendar (page 133) was $18.95 now only $15.16
Winter Bright Simply Scrappin’ (page 138) was $36.95 now only $29.56
Three for You Punch Box (page 138) was $85.95 now only $68.76
Very Vanilla 5/8″ grosgrain ribbon (page 146) was $14.95 now only $11.96
Certainly Celery 5/8″ grosgrain ribbon (page 146) was $14.95 now only $11.96
White Square Aluminium Metal Edge tags (page 147) was $7.50 now only $6.00

The Single Marker Promotion has been extremely popular, and is extended until December 14 to order any of your favourite colours ... I am thinking i could do with some of those colours to match the new summer papers.

On the card above I used water colour paper and stazon ink to stamp the Embrace life flower.

Using three of my coloured markers (Ballet blue, lavender lace and almost amethyst) I quickly drew the ink on the flower petals and with my aquapainter wet the inks and encouraged them to blend into each other for a water colouring effect. It looks quite scary at first then as the water dries on the paper the inks blend into each other quite nicely.
I have used my brand new scallop edge punch for the edge of the lavender lace cardstock
...and a chunky brad from the silver styled hodgepodge hardware.
The ribbon is elegant eggplant because it goes with all my purples!
The words are from Think Happy thoughts.