Friday, July 22, 2011

Inspiration in the mail

Hi everyone,
I'm back again (don't die of fright, sometimes I DO blog more than once a month!).

Recently I received a card in the mail, which was exciting, because normally all I get are bills, or brochures from a million different companies all wanting me to buy their products (OK, maybe not a million, but it feels like it sometimes, right?).  This card was exciting because it was for my birthday, which isn't until August.  It was from Stampin' Up!, and it was telling me I can order myself a little something and for my birthday I'll get an extra 15% discount on one item on top of my normal Demonstrator discount.  Woo hoo - that's the kind of birthday present I like, a reason to shop for something I really want, and a nice big saving to boot!  I love being a Demonstrator!

Here's the card they sent me.  This is what is known as a "hybrid" card.  Most of it has been pre-printed, which you can understand, given they apparently send cards to every Demonstrator on their birthday and how many thousands of cards is that worldwide(!!!), but the rhinestone jewels are applied by hand, I think.  The little cupcakes are from the Party Hearty stamp set, but they're smaller than the stamp in that set - that's the beauty of hybrid projects, you can make the images the size you want.  I think Stampin' Up! made this using My Digital Studio, which is a digital program they sell in the USA and Canada.  Unfortunately not sold in Australia/NZ yet, sadly - no matter how hard I beg!  There's a number of IT issues for them to resolve in order to offer it here, but we live in hope, don't we?

Anyway, when I saw the card, I was inspired to CASE it.  I'm getting a lot better at doing that - I used to try and copy someone else's work, get distracted along the way by another idea or tool or whatever, and wind up making something completely different.  But occasionally it's fun to case something, as it can take a lot less time and thinking and save on wastage of your supplies (how often do you toss a card in the bin after trying something out and changing your mind?!).  I searched through the catalogue for stamps that are the same size as the cupcakes in Stampin' Up!'s card, and there are LOTS, so I might re-make this one again later.  But I was in a mood to do a little punching, so I used a couple of punches to make flowers to put the jewels on instead.  The sentiment is from Curly Cute, as while I prefered the font on Stampin' Up!'s card, it's not one that we have as a stamp.

So here is my CASE - completely hand made and hand stamped, I might add!

Stamps: Curly Cute
Cardstock: Confetti White, Pumpkin Pie, Real Red, Daffodil Delight, Wild Wasabi, Marina Mist
Ink: Early Espresso
Punches: Itty Bitty Shapes, Boho Blossoms, Scallop Border
Other: Rhinestone jewels, Mat Pack & piercing tool, White Gel Pen

Hope you get a little inspiration from my mail, too!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Flower Burst Embosslit die

Hi everyone!
Hope you are enjoying the holidays (it's school holidays in NZ right now, for my overseas viewers).  I am enjoying spending a bit of time with my daughter, hanging out with her and taking her places (trying to avoid the ones which involve parting with copious amounts of my hard-earned cash of course!).  Yesterday we visited a friend, went to our local pet store for supplies (no new pets thank you!), and then went to the mall to do a little shopping.  Miss six-going-on-sixteen declared "I'm starving!" and talked me into taking her to a nice little cafe, where she proceeded to wolf down a massive muffin and half of my nice berry pie slice, and a large bottle of expensive organic apple juice.  I tried to enjoy the look of rapture on her face as she filled her tummy, and not think about the hole she is starting to burn in my wallet!  I should mention it wasn't lunch time either, but mid-afternoon, and it was also after she'd scoffed a large banana at my friend's house and insisted I rummage through my handbag for any morsels of food I had on me (there weren't any).  Oh how I wish I could have the metabolism of a six year old again, goodness knows where all that food went as she's a petite little thing unlike her parents.  I think she must be going through another growth spurt!

In the time that I can nab where I don't have a small person attached to my leg, I've been busy preparing for this weekend's Extravagazna (can't wait!) and also other upcoming events.  I'm also already starting to make samples for the start of the new catalogue in September (in August I will be announcing the details of my launch party, woo hoo!), as I was fortunate to receive a few new sets at the Stampin' Up! Convention in May and can't resist having a play.  Did I mention being a Demonstrator is fabulous just to get your hands on new stuff before anyone else does?!.  I've even managed to rummage through my supplies and find a few items that I think are likely to retire at the end of August, based on the fact they've already retired in the USA and Canada.  I'm trying to play with the retiring stuff while I still can!

I've also been good and used up a bit of long-retired stock that I have hoarded, to make invitations for Miss Six's upcoming birthday party.  She wants her friends to learn to make cards and decorate cupcakes.  The perfect party theme considering what I do as a job now, and the fact that I went a little crazy last year buying cupcake decorating supplies.  The cupcake stand I purchased may finally get an outing!

Here are the invitations, I made pocket cards so the party details are on the tags inside.  I stuck magnets on the back of the tags so her friends can put the invites on their fridge doors and not forget the party.  These were really fun to make.  Most of what you see here is retired, except the cardstock colours, and the cupcake stamp set and punch are still available in our Autumn Winter mini catalogue (only until the end of July though, as the mini catalogue finishes on the 31st).  If you like the patterned paper (it's called Sweet Always) though, let me know as I think I still have some packs of that lying around I'm happy to sell!  I also slipped in one non-Stampin' Up! item in these invites (gasp!) - the little flower brads, as yes, I have an embarrassing collection of other craft items I collected before I discovered Stampin' Up! and I need to make use of that sometimes, too!

Recently I just ordered the Flower Burst Embosslit die for myself.  A girl needs new toys every now and then, right?  I don't know why it took me so long to get this one as it was really fun to use.  I thought the flower shape coordinated really well with the pattern on the ribbon that is part of the Gift with Purchase offer this month, so I whipped this card up in no time! 

I've seen other cards using this die and covering an entire card base like I've done here, but I can't remember where I saw those, so please forgive me for not giving credit to the person who came up with that idea.  Usually I think it's done mono-tone to create a more subtle background, but for my card I was going with more of a brightly coloured "smack you in the face" kind of effect.  Miss Six loves it and she's very accustomed to being my resident critic!

Cardstock: Old Olive, Chocolate Chip, Whisper White, Melon Mambo, Pacific Point, Daffodil Delight
Ink: Chocolate Chip
Stamps: Apple Blossoms (Level 2 hostess set)
Other: Flower Burst Embosslit die, Ice Cream Parlour ribbon

Hope you like these, and you're having just as much fun as I am these holidays!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Gift With Purchase - super cute ribbon & buttons offer!

Hi everyone,
I'm still busy with all the followup work after SENZ, but I took a little break to play with the new ribbon and buttons we have as a special offer for the month of July!  How cute are these Ice Cream Parlour ribbon and buttons?  I'm looking forward to playing with them a bit more, when I can snatch a little more time!

The great thing about these buttons and the coordinating ribbon is that you can get them totally FREE - all you have to do is to place a $120 product order (plus shipping, likely to be just 5% of your order) and you'll receive a roll of the ribbon (approx 13.7m) and a pack of 48 flower buttons.  Awesome, huh?

Here's the flyer so you can read all about it and see a couple of projects that Stampin' Up! made with these little beauties:

But it wouldn't be a fun promotion without my own original creation to share, so here's the card I made:

I even decorated the inside!

In addition to the ribbon and one of the buttons (with a thin piece of cardstock as the "thread"), here's what else I used to make it:
Stamps: Bring on the Cake (Autumn-Winter mini catalogue)
Cardstock: Old Olive, Pacific Point, Crumb Cake, Whisper White, Daffodil Delight, Melon Mambo
Patterned paper: Sweet Stitches (Autumn-Winter mini)
Ink: Chocolate Chip, Daffodil Delight & Chocolate Chip markers
Other: Circles #2 Big Shot die, 2 3/8" scallop circle punch (still available as a carryover item from the Summer mini catalogue), Mat Pack, Piercing tool, Stampin' Dimensionals, mini glue dots.

Hope you like it, click here to let me know if you'd like to get your hands on some of these buttons & ribbon too!