Thursday, October 29, 2009

Digital Paper Crafting

Stampin' Up! recently released a digital paper crafting product called MY DIGITAL STUDIO.

It was released to you, our customers, starting October 1, 2009. Do you have it yet?

It's awesome!

Here are some of the 8" x 8" pages I've created using one of the Simply Scrappin' kits that are included in the software.

I inserted the photos and rounded them; added
journaling to the layouts. And while playing with the various stamp sets included in the software, I found the cat silhouettes.

You can't even buy these cat images in rubber!

These pages are pretty much as they're provided.

The book was very quickly pulled together (but that's another story) and I was extremely pleased with the outcome!

And below are some pages I created
in a 5" x 5" format, using templates provided in the software.

For this book, which was my first attempt at playing with the product, I concentrated on layout and learning how to manipulate the background papers and card stocks provided.

On some of the pages (none included here, unfortunately), I added a few embellishments - ribbon, bows, brads, eyelets, punch shapes - all included in the software!

I also
rounded photos, deleted photo placements, or replaced them with something else, like journaling areas.

In general, I was just getting to know the product. And I have to say I'm very pleased with the ease of using it!

Hope you've enjoyed these snippets of what I've been doing with My Digital Studio.

This is only the tip of the iceberg!

You can make calendars, or cards, or create books/pages with video and audio embedded!

Stuff that's way beyond my ken right now, but which I'll be playing around with!

That's why it's being call Digital Paper Crafting - very versatile.

OH - and did I mention? It's both MAC and PC compatible! That's a BIG woo hoo from a MAC user!

The price is $79.95 plus shipping/handling and tax. That's quite inexpensive in terms of software. And the fact that it's both MAC and PC compatible is a huge bonus for those of us on "the dark side".

Let me know when you're ready to take the plunge and try it out! I'll be happy to order it for you!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Final Deals of the Week - October

Hey Everyone:

Just wanted to post the final Deal of the Week from Stampin' Up!

These deals of the week are available from October 26, 10 AM (MT) through SATURDAY October 31, 11:50 PM (MT).

Item Page Description Regular Price Special Price
116214 174 Princess Party Kit $15.95 $9.99
116213 175 Pirate Party Kit $15.95 $9.99

These look like cute sets in the catalog, but, me, I'm a Hands-on type of gal - I have to touch and feel it before it really inspires me.

I will be ordering at least one of these kits, strictly for that purpose!

And I know you're touchy-feely people, too. I think most people who tend to be artistic are. It's the textural thing!

If you'd like to have one or more of these sets, give me a call or shoot me an email! These are really cute ideas for birthday parties, and at these prices (30% off!), you can afford to buy more than one set of eight party kits!

I know these are great prices because I recently went to Party City to look for some ideas for my Hostess Appreciation event!

I plan to place an order Friday, so be sure to contact me so you don't miss out!

Here are a couple of gifts one of my customers gave me last week - just in case you need some last minute Halloween ideas

Irene made these using some of last year's Halloween Designer papers and stamps, but any items you have would probably lend themselves to this idea very easily.

She cut Top Note dies and popped up both the ghost and bat - she put some of the fancier Halloween candies in the 3x5 cello bags we sell. Really cute and pretty fast, if you need favors for that upcoming Halloween party!

Don't forget, Halloween is THIS Saturday, so you best hustle!

Speaking of Halloween, how's THIS for a ghostly picture!

Happy stampin'!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Little Cleaner, Now

I was able to spend some time clearing off the last two tables in the Stampin' Garage that I haven't put my new oilcloth on as yet.

These were the two larger tables, the ones that seem to contain 99% of everything out in the garage! LOL

Most especially "my table". I was amazed at how much "stuff" had accumulated on the top of that one! Gave me another opportunity to gather CS scraps into one place.

Right now I have a shoe box overflowing with scraps. Soon I'll sort these by size.

The half sheets will go with the rest I already have - sorted by color family (i.e., reds, pinks, etc.). I generally don't use many of these, but they're a God-send when I've run out of a particular color and know I can dig thru these and probably find at least a 1/2 sheet of that color.

The next batch will be the quarter sheets. I generally start my design process using these and scraps of white or vanilla.

Then come the smaller scraps. I now have a small container where I keep those that are large enough to be used with onw of the Big Shot dies I have. It's so handy to have them all together. But they're not sorted by color - they're just stashed in the box.

I get some of my most creative color combos by doing that. There are times when I find 3 colors together that I would have NEVER put together - yet they work.

I still have about 10 more shoe boxes full of "stuff" around here - hopefully, before I get bored with this task, I'll be able to gather them all up, and dump everything into a larger box to begin the sorting process.

Wanna see some great cards? Had my Team Meeting earlier this week and here are the swaps we all made from the Shoebox Swap that evening.

This one is mine. I had the Lattice dies already cut and added some of the Autumn Meadows DSP, and a cut out of the largest leaf from the Autumn Spendor set that I'd stamped using the Rock & Roll technique.

And here's Natalie's card. She used the scallop piece from Sweet Season, and added a direct-to-paper technique.

Here's Susan's. She used the Wandering Words set. I really like that set - it covers Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Valentine's Day! From the very beginning I've seen that set being used on the envelopes that contain the cards for all those occasions.

And Del's - she LOVES Halloween, so we may see that genre from her all year! Bet she owns almost every Halloween set we carry! LOL

And, finally, Sandy's. She had already embossed the circle design in White embossing powder and we used the daubers and Craft inks and to it the Bermuda Bay color you see now.

Hope you enjoyed those samples - did it inspire you to pull out YOUR stamps, inks & papers to start YOUR creative process movning forward? I hope so.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I Overlooked This...

... and I'll bet you have, too.

"This" being the Holiday Photo Card Kit on page 175 in the Idea Book and Catalog. (Item # 115448 $10.95)

I saw it in the catalog, but I didn't really SEE it - until I saw something in one of our Stampin' Success magazines that made mer SEE it.

The Stampin' Success magazine is a beautiful, free, monthly publication all demonstrators receive from Stampin' Up! It's always full of ideas for projects, home decor, showing us how to use the products in our IB&C.

Stampin' Success also contains business ideas for demonstrators to use. Would you like to see a copy of this fantastic magazine and be able to receive your very own copy each month? Just join my "we StAMp everything" team!

So, I ordered and received the Holiday Photo Card Kit and finally unwrapped it tonight. It's GORGEOUS! And making the cards is so easy!

You supply the 4x6 photos, adhere them to the card front, and apply the die-cut adhesive frame supplied in the kit. Add a strip of red to the Kraft CS, and viola! you're done!

The other elements provided are a spring of mistletoe and a small label that you can stamp with your greeting.

Instructions are also provided, showing two different ways to make your cards. Or, if you'd prefer, use these as guidelines and decorate to your heart's content with other elements as you see fit.

Tonight I sat down and pulled a few of these together. I'm not kidding you when I tell you it took me longer to print out the photographs I wanted to use, than it did for me to make ALL THREE of the cards I'm going to show you below!

You know, of course, that the photos on MY cards are going to be The Kidz. So, without further ado:

And here's the card they suggest you can make from this kit, if you'd rather:

I'm quite pleased with how these turned out.

What do you think? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Happy Stampin!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

More on OSWs (One Sheet Wonders)

When I made the One Sheet Wonders (OSW's), I stamped two sheets of CS using the same images - one was Whisper White and the other was Confetti White.

These two types of paper accept inks differently.

The Confetti White is very absorbent paper, and the inks sink in fairly quickly. That means the images will not be as sharp as those you've stamped on Whisper White.

Whisper White and Very Vanilla CS both have a sort of a semi-gloss finish. If you use either of them, you need to let the item you've stamped sit a little to finish drying, or you'll smear the ink. Just a second or two.

Here is a photo of the pattern I detailed last night (cut 8-1/2 into quarters, then cut two pieces on the diagonal, tear the third in half, and cut the last piece close to in half), along with a couple of close ups. I took poetic license with one of the quarter sheets and tore it into three pieces.

After I cut the OSW, I started looking at what I could do with the pieces, and decided I need to have punched images nearby, as well as ribbon that matched my colors. This will help me assemble my cards more quickly.

So I pulled out my punches, some quarter sheets of the colors I'd used on my OSW, and punched away.

Here's a photo of the pieces I generated:

That's as far as I've gotten at this point, but I'll continue to show the various stages of these cards in the upcoming days.

I'm planning to pull in the Simply Scrappin' kit Christmas Jingle (Item # 115696 $19.95) into the mix on this project as well. The colors I chose match the colors contained in this kit, and I can use the die-cut adhesive pieces on the fronts of the cards, along with the punches.

When I'm finished, I'll probably have 16 Christmas cards done.

Here's the Deal Of The Week: (10/20/09 thru 10/26/09 at 9:50 AM)

Item Page Description Regular Price Special Price
114348 179 Basic Jumbo grommets $6.95 $4.49 109857 179 Mini Library clips $12.95 $8.99
112571 179 Circle Designer brads $5.95 $3.99
112581 179 1/2" Library clips $6.95 $3.99

Don't you NEED some of these? These are great prices for these items!

Give me a call, or shoot me an email, and I'll be happy to order these and anything else you'd like!

And here's Smudge with that pleading look in her eye to back me up.

I sat on the couch (a rare occasion) and watched Castle tonight, and she snuggled right in behind me on the blankey and the pillows! Couldn't resist taking a photo.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Day After

Karen & I went to "The Happiest Place on Earth" (Disneyland) yesterday to celebrate my birthday. Had a free ticket from Mickey for myself, and Karen went along to keep me company.

We had a great time. It was a beautiful day - a little warm at times, but gorgeous and bright.

I got a big ole badge with my name on it, that says "Happy Birthday, Sam". I proudly put it on, and started walking around the park.

There were a zillion other people with the H B-day button, too! Like every other person! I was amazed that I shared my birthday with so many others!

Here are a few photos. Found out I'm MUCH better at the macro-photography, than the scenery kind...

Today was Stamp Club day and I taught them how to do a One Sheet Wonder (OSW).

To do this, you take an 8-1/2 x 11 sheet of neutral CS, chose 3-5 different, but coordinating, stamp pads, and 4-5 coordinating stamps that match the theme you had in mind.

Then you stamp all over the entire sheet, stamping off a lot of time, too, to fill in spaces on the CS.

Here's a photo of what mine looked like after I'd stamped the entire 8-1/2 x 11 sheet of CS.

I also chose colors that would match at least one DSP packet, so I could use pieces of that on my cards, if I wanted.

Notice I've stamped REALLY close together and stamped off on a bunch of the stamps to fill in with muted images.

As you start to cut up your CS, the images won't fill the pieces as much as you thought they had, so keep your stamps and inkpads handy to fill in where necessary.

After everyone stamped their piece(s) of CS to their satisfaction today, I had them cut them up. First they cut the sheet into quarters (4 pcs. 5-1/2 x 4-1/4).

Then they took two of the quarters and cut them on the diagonal. The other two pieces were cut in half lengthwise - one torn, and the other cut.

They also pulled a full sheet of CS of each of the colors of inks they'd used in the OSW sheet, and cut them in half, then folded them in half. These were the bases for their cards. After that, they took the pieces they'd made, and attached them to the folded CS and decorated to their hearts content.

I'd forgotten how some people are afraid to tear paper. One of the gals was really struggling with the tearing part, and her friend took HER piece of CS and said to the first gal, just think about what George did to make you mad this morning (and she tore a little), and how such & such a thing irritated you (and she tore a little more), and how upset you were with your daughter yeseterday about that little thing she did (and she finished tearing the piece of CS). I was roaring when she was finished!

Who said stamping wasn't a stress release!?

At that point, I remembered how much it used to bug me to tear CS, too. BUT, I'm over it now - I just forget to do it most of the time.

Some put "bling" on theirs, some brads, a couple attached a layered greeting to the front of their card.

There are lots of ways the dress these ideas up - ribbon, brads, buttons, eyelets, punches, die cuts, stickers (from Simply Scrappin' kits) or scraps of DSP, if the colors are compatible.

Each card will be different - and you don't get bored making them!

Here are some of the cards I made using the One Sheet Wonder (OSW) pattern I used, which was a different one than I taught this AM. The one from this morning is a very simple and easy to remember method for cutting your CS.

These are very serviceable cards, as they are above. But you can always do something more, which will help step it up.

The pattern I used had lots of different sized pieces to it. At this point, I have 6 different cards to a point where they'd be acceptable, but plan to step them up on them, too.

Without further ado...

The first "go" at pulling this card together - it needed more, but I wasn't quite sure just what. The only part of the original OSW I used on this one is the three "berries" I punched out of one of the left-over scraps.

The second "go" - after I'd had some time to look thru my stash to find additional elements that would help step it up. Here I added some of the Mistletoe twill ribbon, and a small flower with a brad in it.

Hope you enjoyed these.

Challenge yourself to try this! It's a really QUICK way to pull 8 cards together, OR, create background paper specifically for YOUR project!

Happy stampin'!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Going to Disneyland!

I'm so lucky! I got a FREE ticket to Disneyland from Mickey to celebrate my birthday!

The only stipulation is that I *HAVE* to use it tomorrow. So, my friend Karen and I are headed up there early tomorrow AM.

I'm really looking forward to it. I haven't been to Disneyland in about 25 years - and I live about 75 miles away!

It's sacriligious, I tell ya!

On the other hand, I've been do Disney World in Florida about 5 times in those 25 years. What's up with THAT?

Twice I met my Mom there (she lived in PA), and three times I've gone because there was some Stampin' Up! event being held in Orlando.

But tomorrow ----- tomorrow I get to go back to the ROOTS!

I'm taking my camera - I expect to see LOTS of Halloween costumes. Maybe I'll have some awesome photos to share with you.

In the meantime, pull those stamps and ink pads out and create something awesome!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Making Boxes

Isn't this lovely?

It came about quite accidentally when I was making the ornaments for my brother's friend.

I knew they'd have trouble finding a box to fit them, so decided to make it myself.

I know how to make a box.

Well, sorta...

It seems when it comes to boxes, I always have to make at least 2 before I've got it right.

Should be pretty simple to calculate - determine the size you want the bottom of the box to be, and add 1" to all four sides for the sides of the box. (Example: 6 inch square bottom, add 1" in both directions, and you'll need an 8" x 8" square)

You'll notice I said SHOULD. For some reason, I calculate it in my head, and make the box, and invariably it's too large or too small, and I have to make adjustments to my measurements and start all over again.

Thereby comes the box above. It was too large for the ornaments I wanted to put into it, so decided, rather than pitch it (GASP! throw something AWAY?!! You're out of your mind!), I would to keep it and create a bottom for it.

I added one of the Vanilla lattice die pieces I'd just cut for something else. Then I decided to add the Bermuda Bay Polka dot ribbon.

It's coming right along, but needs some focal point.

I dug thru my stamp sets for something fairly large and found the cardinal from A Cardinal Christmas, stamped and colored him. Laid him on the top and it still needed something.

So, I layered the cardinal on to a piece of Bermuda Bay, then Rose Red. The Thoroughly Modern DSP I started with had both these colors in it.

And voila! I have a nice looking box top.

For the bottom, you cut the CS the same size, but when scoring, choose to score to the OUTSIDE of the measurement. That will make top just enough bigger that you should have a nice snug fit.

I used the Thoroughly Modern DSP for the top, so selected Bermuda Bay CS for the bottom.
Just a reminder about my upcoming Christmas card Stamp A Stack on Saturday, October 24 @ 10 AM and again on Sunday, October 25th at 1 PM.

I showed you candidate for that event yesterday.

Here's another:

Call or email me today to sign up!

12 cards (3 each of 4 differnt designs) for $25.00! That's a steal for handmade cards!

Hope you saw something you liked!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Good to see friends again

It was another Sunday of sharing here in Sam's Garage - cards, techniques, pizza, chocolate, and lots of ideas and conversation.

Our monthly Get-together - just a group of SU demonstrators - some in my downline, some not... Just a great group of very talented ladies!

Teresa brought the CUTEST card (actually two versions) to share with us today - all made with punches!

Aren't they cute!!!?? Teresa punched out all the pieces for each of us to make one of these for our very own! She KNEW I'd love it!

Here are some of the cards that ended up in the garage (and my sample baskets!) today. I'm sure you'll enjoy them, as will I!

Veronica's card. Lovely, as always. She used the Elegant Bouquet embossing folder and Rich Razzleberry CS and dotted grosgrain ribbon. Her greeting is from the Wonderful Favorites set.

Teresa's card. She used the Medallion stamp inked in Whisper White on Old Olive CS and Rich Razzleberry CS as her main color for the card. She also used a Square Fire "bling" and silver cording to dress it up.

Susan's card. She used the Top Note die "leftover" as a stencil and daubered the color on to the ivory CS. She also used the Champagne Mist paints, which don't show up very well, but do add a lovely touch when seen in person.

Her CS is Elegant Eggplant, layered with Dusty Durango. She used dark purple grosgrain ribbon for her "bowless bow". She also used the ticket corner punch on several layers.

Del's contribution for today. She cleverly used aluminum foil to create her mirror!

Then she stamped the house from the House of Haunts set on the foil, using Black Staz-on ink.

The background papers are the Night & Day specialty papers. She used the scallop oval punch to create the mirror. I also like her take on how the card will fold to be mailed. Don't think I've ever seen this particular one before, but it's quite striking, don't you think?

Sam's card.

I used the Lattice Big Shot die, cut it in Ivory CS and layered it on to Real Red CS. Then I cut an oval out of Black CS using the Ovals die, and finally layered a stamped image from the Sweet Season set.

This card is a candidate for my upcoming Christmas card Stamp A Stack that I'll be holding here in my Stampin' Garage on October 24th & 25th. There will be 4 different designs, and attendees will make 3 of each of them for a total of 12 cards. Fee for the class is $25.

Call or email me if you'd like to sign up for this class. Final sign-ups must be to me by Friday, October 16th, so that I can order the materials and be sure they'll be here.

And last, but certainly not least, your cat photo of the day.

It's gotten chillier lately, so Velvet's taken to sleeping snuggled up to my reading pillow. Image my surprise when I found Smedley sleeping there too, the other day!

And look at that guilty look on his face! Guess he thought he was doing something wrong...

Happy Stampin'!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Chuck's Pets

My brother, Jim, has a friend he's kept in touch with since high school. The guys and their wives try to get together once a year - generally in the Fall, as that's what seems to work out .

He asked me to "do something" with photos of Chuck's pets that he had. Chuck and wife have "furry kids", like I do. Jim said they had run out of ideas for a gift this year, and thought something I made might be well received.

Last year for Christmas, Stampin' Up! sold chipboard kits that I made into Christmas tree ornaments for Jim and his wife that had photos of the kids and grand kids. I really enjoyed making them, and apparently Jim liked them too, since that's what he meant when he asked me to "do something".

So, I started putzing. We no longer sell the precut chipboard pieces I used last year. BUT, we DO sell a Big Shot, and, I have tablet backs (i.e. chipboard, although much lighter weight). So what's the problem?

I'll just use my Mr. Big dies and come up with something. I got the photos via email, so I can maniputlate them in IPhoto - no problem! I can even reprint them, if I mess things up!

So, here's what I was able to come up with. Hope you enjoy them!

Recipe: Square Scallop and Oval Frame Sizzix dies; Merry Moments DSP; Snowflake punch; Dazzling Diamonds glitter, a retired leaf punch, Autumn Splendor stamp set; Pumpkin Pie and Real Red 1/2" striped grosgrain ribbons, as well as Ribbon Originals (green).

I was afraid they might have trouble finding a box that would accommodate these, so decided to make one.

I'm quite impressed with this! It's crisp and clean looking, yet has a lot of visual interest.

Recipe: Lattice die, Leaves #2 die, Merry Moments DSP, Real Red polka dot grosgrain ribbon, and the green ribbon from Ribbon Originals in the mini-catalog.

After everything was cut, using either the square scallop die or the oval frame, I added glitter to the edges of all the scallops, and "accessorized" using the snowflake punch and some holly leaves/berries made from punches and die cuts.

Cut the DSP and the chipboard all at the same time - it tends to make for a better "fit" for everything, since it's sorta related, by virtue of being cut that way.

If you'd like to learn how to do this for YOUR family photos give me a call and let's set something up!

Here's Smudge tonight - she just wants to say "hi".

Happy Stampin'