Sunday, January 30, 2011

Letter Press musings...

I finally dragged out my Letter Press embossing plate again about a week ago and decided I'd give it another try.

I wasn't very impressed with what I'd made the first time several months ago, so put it away and didn't give it any more thought. UNTIL I saw on someone's blog that they'd put DSP thru it!

I had an "aha" moment and realized that since the DSP is thinner paper, it would probably show the embossing better.

So I ran a number of types of papers thru, trying many variations to get the right pressure on the paper and the letter press plate.

I found DSP shows the embossing MUCH better than most card stock does. BUT, I also found that confetti card stock showed the embossing even better than the DSP!

Why, you ask? Well, I can't give you a scientific reason, but my thoughts on it are that the confetti CS breaks down more easily than regular CS - and so does the DSP.

What do you think?

This is confetti card stock. Notice how it cracked where the CS hit the edge of the plate - up where there was no ink applied to the plate (oops - my bad, LOL).

This is DSP. It shows some texture, but it isn't as easily photographed as the confetti. In person you can see it and feel it, though, and it adds nice texture.

When I ran the regular CS thru the letter press, I got a nicely inked image (I used Craft ink on the letter press), but it really didn't emboss it very much. I tried to photograph it, andi doesn't show up.

Since the confetti paper cracked so easily, I decide tearing it would probably look nice.

Here's a card I made, using the letter pressed confetti paper and some DSP.

I added a button, laced with 1/8" taffeta ribbon, a key, and a crown.

Here they are in close up.

And did you catch it?

Did you catch the little pearl half peeking out from underneath the lower part of the torn confetti CS?

You didn't? OK. I'll post the photo again - look more closely this time...

See it?



How about an close up shot?

Kinda cool, huh?

Just peeking out from underneath, all shy and everything...

I have a few other things I've made using the papers I put thru the letter press, but I'm going to save them for another time.

If you have any questions about the letter press plates, leave me a comment, or send me an email!

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

STAMPS (redeux)

The other day I showed you the beginnings of a banner I was making, using the Springtime Vintage fabric, Big Shot, Serif Essentials alphabet dies, seam binding, and markers.

When I posted the photos, I hadn't completed the banner. But now I have, so I thought I'd show it to you tonight.

This is what they looked like the other evening, when I left them to "muddle" and I went to bed.

And here's what they look like now!

As you can see, I "gussied" them up a little.

I added ribbon and lace and buttons and butterflies cut with the Beautiful Wings embosslit (Item 118138).

I added Glimmer paper rickrack which I cut on the Tasteful Trim BigZ XL die ( Item 120893). This die was unveiled in the Holiday mini, but is still available for purchase!

And here's what it looks like, hanging on my workbench. The lighting isn't the greatest, but I think you can see it well enough.

The banner I made using the letters themselves is hanging above the banner I made using the "negative" portions of the fabric.

I'm having a hard time deciding which one I like better.

What about you? Which one appeals to you the most? Leave me a Comment and let me know!

In the meantime, I hope you're stamping something! It's a great stress reliever, believe me!

And don't forget - it's Sale-A-Bration (SAB)! Time to gather together at least a $50 order and select an SAB set and get the order to me!

Thanks for stopping by...

Friday, January 28, 2011

2011 Calendars! Are yours up yet?

If you can believe it, I FINALLY put out 2011 calendars through - out the house tonight!

Every time I'd try to look at a wall calendar I'd realize it was last year's and go find a current one, thinking, next time I go to the kitchen, I'll bring one back to hang here (where ever "here" was at that moment).

You see, I had about 8 calendars on the kitchen table just waiting to be put up somewhere! Most came from animal shelters, etc, since that's what I support.

So, tonight, I finally got them OFF the kitchen table and UP ON THE WALLS! Every room now has at least one 2011 calendar!

I also make calendars. I generally purchase those little stick on calendars from a company called AIP, and then use coasters to make unique calendars.

I've had my stamp club ladies make their own for the past two or three years - and I always make one for my computer desk at the same time.

Then, assuming I have time, I try to make additional calendars to give as gifts.

Here's one I made for my friend Roxy. She's always the Hostess with the Mostest when we go visit her for a weekend of gambling and goofing off.

Her calendar was my initial use of the Pompom Trim (in the Occasions mini-catalog). Took me a while to figure out I was going to have to use Sticky Strip to get them to stay on there! (They ARE still there, aren't they Roxy?)

I also used the Sweet Buttons embosslit as the centers of the orange flowers - see them? They're made from Daffodil Delight! Hard to miss something THAT bright, isn't it?

And here's the one I made for Susan...

She's very much into Vintage, so I went crazy with a lot of the new stuff from the Occasions mini - both DSPs and stamp images. Easter Blossoms and Nature's Walk stamp sets, Botanical Gazette Designer Series Papers, scalloped edge punch, and my favorite ribbon (for the moment!) the 1/8" taffeta - LOVE IT!

I liked hers so well I almost kept it for myself and made her another!

I just realized I haven't taken a photo of the one I made for myself! I'll have to do that tomorrow and then remember to post it to show you.

Thanks for stopping by - have a great tomorrow!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Leadership Displays

Isn't this gorgeous?

It's from a display of new product ideas shared at Leadership. There's a lot of paper piecing involved in the portrait. Can you see it in her hat?

The designer used the Springtime Vintage DSP (Item 121782) from the Occasions mini-catalog. There's also a Simply Adorned necklace with some of the baubles around her neck and used as earrings.

This particular set of displays (and I'll show you more in a few seconds) was all done by Stampin' Up! home office employees!

None of the items on the display had anyone's name in view, but in chatting with the SU employees who had designed the display boards, they knew who had made them. Some of the names they mentioned I know (of), others were just every day wonderful employees!

This photo is best viewed from afar.

It's a picture of Shelli, constructed entirely of our new Glimmer Basic brads (Item # 121003). I was told one of the employees who takes a lot of photos at our events made this. After learning this, I could see where it would require (for me, at least!) a negative to work from, in order to make this. It's very striking in person!

Isn't this cute and fun? It is one of your run-of-the-mill rubber snakes - wound with Melon Mambo Pompom trim (Item # 123322)!

These beautiful, soft flowers were made with our new Pear Pizazz seam binding (Item # 122330). These would be a lot of fun to make!

This half topiary is constructed of LOTS of our new Vanilla Rosettes (Item # 118774). Also featured is some more of the Pear Pizazz seam binding.

I'm always jealous of these displays when I see them! Why couldn't I have THOUGHT of the ideas, instead of having to copy them ? I want to be THAT creative! Ha ha ha

How about you? Do you feel creative today? I've got lots of "toys" you can use to satisfy your creativity needs - and you can get more FREE during Sale-A-Bration!

Call or email to let me know which of these items YOU'D like to create!

Thanks for stopping by. Have a great tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Kidz

I can tell "the kittens" (which they'll ALWAYS be called, no matter how old they are) are cats now.

They're much less active, much less fun to photograph. Or if they are tearing around, they're much too fast for MY camera!

When they were younger, I did take movies of them on my camera, but I never figured out how to upload them. One of these days, I'll need to learn it, and I'll try to remember post them.

In the meantime, though, here are The Kidz from recent photos...

Here's Smedley, checking out a recent sunset. We've been having some gorgeous ones lately.

Smedley stills spends his days sleeping in the rafters out in the garage. He deigns to come down about an hour before sunset each day, to enjoy a romp with Smudge.

And then, of course, doesn't want to come in when it gets dark...

And here's Smudge - it's about the only angle I can get a shot that's not blurry.

Girl moves fast!

She's got a gorgeous thick coat this year and looks more regal as she ages. Sometimes called "the princess"...

And here's Velvet, sitting on one of her favorite patio chairs.

She's not as active as she'd like to be. She wants The Kidz to chase her, but they haven't caught on to the game yet. Maybe they're a lot slower than I thought!!

They had some traumas this year when we had that solid week of rain, and the backyard turned into a pond. They'd go to the end of the patio and have no where to go that they wouldn't get their paws wet!

So, they stayed in the house, and by the end of the week Smudge was antsy to get outside. She's just not much of a house cat during the day - might miss something outside, you know!

Hope you have a happy day! And keep on stampin'!

OH! Almost forgot to remind you! Sale-A-Bration (SAB) started TODAY! For each $50 you purchase (before shipping and taxes) you may choose a FREE ITEM from the SAB catalog! Awesome things in there - call me to place an order - or go to my website, if you'd rather. Either way, you get to choose something FREE - and who doesn't like FREE!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


I have a lot of the Stampin' Up! fabric - won an entire pack of the Sew Sweet fabrics, as well as several pieces of the Vintage selection at Leadership.

So, I decided it was time to try the FABRIC ADHESIVE (Item # 122194 $14.95 for 72" long x 11-1/2" wide) on some of it.

As I mentioned before, I used to do a lot of sewing (yes, REAL sewing), but it's been MANY years ago. There was fabric adhesive available then, but I didn't play with it much.

I cut pieces that were about 8" x 6" from all the fabrics. Then I ironed on the fabric adhesive, and ran this thru my Big Shot using the Serif Essentials letter dies.

Here's a photo of some fabric and the adhesive BEFORE I ironed them together.

Please note how shiny the adhesive is - and that I'm going to iron it to the WRONG side of the fabric!

This was easy peasy!

Then I used the Serif Essentials alphabet to cut out the letters for the word STAMP.

After I cut out the letters, I removed the backing from the adhesive and ironed them on to pieces of card stock.

The CS pieces are 2-1/2 square.

I also stamped on the back ground pieces with various sets (Charming and Nature Walk, to name two) before I ironed the letters on to it.

I mounted those on to some Rose Red CS that I put thru the Scallop Square Duo die (Item 120903 frm the Holiday mini, but still available for purchase today!) I used the 3" die - the other one is about 2-1/2" square.

These layer really well with the 4" Scallop Square (Item 115950 in the big catalog).

After I mounted them on the squares, I punched holes in both sides and threaded some of our Victorian Lace through the holes - and, voila! I now have a banner that says "STAMPS".

I also took the negative portions of the letters I cut (I'm so frugal!), and mounted THEM on to some Ivory and Crumb Cake CS. Then, again used the 3" scallop square in Rose Red and mounted these.

Then I used my Rose Red marker and outlined the inside of each letter, so that it would stand out a little more.

I've added some of the Vintage Flower Adornments (Item 121879 in the Occasions mini), which come in Rose Red, Baja Breeze, and Ivory - all colors which were used in the fabric!

And I added some of the teeny vanilla Rosettes (Item 118774, also from the Occasions mini).

I haven't glued anything down yet, but I'm liking what I seeing - What do you think? Leave me a comment and let me know!

What else should I add to these? They need some more adornments (but not many more of those from the mini) - so what should it be? Crowns? Keys? Something else entirely?

I decided to let it sit out in the Stampin' Garage, and I'll look at again tomorrow evening. Maybe something will hit me and I'll be off on a tear again, adding those things!

I hope some stamping idea hits you today, too - and that you stop what you're doing long enough to put ink to paper (or other media!) and CREATE!

Thanks for stopping by...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Leadership Cards - 2001 Part Deux

I was very laid back with swaps this time around. Only did one organized swap with 40 cards. I've picked out the best of them to show you in the next couple of days.

I did not notate which cards were made by whom. So, if you see one of your cards on my blog, please let me know so I can give credit where it's due!

I really like this one - I like both the color combo and the design.

The "gray" is actually silver card stock.

The white piece pulls out and becomes a note card!

See - isn't that clever?

This card was made using the Valentine Defined set, and the Love Impressions DSP, along with some ribbon snips (perfect way to use up those "tails" you always have from making square knots or bows!) and both the round scallop punch and the scalloped edge punch.

Simple, but effective!

This one was made using the new cupcake punch from the Occasions mini, along with the large circle punch and Elegant Lines embossing folder.

The designer also used the Glimmer Paper ( The BOMB!) with our very dinky heart punch, and some 5/8" white organza ribbon.

The cupcake has been popped up.

Well, that's all I have to share with you tonight.

I was finally able to get the lawns mowed today, and I guess that Zumba class I've been taking is using muscles I'd forgotten I have, cause I'm hurtin' tonight - time to go rest this weary body!

Thanks for stopping by - come back tomorrow - you just never know when I'll change my mind about what I SAID I was going to post!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Leadership Cards - 2011

I got the photos taken of some of my swaps from Leadership, so for the next few days they'll be the focal point.

There were some beauties, as I would expect.

I just LOVE the color combination of this one. VERY vintage looking. Lots of detail (ribbon, embossed CS, cut out valentine) which creates visual interest to me.

Love that the greeting on this one is in French. I never buy those sets that aren't in English (cuz I don't speak that language!), but it's nice to see them. Thanks to one of my fellow demonstrators from Canada, I'm sure!

And this one just knocks my sox off! Everything works so well together and gives off such a Vintage look. I love the look but have yet to achieve it to this degree!

Now I can copy, and maybe I'll figure out what the key is to obtaining the look.

Hope you saw something you enjoyed! Come back!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Some stamped stuff

Well, sorry - busy day - I didn't get the Leadership swaps photographed so I could share them with you.


I do have some stamped stuff to share. So, without further ado...

This is the ATC (Artistic Trading Card) that I made for my stamp club ladies' Goody Bags this month.

Made with the Valentine Defined set (Item 121941 - wood), so Whisper White, Pretty in Pink and Read Red cardstock.

An ATC is a specific size: largest piece is 3-1/2 x 2-1/2. The next layer is 3-1/4 x 2-1/4. And the third layer (where the stamping is on this sample) is 3 x 2".

Artistic Trading Cards have been around forever! They were initially samples that an artist could leave as a calling card, if you will. A sample of their work that was inexpensive to give away.

ATCs have been around the stamping world as long as I have. I like them. They ARE a smaller sample of what you, as a stamper, have to offer.

Many times, at various stamping conventions (including Stampin' Up!s), I've traded ATCs - matter of fact, several years ago we sold a book that holds them perfectly.

Before that, I used baseball trading card sleeves to store them so I could look through them more easily.

But the BEST part about an ATC is how easily it layers on to a regular card size!

So, I took a couple of left over ATCs from those I made last night and made these two cards:

For both of them, I embossed the Pretty in Pink CS in the Vintage Wallpaper embossing folder and the Big Shot.

Creates a nice texture to the card, doesn't it?

And both cards have small hearts punched from the Glimmer Paper (Item 121790) from the Occasions mini-catalog. The card on the right also has a piece of Glimmer paper cut on the rickrack area of the Tasteful Trim Big XL die we carry. This piece of rickrack was cut from scraps I had left over after punching all those little hearts!

This Glimmer paper is THE BOMB!

I'm NOT a glitter fan - simply because it gets all over everything, including the cats' fur! And I worry about them ingesting it and making themselves sick, or worse yet, getting it in their eyes.

So the Glimmer paper is the answer for me. You get 2 12x12 sheets for $3.95. And I've already gotten about 30 of those small hearts ( and several strips of rick rack) from several 12" x 1-1/2" pieces, which leaves me PLENTY to share with my stampin' friends!

Here's a photo of the Pretty in Pink piece after I embossed it:

Isn't it beautiful? I love ALL the embossing folders - they're fast and easy and they add so much to a card!

And, I also stamped on this piece before I ran it through the Big Shot - I used Versamark, so it's very subtle, but that adds something to the cards as well.

As I've said before, it's the details that make a card stand out in the crowd.

So, do you NEED anything I've shown tonight? If so, give me a holler!

And in the meantime - thanks for stopping by - and keep on stampin'!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Leadership 2011 - Nashville, TN

Last week at this time I was in Nashville, TN for our annual Leadership Conference.


They tend to spoil us at Leadership. Great food, lots of great classes, the opportunity to meet up with other leaders in the company and spend time talking STAMPS! For Stampin' Up! demonstrators, there's nuthin' better!

Here are a few pix - my camera doesn't take very good photos at night, so I'm sure, if you're a stamping blog hopper, you've seen better ones than these. But, they're what *I* have to share, so here goes...

The Manager's Reception was held at the Wildhorse Saloon in downtown Nashville. Manager's Reception is something I look forward to each year - it's special! You have to work hard to earn the opportunity to attend, and they treat us good!

We all got cowboy hats at the hotel while we were waiting for the buses to take us - WHERE? We didn't know!

But we all had to figure out it was going to be something to do with country music - and we were correct!

Here I am, greeting the horse outside the Saloon.

And here's my friend Joanna - doesn't she look natural in that cowboy hat? Maybe it's because she's from Oklahoma???

I just loved all the horses they had around the place that people could pose with!

There were even horses hanging upside down from the ceiling, but I knew my camera would never capture them, so didn't even try. It was weird to look up and see them, though!

And here are a couple of Stampin' Up! employees, whose job for three days was to pamper us all - and they did an awesome job!

Brian Pilling and Selma.

Brian's a newer employee and is very nice - funny, too! He gave us a great class on a book entitled "Influencer".

And Selma has been around for a long time. What a sweetheart! She used to be in charge of the Make & Takes, and when I had the privilege of helping with those one year, I got to meet her...

You're probably wondering where the STAMPED stuff is from this get-together, aren't you?

Well, I DO have some cards I got in a swap, but I haven't had the time to take photos of them yet! I'll try to get to that tomorrow and post some of them. As always, they're beautiful!

Hey - did you know that SALE-A-BRATION (SAB)starts on Monday, January 25th?

YES! For each $50 in product you purchase, you'll be able to choose a free item from the SAB catalog! And this year there are buttons and ribbons and designer papers and even a DVD with My Digital Studio items!

I'm so stoked about the DVD - I won it at Leadership and can't wait to play around with the images that are on it.

So - I have some openings on my calendar during SAB - call me and book that workshop you've been thinking about doing! I promise - you and your guests will have a lot of fun!

Until then, thanks for stopping by - and keep on stampin'!