Saturday, August 29, 2009


I was so busy the last couple of weeks before the Stampin' Up convention that I didn't have time to do any swap cards. I love swapping cards and seeing all the great ideas other demonstrators come up with. My upline's upline (I like to call her my grandma) gave me some of her swap cards to swap so I wouldn't miss out on all the fun. I thought that was so sweet. She had somewhere between 15 and 20 left so I got some nice cards in return for those. I also kept one of hers because they were so pretty. It is the one on the lower left, the Oriental looking one.

That is such a pretty stamp set and I love the card she made with it. One of the cards that had a great idea I liked was the one above it that uses the Medallion stamp. The color combination is ok but I'm not crazy about them so I decided to try it as a Christmas card. I like the way it turned out. I double matted the squares and double matted the mat for the strip of squares and eliminated the yellow strip but tied a gingham across the entire bottom of the card after embossing a sentiment in white embossing powder.

I guess that is one of the things I love about swaps. You can use them as a springboard to design a card that reflects your own style. I have a few more swap cards that I'll post Monday.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Stampin' Up's support of Ronald McDonald House

There are so many reasons to love Stampin' Up! One of the best is their statement of the heart. It is: To love what we do and share what we love, as we help others enjoy creativity and worthwhile accomplishments . . . in this we make a difference!

This statement isn't just a nice thing to think about, the company puts it into action! Stampin' Up designs an exclusive stamp set every year to help raise money for the Ronald McDonald House Charities. This year the stamp set is called Very Thankfull and is located on the inside back cover of the catalog. It is a set of 4 stamps for $14.95. $2.oo of every one of these stamp sets sold is donated to RMHC. Stampin' Up demonstrators are also encouraged to volunteer at their local Ronald McDonald House as well as donate cards that the families can send to their children in the hospital to cheer them up or to send to family and friends who help them out during their child's hospital stay. Stampin' Up demonstrators also donate decorated lunch bags which are used to brighten up the parent's day when they go to eat their lunch they bring with them from the Ronald McDonald house.

This charity is special to me because many years ago we had a son in a hospital in Atlanta, GA for an extended stay and we were able to stay at the Ronald McDonald house a couple of times while we were there. The house was beautiful and comfortable and the volunteers were wonderful. My other children didn't want to leave to go back home! The availability of this home away from home made the hospitalization easier for our family.

Here is a link to a story about the Ronald McDonald House Charities and how you can help also.

If you can, spend some time on the site to see how you can volunteer or donate. It is a wonderful charity and a very needed one. If you want to help by ordering the stamp set, I would, of course, be happy to help you out :~)

I have 2 other links to share today, one is from a site I have often gone to get ideas from when planning crafts and activities for the Girl's Camp I do every Summer and for the ladies at church. There is a wealth of information and great activities and art projects there! In the link I'm sending she tells about her decision to start an annual service project and how she teamed up with Sherrill Graff (I've talked about her in other blog posts) to do a project where they made not only cards, but blankets for the Ronald McDonald House children. Farther down in that link she tells how you can help if want to join with them in their project.

The third link is to Sherrill's blog where she shows a picture of Stampin' Up presenting a big (in more ways than one!) check to RMHC. Ronald makes an appearance every year at our convention to receive the check from the sales of the stamp set designed for the charity. You can't read the amount of the check in the picture but you can tell there are a LOT of 00's!

One of the best ways to feel better about yourself is to volunteer to help others. I hope you will find some time this week to serve, maybe do it annonymously. It is a great way to make a difference in your little corner of the world.

Since we don't have a Ronald McDonald House here in Clarksville, TN but we are next to a huge military reservation, Ft. Campbell, KY; I put a lot of effort into making cards for the soldiers. I have several friends whose husbands are in Iraq and Afganistan right now so it is very easy to find an address to send the cards to. We meet at my church the last Thursday of every month and I have card kits ready to put together. I can stuff about 280 cards and envelopes into a Priority Box. We send the blank cards to one of the soldiers and request that they give them to a chaplain or a company commander who has access to many soldiers. Then they can have them available for the soldiers to pick through when they want to send a card home to their family. I've heard how much the children love getting a card from daddy when he is so far away. It isn't much but it is something I can do to help the troops. If you live near Clarksville and would like to help, this Thursday is the day. I'll send you information on the time and address.

I thought I did a post Saturday night but the last one is from Thursday. I must have done it in my sleep and it is out there in dreamland cyberspace somewhere. I will include pictures of a couple of cards I made Saturday, they must be what I thought I posted!

The card on the left is made with the Cottage Wall Designer paper along with the stamp set I won at convention with my necklace. It is called "Charming" and is one of the stamp sets in the Holiday Mini Catalog that will begin next Tuesday, September 1st. There are so many great sets in the Mini Catalog that I will be sharing with you the next few weeks!

The card on the right is a super simple card but I really like it. I made it for my nephew's wedding this Saturday. I punched the flowers with the 5-Petal Flower punch and highlighted them with
the Bashfull Blue marker and added a rhinestone brad in the center of each. The sentiment, "For the Newlyweds" is from the Teeny Tiny Wishes stamp set.

Since it isn't late at night I'm pretty sure this post will actually go through. Have a great day and remember to do something nice for someone else!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

More Convention projects

I've been back home in Clarksville, TN for barely over a week now but it seems longer ago than that since I was on the plane from Salt Lake City to Nashville. It's funny how quickly you get back into your "real life" and the vacation fades into a distant memory. What hasn't faded is my enthusiam for all the great classes and projects from Convention. The first day we had a meeting that was kind of a cross between announcements, project demonstrations and a huge pep rally. There were over 3000 people there and we were all pretty excited to be there. Then there is the Prize Patrol that stays ready to run around handing out prizes. That makes it more fun and exciting.

After lunch we went to the make n take classes and did 8 projects. The projects were shrink wrapped with all pre-cut pieces of cardstock together with an instruction sheet with a picture of what it was supposed to look like. The other supplies we needed like ink, punches and markers were in a plastic box in the middle of the table. 8 of us sat at each table and passed the supplies around and tried to get as many projects finished as possible. Since we had the stamp sets in our convention bags we could finish them later if we didn't have time in the class. I finished a little more than half of everything, they wanted us to have so many projects to do that there just wasn't time to do them all. Here are pictures of all 8 projects. I was easily able to finish them later because of the great directions and pictures.

The first set of projects I did were all Christmas projects. It was fun to be doing Christmas cards in August. Maybe I should keep making Christmas cards so they will be finished in plenty of time to mail them, I'm such a procrastinator!
The other projects were made with the 2 non-Christmas stamp sets and the wheel we had in our convention bag. We made a gift card set that included the bag and topper to put them in. That is such a nice little gift set. You will notice that the card set and the scrapbook page use the stamp set "Things I love" I've been having fun playing with that set today. The last project was a sweet little box.
I can't even imagine what it takes to put together 8 projects for over 3000 people! It was amazing!
I love the creation process so the projects are always my favorite part of conventions. We also had some classes that were very interesting and I learned so much. What were the highlights of the convention other than the projects? Learning how to use the newest Stampin' Up product, My Digital Studio has to be in
everyone's top 3. I wasn't interested in the digital at all. When they announced it I was just bored. I wasn't going to get into digital pages, I love all the ribbons and brads and layers and fun of feeling the layout as I put it together. The more they showed us about My Digital Studio the more I wanted it.
I'll have to do a whole blog post on it, they have probably 50 stamp sets in the program as well as the punches and the SU colors! It is amazing what you can do with the program. I have a son getting married next month and the thought of putting together 15 or 20 pages on the computer and sending them out to be printed and bound so I instantly have 2 books (one for me and one for the bride to be who doesn't scrapbook) is a very nice thought. I can get it to them in less than 3 years!
Another highlight was the keynote speaker, Belinda Ellsworth. She has so much energy and, although she isn't a Stampin' Up demonstrator or employee, she completely investigated the company so she could talk about it and the products. She inspired me to do better in every aspect of my life. She was very entertaining and funny as she inspired. She is coming to Nashville next month and I think I'll sign up to go hear her again. She was that good!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Pre-Convention Shoe Box Swap Projects

I already showed you projects I did the day before the Convention at the Aloha class. Immediately after that class I had signed up for a shoe-box swap. I made a card before I left TN to fly to Utah for the convention. I cut all the paper to size and included the ribbon, punched flower and buttons needed for my card as well as the stamp sets and ink. I didn't have room in my suitcase for the plastic shoebox so I put it all in a quart sized baggie for the trip.

This swap was announced on a yahoo group I belong to, Late Night Stampers. It is ran by list mom Sherrill Graff. She has been a Stampin' Up demonstrator for 17 years, she joined when there were very few demonstrators! There is a link to the site on my sidebar (click on the owl) if anyone is interested in joining the group. They have a weekly challenge and people share how to do techniques and ideas all the time. There are chances to win great prizes for lots of things through the month. Sherrill is very generous with her Stampin' Up supplies and stamps!

The shoebox swap was set up for 5 people in each group so I cut enough for 5 cards. I didn't get the names of all the people in the group so I can't remember who designed each project but I had a lot of fun recreating each one. I think you will agree that they are all great projects.

I made the card that I posted on July 28th for my swap but I was low on the Rhinestone Brads so I used the flower that I showed how to make on my August 1st post for the center of the medallion stamp.

The top left project is a little hard to see in the picture but it is a beautiful card that has a flap opening. It is just beautiful. The top right one is a matchbox cut from the Big Shot die. The cover of the matchbox is made from the medium weight clear window sheet and looks very nice with the foil wrapped candy peeking though under the butterfly. The butterfly is also a Big Shot die and we made his body of wire with beads on it. Very pretty.

It is hard to tell from the picture that the lower left but it is a little gift bag. Yet again, cut from a Big Shot die. I'm thinking that I need that die! It has that pretty scalloped top that is unique. We used the Wide Oval Punch to punch the window in the bag and tied on the polka-dot ribbon. Quick and easy but a very nice wrapping for a small gift or a bag of goodies.

The 4th project was a cover for a large cookie. The design was stamped and matted several times, then the sentiment was stamped on vellum and added over the design with brads. The satin ribbon is the perfect closure for this treat.

I had fun making all the projects in both of these classes, 10 great projects in all. I was quite tired though and was glad the traffic wasn't too bad going to my sister-in-law's house where we stayed while we were in Salt Lake City. It was a hot day, I passed a temperature sign that said 97, no wonder I was so hot walking from the Marriot where the first class was held to the Shilo where the second one was held! The next day was also hot but later it became very windy and blew in some cold air so it wasn't as hot the rest of the week.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Convention Treasure

This is a picture of the stamp set and the beautiful necklace I won at the Stampin' Up convention. The necklace was made by the co-founder and president of Stampin' Up, Shellie Gardner. She even signed the back of her creation! I guess I should have taken a close up of the front too but it's late so I'll try add that later.
The locket is from the new jewlery line we will be featuring in our Holiday mini catalog that will start on Sept 1st. I was very pleased with the quality of the locket. The front glass is beveled so you can even put a couple of rhinestones on your design if you want to! I'm going to need one for my grandchildren's pictures too!

It was the second day of convention that I won the necklace and stamp set. On the first day, Wednesday, we picked up our convention bags (I need to take a picture of it to share too, it is very cute) which had lots of goodies including the 4 stamp sets and wheel that we would use in the make-n-take classes during convention. We can go get the bags the day before convention so we can put our stamp sets together before our classes. Of course, that task is much easier now that the stamps are die-cut so we just pop them out and peel and stick!

I had signed up for an Aloha themed event Wednesday that featured 6 stamping projects and dinner. I can't decide which project I liked best but I'm loving that cute pencil! The witch's hair is made with wide, stripped ribbon with the edges of the ribbon cut and frayed like the tassel on the owl's graduation cap I posted earlier this summer. The bright project beside it is a little purse with a flap that tucks behind the flower.
The birthday card in the next picture covers up part of the package of hot cocoa but you can see the little topper for the bag with that cute polar bear fishing.
After that I did a Shoebox swap so Wednesday was pretty busy. More pictures of the shoebox swap items later, then the convention projects and the swaps. Can you tell I loved convention???

Friday, August 14, 2009

Stampin' Up Convention

I got back from the convention Tuesday night, so late that it was actually Wednesday morning by the time I got to bed! Yesterday and today were spent catching up and doing laundry, shopping and mowing. After the excitement of the convention it's kind of a let down, although it is great to be back home.

Now for a couple of convention highlights. I went to a pre-convention swap called a Shoe Box Swap. That is where everyone designs a project and puts everything needed to make it in a plastic shoe box along with the sample for the swap participants to copy. I used the card I posted last week as my project. Here are some pictures of other projects, I got some great ideas from this swap.

The convention is so well-organized that it is amazing. It seems like they thought of EVERYTHING! Well, except for the tiny napkins we got with lunch everyday. That's my only complaint.
When you go into the doors of the convention center they had the theme of the convention, "Create, Inspire, Share" cut from the vinyl like the Decor Elements are made out of and on the second set of doors there were huge graphics like stamp sets also cut out of the vinyl. It was such a fun welcome to the convention!
There were over 3000 demonstrators at the convention this year. It is amazing to me how well everyone can see (2 jumbo-trons on each side of the stage) and participate in all the activities and projects. Where we ate lunch everyday was called "The Gathering Place" and there were lots of projects and ideas for us to see there. They had dozens of these black display boards set up and people walked around each set taking pictures. The panels were done in color schemes so they looked great, without colors clashing or distracting you.
Here is a close up of several of the cards on one of the boards and a close up of one of the shelves that had some 3-D projects. I've been editing the 117 pictues like crazy and my hands and wrists are hurting! I can't imagine some of the people who took thousands of pictures trying to edit all of them! I'll be posting more pictures but it's really late. I haven't taken a picture of the great prize I won so I need to get that on so you can see how beautiful it is. It was one of the most special prizes given so I was excited that I won.

Friday, August 7, 2009

I'm in Salt Lake City

The Stampin' Up! Convention is this weekend in Salt Lake City. the weather is actually hotter here than inTN and the humidity is kind of high for this area. It has been stormy and very windy but very little rain. By the looks of the grass, they need the rain badly.

But on to better things, the convention! It has been great, I've seen some of the new things that will be introduced over the next few months and taken several business classes and made a lot of projects. I will have to add pictures when I get home. I didn't bring the laptop, forgetting that I would want to post to my blog and I always like to include pictures.

They also have what they call the "Momento Mall" where we can buy exclusive merchandise. Since I can't load pictures on my computer you will have to settle for word descriptions. First, I got a beautiful hoodie that has one of the prints from the Razzleberry Lemonaid DSP lining the hood. It has swirly designs and flowers on it, I can't believe how cute it is! The classrooms were warm today so I didn't have a chance to wear it :~( I also got a very cool water bottle (I could have used the water but it was empty) it was a Certainly Celery color and had the Trendy Tree designs around the bottom. Way cute! There are also some of the cloth shopping bags with a design from Circle Circus on them. They will be so much fun to take to the store to carry home groceries in. There was a lot of other stuff but my debit card has a limit!

I'll try to do another update before I come home next Tuesday. My flight doesn't get into Nashville until 10:30PM and we have another hour to drive home so it will be Wednesday before I have pictures to post. I'll have to bring my computer next time!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Poppin' Pastels or Chalk Popping

Chalk Popping is another technique I knew would be great with the Medallion stamp as soon as I saw it. It gives a very subtle color and you can vary the colors you use and how dark you apply them.
First, stamp the image onto the cardstock with Versamark ink. It leaves a faint image that is hard to see on white. I found the center of the image and dipped a sponge dauber in the green chalk that most closely matches the Certainly Celery cardstock that I was using in my layout. When you apply the chalk to the image, you don't have to rub hard, just rub the dauber onto the image, reapplying chalk to the dauber as needed until you get the shade you want. I had decided on 3 colors of cardstock so I used 3 colors of pastels that most closely matched those colors.

For the layout I used the green in the middle, pink on the next layer and blue on the outside layer. I also experimented with doing each "petal" in the blue/pink colors and like that look too.

If you don't have any sponge daubers you can use a regular sponge or cotton balls. The sponge daubers work better as the sponge is more compact and small so you get better coverage and can control where you put it better. You can see in this comparrison that the cotton ball works but the one with the sponge dauber gives a clearer image. The one with the cotton ball is on the left and the sponger dauber is on the right.

If you want to hand draw any part of the image or some doodling or title, use the VersaMarker and chalks for a nice pastel look also.

That's it! A very easy technique with a lot of impact. As the chalk can rub off a bit you may want to spray the chalked images lightly with an acrylic sealer.

For this layout I chalked several Medallion images (one at a time) on Whisper White cardstock. Then I trimmed it down to 11 1/2 X 11 1/2" and matted it onto a background of Certainly Celery cardstock. I matted one picture with a narrow mat of Certainly Celery and Bashful Blue cardstock. The other photo I matted with blue, leaving a few inches for journaling, then matted it on Pink Passion cardstock and then Certainly Celery cardstock that had been punched with the Scalloped Border punch.

I die cut the Top Note die from Whisper White and Pink Passion cardstock and trimmed down the Whisper White on the dotted line and matted it onto the Pink Passion for a title base. I knew the word "Welcome" stamped with the Jumbo Outline Alphabet stamp set would be too long for the Top Note die but I wanted it to run off some so I was very pleased with how it turned out. I stamped it on some scraps of the Kaladiscope DSP and cut each letter out. I experimented with placing the letters staggered up and down and felt like it needed to be straight. Do your layouts ever "speak" to you and tell you to do things differently? I know, I'm pretty strange sometimes.

Just a trick when using cut out letters or letter stickers and want them straight, put the adhesive on the back and line them up on a ruler or a scrap piece of cardstock and adjust them until you have them straight. Then lay it where you want your title and rub the top parts on, then carefully pull the ruler or cardstock out from under. What a great tip for us obsessive people who want it perfect!

Now I have the background, matting and title done but I need some finishing touches. I thought about ribbon but couldn't decide how to do it and then remembered this flower technique that I've been wanting to try. No time like the present! I found it on Utube here if you want to watch for more details. Basically, you just punch a scalloped circle and snip in every other petal being careful not to cut too far and cut any off. To give the flower dimention I used the handle of a stylus and the paper piercing pad form our Mat Pack. Rub in a circular motion at the end of each "petal" until it is curved. You can actually rub quite hard on the cardstock.

After the petals were formed I applied a glue dot in the center to hold it down but put a few Stampin Dimentionals under the petals to hold them out some. I added a bit of ribbon to imitate leaves and a button in the middle. I also added a few buttons at the corner of the journaling to finish off the layout.

So, am I right, is the Medallion stamp also perfect for the background of a scrapbook page??