Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Happy Birthday Stampin' Up!

Two years old in New Zealand - and a shiny new catalogue to celebrate! If you preordered a copy and haven't received it yet it shouldn't be far away. If you hadn't preordered, there are still a couple of copies in the bottom of the box, available for $10. Please contact me if you would like one. In the meantime, the catalogue is now available online here, or click on the pretty picture over there on the side bar....>

Now to some random thoughts about the new catalogue....
  • firstly, you may have noticed already that the 'recipes' for all the projects shown in the catalogue are nolonger listed in the back. They were apparently left out this time to make more room for goodies. Cannot really complain about that I suppose. The list of materials used is available as a separate file. Contact me if you would like it. I am also hoping that in the VERY near future it will be available on the SU website, at which time, I put a link over there with the catalogue.
  • A few typos have been noticed. Annoying, but cannot be helped I suppose (afterall, last year that worked in our favour with super cheap papers all year!) Here is a list, and I am hoping I don't have to add to it in the coming days.
  1. Bugs and Kisses - p 60 - the ant is missing from the catalogue, but is still in the set.
  2. Dreams du Jour - p 80 - catalogue says it's a two step set, but it isn't.
  3. Good Friend - p 99 - a small heart is shown in the catalogue, but is not actually included in the set (but you could cut your own from the rubber scraps?!)
  4. In Color striped ribbon - p 126 - price is actually $22.95 (as listed on p 150)
  5. Bold Brights Classic ink pads - p 128 - price is actually $13.95
  6. Rich Regals Classic ink pads - p 129 - price is actually $13.95
  7. Soft Subtles Classic ink pads - p 129 - price is actually $13.95
  8. (earth elements, neutrals and in color ink pads were priced correctly - whew!)
  9. Love Notes - p 131 - everything was wrong for this one - actually called 'Love Notes', # 111861, priced $16.25
  10. On Board Loads of Letters -p 146 - incorrectly listed as 'lot's of letters' in catalogue
  11. designer label punch - p 152 - correct price is $35.95
  12. missed altogether - the 3/16th (4.7mm) corner rounder punch IS available. #109047, priced at $15.95

and I think that is it on the corrections!

  • There are also some great new inclusions. Scattered throughout the catalogue you will find technique reminders - complete with photos and simple step by step instructions. I am also really pleased to see that the colours of the patterned papers are listed by each sample which makes coordinating your projects easier than ever!

  • Overall the catalogue seems alot more in line with what is offered in the United States. We have got a lot of great new stamp sets, and also see the return of some favourites from the last spring and summer mini catalogues, as well as both the scallop punches - square and border, and six other new punches.

  • Embellishments - what to say - yummy new buttons, brads, clips, ribbons, diecut and felt flowers, gorgeous new glitters, and some fantastic new 'sticky cut' shapes and letters to go with those glitters.... I am planning on organising some embellishment shares so you can sample them without having to spend a fortune - watch this space!

  • Simply Sent card kits are back, but with a little difference that I am really liking. While there are a couple of the all inclusive kits (stampset, inks, card, embellishments etc) they have also included some 'mix and match' card elements. You can buy the stamp set and the card/embellishment kits seperately, which is much easier on the budget. Inks aren't included - you can use the ones you have, or just choose to buy the coordinating colour that you like.
And that will probably do it for the minute. You can be sure I will have more random thoughts to share in the coming days! Maybe even a photo or two!

Sunday, March 29, 2009


Tuesday 31 March is the last day to order product that is on the retiring list. Many of these products have been discounted - mostly 25%, but a couple of the papers have 50% off. To see the complete list of retiring products please use the link on my sidebar. There are a number of products that have already sold out - and I have a list of these over there to the right (and down a bit) ......>

Tuesday is also the last day to order products from the Summer Mini Catalogue. I can tell you that some stamp sets are returning to the new catalogue, as well as both of the punches. Not returning - all of the papers, the rub ons, and the stamp sets and wheels listed below:

Live Your Dream
Friendly Flowers
Lots of Dots (wheel)
Time For You
Perfect Fit (wheel)
Big on Spring
In the Stars
Love Owl-ways
For Father

If any of these sets were on your wishlist, you have until tomorrow to order them. Please contact me ASAP (before 6pm NZ time) to place your orders.

And of course, if you would like to preorder your copy of the new idea book and catalogue for just $10, let me know also - THEY HAVE ARRIVED - and are waiting to be posted out to you! I will have a link to the new catalogue up on my blog as soon as it becomes available (probably from 2pm Weds, but possibly sooner). Look for it right over there .....> where all the retired list stuff is (I will pleased when that retired list stuff is gone from there!)
Happy stamping everyone!

Sweet Baby Boy layout

So I've updated the photo, and here it is. It's a little bit better. My sweet baby boy, in a photo with me - unheard of!

This layout was inspired by an Ali Edwards layout. Although I had to change it quite a bit. I couldn't find my white 12 x 12 card, so went with blue instead, and my chipboard frames were circles and squares instead of hearts (and yes, I probably could have made my own, but when I started this layout I thought it was going to be a quick one - no time for that!) It probably would have helped if I had have had a photo in mind, before I started painting and stamping, but there you go, sometimes you just have to dive on in.

So after the initial diving in, I got a bit stuck - not such a quick project after all! This is also a little removed from my usual straight lines and simple. Not only did I not use a ruler once, I didn't even use my paper trimmer. Find a straight edge if you can!

The initial idea was more of the 'make your own patterned background' theme. This time I started by roughly painting the bashful blue card with acrylic paint (white with a hint of blue), leaving the blue card visable round the edge like a border.

Over the top of this, to add some interest, I used the super handy 'lots of dots' jumbo wheel, from the summer mini catalogue. I am loving this wheel (even though it is probably kind of boring!) and am really disappointed to find out it hasn't returned in the new catalogue. Apologies in advance - you will probably see this one used again in the future - retired resmired I say!

I inked the wheel up using my bashful blue inkpad (and then a little bit of not quite navy, applied to the wheel with a sponge) rather than a cartridge. Once the wheel has been around once the image will start to fade BUT - I knew the middle would be covered over so could work it so that was where the faded bit was. Also, because I was going for a 'quick and easy thrown together' project, I kind of figured it didn't matter if some dots were lighter than others - it just adds to the interest. I went over it a few times anyway - sorry it doesn't show up so well in the layout photo, but you should get the idea from the closeups.

I also painted over the chipboard frame, and then sponged bashful blue, and not quite navy ink around the edges of the chipboard, and roughly over the rest of the frame.

The rest was made up of bits and pieces. Some yummy wide bashful blue stitched grosgrain from the mini, flowers from the pretties, dyed with night of navy ink (see this post to find out how to do this), some hand cut vellum hearts - with piercing round the edges, and some stamped up images from assorted stamp sets - mostly retiring - but not at my house!

I also managed to throw in a petal from the pick a petal set - see it up there? I didn't ink the smile word on the stamp - instead I left a gap and wrote my own word in, then used the inside of the petal to write the date.

I must confess, I am not entirely convinced that this is quite finished. But I guess that is what happens when you try something new. What I did enjoy was all the playing, experimenting, and DIY. And that another empty sleeve in the album is empty no more!!

Ingredients for this one (ones in bold are retiring tomorrow - several are discounted!):

Bashful Blue., whisper white, and night of navy card, vellum
bashful blue and night of navy ink
On Board Ginormous Pieces chipboard frame
flowers from Pretties kit
Bashful Blue double stitched grosgrain ribbon
Lots of Dots jumbo stampin around wheel (and handle)
ABC Alphabet Lower
Stamp of Authenticity
Office Accoutrements
Pick a Petal
Everyday Flexible Phrases
Expressive Flexible Phrases

Friday, March 27, 2009

I've been hibernating...'s been snowing, the schools have been closed, and my initial idea of - yay - stay home and do some scrapbooking, quickly changed to - oh - stuck at home with my three (sometimes two) lovelies - scrapbooking may not be an option!! We did take some photos though. Ideas for scrapbook projects - does that count?!
I had also planned to do a few little projects to show off some more ideas for my stamp pick for this month 'pick a petal'. The month isn't officially over, quite yet, but things aren't looking good. Little projects haven't been happening. Neither have bigger projects. So here is a list instead. And one photo, to pretty things up...

how about flames for a candle? This is from the stamp club project for the month. Tell me you couldn't use that flower petal stamp for a candle flame on a man card if you wanted to? Great for kids cards too - add just the right number of candles and you are all set.
Other ideas I have seen or dreamed about:
  • bugs - of course - butterflies, dragonflies, ladybirds (the spotty petal stamp is perfect for ladybirds)
  • christmas cards - why yes! Petals turned into christmas ornaments, all strung up. I can see you are not convinced on this one, but believe me, it looked good!
  • exclamation mark - a great big one.
  • An alternative to arrows - I think these would be great on a scrapbook project
  • Little journalling spots, doubled as an alternative to arrows.
  • I showed you a funny face already. I saw a really clever bird made with this set. I cannot even begin to do it justice. I plan to replicate this one, one day....
  • 101(+) flowers....

Making that little list has me feeling all inspired again. Maybe I will have some photos to show you all soon, afterall! But then again, it is a snow day...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Some important dates

Okay ladies, so this post is all about SU stuff, a couple of important dates to be exact.

Tuesday March 31st

This is a day of 'lasts'.

It is the last day on which you can order product from the current catalogue - including all those super specials on the retiring list (see the link on the sidebar). Please contact me ASAP if there is something you would like to order.

It is the last day that you can order from the Summer Mini Catalogue (see the link on the side bar to view the catalogue online). I understand there are a couple of the stamp sets that have made it to the new catalogue, as well as the scalloped edge punch, but the rest are going, going, gone!

This is also the final day of the Victorian Bushfire Appeal promotion. When you purchase one of the stamp sets below SU will donate 50% to the appeal, and I will cover the cost of postage (you just pay the usual price for the stamps).

Priceless 112312 p105 $57.95
Seeing Spots 108909 p89 $35.95
Baroque Motifs 112380 p98 $46.95
Live Your Dream 114261 p3 (Summer Mini) $66.95
Looks Like Spring 108864 p76 $68.95
The Snowflake Spot 108934 p27 $46.95
Bodacious Bouquet 108756 p80 $68.95
Polka Dots & Paisley 110247 p46 $42.95
G'day Mate 111973 p115 $42.95
Be Happy 108744 p51 $46.95

Wednesday April 1

Not just a day for Fool's, this is the day that our new Catalogue is launched. Although I haven't seen it myself yet, boo hoo, I know for a fact that it has arrived, and is looking lovely. If you would like to get a copy for yourself please contact me - Until April 1 you can pre-order them for $10. After that they will of course still be available, but at the SU price of $14.95

If you have already contacted me to request your copy, or are a member of my stamp club, placing an order in April, you will automatically have your copy sent out to you over the next week or so. Definitely in time for April 1.

And a final note on the topic of new catalogues.

On Friday evening I finally got my hands on a copy of the US stampin' up catalogue - it is keeping me going until I get my hands on the new NZ/Australia one. Lots of great ideas, and yummy stuff that I am hoping we will get too. And then I turned the page and saw this....

(excuse that camera flash in the bottom left corner)

Hey! that was my idea!!

Must have been a good one if they thought of it too!

So who has been saving their tin cans?!

Monday, March 23, 2009

pick a petal flowers

Okay, so I have been telling you how versatile this set is, and how great it is for things other than flowers, but it goes without saying, that it is of course great for making flowers!
These cards are cased straight from a very talented Australian demonstrator - Sarah Klass. I saw them months ago, and have been planning to make them ever since. I did change the colours though - wasabi, so saffron and pumpkin pie were used for these thank you cards - and they certainly had a nice sunshiny feel to them.
Once again these were quick and easy - cut a square of white card, stamp the petals directly on, stamp the flower centre on a scrap of white and punch it out with a 1" circle punch, stamp the thank you, and then stick it all together. I put the flower centre on with stampin dimensionals to give it a bit of a lift. Done!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

A work in progress

So it is probably not good blog etiquette to show stuff that is only half finished. But too bad. This is what I was working on yesterday, and it would normally be about this point that I would be running to my Mum's to show her what I had been doing. So here it is Mum - what do you think? Cute huh?

A hand bag.

But not just a handbag.

It can also cut frozen steak!!

just kidding about the steak, of course...
for a moment there I just felt like I was talking about Ginzu knives

Inside this super cute little handbag is a mini scrapbook album.
(that bit is true!)
I would show you, but then you would see that it really isn't finished, and instead is actually filled with blank, (soon to be filled!) pages.

so here are some closeups instead...

I used the carousel notes from the Summer Mini catalogue for the top of the bag, and covered soft sky card with some of the afternoon tea paper, also from the mini. Jumbo eyelets were used for the holes for the handle, and the bottom of the bag, and I love them. I love how even the inside looks neat and tidy. The back bit that usually looks like ... the back bit, actually looks almost as nice as the front. I should have taken a photo of that too - maybe next time.
The bag is held closed with punched circles of self adhesive magnetic stuff (what do you call that stuff Isabel? I am having a mind blank!) - stuff I got from Isabel anyway, that I punched into nice neat circles.
It was the first time I had really used any of the stuff from the mini catalogue - what with the chaos of Christmas, and then packing and moving, the summer mini stuff has been neglected by me. But I had had this idea for a wee while, and finally sat down and tried it out. I want to try it out with the ginger blossom papers and guava carousel notes too, so now I have all the measurements worked out, it should be quicker this time. I will keep you 'posted' on how that goes.
And Campbell has requested I make him one - but a boy one. I am thinking maybe a backpack? He asked me where it was just before, so maybe the backpack will get done before the ginger blossom bag?!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A little birdy told me

Well, not so much a little birdy, as a couple of sneak peaks on the SU demonstrator website, and some rumours from those lucky ladies who have managed a look at the new catalogue already. There are apparently a few new birds in the 2009/2010 catalogue, in the form of stamps, chipboard and patterned papers. I for one am getting VERY impatient. Not sure if the sneak peaks and rumours are helping, or making it worse, but hey, I share them with you anyway!
AS for the birds and other stamped images in this little project (which some of you have seen already) - they come from the old faves 'carte postale' and 'rough edges alphabet' which will not be in the new catalogue - retiring at the end of the month instead.

This little accordian album was first shown to me by a clever lady named Rachael Knight. It can be used as either a card with a difference, or a fun little stand alone (and stand up!) scrapbooking project - perfect to make as a gift, or for people who want to try some scrapbooking, but are not keen to get started on an album. Once it is done it is done. No empty page protectors to taunt you!!

Half a piece of A4 card, some scraps of patterned paper and card, and some decorative bits and pieces (stamps or other embellishments) and you are good to go. This is a project that even I can get finished relatively quickly, so you all know that you can too! I have done this project as a class before, so have some instructions filed away somewhere. If you would like them let me know, and I will see if I can dig them up.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

New In colors/colours

Okay, so yesterday was a bit of a tease.

And here is another.

This is what I have been doing this morning.

Punching out squares of the new in color card range for my stamp club ladies.

(coming to a mailbox near you soon ladies!)

Aren't they yummy?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

How to Colour Fabric Flowers

As promised, this is how I colour white fabric flowers to match perfectly the colours of my project. You can use the same method to colour ribbon too. Best of all, it is very quick and easy!

What you need:

  • plastic bag (I use a snaplock one, I think because that is what I had the first time I did this - but thinking about it, it probably isn't crucial to have the snappy lock bit! That said, a small clear bag is preferable to the supermarket bag variety).
  • fabric flowers (or ribbon) - these ones are from the Pretties Kit
  • a spray bottle with water (although I couldn't find mine this time so put a couple of drips of water in instead and it worked just fine)
  • ink pad

Step One:

I turn the plastic bag inside out, put my hand inside, and then pat the bag on the inkpad, transferring ink to the bag. Keep in mind that depending on the colour of the ink, you may or may not be able to see the ink on the bag - hold it over a piece of white paper and this may help.

Step Two:
turn the plastic bag back in the right way and give it a couple of quick little sprays of water (or, as mentioned above, if you haven't got a spray bottle for water, I added a couple of drops off the end of my finger, and this seemed to work fine). You don't want a lot of moisture in the bag - just a bit to help the ink transfer evenly. When you have done this add the flower, and wriggle it all around in there. You don't have to put your hands in the bag to do this, just hold the flower through the plastic - I think I forgot to mention that not only is this quick and easy, but also clean!

To start off the colour may appear patchy, but just keep going until it evens out.

Step Three:

Remove the flower and set aside on a piece of paper, or a paper towel to dry off. Because we have only added a tiny amount of water, the flower shouldn't actually be that wet, so should only take a minute or two to dry off enough to use. If you are impatient like me, you could aways try drying it carefully with a heat gun for a couple of seconds. If the colour isn't as intense as you want you may need to repeat the process above.

The flowers in these photos are a pale pink that you won't be recognising

- fresh from an SU box - introducing...

Pink Pirouette - one of the new incolors that are headed our way!

It is so preeettty! Although I don't think it will seen within a mile of a boys project,

It is going to be just perfect for Bridie Isabelle. Luckily there are a couple of other new colours that will go well for the boys, so they won't feel left out at all.

Now my next challenge is to use these flowers on a project to share with you all

(you will notice I am not putting a timeframe on achieving that one!!)

Monday, March 16, 2009

'This is for you Mum'

And this is the face that went with those words.
I know I promised the next post would be about colouring those flowers, but who could resist this? Campbell had been 'helping' me with that sample stamping for the last post, and when we had finished he asked if he could have it.
'sure, there you go'
'Can we make it into a card' he asked.
'Who do you want to give a card to'
'Someone who loves me.
And someone who loves the colour blue' he replied.
So of course, we had to make a card - quick smart.

It needed the words 'I love you', and a heart.
We used some more scraps of card, stuck it down, and we were done.

Campbell was pretty pleased with how it turned out.

I then had to write the 'big words' for him.
He signed his name.

And I promise, I acted very surprised when he proudly announced
'This is for you Mum'.
(colouring flowers, next post - I promise!)

DIY Patterned Papers

Something I have been experimenting with for a while is making my own 'patterned papers' and backgrounds, using card, ink and stamps. It doesn't help with using up my stash at all, but there is something very satisfying about looking at a layout that is totally your own. Some of you got a chance to try this out yourselves when you attended an extravaganza with me. So I am wondering - have you tried it again?
Here is an example for you, using one of my favourite two step stamping sets - Petal Prints - I was sad to see this one on the retiring list. It wasn't until my Mum got this set, and I borrowed it (and struggled to give it back!), that I discovered how much I loved it. For a while there, Mum got to see lots of projects made with Petal Prints.

'What set is that?' she would ask. 'I might have to get that'.

'Mmm, same' would be my ever so whispery reply.

(You may be pleased to know that I finally bought another set and now we both have one!)

But back to this layout. The DIY patterned paper bit is the flowery piece behind the photo (okay, so that was a bit obvious, and you probably figured that out already, but just in case you hadn't - it is another bad photo afterall!). It was super simple to do.
Recipe for this one:
Bashful Blue, Night of Navy and Whisper white card
bashful blue, night of navy and mellow moss ink
Stamps: Petal Prints, Office Accoutrements (both retiring) and Life Definitions
Flowers from Pretties kit, rhinestone brad ('ice')
I first stamped with the background part of the daisy flower using bashful blue ink, in a random pattern around the edge of the card. Some of the flowers are stamped off the edge of the card because it just looks better with some hanging over the edge. (I didn't stamp the middle of the card on the layout because I knew that it would be covered over by the photo, but this is a sample scrap for blogging purposes :)

Next I used the daisy outline stamp, and Night of Navy ink, and went over all those backgrounds adding an outline. One of the things I love about this two step set is that you don't have to line them up perfectly. You can if you want, but if like me, you have created your own 'higgledy piggledy' style, then this set is great! For some of the outlines I didn't reink, so the navy is a little lighter, and adds to the pattern (plus more of that quick, higgledy piggledy thing!).

To fill in any gaps I used the leaf stamps and Moss ink, and ... filled in any gaps. I just inked up one leaf at a time, rather than all three. There may still be some overlap, and that was okay by me. Once again, making sure to have some stamped over the edge of the card.

And that's it. Sounds like lots of time consuming steps, but is actually pretty quick, and best of all, you just change the colours/stamps to suit!
When it came time to put the page together I added some bashful blue daisy outlines to the bottom of the bashful blue base card to help to anchor it all. It doesn't show up so well in the photo, so you still get that 'floating in the middle of the page' look, but in real life, it makes all the difference - trust me! See them there - behind the date stamp? Tone on tone stamping is super subtle.

And for the journaling and finishing touches? The handy date and memo stamps from the Office Accoutrement stamp set, and 'happy' from the Life Definitions set. What I love about that memo stamp, is that if you don't want the word memo, you just don't ink it. The perfect journallng spot every time!

Add a couple of flowers and a rhinestone brad, and it's all done. If I get myself organised, next post I will show you how I coloured that flower to match the layout. That will be my challenge.
Your challenge? Pull some of those stamps out and have a go at making your own patterned papers and backgrounds. Go on, I dare you!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Cheap and pretty pen storage!

Okay. So I am sure I am not the only one who gets in a bit of a mess when they create?! Pens and pencils especially, have a tendancy to get swallowed up. I didn't want to spend a whole lot on storage so I decided to make my own.

Cue the spaghetti/tomato/soup tins...

The key to preparing the tins is a 'safety can opener' - the kind we used for those pop up cans (if you don't know what I am talking about here, don't worry. I will make it my mission to do a pop up can in the not so distant future!) Instead of cutting the tin, the safety opener somehow gets in between the seal, so there are no sharp edges. I have found that the pull top cans can still be a little sharp, so to reuse the can, I take the rim bit off with my trusty safety can opener too.

Eat the contents. Wash out the can, and then I pop it in the oven for a couple of minutes to make sure it is all dry (they tend to rust REALLY quickly if left too long to dry).

And then on to the fun bit - the decorating. Being short on time, these ones were super simple, but I like how they have turned out. I used patterned paper from the Petals and Paisley pack, and attached it to the outside of the cans using sticky strip (1 sheet of paper did all three cans, with leftovers). Because the cans were all different on the inside, I also lined them with a rolled up piece of Taken with Teal card, to match the paper. A little bit of sticky strip to hold the cans together, and then some wide Olive ribbon tied around to make them all pretty.

I wanted to lay them on the side (remember pens should be stored horizontally!) so that is why I used three cans in a pyramid shape - you could use as many as you like - but remember, one on its side will roll away, and that would not be helpful! You might also want to measure what you are going to store in the tins first. These tins are maybe a little short for the stampin' write markers - I discovered that a little late. But never fear, there is a big old soup tin sitting on the bench waiting for some friends, and patterned paper is on a super duper special!

Now I just need to get the pens to put themselves away!

The price of SU's patterned paper

As some of you know, this year the patterned papers were supposed to be $19.95 for a pack of 12 sheets. Lucky for us (unlucky for SU!) there was a misprint in the catalogue, and we have happily been paying $13.95 instead.
Of course, it was to be expected that they would not make that mistake again, and prices would increase to $19.95. I was surprised then to see in a 'sneak peak' of the new catalogue, patterned paper would be $22.95..... WHAT?!
Luckily I wasn't alone. Lots of demonstrators have offered their 'constructive criticism' on this, and SU have listened. They have just announced that the papers will now be $19.95. I am guessing that won't be the price listed in the catalogue, but I don't mind a bit of crossing out and rewriting in my copy!
That said, it is still not the bargain of this year, especially at the moment. All of the current papers are being retired, and there are only three packs that have not been discounted - (see the list below). These prices are for packs of 12 sheets of double sided paper, so at those prices you don't have to save them up for 'special projects'! They are also all still in good supply (except the Pumpkin Pie patterned Prints which is listing as low). Let me know ASAP if you would like to order some. If you don't have a catalogue you can see them online - click on the link on the sidebar to the right to go right to it.
$6.98 packs
Spring Flowers, Spring Showers (see 07-08 catalogue for a picture)
$10.46 packs
Berry Bliss, Brilliant Blue Prints, Brocade Backgrounds, Certainly Celery Prints, Close to Cocoa Prints, Dashing, East Coast Prep, Fall Flowers, Le Jardin, Notebook, Old Olive Prints, Outlaw, Petals and Paisley, Pumpkin Pie Prints, Spring Break, Spring Fling, Spring Silhouettes
$13.95 packs
Jersey Shore, Rose Red Prints, Wintergreen.
and of course, the papers from the Summer Mini - Bali Breeze, Ginger Blossom, and Afternoon Tea.
I should have had a photo of a project to show you, but with daylight savings having started, the morning light in here is darker than ever. Perhaps later today... (or tomorrow!)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Pick a Petal Funny Face

I told you I would share some other uses for the very versatile 'pick a petal' set - other than the obvious making of flowers. How about this idea? I am not sure who the clever person was who first thought of this, but I have seen several versions around, and it looked like a quick and easy card. Turns out it is!

Of course, you could make this funny face happy or sad, but this one is for my sister who has been unwell, so upside down smile seemed to be the way to go. That is also a DIY sentiment - using rough edges alphabet and the '?' borrowed from the expressive flexible phrases set. Colours are pomegranate (because it was the top of the pile) and artichoke, (because it is a yummy green, and it went with the pomegranate!)

Doesn't look much like a flower does it?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Looking for the SU Retiring List?

Click on the link on the sidebar to the right,
and see the list below that for the update on what has sold out already.

Cards for the Class

This is the card we made for Hayden to give to all his classmates. Not the traditional 'red hearts' kind of Valentines day kind of card, but we thought it was perfect for a boy to give out on his first Valentines day. Especially when the boy does still have a bit of an obsession with bugs!

Most importantly, this was a quick, easy card to make. We needed at least 24 - it was never going to be complicated!

Recipe for this one...
  • Wild Wasabi, Certainly Celery and whisper white card
  • Wasabi and Celery ink
  • 'Bugs and Kisses' for the dragonfly
  • 'Garden Whimsey' for the sentiment (would also make great, easy 'journaling' on a scrapbook project I think)
  • Wild Wasabi double stitched grosgrain ribbon.

A Present for the Teacher

So last month it was Valentine's day. As well as the requirement for Hayden to bring a card for every member of his class, there was also the small matter of something for the teacher. She is a lovely lady, who had been really helpful in getting him settled in his new class, so we wanted to make her something special. So this is what we did. A simple little notebook from the $2 shop was transformed into something a little bit more special, with the help of some lovely Ginger Blossom patterned paper, card, and a few embellishments. Add in a matching pen, and boxy thing to keep it in, present complete. We were really pleased with how it turned out, and the teacher loved it. And all for under $5.

Materials used for this project:
  • Ginger Blossom patterned paper (summer mini)
  • River rock, groovy guava, very vanilla and ruby red cardstock
  • River rock ink
  • ABC Alphabet lower stamps
  • Spring Flowers Bouquet punch (retiring)
  • Five Petal Flower punch
  • Scalloped border punch (summer mini)
  • Ruby Red Brads (earth elements)
  • River Rock double stitched grosgrain ribbon
  • 'Love Notes' gift card (vanilla)
  • Stampin' Dimensionals
  • notebook, pen

Friday, March 6, 2009

Using those scraps (and not many words!)

So as I mentioned in that last post, I do have a wee collection of scraps. You just never know when you might need that itty bitty piece of ribbon/paper/card etc! Sometimes I do use them too, and here is an example.
Step One.
Gather together a collection of patterned paper scraps, and a coordinating piece of cardstock to stick them all on to. These ones all happened to be from the same pack of papers (a now retired one - SU's 'enchante' - you can get the same patterns, just different colours, while stocks last - 'le jardin'). Being from the same pack they all coordinated nicely for me - one less thing to think about!

Step Two.
To make them look a little less like a collection of scraps arranged on some card, I sponged the edges of all the paper pieces with perfect plum, or celery ink - depending on the paper, to give them a softer look. This is a really simple but effective technique that can add the finishing touch that is often needed. Just a matter of patting a piece of sponge (I cut mine into 6) onto the inkpad, and then rubbing it across the edge of the paper. Repeat as needed. Done!

Step Three.

Covering up all that work! Well not quite. Now you arrange your photos as desired, leaving space for embellishments and peeks at the patterned paper. This is a great way to scrapbook a lot of photos on one layout. This particular layout - about the friendship my children share (most of the time!) also allowed me to scrapbook seemingly unrelated photos from different days and adventures.

Step Four.
The finishing touches. I just used some stamped flowers that I cut out, small ones in groups of three, and a couple of larger ones, and then a couple of 'wordy stamps' as a focus - one of last years sale-a-bration sets, and the very versatile 'carte postale' set that many of you have. I love it when the sentiment on the stamp sums up what I am thinking. Great for when you don't have the room, or the inclination, to add journaling to your layouts.

journaling done!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Words, Words, Words

We all know that a picture paints a thousand words, but not all projects have to have pictures. Sometimes all that is needed is a good word, or two.

About 18 months ago (eek - that long already?!) I participated in a circle journal. For those of you who don't know what that is - a brief explanation of what is involved. A group of ladies each started a small scrapbook, choosing a theme, and any 'rules' they wanted (eg bright colours - you know who you are!) We had two weeks to complete a layout, and send it on to the next person on the list. We would then receive the next scrapbook, and the process would repeat. And repeat. Until at the end we had back our own, now complete, scrapbooks. It was a lot of fun, and a great way to challenge yourself to scrapbook topics and use materials that you might not normally.

And so now to todays blog. The theme for this scrapbook was words. Choose one word, and scrapbook about it. My word was learn. This layout took a little bit of figuring out. I was used to having photos as a focal point. There were a few false starts. But then my lovely word stamps came to the rescue. And the beloved rough edges alphabet. Love that set!

And here is where I ended up. (Please ignore the alphabet used for the word 'learn'. It is a retired set that I momentarily forget the name of. Terrible, I know, but there you go, that is why my word was learn, and not remember!) Patterned papers are also a mystery -non SU, using up bits and pieces from my stash. That rusty strip down the side of each page looks a bit like ribbon but is actually a scrap of paper (I don't throw anything out!)

I can tell you that the ink colour is Really Rust - one of my favourites. And the stamps - the soon to be gone rough edges alphabet, expressive flexible phrases (25% discount on both of these while stocks last) and the cool circle stamp is from the Polka Dots and Petals set, also retiring now.

So there you go. you don't have to have photos. If you are a scrapbooker, why not try this out sometime? Go on, it's a challenge!

Pick a Petal

This set, I am pleased to say, is not on the SU retiring list! It is a set that I was slow to discover, but am now loving the versatility of. For stamp club this month we will be making a birthday card with this set - with not a flower to be seen. I would even go so far as to say, depending on colour choices, it could be perfect for a masculine card - the hardest ones to make!

This layout was my first play with the set. The truth is, when I did the layout, I didn't even know what I would use it for, otherwise the colours may have matched Bridie's grubby pink outfit a little better (and yes, still working on the photos!) I did know that I wanted to try out some different flowers, and of course, make a 'bug'. The rest kind of evolved (are you sensing a theme with my creativity?)

Recipe for this layout:
  • Pick a Petal Stamp set
  • Bloomin' with Beauty Stamp set (spring mini - soon to be returning perhaps?!)
  • Cardstock - old olive, really rust, very vanilla, more mustard, ruby red
  • Ink - old olive, really rust, creamy caramel, ruby red, whisper white
  • Old Olive Prints Designer Series Paper (currently on the retiring list)
  • Vellum
  • Pretties Kit (half pearls)
  • Buttons (Earth Elements, Earth Elements and Neutrals - both retiring)
  • Scallop Circle punch
  • Spring Flower Bouquet punch (retiring)

To make the bug I used whisper white craft ink and stamped on vellum for the wings. You could also emboss this, but I was feeling lazy. A heat gun will help to dry the ink more quickly, and prevent smudging when you cut them out. (I got the heat gun out to dry the ink, but didn't emboss...!) The body and head of the bug are made with half pearl beads from the pretties kit. The antennae were first pierced, then I went over them with an olive marker to help them show up a little better. Looking at it as soon as it was done, the antennae should have been longer, but this was my first pick a petal bug, so that is how it ended up. Learn from my mistake! And please note, I cannot take total credit for this wee creature - there were several versions flying around on the internet last year, and that was the inspiration for this one.

The flowers, of course, were the easy bit. Choose a petal, choose a middle, add a button here, and a punched flower there - arranging them always seems to be the tricky bit. The old olive patterned paper was a great way to add a little interest (and perhaps a hint of stems?) behind the flowers, without taking attention away. I have really enjoyed the subtle patterns of these single coloured papers. I think we will be getting them again in the new in colours, but not sure about those old favourites such as olive and celery.

(Stamp club ladies - this was the layout that inspired last months card - can you see it?)

Spring Special!

The 'Spring Flowers' and 'Spring Showers' Designer patterned paper packs from SU have both been keeping a low profile for the past year. Although they have been available to purchase, they were missed from the catalogue, so of course, people didn't always know about them.

Both sets have the same designs, but the colours are slightly different. 'Flowers' has coral and moss in the mix, while 'showers' has bashful blue and caramel. Although both sets do contain some floral papers, they also include pages with more 'neutral' patterns, so can be used for both feminine and masculine projects. (I have a pdf file with the swatches for both sets. Email me if you would like me to send it to you). They also coordinate perfectly with the 'Looks like Spring' stamp set and the 'Spring Flower Bouquet' three flower punch. And they are retiring this month!

So here are some samples for you, two of my favourite scrapbook layouts. These will be familiar to many of you - they have done the rounds on my display boards!

Firstly though, a little side note about the photos. The lighting in our apartment is terrible. I am still trying to figure out just how best to photograph projects here, so please excuse the less than great photos! (and remember, if you click on the photos they will enlarge, which may make it easier to see the details!)

For this layout I cut around the outline of the flowers from the patterned paper. It took AGES, but I was really pleased with the finished look.
Ingredients for 'Safe' Layout (All SU!):
  • Spring Flowers Designer papers (using three of the patterns from the pack)
  • Mellow Moss and Very Vanilla Card
  • Mellow Moss Ink
  • Big Deal Aphabet stamps
  • Rough Edges Alphabet stamps (retiring this month - get in quick!)
  • A-Z accents stamps (for the little tag - retired last year - sorry!)
  • Black Stampin' Write Journaller, Hemp Twine, Stampin' Dimensionals, sponges
Ingredients for 'Plotting Mischief' layout (All SU!):
  • Spring Showers Designer papers (using three of the patterns from the pack)
  • Creamy Caramel and Very Vanilla cardstock
  • Creamy Caramel and Bashful Blue Ink
  • Looks Like Spring stamps (retiring this month)
  • It's a Date stamps (retiring this month)
  • Warm Words
  • Day to Day flexible Phrases stamps (retired already)
  • Newsprint Alphabet stamps (retired already)
  • Round Tab Punch
  • Spring Bouquet Flower Punch (retiring this month)
For this second layout I decided not to cut the flowers out! Instead I used the stamp set 'Looks like Spring'. The large flowers are stamped and cut by hand. The smaller flowers are stamped and then punched using the Spring Bouquet punch. The three different flowers line up oerfectly with the three different flowers on the stamp, making it a quick, easy, and best of all, unique embellishment for your projects.

As mentioned, all these lovely spring products (papers, stamps and punch) are retiring this month. The good news is they are on special!

Both paper packs have 50% off - now $6.98 +pp (and just think, in the catalogue last year they were $19.95, so it jst gets better and better!)

The Punch has 25% off - now $26.95 +pp

and the Looks Like Spring stamp set is part of SU's Red Cross Bushfire Appeal. No discount to you, but 50% will be donated to the appeal to support those people affected by the recent Victorian Bushfires. I will cover the postage on all bushfire sets. Contact me for more info!

Of course, being on the retired list these products will not be available after March 31, or sooner, if they sell out - no backorders available. Get in quick if you are keen!

Happy Stamping!