Saturday, March 31, 2012

...Hoppin' Down the Bunny Trail

If you're filling Easter baskets this year, here's a quick treat container for you!

Each "carrot box" begins with two petal cone die cuts from orange DSP. You won't need the accessories, just the cone itself, and the die will easily cut through both layers at once. Glue together to form box, then fill with treats. (if you wish to cut a window in your box, do so at this point by simpy cutting an opening 1/2" from each edge of one side of your box, using a ruler and an x-acto knife.)

Since I was using food, I protected it in our little cello bags and tied it with a piece of seam binding tape. Tuck your goodies in the cone, and glue the flaps closed. Top with a long-tailed knot of green rribbon.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Clean & Simple Elegance

Want a quick yet elegant card for just about any one on any occasion?! How about this clean and simple beauty? It goes together in under 10 minutes.

Simply cut a strip of Whisper White card stock to 4.5" x 11" and score your fold line at 5.5". Fold and crease firmly with bone. Using black StazOn ink (instant dry, fine line, will not smear if you color over it with marker or Aqua Painter), stamp the foliage spray in the lower left corner of the card, leaving 1/4-1/2" margin to the edge. Add a word phrase (the hostess set Perfect Words has some great choices).

I've colored in all sets of three circles with a Real Red marker, and placed a basic pearl on the single circles of the design.

Finally, to pop the color and add dimension, I've attached three butterflies by folding in the middle and using Tombow. The dots and stripes on the butterflies add a sense of fun.Ta da! It doesn't get much simpler than that, but its very simplicity is what creates the elegance.

Give it a try! -Kathy

All supplies Stampin' Up!

Stamps: Creative Elements, Perfect Words (hostess)
Inks: black StazOn, Real Red Stampin' Write marker
Paper: Whisper White CS, 2010-2012 In-Color DSP Paper Stack (butterflies)
Accessories: Basic Pearls, Beautiful Wings sizzlit, Tombow Multipurpose glue

Monday, March 26, 2012

Tips for Using Clear Stamps

I am seeing more and more customers choose the space-saving benefits of clear stamps. I thought it might be a good idea to relate some information I've picked up along the way so that you can get the most from yours!

Not all clear stamps are created equal (tell me this does not surprise you!). Straight acrylic clear stamps tend to get sticky and "decompose" in an average of 6 years. Stampin' Up! clear stamps are a hybrid, pairing our durable high quality rubber with the benefits of see-through blocks.

Our stamps are all laser cut and come with decals so you can orient the image as you wish. I have heard a number of people recommend leaving off the decals so that the stamps cling better, but in my experience this is unnecessary. The difficulty with your stamps adhering to your blocks arises when your blocks are covered with oil and dirt from you hands. Wiping them with alcohol or lighter fluid cleans them right up and your stamps will stick just fine... if you remember to "huff" on the decal side first. Yes, you do need to "do the Darth Vader" to help your stamps cling firmly to your blocks.

A couple more tips on assembly. Did you realize that one side of the waxed paper covering the decals has a slit in it? Just bend backward slightly to "pop up" the paper layer you wish to remove. Allow the decal to remain attached to the backing sheet and lay your stamp on it, carefully noting the contours of the laser cutting and aligning the shapes. The larger the stamp image, the more you need to be aware of "rolling" the stamp onto the decal in order to avoid large air pockets. If you end up with an air bubble, just pierce with the point of an x-acto and smooth out the air bubble toward the piercing.

Finally, I recommend saving the "scrap plate" from your stamps and adhering it to the inside of the case so that you can tuck your stamps back into their cubbies. This prevents them from rattling around in the case and inadvertently getting shut in the edges as you're closing it, and gives you a quick check to be sure all the images are back in the box before you put it away. I peel off the waxed paper side and put some sticky strip around the edges and here and there in the center for support, as shown.

You may also be able to consolidate sets that come in two boxes, into one with this method. One mat can be mounted inside the lid, the other to the back of the case.

If you're wondering which blocks to begin with, may I suggest D, E & H? I find I am able to fit most images on these sizes. And have you noticed that on p.205 of the 2011-12 IB&C you can find guides to put on your blocks if you prefer a little help with alignment? This is especially useful with sentiment stamps.

Happy (clear) stamping,

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sale-a-bration Ends Midnight, March 31

Here's the final "Sale-a-bration Sunday" post, since the promotion ends March 31st. I couldn't resist adding this box with its matching tag to the smorgasbord of projects we'll be making in the free class on April 15! It uses the gorgeous Everyday Elegance Simply Sent cards that are one of the FREE selections in the SAB brochure (or you can purchase them from the big catalog on p. 193). I've had my eye on these little beauties since the catalog came out!

If you haven't placed a qualifying order yet ($50 gets you some of the materials we'll be using so you can replicate at home) and received an invitation to the class, time is running out! And yes, anything in any current catalog goes toward your total - if you're ordering online, even your Clearance Rack items count! -Kathy

Friday, March 23, 2012

Teabag Wreath

I wanted to show you one quickie gift I made as I was preparing for the Asia Inspired class (saw something like it on Pinterest - thanks, Michelle!). My daughter likes tea and she also likes Asian artifacts, so this seemed perfect for her. You can even get bamboo clothespins!

We decorated clothespins with strips of origami paper that I bought at the 100 Yen store in Tokyo some years ago (that Tombow Multipurpose glue will adhere to just about anything!). Some of these have a circular medallion attached, others a small white flower with pearl center. I traced around two plates to form a cardboard ring, then clipped teabags to that with the clothespins.

I can show you now that it's been presented! -Kathy

Monday, March 19, 2012

Second Chances: Asia Inspired

Did you miss the recent "Asia Inspired" class at Idyllwilde Studios? I've had so many people tell me they wished they had been able to come (especially once they see the projects we completed, two of which are featured above) but the date just didn't work... so I've decided to offer it again, with a slightly different twist. If you would like to take the class, contact me. Once I have six participants on the list, we will identify a date that works for all concerned. -Kathy

Saturday, March 17, 2012

On St. Patrick's Day

I don't generally send St. Patrick's Day cards, but I've lately set myself a goal of sending at least two pieces of real mail per week, and I wanted to to send something with a smile to my aunt and cousin (my uncle died a week and a half ago). So, I did a little searching online for Irish lore, ran the type on SU! whisper white and very vanilla (it goes through my laser printer like a dream), and cranked out these two up in the studio.

Here's what the first one says on the inside, because one ought always be prepared to give a toast:

May those that love us, love us.
And those that don’t love us,
May God turn their hearts.
And if he doesn’t turn their hearts,
May he turn their ankles,
So we’ll know them by their limping.

And in the second card, a lovely traditional blessing:

May the blessing of the rain be on you—
the soft sweet rain.
May it fall upon your spirit
so that all the little flowers may spring up,
and shed their sweetness on the air.
May the blessing of the great rains be on you,
may they beat upon your spirit
and wash it fair and clean,
and leave there many a shining pool
where the blue of heaven shines,
and sometimes a star.

Happy St. Patrick's Day to you and yours. -Kathy

Thursday, March 15, 2012

You're My Type

Hello there,
This is the "You're My Type" set out of the Occassion Mini Catalog. It didn't really float my boat at first, but the more samples I see made with it the more I like it. Hope you enjoy it too!

Paper: Whisper White, Pool Party, Island Indigo, Real Red DSP and Glimmer Red.
Ink: StazeOn Black.
Stamp Set: You're My Type.
Accessories: Real Red Ribbon, Brads, Adorning Accents Embossing Folder, Itty Bitty Flower Punch, Boho Blossom, Glue Dots and Dimensionals.

Inspired by: Chat Wszelaki

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Stamp Club Olathe - March 2012

Over in Olathe, the hostess had a list as long as her arm of things she wanted to try out, but I narrowed it down to the new doily die and aqua painters. Once again, the card features the lovely Bordering on Romance stamp set, this time delicately tinted with classic inks. I use denatured alcohol in my aqua painters to retain the intensity of the colors. This set just reminds me of 1940s table linens, and I am having such fun with it!

Take a closer look at the doily. Do you see how the second example is a much bolder design? Same die, just punched out fewer of the little cuts. You can get so many different looks with this one die... AND it's the first large-scale Sizzlet die I've seen (this means it's thin and therefore easier to store). I think that making it black instead of the traditional white really gives the card "pop"!

Finally, note the bow. I'm usually a stingy ribbon user, finding all kinds of ways to save it and still get "the look". This time, however, I wanted "luxurious and feminine", so I've used a whole 18" of the 5/8" organza ribbon on my little homemade "perfect bow maker" and then given it additional dimension with the selective use of glue dots.

Sigh. Makes me happy to look at. So few things in life turn out exactly the way I picture them, but once in awhile I get there! -Kathy

Monday, March 12, 2012

Stamp Club Lawrence - March 2012

My stamp club hostess for March wanted to play with polyshrink (a.k.a. "Shrinkydink"). This is a really great material to use with stamps, and the possibilities are only as limited as your imagination! For our meeting, I chose to teach the group how to make patterned buttons, a technique my daughter tried out when we had a play date in the studio over Christmas vacation. Shrink plastic looks like overhead transparency sheets, but when you apply heat (using your embossing gun or the oven) it writhes and wiggles and eventually thickens and ends up at about 40% its original size. In this example, we stamped with craft ink on both sides (one blue, one green) to give added depth. Remember to punch any necessary holes before you apply heat!

The card also features the
build-a-bird punch, Bordering on Romance stamp set from the Occasions mini catalog, and a wonderful technique using blender pens and craft ink.

Isn't it amazing that we can use the same set of materials (stamps, ink, paper & accessories) and come up with so many different looks?! I love this job...

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Be My Valentine

Hello again,
I made this card for the Topeka Demo meeting. Though I made it for Valentine's Day, it could also work for an Anniversary, Just Because, or an I Love You card. Hope you like!

Materials: All materials are Stampin' Up! unless other wise noted with an *.
Paper: Whisper White, Old Olive, Cherry Cobbler and Chocolate Chip.
Ink: Chocolate Chip and Cherry Cobbler.
Stamp Sets: Have a Seat, Cause for Celebration (Ret.), En Francais, and Occasional Quotes.
Accessories: Brad, Ribbon*, Small Heart Punch, Boho Blossom Punch and Square Lattice Embossing Folder.