Monday, October 27, 2014

And So It Was

I had my first Stamp Camp two weekends ago. The late nights, the bursts of ideas, the hard work that everyone contributed paid off. My gratitude to all of you.

I introduced the Tramps to techniques they have never tried before. The results turned out to be gorgeous at so many levels. I'm not just talking about the looks of their finished cards but also by judging the reaction on our faces, we truly felt like we accomplished something beautiful and challenging. With a full day ahead of us, we trudged on. We finished a craft project and three cards.

Word Blocks
I've been fascinated with words for as long as I can remember. Now I have them all over my house. With the project that we just finished, I can make any words I want and/or even gift them. I found a couple of great wooden blocks online. I thought the 1.5" size was perfect. After sanding the corners, we used Mod Podge to adhere SU!'s designer series paper (that I cut to size). The words were cut out from using my Silhouette. By the way, this machine is amazing! I love it. Everyone came up with different words that inspire them, that grab them.

Gesso Card
Our first card utilized the gesso technique. This was especially exciting for me as it was the first time I had used it. I learned about this technique on SCS about a year ago and bought gesso then. Of course it sat in my stash until I started playing with it last month. Oh boy, I don't know why the heck I waited a long time to use it! I guess the right stamp set had to come along. I love the texture that gesso provides after it dries up. It's like doing stucco painting on card stock instead of your walls. The next challenge for me was finding the right colors. Well, I didn't really have to wander too far to find them as the clean and sleek style in my office building provided these colors already. So of course I incorporated them into this card. What a perfect blend!

Stamp Sets:
Four Feathers
Something to Say
French Script background (retired)

Island Indigo
Hello Honey
Smoky Slate

2011-2013 In Color brad (retired)

Reflection Card
This card is the most challenging of the three, in my opinion. I was both excited and jittery when I first showed this. First, you heard the "wows" which was in itself was a relief. Then came the "how are we gonna do this?" type of question. I opted to use a textured paper for this card. Of course, there are many different ways to do the reflection technique. You can use a mirror image stamp block (a blank rubber stamp) where you stamp the main image into the mirror image stamp and then stamp it onto the card stock. Another way is to use acetate or any type of transparent medium that you flip onto the main card stock. The method I used is the brayer. I inked up the main image with the Memento Tuxedo black ink and rolled the brayer on it and then re-rolled the inked up brayer with the image onto the card stock. I did this twice, first with the trees and then with the deer. Once the reflection images were done, then I re-inked the stamps to go onto the card stock. This was easier to achieve with photopolymer stamps and acrylic blocks as I was able to see where I needed to line up the main image against the reflection image. The moon is masked on both sides. On the reflection side, I sponged with Soft Sky all throughout and Lost Lagoon on the horizon to provide a perception of depth. On the main image side, I sponged with Smoky Slate all throughout and Craft White around the moon to give a haze look. I smeared the ground and the branches with Dazzling Details for the snow effect and finished off with the darling rhinestones. Smearing was such a great idea. I got it from the Tramps.

Stamp Sets:
White Christmas Photopolymer

Tuxedo Black Memento
Soft Sky
Smoky Slate
Whisper White Craft

Dazzling Details

House Card
I'm not supposed to have a favorite but this has got to be mine.  The silhouette houses made the perfect background for the embossed houses in black. I stamped the Dictionary background on Whisper White before I used the thin lit dies from Holiday Home. Then on Basic Black, I embossed in white the Holiday Home stamp set. This was originally going to be a black and white house, but thought to add a bit of color by swiping Real Red, Elegant Eggplant and Crushed Curry onto the rainbow stamp of Works of Art.

Stamp Sets:
Holiday Home Stamps & Thinlit Bundle

Basic Black
Real Red
Elegant Eggplant
Crushed Curry

There you have it. Not a bad start to make holiday cards. The problem is always with time. But then again you should make time for something good that feeds your spirit.

I've had the greatest time with the Tramps and we've definitely had the most unique experiences. I will take this experience as one that is uplifting and educational.

Happy Stamping!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

In A Word

As I moonlight my way into the wee hours of the night to prepare for the special event for my tramps this Sunday, I am nothing short of ideas bursting out of my head. The only downside to it is that I only have one day to showcase projects so I have to be wise about what makes the cut. The upside is we have the rest of our stamping lives to share those that will not make it for as long as the passion lives on.

I get beyond giddy when my idea on paper turns into exactly how I want it in reality, especially when I am working with new medium and techniques. There's a certain experience I feel when I am in the zone, when I am inspired and the creative juices flow. As a preparation for Sunday, I have asked my tramps to think of a word that inspires them, grabs their attention, or just simply amuses them. It can be any word - an adverb, a verb, or even someone's name. Whatever it is, ponder it and I promise we will make something of it.

Another hint on what I am working on. By the way, I am so hesitant to post this for fear of being outed by my equally smart and creative tramps. Oh well, that is the chance I take.

All for now...

Happy Stamping!!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

What's Cooking?

A whole lot, apparently. Now that my sandbox is up and running, so is my mind. Ideas are popping out of my head so quickly, they wake me up in the middle of the night! Supplies for the upcoming Tramp Camp are slowly trickling in. And the good news is they are what I expected them to be.

I could only play for a little bit tonight as I have to do some "have-to's" in the real world. I do want to share hints of what I have in mind for the Tramps. For sure we will be creating cards, but using arse-kicking techniques that I haven't done since the olden days. I was extremely proud and excited then but a lot more now as I will be incorporating ideas I stumbled upon since re-joining last year.

Well below is the first hint. I don't know what you think I will be doing with it but it is going to be some kind of wonderful. Take a guess, if you like and let's see how close you get when you find out on October 12th.

Happy Stamping!

Monday, September 22, 2014

It's About Darn Time!

As I recharge to get my creative juices oozing, I share the cards that the tramps and I created at Gina's workshop back in August. It was such an awesome day to make cards especially with the Santa Cruz harbor right in the backyard. How much more inspiring could have it gotten?

As you know, I love to incorporate techniques in my cards. I love spending the time to create a certain effect and admire how it reflects on my finished art. And of course, I think my tramps welcome and love the challenge.

For both cards, I used the selective embossing technique using a diffuser. Selective embossing leaves an area of the card stock smooth while everything else is embossed with patterns from the embossing folder. You can purchase a diffuser from various craft manufacturers or make one on your own.

The one I made consists of several pieces of cardboard (the kind that comes in DSP packaging) cut into 4 1/4 x 5 1/5. With a circle framelit from the Circles Collection, I put a hole in the same exact spot of each of the four cardboards before I stacked them and glued them together. Using the bottom layer of the platform from my Big Shot, I sandwiched the Whisper White cardstock in between the embossing folder, with the DIY diffuser on top, and the cutting pads on the top and bottom layers. I ran this ensemble on the Big Shot and the result is an embossed cardstock except on the area where there was a hole on the diffuser, which left a smooth unembossed surface to stamp on.

Stamp Sets:
Really Good Greetings
Work of Art
Summer Silhouettes
Card stock:
Whisper White
Pumpkin Pie
Basic Black
Pumpkin Pie
Daffodil Delight
Real Red
Decorative Dots embossing folder
Itty Bitty Punch

And here are their spins, my Tramps, my Rebels:

The next card we made used the negative template of the diffuser so that it embossed only the circle. Here I used the  Honeycomb embossing folder to create the background. 

Stamp Sets: 
Gorgeous Grunge
Teeny Tiny Wishes
Whisper White
Hello Honey
Hello Honey
Little Letters Thinlits

Of course the Tramps had to put their own spin on it. There is just so much opportunities for personalization especially when you have the entire alphabet at your beck and call!

So there you have it....hope this inspires you if for but for a brief moment.

Also, watch out for little teasers that I will post in the next coming weeks to give you an idea of what is in store for Tramp Camp in October. I am beyond excited!

Happy Stamping!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Sandbox Redux

As I sort through our new reality with all the changes that have come our way for the last few months and not to mention the routine that is life and work that puts food on the table, I sort of got off tangent and broke away from my creativity temporarily. My sandbox was in disarray for a couple of months as I prioritized what was in dire need of my attention, of my personal touch. It was the entire house, of course, but my beloved sandbox took the back seat. Then there is work. I am still trying to reign it in so that it does not completely take over me. Sometimes, I am unsuccessful.

My body spoke in protest. It totally stopped me on my tracks that I had to go home and forced myself to rest for two days. It also allowed me to re-focus and put balance in my routine. I needed to conjure a plan. For me to start producing again, I need some space. I went into reform mode, unpacked everything that needed to be unpacked, hung what needed to be hung, displayed a few inspirations. I spent some time in the sandbox today, to put back some of the love and care it badly needed. I am happy with the outcome. I cannot wait to dirty it again and get the creativity oozing.

I am looking forward to my first Tramps Camp in October. I have been toying with a few ideas for quite some time now. There will be games, auctions, and of course lots of stamping with very good company.

I am excited!

Happy Stamping!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Buy a Big Shot, Get a Bundle!

Starting August 1 through August 31, get an exclusive Framelits and Stamps Set Bundle for FREE when you purchase a Big Shot. Or, if you already own a Big Shot, get a15percent discount on these select bundles.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Love. My. Tramps.

Our workshops shouldn't even be called a workshop anymore. We don't get together to stamp. We stamp to get together, drink, eat, laugh and be silly together. I don't know about you but our lives are already peppered with stress and drama that the only thing I really want to achieve is escape from it for a little bit and be with ones who enjoy the same passion as you. And you know that they do when they assume your role if not for once.

For this get-together, our roles have reversed. The teacher has become the student. Three of my Tramps stepped up to the plate and happily showcased their own creations for everyone to learn and make. As much as I wanted to take credit for their creativity, I defer to their resourcefulness for learning techniques and gathering ideas and sheer passion for putting them together and sharing with the rest of us. I am beyond impressed! You can see for yourself.

First one up was Anna with her triple-stamped blossom card. I love how Marina Mist blended so well with the French Script background in Sahara Sand. The baker's twine in Brown Sugar puts a nice a finishing touch to this adorable card.

Technique: Triple Stamping
Card stock: Marina Mist, Whisper White
Stamp sets: Mixed Bunch, Sweet Essentials (retired), French Script background (retired)
Ink pads: Marina Mist, Sahara Sand
Markers: Marina Mist, Soft Suede
Tools: Blossom Punch, 1" Circle Punch, eyelet & eyelet setting tool
Accessories: Thick baker's twine in Brown Sugar, dimensionals, snail adhesive (temporary & permanent)

The next card was showcased by the lovely Ulrika. I love the natural look of this card. Just gives me goose bumps!

Technique: Mist stamping
Card stock: Crumb Cake, Perfect Plum, Whisper White
Stamps sets: Inspired by Nature (retired)
Ink pads: Soft Sky, Perfect Plum, Mellow Moss (retired), Basic Black
Tools: Water spray bottle, sponge
And finally, the no-stamping card by Janine. Love how the 2014-2016 In Colors were incorporated and used the negative as a backdrop to the sentiment die cut. And not only that, another card was made using the sentiment itself and mounted on a plain Whisper White card stock. Genius!

Cardstock: 2014-2016 In Color, Whisper White
Tools: sentiment die cut, double sided adhesive sheet

These ladies rocked it at the workshop. So happy to be in their company as they shared their passion for card making.

Happy Stamping!

Monday, June 2, 2014

2014-2015 Annual Catalog Premier Party!

Whew! It felt like holding my breath under water for weeks and now I can finally exhale and share the world the awesomeness that is the 2014-2015 Annual Catalog. It is oozing with new products and new stamps while keeping the old time favorites intact. Stampin' Up! has done a great job as always, particular this year. I am beyond excited to be able to create and share this year's lineup.

I am a huge fan of color and being able to apply it whatever medium - brayer, brush, sponge. This year, with the introduction of the Blendabilities line, coloring just got that much more exciting. Being able to create topnotch cards with a pop of color is the way to go.

That is exactly what happened this weekend. We had our Catalog Premier Party with Janine as our gracious hostess. Loved, loved the BLT, by the way. Thank you for the awesome dining experience and lovely company!

On to the cards....

The first card we made was to showcase the Blendabilities alcohol markers in Coastal Cabana. We colored the poppies using the darkest hue for depth and blending the lightest hue for the main color. To create the shadow effect on the "love" sentiment, I adhered temporarily before the background is lightly sponged in Wild Wasabi and Coastal Cabana. I then lifted the sentiment and applied more 2-way Glue and moved slightly off so that love mask in white is shown thus creating a shadow. I still love my retired French Script and stamped it on the corner and finished it off with a retired corner punch from SU! as well. The result is uh-maz-ing!

Stamp Sets:
Pleasant Poppies
French Script (retired)

Whisper White
Tempting Turquoise

Coastal Cabana Blendabilities
Old Olive Blendabilities
Coastal Cabana
Wild Wasabi

Expression Thinlits
Corner Punch (retired)

The next card we made was one of my favorite new hostess sets. It was a very simple but cute card. I used one of the new inks from the 2014-2016 In Color. Can I just say that once I used Lost Lagoon it is all I see everywhere I go these days? I just love the blue and gray combination of this color. I used the embossing folders for background and finished it off with my signature "In Threes" finishing touch, this time it is with the Candy Dots in Subtles.

Stamp Set:
Nuts About You

Old Olive
Lost Lagoon
Whisper White

Chocolate Chip
Lost Lagoon
Wild Wasabi
Pool Party

Pop-up dots
Candy dots
Chevron embossing folder
Decorative Dots embossing folder

Once in a while, I will make a third card just for the fun of it. And it's because the Catalog Premier, I thought this would be appropriate. Plus, I just love my Tramps. Period. And the stamp set is so appropriate given the circumstances but I will save that for another day. :P Again, the Blendabilities is featured. I also brayered the background with coordinating colors as the Blendabilities. This card was screaming rhinestones so I happily obliged!

Stamp Set:
In This Together

Whisper White

Cherry Cobbler Blendabilities
Cherry Cobbler
Cajun Craze
Real Red

Cherry Cobbler baker's twine

There you have it, folks! We are in new season once again. Thanks to my Tramps for a wonderful time. Onwards and upwards until our next date! We shall stamp on!

Happy Stamping!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Blowout Sale up to 50% off!

Major discounts on retiring products!! From now until June 4, 2014, we're offering a 25%-50% discount on many of the retiring products. Get them before they're gone!


Monday, April 21, 2014

Let the Goodbyes Begin

To complement the FREE SHIPPING promotion this week of April 21st, here is the 2013-2014 Retiring List Products.

The Retiring Stamps List
The Retiring Accessories List

Please remember:
  • Retiring stamps and accessories are only available while supplies last. The list of retiring products will be updated each business day by 4:00 PM (MT) with availability information on my blog. 
  • Order deadlines:
    • Phone: Wednesday, June 4, 2014; 6:50 PM (MT) 
    • Online: Wednesday, June 4, 2014; 11:50 PM (MT)
Happy Pickings!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Perfect Timing!

The Retiring List from the 2013 Catalog will be available tomorrow, April 21st. Make sure to stock up on these items before they completely go away! Watch out for the list on my blog and order as you are able as they are available only while supplies last. And what a way to stock up by getting them to you via FREE SHIPPING! Stampin' Up! is offering free shipping for all orders made between April 21 - April 25. This applies to ALL orders!

Blooms in the Air

Another wonderful workshop whizzed by yesterday with Anna as our lovely hostess. It's been over a month since we all got together and everyone (including myself) was pretty much craving to play. And so we played (and chatted and laughed and ate and drank).

Thank goodness for these workshops or I don't know how I would come up with these cards. These ladies are so encouraging and inspirational, to say the least. I know, I know. I have said it before.

Our first card was Mother's Day themed using Easter colors. Heck, I didn't make my Easter cards and didn't send any so this is the least I could do to honor this celebration.

What did we use:
Cardstock: Whisper White, Blushing Bride
Inks: Wild Wasabi, Blushing Bride, Soft Sky, Early Espresso
Tools: Simply Scored Stylus, Labels Framelits, Distressing Tool, Itty Bitty Flower Punch, Big Shot
Stamps: Take Care, Watercolor Minis (retired), When I Grow Up (retired)
Embellishments: SU! Pearls, pop-up dots

To create the image, I cut out a "hill" template out of scratch paper and sponged Wild Wasabi to create the illusion of hills. The next layer was inked in Blushing Bride and the top layer was inked with Soft Sky. I texturized the hills with the fern stamp from Watercolor Minis. To add contrast, I stained the edges with Early Espresso. The sentiment is stamped in Early Espresso before running it through Big Shot and using the Labels frame lit. The star of the show is the Itty Bitty Flower Punch that adorned the tree trunk from the Take Care stamp set and embellishing them with the SU! pearls. To pop up the petals on the blossoms, I pressed the tip of the stylus into the center of the punched out bloom. To finish off this card, I distressed the edges of the second layer using the SU! Distressing Tool before staining them with Early Espresso.

The next card we made was monotonically Crumb Cake! Yes, I know - big surprise! I do love my Crumb Cake and I know it's a problem. The theme is very woodsy and more on the masculine side but I softened it with flowers and butterflies.

What did we use:
Cardstock: Crumb Cake, Vellum, Wild Wasabi, Calypso Coral
Inks: Crumb Cake, Calypso Coral, Clear Versamark, Early Espresso
Stamps: Hardwood BG, See Ya Later, Papillon Potpourri
Tools: Itty Bitty Flower Punch, Big Shot, Leaves Sizzlit, Embossing Gun, Butterfly Punch, Simply Scored Stylus,
Embellishments: SU! Pearls, pop-up dots, white embossing powder

The butterflies are embossed in vellum, colored in Calypso Coral marker and then punched out using the coordinating Butterfly Punch. The base layer is stamped in Hardwood and then stained in Early Espresso. It is repeated on the middle layer with the stain more pronounced. The sentiment from See Ya Later is stamped in Early Espresso. The card is finished off with the leaf using the Leaf Sizzlit and blossom punched using the Itty Bitty Flowers in Calypso Coral adorned with SU! Pearls.

There you have it, folks. I know my work is done when I see the happy faces on my tramps. Always a pleasure stamping with you.

Happy Stamping!

Monday, March 24, 2014


This is totally me....every few weeks I get this urge to rearrange everything (this includes my stamp room) or dullness overcomes me, then creativity dries up. I may not "facelift" the entire room but I do bits and pieces at a time. Yes, I was so tired looking at the mess that have become the ribbons. Sure I got me a ribbon rack from Michael's but it turned out the two rods are too wide for the SU! ribbon spools so I ended up taking out the sturdy white rods and replacing them with flimsy skinny wooden dowels. The ribbons hold but they are just not a good sight for me. A couple of weeks ago I stumbled upon this idea on Pinterest on how to store ribbons. So I got my old-fashion clothespins and re-spooled the ribbons around them and voila! I have a ribbon solution! They are so shabby chic especially when I put them in the mason jars that I almost returned. Since I'm such a visual person, this set-up allows me to see immediately my ribbon inventory. Stoked and so proud of myself.

Oh, and you know that feeling that you get when things turn out the way you had planned it in your head? Well I don't have many of those but I just did with this bridal shower invite for which I will be hosting for a dear friend. I was even more excited that I was able to match her color to a tee! Mint is Pool Party, y'all!

Stamp Sets:
Take Care
Rain or Shine (clearance!)
Mason jar stamp (from eBay)
Watercolor Minis (retired) (for the ferns & grass)

Crumb Cake cardstock
Early Espresso Stamp Pad
Versamark (for embossing)
Pool Party embossing powder
Pool Party ruffled ribbon (clearance!)
White Stampin Chalk Marker

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Perfectionism Kills the Cat

From time to time, I go out and seek challenges to keep me inspired. The one that I usually go is the PPA Challenge at Pals Paper Arts. I was looking forward to this one since I thought I had enough time to come up with an idea then put it together before the deadline.

The PPA 195 Color Challenge consisted of putting together the three colors below:

I'm not a "spring-y" kind of gal so this is truly a challenge for me. I whipped out my Too Kind stamp set and envisioned watercoloring in my head.

On watercolor paper, I first stamp the inside flowers with Rose Red and applied Versa Mark on the big flower heads before coating them with clear embossing powder. Then with the three colors above, I watercolored the background until the flowers popped up in white. The effects are amazing! I then applied French Script (retired) on top of it. The stems and leaves are hand-drawn in Wild Wasabi marker and the veins are drawn in White Chalk pen.
The bottom panel is created with the new Hardwood background stamp in So Saffron. I haven't used any of the "new" background stamps since my return last year. I cannot believe I let it go that long. The impression this stamp makes is just rich! I will be exploring more of these stamps in my future projects, that's for sure.
I adorned the card with Rose Red Seam Binding ribbon and finished it off with pearls.
So the burning question is why didn't I upload it for the challenge. Well, the simple answer is I really didn't like the first outcome. Originally, I cut the watercolored image with the apothecary thin lit die. It had the vintage look but thought it didn't go well with the hardwood background. So I sat on it for a while and played around until the new design came about. So much happier with this but it's too bad I missed the challenge. Yes, my perfectionism is both a gift and a curse at the same time.

 Happy Stamping!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

PPA 196 - Sketch Challenge

I really wanted diversion for a very off week so I turned to the PPA challenge to get me inspired.

I really really love the Giggles Greetings stamp set not only for its witty sayings but the images are just adorable! The color combo I chose was Basic Gray and Daffodil Delight. The base layer is stamped with Gorgeous Grunge in Basic Gray.

I have seen so many variations of the holed up cheese background and I just had to jump in the band wagon myself. This is what I used for the second layer. The top layer is the watercolored cheese cake! I finished it off with the twine from the Sale-a-bration Sweet Sorbet accessory pack.

Happy Stamping!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Get Ready to Get Inked All Up!

Let the stamping begin! I am stoked and ready for our next event. Can't wait to hang out with these ladies....

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Stampin' Pretty Pals March Blog Hop

Welcome to the Pals March Blog Hop. This month we are excited to kick-off Spring with our creative projects. We hope enjoy these creations and we hope Spring finds you soon!

You may just be starting the blog hop or may have come from 22. Amy Lazell at Just a Thought...Cards by Amy on the Pals Hop. If you get off track at any time, the full lineup below will help you move along from blog to blog so you see all of the amazing creations.

The base card is Crumb Cake mounted on Real Red card stock. I used Pleasant Poppies embossed in white and watercolored in Real Red and Pear Pizazz. The background is stamped French Script and Linen. The sentiment is from Expression Thinlits mounted on Apothecary Thinlit. 

The next stop is 24. Katy McGloin at Just Fun Stamping on the Pals Blog Hop! Thanks for visiting and  I hope to see you next month.

Final March Line-up- 
  1. Jackie Diediker at Stampin' Jackie
  2. Susan Itell at Simple Stampin
  3. Peggy Noe at prettypapercards
  4. Debra Simonis at Deb's Stampin' Grounds
  5. Martie Pollard at Crafty Bandit
  6. Goldie Shaul at Punch and Stamp with Goldie
  7. Dawn Tidd at Tiddbits from Dawn
  8. Debbie Mageed at Secret Stamper 
  9. Natalie Bradley at Natalie Bradley Events
  10. Lisa Ann Bernard at Queen B Creations
  11. Debbie Crowley at expressivelydeb...
  12. Christine Winslow at Grandma's Stamping Corner
  13. Mary Fish at Stampin' Pretty
  14. Michelle Quinno at Shell's Life
  15. Linda Callahan at Stampin' Seasons
  16. Michelle Gleeson at StampinMojo
  17. Shannon Hokanson at Paper Works by Shannon
  18. Diane Roberts at Score at Four and a Quarter
  19. Kerry Willard Bray at Peonies and Paper Chains
  20. Kalyn Shubnell at The Stamping Chronicles
  21. Colleen Mollema at Uncanny Crafting
  22. Amy Lazzell at Just A Thought...Cards by Amy
  23. Maria Flores at Maria's Sandbox
  24. "Katy McGloin at Just Fun Stamping
  25. Christie Crosby at Stampin' Creativity
  26. Sue Becker at RnR Stamping
  27. Rae Harper at Wild West Paper Arts
  28. Lynn Kolcun at Stamping with Avery's Owlery
  29. Maggie Mata at Maggie Made Cards
  30. nicole watt  at Pixel Maven's Retreat
  31. Sherrie Gross at Stampin' Sunshine