My first Stampin' Up! sampler

Spring sampler 2017_1

Well it finally happened. My first 12" x 12" framed sampler. 

Not that I haven't adored all the gorgeous themed samples I've seen through the years; I guess I was just a little intimidated. But I finally bit the bullet last week, put together a color palette inspired by Fruit Stand DSP, and dug in. I hit a creativity roadblock after the first 7 squares, so I lost a bit of time 'cuz of that, but at least I got the project finished on the same day I started it.

Ironically, I think the hardest thing about this was getting a half-way decent picture, lol! It's been raining, cloudy and dark around here for days, and since I shoot under natural light.... well, there just hasn't been any. So I ultimately decided to just run with what I had, and maybe someday, should we ever see the sun again, I'll try for a better shot then!

Here's what my thinking went like when planning this:

  • Size - well, I already had the 12 x 12 frame, which I'd purchased a number of months ago. So that was a no-brainer.
  • Color Palette - primarily inspired by the Fruit Stand DSP collection (Tangerine Tango, Peekaboo Peach, Pear Pizzazz, Whisper White), and I substituted So Saffron for Daffodil Delight, then added Soft Sky (for some of the backgrounds) & Basic Black for punch. (Every square has both white and black in it.) I even used 2 pieces of the DSP itself.
  • Theme - flowers & nature
  • Dimension - I knew I wanted "some", but had to keep it modest because this would be displayed behind glass. (You can go all kinds of crazy with dimension if you're using a shadow box, though..... and I'm anxious to do one of those one of these days, too.)
  • Techniques - I also wanted to showcase a variety of techniques, as well, so I was deliberate about doing something different with each square as I developed it.

Each decorated square is 1-7/8" square (Whisper White CS or watercolor paper), which is then mounted on a 2" square of Whisper White, and then mounted on either a Pear Pizzazz or Tangerine Tango 2-1/4" square. I first laid out the pattern for the largest layers, then stamped the 9 decorated squares, mounted each to its white backing, and then spent quite a bit of time experimenting with overall arrangements before anchoring them down to their colored backgrounds.

Can't wait to do my next one!


Fruit Stand Designer Series Paper

DSP Fruit Stand 1 wwm

DSP Fruitstand single wwm

One of my favorite Designer Series papers in the Annual Catalog this year is the Fruit Stand DSP.  And even though we're heading into the season of more subdued colors, I still find myself being pulled back towards the fresh and happy colors of this delicious sherbet-inspired palette!  


141660G

So lucky thing, isn't it, that during the month of October, for every 3 ($11 US) packages of Designer Series Paper you choose, you can get the 4th one FREE!?!

 

Buy 3, Get 1 free

 

These cards were pretty darn simple to make. Two of the samples feature Pear Pizzaz cardstock for the base, and I used a sponge brayer to apply Peekaboo Peach ink onto thick Whisper White cardstock for the other one. I stamped "Happy Birthday" with Watermelon Wonder onto a piece of Whisper White, and then cut it out with one of the new "Layering Ovals Framelits". A little more Peekaboo Peach ink highlighted the edge.

Fruit stand cardstock 2

The peach itself is just fussy-cut right from the DSP, and then both the oval and the peach are lifted up on Stampin' Dimensionals.... placed onto a piece of the very same Designer Series Paper (actually, the reverse side of the peaches). 

And then a bit of rhinestone bling, and it's done! Just THINK of how many fruit-filled birthday wishes you could make & send with just these very same products!

 Product List 


How to coordinate your entire party's colors - the easy way

Today I wanted to share a tip for making your party-planning a tad easier.

Choose Stampin' Up! colors for your event's color palette!

65th anniversary party - color coordination

Last month my parents celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary. Yep, you read that right. 65 years!

Certainly worthy of a giant celebration - but unfortunately they no longer live near most of their friends, and family is spread all over the country these days, too. And neither are really "up to" a big party anyway. 

So our small group of family here in the area told 'em we'd come have dinner with them that night, and that's the only part of the "party" we told 'em about. The rest of it was kept a secret. But behind the scenes I planned a long-distance party, and at dinner that evening we explained that family and friends from all across the country were online that night to celebrate with them- via the internet! So we broadcast parts of our activities here on this end (via Facebook Live), and other family and friends posted memories and good wishes via Facebook - comments, pictures and videos, and sent cards (via my mailing address so I could snag 'em and package them all up in a handmade box). We had "party guests" ranging from close to their own ages.... all the way down to a new great-granddaughter just a couple of weeks old. It was fabulous!

The only part I was sad to note when it was all over, however, was a lack of still pictures..... because we'd relied so heavily on Facebook Live video to share the local activities in real time. I *was* able to snag a few screen shots from the videos afterwards, but it's been a bit tough documenting it afterwards with so few still pictures. (Lesson learned for next time.)

But back to my tip. I've been relying on this "Stick with Stampin' Up! colors" concept for a long, long time. And in fact my son's wedding was all done in Stampin' Up! colors over 10 years ago. All the way from the "Save the date" cards, to the invitations, printed programs, cake, decorations and flowers - to, yes, even the color of the bridesmaids dresses. And it made it SO easy to keep everything coordinated!

So of course when it came time to pull together THIS event for my parents, naturally I turned to Stampin' Up! again.  In fact, my inspiration came from the new Holiday Catalog.... and the Fancy Frost suite (shown on pages 35 & 36).  

Holiday16_p36a-19

 65th anniversary party colors

And of course we added a generous sprinkling of glitter (even edible glitter on the cake - but from the bakery, however), and Dazzling Diamonds glimmer paper.....

 

Dazzling Diamonds Glimmer Paper
 
Dazzling Diamonds Stampin' Glitter
 

 and other bling......

Holiday16_142549-23

 

Holiday16_142015-22 

..... along with texture from the Fancy Frost Specialty Designer Series Paper.

 

Holiday16_142014-21

 

And I gave cardstock samples of the colors to the baker, and used 'em to coordinate flower arrangements, and was grateful I had a few extra pieces in my purse so I could grab a steal on a couple of "Sweet Sugarplum" mums for the dinner table when I just happened to walk by them one day and they called out to me!

So next time you're in charge of some kind of shindig, select your color palette from Stampin' Up!'s gorgeous choices and put several cardstock samples in your purse to keep 'em handy. It'll certainly make the "coordinating colors" element of your party a breeze!


When the packaging's just gotta coordinate with the contents

Packaging collage

I had occasion recently to wrap a baby gift. Now, this wasn't just some random baby gift, but rather, in celebration of the upcoming arrival of my 2nd granddaughter. So if there's ever a reason to spend a little extra time wrapping something, I figure that that would qualify. I'd picked out this adorable little 3-piece set - 2 onsies and a coordinating pair of pants/leggings. Yes, I know the pant legs will be too long; manufacturers have had DECADES to figure out babies' legs aren't proportioned to the rest of their bodies yet, but for some reason they refuse to adjust accordingly. But I digress. I had this cute little clothing ensemble and it needed to be wrapped. Appropriately.

So the first thing I reached for was cardstock in colors close to those of the clothes. Minus purple, of course; I already knew that wasn't
gonna happen. But I was Botanical-Builder-Box-close-up-800-wmsurprised to see how tough it was to match the other colors, too! Especially a yellow-green. Came up empty-handed there, too. But eventually I ended up pulling out some scraps of retired In Colors: Strawberry Slush, Pistachio Pudding and Coastal Cabana...... and then added Bermuda Bay, Pink Pirouette, Wisteria Wonder and So Saffron to round out my options. 

To determine the size of the box I folded (and refolded) the 3 items until I
could stack them up into a size I could create a box for (using only 8-1/2" x 11" cardstock, 'cuz that's what I had available). Luckily, I determined I could do that with a box 5-1/2" x 7-1/2"..... and 1-1/2" deep. YAY!  So I just trimmed a half-inch off the bottom of a full sheet each of Wisteria Wonder (for the box bottom), and Pink Pirouette for the box top. (Leaving me with 8-1/2" x 10-1/2".) Scored 1-1/2" borders all the way around for the bottom, and just the teeniest smidge narrower for the top.  (This technique leaves the box top just that itsy-bitsy bit larger so it'll fit over the bottom.) 

Botanical-Builder-Box-800-wmAfter assembling the box I determined that that much surface looked just a little bit  "flat", so I added a layer using the Brick Wall embossing folder. Figured that made a decent base to work with, and the fun was about to begin.


Now, I have to confess that I love flowers (DUH! Those of you who know me aren't surprised, are ya?), and after 20 years of working with flowers in the paper and ink world I've figured out it's not likely I'll ever tire of them. And whenever I can combine flowers with DIMENSION, so much the better. So it's really no wonder the Botanical Builder Framelits have become my "go to" faves these days. 

So this is the result. I shaped the flower petals and leaves with a bone folder and also wrapped some elements loosely around a white gel pen. (Ugh! Just realize that's been retired. YIKES! How'd I miss that?!?) All the flowers are glued to a belly band that simply slides off to open the box. I love belly bands on boxes for this purpose; you can get as elaborate as you want with the decoration, and yet nothing has to be untied or otherwise destroyed when it's time to access the box's contents.  A perfect packaging solution in my book!

Buy NOW, get a coupon for NEXT month!

Now here's something ELSE really cool! Right now (and through the remainder of July, actually), for every $50 of product you order through me (at one time, that is), you'll get an emailed coupon worth $5 towards product(s) you order NEXT month. (Specifically Aug. 2 - Aug. 31 .) And there are no limits as to how many $5 coupons you can accrue; you'll get one for every $50. So for instance, if you like the Botanical Builder Framelits AND the coordinating Botanical Blooms Stamp Set I've used on this project, well, guess what?! ? Conveniently, they both add up to $50, and BOOM! you've earned a coupon to spend next month! Or choose $150 in product (ordered at one time) and get not only THREE $5 coupons for next month ($15 value, that is), but also $15 in Stampin' Rewards THIS month, too! Get the idea?!?

Here are the products I used on this project; items that are currently available (at time of this writing) will link to my online store:

 

Strawberry Slush 8-1/2" X 11" Card Stock
Strawberry Slush 8-1/2" X 11" Card Stock
[131295]
$6.95
Pistachio Pudding 8-1/2" X 11" Card Stock
Pistachio Pudding 8-1/2" X 11" Card Stock
[131294]
$6.95
Coastal Cabana 8-1/2" X 11" Card Stock
Coastal Cabana 8-1/2" X 11" Card Stock
[131297]
$6.95
White Signo Uni-Ball Gel Pen
White Signo Uni-Ball Gel Pen
[105021]
$4.00

 

 


Birthday gift wrapping

P7060014So what do you do when it's time to wrap a birthday gift that measures 4' long by about 2-1/2" wide? Well I had to think about this long and hard before finally coming up with this idea!

Much of my inspiration came from the fact that my son is a volunteer for the American Red Cross and had spent many hours this past week working at several evacuation shelters put in place due to the many fires in the area. In fact, he'd missed all of the family's 4th of July activities, and then most of his birthday the following day. So I suppose it was "fire" on my mind that led me to this giant candle - made almost entirely from Stampin' Up! supplies.

I began by fashioning a long cylinder constructed from the white backing sheets that come in most of the Designer Series Paper packages. And in the process, fell in love with our new "Tear and Tape Adhesive", btw!

Once the cylinder was the proper length I made a top and bottom by tracing the openings and clipping an oversized circle of the same white backing board inwards to that pencil line, folding each tab downwards for a custom fit. I anchored the top one in place with scotch tape and then inserted the gift from the bottom and closed up that end the same way.

Then starting at the top again, I wrapped a combination of Designer SeP7060016---desaturated-background---web---crries Papers (12 x 12) and several full sheets of cardstock down the length of it, and ultimately added stars cut with the Stars Framelits. I drew and cut two layers of "flame" and glued the upright section of a bent piece of white florist wire between the two layers, taping the other section to the top of the tube.

I think David was amused and intrigued, but obviously uncomfortable when I had to go and spoil the moment by grabbing the camera, lol! 

But I was pleased to see that he had immediately noticed the card repeated the same "candle" theme - with the same colors and prints. (The finer points of having grown up in a Stampin' Up! household!!!)

But eventually the moment arrived that I'd been dreading: how to remove the gift without destroying the package? Ultimately I suggested he use a knife and cut just around the inside perimeter of the bottom, and that allowed him to slip the gift out without destroying the "packaging".

So now the question is:  a whole day later now, have his 2 little kiddos completely destroyed the candle themselves yet?