Carols of Christmas - Early Release

Carols of Christmas

I'm so excited about the Carols of Christmas stamp set and coordinating dies! It's an "early-release" opportunity - available a whole month before the upcoming Holiday Catalog goes live! So even though everyone other than demonstrators will have to wait until September to get their hands on most of the Holiday Catalog yumminess, THIS set of stamps and/or coordinating dies is available to purchase and work with right NOW!

And what a fabulous choice this is for an early release! Whether your design needs lean towards quick and easy, or more towards elegant and classy, "Carols of Christmas" can fill the bill. My favorite features include the fact that the stamp set has not one, but TWO large word images (if you haven't yet discovered the awesomeness of making lovely quick cards with these big words that are so popular now, you really should!), and I simply adore the die that creates an elegant border for the perfect finish on your card front!

And speaking of versatility, that same border would be perfect on a wedding card or invitation, or featured on a scrapbook page..... and of course the tree dies can serve long after the holiday season is but a memory, too.

You can choose either the "Carols of Christmas" stamp set alone (in either wood-mount or clear-mount), or the "Card Front Builder Thinlits Dies" set alone. But of course the absolute best option is to get them both as a bundle and save 10% in the process. 

 Here's a quick video peek at the stamp set and its dies:

 But wait! Would you like to save $5, $10, $15 or even more on this bundle? Then be sure to redeem the Bonus Days coupon(s) you earned in July! Simply enter the code(s) that were emailed to you after you placed your "$50-or-more" order(s) last month, and you'll get $5 off for each code! Click the image below to download instructions for redeeming at my online store, or contact me to submit your order for ya.

Prefer to purchase stamp sets & dies individually? Here ya go! 


BTW, did you know that Stampin' Up!® demonstrators get to order their products from the upcoming Holiday Catalog a month early? And you could too, if you joined us! Contact me with any questions, or "Just do it", as they say, at:!

Sunday Smorgasbord

Well! What a whirlwind this weekend has become! So many things going on in the Stampin' Up! world that I'm really glad I was already focused in that direction and had prepped the family I'd be pretty well tied up for a couple of days. Here's a sampling of some of what's spinning in my life these days...

World Card-Making Day 2016 - FB promo

So technically, yesterday was World Card-Making Day. But this is my 3rd year hosting an online retreat in celebration of the occasion, and last year we expanded the opportunity to my entire team and their customers & friends, too.  So that runs from Friday afternoon through Sunday afternoon (the first weekend of October) - as a 48 hour long Facebook event - with the focus of everyone creating cards (between our periodic card challenges, chatter & prize patrols)..... and then we see how many cards we can make as a group during those 48 hours! I never personally get very many cards done at this event because most of my time is spent behind the curtain (that is, on the computer coordinating the technical end of it), but things are a bit quiet right now, so I'm stealing away for a few minutes to write THIS, lol.  

Actually, knowing that I wouldn't get much stamping done this particular weekend (so far I've completed a whopping 4 cards, lol) , I held my own personal card-making marathon LAST weekend instead. So although I can't count those in our weekend total, at least I can "feel" like I participated in the push. If you'd like to follow along with parts of our event, check out the Facebook hashtag #YPD-WCMD2016 , and if you attend my classes, purchase through me, or are a FB friend, there's still time to get in on the final few hours of the afternoon (Oct. 2nd)!

And to add further to the plate-juggling of this weekend, our opening day was on the final day of the Stampin' Up! year, and yesterday was the first day of the NEW Stampin' Up! year. And there's a special project some of us demonstrators are working on for tomorrow (Monday), too..... so stay tuned for that. 

But I DID get this "first of the month" task done:

Registration is open - fall


And Stampin' Up! is running a couple of specials I urge you to check out.

(The first one is only available for a few short days, so be quick!)

Designer Tin of Cards Sale

Click here to view at my online store.


Buy 3, Get 1 free

Click here to see the specific paper sets included in this offer.


And if you use my desktop wallpaper calendars on your computer, here's the October one:

image from
Here are general instructions for setting this up as your desktop wallpaper - on a Windows 10 computer. (You can probably use it on an older or different system, too, but you'll have to figure that one out yourself. Or ask a kid to help, lol.)  


This quick and simple installation process works for *my* computer and dual-monitor set-up (Windows 10), but it may or may not work for yours:

  1. Click here (or click the image) to access the high-resolution image. (Please do NOT attempt to install the low-resolution image shown above.)
  2. Download/Save the image to your computer.
  3. Follow your usual process for selecting & setting up an image for your desktop background/wallpaper. (On my computer I only have to right-click the saved image and select "Set as desktop background".)

And now I'm headed back to our #YPD-WCMD2016 Virtual Retreat for the final hours of fun! Make today a great one!






A big ol' pile of notecards

Just finished making a big pile of these notecards, and I simply can't get enough of this Butterfly Basics! I am going to be SOOOOO sad if that stamp set doesn't make it into the upcoming catalog! Thankfully, we demonstrators will get to see the new catalog early tomorrow morning, so I don't have too many more hours to speculate and worry, lol.


As I was selecting colors for this design I knew I would use a green, of course, and I wanted 2 other bright colors as well. So I started by pulling out Mossy Meadow for my green, and then grabbed that super-yummy Blackberry Bliss as long as I was in the 2014-2016 In Colors section anyway. Daffodil Delight, which was already on my work table, seemed handy for the remaining 3rd color.

When I work with 3 different colors I usually think in terms of "large", "medium" and "small" volumes of the colors. So I decided for this card my "large" volume would be  Mossy Meadow, "medium" would be Daffodil Delight, and the splash of "small" would be done in Blackberry Bliss.

I started by playing around a bit with 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation stamping for the fern images..... working to get the angles (and rhythm) arranged in a way that would be quick and effective for the couple dozen I was just about to crank out. So that part went down first - on the entire pile of notecards. (Actually, when I'm cranking out a big bunch of cards just alike, I prefer to work assembly-line style, doing the same step on each card. That gets me in a rhythm and eliminates putting tools down and picking them back up again. Because every time you open or close an ink pad, or pick up or put down a stamp, time is ticking by.)

P4290196---webNext came that whimsical and unexpected stripe of Blackberry Bliss parallel to the bottom edge, and then a grouping of 3 images to help balance the weight of the dark ferns. The first part of that grouping, the word "HI", is from Sophisticated Serifs, another Occasions Catalog stamp set I surely hope also transitions into the upcoming catalog because I've found a lot of uses for THAT, too!

To get the letters even with one other I started by laying them down on the grid surface of my paper trimmer, the same way I demonstrated here. Once they seemed properly aligned, I just set my acrylic block straight down on top of them (with its lower edge also aligned with the grid) to pick them up as a unit. Of course I tested them on my grid paper before proceeding, and ended up adjusting the "I" slightly before calling it perfect. But from there on I was able to stamp the two letters together as one image. For placement, I just eye-balled it and aimed for about 1/3 of the way up, and 1/3 of the way in from the left. (Rule of thirds.) Figured that was generally close enough to be acceptable.

The remaining two images of the grouping of 3 also came from Butterfly Basics, with the butterfly being stamped onto scrap Whisper White cardstock and punched out with the Bitty Butterfly punch. A few random thumps of Daffodil Delight applied with that fascinating background stamp from the same set pulled the images together, and a couple of rhinestones on the butterfly finished it all off.

NOW to get these addressed and into the mail!

Product List

April's swap challenge - under 80-bucks

$80 products logo - tipped leftOne of perks I love about being a demonstrator is participating in the fun events that both Stampin' Up! (the company) and our various teams sponsor. One of the events my team (Paper Dreamers) holds is a monthly card swap - usually centered around a specific theme. For this month's Card Swap I challenged everyone to create a card that could be made with $80 or less in product (not counting s/h & tax). Something a total novice stamper could make from start to finish.

Ok, so I'll bet you're already thinking, "So that's not too tough", right? You just throw in a small set of stamps, some cardstock and ink, and you could whip something up for half of that, huh? Well, noooo, not exactly..... because not only did we have to choose a versatile stamp set, but also had to consider that a new stamper would have to purchase any required tools and accessories, too. (Um, and oh yeah, don't forget that one-time purchase of acrylic blocks, if necessary - and gotta include envelopes!) Ok, so because of those restrictions we WERE permitted to assume use of ordinary household supplies such as basic scissors, pencils and rulers. But all "craft" type stuff had to come from Stampin' Up! and be included in the $80 budget.

As I expected, this turned out to be quite the challenge for those of us accustomed to just pulling out whatever we have in our craft rooms. In fact, it may have been the toughest swap challenge I've ever proposed. (Based on the numbers of questions that arose while everyone was working on their designs.) But in the end, our swappers came through with flying colors and turned in amazing results! I'm super, duper proud of those who accepted this challenge!

Now personally, I got kind of excited about the whole concept and didn't stop at just 1 design; in fact, as long as I was in that $80 mode, I made 3. (But then if you know me at all, you already assumed that, huh?) And then once the swap cards arrived I put together a display of several of them so you'll be able to see that at my next gig.



Here's one similar to what I included in the swap; it squeaks in at just under the limit - at $79.60 in product - and yields 20 cards with envelopes.

For my design I knew I really wanted to simulate the effect of layers of cardstock, but the budget wasn't up for allowing multiple colors of real cardstock. So I called on one of my "go to" techniques: adding color to white cardstock with a dauber or sponge. (In this case, I used 2 of the 5 daubers in a package: one for Daffodil Delight and the other for Rich Razzleberry.)

And I do love the versatility of that Painted Petals stamp set, so naturally the next card in this $80 series featured that, too.

And hey! Before I close out today, just wanted to remind y'all that the list of retiring products is due out tomorrow (Tuesday, April 21). So that means that TODAY is the best day to grab those "gotta have" items that may still be on your wish list, because once they get published to "THE LIST", the most popular ones are prone to selling out in a flash! So take a few moments today to review your wish list (especially regarding ribbons & trims, punches, Project Life by Stampin' Up!® and anything in the 2013 - 2015 In-Colors) and seriously consider ordering them today!

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