Stampar - WHAT?!?

11.16.17_GIF_STAMPARATUS

STAM•PA•RAT•US: Noun. 2017-2018 (and beyond); < rubber-stamper lingo; Latin stamp + apparatus>  1. a feature-packed device to assist rubber stampers with placing stamped images exactly where desired  2. a gizmo used to perfectly align up to 4 stamped images  3. a doo-dad which allows another attempt at stamping a fully-inked image if the first was unsuccessful  4. an amazing tool that all rubber stampers will want to own in order to make their stamping adventures more fun, easy, and oops-free. Synonym: "the most advanced stamp-positioner on the market"

Well, we've waited a whole lotta years, but it's finally (almost) here! Stampin' Up!'s feature-packed stamp positioner that blows all other similar devices currently on the market right out of the water! Why? Because once again, Stampin' Up! has created a tool designed FOR stampers BY stampers (LOTS of 'em, actually!)

So what's up with this gizmo with the funky name?

Well, I recommend downloading this PDF flyer for a quick overview.......

Stamparatus_flyer_image

and then checking out this video to see the Stamparatus in action:

Soooooo...... now that you have an idea what this little gem can do, we'll assume that by now you know you need one of these puppies for your very own self. (I mean, who wouldn't? Right?) So listen-up while I share how to be among the very first to get your mitts on one of these coveted treasures..... (Yeah, yeah, it's a little bit complex, but I think we can all catch on eventually...)

Stampin' Up! recognizes that this is expected to be a hot, hot item, but wants at the same time to avoid the disappointment of a potentially protracted back-order situation, as these Stamparatuses [Stamparati?] can only be manufactured and stocked at a finite pace. Therefore, Stampin' Up! has designed a clever "reservation" system that will allow you to (sort of) preorder yours before it is even manufactured. There will be 3 limited preorder/reservation periods between now and when this tool appears in next summer's Annual Catalog, and you may order up to one device during each of the 3 periods - while supplies last. The limited preorder periods will run during the following dates, but only until the maximum number of available reservations has been reached. (In other words, those who preorder early in the period stand a better chance of successfully reserving a unit than those who wait until later).

Preorder dates

As you see, the first reservation window opens this coming Thursday, Nov. 16th. At 2:00 pm, Mountain Time, to be exact. (Barring any hiccups like crashed websites and other technicalities, of course.)

To place your reservation you'll go to my online store and  look for the "Reserve" link on the Stamparatus page. (You must already have an online customer account set up in order to proceed; if you don't already have an online account, I urge you to go ahead and set one up now to be ready.) Then follow the simple instructions shown in this tutorial. Note that you must have a credit card available in order to place your reservation, but you won't actually be charged until your Stamparatus comes in.

Then when the approximate shipping date nears (better put it on your 2018 calendar right away so you don't forget), be sure to keep an eagle-eye on your email inbox (including your junk box, too), as Stampin' Up! will notify you when your Stamparatus has been placed into your shopping cart. And at that point you'll go into your order, add more items to your cart if you wish, and then submit your order. Be very careful not to accidentally delete your Stamparatus from your cart because there will be NO way to add it back again

So be ready to act quickly on Thursday to be among the very first lucky owners of a Stamparatus! I'd be VERY surprised if available reservations last until November 30th.... or even anywhere close to it!

Please note that the "sale" of this item will not actually take place until you close out and submit your order next February (or March or April, depending on which reservation period you used). Your "reservation" will NOT count as a sale, and as I understand things currently, I won't even be able to see that you've reserved one. (But you might wanna tell me anyway.....)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Ok, so yeah, that was a whole lotta words, so here's the Cliff Notes version:

  1. Recognize you want need a Stamparatus.
  2. Make sure you have an online shopping account already set up so you don't have to fiddle with it on Thursday. (You probably do have if you've shopped online with me before, but no harm in double-checking: store.YourPaperDreams.com)
  3. Set an alarm to reserve your Stamparatus (store.YourPaperDreams.com) at 2 pm (Mountain Time) this Thursday, Nov. 16. (Or as soon thereafter as you can, being aware there are a limited number of reservations that will be accepted.) You'll need to provide a CC number at the time, although it won't be charged at the time of reservation. (BTW, if the system crashes due to high use, please don't give up; just continue to try again a few times every 10-15 minutes or so.)
  4. Mark your calendar to keep an eagle-eye out for an email from Stampin' Up! (approx. Feb. 1), that lets you know your Stamparatus has been added to your shopping cart.
  5. When you receive that email from Stampin' Up! go into my online store again (store.YourPaperDreams.com) and complete/submit your order. (Remember THAT is the point that you actually purchase your Stamparatus.)

My new favorite stamp set - Painted Harvest

Well, "Painted Harvest", from the 2017 Holiday Catalog might not only be MY new favorite stamp set, but it seems to have a pretty good track record among stamping enthusiasts in general, so far! Watch for some more ideas and tips for the "Painted Harvest" bundle as September's "Bundle of the Month".

First up, this card, which I made about a dozen of:

Painted Harvest w wm

One of the things I particularly love about the Painted Harvest stamp set is that the 2-step images aren't designed to fit perfectly, so you don't have to stress about perfect alignment. As long as you get them "close", it'll all look fine when finished. That said, I do look to match up the centers of the flower elements as a guide. The centers aren't exactly round, but more oval (kind of), and I have found that if I key in on that unique shape and align that general shape from stamp to stamp, it all works ok.

This card  features the flowers, fern-like leaves, acorn and speckles from the "Painted Harvest" stamp set, the tag die from the "Wood Crate Framelits" set, sentiment from "Teeny Tiny Wishes" stamp set, and linen thread and stamping sponges.  (The ribbon and doily are now retired.)

Painted Harvest w wm close-up

Main colors (other than Whisper White, of course) include:

TAMS Color Builder

Stamping tips: 

Interestingly, there is not one single, fail-safe "success rule" that applies to all 2-step stamp sets. While I usually put down the lightest color first (which usually uses the stamp with the least detail), and follow that with progressively more detailed images (and usually darker ink), every once in a while I'll come across a stamp set that seems to demand a break from that general pattern. The fern images on this set turned out to be one such instance. I found that when I was attempting to align the Garden Green detail stamp atop a Pear Pizzaz base,  for some reason or other I couldn't get the images aligned to save my life. So I simply switched the stamping order, laying down the darker detail image first, and then it was a breeze putting the lighter shade over that. Go figure why that made *such* a difference in success to me, but it did!

And I stamped both elements of the acorn with the same color (Soft Suede), but the lower section was stamped off once, while the cap was stamped with full-strength ink.

144783GWhile this card didn't use it, there is also an adorable coordinating Leaf Punch, which you can bundle with this stamp set to save 10% on both!

146021G

 

 Check back in a few days for more Painted Harvest ideas.

 

Click to shop: 

Leaf Punch
$16.00

Post Falls High School Craft Fair 2015

I had a ton of fun chatting with so many friendly people at the Post Falls High School Craft Fair on Saturday! And was especially impressed to see how many Stampin' Up! demonstrators dropped by! I think by day's end there had been about 7 or 8 demonstrators who'd popped in and introduced themselves; now, if only I was good with faces and names to remember 'em all for *next* time, lol!

And the morning crowd was amazing; I remember looking up at one point and seeing the (quite wide) aisle completely filled with people in both directions. This was obviously not only a craft fair, but the day's social meeting point as well!  :-)

If you've attended one of my booth events over the years you know that I'm not one to just hang and wait for someone to show up. But rather, I generally keep myself busy stamping some kind of little give-away goodies. This year and last I chose gift tags for that item, and this year I particularly wanted something I could crank out quickly and not have to clean stamps along the way. So what's my favorite "quick stamp" technique?  Something monochromatic! Not only can a single color of ink be a real wow, but it holds down supply costs and there's zero chance of sticking the stamp into the wrong ink pad! (Something that's always embarrassing to do in front of an audience.) I knew my working space would be limited, so the simpler, the better, I figured.

So here's the simple, monochromatic design I made and gave away 60-some Tag_Mossy_Meadow
of in 6 hours.  (Actually, more like 4-1/2 hours, because the last hour and a half of the 6-hour show was basically dead.)

This tag began as a 2" x 4" piece of Whisper White cardstock. I chose Mossy Meadow for the ink color, and then there were just a few simple steps.....

  1. I chomped off one end with the Scalloped Tag Topper punch.
  2. The snowy trees image (from "Happy Scenes" stamp set) was placed about 1/3 of the way up from the bottom. (Remember that when using photopolymer stamps, I always recommend placing a piercing mat underneath to compensate for the lack of foam layer on the stamp itself.)
  3. "Season's Greetings" image (from the same set) was placed in the lower area, closer to the left edge for weight balance.
  4. I applied 2-way glue pen in the areas to be glittered....
  5. Then dunked into Dazzling Diamonds glitter and shook off excess.
  6. Finally, I folded a 12" length of Whisper White Bakers Twine in half, brought the two ends together through the tag hole from back to front and looped through the fold for the tag ties.

IF I'd been able to find a "To / From" stamp I'd have either positioned that in the upper left-hand corner or on the back, but after searching in vain through my entire collection of current stamps I sadly concluded I must have sold or retired any such stamps that I once owned. Shoot. There are 3 such pairs of stamps in the current Holiday Catalog, and at least that many in the Annual Catalog, but doggone if I could find 'em when I was tearing through my stuff searching for 'em, lol! Oh well, we'll just call that "white space" - an important element of design, too.

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AND DON'T MISS THIS WEEK'S "WEEKLY DEALS" - available until discounted supplies are exhausted, or thru Monday, Nov. 16, whichever occurs first:


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.

Butterfly-Basics-notecard----web

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!

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Another "under $80" card - Painted Petals

$80 products logo - tipped leftIn my last post I shared about our recent team swap challenge and featured a card sample that was very similar to the one I submitted for our swap. Today I've got another one using that very same stamp set (Painted Petals - from the Occasions Catalog), but highlighting different stamps and colors. AND it's ALSO under 80-bucks ($74.65) and makes 20 cards with envelopes, too..... making a great choice for a new stamper. 

But the combination of flowers and leaves I've used on this card can prove a little bit tricky to get aligned until you're familiar with how they fit together. So I do recommend either choosing the totally clear photopolymer option - or plan to get the Stamp-a-ma-jig involved if you've got clear-mount or wood-mount. Either way will workP4200162---500---copyright.

For this card, which is stamped on one of our notecards that come 20 to a package and include coordinating envelopes, I stamped the 3-line image twice across the lower part of the card, and then stamped the "thank you" words before tackling the flowers. (This helped me decide where to put the flowers, and at what angle.)

As to the flowers, here are some tips for getting them in place - and aligned.

First, if you've chosen the photopolymer version of this stamp set, make sure you've not got a "boo-boo" set. The first few sets to roll out the warehouse door when this set was first brand-new were cut incorrectly, and each flower was cut apart from its neighbors. But there are *supposed* to be only 13 individual stamps in this set; if you've got more than that, you'll want to contact the demonstrator through whom you purchased your stamps and arrange for an exchange.

Once you've determined your stamp set is ok, select and mount these 2 stamps - a set of flowers and a set of stems and leaves. I used a "D" block for the leaves and an "H" for the flowers. (Included in the price mentioned above.)

Painted Petals - flowers

Painted Petals - leaves

 

 

 

 

 

I like to begin by orienting my leaves as shown above. Working with this orientation seems to be the key to the whole thing, for me. Note the single stem is at the left; shown with the pink circle. Go ahead and stamp your leaves.

Now the flowers get placed in that very same orientation; the single bud goes at the end of the single stem. Here's what it looks like when they're matched up. See how the other flowers fit in around the other stems and leaves? You may havePainted Petals - together to move or rotate your flowers slightly to get it just right. If your hands are unsteady or it seems particularly awkward, it's probably time to pull out the Stamp-a-ma-jig.

Once everything was stamped, I simply finished off the card with a bow. Pretty quick and easy - once you figure out how the flowers and leaves work together!

Have fun!

 

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Glue Dots
$4.95