Strategy Tips: Holiday Catalog Close-out

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Ok, so we're the better part of a day into Stampin' Up!'s Holiday Catalog Closeout period, and it's been plenty crazy. Turns out that while Stampin' Up! tried to make things simple by listing out everything in the online store, there are SO many things there it can seem completely overwhelming.

So I'm gonna try to simplify it a bit here - so you can mark up your catalog accordingly if you're into such things. (Personally, I make notes all OVER my catalogs - all throughout the season. But that might just be because my brain is old, and so is my rememberer, lol.)

But first, here's something I need to clarify:

When you first look at the lists in the online store (, you'll probably notice a WHOLE bunch of "bundles" listed. But then as you study things a little closer, you may notice that some of the individual items in those bundles are not included in the closeout! WHAT is going on here?? (See the examples highlighted in yellow, above, for an example.) Well, it is typical for "bundles" to go away at the close of the catalog in which they originally appeared. It doesn't necessarily mean that the individual products included in the bundle will be retiring, but just that the "special bundle pricing" is retiring. So the bundle may get listed as retiring, when it's entirely possible the individual products are not. So before you panic, take a deep breath and keep reading.

Strategy tip #1: If a bundle you've had your eye on is retiring, and the bundle is still available for purchase, certainly now would be an excellent time to claim it while there's a bit of a discount because of the "bundled pricing". However, if one of the elements of that bundle has already sold out, ask yourself how important it is to you to actually have both elements. (For example, would you want the stamp set without the dies? Or vice-versa? Think about that carefully before you purchase just the remaining element of the bundle.) I've seen again and again the situation where someone has gone ahead and purchased the one item available, expecting to pick up the other piece (usually the dies set) on the secondary market - but then can't find it *anywhere*! (And then they call me in desperation, hoping I can locate it for them - but I don't have magical powers either, darn it.) But the reason that 2nd item isn't available anywhere is because the relatively few people who did get it aren't yet ready to let it go - because either they're still using it, and/or they probably KNOW that demand is high for the sold-out element, and will price it accordingly when they ARE ready to sell - and when they figure there are enough people searching for it that it will command a high price. So it may not be a really good strategy to purchase one element of the set assuming you'll be able to pick up the other element easily. On the other hand, if you don't really care about the element you won't get, then by all means, go ahead and purchase the available piece! You may still get a lot of use from it anyway!

And in the hopes of calming some of your potential fears (and your wallet's moaning), I have listed below the items that will be carrying over at least until the spring, and perhaps may even appear IN the 2019- 2020 Annual Catalog. So even though these items may go on temporary backorder from time to time, they'll still be available eventually for some months to come:

Holiday Catalog Products that are Carrying Over 

Sprig Punch

So that leads us to Strategy Tip #2: Don't feel compelled to grab the above items immediately - unless you plan to use them in the near future, of course. Instead,  apply today's stampin' dollars towards something that's likely to disappear soon. (Exception to this rule: If you don't yet have the $10 "Take Your Pick" tool, I recommend getting it now - so you can USE it now! It'll make some of the fine detail-y work a *whole* lot easier!)

December card classes: Bring-a-Friend Day!

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I'm excited to share that this month not only will our card classes be held on a different day of the month (because our normal "4th Tuesday" falls on Christmas Day and I just kinda suspected that might mess with our attendance numbers), but we're also introducing "Bring-a-Friend Day", and offering FOUR different format options!

So if you're anywhere within driving distance of Coeur d'Alene, ID, take a look at these various format options, choose which one will best fit you (and your friend), and come join us on December 11th for our final stampin' push before Christmas! As usual, you've got 2 sessions to choose from - morning or afternoon. 

And here are the 4 class formats to choose from this month:

  1. Make up to 20 Christmas cards with coordinating envelopes from the lovely Stampin' Up! Christmas project kit "Timeless Tidings". (Examples featured above.) Purchase the kit yourself at (preferably by no later than Dec. 4th), use my stamps, inks and other supplies (but you provide your own SNAIL adhesive, which you can purchase at class), and pay only one $5 class fee - which will cover BOTH you and your friend! You and your friend can each purchase your own individual kits (so you can each make 20 cards) -  or you can split one kit between you. Your choice. But either way, be sure to order your kit(s) SOON - kinda like today or tomorrow - so they can (hopefully) arrive before next Tuesday's class!
  2. Choose and make a handful of cards (with envelopes) from my "Card Buffet". In addition to several individual designs from the Timeless Tidings project kit, I'll also have several other fairly simple Christmas card designs to choose from. All supplies included except SNAIL adhesive. Pay by the individual card ($1.75 each, which is less than half the usual per-card class price.) Note: Depending on how many card kits are available and how many people show up, there might be a limit to how many cards each person can make.
  3. Place an order of $40 or more in product (at my online store), apply the current host code (found at, and make your first 6 cards for free. (Hey, does this one sound familiar? It IS! It's one of the standard pricing choices at my monthly card classes.)
  4. Got a craft project deadline coming up? Bring your own Stampin' Up!-based project to work on (and your own supplies), pull up a chair and a section of table and hang out with us! Finish up your Christmas Cards, work on gifts & stocking stuffers, or whatever! As long as your project is based on Stampin' Up! products, that's cool. $5 donation to the church for your seat (and heat). 

So grab a friend and come join the fun! The projects will be easy, and the pricing will be, too. But better hurry and claim your seats while there's still best selection of session times and format. 

December 2018 Wallpaper/Calendar is ready to download!

2018 - 12 - December  - tinified
Yep! It's really here. December. And personally, I'm feeling pretty excited! Truth is, if you've been following me for a while you'll probably understand why it's been four years since I've had space in my life to participate in the festivities of the season. But although I'm still approaching this year's decorating season with a generous buffer of caution, I am at least thinking about putting up a tree this year, and even stringing some outside lights! It's been a long time since I've been able to even *contemplate* that kind of stuff, but I admit to feeling a bit hopeful that this - Just. Might. Be. The Year!
Oh! And would you be surprised to learn that the colors in this month's image are the colors I decorate with? I adore my fantasy sugarplum theme - on a white tree. Pure happiness! :-)

My monthly desktop wallpaper background not only offers you a pretty seasonal picture to brighten your computer monitor, but also includes a handy monthly calendar and serves as a cheat sheet reference to websites you may want to know about and visit.  And it's even FREE to download and install, so please don't hesitate to share this page with your friends and family.
You'll probably want to consult your own computer operating system's installation instructions, but installing the background image on my Windows 10 system takes just 3 quick steps - and less than a minute. It's super-duper easy-peasy!
  1. I download and save the image to my computer - from the link just above that starts with "Click HERE". (NOT from the picture that appears at the top of this post!)  TIP:  To "download" the full-resolution image once it's open (from Google Drive where it's stored), I click on the downward-pointing arrow. THAT is what actually begins the download process to my computer.
  2. Once the file has been downloaded, named and saved to my computer's hard drive, I open it. 
  3. Then I right-click on the image and select "Set as" > "Set as Background"..... then right-click again and select "Set as" > "Set as Lock screen". And poof! That's all there is to it! (For convenience, I install this on both my desktop system as well as my laptop.)
And in case you may have an operating system OTHER than Windows 10, these tips may help with installation:
Finally, please keep in mind that the format of my monthly picture is designed for most modern-day 16:9 monitors (a common format for monitors and HD TV's since about 2009), oriented in landscape format. (1920 x 1080 pixels.) If you're working with an older monitor (one that is more square-ish in format), or your monitor is set up in portrait format, the picture will probably not work for you. Sorry 'bout that.

Snowflake Showcase - Last call

November's exclusive "Snowflake Showcase" has certainly been an amazing collection, hasn't it? So many beautiful snowflakes and versatile images - in both stamp sets and dies; I'm super-sad to see it coming to an end. But yep, today's its last day of availability; the curtain falls in just a few more hours.

In the meantime however, I thought I'd share some of the thank you cards I've been sending out recently. Featuring... well, what else, lol?!? Not only some of my favorite winter-time images, but some of my very favorite winter colors, too!


Besides the "Snow is Glistening"  and "Kindness & Compassion" stamp sets, these cards feature "Layering Ovals" dies; Highland Heather, Gorgeous Grape and Coastal Cabana inks; Frost White Shimmer Paint; Clear Rhinestone Jewels; and Highland Heather, Gorgeous Grape, and Whisper White cardstocks (WW in both regular and thick). And of course, the Stamparatus helped place that "Thank you" image exactly where I wanted it... nice and bright!


There are still a few remaining hours to claim all or part of this collection for yourself. If you're still debating, let me help. The answer is "Yes!" - because snowflakes of this classic art style will never look dated, they can be used solo or in conjunction with other images on almost any winter project, and look fabulous in pretty much any color. (Well, maybe not so much Real Red or Cajun Craze, come to think of it..... but YOU know what I mean, lol!) 

See what's still available from the Snowflake Showcase here!

Black Friday (and beyond) Bonus Bags

So what's better than an Online Extravaganza that offers a chance to get almost any item from the 2018 - 2019 Annual Catalog at a 10% discount?

Well, how does an extra Black Friday (and beyond) Bonus Bag on top of that sound? Here's how that's gonna work:


See these envelopes? I actually have 10 of 'em. And they're each packed with various types of retired products. Stamp sets, cardstock, DSP, embossing folders, accessories, some left-over sample cards, etc.  That kind of stuff. But you don't know *which* envelope has *what* in it. And you *won't* know, until YOURS arrives in your mailbox!

How do you GET one of these envelopes, you might wonder? Well, during Stampin' Up!'s Online Extravaganza (Friday, Nov. 23 - Tues. Nov. 28), you'll be able to choose one of these envelopes for each $50 in product you order (through me, of course). This offer will continue throughout the Online Extravaganza dates until all 10 envelopes have been chosen, OR until Online Extravaganza ends, whichever occurs first.  Envelopes will be chosen in a first-come, first-served manner. Meaning that as qualifying $50+ orders come in, I will email you and ask you which numbered envelope(s) you'd like. The sooner you get back to me with the answer, the more likely you are to get the envelope(s) you requested. 

If all goes ok with my schedule, I expect to get the first round of these into the mail on Monday, with the final batch probably going out next Thursday. 

I'm super-excited to do this, and I hope you'll be just as excited to see what's in your "Black Friday (and beyond) Bonus Bag", too! 

But wait! Just in case you're wondering why they're called "Bonus Bags" when they're clearly NOT bags, but rather envelopes? Well, initially I wanted to actually offer literal "grab bags", and I thought "Black Friday (and beyond) Bonus Bags" would roll right off the tongue. But then I realized that the cost and hassle of packing and mailing ten 3D "bags" like that would be ridiculous. And basically prohibitive. So the "bags" are now envelopes. Or the envelopes are pretending to be bags.


Tips to maximize Online Extravaganza

And while I'm on the subject of Online Extravaganza again, have you seen the 3 tips I've published on my Facebook page recently to help you maximize this upcoming Online Extravaganza? Here are the 3 tips I've shared there:

  1. Save on the minimum s/h fee by combining your order with 1 or more local friends. Instead of each of you paying the full minimum (potentially 3 times over the course of the sale days), you can split that minimum fee among 2 or more people by submitting one order.
  2. Plan what you will order WHEN. Use the 3 date-specific categories found here ( to plan which dates you'll order WHAT.
  3. Will you (plus any local friend(s) that you might be combining orders with) be ordering a total of $150 or more of product during Online Extravaganza days? If so (or even if you THINK you might), ask me for your own custom Host Code BEFORE you place your very first order. Then, each time you submit an order during the first 4 days of the Extravaganza you'll just input that custom Host Code before you check out, and the ordering system will automatically connect the product amounts of all your orders together.  (COOL, huh?!?) Then when you're ready to submit your order for items from the 3rd category (Nov. 27-28), contact me directly and let *me* submit that final order for you, bringing your total product to at least $150, AND getting you Stampin' Rewards (aka free product) of at least $15 on TOP of it all! Lookie there! "Host" credit without even "hosting" anything!

But remember to get your $50 (or $100, or $150, whatever) orders in early during the Online Extravaganza - because not only are quantities of discounted items limited, but I've also ONLY got 10 surprise Bonus Bags (er, "envelopes") to send out! 

Now let the fun begin! Stock up on some of the basics and other items on your wish list + save 10% + grab a "grab bag disguised as an envelope"! 

2018 Online Extravaganza REVEALED!

Online extravaganza personalizedI'm SO excited to finally be able to share the details of Stampin' Up!'s 2018 Online Extravaganza! 

Can you believe that over the course of 6 upcoming days (Nov. 23 - 28) almost everything in the Annual Catalog will take its turn at being offered at 10% off?!? How fun is THAT?!?

Ok, now yes, there IS a catch. Note the words in the previous sentence: "almost everything". And of course, I know that you'll naturally want to know what's excluded, right? So here ya go... the list that shows what will NOT be included in this sale. And yes, at first it does look like a long list, but when you consider how many individual items there actually are in the catalog, it's still a pretty modest percentage. Looks to me like it's primarily the pricier items (Big Shot & Stamparatus, for instance), items that generally move quickly and regularly anyway, a few items that might be in questionable supply already, host sets, and bundles.

But everything else? YEP! INCLUDED! 

So what should be your strategy here?

Well, I highly recommend that you begin by downloading this PDF flyer and studying it thoroughly. Note that each part of this sale will feature 2 categories of products - for 2 days. Timing will run from midnight to 11:50 pm (MOUNTAIN TIME) every 2 days, and best pickin's will most certainly be early in each 2-day period. That's because there is already a "safety limit" (my words) of items available at this 10%-off pricing, and when that limit has been reached, that will be *it* for the discount on that product. (Naturally, Stampin' Up! isn't too keen on potentially wiping out our entire inventory of products; you probably already *know* how we have enough challenge keeping supplies of hot stuff in stock anyway, lol!) But if the item shows in my Online Store at discount, then that means you're in luck!

So my recommendation? Grab your catalog and your wish list, and review what's still on your list. Then compare that to the "excluded" list, and to the categories below - to plan out your orders. And remember to shop EARLY in each time-frame!

November 23 - 24

  • Bags
  • Brads & Buttons
  • Cards & Envelopes
  • Cardstock
  • Designer Series Paper
  • Embossing material
  • Glitter
  • Ribbons
  • Twine
  • Specialty Paper
  • Tags
  • Washi Tape

November 25 - 26

  • Stamp sets
  • Project kits
  • Card kits
  • Kit refills
  • Memories & More
  • Punch box kits

November 27 - 28

  • Adhesives
  • Applicators
  • Cleaners
  • Cutting tools
  • Embossing folders
  • Framelits & Thinlits
  • Ink pads
  • Ink refills
  • Markers
  • Punches
  • Scoring tools
  • Stamp blocks & cases

Happy shopping!

PS: If you'd please apply my current host code as you check out [the current code is always available at the link up at the top of this or any page on my website ], I'd be most appreciative! Thanks so much! :-)

Update on Holiday Catalog product inventories

It's always a bit gut-wrenching to learn that inventories of products in a catalog are running low... and when it's one of our seasonal catalogs, it's even tougher. But we have learned that inventories of a number of items in the Holiday Catalog have already sold out, and others are nearing depletion. Please take a look at the following 3 categories and determine whether any of these items are still on your wish list... and if so, you might want to consider putting in an order for them sooner, rather than later. 


Click here for items already sold out and noted in a prior post 


Additional items recently sold out

No longer available 

Items in danger of running out shortly, and will NOT be carrying over to a future catalog

(Grab 'em quick!)


Current supplies are low (or even possibly depleted), but product WILL carry over to a future catalog

(Consider getting later unless you need it this season)


I always hate to be the bearer of news such as this, but once again this circumstance emphasizes the popularity of Stampin' Up!® products, and underscores the importance of ordering early in the season for both our Holiday and Occasions Catalogs!

If there's ANYTHING left on your wishlist from the 2018 Holiday Catalog, I encourage you to consider ordering it now. And in the event your favorite seasonal products are already sold out, please remember there are still lots of winter holiday items in the 2018 - 2019 Annual Catalog as well. Find 'em on pages 92 - 103, and in the Holidays section of my online store.

And don't forget about the beautiful Snowflake Showcase products available ONLY during November - and only while supplies last! (As of the time I'm writing this, the only item from that collection sold out so far is the package of White Velvet paper.)

Can sales really be *too* strong?

Is there such a thing as sales being too strong?

Yep! With the high popularity and demand for Stampin' Up! products, they sure can be! And unfortunately that often results in backorders, and in some cases even the early discontinuance of an item... especially if it's seasonal in theme and won't be held over into the annual catalog. So you'll find that this most often affects products exclusive to either the Holiday or Occasions (Spring) catalogs... when they sell out ahead of forecast, yet won't be able to be restocked before the catalog expires. 

And so, we've already got our first items discontinued from the 2018 Holiday Catalog. Now, I understand that if you already have any of these 3 items on backorder, Stampin' Up! will work to fulfill your order eventually. But if you haven't already ordered these items, their ordering codes have now been turned off.

If you'd like to update your catalog to reflect this, you'll find these products on pages 13, 19 and 29, respectively. 

Now discontinued from the 2018 Holiday Catalog: 

Please remember that this is why I encourage everyone to order your most favorite items early in the season as a new catalog goes live.

And here's a tip to remember: As a general rule, stamp sets will remain available longer than dies and other accessories might, because Stampin' Up! manufactures stamp sets in-house. So although a stamp set might remain on backorder status for a while, it can usually (ultimately) be manufactured to demand. I hope this tidbit of background knowledge will help you plan your purchases to avoid the disappointment of not being able to get something you've got your heart set on! ;-)