Sale-a-Bration (SAB) - Perk #3 - Extra goodies in your demonstrator starter kit!

Custom Phone Case

Welcome to the 3rd and final installment in my series of 3, sharing the perks of Stampin' Up!'s "Sale-a-Bration 2019"! If you've missed either of the 2 previous posts, you can find them here: Sale-a-Bration Perk #1 and Perk #2.

But before I get started, a quick word about my custom phone case (above). The moment I saw this particular b&w "ready to color" paper in the Botanical Butterfly DSP package (a free-option item for this year's Sale-a-Bration, btw), I knew this would make a lovely insert for my clear phone case. It did take a while to finish, because my final vision required ordering a couple more sets of Stampin' Blends that I had yet to acquire, lol, but I'm tickled with the final results! Even prettier than what actually shows in the pictures, is the shimmer from the Wink of Stella Glitter Brush that I applied to the butterfly wings and some of the flowers. Sure wish I could figure out how to get that glimmer to show up in pictures!

So today I think we oughtta shine the spotlight on what might be the very best Sale-a-Bration perk of all - joining Stampin' Up during SAB! You may already know that our demonstrator starter kit is usually priced at $99 (free shipping included), and that you get to design your own kit by custom-selecting its contents from most any active catalog product - up to a maximum of $125 in value. So given that your cost is only $99 plus tax, that's basically a 20% discount on the entire product package - even before taking into consideration the free shipping! But THEN here's the very best part: going forward as a demonstrator, you'll automatically get a discount (of at least 20%) on all future product orders, as long as you decide to keep your demonstratorship active. 

But during this year's Sale-a-Bration, Stampin' is sweetening your joining offer even more, by offering a choice of TWO custom starter kit options, each of which includes an additional $50 in product choice value above the $125 you usually get!  So check these out and see which one will work the best for you:             

  1. Select the usual $99* kit, but instead of getting to choose $125 in product, you'll get to select $175 in product!  OR
  2. Pay just $30 more ($129*), and get the same $175-worth of Stampin' Up! products (remember YOU choose what YOU want from any active catalog), PLUS the amazing limited-edition Craft & Carry Tote shown on pages 4 & 5 of the Sale-a-Bration brochure! This tote is not available for purchase any other way; it's only available for new demonstrators joining during the 2019 SAB season, while supplies last! 

*Note that while Stampin' Up! picks up the shipping cost of your starter kit products, depending on where you live you may still pay sales tax on your kit.

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Now, you may recall I have mentioned before that although there are the 3 main perks offered during SAB, there is actually a 4th perk - if you wish to take advantage of it. And it's this: If you are already a demonstrator or become a demonstrator early in the SAB season, you'll have plenty of opportunity to participate in the demonstrator SAB incentives which run through the end of March. No need to detail them here, but suffice it to say it has something to do with even MORE free products!  Web Button


Sale-a-Bration (SAB) - Perk #2 - Hosts & "I Deserve It" orders get extra Stampin' Rewards!

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Welcome to the 2nd in a series of 3 posts detailing the perks of Stampin' Up!'s "Sale-a-Bration 2019"! (Yes, that's another example showcasing the Botanical Butterfly Designer Series Papers, which are available as a freebie choice with an order of $50, along with the super-popular Butterfly Duet Punch).

In my last post I discussed the Sale-a-Bration perk that everyone seems to be most familiar with: getting to choose a free product with each $50 you order. But the perk we'll refer to in THIS post is pretty doggone sweet, too! 

So, you probably know (or at least I HOPE you know) that Stampin' Up! offers a rewards program for those who gather a few friends together and host a group stampin' event. (Call it a party, call it a class or call it something else, Stampin' Rewards will be part of it if there are sufficient qualifying sales.) Typically, when combined orders from such an event reach $150 in product sales, those rewards (called "Stampin' Rewards") kick in for the host. At $150 in total product sales, the host can select most any product of her choice equal to 10% of the sales (which would be exactly $15, if the total product sales were $150, for instance). And as the total product sales increase, the percentage levels of Stampin' Rewards increase too, until they ultimately reach 16% of the total product sales. In addition, when sales cross the $450 line, the host can also get any one item of her choice for half-price! (Big Shot, Color Family of ink pads, or Stamparatus, anyone?) 

But Stampin' Rewards are enhanced during Sale-a-Bration, making it a perfect time to host an event - or else submit what some like to call an "I Deserve It" order (of $150 or more for one's own self.) "I Deserve It" orders are a great way to maximize your purchasing dollars, and the bigger your order, the more freebie goodies you can choose!

So not only is it a smart plan to group your personal orders into batches that qualify for Stampin' Rewards (starting at $150 in product sales), but it's particularly clever to do so during Sale-a-Bration! That's because in addition to your usual Stampin' Rewards (see the Party Sales chart in any of our catalogs - sometimes near the back; sometimes near the front), you may also qualify for ADDITIONAL Stampin' Rewards! Which brings us to...

SALE-A-BRATION PERK #2:

Sale-a-Bration Perk #2 offers an enhancement to the usual Stampin' Rewards plan! During Sale-a-Bration, whenever your total product order reaches $250, Stampin' Up! throws in an additional $25-worth of credit you can apply towards your freebie product as a "host" - over and above what a $250 sales volume would ordinarily qualify for! So here's an example of how that would work in real life:

Let's say your "party" total (whether an "I Deserve It" solo order, or a group of orders from an actual hosted event) reaches $250 in product sales. Under the usual, year-round plan, your Stampin' Rewards would be figured at 10% of $250, which would equal $25 credit towards additional product of your choice. But during Sale-a-Bration, Stampin' Up! will kick in that additional $25 in Stampin' Rewards credit for any "party" (which can also be a solo order, remember) of $250 or more! So that means if you reach the $250 level exactly, you'd get the usual $25 in Stampin' Rewards credit, PLUS the additional $25, for a total credit of $50 you can apply towards any current additional product!

Oh, but wait!!! If your $250 order was actually all YOUR order, then each $50 segment would *also* qualify for one of the free SAB items in the SAB 2019 brochure! 

Yes indeedy, we DO love to let you double-dip in the Stampin' Up! perks whenever possible! :-)

So should you find yourself staring at a particularly long wish-list at this time of year, give that clever concept a bit of thought. Qualifying for Stampin' Rewards with your order is nothing to sneeze at!

And stay tuned for the final installment of this 3-part series - explaining how to get what might be the absolute BEST deal of ALL with Stampin' Up! during Sale-a-Bration! We'll call that PERK #3....... and I'll show you some extra totally-legit double-dipping ideas tossed in for added fun!


Sale-a-Bration (SAB) - Perk #1 - Customers get FREE product!

 

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Can you name all 3 (4, actually) ways that a papercrafter can benefit from the perks of Stampin' Up!®'s annual Sale-a-Bration (SAB) season?

If you've been around the Stampin' Up! community for very long, I'll bet you can name at least ONE of the perks. But be sure to follow this week's series of 3 posts, so you don't accidentally miss out on the *other* 2 (3, actually) available perks, too!

Let's begin by reviewing a bit of SAB history (that is, as far as my memory recalls...), and then we'll touch on what (I think) is probably the most well-known feature of Sale-a-Bration. 

I wish I could tell you exactly when this fun tradition began in Stampin' Up!, but I don't exactly know. What I DO know is that "Sell-a-Bration" was already going on back 23 years ago (in January of 1996), when I first became acquainted with the company. But although it was an exciting time of year way back then, the format wasn't even close to the generous SAB season we are familiar with nowadays. The way I remember it as a brand-new customer, is (I think) we could choose a stamp from a unique collection (note: a small, single wood-mount stamp) - for a dollar. I remember being really excited about getting that additional bonus with my order, and I chose a teddy bear. (I even got to take that stamp home with me that night!) And I know I've come across that stamp from time to time throughout the years, so it MIGHT still be in my collection of stamps that are deeply buried in storage somewhere.

Through the years, the name "Sell"-a-Bration morphed into "Sale"-a-Bration, and the perks evolved, too. In general, they've become more generous over time (especially compared to that year when you could buy a small stamp for only $1!), but it's always been the biggest season of the Stampin' Up! year, and a whole lotta fun!

SALE-A-BRATION PERK #1:

So for *my* stampin' peeps over the years, certainly the most popular attraction has been getting their choice of free product (usually) created for, and available exclusively during, that season.  For a long, long time now, there has been the opportunity to choose one such special item with each $50 product order placed. And for the past few years, there have also been some bigger choices included, too - for product orders reaching $100 or more. (Examples this year include the "Tea Time Framelits Dies", which coordinate with the gorgeous stamp set "Tea Together", shown on page 49 of the Occasions Catalog. And don't overlook the Distinktive stamp set called "Lasting Lily", if you've had some experience with the line of Distinktive stamps. Btw, in case you might be admiring the "Tea Time Framelits Dies", but also have other  SAB freebie items on your wishlist, we've been notified that that set of dies will carry over beyond the Sale-a-Bration season - but of course it'll have a price tag attached to it once it does, lol.)

Anyway, certainly my stampin' friends have found Sale-a-Bration to be a great time to make some of their major investments in tools or pricer products, OR to replenish basic supplies that may have been starting to run a little thin during the past year.

But here's yet another tip you'll want to take into consideration when planning your Sale-a-Bration order(s):

Sale-a-Bration items are available on a "while supplies last" basis. (Yeah, yeah, yeah, you've heard me preach this before, haven't you?) But it's true, and in recent years, the deeper we get into the SAB season (which ends on March 31, btw), the smaller the inventory of choices has become. So I doubt that the full inventory of choices will be available to those who wait until later in the season to submit orders. So my advice will always be to place your orders early in the season, especially until you've earned all your most favorite freebie choices. 

Whew! But all that said, did you also notice this statement that appears on the inside cover of the Sale-a-Bration brochure? "Watch for another set of exclusive FREE items coming February 15!"

So take another look through your Annual and Occasions catalogs, along with the SAB brochure, and see what's fresh and new that you'd love to work with this Spring!


Art by You - Joan M - Bethlehem Edgelits

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Yes, we're technically past the Christmas season, but I've had this project waiting in the wings to eventually photograph and share with you, and I hope the wait will prove worth it! This stunning 3D design was a gift from Joan M, one of my dear stampin' friends who attends my monthly classes. Back in October, Joan participated in our annual World Card Making Day 48-hour Virtual Retreat, and I *think* that's when the origins of this design were born. I never dreamed back then that I'd be the lucky recipient of one of these masterpieces 2 months later!

Joan chose Night of Navy cardstock for her background color, and foreground images all come from the die set "Bethlehem Edgelits" (which is still available on page 215 of the Annual Catalog, and coordinates with the stamp set "Night in Bethlehem", page 99). The images on the left panel are cut from gold foil sheets, while the "town of Bethlehem" images feature the sparkle of Shimmery White cardstock.

Vellum panels fill the 2 windows in the background, but I'm not sure which dies Joan used to cut those windows. Perhaps something that's been retired? (However, if you happened to spring for the limited-edition set of dies last fall called "Stitched Seasons Framelits Dies", the smallest of those 3 window dies would work fine as they're very, very similar.)

Now, here's the really fun kicker: there's a battery-operated candle that sits behind those vellum panels and although you can hardly make it out from the picture, the light from the candle flickers through that vellum! And the whole effect is just breath-taking!

Thank you SO much for thinking of me with this amazing treasure, Joan!


Spring Catalog, Sale-a-Bration, and Cling Stamps

Butterfly birthday
Well, Happy New Year! And along with that, Happy New (Occasions/Spring) Catalog, and Sale-a-Bration 2019!

I'll be offering more about the Occasions/Spring Catalog and Stampin' Up!'s long-standing Sale-a-Bration tradition in the coming days, but today I wanted to share a bit about Stampin' Up!'s new "Cling" stamps, which you may have already noticed in this brand-new catalog.

Yes, we can once again put labels on our temporary-mount red rubber stamps AND expect them to stay in place on the acrylic blocks or Stamparatus! Something I know many of you have been awaiting for a long, long time! 

So here's the basic low-down on some of the changes you'll notice in the Occasions/Spring Catalog...

Going forward, *new* stamp designs in red rubber will be known as "Cling" stamps, and the terms "Clear Mount" and "Clear" will be retired (I'm speaking of *new* designs, that is).  As you look through the new Occasions catalog you'll notice that stamp designs will generally be available in either the new "Cling" style or "Photopolymer", as we've had for several years now. And with only a few exceptions, Stampin' Up! will be phasing out wood-mount sets... although ongoing sets will continue to be available in the current Annual Catalog until it is replaced this June. 

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But fear not, those of you classic stampers who favor traditional red rubber images! The red rubber and foam elements aren't going away; only the wood blocks and the concept of "permanent mount" are being retired. Why? Because only a small minority of modern-day stampers are opting to order wood-mounted stamp sets these days - due to the increasing cost of raw materials and the fact that they take more room to store.  So these new "Cling" stamps will feature exactly the same red rubber (for the crisp detail you have come to expect and love), but the foam layer appears to me to be a little "whiter", and - most of all - ready to accept the corresponding label, which will actually CLING to your acrylic block (or Stamparatus) until you're ready to remove it! So all the best features of red rubber are being retained, PLUS we'll be able once again to attach the image labels to our stamps! (Hey,  now it hasn't really been all THAT bad, has it; the "no-labels" practice of recent years just taught us all how to read backwards when selecting a stamp without its image label attached, lol. Good exercise for our aging brains, right?!?)

So here are some things you'll want to know about the care and feeding of your new cling stamps:

  1. The case will look very familiar, with the front showing each image, as usual.
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  3. The inside left will show (in diagram form) how to assemble your new stamps. (Updated diagrams, but if you've used Stampin' Up! stamps in the past, there's really not too much new about assembling them.)
  4. Be sure you understand how to remove these assembled cling stamps from their case, acrylic block, Stamparatus, etc. Because the labels are SO sticky, it is highly recommended that when it's time to remove the stamp, you carefully get something underneath a corner (such as your fingernail, mini-spatula end of the "Take Your Pick" tool, or perhaps you might want to slip a Post-It Note or piece of painters tape underneath a corner when mounting it to the block in the first place - so you can use that as a peeler-upper handle. Since I have fingernails I've not had any problems carefully and gently peeling the stamp up from its corner and ensuring that the label's coming off with it, but I suspect that could pose a challenge for those who may have shorter nails. So go ahead and think in advance about how you'll handle the "removal" step to avoid any "oops'es" with your stamp.  
  5. In the recent past many of us (myself included) have kept the outer section (scrap piece) of the die-cut rubber, and adhered it to the inside right half of the case as a frame for each stamp, so that we could tell at a glance which stamp(s) might be missing from the set. But it's no longer recommended that we do that because - IF YOU JUST CARELESSLY YANK ON A CLING STAMP TO REMOVE IT FROM EITHER ITS CASE OR AN ACRYLIC BLOCK (OR STAMPARATUS), IT'S ENTIRELY POSSIBLE THAT A LAYER OR TWO OF THE STAMP MAY RIP OFF IN YOUR HAND, WHILE LEAVING THE SUPER-STICKY "CLING" LABEL BEHIND! So don't be a "yanker"; remember to take an extra moment to peel up carefully from a corner!
  6. Ok, so if we're not going to use the scrap rubber-frame trick anymore, how WILL we keep track of which stamp(s) might be missing from the case before we put it away? Well, here's what I'm doing these days. When I open and assemble a new set of cling stamps, I remove the insert from the front cover and make a copy on my all-in-one printer. Then I replace the original in the front of the case, and trim the copy and insert it back into the right-hand side of the case, so it's visible from inside the case. (It will look just like the front of the case.) And then I attach my assembled stamps right on top of their corresponding images, and now I can tell at a glance which stamp might be missing! 20190103_134620
  7. Finally, to maintain maximum "cling", do keep your stamps (and their labels) clean of dust, pet fur, hair, etc. Rinse with water or Stampin' Mist, or use a mild detergent if necessary. But please, nothing harsh, including no Stazon Cleaner on the labels, if you want to preserve their cling-ability!

Now go pick your favorite designs from the Occasions Catalog, and order 'em up at: store.YourPaperDreams.com


January 2019 wallpaper/calendar is ready to download

2019 - 1 - January - tinified
 
Can you believe I've been creating these monthly desktop wallpaper/calendars for nearly 2-1/2 years now?!? As we enter another year I found it a little stunning today to realize just how many of these I've done!
 
This is my 3rd January image, but I've found that every year January's has always seemed difficult for me. Christmas, with all its warm and embracing colors, is now behind us, and while the days are just beginning to get a little longer, the sky is too often dark and brooding. It's very cold, and there is still a long, long ways until spring flowers make an appearance. Nevertheless, I always like to think that things ARE moving in that direction, and my heart urges me to acknowledge that. 
 
So this month I have chosen an image that recognizes it's still definitely "cold season", but the stream is active, rather than frozen solid. And the sun shining through the trees offers a glimpse and hope of brighter days to come. All of which makes me smile. 
 
I do have to share one note regarding the URL for the Occasions Catalog, however. Please note that the URL for the Occasions Catalog (PDF) listed on the image will not actually be active until sometime on January 3rd, because that's when the 2019 Occasions Catalog actually goes live. So while you're free to download and install the image now, please don't try to use that URL until (sometime on) the 3rd. ("Sometime" depends on when I get around to updating it, lol.)
 
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.

Art by you - Kathy A - Dashing Deer

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One of the many fun perks of being a Stampin' Up! demonstrator is receiving hand-stamped cards and projects from one's stampin' friends. While I've always had good "intentions" of sharing such stamp art here, I admit to having been less than successful in actually getting it done. So at least for this Christmas season, I'm going to redouble my efforts to share your art as it arrives in my happy mail!

This card was the first one I received this Christmas season. Kathy A. has been a long-time stampin' friend, and I admire her for getting handmade cards out every year, even on those years I send out either very few or none. (Which has unfortunately been several years in a row now.) This year, for her main element, Kathy has chosen the bundle (stamps + dies) "Dashing Deer". So the stamped and die-cut deer comes from that bundle, as do the sentiment and flowers. Colors are Cherry Cobbler, Basic Black & Very Vanilla. I particularly like how Kathy layered the 2 circles behind the deer; such a simple, but nice background effect!

And did you notice the fabulous 2-toned swirl effect on the deer? That magic comes from the stamp itself; it's how it's designed and cut! Look for an increasing number of stamps from Stampin' Up! that feature similar multi-toned effects as we go forward! I just love that magic effect; talk about making you feel like an artist!!! But lest you think you've missed out on getting this pretty set of stamps & dies for yourself, well, you're in luck. Because although the special bundle pricing will soon end, both the stamp set and dies set will be held over at least into the spring, and will continue to be available at my online store!

Thank you, Kathy, for thinking of me this season, and for your lovely card!


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 (store.YourPaperDreams.com), 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
$18.00

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!)