Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Create It Simply: Halloween

Well, so far today I have accomplished pretty much nothing more than working on reading and math with my 1st grader. I suppose that's one of the perks of being a stay-at-home mom with only one child left below the Jr. High level. I've been looking through the new promotions and projects and trying to decide what I want to work on next. 

I suppose the next holiday that we will see is Halloween. Our family chooses not to celebrate Halloween so I don't have any of the products from that section of the catalog or Halloween themed projects to share. I have to confess I have never created a Halloween project, even for publications or manufacturers. But for those of you who do, I will admit there are some cute products available....some so cute I might have to have and rework to use for other themes. 

For example, I love the Happy Haunting paper pack! They are double-sided and have some really fun geometric patterns, such as plaids, stars and polka dots, that would work for everyday projects! Many people don't like orange but I always find it fun and cheerful! The black would be great with black/white projects and a pop of color.

The Happy Haunting Designer Washi Tape is also a great choice for versatility beyond Halloween.

Oh! And of course, the Spider Web Doilies! I can totally see painting these white and adding some glitter for a GORGEOUS snowflake!

Now, for you hardcore Halloween fans there are just a few more options to enjoy. Here is a project kit that seems to be quite popular. It's the Witching Decor Project Kit. All the details are on the product page as well as a video about the project.

Here is the stamp set that goes with the project kit called Witches Night. It would also work well for cards, tags and place cards.

When it comes party and treat giving time there are a couple of other cute stamp sets you might like. 

The Sweet Hauntings Stamp set. (Also used on the projects above)

Or the very popular Howl-o-ween Treat set, shown below in a handy stamp/die bundle. When my daughter first saw this set she said the hat reminded her of Harry Potter.  The skulls reminded me of some of the popular clothing and rock type designs. So, this could also be one of those set to use beyond Halloween for things such as birthdays and parties. Notice the washi tape from above on the bag too!

So there you have it. A quick product round-up to help you Create It Simply-great for both those who do and don't celebrate Halloween.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Paper Pumpkin Kits: Support Breast Cancer Research and Enter Win a $50 Shopping Spree

Have you been wanting to join all the fun with the Paper Pumpkin monthly project kits from Stampin’ Up!? If so, there’s been no better time than now! To show our support for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we're going PINK, or at least our October boxes are! And because we know our subscribers want to share the love too, we will be making a donation on their behalf to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF). That’s right! Stampin' Up! will donate $1 for every active Paper Pumpkin subscriber. Plus, an additional $1 for every new subscriber.

Here's how you can help:
If you're new to Paper Pumpkin, click here to get started. Your first kit will arrive in a limited-edition pink box that you'll want to hold onto forever-and we'll donate $2 because you're new!
If you're already a subscriber we will donate $1 for you. Only those who receive the October shipment will be counted for the donation so make sure your subscription is up-to-date.

Remember, those who get the October kit will not only be donating to a good cause, but they will also get a one-time only, pretty pink Paper Pumpkin box! No one will want to miss it. Promise.

Not familiar with Paper Pumpkin? Every month a new, surprise project kit arrives at your doorstep--cards, journals, d├ęcor, and more! Kits include stamps, ink, paper, and accessories-everything but adhesive. They are also color-coordinated, measured, and cut so you are ready to create immediately. Just think of the anticipation of creating a fun project to pin, showoff, and share with your friends and family every month! If you've never tried Paper Pumpkin, now is a great time.


Anyone who signs up for Paper Pumpkin using me as their Stampin' Up! Demonstrator before September 29, 2015 will be entered into my Create It Simply online workshop promotion for a chance to win a $50 shopping spree in my online store. Click here to sign up and be entered into the promotion. 

Here are just a few of the past kits:

Additional Details: 

  • New subscribers are those who signed up between September 11 and October 10, 2015 and have not been a Paper Pumpkin subscriber at any time in the past. 
  • All funds will be donated in US dollars.
  • Mini spoiler alert! The October project inside the pink box is just as awesome as always, but we should probably let you know that it is not a pink project. That's all we're saying. ;)
  • Funds will be donated based on number of subscribers instead of boxes shipped. But, if you want more than one pink box, you can always increase your subscription quantity by logging into your account at before October 10.

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Saturday, September 12, 2015

Create It Simply: All Occasion Mass Production

If you read my post last Sunday, you know I mentioned how I am enjoying a more simple life through Stampin' Up! and also how when I chose my kit contents I was sure to pick things that worked well for many occasions. Today, I worked on a set of All-Occasion cards for a friend. I have to tell you, when you are in a hurry and need lots of cards this is the way to go! Pick a color line a few basic supplies and you're all set!! 

For my cards I went with my favorite Brights collection and stamped a whole sheet of flowers from the Flower Shop stamp set using Real Red, Pumpkin Pie and Daffodil Delight. I punched those out, created some Whisper White bases and then started creating.

One time saving tip that I found was when lining up the punch and stamped images. After spending way too much time trying to figure out how the stamped image aligns with the punch I found this. Each stamped image has one petal that has a little notch in it, basically 3 little bumps instead of two. If you align that notch (marked with an arrow on the stamped image) with the notch on the punch (marked with a black marker) you can punch quickly and easily every time! That alone makes this project WAY faster.

Here's a close up of each card. Basically, once you stamp and punch the flowers it's just a matter of adding some coordinating papers and embellishments in various layouts. The white bases with the bright colors give a clean and simple look with a great splash of color.

And there you have it! Created Simply!


Built for Free Using: My Stampin Blog

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Monday, September 07, 2015

Create It Simply: Themed Projects Without Themed Products

As I mentioned before, while not new at papercrafting, I am very new to Stampin' Up! Being a stay-at-home mom of 5 in a one income family has taught me that even though I have a wishlist of hundreds (thousands?) of dollars that just isn't practical, or possible. So, I try to make my crafting budget stretch as far as possible. 

When I signed up as a demo I sold a lot of my unused or gently used supplies to pay for my kit.  When you join Stampin' Up! it's $99 for the kit and you pick $125 in product of your choice. When I went to pick out my kit products I knew that I had to make my purchase count. My kit would have to include basics that I could get a lot of use from and that could be used for a variety of projects. When I started this adventure I vowed not to be my own best customer and not to spend more than I could make. I had a budget for supplies and was determined that once it was spent (that didn't take long!) that everything else I had to earn through promotions or profit. 

This weekend a "Labor Day" challenge was issued to our SU team members. To create a baby boy card for a new mom. (LABOR day..she what she did there. FUN team). Well, one of my biggest "budget shopping" tricks is that I seldom buy sets that are for a very specific theme, unless it is one I know I will be using for a LOT of projects such as birthday and thank you.

Knowing that I didn't have any stamps specifically for babies. I sat down at my desk to have a look at what I had on hand.

The first thing I checked was my Teeny Tiny Wishes set. This was one of the sets I picked with my kit and I was sure it probably had a baby greeting in there somewhere...yep! 

Next, I looked to see what I had to go with it. I couldn't use flowers or butterflies since it was a boy. Well, I could but ya know, I probably shouldn't. It's still summer so I didn't think leaves or snowflakes would work. Ah! There we go...birthday! 

This Endless Birthday Wishes was a free set I earned through my upline. I chose this set for a couple of reasons. First, it's birthday. Everyone has birthdays--as my dad says, it beats the alternative. But if you look it has a simple cake and a variety of words that would work on different projects. "Hello" for a simple all occasion card. "It's all about" could be masked and added with "party" to create "It's a Party" (keep reading for find out more on that). Things like girl, boy, awesome and enjoy would be great for Project Life. So, as you can see--themed but versatile.

I stamped the "hello baby" sentiment on a scrap of paper. Then I placed the clear stamp over it to check sizing. Yep! Perfect!!

Now, since the cake is clear and the "baby" is cling mount red rubber, and I'm not fortunate enough to own a MISTI or fancy stamp aligning tool, I began by stamping the sentiment first so I could get a well-aligned placement.

The only part of this sentiment I wanted was the word "baby". So, I simply used a quick technique to get just that part. This is the same technique that could be used to get "It's a" from "It's all about you". Place the stamp on the block and cover the unwanted part with tape. Any kind of tape works, just whatever is handy.

Ink the stamp with the desired color.

Peel off the tape and only the part that was left uncovered will remain inked.

Now it's ready to stamp!!

Next, stamp the cake image over the word "baby". Since it is a clear stamp you can easily see to align it perfectly.

Then to my next issue.  It seems that most baby cards are pastel blue/pink. Well, unless it's for my daughter then I get to use red and black and turquoise because she inherited my pastel avoidance gene. Seriously, I silently cringe at the thought of pastel colors. I buy Brights...LOTS of brights. SO..Back to that pesky budget thing. I don't own any pastel markers.  What I do own is a Soft Sky ink pad because ya, know...I kinda like snowflakes and people usually expect light blue or white. And I own a blender pen. 

When trying to figure out what I need I was told by my upline  "a blender pen is a must". Of course I'm over here like "hellooo? Clean and Simple no coloring girl here". But, being the new girl I took their word for it and ordered the stinkin'  awesome blender pen. Today I figured out why! Take that Soft Sky ink pad and wipe it on an acrylic block. Then swipe the blender pen through it. Voila! A Soft Sky marker ;)

Then take that and color the image, reloading color as needed. This was my practice image and you'll notice the top picked up some of the black ink. Don't do that. Just dot the color on so it fills in the area without blending the black.

I finished coloring the image. Then I sat there staring at the panel as my 6 year old rambled incessantly about the picture he was stamping and how the puppy was named Spot. I'm all about clean and simple but that just looked really plain. I could have cheated and pulled out my non-SU supplies. But since it was a SU team challenge I thought better of it. 

I stared at the small pile of supplies on my desk, wishing I had that unlimited budget my kids thing I have. And I had an idea. I pulled out my ruler. Yep, 2-inches at the widest point. PERFECT!

I trimmed my panel to 2-inches in width.

Then came this amazing tool. I *love* this punch and use it constantly. This is the Triple Banner punch. It not only creates banners but it makes them in 3 widths-1-inch, 1.5-inch and 2-inch. Yeah, 2-inches like that panel I just trimmed. ;) 

Now, I wanted a border around my banner. Soft Sky to match the cake. But, the punch only goes to 2-inches in width and I can't fussy cut to save my life. So, I trimmed the sides with my paper trimmer.

To finish the bottom, go pick the punched scrap back out of the trash or floor or wherever it landed. Place it just below the banner and trace.

Remove and cut along that line and there you have it. 

Of course the banner was too long for my card. So I placed it where I wanted and trimmed the top.

Finally, I wrapped it with some linen thread, attached it to the card base and added some pearls. I like the thread because it's a nice neutral color that goes with a variety of designs. Same with the pearls.

And there you have it! A baby card created without a baby themed stamp set!

Project Supplies:
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