Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Final Day for Sale-A-Bration Orders!

In addition to having my ancient furnace replaced today, I'm busy putting together my final Sale-A-Bration order. Like I've said before, I save my big replenishing orders for this time of year. For today's post, I thought I'd show you the various things I've made using my Sale-A-Bration freebies. In addition to the items found in the Sale-A-Bration Mini, there is a whole page dedicated to "Big Catalog" items that are free with $50 merchandise purchase, as well. I've had a number of those items on my wish list, so I'm grateful for this opportunity.

The electrician needs to cut power for a few minutes, so I'm going to end this now. Hope you have a lovely day and please let me know if I can answer any questions for you! Thanks for stoppin' by!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Happy Dance! 365 Cards Top Trio Winner!

Hooray! What a way to start a week! The card I made for the 365 Cards "Terrific Ten" Challenge won me a place in the Top Trio!

The trick this time was to create a card in which ten different pieces of patterned papers were used. Here's my take, using the Welcome Home Designer Series Paper (available through tomorrow as a Sale-A-Bration freebie).
I stamped images of the trees, houses and roofs from one of the Sale-A-Bration freebie sets on the backside of the Designer Series Paper I wanted to use (and then cut them out).

I also used my Scallop Trim Border Punch (another SAB freebie) on the top piece with the grosgrain ribbon.

Speaking of the grosgrain ribbon, refer to my step-to-step video tutorial about tying a simple grosgrain knot!

Stampin' Up! Supplies:

Stamps: Warm Words, Good Neighbors (Sale-A-Bration freebie stamp set)

Papers: Melon Mambo, Crushed Curry, Whisper White and Kraft card stocks, Welcome Neighbor Designer Series Paper

Inks: Old Olive Classic

Accessories: Scallop Trim Border Punch, Paper Snips, Scallop Edge Border, Word Window, and Modern Label Punch, Melon Mambo Grosgrain Ribbon, Stampin' Dimensionals

Thank you so much for your visit! Please be sure to visit the gals at The challenges are always fantastic and the people who contribute are very inspiring!

Please remember that Sale-A-Bration ends tomorrow! We're on Spring Break around here, but I'll be posting another technique video before long...

Sunday, March 28, 2010

{Sunday: Sketchy!} Easter Tulips

Hello and Happy Easter! Here's the sketch we were to follow at 365 Cards for the Super Sunday Sketch Challenge:
And here's my take on the challenge:
Have you seen my tutorial video about tying a simple knot? I used that technique here in the ribbon embellishment of this card...
A little sueded paper and watercoloring add to the softness of this card:

Stampin' Up! Supplies:

Stamps: A Flower for All Seasons, Teeny Tiny Wishes

Papers: Melon Mambo, Barely Banana, Certainly Celery and Whisper White card stocks

Inks: Basic Brown Classic

Accessories: Melon Mambo grosgrain ribbon, Whisper White and Pretty in Pink 1/4-inch grosgrain ribbons, Whisper White Designer Hardware, Watercolor Pencils, Blender Pens, Stampin' Dimensionals, Mini Glue Dots

Hope your week is a good one! We're on Spring Break around here, so we'll be having PJ Days and lots of scrapping and Easter fun... Thanks for your visit! Please drop me a line and let me know you were here!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

{Tuesday: Technique Video (Tying a Simple Knot!)}

Happy Dance! Hurrah! I figured it out! :) Here's the video...

Thanks for viewing! I shot this video a ton of times (trying to get the timing, sound, etc, right) and I forgot to say in this "take" that very little of this knot-tying fabulousness is my own original creation. There are lots of good resources out there that helped me hone my technique.

Hope your week is off to a great start!

{Tuesday: Technique Video (New Camera!)}

Hey, there! I've shot a new video (a tutorial on ribbon-tying), but the camera is giving me fits when it comes to uploading my video. As I type this, I'm downloading software updates and new drivers, so hopefully (today?!), I'll have something to show you!

In the meantime, I'll show you the card I'll be discussing:
Stampin' Up! Supplies:
Stamps: Short and Sweet
Papers: Sweet Pea Designer Series Paper, Taken with Teal, Chocolate Chip
Inks: Chocolate Chip and Rose Red Classics
Accessories: Chocolate Chip Wide Grosgrain Ribbon, Sweet Pea Stitched Felt, Word Slot and Modern Label Punches, Stampin' Dimensionals, Mini Glue Dots

Saturday, March 20, 2010

{Challenge! Ad Inspiration}: Easter Basket

Happy spring!

Over at 365 Cards, we were asked to create a card inspired by this ad:Here's my card: I sueded a piece of Bliss Blue card stock (did you catch my video this week about Distressing techniques?) and then tore strips of Creamy Caramel to make the basket. I scored along another strip of Creamy Caramel for the handle.

For the eggs, I stamped Eastern Blooms flowers in and then used my Large Oval punch to make the eggs.

The Modern Label punch and Teeny Tiny Wishes stamp set give me my sentiment...
Another video is on its way... bow-tying!

Stampin' Up! Supplies:

Stamps: Eastern blooms, Teeny Tiny Wishes

Papers: Whisper White, Bliss Blue, Old Olive and Creamy Caramel card stocks

Inks: Brilliant Blue, Bliss Blue and Old Olive Classics

Accessories: Large Oval and Modern Label punches, Paper Cutter with Scoring Blade, Whisper White Narrow Grosgrain ribbon, 1/16-inch Punch, Linen Thread

Have a great weekend! Thanks for your visit!

{My Digital Studio} Another New Look!

Here's another quick and easy change to Studio Sara! I used Bliss Blue as my background color, and the Holiday Blitz, Garden Whimsy, and Torn Edges stamp sets.

Check out my March 1 post ("Top o' the Mornin' to Ya!") about specifics with making banners in MDS. The beauty is that I get to switch out elements quickly and easily (since I've built this initial banner). The same is true for the buttons. My email button didn't turn out exactly as I'd like it, but I'll fiddle with it later today.

Don't forget to place your Sale-A-Bration orders! We're inside of the final two weeks!

Happy Saturday! Thanks for your visit!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Top o' the Mornin' to Ya; and the Rest o' the Day to Yourself!

Happy St. Patrick's Day! I hope this post finds you well and pinch-free! The lephrechaun found our house last night and left gold coins for the little people here. ;) The title to this post comes from an Irish greeting I found online. The first person would say, "Top o' the morning to you," and the second person would reply with, "And the rest o' the day to yourself!" I know not everything on the Internet is true, but I'm hoping that is; I love it! :)

I created this quick and easy card for a challenge a few weeks ago. My circle punches made it quick and easy and Stampin' Dimensionals pop up the images for added interest. I used my Stamp-a-Ma-Jig to make sure my sentiments were nice and straight.

Here's the breakdown:

Stampin' Up! Supplies:

Stamps: Holiday Blitz, Fundamental Phrases, Warm Words, Teeny Tiny Wishes

Papers: Gable Green, Green Galore and Whisper White card stocks

Inks: Gable Green and Green Galore Classics

Accessories: 3/4- and 1-inch Circle Punches, Stampin' Dimensionals, Stamp-a-Ma-Jig

Hope you have a great day! Tune in tomorrow for a new banner and buttons, made with My Digital Studio! Thanks so much for your visit!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

{Tuesday: Technique Video (Distressing)}

Today's topic is distressing. I mean to say that the technique we'll be discussing is the practice of distressing, not that the very discussion of it will be distressing...

I've got another video for you! No jammies, promise! Below the link you'll find pictures of each of the projects I discussed in the video. Unfortunately, the video camera's resolution isn't that great, so the best way to see them is here, in still-life...

Here are some of the cards I shared...

Herb Expressions with Torn Edges:
Fruit and Nut Catalog Inspiration Challenge with Sueded and Crumpled Card Stock:
Dreams Du Jour with Sueded Paper and Distressed Edges:
Sense of Time with Crumpled Paper (or the smooth side of a Sueded piece):
and up close:
Wanted with Mellow Moss Sueded piece:

Wings of Friendship with a flower stamped on the smooth side of Sueded Paper:
Baroque Motifs with a Sueded piece of Barely Banana:

Deets on the first card (created in the video):

Stampin' Up! Supplies:

Stamps: Garden from the Heart and Thank You Kindly sets

Paper: Not Quite Navy, Ruby Red, Creamy Caramel and Very Vanilla card stocks

Inks: Basic Brown Classic, Whisper White Craft and VersaMark (Not Quite Navy and Ruby Red Classic Inks for watercoloring)

Accessories: Distressing tool from Cutters Kit, Wide Chocolate Chip grosgrain ribbon, linen thread, Clear Detail Embossing Powder, Heat Tool, Modern Label Punch, Blender Pen

Thanks again for your visit! The teacher in me thrills at the idea of making these tutorials. Please let me know if there's something specific you'd like me to cover! Have a great day!

Monday, March 15, 2010

{Monday: Mise en Place (Organization)} -- Inventory!

With about two weeks left in Sale-A-Bration this year, I am beginning to organize my final inventory order. I "stock" up on card stock, ribbon, ink refills, etc, at this time of year because of the Sale-A-Bration freebies. I'm really loving the new bennie of having freebies available from "The Big Catalog." Need to know what I'm talking about? Click on the "It's Sale-A-Bration Time!" link on the right of this page for a PDF of the Sale-A-Bration Mini Catalog.

One item that I've found to be particularly helpful is an inventory sheet. It helps me know what I have on-hand of each item in Stampin' Up!'s 48-color inventory (this sheet doesn't include the In Color items, but can easily be modified to do so).

This inventory chart shows card stock, ribbons, pads, cartridges, refills, markers, etc in each color (which is then organized by color family). I can either use this sheet as a way to track what I've already got (mark items I own) or use it as a shopping list (mark items I need to purchase)...

There are plenty of other things to inventory in the Studio. For example, whenever I purchase a new punch or Big Shot die, I make a cut-out to keep at my stamping desk so that I can hold the negative image over a stamped image (to know if it would fit). There are templates for punches that one can purchase, or you can just punch around the edges of a piece of card stock and keep it handy. I also keep a jar of one piece each of every punch I own so that I can fiddle around with layering them. **It's the perfect use for the piece of card stock with goofs on both sides.**

I'll work on finding you the link to the punch template that I use (it was someone else's genius effort).

In the meantime, take a look at what you have and/or need. Sell-A-Bration ends on March 31!

Thanks for your visit! I'll be posting a new video tomorrow (all about distressing!)!!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

OMG! It's a video!

As threatened, I've created my first video! It was a lot easier than I thought it would be to set up the camera and edit the final product. Part of why I've waited this long is a fear that I needed to get everything perfect. You'll see that this video is definitely my first. For example, my nine-year-old just pointed out that the part I finished this morning was done in my PJs and robe. Guilty... I promise that you won't see me in my jammies again (I'd forgotten that you'd see that). ;)

I also called the Designer Series Paper both "Welcome Home" and "Welcome Neighbor." Technically, it's "Welcome Neighbor."

I was nervous and made some bad jokes, but all in all, I'm happy with the end result. Please forgive the rough end to the first clip and recap of the beginning of the second. My camera battery died unexpectedly and I didn't want to start the whole video over again. I *LOVE* the teaching part of being a demonstrator (I am a teacher on Mom Detail sabbatical, after all), so this is very fulfilling for me.

I won't recap the details for making this card except to correct myself in the video... Grab some popcorn and take a look!

Stampin' Up! Supplies:

Stamps: Short and Sweet

Papers: Welcome NEIGHBOR Designer Series Paper (Sale-a-Bration freebie!!), and Bermuda BAY (not "Bermuda Blue") and Whisper White card stocks

Inks: Bermuda Bay Classic

Accessories: Scallop Trim Border Punch (another Sale-a-Bration freebie!!), Scallop Square Punch, Bermuda Bay and Whisper White grosgrain ribbons, paper snips, Stampin' Dimensionals, white embroidery floss

Thanks for your visit!

Monday, March 8, 2010

{Monday: Mise en Place (Organization)} -- O, Scrap!

"O, scrap" is right!

Last week, it occurred to me that my scrap bin was overwhelming my desk space. I'd also purchased a two-drawer filing cart from Costco that I'd been intending to put together so that I'd have an organized space for my scraps. A project was born...
The bin that you see on the lower left of this photograph was my scrap bin. When I teach classes, I always prep a few extras of each card, so there were a number of zippered plastic bags with left-overs. You can see a huge stack of those left-overs below:
Here's one drawer with each Stampin' Up! color punched (using the Word Slot punch) and adhered to the file folder tab. I have one drawer with Earth Elements and Bold Brights and the other with Soft Subtles and Rich Regals. The Neutrals were divided between the fronts of both drawers. As you can see from the photo below, I found *A LOT* of Whisper White and Very Vanilla scraps. I have so many of each that I've actually moved some of each to a box to save for when this supply is (eventually!) depleted.
It's weird to admit, but now that the scraps are organized, I feel like I can be more creative. I didn't realize how much the messy desk was distracting me. In fact, the top of this filing cart allowed me space to lay out the bulk of my paper punches. No more fishing around for the one I need; I can find it at a glance!

Anyone who knows me will attest that I am severely organizationally-challenged. I'm a student of organization, but it's something I've always struggled with and something I'm always working to improve. Stay tuned for further posts on the evolution of my studio. "Mise en place" is French for "Everything in its place," so that's my motto. When you see a post with "Mise en Place" as part of the title, know that it's a post about organization...

I've also just "shot" my first video of a project and I'm working on cleaning it up to post. I'm still working out the bugs, but I think videos will be fun additions!

Please email me with questions or issues of organization that you would like to see discussed here. Better yet, email me with ideas (and photos!) of organizational victories... Share your know-how!

Thanks for the visit! I'm excited to post my first video (last night inspired me). "I'd like to thank the Academy..."

Monday, March 1, 2010

Top o' the mornin' to ya!

Forgive me for my title; it's March and I'm in the mood for some Irish! :) How do you like the new look? I've been fiddling with my MDS (Stampin' Up!'s My Digital Studio) software, making the new banner and a couple of buttons. I'm still figuring out how to make MDS mesh with my blog, but I'm happy with what I've figured out so far. I'm looking forward to adding some new downloads to my software this week. Stampin' Up! just keeps adding fun new items to its offerings! As a matter of fact, there are three new items just this mornin'! Here's the link to the SU! site with the new items:

If you can't wait to see the new items, here's what was unveiled today... Project boxes, Satin Ribbon and *NEW DESIGNER SERIES PAPER* Woo hoo!

This DSP (Designer Series Paper) is called Spring Shades and I wonder if it's one of the new things that will appear in the next Mini Catalog? I hope so... I think that's what I'll use for my next banner and buttons. Speaking of which, here are the deets on how I put together the banner and buttons...

For my newest banner and buttons, I got basic. I used Glorious Green as my background paper for all three and the shamrock image from the Holiday Blitz stamp set. To make the fun edge, I used the scallop edge stamp from the Torn Edges stamp set.

Before I go any further, I should mention that Patty Bennett at had a great tutorial which really helped me mesh my creation on MDS with my blog; that is the tricky part. MDS makes a lot of sense and has a lot of features that mimick the Microsoft Office products, so it can be pretty intuitive. Working with the HTML and intricacies of the blog can be tricky, though.

Let me tell you a few tidbits about the banner:

  • The shamrock images are all the same stamp from the Holiday Blitz set, only I turned them and used the opacity control to change their appearance (that's why some are darker green than others).
  • The photo is one from my own collection (that's a St. Patty's Day card I made that I'll post about soon). I used Gable Green card stock in the creation of the card, so I chose to mat the photo in Gable Green (using the "Mat" button in the Photo menu in the Design Center on the right side of the screen). Talk about lickety split!
  • The tab and photo corner (black) are both punches. The tab with the silver brad is the Modern Label Punch and I've just tucked one end behind the photo (that was Patty Bennett's idea). To do so, I chose the photo and clicked on the "Change Object Layer" button in the toolbar at the top of the screen (when you hover over it, or allow your cursor to sit over the button, it says "Change Object Layer"). From that drop-down menu, I chose Bring to Front (since I'd selected the photo, I want that to be the top layer and sit on top of the one side of that punch).
  • The brad can be found in the Embellishments menu in the Design Center.
  • Contrary to what you'd think, I didn't find the scallop edge (used in the top and bottom of the banner) in the punches. It's one of the stamps from the Torn Edges set, which I've used a lot (I used that last month, too, to make the pretty flourish at the bottom of my February banner).
  • Finally, the text in the banner is two text boxes. I wanted different sizes of texts and that's the easiest way to achieve that look. My favorite font (of all time) is Garamond and that's what I always use. One thing I love about MDS is that it uses the fonts already loaded on my computer, even if it didnt' "come with" MDS.

I'd better wrap up this post, if for no other reason than to be able to use my title! :) For those of you not on the Pacific Coast, please forgive me. :)

Thanks so much for your visit! Happy March!