Monday, December 20, 2010

"Recycle" Christmas Cards: How To Make Boxes!

Obviously, I love to keep hand-crafted cards to remember and inspire me, but what do I do with all the "other" cards I get at Christmas time? I re-purpose them into gift boxes!
Here is how to do it in 8 easy steps:
  1. Cut card in half along fold.
  2. Using back half of card first, fold so long edges meet in middle (important to do this step first)
  3. Open and fold short edges to meet in the middle.
  4. Open and cut edges from short edges to the first fold.
  5. Fold short "arms" into the inside of box.
  6. Fold top edges of larger tab over the short arms and tape down to inside of box. This creates the BOTTOM of the box.
  7. Repeat steps 1-6 for the TOP of the box using the front half of card, leaving a small space between edges when folding (this makes the top a bit bigger to fit over the bottom). Remember to keep the pretty side facing OUT when folding the box, so you can see the design!
  8. Fit box together, place gift inside and add ribbon!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Joy in the Mailbox

Truth be told, my favorite part of Christmas is getting the mail out of the mailbox! For the other eleven months of the year, there's not much to look forward to amongst the bills, credit card offers and mass-mailed advertisements. But during the holidays, people actually send real-live-honest-to-goodness-hand-signed-cards/letters, and what a treat it is! The whole family knows that it's Mom's prerogative to collect the mail, and to cross mom is risky business.

It's much better to hold a card in your hand than to get a message in your e-mail inbox that reads "So & So Sent You a Card". Really? That ranks right up there with a "Gift" on Facebook: completely, totally and utterly useless. What am I going to do with a virtual Ice Cream Cone? Sure there aren't any calories, but the sender didn't give any thought about what flavor I liked best or come with me to enjoy eating it together, which is what friendship is all about. Remember this, dear reader: The tangible will always trump the digitally simulated!

While I love hand-stamped cards the most, I do have a few criteria by which I judge exceptional holiday greetings:
  1. First and foremost...don't just send a picture of your kids! While I'm sure that your children are the most talented, adorable, brilliant creatures to walk this planet, what I want to see is YOU. The parents. My friends. If I'm being totally candid, I want to see if the effects of gravity are working on you as much as they are on me, but most of all, it's YOUR face I want to see and smile back at. 
  2. Give me the dirt, but not the dump truck. I revel in reading the report of your past year, but one page is plenty. More than a page is like being forced to eat a whole chocolate started out sweet and delicious, but by the end you want to throw up.
  3. To get the "Holy Grail" Merit of Christmas Greeting Cards (and get a place in the Christmas Album I keep from year to year), jot a personal note in your handwriting!
Before I continue, let me give a disclaimer: My own family has had an almost-20-year tradition of sending Thanksgiving cards. We would mass produce close to 180 hand-stamped cards early in the autumn, and getting them out FIRST seemed to remind people to return the greeting sometime during the ensuing holiday season. It also provided the perfect opportunity to express our gratitude for our friends and family, and it is certainly heart-felt appreciation. And occasionally, we don't have time to write a personal greeting in each, but sometimes we try.

Last year we decided that since our surname is "Spendlove", it would make sense to send VALENTINES! So we have switched to sending holiday greetings in February, and now our mailing list is MUCH smaller, as I don't feel the need to send someone a card who hasn't at least contacted me in the last year >:D 

Now we get to the good part: Let me share some of the first hand-crafted cards I've received from my awesome friends so far this season!! (I'm sharing those who have used at least one Stampin' Up! product and will post more on my Stampin' Up! Facebook page as they arrive). Hope you'll send me one of yours, too!
Clockwise from top left: From Suzie, Bobbie, Lacy, Leara and Shelli.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas Cottage

Despite a busy schedule at the bookstore, I did find time to build a house! This cute little Christmas Cottage was made using the Stampin' Up! Decor Accents Design-a-House and the Candy Cane Christmas Designer Series Paper and some leftover batting for the snow covered roof:
It was really quite easy to make, and at $5.95 each, you could make a whole village! You could also make it into a cute Valentine decoration: "A House Filled with Love". After I finished this one, it was claimed by my daughter for her room. If you make one, send me a picture and I'll share it here on my blog!

P.S. You CAN still order Stampin' Up! online to be delivered by Christmas...all orders placed by December 15th will be picked and packaged in time for Christmas Eve Delivery! CLICK HERE to order.

Something To Read...

It's been crazy busy at the bookstore recently...which is why I've been absent for a few weeks.  It's like everyone looked at the calendar and said, "Holy Cow! Christmas is just around the corner! I better go shopping!"  So click below for a little Christmas shopping help from me (Deseret Book Friends & Family coupons are good through December 16th!)
Remember the Victorian Christmas Mantra..."Something they WANT, Something they NEED, Something to WEAR and Something to READ"
Here are my suggestions for the "Something to Read" part...(you can also check to see what I'm reading by becoming my friends on Goodreads or see my bookshelf in the left column).
Divine Signatures (and how fortunate that this is one of the coupons for you, too!). The true stories in this new book will touch your heart as you read about the evidence of God's hand in the lives of people just like you and me. If  you don't buy another book this year, this is the one you want! "In this unique book, Gerald N. Lund shows how having a correct idea of God's character, perfections, and attributes is essential to our ability to strengthen our faith and develop our testimony. He also reminds us of how much God loves His children and that He "delights" to bless us, especially when we are striving to do His will. As and example, Elder Lund introduces the idea of a "divine signature": "Sometimes blessings come in such an unusual manner and with such precise timing that they accomplish something in addition to blessing us. They so clearly confirm the reality of God's existence that they buoy us up in times of trials."

The Great & Terrible Series 
"This thrilling series by national bestselling author Chris Stewart takes us from the beginning of time to the final hours of the last days. Filled with rumors of wars and political intrigues, deadly epidemics and economic disasters, uplifting twists and inspiring miracles, the volumes in The Great and Terrible series reveal the greatest secret of all: The children of God can defeat the adversary, for we have fought him before." 
Of Pigs, Pearls & Prodigals: A Fresh Look at the Parables of Jesus This new book by John Bytheway is on my "To-Read" list. The thing that intrigues me the most about this book (besides the fact that John makes scripture study fun!) is that he includes a part for each parable that makes it relevant to my life today, which will enrich my study of the New Testament in 2011.

The Great Plan of Happiness: With fun illustrations, this book simply explains to children where they came from, why they're here on earth, and where they go after death.

HOW? Essential Skills for Living the Gospel If you were swimming in the ocean and discovered you were being pulled farther and farther away from land by a rip current, would you know how to get back to shore? There is a method - one that could save your life. Likewise, the authors of How? ask teenagers, "If you were caught up with friends in some activities you knew were wrong and you felt yourself being pulled away from the safety of the gospel shoe, caught up in a current of sin, would you know how to get beck?" Elder Russell M. Nelson said, "Once we ... understand the importance and meaning of a commandment, we need to learn how to do it." In this sequel to their bestselling book WHY?, John Hilton and Anthony Sweat answer more than 100 gospel questions, such as:

  • How Can I Increase My Faith in Jesus Christ

  • How Can I Know When I've Been Forgiven?

  • How Can I Know When the Holy Ghost Is Speaking to Me?

  • How Can I Stay Faithful When Life Is Hard?

  • How Can I Set Meaningful Personal Goals?

  • How Can I Find Answers In My Scriptures?

  • How Can I Resist and Overcome Pornography?

  • Wednesday, December 1, 2010

    Holiday Grab-n-Go Open House!

    Down "Santa Claus  Lane" (860 E 1050 S, Spanish Fork)
    Saturday, December 4th from 4-6 p.m.
    Monday, December 6th from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

    Drop in for some Cocoa and Christmas Creativity! Create a card to "dress up" your gift cards, stamp inserts for a "Simply Adorned" charm, see some incredibly fast and unique gift ideas, greeting cards, home decor projects and much more! Bring a friend or send your spouse (...I'll be Santa's Helper if you e-mail me your wishlist and his e-mail or cell phone number :)) No Charge!

    Monday, November 29, 2010

    Welcome, Christmas!

    Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and despite my best intentions to take a lot of pictures to share...I didn't. Instead I cooked turkey for my family at home, took a nap and went to a movie! It's a family tradition to see a movie on Thanksgiving Day, so we went to see Disney's Tangled. This is one movie you need to see, people~ it was darling and delightful, and I may have even shed a few tears. But if you know me, that's no surprise as I cry at Campbell's Soup commercials...

    The day after turkey day found me alone at my house for a few hours (a mother's fantasy!!) so I took down my fall decor and started on the Christmas trimmings! What was usually a stressful event (with the whole family) was actually a peaceful and enjoyable evening spent with the music cranked up unwrapping each treasured ornament. I didn't actually put up the tree (that's the hubby's job), but the "seasonals" are out and I am actually looking forward to the holidays! Maybe that's because I slowed down long enough to "Welcome Christmas into my heart".
    This sweet card is one we made at the Christmas Stamp-a-Stack a few weeks ago. This could be one of my new favorite color combinations: Certainly Celery, Old Olive, Real Read and Marina Mist. And guess what? The stamp set used is Northern Hearts, a hostess level 1 set that you could choose free with a $150 order...and don't forget that shipping is FREE for two more days on a $150+ order during the Online Spectacular, where you can save up to 50% on some of our most popular items!

    So if you are "Cyber Monday" shopping, be sure to check out some of the great gifts you can buy in your jammies at the computer! Here's a list of Stampin' Up! gift ideas for everyone on your list:
    • For the Quilter/Fabric Crafter: Designer Fabric Bundles (Half Price today!) Check out my apron made with the Candy Cane Christmas Fabic here
    • For the Scrapper: A Simply Scrappin' Kit or My Digital Studio (50% off during the Online Spectacular...unbelievable!) makes a gift they will appreciate! See some of my digital pages here
    • For the Decorator: Get a bundle of our luscious 1-1/4" Striped Grosgrain Ribbon for 40% off through November 30 or a piece of our vinyl Decor Elements to change the look of any room!
    • For your Best Friend (or Wife): A Simply Adorned charm with a personalized set of inserts (or pictures of their children!) says "I cared enough to stamp the very best!"
    • For the beginning crafter: A Simply Sent Card Kit, stamp set and ink pad makes paper crafting so easy, a caveman could do it! (and for less than 30 bucks!)
    • For Grandma/Grandpa: A personalized calendar or Birthday Calendar will bring a smile to their face all year long! Make one from scratch starting at $7.95 or make one with My Digital Studio that you bought for yourself :)
    • For your Husband: The Decor Accents Date Keeper helps keep track of the days, weeks or months until a special event (a vacation? your anniversary?) and can be personalized with stamps or photos!
    • For the kids: I don't know of a child who doesn't love to get creative with stamps and ink...and a few of our most popular sets for kids and teenagers are 30% through November 30th.

    Monday, November 22, 2010

    Spectacular Savings (through November 30th!)

    Spiritual Gifts

    Here's a sweet (spiritual) gift...from an adorable little girl with a great talent for teaching the Word of God!
    "...and a little child shall lead them." Isaiah 11:6

    Tuesday, November 9, 2010

    Change Time, Change Batteries or "Learn from my mistake"

    A few Saturdays ago, we made and bottled Apple Pie Filling until 9:30 p.m. (see below for a great recipe given to me by my best friend, Kelli). We were pretty exhausted, the husband and I because you see, we had been up since 3 a.m. (a story for another time). But the last batch we made was beautiful! We cleaned up the canning kitchen (which is in our basement), mopped the floors and turned out the lights. As we were preparing for bed, one of the smoke detectors started chirping because the battery was almost dead. 

    This may be as good a time as any to explain that we had already removed 3 dead batteries (from the 5 total smoke detectors in our home) and had never replaced them. That annoying chirping when the battery dies ALWAYS starts in the middle of the night causing one to lose sleep!!! AARRGGHH! And of course, once one has had a good night's sleep, one never thinks to replace the battery, because that would require going to the store and buying some 9 volt batteries, which one never happens to have just laying around.

    Back to the story: We promptly removed the battery from the second-to-last working smoke detector (ensuring an uninterrupted night of rest!), said our prayers (thanking God for safety and protection, of course...all the while He's shaking His head, I'm sure..) and went to sleep.
    At 1 a.m., we awake to the blare (NOT a chirp or beep) of the last working smoke detector screaming that there is a problem! Remember the old movies about how to be safe in a fire? You are supposed to feel your door to see if it's hot, right? Who remembers that when the alarm is piercing your groggy brain? My husband flings open the door and 3 feet of smoke billows in on the ceiling. Suddenly I remember that I forgot to turn off the hot water bath with the last batch of Apple Pie Filling!!
    We were lucky...the water had burned off and 3 bottles had burst, allowing the apples and sugar to start smoking and were able to get it out the door before it started to burn! 

    So take it from me, folks...when the time changes, CHANGE THE BATTERIES IN YOUR SMOKE DETECTORS!!! And here's another little life lesson: Don't Google "smoking pot picture" if you are looking for an image of a burning pan in the kitchen...
    Now to the good stuff! Here's the recipe for bottled Apple Pie Filling (thanks, Kelli!)

    24 pounds (1/2 bushel) Apples, peeled, cored and sliced 
    Mix together: 5 c. water, 6 c. sugar, 12 T cornstarch and 3 T cinnamon. Heat and stir until clear (it will still be brown, but not opaque). Add sliced apples and stir just 'til hot. Pour into jars and process in hot water bath for 25 minutes (REMEMBER TO TURN OFF THE STOVE WHEN FINISHED). 
    To make a pie: Pour into pie crust and bake 45 minutes at 425 degrees.

    Thursday, November 4, 2010

    Royal Blog Tour: Peaceful Season

    Thanks for making the Royal Blog Tour a great success! While the tour is officially over, I'm leaving up the samples to inspire your holiday stamping :) Scroll to the bottom for Blog Candy Winner!

    I've prepared some breathtaking samples using the *Exclusive* Level 2 Hostess Stamp Set, Peaceful Season from the Stampin' Up! Holiday Mini's not too late to contact your demonstrator to host a workshop to earn this set FREE (hint, hint)!
    Have you seen the adorable mini gift bags in the Holiday Mini Catalog? Here is just one simple way to dress up some homemade caramel popcorn or a small gift:
     I love this card created with the Big Shot, Scallop Square die and more of the Deck the Halls Designer Series Paper that looks like a present on the outside...
     ...and when you open it up, you pull the greeting from a pocket on the inside of the card! 
    It could be both a card AND a gift if you glued a gift card on the insert :)
    I wanted to share a home decor project, too, so here is a simple luminary using the Fancy Favor die, the new Decorative Label punch, some vellum and a battery-operated tea light from the dollar store!
    Finally, a simple and elegant greeting you can create in seconds with the Northern Flurry embossing folder from the Holiday Mini Catalog (and one of the cards you can make at my Christmas Stamp-a-Stack on November 20th!).  Isn't that Marina Mist blue beautiful?

    BLOG CANDY!! Would you like to win a "Dasher" Instant Christmas Card Kit (just add ink!)? 
    You must do TWO (2) simple things to qualify: 
    1. E-mail me ( with your name and e-mail address (so I can contact you if you win!) and 
    2. Leave a comment telling for which holiday you send the most cards (Christmas? Valentines? Birthdays? Other?)

    November 9~THE TOUR IS OVER and the winner of Dasher Card Kit is (thanks to #54:

    OpenID ilchezhead said...
    Great blog. I love the snowflake card and luminare. I send out the most cards at Christmas, by far. Approx 100. I didn't make them last year, but have started this year's. Thanks for sharing. Sandy

    Monday, November 1, 2010

    4 Things for Christmas

    As a mother of 4 teenagers, I'm beginning to consider the holiday season with a critical eye. As my children grew bigger, the gifts they wanted got smaller... and more expensive! I've watched as "receiving presents" became more important than "giving presents". We've tried a few things in recent years, including simply giving them money and taking them to the after Christmas sales (I loved this but hubby hated it). We have stopped giving gifts to one side of the family and instead take all the cousins/aunts/uncles shopping for a family in need (slowly growing in popularity with the kids). For my immediate family, I've really been pondering what we can do to make Christmas MEANINGFUL, JOYFUL and SIMPLE.
    In the Victorian Era, there was a simple mantra for Christmas Giving:
    "Something they WANT, Something they NEED, 
    Something to WEAR and Something to READ"

    In thinking outside the box, I found a few thoughts about what children REALLY WANT for Christmas by authors Jo Robinson Jean C. Staeheli of "Unplug the Christmas Machine": 
    1. A relaxed and loving time with the family. Children need relaxed attention. During the holidays, slow down and spend quality time with your kids.
    2. Realistic expectations about gifts. Kids enjoy looking forward to gifts and then having their expectations met. The key is to manage their expectations. In this economy, it may be wise to focus on things you can make for each other and to talk to your children about what to reasonably expect.
    3. An evenly paced holiday season.  Note to self: Pace yourself! Reserve some nights at home for low-key fun with the family. The authors suggest starting the season later or stretching the celebration through to New Years Day.
    4. Reliable family traditions.  The things I remember most about Christmas as a child were caroling with my family on Christmas Eve, shopping with my cousin for gifts on Black Friday and the food (with me, it's always the food!). I am considering traditions I can continue or create this year with my older kids. 
    What do you think?

    Monday, October 25, 2010

    Spooky: Rule of 3's

    THREE is such a magic number: Like Charlie's Angels or the Three Musketeers. How about spaghetti, meatballs and garlic bread? Faith, Hope & Charity? Harry, Ron & Hermoine or (for you "Wicked" fans like me:) Glinda, Elphaba and Fyero..."witch" brings us to the point today, this classic card sketch (Fall-to Layout #113 from Clean & Simple Stamping):
     When in doubt, you can't go wrong with a simple trio of images like this!

    Have I told you how much I love the new Spider Web embossing folder for the Big Shot? Besides using it on my card, I combined it with the Candy Wrapper Die to make the adorable gift below (can you see the little bat on the tag made with the bat punch? Too adorable!)
    Here's a close up...
    So to everyone, have a "Wicked" Halloween, and a safe one! 

    P.S. Don't forget to sign up for the Holiday Helper~12 days of creativity arriving in your inbox beginning November 1st :)

    Thursday, October 21, 2010

    My Gift to You: Holiday Helper!

    If you "need a little Christmas, right this very minute" have I got a gift for you! Sign up to receive my Holiday Helper~12 Days of creative projects that will not only put you in the holiday mood, but help you enjoy a dazzling handcrafted season! With each mailing, you will receive not only a picture of the finished project, but you will also receive a complete supply list with a step-by-step tutorial that shows you exactly how to do the project.
    Request Holiday Helper Today!
    Subscription is f*r*e*e and painless, Click on the image above and start getting your Holiday Helper on November 1st! If you are already receiving my newsletters, you will automatically receive all the Holiday Helpers, unless you notify me that you do not wish to receive them.  If for any reason you wish to stop the Holiday Helper I have a link on every email page to unsubscribe. Why not click away?

    Wednesday, October 13, 2010

    Bubble, Bubble, Toil & Trouble

    TRY THIS AT HOME! Today's creativity comes from the kitchen :)

    My teenage son came home from a sleepover a few months ago and said, "Mom! You *HAVE* to get the recipe for vanilla syrup from Josh's mom!!! CALL HER NOW!!! It's the best stuff I have EVER TASTED!!!" (No extra emphasis added)

    "Well," says I, "if you like it so much, why don't YOU ask her for it?"

    So he did. And we love it. AND it's easy. NOT TO MENTION that there is a cube of butter in the recipe.

    Need I say more??

    Without further ado, I present to you.....Kim's Vanilla Syrup:

    Mix one cube of butter, 1 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 cup of buttermilk (yeah, more butter!) in saucepan and boil for one minute.

    Remove from heat and add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.

    Pour over pancakes or waffles (or just spoon directly into mouth, if you can afford the calories...)
    This would probably be about a million Weight Watchers points (so I try to pace myself), but if you need great recipes for that, go to my friend Lacy's Weight Watchers Recipe blog...she's reached her 10% goal and is still going strong!

    And thanks, Kim, for contributing to my sugar obsession.

    Monday, October 11, 2010

    Wish Big

    I must be in sync with the gals over at Clean & Simple Stamping because this is the project I took to the cabin in Pine Valley to work on over the weekend:
    These are my birthday cards for the demonstrators in my SU! family this year (sorry, ladies, if this spoils the surprise!!) and they just happened to follow the C&S Fall-to-Layout #111:
    I am making these cards in lots of different colors, like the one below that showcases some of the 2010 In-Colors (Peach Parfait and Concord Crush). I wasn't sure they would look good together, but this just goes to show you that the hues in each color family prepared by SU! really *are* compatible with each other!!
    Want to get one of these in your mailbox for your birthday? It's just one of the many reasons to join my Stampin' Up! family! While you are here looking around, let me remind you that the Clearance Rack Blitz only lasts a little longer, so click here to shop and save up to 80% on crafting supplies :) 

    Wednesday, October 6, 2010

    Stock Your Creative Cupboards!

    Through October 18th, Stampin' Up! is having a BLITZ in the CLEARANCE RACK...up to 80% off retired product and only while supplies last! For preferred customer pricing, click HERE to go to my online store. EVERY BLITZ ORDER will also get a hand-stamped thank you from me (and don't forget that you can earn FREE Hostess Benefits when you order over $150!).

    Wednesday, September 29, 2010

    Seize the Opportunity!

    Host a fall workshop with me and choose a free stamp set from my "Bonus Basket" (in addition to the great hostess benefits). Dates are filling fast, so let's plan a fun party for you and your friends (day or evening times available!)

    You are invited to attend my Group Gathering on Tuesday, October 5th (7 p.m.) in Spanish Fork, UT to peek into the life of a Stampin' Up! Demonstrator: RSVP by calling 801-376-8685. FREE!

    And don't forget New Demonstrators earn the "Tote-ally Awesome" Craft Tote FREE when they join my Stampin' Family by October 18th. Ready to play? Click here and JOIN NOW (my recruiting password is stampwithme).

    Monday, September 27, 2010

    ROCK the WALK

    There are some in every crowd. The people who ROCK to their own beat. The ones who aren't afraid to show some STYLE (even bad style). Those who LEAD the pack...who make a DIFFERENCE. And WE WERE THOSE PEOPLE on Saturday at the Utah County JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes!!!
    This boy is one of the main reasons we participate...our "Sexy Diabetic" as he calls himself (though the hair may get in the way of his true beauty):
    And here is is brother and cousin who came dressed to Kill Support him:
    This picture of my sisters (Mindi & Megan) and I would make our Mother Proud (Love you, Mom!):
    ALMOST as proud as her son would make her dressed like this (yes, that is my brother Ryan and my son in the background, working the crowd on stage):
    We are almost halfway to reaching our goal to raise $2,000 to find a cure for Juvenile Diabetes...every dollar counts, so if you can help by donating even $5 or $10 HERE, you can get yourself an AUTOGRAPHED PHOTO of my family ROCKIN' the WALK! This photo is sure to be treasured for generations, so make your donation today :)

    If you prefer to mail in a donation, write a check to "JDRF" and mail it to: Spendlove's Stamp Out Diabetes, 860 E 1050 S, Spanish Fork, UT 84660.

    Our dream is to make Juvenile Diabetes OBSOLETE and we have chosen JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) as our charity of choice because they are the worldwide leader in research to find a cure. To find out more about JDRF, click here

    Thursday, September 23, 2010

    Sew Sweet Apron!

    What is sweeter than candy? This adorable ruffled apron made from Stampin' Up! Candy Cane Christmas Designer Fabric!! But I don't think it looks like Christmas, I think it looks more like Valentines :)
    I followed the tutorial by Krista Maurer (found HERE) which she shared a few weeks ago on Good Things Utah. Our 100% cotton Designer Fabric (NEW in the Holiday Mini!) comes with 3 coordinating designs in large fat quarters (each piece measures approx. 28"x18") so I just sewed two 4" x 18" pieces together to get the 4"x36" strips called for, then added another piece of plain red fabric for the waist tie.

    I stayed up from 10 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. one night to finish it because it had been on my "to-do" list for 2 weeks, and I really wanted to get it done...for all you seamstresses out there, it would only take you an hour because it is pretty simple to create :) If you like this fabric, it is item #121715 ($9.95) and you can order it from my SU! website. Or try the "Deck the Halls" Designer Fabric assortment for a vintage Christmas look (#121716)

    What can YOU create with Stampin' Up! fabric? Share a link to your creations in the comments!

    Monday, September 13, 2010

    Cards for the Blind

    (Sept. 18th: If you are visiting from Clean & Simple Stamping, Welcome! While this card isn't an exact replica of the FTL #108, it was such kismet that I had created it earlier in the week that when I saw the layout, I had to share!)

    My friend, Sherrill Graff, asked for donations of birthday cards for the Blind Center in Las Vegas, so I pulled out some of my retired products and started playing. It seemed like a strange request, but when you are making cards for people who can't see (or don't see well), you start thinking with your other senses, like touch and smell.  This is the favorite card I came up with:
    I used the Scallop Circle Die and Finial Press embossing folder in the Big Shot to create the shape of the card and the texture on the front. Then I mixed a little orange-flavored Kool-Aid in with some clear embossing powder and embossed the orange image to create a "Scratch-n-Sniff Focal Point"...or would that be a "Fragrance Point"? Want to see more samples I created? "Like" my Facebook page and I've uploaded a few more samples there!

    Friday, September 10, 2010

    Tote-ally Tess

    Sometimes you just need to ignore the housework and do something fun. Which is where I found myself this morning...needing a little creative time. So here is my "Tote-ally Tess"/Poppy Parade version of the Clean & Simple Fall-to Layout #107:
    And here is the FTL 107 sketch:

    Recipe for my card (all Stampin' Up! Supplies):  Tote-ally Tess stamp set, Poppy Parade, Chocolate Chip, Pear Pizzaz and Shimmery White card stock, Early Espresso Classic Ink Pad, In-Color Markers, Greenhouse Gala Designer Series Paper, Pinking Hearts Border punch, Brights Designer Buttons, Linen Thread

    Speaking of "Tote-Ally" can get a Greenhouse Gala Tote FREE when you join my Stampin' Up! family of demonstrators before October 18th! Click on the "Tote-ally Awesome" button in the right column for more details or call me: 801-376-8685. Want to see what it's like to be a demonstrator? Attend my Stitched Stampers Group Gathering on Tuesday, October 5th in Spanish Fork, Utah. Let me know if you can come!

    Thursday, September 2, 2010

    Videos for My Digital Studio!

    If you have purchased (or have *considered* purchasing) the fabulous "My Digital Studio" software from Stampin' Up! then I have GREAT NEWS for you! There are now instructional videos available HERE to help you get the most of YOUR Digital Studio, and more will be added in the future, too! Once there, you will also notice the links on the left for MDS updates, new downloads and more.

    Ready to get your own copy? Visit my website and click on "Shop Now"

    Monday, August 30, 2010

    Give a HOOT!

    I've been seeing owls everywhere lately: On jewelry, lunchboxes, t-shirts, grocery totes and even shoes! So it was a delightful surprise to see a new punch from Stampin' Up! in the 2010/2011 Idea Book and Catalog that follows this trendy guy:
    Give a HOOT!
    As you can see, this amazing tool creates more than owls...if you click on any picture (above) you can go to my SU! website, then click on "SHOP NOW" to order your own Two-Step Owl Extra-Large Punch! One thing I love about it is how well it uses up all my scraps of card stock :)

    Here are a few tips to remember when you are using this punch:
    • Hold your punch upside down while using it to ensure that you punch where you want to on your card stock
    • Keep your garbage nearby to sweep all the scraps into, but DON'T punch over your garbage or the little pieces are a bother to pick out!
    • Use your Paper Snips (catalog pg. 199) to pick up the teensy-tiny pieces with and build your owl: Just open the sharp tips a bit, slide them under the piece and close the tips to pick it up and place it where you want it.
    • The Multipurpose Liquid Glue (pg. 197) has a fine point that works best for owl-production :) I put the glue on my owl base and then lay the pieces on top of the glue with the paper snips!
    Just to show you how well this punch "dresses up", I created this card with the Owl and Pinking Hearts Border punches, the Elegant Bouquet Big Shot Embossing Folder and the new Word Play stamp set:

    Friday, August 27, 2010

    Clean & Simple, Revisited

    Now that the kids are back in school, I had time to stamp for fun again! It was delightful and I am reminded how much I enjoy being creative.

    Here is my creation showcasing some new colors and stamps:
    Recipe (all Stampin' Up! supplies, of course):  Marina Mist, Whisper White, Basic Black card stock, Basic Black and Versamark ink, Just Believe stamp set,  Scallop Edge Border punch, Marina Mist Taffeta ribbon.

    I followed the Clean & Simple Fall-To Layout #105 sketch: