Sunday, April 25, 2010

Awash with Hostess Club

Goodness! Working full-time sure does get in the way of stamping and blogging! My new job as the main Kindergarten teacher is going well.... just BUSY. I am at work for much longer than before, and it wears me out. Today I finally had time for stamping - first in almost a month!

This afternoon is my Hostess Club. This group of ladies have been wonderfully fun, and I'm sad we are winding down to our last few club meetings. I hope to start up a club again in August or September, and I would be thrilled if my members continued!

Today we're doing a simple technique: Two Step Stamping. I wanted to showcase this technique because of the promotion going on, but also because it's a technique I don't use much. I chose to use Awash With Flowers, a set which, admittedly, I didn't like at first. I am not a real pastel-y person, and most of the samples I saw were pastel. Then I saw a very cute card on Stampin' Connection (a message board, idea-sharing site for Stampin' Up! Demonstrators) by Selene Kempton and decided to CASE it exactly. It's not too pastel-y, not too grandma-y (which was another initial concern with the set), and quite modern, I feel. I love it - I hope my club members do, too!

Awash for Hostess CASE
Stamp Sets: Awash with Flowers, Well-Scripted
Cardstock: Real Red, Kraft, Basic Black
Stampin' Pads: Black Stazon and Whisper White Craft
Accessories/Tools: Real Red Satin Ribbon

Now that I've played with the set a bit, I can see how versatile and cute it can be! You can make it fit your style so easily: bold, bright, light, pastel, watermark, etc. Contact me at to order this set. It's only available until the end of April... if you miss it, you'll have to wait until July when the new catalog comes out to get yours. :)

On a side note... I'm but 150 hits away from 10K. Check back this week for some BLOG CANDY to celebrate. :)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Changes at Stampin' Up!

Now, for some really big Stampin' Up! news:
It was announced this week that Stampin' Up! is going through a COLOR RENOVATION! This means we are getting new, awesome colors, retiring some of our old, bored colors, and bringing back some goodies that got set aside for a while (like Baja Breeze!!) It is a change that is coming with the launch of the new Idea Book and Catalog on July 1st, but we demonstrators heard of it early to prepare ourselves and our customers. Many of the current Stampin' Up! colors are being discontinued ("retired") after July 1st - between now and then are the perfect opportunities for you to stock up on your faves!

You may be wondering some things, like...

What colors are retiring? Pink Passion, Pixie Pink, Pale Plum, Orchid Opulence, Lovely Lilac, Lavender Lace, Almost Amethyst, Bordering Blue, Brocade Blue, Ballet Blue, Brilliant Blue, Taken with Teal, Glorious Green, Handsome Hunte r, Sage Shadow, Mellow Moss, Green Galore, Gable Green, Barely Banana, Yoyo Yellow, Summer Sun, Apricot Appeal, Only Orange, Really Rust, Ruby Red, Cameo Coral, Blush Blossom, Creamy Caramel, Close to Cocoa, and Going Gray are all retir ing. Click here to see:

What are the new colors, and what are th
e In Colors that are returning as core colors? What colors are staying? Any current Stampin' Up! color not mentioned above will return and stay in the Stampin' U p! world (called "carryover colors"). There are five new colors are called Daffodil Delight, Early Espresso, Marina Mist, Cajun Craze, and Cherry Cobbler. The ten returning In Colors are Melon Mambo, Pacific Point, Tangerine Tango, River Rock, Sof t Suede, Riding Hood Red, Rich Razzleberry, Wild Wasabi, Pink Pirouette, and Baja Breeze. Also, they’ve renamed Kraft to Crumb Cake. Click here to see:

How many colors in total will we have? Will we still have In-Colors every year? There will be 40 "core colors" that will be the main base of the Stampin' Up! line for years to come. There are 40 core colors & they are broken into 4 groups of 10: the Brights, the Regals, the Subtles, and the Neutrals. There will be 5 new In-Colors every year, including new In-Colors for 2010-2011.

Why did Stampin' Up! do this?
Stampin' Up! is striving to stay "on top" of the color trends we are seeing in other industries. They did a lot of market research and compared their offerings to colors they were seeing out and about. When choosing the new colors, they were careful to choose the most popular and up-to-date colors. You will find you will see the new colors when you're shopping at department stores, looking through magazines, and noticing people's clothing & home decor. These are the best colors in the industry today!

They retired colors based on sales history and focus group feedback. In addition, sales on many colors were very low, and the cost to support those colors was not worth the return.

What does this mean for the products I already have or the products I want to get? For the products you already have, it doesn't mean a lot. You can still use the awesome colors you may own, even if that color is retiring. In fact, you can still use that color after it retires! We are not going to make you give back your stamp pads or card stock, nor will they be ineffective in your project-making! Use and continue to love them! For the products you really LOVE and the products you really WANT, again I stress you stock up on those items! After July 1, you will not be able to order them!

What do I (Tracy) think of this? I am totally pumped! The new colors look awesome! My favorite are Cherry Cobbler and Marina Mist. Plus, many of the new colors are going to have WAY more coordinating accessories like ribbon and brads and such. You know I love those things! I'm so excited some of my old faves are coming back, like Baja Breeze and Riding Hood Red!! It makes more sense to me to have fewer, awesome colors than lots of boring colors. And honestly, many of the retiring colors are colors I rarely ever use, so I won't miss them! And my fave go-to colors (like Old Olive, Chocolate Chip, Regal Rose, and Pumpkin Pie) proved to be everyone else's fave go-to colors and are not retiring. Yippee!!!

Please feel free to contact me with questions about Color Renovation. I will continue to share the information I gain as I gain it.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Gift-Wrap Inspired

Today was my coworker's last day before she has her baby (she's scheduled a C-Section). Of course I got her a cute present - and even cuter wrapping paper. As I was thinking about a card to make for her I had an idea: make it to coordinate with the wrapping! And so I did. It came together really easily and came out SO cute! She loved it!

Present and Card Together

Close Up of Card
Stamp Sets: Fox & Friends, Teeny Tiny Wishes
Cardstock: Kraft, Basic Gray, Old Olive, Pumpkin Pie, Bermuda Bay, Whisper White
Stampin' Pads (Classic): Pumpkin Pie, Basic Gray
Accessories/Tools: 1" Circle Punch, 1-1/4" Circle Punch, 1-3/8" Circle Punch, Scallop Circle Punch, 1-3/4" Circle Punch, 1/2" Polka Dot Bermuda Bay ribbon, Dimensionals

Of course I will miss my coworker now that she's gone - but I'm also very excited that she's gone! She was the classroom teacher in our kindergarten class and I was the teacher assistant. Well, now that she's gone, I get to step in as the Long Term Sub till the end of the year and get to TEACH! It's something I've been waiting to do for 3 years since I got my teaching license. I'm so excited! I can't wait to be the teacher and watch my kindergartners grow through the end of the year. :)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Inspired by reading "The Happiness Project"

I did some major stamping yesterday and last night! It's amazing what some sun, 60 degrees, and spring break will do to your creative juices! They were a-flowing!!

I've been reading this really interesting book by Gretchin Rubin called The Happiness Project - and the card I'm posting today was inspired by that book. Did you know bluebirds are a symbol of happiness? I knew it, but I just didn't know I knew it until Rubin reminded me of it in her book. (does that make sense?) Anyway, once I read about the author deciding to collect bluebirds (which is a really cute idea, by the way... if I didn't already collect owls, I'd consider joining her!) I had the bird image from Season of Friendship stuck in my head! I had to scoot downstairs and stamp this cute card!

The Happy Card
Stamp Sets: Season of Friendship, Fundamental Phrases
Cardstock: Bashful Blue, Cameo Coral, Very Vanilla
Designer Series Paper: None
Stampin' Pads (Classic): Close to Cocoa, Gable Green, Cameo Coral, Bashful Blue
Accessories/Tools: Masterpiece Ribbon Originals, Large Oval Punch, Scallop Oval Punch, Horizontal Slot Punch, Paper Snips, Dimensionals

Love this set as much as I do? Contact me today to order one - and you're almost 1/2 way there to a FREE Sale-a-Bration set!!!

And.... what makes you happy? For me, currently what is making me happy is the sun shining outside and things generally going my way for the past couple of days. Makes me feel so good!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

In the knick of time!

Whenever I get stumped about stamping and can't think of anything cute to do, I usually search for cards online to CASE (I already told you about that....) or I search for sketch challenges to follow. The challenges are great because you get to bring your own take on a sketch and use whatever stamps, materials, colors, accessories, etc... that you have on hand. And usually, the sketches are way more interesting than any card I'd have thought up!

Earlier this week I found the Sweet Sunday Sketch Challenge #59 rather interesting. Of course, I am no plan-ahead-er, so I am just finishing the card now and posting it after the submissions to showcase it on that blog have closed. Oh well. At least the card turned out really cute (IMO) and used some new goodies I hadn't dug into yet. :)

SSSC59 Bird Thanks
Stamp Sets: Thank You Kindly
Cardstock: Pretty in Pink, So Saffron, Rose Red
Designer Series Paper: Sweet Pea
Stampin' Pads (Classic): Rose Red
Accessories/Tools: Scallop Trim Border Punch, XL Two-Step Bird Punch

I love that the main focus of this card is the punches. Of course, the Scallop Trim Border Punch is quickly becoming a favorite - and so awesome that you can get it for FREE with an order of $50 or more! But that bird punch.... at first glance in the catalog I thought "NO WAY. Who needs that?" Then I saw samples and got my own. I love it! Mixing and matching the bird and the wing was so much fun! I have probably 6 more birds punched out waiting for me on my stamping table. :) It may become my "go to" for springtime cards. :)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Fox and Friends and Babies

Today is a baby shower for a teacher at work. She's due in April. My fellow TAs and I pitched in together to get her a present (I picked it out from her registry: it has an "eating" theme... spoons, bibs, burp cloths, bottles, etc!) and I said I'd make a card. I've been feeling under the weather lately, so I dug out this cute card I made a few weeks ago. I hope the "hello baby" sentiment is appropriate for a shower, although the baby isn't here yet!

Shower for Elizabeth
Stamp Sets: Fox and Friends, Teeny Tiny Wishes
Cardstock: Old Olive, Whisper White, Taken with Teal
Designer Series Paper: Sweet Pea
Stampin' Pads (Classic): Chocolate Chip
Accessories/Tools: 5/8" So Saffron grosgrain ribbon (from SAB 2009), Scallop Circle Punch, 1-1/2" Circle Punch, 1-3/8" Circle Punch, paper snips, 1/16" hole punch

I love how Fox and Friends makes the absolutely cutest baby cards ever! Don't miss out! Fox and Friends is only available through the end of the month.... contact me today if you wish to order this supercute set. :)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Off to the CASEs

I've said it once; I'll say it again: one of my favorite things about stamping is being able to copy (in the stamping world we call it "CASE" - Copy And Share Everything) awesome cards that others have already made. I rarely come up with a design on my own, and because I can CASE, I always feel really confident in my cards, even though I don't think I have a lot of artistic talent.

Today's card was CASEd from one of my favorite new-found blogs, Simple & Sincere. Most everything I see that Jen has made is awesome and I plan to CASE! Her original Thank You card can be found by clicking here.

Sweet Pea Thank You
Stamp Set: Thank You Kindly
Cardstock: Chocolate Chip
Designer Series Paper: Sweet Pea (3 different pieces)
Stampin' Pads (Classic): Chocolate Chip
Accessories/Tools: 5/8" Chocolate Chip grosgrain ribbon

This simple design can be used with various different papers, cardstock, sentiments. I plan to utilize this design a LOT!

Did you know you can get the Thank You Kindly set for FREE until March 31? Contact me to learn more!