Independent Stampin'Up! Demonstrator!

Hey friends!
I've been a demonstrator with Stampin'Up! since 2011. I'm located in Bozeman, Montana, but have customers all over the country. I have a very fun and active downline called "Big Sky Stampers" and we get together in person and online to share what we love. My blog posts feature what I'm up to recently and I try to share new product information, tips and tricks and creative inspiration. You can shop from this site or find out more information about our products and becoming a demonstrator! Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The Old Country ;)

Hi Friends!
I've been AWOL for a few days (weeks?) with lots going on personally. As much as I adore Stampin'Up! and the whole papercrafting thing,  real life can and does intrude and I try to never forget that family comes first.  I wanted to let you know I haven't quit or dropped out or forgotten about crafting. I'm still doing quite a bit on the side, but not taking the time to blog. 

My Dad, who I care for with the help of an assisted living facility and Hospice, has had some rough days and then little better days. I'm never quite certain which direction things are heading and it has taken me a few weeks to realize this is the new normal for us.  My siblings and I were recently able to all be together with him and that will be a time we all cherish.

Next on the horizon is a bucket list trip to NORWAY!  I have three grandparents of 100% Norwegian descent and actually will meet my father's family, who still live on the family farm which has been in the Undlin family since the 1600's. I can't tell you how excited I am about this trip!  My husband and one of our daughters will be going as well. We have a fun route all mapped out including Oslo, Bergen, Alesund, Trondheim, Lillehammer and back to Oslo. We have numerous connections with people including a penpal I've had since 7th grade and never met, a nephew studying at the U of Oslo, former MSU exchange student friends from Bergen and Trondheim and the Undlin family. We begin our trip tomorrow with a en route stop in South Dakota for a family wedding and then we fly out of Minneapolis via Reykjavik, Iceland

I am going to try and blog here and there and share some fabulous scenery with you. I hope you don't mind if my posts have nothing to do with rubber stamping for the next few weeks! I know the trip will go by in a flash and then I will get back to my "real" life!



Until Norway,
Sarah

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Playing around with an Embossing Folder!

Hi Friends,
It's Hump Day and always a good reason to start looking forward to the weekend, right?!  Although I no longer work full time, I still enjoy that mid week success of making it this far and knowing there's only a couple days left haha!

If you are like me, one of the first techniques or tools that caught your eye in the papercrafting world is the embossing folder. Stampin'Up! has been selling these for years and it's no wonder, they are awesome. They are the quickest and easiest way to add some "POP" to a project and are practically fail-proof... practically!

We have several new embossing folders in the 2018-2019 Annual catalog and today I want to share some fun ways to stretch an embossing folder and take it out of the box, so to speak.  It's the "Lovely Floral Dynamic Textures" embossing folder (#148048). It's a thicker one that gives different levels of embossing across the paper, an amazing feat!  The most obvious way to use a folder is to put some paper in the "folder" and run it through the Big Shot. For my first example, I did that only I used Watercolor paper and then colored the embossed design with ink and my Aqua Painter.


The watercolor paper embossed really nicely and was fun to color.  Here's a card with just straight up embossing, on our standard card stock.


It really doesn't matter what color card stock you use, the design always shows through and is a subtle background texture to any project.

For my next try, I thought I would ink up the raised side of the embossing folder, then insert the paper and run it through the Big Shot. As I was doing it, I had a feeling it wasn't working like I thought it would and I was right!  What a mess! Ink everywhere. I almost threw it away, then decided to crop it and use it as a layer in a card!


I looks like some crazy modern art design, but really is just my embossing folder with way to much ink everywhere!  I kind of liked it. In case you are curious, that is "Poppy Red" - a color we haven't seen for nearly 6 years!  I had some old Poppy Red Designer Series paper stashed in my room and dug it out for this card!

For my last try, I inked up a background stamp, "Watercolor Wash", then stamped on the smooth side of the embossing folder with the background stamp. I then put my paper in and ran the folder through the Big Shot. I really like how this one turned out!


How about that!  A simple embossing folder and four ways to use it, creating four very different looks!  I'm always excited when I figure out expanded ways to use some of my products, getting more bang for my buck, so to speak. 

There are lots of embossing folders in our catalog and I hope you'll check them out and see what ones you need to have. Of course, you also need a Big Shot so if you don't have one, make that your' next purchase goal!

Thanks for stopping by!  It's always fun to share what I've been up to!
Happy Stampin'!
Sarah

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Stained Glass Beauty

Hi Stampin' Friends,
What a glorious summer week we are having in Montana!  All of you people who live a little further south got to enjoy spring and the end of winter a while ago. We just go from winter to summer here, no messing around with a leisurely springtime. When the warm weather hits, everyone is happy! I'm out on my bike more, out with my dog more and just plain outside more. It's wonderful!

I'm going back to some previous sneak peeks this week to go over the new products in more depth and include some helpful tips in using them. It's one thing to look at pictures here or on Pinterest, but when it comes to using the product, you often have questions. Hopefully my tips will help!

Today I want to feature the "Painted Glass" suite. This is a stained glass style that is really classic and gorgeous. There are three main elements to this suite that I've tried to capture in my card ideas below. There are stamps, framelits and stained glass vellum paper.

First, I'll focus on the framelits. There are VERY detailed!  You will have to pull out every trick you know to be successful with these framelits. I first tried the precision base cutting plate and while it cut okay, I had a difficult time getting the cut piece out of the framelit without ripping the paper. You can see how narrow the design is below. I ended up going back to a homespun technique of layering wax paper between my cardstock and framelit. That helped the paper slid out easier and I managed to get all the pieces I wanted for my card, intact. The card below has 6 framelit cut pieces, the four corners, the square window and the window topper.


I used a combination of Stampin'Up! watercolor pencils (window topper) and Stampin' Blends (bird, butterfly and flower) for coloring.  There was not a specific reason for this, just wanted to try some different looks. The butterfly, bird and flower are all cut out with framelits and as these are just outline dies, they were simple cuts. I should mention the topic of adhering these stained glass pieces on a project. The best idea is to use Stampin'Up! adhesive sheets at the time of cutting, then pull off the backing and stick them on your project. Otherwise, you can use a fine tip glue pen or dabs of Snail adhesive here and there.

For my next card, I used the long "ladder like" framelit, again using wax paper between the card stock and the framelit die.  I intended to adhere these to a white or lighter colored cardstock, but they quit looking like shutters, which is what I was trying to create. I decided to adhere them to the same color card stock as the shutters themselves, Cherry Cobbler.


I was sorry to see our window framelit retire so I wanted to use it one more time!  I love these shutters!  In fact, I think I should put some on my house for real some day!

My next topic is the "Graceful Glass" Vellum paper. This paper is designed with a smooth side and a slightly raised, embossed side. You can fussy cut the paper and use just a portion of it without doing anything else, like I did below:


This also used the "Painted Glass" stamp set, which I'll talk about as we go!  I used mini glue dots here and there to adhere my vellum paper and mounted it on a Designer Series Paper from the "Tranquil Tides" set.

The next technique is to actually color the backside of the vellum with our Stampin'Blends alcohol markers. If you color the backside, you don't run into the embossing raised lines and it's a little more forgiving if you color outside the lines. The color shows through great, although the vividness is a little more subtle than if you were coloring on white card stock alone.


In the card above, I colored all of the vellum, every section for a full stained glass look.   In the next card, I left some white spaces to emphasize the colored spots. I saw this recently in some actual church stained glass windows up in Big Sky and thought it was lovely.


As you can see, there are some classic stamps to go with this set as well.  Here are the products so you can get a better look and all my supplies are listed in the supply list at the end of the post. Click on any item and it will take you straight to my online store!



I hope you've enjoyed this product suite!  It's truly unique and very versatile in how you can use it.  I'm sure I'll be grabbing it again soon to play some more!

Thanks for stopping by and have a lovely day!
Sarah

Monday, June 4, 2018

New 2018-2019 Annual Catalog!

Hey Stampers!
By now, I'm sure you have heard that a new catalog was on it's way and I'm here to tell you that it's HERE!  One of the many things I love about Stampin'Up! is the way they clear out some products to make room for new stuff. This catalog is really a treasure trove of new stuff, especially with the whole color revamp.  There are many ways you could go with what to get first such as some stamps that catch your eye, some new Designer Series Paper or the new color ink and paper.  If you click on the catalog link to the right ===>> you'll see a PDF of the entire catalog. Be sure to save it to your computer and then you'll have it at your fingertips whenever you want to refer to it.

Ready to buy?  Click on the SU store link to the right =====>> and start shopping!  It's easy, convenient and your choices will be delivered right to your house!

I want to dive in with some more detail about some of my sneak peeks. I mainly have just shown you pictures but now I can share some details.  I'll start with one of my favorites, the "Varied Vases" bundle. This is a set designed by one of Stampin'Up!'s top demonstrators, Mary Fish. I love it for the simplicity of it and versatile ways to combine the stamps and punch pieces. Here's a look at the first card I made with this set:


I started by stamping the vases across my white background piece. I stamped them individually, but it would be an easy stamp with the Stamparatus, mounting the three different vase shapes at once, then moving the paper.  I colored my water with an Aqua Painter and Pool Party ink and Bermuda Bay ink, going for some shading with the color.  I then stamped the stem/outline piece of the flowers. There are several to choose from and I chose three different ones. I then went back and stamped flowers on top of the outlines in three different colors, Grapefruit Grove, Rich Razzleberry and Melon Mambo.  Did you notice the embossed background using the Basketweave folder?  That will be a favorite of mine for sure!

Here are some other ideas:


On the one above, I stamped the flowers first, then glued on a vase after punching it out with the Vase builder punch.  I used my stitched framelits to die cut the pieces and mounted them on dimensionals, on some "Tranquil Textures" Designer Series Paper. There are some new faceted buttons that I used for a fun accent.


On this one, I kept it simple with just one vase and stem of flowers. I stamped the vase with Grapefruit Grove and then punched it out with the Vase Builder punch. Have you wondered about the background?  This is really innovative!  Stampin'Up! has some new laser cut detailed paper that you can cut into smaller pieces and use on a card. The possibilities with this paper are endless! It comes with several different laser cut designs and is white on one side and cream on the other.  I think there are several different adhesives you could use, including the Fine Tip glue pen or Tombow glue. I also tried just little dabs of my Snail taper runner on some of the bigger leaves and flowers.  You do have to handle this paper carefully and I would recommend cutting it with scissors and not your paper trimmer. All the intricate parts of the laser cutting get caught up in your trimmer blade and it's easy to rip and tear where you didn't intend to.

This is a great bundle and a nice price point too!  Here's a peek at the set:


Obviously, I only scratched the surface!  There is much more that this set offers in the way of fun and creative expression.

Thanks for stopping by!  I love sharing what I do and it's gratifying when someone takes notice and it inspires them!

Happy Stampin'!
Sarah

Thursday, May 31, 2018

A last sneak peek! Tomorrow it's all for REAL!

Hi friends,
I know, I know... I start blogging about these dates whenever there's a new promotion or a new catalog launch or something and I sound like this is the biggest deal EVER!  I can't help it sometimes! It's so fun to get going with new product and see what I can create with all the new stamps, colors and fun.  With the catalog going live at 1 p.m. Mountain time tomorrow, the online store will be ready to take your order!  You can also order a paper copy of the catalog with any order. Be sure to choose me for your demonstrator if you don't already have one and then contact me if you have questions or need any help!  You'll be so glad you dived in! 

Here are some more sneak peeks of new products!  The details will be forthcoming when I can spill the beans about specific products and techniques!










Come back tomorrow after 1 p.m. for all the fun!
Happy Stampin'!
Sarah

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

My Top Ten list for the new catalog!

Hi Stampers!
We are getting closer to June 1st!  That's the day the new 2018-2019 Annual Catalog is released and ready to go!  You will be able to order with me or online (starting at 1 p.m. Mountain time) on that day and I'll bet you can't wait!  I've been handing out catalogs for a couple of weeks now at my classes and plan to hand out some more today at my open house (contact me if you want details for that!).  I've seen a few of you and asked what you thought about the new catalog. It's been all positive and mostly anticipation with some wondering what to order first thrown in!  That's always the case with a new product offering and this annual catalog features a bunch of different directions to go with your first few orders. There are about 18 new colors launching so you can get ink, paper and reinkers for all of those, or the ones you like.  There are new stamps and bundles so you can head that direction! There are new additions to the Stampin' Blends alcohol markers which are available mid June and you can grab those too!  What to choose....

Just for fun, I thought I would share my Top Ten list, no particular order.  I have to say it's not easy to narrow it down to 10 however!

1) New cardstock and ink pads in new colors
2) New markers in new colors . pg 182
3) Varied Vases bundle (stamps and punch) . pg 45
4) Itty Bitty Greetings (must have!) . pg 46
5) Enjoy Life stamp set . pg 58
6) Under the Mistletoe DSP . pg 95
7) Rooted in Nature (favorite bundle) . pg 143
8) Seize the Day . stamp set . pg 157
9) Handwritten background stamp .  pg 172
10) Accented Blooms bundle . pg 19

What are your favorites?  It's a good thing we have a whole year to enjoy the catalog and spread our wish list out a little, right?  

I'll leave you with some more sneak peeks, from the Accented Blooms bundle this time!




Happy Stampin'!
Sarah

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Big Wishes

Hi Stampers!
I'm back today with sharing another stamp set that is coming up in the new Annual Catalog, to be released on June 1st!  This stamp set caught my eye for its simplicity and versatility. If you need to make a birthday card in a hurry with a big impact, this set will be one you'll love to have on hand.  I played with this set yesterday and wanted to share my ideas today!

For my first card, I made a gate fold card, but turned it on it's side so the top opens up from the bottom. I used some fun floral paper that is coming and the "Enjoy Today" stamp. I paired it with some sweet little blossoms from the Beautiful Bouquet framelit set and then used my leaf punch too.


For the second card, I used the "Hope your Day is truly Amazing" stamp and my stamparatus.  I started at the top with Petal Pink ink and then moved the stamparatus plate down the side, one notch at a time and inked up the stamp with different colors each time. I tried to match the colors in my background Designer Series Paper.  This was fun and super easy with the stamparatus. Note how it perfectly lines up every time!


For my third card, I wanted to try some heat embossing with the "Wish Big" stamp set. I used silver embossing powder on Night of Navy cardstock and then used some silver foil paper behind it. Anything metallic is harder to photograph but I think you can get the idea.


For my final card, I wanted to go bold with the "Happy Birthday" sentiment. I used Lovely Lipstick, one of the new In-Colors. I used my Stitched Shapes framelit, the largest oval, to cut it out and then also cut out a piece of So Saffron. I embossed the So Saffron piece with an embossing die in the new stitched framelits set that is coming out in June.


There were several more ways I can think of to use these stamps and will be sharing those as I do them. For now, I'm just giving my new stuff a quick look as I make my way through my preorder. I love being a Stampin'Up! demonstrator and having the opportunity to purchase new product early! I guess that feeds into the instant gratification thing we all struggle with a little, right?!!

Hope you have a lovely, creative day!
Sarah