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!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Monochromatic can be awesome!

Hi Stampers!
I'm continuing to play with some new product that will be available on June 1st! I hope you're excited for the new catalog to be released. There's quite a bit of new things that will lead you on many creative journeys throughout the year.

One of my favorite things is to try to challenge myself with some parameters for my ideas. I wanted to play with the new "Delightfully Detailed" laser cut specialty paper that is coming. It's an interesting element or layer to a card and one of the greatest features is that it is white on one side and ivory on the other. It could also be sponged or colored with a brayer to get any color on the paper. I took some time to carefully play with it yesterday and also decided to make some monochromatic cards, meaning, one color  besides the laser cut paper. Here's what happened:

The first one features Highland Heather.


The second one features Coastal Cabana.


The third one features Soft Sea Foam.


The last one features Calypso Coral.


I used some Tombow glue on some of these laser cuts and a Snail tape runner in small bits on others. Adhering them to paper is a bit tricky, but ultimately very doable.  I'll have more to say about these products after June 1st so stay tuned!

I hope you're having a fantastic week! 
Happy Stampin'!
Sarah

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Out of my box - Some truly special custom cards!

Hi there stampers!
Every now and then, I have people contact me for some custom cards that they have in mind for a special somebody. I love doing some custom work as it stretches my creative juices a bit outside my normal "box" and I figure that is good for me.  I thought you would like to see some of these ideas! 

My first request was for a friend whose daughter is a nurse and she wanted to give her a special card for Nurses' Week. I didn't have any "medical" stamps on hand, but was able to come up with something that worked and I think reflected the heart of this mom and her daughter! I used a familiar "gate fold" design for the card and some lovely retired Designer Series Paper




My second project was a card requested by my son, Sam. He wanted a graduation card for a specific friend of his that is graduating from Billings Senior High soon. Sam's exact words were "make in orange and black and if you can throw a bucking broncho in there, that would be great"!  My horse and horseshoe die are not from Stampin'Up! but the rest of the of the elements are! When I heard orange and black, I went straight to my stash of Halloween paper!


My last request I'm showing you today comes from a best friend that I've known since 7th grade. She wanted some custom cards for her grandchildren who were recently baptized. This project was definitely more challenging as I tried to come up with something that reflects the personality of each kid, as well as the significant milestone event. I used a combination of retired, current and soon-to-be released stamps and products to help me create these cards. I neglected to photograph the insides of the card, but I added some more graphics and sentiments to really make these cards special.




I'm currently working on another project for a client that is stretching me even further! I'll share the details once I've got it finalized!   If you get the chance to take on some custom work, try it!  It's a little stressful but super fun. My advice is to ask questions and get an idea of what the customer has in their head and see if you can reproduce it if possible. You also have to be brave and speak up when their idea doesn't work and guide them towards a concept that works for them and is reproducible by you and your stamps!

Thanks for taking a peek!
Sarah


Friday, May 11, 2018

Serene Garden

Hi Stampers!
I have more sneak peeks today!  I'm working with the Serene Garden bundle and this one is a challenge!  There are some fun stamps which are easy enough to figure out but there are also some crazy cool framelits that are a challenge. Some cut where you don't expect and others just emboss. A few work just like you would imagine. I can tell it's going to take some more playing around to get my head wrapped around all this set has to offer. Here are my first attempts:


For this first one, I just stamped. I hope you are noticing all kinds of new product including stamps, Designer Series paper and two new colors, Shaded Spruce and Blueberry Bushel!


For this second one, I wanted to try the corner leaf framelit. I die cut the card stock piece first and then stamped over it, trying to line it up. I should have used my stamparatus and will in the future! This color scheme is bright with the new Granny Apple Green and Gorgeous Grape joining Lemon Lime Twist and Pacific Point.


And finally, the most toned down version!  I stamped as I normally would, adding elements in all but one corner and then stamped and die cut the birds and flowers. New colors here include Petal Pink (which looks very peachy when combined with Calypso Coral) and Soft Sea Foam Green.

There's a lot more to say about these cards, once the products are available and I will feature them again as I continue to play with this set!  I have a large embossing piece that I haven't tried yet so that's next!

Hope you have a fabulous weekend!  Enjoy your family if you are able and take time to create!
Happy Stampin'!
Sarah

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Rooted in Nature

Hey Stampin' Friends!
I have another sneak peek for you!  I should probably warn you that this is my favorite bundle out of the new catalog coming on June 1st. It's a wonderful blend of trees and nature that is reminiscent of the well-loved "Lovely as a Tree" stamp set that has been around for years, however, it is even better. There are framelits to coordinate with the stamps! 

I have only scratched the surface, but am excited to show you some possibilities that I've come up with so far!  Here we go:






Isn't this set amazing?  It also coordinates with a gorgeous stack of paper, the "Nature's Poem" Designer Series Paper. One color that I didn't focus on yet is Blackberry Bliss, which is part of the DSP colors used.  One thing about trees and nature-related themes, you can use them for any occasion... any!  I gravitate towards the foliage for sympathy cards especially but they are for so much more.   I have to warn you, this set is at the top of the price range for Stampin'Up! bundles, so start saving now!  I'll feature it many more times on my blog and talk more in depth about what stamps and framelits come with it.

For now, you can drool and thank me later!  Hope you have a great day ahead of you and take time to be creative! It's great for the soul....

Happy Stampin'!
Sarah

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

More Stained Glass fun!

Hi Stampin' Friends!
I am continuing my playtime with some new product that will be coming up in the new Annual Catalog, June 1st. There are so many fun things to explore and try out. As a demonstrator, we get to preorder select product. We can't get our hands on everything, but there is a lot to choose from and try out!

A few blog posts ago, I shared some ideas I had using the Stained Glass paper and stamp set. There is also a coordinating framelit set that I wanted to try out. That is what this post is about. The framelits are extremely detailed and delicate. I tried several different layering options for cutting with my Big Shot and actually had the best luck with the Precision Base Plate and wax paper between the card stock and the framelit. I'll explain more in future posts as I work with this set some more but for now, I thought you'd like to see a couple creations!

On this first card, everything you see in black is diet cut with a framelit and black card stock. The cuts are extremely thin and have to be handled with care. I didn't use the adhesive sheet backing on my card stock, but I would try that next time as these are also tricking to glue down. I used watercolor pencils for the window coloring and the Stampin'Blends for the flower, bird and butterfly.


I hope you can see what I did on this next card!  I took another framelit that reminded me of a shutter and cut it out of Cherry Cobbler card stock, then cut another piece of card stock and glued them together to make shutters. I really like how this turned out!


These were fun to play with, albeit some of the hardest cutting I've done with framelits! I will keep experimenting and let you know what works best. The dies certainly cut okay, the trick is getting the paper out of the die without ripping it since it's so fragile.

And with that, I'm back to more playing! See you again soon!
Sarah

Monday, May 7, 2018

Enjoy Life!

Hi Friends,
I've been so excited for this day to get here. We had a fun weekend catching up with family and friends and even accomplished a lot around the house but my mind was a little bit on today and my ears are perked to hear the lovely muffler sound of the UPS truck!  My preorder is scheduled to be delivered and I can't wait to welcome all the new colors into my craft room.  I have folders and labels all ready... just need the occupants!  All that sounds a little silly unless you're really into papercrafting in general and Stampin'Up! specifically!  I plan to do a Facebook Live video for the big reveal...

Today I want to share another stamp set I was able to purchase as a perk of attending OnStage in Las Vegas.  I loved this set the first time I laid eyes on it!  It reminded me of my kids and that was the inspiration for the stamp set which was inspired by Connie Fitzgerald, another $1 million dollar seller with Stampin'Up!  I love everything about this set from the people, the nature elements and the sentiments, including the awesome fonts!  Here are my ideas:




I grabbed some new and retiring Designer Series Paper and stamped on it, which is a favorite technique of mine. I will be playing with this set more soon as I think it has so many wonderful possibilities. It also seems rather current and reflects a mindset and lifestyle that I'm surrounded by in Bozeman, Montana.

I hope you're off to a great week!  Thanks for stopping by!
Sarah

Friday, May 4, 2018

Varied Vases - Mary Fish Stamp Set!

Good Friday morning Stampers!
It's a gorgeous day where I am and I'm looking forward to a relaxing weekend while I also catch up on some things. It definitely feels like spring is in the air and summer is on its heels! That is great news!

I'm continuing my exploring of the new products that I've been able to get so far and I'm liking what I have!  Stampin'Up! has a special treat for those demonstrators who reach the $1 million dollar milestone in sales. They get to go to Salt Lake City, Stampin'Up! headquarters, and among many other things, they get to work with the SU design team and design a stamp set. The set I'm showing today was designed by Mary Fish and called "Varied Vases". I think it captures her simple and clean style perfectly while giving you many options.  Here's what I came up with:




The stamp set also comes with a coordinating vase builder punch (used in the top card). I tried to incorporate mostly new products, but had to reach back into my retired ribbon stash for some Mossy Meadow ribbon. That color is returning in June so I felt it was okay to use the ribbon as well.  Did you notice the background piece on the top card?  It's a new set of Designer Series Paper that is laser cut with many different lacy patterns and backgrounds. I'll post more on that in future blogs, as it becomes available in June.  On the bottom card, I created the water in the vases by using Pool Party and Coastal Cabana (another returning color in May) and my Aqua Painter. I wanted it to look a little more subtle than it would have been if I used just ink.

I had a great time playing with this set. It's going to be sold as a bundle starting in June so keep an eye out for it!  I will be coming back to many of these products in future blogs, once they are available in June. For now, I love sharing some of my early ideas with you.  I put in another preorder this week and it is supposed to arrive on Monday.  This is one time I wish the weekend would go FAST!  Thanks for stopping by!  I'm available for any help or questions you might have!

Happy Stampin'!
Sarah