Big Sky Stampin' Papercrafting

I have been a crafter most of my life, starting in about 8th grade when I tried to embroider some frogs on a quilt, that I never finished! Although the list of what "I never finished" is long, and includes cross stitch, knitting, crocheting, quilting and more, my latest obsession is paper! I joined Stampin'Up! as an independent demonstrator in October 2011 and have been going like crazy ever since! I offer classes in my home, do catered card parties at your home and sell my cards locally in Bozeman, Montana and around the lovely Gallatin Valley. I would love to meet and talk to you if you are interested in the papercrafting hobby or just need some unique handmade cards for a special occasion!

Thursday, August 17, 2017


Hi there Stampers!
I love to take the TBT - Throw Back Thursday opportunity to revisit some old favorites with stamp sets, papers and embellishments. As excited as I am for new catalogs, I often feel like I barely got started with a former catalog and poof.... it's gone, all retired!  Consequently, I have a pretty huge stash of paper, stamps and embellishments that didn't get enough lovin' from me. I sell cards at several retail locations in the Gallatin Valley and I am quite sure my customers could care less if something is technically "retired" so it's a great way to dive into that stash and find some goodies. I have been in sore need of wedding cards lately so here are some of the fun ones I tried. You will see a mix of old and new. If you have any questions about a particularly product, just ask. I won't bother to list them as the list is extensive and as I said, much of it is "retired."  Enjoy the trip down memory lane!

Next up?  Thank you's!!  All out of those too ;)

See you next time,

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Whole Lot of Lovely

Hi Stampers!
How is your Wednesday going so far? Did you check out the Clearance Rack yesterday?  There are some great deals on last year's products. You can access it through the "shop now" link on the right.

I'm excited to share a fun card today that features the Whole Lot of Lovely Designer Series Paper. Boy, is it pretty!  It features hand-painted designs by a Stampin'Up! artist that are absolutely gorgeous. The paper is so pretty, it's hard to know what to do with it as you don't want to detract from it!  Here's my card:

As you can see, I combined the "Lots of Love" stamp set with the "Beautiful Bouquet" stamp set to try to get the right flower arrangement. I think the most striking thing is the black background on the Designer Series Paper. It really makes the colors pop.  Did you notice my embossed background?  I used a new favorite folder, the "Layered Leaves" folder which is a dynamic texture embossing folder and gives a really nice embossing with varying layers of depth.  This is a card where I wish my photographic skills and set up were more professional. The colors aren't quite perfect but I hope you get the idea!  Photography for my Stampin'Up! business is on my list of things to do!

Thanks for stopping by and let me know if you have any questions! I'm always ready to chat about crafting, haha!

Happy Stampin'!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Daisies and MSU Bobcats!

Hi there Stampin' friends!
I have a couple of things on my mind today!  Daisies and Bobcats!  I know, I know... weird combo, right?  First about the Bobcats. It is time to buy football tickets for the season so of course that gets the Blue and Gold blood flowing. My husband and I are not alumni, but two of our kids are and we've been rooting for them for 30 years so we are almost diehard!  Secondly, about the daisies.  Stampin'Up!'s annual catalog features a wonderful suite called "Delightful Daisy" which has a wonderful new daisy punch. Apparently all of us like it a lot as they have had trouble keeping it in stock, but it is BACK and available again!  The coordinating Designer Series Paper is gorgeous and features such a pretty navy blue and yellow combination. Now you see where I'm going with the Daisies and Bobcats, right?  Here's my card:

So other than the color scheme, this card has nothing to do with football, Montana State or Bobcats. I don't know anyone that doesn't like the color combo of blue and white and when you add a pop of yellow, it is really pretty!  These daisies are easy to stamp and punch out. Although I didn't, you can punch out 2 for each flower, creating a thicker petal look. They look great stamped or just cut out of paper without stamping.  For you sharper eyes, that's some new ribbon tucked in the background too!
I hope you like my daisy card. It was fun to create and this will definitely go to someone who is a Bobcat fan. Just between you and me, we will see if they catch on!

Thanks for stopping by!  Oh, BIG NEWS!!!  The Clearance Rack has been updated and that means wonderful savings on all kinds of products!   Check it out here:

Clearance Rack


Shop online your self or contact me and I'll submit an order for you... either way works great! I like to buy some of the less expensive products to give away as gifts to fellow stampers, customers and demonstrators on my team!  We all love more supplies and what a fun way to share some love!

Happy Stampin'!,

Monday, August 14, 2017

Born to be Loved!

Good Monday morning stampers!
This is a welcome Monday in Montana. For the first time in weeks, we are getting some rain. Much of the state has been on fire for a month now and the rain is so very needed and welcome. It seems like October today and I know the sun and heat will be back but hopefully the smoke is gone!

Today I want to feature a fun suite in the Annual catalog called "Bundle of Love". There is paper, card packs, ribbons, an embossing folder and stamps. It is suitable for weddings or new babies! Here are a couple of samples I made while I was playing around with this suite:

The first card features Pool Party blues to set the tone. I used my new Marble background stamp and can't even believe how gorgeous that is. I also incorporated the "Moon Baby" set for both cards. The second card features the Bundle of Love embossing folder which has a heart shaped clear spot in the middle that lines up perfectly with the stamp set. It was fun to play with these new products and see what they can do!  I also incorporated some retired ribbon, buttons and washi tape. I have been hoarding way too much of this for years now and you are going to see these items pop up some in my samples as a way to whittle down my supply!

My holiday catalogs have arrived! If you live outside Gallatin Valley and would like a copy of one, please contact me and I'll get one to you. If you are local, sign up for a class or contact me and stop by to pick one up! It's amazing and I can't wait to show you what I've been up to with our new holida products!

Have a great, creative day!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Life is a Beautiful Thing!

Hi Stampers!
I recently started a "Techniques Tuesday" class to explore different techniques with papercrafting. There are so many inventive ways to use ink, paper and other supplies that it is really fun to see what you can come up with!  At our first class, we used the new embossing paste and coordinating products on a card:  Here's the result:

We used the brick mask to create the pattern with the embossing paste. We then used the very edge of a dauber and some Cajun Craze ink to color the bricks. There are other ways to color the embossing paste, but this was easy and quick and you didn't have excess paste that is dyed a specific color that you don't need anymore. One more trick:  We colored the plant and basket with markers before we stamped, allowing us to use 2 colors, which is always a great result!

Another project included a fun fold picture frame featuring the "Foil Frenzy" paper. This paper is thick and stiff and to work with it, you need to score well, use a bone folder and then secure the folds with tear tape!  Here's the project:

By creating the folds on each side, it left some space for a picture to be inserted into the frame. The dimension for the front of the frame (Foil Frenzy paper) is 5" x 9". We scored at 1" and 1-1/2" on the left side, flipped the paper over and scored at 1" and 1-1/2" on the other side.  The folds are a Z pattern, then adhered down with tear tape. The back of the frame is a 5" x 8" piece of white cardboard that comes in every pack of Designer Series Paper. I always save those as you never know when you might need one!

Our last project was the card featured on my blog yesterday, using the "Ribbons of Courage" bundle and spritzing Dazzling Diamonds glimmer paper with reinker and alcohol in a spritzer.

I'm going to try and hold these classes monthly and would love to add an evening session if there is enough interest!  It's fun to play around with different ideas. I promise you will learn something new!

Hope you have a great weekend!
Happy Stampin'!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Ribbons of Courage

Hi Stampers!
I hope your week is sailing along in the right direction. I know August seems like it goes pretty fast, especially is upcoming school is a factor. This is the first year in about 30 years that it doesn't matter to me! Kinda a weird feeling, but also nice to not be locked into that schedule and have a little more freedom outside of the school calendar.

Today I want to share some projects from the "Ribbons of Courage" stamp set. I purposely bought this bundle to keep on hand for cards/projects when the traditional "get well" sentiment just isn't appropriate. I love the sentiments in the set, but also the ribbons.  Here's my first card:

I wanted to use glimmer paper to have the ribbon stand out but I also wanted it to be pink, so I mixed about 8 drops of Powder pink reinker in an almost full spritzer tube of rubbing alcohol and spritzed the Dazzling Diamonds glimmer paper before cutting. I used my heat tool to make sure the glimmer paper was fully dry before I die cut it. I also decided to cut an extra ribbon out of white card stock to shadow the pink glimmer one. I think this helps it stand out a little better.  I was excited about how easy it is to color glimmer paper and get it just the right shade of pink!

Here are a couple other cards I tried with this wonderful set:

On the above one, I stamped with Smoky Slate on a piece of "Whole Lot of Lovely" Designer Series Paper with the ribbon image.

This card introduces a third color, Dapper Denim, and also features the "Bundle of Love" Designer Series Paper.

I understand that different colored ribbons are representative of different kinds of cancer or other meanings so this would really be a versatile set to work with to support any cause.

The best part of this set is that it reflects what rubber stamping has come to mean to me, which is reaching out to others and blessing them with thoughts, prayers and a hand made card. It's a simple pleasure in an era of complicated technology, geographic distances and hurried schedules.

Thanks for stopping by and seeing what I'm up to today!  I appreciate it and would love to chat if you have any questions about these projects or rubber stamping in general. I figure you can never have too many hand made cards in the world!

Happy Stampin',
Sarah Cade

Monday, August 7, 2017

Missing You

Happy Monday Stampers!

It's another week of summer that needs to be well spent!  We are getting a reprieve from the smoke so spent some time 4-wheeling yesterday south of Big Sky Montana. It was absolutely spectacular and so fun to be out in God's magnificent creation. You are going to think I'm crazy, but I get a lot of inspiration from nature. Sometimes it is specific colors that I see which are also in Stampin'Up!'s palette like Berry Burst, Lemon Lime Twist, Calypso Coral and all the greens!  I always make a mental note to remember that particularly color when I get back to the stamp room. Sometimes it is a particular scene that sparks my imagination and gets the wheels turning. I just never know when I will be hit by a good idea haha!

Today, the card I have for you was inspired by the Designer Series Paper I'm using, from the "Whole Lot of Lovely" pack. The papers that feature a black background are stunning and I knew I wanted to figure out something that used it. Here's my card:

I know many of you are curious about the creative process itself. I get lots of questions about "where do you start" with a project. My main two starting points are either a piece of Designer Series Paper that gives me my color scheme, OR a specific stamp set I want to use. Ideas pop in my head pretty quickly once I've chosen one of those two components. Sometimes I don't like what I make and most of the time, I do. Here's a look at where I started with this card... the Designer Series Paper, the stamp set and my card base.

I also had a technique in mind that I hadn't used for awhile.. sponging with dry wall tape as my mask. It works great and gives you a faint polka dot background.

I also wanted to use the "Oh So Eclectic" stamp set as it had recently come in the mail. This is going to be a favorite set to go back to, even though I already have a ton of floral stamps! You will see that my flower colors were determined by the Designer Series Paper colors of flowers.

I hope that helps a little with some sharing of my creative process. I know it's different for everyone, but this is the most often how it starts for me. Want some help? I'm always available to chat about papercrafting, Stampin'Up! products and more. Just contact me and I'll get right back to you!

Hope today is a creatively great day!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Celebration Time!

Hi stampin' friends!
I have something fun and new to show you today!  I'm working my way through the new annual catalog and trying out some of the products that have been on my wish list. This particular stamp set and thinlit combo caught my eye because I always need birthday cards! It's called "Celebration Time".

There are a lot of cut out options for the framelits and the stamps nicely coordinate to use or not use!  You can make cakes, tags, packages, etc. by mixing up the different pieces. Here's a closer look at the set so you can see the variety.

Just staring at this for a few minutes, I think I could come up with 10 different ideas in a matter of minutes. You can die cut only, stamp only or combine the two for so many different images and possibilities.Of course, there is also the option of using this for any occasion to celebrate, not just a birthday!  I can see wedding cards with the fabulous cake images and even graduation, or a retirement party, etc. We love to celebrate and this bundle will inspire you!

On my two cards above, I also used some new products including the wooden plank embossing folder and some Naturally Eclectic Designer Series Paper. Don't be afraid to combine products from different suites when you are creating! That's a big part of the process, figuring out what goes together. Sometimes it isn't quite what you had in mind and other times you have a very happy surprise of creative genius. It's always fun to experiment.

Please contact me if you are interested in this set, receiving a catalog, talking about papercrafting in general or signing up as a demonstrator with Stampin'Up!  I always have time to answer a question or provide some help and inspiration. With the Internet, we are all connected in a way that makes the distances between us shrink and somehow, some way, it feels like we are right next door chatting about a shared interest!

Hope you have a great day today!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Life is Still Beautiful

Happy Wednesday Stampers!
I woke up in a melancholy mood today as I realized the whole month of August is ahead of us and there is no end in sight to the forest fires that are burning up our beloved Montana.  All winter, most of us welcome the snow, the more the better, in hopes that it would produce really great spring runoff and give some much needed moisture to our parched land. There's always the threat of forest fires lurking for August, but this year, it started in July and is really roaring. Our skies are smoky and hazy and the sun is usually bright orange. It's hard to be motivated to be outside and hike, fish, boat, camp when the air is compromised and the views are almost gone. Our already "too short" summers are cut in half when this happens and this seems to be another one of those years right now.

So, what do you do when you have the doldrums?  There are a lot of options, some better than others for your health and sanity.  My craft room happens to be in my basement where it is still cool and I'm less aware of the smoke. That's where I go in the evening. I can take a break from what I'm seeing outside and focus on what I know to be true... Life is still a beautiful thing. Here's my card today:

This is a pretty simple card but the color scheme is what makes it shout. I used Berry Burst, Lemon Lime Twist and Night of Navy to make it pop. My stamp set/framelit combo is the "Colorful Seasons" set which is so popular!  I think sometimes we need to be reminded that life has its own beauty in all seasons, even fire season. I know I needed that reminder today and I'm feeling better as I blog already. I also know that making a card won't solve most of life's problems but the process does bring some joy in the midst of "whatever".

Thanks for stopping by today!  I appreciate you and your interest in my creations!
Happy Stampin'!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Christmas is on its way!

Hi there stampers!
It is August 1st today, a day I've had marked on my calendar all summer!  Today starts the Christmas season at Stampin'Up!  There is a new Holiday catalog for 2017 and it will be in your hands as soon as I can get them in mine!  One of the perks of being a demonstrator is being able to preorder new product, see what's coming, take advantage of early release sets, etc.

There was a really amazing new bundle released to us in July and now, available to you!  It's called "Carols of Christmas" and features some bold stamps and extremely creative and versatile framelits!  I want to share a couple of cards I made, today, and then in the future will feature each card with all the details. Here they are:

As you can see, there is some wonderful creating going on here. My favorite is the first one because I love the sky, trees and deer. I plan to use this set for birthday cards and more and not just restrict it to Christmas season use. Are you curious about the set? Here's a closer look:

There are a lot of possibilities there! While the Holiday catalog products aren't available to purchase until September 1st, you can get a jump on Christmas with this bundle!  Go to the "shop now" link and you'll see Carols of Christmas as one of the options on the left side bar menu on the store website. Watch for future blog posts too featuring this fun set!

Ah, August.... it's still summer, but oh so close to not being summer. There's still a lot of fun to be had and even some creating to be done. I've loaded up my class schedule too so check that out on my website as well. Crafting is a great idea all year, right?!!

Happy Stampin'!

Friday, July 28, 2017

Every Day is an Adventure !

Hi stampers!
I'm back today with more travel/camping/adventured themes!  I can never get enough of these. I'm not really a seasoned traveler and tend to stick to about a 5 state region, but I do love to get away and regard any road trip as an adventure, even if it's to the town 25 miles east for a really good pizza burger (Mark's In and Out in Livingston, BTW) !!

I was really impressed with the July Paper Pumpkin kit and as I put my cards together, I realized I could easily recreate the same look with some of my supplies. I used some retired corrugated paper for my mountains and the rest is history!  Here's my card:

It may be obvious, but it's one of those things that bears mentioning. You need to cut your panorama circles 1/4" (at least) larger than your circle in your card front!  I used dimensionals to adhere the layers, to give a fully dimension effect.  As for the stamp set, I have featured this delightful hostess stamp before on my blog. It is "Dare to Dream" and is available with a $150 or more order. Stampin'Up! loves to spoil those who put in big orders, or host a party of several smaller orders and give you a chance to purchase some special stamps at a big discount, that are not otherwise available. My color palette for this card was Soft Sky, Lemon Lime Twist, Tranquil Tide and Soft Suede - all great colors and very full of nature!

I don't have classes scheduled next week so plan on creating as many new projects and samples as I can to inspire you, heading into the Holiday Catalog time period!  Demonstrators get to order starting August 1st and customers will be able to order when the catalog goes live on September first. That's another good reason to consider becoming a demonstrator- much quicker gratification with new products, haha! Ask me the details and I'll happily share the scoop.

Have a great weekend!  It's the last week of July, still more summer fun to be had!
Happy Stampin'!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Glossy Paper Experiment!

Hi Stampers!
When I first discovered the art/hobby of rubber stamping, I was introduced to glossy paper and techniques with ink for it. I tried some things back then, but glossy paper was retired from the Stampin'Up! line up several years ago and I forgot what I had tried. Fast forward to now and glossy paper is back in the annual catalog!  I knew I wanted to give it a go again, but wasn't sure where to start. No secret, I checked out Pinterest where so many of us go for help and ideas. I decided to try something easy first, that anyone could do with a reinker bottle and water spritzer. Here's my card:

The glossy paper piece is the part that looks somewhat tie-dyed.  I used three different reinkers, Peekaboo Peach, Berry Burst and Lemon Lime Twist. I placed a drop of the ink in several different spots on the glossy paper, actually touching the reinker to the paper. I added about 4 drops of each of the three colors. Leaving the glossy paper where it was, I held a water spritzer right above it and began to spritz the whole area. The more water, the more running of the ink. I let it set briefly and then used a paper towel to gently blot off the excess water and ink. This will turn out different every time you try it but it was really fun and dried remarkably fast.   When it came time to stamp on it, I used Stazon permanent ink, which I highly recommend. Make sure the glossy paper is completely dry before you try to stamp. You can set it aside to dry while you construct your other card elements.  I used the Celebration Thinlits to make my tag decoration, adding some ribbon and bling for fun.

A few friends got to make this card and try this technique in a recent class. Are you curious about this whole papercrafting thing?  I offer many classes throughout the month which are great introductions to the hobby and definitely not for experts only.  Contact me and I'll direct you to a class that will be fun, friendly and creative, no matter what your experience is! My August schedule is starting to fill up and you can check it out by clicking on the SU Website link on the right side bar. Scroll down to see my calendar after you've gotten to the website.

If you're rubber stamping is in a rut, try some glossy paper!  It's a lot of fun!
Happy Stampin'!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Heck YES!

Hi Stampers!
I'm a little later in the day with my post today... I had a class to prep for, some errands to run and a visit to my dad that all took more time than I planned. There are always days like that, right?

I hosted a class last night with just a small group and we had a lot of fun creating and chatting and then chatting some more. I love the social opportunities that arise when a group of people get together to stamp and make something. As the years go by, we are getting to know each other better, follow each other's lives, encourage each other and laugh. Boy, do we laugh!  Here's one of the fun cards we made last night:

I had a couple of goals in mind with this creation. I really wanted to revisit the Birthday Memories Suite and primarily use the baker image. I also wanted to make a gender neutral card. My customers tell me that they can never get enough ideas for cards for guys!  That thought dictated my color palette and I also wanted to show off the fun die cuts that can be made on the Designer Series Paper that goes with this suite.  The placement of the baker was tricky as his "frosting gun" was covering up too much of the sentiment. I had to keep moving the sentiment closer to the top of the card until it was at the very top!  The sentiment is from a great new set that has bold, big lettering... perfect for guy cards, right?  This was a fun project that showcased the coordination of Stampin'Up! products between Designer Series Paper, framelits and stamps!

There are just a few more days to take advantage of the Bonus Days coupons and/or sign up as a demonstrator and get a fabulous package of extras with your sign up!  I have all the details and you can also see them on the SU website, link on the right!  I have one gal joining tomorrow and would love to welcome some more to our fabulous team of creative, talented, fun and friendly gals - the Big Sky Stampers!  You don't have to live in Montana to join our group, you just have to want to be part of a fun group !

Happy Stampin'!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Sunflower Season

Hi Stampin' Friends!
We are approaching that time of year when the sunflowers will be blooming in full force!  They are such a pretty reminder of the transition between seasons and I love how they grow facing the sun. They are sun worshipers for sure!  I have a card today with a beautiful sunflower, made from the Eastern Palace suite of products!  Here it is:

For the flower, I cut 2 of the same framelit, one on Crushed Curry cardstock and one on So Saffron Cardstock. I sponged the edges with Crushed curry for a more vintage look. These particular framelits are designed to cut the image in a background piece so I gently cut them away from the cardstock at the base of each petal. It was easy and then you have free-standing flowers.  For my flower center, I rescued a piece from my scrap pile of Early Espresso . You could use any circle, but this was the center from the largest circle in the Swirly Scribbles thinlits!  My stem is the branch from the Colorful Seasons dies and my background is our brick embossing folder!  The sentiment is made from our new Pretty Label punch bundle set.  This card is a great example of combing many different products by looking at your stash and pulling together what seems to work. I really like it when that works; it makes me feel very resourceful!

Thanks for stopping by! If you have any questions, would like to order any of these products or others, please let me know. It's super easy to order online and your order will come directly to your house which gets you going that much quicker! Maybe you are in a season of life where you have too much extra time and are looking for something to do.  This hobby is so versatile. It's creative and rewarding personally, but can be used to bless the lives of others as well when you make projects to share. Maybe you are afraid you don't know where to start or will need a huge investment to get going?  That's not true either!  I can help you get started for as little as $19;95 a month with our Paper Pumpkin monthly kit subscription. I can also help you start a supply of essentials and get going right away with a combination of kits and supplies for less than $100.  If you were to ask most papercrafters, they would tell you it has taken years to accumulate all these rubber stamps and stacks of paper!  It's like any hobby, i.e. quilting or knitting, etc.  You can buy what you need to get started on a specific project, then gradually add to your stash with more that you like for other projects and ideas. I've helped lots of people get going, especially those with a strict budget. You don't have to live in Montana either!  With the wonderful access of the Internet, we can talk and communicate in multiple different ways to accomplish your goals.  Check out my Stampin'Up! website for more details about me, the company, shopping our products or signing up as a demonstrator!  There's a link on the right sidebar, near the top!

Hope you have a great day!

Monday, July 24, 2017


Happy Monday!
It's the start of another week for all of us!  Anyone else feel like it's going to be a crunch to get the rest of the summer in?  Why does it have to go so fast?!!  There's still so much to do....

I have a fun and easy card for you today!  I was inspired by a wonderful, creative stamp set celebrating the art of crafting - all kinds!  Here's my card:

We live in a wonderfully abundant crafting time. You can do many traditional things like quilting, sewing, knitting, cross stitch, painting, etc but you can also color, do DIY projects, create with mixed media and of course, STAMP!  I would even include writing as a form of art with all the new platforms of blogging, social media, email, texting, and snail mail!  My card above celebrates the written word, with pens!  Here's the stamp set I used, which I just love:

What a fun way to celebrate our love of making things with our hands and our imagination!  This set is called "Crafting Forever" and is available in wood mount or clear mount styles.  My sentiment, "A Note for You" is from the Wood Words set, in case you were curious about that. My background Designer Series Paper is from the Coffee Cafe set of DSP.

I've just loaded up my August calendar with lots of events as we look forward to the launch of the Holiday Catalog for 2017!  Take a look at it (click on SU Website) and see if there are some classes you can attend. I'm also available for a party at your house with you being the hostess! Let's celebrate the art of crafting by having a stamping party!

Hope you are off to a good start on this Monday!
Happy Stampin'!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Every Day is an Adventure!

Happy Friday Stampers!
It's been a long week as I adjusted to getting back from vacation, hosting several classes and keeping up with things around the house, etc.  Some weeks are just like that. I wish every day could be a vacation, but my card today points out that every day can be an adventure. They aren't always they type of adventures we would choose, but our attitude goes a long way, right?

I usually don't spend a lot of time on Hostess sets in the catalog, but I am today. Hostess sets are special because they are only available to choose on an order of $150 or more. For many people, that's a bit of a stretch. I suspect Stampin'Up! secretly saves some of its best ideas for Hostess sets to try and entice sales - good marketing, huh?  I really like this one, "Dare to Dream" and here's a card I made recently with it. 

This card definitely qualifies for CAS, Clean and Simple. I used some Designer Series Paper from the Naturally Eclectic set for the background and then relied on stamping. I added a bit of the new copper trim the separate the two papers.  Hot air balloons are a fun motif for adventure and I like the simplicity of these stamps as well. One of my favorite techniques is stamping directly on the Designer Series Paper when the color scheme allows for it. Lots of papers are too busy or too darkly colored to take stamping but this Soft Sky design was perfect.

The weekend is here! I hope you have some adventures planned! I'll be back next week with more ideas, inspiration and tips! Thanks so much for taking a peek at what I'm up to today!

Happy Stampin'!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

A door needs a house, right?

Good morning!
Today I have a fun project that was inspired by the "At Home With You" set. I was thinking the door motif in that bundle would be really handy for all sorts of cards. It was one of the first bundles I ordered from the new annual catalog and I couldn't wait to start playing. I have had a few miscues (see below) but I am convinced that is how you become better as an artist, especially with color combinations, design elements and style. The more ideas you try, the more great ones you stumble on to, "happy accidents", shall we say!

This card evolved because it was a door in need of a house. I had the idea of putting a "peak" on the flap that closes down and when opened, you have a house. Here are some pictures to help explain what I mean:

As you can see, even the door opens to reveal the sentiment of this card!  It was a fun project. The trick was finding framelits to create windows that were the right scale to the size of the house, doors, bushes, etc. I used some retired tag framelits and hand cut some cross bar sections to further emphasize they were windows. Another feature is using the Hardwood background stamp on my card base to create some siding for my house. A quick tip about the bushes... I actually stamped them twice, once on Crumb Cake and once on Tranquil Tide. I cut the pot off the Tranquil Tide piece and glued the bush part to the Crumb Cake piece. I wanted them to look more realistic so used card stock to delineate between the bush and the pot, rather than just ink. My other tip is to use the Wood Textures Designer Series Paper for the door. It has a wood image on both sides, which a real door would so it works just perfectly!

Now, here's a "misstep" so to speak. Sometimes my attempt to work with a specific color fall very short. This is probably one of the ugliest cards I have ever made:

There are so many things wrong with this card but lets just say no one would ever paint their house Lemon Lime Twist. The rest of it is a train wreck as well, but I did learn some things. I learned I didn't like the bushes simply stamped on white paper. I also learned it is best to stamp the door before you cut it out and not after. We all need to try again when we have a train wreck, right?

There are some fun seasonal elements to this stamp set that will allow for creating a special "scene" at just the right time of the year. What a welcoming motif to share on a card with a friend, a beautiful front door which welcomes them into your home and your life.

The coordinating framelits really make this stamp set come alive and you don't have to cut all those detailed edges!

I hope you liked what I shared today and will come back for more ideas, inspiration and tips. It's still a little early, but we are coming up on the best creative time of the year... Autumn, Thanksgiving and Christmas! I think I'll be coming back to this set again and again!

Happy Stampin'!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Wedding Bouquet

Hi friends,
I'm back this week with some more fun ideas for you!  It's a little harder to want to craft when there are so many fun things to do outside in the summer, however, when the summer heat gets to being too much, I retreat to the basement where my craft room is and enjoy the cooler air.

As I work my way through the new Annual Catalog, I am trying to prioritize what I purchase, based on what I need, what I like, what is different from anything I already have, etc. One of my favorite purchases continues to be background stamps!  They are subtle in appearance most of the time but sorely missed when you take them away.  One of my favorite new background stamps is "Burlap". I especially loved the frayed edges. Here's a card I recently designed using this stamp:

This is a great example of the background stamp adding some additional interest to this card. It would have had alot of "white space" without it, which is fine if that's what you want, but I love the subtle background. I stamped using Crumb Cake, very lightly.  The rest of the card features  the Beautiful Bouquet set and a small piece of Designer Series Paper from the Delightful Daisy set. I think this design could easily be adapted for an anniversary card or even birthday card by changing the sentiment.  Be sure to check out all the background stamps on pages 164-165 of the annual catalog. Here's my hint/tip for using background stamp. I generally spend the extra money and get a wood mounted stamp because of their size. A clear mount one requires a really large acrylic block to mount and in my experience, they tend to curl a little when not on a block. For stamping, I place the wood block stamp with the wood side down on my table and the rubber side facing up. I ink up the stamp by holding the ink pad in my hand and gently tapping it on the rubber. I then lay my paper on top of the rubber surface and either rub it with my hand or use a brayer to apply some pressure to the paper. It works every time and I haven't accidentally dropped the big wood stamp anywhere because I wasn't able to hold on to it. Hope that helps you with your background stamping!

Now is a great time to purchase some goodies that you've had your eye on. Through July, you will receive a $5 coupon redeemable in August for every $50 you spend. You can submit an order online or get it to me via email or phone and the coupon will be emailed to you directly. Three background stamps alone will get you over the $50 threshold! Take advantage of this special offer before it's gone!

Happy Stampin'!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Happiness is a cup of coffee!

Happy Friday Stampin' friends!
I'm going back to a favorite new suite in the new Annual Catalog, the Coffee Cafe suite. I love the stamps and framelits and especially love the Designer Series Paper. This set is specially designed so the framelits can actually cut out the Designer Series paper as well as stamped images!  Here's what I did:

All of the products used are from the suite except the embossed background, which is a new Dynamic Texture Embossing folder that is very fun to use. I'm not much of a coffee drinker, but I love love love the color scheme and images in this suite!

This suite alone would allow you to get some Bonus Days coupons of $5 for every $50 you spend in July, to be redeemed in August!  Check it out in the store (use the "shop now" link on the right) or contact me for more information!  I know there are a lot of coffee lovers out there! Now's your chance to create something that speaks straight to your heart!

Happy Stampin' and weekend!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

TBT- Lots of Cards and Ideas!

Hi Stampers!
Today I'm going to limit my commentary and let you feast on some ideas!  Quite often, I want to mess around either with a technique, a tool, a color, old paper, old stamps etc.  It really inspires me to reach back into my retired product stash and combine the retired with the new and see what happens. I have some fun cards today that do just that. I won't post the supply details because alot of it is retired, but you can recreate my ideas with what you have. Have fun looking them over!

This one is using an Aqua Painter with ink picked up from the lid of the ink pad:

This one is color smudging with a dauber and also uses the Wink of Stella in the center of the flowers:

This one is more sponging and daubing with a silhouette stamp on top:

This is sponging, smearing, daubing on pre-embossed paper from Stampin'Up, with some Aqua Painter smooshing after the fact!

This one uses putting ink on Designer Series paper with a brayer for my background, misting some pre-embossed  paper with a blend of ink and alcohol in a mister  and stamping over the top:

This one involves smudging on some ink, then squirting it with water and further spreading it around, all on pre-embossed paper:

This one shows ink sponged on Designer Series Paper for my background and then stamping and framelits for the feathers.

I hope you have time to play. Sometimes our ideas are destined for the trash can but many times you will stumble on something that you like! It's all good as long as you're having fun, learning something and remembering to "just breathe"!!

Don't forget about Bonus Days going on the month of July!  For every $50 you spend in July, you will receive a coupon via email good for $5 off a purchase in August!  You can't beat that!!  Please use my Hostess Code 3M2GHZW3 and have fun shopping!  The link to the store is just to the right under "shop now".

Happy Stampin'!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Live Your Dream

Hi Stampers!
Sometimes life boils down to "this is how we roll", right?  We have been in the midst of a super busy month and a half with tons of fun, company, events, celebrations, travels and craziness. I'm no longer sure what day it is and where I need to be. I have trouble crossing things off my lists because I can't find the lists or remember the things. Do you ever feel that way? WHEW.....

At some point, I realized this is just the reality of the day right now and to quit stressing the stuff that I can't control, don't know about, wasn't planning on and didn't work out the way I thought. My solution for a crazy busy life is often "go camping". Things get real simple in our camper including meals, what book to read, where to sit, etc. There just aren't many choices and sometimes that is good.

I have a fun card today celebrating the camper life!  Many of you enjoy it as much as I do and will understand what I am talking about!  I combined a great stamp set in the Annual Catalog called "Glamper Greetings" with a new Hostess set (available with a $150 order or more) called "Dare to Dream".  I think they work together really well and express just what I love about camping!

The Glamper Greetings set has all kinds of details you could add to make it a  seasonal card, but I just kept it simple this time.  If you love to camp, you'll want to take advantage of this marvelous stamp set. Here's a closer look at it:

There are a lot of fun things to dress up your camper and express your philosophy!

I hope you are able to decompress in the way that suits you best and maybe I'll even see you in a campground some day!

Happy Stampin'!