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!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Old, Backed up and New!

Hi Stampin' Friends!
I've had an interesting week. We returned from a "bucket list" trip to the Canadian Rockies that was spectacular!  Towards the beginning of the trip, I had a bad fall and ended up with a badly sprained ankle, but all things considered, I got off pretty easy. Along with the T-shirts and other souvenirs I bought, I have a boot on my foot from the Canmore, Alberta Emergency Room!

After getting home, I was spending some time uploading my pictures from the trip and thought, gee, I haven't backed up my pictures or other important stuff in a long time.... I should do that. Luckily, I spent a couple of days backing up stuff that I had neglected, like since 2011.  Would you believe that my computer crashed a couple of days later, like total "hard disk drive failure", unrecoverable, complete toast?!!  I was grateful I had backed up what I did and wish I had done more. I can't live without a computer anymore. Those days are long gone. I decided, for various great reasons, to really go outside my comfort zone and I switched to an Apple desktop from a PC. I've been playing with it for 24 hours now and while I'm not a pro, I'm navigating it really well and feel like I can get back to blogging, working on Stampin'Up! diligently and doing other tasks that I love to do!  Like anyone else, it's sorta a love/hate relationship with technology, but I'm grateful to be back.

For some reason, none of my pictures from 2017 were backed up, even though I got years 2011-2016. Luckily, all 2017 pics are still on my phone so I was able to recover them. I take pics of my cards as I complete them and they are then used for blogging material. I will have to tweak my system a little, so bear with me if I post pics you've already seen. I lost my records for keeping track of that sort of thing and will have to set up a new way of doing it.

Ready to look at some cards?!!  I have a few to show that are just from my random time in my craft room, playing with different things. I hope you enjoy them!  I think you can figure out what I did and if you have any questions, please ask!




I'll try to share more soon. I am having some trouble accessing my pictures through blogger so obviously, more work to do!  Thanks for hanging in there with me!
Sarah

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Hearts Come Home

Hey Stampin' Friends,
I'm eager to show you a fun card today that is Christmas-y but not. It's got a Christmas sentiment but not necessarily a Christmas color scheme. I've been continuing to try to experiment with some of the Designer Series Paper from the annual catalog and see what pieces would work for a Christmas card. So far, the "Naturally Eclectic" set is a real favorite!  Here's a couple of cards I've made from it:



In both cases, the Designer Series Paper adds some color and interest in just the right places. I fiddled around with some different stamps that are in the Holiday catalog and also brought back an old favorite, the window framelit! Christmas is a great time to be creative and it's even better when you look beyond the obvious red and green and see what happens!

What can you think of?
Happy Stampin'!
Sarah

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Remember last year's fabulous Cookie Cutter stamps and punch?


Hi stampers!
I'm back today with an oldie, but still goodie and current!  The Cookie Cutter Builder punch and stamp set was carried over from last year as it was such a hit!  I was excited to see that and wanted to try something for this year, using a few new products. This is what I came up with:


The idea is pretty simple. Stamp and punch some Cookie Critters.  Then, using the wood crate thinlit, cut a wood crate. I used some old birch wood paper from a Stampin'Up! Thanksgiving project, several years ago.  I also add some garland, the wonderful boxwood wreaths. They untwist easily and can be bent in any shape and glue-dotted on your project.  This whole card has more of a 3D look to it than normal as I tried to elevate the crate and the critters. It was fun to experiment with!  I've got the basic supplies listed below if you're interested in these fun tools.

Don't forget about what's lurking in your craft drawers and closets!  There are always some leftover goodies laying around that deserve some attention!

Hope it's a great day,
Sarah


Sunday, October 8, 2017

2nd annual Ultimate PINK Blog Hop

Hi Stamping friends!

I'm participating in another blog hop this month. The theme is PINK, to bring awareness, support and some creativity to the fight for cancer. I was really excited to see the "Ribbon of Courage" bundle (#143855) in Stampin'Up!'s annual catalog. I make a lot of get well cards, but with cancer, the standard sentiments don't always work. I'm glad we can still make a card, just with a more appropriate sentiment to show our support for family and friends.

I have three cards for you, all using this special bundle.  On the first card, I used Dazzling Diamonds glimmer paper and spritzed it with Powder Pink reinker and alcohol, to color it. That was really fun and it couldn't have coordinated better.


I cut an additional ribbon out of Whisper White card stock to act as a shadow against the pink glimmer paper. It also helped it to stand out a bit. I had enough spritzed glimmer paper to cut the small ribbon and heart out of it as well. 

My second card adds a touch of another color, Dapper Denim. I wanted to incorporate the "Bundle of Love" Designer Series Paper because of the beautiful pinks.


My third card uses the "Whole Lot of Lovely" Designer Series paper and I stamped on my background piece with the ribbon stamp. I used the Smoky Slake ink so it wouldn't be too dark and distracting. I again cut a second ribbon in the Smoky Slate to shadow the pink ribbon. It was fun to incorporate some ribbon and bows on this card as well.


I think you'll see this is a great set to have on hand, especially for those special cards where you really want to encourage and support someone going through one of life's biggest challenges.

Be sure to check out all the blogs in the hop for some more fantastic ideas!
Happy Stampin'!
Sarah








Friday, October 6, 2017

And So Your Story Begins

Happy Friday Friends!
I'm back today with a different use of a holiday stamp set, "Cheers to the Year".  I think it's ingenious that Stampin'Up! included some wedding related stamps to this New Years set. It makes it more versatile and usable for the whole year!  Here's what I did:


I loved the Year of Cheer Specialty Designer Series paper and especially the pattern that looks like fireworks going off.  Fireworks would be a great addition to a wedding, wouldn't they!  I combined the paper with the stamp set and love how this turned out. I kept my color scheme simple with some metallic inks and Night of Navy for an accent color.  I will be using this again!

I hope you like additional ideas for the stamp sets that Stampin'Up! has. I love getting more than just one use out of a stamp set. Makes me feel like I'm getting a better return on my investment, which is always good!

Have a great weekend!
Sarah

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Classy Noel

Good morning!
It's so fun to look at my batch of cards each day and decide what to feature on my blog. I don't really have any plan in mind, just what strikes my fancy. Today it's back to Christmas and a card that is notable for no stamping, only die cutting and punching!  Here it is:


This is a very traditional card with a classy feel to it because of my use of the metallic foil paper. This time, I chose our new "champagne" color. It isn't quite as bright as the gold and I just love it. Guess how this card was started?  I had the background Real Red piece of card stock on my desk, already embossed with the Ruffled folder and hadn't used it for another idea. First rule of papercrafting is don't throw anything away!  I knew I was limited to 4 letters or less for a word and chose "NOEL" because it's a common Christmas greeting as well as a 4 letter word.  I used my Large Letters framelits to create the word. The top border piece was cut using the new "Swirly Snowflakes" thinlit die that creates a beautiful edge piece. I love this die, so fun to use. I finished up with the "Holly Berry Builder" punch and some red rhinestones for the holly.

This card would be relatively easy to mass produce and then you could stamp in the inside of the card with whatever sentiment you wanted to use. Is this the year you want to hand-make some Christmas cards? It isn't hard and there are all kinds of ideas to fit any style, level of expertise and budget. Contact me and I'll help you get started!

Hope you have a great Thursday!
Sarah

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

More Fall cards

Hi Stampers!
Who's with me? Fall is my favorite season as far as the colors, the smells, the landscape, the warmth etc. It is all so nostalgic and heartwarming. It's funny that while a lot of things are fading like the glorious summer flowers, hot temperatures and long days, it's still okay to welcome gorgeous leaves turning colors, pumpkins and apples, crisp and colder air and early evenings.  I feel that often I don't get enough time to just play with my fall themed stamps and wanted to do so last week. I made a couple of cards that are just for fun:




If you've been around with Stampin'Up!, you will recognize a conglomeration of bundles that I used!  My main focus was the "Grown with Love" bundle. I used the big clay pot in the first card and the wagon and veggies in the second card. The sunflowers are from the "Bike Ride" bundle and for fun, I embossed the background with one of our new dynamic texture embossing folders, "Layered Leaves."  On the second card, I used an old favorite, the brick wall embossing folder. This time, I inked up the folder before embossing to color the bricks just a tad with some gray ink. My ribbon and button on retired products! Anyone recognize them?  They are from several years ago!

Most of the time, an upcoming holiday or occasion get us working on a project but every once in awhile, it is fun to just create for fun, no special reason or person in mind. I know these cards will be given out some day, but for now, they were just fun to play with and work on some ideas. I have more ideas than I have time so it's always good to click off a few!

Don't forget about my online party!  I'm hosting an online party from now through the 15th of October. For every online order placed with me, I will send/give you a free stamp set from my retired collection and a goodie bag of stuff to go with it like paper, embellishments, ribbons, etc. It's my way of thanking you for shopping with me. Let me know if you have any questions! Thanks so much for stopping by today!

Happy Stampin'!
Sarah

Monday, October 2, 2017

My Eclipse technique card - HUGS!

Hi Stampers!
If you spend any time on Pinterest or other crafting/card making sites, you are seeing a lot of samples of the "eclipse" technique!  The idea is to cut out a word from your stamped surface and then adhere it back on with dimensionals, creating a raised look and a bit of the background peaking through. I thought these were pretty cool but hadn't tried one until last week. Here's my idea:


I shared this in a class last week and the ladies loved it. We used the "Gourd Goodness" stamp set and I only realized after the fact that I forgot to stamp the stems on the pumpkins... oh well!  This is a great two-step stamp set. The key is to do all your stamping first, then cut out your word with the fabulous Large Letters Framelits.  I think this technique works best if it isn't too heavily stamped, leaving lots of plain background, in this case, Very Vanilla. If it's too busy, the word that is cut out and raised gets harder and harder to read. Stampin'Up!'s new mini dimensionals make raising the letters a breeze!  This was a fun card and perfect for the beautiful fall season.  Try it!

Don't forget about all the sales, promotions, etc. Every now and then, being a demo allows you to get your hands on a new line of products sooner than customers and now is that time!  Stampin'Up! is introducing a new line of alcohol markers called "Stampin' Blends" that are available until October 15th to demonstrators and will be available to customers sometime before the end of the year.  If you have to have some alcohol markers in the Stampin'Up! color line, talk to me!  I can help!

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I've ordered some and can't wait to start playing with them!

Have a great Monday!
Sarah

Friday, September 29, 2017

Lots of help with your creative mojo!

Hi stampers!
This is a great time to be papercrafting! Why? Because there are so many reasons to dive in with Stampin'Up! and all the great products, ideas and fun!

Okay, that sounded a little vague... here are some specifics. There are several promotions that start tomorrow. Any one of them would give your crafting a big boost, but all of them combined is like a rocket launcher!

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Yep, a paper sale!  You all love Stampin'Up!'s designer series paper. It's high quality, double sided, brilliantly coordinated with our color palette of card stock and FUN.  This promotion goes for the entire month and includes:

144180    JUST ADD COLOR    SPECIALTY DESIGNER SERIES PAPER     $13.00
144137    DELIGHTFUL DAISY    DESIGNER SERIES PAPER     $11.00
144118    BIRTHDAY MEMORIES    DESIGNER SERIES PAPER     $11.00
144111    BE MERRY    DESIGNER SERIES PAPER     $11.00
144163    PICK A PATTERN    DESIGNER SERIES PAPER     $11.00
144155    COFFEE BREAK    DESIGNER SERIES PAPER     $11.00
144185    NATURALLY ECLECTIC    DESIGNER SERIES PAPER     $11.00
144110    WHOLE LOT OF LOVELY    DESIGNER SERIES PAPER     $11.00
144168    PETAL GARDEN    DESIGNER SERIES PAPER STACK     $10.00
144193    COLOR THEORY    DESIGNER SERIES PAPER STACK     $10.00
144177    WOOD TEXTURES    DESIGNER SERIES PAPER STACK     $10.00
144629    CHRISTMAS AROUND THE WORLD    DESIGNER SERIES PAPER     $11.00
144613    PAINTED AUTUMN    DESIGNER SERIES PAPER     $11.00

Current paper rarely goes on sale so this is a great opportunity to pick up your favorite pack. My favorites are Coffee Break, Birthday Memories and Painted Autumn and, and, and!

Next up:

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World Card Making Day is October 7th!  I celebrate this most days of the year, but the rest of the world has a special day for it!  Stampin'Up! would like to help you celebrate with some more sales!  How about some stamp sets that coordinate with the paper that's on sale?  That sounds like a great idea to me!  Here are the details:

131527 (Whisper White)/ 144236 (Very Vanilla)Note Cards & EnvelopesN/A
143931 (W)/ 143934 (C)Just Add TextJust Add Color Specialty Designer Series Paper
143669Daisy DelightDelightful Daisy Designer Series Paper
143660Birthday DeliveryBirthday Memories Designer Series Paper
143650 (W)/ 143655 (C)Merry MistletoeBe Merry Designer Series Paper
143840 (W)/ 143843 (C)Pieces & PatternsPick A Pattern Designer Series Paper
143677Coffee CaféCoffee Break Designer Series Paper
143937 (W)/ 143940 (C)Oh So EclecticNaturally Eclectic Designer Series Paper
143799 (W)/ 143802 (C)Lots Of LoveWhole Lot Of Lovely Designer Series Paper
143846 (W)/ 143849 (C)Graceful GardenPetal Garden Designer Series Paper
143726Colorful SeasonsColor Theory Designer Series Paper
143925 (W)/143928 (C)Wood WordsWood Textures Designer Series Paper
144807Brightly Lit ChristmasChristmas Around The World Designer Series Paper

And there's more... a screaming deal on Fast Fuse!

Plus, buy Fast Fuse Adhesive (item 129026) and get TWO Fast Fuse Adhesive Refills for FREE!

Need any more reasons to craft?  How about Paper Pumpkin!  That's Stampin'Up!'s regular monthly subscription kit full of goodies to make cards and projects. It comes with everything you need and the October and November kits are coordinated to produce all kinds of holiday fun.

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Check out this link for all the details and to sign up! 

Paper Pumpkin

Just to sweeten the pot, I'm adding a promotion of my own. With any order placed online, with me, you will get a free stamp set from my retired Stampin'Up! collection and a goodie bag filled with embellishments, paper, ribbon and more!  You do not need to live locally to participate but can shop from anywhere in the United States!  I would love to help you with your creative journey and am eager to have you join the crafting party with some new supplies to get your mojo going!

Have a great weekend and take time to create!
Sarah

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Merry Music for Christmas

Hey there Stamper Friends,
As I'm diving further and further into the new Holiday catalog, I'm seeing more and more to love. We have a very musical family and so anything music-themed always catches my eyes. There are two great sets of products for that very thing. First, there is a wonderful set of paper which is black and white and music all over!  This is a special pack as it comes with 24 sheets in all, 4 each of six different designs and is called "Merry Music" Specialty Designer Series Paper. The second product that screamed "buy me" to me is the "Musical Season" stamp and framelit bundle. Here is a card featuring both!


This card features a traditional color scheme but I used copper accents, specifically copper foil paper for the french horn and copper ribbon, instead of gold or silver. I fussy cut my background paper of Jingle Bells so it would nicely frame the card.

What about other color schemes?  I'm glad you asked!


The second card features a little bit of Bermuda Bay watercolor wash on a Shimmery White paper background. That's always a fun, quick and easy technique to add to a card and works especially well for a class when your students need to be inspired with something new and relatively inexpensive to add to their tool kit - Aqua Painters!


This third card is way out of the color wheel for Christmas, but I have seen more pink/purple hues on Christmas projects. Combined with a metallic feature, they really stand out. Are you wondering what my background "paper" is?  Any guesses?  It's one square of toilet paper. Yeah, you heard me right, toilet paper!  I noticed the pattern and thought that was interesting... what could I do with that?!  I used a foam brayer and layered some Sweet Sugarplum ink on the toilet paper and voila... a background! I hope you are always on the lookout for different paper mediums. They are out there, more than you know!

There are some great promotions coming up in October!  I'll feature them all on Friday and also have special news about an October Online party I'm hosting so stay tuned!  There will be a whole lot of reasons to get some paper and stamps and you won't want to miss it!

For now, happy stampin'!
Sarah

Monday, September 25, 2017

Merry Cafe and more!

Good Morning Stamper friends!
I hope you had a great weekend as we are midway through the wonderful fall season. We are enjoying big blue skies, no more smoke and crisp autumn mornings here in Montana. It's the perfect time to ditch the ice tea and grab something warm to drink. I have some fun cards today to celebrate your favorite latte, tea, coffee or potion!

Our annual catalog had a marvelous stamp/framelit bundle called Coffee Cafe. It was my first purchase and I've enjoyed using it ever since I got it. Well, Stampin'Up! just made it even better and added an additional seasonal stamp set to go with the framelits called "Merry Cafe".  I just love it! I think you'll agree that "to go" coffee cups have become a permanent part of our lives. I see them everywhere and anytime people are on the move or gathering together.  With all that in mind, here are my cards, one for each of the fall seasons!




As you can see, I featured the large coffee cup in each card, but switched up my stamping or use of Designer Series Paper.  These cards could easily be converted to a gift card holder and of course, include a gift card to a local coffee shop/hut.  There are many more adaptations of the coffee theme when you combine the Coffee Cafe and Merry Cafe sets. I've listed my primary supplies below and it's easy to order online if you would like to have these sets yourself. Just click on "shop now" and set up an online ID and password and you are on your way!  With the ease of the Internet and the comfort of your home, it doesn't matter where you are located, you can shop with me!  I'm also available for any questions or help with your order and more importantly, after you receive it!  I love to help people be creative and can coach you through just about any idea!

Thanks for stopping by!  Your interest in my blog is what keeps me going!  I'm counting down until October 1st now, as there is a BIG BIG Designer Series Paper sale coming up!  Watch for the details soon....

Happy Stampin'!
Sarah

Friday, September 22, 2017

Some Quilted fun!

Happy Friday Stampers!
Before I became an avid papercrafter, I was a quilter!  I still like to quilt, though it has taken a back seat. Imagine my delight to have a quilting-themed bundle in the Holiday Catalog!  There are a ton of Holiday renditions out there, but I decided to try and make some general purpose cards and see what happened. I have three of them for you today, using various pieces of the framelit set. The first one features the star outline/frame. It can stand alone on some pretty paper for a background, or you can fill it in with "pieces" of other paper, just  like a real quilt.


I used some of the Naturally Eclectic paper for my bacgrounds, the solid watercolor ones in Berry Burst and Tranquil Tide and then the very colorful arrow shaped paper.  My sentiment and pair of scissors are from the "Crafting Forever" set. I had to hand cut out the scissors so they look a little rough around the edges, especially the center.

My next card features the star with the quilting stitch framelit detail and don't miss the tiny needle!


I made this card fairly monochromatic with white and Tranquil Tide, featuring the Fresh Florals DSP.

My third card was used for a recent card class and is similar to the above one, but includes some fun ombre ribbon in Calypso Coral. The background paper is from the "Delightful  Daisy" set of Designer Series Paper.


I will have many more quilt-themed cards in the future!  I've already made some Christmas ones and have some other ideas floating around in my head.  If you are a quilter or seamstress, or know one, they might really like this bundle!  Check out the store for more information or contact me as well!

Hope you have a great weekend. They say snow is coming today... we shall see!
Happy Stampin'!
Sarah

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Wise Men From Afar

Hi Friends!
I'm back today with a really fun idea!  I like to try and use non-holiday products for a holiday project and vice versa. I had my eye on a particular Christmas stamp set but none of the Christmas paper was really inspiring me for this idea. I then thought of the Eastern Palace Designer Series Paper and it's rich colors of Dapper Denim, Tranquil Tide and Fresh Fig. Thinking about it, I should have thought of this sooner... The Eastern Palace DSP is designed to evoke sort of a Persian theme! Here's what I came up with!

The stamp set that caught my eye is called "Wise Men From Afar. Any time a stamp has a good solid, almost silhouette image, I know it stamp well and emboss well.  Here's my first card:



This was a fun card to make because the main technique was plain ol' rubber stamping!  I think it's great to get back to the basics and figure out ways to incorporate a lot of stamping on a card. In case you are wondering, the palm trees were inked up with markers and then stamped to get the two- color effect. The starry sky is from the Eastern Palace DSP. The Very Vanilla card stock piece was stamped, then hand trimmed to create more of a realistic horizon.  The gold glimmer paper star is from a framelit in the Smitten Mittens set.

Here's my second idea featuring Eastern Palace DSP:


My color scheme focused on a new in color, Fresh Fig. This time, I used sky framelit from the Card Front Builder set to cut through my main background piece with the stars and moon. I then put a piece of gold foil paper behind this to illuminate the sky.  I used the wise men stamp again, only this time, I heat embossed it with gold embossing powder and Versamark ink. This stamp embosses beautifully! I added some of our new gold trim ribbon and gold thread for good measure.

Finally, here is the third card I made, again with Eastern Palace Designer series paper. This time I chose a flashy gold piece!


I switched up my main color to Tranquil tide this time. All three of these colors look great with gold and create a very rich color scheme for Christmas.

I hope you like what I've shared and will take a look at all the paper you have stashed away and see if you can repurpose some of it for the holidays! It's a lot of fun to let your imagination soar and see what you come up with.

Thanks for stopping by to take a peek!  I always appreciate it!  You can follow my blog and not miss a beat by becoming a follower!  Click on the "follow" button at the top right hand corner of the blog! I'd love to have some followers!

Thanks,
Sarah

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Deck the Halls with Christmas Sweaters!

Hi there stampers!
I am wondering when Christmas sweaters went from stylish and "must have" in the wardrobe to the big joke at the annual Christmas parties?  Was it in the 90's or later? I know at one point I had several Christmas sweaters I proudly wore every year and received COMPLIMENTS on them!  At some point that changed and now the rage is having ugly Christmas sweater contests and parties!  I think it's funny how fashion changes and I'm glad we can poke fun at ourselves a little bit!

This year, Stampin'Up! decided to create a stamp that is perfect for this theme.  It features several different  Christmas sweaters to stamp and color and have fun with!  Here's a couple of my ideas:



On the top one, I picked one sweater image and colored it with our fabulous Watercolor pencils, then blended with a blender pen. I also added some Wink of Stella on Santa's hat and beard etc. I decided to coordinate the sentiment with some of the Merry Music paper which just happens to feature the song "Deck the Halls".

The second card features 3 of the stamps and instead of coloring, I used a blotchy stamp to just throw some color on them, from the "Touches of Texture" stamp set. This almost looks like these sweaters participated in a local Color Run!  I'm not as crazy about this card, but wanted to see what I could do without painstakingly coloring each sweater!

This stamp set would be great for invitations to a Christmas party featuring ugly sweaters. Your guests would get such a kick out of your creativity and festive spirit! Check out the Holiday Catalog in the Stampin' Up! store (click on shop now button to the right) and see what special ideas pop out to you.

I have lots of classes each month if you are local and am always available to consult with if you're not local and just need some ideas, help or inspiration!

Hope your Wednesday is great!
Sarah

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Some Spooky Halloween Fun!

Hi there Stampers!
It is cold, rainy and almost snowy here in Bozeman today. I figure that means that Halloween is right around the corner. I'm sure you and your kids have memories of Trick or Treating in the snow many years!  Halloween is one of those holidays that is a big deal to some and "meh" to others.  I almost always like the paper that Stampin'Up! has for a Halloween selection because I love paper and can always figure out something to do with it!  I recently had some fun, featuring the "Spooky Night" Designer Series Paper:




Have I told you I really like paper?  I love to figure out how to use it on such a small project as a card. It helps if the paper design is small scale as well! These cards incorporate some other non-Halloween products like the Coffee Cafe framelits, Everyday Label Punch, random retired Washi tape and more. While one side of each DSP paper is Halloween themed, the reverse side is neutral like stripes and polka dots. That makes it easy to use. If you happen to make projects for a school whose colors are black and orange, YOU NEED THIS PAPER!

The one new product I want to point out is the cat punch!  I've shown it before on my blog and he is quite cute.  I punched my cat out of a sheet of the Designer Series Paper and popped him up on some dimensionals. There is a coordinating stamp set as well for the cat punch.

October is fast approaching!  Halloween is also the perfect time for treats. Think about your family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, social groups.  They would love a little goodie bag or box decorated with Halloween goodness!  There are tons of ideas in our catalog, online and with me!  You will be quite the rock star if you hand out more than the Dum-Dum sucker this year!!!

October is also the start of a new quarter and NEW YEAR with Stampin'Up!  It's the perfect time to purchase a Starter Kit at $99 and see if becoming a Stampin'Up! demonstrator works for you!  There is no obligation and you will have until March 31st to meet your first quarter's goal of $300. It's a great "try it, you'll like it" deal as you can stick with it or quit, either way with no hassles. I have all the info and would love to have you join my extremely fun and creative team, the Big Sky Stampers!  We love to stamp and chat and socialize! It's a welcoming and kind group that encourages and supports each other with ideas, kudos for achievements, a private Facebook group and more. I'm available to answer any questions you might have and get the ball rolling for you!

Hope your Tuesday is awesome!
Happy Stampin'!
Sarah

Monday, September 18, 2017

Thank Goodness for You!

Hi Stampers!
We are back to another week of fun and creativity (hopefully!).  I had a big project this weekend that I've been working on. It's a secret for my kids and in case they read this blog (not sure about that), I can reveal it yet. Let's just say it involved a lot of paper, stamping and recording some family treasures.  I love when this craft that I'm so addicted to becomes practical and helps me with something I've long had a desire to record and preserve and am now able to do it in a cute and fun way.  I'll spill the beans after Christmas!

Are you enjoying the Holiday Catalog?  What usually gets all the attention are the bundles. The stamps and framelits coordinate to make some lovely designs and who's sorry to see "fussy cutting" go?  Not me!  Other products get less attention at first but really shine when they are noticed. For example, the "Gourd Goodness" stamp set!  It's a two step stamp set that has lovely images. Here are a couple of cards I made while experimenting with it:



The two-step stamping comes into play when you stamp over your first image with another one, in a different color. I always stamp the most dense image first, in the lightest color. I then stamp the less dense image second and third, if there is a third, next, with a darker color. My pumpkins above were stamped with Peekaboo Peach as the bottom layer, then Tangerine Tango second. I also tried Peekaboo Peach and Pumpkin Pie on the small pumpkin in the second card.  For the gourd, I used Pear Pizzazz as the bottom layer and Always Artichoke as the top ink color. This is a fun technique and will really give you confidence as an artist to see the blend of different colors.  My background paper on both cards is the "Painted Autumn" Designer Series Paper that is so gorgeous.  I added some ribbon and a bow and even sneaked in a little embossing with the Woodlands folder.  These are very fun to make and give you great results without a lot of extra expense or tools.

I'm curious if there is anyone out there that doesn't love the fall season?  I don't think I've met anyone who does!  It's all about the smells, the colors, the crisp air, the apples, pumpkins and leaves!  It's always a good time to rubber stamp but fall may be the most inspirational!  Try it today!

Hope you are off to a good week!
Happy Stampin'!
Sarah

Friday, September 15, 2017

Praise the Lord and get out the umbrella at the least and possibly the snow shovel!

Hi stampin' friends!
Any clue what's on my mind today?  The weather changed big time in the last 24 hours and we are oh so happy here in Montana. You may know that Montana has been on fire since the middle of July. Late yesterday afternoon it started raining and has continued. It is snowing in the mountains and on the mountain passes!  This is all such good news as maybe, maybe the fires will run out of fuel and die down. The smoke has been unreal and no one will be sorry to see it go, let alone the damage to our beautiful state by the flames.  It's so socked in right now I can't see the mountains out my window, but I can only hope it is snowing like crazy up there!

If that doesn't put you in a Christmas mood, I'm not sure what would!  I have some more cards today featuring the great new Smitten Mittens bundle (# 146070)!  It's so cute!  Here are some ideas:


Another one with a solid die cut mitten and embossing feature:


And another idea to use for a non-holiday, like a birthday!


All of these are alot of fun and easy to make and combine with other products such as ribbons, faceted gems, embossing folders, foil snowflakes, glimmer paper and the like. This bundle is a real treat and includes 2 sizes of mittens for different scales of design.   I'll come back to these individually another day and explain my techniques and product choices but for now, I'm just excited about snow!

Have a great weekend,
Sarah

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Hearts Come Home

Hi Stampers!
Have you seen the "Hearts Come Home" Bundle in the new Holiday catalog yet?  This is a little bit similar to a set that we had two years ago depicting a landscape with some houses, trees, etc. This was the first set to catch my eye when I got my catalog and I couldn't wait to play with it!  Here's the first thing I made:


With Stampin'Up!'s precision cut framelits and thinlits, it is easy to cut out all the elements for a scene. It's also fun to combine some stamping with the coordinating stamp sets! I quickly made several cards with this set and achieved quite different looks. Here are a few others!



The Precision Base plate works great for cutting these detailed framelits as well, and the die brush set. I use all the tools every day and it has made my life a little easier when I'm cutting detailed thinlit images.

There are so many new products out there, it can be hard to keep up with what tools to use for a project. If you ever have questions, please ask!  The Big Shot is designed to do a lot of tasks, but it must be layered correctly to work properly. Just be sure you never force your layered "sandwich" to go through. If it is too tight, it is too tight and will break the Big Shot!  Here's a helpful video about the Precision Base plate:


As always, if you have questions, I'm happy to help! Now back to some crafting for me!

Happy Stampin'!
Sarah

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Merry Patterns

Hi Stampin' friends,
I'm back today with more details about a great Hostess promotion for September and October. Don't let the word "hostess" throw you... this simply means a big order, whether you have one all for yourself or you have a party and combine some orders from your guests or you get some friends jump in on an order with you.  Stampin'Up! is offering a free stamp set with every order over $300! It's called "Merry Patterns" and it has a lot to love about it!  Reindeer, Nordic patterns and candles!
 Here are some cards I made to try it out



What I like about this set is that you can stamp the outline of the images and leave it at that or you can two step stamp with the outline and then the fill in pattern design.  Here's a look at the stamp set so you can see what I'm talking about:



It was surprisingly easy to stamp the fill in part as the stamps are photopolymer, so completely see-through. I haven't seen any candle images in quite a while with Stampin'Up!, at least that I can think of, so I was really happy to see these.  While it's too bad this set can't be purchased outright, there are creative ways to earn it by combining orders with friends and then sharing it!  Contact me for for information or ideas ;)

Did you notice the large embossed snowflake on the first card? That's a great new product from the Holiday Catalog that is available for purchase!  It's called "Winter Wonder Textured IMpressions Embossing Folder" (#144643) . It can be featured on a card or tucked up in a corner like I did on this card. Snowflakes are a favorite image of winter and the holidays and this embossing folder would be a good addition to your toolbox!

And there's more!  Here's a fun video from Stampin'Up! featuring this great stamp set:



Be sure to contact me if you have questions and click on the "Follow" button at the top of the blog to get all my posts! I'll do my best to inspire and motivate you!

Happy Stampin'!
Sarah

Monday, September 11, 2017

Holiday Cat

Hi Stamper Friends!
It's Monday and we are off to another week of fun and ideas for the Holidays on my blog!  In an effort to reach more people, I've added a "Follow" button to my blog. It's right here ====>>>
I would love it if you clicked on it and I could start a group of followers!  That would make my blog oh, so much more official!

I'm back today with another holiday card idea. There are so many fun products out now that it's hard to know what to feature. This post is a tad unlike me. I am not a big fan of cats. They are okay as far as animals go and we've had three of them over the course of our married life. Let's just say I really like dogs!  Since Stampin'Up! hasn't created a dog punch yet, I purchased the new cat punch to play with. It's part of a Halloween suite but I wanted to see what else I could do with it. Here's an idea:


I would guess that a lot of cats love to sit on window sills and watch the world go by. This cat is ready for the holidays with the Christmas-y garland around his neck and his first class view to all the excitement outside. The garland is made from 1/2 of a boxwood wreath embellishment in the catalog. They are so fun to play with, easy to cut and bend to any shape.   I had neglected my window framelit for quite awhile and was glad to remember it and use it for this design. It is perfect for so many ideas.

I love how Stampin'Up! purposely coordinates so many of their products. They give you ideas but you can take the products and run with them in any direction.  The sentiment above, since it mentioned New Year's, made me think of fireworks and the "Year of Cheer" Designer Series Paper provided a perfect fireworks background for the scene out the window.

All the products I used a listed below and a simple click on any one of them will take you to the store. Rubber stamping is great therapy for these busy and stressful times we are in. If you want to give it a try, let me know and I'll help you get started. No special skills are needed and you especially don't have to be able to draw, paint, sculpt or any other artistic endeavor if you've been afraid of those wonderful hobbies!

Hope your week is off to a great start!
Happy Stampin',
Sarah

Friday, September 8, 2017

Snowflake Sentiments

Hi Stampers!
Boy this week has gone fast!  I'm trying to get my fall routine down and it seems like a lot of things started this week, including my first Christmas Card buffet of the season. I had a session last night and we had a ton of fun. I wanted to share the most popular card that people chose to make:


This card has several things going for it:  Bling, fancy foil paper, bling, snowflakes, bling, delicate seam binding ribbon, bling and a wonderful sentiment. I understand why it was so popular to make!  If you haven't purchased the Foil Frenzy Designer Series Paper yet, you should!  It comes with a polka dot, stripe and arrow pattern in 4 colors, all foil. This card features the ice blue color and it is gorgeous. I tend to pick Soft Sky as at least one of my colors when I'm working with snowflakes!  The snowflakes are from the Swirly Snowflake thinlet and they are very fun to work with. The are also pretty easy to adhere to paper with the Fine Tip Glue pen!

I have another buffet session this morning and I'll report back what the favorite card choice was. Who knows, it could be this or another one altogether! It's not too early to start on your Christmas card projects. I can help with choosing what you need and tailoring your order to your specific tastes and budget. Contact me and we will get started, or you can go directly to the online store and order from there. Click on the "shop now" link on the right!

I hope you have a fabulous weekend and we will be continuing to pray for snow!  That's what we need at this point to put out these horrible forest fires in Montana and throughout the West and get rid of the smoke and destruction! It is heartbreaking and there is no end in sight....

Happy Stampin'!
Sarah

Thursday, September 7, 2017

"In the City" at Christmas

Hi there Stamper friends,
I have a fun idea today combining a Hostess stamp set from the Annual Catalog with some Christmas themes and stamps. That is one of my favorite things to do... combine products to create sort of a potluck card full of creativity!  Here's the first one I did:


To make my city street, I mounted all the stamps on a large block and stamped them all at once. It works great, just make sure to take a practice stamp to make sure you are happy with your line up! I used white embossing powder for the city buildings and gold embossing powder for Santa and his sleigh.  Here's the second one:


On this one, I used Garden Green ink for the city buildings and added some elements from the Smitten Mitten framelit set.  Here's the third one:


On this one, I heat embossed everything with silver embossing powder. I used some Naturally Eclectic Designer Series Paper for my background and added a retired faceted button and silver cord. I am discovering how much "retired" ribbon and buttons I have so I am going to be diving into those stashes more when they are exactly what I need.

The city buildings are features of the "In the City" hostess set, available with an order of $150 or more. I'm not a city girl per se, but it was fun to have these images available to work with and there are many more, plus some other elements. Here's a look at the stamp set:



As you can see, there are alot more possibilities!  Most of the drawn images have a secondary stamp to add some color. It would take some time and patience, but you could create a whole city scene with all these details!

I hope you enjoy mixing it up with the themes and products that Stampin'Up! offers. I love to see what I can come up with when I let my mind wander a little. You should try it!

Happy Stampin'!
Sarah