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, 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


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Sunflower Thanks

Hi Friends,
Now that the new Holiday Catalog is live, it is hard for me to know what to post next!  I've been playing with the products for over a month and have lots of ideas and samples to show. I'll be skipping around in the catalog as it isn't just about Christmas!  There are some lovely Thanksgiving/Autumn ideas and themes as well as cute and fun Halloween products. I am guessing you want to see it all!

One of my favorite sets is a gorgeous two-step sunflower stamp set. So far, I've mainly used it for traditional looking sunflowers with shades of yellow, gold and very light orange but it looks great in tones of blues, pinks, purples, etc.  Here's my card today:


The flowers are leaves are two-step stamps so you need to grab two colors, one slightly darker than the other. Believe it or not, the center of the flower is a single stamp which is layered in such a way as to take the ink up up in shades and not solid. Sunflowers are so happy and a great end-of-summer motif for your project.  I wanted to focus on the stamping with this card so limited my other elements to washi tape!  Sometimes ribbon, buttons, etc can get in the way and detract from your design so I kept it simple. I want to give a shout out to the punch I used as well. It's called the "Everyday Label" punch and it is in the Holiday catalog. This is my new "go to" punch as it is perfect for a ton of sentiments. It gives a nice horizontal, rectangular cut shape that works perfect. I'm using it so much, I never put it away!

All the information to make this card is posted below. You can click on any product and it will take you directly to the store. It's super easy to order online and have your order come directly to you, or you can get an order to me vial email, text, phone and I'll deliver it to you.  There is a Hostess promotion going on now which adds a free stamp set to all orders over $300 and in October, there will be a Designer Series Paper promotion of buy 3, get one free!  If you "want it all", we also have our Starter Kits available for $99 which opens the door to all kinds of promotions, discounts and benefits. Contact me if you have any questions about any of these promotions!  It's so fun to spend some time being creative. I spoke with a friend on Sunday who had been not having enough time to "create" and she told me she needed to get back to it because it was one of the main things that "filled her bucket". It's so easy to let jobs, chores, wasted time get the best of us, isn't it.  Paper crafting is great therapy and we all need some down time!

Hope you have a great Wednesday!  Let me know if I can help!
Sarah


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Copper Foil and Snowflakes

Hi Stampin' Friends!
I hope you had a great Labor Day weekend. It is always the last hurrah of the summer and I'm sure you have mixed feelings about seeing summer wind down. Our second half of summer has been so smoky due to forest fires that most of us in Montana are praying for snow and SOON!

It's great that it's finally September and I can start sharing some of my projects and ideas from the new Holiday Catalog.  I recently hosted an open house and had over 40 new projects displayed to draw attention to the new suites and products. Today I want to share the one that I believe got the most oooh's and aaah's!  It features some great new metallic foil Designer Series paper and some very intricate dies!  Here it is:


It is always tricky to get a good photograph of the metallic and foil papers, ribbons and embellishments  but you can get an idea here.  The Designer Series Paper panel on the right is from the "Year of Cheer" Specialty DSP and features a copper leaf and silver berry design. On the right side of the card, I cut a panel of copper foil paper with the "Swirly Snowflakes" thinlit die and then used a scalloped edge die from the same set on the edge of my white card stock. The two pieces are designed to line up perfectly.  On the inside of my card, I used another small piece of copper foil to further show off my white scalloped edge.  I added some copper ribbon and a silver start trinket.  My sentiment was heat embossed with black embossing powder on copper foil paper, then backed with a piece of silver foil.  This was a fun project which used the best of the best in metallic products!

There are so many designs, ideas and tips out there!  I hope you are thinking about do some creating this fall and maybe you even have a Christmas card project in mind!  I can help guide you with what to buy, how to go about it, etc. There are ideas and projects for all budgets from kits to full scale original creations. Come to my classes (schedule is on my SU website, link on the right) or contact me directly for help!

Hope you have a great day today as your fall schedule and routine start to settle into place. I'm looking forward to routine; it always works for me!

Happy Stampin'!
Sarah

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Anything but Holidays Blog Hop!



Hi Stamping friends!
As part of my effort to improve my craft, I'm participating in a Blog Hop today and it promises to be a fun one!  The new 2017 Holiday Catalog came out on September 1st and you will be amazed at all the great new products and ideas to create your holiday projects, BUT, what about non-holiday uses?  I think that is where the fun begins, outside the box, so to speak. It's a great challenge to figure out how to use new products in unpredictable ways, thus increasing their versatility and appeal. That's what this blog hop is all about. Here's my project:


When I saw the "little drummer boy" in the Holiday Catalog, I thought immediately of my son, Sam, who spent 7 years in a high school and college drum line for marching band!  It was a great experience for him and vicariously for my husband and I. I know the main point is football, but boy do the marching bands help set the mood, rev up some spirit and provide some great entertainment!  My son's birthday is on Labor Day this year so I will have this card all ready for him! This card uses one of my favorite sets in the new catalog, "Musical Season". I inked up the drummer boy image and double stamped with Basic Grey ink. I then cut out the drummer boy with the framelit on Basic Grey card stock. I wanted to create as much depth as possible and create the illusion of a whole drum line, marching in perfect sync and coordination, just like they really do! I used the small balloon in the balloon punch and some Coffee Cafe paper for my project, to emphasize that this is a birthday card! My Soft Sky background paper is also from the Coffee Cafe Designer Series Paper.

And now a personal note to my blog, my son in action with the Montana State University Spirit of the West Marching Band!


We are a musical family and this will always be one of our favorite life experiences... marching band!

I hope you've enjoyed my card for the "Anything but a Holiday" Blog Hop. One of my favorite things to do is to "repurpose" SU products and use them in unexpected ways. For me, it makes the products that much more versatile and usable, creating better value for the money I've spent. Thanks so much for checking out my blog!  I blog most days and try to feature a new idea, product or technique every day!  Head to the next blog for more fun!

Happy Stampin',
Sarah

And, now for the blog hop part!  Be sure to check out the rest of these ideas!




Friday, September 1, 2017

Finally, it's September 1st!

It's here!  Aren't you so excited!


It's pretty early in the morning here!  I will be back with more posts throughout the weekend including details on a free stamp set that is yours if you host a party (or just have a party yourself) and your order is over $300!

The link to the new catalog is at the top on the right sidebar and the store has all the new products, go to "shop now"!

Whooppee!!
Sarah