Sunday, December 31, 2017

Stamp Review Crew - Bella & Friends

A very Happy New Year to y'all from the Stamp Review Crew! Can you believe it's 2018 already?! We're baaa-aack with a special bonus hop!

The Stamp Review Crew are a group of Stampin' Up! demonstrators from all across the globe who "gather" on the first and third Monday of each month to highlight a particular stamp set. Today's hop is a bonus! We are showcasing the adorable Bella & Friends stamp set, which was inspired by Million Dollar Achiever, Angie Juda!

Yeah, when you hit that $1,000,000 in sales, you get all kinds of perks, and helping design a new stamp set is one of them. I calculated that at the rate I'm going, I should reach that milestone when I'm about 180 years old. *grin* But I digress....

If you started at the beginning of the hop, and are hopping in order, you just landed here from Kelly Kent's blog. Aren't her projects always aMAZing? If you started here, click the 'next' link to go on to the next stop.

Bella & Friends, Stampin' Up!, Shaker Card

As you can see, the Bella & Friends stamp set is totally adorable, and I thought a shaker card for a child, or a special dog who is like a child (not naming any names here, but you know who you are!) would be cute.

Bella & Friends, Stampin' Up!, Shaker Card

Since there are sequins in the shaker, naturally I had to use the Scattered Sequins Dynamic embossing folder! I added some Wink of Stella to some of the embossed sequins, as well as the frosting on the cupcake. And then fussy-cut those two sweet fluffy pups. I'm thinking a short-haired dog would have been a lot easier!

Bella & Friends, Stampin' Up!, Shaker Card

That's my project to share, so now it's off to Mike Funke's blog, Stampin' Style, to see what he has in store for you! Thanks for stopping by, and I wish every one of you a blessed New Year!

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Happy New Year!

As we come to the end of another year, I like to take stock of things, both in my personal life, and in my stamping life. What did I do right? What can I improve upon?  Getting organized is something I always need to improve on! Clutter and chaos clutters my mind, and I can't get anything done, so I will be streamlining my craft room, purging a lot of unused things that are just taking up precious space, and re-evaluating my blogging.

I know last year I promised more step-by-step photo tutorials, as well as videos, but that has proved to be difficult for several reasons, which I will get to in a minute. On the plus side, I did blow my previous total posts for a year completely out of the water! My old record was 176 posts.....this year it's 253! (Counting tonight's Stamp Review Crew post.)

The whole reason I started card making was for a fun filled, relaxing creative outlet. When I committed to blogging five days per week, it added pressure to what should have been a fun activity. First I had to come up with a project and create it. Then I needed to take photos, and the photos had to be edited (they never look good straight out of the camera), the watermark added, and THEN they were ready for the blog post which, of course, had to be written.

It is way more time-consuming than you would think, and there were times I was ready to throw in the towel, because it wasn't fun OR relaxing anymore. And don't even get me started on the videos! I tried three times, with three different videos, to get them uploaded from my iPhone, and never could get it to work. They weren't even very long; all were under five minutes. (And that was after wrestling the cat out of the area, because he wanted to plop his hairy butt right in the center of everything!)

So my resolutions for 2018 are:
  1. SEND MORE CARDS! No point in making them if they aren't going to be used, right?
  2. Purge and organize, both the craft room and the rest of the house.
  3. Be better about scheduling posts in advance, especially during the summer when I'm completely overwhelmed with processing veggies from the garden. (Lesson learned!)
  4. Cut back to four posts per week. I'll be eliminating Wednesday posts unless they happen to be when a blog hop is scheduled. New schedule will be Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. So no posts on days that start with T or W. *grin*
  5. Figure out the gosh darn video upload thing! (Might have to use a different camera than my iPhone.)
  6. Do more step-by-step tutorials, even though it means more photos (and the extra time & editing that goes with it) and longer blog posts. I hopeful that fewer blog posts will mean I can devote more time to this.
  7. Reevaluate the posting schedule after three months and see if it needs tweaking.
I wish you all a very happy 2018, and hope that you do something creative every day!

Smiley from Millan.Net

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Southern Serenade, an Opportunity for Embellishment

Southern Serenade, Occasions 2018, Stampin' Up!, Thanks, Thank You

So I had this idea to stamp several blossom stems from Southern Serenade and color them in different colors, and then make a set of cards with coordinating DSP. And it turned out brilliantly, if I do say so myself. Except.....

Southern Serenade, Occasions 2018, Stampin' Up!, Thanks, Thank You

I got down to the very last card, stamping the very last greeting, when disaster struck. I'm normally pretty good about getting a clean image because I rest the sides of my hands on my work surface to steady them while I'm stamping. Somehow, some way, I "stuttered." Meaning, I got a double image of the greeting. Which was on the already colored image panel, which was attached to the DSP, which was affixed to the card  base.

Southern Serenade, Occasions 2018, Stampin' Up!, Thanks, Thank You

!@#&%!! A bad word may have escaped my mouth. So, I did what any self-respecting stamper would do - I salvaged it with a greeting banner! And that gave me the opportunity to use the adorable little matching blossom stamp on the end of the banner.

Southern Serenade, Occasions 2018, Stampin' Up!, Thanks, Thank You

I actually think it turned out cuter with the banner and blossom! These cards also gave me the opportunity to use up some retired DSP from my hoard extensive collection. If you want to see the other cards and get the measurements, check back on Monday. Tomorrow morning I have a New Year's card, and tomorrow night is the Stamp Review Crew post. I've been a busy, busy girl!

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Friday, December 29, 2017

My Inky Friends Design Challenge #1

Welcome to the FIRST My Inky Friends Design Challenge! We are so excited to announce new monthly challenges, and we hope we can get you crafty folks to play along with us! The challenges will be on the fourth Friday of every month - it could be a sketch or a color challenge, but it will always be inspired by something in a current Stampin' Up! catalog! Our first challenge is a sketch, which was inspired by the card on page 61 of the annual catalog. Here is my take on the sketch:

If you've never participated in a challenge before, it's really pretty fun and easy. You make a project that follows the theme, and post it on your blog or someplace like Splitcoast Stampers, then use the link widget found on the MIF challenge post to link to your project, so we can see your creation!

This challenge runs through Jan. 12th, then the design team will vote for their favorites, and the winners will be announced. There will even be a badge for winners to proudly display on their blog!

To see what the Design Team made, check the guidelines, or add your creation to the challenge, just click the challenge graphic at the top, or click HEREIf you upload to an online gallery, please use the keyword MIFDC1.

For this card, I heat embossed the flower from Beautiful Day on watercolor paper, then used Brusho Crystals and an Aqua Painter to color it. The black & white DSP is from the Tutti-Frutti DSP stack. And if you look really closely, you can see the Scattered Sequins Dynamic embossing folder was used on the card base for some added texture.That fun greeting is from Birthday Wit - inside the card it says "You're Welcome."

Smiley from Millan.Net

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