Archive for IBC 06/07

[Re]Mixed Bouquet

Distressed Emboss??

OK, folks, I’m not sure if I created a new technique (or discovered an existing one I didn’t know about), or if this is a total flop. You tell me. (Seriously, I’m pretty thick-skinned.) I decided that I hated the old frame matte in those springy colors (I’m such an “earth” person), so I revamped it into something that I might actually use.

First, I inked the entire matte with Old Olive (craft) ink. Once that dried (with the help of a handy dandy heat gun), I stamped the rose from Mixed Bouquet in Versamark around the frame and sprinkled on gold embossing powder.

But…the excess embossing powder wouldn’t shake off. (That craft ink has to be really, really dry. Think days.) I brushed off as much as I could without knocking too much powder off of the images and heat set it anyhow. The mottled effect was kind of groovy, and I liked the subtle emergence of the roses here and there. So, I repeated the embossing with a chocolate embossing powder for some pop. (Oddly, this time, the craft ink was dry and the excess didn’t stick.) I actually liked it, so I decided to leave well enough alone.

I think it’s got potential. I’m calling it “distressed embossing,” unless, of course, the technique already exists (please, someone clue me in here).


The art of CASEing

Explosion BoxOne of the fabulous things about the rubber stamping community is that we’re crafters who love what we do so much that we always encourage others to try new things. And we never hesitate to show others the ease and beauty of our crafts. One of the best ways to expand our horizons and improve our skills is to push our limits. To do that, we often Copy And Share Everything, or CASE.

The bevy of projects in the annual (and soon to be semi-annual, woo hoo!) Stampin’ Up! Idea Book & Catalog is a great starting place to CASE others’ ideas, but sometimes I need different or new fodder to spark my creativity. Sometimes I find great ideas for patterns in catalogs or advertisements. Sometimes I turn to stamping or paper crafting magazines or other publications. But often I find myself surfing the Web and I always end up at splitcoaststampers.

Last week, Beate did a tutorial on one of my favorite projects: explosion boxes. I already knew how to make these in any size, but I found inspiration there nonetheless. I loved her use of Au Chocolate designer series papers along with Mixed Bouquet.

I wanted to give Mixed Bouquet, one of my favorite retiring sets, a final farewell. Besides, I needed the inspiration for my first-ever {blog candy} that Alison won a couple of weeks ago. (Yeah, yeah, I did it backwards. Next time, I’ll make the candy first, then give it away…I get it.) I hope she thinks it’s worth the wait (fingers crossed)!

Nesting Explosion

Nesting Explosion Boxes openSo I decided to CASE Beate’s project, but with a little twist. I used one of my favorite colors ever, Cool Caribbean, which is also retiring along with the rest of the In Color lineup (another adieu). Then I looked over at the little Russian nesting doll in my stamp room and it occurred to me that maybe a nesting set of explosion boxes could be a fun thing too.

So this is what I came up with. If you like it, feel free to CASE it for personal use. Shake it up, change it, make it your own. Have fun and share it with a friend. (Just be nice and tell folks where you got your inspiration, especially if you post in on the web.) Complete recipe and cutting dimensions available here.

Folks, my apologies for the long delay since my last post and delays in my responses to any personal emails. I expect to be able to reply to emails shortly. Custom orders may be delayed, but you will receive an email from me in the next several days if that is the case. Life is, once again, in overdrive. If you’d like to read about the crazy stuff in my personal life, you can visit my adoption blog.

Take it or leave it?

Mixed Bouquet Matte
I have mixed feelings about this Mixed Bouquet frame matte. I hesitated even posting it here and I didn’t put my watermark on it (Images copyright Stampin’ Up!). Originally I thought it would look nice in a stamp room with some kind of saying inside (“inspire” “create” or a nice phrase?). The matte is big (11×14) and will hold a regular-sized sheet of cardstock, so I figured that printing something out on the computer would be ideal. But I’ve been going back and forth about it. One minute I hate it, the next I love it. Right now, I hate it. I can’t tell if it’s the ink colors (click on image for a list)? The vanilla background? The gold matte liner? The stamp set? What do you think?

Seeking Inspiration

wallet cardFirst of all, my apologies for the lack of photos lately. I haven’t had much time to stamp, and I got a little sidetracked with my beaded spoons the one time I allowed myself some “free” time. Between work (which suddenly became full-time) and a bunch of crazy adoption stuff, life has been a little more than wacky here.

I have been trying to come up with a great idea for Alison’s {blog candy} surprise. But I’m in a bit of a creative funk, so I started going through projects I had already made with the Mixed Bouquet stamp set. What I found was this coolio card/wallet thingy (which isn’t going to Alison, but is in the mail to someone else as part of a bigger “order” hint hint).Wallet Card Open

I’m just looking for Mixed Bouquet inspiration…and I have some ideas knockin’ around my my noggin, but you’ll have to wait awhile longer before they become a reality. I promise, though, I’ll post the second I create the surprise…

I had intended to upload this wallet card several weeks (months?) ago, but it somehow fell through the cracks. But I know y’all are dyin’ for some photos since you’re just downright tired of my ramblings, huh? So, here’s some fodder for creativity.

The pattern is an SU! original, I believe, although I did make some adjustments. The SU! design required “mini” envelopes that come as part of a set of cards and envelopes (not sold separately). But that didn’t make any sense to me. I certainly wasn’t going to buy a combo pack, use the envelopes, and get left hanging with cards that had no envies. So I used mini square envelopes instead, but I really like the outcome.

The basic measurements: cut base to 4-1/2 x 12 (score at 1-5/8, 2, 5-3/8, and 8-3/4), cut black pieces to 5-1/4 x 3, score at 1), cut colored insert pieces to 4 x 2-3/4), cut outside band to 1 x 9-7/8 (score at 2-5/8, 3, 6-1/2) . You can probably figure out the rest.

For a simplified version of a photo wallet (made from 8-1/2 x 11 cardstock), check out these instructions on splitcoaststampers.

Decisions, Decisions

So, I went round and round in circles. I read everyone’s comments. I stared longingly at all of my stamp sets. I even moved the retired sets to their own shelf to “visualize” life without them. It was then that I realized that I have fewer non-retiring sets than retiring or already retired. By a long shot. Sheesh, those “current’ stamp shelves are going to need to be replenished!

While I hate to “lose” so many sets, I’m in a pickle. I haven’t met my quarterly minimum yet. I don’t know if I will before the end of June. And I can’t justify hanging onto “old” sets when we’re trying so hard to fundraise and commit my stamp profits to the adoption. So, I’ve decided that I have to sell (almost) all of my retiring sets. The only stamps I’m letting myself keep are the word stamps. Everything else has to go. Come July, (most of) my retired stamp sets will head to the auction block. In the meantime, however…

Congratulations to my {blog candy} winner, Alison!

Alison’s must-have retired set is Mixed Bouquet. She says, “I’ve been in love with it since it came out and just never got around to buying it.”

This is one of my absolute favorite sets too. I actually did a trade to get this set when it wasn’t available (after the mini ended, before the new IBC came out). It kills me to give it up after working so hard to get it. But I will. So, as a last hurrah to Mixed Bouquet and all of our gorgeous retiring sets, Alison is going to receive a handmade gift crafted from her favorite set. Since I just picked her name last night, I haven’t made her gift yet. So, stay tuned. I’ll post an update with pics just as soon as I can!

rollin’ away

[Update, May 16, 2007: Stampin’ Up! has been able to restock ALL of the retiring wheels formerly indicated as “sold out.” Woo hoo!]

The following wheels are officially no longer available through Stampin’ Up!

  • Adoring Hearts Jumbo
  • Baby Rattle Jumbo
  • Builder Bits
  • Candy Cane Christmas
  • Flitting By Jumbo
  • Gifts Galore
  • Great Outdoors
  • Hand Prints
  • Jazz
  • Many Mittens
  • Only Ornaments
  • Party
  • Paw Tracks
  • Pine Bough
  • Pounce
  • Size It Up
  • Square Pegs Jumbo
  • Star Studded
  • Sweet Feet
  • Swirl Fun
  • Wash Day Jumbo

So long, farewell, Auf Wiedersehen…

As the catalog end date nears, products on the retiring list will only be available until supplies run out (or June 30, 2007, whichever comes first). This morning, Stampin’ Up! announced that one wheel, Builder Bits, has already sold out. Several other wheels are going quickly, so don’t delay. Run, don’t walk, to the phone and call your demonstrator if there’s a retiring product you think you can’t live without. My customers can also email me.

Going out in style

It’s that time of year when Stampin’ Up! overhauls it’s offerings…the long-awaited Retirement List is out. The retirement list details, page by page in the Idea Book and Catalog, which stamp sets and wheels will no longer be available after June 30, 2007. It’s a “last call” to buy those coveted stamps before they’re gone forever. (Retiring accessories aren’t announced until June 20th.)

You might notice that the list of retired stamps is extra long. Why so? Well, Stampin’ Up! is changing its catalog system. Beginning July 1, Stampin’ Up! will come out with two catalogs, one released in July and another released in January. This is exciting news as the catalogs will be more seasonally appropriate and, thus, less overwhelming. The timing of mini catalogs will change as well (more on that another time).

There are definintely some super yummy sets retiring, and many of us demonstrators were quite surprised. I’m also faced with a dilemma. I have 56 items on that retirement list and there are also still a handful of retiring sets on my personal wishlist. I’ve listed a preview on my Sale! page of the sets I think I might sell, but I’m not sure which sets to keep. I love them all!

{Blog Candy Alert}

So, what’s your favorite must-have retiring stamp set? Post a comment with your reply and I’ll randomly choose a winner on Sunday to receive a surprise goody in the mail. Tell your friends too. I really want some input on which sets to keep and which to trade (or eventually sell)!


magnet-tin-outside-web.jpgYou may remember that Target carried these little magnetic checkerboard tins around the Easter holidays. I jumped on the bandwagon and bought one then. Just one. This is what I created (gift #5 for my generous friend). The outside is simple enough: your basic altered tin decorated with cardstock, designer paper, stamps, ribbon, and other embellishments.

The inside of the container is another story. I had these groovy thin 4″ cork coasters with rounded edges that fit perfectly inside the container. I layered four of them — no glue (that’s how great they fit) — to create the corkboard. (Unfortunately, you’d be hard-pressed to find these cork coasters today…they’re about 3 years old from IKEA. But, you could cut thin cork sheets to size and layer for the same effect.) magnet-tin-inside-web.jpgThe thickness of the cork perfectly accommodates the glass marble tacks (thumbtacks, 1/2″ stamped circles of cardstock, flat-backed glass marbles, and Crystal Effects).

On the left inside of the container, I layered a piece of cardstock over the tin, then used my Xyron 900 with a magnet cardtridge to create some little magnetic inspirational sayings (shown in storage mode) that could easily be moved around to the front, back, or inside lid of the tin — or used anywhere a magnet could go.

wish for simplicity

Trifold Wish CardIn keeping with my simple theme, I made this trifold tab card for mystery project #4. It’s a versatile card and there’s plenty of room for inside sentiments. If you’re not accustomed to using a Hobby Blade (X-acto knife), I recommend practicing on scrap paper first.

To make the tri-fold, simply cut cardstock to 5-1/2 x 11. Score the longer side at 3″ and 7-1/4″.

To make the tab, lay card flat so that the larger outside flap is toward you.wish-card-open-web.jpg Approximately 1/2″ from the first fold, use a hobby knife to make three cuts: make a 1-1/2″ cut approximately 1-7/8″ in from the left side. The cut should be perpendicular to the fold. Repeat approximately 1-7/8″ from the right side. Then cut between the end points — the ends furthest from the fold. (See image to right for example of approximate tab location.) Use small corner rounder on tab edges (you may need to remove the guard).

For the front flap, cut your designer series paper to 3″ x 5-1/2″ and adhere to smaller flap. Lightly sand edges if desired. Stamp “wish” (or desired phrase) onto cardstock and use 1-1/4″ circle punch. Adhere to tab. Cut coordinating cardstock to 5/8″ x 5-1/2″ and adhere above tab. Embellish as desired.

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