Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Blog hop--The Great Outdoors

Thankfully "The Great Outdoors" theme for this month is very broad, pretty much anything outside, because I'm really not a sporty or outdoorsy kind of girl!  I love to be outside, but preferably by a pool!  So while I was at Target the other day, I saw the cutest gift bags and I quickly took a picture so I would remember what they looked like! (Do you ever do that?)

I used my punches that I had created in MDS with the punch editor, and I came up with this card:

When I print this off I will leave off the button and add a real Designer button in Melon Mambo and maybe even some rhinestones or Dazzling Details glitter for some bling!  I'm thinking this card can be used for so many different occasions--I better print a handful of them!
Make sure you stop by the rest of the blog hoppers, too!  Share with your friends!

Today is also the first day of the Holiday Catalog, there are so many new seasonal stamps, papers, kits, gifts and more!  Check it all out!  


Look at those Dimples!

My cousin and his family moved to Vegas about 6 years after we did and it was nice to have more family here in town.  They only had one little girl at the time, and since then have added 4 more darling children to their family--and I adore each one!  One day when we were attending the baby blessing of their youngest child, the next youngest, Sarah, age 2, seemed in need of a little attention!  I saw her sitting over in the corner by her grandma being shy and quiet but when I started talking to her, her eyes twinkled and as the huge smile formed on her face I noticed her dimples!  Not just regular dimples...deep, perfect dimples!  Every time this little girl smiles her dimples seem to sink all the way through her cheeks!   I got my camera out and started taking pictures and she just lit up!  She hammed it up for the camera for at least a few minutes before she got bored and wanted to play with all her cousins.  I got a few good photos, but this was the one with the twinkle in her beautiful eyes!  She is such a flirt--even now almost 4 years later!
I used Hip and Handsome overlay for the background; Twitterpated ribbon (recolored), two-toned ribbon (recolored), pom-pom trim (recolored), crochet trim, seam binding (recolored), baker's twine; Antique brads and staples.  My colors were matched with the color of the couch in the background (I love that option!!).  This was such a fun page to create!  That's it for my Artisan contest scrapbook entries, but come back tomorrow for the CREATE blog hop!  I'll post more Artisan contest entries soon!


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

New! Undefined

While I was at Stampin' Up!'s convention a few weeks ago, they announced a new product...Undefined, a stamp carving kit that allows you to use your own creativity to make your own stamps!  At first I was a bit skeptical.  Why would you want to carve your own stamps when they have so many wonderful stamps in the catalog?  But then I saw all the fun stamps that demonstrators were coming up with and a lightbulb went off!!! WOW!  This is really a fun new way to express your creativity, even if you don't think you have any artistic ability!  Watch this quick video that describes what Undefined is all about.
The thing I like most about Undefined is that it doesn't have to be perfect!  In fact, that's what makes it so great!  The slight imperfections on something that is handmade is what makes it original, one of a kind!  I decided to try out my stamp that all the demonstrators got at convention, I didn't have time to go to the Undefined station to make mine, so I made it at my friend Jeanna's house (she had the new kit with all the tools!) My suggestion is to read the directions and if you don't feel comfortable free handing your design, use the included templates or other design to start out with.  Also, don't start out with a very intricate design either!! (I had to start over!)  I decided to do an animal print, zebra to be exact, and I just free handed lines and spots and colored in the areas I wanted to cut out.  It came out much better than I thought it would!  Ta-da!!!
Now I think I'm ready to get the whole kit!  If you are interested in getting this kit, you can purchase it on my website anytime!  Stamping is generally a female dominated craft, but what man doesn't like to use a tool to create something?!  Make sure you check out the Pinterest board Stampin' Up! started to showcase some of the wonderful creations demonstrators and customers are coming up with, they are ah-may-zing!!!

Keep creating!!


Monday, July 29, 2013

Sweet Smile

I've been a scrapbooker for more than 20 years, so switching to digital scrapbooking was a little out of my comfort zone, to say the least!  I loved using MDS for cards and home decor, but scrapping with it was another story!  It sounds pretty funny now, but my mind just has a problem translating on a spatial level I think.  I'm feeling a little more comfortable now that I have jumped in with both feet, but it's still a work in progress!!  Anyway, here's another Artisan contest entry. This one is of my daughter and my niece.  I am not a great photographer, I don't even have a really good camera, but I caught this darling smile on my two week old niece's face--I will call it a smile no matter what anyone else says!!

I used Twitterpated DSP and filled the punch I created in MDS, I think I called it "trapezoid".  I also created the flower punch, filled it with Baja Breeze and then used the crop tool to crop the shape of the flower in the Naturals Composition overlay stamp. I used the freeform line tool to make my stitched heart and finally, I cropped a small section of stitching, recolored it and enlarged it.  Background was also Naturals Composition overlay cropped into plank sizes. Check out my YouTube videos on cropping stamps and editing punches. Try our 30-day free trial for MDS or purchase MDS for only $19.95!   

I hope you are enjoying your summer!  Stay cool!


Saturday, July 27, 2013

I Like to be with You!

I have to say that I am so excited for the new 2013-2014 Artisan Design Team for Stampin' Up!  They are all very talented ladies and I can't wait to see all the projects they come up with this year!  While I was disappointed for about 5 minutes when I found out I wasn't chosen for the top 20, I quickly realized that it was better that I spend time with my kids before they both leave home this next year--I can't believe I'll be an "empty nester" by this time next year!  I will share some of the projects that I worked on for several months to submit them for the Artisan Design Team contest.  The first scrapbook page I did was "I Like to be with You". It is a photo of my daughter and her best friend. (they've known each other since they were babies!) I love this photo because this is how these girls are all the time--happy and silly!  I used a few overlay stamps (Decorative and Naturals Composition) recolored seam binding, and scallop border filled with Love Letter DSP.

Make sure you download the free 30-day trial of MDS!  It is so easy to use and I love the results I get! (I also love that I can delete, undo and change colors with the click of my mouse!)  Once you download the software, be sure to check out my YouTube videos for tips and techniques.  

Have a great weekend!


Friday, July 26, 2013

More of Convention 2013

I can't believe it's been a week since Convention 2013!  I had such a fun time with all my Stampin' friends--I wish I didn't have to wait a whole year before I see some of them again! They live all over the country and even all over the world...good thing we have Facebook, right?
Here are just a few of my favorite swaps: 1. Debi Calandrelle  2. Cami Eastwood  3. Kevin Theesen  4. Judene Hale 5. Cindy Schuster 6. Jeanna Bohanon 7. Elisabeth Bellville 8. Monika Davis  9. Pam Hoffmann 10. Teri Hinckley
I had so many lovely swap cards, I thank all those who put so much effort and talent into your projects!

Check out the opening session streamed live for the first time!  I got to sit right on the front row with VIP tickets, thanks to the You Crew but you don't see much of me on the screen because I am sitting under the boom crane.  That's ok, I had a fantastic seat for the whole celebration!
Here's some photos of the highlights of convention for me:
Dinner with the MDS blog hop girls!

Jeanna, Monika and Julie getting ready for opening session!

VIP Seating!!!

Julie and Judene in VIP seating!

Besties on the front row!

WooHoo!  Ryan Innes from "The Voice" rocked the crowd!

The whole Gardner clan!

Silver backpack for the 25th anniversary celebration!

Prize Patrol!!

Oh yeah, gotta love FREE STAMPS!!!

Only about 1/10 of the demonstrators at convention!

Jeanna Bohanon, Finalist for Artisan Design Team

Jeanna, WINNNER!  2013-2014 Artisan Design Team!!

She can't even contain her emotions!!

Artisan Design Team gift!
There was so much fun and excitement going on during convention--amazingly, they get better every single year!  I know you want to join us next year!  It is $99 to sign up and for a limited time, every new demonstrator gets their choice of projects on top of all the great stuff they get to choose for their starter kit ($190+ value)!  That's awesome!
Come back soon, I have some more Artisan Contest submission projects to share!


Thursday, July 25, 2013

My Convention 2013 Swaps

I have returned from another Stampin' Up! convention completely rejuvenated and exhausted!  Three days of adrenalin rush is not good for this old body, but somehow, I survived to tell the tale!  There were 5800 demonstrators from all over the US and Canada (along with a few from the South Pacific and Europe) and most of them brought cards to swap!  You can't believe the craziness that goes on when Stampin' Up! demonstrators get together to swap cards!  It's more like a swarm than a swap!  Cray. Zay.  I did two swaps this year, but I didn't make a bunch because I figure if I swap it I have to bring it home and store it somewhere--so I keep it to 40-50 cards.  I did a remake of my baby stacking toy card (don't you just love MDS!!!) printed four to a page and mounted them on coordinating colored card stock.  I had none left and I didn't take a pic before I left so I will show you the digital rendition:
I love how you can change a project in MDS to fit your needs, maybe next time I'll do it in pastels!
The second swap card was actually done for a organized swap, or a swap that has a theme and usually a set amount of people, in this case 10.  The theme was coordinating DSP and stamps which we have so many of!  I love that Stampin' Up! has "suites" of paper, stamps, and embellishments that coordinate with each other so you don't have to think, "Does this go together?" All you have to do is let your creativity run! (unless you're like me and you hit "the DEAD zone"! You know the one! Nothing, nada, zilch, zero!) Yeah, I started working on this weeks ago and all I had was the Chalk Talk tag punched out--that's it!  It just wasn't working!  I wandered around Pinterest and I saw a few ideas that caught my eye and then two days before I had to leave it all came together! (Sadly, that is my MO, hurry up and wait till the last minute! I finished my cards in the truck on the way to SLC!)  Luckily for me I only had to do 11 of them!  I used Soho Subway DSP and Hello, Lovely stamp set along with a little bit of Gorgeous Grunge on the Alphabet Press embossed background.
Besides the tag, the accessories I used were: Scallop edge punch; 1 1/4" circle punch; and a bit of 7/8" Cotton Ribbon which is easy to stamp on!
I don't know if you see a pattern here, but I REALLY like Summer Starfruit and Pool Party!!
Tomorrow I will post some of the swap cards I received! Stay tuned!


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

MDS Blog Hop--Baby Ark

I'm still not quite recovered from my trip to Salt Lake City for Stampin' Up!'s annual convention, which was completely awesome by the way, but I told my MDS blog hop friends I would have this post done...tick, tock, tick, tock!  So, after I dropped my daughter off at the airport at 5:30 this morning (I got home at 5pm yesterday!) I came home and tried to decide which "project I am working on" would be a fun post for today!  This is the one I came up with.  I had downloaded Two by Two because I love to use the MDS freeform brush tool almost as much as I love to watercolor with my stamps!  I tried to give it some dimension with darker colors for the shadowed parts of the image and then I copied the stamp brush and added the drop shadow and added that to the bottom layer to create the shadow (the shadow sometimes doesn't show as well with the coloring tool).  The clouds were created by using the top of the cupcake punch, filling it with any DSP, double click for the punch editor,  slide your DSP completely out of the punch "window", then change your drop shadow color to Whisper White and change the blur and opaqueness to your choosing.  You are left with the "shadow" part of the punch!!  Cool, eh?  I finished the card off with some In-color ruffled ribbon (recolored) and Summer Possiblities DSP I hope you enjoy this fun baby card and if you would like more info on using the MDS freeform brush tool, you can watch my video, here.
Go check out what all the other MDS blog hoppers are working on--they are always inspiring to me!

I've got some fun stuff to share from convention, so check back soon!


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Ready, Set....GO!!

I'm just finishing all my last minute stuff before I leave for convention!  Yay!  I thought I would post this card I made at my friend Jeanna's a few weeks ago.  It uses Hello, Lovely stamp set, the 1 inch square punch, clear embossing powder and the Decorative Label punch.  I took some Basic Gray 1/4 inch stitched grosgrain ribbon and I pulled the center stitching to gather the ribbon (make sure you glue or knot the end) and wrapped it around the card.  Lastly, I added a Vintage Faceted designer button for some "pretty"!  The hardest part about this card is that you probably need to use the Stamp-a-ma-jig to line up the embossed images after you attach your squares.  It's more time consuming, but it still only took me about 20 minutes to make.

Make sure you follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram this week (links on the right)--I'll be posting fun photos and excitement from Stampin' Up! Convention in Salt Lake City!
Today is also Download Tuesday for MDS, so make sure you check out the fun new downloads this week!


Friday, July 12, 2013

One More Week...

...Until Stampin' Up! Convention!!  I'm so excited!  In the almost 17 years I've been a demonstrator, I've attended 16 conventions!  I only missed the Denver convention because I had just had surgery (and truth be told, I still planned to go, but my husband told me to rest!)  Anyway, I so enjoy being around all the demonstrators every year--their excitement, their talent, their friendships, it is all completely breathtaking!  New friendships are made; happy tears are shed; craziness ensues; ideas are shared; knowledge is gained; more craziness ensues; {PRIZE PATROL}; lots of laughter; photos, photos and more photos; even more craziness ensues; {PRIZE PATROL}; sleep-deprived silliness; lots of swapping; screaming, jumping up and down craziness ensues; {PRIZE PATROL}!!!  There, doesn't that sound like fun?  I am so excited that it's hard for me to even concentrate on anything else for very long--I think it's called "convention brain".  My family is pretty much used to it by now, but being compounded with my recent "brain fog", I'm sure it's driving them crazy!  Maybe I'll be back to normal in a few weeks...maybe not!!!
I have a few projects to post before I leave, so hopefully my "convention brain" will let me focus for a bit on blogging!  Here is my submission for MDS Monday 21:
I had taken some panorama photos on a drive up through the Red Rock Loop and I thought that they would be perfect for this technique.  If you would like to see how this is done, you can check out my photo grouping video here.  This image of the storm is so stunning that I didn't want to add too much, just a few elements with colors practically taken from the landscape.  I browsed through the MDS color combo tool and found one that was perfect for this page and with the recolor tool I could change all of my elements to coordinate with that color combination.  Here's my color swatch for this page:
Almost all of the elements on this page are from the Be Yourself May kit and were recolored.
I've got to hurry and get my swap cards finished and some shopping done before I leave, but check back, I'll have a few more projects for you before I leave!  


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

MDS Blog Hop--Celebrate Stampin' Up!

Hi everyone, I've been asked back to be a guest blogger on the MDS Blog Hop...YIPEE!!!  This week our theme is celebrate Stampin' Up!  I have been celebrating Stampin' Up! for 18 years!  I remember being pregnant with my daughter and a friend of mine brought me a catalog and asked me if I would like to order anything--Oh. My. Goodness. I couldn't believe my eyes!  Before that day, I had dabbled in rubber stamping, going to a few parties and frequenting the local stamp store, but when I saw my first Stampin' Up! catalog, I was IN LOVE!!!!  It wasn't long before I realized that I wanted be a demonstrator, so I signed up before my daughter turned one!  I have loved everything about Stampin' Up!, but one of the best reasons is that I DON'T have to be perfect when I create!  I can do what I want and because it's hand-made it doesn't have to look perfect!  What a relief!  When I saw this quote, I knew I needed it in my stamp room--just a reminder that I don't always have to spend days on a project to make it just right. Some of my most simple projects were the ones that my friends loved the most, and that's what's important, sharing what I love with my friends and family (they'll never know if you spent 10 minutes or 10 hours!!).  And since I LOVE to share what I love, I'll share this with you!  
The background is using Number One and Festival of Prints DSP; two different alphabet punches, Timeless Type and Alphabet Soup;  Delightfully Digital Tape, and Naturals Overlays (my fav!).

Bonus Printable:  Stampin' Up!'s Statement of the Heart!
Make sure you stop by all the rest of the blog hoppers--I think they love Stampin' Up! as much as I do!