Friday, January 31, 2014

The Cutest Little Banner

I had so much fun making the cutest little banner --- for free.  During Sale-A-Bration, this banner is one of the possible free products you can earn and I wanted to make one for my studio.  It comes with a lot of goodies to put together to make a banner and you are limited only by your creativity.  Here's what I made:
I spritzed the doilies and the canvas banner pieces with a mixture of reinker and alcohol, along with the canvas hearts.  I used some left-over pieces from 2 other kits I had on hand --- the Mini Memories Simply Created Album Kit and the Calypso Coral Celebration Add-On Kit, but you could easily make it with just what comes in the kit.  You can add your photos to the banner, as well.  Here are some close-ups:

... and here's how it looks hanging in my studio:
I did not use the cute little puffy pom poms from the kit.  I want to use those for another project.  Here's how the kit comes to you:

Click on this link to see a video about putting the banner together.  Enjoy!  

So now you need to think about what to order and get your free goodies.  Sale-A-Bration goes through March 31, so you have time to earn lots of free goodies.  While you're ordering, don't forget about my Stampin' Tokens.  You can earn those, too.  

Have a great day and go stamp something beautiful. 

Click here to learn more about upcoming classes.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Yay for Cards... and Some Organization Tips

I often get questions about how I go about organizing my work space and my work time.  Come along with me today and we'll take a look.  Come on in to my studio, look around and enjoy your visit.
I love stamping, card making, scrapbooking... paper crafting.  I love it all!  I have been working on lots of cards and projects lately!  Today, I want to share with you how I go about starting when I have lots of new papers and products come in all about the same time.  It would be super easy to get overwhelmed or sidetracked, so I try to organize my materials so I can keep my focus on what I need to do.

Getting started...
- Unpack all the new arrivals.
- Organize them into sections of stamps, papers, Big Shot accessories... etc.
- Put away any materials and accessories that I won't be using immediately.
- Start in with opening 1 package of paper at a time.

Diving in...
--- Pull out all the papers from the package.
--- Turn the sheets so I can see each and every design.
--- Gasp, ooo and ah....   so pretty!
--- Turn the cardboard backing over to see the list of colors that are in the papers.
--- Pull out all the colors of CS that go with this paper.
--- Pull out all the stamps that might coordinate with this paper.
--- Pull out Big Shot accessories and embellishments that might go with this paper.
--- Start cutting CS, usually cutting 81/2 X 11" pieces lengthwise.
--- This will give you cards that are 4 1/4" wide, with a top fold.
--- Cut any other shapes or sizes of CS that I might plan to make with these colors.
--- If I plan to use larger layers of DSP or CS, I will cut those now, too.
--- For layers, I usually cut 1/4 - 1/2" smaller than the card front or previous layer.
--- I keep frequently used sizes of white CS on hand, ready to use.
--- I take time to put away scraps now, to stay organized.
--- I keep CS scraps in drawers labeled - 1 for each color family.
--- I store DSP in large cello bags, with scraps on top of full sheets.

Creative juices flowing...
By this time, my creative juices are flowing and I already have some ideas floating around in my head.  It's time to get out the inks, ink up my stamps and get going.  If I haven't stamped for a while (Sometimes, it happens.) I try to start with a simpler card and, as I get going, work up to more complicated designs.

But wait...
Before I start working, I pull out one of my handy dandy serving trays and organize all these items onto the tray.  The reason is simple... Everything is all together.  If I need to move it away from my work space, I can just carry the tray and set it carefully in a new place until I'm ready to work on it again.  When I'm ready to start in on it again, everything is all right there together and I don't waste time trying to figure out where I left off when I stopped.

This may or may not be the most efficient method, but it works for me when I have a lot of cards to get made.  When finished, I store all my DSP in a large cello bag, with cut pieces on top, the backing cardboard in the back (for support and color reference) and often store 1 of each piece of coordinating CS in with it all.  When I have an idea for a single card or 3-D project later on, I can easily pull out just what I need to get going on it.

Here's a tray all ready for me to start creating using the Kaleidoscope DSP.
Look closely and you can see a second tray (photo below) behind the first one.  This one is all ready to work with the Watercolor Wonder DSP.  Having them on my studio table keeps them handy but off my main work space behind the bar where I stamp.  I even have the cards already scored and folded.  Doing the cutting and scoring all at one time really saves time.  I keep a stash of precut Whisper White layers most often used, as well, and use these for main layers on the cards.  Smaller stamped pieces are completed with scraps, whenever possible.  This saves time, too, because my scrap drawers are behind the bar right next to my work space.
Speaking of storage, check out my new system (photo below) for storing my framelits.  I love it!!!  I got these online:
This is the same place where I got my new punch holders and ink pad holders.  It's a great place, has excellent quality products and excellent service.  I don't usually promote other companies on my blog, but this one deserves high praise.  They also sell containers in which to store your framelit cards, but I wanted to use one of my antique sewing machine drawers.  I use a lot of them in my studio and it creates a look that I just love.  These cards are made of chipboard and have a strong magnet covering 1 entire side.  I liked using stamp cases to store my framelits, but Stampin' Up! has come up with so many different sizes of framelits lately that my system wasn't working anymore.  I wanted a uniform size for all of my framelits.  This works.
The cards are sitting out in the drawer so they are super accessible and quick to get into use when inspiration strikes.  This is an extra long drawer so it accommodates 2 rows of the cards.
I store my embossing folders in an antique sewing machine drawer, too.  This one had unfinished wood on the sides, so I ironed on fabric to spruce it up.  This was the first drawer I got and it somehow started a small obsession with boxes and drawers:)

Please don't get the idea that you'd have to go through all this process just to create something.  When I have 1 or 2 specific projects in mind, I get out supplies just for those.  I will admit that, once in a while, I go into a creating frenzy and end up with about 6" of free space in which to work.  I think most any artist does this, at least sometimes.  Keep in mind, I have a 15' long bar on which to work and equal counter space behind it, complete with cabinets.  I am blessed with 30' of work space, not to mention a separate area for my laptop and a large studio table (seats 10) which can be work space.  I am blessed!  I hold fast to one rule that I refuse to ever let myself break.  I clean up before and after each major creative work time and before and after every class as well.  Doing this keeps me sane and organized and keeps my space clean and ready to create more treasures.  For me, a messy work space works against my creativity. 

Sometimes, though, in spite of all our organization, we just need cards fast.  So now, here's another idea to get you stamping quickly.  We have a new cards kit, in addition to our Everyday Occasions Card Kit. (#134998)
With Sale-A-Bration underway now, you can get super cute free items, such as the banner kit below.  Come back soon and I'll share my version of this banner kit.  It was really fun putting it all together.
Here's a video to inspire you to get working on some of your cards.  Click on the link below to view it.  Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by my blog.  I hope you enjoyed your visit to my studio today and that some of my organization ideas will help you in your creative process.  Use what works for you and create a space in which you can enjoy creating treasures of your own.  Want more organization ideas?  Click here and take a tour of my studio.   Have a great day.

- Thanks for stopping by my little corner of the blogging world. 
- Click on the tab at the top of the page to see my class schedules and registration policies or click on the left for sneak peeks. 
- Come back soon and come back often for more creative inspiration.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

What's in The Box?

I have LOTS of exciting news in today's post, so be sure to keep scrolling so you don't miss a thing!  Previously, I gave you a sneak peek at this next project over on the side of my blog and in my last post.  Did you guess what's in the box?  If you guessed an organized card keeping system, you are correct!  What better way to start off the new year than to get organized.  As I've been sprucing up my studio, I decided to include improved organization wherever I found a need.  Having cards more easily accessible was at the top of the list for me.  I had them organized all along, but they were in a basket inside a drawer.  Sometimes out of sight really is out of mind.  I decided that if I made a pretty box that coordinated with my studio decor, I could keep it out and actually use it!!!
Are you wishing you could make one, too?  Well, you're in luck!  We'll be making this at the first session of my brand new class --- Monday Night Stampers.  We'll begin on Monday, March 3, 6:00-8:30.  I'm very excited about offering this brand new class.  We will focus on a special project, theme or technique at each class.  Class fee is just $18.00 OR free with your order of $35.00 or more (before tax and shipping).  Orders or class registration must be paid at least 2 days prior to the class and may be placed from any current catalog or special promotion -- online through my website or directly through me.  These wonderful boxes are from my retired stash, so I have a limited number of them.  Class spots are only available while my supply of boxes lasts, so hurry to sign up for our first Monday Night Stampers class.

We'll be adding a title to each card, to label the sections in our box.  You'll know at a glance which cards are low and what you'll need to make next. 
The tabs for each file card are made with one of our new tag top punches.  I used the Scalloped Tag Topper punch.  (Say that 5 times in a row, fast:)
We also have an Angled Tag Topper punch.  It would work for this project, as well and give an entirely different look.
Aren't these new punches just fabulous?!!!  I'm already working to fill up my new cards box.  Whenever I need a card right away, I can go to my cards box and find just what I need.  Here's how the labels will look for our dividers.
I used the Scalloped Oval Punch to punch out typed labels.  I decided to type them so they would all be a uniform size.  I added an extra divider in the front with a pocket.  This pocket is for stamps, etc. for your cards.  You'll have no excuse now for not getting that card into the mail on time.
- Thanks for stopping by my little corner of the blogging world. 
- Click on the tab at the top of the page to see my class schedules and registration policies or click on the left for sneak peeks. 
- Come back soon and come back often for more creative inspiration.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Emboss your heart out!

I promised you more about my mystery box photo for my next post, but we must interrupt this post for fast breaking news.  This is too good to wait.  Please keep reading for today's exciting news and then come back for my next post and it WILL be about the mystery box, I promise.

If you know me at all, you know I love embossing.  I made a little ring of scalloped circles to make a sampler for all our embossing folders.  I used the Scallop Circle Die with the Big Shot to cut the circles and then embossed each one with a different embossing folder.
I can see at a glance just what design choices I have for making my next project.  I seem to be collecting quite a few:)  You may be wondering what I do when a folder retires.  If I'm keeping the folder, which I almost always do, I remove the sampler and place it on my retired samplers ring.  It keeps everything organized and I can still play with old favorites from time to time.

- Thanks for stopping by my little corner of the blogging world. 
- Click on the tab at the top of the page to see my class schedules and registration policies or click on the left for sneak peeks. 
- Come back soon and come back often for more creative inspiration.

Monday, January 27, 2014

What have I been doing? Part 2

I've been putting my MDS journals to good use lately, in working on my class plans.  I cannot physically work a long time in my studio, so I work with pen and paper.  I've written down ideas of things I want to make for my Prairie Treasures booth, too.  So many ideas... so little time.  I cannot understand at all why some people get bored being at home.  I just won't have it!
I designed these journals using My Digital Studio and had them printed up for me.  I've used them a lot.  It's more fun to stay organized when you have cute journals:)

The bulk of my planning has gone into upcoming classes.  I can't wait to share some of my ideas with you!

- Thanks for stopping by my little corner of the blogging world. 
- Click on the tab at the top of the page to see my class schedules and registration policies or click on the left for sneak peeks. 
- Come back soon and come back often for more creative inspiration.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

What have I been doing?

As you know, if you follow my blog, I had knee surgery in December and have been busy recovering.  So, what all have I been doing?  Lots, actually.  Check this out!

-planning / sketching and designing (on paper)
-cleaning up from Christmas
-working on designs for upcoming classes / reorganizing my schedule
-ordering, receiving and organizing all my new goodies from the Occasions Catalog
-reading / resting / watching a little TV (catching up on old shows, Netflix, etc.)
-playing with my grandkids / babysitting the boys
-getting together ideas for Olive Jane's next birthday party...

I'm sure I'm forgetting lots, but that's what I have right now, off the top of my head.  I'm still getting some wonderful cards, too.  Look what arrived this week!  This is a card made by my good friend, Laura.  She also happens to be a member of my Inkin' in the Land of Lincoln team.  If you ever wondered what it feels like to receive a beautiful card like this, let me tell you that it is very uplifting.  What she wrote inside could not be more perfect.  It should be made into a stamp:  "Just a note to let you know I'm thinking of you today."

Thank you Laura, from the bottom of my heart.

Now, back to resting and planning.  I am excited to say that I'm almost ready to share some of the details with you about my upcoming classes.  You're going to love it!!!

Click here to learn more about upcoming classes.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Create Inspiration

Want some great inspiration?  How about my new 'Create' banner?  I loved making this.  It was fun, easy and fairly quick, for such a large project.  It's hanging in my studio and will hopefully inspire anyone who sees it.  The nice thing about doing this kind of project is that it all starts from a kit.  You have all your materials organized before you even begin to work on it!  Whatever else you'd like to add is limited only by your imagination.  You may even find that you become more creative because the initial work and organizing of supplies is already done for you:)  I think my new banner works to spruce up my studio --- big time!
I wanted you to see the entire banner, so I had to step back a bit to get in all the parts and pieces. 

Color story:
--Bermuda Bay
--Crushed Curry
--Crumb Cake
--Basic Gray

Here are some close-ups of each part.
Each letter comes as a plain white (blank slate) in the kit.  I stamped with Crushed Curry for a random background.  Then, I stamped the 'grid marks' in VersaMark ink, and embossed it with gold EP.  In real life, it has a nice shimmer to it.
The add-on kit comes with 12 x 12" tissue paper sheets to cut into streamers.  You can leave them plain white or add color by spritzing them with a reinker/alcohol mixture.  I spritzed mine with Crushed Curry and Bermuda Bay.
The add-on kit also comes with the little circles streamer, all stitched together.  I used those to stretch along the top of my banner.  The little circles come in all the colors in our color story + gold and silver.  

I love the cord that comes with the banner.  I used it to hang all the individual banner pieces.
You also get 12 sheets of 6 X  6" double-sided DSP with the add-on kit.  I cut those into scallop circles with my Big Shot and used them as accent layers behind the letters.
I still had lots of extra pieces in the add-on kit, so I used some of them for a scrapbook layout.  Come back soon and I'll share it with you.
The doilies layered at each end of the banner were also spritzed to add more color.  I used some of the 6 X 6" DSP pieces to make the flowers for each end of the banner, using the spiral flower die.  I sandwiched the streamers between 2 circles that came with the banner kit.
So, that's my banner.  Tell me what you think!  Be sure to stop by soon to see more class sneak peeks and lots of scrapbooking and card making inspiration.

Click here to learn more about the spiral flower die.

Click here to learn more about upcoming classes.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Sprucing Up My Studio

Today's post has some fun sneak peeks.  You'll have to keep coming back to get the whole story.  First up, I've been doing some sprucing up in my studio.  I enjoy giving it a new look frequently and every time we come out with new products, I just have to show off some of them in my studio.  I enjoy making new projects and enjoy having a place to display them where not only my customers can see them but I can enjoy them myself - each and every day.

I love our new spiral flower die!  You can make bunches of flowers --- in any color you'd like, paper or CS!  I used mine to decorate a banner.  Here's a little sneak peek at the banner.  You'll have to come back soon to see the rest of the banner. 
 Here's the spiral flower die.
Click here to see a video about it.

Come back soon to see the entire banner.  I love it! 

And next up, I want to share with you my newly redecorated bulletin board.  
The left half is cork, so I ironed on some of our retired fabric.  I've been using a lot of black and white in my studio, to create a neutral canvas where I can show off any color I want and have it really look great.  The right half is magnetic, so I decided to cover it with DSP.  I made the little magnets with some of our buttons.  The little banner is made with layers punched from CS.  The flowers are from one of our kits.  I love how they look in the antique pitcher.
I think I'll enjoy the new look for a long time.

Click here to take a tour of my studio.

Next up, I'll share the entire banner AND a special project I made with some of our Modern Medley DSP.  It's also for my studio, as well as an upcoming class:)

Don't forget to mark your calendars for some stamping fun!  
Click here to see my upcoming classes and events.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Cash or Gift Card Holder, Part 4

As I mentioned in my last post, this version has the most unique look of all the cash, check, gift card holders that I've shared with you so far.  It's the same Winter Frost DSP, but has a really bright look to it.  This would work for Christmas or a winter birthday.  I think it's soooooo pretty! 
If you make up several at a time, you'll be ready for Christmas, parties, winter birthdays... whatever you need next.  They're pretty easy and so much fun to make!
Here are the others I've shared.  I think I'll try a Valentine's Day version next:)
Thanks for stopping by.  Come back soon for more design inspiration.  Have a great day and please, go stamp something!!!

Don't forget to mark your calendars for some stamping fun!  
Click to see my upcoming classes and events.

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