Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you a Wonderful Christmas and a great rest of the year!!

Here is a card I made with MDS using the Welcome Christmas stamp brush set, Festival of Prints and First Edition digital DSP. I was able to easily change the color of the stocking, ornament and star and add an outline of digital stitching to the Very Vanilla cardstock layer. You can't really tell from the photo but I added a touch of Dazzling Details to the star making this a hybrid project! Experimenting with an MDS trial version might be a great activity to pursue if you have some downtime this holiday season. 

Please email me with any of your papercrafting or MDS questions or leave them in a comment below.  

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Chalkboard Christmas

Chalkboard is very hot right now in graphic design. Once you look for it you will see it everywhere. This look can be easily created with paper and ink. Earlier this year my upline, Brian King, showed how to create some great cards that contain chalkboard elements. You can see that blog post here.  Recently I saw a cute chalkboard Christmas sign and decided to do something similar for my Christmas card. Last year I made my cards with Stampin' Up's My Digital Studio (MDS) and was very pleased with the results so it seemed like a great way to do my cards again this year. With MDS I had all the "supplies" I needed, literally at my fingertips and I was able to create my card in a few hours! Plus once I had it created there was no craft area to clean and I could print as many copies as I needed, either through Stampin' Up's Print Services or on my own printer! If you have not considered using MDS in your papercrafting you should! Yes there is some learning involved but you can download a free trial if you want to test it out and Stampin' Up has produced almost 100 short instructional videos, each focusing on one small aspect of MDS. You can click on the My Digital Studio tab above to see these videos. If you think you might be interested I would encourage you to look at the Getting Started with a Card video first.  I think this video will give you the best introduction to MDS whether or not you are a card maker. After that you can check out MDS Overview and Getting to Know MDS.  A detailed list of FAQs will give you lots of good information. Stampin' Up! has tons of digital downloads and introduces new ones each week (see the link on the right side on this page for the most recent downloads) plus MDS comes with plenty of content to make lots of great projects right from the start.

Here is the card I made.

A chalkboard look can be created in MDS simply using Basic Gray digital cardstock and white digital ink but digital chalkboard is also available from a number of places. Stampin' Up! has a chalkboard background in three of its digital download kits (Convention 2012 Photobook Template; Back to School and Hello World). You can purchase one of these kits and use the chalkboard that is part of the kit or if you know how, digital chalkboard can easily be made in Photoshop or similar software and saved as a JPG. Once you have it as a JPG you can use it in MDS, just like any other element. That is how my chalkboard element was made. I then cropped a piece to the size I wanted and created text boxes with the words merry and Christmas in white "ink". Some of the fonts I used appeared chalk-like from the start. For the others, MDS allows you to easily reduce the opacity of the "ink" creating more of a chalk look. For text MDS uses the fonts already on your computer. If you want more there are tons of additional free fonts available on the Internet for download. I then added a star and a tree trunk from two stamp brush sets (as they are called in MDS) that came with the software. I placed my finished chalkboard on a digital Cherry Cobbler background and added digital DSP. If you would like to try experimenting with digital chalkboard I will be glad to email you a copy of the JPG I used. Just email your request to

Supplies Used in MDS:
  • Stamp Brush Sets: A Holly Jolly Christmas (star); Holiday Blitz (tree truck)
  • Cardstock and DSP: Cherry Cobbler; Festival of Prints Digital DSP; Christmas Cocoa II Digital DSP; First Edition Digital DSP
  • Ink: Whisper White
To order click on the ordering tab above just under the header. You can email me privately with any of your papercrafting questions or ask them in a comment below!

Monday, December 16, 2013

A Royal Birthday!

Today is a special day and to celebrate this special day, three of us are participating in a blog hop. What's so special about today you ask? Well, it's Brian King's birthday! Brian is our Stampin' Up! upline and "King" of our "InKing Royalty Team". We hope that you enjoy our little blog hop dedicated to Brian as he celebrates his special day. I'm number 2 in the list; the full blog line-up with links to all of our blogs is listed at the bottom of this post. I hope you'll click on each link to see the special cards that we've made for Brian. And, when you're done, you may want to check out Brian's blog. He always has something amusing to share with his readers.

When I started to think about a card for Brian I immediately thought it should have a royal theme. I thought a crown would be a good choice. Stampin' Up had a great stamp set called You Rule! that contained a crown. Though the set is retired it is still available as a digital download but Brian had made a fantastic card with that set and I knew I couldn't improve on it. Then I thought about possibly creating a crown with punch art. After looking at my punches I didn't see anything that I thought would work but then I thought of the Banners Framelits Dies that are available from the new Celebrate the Everyday catalog which begins January 4. Demonstrators can order from this catalog early and I had ordered this Framelits set. It seemed perfect! I could cut three sets of three different sized banners and layer them to create a crown. I originally planned to use the Brushed Gold cardstock throughout but then I remembered the Champagne Glimmer Paper (FYI it is cardstock weight even though it is called "paper") and it seemed perfect for the crown. Brian is not a fan of glitter but I think Glimmer Paper on occasion meets with his approval. When I think of royalty I think of deep purple so I pulled out some Elegant Eggplant to use with the Glimmer Paper. I had planned to use the You Rule sentiment stamp in MDS from the set mentioned above and also use another stamp from that set and in MDS create the sentiment  "King, You Rule".  As I was working in MDS I realized I could just use a font in MDS to create the sentiment! I also used the font to print "Happy Birthday" on the inside of the card. Here is my card.

The next stop in our blog line up is Lynn Kolcun at Stamping with Avery's Owlery. Thanks for visiting and be sure to click on the last link and leave a comment on Brian's blog to wish him a happy birthday :-)

1. Kelly DeTommaso at Kelly's Creative Corner
2. Katie Ferguson at Cottage Paper 
3. Lynn Kolcun at Stamping with Avery's Owlery
4. Brian King at Stamp with Brian -- Don't forget to leave him a comment to wish him a happy birthday. 

Supplies Used:

Cardstock: Bermuda Bay (131197); Champagne Glimmer Paper (127885); Elegant Eggplant Cardstock (105126); Brushed Gold Cardstock (102935); Very Vanilla cardstock (101650)

Ink: MDS Elegant Eggplant

Tools: Banners Framelits Dies (available January 4)

Accessories: Basic Rhinestones Jewel Accents (119246); Stampin' Dimensionals (104430)

To order click on the ordering tab above just under the header. You can email me privately with any of your papercrafting questions or ask them in a comment below!

Monday, December 9, 2013

More Great Buys from Stampin' Up!

If you are still looking for supplies for all your holiday papercrafting projects Stampin' Up! has one more great opportunity for you!  On Tuesday morning at 1:00 AM at CST they will restock the Clearance Rack with all kinds of goodies!! If you have never shopped the Clearance Rack you need to go see what is available. Unfortunately I can't tell you exactly what items will be added since I will find out at the same time you do - but I can tell you there will be some great items you will want to have and they will be at some great prices! There will be stamps, cardstock, Designer Series Paper, punches, buttons, embossing folders, ribbon and more.  How do I know all of these items will be there? Because they are there now!! Plus there will be even more on Tuesday morning! Click here to go straight to the Clearance Rack. While you are there remember that Valentines Day is not far off and currently there is a number of great items listed that are specifically for Valentine papercrafting.

Another great, easy holiday papercrafting idea is to make packaging tags.  Many of the ideas for cards can be scaled down and used to make gift tags and which can be made very quickly!

This  is a card I made with fellow demonstrator Dianne Eure. Several of us regularly get together at Dianne's house to make cards. Dianne comes up with the design - sometimes her own and sometimes inspired by another card she has seen. She comes up with some really great cards. I keep telling her she needs to start a blog and that if she doesn't I am going to start putting the cards on my blog!! Well she has officially run out of time. This card makes a great impact. It involves a lot of punching but is really not difficult to make and the idea can easily be used to create tags. Each individual square with the sparkly circle could be placed on a square tag. (Note that the white squares can be easily cut with a paper cutter if you don't have the Squares Collection Framelits.)

Here are some quick tags I made with washi tape. Washi tape is very versatile. It can be an addition to a card or used to make the entire card. Plus it can be used to wrap the gift itself! I generally wrap my gifts in wrapping paper that looks like Kraft paper (Kraft shipping paper is usually too heavy) and washi tape looks great on the packages. The tag on the left was made by tearing the tape and adhering it directly to the tag. The tag on the right was made by adhering the pieces of tape to a piece of white paper and then cutting the sides into a tree shape. The tag in the middle was easily made using two markers to color just one stamp.


Don't forget to check out the Weekly Deals before you place your order. Go to the Stampin Up store and click on Weekly Deals.  Note that they change every Tuesday.

Supplies Used

Stamp Set: Seasonal Sayings clear mount (128009); Wishing You (131751)

Cardstock and DSP: Real Red (102482); Whisper White (100730); Silver Glimmer Paper (124005); Red Glimmer Paper (121790); Champagne Glimmer Paper (127885); Cherry Cobbler (119685); Soft Suede (115318)

Ink: Versamark (102283); Cherry Cobbler Marker (119681); Old Olive Marker (100079)

Tools: Merry Minis Punch Pack (126882); 1" Circle Punch (119868); Squares Collection Framelits (130921) 

Accessories: White Embossing Powder (109132); Season of Style Washi Tape (132155); Basic Pearls (119247); Linen Thread (104199)

To order click on the ordering tab above just under the header. You can email me privately with any of your papercrafting questions or ask them in a comment below!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Cyber Monday
Additional Items Added to Holiday Sale!!

As a result of its very successful Holiday Sale Stampin' Up! decided to add a few more 30% off items to the sale for Cyber Monday only! The added items are on sale from midnight MST on Sunday until midnight MST on Monday. They have included some great items to use during the holidays. The most exciting item is the Envelope Liners Framelits Dies. These have been a very hot item this fall. They are great for all your cards. They come in three sizes and perfectly fit the three sizes of Stampin' Up! Envelopes.

As part of the sale promotion I wanted to make a card but I had to make the card before I knew what the additional sale items were since I was going to be away from home on Sunday when the additional items were announced to the demonstrators. I decided to make a Christmas card with the hope I would be lucky and one of the items I used would be added to the sale.  Here is the card I made.

While none on the additional sale items were used on the card there were some very similar items. First notice I lined the envelope with the striped paper from Season of Style Designer Series Paper.  I have been lining envelopes for a while though I had not yet ordered the Liners Framelits. They have been on my wish list since they first came out but they had not yet made it to my actual order - at least until now!! They will be perfect to use to make liners for multiple envelopes for holiday cards. Next I used the small Rhinestone Basic Jewels to accent the little ornaments. The Large Rhinestone Basic Jewels are now part of the sale.

You can see the original sale items by clicking on the Holiday Sale icon on the right side of this page and following are the additional sale items.

These products are 30 percent off for 24 hours on Cyber Monday:

Envelope Liners Framelits Dies (item 132172) $26.95 sale price $18.87

Expressions Thinlits Dies (item 132171) $24.95 sale price $17.47

Holly Jolly Greetings Simply Sent (item 132159) $14.95 sale price $10.47

Snowflake Season Simply Sent  (item 132176) $14.95 sale price $10.47

Extra-Large Gift Box (item 132147) $3.95 sale price $2.77

Large Rhinestone Basic Jewels (item 129324) $4.95 sale price $3.47

In addition to the above sale items Stampin' Up! is having Weekly Deals with each week's deals being posted on Tuesday. Weekly Deals for this week. I would like to particularly point out the following items.

  • Regals Markers set which includes the colors - Always Artichoke Cajun Craze, Cherry Cobbler, Crushed Curry, Elegant Eggplant, Garden Green, Island Indigo, Night of Navy, Perfect Plum, and Rose Red. These are $21.71 which is 22 cents each.
  • Cherry Cobbler Chevron 3/4" Ribbon which is $6.21. This is great for card making and to wrap packages.

Supplies Used

Stamp Set: Wishing You (Wood 131748) (Clear 131751)

Cardstock and DSP: Cherry Cobbler (119685); Gumball Green (126840); Whisper White (100730); Season of Style DSP (132340) Digital (134858)

Ink: Cherry Cobbler (126966)

Tools: Stylish Stripes Embossing Folder (132174)

Accessories: Rhinestone Basic Jewels (119246); Gumball Green 3/8" Stitched Satin Ribbon (126848)

To order click on the ordering tab above just under the header. You can email me with any of your papercrafting questions or ask them in a comment below!