Stampin’ Up Weekly Deals – Week 5 (continued throughout May)

Stampin’ Up! have announced that they are extending weekly deals throughout May – woo hoo!!!  My hunch is that the May weekly deals will contain items on the soon to be released retirement list.  So, if you’ve got your eye on any of these products, I’d suggest ordering now (while they are available & on special!) rather than waiting.  Contact me or order online.  [Hostess code is – 7VD7BCP9].  These weekly deals will be available until 6th May.

Today’s offerings:

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Vivid Vases – It’s a Whole Lot of Wonderful

I have noticed a trend in my Stampin’ Up! purchases.  The ones I ponder over the most – add to an order, remove from an order, add again and finally purchase … are the ones I end up falling the most in love with.  It happened with the Hardwood Background Stamp [can you believe I almost didn’t buy it!!!] and now it’s happened with the Vivid Vases single stamp from the Occasions catalogue.  I made a few of this particular very simple, but very stunning card to give to people who I wanted to thank.  One got sent Grandma’s way to say thank you for making my girls some great winter tracksuits, one got sent to Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator Support to say thanks for all the hard work they do and I’ve kept some for a rainy day.  It’s always lovely to get a ‘just because’ type card in the mail and I think the phrase on Vivid Vases could apply to a range of situations and recipients.  The quality of the Stampin’ Write Markers makes colouring a breeze, though I have seen some great cards on Pinterest that have DSP vases.

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To line the stamp set up evenly I used a few of my “tricks”.  Do you own a Stamp-a-ma-jig (SAMJ)?  These are one of the greatest products in the SU! range.  It allows you to position your stamp exactly where you want it every time.  Now, for a stamp set like Vivid Vases, that only comes in wood, the positioning is going to be the same on the SAMJ sheet every time.  So my first trick is to create a permanent SAMJ sheet that you can keep with the stamp set.  Cut a piece of Window Sheet to the same size as the wood block of the Vivid Vases stamp.  Put aside the sheet that comes with the SAMJ and line your newly cut window sheet piece with the SAMJ handle.  Stamp the Vivid Vase image onto the window sheet using Jet Black Staz On Ink.  Now, when you want to use the stamp with your SAMJ, you don’t have to stamp it first, you can just line up your window sheet & handle, remove the sheet and stamp perfectly.

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My next tip is how to get the sentiment parallel to the bottom of your card.  I use this trick all the time to line up my stamping when the edge isn’t close to my stamp.  Cut a piece of scrap cardstock that is the same width as the gap you want between the bottom of your card and the stamped image.  For example, if you’d like it 1″ from the bottom, then cut a piece of cardstock that is 1″ wide.  Place a small amount of 2-way glue onto the back of this piece and allow to dry until it is tacky.  Place this cardstock guide strip along the bottom of the card.  Using the SAMJ, line up the bottom of the stamp with the top of the guide.  This will make it straight and perfect every time, without having to judge by eyesight alone.  Once you’ve stamped your Vivid Vases image, remove the cardstock strip.  It should gently ease away from the card base, as the 2-way glue become repositionable when allowed to dry before adhering.

Hope you’ve enjoyed my two tips for getting it straight.  Try them yourself and let me know how it goes!  I love hearing from you.  Kelly x

 

 

 

 

Cards for our Troops

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At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.

Anzac Day is an important part of Australian history & modern day culture.  It’s wonderful opportunity to reflect on the freedoms we are afforded and the country we are lucky enough to live in – and the role the ANZACs played in this.  It’s also a time to thank the troops that still serve.  They see and do things many of us couldn’t even imagine and their bravery and courage makes them amazing people.  My thoughts are with their families, who spend days, months & years supporting their service to Australia.

Combat Cards is an initiative that collects handmade cards and send them in bulk to troops posted overseas.  The troops use the cards to write back to home – allowing them to join in the celebration of birthdays and other occasions with a beautiful handmade card.  Or just to say “miss you” or “thinking of you”.  The cards you see in this blog post will be on their way to the troops soon.  I used my favourite colours from the Brights collection – I just can’t get enough of them!  Bermuda Bay, Melon Mambo, Daffodil Delight & Rich Razzleberry.  The elements stamped on each card are from the Gorgeous Grunge stamp set and the sentiment is from Yippee-Skippee!  I just love the sentiment “you can never have too much happy!” – so versatile to any happy occasion.

If you have some cards you’d like to contribute, please get in touch with your local branch of Combat Cards.  There are collection points Australia wide, or you can post to one of the branches.

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Happy New Thermomix!

Today my Mum joins the wonderful club of Thermomix owners.  I’ve been a proud owner for almost two years now (after many years of nagging hubby!) and I L-O-V-E my “Super Kitchen Machine”.  Mum has been waiting patiently for the new addition to her kitchen (would it be too much to say ‘family’? hehe) and today is the day she signs on the dotted line.  And then taps her foot impatiently while she waits for delivery.

I thought the occasion called for a custom card, so with punches at the ready, I designed her a Thermomix punch art card.  It was one of my more challenging punch art creations, but I love the finished look.  And doesn’t the big red bow sparkle?  I made this using my Envelope Punch Board – such a versatile tool!

Are any of my blog visitors Stampin’ Up! and Thermomix addicts?  I think it says something about our appreciation for quality.  I’ve included one of my favourite recipes at the bottom of this post (given to me by mother-in-law, who provided me with my first ‘taste’ of Thermomix goodness).  The other place you must visit if you’re a Thermomix owner is Quirky Cooking.  Must run – my Thermomix demo starts soon and we’re making pizza, sorbet, dip, chicken veloute and custard. Mmmmmmm.  Kelly x

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Thermomix Broccoli Salad

Ingredients:

1 head of broccoli, cut into small florets and blanched in boiling water for 3-4 minutes

3T sliced chives (plain or garlic)

1 small red onion, cut into quarters

3T grated parmesan

1/3 cup Craisins

1/4 – 1/3 cup good quality mayo

pine nuts to garnish

Method:

Place the broccoli, chives and onion into the bowl and chop on speed 4 until it reaches desired texture – this will only take a couple of seconds.  Be careful not to over process or it will turn mushy.

Add parmesan, craisins and mayo.  Mix on speed 2/reverse until all ingredients are mixed through.

Place into serving bowl and top with pine nuts.  Yum – enjoy!!!

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Stampin’ Up Weekly Deals – Week 4

This is the last of the April weekly deals.  There is some beautiful DSP to choose from plus the new colour marker kit.  If you wanted to boost your Stampin’ Write Marker collection, now is the time!  As always you can order by contacting me, or go online and have your order shipped directly to your door.   [Hostess code is – 7VD7BCP9].  These weekly deals will be available until 29th April.  Enjoy! Kelly x

Today’s release:

 

Zoo Babies Two Ways

When creating cards, I often make two at the same time.  There is a number of reasons for this but the two mains ones are efficiency (I can make two cards in almost the same time as one and then I have an extra one to add to my stash) and one piece of cardstock gives two C6 card bases – so it just makes sense!  Usually I make two of exactly the same card.  But sometimes the finished products have subtle differences that result in two unique cards.  And that’s what happened with my Zoo Babies cards.

My aim was to make a ‘congratulations’ card for a friend who just added baby Hector to her world.  As the name suggest, Zoo Babies is perfect for baby cards!  The first card I personalised with a “H” and the second card I added a few more animals to create height.  Same same but different.  My basic colour combination of Night of Navy, Old Olive & Daffodil Delight was inspired by the Colour Coach and I then added in Real Red to brighten it up a little.  My ‘sweet baby’ banner is from Itty Bitty Banners, cut out using the matching Framelits.

Do you love the ‘stitching’ around the edge of the card mat?  I do this quite a lot – I think it gives the cards a nice ‘finish’.  Using a Stampin’ Write Marker (I used Basic Black), draw little dashes along the four sides of the cardstock.  It doesn’t have to be even or neat, just somewhat straight to follow the edge.  The more you do it, the better you get at it.  I find the Stampin’ Write Markers result in the best finish.  Gel pens can leave gaps in the middle of your dashes and look patchy.

I encourage you to start thinking about making two cards at a time.  The hard part about making any card is the design, so once you’ve got that sorted, it would be a shame to just make one card!  Plus, you’ve already got everything out… or if you craft like me, you’ve dug through the pile of products on the table to find everything!  Hehe!!!  Have a great day, Kelly x

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Happy Easter

Happy Easter!  I hope you’ve had a great day.  My long weekend started with the wonderful wedding, and has continued with lots of socialising with close friends & family.  Today we had breakfast with my family, followed by an Easter hunt, then a trip to see the Dinosaur exhibition at the museum and finished with a yummy roast dinner!!!  And would you believe I’ve only eaten two small eggs today?  The night is still young though, and I’m sure I can fit a few more in before bedtime.

Easter presents were largely chocolate free for my little misses.  The older one has food intolerances and normal chocolate doesn’t agree with her.  The younger one is still too little to know what chooclate is, but I suspect that will change soon (she’s finally come around to the enjoyment of food and can’t get enough).  So amongst the pajamas, books, clothes and knick knacks they got were these two beauties that I’m sharing with you.

This box had a necklace and bracelet set from Nanna in it.  Nanna is a Stampin’ Up! addict too and made the sweetest little bunny box using the Scalloped Tag Topper Punch (inspired by Carol’s creation here).

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The other favourite Easter present was a beautiful painting set by Typo from Uma & CaCa (Uncle Mark and Aunty Caris) with paint colours that were so reminiscent of Stampin’ Up! range, I had to share!  Do you see Stampin’ Up! everywhere you go?  I present to you our Calyspo Coral, Pistachio Pudding, Bermuda Bay & Summer Starfruit bunnies.  Happy Easter!  Kelly x

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There’s No Such Thing as a Gruffalo

Have you heard of the Gruffalo?  Unless you’ve got small children, you may not have come across this fabulous book written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler.  It’s a clever tale of a mouse and his walk through the woods.  And in our house, a favourite tale we read often.  So, I decided to make the beast and all his ‘terrible’ parts into a punch art card.  He was a bit of a challenge – I always find brown a bit awkward – but the resemblance is definitely there.  [It passed a recognition test with my avid little reader!!!]  Here’s the tutorial if you’d like to make one for a bookworm you know.    But shhhhhhhhh, there’s no such thing as a Gruffalo!  Kelly x

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Inspired by the Invite

Today two lovely friends of mine are getting married.  We met them years ago playing social netball and at that time Jason was NEVER getting married.  Well, like many men, he grew up (or gave in to the nagging!), so I’m excited to be a witness when Jason makes an honest woman of Ciara.  The wedding is in my hometown (about 2 hours from where I live now), so I get to go home and spend the weekend with my parents, which is an added bonus!  And even cooler that’s it’s the Easter weekend because there will chocolate!!!

Anyway, back to the card making.  Whenever I make a wedding card for a wedding I’m going to, I always try and incorporate the invite design in some way.  Often I’ll use the actual invite to make the card (as I’ve done today).  Wedding invites usually include pretty bling, awesome patterned paper and great cardstock – so they are a great foundation for a beautiful card.  Where possible, I’ll use the same colour theme.  Sometimes I’ll copy the style of the invite.  I often wonder if people notice the similarities between my card and their invite.  I think it’s a cute & personal touch and gives me great inspiration for a unique design.

For Ciara & Jason, I’ve followed with their cream & navy theme and used the bling in the centre of the card, the pattern paper in the lattice and the glimmery cardstock for the hearts.  For this card I’ve pulled some retired embellishments out of the vault.  I wouldn’t say I’m a hoarder … but I do find it hard to part with my lovely Stampin’ Up! collection, even when it’s retired.  So, I was lucky to have some Night of Navy ribbon and Vanilla Flower Trim in my stash to complete the look of the card.  And I’m so happy with the result!

Because there is nothing ‘standard’ about this beautiful card, I used the Envelope Punch Board to make a custom size envelope.  My card size is 5 & 1/4″ square with raised embellishments.  Using the Box Buster kindly created & shared by the Crafty Owl, I was able to input my measurements and have it tell me what size cardstock to use and where to punch on the EPB.  Keep in mind: unlike the measurements on the Envelope Punch Board that allow a 1/8″ border around the edge of your card, the Box Buster doesn’t have any border.  So add 1/4″ to your measurements before entering.  [For this card: depth – 5 & 1/2″, width – 5 & 1/2″, height – 0 & 1/4″].

Happy “I Do Day” Ciara & Jason!  Kelly x

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Supplies:

Tools: Big Shot

Bigz Die: Lattice

Embossing Folder: Beautifully Baroque

Punches: Heart to Heart (retired), Small Heart

Cardstock: Very Vanilla, Night of Navy

Extras: Rhinestone Basic Jewels

Adhesive: Tombow Multipurpose Liquid Glue

 

Leftover Lattice = Easter Baskets of Joy

Thanks for stopping by today for the big reveal.  Ta da!

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The leftover lattice got turned into little Easter baskets.  I trussed the four corners together with some baker’s twine and added mini eggs.  They look gorgeous!

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Now for some interesting back story: After my flash of ‘genius’ on how to use my lattices, I did an internet search for the lattice die – to see what others did with their leftovers.  Guess what – trussing up the lattice and filling it with chocolate isn’t a new idea!  There are lots of Christmas pudding lattice bundles and other chocolate filled lattice goodness already in cyberspace.  Nothing is too original when everyone is using the same set of Stampin’ Up! products.  I’ve seen recently quite a bit of discussion amongst Stampin’ Up! users about copying the ideas of others.  I have never been shy about admitting that some of my inspiration comes from the work of others that is posted on the net – Pinterest, Google, blogs, Facebook sharing.  Sometimes I love a card I’ve seen so much that I just want to copy it exactly – the designer has done an awesome job and there is nothing I could change.  Sometimes I use what I need and change the card to suit my style or purpose.  I do however, always give credit to the original source when I have copied a large component of someone else’s design, concept or template.  The exciting part about being creative, is that some of my work is original – either from my own mojo or spawned from something I’ve seen that has grown & developed to become my creation.  I’d be delighted and touched if someone liked something I’d made enough to copy it.  And if they had the same ethos around crediting inspiration that I do, then that would be great.  But the reality of life is that it’s not fair, people do crazy things and there are lots of artists having the same ideas world over.  We should all aim to be inspirational to someone.  Anyway, musings over.  Hope you have a great day and grab some inspiration from somewhere today!  Kelly x