Going, going, gone – 2014 Retiring Lists

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Every year Stampin’ Up! says goodbye to some of its product line.  Sometimes they are favourites you have in your collection and sometimes you haven’t gotten around to adding them.  As always, there are some lovely stamps and accessories being retired.  I am really going to miss the Dress Up framelits!  Quite a few of the retiring products are discounted, so it’s a great time to get Stampin’ Up! at bargain prices.

Find the list of retiring stamps here – 2014 Retiring Stamps.

Find the list of retiring accessories here – 2014 Retiring Accessories.

Everything on the list is first come, first served.  They are going, going, gone!  Order online or by contacting me.  The online hostess code is: 2EKWQNRH .  Happy shopping!  I plan to tempt you during June with photos of cards using retiring products!  And stay tuned for some new catalogue products towards the end of the month.  It’s going to be a big one!  Kelly x

 

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Unconvention 2014 – The last hurrah – Erin’s Sketch Challenge

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We’re finally at the last Unconvention challenge!  What a lovely group of ladies who created great challenges to keep us all busy during Unconvention weekend.  The final challenge was Erin’s sketch challenge.  I’ve never made a card similar to this, so I was excited to try the three panels in the background.  I used one continuous piece of DSP for the background, cut into three segments.  I love the continuity of seeing the pattern across the three panels.  The finished product was bold & bright – a grand finale!

Did you notice my sentiment strip in the middle has a border that matches the framelit?  It’s quite easy to do, here’s how:

  • Create a border for your framelits by cutting & embossing at the same time.  Make the following Big Shot ‘sandwich’ – Magnetic Platform, Cutting Plate, cardstock for smaller piece (I used Very Vanilla), Framelit (with smooth edge on top), cardstock for bigger piece (I used Basic Grey), Cutting Plate.  Run this through the Big Shot.  Your ‘smaller piece’ will have cut and your bigger piece will be embossed.  Using scissors, cut around the imprint left by the framelit.  This will give your smaller piece a border.  Note: this works better for some framelits than others and the finished product is somewhat reliant on your fussy cutting skills.  Framelits with lots of edging detail may be more difficult to cut neatly.

My other tip (not a new one) for creating a card with a knock-out colour palette – use the colours in the Designer Series Paper (DSP) as the starting point for your colour choices!  This way it all coordinates and the colours have been balanced by a design team.  Colours for each of the current DSPs can be found in the catalogue (pages 150 – 154).

Unconvention taught me so much, allowed me to try quite a few new things and pushed me to create differently to my usual card projects.  Thanks ladies – see you next year [unless a miracle happens and I get to the Gold Coast for Convention!].  Kelly x

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Supplies:

Tools: Big Shot

Framelits: Apothecary Accents

Thinlits: Circle Card (star)

Punches: Cupcake Builder

DSP: Birthday Basics

Cardstock: Crumb Cake, Raspberry Ripple, Basic Grey, Very Vanilla, Gumball Green, Island Indigo

Ink: Island Indigo, Summer Starfruit

Stampin’ Write Marker: Island Indigo

Stamp Sets: Sassy Salutations, Simply Stars

Extras: Paper Snips

 

Unconvention 2014 – Broni’s Card Challenge

When I saw this challenge, I loved the sound of it.  It brought a smile to my face.  When I went to complete it, that smile had turned into a frustrated frown.  Why?  Because the challenge was essentially to use products & a style you don’t normally use.  The idea was to push our creativeness out of its comfort zone.  And I tell you, my creativeness didn’t like it!  Broni’s instructions: ”

Please create a card that is out of your “normal” spectrum… instead of standard size do a square… instead of a square do a circle… think outside the normal realms… Must use a stamp set that barely sees ink and use colours that are NOT your normal go to colours… let’s see what you come up with! Please ensure your card has a senitment that is NOT thank you or happy birthday or thinking of you or normal…. this is a DIFFERENT card challenge…..

And different it was!  I started off ok, deciding to use colours from the Regals collection (Rose Red, Garden Green, Elegant Eggplant) – the least utilised colour collection of all 5 in my craft cubby.  I then chose a rarely inked stamp set – Six Sided Sampler and it’s matching punch (Hexagon).  I added in the Ribbon Border Punch, which I next to never get out of it’s hidey hole and selected a sentiment that under normal circumstances wouldn’t EVER get inked (pssst… from Happy Watercolour).  I started putting it all together, only to realise that my card was … standard size.  Oh oh!  I’d come so far there was no going back, so I cut it down to a square and carried on my merry way.  I’m not sure who I would give this card to or for what occasion, but I did it!  I crafted outside of my comfort zone!  Kelly x

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Stampin’ Up Weekly Deals – Week 9

I wasn’t sure if Stampin’ Up! would sneak in one final Weekly Deals before the end of the month – but they have!!!  Lots of choice this week including SPARKLES!  The hostess code for May is ECGGAVSZ if you’d like to order online.  Don’t forget, all online orders receive a free gift from me.  I hope today was a lovely day for you! Kelly x

Unconvention 2014 – Erin’s Bleach Technique

So many of the Unconvention projects are ones I’ve seen on the internet but never tried.  This is another one of those and I’m grateful to Erin for suggesting I try it.  Her ‘bleach technique’ involves using bleach to take the colour out of cardstock.  Depending on how much bleach you use, depends on what colour tones remain.  I used the Swallowtail stamp, Indigo Island cardstock and Gold Embossing Powder.  If you’d like to try this one at home (and I recommend you do!), see below for Erin’s instructions.  My card ended up being 6″x6″ to make full use of the size of the Swallowtail.  It’s beautiful – in all it’s teal tones.   The sentiment is from Happy Congratulations and I think it’s perfect for a magical golden butterfly.  I’ll be trying this one again with some of my other stamps!  Kelly x

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BLEACH TECHNIQUE (Instructions by Erin – thanks!)

For this project you will need the following:
Coloured cardstock (colours that will work well include Elegant Eggplant, Crumb Cake, Real Red, & Indigo Island but feel free to try any colour!)
Large stamp suitable for embossing (ie, Swallowtail)
Embossing Buddy (for clean embossing)
Embossing Powder
Versa Mark
Heat Tool
Household bleach, pour a little into a safe container
Paint brush (the finer the brush, the more accurate your application)

Method:
1. Rub your embossing buddy over your cardstock
2. Using the VersaMark pad, stamp your chosen design onto the card and apply embossing powder, carefully tapping/wiping away the excess specks.
3. Use the heat tool to set the powder, it will become glossy.
4. Dip your brush into the bleach and brush over the area you want to lighten/highlight. You can see in my project I applied only on some areas of the wings to give some depth & character to the butterfly.
5. Applying more bleach to a select area will lighten it more with each application so you can get different effects with the one colour of cardstock.
6. Be patient as the bleach takes a few minutes to dry and show the full effect.
7. Once the bleach has completely dried, complete assembly of your project.
**I found that the bleach has not harmed my brushes in any way.

Unconvention 2014 – Richelle’s MDS Challenge

Not many of my SU! customers have purchased MDS (My Digital Studio), which is a shame.  Hopefully some of my blog followers are users.  If not, there’s more than a few of you to inspire.  MDS is only $A24.95 to purchase and I liken it to a very easy to use Photoshop.  It allows you to create digital images using Stampin’ Up! colours and elements.  So far I’ve been able to use it for custom card fronts, Project Life cards, A4 posters, birthday invitations, stamped images without purchasing the stamp set and much more.  If you’d like to try MDS before buying, download the free trial version here.

In all the time I’ve been using MDS, I’ve never created a 12×12″ scrapbook page.  Probably because I’m not a scrapbooker (though I’m excited about becoming a Project Lifer next week!).  So, Richelle’s MDS challenge made me step out of my comfort zone and create something new.

The guidelines were to create a scrapbook layout using MDS incorporating the following:

1) Between 1-4 photos – which you need to mat
2) A title on a punch layer
3) Add a background of DSP or cardstock

Once again I chose to use photos of my oldest (I promise I have two kids, but the little one doesn’t do much yet!).  These were taken at a local fair when she got the chance to have a pony ride (following some beautiful face painting by Kylie’s Face Painting).  The colours in the face painting & pony ride are so vibrant, they make for a great scrapbook page.  Thanks for this challenge Richelle – it certainly did ‘challenge’ me.  But, as with all MDS projects, I learnt some valuable new skills and tricks (I’m self taught through trial, error & Mr Google).  Kelly x

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Unconvention 2014 – Broni’s Sketch Challenge

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Creating cards or scrapbook pages from a sketch is fantastic.  It provides the basic inspiration for design and then you add your personal touch.  I love seeing how different people interpret sketches and create lovely unique projects.  Broni provided this sketch for another Unconvention challenge.  I used this as my starting point to create a card for a custom order where my brief was – a birthday card for a teenage boy using West Coast Eagles colours (a local AFL team).  This was my final product – hopefully the customer and the recipient like it – I do!  Kelly x

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Supplies:

Tools: Big Shot

Thinlits: Circle Card, Bitty Banners, Banners

Punches: Star from Merry Minis Pack

DSP: Perfect Polka Dots

Cardstock: Whisper White, Night of Navy, Daffodil Delight

Ink: Night of Navy, Daffodil Delight

Stamp Sets: Simply Stars, Remembering Your Birthday

Accessories: Paper Snips, Stampin’ Dimensionals

Unconvention 2014 – Richelle’s technique (Ink Blowing)

Another Unconvention challenge.  They were all so inspiring, I’m just going to keep sharing until they are all done.

Richelle’s technique was inspired by her children’s school artwork! Remember blowing paint around the page? This is the grown-ups Stampin’ Up! version using reinkers.  It takes lots of puff, so don’t try this after a long run.  Luckily for me, I don’t run anywhere…

Steps (in Richelle’s own words):
1) Take a piece of glossy or watercolour paper
2) Spritz it lightly with water and drop a couple of drops of your desired colours onto your cardstock
3) Working quickly, blow the ink around your paper… If you want to do it school style, blow through a straw. You can add each colour as a seperate layer and allow to dry in between or using a few colours together they can blend better.
4) Allow to dry or if you are impatient like me, use a hair dryer or heat gun (careful you don’t overheat and burn or melt your paper – yes I have created air bubbles of melted glossy paper in previous projects!)
5) Use to create a card, scrap page or anything you desire

This is my ‘artwork’!  Yes, I used Wetlands (again).  That stamp set lends itself to every technique!!!  Do you like the “framed” look on this card?  Yes, it’s the Harwood background stamp – again!  Thank goodness there’s a new catalogue coming out soon.  I hope to find some new favourites to bombard you with.  Kelly x

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Supplies:

Speciality Cardstock: Watercolour Paper

Cardstock: Crumb Cake

Stampin’ Ink Refill: Crumb Cake, Coastal Cabana, Soft Sky

Ink: Early Espresso, Jet Black Staz On

Stamp Set: Wetlands, Hardwood Background

Extras: Stampin’ Spritzer

Unconvention 2014 – My Colour Challenge

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As well as participating in the challenges for Unconvention, I had the pleasure of creating a challenge for the group also.  I decided on a monochrome theme where the card was all basically one tone.  Unconvention-ers could choose between Blissful Blues (Coastal Cabana, Bermuda Bay, Island Indigo), Creative Corals (Crisp Cantaloupe, Calypso Coral, Tangerine Tango), Great Greens (Pear Pizzazz, Old Olive, Always Artichoke) or Yay Yellow (Daffodil Delight, Crushed Curry, Summer Starfruit).  I think the lack of colour variety challenged a few of the participants, but there were some fantastic entries from the people that were willing to give it a go!  I did one design in each of the colour combinations.  This is a great way to make 4 ‘different’ cards in a short space of time – remember design is the most time consuming part of card making.  I’d love to see your Monochromatic Madness!!!  Kelly x

Monochromatic Madness All

Monochromatic Madness Blue

Supplies:

Tools: Big Shot

Framelits: On Film

Embossing Folder: Arrows

Cardstock, Ink & Markers: Colours as above plus Whisper White cardstock

DSP: Chevron Print from the Paper Stacks – Daffodil Delight (Brights), Crisp Cantaloupe (2013-15 In Colours), Coastal Cabana (2013-15 In Colours), Pear Pizzazz (Subtles)

Stamp Set: Yippee-Skippee, Gorgeous Grunge

Extras: Stampin’ Dimensionals

Unconvention 2014 – Scrap Challenge (Project Life) by Emily

Emily is very excited about Project Life coming to Stampin’ Up!  So, she designed a pre-PL challenge for us to create, using existing SU! materials, a mock up of a PL page.  My daughter recently started ballet – this is her first lesson complete with cheesy photos!  I’d to do more Project Life throughout the year, but I’m so bad at keeping with journaling, I’ll have to see how I go…  Kelly x

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A close up of the punch art ballerina
A close up of the punch art ballerina

Ballerina Punch Art Inspiration here