Sneak Peek: At Home with You Bundle

Open the door to your creativity with this “a-door-able” bundle, containing the At Home with You Stamp Set and coordinating At Home Framelits Dies.  

In this 3-minute video, Brandi shows you some of the creative possibilities with this bundle.  Whether you are designing a Christmas card or a congratulations on you new home or something else — you’re going to want this bundle on your wish list because it is just adorable!  

Here is a sample of what you can create.  


Until next time, sending you crafting hugs and inspiration wishes!


Sneak Peek: Color Theory Product Suite

You are going to love this new product suite in the 2017-2018 Annual Catalog by Stampin’ Up!  With it, you can create cards and projects for every season. The products in this suite feature beautiful brushstrokes with nature-inspired colors and images. 

While I can’t show you the catalog, here is a sneak peek 3-minute video showing the stamps, dies and designer papers with a few of the new embellishments to tempt you.

Click here to watch the video. 

I had so much fun playing with my pre-order especially the Colorful Seasons stamp set and Seasonal Layers Thinlit Dies.  Here are some of the cards that I made.   For the card on the left, I used 2-step stamping technique and my stamp-a-ma-gig tool to create the sling-back chair using Dapper Denim and Soft Suede. 

As for the card on the right, I just love those Adirondack chairs die cut from Crumb Cake cardstock, and then sponged using Soft Suede to add some character to those chairs.  I used Soft Sky and my watercolor background stamp, and then stamped the sentiment in Dapper Denim.  I really love the font and the message of those sentiments!

This stamp set has many more great sentiments, including:  “May all your tomorrows be as happy as today”.  Trust me, this is going to be a bundle that you’ll have on your wish list from the new catalog.  And, here is what is “new” in the new catalog…..


Good news!  Stampin’ Up! is mailing out the new catalogs this week!  How exciting is that!  All of my current customers will receive a copy of the catalog by mail — so be on the look out for it.  I can’t wait to hear what you think.  I know that you’re going to love it!

If you do not have a demonstrator or are new to Stampin’ Up!, I would love to be your demonstrator.  Please send me an email at, and I’ll be happy to send you a complementary copy of the new catalog, too!  There is nothing more fun that sipping your favorite beverage and flipping through the new catalog for the first time!

Until next time, sending you crafting hugs and inspiration wishes!


Tip: Stampin’ Up! Color Code Chart

Here is a handy chart that you’re going to want to download, print, and slide into a page protector for easy reference!

The RGB codes are great for personalizing a sentiment on the inside of a card blank using Microsoft Word or other editing programs.  Now, the colors on the inside of the card will match the Stampin’ Up!’s colors of the your card front adding the finishing touch!

The HEX Color Codes are used for HTML to match the exclusive Stampin’ Up! colors on websites, emails, etc.  Enjoy!  

Download the RGB & HEX color code chart by clicking the picture on the left or here:  Marie’s SU! RGB & HEX Color Codes.

Until next time, sending crafting hugs and inspiration wishes!


Lots of Possibilities with Foxy Friends

What does this cute little fox say? She says that you’re invited to a forest party! This bundle lets you make foxes, raccoons, wolves, squirrels, rabbits, deer, and the forest to boot. Do you hear your furry forest friends are calling?

Now look at the possibilities….

foxy friends examples 2

And if that wasn’t enough, look to see what Joanne Hogge, another independent Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator, has created.  There are just hundreds of possibilities for cardmaking and scrapbooking.

foxy friends examples

Until next time, sending you crafting hugs and happy crafting wishes!


Introducing three new 2017-18 In-Colors


The other day, Stampin’ Up! announced some new products that will be released May 1st, in advance of the new annual catalog.  As a demonstrator, I was able to place an advanced order so that we will get to play with these three new In-Colors and the Eastern Palace suite of products very soon!

Fortunately for you, a very talented demonstrator named Brian King from Atlanta cleverly figured out how to post these colors so that I can share them with you!

Lemon Lime Twist is a totally new color to add to your collection, while Fresh Fig and Tranquil Tide are new richer shades in the purple and aqua color families that will give you a new fresh look.

And here is how these colors fit in with our existing colors…..

eastern Lemon-Lime-Twist-CompairsonEastern Fresh-Fig-Comparison-1

eastern Tranquil-Tide-Compairson

I love these new 2017-2018 In Colors and I am very excited to see the other two new In-Colors. So, what do you think about these three new In-Colors?  Do you have a favorite?

Tomorrow I’ll post some of Brian’s new color combinations that are sure to inspire you!

Until next time, happy crafting!


Practical Tip: Color Code Your Glue Dots

We’ve all got them – glue dots – super sticky, instant dots of adhesive.  They are very handy because they require absolutely no drying time.  Glue dots come on identical cardboard rolls, but in various sizes – small, medium and larger.  This makes it quick and easy to attach anything from tiny sequins, small bows and even larger 3-D items.

But when you have two or three rolls of glue dots sitting on your craft desk, can you tell which size is which?  This drives me nuts – not that that’s a long trip – but inevitably, I grab the wrong roll at the least opportune time.

A while back, I saw a brilliant blog post from another demonstrator – I wish I could remember who – with this practical solution.  Using some pieces of ribbon – in various colors and widths – I color coded my rolls.  Now, when I want a small glue dot, I grab the roll with the thin red ribbon.  If I want the larger 1/2 inch glue dot, then I grab the roll with a wider green ribbon.  You get the idea!  This is such a simple and elegant solution!

I hope your find this tip helpful.  If you know the original poster of this brilliant idea, I hope you’ll let me know.  While copying and case-ing are a high form of praise, I always wish to give credit when credit is due.

Until next time, happy crafting!




Video – Comparing Three Black Ink Pads

During my February stamp camp, I realized that I needed to order another black ink pad.   While this seems like a simple task, I quickly realized that I needed to do a little homework to select the right ink for my purposes.


Here is my first video — it’s about 6 minutes and it compares StazOn Jet Black, Stampin’ Up! Archival Basic Black and Memento Tuxedo Black ink pads.  All three ink pads were brand new, just out of the wrapper.

Click here to see the video.

These days, the Stampin’ Up! catalog offers three different black inks because the different black ink formulas offer unique advantages which better support our crafting needs.  Here is a quick summary of what I learned about the advantages of each type of black ink pad:




Basic Black is rich bright ink, while Memento has a softer gray tone.  Note:  the Memento Ink started to bleed when water was applied with an AquaPainter.

Basic Black Archival Ink

  • Special solvent-based ink formulation that is acid-free, archival-safe and water-proof
  • Permanent  Ink (so while it will stain your stamps, this does not affect their performance)
  • Works amazingly well with both photopolymer stamps and red rubber stamps
  • Recommended when using embossing powder
  • Heat setting is recommended or allow a little extra time to air dry
  • Recommended for water-based techniques like water coloring, and when using AquaPainter, Stampin’ Write markers or other dye, water-based markers
  • Easy clean up using Stampin’ Scrub and Stampin’ Mist
  • Of the 3 black ink pads, this is the most bright, true black color
  • Not recommended for Copic or other alcohol-based markers because the colors will bleed

StazOn Jet Black Permanent Ink

  • Solvent-based ink when stamped, shows the fine details of a stamped image 
  • Permanent ink (so while it will stain your stamps, this does not affect their performance
  • Acid-free, archival-safe and water-proof
  • Perfect to stamp on designer paper and cardstock (it is absorbed into the paper)
  • Works great on non-porous surfaces like:  glossy papers, Window Sheets/acetate, glass, metal, vellum, wood, plastic, laminated paper, cellophane bags, polymer clay, terracotta, ceramics, buttons, foils, leather, etc.
  • Heat setting is recommended as the drying time may vary based on the stamping surface and the humidity.  The manufacturer suggests air drying stamped paper for 3 minutes or other surfaces for 5 minutes to avoid smearing the wet ink)
  • Recommended for water coloring with AquaPainter, Blender Pen or watercolor brush
  • Needs to be re-inked more often as solvent-based formula tends to evaporate quickly (this is why the stamp pads have an inside plastic liner)
  • Requires a special StazOn cleaner.  Because the cleaner is oil-based, it is best to wipe off the cleaner with paper towel and then clean your stamp with your Stampin’ Scrub and Stampin’ Mist Cleaner to remove any oily residue and to protect and condition your stamps
  • Not recommended for photopolymer stamps
  • Not recommended for Copic or other alcohol-based markers because the colors will bleed

Memento Tuxedo Black Ink

  • Water-based dye ink that is perfect for most stamping projects
  • Great for sentiments and images
  • Recommended when working with Blender pens, Copic markers or other alcohol-based markers
  • Fade resistance and acid-free
  • Fast drying ink
  • Easier to use with the Stamp-a-ma-jig positioning tool
  • Easy to clean using Stampin’ Scrub and Stampin’ Mist
  • Not recommended for water coloring (not water-proof)

Bottom Line:  Eventually, you probably will want to own all three ink pads because of the extra flexibility in your crafting.   However, if you only want to purchase one at a time, here are some quick tips to help you prioritize your purchases:

  • Purchase the Memento Tuxedo Black ink pad if you mostly use photopolymer stamps
  • Purchase the Basic Black Archival ink pad if you like to color with your Stampin’ Write markers
  • Purchase the StazOn Jet Black ink pad if you like to watercolor.

And… matter which ink pad you decide to purchase, it is always best to purchase a matching ink refill at the same time.

I hope you enjoyed the video.  Until next time, happy crafting!


New Crafting Hugs Friends!

A while back, I posted six reasons why I love to make cards.  Well, I just learned there is a seventh reason…..crafting with friends!  On Saturday, I had my first Stampin’ Up! workshop and eight wonderful ladies came.  We had so much fun!  And, we made definite plans to do it again next month.

I want to thank my new crafting hugs friends for a wonderful day!  Unfortunately, I was so involved with the fun that I forgot to take pictures of Marcy, Martha, Lynne and Linda who attended the morning session.  Knowing that I would want some photos to mark the day, Tracy remember to snap a few photos during the afternoon session.  Big smiles all around – that’s Tracy and Pat in the front row, and my sister (Leslie), Nancy and I in the back.  

On Sunday, I repeated the workshop with my mother (Gwyn), my sister-in-law (Marie) and my niece (Sophia).  And of course, I got involved and forgot once again to take photos.

I promise to do better in the future because I definitely want to remember these good times spent crafting together.

Until next time, happy crafting!


P.S.  The Hostess Code for February is PUYMV63Y.



CASEing Part 2: How to Change a CASEed Design

In my last post, we discussed how it is okay to CASE – Copy And Share Everything.  CASEing gives you a lot of freedom either to copy the design exactly or to experiment with a few simple changes to suit your needs and style preferences.

Here are some simple changes to re-invent a CASEed design and to make it yours:

  1. Change the orientation of the design layout or sketch. Switch between a portrait and landscape design.  Or, shift the focal point left or right, up or down.
  2. Mat your focal point or mat your card with layers of cardstock. Just like a picture frame, using a mat (or mats) in a coordinating color adds interest and makes your design pop!
  3. Add texture and dimension to your design. There are many ways to do this… such as adding ribbon and a tag.  Or, you can add some pearls, rhinestones or enamel dots.  Or you can paper piece your stamped image and pop those pieces up with dimensionals or fun foam for a 3-D effect.
  4. Add some bling. Everyone likes a little sparkle and shine.  Some sequins, or charms or some metallic paper can be just the ticket to re-invent a CASEed design and make it your own!
  5. Change the color combination on the design you’re CASEing – go brighter, or darker, or softer. Or, try using different shades of the same color for a more dramatic, monochromatic effect! Another way to change the color combination is to switch the order in which the colors are used.  Many designs use three colors:  a major unifying design color, a minor complimentary color and an accent color to apply the finishing touch.  You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how switching the order of those colors will change the entire look of the card.
  6. Incorporate designer series paper in your design. You can even create your own designer paper using inks and stamps that compliment your design.
  7. Use same or different embellishments – and in different numbers!  Just remember, odd numbers are more visually appealing!
  8. Use more white space which naturally draws the eye to the focal point of your design.  When in doubt, follow the KISS principle – keep it super simple – it works every time!
  9. Incorporate a new technique while making a CASEed design. There is probably a new trendy technique that you’ve been wanting to try.  Or, maybe you have a favorite tried and true technique (like sponging, dry embossing or heat embossing).  The point is that there are lots techniques that you can use on your CASEed design to make it more unique.

And finally, while there are no hard and fast rules to CASEing, please kindly give credit to the designer who is your source of inspiration.  If you post your CASEed design on social media, please send along a short note to that designer to let her (or him) know how you used their design, how you may have improved upon it and where you shared it.  It is a simple act of kindness that you may appreciate one day – because in the creative world of paper crafting — eventually, your designs will be CASEed too!!  

Here is a A2-sized card CASEed from the very talented Mary Fish.  I love her clean, crisp design using Beautiful Branches Thinlits and the striking combination of Old Olive, So Saffron and Basic Black (one of my favorites) which she paired with Dapper Denim, a new In-Color. Using the some of the changes mentioned above, I changed Mary’s design (left) to create my design (right).

stampin-up-thoughtful-branches-thank-you-cards-mary-fish-stampinup-copy-391x500       2017-01-07-10-19-56

First, I changed the size of the card from A2 to A7 and incorporated more white space.  I also changed the So Saffron rectangle into a banner. Since I didn’t have any black metallic sequins, I added three vertical hearts punched in Real Red.  After all, CASEing is one part inspiration and one part what you have available!  Thank you, Mary, for letting me use your design in today’s post!

P.S.  If you’re still looking for inspiration with a personal touch, please contact me about my monthly stamp camps.  I promise you a fun time creating cards, learning new techniques and, of course, maintaining a stash of ready-made cards.

Until next time, happy crafting!



CASEing Part 1: It is okay to Copy And Share Everything!

In the world of paper crafting, it is perfectly fine to CASE – Copy And Share Everything.  Some people are naturally creative, while others may need inspiration in order to spark their creativity.  CASEing is one of the best ways for new stampers to learn the craft.  For many stampers, CASEing is a great way to find inspiration, to jump start your creative juices when you have no clue what to make, or to be creative when you are short on time.

The very best place for inspiration is the current Stampin’ Up! Catalog. It is filled with tons of terrific ideas to CASE – great layouts to showcase your stamps, clever project ideas to make, fresh color combinations, new ideas on how to use embellishments, etc.  And, the good news is that you probably already have many great SU products in your craft room just waiting to be used!   There is no shame in CASEing a design exactly (same stamp, same theme, and same colors) or in using the same design with a different stamp set or different theme or different color combination.

Sketches are very popular to CASE.  Sketches provide a general design layout that is open to interpretation!!  So you have the freedom to use the sketch exactly as presented or change it anyway you want!!  If the sketch calls for a circle design element, it is perfectly acceptable to substitute a square, a wooden heart embellishment or another design element that better suits your preferences or that uses products that you have available.

While I may start with a CASEed idea – such as a sketch, I may end up with something entirely different after my design decisions and product substitutions.  For example, Connie Stewart recently published this sketch on her website Simply Simple Stamping and on her Facebook page Stampin’ Gals Gone Wild where she hosts a weekly weekend challenge.  Connie posted these guidelines with her sketch:

  • The colors mean nothing – get creative!
  • The rectangles can be anything – Designer Paper, a banner, anything!  My measurements for the rectangles are 1 ½” x 3″
  • Those dots could be Washi tape, a stamped border, or Designer Paper


Well, I wanted to make a Valentine’s Day theme card…..and this sketch sparked an idea.  As suggested, I used designer paper but I cut my pieces a little longer because I like making A7-sized cards.  My three rectangle pieces measure 1 ½ x 3 ½.  While the sketch aligned the three pieces at the very top of the card, I choose to depart from the sketch.  Instead, I double-matted the three rectangle pieces on Whisper White cardstock (cut 3 7/8” x 5 ¼”) and Crumb Cake cardstock (cut 4 1/8” x 5 ½”), and then centered and adhered the double-mat piece on a white A7 card blank.  Here is my design:


Next, I die cut the letters L-V-E in Rose Red (about 1 ½” tall), and a small heart in Crumb Cake.  I had to play around with the exact placement of the letters and heart.  After I got it just right, I glued everything down.  As a finishing touch, I overlaid a small wooden heart.  So while not an exact copy of Connie’s sketch, my card is definitely inspired by her sketch!  

Design Details:  SU Love Blossoms Designer Series Paper Stack, a wooden heart from SU Sending Love Embellishments, Snail Adhesive, Fine Tip Glue, 1 ½” tall Alphabet dies, small heart framelit, and SU cardstock in Rose Red, Crumb Cake and Whisper White.

If you’re looking for inspiration, please check out Connie’s site at Simply Simple Stamping and these other blogs which host regular challenges CASEing design sketches, color combinations and themes:

Stay tuned for my next post on “CASEing Part 2:  How to Change a CASEed Design“

Happy Crafting!