Friday, December 30, 2011

Advent Calendar Box

My life stood still when I went crazy during this silly season because I decided to make an Advent Calendar Box for my sons. I was inspired by the lovely ones made by JeanFB at Bluebird Paperie and thought that I would attempt it with this year's beautiful Letters to Santa DSP.

My research on how to contruct this tower of matchboxes showed me that you can either do it with actual matchboxes or with a matchbox die. Hence, the dilemma. I don't have a matchbox die and was not comfortable with putting chocolate/candy (even wrapped ones) in empty matchboxes. Also, I only had the Medium Sizzlits Dies to use for my dates/numbers.

Solution, I constructed my matchboxes from card stock the old fashion way - cut, score, fold and adhere 24 matchboxes in these dimensions: 2" wide x 1 1/4" high x 3 1/2" deep. I chose these dimensions because I wanted the height to fit the sizzlit numbers and the width & depth to fit at least a Matchbox or Hot Wheels car. There are many matchbox templates on the internet but I just pulled an ordinary matchbox apart to get the template. You can find out how to put it all together HERE - a tutorial written by Hermine Koster at Hermine's Place.

Once all these boxes were ready, I became paralysed with fear on how to use my DSP effectively. Sad isn't it? Yup, I sat on this for nearly 2 weeks and by this time, Advent had started and I had to apologise to my boys and promised that they could open 2 drawers a day to catch up. "Yipee", they yelled because they get to have 2 treats per day and so they were patient!

To cut a long story short, I only had half a pack of DSP and by the time I decided to bite the bullet and started cutting into the paper, I realised that I was one 12"x12" short to cover the top and bottom 7"x7" pieces.

Fortunately for me, my upline had a matching piece to spare and I did not have to order in a full pack just for one sheet. Using the DSP effectively was my biggest hurdle as I could not picture how the end product would look like ie. horribly messy or cheery and merry. What do you think?

After all the pieces on, embellishing and making drawer knobs was easy and fun. I tried to stay true to Stampin' Up! only products but in the end, I just grabbed whatever I could find including my husband's fishing reel for its line (heh, heh, heh). For the project recipe, I will list only the SU products as I couldn't even begin to tell you where the other products are from.

project recipe
stamps: Delightful Decorations (121502966), Season of Joy (WM 113023)
ink: Classic Stampin' Pad - Early Espresso (119670), Marina Mist (119668)
card stock: Riding Hood Red (116205 - full pack of 24 sheets required), Marina Mist (121682), Early Espresso (121686), Whisper White (106549)
paper: Letters to Santa DSP (122349)

tools: Big Shot (113439), Sweetest Stem (114513), Timeless Alphabet Junior Alphabet Medium Sizzlit Dies (115951), Swirls Scribbles (113441), Merry Details (retired), Boho Blossoms Punch (119858), Ornament Punch (119847), Decorative Label Punch (120907), 1 3/4" Scallop Circle Punch (119854)
the added pizzaz: Basic Pearl (119247), Basic Rhinestone (119246), Antique Brads (117273), Clear Rhinestone Brads (113144), Square Fire Rhinestone Brads (109112) Square Ice Rhinestone Brads (retired), Brights Designer Buttons (119747), 1/4" Real Red Grosgrain Ribbon (109034), Whisper White Grosgrain Ribbon (109025), Natural Hemp Twine (100982), Cherry Cobbler/White Baker's Twine (123125), Dazzling Diamonds (102023), 2-Way Glue (100425), Stampin' Dimensionals 104430)


The postage piece on your left and the bauble piece below, although beautifully patterned, lacked dimension (I felt). So to add "pop" to those pieces, I cut out random matching images from the DSP and adhered over the top with dimensionals. I've also added Dazzling Diamonds too for more bling.

I hope that I've explained this "pop" part clearly. If not, do contact me for more details but I think that if you refere to the more detailed photos, you will understand what I'm trying to convey. I hope that you've enjoyed my trials and tribulations and perhaps attempt an Advent Calender Box for next Christmas. However, this will make a gorgeous gift box for any occassion - you can make it in single or double layers and decorate to your heart's content. Maybe in a few months time, I may do the same :-)

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year in 2012

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Favourite Swaps from the Stampin' Up! Melbourne Regionals 2011

Since I posted my swap for the Melbourne Regionals yesterday, I thought that I had better follow it up today with 2 of my very favourite swaps that I received that day. My top most favourite was created by demonstrator, Rachael Hecker and the second one was from a guest of hers, Kylie Slane. Here they are:

Favourite #1 by Rachael Hecker

The photo doesn't do it real justice but I can tell you that this card looks quite pearlescent. The white-ish parts were done in Frost White Shimmer Paint giving it a Mother of Pearl look - very elegant card.

project recipe
stamps: Established Elegance (WM 124966, CM 122532)
ink: Classic Stampin' Pad - Crumb Cake (121030), Jet Black Staz On (101406)
card stock: Basic Black (121688), Glossy White (106555)
tools: Big Shot (113439), Framed Tulips Textured Impressions Embossing Folder (121809), Top Note Bigz Die (113463), Brayer (102395), Boho Blossoms Punch (119858), 1 1/4" Circle Punch (119861), 1 3/8" Circle Punch (119860)
the added pizzaz: Basic Pearls (119247), Frost White Shimmer Paint (116854), Victorian Crochet Trim (118481), 3/8" Black Taffeta Ribbon (119962)

Favourite #2 by Kylie Slane (guest)

This is yet another elegant card. I don't possess the Established Elegance stamp set as I don't normally create vintage style cards. However, I do love Rachael and Kylie's card swaps.

project recipe
stamps: Established Elegance (WM 124966, CM 122532), Parlour Prints (WM 125026), Perfectly Penned (WM 125014, CM 122892), Music Notes Standard Wheel (120327)
ink: Classic Stampin' Pad - Soft Suede (115657), Crumb Cake (121030), Cherry Cobbler (119669)
card stock: Soft Suede (119982), Crumb Cake (121685), Cherry Cobbler (121681), Very Vanilla (106550)
tools: Big Shot (113439), Designer Frames Textured Impressions Embossing Folder (123130), Standard Stampin' Around Handle (102971), Brayer (102395), Large Oval Punch (119855), XL Oval Punch (119859), Decorative Lable Punch (120907)
the added pizzaz: Chantilly Crochet Trim (118480), Crumb Seam Binding Ribbon (122332), Stampin' Sponges (101610)

Hope you enjoyed these 2 favourites of mine.


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Stampin' Up! Melbourne Regionals 2011 - Butterfly Surprise

Aside from an annual Australian/New Zealand Convention, each state hosts at least one Regional event per year. I attended my 2nd Regional event in mid-November and this year, I managed to create 25 swap cards compared to only 7 that I did last year. I got the idea for my swap from something that one of my sons did at school and a book I browsed through at Lincraft, combined the 2 ideas using Stampin' Up! products and thus achieved my swaps for this year. What do you think?

project recipe
stamps: Creative Elements (WM 124956, CM120647), Teeny Tiny Sentiments (WM 119185, CM 120024)
ink: Classic Stampin' Pad - Calypso Coral (122939), Lucky Limeade (122935)
card stock: Calypso Coral (124392), Whisper White (106549)
tools: Word Window Punch (119857), Owl Builder Punch (118074) for the medium size circle, Handheld 1/16" Circle Punch, Big Shot (113439), Beautiful Wings(118138), Top Note Bigz Die (113463), Stamp-a-ma-jig (101049), Circle Scissor Plus (112530), Circle Scissor Plus Glass Mat (112531)
the added pizzaz: Gold Brads (104337) or Silver Mini Brads (122941), Blender Pen (102845), Stamping Sponges (101610), Stampin' Dimensionals (104430), 2-way Glue Pen (100425), White Baker's Twine (124262) or thin non SU gold cord

cardessence photo tutorial
 Photo 1
  • Use Circle Scissor Plus to cut out 2 pieces of 3" Whisper White card stock;
  • Stamp images as per photo 1 & 2 (below).
  • Sponge edges as per this photo.
Note: I stamped this piece on both sides but only sponged the top side. Reason: so that when it is stretched out, this piece is patterned  on the top and underneath - not a necessary step but a matter of preference.   

Photo 2
  • Stamp, punch, colour in with a blender pen, die cut, sponge to obtain all the pieces in this photo;
  • Trim the 3" WW circle piece so that it's a fraction smaller - don't worry that it's not a perfect circle as the top piece will hide the uneveness;
  • Use dimensionals to adhere the sentiment;
  • Use a brad to affix the butterfly layers in place on the circle piece; lastly
  • Adhere them to the Top Note die cut piece.

Photo 3
  •  Fold the first (top) piece into quarters.

Photo 4
  • Use a sharp pair of paper snips and cut in an arc from alternate ends as shown in this photo.

Photo 5
  • Unfold gently and assemble as per main (finished) photo.

I hope that this tutorial is easy to follow as it's my first photo tutorial. Let me know if you like this form of tactile greeting card/bauble.

Bye for now,

Monday, October 24, 2011

Creative Elements Party

As I mentioned before, September & October are very busy months for me each year. September also coincides with the release of the new Stampin' Up! Idea Book & Catalogue every year. Hence, I think that I'll always be late having my annual SU IB & C party as I only managed to hold my party on 22 October. Be that as it may, better late than never.

For this year's IB & C party, the lovely people who came got to play with the Creative Elements stamp set. Many of them groaned about having to cut flowers and a butterfly out but I was gleefully unapologetic. We had a lovely afternoon and at times, the silence was deafening as they concentrated on their Make & Take task. Here it is.

 project recipe
stamps: Creative Elements (WM 124956, CM120647), Teeny Tiny Sentiments (WM 119185, CM 120024)

ink: Classic Stampin' Pad - Poppy Parade (119782), Pool Party (122938), Island Indigo (122937), Stampin' Write Marker - Poppy Parade (119801)
card stock: Poppy Parade (121694), Pool Party (124398), Whisper White (106549)
tools: Scallop Trim Border Punch (118402), Big Shot (113439), Square Lattice Textured Embossing Folder (119976), Stamp-a-ma-jig (101049),
the added pizzaz: Blender Pen (102845), Dazzling Diamonds (102023), Sponge Daubers (102892), Stampin' Dimensionals (104430), 2-way Glue Pen (100425)

cardessence tips
  • stamp the flower 3 times on WW card stock and cut out in 3 layers to get the 3 different flower sizes;
  • for the 2 toned butterfly, I first inked it with Pool Party (always the lighter colour first) and then "rocked n rolled" it in Poppy Parade before stamping;
  • don't forget to leave a thin white border when you cut out the flowers and butterfly as this technique will preserve the edges of your stamped images;
  • stamp and colour your background piece before running it through the Big Shot with the Square Lattice embossing folder;
  • depending on which look you like, you can daub the edges either before or after dry embossing (before embossing = soft edges, after embossing = worn look);
  • I like my images precise and centred properly so I used the Stamp-a-ma-jig (SAMJ) to stamp the frame and sentiment.
Well, that's your lot for today, TTFN

    Thursday, October 20, 2011

    An Angry Bird-day

    Is there anyone out there who doesn't love Angry Birds? My second son is crazy about them and I used this as inspiration for his birthday card this year. This is a fun and easy card to construct but you do need lots of circle punches.

    project recipe
    stamps: retired stamp sets -  Wonderful Favourites, Happy Moments (SAB 2010), Tropical Party (2010-2011 Summer Mini Catalogue)
    ink: Classic Stampin' Pad - Pool Party (122938), Real Red (103133), Old Olive (102277), Stampin' Write Marker - Basic Black (100082)

    card stock: Pool Party (124398), Real Red (106578), Tempting Turquoise (108598), Daffodil Delight (121680), More Mustard (106569), Basic Black (121688), Basic Grey (121689), Whisper White (106549)
    tools: 1/2" (1.3mm) Circle Punch (119869), 1" (2.5mm) Circle Punch (119868), 1-1/4" (3.2mm) Circle Punch (119861), Owl Builder Punch (118074), Cupcake Builder Punch (121807) Itty Bitty Shapes Punch Pack, Large Oval Punch (119855), non SU flower punch (for tail)
    the added pizzaz: Aqua Painters (103954), Sponge Daubers (102892), Stampin' Dimensionals (104430), Multipurpose Liquid Glue (110755), 2-way Glue Pen (100425)

    cardessence tips
    • along with the circle punches, I used the Owl Builder, Itty Bitty Shapes and Cupcake Builder punches to obtain the circle punch outs for the bird shapes and to build their eyes;
    • use the L Oval Punch for the white bird and trim to shape - sand the trimmed edges to round off;
    • cut out an equilateral triangle for the yellow bird - trim the corners and sand to round off the corners;
    • the best way to achieve the non circular eyes, first punch a cresent shape on WW card stock before punching out; stick this WW piece on to BB card stock and repeat the process; this process is easier than trying to adhere and match the pieces after punching out every piece;
    • I used the top of the Cupcake Builder punch piece to sponge cloud shapes with Pool Party ink on the large WW base;
    • I stamped "son" and "happy birthday" on to WW, punched it out with the Cupcake builder punch and sponged the edges;
    • cut out all the pieces by hand including the tails if you don't have a small flower punch in that shape;
    • to make it all "POP", adhere the completed birds with dimensionals.
    Have a punching good time

    Tuesday, October 18, 2011

    Grunge Rocker Son

    It's been a while since I posted. September and October are always busy months in my household. There's Father's Day, both my sons had birthdays as well as the school holidays. Anyway, here's the birthday card I made for my eldest son who celebrated his 10th birthday in early September. My son loves playing the guitar and I used it as the theme for his card with the Grunge Rock stamp set. This beautiful set is ideal for both feminine and masculine cards, scrapbook pages and 3D paper projects.

    project recipe
    stamps: Grunge Rock (WM 122055, CM120555), Wonderful Favourites (retired)
    ink: Classic Stampin' Pad - Pool Party (122938), Island Indigo (122937)

    card stock: Pool Party (124398), Island Indigo (124390), Whisper White (106549)
    tools: 1/2" (1.3mm) Circle Punch (119869), 1-1/4" (3.2mm) Circle Punch (119861), 1-3/8" (3.5mm) Circle Punch (119860), Owl Builder Punch (118074), Perfect Polka Dots Textured Impressions Embossing Folder (117335)
    the added pizzaz: Rhinestones (119246), Stampin' Dimensionals (104430)

    cardessence tips
    There are no tricky techniques to this card hence, I only have two tips to share with you.
    • to achieve a very light background on the WW base, ink up the stamp with PP and lightly stamp off on scrap paper before stamping on the WW base.
    • cut out the guitars before mounting them, the punched out and matted crown and son images with dimensionals.
    Thanks for looking but do come back again to see the birthday card I made my youngest son.

    Tuesday, September 27, 2011

    Masculine Flourish

    The Fine Flourish stamp is a single stamp that is ideal for masculine cards. I've used it in Father's Day and Birthday cards in which I've kept to a clean, simple and masculine theme. Here are 2 variations to show you that a simple style can have different looks - and all with just using one stamp.

    project recipe
    stamps: Fine Flourish (WM 121833), Teeny Tiny Sentiments (WM 119185, CM120024, Heard from the Heart (WM 119167, CM 120006)
    ink: Classic Stampin' Pad - Night of Navy (102977)

    card stock: Crumb Cake (121685), Night of Navy (106577), Very Vanilla (106550)
    tools: 1-1/4" (3.2mm) Circle Punch (119861), 1-3/8" (3.5mm) Circle Punch (119860), 1-3/4" (4.4mm) Circle Punch (119850), Circle Scissor Plus (112530)
    the added pizzaz: Hodgepodge Brads (retired), Stampin' Dimensionals (104430)

     cardessence tips
    • ink up your stamp in Night of Navy and stamp on 2 pieces of Very Vanilla card stock;
    • trim one of the images as closely as you can to the perimeter of the image then proceed with quartering the trimmed VV cardstock image; punch out the other piece with the 1-1/4" Circle Punch;
    • I used the Circle Scissor Plus to cut out my 1-1/2" Crumb Cake piece before adhereing to the 1-3/4" Night of Navy circle piece.
    • mat all your pieces in 2 layers and adhere every matted piece to the card piece with dimensionals.
    • I adhered the mats for the sentiments directly on to the card piece however, you may wish to add dimensionals to the smaller matted sentiment eg. "Happy Father's Day".
    Thanks for stopping by

    Friday, September 2, 2011

    2011 - 2012 Idea Book & Catalogue plus Starter Kit Promotion

    Happy September Everyone

    It's here! The brand NEW 2011-2012 Idea Book & Catalogue is released today! Are you as anxious as I was to get a copy of this beautifully illustrated catalogue? You can view it online HERE but wouldn’t it be better to have your personal copy on hand?

    The IB&C is catalogue is yours for free when you host a party. With as few as 4 friends, we can have a fabulous couple of hours of fun using some of the new products. In addition, the Hostess Benefits have been revised to give you greater choices. Call or email me as I will be happy to discuss the possibilities with you! However, if you prefer to purchase a copy for $12.95, let me know.

    Check out the new In Colours. Aren’t they gorgeous? I for one am so happy to see Wisteria Wonder on the market for the purple fans. Calypso Coral and Lucky Limeade are my favourites at the moment as I think that they are happy Spring colours.

    Other Exciting News 

    For the month of September only, Stampin’ Up! has generously offered 2 Starter Kit promotions:
    • The $169 Mini Starter Kit, and
    • The Standard Starter Kit at a 20% discount ($289 - 20%)
    You will be able to customise most of the items in these starter kits to suit your needs. For example, you can change equivalent value stamp sets or choose your own Classic Stampin’ Pad colours.

    The items in the Mini Starter Kit represent a total RRP value of $310 whilst the Standard Starter Kit is valued at more than $610.

    If you are interested in joining the Stampin’ Up! family as a demonstrator, hobbyist or just make this a one off purchase, call me to find out more details and additional benefits.

    Summary of September Events
    Click here to view my Events. Please note that classes are limited to 8 people, all materials are supplied and pre-cut but colours may vary. Alternatively, if you prefer to arrange with a group of your friends (min 4, max 8) to have your own private in-home classes, contact Me.

    Monday Zen and the School Holiday Workshop are held in my home at 5 Alpine Court, Vermont South.
    • As a reminder, Monday Zen is just an opportunity for everyone to get together to start or finish your own projects - no lessons or structure. Hence, don’t forget to BYO all your crafting needs. Please Note that this session will start at 10.15am as I have to be at school assembly to watch my son’s violin ensemble play.
    • Book in early for the School Holiday Workshop as classes are limited to 6 kids. 

    Have a great month

    Tuesday, August 9, 2011

    August Update

    This month, we farewell the 2010 - 2011 Idea Book & Catalogue from which many wonderful stamps, ribbons, accessories, designer paper & card stock, punches, Big Shot dies and more will retire forever to make room for all the new products coming in September with the new 2011 - 2012 Idea Book & Catalogue. Some of these retiring items are 25% - 40% less than their RRP.

    These last chance items are only available 1 - 31 August 2011 while supplies last and will never be available again. If any of the retiring items are on your wish list, now is the time to get them to avoid regrets later. Click HERE or the image above to view the retiring products list (which is updated daily), then contact ME to place your order or book a workshop with me so that you and your friends can benefit together.

    I will be submitting a combined order on 15 August to save everyone on shipping so please submit your order and payment by then. Shipping on individual orders after 15 August is a minimum of $5.95 or 5% of your order total, whichever is greater.

    Father's Day / Masculine Cards - 2 cards per design
    August is all about Masculine Cards with the lead up to Father’s Day on 4 September 2011. All my August classes are based on this theme. Join me on 10 or  11 August 2011, to make these cards for your father, husband, brother, favourite uncle, cousin - the men who make a difference in your life.

    Father's Day Gift Wallet & Card
    The image to your left is what you will be creating as a Father’s Day Project class scheduled for 24 or 25 August.
    You will learn:
    • how to colour in the Oak Tree & Leaf with markers and a blender pen for the card,
    • paper piercing & faux stitching, and
    • how to assemble a Gift Wallet.
    You will have a choice of sentiments including for grandfather, father, husband, uncle, brother, son, cousin and nephew.

    Summary of August Events
    Click here to view My Events. Please note that classes are limited to 8 people, all materials are supplied and pre-cut but colours may vary. Alternatively, if you prefer to arrange with a group of your friends (min 4, max 8) to have your own private in-home classes, contact Me.

    That's all for now folks, happy stamping