Monday, August 12, 2019

Hallo! Over the Moon meets Milk Chocolate

This summer I had a crazy idea.  I decided to take a beginning German class so I could learn a new language.  Other than the few words I picked up from The Sound of Music, I really had no German language skills.  I also had not attempted to learn a foreign language since my teacher, Jackie Short, tried to make me into a fluent Spanish speaker back in the early 1980s.  I should mention here that despite taking Spanish for 2 years, I still know very little.  So, why then did I think I'd be a fluent German speaker after one short summer class at the community college?  Evidently I had forgotten how hard it is to learn a language.  The class ends this week and thus far I can say important phrases like, "My name is Vanessa" as well as the more important, "Where is the bathroom?"  Other than that, I'd say I'm a l-o-n-g way from being fluent.  I will continue my online studies at Duolingo, but will say that I'm so happy that many people in other countries are fluent in English.  It makes it much easier for this "English-speaking-only" tourist to successfully visit foreign lands.

Since the class ends this week, I decided to make parting gifts for my classmates and my teacher.  I chose a cow from the Over the Moon to decorate a candy bar wrapper.  (I figure it's fitting since I'm giving them milk chocolate.)  I found a German language stamp online, so I am using that for the greeting.  It says, "You are marvelous." 

Speaking of marvelous.... Are you one of my marvelous customers who placed an order last month and got a coupon (or coupons) to use this month?  If so, don't forget to redeem those.  They are only good during the month of August.

If you ordered $150 or more from me during the last 6 months, you will be receiving a holiday catalog in the mail.  Mine arrived today, so that means they are on the way!  Be sure to look for it because it's awesome! 
Happy Stampin!

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Spot the Difference!

As a child, I remember my favorite thing to do on Sunday was to grab the comic section out of the newspaper.  It wasn't that I loved comics, although Garfield was pretty great, but I wanted that section for the game that was always hiding near the back.  It was a game of Spot the Difference where you'd look at 2 photos to try to figure out what was different.  Some of the items were easy to spot and others, well, were more of a challenge.  Today I have a similar challenge for you!  Below you will see three greeting cards.  Can you spot what's different?

So first off, I'm sure you noticed the colors were a little different.  That, however, isn't what I was hoping you'd notice.  I used the same stamps (Sea of Textures and Colorful Seasons) on all three.  I applied the ink with my oval makeup brushes and splattered all three with the same water. 

What do you think about the style?  The splattered style of backgrounds has been popular for a while now, but I only just tried it this weekend.  Why did I wait?  Well, after watching a bunch of youtube videos, I decided I didn't have the right supplies.  I decided I needed different ink pads. 

That, my friends, is what is different on the above card samples.  I have used 3 different brands of ink.  (I confess, I don't just have Stampin' Up items in my craftroom.  Please don't judge me!) 

So here's the answer to the Spot the Difference challenge:

The 1st card is made with Tim Holtz Distress Oxide inkpads.  I used the colors Pine Needles, Broken China, and Cracked Pistachio on the background.  Then I used Barn Door, Shabby Shutters, and Milled Lavender for my stamped images. 

The 2nd card is made with inkpads from Catherine Pooler.  I used Something Borrowed, All That Jazz, and Mint to Be on the background.  Then I used Party Dress, Sweet Sixteen, and Melon ice for stamping. 

The 3rd card was made with my Stampin' Up inkpads.  For the background I used Bermuda Bay, Balmy Blue, and Mint Macaroon, which started looking like Pear Pizazz, so I switched to Coastal Cabana.  Technically it's a blend of the two on the bottom layer.  For the stamped images I used Calypso Coral, Highland Heather (2nd generation) and Soft Seafoam. 

So guess what?  All this time I thought I couldn't get that splattered effect with my Stampin' Up inkpads.  I was wrong.  Those inks reacted just as nicely to my water spots as the others.  So which is my favorite?  I think they all look great! 

My least favorite of the bunch was the Catherine Pooler ink.  It was messy and I found it hard to stamp a crisp image.  I still haven't gotten all the ink out of my makeup brush.  The ink is VERY pigmented and it would be easy to overdo it.  However, I did like her Midnight Black for the embossed sentiment, so much so that I used it on all three cards.  (It stays wet a while so it does a good job holding the embossing powder.)  It stains like Staz-On but is supposed to be good for watercolor, as well as alcohol markers.  While I haven't tried it with watercolor, I did use it with my Stampin' Blends and it bled.  I also tried it with my Copics and had the same disappointing results. 

In terms of ease of use for this technique, I'd pick the Tim Holtz Distress Oxides.  The ink flowed onto my Whisper White cardstock like butter and blended with almost no effort.  I applied the water exactly the same way, but the ink reacted differently and gave me a different look that the other two ink brands. 

I think the Stampin' Up ink did a great job too.  It did take more work (I think I worked off some upper arm flab while working to blend my inks on the paper!) but once down, I think it looked really nice.  I also liked that the water splatters were more formed into circles on the Stampin' Up (and the Catherine Pooler, for that matter,) version than the Tim Holtz variety.  My only regret is that I didn't try this technique with my Stampin' Up inks BEFORE I purchased inks from other brands.

I will continue to play with all three brands to learn more about the strengths and weaknesses of each. 

This is the longest blog post I've written in years!  If you need Stampin' Up items, this is a good month to buy them.  The company is giving a $5 coupon to be used in August for each $50 spent (before shipping & taxes) in July.  It's sort of like the Kohl's cash deal.  You don't have to do anything special to get the coupons.  Once you place a qualifying order, those coupons will be sent to your email.  The trick is to save them and not lose them.  I won't get a copy of your coupon, so it'll be up to you to keep up with the emails and don't accidentally delete them. 

Happy Stampin!

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Holiday Stamp Clearance + Trimmer Blades

Were there stamps in the last holiday catalog that you wanted, but didn't buy?  If so, now you have a 2nd chance.  For the first time ever, Stampin' Up is adding retired stamps to the Clearance Rack!  I'm not sure how they will be priced, but usually things on the Clearance Rack are a great deal.  I'm also assuming these are just stamps (no dies,) but maybe I'll be surprised.  Here are some examples of stamps offered beginning  at 12:01AM June 26th (midnight - Mountain time) and while supplies last:

Signs of Santa

Alpine Adventure (likely only the stamp set, not the dies)

Cauldron Bubble

Be sure to check out the clearance rack tomorrow to finish up your shopping from last year!

Also - The Trimmer Blades are coming (a day later.)  On Thursday, June 27th, the trimmer blades will be back in stock (while supplies last.)  They will, however, have purchase limits per customer.  With such limits, it may be easier for more people to get the blades they need for their Stampin' Trimmer.  

Happy Stampin!

Monday, June 3, 2019

June 4th = A New Annual Catalog!

It's always so exciting when a new catalog begins.  I've been flipping thru my personal copy trying to decide which stamps I want.  Demonstrators were able to order some items ahead of time, but for the annual catalog, there is always a list of certain items available to us, not the entire catalog.  That means June 4th is a big day, not just for customers, but also for demonstrators!  It means we can order new stuff on our wish lists.  I love the new Inspiring Iris stamp set (on page 111.)  I have other iris stamps, but this one is different since it is a 2-step stamp that doesn't require coloring.  When I need a card-in-a-hurry, I like being able to stamp and not have to worry about coloring in the image.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Last Chance for Everything is Rosy!

What happened to the month of May?  I can't believe we're heading into June next weekend. 
This is a reminder that if you wanted to pick up the limited time Everything is Rosy kit, you have less than a week remaining.  The kit is an investment at $80, but includes so many elements that I think it's a good value. 

Here are some other card ideas as inspiration for using the kit:

Friday, May 3, 2019

It's Here!

My Everything is Rosy bundle arrived!  I had so many things I needed to do today, but I dropped everything to play with my new supplies.  Here is my simple card.  I also used the wreath image from the Wishing You Well stamp set, as well as my retired Pink Pirouette ink.  I look forward to creating some more projects, as well as checking out Pinterest to see what others create.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Limited Edition Kit - Everything is Rosy

The sun is shining, and the new Everything Is Rosy Product Medley (item #150059) is here starting May 1st!  For a limited time, this exclusive collection of cute, coordinating products will be available—while supplies last. Check out each item included in this petal-packed product medley, and place your order today!

• Everything Is Rosy Photopolymer Stamp Set
• Everything Is Rosy Dies
• 6" x 6" Designer Series Paper Stack— 48 sheets; 8 each of 6 double-sided designs
• 6" x 6" rose gold foil paper—8 sheets
• Printed die cuts—2 sheets
• Rose gold die cuts—4 sheets; 2 each of 2 designs
• Rose gold adhesive backed mirror embellishments
• Melon Mambo 1/4" Ruched Ribbon— 10 yards
• Night of Navy/Rose Gold 3/8" Metallic –Edge Ribbon— 10 yards
• Rose Gold Shimmer Paint—1/2 oz.

I really like this kit.  I didn't need another floral stamp set, but I love the images and that the flowers look kind of distressed.  I also love the color scheme.  Those papers & ribbon really speak to me.  It's a unique look & I love it!  The kit costs $80, but I think that's a fair price considering all that is included.  Here are some projects made with the kit contents: