Thursday, December 23, 2010


I wanted to wish all of you a very merry Christmas.  I hope you enjoy the time spent with family and friends as you remember past holidays fondly and make new special memories.  I will be adding more to the blog next week.  My husband was so kind and installed Windows 7 for me, however he installed the kind that doesn't allow me to plug in my camera (sigh.)  He'll be reinstalling the full version so I can upload photos again over the next few days.  For my Mac user friends (and those who know I used to be a Mac user myself) I think this would be an awesome commercial for Mac OS.  Right now he has it set up so I can download from my camera only after booting into a virtual machine running Windows XP and following 2 pages of instructions.  It takes forever and makes me long for my "plug-and-play" Mac OSX.  hehe  Meanwhile, know I'm currently working on new ideas to post to my blog.  I'm also getting a video camera for Christmas (I don't have any surprises.. lol) so hopefully I'll be able to post a video from time to time very soon.

Best Wishes-
Vanessa :) 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Home again

I'm happy to say that I'm back home after spending almost 2 weeks in sunny (but oh, so, COLD) Florida. I had a good trip, except for the fact that someone shared their germs and made me sick. But then again, this too shall pass! lol Meanwhile, I'm working on finishing up my Christmas cards and getting those in the mail. Here are 2 of the ones I did yesterday. Both are very simple, but I think will be well received.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Florida Sunshine here I come!

I'm heading to Florida on Wednesday to see my mother and all my friends.  I'm looking forward to seeing people I've been missing since I moved to Oregon last year.  I'm also looking forward to spending some days at Disney World.  It's always decorated so beautifully for the holidays.  Meanwhile, this blog will be unmanned.  After today's post, I won't be adding other items until the week of December 13, so I hope you'll plan to join me then.  This is a card I received from K. Nolan at this year's convention.  I think it best describes how I feel! hehe  See you soon-

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving (& that means Christmas will be here soon!)

I want to wish all of you a very happy Thanksgiving holiday.  Try to get lots of rest on Thursday, so you'll have the energy to get up bright and early on Friday and hit the big sales!  Perhaps it's because I don't like mornings or perhaps it's because I don't like crowds, but I prefer to shop online while having coffee in my pajamas.  Here's wishing you a great Black Friday whichever way you prefer!  (PS - The Thanksgiving weekend is also a great time to finish up your homemade Christmas cards.  I've been working on mine!)   

Monday, November 22, 2010

Kings Circle Bazaar photos

I had lots of fun doing the craft bazaar on Saturday.  I had a small table, but I made use of every inch!  My husband even had the opportunity to help (I think he had fun, but he'd never admit it! lol)  It was great meeting new friends.  I look forward to seeing some of you in class soon.

Today is the beginning of the Stampin' Up Holiday sale.  There are some great deals available.  The company is offering free shipping on orders over $150, but I'm still offering my shipping rebate on orders over $50, which makes the sale even sweeter.  Happy Shopping!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Kings Circle Holiday Bazaar today

Woo Hoo!  I'm the featured cardmaker this week at the OWH Stars and Stamps blog.  I'm so excited.  I need to call my mom and let her know!  :)  If you'd like to see some of my cards, please visit their blog at

In other exciting news, today I am participating in my very FIRST craft bazaar.  I have been crafting for weeks to get ready and I still feel like I need to do more.  lol  If you're in the Corvallis area, please come by, visit my booth and offer moral support.  :P  Here's one of the items I made to sell.  It's a kid size pack of playing cards which I turned into a decorative stocking stuffer.   When you pull the ribbon, the pack of cards slides out of the decorative sleeve.  

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Magnetic Calendars

These are calendars I made with DSP, small calendar stacks, and cardboard coasters.  (I leaned them up against gift bags, so ignore the brown background! lol)  I don't know which I prefer... the Greenhouse Gala one is so sophisticated and the Playdate is just fun.  These would make great little gifts for Christmas. 

Christmas Card class

Here's one of the cards we made at my recent Christmas card class. Again, I love that it's simple, yet elegant. This is another one I will be sending to friends and family this coming season.

Starter Kit Contents

I've had some questions about the contents of the Starter Kit, so I thought I'd post the list. The great thing is that the kit is customizable so you can get the things you want. If you only want clear-mount stamps, you can do that! If you already have Whisper White Ribbon, you can get a different color. It's your kit, your way (wait... this is sounding like Burger King. lol) I've only listed the fun stuff, but you also get business items like catalogs and order forms.

Also, this is the US Starter Kit. The digital kit and the Spanish kits are different than what I'm listing here.

US Starter Kit - $87.50
*Unless indicated, substitutions may be made of a like product of similar value. If signing up online, after selecting the standard kit, you would click on “edit” on the right hand side of the form. Then you may substitute the items you wish to change.

115360 For All You Do STAMP SET
120173 Stamp Set Wood So Many Thanks
109679 Wheel Fast Flowers
118486 CLEAR BLOCK C (2" x 2.25")
100730 Card Stock Whisper White 8 1/2X11
114616 Ribbon Satin Whisper White 5/8"
102283 Versamark Pad
101179 Classic Stampin Pad Basic Black
102277 Classic Stampin Pad Old Olive
103133 Classic Stampin Pad Real Red
105216 Classic Stampin Pad Pumpkin Pie
104332 Snail Adhesive Permanent
102394 Stampin Mist
102971 Stampin Around Handle No substitution.
101529 Stampin Around Cartridge Un-Inked No substitution.
102642 Stampin Scrub No substitution.
122129 Blender Pen (Single) No substitution.
122326 Stamping Sponge-Single No substitution.
14285 D├ęcor Elements Applicator Tool No substitution.
104430 Stampin Dimensionals No substitution.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Christmas Gifts

It's that time of year and most of us are spending time thinking about the gifts we'll select for family and friends.  I make many of the gifts I give and not only do I enjoy making the items, but my friends enjoy receiving them.  I encourage you to make gifts this holiday season, as well.  You could make boxes of cards, notepads, calendars, sticky notes, and more!  (Here's a notepad I made from the Playdate DSP that would make an awesome teacher gift.)

And what about you?  What do you want for Christmas?  Stampin' Up is having a sign up special for a limited time.  For $87.50 you get more than $300 worth of Stampin' Up supplies.  Think of all the fun you could have!  What does signing up mean?  Well, it could mean that you would start a new career as a Stampin' Up demonstrator.  It could mean that you support your crafting habit by saving 20% or more on all your Stampin' Up purchases.  It could also mean that you just want to take advantage of the $87.50 deal.  If you want to sign up, but really are not interested in meeting sales minimums (which, by the way, are $300 per quarter) then let me know.  There's no penalty.  You could sign up and get all the goodies and then never buy anything more.  New recruits under this promotion will need to have submitted $300 in orders (or just their own by the end of March 2011.  If not, then the demonstrator will become inactive.  Meanwhile, you'd be enjoying not only a bunch of items you got with the new recruit kit, but you'd also be able to pre-order items from the new mini catalog, and get product discounts on the things you have on your wish list.  (I just wish I could sign up again!  lol)  Anyway, it's something to think about.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

November 15th - Christmas Card Class

On Monday I will be teaching a Christmas card class from 6-8PM.  I have recently had to make changes to my class calendar, so this will be the last Christmas card class of the year!  I do still have a Christmas gifts class scheduled in December, but if you need to make cards, now is the time!  Because of the circumstances, I am extending class registration until Sunday.  You only need to bring the $10 class fee and adhesive.  All other supplies are provided.  Hope to see you on Monday!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Simple Christmas card

Let's face it, sending Christmas cards takes work even if you send the store-bought variety.  I always make my own Christmas cards, but I have to admit, I keep them simple.  I may make one or two that are time consuming, but most of the people on my card list receive a simple card and I've never gotten one complaint because they are just thrilled to receive a handmade card.  This card is one I will be sending out this year.  It's also the card I'm using for Stamp Club tonight, as well as one of the ones my class will make next week.  I love it because it's easy to make and really cute.  It's also great for stampers on a budget since it uses the $8.95 Dasher stamp and just a little cardstock and ribbon. 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Fall Card Class

Oregon is so beautiful in the fall.  After years of living in Florida where things look pretty much the same year round, I appreciate all the colors of the changing leaves here.  That's what I tried to capture when I created the cards for the So Thankful Fall Card class.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Perfect Handmade Holiday

It's a BIG Sale!

Dates: October 19-December 16, 2010

You can purchase select products--perfect for Amazing cards, Beautiful packaging, and Cherished gifts--at a 20 percent discount! See bundle flyer above.

Things to Remember:
  • This offer is available on all order types (customer, demonstrator, workshop, and online). Additional products from current catalogs may be purchased on the same order.
  • There is no minimum purchase required to participate in this promotion.
  • You must use the bundle item codes provided. The 20 percent discount will not be applied if individual bundle item numbers are entered separately.
  • I will rebate shipping costs on orders over $50 placed with me by phone or on my website.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me .....

**On a personal note, I will be on vacation until Saturday, October 30th.  Orders may still be placed online and I will mail the shipping rebates when I return.  Also class registration for the SO THANKFUL fall card class will officially close on October 30th.  You may register by sending a check via snail mail or by submitting a payment via PayPal.**

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Love is in the air....

During the Operation Write Home workshop we'll be making some general greeting cards plus some that are devoted to love.  I figure they can either be Valentine's Day cards or just a card to tell someone you miss them and love them.  For this card I used a color scheme of Blushing Bride, Perfect Plum, and Whisper White with the Paisley Prints stamp set.  Using these colors was actually a refreshing change from all the Fall and Christmas colors I've been using lately.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Simple Fall Card

I'm preparing for the Episcopal Church Women's Operation Write Home workshop next week.  This is one of the easy cards we'll be making and sending to troops stationed abroad.  It's a great card because it could be used for many occasions, yet it is simple enough that it can be made by even the most inexperienced cardmaker.  This Season of Friendship stamp set is one of my personal favorites.   

Friday, October 8, 2010

Fall Post-it Note

I love the new French Foliage set in the Holiday Mini-Catalog.  I made a post-it note holder using the set and Cajun Craze and Early Espresso cardstocks.  I used More Mustard, Cajun Craze, Crumb Cake, and Always Artichoke inks.  (I would have liked to have used Old Olive instead of the Artichoke, but the gremlins never returned my marker!)  It was super easy and I think it will make a nice little gift. 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Run... go, go, go....

If you're like me you LOVE saving money and get an adrenaline rush by finding great deals.  I got so excited when I saw this post on the Stampin' Up demonstrator services website:

Clearance Rack Blitz

October 5, 2010 As you know, the Clearance Rack has been operational for over a year now, and demonstrators and customers alike are finding it a great place to discover discontinued Stampin' Up! merchandise for fantastic prices. Now, from October 5-18, we're adding over two hundred more discontinued items--some at up to 80 percent off--to help us make room in the Distribution Center for new products!

There are some great deals to be found, but like all great sales, don't wait.  The popular items will sell out!  You may order through my website by clicking on "shop now" and then clicking "clearance rack" on the left side of the page.  If you are local, you may also call me and let me know what you'd like to order. 

Friday, October 1, 2010

Copics vs Stampin' Write Markers

Last week I took a class on using Copic Markers.  I had seen some beautiful things produced by using those markers and liked the idea that the colors would blend flawlessly.  I was looking forward to learning to use them.  I was sure I'd love them and was thinking about how I'd afford this new product because they have tons of colors available for about $5 a pen.

The good news is that I didn't spend any money!  The bad news is that I really didn't like them.  I know learning to use them takes practice, but I just felt like it wasn't worth the effort.  In class we were given an item to color and were supposed to shade it with the left side being darker.  It was really difficult.  If you had 8 shades of one color that you could blend together to do the shading perhaps it would have been easier, but we had 2 plus the blender pen (which, by the way, is a MUST if you use Copics.)  I was frustrated that I'd apply the color which was really strong and then my "shading" was done by using the blender (which works more like a bleach pen) to remove color.  I worked on one little image for an hour and still didn't have it turn out as I would have liked.  I had problems with the color "floating" out of the image and then I'd have to work to push it back in.  When I added an accent color, it floated into the other color and looked horrible.  When I looked back at my work, it looked like the work of a 4 year old and I wasn't pleased.  Perhaps with more practice and the purchase of many markers I could eventually turn into an artist, but I'm not willing to invest my time or money when I have something at home that gives me the look I desire for less.  I also don't want to have to buy new ink pads for stamping my images (StazOn won't work with Copics) or different cardstock.  I came home and pulled out my Stampin' Write markers and realized that while I can't "blend" them with other colors, I can do lovely shading with either the blender pen (which really is a blender instead of a bleach pen) or with my Aquapainter.  The Stampin' Up markers only cost $3.50 and perfectly match my cardstock.  They also serve double duty because not only can I use them to color images, but I can also use them for journaling or writing sentiments inside my cards.        

Monday, September 27, 2010

Halloween Spooktacular

Just a note that the registration for the Halloween Spooktacular class will close on Friday, October 1st. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Here's a preview of the projects we'll be making. :)

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Here's another fun instructional video that focuses on the "rock-n-roll" stampin' technique. I've found I've been doing a bit more of this lately so I thought I'd share with those of you who are new to stamping. It's also a good refresher (or reminder) of this easy technique.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Gremlins are stealing my supplies

I've been busy working for the last few days and I am slowly noticing the disappearance of my stamping supplies.  Yesterday I lost my Stampin' Scrub and I still haven't found it.  Today, I can't locate my Old Olive marker.  Hmm... wonder what will disappear tomorrow?  I think it's the gremlins or perhaps it's just that things are being absorbed into the mess.  I'm posting a photo of my workspace (if my mother sees this she'll be horrified!  lol)  Maybe I need to clean up my mess and try to find my missing supplies.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

More Legal Pads...

With the holidays coming, I am busy filling orders for decorative legal pad covers.  I've been doing many more of those lately than cards, which is why that seems to be all I'm posting.  Today is no different.  This is a fall themed one I made with the Designer Series Paper in the new Holiday Mini.  I love this paper.  It's almost the same weight as cardstock.  Even my husband felt of it and said, "You should use this for everything you make."  lol  Enjoy!  (PS - Just so my customers know, I am working on the cards for the upcoming Halloween class.  I won't be posting them online until after October 4th, however.  That way they can be a surprise!) 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Watercolor Techniques

For the last week I've been playing with my watercolor paper.  I thought today I'd show you a video produced by Stampin' Up's home office.  This way you can experiment with different watercolor techniques at home.  Carrie uses products from the new demonstrator starter kit to create 2 cute cards.  Enjoy!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Back to School

Kids in this part of Oregon went back to school this past week, as did one of my friends who works for the school system.  I wanted to send her a card to ease her transition from the lazy days of summer to being back at work.  I used a watercolor technique (on watercolor paper!) on the images from the Greeting Card Kids set and mounted it onto one of new new In-Color cardstock and DSP colors, Poppy Parade.  Did you know that Stampin' Up offers free Designer Series Paper?  It's one of the hostess rewards you can get when you host a workshop or place an order totaling over $150.  Oh, and on another note, I love this stamp set.  I'll be using a different image from it during the Halloween class on October 4th.      

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Try the Watercolor Paper!

Three years ago I purchased a package of watercolor paper from Stampin' Up.  Yesterday I opened the package.  lol  I'm not talented at watercolor, but I thought I'd try it again after watching an instructional video made by demonstrator Ilina Crouse.  Let me just say "WOW!"  Watercolor paper makes all the difference and I can't believe I waited SO long to try it.  I'm pleased with my project  (despite using some retired designer series paper and a non-stampin up brad, lol.)  I plan to do some more experimentation with the paper in the near future.

Oh, on another note, I'm sorry to say that I've had to cancel the crop I had scheduled for September 20th.  I'm having my root canal done on the 13th and I don't think I'll be back to my normal scrappin' and stampin' self by the following week.  My next class will be on October 4th.  It's a Halloween theme that you won't want to miss!     

Friday, September 3, 2010

Christmas Preview

I love the new Holiday-Mini Catalog.  I want everything!  There are some especially great Christmas ideas included.  Today I opened my Deck the Halls Designer Series Paper and used it to make a Junior Legal Pad Holder with the new Peaceful Season stamp set.  I love how the paper coordinates with my new favorite cardstock color, Cherry Cobbler!  I can see me needing to order more of this gorgeous paper in the near future.  (Shhh... don't tell my husband.  lol)   

If you'd like to make some awesome projects for the holidays, let me know.  I would be happy to do a workshop for you and your friends.  I can also do Workshops by Mail for customers who live outside the Corvallis, Oregon area.  In addition to making some fun holiday items with your friends, you can earn free merchandise when your workshop totals $150 or more. Or, if you're like me and have found many things you "need" to purchase in the new catalogs, you can have a private Workshop by Mail.  I'll send you the materials to create some projects, and you'll place an order.  Even individual orders of $150 or more qualify for hostess benefits (ie- free stamp set and free merchandise.)  Also, right now I'm offering free shipping on orders over $50.  Interested?  Contact me at for more details or to schedule your workshop.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Awesome opportunity!

This is my tote bag that I purchased from Convention.  You can get it for FREE!
If you've ever thought about becoming a Stampin' Up Demonstrator, NOW is the time!  From now until October 18th, new demonstrators get a FREE craft tote.  This tote is awesome.  It's big enough to hold lots of stamping & scrapbooking supplies (including your 12x12 trimmer!)  I've seen the tote selling for as much as $85 on ebay.  It costs $175 to become a demonstrator, but you get much more than your money's worth!  Just think, you not only get the bag, but 4 stamp sets, 2 pkgs cardstock, 1 pkg designer series paper, ribbon, 4 stamp pads, 1 versamark pad, 2 markers, stampin mist, snail adhesive, an ink refill and decor elements.  If you add those things together, you see the value of the $175 package.  Click here to download the Starter Kit Order form so you can see what you get for your $$$.  (This gives you an opportunity to plan your starter kit order before you start the online process!)
As a demonstrator, I got to tour the Stampin' Up shipping facility in Utah.

Then there are other perks to being a demonstrator.  You get a monthly magazine with fresh ideas, opportunities to buy merchandise at special savings, opportunities to buy merchandise before it's available to the public, and an online community of other demonstrators for swapping and getting new ideas.  Oh yes, also, as a demonstrator you get 20% off Stampin' Up merchandise.  I'll be honest.  I signed up for that discount and I'm so happy I did.  I love the other perks and I love that I had the opportunity to go to the National Convention.
My downline, Brenda, and I as we got into line to buy exclusive demonstrator merchandise!

If you are interested, or you want more information, feel free to contact me at  You can complete your new consultant paperwork online and become a demonstrator TODAY!  There's no waiting involved.  You know all those cute new things you want to buy from the Holiday Mini Catalog?  You could buy everything you want at 20% off!  My recruiting password is:  VanessaZhong.
Just think... YOU could at the National Convention with me (and thousands of other stampers!) next year!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Halloween Share

Haunting wheeled across bottom and lots of shimmer added before adding the image from Batty for You.  

Slide the top of the card around and move it to the top.

The top moves above to reveal a gift card. 
I vowed that I would not start posting Halloween projects until at least the end of September, but I just can't stand it.  Halloween is perhaps my favorite holiday and I'm already very much thinking about the cards I'm going to send, the class I'm teaching, and the way I'm going to decorate the condo.  Last Halloween I had just moved 3,000 miles from Florida to Oregon and I was surrounded by a pile of boxes and had a long list of things to be done.  This year I can enjoy the holiday, so I'm starting early to make up for last year.  hehe   This is a preview of sorts because I probably won't be adding more Halloween stuff for a few more weeks.  Hold tight... I promise it's coming.    

Friday, August 20, 2010

Convention Cards

Chris Fuhs (I'm not the best photographer, but this is a cute pop-up style card)

Gloria Hall

Karin Tunnell

Twila Mooneyham, TX
Please enjoy this set of convention cards from the Stampin' Up National Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah.  They really inspire me and put me into the mood to do some rubber stamping.  Enjoy!

The classes are coming, the classes are coming!

I've been working on my fall class schedule and I'm happy to say I've finalized the dates.  You can read each class description for more details on the calendar section of my shopping website (  Here are the classes I have planned:
9/20:  Madison Ave Celebration Crop
10/1:  Halloween Spooktacular
11/1:  So Thankful
11/15:  A Contemporary Christmas
11/30:  A Contemporary Christmas (A repeat class ... same as the 15th)
12/14:  A Season of Giving
 Contact me for more details or to submit your registration.  :)  541-307-0008 or

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The ideas just keep coming!

Marla Kalfayan
Peggy Jones (the pansy is made from 2 butterfly punched shapes!)
My friend, Ruth Wilhelm, made this one. 
Susan McNamara
Sorry I've been neglecting the blog.  I'm still having dental issues, but the good news is that I've scheduled an appointment with another dentist for a 2nd opinion.  Yeah!  :)  I'm still digging through the stacks of card ideas and slowly getting them added to the blog.  Here's another group of 5.  Enjoy.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Happy Wednesday

Kerrie Snyder, NC  - I love it because I love the distressed look

Cheryl Schletter

*I think this was made by Helen Robinson
I'm going back to see the dentist today.  Keep your fingers crossed that I leave feeling better.  Meanwhile, please enjoy casing these swaps I received at the Stampin' Up National Convention.