Happy birthday, little man!

On the weekend, my little family were lucky enough to be invited to the sweetest celebration of the absolute sweetest little guy we know! Natalie is one of the gals in my stampin' team and her little guy Aiden turned one on Saturday. It was quite the gentlemanly celebration, requiring quite the dapper card, so this is what I came up with for him...

I made a little pocket to look like a suit and the greeting part is written on a little insert that slides out...

The background of the insert was stamped with the Layered Letters Alphabet stamp set, stamped off, except for the one left deliberately dark in the centre. This provided only a hint of colour to the background so that it didn't overwhelm the space and left me somewhere to write our birthday greetings.

   Stamps:   Layered Letters Alphabet   Paper:   Soft Suede, Pool Party, Whisper White, Cherry on Top DSP Stack   Ink:   Pool Party, Crumb Cake, Soft Suede   Accessories:   Bow Builder Punch, Neutrals Candy Dots, Glue Dots

Stamps: Layered Letters Alphabet Paper: Soft Suede, Pool Party, Whisper White, Cherry on Top DSP Stack Ink: Pool Party, Crumb Cake, Soft Suede Accessories: Bow Builder Punch, Neutrals Candy Dots, Glue Dots

Natalie asked if I wouldn't mind acting in the capacity of unnofficial photographer for the day and I was happy to oblige. I was also happy that she agreed to let me share some of the pictures of the amazing party set up here.

Please do note that while the images are marked with my watermark for the purposes of sharing on my blog, the party concept and styling was all Natalie's, ably assisted by SJ, another of our team gals. I will lay claim to the creation of the peeps in the last two photos though - my finest ones by far ;-)

Check out this delightful array...

Thanks for stopping in and sharing in a piece of our delightful weekend!

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Choosing Happiness (and Blendabilities!)

It's been quite the flurry of activity in my craft space these past weeks with the Perth Party Time event now mere days away. I would not usually be quite so heavily involved in a Stampin' Up! event, but this one is a bit different in that demonstrators are taking a significant role in the running of it. It's very exciting (and somewhat daunting!) that we have the opportunity to take front and centre in how the day will go.

Myself and my team have taken on accountability for the displays on the day, and I have hit the inevitable "have I done enough?!" stage of panic these past few days. It's a feeling that generally rears its head for me when something is at stake and I'm really invested in a particular outcome. In this case, what's at stake is the enjoyment and inspiration of the almost 200 attendees that will be joining us and I'm SO determined that they will leave absolutely brimming with ideas and an urge to get inky at their very first opportunity.

Luckily, the presentations that we have lined up for the day are AWESOME and will be contributing to the display, as well as the fact that attendees are invited to bring their own card samples to share, so I'm quite certain that there will be no shortage of gorgeous eye-candy of the stampin' variety.

That doesn't stop the occasional rising of unease though - I think that's just how I roll.  And I reckon that the one time that I feel like I have everything handled ahead of time is the one time that it will all go pear shaped...

Aaaanyway, I have a card to share with you today that I made quite some time ago. It uses the Choose Happiness stamp set, which was the absolute number one stamp set on my wishlist when the current Annual Catalogue came out back in July. It's also the stamp set that will feature in the make and take projects on the weekend.

   Stamps:   Choose Happiness, Hello There   Paper:   Pear Pizzazz, Early Espresso, Whisper White, Daffodil Delight   Ink:   Memento Tuxedo Black, Calypso Coral   Accessories:   Old Olive Blendabilities, Itty Bitty Accents Punch Pack, Rhinestone Basic Jewels, Early Espresso Baker's Twine, Stampin' Dimensionals

Stamps: Choose Happiness, Hello There Paper: Pear Pizzazz, Early Espresso, Whisper White, Daffodil Delight Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Calypso Coral Accessories: Old Olive Blendabilities, Itty Bitty Accents Punch Pack, Rhinestone Basic Jewels, Early Espresso Baker's Twine, Stampin' Dimensionals

I actually rescued the front stamped panel of this card from my bin. I had masked, stamped and coloured the leaf images across the front, then decided that they didn't turn out how I envisaged, so tossed it and moved on to something else. I can't recall what I was envisaging at the time and why this didn't measure up, but I pulled it out of the bin a couple of days later, had a further fiddle around with it and landed here.

I'm rather glad I did, as it turns out...

Most of the action happens in the top half of the card, with a nice large expanse of deliberate white space at the bottom. The combination of colours is nice and fresh and there's just enough going on without it being too busy.

I just LOVE the big "hello" stamp from the Hi There set. It makes a fabulous big statement all by itself, and I also love a card that just says "hello". It reinforces that you don't need a particularly significant occasion in order to send a card :-)

So my challenge to you based on today's post is to take a second look at a project that you gave up as a bad joke. Try it out with some fresh eyes and see if you can end up somewhere unexpected and fun.

Oh, and challenge number 2 is to send a "hello"card.

Just because...

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Challenge Chewsday revisited, French Foliage style...

cc-french-foliage-detail

Once upon a time, I had a regular Tuesday post a-happenin' around here - one I liked to call Challenge Chewsday - where I would choose one of the myriad card challenges from around the interwebs and make a card in keeping with the particular challenge guidelines.

With the intention of revisiting this regular post on a more permanent basis, I thought I'd dip my toe back in the waters of Challenge Chewsday, starting with a card that I made some time ago, so alas, not a current challenge, but a goody all the same...

cc-french-foliage

The layout is the same as this one that I blogged a few months back based on Sweet Sunday Sketch #161, but a very different feel with a change in stamp sets and colours.  That's the beauty of a sketch challenge - one idea can yield such a variety of results :-)

SARAH'S STAMPIN' TIPS:

  • To achieve the two tone effect like the one on the spiky leaves, employ the Rock and Roll technique, which involves first inking your stamp in the lighter colour, then rolling the edges of the stamp around in the darker colour.  Voila - instant autumn leaves :-)
  • First Edition DSP goes with everything.  I suggest you acquire some at your earliest convenience ;-)

To revisit past Challenge Chewsday posts, click HERE...

Do you have any favourite challenge blogs?  Please regale me with the details/links in the comments so that I can check them out for future Challenge Chewsday installments :-) Thanks!

Stamps: French Foliage, Broadsheet Alphabet Paper: Cajun Craze, Early Espresso, Soft Suede, More Mustard, Naturals Ivory, First Edition Specialty DSP, Neutrals DSP Stack Ink: Cajun Craze, Early Espresso, Soft Suede, More Mustard Accessories: Antique Brads, 1-1/4" and 1-3/8" Circle Punches, Owl Builder Punch (small heart), Crystal Effects, Stampin' Sponges, Stampin' Dimensionals

french-foliage

Challenge Chewsday - Clean and simple cupcakes!

These past few days, I have been giving my Create a Cupcake stamp set and matching Build a Cupcake punch from the brand spankin' new Autumn/Winter mini a serious workout, and inspired by two different challenges this week, came up with this little card...

challenge-chewsday-cupcakes

It was based on this Clean & Simple Fall-to Layout #134...

ftl134

...which in and of itself is clean and simple indeed, but by the time I had finished stamping and punching all six cupcakes, white embossing all the "bows" deciding on each of their embellishments, putting them in order, sticking them down and wondering where on earth I was going to fit the sentiment (you will note that I went with a strip of vellum overlaying the bottom row of cupcakes so as not to obscure them too much...), well let's just say that whoever gets this baby outta feel really loved.

Not that I have anybody in mind at the moment, I'm just sayin...

The colours were inspired by last weeks colourQ combination:

cqc78

I took a bit of artistic licence with this, as technically the Cherry Cobbler that I used for my flower and cherry decorations and the So Saffron brads as the flower centres were not officially part of the line-up, but I'm pretty sure I can make out some So Saffron sprinkles on the bottom left cake in the above pic, as well as a couple of specks of Cherry Cobbler too.

At least that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.  Just as well we're not playing for sheep stations here...

The other little project I have been having fun with involving the cupcakes is the project I'm demonstrating at my workshops this month.  Super cute, it must be said :-)

With several workshop dates already booked and Easter looming, I have limited workshop opportunities left this month, but if you want to see this gorgeous set of products put through its paces (AND keep the cute project for yourself!) contact me asap and we'll work out a date!

"Challenge Chewsday Cupcakes!" Stamps: Create a Cupcake Paper: Crumb Cake, Early Espresso, Whisper White, Vellum cardstock Ink: Crumb Cake, Early Espresso, Pink Pirouette, Certainly Celery, Cherry Cobbler, Versamark Accessories: Build a Cupcake punch, Subtles brads, White embossing powder, Colour Spritzer and Crumb Cake Marker, Crystal Effects, Stampin' Dimensionals

Challenge Chewsday - Just Add Stamps!

This week's challenge over at Just Add Ink seemed like a bit of a no-brainer at first glance....

Just add stamps.  Okay, so that's what I would have been doing anyway, where's the challenge in that..?!

Then of course once I took the time to read past the title of the post, I realised that the emphasis was on the just.  As in nothing but stamps.

No DSP, no ribbon, no buttons or brads, no punches or die cuts, no fancy schmancy techniques, just stamps and the cardstock they are placed upon.

jai-61-stamps

Once I got going with my idea (and managed to bust it out in no more than three and a half  minutes) I realised that the JAI gals might be onto something...

While I love nothing more than getting a swag of new products and things to play with (got some just last week from the upcoming Autumn-Winter mini catalogue in fact - ssshhhhhhhh!!) there's something to be said for heading back to the bare basics of stamps, ink and cardstock.

And the time factor - or lack of time taken - is a definite bonus!  I'm heading off to make some more of this particular design to send out randomly in the next week or so.

Check back over the next couple of days, as I just realised how close we're coming to the end of March, and therefore the end of Sale-a-bration AND the Summer Mini!  I think this may just have been my favourite ever mini and I have some things to show you that I haven't managed to get up here yet, so tune in for a last minute flurry of Summer Mini activity in the coming days...

"Just Add Ink #61 - Just Add Stamps!" Stamps: Growing Green, Apple Blossoms Paper: Naturals Ivory, Soft Suede Ink: Soft Suede, Old Olive, Pear Pizzazz, Crumb Cake, Early Espresso Accessories: Stampin' Sponge (hope that's allowed!!)

Challenge Chewsday - the birthday edition!

There's still an hour or so left of Chewsday - at least there are over here in the West, so amazing as it might be, I'm on time with my post this week!

This week my challenge was to make something more impressive and amazing than the paper flower that my handsome man left on our coffee table for me this morning, wrapped around a note he wrote to wish me a happy birthday.

It's a challenge I am never going to meet and once you see it for yourself, I'm sure you will agree, so let's go with Tim's Perfect Paper Posy as the Challenge Chewsday entry for this week.

Check it out...

tim-rose-front

tim-rose-back

It accompanied the early hours Facebook message that he left me:

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ANGEL! I tried not to use your good cardstock this year! :)

I have said to him recently that I would like to involve him more in my Stampin' Up! business and having clapped eyes on this baby this morning, I may well start sending him out to do workshops ;-)

Do let me know if you'd be interested in having my handsome man come and show you how to create this delightful 3D rose embellishment.  Although judging by the state of my desk this morning, I can't guarantee he won't leave a trail of destruction in his wake.

Wait, that could be my left over trail of destruction, scratch that...

I have had the most wonderful day, with a constant stream of phone calls and messages, lunch with my man and my small girl plus an impromptu shopping spree at the happiest place on earth (Ikea - thanks to vouchers from Nanny & Poppop aka my gorgeous folks) and a lovely catch up and cuppa with my aunty  this evening *waving Aunty Mair*

Not to mention the handmade cards that have been arriving since last week and the shiny new camera lens that was my (much coveted) gift from Tim and the girls.

So it's a very happy 30-something gal who is headed to bed to sleep the sleep of one who has just spent a chunk of the afternoon assembling Ikea furniture.

If you're at all inclined, leave a comment to let my handsome fella know what you think of his paper crafting efforts, because you know as well as I do he'll be popping in here to check ;-)

Tardy Tuesday - CASEing two lovelies

So I'm a whole day - almost two - late with my Challenge Chewsday entries, and although I had them all stamped and photographed yesterday, falling asleep on the couch at 8pm won out over editing and uploading them.

I'm here now though, albeit after another busy day, but I'm determined to get these up (preferably before the opening bars of Farmer Wants a Wife) so let's get this show on the road...

This week's challenge over at Just Add Ink is to case the two gorgeous and talented stampers who started the site a year ago now and have just stepped down (handing the reins to two equally gorgeous and talented stampers, I will add).  The most challenging part of this challenge was deciding which of their amazing creations to case!

But decide I did, and here's what I came up with.  This card is based on this beauty from Danielle's blog...

danielle-case

And the next one is based on this little bit of delight from Amanda's blog...

amanda-case

If you want to play along, you'd better be quick as I'm pretty sure the challenge is only open for another hour or so, and if you live over here in the West, there's less than half an hour 15 minutes 'til Farmer, so you have even less time ;-)

Even if you don't play along, I'd encourage you to head on over to Danielle and Amanda's blogs to check out their wonderful talents and to say hi :-)

"CASEing Danielle" Stamps: Awash with Flowers, Woodgrain, Apple Blossoms Paper: Crumb Cake, Chocolate Chip, Blushing Bride, Whisper White Ink: Crumb Cake, Regal Rose, Old Olive, Chocolate Chip, Blushing Bride (Marker), So Saffron (Marker) Accessories: 5/8" Old Olive Grosgrain Ribbon, Top Note Die, Vintage Wallpaper Embossing Folder, Stampin' Dimensionals

"CASEing Amanda" Stamps: Sweet Summer (Sale-a-bration), Tiny Tags Paper: Crumb Cake, Pear Pizzazz, Watercolour Paper Ink: StazOn Black, Baja Breeze, Marina Mist Accessories: Aquapainter, White Gel Pen, Two Step Bird Punch (stem), Stampin' Dimensionals

Challenge Chewsday - one of my own!

Right off the bat, I'm going to need to ask you to be kind to me today.

Firstly because I'm not at all sure of the card that I've made, but if I take the time to make another one, Challenge Chewsday will turn into Where the Heck Have You Been Wednesday and that's just not in the rules.

Secondly, I have found a picture online that I rather like so have turned it into a bit of a challenge of my own - the first I have ever thrown out there, so make of THAT what you will.

And thirdly, I have just spent waaaaay longer than usual with the process of uploading and editing my photo as our hard drive packed it in on Saturday morning, presenting me with an error message that I simply could not decipher when I switched it on, so I have had no computer all weekend, got it back yesterday afternoon and have spent a goodly chunk of this evening re-loading my programs, trying and failing to locate the disc that came with our camera in order to load photo's onto the computer (I managed a work-around), re-doing my watermark in Photoshop and getting myself all hot and bothered in the process in this incessantly humid Perth weather.

Whinge over.  Moving on...

This is the challenge that I set for myself this week...

cc-pencils-inspiration

The image comes from a blog I love to look at and have stashed away in my Google Reader in a file I call Gorgeous Inspiration.  I'm sure when you check out A Creative Mint for yourself, you will agree that it has been aptly filed :-)

Here is the card that I based on the colours above and am still unsure of, but we've been over that, so here you go...

cc-pencils

I just received the Sale-a-bration set So Happy for You last week, and this was its first foray out of the box.  I did plan to keep the card simple, but I think I may have erred too much on the side of simplicity as it turns out...

This stamp set is one of the four that is available to you for FREE with a purchase of over $100 during the Sale-a-bration period, which finishes up at the end of the month.

Check out all of the available freebie stamp sets -->HERE<-- then contact me to place your order!

"Challenge Chewsday - One of my own" Stamps: So Happy for You Paper: Pacific Point, Baja Breeze, Tangerine Tango, Whisper White, Brights DSP Paper Stack Ink: Pacific Point, Baja Breeze, Tangerine Tango Accessories: Perfect Polka Dots Embossing Folder, Whisper White 5/8" Grosgrain Ribbon

Challenge Chewsday - Ready for Autumn

I'm a little bit later than usual with my challenge post today - 'usual' being based on only the two Challenge Chewsday entries that there have been prior to this one, however....

I've had a busy weekend with a workshop, a team stamping day and last night a scrapbooking class - my first ever (and hopefully the first of many!), so I haven't had a great deal of time to stamp and photograph my card and then schedule the accompanying post, but with my small girl out on adventures with Daddy, other than being constantly distracted by my absolute favourite YouTube video of the moment (I'll tell you about that in a minute...) my time for an hour or so is my own, so here I am.

This week I took on Just Add Ink #56 - a sketch challenge that looks like this...

jai56-sketch

...and turned it into this little card (the operative word being "little" - it's only 7 x 10.5 cm)...

jai-56-autumn

The card is a tribute to my favourite season, and I am so very ready for Autumn on a so many levels!  We have had the most unrelenting spell of hot and humid weather here in Perth these past weeks and quite frankly I'm ready for a bit of a break from it!  So is my lawn, at least what is left of it.

The other thing about Autumn that is rather exciting and just over the horizon now, is that it brings with it a brand new mini catalogue!  I'm stalking my postie for my copy, which should be here any day now, but I've seen a preview online and oh lordy, what a treat we're in for :-)

If you'd like to reserve a copy to be posted out next month in readiness for the mini to go live in April, please fill out -->this form<-- with your details and I'll be sure to get one in the post for you!

In the meantime, we still have the delightful Summer Mini in all its goodness, which I have been demonstrating lots of this past month.  If you haven't already, check it out and make sure to grab anything that you want/need before the sales period ends on March 31, not forgetting that until then a $100 order will also score you a free Sale-a-bration stamp set!

Contact me to place your order :-)

And before I sign off, as promised, here is the video that's been on high rotation on my computer since I was alerted to it last week.  I have not been able to stop watching/listening to it, so from me (and those spunky tenors) to you....ENJOY!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hooZM84KhPs&w=450&h=275]

"Challenge Chewsday - JAI #56 -Ready for Autumn" Stamps: Trendy Trees, Woodgrain, Tiny Tags Paper: Soft Suede, Early Espresso, More Mustard, Cajun Craze, Whisper White, In-color DSP stack Ink: Soft Suede, Early Espresso, Pear Pizzazz, Cajun Craze Accessories: Soft Suede, Old Olive, More Mustard & Cajun Craze Markers, Lots of Tags Sizzlits, Old Olive 1/8" Taffeta Ribbon, Scallop Trim Border Punch

[gravityform id=5 name=Reserve a copy of the Autumn-Winter Mini!]

Challenge Chewsday - Blushing Crumbs

Two weeks in a row - I'm on a roll folks!  And you'll note that Challenge Chewsday got the nod from the majority of commenters (commentators?!) on the last post - not that I was taking a poll or anything, but since you offered your opinions, let's go with it!

This week I headed back to Inkspirations HQ and used the fabulous sketch on offer there...

Combined with this PRETTY colour combination from ColourQ...

And this is what I turned them into...

On Thursday just gone, our gorgeous across-the-road neighbours added a beautiful baby girl to their already sweet and lovely family, so as a heartfelt thank you for giving me a brand new baby to sniff, with a little bit of congratulations thrown in, this is the card I made for baby Lily, that we headed over this afternoon to give them.

I also made a little matching gift tag to hang from the bag...

So there you have my challenge entry for this Chewsday!  Hope you're enjoying my new blog feature - I certainly am!

stampin-tips.jpg
  • An oldie but a goodie - sponge the edges of your cardstock and paper for a lovely vintage look
  • Punch a strip of cardstock with a border punch, feed it through the Crimper, then concertina the straight edge together and stick it behind an oval or circle shape for a pretty border
  • Use a White Gel Pen in conjunction with watercolouring for some great highlights

"Happy Birth-Day Lily!"Stamps: Awash with Flowers, Teeny Tiny Sentiments Paper: Blushing Bride, Crumb Cake, Pretty in Pink, Whisper White, Watercolour Paper, Cherry Cobbler, In-color DSP stack, Ink: Versamark, Blushing Bride, Crumb Cake, Pretty in Pink, Pink Pirouette Accessories: White Embossing Powder, Ovals die, Eyelet Border Punch, Perfect Polka Dots Embossing Folder, Neutrals Brads, Crimper, 2-3/8" Scallop Circle Punch, 1-3/4" Circle Punch, Bitty Buttons, Owl Punch (heart), Blushing Bride Stitched Poly Ribbon, Stampin' Dimensionals, Glue Dots, Stampin' Sponges

New blog feature - Challenge Tuesday!

I've been thinking for a while that I ought to have more in the way of a plan in terms of what goes up on my blog and when.  Although flying by the seat of my pants is my usual MO of choice, it's not really working for me anymore, so I've decided it's time to get myself a bit organised.

So to get the ball rolling, I thought I would start simply, adding just one new thing to my blog schedule, or rather starting a blog schedule altogether, with a feature I'm going to call Challenge Tuesday.

For purposes of alliteration and perfectionism, I was half tempted to call it Challenge Chewsday but thought better of it.

The idea is that I will seek out some fun challenges to take part in, thereby possibly even alerting you, dear reader, to some challenge blogs and websites that you may previously have been unaware of.  Occasionally I may even throw in a home grown one, just for fun...

To kick things off, I have actually completed no less than FOUR challenges over the weekend, combining some sketch and colour challenges.

First up is the Pals Paper Arts PPA79 - Celebrity Colour Challenge...

ppa79

...combined with the Clean and Simple Stamping Fall to Layout #126...

ftl126

...for the following result:

ppa79_ftl126

It's not a combination of colours I would ever have thought to put together on my own,  and I've left this card on my desk so that I can keep sneaking peeks at it to decide whether or not I like it...

  • Use the Colour Spritzer to create a slight textured background on an otherwise plain cardstock base
  • Use part of a Big Shot die instead of the whole thing for a different look and greater product flexibility

"Pals Paper Arts PPA79 + Clean and Simple Stamping FTL126"
Stamps: Growing Green, Occasional Greetings
Paper: Rich Razzleberry, Riding Hood Red, Certainly Celery, Watercolour Paper, Lover Letter DSP
Ink: Rich Razzleberry, Riding Hood Red, Certainly Celery
Accessories:
Colour Spritzer, Rich Razzleberry Marker, Circle Scissors Plus, 2-3/8" Scallop Circle Punch, Big Shot, Top Note Die, Aquapainter, Stampin' Dimensionals

For challenges three and four, I went with the combination of  Inkspirations Colour Challenge #56...

inkspirations-cc56

...and Sweet Sunday sketch Challenge 103...

sssc103

and came up with this:

icc56_sss103

I rather like this one, although again, the colours are unlikely to have made it onto the same project of mine without the prompting of a challenge, which after all is the whole idea of challenges I guess.

I encourage you to give some a go if you need to step outside of your stampin' comfort zone a bit :-)

  • A fine border of white or black cardstock is great for breaking up solid colours and adding definition to your layout
  • Invest in one (or all!) of the packs of DSP  Patterns Stacks, that way you'll have a DSP in all of your favourite colours

"Inkspirations Colour Challenge #56 + Sweet Sunday Sketch Challenge 103"
Stamps: Apple Blossom (L2 hostess)
Paper: Basic Black, Cherry Cobbler, Baja Breeze, Whisper White, Neutrals DSP Patterns Stack, Jolly Holiday DSP
Ink: Basic Black, Cherry Cobbler, Baja Breeze
Accessories:
Circle Scissors Plus, Stampin' Dimensionals

So there you have it, the first of what I hope will be many Challenge Tuesdays, although I should warn you right up front that they are unlikely to all feature more than one challenge at a time. I guess I got a bit carried away with the idea for this first one...