Weekly Deals - something for everyone + Clearance Rack additions!

New Weekly Deals are here, and it's one of the most diverse bunches of products I can recall - truly something for everyone...! Two stamp sets, including one of the most useful, all-occasion stamp sets you'll ever own (I just used And Many More in my previous blog post!), a punch, a set of Framelits, ribbon and buttons.

I'm a HUGE fan of the Framelit sets that give you the same shape in a variety of nested sizes, and the stars are fabulous for a variety of occasions, particularly with the festive season looming. It's also great for a masculine themed cards like this one that I put together for our dear friends' young fella who turned 21 last month...

Stamps:   Guy Greetings, Gorgeous Grunge, Back to Basics Alphabet   Paper:   Soft Suede, Early Espresso, Crumb Cake, Very Vanilla, Crushed Curry, Lost Lagoon, Typeset Specialty Designer Series Paper   Ink:   Sort Suede, Early Espresso, Crumb Cake, Lost Lagoon   Accessories:   Stars Framelit Dies, 2-1/2" & 3/4" Circle Punches, 7/8" Scallop Circle Punch, Early Espresso 1/4" Cotton Ribbon, Linen Thread, Metallic Sequins Assortment, Stampin' Dimensionals

Stamps: Guy Greetings, Gorgeous Grunge, Back to Basics Alphabet Paper: Soft Suede, Early Espresso, Crumb Cake, Very Vanilla, Crushed Curry, Lost Lagoon, Typeset Specialty Designer Series Paper Ink: Sort Suede, Early Espresso, Crumb Cake, Lost Lagoon Accessories: Stars Framelit Dies, 2-1/2" & 3/4" Circle Punches, 7/8" Scallop Circle Punch, Early Espresso 1/4" Cotton Ribbon, Linen Thread, Metallic Sequins Assortment, Stampin' Dimensionals

As always, Weekly Deals are available only for the weeks, so be sure to grab your favourite discounted products by next Tuesday!

Speaking of favourite discounted products, if you didn't grab your favourites before they up and retired out of one of the previous catalogues, the Clearance Rack is the place you need to keep an eye on! Just replenished with a stack more retired gear and ridiculous discounts, it's a great place to score yourself some serious bargains on gear that you didn't think you could get anymore!

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The Clearance Rack is strictly while stocks last though, so if you see and love it, you're going to want to act right away - it might not be there next time!

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New Sale-a-bration products, Blendabilities discontinued + birds and lemons...

I'm a bit delayed in updating you with a number of things, not least of which is the news that there are FOUR new Sale-a-bration freebies to earn as of this month!

Click on the above image for a detailed product flyer!

Click on the above image for a detailed product flyer!

As with the previous Sale-a-bration offerings, you get to choose one of the free items with every $90 in your order (prior to shipping).

You'll want to be quick though, as we're in the final weeks of Sale-a-bration, so make sure to get your qualifying order in before March 31st...


Blendabilities Discontinued

Last week, Stampin' Up! announced that they had turned off all of the Blendabilities product codes in the ordering system while they investigated a quality issue that had resulted in the return of an increasing number of sets of the markers due to drying out.

In a further update this week, due to the nature of the defect, Stampin' Up!  have concluded that difficulties, dissatisfaction and product returns will only become more widespread.

The manufacturer is unable to correct the problem in a manner that Stampin' Up! are certain would meet their high quality standards and provide them with a stable, long-term solution. Therefore, after a great deal of deliberation and in order to prevent further disappointment, the Blendabilities product line has been discontinued.

Questions?

Q: Will the Tuxedo Black Memento Pad (item #132708) and the Tuxedo Black Memento Pad Refill (item #133456) still be available for purchase?
A: Yes. I am SO happy about this news - Memento has become my go-to black ink!

Q: What are the quality problems with this product?
A: When the tip is welded to the barrel, the welding process can leave microscopic (invisible) holes in the marker tip. This leads to accelerated evaporation of the alcohol in the ink.

Q: Are all Blendabilities markers defective?
A: No. Most Blendabilities markers work as intended. I have almost all of the sets and have never personally experienced a problem with any of them, and neither have I been alerted to any issues that my customers have had.

Q: What if I have purchased Blendabilities Markers that are defective?
A: If you purchased your markers through me, please get in touch for assistance. If your markers were purchased through another demonstrator, you will need to contact them.


Happier news - birds and lemons

Back in January, I shared some cards that I had created on the request of Stampin' Up! for inclusion in a Product of the Week showcase that would be running throughout Sale-a-bration. I have neglected to share a second set of cards that was part of the same promotion, this time using the A Happy Thing stamp set.

This is probably the last set that I would have chosen for myself, but the great thing about an assignment such as being asked to provide cards using a designated stamp set, is that it provides a shove out of your comfort zone like no other...!

I got out my trusty watercolouring tools for the first two cards and absorbed myself in layering (and layering, and layering!) colours using Watercolor Paper, Aquapainters and ink pads.

(Follow a tutorial on how I watercolour)

Stamps:  A Happy Thing (SAB), Gorgeous Grunge  Paper:  Soft Seude, Naturals White, Crumb Cake, Whisper White, Typeset Specialty DSP, Flower Pot DSP, Watercolor Paper  Ink:  StazOn Jet Black, Crumb Cake, So Saffron, Daffodil Delight, Crushed Curry, Soft Sky, Marina Mist, Pear Pizzazz, Old Olive  Accessories:  Big Shot, Chalk Talk Framelits, Aquapainters, Natural 7/8" Cotton Ribbon, Early Espresso 1/4" Cotton Ribbon, Linen Thread, Stampin' Dimensionals

Stamps: A Happy Thing (SAB), Gorgeous Grunge Paper: Soft Seude, Naturals White, Crumb Cake, Whisper White, Typeset Specialty DSP, Flower Pot DSP, Watercolor Paper Ink: StazOn Jet Black, Crumb Cake, So Saffron, Daffodil Delight, Crushed Curry, Soft Sky, Marina Mist, Pear Pizzazz, Old Olive Accessories: Big Shot, Chalk Talk Framelits, Aquapainters, Natural 7/8" Cotton Ribbon, Early Espresso 1/4" Cotton Ribbon, Linen Thread, Stampin' Dimensionals

Stamps:   A Happy Thing (SAB)   Paper:   Soft Seude, Crumb Cake, Wa  tercolor Paper, Park Lane DSP     Ink:   StazOn Jet Black, Crumb Cake, Pink Pirouette, Blushing Bride, Cherry Cobbler, Soft Sky, Marina Mist,    Accessories:   Aquapainters, Venetian Crochet Trim, Early Espresso Baker's Twine

Stamps: A Happy Thing (SAB) Paper: Soft Seude, Crumb Cake, Watercolor Paper, Park Lane DSP Ink: StazOn Jet Black, Crumb Cake, Pink Pirouette, Blushing Bride, Cherry Cobbler, Soft Sky, Marina Mist,  Accessories: Aquapainters, Venetian Crochet Trim, Early Espresso Baker's Twine

For the final card (my favourite, incidentally), I did use Blendabilities, but a similar effect could be achieved with the watercolouring technique as outlined in my tutorial. As long as you can produce the light and shade that makes it look as realistic as possible, you're on a winner :-)

Stamps:   A Happy Thing (SAB)   Paper:   Soft Seude, Whisper White,      Ink:   Memento Tuxedo Black, Soft Suede   Accessories:   Big Shot, Circles Collection Framelits, Chevron Embossing Folder,   Stampin' Blendabilities (discontinued) Essentials Wooden Elements, Linen Thread, Stampin' D  imensionals

Stamps: A Happy Thing (SAB) Paper: Soft Seude, Whisper White,  Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Soft Suede Accessories: Big Shot, Circles Collection Framelits, Chevron Embossing Folder, Stampin' Blendabilities (discontinued) Essentials Wooden Elements, Linen Thread, Stampin' Dimensionals

Just for fun, here's another technique that lends itself well to the A Happy Thing stamp set. Check out this video from Stampin' Up! on masking using this image...

Thanks for popping in today!

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Weekly Deals - Favourite Framelits and more...

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This week's deals are off and running with some great offers for everyone and some of my favourites available at 25% off...

The Labels Collection Framelits were a revelation to me when they arrived on the scene a couple of years ago.  They were the first Framelits ever offered by Stampin' Up! (kicking off a long line up of fabulous ones ever since) and with an array of nested sizes in the set, they are still one of my go to cutting options when I need a sweetly shaped focal point for a project....

Stamps:   Choose Happiness, Papillon Potpourri, Dictionary, Gorgeous Grunge   Paper:   Naturals White, Park Lane Designer Series Paper, Whisper White   Ink:   Memento Tuxedo Black, Crumb Cake, Soft Suede   Accessories:   Labels Collection Framelits, Large Scallop Edgelit, Delicate Designs Embossing Folders, Bitty Butterfly Punch, Old Olive Blendabilities, Calypso Coral Blendabilities, Daffodil Delight Blendabilities, Venetian Crochet Trim, Early Espresso Baker's Twine, Pearl Basic Jewels

Stamps: Choose Happiness, Papillon Potpourri, Dictionary, Gorgeous Grunge Paper: Naturals White, Park Lane Designer Series Paper, Whisper White Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Crumb Cake, Soft Suede Accessories: Labels Collection Framelits, Large Scallop Edgelit, Delicate Designs Embossing Folders, Bitty Butterfly Punch, Old Olive Blendabilities, Calypso Coral Blendabilities, Daffodil Delight Blendabilities, Venetian Crochet Trim, Early Espresso Baker's Twine, Pearl Basic Jewels

I've used two sizes of the Labels Framelits on this card, the top one turned perpendicular as opposed to nesting inside of the larger one underneath.  I love this as an option, as it provides the opportunity to embellish with some pretty trim behind, in this case, a short length of the gorgeous Venetian Crochet Trim and some Early Espresso Baker's Twine tied in a bow.

On the subject of Baker's Twine, I sometimes take issue with the fact that the ends of it can tend to have a mind of their own, so I came up with a way of taming the flyaway ends...

I sandwiched each loose end of the twine between two of the middle sized Pearl Basic Jewels -being adhesive backed, they stick to the twine and sort of also to each other to form a little round pearly ball that both weighs down the crazy end bits and look pretty and decorative all at the same time.

It's the little things...

Another of the little details that I love on this card is the decorative scalloped edge, achieved with a combination of the Large Scallop Edgelit - also one of this week's deals - and the lacy Delicate Designs embossing folder...

The new and fabulous Stampin' Blendabilities got a guernsey on this card too.  I have always loved to colour in, watercolouring being my previous method of choice, but the arrival of the Blendabilities has added an exciting new avenue to explore and I have been thoroughly enjoying doing so...

The subtle blending that can be achieved with the Blendabilities make my heart happy and it's so easy to replicate.

I am planning some Blendabilities sessions, so keep an eye and an ear out for those and plan to join me for some colouring therapy soon!

Make a plan also to grab any of the current deals that are on offer - before next Tuesday while they're 25% off!

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Weekly Deals - some of my faves!

I am loving the Weekly Deals - there have been some real cracking products offered at awesome discounts each week, and this week is no exception...

I already own the majority of these items and use them frequently, in particular the Bitty Banners Framelits - they work with everything!

Here's a little Weekly Deals inspiration for you, featuring them and the sweet Cupcake Builder Punch...

Stamps:   Itty Bitty Banners, Gorgeous Grunge   Paper:   Pistachio Pudding, Chocolate Chip, Naturals White, Strawberry Slush, Blushing Bride, Whisper White, All Abloom Designer Series Paper Stack   Ink:   Chocolate Chip   Accessories:   Banners Framelits, Deco Labels Framelits, Circle Collection Framelits, Itty Bitty Banners Framelits, Cupcake Builder Punch, Dotted Scallop Ribbon Border Punch, Strawberry Slush & Island Indigo Stampin' Write Markers, White Baker's Twine, Basic Jewels, Stampin' Dimensionals

Stamps: Itty Bitty Banners, Gorgeous Grunge Paper: Pistachio Pudding, Chocolate Chip, Naturals White, Strawberry Slush, Blushing Bride, Whisper White, All Abloom Designer Series Paper Stack Ink: Chocolate Chip Accessories: Banners Framelits, Deco Labels Framelits, Circle Collection Framelits, Itty Bitty Banners Framelits, Cupcake Builder Punch, Dotted Scallop Ribbon Border Punch, Strawberry Slush & Island Indigo Stampin' Write Markers, White Baker's Twine, Basic Jewels, Stampin' Dimensionals

The Cupcake Builder Punch has a co-ordinating stamp set - Cupcake Party - which provides sweet images that can be simply punched out after stamping.  In the absence of this set in my own stash, I simply used the punch with Chocolate Chip cardstock that I had stamped with Gorgeous Grunge for some cakey texture

I am loving the All Abloom Designer Series Paper Stack - all of the three patterns of DSP used on the card come from this pack.  I am particularly enamoured with the sweet little print on the patty pan/cupcake wrapper - I'm sure I've seen this print or something very much like it on real life patty pans :-)

The Bitty Banners Framelits have a co-ordinating stamp set too - Itty Bitty Banners, which I have used in the card as well - and ordinarily, I would advise purchasing the discounted bundle of these products. With the Framelits being part of this week's deals though, you actually end up slightly better off purchasing the stamp set separately - bonus!

The layout inspiration came from Retro Sketches, one of many sketch blogs that I frequent when I need to step away from my own go-to card layouts...

You can find this week's deals in my online store, where they'll be available at the discounted price until next Tuesday - score yourself a fabulous discount on some fabulous products while you can...

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Grungy, Blokey Starbursts!

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It's no secret that I find masculine cards rather challenging and I happen to know that I'm not alone in this challenge.  

With the plethora of flowers, hearts, butterflies and prettiness available, there's no end to the options for crafting gorgeous girliness, but butch blokeyness requires a little more thought, at least that's what I have always found.

That's what made this particular card even more satisfying to produce - it ticks all the blokey boxes and I absolutely love it!

Stamps:   Starburst Sayings, Hardwood, A Fitting Occasion, Gorgeous Grunge, Pennant Parade (retiring),     Morning Post Alphabet (retiring)   Ink:   Soft Suede, Midnight Muse (retiring), Early Espresso, Crumb Cake, StazOn Jet Black   Paper:   Naturals White, Crumb Cake, Modern Medley DSP (retiring), Epic Day This and That DSP (retiring)   Accessories:    Starburst Framelits, Denim Jean Ribbon (retiring), Stampin' Sponges, Stampin' Dimensionals

Stamps: Starburst Sayings, Hardwood, A Fitting Occasion, Gorgeous Grunge, Pennant Parade (retiring), Morning Post Alphabet (retiring) Ink: Soft Suede, Midnight Muse (retiring), Early Espresso, Crumb Cake, StazOn Jet Black Paper: Naturals White, Crumb Cake, Modern Medley DSP (retiring), Epic Day This and That DSP (retiring) Accessories:  Starburst Framelits, Denim Jean Ribbon (retiring), Stampin' Sponges, Stampin' Dimensionals

Hardwood and Gorgeous Grunge provided some awesome masculine texture in the background and the beauty of sets like Starburst Sayings is that they can be utilised for either gender by simply altering the colour selection - in this case, Midnight Muse fit the bill perfectly.

Here are some tips that I try to keep in mind when creating cards for the fellas:

  • Look for stamps that are shapes as opposed to specific images.  They can do double duty just by changing colours
  • Add texture with background stamps, Designer Series Paper, embossing folders etc
  • Search among your stamp sets for unexpected images that can add to the blokey look - the little mustache is part of the A Fitting Occasion stamp set, which I have primarily used for baby and cutesy birthday cards in the past. Another good example of this is the pointing finger image, which is part of the Morning Post Alphabet stamp set (currently 25% off !)

Several of the products used to create this card are on the retiring list, and we're in the final week of the list right now...

Make sure to grab your must haves while you can!  I have separated the Stampin' Supplies listing at the bottom of the post into retiring and carrying over products - hopefully this will assist in determining what you need to act quickly on...

What are your best blokey crafting tips?

Stampin' Supplies - Retiring List

Please note, discounted prices on retiring items not displayed here - discounts will apply in the online store

Teacher cards 2013 - instalment #2

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Here is the second in the series of 2013 teacher cards that I created for my girls' lovely teachers, this one being for my small girls Year One classroom teacher.

I absolutely LOVE Year One.  For both of my girls, it was a massive year of growth and transformation in their education.  From the beginning of the year when they are just working out sounds, to the end of the year where they are capable of reading simple chapter books by themselves.  Watching them progress and having the words take on meaning for them is pure magic :-)

Both of my girls were blessed with the same incredible Year One teacher, who is so perfectly placed to be teaching this year level.  This is the card that I created for her...

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The theme of this card was inspired by the beautiful soft colours of the Venetian Romance Designer Series Paperwhich I also used to create the matching envelope that you can see peeking out underneath the card.

It's similar in style to yesterday's card, with the Postcard (wood/clear) background and grungy feel, but I replaced the butterfly with a floral embellishment instead.

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I love the detail on this one - a watercoloured flower from Flower Shop (wood/clear), perfectly cut out with the co-ordinating Pansy Punch (save 15% when you bundle the stamps and punch together - wood mount and clear mount options available!)  The centre is embellished with lashings of different sized Pearl Basic Jewels

So there you have number two in my series of teacher appreciation cards for the year. The next ones are quite different in style...

Which is your favourite so far..?  

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Stamps: Postcard, Gorgeous Grunge, Everything Eleanor, Flower Shop, Express Yourself (hostess) Paper: Crumb Cake, Soft Suede, Naturals White, Venetian Romance DSP Ink: StazOn Black, Crisp Canteloupe, Calypso Coral, Pistachio Pudding, Island Indigo, Soft Suede, Crumb Cake, Early Espresso Accessories: Pansy Punch, Vintage Trim, Adorning Accents Edgelits, Adorning Accents Embossing Folders, Pearl Basic Jewels, Stampin' Sponges, Stampin' Dimensionals 

Teacher cards 2013 - instalment #1

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Last week on my Facebook page, I posted a sneaky peek of one of the cards I made for my girls' teachers with a promise that I would be over here on my blog sharing the whole lot this week.

So here I am, and I'm so excited to share with you some of the cards that have been consuming a lot of my time these past couple of weeks, along with all the other stuff that the end of a school year brings with it.

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This is the card that I created for my big girl's lovely Year Five teacher.  It (as is the case for all of the teacher cards that I will be sharing over the next few posts) is a larger card than standard, the base being a whole sheet of A4 card stock folded in half.  This allowed for all of the kids to sign it and write their message of gratitude for a fantastic year.

It's themed around the gorgeously grungy Soho Subway Designer Series Paper, so my colour inspiration comes directly from that.  The all new and incredibly fabulous Envelope Punch Board also allowed me to create a big ol' envelope using the same DSP to house the card and keep to the theme as well.

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A fun way that I added some texture was to cut out the smallest butterfly from the Beautiful Butterflies Bigz Die out of the Burlap Ribbon (page 18 of the current Holiday Catalogue for those of you playing along at home) using my Bigshot.  

Each wing of the butterfly fit snugly across the width of the burlap and the gap in the middle was hidden neatly by the addition of a Very Vintage Designer Button tied with Linen Thread.

Some varied splatters from the ever useful and incredibly versatile Gorgeous Grunge (wood/clearstamp set completed the look.

Stay tuned for the rest of my teacher cards coming up this week, interspersed with some fun MDS decorating inspiration...

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Stamps: Postcard, Gorgeous Grunge, Lacy & Lovely Paper: Crumb Cake, Naturals White, Soho Subway DSP Ink: Soft Suede, Crumb Cake, Early Espresso Accessories: Beautiful Butterflies Bigz Die, Vintage Trim, Very Vintage Designer Buttons, Burlap Ribbon, Linen Thread, Stampin' Sponges, Stampin' Dimensionals