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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Creation Station blog hop - one for the fellas

It's time for another Creation Station blog hop and this time around, we're celebrating the blokes! It's coming up to Father's Day in the US, so you'll see a bunch of Father's Day themed projects on the blogs of the other team gals, but seeing as we have a few months to go until we officially celebrate the dads in this part of the world, I thought I'd provide some general blokey inspiration...

We're also celebrating the release of the brand new Annual Catalogue just last week, filled with amazing new products and fabulous inspiration, including the I Think You're Great stamp set that I used on this card.

I have always found it much harder to stamp for fellas than I do for the ladies, so I tend to keep it fairly simple and let the colours and basic shapes provide the masculine factor. In this card, I combined Delightful Dijon - a brand new in-color - with Soft Suede, Lost Lagoon and Pumpkin Pie, and a strip of the diagonal striped paper from the Typeset Specialty DSP. That stuff goes with everything!

I created the hollow star by sending two different sizes of the Star Framelits nested together through my Big Shot, and continued the star theme with a small smattering of star shapes punched out of the Confetti Stars Punch.

I'm a big fan of the current 'cluster' trend in card making - elements bunched together in an area of the card with lots of 'white space'. One of the ways I like to ground my cluster is by partially embossing the background, which I did here with the Chevron embossing folder - another great products for use in masculine themed projects.

Have you managed to settle on some favourites from the new Annual Catalogue yet...? I'm still experiencing a bit of overwhelm, and just as I think I've nailed down my new favourites, I'll see something amazing on a blog or website somewhere and my wish list prioritisation is all out of whack again!

Send your new catalogue wish list into a tailspin by checking out the rest of the stops on today's blog hop. You can head backwards to Kathy Kartak or forwards to Sara Levin.

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Weekly Deals + Retiring List Live Tomorrow!

crazy about you bunts birthday peek.jpg

It's back to school day for half of my children today - high school girl gets an extra two days before she starts back, much to the disgust of the small one, who had to frock up in her winter uniform bright and early after a fabulously restful two week break! School holidays always mean a relatively quiet time on the blog as I hang out with my girls and spend a bunch more time in pyjamas than would ordinarily be deemed civilised...

But I'm here now, to let you know a couple of things that are going on around the stampin' scene...

Weekly Deals are ongoing with some great ones this week, ending tomorrow! Check them out...

I grabbed some of the Washi Sheets from the Occasions Catalogue when it first went live and they're great for adding a bit of decorative flair.

Stamps:   Crazy About You, Daydream Medallions, Kind & Cosy, Hello There (last three only used for the circular 'leftovers'!)   Paper:   Naturals White, Crumb Cake, Early Espresso, Typset Specialty DSP   Ink:   Pool Party, Soft Suede, Night of Navy   Accessories:   Hello You Thinlits, 1-3/8" Circle Punch, 3/4" Circle Punch, Subtles Candy Dots, Neutrals Candy Dots, Stampin' Dimensionals

Stamps: Crazy About You, Daydream Medallions, Kind & Cosy, Hello There (last three only used for the circular 'leftovers'!) Paper: Naturals White, Crumb Cake, Early Espresso, Typset Specialty DSP Ink: Pool Party, Soft Suede, Night of Navy Accessories: Hello You Thinlits, 1-3/8" Circle Punch, 3/4" Circle Punch, Subtles Candy Dots, Neutrals Candy Dots, Stampin' Dimensionals

This is a card that I made for my lovely Father-in-law's birthday at the end of last month and I love how it turned out!

The different circles were achieved in a variety of ways - some stamped with the centres 'left-over' rubber out of open circular stamps, some punched out of Typeset Specialty DSP, and a couple punched out of the Washi Sheets - I used the grey grid pattern.

A smattering of Candy Dots from the Subtles and Neutrals packs keeps within the circles theme and finishes it off nicely...

QUICK TIP When punching the Washi Sheets, use a scrap of cardstock to add some bulk and strength to the Washi Sheet, as they don't punch out very well on their own (ask me how I know...)

Washi Sheets and all other current Weekly Deals are available until 11.59pm (AEST) tomorrow, before they clear off to make way for the next batch, so if any of the deals catch your eye and you fancy scoring them for a fabulous discount, I suggest you get on it...

In other news, the retiring list for the current Annual Catalogue goes live TOMORROW, meaning there's likely to be a bun fight over these colours shown above. I would suspect they'd have to have been the most popular set of In-colors ever (at least, they certainly have been in my craft room, and quite frankly, I'm not sure how I'll manage without the option of Coastal Cabana...)

It's usually the case that retiring In-colors are among the first items to run out when the retiring list goes live - particularly re-inkers - so if you own the ink pads, I strongly suggest you act now to secure the re-inkers for your pads, plus any other In-color products BEFORE the retiring list hits and the feeding frenzy begins!

SHOP THE RETIRING 2013-15 IN-COLORS NOW

IMPORTANT - CONTRARY TO THE PRINTED DATE ON THE FRONT COVER OF THE CURRENT ANNUAL CATALOGUE,THE END DATE OF THIS CATALOGUE WILL NOW BE TUESDAY JUNE 2ND. THE BRAND NEW ANNUAL CATALOGUE WILL BE AVAILABLE TO PURCHASE FROM ON WEDNESDAY JUNE 3RD

I'm equal portions nervous and excited to see what the retiring list holds tomorrow. It's always sad to see favourites disappear, but knowing that they're making way for exciting new products eases the pain somewhat.

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Grungy, Blokey Starbursts!

blokey starburst close.jpg

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

A handmade blokey thank you...

david-book-detail

If you follow my Facebook page (what do you MEAN you don't follow my Facebook page...?!), then you would have seen me allude to the fact last week that I was trying my hand at making a gift for a bloke.

And wondering if I was slightly mad to be doing so...

Well I did it, and having had a few days to keep picking it up and looking at the finished product, I'm very glad I did :-)  What started out as a picture in my brain (do your projects start out that way too...?), I'm pleased to report that it turned out as well, if not better than I had hoped...

david-book

david-book-detail

david-book-corner

The book itself is one that I got at Typo in Sydney several years ago now (before Typo headed over to us here in the West)   I have a whole shelf in my craft room cupboard dedicated to "alterables" that I collect and like to have on hand for when inspiration and the need for a handmade gift strike.

It's a simple lined notebook, and I'm fairly confident/quietly hopeful that the recipient is a notebook type of person.  I'm also hopeful that despite knowing that he has read my blog in the past, he won't be visiting here prior to receiving it in the mail next week...

SARAH'S STAMPIN' TIPS:

  • You don't necessarily have to own stamps with tools on them to create blokey projects.  I tend to use combinations of blues, greens and browns and basic shapes when creating for the fellas in my life
  • Get out your sewing machine!  Stitching adds some great extra texture :-)
  • Check out the new embossing folders in the catalogue for some fantastic blokey options!  Houndstooth, Chevron and Argyle spring to mind...
  • The "D" monogram was cut out using the BigShot and the new Typeset Alphabet Bigz Die from a piece of thin chipboard backing that came with something, some time, probably a long time ago that I had saved, knowing that it would be useful down the track.  Moral of the story - save your packaging :-D

What do you make for the blokes in your life...?

Stamps: French Foliage Paper: Naturals Ivory, First Edition Specialty DSP, Fan Fair DSP Ink: Crumb Cake, Soft Suede Accessories: Typeset Alphabet Bigz Die, Houndstooth Embossing Folder, 2-1/2" Circle Punch, Antique Brads, Neutrals Buttons, Linen Thread, Stampin' Sponges, Sewing Machine