A posse of party {balloon} animals

My eldest daughter had a birthday party to attend a couple of weeks back - a party for a set of triplets that she has befriended since starting high school. All gorgeous kids, so all requiring gorgeous card, of course!

It was the perfect opportunity to bust out a set of "same, but different" cards that I love so much - a similar idea, so as not to require reinventing of the wheel with each new card, but different enough to be individual.

Enter Balloon Builders...!

Balloon Builders - 140645 - $28.00

Balloon Builders - 140645 - $28.00

The first idea came from this sweet card that I found online, and the others were a combination of this and the samples in the Occasions Catalogue - page 14 for those of you playing along at home...

{Materials for all cards}   Stamps:   Balloon Builders   Paper:   Whisper White, It's My Party Designer Series Paper   Ink:   Blushing Bride, Pool Party, Bermuda Bay, Calypso Coral, Crumb Cake, Smoky Slate, Basic Gray Archival   Accessories:   Balloon Bouquet Punch,     Stampin' Dimensionals

{Materials for all cards} Stamps: Balloon Builders Paper: Whisper White, It's My Party Designer Series Paper Ink: Blushing Bride, Pool Party, Bermuda Bay, Calypso Coral, Crumb Cake, Smoky Slate, Basic Gray Archival Accessories: Balloon Bouquet Punch, Stampin' Dimensionals

Have you played with the Balloon Builders yet..? So much fun and so very many possibilities!

Speaking of possibilities, they are running out in terms of getting your hands on stuff from the Retiring List! Hundreds of items, many of them discounted by 15 to 50%, some of them already sold out, many of them running low on inventory and ALL of them only available while stocks last until May 31st! Be sure to grab your favourites while you can...

And with the Retiring List in full swing, it can only mean that a new catalogue is nigh, and that is about the ONLY thing that make it ok for so many fabulous products to be heading off into the sunset.

Just this morning, I arranged for a new catalogue to go out to everyone who has ordered from me this past year. They will start being sent out directly from Stampin' Up! from May 11th, so if this is you, keep an eye on your letterbox over the next couple of weeks!

If you would like your own copy of the catalogue, please contact me and I can arrange one for you. If you order through another demonstrator, please contact them directly for your copy.

balloon builders triplets.jpg

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Thankful for this guy and this year...

Recently, I've been looking back at this past year and thinking that a year ago, we'd never have imagined things looking the way they currently do for our family. We're not ones to fix things that aren't broken and tend to stick fairly closely to what we know, knowing that what we do and have is more than enough and finding happiness and love in family, friends and simple things.

In May this year, our version of normal was somewhat disrupted by the company that my handsome man worked for announcing a restructure, requiring that he and everybody else at his level reapply for their jobs. In Tim's case, and that of many others, it was a job that he had worked his way up to over a nineteen year career, having started at entry level as a fresh-faced 20-something.

After a process that took months in time and a fair share of anxious "what ifs", it ended up with my husband taking a redundancy and finishing up there in early October. For someone that loved his job and the folks that he worked with, I can't imagine what it would have been like to leave the only 'real' job you've ever known, in an industry that has no other options in our immediate area. But what I DO know is that I am married to the most amazing man who has been more concerned about those around him in similar positions than he ever has been for himself.

And for THAT, I am truly thankful.

I have always thought that we had a pretty awesome marriage, but we've never really been tested out in terms of facing much in the way of challenges until this year.  We always thought his job was pretty safe, and it was. Until it wasn't. And when that door closed and there weren't any others around that he could knock on with the industry specific experience that he had, there were a few moments of disquiet spent wondering "where to from here...?" He has always been the calm and positive one in our partnership, and I have managed to learn much from him over the past 17 years, so it wasn't the panic-stricken, stress-ridden situation that it might have been, had I been processing and dealing with it in the way I might have in the past.

And for THAT, I am truly thankful.

And as it turns out, a couple of weeks after saying goodbye to his previous career, an opportunity for something entirely new presented itself. Three interviews, a job offer and signed contract later and we're standing on the edge of something new and exciting that we would not have conceived of at the beginning of this year.

And for THAT, I am truly thankful.

Just this past Wednesday was his first day on the job, and it was with excitement that our little family gathered on Tuesday evening for "family squeeze" - a funny and sweet little ritual that has evolved in our family and involves all four of us piling onto our bed and snuggling, chatting and just hanging out together. The girls and I used the opportunity of "family squeeze" to give Tim a little good luck gift for his first day - a new tie that we'd picked out for him, a family photo to put on his new desk and a card, just to make sure he knew how much we love and appreciate him...

Because for HIM, and his approach to life, I am truly thankful.

Stamps:   Endless Thanks, Layered Letters Alphabet, Gorgeous Grunge   Paper:   Whisper White Thick Cardstock, Whisper White, Lost Lagoon   Inks:   Soft Suede, Lost Lagoon, Early Espresso, Mossy Meadow, Real Red, Crumb Cake   Accessories:   Seasonal Snapshot 2015 Project Life Card Collection, Season of Cheer Washi Tape, 3/4" Circle Punch, Stampin' Dimensionals

Stamps: Endless Thanks, Layered Letters Alphabet, Gorgeous Grunge Paper: Whisper White Thick Cardstock, Whisper White, Lost Lagoon Inks: Soft Suede, Lost Lagoon, Early Espresso, Mossy Meadow, Real Red, Crumb Cake Accessories: Seasonal Snapshot 2015 Project Life Card Collection, Season of Cheer Washi Tape, 3/4" Circle Punch, Stampin' Dimensionals

Stamps:   Endless Thanks, Gorgeous Grunge   Paper:   Lost Lagoon   Ink:   Mossy Meadow, Real Red   Accessories:   Tag a Bag Gift Box,     Seasonal Snapshot 2015 Project Life Card Collection, Big Shot, Tags & Labels Framelits, Large Polka Dot Embossing Folder, 3/4" Circle Punch, Season of Cheer Washi Tape, Burlap Ribbon, Whisper White Baker's Twine, Stampin' Dimensionals

Stamps: Endless Thanks, Gorgeous Grunge Paper: Lost Lagoon Ink: Mossy Meadow, Real Red Accessories: Tag a Bag Gift Box, Seasonal Snapshot 2015 Project Life Card Collection, Big Shot, Tags & Labels Framelits, Large Polka Dot Embossing Folder, 3/4" Circle Punch, Season of Cheer Washi Tape, Burlap Ribbon, Whisper White Baker's Twine, Stampin' Dimensionals

The tie was dutifully added to his first day attire, and the card and frame transported to his new desk - I actually had to ask him to bring them home again on the second day so that I could photograph them for this post... *giggle* In testament to how well he knows me, the gift box that held the tie was delivered to my craft desk immediately after opening so I could use it again for a different project...

Did you recognise the Project Life cards on the card and gift tag? As well as making your memory keeping super simple and productive, the designs on Project Life cards make them the perfect quick addition to your cards and other projects, as well as keeping all important co-ordination intact.

This Creation Station blog hop is brought to you with the theme of "THANKFUL", so to continue in the grateful groove, click on the NEXT or BACK buttons to check out what the rest of the team has to inspire you with! We've had a plethora of new members join recently, so there's inspiration a-plenty...!

And just because I can, here's a first day photo - usually reserved for the school variety - of the new tie seeing its first service on my handsome man's first day!

Thanks for hopping by today and I hope you have a lot to be thankful for yourself *mwah*

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100 Lucky Envelopes - the final update!

You might be aware of a little promotion that I was running during September in a final frenzy of action to see if I could gather the points required to earn the Stampin' Up! Grand Vacation to the Mediterranean next year.

In my usual last minute, flying by the seat of my pants style, I realised that with a little bit of effort and a whole lot of luck, it wasn't entirely beyond the realms of possibility that I could be aboard that ship.

The effort was the part that I was entirely in charge of, and I had an amazing month running stamping events and workshops, stamping with old and new friends and thoroughly enjoying the flurry of stampin' activity.

In the final tally of points, I ended up just shy of 5000 short of my goal. I don't mind telling you that I considered - more than once - placing an order of my own for $5000 worth of Snail Adhesive refills, Whisper White cardstock and trimmer blades! After all, it would cost waaaay more than that to actually pay for a trip for two to the Mediterranean from my little corner of the world. In the end, common sense (just barely!) prevailed and I concluded the month happy with my efforts and determined to start a little sooner in my efforts for next year's trip...

For those who placed orders, hosted workshops, attended events, sent messages of support, cheered and otherwise supported my crazy little last minute effort, this is for you...

Stamps:  A Whole Lot of Lovely (Stampin' Rewards exclusive)  Paper:  Whipser White, Tip Top Taupe, Watermelon Wonder, Watercolor Paper, Cherry on Top DSP stack  Ink:  Versamark, Whisper White Craft Ink, Pool Party, Bermuda Bay, Island Indigo  Accessories:  Clear Embossing Powder, Triple Banner Punch, Itty Bitty Accents Punches, 1/16" Circle Punch, Linen Thread, Rhinestone Basic Jewels, Clear Block, Stampin' Spritzer

Stamps: A Whole Lot of Lovely (Stampin' Rewards exclusive) Paper: Whipser White, Tip Top Taupe, Watermelon Wonder, Watercolor Paper, Cherry on Top DSP stack Ink: Versamark, Whisper White Craft Ink, Pool Party, Bermuda Bay, Island Indigo Accessories: Clear Embossing Powder, Triple Banner Punch, Itty Bitty Accents Punches, 1/16" Circle Punch, Linen Thread, Rhinestone Basic Jewels, Clear Block, Stampin' Spritzer

I created the watery, washy colours in the background by inking up a Clear Block in Pool Party, Bermuda Bay and Island Indigo ink, spritzing with water then pressing it onto the Watercolor Paper, where I had previously stamped and clear embossed the image from A Whole Lot of Lovely. It's a fun and very versatile technique - change the stamp, change the colours, have fun!

Thanks again for following along last month and for all the support and cheerleading! I'm humbled by the many lovely messages I received and look forward to sharing exciting news about the 2017 Grand Vacation to Phuket around this time next year!

whole lot of lovely watercolor.jpg

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A happy hot air balloon birthday!

We had a sweet birthday party to attend on the weekend - my handsome man's cousin's little girl turned one and she had a gorgeous party with hot air balloons as the theme.

I was so excited to create a card for her, as I have not really put my Celebrate Today bundle through its paces since I got it several months ago, and it was perfect for the theme.

I took inspiration from the To You & Yours Shaker Cards Kit in the Holiday Catalogue, having played with them in recent times and loving the jangly, sparkly, shakiness of them!

Stamps:   Celebrate Today   Paper:   Calypso Coral, Pool Party, Whisper White, Soft Suede, Watercolour Paper, Cherry on Top DSP stack, Window Sheets   Inks:   Versamark, StazOn White, Pool Party, Calypso Coral, Soft Suede   Accessories:   Balloon Framelits, Tree Builder Punch, Triple Banner Punch, Bermuda Bay, Calypso Coral, Pear Pizzazz, Crushed Curry & Pool Party Markers, Brights Candy Dots, White Embossing Powder, Aquapainter, Metallics Sequin Assortment

Stamps: Celebrate Today Paper: Calypso Coral, Pool Party, Whisper White, Soft Suede, Watercolour Paper, Cherry on Top DSP stack, Window Sheets Inks: Versamark, StazOn White, Pool Party, Calypso Coral, Soft Suede Accessories: Balloon Framelits, Tree Builder Punch, Triple Banner Punch, Bermuda Bay, Calypso Coral, Pear Pizzazz, Crushed Curry & Pool Party Markers, Brights Candy Dots, White Embossing Powder, Aquapainter, Metallics Sequin Assortment

Another thing I loved about the card is how I actually created it a whole week in advance of needing it, which is unheard of for me. Sadly, I didn't photograph it until the morning of the party, and the light wasn't playing nice, so I couldn't manage to get a decent photo to show the watercolour-y, pastel-ish, cloudy background as well as I would have liked.

Thanks for popping in today - hope your part of the world is as sunshiny as mine!

celebrate today amalia.jpg

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Weekly Deals - Mission embossable + my FAVOURITE Designer Series Paper!

perpetual birthday calendar woolfe peek.jpg

Weekly Deals are here again, and if you're a fan of the gorgeous textured look provided by the Big Shot Textured Impressions Embossing Folders, you're in luck - there are no less than FOUR great designs to choose from in this week's deals.

Also featuring is a set of Designer Series Paper that pops up in the vast majority of my card designs - the Typeset Specialty Designer Series Paper...

Here's a card that I made for some dear friends of ours over in Brisbane who recently built and moved into a beautiful new home. 

perpetual birthday calendar woolfe detail 1.jpg

Back in April when my lovely mum and I went to the Gold Coast for the Stampin' Up! convention, we stopped over in Brisbane for a few days, and despite being in the midst of building a new house, packing up the old one, as well as managing work, home and teenage children, our wonderful friends wouldn't hear of us staying anywhere other than with them.

Mum and I wanted to choose something lovely for their new home - which was completed a month or so after our visit - but decided on a voucher for an online homewares store so they could choose something for themselves once they were all settled in. I popped it into this card and sent it off as a fun surprise

I used my much loved Typeset Designer Series Paper for the lower panel of the card, as I did on many more of my creations, which you can find HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.

Phew! I knew it was a favourite of mine, but even I underestimated the number of times I reach for that set of paper! Clearly, the crisp black and vanilla is a winning combination on any project...

Be sure to grab your favourite discounted embossing folders and reams of bargain priced Typeset DSP before next Tuesday!

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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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Rotary Alphabet - final day of the deal

Weekly Deals are due to click over to a whole new selection of fabulous discounted products tomorrow morning, and you have only until the end of the today to take advantage of the current ones.

Here's a reminder of what's available in this week's deals...

Last week I shared a card that I made using the Polka Dot Embossing Folder - a firm favourite in my embossing folder collection, for sure.  I also used the Build a Birthday stamp set - stamp set that has establised itself as a new favourite with the release of our new Annual Catalogue.

I've used it again this week, in combination with the Rotary Alphabet Stamp - a great option for adding your own custom greeting in a funky, vintage typewriter kind of font, and part of this week's deals only until 11.50pm (AET) tonight!

Stamps:   Build a Birthday, Alphabet Rotary Stamp   Paper:   Bermuda Bay, Whisper White, Watermelon Wonder, Silver Glimmer Paper   Ink:   Crushed Curry, Pool Party, Watermelon Wonder, Bermuda Bay, Tip Top Taupe, Memento Tuxedo Black   Accessories:   Cherry on Top Washi Tape, Itty Bitty Accents Punch Pack, Basic Rhinestone Jewels, Stampin' Dimensionals

Stamps: Build a Birthday, Alphabet Rotary Stamp Paper: Bermuda Bay, Whisper White, Watermelon Wonder, Silver Glimmer Paper Ink: Crushed Curry, Pool Party, Watermelon Wonder, Bermuda Bay, Tip Top Taupe, Memento Tuxedo Black Accessories: Cherry on Top Washi Tape, Itty Bitty Accents Punch Pack, Basic Rhinestone Jewels, Stampin' Dimensionals

Grab a great deal on this week's offerings and check back tomorrow for a selection of new ones!

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Banner Banter - a batch of thanks

The Banner Banter Bundle - on sale until April 17th - is a fabulously versatile pairing of products, and the perfect answer to the question of how to thank my online customers for placing orders with me during March.

Stamps:   Banner Banter, Gorgeous Grunge   Paper:   Whisper White, Strawberry Slush   Ink:   Coastal Cabana, Smoky Slate, Calypso Coral, Crushed Curry, Memento Tuxedo Black   Accessories:   Notecards & Envelopes, Banner Punch, Itty Bitty Accents Punch Pack, Tea Lace Doilies, Rhinestone Basic Jewels, Stampin' Dimensionals

Stamps: Banner Banter, Gorgeous Grunge Paper: Whisper White, Strawberry Slush Ink: Coastal Cabana, Smoky Slate, Calypso Coral, Crushed Curry, Memento Tuxedo Black Accessories: Notecards & Envelopes, Banner Punch, Itty Bitty Accents Punch Pack, Tea Lace Doilies, Rhinestone Basic Jewels, Stampin' Dimensionals

Boldly patterned banner stamps + bright colours = sweet and simple

Boldly patterned banner stamps + bright colours = sweet and simple

A flower and a rhinestone always works

A flower and a rhinestone always works

The note cards include an envelope - why not stamp it to match..?!

The note cards include an envelope - why not stamp it to match..?!

Paired with some fun colours and the sweet simplicity of the Whisper White notecard, the Banner Banter Bundle keeps it simple while packing a pretty punch all at the same time.

To get your hands on this or any of the other Bonus Bundles, you'll need to ensure that you act before April 17th. Unlike most Stampin' Up! promotions, this one doesn't go until the end of the month, so make sure to bundle up at a 15% discount while you can!

GRAB A BONUS BUNDLE

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Big day, two ways

Big Day is a super cute and fun stamp set that is one of the many free offerings during the Sale-a-bration promotion

Here's the first card that I made with this set...

Stamps:   Big Day (SAB)   Paper:  Soft Suede, Blushing Bride, Coastal Cabana, Calypso Coral, Whisper White, Best Year Ever DSP (SAB)   Ink:   Soft Suede   Accessories:   Banners Framelits, Labels Collection Framelits, Dotted Scallop Ribbon Border Punch, Rhinestone Basic Jewels

Stamps: Big Day (SAB) Paper:Soft Suede, Blushing Bride, Coastal Cabana, Calypso Coral, Whisper White, Best Year Ever DSP (SAB) Ink: Soft Suede Accessories: Banners Framelits, Labels Collection Framelits, Dotted Scallop Ribbon Border Punch, Rhinestone Basic Jewels

In this one, I kept the stamping quite simple, owing to the colourful and quite busy background, made up of a couple of the designs from the Best Year Ever DSP, also a free Sale-a-bration product this year.

On this next card, I wasn't quite so reserved and splashed a bunch of colour around, mostly in the form of some Blendabilities and some more DSP...

Stamps:     Big Day (SAB)     Paper:     Naturals White, Calypso Coral, Whisper White, Pink Pirouette, Best Year Ever   DSP (SAB)     Ink:     Memento Tuxedo Black     Accessories:     Circles Collection Framelits, 2" Circle Punch, Scallop Edge Punch, Itty Bitty Accents Punch Pack, Blendabilities - Calypso Coral, Coastal Cabana, Crumb Cake & Daffodil Delight; Rhinestone Basic Jewels

Stamps: Big Day (SAB) Paper: Naturals White, Calypso Coral, Whisper White, Pink Pirouette, Best Year Ever DSP (SAB) Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black Accessories: Circles Collection Framelits, 2" Circle Punch, Scallop Edge Punch, Itty Bitty Accents Punch Pack, Blendabilities - Calypso Coral, Coastal Cabana, Crumb Cake & Daffodil Delight; Rhinestone Basic Jewels

I'm looking forward to having a lot more playtime with this set - it's so perfect for birthdays and lends itself perfectly to the chalkboard trend that is so current at the moment.

Speaking of which, have you seen the new Chalkboard Paper and Chalk Inks in the Occasions Catalogue?! Perfect to use with this cute set - I think that's next on my list...

What's on yours...?

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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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Last minute deals...!

This week has gotten away from me in many more ways than one, but particularly where Weekly Deals are involved!

We're due to have a whole new sets of deals go live tomorrow morning and I've yet to share the current week's ones with you all, but there are a handful of hours still to take advantage of them before they click over, so here goes...!

Several of my favourite products make an appearance in this week's deals, and two of them went into the making of this card...

Stamps:   Label Love, Dictionary, And Many More, Six Sided Sampler   Paper:   Crumb Cake, So Saffron, Coastal Cabana, Whisper White   Ink:   Crumb Cake, So Saffron, Coastal Cabana, Calypso Coral   Accessories:   Bitty Banners Framelits, Chevron Embossing Folder, Artisan Label Punch, Bitty Butterfly Punch, Linen Thread, Tea Lace, Paper Doilies 

Stamps: Label Love, Dictionary, And Many More, Six Sided Sampler Paper: Crumb Cake, So Saffron, Coastal Cabana, Whisper White Ink: Crumb Cake, So Saffron, Coastal Cabana, Calypso Coral Accessories: Bitty Banners Framelits, Chevron Embossing Folder, Artisan Label Punch, Bitty Butterfly Punch, Linen Thread, Tea Lace, Paper Doilies 

The inspiration for this card came from one that was posted on the Stampin' Up! blog back in October last year, which I came across in searching for inspiration for the Artisan Label Punch. Google is your best friend when you're on the lookout for inspiration involving a particular stamp set or product - there are so many clever stampers out there and I often feel as though I don't have enough hours in the day to try out all the amazing techniques and projects that I find out there!

If you follow the link to look at the inspiration card, you will notice that the layout is where I gleaned the inspiration, then I added some partial embossing in the background, and changed the colours and greeting to suit my needs and likes.

I fully encourage you to CASE (Copy And Share Everything or Copy And Selectively Edit) different inspiration that you find around the interwebs, particularly when you're feeling a case of stampin' slump or designing doldrums.  I find that borrowing an idea - either completely or partly - is a great way to reinvigorate myself when I'm feeling less than inspired, just be sure to always remember to credit your source of inspiration if you're posting your creations online, it's the polite thing to do :-)

Just a couple of hours left of the current deals, so if you're inspired to get 20% off your faves this week, you'll want to be quick.  Click on the Weekly Deals image up above, or check out the funky Weekly Deals slideshow going on on my sidebar over there --->  Just wait for your deal of choice to slide on in and click to head directly to it in my store!

As always, be sure to get in touch if you're after further detail on anything you see in today's post.

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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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Stampin' Supplies

Please click on images below for detailed product details and shop online convenience!

A Punchy, Puppy Birthday!

I am not a big one for punch art - not that I don't love the amazing creativity that punched shapes offer in terms of turning them into unexpected creatures and things, but I just don't often think of using my punches in that way.

Until a need arises by way of finding myself without a specific image in my vast array of stamp sets.

Like a dog.

And I'm actually really glad that I don't own a dog stamp, as it turns out, because I'm a little bit in love with this guy...

Stamps:   Bring on the Cake   Ink:   Crushed Curry, Soft Suede (sponging)   Paper:   Crushed Curry, Basic Gray, Pool Party, Soft Suede, Early Espresso, Whisper White, Naturals White, Real Red, Primrose Petals, Rasberry Ripple, I Am Me DSP   Accessories:   Circles Collection Framelits, Hearts Collection Framelits, Ovals Collection Frameilts, Owl Punch, Bird Punch, Small Heart Punch, Large Oval Punch, Petite Pennants Punch, Chevron Embossing Folder, Early Espresso Stampin' Write Marker, Chalk Marker, Stampin' Sponges, Stampin' Dimensionals

Stamps: Bring on the Cake Ink: Crushed Curry, Soft Suede (sponging) Paper: Crushed Curry, Basic Gray, Pool Party, Soft Suede, Early Espresso, Whisper White, Naturals White, Real Red, Primrose Petals, Rasberry Ripple, I Am Me DSP Accessories: Circles Collection Framelits, Hearts Collection Framelits, Ovals Collection Frameilts, Owl Punch, Bird Punch, Small Heart Punch, Large Oval Punch, Petite Pennants Punch, Chevron Embossing Folder, Early Espresso Stampin' Write Marker, Chalk Marker, Stampin' Sponges, Stampin' Dimensionals

In searching for "punch art dog" with the help of my old friend and ally, Google, I came across this fella and just knew I had to recreate him for myself.  I also loved the idea of him popping out of a window, sort of like this guy, so combined the two ideas to come up with my own.

Many of the shapes are actually from my Framelit Collections as well as punches - they offer such versatility in having a variety of different sizes in great basic shapes.

I made a few changes based on not owning some of the punches in the original creation, but in doing so, made some fun discoveries.

Like the fact that the branch part of the Bird Punch with three of the four leaves cut off works really well as skinny dog arms/paws!

The greeting is from Bring on the Cake - a great big birthday themed greeting set that is due to retire at the end of the day. It has a fabulous array of different ways to send a birthday wish, like these ones I've made previously...

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The greeting is actually a faux banner, made up with three separate pieces of cardstock, layered together and mounted up so that from the top, it looks for all the world like a folded, 3D banner, but from the side, if you care to look, it's a whole other story...

Some carefully placed Stampin' Dimensionals are your best friend :-)

The card is winging its way (all things being usual with Australia Post) to a family friend of ours to wish him (a bit of a belated!) happy birthday, along with a handful of dollars to go towards a much coveted pet dog that he's saving up for.

I'm actually not entirely sure that the family is in the market for a pet, but after my big girl told me that she'd said she would send some money to help with his savings, we had to follow through on her promise and I daresay if the dog thing doesn't pan out, a nine year old boy will surely find a little somethin' somethin' to spend it on.

 

What's your favourite way to play with punches...?

Stampin' Supplies - Retiring

Morning Post Alphabet = Sweet Baby Cards

Another gorgeous stamp set that is riding off into the sunset with the outgoing catalogue is the Morning Post Alphabet set.

It's a great set for all sorts of things, but one use that I have found for it that I absolutely love is baby cards...

Stamps:   Morning Post Alphabet, Teeny Tiny Sentiments, Tiny Tags (retired)   Ink:   Pool Party, Pink Pirouette, Pear Pizzazz, So Saffron, Crumb Cake   Paper:   Crumb Cake, Whisper White, Pear Pizzazz, Tea for Two DSP (retired)   Accessories:   Large Scallop Edgelit, Delicate Designs Embossing Folders, 1-1/4" Square Punch (retired), Pool Party Ruffled Ribbon (retired), Jewelry Tag Punch (retired), Tea Lace Doily, Stampin' Dimensionals

Stamps: Morning Post Alphabet, Teeny Tiny Sentiments, Tiny Tags (retired) Ink: Pool Party, Pink Pirouette, Pear Pizzazz, So Saffron, Crumb Cake Paper: Crumb Cake, Whisper White, Pear Pizzazz, Tea for Two DSP (retired) Accessories: Large Scallop Edgelit, Delicate Designs Embossing Folders, 1-1/4" Square Punch (retired), Pool Party Ruffled Ribbon (retired), Jewelry Tag Punch (retired), Tea Lace Doily, Stampin' Dimensionals

This is a card that I made for a dear friend's baby shower last year (the baby associated with which just turned one this past month...)  At the time of the shower, we didn't know what flavour the bub was, so a selection of soft, muted tones was the go.

I was loathe to put up a card whose featured Designer Series Paper is a retired one, but as luck would have it, the delightful Tea for Two DSP that I used is on the Clearance Rack for a mere $6.79. Happy days!

Another card that I made earlier this year for another baby shower uses the same alphabet set in less of a featured way, along with the oh so sweet Zoo Babies, which thankfully will be playing on into the new catalogue year...

Stamps:     Zoo Babies, Morning Post Alphabet, Pennant     Parade     Ink:     C  alypso Coral, Coastal Cabana, Pistachio Pudding, Smoky Slate, Crumb Cake, Soft Suede     Paper:     Pistachio Pudding, Crumb Cake, So Saffron, Whisper White, Coastal Cabana, I Am Me DSP     Accessories:     Large Scallop Edgelit Die, 1-3/4" Scallop Circle Punch, 1-3/8" Circle Punch, Dotted Ribbon Punch, Delicate Designs Embossing Folder; So Saffron, Tangerine Tango, Crisp Canteloupe & Calypso Coral Stampin' Write Markers; 1/8" White Taffeta Ribbon (retired), Linen Thread, Stampin' Dimensionals

Stamps: Zoo Babies, Morning Post Alphabet, Pennant Parade Ink: Calypso Coral, Coastal Cabana, Pistachio Pudding, Smoky Slate, Crumb Cake, Soft Suede Paper: Pistachio Pudding, Crumb Cake, So Saffron, Whisper White, Coastal Cabana, I Am Me DSP Accessories: Large Scallop Edgelit Die, 1-3/4" Scallop Circle Punch, 1-3/8" Circle Punch, Dotted Ribbon Punch, Delicate Designs Embossing Folder; So Saffron, Tangerine Tango, Crisp Canteloupe & Calypso Coral Stampin' Write Markers; 1/8" White Taffeta Ribbon (retired), Linen Thread, Stampin' Dimensionals

This one is a double size card to accommodate the wishes of all the school mums who signed it for the new mummy to be.

The time, the "B" from the alphabet set formed the background of the cute little swing tag...

I used the double punching trick from my previous post to make a starburst shape from my 1-3/4" Scallop Circle Punch - there's a how-to in that post if you want to check it out :-)

Grab the Morning Post Alphabet set (25% off in woodmount!) along with any of your other must haves from the Retiring List while you still can - tomorrow is the final day!

Now, this is a story all about how...

...My life got flipped-turned upside down
And I'd like to take a minute
Just sit right there
I'll tell you all about my DSP love affair...

If you're a generation either side of me, there's a good chance those (slightly altered) lyrics will have slipped right past you, but if you're anything like me, the moment you clapped eyes upon the "Fresh Prints" Designer Series Paper Stack in the Occasions Catalogue, you were humming along and bopping your head too :-)

I love the bright colour combination and bold patterns of this DSP and can see myself using the colours together ongoingly (is that a word?) after the DSP disappears with the finishing up of the Occasions Catalogue at the end of this month.

Teamed up with one stamp set (Starburst Sayings, bundled together with the co-ordinating Framelits), one ink colour and card stock to match the colour combination in the DSP, it's a no-fail solution...

Stamps:    Starburst Sayings    Ink:    Real Red    Paper:    Real Red, Crumb Cake, Whisper White, Fresh Prints DSP Stack    Accessories:    Starburst Framelits, Banner Framelits,  Basics Jewels, Stampin' Dimensionals

Stamps: Starburst Sayings Ink: Real Red Paper: Real Red, Crumb Cake, Whisper White, Fresh Prints DSP Stack Accessories: Starburst Framelits, Banner Framelits,  Basics Jewels, Stampin' Dimensionals

Same stamps and accessories, different patterns from the same stack of DSP and a slightly altered layout...

Stamps:    Starburst Sayings    Ink:    Real Red    Paper:    Real Red, Coastal Cabana, Naturals White, Crumb Cake, Whisper White, Fresh Prints DSP Stack    Accessories:    Starburst Framelits, Banner Framelits,  Basics Jewels, Stampin' Dimensionals

Stamps: Starburst Sayings Ink: Real Red Paper: Real Red, Coastal Cabana, Naturals White, Crumb Cake, Whisper White, Fresh Prints DSP Stack Accessories: Starburst Framelits, Banner Framelits,  Basics Jewels, Stampin' Dimensionals

Adding in a circle punch and swapping stamp sets (Perfect Pennants) provides further options...

Stamps:    Perfect Pennants    Ink:    Real Red, Coastal Cabana    Paper:    Coastal Cabana, Crumb Cake, Whisper White, Fresh Prints DSP Stack    Accessories:    Starburst Framelits, Banner Framelits,  1-3/4" Circle Punch, Decorative Dots Embossing Folder (upcoming in the new catalogue!), Basics Jewels, Stampin' Dimensionals

Stamps: Perfect Pennants Ink: Real Red, Coastal Cabana Paper: Coastal Cabana, Crumb Cake, Whisper White, Fresh Prints DSP Stack Accessories: Starburst Framelits, Banner Framelits,  1-3/4" Circle Punch, Decorative Dots Embossing Folder (upcoming in the new catalogue!), Basics Jewels, Stampin' Dimensionals

Or keep it cleaner with a simple tag embellishment and a bunch of white space...

Stamps:    Word Bubbles    Ink:    Real Red, Coastal Cabana    Paper:    Real Red, Crumb Cake, Whisper White, Fresh Prints DSP Stack    Accessories:    Word Bubbles Framelits,  Scallop Tag Topper Punch, Decorative Dots Embossing Folder (upcoming in the new catalogue!), Basics Jewels, Real Red 1/8" Taffeta Ribbon, Stampin' Dimensionals

Stamps: Word Bubbles Ink: Real Red, Coastal Cabana Paper: Real Red, Crumb Cake, Whisper White, Fresh Prints DSP Stack Accessories: Word Bubbles Framelits,  Scallop Tag Topper Punch, Decorative Dots Embossing Folder (upcoming in the new catalogue!), Basics Jewels, Real Red 1/8" Taffeta Ribbon, Stampin' Dimensionals

Options galore, all inspired by a little pad of Designer Series Paper (hooray for not having to take a deep breath as you chop into your favourite patterned 12x12 sheets!)

Check out some other projects using this gorgeous DSP...

Stock up on Fresh Prints here...

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Stampin' Supplies

Fun banner card - saying goodbye to three favourites!

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I have LOVED the Oh Hello stamp set since it arrived a couple of catalogues ago. It has always been referred to as "Air Hellair" in my classes and workshops, you know, what the Queen would call it if she were a stamper.

And who knows, perhaps she is.

But I digress...

Oh Hello (woodmount at 40% off!) is on the retiring list, along with Hearts a Flutter  (woodmount and clearmount both on sale!) and Pennant Parade (woodmount and clearmount both on sale!) - all but one of the stamp sets used to create this fun and very on-trend thank you card.

Stamps:   Oh Hello (retiring), Pennant Parade (retiring), Hearts a Flutter (retiring), A Fitting Occasion   Ink:   Coastal Cabana, Strawberry Slush, Crisp Canteloupe, Soft Suede, Versamark   Paper:   Crumb Cake, Coastal Cabana, Whisper White, Strawberry Slush, Crisp Canteloupe, Pistachio Pudding, In-color 2013-2015 Core'dinations (retiring), Birthday Basics DSP (retiring), I Am Me DSP (retiring)   Accessories:   Hearts a Flutter Framelits, Petite Pennants Builder Punch, 7/8" Scallop Circle Punch, 1" Circle Punch, 3/4" Circle Punch, Small Heart Punch (retiring), Perfect Polka Dots Embossing Folder, White Embossing Powder, Basics Jewels, Baker's Twine, Stampin' Dimensionals

Stamps: Oh Hello (retiring), Pennant Parade (retiring), Hearts a Flutter (retiring), A Fitting Occasion Ink: Coastal Cabana, Strawberry Slush, Crisp Canteloupe, Soft Suede, Versamark Paper: Crumb Cake, Coastal Cabana, Whisper White, Strawberry Slush, Crisp Canteloupe, Pistachio Pudding, In-color 2013-2015 Core'dinations (retiring), Birthday Basics DSP (retiring), I Am Me DSP (retiring) Accessories: Hearts a Flutter Framelits, Petite Pennants Builder Punch, 7/8" Scallop Circle Punch, 1" Circle Punch, 3/4" Circle Punch, Small Heart Punch (retiring), Perfect Polka Dots Embossing Folder, White Embossing Powder, Basics Jewels, Baker's Twine, Stampin' Dimensionals

Banners are the new black at the moment, and there are SO many fun ways to create them, both in real life and on a sweet card.

This one was for a student teacher in my small girl's class last year (you can see three of the other teacher appreciation cards I made last year here, here, here and here), so it's a larger than standard size - a whole A4 sheet folded in half forms the base, which leaves loads of room for cute flags and banners hanging from some twine.

More of the retiring list products have sold out and there's only two seeks to go until everything is gone for good, so if you haven't got your must-haves yet, don't delay, shop today!

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Stampin' Supplies

Scallop Tag Topper Punch class is here!

Hot on the heels of the Envelope Punch Board classes that I recently posted, (four spots left on March 24th!), I bring you the Scallop Tag Topper Punch class!  

I'm a little  bit in love with these projects, not least because of the Fresh Prints DSP.  Lordy, I love that stuff!

Scallop Tag Topper Punch Class

Create three projects using this very nifty and versatile tool:

  • A card, using the Tag Topper Punch to create an embellishment
  • A gift box, using the Tag Topper punch to create this simple but effective project
  • A mini album, using the Tag Topper Punch to create the interesting and functional closure

The cost of this class will be $60, which includes the Scallop Tag Topper Punch itself. It will get its first awesome workout in every class project, then you'll have it to take home and continue on with when you leave.

Already own the Scallop Tag Topper Punch for yourself?  Contact me and we'll organise a way for you to join in the class too!

Join me on either of the following two dates to punch the night away:

  • Thursday March 27 at 7.30pm (RSVP no later than Tuesday 18 March)
  • Monday March 31 at 7.30pm (RSVP no later than Friday 21 March)

Places in the class are limited to six and payment is required in advance to confirm your spot, so you'll want to ensure you book early so as not to miss out.

Got a group..?

Gather a crew of four to six peeps and I'll gladly put a class on just for you guys.  I'll come to you, or you can bring your posse to my stampin' space at a time that works for us all.  Contact me to arrange a private class and we'll set it up!

Can't wait to stamp with ya!

Teacher cards 2013 - instalment #3

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Third in my series of teacher appreciation cards for 2013 is this one for one of the lovely Education Assistants in my small girl's Year One class.

I had a lot of fun letting my technique junkie out to play with this one - embossing, sponging, the works!

I started out with a Mojo Monday sketch as a jumping off point - this one to be exact...

Transient

And here is the card that eventuated...

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Being a large card to give all the parents an opportunity to express their gratitude for the year on the inside, it also gave me the opportunity to use the gorgeous Swallowtail (wood/clear) stamp in a way that allowed it to be a fabulous feature without taking over the entire card front.

I first stamped it in Versamark onto a piece of the hexagon patterned paper out of the This and That Epic Day Designer Series Paper, then embossed the image with clear embossing powder.  I sponged like a madwoman using Soft Suede ink around the edges and in the centre of the embossed image, which allowed the butterfly to stand out a bit against the background, but also for the DSP pattern still to feature.

The three little Pool Party Candy Dots in the top right helped to balance the card and also helped to ensure that I busted open the packet of candy cuteness that has been sitting in my embellishments drawer for a good few months now.  Sometimes I revert back to my childhood ways of owning craft stuff just to look at and marvel over.  

Please tell me I'm not alone...

Hanging a little tag from the Very Vanilla Seam Binding bow allowed me to add the sweet "Thank U" sentiment from the Pennant Parade (wood/clear) stamp set and finish it all off.

I've been really enjoying getting back to my blog and sharing my recent creations - I hope you're enjoying a bit more action around these parts too ;-)

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Stamps: Swallowtail, Pennant Parade Paper: Pool Party, Naturals White, This and That Epic Day DSP Ink: Versamark, Soft Suede, Early Espresso Accessories: Clear Embossing Powder, Very Vanilla Seam Binding, 7/8" Scallop Circle Punch, 3/4" Circle Punch, Subtles Candy Dots, Linen Thread, Stampin' Sponges, Stampin' Dimensionals 

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 

25th Anniversary celebrations continue + a flippin' awesome new card making tool

As if Stampin' Up! hasn't brought enough gifts to the Anniversary party this month, now you can celebrate further with 25% off selected stamp sets. 

And quite the array of incredible stamp sets it is, with many of my current go-to sets, making an appearance in the list.

One favourite listing is Zoo Babies, the delightful set of patterned animal stamps that I used to make this card for my gorgeous cousin in England who welcomed her handsome little man a couple of months ago.

 

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What's not to love about a stack of cute animals...?!

The 25% off promotion is only until October 28, so you'll want to be quick.

Browse all of the stamp sets included in the offer...

Stamps: Zoo Babies  Paper: Naturals White, Baked Brown Sugar, Pistachio Pudding, Pool Party, Smoky Slate, Whisper White, In-color Patterns DSP  Ink: Smoky Slate, Pool Party, Baked Brown Sugar; Pistachio Pudding & Calypso Coral Markers  Accessories:  Scallop Edge & Modern Label Punch; Stripes Embossing Folder, Whisper White Stitched Grosgrain


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Also brand new today are these fun and funky additions to the Stampin' Up! range.  My pre-order brown box containing this very thing arrived on my porch not 15 minutes ago, so you can bet your buttons I'll be playing with them as soon as I've finished here! 

Check 'em out in action in this video... 

See all of the elements included in each set, plus the lowdown on the brand spankin' new Thinlits in the flyer to the left or check them out in my online store

Thanks for popping in and be sure to check back for some Thinlit action on my blog soon...

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