Christmas in July anyone?

You might think I'm crazy to be talking about Christmas already! After all its a little over 6 months away! Plus it is hot! Hot! Hot outside!

But, the question you want to be asking yourself is, do I want to get done early with my Christmas projects this year

or do I want to be working on them last minute again?! I hope you are like me and starting to think about them NOW!

Besides, heading to the craft room and staying in air conditioning is the perfect thing to do on those days that are hotter than blazes!

Get a leg up on the projects now so you can slow down and enjoy the time with loved ones during the Holiday Season!

I've put together my own personal Christmas in July Sale for you!

Well, I scoured the Clearance Rack and found the best deals for you!

You are not going to see these anywhere else!

Check out these awesome products:

Prices range from $2.40 to only $24.00! You can't beat those prices! 

I have a few favorites I want to spotlight for you!

These pretty papers are MUST HAVES and are both less than $6 each! Outstanding!

Merry Music paper is 12 x 12 size and Quilted Christmas paper is 6 x 6!

They will make AWESOME projects, especially cards!

stamping on pretty paper Merry Music pretty paper background

The two cards above were part of my Christmas Card Club Series that is sent out FREE to all of my email subscribers! Get on the list today!

Pick up the Quilt Top Embossing Folder which will work perfectly with the Quilted Christmas paper.

You might even be able to use the Sanded Embossed Paper technique with that product and create a beautiful card! 

Christmas in July

Check out the Watercolor Christmas Card Kit which is an amazing $8! The kit includes 20 pre-printed card bases (5 of 4 designs), gold foil lined envelopes, and more! The stamp set isn't available any longer, but you could use the new Mistletoe Season Stamp set or Stylish Christmas stamp set. You might even have the perfect stamp set at home already! Take a look through your stash and see if something would work to replace the greetings shown!

I have to mention my favorite, favorite available in the Clearance Rack! It is the Card Front Builder Framelit Dies!

I used wth dies without the stamps for the Christmas Card, and I actually like the deer better like that. There was a little too much border on the deer when it was stamped first like is shown in the masuline birthday card idea.

 

Can you start to imagine uses for these great dies!

Check out the Christmas in July Specials and get started on your Christmas cards now! Spend those precious moments with your loved ones at Christmastime!

Who wouldn't love 10 ink pads FREE?

If you could choose a free set of 10 ink pads, which color family would you choose?
10 Ink Pads free in the month of July 2018
 
Did you know that you can choose one of these color families of ink pads FREE when you purchase your own Starter Kit anytime in July?!
 
The Starter Kit is a great deal everyday because you get to choose $125 of product of your choice for $99 and there is FREE SHIPPING, FREE essential business products but this month only you also get a FREE set of 10 ink pads (your choice of color families)!
 
Did you know you also have a choice with the purchase of the Starter Kit?
 
  • You can just get the great deal and do nothing more.
  • You can get the deal and get at least 20% off all your own future orders for as long as you want to continue to add to your stamping stash. (Min. of $300 per quarter is required to continue receiving the discount).
  • You can get the deal and share your love of ink, paper, and stamps with your friends and family and receive 20% of whatever they order.
  • You can jump in with both feet and use this as an opportunity to build your own business with YOU as the boss. You still get the other benefits, plus you are investing in yourself and your future!
 
You decide what you want to do. I am here to help you by answering questions and providing guidance to make the best choices for you and your goals.
 
Want more information read this! If you are ready to GET STARTED just click on JOIN THE FUN and be ready to pick your $125 in product and be ready to choose your set of 10 ink pads!

Card Shower Group

Card Shower Group! Because there was a need, a private Facebook Group was started to provide Card Showers! Lots of cards have been sent out! It is wonderful to see the love that is getting spread one card at a time!

 

Open to all! This group is open to all skill levels and not restricted to just Stampin' Up! products. It is about providing a little joy to someone who needs it. 

 

It is strictly a sharing group and the only requirement is that you are willing to provide a card at some time to someone who might be having a difficult time in their life.
 
You can join the group to ask for a card shower for someone! We need the requests for card showers as well as the card makers! When posting requests for cards, it can be for an illness, an upcoming surgery, a milestone birthday or just to let someone know that there are people thinking about them. 
 
We ask that each person post a photo of the card they are sending so that we can see all the creative loveliness too.
You can join the group just to see the cards that are being made and sent!  But, we hope at some point you will want to be part of the shower of cards.
 
Not looking for thanks! Taking part in card showers are not about being thanked. I have taken part on my own before starting the group. Someone I knew had asked for cards to be sent to her Dad after his surgery. I had sent one card and I wanted to send another one. I contacted her to verify that he was still at the temporary address that she had provided. She sent me a very touching message of gratitude: 
 
"Thank you so much for the card you sent my dad! No need to send another, thanks for asking. Unfortunately my dad passed away on the 23rd.  You were so kind to send it and he got it read to him more than once.  By the way my dad loved the ocean and wanted to go sailing on one of those big sailboats one day.  You're card was very fitting."
 
Do you want to send a folded hug too?! You can click on the words Card Showers to add your name to the growing list of loving people who are joining the group! Please share the group link to anyone you know that loves to send cards or who might be in need of requesting a card shower!
 
Our group is getting new members every day who are passionate about others and are spreading love one card at a time.
 

 

Honor Flight Night

Honor Flight Night! Every month my stamping team gathers to hold a meeting. Normally at the meeting one of our projects is a card that will be used for local Honor Flights. This month we decided to forgo the regular meeting and just gather to do a special "shoebox swap". 
 
A shoebox swap is where each person brings a predetermined amount of cards prepped and with all the tools need to make the cards. Everyone in attendance moves from shoe box to shoe box and makes one of each card. 
 
We changed up the format for this Shoe Box Swap. Instead of making the cards and keeping one, we were making the cards  but each of the cards would be donated to the Badger Honor Flights from Madison and Milwaukee.
 
8 designs_ 190 cards made
8 designs, 190 cards made! We gathered at 6:30 pm and worked until 8:45 pm. Most of the cards were prepped completely and it was just a matter of assembling them. I moved around the room and made two of each cards, but then settled in at one table to do the complete set of 20 cards.
 
Most of the ladies love making the cards but really don't like writing in the cards. I actually LOVE writing in the cards, so I started working on that. We put a personal message in each card and then sign the names of team members both at our meeting or those unable to attend because of distance. 
 
I had actually printed off greetings to be added to my card design so all anyone had to do was sign their name. It was a big hit and everyone said they were going to do the same next time. 
 
Me holding the card I designed
 
 
Card details! Wanted to give you a few details for my card.
It is a classic layout that could have the colors changed and the punched star could be a flower or other small punch. Then the greeting could be birthday, congratulations, thinking of you or whatever card you might need! 
 
The cardbase is half a regular piece of cardstock (8 1/2" x 5 1/2") folded in half to make a top fold card. The color is Night of Navy, but the new Blueberry Bushel would work well too. 
The background piece is Whisper White cut to 5 1/4" x 4"
Each of the accent pieces are 1 1/2" x 2 3/4". As shown on the card are Real Red, Silver glimmer, and Night of Navy. An alternate color scheme could be new color Lovely Lipstick, Sparkle glimmer, and Blueberry Bushel.
 
The stamped greeting says: A special note of thanks to you... it is from the Floral Phrases stamp set which is so versatile. It includes greetings for Wedding, thank you, and Congratulations.
The greeting is stamped with Night of Navy ink.
 
I used a retired star punch that I have in my stash, but if you don't have a star punch and need one, there is one available in a little bigger size in the Wood Crate framelits.
 
Thank you for your service! Each of these cards will make their way into the hands of a veteran that is being honored with a flight to our nation's capital to visit the military memorials. 
 
They receive "Mail Call" on the flight home in which they receive cards and letters that family & friends have written to them, but in addition each of them will receive one of our cards. That way no one with be without mail.
 
It is a beautiful feeling knowing that in a small way our stamping is providing a little touch of thanks to the veterans who fought for our country so long ago.
 
We thank them for their service to our country! May God bless them!
 

Welcome Little One

Welcome_little_one_wm

In this day and age so many do gender reveals so they know if they are having a boy or girl, but when you don't know you want a neutral color combination. That's where this Crumb Cake base with new Soft Sea Foam and So Saffron for a sweet yellow and green palette.

Color Revamp - excitement or regret

Pretty new colors are coming your way! Excitement or regret? 

Stampin Up Color Revamp

I have been with Stampin' Up! as a customer for nearly 20 years and as a demonstrator for the last 14 years! This isn't the first color change or the first time they have changed their ink pads.

I remember when they got rid of my two all time favorite colors Rocket Red and Yo Yo Yellow. I was upset! "No color will ever take their place." Well, I honestly can't remember what the difference is between Rocket Red and Real Red or Yo Yo Yellow and Daffodil Delight. The new colors find their way into my heart.

I hated the "new" ink pads when they first switched them from the flip up lids to the slide & flip over lids that we have now. I couldn't figure them out. I thought they were hard to open!

Once I played with them some more, I was happy. No more storing my ink pads upside down. The "new" pads took care of it for me. Next they switched from the felt surface to the spongy surface we have now. I still have some of my pads with the felt surface instead of the new spongy surface.

What does all this mean? Change happens.

I know Stampin' Up! doesn't take color changes lightly and they aren't making these changes to force customers or demonstrators to spend more money.

It is an expensive process for them to change their product lines. They only make changes when they feel they are improving their product offering.

Stampin Up In Color 2018-2020

When things are new. They take getting used to. I am not gonna lie. I have a little trouble with the new ink pads. I get ink on the back of my fingers when I try to slide the pad into the open position.

It flips open nicely and I like the "sleeker" design. There is less plastic around the ink, but the pad is the same size. Also, the new ink pads are a little "sticky" when trying to slide.

Here is a great video that gives you some tips on the new pads. 

My suggestion is to pick up the product of retiring colors that you absoutely love and "can't" live without. Otherwise add a new color or two a little at a time. No need to change all the ink pads right away. I'm not going to change all mine at once. The O.C.D. in me will have to relax on this one. I love the new colors already and am excited to be ab

Here is the official scoop from Stampin' Up! about the new cases and changes to the ink. 

As you may have noticed, we’ve improved our ink pad cases and ink formula! The redesigned case and formula turned out exactly as we hoped. With change, there are often questions, and we wanted to provide you with information and talking points to aid you in talking to your customers about these changes.

Why did we change the case?

The case’s manufacturing mold was about to expire. We can only use a mold a limited number of times before we need to replace it, so we had to decide if we wanted to order more of the same molds or try to improve the design. We chose to improve it!

We wanted to align the updated case with the color refresh and improvements to our ink. In addition, we chose to time these changes with Stampin’ Up!’s rebranding and packaging updates. This way, when you invest in the new colors, you are also getting the new and improved ink pads at the same time! We wanted to make these updates and changes in a way that was most cost efficient for you.

What’s better about the case?

Using research, focus group feedback, comments in the Product Sandbox, and the L2L program, we discovered a few things that could improve the design of the Classic Stampin’ Pad case.

We wanted the new case to:  

  • Be less confusing to open. Opening the new ink pad case is now more simple and intuitive—just insert your thumb in the lip at the front of the case and lift it to open.
  • Have a tighter fit between the lid and the base. With the new design, the lid doesn’t accidentally become disconnected, which was a common problem with the old case style. With use, the lid will be easier to slide open and close.
  • Be stackable. The ability to stack the cases makes them easier to store and transport. We designed a nub in each bottom corner that fits nicely into the dimple on the top of another case. Tip: Removing the label stickers from the bottom of the case (after applying the needed labels to the case) also makes the ink pads stack a little better.
  • Include improved labels and stickers. Here are a few of the ways we’ve done that:
    • The top label now has a cleaner, bolder design and a larger color swatch, making it easier to see the ink’s color.
    • The stickers include a new In Color icon.
    • We’ve continued to provide color stickers that can be placed on the end of each case to easily identify the ink’s color at a glance.
    • We’re introducing a new color sticker you can place on the inside of the case, so you can easily distinguish the ink’s color when the case is open.

How is the ink different?

We improved our ink formula because we noticed that our old ink would sometimes bubble, especially on new pads and with lighter colors. When this happened, the ink wasn’t as even and smooth when stamped as we’d like to see it.

The improved ink formula will:

  • Reduce ink bubbles.
  • Help you get a smooth coating of ink on the stamp.
  • Help lay down the ink better.

How do I know if my Classic Ink Refill has the new and improved ink?

Beginning with the 2018–2019 Annual Catalog, all ink refills will have the improved ink formula. Also, if you or a customer recently received an ink refill and it has the new branding label, it contains the improved ink formula.

Can I use an old ink refill on a new ink pad or a new ink refill on an old ink pad?

Yes! You absolutely can with the exception of the Basic Gray Archival and Basic Gray Classic Stampin’ inks. Archival and Classic inks should not be mixed. All other Classic Stampin’ inks will work fine.

Where is the archival ink?

Archival ink will no longer be part of our ink offering. Basic Gray will now be part of the Classic Stampin’ ink family. Please note that you cannot use an archival ink refill on the new Basic Gray Classic Stampin’ Pad, as this will ruin the new ink pad. Only use Classic Stampin’ ink refills on Classic Stampin’ pads. Your best options for black ink pads are the Tuxedo Black Memento Pad, to use with Blends and general black stamping needs, and the Jet Black StāzOn Pad, to use for watercolor and nonporous surface stamping. Both will be part of our ink offering. We are confident that both the Memento and StāzOn pads are high-quality inks that perform to our customers’ needs.

Will the pricing change with the update to the ink pad cases?

Yes, there will be a price increase with the updated Classic Stampin’ Pads. For example, US pricing was $6.50 USD and now will be $7.50 USD.

Will the updated Classic Stampin’ Pad case fit in the Color Caddy?

Yes, it will fit into the Color Caddy–just not as tightly as the previous ink pad style. If you’ve stored the updated pads in your caddy, you’ll want to be careful when rotating the caddy and not turn it too fast. We are working on a new storage solution for the updated Classic Stampin’ Pad case and do not yet have a launch date.

Can I sell old style ink pads online?

Even though the ink pad style has been reconfigured, it is still considered a current product. This means that the old style ink pads cannot be sold online (for example, on eBay) unless the color is retired.

Do new ink pads mean different packaging when ordered in collections/assortments?

Yes. Ink pads and refills sold as color collections or assortments will have new packaging.

  • The ink pad color collections will have a chipboard backer, shrink wrapped.
  • The ink refill color collections will come in a long narrow chipboard tray, shrink wrapped.

 

New Catalog Time

New 2018-19 Stampin' Up! catalog can be yours

My new catalogs arrived!  I was so excited to get my new shipment of 2018-2019 catalogs today! 

I am preparing to send them out to everyone who has requested one or anyone who ordered from me in the last 12 months. 

If you haven't ordered from me this past year or haven't requested a catalog, please use this link to request a catalog and I will get you on the list: http://www.duchessofdesign.com/blogs/page/catalog-request 

Get your favorite stamp sets today! 

The good news is if you place your order for a retiring STAMP SET before May 25th, you will be guaranteed to get it. After that date, once they are gone they are gone. Now let's talk about the RETIRING BUNDLES! If you have been looking at the RETIRING PRODUCT LIST at all, you will notice that there are some product liste like the Daisy Delight Bundle are on the retiring list. I assure you this stamp set and the punch aren't going away.

The discount for ordering both of them together is going away. Just so you understand the bundle doesn't fall into that May 25th availability. If the stamp set goes on back order, you will still get your bundle until May 25th. If the punch goes on back order, they will shut down the ordering for it and say it is SOLD OUT!

Don't let this happen to you! Get your favorite products while you can. Believe me many of your favorites are on LOW INVENTORY already. When they are gone, you will be sad. Don't be sad. Be glad!

Lovely as a Tree Masculine Card Swap

2018___4_april_swap_wm

I participate in an annual masculine card swap each year just to get the ideas. We all need cards that the guys in our life might like. I decided to use a tried and true stamp set for my card. Lovely as a Tree. I also used the soon to be retired Teeny Tiny Wishes for the greeting. You might notice a neutral color palette with a splash of color with the Pear Pizzazz and Pool Party strips. Perfect for a masculine card. This is an awesome card layout. You could use this with completely different colors and a different feature stamp for a kids card or a feminine card idea. You just can't miss with this strong layout. Give it a try!