Top 12 List - January to March

Through the Year! As the end of the year gets closer, I thought it would be fun to look back at my Top 12 projects from 2016! I hope you remember them all, but if not, go back a visit each one with the links provided. This first post will get you started in the first quarter of 2016.

January 2016

Party Wishes is a birthday card idea using a simplified One Sheet Wonder template

Party Wishes was a hit in January! I traditionally start the year off with ideas for your Birthday card needs throughout the year and that is what January and part of February was this year. The card idea shown used festive paper that was available in the new catalog, so you could substitute the paper you have on hand, or I can let it slip there will be some fun paper available starting January 4th that you could use! The stamp set used for the focal point is retired, but I think Party With Cake could easily be substituted! This design is a simplified One Sheet Wonder template. You only need to cut each 4" x 6" piece into three pieces to get the fun effect! 

 

February 2016

Smiles and Flowering Fields was my most popular card in February! I created this card for a demonstrator only card swap that I participated in. The idea behind a swap is I created one design, and make a set number of multiples of it. Everyone else participating in the swap does the same thing. Then we trade our cards to get several card ideas back for our efforts. It is one of the best parts of being a demonstrator, you get to swap cards with some of the most creative people out there! I used a free Saleabration stamp set called Flowering Fields that was so delicate and pretty, but then I added some soft feminine touches with the ribbon, lace, linen thread, and a peek of a doily. The Soft Sky cardstock against the Crumb Cake base really pops! 

March

Bright Flowers for Spring is a feminine card idea for many occasions

The idea from March was called Bright Flower and Spring. It included pretty flowers made with punches and a little greenery using the Botanical Builder Framelits. After stamping the front piece with the Hardwood background stamp it was easy to create the layered flower embellishment at the top of the cut-down card front. I used three different embellishments on the different colored flowers to make each one special and unique. The instructions tell you how to attach the doily at the back of the front cover and some other tips. Be sure to check them out here

There is just something wonderful about reminiscing and this blog post has warmed my heart. I hope you found it useful as well, so you can add these card ideas to your resource library. I hope you will check back later this week and next week for additional blog posts and more card ideas from this year as we walk back through 2016 in card project ideas.  

Layered Snowflakes

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This snowflake card uses a twist on the classic blue, white, and silver color combination! Stamp up the snowflake panels on one piece of cardstock and you can quickly have 10 pieces for your card fronts!

3 Quick and Easy Gift Ideas

I can't believe it is only 2 weeks until Christmas!! Are you ready? 

I need very few gifts each year. My family chooses to spend time together playing games and "yik-yakking" instead of exchanging gifts. What's that? Oh, yik-yak is "talk" in non-Brausen terms. So, I just get a few things for the kids. I am fortunate that my shopping is done. I just need to wrap presents. This year we aren't gathering until January, so I have plenty of time (check back with me in three weeks and I might be in a panic). But, if you are in a panic right now or if you have someone in your life that needs a REALLY BIG HINT of what to get you. I have some help for you!

3 quick and easy, creative gift ideas!

Paper Pumpkin Prepaid Subscriptions! The perfect gift this holiday season is a fully designed kit (with no work on your part) that will arrive each month with stamps, ink, and all the supplies you need in your choice of 1 month3 month6 month, or even a 1 yr  subscription! They arrive so anyone can get creative! Appreciated by family, friends, teachers, even yourself! It's the gift that keeps on giving too! They get a gift of the kit and then they can make a gift for someone else! Paper Pumpkin fun !

WISH LIST! Is there someone you love that should GIFT you with what you love (Stampin' Up!)? You give me your wish list (and the contact information for someone who needs gift ideas for you) and I will contact them letting them know what items would make your Holiday bright! Need an even easier idea? Go ahead and shop for yourself (orders must be placed by Friday Dec 15 to guarantee Christmas delivery) and when the box arrives, tell them to wrap it.

Gift Certificate! You can order a gift certificate for any amount that can be redeemed at anytime (up to one year)! Why not have them use it during Saleabration so they get more bang for your bucks! When you place your gift certificate order by Dec 21, I can provide a fancy holder that you can use to put under the tree! Place your gift certificate order here.

Wasn't that easy?! All the creativity with no prep work on your part!  Gifts for Christmas day and through-out the year. Shop from your seat, not your feet!

It's time for Snowflake Joy

Snowflake Joy shows two quick and easy Christmas card ideas.

There's always time for snowflakes and for joy in our lives. I like the look of snowfalling and how it looks on the ground, but not on the roads. It brings me great joy to see how beautiful everything looks as it is covered with a blanket of white. So the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. Even when we don't have snow on the ground, I can prepare cards that look like snow has fallen. That is what I have done with these two versions of the same card. 

Snowflake Joy 1 is a quick and easy Christmas card idea.

This card is called Snowflake Joy 1 and it is my original design. I was not influenced by anything I've seen on Pinterest or other stamping sites. It is unusual for me not to be influenced, but this card just came to me quite quickly. So, I want to share the details with you. First choose a bold feature stamping image. I used the large snowflake from Holly Jolly stamp set. I stamped in Night of Navy and used Real Red for my accent color. This color combination is classic and never goes out of style at Christmastime! You can get all the details for this card including the complete supply list here. I think this design is so versatile and could be changed up using completely different stamp sets and colors, but I stayed fairly close with the next design.

Snowflake Joy 2 is a quick and easy Christams card design.

Snowflake Joy 2 is a variation of my original design. It is a top fold card which allows plenty of room inside to write a special message. This is another quick and easy Christmas card idea that would be easy to duplicate in the time remaining before Christmas. I used one of my favorite new colors Dapper Denim for the snowflake and added Gold Glimmer Paper for the shiny accent this time. I think you can see I took my own advice and added a Basic Rhinestone in the center (almost) of the snowflake. You could change up the accent pieces and colors to use up supplies you have on hand already or grab some of the items on the End of the Year Sale. One of the things I used on this card that really speeds up the card making process is the pre-embossed Fancy Frost speciality paper which is on sale while supplies last! You can get six accent pieces per sheet of paper, so one pack of paper would take you a long way in your cardmaking this year. Plus, I think you would agree, if you don't quite finish your cards for Christmas this design would be perfect to send Happy New Year greetings or just to say hello in January.Go ahead and check out the complete instructions and supply list here for Snowflake Joy 2.

My tips:

  • Use dimensionals to pop up the snowflake on both cards.
  • Use glue dots to attach the ribbon and the small banner greeting on the second card. The glimmer paper is very textured so regular adhesive doesn't hold well.

Have fun and make up your own design but post it to my Facebook page so everyone can oooh and ahhhh over it!

Online Extravaganza 2016

Black Friday Shopping?! I have a niece who makes a sport of it. She gets all the ads, determines which stores she will go to and in which order. This is the third year she will be doing this crazy shopping while pregnant - can you imagine? This is all done on very little sleep and loads of caffeine or other artificial stimulant. She feels she gets great deals on things she wants. 

There is no part of this that appeals to me. I am a night owl and don't ever like to see the crack of dawn. I don't like to stand in line (especially outside, in the cold). I don't like to race to a certain section of a store to grab one of only a few "bargain" items. I don't enjoy the thrill of shopping in the first place so Black Friday shopping only heightens my anxiety level. Besides, there ususally isn't something that I want that is on sale, or there are so few of them that "trying" to get them doesn't appeal to me. I am not competitive by nature so getting a "door buster" before someone else is not a draw. Don't get me wrong, I love bargains especially on the things I love (Stampin' Up!), but I prefer a more civilized version of shopping: online! From the privacy and comfort of my home, feet up, relaxed, strategic, and purposeful. If you are like me prepare for Stampin' Up!'s annual  Online Extravaganza 2016!

Items pictured are a few of the items available duting the Online Extravaganza!

Picture it: you holding a cup of something warm sitting cozy on your couch with your tablet or in your favorite chair in front of your computer. Click, click, click and done! In and out in less than 10 minutes! Ah! Now that is my kind of shopping! You will be able to pick up some items as gifts and some items you will use to make the perfect gift! See the full list of items here

The best part of this sale? It starts Monday Nov 21 w/ a 24-hr sale! That's right the first 24-hour sale starts at 12:01 am MT (what time is that for you? 2:01 am ET, 1:01 am CT, and 11:01 pm - Sunday night PT). There will be five bundles or items discounted at 20% to 35% off! Be sure to use the special bundle item numbers listed below to take advantage of the best discounts:

 

Another cool part of this online event those stamp sets that are already on sale at 25% off are still available during this sale. There are great sets perfect for the Holidays but also sets that will take you throughout the year for all occasions! See them all here

Hey! If you love the thrill of the hunt, you can still do BLACK FRIDAY! I'll be thinking of you as I sleep in late and stay in my jammies all day! But for now, I hope you will print off a copy of the list of items on sale and head on over to the Duchess of Design online store on Monday!

 

Afterglow of the big event

I am in the AFTERGLOW of the weekend! Last Saturday I got to attend a Stampin' Up! convention that was held right in my own hometown, Madison, WI! They brought in a large group to present new product and ideas to us, but they also had some local demonstrators present as well. My head is on a swivel looking forward to what I now know is coming, but I know I have to keep focused on more pressing matters, such as my upcoming events. I have three Christmas card classes coming up, starting this Saturday and two smaller events on Thursday night and next Sunday. So instead of me rambling on and on about things, I thought I would just let you take a look at some of the fun!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whenever demonstrators gather, we swap card ideas! This is a photo of a smaller group swap we held after the main event. I think you should have the song, "This is the way we swap our cards, swap our cards, swap our cards" in your head as you view this! I know I do. We asked each person participating to make 20 of the same card and then they would get 20 new card ideas back! Doesn't that sound like fun? This was my swap card:

I know! I know! It's time to make Christmas Cards, but I like to plan way in advance for designs so this one is for the spring. In additon to the Swirly Bird stamp set and framelits, I used the colors from the Bliss and Blooms cardstock pack which are Island IndigoSweet Sugar Plum, and Mint Macaron (ink and ribbon) as my colors. I like to stick with a great design when I have it so I did a slight variation to this card  from earlier in the year (it had a monochromatic color scheme with a pop of color and bling). You could use the directions given and update the color choices shown here, or just use what you have on hand!

Take a peek at all the swap cards I got in return. Lots of ideas for Christmas and into the next year! I got to see display boards with some of the new product coming in January, but let's not jump ahead to that just yet. Just make sure that you have placed an order with me this year to get your free copy or sign up to be on my catalog list to make sure you get the two upcoming catalogs when they are available!

When one attends an event there will always be CHOCOLATE!  Here is a fun treat holder that Eileen B swapped that uses the Detailed Santa die as the base and I love the rhinestones for Santas eyes! It held a couple of nugget sized chocolates wrapped in some pretty paper. It was very clever and original idea! 

This is only a small glimpse of the fun we had! My team member Anna E got to join me this time and it was her first time attending a big event. She was impressed with the amount of free product we got (4 stamp sets, several embellishments, and business products such as a planner/journal, pens, and a leather notepad cover) and how nice everyone was! I'd love to have you join me at our next big event which will be in several locations in the US in April, but the closest one to me is in Minneapolis. I think there is a rollercoaster at the Mall of America that has my name on it! This is the perfect time to get started in your papercrafting business. Ask me how or check out some additional information here.

Remember I am in full Christmas card design mode, so please let me know if you need any help with your Holiday card design! Let's use something you have already or I can steer you towards the perfect product to meet your taste!  

A Tale of Two Designs

I imagine that sometimes it can be confusing that I show pictures of the homes I have designed on my Facebook page, but I only show my stamping projects here on my blog. They are both a big part of my life. I can't imagine not having either creative outlet. They are quite different, and both haven't always come very natural to me. I see and feel the homes I design. They become part of my mind and I am fortunate that I am able to let the ideas escape my imagination and that other people allow me to create their dreams. Sometimes they are grand and impressive homes, but more often they are standard livable everyday homes. 

I love to design so it is not more fun or more rewarding to work on a larger homes. Knowing that what I design is someone else's dream is rewarding in itself. It is heartbreaking when a home I designed is not built and it is joyous when homeowners move into a finished home. I make a special bond with each family that I design for because it is never about what I like or how I would do it for myself, it is about them. I have to get into their heads and figure out what is the best solutions for them and how their families live in their homes. It is something that I do very well and it is what makes each project unique and fun to work on. 

The same could be said for my card designs, they are each unique and fun, but I actually have a harder time with my card designs than I do with home design. I think it is a struggle for me because I have to design with my own wishes in mind. I am not trying to please someone else. It has taken me awhile to find my style and trust my decisions on the cards I design. I find that I do my best work when I get inspired by something else and put my own spin on it. I saw a card on Pinterest by a designer named Lisa which inspired me. So then I put my spin on it.

I used the same panel size and colors, but used a different stamp set, different greeting, and added embellishments. The main thing that I love here are the colors, Pool Party, Sahara Sand, and Crumb Cake on a crisp Whisper White base. The panels are 1 1/8" wide x 5 1/4" high and then spaced to create equal looking spaces. Play with it a little. The greeting strip is stamped with Crumb Cake ink and is a skinny 1/2" high x 4 1/4" wide. I love how the card turned out and in my mind it is my own design, as I didn't copy the other card completely. In fact, if I hadn't told you about that other card, you would have only seen mine and thought it looked wonderful! My point is, use what inspires you and copy a little if you need to, but just get out there and create!