Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Be on the Lookout--New Products Featured in Blog Hop!

This weekend January 1-3, as you ring in the new year, check out my blog and 23 other amazing demonstrator blogs with projects featuring the new Occasions Mini-Catalog products!

Clear Stamps, new ribbon, new dies, new texturz folders, new stamps, new images, and many new ideas!

Dedicated to all things Stampin’ Up, Stampin’ Addicts offers SU-oriented galleries, challenges and special events. Membership is free of charge, and is open to Stampin’ Up fans everywhere! Click here to check it out!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Digital Ron!

I also made a calender for Ron's guardian Belle. Each Christmas, Bubba strives to find a gift that will make her cry and this one did the job:

I loved making these using My Digital Studio. I could use all my Stampin' Up! favorites without leaving the comfort of my chaise lounge and fleeece blankets on a snow day!

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

This year, I used Stampin' Up!'s My Digital Studio to create our Christmas Cards. Still, I didn't get them sent out in time. A few people will be getting paper copy, but to be eco-girl once again in my life--here is the digital version:

and the annual letter. I write the letter and Bubba adds his comments on the side. I've italicized his words in this version:

Happy Winter to all! December 09

What a year! Life is certainly not boring since I met Bubba. We still look at each other once in a while in amazement and say “Can you believe we’re married?” Yet, married life fits us—our way. The winter was pretty uneventful, other than a few road trips for Bubba when I kicked him out so he could have some time to himself. He traveled to Tennessee twice, once on his own and once to visit a friend. Ah, Tennessee. The land of roadside BBQ, country music, and hotel rooms that can comfortably fit me and one other dude.

As Spring neared, my love for my job was evident and I hated the idea of looking elsewhere. One day, Bubba said, “You should just keep your job. You are good at it and they need you.” Little did he know what the consequences of that statement would be! I started looking for cheap places to buy or rent. As usual I should have just kept my big mouth shut. That’s what I get for trying to be a supportive husband. We found a cabin that was perfect for us- me, Bubba, Ron, and Don. In June, Bubba and I became second home owners and the work began. See how she lists herself first? The property was in sad condition as a foreclosure, so Bubba financed a renovation project with the help of our handyman and friend Jim and a weekend of work by my dad, Bubba, and I. “Sad condition” is SaraSpeak for “Where’s the credit card?” The basement has been entirely redone and has a FABULOUS new bathroom, family room, pellet stove, and stamping area. The upstairs got new floors, new paint, and will soon get a new bathroom. I am grateful to Bubba for loving me enough to know what I needed the most!

“Stamping area” is SaraSpeak for the entire basement is a stamping area. What she needed most was to get away from me?

Over the summer, we worked on the house, but also found time to celebrate Bubba’s 40th birthday at a local BBQ joint, BBQ joint? 3 Michelin Star restaurant is more like it. That stuff is awesome!

visit my brother in law’s family cottage, and generally have fun. Unfortunately, Ron (one of the guys that live with us), broke his left hip and spent three months in the hospital and nursing home. We were sure glad to have him back home, even though it meant sleepless nights for Bubba (as Ron needs frequent assistance at night). Ron is almost back to his old independence, so we are thankful to that. In July, Bubba bought a Harley Davidson Electra Glide Classic and found a new passion-riding the road. The bike is really fun and has brought out a whole new side of me. Okay…maybe not “new” but it has certainly enhanced what was already there. In August, he rode from Neenah to Laramie, WY, while Don and I followed in the Urban Assault Vehicle. We reached Salt Lake City just in time for my annual Stampin’ Up! Convention, where I learned new techniques, had fun, and celebrated a hobby I love. Bubba and Don went sightseeing and to movies. Bubba discovered his all-time favorite restaurant- ACME Burgers. He was speechless as he read the menu, because he couldn’t decide which one to get!

As my 11th year at the Menominee Indian Middle School started, I had a quiet place to go home to, a job I loved, and my face all over the TV in a WEAC commercial. My kids (present and past) loved that their teacher was on TV, so it was worth the make-up and acting. In November, my school was named a NASSP Met Life Breakthrough School, which is a national honor to school that have made significant gains in achievement. Finally, we are being recognized for the improvements we have made as a staff. She’s being modest and downplaying the achievements of her school. The school is one of four in the nation to be named a school of excellence. It is because of the hard work of teachers like Sara that those kids have a real chance in life. I’m both proud and humbled by the work Sara does.

I hope this letter finds you and yours happy and healthy! And I’m competing for my second fantasy football title this weekend. Which I will no doubt win.

Wishing you health, strength, and life in the new year!

Sara and Bubba

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Basket of Warmth

I love giving little gifts that are cute and practical. Here is one I designed for my Last Minute Gifts Stamp Camp.

Stamps: Fresh Cuts
Paper: Autumn Traditions Designer Series Paper, Ruby Red, Soft Suede, Handsome Hunter
Ink: Handsome Hunter
Accessories: Scoring Blade with 12 x 12 Paper Trimmer, Sticky Strip, 5 Petal Punch, Large Oval Punch, So Saffron Brads, Paper Piercing Tool, Matte, Paper Crimper, Soft Suede Polka Dot Ribbon

To make this basket, I first used my grid paper to measure the bottom area of the candles. Then, I added an inch on each side. I cut it out, scored 1 inch in from each side and then trimmed a bit off each tab. The official square measurement was 4 3/4 x 4 3/4.

I then cut a 3 3/4 inch square of Soft Suede to add stability and 4 panels that were 3 3/4 x 1 1/4. I slide those in the side to create a cool edge. (and extra stability).

Next, I added a handle of Ruby Red that was 1 inch wide by 9 inches. I added an accent piece 3/4 inch wide by 9 inches. I used sticky strip to adhere the handle to the inside.

I added belly bands to the candles and put them inside the basket.

For the decorative handle, I folded an oval punch and ran it though the crimper. I punched two 5 petal punches and layered them. I also added brads for the center of the flower.

A cute, but easy gift!

Happy Stamping!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Digital Scrapbooking Don!

For those of you that don't know, Bubba (my husband)'s job is to take care of two fabulous men who live with us, and also happen to be developmentally disabled. Ron and Don. Each year, we try to give their guardians a special present- pottery painted by "the guys," a mini scrapbook, a picture made them, something special. As soon as I knew Stampin' Up! was releasing a digital design software, I knew what I wanted to create this year--a calendar! One of the coolest things about the My Digital Studio Software is that I can create movies with music and other multimedia presentations with my images, so here is Don's calendar:

Cool, huh? I just love his smile and excitement we've seen from him this year!

I fully created this calender with the software, My Digital Studio. Very easy to use and fun to play with Stampin' Up! on my computer!

Happy Gift Giving!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Simple, yet Sweet Wrapping

At Convention, I got this great swap using a top note die and a little bag. It seemed like the perfect way to wrap those small gifts for cousins, neighbors, or co-workers. I knew I had bags in my messy stamp room and since I love the top note die, I knew right what to do:

Stamps: Sweet Season
Paper: Kraft mini lunch bag, Real Red, Kraft
Ink: Glorious Green, Real Red, Chocolate Chip
Accessories: Large oval punch, Top Note Bigz Die, Big Shot, Vintage Brads, Paper Piercing tool, Matte pad, Dimensionals

These are very simple to make, but a WOW. I was bored at a craft fair and whipped a bunch up. Pretty soon, I had a crowd around me amazed at my coolness. Really, it wasn't that hard, but hey, I'll take credit!

To me, Real Red and Glorius Green are Christmas colors. The kraft paper works well to finish off the color combo. Now, what to make for inside the bags?

Off to stamp!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Vintage Stenciling for Christmas Cheer

When I was a kid, my mom created her own stencils and my sister and I spent hours making stenciled cards, fabric, and towels--anything we could. Stampin' Up! added a line of stencils to the Definitely Decorative Line and I knew right away that I wanted to make some tiles. Then, I lucked out and found these tiles (as leftovers from the tiling in our house last winter).

Ink: Ruby Red Craft Ink, Handsome Hunter Craft Ink, Ballet Blue Craft Ink, Chocolate Chip Craft Ink, Encore Silver Ink
Accessories: Vintage Ornaments Decor Stencils, Sponge Daubers, a 12 x 12 tile, Join the Cheer Stampin' Up! Sizzlet Decorative Strip Die, Whisper White Vinyl Sheets, Decorative Strip Spacer, Decorative Strip Cutting Pads

How cool is that! I started with the ornaments, then added the "greenery." These stencils are durable and ornate all at the same time. I simply daubed the ink over the stencil opening and created the effect I wanted. Many times in stenciling the edges are darker than the middles--it's "the look" of stencils, but I like solids. The ink isn't dry yet in the picture below, but I could layer the other stencil and do my work! If I made a mistake, I just had to use a baby wipe to clear the tile and I could start over.

To create the words, I had a huge problem. First, I only had Whisper White Decor Element Vinyl, which looked goofy with the vintage feel of the tiles. Second, I needed something for the bottom of the tile. I love the peace and joy from the Join the Cheer Die, so I used the words, but as a reverse stencil:

The final step was to put the tile in the oven at 250 degrees for about 20 minutes to heat set the ink.

Wishing you peace and joy and creativity!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Snowman Cocoa Pouch

I am so proud of myself. Just ask my mom. I called her and squealed when I first finished designing this project (which we made at my Last Minute Gift Stamp Camp). I combined an idea from Tami White at Stampin' Addicts and the sweet center drop door from Becky Roberts at Inking Idaho:

It's cute enough on that side, but it gets even better on the inside:

It's an all you need for a cozy winter night! (choose your favorite mug from your cupboard).

Stamps: none
Paper: Christmas Cocoa, Kraft, Whisper White, Basic Black, Pumpkin Pie
Ink: none
Accessories: Sweet Centers Cup, 1 3/4 punch, 3/4 punch, 12 inch paper cutter with scoring blade, word window punch, tag punch, Pretties kit, mini glue dots, dimensionals, candy cane, hot cocoa pouch, marshmellows, Paper Snips, sticky strip, ribbon, corduroy buttons, scallop edge punch

This is too cute to keep to myself, so here is a tutorial:

I love this paper and decided that I needed to use it up before Christmas, but I didn't want to waste it. I started with a base of 12" x 4" (so you can get three from a sheet).

Use the scallop punch on the bottom edge of the front flap. By the magic of measurement, it'll sit right where you want it. You can also punch the opening for the sweet centers cup about 2/3 of the way up on the right side, about 1/2 inch from the edge.

I learned that you need to use the 3/4 inch circle punch, which seems large, but helps the candy cane sit flatter than when I tried the 1/2 inch punch.

I love how the double sided paper shows both sides! Love it, love it, love it.

I made a layered panel (ALA Becky Roberts at Inking Idaho's Halloween Sweet Treats Idea). Just-mine is bigger. That way, the marsh mellows can be added to the cup of cocoa! I found that raising the back panel with dimensionals made the slider work better.

Tami White is responsible for showing the snowman punching technique. It's great to have great demonstrators share great ideas!

To finish the snowman, I was inspired by the shimmery paper and decided to use my half pearls from the pretties kit for eyes instead of googly eyes. I like the elegance and the fun of it! (Plus, I used more pearls. I bought the kit almost 2 years ago and still have lots left).

The nose was made by cutting a scalene triangle with my paper snips. Did I just use a math word? Sorry, I've been teaching geometry lately. Scalene just means all sides are different lengths. I used a folded piece of ribbon for the scarf. I adhered it using pop up dots under the corduroy buttons.

Happy Gift Making!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Linen Paper

Well, not really, "linen paper," but a linen effect on paper! This was a real WOW for me when I tried it and for the stampers at my monthly technique class.

Stamps: Thoughts and Prayers, On Your Birthday
Paper: Glossy White, Perfect Plum, Sage Shadow
Ink: So Saffron, Perfect Plum Marker, Sage Shadow Marker
Accessories: Boho Blossoms Punch, Latte Buttons, Paper Cutter, Sponge Daubers, Sanding Blocks

This is a supercool and supereasy technique: 1) rub Sanding Blocks in one direction across glossy cardstock. Turn paper 90 degrees and rub sanding block in same direction. 2) Use sponge daubers to color cardstock!

So easy (and a bit messy).


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Christmas Countdown

As a kid, I love the advent calenders we bought each year from the High School German Students. Each night, I got a chocolate, which wasn't really around the house much. A friend had these little tins available to me and all I could envision was a fun advent calendar:

Stamps: Best Wishes and More
Paper: Merry Moments Designer Series Paper, Real Red, Garden Green, Very Vanilla, Chocolate Chip
Ink: Garden Green, Real Red
Accessories: Big Shot, Go Go Boots Sizzlets Dies, Acrylic Cutting Pads, Multipurpose Platform, Assorted Ribbon, Tag Punch, Silver Elastic Cord, Star Punch, 1 3/4 Circle Punch, Crystal Effects, magnents, tins

I found that our 1 3/4 Circle Punch made perfect circles for the tops of my little tins. How fortunate! I simply punched numerous circles from scraps of my Merry Moments Paper. I cut out the numbers using my Big Shot and Go Go Boots Sizzlets Alphabet. I added some punched out circles with the snowflakes. I used my ribbon scraps around the bases of the tins...all current.

All in all this project took a couple of hours on a Saturday night. I now can enjoy it for years to come!


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