Small Sweets

Creating packaging for small treats is so gratifying…but it creates such temptation for me!  I have a tough time resisting the “one for you, one for me” routine.  The key is to make a bunch all at once, because for some illogical reason, once they are packaged up my will power seems much stronger.

Maui Stamper Tag Topper Rose Chocolate TreatWe made these in Hostess Club this month.  Everyone thought “The Rose” would be difficult, and I think everyone was pleasantly surprised to find that it’s really very easy.  This is two layers of Core’dinations paper run through the Lattice TIEF – the embossing folder helps to soften the paper.  I used the scallop tag topper punch on both ends of a 6″ long piece of paper to create the little packet for the chocolate.  (Yes.  You knew that what was in there, didn’t you?)

The rhinestone in the center is from a long-retired kit, but you could get the same effect with a large rhinestone and a pink Sharpie® marker.  The “leaf” is two petals of the pansy punch, and the hot glue gun makes sure it all stays just where it belongs.

Maui Stamper Tag Topper Rose Chocolate TreatThe little banner is an Itty Bitty banner.  I hand-cut it instead of using the framelit so that I could leave the left edge a little longer in order to tuck in into the rose.

If you need a bunch of these and don’t have time to roll up the roses, here’s Plan B:

Maui Stamper Glimmer and Hearts Chocolate TreatsThis is stamp, stamp, punch, punch, tie and go!  Same Scallop Tag Topper punch, but this time I used Language of Love punched with the full heart and gold glimmer punched with the 1 3/4 Inch circle.  A little lace and seam binding to tie it closed, a pearl for good luck, and you can whip out a heap of these in no time.  I made a bunch for Valentines, but you could create cute shower or wedding favors too.

Maui Stamper Glimmer and Hearts Chocolate TreatsMaui Stamper Glimmer and Hearts Chocolate TreatsThere might be one left over.  I’m thinking that by now there can’t be any calories left in it.

One more Manly Card

Earlier in May I hosted a Manly Card class.  I don’t know about you, but cards you can send to a man, or for men to send to other men, are the most challenging for me to design.  I want to add ribbon, or sparkle, or at least a little button.  The cards in this class had none of that (well, one of them used that fabulous Natural Trim ribbon, but it’s practically rope.)

This is card No. 5:

Maui Stamper Manly Card Class Feeling Sentimental

  • Woodgrain, Feeling Sentimental (SAB) and Itty Bitty Banners stamp sets
  • Very Vanilla, Island Indigo and Riding Hood Red card stock
  • More Mustard, Riding Hood Red and Island Indigo FFIP
  • Fanfare DSP
  • Bitty Banners Framelits
  • Stampin’ Dimensionals

This is a super simple layout but it’s a great way to feature textures and colors without getting too busy.  While the Fanfare DSP has some very feminine paperes, many of them work surprisingly well on a masculine card.

 

Raising money for Ronald McDonald House

Every year Stampin’ Up! designs a stamp set dedicated to raising money for Ronald McDonald House.  This year, each demonstrator attending convention received a free Moving Forward set and I’ve been busy with mine:

Moving Forward

  • Moving Forward and Itty Bitty Banners stamp sets
  • Whisper White, Gumball Green and Midnight Muse card stock
  • Patio Party Designer Series paper
  • Midnight Muse and Gumball Green FFIP (Firm Foam Ink Pads)
  • Midnight Muse and Gumball Green Stampin’ Write markers
  • 1 3/4 inch circle and Bitty Shapes punches
  • Bitty Banners Framelits
  • Finishing Touches Edgelit
  • Essentials Paper Piercing Pack
  • Rhinestones and Pearls Jewels
  • Stampin’ Dimensionals

As a parent, I’ve spent more than one restless night in a hospital worrying about one of my children, but I’m grateful none of them has had to be hospitalized long term.  It’s difficult to watch your child struggle with health issues and to maintain control of your emotions – at least in your child’s presence.  When I think about the stress of long-term hospitalization and the accompanying expense, it becomes very simple to want to support an organization like Ronald McDonald House.

Every Moving Forward stamp set sold generates a $3.00 donation from Stampin’ Up!  to Ronald McDonald House.  It’s such a delightful, versatile set – doesn’t it belong on YOUR wish list?  Shop now at my Online Store   #126332 clear, #126320 wood

Moving Forward Ronald McDonald House Stampin' Up! set

 

 

One last Digger

There are 3 heavy-duty digging machines in the I Dig You stamp set.  I think I’ve mentioned that there was a time in my life – when my son was young – that I knew the name and function of nearly any piece of equipment you might see on a construction site.  My son and I checked books out from the library, watched hours and hours of video, and of course made field trips to any job site we could find in order to watch the Diggers Dig.

At one point we would walk past an especially interesting site every day (ok, I walked, he rode in the stroller).  The work began with tearing down an old, small beach house, then progressed to grading and preparing the ground for construction.  Once the new structure started going up there were different pieces of equipment being used, and we were such frequent observers that the construction crew would stop and chat with us.  My son knew the function of every machine and it seemed he could sit for hours watching them work.

Of course, we never saw a loader operated by a giraffe:

Maui Stamper I Dig You

  • I Dig You and Itty Bitty Banners stamp set
  • Baja Breeze, Riding Hood Red, Crumb Cake, Basic Black and Very Vanilla card stock
  • Riding Hood Red and Baja Breeze Classic ink pads
  • Basic Black, Crumb Cake and Pretty in Pink Stampin’ Write markers
  • Big Shot and Bitty Banners Framelits
  • Linen Thread
  • Rhinestone Jewels
  • Champagne Mist Shimmer Paint
  • Crystal Effects
  • Stampin’ Dimensionals
  • 1/2 inch circle punch

Every stamp set needs a bit of whimsey, and small animals ready to drive big construction equipment is nothing if not whimsical.

 

 

 

Make {another} Cake

This set has so much potential, as does the fabulous Comfort Cafe Designer Series paper:

Make a Cake Starfruit

  • Make a Cake and Itty Bitty Banners stamp sets
  • Very Vanilla, Summer Starfruit and Midnight Muse card stock
  • Comfort Cafe Designer Series paper
  • Summer Starfruit, Raspberry Ripple and Midnight Muse FFIP (Firm Foam Ink Pads)
  • Summer Starfruit, Raspberry Ripple and Midnight Muse Stampin’ Write markers
  • Raspberry Ripple 3/8 inch Stitched Satin Ribbon
  • Big Shot and Bitty Banners Framelits
  • Stamp-a-ma-jig
  • Jewels Rhinestones
  • Stampin’ Dimensionals

The first card I made with this set felt too busy – a victim of the philosophy “More is More” but not in a good way.  I wanted to keep a similar feeling but streamline it a bit.

The first step was to choose the Designer Series paper, and I like the balanced feeling this paper gives.  Once I had it in place the rest of the card came together pretty easily.  My Stamp-a-ma-jig came in handy; despite the clear stamps, the lines on these stamps really need to be in the EXACT right spot for the best look, and the SAMJ was just the thing.  It’s an indispensable tool for me.

Those Bitty Banners Framelits are fast becoming indispensable as well – perfect flags and banners every time!  Not that everything always has to be perfect, but when it turns out that way it’s pretty sweet.  Speaking of sweet, it’s mango season right now and we have an abundance of sweet, juicy, fragrant mangoes in our house.  There’s nothing in the world like fresh fruit, ripened to perfection on the tree.  I have orange hands and fingernails from peeling and slicing, but I don’t mind when the reward is fresh mango.

 

Flocks of little green birds

Isn’t it odd how stamps you didn’t think you needed or wanted become your favorites?  I don’t understand but I’m willing to embrace the paradox.

Betsy's Blooms in Gumball Green

  • Betsy’s Blooms and Itty Bitty Banners stamp sets
  • Gumball Green, Primrose Petals and Whisper White card stock
  • Floral District Designer Series paper
  • Gumball Green, Primrose Petals and Daffodil Delight FFIP (Firm Foam Ink Pads)
  • Basic Black Stampin’ Write markers
  • Big Shot; Labels Collection and Bitty Banners Framelits
  • Daffodil Delight Seam Binding
  • Rhinestone Jewels

This is a square card.  I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of square cards I’ve made, but I love the design possibilities.  I also love the way these birds fly across the front of the card – they remind me of all the little birds I watch in the morning zooming around outside my kitchen window.

I liked this concept of a flock of birds so well I wanted to stamp it again in A2 format (that’s 4 1/4 x 5 1/2).  At the time, I didn’t have the FFIP in all of our luscious Stampin’ Up! colors so I used my old ink pads:

Betsy's Blooms in Baja Breeze

 

That’s Baja Breeze and Lucky Limeade; can you see why I’m in love with the FFIP?  In all fairness, some of my old-style ink pads are more than 5 years old – but Lucky Limeade is only a year old!! I’m thrilled with the results I’m getting with these new ink pads.

I have something kind of exciting to share, but it’s also a little bit scary.  I’m within a reach – well, a real stretch – of earning the Stampin’ Up! Hilton Head incentive trip.   If you had told me a year ago that I would be in this place I would have laughed and offered to pour you another glass of your favorite refreshing beverage, but it’s true!  I have some hard work to do but I’m excited by the challenge.

If you’re thinking about ordering Stampin’ Up! product and don’t have your own demonstrator, I would LOVE to take your order.  If you’ve bought Stampin’ Up! product from me in the past and are thinking you might like to purchase more, I would LOVE it if you placed your order before June 30th!!  Every person who orders between now and June 30 at my Online Store will receive a special hand-stamped thank you and two yards of new ribbon from the 2012-2013 catalog.  Thank you in advance for helping me to achieve this dream!

 

 

Choosing stamps

Betsy's Blooms spotlightI’m trying to be deliberate in my choice of new stamps.  Every time Stampin’ Up! releases a new catalog I have the overwhelming urge to press the “I WANT IT ALL” button on the demonstrator website.  (OK, full disclosure:  there is no such button.  However, demonstrators have been lobbying for this button for years.)

I know that there are people – Stampin’ Up! customers as well as demonstrators – who not only want it all, but buy it all.  Perhaps some of them have a large enough business or crafting environment to actually need it all.  In all honesty, I have to acknowledge that I neither have time nor space to have it all.  That brings me back to the dilemma of making choices.

It’s easy to choose the things that I love.  It’s tricky to be sure I have a well-rounded selection.  It’s even harder still to choose things that will appeal to a broad cross-section of crafters.  Over the years, I’ve gotten better at that last set of choices, but it takes careful evaluation.  And just like each of you, I will make a decision and then see something that another stamper has done with a set that I had dismissed as absolutely un-workable and all of my “careful evaluation” goes out the window.  Ah well, there’s room for an impulse buy or two in my budget!

Happily, this card was made with a stamp set that was a gift to me from Stampin’ Up!:

  • Betsy’s Blooms and Itty Bitty Banners stamp sets
  • Very Vanilla, Cherry Cobbler and Soft Suede card stock
  • Comfort Cafe Designer Series Paper
  • Soft Suede and Cherry Cobbler Classic ink pads
  • Summer Starfruit Firm Foam Ink Pads (FFIP)
  • Big Shot and Herringbone Textured Impressions Embossing Folder
  • 3 and 3 1/2 inch circle Originals Dies
  • Bitty Banners Framelits
  • 1/2 inch Cherry Cobbler Scallop Dots ribbon
  • Stampin’ Sponge
  • Stampin’ Dimensionals
  • Jewels Rhinestones

I can’t wait to get the rest of my FFIP!!  They’re arriving slowly but surely and my, oh, my are they fabulous!  Betsy’s little bird will surely SING when she gets inked up with FFIP in Cherry Cobbler.

I have to let you in on a little secret.  This is one of those things I wouldn’t have noticed, but I think it’s pretty interesting.  I looked at that Comfort Cafe DSP and my mind said “Cherry Cobbler” – and that’s what I pulled out to use.  However, yesterday afternoon I was dreaming through the Annual Catalog and I came across the color palette for Comfort Cafe:  Cajun Craze!!!  Honestly, I couldn’t tell the difference until I put the papers together.  I’ll have to make this card again and make that adjustment.  I’m waiting for that Cajun FFIP though…