Friday, 8 March 2013

A blog facelift!

WHOA!  Am I in the right place?? 

Yes, it's all OK - I've just had the interior decorators in for a bit of a freshening-up.
I loved the previous blog header I'd made, and even found myself reaching for Rich Razzleberry, Vanilla and Crumb Cake to make cards.  I decided to have a play with My Digital Studio and a couple of the digital kits in our current catalogues, Lemonade Stand and Days to Remember, and use some of the uber trendy hexagon and chevron shapes, and the colour combo of grey, blue and yellow.  Ta da!  Let me know what you think :-D

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Oh, Hello - Hexagons, Chevrons & Lace

 Here are a couple of cards I made recently, using products from the current Anniversary Seasonal Catalogue.  It's full of the latest trends, such as chevrons, vintage trinkets and hexagons.

The two cards started out with the same basic layout, and I tweaked the second to change it up a bit.  In the end, I didn't have a clear favourite.  The base is So Saffron, embossed with the Honeycomb folder, $13.95, p6.  I used Raspberry Ripple for the base oval, and stamped the Oh, Hello Chevron oval in Primrose Petals to make the topper oval, cutting with Ovals Collection Framelits.  Incidentally, this collection of ovals is a little different to others available - the outer-most, largest oval is scalloped, ready to nest with any of the inner plain ovals - what a great idea!

For the top card, I then took some snips of DSP - my current favourite from the Anniversary Catalogue, Tea for Two, and another favourite from the Annual Catalogue, First Edition Specialty.  I used a square punch on one end to create the banner look.  Some delicious lace from the very special "Artisan Embellishments Kit"  ($16.95, p10) was given the same end treatment (with scissors though!).  Some seam binding and coloured lace were tied together in a knot, and topped with a resin rose all from the kit.  The sentiment is from Memorable Moments, and is mounted on a funky square from the Apothecary Accents Framelits set.  Some matching chevrons are overstamped on this piece.  A flower from Oh, Hello was inked with markers, stamped and cut out.

For the bottom card, I substituted a fancy resin button for the rose, moved the sentiment to the opposite side, on a different Apothecary Accents shape, used a slice of Vanilla Paper Doily Sizzlit instead of DSP and added another Chevron stamp from Oh, Hello.

 Would you like to see more?  There's plenty in the 40 page Anniversary Seasonal Catalogue to suit a multitude of tastes.  Click on the blue cover image in the right sidebar to view online, or txt me with your name & address to get a hard copy sent in the post.

In other important news, Sale-a-bration is coming to an end - March 22nd, just over 2 weeks left! 
I'll be placing orders up to the 19th - but I'll be travelling after that and I can't guarantee I'll be able to submit last minute orders.

Also - Registration for Convention 2013 will be opening in just a few days, for demos from 11th March, and from 19th for guests.  But - really, it's a no-brainer if you'd like to attend but are not yet a demonstrator - sign up today!  You'll benefit from the extra value in the SAB joining kit, you'll be able to register early, AND you'll also save $100 by being a demo attendee.  Spend just $169 to join, save $100 on convention registration, and get $294 worth of products + an $80 business supplies pack.  And that doesn't get even close to the real benefits of joining my team!  Check out the info page here or give me a call to chat about your options.

I have a feeling it's going to be a silvery, sparkly, special kind of Convention, Stampin' Up sure know how to party, and they've a lot to celebrate this year!
Have a lovely Wednesday everyone :-)

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Brayering tips with Forever Young, Stampin' Crop dates and don't miss SALEABRATION!

I haven't brayered for ages!  It's a fun technique, but it can be a bit tricky to get the results you would like.  And very clever people like Michelle Zindorf have a habit of making it look a bit too easy!!
I made this card to demonstrate to one of my lovely stamping ladies, who had found a brayered card she wanted to CASE.  She was all set to give up and sponge instead, after having no luck on her first couple of test pieces so I showed her a couple of tricks.  I'm not pretending this is a proper tutorial, you can follow the link to another Michelle above for that!  But - here are my top tips:

1.  Use Glossy White cardstock - it has a surface that takes in ink a little bit more slowly than Whisper White, which seems to give a more even result. Find it on p160, 106555, $9.95 for 25 sheets (see, cheap too!)

2.  Make sure the surface is very, very flat.  No tiny bits of cardstock or ribbon snippets, no paper edges under your cardstock, just flat smoothness. 

3.  Choose your colours, lighter is better than darker, you can get a darker result by layering and building the colour gradually.  Two colours will blend in the intersection to create a gradient.

4.  Use a Speedball Brayer (102395, $21.95 - p179 of the catalogue) - and store it roller side up (or hang it) - this will help prevent a flat spot or dent from developing on the roller.

5. Use a nice juicy inkpad, reink beforehand if necessary.  Use a flicking wrist motion to ink up the roller, sort of spinning it between passes, to build up a layer of ink without obvious lines.

6.  Using a piece of grid paper underneath, start brayering completely off the piece of glossy cardstock, and super quickly and firmly begin rolling back and forth over the piece, keep going, keep going, more, more - moving down bit by bit.  Reink the roller, repeat!

7.  Don't discard the piece even if you think it is a dodgy one, sometimes the colours will mellow as they dry and what looks shocking will turn out just fine!  Also, you can always over stamp in places where you're not happy, and the final card will look amaaaaaaazzzzinggg!  (promise!)

8. Practice!  It always seems to take a bit of re-learning each time I do it, remember it's only paper, and you can use scrap white paper to 'get your eye' back in to begin with.

On the card above, I have stamped the tree from Forever Young (p116, from $35.95), using Stazon Black ink.  A length of (retired) Pear Pizzazz seam binding went across a dodgy bit (see, you'd never know!), and I finished it with a bottle cap.

WOT!??  A bottle cap??  Yes, they're baaaaacccckkkkkk!! They come in two sizes, and are a lovely chrome finish, $6.95 on p24 of the Anniversary Seasonal Catalogue.  I even used my old trick of smooshing it a bit flatter on my ancient red sizzix machine.  Inside it I have used the co-ordinating Collage Curios set (from $28.95, p24 ), and a sentiment from Itty Bitty Banners (from $21.95, p134 Annual Catty)  All done!  Hope this inspires you to dig out your brayer, and if you don't have a nice one, give me a call to place your order!

In other news, Sale-a-bration is nearly over!  (Gee, that has gone FAST!)  It ends BEFORE the end of March this year, due to Easter being early.  LAST DAY 22nd March.  Don't miss your chance to select from a great range of free stuff.  I also want at least one more person to join me and my StampInkPaper team - it's so much fun, and there is so much extra value packed into the kit at this special time of the year - choose $294 worth of goodies, pay just $169, and get a business supplies kit worth about $80 as well!  Just give me a call to discuss, 0403 175 790.

And, I have gotten myself quite organised, and planned the next batch of Stampin' Crop dates:
Saturday 9th March  (yep, this Saturday coming)
Saturday 20th April
Saturday 18th May
Saturday 15th June
Saturday 20th July

I'll post them up on the Google calendar soon, better get to bed in case I get a call to teach again tomorrow :)  I've also got a fun Off the Page class coming up, stay tuned!