Tuesday, January 8, 2019

My First Love . . . speaking crafts, that is.

Yup . . . Stampin' Up! is what I do.  But some of you may not know that my first love (or addiction . . . but then it's all semantics, right?!) was crochet.  I still try to crochet at least a little bit every day.  This year I will really need to stay focused on getting in at least one hour of crochet each evening because I've committed myself to doing a BIG craft sale in early October and there's nothing worse than struggling at the last minute to find enough stuff to stock your booth!

When I was younger, I crocheted many afghans, sweaters, jackets, and other large projects.  These days I'm more into instant gratification, and as a result my projects tend to be on the smaller side -- cup cozies, hats, scarves, mitts, bags, and kitchen things (scrubbies, potholders, dishcloths, etc.).

Some of you have seen this photo of my "yarn wall"; a few of you have actually seen it in person.  Fact is, I believe I have more yarn stashed here than The Craft Box, a thrift store for crafters where I sometimes teach card making classes.  This wall is in my bedroom and is the first thing I see each morning when I wake up.  Sometimes I asked myself if I'll ever make it through all of this yarn before I die!  But now I'm convinced the answer is YES!  My resolution for 2019 is to use at least the front layer of this wall before the end of the year (yes, incredible as it may seem, most of these cubbies hide another layer of yarn behind the ones you see pictured).

So the question remains . . . addiction?  Or therapy?  I'll go with the latter.  I believe it keeps me calm and more or less sane.  The following is a true story about something that happened several years ago.  I arrived at my doctor's office for an appointment -- I had been rushing to get there because (as many of you know) I'm always late for everything, and when the nurse took my blood pressure, it was slightly elevated.  I went back to the waiting room and started crocheting while I waited for my doctor to be ready for me.  When I went into her office several minutes later she commented that my blood pressure was slightly elevated and said she wanted to take it again.  Low and behold, my blood pressure had returned to normal!  She asked, "How did you do that?!"  I replied, "Tying knots!"  (That's what my sweet hubby calls it -- he also, by the way, does a hilarious impression of me crocheting . . . it goes something like "ch, ch, ch, ch, ch, ch" while I'm stitching along smoothly, then changes to, "Sh_t! Sh_t! Sh_t!" as I find a mistake and pull out all the stitches.)

BTW . . . thanks to my friend Chris for sending the following link to me.  Maybe it will make you giggle as much as it did me.  (But it's kind of true . . . .)


Thanks for listening to me ramble on this afternoon.  Promise we'll get back to paper in the next post.

In the meantime, keep playing with paper! . . . and yarn!

Cath  ;D

Monday, January 7, 2019

December Beach Party Cards

Thought you might like to see all the wonderful "beach party" cards we made at our December 29 stamp camp at Rose Hill Grange.  Yes, instead of "Christmas in July" (which I totally hate -- I think it's trite, overdone, and needs to be eliminated . . . would you like to know what I REALLY THINK?!), we decided to do a totally different Beach Party in December!!!

The day was great fun -- we dressed in Hawaiian print shirts, wore hibiscus in our hair, and had leis around our necks (thanks to Shannon Bedingfield), and made NOT CHRISTMAS CARDS!!!

Below are the cards we made -- first page were the totally beachy cards; second page are all the other not Christmas cards.  (We needed to shake off all the holiday stuff that started last July -- ARGH!!! and get ready for a new year.)

I hope you like our cards and can draw some inspiration from these great designs.

Click on images for closer look.

Cathy  ;D

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Happy 2019!!!

I can't believe New Year's Day slipped away from me without my posting a greeting!  We've been babysitting my sweet 7-year-old grandson for the past several days while he's on winter break, and pretty much everything else just slipped my mind!  We took him home this afternoon, so now I have some catching up to do!

In any event, today's project is a 2019 mailable calendar that we made at my table at Rose Hill Stamp Camp this past Saturday, December 29.  What a fun day we had!  The theme for decorations and attire was a day at the beach to celebrate making it through the craziness surrounding Christmas.
Click on image for closer look.

Stamp Sets
* Jar of Love
* Labels to Love (outside sentiment)
* Part of My Story (inside sentiment; 2019 Sale-a-Bration Brochure)

* Basic Gray card stock (8-1/2" x 5-1/2")
* Whisper White card stock (4" x 3" for inside; 4" x 2" for right side front; about 2-1/2" x 1-1/2" (2 pieces) for outside and inside labels
* Pear Pizzazz card stock (about 4-1/4" x 1" for stem and leaves)
* Grapefruit Grove card stock (about 1-1/2" x 3/4" for large and small flowers)
* So Saffron card stock (about 1-1/2" x 3/4" for large and small flowers)
* Vellum card stock (2-1/4" x 1-3/4" for jar)
* Botanical Butterfly Designer Series Paper ("DSP") (2019 Sale-a-Bration Brochure)

* Basic Gray Stampin' Pad
* Tuxedo Black Memento Pad

Accessories and Tools
* Big Shot Die Cutting Machine
* Basket Weave Embossing Folder
* Everyday Jars Framelits Dies
* Everyday Label Punch
* Stampin' Sponge (cut into fourths for easier handling)
* Butterfly Duet Punch (2019 Occasions Catalog)
* Simply Scored Scoring Tool
* Stampin' Trimmer
* Sequin Assortment - Iridescent
* Adhesives: SNAIL Adhesive; Multipurpose Liquid Glue; Mini Glue Dots; Stampin' Dimensionals

* 3" x 2-1/4" Mini Calendar Pad*

* Calendar pads are available from several different online sources; I purchased mine from www.tayloredexpressions.com.


1. Score 8-1/2" x 5-1/2" Basic Gray card stock at 4-1/4"; use Stampin' Trimmer to cut front of card from score line to bottom of card creating two panels -- the left panel is 3-1/4" wide; right panel is 2-1/4" wide.  Score left-side panel  horizontally at 2-1/8".  Fold away from both score lines to create card base.

2. Glue right flap (2-1/4") closed.

3. Use Big Shot and embossing folder to add texture to 4" x 2" Whisper White card stock; adhere over right flap.

4. Use Memento Ink to stamp jar image on Vellum card stock.**  Using Big Shot and Everyday Jars dies, cut out stamped jar, cut stem from Pear Pizzazz card stock cut one large and one small flower from Grapefruit Grove card stock, and cut one large and one small flower from So Saffron card stock.  Adhere stem, jar, and small Grapefruit Grove flower  to embossed Whisper White card stock with Liquid Glue; adhere small So Saffron flower to large Grapefruit Grove flower with Liquid Glue, and attach two large flowers with Stampin' Dimensionals.  Use Glue Dots to adhere Sequins to centers of each flower. (Refer to photo for position.)

** NOTE:  The Memento Ink took FOREVER to dry on Vellum card stock!  Two solutions to this issue might be to (1) sprinkle clear embossing powder over image and emboss with heat tool; or (2) if you don't mind staining your photopolymer stamps, stamp images with Black StazOn Ink.

5. Use Butterfly punch to cut large butterfly from DSP; fold wings back and adhere over jar as shown with a line of Liquid Glue down the center of butterfly.

6. Adhere calendar to bottom panel of card, being careful to not get glue on top 3/8" to 1/2" of calendar.  (Gluing entire calendar will prevent you from folding it down and standing it up.)

7. Use Memento Ink to stamp sentiments for inside and outside; punch out with Everyday Label punch; use Stampin' Sponge to apply Basic Gray ink around edges of both labels.

8. Use SNAIL Adhesive to adhere outside sentiment in space above calendar.  Punch small butterfly from DSP, fold wings back and adhere with dot of Liquid Glue in center of butterfly.

9. Adhere 4" x 3" Whisper White card stock to inside of left panel.  Use Stampin' Dimensionals to adhere label with inside sentiment as shown; punch small butterfly from DSP, fold back wings, and adhere to label with Liquid Glue in center of butterfly.

You're now ready to mail this to a good friend . . . or set on your own desk to remind yourself that you have lots of friends out there who are thinking of you every day!


Cathy  ;D

Occasions Catalog and Sale-a-Bration Begin Today!!!

Happy New Year!!!

Today's the day -- the annual Sale-a-Bration program has begun!  How does it work?  For every $50 worth of merchandise ordered from either the Annual Catalog or the Occasions Catalog, you will earn one free item from the Sale-a-Bration Brochure!  Some awesome stamp sets and paper to be found in both the new 2019 Occasions Catalog and the Sale-a-Bration Brochure.  (NOTE:  The $50 amount is not cumulative; to earn free merchandise, $50 worth of merchandise must be placed on one order.  But . . . you can earn as much as you like -- i.e., a $100 order earns two Sale-a-Bration items; a $150 order earns three Sale-a-Bration items, etc.)

Click on images to the right to view all catalogs online.  

You're welcome to order online (please apply the Host Code at the top of the column to the right if your order is less than $150), or contact me to place your order and start earning free merchandise!!!

This promotion continues through March 31, 2019.

See my next post for a stand-up 2019 calendar card that uses some of the new items in both the Occasions and Sale-a-Bration publications.

Cathy  ;D

Thursday, December 27, 2018

A Christmas Surprise!

I want to share with you this morning a wonderful surprise gift my friends gave me at a holiday party last Friday.  I coordinate the monthly Rose Hill Stamp Camp, so the demos who regularly participate were very sneaker and clever and made this wonderful gift for me!

Click on image for closer look.

The piece is 12" x 12"; the individual 3" squares were made by (left to right, top to bottom):

Cathleen Garcia, Patricia Parker, Bev Derringer
Joline Sanchez, Debby Blair, Cathe Valdez
Chris Pereira, Terry Kaspari, Tina Smith

Joline coordinated and assembled all the squares into this wonderful shadow box.

Thanks, ladies!  You're the best!!!

Cathy  ;D

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Frame Favorite Greeting Cards!

As a stamper, I have many friends who also make greeting cards.  Each year I receive some beautiful hand-made cards, and I just can't toss them!  (Actually, I save ALL of my greeting cards to make gift boxes, tags, ornaments and other small items.)

For my extra special cards, rather than putting them in a box, I frame them!

Click on image for closer look.

This is a card my sister Nancy made for me several years ago.  I just couldn't put it away because it's so beautiful and has lots of dimension which would have been flattened in a box, so I bought a 5" x 7" shadow box frame for it.

For this card, I cut a 5" x 7" piece of Real Red card stock to cover the cardboard that comes in the frame, and then centered and adhered the card to the card stock with Stampin' Dimensionals.

That's all there is to it!  This beautiful card sits on a shelf where I can see it all year long, but I always bring it out to the living room and place it somewhere conspicuous during the holiday season.

Thanks again, Nancy!  This will always be one of my favorite treasures!

Cathy  ;D

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Christmas Countdown 2018 - Day 25

Merry Christmas!  Today I'm sharing one of my all-time favorite Christmas cards.  This card was actually made two years ago for a stamp camp, but it slipped through the cracks during one of my long gaps between postings.

Click on image for closer look.

(NOTE: Some of the materials for this card are retired, but all of the dies are still available and that's the most important feature of this card.  If you don't have the retired items and are insistent on making this card exactly as is, I've had good luck locating retired Stampin' Up! items online by searching eBay, Etsy, and Google.)


Stamp Sets
* Hardwood Background Stamp
* Stitched with Cheer Photopolymer Stamp (142182, retired)

* Early Espresso card stock (8-1/2" x 5-1/2")
* Real Red card stock (5-1/4" x 4")
* Crumb Cake card stock (5-1/2" x 4-1/4", ripped to about 5" x 3-3/4")
* Garden Green card stock (scraps for circle and pine branches)
* Soft Suede card stock (scraps for circle and pine branches)
* Whisper White card stock (scrap for banner)
* Sparkle Glimmer Paper (scrap for sprig)
* Candy Cane Lane Designer Series Paper ("DSP") (141981, retired)

* Crumb Cake Classic Stampin' Pad
* Tuxedo Black Memento Pad

Accessories and Tools
* Big Shot Die Cutting Machine
* Pretty Pines Thinlits Dies
* Swirly Scribbles Thinlits Dies
* Bow Builder Punch (137414, retired)
* Linen Thread
* Solid Red Baker's Twine (see note below)
* Stampin' Sponge
* Adhesives: SNAIL Adhesive, Multipurpose Liquid Glue, Glue Dots, Stampin' Dimensionals


1. Score 8-1/2" x 5-1/2" card stock at 4-1/4"; fold away from score line to create card.

2. Use SNAIL Adhesive to adhere Real Red 5-1/4" x 4" card stock to front of card.

3. Use Crumb Cake ink to stamp Hardwood image on 5-1/2" x 4-1/4" Crumb Cake card stock.  Rip edges to create 5" x 3-3/4" or smaller rectangle; use Stampin' Sponge to apply ink around edges; adhere to front of card.

4. Use Big Shot and Pretty Pines Thinlits Dies to cut the following:
     * 2 large pine branches from Garden Green card stock
     * 2 medium pine branches Garden Green card stock
     * 2 small pine branches from Soft Suede card stock
     * 1 Sprig from Sparkle Glimmer Paper

5. Use Big Shot and Swirly Scribbles Thinlits Dies to cut the following:
     * 1 medium size circle from Garden Green card stock
     * 1 medium size circle from Soft Suede card stock

6. Referring to photo for placement, use Liquid Glue to adhere the pieces cut in steps 4 and 5 in the following order, starting from the bottom and building up:  Soft Suede circle; Garden Green circle; bottom two Garden Green medium pine branches, middle Soft Suede small pine branches, top Garden Green large pine branches, Glimmer Paper sprig.

7. Punch bow pieces from DSP; assemble bow and wrap several times with Linen Thread and Red Baker's Twine held together; tie in a knot in the back and adhere to card with Glue Dots.  (NOTE:  If you don't have the Bow Builder Punch, make a bow from ribbon!  If you don't have any Red Baker's Twine, Red Craft Floss works great too -- available at any craft store.)

8. Use Memento Ink to stamp Christmas Joy banner on Whisper White card stock.  Use Big Shot and Banner Die to cut out.  Lightly sponge Crumb Cake ink over image and adhere to card with Stampin' Dimensionals.

A lot of pieces parts, yes.  But I think the card was totally worth the effort, don't you?

Sending you all wishes for a wonderful Christmas!

Cathy  ;D