Friday, August 30, 2013

Friday Favorites

Good Friday Morning All!

We made it to the long weekend!  Today I don't have my own creation to share with you, but I am going to share some of my favorite challenge blogs to get some inspiration from, I hope you find something here that you want to try, too.

Also, there is a new promotion going on at Stampin' Up!  I know we all love those bundles they are doing, here's the latest one.  You get the Itty Bitty Butterfly punch and the Papillion Potpourri stamp set for 15% off

Here's the new September Best Of stamp set, too.  Some great Fall images in this one.  Remember, there is a new one out each month.  You can get them until March 31, 2014.  If you collect 6 of the 12 you can choose any stamp set valued at $14.95 or less out of the Idea Book and Catalog FREE!  Who doesn't love FREE?!

Do you ever find that you have a hard time trying to figure out what to create when you actually have time to do so?  Do you want to make time to create each week, but don't no where to start?  Do you like a little friendly competition and the chance to win?  You should check out some of the great challenge blogs there are out there.  It's a great way to try new things, meet some fun and fabulous people, and "craft with a purpose in mind"(as if we need a purpose, right?)  Here are my top 5 (plus a bonus one I just tried this week) favorite challenge blogs out there right now.

1. Clean and Simple Challenge- the name says it all. I love a card with a ton of layers and embellishments, but the style I gravitate towards when it's time to create is Clean and Simple.  I love to have a simple background with just one or two "wow" touches.  Here is the current sketch over there:

2. Color Q- There have been some GREAT color challenges that have come out of this blog.  It pushes me out of my norm for color combos and I love that.  Here is their current sketch:

3.) The Friday Mashup-2 challenges in one, do one or both--the results are fun!  Here's this week's challenge:

4.) Freshly Made Sketches: this is a new one (to me) I've really started to like.  I love a sketch as a starting point and they have great ones!  Here is this week's sketch:

5.) Retro Sketches: The ladies that bring you Color Q also do Retro Sketches.  Here's this week's:

And a bonus one---I just started playing along with this one this week, Fab Friday.  This group has a few of my demonstrator friends on the design team.  They are a group of talented crafters and this one was fun to try this week.  (Thanks Guys!)  I will definitely be joining them again.  Here is the sketch if you want to try it, too.

I hope you enjoyed my top 5 +1 favorite challenge blogs.  I know there are lots of them out there and I would LOVE to hear yours! Leave me a comment with your favorites, I always like to check out new ones.  Have a great Friday.  Thanks for stopping in.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Warm Wishes on a Snow day

SNOW DAY?  Amy, it's August.  I know, and it feels NOTHING like a snow day here in Northern MN.  The humidity can go ANY time now, it's not why we live here.

Snow Day refers to the adorable snowman set I'm using for today's post that I created for Freshly Made Sketches #101 challenge. This is such a fun, clean sketch.  I will be using this for my Stamp a Stack Classes

Here's my take...I love this little guy!  I love the chevron hat, and seam binding ribbon made a great scarf don't you think?  

Today's my Friday all!  I'm wishing you a happy, safe Labor Day weekend filled with fun, relaxation and a little crafting time! Thanks for stopping in!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

My Digital Studio Downloads and FREE TRIAL

We made it to Wednesday everyone!  Halfway there-we can do it!

Today I am going to talk about My Digital Studio; Stampin' Up's digital design program.  Have you used it yet?  I have had it for about a year, and have done some really cool things with it.  One of the things I love about it is that it's easy to use.  You don't need to be a technology super whiz to create FABULOUS projects with this software.

Another thing I love about My Digital Studio is the fact that Stampin' Up! has done a fantastic job with the kits, templates, and digital downloads.  There are fresh and fun new downloads for us each week and it's a mixture of catalog favorites and MDS only content.  Click here to see what's new this week and recently.

I love that I can make personalized gifts for my friends and family like the ABC album I made for my nephew for Christmas last year.  I took pictures all around the town we live in that related to particular letter of the alphabet and printed it using the Storybook Ensemble (below)  I didn't need to do anything to this kit other than add my pictures and personalized text and my adorable 3 year old nephew had a fun, interactive board book of all his places and people he likes to see when he comes to visit Auntie Amy and Uncle Mitch.  Or, the recipe book I'm working on of favorite family recipes.

Another thing I love is that you can create calendars in this software. I created myself the Calendar of Perpetual Awesomeness to brighten up my work space just by printing the stock template exactly as is, and I made personalized desk calendars for my parents and Mitch's parents with our kids with them throughout the year.  It's a gift that never gets old and they will love each day of each year and I love that with just 12 pictures dropped and dragged in the beautiful templates, I have gifts in no time.  I have already been collecting pictures for this year's installment.  

I have also been able to do things like create my sister and brother-in-law's wedding invitations for them, and business cards for a girlfriend of mine who started her own business, and the 5th grade yearbook for my son's school last year.  I love that this program has helped me do all these things and look like a professional!

The thing I think I love the most though, is that I can quickly scrapbook AND journal my memories even WHILE I'm on vacation.  I don't have to wait and print pictures and organize product and get all my ink and embellishments and punches together.  All I need is my laptop with pictures uploaded and I can scrapbook ANYwhere.

You can try My Digital Studio for 30 days for FREE!  You can get your trial by clicking here and it will take you to my store.  If you fall in love with it like I did, you can order your own disc or download for only $19.95.  You get hundreds of dollars worth of content for $19.95 and you'd never have to buy another download.  I encourage you to check out too and get some inspiration from the neat projects the designers come up with there.  Here is one of my recent favorites I can't wait to try out: 

Thanks for stopping in today!  For you who use and love MDS, what are your favorite things to create?  Have a great day!  

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Friday Mash Up (124)

Hey Readers!

Today's post is my entry for The Friday Mashup Challenge 124.  I love this sketch.  The first thing that came to mind was the Thanksgiving set in the new holiday catalog called Harvest of Thanks.  This was one of the first things to go on my wish list.  I loved the font, and I loved the vintage feel of the turkey, it reminded me of my favorite set of Thanksgiving dishes, Johnson Brothers, I would love a set of these some day!

On to the sketch:

This was a really fun sketch to work with.  I will definitely use this one again.  Here is my take:

I liked the texture of the burlap and glimmer paper.  Usually I get irritated when my images don't ink just right (or I use markers like I did for this) and don't press hard enough but I love that it gives this a vintagey feel. What do you think?  I'll post a supply list at the bottom.

I had book club last night-we discussed The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schable, I loved the book and a couple of the other ladies did, too.  The others didn't care for the book itself  but found aspects of it good.  We are reading The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver for September.  

Hope your Tuesday is a good one!  Thanks for stopping in!

Supply List:

Paper:  Early Espresso and Tangerine Tango and Very Vanilla cardstock, Champagne glimmer paper, Sweater Weather designer series paper

Stamp Set(s): Harvest of Thanks 

Ink: Early Espresso classic ink, Cajun Craze, Soft Suede, and Crushed Curry Stampin' Write Marker

Punches: Decorative Label Punch

Accessories: Antique Brads 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Fab Friday 25: I Freakin' Love You!

Happy Monday Readers!

Can you believe it's the start of another week?  Today I have my entry to the Fab Friday 25 Sketch Challenge  This is a fun challenge site of some of my Stampin' Up! demo friends.  They have great ideas and are sure to inspire your creative mojo with their challenges every other week.  Check it out and play along!

Here is my card made with the sketch:

One of the highlights of my summer this year was attending Stampin' Up!'s 25th Anniversary Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah in July.  My card uses 2 of the stamp set freebies I got for attending.  The dot background is part of Gorgeous Grunge.  True confession here--this one was NOT on my list of must haves from the catalog, and when I saw it was one of the stamp sets chosen for our make and takes I thought "meh".  Boy was I wrong about this set.  It is now my go to when a card needs "just a little something"-does that ever happen to you?  The sentiment is from Yippee Skippee another all attendee give away we got.  This one has some fun fonts and sentiments.  Colors I used were Bermuda Bay and Strawberry Slush with a bit of Baked Brown sugar in the designer series paper.  Little sparkle with the silver glimmer paper.  I'll post a supply list at the bottom.

Thanks again Fab Friday team for the great sketch!  I'd love to see what you create.  Have a great day out there :) 

Supply List:

Paper: Bermuda Bay Cardstock, Strawberry Slush Cardstock, Whisper White Cardstock, Season of Style Designer Series Paper Pack, Silver Glimmer Paper

Stamps: Gorgeous Grunge and Yippee-Skippee!

Ink: Bermuda Bay Classic Ink and Strawberry Slush Marker

Accessories: Hearts a Flutter Framelits, Little Labels Punch Pack, Bermuda Bay Ruffled Ribbon

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sunday Share: Alternate Ideas for My Paper Pumpkin Welcome Kit

Hey Readers,

Yesterday I shared with you some of the current promotions Stampin' Up! has going on.  Today I wanted to expand on My Paper Pumpkin.  Hopefully some of you have signed up already and are waiting for your first kit.  Everyone who subscribes gets the same welcome kit with a FREE clear block to use with all the awesome exclusive stamps you get.  That kit is called "Hey There, Friend" and here are some ideas I borrowed from Pinterest for other ways you can use that set.  I love the jar of jelly beans with the flags--wouldn't that be cute to put on a freind's desk at work? 

This is a great sentiment to make a stack of cards up with to have on hand.  Who doesn't love a handwritten note in their mailbox along with all the regular bills and junk mail?  I know I am always excited to see something handwritten.

Here's a picture of the warehouse at Stampin' Up! with a bunch of My Paper Pumpkins getting ready to ship out to their new homes. (Image from Pinterest thanks BJ Peters)  Wouldn't you love this in your mailbox?  Click here and sign up today

Thanks for stopping by today.  I plan to share my other creations with My Paper Pumpkin here on my blog, and I even have a board on Pinterest you can check out for all my fabulous Paper Pumpkin finds out there.  Stop back tomorrow for my Fab Friday blog share.  Have a great Sunday!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Welcome Back

Hello Out There!

After a LONG hiatus, I am going to be back posting regularly.  It's been a BUSY summer here at our house kicking off in May with my sister's wedding, summer camps for the kids, trips to the beach, Stampin' Up! Convention, the birth of my niece....the list goes on!  I hope you all have been enjoying your summer, too.

Today I am going to share with you a few of my favorite things Stampin' Up! has going on for promotions, tomorrow I will have a Sunday share, and I'll be back with crafty inspiration on Monday with a card based on this week's Fab Friday sketch.  Go check it out and you can play along-I'd love to see what you create!

So first of all, Stampin'Up! has a GREAT My Paper Pumpkin special going on right now.  For only $10 for your first TWO months you get a ready to assemble creativity escape delivered to your door!  These kits are designed for new stampers, people who love the look of handmade cards/projects but don't have the time to design, prepare, and create them, seasoned stampers who (like me) love FUN mail, parents who have sent their kids off to college and want to set up a Skype date to create together, parents of younger children looking for a creativity outlet, groups of friends who want a fun creative night in....the list goes on!  Go check it out at  Sign up is easy (use the promo code PUMPKINDEAL to get your discount!!).  Your beautiful little red box will show up automatically after the 10th of each month.  It's easy to put your subscription on hold for a month or two if you need a break, and just as easy to cancel if you find it's not for you.  When you sign up, don't forget to choose me as your demonstrator.  Join this creativity adventure with me, it's fun I promise!

Another great thing they have right now are online classes.  Have you ever looked at a catalog and thought the projects are beautiful but there is no way you can do that, or, that you really like a product but you really aren't able to see the possibilities with it "outside the box", or maybe you want some fresh ideas.  If so, then these online classes are for you!  Stampin' Up! has put together beautiful projects with step by step instructions, and movies, to help you jump start your inner creative spirit.  You too can create Pinterest worthy products in no time! They have a Basics, Photopolymer (new type of stamp that I really like) and my favorite, the Washi Tape class.  You can check those out in my store here.

Lastly, if you love exclusive stamps, for their 25th anniversary each month Stampin' Up! is putting out a "Best Of" stamp.  With each set you purchase you will get a sticker for your card, if you collect at least 6 stickers, you will receive ANY 14.95 set out of the current Big Idea book FREE.  Here are the August Best Of stamps (again you can find these in my store):

Thanks for checking back in today! I'd love to hear from you--leave a comment with your favorite things to see when reading my blog.  Have a great Saturday!