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Archive for April, 2012

If you are feeling too lazy to read this entire post – here is a recap:  LOTS OF STAMPS ARE GOING AWAY FOREVER AND TODAY IS THE LAST DAY TO GET THEM!

Today is the last day that most items from the 2012 Occasions Mini Catalog will be available for purchase.  I am going to miss this one – it was chock full of great stuff!

Here is a link to the Occasions Mini Catalog, followed by the list of items that will be carrying over to the new main catalog:

2012 Occasions Mini Catalog

2012 Occasions Mini Carryover List

If you see something in the Mini that you like but is NOT on the carryover list, today is the last day it will be available to order.  Orders must be completed by 11:50 PM mountain time tonight!  Place your order here.

I so wish I had ordered the Send Me Soaring set with these adorable kites…that is my one regret from this Mini.  Just think of all the occasions these kites would be suitable for!

I will have to go console myself by making something with my gnomes which always make me smile.  🙂

It’s also the last day of the Summer Smooches promotion!  I love this one – I got the stamps and DSP and you can bet you will see a class offered using these cute products soon.  If you can’t wait until this summer when these products appear in the new main catalog, you can still order them today.

Have fun shopping!  I am working on getting some Mother’s Day projects and teacher gift ideas for the month of May, look for those coming up soon!

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Stampin’ Up! has released the list of accessories from the 2011-2012 Idea Book and Catalog that will be retiring.  Holy moly it is a long list!  Lots of items are ON SALE and discounted up to 70%!!

Click below to view the list and shop online:

Retiring Accessories List in .pdf form

Shop online for Retiring Stamps and Accessories

While the stamps will be available until May 31…the accessories, Definitely Decorative, and Simply Adorned products will only be available while supplies last, so if you see something you love, don’t wait too long or it might disappear!

 

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I don’t deal very well with change sometimes.

I have two preschoolers with constantly evolving sleep requirements and food preferences, and I deal fine with that.  I am also relatively adventurous in terms of travel and trying new things (my husband and I harbor dreams of being contestants on The Amazing Race, and love our memories of the adventures that happened WAY off the beaten path in countries where we don’t speak the language).

But for other stuff, changes can really throw me off!  I guess I just get set in my ways.  I am still going to the wrong aisle to look for bread in our grocery store many months after they rearranged the floor plan.  My husband is very diligent about upgrading software on our computers regularly and just about the time I get familiar with all the new icon layouts and menus in the current version I turn around and it has all changed again!

So I have mixed feelings about all the stamp sets that Stampin’ Up! will be retiring soon.  I know that they are clearing space to make way for a bunch of new and exciting stamp sets that will debut in the new catalog in just a few weeks (and I am definitely excited to get my hands on a copy of that new catalog!)  But some of the retiring sets are like old friends and I will miss them a lot.  I feel like I am only getting started using them and still have so many great ideas for cards and projects using these stamps.  I was shocked to see that the Medallion stamp is retiring…that is one of my favorites to use in classes or workshops because it is so much fun to see the looks on everyone’s face the first time they use it (it is very big and turns out beautifully). I think even though it is retiring and I won’t be able to sell it to my customers after next month, I will keep it for my personal use.  Did you see the coasters I just made with this stamp recently?

If you like the Medallion stamp as much as I do (or any of the other 300+ retiring stamp sets), you can still get them for yourself between now and May 31st.  The stamps are manufactured at Stampin’ Up!’s facility right here in the US and they will keep making them until all orders have been filled.

However, when the Retiring Accessories list comes out tomorrow you may need to act a little faster.  The designer series paper, ribbons, punches, dies for the Big Shot, etc. are all manufactured by other suppliers and these will be for sale only while supplies last.  Some very popular items may sell out in the first day.  I’ll post the list here first thing tomorrow when it is published, and you will also be able to access it here.  If you see anything you really love, order right away so you don’t miss out!

As for me, I will spend the next five weeks getting all the use I can out of my favorite retiring products (especially the five retiring In Colors!).  Which is YOUR favorite retiring stamp set?

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I am an ACC girl who has moved to SEC-land. I never really thought I cared THAT much about collegiate sports, but amidst all the SEC hype around here I find myself a little nostalgic for the schools I grew up cheering for.

I grew up in Virginia, with one parent who attended the University of Virginia and another who attended the University of North Carolina.  My dad teaches at Virginia Tech so of course I grew up cheering for the Hokies  (I was even a ball girl for the women’s basketball team!)  I attended Virginia myself, met my husband there, and we both headed to Georgia Tech for graduate school.  Are you counting?  Between my parents, myself, my husband, and my in-laws, we hold SEVENTEEN degrees from four different ACC schools.  I am the loser who stopped after my master’s degree, most of the people in that list hold PhDs (apparently our family is big on education…)

Five years ago when we moved to Alabama, we apparently left Wahoos, Hokies, Tar Heels, and Yellow Jackets behind.  All our friends here are either Alabama fans or Auburn fans.  Or on the odd chance they didn’t attend one of those two schools it seems to be Tennessee or Mississippi State.  My kids’ preschool teachers have taught them to say “Roll Tide” and our beloved (and generous!) babysitter who is a sophomore at Alabama has furnished enough t-shirts that the kids now have more crimson shirts than blue and orange ones.  I console myself with the fact that the first word both my children could read (well before their second birthdays) was “Virginia” because of all the t-shirts daddy wears on weekends.

So I was beyond excited when one of my friends e-mailed and asked if I could make some monogrammed stationery in UVA colors.  What fun!  Here is what I came up with:

Materials:

  • Stamp Sets:  None (I used My Digital Studio for the text)
  • Ink:  Again, My Digital Studio for the text (Night of Navy)
  • Cardstock:  Whisper White, Night of Navy, Pumpkin Pie
  • Tools and Accessories:  Big Shot with Elegant Lines embossing folder, 1 3/8″ circle punch, 1 3/4″ scallop circle punch, Stampin’ Dimensionals

 

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It is a rainy day here in Alabama, and my kids are not in school on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  We don’t even have any errands to run today because I actually got it in gear and did the week’s grocery shopping (WITH coupons!) yesterday AM.  We often do Tuesday playdates at a local playground with friends, but today with the rain we’re just camping out inside at home today.

Under these circumstances, you never know whether we are going to have a great day or the sort of day where we all drive each other crazy.

Today we managed to survive by staying busy.  We planted the flower seeds in the little pots that the Easter Bunny brought.  We put away all the Easter decorations and dusted.  We read a bunch of books.  I cleaned the kitchen.  I broke up a few fights between a two year old who has no sense of personal space and a five year old who is starting to want occasional privacy.  I baked a lemon cake for tomorrow’s Teacher Appreciation Luncheon at the kids’ preschool.  I got the two year old to take a nap.  I helped the five year old work on writing her numbers and lower case letters.  I washed, ironed, and tagged a few dozen more outfits for the consignment sale (I had better make big money this year, I cannot wait to be done with this!)

After all that ironing (and everything else!), I am taking a break to rest my legs and kick back with a nice cold drink before it’s time to make dinner.  I’m putting my drink on a coaster like this:

I’ve been making these stone tile coasters in sets of four to sell at vendor fairs and they seem to be a hit.

Here is how I made them:

1.  Rinse your tiles off with water to remove any dust or residue, then let them dry completely.  I used 4″x4″ tumbled marble tiles.  Initially I used  leftovers from when we tiled our kitchen backsplash, but if you are not looking to buy in bulk, I have since found some at Lowe’s (around $4 for a box of 9).  I DID sit there and go through several boxes of tiles until I found nine that were fairly smooth on top – natural stone has lots of imperfections which might look great on your kitchen backsplash but which don’t really look good when you try to stamp on them.  I was able to find enough good smooth ones without too much trouble.

2. Ink up your stamps with craft ink and stamp directly on the stone.  When I am using a large background stamp like the Medallion stamp that is bigger than the surface I am stamping on, I actually do things upside down.  I ink up the stamp and sit it block down/rubber side up on my work surface, then I place the tile face down on top of the stamp and press firmly on the tile, and pull the tile straight up off the stamp.  The initial was stamped with the Monogram Sweet Alphabet set (I did use my Stamp-a-ma-Jig to get it perfectly straight).

3.  Heat set the ink by baking at 350 for 8-10 minutes.  Remember, DON’T TOUCH the tiles until they have cooled.  They retain heat a long time and you can burn your fingers!

4.  Take the tiles outdoors or in your garage and spray the tops with a sealant to keep the ink from smearing or rubbing off.  I used Rustoleum Matte Clear.  Let this dry awhile (several hours at least, follow directions on the can of your particular spray sealant) so your tiles won’t stick together when you stack them up.

5.  Cut squares of felt slightly smaller than your tiles and hot glue them on the bottom so the coasters won’t scratch your furniture.  Now they’re ready to use!

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It is consignment sale season at our house and it is taking over my stamping time/space!

With two preschoolers at our house who are growing amazingly fast, we need new clothes and lots of them pretty much every season.  This can get super pricey if you’re not careful (or if Grandma hasn’t been to visit in awhile…).  I was so excited to discover children’s consignment sales when my daughter was a baby – you can tag all those clothes that your kid only wore three times before she grew out of them and sell them!  For money!  Then you can also shop at the sale for larger sizes and clothe your children for the next season on the cheap.  At first I thought “oh, it’s just going to be a bunch of worn out old clothes” but I gave it a chance and there is great stuff in there!  I’ve gotten my daughter beautiful smocked dresses with the tags still on for like $5…LOVE those consignment sales!

Well, actually it is a love/hate relationship.  Right now I am in tagging mode, which means I am trying to round up EVERYTHING in our house that is outgrown, ironing it, putting it on a hanger, and pricing it.  This would be plenty of work as it is, but I have to deal with this as I go:

“MOMMY!  Why did you take my pretty pink shirt with the sparkles out of my drawer?  I LOVE that shirt!”

Yes, but it is too small, so we are going to sell it and get you some new clothes.

“But I want my sparkles!”

But I can see your belly button when you wear it.  I will buy you a new sparkly shirt.

“I want THIS one!  MOMMY!  Why is my Lego train in here!  Are you taking it away??”

That train says it is for ages 6-12 months.  You haven’t played with it since 2010.

“But I want to keep it!”

Sigh.  I am pretty sure one or both of these children may end up on the show “Hoarders” when they grow up.  I do this twice a year, and twice a year I question whether it is worth the hassle, but I have to keep telling myself that in a few weeks our closets will be neater and I will get a big check from the consignment sale and I will love it.

So anyway, this insanity is what is going on in my craft room these days instead of as much stamping as I like.  HOWEVER, as part of my big stamp space makeover, I did get this little number put together recently:

This is my birthday present from my sweet husband (even though my birthday isn’t until the end of this month).  Just look at all that storage space and big work surface.  What a great, great guy.  I am having the most fun filling those 14 drawers with all my stamping goodies (so hopefully it will no longer look like I need to be on “Hoarders”!)  I have hanging files in the two bottom drawers on the right hand side for all my 8.5″x11″ cardstock to be filed (yes, it fills up two whole drawers), another of the big drawers on the left is for all my Big Shot dies and embossing folders, and the smaller drawers contain things like adhesives, scissors, my embossing powders and heat gun, etc. etc.  Can’t wait to make labels for the fronts of the drawers using My Digital Studio and continue organizing things.  My stamps are still on bookshelves in the opposite corner of the room waiting to be moved over, and I have a trip to IKEA in Atlanta planned for this spring to get some rails so I can store my punches on the wall above my work surface.

I think my biggest challenge right now is what to do with my big paper cutter.  I don’t feel like it is safe to leave it out on the surface of the desk while I have preschool age kids who are sharing this space with me, but the handle is too long for it to fit inside a drawer.  Any genius suggestions from my creative readers out there?

As I am making my kids purge some of their stuff, Stampin’ Up! is also doing a little spring cleaning of their own by retiring a bunch of stamp sets in the current catalog to make room for new stamps in the 2012-2013 Catalog.  You can read more about it here or just click the image below to see the list itself.

 

 

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2012 Retired List

It’s here!  Every year as Stampin’ Up! prepares for the release of a brand-new catalog, some stamp sets from the current catalog are retired to make room for all the new stamp sets about to make their debut.  The list is finally here!

Click HERE to see a list of each stamp set that will be retiring (includes 2011-2012 Idea Book & Catalog page numbers)

Or SHOP ONLINE to browse.

Once the new catalog is released June 1st, the stamp sets on this list will be officially retired and no longer available from Stampin’ Up! (although if past history repeats itself, they will appear on eBay for prices MUCH higher than the current catalog prices).  Don’t miss your window of opportunity to get these stamp sets before they are gone – they will be available now until May 31st only!

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