Archive for January, 2013

Be My Valentine

I had taken kind of a hiatus since the new year from the (incredibly fun and addictive) time vacuum that is Pinterest until we had a stretch earlier this month where it rained EVERY DAY for a solid week.  We were all trapped inside for days and I reverted to checking Pinterest regularly.  So one day I was browsing and I saw that my sister-in-law had pinned this card, and it was one of those moments where I said “I can make that RIGHT NOW!”   So I sat down and did it right away.  Here is mine:



The only change I made aside from using a different stamp for the sentiment was using the heart punch.  I suspect the original used a framelit, but I am doing this card at a Valentine class tomorrow night and the punch will be a LOT faster when I have multiple people trying to make twelve hearts each.

If you are local to Huntsville/Madison AL, I still have room in tomorrow night’s Valentine class!  It will be very informal, just an a la carte card class where I will have a variety of designs available and you can choose what you want to make.  Please e-mail me at stephanie.kokan@gmail.com if you are interested in attending!


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The new Oh Whale! stamp set is the cutest thing – it was one of my top ten favorite products in the Spring Catalog.  It’s adorable, and includes fun sentiments appropriate for several different occasions. Even better?  There is a very affordable little Clearlit die that coordinates with the stamp set so that you can stamp that adorable whale and then die cut it right out – saves a lot of time over cutting it out by hand with paper snips, especially if you plan to do it in larger numbers like I will when I make Valentine gifts for my children’s classmates!


Here is the Valentine I plan to give my husband, I love this color combination.  It is always a challenge to design masculine Valentines, and I like that this one is mostly black, white, and gray, with just a hint of red and the tiniest of hearts:



Tip:  When adding the ribbon to this card, I attempted several times to tie a single piece of ribbon around the gray piece of cardstock with a bow that was “right side up” instead of “sideways”, but I wasn’t liking my results, so I cheated a little.  I put a 5″ long piece of ribbon across the front, adhered with one glue dot at each end to the back of the gray cardstock (remember to add the ribbon BEFORE you adhere that layer to the front of the card).  Then I made a little bow from a separate piece of ribbon and stuck it on top of the flat piece of ribbon with a glue dot.  Cheating?  Maybe.  But it made it faster and less frustrating for me, and required less ribbon to boot!

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January is a time when I try to stock up on birthday cards for the year and make a LOT so that when someone has a birthday a few months from now that falls in the middle of a really busy week, I have a handstamped card all ready to go and don’t have to rush to make one.

This is another card that I CASEd from Candy Rattray at http://www.sweetstamper.com and it uses not one, not two, but THREE Sale-a-Bration products!  The Madison Avenue stamp set, Sycamore Street Designer Series Paper, and Sycamore Street Ribbon & Button pack (I thought about putting a Tangerine Tango button in the center of the flower but then I didn’t want to cover up the beautiful stamp in the middle…).



  • Stamp Sets:  Madison Avenue*, Sassy Salutations ($23.95 Wood Mount/$17.95 Clear Mount)
  • Ink:  Island Indigo, Rich Razzleberry, Tangerine Tango
  • Cardstock:  Pool Party, Rich Razzleberry, Whisper White, Sycamore Street DSP*
  • Tools and Accessories:  Sycamore Street Ribbon & Button Pack*

* indicates Sale-a-Bration product, free with any $50 purchase

You could get these three Sale-a-Bration products free with a $150 purchase…OR you can just host a workshop and get it without spending a dime yourself!  Hostesses for workshops totaling $400 or more will receive a hostess bundle that includes the Madison Avenue stamp set (your choice of wood or clear mount), the Sycamore Street DSP and Sycamore Street Ribbon & Button Pack…AND a pack of silver Glimmer Paper!  Wouldn’t you love to have a fun girls’ night with your friends and get all these things?  Talk to me about scheduling a workshop!

If you have a lot of products you’ve been wanting or if you team up with a friend or two to get your order total up to $400, you’d actually get EIGHT Sale-a-Bration products PLUS the hostess bundle, for a total of 12 free items (wow!).  And you’d get $65 in hostess rewards and qualify for a product of your choice at 50% off.  If you have a few friends who are interested in stocking up, you can really make out like bandits together by teaming up like this!  I am all about helping you maximize your benefits.  🙂

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Sweet Threads

I have decided to finally learn how to knit for real.  We have been reading the Little House books to my six year old, which means of course she has a craving to learn to sew and knit just like Laura and Mary.  So my mom, who is an excellent knitter (and who did NOT pass her knowledge along to me), started teaching her the basics at Christmastime and set her up with some big fat needles and a skein of yarn to knit her new American Girl doll a blanket on the 8 hour car ride home from Virginia.  Awesome, I thought…what a great project, it will be a great way to pass the time!  About 30 minutes in, I hear, “Mom, I messed something up, please help me fix it!” and I was like “oh, nuts…”

You see, I don’t know how to fix problems with knitting. I CAN knit, but only if I never ever make a mistake that I have to figure out how to go back and fix.  I just have to do it perfectly the first time or else it’s a lost cause.  I always tell people that there are no mistakes in stamping, only opportunities for embellishment!  Maybe this translates to knitting…I can just add little embellishments to cover up the bad places in my knitting?

So as a New Years challenge to myself I have been studying some patterns and knitting a little each evening while my husband watches the Australian Open.  Right now I am working on a ribbed scarf.  My husband laughed SO HARD at me last night because I messed up two stitches (I purled instead of knitting by accident because I was trying to watch tennis with one eye) AND I FIGURED OUT HOW TO GO BACK AND FIX IT!  So my scarf continues unblemished.  This is a major triumph.  🙂  I know you’re all super excited for me.

To get a little relief from semi-scary and challenging crafts like knitting, I can always go back to stamping.  Maybe even combine a little sewing and a little stamping like this:

DSC_0132 (2)

This is a card made using Stampin’ Up!’s new Sweet Threads Simply Sent kit.  I love these Simply Sent kits – they contain EVERYTHING you need to make eight cards, this one even has dimensionals.  You get these great laser-cut pieces of cardstock with the holes for cross-stitching laid out perfectly:

DSC_0136All you have to do is thread up your needle with Primrose Petals or Lucky Limeade embroidery floss (both included in the kit, of course) and stitch away.  Never cross-stitched before?  It’s easy (LOTS easier than knitting!!), and the kit comes with step by step directions to make it foolproof.  My only tip is to stamp your sentiment BEFORE you start stitching, like I’ve done here.  Then pop the scalloped rectangle onto the front of a card with some dimensionals and you’re done!


If you like, you can also purchase a bundle that includes the Sweet Threads Simply Sent Kit AND the Essentials stamp set for $16.95.  If you don’t have any stamps with sentiments on them yet, this is a great bargain on two that are probably my most frequently used:  Happy Birthday and Thank You.  You’re essentially paying $4 for two stamps that you’ll use ALL the time.

Local customers (Huntsville/Madison, AL), I am having a Sweet Threads class on February 22 at 7:00 PM, I’d love to have you join me!  RSVPs are required by February 11 so that I may preorder your kits.  Please e-mail me at stephanie.kokan@gmail.com if you would like to attend!

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MainAd1_DBWS_Jan2213_USYippee!  It’s the happiest day of the Stampin’ Up! year!  Here is everything you need to know: about Sale-a-Bration:

SHOP for yourself:

Choose any one product from the Sale-A-Bration brochure for every $50* you spend. This year’s offering includes exclusive stamp sets and accessories, as well as a selection of catalog stamp sets, digital content CDs, ribbon, buttons, and even an embossing folder! Now, more than ever, there’s something for everyone!  Click here to shop in my online store.

PARTY with your friends:

Sale-A-Bration +  Stampin’ Up!’s 25th anniversary = the best time to host a Stampin’ Up! party!

  • Get FREE Silver Glimmer Paper when you host a $150 workshop!*
  • Get a FREE hostess bundle when you host a $400 workshop!*

The Hostess Bundle includes

  • Madison Avenue stamp set (wood- or clear-mount)
  • Sycamore Street Designer Series Paper
  • Sycamore Street Ribbon & Button Pack

Offer is valid on all order types, including orders from my Online Store. You could go in with a friend or two and pool your order together to reach the $400 mark and qualify for these extra goodies, that is totally allowed.  🙂  You will be prompted to select your qualifying bundle selection with a $400 order; please use one of the following item numbers for your free bundle:

  • Wood-Mount Hostess Bundle: 133316
  • Clear-Mount Hostess Bundle: 133317
  • Free Glimmer Paper: 133318

JOIN the Stampin’ Up! family:

Sale-A-Bration + Stampin’ Up!’s 25th anniversary = 25% more Starter Kit products for FREE!  Click HERE to find out more about the benefits of becoming a demonstrator.MainAd2_DBWS_Jan2213_all

Here’s the Sale-a-Bration Brochure so you can start drooling over the pretty new products.  Remember, they are not for sale – you can only get them free!


If you are local to Huntsville/Madison, AL, I am having a Sale-a-Bration kickoff party on Saturday evening – it’s an open house format and I will have a free project for everyone to make, door prizes, snacks.  I will also be doing a MYSTERY HOSTESS drawing – anyone who places an order at the kickoff party will be entered in a drawing to receive the hostess benefits for the whole party!  This includes the free glimmer paper and Sale-a-Bration hostess bundle, plus the regular benefits.  Even if you are unable to attend the kickoff party, I will accept orders by e-mail through Sunday January 27.  Just let me know at stephanie.kokan@gmail.com!

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Just ONE MORE DAY until Sale-a-Bration begins!  Who is as excited as I am??  🙂

Sale-a-Bration is Stampin’ Up!’s annual event where they release a new catalog of exclusive, limited-time-only stamps (and paper and digital content and embellishments and other goodies) that cannot be bought!  That’s right, they are not for sale.  You get them free!  Each $50 you spend on Stampin’ Up! products between January 22 and March 22, 2013 will earn you one free Sale-a-Bration product.  If you have been needing to stock up on cardstock or ink, now is the time to do it because you get extra goodies with it!  If you have NEVER stamped before but are interested in trying it, now is the best time because you can get more for your money as you’re starting out.  Starting tomorrow I will be posting a couple suggested $50 “starter kits” which are a great assortment of things to get if you are a brand-new stamper starting from scratch.

Here is a card I made almost entirely from Sale-a-Bration products – CASEd straight from Candy Rattray at http://www.sweetstamper.com.   I love the vintage feel of this Feeling Sentimental stamp set! This would make a great birthday card, but would work for any other celebratory occasion as well!



  • Stamp Set:  Feeling Sentimental (SAB)
  • Ink:  Early Espresso
  • Cardstock:  Summer Starfruit, Early Espresso, Whisper White, Sycamore Street DSP (SAB)
  • Tools and Accessories:  Sponge Dauber

Don’t forget today is the LAST DAY to order these adorable Valentine bundles which include what you need to make some super cute Valentines for your children’s classmates, your neighbors, or coworkers.  They’re gone forever after today!!


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New Single Stamps!

Stampin’ Up! tried a pilot program selling single stamps last fall and it was such a success that they have released two new assortments this week!  These stamps are perfect if you just want to get one image at a lower price than a whole set of coordinating stamps.  All of these new single stamps are brand new designs and will only be available through March 31st.  (These would be great to buy during Sale-a-Bration which runs Jan. 22-March 22!  You receive a free Sale-a-Bration item with each $50 you spend – these inexpensive single stamps are a perfect way to bump your order up to the $50 mark so you get a free item!)

Keep in mind that these single stamps are available in clear mount only.  The flyers (see links below) list a suggested block size for each stamp.  The stamps will arrive in a cellophane bag rather than a hard case, so if you buy several single stamps you might be interested in getting some cases to keep them in.

Single Stamp Assortment 3 Flyer

Single Stamps Assortment 4 Flyer

Here are a few of the single stamps available

132677L 132671L 132667L 132665L 132663L 132661L 132659L 123777L-1

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