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25for25_NA

Stampin’ Up!’s 25th Anniversary celebration just keeps getting better and better.  October has been the best month yet in my opinion!

This morning Stampin’ Up rolled out a list of 25 stamp sets that will be available for 25% off between now and October 28!  Both wood mount and clear mount are on sale, as well as the French & Spanish versions of the stamps.

But wait, there’s more!  I am going to jump on the bandwagon and offer a mystery hostess drawing!  For every $25 you spend in my online store before noon central time on October 28th, you will receive one entry into the drawing.  I’ll draw a name at noon central time on 10/28 and the winning name will get a shopping spree – a chance to pick whatever goodies they want using the hostess benefits earned from everyone’s orders put together! Hostess benefits start at $25 but can go way up from there depending on how many people participate.  Don’t forget, that promotion where hostesses get a $25 bonus for parties $250 and up is still going on!!

To participate in the mystery hostess drawing, shop in my online store and use the hostess code YPBWBUFH in the lower left corner of the screen at checkout.  Local customers, you can email me your order and have it shipped to my house to save a little on shipping.

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Another bonus!  Today is Tuesday so the Weekly Specials have just been posted.  These are selected current items available at a discount while supplies last.  Looks like COOKIE STAMPS are included among other things this week, so if you have been wanting to get those for the holidays now is your chance!!  Weekly special purchases do count toward your mystery hostess entry.

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Finally, one more big announcement:  Stampin’ Up has extended the $25 Starter Kit deal for one more day.  You now have until the end of today to take advantage of this deal if you would like to.  Click HERE to find out more!!

Quick Thanksgiving Card

Thanksgiving is my FAVORITE holiday.   I love fall, I love pumpkin pie, I love getting together with family and friends.  Did I mention the pumpkin pie?  I have already made two in the last week and it is only the middle of October!

One thing that we do every night with our children when we say our bedtime prayers is to take a few minutes and talk about what we are thankful for.  When my daughter was two, she had a six month run where every single night she was thankful for dirt, worms, flowers, and Mommy.  In that order.  (That’s right, I came in fourth to DIRT.  🙂  That girl loves to garden!)  My son often tells me he is thankful for dinosaurs, but he melts my heart when he says how thankful he is for his little buddy Nathaniel who has successfully recovered from multiple open heart surgeries.

Since we make a point every day to consciously list things we are thankful for, I just love the idea of a whole holiday devoted to that idea.  Even better, it is not crazy commercialized.  There is no merchandise or expectation of gifts – just a pure celebration of thankfulness!  Since we have decreed Thanksgiving as the one holiday where we do NOT travel to see family (we see BOTH sides for Christmas in a giant road trip around the southeast), I am making a card to send instead.  This one is gorgous but super quick to make with simple shapes and just two stamps!

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Materials:

  • Stamp Sets:  Magnificent Maple, Banner Greetings (hostess set)
  • Ink:  Crushed Curry, Tangerine Tango
  • Cardstock:  Crushed Curry, Chocolate Chip, Very Vanilla, Sweater Weather DSP
  • Tools and Accessories:  None!  Well, paper snips and adhesive, but that’s it!

Tips:

  • I used a technique called Rock and Roll for this one to get two ink colors on one stamp.  It’s really really easy.  Just ink the entire stamp in one color (in this case the Crushed Curry), and then roll the edge of the stamp on a different colored ink pad (in this case Tangerine Tango).  Gives you a cool two-color effect with no special tools required.
  • I would recommend starting with a lighter color for the whole stamp and using a darker color around the edge – otherwise you will get darker ink polluting your lighter color ink pad.  You don’t want to put orange splotches in your nice yellow ink pad!
  • I stamped the banner greeting on a scrap piece of Very Vanilla cardstock and cut it out using my handy paper snips before adhering it to the front of the card.

Don’t forget that today is the LAST DAY to join the Stampin’ Up family for only $25.  Tomorrow the price goes back up to $99.  If you have ever thought you’d like to learn more about being a demonstrator (or even if you haven’t but getting a 20% discount on all your future purchases sounds appealing), now is the time!  There is truly no obligation to buy or sell anything else once you have purchased the $25 starter kit – you get until March 31 2014 to enjoy the perks of being a demonstrator even if you never hold a workshop or meet a sales quota.  I would love to have you on my team!  You can join the fun right here.

BOO!

My kids are huge into Halloween decor.  If they had their way, we would have giant inflatable spiders on our front lawn and skeletons and ghosts everywhere in the house.  Every time we have been out to Target or even the grocery store over the past month, they beg me to push the cart through the Halloween section just so they can look at all the scary costumes and decor.  They have been busy plotting their jack-o-lantern designs for weeks – there has been much discussion about scary eyes and jagged teeth.  And this morning my sweet innocent four year old drew me a picture of a ghost “with blood coming out of its mouth”.  This is what comes from never letting him watch any television besides educational shows on PBS Kids!?

Too bad for them, I am NOT a fan of ghoulish Halloween decor.  I am more into pumpkins and candy corn and the kind of ghosts who are cute, not creepy.

I DO like the Witches’ Brew Halloween paper from the holiday catalog.  While some of the pages do have some creepy images (there are skulls and crossbones, as well as spiders), none of it is over the top.  And because the 12″x12″ sheets are all double sided, you can always just skip the ones with skulls and choose the pattern on the opposite side of the paper.  I love the color scheme – Basic Black, Pumpkin Pie, and Summer Starfruit.  Perfect Halloween colors!

So here is my idea of appropriate Halloween decor:

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Materials:

  • Cardstock:  Witches’ Brew DSP, Pumpkin Pie
  • Tools and Accessories:  10″ styrofoam wreath form, Sticky Strip, Simply Scored, Big Shot with Typeset Alphabet dies, hot glue gun

See, there are some skulls and spiderwebs and bats, but by cutting the paper into strips it kind of limits the creepy factor since you only see them in small doses.  The overall result is festive rather than creepy-crawly.

The DSP is cut into strips 1 1/2″ wide x 12″ long, and it takes 21 of them to go around the 10″ wreath form.  I used three additional 1 1/2″ strips scored at every 1/4″ to make the three rosettes where the letters spelling BOO are adhered.   Obviously this is an indoor decoration – don’t put a paper wreath outside where it can get rained on or it will look sad mighty fast.

I just love this project concept – I have made additional versions in Sweater Weather paper for November and Season of Style paper for December.  If you’d like to make a wreath yourself and you live in the Hunstville/Madison AL area, I am offering this project as a private class.  The fee is $15 per wreath – just get five or more people together and contact me at stephanie.kokan@gmail.com to select your date and time!  Makes for a great girls’ night!

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Don’t forget, just a few days left before the $25 Starter Kit deal goes away!  Click the image above to find out more and sign up right online.  Once you have purchased the starter kit, you will enjoy demonstrator privileges until March 2014 with NO further obligation to purchase or sell anything.  I’d love to have you on my team, whether you want to be a hobby demonstrator just for the discount on your own purchases or whether you want to build a business and enjoy an extra source of income – you are welcome whether you live in Alabama or on the other side of the country.   I am here to answer any questions before AND after you sign up – just email me at stephanie.kokan@gmail.com!

Paper Pumpkin Wahoo!

When I opened my September Paper Pumpkin kit, I just started laughing.  The kit is designed to make four congratulations cards, with stamps reading “Wahoo! and “You did it!”

Why so funny?  I went to school at the University of Virginia, where our official mascot is the Cavaliers, but unofficially we are Wahoos.  I mean, it’s the #1 definition of Wahoo on urbandictionary.com.   I spent a lot of time in college cheering Wahoowah!  Go Hoos!

Okay, okay – on to the actual cards.  I love the Wahoo! stamp, but I send relatively few congratulations cards so I thought I’d play around with some other sentiments as well.  The basic color scheme and graphics are fairly masculine, so I grabbed some other stamps off my shelf and made one into a Father’s Day card and a couple thank you cards.

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Materials:

  • All materials for the Wahoo! card were included in the September 2013 Paper Pumpkin kit.  The ink color is Midnight Muse.  To find out more about Paper Pumpkin and how to get it, click here.  It is a fun subscription service that sends you a project kit once a month.  The kit includes absolutely everything you need for a project…even stamps and ink!  All cardstock is precut or prescored and you just get to do the fun part of putting it together.
  • I did use the Delightful Dozen stamp set for the Father’s Day card and my Another Thank You photopolymer stamp set for the Thank you card.  The Seriously, you kick booty stamps were from a prior Paper Pumpkin kit (April 2013?) and are not for sale at this time.

In addition to making the cards from the Paper Pumpkin kit, I just couldn’t resist making myself a little something with that Wahoo stamp.  I used my Stampin’ Write markers (Tangerine Tango and Midnight Muse) to achieve the alternating colors, and my Stamp-a-ma-jig helped me get it lined up perfectly:

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There are just a few days left in October’s fantastic Starter Kit deal!  If you have ever wanted to become a demonstrator, now is a great time.  For just a few more days, you can get a starter kit for just $25 (normally $99)!  For that $25 you will receive any $26.95 of your choice in Stampin’ Up product as well as a pack of business supplies, and you get to enjoy the perks of being a demonstrator through March 2014 with no further obligation to purchase or sell a thing!

I would love to have you on my team, whether you want to grow a business or just be a hobby demonstrator and enjoy discounts on your own purchases!  Whether you live here in the Huntsville area or if you live all the way on the other side of the country – I’m here to answer any questions you may have, before AND after you sign up.   You can ask me anything at stephanie.kokan@gmail.com, or click here to sign up online!

WOW, Stampin’ Up is really trying to cram in some exciting promotions before the end of their 25th anniversary year.   Here are my three favorites:

Hostesses get a bonus $25 in rewards this month with a $250+ party!  If you want to get together with some friends and get a jump on some holiday crafts (we can do cards or home decor!), schedule a party with me during October and enjoy picking out some extra free items for yourself!

Party more get more

Join for $25!  The starter kit that you purchase when you sign up to be a demonstrator normally costs $99, but for just two weeks this month, you can sign up for $25.  What a bargain!  You get to pick out $26.95 in new products, and you will enjoy the benefits of being a demonstrator for six whole months with no further purchases required!  It’s almost silly NOT to sign up.  I’d love to have you on my team, I have the most fun with my stamping friends.

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Finally, an exciting new product just made available on October 1st:  the Everyday Occasions Card Kit.  If you are a completely new stamper and are feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of picking out stamps, ink, paper, envelopes, etc….try this kit!  For just $29.95 you get SEVEN stamps, a clear block, two ink colors, plus all the cardstock, embellishments and envelopes you need to make 20 cards.  Oh, and easy instructions so you can get right to work.  🙂  Get the kit for yourself so you have a stockpile of handmade cards to last you for months, or give the kit as a gift to a friend who would enjoy a cute project!

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You were so patient reading all the October promotions!  As your reward for reading all the way down this far, here is a great card idea for you using my favorite Mosaic Madness.  In two color schemes even, because I couldn’t decide which one I wanted to use for a class I held.  Check out how this simple layout lets the embossed mosaic image shine:

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Materials:

  • Stamp Sets:  Mosaic Madness, Sweet Essentials
  • Ink and Cardstock:  Both:  Pool Party Coredinations paper and Whisper White.  Version 1:  Island Indigo and Baked Brown Sugar; Version 2:  Wild Wasabi and Early Espresso.
  • Tools and Accessories:  Big Shot with Mosaic embossing folder, Stampin’ Sanding System, Mosaic punch, Rhinestone Basic Jewels, Stampin’ Dimensionals

Tip:  As you are embossing the Coredinations cardstock, consider that the textured side of the paper is the “front”, so make sure you insert it into the embossing folder the way you want it.  After embossing, sand the textured side lightly using the Stampin’ Sanding System to expose the white core of the cardstock and make your embossed pattern really stand out!  It is fun and easy and gives your project a “wow” effect.

Mosaic Rainbow

Here’s a neat card I made one day using the Mosaic Madness stamp set and the coordinating mosaic embossing folder.

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Materials:

  • Stamp Sets:  Mosaic Madness, Oh Hello
  • Ink:  Strawberry Slush, Pumpkin Pie, Daffodil Delight, Pool Party, Island Indigo
  • Cardstock:  Whisper White, Pool Party, Strawberry Slush
  • Tools and Accessories:  Big Shot with Mosaic Embossing Folder, Stamp-a-ma-jig

It’s simple as can be – just emboss the Whisper White cardstock with the mosaic embossing folder and then stamp in the center of the quatrefoil shapes.  I am pretty obsessive about wanting everything to be perfectly straight, so I used my Stamp-a-ma-jig to get each stamp perfectly centered, but if you are using clear stamps and have good aim you could get a good result in less time than I took.

To select the ink colors, I used the Quatrefancy Designer Series Paper for inspiration. Although I did not actually use that paper on this card, I did make a bunch of other cards with it at the same time (this one, for example) and I thought it would be nice if they coordinated.   If you’re ever stuck and can’t decide on a color combination to use for a project, take a look through the catalog and see what color combinations Stampin’ Up has used for their designer series paper.  I’ve gotten lots of good ideas this way!

When I was a little girl, I loved school SO MUCH and I always had trouble falling asleep the night before the first day of school because I was so excited.  Actually, that was the case even in high school, and college, and graduate school.

I am now the proud parent of two children of my own.  I think they both love school just as much as I always did.  I was very excited about them getting back to school this fall, but let me tell you, I had NO trouble falling asleep the night before the first day of school this year!  Nor any night since then…I am exhausted!  In the last few weeks we have gotten one child settled in first grade, one child settled in preschool, filled out about eight hundred pages (or so it seemed) of school-related forms, shuttled two children back and forth to soccer practice/games three times a week (in different age brackets that of course practice and play at different locations), started a new year of Girl Scouts, choir, Wednesday night church activities, not to mention keeping up with reading logs and homework.  We won’t even talk about trying to keep up with cleaning and groceries and going to the gym and maybe even spending a little quality time with my family whenever we’re NOT off at an activity.

So…you can see that time to stamp has been hard to come by as we have dealt with all this beginning-of-the-school year craziness…but now that we’re settled into our new routine and I’ve caught up on a few chores, I have a bit of ME time to stamp while my little people are off at school!  Looking forward to getting back in the swing of things and actually blogging.  Sorry for the extended absence.

How about if I make it up to you by showing you a picture of something I’ve made with stamps?  Here you go, something to inspire you for a little weekend stamping.  At some point soon after the 2013-2014 annual catalog was released,  I was telling you how much I loved the new Quatrefancy suite; here is another card I made using the coordinating embossing folder and designer series paper with that gorgeous quatrefoil pattern:

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Materials:

  • Stamp Set:  Mosaic Madness, Label Love
  • Ink:  Island Indigo
  • Cardstock:  Strawberry Slush, Daffodil Delight, Whisper White, Quatrefancy Specialty Designer Series Paper
  • Tools and Accessories:  Big Shot with Mosaic embossing folder, Artisan Label punch, Daffodil Delight 1/2″ seam binding ribbon

Other announcements!

  • Today is the registration deadline for the second annual Holiday Blast, an all-day stamping event that four other Huntsville area demonstrators and I will be hosting together on October 12.   If you have not gotten your registration and payment in yet, please email me ASAP at stephanie.kokan@gmail.com!  Click HERE for the registration form with all the info about cost and location.
  • Monday 9/23 is the RSVP deadline for my sunburst wreath class.  It is really easy, come on over and make a pretty paper wreath to display in your house!  You can see some pictures of my sample wreaths here, but don’t feel limited to the paper I used for those samples – you can choose any of Stampin’ Up’s DSP!  Just let me know what you want in your RSVP and I will have your paper precut for you at the class.   The cost is $15 per wreath (you can make as many as you like), and you will need to bring your own scissors and sticky strip to the class.  If you do not have your own sticky strip, please let me know so I can get you a roll ($5).
  • Just 10 more days to get 15% off when you buy the Bitty Butterfly punch together with the coordinating Papillon Potpourri stamp set.

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