The Power of CASE’ing

When I first started going to cardmaking classes about eight years ago, I was always astonished by the sheer number of beautiful handmade cards the demonstrator had been able to create. Every month when we showed up for class, there would be three more unique cards for us to re-create; moreover, handmade cards decorated nearly every surface in her craft studio. I remember wondering how she could possibly come up with so many wonderful card design ideas! That was before I knew the power of CASE’ing.

CASE is Stampin’ Up!’s acronym, and it stands for Copy And Share Everything. Now that I am a demonstrator myself, I understand that the demonstrator I first learned from probably didn’t design every single card we made at her class, let alone the others that I saw in her studio. More likely, she had CASE’d designs from other demonstrators and crafters, adjusting them to suit the stamps and supplies she had on hand. Now that I’m a demonstrator myself, I do this all the time!

Take for example this fun card I got through the Random Acts of Kindness card group. I love the card fold and the colour combination. I knew the participants at my monthly card class would love it too, so I CASE’d it! I unfolded the card, figured out all the measurements, and redesigned the card using the Delightful Daisy paper and Daisy Delight stamp set. Sure enough, my class participants loved the results! You may be thinking of becoming a demonstrator yourself, either as a hobby or as a business. If the thought of designing umpteen cards a month for classes is a barrier for you, don’t give it another thought! Demonstrators (and all crafters) are encouraged to CASE and rework card designs that they see elsewhere, and nowadays, there are so many sources to find CASE-able cards (hello, Pinterest!). There are even Facebook groups dedicated to exactly this pursuit!

But what about giving credit? If you have an opportunity, ask the card designer directly if you may CASE their card. (I’ve never heard of anyone saying no, but it is the polite thing to do!) Oftentimes they will even give you the measurements and/or tutorial if they’ve already written one. Once you’ve completed your project, depending on what you are using it for, there are a few options for sharing the credit. For example, when I hosted a Gift Box Workshop, I gave all participants a printed handout with instructions. On the handout, I included credit to the original designers. I did the same when I shared a tutorial online recently. If you’re sharing a photo of your project online, you could note “CASE’d from a design by Suzy Stamper” in the photo caption.

I hope this will inspire you to start CASE’ing! Where is your favourite place to find CASE’able cards? Comment below and let me know!

What’s in Your Craft Kit?

“All supplies provided.”

This simple phrase is included on most of my craft workshop descriptions. It’s not untrue, and crafters can take it at face value, however there is an unwritten addendum that should appear underneath:

“All supplies provided.”*

*Bringing your own basic supplies means less time waiting for others to finish with an item you need, and more time crafting projects you’re happy with!

So what kind of supplies could you bring along to a craft workshop to make your time there more productive and enjoyable?

  1. Your chosen adhesive. Whether it’s Stampin’ Up!’s Snail or Fast Fuse, dollar store tape runner, a glue stick, or some other tool, everyone needs adhesive for every project. That adds up to long wait times in big groups, so bring your own and get back to crafting!

2. Clear blocks. Like adhesive, blocks are an in-demand item that will be used by every crafter for every card. You won’t believe how much faster you can craft when you have your own blocks to use. Line the edges of your blocks with washi tape so you can identify them!

3. Scissors. You won’t need scissors every time, but when you need them, you need them! You might want to cut a length of ribbon, trim some paper or cardstock, or reshape a punched image – scissors are handy to have around.

4. Bone Folder. I generally pre-fold cardstock when needed, but that fold line might need to be crisper. Or you might need to round some flower petals, or add another score line. Bone folder to the rescue!

5. Blender Pen(s). We’ve all been there – assembled a card, added all the embellishments, and stamped the final image only to experience a dreaded mis-stamp. Blender pens can help! Use them like a paintbrush: dip one of the pre-soaked brush tips in your chosen inkpad to pick up colour, then ‘paint’ as needed. To clean, simply colour on your scrap paper until the pen is no longer inking. (Blender pens are amazing for colouring as well, but by far the #1 use in my craft studio is filling in mis-stamped words and images!)6. Carrying Pouch. You’ll need a way to safely carry all your beautiful projects home. Soft pencil cases are my favourite for this purpose!Did I miss any of your favourite tools from my list? Leave a comment and let me know!

Happy Stamping!

 

Colour Co-ordination for the Beginning Stamper

If you’ve ever been to one of my Stampin’ parties, you’ve probably heard me say some variation of the following:

“One of my very favourite things about Stampin’ Up! is that they make colour co-ordination so easy.”

There are two ways Stampin’ Up! makes colour co-ordination the very easiest part of your craft project. First, their colours match across product lines, and they offer nearly every product in nearly every colour. So, if you choose Real Red cardstock as the base for your project, you can use Real Red ink, Real Red embellishments, and Designer Series Paper that contains Real Red, and your project will match flawlessly.

The second way is that you can use any set of Designer Series Paper as a basis for your colour choices – even if you don’t have the paper in question! When you look at DSP in the catalogue (or online), the product description will tell you what colours the paper co-ordinates with:

If you order the paper, these details will also appear on the packaging for the paper:

Now if you’re in your craft room and want to create a card or other project, you may not be sure of what colours will go well together. Look no further than these DSP colour co-ordination lists; you can be assured that any two or more colours from the same list will look well together, as they’ve been paired together to make the beautiful DSP pack that tempts you from the catalogue page.Even if you don’t use the actual DSP in your project, you can still take advantage of the colour list – and your project will look terrific!

 

 

 

 

 

 

What colour combinations are your favourites?

Happy Stampin’!

Send More Cards! (Part One of Two)

Many of us love to make cards, but may not give or send many of them. I find that giving my cards away only increases the joy – the recipient knows how special it is to receive a handmade card, and is so happy to be remembered and honoured in this way. Then, seeing their joy and appreciation makes me even happier! Sending cards is a great way to share your kindness with others. There are two things I do to ensure that I send out lots of joy in the mail each month – I’ll share one with you this month, and one next month.

My birthday list is neither pretty nor crafty, but it is practical. I’ve gathered people’s birthdays from Facebook, family calendars, and – when all else fails – just outright asking if I can add them to my birthday list! Everyone is grouped into their birthday month, and listed in date order.

On the last week of every month, I look at the birthdays for the following month and pull out birthday cards for all those people. (Yes – I always have that many birthday cards on hand. Yes – I recognize that I may have a crafting problem!) I fill them all out, stamp and address them if not delivering by hand, and then organize them by mail/delivery date.

The prepared cards then sit in this wee bin by my front door. I made tabs with my Large Numbers stamps so I can sort the cards and have them ready for their ‘go’ date. Every day when I leave the house, I see the next date on which I need to deliver or mail a card – when that day comes, I just have to pull the card(s) and go.

Sending birthday cards to friends, family, and customers has helped me stay in touch with them, and helped them feel appreciated and cared for. I’m really glad that I am able to share the joy of handmade with them all!

Watch for Part Two of Send More Cards coming soon!

Colourful Seasons Frame

Over my summer vacation, I finally set about creating a photo gallery wall in my staircase. I’ve been wanting to do this project since we moved to this house two years ago, but I also knew it would be a big project and I wanted to do it right, so I took my time in preparation – and I’m glad I did! It was a lot of fun choosing just the right photos and arranging everything in the available space. As I write this, the project is not quite completed yet, but so far it looks terrific!

As soon as I saw the Colourful Seasons Bundle in the new annual catalogue, I knew I wanted to add those amazing die-cut elements to some framed family photos.  I chose some photos from each season – some professionally taken, others not – and then added some die-cut shapes to embellish them. In addition to Colourful Seasons, I also used the Jar of Love bundle and the (retired) Itty Bitty Butterfly punch.

I am so pleased with the result! Just one more example of how versatile these products are!

Stampers’ Ten FAQ

What is a Stampers’ Ten Club?
A Stampers’ Ten Club is a group of ten people who meet once a month to craft together and place a minimum order of $20 in Stampin’ Up! product.

Who hosts the craft nights?
I do all the work (planning the projects and prepping the supplies), but each member of the group gets a turn to earn the hostess rewards for one of the monthly parties.

How long does the club run?
The club runs for ten months, so that every member has a chance to host.

Can I invite friends and family to craft night?
Definitely! Just make sure I know how many people are coming, so I can prep supplies.

How much free product can I earn?
Each hostess will earn a minimum of $25 in free product. Some hostesses have earned up to $120 in free product!

Can I earn a half-price product?
If your party reaches $550 in sales, you will earn a half-price product (in addition to your free products!).

I’m just starting out in crafting. Is a club right for me?
Yes! You’ll get to build your stampin’ stash a bit at a time, while you try out a range of products and techniques to find out what you enjoy.

I’ve been crafting for ages. Will I enjoy your club?
Yes! You’ll experiment with different techniques and ideas, while enjoying a fun monthly night out with lots of laughter and camaraderie.

I think my friend/relative/neighbour would be interested, can they join?
Of course! Send them a link to this post so they can check out all the details!

Are there any extra perks that come with joining your club?
In addition to a free gift from me at the beginning and end of the year, my club members are welcome to borrow my stamp sets and thinlits for up to two weeks to work on their own projects at home.

When does the club start?
It starts in September, so you should contact me now if you’re interested in joining!

I have more questions about joining your club!
Email me today and ask! I’m always happy to answer your questions!

The Moment You’ve Been Waiting For…

If you’ve ever thought about becoming a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator, now is the time! If you sign up in July, you will receive a FREE Essentials Gift Pack including Paper Snips, SNAIL Adhesive, Grid Paper, two D Blocks (one for you and one for a stamping friend!), and a Bone Folder. And to give you a taste of the perks of being a demonstrator, you will also receive the Carols of Christmas Stamp Set from the holiday catalog for FREE! All together, that’s an added value of $94! With so many basic items provided for you, you’ll be able to spend your Starter Kit dollars on things like your favourite stamp sets and accessories! I haven’t seen such an awesome recruiting bonus before, so don’t miss this one!

There’s no risk to signing up – whether as a hobby demo or as a business venture, you get to enjoy a 20% discount and exclusive pre-ordering right away, and if you change your mind, there are no penalties. There’s never been a better time to try it out, and if you sign up under me, I’ll give you all the help and support I can to succeed in whatever goals you set for yourself. I can’t wait to welcome you to my team! Contact me today to get started!

Stampin’ Club – the Party That Lasts All Year!

If you’re interested in building your stampin’ stash a bit at a time, as well as learning new techniques, trying a wide range of products, and having a fun monthly night out with lots of friendship and laughter, my monthly Stampin’ Club is for you!

A Stampin’ Club is a group of ten people who meet once a month to craft together and place a minimum order of $20 in Stampin’ Up! product. Each month, a different member of the group acts as “hostess” and earns fabulous free rewards. Each hostess will earn a minimum of $25 in free product, but the haul is usually much larger – as you can see from the above photo, showing the hostess haul earned recently by one of my club members. The next club starts in September, so contact me now to learn more or to sign up! You’re going to love it!