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!

 

Holiday Catalogue – Laura’s Top Picks

Now that you’ve had a chance to look through the holiday catalogue, you may have a wish list as long as your arm (or is that just me?!). Here are some of my picks! Will this help you narrow down that list, or perhaps add a few more items you hadn’t considered?

Best Item for Beginners – Merry Little Labels bundle
The stamp set comes in clear-mount or wood-mount versions, and features a variety of fun holiday sentiments. Along with the co-ordinating Everyday Label punch, these will help you create a ton of tags quickly and easily – and you can also use them to decorate a card.

Merry Little Labels Clear-Mount Bundle

Best Stamp Set – Snowflake Sentiments
This stamp set is simple, beautiful, and suitable for both the beginner and advanced stamper. It comes with a variety of lovely sentiments as well as elegant snowflakes to decorate your project. You could easily make an entire set of Christmas cards using just these stamps – or add the Swirly Snowflakes thinlit dies to kick it up a notch!

Best Embellishment – Mini Tinsel Trim Combo Pack
Ready to dress up any tag, package, card, or gift item (can you see this on a tree ornament?), this tinsel trim is super cute and is not likely to go out of style!

Mini Tinsel Trim Combo Pack

Best Paper – Christmas Around the World
This designer series paper includes a huge variety of colours and designs, with a whimsical vintage feel. There’s no limit to the fun projects you could make with this paper! Pair it with the co-ordinating cardstock pack and embellishments and boom, your Christmas crafting is done. BONUS: this paper is included in the Buy Three, Get One Free promotion for the month of October! Don’t miss out on this chance to stock up and save!

Best Bundle – Carols of Christmas
The Card Front Builder Thinlits Dies are so versatile! You can create a huge variety of cards with this bundle, and every one will be unique and beautiful. Use the large sentiment stamps to create a quick and simple foreground for your card, and add dimension with the thinlit dies. So many possibilities!

Best New Tool – Clear Acetate Boxes
These fabulous boxes hold 5 cards and envelopes each, and come in a set of 10. What better way to package your handmade cards as a gift? At only $8.50 for a set of 10, they are a tremendous value!

Acetate Card Boxes

Best Bling – Year of Cheer Specialty Designer Series Paper
This gorgeous, shimmery paper has foil on every single-sided sheet, making them perfect for holidays, weddings, anniversaries, and other special events. So elegant and luxurious!

Best Halloween product – Spooky Cat Bundle
The cat punch co-ordinates with the stamp AND with the Spooky Night Designer Series Paper. Along with the rest of the stamps in the set, the punch is perfect for Halloween designs, but is also versatile enough to be used throughout the year. Spooky kitty, fluffy kitty …

Did I leave your favourite product off my list? Comment and let me know!

Tutorial: Gift Box

With Halloween around the corner, why not make some treat boxes for your neighbourhood ghosts and goblins? All you need is a piece of 6 x 6″ designer series paper, a scoring tool, a pair of scissors, and your favourite adhesive.

(Note: If you prefer written tutorials, read on! If you prefer video tutorials, click here!)

Score your paper at 1″, 2.5″, 3.5″, and 5″. Note that if your paper has a design with a specific top and bottom (such as the ice cream cones shown here), you’ll want to score these lines with the paper turned sideways.Rotate (so the paper is right side up) and score at 1″ and 5″.

Fold on all score lines.
Hold your paper so that the multiple score lines are vertical. Cut on each vertical score line to meet the horizontal score lines (in other words, four slits on the top and four slits on the bottom).

Put adhesive on the outside of each of the square flaps – not the rectangular flaps.

Assemble the box and decorate as desired.

Makes a great holder for some wrapped Hershey’s miniatures! A 3 x 1.5″ piece of dsp makes a perfect miniature wrapper.

Project Credit: Sam Hammond Donald

World Cardmaking Day Specials and Designer Series Paper Sale!

If you’re starting to ramp up your crafting for the holidays, or if you love a bargain, you’re going to have a lot of fun in October! To celebrate World Cardmaking Day (October 7th), Stampin’ Up is offering some fabulous discounts on the products below. For ten days (October 1–10), you get 15% off Notecards & Envelopes and select stamp sets.

Check out the entire World Cardmaking Day Flyer!

And there’s more! Throughout the entire month of October, select packs of Designer Series Paper are Buy Three, Get One Free! Many of the discounted stamp sets above co-ordinate with the DSP below, so it’s a great time to stock up and save!

(Click on the image above to expand!)

You can shop at my online store using Hostess Code D6ZHEJVK. Remember, the stamp sets are only discounted until October 10th, but the DSP sale is on for the entire month of October.

Happy Stamping Saving!

Save

Getting Carried Away

I set a goal for myself to use up all my retired Designer Series Paper (DSP) over the summer. Well, I didn’t manage to do it by the end of summer (I kept finding more … and more … and more!), but I have made LOADS of cards and am continuing to use up beautiful retired paper. One of my strategies for doing this quickly and easily was to find a card design I like, and then make as many of that design as I can manage with my remaining paper. The latest paper to get that treatment in my craft studio was the lovely and whimsical “Carried Away” paper from the 2017 Sale-a-Bration catalogue.

I made over 50 of these cards in the past week or so. Once I chose the design, I just cut all the paper and cardstock to size, then assembled. I stamped different colours of balloons and used a variety of sentiments, so I got a whole assortment of different looks and occasions for the cards.

Here’s a handy tip: See that white square framing the balloon paper? I stamped the balloon on that cardstock square, then used the thinlit to cut it out. Because I covered the white square with another cardstock layer and then a DSP layer, you can’t see the cutout – and I saved cardstock 🙂

Here are the dimensions for the card, if you’d like to recreate the design with your favourite DSP:

Cardbase: 5.5 x 8.5″
DSP: 4 x 5.25″
White square: 2.5 x 2.5″
Cardstock square: 2 3/8 x 2 3/8″
DSP square: 2.25 x 2.25″
White cardstock for sentiment: 2.5 x .75″

Lift Me Up Clear-Mount Stamp Set
Up and Away Thinlit Set
Stampin’ Trimmer
Designer Series Paper

Happy Stampin’!

Tutorial: Side Step Card

Supplies needed:

Cardstock: 8.5 x 5.5”

Coordinating Designer Series Paper:
2.75 x 4”
2.25 x 2.25”
2.25 x 1.5”

Whisper White cardstock for insert: 4 x 2.75”

Scraps and embellishments for decorating

 

Cut and score your Night of Navy cardbase as follows:

Line up the cardstock in your Stampin’ Trimmer with the long side lined up at 3”. Use the cutting blade to cut from 7.5” to 10”.

 

 

 

 

 

Rotate right 90 degrees. Score only from the cut line to the bottom of the card at 2.5, 3.25, and 5”.

 

Rotate 180 degrees. Score the opposite side of the card from the cut line to the edge at 4.25”.

Add the three pieces of DSP.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Decorate as desired. 

Happy Stampin’!

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!