For real though (heh) … the kits are pretty awesome, and they are the *perfect* way to give papercrafting a try without spending a lot of money or worrying about storage space for a big collection of tools. They are kind of like the “Blue Apron” or “Hello Fresh” of the crafting world, giving you just the handful of “ingredients” you need to complete the project and get a taste of crafting!
If you have admired the projects you see here on my blog or made by other papercrafters, and wondered how to get started, the 180-page annual catalogue can feel pretty overwhelming. In contrast, the kits are simple, straightforward, and include step-by-step graphics to ensure you are happy with your finished project. Here’s an example of what you’ll find inside a kit:
The kits are also quite compact, making them the perfect choice for on-the-go crafting. Take one to your campsite, your kid’s soccer practice, your road trip … as long as you can find a flat surface, everything else you need is in this handy little box!
So where can you find these kits – are they in the catalogue? Stampin’ Up! will be introducing more and more kits throughout the year, and doesn’t want to be tied to the catalogue publication cycle in order to do so. Instead, the kits will be listed online for you to browse through and see which ones appeal to you. As of this writing, there are ten kits to choose from, with themes ranging from colourful butterflies, to masculine retro-vibes, from sentimental floral to whimsical rainboots. There are even some kits that don’t require stamping! These kits are priced a bit lower, since they don’t include an inkspot, stamp set, or block.
I’m so excited about these kits that I’ve invited a first-time crafter, Bri, to join me tonight in a Facebook live to put together some projects from a kit!
Designer Series Paper – or DSP as I fondly call it – just might be my guilty pleasure of crafting. But really, how can I resist when Stampin’ Up! keeps creating amazing, unique, show-stopping artwork … and then making that art into paper that I can put on my projects?
I love using Designer Series Paper, and rarely make a project without it. I love that when I start with DSP, the work of colour coordination is already done for me – Stampin’ Up! and their designers have already figured out which colours will coordinate with each paper pack, and I can use that colour list to design my card. The list of coordinating colours is always included in the catalogue, on the website, and on the paper pack itself. It’s pretty much foolproof!
If you also love Designer Series Paper, you’re in luck. This month, nine of the DSP packs from the annual catalogue are on sale for 15% off, meaning you can stock up and save on your faves!
In honour of the DSP sale, I’ve gathered together some of my favourite tutorials for you, so that you’ll have lots of inspiration for using your paper. Check them out below!
I’ve received so many beautiful cards over the past few weeks, I wanted to share them with you! It’s always wonderful to get happy mail, which is why I send some every week. If you’d like to get on my card list, sign up here!
This card is made with a special kind of papercrafting technique called quilling. Look closely and you’ll see that all the colours and details of the octopus are made up of strips of paper, which have been rolled, twisted, and twirled into different shapes. Amazing!
Adrienne sent me this beautiful card made with the Sand & Sea suite. I love the delicate seaweed strands cut from vellum paper!
Tina sent me this terrific dragonfly card – I love the layout and her use of the blending brushes on the stamped piece!
Thanks to Stefanie for this sweet Strawberry card! So cute!
Regina used some retired DSP papers I sent her as a prize, to make this adorable card – and sent it to me all the way from Germany!
I love this simple, striking card from Miran – what a beautiful sentiment!
I love the way Erica layered the punched shapes, and added embellishments to her flowers!
Thanks to Angela for this bright and cheerful card!
Did you know that every week on my Facebook page, I have a Mailout Monday challenge, encouraging everyone to send out the beautiful cards they create? Everyone who sends happy mail has a chance to win a card from me, too. I hope you’ll join us there for some happy mail fun!
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Every year, Stampin’ Up! introduces five new colors that will stay with us for the following two years. These colours are always on-trend and fit in beautifully with our core colour collection. You can find this year’s In Colors on page 123 of your annual catalogue.
The 2021-2023 In Colors are so beautiful, I’ve been inspired to host an In Color Club for the first time! When members join the club, they will receive the following items each month for five months:
An In Color inkpad
An ink refill
A pack of cardstock
A pair of Blends
4 sheets of 6 x 6″ In Color Designer Series Paper
2 card tutorials
This means that I get to do something really fun over the next few months: create two monochromatic cards each month, and play with each of these beautiful colours! Yahoo!
Here are the two cards I designed for the first month of the club, when we focused on Fresh Freesia.
And here are the cards for this month, featuring Polished Pink:
These cards feature two of the most popular bundles in the new annual catalogue: Colour and Contour (left) and Pansy Patch (right). I think they look just fabulous in Polished Pink – what do you think?
I’m having a lot of fun creating these beautiful monochromatic cards, and I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing them! If you’d like to receive the tutorials for these cards, drop me a line! Have a great day and Happy Stampin’!
I scream, you scream, we all scream to make adorable cards with items from the Ice Cream Corner suite!!
I am definitely a huge fan of ice cream, and so this stamp set and in fact the whole Ice Cream Corner suite jumped out at me right away. But I don’t think I’m biased when I say this stamp set and co-ordinating punch are SO fun for a huge variety of cards! Birthday cards for all ages and genders, thank you cards, a gift tag or gift card holder, and more – this bundle has you covered! For even more fun and creativity, add the co-ordinating Designer Series Paper, and your projects will really pop!
With summer just around the corner, I’ve decided Sweet Ice Cream will be the featured stamp set for the June Creativity to Go class. Register for the class and you’ll receive this stamp set PLUS all the supplies and tutorials to make five cards with your new stamp set – so, you’ll be all set for summer birthdays and other sweet occasions! You’ll also get access to an optional Zoom crafting class where we’ll meet and assemble the cards. Anyone in Canada is welcome to subscribe by following this link – the registration deadline is June 10th.
As soon as I bought these items, I used them right away to make a very special birthday card for my daughter, Gwen, who turned 13 last month. She shares my love of ice cream, plus like the card says she is SO cool (she is a teenager after all!) so I knew this card would be perfect for her. You can learn how to make this fun pocket card right here on my blog.
This fun and fabulous card also doubles as a gift card holder! I learned how to make it from a tutorial by Catherine Brown. The tutorial, along with 37 others, was part of a tutorial bundle created by demonstrators all over the world, using products from the Spring Mini catalogue. If you’d like to receive this tutorial bundle or a similar one for free, all you need to do is place an order with me!
One of the things I love about the Ice Cream Corner Designer Series Paper is that it includes papers printed with ice cream cone patterns and swirly ice creamy shapes. In the card above, I’ve punched the cone and the ice cream scoops from the DSP with the Ice Cream Builder punch – no stamping required! In the card below, I stamped the scoops and the sprinkles in a variety of colours. Which look do you prefer?
Another way to create fun ice cream scoops is to punch them out of Rainbow Glimmer Paper! How gorgeous are these sparkly scoops?
Now that you’ve seen a few projects with this wonderful stamp set, I hope you’ll join me for the June Creativity to Go class. Remember, for just $29 you’ll receive the stamp set and prepared supplies and tutorials to make five sweet cards!
PS: If all this talk of ice cream has given you a craving (and you’re local to Nanaimo), go see my friends at Burnt Honey Dessert Company! They have the tastiest ice cream and macarons, all made with local ingredients and lots of love!
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There are some amazing specials going on this month! First, the Connect Craft Collect special for those who’d like to host a virtual party. The rest of the year, a $300 party would get you 10% rewards ($30), but during this special, your $300 party would get you DOUBLE that amount – your 10% PLUS an extra $30 in free product. Book a party with me before June 14th to take advantage of this fantastic deal!
Now if you’ve made a wishlist for the new catalogue and it’s $100 or more, you’re definitely going to be excited about this next special! Until May 31st, new demonstrators will receive an additional $41 in product in their Starter Kit for NO EXTRA COST. That’s a total of $206 in product of YOUR choice, for only $135 – a total of $71 in free product! What an amazing deal! Read more here about joining my team!
The 2021 annual catalogue launched last week, and the consensus seems to be that this is the best catalogue EVER! It was extremely hard to narrow down this list, because there are just so many amazing products packed into these 180 pages. Let me know what you think of my choices!
Best Item for Beginners – upcoming Kit Collection My top pick for beginners this year is something that’s technically not in the catalogue at all – but bear with me, I promise you’ll like this! If you’re brand new to stamping, that enormous catalogue can be really overwhelming: Where do I start? What kind of stamps do I need? Now ink? What about paper? And wait, how do I put this all together? It can be stressful, and crafting is NOT supposed to be stressful! So if you’re a beginner, I recommend you start with an all-inclusive kit. Just like the name says, the kit will include EVERYTHING you need to create a pre-designed set of cards: a stamp set, an inkspot, pre-cut elements, embellishments, adhesive, and easy-to-follow instructions. Make your first stamping experience a stress-free and successful one, and once you’ve built up your confidence, wade on into the rest of the catalogue with us! 😉
The fun thing about these kits is that there will be a range of them available all throughout the year. Starting June 1st, you’ll be able to order from a selection of ten different kits: choose the one(s) that appeal to you, get your craft on, and then go back for more. When a kit sells out, it’s gone … but don’t worry, there will be other ones coming along to replace it, so there will always be lots of terrific options for you to choose from!
Whether it’s a sympathy card, a retirement, an illness, gratitude, a birthday, or even Christmas – this stamp set has you covered! It includes a wide range of sentiments in a classic, easy-to-read font, making it truly “inspired”. You’ll be reaching for this set again and again throughout the year!
Runner Up: Create with Friends I’m wild about the mix-and-match sentiments in this stamp set, and the beautiful scripted font! My mind is spinning with how many amazing combinations you could create with this set. For only $23, this stamp set is a must-have!
This is the very first bundle I bought out of the new catalogue, and I stamped with it as soon as I opened it – as you can see on my live unboxing video! (stamping starts at about 25:30.) These richly textured stamps are so well-crafted that they create a two-tone effect … even if you aren’t using the two-step stamping! You can build your tree in whatever style and colours you like; add the co-ordinating dies for even more options. A good range of sentiments rounds out this stamp set – not only is it good for a variety of occasions throughout the year, it’s also suitable for all genders (because who doesn’t like trees?!)
Best Embellishment – Bumblebee Trinkets There’s nothing else I need to say … just LOOK at how adorable these are!! 🤩
Runner Up: Baker’s Twine Essentials Pack Baker’s Twine comes in SO handy when embellishing projects and packages! It’s fantastic to have it in a range of neutral colours that will go with any colour scheme. Like the name says, this pack of twine really is essential!
I’m completely in love with the range of colours and scenes on this terrific Designer Series Paper. You can see all seasons represented in the gorgeous imagery! This is one of those packs that will be hard to choose which side to use, because every page is so appealing. Great for all genders and all occasions!
Artistic Expressions is technically a Specialty Designer Series Paper, so it can have its own category, right? 😁 Because…. I mean, LOOK AT THIS STUFF! Beautiful colours, stunning pattern, and with gold foil running throughout … this paper is going to make *every* project look elegant and elevated. I can’t wait to play with it!
Best Punch Bundle – Flowers of Friendship Bundle With a price tag of under $50, this bundle is outstanding -but it looks so unassuming that you might not even notice what a powerhouse it is. You’d never expect that it could be used to create stunning cards like this one by my team member Arvon:
The flowers are gorgeous, versatile, and easy to create; the sentiments are stylish and useful; and the pricetag is affordable. All around, a great bundle!
Best Die Bundle – Color & Contour Like the bundle above, this one also provides versatility and easy of use. I love the splasy watercolour style of the stamp set … similar to A Touch of Ink from our recent Sale-a-Bration, don’t you think? …. and these basic die shapes are going to be handy for all kinds of projects. With many of our former nested dies (e.g. Stitched Nested Layers, Layering Squares) having retired this past year, these dies are ready to take up the reins – and they layer beautifully. And of course, a terrific collection of sentiments to finish it off! This is a fabulous bundle that you’ll be reaching for again and again!
Best New Tool – Blends Combo packs in ALL the new In Colors This year’s new In Colors are the best I’ve seen in years. Oh, I always love the In Colors … but there are always one or two that I am not totally excited about (last year, it was Terracotta Tile). Not this year – this year, I adore every single one of these colours, and particularly the way they play so well together! This is the first year that Stampin’ Up! has offered us a Blends combo pack in every single one of our new In Colors, so I can only conclude that whoever makes these decisions loves them just as much as I do 😁
If you also love the new In Colors, check out my In Color Club! We’ll focus on one colour a month, and by the end you will have the full collection. Each month you’ll receive:
An In Color inkpad
An In Color ink refill
A pack of cardstock (8.5 x 11″)
A pair of Blends
4 sheets of 6×6″ In Color Designer Series Paper
2 card tutorials to create with your new products.
Best Deal in the Catalogue – The Starter Kit on page 169 The Starter Kit is always the best deal in the catalogue, and this month it’s even BETTER! Choose up to $206 in product for only $135, AND free shipping, AND free business supplies, AND access to amazing online resources to help you succeed and build your business your way. You can learn more about becoming a demonstrator by reading my Starter Kit FAQ, and if you still have questions, please email me! I’m excited to help you learn about this opportunity!
And finally, there is a terrific array of exclusive hostess products that you can earn FREE with your qualifying party! There are three stamp sets and a mega-pack (48 sheets) of 12×12″ Designer Series Paper. Check them out below, and then contact me to book your party! Remember, the Connect-Craft-Collect Special runs till June 14th and gets you an additional $30 free product with a $300 party!
Did I leave your favourite product off my list? Comment and let me know!
Want more catalogue fun? Check out my Catalogue Scavenger Hunt! Send me your answers by May 31st for a chance at a prize!
Today I’m featuring the stamp set “A Good Man”. This stamp set is perfect for masculine cards: Father’s Day, birthdays, retirement, any other occasion you need a masculine card for – and it’s the featured product in my upcoming Creativity to Go class. If you register for that class you’ll receive this stamp set PLUS all the supplies and tutorials to make five cards with your new stamp set – so, you’ll be all set for Father’s Day and all those other moments! You’ll also get access to an optional Zoom crafting class where we’ll meet and assemble the cards. Anyone in Canada is welcome to subscribe by following this link – the registration deadline is May 10th.
Many of us feel like masculine cards are a challenge, but I think that’s because we don’t have the right tools in hand to create for the masculine people in our lives. If we always gravitate towards flowers and swirly fonts, it’s no surprise that we get stuck when Father’s Day rolls around! This class will change that for you, giving you not only a wonderful set of stamps with terrific images and loving sentiments … not only a class to create five great masculine cards … but also confidence to continue creating with your new stamp set all throughout the year!
When you subscribe to Creativity to Go, you get everything you need to complete the cards: all the paper and cardstocks will be cut, punched, scored, or embossed as needed, and envelopes and embellishments are included. You just need to add your own ink and adhesive! If you don’t have any on hand, I’d be happy to help you with recommendations.
Another thing that can come in handy with this stamp set is a good set of colouring tools. Whether you prefer markers, Blends, or watercolour pencils is up to you; again, I’m happy to discuss your preferences and help you figure out what would work best for you. As an example, the card above is coloured with Blends; the one below is coloured with watercolour pencils. Which look do you prefer?
Now that you’ve seen a few projects with this wonderful stamp set, I hope you’ll join me for the May Creativity to Go class. Remember, for just $41 you’ll receive the stamp set and prepared supplies and tutorials to make five masculine cards!
Have you checked out the Annual Catalogue Retirement List? Saying goodbye to favourite items is always hard, but getting them at 10-60% discount is sure to cheer you up. 😁 And don’t forget, if you order before April 5th I will send you a FREE tutorial bundle packed with Easter- and Spring-themed projects! 🐰🐣
I thought it would be fun to show you some of the cards I’ve made in the past with products that are retiring this month. All of these products are while supplies last, so if any of them are on your must-have list, do not wait! Order now via my online store!
All About Bundles …
As we look at the retiring list, it’s important to understand the difference between bundles that are fully retiring and bundles that are semi-retiring.
For example, the Beautiful World bundle (page 174, 2020 Annual Catalogue) is fully retiring. Neither the stamps nor the dies are carrying over to the new annual catalogue – both of these products will be gone for good on May 4th (or earlier if stock runs out before then). So if they’re on your wish list – don’t wait!
Here are some other bundles that are fully retiring:
In contrast, the Forever Fern bundle (page 174) is semi-retiring. Both the stamps and the dies ARE carrying over to the new annual catalogue, BUT the opportunity to save 10% when you buy these two products together will no longer be available after May 4th. If these items are on your wish list, make sure you buy them NOW before that 10% discount is gone!
Here are some other bundles that are semi-retiring:
Finally, there is just one bundle that is carrying over from one annual catalogue to the next. The Blossoms in Bloom bundle (page 174) will still be offered at a discount bundle price in the new annual catalogue.
There were definitely some surprises on the retirement list this time around. Below are some items I consider basics and/or must-haves. If you don’t already have these in your craft room, you should consider making an order ASAP, before they sell out!
If you really want to make the most of these discounted items, join my team! By joining today you will have INSTANT ACCESS to the upcoming annual catalogue and be ready to launch it to your customers next month. 🤩 You’ll get a 20% discount on ALL your Stampin’ Up! orders, and yes that’s IN ADDITION to the discounts already applied to retiring items. It’s a win-win! Learn more about the opportunity here, and if you still have questions, let’s chat!
The new Blending Brushes are a big hit! They are so fun and easy to use, great for adding custom colour to a project. Here are some tips from demonstrators about how best to use them!
How many should I have?
Keep one separate for burnishing gilding flakes.
Keep them clean and use different one for light colors and dark colors.
Some demos choose to have one brush for each main colour, e.g. one for red, one for yellow, one for green … but see below tips about cleaning before you decide how many you need. If you can easily clean them at your desk, you can get by with fewer brushes!
How to clean them?
After each use I wipe the brush thoroughly on a microfiber cloth and then test on white scrap paper. No colour should be remaining so you can go onto a new colour. A hint is to work from light to dark colours. Sometimes I will wipe the brush on the shammy and then the microfiber cloth. And, every so often I will wash the bristles with a little stamp cleaner/soap, rinse well, wipe off on the microfiber cloth and let dry overnight. Following these methods has worked every time for me and I have not had any problem with one colour bleeding out onto another.
I have actually wiped them off on my Simply Shammy – works well.
Before using one on a different color be sure to ‘clean off’ the brush by brushing in all directions on a piece of paper.
Make sure you are done with your brushes for the day before washing them (if you choose to do so). They take awhile to dry, and will not properly work if damp.
If you use water to clean your brushes, lay them brush side down on a paper towel to dry. Any excess ink (that you missed while cleaning) will absorb into the towel. I was using similar brushes before these came out and this is how I’ve been cleaning them. Keeps the brushes soft, too.
How to use them?
After inking, tap extra Ink off on a clear block before blending. If I’m blending in from the paper edge, I put my cardstock on a non porous surface.
I always remove a little ink on grid paper before putting on my paper. Use a light touch.
Start blending off the page.
Use a nonporous surface to remove the ink, then you can always reink the blending brush using that ink. I’ve used our silicon mat and also the grid mat from the Stamparatus.
Pick up the ink in a circular motion and blend on card stock in the same direction. Meaning if you pick up the ink off the pad in a counterclockwise motion apply to the card stock in the same counterclockwise direction.
Use a piece of window sheet instead of paper under project. After inking dab on window sheet. Then blend onto project in circles. Can go back to dab and pick up ink. If you use paper, the ink is wasted.
I have been working on a glass mat. Work off your paper in a circular motion towards your card. You could probably use the backside of one of your Stamparatus acrylic flaps.
If you are working with a gradient type of coloring or even an ombré type—like balmy blue, misty moonlight then night of navy, work from light to dark. Then once you’ve done those colors, go back and blend over them slightly working from dark to light so the color almost melts into the next. You’ll avoid harsh lines this way.
Use post it note paper to get defined silhouettes.
Start off the paper and gradually build the colour.
You can use them with more than our ink pads. Use them with shimmer paint, wink of stella – just rinse right after use.
Use on paper towel then use on card stock to create a softened background you can build stamped layers on.
Every month, I’ll choose a product to feature (either a stamp set or a bundle).
When you subscribe to that month’s kit, you’ll receive the featured product AND supplies and tutorials to create five cards using your new product!
You’ll also have access to an exclusive Zoom crafting session where we’ll meet and assemble the cards together.
You can subscribe from anywhere in Canada, and enjoy a fun crafting experience at your own pace and convenience!
Subscribe and pay by the 10th of the month to receive that month’s kit; you can also choose to add any other product (adhesive, cardstock, ink, etc.) to your order at the same time.
Kits will be delivered or shipped by the end of the month; tutorials (PDF and/or videos) will be sent by email.
Your subscription includes:
The featured product for that month
Supplies to create 5 cards with the featured product
Tutorials (PDF and/or videos) to help you complete the cards
Access to optional Zoom crafting calls
March’s Featured Product is the “Dragonfly Garden” stamp set for a cost of $38.25. Sign up here by March 10th to receive the stamp set, supplies and tutorials! You will love the delicate details of this stamp set, along with the heartfelt sentiments in beautiful scripted font. You can also add the co-ordinating Dragonfly Punch for an additional $22.75 – saving 10% when you buy these items together!
Here are some of the cards I’ve made with the Dragonfly Garden bundle, and other items from the Dandy Garden suite.
And here’s a sneak peek at one of the cards we’ll be making together.