Thursday, August 29, 2013

Holiday Catalogue Blog Hop

As we launch our 2013 Holiday Catalogue today, it's time for another ESAD Blog Hop!   Welcome if you've arrived here from Libby's blog, and of course if you are just starting from here too.

What is ESAD?

ESAD stands for "Extra Special Australasian Demonstrators" and it is an on-line group just for Australian and New Zealand Stampin' Up! demonstrators.  We love what we do & love to share with our customers, friends, and wonderful blog visitors. We also share what we love in our ESAD Demonstrator community, through swaps, challenges, sharing knowledge, ideas & friendship, and we're always there to help and support each other.  So if you are a Stampin' Up! demonstrator located in Australia or New Zealand, then please feel free to leave me a comment with your email address and I'll contact you with information on how to join our wonderful group.

For my project I have designed a fun Christmas Card that uses the Pop N Cut's card base and the Santa's List stampset and some watercolouring.  This card has a co-ordinating envelope, with the envelope liner created with the new Christmas DSP, Season of Style, and cut with the fabulous new Envelope Liners Framelits.

Seen close-up like this, my watercolouring isn't perfect, but it adds to the character, right!  I used Whisper White cardstock, as I wanted Santa's beard and furry suit to be a true white, rather than the cream of the watercolour paper.  So I stamped the Santa image in black StazOn ink and then mixed a drop of cherry cobbler ink refil with a drop of water on the top of my acrylic block to dilute the ink and then used the brush of my aquapainter to colour in.  I have found that mixing with water before beginning painting (rather than squeezing from the aquapainter as you go) gives a more even coverage of ink saturation.  I used Crumb Cake for "the list" and Blushing Bride for Santa's face, being careful not to colour his eyebrows, beard or spectacles.  I then did Santa's gloves in Basic Black and I coloured the background in Pool Party to add emphasis to the white of Santa's beard and fluffy sleeves.

And as if that wasn't cute enough, when you open the card, there is a wee surprise inside!  I used the dress form die, and trimmed away the dress to create a fireplace and chimney waiting for Santa to arrive, isn't this neat!

The greeting is from Christmas Messages, and I love this set for the variety of Christmas greetings it has that are perfect for both the inside and the outside of your cards.

I used the Season of Style DSP for the presents on the mantlepiece, and the bunting is created with scraps of the Old Olive and Cherry Cobbler textured cardstock.  The chimney too uses scraps of the Cherry Cobbler textured cardstock, roughly cut into "bricks" and sponged on the edges, and matted on a Soft Suede base.  For the wallpaper I used Venetian Romance DSP from the Annual Catalogue, and happily discovered that the reverse side to the Soft Suede wallpaper was orange speckles, just perfect for inside a fireplace.  For the fire I cut zig-zags onto scraps of Pumpkin Pie, Tangerine Tango and Daffodil Delight cardstock, sponged the edges and popped them up on dimensionals to give some depth.

Then I decided that this card needed a matching Gift Card Holder, so I again used the Pop N Cuts card base to make a card holder, this time with the Old Olive Textured Cardstock, and I created a belly band with a belly band using Polka Dot parade DSP in Old Olive, and topped it off with a bow from the new Gift Bow Bigz Die using the co-ordinating DSP to the Santa card.  I also added some Season of Style Washi Tape to the tag, which is cut using the Chalk Talk Framelits and stamped from the Christmas Messages stampset again, this time in Old Olive ink.

This is with the belly band taken off so you can see inside the card-holder - my husband informed me that this photo was necessary, even though I haven't yet decorated the inside, or filled it with a gift!!!!

You can see that I created a tab to help pull the belly band off, and also to hold its position at the correct level when it is in place on the holder, and this also has some of the washi tape on it (and just quietly there is another bow to come in my next post, which also features the washi tape and some more christmas tags using the new silver foil cardstock and silver ribbon - stay tuned!).

I hope you've enjoyed these holiday projects.  The next stop on the hop is my wonderful Team Leader Sharlene Meyer, so enjoy what she has put together for you!

All of the products used here can be purchased at   The new Holiday Catalogue, which starts TODAY, is available for download here or by clicking on the picture.  Thanks for visiting!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Z Fold Brag-book Tutorial

We recently had to cancel a Fathers Day class at the last minute, where we were going to be making a Fathers Day brag-book, so I promised to get some photos and instructions online so you could play along from home.  Keep in mind this is the work-in-progress album to show you how the album will look during construction, and at the end are some more pictures of another almost-finished album I am doing for my Dad for Fathers Day this weekend.  Please excuse the photo quality, I snapped them quickly on my iPhone in-between other tasks this afternoon!

Album closed and tied with ribbon:

Album open, with Z-fold insert showing:

This is the back view, showing the front and back outside covers, and one of the inside covers.

Inside, opened up showing the concertina-fold of the pages.

To make this Z-fold Brag Book you will need:

- 1 piece of 12"x12" cardstock (I've used Early Espresso)
- 1 piece of A4 Whisper White or Very Vanilla (mine is Very Vanilla)
- approx 50cm ribbon (Soft Suede Taffeta Ribbon)
- approx 1/2 sheet of additional cardstock for stamping and punching OR DSP to decorate


Cut the 12"x12" in half along the 6" line, so you have 2 pieces of 6" x 12".

Score one of the 6"x12" at: 3 7/8", 4", 8", 8 1/4"  This is the cover page.  Cut slits for the ribbon to feed through about 1 1/4" from the bottom, on the two outermost score-lines (3 7/8" and 8 1/4").  I used the top-edge of the Ticket Punch for this.

Score the other piece of 6"x12" at: 3 3/4", 7 1/2", 11 1/4"  This is the zig-zag insert.  Place sticky strip on the small 3/4" tab that is left (leave the red strip on), and cut a small slit on that scoreline (11 1/4") about 1 1/2" from the bottom edge to feed your ribbon through.

Next thread the ribbon through the slits you have cut/punched, you need to make sure you put it through all three of the punched slots BEFORE you stick the insert pages in.  Start with the album OPEN and the ribbon lying across the inside back cover.  Poke the left-edge of the ribbon through the hole on the left, and then ensure that the right-edge of the ribbon feeds through both the cover page AND the zig-zag insert.

This is how it will look when the ribbon is correctly threaded:

Now peel the red strip off the sticky strip off the zig-zag insert and secure the tab to the right-hand edge of the inside back cover.  This join is going to be covered later on when we start decorating, so don't worry about the join showing.

That is your assembly of the album done!

Now to decorate.  There is a photo below of how to cut the A4 Very Vanilla sheet to get your 4 decorated pages.  You will end up with two 5 7/8" x 3 1/2" pieces and two 5 7/8" x 3 3/4".  I stamped all over with Gorgeous Grunge in Crumb Cake and Early Espresso.  The narrower pieces go inside the album, and the wider ones are for the two outside covers (front and back).

Then on some scraps of Very Vanilla, I stamped and punched about a dozen hexagons using the Six-Sided Sampler bundle, using Early Espresso, Soft Suede, Baked Brown Sugar and Crumb Cake.  On some Crumb Cake scrap cardstock I stamped in Early Espresso with the Tape It set and handcut.  The beauty of the "dirty grunge" styling is that you can just stamp and plonk your different elements wherever you like!  The "Daddy" is stamped with the new ABC-123 Sketch Alphabet and Numbers stampset onto Very Vanilla and I tore the edges to stay within the theme.

These decorated pages are glued in with an Anywhere gluesticks, making sure to cover both the join and the ribbon on the inside back cover so they are hidden away.  Then use glue-dots to adhere your photos - you'll want them to all be the same orientation if possible, and you'll need to trim the edges a little.  I use one glue-dot in each corner to stick them in so that they can be removed later if necessary.

Here's an (almost) finished album I made using Pear Pizzazz Core'dinations and DSP instead of the grungy stamping.

Happy stamping, and thanks for reading!