Saturday, July 26, 2014

ESAD Annual Catalogue 2014-15 Blog Hop

Thanks for taking part in the latest ESAD Blog Hop.  You may have arrived here from Tracy Speight, or, as I am stop #1, you might be starting with me.  Enjoy the Hop!!
Today I am taking a close look at our new Project Life by Stampin' Up! range.  We took a family holiday during the May school holidays to Rotorua and Ohope Beach / Whakatane, so I have put together some pages from our trip.  My daughters are 3, 5 and 6, and they all wanted to be involved, so they helped me to collect brochures from the Visitor Information Centres and cut out interesting pictures of the places we were visiting, and I have incorporated these into my Project Life pages.
I have used the Everyday Adventure Card Collection and co-ordinating Accessory Pack, and filled the pockets of the Variety Pack of 12x12" Photo Pocket Pages.  The Stampin' Up! black faux leather 12x12" Album was not available during our pre-order period so I haven't had a chance to purchase it yet, so the album I am using is from the Becky Higgins Project Life range at Spotlight.  I used cardstock in the co-ordinating colours of Bermuda Bay, Strawberry Slush, Pear Pizzazz, Crushed Curry and Pumpkin Pie to make extra filler cards, and I also added some pieces of Soft Sky and Pacific Point as these tied in with my photos.  I have used a couple of our embossing folders for texture on some of these, including Ampersand and Polka Dot, and on others I have stamped or used pieces of Washi Tape or buttons to decorate.
The first couple of pages look at the 'travelling' part of our adventure and explaining where we went and where we stayed.  The dates are stamped onto a journaling card with the Epic Day Remember This Rotary Stamp, and corners have been rounded with the Project Life Corner Punch.
The map is from one of the Tourist brochures we collected, I simply cut it down to fit on a 6x4" mat and used my paper piercing tool to poke holes along our travel route and handstitched it with embroidery thread - I got this idea from Pinterest and really love how it turned out.  I used two stars from the new Itty Bitty Accents punch pack to highlight the two towns that were our destinations, and taped it down onto a Strawberry Slush mat with the grey Epic Day Washi Tape.  Finally I stamped a few different images from Around The Word stampset, onto both my journaling cards and as embellishments on my cards.
The 'adventure bound' comes from the photopolymer Project Life Remember This set, and the others are all from Around the World again.  I wanted to repeat the hexagons from the Everyday Adventure card, so I inked some Crumb Cake ink directly onto my embossing folder and used it as a stamp onto the cardstock for a subtle background image.
The next few pages look at our activities and things we saw and did on our holiday.  Rotorua has two lakes side-by-side, that due to the different depths and types of sediment on the bottom, appear to be different colours, so are called the Green and Blue Lakes.  You can stand at a viewing platform and see both lakes -  I used blue (Bermuda bay) and green (Pear Pizzazz) cardstock to represent the two different lakes, and I cut labels from the Project Life Cards & Labels Framelits and I used the Alphabet Rotary Stamp to stamp their names onto the respective photos.
This was my first page using the 4x4" pockets and cards.  I really like Design 3 and 4, for being able to use a mix of portrait and landscape photographs on the same page with a bit of creative cropping.
Finally, for the page documenting our drive home, I added a few pictures of things we saw on our trip back (as we took a different route home).  We stopped at the giant L&P bottle (a type of fizzy drink that is made here in Paeroa) and as this a tall photo to fit the whole bottle in, but the other photos were all horizontal, I used 2 of the 3x4" pockets and a 4x6" landscape pocket as a backdrop for a portrait photo.  I cut out the whole pocket (including seams) from a damaged Photo Pocket Page (don't ask!!!) and popped my photo inside and attached it to the front of the page with Washi Tape down the left-hand side, and put another piece of Washi Tape on the right-hand side to close the pocket and create a tab to pull on to turn the pocket over, revealing another photo on the other side.
Yes, they are being cheeky and pretending to show their bottoms!  For the word "Paeroa" I used the alphabet stickers from the Everyday Adventure Accessory Pack. 
This last page was only a couple of weeks ago, and it shows how I made a 6x4" cardfront and used it as a Project Life Card.  I decorated a plain piece of Whisper White cardstock with the Flower Patch stampset and Flower Fair Framelits and used a couple of stamped images from the Project Life Point & Click and Remember This stampsets on two of my filler cards.  Again the girls are being cheeky and the journaling says that I asked them to pose for a picture and they all started pulling silly faces.  I made a "picture perfect" banner for the really silly snap, and put a little star from the Everyday Adventure Accessory Pack, and used love hearts (the Crisp Cantaloupe heart is cut from the Hamburger Box die) to show that I {heart} their cheeky characters - these fun shots tell a bigger story and show more of their personalities, than a simple staged photo of them all posing nicely and smiling does. 
I hope this has given you some ideas on how you can use Project Life by Stampin' Up!.  Please do leave me a comment if you have found this helpful.  It really is such a lovely way of capturing your memories, and you can spend as much or as little time embellishing and decorating as you like.
Your next stop is Kelli Gordon.

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.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Life In The Forest Card-in-a-box

My big girl turns 7 this weekend, so as well as being allowed to get her ears pierced a few days early (due to the chemist being closed on the weekend), she has requested a card using her favourite stampset, Life In The Forest.   I decided to go for a Box Card, and of course, this stampset is just calling out to be used with the Blendabilities Markers.

Here is the other view, you can see a couple of the little critters a bit better here.
I used Pear Pizzazz cardstock for the base and the grass (cut with my Fringe Scissors) and the Smoky Slate DSP on the panels is from the Moonlight Paper Stack.  On the base is Pear Pizzazz arrow pattern from the Subtles Paper Stack.  Her name is cut out with the new Little Letters Thinlets, and I actually placed each letter onto a piece of Window Sheet with glue dots and then popped the whole thing up with tiny strips on Dimensional foam from the outside of the sheet.
You might have noticed that one of the foxes is facing the 'other' way.  I stamped onto a piece of baking paper with my black Memento ink, and then rubbed the image from the baking paper onto a piece of Whisper White.  It didn't work out quite as nicely as when its done with StazOn ink, but of course it had to be Memento Ink to use with the alcohol markers, so to disguise the un-clean outline I used a darker colour and the darkest shade marker (Cherry Cobbler) for the bulk of the colouring, and then fussy cut right up to the line instead of leaving a white outline.  I think it looks "okay" LOL.  The other Mr Fox is coloured with the Pumpkin Pie markers.
And here is my lovely birthday girl showing off her new earrings, I'm looking forward to spending a nice day with her on Sunday, and have got a cake baking in the oven as we speak.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

All about the flowers

It's all about the flowers today - here are a couple of cards I've been working on with some new product from the 2014-15 Catalogue.

This is the Blended Bloom stamp, coloured with my Rich Razzleberry Blendabilities.  I used the darkest shade to colour my organza ribbon as well - soooo much easier than dying it with a re-inker.  I used Daffodil Delight for the accent colour, and the sentiment is stamped in Rich Razzleberry from the new Work of Art stampset.  I looped some linen thread in behind my flower, and popped a couple of leaves underneath as well from the new Flower Patch bundle.

This is also the Flower Patch bundle, and as you can do them as 2-step stamping, it is quite addictive playing with all the possibilities for colour combinations!  My favourites are Pink Pirouette/ Strawberry Slush and Soft Sky/Lost Lagoon.  The other colours I've used are Pistachio Pudding /Wild Wasabi, Crisp Cantaloupe/Calypso Coral and So Saffron/Hello Honey.  It is super easy to cut the flowers out too, with the co-ordinating Framelits and my Magnetic Platform.  I layered everything together, curled a few petals with my bone folder, popped on some dimensionals and then used a matching Candy Dot or two for each colour combination as well, and another loop of linen thread.

Don't fret, there's something for the guys today too, and not a floral petal in sight.

This is the new Mustache Framelit, isn't it cool!  I embossed the background with the Polka Dot embossing folder on Crumb Cake cardstock, and added a panel of Whisper White stamped with the Dictionary background stamp in Early Espresso, then I distressed and sponged the edges, but I do wonder if I should have just used Crumb Cake again for that panel and done away with the Whisper White.

You Da Man is stamped with the alphabet rotary stam, in Early Espresso, and the circles were cut with the Circles Collection Framelits.  I love being able to write my own greeting, very playful and cheeky.

I hope you've enjoyed these new products, I sure did - its so much fun having new toys to play with!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Angry Birds using the Hamburger Box die

I found this idea on Pinterest by Tracy May, and have copied her creations to show my Launch Party attendees later on this week.  They're a little fiddly to make, but worth the effort - I just love them, don't you??

My family have also requested that I make the black one, the blue one, the white one......  I guess I'd better get to work!

Colours are Wild Wasabi/Pear Pizzazz, Daffodil Delight/Pumpkin Pie and Real Red/Daffodil Delight, with Whisper White and Basic Black eyes on them all.  I used a bunch of different punches, notably the Pansy and Petite Petals punches for the tailfeathers, the rest are pretty interchangeable to use whatever size circles and squares you have - mine are the 1" circle and the largest of the owl eyes, and the beaks are the smallest Squares Collection Framelit.

Check out the Hamburger Box die in my online store, you will need the extended Cutting Plates and an extended Crease Pad, and I have to use a shim as well with my Big Shot.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Blendabilities Markers Tutorial

Today I've been trying out the new Blendabilities Markers from the latest Stampin' Up! Catalogue.  I love that they come in a 3-pack of co-ordinating colours that are guaranteed to match each other AND your other Stampin' Up! inks, cardstock and accessories! 

I have never used alcohol markers before, so this has been a steep learning curve, but I wanted to learn it so I can sell them to my customers properly.  There are a few videos on the Stampin' Up! YouTube channel, plus I watched one by Patty Bennett showing some different techniques, but then it was over to me to practice and see what works!  So here are some tips I have put together:

1.  Always use Tuxedo Black Memento Ink - it doesn't bleed like other black inks (such as StazOn).  I love that the Memento Ink washes up easily on the Stampin' Scrub as well.
2.  Colour with a light touch, you don't need to press hard at all.
3.  Start with the darkest shade, then medium, then light.  Use the lightest one for most of your blending to remove the sharp lines that occur when you change pens.
4. Use either a flicking motion or a circular motion when colouring.  You should always be working in one direction only - do not go back and forwards.  Left to right, left to right, left to right.  The idea is that when you change pens, you are picking up some of the ink that's already on the page at the same time as applying new ink from the pen - this is how they blend.
5. With that in mind, colour small sections at a time - eg. finish one whole petal or leaf before starting the next one.
6. Don't use your darkest pen to go right up to the outline of your image - they do sometimes bleed a little bit if you go too close to the edge.  So leave a 1mm gap, and fill this in with your medium or light pen with gentle flicks towards the outer edge.
7. There is a Colour Lifter pen for those times when you do accidentally colour outside the line.  I have found it to work best on the Light and Medium pens.  It is not an eraser, you use it to push the ink back inside the outline.
8. Be patient and work slowly.

After putting these skills to the test, here is my finished product with the In This Together stampset:

This card uses 5 of the 6 colours that are currently available (you get all 3 shades in a pack - Dark, Medium, Light) and in a few weeks there will be another 6 colours released.  The Memento ink and refil, Colour Lifter pen, and Skin Tone Assortment are also available now.

Available now:
- Rich Razzleberry
- Cherry Cobbler
- Pumpkin Pie
- Daffodil Delight
- Old Olive
- Coastal Cabana
- Skin Tone Assortment (6 pens)

Available in August:
- Melon Mambo
- Calypso Coral
- Night of Navy
- Crumb Cake
- Wisteria Wonder
- Smoky Slate

Each pack costs $25.95, and the Skin Tone Assortment is $47.95.  The Colour Lifter is $10.95, and the Memento Ink is $11.95, and the refil is $10.95 (all prices are NZD$).

You can check them out, and see the introductory video, here.