Monday, June 30, 2008

Sneak Peek #2

July 1st means that summer is in full swing at my house! There are so many things that I LOVE about summer, the kids are home from school, most days we don’t need to set an alarm clock, and of course, being the obsessed paper crafter that I am, CHA SUMMER! It’s hard to believe, but just one year ago, we were getting our first mouth-watering peeks at Spellbinders’ Nestabilities – and what a wild & wonderful year it has been!

So in honor of the big Nestabilities birthday, all the bloggin’ gals at Spellbinders are doing a couple of weeks worth of Sneak Peeks! In case you missed it, DEBBIE OLSON, previewed two great sets of new shapes on her blog, Thinking Inking, yesterday (and if you didn’t enter the contest from her blog yesterday, you have until midnight CST tonight to do so). Here is what the rest of the lineup looks like:
July 1 Right here!
July 2 Wickedly Wonderful Creations by Wendy Weixler
July 3 Embellished Dreams by Heidi Blankenship
July 4 Simple Dreams by Ellen Hutson
July 5 Caffeinated Thoughts by Michelle Klomp
July 6 Linda’s Works of Heart by Linda Duke
July 7 Mish Mash by Michelle Wooderson
July 8 Inky Heart by Sally Lynn MacDonald
July 9 Cookies For Breakfast by Beth Pingry
July 10 PaperFections by Sharon Harnist
July 11 Today's Creations by Holly Craft
July 12 Donya Schroeder by Donya Schroeder
July 13 Follow Your Bliss by Trudee Sauer

By this time, you’re probably wondering what I have up my sleeve…well, without further delay, I would like to introduce the brand-new Rose Border Petite(product no. S4-164, msrp $19.99).

Spellbinders Pre-CHA Sneak Peek #2

Isn’t it just gorgeous?! It consists of three separate dies, the border (5 ½" wide x 1 ¼" high), a heart with a rose (about 1 ¾" at its widest point) and a circle (diameter of 1"). The border cuts only on one side, which lets you create beautifully edged cards, like the one shown in the illustration. The real beauty, though, is in the versatility of this set.

I knew immediately when I saw this die set that I wanted to create a note card set for my mom. She goes through note cards like most of us go through water; she always wrote our school notes on nice note cards when I was growing up. I remember once telling her “Mom, you can just write the note on notebook paper – all the other moms do.” Her response? “You should always use nice paper if you’re taking the time to write something out.” That little life lesson has always stayed with me, and now, I too, write all my school notes on nice paper! ;)

When I saw the border piece, I wanted to give it a try on the top of single panel note cards. I cut and embossed WorldWin Papers ColorMates and adhered it to the top of my note card (just a plain piece of white cardstock cut to 4 ¼" x 5 ½"). I thought it looked a little flat, so I cut and embossed the circle with WorldWin Vellum. I pulled out a couple watercolor pencils and a brush to highlight the rose image. By putting it in the center, you add visual interest and balance. To make the burgundy border pop a little more, I used some metallic rub-ons, white on the flowers and green on the leaves.

But to make a note card set, you really need to include envelopes. One trick I always do with my note card sets is to decorate the envelopes. Here, I used the heart die to only emboss. To do this, just place the Spellbinders Tan mat under the envelope flap and the die (face down) and run it through your Wizard. The tan mat prevents the cutting edge from going through and allows for gorgeous embossed details.

These are so quick and easy that I was able to make a set of eight in no time whatsoever!

To finish off the presentation, I placed all the cards and envelopes in a clear top box. To pull it all together, I made a belly band to place around the box. To do this, I had to run my strip of paper through the Wizard two times, moving the die along to cut the entire length (and repeated the process to emboss). Once again, I used the metallic rubs to accent the embossing, the same as the cards. I chose the heart for the center piece this time, but again used watercolors on the embossing.

With any luck, this will give you an idea for a great gift to keep on hand for those occasions that always seem to sneak up!

I always get a lot of questions about how to use Spellbinders dies with other machines, since they are a universal die. Well, if you’re anything like me, seeing something is the key to learning, so these videos will be a great resource (you might want to bookmark it for easy reference!):

Now, for all the details on the BIG CONTEST!

Spellbinders Birthday Celebration
Sneak Peek Party Drawing Information

Spellbinders will randomly pick one entry from each of the 14 Spellbinders Sneak Peek Blog reveals as stated in the “Rules”. This name will be drawn to receive the die being revealed on said blog. These entries must follow all rules stated below to be valid for the drawing.

Entrants visiting all 14 Spellbinders Birthday Celebration Sneak Peeks Blog reveals and correctly entering their information into the 14 separate drawings, as described below, will automatically be entered into a GRAND PRIZE give away of a new RASPBERRY WIZARD and a $500 retail value die package!


Any participant wishing to be included in the daily drawing for the Spellbinders Birthday Celebration Sneak Peek die give away must adhere to all of the following rules:
1. Participant must click on the provided drawing link on blog to enter each individual drawing on sneak peeks between June 30 and July 13.
2. Participant must type in the subject line the name of the die being revealed.
3. Participant must send their entry for this blog before 12:00 midnight Central Standard Time on July 2, 2008.
4. Participant is only allowed to enter each of the 14 Spellbinders sneak peek blog give away drawings one time per sneak peek. Participant must use the same email address daily to be considered for grand prize entry.
5. Spellbinders Design Team members and employees are not eligible for drawing.

Any participant wishing to be automatically entered into the drawing for the Spellbinders Birthday Celebration Sneak Peek Grand Prize drawing, must enter the drawing from all of the 14 blog reveals and follow all the above rules.
Please note:
*Spellbinders will only use email information to contact the winner.
*Spellbinders will not share this email address with any other parties.
*Spellbinders will not use this email information for advertisements or communications
other than to contact the winner.
*If you wish to be included in further communications from Spellbinders, please go to their homepage and sign up:

If you have questions regarding the rules for the contest, please e-mail

The deadline for entering the contest for the Spellbinders Petite Rose Border (S4-164) has ended. Be sure to visit the other blogs listed above for a chance to win dies! Good Luck!

For more Spellbinders product release information,

I hope you have enjoyed this part of the sneak peek. LMK what you think so far! Be well.

Don't forget to check back tomorrow!

Hi everyone!

You have probably seen by now the GREAT big round of giveaways that Spellbinders is doing. Tomorrow is my sneak peek day, so don't forget to come back and enter my giveaway! :)

Until tomorrow, be well.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Oh the fun you will have!

Every so often, I have something SO FUN to share with you! I am so excited to share this great contest with you - check out the Spellbinders Home Page for all the details! All the fun starts on MONDAY, so make sure that you plan accordingly. I will see you all back here on TUESDAY, JULY 1ST. :)

Be well (and be excited!)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Fun changes!

Wow, I turned on my computer this morning to lots of well wishes in my inbox! (THANK YOU SO MUCH!) Which, since I hadn't had that all-important second cup of coffee, left me scratching my head a little, until I realized I needed to go see what Nichole had been up to! As you can tell, we've had a couple of eventful days at PTI.

First, and foremost, Taylor VanBruggen has decided to follow her dreams in a more dedicated fashion, which is great for fans of her work & store. Her style is always fun & fresh and who doesn't love Cupcake Fridays?! Sadly, though, it means that she has decided to step down from the Sr. Design Team. Luckily, we will continue to see her great work on her blog (and if you haven't been there, I highly recommend it!).

So, by domino effect, that leads to an opening at PTI, which the extremely capable and uber-talented Lauren Meader is stepping up to fill. So excited, and know that she will be giving us amazing ideas in the newsletter.

Speaking of the newsletter, a HUGE shout-out to Lynn Mercurio! Lynn has taken a promotion within PTI to Newsletter Editor. She has fantastic ideas that will make it an invaluable resource!

Which brings us to my promotion...I have taken on a role as Nichole's Gal Friday. I'm really looking forward to this new role, because for as creative as I like to pretend to be, my actual strengths lie in the business world. (Little known fact, before the Beav was born, I worked in international trade & logisitics with Fortune 50 companies - my background is Economics.) I'm really looking forward to using that skill set with such a dynamic, creative company like PTI - it's the best of both worlds! Plus, I hope to give Nichole more time to do what she does best - designing the MOST CREATIVE stamps in the industry! (Not to worry, though, I still fully intend to keep creating with PTI and posting it here!)

So, if you're keeping a tally, that leaves three spots on the Release Design Team, joining Becky Oehlers and Geny Cassady. Nichole has filled these three spots with Dawn McVey, Michelle Wooderson, and Niki Estes. Each of these super talented stampers are going to be bringing such creative energy and ideas to the PTI team, that I can hardly stand it!

It is a VERY exciting time for PTI! The growth and direction is just phenomenal, and I'm so fortunate to be a part of that. So, whether you're an established PTI fan, or just getting started, fasten your seat belts, we're in for an exciting ride!

Be well.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Boards & Beams

Well, when you have looked at as many houses as I have in the last two months, you certainly REQUIRE a great house stamp set.

I had a lot of fun making this sample - I got to use all the new papers, Kraft, Vintage Cream and Plum Pudding! I made a quick pocket (your sewing machine makes quick work of this!) and a tag (without a address - UGH, don't get me started, lol!).

This set has great possibilities, and Nichole has even alluded to more fun things in the future! Like so many other PTI sets, this one will surely become a classic.

We were recently having a color inspiration conversation on the PTI message boards. I mentioned using paint chips; whenever I go to Lowes or Home Depot, I love to check out the unusual color combinations that designers suggest. (well, because I tend to play it a little close-to-the-cuff when it comes to color. Heck, I'm sitting here wearing navy and khaki - not exactly daring!) ;) Here's an example of how you can use it, although this is really the most straight-forward example (remember, navy & khaki):

(To be perfectly honest, I did this on purpose to show the easiest way to incorporate this idea into your paper crafting. So the next time you're at the home improvement store, pick up one or two and give it a whirl. Or better yet, snap a few pictures on your cell phone camera - it's probably more environmentally friendly!)

I hope that you are having a creative week! Be well.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Birds Of A Feather

Birds of a Feather is THE bird set that I've been waiting for! I was so pleased to see the wide variety of birds AND sentiments in this set. Candice really covered a lot of occasions when she designed it.

My favorite sentiment in the set is Spread Your Wings and take flight. It is actually three stamps, which allows many different placements without masking. The ampersand is so sweet and actually reminds me of a treble clef, which makes me think of the birds singing!

The best thing about this set, in my opinion, is the Hummingbird! I have always adored them - they just fascinate me! So, as you can imagine, I just had to use it! Here you will see that I changed the orientation of the flower from this set to be more like a hanging plant that the hummingbird could fly up to. I stamped the bird in Spring Moss ink and then pulled out my colored pencils to add the details. I used some patterned paper from the Pink Patterns collection, cut some Oval Nestibilities and accented with Liquid Pearls and Glossy Accents. See the sentiment? I simply framed it with an oval Making Memories tag (also available at PTI).

This card went together so easily! I used a few pieces of patterned paper from the Guide Lines collection and the swallow image in Lavender Moon and a little ribbon.

Did you know that you can download samples of this patterned paper directly from Papertrey Ink? Simply click here for your opportunity to get these samples for FREE! I love that PTI has started offering this; how many companies do this?! It's just one small example why I believe so strongly in this great group!

I expect that some of you are starting to get your orders that you placed this past weekend! If you are, I would love to see your creations! In the meantime, be well.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Linear Love!

Let the gushing begin - I'm in love with Papertrey Ink's new Guide Lines stamp set! It is by far the BEST $15 set on the market. I've said it before, but I have to say it again - THIS is what sets Nichole Heady apart from any other stamp designer, her uncanny ability to turn simple into BRILLIANT.
Here's a quick gift showcasing some of the great images in the set:

There are just so many ways to use this set - as a background, as a focal point or even just something in between:

This one is my favorite of the ones that I did. I loved discovering that most of the Mixed Messages sentiments fit within the grid lines perfectly.

Be sure to check out the Guide Lines section of the Papertrey gallery - there is TONS is great inspiration there!

Be well.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Stumped for a Quick Father's Day gift?

I was, too! Then I remembered that a little while ago I had picked up a snowglobe at Target in the frame section. I loved this snowglobe because it had an insert space in it and a twist-off base, so I thought it would be a fun project.

Ward's birthday always falls around Father's Day (sometimes even ON the same day), so this is always crunch time. Add to it that we're saving for our new house, so I've been given strict instructions to buy nothing for these two big events (sorry honey, not sure that's really going to happen!). So, in that spirit, I decided to make the snowglobe up in a nice masculine way.

This is officially the smallest layout that I have ever done! (It is 2.5" x 3.5".) First, I found a recent picture of Wally, the Beav and me and changed it to black & white, and made the size LITTLE. I used a tiny Cuttlebag tag and "Shining Moments" from PTI Favor It Weddings and the leaf and date stamps from Wedding Day . I didn't want to add much else, as I'm hoping that Ward will put it in his office, so ribbon and bling were definitely out of the question! Here's how it looks all put together:

I wish I could tell you just how little time this took! It is one of those projects that will make the recipient think you spent a ton of time coming up with the perfect gift. I think they'd be fun grandparents gifts, too.

Notice how we're rapidly approaching the middle of the month? You PTI fans know what that means! I hope that you've been enjoying the countdown peeks at Nichole's blog, as well as the Senior Design Team member's blogs. Lisa Johnson has been previewing her Flower Garden set all week - with amazing projects (make sure you stop by and see them!) and Heather Nichols has another great Father's Day project today with Guide Lines (I LOVE THIS SET - it is a blast to work with!).

I will be back Monday with a look at what I created for the PTI gallery. In the meantime, have a wonderful weekend - and treat all the dads in your life extra specially! Be well.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Summer already!

WOW - has it been hot where you are? Crazy weather all over it seems.

There's lots of PTI sneak peeks going on, but I'm sure you're enjoying them already! I've spent this week getting ready for the release, as well as working on some Father's Day cards and a few others. Busy, busy! But that makes it fun! ;)

Here's a couple of quick cards for some warm weather inspiration!

I hope you're staying cool! Be well.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Spellbinders, Shrink Plastic and Fun Foam - oh my!

Yesterday, I chatted a little about how Spellbinders offers coordinating stamps for many of their dies. I love this option with the dies, and I use it quite often. Here's a little trick, though - you can make your own stamps with Spellbinders - all it takes is a little fun foam. This is where a Wizard really makes a difference - you can cut a wide variety of materials with the Wizard.

I layer my white plate, my spacer plate, die (rough side up; this one is Ornamental Reflection B), fun foam and second white plate. I feed the sandwich through my Wizard just like normal and voila! Look what I got with just one pass. So, what's next?

Simply put a little repositionable adhesive on it and place it on your acrylic block!

So, for the shrink plastic, it is exactly the same sandwich as above, just substitute the shrink plastic for the fun foam. (If you're looking for a great shrink plastic, I always prefer Lucky Squirrel. I'm not affliated with them in any way, just wanted to let you know about a GREAT product.) I'm using clear on this, so to photograph it is probably a waste of time! ;) I will let you know, though, that you will probably want to send this through your Wizard two times. Here's a look at what you will end up with after die-cutting:

You may notice that the cut-out, detailed pieces are still intact. I'm just going to choose to leave these in, but you can follow up with a craft knife if you would like. Once this is heated up and shrunk, you won't notice those pieces being left in.

Ink up your foam stamp with Palette ink, then stamp your shrink plastic.

Next step? Heat it up! There are a couple of things to remember when working with shrink plastic: have something with a non-metal handle (embossing stylus, scissors, etc.) to hold the plastic in place when heating; keep something in mind is the surface that you're heating on (I use a non-stick baking sheet that I've repurposed to my craft room); I like to have an acrylic block close by, too, so that I can flatten out my piece once it has shrunk fully. (If you've done this before, you know how crazy this process can seem; it will wriggle around, fold upon itself and look like a complete lost cause before you finish. Have faith - keep heating until it is nearly flat. It will straighten itself out - especially if it's Lucky Squirrel! I just like to make sure it is really flat by putting the acrylic block on it while it is still hot.)

So there you have it! By combining these two techniques, you have made your own plastic embellishment, completely customizable to match your project. I used this as an embellishment on a notecard - here's the finished project:

I hope that you have a creative weekend! I will have you know that before I started taking these pictures, I had to make sure all the Papertrey Ink was out of view - just a little tease! ;)

Be well.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Anyone out there?

I think my little impromptu sabbatical may have left this place an echo chamber, but just in case anyone is still around (lol) I wanted to share a couple of things with you.

I started paper crafting in 2002, when the Beav went to kindergarten half days. I really started scrapping & stamping within weeks of each other, but in all honesty, I started the scrapping part first. I don't scrap nearly as much these days, but am grateful for my work with Spellbinders having me create a layout each month. This one is what I did last month, featuring Wally and the Beav.

Remember all those bar mitzvah invitations I did? Well this is when we were heading off to the big event. I couldn't get over how big they looked, and it really felt like I was looking at a foreshadow of the men they will become. There are a few different dies on here, including Classic Circle Nestabilities, Symbology I, and Julius alphabet (love this font!). You might also notice the stamped background; that was done with Spellbinders Watchfaces stamps. (Did you know that Spellbinders has stamps to match some of their dies? It's so cool! It gives such a great layered look.)

I wanted to show you this one, as well, since it utilizes Spellbinders stamps, too. I love how this turned out! It's a little tough to tell from the picture, but the butterfly is really a faux applique; first I cut the butterfly from fabric using this die set. Then, using the matching stamp and Palette Ink, I stamped it. After it was dry, I adhered it with Beacon Fabri-Tac (omg, do I love that stuff!). The tag was created with Julius alpha again (told you that I liked it - don't say you weren't warned!) and a heart Nestability. Really, in the grand scheme of things, a quick & easy project!

You might remember from this post that I was having fun with shrink plastic and fun foam. Well, my fellow Buffalo gal, Lisa, asked if I could show you what I was talking about, so I will be back tomorrow with a closer look at it!

In the meantime, be well!