Organizing Your Crafting Supplies!

March 28, 2009

Oh boy… if I had a dollar for everytime a new stamper asked me how to organize… I would be a millionaire by now!  But seriously one of the challenges of this hobby is how to keep everything at your fingertips and organized…  from paper to inks to scissors to embellishments and chipboard… what is a poor stamper to do?

Here’s a few ideas… and remember it would be wise to think about how you want to organize longterm… I highly recommend the scrapbooking organization cubes you can get for $25-$35 dollars. You can find them at Target or at Michaels/craft stores… and they are affordable and you can build on as you go… which is nice!

Here’s a few links:

Here’s some ideas on how versatile the craft cubes are for your craft room…

I had made the mistake of purchasing cheap plastic paper organizers/storage drawers and then when I had the space I had to purchase nicer organizers. I wish I would of went with these cubes on the get go… it’s well worth the investment and it looks neat and organized in a room!

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Cute Survival Kits – We all need them!

February 22, 2009

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Oh isn’t it fun to receive a cute gift that causes you to laugh!  And oh how useful these kits are!  Above is a kit I made for my customers for the new catalog!  It has a rubberband to stretch your creativity as well as a bandaid to repair the paper cuts you get while viewing the Stampin’ Up! Catalog in bed!

I had so much fun making these I thought all of you would too… here’s what I used* to make these wonderfully easy treats!:

  • Big Shot Top Note Stampin’ Up! Exclusive Die
  • bashful blue Designer Series Paper (2 sheets – top note bag topper, pen inside & scalloped square for chocolate)
  • chocolate chip Designer Series Paper (2 sheets – bag topper and scalloped flower)
  • bashful blue 12″x12″ cardstock
  • whisper white cardstock
  • scallop circle paper punch (for bag topper)
  • scallop square punch (for bottom of chocolate!)
  • Fiskars Paper Cutter and Scoring Blades
  • Tombow Glue
  • mini glue dots
  • stampin dimensional for the circle inside the flower
  • Paintshop Pro/Microsoft Word for the circle image inside the flower

Oh these are quick and easy to make… and in fact you can make ahead of time the bag toppers and stuff with the items of your choice when you need to use the bag topper!

If you look closely, I also made a matching pen!  You can get these at your local drug store – look for the pens where the top unscrews!

Here’s a few websites with a wonderful assortment of Survival Kit poems:

*Note:  All materials used are Stampin’ Up! Products!  You can get them here

Enjoy!stampaloooza-signature

Stampin’ Up! Switching Back to 1 Catalog a Year

February 21, 2009

Stampin’ Up! is switching back to 1 catalog a year!  Here’s the details:

Change in Catalog Program Announced
February 20, 2009

During [our CEO’s] teleconference Wednesday night, it was announced that we will be moving back to an annual catalog. We have been evaluating our catalog strategy for some time to determine what is most effective for you, and based on what we’ve learned and the feedback you have provided, we have decided to return to an annual catalog.

Because of the lead times involved in creating a catalog and the products that go into it, we had originally planned to make this change in July 2010. However, after considering the current economic situation and the effect it is having on your businesses, we have re-evaluated the timeline for this change and decided to launch the annual Idea Book & Catalog this coming July 2009.

What does this change mean to you?

  • Beginning in July 2009, we will go back to an annual catalog.
  • The US Hispanic supplement will also become an annual catalog.
  • The Décor Elements catalog will continue to be separate from the Idea Book & Catalog, and will come out twice a year.
  • The mini catalog program will change to include three mini catalogs a year, each lasting for four months.

In addition to the changes mentioned above, we will be introducing a small selection of hostess sets in each mini catalog.

Hoooray!

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Paper Flowers with Punches

February 20, 2009

We have a Winter Storm Watch today… so I thought I would go and find a few blogs that have tutorials for making Paper Flowers with Stampin’ Up! Punches!  Here’s they are:

Also… you have to check out some of these creative punch art book samples:

Enjoy!

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Sizzix Big Shot Extended Premium Crease Pad – A Solution…

February 19, 2009

Some of you have been asking me when Stampin’ Up! is going to get the Big Shot Extended Premium Crease Pad… and it is coming soon… but not quite yet… so I’ll keep you posted… in the meanwhile… here’s a solution… and this comes from Stampin’ Up! themselves:

Coming this spring, we are excited to announce the introduction of a wonderful new product into our Sizzix line – the Extended Premium Crease Pad! The extended pad is just as easy to use as our current Premium Crease Pad and will create the same great fold lines in your Sizzix Big Shot projects, but it is specially sized to work perfectly with the larger Bigz XL dies.

We realize that many of you have already purchased some of our Bigz XL dies with score lines in their design. If you have used these dies with the Extended Cutting Pads, you may have experienced the die cutting through the score lines and not leaving the fold creases that you desired. While this is not a common occurrence, this may happen due to the range of tolerances in the Big Shot machine as well as the variances in paper and other materials. If you are having this experience with your Bigz XL dies, we have come up with a way you can avoid this problem until the Extended Premium Crease Pad becomes available this spring. This is not a technique that we would recommend under normal circumstances, and we don’t recommend using it for any other purpose. However, in this case, it is the best alternative, and it is safe for both your Big Shot and your dies.

Create the following sandwich as a temporary solution for Bigz XL dies with score lines:

  • Place the Bigz XL die face up, with no cutting pad beneath it.
  • Place the material you wish to cut on top of the die.
  • Place two Premium Crease Pads, end to end, on the material. If you don’t have two Premium Crease Pads, consider borrowing one from an upline, downline, or friend if possible.
  • Place an Extended Cutting Pad on top to complete the sandwich. (This will maintain an equal amount of pressure over both crease pads to eliminate the possibility of unwanted creases.)

Remember that this is only a temporary fix and soon you will no longer have to worry about your Bigz XL score lines with the Extended Premium Crease Pad! Once you have the Extended Premium Crease Pad, you will simply follow the sandwiching technique found in the instructions.

So now you can enjoy the extended Sizzix Big Shot Dies without worrying about cutting the fold lines… drop me a line and let me know if this is working for all of you…

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Spring/ Summer Occasions Mini Spoiler #2

February 19, 2009

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I think the theme for the Spring/Summer Occasions mini is versatility – you can use so many of the items in the Mini Catalog for so many different things… and in today’s economy we need it! Why with a few stamp sets and the Big Shot Dies you can really make an assortment of gifts… for wedding showers, for baby showers, for birthday parties… and these stamp sets work so wonderfully with scrapbooking… the beautiful frame in the stamp set above could be used to frame a cute phrase that describes the picture or even a short journal entry… or use it to top the matchbox die with a simple monogram inside! And the butterfly – so summery… imagine using our embossing powders to emboss a butterfly or two on the new designer papers… wow!

Don’t forget our Rub-Ons… and our new Corduroy Buttons… in Baja Breeze and Basic Gray…

The Color Scheme for this mini:

  • Baja Breeze
  • Kiwi Kiss
  • Cameo Coral
  • Basic Gray
  • So Saffron

Of course… you can always go with your own color schemes as well… that’s the beauty of Stampin’ Up! Color Versatility!

One more spoiler:  There’s an awesome father’s day stamp set!  Hooray to dads!

As soon as March 1 rolls around you bet I will be preordering some of the items I have shown here… stop by the Studio so that we can have fun playing with them!

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Spring/Summer Occasions 09 Mini Catalog Spoilers!

February 19, 2009

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Oh boy I cannot wait to show you all the wonderful things inside this new mini catalog – I want everything… but I had to narrow it down to three picks… so here they are:  {enjoy!}

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And just think…. this is just the tip of the iceburg… there’s ribbons, easter stamp sets, train stamp sets, designer series paper and new button colors!  Can’t share everything with you… but again these are my favorites!

You can place an order from this mini catalog April 1, 2009 – June 30, 2009!

Don’t forget that Sale-a-bration ends March 31, 2009!

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Using Stampin’ Up!’s Scallop Edge Punch

February 16, 2009

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{ Click on picture for Card Recipe! }

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Scallops make me think of spring!  and oh what fun it is to use Stampin’ Up!’s Scallop Edge Punch { page 184 112091 $15.95 }… but how do you get the scallops to line up so that you have perfect scallops everytime?  Here’s a few tips and tricks to help you have a lot of fun with this punch:

Scallop Edge Punch Tutorial Basics:
After watching this video… my scallops are always coming out wonderfully!  Click Here for Video!

Scalloped Squares and Rectangles:
Also if you are wanting to make scallop squares and scallop rectangles… it’s really easy… simply add 1/2″ to each side of your desired size rectangle or square and cut the rectangle/square out… then using the scalloped edge punch… punch out the scallops… for corners… I turn my scallop edge punch upside down where I can see the actual silver punch and try to match up the last scallop punched on my cardstock to the scallop punch edge… it works every time!  Now you can make scalloped squares and rectangles that are any size! With one punch!  Here’s a great website that gives you a tutorial on how to make scallop squares/rectangles with the scallop edge punch:  Click Here for Tutorial!

New! Here’s the Eyelet Border Tutorial!  Using this tutorial you can make a square or rectangle with your new Eyelet Border Punch!

Umbrella Tops/ Egg Shells:
One more idea… did you know you could make an egg shell/ or umbrella top { depending on which way you turn it } with the scallop edge punch and the 1 3/4 ” Circle Punch?  Simply punch the scallop edge and then using the circle punch, punch a half circle… the scallop edge will become the straight edge!

Ric Rac Tutorial:
You can also make Ric Rac as well… Click Here for Tutorial!

Texturize Your Scallops:
When you finish punching out your scallops, run it through the Big Shot! using our new Texturz Embossing Plates… now that is really cool!

Where can I get this tool?
As you can see this punch is really versatile and fun to use… So how can you get a hold of this nifty tool?  Simply go to my Stampin’ Up! Website and click Shop!  The Scallop Edge Punch is located on page 184 of the Big Idea Book and Catalog!

Happy Stampin’,

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Creating Paint Shop Pro Brushes

February 15, 2009

One of my most favorite things to do is to apply a “brush” to a picture.  The earlier post shows a picture of my daughter with her name between a beautiful flower scroll.  The beautiful flower scroll was a “brush”.  I can make the brush bigger, smaller, rotate it (notice how the beautiful flower scroll below her name is upside down!), darken it, lighten it, apply a special color… oh the possibilities are endless…

So I thought I would share with you how to create a brush in paint shop pro… it’s so easy … if you know how to copy/paste an image into paint shop pro, select the image… you are 80% there!

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  1. Start Paint Shop Pro. Open the image that you want to make a brush with.
  2. Choose the selection tool from the toolbar.  The selection tool will look like a dotted rectangle.
  3. Select the image using the selection tool.  You can use a magic wand/freehand selection (looks like a lasso) if it is easier…
  4. Now here’s the magic… select the brush tool while your image is selected.
  5. In the Controls box, choose Brush Tip. Click on the box containing an image of a paintbrush inside a dotted rectangle.
  6. Provide the copyright information as well as a title for your brush tip.  Remember that brushes are shown to you in alphabetical order in the brush selection pane… so give it a good name that will help you group your common brushes together – ie: Flower Large
  7. In the Custom Brush dialog box, click OK. A new brush tip will be added to the existing tips.
  8. Now here’s the really fun part- open a new image and paint the brush tip!
Here’s some Brush Tip Creation Hints…

  • Change the color of the brush tip using the Foreground Color box on the right side of the screen.  You can use Stampin’ Up!s colors… see the Color Chart Page… or ask me to print you out one!
  • Change the fill of the brush tip by clicking on the Tool Controls tab in the Controls box. Select a texture from the Paper Texture pull-down menu.
  • Remember: Obtain permission before using any licensed or copyrighted clip art, even to create a brush tip.
  • Remember: Do not use images from another Web page without permission from the owner of the site.
  • Before you make your brush… try desaturating and inverting the colors/ reducing contract, etc… this will create a “stamped” image look where the outline is stamped…

Oh just think what you can dream up!  And with Stampin’ Up!’s colors as well…  I use my signature below as a stamp that stamps all my images before I load them up to my blog!

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Digitally Embellishing Photographs

February 13, 2009

Oh I just love my Paint Shop Pro tool!  I have the newest version and what fun it is to embellish photographs!  Below I simply used a rectangle tool to frame my daughter’s face and then I added her name and the year the picture was taken… and then added a few swirls using a Paint Shot Pro brush I picked up along the way… If you haven’t tried to embellish your photos… you really should… it will make your scrapbook pages unique… I am planning on using the cheep talk stamp set to layout my page for this picture…  I was thinking old olive and pixie pink birds! to match the colors in this hat…

There’s a really silly story behind this photo… she wears this hat everywhere… it is the most brightest (hot pink) silliest hat… but oh how it frames her face perfectly!  And it makes her green eyes pop!  I want to put in a journal entry with this…

So the question is which graphics file format do you use to save the Digitally Embellished Photograph?  Well… the answer is it depends….   If you are going to print the photograph – then use PNG format… if you are going to only edit once and then view the photograph – use JPEG…. Here’s why….

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JPEG Format

JPEG (pronounced JAY-peg) is a commonly used method of compression for photographic images. The degree of compression can be adjusted, allowing a selectable tradeoff between storage size and image quality. JPEG typically achieves 10:1 compression with little perceptible loss in image quality.

JPEG compression is used in a number of image file formats. JPEG/Exif is the most common image format used by digital cameras and other photographic image capture devices; along with JPEG/JFIF, it is the most common format for storing and transmitting photographic images on the World Wide Web. These format variations are often not distinguished, and are simply called JPEG.

The JPEG compression algorithm is at its best on photographs and paintings of realistic scenes with smooth variations of tone and color. For web usage, where the bandwidth used by an image is important, JPEG is very popular. JPEG/Exif is also the most common format saved by digital cameras.

On the other hand, JPEG is not as well suited for line drawings and other textual or iconic graphics, where the sharp contrasts between adjacent pixels cause noticeable artifacts. Such images are better saved in a lossless graphics format such as TIFF, GIF, PNG, or a raw image format. JPEG is also not well suited to files that will undergo multiple edits, as some image quality will usually be lost each time the image is decompressed and recompressed (generation loss). To avoid this, an image that is being modified or may be modified in the future can be saved in a lossless format such as PNG, and a copy exported as JPEG for distribution.

Here’s a better description of PNG and a comparison of it to the other types of graphic files ( you need to scroll a bit to find the word comparison!)

For me I love using PNG because I do not have the issues of quality loss when I continually edit the photo… but then my printer does not print the photo as nice as the JPEG.  So I basically use PNG until I am satisfied with the editing and then I export my graphic to JPEG to use on my scrapbook page.

I am a hybrid scrapbooker (digitally embellish photos and use fonts to enhance scrapbook page) but use traditional framing/embellishments on scrapbook page!  So JPEG is what I really need for my printer to print.

What do you think?  This page is going to be a fun one!

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