Monday, August 26, 2019

Fall AKA Cross Country Season Has Begun!

My family lives and breathes the sport of cross country.  My husband and I ran in high school and it's how we met - we ran on the same college team.  I coach the middle school squad at our girls' school.  Our oldest daughter ran in high school and now runs for her college.  Our middle daughter has run XC since 7th grade and is currently a junior on the high school team.  Our youngest is a dancer but LOVES attending the meets and is now contemplating running cross country as a freshman this year. 

It's in our blood!

It also means I'm in a fall frame of mind, despite it still being warm enough to develop a tan at practices (a very nice perk to the job of coach).  I made a fall card here, with white pumpkins and a white watercolor pencil.  Very cool technique!  And today I have a fall card with gently falling leaves, touches of gold, and warm colors.

Leaf-filled fall card made with images from Stampin' Up!'s Gather Together set by Nicole Steele The Joyful Stamper

My color palette was inspired by Hand Stamped Sentiments latest challenge.


Because I want this blog to be a virtual classroom for you, I'm offering some tips, along with a card recipe, below.  

Tips:

  • Lightly spritz your cardstock before running it through your die-cutting machine when using the Gathered Leaves dies.  The water softens the cardstock fibers and gives a deeper embossed impression (the leaves dies in this set both emboss and cut!).  
  • Be liberal with that fun splatter stamp in the Gather Together set!  I used it behind the leaves with Pretty Peacock ink and around the edge of my card base with Versamark ink so I could heat emboss then in gold.
  • Create a simple, but striking, frame for your card by making small diagonal snips in each of the four corners.  Then use your bone folder to fold the paper edges up (see the Pretty Peacock cardstock layer in the photo above).  I learned this technique from Elizabeth Price of Seeing Ink Spots.

Putting It All Together:
(* starred products aren't available until September 4, unless you add them to a Starter Kit when you join my team.  Get your Starter Kit here and choose Nicole Steele as your upline.)




Thursday, August 22, 2019

The Prodigal Stamp

One of my stamps decided to go wayward today.  Of course, the stamp was from a brand-new set that I had just opened.  I had to stop in the middle of my project yesterday afternoon because of the need to feed my family and didn't return to said project until this morning.  And the stamp was gone!

I spent 20 minutes painstakingly going through each piece of trash; turned over every trimmer, block, ink pad, and stamp case; did a little dance to shake my clothes out; crawled on the floor to run my hands over the carpet; and wiped my desk clean.  Nothing!  

That's when I decided to pray about it.  God has been answering a LOT of prayers lately for myself and family members, so I figured He's got this, too.  I sat quietly for a minute, eyes closed, telling God He's been so faithful in so many other ways that I just knew He'd show me where my lost stamp was in due time.  I remained sitting quietly for another few seconds, opened my eyes, glanced down and over to the right, and my eyes immediately fell upon the stamp:

Lost stamp found!

No joke, a shiver ran up my spine and I got goosebumps!  I was so excited at the absolutely crazy way my prayer was answered that I ran upstairs to tell my 14-year-old daughter the story.  No prayer really is too small for God!

So what WAS the card I was trying to make during this miracle? 

Stampin' Up!'s Gather Together bundle is used to make a white pumpkin card by Nicole Steele The Joyful Stamper

The TGIF challenge this week was to make a card all in black.

#tgifc225 all in black challenge entry by Nicole Steele The Joyful Stamper

My mind immediately went to white pumpkins.  I love how they look and I thought I could recreate it with a white watercolor pencil on Basic Black cardstock.  It worked!

All those pumpkins were stamped in Versamark and heat set with white embossing powder.  I then used the Gathered Leaves Dies to die-cut the pumpkins and glue them to a Basic Black panel.  I added strips of Come To Gather Designer Series Paper (don't you LOVE that plaid?!) to the top and bottom and also die-cut leaves from it (the leaf die is also from the Gathered Leaves Die set).

Tip for stamping on vellum: I inked up my sentiment with Versamark, then immediately (before putting stamp to vellum) inked up with Early Espresso ink.  This trick allows you to sprinkle on clear embossing powder in any color of ink!

Here are the supplies for this card:
* (starred) supplies will be available September 4 in the Holiday 2019 catalog
I so appreciate your business!  Thank you for choosing Nicole Steele as your demonstrator when shopping.  Please let me know if you would like a catalog if you don't already work with a demonstrator that you love.

Contact me Nicole Steele The Joyful Stamper for a Stampin' Up! Holiday 2019 catalog package!


Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Gate Fold Card with more Perfectly Plaid

It's pretty rare for me to make a fun fold card but I did just that during a marathon Saturday night stamping session.  And before we proceed further, does anyone else find that late-night crafting energizes them?  I hear others say it's relaxing and their down time.  It has the opposite effect on me!  I get wired and more fired up and the ideas start pouring and I can't stop - I have to force myself to go to bed but then I lay there wide awake, unable to turn off the creativity.  

So what came from my late-night Saturday stamping session was an entire Christmas Card class using Stampin' Up!'s snuggly Perfectly Plaid bundle plus more cards just for fun.  I'll be announcing the class soon.  There will be gold and green and red and even jingle bells...I can't wait for you to see the class projects!  



Gate fold card using Stampin' Up!'s Perfectly Plaid bundle by Nicole Steele The Joyful Stamper

I stamped plaid trees in Shaded Spruce ink on Cherry Cobbler cardstock, then brushed the edges with a Versamark ink pad.  Then I sprinkled on Gold Embossing Powder and melted it with a Heat Tool.  I heat embossed the sentiment, too.  I was so excited to see the size of the sentiment - it's perfect and so easy to work with.  Those trees act as closures for the gate fold.

Inside of gate fold Perfectly Plaid card by Nicole Steele The Joyful Stamper
  
This is the card when opened.  I just love it!  It makes me want to be in a cozy mountain cabin in front of a fire with fuzzy socks on, sipping hot chocolate.  

You can see my other card made with this suite here.  

There's so much to love about the Stampin' Up! Holiday catalog!  It's available to purchase from beginning September 4 for customers, but demonstrators got to pre-order this month.  My pre-order was stuffed with so many fun new things!  Take a look:


My Stampin' Up! Holiday Catalog pre-order! Nicole Steele The Joyful Stamper

If you'd like a Holiday Catalog and aren't already working with a demonstrator you love, I have one ready to send to you.  I'll add a few product samples from the catalog, too, so you can touch and see how beautiful these offerings are!  Just email me your address.  

Thank you, friend, for the opportunity to earn your business!



Monday, August 19, 2019

Let's Hear It For The Buckeyes!

I love my aunt's buckeyes.

Love is actually a pretty weak word to describe how much I enjoy them, though.  She makes them at Christmas, so I have them just once a year.  That makes them all the more delectable.  I have 364 days to build them up in my mind, remembering the rich combination of peanut butter and chocolate.  I'm embarrassed to say how many I eat at Christmas!  Well, no I'm not.  I eat dozens.  Sure, I could have a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup but they aren't even close to my aunt's buckeyes and I refuse to settle when it comes to sweets.  And, yes, I could just ask her for the recipe and make them any time I want but not only would that be dangerous to my health (because I'd want them every week) it also would take away some of the magic and anticipation of Christmas.  

WELL, my aunt came to visit yesterday and she brought me buckeyes!  My own pan!  In August!  When it's 90 degrees!  Not even close to Christmas!  

My aunt's amazing buckeyes!


It made my weekend.  I am so easily pleased.

I have some irony for you, though.  While the buckeyes made a surprise appearance long before their typical Christmas showing, I have a Christmas card to share with you today.  

Stampin' Up!'s Perfectly Plaid trio of trees using the Pine Punch and Wrapped in Plaid DSP

The Wrapped In Plaid DSP is so cozy - my favorite feeling - and it looks gorgeous paired with gold!  I also love that it is in traditional colors of Shaded Spruce and Cherry Cobbler.  

Did you see this trick to save on paper here?  I used a similar idea with the gold foil mat.  A rectangle is cut from the center of the gold foil piece to use on another project.  The hole left behind is hidden by the Wrapped In Plaid DSP panel.  This trick is such a super way to stretch those pricier papers (like the foils and glimmers).

I used the Perfectly Plaid set to stamp those tree images, three times each in Shaded Spruce.  I stamped their trunks with Early Espresso ink, then used the co-ordinating Pine Punch to punch the trees out.  The stamp set and the punch can be bought as a bundle at a discounted price in the Stampin' Up! Holiday catalog!  

The Shaded Spruce/Gold Striped ribbon is also in the Stampin' Up! Holiday Catalog that is available to customers September 4.  But if you want them now, join my team as a demonstrator and you can put them in your Starter Kit.

I have a SUPER fun class planned with this suite of products!  I'll be announcing it in a couple weeks after the catalog goes live.  I can't wait to share the class projects with you!  The ideas with this product suite were flowing so fast - and I'm sharing them all with you as a class because I know you'll love them!

Email Nicole Steele The Joyful Stamper to get a copy of Stampin' Up!'s Holiday 2019 catalog!

Friday, August 16, 2019

What To Do With The Cards You Make

Either we make more cards than we are sending or we are letting them languish, unloved and unappreciated, in a plastic tote.  For the casual and avid cardmaker, sometimes this is an issue.  We can't have that!  There's too much creative hard work in those cards for them to remain hidden.  There's also a world of people who are worth celebrating, who are having babies and getting married, who need encouragement, who are ill or recovering from surgery, or who need to know someone loves them.

Now, I don't personally know ALL those people but I know people who do know of others experiencing those life seasons.  So, I share my cards with them.  

My mom volunteers at a local assisted living center and the residents love to send cards, but they can't get to a store to purchase any.  I donate many cards there for those residents to use.  The center also has a gift shop and some of the donated cards are sold there to visitors.  The center uses the money for programs for the residents.  I love that!  

Splitcoaststampers also has a special forum called Cards For A Cause.  Each month a request is posted for a variety of cards to different organizations.  The post explains which organization is requesting, what kinds of cards to donate, and where to send them.  This makes so many so happy!

For fun, I made a video gallery of the cards I am donating.  I just discovered this video making program on my Surface Pro and decided to try it out!  The video gallery is under 2 minutes long and you can click in the bottom right of it to make it full screen for closer viewing.  It was SO fun putting this together!  



Let me feel the love if you enjoyed that!  Comment below and tell me what kinds of cards/projects you'd like to see on this blog.  I so appreciate you!

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