Friday, September 20, 2019

It's Always Better in Person (Video)

Do you have a New Catalog ritual?  I do.  

I lay on our living room floor on my stomach, notebook and Post-It notes to my right, favorite pen in hand, and whatever beverage I'm craving at the moment by my side.  I s-l-o-w-l-y go through the catalog, poring over every sample, dog-earing the pages of the ones I want to recreate.  At the same time, I write down every single thing that pushes my want button.  This is not the time to be practical - if I like it, it gets written on the Wish List.  

I love flipping back and forth through the pages, folding corners down, holding it up to my face for a closer inspection.  When ideas pop up, I jot them down on a Post-It note and stick it to the catalog page that inspired the idea.  My catalogs are a tool, an inspiration, and well-loved!

Here's yesterday's Facebook Live.  You'll get to see Holiday Catalog products close-up and out of the package (and seeing it's my second video EVER, please extend grace to me!).  After watching it, make sure to email me at [email protected] or send me a message on Facebook to request a free catalog package. 




There's so much to be excited about in this catalog!  I'm eager to share the experience with you, so make sure to follow me on Facebook and visit my blog regularly to see projects you can create.  Most importantly, email me at nicole @thejoyfulstamper.com so I can send you your own catalog copy.  Start a new catalog ritual and share the excitement!


Stampin' Up!'s Buy 3, Get 1 Free Designer Series Paper sale!  Shop with Nicole Steele

Shop with Nicole Steele


Wednesday, September 18, 2019

This or This?

This reminds me of going to the eye doctor's for an annual check-up.  He'd swing in front of my eyes these super-sized lenses, then ask me which was clearer, "This one or this one?  A or B? 1 or 2?"  As a child with already uber-thick lenses in my glasses, I was always terrified to give Dr. Cohen the TRUE answer.  I knew it would mean yet another change in my prescription and even thicker lenses!  My 12 year old self was mortified at the cramping of my haute couture fashion style.  Because not seeing clearly was better than relinquishing my status as the Queen of Junior High Fashion, the Trendsetter with a capital T, the jeans pegger of all jeans peggers, the girl with the highest sprayed bangs!

I hope you heard the heavy sarcasm in those last claims.

But this This or That does not have so much riding on it.  


Do you like this card?

Season of Thanks card using Come To Gather product suite by Nicole Steele The Joyful Stamper


 Or do you like this card?

Gather Together card using Come To Gather product suite by Nicole Steele The Joyful Stamper

Both use products from the Come To Gather suite (item #153484) and even have the same layout, but I made one a lighter color scheme and a bit cleaner than the other.  I tend to believe "more is more" when it comes to cardmaking so it is very hard to resist the urge to pile on the layers and embellishments!  

I love the rustic touch of wood, though, in both cards from the Tags & Feathers Elements (item #150455).  A strip of Tear N Tape holds them securely.  

Tags & Feathers Elements from Stampin' Up! - shop with Nicole Steele

The other thing I love about both cards is the Come To Gather Designer Series Paper (item #150454).

Come To Gather Designer Series Paper - shop with Nicole Steele


The colors are so eye-catching!  They are classic autumnal hues but with a vibrant cast.  

Colors in Stampin' Up!'s Come To Gather Designer Series Paper - shop with Nicole Steele

Make sure to return to my blog because later I have a fall banner to share plus cute pumpkins made with paper strips.  Both home decor projects use Come To Gather DSP and the circle wood tags from Tags & Feathers Elements.






Gathered Leaves bundle (stamp set and dies at a discount)

Come To Gather Suite  (everything listed above using one item #153484)



Shop with Nicole Steele and fall in love with Stampin' Up!

Thank you, friend, for stopping by!  I so appreciate the opportunity to earn your business!  Please email me at [email protected] to request a free catalog package!

Monday, September 16, 2019

The Closing and Opening of Doors

It's Monday, my favorite day of the week, because of its fresh start.  Did you have a good weekend, friend?

Once again, ours was packed with cross country running.  And I loved it!  Both our high school and middle school teams went to one of the largest invitationals in the Mid-West (5000 runners) and it was exciting.  

I've been a runner for almost 30 years.  I competed in track and cross country in high school and in college; raced in local 5Ks post-college; finished 7 marathons; and ran just for health and the sheer joy of it.  Then two years ago I developed problems in my left foot, severe enough that I have not been able to run trouble-free since and eventually I realized the wisdom in giving it up.  That was a hard pill to swallow. 

God is good, though!  Just months after I began experiencing problems, I was asked to coach middle school cross country.  As one door closed to me, God opened a door that allows me to not only stay involved in the sport of running but to be a mentor and a cheerleader to up-and-coming runners!  Working with middle schoolers is a privilege and a joy - they lift my spirits with their goofy antics and while as a Christian I am to seek God's approval only, I will unabashedly confess to feeling a thrill when someone tells me how much one of my middle school runners loves having me as a coach.  Do you know how hard it is to get the seal of coolness from a 13 year old?!?!  I just love how life works and how God works in life.

Today's project matches my elation.
Birthday card using Basic Pattern Decorative Masks and Stampin' Write markers to create a background by Nicole Steele The Joyful Stamper


It's not fall- or Halloween- or Christmas-themed, but it's happy and bright and celebrates something we all have in common.  It's FUN to celebrate those who add pizzazz and love and meaning to our lives!  And it's FUN to be on the receiving end of the attention!

Can you guess how I made the multi-colored, polka-dotted background?  With masks!

Use Stampin' Write markers to color in Basic Pattern Decorative Masks - technique by Nicole Steele The Joyful Stamper

In a previous post, I showed how to heat emboss using the Basic Pattern Decorative Masks (item #150697 pg 35 in the Holiday Catalog).  This time, I experimented with using Stampin' Write markers to color in the masks.  For this background, I did not follow a proscribed pattern.  Rather, I used the colors of Grapefruit Grove, Call Me Clover, Lovely Lipstick, and Basic Black to randomly color in the dots.  Occasionally I'd lift the mask to see what color I felt there needed to be more of, then I'd align the mask again and fill in more dots.



Try coloring in the trees with a white chalk marker for an eerie Halloween effect!  Or how about adding a fall border to a card edge by using Cajun Craze, Crushed Curry, and Cherry Cobbler Stampin' Write markers on the top right stencil?  Gorgeous!

Stampin' Write Markers collections

White Chalk Marker

Basic Pattern Decorative Masks (holiday catalog)

Pattern Party Decorative Masks (annual catalog)



Thank you for stopping by today!  I hope you learned something and were uplifted in the pursuit of your creating.  I so appreciate your business and you choosing me as your demonstrator.

sun


Saturday, September 14, 2019

6 Days of Halloween - Day 6

It's the final day of the 6 Days of Halloween.  Have you liked this?  Did you find at least one project you'd love to make?  If so, please let me know in the comments.  It's wonderful to hear from blog readers!  If you missed the previous 5 Days' projects, here they are:

Day 1 - Spooktacular Mini Treat Bag
Day 2 - Snack Size Candy Holder
Day 3 - Coffin Box of Treats
Day 4 - Monster Bash Candy Bar Wrapper
Day 5 - Ghostly Diaper Fold Candy Pouch


Day 6 is an Open If You Dare Mini Shipping Box
Day 6 - Open If You Dare Mini Shipping Box by Nicole Steele The Joyful Stamper

These mini shipping boxes hold a good-sized amount of candy or gum!  They are a hidden gem in the annual catalog on the bottom right of page 172 (item#149492).  

Can you find the other surprise element?  It's the Shimmer Detailed Laser-Cut Specialty Paper (item #149611 pg 169)!  I snipped a few "sprigs" from a 12" x 12" sheet of it and used a sponge dauber and Memento Tuxedo Black Ink to color the shimmery side.  

Day 6 - Open If You Dare Mini Shipping Box by Nicole Steele The Joyful Stamper

The Basic Black Scalloped Edge Ribbon from the Holiday Catalog (item #150449 pg 54) is incredibly soft and it drapes beautifully (notice how it lies on the box above).  It also ties into a bow easily and is pretty, too.  My roll is almost empty because I've used it on so many projects (I was pretty generous with it on my Halloween Coffin Wreath here).

Click below to get the free tutorial for today's project.
Click here for the free Open If You Dare Mini Shipping Box Tutorial by Nicole Steele The Joyful Stamper

You can find today's project supplies in my online store.  Click below to shop now!
Shop with Nicole Steele for today's project supplies

Halloween Coffin Wreath Tutorial
Use Host Code RCRTAFKX
Halloween Coffin Wreath Tutorial - use host code RCRTAFKX with Nicole Steele

Designer Series Paper Sale-Buy 3, Get 1 Free!
Use Host Code RCRTAFKX for Bird Ballad tutorial.
Click the image to see all the options
Stampin' Up! Designer Series Paper sale - Buy 3, Get 1 Free!  Use host code RCRTAFKX with Nicole Steele for free Bird Ballad tutorial

Thank you for playing along with my 6 Days of Halloween blog series!  If you'd like to see other blog series like this, please let me know in the comments.  It is a blessing to interact with you!




Friday, September 13, 2019

6 Days of Halloween - Day 5

It's day 5 of the 6 Days of Halloween!  This has been a dangerous series to create - there are chocolate hazards all over my craft room!  I'm pretty disciplined in most areas of my life, but NOT when it comes to sweets!  Here are the first 4 days in case you missed them:

Day 1 - Spooktacular Mini Treat Bag
Day 2 - Snack Size Candy Holder
Day 3 - Coffin Box of Treats
Day 4 - Monster Bash Candy Bar Wrapper


Day 5 is a Ghostly Diaper Fold Candy Pouch
Ghostly Halloween Diaper Fold Candy Pouch by Nicole Steele The Joyful Stamper

Isn't that ghost peeking out so adorable?  He looks like he's mischievously eyeing the candy, plotting a way to grab it and run.  This diaper fold has been around for awhile and for great reasons:
  • it's easy and quick so a lot can be made in a short amount of time
  • it's easily adaptable for any occasion 
  • it holds affordably-sized gifts/treats
  • it uses a 6" x 6" piece of paper so there are zero scraps from a 12" x 12" sheet
Click below for the free tutorial for this project.
Free tutorial for Ghostly Diaper Fold Candy Pouch by Nicole Steele The Joyful Stamper
You can find today's project supplies in my online store.  Click below to shop now!
Shop with Nicole Steele for today's project supplies

Halloween Coffin Wreath Tutorial
Use Host Code RCRTAFKX
Halloween Coffin Wreath Tutorial - use host code RCRTAFKX with Nicole Steele

Designer Series Paper Sale-Buy 3, Get 1 Free!
Use Host Code RCRTAFKX for Bird Ballad tutorial.
Click the image to see all the options
Stampin' Up! Designer Series Paper sale - Buy 3, Get 1 Free!  Use host code RCRTAFKX with Nicole Steele for free Bird Ballad tutorial

Thank you for coming by and stop back tomorrow for Day 6's Halloween project, the final one in this series.






Thursday, September 12, 2019

6 Days of Halloween - Day 4

Welcome back!  It has been SO hot this week in Southwestern PA and I don't tolerate heat well.  Winter is my favorite season because I love the cold and snow.  Maybe I should be making Christmas cards this week instead of Halloween projects, just to pretend it's an icy wonderland outside!  My husband would be horrified to see that statement - he dreads winter and relishes every minute of heat and sun we get.  I suspect he's in the majority and I'm a wee bit out of the Normal Box!

We are on Day 4 of the 6 Days of Halloween!  If you missed the other 3 days, here they are:

Day 1 - Spooktacular Mini Treat Bag
Day 2 - Snack Size Candy Holder
Day 3 - Coffin Box of Treats


Day 4 - Monster Bash Candy Bar Wrapper

Monster Bash Candy Bar Wrapper by Nicole Steele The Joyful Stamper - free tutorial!

My husband and daughters always love finding a surprise like this in their lunch boxes.  It's also a great Halloween party favor.  And if you're THAT house that gives out full-size candy bars, it's an easy but unique way to pass them out (that was the Million Dollar Jackpot on trick-or-treat night when I was little!).

Wrap a piece of Monster Bash DSP around the candy bar and tie it off with Basic Black Scalloped Edge Ribbon and Whisper White Baker's Twine, die-cut and stamp a few frames from the Spooktacular Bash Bundle.  Add a couple Monster Bash Enamel Shapes and it's done and oh-so-fun!


Click the image below to download a free pdf tutorial.
Click here to download a free Monster Bash Candy Bar Wrapper tutorial by Nicole Steele The Joyful Stamper

If you need the supplies to make today's project, click below to shop my online store.  
Shop my Online Store, if you dare!  Nicole Steele The Joyful Stamper

Halloween Coffin Wreath Tutorial
Use Host Code RCRTAFKX
Halloween Coffin Wreath Tutorial - use host code RCRTAFKX with Nicole Steele

Designer Series Paper Sale-Buy 3, Get 1 Free!
Use Host Code RCRTAFKX for Bird Ballad tutorial.
Click the image to see all the options
Stampin' Up! Designer Series Paper sale - Buy 3, Get 1 Free!  Use host code RCRTAFKX with Nicole Steele for free Bird Ballad tutorial

Thank you for coming by and stop back tomorrow for Day 5's Halloween project!





Wednesday, September 11, 2019

6 Days of Halloween - Day 3

It's Day 3 of my 6 Days of Halloween Blog Series!  If you missed the first two days, you can find the projects and free tutorials here:

Day 1 - Mini Treat Bag
Day 2 - Snack Size Candy Holder

The coffin treat boxes in our new Holiday Catalog are adorable!  They hold a just-right amount of candy or gum to give a special something to someone special.  They also could hold chapstick tubes or gummy fangs.


Day 3 - Coffin Box Treat Holder

6 Days of Halloween blog series - Coffin Treat Box by Nicole Steele The Joyful Stamper

I won't say how many bags of Riesen I had to buy to fill this one box!  Check out the embossing on the coffin - I used the scrollwork mask from the Basic Pattern Decorative Masks package and a Versamark ink pad to emboss that with clear powder.  I used this technique on a fall card in my blog post here.

Click image below for Coffin Box Treat Holder tutorial.
Coffin Box Treat Holder free tutorial by Nicole Steele The Joyful Stamper
A clever idea I saw on page 53 of the Holiday Catalog is to line the coffin box with the Real Red Ruched Ribbon.  Isn't that so creative?

Stampin' Up! Coffin Box lined with Real Red Ruched Ribbon


  I hope you are enjoying this blog series.  If so, please share it on Facebook!  I so appreciate you, friend, and these tutorials are meant to show my gratitude.  You can shop for the supplies for these blog series projects in my online store here.

Last Day to Sign Up for the Perfectly Plaid Christmas Card Class!

Through September 30





Tuesday, September 10, 2019

6 Days of Halloween - Day 2

Welcome back, friends!  Did you like yesterday's Mini Treat Bag tutorial?  Let me know!  To show my gratitude to my frequent blog readers, customers, and commenters (that's you!) I am having a 6-day blog series that's all about Halloween treat holders.  Each day I'll show a project and give you a free tutorial that has photos and detailed steps so you can make them, too!  They're FUN!


6 Days of Halloween Blog Series by Nicole Steele The Joyful Stamper


We're on Day 2 and it's a Snack Size Candy Holder.


Snack size candy holder using Spooktacular Bash Bundle - free tutorial by Nicole Steele The Joyful Stamper

Snack size candy holder using Spooktacular Bash Bundle - free tutorial by Nicole Steele The Joyful Stamper

I put a Kit-Kat in mine but other brands work (Nestle, Milky Way, etc.).  These holders were a HIT when I passed them out to trick-or-treaters a couple years ago.  They also are quick to make, so if you have many to make this is a perfect project.  I love how the Ornate Frames dies show off Mr. Dracula here (he's from the Spooktacular Bash set).  There is a ghost in the set that would work just as well here if you want a cuter look (anyone remember Casper The Friendly Ghost?).  


Click the image below for the Snack Size Candy Holder tutorial.
snack size candy holder free tutorial by Nicole Steele The Joyful Stamper

This is the BEST crafting season of the year!  Click the catalog below to see all our gorgeous new offerings for the holidays, or ask me for your own catalog package!
Stampin' Up! Holiday Catalog online version Nicole Steele The Joyful Stamper

Tomorrow is the Last Day to Sign Up for the Perfectly Plaid Christmas Card Class.
Perfectly Plaid Christmas Card Class by Nicole Steele The Joyful Stamper

Today is the Last Day to Sign Up for Bone Appetit, the special edition Paper Pumpkin monthly kit.
Click here for Paper Pumpkin details and to subscribe.
Bone Appetit, special edition of Paper Pumpkin monthly crating kit - subscribe with Nicole Steele The Joyful Stamper






Monday, September 9, 2019

6 Days of Halloween - Day 1

Welcome, friends!  It's time for my 6 Days of Halloween Blog Series!  


6 Days of Halloween Blog Series by Nicole Steele The Joyful Stamper

I love crafting for Halloween - I think it's because of the chocolate.  I get to make all kinds of treat holders for the local trick-or-treaters and I buy the candy for it and I EAT it!  So then I have to go buy more.  I KNOW I am not the only one this happens to.  


Day 1 is this Mini Treat Bag.


Halloween Mini Treat Bag by Nicole Steele The Joyful Stamper - free tutorial!

Isn't it perfect for holding a full-size candy bar?  I love that script background in the Monster Bash DSP!  What's really awesome, though, is the dies to make this mini treat bag are on the clearance rack in my online store here for only $24!  I do not know the quantity left of these dies which is why this project is Day 1 - I want you to be able to get them if you like them!  

Click the image below for a free tutorial for the Mini Treat Bag!
I am so grateful for you, whether you are a frequent reader of my blog, customer, or commenter and this blog series with its free tutorials is my way of saying thank you.  I hope you are as excited to do some Halloween crafting as I am!  If you are, click here to shop my online store, which is always open.

On a Personal Note
How was your weekend?  Ours was packed with cross country meets and all felt right in the world.  The middle school team I coach had their first race Friday afternoon and I was SO proud of them - this is a tough sport, mentally and physically, and not only did they run their best, but they enjoyed it!  I coach the best group of kids and their parents are wonderful with their support.

Then Saturday our high school daughter Caitlin had her first meet of the season, but I had to hear the play-by-play from her and my husband since I attended our oldest girl Emma's first college meet two hours away.  Caitlin was disappointed with her time but she tried a new-to-her race strategy and I was thrilled that she did so - that's exactly how we all learn and grow in life, right?  Emma did so much better than she was expecting - she finished in her team's Top 10 so she'll get to travel with them (the team is too big to take everyone, so the coach takes the top 10 from the previous race).  Our youngest girl Alaina came with me, so it was a fun weekend for everyone.  This photo sums up our family - 4 runners and 1 dancer!


Steele family running and dancing shoes photo

Sign up by September 11 for the Perfectly Plaid Christmas Card Class.

Tomorrow is the Last Day to Sign Up for Bone Appetit, the special edition of Paper Pumpkin monthly crafting kit.
Bone Appetit, a special edition of Paper Pumpkin monthly crafting kit - subscribe with Nicole Steele The Joyful Stamper




Friday, September 6, 2019

Take A Break For Some Tea & Halloween Blog Series

Are you a tea or coffee drinker?  We're tea drinkers in the Steele home.  In a big way!  We drink tea with breakfast and in the evening, and I usually have another mug mid-afternoon.  In the summers, there is always a pitcher of iced tea in the frig.  I put a squeeze of lemon in my tea, hot or cold.  

While I love the taste of tea, what I really love is the ritual that surrounds the tea.  Brewing a mug of tea means it's time to slow down and relax.  To chat with loved ones.  To enjoy a good book.  To have a cookie or two.  If you prefer coffee, you probably have rituals, too, that evoke warm associations and feelings.


Tea Together card using Tea Time and Ornate Frames dies and Stampin' Blends by Nicole Steele The Joyful Stamper

My card today was inspired by a sketch challenge from Splitcoaststampers.  I chose my colors of Pear Pizzazz, Calypso Coral, and Petal Pink from the Bird Ballad DSP pack.  I thought these colors were so pretty for the teapot and flowers in the Tea Together stamp set!  And that pretty polka-dotted paper is part of the Bird Ballad DSP pack, which is included in Stampin' Up!'s Buy 3, Get 1 Free DSP sale (see bottom of this blog post)!

The Ornate Frames dies are meant to coordinate with the Spooktacular Bash suite in the Holiday Catalog, but I find they go with so many other sets.  The dies come in a variety of sizes and have such pretty details that they work on any project and fit a lot of sentiments from other sets.

I put together a little photo tutorial of how I used Stampin' Blends to color the flowers from the Tea Together set.  My colors used were Light and Dark Petal Pink; Light Calypso Coral; Light and Dark Granny Apple Green (for the leaves).

Stampin' Blends photo tutorial by Nicole Steele The Joyful Stamper

Once I finished coloring the flowers, I used the Tea Time dies to cut them out.

These markers lay down color so smoothly, without coloring lines or streaks.  I'll stamp a bunch of images on Whisper White cardstock in Memento Tuxedo Black ink (you must use that ink in order to avoid image bleeding) and color while watching a favorite TV show (Jeopardy....)  - or when my husband wants me to watch TV with him but I don't really want to watch TV because I don't have a favorite show other than Jeopardy (gosh, I love Alex Trebek.  He makes me feel like everything will be ok).

Speaking of everything being ok, I have a 6 Days of Halloween Blog Series starting Monday!  Each day will feature a cute treat holder along with a free pdf tutorial - just because I love you, dear readers and friends!!  I'm so thankful to you for reading my blog, commenting, and choosing me as your demonstrator!  So make sure to stop back Monday and start your week with some Halloween fun.

6 Days of Halloween Blog Series by Nicole Steele The Joyful Stamper - spooky cute treat holders with free pdf tutorials


Through September 30


 Through September 30
Click here to see selected DSP.


Register by September 11


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