Saturday, December 20, 2014

Take a Christmas card break

December 20, and we are all on Christmas overload, aacckkkk!  Here is a little break for your eyes.

At Stamp Club this month we made a pretty card for "any occasion" with Work Of Art stamp set featuring vellum. Vellum is one of those cool mediums that we all love and have in our stash, but it can be difficult to work with.

We discovered that if you fold it too vigorously it will completely fall apart at the fold! If you use a generous amount of adhesive, it shows through, so plan ahead. In our case we punched the feature sentiment for the front of the card and a matching element for inside the card, to disguise the adhesive.

The rectangle with the chevron is actually a mini-card inside the vellum card. The adhesive is on the back of the mini card, so we didn't care too much that it might show at the back of the card, but just don't go crazy with a lot of glue, and it isn't a problem.

Everything on this card is available in the main Stampin' Up! catalog. But if you have anything on your wish list that is in the Holiday Catalog, don't sit on that wish too long! Those items go away in just a few days! January 5 is the last day to order, and sometimes they sell out before the end of the order period. Feel free to shop now, while you're in the holiday shopping mode anyway! Let Santa bring it for you! Shop here online Or just give me a call! My number is up in the left-hand corner.

Happy Stamping!
Dee Tollaksen

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Technology, friend or foe? Love it or leave it?

It's great when it works, right?! Oh, Santa, please bring me an internet provider that knows what they are doing, who won't lie to my face, who will just move my bits and bytes along the wires and cables and let me look at the pretty pictures of cards and grumpy cats. That's all I ask. And let me Christmas shop online. Really, that's all I want!  Is that too much to expect for the $$ I send that provider every month?  The little hour glass and spinning circle are driving me crazy! And when they get my speed up to acceptable levels, I check my email and my Mom sends me a note from the coffee shop that her cable is down. It is like a comedy show!

I'm CASEing Becky Roberts again, I just love her style. I have taken a simple photopolymer sentiment and bent it! How fun is that! Just curl that clear photopolymer material to the shape you like and adhere it to your block and stamp away! Then I used my circle thinlets to cut the banner to highlight the santa and sleigh stamp. . . which I also curled on my block.  Thanks Becky for the design work!

I have to rush off to the post office for more postage, but I have all my cards made and I have a few left to share, thanks to technology.

Be sure to check out the End of year clearance opportunities. The clearance rack has some awesome deals. Even if you are sending out late holiday cards or squirreling them away for next year, or some last minute gifts, stocking stuffers or you know you are getting $$ and you want to take advantage before the shelves are bare! Click here for the goods!

Happy Stamping!
Dee Tollaksen

Friday, December 12, 2014

Will that be cash or credit?

 Thanks, but I'll take a gift card please!

Sometimes the best gift of all is no gift at all. Teenagers, out-of-towners, even the AARP crowd living on a limited budget: everyone loves getting a gift card so they can select the items they really want or really need.

But we still want to wrap it and present it in a nice package, right?  So use the best paper you can put your hands on. And this year, that would be the Under the Tree Specialty Paper from Stampin' Up! It is thick and beautiful. It folds wonderfully. You can make perfect boxes and bags. . . or these gorgeous gift card holders.

If you want dimensions or instructions, just leave me a little comment. I would love to help you out. You can make three from just one sheet of card stock!

We made these in Stamp Club this month! So easy and fun. We have a great time every month, on the first Wednesday. I host at my house, the members can come at 1:00, 3:30 (after school) or 7:00. That makes it easy for every schedule, even if your schedule changes from month to month. Each member has a turn receiving hostess benefits once over the ten month club duration. Such an easy and fun way to learn new styles and techniques and build up your supplies! Want to know more, just leave a little comment!

Happy Stamping!
Dee Tollaksen

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

One pretty ornament, about a zillion products!

Name that Stampin' Up! product! My new game show, where you can win fabulous prizes and wonderful trips!

How many Stampin' Up! products did I use to create this fun ornament? And I won't even take off points for those that you can't see, like the Tombow Multipurpose Liquid Glue that I used mixed with water inside the clear glass ornament before I shook in retired gold glitter. Well, that doesn't really count either. But after that. . . come on, take a guess!

1 Really fun Merry Everything stamp set and matching 2 Note Tag Punch inked in 3 Versa Mark ink and sprinkled with 4 Early Espresso embossing powder then 5 heated and a 6 hole punched and 7 Gold Bakers Twine tied through. Then Some 8 Burlap Ribbon is adhered with 9 Sticky Strip to the neck of the ornament and fancy 10 Venetian Crochet Trim is tied on, some 11 gold Sequin Trim is added and finally a pair of 12 Autumn Wooden Elements are tied on. I added a retired bell for a bit of jingle too. See why I couldn't count the glue -- 13 is not a lucky number! OK, so who's a winner?

Happy Stamping!
Dee Tollaksen

Monday, December 8, 2014

Creative Blog Hop and my creative process

Looking for inspiration? Me too! I am always browsing the blogs, Instagram, Pinterest, magazines, the Stampin' Up! demo websites and attending events with other stampers to swap ideas and actual cards. Every one of us is out here taking inspiration, CASEing ideas, (copy and share everything), taking classes and buying kits. We want to be "creative" or to be "inspired." And sometimes I think we put so much pressure on ourselves to be unique. There is no question that every one of us is unique and that each card is going to be unique, because it is handmade. So go ahead. Copy. CASE. Steal. And Enjoy!

This card was inspired by Lydia Fiedler. I LOVE her work, and her sense of humor. This post was inspired by Marisa Gunn. She invited me to join the Creative Blog Hop. Marisa is a side-line to me in Stampin' Up! and terrifically talented, having earned a spot on the 2012 Artisan Design Team with Stampin' Up! Here is a link to her post from last Monday on the Creative Blog Hop. Please give her a visit and leave her some love.

I also used some of my fun stamping supplies to create this cute Christmas tree. The frame was stolen from a Paper Pumpkin kit I received. The adhesive is the 12x12" Sizzix sheet adhesive (we no longer carry) but the inspiration came from Instagram by Achristyproduction, a talented demonstrator from Australia.  And believe me, this is as close as I could get to the cute tree she posted! Do you have a jar of buttons from every blouse you have ever purchased, from your Nana, from leftover crafts? Please send the white ones to me, because I am making these until I am completely out of white buttons! LOL

Back to the Creative Blog Hop -- these are the standard questions each blogger answers:

1.  What are you working on?
      It is December, so Christmas cards must be on the list. Hostess gifts (see framed button art above). Life after December --who knew there would be such a thing, but I need to plan a couple classes and fun events for January and February with cute cards and projects or no one will come visit me!

2.  How does your work differ from others in your genre?
      Does it? Does it have to?  My work is probably not the art, my work is teaching. So the way my work differs is that I try to make it fun. And now I'm going to steal from my Scouting experience: Fun Fun Fun (triple the fun). Anyone can go out to Hallmark or Wal-Mart and buy a card, so the hobby of creating our own handmade art needs to be fun. My work is to provide the skills and materials to make that process Fun Fun Fun!

3.  Why do you create what you do?
     Great question. I ask that a lot as I scroll through Instagram. What the heck was she thinking? Why did she make that? I am always trying to make cute cards/scrapbook pages/decor projects that are just technical enough to be fun for my customers to tackle but not too hard; trendy or seasonal; beautiful!

    At the heart of the matter, creative people are creative people. "Why" doesn't even come into the issue, we were born this way and can't imagine life any other way. We are the "glitter girls" and we know it, we find each other in a crowd and start making origami out of gum wrappers. I just happen to love paper crafts and I love teaching it. So being a Stampin' Up! demo is the perfect fit!

4.  How does your creative process work?

     I was "pinning" way before Pinterest, collecting pictures from magazines, then collecting digital images on my computer, now collecting Pins and Instagram "likes" and "favorites" on the Stampin' Up! page. Then I figure out my end goal -- a class project, Christmas card, gift bag -- and the middle part could go any which way. Mostly a mix of papers and stamps and stops and starts. Time is a factor as well. I am NOT a last minute worker, I have to have my plan in place in plenty of time. I want to order my card stock for stamp club as opposed to working with whatever I have because a deadline is upon me!

Creative Blog Hop happens every week and  next Monday will be Cindee Wilkinson of the blog Cindee is one of my favorite bloggers, I've been following her for ages! Be sure to check her out.

 Also blogging this week is Barbara Pisciotto at InkItUp. Please go visit her and leave her some love by commenting!

Happy Stamping,
Dee Tollaksen

Sunday, December 7, 2014

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Genius snowman keeping priorities straight this Sunday

Today is the day. Sunday Sunday Sunday. All week long, I have been looking forward to this day. There is nothing written on the calendar. It is totally blank. Stay away from my schedule. I have so much To Do ! Capital T Capital D exclamation point

December is so busy and a day with no commitments means catching up, right? Laundry, thank you notes, naps, decorating, cookies, phone calls, hugs, prayers, wait, move prayers to the top of the list, and phone calls and thank you notes.

But first, I have to get the art eraser and rub gently on my snowman's face and remove that gob of glue off his mouth. In person it doesn't look so bad, but in the picture that looks pretty yucky! Thanks to Becky Roberts, a super talented demonstrator who posted dozens of tags like this! After I made just a couple, I was done fussing with the teeny black dots. Then my friend Dawn mentioned that there is a trick I missed: if you punch the holes into the white oval and back the oval with black card stock you simulate the black dots and never have to mess around gluing little dots onto white paper. Genius! Thanks Becky for the idea and Dawn for reminding me!

Don't forget that Stampin' Up! has a year end closeouts on the clearance rack, some awesome deals on some of my favorite ribbons and a current  Christmas Card kit is marked down to epic steal proportions!

Happy Stamping!
Dee Tollaksen

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