Saturday, January 31, 2015

Better assembly and storage tips for clear-mount stamps

This topic came up recently at a stamp club meeting. My friend Lisa B. was excitedly sharing what she had learned from a few Internet videos about nifty new ways to store stamps. I had been doing these for a while, but to see everybody's interested reaction when she told them, made me realize that I had forgotten to share my knowledge with the group. 

Whoops. My bad....

At the risk of everyone continuing to store stamps the old way, I'd better share with you now!

Of course I'm being sarcastic.

These methods really are making my life so much easier though, and I do want you to learn!

For today's post: clear-mount stamps

I taughts everyone how to mount clear stamps as it was first introduced to me by Stampin' Up! when the company first started to sell them. 

Once put together, the clear-mount stamps just got thrown in to the thin DVD case that they came in (at least that's how I did it!) - they easily fell out if the case opened.


When our clear-mount stamps were still new (and I had made a video about them), the common method for mounting them was this: pop out all the rubber stamp images and peel the stickers off of the matching labels (but leave them on the sticker sheet). Then, you were to stick the stamp facedown onto that sticker and lift up. The sticker would be applied.  BUT NOT ALWAYS PERFECTLY PLACED. 

When you completed putting the whole set together you just tossed them into the case, throwing all the excess rubber away.


Pop out all rubber stamp pieces (but do not throw away the excess rubber!) 

Do the same  with all of the stickers/labels (but do not peel them)...

Next, peel the backing off of the rubber stamp (it will not be sticky like our wood-mount stamps, as they use static cling to stick to the blocks, not adhesive!)

You also want to take one of the matching stickers and peel only half of the backing off...
Stick the label to the coordinating stamp. Since you left half of the backing on, you should be able to carefully place the sticky part exactly where you want it!
If you are satisfied with that placement, peel the other half of the backing away...

Continue to do this to all of the stamps.

Now you are ready to store them!

Take the excess rubber piece/frame and peel the backing off. Again, this will not be sticky, BUT  will stick to the inside of the plastic DVD case if you just give it a little press! 
You are now ready to put all those stamps back in their little "frame"! Remember, that the labels face the plastic case - otherwise they won't fit in their cut-out shapes!
Ready at a moments notice!
... And, I can easily see if a stamp set is  incomplete!

I do have many clear-mount sets on my shelf that are just "floating" inside plastic cases. I unfortunately didn't know about the storage method until last summer.  At least it always says on the outside of the box how many stamps are part of that set, so I know if they're all there or not.

But I like this way better!

Plus I wasn't always able to place my stamps directly on the sticker. This way, I only do one half at a time and I have much better luck!

Try it with all your newcClear stamps!

Tomorrow I will show you a new and improved for storing our see-through (and ultra sticky) photopolymer stamps! They are growing in popularity, so you'll want to be sure to read all about it!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Trash or treasure?

On today's episode of "hoarders"...

Oh, wait this isn't TV... just me in my stamp room.

Those of you who know me already aware of my problem! Nancy S. - remember the imported (from PA) tuna cans? (I had intentions of turning them into way cute stamped convention gifties for my downline.)

If you follow me on Pinterest you'll see that I have about 16,000 pins. It's embarrassing! Pinterest is electronic hoarding! But the reason why I like it so much? NONE OF THE CLUTTER!

So, today I was down on my stamp room... The goal? Retrieving two drawer bins so I could use them to organize the bathroom closet. They've been in here a long time - I had forgotten why they were even here in the first place.
Then I opened them and I immediately knew! And the words "holy sh**" came out of my mouth...

See the label there that says "cards to be finished"?

Yeah, maybe that was wishful thinking!

I found stuff in there from when I first started Stampin' Up! back in 1997. NO KIDDING!

I think my plan was to finish these cards - when I looked at them they were obviously done at workshops - like I started them, demo-ing a certain technique and moved on to the other station. I threw them in this box when I got home so I would finish the card at a later date. Okay, so 17 years is a later date, right?

There are also multiples of certain card elements. I'm thinking that maybe I was working on a card swap for an event (where you make multiples of one design to exchange with others) and I had extras...

Embarrassing as this whole situation is, you gotta love some of these past images:  

Whoops! That would be my finger... 
...door hanger that was decorated using a wheel and an Easter set. It would later be folded and then enclosed around a small cello bag filled with jellybeans! No doubt I was planning on giving these to my boys, since there are two in the picture... "The best laid plans..." LOL

Showing two techniques: polished stone, and spotlighting (there is a little square of vellum on that right-hand card, where the girls' hair is colored in- you can hardly see it).

Hey! Remember that scratch paper where I showed you to emboss on the white, and then you took a little stick and scratched the white away, revealing a multi-colored surface? 

Neither do I, it was so popular!

The cut-out butterfly was done with Pearl- ex paints. Remember those?

And, how about that cute lattice-edge card showing that you can color behind our printed vellum paper?

Hey, look who it is!

OMG!!! He came with my (then)$300 starter kit! (!!!!$300!!! And you couldn't customize your kit like you can now - for $99!)

Clearly, I was showing the masking technique here. See how he is sitting behind the present? "If you want it in FRONT, stamp it FIRST!" (Did you ever hear me say that?)

Oh geez...

The best part about today's find? 

A bag full of stamped images from my friend Carol.

Carol was my neighbor back in the day, in our first house after getting married, and a very dear friend. She's the one who first got me into stamping (and everything else crafty!)

Carol passed away two years ago, so this treasure trove was a happy find for me! It reminded me of the good ol' days when we could look out our side windows into each other's living room... If the lights were still on (even if it was past midnight) you could go over and borrow what you needed - a paper cutter, a stamp, whatever!)

We were getting ready to move from that house and back to our home of Pittsburgh... Carol and I hurriedly stamped images that each other owned, knowing that we wouldn't be able to run over each other's house at midnight to borrow a certain stamp.... Then we would have them and could color them to make cards! 

Good Lord! Look at some of these!

Well that was 1998

They have been in this box all that time and have moved from house to house to house... From York, PA to Pittsburgh, back to York, and then to Connecticut.

I can't get rid of them now! Too sentimental.
Like I admitted - I am a hoarder!

If you ever get a card from me that features an old stamped image, you'll know why. 
Feel honored! 
It's "vintage"! (Right, Nancy M.?) hahaha

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Punch class -"love is in the air"

How does that saying go ? "The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry".... 

"Love is in the Air" punch class- Wednesday, January 28, 2015 @ 6:30 PM

I had scheduled this punch class for last night but due to the snowstorm we had on Tuesday, I had to cancel because, although my driveway was clear (!), there was nowhere to park!

I will not be rescheduling this class due to time constraints!

Therefore, this class is now available only on a "to go" basis.

Please let me know by Sunday, February 1 if you would like to purchase these un- assembled cards, and I will mail them out to you on Monday. Cost: $10 for a kit to make all three cards (plus envelopes).

I showed you a preview the other day. Now I would like to go over the details so you can assemble them at home.

Card #1: lovebirds
I had this card pinned on my Pinterest "punch cards" board. Unfortunately, I don't remember the original pinner's name, so as to give the credit for this card idea. (sorry!)

Making a chickadee using the bird builder punch is something I had done before.

 A few years back, I had offered a series of punch classes called "birdwatchers". Using the above punch we were able to create a variety of bird species.

Basically, you punch out birds/wings from different colors of card stock, cut them and layer them. A white gel pen and/or a fine-tip black marker will help you make simple eyes.

For the chickadee, you will need to punch out a white bird, a gray bird and a black bird. You also need one gray wing.

In the picture below you can see the blue bird "templates" that I followed for cutting the gray and black birds into pieces:
By doing this, I was able to layer on the white bird a black head and a gray back area. Then, I simply added the gray wing and added sponging to his white breast area.

The branches also come from the same punch.

The hearts were made by using an old Embosslit I had  for the Big Shot called "Fashionable Hearts".

Card #2: robot
I loved this card as soon as I saw it! I even knew who I was going to send it to - my nephew Sam. He is going to love this card! Not only is every four-year-old boy a fan of robots, (and this one is too cute!) BUT what makes it even better is that a Hershey nugget (affixed with some glue dots) fits perfectly to the body:

Aside from the greeting I chose, this is pretty much a CASE of a card by Dawn Olchefske.

It is made with circle punches, a couple of hearts, and a couple pieces of scrap paper! 

The brushed silver strips for arms and legs are accordion-folded at every quarter inch. (2 1/2" x 1/4") You'll probably have longer legs than you want, so be sure to snip a little off so that you can use it for his neck!

Here is the link to her fabulous video which gives you dimensions and explains how to put it all together!

Card #3: phone

How cute is this?

My iPhone is like my "third arm", so making a valentine that looks like a smart phone was a natural choice!

She will have all the dimensions for you there, but basically you start with a 3 x 11" piece of colored card stock and score it at 5 1/2 inches.

To the corner-rounded screen piece you're going to add your "text message".

You can add anything you want when you use the Word Bubble framelits for your Big Shot:
I followed her lead and used greetings from the coordinating Just Sayin' stamp set:
It's a perfect card to give my husband ANYtime because I genuinely miss him as soon as he walks out the door ,and we text each other several times throughout the day. (Aaawww...)


I love these cards and I know you will too!

If you don't own all the punches why not try my class "to go"?

I will do all the punching and stamping for you! The only thing you need to do is glue! (As always, I highly recommend Tombow Multi glue because it's great for using on small pieces that we often encounter in punch class.)

If you do decide to take me up on this offer, please email me or leave a comment below by this Sunday and I will send you my address so you can send your cash or check.

Perpetual Calendar kit class!

One of the things that I most like about this year's Stampin' Up!'s Occasions catalog is that there are so many kits available!

In years past I have never figured myself for a kit person.... but lately, I am loving it!

The projects are great, and everything that you need (or, mostly everything) is included. That means less time rooting around in my stamp room for things!

Having a kit make is it easy to get together with friends when everything you need is right there. The kit contents are easily transported wherever you are working.

And, the kits this year are so darn cute!

For the next few months I will be offering classes for four of the kits shown in the new seasonal catalog. Offering a class will not only be fun doing the project as a group, but it will also save you money in the long run. At each class, I will provide the coordinating stamp set and other needed supplies that may not be included in the kit. 

The first class that I'm offering is the new Perpetual Birthday Calendar kit. The class will be held on Sunday, February 15 at 3 PM.

You will need to register/pay in advance before by the deadline of February 8, that way I can order the calendars on Monday, February 9 with an expedited order. They will arrive in time for the following week's class.

What is a perpetual birthday calendar?

It's a calendar with no days of the week or particular year - just numbers. You can write everybody's birthday for that month on its number and it can be used from year to year.

Here is my January page completed with the birthdays of family and friends:

With no particular year in mind, you see it is okay that we are doing this class in February and not the first month of this year. It doesn't matter!

Here are the other pages I have created:
Almost everything you see on these calendar pages has come with the kit: sequins, glitter, alphabet stickers, die-cut letters/hearts/stars. The stamping is done with the coordinating Perpetual Birthday Calendar photopolymer stamp set.

(I don't know about you, but I see tons of background images for future cards in the set!)

Your $25 class fee includes the kit itself and then a small fee for using my additional supplies:

I love this kit so much, I'm planning to buy additional kits and make them for my mother and mother-in-law, who are always sending birthday cards! I'm thinking of even adding a magnetic strip to the back so they can hang this on the side of the refrigerator.

It even comes in its own box for you to decorate, so gifting is made easy!
If you click to follow this link you can see a page that lists all the kit contents:

I hope you will join me in this-  the first of several - exciting Simply Created kit classes!

Here are the details again:

Sunday, February 15
3:00 PM
$25 paid by deadline
(Deadline: February 8)

You can RSVP on this blog by leaving a comment below or by emailing me:
Of course, if you can't attend the class you can always simply order this kit online by using item #137950. (Simply Created Perpetual Birthday Calander kit $15.95). #137167 is the number for the coordinating Perpetual Birthday Calendar photopolymer stamp set. The recommended ink colors are Pumpkin Pie, Crushed Curry, Crisp Cantaloupe, Strawberry Slush, Lost Lagoon, and Real Red.

You can shop 24/7 by visiting my online store at:

And, remember: until March 31 (during Sale-a-Bration) you can pick one FREE gift from the Sale-a-Bration brochure with each $50 subtotal!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A Tuesday tip -layering punches

A few of my recent posts have featured cards where more than one punch was used to make an element.

For example, on this card you can see that I double-punched a heart:
(Perhaps that is an even better title for this technique - "Double Punching".
After all, you're technically not layering punched shapes on top of one another...)

So ,we will go with that!

Okay... the heart. How do you do it?
First, you punch a small part in the middle of a strip of scrap paper. I say "middle" - not near the edge - because you want to allow some room for the larger punch to fit around it.

For the sample I used the new Confetti Heart Border punch and then a small heart punch from the Itty Bitty Accents punch pack.
It will also work with the Heart Border punch, if you have that!

On the robot card for tomorrow's scheduled punch class, I used circle punches to create his hands.

Again, by punching the smaller one first more towards the middle of your scrap and then surrounding it with a larger circle:
Then, of course, it needed to be cut in half so he has two hands!

For the mouth, a similar method was used, except that instead of punching the smaller circle towards the middle of the scrap, you take a "bite" out of the edge of the paper:
The larger circle surrounds it and then takes a bigger "bite"!
Then you have a smile that you can use on any project!

Be sure to try this technique with any punches that you may have that are similar designs/shapes yet different in size (ovals, squares, labels, butterflies, etc.)

(By the way I CASEd this card after watching a "how to" tutorial video by it's creator Dawn O. I will be sure to post a link to the video when I post the punch class projects!)


For this card, when I was making alternative projects with the My Paper Pumpkin kit, I used only the Decorative Label punch. But, there is a trick to cutting it so that you can layer it to make it look like you used a larger punch!

First, punch out the piece that you wish to use as the "layer". Then, it's just a matter of drawing a few lines and cutting it!

(Please excuse my shaky lines...)

Once you have your lines drawn, just cut out using your lines as a guide.

Next, you're going to glue it to the back of your main piece, but slightly separate the sections:
Turn it over and voilĂ ! 
You only had one punch, but it looks like you had two!
Have fun trying this with other punches!