Happy Halloween! Plus some tips for your Artist’s Tray

Halloween is finally here and while I didn’t get all of the projects I meant to get done for Halloween, I did have some fun this weekend getting ready with the kids.  I love the fun crafts and activities that go with the holiday season.  In this case, carving pumpkins, painting little pumpkins,IMAG0631

 

or in Caitlin’s case, trying to eat the paint for painting pumpkins! 🙂

IMAG0630

 

But I also thought I would share my Halloween craft project, too.  This is the Halloween Artist’s Tray project that Stampin’ Up! offered as part of a promotion when you joined Stampin’ Up! (or had someone join your group during the promo period).  It was way cuter in person than I expected and I got some friends together to make it.

Halloween Printer's Tray

 

Artist Tray Tips:

I thought I would share some tips that I discovered while making the tray, in case you have this project at home still to make or you want to make something similar!

  • I adhered all of my inserts to my tray using slim velcro dots.  This was to make it easier to pull out and replace the inserts with a different holiday or design so I can use this tray year round.  Then I can reuse the inserts each year. In this picture, I took a slim velcro dot and cut it in half so it would hold the top and the bottom of the paper down.  The easiest way to apply your velcro is to stick both sides of the velcro together and put them into the tray.  You’ll have adhesive exposed, and then you can just press your paper into the space and know your velcro will be lined up.


    Halloween Printer's Tray close up

  • Use a stamp-a-ma-jig and grid paper if you care about precision in lining up your images (like the gravestone images in the bottom left space).  I positioned my paper in the center of the grid paper, so my paper was always lined up the same way and used the stamp-a-ma-jig to make sure I was stamping the same depth in each time.
  • When making your rosettes, use hot glue to hold them together.  If you use the silicone mat, it is SUPER EASY and NO MESS!!  I’m serious, I was a little afraid of my hot glue gun but the mat made it so easy and I LOVE it! 
  • And one more rosette tip, if you have to make a half rosette (like the orange one in the bottom right), you will have to hold it in a half circle shape and add lots of glue.  Make sure you squeeze the center together tightly!  I didn’t and my rosette was too big. Oops!
  • The project called for a bow in the Striped Satin ribbon near the polka dot designer series paper.  Normally I don’t have a problem with bows…. um, this time…. I couldn’t make a nice bow no matter what I did!  So, if it doesn’t work for you, chuck it!  You don’t need a bow for a cute project. 🙂
  • Ok, last tip – When you hang your banners from the top of the tray handle and adhere to the back of the tray, your banners may or may not hang how you like.  I ended up using a glue dot to hold the middle banner in place on one of the tray lips so I knew it would hang how I like.

Alright, so those are my tips for now.  I’ll be making more inserts and can’t wait to share them with you in the future.  If there is interest, I’ll put together some kits for you to make your own as well!

 

But until, then, have a very Happy and Safe Halloween!  From me and my monsters, to you. 🙂

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Check out the 2012 Holiday Catalog

Are you earning your Northwest Stamper Rewards? Every order gets you closer to your FREE stamp set! Click here to learn more!

Quick Halloween Card Idea from Guest Artist- Pam!

I have a tendancy to overthink my projects and card designs.  Even when I’m CASE’ing a card, I often find myself trying to mix it up a bit and tweak it and what should be a quick card turns into much much longer.  Usually it is a fun journey, but sometimes you just need a quick idea, and I love this one that one of my Fun n’ Crafty team members shared with me recently for our monthly card swap:

card designed by Pamela Wu

Pam is a super fun and happy person and that fun always seems to translate into her cards.  I love the quick and easy idea for using up scraps of your favorite patterned papers (in this case, last year’s Frightful Sight designer paper) and mixing it with cute stamps (the bat from Googly Ghouls).

But don’t the Googly Eyes make the card??!

Seriously, they crack me up everytime I look at this card. Love it!

So, thank you, Pam, for the great idea!  I can’t wait to try it out for other seasons as well.  I think I’ll have to dig through my scrap pile and see what I can come up with… and what stamps I have for those awesome googly eyes!  I’m taking suggestions if anyone has found some good stamps for this challenge. 🙂


The ONE DAY Stamp Sale is on NOW!

Just a reminder that today only you can get those stamp sets that have been hanging out on your wishlist for 15% off! 

Visit the ONLINE STORE to shop the great deals
or
contact me at jennifer@nwstamper.com to make sure you get your discount!

Yay for sales, right?!?   And yes, sale orders count for my Northwest Stamper Rewards program where every $40 earns you a virtual punch and 10 punches = 1 FREE stamp set of your choice!  Just in case you were wondering. 🙂

Shop for Stamps and More Online, click here!

Are you earning your Northwest Stamper Rewards? Every order gets you closer to your FREE stamp set! Click here to learn more!

A Birthday Card for the Men in your Life

It can be a struggle sometimes to make masculine cards… there are just too many pretty ribbons, flowery stamps, and sparkles!  But as part of my Fabulous Fall card class, I tried to throw in some cards for the guys; and this was one that we made:

See, no ribbon!  No flowers!  🙂

Yes, I went the other way and got into the distressed look, but I think it works.  We started with punching 1” squares from Ridinghood Red, Not Quite Navy, and Basic Gray cardstock, and adhering them down in a grid pattern.  We attached that to a piece of Early Espresso Core’dinations cardstock that we sanded with the Sanding Block to give it the distressed look.  Then we pulled out the Be Amazing stamp set for the sentiment and hot air balloon… cause every guy likes hot air balloons, right?

Finally, we grabbed the sanding blocks and used them to rough up the edges and curl them in on the sentiment.

 

It works for masculine, don’t you think?  And if you didn’t see, this Happy Birthday sentiment is one of the NEW single stamps  that were just released.  Just an FYI. 🙂

Do you have your wishlist ready for Monday?

Just a reminder that Monday is the big 24 hr stamp sale with pretty much every stamp set (including the Be Amazing stamp set or just the Happy Birthday single stamp that I used on this card) on sale for 15% off!

So get your wishlist ready and be ready to shop, or send it to me early and I’ll be sure to get it in during the sale hours.

 

Shop for Stamps and More Online, click here!

Are you earning your Northwest Stamper Rewards? Every order gets you closer to your FREE stamp set! Click here to learn more!

Be Amazing Masculine Birthday Recipe
Stamps:
Be Amazing
Ink: Early Espresso, Basic Gray
Paper: River Rock, Very Vanilla, Riding Hood Red, Not Quite Navy, Basic Gray, Early Espresso core’dinations cardstock
Accessories: 1” square punch, sanding block, Stampin’ Dimensionals

Get the Scoop! Just Announced Specials Coming Soon!

Oh boy!  Stampin’ Up! is really keeping me on my toes this month!  First was the new Stampin’ Trimmer coming out, then a big Clearance Rack update, then word of a new hostess promotion coming in November (followed by an oops! leak of a recruiting special in November as well!)…. and now they just announced an unprecedented sale coming our way on Monday October 29th!  So many great ways to get what you want for a great deal – I don’t know about you but my head is spinning a little bit. 🙂

So, I wanted to break it down for you so you can see the great deals out now and more coming soon!

Current Specials

  • Christmas Gift for you!
    Purchase the Ornament Keepsakes stamp set + Candlelight Christmas Specialty designer paper and get the Festive Paper Piercing Pack for FREE
    check out the flyer

     
  • Single Stamps now available!
    Ever see a stamp set that you wish you could just buy *that one stamp set there* instead of having to buy the entire set?  Well, Stampin’ Up! is doing a test run of offering selected stamps available individually as well as in a set.  They previously announced 3 stamp sets would be offered a la carte as well as a set and those stamps were:  Word Play, Perfectly Penned, and Seasonal Sayings.
    check out this post to see pictures of these sets

     
  • NEW!! More Single Stamps available including totally new images!
    Based on how well those 3 stamp sets were doing being sold individually, Stampin’ Up! has decided to offer 20 more individual stamps until January 2nd.  They are hand picked from different stamp sets plus 3 brand new image.
    Check them out:
    single stamps assortment 1single stamps assortment 2
    Assortment 1 flyer
    Assortment 2 flyer

Coming Soon!

  • NEW!! October 29th – 15% off just about ALL stamp sets for 24hrs ONLY!
    You read that right…. Stampin’ Up! is doing a 24 hr sale and will be dropping their price for ALL stamps (excluding hostess stamps, digital stamps, and bundles) so you can get your favorites at a great price!
    If you are a demonstrator, check out the incentives for selling 10 stamps or more during the sale!  There are some great prizes; I know I’m setting a goal to sell 30 stamps that day!
     
    You can shop in the online store on Monday, October 29th, and get the discounted prices.  Or contact me with your order at jennifer@nwstamper.com and I’ll make sure it gets placed on Monday so you can be sure to get your 15% off.
     
  • Brights Classic Stampin' PadsNov 1st – Free Ink Pad Collection (10 full sized pads!) when you host a fun stamp night and you and your friends place orders that combined are $450 or more!
    And that is on top of the $65 in free stamping supplies you get to pick out for hosting and any 1 item at 50% off!

    Now here is the rumor part:
    Become a member of my Fun n’ Crafty stampers by purchasing the starter kit and receive not only  $125 in your choice of stamping supplies for only $99.  But you will get a full collection of Ink Pads for FREE on top of your starter kit goodies!

     
  • October 29 – November 5 – Free Digital Downloads + 50% off Digital kits
    To celebrate digital scrapbooking day, Stampin’ Up! is offering free digital downloads plus discounts on digital kits.  These are an awesome way to get Holiday gifts done fast!!

Whew!  Did you get all that?

I’ll give you a minute for it to all sink in……

……..

……..

Ok, minutes up! 🙂  But seriously, if you have any questions or need clarification of any of these deals, let me know at jennifer@nwstamper.com and I will be more than happy to help!

 

To Order Stampin’ Up! Products Anytime, click here!

Check out the 2012 Holiday Catalog

Are you earning your Northwest Stamper Rewards? Every order gets you closer to your FREE stamp set! Click here to learn more!

Button Buddies Flower Fun

I know we are in fall time and so a lot of the projects are rich colors and holiday themes, so I hope you don’t mind me going off in a completely different direction with this bright and cheery card!

This was one of my “scraps” cards.  As in, I have a terrible time throwing in my recycling bin any stamped scraps, embossed papers, or other rejects from working on one card that I just know could be used on another card later.  But then those half used papers pile up and I start to go a little bit crazy.   So, I’ve been trying to periodically make a card mostly or completely out of scraps I have left over.

So, first I had these flowers from when I was trying to pick a pink color for a different card.  Turns out they go great with a homemade glitter brad I created for a Crystal Effects class.  (That is a Cameo Coral In Color brad that has been covered in Crystal Effects and dipped in Dazzling Diamonds glitter!)

 

I had left over Wisteria Wonder cardstock that had been embossed with the stripes going the wrong way for a card I was prepping for a class one time and so it worked perfectly here.  And then I decided to break out my FAVORITE paper right now – Early Espresso Coordinations cardstock.  If this paper doesn’t stick around after the Holiday Catalog I will be (1) surprised and (2) so very very sad!

I ran a scrap through the Woodgrain embossing folder and my Big Shot and then punched out a Modern Label punch to use as a mat behind my sentiment punched out with the Word Window punch.

I really was happy with how the card turned out AND the fact that I used up a number of scraps!  It still doesn’t put too much of a dent into my scrap pile, but it’s a start!

 

Shop for Stamps and More Online, click here!

Are you earning your Northwest Stamper Rewards? Every order gets you closer to your FREE stamp set! Click here to learn more!

Button Buddies Flower Thank you Recipe
Stamps:
Button Buddies, Teeny Tiny Wishes
Ink: Raspberry Ripple, Primrose Petals, Pretty in Pink, Old Olive
Paper: Old Olive, Daffodil Delight, Wisteria Wonder, Whisper White, Early Espresso core’dinations cardstock
Accessories: Big Shot, Stripes embossing folder, Woodgrain embossing folder, Sanding block, In color printed brad, Crystal Effects, Dazzling Diamonds glitter, Stampin’ Dimensionals

 

Video Review of the Stampin’ Trimmer

Ok, I promised in yesterday’s written review of the Stampin’ Trimmer that I would get this up for you, so here is a quick video I made of checking out and trying out my new trimmer for the first time.  I’ll walk you through the new and improved features and you’ll get to watch me get excited and do some not-so-perfect demo’ing.  🙂  (For example, cutting my thumb on the blade!  Yes, it is a sharp little bugger!)

So, check it out and then tell me what you think of this new tool.  What do you like/dislike about it?

 

 

Shop for Stamps and More Online, click here!

Are you earning your Northwest Stamper Rewards? Every order gets you closer to your FREE stamp set! Click here to learn more!

Review of the new Stampin’ Trimmer by Stampin’ Up!

I’ll admit I get excited everytime I hear a delivery truck go by followed shortly by a doorbell ring… but yesterday I was more excited than normal.  All because my new Stampin’ Trimmer was set to arrive and after 5 months of anticipation, I finally got to play with one on my craft table!

So the first thing I did was open the box… and then open the box that contained the trimmer.  And as Nicholas, my 2 1/2 yr old said,” Wow, that’s cool!”.  No seriously, he wanted to stand on a stool in my kitchen to watch me pull it out of the box and that is what he said!  He then proceeded to tell me how to use it, but that is another story. 🙂

Stampin Trimmer by Stampin Up!

 

I decided to shoot a quick video after the kids went to bed to show you all the cool features but since I know that I’m not going to be able to get it all edited in time for this blog post, I figured I’d write up my review and give you a few pictures and then try to post my video for you by tomorrow.  Between the two, I should cover all the new and improved features that make it something that I was excited about.

1.  Easier Card Base Cutting

Its true; the feature I was most excited about was actually just the fact that you get a wider platform without having to extend the arm of the cutter for additional cutting measurements.  So, whereas before I could easily cut a card base that was 4 1/4” x 11”, if I wanted to cut 5 1/2” x 8 1/2”, that required me to clear off more space on my table and extend the side arm.  And heaven help me if I needed to cut something at 5 1/4” or 5”… I got good at getting close, but it was always a bit of a guess.

But check this out:

cutting a card base from trimmer 1

 

See, it totally fits!  With room to spare even!  How much room?  You get 6 1/4 inches wide to play with and over 12 inches long.  So, if you are a card maker or do 6×6 scrapbook pages, you are golden with the trimmer as is.  And it still feels pretty compact too.  I would happily put this in my table top tote and bring it with me to a crop or scrapping retreat.

Close up of card measurement

2.  Better (mostly) Numbers and Gridlines on the Surface

So, if I’m going to be honest, I’m pretty happy with how they did the surface measurements on the trimmer.  I love how the gridlines and numbers are UNDER a laminated surface, so they won’t rub off over time!  I never had that happen with my old trimmer but I know enough people who had problems with their little Fiskars cutter doing this that I’m very happy about this innovation.

I also discovered while filming my video that it is actually awesome that they have the measurements both above and below the raised lip that makes sure your paper is straight.  Why is that awesome?  Because I found that when I was trying to get my paper to a certain measurement (like say the 5 1/2” mark in the photo above) I used the lines on the inside of the lip to place my paper; but if I was trying to confirm how long my paper was or wanted at a glance reference of where my paper was placed, seeing the full ruler with numbers outside/above the lip made it super quick to tell where I was at.

slid paper in the Stampin Trimmer**I miss the key measurements written on the middle of the trimmer.

Like how it would show you where 8 1/2” and 6” was in the middle of the trimmer surface.  I didn’t realize how much I used them to verify which side of my cardstock was the 8 1/2” side vs the 11” side that I had been cutting strips off of.  I know there is the ruler on the blade track, but it was easier with it written on the surface.  We’ll see how much I miss it overtime.

**However, I LOVE the grid lines! 

I thought the grid lines were pretty and all but it wasn’t until I started cutting that I realized how handy they would be.  Have you ever been cutting a piece of paper and found yourself thinking “I swear this paper is straight and flush against the raised edge of the trimmer, but is it really straight?”.  I found with multiple trimmers that I could have something that I thought was straight but one end could be up to 1/4” off from where I thought I was cutting on the other side.

So I love the grid lines because I can be sure that my paper is straight.  And, at least when your trimmer is new, the surface has some “cling” (not a residue cling, more like a static or surface tension cling) that helps hold the paper in place as well.

3.  Longer and Sturdier (and Flush!) Extender Arm

So, I didn’t give the extender arm much though, but once I was told about the differences between this trimmer and my old trimmer, I think I’m going to come to appreciate them more that I expected.

Stampin Trimmer with arm extended

The arm is pretty stiff when you try to pull it out.  I’m just warning you now.  I tried to pull it out and I thought it was stuck for a few minutes.  Nope, you just have to really want to extend that arm. 🙂  It seems like it is getting a bit easier the more I use it, but that could just be me getting used to how much I have to pull.

It is also very stiff to get fully extended so that it is perpendicular to your trimmer base.  Again, I thought maybe mine was broken, but after deciding to just go for it… I pushed hard and it snapped into place.  Similarly, it is very stiff to pull the arm back in.  But just commit to it and I think it gets easier over time.

That said, the extended arm is very sturdy.  And it is the same height as the base of the trimmer; so you don’t have to worry about the fact that your paper is sagging like you did with the older trimmers.

Stampin Trimmer extended arm

 

Oh, and there is a little plastic leg that flips down to keep it sturdy and holding the arm in place.  Kind of neat.

It also extends out to a full 14 1/2”, so you have lots of space for scoring larger projects or cutting larger pieces of cardstock.

full length of Stampin Trimmer extended arm

4.  Improvements on the Back side

Stampin Trimmer back sideSo, normally I don’t spend too much time looking at the back side of tools like this, but I appreciate that Stampin’ Up! didn’t waste the space.  There are 2 cool features to see on the bottom of your trimmer:

1.  Non-skid feet – 5 of them to be exact keep your trimmer where you want it

but even better:

2.  A HUGE storage compartment!!  And it not only has a clear cover so you can see what you are storing, but it also has dividers so you can put a whole bunch of back up supplies in there and take them with you to a class/crop/retreat and be organized and easy to grab.  I would store extra blades, adhesive refills, and tools like tweezers and bone folders for when I was traveling.

Love it!

5.  A Few More Hits and Misses

So, there are a ton more cool features and since this post is getting long, I’ll just quickly point out a few more that I find really useful:

  • The ruler/track is totally clear!  Makes it way easier to see where my paper is actually lining up.
  • The blades have an extra arm to help lock them in place on the track.  No more blades flying off when you lift up the trimmer or track.  I also haven’t figured out the right way to get the blades off, but I bet if I read the instruction book it will tell me. 🙂
  • The track has a switch that locks it in place (down) on the trimmer!  Again, no more track flying open when you pick up your trimmer or pull it out of your craft tote.
  • You can fit BOTH the scoring and cutting blade on the trimmer AND have a piece of 12×12 paper without worrying about your paper getting cut.  Yay! So much easier to have the blades ready to go but still out of the way.stampin trimmer with a 12x12 piece of paper 1
  • Stampin Trimmer with larger paper in cutting areaI was asked about whether a piece of 12×12 patterned paper that had an extra trim strip (usually for manufacturer information or the name of the paper pattern) – and thus being longer than 12” on one side” – would fit in the trimmer so you could cut off strips without needing to cut the trim…The answer is sort-of.
    See, I tried it with a piece of paper I had at home and found that the bottom lip of the trimmer is just a smidge too close for the paper to lie flat on the trimmer. But the nice thing is that the track is so long that the blades sit well below where your paper ends and so you can easily slide your paper flush against the lip at the top of the page and then slide the cutter all the way down and past the end of the paper and edge strip.

    But one nice thing is that the clear track/ruler doesn’t press longer paper onto the raised lip.  If you had the old Fiskars style trimmer (like the old SU trimmer with the orange blades) you may have run into this before where a paper that was longer than 12 inches would get bent when you tried to cut part of it because the track compressed the paper flush to the surface of the trimmer and then the paper bent up over the bottom edge of the trimmer.  This is WAAAY better!

    Stampin Trimmer with bigger than 12x12 paper

  • Finally, I like that you get both a scoring blade and a cutting blade with the trimmer by default.  If you are looking at the pictures: Gray is for scoring, Black is for trimming.  And they both sit easily stored at the end of the track.I tried both blades and discovered that they had a learning curve.

    The cutting blade requires more pressure than you probably would expect.  If you watch the video when I post it, you will see it took me 3 tries to cut a strip of cardstock on one slide along the track.  The first attempt, I was too impressed with how smooth it glided along the track that I didn’t put much pressure on.  The second attempt I added more pressure, but it wasn’t enough.  By attempt 3, I had it figured out and it cut great for me ever since.

    The scoring blade works well, but I prefer my Simply Scored or other scoring boards for scoring card bases.  I could probably add more pressure to the scoring blade to get a better impression; but I found that while it scored straight and easily, it wasn’t as deep of a groove (and thus as easy to fold) as when I use my Simply Scored.  I will, however, like this blade for when I’m doing techniques like Faux Tiling or scoring lines on my card for decoration.

** One tip – the cutting blade is sharp! **
I just have to give out that tip because while filming my video, I was feeling the cutting blade because it didn’t cut as I expected and I totally sliced the tip of my thumb!  It proved to me that it has a serious blade in a little tiny package. 🙂

Alright, so that is a lot of info and I think I covered most of it.  And at the end of my brief evening playing with my new toy, I am still super excited about it and think even with its less than perfect aspects, it is still a big step forward over what I had before and I think it is going to be just what I wanted!

I’m sure I missed something with this review and so I’ll try to get the video edited together today so I can get it posted for you soon.  Then you can see some of these features in action!

But in the meantime, if you have any questions about the trimmer, how it works, or its features – leave me a comment or shoot me an email at jennifer@nwstamper.com and I’d be glad to answer them for you!

 

If you are a demonstrator (or sign up to become a demonstrator), you can order your trimmer now.

If you are not a demo, you can order your trimmer starting in November! (and if you don’t have a demonstrator, I’d love to help you get your own Stampin’ Trimmer 🙂 )

 

So please check back soon for the video and I hopefully will give you a better feel for the new Stampin’ Trimmer!

 

Shop for Stamps and More Online, click here!

Are you earning your Northwest Stamper Rewards? Every order gets you closer to your FREE stamp set! Click here to learn more!