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Today we’re celebrating the 100th Sketch in the Taylored Expressions Sketch Challenge (formerly also known as the Taylored Expressions Cupcake Challenge) and we really hope you’ll play along with us!  Not only is it a blast to create using Taylor’s sketches, but today there are prizes involved as well.  One lucky winner will get a $25 Gift Certificate to the TE Store just for displaying our Celebration graphic on your blog to help us spread the word and invite more people to the party.  AND the 5 Top Crops chosen by the Sketch Crew will also each receive a $25 GC!!!  How cool is that?  You’ll need to hop over to Taylor’s blog to get the sketch and the graphic and all the deets.  PLUS Taylor has an incredible gift for EVERYONE on her blog today!

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But before you go, I have a sample for today’s fun sketch that I’m dying to share!  For this special celebration I wanted to use my all-time favorite TE sets Branching Out and Branching Coordinates.  To create a really bright and happy card I decided to use one of my favorite Key Ingredients kits – Berries and Cherries KI.  All the cardstock, patterned paper, ribbon, and strawberry brad are from the KI.  I added some KaiserCraft red pearls and rhinestone flowers in light pink and hot pink, along with some Fruit Punch stickles.  Some faux stitching finished off this card.  (I really really need to make time to learn to use my new Janome Sew Mini – I so wanted to have real stitching on this card!)

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This card is so much more sparkly IRL than the photo shows.  I had so much fun creating this card!  Now let’s check out what the rest of the Sketch Crew has come up with:

  • Alice Wertz  
  • Lisa Hjulberg
  • Lori Craigwelcoming my sweet freind to the Sketch Crew!
  • Lynn Mercurio
  • Melissa Sauls
  • Monika Davis
  • Rachel Sztonyk
  • Sherrie Siemens
  • PLUS Beate Johns is Our Friday Friend on the Stamp a Sweet Impression Blog!
  • I hope you have a great weekend and make some time to stamp!  I’m looking forward to teaching class tonight and going out to dinner with friends tomorrow night.  :) Thanks for stopping by!

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    February Class Kissing Fishies

    February 11th, 2010

    I’m here to share a quick preview of one of the cards we’ll be making in my stamp class tomorrow night.  I’m just tickled with how this turned out!

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    These fish and the stamped background are created with the SU Christmas stamp set Delightful Decorations along with the coordinating ornament punch. YES those are Christmas ornaments turned into FISH!  How stickin’ CUTE is that??  I had 2 inspiration cards saved to my favorites gallery in SCS (’cause you KNOW I don’t think out of the box like that!) – this belated birthday card by stampinmutt and this Just Keep Swimming card by Vonda Thomas – and I kept thinking I had seen the kissing fish idea somewhere, but I could not find it for the life of me.  After my card was finished I started looking through last month’s Stampin’ Success (SU Demo mag) for some possible inspiration for another card and lo and behold there was the Kissing Fish card by Rebecca Franks.  My overall card is a lot different from hers, but that is definitley where the idea came from.

     

    My card features SU In-Colors and used the ornament punch, the modern label punch, the 3 heart punch, and a couple of small circle punches along with the new SU border punch from the SAB catty.  I just love how the background turned out using the swirly image from the same stamp set and simply stamping it 3 times for each inking to get the varied tone.

    The other two cards we’ll be making feature a combo of TE images and SU papers.  I’ll try to get back to share those over the weekend or early next week.  I’ll be here tomorrow morning with my sample for Taylor’s 100th Sketch!  You don’t want to miss the celebration we have planned for tomorrow!  Thanks for stopping by.

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    Kraft Madness

    February 10th, 2010

    I am finally feeling better – yea!  Not 100% yet, but got my first really good night’s sleep last night and feeling pretty good today.  Over the past few days I’ve stamped a little here  and there as I felt up to it and I created a little flurry of kraft goodness.  It all started with inspiration from the divine Miss Julie…yes Her Royal Rubberness!  I saw this kraft confection on her blog a few days ago and immediately felt the need to pull out a brand new pack of kraft cardstock.  Now, I rarely try to imitate the simply exquisite style of HRR…I just can’t pull it off generally speaking…but I decided to give it a go.  I did not go back and look at the inspiration card when I sat down to stamp.  Rather I just had it in the back of my mind.  As fortune would have it, I had just received an order from Taylored Expressions that included the incredibly yummy October Afternoon Farm Fresh 8×8 pad.  Oh my – it’s heavenly.

    So my HRR inspiration became this

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    Not as adorable as Julie’s, but made me happy anyway. The friend sentiment is from an SU set.  The bird is from TE Love is Everywhere.  The sheer ribbon is AMuse.  Card size is 3.25 x 6.5

    I had so much fun with the first one that I decided to make another.

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    The sentiment/image is a SU rub-on and I added little KaiserCraft pearls.  You might notice that I also got on a corner rounding kick to go with the kraft kick.  My TE order also included a Corner Chomper and I am loving that thing right now!

    Why stop at two?  Might as well make one more.

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    Sentiment is from an old retired SU set – Cheery Chat. I still love that set.  I think I could have just gone on and on creating with kraft cardstock and Farm Fresh papers, but I’m teaching a class Friday night and I needed to work on samples for that as well.  I’m tickled with what I’ve come up with for class.  I’ll try to come back tomorrow and share at least one of those cards.  It felt so good to play in my stamp room today, especially after being sick for a week.

    Here’s a view of all three cards together.  They are really so super simple, but they got my juices flowing again.  Thank you Jules for the little kick start!

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    Sorry the lighting is a little weird.  I was too tired to set up my regular photo situation so I took these on top of our antique stove with a flash and it reflects some light back off the chrome.  It’s great for quick shots though.  Thanks for stopping by.

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    I’ve been under the weather for a couple of days and didn’t think I’d have anything ready for this morning, but I just couldn’t stand to miss out on all the fun today.  All the new Taylored Expressions stamps are available in the TE store NOW!  We’re all so excited about the new line Apple Doodle Ink as well as the new Stamps A la Carte department starting with the Whimiscal Wishes Animals in Love.  And since it’s Friday, we of course have a new sketch from Taylor to play with – TESC99.  My take on the sketch features the Flamingos in Love A la Carte image along with a sentiment from Animal Love Sentiments.

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    Check out what the rest of the Sketch Crew has cooked up:

  • Alice Wertz
  • Jami Sibley
  • Lisa Hjulberg
  • Lynn Mercurio
  • Melissa Sauls
  • Monika Davis
  • Rachel Sztonyk
  • Sherrie Siemens
  • Both of my cards today were made with the Spa Key Ingredients Kit (cardstock. patterned paper, Ribbon, fabric flowers) and images were colored with Copics.  My 2nd card features the new Apple Doodle Ink set Bakery Business.  I actually made this card a few days ago, but didn’t get it photographed until today.  I had to laugh when I saw Jodi’s sample on Wednesday where we had used the same small curved rectangle die and similar coloring for Tena.

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    I know you’ll want to see what the Baker’s Dozen girls have created for Release Day:

  • Charmaine Ikach
  • Dawn Easton
  • Donna Baker
  • Jackie Pedro
  • Jodi Collins
  • Karen Giron
  • Karen Motz
  • Laurie Schmidlin
  • Melissa Sauls
  • Sankari Wegman
  • Jeanie Witmer *Guest Desighner*
  • And of course you want to head over to Taylor’s blog to see her samples and get all the TE Release news along with the sketch for today!  TE has an awesome Special available for those of you who want to get all 8 A la Carte images along with the coordinating sentiment set – you’ll get $10 off your next order!

    Thanks so much for all the warm and wonderful birthday wishes through blog comments, e-mails, and FaceBook messages.  Unfortunately I spent the day with a sore throat, body aches and feeling generally yucky.  Even so, I kept thinking about how thankful I am for all the love in my life from family and friends (and of course Tessa in my lap all day) and just how blessed I am. :)

    Happy Friday and Happy Shopping!

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    ETA:  I apologize for the weird formatting – I can’t seem to fix it.

    TESC98 Better Late than Never

    February 3rd, 2010

    Just a quick post because I have a card that’s been ready to share for about 2 weeks and because I just had to say a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who posted your wonderful supportive comments or e-mailed me about my last post.  You kind words really mean so much to me!  HUGS back to each one of you!

    My card was created for TESC98 but my blog was down for a few days and then CHA stuff took over and I never got it posted.

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    This card was created with a Key Ingredients kit from last Summer that included Cosmo Cricket Early Bird papers and it features the ice cream sundae image from Sprinkled with Love.  Sprinkled with Love is a TE stamp set that was released just a month ago and it was our very best seller at the CHA SuperShow (largely due to a sample made my Karen Motz) and it is currently sold out in the store.  I’m sure Taylor will have it back in stock soon.

    Sneak peeks for the Taylored Expressions February release started this morning and the new sets are super cute!  I had hoped to play along, but I am battling a wicked sore throat and feel achy all over.  I had hoped to spend all day tomorrow in my stamp room, but I may end up on the couch watching movies instead.  I really don’t want to be sick on my birthday.  We’ll see.  I hope you’ll check out Taylor’s blog and from there hop over to all the Baker’s Dozen girls.  Their samples are always so outstanding!  The actual release is Friday morning February 5th at 8:00 am PST.  I hope to at least have something made to share with you Friday morning for the release or the sketch or both.  :)

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    After over 6-1/2 years, when I wake up tomorrow I will officially no longer be a Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator.  This is something I have chosen not to talk about on my blog up until now, but honestly it has played a big part in my lack of consistent blogging in the past few months.  I did NOT want to give up being a SU Demo.  I have loved SU for many years – several even before I became a Demo.  I love my customers.  But it came down to the fact that I just could not sign the new agreement put forth to us last Fall.  While I could have *technically* continued both with SU and with TE it would not have worked on any practical level and bottom line – I just could not stomach having my speech regulated on my personal blog.  I had every intention of cutting the cord with my resignation letter before the end of 2009, but I found that I just couldn’t write the letter.  And today was my very last chance.

    This has been a very emotional thing for me.  I have not wanted to badmouth SU in any way and yet I feel hurt and disappointed.  I’ve heard some other Demos describing it like being asked for a divorce.  Yep, I feel like I’ve been a good Demo with consistent sales who has always tried hard to abide by all the rules and now I’m being kicked to the curb. In all my time as a Demo, I’ve never even been on the pending list until this past quarter when I was locked out of the ordering system for failure to sign the IDA.   “Drink the kool-aide or get out!” 

    I know that I must trust the Lord and be aware that He has a plan for me in all of this.  Over the past few months I’ve been able to focus on that sometimes better than others.  Sometimes I have felt ok and ready to move on and other times I have just been so sad.  I am not someone who embraces change in general and certainly not when it goes against my preference, but the Lord has been working with me on this and I am looking to Him to help me embrace the change and look to whatever may be ahead.  I know many Demos who have cleared out and sold off all of their SU product never to be touched again.  I am certainly not there.  I do intend to continue being a customer of SU albeit in a very limited capacity, but right now it’s just hard to stamp with SU.  I just got an order of new goodies from the Mini and I’m hoping I can have some fun playing with it next week.

    I am very thankful to the Demo friends I have who have helped me and are helping me to finish out the committment I have to my wonderful Club customers.  And to all of my friends who are remaining Demonstrators – I want you to know that I hold no resentment toward you and I’m truly happy that you could remain unaffected by these issues.  I hope you will not be upset with me for expressing my feelings here. I mean no disrespect to you.

    To anyone who has ever been a customer of mine – I want you to know that I truly appreciate you.  I have had a wonderful ride!  I plan to continue teaching stamp classes since that’s the part of being a Demo that I loved most!  My future classes will be NVR (No Vendor Restrictions) and I’m guessing that they will mostly be a combo of TE, OCL and some SU.  I promise they will continue to be high quality FUN and I hope you will continue to attend.  There’s a big wide wonderful stamping world out there and I now have the freedom to show it all to you!  Also I will be e-mailing out info soon to all customers on my mailing list regarding some area Demos who are friends of mine so you can continue to shop SU if you’d like to.

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    I never got around to sharing the project we created at my December Club meeting, so now seems like the perfect time.  I won’t go into a lot of detail, but we made card sets using the SU Sunny Day Scrappin’ Kit and a coordinating ribbon share.  We also decorated a TE Perfect Package.  I love the Sunny Day SSK and had a lot of fun creating this class.  If you have questions about it, let me know.

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    To all of my blog readers – wow – you just have no idea what it means to me to have people reading my blog.  I was stunned when several people came up to me at the SuperShow last weekend and said they knew me from reading More is More.  Wow.  I am so humbled.  Thank you!  I hope you’ll stick with me even if I’m not a SU Demo.

    I have so much more to say…I could go on and on…but it’s very late and you don’t need to hear me ramble any more than you already have.  I’ve got a busy week ahead.  Did you know that it’s almost time for another Taylored Expressions release?  Yep – this Friday…some super cute new stuff…forging ahead!  :)

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