Trendy Cards for All Occasions 2018

Trendy Occasions 2018 Samples

Create All Occasion Cards in the latest trendy colors and designs in this class.  Matching envelopes included.  You will learn the newest techniques as well as try out the newest products from the 2018 Occasions Catalog.  One such project is a really cool Pop-Up card.  The cards shown are not what you’ll be making–these are what we did last year!

Payment must be received by the deadline and made through PayPal on the link below the class description.  Class fees must be paid in advance and are not refundable after the deadline.

Date:   December 30, 2017

Time:   2:00 – 4:00pm

Place:   2305 Jose Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA 95401

Early Bird Registration: $59 by 12/11/2017

Registration:   $69.00 by 12/21/2017

Click here for more details and registration on the Trendy Cards 2018 Occasions Class Page.

Read More

Stamparatus Second Chance


The last Stamparatus Reservation Window opens at 2pm Mountain Time today.  Get your Second Chance to pre-order the Stamparatus – one of the coolest tools ever!  The Window remains open through 12/30, then no more reservations will be taken.

This means that if you don’t reserve now, you will have to wait to order yours until the new Annual Catalog is released in June.

See more about the Stamparatus in yesterday’s post, New Stamparatus Reservation Window.

To make your Reservation, go to my blog and click on the “Order Online” button.  The front page of the store should show you a link to the Stamparatus Reservation. 

Read More

New Stamparatus Reservation Window

Stamparatus In Action - Visit

The New Stamparatus Reservation Window opens tomorrow, December 5th, and continues through December 30th.  This will be the only remaining Reservation Window and there will be no capacity ceiling this time.  Whoever reserves one will get one!  You can read more about it in my article, Stamparatus is the Answer.

You may only reserve one Stamparatus, instead of up to three.  Shipping of this round of cool tools will begin March 19, 2018 and will be first reserved, first shipped.  The shipping time allows for the manufacturer to construct enough to fill all the reservations.

I can’t wait to get my “paws” on this tool.  I could have used it during my class last week, as well as the rest of the time because I’m making duplicate cards.  It’s the time of year!

To make your Reservation, go to my blog and click on the “Order Online” button.  The front page of the store should show you a link to the Stamparatus Reservation You may start ordering at 2pm Mountain Time.

Read More

Only Four More Great Projects Available

12 Weeks Banner

You’ve missed the first eight projects in my 12 Weeks of Christmas e-mail campaign for 2017, but you can still receive the remaining four Holiday How-To’s!  Just sign up for my Mailing List now by filling out the form below before 12:50pm Pacific Time tomorrow.

Read More

Free Shipping from Stampin’ Up! Today Only

2017 Free Shipping Poster

Free Shipping from Stampin’ Up!® today only!  It’s ONE DAY – today!  This is a totally rare offering from Stampin’ Up!, so it would be a great idea to take advantage of it!!  There’s no minimum requirement to receive your Free Shipping, too!

While you’re shopping, remember that today is also the last day for my FREE Holiday Gift Set Tutorial with a $50 purchase.  The tutorial is valued at $19.95 and will be available separately.

To order, click on the Order Online button in the right sidebar.  When I receive your qualifying order, I will send your tutorial right to your inbox, so be sure and give your best email address!  Your order will receive Free Shipping in any case!

Read More

2017 Black Friday – Cyber Monday Special Is Underway!

Gift Box with Card Sample - Visit

My 2017 Black Friday – Cyber Monday Special is underway!  You’ll receive a Holiday Gift Set Tutorial that is FREE with a $50 purchase through Monday, the 27th.  Pictured is a Gift Set from a previous class.  Your tutorial will be Holiday-themed.

You may combine Stampin’ Up! products and 3am Stamper products (excluding the Holiday Gift Set Tutorial) to qualify, if you wish.  The tutorial is valued at $19.95 and will be on sale separately after the Special ends.

My special ends at Midnight (Pacific Time) on Monday, the 27th.  Don’t forget to also take advantage of Stampin’ Up!’s Online Extravaganza – the sale products count towards your $50, but Online Extravaganza ends on Sunday, the 26th.  There will be a Flash Sale on Monday, the 27th, so you may wait until then to order, but I wouldn’t hold off too long.

To order, click on the Order Online button in the right sidebar.  When I receive your qualifying order, I will send your tutorial right to your inbox, so be sure and give your best email address!

Read More

2017 Black Friday – Cyber Monday Special

Gift Box with Card Sample - Visit

For my 2017 Black Friday – Cyber Monday Special, I’m offering a Holiday Gift Set Tutorial FREE with a $50 purchase during the weekend.  The tutorial is valued at $19.95 and will be available separately.  However, the only way you’ll get it FREE is with a $50 purchase.  You may combine Stampin’ Up! products and 3am Stamper products (excluding the Holiday Gift Set Tutorial) to qualify, if you wish.

The photo shows a gift set from a previous class.  The Special offering will be Holiday themed.

Make your shopping list and get ready for Black Friday – Cyber Monday.  My special starts at 3am on Friday, the 24th, and ends at Midnight (Pacific Time) on Monday, the 27th.

Read More

Stamparatus Reservation Window Closed

Stamparatus In Action - Visit

Wow – the first Stamparatus Reservation Window CLOSED the same day it opened!  If you didn’t get your reservation in, note these dates for the next Reservation Windows:

December 5, 2017 – through 12/30 or when all the reservation slots are filled.  Ship date is on or about March 19, 2018.

January 15, 2018 – through 1/30 or when all the reservation slots are filled.  Ship date is on or about April 15, 2018.

If you don’t know what the Stamparatus is, take a look at my article, Stamparatus Is The Answer.  This will give you a preview and help you decide if you want to include this stamp positioning tool in you tool box!

Hold on to your current Stamp-a-ma-jig (101049) or other stamp positioner.  You’ll need it during the interim AND after you receive your Stamparatus because the Stamparatus only works with Photopolymer and Clear-Mount stamps.  Use your current positioner for Wood-Mount stamps.

Read More

Online Extravaganza for 2017

Online Extravaganza Banner

Online Extravaganza for 2017 from Stampin’ Up!® starts today with a 24-hour sale on selected Stamp Sets at 20% savings.  The Extravaganza runs through November 26th with savings on other items, too.

Take a look at the sale offerings and start your shopping list now!  The first group of Stamp Sets are only on sale at the special price TODAY.

2017 Online Extravaganza Products

Read More

Stamparatus Is the Answer

Stamparatus In Action - Visit

Stamparatus Is the Answer to your frustration with positioning your stamp images.  The approximately 8” x 8” tool (I’m guessing here) lets you position your card elements any number of ways.  It’s great for two- (or more) step stamping and lets you easily correct any faint or skipped parts of your stamped images!  The images above give you a hint as to how it works, but the video below shows you in better detail.

This is so cool, right?  The Stamparatus does away with the need for removable adhesive or tape, so the image is easy to stamp without any missing parts.  It’s oversize and has open sides so you can use larger paper or card stock.  Turn it around for easier use if you’re left-handed, although the regular arrangement should work okay.

I’m excited to report that Stampin’ Up!® is taking reservations for the new toy, starting today at 2:00pm MT.  That’s right now as you read this!  The reservation period is today through November 30th with the expected ship date of around February 1st.  This means that once your reservation is accepted, you’ll be assured of receiving your Stamparatus as soon as it’s available.

If the reservation list is filled for the first round, you have two more you can use.  The second is December 5 through 30, with a possible ship date of around March 19th, and the third is January 15 through 30, with a possible ship date of around April 15th.  However, this tool is so cool that you’ll want to make your reservation as early as possible so you can get your new toy in the first batch!

I know we have to wait, but I’m sure it’ll be worth it!  Imagine how easy it will be to make a whole batch of the same design of card!  Not to mention perfectly positioning multi-step stamping images.  And correcting the images with missing ink!

Click here to download the How to Make Your Stamparatus Reservation sheet.  You will need an account and I’d appreciate it if you’d name me, Mary Varley, as your Demonstrator, and reserve your Stamparatus so you can enjoy the Answer as soon as it’s out!

Read More

Only Two Spots Left in Stampin’ Blends Class

Stampin' Blends Class Poster-Visit

Hurry and reserve one of the two spots left in my Watercoloring with Stampin’ Blends class!  You’ll learn to use the new Stampin’ Blends alcohol markers to make watercoloring and blending easy… and gorgeous!

By the way, the labels on the Markers are ones I made myself.  I will be making labels free for all attendees who purchase or have purchased Stampin’ Blends.

Early Bird Registration is $30 until TODAY, November 15th.

Details and registration are on the Watercoloring with Stampin’ Blends Page.

Read More

Excited About Stampin’ Blends

Stampin' Blends Banner

As excited as I am about Stampin’ Blends, it occurs to me that I haven’t talked about them much, other than to inform you of my upcoming class, Watercoloring with Stampin’ Blends.  I also informed you of the Giveaway to launch this new product and talked a little about them then.

Stampin’ Blends are the new Alcohol Markers Stampin’ Up!® just released November 1st.  A lot of us (Demonstrators and customers) have been yelling for the replacement to Stampin’ Blendabilities since they were discontinued in March of 2015.  Stampin’ Blendabilities were the first Alcohol Markers to carry the Stampin’ Up! brand, as well as come in Stampin’ Up! exclusive colors.  Unfortunately, the Markers had less than perfect caps and tips that allowed them to dry out before they should.  I never had a problem with mine, but a 30% fail rate was too high to be acceptable, so Stampin’ Blendabilities were discontinued. Interestingly, the same thing happened with Copic Markers and those from Spectrum Noir.

If you purchased Stampin’ Blendabilities when they were released three years ago, I hope you are using them.  If not, pull them out and test the Markers to see if they’ve dried out.  I had three of the light colors dry up, but the rest are fine.  I, of course, purchased all of them and I have no intention of throwing them away while they’re still good.

For your info, these are the articles I wrote about Stampin’ Blendabilities.  Some of the information can apply to the new Stampin’ Blends, but most of this will relate to your existing Markers.

Blendabilities are Here

Care of your Stampin’ Blendabilities Markers

How About Some Comparison Facts for Stampin’ Blends?  These are based on complaints I heard and experienced.

  1. The marker cap is easier to close tight. Just push it on until it clicks.  The Blendabilities cap was hard to position and snap closed properly.
  2. The marker cap is easier to tell which direction it goes. The curved edge fits right into place on the marker body.  The Blendabilities cap looked almost the same on all sides, so you could easily damage your tip trying to close the cap.
  3. With Stampin’ Blends, you don’t need to blend light to dark. This is the same for Blendabilities.
  4. Stampin’ Blends come in light and dark versions of twelve of the core colors, plus Ivory and Bronze Skin Tones. Blendabilities had six Skin Tone colors plus light, medium and dark versions of sixteen colors.  Even though they’re called “Skin Tones”, you can use them for coloring anything!
  5. The Stampin’ Blends Color Lifter works better to move the ‘outside the lines’ ink back to where it goes. The Blendabilities Color Lifter didn’t work as well.  The Stampin’ Blends inks have been reformulated, so that lets the Color Lifter do its job better.
  6. The Stampin’ Blends ink doesn’t bleed the Memento Ink Pad images. Blendabilities required the StazOn ink, which you had to let dry thoroughly before you started coloring.  The Archival Ink Pads required a lot of drying time and they still bled.

These comparisons answer my main complaints and show you why I’m excited about Stampin’ Blends.  They color and blend so easily, you’ll wonder how you did without them!

If you need an answer to any question about Stampin’ Blends or any other product or tool, feel free to comment below or e-mail me at  I’ll send you the answer and do a post about it.  If you need your answer right away, you may always contact my Help Desk at  Just make your subject line the product or tool, such as Stampin’ Blends.

Read More

Painted Harvest Anytime Card

Painted Harvest Anytime Card

My Painted Harvest Anytime Card has no greeting on the front because I didn’t find one I liked that wouldn’t get in the way of appreciating the hand-painted look of the Painted Autumn Designer Series Paper.

If you have a greeting that you like, you can stamp it with the Cajun Craze or Early Espresso Classic Stampin’ Pad just under or above the ribbon.  I’d make sure the message can be read as the background is rather busy.

The Color Combination for my Painted Harvest Anytime Card occupies half of the Color Wheel.  I call it an Analogous Plus Color Scheme because the colors are Analogous if you skip over some of the Color Groups.

The Combination is what I call Harvest Brights and consists of Daffodil Delight from the Yellow Color Group, Crushed Curry from the Yellow-Orange Color Group, Old Olive from the Yellow-Green Color Group, Garden Green from the Green Color Group, and Cajun Craze from the Red-Orange Color Group.  The skipped Colors as you go around the Color Wheel are Red and Orange.  They’re represented by their Tertiary Colors in Yellow-Orange and Red-Orange.

You should know by now that Very Vanilla is a Neutral and doesn’t affect the Color Scheme.  I used the Thick Very Vanilla Card Stock for the Card Base, by the way, so you’ll be able to write anything on the inside without worrying about legibility.

The Painted Harvest Anytime Card gives you a hand-painted watercolor look which is easy to do with the Painted Harvest Stamp Set.  The Painted Autumn Designer Series Paper collection includes some great patterns for Autumn cards, pages and package wrap!  I’ll be doing some more in the next several days!

Product Lists



Card Stock

Tools & Adhesive

Ribbon & Trim


Did you know I have the Real Life Color Coach Hotline at you may contact at any time?  And I will answer you directly via e-mail as well as posting the answers here.  The Hotline is perfect if you have questions about Analogous Plus Color Schemes, creating color combinations for other cards or pages, the content of any of the Real Life Color Coach articles, or other crafting color-related issues.

Read More

Watercoloring with Stampin’ Blends Class

Oh, Hello Square Note Card - visit

In the new Watercoloring with Stampin’ Blends Class, you will get to meet the new alcohol markers from Stampin’ Up!Stampin’ Blends!  Have fun learning how to watercolor with alcohol markers and see how easy it is to blend the colors.

You’ll take home four cards with coordinating envelopes in a handy storage box.  The designs are all different and contained in the Color Me Happy Project Kit (144609), available separately for a limited time.  The coordinating Color Me Happy Stamp Set (144062) is also available separately as long as kit supplies last.

Space is extremely limited, so be sure to reserve your place now.  You’ll get the Early Bird discount, too.

Note:  Class fees must be paid in advance and are not refundable after the deadline.  Questions? Email or call (707) 695-3571.

Date: Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Time: 7:00 to 9:00 pm

Place: 2305 Jose Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA 95401

Early Bird Registration: $30

Early Bird Deadline: 11/15/2017

Registration after Deadline: $40

Registration Deadline: 11/22/2017

Click here to register for the Early Bird Discount.

Read More

Happy Hallowe’en 2017-Belated

Happy Halloween 2017 Card-Belated - Visit

Happy Hallowe’en 2017-Belated!  I didn’t mean to be this late, but I was determined to post this card design for you.  And I was anxious to try out my new Potion Colors.  You may remember these from my Favorite Hallowe’en Colors article.

Now, the Potion Colors are Lemon-Lime Twist, from the Yellow-Green Color Group, and Fresh Fig, from the Violet-Red Color Group.  These colors are direct Complements to each other, so a high-contrast Complementary Color Scheme is a natural!

I started with a Candy Corn background because we’d talked about this on Monday.  Then I decided I could add the Potion Colors without any real combination issues.  The Candy Corn background is made with Daffodil Delight, from the Yellow Color Group, and Pumpkin Pie, from the Orange Color GroupThe two are Analogous to each other (Whisper White is a Neutral and doesn’t count, as you should remember) and create a harmonious combination.

Yellow is a Split Complement to Violet-Red and so fits in with the Complementary Color SchemeOrange is Analogous to Yellow and Yellow is Analogous to Yellow-Green, so we’ve got a Complementary Plus Color Combination going on.  The Fresh Fig layer divides the Candy Corn layer from the Lemon-Lime Twist card base, so the color scheme isn’t jarring.

By the way, I decided Rich Razzleberry is also a Potion Color, since it’s in the same Color Group as Fresh FigFresh Fig makes a murkier Potion Color, but you can use Rich Razzleberry if you prefer the brighter color.

The remaining Hallowe’en Color of Basic Black is present as Black Rhinestone Jewel accents… in case you were worried.

Product Lists:tams# 17418



Card Stock

Tools & Adhesive




Did you know you can also qualify for Stampin’ Rewards from Stampin’ Up!® if your order product total exceeds $150.  Just click on the Order Online Button in the right sidebar or on any of the product links in this article to order what you need to make your own Happy Hallowe’en Card.

Read More

You Missed the First Four Projects

12 Weeks Banner

You’ve missed the first four weeks of my 12 Weeks of Christmas e-mail campaign, but you can still receive the remaining eight Holiday How-To’s!  Just sign up for my Mailing List now by filling out the form below before 12:50pm Pacific Time tomorrow!

Read More
Follow by Email