Handheld Punches-Essential Tools

Handheld PunchesThe punches I always have in easy grabbing range are my Handheld Punches. The handles fit over the edge of a storage box by straddling it and I can line them up in whatever order I choose. I usually have the 1/16” Circle Handheld Punch (134363) on the end, with the 1/8” Circle Handheld Punch (134365) next to it and the 1/4” Circle Handheld Punch (134364) next to that. My retired Handheld Punches complete the row.

Here is how I use them most frequently:

  • 1/16” Circle Handheld Punch
    • Punches holes for brads with thin prongs such as the Silver 1/8” Mini Brads (122941)
    • Punches holes to tie Baker’s Twine, Linen Thread, or other thin cord
  • 1/8” Circle Handheld Punch
    • Punches holes for brads with wider prongs
    • Punches holes to tie 1/8” ribbon, Thick Baker’s Twine, soft 1/4” ribbon
  • 1/4” Circle Handheld Punch
    • Punches holes to tie 1/4” to 1” ribbon
    • Punches holes to thread thicker cord through
    • Punches holes to allow Binder Rings to hold several sheets or pages of card stock or paper

Those are my top uses for each punch. They will all punch through two or three sheets at one time, depending on thickness.  (The stickers with the sizes shown in the photo are my own.)  I’m sure more uses will occur and I’ll post them here. If you have some pet uses for these punches, please feel free to mention them in Comments below.

By the way, the 1/16” and 1/8” Handheld Punches are part of the Weekly Deals this week! Check them out!

Got a question about a product, technique or tool? E-mail me at mary@3amstamper.com or post your question in Comments. I’ll respond directly to your e-mail and post the answer here on www.3amStamper.com. If you need an answer right away, you may always contact my Help Desk at 3amstamperhelp@gmail.com.

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Graduation & Wedding Season Approaching

Graduation Caps A-Flurry

Wedding Elements

Do you have a graduation coming up or a wedding in the offing? It’s that time of year: Graduation & Wedding Season!! Wouldn’t it be nice to have help paying for all the incidentals? How about owning your own stamping business and having extra cash every month?

As a Stampin’ Up!® Independent Demonstrator, you can make extra cash with your own stamping business and share your crafting talents while you’re doing so. You can work your business to fit your own schedule and lifestyle – and can even earn full-time pay for part-time work!

Have you thought about owning your own stamping business? Wouldn’t it be great to share your talents and pick up some extra cash as well? Graduation and wedding expenses will not be a problem again! Click on the Join My Team Button in the sidebar to see some ideas. You can also see more in the Owning Your Own Business menu above. If you have questions or would like to find out more, give me a call at (707) 695-3571, or e-mail me at mary@3amstamper.com.  I’d love to chat with you about my business and talk about what the possibilities can be for YOU!

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Make Trendy Cards for Any Occasion

Trendy All-Occasion Cards - Visit http://www.3amstamper.com

Create All Occasion cards in the latest trendy colors and designs in this class. Matching envelopes included. You will be using the newest products from the 2015-2016 Annual Catalog, so the cards shown are not what you’ll be making!

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: May 28, 2015

Time: 7:00-9:00pm

Place: 2305 Jose Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA 95401

Early Bird Registration: $35.00

Early Bird Deadline: 5/11/15

Register early to reserve your space – space is limited!



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Quick Shaped Cards with the Top Note Die

As promised in my post, “So Long, Top Note Die, I’ll Miss You,” I’m showing you how to make you quick gift tags and shaped cards with the Top Note Bigz™ Die (113436) and the Big Shot™ Die-Cutting Machine (113439).

Top Note Gift Card-Visit http://www.3amstamper.com

First up, the Gift Card, suitable to attach to a package or tuck in an envelope:

  1. Die-cut a piece of 5” x 4” card stock and a piece of 5” x 4” patterned paper one sheet at a time so that the “top-stitched” border shows clearly.
  2. Trim away the border from the patterned paper.
  3. Score from point to point in the cross-wise middle of each die-cut and fold.
  4. Cut folder paper about 1/8” from the fold.
  5. Adhere one piece to front of gift card.
  6. Adhere second piece to inside of gift card.
  7. Attach greeting and embellishments as desired.

Supplies Used for Gift Card: A Round Array Stamp Set (129087-w, 129090-c); Calypso Coral Classic Stampin’ Pad (126983); Night of Navy (100867) & Whisper White (100730) 8-1/2” x 11” Card Stock; Birthday Bash Specialty Designer Series Paper (137783); Top Note Bigz™ Die (113436); Big Shot™ Die-Cutting Machine (113439); Beautiful Wings Embosslits™ Die (118138); 7/8” Scallop Circle (129404) & 1-1/4” Scallop Circle (127811) Punches; Mini Glue Dots (103683); Fast Fuse Adhesive (129026); Stampin’ Dimensionals (104430)

Top Note Shaped Card-Visit http://www.3amstamper.com

Next, the Shaped Greeting Card:

You can make a shaped greeting card from card stock or patterned paper. I made this one from Designer Series Paper and adhered it to a piece of card stock.

  1. Fold a 5” x 8” piece of patterned paper in half. If you use card stock instead, be sure to crease it well.
  2. Line up the fold so that the folded piece misses the cutting edge slightly. Die-cut.
  3. Adhere the back of the folded die-cut to a 3-7/8” x 5-1/8” piece of card stock.
  4. Attach greeting and embellishments as desired.

Supplies Used for Shaped Card: Label Love (130619-w, 130622-c) & Teeny Tiny Wishes (128748-w, 127802-c) Stamp Sets; Bermuda Bay (131171) & Night of Navy (126970) Classic Stampin’ Pads; Calypso Coral (122925) & Whisper White (100730) 8-1/2” x 11” Card Stock; Birthday Bash Specialty Designer Series Paper (137783); Top Note Bigz™ Die (113436); Big Shot™ Die-Cutting Machine (113439); Beautiful Wings Embosslits™ Die (118138); Artisan Label Punch (130920); Mini Glue Dots (103683); Fast Fuse Adhesive (129026); Stampin’ Dimensionals (104430)

To order what you need to make your own Top Note Cards, just click on the Order Online Button in the right sidebar or on any of the product links in this article. You’ll receive 3am Stamper Rewards for every $50 catalog product purchased at one time. You can also qualify for Stampin’ Rewards from Stampin’ Up!® if your order product total exceeds $150. Remember, some of the supplies listed are retiring and are only available while supplies last – be sure you order now!

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Silly Scallops Scrapbook Page

Silly Scallops Scrapbook Page - Visit http://www.3amstamper.com

I usually try to feature retiring products once Stampin’ Up!® releases the Retiring Stamps &. Accessories Lists.  Since both the Scallop-Edge Border Punch (119882) and the Large Scallop Edgelits™ (127019) are on the list, I thought it would be fun to design a scrapbook page using scalloped borders.

I hadn’t used Park Lane Designer Series Paper (133694) a lot this year, so I picked three patterns from the package for the borders and one page background. I usually use both patterns from one sheet, but the dotted background pattern reversed to rows of small Blackberry Bliss flowers, which really would have been too busy. I used Blackberry Bliss from the In Color 2014-2016 12” x 12” Card Stock Assortment (133680) as the base page and layered the dotted pattern on top.

For the border strips, I wanted 2”, 3” and 4” widths. I cut 4-1/4” x 12” from the tone-on-tone Blackberry Bliss floral pattern, which allows for the Large Scallop Edgelits™ cutting, and 3-1/4” x 12” from the Daffodil Delight floral pattern, allowing room to punch the scalloped edge. I cut the 2” strip from the Calypso Coral random dots pattern with the Small Scallop Rotary Stampin’ Trimmer Cutting Blade (129410), so I didn’t need to leave any room.

I planned to stagger the photo mats by lining them up with the edges of the borders. The mats are designed for 3-1/2” x 5” photos and slip under the edge of the scallop strip. I only adhered the scallop strips at the top and bottom edges, so the mats could slide under them easily.

Since there was space left over on the page, I decided circles with scalloped frames would fill it nicely. You can put anything in the circles, such as a title and journaling, or even more pictures. I thought the page would look cool with random words… and it’s easy to cover over the Whisper White circles if I decide to write something else!

Other Supplies Used: @sosocial (134189-w, 134192-c) & From the Garden (137139-p) Stamp Sets; Basic Gray Classic Stampin’ Pad (retired & sold out); Calypso Coral (122925), Daffodil Delight (119683), Blackberry Bliss (133675) & Whisper White (100730) 8-1/2” x 11” Card Stock; Bow Builder (137414), 3/4” Circle (119873), 1-1/4” Circle (119861), 1-3/4” Circle (119850), 1-1/4” Scallop Circle (127811), 1-3/4” Scallop Circle (119854) & 2-3/8” Scallop Circle (118874) Punches; Fast Fuse Adhesive (129026); Stampin’ Dimensionals (104430)

To order what you need to try out your own Silly Scallops, just click on the Order Online Button in the right sidebar or on any of the product links in this article. You’ll receive 3am Stamper Rewards for every $50 catalog product purchased at one time. You can also qualify for Stampin’ Rewards from Stampin’ Up!® if your order product total exceeds $150.

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Purple & Orange In A Double Diad Scheme

Bouquet Take-Out Box - Visit http://www.3amstamper.com

The Diad Color Scheme is made up of a pair of colors that are two colors apart on the Color Wheel. In this Gift Take-Out Box project, I’m using Crisp Cantaloupe from the Red-Orange Color Group and Blackberry Bliss from the Violet-Red Color Group.

For convenience (to save myself having to make up a name), I am combining my two Color Craft Chart columns of Tertiary Colors into the standard one Tertiary Color Group. You may recall that I originally split the Tertiary Colors in my Color Chart to Help You Color Craft Post for more accuracy and to make it easier to categorize the Stampin’ Up!® Colors. I also didn’t want a chart that had two pages worth of rows for one color along with nothing in other colors.

The Accent Colors also create a Diad: Hello Honey from the Yellow-Orange Color Group and Mossy Meadow from the Green-Yellow Color Group. This makes a Double Diad Color Scheme for the Gift Take-Out Box project.

I also used Wild Wasabi from the Green Color Group as a secondary accent, but I think I would be better served if I had used Mossy Meadow instead. The Wild Wasabi stamped leaves on the box just aren’t intense enough to go with the Blackberry Bliss flowers.

The Diad Color Scheme lets you create softer contrasts or harmonious color combinations. It’s a good mixture for Mother’s Day, Birthday, Bridal Shower and Friendship cards and decorations.

Supplies Used: Painted Petals Stamp Set (138819, w; 138822, c; 137146, p); Blackberry Bliss (133642), Hello Honey (133643), Mossy Meadow (133645), Wild Wasabi (126959) & Strawberry Slush (131178) Classic Stampin’ Pads; Painted Blooms Designer Series Paper (137784); Build-A-Bouquet Simply Created Project Kit (137952); Regals Designer Buttons (130029); Crushed Curry Baker’s Twine (134586); Fast Fuse Adhesive (129026); Glue Dots (103683); Multipurpose Liquid Glue (110755); Sticky Strip (104294); Silicone Craft Sheet (127853); Hot Glue

Some of the supplies used are hidden by the angle of the photograph. You would be able to see more detail in my free Bouquet of Gifts Idea and Tip Sheet. This Idea and Tip Sheet is only available to those who attended my Bouquet of Gifts Class OR if you purchase the Build-A-Bouquet Simply Created Project Kit. You can see the complete offer here in my You Missed A Great Bouquet of Gifts Party Post.

To order your own Build-A-Bouquet Simply Created Project Kit or anything else you need, just click on the Order Online Button in the right sidebar or on any of the product links in this article. You’ll receive 3am Stamper Rewards for every $30 catalog product purchased at one time. You can also qualify for Stampin’ Rewards from Stampin’ Up!® if your order product total exceeds $150.

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Why Is Basic Black Retiring?

Basic Black & Basic Gray Pads & Refills -Visit http://www.3amstamper.com

In the fine print on the 2015 Retiring List, it shows that the Basic Black and Basic Gray Classic Stampin’ Pads and Classic Stampin’ Ink Refills are being re-formulated. This is why both Basic Black and Basic Gray are on the Retiring List.

I know a lot of you have complained about the Basic Black Pad. I myself have noticed that the ink dries out faster than the other colors, causing me to have to re-ink more often. The same happens with the Basic Gray Pad, although I haven’t heard as many complaints. I have passed along your complaints, along with my own, to Stampin’ Up!®. It looks like the company is taking action on them at last!

When the new Basic Black and Basic Gray Classic Stampin’ Pads and Classic Stampin’ Ink Refills are released with the 2015-2016 Annual Catalog, you can be sure I’ll be ordering them and trying them out! I will give you my report here in my Tool Time on Tuesday feature.

Some things about the new Pads that I’ll be looking for in particular include:

  • Coverage of an image
  • Evenness of coverage, especially no blobs on fine-line images
  • If the ink is still permanent, bleeding in coloring or watercoloring projects
  • Drying time
  • How often do I need to re-ink?

Do you have any other issues you’d like me to test for? E-mail me at mary@3amstamper.com or post your issue in Comments. I will include your issues in my testing report, which will be posted here on www.3amStamper.com.

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No Limit on Your Contest Entries Every Month

Contest Winner Mother's Day Card-Visit httpP://www.3amstamper.com

Mailing List Subscribers are the only people who may enter my monthly contest. A $10 certificate is the monthly prize and it’s good on any of my products. Subscribers may enter as many times as they want. They may also enter month after month as long as they subscribe. There is no entry fee and no cost to join my Mailing List!

I also offer periodic contests that are just for my subscribers. These are surprise contests and are not announced in advance. In the past, the prizes have been a glitter sampler, a card collection, and other prizes.

To join my Mailing List and get in on these exclusive contests, as well as receive 3am Thoughts, my monthly newsletter filled with news, tutorials, tips & tricks, fill out the form at right. Be sure you click the link in your confirmation e-mail or you won’t be signed up! In addition, you’ll collect 2 free tutorials (valued at $7.95 each) when your membership is confirmed!

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You Missed A Great Bouquet of Gifts Party

Bouquet of Gifts Projects - Visit http://www.3amstamper.com

It’s too bad you missed the Bouquet of Gifts Class yesterday. We all made it a great party! Everyone took home the extras from their Simply Created Build-A-Bouquet Project Kit (137952) along with three Gorgeous Gifts and ideas for more. We all made discoveries and came up with more ideas as we put our projects together! I love this about my classes!!

However, I have a deal for you! Purchase the Build-A-Bouquet Project Kit through my Online Store (just click the link on the product name) and I will send you my Bouquet of Gifts Idea and Tip Sheet with photos and tips… for FREE. The Build-A-Bouquet Project Kit makes 35 flowers, so you’ll have a lot to create with! The Idea & Tip Sheet will help you decide what to do with them!

Build-A-Bouquet Project - Visit http://www.3amstamper.com

The Bouquet of Gifts Idea and Tip Sheet is a $7.95 value and will only be available while supplies of the Build-A-Bouquet Project Kit lasts, or through 6/2/15 when the 2015 Occasions Catalog ends. I will e-mail it to you as soon as your order is confirmed, so be sure to include your best e-mail address when you place your order!

To order the Simply Created Build-A-Bouquet Project Kit and receive the Bouquet of Gifts Idea and Tip Sheet for free, click on the product link here, or call me at (707) 695-3571 or e-mail me at mary@3amstamper.comAnd next time, be sure to attend!

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So Long, Top Note Die, I’ll Miss You

Top Note Die Examples - Visit http://www.3amstamper.comIt didn’t hit me until today, but I am really sad that the Top Note Bigz™ Die (113436) is one of the retiring accessories this year! I’ve had this die ever since Stampin’ Up!® added the Big Shot™ Die-Cutting Machine (113439) to the product line. The Top Note Die was included with the introductory package! As you can see by my photo of a sampling of the projects I’ve made with it, I’ve gotten my money’s worth!

The projects are (clockwise from top left): A Little Sumthin’ Sumthin’ Mini Album (a variation on the Quick & Easy Brag Book), Spring Textures Butterfly Friend Card, Frank Hallowe’en Treat Holder, Chocolate Sings Card, Pirate and Witch Halloween Favor Boxes and Quilted Poinsettia Card.

The Top Note Die is so versatile! I haven’t even shown you quick gift tags or shaped cards. (I’ll do that next week, so check back here.)

For best results, only cut one sheet or layer at a time with the Top Note Die. If you cut more, the border doesn’t come through. You can see the border on Frank and the Chocolate Sings Card. I have cut two layers at one time when I planned on cutting away the border on the second sheet. The layer closest to the die is the base page layer (colored Card Stock) and the second layer on top is Designer Series Paper or thinner Card Stock such as Whisper White (100730) or Very Vanilla (101650) 8-1/2” x 11” Card Stock. I have tried more than two layers, but the third one is almost blank.

See what else is retiring on my Facebook Page (be sure to Like me & Get Notifications). I post the updated link to the most recent availablility lists on my Facebook Page every day.

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Perk Up Your Kitchen with Fresh Herbs

Mini Herb Garden, Phase 1 - Visit http://www.3amstamper.com

Do you like fresh herbs? Why not grow them yourself and enjoy them often? In the Mini Herb Garden class, you’ll make a space-saving, window-sill-sized garden that holds three mini pots of your favorite herbs. The project, shown partially completed in the photo, includes a lined 9” x 3” holder, three clay pots and potting soil to fill them. You’ll also make three hand-stamped picks to identify your plants after you start them. (Seeds not included.)

Check back on the Mini Herb Garden Class Page or my Facebook Page to see the progress of the Mini Garden. I’ll be posting photos as I finish each step.

Date: May 14, 2014

Time: 7:00 to 9:00pm Pacific Time

Place: 2305 Jose Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA 95401

Early Bird Registration: $59.95

Deadline to register for Early Bird Discount: May 1, 2015

Registration after 5/1/15 until 5/7/15: $69.95

Space is limited, so register early.  Note:  Class fees must be paid in advance and are not refundable after the deadline.

Register now: 



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Make a Greeting Card With Project Life® by Stampin’ Up!®

Everyday Adventure Thanks Card-Visit http://www.3amstamper.com

The Project Life® by Stampin’ Up!® Card Collections and Accessory Packs give you a lot more than you will probably use for your scrapbooking! So here’s an idea… make a card or seven with the leftovers! You can even fit a picture on the inside!

This Thanks card was designed by Stampin’ Up!, but I adapted it slightly for what I had on hand. You can see the exact original on my Pinterest site, the Card Ideas Board. Everything on the card is included in the Everyday Adventure Project Life® Card Collection (135298) and the Everyday Adventure Project Life® Accessory Pack (135301) except for the Crazy About You Stamp Set (138856, wood-mount; 138859, clear-mount; 137137, photopolymer), the Tuxedo Black Memento Ink Pad (132708), the Bermuda Bay 8-1/2” x 11” Card Stock (131197), the Basic Black Baker’s Twine (134576) and the adhesives.

You will need to trim the banner surrounded by a cloud of multi-colored dots card from both ends. It’s a vertical design. Use about 1-1/4” of the vertical design side of the Diagonal Stripes pattern for the bottom border. I trimmed about 1/2” off the bottom, 1/4” at a time. Place the striped piece on the card to make sure you have a little room between it and the lowest point of the cloud of dots. Trim the layer to 4”, then adhere the striped border to the bottom with Fast Fuse Adhesive (129026).

For best results, use a few small dots of Multipurpose Liquid Glue (110755) on the back of the small wooden arrow and attach. I place the open-lattice arrow piece on the Silicone Craft Sheet (127853), then place the wooden arrow on top so the glue won’t smear on paper. It only takes a few minutes to dry, then it’s ready to be added to the card front. For this embellishment, cut a narrow strip from the thin outer edge of a sheet of Stampin’ Dimensionals (104430) then adhere it to the card front.

I used one of the Glue Dots (103683) to attach the heart. The heart embellishment is translucent, so one flat Glue Dot works fine and doesn’t show through. I thought about using Glue Dots instead of Liquid Glue on the arrows, but rolling them small enough and placing them on the cross bars of the base arrow was a lot more work than dropping dots of Liquid Glue.

You know, talking about the idea of making greeting cards with spare Project Life® components makes me wonder what other card designs I could make. The last layout I did was with the Let’s Get Away Project Life® Card Collection (137907) and Accessory Pack (137908) in my post, Easy Vacation Pages with Let’s Get Away. Some interesting card possibilities there!

How about you? Let’s see what you can do! Take a picture or scan of your own version of this project and e-mail it to me at mary@3amstamper.com. Include a list of supplies and I’ll be glad to post it here. If you’re a Mailing List Subscriber, you will also get to enter my monthly contest! You could win $10 in 3am Stamper merchandise, including Stampin’ Up! products!

To join my Mailing List and receive my monthly newsletter, 3am Thoughts, filled with news, exclusive tutorials, tips & tricks, fill out the form at right. Be sure you click the link in your confirmation e-mail or you won’t be signed up! You’ll collect 2 free tutorials (valued at $7.95 each) when your membership is confirmed!

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Memento Ink Pad – Another Go-To!

Love Is Kindness Card with Memento Pad

I have quite a few go-to products that I use in my rubber stamping and paper crafting, but today I want to talk about the Tuxedo Black Memento Ink Pad (132708). This Ink Pad is fairly new to the product line, but I’ve been getting raves about it. Here’s one from my friend and expert scrapbooker & cardmaker, Linda Beltz (one of her projects using the Memento Ink Pad is posted above):

“I love the Memento pad. The ink comes out dark and gives a clear impression. When you use watercolor brushes or markers it doesn’t run. It offers easy clean up off the stamps. I especially like Memento because it does not smear on greeting stamps. I have forsaken all others including Staz-On!

“A happy customer”

This matches what I’ve found:

  • Dark, even coverage
  • Great for fine-line images
  • Doesn’t stain stamps – clean with Stampin’ Mist and Stampin’ Scrub
  • No bleeding with watercolor techniques

The other good thing is that the Memento Ink Pad is archival – which is great for scrapbooking!

Got a question about a product, technique or tool? E-mail me at mary@3amstamper.com or post your question in Comments. I’ll respond directly to your e-mail and post the answer here on www.3amStamper.com. If you need an answer right away, you may always contact my Help Desk at 3amstamperhelp@gmail.com.

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2015 Retiring Stamps & Accessories Lists Out

2015 Retiring List Banner

The Retired List of Stampin’ Up!® Products is out.  They are only available through June 2nd or while supplies last. Some products are discounted, so be sure to check those out!

 The items that run out the quickest are:  In Color 2013-2015 collection, especially the Ink Refills, and all Designer Series Paper.

These files are downloadable .PDFs:

2015 Retired Stamps & Accessories List

  • Stamps will be produced through May 26th, but order early to avoid backorders
  • Accessories are only available while supplies last

My Digital Studio Product List

  • Digital Software and Downloads available through June 2nd.  Disc Software only available while supplies last.

Keep up to date on what’s sold out and what’s sill available by checking my Facebook Page (be sure to Like me & Get Notifications).

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Do You Want the Ideal Boss?

Boss Holding a Meeting-Visit http://www.3amstamper.comAre you tired of putting up with a boss who micromanages or otherwise makes your work life miserable? I know exactly what you mean – been there, done that and have the ripped-up tee shirt to prove it. So… “What about being your own boss?” That is a sure-fire way to have the ideal boss for yourself! I became my own boss as a Stampin’ Up!® Independent Demonstrator. I must say I’m tough and fair on myself, but I’m not mean, nor am I negligent to myself. I don’t micromanage myself, but I do stay organized!

It’s simple to become your own ideal boss and get out from under micromanagers. All you need to do is sign up to become a Stampin’ Up!® Independent Demonstrator and turn into owning your own home-based stamping business. It’s amazing how much you can put up with in your out-of-home work life when you have your ideal business to come home too… and as it grows, you can cut out the “day job.”

The investment is low ($99 for the Starter Kit) and the ongoing overhead is minimal. You can easily make back your investment within the first sixty days… usually sooner! This is while working your business very part-time.

You are able to set your own schedule and don’t have to answer to anyone else’s time clock. You also get to play with your paper-crafting and share with your friends. Additionally, I can show you how to make whatever amount of extra cash you like. And this is all while being your own boss!

Have you thought about being your own boss and owning your own stamping business as a Stampin’ Up! Independent Demonstrator? Wouldn’t it be great to share your talents and pick up some extra cash as well? Click on the Join My Team Button in the sidebar to see some ideas. You can also see more in the Owning Your Own Business menu above. If you have questions or would like to find out more, give me a call at (707) 695-3571, or e-mail me at mary@3amstamper.com.  I’d love to chat with you about my business and talk about what the possibilities can be for YOU!

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How to Make the Spring Dreaming Page in MDS

Spring Dreaming Digital PageI kept talking about how easy it is to create pages (and cards and photobooks, etc.) in My Digital Studio (130647, Disc– only while supplies last; 130646, Download) Digital Design Solution, so I thought I’d take you through the page design step-by-step. This is the same page I designed for my Are You Dreaming of Spring? post.

I’m assuming that you’ve installed My Digital Studio (MDS) and any of the Digital Downloads you want to use. If you would like to duplicate this page, you will need the Afternoon Tea II Kit (129928), Chevron Ribbon (136719) & Live the Day Easel Calendar Template (130974) Digital Downloads. Everything else is included in MDS.

  1. To start, run My Digital Studio and select Photobooks & Individual Pages from the New Project Options
  2. Select the page size. I am using 12” x 12”.
  3. You can prevent the “show bleed area” memo from showing up every time by checking the “Don’t show this message again” box. Close the memo.
  4. If you want to get rid of the bleed area, deselect it from the View Menu. If you are going to print out the page, or have it printed, you should keep the bleed area so you know where the design elements may cut off.
  5. Select Background Papers from the Design Center on the right. Click on Designer Series Papers and select the pattern you want. I used Pattern 1 from the Afternoon Tea II Kit Designer Series Paper.
  6. Select the Punches icon from the Resource Palette on the left. Drag and drop the 1.25” Square Punch. Resize the punch to suit your design. I started with a 5” x 7” rectangle, then selected the Design Center > Color Fill and filled it with Whisper White. I added a 4-pixel mat in Peach Parfait to coordinate with the Background.
  7. Copy the matted shape and re-size it for a Title Bar, copy again and re-size for a journaling block, then copy twice more for smaller photo mats.
  8. At this point, you may insert your photos. Drag and drop them into place and you can re-size and crop as you wish. Otherwise, proceed.
  9. Select Text in the Design Center and click on Add a Text Block. Type in your title or journaling. You can re-size the block and change the font style and size, then move it into place. The font choices come from whatever you have installed on your computer. I used Bickham Script Pro for my title and colored it Midnight Muse.
  10. Select Stamps from the Resource Palette and choose the stamp set you want to use. I used the Live Your Dream Stamp Brush Set from the Live the Day Easel Calendar Template. Drag and drop the images you want and place them on the page.
  11. Color the stamps if you wish. Select the image, then select Change Color. I colored the quote Midnight Muse. Select each image in turn if you want to use different colors.
  12. To use multiple colors on the image, select the Coloring Tool. You can change the size of the brush, enlarge or reduce the image you’re coloring and change the color of the brush for various areas of the image.
  13. Once I colored the 3-flower image, I copied it and selected Mirror to place it in the opposite corner from the original. This is easier than recoloring each image – I just deleted the images I used to figure out the placement if they were duplicates.
  14. My final touch was to select Embellishments from the Resource Palette, then Chevron Ribbon, Knot, then color. If you don’t like the color selections, use the Recolor Button to change it. Recoloring tends to be lighter than you’d expect, so try the darker color if the one you pick is too light.
  15. If you haven’t inserted your photos yet, you can do it now. Once you have them in place and sized and cropped how you want them, use the Arrange Menu > Order > Send Backward to place them under the stamped images. I use the shortcut [CTRL]-[SHIFT]-Down Arrow (for PC) and repeat as needed until the images appear how I want them.

That’s all there is to it. Compare with making your page traditionally. Also, when the page is complete the way you want it, use the Project Menu > Share to print, or save each page as a photo file with Export Pages. You can also save just the images to use with an electronic cutter by choosing Export SVG.

Remember that My Digital Studio is being discontinued from the Stampin’ Up!® product line on June 2nd. The software and Digital Downloads will be included on the Retired List (comes out Tuesday, 4/21/2015) and will be discounted by 30%!  This means that they will be available (except for the disc software) through June 2nd.  They’re digital, so they won’t run out!

If you’d like to browse and shop for your favorite images and templates, use these steps:

  1. Browse the My Digital Studio section of my online store and check off the Digital Downloads you want to get on this downloadable list:
    1. My Digital Studio Retiring List
  2. Then, when Tuesday rolls around, go online and order them. You’ll be able to download them right away, both the MDS for PC or MAC version and the For Other Programs version.
    1. If your order is $150 or more, you may receive Stampin’ Rewards to spend. I recommend using them on more Digital Downloads, otherwise you’ll have to pay separate tax and shipping.

If you haven’t tried My Digital Studio, download the free version now and play with it for the rest of the weekend, then buy what you want at the discounted rate!  (Remember to download both your PC/MAC version for MDS AND the version for other programs.)

My Digital Studio Free Trial Offer

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Here’s A Great Card For Your Favorite Dog Owner!

Doxie Card for National Pet Owners Day-visit http://www.3amstamper.com

Happy National Pet Owner’s Day! Give your pet some extra, extra love today! My family has cats, but I have a friend who loves dachshunds and the doxie image in this stamp set was so cute, I just had to make a card for today!

I wanted to use the Happy Heart Textured Impressions™ Embossing Folder (137364) with the Texture Boutique Embossing Machine (132657) for the background, but I found this red plaid pattern in the Adventure Abounds Designer Series Paper Stack (137780) and couldn’t resist using it. I went ahead and embossed the Designer Series Paper and found the hearts do show up! The plaid reminds me of big fluffy blankets like a dog would love to use for a nap!

Of course I stamped the image and sentiment before I die-cut it… just like I would for punches. When I did this, I discovered some tips for stamping with the Hot Diggety Dog Stamp Set (134021-wood; 134024-clear):

  1. Stamp the dog body in the middle of your paper/card stock so you have room to fit the completed image inside the die.
  2. Use a Stamp-A-Ma-Jig (101049) to position the head where you want it.
  3. Also use the Stamp-A-Ma-Jig to place the sentiment under the completed dog image.

These tips make it very easy to create a perfect image for your favorite pet owner. By the way, the Hot Diggety Dog Stamp Set includes a variety of sentiments, including one for pets who’ve passed on. It’s so hard to find pet sympathy cards that are good to send, so it’s easy to make great cards yourself!

Other Supplies Used: Very Vanilla (101650), Cajun Craze (119684) & Sahara Sand (121043) 8-1/2” x 11” Card Stock; Early Espresso (126974) & Cajun Craze (126965) Classic Stampin’ Pads; Whisper White Craft Stampin’ Pad (101731); Cajun Craze from Regals Stampin’ Write Markers (131262); Real Red Stampin’ Write Marker (100052); Big Shot™ Die-Cutting Machine (113439); Big Shot™ Magnetic Platform (130658); Deco Labels Collection Framelits™ Dies (130102); 1/16” Circle Handheld Punch (134363); Silver Metallic Baker’s Twine (132976); Fast Fuse Adhesive (129026); Stampin’ Dimensionals (104430); Glue Dots (103683)

While I was writing this post, which was quite some time after I finished making the card, I realized I could have made the Designer Series Paper look more like a quilt! All I would have to do is emboss the plaid facing up towards the back leaf of the embossing folder, instead of facing down on the front leaf. Some embossing folder patterns create a quilted effect from both sides, but the Happy Heart Folder embosses a raised outline of the pattern. So… reverse it and you have a quilt!

To order what you need to make cards for your favorite pet owners, just click on the Order Online Button in the right sidebar or on any of the product links in this article.  You’ll receive 3am Stamper Rewards for every $30 catalog product purchased at one time. You can also qualify for Stampin’ Rewards from Stampin’ Up!® if your order product total exceeds $150.

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Are You Dreaming of Spring?

Spring Dreaming Digital Page

While I suffer through the drought in California, I keep thinking of my friends and family back East and in the Midwest. (Wish they could send some of their storms our way!!) I used to live back East, so I know what they’re going through. This inspired me to create a page titled “Spring Dreaming” to help those storm-ridden friends think about something positive.

I designed the page in My Digital Studio (130647, Disc-while supplies last only; 130646, Download) Digital Design Solution, which is being discontinued from the Stampin’ Up!® product line on June 2nd. The date has been extended since my first report, “My Digital Studio Being Discontinued.” I’m also excited to tell you that the software and Digital Downloads will be included on the Retired List (comes out next Tuesday, 4/21/2015) and will be discounted by 30%!  This means that they will be available (except for the disc software) through June 2nd.  They’re digital, so they won’t run out!

Support availability has also been extended for MyDigitalStudio.net, the Digital Download Manager, and the MDS YouTube, Facebook, and Pinterest pages through midnight, June 9, 2015.  Stampin’ Up! is working on arranging a solution for using your Downloads and being able to print photobooks, greeting cards, etc.  I have an alternative I may recommend if Stampin’ Up! can’t come to an agreement. I will keep you posted.

The Spring Dreaming Page shown is very easy to create in My Digital Studio or other digital design programs. (You can download for your PC or MAC and for other programs from one purchase!) The page is ready for photos or journaling – just remember to bring the embellishments forward or send the photos backward after you’ve placed them.

Additional Digital Downloads Used: Afternoon Tea II Kit (129928); Chevron Ribbon (136719); Live the Day Easel Calendar Template (130974)

Would you like to shop for your favorite Spring Dreaming images and templates? I have a suggestion for you.

  1. Browse the My Digital Studio section of my online store and check off the Digital Downloads you want to get on this list:
    1. My Digital Studio Retiring List
  2. Then, when Tuesday rolls around, go online and order them. You’ll be able to download them right away, both the MDS for PC or MAC version and the For Other Programs version.
    1. If your order is $150 or more, you may receive Stampin’ Rewards to spend. I recommend using them on more Digital Downloads, otherwise you’ll have to pay separate tax and shipping.

If you haven’t tried My Digital Studio, download the free version now and play with it for the rest of the week, then buy what you want at the discounted rate!  (Remember to download both your PC/MAC version for MDS AND the version for other programs.)

My Digital Studio Free Trial Offer

Once you receive your copy of My Digital Studio and any Digital Downloads, you will see how easy it is and enjoy Spring Dreaming with Digital Designs yourself!

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Going Cool Since It’s Warming Up

Cool Monochrome Color Scheme Card

It’s warming up around here, so I thought I’d go cool with a Monochromatic Color Scheme of Lost Lagoon, Pool Party, Soft Sky and Basic Gray. The colors (except for the Neutral Basic Gray, of course) all belong to the Blue-Green Color Group. (I’m sure you remember that Blue-Green is my favorite color family!) This Color Group is naturally cool and frequently soothing to look at. The cool Monochromatic Color Scheme is lower contrast to maintain the peaceful, soothing mood.

This card design was actually inspired by a post on a fellow crafter’s blog, Craftionary. Hani Shabbir posts a lot of ideas and projects for kids’ crafts. My inspiration came from this one: DIY Geometric Paintings Canvas Art.

This card includes an envelope made from the same pattern of Designer Series Paper as the card front. I used the entire sheet to make a 5-1/2” x 5-1/2” envelope plus the front of the card, except for a 1” x 5” scrap. The scrap went into my bag of scraps for handmade paper.

Supplies Used: Yippee Skippee Stamp Set (131321, wood; 131344, clear); Lost Lagoon Classic Stampin’ Pad (133644); Basic Gray Classic Stampin’ Ink Refill (109121); In Color 2014-2016 12” x 12” Card Stock (133680), Lost Lagoon; Neutrals 12” x 12” Card Stock (131187), Basic Gray; All Is Calm Specialty Designer Series Paper (retired); All Is Calm Designer Washi Tape (retired); Decorative Label (120907) & 1/4” Circle Handheld (134364) Punches; Whisper White 5/8” Satin Ribbon (134549); Fast Fuse Adhesive (129026); Stampin’ Dimensionals (104430); Alcohol

I felt Basic Gray as the contrast color would keep the cool feeling of the Monochromatic Color Scheme. It is also lower contrast than Basic Black, for example.

I used the retired Basic Gray 5/8” Satin Ribbon, but I listed the ingredients you can use to color the Whisper White Satin Ribbon. Here’s the recipe:

  • 5 to 10 drops of Basic Gray Classic Ink Refill
  • 2 Tablespoons of Alcohol
  • Mix well in a small container
  • Cut about 10” of ribbon
  • Place in “dye” container and swish ribbon around until it’s thoroughly coated.
  • Remove ribbon and let dry. Iron if needed.

Would you like to try out a Cool Monochromatic Color Scheme yourself with a group of your friends?  Let’s plan a PlayShop together (PlayShop stands for first we Play with my stuff, then we Shop!). You can earn free catalog merchandise (including exclusive hostess stamp sets and accessories) as well.   Give me a call at (707) 695-3571 or e-mail Mary Varley at mary@3amstamper.com and let’s chat. I look forward to tailoring the project to you! If you’re out of town, don’t worry, I also do Online and Teleconference PlayShops.

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The One Product That Makes Me A Better Stamper!

Stampin-Scrub-Open

I have quite a few go-to products that I use in my rubber stamping and paper crafting, but today I want to talk about the Stampin’ Scrub (126200) rubber stamp cleaning pads. They also clean the Clear-Mount acrylic blocks and stamp stickers. (The wood-mount stamps soak in the ink too quickly to be helped!)

How does the Stampin’ Scrub make me a better stamper? Before I bought one, I cleaned off my stamps with water and patted them dry with old towels or paper towels. This did not get rid of any stains. The stains sometimes tinted the new ink color. Imagine a yellow image with blotches of red (or orange) on it. Of course the staining wasn’t even and the transfer looked messy. Additionally, the build-up on the images could cause blobs when stamping fine lines.

When I bought a rubber stamp scrubbing pad, I thought this was ideal. One end was moistened with water and the other end was supposed to stay dry. This did help with build-up, but did nothing for staining. Also, the water would seep to the dry end, so I had to go back to the towels to dry off the stamps.

Then I discovered the Stampin’ Scrub. The scrub pads were separated in a case so no moisture could seep from the wet pad to the dry pad! The pads were easy to remove for washing and the stamps were the cleanest they’d ever been. Still stained, but the ink didn’t transfer as much.

Once I bought Stampin’ Mist Stamp Cleaner (102394) to go with the Stampin’ Scrub, I had stamps so clean, they were almost new:

  • No more build-up!
  • Even stained stamps didn’t transfer color!
  • Images were sharper than ever!

The Stampin’ Scrub even includes some icons to let you know which side you spray with Stampin’ Mist. The newest version is a larger set of scrub pads, so you have plenty of room to move even the largest stamps around. The wet side has raindrops in the corner and the dry side has a sun. I store the case with the dry side up. You can let the pads dry before you close the case, but I’ve never had trouble. I don’t really have a lot of room to leave the case open, so I close it and put it aside, then bring it back out to use again.

So, that’s how the Stampin’ Scrub makes me a better stamper! You just don’t know how great it is to have clean stamps until you try it!

Got a question about a product, technique or tool? E-mail me at mary@3amstamper.com or post your question in Comments. I’ll respond directly to your e-mail and post the answer here on www.3amStamper.com. If you need an answer right away, you may always contact my Help Desk at 3amstamperhelp@gmail.com.

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