How About A Favor Bag?

You can make a very sweet Favor Bag with the Fancy Favor Bigz XL Die (#115965) and the Big Shot Die-Cutting Machine (#113439).

This one could be an encouragement gift with the "Dream" banner attached to a cut-down bamboo skewer.  You could easily change the banner wording to anything you want and use it for many different occasions.  The Blossom Builders Designer Printed Kit (#125410) is full of other banners, die-cut flowers and embellishments, so your bag decoration can change to fit your purpose very easily!

Other Supplies Used: Mixed Bunch (#125535, wood-mount; #125537, clear-mount) and Loving Thoughts (#125843, wood-mount; #125845, clear-mount) Stamp Sets; Twitterpated Designer Series Paper (#125406); Very Vanilla 8-1/2" x 11" Card Stock (#101650); Lucky Limeade (#122935) and Pool Party (#122938) Classic Stampin' Pads; Lucky Limeade Baker's Twine (#125572); 1/16" Circle Handheld Punch (#101227); Blossom Punch (#125603); Stampin' Dimensionals (#104430)

I threaded the twine through two holes punched on each side of the center, then tied the bag closed with a bow.  You can punch larger holes with the Crop-A-Dile (#108362) and use ribbon instead.

Want to see more ideas for this die?  Search this site with the term "Fancy Favor" and you'll get to see everything I've posted to date.  My search box is in the near right column just underneath my picture.  Then send me your creations and I'll post them here!  E-mail me at

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Final Four Quarters for Sale-A-Bration

Four The Final Four Quarter-Days of Sale-A-Bration are about to begin!  In 9 hours and 50 minutes, Sale-A-Bration will be OVER.

Don't miss out on this once-a-year chance to get FREE Stampin' Up!® Stamp Sets and Accessories with every $50 you purchase!  You get to choose one of the terrific selections in the Sale-A-Bration Brochure with no limit!

Click on the Order Online Button right now and start shopping!  Several of these fabulous free products will never be available again, so make sure you get your favorites before they're gone!

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Handy Dandy Brag Book-a Page at a Time

I am really liking the Rivet Swatchbook style of album you can print with My Digital Studio (#118108 or Express #124483).  It makes a handy dandy brag book that will hold up to being carried in a purse!  The print service uses pages that are heavier than paper and assembles them with clear plastic covers front and back and a rivet that you can remove.  The pages have a finish to them that makes them water-resistant.  A Swatchbook will hold up to my purse, so it'll be a cinch for yours!  So I'm showing you my latest Swatchbook-one page at a time.

This is the cover page that tells what the album is about.  My husband, two of the grandkids and I went out to hit some balls a few weeks ago-first time for the kids and I this season.  I injured my knee and couldn't do much, so out came my iPhone and started snapping.  You'll see the best of these as we go.  There wasn't anyone to take a group picture of us, so the cover is "stamped".

Additional Digital Downloads Used:  Little Book of Coupons Designer Swatchbook Template (#126158); Play Date Designer Series Paper (#121438); Spice Cake Kit (#127759); Summer Smooches Kit (#129601-available as part of the April Sneak Peek on 4/1); Taffeta Trimmings (#129603)

Did you know you can try My Digital Studio Express for free?  Just click this link and you can download the 30-day free trial software right to your computer!  You get a full month to play with the streamlined version and you can upgrade to the full right from the trial.  Give it a try and let me know what you think!

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My Cure for Rainy Day Blues

My guest artist today, Pam Morgan, the Vice President of Demonstrator and Employee Development at Stampin' Up!®, demonstrated a quick and easy lei to lift your spirits on those rainy days!

All you do is cut out a bunch of Island Floral Bigz Die (#118871) cuts with your Big Shot Die-Cutting Machine (#113439), curl the petals with your Bone Folder (#102300) and string them together with Linen Thread (#104199) or one of the Baker's Twines (like Lucky Limeade #125572)!  You don't even have to punch holes, except for the leaf die-cut.  You can even scrunch the small flower into a bud to add space between.

The colors used here were retired Purely Pomegranate, along with current Pumpkin Pie and Old Olive.  You can substitute whatever you like to match your décor or outfit!  I'm doing a bunch to put in the bottom of some large candle holders I have.

To order what you need to make this project, just click on the Order Online Button in the far right column.  You can browse and shop at preferred pricing!

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Put a Window in It for a Special Treat

Putting windows in your favor or gift boxes or bags makes them look extra special and lets you show off your treat or gift, too!  It's super-easy to do with Circle Punches – you can put a terrific porthole in any project!Favor-Box-from-Shelli
This simple treat box, made with the Fancy Favor Bigz XL Die (#115965) and the Big Shot Die-Cutting Machine (#113439). was a gift from Stampin' Up!® CEO and Co-Founder Shelli Gardner at my Leadership Conference in January.  She filled it with homemade chocolate bark… absolutely delicious… that's long gone now, so I filled it with Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs™ to illustrate the window.

Here's all you need to do:

  1. Cut the box from a 6" x 12" piece of card stock or stiff paper.  Real Red from Brights 12" x 12" Textured Card Stock Assortment (#121077) shown here.
  2. Punch an unscored side with a circle punch.  1-3/4" Circle Punch (#119850) used here.  Tip: Mark the center on the back and line up the punch upside down.  You can erase your pencil marks if you wish.
  3. Cut a 2-1/2" square from a Window Sheet (#114323) and adhere over the porthole with SNAIL Adhesive (#114332).
  4. Embellish as desired.  Shown here: 1" Circle (#119868), 1/2" Circle (#119869) & 5-Petal Flower (#119880) Punches attached with a Clear Rhinestone Circle Brad (#113144).  The 1" circle is from Tempting Turquoise 8-1/2" x 11" Card Stock (#102067), or you can use the color from the Brights Assortment above, the 1/2" circle is from Island Indigo and the leaves from Lucky Limeade, both found in the In Color 2011-2013 8-1/2" x 11" Card Stock Assortment (#124329 or free with $50 order until 3/31 using #127713).
  5. Assemble box with a few pieces of Sticky Strip (#104294) and fill!

Try putting your own portholes on your treat box projects.  It's easy and fun to do!

Got a question about a product or tool?  E-mail me at or post your question below.  I'll respond directly to your e-mail and post the answer here.

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Newsletter Features Showers of Sneak Peeks!

My Mailing List Subscribers are in for a whole issue full of ideas, tips and projects featuring the new catalog Sneak Peek products! April-News-Peek

Don't miss out, join today!  Just fill in the form at right and you'll receive the current issue along with your free gifts right away… and you'll be on the list for the newest issue next month!

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Retiring List Out 4/15-My Contest Starts NOW

2011-2012IBCI just learned that Stampin' Up!® is announcing the Retiring List on April 15th.  That means my annual contest is starting TODAY!

If you don't have your own copy of the 2011-2012 Idea Book & Catalog, click on the link in the far right column and go browse.  Deadline is 4/14 for your 10 picks.

My contest rules are here.  Be sure to read them first so you don't include the exclusions on your list.  I look forward to your picks – e-mail them to

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Cutwork Effect With Punches

I call this effect "cutwork" because the punch makes an opening that overlaps the edge, as opposed to creating a window.  This idea is courtesy of my friend, Heather Sewczak, who sent it to me.

She used the Blossom Punch (#125603) to cut away part of her layer, then embellished it as if the blossom were still there!  {By the way, Heather later told me that she got the idea from her upline, Amy Barnes, so thank you Amy for inspiring Heather!)

Other Supplies Used: Mixed Bunch Stamp Set (#125535, Wood-Mount; #125537, Clear-Mount);  Whisper White 8-1/2" x 11" Card Stock (#100730); In Color 2011-2013 8-1/2" x 11" Card Stock Assortment (#127713-free with $50 purchase until 3/31/12, then #124329); Everyday Enchantment Designer Series Paper (#126154-free with $50 purchase through 3/31/12); Pool Party (#122938), Calypso Coral (#122939) & Lucky Limeade (#122935) Classic Stampin' Pads; Everyday Enchantment Ribbon & Brad Pack (#127279-free with $50 purchase through 3/31/12); Modern Label (#119849), 1" Circle (#119868) & 3/4" Circle (#119873) Punches; Big Shot Die-Cutting Machine (#113439); Perfect Polka Dots Textured Impressions Embossing Folder (#SNAIL Adhesive (#104332); Stampin' Dimensionals (#104430)

Got a question about a product or tool?  E-mail me at or post your question below.  I'll respond directly to your e-mail and post the answer here.

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A Year’s Worth of Designer Series Paper – Free

Beau-Chateau-Memories-Pattern-PartOne of the fun things that happens during Sale-A-Bration is the special offer for signing up to become a Stampin' Up!® Independent Demonstrator.  This year, you get a free package of Designer Series Paper every month for the rest of the year (OK, that's not quite a full year, but it's still a great deal!)!  A part of one of the Beau Chateau patterns is shown.

You may choose a free Digital Download for My Digital Studio (or for another program, if you prefer) instead… or you can switch off each month!

What a great way to start your new business – with additional free supplies!  To find out about "Having Your Own Business", click the link.  Then click on the Join My Team Button in the near right column.

Feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.  Just call me at (707) 695-3571 (leave a message if I miss your call-I'll get right back to you) or e-mail me at

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St. Patrick’s Day Card How To

Yesterday, I posted a St. Patrick's Day Card, but I wrote a limerick instead of directions.  So here's the How-To Tutorial for you today:

St-Paddys-Day-Labels-CardI always put a little orange with my green when I celebrate St. Paddy.  I've got Irish from both sides.

Supplies Used:

Stamps & Wheels: Happy St. Patrick's Stamp (#125457)

Card Stock & Paper: Lucky Limeade 8-1/2" x 11" Card Stock (#122926), 4-1/4" x 11" & 2" x 4"; Peach Parfait 8-1/2" x 11" Card Stock (#119794), 4" x 5-1/4"; Very Vanilla 8-1/2" x 11" Card Stock (#101650), 2" x 3"; Regals Patterns Designer Series Paper Stack (#117154), 4" x 5" Garden Green

Ink & Color: Garden Green (#102272) and Crumb Cake (#121030) Classic Stampin' Pads; Crumb Cake Stampin' Write Marker (#120967)

Accessories & Tools: Big Shot Die-Cut Machine (#113439); Standard Texturz Impressions Pad (#114614); Standard Texturz Silicone Rubber (#114615); Backgrounds I Texturz Plates (#114512); Labels Collection Framelits Dies (#125598); Decorative Label Punch (#120907); Color Spritzer Tool (#107066); Stamping Sponges (#101610); Chantilly 1/2" Crochet Trim (#118480), 6" (2); Garden Green 1/4" Grosgrain Ribbon (#124321), 6" & 4" (2); SNAIL Adhesive (#104332); Stampin' Dimensionals (#104430); Mini Glue Dots (#103683); water in spray bottle


  1. Fold 11" strip of Lucky Limeade in half for card base.  Punch 2 Decorative Labels from remaining piece.
  2. Stamp greeting on Very Vanilla piece and punch out Decorative Label. Layer Lucky Limeade labels underneath for mat.
  3. Lightly spritz Peach Parfait piece with water.  Place face down on Texturz Plate and top with Silicone Rubber and Texturz Impressions Pad.  Place on Multipurpose Platform Tab 1 and run through Big Shot.  Sponge impressed card stock with Crumb Cake pad, then spritz with Crumb Cake Marker in Color Spritzer Tool.
  4. Center paper end on side of largest Label Framelit and cut with Big Shot.  Trim to square opposite end.  Adhere to Peach Parfait with SNAIL.
  5. Wrap strips of ribbon and trim around layer, securing on the back with SNAIL.  Tie knots in remaining grosgrain ribbon.
  6. Adhere greeting in center of ribbons with Dimensionals.  Attach knots at either side on the green strip with Mini Glue Dots.

The inside is ready for your message!

To order what you need to make this project, you can click on the Order Online Button in the far right column.  You'll get preferred pricing through the 3am Stamper's Online Store!

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Limerick for St. Patrick’s Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  I composed a limerick (my favorite kind of poetry!) just for you… along with this card!


To a Stampin' Up!® Gig you're invited,
May the artist in you be excited!
With card stock and ink,
From Turquoise to Pink,
Your project will leave you delighted!

How about planning your own PlayShop with me?  (PlayShop stands for first we play with my stuff, then we shop!)  You could earn free stamp sets and accessories as well as create a hand-stamped project all by yourself!  Give me a call at (707) 695-3571 or e-mail Mary Varley at and let's chat.  I look forward to tailoring the project to you!

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Only Two Weeks Left for Sale-A-Bration

Don't miss out on this year's Sale-A-Bration goodies, there are only two weeks left!  With every $50 in Stampin' UP!® products purchased, you can choose an exclusive Sale-A-Bration Stamp Set or Accessory, FREE!

Everyday-Enchantment-CardThe Fresh Vintage Stamp Set (#125115, Wood; 124117, Clear) and the Everyday Enchantment Designer Series Paper (#126154) are just 2 of the items you may select when you order.  If you order $150 or more, you'll also get a free shopping bag that coordinates with these products.  If your order is $400 (have a catalog party-no muss, no fuss, no bother!), you'll get the Stamp Set, Paper and the Everyday Enchantment Ribbon and Brad Pack free AS WELL AS your Sale-A-Bration choices!

Click here to see Sale-A-Bration details, then click through to browse and shop.  Or you may click on my Order Online Button in the far right column.  Questions?  E-mail me or give me a call at (707) 695-3571.  I'll be happy to set you up with a catalog party!

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Get Ready for Spring Scrapbook Page

Now that Winter has arrived in my area, I'm getting ready for Spring!  My Spring Daisies page would be good for Easter family get-togethers or just plain enjoying the weather!  (Not mine-yours!)

Supplies Used: Brights 12" x 12" Textured Card Stock Assortment (#121077), Daffodil Delight; In Color 2011-2013 12" x 12" Card Stock Assortment (#124328), Calypso Coral; In Color 2011-2013 Patterns Designer Series Paper Stack (#122384), Lucky Limeade & Pool Party; Whisper White Paper Daisies (#119243); 3/8" In Color Designer Printed Brads (#122940), Calypso Coral, Lucky Limeade & Pool Party; Boho Blossoms (#119858) & Lace Ribbon Border (#122362) Punches; Paper Piercing Tool (#116631); Mat Pack (#105826); Big Shot Die Cutting Machine (#113439); Adorning Accents Edgelits Dies (#125595); SNAIL Adhesive (#104332); Dotto Adhesive (#103305)

I really felt like Texturizing when I designed this page – so there was no stamping this time.  Plenty of stabbing with the Paper-Piercing Tool to attach the Daisies to the page, though!

To order what you need to make or adapt this project, just click on the Order Online Button in the far right column.  You'll get to browse and shop… and get preferred pricing!

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November 2011 Contest Winner

My Guest Artist today is Judy Mistelske-Anklam, who designed this terrific Autumn card.11-2011ContestWinner-JMistelske-Anklam
This design is certainly multi-purpose!  You could use it for Thanksgiving, Thank You, Birthday, or Just Because occasions!

Congratulations, again, Judy!

My papercrafting contest runs monthly and is for mailing list subscribers only.  To get on my mailing list and sign up for my newsletter, fill in the form in the near right column.

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Clean It Up With Adhesive Remover

It's easy to clean up excess stickiness with the Adhesive Remover (#103684). This tool operates just like a pencil eraser, but it works on adhesive!Adhesive-Remover
I separated a chart from its background page and started work on cleaning it up so I could file the chart in a folder.  The Adhesiver Remover works on fresh adhesive or, as in my case shown above, adhesive that is a few years old.  It doesn't work on glue, but it will erase SNAIL Adhesive (#104332), Sticky Strip (#104294), Dotto (#103305) and many others.


  1. Rub firmly and smoothly and you won't tear the paper.  The Remover pills up the adhesive so you can brush it away.
  2. A few taps from an Embossing Buddy (#103083) will remove the stickiness so you can get in and work.  I found I really needed it on the older adhesive.  Newer or fresh adhesive comes up easier.

Got a question about a product or tool?  E-mail me at or post your question below.  I'll respond directly to your e-mail and post the answer here.

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What Photos Make You Smile?

Gramma-Lauren-at-LunchI was looking at the photos on my refrigerator and realized that every time I pass by them, I glance at those photos and smile.  They are inside magnetic frames, so they stay in place well.

I also have fridge art of works by my grandchildren now.  The kids don't give me any of their own works anymore, so I have to make do.  Luckily, my grandchildren like to give me exclusive art!

All of this makes the fridge an open-air scrapbook!

What photos do you have that make you smile?  What kind of fridge art do you like?  What's in your open-air scrapbook?  Please post in comments below.  If you like, send me a picture to and I'll post it here!

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Framelits: Fun and Easy!

I've been playing with the new Framelits Dies for the Big Shot Die-Cutting Machine (#113439).  Boy, are they fun and easy!!!  They are meant to easily align with your stamped image (or a portion of patterned paper, or whatever!) and they are really a snap to use!

You can create layers instantly by cutting the framelit individually, or cut a frame by placing a smaller or larger Framelit inside or outside your main Framelit.  I recommend keeping them in place with either small Post-Its® or short strips of scrap paper with Dotto (#103305) on them.  Just smooth adhesive-side down on either side of the Framelit(s) and roll through the machine!

Supplies Used: Apothecary Art (#125525, Wood-Mount; #125527, Clear-Mount) & Loving Thoughts (#125843, Wood-Mount; #125845, Clear-Mount) Stamp Sets; Pool Party (#122924) & Calypso Coral (#122925) 8-1/2" x 11" Card Stock; Everyday Enchantment Designer Series Paper (#126154-only available FREE with $50 purchase during Sale-A-Bration); Watercolor Paper (#122959); Basic Gray (#109120) & Soft Suede (#115657) Classic Stampin' Pads; Watercolor Pencils (#101879); In Color 2011-2013 Stampin' Write Markers (#123002); Labels Collection Framelits Dies (#125598); Big Shot Die-Cut Machine (#113439); Pool Party 1/2" Seam Binding Ribbon (#125582); Cutter Kit (#106958); Sponge Daubers (#102892); SNAIL Adhesive (#104332); Mini Glue Dots (#103683)

The Labels Collection Framelits I used here are meant to coordinate with the Apothecary Art Stamp Set.  I stamped my image, then cut it out, along with the underneath layer by laying both pieces of card stock side-by-side on the Standard Cutting Pad (#113475).  I held the image & Framelits in place with strips of Dotto'd paper, then cut both at once.  Very time-saving!  I did 6 sets in a matter of minutes!

Tip: Be sure you have the dies and material fully on the Cutting Pads to make sure they cut through the material.  If you miss part of the cut, it's not too hard to re-align the die with the material and cut again.  If you have trouble when cutting multiple dies at once, drop back to 1 at a time.

Why not try Framelits for yourself?  You can click here to see the Labels Collection or click the Order Online Button in the far right column.  You may find you want two sets!

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Free to Mailing List Subscribers Only

My Mailing List Subscribers get free complete tutorials every month in my newsletter, 3am Thoughts.  Not only that, each one is completely exclusive – only available to subscribers.  There are also tips, techniques and occasional special offers in each issue.

Newsletter Banner-smWant to see for yourself?  The newsletter is totally free AND you get a free set of tutorials just for signing up!   All you have to do is fill out the form at the right and you'll get the latest issue immediately.  Plus your free gift!  I look forward to sending it to you!

By the way, there will be a surprise in the April issue of 3am Thoughts just for my subscribers!  Join now so you don't miss it!

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P.S. I Love You Page-Traditional

My Valentine Month got extended, but I promised you a traditional scrapbook page when I made the two P.S. I Love You digital pages.  You can see the first one by clicking on "Valentine Month" and the second by clicking on "P.S. I Love You."  This page is made the traditional way: card stock, embellishments, etc.PS-I-Love-You-Page-Traditional
You can use this design for a Wedding Anniversary, like mine, or a Valentine's page, or any other heart-felt page.

To make this page, I used the P.S. I Love You Stamp Set (#125460, Wood-Mount; 125462, Clear-Mount); Early Espresso (#119670) & Soft Suede (#115657) Classic Stampin' Pads; Neutrals Patterns Designer Series Paper Stack (#117157), Crumb Cake print; Bashful Blue 8-1/2" x 11" Card Stock (#105120), 5-1/2" x 4-1/4"; Pink Pirouette 8-1/2" x 11" Card Stock(#111351), 5-1/2" x 4-1/4"; Whisper White 8-1/2" x 11" Card Stock (#100730), 2-1/8" x 5-1/2"; Soft Suede (#115318) 8-1/2" x 11" Card Stock, 6" x 6" (2); Hearts Collection Framelits (#125599) with the Big Shot Die-Cutting Machine (#113439); Soft Suede 3/8" Taffeta Ribbon (#122967), 20-24"; Pearls Basic Jewels (#119247); Decorative Label (#120907) & Modern Label (#119849) Punches, Sponge Daubers (#102892); SNAIL Adhesive (#104332) and Stampin' Dimensionals (#104430) with a Mini Glue Dot (#103683) to secure the ribbon.

To order what you need to adapt this project to your needs, click on the Order Online Button at the far right.  If you have questions, feel free to e-mail Mary Varley at or call (707) 695-3571.  If I miss your call, leave a message and I'll get back to you.

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