Happy First Day of Fall!

Fall Just For You Card-Visit http://www.3amstamper.com

Tonight is the Autumnal Equinox, which means at 7:29pm Pacific Time, it’s the first day of Fall! I decided to post this card to celebrate!

Happy First Day of Fall, everybody!

This card was one of my Fall Occasions Card Class projects last year. I’m listing the supplies I used with substitutions to replace the retired product.

Stamp Sets: Lovely As A Tree (#128655, wood-mount; #127793, clear-mount); Teeny Tiny Wishes (#128748, wood-mount; #127802, clear-mount), Gorgeous Grunge (#130514, wood-mount; #130517, clear-mount)

Card Stock & Paper: Hello Honey (#133678), Early Espresso (#119686) & Old Olive (#100702) 8-1/2” x 11” Card Stock; Crumb Cake Medium Envelope (#107297)

Ink & Color: Early Espresso (#126974) & Baked Brown Sugar (#131174) Classic Stampin’ Pads; Gold Encore Metallic Pad (#132141)

Accessories & Tools: Big Shot Die-Cutting Machine (#113439); Autumn Accents Bigz™ Die (#127812); Deco Labels Collection Framelits™ Dies (#130102); Woodgrain Textured Impressions™ Embossing Folder (#127821); 1-1/4” Burlap Ribbon (#132140)

To order what you need to make your own Fall Celebration 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 $30 purchased. You can also qualify for Stampin’ Rewards from Stampin’ Up!® if your order exceeds $150.

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Embossed Sweet Taffy Birthday Card

Sweet Taffy Birthday Card-Visit http://www.3amstamper.com

I wanted to make something with Summer colors before it’s officially Fall, so I picked the colors in the Sweet Taffy Designer Series Paper (#133693) coordinates. I tried to use colors I don’t often choose to change it up a bit. My main picks are Tempting Turquoise, Melon Mambo and Rich Razzleberry, accented with Daffodil Delight.

The colors make a fun card that is suitable for a PlayShop (first we Play with my stuff, then we Shop!). My goal was to have Embossing Folders be the stars of the show and let the guests try out the Texture Boutique™ Embossing Machine (#132657). The Texture Boutique is lightweight and portable. This makes it ideal to take to a PlayShop.

The card design uses the Large Polka Dot (#133739) and Tiny Triangles (#133740) Textured Impressions™ Embossing Folders. I like to overlap the two designs and tie a ribbon around the join. You could also adhere or wrap an extra strip of the Designer Series Paper over the join.

Other Supplies Used: Sketched Birthday Stamp Set (#130243, Wood-Mount; #130426, Clear-Mount); Whisper White Craft Stampin’ Pad (#101731); Tempting Turquoise (#102067), Rich Razzleberry (#115316) & Melon Mambo (#115320) 8-1/2” x 11” Card Stock; Heat Tool (#129053); Embossing Buddy (#103083); White Stampin’ Emboss Powder (#109132); 1-3/4” (#119854) & 2-3/8” (#118874) Scallop Circle Punches; Daffodil Delight 1/2” Seam Binding Ribbon (#125583)

You can try out the Texture Boutique 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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Hang On to Vacation by Scrapbooking

Travel-Log-Page2-Visit http://www.3amstamper.com

Summer travel is sure to bring lots of memories… and lots of photos! Scrapbookers know that it’s best to record your memories in an album of some kind. The easiest one I know is a digital album you create with My Digital Studio (#130647, Disc; #130646, Download).

I started this album in my post,Did You Do Any Traveling This Summer? last month. I had purchased a new copy of My Digital Studio (MDS) when my computer died and the hard drive had to be wiped. This gave me the opportunity to use MDS just as it comes when you buy it! I started looking through the Designer Templates and found Travel Log. The Travel Log Kit (#126022) includes a 12” x 12” page template, a stamp brush set, embellishments and Designer Series Paper.

I began adding pages by using the Designer Series Paper patterns as full-page backgrounds. This particular pattern holds a whole bunch of suitcases and was so cute, I just had to do something with it! In the layout, I’m using three of the stamp brush images and none of the embellishments from the kit.

The photo mats can be used to mount photos and become space for journaling. The most important thing in scrapbooking is to write it down! While you’re journaling, you are recalling your memories and keeping the vacation feeling hanging on!

Everything on this page comes included in My Digital Studio! The Timeless Taffeta Trimmings (#131329) are also available separately, for those of you (like me) who have the older version.

To order My Digital Studio (#130647, Disc; #130646, Download), just click the Order Online Button in my right sidebar or any of the product links in this article. You may download it immediately and start playing! You may also try it free for 30 days!

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Color Craft for Christmas

Festival of Trees Card-Visit http://www.3amstamper.comNow is a good time to start thinking about your handmade Christmas Cards. I thought it would be fun to look at the various red and green combinations you can use in a traditional color scheme.

My photo, one of the projects from my upcoming Hot for the Holidays Card Class, uses Garden Green and Cherry Cobbler, accented with Crumb Cake and Silver. Crumb Cake and Silver normally count as Neutrals in this case, but Crumb Cake is taking the place of a Red-Orange/Orange-Red color to complete the triangle of the Split Complementary color scheme. A Split Complementary color scheme uses the colors adjacent to the Complement. Red and Green are Complements, so Red-Orange/Orange-Red and Red-Violet/Violet-Red are Split Complements to Green.

A traditional Red and Green combination is Real Red and Garden Green. These two colors are Complements of each other. For Christmas Cards, the pair looks great accented with Gold (#132622) or Silver (#132178) Foil Sheets. You can also glitz it up with my favorite – Glimmer Paper! Any of the neutral colors: Champagne (#127885), Dazzling Diamonds (#135315), Gold (#133719) or Silver (#135314) will work perfectly! The Red Glimmer Paper (#121790) is a color part-way between Real Red and Cherry Cobbler, so it will fit well with either combination.

For a Designer Pastel Combination, use Pistachio Pudding and Pink Pirouette. These are tints of the Red/Green Complement. Imagine re-creating the project in my photo with these colors and Dazzling Diamonds Glimmer Paper!

The High-Fashion Combination comes from Complements in the Red-Violet/Violet Red and Green-Yellow/Yellow-Green color groups. Rich Razzleberry and Always Artichoke were a popular combination a few years ago, and they work perfectly together now. You can also use Old Olive or Mossy Meadow in place of Always Artichoke and Cherry Cobbler in place of Rich Razzleberry. All of these colors can be mixed and matched in a variety of ways. Why not make the same card design in each color combination? That way, each of your recipients will receive a unique Christmas Card!

Color Craft tips and examples are included in the class material you may see as part of your Online Bonus Class when you join the 3am Stamper’s iClub.  Become a 3am Stamper’s iClub Member now and start with next month’s session.  Club orders are due the 10th of each month!  To find out more, just click on the preceding link or on the link in the drop-down menu on the navigation bar, “Events & Classes“.

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Whatever Happened to the Clear-Mount Guides?

A Perfectly Placed Guide Sheet-Visit http://www.3amstamper.com

From time to time, I’ll get a call from someone asking where to find the Clear-Mount Perfectly Placed Guides. These were the static cling guides you could cut to fit any of the Clear-Mount Blocks. Their purpose was to make it easier to line up words and images for stamping. My photo shows one of the two pages of Guides that came in the package.

I have to tell my callers that the Guides were retired this past May and are no longer available. My guess is that with Stampin’ Up!® introducing clear Photopolymer stamps, the Clear-Mount Perfectly Placed Guides were no longer needed.

I have a Clear-Mount Block Bundle (#118941) to which I’ve attached the Perfectly-Placed Guides. I enjoy using the circles and wavy lines to place letters, but sometimes it is just easier to lightly draw on your card stock or paper and place the letters with the Stamp-A-Ma-Jig (#101049). Most often, I want a straight line for words and images. I find can align them easily using the Grid Paper (#130148).

If you don’t have the Clear-Mount Perfectly Placed Guides to use with your Clear-Mount Blocks, try these substitutes: the Stamp-A-Ma-Jig and the Grid Paper. I think you’ll discover you don’t miss the Guides.

If you do have the Guides, have fun with them! Try out the circles and waves with alphabets, banners or small images of similar size.

Got a question about a product 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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Why Such A Small Investment?

Sample Starter Kit Basket-Visit http://www.3amstamper.com

You can start your own stamping business as a Stampin’ Up!® Independent Demonstrator for just $99.00. That’s Ninety-Nine Dollars! The reason the cost of the Starter Kit is so low is because many Demonstrators have a room full of papercrafting supplies, including Stampin’ Up! Products, and just need to fill in a few items they may be missing, or that are more current.

For your $99.00, you may select up to $125.00 in Stampin’ Up! Products. I’ve created a basket with products retailing $124.65 that will get you started even if you have nothing! If you have Stampin’ Up! Products, it’s very easy to change what you choose for your Starter Kit. You also receive a box of current catalogs and a package of customer order forms, along with other business supplies.

Have you thought about turning your passion for papercrafting into your own stamping business? 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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What to Do With Those Big Buttons

Disneyland Thanksgiving Buttons Page-Visit http://www.3amstamper.com

As I was cleaning out a few boxes the other day, I came across the big buttons we got at Disneyland during our big family Thanksgiving trip in 2008. It seemed a shame to get rid of them, since they symbolized a trip that all eleven of us took together. So what else was there to do but scrapbook them!

I started with a good, strong base page: three layers of 12” x 12” card stock plus a layer of Designer Series Paper. These were all trimmed to show off the colors and provide a basic platform for the buttons.

The buttons are 3” in diameter – each! This makes them wider than the largest of the dies in the Banners Framelits™ Dies (#132173). I went ahead and cut out five of the largest banner from Whisper White 12” x 12” Card Stock (#124302), then turned the die over and traced around the outside of the Framelit five times on Crushed Curry Card Stock from the Regals 12” x 12” Card Stock Assortment (#131192). I adhered the sets of banners together with Fast Fuse Adhesive (#129026).

I originally planned on pinning the buttons through the banners and the page layers, but that process would be too cumbersome… the total number of layers is too thick. I put the buttons on banners in the first place to provide a bit of journaling area. I’ll fill them in when I attach the photo.

You’ll want to punch or pierce holes in the banners before you pin on the buttons. I made a piercing pattern from a piece of scrap paper that I laid over the pin back and impressed the shape into the paper. Reduce the spacing to allow for the clasp and the coil. To get the placement I wanted, I put the button face down on the banner layer and measured the piercing pattern. Then I marked the holes and, since they were out of reach of the hole punch, pierced them with the Paper-Piercing Tool (#126189) and the Stampin’ Pierce Mat (#126199).

When I placed the mats for the buttons and photo, I found that one of the button banners needed to be shorter. I measured how much I needed to reduce the banner and marked the distance at the “V” and from both points. I used the same measurement for both layers to keep the matting even. It’s easy to trim by cutting from the mark on each side to the mark at the center with Craft Scissors (#108360), which have a straight, heavy blade.

Other Supplies Used: Cajun Craze Card Stock from the Regals 12” x 12” Card Stock Assortment (#131192); Soft Suede Card Stock from the Neutrals 12” x 12” Card Stock Assortment (#131187); Color Me Autumn Designer Series Paper (#135820); Cajun Craze (#126965) & Crushed Curry (#131173) Classic Stampin’ Pads; Crushed Curry 1-1/4” Striped Grosgrain Ribbon (#134555); Autumn Wooden Elements (#135846); Mossy Meadow 3/8” Stitched Satin Ribbon (#133670); Stampin’ Dimensionals (#104430)

To order what you need to scrapbook your own large button collection, 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 purchased. You can also qualify for Stampin’ Rewards from Stampin’ Up!® if your order exceeds $150.

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The Top Three Tips for Thin Metal Dies

Snowflake Card Thinlits

These are my top three tips for successfully using thin metal dies. The tips will work for any brand, but my preferred experience is with the Sizzix Edgelits™, Framelits™ and Thinlits™ Dies.

1. Whether you use the Big Shot Magnetic Platform (#130658) or the Multipurpose Platform for the Big Shot Die-Cutting Machine (#113439), be sure the Cutting Pads (#113475, Standard) aren’t warped. Thin metal dies are especially sensitive to the curvature of the Cutting Pads.

2. Put a piece of waxed paper between the thin metal die and the card stock or paper you’re cutting. This will make the die-cut release easier. You can run the die and paper through the machine two or three times instead, if you prefer.

3. Remove all the dies from the adhesive strips on the backing sheet. Powder the adhesive (the Embossing Buddy #103083 works really well for this), then place a piece of adhesive-backed magnetic sheet over it. The magnetic sheet doesn’t have to cover the whole area, just provide enough magnetic space to let the dies attach to it.

The photo shows the Snowflake Card Thinlits™ Dies (#135855) on a piece of magnetic sheet. You can get magnetic sheets at office supply stores or craft stores. The sheets in the office supply stores tend to be larger.

These tips can show up in my newsletter, or you can see them in action as part of the project material you receive in your Online Bonus Class when you join the 3am Stamper’s iClub.  Become a 3am Stamper’s iClub Member now and start with next month’s session.  Club orders are due the 10th of each month!  To find out more, just click on the preceding link or on the link in the drop-down menu on the navigation bar, “Events & Classes“.

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Mailing List Subscribers Can Win Exclusive Contests

04-2013 Contest WinnerI run a monthly contest with a $10 prize for members of my Mailing List. The rules are simple: send in a photo or scan of one of your projects with a list of supplies used. The contest is open all month and the winner is chosen when I have at least three entries. If I receive your entry too late for the month, I enter it into the following month’s contest. You may enter more than once each month, but only one prize will be awarded.

From time to time, I will offer other contests to my Mailing List Subscribers. These are exclusive for Mailing List Members only.

To join my Mailing List and become eligible to enter exclusive contests, fill out the form at right. You’ll receive my monthly newsletter, 3am Thoughts, filled with news, tutorials, tips & tricks directly to your inbox. You’ll also collect 2 free tutorials (valued at $7.95 each) just for signing up!

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Deluxe Holiday Cards for Your Special Friends

Festival of Trees Card-Visit http://www.3amstamper.com

 

The latest trends and techniques are featured in my Hot for the Holidays Card Class. You’ll make three Deluxe Holiday Cards perfect for special friends and family. And you’ll be amazed at how much fun you’ll have creating these designs:

  • A jeweled Christmas Tree Card
  • A snow-dusted “From Our House to Your House” Card
  • A glittering card that holds a detachable ornament

Join me for a full morning of fun!

Date: October 18, 2014

Time: 9:30 to 11:30am PDT

Place: 2305 Jose Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA 95401

Early Bird Registration: $49.95

Deadline to register for Early Bird Discount: September 25, 2014

Registration after 9/25/14: $59.95

Register now: 




 

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How To Achieve Smooth Blending

Feathers-Blendabilities

I’ve taught a lot of classes where we blend with markers. The brush tip on the typical water-based marker usually works best for this purpose. On the other hand, Stampin’ Blendabilites™ from Stampin’ Up!® blend equally well with the brush tip or the writing tip. Stampin’ Blendabilites are the alcohol markers new this year and are designed for smooth blending!

Alcohol markers generally float the color on the surface of your card stock or paper, which gives you more time to blend colors together before the ink dries. Alcohol markers will bleed through your card stock, so it’s best to plan on layering your blended images on some other material to hide the back.

In most marker classes, you are taught to start with the lightest color and work progressively to the darkest color. You also need to work very quickly as water-based markers dry fast. With Stampin’ Blendabilities, you have more time and you’re not limited to working from lightest to darkest color. You may start with the darkest color and progress to the lightest. Or you may start with the medium color and fill in the darkest and the lightest as you like. Either way, you will achieve very smooth blending on your image.

In my example piece, I used Wisteria Wonder Stampin’ Blendabilities (#131002) for the upper feather, Night of Navy Stampin’ Blendabilities (#131001) for the lower left feather and Smoky Slate Stampin’ Blendabilities (#131005) for the lower right feather. Each set of markers comes with a light, a medium and a dark shade of the color. You have a ready-made blending set in each box!

Here are some tips for using Stampin’ Blendabilities:

I have a special offer for customers who purchase Stampin’ Blendabilities from me. If you purchase the entire line at one time, you are entitled to attend my Exclusive Stampin’ Blendabilities Class for FREE! This class is valued at $69.95 and is only open to five people a month. The content of this class also is different from my regular Stampin’ Blendabilities classes. It contains more in-depth and advanced information and techniques. To find out more details, see the Stampin’ Blendabilities Exclusive Class page or contact me at (707) 695-3571 or by e-mail at mary@3amstamper.com

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Do You Know I’ll Send You Cash for a Tiny Bit of Your Effort?

CashI will! I’ll send you cash and all you have to do is refer your friends to me! It’s easy: just send me their name, phone number and e-mail address. I’ll send you:

  •  * $5 when she or he becomes my customer
  •  * $10 if/when she or he becomes my PlayShop host/hostess. This includes in-person and online PlayShops.
  •  * $20 if/when she or he becomes a Stampin’ Up!® Independent Demonstrator as my downline

There is no limit on the number of friends you can refer. They just need to be unknown to me. I send you the cash payments via PayPal so you get them right away!

Here’s how to refer: send me their name, phone number and e-mail address to mary@3amstamper.com. You may also call me at (707) 695-3571 and give me the information.  I keep track of this so I can send you your cash!

Please note that Referral fees do not apply to PlayShop, party or Private Class guests or invitees, sorry. These folks are helping you earn Hostess Dollars and you may receive only one benefit at a time.  Referral fees only apply to new-to-me individuals.

By the way, the friends you refer to me may also get in on my Referral Program. There’s no limit for them, either.

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Die-Cutting & Fussy-Cutting Work Together

Happy Halloween Home Card-Visit http://www.3amstamper.com

You know I prefer die-cutting to fussy-cutting, as I wrote in my Stop Fussy Cutting! Post. However, the Holiday Home Photopolymer Stamp Set (#135095) and its coordinating Homemade Holiday Framelits™ Dies (#135857), are so fun together, I accept the need to fussy-cut to enhance the die-cuts.

One reason you may need to fussy-cut is that the images are so tiny, you’ll want to stamp them separately and cut them out so they don’t get lost. These images are perfect to cut out with Paper Snips (#103579). The Paper Snips have nice, thin, sharp blades so the tiny images are easier to cut with them. The only problem is keeping your fingers out of the way.

In my example, I made a Hallowe’en-themed card to congratulate my son on his new house. I’ll put the “happy Halloween” image on the inside! There are a full season’s worth of phrases and images in the Holiday Home Stamp Set! You can use it for Fall, Hallowe’en, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year and Valentine’s.

The Holiday Home Set and Homemade Holiday Framelits™ come in a bundle at a 15% savings, by the way. You just order the Holiday Home Bundle (#137631) to get both of them.

Other Supplies Used: Big Shot Die-Cutting Machine (#113439); Tangelo Twist (#133677), Basic Black (#121045), Wisteria Wonder (#122922) & Whisper White (#100730) 8-1/2” x 11” Card Stock; Basic Black (#126980), Perfect Plum (#126963) & Tangelo Twist (#133646) Classic Stampin’ Pads; Basic Black 1/8” Taffeta Ribbon (#119261); SNAIL (#104332) or Fast Fuse (#129026) Adhesives; Stampin’ Dimensionals (#104430)

I used Stampin’ Dimensionals cut in quarters to raise the ghosts and pumpkins. I thought about using Glue Dots (#103683), but I wanted the images to stand out more. You can use both for graduated heights, but the cut-outs are really tiny, so be careful!

Would you like to try out Die-Cutting and Fussy-Cutting techniques 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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Don’t Worry, I’ve Got Your Back!

Women's Gathering-Visit http://www.3amstamper.comWhen I talk about the Stampin’ Up!® Independent Demonstrator Business Opportunity, I often get asked, “How will I know what to do?” My #1 response is, “You’ll have me to guide you,” followed by “And there are tons of training materials, including videos, that you can use on the Demonstrator Website.”

In addition, there are a whole universe of Stampin’ Up! Demonstrators who are happy to share ideas and projects with you. There is an exclusive online community called Stampin’ Connection you access through the Demonstrator Website. You also have your fellow “sidelines” who are my downline.

And there’s always me. I can help you plan your business activity to suit your needs and meet your goals. I’m ready to help as you need me! Don’t worry, I’ve got your back!

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? 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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Picture Day Memories

Project Life Picture Day Page-Visit http://www.3amstamper.com

One of my favorite times of the year is when the school pictures arrive! I get the “wallet size” 2-1/2” X 3-1/2”. They fit well into the Project Life® by Stampin’ Up!® 3” x 4” pockets!

This page fits the Espresso 6” x 8” Project Life® Album (#135293). The Album is a good size for book shelves. The Project Life® 6” x 8” Photo Pocket Pages (#135297) come in a package of twelve and include five different layouts.

I added photo mats to the cards for the pictures because I wasn’t going to show you the photos themselves. They’re school pictures, so I’m not allowed to post them. The mats are 2-5/8” x 3-5/8” and will add a narrow border to the photos. The photos don’t really need to be matted, but I like the effect.

The Everyday Adventure Project Life® Card Collection (#135298) and Everyday Adventure Project Life® Accessory Pack (#135301) provided the pocket pages and embellishments. You can always add more, if you want, but the Card Collection and Accessory Pack coordinate perfectly.

The whole idea behind Project Life® by Stampin’ Up!® is for you to be able to scrapbook instantly and without fuss! You may, of course, fuss if you want to, but the main thing is to get it on the page. The Photo Pocket Pages, coordinated Card Collections and Accessory Packs make it very easy!

To order what you need to get started with Project Life® by Stampin’ Up!®, 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 purchased. You can also qualify for Stampin’ Rewards from Stampin’ Up!® if your order exceeds $150.

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Spring Colors Still Work for Summer

Spring Wreath - Visit http://www.3amstamper.com

When we think of Spring season colors, we tend to think more of pastels. For Summer, we tend to think of bright, pure colors. However, when the weather is hot – I prefer pastels because they make me feel cooler.

This Spring Wreath features Daffodil Delight, Tangerine Tango, Smoky Slate and Soft Sky colors. When I look on my “Color Wheel”, they form the shape of a kite. Smoky Slate is standing in for Wisteria Wonder. This makes a sort-of tetrad combination or a quadruple-split complimentary combination. MyColor Wheelhas 18 segments, after all.

The kit I used to make the wreath tinted the colors on the components so they are more pastel. The wreath base is a 13” circle chipboard form wrapped with 1-1/4” Burlap Ribbon (#132140). Use hot glue to secure it – the glue dries fast and holds well. You can also glue a strip of narrow ribbon on the back to use as a hanger.

Thirteen circles comprise the flowers with the button centers. You can make these with 1-3/4” (#119850) or 1-3/8” (#119860) Circle Punches. Slit each circle from edge to center and glue the open ends to make a shallow cup shape. Layer the petals by staggering the circle to make the flower shape. You can also use the Spiral Flower Originals™ Die (#129379) with your Big Shot Die-Cutting Machine (#113439). Curl the spiral loosely and glue it to a fringed Smoky Slate circle. Glue a button in the center to finish it.

The puffy flowers can be made from White Filter Paper (#129393) and spritzed with Classic Ink Refills in a Stampin’ Spritzer (#126185). I like to mix the ink with alcohol – it dries quicker and lasts longer.

To make the puff flowers:

  1. Cut a rectangle of Filter Paper 3” x 12”.
  2. Apply Sticky Strip (#104294) to the long edge, remove liner and adhere edges together. Apply another length of Sticky Strip to the outside of the same edge. Leave on the liner.
  3. Fringe the folded side with Fringe Scissors.
  4. Remove the Sticky Strip liner and roll the paper, adhesive side in, into a tight puff.
  5. Spritz with Stampin’ Spritzer and let dry before adhering to wreath.

For a larger puff, repeat steps 1 through 4, wrapping the second fringed paper to the outside of the first puff. Then spritz it all together.

If you want to fade out your card stock or paper to a more pastel tint, use a wash of diluted bleach. Experiment with the ratio of bleach to water to get the correct color.

Other flowers were made with the Flower Frenzy Bigz™ L Die (#133728) and a variety of Flower Punches. These were layered with a brad in the center. I like using the Candy Dots Brad Bases (#132293) with Pearl (#119247) or Rhinestone (#119246) Basic Jewels. Of course, the Candy Dots also work perfectly!

You can make this as a Fall Wreath, too. Just change the colors and substitute leaves for the punched-out or die-cut flowers.

To order what you need to make your own Spring Wreath, 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 purchased. You can also qualify for Stampin’ Rewards from Stampin’ Up!® if your order exceeds $150.

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Which Are Better, Dies or Punches, Part 2?

Owl Friend Card - Visit http://www.3amstamper.com

The answer to this question, which are better, dies or punches, is that each is better for certain tasks than the other. Today we’ll talk about punches, as I’ve covered dies in my Part 1 post.

Punches are self-contained. Everything you need to punch out a shape is all in one unit. Most punches only include the shapes you will need to create the image. In my example, I’ve used the Owl Builder (#118074) and Bird Builder (#117191) Punches along with my Go-To greetings tools, the Modern Label (#119849) and Word Window (#119857) Punches.

It’s easiest to line up a stamped image or design from patterned paper by turning the punch upside down. Punching the image works best when you have plenty of light positioned so you don’t have shadows on the image. That can lead to uneven borders. You also need more strength to hold the punch in place than you would with a die-cut.

Punches are easily portable. You can fit one in your purse or briefcase and use it away from your usual studio. You can create a “grab & go” project kit to hold your punch and other materials with a Full-Size Wood-Mount Stamp Case (#127551). This case is about the size of a paperback novel and will also fit in your purse or briefcase.

It’s also easier to punch out individual shapes with a punch rather than a die. In my example, I used 3/4” strips of Mossy Meadow 8-1/2” x 11” Card Stock (#133676) to punch out the leaves with a minimum of waste. You can use up smaller scraps this way and it they’re too small to grip while you punch, attach a Post-It™ Note to one end. Unlike dies, the punch won’t cause the Post-It to leave lines across the cut-out.

Punches are handy and useful tools. They have their place in the craft room alongside the Big Shot Die-Cutting Machine (#113439) to create beautiful projects. You may frequently find yourself using both on the same piece. I know I do!

Got a question about a product 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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Free Gifts – Just for Signing Up!

3 Surprise GiftsMy Mailing List Subscribers receive two free tutorials just for signing up! My Mailing List is free to join. I also send out surprise free gifts every so often!

Join now by filling out the form at right. You’ll be sent an e-mail to confirm your subscription. Your free gifts will arrive after you click the link in the message. Now’s the perfect time to join because there will be a big free gift starting next month!

To join my Mailing List and receive my monthly newsletter, 3am Thoughts, filled with news, tutorials, tips & tricks, fill out the form at right. Remember, you’ll also collect 2 free tutorials valued at $7.95 each when you confirm your subscription!

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Did You Do Any Traveling This Summer?

Travel Log Album Page-Visit http://www.3amstamper.com

If you did any traveling this Summer, you probably took a lot of pictures. Nowadays, they’re also probably on your phone or stored on your computer from a digital camera! I know mine are!

The easiest way to get those photos organized is to put them into a digital scrapbook. This also makes them easier to share! I started a page for a Travel Album with My Digital Studio (#130647, Disc; #130646, Download). I used the included Travel Log Kit (#126022) to select a 12” x 12” page template. This page has all portrait or vertical photo boxes, which is perfect for photos taken with your phone! Most of those are vertical, usually because you can share them on social media better. If I take a landscape or horizontal photo with my phone, it comes out sideways when I share it. You can see an example on my Facebook Page, http://www.facebook.com/the3amStamper.

Everything on this page comes included in My Digital Studio. There are other patterns of Designer Series Paper as well as other Stamp Brushes for you to use to personalize your pages. Insert your photos by drag-and-drop or double-clicking. You can crop the photos in place. Once you are finished, you can print your pages (minimum of 5 pages or 5 copies of 1 page) through the My Digital Studio Printing Service or a commercial printer if you don’t have a printer capable of 12”x12” pages. You can also just export the page or pages digitally as .jpeg files and share them through posting on social media or sending via e-mail.

So your Summer traveling photo records will turn out easier to save and share than ever with digital albums for your photos. My Digital Studio is a fabulous help for you.

To order My Digital Studio (#130647, Disc; #130646, Download), just click the Order Online Button in my right sidebar or any of the product links in this article. You may download it immediately and start playing! You may also try it free for 30 days!

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