Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Thoroughly Modern Circles

Good morning stampers and WELCOME to the official LAST day of the Stampin' Up! Year!

As I look back on the past 12 months, it has been filled with many, many joys and amazing moments. It's had it's share of challenges too, but God is good and as this year comes to a close, I just stand back and smile because of all He has blessed me with. I know I'm not the only demonstrator who loves her job, far from it, but I can't emphasize enough how much I LOVE every aspect of what I do. And the fact that I get to work from home and be "Mom" and "Wife" as well as YOUR Stampin' Up! Demonstrator just blesses my heart.

I want to take a moment to publicly thank all of YOU, my wonderful clients and friends for making it possible for me to earn the Alaska Cruise for this year. Because of you and your support, I'll be able to treat my family to this amazing trip and get to celebrate my birthday on board the ship next year! I think it's gonna be my best birthday EVER! :)

All of you who are part of my Stampin' Up! family, whether you be blog reader, demonstrator friend, client, hostess, downline or SU! corporate, YOU are part of my Circle of Friends. A circle is endless, always coming and going around with encouragement, caring and love. I'm so glad to have each of you as part of my Circle - you make me smile everyday!

Hopefully - this card will make you smile today!
I found a sketch via a card that was posted on Stampin' Connection ( the demo only website) and thought it would be fabulous to use with the Thoroughly Modern DSP that is retiring today. We did this card in my parties last week and the ladies loved it!

I combined it with two stamp sets - Fifth Avenue Floral and Thank You Kindly. It was my last time to use Bermuda Bay before it retires as well today and it was kind of bittersweet. I love that color and hate to see it go.
The card base itself is Kraft cardstock (Crumb Cake beginning tomorrow!) and the layer is Rose Red. If you peek real carefully at the inside left corner, you can see that I stamped the flower image on the inside of the card too, just to dress it up a bit.
Circle punches in sizes from 1/2" up to 1 3/8" were used to make the circles from the DSP and I popped up the smallest one on a Stampin' Dimensional for emphasis.
It's a very clean, Thoroughly Modern card and it made me happy to make it!

Have a wonderful day today my friends - I can't wait to see what the NEXT Stampin' Up! year holds for all of us!

Stamped blessings,

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Farewell Flower Layers!

Alas, we hardly knew ye!
And that my stamping friends is the sad truth of it. I purchased that Big Shot Die at least a year ago and did I use it? No sirree Bob! Well, maybe once, but certainly not as often as I should have, I mean, just LOOK at this cute card!

This is not my original creation - I cased it from the talented Rochelle Gould, a sister SU! demo, from her post on Stampin' Connection. Stampin' Connection is Stampin' Up!'s private group site just for demos to visit and share ideas, samples and stories. There are literally thousands of samples to view and fabulous business tips and how to videos as well. The only catch is that you must be a Stampin' Up! demonstrator for access.
Now, I'm happy to help you with that, just contact me and we can chat a bit. It's only $99 to join my stampin' family through tomorrow - and the starter kit contains wonderful products from the NEW Catalog! That's an offer that's hard to resist in my book!

This card was super easy to create using the Flower Layers Die, which retires tomorrow, and the Perfect Polka Dots embossing folder. I used different colors than the original and changed my greeting as well, but as you can see, they are pretty much the same!
My color combo is Pumpkin Pie, Melon Mambo, Crushed Curry and Old Olive. Crushed Curry is retiring tomorrow as well, but if you don't have it, you can substitute the new Daffodil Delight there and it will be just as fun as this one!
The stamp set is Short and Sweet, which if you don't have it in your stamping tool box, you need it. I love the font because even if you stamp it crooked, you can't tell! Shhh.....that's one of my stamping secrets! :)

The flower is assembled with a 5/8" Jumbo Brad and was simply attached with Stampin' Dimensionals. There you go, easy peasy!

Thanks for stopping in today - I'm headed to the shower and then it's off to the skating rink with Emma. At least it's cool in there! :)
Stamped blessings,

Monday, June 28, 2010

Some Days You're the Windshield.....

and some days you're the bug. Isn't that how the song goes?
Well, last week was my bug week - overwhelmed, exhausted, anxious - you name it, I was just plain stressed OUT!
I never even got my inspiration card done for the UDI Blog, then when I sat down to do my card for last week's Stamping 411 sketch, I created this card based on the sketch.

Pretty, huh?
The only problem was, I used the WRONG sketch! Ai-yi-yi!

I was all happy and proud of myself that I'd managed to get it done EARLY and e-mailed to Selene, but then the phone call came. "Robin, ummm, I don't know how to tell you this, but you used next week's sketch on your card."

Oh, to just have my brain back for a few precious hours!
Fortunately, I was still designing for my Aloha Last Chance Event on Saturday, so I was able to get another card done that worked for both. It is in this post here.

So, since most of what I'd used on this card is retiring on Wednesday, I thought I'd go ahead and show it to you now.
Here is a side view of the fun ribbon treatment:

And a view from the top showing all the dimension:

I really love how it turned out and hope you do too! I'm sad to be saying goodbye to this stamp set, well, I'm not saying goodbye because I'm keeping mine, but YOU only have until Wednesday to order it - so get crackin'!

Have a great Monday everyone, I hope you get to stamp something fun today!

Supply List - All SU!:

Stamps: Bloomin' Beautiful (retiring)
Inks: Crushed Curry (retiring), Brocade Blue (retiring), Old Olive
Cardstock: Brocade Blue (retiring), Old Olive, Naturals White
Accessories: Summer Sun Corduroy Buttons (retiring), Linen Thread, Perfect Polka Dots Embossing Folder and the Big Shot, Stampin' Dimensionals, Aqua Painters, re-inkers, Stamp a ma Jig

Card Contest Winner!

Remember these cards?

Well, in this post here I offered up a contest to see who could list all the differences between the two cards. There were many guesses -it was fun to read them all - and honestly, most of you came close, but there was no winner that guessed them all. So, I had my daughter pick a number between 1 and 16 to determine who I'm mailing the card front to................
The winner is:

#4 - Brenda Hugar!

Congratulations Brenda! If you will e-mail me at with your snail mail address, I'll get the card right out to you!

Now, for those of you wondering, here are the supply lists for both cards. There were really only 5 differences!

Card One
Crumb Cake cs – card base and scalloped circle – run through the Crimper 3 times then scrunched and inked with Crumb Cake ink
Newsprint DSP – crumpled, sponged with Crumb Cake ink, stamped with 3rd generation medallion image from Artistic Etchings stamp set
Very Vanilla cs – sponged with Crumb Cake ink
Basic Black cs – torn and curled
Kraft Taffeta
Black Gingham
Log Cabin Smooch
Artistic Etchings stamp set
In a Word stamp set ( greeting)
Clear Rhinestone Brad
2 3/8” Extra Large Scallop Circle Punch
1 ¾” Circle Punch
Rich Razzleberry ink
Crumb Cake ink

Card Two
Crumb Cake cs – card base and scalloped circle – run through the Crimper 3 times then scrunched and inked with Crumb Cake ink
Newsprint DSP – run through the Big Shot with the Vintage Wallpaper Embossing Folder, sponged with Crumb Cake ink, stamped with 3rd generation key from Artistic Etchings stamp set
Very Vanilla cs – sponged with Crumb Cake ink
Basic Black cs – torn and curled
Very Vanilla Taffeta
Basic Black 1/8” Taffeta
Log Cabin Smooch
Artistic Etchings stamp set
Fresh Cuts Stamp Set (greeting)
Clear Rhinestone Brad
2 3/8” Extra Large Scallop Circle Punch
1 ¾” Circle Punch
Rich Razzleberry ink
Crumb Cake ink

Have a wonderful day everyone - back later with a new card to show you!
Stamped blessings,

Friday, June 25, 2010

Stamping 411 Saturday Sketch Challenge SSC157

Hello to all my stamping friends!
I know this post is soooo late tonight - I had a fun party with Diana and her friends and I'm just now sitting down to write the deets on this card.
To be honest, I'm so tired, I may just hit the highlights for you and if you have questions, just leave me a comment or e-mail me!

Here is the great Stamping 411 sketch that Selene sent us this week:

and here is my card:

I know I told you in my post earlier today that Brocade Blue was almost done for in my studio now, but I couldn't resist pulling it out one last time to make this plus one another card. I'll show you that one on Sunday and tell you the funny story that goes with it.
For now, I'll tell you that there isn't much that isn't retiring on this card.
The stamp sets all are on the chopping block - and I'm very sad, these are three of my very favorite sets - Bloomin' Beautiful, Tres Chic and Refuge and Strength. I'll definitely be holding on to these for a while.

I used Brocade Blue, Whisper White, Old Olive and Crushed Curry for my color palette, and really this is such a simple card to do. In fact, if you are coming to my open house on Saturday morning, you'll be making this card!
The focal image is colored with markers and then colored in with the Aqua Painter and re-inkers.

I used the second generation color on the stamp on the inside of the card, then added my greeting from Refuge and Strength. (Second Generation is just stamping the image again once you've stamped it the first time. You get a muted/soft look to the image that is most always perfect for the inside of the card. )

Here is a look at the dimension of the card from the top:

I used Stampin' Dimensionals behind the focal panels so the Crushed Curry ribbon could slide under easily and tie neatly next to them. Love me some Dimensionals! I was in shock earlier when I opened my supply cabinet and discovered that I was down to my LAST package! Good thing I have some on order! Whew!

Be sure to stop over at Stamping 411 and see the beautiful cards the other operators created, they are always gorgeous!
Thanks for coming by here and come visit me again soon, ok? I love it when you visit!
Stamped blessings,

Medallion Get Well

I should probably title this post "Farewell Brocade Blue" because it's the last time it's probably going to get used in the studio. I know that sounds kind of sad, but really, it's ok. SU! is giving us a wonderful new color palette to work with and I'm really looking forward to the change. I already feel a fresh wind in my stamping (and no, it's not from the dinner I had last night - what were YOU thinking?).

It was very cathartic to clear out the mass of retired products and supplies last week for my big sale (I still have a bunch of stuff - so if you are coming to my event tomorrow, you'll be able to shop!) and I even went ahead and set up my paper racks with the new color families. You would have laughed at me this week though because every time I go in the closet to pull cardstock for a project I do a double take because the continuing colors aren't in their 'normal' place! It's a bit like finding your way around a new town, there are plenty of streets but they aren't at all familiar!

So anyway, here is the Bye-Bye Brocade Blue card:

I cased the idea for this card from one on the Stampin' Up! Demonstrator site Stampin' Connection. I loved the use of the Stampin' Pastels with the Versamark for this card. It's clean and simple, but elegant too. I even made a version of this card for my Dad for his Father's Day card. Using the Teeny Tiny Wishes Stamp Set makes it so easy to switch out a greeting for any occasion! Do you own that stamp set yet? Or this gorgeous Medallion background? Well, if you don't you NEED them! They are some of the do-it-all Dolly's in my studio.

The little stamp peeking out from the inside is from Boho Backgrounds which is retiring next Wednesday, so don't miss that one - it's gorgeous with so many things!

I'll be back later on with my Stamping 411 card for this week's Saturday Sketch Challenge, but for now, it's off to work for me. I've got some stamping and setting up to do for my party tonight and the fun Last Chance Aloha Event here tomorrow morning! Wanna come stamp? There is plenty of room - just send me an e-mail or give me a call to RSVP!

Stamped blessings,

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Card and A Contest!

Good morning everyone!
Normally on Thursdays here you'll see my take on the weekly UDI Blog Inspiration Challenge - notice I said NORMALLY! :)
For the past two weeks, I've been focused with "gazelle like intensity" (if you are a Dave Ramsey fan, you know what that means!) on my goal of earning the SU! Alaska cruise. Consequently, there hasn't been much "fun" stamping going on here with the exception of the times I've had parties and classes here. That is going to change today - I'm itching to get into the studio and let the mojo flow! So you'll see some new creations from me over the coming days.

This card is actually a re-do of a Stamping 411 card I did a few weeks ago. Here is the original post, and here is my new version:

My stamped bunny mutiliating friend Diana Gibbs invited me to participate in her swap for cards showcasing products from the new catalog that comes out next week. So, since I loved the original card so much, I updated it a bit.

So, let's have some fun, shall we?
Leave me a comment on this post and tell me what the differences are from the first card to this one! The guesser who gets them all correct will get their very own copy of this card in the mail! BE sure to name the different supplies used in both, including stamp sets. I'm not giving you a supply list today, but I'll post it on Saturday evening with the name of the winner!

I hope to get my UDI Inspiration Challenge card stamped and posted today, but in the meantime, check out the other design teams projects by visiting the UDI Blog.

Thanks for visiting me - can't wait to see what your guesses are!
Stamped blessings,

**In case you were wondering, I am still working on getting on the boat to Alaska and am hopeful that by Saturday, this dream will be a reality! I am painfully close - too close to give up now - so if you are a client of mine, or if you are a regular blog reader and don't have a local demonstrator that you support, please consider placing an order with me before the 30th. An order of ANY size helps from a pack of envelopes to a SNAIL refill to the Big Shot! :) You all are the BEST and I appreciate you so very much!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

ECS Charity Raffle Winners Announced!

Good morning stamping friends!

It's not often that I am at a loss for words, however, I've been so amazed at the outpouring of generosity during the raffle I held for the Emmanuel Christian School Art Department, I just don't know where to begin this message.
So many of you purchased tickets and just straight up donated money towards the purchase of supplies - I am overwhelmed with the huge response from your hearts.
I really shouldn't be surprised - stampers are known for their big hearts and giving nature - after all, we make and send hand stamped art from the heart!

I am so excited to announce that your generosity in participating in the raffle and donating funds raised $790.00!
That is so much more than I had anticipated and every penny will go toward the purchase of art supplies for the Elementary students this upcoming school year.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of you - whether you bought a single ticket or donated money - you are all amazing people and I am grateful for each of you!

Now, would you like to know who actually WON the raffle prizes?!!!

Ok, I had my daughter Emma draw the winners names from a basket of tickets that I'd filled out with all the participants names on them.
The first one she picked actually sent her money in this gorgeous hand-stamped card:


Yes, Selene was the first name drawn from the basket and we called her to tell her so! She was so stinkin' excited she started squealing - and she may have even cried! She, of course, chose the Cruise Purse and told me that she'd be sporting it with pride on next year's Alaska cruise! (Yes, she and I are still working on earning it. We've been encouraging each other along the way, but we both still need a little help from our stamping friends!)

So next, Emma drew the second name from the basket and the winner of the Big Shot Die Cut Machine was.........


The best part of Betty winning the Big Shot is that she is actually one of my Stampin' Fools stampers club - they meet here once a month to stamp and be foolish (have fun) but these ladies have the biggest hearts and always bring so much life to the studio when they are here playing. I just love each one of them and it was so fun to be able to tell Betty in person that night that she had won the Big Shot! It had been on her wish list for a while now, but she hadn't taken the plunge yet.
Betty, your Big Shot is on it's way to you now!
Thanks so much for being you!

I'll be meeting with the ECS art teacher this week to complete her wish list of supplies and they will soon be on the way to her so she can plan her classes and projects for the kids.
I know she will be amazed and overwhelmed when I tell her how much was raised.
You ALL are a blessing and I am praising God for you today!

Have a wonderful day friends!

Card today by Selene Kempton, all supplies SU!
Stamps: Because I Care (SU! hostess set sneak peek), Medallion
Inks: Concord Crush, Old Olive
Cardstock: Old Olive, Concord Crush, Shimmer White
Accessories: Vanilla Smooch Spray, Scalloped Oval Punch, Large Oval Punch

Monday, June 21, 2010

Internet Restored - Meltdown Averted!

Yes, really! Have you ever felt that way?!
My goodness, I never realized how much I depend on having internet access to get stuff done and stay connected. My good friends know that I'm computer averse - it's a tool, not a toy - at least that's what I tell my daughter. But between business stuff and family stuff like checking bank balances, movie times, restaurant menus, etc., its pretty hard to live without it! It's been killing me these past few days just checking e-mails on my iphone - it's so hard to write a long response on that thing - and not having an easy ability to just "go look it up".

I was also able to confirm the theory that when the repair people give you a window of say between 8 am and noon, they really mean the last possible second before noon, so just prepare yourself. Yep, 11:59 am today, that's when he showed up. Ai-yi-yi!

Did anyone watch the Next Food Network Star last night? Well, DON'T tell me, I'm waiting to record the rerun this week to see who got tripped and fell flat on their face. It was in the commercial, but you couldn't tell who was involved. THAT could be a nasty kitchen accident!

I know one thing that is NOT an accident and that's this card. I love pink and black together and this new Elements of Style stamp set just makes those colors wowzers together!

We made this card at my June Just Cards Classes and the gals loved it! It was our last real chance to use the Black Gingham ribbon since it's retiring and I love the French County look it lends to this card. Fancy, but not so much, kwim?
All the stamping was done with the Black Staz-On pad (I love the clean, crisp look it gives) and I used my Pretty in Pink Watercolor Wonder Crayon and the Aqua Painter to color in the flowers.
The focal panels are popped up on Stampin' Dimensionals, as is the greeting circle, so a total of 6 dimensionals were sacrificed in the making of this card! :)
Yep, there is a reason I keep multiple packs of them in the studio - they don't last long!

Thanks for stopping by today - I love when you visit me! Be sure to come back tomorrow, I'll be announcing the winners of my Cruise Purse and Big Shot Raffle and sharing how much money you helped me raise for the ECS Art Department! I'm waiting to notify the two winners first!

Stamped blessings,

Tropical Father's Day

Hey everyone!

I know it's the day after Father's Day, but I couldn't very well put Mark's card on my blog yesterday - he would have seen it! :)

Actually, this card is great for any masculine occasion and the gals at my June classes loved it!

The greeting came from Teeny Tiny Wishes and just about any from that set would work well here. Lots of the gals in class made use of Happy Birthday with this one.

I used that fabulous Lattice Embossing Folder on this one, sponging the Kraft (Crumb Cake) cardstock with Soft Suede ink to match the other cardstock. I used Old Olive and Naturals White too, along with a piece of that Island Oasis DSP.
A few Vintage Brads, some Twill Tape and, voila! we've got a card!
Oops! Almost forgot, we sprayed it with Log Cabin Smooch Spray to give it some Wow!

Mark loved it and I hope you do too!
Have a great day today - still no internet at our house, hopefully by the end of the day, I'll keep you posted!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Dads in My Life

Happy Father's Day Dad!
Happy Father's Day Mark!

You are two of the best Dads ever and Emma and I are so blessed to have you in our lives.

To all my blog readers, I hope you are able to enjoy a day with the Dads in your life, or if not, that you have happy memories to share with the ones you love. I know for some, their relationship with their Father in this life is difficult or has been troubled, but I pray that you know our Heavenly Father who loves you and cares for you even when our earthly ones do not. The love of God our Father is greater than any hurt or pain you've experienced and can heal any wound if you only let Him. I promise to pray for you today my friend.

I am fortunate to have a wonderful husband who is just the most amazing Father to our daughter Emma. When she was a newborn, I was brought to tears one day when I saw Mark changing her diaper. I quickly told him that I'd be happy to take care of that, but he turned to me and said "I don't ever want Emma to think that I didn't care enough about her to take care of her when she needs me." And 12 years later , he still is taking care of her, and me for that matter. He is truly an extraordinary man.
I found a few of my favorite photos of the two of them to share with you today. One thing you may notice is that we always have fun together as a family, we are so fortunate to have lots of joy and laughter in our home and Mark's wacky sense of humor is often the catalyst for our laughter!

Here he is dancing with Emma at a friend's wedding several years ago.

They made the most beautiful couple!

Outside the Carnegie Deli on Seventh Ave. in NYC.
Yes, their cheesecake is really the most fabulous on earth!

You can see we've just enjoyed a piece!

Here they are clowning around at the Kittery Trading Post in Kittery, Maine.
It was August, but really, don't you always need a good winter hat?

From the coast of Maine to the coast of North Carolina, here they are on the beach at Pine Knoll Shores.
Hang loose!

Mark and Emma love to spend time together in the kitchen. He is a wonderful cook and is patiently teaching her the basics. This was at the beach house that year and they were making homemade Salsa. It was a particularly fragrant batch if I remember correctly. We had to go outside for awhile........

I wish I had some photos of me and my Dad loaded onto this computer so I could show you all the fun things we used to do together when I was little. He taught me to fish, and how to roast a marshmallow to just the right consistency to slide perfectly off the stick we'd whittled onto the graham cracker and Hershey bar. He taught me that football was not just for the boys, and I enjoyed many Sunday afternoons curled up in the afghan on the couch watching our beloved Redskins. He also taught me the value of hard work, determination, and kindness along the way. He taught me that with a solid days work and a clear conscious, you could really sleep well at night. He also taught me that love conquers all, as I never saw a day go by without him telling me and my Mother that he loved us, even when times were tough or I wasn't being very lovable.

My Dad has apologized to me in the past for being what he said was "not a very good Dad", but what he really needs to know is that his guidance and love were the voice in my head at times I truly needed a helping hand or great advice. My Dad is a good man, not perfect - who is, but he did his best to take care of me and my Mom and taught me solid values along the way. I am partially a product of his expectations for me and I'm grateful for them and for him.
I am especially grateful that in spite of his terrible illness this past year and all the hospitalizations, I still get to spend another Father's Day with him, reminding him of how much he is loved and cherished.

There is an older country song by a gal named Holly Dunn that sums up pretty well how I feel about my Dad. I was able to find a video of it on You Tube and I'm sharing it with you here today.

Blessings to you all - have a wonderful day!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

No Phone, No Internet, No TV - Yikes!

Well, it's been an interesting day in the Merriman home.............Mark was mowing the grass this morning in advance of my big sale and the mower hit the Verizon box on the side of the house. So, we have no service until sometime Monday morning!

Thank goodness Emma had synchro practice this afternoon and the rink has free Wifi - I am burning up my keyboard getting some work done! :)
Bonus! It is nice and cool in here and it's 95 degrees in the shade outside - sometimes being a skating Mom has great benefits!

So, wherever you are, enjoy your Father's Day tomorrow and someone please watch the Next Food Network Star for me tomorrow night since I'll apparently have to wait for the rerun next week! Uggh!


Friday, June 18, 2010

Stamping 411 Saturday Sketch Challenge SSC156

I'm so happy to be posting again - it's been such a crazy week around here! I've been cleaning out my studio for the big sale tomorrow, doing end of the school year stuff with Emma - today is her last day of 6th grade. Just where does the time go? She is such a beautiful young lady, both inside and out. I'm so proud of the way she has grown this year, she embraced middle school and has thrived there. Much different from my own middle school experiences, believe me!
Here is the photo I took of her this morning before she headed out to catch the bus. Emma has her own sense of style and embraces it just like she embraces everything else in her life. Since today was a special day, she thought it deserved a very special outfit.

What you can't see in the photo are the cute black leggings with her treasured Coach black tennis shoes. So chic and so very Emma!

So, I know you didn't visit today just to see a cute photo of my girl, you came to see something creative! How about the latest Sketch from Stamping 411?! In all the chaos this week, I've managed to stamp just two new cards, my UDI card yesterday and this one. Honestly, I should stamp under pressure more often because I really like them both!
Here is the sketch from Selene (I did remind her that I hate working with diamond shaped elements!) but that didn't stop her! LOL!

And as you can see, it worked out pretty good for this card:

I started with just the sketch and a plan to use the new colors, Cherry Cobbler and Marina Mist with Crumb Cake (Kraft). And I thought that the colors lent themselves well to a patriotic type card, so that's where I went with it.
My complete supply list is at the bottom of this post for you, but I started the card with a folded card base of Crumb Cake cut at 4 1/4" x 11". Using the Hero Jumbo Wheel, I rolled Marina Mist ink across the bottom of the card front.
When this ink is stamped on Crumb Cake cardstock, it looks closer to Not Quite Navy so that is the blue cardstock I used here. The soldier image from the Courage stamp set is inked in Marina Mist as well.
I sponged all the Crumb Cake pieces with matching ink including the panel with the stars.

To make that panel, I used my Stars #2 Die and my Big Shot to cut out the two small stars. I adhered them to the Crumb Cake panel and trimmed off the edges with my Paper Snips. The sponging really brought out the texture there. I love the subtle look of this.

The diamond shaped focal point is mounted on Stampin' Dimensionals as is the greeting which was stamped with the Elegant Thank You single stamp.

I have a special military family in mind to send this card to, they are stationed in Germany and their Daddy has just been deployed to Afghanistan. Our military members and their families bear so much and sacrifice so much for us to protect our freedoms - I am so grateful that they are willing to stand in the gap.

Thanks so much for stopping by to check out my post and my blog - I appreciate you more than you know! Be sure to check the other operators creations over at Stamping 411 - I know they will blow you away with their takes on this sketch!
Have a great weekend everyone!

Supply List (All SU!):
Stamps: Courage, Elegant Thank You, Hero Jumbo Wheel
Inks: Marina Mist, Crumb Cake
Cardstock: Cherry Cobbler, Not Quite Navy, Crumb Cake
Accessories: Big Shot, Stars #2 Die, Stampin' Dimensionals, Stamping Sponge, Jumbo Wheel Handle, Word Window Punch

HUGE Paper Crafters Sale Tomorrow!

Yes, it's finally time!
I've cleaned up and cleared out my Stampin' Studio and probably have enough paper crafting supplies to open a small store!

If you are local to me, you will want to be at this SALE! I have over 13 years of stamping and scrapbooking supplies that have been orgainzed, sorted and priced to go!

Paper Crafters Heaven Sale
Saturday, June 19th 10 am - 2 pm
Here at my home (we will be set up on the deck in the rear of the house)
If you are on my client list, you should have received your invitation for the Pre-Sale event tonight!

Plan to come and bring your friends - and bags! I'm sure I won't have enough!
Here are the details:
CASH Only! I cannot take credit cards for this sale!

Among the many items available will be:

Stamps - both individual, wheels and sets
Ink Pads
Designer Paper - packages and single sheets (LOTS of 12 x 12!)
Ribbons - packaged pieces and whole rolls
Stickers - LOTS of stickers
Embellishments of all kinds
Scrapbook Albums - MANY Albums, all brand new
Sizzix Dies
Embossing Supplies
Packaged Cards, Card Fronts and 3D Items - all hand selected by my - the best of the best of almost 5 years of samples
Stamping/Scrapbooking Idea Books

I'm probably leaving something out, there is honestly so much I've cleared out, you'll just have to come and see for yourself!

Looking forward to seeing you here! Contact me if you need directions!

Fruit Salad - A Second Helping!

Have you ever heard the saying "Too much of a good thing is a good thing!"? Well, that's kind of how I feel about the Tart and Tangy stamp set. Now, admittedly, this little set had to grow on me when it first appeared in a mini catalog a while back, but I LOVED the DSP that coordinated with it and naturally, I had to have the stamps to match!
But what a fabulous investment it turned out to be!
These little fruits always seem to bring out a smile no matter what you're creating with them and they really are just the right stamp sometimes when you need a little whimsy on a card. At the bottom of this post I've put a few links to other cards I've made with this set so you can have some more ideas.

So, a few weeks back, I pulled this little set out to complete a UDI Blog challenge and made the card in this post here.
Well, I recently had to design some cards for a private stamp camp and for my two card classes this week and since I'd run out of the textured Melon Mambo cardstock used in the original, I decided to see what else I could come up with using the same color combo.
This is the result:

Now, you can't see it in the photo, but the folded white card base is actually Whisper White Textured cardstock. I really love this cardstock for card making - the added texture just adds more richness with very little effort.
As you can see, I used the Melon Mambo as the second layer on this card and I added some more texture to the card by running it through my Big Shot with the Perfect Details Texturz Plate. The greeting is from another do-it-all-dolly stamp set, Short and Sweet (thank goodness SU! didn't retire this one - it's a real workhorse in my studio! I love that even if you stamp it a bit crooked, you can't tell because of the font! :) )
I just stamped it in Old Olive on the bottom right corner of the card.

So, mimicing the original card, I added the Old Olive Striped Grosgrain ribbon (retiring this month - so get yours before it's gone!) and then just rearranged the little fruits in a square focal piece instead of a straight line.
A little Eyelet Border Punch, a little Dazzling Diamonds Glitter and four Stampin' Dimensionals later, you've got yourself a card!
This card is 5 1/4" square and fits in the SU! Medium Square Envelopes which even makes it more fun - love a unique sized card!

I hope you liked the second helping of fruit salad today - be sure and leave a comment and let me know what you think - I LOVE hearing from you! Did you know that when you leave a comment it's like saying "Hi"!?

Have a wonderful day today!
Stamped Blessings,

More Tart and Tangy cards:
Cherry on Top Birthday
Cherries Gift Set

Thursday, June 17, 2010

UDI Inspiration Challenge - Daffodil with Pizazz!

Hello stamping friends! Yes, I am SO aware that it's Thursday and I haven't posted a new project for you since last Friday night! I have been up to my eyeballs in cleaning out the stamp studio getting ready for my big sale this Saturday - I've barely even had time to stamp! I did have two small classes on Tuesday, but besides that, the dust has been flyin', not the ink! Believe me, I've missed sharing my life with you on here. There is something slightly theraputic for me when I write to you about the comings and goings in the Merriman household. Maybe it makes my oh, so crazy life seem almost normal. I don't know, maybe it's just that it helps me see the joy in my everyday life more clearly, because, truly, isn't there more joy than struggle when we get right down to it?

This week's inspiration photo reminded me of that. I love the bright, flowering branch against the misty background. The clarity of the flowers really spoke to me and I knew right away what I wanted to do for my project. Here is the inspiration photo:

And here is my card:

I actually cased myself from a card that I'd cased from a swap from last convention! Got that? That's like trying to follow someone else's family tree! :)

See how the white flowers just pop off of the card front? Well, that's because they do, literally pop off the page! I took a piece of Whisper White cardstock and ran it through my Big Shot with the Elegant Bouquet Embossing Folder. Yes, I said Whisper White - I used my Brayer and rolled the new Daffodil Delight ink on the debossed side of the folder before adding my white cardstock. When it goes through the Big Shot, the ink transfers to the front of the cardstock, leaving white flowers against an inked background. Isn't that cool?!
It's not a new trick, but it still makes me go WOW every time!

Once I had my colored, embossed piece, I used my new Pear Pizazz Stampin' Write marker to color in the flower centers before mounting the cardstock piece on a piece of Chocolate Chip cardstock. The greeting, from the new Hostess Set Because I Care, was stamped in Chocolate Chip ink in the lower right corner.

I then added my ribbons, Chocolate Chip 5/8" Grosgrain and NEW Daffodil Delight 1/8" Taffeta around the panels, securing them on the back .
I made the bow using my bow technique found in this video tutorial here.

The card base itself is made of Pear Pizzazz cardstock and I mounted the focal panels on it with my favorite Stampin' Dimensionals. (At stamp camp last night one of the cards used 9 dimensionals and my friend Cathy just looked at me and said "Is that all?" Yes, she is a riot!)

So that's it for this card, pretty simple, but I think it captures the essence of the photo perfectly and I really like the retro look of these colors together too. I hope you like it - leave me a comment and let me know what you think, ok?
Then be sure to visit the UDI Blog and see what the other design team members created!

If you are local to me, you won't want to miss my Huge Paper Crafters Heaven Sale this Saturday morning from 10 am - 1 pm. See this post here for more details, but suffice it to say, I could probably open up a small scrapbook store with all the stuff I have! You won't be disappointed and it is priced to go!

And since I am achingly close to earning the Stampin' Up! Alaska Cruise, I'm offering a reward to all who place a $50 order with me through the end of the month! Each $50 order earns you a prize from my Stampin' Up! Goodie Basket. I have stamp sets, DSP, Ribbons, Ink Pads, Rub-Ons, really a Plethora of Products and you get one FREE for each $50 you order! I need another 50 or so $50 orders and I'll be able to take my hubby Mark on his dream vacation to Alaska. He's always wanted to go there and it's always been out of our budget. And making it even more special, the cruise next year is over my birthday! It would be so cool (no pun intended!) to be able to celebrate there!
Thanks in advance for any orders you'll be placing with me - you are awesome!

Have a blessed day!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Looking For My Birthday Blog Candy Winner!

Happy Monday everyone!

I'm checking in real quick to leave a reminder for Gloria that she won my Birthday Blog Candy last month!
Gloria did not leave any contact information so I don't have any way to contact her! So, Gloria, if you are reading this contact me, ok? :)

Back later with a creative project for you all!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Stamping 411 Saturday Sketch Challenge - SSC155

Have I ever told you all how much I LOVE Fridays? There is just something about a Friday that makes me happy - maybe it's the anticipation of the weekend and the family time that it holds. Or it could be that it signals the end of the week - which let's face it, we are sometimes glad to see in the rearview! On Friday's lately, we usually all go to Emma's skating session together, then eat out at a favorite restaurant and maybe even have ice cream on the way home. Whatever it is, Friday evenings is most of the time 'family time' and that makes me happy!

Something else about Fridays that makes me happy is that it's time for me to post the upcoming Stamping 411 Saturday Sketch Challenge and my creation for you! I hope you look forward to this part of Friday's as much as I do!

Here is this week's sketch:

And here is what I did with it this week:

I've missed playing around with the vintage look, so I pulled out a combination of old and new supplies to create this card.
I began with a folded card base of Kraft (Crumb Cake) which was cut at 4 1/4" x 11" and folded to make an A2 card (4 1/4" x 5 1/2"). Using the Sneak Peek stamp set, Artistic Etchings, I inked the round medallion image with Crumb Cake ink and randomly stamped it all over the front of the card.
Next, I took a piece of the Sneak Peek DSP Newsprint (2 1/2" x 4") and crumpled it up a bit. I sponged Crumb Cake in on the edges and across the front so the crumples would be highlighted. Next, I inked up the medallion stamp with Rich Razzleberry and stamped off twice before stamping it on the DSP. You can barely see the color in this image:

Don't you just love that DSP?! It's really awesome in person!
You can also really see the medallion focal point I created in these two photos. I stamped the medallion image with Rich Razzleberry (full strength) on a piece of Very Vanilla cardstock and punched it out with the 1 3/4" Circle Punch. After sponging the edges with Crumb Cake ink, I attached it to the scalloped circle piece with Stampin' Dimensionals.

The Scalloped Circle was made by using that NEW Punch (sneak peek!) on a scrap of Kraft (Crumb Cake) cardstock. Once I punched it out, I ran it through my Crimping tool several times, turning it each time. That weakened the fibers in the cardstock really well, so I could then crumple it, sponge it and distress it up.
The Clear Rhinestone Brad was added to the center for just the perfect touch of bling!

The layers here are really simple. I just took a piece of Basic Black cardstock 4" wide and tore it across the top. I rolled the torn edge to make it stand up a bit then layered the two ribbons - Kraft Taffeta and Black Gingham (both on the retiring list!- I'm so sad about that!) around the cardstock piece. This was adhered to the card front and then I added the medallion piece I'd made.
The greeting was added last. It's stamped with the In a Word stamp set from the Summer Mini in Rich Razzleberry ink.
The final touch to the card front was to spritz on a little Log Cabin Smooch Spray! I know you can't see it shimmer in these photos, but it really does and looks gorgeous!

I added a panel to the inside of the card to finish it off:

It's simply a piece of Very Vanilla cut at 4" x 5 1/4". I sponged the edges with Crumb Cake ink and stamped a few Razzleberry medallions in the corners.
I hope you like this card because I LOVE how it turned out! :)

Be sure to stop over at the Stamping 411 Blog and check out what the other design team operators created this week! It's a great sketch - so versatile - I know you'll be inspired to create your own card from it!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone and hug the ones you love!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

UDI Inspiration Challenge - Ice Cream Anyone?

Good morning stampers!
Today promises to be absolutely gorgeous here after the gloomy rain we had yesterday. But even the rain has it's benefits - I didn't have to water my garden! :)
This year we have planted 3 types of Tomatoes, Green Peppers, a variety of Hot Peppers and a few herbs, Basil, Rosesmary and Oregano. Can ya tell we like cooking Italian food?
The other day I harvested the first of the Basil and made Basil Garlic Butter and Basil Pecan Pesto, are you drooling yet? I don't often cook, but I CAN cook - contrary to popular belief - but that is a topic for another post! But, hey, gardening reminds me of Summer and ice cream reminds me of Summer which leads me to the UDI Inspiration Challenge for today.

Here is the truly yummy delicious looking photo that our challenge Mom sent us:

And here is what I was inspired to make:

Yeah, I know, there is NO Ice Cream in my card! Honestly, when I was stamping yesterday, it was so chilly and gray that I just wasn't inspired to translate ice cream onto my card - but cupcakes sounded yummy - and warm! :)
But the colors really did inspire me, so I went with that..........and the polka dots.........and the beadboard table. Check out the scored lines on my white panel:

I know, they are a little hard to see in the photo, they really look cool in person though!
I'll put a complete supply list at the bottom of this post for you, but to make the lines, I simply measured at 1/2 inch intervals with my Paper Cutter and Scoring Blade. I scored one, moved it over 1/8" and scored again. Then moved it to the next 1/2" interval. Easy!

The focal image was stamped with the Crazy for Cupcakes stamp set in Black Staz-On. I used my Versamarker to color in the icing and heat embossed it with White Embossing Powder and my Heat Tool. The stand was colored in with the Going Gray Stampin' Write Marker and I used Bashful Blue and Melon Mambo Markers for the rest of the cupcakes.
Even the inside of the card got a little cupcake action:

The finishing touch was a simple Bashful Blue Taffeta Ribbon Bow and wrap.
Simple, clean and easy!

I'm so glad you stopped by today to see my card - I hope you'll let me know you were here by leaving a comment - I love to hear from you!
Please visit the UDI Blog too and check out what the other design team members created! Maybe they will show you ice cream! :)

Stamped Blessings,

Supplies Used: (All SU!)
Stamps: Crazy for Cupcakes
Inks: Black Staz-On; Bashful Blue, Melon Mambo, Going Gray Stampin' Write Markers, Versamarker
Cardstock:Whisper White, Bashful Blue
Accessories: Retired DSP, Bashful Blue Taffeta Ribbon, Heat Tool, White EP, Stampin' Dimensionals, Paper Trimmer with Scoring Blade

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

It's Coming - Paper Crafter's Heaven Yard Sale!

Hi there everyone!

I know you are wondering what has happened to me the past few days.......I've been CLEANING!

Yes, you read that right - cleaning, as in cleaning out my studio!
Not only am I cleaning up and clearing out, I'm getting ready for my hugemongous
Paper Crafter's Heaven Yard Sale next Saturday.

Right here on June 19th from 10 am - 1 pm, you will be able to find paper crafting, scrapbooking and stamping bargains galore!

You see, I have only been a Stampin' Up! Demonstrator for the past almost 5 years, but I was a scrapbooker and stamper looooong before that - and boy, oh boy, did I ever amass a HUGE amount of stuff!

Most of it has been just sitting here in storage for the past 5 years, unloved and untouched - isn't that sad? So I think it's time that it finds a good home!
For those of you who plan to come, be sure to bring cash or your checkbook - I cannot accept credit cards for this sale! You may want to bring a bag or two as well - I have some, but probably not enough!

Here is a list of some things you will find at the sale:

Stamps - both individual, wheels and sets
Ink Pads
Cardstock - packages and single sheets
Designer Paper - packages and single sheets
Ribbons - packaged pieces and whole rolls
Stickers - LOTS of stickers
Embellishments of all kinds
Scrapbook Albums - MANY Albums, all brand new
Alterable Items
Sizzix and Dies
Packaged Card Fronts - ready to convert into cards
Stamping/Scrapbooking Idea Books (not just old SU! catalogs)

You really don't want to miss this sale, so if you are local to me, make plans to be here!
If you have questions or need directions, please e-mail me at

Hope to see you here!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Casing in the Tropics!

You have to see this very fun card that I cased from fellow demo, Lynn Weiss. I just love her stamping and when I saw this card on her blog, I just knew my card camp gals would love it too!
My card is a bit different than Lynn's original version, I had to put my own little touches on it you know! :)
I loved the idea of carrying over the flowers from the background stamping onto the focal piece. So I stamped these with Rose Red ink on Whisper White cardstock and trimmed them out with my Paper Snips. They are attached with Stampin' Dimensionals.

I also replaced Lynn's brads with some Hemp Twine wrapped and knotted around the panel. I frazzled out the ends to make it look a bit worn and it really added something to the finished card.
The gals at stamp camp loved making this bright, fun card and I'm so happy that Lynn shared her original idea with us!

Have a great evening everyone!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Easy Breezy Birthday Card

Good morning stampers!
Want to see a super easy card?!

I received a version of this card in a recent swap and the original designer did not include their name with it. I'd love to credit you, so please let me know if it was your project, ok?

The card starts with a simple base of Whisper White. The next layer is a piece of Gable Green, which is retiring this month. That layer was stamped with the palm frond from Tropical Party in Gable Green ink.
I used my Big shot to cut out two pieces, the Melon Mambo Scalloped Circle and the Whisper White circle. I stamped the birthday greeting from the On Your Birthday stamp set on the white cardstock piece. The image was colored with Stampin' Write Markers - Gable Green and Melon Mambo. These two pieces were layered together and then onto the Gable Green panel and I used my Paper Snips to trim off the excess at the bottom.

A piece of Melon Mambo ribbon was wrapped around the panel and I added a smaller piece for a 'faux bow' effect. The flower is also from the Tropical Party stamp set and is simply stamped in Melon Mambo ink on white cardstock. I trimmed it out, added a green brad to the center and popped it up on a Stampin' Dimensional.
After stamping an additional flower on the inside of the card, it was done - super easy!
If you like this card, then come to Just Cards class this month - you'll be making this beauty!

Thanks for stopping in to visit today!
Stamped blessings,

Friday, June 4, 2010

Stamping 411 Saturday Sketch Challenge - For Tiffany

Hey there stamping friends - I want to begin this post with a shout out to my BFF Tiffany Bauer and her daughter Jordan. Jordan was seriously injured in an ATV accident over the Memorial Day holiday and was airlifted to the nearest children's hospital for surgery and treatment.
God is so good and brought little Jordan (she is 8) through the surgery with flying colors and she has been improving daily! She is looking at a long recovery period, but thankfully, WILL recover! We have been praying hard for Jordan, Tiffany and the rest of their family and will continue to do so. Please join me and the rest of the Stamping 411 team in wishing Jordan a speedy recovery and her family the strength and rest they need.
Tiffany, we love you guys!

Now, how about some stampin'?!
Here is this week's awesome sketch:

And as you can see, I had to turn it MY way again! :)
I had so much fun making this card! I used a great combination of old and new products. You know, just because stamps and things retire doesn't mean they aren't cool anymore. There are some stamp sets that I will NEVER part with - they are just timeless, easy to work with and are very, very dear to me. Kind of like old friends, ya know?!
Kind of like Tiffany, who I made this for.

I started with a card base of Kraft cardstock (soon to be called Crumb Cake) and cut an 8 1/2" x 11" sheet of cardstock lengthwise at 4 1/4" x 11". This was folded in half to make an A2 size card - 4 1/4" x 5 1/2". Next, I ran the card front only through my Big Shot with one of the Texturz Plates, creating this lovely vintage background. I then pulled out one of the new colors - Marina Mist - it is so yummy! Using a Stamping Sponge, I rubbed the ink on all four edges and across the card front to bring out the dry embossing.

Then, I cut a piece of the new Cajun Craze cardstock at 2 1/4" x 4 1/4" and layered it with a piece of the gorgeous new Designer Series Paper called Greenhouse Gala. This dsp is just da' bomb! I love every piece in it and that's saying something! You are going to just drool when you get your very own package, trust me!
Anyway, that piece was cut at 2" x 4 1/4" and they both were layered on the card front with SNAIL adhesive.

Now, check out the photo below. At the left, you see a little slit in the folded card edge. That was made by using the Horizontal Slit Punch and just barely nipping a piece out of the fold with it. It's the perfect way to run a length of ribbon around a card front without messing up the card. Now folks, this punch is on the retiring list and I can't tell you how often I use it for just this purpose, so contact your local demonstrator and get one if you don't already own one - it's a bargain and you WILL use it, I promise!

So, after I punched out the slit, I ran a piece of Kraft Taffeta (also retiring - a BIG BOOHOO about that!) about 19" long and knotted it off on the right hand side. The ends were trimmed with Paper and Craft Scissors, also known around here as the "ribbon" scissors. Nothing works better for ribbon than those!

For my focal image, I turned to an old stamping friend that is on the retiring list as well - True Friend. I have used the dickens out of this set and it was perfect for what I had in mind for this card. I first stamped the large medallion image on Whisper White cardstock using Marina Mist ink. Then I took a Sponge Dauber and added Cajun Craze to the center and used another dauber to add Marina Mist around the outside. This was stamped on a white scrap and trimmed out with my Paper Snips. I added a Vintage Brad to the center and popped it up Stampin' Dimesionals. After stamping just the stem from the flower image in Old Olive ink, I adhered it to the Whisper White panel, turning it slightly so the background flower would show.
The White panel was sponged lightly with my new Crumb Cake ink pad and then adhered to pieces of Marina Mist and Cajun Craze cardstock.

Finally the greeting comes from the Hard to Say stamp set and was stamped in Cajun Craze ink on Whisper White. I added some more Crumb Cake sponging to this banner too before curling it with my Bone Folder and trimming the ends into flags. The banner was adhered to the main panel with Mini Glue Dots.

So, that's pretty much it for this week's card - I sure hope you like it and I really hope Tiffany will like it too - It's on it's way to you gf, with lots of love inside!

Be sure to visit the Stamping 411 blog and see what the other operators created this week too and while you're there, we've set up a special Well Wishes place on the right hand side bar so you can send your greetings along to Jordan and her family!

Stamped Blessings,

It's Elementary! - Once in a Lifetime Charity Raffle

Good morning Stampers!

I have something very exciting to share with you today!

Have you looked with longing at the beautiful Patent Leather Purse that was gifted to all the attending Cruise Achievers this year? Have you wished you could own one for yourself?
OR, maybe the idea of the purse doesn't do a thing for you, but the thought of owning a Big Shot Die Cutting Machine does!

Well, stampers and friends, read on and find out how YOU might be able to own what you've been longing for AND help out a worthy cause in the process......

I am holding a raffle to benefit the Emmanuel Christian School Elementary Art Department. Emmanuel Christian School (ECS) is a ministry of my church and is a fully accredited Christian School through ACSI. It has served the community in and around Manassas, VA for many, many years and is a full K-3 through 12th Grade school.
As a ministry of the church, ECS relies on student enrollment and donations to fund the schools programs. When there is a shortfall, some things have to be scaled back and unfortunately, the Art Department is one of them. I sing in the church choir with the Elementary Art Teacher and it came to my attention recently that art supplies were very much needed. So, thinking a bit about how I could help, I decided to give up one of my treasures in order to help the school and it's students create some of their own.

Here are some photos of the beautiful purse that was designed especially for cruise achievers:

This the purse along with the custom cloth storage bag - stunning isn't it?

A close up of the Silver Logo Plate on the front and the beautifully done hardware:

I love the sheen and the richness of the color on this bag!

Here is a view of that gorgeous tropical cloth interior!

This bag is so roomy, there are three pockets inside, two open and one zippered!
Enough room to hold all your essentials and then some!

Look, there is even a Leather stamped Logo patch on the inside! The custom details on this bag are amazing!

Just one more view for you from the side:

I thought the drawstring detailing was just so stylish and chic - really on trend!
It is so hard for me to part with this wonderful gift from Stampin' Up! but I so want to help ECS, I knew that by offering something as fabulous as this, it would make the raffle a huge success!

And for those of you who are more interested in something crafty, I'm also raffling off a Big Shot Die Cut Machine!Yes, there will be TWO WINNERS drawn!
The first winner will have the choice of EITHER PRIZE, the second winner will receive the remaining one!
The winners will be notified personally by me on Saturday, June 19th. The last day to purchase tickets is Friday, June 18th at Midnight est!
(The winner of the Big Shot must be a resident of the US.)

Please contact me to purchase your raffle tickets. I can accept cash or check only.

ALL proceeds from this raffle will be used to purchase needed Art Supplies for Emmanuel Christian School. This is your opportunity to open your hearts and help the kids at ECS create from theirs. I know and love you, my friends, stampers and faithful blog readers - I know you will help and I'm excited to see what we can provide for the school!

This raffle begins today and will end on Friday, June 18th at Midnight est.
So, spread the word, tell your friends, send them the link to this post but most of all, help me to help ECS!

Again, I can't thank you enough for what I KNOW you will do to help ECS!
You are all a blessing to me and I'm so grateful for you!

Stamped blessings,