Hostess Gift for Susanne

This weekend, we visited our friends Jason and Susanne in Lancaster. They were having a House Concert/CD Release party for Jay's band Living Fables. You can download their CD through Musicblaster here.

Since we were staying overnight (and we flaked on Susanne's birthday earlier in the summer), I made her a set homemade notecards and a matching folder.
I used some double-sided Designer Series paper to make the folder and the coordinating cards.
The Much Appreciated card features Paper Piercing in the corners, and the Birthday hugs and wishes card features dry embossing. These are 2 techniques I'll be teaching at my upcoming class on October 19 + 20. Click those dates on my Google calendar to the right for more info.
Jason and Susanne have 2 precious little girls who are very creative, so I brought along the Stampin' Kids Tattoo Kit for them to play with. It was a big hit! They were covered head to toe in tattoos by the end of the evening.


Autumn Fest - 30% off sale ends tomorrow

Here's a swap made by Lori Conroy. I got this card through a swap with the INKredibles group of demonstrators. It uses the Autumn Fest set, which is part of the 30% off Fall Frenzy promotion. With a $30 purchase, you can receive any of 6 stamp sets at 30% off.

I love the technique Lori used in this card. She stamped the leaf images with Versamark ink on glossy cardstock. Then she used a brayer with a spectrum pad on top of the leaves. I like the way she polished it off with a piece of Hodgepodge Hardware, grosgrain ribbon, and crimped accent.

For more Fall Frenzy samples, check out these blog posts:

Shiloh Stamps: Fall Frenzy - stamps at 30% off!
Shiloh Stamps: Thankful Thoughts

Shiloh Stamps: Shoebox Swap Ingredients

I will be placing a final Fall Frenzy order tomorrow. Contact me at alison@shilohstamps.com to place an order today!


Graduation card

Here's the card I made to go with college care package I'm sending. Since he's going to Georgia Tech, I used a Summer Sun and Basic Black color scheme. It uses the mortarboard from the Year After Year set, gingham ribbon, congratulations from Hugs & Wishes, and a retired sentiment.


Custom coffee mug for a college care package

All the cool kids are carrying travel coffee mugs these days, did you know? Perhaps you've already joined the club of coffee-on-demand, but I've just recently caught on. See, I'm making a care package for my hubby's cousin who recently began studies at Georgia Tech, 777 miles away from his TX hometown. I thought a care package would be a nice gesture. So far, I have EasyMac, coffee, green tea, and a white board. I asked a college student friend what I should add to complete the package and she said a travel coffee mug. Apparently, the Nalgene bottle of my college days has been replaced by the travel coffee mug.

So I started hunting for a cool travel coffee mug. I found the perfect one at Starbucks (conveniently located in my local grocery store) - the Create Your Very Own tumbler. I just traced the provided template (at left) onto some patterned paper, stamped an oh-so-masculine vintage car on the page, and stuffed it back into the bottom of the tumbler. Super-easy!

Now my care package is complete, and I'd like to make some more of these as gifts. I'm going to hunt around online to see if I can find them cheaper anywhere else. I'll keep you posted on my hunt for cheap mugs.

Here's what I've found thus far:

  • a link to another lady who has been making custom mugs
  • maybe Starbucks really does have the best price at $11 ish. I've found mugs for as much as $16 in my quick web survey
  • Starbucks has some travel mug art online that you can download for free, although they don't seem to sell the mugs online
  • Treasured Tumblers carries a variety of styles of create-your-own travel mugs, but the cheapest is $14.95. They also have free artwork for your mug in the "Free Stuff" section.

I found these mugs called Scrapbook tumblers at Target for $7.99. They're a smaller version of this mug, and the trim is in a bright color. I think they had pink and purple. I'll buy one and post samples soon. They are not listed on the Target website, but I found them in the store with all the travel mugs.


Shoebox Swap Progress

So far, we've made 30 cards for the Shoebox Swap. My mom sent 10 last week, and then Amy and I made 20 more cards tonight. On Monday, we'll be making at least 40 more cards to send to Angel Stampers for Soldiers. They'll be sending out hand-stamped cards to soldiers stationed around the world.

Here's the oh-so-creative card my mom made for the soldiers. The ghost is made from a milk jug, and she sewed him onto the card. Brilliant! I love the googly eyes, too. On the back of the card, she stamped "Oct 31 2007" with the library due date stamp. You know, the one that they stamp on the card to let you know when it's due. So clever. She also wrote a really sweet sentiment on the inside of the card. My mom has been a card-making machine lately. She came to Stampin' Down the Shore with me, and she's been making stunning cards ever since. She's really good at sewing on the cards, which I think is the coolest thing ever.

Here's the card Amy designed for the soldiers. It uses a fun stamp set and SU's Cool Caribbean cardstock, which is now retired. I like how she uses the tiny dotted stamp as the background and brads in the center of all the flowers.

Here's another version of the card I designed for the Shoebox Swap for Soldiers. I love how this medallion image from the Apple Cider Designer Series paper matches the Really Rust cardstock perfectly. The shiny copper brad in the middle is a nice finishing touch.


Shoebox Swap Ingredients

Since the horrors of 9/11, I have struggled to find ways that I can make a difference in our country's tenuous global relationships. I have chosen to support peacemaking organizations and I have prayed for a resolution to the complex conflict around us. Several years ago, as we were discussing the Iraq War in a small group I led, we were spinning our intellectual wheels trying to figure out how our country can move forward in this new age of terror. As a group, we concluded the following:

  • an immediate withdrawal of troops would be irresponsible - bear in mind this was 3+ years ago, but still true
  • American troops can play a vital role in bringing stability to troubled regions around the world
  • we should find ways to connect with the troops directly and provide emotional and spiritual support

Years later, I'm finally making good on that pledge, thanks to some stampers who would like to make a difference with the crafting skills. This Friday and next Monday, I'll be hosting a Shoebox Swap for Soldiers to benefit Angel Stampers for Soldiers. Each participant will bring card ingredients for 10 simple cards (about the size of a shoebox). We will make one another's cards and keep a sample of each card. Then we'll send the remaining cards to the Angel Stampers for Soldiers project. They send cards to troops overseas, and they've sent over 27,000 cards so far! I will be providing snacks, adhesives, envelopes for all the cards, and some fun door prizes. The covered box below is one of the prizes - fun!

There are two ways you can participate in the Shoebox Swap for Soldiers. If you design a simple card and bring supplies to make 10 cards, then you will be able to keep a sample of each card you make. If you don't have time to prepare a shoebox swap, feel free to come stamp and enjoy the creative process. Those who choose the second option will be donating all their cards to Angel Stampers for Soldiers. Either way, you are supporting a great cause - providing some encouragement to some people in a very difficult situation.

Some stampers have said they might need help preparing for a Shoebox Swap, so here's what I'm doing. I designed this super-simple card that features leaves and a sentiment from the Thoroughly Thankful set (30% off this month with the Fall Frenzy promotion) and a cut-out from the Apple Cider Designer Series paper from the Holiday Mini.

If you need ideas for card designs, Angel Stampers for Soldiers has some suggestions on their Mailing Schedule page. Bear in mind that you are not limited to current Stampin' Up products. Feel free to use retired SU supplies or supplies from another manufacturer. Click here for Guidelines from Angel Stampers for Soldiers regarding card size and design.

Here are the supplies needed to make a shoebox swap card:
  • a sample of your card, maybe some directions if you think that would be helpful
  • stamp set

  • stamp pad(s)

  • paper for 10 cards - please pre-cut or come over early to cut your paper

  • embellishments - brads, ribbon, eyelets

  • tools - scissors, paper piercer, bone folder

Here's a message from a soldier who received some cards through Angel Stampers for Soldiers:

Dear Carol,
Thank you very much for the gifts you sent us. Words can't begin to express our gratitude. On be half of the men and women of the 41st Electronic Combat squadron, Davis Monthan AFB, AZ currently serving in Uzbekistan. I would like to thank you for your outstanding support, generosity and thoughtfulness. Knowing that so many in our country have us close in their thoughts and prayers makes it easier for us to get through the challenges that we face each day. We know we are not alone. Life is hectic and fast-paced--and for you to have thought of us, and then to stop and take time from your personnel life to write--is an honor. I just want to say I really appreciate the thought and time you put into sending us something special. I'm so grateful for the support of many, many wonderful people in our country. Thank you, for making our Christmas a little brighter and letting us know there are people that appreciate us, I am proud to be serving the people of the greatest nation in the world. And once again, I thank you! May you be blessed each day, and may God bless America! Can you please past this message on to your other fellow stampers.
Sincerely, Ron Pollock


Swaps, swaps, swaps

Last Friday, I attended the Stampin' Up Philadelphia Regional Convention, so I made some swaps to trade with other conference attendees. Here are the cards I made while I was on vacation in Cape Cod. I brought very limited supplies - the Merry & Bright stamp set (from the Holiday Mini), the Christmas stamps from Loads of Love and Figures of Speech, double-stitched ribbon, gingham ribbon, my paper piercing tool and template, and an assortment of cardstock. Here's what I came up with...Note to self: "Don't forget your Stampin' Scrub! Stamping is not as fun without it."


Thankful Thoughts

I just received the Thoroughly Thankful stamp set in the mail. This set is part of Stampin' Up's Fall Frenzy promotion. Here's a draft of a card I plan to send to our family members who will be joining us for Thanksgiving this year. It uses Really Rust, Old Olive, and Summer Sun cardstock. I watercolored the images using the AquaPainter on confetti cardstock. I tied it all off using some Hemp Twine. I think it might look even better with some background stamping on the Really Rust cardfront. on What do you think?


Fall Frenzy - stamps at 30% off!

Stampin' Up has just announced Fall Frenzy, one of the specials I've seen yet as demonstrator. They're offering 30% off selected Fall stamp sets with a $30 purchase until Sept. 30.

Here's the deal:

Spend $30 in regular priced merchandise and qualify to purchase one of each of the six promotional stamp sets at 30 percent off!

  • Bitty Boos Too (Item 105355, page 26) discounted price $12.57
  • Haunting Halloween (Item 109284, page 29) discounted price $13.27
  • Thoroughly Thankful (Item 107383, page 30) discounted price $16.07 - I just ordered this one, so I'll post some samples when I get to play with it a bit. I'm planning on using these for Thanksgiving invitations, placecards, and favors. (here's a link to a sample)
  • Autumn Fest (Item 109373, page 108) discounted price $16.77 - This is the set used in the card above.
  • Elementary Essentials (Item 109421, page 91) discounted price $19.57
  • Stem Silhouettes (Item 110366, page 17 from the Holiday Mini Collection) discounted price $22.37

Contact me at alison@shilohstamps.com if you would like to place an order.


Stampin' Up Regional Convention in Philadelphia

I'm going to my first SU Regional convention in a couple weeks, and I'm super-excited! My stamping friends Claire and Kristin went to the national convention back in August. They had such a great time stamping in Colorado. The national convention is only open to SU Demonstrators, but the regional conventions open up to guests if there's room. Since Friday's registration didn't fill up, I'm bringing a stamping friend to the Friday session.

Today, when I arrived back from my long weekend away, I found this in the mail ----

SU! mailed me my nametag for Philly Regionals in advance. I guess this is one way they confirm registration. It also helps raise my anticipation level. They featured the stamp set "So Much" on the background of the nametag. We'll be receiving that set as part of our registration fee.

The agenda also includes:
• Hands-on stamping
• Business tips
• Paper-crafting and stamping techniques
• Swapping with fellow demonstrators (and guests)
• Presentations by Stampin’ Up! staff and local demonstrators
• A boxed lunch
• Make & Take projects
• Hundreds of display samples for inspiration

I will be making lots of swaps in preparation for Regionals. I'll make lots of cards that I can trade with other attendees. That way, we get to have sample cards of a variety of techniques and stamp sets. I'm looking forward to seeing what samples I'll collect. Check out the swaps Claire collected at convention!

I made a bunch of Christmas cards while I was out of town this past weekend. I'll be posting samples tomorrow. I had lots of fun playing with Merry & Bright from the Holiday Mini catalog. If you didn't receive a copy of the Holiday Mini in the mail, you can view it online here.