Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Beautiful Watercoloring using Stampin' Up markers!

Don't you love the soft coloring on this card? It took a while but I have been practicing using our fabulous Stampin' Up markers and getting the look of alcohol markers... the secret is to use a tiny amount and place it where you want the darkest colors (the centers, edges and shadows) Then take a blender pen to soften and move the color. Then at the end you take a white water color crayon and use it to highlight the centers and blend again...

I cut the top note die out of Whisper White card stock and sponged it with Crumb Cake ink to get the aged look. We stamped the flowers onto water color paper using black staz on ink. That means you can wet the lines without them bleeding.

To make the base use the Simply Scored tool to make the lines. I used a brayer to add the Perfect Plum ink. It's a quick and easy technique that give a great effect. I drew my flower stems freehand using a Stampin' Write marker and then used the blender pen to draw a little color out, bleeding the lines to soften them.

  • Stamp set: Fabulous Florets, Many Thanks (retired)
  • Card stock: Whisper White, watercolor paper
  • Ink: Perfect Plum, Crumb Cake
  • Stampin' Write Markers: Perfect Plum, Old Olive, More Mustard
  • Tools: Simply Scored, Brayer, Big Shot, Top Note Die, Sponge

Please let me know if you have any questions or comments - have a great week! Brenda

Monday, January 28, 2013

Copy and Share Everything! It's the Stampin' Up! way!

Have you ever thought: "Oh, I'm not creative, I don't know where people come up with those great ideas?" If so, you're in good company - I do this for a living and I share that sentiment! So today I'm going to let you into a little secret... I COPY AND SHARE EVERYTHING!  (CASE) I know in school that wasn't allowed but I'm here to tell you that in Stampin' Up! it absolutely IS! 

Here's an example - in September I received this beautiful swap card from the lovely Karen Duke using the Blooming with Kindness stamp set and the Delicate Designs embossing folder.

In January I needed a sympathy card so I took her design and COPIED it pretty much exactly. Didn't it come out great? And I can even feel comfortable bragging about it because it wasn't my idea... 

One of things I really, really love about Stampin' Up! is that they encourage us to share and they set the example with their generosity. As a demonstrator we don't have geographical territories and so we sometimes have to learn how to overlap with other demonstrators. Over the years I have learned that this is a real blessing. Our customers can get different ideas from all around and know that they're not stepping on our toes. I have learned that when I hold onto things & people with an open hand (rather than clutch them tightly) that I am blessed somehow.

I'm sure we all have examples of things that we let go of only to find a surprising blessing. I could list countless examples of extreme generosity in sharing from fellow demonstrators (in the form of advice, business tools, creative ideas, tutorials etc.) and also from the women who come and stamp with me. Over the years I have been the grateful recipient of many little gifts: from cards, yummy treats, ideas, inspiration, materials, friendship (my fave!) to thoughtful handmade gifts.

Isn't it so true that the more we give the more we receive? So - if you're stuck for an idea... go ahead and copy someone else's! CASE - it's the Stampin' Up! way!

A great place to start copying is from the catalogs! Do you have one of your own? If not, please let me know and I'll be happy to send you the current catalogs. Have a great day - Brenda

Friday, January 25, 2013

What are the Pearls in your life?

At leadership conference Rich told us a story of a man who received a pearl in a beautifully packaged box.  He spent so much time admiring the wrapping he neglected to notice that it was hosting a pearl. Sometimes we don't realize we have pearls until it's too late. He encouraged us to think  about the pearls and the packaging in our own lives. About the things that really matter, that we'll treasure at the end of our lives. And about the things that distract us from recognizing those treasures.

This really hit me as I thought about my own life and my business. There is a lot of fun "packaging" around my business, all the cool stuff I collect and play with, all the fun perks, making money, the events and being recognized by Stampin' Up... They really make things so fun. I love being "too busy" having lots on my plate, always rushing ahead to the next thing, setting goals, trying new things.

But when I think about what I truly value in my life, it's the people... my husband, my children, my family, my friends... the people my work brings me into contact with. I get to sit (often in my own home or theirs!) and share in peoples' lives... I get to see them at their happiest, playing and creating and visiting with friends. We share so, so, much more than stamping and card-making!  These women share in my highs and lows, and I share in theirs. I think there is such a wonderful energy created when women are together in a positive environment. Such honesty and kindness. Sharing of experience, faith, humor, anxiety and encouragement. Every single day my life is blessed by the women I spend time with, either face to face or online.

If you're reading this then I want to thank you for being a pearl in my life. I hope that our relationship may continue through the stages of our lives and whether you are crafting with me or not! I am truly blessed by knowing each of you.

Sincerely, Brenda

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Sale-A-Bration Time, Come On!

 Woo Hoo! It's time for Sale-A-Bration! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this time of year! Now I'm going to be singing that song all day... you should be relieved you're not right here having to listen to me! Sorry Calypso Coral stamp club girls... you will be!

 Get extra free super fun stuff when you host a party! Have you booked yours yet? My calendar is filling up so call or email me today and I'll send you your hostess packet and we can get planning your fun girls night (or morning/afternoon/whatever!)

 Shoppers! Get a free Sale-a-Bration product of their choice with every $50 you spend, whether that's from home online, at a party, class or club! Plus extra rewards if you hit $150+ Click on the shop online button on the right and check out my online store!

This is just a fabulous time to join our BLISS team of demonstrators, you'll get 25% extra products of your choice in your kit when you sign up, yippee! Plus it's great to introduce Stampin' Up! to your friends when it's Sale-a-Bration so you can get off to a good start.
And current demonstrators get to take advantage of all the customer and hostess benefits plus we earn free products with purchases, sales & recruits. So there's plenty for everybody to Sale-A-Brate - and you can see why I love this time of year!

Please let me know if you have any questions and I hope to be stamping with you soon! Have a great week, Brenda

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Stampin' Up! Leadership Conference - last day :-(

Last days always make me sad! We'd had so much fun and my brain was totally spinning from all the information I'd received and tried to absorb. I went to some terrific classes - the one I'm going to use the most wasn't even stamping related, go figure, it was about the Agile organization system presented by a fellow demonstrator Dena. Super simple and no equipment required apart from a pile of post-it notes.              Being super disorganized and a terrible procrastinator I think it's really going to help me!   My other favorite classes were Lynsay Mahon's class about helping your downline, Connie Stewart's youtube class and all the stamping demonstrations.  Stampin' Up! events are SO FUN and you always learn so much... I'm already looking forward to convention, it promises to be a great one! Join my BLISS team of demonstrators and you could come with us! 
Here's a shot from the big screen as Shelli Gardner was stamping on the stage... We all got this stamp set, Oh Hello, and lots of great ideas on how to use it!

There were dozens of display boards with literally thousands of ideas, really overwhelming!

Here are my friends Jenn & Diana showing off the "silver" we received to celebrate Stampin' Up's 25th year!

Saying goodbye, sniff, sniff!

Traveling home and snacking on Canadian chocolate, yum! 

Since I got back I've held several classes so I have some great things to share with you and I'm working on a new video! Check back soon :-)

Monday, January 21, 2013

Stampin' Up! Leadership Conference - Pajama Party and more!

How long is it since you went to a pajama party? Well, we went to one last week with 1,500 people! I was so happy to wear my pajamas being as I'd only had a couple of hours sleep!
 Teresa (far left) came to leadership for the first time, it was the first time I'd had a member of my team come and it was really fun to get to share the fun with somebody. Arlene next to me was from California, we just met her walking over, one of my favorite things about SU events is it's so easy to make friends with people from all over the US & Canada!

Brian Pilling showed us how to make this cute card, love that baby whale clip!

It cracks me up how everybody goes crazy when they get free stuff! We came home with a big pile of stamps and accessories, and I have certificates to redeem for 2 more stamp sets that I can choose, yippee! The only trouble  is I saw so many cute ideas I kind of want everything (that's why I'm a demonstrator I suppose!)

This is my lovely friend Kristine from Canada, aren't her jammies so cute?!

Here's my upline, Tara (2nd from right) and some of her friends. I don't know where they got their balloon hats but they're sure looking good!!

Hope you're having a great week, Brenda

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Wizarding World of Harry Potter with Stampin' Up! Manager's Reception

Well, apart from a 4 hour trip to the Orlando ER, we had a FABULOUS time at the Manager's reception at Harry Potter! (My friend needed to see a Dr. and she was fine in the end but we stayed up all night for all the wrong reasons!)

Here we are in line for the buses to come and take us to Hogwarts! This is when I found out I'd left my camera memory card in my computer at the hotel ACK!!! So, thank you Rachel for the photo's!

Here we are in the village of Hogsmeade standing in front of the Hogwart's Express

 Ollivander's Wand Shop - where the wand chooses the wizard as you know.

  The Food! The Food! These are cauldron cakes (of course.) Somebody had been slaving away with their wands to make mountains of yummy stuff. I know I'm predictable but I loved that it had such an English theme (Apparently a lot of the food at Hogwarts is inspired by English muggles. So I ate fish and chips, shepherd's pie, treacle pudding and custard, a LOT of pickled onions (my favorite!) really good English cheese, beet and onion salad, drank pumpkin juice and butterbeer and THEN I went on a really extreme roller coaster.... TWICE! What was I thinking? Am I EIGHT YEARS OLD? Of course I got terrible motion sickness and couldn't go on anything else all night... sigh.

 Here's the sorting hat. It didn't ACTUALLY sort me but we all know I would have been in Griffindor OF COURSE!

 Rachel and I hanging with Hermione & students from Dumstrang and Beauxbaton (notice I pushed Rachel out the way so I could stand nearer to the Viktor Krum lookalike.

And here we are in the ER. I think we look pretty good considering it was FOUR AM!!! I think their policy was to make you wait so long you either died or got better. Thankfully Rachel did the latter!

We had a fabulous time, thank you Stampin' Up! for an awesome night!
More tomorrow :-)


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Stampin' Up! Leadership Conference... this time last week!

I have been in a whirlwind since I got back from the Stampin' Up! leadership conference in Orlando... but I would love to share a little of the excitement with you! I am going to write a series of posts over the next few days so you can get a little peek of the fun!
 I got stuck at my hometown airport for ages AS USUAL which gave me chance to work on my swaps, last minute as usual! My poor friend Krista who gave me a ride to the airport ended up stamping my info on all my cards for me... remember never to offer me a ride someplace, I might give you a job!
Finally in the air and flying over Durango
 Arrived in the dark but in the morning we found this strange upside down building by our hotel - please note: CAPRI'S and SHORT SLEEVES!!! Yay! It was WARM AND HUMID. SO nice after leaving freezing cold Colorado.
 This was the first swap I received, didn't Wanda Smith do a great job! These are the new dress up dies, stamp set and framelits... I didn't want them UNTIL I started to see the cute things gals are making with them!
Here is my friend Lyssa and her friend stuffing bags for teachers. Stampin' Up! bought down a truckload of crafting supplies to donate to local schools in Florida. You should see the cool stuff that went into the bags! Card kits, markers, card stock, beautiful designer series paper, My Digital Studio software, punches, notebooks, chapstick (this is like that game where they show you a tray filled with things, cover it up, and ask you to remember it!) um... stamp sets, ribbon, buttons etc! Together we stuffed over TWO THOUSAND bags and they delivered them to 138 schools! SU is just so generous, they are always donating money or product to different causes. It was lovely to be able to help out and see all the cool stuff. I just wished we could take the bags to our local teachers too, I know some wonderful teachers who would love these in their classrooms :-) 
Catching up with some lovely friends Susan & Rachel at a "British" pub. I loved how there were lots of British things around, candy and crisps at the hotel, I suppose they're catering to all the British tourists. I was happy because I was able to buy a cup of tea all over the place, perfect! 

Tomorrow I'll be sharing more so check back! Have a great day, Brenda