Stamps sing to me, paper whispers my name. Welcome to all who craft--I hope you're glad you came!
Lyssa Griffin Zwolanek, Independent Stampin' Up! Demonstrator and life-long craftin' addict!
Had a wonderful Song of My Heart Demonstrators meeting last week with a great card swap. Isn't this one gorgeous? Kathy just joined our group in November--clearly a lot of talent there! Here are some more great ones from the swap. I went home with a lot of cute, quick ideas!
More to come! And be sure to contact me if you are a WI demo with no meetings to attend--we'd love to adopt you into our fun family of stampers. We meet on the second Monday night of every month year round.
I gasped out loud at this beauty when I opened the envelope! Diane Vander Galien sent me this lovely thing for my birthday--isn't it just pure awesomeness? She is truly an artist and I am very lucky she is in my adopted downline.
I am doing a complete and utter CASE (Copy & Steal Everything--something I literally never do!) of this card for my upcoming Incredible Cards Club. You can make it, too, by emailing me to RSVP to IC Club this Monday night at six thirty: email@example.com We have one spot open in this eight member hostess club, which requires a $25 minimum order each month, on the fourth Monday night. Join us for a fun girls-only night out!
I crossed a fun sales milestone today! I was looking at my Stampin' Up reports this morning and discovered I have sold $125,000.70 as of this morning. Isn't that funny? The number looked so weird! Anyway, it was a fun thing to see. Many, many thanks to all my awesome customer friends for making that happen in the last five whirlwind years!
I'm also having a good day because I slept through the night for the first time since February third, when my three crowns were prepped and my ordeal began. I took pain stuff at eleven and didn't wake up until seven! I feel like a new woman (the brownies I ate for breakfast probably helped). I have had to take pain meds off and on today but I do think things are finally starting to subside. Thank God! I am getting a mouth guard tomorrow but I can tell you it will be a LONG time before I get up the nerve to darken the door of the dentist office again to have those other crowns done. YUCK!
Gonna leave you with a saying that made me laugh OUT LOUD yesterday at Calendar Club (that's where I got the brownies). "If God invented anything better than chocolate, He must have kept it for Himself." True!
We had a great time at Calendar Club last night! Be sure to RSVP for the next one--we meet at 6:30 on the third Monday night of each month from February through July. We make 12 cards each meeting, four each of three different designs. Your card stash will be back up to snuff in no time! Then in August, we switch to making Christmas cards, for a total of 48 Christmas Cards by the end of November. Email me for details: firstname.lastname@example.org
This first card was everyone's favorite last night. It was super easy but the Iridescent Ice embossing powder was a real wow! Coupled with the black and white color scheme, and a dash of bright red and the new red Glimmer Paper, it was very eye-catching. It also featured the Framed Tulips embossing folder for the Big Shot.
I always have the full sentiment set out (Heard from the Heart, not shown), so everyone got to make wedding, anniversary and engagement cards--whatever they needed.
This next one was very fun to make--we all agreed the coloring was just so relaxing, it was wonderful after the stressy day some of us had experienced! This card was made by inking up the Bella Toile Background stamp with Versamark ink, and adding the Stampin' Pastel chalks in various colors. Love that bird punch--instant class. Again, some made birthday, some made wedding, others made "thinking of you" type cards with the sentiments from Sincere Salutations.
Finally, we made four cards with the Thoughts & Prayers set, which has sentiments that are very suitable for either get well, sympathy or serious/terminal illness. That is probably the single most useful set I have purchased in the last five years, frankly! And the design of the card is simple enough that it works for any subdued occasion or a masculine card as well. I always feel like it's important to have sympathy cards right to hand, as there is often very little time (and no time to craft) right at the crucial moment.
YOU could also be filling your card box with lovely cards and checking off those names on your list of people who need a pick-me-up! Contact me ASAP to join the Calendar Club for just $15 per month, with no order necessary, and enjoy a night out every month chatting and stamping with like-minded crafters.
Got some doozies in the mail from friends and fellow demos this week! Thanks for remembering my special day. I really super-duper needed "pick me ups" the last two weeks, too, with all the craziness, so I doubly appreciate them.
I'm always looking for easy birthday card ideas because I send every single one of my customers a birthday card (WITH a coupon!). If, that is, IF I have their birthday on file... so if you're one of my ordering customers and you haven't gotten any such cuteness in the mail from me, zip me an email with your special date and see what happens!
Got a lot of birthday cards from fun friends this week, but none quite so unique as this one from Penni. To fully appreciate this card, you have to know Penni's particular sense of humor. I tell you, my friends are just not right. I KNEW she would do something goofy with the different relative stamps in this Wonderful Favorites set!
And such a nice normal card it looked like, too... beautifully done, with gorgeous products from the Occasions Mini...I should have known, this coming from the mind of the one who gave us the refrigerator card:
Now seriously, isn't that the most adorable card shaped like a major kitchen appliance you have EVER seen? The dirty handprints, the "magnets", the children's scribbly artwork... so true to life! So there is a little genius mixed in with the madness, you see. And you can't truly expect ME to have normal friends now, surely?
I FINALLY got to cut something out on my new Petal Cone Die from the Occasions Mini Catalog!! I only had a little time before the pain meds were going to kick in and leave me loopy (well, loopier than usual) so this is all I got accomplished, but I think it's pretty!Hard to beat that lucious organza ribbon ruching, and all those fun self-adhesive pearls!
It was so easy to put together, too. Just remember to get Sticky Strip! I can't wait to make this vintage hanger plus a variety of other projects including an ice cream cone, a pyramid box, a heart shaped card and much more, at the next Big Shot Club! We meet on the first Monday night of each month at 6:30 in the Watertown area, and we'd love to have you come and check it out some time!
Personal note--thanks for all the well-wishes and prayers yesterday and the past two long horrible weeks. Yesterday was very rough. I actually want to hurl just writing about it. Suffice it to say yesterday will go down as one of the worst days of my whole life.
It's too early to tell the results, but the dentist and I are very hopeful that this is the end of my whole unfortunate saga. I am SOOOOOO ready for this to be over. I can promise you one thing, I will spend the rest of my life telling people never ever consider doing three crowns done at once! We're still not sure what all happened as far as the complications, but it is not a thing I would wish on even my worst enemy. I so appreciated the thoughtful Facebook messages, emails, comments and even some lovely "snail mail" get well cards, so much! You guys are the best.
And now, hopefully...back to our regular programming! The sun is shining, the sky is blue today, and although I know winter is not done with us yet, the promise of hope peeps out at me from between the dirty melting puddles as I catch a whiff of wet dirt and awakening grass.
One of my lovely adopted downline members brought these stunning display boards to our demonstrator meeting this past Monday night. She made them with the Springtime Vintage Designer Series Fabric (from the Occasions Mini Catalog), the new Rose Red seam binding ribbon, and the Antique Brads, and they were just awesome!She made them with pre-made canvases, a stapler gun and quilt batting, and finished them off to perfection by even covering the backs with paper--very professional!
And to top it all off, she gave me one! Thank you so much, Diane! It's a gorgeous addition to my stamp room--and will help me keep organized!
Here's some closeups of the boards so you can see the cards better, too. Each of them is a little piece of art in and of itself. I'm definitely CASE'ing that Elements of Style one for Incredible Cards Club next month!
This Baja Breeze one just made my heart go pitter-patter! I'm in LOVE!
Thanks, Diane, for sharing your talents with your adopted group. You never come empty-handed to the meetings. We appreciate your spirit of sharing!
Learn ten new color combos and layouts, learn Big Shot techniques,
and get your hands on a wide variety of tools, embellishments and stamp sets!
This event is BYOA--Bring Your Own Adhesive
COST: My fee has changed slightly for the new year. The 10-10-10 is still just $10 per person with any minimum order of at least $25 before shipping & tax; OR the cost is $20 per person without an order. MDS users: your digital product order of $25 or more within two months previous to the event will also qualify you for the $10 price.
When you RSVP, order a SNAIL to be brought to the event for you, for just $5!
Drawings will be held for additional free Sale A Bration reward choices, with your name going in once just for coming, and twice if you RSVP with a "new-to-Lyssa's events" friend!
Breakfast snack and coffee will be provided. Our meeting space in Watertown, WI, is handicap accessible, well lit, and warm. All you need to bring is adhesive. For more information or to RSVP: (920) 261-3962 or email@example.com
...but YOU get the present! Free shipping on all orders placed by noon on the 16th. Orders must total at least $25 before shipping and tax to qualify. Online orders will not receive discounted shipping, but I will send you a gift certificate for the quivalent amount, to use towards your next order. And don't forget to pick out free Sale A Bration rewards, too, with every fifty dollars your order reaches.
What's more appropriate to a birthday than a great dress? We made this little cutie in Big Shot Club this month, in the hottest color combo of the season--yellow and charcoal gray (Daffodil Delight and Basic Gray). It is a stunning, unusual combination and it was all over the place at Leadership Conference this year. I paired some Greenhouse Gala papers with the In Stitches jumbo wheel stamp, adding a Curly Label punched sentiment from Perfect Punches. And nothing goes better with a party dress but pearls!
Don't forget to use YOUR birthday coupon from me during your own birthday month--and if you haven't received one yet and your birthday is January or February, I obviously need your birthdate on my calendar! Email me at Zwolaneks@att.net and we'll set you up.
Received this lovely card from my customer friend Jan S. recently. I just adore the Baja Breeze and Early Espresso together, and the stamping is just flawless. I especially appreciate the thoughtfulness of friends as it has quite frankly been a totally rotten week! The dentist and I are both totally stumped as to what to try next to stop the pain or at least to relieve it. I am sincerely hoping this goes away for good on Thursday when the permanent crowns are placed. You can pray with me about that, please! And it would be so nice not to be in pain for my birthday on Tuesday... as long as you've already got God's ear, mention that for me, too!
On the bright side, like I mentioned before, I am trying to turn my annoyance into productivity--so look for some fun things to distract us both this week as I share two more tutorials you are just going to love!
This jumbo Stampin' Around wheel used above, called Friendly Words, is available along with a host of other adorable designs, at my shopping website, www.lyssa.stampinup.net While you're there, be sure to check out the Clearance Rack, your online-only source for retired and no longer available cardstock and ink colors, embellishments, dies and even punches!
Made this card with My Digital Studio, and I love it so much I think I will try to recreate it in traditional products soon! Couple fun things to point out--I changed the opacity of the Melon Mambo Five-Petal Flower punch so it was slightly transparent, then copied it, and pasted multiple times, each time taking the corner of the punch and turning it slightly so that the punches were offset. In that way I got a much more 3-D effect for the flowers.
The buttons and other embellishments in My Digital Studio come in at full size, which is awesome for those of us who like making hybrid projects. So if I wanted to have this card printed and sent to me, if I decided to put a real button over one or all of the buttons on this project, they would fit perfectly. Love that!
Ok! Enough playing for now. I have a Valentine banquet to decorate for (stamped some of the decorations, so look for pictures soon!), and yet another visit to the dentist... still in intense pain from those three crowns (don't ever, ever, ever let anyone talk you into three crowns at once). Hoping we will finally hit upon a solution today. Well, hoping would be an understatement of massive proportions... but you know what I mean.
And more quick and easy tutorials on the way--FREE--as a cure for the whiny winter doldrums!! Have a great weekend.
We're in the second month of a brand new club at Fort Atkinson, WI, and we're looking for more members! We meet on the third Tuesday night of each month at six thirty p.m. in a local church hall, and make three great cards like this one, done with Rose Red, Pretty in Pink and the For Everything stamp set. Here it is closed, and this second picture is after you pull the ribbon tab to open:
Isn't that too cool? I am SOO making this into a snowman card with a little top hat for the pull tab, next winter! I was inspired by this next card, a swap by Margaret V. at the 2011 Leadership Conference. I altered it to use the Scallop Circle die so it was larger, and used the two new circle dies and the new huge circle punch from the Occasions Mini Catalog.
If you'd like to join us on February 15th, 2011 to make this card and two others, as my guest for the evening, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP by the 13th. If you decide you'd like to join, the cost is just $25 or more order per month, with a turn at being the hostess and collecting hostess stamp sets and free merchandise on your assigned month. Come and check it out!
Continuing with the "all free, all the time" tutorial blitz this week, trying to distract myself from the ever-so-annoying continuing dental pain (have another appointment today, hoping we can finally resolve these blasted crowns). Thanks for all your well-wishes!
Inspired by an adorable project my demo friend Judy showed me on the plane on the way to Leadership Convention 2011, today we have a super quick, no-prep-necessary, crimped envelope packet, perfect for small treats such as Ghiradelli chocolates, tea bags, gum and other little goodies. All you need is your crimper, any sized envelope, and stuff to decorate it with! So go find that stash of candy you have hidden from the fam and let's get started.
Here it is with the lid off. Cute, huh? I thought so, too. And it's so easy it will just take a couple pictures to show you how it goes (hence the "mini" part of the title).
First, start by slicing your envelope into two parts. I made the cut at 2.5 inches from the left hand side on this medium Whisper White envelope (see all our envelope choices here). If you are going to stamp either part, you should do that before you continue. Then if you want, you can scallop edge or border punch the smaller of the two halves. Don't use too fancy of a border punch, though, or it will be harder to fit the two sides together without smashing some of it.
Next, you run the larger half of the envelope through the crimper (page 198 in the Idea Book & Catalog). This makes the larger half become small enough to actually fit inside the small half! Oooh, it's like magic!!
The rest is just embellishments! I used a piece of the Love Impressions DSP, which is super cute and will be useful year-round, not just during Valentine season; and some of the new narrow taffeta ribbon, which looks great in Real Red with that Whisper White edging. I added a Round Tab Punch to make it obvious that you pull the cover off to get at the goodies, and I decorated it with a Heart to Heart punch out of the incredibly cool Real red Glimmer Paper from the Occasions Mini catalog.
Here's another idea that Judy shared on the plane--hers was tied shut so it couldn't be opened, and she had inserted a couple of cotton cosmetic rounds inside with a drop or two of essential oil on them, making a cute little drawer sachet. Clever girl!
That's all there is to it! So, no excuses now--you have envelopes, you have a crimper, you have a super quick idea, you have candy you've been hiding from the kids--make some Valentine's and spread the love around!
Hi everyone! Sorry I wasn't online yesterday--we're having funky computer issues lately. First it was the fan, then it was the power source, then it wouldn't boot, now it's the viedo card that is suspect. My personal opinion is that the computer has decided the weather is not fit for man 'nor beast, which is so true! It was one degree when I came home from church last night and it's minus two right now.
Had a LOT of fun planning this month's Scrap A Stack pages, with fun FREE goodies I got at Leadership Conference! For this "Sew Happy" spread, I used torn fabric strips with the Multipurpose Adhesive sheets on this page, coupled with the new big buttons and fabric-covered brads, all from the Sew Suite in the Occasions Mini Catalog.See the adorable little spool of thread? that is a cool tip I learned at conference--it is the Round Tab punch, with the rounded edges clipped off straight. Twine the twine (or thread or ribbon) around and around the middle and it looks just like a spool! Too cute.
Next we added some Whisper White rick-rack from my favorite new die for the Big Shot, Tasteful Trims. We cut the big letters for the headline from felt, using the Simple Letters alphabet for the Big Shot, then used just the "happy" from the "Happy Birthday" Decorative Strip Die. Here's what the finished spread looked like:
The background papers are from the "Love Patterns" bulk paper pack from the Filled With Love promotion, which is still available BUT ONLY UNTIL February 14th!!! Click on the link to order. Don't put it off!
For our single page this month (our monthly hostesses get a free second page to complete the spread), we used the Love Impressions specialty papers from the Occasions Mini (page 7) to make a cute Valentine page. Yes, there's a lot of Pink Pirouette going on, but it's balanced by the Basic Gray and the athletic type-style of the lettering, I think. I kept the bling down to a minimum with the three Glimmer Brads on the left hand side, and played up the texture a bit bu running the top of the 5.5x8.5 photo mat through the Big Shot with the Perfect Polka Dots embossing folder. The punched out piece from the Pink Pirouette journalling area was then punched and tied to the Basic Gray taffeta ribbon (purchased off the online Clearance Rack).
Our last project is my favorite, a great vintage spread featuring the Love Letters Designer Series Papers, as well as the big journalling paper from the Newsprint DSP pack. Everyone got to choose their second paper from the Love Letters pack, so there was a nice variety in the finished pages, with come being mostly black and white, and others having more reds.
We added the words "of us" to the sheet with the Broadsheet Alphabet and Broadsheet Accent sets, then weathered the entire spread with the Color Spritzer and a Basic Black marker. We used the same Scallop Oval Frame die for the Big Shot as was used on the sewing spread. I added softer touches with the ribbon rosettes (Occasions Mini page 16) and Very Vanilla satin ribbon, ruched along one page and looped on the other. Some Fire square rhinestone brads gave it the perfect finishing touch.
Okay, here's the commercial! We can squeeze one more person in this club. We meet on the second Thursday nights of the month, year-round except when holidays intervene. If you are interested in joining the hostess rotation, or just coming as a guest one evening to see if it might be for you, please let me know no later than a week before the club night.
Some annoying things have happened lately (not to mention my STILL-ongoing toothache after three crowns last week) and I am putting into practice my new resolution to turn negative energy into positive energy by channeling it into productivity. So I have decided it is time for a little TUTORIAL BLITZ! Watch for three great ideas coming to you this week, just in time for Valentine's Day! All my tutorials always have been and always will be free of charge. Enjoy!
Today we'll be quickly running through how to make this adorable little Top Note purse on the Big Shot, shown to me by my adopted downline Julie Lamont and featured at my Big Shot Club last month. So put on your sneaks, 'cause we're gonna fly through this one! Ready.... Set.... GO! Wait... go eat some chocolate first. It's ok. It's this new thing I heard of called carbo-loading.
You'll need a regular card sized piece of CS (5.5x8.5), folded in half, a card front sized piece of cardstock and one of DSP (4.25x5.5), a quarter of a self-adhesive Velcro dot, and fun embellishment-y type stuff like stamps, ink, punches, Glitter Brads, Glimmer Paper, etc.
Line up the folded edge (important: check that it is the folded edge) of your card on the Top Note die. Pull it back from the edge just enough so that it will not be cutting the entire shape out. Run it through the machine. When it comes out it should look like this:
You can do this with lots of different dies, by the way! Click here to see a Butterfly card made on the same principle.
If you're going to stamp the purse, now's the time. Knock yourself out.
Next, run the cardfront sized piece of DSP through and make a full Top Note. Cut around it, following the stitching, to make it smaller than the regular size Top Note, and adhere to purse base. And the crowd goes wild!
Next, cut the handle out of the cardfront sized piece of cardstock, using the Oval Scallop Frame die for the Big Shot. Fold it in half and you will see just where to cut it to make two perfect handles. I attached mine with Mini Glue Dots, my fave quick adhesive. Adhere one where you want it, then hold the second, glue dots facing up, lined up to it, as you close the purse down on top.
We're nearing the finish line! Now attach the little quarter-circle of Velcro to one side of the inside, peel off the back and close the purse so it will adhere in the perfect spot on the other side.
Now all that's left is embellishing that bad boy... here's a quick little accent you can add to the front of the purse for a "flap."
I ran the scrap left over from cutting the Top Note shape out through the machine again, to cut this neat flourishy swirl out. That gives you a place to cover the backs of any brads you use for the "clasp."
And lookie here, you can turn this into a gift card holder if you want:
How's that for a photo finish? Congrats! You won first place! Give yourself a pat on the back and go put your feet up. Don't forget to rehydrate--and take a little dark chocolate (for your heart, natch).
Sorry for the ever so lovely background in this photo--this is a swap I spotted at Leadership convention and grabbed to take a quick photo and my laptop was the best surface handy! But I thought this was too good of an idea to miss.
If you don't have the Beautiful Butterflies die for the Big Shot yet, you might want to think again! Here it was used on a folded piece of cardstock, to create a card with a top hinge. All you do is put the fold facing up, and then back it down the die until part of the fold will remain uncut. Super easy, and it instantly doubles the versatility of an already awesome die!
And the best part? It fits perfectly inside a mini envelope!! How sweet is that? This swapper put hers over a tea bag and tucked it in the envelope. I just love this idea, and I'm going to make several to go in my purse and keep on hand to give out with a business card when people ask me about my business. Can't wait to get in the stamp room and play! I've been making baby boy shower invitations, favors and decorations this weekend (photos coming!), and it will be nice to make some girly stuff today.
Personal note--thanks to everyone who was thinking of me and my poor teeth! I am still in pain, unfortunately, but nothing like it was before. Thankfully, I have Big Shot Club tonight to distract me! Wanna come? Call me (920) 261-3962 and you can be my guest tonight, free of charge! Come check it out and see if a girls' night out once a month, learning to use the fantastic Big Shot, is for you! Click on Big Shot Projects in the categories menu to view samples of what we've been making lately.
We are feeling a little high and will be refering to ourselves in the third person because, turns out, it is amusing to do so when enjoying prescription pain meds a little too much.
We had three crowns unexpectedly done yesterday. Yes, three, and we don't reccomend anyone ever do that if they have a pulse. We strongly resemble a chipmunk WITH the mumps, and can't eat anything more textured than ramen noodles. Ramen noodles, turns out, tainted by the leftover dentist-y taste in one's mouth, are even less appetizing than formerly believed.
So how did this unfortunate occurance occur? We went in for a cleaning, knowing we needed to set up some appointments for said crowns, and the dentist said, "hey, I've actually got time right now, let's just do it!" Lyssa, who is a slow learner, turns out, said, "ok, just have me out of here in time to pick up my kids." And shortly thereafter we began to regret our hastiness immensely, and continue to do so for the next 24 hours.
Let this be a lesson to all who fall under the spell of overly chipper dentists. They are chipper because it is you and not they who are lying in the chair, turns out. Learn from our sad tale of woe. We will go have our chocolate now.