Wednesday, July 30, 2008

July Stamp-a-Stack

I had my last Stamp-a-Stack class for the month last night. It was a fun night, and for me it was the 5th time making these cards so, much as I love this set, I am ready to move on to a new design! Next month's cards are using stamps from the new Mini Catalogue, so I'm looking forward to that! I'll be running the class 4 times this month, and most of the classes are completely full. I have just 2 spots left. I feel really blessed that I have so many lovely people to share stamping with!

Stamps: Garden Whimsy, Short and Sweet, A Little Birthday Cheer, Polka Dots and Petals, Paisley background, Polka Dot background
Cardstock: Ruby Red, Blue Bayou, Mellow Moss, Whisper White, Soft Sky
Inks: Ruby Red, Blue Bayou, Mellow Moss, Soft Sky

The tulip card was inspired by a card Michele sent me last year, long before we even had this set. The technique used on this card and the butterfly one is a favourite of mine, faux tearing. You can see how to do it HERE.

I'll show you the other design for July next time!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Happy Blooms

Marelle Taylor Stampin' Up! Australia
Ever since I ordered them, I had been dying to have a play with the "Blooms" die-cuts in the new Mini Catalogue (you can see them on page 10). In a pack, you get 4 12x12 sheets of different shaped flowers in Pumpkin Pie, Real Red, Bashful Blue and Old Olive. You get 136 flowers and flower-centres made from lovely textured cardstock, so there's lots to play with. Last week I had the perfect reason to try them out...2 of my downlines had birthdays (Hi Rosanne and Robyn!). They each got a card similar to this one. They were really quick and easy to make...I just pushed out the 2 die-cut flowers that I wanted to use, and a flower centre that was the right size. I made a stem from a strip of Wild Wasabi cardstock, and the 'leaves' from a piece of Wild Wasabi stitched ribbon. I also used some styled Silver Hodgepodge Hardware. The word "HAPPY" inside the frame is from Basic Phrases.
Colours: Blue Bayou (textured), Wild Wasabi, Bashful Blue, Pumpkin Pie, Real Red
I hope they liked their cards!

Friday, July 25, 2008

A Colour Challenge oops

Every month I like to participate in the challenges over at the Elite Challenges blog. I just really enjoy the structure a challenge provides, and being pushed out of my comfort zone is a healthy thing! I worked on one of the colour challenges for the Elite Challenges Blog while I was in the Blue Mountains, and it was only when I got home that I realised I was using the wrong colours!! d'oh!
It was Purely Pomegranate, Always Artichoke and Creamy Caramel, and for some reason I had Ruby Red in my head.
So here's my Colour Challenge oops card:

Marelle Taylor Stampin' Up! Australia
The photo has washed the red out a's richer in real life. I stamped the flower from 'Bloomin' with Beauty' in Stazon onto Creamy Caramel cardstock, watercoloured with a base coat of White Watercolour crayon using my Aquapainter to take the colour directly from the crayon. After it was dry, I coloured with the crayons again, this time in Ruby red and Always Artichoke. I did some shading around the flower in Creamy Caramel. I also sponged my layers using Creamy Caramel ink and a dauber. The Always Artichoke layer has been distressed using the distressing tool, and then the edges have been dipped into the Always Artichoke inkpad. The background script is 'En Francais'. The brads and buckle are Aged Copper Hodgepodge Hardware.

Then I had to make a card using the proper colours. You can see it HERE

While you're there have a look at the 2 other cards I made for this month's challenges HERE and HERE. I struggled a bit with the challenge to use the 'Happiness' stamp...I find it hard to make cards I am happy with using this set.

Thank you all for your lovely comments on the last card I posted. You all sure are good for my ego. I guess I'm just going through one of those ho-hum times, where everything I make feels a little blah. Don't worry, it won't stop me making stuff! ;o)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Kristina Colour Challenge #17

Marelle Taylor Stampin' Up! Australia
humph. That pretty much sums up how I feel about this card. It's just not doing it for me, but I've got 3 classes in the next 2 days, so there's no more time to play around with it *sigh*
Here are our colours:

Rose Red, Regal Rose, Sage Shadow and Whisper White. A really pretty combo, and I'm sure there will be lots of floral cards.
I stamped a background design using True Friend (plus I sneaked a stamp in there from "One of a Kind"). I stamped some extra large medallions in Ruby Red, punched them out with the 3/4" Circle Punch and popped 2 of them up on dimensionals, and used a sparkly Rhinestone brad in the middle. The ribbon is the gorgeous Regal Rose Wide grosgrain, and I used rub-ons to make the lines of white dots. I love it that rub-ons can go lots of places where stamps can't! I used markers to make the sentiment (also from "One of a Kind") multicoloured, punched it out with the Designer label punch, and framed it with some Silver Hodgepodge. The corners have had a bite taken out of them with the 1/4" circle punch, to echo the design of the Silver Hodgepodge frame.
Hopefully someone out there will like this one more than I do!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

It's a Happy Blog Day

I'm cheering because my dear friend and talented stamper Teneale has FINALLY got a blog (I've been pestering her for a while!).
Go and check it out HERE
You'll love it, I promise...her work is just divine. Make sure you leave her a comment, so she knows how much fun blogging is!

Monday, July 21, 2008

5-in-1 Template

Marelle Taylor Stampin' Up! Australia
My project class last month featured the fabulous 5-in-1 template. These are the projects everyone made - an envelope and matching card, a handbag (or a 'pocketbook' for the US can find the instructions on Amy Celona's blog HERE) and a mini purse accordion album, which I made up myself. The purse is held shut with a small piece of velcro, and when you open it, there are some accordion pages inside that you can attach photos or special quotes to.
Everyone seemed to enjoy this class, and learning how versatile the template is.
All of these use the gorgeous Fall Flowers paper. The hardest thing about using this paper is having to stick down one of the pretty patterns!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Colour Challenge #16

I was very sad to miss #15...I love those colours too, so I think I'll have to give them a whirl one day soon. I'm glad I didn't miss this one, though. favourite! I've also used a new Stamp set "One of a Kind", and some new Silver Hodgepodge:

Marelle Taylor Stampin' Up! AustraliaThe colours are Soft Sky, Pumpkin Pie, Certainly Celery and Very Vanilla. I've used Spring Silhouettes Designer Series Paper, and also Celery and Pumpkin Prints Papers. I stamped the large flower on Pumpkin Prints in Pumpkin Pie ink, and cut it out. I then stamped it again on Soft Sky cardstock in Soft Sky ink and cut the centre part out. I used the stamp and co-ordinating punch to make the small flowers. The large one has a green Rhinestone brad and the small ones have Pumpkin eyelets in the centres. The scallop edge has been made with the Corner Rounder punch (guard removed). I did the multicoloured sentiment by first inking the whole stamp in Soft Sky, and used a clean cotton bud (Q-tip) to remove ink from the areas I didn't want it, and then coloured those areas with a Celery and Pumpkin marker. I punched it out with the Designer Label punch, which made framing it with the Hodgepodge really easy.
Let me know what you think!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Welcome Clarissa!

On the first night we arrived in the Blue Mountains we had a phone call to say that our grand-niece (I guess that what it's called when your niece has a baby??) was born...a healthy baby girl called Clarissa Jane. But do you think I took any pink cardstock with me?? NO....So, I made a baby card in Almost Amethyst instead, but now I don't think it looks girly enough, so it's going into the stash, and I've made her a pink baby jumpsuit card instead. I thought I'd show the rejected card to you anyway:
Marelle Taylor Stampin' Up! AustraliaI used Bundle of Joy stamped on Confetti White cardstock (I don't own this set, but I have some stamped images from I-can't-remember-where). I watercoloured the giraffe with Lovely Lilac and Certainly Celery watercolour crayons and my Aquapainter. The spots are from the Happiness background, the flowery background is from One of a Kind (in the new mini). I've stamped them in Versamark ink, and then lightly watercoloured the flower centres in Lovely Lilac. There's also some GORGEOUS new Silver Hodgepodge on there too. The word "baby" is a rub-on.
Now we're off to visit baby Clarissa and give her the PINK card and a little present too!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I'm Back!

We had the most lovely relaxing week in the mountains. It was freezing (we even saw some snow falling!), but the house we were staying in had central heating, an open fireplace and a lovely outdoor spa, plus electric blankets on all the beds. So, we were probably warmer there than here in Sydney! We went on some lovely bushwalks, ate pumpkin soup and sourdough, toasted marshmallows by the fire, and played lots of boardgames. It's great to get away and have some precious family time. Check out the updated family pic ----->

I took just the bare minimum of stamping supplies with me, and had a nice time doing some "just for me" stamping using sets from the new mini.
This set "Bloomin' with Beauty" has been begging me to colour it in ever since I first saw it:

Marelle Taylor Stampin' Up! AustraliaI decided to go with blues to start with (surprise, surprise!), and I had so much fun colouring this one. Watercolouring is such escapism. I swear everyone else disappears when I get engrossed in it. I've stamped in black Stazon on Watercolour paper, and coloured using my Watercolour crayons and Aquapainter (my favourite way to watercolour). I used various shades of blue and purple here...probably every single one there is! I've also outlined with Going Grey, to make the image 'pop'. I've mounted it on Ballet Blue, and distressed the edges using the Cutter Kit (I love the distressing tool for 'tidy' distressed edges!). The Almost Amethyst piece has been stamped in Linen for texture in Sahara Sand ink (stamped off once to make it nice and subtle), and then down the right-hand side I've stamped the 'bloom' definition from the set 4 times in Almost Amethyst ink (I used my stamp-a-ma-jig to line it up). The green is Mellow Moss, and I've stamped just the Hydrangea flowers on it in VersaMark ink, and sponged the edges in Mellow Moss ink. The ribbon is Kraft Taffeta, and the card base is also Kraft.
Here's a close-up of the watercolouring:

Marelle Taylor Stampin' Up! AustraliaNow, back to reality! *sigh*

Monday, July 07, 2008

Blog Candy Winner!

Sorry for the lack of posting over the last few days. It's school holidays here, and so my days have been pretty full! We're getting ready to go to the Blue Mountains for a week. I love it up there, and I'm really looking forward to an open fireplace, walks in the bush, reading a good book, and generally re-charging my batteries. When I want to get away, it's the mountains that call my name, rather than the beach. I dream of one day owning a property on a hill somewhere remote, surrounded by nothing but trees for miles and miles....
I received my NEW mini catalogue order on Friday, but I haven't had a chance to play with any of it yet. I'll be taking it away with me, so hopefully I'll have lots to show you when I get back. I also have my customer copies of the Spring Mini Catalogues. If you emailed me requesting a copy, I have sent them out today. If you would like a copy, just email me with your address details and I'll pop one in the mail for you (Australian residents only please!).
So, in the absence of new mini catalogue creations, I thought I'd show you an oldie but a goody. This class has been immensely popular with groups of ladies who have already had a workshop, and want to make something a bit more advanced. For a small fee, they all come along and make this gorgeous box:

Marelle Taylor Stampin' Up! Australia and this set of cards to go inside:
Marelle Taylor Stampin' Up! AustraliaSome of you may recognise the box as the one that was on the cover of last year's Stampin' Up! Catalogue.
You could adapt this to suit any set of papers you like. So far I've had ladies make it in 'Brocade Background' (pictured), 'Outlaw', and 'Berry Bliss'. It looked equally gorgeous in all 3.
If you'd like to get a group of friends together and make this set in the paper of your choice, just send me an email.
Stamps: Brocade Basics, Baroque Motifs, Basic Phrases, Short and Sweet, It's your Birthday, Occasional Greetings
Cardstock: River Rock, Chocolate Chip, Naturals Ivory
Ink: River Rock, Chocolate Chip, Old Olive
Other: Brocade Background DS Paper, Large Oval Punch, Small Oval Punch, 1 3/8" Circle Punch, 1 1/4" Circle Punch, Tag punch, Large Tag Punch, Corner Rounder Punch, Scallop Punch, Crop-a-dile, sponge daubers, Metallic eyelets, River rock Double-Stitched Ribbon, Chocolate Chip Taffeta Ribbon, Dimensionals

OK, now for that Blog Candy winner. It was lots of fun reading all your reasons for needing ribbon storage (I had a good chuckle at some of them!). It seems to be a universal problem among stampers. Unfortunately I only have one pack to give away, but the prices over at Ribbon Ring are really reasonable and Melissa is lovely, so if you aren't the lucky winner, go over there and treat yourself to a set.
Without further ado, my trusty Bingo machine has drawn out .... Number 5!
This comment by Sandra:
Hi Marelle, I have my small stash of ribbons on a card but somehow they keep unravelling and don't look near as pretty as that cool ribbon ring. Then I can get more ribbon?!Sandra

Send me an email with your address details, Sandra, and I'll pop the Ribbon Ring in the mail for you!

It will be a bit quiet on here for the next week, but I'll do lots of catch-up posts when I return.

Thursday, July 03, 2008


I decided to have another go, this time adding the 2 other colours, and trying to make it a bit bold and sassy...
Marelle Taylor Stampin' Up! Australia... Well, it's certainly a departure from my usual style! For those not up with the lingo, rofl is "rolling on the floor laughing".

stamps: Big Bold Birthday, Lovely labels, Big Deal Alphabet, Baroque Motifs, It's Your Birthday
ink: Ruby Red, Basic Black., River Rock, Basic Grey, Whisper White
cardstock: Whisper White, Basic Black, River Rock, Basic Grey
other: Earth Elements brads, Vintage brads, Mat pack, Scallop punch, Cutter Kit, Corner Rounder Punch

Colour Challenge #14

I got a bit of a shock when I saw this week's challenge, and especially Kristina's challenge to do something bold and sassy...I'm much more of a sweet and swirly kinda gal LOL
I elected to ignore the Ruby Red and River Rock, and just go monochromatic for my card:
Marelle Taylor Stampin' Up! AustraliaI've used Basic Black, Basic Grey and Whisper White. The large scallops are 1" black circles stuck behind the Whisper White piece. The "Thankyou" is from 'Lovely Labels', and "ever grateful" is from the Hostess set 'So Many Sayings'. I used a nifty trick with the scallop punch, where you punch out a regular scallop circle, then attach it lightly with just a bit of snail to a strip of scrap paper, and use the scrap paper as a 'handle' to feed the scallop circle back into your punch. Rotate it slightly and the re-punch the scallop circle. Cool, huh?
Those gorgeous swirls and flowers are 'Urban West' rub-ons (I'm loving rub-ons at the moment!)
OK, so it's not exactly bold and sassy...I might need to see if I can make another one that's a little less pretty....

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Me at work!

Well, if this isn't a good advertisement for becoming a Stampin' up! Demonstrator, I don't know what is!
This is me at work! Did I tell you I LOVE my job?? One of my customers took this pic of me and my dog Coco (in his spiffy denim jacket) at one of my classes last week. Coco is a BIG help at my classes, meeting and greeting guests and making them feel welcome.
I feel so lucky that I am able to do what I love and share it with others....that I can make money from it (and cuddle my dog at the same time) is the icing on the cake.
I joined Stampin' Up in May 2006, when they were offering $25 off the Starter Kit. To spend $299 on products that I love was an easy decision, and I had no idea at the time of the adventure I was about to embark on. I was working part-time in a job I disliked, and my aim when I joined Stampin' Up! was purely to make my hobby self-supporting. It has gone way beyond that (I am still pinching myself that next month I get to go on Incentive Trip!) and now I can't imagine ever doing anything else.
Let me tell you 10 reasons why now is a fabulous time to join me on this adventure
  1. The Starter Kit is only $299 for over $560 worth of products. Read about this month's promotion HERE
  2. It is the start of the quarter, meaning you have until December 31 to meet your first Sales quota.
  3. A new mini catalogue is about to start, which is packed with gorgeous stuff that people will want to order, and as a Demonstrator, you can order it in July at 20%off!
  4. The next mini catalogue is due to start in December, but as a Demonstrator, you will receive yours in October, with a chance to pre-order in November.
  5. You get to come along to my monthly team meetings, and attend all my classes for half price!
  6. You can join my Team Chat group and meet some lovely ladies and share ideas and business tips.
  7. You will be able to attend Regional training, run by Stampin' Up! later this year
  8. Christmas is just around the corner and all your friends will want to buy stamps to make Christmas cards
  9. You will receive a monthly full colour newsletter from Stampin' Up!
  10. Take a look at that photo of me at work again...that could be you!

Contact me if you have any questions, or if you would like me to mail you an Information pack about joining

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Ribbon Ring Blog Candy

Melissa over at Ribbon Ring saw my woeful ribbon storage in my stamp room *blush*
And because she is so nice, she sent me a sample of her Ribbon Rings to try.
So now, I have lengths of ribbon, all organised on little tags, hanging on a ring.
I don't have a lot of hanging space, so I've just put my most-used colours onto the ring, but if you had a free wall, you could make a gorgeous display.
So this is where you come in....Melissa sent me a Ribbon Ring Tag Bundle to give away as Blog Candy. You get 30 tags and inventory dots, and a metal ring to hang them on!
Leave a comment letting me know why you NEED ribbon storage help, and you could be lucky! This offer is open to ANYONE. Stampin' Up! demos and overseas residents included!
I'll draw a random entry later on this week.

Internet Woes and the Rejects

Sorry for my absence...we somehow managed to use up all our Broadband quota for June (we're still not sure how, since we've never even come close before!), so I was unable to blog.
But, it's the start of a new month, so look forward to lots of catch-up entries!

You've probably noticed that I've been having fun doing Kristina Werner's challenges. Thankyou all for your comments on my challenge entries. It's exciting seeing so many people from overseas visiting my blog. It was even more exciting being in the Top 10 again. That's 5 in a row for me :o) I'm starting to get performance anxiety now LOL. It took me 3 goes to get my last entry to one that I was happy enough to submit. It's pretty rare for me to take so long to make a card.
I thought I'd show you my other 2 mediocre attempts (the Rejects):
Marelle Taylor Stampin' Up! AustraliaI thought liked this layout, but then all that blank Purely Pomegranate was too much. Maybe I should have used one of the other colours for the background?

Marelle Taylor Stampin' Up! AustraliaThis one was too much pattern for me. It just feels too busy. I did like the flower on it though, which led me to my eventual entry.
I'd love to hear what you think of these (feel free to pick them to pieces!)
I'll be back later with some BLOG CANDY!

Card 1
Stamps: Brocade Backgrounds
Inks: River Rock, Purely Pomegranate, Regal Rose, Wild Wasabi
Cardstock: River Rock, Purely Pomegranate, Whisper White
Accessories: Regal Rose Wide Grosgrain ribbon, Wild Wasabi Double Stitched ribbon, 'Cherished Memories' rub-ons, Pretties Kit, Dimensionals
Card 2
Stamps: Bodacious Bouquet, Basic Phrases
Inks: River Rock, Purely Pomegranate, Regal Rose, Wild Wasabi
Cardstock: River Rock, Purely Pomegranate, Whisper White
Accessories: Regal Rose Wide Grosgrain ribbon, 1/4" Circle Punch, Tag punch, Large Tag Punch, Corner-rounder Punch, Dimensionals


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