Hello stampers and happy Friday to you. Today’s blog post features a Birds and Branches Happy Mail Card. This stunning card is by Shelly Millett. Shelley is a fellow Canadian demonstrator from Moncton, New Brunswick. Do you know anything about Moncton?
Moncton, New Brunswick
Moncton is the second largest city in the Maritime provinces and has a thriving economy. The people there are resilient and have learned to overcome obstacles. It was first settled in 1733 so there is some significant Canadian history here. Hub city is its nickname since it is integral in the transportation network of the eastern provinces.
Shelley’s Birds and Branches Card
Here is a picture of Shelley’s card. I love all the details from the frayed gold cord to the carefully coloured leaves and branches. It looks like Shelley also sponged on some extra colour on the wings of her pretty bird. The green leaves on the background of this card come from Very Versailles and the “Hello” comes from Forever Fern.
Here you can see a closeup of this beautiful card. Is this bundle on your wish list? It was one of the prizes from my online Bingo last month and I hope to do another one in August or September.
This bundle reminds me of one of my very favourite Paper Pumpkins, it was the one inspired by Shelli Gardner. If you want to see the cards I made with it, check out this blog post. I was looking for another post featuring Birds and Branches but it turns out that I made the cards for a Facebook live but I haven’t blogged about them yet! Good thing I checked!
A Funny Story
When I saw what Gerard made himself for lunch the other day I just knew I had to share this story with you. Part of what I miss is all the stories I share at my coffee and a card classes. This is for you my friends!! Pour yourself a cup of coffee, grab a treat and pretend we are at coffee and a card and your crazy squirrel demonstrator is sharing a funny story with you.
People in Holland eat a LOT of bread. There is a plethora of bread toppings available and in their defense they do have pretty awesome bread here. Freshness is so important that you can even buy bread by the half loaf at the bakery. Bread is eaten for two meals of the day and toast is almost unheard of. Toasters are not a staple in the Dutch kitchen. Butter is also avoided by a lot of people. Note the state of this bread.
Now in Gerard’s defense I did not realize that he was planning to fold each slice in half and then eat it, sort of like a bun or a burrito. In his bachelor state of mind this is efficient. No need to cover the whole slice of bread with the topping, his stomach is not going to know the difference. To me this was austerity at a whole new level!! I am of the other extreme. The bread is only a vehicle for the toppings. I have been known to cut my slice of bread into four pieces and put something different on each quarter. And trust me, the toppings go to the edge and they are not paltry.
I just wanted to share two pictures from my day in Leiden yesterday. One is the view from one of the many bridges over the old Rhine river and the other is of a famous windmill.
This windmill is the last one that still has an active miller living inside! You can read more about it and other wonderful things to do in Holland here.
Thanks so much for joining me here on my blog today, I hope you have a super day. If you live in Canada you are most welcome to shop with me by clicking on the links below. If you do, you will get a free pdf tutorial from the Demo Design Dream Team with 16 3D projects. There is only one more week for Bonus Days as well. Get a $6 bonus bucks coupon with every $60 you spend that you can redeem in August.
Hello stampers and happy Wednesday. Have you noticed these days that it truly is the little things that make a difference? I find that when I am in a funk it is time for me to get into nature and be still. To commune with God and soak in His peace. When you slow down and rest, when you breathe deeply you also become more aware of your surroundings. All of a sudden you will see things that you didn’t see before. The buds opening on the trees, a tiny white-breasted nuthatch flitting from tree to tree. Here are some pictures that I took on my recent walk in town.
Spring Dutch Door Card
My leisurely walk through nature restored my soul. At one point I laid on the ground with my binoculars looking up at the great horned owl perched on a branch way above me. I saw it move across the branch and tilt its head down to peer at me to discern my intent. She was keeping a watchful eye on her improvised nest a few trees away and she wanted to make sure that I wasn’t a threat. When I got up, there were leaves caught in my hair but that’s ok. It was good to feel like a kid again. I sat down on a culvert in the shade and was able to see lots of bird activity. This inspired my spring card.
If you would like to know how to make this card you can check out this blog post or watch the video below.
Fancy Fold Card Contest
I am super excited because the first cards for this contest have arrived. Instead of waiting till they all come in, I will blog about them as they arrive. Stay tuned for the first card by Ina Eisen on Friday. How appropriate! Ina was the one who inspired this card and her Dino Days card will be a treat for all of you. If you want to participate in this contest, please send me a card by May 31 to Jackie Bultje, 81 Delaware Ave, Chatham, Ontario N7L 2W3. You will be entered into a contest to win the Little Ladybug stamp set.
Ornate Garden Suite
Stampin’Up! has released this beautiful new suite and I have told you nothing at all about it. I feel really badly about that because it is full of beautiful things that you might want to have. Truth is, with this Corona virus pandemic I have been super focused on helping families with my #kitsforkids. Please watch this video as it really shows how beautiful the products are. I even forgot to provide a link below in the product supply list, so you can just click here if you want to order it.
Here is an image that shows you a little more. The cards I have seen online with this suite are beautiful and I have heard nothing but good things about it. It might be the perfect #covidbuster for you.
If you click on this link you can go crazy and order whatever your heart desires. Shipping is faster than Amazon!!
Have a super day and thanks for dropping by. Stay safe. Be patient. Be kind.
Hello stampers, I’m back!!! So sorry for dropping off the face of the earth with no notice. After an amazing week of true winter vacation including snowshoeing, ice skating and snow tubing I am going to do a blog post on the Tropical Oasis pineapple. Quite the contradiction but it feels good.
Tropical Oasis Pineapple
When I first saw the tropical oasis suite, it was the pineapple die that really caught my attention. There is a separate die for the pineapple fruit and the pineapple greenery which I think is simply fantastic. This arrangement really allows the textures to pop. The pineapple greenery die embosses and cuts at the same time and it also has little slits in it that allow you to “peel” bits of it forward to create depth and texture. Did you know that the pineapple is a symbol of hospitality? That is why it is often featured as an ornate carving on newel posts and on doorways.
Tropical Oasis Suite
The tropical oasis suite has so many great things in it. I don’t know about you, but I am really loving this suite approach from Stampin’Up! Creating is so much fun and also easy when you have so many coordinating products. The following closeup shot will let you see the great texture in the braided burlap trim and the coastal weave 3D embossing folder. Antique bronze trinkets are also available in these fun shapes: pineapple, hibiscus, ukulele and leaf. There are twenty four in a package. One thing that you might not notice right away is that the flower has been stamped in saddle brown Stayzon ink which gives it a great vintage feel. I was very, very impressed with this ink!
A Few Tips and Tricks
- After cutting out the pineapple bottom I did a colour wash with it using an aqua painter and crushed curry ink. Just smush the ink pad onto a clear block and then pick the ink up off of that with an aqua painter.
- Notice how the braided burlap trim is a little wider at the ends? Yes, you can tease it apart to give even more texture and interest.
- After running the very vanilla cardstock through the Big Shot with the coastal weave embossing folder I sponged it with some saddle brown stayzon ink to make it look more vintage.
- The flower was stamped off in saddle brown stayzon and then I used an aqua painter with calypso coral ink to colour wash it.
- Fluff out the pineapple greenery to make it more lush.
Cards for Coffee and a Card and Facebook Live
Here are all the cards we will be making at coffee and a card tomorrow and I will also be doing a Facebook live at 7pmEST so you can see how I did it. I will blog about the other two cards tomorrow and Wednesday.
Happy Mail for Gerard Contest
Did you know that I am doing another happy mail contest? I love the great energy this creates among the stamping community and even more, I love how much Gerard gets into this. He loved the happy mail in Holland contest and he was even more excited than I was when cards arrived in the mail. I thought it would so wonderful to surprise him with a stack of happy mail from all of you when he comes to visit on March 29. If you would like to participate you can send your masculine card to Gerard van der Sar c/o Jackie Bultje 81 Delaware Avenue, Chatham, Ontario, N7L 2W3. I will blog about your card and you will be entered into a draw for the masculine stamp set of your choice from the Handmade for You mini catalog.
Winner of Blog Candy
Congratulations to Debbie Colquhoun who won the Valentine’s Paper Pumpkin stamp set I’ll Bee Yours. Thanks to everyone who took the time to comment on my blog and share my post on Facebook or Pinterest. You wouldn’t believe how much it means to small business owners when people help share their work.
Thanks so Much!
Thanks so much for stopping by today, I really appreciate you. I had a fantastic time away at a cottage in Huntsville with my kids and grandkids enjoying a real Canadian winter. We had so much fun in the snow! This cottage is available for rent for the rest of the winter, so let me know if you are interested and I will let the owner know. Here are a few pictures so you can appreciate the view and the solitude.
Being here was so soul restoring. The peace, tranquility and serene beauty of nature all around you is balm for the soul. Spending time with family here was priceless. I am so thankful for the opportunity to have been able to do this. It is great to be back, now it is time to get stamping and to organize all the club orders. If you would like to order online please use the current host code available on the right hand side of every blog post! Have a super day.
Hello stampers, happy Tuesday to you. The day has flown by and here I am starting my blog post after 4pm!! I am missing the six hour head start that I had on you when I was in Holland. I can’t trick you any more into thinking that I am on top of my game. So what is the buzz about bees? They sure are trendy right now. Not only are they cute, they make great honey and they pollinate our flowers and crops.
We have made such a mess of our environment that we have endangered our bee population, and in response many people have taken up backyard beekeeping. I think it is a great hobby, not as wonderful as card making, but I am willing to swap cards for honey!
Two Adorable Bee Cards
Today I am going to share with you two adorable bee cards, neither of which I designed. I received them as swaps and in typical squirrel fashion, I no longer have any idea who made them. The cards went in one stack and the business cards that were supposed to be attached to them went into a separate pile. There is no time to go and watch my own video to see which one belongs to whom. To add to the drama, there is no also one missing bee die and it has yet to be found. I have cleaned and tidied and swept. No die and a late blog post!
If you look closely you can see that the white cardstock in the background was embossed with the Subtle embossing folder. The honeycomb element is cut with a die using gold foil paper and the rhinestones are from the Parisian Blossoms suite. You could choose to colour the stripes on the bee with a daffodil delight marker or blend for a pop of colour. The daffodil delight mini ruched ribbon is actually from the Birthday Bonanza suite on the next page of the mini catalog. Aren’t the bees adorable? I love the DistINKtive effect of the stamps making them ever so realistic. The bees are either stamps or dies, and together they are simply wonderful.
This second card oozes gold. The sentiment and the hive are embossed in gold and the honeycomb element and the big intricate bee is gold foil paper. Doesn’t it pari wonderfully with the Golden Honey paper that you can get for free with Saleabration? I have to say, I LOVE this sale and I LOVE this paper. I know I am going to get lots of it so I can create with abandon. Funny thing is, I’m not even a “gold” girl, I much prefer silver. I do however love coordination and since the Golden Honey paper has lots of gold in it, you just have to pair it with our gold foil paper.
Golden Honey Paper
This is the beautiful paper that is available for FREE with a $60 purchase during saleabration which goes until March 31 2020. I am not a fan of high pressure sales, but I do need to tell you that these free items are only available while supplies last. If you have your eye on something, please don’t delay. I would hate for you to be disappointed.
Spread the Word
One thing that comes naturally to some people is to share what they love. Other people need to be reminded to do this. When you are making cards and thinking to yourself what an awesome hobby you have and how much joy it brings to your life, think, who else could use this joy? The best way to bring this happiness to other people is to invite them to stamp with you. They simply don’t know what they are missing! One of the people at my coffee and a card class said to me this morning, “I think everyone was made to want to create something” and I think she is right. She was a first timer and she was thrilled at how friendly everyone was and how warmly they welcomed her into the group.
Last night I hosted a private class which was in fact a birthday party for the girl who invited all her friends to celebrate with her by making cards together. What a joy it was for me to see them relaxing, creating and having fun together. They were all in their late twenties and early thirties and I know that they are busy with careers and young families. It felt so good for them to do this and I was happy to provide the space and materials for them to do so.
Book a Class
If you are looking for some meaningful fun in your life and quality time with your friends, book a class with me. Engaging in a fun activity together while socializing is so meaningful and fun. I do all the prep work, you just come with your friends and have fun.
Get the Starter Kit
Better yet, get the starter kit and get a jump start on your own creativity. This is the best deal in the catalog by far and it really has NO strings attached. No pressure from me or from Stampin’Up! It is simply the most economical way to get started on this fabulous hobby.
Now that you know what a wonderful opportunity is available to you, what are you waiting for? What is making you hesitate? Most importantly, what do you have to lose? Absolutely nothing; and so, so much to gain. I would love to help you get started. If you have questions, message me. Otherwise, make your list of what you want plus add in one more stamp set that you get absolutely free. Your list can total $165 but cannot go over. You will only pay $135. That’s right, no shipping and no tax. That always feels good.
In addition to your list of goodies you will also get an adorable mini paper trimmer and an assorted pack of 6×6″ paper. And a Paper Pumpkin, plus a bunch of catalogs to hand out to your friends so that they can be inspired as well. Yay!!! Click here to get started.
I’m so glad you stopped by today, it makes me happy when I hear from you. I hope you have a wonderful day and that you feel loved. Don’t forget about the Happy Mail in Canada contest. Make a masculine card for Gerard by March 29 and you will be entered into a contest for the masculine stamp set of your choice. Mail your cards to me at 81 Delaware Avenue, Chatham, Ontario N7L 2W3. I can’t wait to see his face when he sees all the cards waiting for him. I will do a video so you can see it too!
Hello stampers! It is January 2, 2020. This is one of the first times I am writing this new year date and it really is quite epic. Do you feel the same way? Cheers to 2020! On December 31 I think the mailman came twice, and the second time there were three more cards in the mail. I am being flooded with happy mail and that makes me so happy. It also means that I need to blog about more than one card at a time so I can feature them all.
Sharon Meyer’s card
Sharon comes from Farmington, New York. This is in upper state in the vicinity of the famous Finger Lake district. I have driven through this area twice and it is so very beautiful. Sharon used the stamp set Beautiful Baubles with gorgeous grape ink for a happy non-traditional card. I love how Sharon sponged the edges to create a distressed look. This is a great way to add contrast without having to add another mat of card stock. Thanks for your very pretty card Sharon, I love the clean and simple style you used. I didn’t get a picture of it, but Sharon also has a personalized stamp for the back of her card.
Sharon asked me why I was spending time in Holland every now and then and maybe more of you are wondering. I am in a new relationship with a man from Holland. This man is quite special to me. We first met when I was 17 years old. I was visiting my cousins in Holland of which I have very many indeed. My parents are both from large families and they were one of the few who immigrated to Canada so most of my extended family was still in the Netherlands. It so happens that my cousin had a boyfriend, and his best friend was my current boyfriend Gerard. Gerard and I wrote letters for a year and then he visited me in Canada for my 18th birthday. Circumstances prevented the relationship from continuing and our lives went separate ways. Largely due to the family connection we found each other again and here we are!
Lori’s Cheers Card
The next card is from Lori Magnuson all the way from Sahuarita, Arizona. When I looked that up on the map it seems to be very close to Tucson and is surrounded by national parks and mountain ranges. So beautiful! I had the privilege of being in the area a few years ago when I attended a private retreat at Mary Fish’s house. Lori used the Cheers dies and Sip,Sip Hooray stamp set. Let’s take a look at her beautiful card.
It just so happens that I had a fair bit of champagne on New Year’s Eve. Gerard’s dad had four bottles of champagne that he was starting to gather up and he had no use for them so I was more than willing to take the risk of opening bottles of unknown vintage. They were all good, and yes, we did share with ten other people! I simply love the layout of this card. Clean and simple lines with exquisite attention to details.
Lori embossed the glasses in gold and added gold bows. The champagne bubbles are also embossed in gold on the card base. What a brilliant idea.
Yes, the envelope has already been torn open. Gerard was even more excited to open the happy mail than I was. I had to remind him that I needed to take pictures of the envelopes as well, so please open them carefully!! Lori used the free bee paper from saleabration to decorate the flap of the envelope. So pretty with the gold and white paper. I am also very intrigued with the gold cheers. It looks to me like Lori used wink of stella on top of the gold foil paper. I would never have thought of that!! It looks so pretty, even my photo captured the shimmer.
The Power of Happy Mail
When I saw the clever design of the postage stamps I just had to share a picture of that as well. Can you see how much joy happy mail can bring? Even though I may sound like a broken record, it bears repeating. Happy mail is just so very much nicer than an email or a text. I encourage you to send some happy mail today. People aren’t expecting happy mail in January and that makes it even more special. We can all agree that there is not enough joy in the world, and if by sending a card we can increase the joy factor, I say go for it!! Let’s change the world one card at a time, together we can make a powerful difference with happy mail.
It was so nice to read the inside of Lori’s card. It appears that we have a lot in common: our love of stamping, our love of cooking and our faith. Lori even has a little Dutch blood. This made me smile.
Saleabration Starts Tomorrow
Yay!! Cheers to the fact that saleabration starts tomorrow. In case you are new to Stampin’Up! I will explain how this works. If you live in Canada you get to choose a free saleabration item (stamp set, paper, ribbon) with every $60 you spend before tax and shipping. You can also get a free stamp set called Little Ladybug if you host a workshop with $375 in total sales. Believe me when I tell you that it is very easy to reach that sales goal during saleabration. Please let me know if you want to host an online workshop. I can get it started for you and then you can share the host code with your friends and they can all order online. Easy and fun and everyone gets bonus free things.
This is also the very best time of year to join my Beyond Pampered team. You an buy the starter kit for only $135. There is no shipping or tax. You get to choose $165 worth of products, anything you want from either the annual catalog, the mini catalog and even the clearance rack! During saleabration only you also get to choose ONE bonus stamp set of your choice, any value for FREE. It cannot be a host set or a saleabration free set. You also get a free super cute mini paper trimmer and a free designer series paper sampler which includes 48 sheets of 6″ by 6″ paper with six different paper packs represented. Did you know there is also a free past Paper Pumpkin in your kit?
Your kit also comes with 8 annual catalogs, 8 mini catalogs and 50 order forms to make it easy to share with your friends. There is also a 20% discount for everything you buy or 20% income for everything you sell. You will keep this discount for a minimum of four months and a maximum of 6 months without any obligation. If you want to keep your discount for longer than that you need to buy or sell $400 every three months. If that doesn’t happen, no worries, there are no penalties. There is no pressure either from me or from Stampin’Up! to do anything more than what you want to do with this opportunity. How absolutely awesome is that?
I get very excited when new people join my team and I have a special day just for my new team members. I call it Diva Day because it is catchy and because I want to spoil you. This year Diva Day is on Friday March 27 at 5pm until 9pm. We will have a lovely meal together, we will stamp some fun things and of course there will be amazing goodie bags for you so you have more stamping options for yourself or to share at possible classes. This is a great opportunity for us to get to know each other better and for you to have your questions answered. For long distance team members I am going to offer a Zoom meeting with door prizes.
Thanks so much for joining me today. Isn’t it fun to see what happy mail has arrived? It just goes to show the importance of a stamping tribe! I am so happy that you are a part of my tribe too. I hope you have a super day. Hugs from Holland.
edited to add: if you place a $50 order either online or in person you will get a FREE pdf from the new Demo Design Dream Team with 16 projects. How wonderful is that?
Hello stampers! Happy Friday to you. Have you noticed the buzz about bees? Lately bees have been very popular and also a bit controversial. People are worried about the environment and the dwindling bee population. One of the happy results about that is that there are a lot of backyard beekeepers. My niece Jennifer and her husband Joash are also novice beekeepers. Check out their Facebook page, they live one street over from me! Today I am also incorporating bees into my cards and you will see how adorable they are!
Have you seen the pretty copper bees that are included in the Botanical Prints Product Medley? They are so pretty and they really make such a beautiful accent on a card. I am happy that so many are included in this product medley, that way I don’t have to hoard them. Every time I create with them I look forward to sharing them with everyone who is coming to my winter retreat in beautiful Muskoka. How does relaxing in a cozy cabin with a woodstove sound to you? Making cards, eating warm biscuits fresh from the oven with homemade raspberry preserves and whipping cream? Hot chocolate and a movie? Skating in the woods?
Oops. I got distracted! I am supposed to be talking about bees! Would you like to see the card?
I had started making this card during my Facebook live on Tuesday where I showed you how I had cut out the two triangle framelits side by side in the mossy meadow piece. This left a very narrow strip between the two openings. I decided to utilize that and filled the space with two crushed curry detailed triangles.
Unfortunately I had taken no embossing folders with me but I wanted to add interest to the background. What to do? Why, tone on tone stamping of course. This look reminds me of toile. I used the same technique on the crushed curry strip on the bottom and added some foliage to the sentiment to add depth and richness to the card. My original card had only one bee, but I decided to live lavishly and add three bees to my card. The recipient will hopefully feel the love!
Up Close and Personal
Since I have been crowing about these bees, I thought I should give you a nice closeup shot so you can see how pretty they are. I am really loving how all the elements from the Botanical Prints Product Medley work together. I find that playing extensively with one group of products really unleashes your creativity. That is one thing that my presentation at #OnStage2019 taught me.
Just so you know, there are 12 copper bees in the Botanical Prints Product Medley. I am getting excited for the pdf I am going to make with all the beautiful cards you can make with this medley. I hope to get it done before Christmas. Here’s hoping!! It is good to set goals. I think I will make a card using the free bee paper that you can get during saleabration, that can be a part of my goal.
I thought you might enjoy a few personal notes on my time in Holland. You can see lots more pictures on my Instagram account and on my Pampered Stamper Facebook page but I thought I would share a little here as well. You may know that my boyfriend Gerard is an amaryllis grower. He works all year tending the bulbs and fighting the bugs and it all comes to a climax in December when the bulk of his flowers are sold on the flower auctions in Holland. It is quite an amazing thing to witness and be a part of.
I have helped stack the boxes of cut flowers on the carts that are to be picked up by the trucker and taken to the auction. Several nights it was after midnight before we were done! I also stapled identification tags on the flower boxes and marked the different batches. It felt good to contribute in a practical way other than emotional support. All his hard work is then dependent on supply and demand and the market prices. Almost a million stems are produced in his greenhouses. We were very thankful that the last few days finally had great prices. That sure makes it easier to get up early in the morning and go to work.
Last night we were finally able to get away for a bit of together time and we headed to den Haag to the Royal Winter Fair which is their Christmas Market. It was so magical. I loved all the live music, a gospel choir, an old fashioned caroling group dressed up in olde English garb and a small choir singing in German. There were also lots of treats to sample and of course hot mulled wine and pretty lights and baubles everywhere. The city itself is also stunning. Here are a few photos. I also forgot to tell you that den Haag is The Hague in English. If you are interested in learning more about this city of international peace, here is a link for you!
Thanks so much for joining me today. I hope you are enjoying the days leading up to Christmas as well. If you have had loss in your life, my prayers are with you and I hope that you will be surrounded with people who love and support you. Never forget that you are loved with an everlasting love by the One who made you and knows you by name.