Hello stampers! Oh the Paper Pumpkin possibilities! I think you may know by now that I am a rather big Paper Pumpkin advocate. That is saying a LOT. You would think that having a stamp room full of stamps, ink and paper that I would never get Paper Pumpkin for myself. Do you want to know why I do?
The main reason that I get Paper Pumpkin for myself is that it is an instant gratification treat. For once I get to papercraft without having to think and that feels pretty darn good once in a while. I have often compared it to ordering take out food even though you are a great cook and enjoy cooking. Once in a while it is just so nice to be able to indulge without any muss or fuss. Paper Pumpkin lets that happen. The Dutch in me also repurposes the beautiful box that it comes in.
The other thing that I love about Paper Pumpkin is that it is so easy to grab and take with me when I go somewhere. I always have one with me when I go and visit my parents. Mom is 87 and she loves to do this with me, especially when she realized that there is a lot of product in the box so it is ok if she messes up and needs another piece. I love watching her decide what to do with what she has as she loves to change things and make it her own. Paper Pumpkin gives us quality time that we might not otherwise have. There are only so many dice games I can play in a row!!
Every once in a while a Paper Pumpkin comes along that you think you might not like. No worries! You can either choose to skip a month or wait a while and see what everyone else makes with it. That’s right! There is a huge stamping community that subscribes to Paper Pumpkin and shares their creations on social media. Check out the Paper Pumpkin Fan Club on Facebook. This month the kit was Christmas tags and I heard at least one customer saying, I don’t do tags. Well, take a look what I made with this kit!
My Card with the Tag Kit
Even though this month’s kit was 24 tags, you don’t have to be limited by the suggested use. Debbie Henderson showed us this great card and I just recreated it myself. I didn’t change a thing because her card was beautiful! I did add a piece of patterned paper from the Wrapped in Plaid pack just like she did.
Here is a close up. I cut two strips of silver foil paper, 3/4″ by 5 1/4″ and 1 1/4″ by 5 1/4″ and embossed them with the Hammered 3D embossing folder. The strip of paper is from Wrapped in Plaid and it is 3″ by 5 1/4″ which means you can get two pieces out of each 6×6 piece of paper.
The deer in the kit are actually silver foil but Debbie turned them around so they would be white. This simple adjustment changes the look entirely! The other subtle change is that she cut up the sentiment and switched the order. I will show you a picture of the tag and you will see what I mean.
A Personal Note on Fear
As many of you already know my 93 year old Pap has been dealing with some nasty health issues. His bout with shingles landed him in the hospital and this evolved into fluid around his lungs, bowel issues and overall failing health. It was starting to look rather grim, but Mom had some wise words. She said that sometimes the things we fear are worse than what is actually going to happen and through this needless fear we make our lives more difficult than they need to be!
I live two and a half hours away from my parents and I have spend many hours on the road visiting them. Of course I am prepared to go again at the drop of a hat but sometimes you just have to take a deep breath and follow your head and not your heart. I got some advice from my own doctor and now I am calling the nurse’s station every day to get an update on my dad. Then I can make an informed decision instead of driving back and forth like a crazy squirrel on steroids. My absence for a few days also gives my siblings the opportunity to step up to the plate.
I have no fear for my Pap. He loves the Lord like his best friend and when he dies he will be in heaven and how awesome is that? He also has no fear, but only the regret that he is leaving the love of his life behind. This too is assuaged by the fact that God also loves my mom very much and she will be taken care of too. What a precious gift!!
It seems a little frivolous after talking about the precious gift of salvation to be talking about the gift of Paper Pumpkin!! However….Paper Pumpkin is a wonderful gift for yourself, a friend or a teacher. You have many options to choose from. You can get a subscription where you pay monthly. You can also get pre-paid subscriptions for one, three, six or twelve months. No matter which option you choose, you can always choose to skip a month when you want. Click this link to find out more. I will also have icons at the bottom of this post with the product list. You can click on those as well and go straight to my store.
Hello stampers. I thought you might be interested in hearing my story, about how The Pampered Stamper came to be! Sometimes lives can be changed by someone’s story and eyes are opened to new possibilities!
A Scrapbooker at Heart
When I was growing up I thought it would be amazing to write a book. I have loved reading ever since I first learned how and I just love words. Scrapbooking was therefore a great fit for me and I was an avid journaller. It really is all about the story! I started scrapbooking when Rachel was a baby. By this time Stefanie was 11 and Katrina was 9. The reason I tell you that is because I only made scrapbooks for the three youngest. The two oldest already had baby books with lots of photos and stories and I encouraged them to start their own scrapbooks, which they did!
How does Stampin’Up! fit into this picture? In three ways.
- At my first workshop I realized right away that I was the type of person who would want it ALL! So I got nothing as this would be way too expensive seeing that I had five kids in a private Christian school. I didn’t even get a catalog. I was outraged that they were charging $7 for it.
- I also saw great possibilities. Stamps can be used over and over and would be a lot cheaper than using stickers in my scrapbook pages. I started buying stamps that could be used for both card making and scrapbooking. I loved the coordination of the ink, cardstock and patterned paper.
- Hosting workshops was the best way to get my supplies in a more economical way. I would host one workshop in the fall so I could get Christmas stamps and one in the winter to take advantage of sale-a-bration. I would invite a lot of people so I could maximize the amount of free stuff. I loved my scrapbook pages, they were so beautifully coordinated and making Christmas cards with the family was also a fantastic bonus.
My First Scrapbook Pages
The Switch from Customer to Demonstrator
The big question is, why did I switch from being a great customer to being a demonstrator? Oddly no one asked me to join their team. Either they didn’t want to be an upline or they didn’t want to to lose their best customer. I say “they” because over a number of years I had different demonstrators. That is why I always offer the opportunity to all my customers. They deserve the discount and the opportunity to do so very much more if they want to.
My biggest motivation for becoming a demonstrator is that I wanted to share what I love and I wanted to teach people how to make beautiful things. Stampin’Up! opened a whole new world of creativity for me. The last time I had felt truly creative was when I learned to paint in kindergarten. After that I developed an inferiority complex when it came to art. My only artistic outlet that I felt totally competent in as a youngster was colouring. I love colouring and that also fits in well with Stampin’Up!.
The Most Amazing Surprises with Stampin’Up!
What I did not expect with the purchase of my starter kit is the success that would become of this business adventure. I did want to make some money at this, but my goals were not big. To have my own supplies for free was the first goal. After three years of slow but steady growth I decided that if other people could go on this fantastic incentive trip then I was going to give it a shot too. Well!!! My first incentive trip was a dream and the beginning of an amazing adventure. A whole new world opened up to me.
- I met inspiring people from all over the world.
- Stampin’Up! rolled out the red carpet and treated me like a rock star.
- I received training that helped me become an even better business person.
- I was able to travel to places I might not have gone to. Every year I was able to take one of my family members on an unforgettable trip. The Caribbean several times, Alaska twice, Greece, the Mediterranean including Italy, Spain, and France. Thailand. Washington DC, Hilton Head Island not to mention all the Leadership Convention places. My favourite one was San Antonio.
- A once in a lifetime opportunity to attend Founder’s Circle in St. George Utah. What a posh weekend where each one of was treated like a movie star with our own personal hotel room. No one to share with! I got to meet all the “big names” in the Stampin’Up! world and I was pinching myself that other people were now seeing me as a “big name” too. Of course we are all just normal people but it is so very nice to be recognized for your hard work and achievements.
The reason I share this is that I really, really want you to know what can happen with the small investment of the starter kit. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Your enjoyable hobby can now be called your job! How wonderful is that? You can make it into whatever you want and regardless of the level of your commitment you have the opportunity to meet so many great people at Stampin’Up! events. My Beyond Pampered team has become a wonderful community of friends that support each other throughout the challenges and joys of life.
Making A Difference
What I almost forgot to tell you is that I now have the privilege of using my business to make a real difference in the lives of people in my city. I have partnered with Chatham-Kent Hospice to make cards for the one year anniversary of the loved ones death. I was already volunteering there and at my annual “performance review” my regular job came up in conversation and I was presented with this opportunity. What a joy to do something so meaningful. Of course there have been many other ways to make a difference. One year our team did a fundraiser for Ronald McDonald house and I have done many more fundraisers throughout the year.
I still love what I do and often find myself making just one more card at ten o’clock at night. Just because I want to. This happened last night so I am going to share it with you to thank you for dropping by and reading my story.
I used a piece of the beautiful Feels Like Frost paper, the dies from Merry Christmas and from Detailed Deer. The card measures 5 1/4 by 6 1/2. I used the stitched rectangle framelits to cut a window in the card front just a bit smaller than the birch tree element.
I am late for a birthday lunch so I am going to say goodbye now! Thanks for joining me today and have a super day.
Hello stampers! Those of you who know me will appreciate what a departure this is from the norm! Today I am going to show you how to make some easy boxes using the envelope punch board. Ironically I am way behind the eight ball since this product is now on the clearance rack. So get it while you can! Here is the link to go straight to my store if you are in Canada.
Why this is strange
The reason that I say it is a departure from the norm is that I very rarely make anything but cards. One of the reasons for this is that my customers prefer to simply make cards. Another reason is that I really do hate crafts. Most people cannot believe that about me. To me a card is useful and can really make a difference in someone’s life. Three dimensional things are lovely but I feel that they easily get thrown away. Besides, what do you do with all of them? I am coming to realize however that it really is nice to get a prettily packaged gift, it can really make a person feel special.
The Perfect Box
I am thrilled to finally discover how easy it is to make a box for your cards. To me this is the perfect 3D item. Giving cards away as a gift is a brilliant idea and to be able to present them in a coordinating box makes it even better. It is true that the box for the regular sized cards is easier to make than the one for the big square cards but I did manage to do it. The trick to figuring it out is to use this amazing tool from a British demonstrator, Joanne James called the Box Buster. You just punch in your measurements and check whether you want inches or centimetres and you are good to go. This is what it looks like:
Here you will see the measurements I needed to make a box big enough to hold my 6×6″ cards. The tricky part is when you go to the 5 5/8″ measure that extends 5/8″ beyond the envelope punch board measurements so you have to use a ruler to get it right. I did it though! If you want to make a box big enough for regular cards use a piece of cardstock 9 1/2 inch square and score at 3 1/2″ and 5″.
Let’s take a look at what I made using the envelope punch board. I used the stamps from this month’s Paper Pumpkin with night of navy, real red and Delicata silver ink pads. You can make a belly band or just use pretty ribbon to tie around your box.
This box was super easy to make, I just had to add a full piece of 6×6 paper to the front and then I tied coordinating purple posy ribbon around it. You can always add a tag when you know who you are going to give it to and why. Here is a close up co you can see how pretty the ribbon is.
The next boxes are all for regular sized cards that measure 4 1/4″ by 5 1/2″.
If you would like to see the live video I did yesterday showing how to make this box using the envelope punch board you can see it here. Despite my many mistakes the end result was still a lovely box. It will become very clear to you that if I can do it, you most certainly can as well. It ended abruptly because of an internet issue, so if you want to see me do the finishing touches with the belly band (with another hilarious mishap!) you can find part two here.
Of course the envelope punch board is also perfect for its intended purpose, to make envelopes! There is a handy chart right on the board that tells you what size paper you need for the size card that you have and where to score and punch. Stampin’Up! has made a video showing you how to use it. It is really helpful to watch so you get it right the first time and avoid frustration.
Thanks for yesterday!
It was so very gratifying and humbling to read all the comments on my blog post yesterday. God definitely had a plan when He whispered to me to go outside and spend some time with him to restore my soul. The pictures weren’t amazing but they adequately conveyed the stories I needed to share. Thanks for joining me. Take time to slow down and to also give yourself grace. God really doesn’t want us to be in a rat race or in a continual state of near panic. Let go and let God. This is a lesson I also need to tell myself over and over.
If you need anything or have any questions, please let me know. It brings me great joy to share what I love. I often tell you about the shopping opportunity and also about the amazing deal on the starter kit, but tomorrow I am going to share my story about how I started as a demonstrator and how it has changed my life. The starter kit really is such a fantastic opportunity that I would love to open your eyes to the possibilities it might have for you! Have a super day.
Envelope Punch Board
Hello stampers and happy Monday to you! Today I have some Paper Pumpkin alternatives for you. Paper Pumpkin is an awesome monthly subscription kit and while the cards in there are wonderful, it is always a fun challenge to make something different with them as well. Let’s take a look at two of my alternative cards.
For this alternative card I used a carry over Christmas set that is in the annual catalog called Winter Woods. Coincidentally the same name as the Paper Pumpkin this month. I used the envelope to make the front panel. Just carefully pull it apart and then you can cut off the flaps. I ran a small piece of whisper white through the Pinewood Planks embossing folder to create some fun texture and then I cut a circle out of whisper white using the largest circle framelit from the layering circles collection. I sponged the circle with pool party and night of navy. The sentiment, the sequins and the cardinal are all from the Paper Pumpkin kit.
My vellum card was inspired by Arlene Luscombe on the Paper Pumpkin Fan Club on Facebook. I used a punch instead of dies, a different sentiment and a jingle bell. The vellum was cut to the same size as the card front and then adhered with a thin line of Tombow adhesive right along the edge. This edge was then covered up by the shaded spruce frame cut using the stitched rectangle framelits. I used the sprig punch to add two shaded spruce punchies and a gold jingle bell to set off my sentiment. The sentiment is also from Winter Woods.
You can find lots more inspiration on Facebook. My favourite place to look is the Paper Pumpkin Fan Club which you can find here. Stampin’Up! also publishes a monthly newsletter which you can find here. If you would like to subscribe to Paper Pumpkin, here is an easy link for you.
You Can Make Them Too
If you would like to make these cards you can! Just come to my beginner class on Wednesday October 30 at 1pm or 7pm. Cost is $15, but if you place an order then the money is put towards your order. If I have extra supplies and you live out of town, message me and maybe we can make something work! Thanks for stopping by and have a super day.
Hello stampers. I think it is fitting that my topic today is Winter Woods Paper Pumpkin. There was a little frost on the roofs this morning and there is a nip in the air. My gas fireplace is on and it is cozy! The Winter Woods Paper Pumpkin is gorgeous with sparkly white birch trees in the foreground and a lush evergreen in the background. Shall we take a look?
This is the card made exactly according to the instructions. Paper Pumpkin has included suggestions for two alternative projects, one is a card and the other is a 3D shadowbox. I was planning to make one of the alternative cards but my Woodland embossing folder is missing in action!
In this closeup shot of the Winter Woods Paper Pumpkin card you can see the beautiful sparkle in the birch trees and the silver accents on the banner and on the coordinating envelope. It really is all in the details! The pretty snowflake sequins add just the right finishing touch and they are included in the kit as well.
What Makes Paper Pumpkin Special?
What I really love about this kit is that it coordinates with products in both the annual and holiday catalogs making it super versatile. Paper Pumpkin is great for beginning crafters but it also offers instant gratification and portability for seasoned stampers. I know that it brought me joy when it came in the mail yesterday. If you would like to order it for yourself or as a gift for a teacher, friend, coworker or relative, here is the link.
Paper Pumpkin allows you to experience this great hobby without a big investment of space or money. You can make beautiful cards and other projects easily and without stress. No need to figure out what to make, instructions are included and there is also a link for videos as well as several online Facebook groups that share all kinds of alternative projects to inspire you.
Next month is a continuation of this kit but you will make 24 sensational Christmas tags that will coordinate with these cards. As a Paper Pumpkin subscriber you also have access to past kits and refill kits if they become available. You also have the option of skipping a month or adding an extra kit if you want more than one in a given month. It really is wonderful to have that kind of flexibility. You can also cancel at any time with no penalty.
A Video Tutorial
Sometimes it is nice to see first hand what is in a Paper Pumpkin and how easy it is to make a beautiful card. As a new subscriber you will also get a clear acrylic block in your first kit. If you want to see the live video that I did yesterday showing how to make the card, you can see it here.
I’m so happy that you dropped by today. It is great to connect with you and to share what I love and what I am making every day. If you have any questions or need help with your paper crafting, or if you have topics you would like me to address, please let me know. Have a super day.
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Hello stampers! I want to fight Alzheimer’s and dementia with card making. I know that may sound optimistic but studies have shown that stimulating the brain with new activities and keeping active is helpful to elderly people. My parents are 87 and 92 and are still in remarkably good health but whenever I come to visit I hear rumblings of “Mom is starting to lose it” or “Pap is slipping”. While I am not seeing many signs of this, it is still scary to contemplate. I am committed to taking a Paper Pumpkin with me each time and making cards with Mom. Pap has joined in yet, but maybe next time I will ask him too. Mom did fine following instructions and she quickly showed me that she liked adding her own twist to things.
I am sharing this so that you will also be inspired to do this with elderly people in your life. Their world shrinks and they love to have something meaningful and new to do. My mom right away said that she was going to send one of the cards to her handicapped sister in Holland. I then encouraged her to give another one of the cards to her church friend who is actually in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. Next time I cam going to pick up this friend so that they can make cards together. Paper Pumpkin makes this so easy. No prep required, all the fun stuff is in the box. Who will you do this with? Together we can fight Alzheimer’s in a fun and meaningful way.
Please share your stories with me and send pictures of you and your people making cards. I am passionate about making the world better one card at a time. Here is a picture of me and my mom.
Here is the creative mess on Mom’s kitchen table.
It really is heartwarming how much my Mom loved making these cards. She felt so accomplished and full of purpose. It was a nice change from her regular routine and it also allowed us to bond. Most of the cards are going to the Chatham-Kent Hospice where they have an “anniversary program” and they send out cards for the first anniversary of the loved ones death. Most people are having the most difficult time then in their loss process and are often feeling alone and forgotten, so these cards really make a difference.
Here is the link to the short video I did showing the cards close up.
Follow me on Bloglovin’
I will finish this post by letting you know that you can now also choose to follow me on Bloglovin’. There is a link at the top of this post. Thanks to Nancy Newcombe for telling me about this. I had noticed that some of my readers are coming to me from Bloglovin’ but I had no idea how that actually worked, so I looked into it and claimed my blog. Apparently this is a site where you can organize all your favourite blogs to make your life easier. I hoped I helped you with this a bit! Always learning new things and hopefully this will delay my demise as well.
Thanks so much for stopping by, I hope you have a super day. If you order online I have heard that there have been some glitches, so please let me know if you are having any difficulties so that I can contact Stampin’Up! about it.