Travel album sneak peak

We recently got back from the trip of a lifetime to Japan. I would recommend that trip to anyone – we had so much fun, and we were able to visit family and old friends and meet so many great new people.

I got right to work, putting all the best pictures into a beautiful photo book.
Japan album cover
I used the My Digital Studio (MDS) program from Stampin’ Up! and the Nobody’s Business photobook template
Nobody's Business template

Every page is completely customizable, so I used my photo from the Origami museum at the Narita airport on the cover, and made the whole album 8.5 x 11 instead of 12 x 12.  I moved things around, made some photo boxes much bigger, and added a few more custom pages using the coordinating digital papers and embellishments in the kit.

Most of my album pages are filled with the people we visited and met, and are a little too personal to share online, but here are a few of the picturesque pages of scenery and castles in Kyoto.
Album page Kyoto

I love how the neon colours work with the bustling Japanese cityscapes, and still work well with the ancient gardens and castles we saw.

Nijo castle page

I’m having fun sharing all our travel stories and pictures now that we are home. And we are definitely planning another trip like this in the future!

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Crafting with kits

Time for a quick crafting fix! I opened up an album kit, and it’s amazing how quickly 10 cards came together.
Here’s the Mini Memories album kit, currently on the clearance rack for $7.19

Mini Memoires kit

I did a google image search for “Mini Memories Stampin Up” and found some cards to start with (google image search is fantastic for finding inspiration for any SU kit or set).  I made 3 cards that were exact copies of those on www.ddstamps.com, then got a bit more original with these cards

Happy Anniversary Card

I added a green card base, embossed a piece of the craft paper and sponged it with white ink – everything else on the anniversary card were in the kit.

Vellum happy card

This card is a mashup of 2 cards from DD Stamps website. There was enough gold vellum to do 2 cards this style, plus some left over.

Anniversary card

This card has an added blue card base, and a small piece of Coral plus the stitching. The greeting is from the “Memorable Moments” stamp set. The other items and papers are from the kit.

 

Pear of pear cardsHere I added blue card bases, a small scrap of retired designer series paper (Sweet Sorbet from sale-a-bration last year) a retired greeting, and cut the paper into a feather shape for one.  The burlap ribbon is another tricky addition – I got it from another on sale kit!

Burlap and blooms

The Burlap and Blooms kit is on sale for $9.19 and includes 7 yards of burlap ribbon. A super buy, since the burlap ribbon by itself is regularly priced as 5 yards for $9.95

Grand total
$7.19 + $9.19 plus 5 full pieces of card stock = 10 cards fast and lots of coordinating leftover pieces for many future projects

See if you can find any other good deals on the clearance rack, or in kits you already own.  With a few extra scraps of card stock you will have all your projects done fast.

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Nuts About You Congratulations card

I love the new hostess set Nuts About You. Look at those adorable squirrels!
Here is an anniversary card I made with the set, and using the boutique details buttons I had left over from last year.

Squirrel card Nuts about You

The way the Stampin’ Rewards work – is with any order over $200 you get to choose free items to go with them. It might be your personal order, or a group order that you are hosting that qualifies. You can pick any merchandise to use your reward $ on, but the hostess sets are exclusive and are a great deal compared to similar sized sets in the catalog.

Nuts About You set
Nuts About You – clear mount $10 hostess dollars, wood mount $14 hostess dollars

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Typeset cards

It’s almost September, where did the time go?

Here is a bunch of projects I made using the Typeset Designer Series Paper set. This set has 24 sheets, all thinner than average like a real newspaper or book page BUT keeping archival quality. If you took a piece from a regular newspaper and tried to make a scrapbook page or art project you would have to worry about the materials deteriorating in time. With cards, this is not as big of a concern of course. I just love to make cards.
Koala card thanks
This is a single image stamp set, ‘Kind Koala’ I switched it to say ‘thank you’ instead of ‘thinking of you’ though. Also uses the new Hello Honey stitched satin ribbon.

Sweet baby flower card
Greeting with using My Digital Studio program, new Mossy Meadow stitched satin ribbon. Don’t you love the wording on the background paper from the old-style advertisements?

Envelope card
This card has an envelope on the front using the thin Typeset paper, with a glimmer paper circle sealing the flap. The flower and swirl are from the Everything Eleanor stamp set (a returning favorite!)

10 years portrait card
I surprised some friends with this card on their anniversary that features their likenesses. He is not completely expressionless of course, but the eyes and features that came with the Calling All Heroes stamp set just didn’t suit him.

So there you have it – a few new ideas using one set of designer series paper. Here are the details for the new items used.
-Typseset Specialty Designer Series Paper, item 133704 Typseset paperKind Koala
-Kind Koala, item 134360
-Calling All Heroes, item 138002 Calling All Heroes

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The finish line!

Running Like a Girl

The final instalment in the Running Like a Girl challenge

The weeks went by quickly, and now the finish line is already behind me!
Finish Line 2014
Here are the stats
First ever run – April 24 (2 km)
Total distance covered in April – approx 10 km
Total distance covered in May – approx 40 km
First race – 5 km Shoppers Drug Mart Run for Women on May 31, 2014

Run for Women

I finished the race feeling great, a little red in the face but I know I could have gone a little farther or faster. Not sure yet about my next goal. I definitely want to keep up the active habit, and maybe improve my pace or time (or technique!), and maybe do a 10 km race in future.

My mom and my husband cheered me on at the race and we had a great day together. Thank you for your support as I built these habits and finally got moving. Also thank you to Simon & Schuster and the Running Like a Girl challenge for getting me started.
Family at the finish line

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New products and new techniques

At a recent team meeting we saw a wide variety of projects made with new stuff, and I got to play with lots of it (even before my order comes in next week)!

First, a simple card layout showcasing the new In-Colors:
New In Colors
Supplies:
Greeting from ‘Work of Art’ stamp set
Card stock: Lost Lagoon (blue), Hello Honey (yellow), Mossy Meadow (green), Blackberry Bliss (purple)
Also uses the new Tangelo Twist (Orange) ribbon, and a little flower punch from the Itty Bitty Accents Punch Pack.

Next an angled easel card that was fun and easy to make. I will definitely be making some of these in an upcoming card class.
Sea Street Easel card
Stamp Set: Sea Street, Yippee-Skippee, A Fitting Occasion
Paper: Maritime Designer Series Paper, Night of Navy & Real Red & Whisper White cardstock, Gold Foil card stock
Inks: Night of Navy, Real Red, Coastal Cabana
Other: 1″, 1-1/4″, and 1-3/8″ circle punches, Thick Coastal Cabana bakers twine, On Film framelits

I also tried out the new Blendabilities – alcohol based markers that give a concentrated colour to a project and come in sets with 3 shades of a single colour so you can blend them together. There are a few things to know when working with these (to prevent them from drying out or damaging the tip) yet I found them really fun to use.
**The Blendabilities are in the new catalogue, but are not yet available to customers. However if you get a starter kit, including the on-sale $60 kit this month you can include one set in your order if you are interested in having these now before their wider release**
Blended Bloom Blendabilities Work of Art
Left sample: Blended Bloom stamp set, Rich Razzleberry & Daffodil Delight Blendabilities, Tuxedo Black Memento inkpad

Right sample: Work of Art stamp set,
Inks: Hello Honey, Lost Lagoon, Basic Grey
Papers: Moonlight Designer Series Paper Stack, Lost Lagoon & Basic Grey card Stock
Other: Hello Honey ribbon, 1-3/4″, and 2″ circle punches, 2-3/8″ scallop circle punch (punched twice to give pointy edges)

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Another step closer

Running Like a Girl

It’s the last week of my Running Like a Girl challenge, and I am another step closer to my race goal. I kept up the running routine until last weekend when I was outside doing door-to-door volunteer work all afternoon and got heat stroke. A few indoor days of recovery ensued, followed by a social dance night, followed by more indoor recovery days. But yesterday I made it back outside, and it felt great!

The weather cooperated too, not too hot for me to be worried about another overheating episode. I did a full 5K loop in my neighbourhood, and while I did not run the entire way (or anywhere close to it) I did have longer running bursts, and more of them than last time. I did a similar route before, and this time I made it better by getting the worst part over with first and ending with the best part.

Worst: crossing the busy intersection closest to home. It’s a long wait at the lights.
Getting better: 10 minutes in I arrived at the foot and bicycle bridge that spans the Whitemud Freeway. Here’s a picture of one end of the bridge
Foot bridge

The other end is lovely, with some wooden steps and lots of shady trees
Foot bridge 2

Now was the less fun part – running into the sun when I forgot my sunscreen, and fidgeting with my earphones which were not working properly. I took a side trip through another park, widened my circle slightly, and began heading home. Finally, in last few blocks I was at my favorite part. A long tree covered grassy area.
Running action shot
So there’s my running action shot. Almost home and glad I came out.

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Sign and Save – until June 30th

Sign and Save

For a limited time you can join Stampin’ Up! for just $60 CAN! This amazing opportunity will only last until June 30, 2014, so take what you already love doing—stamping and crafting—and make a little money while you’re at it!

When you join Stampin’ Up! during this limited-time offer, you’ll receive:

$65 CAN worth of products
A 30 percent discount on your first order*
A 20 percent discount on all your orders
Free Paper Pumpkin Kit
Free entrance to our annual Convention* (must be registered by the 20th of June)
Before June 2, 2014, you may also choose preorder items from the new annual catalog. See the list.

Create friendships that will last forever and enjoy the benefits of fun, friends, and creativity—become a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator today.

More details on signing up here
Click here to sign up now

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A walk in the park

Running Like a Girl

week 2
The promised ‘Learn to run’ kit came in the mail, so I stayed up late and read the first half of Alexandra Heminsley’s book plus the index so I wouldn’t have any excuse the next morning. The parcel included a copy of the book ‘Running Like a Girl’, a water bottle, hair elastics, compression socks, a vector bar, a notebook for tracking your runs, and some nail polish. The book gave me some good tips, and mostly made me remember that the biggest challenge is just getting out the door.

Learn to run kit

I grabbed my new equipment and went out the door the next morning for my first ever outdoor run. I went through the neighborhood at a brisk walk, occasionally bursting into jogging mode. 30 minutes later I was home. That wasn’t too bad! I admit it was mostly walking, but google maps says I covered 2 km so I feel like I accomplished something at least.

Week 3
This week I tried some time on the rowing machine and the treadmill. I actually found this harder than the outdoor run. I found I liked being able to set my own pace easily outside, and not worry about any equipment. I also realized I need some help so I can prevent injury and make sure I don’t develop any bad habits. I set up an appointment with a trainer through work, and found out about a fitness promotion in the city.

Week 4
I met with a personal trainer twice this week. I made it through the fitness assessment without flunking out, in fact I did much better than I expected. I think I found a better running pace, and I got some good ideas for improving my endurance on non-run days.

I also joined the UWalk program. The City Centre mall is having a few events to encourage walking and general fitness, so I grabbed a pedometer from them, had my picture taken beside the giant shoe, and logged 6000 steps on a ‘Foodie Walk’ where we went through the entire mall having free samples. It seemed a little strange to be encouraging exercise by giving us chocolate and lobster appetizers, yet it was also strangely effective. I went to each of the seven participating locations and had a little treat at each.

Giant shoe

I will miss the next event at the mall, a Shop N Walk, because it is on a Thursday night when I already have plans. I would encourage anyone to try this though. Sign up for the pedometer by joining the City Centre team, and go on May 22 for wine and discounts as you walk all evening.

So, in the past few weeks I have walked in malls, ran on treadmills, and today I enjoyed the sunshine for a jog through the park. I think that is my favorite yet. If spring continues to come I plan to enjoy more of it outside, and maybe I’ll even be ready for a certain race.

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Open Sea + Chalk Talk

This card was fun to make and very colorful (the pictures don’t quite do it justice). The chevrons kinda look like waves, right?
Open Sea Chalk Talk card

The list of retiring items from the current Stampin’ Up! catalog were released last week, so I challenged myself to make a card entirely with items that will still be available.

Stamps: Chalk Talk, Open Sea
Inks: Elegant Eggplant, Crushed Curry, Bermuda Bay
Paper: Wild Wasabi, Pumpkin Pie, Very Vanilla, Bermuda Bay
Accessories: Labels Collection Framelits, white bakers twine,
Chevron embossing folder, dimensionals, Crystal effects, Big Shot

I embossed the chevron pattern then used the Bermuda Bay ink pad directly on the raised paper to make the distressed zig zags. The nautical knot is 16″ of white bakers twine that I folded to use 4 strands together, wrapped in a figure eight and put the ends through the loops then trimmed off the excess. It was kinda short while manipulating the knot into the shape I wanted, but had very little waste cut off the ends. Try it with longer pieces, maybe 4 strands each 6″ long and you will probably have an easier time. Once I had the shape I wanted, I applied a couple dots of crystal effects to the back to glue it to the card and help the knot keep its shape.

Here’s my second trick on the card (I love doing this). I stamped the ship on the middle of the Vanilla piece then used a framelit to cut it out. I then trimmed around the edges. It is a very efficient use of card stock and lighter for mailing, and unless you took it apart you would never know that piece is missing. Tricky!

Open Sea Chalk Talk card pieces

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