Sunday, December 10, 2017

Stamping Sunday Blog Hop - Stampin' Blends

Hey everybody! I'm so excited today because I've been asked to hop along with the Stamping Sunday crew as their guest designer. What an honor! The theme for the hop is Stampin' Blends so it'll be fun to see the different and creative way everyone has used them. The Stampin' Blends markers are alcohol based markers and are great for so many uses. The obvious use to color on paper but keep on reading to find a couple of other uses for them.



For this hop I decided to try something that I haven't tried before and I used my Stampin' Blends on acrylic to create a fun, artsy, faux-watercolored look. 



I started my card by selecting an acrylic sheet from the Petal Passion Memories & More Card Pack (available when the new Occasions Catalog Launches on January 3, 2017). This acrylic sheet was preprinted with some subtle white flowers on it. I used those flowers as a guide for my coloring and colored on the textured side as the texture held the color well. For the flowers I used the Daffodil Delight and Calypso Coral Blends. The leaves were done with Old Olive.
At first I wasn't sure that the smooth acrylic was going to hold the ink very well. I had started with Soft Sky and decided to use the light Bermuda Bay Stampin' Blends to do the background. I started to see a light layer of color. As the color started to dry I was able to add to it by coloring a second layer of color over the first layer. This also moved some of the color around resulting in a brush stroke look that I think looks like a soft and pretty watercolor painting. 

When I was done coloring, I layered the acrylic sheet over a piece of Whisper White Cardstock and added Iridescent Sequins with reckless abandon. This all got layered over Sahara Sand cardstock and some Very Vanilla Lace Trim.  After that I embellished with some Calypso Coral Ombre Ribbon, some Linen Thread, a tassel and tag from the Corrugated Elements pack. If you look closely you can tell that I colored that tiny little piece behind the sentiment with my Calypso Coral Blends. Originally, I was going to use Calypso Coral cardstock but the color was too bold. The Stampin' Blends were the perfect shade for this project. I didn't end up using it (because I LOVE this ombre ribbon) but I actually made a custom color ribbon for this project out of white ribbon colored with my Stampin' Blends. It colored evenly and dried quickly and was an easy way to get just the color of ribbon you were hoping for. 



I've also made a box to show the versatility of the Stampin' Blends markers. For this project I used a strip of black and white DSP (Petal Passion DSP) and colored it in with my Blends. I used both of the Pool Party, Bermuda Bay and Night of Navy markers to create an ombre look on the DSP. 

Here's a closer look at the DSP so that you can see how well the colors blend. It's unbelievable easy too. I like to start with my light marker, then I use the darker one. After both colors are laid down, I use the lighter of the colors to blend the line where the two colors meet. It's really great that you can do this and it does not ruin your markers!

Another fun way to use the Stampin' Blends markers is to color your embellishments. I already mentioned making custom color ribbon and you can do the same thing with your rhinestones too! I used the light Night of Navy marker to color these sparkly bits before adding them to my layered sentiment piece. I love that we can now have many colors of rhinestones that match SU colors perfectly. 

Here's a last look at my box and that Blends colored DSP peeking through as an accent piece. 

That's it for today folks! Thanks for stopping by my blog and I hope you'll keep on hopping with us to see what the rest of the crew has made. If you'd like to keep on hopping please follow the list of names in the Blog Roll below until you've seen everybody's beautiful creations. 

A huge thanks to Sara Levin and the Stamping Sunday team for inviting me to join them this week. It's been fun ladies!

Have an awesome day everybody!

Maria Willis

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Friday, December 8, 2017

Reindeer

Hey everybody! It's late and I have got to hit the hay so this post is going to be short and sweet. I made a couple of holiday cards last weekend that I haven't had time to share yet so here's the first one. I'm trying to use up my DSP and ribbon so I did some layering for this fun card.



I love using black and white for most of the card and then using some pops of color to make a few elements stand out. I used the Wood Textures DSP stack for the reindeer and the Painted Harvest and Merry Little Christmas DSPs for layering. I also added some silver metallic ahead, 
black and white Striped Ribbon and some Real Red 1/8" Ribbon ( I love this ribbon). The black rhinestones were the perfect embellishment to pull this card together. 

Ok, you guys! That's really it for today as I am off to bed! If you have any questions please let me know. As always, if you'd like to purchase any of the products that I've used today please click the "Shop Online" button below or email me for help.

Have an awesome day!
Maria







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Want a great discount on Stampin' Up! Products and to have a fun new stamping family? Join me on this fun adventure! I can't wait to be your super excited Stampin' Up! side kick and support lady! In case you didn't know, you can join Stampin' Up! just for the discount and never sell a single product. If you want to know the details just let me know. If you're looking for a discount on your favorite hobby (stamping and paper crafting with Stampin' Up! products) and want to earn money doing it... let me know! I'd love to talk with you whatever your interest might be! If you want to see a little more info go ahead and click the button below. Looking forward to hearing from you!


Thursday, December 7, 2017

Creating Kindness Blog Hop: Because We Care

Hello Everybody! I'm glad to have you here today because today is another fabulous Creating Kindness Design Team blog hop. Our theme today is Because We Care and it such a fitting theme for this time of year when we have so much opportunity to care for others.


I have a few different things to share with you today and I'll be the first to say that my photos aren't spectacular as I hadn't actually planned to share these first two (until I realized that they fit this theme perfectly), but, stay tuned for a third project with a VIDEO TUTORIAL (bottom of post). I live in a tiny, little mountain town in California, USA. Our town's recreation department recently purchased an abandoned country club with the intention of turning it into a rec center for our community to use. This would be so great for our community as our summers are hot and we do not have a community pool. It would also be fantastic for our local youth to have a safe place to go for summer activities. Now that the property has been purchased the Recreation Department is in desperate need of funds to renovate the property. Our town held a fundraiser (an epic Chilli Cookoff!) with a huge raffle to try to help the Rec Department out. I donated a huge stamping/crafting basket and a gift set of cards to the raffle. 

My basket was full of card and project kits many of which were put together from leftover Paper Pumpkin Supplies. I also added Stampin' Write Markers, adhesives, embellishments, some finished cards and projects and some treats as well (chocolate). I have no idea who won it but I sure hope they loved it!

Here's a pic of the card set I donated. It was a set of four different customs cards. I closed them up in an acetate box and added a belly band to pretty it up. 



I also did something fun at the On Stage event in Salt Lake City, Utah this past month that I think fits the theme of "Because We Care." There is of course a small back story... Earlier this year (April) I attended the OnStage event in San Diego. I had been selected as a stamper for one of the Display Boards and I spent the time leading up to the event stressing out about creating pretty things for my display board. I didn't have time to prepare swaps and I decided that I would just have to be ok with that. But, guess what...?  My heart was absolutely melted by the kindness that so many showed to me that day. Many people asked me to swap with them and of course I didn't have anything to give. The first time that someone smiled huge and pressed a beautifully wrapped chocolate bar into my hand and told me to "take it anyways..." brought the hugest smile to my face. And folks, it didn't stop there. Many more people gifted me beautiful handmade creations throughout the day. I went home feeling so happy, so lucky, to be part of this beautiful community. 

This time as I prepared for OnStage I had originally decided not to do swaps because I was so busy and didn't need the stress. But then I remembered the kindness I had experienced in April and decided that if I could only get ten swaps done then hopefully that would be enough to put a smile on a few people's faces. I suddenly felt that it was really important to pay it forward. I ended up making over fifty "swaps!" Of course, they didn't end up being swaps as I gave them away to anyone who wanted one. Thirty of them were these treat boxes that I'm sharing with you today. The other 20-30 were smaller and had sticky hands inside (I love sticky hands!). 

Anyhow, the most special part of my day came when I was explaining why I was just giving my swaps away to a table of people. I explained how good I felt being the beneficiary of other people's kindness and that I just wanted to do the same. I was Paying It Forward I guess. One woman at the table was so thrilled! She was so happy and excited that she said she was gonna do this same thing at the next OnStage! How cool! I plan to do it again too as seeing people's happy faces as they received an unexpected gift was really quite the treat. Ok, I'll stop rambling now. Here's my project.

Each of these little boxes held a Hanuta treat, was wrapped with a DSP belly band and had a touch of Black Shimmer Ribbon popping out the side. 

The sentiment pieces were stamped with Basic Black Archival ink onto Shimmery White Cardstock and spritzed with Island Indigo, Lemon Lime Twist and Berry Burst (rubbing alcohol mixed w  re-inker in a spritzer). Please not that if you got one of these from me and your colors blended more than splattered like these examples.... It's because I accidentally refilled my re-inkers with water and it does give a different look than the alcohol mixture does. So, some of my sentiment pieces had a splatter look and some of them blended and bled together a bit more. 

Want to see how I put these together and get some measurements too? Here's a quick video tutorial for you. Enjoy, and then check out the description in my video to see a list of awesome videos from my Creating Kindess Friends. 



So glad to have you stop by today and I'll see you back here soon! I hope you'll continue the hop by clicking the button below and heading over to see what the fabulous Cheryll Miller has made to share today!

Maria




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Want a great discount on Stampin' Up! Products and to have a fun new stamping family? Join me on this fun adventure! I can't wait to be your super excited Stampin' Up! side kick and support lady! In case you didn't know, you can join Stampin' Up! just for the discount and never sell a single product. If you want to know the details just let me know. If you're looking for a discount on your favorite hobby (stamping and paper crafting with Stampin' Up! products) and want to earn money doing it... let me know! I'd love to talk with you whatever your interest might be! If you want to see a little more info go ahead and click the button below. Looking forward to hearing from you!


Monday, December 4, 2017

Give Thanks

Hey everybody! I've just got a quick share for today. This card is quick and easy and is actually a stepped down card from something I made a while back. Honestly, I made this a while back too and never got around to sharing it. Whoops!


A while back I did a tutorial for a technique called "Ink Smooshing." You can check out that tutorial here. It's a fun and easy technique but perhaps not something you want to try if you're in a hurry and need a card on the double. So, I decided to see if I could recreate my card technique card using DSP... Wouldn't ya know, it worked out pretty well. 

The card on the left has a background that was created with the Ink Smooshing Technique. The card on the right uses the Painted Autumn DSP as a background piece.

The sentiment that I used (heat embossed in gold) is from the Labels to Love stamp set. I also used the Starburst Punch with Gold Foil and added a strip of Gold Glimmer Paper for a little extra flair.

So, the next time you're looking for an easy Thank You card, look no further. 

Ok, I've got a gigantic task list for today so I am outta here.
Have an amazing day you all and I'll see you back here soon.

Maria.




Want to shop with me? No problem, just click the button below. 
Let me know if you have any questions!
Email: mariawillis@hotmail.com


Want a great discount on Stampin' Up! Products and to have a fun new stamping family? Join me on this fun adventure! I can't wait to be your super excited Stampin' Up! side kick and support lady! In case you didn't know, you can join Stampin' Up! just for the discount and never sell a single product. If you want to know the details just let me know. If you're looking for a discount on your favorite hobby (stamping and paper crafting with Stampin' Up! products) and want to earn money doing it... let me know! I'd love to talk with you whatever your interest might be! If you want to see a little more info go ahead and click the button below. Looking forward to hearing from you!


Saturday, December 2, 2017

OnStage SLC House Gifts

Surprise! It's me... I know I've been a bit MIA and I'm sorry about that. These last few since coming home from Utah have really been a whirlwind. Shortly after I came from Utah my Grandma ended up in the hospital. She was stuck in hospital jail for nine days and when they sprung her she decided that she would go home (she lives with my parents) and would decline any further medical care. She is now on hospice. She seems to be more popular than a prom queen these days as everybody is now coming to visit. She enjoys the visits but it's also a bit overwhelming for her. Anyhow, between the family time, Thanksgiving, and an epic camping trip out of cell phone range (such a treat) I have been a bit overwhelmed and have fallen behind. So, I am only just now getting around to sharing these fun little organizers with you...

At OnStage my awesome housemates and I decided to do a gift exchange with each other. There were no rules so that we could truly gift what we wanted to gift, in whatever fashion we wanted to gift it in. We also decided that retired product was acceptable...because, c'mon! These are gifts from the heart and all Stampin' Up! product is awesome including retired product. 

I am really into fountain pens (what better to write in my cards with, right?) and wanted to gift my friends each a fountain pen with a fancy shimmering ink inside. Originally, I was just going to make a box to package the pen in but I decided to make these fun organizers instead.


I apologize because I didn't have a lot of time to take pictures of these before I had to wrap them to put in my suitcase. I designed them to fit the fountain pen in the center and the worked out from there. The fountain pen is secured in the center with a ribbon to hold it snugly in place. On the right side each of these organizer books there is a mini composition notebook covered with DSP. On the left, I've added an accordion style folder so little notes, receipts, sticker, or little bits of whatever can be tucked away for safe keeping. The flap at the right closes over the cover of the book and has a hidden magnetic closure inside for a clean look. 


Before I packed these into my suitcase I did quick sneak peek video so that I could share the inside of each of the organizers. I do plan to do a video tutorial in the future so that I can share the measurements and some hot tips.

Thanks for stopping by today! I hope you liked my little projects. See you back here soon and enjoy your weekend everyone!

Maria.



Want to shop with me? No problem, just click the button below. 
Let me know if you have any questions!
Email: mariawillis@hotmail.com


Want a great discount on Stampin' Up! Products and to have a fun new stamping family? Join me on this fun adventure! I can't wait to be your super excited Stampin' Up! side kick and support lady! In case you didn't know, you can join Stampin' Up! just for the discount and never sell a single product. If you want to know the details just let me know. If you're looking for a discount on your favorite hobby (stamping and paper crafting with Stampin' Up! products) and want to earn money doing it... let me know! I'd love to talk with you whatever your interest might be! If you want to see a little more info go ahead and click the button below. Looking forward to hearing from you!


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Emboss Resist with Video Tutorial and the Stamparatus!

Hey everybody! Well, I'm back from OnStage and trying to get back into the swing of things. I do have a card with a fun technique and a video tutorial for you today but before I get to that... BIG NEWS!

Stampin' Up! has announced the release of the Stamparatus (SU's innovative new stamp positioning tool)! It is really a mind blowing tool and I can't wait to preorder mine later today. They'll be available for preorder at a cost of $49 US at 1:00 today here in California. I'll post a link for you to preorder yours as soon as I have it so check back here in a little bit. For now, here's some info about the Stamparatus!




Ok! Now that I've shared that exciting news lets take a look at my card. I've used a technique called the Emboss Resist Technique on both the background and the sentiment. First, I stamped the background with a stamp from the Hello Color Clear-Mount stamp set in Versamark ink. Then I heat embossed the whole background with Clear Embossing Powder and sponged it with Tempting Turquoise, Bermuda Bay and Island Indigo inks. As I sponged, the embossed image resisted the ink I was applying and the image became visible.


I also used the Emboss Resist Technique on the sentiment for this card. I had intended to heat emboss it in White Embossing Powder on Night of Navy cardstock. However, I accidentally grabbed my Clear Embossing Powder instead. No problem... I grabbed my White Craft ink and sponged it over the top of the embossed sentiment before I cut it out. Worked like a charm. To finish my card off I fussy cut the sentiment and popped it up on dimensionals over a Smoky Slate circle (sponged and splattered) and some sparkly Black Ribbon. I added a few Black Rhinestones and called it good.


I know sometimes it's easier to learn a technique by watching it done so I've made a quick little video to share with you today. You can watch the Emboss Resist Technique on both the background and sentiment, as well as see how I splattered the Smoky Slate circle using my Stampin' Write marker (I've had a few people ask me how to do that so I hope this helps).



Alright, that's it for today folks. I hope you enjoyed my card and video tutorial. Don't forget to come back later for more information on how to order your own Stamparatus!

See you soon and have a great day!
Maria.



Want to shop with me? No problem, just click the button below. 
Let me know if you have any questions!
Email: mariawillis@hotmail.com


Want a great discount on Stampin' Up! Products and to have a fun new stamping family? Join me on this fun adventure! I can't wait to be your super excited Stampin' Up! side kick and support lady! In case you didn't know, you can join Stampin' Up! just for the discount and never sell a single product. If you want to know the details just let me know. If you're looking for a discount on your favorite hobby (stamping and paper crafting with Stampin' Up! products) and want to earn money doing it... let me know! I'd love to talk with you whatever your interest might be! If you want to see a little more info go ahead and click the button below. Looking forward to hearing from you!


Monday, November 13, 2017

Friendships Old and New

I'm home from OnStage Live in Salt Lake City, Utah and I cannot wipe the permagrin off of my face every time that I think of my friends. Yes! OnStage was great but you know what was even better... these people (and so many more who I didn't get pics with but still contributed to an amazing weekend). 

Some friends and I decided to rent a house so that we could spend even more time together during our trip. It was so much fun getting to do this! We did a house gift swap, stayed up late and laughed our tails off and had an amazing time together. We dubbed ourselves the Backpack Brigade as we were all carrying backpacks around. In back: Kathleen, Sara, and Adrienne. Bottom: Carolynn and myself. These ladies made my trip!


I met Adrienne West in April at the San Diego Local OnStage event. We live in the same county and  had chatted a little bit on-line but met for the first time on the plane heading to San Diego. She's amazing, has a great mind for business, and I was so glad to share another event with her. I'm even luckier that she is local and we can hang out in person when we have the time. She just started blogging and you can check her out here.

There are two special people that I spend a lot of time talking to on-line (don't roll your eyes at me!). Whenever my husband wants to know who I'm messaging with and why I won't put my phone down... it's one of these two. On the left is Carolynn Sander from Canada, and on the right, Sara Sauve from Idaho. They took this picture after I was already gone (Adrienne and I left early Saturday evening and these two had another night to kill) and I love it! You can probably tell just by looking at the pic why I love them...beauties inside and out.

I met Sara through the amazing Lee Conrey who I finally got to meet as well!! Lee has adopted me  as part of her team and has become both mentor and friend. I'm lucky to call her part of my SU family. We all went to dinner at an amazing Brazilian Barbecue restaurant!

Here are Sara and I grubbing down. My favorite thing was the bacon wrapped chicken-yum! Funny story: Sara's husband was worried that I might be some pervy, fat man luring Sara into my lair to do her no good. Hahahaha! Sara is a total bad a$$ (ex-military) and wasn't afraid to come meet me anyways. Friday was Veteran's Day. Thank you Sara for your service! This woman is one of the smartest, wittiest, most hilarious women I've ever met. She almost killed me of laughter one of the nights as she held a long, and totally amazing, conversation with Siri. I had to leave the room because I laughed so hard I started seal barking uncontrollably. Meeting Sara for the first time was one of the best parts of this trip. 

Carolynn Sander and I started talking sometime around the last OnStage (April) and it was funny because it turned out that we were both big fans of each other's work. If you want to check out her awesomeness you can find her at carebearstamps.com It was so good to finally meet this woman. She lives up to her Carebear name and is a total sweetie-pie. She was one of the display stampers at OnStage and her creations are so stunning! After spending the weekend with these women I realize the importance of good friendships. I don't have a lot of friends at home because I'm always running around taking care of business. That made the weekend with these ladies even more special to me. 


If you can believe it there are a few more lovelies that I am going to quickly mention. This pic is of me, Carolynn and the amazing Jenny Hall. Jenny is one of the sweetest and classiest people you will ever meet. I am on the Creating Kindness design team with her and Carolynn and was so glad to   finally meet her in person. 

And then there's Charlet Mallett! I "met" Charlet when we were on a design team together a while back. Since then I've been a huge fan of hers and was so excited and happy to find out that she has been selected as part of this year's Artisan Design Team!! Only 16 people in the entire world were chosen and you really have to be a step above the rest to be selected. Congratulations Charlet! This honor is so well deserved! Glad to finally meet and spend some time with you. Looking forward to seeing all of the inspiration that you will continue to bring the stamping world as an Artisan.

And then there's this beauty! Lisa Leslie is a newer Canadian demo and was honored for achieving Quick Start! She was so fun to hang out with and even let all of us crash her hotel room for an evening hang out while we waited for the Mexican food restaurant to have room for us. She is such an awesome lady and her enthusiasm for SU is contagious. I'm feeling pretty darn lucky to have made Lisa as  a new friend. 

Last but not least, Carolynn and I snapped a quick pic with the incredible Brian King. His presentation at OnStage was one of my favorites. He said he was exhausted but he is such a pro that it never showed. 

Ok, folks. That's it for today. I always hear people say that they go to OnStage for the people... I'm here to tell you that's a real thing. The people I have met, and the friends I have made, are what have made my experience priceless. I miss these people so much already and can't wait to see them again soon.

Hugs to all,
Maria







Thursday, November 2, 2017

OSAT Blog Hop - Winter Holiday

Hi Everybody and welcome back to my blog for my second post of the day! This time I am hopping with the One Stamp At a Time crew and the theme for this month is Winter Holiday. I can't wait to hop all the way around this hop and see the fun things everyone has made.


I made a sentiment-free holiday card using the mouse from the Sugarplum Dreams Stamp Set. I don't know  if he really is supposed to be, but in my mind this mouse is from the Nutcracker! 


I stamped the mouse on Shimmery White cardstock and colored him in with my Aquapainter using Old Olive, Real Red, Pacific Point, Daffodil Delight and Smoky Slate. Then I layered him over ribbons and paper and silver metallic thread. 

The Basic Black background is embossed with the Quilt Top Textured Embossing Folder and is blinged out with the addition of some Black Rhinestones.


Thanks for stopping by my blog today! Please let me know if you have any questions by leaving me a comment below or shooting me an email at mariawillis@hotmail.com  If you're interested in shopping with me you can click the "Shop Online" button below, or, click on any of the linked products in my post. 

Have a great day!
Maria.


Now hop on over to the incredible Marisa Gunn!

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Want a great discount on Stampin' Up! Products and to have a fun new stamping family? Join me on this fun adventure! I can't wait to be your super excited Stampin' Up! side kick and support lady! In case you didn't know, you can join Stampin' Up! just for the discount and never sell a single product. If you want to know the details just let me know. If you're looking for a discount on your favorite hobby (stamping and paper crafting with Stampin' Up! products) and want to earn money doing it... let me know! I'd love to talk with you whatever your interest might be! If you want to see a little more info go ahead and click the button below. Looking forward to hearing from you!