Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Sneak Preview #6: Gifts In A Snap

Hey everyone, I just had to make this final sneak preview post! Well, technically it's not a sneak preview because you'll probably be reading it after the first day of CHA has opened...but I'm actually writing it early Sunday morning. I couldn't wait to show you these "sweet" projects:

Debbie Fisher created them using stamps from the Gifts In A Snap collection and our 10189X Tall Bag Template stamp. Aren't they fantastic?! And now they'll be available in clear stamp sets, which are really easy to use and store.

Only a few days left until you can order them on the Inky site...get ready! ;-)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Sneak Preview #5: My Friend Ronnie

Before I head off to CHA, I wanted to show you one more peek at some of the new stamps! Ronnie Walter has done it again...more My Friend Ronnie designs, which are too funny:

They'll be available in wood mounted stamps, and you can also get them in clear stamp sets, too! Plus the clear sets include coordinating sayings and/or elements (like this "portion control" addition, LOL):

These gorgeous cards were created by Michelle Pearson, a wonderfully talented stamper I met through my lovely friend Debbie Fisher.

See you when I get back next weekend, everyone. And in the meantime, I hope you have a great stamping week! :-)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sneak Preview #4: More Triangle Treat Sets

You may recall that this spring we introduced two clear stamp sets specially designed to coordinate with our 10215V Triangle Treat Template wood mounted stamp. The first was the Bunny Maker Clear Set, used to create cute rabbit treat boxes. Shortly afterward, the Dog & Cat Maker Clear Set was released.

Well, these have been so popular we decided to create more sets for you! Here's 10945SC Witch & Jack Maker Clear Set:

When used with 10215V Triangle Treat Template, it turns into this:

I love 10938SC Christmas Character Maker Clear Set:

Look at the finished projects:

And perhaps my favorite of all (although it really is tough to choose) is the 10940SC Polar Pal Maker Clear Set:

Check out the sweet little guys this set makes:

That penguin, by the way, is the brainchild of my friend Dawn Blomquist. She also created the original bunny triangle treat box. Such a clever lady!

So when will these three new clear sets be available for purchase? Our lovely website guru, Cheryl, tells me the entire Fall & Winter '09 collection should be ready on the main Inky site around August 3rd. We're counting down the days now...that's just around the corner!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Clear Stamp Congrats

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2009-07-20 06:20:05 UTC

* * *

Congratulations to Jodi, who won the Halloween Turtle Clear Stamp Set. Jodi, please contact me via email with your mailing info to claim your prize.

And thank you to all our blog participants! If you'd like to order this set when it's available on the Inky website in early August, it'll be listed under item #10921MC. Happy Monday, everyone! :-)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Cupcake Hello

We're cooking another Asian Feast today for Amy and Chad. I thought they'd request something different, but they said they liked this dinner so much they wanted to have it again. So, Asian Feast it is!

I was looking at cupcake recipes online yesterday because I thought I'd mix things up a little and try making a batch flavored with green tea. In the end, my research revealed that one of the ingredients (matcha powder) is a bit beyond our budget...so I'll probably stick with the Twin Dragon Almond Cookies or even store-bought fortune cookies. But it reminded me how much I love cupcakes, just like this chef girl:

The image is 2233G Pastry Chef, and the saying is 10788D Hello Cupcake. The tone-on-tone teal background was stamped with 10872F Sweet Background. Bon appetit!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Sneak Preview #3: Turtle Clear Sets

If you've been an Inky stamper for a while now, you may recognize this latest peek at the Fall & Winter '09 collection. Because of inventory issues, we'd discontinued our clear stamp sets a little over a year ago. However, we now have the capability to produce them in-house. That means we're able to re-release the super popular turtle sets, including this one:

It's the Halloween Turtle Clear Set, with the new item number 10921MC. We're also bringing back the other three turtle sets in this series, along with Ravishing Ribbons, Sew Many Stitches, Marvelous Match-Ups...PLUS 30 (yes, 30!!) brand NEW clear stamp sets!

I'm excited to show those to you soon, but in the meantime, check out these adorable cards that Lana Lepinski had made with the original Halloween Turtle Clear Set.

This set will be available for ordering early next month with the rest of our new clear sets and wood mounted stamps. In the meantime, though, you can enter to win the Halloween Turtle Clear Set in a blog candy giveaway! This will be a sample set, meaning it won't be packaged or labeled...but the set is still all new and pretty.

Just let us know in the comments section of this post the item number/name of your favorite Inky Halloween stamp(s). Hint: You can find the complete collection by clicking on the Halloween "Go" button on this page.

Entries will be accepted until this Sunday, July 19th, at midnight Central time. One entry per person, even if you list more than one item number/stamp. I'll randomly select the winner on Monday and report the results then.

Please be sure to add your name if you post anonymously (in other words, without signing in) or we won't be able to include you in our drawing. It will be the winner's responsibility to contact me via email no later than July 24th. If I don't hear from the winner, I won't be re-drawing; remember to come back and check by the deadline in case YOU are the lucky recipient!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Coffee & Borders

It's days like today, when I'm feeling a bit draggy from lack of sleep, that I marvel over the wonders of caffeine. ;-) As I've mentioned before, Diet Dr. Pepper is my preferred pick-me-up (I should buy stock in my local distributor, seriously), but coffee is probably the most popular choice. It stimulates the brain like nothing else, LOL! In fact, you probably know someone who would really appreciate this card:

The leaf green layer was embossed with a Cuttlebug embossing folder. My favorite part of the card, though, was the double-scalloped edge, which I created with the Fiskars Threading Water Border Punch. I punched the patterned and solid orange cardstocks separately:

Next I stacked the patterned piece over the orange one, lined up the scallops (with the orange part peeking below the patterned part, just until the little circles were no longer showing) , and cut them both at the same time to the size I wanted my finished orange layer to be.

Then I trimmed down the patterned piece one-quarter inch shorter on the top and sides, layered all my pieces (including the stamped image piece, which I'd pre-matted onto leaf green cardstock), and assembled the finished card. The stamped image piece was made with 10601G Coffee Klatch and 10550D Saving The World.

Thank you to my friend Tex for providing the inspiration for this fun card. Here's wishing you all a high-energy week filled with creative ideas!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Sneak Preview #2: Monkey Mania

Even though I've been home all week, it's been a few days since my last post because I have been immersed in pre-production work on the new flyer. I'll explain more about that later, but for now I just wanted to celebrate by doing a little happy dance:

Why, you might ask? Because the draft flyer is ready, and now I've turned it over to the capable hands of our graphics guy in Cleveland, Zach. He's got all kinds of stuff to do so it can be printed on the press...stuff that I don't really know much about, except that it involves color separations and stripping pages and other exotic terms.

And, ta-da! Like magic, he'll get the final version back to me for proofreading next week. He may look like this when he presents it:

Okay, probably not. I'm just being goofy. But aren't these monkeys adorable? You may recall having seen a couple on Ronnie Walter's drafting table last month. Here's the colored version of that vine monkey:

Tres cute, no? Hope you think so, too! Looking forward to your comments, and I'll "see" you on Monday after I'm back from the Pittsburgh convention.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Sneak Preview #1: Festive Reindeer

It's getting close to that time of year again...the Summer CHA trade show, where we'll unveil our Fall & Winter '09 collection. We're attending the show July 28-30, and then the new designs will be available on our website shortly afterward in early August.

I know that still about a month away, but I couldn't wait to share a peek or two with you! (I'll be doing more of this over the next few weeks, so continue to check back for additional previews.) Even though we're smack in the middle of summer right now, this adorable reindeer drawn by Ronnie Walter reminds me that it's never too early to start thinking about Christmas:

And check out this "sweet" little guy:

What do you think...do they put you in the mood for the winter holidays?

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Wink, Wink!

Hope you had a terrific holiday weekend! Yesterday we had Steve's parents, his younger sister, and her family over for a cookout. Steve grilled the burgers, brats, hot dogs (for the kids), and corn on the cob. We had store-bought potato salad, but I made coleslaw and brownies from scratch. I had some extra time, so I decided to whip up a batch of cookies, too:

A few weeks ago, I'd printed out a recipe for Cherry Winks on Allrecipes.com. They turned out really yummy, so I thought I'd share the recipe with you:

Cherry Winks

3/4 cup shortening
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup dates, pitted and chopped
1/3 cup maraschino cherries, chopped
2 1/2 cups crushed corn flakes cereal
10 maraschino cherries, quartered

Preheat over to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease baking sheets.

Cream the shortening with the sugar. Blend in the eggs, milk, and vanilla.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture, and stir well. Add the chopped pecans, chopped dates, and 1/3 cup maraschino cherries.

Shape teaspoonful-sized chunks of dough into balls. Roll each ball in the crushed corn flakes. Place balls on the prepared baking sheets, and top each cookie with 1/4 maraschino cherry.

Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on a wire rack, and store in airtight container.

Note: I substituted butter for the shortening and toasted coconut for the pecans (since I didn't have any of the latter on hand). Instead of topping each of the cookies with 1/4 cherry, I increased the size to 1/2 cherry. I goofed and forgot to add the 1/3 cup maraschino cherries, so next time I'll make sure to do that!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Pennsylvania & North Carolina Conventions

The StampScrapArtTour conventions in Pittsburgh, PA and Winston-Salem, NC are only one and three weeks away, respectively. Just wanted to let you know that there is still time to purchase tickets, register online for the classes, and sign up for the Friday evening Make & Take events at both shows.

In Pittsburgh, Stacy Stamps will be offering her class The Virtues of Vellum, Art Gone Wild! will host two fun classes, and I'll be also be teaching one for Inky Antics.

For the Winston-Salem convention, we've just added my Inky-active Cards: Surprising Sliders class to the lineup. (Originally this wasn't on the list because I was staying home that weekend, but now I'll be there too!) Don't forget about Cards With Clever Cutts and Cards That Are JustRite, both of which have open spots left.

If you're able to visit us in either Pennsylvania or North Carolina, we'd love to see you there!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Shake It Up

Recently I received an email from a customer who was curious about the Nestabilities dies (she specifically referred to the Labels One set) and how they worked. This was my response to her:

"The Nestabilities dies by Spellbinders are designed to be used with a die-cutting system, such as the Cuttlebug, Wizard, Big Shot, etc. (ie, they cannot be used just by themselves). Each die has a smooth side and a ridged side, and the ridged side is placed against your cardstock to do the cutting. You sandwich them between the plates that come with your die-cutting machine and run them through the machine to cut. Then you run them through again but with a slightly different plate configuration if you want to dry emboss the shape you just cut out.

Here's a YouTube video that shows the process. I didn't create the video, but it does a nice job of demonstrating the product. And this is a project I made using the Labels One dies.

A set of Nestabilities is initially more expensive than a regular paper punch, but it's a better value in the long run because you get several dies in each set that contain the same shape in graduated sizes. After cutting out (and embossing, if you wish) your shapes, you can layer them as shown in the Hiya Cookie box project. I use the Nestabilities with my Cuttlebug all the time (in fact, I pulled them out today to make some booth samples for this weekend's convention), and I absolutely love them!"

The customer wrote back to thank me for my reply and then added this:

"The difference though is that I want to use the shapes and die-cut machine to make a window in the card (so I would be discarding the punched out shape). Does the cut look neat on the piece of card that the shape has been cut from? And do you think that you could go ahead and do the dry emboss the same way?"

I knew the answer to that one immediately! But I wanted to take a couple of photos to show what I meant, and her letter inspired me to create a shaker card project featuring a window made with the Nestabilities. So I started by using a die from the Labels Two set to cut out my window. This is what my "sandwich" looked like before I added the C plate on top and ran it through the Cuttlebug:

After I removed the C plate, I re-layered my "sandwich" to add 3 sheets of cardstock as a shim underneath the pink paper. I turned around the order of my die and pink paper so the die was under the paper this time. My new "sandwich" looked like this before I gently laid a tan embossing mat and second B plate on top, so as not to disturb the placement of my die:

Next, I stamped 10852E Cup of Tea in the middle of a piece of white cardstock and colored it. I placed my pink piece on top to center the image in the frame, and I marked the corners so I'd know where to cut the white cardstock:

I turned the pink piece to the "wrong" side and applied adhesive around the frame area:

After the above photo was taken, I put down a piece of clear cardstock (also known as acetate) to create a window and then set aside my pink piece.

Next I took the white stamped card, where I placed foam tape around the outer edges. I also added foam tape across the middle to make my shaker window smaller than the entire length of the card. I was careful to "butt up" the ends of the tape so they met without any gaps in between. (I didn't want my beads to escape!) I poured my beads into the center of the upper foam taped area, and here's what it looked like at this point:

After carefully peeling the release strips from the foam tape (those little beads can sometimes jump up and stick to the foam tape, which I didn't want to happen), I placed my pink panel on top of the white card while making sure to center it:

A piece of PA809 Bright Stripes paper from Darcie's and some white grosgrain ribbon provided the finishing touches:

And getting back to the customer's original question about the die-cut frame? This close-up shows it all (click on the photo for an enlarged version):

Thanks, Nikala, for asking about the Nestabilities. Hope this helps!