Monday, July 11, 2016

Camera Card (or why you shouldn't sell your stuff . . .)

This weekend, I had my annual craft sale. I say "annual" like I do it every year. 

But this year was different. I actually lugged all the stuff (I mean "treasures") from the various nooks I'd squished (I mean “carefully packed”) it into and sorted, priced and organized.

I even advertised! I was ready to go.

Then a horrible thing happened.

In the middle of my sale, my husband asked if I had a birthday card with a "camera theme" for his dad. I went through my pile of cards. Nope.

So I did what any respectable crafter does and Googled “Paper Camera Cards.” I found a super example at Linda Aarhus’ Polka Dots and Paper (see her original post here:

But I had to improvise, and quick. When he asked me for the card, it was 11:00. We needed it in the mail by 1:00. Plus, in between I had customers and lunch to eat (can't craft on an empty stomach).

I started playing around and realized I wanted a real “lens” look. “Wait!” I thought to myself (I know that thoughts shouldn’t be in quotes, but just go with me here). I am selling what I need!
I scanned my table of "tools and other fun stuff" and saw that they were still there:

Ahhh! (That's the magical choir sound)
and to make it work, I needed my foam circles (also for sale):

And then through the magic of blogging, I ended up with this: 

And when it's all done, it's a cool toy!

So, pretty much everything I used on this card is retired: The Party Wishes Stamp set, the Sweet Treat Cups, the Circle Adhesive Foam stickers . . .

But if you really love it, you know where you can get it. Just drop me a line because they're all still sitting on the table!

I hope you enjoyed today's post. Thank you for taking the time to read it.

Until next time, stay crafty!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Dena's Birthday Card

One of my good friends and sister stamper had a birthday party yesterday. This girl LOVES purple. I mean, really loves purple. She even has purple dining room chairs. And they're gorgeous!

So choosing the palette for Dena's card was a no-brainer. However, she also loves simplicity--no embellishments for her!

A few clicks in my mental archive brought up a technique that was viral a year or so ago that I had completely forgotten about: the bokeh technique. Bokeh is a photographic effect where little light bubbles fill the frame. Some think it's a photographic error. Others think it's artistic. Guess which side we're on . . . 

Here is Dena's finished card. Below it is the step by step tutorial.

I wish I could capture how pretty this card is in photo, but I just can't. 

Want to recreate it? It's fairly easy, but it's messy!

Step 1:
Use washi tape to secure a piece of watercolor paper to your workspace. Why washi? Because it will not rip your paper when you peel it off. 
Pick out three colors. I like ones that are opposite on the color wheel for contrast. 

Step 2:
Soak the watercolor paper with water using your Aqua Painter. Then dip your Aqua Painter in one of your ink colors and drop the ink on the paper. TIP: Don't swirl or move the ink around too much; the water on the paper will move it around for you.

Step 3:
Repeat step 2 with your other two colors. Your paper will be soaking wet. At this point, you can move your colors around so that every bit of your paper is filled with ink. TIP: Be careful not to muddy your colors by blending them too much. 

Step 4:
You can be a patient person or you can be like me and get your heat tool and dry your paper. This was Henry's favorite part (he watched me make this whole card). The colors change when it dries, and it's so fun to watch the transformation.

Step 5:
Use your circle punches to make a stencil out of a window sheet. You can't really see this in the photo, but I cut my window sheet to the size of my card front and then used 4 different sized circle punches all over the stencil.

Step 6:
Take a dauber to your Whisper White Craft ink and layer, layer, layer. Make some of your circles darker than others for variety. TIP: I found that the edges of some of my circles were too stark a contrast, so I rubbed my finger around the edge to make it softer against the watercolor background. It worked really well!

Step 7:
At this point, you can stamp directly on this paper using Staz On, or you can emboss. I wanted white text, so I embossed. The Suite Sayings stamp set is so versatile, and the birthday greeting fit the tone I was after perfectly. TIP: Instead of mounting the stickers on your stamps, mount them in your cases; that way, you can hold up the case and see if the stamp will fit or look nice where you'd like it on your paper!

Here is what it looks like once it's embossed:

Dena loved her card, and I had fun making it. I hope you'll experiment with your supplies and try something new. If you do, please post a response. I'd love to hear from you!

Thank you for stopping by. 
Until next time, stay crafty!


Saturday, July 9, 2016

Barnyard Babies

Oh, sweet little barnyard babies, how I adore you!
Plus, PUNS!

Check out this sweet set:

It's hard to pick which little animal to highlight, but I'm a sucker for pigs and puns, so I had to go with the little hog:

Look at that adorableness! (And yes, I did color outside the lines. Everyone makes mistakes, and that's OK!)

So for this card, I simply layered a sheet from the "Affectionately Yours" Designer Series Paper (see below) on top of Whisper White cardstock. 

Then I ran another piece of the Whisper White through the Big Shot using the Floral Affection Textured Impressions Embossing Folder

Yes, you do get two! 
Then I stamped the little piggy and the sentiment. I colored him using my Flirty Flamingo ink pad and a blender pen. That's all there is to it!

Don't Forget that right now are the Stampin' Up! Bonus Days! That means for every $50 you spend between July 7 and July 31, you will get a $5 Bonus Days coupon emailed to you that you can redeem between August 2-31! 

I want to celebrate the Bonus Days and my anniversary by sending you a "Thank You" surprise gift and a completed card from our Stamp Club this month when you use this hostess Code: TESNUFTC.

Simply copy and paste this code into your online order. Your screen will look like this:

Once you complete your order, Stampin' Up! will email your Bonus Coupons. DO NOT lose this email! SU! cannot resubmit those emails, so once you receive it, guard it carefully!

I will then send you your surprises! Yippee! 

Have a super day and thank you for stopping by!

Stay crafty,


Friday, July 8, 2016

No Bones About It Watercolor Card

Stamp Club Card #1

I know I promised to post pictures and tutorials of our stamp club projects yesterday, but as it was my 15th wedding anniversary, I was a little busy. Sorry! But today is the day!

The "No Bones About It" set is just GRRREAT! Ha! 

Photopolymer stamps make 2-step stampin' easy!
I haven't done a lot with "kid"-themed cards, and this set just cries (screams?) for playfulness.

This is such an easy project; there are only two layers. The background is Emerald Envy upon which I stamped the leaves using Emerald Envy ink. 

Then, the top layer is WatercolorPaper on which I used my Aqua Painter, Peekaboo Peach and Emerald Envy ink to create the background.

I stamped the dino in Peekaboo Peach and Black Staz On ink. 

Talk about quick and easy. Plus, there's lots of stamping which is always fun.

Right now are the Stampin' Up! Bonus Days! That means for every $50 you spend between July 7 and July 31, you will get a $5 Bonus Days coupon emailed to you that you can redeem between August 2-31! 

I want to celebrate the Bonus Days and my anniversary by sending you a "Thank You" surprise gift and a completed card from our Stamp Club this month when you use this hostess Code: TESNUFTC.

Simply copy and paste this code into your online order. Your screen will look like this:

Once you complete your order, Stampin' Up! will email your Bonus Coupons. DO NOT lose this email! SU! cannot resubmit those emails, so once you receive it, guard it carefully!

I will then send you your surprises! Yippee! 

Have a GRRRREAT day and thank you for stopping by!

Stay crafty,


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Bonus Days Hostess Code!

Tomorrow begins the Stampin' Up! Bonus Days! That means for every $50 you spend between July 7 and July 31, you will get a $5 Bonus Days coupon emailed to you that you can redeem between August 2-31! Now, to sweeten the deal, I am offering you even more!

Because July 7 is my 15th anniversary with my dear hubby, I want to celebrate by sending you a "Thank You" surprise gift and a completed card from our Stamp Club this month when you use this hostess Code: TESNUFTC.

Simply copy and paste this code into your online order. Your screen will look like this:

Once you complete your order, Stampin' Up! will email your Bonus Coupons. DO NOT lose this email! SU! cannot resubmit those emails, so once you receive it, guard it carefully!

I will then send you your surprises! Yippee! 

Tomorrow I will post pictures of the cards we made at our club last night. One of these cute cards can be yours  . . .

Thank you for stopping by!

Have a super day and as always, stay crafty!


Local Stampers!!

It's finally time for Alison’s Annual Craft Room Sale!
3120 Kemper Drive in Westchester

I'm only just starting to bring the boxes out!

Please join me in my home Saturday 9-noon or Sunday 1-4 for my annual crafting sale!

I am reorganizing and clearing out supplies to get ready for the holidays. I have so many fun items that I’ve finally decided to let go including Stampin’ Up! items, more than 50 stamps, dozens of punches, designer series paper (some unopended!) including retired Christmas, Halloween & Autumn, ink, cardstock, embellishments, paper crafting tools, craft storage systems, paper from Heidi Grace, My Mind’s Eye, Urban Lilly and MORE!

My sale will be in my basement craft studio so you must be able to negotiate stairs.

10% of your purchase will be credited toward a future SU! order!

No early sales, please.

Alison Stachera


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

July $5 Bonus Coupon Promotion!

Did you get everything you want from the new annual catalog yet? Since it only came out a month ago, you probably still have some items on your wish list, and I have some great news for you! 

For every $50 you spend in between July 7 and July 31 (before shipping and tax), you’ll get a $5 Bonus Days coupon that you can use August 2–31. This is a great opportunity to shop from your wish list, whether you buy your favorite products now or later in August with your coupons! Plus, you can combine your coupons when redeeming, so there is no limit to the amount you can save!

 • Promotion Period: July 7–31, 2016 
 • Redemption Period: August 2–31, 2016 
 • An email address is required to participate in this promotion; Bonus Days coupon codes can only be delivered via email. 
 • It is strongly recommended that participants both save emails containing their Bonus Days coupon codes AND write down the coupon codes in a safe place. Codes cannot be resent if the email is lost, and lost codes cannot be recovered. 
 • Bonus Days coupon codes can be redeemed for any product, excluding Starter Kits and Paper Pumpkin subscriptions. New prepaid Paper Pumpkin codes can be redeemed.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Retiring Products Countdown

One of my favorite stamp sets was Feel Goods. The sentiments spoke to me, and I have used them so many times. Take a look:

Another collection I loved was the Six-Sided Sampler and its coordinating Hexagon Punch, both of which are retiring, also. You could purchase them separately or buy them together as a Bundle and save 15%.  

The last product I want to show off today is the Birthday Bouquet DSP. Oh. My. Goodness. That paper is just the prettiest. This paper is innocent spring fun in paper form, and being neither "spring-y" or "innocent," I need this paper in my life to remind me that such things exist. 

Look, there are ice cream cones and balloons! Polka dots and flowers! Confetti and roses! What's not to love? 

So, I ultimately combined all these retiring products and made a (I-don't-mind-if-I-say-so-myself) be-yooo-tiful card for my mom.

A few Blushing Bride sequins added the sparkle this card deserved.

The background cardstock under the DSP is Mint Macaron, if you were wondering.

So, here's my pitch: I hope you like my project. If you do, then support more projects like it by placing your SU! order with me. If you do, I will send you a gift. It may be a completed project. It might be a little bag of DSP (retired or current). It might be a project kit. It might be some embellishments. The fun part is not knowing what you'll get, but you will get something! 

Get those orders in soon, though, because the retiring products are only "as supplies last!"

Thanks for stopping by. Until next time, 

Stay crafty!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Sunburst Cards

One of the best things about being a demonstrator is getting to know other demonstrators and learning from them. At our most recent demonstrator meeting, a great technique was shared by my friend and talented stamper, Sue Scheets! She demonstrated how to make a "Sunburst" card, and she was so excited about the technique that she infected all of us. 

Once I saw it, I knew this was going to be a project I would do with my Stamp Club this month, and it was also a fantastic way to show off the retiring products, especially that gorgeous DSP!

First off, watch Sue's video tutorial for the skinny on how to make this project and then come back and see my interpretations:

Ok, now that you're back, check these sweet cards out!

Supplies: Apple of My Eye, Cherry On Top DSP Stack

Supplies: It's My Party DSP Stack, Party Wishes Stamp Set, (and don't forget the Party Punch Pack that coordinates with the stamp set. It's retiring too!) Or, BUNDLE and SAVE 15%: Clear-Mount Bundle

Here's another version using the same stamp set but putting the focal point for the sunburst in the center.

This is such a fun technique. If you love any of the supplies used here, get them while you can because the retiring products are only "while supplies last!" If you shop with me, I will send you a "Thank you" surprise in the mail! 

Have a great day!

Until next time, stay crafty!


Friday, April 8, 2016

Handmade from the Heart

Look at what I'm doing today!

Teapots, teapots, teapots!

Notice that the Melon Mambo and Cucumber Crush cards are stealthily turned over? That's because I don't want to ruin the surprise! What surprise? 

The super awesome card event in a couple of weeks!

If you haven't heard, three SU! demonstrators and I have designed 12 cards using TWELVE different stamp sets from the Occasions and Annual Catalogs!! Want to know who these awesome designers are? The amazing Julie Davison, the rocking Rachel Chamberlain and the inspirational Jessica Ingold

You won't want to miss this Handmade from the Heart class where you can get all your spring and summer card needs met! Choose from a variety of greetings to create cards for the occasions you are celebrating.

Choose between the Friday night (April 22) or Saturday morning (April 23) sessions. 

Our goal is to give you the opportunity to play with as many products from the 2016 Stampin' Up! You can see the paper, the stamps and the embellishments you have been craving in person!

If you do not consider yourself a "creative" person or have never stamped before, this is the perfect opportunity to try it out. We have designed the cards, prepared the materials, cut the paper, picked the ink and prepped the embellishments. All you have to do is show up and stamp and assemble.

We'll be donating additional cards to be delivered to our local public service men & women.

The cost to attend is $35, which includes class supplies for 12 projects (including envelopes, handouts with color photos, and instructions/tips for each project), and a "Goody Bag" with a sampler of coordinating designer paper, ribbon, and embellishments (a $10 value) PLUS bonus photos and instructions for more projects to make at home!

Oh, and I was assembling bits of that "Goody Bag" this morning, and you will LOVE it!

Here is the link to register!

P.S. If you cannot attend this local event, I would be happy to sell you a kit of all 12 project materials; however, you would have to supply the stamps. If you are interested in that option, let me know!

Have a super day. Stay crafty!


Thursday, April 7, 2016

Picture Perfect

How about a little surf to go with your springtime fun?

The Picture Perfect stamp has 3 gorgeous series of images: a starfish, roses and a hummingbird. 

Today's project features the Starfish. It's a 2-step stamp. I used Calypso Coral for step 1 and then Soft Suede for Step 2. 

I used my paper snips to fussy cut the little dude. The background paper is Soft Sky cut to 4 x 4. the torn paper is the Kraft card stock, which adds beautiful texture to the card. 

Don't overlook those specialty papers!

I gave the effect of water droplets by clear embossing the little splotch stamp from Timeless Textures. And a bit of linen thread never hurt anyone . . .

The final touch was to heat emboss the sentiment in white and to add a strip of the crepe filter paper to the bottom. 

I hope you enjoyed this project. Share or comment, if so. I would love to hear from you!

Thank you for stopping by today. Until next time, stay crafty!


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

You Need This Punch

This Decorative Label Punch is 25% off this week. I can't imagine why; it's such a fantastic punch that I don't think I go a week without using it.

Am I exaggerating? Not really.

Here is a perfect example:

This weekend, my husband fondly reminisced about childhood mornings with cinnamon sugar sprinkled on his buttery toast.

"I don't suppose you could mix some of that up, could you?" he asked. 
Why don't you do it? I thought to myself. It's cinnamon. and sugar. 
Ugh. Boys. 
Um, I mean, Men.

So being the loving (not resentful) wife I am, I happily blended some cinnamon and sugar in a bowl. 

Then what?

Oh, I had just used up all my cardamom and still had the bottle in the recycling bin. Now, if my husband were doing this, he would wash it out and put the cinnamon sugar in the bottle and leave the label, hoping no one would notice it's not cardamom. 

But, I am not my husband (in sooo many ways).

A little retired DSP and that Decorative Label Punch with a Victorian font downloaded from (love that site) and voila!

Ok, don't look too closely. I ended up with two seams, so I tried to cover it up with the label, and NO ONE in my house will notice, but if I had known I was going to photograph my spice jar when I made it, I would have made sure to do a more "profesh" job. But, that's how we roll at our house: visible seams.

At any rate, you get the idea. You need this punch for everything from crafting to labeling your spices. 

I would love to hear from you, too! How do you use this punch, if you have it. If you don't, then you must buy it and hypothesize on the many ways you will use it. 

I hope you found inspiration today!

Until next time, stay crafty!


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Weekly Deals are Coming to an End . . .

Sadly, this is true. However, Stampin' Up! wouldn't leave us in the lurch entirely. They will offer specials every few months, so I expect great things to appear in those specials.

Until then, take advantage of the Deals while they last. The Rose Garden Thinlits are amazing. I have used them multiple times. Most recently in last night's stamp club!

First, the deals, then the inspiration:

Bermuda Bay Thick Baker’s Twine
Brights Sequin Assortment  by Stampin' Up!
Calypso Coral Thick Baker’s Twine by Stampin' Up!
Classy Designer Buttons by Stampin' Up!
Confetti Hearts Border Punch by Stampin' Up!
Crushed Curry Baker's Twine by Stampin' Up!
Decorative Label Punch by Stampin' Up!
Gift Bag Punch Board  by Stampin' Up!
Gift Card Envelope & Trims Thinlits Dies by Stampin' Up!
Glassine Sheets  by Stampin' Up!
Gold 1/8 Ribbon by Stampin' Up!
Gold Glitz Dazzling Details by Stampin' Up!
Rose Garden Thinlits Dies by Stampin' Up!
Snow Flurry Punch by Stampin' Up!
Sunburst Thinlits Die by Stampin' Up!
Now, the inspiration!

I was inspired by Artisan, Connie Collins' project (see original here). I had to tweak it a little because I didn't have all the same supplies, but I am pleased with the outcome:

140520: Polymer $27

Tea Lace Doilies
104199: $4.50
140619: $31

Neutrals DSP Paper Stack
138435: $22

Have a Cuppa DSP
140567: $8

Mossy Meadow
Daffodil Delight
Crushed Curry
Delightful Dijon

Here is another project using the Rose Wonder Framelits. This one is pretty simple. The colors are Daffodil Delight and Mossy Meadow. 

I hope you enjoyed today's post. I would always love to hear from you!

Until next time, stay crafty!