Thursday, 27 September 2012

Thankful Thursday - Four Seasons

Yes, dear friends - I am blessed.  And thankful.   And as promised yesterday, today I have a Thankful Thursday card.   I used the Hostess set, Four Seasons (one of my favourites from this catalogue!) and some thumping of coloured ink on the stamp to get the variegated Fall colours.  Love how it turned out, don't you?

Supply List
Stamps - Four Seasons, Perfectly Penned, Scentsational Season
Paper - Whisper White, More Mustard, Cajun Craze
Ink - More Mustard, Cajun Craze, Cherry Cobbler, Early Espresso & Garden Green markers
Tools and Accessories - 2 3/8" Scallop Circle Punch, 3/4" Circle Punch, dimensionals, (Dazzling Diamonds & 2-Way Glue Pen)

Of course, my daughters unanimously piped up and said the card needed glitter (but then again, what card doesn't??) so I added some and I must say, I see their point.  Unfortunately from this photo it appears that the 'wind' is the most prominent element now.  The photo does not do justice to the subtle sparkle of the leaf motifs on the white scalloped circle, surrounding the bird.  But in real life the glitter really draws attention to this element and makes the card just that much more appealing.

And don't you just love the way the steam image from the Scentsational Season stamp set can double as wind currents?  I saw this idea online (I cannot remember where) so I cannot take credit.  But it is awfully effective, isn't it?  One of the benefits of hand-stamping cards is that you can add coordinating details to the inside of the card (and the envelope) to really jazz things up.  I love the blowing leaves on the inside of this card!

I have a multitude of things for which to be thankful - not the least of which is my husband and kids.  I don't think I could ever get tired of telling you how much I love them.  I really do.  But I'll keep it short this time and just mention it in passing.....I love them (!!).   :)

Hope you too are surrounded by people that you love. 
       God Bless,      ~Cynthia    <><

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Founder's Circle Reminiscing

Hello friends

I know I should be posting a gorgeous card or a note about upcoming classes and such, but instead I wanted to post this photo from my Founder's Circle trip.  My own camera was acting up the day we got to tour the manufacturing facility in Kanab, but a fellow demonstrator took some pics for me and e-sent them (thanks Jackie!) so now I can share some with you.

Of course, we cannot take photos inside the facility (I can tell you that it is a bright, well-lit, non-crowded, happy place to work!).  But we also got to see the apartment where SU! co-founder/CEO, Shelli Gardner and her family stay when they are in Kanab.  The apartment is every bit as beautiful as Shelli is.  And she is a wonderful and gracious individual who happily submits to photos all day long with those of us who are just dying to have a picture taken with her!  You'd think maybe she would eventually get tired of smiling?  But if she does, she certainly does not show it.  On the contrary, she takes every opportunity to tell us how blessed she is, and how grateful she is for all that she has achieved in life.  In her own words (when I asked if she ever gets tired of smiling for photos while we traipse through her apartment) she said she has a LOT to be thankful for and to smile about!

And I'll tell you this too - all of the workers in the Kanab facility?  They also attest to how wonderful Shelli is and how lucky they feel to be able to work for her and at Stampin' Up!.  Every one loves their job.  And they openly tell you how well they are treated.  Really makes me feel truly grateful and comfortable - knowing that I am part of a company that treats its workers so well!   :)

Tomorrow is my Thankful Thursday post.  And I, too, have a lot to be thankful for!  Like Shelli, I hope to embody that to those who see me, and I hope to always be vocal about all the blessings I know I've received in life.  I need to go now and get ready for my Holiday Catalogue Kick-Off Party on Saturday so I will say good-bye.

I pray that all of you have a marvelous day.           God Bless,      ~Cynthia       <><

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Holiday Catalogue Kick-Off Party - Sat, Sept 29

Those of you in the Ottawa area are invited to my Holiday Catalogue Kick-Off Party this coming Saturday, Sept 29, from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.

There are cute cards to make, door prizes to win, refreshments to enjoy and retired items to buy.  AND - for every retired item you purchase,  you receive a credit of equal value that can be used (within 24 hrs) on an order from the Holiday or regular catalogues.  (i.e. purchase a retired item for $15.95, and you now have $15.95 credit towards the catalogue price of any one item, whether it is $15.95 or $45.95.  Purchase 2 retired items and you have credits to apply towards 2 items on an order, etc)

Catalogue purchases/orders may be made on-site or submitted within 24 hrs.  Shipping & handling and taxes only apply to the catalogue orders (not retired items).  What a great BOGO/two-for-the-price-of-one special! 

As you can see, you'll be making 2 very cute cards!  With minor alterations, the card designs are CASed from the creative geniuses of Jill Hilliard and Angie Juda.  Come and make some cards, have some fun, and see the Holiday catalogue in person!

RSVP if you are coming so I can have your materials ready for you (and so I can get you more details)!  And don't forget to bring your adhesive and scissors!

Till Saturday then.  God Bless,     ~Cynthia   <><

Friday, 21 September 2012

Affection Collection - A Fast & Fabulous Friday

Wow.  Friday is almost over and I am finally getting around to making and posting a card.  So I HAVE to be fast.  Otherwise I will run into Saturday!

I needed to make a card lickety-split so decided to use whatever is on my table.  My downline and friend, Michelle, just finished returning my Affection Collection set so it was sitting there, as well as various ink colours.  So I used what was within arms' reach, and voila.
Supply List
Stamps - Affection Collection, Loving Thoughts
Paper - Whisper White
Ink - Midnight Muse, Marina Mist, Bashful Blue
Tools and Accessories - Stamp-a-ma-jig, Basic Rhinestones, sponges

In addition to turning out a cute and quick card, I challenged myself to use a set that is not one of my regular go-to sets.  And I really like this card.  Who knew?  Perhaps I should design under a time-constraint more often?

Hope you are all looking forward to a wonderful weekend.
God Bless,       ~Cynthia    <><

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Thankful Thursday - Thankful For Founder's Circle and....

I can tell you this friends - no one is more blessed than I am right now!!

I enjoyed myself immensely at Founder's Circle last week.  I was pampered and treated like royalty.  I met and made friends with some remarkable and truly wonderful ladies.  Then I returned home to be reminded of how much I am loved and appreciated by my husband and children. 
And then I held a few successive club nights and had the opportunity to share my creative passion with customers (aka FRIENDS) - who also let me share with them my joys and stories about Founder's Circle!  I am blessed.  Truly and overwhelmingly blessed!

Life is so very good.  And I am thankful!  So here is my Thankful Thursday card for today.  Each of my club members will receive one of these with their September orders because I am truly thankful for each and every one of them!  I would not have achieved Founder's Circle, Rising Star or Fiji without them.  And even without the awards and achievements - my life would be just a little bit poorer without each and every one of them.

Supply List
Stamps - From My Heart
Paper - Whisper White, Midnight Muse
Ink - Midnight Muse
Big Shot -  Window Frame Collection Framelits
Tools and Accessories - Paper Piercing Pack Essentials, Paper Piercer, Basic Rhinestones, Dimensionals

One of my favourite things about this card is the wonderful effect you can achieve with the piercing tool.

Notice the piercing around the Midnight Muse piece, and also the base white card?  What an inexpensive way to add an interesting and attractive accent to a card.

Well - I have about 50 of these cards to make so I am going to get started on that now.  (I told you - I have a LOT of reasons to be thankful!).  In the meantime, may you each be blessed to recognize the many things for which you should be thankful!

God Bless you all,      ~Cynthia    <><

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Founder's Swaps - The "Other" Ornament

Hello Friends

Just a quick note about the swap card that I made and posted here - apparently I had several of you (and even some of the other members of Founder's Circle!!) stumped since they couldn't figure out how I had created my ornament.  I think some of the other Founder's ladies even thought I had used vanilla-coloured embossing powder or vanilla craft ink to create the ornament.  Which would have been a no-no since we don't carry either product!   :)   Nope - the ornament is actually made using the emboss-resist technique.  Stamp it on Very Vanilla cardstock using versamark ink, then apply clear embossing powder and heat-emboss.  Use a sponge to apply Early Espresso ink (quite liberally so the Espresso is dark) to the image, wipe the extra ink off of the embossed image with a clean cloth, and cut out the ornament using the appropriate framelit.  And voila!   A gorgeous, Espresso and Vanilla heirloom ornament.
Nancy Lewis

Audra Mancur

As promised, here are the other 6 cards that I received as swaps at Founder's Circle, that all use an image(s) from the Ornament Keepsakes stamp set. 
Josee Smuck

Kriss Huels

They are every bit as lovely as the cards I posted yesterday and I am loving going through all my swap cards and seeing the creative ideas that other demonstrators came up with.

Dania Welch

Jill Olsen

I'll bet you can all understand now why Stampin' Up! said the Ornament Keepsakes stamp set is their best-seller right now!!  You can certainly create some beautiful cards using these images, don't you agree?

Until tomorrow, have a wonderful day and God Bless,
               ~Cynthia       <><

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Founder's Circle Swaps - Great Minds Think Alike

Hello Friends

My swap card for Founder's Circle
Well - I can't say that I've fully recovered from Founder's Circle yet (as one friend commented, a girl can really get used to someone making her an omelet and pouring her a coffee every morning!).  But I am glad to be home with my husband and kids once again.  They got to listen to all my stories about how super it was.  And they've seen the suitcase stuffed with gorgeous gifts and wonderful memorabilia that I returned with.

Just a quick share with you today.  While at the Stampin' Up! manufacturing plant in Kanab, we asked what the "most popular" stamp set is right now and they replied that it is the new Ornaments Keepsakes set from the holiday catalogue.  Wow!  They weren't kidding!  You remember that my own swap card for Founder's Circle used one of the ornaments from this set (see photo to the right).  Well, 6 other cards I received as swaps at Founder's Circle used the exact same ornament!

Joyce Feraco

Jackie Bolhuis
That's 7 out of 120 cards where we all chose to use the same image!!  Can you believe it??

Julie Davison

Patty Chenail

Karen Trelfa
Meg (last name unknown)

What's more.....a further 6 cards that I received as Founder's Circle swaps used one or more of the other images from that same stamp set.  So that makes 13 of the 120 swap cards, all using the Ornament Keepsakes stamp set.  If you want to use the Founder's Circle achievers as your barometer, I'd say we know a good thing when we see it!

So for today I've given you a brief sampling of my Founder's Circle cards -the ones that use the same ornament image that I used.  I'll show you more cards with the other ornament images(s) tomorrow.

Have a wonderful day and God Bless,     ~Cynthia      <><

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Founder's Circle - Time To Go Home

Hi Friends - as you read this I will likely be en route to Ottawa after a glorious 4 days of unadulterated pampering in St. George, Utah.  Founder's Circle was everything I had been told, and so very much more.  We are made to feel loved, pampered, coddled, cared about, respected and needed.  And every day, at the end of the day, Stampin' Up! leaves us with a gift to show their appreciation of us.  Our final night they really out-did themselves!

Each of us received a gorgeous silver charm bracelet with a Founder's Circle 2012 charm on it.  The note inside congratulates us for the achievement and promises that for each year we achieve Founder's, we will receive a new charm for our bracelet.  What a beautiful and wonderful tradition.

Some of these incredibly talented women have been to Founder's Circle multiple times - a number of us (about 2 dozen) are here for the first time - but hopefully not our last!  And each of us has one of these beautiful silver charm bracelets.  Stampin' Up! honours us and blesses us, whether it is our first achievement or one of many.  What a wonderful company.  And how extraordinary to feel so appreciated!

Would you like to be a part of a company this special?  If you would, then contact me and ask me how you can become part of my team.  I'd love to be able to share this experience with so many more of my friends!

Alas - my time in Utah is over and I am on my way home to my wonderful family (hurray!) and all the other components of my real life (rats!).  But I can't wait to get back and share some of the great ideas that others have shared with me.  Card ideas.  Scrapbook classes.  3-D items.  I'm not sure there are enough days in the week to do all the things I have in mind.......

I hope you've enjoyed your last few days as much as I have!  I'll return to posting card ideas soon. 
Until then, may you all feel extremely blessed and content!     

God Bless you            ~Cynthia           <><

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Founder's Circle - Day 4

What a lovely day!

This last day of Founder's Circle was a day of relaxation for me.  I slept in and indulged my sleepy self before getting up and finishing my Make & Take, which is gorgeous by the way!  Don't worry ladies, it will be a lovely Scrapbook class that I'll offer - once the stamp sets and paper become available.  They are new items not yet available to the "general public".
Shelli, myself and Alanna Wharf

Of course, during the fun and creativity, the wonderful Shelli Gardner (Founder and CEO of Stampin' Up!) and her daughter Sara Douglass mingled with us, stamped and glued with us, and generally made us feel right at home!  They really are a classy pair.

Actually - ALL of the people who work with them at Stampin' Up! are classy and wonderful.  I really do have one of the best jobs in the entire world!

Myself and Sara Douglass

Once done my Scrapbook project, I had some pool time before heading off to Saturday night Mass.  And then?  While many of the Founder's Circle achievers went to Tuacahn Theatre to watch a production of "Hairspray", I did a little more of that rest-and-relaxation thing.  Now it's off to pack for a very early departure tomorrow morning.  I can't wait to get home to see my family - but I don't want this to end either!  It has been wonderful and fun and I've met some of the loveliest and most talented ladies I can ever imagine having met. 

Tomorrow morning will come earlier than I care to think about so I will sign off now and get back to packing.

I wish you a wonderful Sunday.   God Bless,      ~Cynthia    <><

Founder's Circle - Day 3

Boy am I ever beat!  Really and truly tired! 

Today was the most amazing day....but it has been a long one, that is for sure!  We started the day with an early morning breakfast and 2 hr bus ride to Kanab to see the Stampin' Up! manufacturing facility.  It was so impressive to visit with the employees on the production floor and speak with them about their work.  Loved seeing everything there!

Then on to the Glen Canyon Dam to get onto pontoon boats for a long and lazy drifting through the gorge on the Colorado River.  Wow and wow again!

This was the most beautiful boat ride I could ever imagine.  Cliffs rose on either side of us up to 1000 ft.  We went around the famous Horseshoe Bend.  And we even stopped to see some ancient petroglyphs carved by native Americans from long ago!

So much fun.  So much beauty.  Glorious.  Glorious.  Glorious.

And they even provided a wonderful "boxed supper" for our long bus ride back to the hotel...but check out the cute little thermal lunch bags they've given to each of us!

And of course, no Founder's Circle day is complete without being blessed with gifts.

I won a Heat Tool and embossing powder in a random draw.  We were given a NEW stamp set while at Kanab (I wish I could show you....but at least you'll see some cards using these stamps soon).  And lots of other wonderful loot.

And lastly - the special pillow gift they gave us today.  A framed photo of the Horseshoe Bend that we floated around today.  What a truly wonderful memento of our day's blessings!

I go to sleep now - bone-weary tired but content and thoroughly blessed!  May your day be as rich in Blessings!    God Bless,     ~Cynthia    <><

Friday, 14 September 2012

Founder's Circle - Day 2

Wow!!  Today I got to sit with, eat with, talk with and swap with some of the greatest demonstrators on the face of the planet.  Seriously!  I mean, all the big-wigs, the giants, the best of the best.  And we ended the day with some of these fantastic ladies sharing tips and tricks with us about how to better our business.  Such a wonderful day.  And so much fun!!

When Stampin' Up! does something, they do it RIGHT!  Even the water is presented beautifully.   Every water decanter is always filled with either strawberries or blueberries or melon slices or lemon slices....of course you can have plain water if you wish to, but who can refuse the 'gourmet' water?
And see this water bowl?  It sits on a tray of ice that has lemon and orange slices frozen right into the tray!  A visual and a taste-bud delight!

For tonight's swap (in our jammies) we were greeted by the smell of hot cinnamon and when we entered the hall we found a gentleman preparing cinnamon-coated almonds for us.  I think this may be what heaven is like.  And if it is, let me tell you, heaven smells like cinnamon!    :)
Please don't ask me how many cones of almonds I ate.  It isn't a ladylike number, that's for sure!

And, of course, the room was dotted with various other delectable goodies for us to indulge in.  Stampin' Up! is determined to make me fat, I am convinced!     :) 

While we ate and generally let ourselves be pampered, We heard some amazing demonstrators share some truly outstanding tips with us tonight.  Love that the other ladies are so willing to share with the rest of us!

And after all the eating and indulging and tip-sharing, we went out into the hall and exchanged (swapped) cards.  All 120 of us.  In our pj's. 

 The.  BEST.  Business.  Meeting.  Ever!  

I can't wait to get home and start showing you some of these gorgeous cards.  These ladies are so brilliant and creative!  Can't wait for many of you to see these swaps when you come to my Holiday Catalogue kick-off on Sept 29.

 Then, when all was said and done, I returned to my room to find my second pillow gift.....the most beautiful and *softest* (!!) blanket you can imagine.  It was all rolled up nicely but I had to unroll it and feel its wonderful and luxurious softness! 
Stampin' Up! really is the best company in the world and I love my job.   How many of you get to say that?!?!

Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy your day.  Friday we will be taken to the Kanab facility to see where the stamps are made.  Then they are taking us to a secret location to pamper us in some way.  The whole things is hush hush and secretive.  All I know is that we were told to bring sunscreen and a hat, and sandals, flip flops or water shoes.  We are a little too land-locked in south-western Utah to involve the ocean or beachfront, but there is water here (Lake Powell).  Could our surprise involve a boat?  Check back tomorrow so I can tell you what Day 3 at Founder's Circle was like!!

In the meantime, have a wonderful Friday and a great start to your weekend.
God Bless,     ~Cynthia    <><

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Founder's Circle Swap Card

The top 100 Stampin’ Up! demonstrators in the entire US, and the top 20 in Canada are all invited to Founder’s Circle and each is asked to bring swap cards.  That means I will come home with 120 cards from the cream of the crop in the Stampin’ Up! world.  It also means I have to give each of them one of my cards. 


I wanted my card to use products from the Holiday mini since that is the season most pressing for many of us.  I also wanted to be able to highlight some of the super techniques we have at our fingertips, that can add pizazz to a card and step it up a notch.  Well….here is what I came up with.

Don’t you just love the ornament stamps and framelits that are part of this new holiday catalogue?!  This particular one reminds me of the gorgeous vintage hand-blown glass ornaments that I remember from my childhood.  I wanted to make a card that had that rich, vintage, elegant feel to it and I think I succeeded.   (edited to add:  The ornament is actually made using the emboss-resist technique.  Stamp it on Very Vanilla cardstock using versamark ink, then apply clear embossing powder and heat-emboss.  Use a sponge to apply Early Espresso ink (quite liberally so the Espresso is dark) to the image, wipe the extra ink off of the embossed image with a clean cloth, and cut out the ornament using the appropriate framelit.  And voila!   A gorgeous, Espresso and Vanilla heirloom ornament.)

It may not be readily apparent from this first photograph, but both the Cherry Cobbler card and the Early Espresso mat have been dusted with champagne glimmer paint to give them a gilded appearance, seen better in this close-up.   Likewise, the champagne glimmer paint was sponged over the oval embossed frame on the Vanilla top layer. Held in the light, this card shimmers with a rich champagne glow.  I wish it showed up better in the photo, but you'll have to take my word for it!

I almost settled on a simpler version of this card, but I decided to add an embellishment for balance.   And not just any embellishment.  Check out this button!   

The bronze buttons from the holiday catalogue are cute by themselves, but I threaded Victorian trim lace and a strip of cherry cobbler tulle through the button, then added a sliver of the new Champagne glimmer paper.  I love love LOVE the button this way!  Now the card has not just a vintage look, but an heirloom feel as well.  Photographs do not do it justice.  It shimmers and shines with an air of understated elegance.  It is classic and elegant.  And I love it. 

Hope my newfound Founder’s friends do too.

Can’t wait to see the swaps from the other Founder’s members.  And I can’t wait to share them with you, my friends.  For any of you who are local, you will be able to see them at the Holiday Catalogue Kick-off party I am holding here in Ottawa on Saturday, Sept 29.  RSVP so I can have your projects ready for you to create when you come.  For those of you who cannot make it, I will share some of my favourites here on my blog over the next little while.  Stay tuned.

Ever wonder what 120 cards (with embellishments) look like?  I have 2 rather large shoe boxes in my suitcase holding my swap cards.  One set already has the buttons glued on.  The other set is complete minus the button.  Looks like I still have my work cut out for me!  So if you’ll excuse me – I still have 46 cards to glue a button onto, or else I won’t have them all ready to swap later tonight.

Hope everyone enjoys their day!  I am thoroughly enjoying mine.  And it only just started!!   
God Bless,       ~Cynthia     <><

Founder's Circle Day 1 - MORE

Well, I'm about ready to hit the sack (in a room all to myself!!)

But first I wanted you to see the way they pamper us here at Founder's Circle.  When we got in to dinner tonight, each of us had a little nautical flag at our place setting and the little package behind is a personalized monogram stamp.
 And our meal?  We were served a bowl filled with Alaskan King Crab legs, shrimp, mussels and more.  The food was amazing!!

And just when I thought I'd died and gone to heaven...I returned to my room to discover the "pillow gift" we'd each been left on our beds.  
 I got a new stamp set and you are going to LOVE IT!!  I cannot show it to you yet, but I am betting we use it tomorrow to do some scrapbooking because I also got some new 8x8 designer paper and 8x8 page protectors.  I can't wait!  This is going to be so much fun!!

And you know - the very best part of all - I have already met some absolutely wonderful women.  Inspiring, talented and beautiful women that I know I will learn a lot from.

It's been a wonderful day.  And I am going to sleep with a smile on my face.  I am so very very blessed!  

God Bless you too!     ~Cynthia    <><