Sale-a-bration is now live. All of the tempting sneak peeks from the new Occasions and Sale-a-bration catalogues that you’ve been seeing over the last month are now available for you to purchase! So I thought I’d be different and showcase a set from the annual catalogue. It’s the Stampin’ Up! Larger than life. Again! I sent a box of cards to my friend Rebecca at Christmas and included some monogrammed cards and she loved them. Her mother went crazy for them too. So I decided to make a box for Rebecca’s mother – the advantage being that this time I could remember to take a photo!

Stampin' Up! Larger than Life box

I used the directions from Brandy’s cards which she found on Susan Itell’s site although my box is simpler. I didn’t wrap the box in a second  cardstock; instead I stamped over the entire box. Since it’s I’m using a stamp which needs to be the right way up, I had to stamp the front flaps the other way up. Just look at your cardstock after you’ve scored and cut and you’ll see that the back and the sides need to be stamped one way up and the front and bottom flaps need to be stamped upside down so that when the box is made, all the stamps are the right way up. It sounds confusing but once you’ve got your cardstock ready for construction it’s very clear. Be careful after stamping – the ink takes a little extra time to dry.

For this box, I used the stiff card at the back of the Backgrounds DSP and it’s perfect. I also used 2 small velcro dots to close the box. I found the position of them by gluing one side down with the second side of the velcro attached and then closed the box. I pushed down a little (it’s easier if you have cards in there to push against) and when I opened the box, the velcro pieces were now in their places.

Rebecca’s mother likes blue, dusty purples and plum and I found that we had 6 that fit the bill – marina mist, pacific point, night of navy, rich razzleberry, blackberry bliss (stamped off once) and perfect plum. As I did previously, I scored the edge of my top layer 3/4 inch from the edge all around and then adhered that to the same colour base. I did the blues on whisper white and the purples on very vanilla.

contents of j box

I found that 12 cards fitted very nicely in the box.

Here’s another thing that I’ve done with the Stampin’  Up! Larger than Life stamp set – gift tags. This will be the last Christmassy themed post for now; apparently I couldn’t just quit them cold turkey. Last, that is, until the Merry Monday challenges start up again next month!

My paternal grandparents used to give us money for Christmas and when we were small, our parents would spend it for us. To ensure that there was something to unwrap, my grandparents would buy what they called “under the tree” presents. We’ve continued that tradition, getting small Santa presents for each other – usually masterminded by my sister and myself. We had some Santa tags that we’ve used for years that originally came from Crate & Barrel; amazingly we’ve managed to keep the full set rather than losing some to the pile of wrapping paper that gets recycled. This year, whilst I was making gift tags, I decided to make some new Santa tags.

Stampin' Up! Larger Than Life

My sister Caro had mentioned that she was using the Larger Than Life set to make some monogrammed tags and I decided to go the same way. But rather than having a “from” on the back, I turned to the Embellished Events stamp set.

Stampin' Up! Embellished Events

Doesn’t this just yell “from Santa”?! They are real red on whisper white and then matted on more real red. I didn’t have any real red ribbon but the cherry cobbler baker’s twine seemed to work rather well.

In case you’re wondering why there isn’t a C tag, my sister Caro didn’t celebrate Christmas with us this year (it was the in-laws’ year) but she has already checked that I’m intending on make her a C tag for next year and a B for Ben. Absolutely.

I’m still hooked on the colour combination in the All is Calm DSP from the Holiday catalogue – lost lagoon, pear pizzazz and pool party. After I played with the baby wipes and a rainbow of colours recently, I wondered about my current 3 favourite colours on a block and the first use of my spritzer. So I put a few ink drops of each colour on a D block, spritzed it with water and pressed the block onto whisper white paper. I got different effects depending upon how much water I added and whether I moved the block around to get the colours to mix more. This is definitely a fun way to make custom DSP! Since I used ordinary paper, rather than watercolour, it took some time to dry. Actually I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with the results and they sat on my desk for about a week. One made a nice tag for one of my mother’s Christmas gifts. And another was recently turned into a card.

Stampin' Up! Larger Than Life

I embossed the letter E from the Stampin’ Up! Larger than Life alphabet set in clear embossing powder. I really like the effect of this on the varied background colours. I then cut it out using the 4th largest square framelit and cut out the next size up in lost lagoon and glued them together. It was then a simple matter of mounting this square on the pear pizzazz card base. I lined the envelope in the backgrounds DSP in pear pizzazz (subtles collection).

Although the Larger than Life set is expensive, it is definitely worth it in my opinion – especially if you get it (as I did) as a free set by meeting a demonstrator challenge. I’ve earned 6 free sets now in the 7 months I’ve been a demonstrator, definitely yet another reason to sign up.

Most people have seen the Stampin’ Up! Lotus Blossom set by now. It’s a great 3 stamp set but I was struggling with it a little trying to make happy cards. I decided to try and make a monochrome version. A bit arty, if you will. And it looked great except I thought it looked like sympathy card. I showed it to my brother Martin. “Ah, a sympathy card”, he said. Oops. But I liked the card so I kept it.

Stampin' Up! Lotus Blossom

I stamped the 3 flowers in sahara sand on sahara sand. I liked the monochrome look but, as I mentioned previously, it looked funereal. As did a lot of my other  lotus blossom flowers in various colours. This one I liked and gave in to, adding a sentiment from Teeny Tiny Wishes in Early Espresso. The base of the card is also Early Espresso – not a colour that I tend to use as a card base. It’s good, I guess, to use different colours. I lined the envelope in the backgrounds DSP in the sahara sand colour. It doesn’t feel quite right to have sympathy cards ready to go, but when you need them, you need them RIGHT NOW and might not have time to make them, so maybe it’s not a bad thing. Let me know what you think on that issue.

The name of the stamp set, Lotus Blossom, reminds me of The Teahouse of The August Moon since there is a geisha called Lotus Blossom in it. It’s an hilarious film with Marlon Brandon and Glenn Ford and very much worth watching.  My father and I watched it just the other night and I had forgotten how hysterically funny it really is. Watch it. You’ll thank me for it!

My best friend Julia has some serious tooth pain right now. Obviously a card won’t fix it, but I want to send her one anyway. I was playing with the Stampin’ Up! Painted Petals set and came up with the following. Eventually.

Stampin' Up! Painted Petals

This card was hard. For no good reason other than sometimes they are. I managed to put the stalks too close together. Then I stamped the sentiment badly so that there was an extra line around it. Then it was wonky. A lot. It was one of those days. Eventually on the fourth try I had to give in. But I re-made it today and it went fine. Sometimes life is like that!

I stamped the stalks from the Stampin’ Up! Painted Petals set in pear pizzazz adding the flowers in so saffron for each trio and masking out a few for later.  I then added the missing flowers in perfect plum. After cutting out the very vanilla piece and matting it on perfect plum, I used the sentiment from A Dozen Thoughts which I stamped in versamark and then sprinkled on the clear embossing powder. After using the heat tool, this it’s a very simple matter of constructing the card but I like how simple and effective it is. I can definitely see this in a number of different colours. And I’m sure that you will too!