Thursday, February 11, 2021

That's Amore for Valentines

As some of you may know, my 98 year old mom passed away in a residential nursing home in June of 2020 and although she didn't die of COVID19 she did die because of COVID19.  

I know that sounds weird, however when older folks like my mom who are used to having visitors and going for walks and participating in activities are isolated in their rooms and kept apart from their friends and loved ones during a pandemic it breaks their spirit, causes depression and some just simply die as a result of it.  

My mom was such a person.  Her dream was to live to be 100 and I really believed she would do it.  Her goal was to be the oldest surviving member of her family.  She talked about it all the time.  And although she was classed as a frail elderly person, she was a strong fighter and a determined woman who usually could make her way back from the brink no matter what.  She was like the Ever Ready Bunny and because of that she was my hero in so many ways.  Unfortunately because of COVID she gave up.  

So mom this Valentine's day post is in your tribute and for all the love you shared with our family.  You had so much fun and enjoyment making cards for your grand and great grand kids for Valentines and other occasions, so I know you'd be delighted to hear Heather and I made some Valentines cards for the nursing home residents where you lived, and we dropped them off last weekend.  While  we were there, we waved and blew kisses at the window to three of your very special friends - Pat, Lucille and Doreen.  

Here's Some of the Cards I Made:

For my cards I used an old Stampin' Up designer series paper called "That's Amore" which I cut using the Love It Chop It formula. This dsp was pretty muted but I liked how the mix and match worked. My card stock was a mixture of retired and current stock (Cherry Cobbler, Pool Party, Beautiful Brocade and Sweet Sugarplum).  

Over a three day period I enjoyed creating 46 cards including the ten I gave to  the nursing home.  

I don't know how you like to make cards but when I have a lot to do I like doing  an assembly line instead of working on one-at-a-time. I gather all my supplies such as stamps, card stock, dsp, ink, dies, punches and whatever additional embellishments or accessories I'll be using, and then I get to work.  I also like to have an idea of how many I need to make and a design. 

This is what the top of my desk looked like as I started assembling my cards. 

I cut and scored my card stock first, then mixed and matched the 5 1/4" x 4 designer paper mats (Love It Chop It).  I used all my scraps for adding layers to the front and the insides of the cards as design elements.  

I brought out a variety of retired Stampin' Up! stamps such as Bloomin' Love, My Little Valentine, Hearts A Flutter and Life Me Up and I chose the Valentine sentiments and images I wanted and mounted them on acrylic blocks. 

I stamped all the sentiments in Cherry Cobbler ink on Very Vanilla and Pool Party card stocks. I also die cut and stamped hearts using the retired Hearts A Flutter dies and stamp set and used a retired medium sized heart to punch hearts from the That's Amore DSP.   

The inside panels were also pre-cut from Very Vanilla card stock and were all  stamped in Cherry Cobbler ink with a sentiment from Bloomin' Hearts. I used left over 3/4" x 5 or 3/4" x 4 strips of DSP to decorate the bottom or sides of these panels. 

For my main images on most of the cards, I  used the Kangaroo & Company and Darling Donkeys  animal images as well as the tiny envelopes and sentiments for embellishments.  The heart from my Dog Builder punch came in handy for punching out the tiny red, pool party and dsp hearts. I used a 3/4" circle punch for the Feb 14th sentiment and the retired Gift Bow Builder Punch and one of the stamps from that bundle for the little sentiments from Kangaroo and Company.

At the end of the day, almost every card was different because I was able to mix and match all the elements. Not only was it a fun experience making cards for the nursing home and friends and family, but it was a relaxing one. Time certainly flies when you're stamping and creating.  If  you're looking for something to occupy your time or a new hobby, keep stamping in mind it's fun and relaxing.  

The large red and pink hearts came from the "That's Amore" designer series paper pack (retired). There were two sheets with pink and red lacy heart images, that I cut out at the joints. These 3" hearts made a nice focal point for the cards and acted as a base for the rest of the design elements.

I used Stampin' Blends to colour the mama and baby kangaroos and the little heart clusters.  The Kangaroos, the heart envelope and the heart clusters are all components of the Kangaroo & Company stamp and die set which is currently in Stampin' Up!s  January to June Mini  Catalogue.

For the ten cards I made for the nursing home I used a sentiment from the retired stamp set Lift Me Up that says "Just a Note to Lift Your Spirits".  I thought that was very appropriate and meaningful for these elderly folks during COVID times.   

Kangaroo and Company is a 20 image stamp set and has a coordinating 11 piece die set.  It's certainly a versatility and fun set that can be used for almost any occasion.  I love that the die for the mama kangaroo cuts the pouch opening so you can insert a variety of the images like the flower or heart bundles.  Besides the kangaroos I stamped the envelope, some of the sentiments and the bundle of hearts for my Valentines Day cards.  Love it!  

Darling Donkeys is a Sale-A-Bration 21 stamp set and is available for FREE with a $60.00 purchase from any of Stampin' Ups Current Catalogues until the end of February or while supplies last.  I can't get enough of these cute little donkeys.  So much fun! 

Thanks for dropping by today and taking a look at my Valentine's Day cards.  I hope you liked them.  If you could leave a comment that would be wonderful.  


Penny Hanuszak, Independent Stampin Up Demonstrator 


Friday, February 5, 2021

Mini Desk Calendar Tutorial

I'm working on thank you gifts for my customers who recently placed on-line orders and used my Hostess Codes.  These gals will be receiving a Stampin' Up! Simply Shammy as a reward from me for using the code.  I'm also tucking in a Mini Desk Calendar and Post It Note holder in their thank you packages to show my appreciation.  

The calendar and Post-it Note covers are both made with the Berry Delightful Designer Series Paper featured in the Sale-A-Bration flyer. Isn't it beautiful?  I really like the colour and design on this paper and the coordinating stamp set called Berry Blessings.  

Berry Blessings is a Two-Step Stampin' set and comes with 13 photopolymer stamps.  The coordinating Berry Delightful Designer Series Paper is 12" x 12" and comes with 2 each of 6 double-sided designs. The paper coordinates with the following product colours: Balmy Blue, Blackberry Bliss, Calypso Coral, Cherry Cobbler, Daffodil Delight, Flirty Flamingo, Garden Green, Granny Apple Green, Night of Navy, Pacific Point, Poppy Parade, Rich Razzleberry, and Shaded Spruce. This coordinated bundle is free with a qualifying purchase of at least $120.00 before tax and shipping charges and is only available until the end of February 2021 or while supplies last.

Here's an inside view of the mini easel calendar.  So pretty and only a few steps needed to create this great project.  The Post It Note Holder is also a simple project and really goes compliments the calendar when giving it as a gift.    

The thank you card also features the Berry Delightful DSP.  This card design is called a Circle Card, and showcases both sides of this paper. 

This has to be my most "used" sentiment in this age of COVID-19.  It's been the star attraction on so many of my cards and gift boxes.  The sentiment is from the So Sentimental  stamp set and is stamped in Rich Razzleberry.  I used the  Stitched So Sweetly Dies to cut out both labels.  

So Sentimental Stamp Set

Stitched So Sweetly Dies  that coordinate with the So Sentimental Stamp Set.

Here's Some Other Calendar and Note Pad Samples:

I usually make these mini desk calendars for Christmas stocking stuffers and last minute hostess gifts.  Because the calendar pads are sometimes hard to find and are gone as soon as they hit the shelves I generally buy mine in the early Fall.  They come ten to a pack and the price is very reasonable.  They can be ordered directly from the manufacturer Taylored Expressions, or at local craft stores.  

Here are some pictures of the calendars I've been working on. The Dog and Sunflower calendars were both made using the directions for the Small Easel Stand Desk Calendar (tutorial below).  The Blackberry Bliss sample is actually a combination Desk Calendar and Post It Note Holder and I've provided a link for this one. 

This is the cover of my Pampered Pets Calendar.  I've had a lot of fun designing both dog and cat calendars and Post-it Note covers using the Pampered Pets Designer Series Paper.  

The 2021 calendar pads are from Taylored Expressions.  They measure 2 3/4 x 3" and are the perfect size for these holders. 

When the calendar pad is open the top flap rests against the calendar pad so it stands upright.  

Small Easel Stand Desk Calendar

I don't know who created the first template for this calendar but I really thank them for providing a simple way to dress up a mini desk calendar. Here are the simple instructions.

Base:    Cut one 8 1/2" x 3 1/4" piece of cardstock for the base. Score this piece at 2 1/8" and 4 1/4" burnish the score lines 2 1/8" score line is a mountain fold and the 4 1/4" score line is a valley.  When you work with this piece these two folds need to be pushed back.  Adhesive goes on the front piece and then the front layer from the next step is attached to the base  like this.  

Calendar Front:  Cut a 4 14" x 3 1/4" piece to match base card stock.  Cut a 3 x 4" piece in a coordinating colour to the DSP for the 1st layer and adhere.  Cut a 2 3/4" x 3 3/4" piece of DSP for the final layer and adhere.   

Inside Base:  Cut a 3 x 4" piece of coordinating card stock for first layer followed by a 2 3/4" x 3 3/4" piece of DSP.  Adhere both layers.   Attach 2 1/4" x 3" calendar pad. 

Just add embellishments to the cover of the Easel Calendar and you're all done. 

Calendar, Post It Note and Pen:

If you want to create a larger easel card calendar holder there are many templates out there, but here's one I made that measures 4 14" x 5 1/2".  It has a calendar on the front a pen holder and covered post it note pad. on the base.

I followed this tutorial by Tracy Elsom to make my calender set.  I used paper from my Love It Chop It paper stash to make this sample.  I used Perfect Plumb (retired) and Blackberry Bliss cardstock along with Whisper White for the layers and base.   

This is the Post It Note cover in the contrasting paper 


This view shows the Post It Note cover lifted. What a great and simple way of dressing up the Post It Note pad. 

I hope you've enjoyed these projects and samples.  They make great gifts.   

Happy Stamping!

Penny Tokens Stampin' Spot

Penny Hanuszak, Independent Stampin' Up! Demonstrator


Berry Blessings and Berry Delightful DSP available during Sale-a-bration 
Click here for details. 

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