12 Weeks of Christmas Craft Countdown!

12 Weeks of Christmas Craft Countdown Launching Soon!

Christmas Craft Countdown

Time is running out for you to sign up for my first annual 12 Weeks of Christmas Craft Countdown! I will be launching my first annual 12 Weeks of Christmas email campaign at 1:00pm today, Guam time. That is only 1-1/2 hours from now!

Every week you are going to receive, via email, a holiday project plan from start to finish. From weeks 1-5 you are going to receive a different card project every week; weeks 6-9 you will receive a different gift project; and weeks 10-12 you will receive a bag, tag or wrapping project.By the end of the 12 weeks you will have an amazing collection of holiday projects you can complete.

Here’s the thing, to receive these emails you must sign up for my mailing list BEFORE 1:00pm today, Guam time! To do that, simply go to the sign form in the upper right corner of your screen and follow the directions.

If you have any problems signing up then please contact me at: maria@stampingwithmia.com

12 Weeks of Christmas Countdown!

12 Weeks of Christmas Countdown!

Christmas Countdown

Where has the time gone?!? It seems like I just blinked my eyes and a whole month has gone by! To make up for that, I am launching my 12 Weeks of Christmas Craft Countdown tomorrow afternoon. The countdown will include 12 weekly mailings, all of which will include fabulous Christmas themed projects you can create yourself using products from Stampin’ Up! You are not going to want to miss out on these holiday projects! They are only available to those who sign up for my newsletter before 1:00pm tomorrow (Guam time), and they will never be offered again!

To sign up for my newsletter, simply go to my sign up logo in the sidebar now and follow the directions. Please let me know if you have problems signing up because I don’t want you to miss out on all these wonderful cards, tags, bags, gifts and gift wraps!

It’s Time for Fall Stamping!

It’s Time for Fall Stamping!

It’s “Back to School” time which means it is also time for fall stamping! With that in mind I created several card samples using the Thoughtful Branches Bundle that is this month’s special promotion stamp set and coordinating thinlits. I am featuring one here today. You can find another one on my Facebook page.

Fall Stamping ThoughtfulBranches_Fall_PP_Mat

I love (and miss) the fall season so cards like this are easy and fun for me to create. I love how the dots of colors on the trees look so much like the trees I used to see while driving on the country roads in Maryland.

I started by stamping the tee trunk image from Thoughtful Branches multiple times on Whisper White card stock using Early Espresso ink. Then I lightly inked the bottom portion using Soft Suede ink and Stampin’ Up!’s NEW Sponge Brayer. (Loving it!) I stamped the “hills” using Soft Suede and filled in the grass using a combination of Soft Suede and Wild Wasabi ink.I then added the colorful “leaves” first with Crushed Curry, then followed with Pumpkin Pie and Cajun Craze. I felt it needed a bit more color so added a layer of Wild Wasabi “leaves” as well. I finished the card by adding some Clear Wink of Stella highlights and then layering it on Pumpkin Pie before attaching it to an Early Espresso card base. I cut the card front a bit shorter and added a pop of Pumpkin Pie card stock to the bottom of the inside of the card.

As I said, I LOVE fall, so I always create a lot of fall themed cards. You will be seeing more of them this week as I continue to focus on this month’s special Thoughtful Branches Bundle. I will also be sharing some winter themed Thoughtful Branches cards so be sure to come back and see how versatile the set is.
Oh, don’t forget to redeem your Bonus Days coupons!
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August Stamping Specials!

Stampin’ Up! has a couple August Stamping Specials!

Did you know that Stampin’ Up! has a couple August Stamping Specials?

One of the August stamping specials is a NEW photopolymer stamp set and Thinllits Dies bundleThoughtful Branches – that is only available this month… or while supplies last.


The Thoughtful Branches stamp set includes 13 images and 9 sayings. The Beautiful Branches Thinlits Dies contains 9 different shapes for cutting out your stamped images and so much more. I have been playing with it and have been amazed with how versatile they are. You can create cards for any theme or season.

Here is one of the first cards I created using the bundle. Sympathy cards are always hard for me to create, but the Thoughtful Branches Bundle has made it easy!

August Stamping Special ThoughtulBranches_CAS_Sympathy

I wanted to keep this card quick and easy (Q&E) while also keeping it clean and simple (CAS) so I started off with a Thick Whisper White card stock card base. I stamped the “You’re in my Thoughts” sentiment using Basic Gray archival ink. I used Flirty Flamingo the ink and card stock for the flowers, stamping first and then cutting out with the coordinating Beautiful Branches Thinlits Dies. The stem and leaves were cut from Wild Wasabi card stock using one of the images from the Beautiful Branches Thinlits Dies. Both were attached to the card front using the Fine-Tip Glue Pen.

August Stamping Special _Redeem Coupons

I stated at the beginning of the post that there were a couple of August Stamping Specials. The other one is the redemption period for Bonus coupons you earned during the month of July! You might want to use those coupons on the Thoughtful Branches Bundle before the supply runs out. While you are there be sure to check out the rest of the items needed to create today’s card.

It’s an August Christmas!

It’s an August Christmas!

My Holiday Catalog preorder arrived a few days ago making me exclaim, “It’s an August Christmas!” I felt that way not only because it truly felt like I had received some wonderful gifts, but also because it meant I could start planning my Holiday Catalog events.

August Christmas HolidayPreOrder2016

As you can see from the sneak peek photo, there are loads of fun new stamp sets, designer series papers, embellishments, kits and cutting tools that will be available to you September 1st, 2016! I am looking forward to making and sharing some fun holiday projects with you through my blog and Facebook posts, and also through my classes.

I have already scheduled 2 Christmas card classes. I don’t have photos of the class projects for you yet, but you can find the other details about the classes here. I am also working on plans for my Holiday Catalog Open House so please watch for information about that within the next couple of weeks.

Watercoloring Technique: “Making it Yours!”

Today’s watercoloring technique: “Making it Yours!”

Today’s featured watercoloring technique: “Making it Yours” card is the final in my Pretty Kitty series of cards… for now at least.

How did I “Make it Mine!”? I had a calico kitten as my first pet and the memory of it has stayed with me throughout the years, so I just had to create a calico version of the Pretty Kitty by watercoloring the image using my inks and Aqua Painter. Since I am a yarn crafter, the image of the kitty all tangled up in the yarn was the perfect image to end the series with.

Watercoloring Technique: PrettyKitty_CalicoDoily

For today’s card I continued with my theme of matted circle shapes, but added one of our Delicate White Doilies for added texture and interest. It also gives the card a more cozy look. The Designer Series Paper in the background is from the Blooms & Bliss collection. I love the abstract look of what could easily be a field of grass and flowers! Of course, in this case it is the carpeting of one’s craft room or living room.

The image and saying are both from the Pretty Kitty stamp set. They are stamped using Jet Black StazOn ink on Whisper White. As stated earlier, I watercolored the Pretty Kitty image using my Aqua Painter and the ink colors shown below. The Pretty Kitty image and Night of Navy mat were cut using the Layering Circles Framelits. The Night of Navy mat for  “Life is messy” was cut using the Project Life Cards & Labels Framelits and mounted to the card front using Stampin’ Dimensionals. The enamel Island Indigo dots are from the Regal collection of Enamel Shapes.

Here is the complete list of products used:

Swap “Leftover” Bits and Pieces!

Swap “leftover” Bits & Pieces!

Swap “leftover” bits and pieces are just as much fun to play with as creating with the original swap cards. In the case of today’s card, I was still designing my swap card and tried using the 1-3/4″ Circle Punch to “cut” out the Pretty Kitty stamped image, but decided that it wasn’t the correct size for the card. I don’t like to waste, so I used it on this card instead.

Swap "Leftover" PrettyKitty_EE

I wanted the Pretty Kitty focal point to pop off the card so I kept color to a minimum. The card base and Designer Series Paper strips are Emerald Envy, one of the NEW In Colors. (The Designer Series Paper is from the 12 x 12 2016-2017 In Color Paper Stack.) The swirl behind the stamped image is cut from Sweet Sugarplum card stock using the Swirly Scribbles Thinlits (*). I watercolored the image, punched it out with the 1-3/4″ Circle Punch and sponged the edge with Emerald Envy and used Stampin’ Dimensionals to mount it to the front of the card. I added Clear Wink of Stella, Basic Pearl Jewels, an Emerald Envy Baker’s Twine bow and silver shapes from the Metallic Sequin Assortment for added texture and shine.

(*) Note: The Swirly Scribbles Thinlits set  is available by itself or save 10% by bundling it with the Swirly Bird stamp set. You can find the bundle here.)

I hope my card inspires you to create one of your own using the products shown below.

I LOVE Card Swaps!

I LOVE card Swaps!

I love card swaps! I love my scraps too! Today’s card features both… sort of.

I participate in a couple of card swaps with other Stampin’ Up! demonstrators whenever a new catalog is introduced. This is the card I created for one of this year’s NEW Annual Catalog card swaps. It features the Pretty Kitty stamp set, my first “must have” stamp set and the NEW In Colors.

Swaps Scrappy_InColor_PrettyKitty

I started the card by folding an 8-1/2″ x 5″ piece of  Flirty Flamingo card stock in half to create my card base and then glued the In Color Designer Series Paper strips (1″ wide) in place. Then I ran the card front through the Big Shot using the Fluttering Textured Embossing Folder. The Pretty Kitty image was stamped with Jet Black StazOn, cut out using the Layering Circles Framelits and colored using a combination of watercoloring and Stampin’ Write Markers (Also the NEW In Colors!). The circle mat and banner are Watermelon Wonder card stock. The Peekaboo Peach flower was punched using the Tree Builder Punch and has a Basic Pearl Jewel center. The flowers on the Pretty Kitty image also have Basic Pearl Jewel accents and Clear Wink of Stella for an added sparkle.

(Note: I have to admit I did’t actually use scraps for the card because I had just received the NEW In Color Paper Stack as part of my pre-order so I didn’t have any scraps of it yet, but the could very easily be created using paper scraps from your stash. Just match your card base and the color of the Pretty Kitty image to the colors of the paper strips you use.)

If you have enjoyed today’s post then check out my post about the Magical Ink Artist swap I did with my group of demonstrators back in May.

Technique: Scraps and Sketches!

Featured Technique is Scraps and Sketches!

If you are like me you have a lot of paper scraps from all your paper crafting projects. I have found that scraps and sketches work well together, so that is the technique I used for today’s Pretty Kitty card.

This is the sketch I decided to use.

Technique: Sketch-PrettyKitty

And here is the resulting Pretty Kitty card!

Technique: PrettyKitty_CC_SketchChallenge

I used Smoky Slate and my Aqua Painter to watercolor the Pretty Kitty, and my Cucumber Crush Stampin’ Write Marker to color  the bow. The paper scraps are remnants from the #imbringingbirthdaysback card class I held a couple months ago. They are 1″ wide strips, from the Affectionately Yours Specialty Designer Series Paper, but any width will work as long as the strips are centered in the space between the stamped focal point and the edge of the card. The 1-1/4″ Designer Series Paper circle needed a bit more color to make it “pop” so I added a Watermelon Wonder mat using the 1-3/8″ circle punch. Don’t you think the gold ribbon bow adds just the right amount of elegance?!?

Here is what you will need to recreate today’s Pretty Kitty Scraps and Sketches Technique card:

Z-Fold Cards are “in” AGAIN!

Z-Fold cards are in again!

Whenever a new catalog is introduced, whether it is the annual catalog or a seasonal catalog, I feel the need to do “spring cleaning”. For me, that means sorting through all my stamps, accessories, scraps, etc. so I can separate out what has retired from what is still current. Unfortunately this year I allowed it to take up too much of my attention, so my blog has been ignored. (Sad face!) If you are a fan of my Facebook pages then you have continued to see some of the creations I have been making. If you aren’t a fan yet, then now would be a good time to become one: Stamping with Mia and Country Crafts and More!

With that said, I am (finally) sharing my first “must have” stamp set from Stampin’ Up!’s newest annual catalog. It is Pretty Kitty on page 101 of the annual catalog. And, in case you didn’t figure it out from my headline, it’s a Z-Fold card!

Z-Fold Pretty Kitty

The supplies I used to create the Pretty Kitty Z-Fold card are:

It had been awhile since I made a Z-Fold card! I had forgotten how easy and fun they are to create!

All you need to do is:

  1. Create your usual card base for a standard card by cutting an 8-1/2 x 11 sheet of card stock in half.
  2. Score the card base in half. Fold and score using your bone folder.
  3. Fold the cut edge back toward the fold of the card (creating your Z-Fold!). Crease the fold using your bone folder.
  4. Decorate as desired.
  5. Sign your creation and you are done!

I hope you enjoyed today’s featured project. I look forward to sharing with you on a more regular bais now that I am back!