Hopping Llamas are at it again….this time…It’s the Holiday Hop…join us!


It’s time for……

(note: the hop starts at 11:00 am (Eastern) Saturday and runs through Sunday though some links may be up earlier than that)

The Llamas are hopping again!  My llama sisters and I  have been itching to share our holiday ideas.  We’ve even scheduled a swap among ourselves for November.  So October just seemed like the right time to get the holidays started and release that holiday inspired creativity.  

This time we are featuring a variety of holidays…some standard and some not so much (at least at planning time there were hints there might be Chinese New Years, Solstice or other possibilities so keep your eyes open…one never knows just where a llama starts and where they’ll end up).

If  you are following the hop in order you’ve  arrived here at my stop on the hop from Jackies very creative addition to the Llama Holiday Blog Hop (we call her Jackers but that’s a story for another day as are the many discussions about Otters that always seem to follow her!).  Trust Jackie to add  dazzling sparkle to the holiday.  Love those doily snowflakes Miss Jackers!

I’m starting off with a little known holiday…It’s the Great Pumpkin Day!  You know…the one where the Great Pumpkin rises out of the most sincere pumpkin patch?  

What…you mean Linus and Charlie Brown made it up?  Drats!    

Okay…seriously…these little darlings are perfect for any fall celebration whether its Harvest Festival Day, Halloween or as table decor for Thanksgiving.   No carving necessary…just a bit of punching and sponging (a little glue goes a long way too!).   A perfect project for slightly older kids or youngers with a little direction and help.  Gather the family and make your very own sincere pumpkin patch.   Up to you if you skip the candy grab and wait up instead for the Great Pumpkin!

Boy do I wish my camera would show a bit more detail.  These little darlings are stamped and embossed and sponged within an inch of their life.   The ingredients are pretty basic. 

 Paper: I used First Edition DSP and Pumpkin Pie cardstock (of course anything you have in your cupboard will work too…even newspaper!).   A punch that’s symetrical and somewhat round:  I used the  Round Tab Punch.   Then I added some glue and a bit of ribbon for the stem (hard to see since I used Crumb cake) then add a bit of curled shreds of Crumb Cake to add a little interest and dimension.  Oh…and I stamped a little tiny image from Circle Circus…a favorite set that luckily survived the catalog changeover.  For the stepped up version – after stamping run it through the Big Shot with your favorite embossing folder.   Come back next week and I’ll show you the layout and outline the details a bit more.   In the mean time….as a It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown treat….Here’s a fun video for you to play while building your own pumpkins!



In keeping with the Fall theme I have going,  the next project is one from a recent stamp camp.  My friend and upline Cheryl (without whom I’d never be a llama or an SU Demo) with a little help from Frenchie Martin’s very helpful tutorial found here designed this wonderful Joseph’s Coat technique card using Autumn Splendor & the new Occasions Alphabet.  

I love the text she chose since Thanksgiving is, for me, about togetherness and celebrating our blessings for another year.  Truly love is the greatest blessing!    Photographing this project reminded me once again how tricky Glossy paper is to get just right.   But keeping the glare shot allowed me to  show the hidden acorn layer.   When I first saw this design it brought back childhood memories of creeks with floating leaves and acorns and rocks and other bits  from the creek bed reflected and magnified by the running, swirling water.    Makes the glare seem almost necessary now doesn’t it…a sunspot reflection in the water.

Stamp Sets – Autumn Splendor, Occasions Alphabet, A Word for You, Teeny Tiny Wishes

Card Stock – Cajun Craze 8 ½”x 5 ½” and scrap, Old Olive 5 ¼”x 4” and scrap, Glossy 5”x 3 ¾”

Ink – Versa Mark, Cajun Craze, Old Olive, More Mustard, Early Espresso Classic Ink pads

Punches – Large Oval, Scallop Oval, 3/16” Corner

Accessories – Clear Embossing Powder, Dimensionals

Cool Tools – Sponges, Heat Gun, Paper Piercer & mat

Thanks Cheryl for guesting on our hop!


My last project is a combo.  Perfect for Christmas and with these Baja Breeze colors and a change of sentiment it works for Hanukkah as well.   Wouldn’t you love to find something small and sparkly in this little treat box?   

And the best thing about these projects…they are so very simple.  The basic card and the die cut tag (and the base for the box) are from the Simply Sent kit Everyday Elegance.   With the addition of a snowflake (from the Northern Frost die) and a bit of ribbon and the use of the Merry Christmas from Four the Holidays an everyday card becomes an elegant holiday greeting.    Change it to the Happy Hanukkah from one of our other stamp sets and you are also good to go for yet another holiday.   That splash of red is our new quilted ribbon from the holiday mini.  I considered adding a Cherry Cobbler snowflake for my Twilight obsessed readers but decided to keep it a tad more traditional – besides the idea of blood coloring the flake was just a little icky for this reader.    And yes…the little box is made from the same card base as the card.    And that reflecting jewel is a very affordable little Simply Adorned Bauble (who says only diamonds are a girls best friend?) threaded through the Whisper White Tafetta Ribbon.  I’ll be back next week to share the details and a fabulous PDF from a fellow demo so you can make a mini box of your own.  

Oh…and one last special note about this project….the Simply Sent kits are featured in a current October only Stampin’ Up Promotion!  Make just a few of these little darlings and you could earn yourself some free stamps!


Time now to move along to Kathe’s stop on the hop.  Click the button below or this link.  Of course if you get lost anywhere along the line or you just want to see the list of hoppers you can always return to the blog hop home page by clicking on the appropriate button or this link.  The home page will also give you future access to this hop as well as our first time hop links.  Enjoy!

Hugs and Blessings – Jean

Distressing Essentials Kit: ink spot refills now available!

Great news for those who love the Distressing Essentials Kit and a vintage look.


Distressing Essentials Kit – Order #118762   Cost: $19.95


Stampin’ Up has  just announced that vintage stampin ink refills for the  distressed ink stampin spots are now available as a write in item on your order.

  • 125731 Tea Stain Vintage Stampin’ Ink refill $4.95 US/$5.95 CA 
  • 125732 Charcoal Vintage Stampin’ Ink refill $4.95 US/$5.95 CA 
  • 125733 Mahogany Vintage Stampin’ Ink refill $4.95 US/$5.95 CA
  • 125734 Navy Blue Vintage Stampin’ Ink refill $4.95 US/$5.95 CA


Tips on re-inking a distress ink spot:

 Re-inking a Vintage Ink Spot is different than re-inking a Classic Stampin’ Pad or Spot.  To create a distressed, aged appearance, a Vintage Ink Spot should be drier than a Classic Stampin’ Pad.  When it’s too dry–that is, the ink applies more lightly than you like on your projects–you should re-ink the Spot. To re-ink your Vintage Ink Spot, do the following: 

  1. Using the eyedropper in the Vintage Ink Refill, apply ink one drop at a time in equal, thin stripes on the pad.  Do not saturate the pad; it needs to be drier than a Classic Stampin’ Pad.  Let the ink settle into the pad for a few minutes before continuing. 
  2. Using the edge of a credit card, drag the ink diagonally across the pad from corner to corner.  This will ensure that the ink is heavier in some places than others, which is necessary to create a distressed appearance.
  3. Blot lightly with a paper towel to remove excess ink.


New to the Distressing Essentials Kit or Distressing in general?

I’ve got a flyer here with links and tips for using the kit.

Distressing Essentials Kit Flyer – PDF version

Distressing Essentials Kit Flyer – Word version

When I get a chance to play a little more with this kit I’ll post more information and pictures for you on its many features.  

If you need the kit or just want the refills both are available through my online store (see link in the sidebar) or send me an email with your order.

Hugs and blessings – Jean

Halloween Wreath and a Guest Artist

Hi all,

Have you jumped on the rosette/lollie/accordion flower bandwagon yet?   By whatever name you call them these little darlings are taking over the web!     Maybe it was the introduction of Stampin’ Up’s new Holiday Mini with its very cool wreath depicted on page 6 or maybe it was the introduction of the new Simply Scored that makes it so easy to create these little darlings.   Whatever it was, a very good friend of mine has jumped on and I’ve learned a lot from her.   So…..

Today I have a special treat.   A guest artist has dropped by my blog to share her wonderful project.   Patti Leeke is another Stampin’ Up!  demo, a fellow llama and more than that…a wonderful friend.  Currently living in Tennessee Patti shares her crafting talents with friends, family and customers.   Stamping has been her passion for the last short while and I hear tell she even stamps out on the ice floes while her husband is ice fishing!   And let me tell you she isn’t a one trick gal by any means.   She’s as famous for her humor and good heart as her crafts.  Every day she sends me howlers in my inbox as well as telling stories on the various forums we both frequent and where we met around a virtual watercooler.   Trust me when I say…there is never a dull moment no matter where she is!  

Recently I saw Patti’s Halloween wreath on our private Llama site and was so impressed.   Well I was impressed with her work that’s for sure and even more that she had posted something online.  Hee,hee.   Knowing her love hate relationship with computers and they with her (boy can she tell some hilarious stories that beat my own crazy computer experiences) and since I’ve yet to convince her to take up blogging, I asked if I could share her work with fellow stampers on my blog.   Being the terrific llama gal pal that she is she said yep!  Go for it.   We even collaborated on an outline to share with you.

Here’s the wreath and the following are pics of the various components.  

I might add that one of the things Patti taught me with this project is that stamping and a variety of punch creations can add a lot to the basic rosette.  Somehow that hadn’t occurred to me as most of what I’d seen was a layered effect with buttons and die cuts etc.   I should also note that some of the color shades are a tad funky due to the miracle of digital cameras.   It seems I’m not the only one afflicted with one that looks perfect on the little LED screen and then transforms once its downloaded onto the computer!

Little Witch Rosette

Boo Rosette

Three Hanging Spiders Rosette

Big Button Rosette

Bat Rosette

Jack-O-Lantern Rosette

Button Rosette

House of Haunts Rosette

Happy Halloween Rosette

Spooky & Antique Brad Rosettes

Boo Pennant Rosette

Pretty much everything but the bat punch pieces are current Stampin’ Up product.   Currently the bat punch IS available in the Clearance Rack of the online store.  If you want to use it…better grab it quick!  

 To see a list of supplies and a few basic directions, as well as links to where you can learn how to make these rosettes for yourself, download Patties outline PDF.

Patti’s Rosettes & Halloween Wreath – PDF

Thanks Patti for starting off October on my blog with Halloween fun and spooky high fashion.   And never fear my friend…love or hate your computer my goal is still to get you up and blogging in time for our next Llama blog hop on October 22nd!   Gotta share those shoes you’ve been making!   Also have you earn that Computer Guru of the Household title for real!


If you are looking for help on making rosettes here’s a few helpful sites with tutorials:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BorVDVTxRaI – simply score tour and rosette ornament

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjJnP23LHXE – detailed view of creating rosettes

Alternate method using thread:


And a few tips:


When using a scoring tool, like the Simply Scored, it is easier to fold the strip accordion style if you score on one side of the strip for every other score line, then flip the strip over, and do the other score lines. For example, if scoring every ½ inch, then on one side score every inch, flip over, and score the alternating every inch.  When you go to fold, the paper will want to fold in the direction of the scoring, making the back and forth accordion style much easier!


Need to keep costs down?  Use the button embosslit to create button embellishments for Rosette Wreaths, etc. – cover with Crystal effects to approximate shine of the real thing.

Glue gun seems to work the best for holding down rosettes over time and to attach to wreath backing.

I’ll be back another day to share more cool Rosette links, tutorials and projects.   As well as a look at our new scoring tool the fabulous…Simply Scored.    Until then, to see more about it download the Holiday Mini from my sidebar and check it out.   Or better yet…go to my online store (linked in the sidebar) and pick one up of your very own and just get scoring!

Hugs and blessings to you all – Jean

Fabulous Phrases – more goodies from the Llama Blog Hop!

Hi All,

Here’s another fun idea that had its origins in the Llama Blog Hop!   Speaking of which I hope you enjoyed that hop.  I’m still returning to my fellow llamas blogs to find more inspiration and ideas.    All the original hop posts are still accessible from this link – http://stampinllamas.blogspot.com/2011/09/doing-llama-hop.html

AND…we have another hop scheduled for October 22nd that will feature various holiday projects from Thanksgiving to Chinese New Years and any other holiday that enters our wild and wooly llama thoughts.  So stay tuned for more llama fun and inspiration.

In my hop post here in addition to the birdhouse template and directions I shared yesterday I  showed you what can be done with Stampin’ Up’s Fabulous Phrases stamp set and the birdhouses.     As I started building more houses I needed more ideas for what other word or phrase I could use so I returned to the stamp set and discovered a fun new game. 

Check this out…..

Fabulous Phrases pg. 163 in the catalog

Wood Mount: #117002  $37.95     Clear Mount: #120501  $26.95


Whether you use them together or apart these words add a lot to any project.


How many phrases do you see?   And here’s another hint….with selective inking you can create more words from what you see here.

Get your pen and pencil out and join in the fun then download my list (or just scroll down).

 Fabulous Phrases Word List & Game sheet  – PDF

And here’s the Game Sheet all by itself:

Fabulous Phrases game sheet – PDF

Now that you’ve tried it here’s what I’ve come up with.  Though I must admit…I’m still seeing new and fun bits every day the more I think about it.


 happy birthday

happy birthday to you

forever friend

celebrate today (place to and day close together with SAMJ)

enjoy life

love life

celebrate love

celebrate life

welcome little one

welcome beautiful little one

heartfelt wishes

thanks to you

best wishes

heartfelt best wishes

heartfelt gratitude

gratitude forever

to you

best friend

sweet thanks

sweet dreams

to celebrate one sweet little one

welcome to life little one

enjoy life little one

enjoy one sweet birthday

welcome happiness today (place to and day close together with SAMJ)

fabulous forever friend

enjoy dreams, love, life

birthday wishes

heartfelt birthday wishes

hi & welcome to life little one

wishes for happiness

friend to friend

heartfelt wishes for happiness

kind, sweet, fabulous friend

Words within words (selectively ink with a marker):

joy – from enjoy

ever – from forever

come – from welcome

birth – from birthday

mile – from smile

rate – from celebrate

heart – from heartfelt

felt – from heartfelt

today (combine “to” and “day” )

we – from sweet

a – from day

thank – from thanks

wish – from wishes

end – from friend

More selective phrases

you rate

you rate sweet birthday dreams

come & celebrate

thank you for life (now that’s something a mother would love to hear on Mother’s day)

a day for love, a day for happiness (wedding card text or Valentines Day)

we love you

we wish you love

best wishes for a beautiful life

heart to heart


Hope you enjoyed the game.   I bet you’ll never look at a set of words the same way again!   Bet this also makes this set seem much more reasonably priced too!    Feel free to click on over to my online store and order your own set today!    And if you come up with more phrases or words built from these I’d love to hear from you so I can expand my list!

Hugs and blessings my friends – Jean

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