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There is always lots of new things to see when a new catalogue comes out and now that you and I had time to familiarize ourselves with the content and play with new purchases, I thought I would point out some of my favorite new finds.
1) In Colors: Bundle, ribbons and polka dot brads
Did you know that if you get the new In Colors bundle, you can the full-size ink pads and assorted cardstock for only the price of the ink pads? Talk about a great deal! Our In Colors are really yummy this year. When it comes to colour, it's always a matter of personal tastes, but this is the first year where I fell in love with all five colours as soon as I took them out of their wrapping. (I usually love all five after I've done a couple of projects, but this year, it was love at first sight.)
And have you spotted the matching ribbons? They have ruffled edges! They are different from any other ribbon we've had in the past and look good either tied around the project or placed under the edge of a piece of cardstock to get just the ruffle peeking.
Last but not least, we have matching polka dot brads! You can find them on page 199. They are a tad bigger than our regular brads and they are so, so pretty. You can spot them on a few projects I've shared lately. I just know they are going to be the perfect finishing touch for a lot of projects this year.
2) Big Shot Multipurpose Adhesive Sheets
Those aren't new, they've been introduced last Spring in the Occasions mini, but have you given them a try yet? Don't let the "Big Shot" mention deter you from getting them. They can be used for so much more than die-cuts.
I bought them at the end of Spring and it took me a while to start really using them, but now, I'm hooked! You can turn anything into a sticker with them - punched shapes, die-cut shapes, even free-handed shapes. Let's say you want to handcut a rose from a piece of patterned paper. Just add a piece of adhesive sheet on the back before you handcut and then you don't have to fiddle with adding glue to all the little points, since the whole back is already covered.
Here's another use you might not have thought of: use it to add glitter to something. Instead of adding the adhesive to the back, just add it to the front! Die-cut your shape, pull of the protective sheet and sprinkle with glitter. Easy as 1-2-3! Better yet, add some adhesive to the back as well to easily glue your piece on your project after it's been glittered.
3) Clear-Mount Cling Foam
Did'ya notice? For those of you who prefer to go the unmounted route, SU! has now added cling foam to its line of products (p. 205). This means not only that you can unmount your wood-mounted sets and transform them to clear-mount (reminder: we sell the clear cases separately (p. 205), if you want to use those for storage as well), but you can also use the cling foam to unmount your wheels if you would like! Remember my In Stitches that I cut apart to get separate stitches?
The process is really simple: just run a hobby blade along the seam of the wheel (where the two ends of the rubber meet on the wheel) and the rubber will come off of the wheel quite easily afterwards. Put your rubber on the sticky side of the cling foam, cut to size and voilà.
Warning: Be warned that even our longest acrylic block is not long enough for the unmounted wheels. If you are using a standard-size wheel, you can use our biggest block and put the image at a 45-degree angle on it (going from one corner to the opposite one), but if you are using a jumbo-size wheel, it will not fit even using this trick.
4) Fabulous new alphabets
Oh, my... SU! has outdone itself this year with the alphabet sets. Best. New. Selection. Ever!!!! Spencerian and Empire are my new favorites. And of course, I want both the upper and lower versions... I think a lot of stampers assume that if they're not scrapbookers, they don't have any use for alphabet sets, but really, there is so much that can be done with them. You can spell anything your little heart desires! Have you seen the Posies notebook I shared last week? I used the Spencerian Alphabet Upper to add "Notes" on the front and it is a good example of how to use the alphabet sets. The Empire Alphabet Lower is a particularly versatile size, because it is small enough to add to a card to create a sentiment. Great way to personalize your greeting when you don't have the exact words you would like to add.
I also like Letter It, which looks awesome when handcut. I have seen Brandi use this one to create backgrounds (which is really easy is you are using the clear-mounted option - and less expensive, as well!) on her cards and pages, and it looks terrific.
And of course, we still carry all of my previous favorites, like the Sweet Shoppe Alphabet (another great size for card-making, and it fits perfectly in the pennant punch), beautiful and fancy Broadsheet Alphabet and the collegiate Varsity Alphabet.
5) Envelopes - in every color, even clear!
One question I often get is whether we sell those "cool clear envelopes I use to protect my samples." And the answer is, Yes, we do! They are on page 182 of the cattie and are easy to miss since they are not pictured. They are great to slip your cards into until you are ready to send them out. If you are decorating your envelopes to match your cards, you can even slip the envelope in with the card to keep them together and both will fit. The tab has a sticky strip on it which you can use to keep the envelope closed, but when I am just using the envelope for a short amount of time, I simply leave the protective cover on the adhesive and tuck the tab inside the card to keep the envelope closed. Then, I don't have to worry about the adhesive sticking to my card when I am pulling it out.
While you are on page 182, I invite you to take a look at all of the different formats and colours we carry as well. The medium size will fit with any regular-sized card (4-1/4 x 5-1/2), the small open-end envelopes will fit with the 3-1/4 x 6-1/2 cards and the Medium Square envelopes are perfect for square cards (5-1/4 x 5-1/4). The envelopes have the same glossy surface that our Whisper White cardstock has, therefore taking the ink beautifully and giving you perfect smooth images every time. (Believe me, you can see a big difference with regular card envelopes.) At $7.95 for a pack of 40 (medium-sized), it comes to 20 cents per envelope, which is a very good deal.
6) Simply Scrappin' Kits
I have been singing the praises of those kits for year and I have one more advantage to point out this year: no more words!! Which means that you can now use all of the pieces from the kit without having to worry about which language they are in. Isn't that wonderful? Those kits are now beautiful and useful down to the very last bit! And $26.95 for eight sheets of 12 x 12 textured cardstock, six matching designer papers and 6 sticky die-cut sheets?
I rest my case.
You can find our core collection in the catalogue and an additional seasonal kit in the minicatalogues as well (Currently: Playful Polka Dots in the Summer mini).
7) Hidden Sentiments
If you are not into Simply Sent kits, you might not have looked at those pages (192-193) too closely. I would like to point out that the stamp sets created to go with the Simply Sent kits are sold separately and great, inexpensive sets to add some variety to your sentiment collection.
My favorite? You're Cherished, which includes the "You're an angel" sentiment. Perfect for thank you cards of all kinds. And two of those stamp sets are available in French as well.
8) Embossing, baby!
I know a lot of you are as crazy about dry-embossing as I am - some of you even bought the Big Shot just to emboss! Well, there's some good news, because we have new embossing folders available! We have Stripes and, oh my gosh, Houndstooth!!! That was one of the new additions that made me jump up and down in my seat when I saw the new catalogue. We also have a pair of smaller folders called Designer Frames, which can be placed anywhere you want on your project.
9) New Hostess Program
This might be one of the most exciting feature of the new catalogue. SU! has taken away the levels associated to the hostess sets and given each set a dollar value instead. This is great for two reasons:
- No more Level 3 that are so incredibly hard to get. You can use your hostess dollars earned through a workshop or qualifying order to buy any of the sets you like. You can even choose to buy more than one! The hostess dollars earned start at $35, meaning that all of the sets are within your reach as soon as you have a qualifying workshop.
- If you're not feeling the hostess sets, you have already acquired the ones you like or you would rather spend your hostess benefits on accessories, you can now do so! Hostess sets are now an option that you can forego and if you prefer, you can spend all of your hostess benefits money on anything in the catalogue or current minicatalogue. Stamps, papers, dies, ribbons... whatever your little heart desires.
Need one more reason to be excited about the new plan? How 'bout half-off items! That's right - items with an "s"! Hostesses of workshops that reach $525 get any item of their choice at 50% off. Just think about it - marker box, Big Shot, Alphabet dies, acrylic blocks kit... What a great way to get that big-ticket item you've been dreaming about for a long time. And it gets better: if your workshop total is higher, you can rack up to four items at half price. How can anyone not be excited about that...
10) It's All About the Feelings...
One thing I can never have too much of is sentiment stamps. They allow me to personalize my cards for any kind of occasion and to express exactly what I want to convey. This year, SU! has added some exciting new sets, including some French ones!
One of them, Voeux multiples (p. 10), is part of the hostess sets selection and is perfect for birthday wishes. There is also You're a Gem, who's a carry-over from the Occasions mini, but the exciting news is that it is now available in French! (Mon trésor) It includes a lot of versatile sentiments like "Reine d'un jour" (perfect with one of the crown trinkets or images like the ones found in Extreme Elements or Artistic Etchings), "T'es un trésor" or "La clé de mon coeur" (again, perfect with the key trinkets or to make a Valentine card with one of our heart stamps). You can see this set on page 156.
Fête de famille (p. 158) covers all of the important people in your life. And it uses a variety of different fonts, which is a great way to add some interest to your stamping.
Sincères créations (p. 162) is a new set that's perfect to sign your creations. I particularly like the "C'est moi qui l'ai fait!" because that is exactly what we want to say once we have finished a project and want to show it off. "Look, I made this!" I would like to point out another small but important detail from this set: the Copyright Stampin' Up! logo. As per the Angel policy, SU! states that you can sell cards or projects that were made with their images as long as you stamp the Copyright Stampin' Up! logo on it. Some of their "handmade by" stamps already have it on them, others don't. Thanks to this little copyright logo they've added to this set, you can use any signature stamp you wish and simply add this line underneath and you are good to go! It's the small things that make a difference...
Quelques lignes (p. 164) is a great set that covers many occasions. And you know what's special about this one? It includes sentiments for the INSIDE of the cards as well! If you look closely at the sentiments, they are meant to work as pairs. For example, "joyeux anniversaire" and inside you could stamp "à la personne qui rend les autres heureux!" That being said, even though the matching fonts indicate which ones were originally meant to go together, you can certainly mix and match to create your own pairs and some of the sentiments that are meant to go inside of the cards can even work on their own (for example, "merci d'être là").
Douce douzaine (p. 167) is an all-occasion set that will get you through all of the major holidays of the year. I like how diversified the fonts are and a couple even have some cute images on them, like a pumpkin and heart. Don't forget that you can stretch them out even more by using a marker to get a multicolored block or to ink only part of a sentiment. So really, you can get seven different greetings from that birthday sentiment alone!
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the fabulous new stamp sets that were released this July. Of course, stamp set selection is all a matter of personal tastes, but allow me to point out a few of my personal favorites. Just 'cos.
Mes lapins (p. 48) - This is one of the cutest Easter set ever. Definitely one of my fave new sets, but I have held off getting it since I won't be working on Easter projects for like another eight months! LOVE the sentiment that reads, "Joyeuses Pâques, mon lapin!" I can totally foresee using my markers to add "mon lapin" after birthday greetings or something else.
Now You're Cookin' / House & Home (p. 53): I'm the complete opposite of a domestic goddess so I am not sure exactly how I would use those stamps, but I just know they are the cutest thing ever and they have that retro vibe that I love so much. And they have beautiful papers to match! (Those, I already got.) So for now, I am sitting on it until an idea strikes. The minute I find a way to justify buying them, they're mine! hehe...
Emballé, c'est pesé (p. 59): The idea behind those images is that they fit perfectly on Avery sticker sheets. And lookie - French! For every occasion!
(Warning: If you are wrapping Hershey's nuggets to give out as a gift, please be aware that Hershey has a rule that you shouldn't glue something on top of their original wrapping. Two reasons: a) the glue can affect the taste of the candy and b) you are hiding the nutritional information (esp. important if something contains nuts). You can still use this set as first intended by simply creating belly bands (a piece of cardstock that is slipped around the candy instead of being glued on it) and decorating those.)
Up, Up & Away (p. 63): I like this one because it is different from any other set I have and because hot air balloons are really trendy, it seems. I also like how every element is available separately, making it easy to create a multicolored image without having to use markers, and you can create various different look to your balloon depending on which stamps you pair together. Plus, I am going to get a lot of mileage out of those little clouds and birds images when creating backgrounds on my cards.
Hint: You can use that full balloon stamp to stamp over your color image in Versamark and emboss the balloon to give it a glossy look! Another thing I did with mine was mount the flower separately from the sentiment so I can use it on its own.
Tip: The Stamp-a-Ma-Jig is going to be your friend with this one, if you want to make sure everything is aligned. Here's a trick if you are working with a wood-mount set: Cut vellum cardstock squares and stamp your images on them with Black StazOn the same way you would usually do your reference image on your washable plastic sheet. Then, keep those in the stamp set case and they are always ready to use without you having to do the reference image first. Saves on time!
Fanions en fête (p. 69): Because we love stamps that have a matching punch. Because pennants are all the rage. Because you can turn the pennants into Christmas trees. Because it's fun.
Need I say more?
Button Buddies (p. 71): Those images are really darling used on their own, or you can bump up the cute to the next level by using our Designer buttons to decorate part of them. I am still waiting on my stamp set to arrive (this is the free set I chose for winning Shelli Gardner's creative contest last month), but I have seen some mighty cute designs done with it. I think my favorite might be the pig, because the button holes are actually part of the design! Or the cherries. Or the snail. Ask me again in a week and I bet I'll have moved on to a new favorite.
Forever Young (p. 79): I love shadow stamps. They are quick to use and look great on their own or embossed. You can use them to do techniques like Kissing or Rock 'n Roll. Plus, how beautiful is that tree? I like how that set can work both for a youngster or an adult. Man or woman. (How cute would that clock be on a father's day card?) Great for birthdays - that clock is great for the notion of passing time, the little girl on the swing reminds us of "back in the days" or "when I was young." Those silhouettes are so elegant and right in line with the cameo trend. This is another set where you have matching papers and even fabrics available.
Petits plus (p. 83): Love at first set for me with this set. There are so many pieces to choose from and I love the modern feel it has. Definitely different from the other baby sets we've had in the past and I love that it is available in French. If you check out my July 14th post, you'll see you can use this set for much more than baby cards (get well, congrats on your new home, welcome to the neighborhood, relax - it's your day, etc.). And you can use the banner and pennants to spell anything you like. Or how about using the lamp and adding the sentiment "You light up my life"?
So many possibilities.
Hello, Doily (p. 127): Use white embossing powder with it and I swear, it looks like a real doily. It is intricate and delicate, different from what we already have and can be used for various occasions (I have even used it as a snowflake on a Christmas card). I also know that the Medallion was our biggest seller when it came out, so I have a feeling this one will be popular as well.
Music Notes wheel (p. 128): This one isn't new, but I think it gets forgotten amongst the rest of the stamps. It's an inexpensive stamp with a classic design that will work with pretty much everything. It is also a great pattern to add to any shabby chic or collage-feel projects.
Une vie parfaite (p. 145): It's that footsteps image that does me in. I can't help it. I think it's cute. Plus, you can never have too many masculine stamps on hand. And it has a French quote, another thing I do not have a lot of in my collection.
Borderlines (p. 148): I think I am drawn to this one because a) I have a thing for polka dots and b) I used my Scallop Borders set a lot before it retired so I'm thinking this might make a good replacement. Those stamps are wide enough to stamp from one edge of your card to the other without having to repeat and align. And that vine with the polka dot leaves is just adorable. I can already see it with a couple of punched flowers in there...
Netting (p. 151): The background stamps I usually get the most use out of are the ones with textures instead of images. They really give life to cardstock without taking away from the focus point and they are great with the kissing technique or to add texture to an element (chipboard, embossing, etc.). If you look at the current offerings, we have mostly images, aside from Woodgrain and Wonderfully Worn, so I am definitely looking forward to adding Netting to my collection.
So did you enjoy your tour? I hope I made you discover a thing or two or even see things in a different light. If you have any questions or anything you'd like me to discuss, I invite you to let me know!