Friday, 4 January 2008

Sending Happy Thoughts

I've been using the "Sending Happy Thoughts" (Simply Sent) kit to create quite a few cards and gifts. I love this kit. It's shown on page 75 of the current UK Stampin' Up! Catalogue and Idea book.

The instructions for two cards are included with the kit, but there's so much more you can do with the various items which are included. It was the stamp set itself which tempted me to purchase the kit, as I really like the various cheery, modern flower stamps which are included; in addition, the "Sending Happy Thoughts" sentiment is fairly universal and should be very useful as a default stamp for a number of cards. The kit seems - and is - expensive as a single purchase item at £49.95, although it is actually incredibly good value when you consider the number of items included. The stamp set alone includes six stamps. The stamps are die cut, which makes them very quick and simple to mount. I've been mounting stamps for years and I don't find the process a difficult one anyway, but this simplified things even more! The kit even includes Stampin' Dimensionals 3D foam, glue dots, lots of zig zag twill ribbon, brads, a glue pen and glitter. If you can afford the initial outlay, I think it is well worth taking the plunge. It's a great kit for beginners too, as it gives you enough to get going and you'll still have lots of bits and pieces (and the stamp set and inks themselves) left over for future use. The three Stampin' Spots included are a great size of ink pad; easy to store and easy to use for inking up any size of stamp.

The sample shown above uses a similar template to one of the cards included with the instructions supplied with the kit, but I've changed it a bit and added a handy bookmark/gift voucher idea. I've also added the Canvas background stamp to the Old Olive cardstock backing card. I've used some strong double-sided tape to adhere the Very Vanilla stamped piece at the top and bottom of the piece only i.e. leaving the middle section without any form of adhesion. This means that the little "bookmark" Pumpkin Pie piece can slide out from the section and be used separately. Alternatively, the Pumpkin Pie piece is the ideal size to use for a gift card e.g. a Starbucks card, which could be adhered to the rear with a couple of glue dots. The Old Olive, Very Vanilla and Pumpkin Pie pieces used for this card are those included with the kit; if you are a beginner, this is really easy to make - no trimming required. I've punched a hole in the Pumpkin Pie piece and knotted a portion of the ribbon through the hole. The red circle stamps shown on the bookmark are from the "In the Spotlight" hostess stamp set (shown on page 18 of the UK catalogue).

I've made several more cards with this kit and I'll upload them separately; many are completely different from those shown in the included instruction leaflet.

Lastly, a tip: when I've lost my inspiration and/or I don't have a specific card to make (or I lack the time to make one... which is not an entirely uncommon scenario!), I quite often create little "bits" for my "bit box"! I've heard these called "card candy" in the past, but I like to call them "bits"... I quite often make punched and stamped pieces and save them for a later day. If I'm lacking inspiration at a future date, rummaging through the box can give me the starting point and focus I need to get me started on a new project. The Sending Happy Thoughts stamp set lends itself quite well to this idea! I've attached a photo of one of my boxes.

Note: this post was also uploaded to the "Stamping for Real" blog, which is a blog created and maintained by a group of UK Stampin' Up! demonstrators. It includes lots of excellent samples.... please spare a few minutes to visit it, if you can!

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