Succulent Birthday

I’m curious – how do you stay on top of your friends’ birthdays? (Assuming you do stay on top of it.) I’m so bad about it…I’m hoping you’re MUCH better than me and can give me ideas. For most of my friends, I have their birthdays in my head and never get around to putting them in my Google Calendar. Then the day passes and as usual, I haven’t sent a card. It’s a pity, because I’ve got some nice cards to send. LOL.

Starting TODAY, as soon as I’m done writing this post, I am putting at least 5 of my friends’ birthdays in my Google Calendar, with reminders set for a week in advance, so I can get some cards in the mail. I hope you join me and go running to do this as soon as you’re done reading this, if you haven’t already. Why not send some joy and cheer around. Isn’t that one of the big reasons why we love card making?

Woodgrain

For my card today, I wanted to incorporate some woodgrain into the card, without making it too dark looking. Luckily, I have a slew of browns to choose from. I went with a subtle Sahara Sand (my absolute favorite light brown color) and added some cool texture to the card. I love the woodgrain embossing folder.

Birthday Card handmade with Succulent Garden Stamp set by Stampin' Up!

Use Your Pretty Paper

The Succulent Designer Series Paper is so beautiful that I’m trying not to hoard it and to use as much as I can in my cards. Some of my paper is actually used up. Really. That never happens, right? The paper I used in this card is so soft and beautiful, it is one of my favorites from the stack. It makes a difference in the card, doesn’t it?

The flowers are so pretty but I didn’t want them to overdone. I stamped a few on scrap paper, using the same colors from the Designer Series Paper. Adhering them to the sentiment is a subtle technique, but it makes everything pop.

Birthday Card handmade with Succulent Garden Stamp set by Stampin' Up!

Join my Mailing List

Would you like some step-by-step instructions to make this card and a bunch more? If yes, click here to join my mailing list. Click here to download the instructions for this card.

I did something brand new the last time I sent out my mailing list and I’ve gotten such amazing responses – instead of the usual intro to my newsletter, I made it made it really chatty and fun by doing it as a video! It’s as if you and I are in my kitchen, chatting away. It was so much fun for me because whenever I write, I imagine you sitting at your computer reading. This way I was able to literally talk to you. I LOVED it! And much to my surprise, I wasn’t camera shy – because we were just chatting.

May you have a wonderful day, filled with lots of creativity and joy. Thanks for stopping by.

Love,
Rina

Watercolored Avant Garden

Hello, my friend. Thank you for reading my blog today! I’m so glad you stopped by. Talking about friends, this past weekend I did something special. I arranged with another crazy busy Mom friend to meet late Saturday night, when kids were asleep…at a coffee shop. We were laughing because it was so late, we thought the only place open would be a bar. To put it mildly, we’re not the type of women who would ever step foot in a bar. Not that I have a problem bars (my husband would live in a bar if he could), it’s just not me. I’m more of the crunchy, vegetarian, tree-hugging type.

It was so great to get away from our houses and just enjoy each other’s company. I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve never asked this friend to get together with just me. We have kids the same age and we always get together as a family. She and I are both SUPER busy and I thought she’d never have time. But I love her and when we’re all together as a family, we can’t usually talk as much as we’d like (another understatement). It was so refreshing to get away and talk about anything and everything. We were both thrilled and will need to schedule this regularly!

Going with the Flow

My card today makes me remember the importance of going with the flow and not forcing things to go “your way.” When I first started stamping with the Avant Garden stamp set, I went in an entirely different direction. I was going to color the flower with markers, etc. I started in this way and after stamping the image onto scrap paper, I wasn’t happy with it. The stamp wanted me to use it an entirely different way. Without guilt, I scrapped my original idea and went with the watercoloring!

Watercolored Handmade Card using the Avant Garden stamp set by Stampin' Up!

I’m so glad that I went with my second idea. I love how the card came out! It’s so much more fun to stamp when you go with your intuition and don’t keep chasing an idea that doesn’t want to work. I had intended to stamp for only a few minutes, but once the inspiration hit, I finished the whole card in one session!

Tips and Tricks

To do the watercoloring I started with Shimmery White paper. I first stamped the images in versamark and then embossed it with clear embossing powder. Using my Aqua Painter, I brushed some water all over the cardstock (lightly!). I then painted Flirty Flamingo ink all over it.

Watercolored Handmade Card using the Avant Garden stamp set by Stampin' Up!

If you’ve never watercolored, give it a try! After you do it the first time, the process is easy and you get better and better.

As a final touch, I added some glitter. I did this my putting tombow over the card in random places and then sprinkling it over with silver glitter. Before putting on the glitter, make sure the card is dry or you’ll have glitter everywhere. It would later come off (it’s just water) but you may make a huge mess. As me how I know. LOL.

Wishing you a wonderful day. Thanks for stopping by my blog. If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to my newsletter. I love to share my random thoughts and also lots and lots of card samples.

Love,
Rina

Supplies Used:

Stamps: Avant Garden (Sale-A-Bration)
Paper: Falling in Love DSP, Shimmery White, In color Assortment Pack, Whisper White (card base)
Ink: Flirty Flamingo, Versamark
Other: Clear Embossing Powder, Silver Glitter

Inspired by Life

One of my favorite stamp sets in the Annual catalog is the Jar of Love stamp set. It was on my first order and you can do about…a million things with it. Today I was in the mood to fill it with some beautiful flowers. With all the cards I’ve made with the stamp set, I don’t think I’ve ever done something flowers with it. I had to fix that!

Handmade Card Idea using the Jar of Love stamp set by Stampin' Up!

Inspired by Real Life

I was inspired to make this card from an event I did last month. Sometimes I teach card classes in my community for free. I teach people who just want a night out with girlfriends while also trying something new and fun. (Is it any wonder I get asked to do this a lot?!) These women love to experience making something with their hands since *gasp* they don’t consider themselves creative. It’s fun that after an hour of card making, they realize that not only can they be creative, they can also make something beautiful.

Last month when I taught this class, someone put a beautiful mason jar of flowers on the table. It made my class even more special. As I was packing up, the ladies insisted that I take the flowers home. They were so beautiful and every time I looked at them, I was reminded of a great evening.

My card today looks a little bit like the mason jar I received that night. It’s a happy bouquet of some cheerful looking blossoms.

Adding Interest

Although the card was inspired by flowers, it looked a little…too predictable for me. You know I love to have twists with my designs! I added a little fish to the water bowl and also some of the gorgeous beads I had on my desk. These little extras can take a project from “nice” to something a bit more special. I love how the card came out!

Handmade Card Idea using the Jar of Love stamp set by Stampin' Up!

A little bit of silver ribbon down the side, along with some pretty designer series paper finished it off.

Also, if you look carefully, you’ll notice I splattered the whole card with a bit of the light green mint macaron. This little subtle splatter helps put the card together and make it more cohesive.

Thanks for stopping by today.

Love,
Rina

Supplies used:

Stamps: Jar of Love
Paper: Mint Macaron
Ink: Mint Macaron, Watermelon Wonder, Basic Black
Other: Linen Thread, Sale-A-Bration ribbon, Sprinkles Embelishments

Birthday with Avant Garden

The famous saying, “The Cobbler’s children have no shoes” is so true in my home! I’m great at making cards, not so great at remembering to send cards. Last year, I totally forgot to make a birthday card for my daughter. Crazy, right? How is that possible? Maybe it happened because I’ve got about 3 million to-do items in my brain? I’m sure I’m not alone. There’s so much to do every day that I can’t always keep up with everything.

This year, however, I was resolved not to forget!! My daughter’s 9th birthday was this past Sunday and lo and behold, I remembered to make her a card! I feel like doing a dance. Woohoo! In case you’re worried, I did remember to buy her birthday gifts. Thank goodness for amazon. She’s really into baking and had wanted her own supplies, so I got her colorful measuring cups and spoons. I also ordered the cutest apron on etsy. This is totally win-win because I’m sure she’ll be baking up lots of yummies. It’s good to have creative kids!

Avant Garden Stamp Set

For her card, I wanted to dig into my new Avant Garden Stamp Set since I hadn’t yet inked it up. I used my favorite color, Flirty Flamingo. (Such a bright, cheerful color!) To start, I stamped the flowers on scrap paper and cut them out. This didn’t take long at all, and really packed a punch!

Birthday Card Idea using Stampin' Up! Avant Garden stamp set

I then added some stems in Wild Wasabi and adhered the flowers with dimensionals to give them a pop. Once I had this piece in place, I loved the colors against the white so I decided to do something out of character for me, I left the whole card white. Woohoo!! I totally love it!

Thick White Card Stock

There’s something about this card that you can’t see, but I wonder if you can tell from the picture. Did you realize that I used the thick white cardstock as the card base? This is actually my first time using it and I can’t believe it took me this long. It totally makes the card special (in real person, at least) because it has substance and weight. I’ll definitely be using it all the time in the future, whenever my card base is white. It makes such a difference!

Birthday Card Idea using Stampin' Up! Avant Garden stamp set

Putting It Together

Once I had my flowers on the stitched square, I had a ball playing. I added a frame with the same Flirty Flamingo pink. I added some layers with the splatter (Early Espresso Ink stamped off twice). I also added some ribbon, a doily, and metallic thread. It was one of those cards that comes together quickly and is fun to create.

Birthday Card Idea using Stampin' Up! Avant Garden stamp set

I hope you find some time to stamp this week! Don’t feel that you have to wait for the weekend to stamp. I actually did this card over several weeknights, working a few minutes at a time while chatting on the phone. It was a fun way to get the card made.

Happy Stamping,
Love,
Rina

Supplies Used:

Stamps: Avant Garden Stamp Set
Ink: Flirty Flamingo, Wild Wasabi, and Early Espresso
Other: Layered Squares Framelit, Stitched Shapes framelits, Delicate Doilies, Silver Metallic Thread, Sale-a-bration silver ribbon

To place an order, click here.

Cards for Any Occasion

Are you subscribed to my mailing list, yet? If not, click here to subscribe. I have an amazing relationship with many of my subscribers. After sending my bimonthly newsletters, I often receive replies, where people tell me what’s going on in their lives, any creative challenges, or even just “hi!” I love the connection!

I make my newsletters as special as possible. They always include projects (along with step-by-step instructions) that I don’t share anywhere else in cyberspace. I often also include 3-d projects, too. My card below is an example of a card that I’ll be sharing when my next newsletter goes out. (Shhh. I’m not sharing anything else so the projects will be a surprise.)

Click here for the step-by-step instruction sheet on how to make this card.

Thank You Card idea with Any Occasion (Sale-a-bration stamp set) by Stampin' Up!

Watercoloring

This card has a bit of watercoloring in the background. It’s simple watercoloring and hard to “mess up.” However, if you’d like to see a detailed video on how to watercolor, watch the video below. It’ll show you soup-to-nuts from picking the right paper to how to combine embossing with watercoloring.

Don’t be intimidated, though. To make the effect, I used Shimmery White cardstock (my go-to for watercoloring). I didn’t do anything fancy. I just squeezed a little water over the center of the card with my Aqua Painter. I then brushed some Calypso Coral ink over the water. That’s it. I let it dry while I made the rest of the card.

Banners

When playing with the free Any Occasions stamp set, I found that it worked best to make several banner images that intertwined. Otherwise, the card looked a bit bare. (I love trying things out and making the mistakes so you don’t have to! LOL.)

Thank You Card idea with Any Occasion (Sale-a-bration stamp set) by Stampin' Up!

I used the second largest stitched framelit circle and with Smoky Slate, I made a few banner lines that intersected on top, and one that was a bit below (for my sentiment). I love the way it looks with the banners intersecting! It adds color and interest and is fun.

Color

Since there was already watercoloring on the card, I wanted to keep it simple, so I made the card using almost all one color. This also made stamping the little banner pieces much easier since I didn’t need to worry about cleaning anything or figuring out which went where. I’m big into “keep it simple!” The monotone looks really neat with the watercoloring, and I was thrilled with how nicely it turned out.

Supplies

All the supplies for making this card are listed with the instructions here.

Looking forward to chatting with you in my next newsletter. Till then, happy stamping.
Love, Rina

Tasty Taco Truck

I love a layered card! The more layers, the better, because it adds so much interest. When the layers are a bit askew, I love it even more! This totally cracks me up because in real life, I’m the straight and narrow. I’m traditional in many of my tastes and I certainly don’t wear crazy or loud clothes. People usually describe me as “calm.” (Though I have no idea why! I often don’t feel calm, but I must give off that vibe.)

The paper (Festive Birthday Designer Series) used in the card is the opposite of calm, wouldn’t you say? It’s actually been sitting in my desk since the annual catalog was released in June, untouched. The colors aren’t “me” and are very bright and cheerful. I was so crazy excited to use the paper in a card, in a way that’s still me and uses the paper in a cool way.

Sale-A-Bration Card Idea using Tasty Trucks Stamp set by Stampin' Up!

Using Loud Colors

The way I used the colors in the card – while loving the results, is to tone it down by using only small strips of color. I purposely kept the main card color as white so that the colors would compliment and not overwhelm.

The food truck in Tasty Trucks is a great stamp for these colors since the truck is a neutral design and can be colored however you like. I decided to go with a Mexican theme for my food truck and serve Tacos.
Sale-A-Bration Card Idea using Tasty Trucks Stamp set by Stampin' Up!
The funny thing is that after making the card, I served vegetarian tacos for dinner the next night. Bwaaahha. I had tacos on my mind.

Lots of Layers

The reason why I love this card so much is because of the layers. The card starts with layers on each side, with the different colored papers adding a splash of color. I then tucked some layers under the food truck, with the bright strips of color showing through. Next is the truck itself, stamped on a square, and then layered again with scallops under it. All the layers make the card so special. I need to make more cards with a million layers!

The food truck is stamped on Shimmery White paper. (I need to order more! With all of this watercoloring I’ve been doing, my Shimmery White’s been getting a lot of love lately.) I used the new watercolor pencils and an Aqua Painter to color in the truck.

Supplies Used:

Stamps: Tasty Trucks
Paper: Festive Birthday, Whisper White, Shimmery White, Melon Mambo
Other: Watercolor Pencils, Aqua Painter

Tutorial – How to Make Double Z Fold Card

There’s something about a Fancy Card Fold that always feels intimidating. Every time I see a card with a Fancy Fold I think “Beautiful! But NO WAY am I going to be making one.” When I finally do, I’m usually surprised at how easy it is to make. Isn’t that true with everything in life? Till we actually do it, it seems over-the-top crazy hard. Then we do it and wonder why we were ever intimidated.

The Double Z Fancy Fold is the same way. Whenever I try something new, I always start with inexpensive printer paper. When it comes out right on the first try, I know I have a winner. LOL. My card came out correctly the first time and I went right to my good paper. So that shows you that Double Z Fancy Fold is really easy peasy. I should come with a new word besides “Fancy” fold. Fancy means complicated, right? This card fold is so NOT complicated. And it fits in a standard envelope. Win win!

It's so easy! See this clear tutorial on how to Make Double Z Fold Card

How to Make Double Z Card

Step 1 – Cardstock: To make the Double Z Card, you’ll need two pieces of card stock:

  1. 4 ¼” x 11” card stock scored at 2 ¾” and 5 ½”
  2. 1 ¼” x 11” card stock scored at 2 ¾” and 5 ½”

Tip: The second, thin piece of card stock can actually be cut to any width, but it needs to match the length of the card, so always keep it at 11” long. I chose the width of 1 ¼” for my card, but you can go thinner or wider depending on how you want your card to look in the end.

Step Two – Folding the Paper:

To fold the paper: First, fold in half. Then flip up the small 2 ¾ piece. Do this to both pieces. (Sounds crazy to fold both pieces the same way, but in the end, we’ll flip the smaller piece around so it lays the exact opposite of the larger piece.)

Tutorial - How to Make Double Z Fold Card

Step 3 – Decorate the Card:

At this point, you are excited to put everything together and want to attach the two pieces. But wait!!! Don’t attach them yet because then decorating the cards will be very hard to do. You can play with the two pieces (as I show below) to see how they will attach, but don’t actually attach them. You’ll be sad. Instead, decorate!

To keep my decoration from taking all afternoon, I just put some beautiful (and coordinating) paper pieces on the first two sides. The paper on the smaller sides measures 4” x 2 ½.”

I also put a layer of paper on my long strip. This layer measures 1 x 11.

Step-by-Step Tutorial on How to Make a Double Z Fold Card

Step 4 – Attaching the Two Pieces

Now your card is beautifully decorated and we’re ready to put everything together. Flip over the smaller piece of card stock so it lays as shown below.

Step-by-Step Tutorial on How to Make a Double Z Fold Card

  • Put adhesive on the wider card stock on the leftmost side of the card (2 ¾”) at the bottom
  • Put adhesive on the thin strip of card stock, on the rightmost side of the card (also the 2 ¾” side of the card)

Step-by-Step Tutorial on How to Make a Double Z Fold Card

If you’d like to keep a snapshot of these instructions, feel free to Pin this picture to Pinterest.

Step-by-Step Tutorial on How to Make a Double Z Fold Card

Extra tips on this card:

To make this card, I used the Succulent Garden suite. This suite included the beautiful paper, stamps, and framelits to cut out the flower. I kept with the same colors that are used in the paper so that everything would coordinate. Easy Peasy!

To create the glitter effect (goodness I love glitter!) I dabbed tombow ink randomly over the paper (okay, not randomly. I quickly put in places where I thought it would look good. LOL. There are different ways to do this, but I wanted to be intentional on where the glitter went.) I then sprinkled some silver glitter over the tombow adhesive. Looks really sparkly in real life!

I hope you give this special card fold a try! If you like this project, you’ll love the free projects I send every few weeks. Sign up below for your freebies.

XO,
Rina

Cupcake Trucks – Are They For Real?

I can honestly say that I’ve lived my whole life without ever eating out of a food truck. Really!! If you follow my blog, you know I’m vegetarian. I make almost all my own food from scratch. Also, food trucks just aren’t in my day-to-day neighborhood. But they are so neat to look at! Sometimes when I go to Washington D.C. (one of my favorite things to do!), I see rows and rows of food trucks lined up. My husband and I like to walk slowly by them and see their menus. Last time we did this, we were shocked at how “upscale” the food truck industry had become!

We even saw a food truck that had vegan only food! Wowser. The price at all these food trucks reflected that the food was upscale, too. LOL. That’s Washington for you, right?

Tasty Trucks

I was excited to see in that the Sale-a-bration catalog this year had the adorable stamp set called “Tasty Trucks.” The stamp set is cute, but it also reminds me of my visits with my husband to browse the museums in D.C., so the stamp set makes me happy. This stamp set is free with any $50 order, which is awesome too, right? I love getting free things in the mail.

Handmade card made with Sale-A-Bration stamp set Tasty Trucks by Stampin' Up!
This card is the first one I made with the stamp set. Of course, I had to make it a cup cake truck. Are there really cup cake trucks? Better I don’t know….There’s a business idea that would make a fortune…

I was excited when I flipped through my paper and found the “Pop of Pink” DSP. The little good speckles look just like sprinkles! I had to make it work for the card!

The Details

To make the card, I started with Shimmery White card stock because I knew I wanted to watercolor. I then embossed the truck image in copper. I like copper because it has a bit of pink in it and I like pink. Pink is good, right? After embossing, I cut out the truck and watercolored it using my brand new Watercolor pencils and Aqua Painter. So much fun!

Handmade card made with Sale-A-Bration stamp set Tasty Trucks by Stampin' Up!
I added some gold foil paper behind the Pop of Pink layer. Looks so cool in real life! Not sure if the picture does all the shininess justice. I then added more gold with the gold ribbon (also for free!). I’m going to have stock up on that gold and silver ribbon. Not only is it gorgeous, it has a nice hand to it and just feels good.

Behind the truck there is some linen thread and gold thread, to give the card a bit of interest and layers.

I hope you enjoy this truck as I do! Now I want some cupcakes. That’s the only drawback to the stamp set. I guess it’s no surprise I made tacos for dinner last night. I’ve got food trucks on my mind!

Supplies Used:

Stamps: Tasty Trucks
Paper: Pop of Pink, Shimmery White, Whisper White, Gold Foil, Melon Mambo
Other: Copper embossing Powder, Watercolor Markers, Aqua Painter, Gold Thread, Linen Thread, Versamark

Click here to place an order. I love my customers 🙂 You will get a class tutorial via email, as well as a hand stamped card. If your order is less than $150, please use hostess code RVJET46W. If it’s more than $150, please leave the hostess code field blank.

Mediterranean Moments

Woohoo!! I’ve made my first card using the new Stampin’ Up! Watercolor pencils. Have you tried them yet? If not, they are a must have!! They are so much fun to use. I find using them is must faster than using traditional watercoloring methods. They also provide more consistent results. I was able to control the color better with them.

If you’ve used them, please leave a comment below, letting me know how you use them!!

Using Watercolor Pencils to Color

Since it was my first time using watercolor pencils, I decided to use them the traditional way. I know this won’t last long, but since it was my first time I didn’t want to do anything too crazy.

Watercolored card using Mediterranean Moments by Stampin' Up!

To begin the project, I pulled out my brand new rubba, “Mediterranean Moments.” I selected a smaller image since I had no idea how it would go. I stamped my image using Archival Gray onto Shimmery White card stock. Shimmery White is my favorite and go-to for all watercoloring. And it shimmers!!!! LOL. It’s so beautiful.

I then lightly colored in the images using the watercolor pencils. I didn’t color in anything exactly. Just some quick scribbles in the center of each image. Once this was done, I grabbed my Aqua Painter and got busy! Here’s where the magic happens. The Aqua Painter worked magic on my coloring. The watery paintbrush turned the messy scribbles into watercolor paint. It looked like magic happening before my eyes!

Watercolored card using Mediterranean Moments by Stampin' Up!

Some of the images, however, were too light. I wanted deeper color. For those images, all I did was color them (very messy…) over top with another layer of watercolor pencils. I then repeated the process with the Aqua Painter. It made the shade darker and more vivid.

Finishing Off the Card

After painting the scene, I knew I wanted the image to be the focal of the card. Oh is it a sweet image. I cut out all kinds of sentiments, etc. but I found they detracted from the focal image, so I didn’t use them.

Instead, I put some subtle Fabulous Foil Designer Acetate behind the image and used some beautiful Bermuda Bay ribbon to give some texture to the card. A peek of some matching sequins in the ribbon is always fun (and I love it when I have matching embellishments in my arsenal).

I hope you enjoy using the watercolor pencils! Let me know what you think.

XO,
Rina

Supplies Used:

Stamps: Mediterranean Moments
Paper: Bermuda Bay, Smoky Slate, Shimmery White, Fabulous Foil Designer Acetate
Other: Watercolor Pencils, Bermuda Bay 1/8” stitched ribbon, Bermuda Bay Sequin Trim

 

How to Stamp With Kids Without Losing Your Mind

How to Stamp with Kids without Losing your Mind

Do you ever stamp with your kids? What do you think? Love it or hate it? Okay, I know that question sounds really bad. Hate it?! How is that possible? Aren’t we supposed to instill within our children a love of creativity? And stamping is such a fun hobby to do together.

But then comes the mess and the chaos. Your five year old thinks nothing of using 5 packages of pearl beads for just one of her amazing projects. She punches a hole (or thirty) through your last piece of Mint Macaron card stock. And breaks your punch in the process. Clear stamps are “somewhere,” perhaps never to be found again. And we haven’t even touched the mess that the ink could make.

Yes, crafting with young ones can turn into chaos in seconds. I don’t do it often because it turns my calm, soothing hobby into a whirlwind of stress. But I don’t want to stop stamping with them. You should see how they beam when they’re with me. It’s their special time and goodness has their creativity grown. But most importantly, it builds their confidence and my relationship strengthens with them every time we stamp together.

To keep stamp time from getting overwhelming, I’ve established a few rules.

Rules of the Stamp Room:

1. Always clean your stamp before putting it back. I’ve given my kids their very own stamp cleaner called a Stampin’ Scrub. They now love to clean off the stamps. I do spray the Stampin’ Mist cleaner for them.

2. Never take out more than one stamp at a time. After they use a stamp, they’ve learned to put it right back into the case before taking out a new one. They know that this is especially important for clear stamps, but they’ve learned to do it for all stamps.

3. Ask before using one of my supplies. Before using anything on my table, they must first ask me. My kids are especially tempted to use adorable enamel shapes and pearls. I can’t blame them! If they ask me first, I usually let them use a few fun embellishments.

4. Clean up when you’re done. This last rule has been the hardest to implement. I can’t blame them because I don’t usually follow this rule, either!! However, they can make a HUGE mess much quicker than I can and their messes are usually much worse. So they really need to clean it up.

The way I’ve implemented this one in the past has been through tough love. If they’ve left my room in shambles, the next time they ask if they can stamp I tell them “no” and explain why. This is disappointing, but they know they’re in the wrong and have no argument except “I promise I’ll clean it this time.” I’ve said “no” enough times that they usually now clean up without me reminding them. Sometimes they don’t (life is never perfect) but it’s definitely better!

Child Crafting

Setting Up a Space

I’ve also set up my craft room so that they have an area for their craft things. I’ve given them retired inks, stamp sets, paper, and punches. They have a special shelf on my bookcase for their craft supplies. I’ve also given them a drawer in my desk (which thrills them!) for their supplies, too.

If you haven’t tried doing this yet, be warned that it sounds like a much better plan than it actually is.

Anything I give to them (even if it’s my FAVORITE retired stamp set) is not as cool as what I’m currently using. If it’s in their shelf, they figure I must have given it to them for a reason (like a clothing sale, right?) and they don’t want to play with it. So they still go after my things!!!

I’ve therefore found that the best way to manage this is:

1. Keep some of their supplies interspersed with my “good” things. LOL. This is a funny recommendation but it really works! If the kids feel like they’re using my supplies, they’ll have much more fun.

2. Let the kids earn quality stamping supplies as prizes. In my household, we have a token system. The kids earn tokens for doing above-and-beyond chores. When they’ve accrued enough tokens, they earn prizes. A token is usually worth about 25-50 cents in prizes. My kids have used tokens to buy stamp sets (it did take them a while to earn the sets!!), sponge daubers, embellishments, etc.

The beauty of this method is that you also have an incentive to get the kids to behave. It’s totally win-win!! I also love that I’m not filling my house with junky toys. Instead, I’m buying quality products that my kids will use and enjoy. I love this method because it’s a win for everyone.

Final tips:

Adhesive: Adhesive is expensive! Instead of sharing my high-quality adhesive tape, glue dots, etc., with them, I buy inexpensive glue sticks that I keep stocked in the room. Occasionally, they will need a high-quality adhesive and I’ll let them use some sticky strip or whatever they need, but in general, I’ve saved a fortune by stocking up on glue sticks!

Project Kits in the Mail: Also, another great option is to order your child a subscription to Paper Pumpkin. Can you just see the look on your child’s face when a beautiful, bright package arrives with everything he or she needs to do projects? Oh my!!! You have a complete win when your child uses only the items in the box to do the project! LOL. This would make a great birthday gift. Or better yet, use it as an incentive for good behavior.

Enjoy your stamp time with your kids. The days are long and messy, but the memories and relationships you’re building are priceless. Don’t forget to snap a picture of the chaos. One day it’ll make it’ll you smile, I promise.

To place an order, click here. If your order is less than $150, please use hostess code RVJET46W. If it’s more than $150, please leave the hostess code field blank.