Year in Review: Top Holiday Cards from 2014

CatherineProjects

I've been deep into Holiday Card Making for months…and today we'll take a look at some of my top viewed holiday videos!

But first…I have something to say about the first one.  I'm going to be completely honest with you all right now.  This was not my favorite card.

Yes, I love the snowflakes and I love the pink (you all know me and my love of PINK SNOWFLAKES, right?) but the card didn't come out as I had planned and I wasn't in love with it.

Trash it?  Nah….I posted it anyways.

You all blew me away because the number of views, thumbs up and comments on this video really surprised me.  Many of you really liked this!

THANK YOU for always supporting and encouraging me and believing in me…even when I might not be speaking so kindly to myself.  I am so appreciative of every single one of you.

Very soon I have two more videos coming that again – I am not so sure about….they are edited and uploaded and ready to go and here I sit, considering trashing them.

But I won't.  I'll share…but not today.  Today we are still in the Year in Review!  Let's check out these Holiday Cards!

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Happy New Year!

CatherineProjects

NewYearsSN

Can you guess what the theme of StampNation's newest challenge is?  Yep…it's

Happy New Year!

I adore all of the Dream Team samples – they are perfect for saying hello to 2015.

Start your year out right by joining us, why don't you?  🙂

I love what Dream Team Member Heather North has to say about her StampNation Membership:

“I joined StampNation for it's 1st birthday in January of 2012.  At the time the membership fee was $9 a month, less that what we were paying for Netflix and I was pretty sure I would spend more time on this cardmaking website than I would on Netflix.  I was right!  It was the best investment I have made for my card making.”

I couldn't agree more…whether you jump in and become a part of the thriving community that supports and creates together on a daily basis, or just log in a few times a month to learn something new, find inspiration or get a question answered…Membership certainly is worth it!

Click here to learn more about StampNation 

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The Birthday Bash starts in just 10 days….

I will see you tomorrow with another Year in Review post!

Happy New Year my friends!

Year in Review: Top Techniques from 2014

CatherineProjects

I spent a lot of time learning about new products and techniques this year and having a ton of inky fun!  Here are some of my technique videos with the most views in 2014!

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Year in Review: Top KISS Cards from 2014

CatherineProjects

As 2014 comes to a close, I barely have a minute to look back at the year!

There are many amazing plans already in motion for 2015.

In January alone, we have:

  • StampNation's 4th Birthday Bash (begins January 11)
  • I'll be attending CHA (watch Facebook and Instagram for updates – I know I'll be posting tons!)
  • the next class from Creativity Grows Here will be released (it is the first in a series!)

 

For the past 4 years, I have done a “Year in Review”.  Before we get too involved in the NEW, I really did want to sneak this in here.

I thought it was fitting to start with KISS Cards (Keep It Simple Stamper) which seem to be the most popular type of video that I do…so here are the most viewed KISS Cards videos from 2014 (most of these were before my brand spankin' new website came about, as told by the thumbnails!):

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Leave a comment and let me know which KISS Card video was YOUR favorite!

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See you tomorrow with the top Technique Videos!

StampNation – winners, Birthday Bash and Embossing Paste!

CatherineProjects

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StampNation opened on January 11, 2011.  Yep!  That means our FOURTH birthday is coming!  Wooohooo!

We celebrate birthdays in a big way, so my friends, you are in for some serious awesomeness.

A week full of challenges, videos, prizes and surprises from our fabulous sponsors at Simon Says Stamp, Verve and Whimsy.

If you're not familiar with SN yet…let me give you a sneak peek into what goes on there-

StampNation is an incredible source of learning, inspiration and KNOWLEDGE.  One of my favorite threads recently is one started by Joyce. She asks:

While we're talking about embossing paste, are there different kinds? I thought I saw Catherine using some solid stuff in one video, but something translucent in another. How do you know what paste to use for what? Is there one paste I can get that will meet all or most of my needs?

(She also asked how to use your stencils without ripping them.)

What one member doesn't know, another one does…and this sparked a lively discussion with lots of sharing and learning.

Let it Snow virginiaVirginia (from Yes, Virginia) popped in with FOUR different cards, all using Stencils, Distress Inks and Embossing Paste in a different way.  Amazing inspiration!

Allison (from Your Memories with Ally) shared this:

A stencil TIP: I've used something called “Krylon Easy-Tack Repositionable Adhesive Spray” on the backs of some of my stencils to help hold them into place. I just leave the adhesive on them. I would advise you to stick your sticky stencil to your pants a few times before laying it down to your paper to get rid of the REALLY sticky parts of the adhesive. You'll be able to pull your stencil up more easily that way.

Read the entire thread here.

If you haven't joined StampNation, my friend…you are going to LOVE IT!

And if you don't, no worries!  An email to us and your payment will be cancelled right away.  But we think once you get a taste of what the site has to offer, you might just become part of us! 🙂  

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE.

 

Our December was the fabulous DeNami Designs.  Don't forget to take advantage of the 10% off coupon:  Members click here to get the code!

They generously offered TWO $50 gift certificates.  Karen was our StampNation member and the winner from THIS POST  is:

 

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We can not WAIT to party in less than two weeks!

Christmas Traditions

CatherinePooler Shenanigans

christmas 2014

Earlier this month, Alana asked me about our holiday traditions.  As we listed them off, I thought two things:

  1. yikes!  We don't have “enough” traditions!  We need to make more, but we don't have time! (I'm a bit freaked out that our family is going to change in a big way in just a few short years when Anna goes off to college)
  2. my favorite one is Christmas Eve.

 

We all love appetizer food, so years ago we had everyone bring an appetizer to our Christmas Eve celebration.  Everyone loved  the casual snacking and drinking and socializing all night that it became our tradition!

Usually, we host at our house.  This year, we traveled to Upstate NY to spend the holiday with my mom and her husband and had our celebration there.

We each picked out our favorite type of appetizer and had brie, cheese, salami and pepperoni, bread (the really good kind, still hot from the bakery!), wings and this year I tried something new and made homemade mac and cheese.

The only favorite dish we left out was 7 Layer Dip.  We were looking to keep things simple, so this one had to go.  Perhaps I will make it for New Year's!

 

Leave a comment below and let me know what your favorite appetizer is and/or what your favorite tradition is for the holidays!

P.S.  my favorite appetizer is brie.  Plain, baked…really any way you serve it, I love!

 

(everyone is pictured above, except for the oldest…must have been a teenager moment)

StampNation Member Highlight: Inky Fingers! 12/19

CatherineStampNation Highlights

StampNationMemberHighlight

Debbie (Inky Fingers) always has us smiling and laughing at StampNation.

Her personality and fun-loving spirit are sure to brighten your darkest day.

Not only is she funny, this gal can stamp!

Let's learn a bit more about Debbie…

“Hi, I'm Debbie (Inky Fingers on SN) I live in Lexington, NC. I've been making cards for about 4 yrs now. Ever since I saw my first Catherine Pooler video on Youtube, I've been hooked.Glitter is my friend. I accessorize with it daily (so does my dog)

I like to coordinate my outfits with the color of ink I have on my fingers. I find Old Olive is a great color for me. Just a smidge of glitter just pulls thatinky outfit together.

For that great evening look, play down the fingers by sprinkling a moderate amount of Dazzling Diamonds in your hair. At the end of the evening, simply shake your hair over a piece of dark colored card stock. ( prefer black as it distinguishes between dandruff and glitter~as a rule, dandruff doesn't sparkle) Store your used glitter in a container for the next evening on the town.

Cardmaking has changed my life. Next, I plan to use my Momento Tuxedo Black ink and my favorite pinecone stamp for a lovely faux tattoo. I'll let you know how that turns out. Please make someone smile today, smiling just makes you feel good.”

Can you see what I mean? Now, let's take a look at some of her artwork.

debbie 4

debbie 3

debbie 2

debbie 1

Thank you Debbie for all of the smiles and fun and for being a Featured Member at StampNation.  We can't wait to hear your next hilarious story!

If you are ready to begin your StampNation Membership, click here to learn more and get started now!

Cozy Mittens and Glitter Paper with Pigment Inks

CatherineChristmas, Gallery, Projects, Techniques, Videos

cozy mittens 2The first thing I have to say here is, I'm totally cracking up at this video.  After I edit, then upload a video to Youtube, I generally watch it again.

Part way through this video after stamping one of the mittens I say, “I didn't really get a good impression”.  Oh wow, after you view the video you will see that is quite the understatement!

I worked through it and showed you how to overcome this sort of obstacle.

Earlier this week, I posted a video showing you what a Pigment Ink Pad is and what the unique properties are.  In today's video, we will see Pigment Ink Pads in action on this fun winter card.

I love how vibrant Pigment Ink Pads are and that you can stamp color on top of color like this!  Dye inks definitely do not do this!

I'm not trying to diss Dye inks…don't get me wrong!  I love dye inks and most of my ink pads are dye….but there is no denying that what Pigment Inks do is pretty awesome.

I also love using my Pigment Inks Direct to Paper to color the paper, then covering it with Clear Glitter Embossing Powder and heating.  Instant, perfect, customized Glitter Paper!

cozy mittens MFT

So tell me…what questions do YOU have regarding Pigment and Dye Ink Pads?  Leave me a comment!

cozy mittens 222
Did this video project leave you wanting more?

There are almost 500 exclusive video tutorials on StampNation and here is a sneak peek of the most recent project I added to the site.

Click here to learn more about becoming a StampNation Member!  

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Peaceful Gold and White – a challenge

CatherineProjects

collage 2Here's a quick peek at this week's challenge at StampNation – gorgeous samples here by Dream Team Members Gayatri, Stephanie, Kristie and Maureen are sneak peeked above.

Stephanie Klauck has been Guest Designing with us and this is her last week.  We have been amazed and inspired by her work this month and are honored and blessed that she joined us!

Be sure to check out her blog, she has a great project to share AND a give-a-way.  Check it out here!

If you haven't joined StampNation yet, be sure to hop over there and subscribe right away.  There are tons of holiday ideas over there, a buzzing community and in January, we will be throwing a giant party to celebrate our FOURTH birthday!  

Click here to learn more...can't wait to see you there!

 

Q&A: What is a Pigment Ink Pad?

CatherineGallery, Projects, Stampers' Q&A, Tool Tips, Videos

With so many different types of ink on the market, it can be overwhelming and confusing. Believe me, I know!

I've had a lot of questions from you all on inks, so I thought I would do a series of videos explaining and showing you how the different inks work, what they are used for and what the differences are.

Today's video focuses on Pigment Ink Pads.

As I show in the video, pigment inks are like paint (P – P, that's how I remember).  They are thick, heavy and take a while to dry.  The actual pad is spongy – don't press your stamp TOO hard onto this type of ink pad, otherwise you'll have ink all over the place!

There are several unique features of Pigment Inks:

  • the ink sits on top of the paper rather than being absorbed into it like Dye ink is.
  • VIBRANT colors –  you will find the colors are rich and deep.
  • fade-resistant.  Once that color is dry, it will not fade.  This makes Pigment Ink perfect if you are stamping something for home decor.
  • dries slowly – which enables this ink to be heat embossed!
  • shows up on dark cardstock.
  • you can stamp color on top of color and they don't contaminate each other.

 

Personally, I use dye inks almost exclusively in my paper crafting.  If you are a patient and neat person, you might want to go with the Pigment Inks instead.  They really are wonderful!

Leave me a note below and let me know if you have any Pigment Ink Pads, if you have a favorite brand and what other ink questions you have!

I have linked below SOME Pigment Ink pads that you can find in the Ellen Hutson store.

Thank you for visiting with me today, I will see you on Thursday when I show you how to use these inks on a card.

 


2014 Compilation CD Update

CatherineProjects

CD

 

Update on the Compilation CD:  all orders have been shipped!  If you are in the US, you likely have received it by now.  If you are international, it should be sometime before the end of next week.

If you haven't grabbed this time-saving resource yet, it's still available!  Click here to learn more!

“Just received my 2014 Compilation CD in the mail an hour ago and I couldn't wait to view it…. I LOVE IT ! I am a newbie card stamper and I absolutely love your instructional CD. I love that the files are separated per category and that you can link directly to the YouTube video within the file….

You did a fantastic job and I'm sure everyone who placed an order will love it as much as I do…. Thank you so much !!!!”  Lynette M.

Grab your CD here for organized, easy inspiration at your fingertips!

 

StampNation Dream Team Member Highlight

CatherineProjects, StampNation Highlights

DreamTeamMember

 

Last week, we started a new feature here where we highlighted one of StampNation's fabulous members, Michelle W.  Click here to read about it.

We can't feature our members without also featuring the amazing Dream Team, too!

 

Maureen Merritt wasn't only the first DT member, she was the very first member of StampNation!

Now she is the Design Team Coordinator and teaches her amazing sense of design in her “Clean and Simple Classroom” on StampNation.

I met Maureen on a membership site back in early 2010 and we became fast friends.  When the idea of starting my very own membership site was born, Maureen was the first person that I told about it and I asked her if she would help me started.

I thank my lucky stars every day that she said yes.

Maureen has helped shaped StampNation into the site that it is today.  She is my sounding board, she helps me brainstorm new ideas, tweak things we are doing, and she has believed in me all these years…even when I didn't believe in myself!

I have watched Maureen grow as a paper crafter over the years and consider myself blessed to have had a front row seat to watch her achieving her goals and dreams which have included getting published in magazines, invited onto challenge blog design teams, and now designing for stamp companies.

I know she has bigger dreams and I'm grateful that StampNation and myself are a part of that!

Now let's here from Maureen:

Maureenprofilepic

Tell us a little about yourself

Hi, I’m Maureen, or Mo as most people know me online. I’m a 40 year old Mom and wife living in chilly Northeastern PA. You all know I love to stamp, but I also love to organize. Clean cabinets and closets just make me happy, I guess I’m funny like that. Photography, hiking and spending time at the beach are other things I enjoy. My most favorite times are when our family is together in our home. We don’t even need to be doing anything special, I just love knowing we are all under the same roof!

 

What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment?

First and foremost, raising two incredible, respectful young boys is by far my greatest accomplishment. Right behind that would be designing for my favorite stamp companies and earning my brown belt in Tae Kwon Do.

MamaMo Stamps

How were you first introduced to paper crafting?

I started scrapbooking after my son Conner was born in an effort to capture and save all of those precious baby memories. About two years later I was invited to a Stampin’ Up 10, 10, 20 card making class. I wasn’t interested in card making at all, but went anyway. Ha!!! From that point on, I was hooked!

 

What is your signature style?

Clean & Simple is most definitely my style!

Where do you find inspiration?

Inspiration is everywhere but I mostly find inspiration from Pinterest! Sketch challenges also always get my mojo flowing.

Here are a few of Maureen's cards from the past year.

 

MamaMo Stamps

MamaMo Stamps

Now, grab a cuppa and hop over to her blog for even more inspiration at  Mama Mo Stamps.  You are going to love it!

 

MamaMo Stamps

 

Here is a peek at Mo's Clean and Simple Classroom.  With 55 lessons and growing each month…this section of the site ALONE is worth the membership fee!

Click here to learn more and join us now!

 

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How to make Whipped Body Butter: Easy DIY video tutorial

CatherineGallery, Projects, Videos

Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 2.13.22 PM

Yep, this is a Rubber Stamping and Paper Crafting blog, but today we are expanding our crafty horizons to make Homemade Whipped Body Butter!  The paper crafting ties in on the second video…promise!

I wasn't looking for a new hobby, but I think I found one.  And I blame my friend, Rachel Pontillo from Holistically Haute, for this entirely!

Rachel and I decided to team up because she makes pretty things in jars and I make pretty things to decorate those jars.

Sounds like a match made in heaven, right?

I dipped my toe in with her Body Butter recipe here.

I did make some adjustments to it, however.  Since I'm such a newbie, and I wasn't sure I would like making this stuff, I wanted something a bit more simple (read:  less expensive!).

My first batch was made with:

  • Shea Butter
  • a small amount of Jojoba Oil (maybe two dropperfuls)
  • Sweet Orange Essential Oil
  • Pure Vanilla Extract

 

This batch turned out fine, but it smelled a bit too much like Shea Butter to me (I don't love that smell…nutty-ish).  Rachel told me to melt it down and add more essential oils.  I did, and it turned out smelling much better!

The next batch I made…well, view the video to see how that all turned out…

This batch came out much more smooth and creamy and wow!  I love it!

  • 1/2 cup of Shea Butter
  • 1/4 cup of Coconut Oil
  • 1/4 cup of Jojoba Oil
  • lots of shakes of Cinnamon and Orange Essential Oils

 

The Coconut Oil that I used here came from the grocery store and it doesn't smell that great (how weird is that!?).

I thought it was supposed to be that way…but yesterday I stopped at Whole Foods, filled up my cart with essential oils and a whole bunch of other stuff (I've caught the bug, y'all!) including Coconut Oil.

coconut oil

This is the Whole Foods store brand Coconut Oil and oh, my friend!  It SMELLS like Coconut!  Much better than that other stuff.

At room temperature (about 68 degrees), the Shea Butter is solid, but not hard.

Coconut Oil is firm and softer than the Shea Butter and the Jojoba Oil is obviously (if you viewed the video) liquid.

My newbie advice is if you want a softer, creamier Body Butter, use a mix of softer or liquid oils.  If you want something firmer, go heavier on the Shea Butter.

BTW- Cocoa Butter and Mango Butter are both on the way to me right now, I'll let you know how I like them!

soooo…we have some amazing Homemade Whipped Body Butter and we are ready to spread our love around the world, giving this to friends and family.  But wait!  Cuteness needs to be taken up a couple notches.

Let's see how to do this quickly, easily and with just a few supplies:

Body Butter tags 2

I am absolutely loving this new hobby.  This Whipped Body Butter is all-natural…I mean, think about it!  Our skin is the largest organ in our body.  Anything we put on it gets absorbed into our blood stream.  Would you EAT your current hand cream?

create your skincareIf you want to learn more from Rachel, she has this fabulous online course right now, Create Your Skincare for the Holidays.

I'm taking it now and pretty much everyone on my list is getting handmade skin care this year.  Subscribe here!

Body Butter tags

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think.  This is a PAPER CRAFTING blog, but many of you are crafty with other things.

Is this something you are excited about seeing and do you want to see more?  And more of what?

More DIY gift items?  More homemade skin care products?  Food gift items?  Or are you thinking, “Lady!  Stick to the paper crafting and handmade cards!!!”  ???

Here are products I used, or other suggestions so that you have a bit of variety in choosing…I added a bunch of different tag dies for you!


Watercolored Shaker Card Tutorial with DeNami Designs

CatherineChristmas, Gallery, Projects, Techniques, Videos

DeNami Shaker Card

If you've never seen the stamps made by DeNami Designs, you need to go check out the cuteness!   Perfect for my fun and whimsical side as you can see in this card.

This week we are teaming up with DeNami Designs and StampNation's Dream Team will be using tons of cute stamps with this week's challenge sketch.  If inspiration and cuteness weren't enough, we have prizes, too!

  • $50 Gift Certificate to DeNami Designs for one lucky blog reader!  Leave a comment here letting me know if you've ever made a shaker card before to enter to win!  (Drawing on Tuesday, December 23rd)
  • $50 Gift Certificate to DeNami Designs for one lucky StampNation member!  Details on the challenge post.
  • Two Quarterly Subscriptions to StampNation – details here.
  • 10% off in the DeNami Designs store for StampNation Members!

DeNami  Blinkie

Not only is this company all about cute, they are the nicest people ever.  I recently found out that DeNami Designs is owned by Paulina's parents (from Pretty Pink Posh).  Um, yeah…head slap right there!

Paulina is super high on my “NICE” list!  So it's completely fitting that they are kin!  (oops, there goes my southern again, haha!).

I thought a fun shaker card was perfect for today's project.  View today's video tutorial to see how I made it:

I used three different DeNami Stamp Sets:  Whimsical Merry Christmas, Chickie on a Star, and Modern Borders 1.

I was pretty stoked with how this Shaker Card came out.  I really need to put it away.  I've not gotten much work done since making it because of all the shake-shake-shakin!

If you've made a Shaker Card, you know exactly what I mean.  You just can't stop yourself!

I used Stampin' Up's Window Sheets and Dimensionals which are awesome.  I have also included alternatives in the supply list below.

DeNami Shaker Card 1
DeNami Sketch Peek
Here is a peek at the card I have going up on StampNation today.   
I'll also have a video tutorial walking you through how I made this card, including the watercoloring on the tree.
We hope you will join us today –

click here to learn more about membership!

 

 


Colored Embossing Paste/Verdigris Christmas Tree Card

CatherineChristmas, Embossing, Gallery, Techniques, Videos

Colored Embossing Paste/Verdigris Christmas Tree CardIn the photo above you can really see how amazing, yet subtle, the Gold Embossing Paste is!  It didn't come that way out of the jar, it started as Pearlescent Embossing Paste.

In today's video, I will show you how I used a Gold Delicata Ink pad to give this Embossing Paste a perfect metallic look AND how to not make a giant mess in the process!   Win, win!

 

I used to use TONS of colored cardstock…I'm talking on every card!  For a good 6 months or so I've barely used any. Instead, I color my White Cardstock with my ink pads…either direct to paper or by sponging color on.  

I really love that you can get perfectly matched cardstock to your inks every single time. On this card by using the Gold Delicata Ink Pad, I was able to perfectly match the Embossing Paste and the gold layer.  Awesome, right? Colored Embossing Paste/Verdigris Christmas Tree CardUp next…StampNation Members will get a tutorial showing how to take this exact layout and use:

  • different colors
  • different stamps
  • different techniques (including using negative space!)

 

and make a completely different looking card! pb 2peek

Not a member yet?  Sistah!  We are waiting for you to join this passionate, vibrant community of paper crafters.

Along with hundreds of written and video tutorials to help you become a better paper crafter, you will find hundreds of kindred spirits over there.

Click here to learn more about StampNation!