Wednesday, March 31, 2010

No-Frills Estes Park Stamp n' Crop Retreat

Hi Stampers, 

I just inherited a stamping and scrapbooking retreat from a friend who can no longer organize it.  Going up to Estes Park to spend Friday - Sunday crafting is such a nice getaway, the trip is not expensive, and the ladies who come are all awesome!  It's so much fun.  

What: Scrapbooking and Stamping Retreat
WhereBig Horn Mountain Lodge in Estes Park
When: Friday May 21st - Sunday May 23rd
How much: $175 for room and board for two days and two nights
Why: Good company, good fun, a chance to craft, a big table all to yourself, and a weekend without husbands, children, or a to-do list.  

We're going back to the Big Horn Mountain Lodge.  It's comfortable, the event center has plenty of room, and it's not expensive.  The cost for two days and two nights (Friday 3:00 - Sunday 3:00), including renting the event center and catering, is $175 per person if you room with someone else (two queen beds), or $235 if you want a single (one king bed).  That price includes breakfasts, plus catered lunch and dinner Saturday.  We'll probably be able to provide our own food Friday night and Sunday afternoon.

For dates I'm looking at the end of May (National Scrapbooking Month!), but not Memorial Day weekend.  So that would be Friday May 21st - Sunday May 23rd.  

  • an 8-foot table all to yourself.
  • 24-hour access to the crop room
  • internet access 
  • a computer and printer available for digital journaling (or anything else)
  • use of a friend's Cricut machine (be nice to it)
  • a fireplace, balcony, and partial kitchen inside the crop room
  • gorgeous views, and Lake Estes within walking distance
  • a queen bed (Big Horn can't guarantee room type, but we will probably have no trouble)
  • continental breakfast Saturday and Sunday, plus catered lunch and dinner Saturday.

What you should bring
  • A friend!  The more the merrier.  
  • Munchies, soft drinks, alcohol, food to share (if you want)
  • Everything craft-related you will need, since Estes Park doesn't have a scrapbooking store.  
  • desk lamp, extension cord, computer, etc (optional)

PLEASE RSVP if you can come, the sooner the better.  Thank you!  

Charly Bratt
Independent Stampin' Up! Demonstrator

"Every time I go to work, I end up at a party!"

Tuesday, March 23, 2010



Promotion Dates: April 1-30, 2010

Promotion Details:

Host a $350 workshop and receive the brand-new Two-Step Awash with Flowers stamp set FREE!

Two-Step into spring with a sneak peek from the 2010-2011 Idea Book & Catalog! Be the first to add the Awash with Flowers stamp set to your collection.

Item Description Price 
117062 Awash with Flowers (wood-mount) $39.95 
120549 Awash with Flowers (clear-mount) $27.95

Plus, purchase spring-themed Two-Step Stampin' sets at 20 percent off the retail price--no additional purchase necessary!

Qualifying stamp sets are listed below:

Item Page Description Discount Price 
113824 94Greenhouse Garden$20.76 
113734 98 Fifth Avenue Floral$19.96 
111578 101 Flower Fancy $29.56 
113258 112 Trendy Trees$14.36 

These are all great sets for watercoloring, or if you're like me and you don't have Watercolor Wonder crayons, you can get the watercolor look by 2-step stamping.  My favorites have to be this new set, and Flower Fancy for that effect.  Want more information on the 2-step stamping technique or this new set?  Drop me a line, I love to talk about techniques and possibilities!  

Monday, March 22, 2010

Monogrammed Birds - Simply Adorned inserts

I love my Stampin' Up! Simply Adorned necklace, but I was having trouble making inserts that I liked.  This is jewelry after all, and I want something that is at least as attractive as silver or gold.  This pendant necklace draws attention to itself, so it has to be beautiful enough to make people say "That's lovely!  Where did you get it?" 

But finally I got into the groove.  These tiny art pieces need to have a whole lot of awesome packed into a small space, so that meant layering.  And to me, that meant embossing.  So here are my embossed monogrammed birds, with a touch of bling from some tiny rinestones.

The front side has the "C" (for Charly), and some Baroque swirls which you can't see due to the faceted glass of the locket.  (The faceted locket looks very finished and nice in person, but it makes it hard to photograph.)  The back side shows often enough since the pendant moves as I do, so I like to have a matched set of inserts.  I had fun making this "B", but the design just wasn't as successful as the front side design.  Oh well, I guess I had to expect that from a "B" side.  (hee hee!)

I recently decided on what technique I'll be teaching and using when we make our inserts in my Simply Adorned class coming up in May, I'll have to make some example pieces soon.  Sign up for my class by dropping me a line at!

Ink: Bashful Blue, Not Quite Navy, Garden Green, Basic Black, Versamark
Markers: Bashful Blue, Real Red, Apricot Appeal, Versamark
Stamps: The More the Merrier (hostess), Jayne's Type (114401), Baroque Motifs (113490)
Stampin' Sponge (101610)
Clear Stampin' Emboss powder (109130)
Eggselent Eggs rinestones (sold out)
Simply Adorned charm (116798)
Simply Adorned 24" chain (116800)

Charly Bratt
Independent Stampin' Up! Demonstrator

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Kid's Travel Game

Kid's Travel Game

Card stock: Old Olive, Pretty in Pink, Whisper White, So Saffron
Ink: Old Olive, Pixie Pink, Orchid Opulence, Pretty in Pink, Chocolate Chip, So Saffron, Basic Black
Stamps: Taffy Alphabet (115086),
Happy Together (114314),
Hello Again (113870),
Eastern Blooms (111626),
Love Bug (hostess),
Country Morning (hostess),
Wings of Friendship (hostess),
The More the Merrier (hostess)

Shades of Spring DSP (117160)
Medium Window Sheets (114323)
Pretty in Pink 1/2" striped grosgrain ribbon (113882)
Crystal Effects (101055)
Dazzling Diamonds Glitter (102023)
Crop-A-Dile (108362)
1" circle punch (109046)
Corner rounder punch (109047)
Mini Glue Dots (103683)
Sticky Strip (104294)
Tombow Glue (110755)

Non-Stampin' Up! materials:
DVD tin -
Large magnets -

  1. Begin by preparing and gluing the magnet backs, to give the glue time to dry. Decide on a stamp to use for the backs, and stamp that image 12 times on colored card stock. Punch those images out with the 1" circle punch. Lay out the magnets on the DVD tin, to keep the magnets from sliding towards and sticking to each other. Coat the backs of the card stock circles with Crystal Effects right out to the edges. Glue the card stock circles to the magnets. Set magnets (on the DVD tin) aside to dry.
  2. Cut a piece of card stock (either light colored or Whisper White) which is 5" x 7-1/8". Decorate this with a message and appropriate designs. Embellish with Crystal Effects and Dazzling Diamonds glitter, or other accessories.
  3. Cut two complementary patterns of designer series paper (DSP) to 5" x 7-1/8", plus two window sheets to that size.
  4. Using the corner rounder punch, round the corners of the cover sheet, the two sheets of designer paper, and the two window sheets.
  5. Cut 4 strips of dark card stock to be 7-1/8" long x 1/8" wide. Cut 5 more strips of card stock to be 5" long x 1/8" wide. Carefully arrange these into grids on the DSP, making a 9 space Tic-Tac-Toe grid on one, and a 12 space Memory grid on the other. Glue the strips down by putting tiny dots of Tombow glue on the back sides of the strips, you only need to put a dot down every inch or so. The Window Sheets will protect the grids, so lots of glue is not necessary.
  6. Move the magnets off the DVD tin. Using your Crop-A-Dile, punch holes where the DVD tin opens, on the deep side (the base, not the lid) at about the 1/3 and 2/3 marks.
  7. On the cover side of the DVD tin, run Sticky Strip around the edges and in the center. Place the stamped cover on the DVD tin, remembering that the hinge is "down" and the holes for the carrying handle are "up".
  8. Inside the DVD tin, stick the DSP sheets down with Sticky Strip. I suggest you put the Memory board on the "deep" side, and Tic-Tac-Toe on the "lid" side, and plan to store the magnets on the Memory side.
  9. Make sure your window sheets are free of lint and tiny pieces of paper. Place a mini glue dot in each corner of the stuck-down DSP, and adhere the window sheets to the DSP.
  10. Cut a ribbon 10" long, push the ends through the holes, and tie small knots on the inside of the DVD tin to make a carrying handle. That should finish the travel game tin.
  11. Now finish your magnets. Choose 6 different stamp designs (which are different from the magnet back design), and stamp each design twice. I suggest using a different color of ink for each design, all on Whisper White card stock. Punch out all 12 with the 1" circle punch. You may choose to sponge the edges with the matching ink colors.
  12. Spread Crystal Effects glue on the back of the circles, one at a time, and glue each one to a magnet. Remember to check the magnet backs when applying the magnet fronts, so the orientation matches.
  13. Place your magnets in your game tin, dry side down. You're done!
  • This game tin is fun for kids age 4 - 14, and everyone likes to play with magnets. Note: magnets are extremely dangerous if swallowed. Not for children under 4.
  • To make a more "boyish" design, use Whisper White card stock for the cover, bugs instead of butterflies on the cover, green Shades of Spring designer paper on the inside, and Certainly Celery card stock with bugs instead of chicks on the backs of the magnets.
  • Alter this design for any occasion or season. Use current designer series paper, and stamp any message on the cover.
  • Use stamp sets that you own. Look through everything for small, kid-friendly images which would fit inside a 1" circle.
Charly Bratt
Independent Stampin' Up! Demonstrator
Download this Google Doc here

Thanks to Donna Cook for the inspiration for this project.

Spring Stamposium

My upline, Tara, puts on a Stamposium twice a year.  I'm going to this one in April!  Come join me for a day of stamping tips and amazing techniques, for the casual stamper as well as a demonstrator.  The ticket price is going up soon, so register before March 28th!

Here is what Tara wrote:

Mail-in and online registration has begun for our twice-a-year event.  What IS Spring Stamposium? Read on...

Join us on Saturday, April 10th from 9:30am-4:30pm at the Denver Merchandise Mart at our twice-a-year team event! Attendees will see terrific Workshop Wow's from stage, enjoy a FABULOUS guest speaker ~ Linda Hansen, see dozens of displays, have the chance to win one of many door prizes plus enter the Swap Contest, and stamp beautiful and duplicatible projects...all you need to do is register to hold your place!
This event is open to ALL team members (Ink, Inc.), adoptee demonstrators and all stamping guests. Please feel free to pass this along to others that might enjoy a day full of stamping and seeing new ideas.

The Denver Merchandise Mart is centrally located with plenty of parking. There is limited space for this event, so register early for guaranteed space and the best price. You may choose online registration via eventbrite: or you may choose to mail in your registration (click here) at any time. Please note the registration deadlines for the price breaks - the earlier you register the best price you will receive.

ALL Stampers & Guests: Postmarked/Online Orders March 20th - March 28th: $50

"Cannot Attend" Bundle: $50 (payment due March 28th)

Ink, Inc. team members, you may visit our team yahoo group for all upcoming details.

Non-Ink, Inc. members may see this same information via my blog: Ink & Paper Cafe' ( as it becomes available. I hope to see you all on April 10th!

Enjoy your day~


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Lucky Me

I've been wearing my domino necklaces (see this post) for a while now, but recently I started wearing my Simply Adorned necklace.  Don't you love how you can customize these pieces for every different occasion?

I need to make more of these inserts.  I am looking forward to breaking open my Eggcellent Eggs kit (117179), which has many tiny rinestones just perfect for the tiny art pieces which go into Simply Adorned necklaces.  I like the idea of making miniature scrapbook pages for jewelry. 

How about you?  Will you join me for my Simply Adorned class in May? 

Charly Bratt

Monday, March 15, 2010

March '10 - Shades of Spring PPSAS3

Paper Pack Stamp-A-Stack 3
March '10 - Shades of Spring
Shades of Spring paper pack (contact me)
Well Scripted stamp set (117072)
Chocolate Chip classic ink (100908)
Pretty in Pink 5/8" Satin Ribbon (117289)
Sweet Pea Stitched Felt (117266)
Crop-A-Dile (108362)
Stamp-a-ma-jig (101049)
Mini Glue Dots (103683)
Snail adhesive (104332)
Dotto adhesive (103305)
Stampin' Dimensionals (104430) (optional)

1) Cut all four colored 8-1/2 x 11" sheets, plus one white 8-1/2 x 11" sheet in half, so you have 10 sheets measuring 5-1/2 x 8-1/2".  
2) Set aside six sheets to be used as card bases, usually one of each color and two white.  Fold those in half using your bone folder.  
3) Cut six 4 x 5-1/4" mats out of the remaining colored long sheets.  
4) Cut six 2-1/2 x 2-1/2" small mats out of what remains of the colored long sheets, and also from the 6x6 squares of textured card stock.  If you have white textured card stock, you can sponge the edges to make the small mat any color you want.  
5) Cut six 2-3/8 x 2-3/8" squares of white card stock for the central image or greeting.  
6) Cut the designer series paper (DSP) into 1-7/8 x 2-1/2" rectangles.  I suggest starting with one card and choosing two complementary patterns.  Cut a strip 1-7/8" wide and 5" long from each, then cut those strips in half.
7) Start assembly by arranging the DSP on the large mat.  Do not attach the large mat to the card base yet, since you need to add the ribbon first.  Stick down the designer series paper rectangles with Dotto, to help with the finicky spacing and arranging.  Once your DSP is in the right place, then you can pull up the rectangles one at a time, and stick them down permanently with Snail.  
8) Stamp the 2-3/8 x 2-3/8" white diamond with your main image or sentiment.  For perfect placement, use the Stamp-a-ma-jig.  You may also want to stamp a background design, such as Fine Flourish (115709) or Sprinkles (115076), in a light color.  Then adhere the white diamond to a 2-1/2 x 2-1/2" colored mat.  
9) Using your Crop-a-dile, punch a hole for the ribbon to come through.  The hole should be perfectly in line between the top and bottom corners, and aproxomately 1 inch from the bottom corner, but adjust according to your ribbon and image.  
10) Cut a ribbon about 6-1/4" long.  Using regular Scotch tape, tape one end to the back of the large mat.  Run the ribbon down from the top, through the hole in the white diamond, and down.  Adhere the white diamond to the DSP using Snail, or Stampin' Dimensionals.  Tape the other end of the ribbon to the back of the large mat when everything is arranged.  
11) Tie a faux bow and stick it on with a mini glue dot, or tie it around the ribbon.  Add Sweet Pea Stitched Felt flowers or other decorations.  
12) Adhere the large mat to the card base with Snail, and you're done!  

  • Don't follow all my directions! Make this layout your own. Get creative. Adjust for your own style and your supplies. 
  • You can make 7 cards using the supplies in a paper pack, but you'll have to get a little creative and lay all the card parts out first.  
  • Don't forget the inside of the card and the envelope!  Stamp a subtle design or a greeting.  Think of how your recipient will open the envelope and the card.  
  • You can't really go wrong with which DSP patterns you choose to put together, but experiment with a monochrome layout, a 2-color layout, or a 4-pattern layout.  
  • Experiment with different focal points - a bow or no bow, an additional image or sentiment popped up on Stampin' Dimensionals, brads or buttons, etc.  
  • Post a picture of your creations and leave a link here in the comments section!  If you upload to a public site, such as, please use the keyword PPSAS2.  

NEXT MONTH: Welcome Neighbor designer series paper!

Charly Bratt

Thanks to Gretchen Barron for the inspiration for this layout.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Basic Tools for Paper Crafters

All hobbies require their own tools: knitters need yarn and needles; photographers need cameras, lenses, and filters; and woodworkers (like my husband) apparently need a garage full of large and expensive tools like table saws, band saws, and routers.

As stampers and scrapbookers we need our own tools too, but thankfully ours are reasonably priced. All our tools put together are still less expensive than just one of my husband's saw blades!
The paper cutter is probably the first tool you need to turn your card stock into cards. This cutter, available from Stampin' Up!, is one of Fiskars' better models. It can easily cut 12"x12" papers and card stock, but it is still lightweight and portable. It's fast and easy to use, and while I have had trouble with cheaper plastic models, with this cutter I've been able to make good straight cuts and 90 degree corners every time. ($24.95, item #104152)

The bone folder is a simple tool, but it's amazing how useful it is and how quickly it becomes one of your most reached-for items. It gives folds a nice crease; it can be used along with your paper cutter to score card stock; and I use it to separate card layers if I've made a mistake and I need to take my card apart and rework it. ($6.95, item #102300)

Paper snips are the perfect scissors for cutting shapes out of paper and card stock. I like to stamp images, color them, cut them out, and pop them up on Stampin' Dimensionals. This look adds a lot to a card or scrapbook page, and it's a fun alternative to buttons, rhinestone brads, felt flowers, or other purchased decorations. ($9.95, item #103579)

SNAIL is my first choice in adhesives, I use this more than I use any other kind. SNAIL leaves a strip of stickiness without the inconvenience of double-stick tape or the mess of glue. It's fast, easy, permanent, and the #1 choice for most card makers and scrapbookers. ($6.95, item #104332)

The Stampin' Scrub is the best and fastest way to clean your rubber stamps. Just lightly spray one half with the Stampin' Mist and leave the other half dry. The Stampin' Mist cleans and conditions your stamps, and the dry side of the Stampin' Scrub removes any leftover ink and moisture. (Stampin Scrub $16.95 item #102642; Stampin' Mist $4.50 item #102394)

The Stamp-a-ma-jig is one of my favorite tools, but not everyone uses one. This is a tool which needs to be demonstrated instead of described, ask me to show you how this works in person. (11.95, item #101049)
Sale-A-Bration is still going on, but only until March 31st. This is the perfect time to stock up on your stamping tools and supplies, because the more you buy during the Sale-A-Bration event, the more free stamp sets you can earn! If you were to buy every tool on my list your total would be $82.20 (still less than one of my husband's saw blades), and you would qualify for a free stamp set or other Sale-A-Bration reward. Add another product for $18.00 or more, and you'll receive two sets!

Charly Bratt

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Travel Games Class

This month we'll have a lot of fun making hand stamped travel games! You can give this cute gift as an Easter present (leave it in an Easter basket), for a Spring birthday, or just because. Customize the cover to say "Happy Easter", "Happy Birthday", or anything else. For boys, decorate the front with bugs instead of butterflies, and green instead of pink.

Inside the decorated DVD tin are two game boards: Memory and Tic-Tac-Toe. Each game board is made with designer series paper, and a window sheet to make moving the magnets easier and to protect the paper grid.

The magnets are an extra large size (and powerful too!), and are fun for kids to play with. Each magnet has a back side (I used yellow chicks), and a front side with six different patterns for the game of Memory. For playing Tic-Tac-Toe, you can play backs against fronts (in this example I used flowers vs. chicks).

Sign up now to reserve your spot! I only have materials for 10 attendees.
Charly Bratt

Thanks to DonnaCook and her idea for this travel game tin

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

March Featured Card

This month's card is a beautiful pastel collection of flowers, leaves, and paisleys, showcasing up to four patterns of the Shades of Spring designer series paper.

The featured card for March is perfect for Easter, a "new baby" card, or a Spring themed birthday or "thinking of you" card.
Aren't these colors and patterns just perfect for overcoming the winter blues? Not only are these cards fun to make, but they bring a bit of Spring sunshine to whomever you send one.

Contact me to book a workshop, and you and all of your friends can each make one of these cards for free. Remember that Sale-A-Bration ends March 31st, so don't miss out on the biggest sales event of the year! Earn a free stamp set for every $50 you spend, or for hosting a workshop, or for joining Stampin' Up!
Charly Bratt

Monday, March 1, 2010

March 2010 Newsletter - Spring is Coming!

Click on each page to enlarge, then use your browser to print.