Estella Banks
Chief Creative Officer & Founder
Independent Stampin' Up! Demonstrator
To e-mail me, click here
(714) 264-0026

Monday, August 23, 2010

My Reading List

What are you reading these days?

Yes, I know that reading can be time consuming... but what are you feeding your most complex and powerful organ, your brain?  What shows & movies... music, images, words... words are powerful shapers & molders of our lives... what words are you using to program the most powerful computer on this planet?

Here are some of the books on my reading list that have been influential/impactful on my thinking...
  • Good to Great by Jim Collins
  • Leadership and Self-Deception by The Arbinger Institute
  • 5 Minds for the Future by Howard Gardner
  • The Soul of Money: Reclaiming the Wealth of Our Inner Resources by Lynne Twist, Teresa Barker
  • The Compassinate Samurai: Being Extraordinary in an Ordinary World by Brian Klemmer
  • If How-To's Were Enough We Would All be Skinny, Rich and Happy by Brian Klemmer
  • Change Your Questions, Change Your Life: 7 Powerful Tools for Life and Work by Marilee G. Adams & Marshall Goldsmith
  • The Dream Giver Bruce by Wilkinson (Author), Heather Kopp (Contributor)
  • The Bible
  • Plus many more ...
Are  the answers to your prayers/"unaswerable questions" hidden in an un-read book? Why?

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Ready for a Creative Challenge?

Hello Creative Friends!

Last night before I finally went to sleep, I asked the fans of my "Planet Creative Studios" Facebook page who was up for a creative challenge... I had one person of 37 fans who "liked" the idea (LOL), so here is your challenge.  This is your inspiration for today: 

Remember the post about card maps and sketches?  This is an easy sketch!  It consists of five 1-3/8" squares punched from Designer Series Paper and one 1-1/4" square punched from a neutral card stock (Whisper White).  Square punches make this card a snap to make.  I used two square punches from Stampin' Up! - the 1-1/4" and the 1-3/8"  since they layer so nicely.  I used Stampin' Dimensionals to give a little lift to the focal point/center image.  I made this card a while ago, so although the Designer Series Papers (DSP) (I got free when I placed an order as the hostess) you see here have taken their place in the retired products hall of fame, there are many more DSPs available. You will need a card base; Whisper White was used in this sample, a small stamp image and a greeting.  Voila!  A simple card that can be mass-produced for everyone on your Thank You card to do list.  This design is also great for making card sets to give as a gift.

Cross-Creative Applications:
Home Decor: Framed art arrangement
Fabric or Paper Covered Canvases
On canvas... the possibilities are endless!
Scrapbook Page: Digital, Traditional or Hybrid

So now that you've seen some inspiration...pull out those supplies you've been saving for a very important occasion and show me what you make!

Supplies Used
Family Accessories (Item # 113494, Set of 12, $19.95)
Fundamental Phrases (Item # 114968, Set of 24, $37.95)

Basic Black Classic Ink Pad (Item # 101179, $5.95)


Whisper White Card Stock (Item # 100730, 40 sheets, $8.50)
Designer Series Paper of your choice

1-1/4" Square Punch (Item # 119865; $15.95)
1-3/8" Square Punch (Item # 119877; $16.95)
Stampin' Dimensionals (Item # 104430, 300 each, $3.95)
SNAIL Adhesive (Item # 104332, 472", $6.95)
Medium Envelopes, Whisper White (Item #107301, 40 envelopes, $6.50)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The New Stampin' Up! 2010-2011 Idea Book and Catalog is here!!

I'm so excited to have the opportunity to present the new Stampin' Up! 2010-2011 Idea Book and Catalog to you!!  Today begins the new catalog year! Yippee.  There a many new beautiful stamp sets, cool embellishments like the new sticky rhinestones (can we say bling, bling?!), gorgeous new colors and some of our favorite (well, MY favorite) colors have come out of retirement!

While you're in the mood to browse for creative ideas, here are the Spanish supplement: Celebrando Creatividad

and Definitely Decorative.


Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Card Maps/Scrap Maps

Hi Creative Friends!

Have you ever looked at a card or a scrap book page, finding yourself drawn to the design elements of the image, but perhaps you lack the featured stamp image?  Or have you ever had one of the Stampin' Up! Idea Book and Catalogs which is nearing its expiration date and think to yourself, what am I going to do with this?

This is where card or scrapbook map/sketching skill comes in handy.  Let's look at an example.  Here is a card I created many moons ago.  It's one of my favorite cards; it has one of my favorite color combinations, plus I like the juxtaposition of the squares in relation to each other and the bold, yet simple design.  I CASEd this card from another card designer or the Idea Book and Catalog (can't remember at this moment). I'll call it Grateful Cascading Boxes.

So you can see why I call it cascading boxes!

If you take a look at this card with a different pair of lenses, though, you will see the more "global" shapes that are recurring in the layout design.  How many squares do you see?  How many rectangles? If you said 5 squares and 3 rectangles, then you are right!

Here is the same card from the layout perspective:

When I look at this image, I see five squares (or parts of a square) and three rectangles (including the outside border of the card). So, you may be wondering why I've spent some time on this exercise... Well, it's because I believe that knowing how to look at a card or scrapbook sample and break it down mentally or on paper as a sketch helps you to see things differently and can later become an inspiration for another card or scrapbook page at some point in the near future! Also, by looking at a sketch rather than the card sample, your mind is not limited by the color and/or stamp image choices made by the sample designer/artist. 

So, what do you think? Are you up for a challenge? Create your own revamped card using a sample from the 2010-2011 Idea Book and Catalog.  Reference the page number so we can all go and check it out.  Share your samples with me and I'll post some samples here on my blog (e-mail your image to me at I can't wait to see what you have created! Happy creating!

Monday, June 28, 2010

The New Catalog is Coming...!

There are just two days left to get your favorite stamp sets from the current catalog. Please visit my website to view the LAST CHANCE LIST and to place your order.  The online ordering system is available 24 hours / 7 days a week.  All orders fro the current catalog must be placed by 10:59 PM (PDT) [11:59PM (MDT)] on WEDNESDAY, JUNE 30, 2010.  Please note that retiring accessories are only available while supplies last!

The beautiful new 2010-2011 Idea Book and Catalog and 2010-2011 Celebrando Creatividad will be available here on my blog on Thursday, July 1, 2010!!  In the meantime, take a look at the Summer Mini's full of beautiful and fun samples to help you make your Summer events memorable.

Join us for the New Catalog Release Open House on Saturday, July 10, 2010, from 6:00 - 10:00 pm.  Please RSVP via e-mail to reserve your SEAT and your FREE copy of the new CATALOG!!

Something to think about...