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

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Importance of Connecting

I found this poem today as I was going through some recovered files on my computer.  I'm so glad it was saved! I just had to share it with you!

A card I created on My Digital Studio.
What is a Greeting Card?
Author Unknown

It’s a little piece of paper
That tells someone how you care;
It can be a ray of sunshine –
It can be a wish or prayer.

It can simply say, “I love you”
Or just say, “I understand”
It can be a little visit,
Or the clasp of someone’s hand.

It can be a word of comfort
When somebody’s heart is sad,
It can be a smile or chuckle
Making someone’s heart feel glad.

It can keep folks close together
Even though they’re far apart;
It can show someone you’re thankful
From the bottom of your heart.

It can travel any distance
In all kinds of weather, too.
And it has the “magic something”
That some “big things” never do.

Yes, it’s just a piece of paper
And it costs no big amount,
But it proves that old, old saying;
It’s the little things that count.
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Estella Banks

Creativity Coach
Inspiring, Nurturing, Sharing Creativity

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Free MyDigitalStudio Downloads, anyone?

Check out the contest from Stampin' Up! and MyDigitalStudio!
We have until October 15, 2011, to come up with some fantabulous creations!  Will you join me? :-)

http://mydigitalstudio.net/page/contests

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Estella Banks

Creativity Coach
Inspiring, Nurturing, Sharing Creativity

Thursday, August 4, 2011

What's your manifesto?

Have you ever really given it much thought? A manifesto...what is that? 

Definition of MANIFESTO: a written statement declaring publicly the intentions, motives, or views of its issuer...Origin:  Italian, denunciation, manifest, from manifestare to manifest, from Latin, from manifestus.

Isn't that something reserved for people who have strong opinions about stuff?  I'm *just* a creative geek of sorts...and then I see a blog post on Brain Pickings entitled Five Manifestos for Life.  When I first read the post, I was drawn to the Holstee Manifesto (pictured here on the left). It really resonated with me and I even printed it with the intention of framing it and putting it where I can see it...

Today, though, I feel challenged to create my own manifesto for life...what about you? What's your manifesto?  Let's take a week to think about and let the idea marinate. Check out some of the ideas in the blog post on Brain Pickings and let's share.  Sounds a bit like homework, but you can make if fun and interesting by blinging it up with your favorite papers, stamps, embellishments and/or your favorite digital designing software (my personal favorite is My Digital Studio). Check back next Friday for an update! I'm so excited!!

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Estella Banks

Creativity Coach
Inspiring, Nurturing, Sharing Creativity

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

So I started my day organizing scraps...


...and look what happened! LOL! I decided that I couldn't dare separate these carefully cut treasures, so lovingly prepared for a workshop with many more promised guests than were able to make it. ;-)



Not to worry...they have been keep in tact and transformed into a beautiful set of 8 mini cards (3" x 3"). 

Now for the carefully trained eye, these colors have since retired and moved to the Bahamas where they're enjoying time with their new younger husbands! Stampin' Up!'s handy Color Coach has many awesome color combinations that would easily rival this one....
  • Riding Hood Red and Cherry Cobbler, or 
  • Regal Rose and Rose Red, or 
  • Melon Mambo and Pretty in Pink
...just to name a few. You're only limited by your imagination and your creative eye!

Enjoy your creative adventures!



Products I used:


Paper:
Stampin' Up! Card stock: the lighter pink (Pink Passion) was cut to 3" x 6" and scored at 3", the darker pink (Purely Pomegranate) card stock was cut to 2-1/2" x 2-1/2", and the Whisper White cardstock was cut to 2" x 2". There is also a sprinkling of Basic Black.
Stamps: 
  • Vintage Vogue (clear mount)
  • I used the "Thank You" greeting from a retired stamp set called "Because I Care." There are a few stamp sets with a small "Thank You" greeting such as: Just Believe, Trendy Trees, Pocket Silhouettes, For All You Do, Kindess Matters, Tiny Tags, Teeny Tiny Wishes, Short and Sweet, &; Thank You Kindly.

Ink:
  • Wild Wasabi
  • Pink Passion

  • Purely Pomegranate



Tools & Accessories:
  • 3/16" Corner Punch

  • Eyelet Border Punch
  • SNAIL Adhesive

  • Stampin' Dimensionals

  • Paper Cutter
*********************************************
Estella Banks

Creativity Coach
Inspiring, Nurturing, Sharing Creativity

    Monday, July 11, 2011

    A Inspiration Challenge

    As I recently shared, I find inspiration in lots of places...and probably one of my favorite places is the Stampin' Up! Idea Book and Catalog. I've discover that the Stampin' Up! website can be just as inspiring!

    So I have a challenge for you...here is your inspiration image borrowed right from the Projects area on the Stampin' Up! website (I clicked on Cards to get to this sample).

    Your mission/challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to use this card as inspiration for your own creation by changing at least three things about this card.  When you've got something you'd like to share with me and my blog readers, post a comment and you have a good chance of being published! The only "rule" is that the project must feature Stampin' Up! products.

    Now, go, get creative!

    PS: I will be creating my challenge card in the next couple of days and will share it with you!
    R7VX666Y3GZA
     google-site-verification: googlef8d4e7f952095689.html 
    *********************************************
    Estella Banks

    Creativity Coach
    Inspiring, Nurturing, Sharing Creativity

    Wednesday, July 6, 2011

    IBC Inspiration

    Since I received my new copy of the Stampin' Up! Idea Book & Catalog (affectionately known as the IBC), I've been studying it ever soooo carefully!  The first time I look through the IBC, I usually start by looking for what's new -- stamp sets, papers, tools & accessories -- to make my wish list.  Then, I highlight the stamp sets that I own. On the next few passes, I look for samples that I find inspiring and mark them with sticky notes or write notes next to the photos.  Sometimes I'm inspired by the color combination and sometimes it's the layout that gets my attention.

    Over the weekend while I was grilling, I spent some of the waiting time going through my IBC and on page 160 I discovered a sample that inspired me.  So I immediately (yes, right in the middle of grilling) challenged myself to see how quickly and easily I could recreate the card that I liked. 

    I was able to make a decent window focal point on this card on the second try ... AFTER I got out a ruler and a pencil AND while grilling...I must admit, though, that I finished the card tonight.  (Use the 1-1/4" Square punch to create the "windows.")  I am still contemplating using the first window focal point that I made even though the windows aren't lined up perfectly nor are the square punches straight. 

    This evening I finished up by punching out some retired Designer Series Paper (DSP) using the 1-3/8" Square punch.  I also added texture to some of the DSP squares by using the Texturz Plates and Embossing folders with my Big Shot. The flower on the right center panel comes from some discontinued rub-ons that I have in my stash. I suggest using an image stamp set and greeting stamp set and some ink to take the place of the rub-ons.  I will sometimes show samples like this so you can see how YOU too can use an inspiring sample and find some cool supplies to improvise.  Here is a photo of my sample next to my inspiration.


    Have you discovered a sample in the new IBC that inspires you?

    What I used:
    8-1/2 x 11" Chocolate Chip Card Stock (item # 102128)
    Designer Series Paper
    1-1/4 Inch Square Punch (item # 119865)
    1-3/8 Inch Square Punch (item # 119877)
    Bone Folder (item # 102300)
    Paper Cutter (item # 104152)
    SNAIL Adhesive (item # 104332)
    Ribbon
    Backgrounds 1 Stampin' Up! Texturz Plates (item #114512)
    Perfect Details Texturz Plate Die (item # 115962)
    *********************************************
    Estella Banks

    Creativity Coach
    Inspiring, Nurturing, Sharing Creativity

    Monday, July 4, 2011

    Christmas in July?

    What better way to start the beginning of the rest of this year and the first day of the rest of your life than with a new business! From July 1-31, you can join the Stampin' Up! Family for only $99!

    The Starter Kit is packed with over $180 worth of products and business tools to get you started out on the right foot!
    • Easy Events Clear-Mount Set*
    • Pennant Parade Wood-Mount Set*
    • Basic Black Classic Stampin' Pad
    • Old Olive Classic Stampin' Pad
    • Pumpkin Pie Classic Stampin' Pad
    • Real Red Classic Stampin' Pad
    • Brights 8-1/2" x 11" Assorted Card Stock
    • Just Add Cake Designer Series Paper*
    • Chocolate Chip 1/2" Scallop Dots Ribbon*
    • Note Cards (20)
    • Clear-Mount Block C
    • Blender Pen (1)
    • SNAIL Adhesive
    • Business supplies
    * Brand new to the 2011-2012 Idea Book & Catalog!



    

To spice things up a bit, Stampin' Up! is also offering a free Christmas Keepsake Project Kit (a $40 value)! 



    Visit my Stampin' Up! website for details and to sign-up online. Of course you can also call or e-mail me for personal assistance completing your application.



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    Estella Banks

    Creativity Coach
    Inspiring, Nurturing, Sharing Creativity

    Sunday, July 3, 2011

    Marble Paper Tutorial

    One of my daughter's favorite activities is to create faux marble paper. The process for making it is fun and messy -- just what kids and the kid in us love! Here are the supplies you need:
    • Stampin' Up! Classic Ink Refills - in three coordinating or harmonious colors. You can use the Color Coach (item # 120148 or 120146) to give you some great color combination ideas.
    • Glossy White Card stock (item# 102599) or Whisper White card stock (item # 100730)
    • Shaving cream -- an inexpensive one from the dollar store is fine. I like the one that has a pleasing scent so I usually get one of the girlie scented ones. :-)
    • Cookie sheet -- I got one from the dollar store that I use just for this purpose.
    • Plastic table cloth or other table cover that you don't mind getting dirty (you can probably find a plastic table cover at the dollar store).
    • Spatula, plastic knives, plastic forks, paper towels. 
    Prepare your workspace by covering/protecting your table/workspace.

    Gather all your materials and place them on your table/workspace.

    Fill the cookie sheet with shaving cream.
    Fill 'er up!

    Spread out the shaving into a smooth, even layer, using the spatula or plastic knife like you're frosting a cake.

    Strategically squeeze drops of the ink refills across the smoothed out shaving cream.  Use one drop of each color in three or four places.
    Smoothed shaving cream with ink drops.

    Next, use the tines of the fork (pointing down or at a slight angle like you're going to scoop something from your plate) to swirl the color around the cookie sheet. Use a light touch as you swirl the color through the shaving cream. Your swirled ink and shaving cream should look something like this:

    Messy fun!

    Place the glossy side of the card stock face down on the shaving cream. Apply light pressure with your hand to press the paper into the shaving cream. Run your hand across the back of the card stock to make sure that color has transferred to the entire sheet.

    Carefully pull up the sheet of card stock and place the sheet with shaving cream side up on a paper towel.  This is what it looks like:

    The masterpiece in hiding!

    Let it sit for a minute or two and then use a plastic knife (smooth side of the knife) to scrape the shaving cream off.  Put the shaving cream back into the cookie sheet as you scrape it off.  Wipe the card stock with some paper towel and set aside to dry.  This is my first sheet of marbled paper.

    Viola! The masterpiece is done!

    You can smooth the shaving cream again and repeat the process a couple more times.  You may want to sparingly squeeze a couple more drops of ink on the shaving cream.  The more you swirl the colors, though, the more they get mixed and a little muddy, so proceed carefully and lightly on the swirling.

    Now you use your marbled paper for lots of different projects:
    • Scan your marbled paper and use it for background paper in your My Digital Studio projects.
    • Use it as background paper in your traditional hand-crafted creations.
    • Die cut shapes or 3D items with your Big Shot.
    I like to make a quite few sheets during a session that I can use for whatever my creative heart desires!

    Have fun!
    ****************************************
    Estella Banks
    Creativity Coach
    Inspiring, Nurturing, Sharing Creativity

    Friday, July 1, 2011

    The New 2011-2012 Stampin' Up! Idea Book & Catalog is here!

    It’s here!!! July 1, the brand new Stampin’ Up! 2011-12 Idea Book and Catalog is released today!! These beauties retail for $9.95, however you can get one free from me or purchase yours for a limited time for $6.95 (plus shipping) and get a coupon for $10 OFF your first order July 1 - August 15, 2011.

    CLICK HERE TO VIEW CATALOGS ONLINE >
    • Get a Free Idea Book >
    • Purchase Idea Book & Catalog pay via Paypal (US only (chose ship or local pick up)  Includes coupon for $10 OFF $75 July1 - August 15, 2011):


    Shipping Method


    *********************************************
    Estella Banks

    Creativity Coach
    Inspiring, Nurturing, Sharing Creativity

    Saturday, June 25, 2011

    What Spurs Your Creativity?

    I get great ideas when I'm driving and late at night. Some of my favorite creations are I call "my midnight masterpieces." :-) 
    USA Today - Scotch and Swimming Spur Creativity







    *********************************************
    Estella Banks

    Creativity Coach
    Inspiring, Nurturing, Sharing Creativity

    Wednesday, June 22, 2011

    A Digital Invitation

    Here is an invitation that I created with Jessica's help.  It was made with My Digital Studio!  I really enjoy digital designing!


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    Estella Banks

    Creativity Coach
    Inspiring, Nurturing, Sharing Creativity

    Friday, June 17, 2011

    Bow Boutique Tutorial

    Check out the latest tutorial!

    Bow Boutique

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    Estella Banks

    Creativity Coach
    Inspiring, Nurturing, Sharing Creativity

    Tuesday, January 25, 2011

    Sale-A-Bration is here!

    Sale-A-Bration is one of my favorite times of the year as a super-fan of Stampin' Up! products.  Stampin' Up! shows their appreciation for our patronage by treating us to free stuff (with a minimum $50 purchase).

    Check out the awesome offerings this year (click here to view the brochure online).  I'm super excited about the new digital content that I can use with My Digital Studio.

    Something to think about...