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September 2016

Small Talk

Hello friends.  Check out our new line of Tiny Craft Dies from Memory Box.  Though small in size they make a big statement!  There are fun designs for Halloween, Fall and Christmas!  Add these to a tag or card for the perfect embellishment!  Or slip one in a card for a fellow papercrafting friend.  They are just $2.99 each.

Here's a board showing each die on a tag -- be sure to click on the photo to enlarge it.

Now here are the same dies used on tags with little scenes of the season!  Such fun!



A Word About Storage

Stamp and die storage is always of interest to papercrafters and Avery Elle has recently expanded their line of storage pockets.  They discontinued their original storage pockets which we have sold for years in favor of offering small, large and extra large pockets.  The large pockets are the same size as the original pockets.  Now all pockets will be sold in packages of 50 instead of 25.



Pockets-extra-largeAs many of you know, for my die storage I use 5” x 5” CD keeper plastic pockets.  I find this size fits the majority of dies.  I am pleased that Avery Elle is offering the smaller pockets because the CD Keepers I have been using are now discontinued.

The large pockets are perfect for storing clear and cling stamp sets as well as larger dies such as nested dies.  The extra large pockets will be good for storing wider and taller stamp sets such as the Taylored Expressions sets.

The advantage to using pockets like these is that when your dies and stamps are stored in the same size pockets, it is much easier to organize them into categories and flip through them easily.


Make and Takes -- Make a free card

I have two delightful cards for you to choose from the next time you stop by The Stamp Act.  It only takes a few minutes and you will probably learn something while you're stamping!

Say Happy Halloween with this cute card of Frank and friend taking a selfie!


Or send season's greetings to friends and family with this stunning winter scene.


Stop by the Stamp Act soon -- we'd love to see you.

If you see anything on the blog or website (links above) and want to reserve products or have me mail them to you, just give me a call at 915-833-9500 or send me an email to hellopolly@aol.com.  Gave a wonderful weekend.

Celebrate all Fall Holidays

Hello Friends.  Today I have a miscellany of fall holiday cards.  A little Thanksgiving, a little Halloween and a little Christmas.  Enjoy!

This card and the next one use the Taylored Expressions Mini Color Blocking die which is only "mini" (4" x 4") compared to their larger version (4" x 5¼”).  The scalloped and straight-sided squares and rectangle dies inside the 5 window opening come with the die which adds endless versatility to your layouts.

This card measures 4½” x 4½”.  The critters on this card and the next are from TE's stamp set Calendar Critters and the sentiment is from the coordinating (Calendar) Critter Correspondence stamp set.

TE-Color-Block-1Celebrate the Season – Taylored Expressions Calendar Critters stamps and coordinating dies; TE dies Mini Color Block, Build-A-Scene Calendar and Snowflakes; Critters Correspondence stamp set; design inspired by Jean Manis

TE-Color-Block-2Happy Turkey Day – Taylored Expressions Calendar Critters stamps and coordinating dies; TE dies Mini Color Block, Build-A-Scene Trees, Build-A-Scene Calendar and Little Bits Leaves; Critters Correspondence stamp set; design inspired by Michele Boyer

For a little Halloween fun, I used the new Poppystamps Haunted Mansion set inside the Halloween Circle Frame.  I cut the mansion from black and silver cardstock then added scor tape across the window openings on the back of the house, exposing the sticky side through the front openings.  I sprinkled on silver glitter to "light" up the house!

Then to make the card seasonal and colorful, I cut a bunch of leaves using the new Poppystamps Fall Leaf Collage and very colorful cardstock.  I added the leaves to the left side of the card and colored them with the clear Wink of Stella glitter pen.  So in real life they are shiny too!

Haunted-Mansion-LeavesHaunted House Leaves – Poppystamps dies Haunted Mansion, Hip Halloween Circle Frame and Fall Leaf Collage; Spellbinders die Classic Circles; design inspired by Marybeth Lopez

Now, who says a Haunted Mansion can only be a Halloween house?  I used the Haunted Mansion in a winter scene, setting it against a background created with the Birch Tree Stencil and distress inks.  I use Viva Decor pearl Pen in White Ice for the trim and added a seasonal greeting.

Haunted-Mansion Haunted House Christmas – Poppystamps dies Haunted Mansion, Old Fashioned Lamp Post, and Old Fashioned Merry Christmas; Memory Box stencil Garden Birch Tree; design inspired by Ilona Zbeig

I love, love, love this snowman!  He is so cute and all the little parts to decorate him come with the die.  For the shiny background I first sponged a blue background using Memento dye inks then used the Shimmer Stars stencil and Pearlescent embossing paste on top.  Honestly this background took 5 minutes to make!

SnowmanSnowman Collage – Memory Box die Snowman Collage; sentiment by Hero Arts; Memory Box stencil Shimmer Stars; Dreamweavers Pearlescent embossing paste; design inspired by Jenny Griffiths

Last but not least, the new Carved Diamond Pumpkin makes a great shaker card.  I cut it twice and sandwiched a bag of sequins in between.  I added the leaves and the greeting and the card was finished.

Carved-Diamond-PumpkinCarved Diamond Pumpkin – Poppystamps dies Carved Diamond Pumpkin, Stitched Pumpkin Leaves and Give Thanks; design inspired by Marybeth Lopez


New Products

We've gotten lots of new fun items in stock -- here's a link to our What's New page -- take a look!


Must Have's for Die-Cutting --  Tools that will enhance your die cutting experience.

    Metal Shim -- shims your "sandwich" so you can cut intricate dies more easily.  Available for $13.29

    Rubber Embossing Mat -- for embossing dies and plastic stencils.  Available for $9.99

    Score 'n Pierce Tool --  pokes out dies after they are cut and scores cardstock ($11.00)

    Adhesive Eraser -- picks up all those pesky bits of stray adhesive ($2.69)

    Others: Tweezers ($6.29); Fine tip glue bottle ($5.49); Tombow glue ($4.49); Detail Scissors ($5.99); Wire Snips ($11.00)


Must Have's for Stamping -- Tools that will help you stamp like a pro!

    Stamp Positioning Tool --  You have probably heard about the MISTI stamp positioner.  Well fortunately other companies are now coming out with similar tools that are less expensive.  They are just now announcing them so they won't be available until later in the fall.  Here's a new one from Hampton Arts:

Stamp-Positioning-toolThe Stamp Perfect tool will retail at $24.99.  It has a hinged design with an easy to read ruler, etched grid, foam pad and 2 magnets.  It is 7" x 9'.  The Stamp Perfect positioning tool allows you precise positioning of your  image every time.  It will be available in late November.

Powder Tool -- To eliminate stray embossing powder, always treat your cardstock with the EK Success Powder Tool before stamping and embossing. ($5.99)

Acrylic Blocks -- We have a new footed acrylic block that is fabulous.  It has a grid on the top so you can easily line up your stamps and foam feet that lets you position your stamp precisely then press on the block for stamping.  Check it out on our What's New Page.

Please stop in soon and shop at The Stamp Act!  Chloe and I would love to see you!

Halloween Critters in Costume

Hello Friends.  I know some of you don't "do" Halloween, but for those who do, Taylored Expressions has some darling new Halloween stamps and dies.  Let me share them with you today.

Gone Batty --How cute is this?

This combo set has a bat stamp with your choice of 6 different faces plus a die to cut the bat out.  Three cute sayings complete the set.

Gonebatty500For this card I created the background using the TE Cloud Border die as a stencil with purple and gray dye inks. Be sure to notice the different faces on each bat -- too clever. Oh, I just had to add the googly eyes!!

Happy Haunting – Taylored Expressions stamp and die combo set Gone Batty; TE dies Haunted Accessories and Cloud Border; Memory Box Die Grand Willow Die


Gone-BattyGone Batty – Taylored Expressions stamp and die combo set Gone Batty; TE embossing folder Zig Zag; design inspired by Kim Singdahlsen

A simple card that shows off the new TE paper Pad "Haunted" well.  I paper pieced the bat and cut the Spooky Clouds from another of the papers.

Fangtastic-HalloweenFangtastic Halloween – Taylored Expressions stamp and coordinating die set Critters in Costume; TE die Spooky Clouds; TE sequins; design inspired by Courtney Kelley

For Trick or Treat gifts, TE's new Tagging Along die is perfect.  Cut it out twice and assemble it together with glue or tape and you've got a very cute little box to hold all kinds of treats.  And the best news?  Use it for any holiday or party when you need favors.  TE's Tag Stacklets 1 makes perfect layers for decorating your box.  

Taggingalong-box Tagging Along Treat Box ($39.99)

Tagstacklets1_1 Tag Stacklets 1 ($29.99)

Here are two samples:

Hanging-Out-BoxesTagging Along Treat Boxes – Taylored Expressions dies Tagging Along and Tag Stacklets 1; Taylored Expressions stamp and coordinating die set Critters in Costume; TE Stamp and die combo set Gone Batty; TE stamp Graphic Greetings Halloween; TE embossing folder Fright Night Flight; designs inspired by Shannon White and Kerri Michaud

The other new set of Halloween stamps and dies I used is Critters in Costume:

Crittersincostumepkg_3 Critters in Costume stamp set ($24.99)

CrittersincostumediesCritters in Costume die set ($18.79)

The new Fright Night Flight embossing folder doesn't show up well in this photo so be sure to click on the picture to see a larger version.  It's full of flying bats.

Smell-My-FeetSmell My Feet – Taylored Expressions stamp and coordinating die set Critters in Costume; TE die Tag Stacklets 1; TE Big Bold Halloween; TE paper pad Haunted; design inspired by Tracy Clemente

 Trick-or-Treat-Witch-HatTrick or Treat Witch Hat – Taylored Expressions stamp and coordinating die set Critters in Costume; TE Little Bits die Witch Hat; Impression Obsession die Spider and Spider Web; Memory Box die Scary Spiders; design inspired by Taylor VanBruggen

For this card I die cut the Starry Night die from white cardstock then inked it with Memento inks Teal Zeal and Paris Dusk using a jumbo dauber.  I cut a piece of white cardstock just slightly smaller than this piece and inked the center with Memento Dandelion and Cantaloupe leaving the outside uninked so some stars would be white while others were yellow and others gold.  I stamped the jack-o-lantern, colored it with Copic markers and cut it out.  It is sitting atop the Spooky Fence.  After the card was assembled, I painted the pumpkin's teeth with Ranger's white Enamel Accents!

Starry-Night Starry Night – Taylored Expressions stamp and coordinating die set Critters in Costume; TE dies Starry Night and Spooky Fence; design inspired by Courtney Kelley

This is one cute kitty!

Trick or Treat – Taylored Expressions stamp and coordinating die set Critters in Costume; TE paper pad Haunted; design inspired by Taylor VanBruggen

Here's the whole crew in their colorful costumes all ready for a night out trick or treating!   Love the dog in costume and the pirate kitty!Too-cute-to-spook Too Cute to Spook – Taylored Expressions stamp and coordinating die set Critters in Costume; TE dies Spooky Clouds; Spooky Fence; and TE die Stitched Banners; Memory Box die Stitched Rectangles; design inspired by Keri Michaud

If you're longing for something new and different in your papercrafting, stop by The Stamp Act.  We have tons of samples and lots of advice just for you.  No matter what kind of card or paper project you're working on, we can help.  Shop here first and see what you can find!

Happy Fall Y'All!

Temperatures are cooling, days are getting shorter -- can fall be far away? Buckle your seat belts today because if you like fall the way I do, I have many samples for you to savor.  Have fun with this fall-colored eye candy and stop in the store and see the samples and products IRL.  NOTE:  Be sure to click on the photos to see a larger view with more detail.

My first card is the one that started the avalanche of fall cards.  Harriet Head made it and I copied her sample.  The "Autumn" die cut is one of the new Elizabeth Craft Designs 4 Seasons dies based on Suzanne Cannon's beautiful calligraphy.  The other die is a new one from Poppystamps (Oak Leaf Swirl) and the paper is a favorite from several years ago: Bo Bunny's Autumn Song.  We still have some in stock so if you love it come and get it!  Thanks Harriet.

4-Seasons4 Seasons – Elizabeth Craft Designs die 4 Seasons; Poppystamps die Oak Leaf Swirl; Bo Bunny Song of Autumn paper; design inspired by Harriet Head

Here's a look at the 4 Seasons die set:

4-seasons-die4 Seasons die set ($21.99)

Poppystamps-die-oak-leaf-swOak Leaf Swirl die ($13.79)

I used some more of that sheet of Bo Bunny paper for this card -- again inspired by Harriet's card above.– Elizabeth Craft Designs die 4 Seasons; Poppystamps die Oak Leaf Swirl; Bo Bunny Song of Autumn paper; design inspired by Harriet Head

4-Seasons-Big-Leaf 4 Seasons Big Leaf – Elizabeth Craft Designs die 4 Seasons; Poppystamps die Oak Leaf Swirl; Bo Bunny Song of Autumn paper; design inspired by Harriet Head

I love Poppystamps new Stitched Fall Leaf Collage die; it cuts the leaves and stitches the veins at the same time! 

Fall-Leaf-CollageFall Leaf Collage die ($19.99)

Here I cut the die from the middle of the white cardstock then cut it from many colors of cardstock.  I inlaid some of the leaves into the die cut negative space then adhered others to the top of the card to extend the design to the entire card front.  The same 4 Seasons Autumn die was cut from gold and deep orange cardstock and slightly offset to show both colors.  4-Seasons-Fall-Leaf-Collage4 Seasons Fall Leaf Collage – Elizabeth Craft Designs die 4 Seasons; Poppystamps die Fall leaves Collage; Spellbinders die Mega Rectangles; design inspired by Joanne Jachna

I used the same die for this card to create a wreath. Here's a helpful hint: cut a circle frame using two circle dies and adhere the leaves to the frame.  It really makes it easier to arrange the leaves.  The wonderful sentiment is from a new Taylored Expressions stamp set that you'll see more of later in this post.

Leaf-WreathLeaf Wreath – Poppystamps die Fall leaf Collage; Taylored Expressions Simply Stamped Leaves; TE paper Pad Harvest; TE sequins Harvest

In the first two cards above you can see the new Poppystamps Oak Leaf Swirl die and I showcase it here.  I cut two from white cardstock and colored them using small sponge applicators and Distress inks. The colorful little sequin flowers are from Taylored Expressions' new sequins Harvest.

Oak-Leaf-ThankfulOak Leaf Thankful – Penny Black die Words of Gratitude; Poppystamps die Oak Leaf Swirl; Taylored Expressions sequins Harvest 

Another new set from Taylored Expressions is the Pumpkin Bouquet stamp with coordinating die.  

PumpkinbouquetPumpkin Bouquet stamp ($9.99)

Pumpkinbouquet-diePumpkin Bouquet die ($17.69)

I made three cards using these two items.  The first card is stamped in black Memento ink and colored with Copic markers.  The background panel is embossed with a woodgrain embossing folder and to add color to the circle, I left the cut cardstock in the circle die and sponged on some light tan dye ink. 

Pumpkin-Bouquet-helloPumpkin Bouquet Hello Autumn – Taylored Expressions stamp and coordinating die Pumpkin Bouquet; TE paper Pad Harvest; TE sequins Harvest; Memory Box die Stitched Circles; Darice embossing folder Woodgrain; design inspired by Kerri Michaud

The next two cards were stamped and embossed in gold then colored.  To add a little texture and more gold to the card I wound some gold cord into a circle and adhered it behind the focal image.

Pumpkin-Bouquet-BlessingsPumpkin Bouquet Many Blessings – Taylored Expressions stamp and coordinating die Pumpkin Bouquet; TE paper Pad Harvest; TE sequins Harvest; TE dies Quatrefoil and Stitched Tags; design inspired by Kendra Wiestock

For this card I added the sentiment by stamping it in black on vellum then embossing it in clear embossing powder.

Pumpkin-Bouquet-ThankfulPumpkin Bouquet Thankful – Taylored Expressions stamp and coordinating die Pumpkin Bouquet; TE paper Pad Harvest; design inspired by Shelly Mercado

For this next card I used a new Little Bits die called Fall Harvest and the handy Stitched Frame Stacklets 1.  You may have a set of stitched rectangles; these are not panels, rather they are frames.

Littlebits-fallharvestFall Harvest Little Bits die ($6.69)

Stitchedframestacklets1500Stitched Frame Stacklets 1 ($29.99)

 I cut two frames and layered the pumpkins and gourds on top.

Happy-FallHappy Fall – Taylored Expressions dies Fall Harvest and Stitched Frame Stacklets 1; Stampendous sentiment stamp; design inspired by Shelly Mercado

Here's another card using the Fall Harvest die.  The background was sponged with dye inks and jumbo daubers.

Give-ThanksGive Thanks – Taylored Expressions dies Fall Harvest, Door to Door Décor Fall and Picket Fence; TE stamp set Simply Stamped Leaves; design inspired by Courtney Kelley

One of my favorite fall dies is the Wheat Stalks die from Impression Obsession.

Wheat-StalksWheat Stalks – Impression Obsession die Wheat Stalks; Taylored Expressions die Label Stacklets 2; TE stamp set Simply Stamped Leaves

There's a lot happening on our next card.  I took inspiration from the very talented Kitty Caracciolo and used a new die from Cottage Cutz: Pumpkins and Gourd plus lots of others from Impression Obsession.  Here's a tip to make the white washed worn fence.  Cut it from kraft cardstock then press it on a Versamark embossing pad (not full pressure).  Sprinkle on white embossing power, rubbing off some with your finger before heat embossing the fence.  Finish the fence by distressing it with Vintage Photo Distress ink.

The squirrels and leaves were colored with small sponge applicators and Distress inks.

Pumpkin-PatchPumpkin Patch – Cottage Cutz die Pumpkins and Gourd; Impression Obsession dies Tall Fence, Tall Grass, Grass Border, Squirrels, Rectangle Frame in Frame 2 and Rake and Leaves; design inspired by Kitty Caracciolo

One of the biggest trends in stamping is layered stamping and the new Simply Stamped Leaves set is perfect for this technique.  Here's a view of the set and the coordinating dies.  Please notice the fabulous fall sentiments!

Simplystamped-leaves-stampsSimply Stamped Leaves stamp set ($26.59)

Simplystamped-leaves-diesSimply Stamped Leaves die set ($19.79)

As you can see from the stamp set above, each leaf is made of 3 layers: solid base leaf; partially solid middle layer; and thin veins on top. Here are some tips for playing with layering stamp sets:

  • Pull out all your dye inks and play -- you may find some unexpected color combinations that you love.
  • Stamp layering sets suggest you use a stamp positioner to align the layers perfectly on top of each other.  I was too lazy to get mine out and honestly I didn't need it.  The leaves may not be perfect, but by the time you die cut them, you will not notice any misalignment.
  • Add a touch of bling by embossing the top layer (veins) with gold or copper embossing powder.
  • For some of the cards I stamped and die cut the solid layer and used it as a mat below the fully stamped leaf.

For the first two cards below I created the background by using supplies that were already on my desktop: ink and stamps.  I swiped my Delicata gold ink pad (a very glitzy gold pigment ink pad) across my kraft sheet then picked up the ink with a waterbrush and scribbled the ink on the background.  Next I used the vein stamps to stamp the background.

SS-Leaves-Calling-2Simply Stamped Leaves Thanks 2 – TE stamp set Simply Stamped Leaves; Taylored Expressions die Block Party Thanks; TE embossing folder Bead Board; design inspired by Shannon White

3-Maple-Leaves3 Maples Leaves – TE stamp set Simply Stamped Leaves; Taylored Expressions die Label Stacklets 2; design inspired by Shelly Mercado– TE stamp set Simply Stamped Leaves; design inspired by Shelly MercadoSS-Leaves-Calling Simply Stamped Leaves Calling – TE stamp set Simply Stamped Leaves; Taylored Expressions dies Frame in Frame 1 and Label Stacklets 2; design inspired by Kendra Wiestock

  SS-Thanks-2Simply Stamped Leaves Thanks 2Have fun with color -- who says purple can't be a color of fall? – TE stamp set Simply Stamped Leaves; Taylored Expressions die Block Party Thanks; TE embossing folder Bead Board; design inspired by Shannon White

Add a little bling to your card by die cutting letters from gold mirrorcard -- it's bright and shiny and beautiful!

SS-Thanks-1Simply Stamped Leaves Thanks 1 – TE stamp set Simply Stamped Leaves; Taylored Expressions die Block Party Thanks; TE embossing folder Weathered; TE paper pad Harvest; TE sequins Harvest; Memory Box Stitched Circles; design inspired by Charmaine Ikach

Pass the Cupcakes Please

Hello Friends.  Sometimes when I come to work I walk past a single stamp or die day after day, month after month.  Customers pick it up, comment on how cute it is, but always put it back.  These poor little orphan dies or stamps get really lonely just hanging there by themselves.  I finally decided to put one of these orphans through its paces and let me tell you that it emerged a top notch winner!

DIE321Impression Obsession Cupcake Stand ($20.99)

The die set contains the stand and six cupcakes that each have three parts: cupcake liner, cake and frosting.  Good news: six of each makes cutting multiple cupcakes fast.  Bad news?  Keeping up with all 18 tiny dies is challenging!  Ask me how I know!!!

As if all those little pieces weren't enough to handle, I added a tiny leaf and red berry.  The leaves are from Impression Obsession die Leaves and Stems and the red berries (⅛”) were punched with my Japanese Screw Punch.

Let me show you the samples!

Chocolate Cupcake Stand

For this card I embossed the Birthday embossing folder on white cardstock and cut it to 2¾” x 5½”.  I cut the front of the card to the same size and adhered the embossed panel.  I cut the pink polka dot paper (Doodlebug) to 1½” x 5½” and adhered it to the inside of the card.  Finally, I cut the ovals, stamped the greeting and adhered half of the brown oval to the top outside of the card.

Chocolate-OutsideChocolate Cupcake Card -- Outside

For the cupcakes themselves, I used just the cupcake liners and frosting, omitting the cake part.  My advice on assembling the cupcakes is to run a little line of glue along the bottom of the chocolate frosting piece and lay the liner on top of the glue line.  Next I glued the cupcakes to the stand then adhered the stand to the card with foam tape.  Finally I glued on the leaf and berry embellishment.  That way you can point the leaf in the desired direction.

Chocolate--closeupChocolate Cupcakes Closeup

For inside the card I added a cute saying (Impressi0n Obsession) and another little cupcake.

Chocolate-InsideChocolate Cupcake Card -- Inside

Chocolate Cupcake Stand Supplies Used:  Impression Obsession dies Cupcake Stand and Leaves and Stems; Taylored Expressions embossing folder Birthday; Spellbinders die Petite Ovals; Impression Obsession clear stamp set Life Stuff Sentiments; IO cling stamp Keep Calm; design inspired by Dina Kowal.

Blue and Pink Cupcake Stand

For my next two samples I used IO's 6 in 1 Rectangle Frame to frame the cupcake stand.  In case you are not familiar with the 6 in 1 frame, it cuts 6 frames at once.  I used two on the outside of the card (dark and light blue) then I used two more on the inside of the card.  And FYI, the 5th frame is shown above on the inside of the Chocolate Cupcake card.

I assembled the cupcake stand the same way as I did the one above but adding the cake (dark brown) to the mix.

BlueBlue Cupcake Stand -- Outside

InsideBlue Cupcake Stand -- Inside

Cupcake Stand Pink and/or Blue – Impression Obsession dies Cupcake Stand, Foliage, Rectangle Frame 6 in 1 and Leaves and Stems; Taylored Expressions die Mini Tags with coordinating stamp set Mini Minis All Occasion; sentiment inside is Hero Arts; design inspired by Kitty Caracciolo

Here are the other two Impression Obsession dies I used:

Foliage-dieImpression Obsession Foliage die ($19.99)

Leaves-and-stems-dieImpression Obsession Leaves and Stems die ($6.09)

Here's the blue card above done in pink.

PinkPink Cupcake Stand -- Outside

I now have a colorful stash of cute birthday cards.  If you're interested in any of these products just email me at here.

Please stop in soon and see samples, shop and make a free make it and take it card.  Thanks!