Sunday, June 22, 2008

New Blog Home!

I'm excited to announce a new home for my Under the INKfluence blog! Please come by to visit at

This will be my last post at blogspot, so point your browser to my new home where you'll find all my old posts as well the new things I post. If you've got this site bookmarked/favorited/linked (I LOVE YOU!), make sure you update them with my new URL -

See you over there! :D


Thursday, June 19, 2008

SU Announces Exciting New Product!

I'm so excited about the new product line that Stampin' Up has just announced! It's called Décor Elements - a line of self-adhesive vinyl elements. They coordinate with stamps in the Definitely Decorative line - how cool is that?? Use them on your walls, to create coordinating home decor items, and more!

I'm not sure what I like best about these. Maybe the fact that they're so affordable. Or maybe that they're so easy to apply. Hmmm.. maybe that they're easy to remove, too, and won't damage the surfaces they're applied to. No... I think it's that they coordinate with our stamp images! Oh.. they're just fantastic and I can't wait to get some up on my own walls!

Décor Elements will be available beginning July 1st, but you can see the brochure now - simply send an email to me to request the brochure and I'll get it right over to you! In about a week, I'll have printed brochures available, too, as well as a sample for you to see in person.

And as an introductory special*, when you purchase $30 of Décor Elements, you'll get the applicator tool for free. OR... If you purchase $75 of Décor Elements, you'll get a free Monogram letter of your choice plus the applicator tool.

Contact me for your brochure so you can see what all the excitement is for yourself!

* Note: this special is valid only through Nicole Kowalk

Monday, June 16, 2008


Sometimes, no matter how hard I try, I just cannot come up with ideas for projects without a little help! I've started to become more aware of opportunities for inspiration as I look around me. Nature, especially, provides fantastic inspiration, but other things do, as well. The next time you pick up a newspaper or magazine, make a concious effort to notice things that you can base a card off of. Ads are a wealth of inspiration!

Take this one...

Isn't she precious? This is a Downy ad from a couple of years ago. I think it came in the mail with a sample. I love the simplicity and the elegance of it - bright white with a splash of lavendar. Simple is a great place to start - I think that's another post! This is the card that I was inspired to make...

The card base is a square of Whisper White a(5 1/4" square after folding); ink is Lavendar Lace and Lovely Lilac; ribbons are organdy and grosgrain in the same shades as the ink. As simple as this is, I think it's incredibly appealing and is still one of my favorites, even after two years. {Sorry about the quality of the images. Sometimes scanning leaves a lot to be desired, but I've ordered a small light tent for taking pictures. That should help quite a bit!}

This next ad is from this week's Target ad. I love Target ads! They're a great resource for color combinations, as you can see here. This one section has three totally different combinations to work with...

For the first color combination, take a look at the lower right of the image. The colors I pulled out of that are Green Galore, Pink Passion, Only Orange, Tempting Turquoise, and Whisper White. I knew that bright, bold colors were going to be hot this summer - this example really illustrates that well. Here's the card I came up with based on this color combo...

Stamps are from the retiring Office Accoutrement set, except for the "Happy Birthday", which is from Bitty Birthday - a new set in the current Spring/Summer Idea Book.

And the second color combo I pulled from the ad is on the lower left - Pink Passion, Pretty in Pink, and Whisper White. The design elements I'm using from that part of the layout are the polka dots and the light pink strip across the bed. Here's what I came up with...

I really wanted the white polka dots to pop, so I embossed them with white embossing powder. Other than that, I wanted to stick real close to the ad, so I kept the overall design pretty simple. Stamps are from the retiring Polka Dots & Paisley set. Can you tell that I love the organdy ribbon? It's been retired from SU for a long time, but you know me... I'm a ribbon junkie so I have a ton of it still!

So now that you've seen my creations, I've got a challenge for you. Use the colors from the Target ad and create something. Email a picture of it to me or post a link to it in the comments and I'll put it on my blog! To recap, here are your three color combos from the ad:

1) Green Galore, Only Orange, Pink Passion, Tempting Turquoise, Whisper White
2) Pink Passion, Pretty in Pink, Whisper White
3) Brilliant Blue, Green Galore, Barely Banana, Whisper White

Can't wait to see what you create!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Retiring List is Released!

Stampin' Up's list of retiring stamp sets was released today! Follow the links below to see it...

Retiring List Alphabetically
Retiring List by Page Number

To bid a fond farewell to our old friends, I'm offering my customers 15% off of all retiring stamp sets on the list from June 15th through July 31st - buy as many as you like. Contact me now to take advantage of this offer but don't wait too long - these sets will be gone for good after August 10th!

Note: This offer is valid only through Nicole Kowalk.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

A quickie storage solution - handmade of course!

I'm terrible about pens. I usually just leave them laying around on my desk and they're either getting in the way or I can't find any. I finally decided that I needed a container to keep them in - not too small but not too big. And it had to be cute! Usually I'd just grab an old glass or jar out of the cupboard, but my goodness - I'm a Stampin' Up demonstrator and I can MAKE cute, right??

I hadn't really used any of the Die Cut Blooms from the Occasions mini catalog, but they've been laying close at hand, just waiting for inspiration to strike. And it just so happened that I had a package of Bali Breeze Designer Paper, too, which matched the colors of the Die Cut Blooms (and my mood!) perfectly. With those in hand, I started the process of making my own, cute, pencil holder.

I cut a 4 1/2" x 8 1/2" piece of Tempting Turquiose cardstock, wrapped it into a tube shape and adhered it forever using Sticky Strip. If I'd have thought ahead of time, I would've punched the scallop edge before I adhered it, but I must not have had enough coffee that day, so alas, I did it as an after thought. On top of that, I layered a 3 3/4" piece of the Bali Breeze paper (more Sticky Strip) - no scallops on this layer! The bottom circle was cut from more Tempting Turquiose cardstock using the Colluzle and adhered on with Crystal Effects - yes, this will stay on forever, too! For the front medallion, I chose a pumpkin flower from the Die Cut Blooms - I just LOVE that Stampin' Up chose to use textured cardstock for these! The red center is also from the Die Cut Blooms. I adhered them together, punched a hole in the middle and added a gorgeous rhinestone brad. The leaves were made by punching a 5 Petal Flower from Old Olive cardstock, cutting the petals apart, and adhering them to the back of the flower. All of that was adhered onto the front of my pencil holder using my old standby - Stampin' Dimensionals.

What do you think? Did I achieve cuteness?? :D

Monday, May 26, 2008

More Chipboard

Just a few more days left in SU's chipboard special. Here are a couple of samples to help inspire you.

The first is one of SU's chipboard clipboards that I altered. I have to admit that I'm not big into scrapbooking, but I do love altering items to use as picture 'frames'. This one was so easy to make... I covered the chipboard with designer paper and cut/punched additional pieces out of the same DS pack for the medallions, for the picture mat, and for the photo corners. I stamped and embossed 'Cherish' and added a couple pieces of Blue Bayou double stitched ribbon to it. Very quick an easy!

4 1/2" x 9" On Board Clipboard
Outlaw Designer Paper (retired)
Blue Bayou & Really Rust cardstock
Chocolate Chip craft ink
Clear embossing powder
Blue Bayou double stitched ribbon
Pewter Jumbo Eyelet
Fire Rhinestone Brad
Scallop punch
Photo corners punch
Spiral Punch
1 3/8" circle punch
1/8" circle punch
Stampin' Dimensionals

The next is an altered file folder that I made. I do have pictures in it now... they're all in black and white. I chose to use black & white pictures so that I didn't have to worry about coordinating colors in the pictures to the colors I used for the folder. This is a great tip to remember for all of your scrapbooking - black and white pictures will coordinate with any color scheme!

The file folder was first partially covered with apricot textured cardstock. The rest of the folder was covered with designer paper from the Bali Breeze collection - this is one of my favorite designer paper collections! I hid the edges by running grosgrain ribbon from top to bottom. The black rub-ons are from the Cherished Memories set - I love how well they adhere, even to textured cardstock. The chipboard pieces on the front were 'painted' with craft inks. To some I added glitter, to another I added a rub-on from A Perfect Day set (from the current Occasions Mini-catalog). The hardware that I used is from the GORGEOUS Stylized Silver Hodgepodge Hardware (also from the current Occasions Mini-catalog). The photo flaps are simply layered cardstock attached together with Prong Fasteners that you can find in any office supply store. I had so much fun making this!


Bali Breeze Desiger Paper
Apricot Appeal textured cardstock
Tempting Turquiose, Certainly Celery, Old Olive, Pumpkin Pie Cardstock
A Perfect Day, Cherished Memories Rub-ons
Stylized Silver Hodgepodge Hardware
Grosgrain Ribbon
Chunky Glitter
Dazzling Diamonds Glitter
On Board Blossoms & Basics chipboard

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Bloom Framed Print

With only a couple of weeks left to take advantage of Stampin' Up's Chipboard promotion, I want to show a sample of what you can do with our chipboard. You're going to love the chipboard.. it's thick, it's smooth, it's awesome!

This project was made using a piece from the Ginormous Pieces chipboard set. The scalloped frame is 8" x 8" square... huge! I covered it with a piece of Afternoon Tea designer paper from the Occasions mini catalog - isn't it yummy?? I cut it close to the chipboard, then sanded the edges smooth. The stamp set is also from the Occasions mini - it's the Bloomin' Beautiful set that I just fell in love with as soon as I saw it! Then again, it's a floral set... I love floral, and I love hydrandeas!

The main image is done in three layers. The first was stamped onto the background cardstock. Two other images were stamped separately. I cut pieces of the flowers out and layered them onto the first image using Stampin' Dimensionals to pop them out of the page and give lots of dimension to them. The silver frame is from the silver Hodgepodge hardware, also from the Occasions mini catalog.

Don't forget to click on the picture above to see the project up close. It's hard to see the dimension of the hydrangea, though, so you'll have to use your imagination! ;)

Other supplies used:

Soft Sky In Color cardstock & classic ink
Chocolate Chip cardstock
Whisper White cardstock
Basic Brown classic ink
Glue stick
SNAIL adhesive
Sand paper
Paper snips