Thursday, October 20, 2016

Holiday Preview Day 5: Glistening Paperwhites

Hello there! Once again, you all amaze me with your kindness and your cool comments and observations — what a ball to read the reactions to our Fully Stocked stamp preview yesterday. Thanks for letting us know what you think. xoxo!!

A few quick notes before we get to Day 5, our final day of Holiday previews before our FULL BLOG HOP on Friday — check this out:

Oh yes! On release day, we will share a sale promotion throughout the store. Come join me for the announcement here on the blog Friday morning.... eeeee!!

And if I may share a note of excitement. I stopped at the grocery store last night and was rolling by the magazine aisle, and lookee lookee at what I found:

Might be a little hard to make out here, but I am holding the brand new issue of CardMaker magazine with Power Poppy featured on the COVER!!! The work of our very own Bloomie, Stacy Morgan, is highlighted on the FULL cover. Inside, you’ll find a very special feature and Q&A with ANOTHER of our Bloomies, Christine Okken. Can you believe this? But wait, there’s more. Power Poppy stamps are featured in a number of cards and tags throughout the magazine. And one of our fave customers and recent winner of the entire Holiday release, Donna Phelan, has a card featured, too! Go pick up a copy and you will have enough inspiration to last you through the Holidays! (Be sure to grab some new stamps, they used so many from our Happiest Holiday Collection.)

And now, back to today’s stamp set preview... what do you think of these refreshing winter colors?

Aren’t they a pleasant addition, if not a detour, from the traditional red-and-green holiday palette? I sure think so, because I don’t like anything too traditional, I always want to make things a little more unique and special. With this new stamp set, you can showcase the winter-wonderland tones of chalky blue-green and frosty white, crisp green and bronze or silver... really, there are so many directions you can take this beautiful bough, composed of Seeded Eucalyptus, Paperwhites (Narcissus jonquil) and Juniper! Presenting the next must-have set from Power Poppy: Glistening Paperwhites.

With our newest Holiday botanical, you get four large images with which you can create the most magical wintertime cards. Scripty sentiments range from Christmas through New Years, and will work for you all season long. I’m very proud of this one, I don’t think you’ve seen anything like it before!

Just wait until you see what the Bloom Brigade has done with this one, you are gonna FLIP OUT!! Seriously. Flip. Out. These cards are breathtaking, and I hope they inspire YOU to sit down in your craft space and rock out some fresh new card designs....

So grateful for this wonderful week, for friends coming around to say hello, for a fun surprise on the newsstand, and now... I have to race up to school for my kid’s conferences! Time for more coffee!

Be sure to come back tomorrow for ONE MORE CREATIVE PROJECT by the Bloomies, plus I will announce the big savings we’ll have storewide — a gift from me to you!

Thank you, dear ones!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Holiday Preview Day 4: Fully Stocked

While it may seem early to be getting into the Christmas spirit (the leaves are still plenty green here in St. Louis, Mo) we are feeling all kinds of festive here at Power Poppy and on all the Bloomie’s blogs. We are showcasing super-creative cards made with my new Holiday stamps all week long. Have you been hanging out with us to soak up some inspiration and get giddy about our new offerings? Start here if you’d like to go back to Day One and read what propelled this collection to take shape. And thank you SO much to everyone who has a left a comment, I appreciate reading them, and the time you took to share your thoughts and feelings.

A quick throwback today as I introduce the preview of this new set of clear stamps. A few years ago I did a post about my children’s Christmas stockings, which I made out of felted wool. (Read the complete post with a few detail photos.)

These were crafted completely with vintage fabric and trimmings, and you know, looking at them here, I can say two things: I was inspired by the stockings my mom hand-stitched for my brother and I were little (quilted and appliquéd with velvet, buttons, and beads), and, that I absolutely adore little details! Especially details that have a nostalgic quality. What a ball it was to come up with the ideas for each of these stockings and then seek out the trims in my stash, the perfect green rick-rack or pearl buttons (much of it sourced on eBay or from local estate sales). In fact, I love little details so much, that it is a challenge for me to imagine a simple stocking without any fluff adorning it. Why even bother? If those things are gonna be hanging on the mantel for days, might as well be something super swell to look at during their tenure.

In this vein, I’ve created a stamp set that features three stockings that are loaded with little details. Each one has a theme, and each one is stuffed with gifties and greenery. I’d love to share with you... Fully Stocked.

You’ll see in the Bloom Brigade’s cards today a whole bunch of examples of what you can do with these stockings. In Fully Stocked, you’ll find a stocking to fit the gardener on your list, another one for children and the young-at-heart, and yet another with vintage European flair — it is made from a linen tea-towel with embroidered details. I’ve included an accent image to coordinate with each stocking, plus three sentiments to suit them all.

Sound like something you want to see in further detail and full color? Me, too!! Let’s traipse around the web and check out what our talented Bloom Brigade designers have made with Fully Stocked:

I hope you haven’t gotten enough of us yet, because honey child, we are STILL ROLLING OUT another preview tomorrow, and this one, well, it’s pretty sweet! I would love to see you ’round on Thursday for a peek!

Enjoy your day and thank you so much for spending a little time with us!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Holiday Preview Day 3: Holly Golightly

When I’m working on holiday gift tags, or writing thank you notes, or even making the little tags that go on our stamp set orders, my favorite decorative flourish is a hand-drawn sprig of holly. To me, it’s the quintessential Christmas plant.

I draw the outline of my leaf with its pointy little edges, plus three berries. My hand knows the way, the pen makes a “swoop, swoop, swoop” motion, and then three lil’ circles. I have drawn so many of them through the years, I could probably draw holly and berries with my eyes closed.

OK, maybe not ... I just tried doing it with my eyes closed on a scrap of paper and I went off the paper and drew on my desk.

My silly experiments notwithstanding ... who doesn’t love Holly at Christmas time? It’s an expressive plant (botanical name is Ilex), if you study the glossy, twisting and twirling leaves, they’re mesmerizing and unique. The contortion of each prickly leaf — some of them appear to be recoiling or trying to roll themselves up, others are more open and flat, with their spiny points at the ready to defend the plant from herbivores and parasites. When you have a branch filled with healthy, thick green leaves studded with adorable red berries (did you know that only female Holly trees have berries, and they have to be pollinated by nearby male Holly tree in order to bear fruit?), they are just the simplest, most perfect way to kick off Christmas decorating.

Working on sketches for our Holiday collection, I thought through combinations of Holly and Mistletoe, Holly and Boxwood, Holly and Holly...
Yes, such a simple way to infuse Christmas charm — into decorating and into cards and tags. You really only need two colors to get things rolling when you use Holly. I know it seems odd coming from me, the queen of over-doing it in the art department, but the set we’re sharing today is bit simpler than most. It is one that beginners and advanced stampers and colorists alike will want to have on hand for the Holidays. Introducing Holly Golightly!

With images ranging from a botanical study, to a cute holiday tag, to a gentle country vignette, this set is one that won’t take long to color, and will still give you wonderful results! Holly Golightly (named after that most famous, curiously cool Truman Capote character) features lots of sentiments that can either fit inside the tag, or be used on their own. I already know that this is a set I’ll be reaching for this year! Quick-n-easy!

Would you like to see what the Bloomies have been up to with this new clear stamp set (which will be available in the shop on October 21)? Let’s go have a look!

And if you’ve missed the last few days of Happiest Holiday 2016 previews, be sure to scroll down a bit on the blog and catch up on some very inspiring cards made by our incredible designers. You are sure to be delighted!

See you back tomorrow... we’re rolling all the way to Friday with this good stuff! Tomorrow’s set is filled with so much fun, it’s almost hard not to share it today!!!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Holiday Preview, Day 2: Action Santa

Good day to you! Before I get too carried away with today’s sneak peek for our Holiday 2016 clear stamps, I want to say THANK YOU for your kind and supportive words about my post yesterday. Reading your notes got me a little teary-eyed. OK, maybe a lot teary-eyed. Thanks for being awesome!!! And the cards we shared yesterday were really something special, weren’t they? I think you’ll love working with the Simple Joys set, and we barely scratched the surface with the images that come with it — so you’ll have to come back ’round on Friday to see it all! (Please? We’d love to show you.)

Today, we are totally switching gears. In one case, I mean this literally! For our next set features Santa at his most energetic. Do you realize how many interests Santa Claus has? I mean, on top of handcrafting toys, running a workshop of busy elves, commandeering a team of reindeer, and orchestrating the dispersion of gifts throughout the world in a single night — he also loves to dabble in hobbies. What a Renaissance man:

Check him out, dude! Rocking the drums. Cycling through the streets. And oh, do you realize that he’s a gourmet chef on top of it all? Back in the DAY, greeting card companies seemed to be trying to outdo one another with the hobbies they would sign Santa up for. Vintage cards supply so many wacky ideas, and you just don’t seem to find them like this anymore in the stamping world. All of these jaunty themes are so whimsical and surprising to me, and just plain cute!

So friends, my new set, Action Santa, is racing in to show off some of the exciting hobbies that Santa enjoys — along with ZOOMING as fast as he can to get those presents to where they need to go. It’s like Planes, Trains, and Automobiles up in here!

Our Action Santa set features Santa cruising in an old-school scooter as he races through the snowdrifts to bring good tidings on the double. A second large image features the jolly jingler mid-air as a stylish skier catching major air. Accents create a snowflake-sprinkled mountain scene, plus lots of coordinating “action-packed” sentiments.

Action Santa will be available in the store on October 21.

If you are up for seeing some of the coolest ideas you can imagine, come check out what the Bloom Brigade has done with this new clear stamp set. It doesn’t get much better than this!!!

For those of you who are fans of Power Poppy’s nature sets, or if you just love Christmas, you’ll want to stop back here on Tuesday, because we have only just gotten started around here. Have a great one!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Sneak Preview of Our Holiday Stamps: Simple Joys

Hey there! Thank you for joining us as we share glimpses into the creative possibilities using our 2016 Happiest Holiday clear stamp collection. The Bloomies have been pushing the envelope this way and that, with cool cropping, clever techniques, and basically, cards that make your mouth drop open. I know that their beautiful work will inspire you at every turn!

We’ve talked here about how much my mom, Susan, was the guiding force throughout my life, and in addition to modeling an attitude of kindness, love, and a can-do spirit, Mom fostered and encouraged an appreciation for color, pattern, beauty, and specialness. The holidays were a time when the house was often decorated to the nines (never fussy! always warm and delightful). Whether it was ornaments (she collected so many interesting ones, from rare antique German glass ornaments to glittery garage-sale paper-mâché Santas); or the tree (why do a traditional spruce when you can have one flocked with fluffy snow and sparkles?); or gift-wrapping (each present had precious paper, ribbons, and handmade tags that were more carefully curated than the fanciest store you can imagine). Susie Q really did it up, my friends! Either that, or she would say, “It’s too much to drag it all out this year, let’s just hang all the Christmas bows on the tree, and order a pizza!”

In the enchanting holiday-ified dining room with my sweet mom, Susan Smith, who passed away in February. 

Don’t you love it? I do. And I miss her beyond what words can express. Mom memories would flood in while I was working, and there have been multiple days of, well, let’s just call it “sitting there like a zombie staring at a piece of blank paper.” Although I’d filled pages of my sketchbook with ideas, I got to a creative standstill because it just felt so painful to think about my muse, my mother, being gone from our lives as we approach our first holiday season without her.

There is some good news, though! I’m not bringing this release party down without bringing it back UP! My dear friend (and advisor supreme, and head honcho of the Bloomies) Julie Koerber, encouraged me to imagine my Mom sitting next to me as I drew, guiding me to keep working hard, cheering me on to add the special details that truly delighted us both. Isn’t that a wonderful thought? It really helped shift my thinking, as although I miss her, I DO feel her presence and her love. And so, I eventually got to that place Julie described. Into my creative “flow,” that zone where I feel that I can’t stop—even for meals—because I am so driven to draw. Illustrating dizzily under the Susan-fluence.

In the spirit of this rejuvenated inspiration, with God and my mama’s spirit powering the engine, Power Poppy is sooooo very pleased to share with you FIVE new Holiday stamp sets to add to our arsenal of designs. Images that I feel (I feel it down deep!) will enhance your cardmaking experience and help bring forth some very beautiful, special cards and projects.

Today we are showing peeks of the first clear stamp set, Simple Joys.

This clear stamp set is all about the greenery! Little vintage touches, fresh clipped branches, presented with country-chic love from the heartland. Many years, with the kids being little and me working, I end up opting for the “let’s not drag out all the holiday stuff” philosophy, and would do precisely what I’ve illustrated in this very set — clip branches from the garden and pop them into a vintage vessel. The kids would decorate the branches with the ornaments they’d made with yarn and glue and glitter at school. More tufts of greenery would fill glasses on the mantel, add a few candles, roll in a few ornaments — done! Festive. Simple. Fresh. And more than enough.

In this set I have THREE main images and a BUNCH of sentiments. There’s a lot you can do with this one. It will be available in the store on October 21, though you can preorder if you’d prefer!

Would you like to see more of this set? The sweethearts of the Bloom Brigade are ready to supply all kinds of fun for us. Come with me and let’s have a look at their simply beautiful Simple Joys cards!

We will see you back here tomorrow — right? We will be sharing another holiday set, and it is a DOOZY! Nothing simple and relaxing about it. :)

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Instant Garden Introduction for October: Chickadee in Barberry

May we interrupt your regularly scheduled seasonal celebrations (all things autumn, pumpkins, costumes and candy corn) for a quick peek into winter? We want to give you a jumpstart on your holiday projects and so, for the next several days we’re going deep into Christmas card territory here at Power Poppy.

I hope that transitioning into winter territory is a little softer when it’s accompanied by a sweet little chickadee chillin’ in the shrubbery! This new illustration, Chickadee in Barberry, is available as a digital download that you can pop over and grab right away. It comes with not one, not two, but FOUR sentiments using very sweet typography and even sweeter messages.

Inspired by the wintery scenes looking out the window into my garden, where I can see my special Barberry (Berberis is the botanical name) called ‘Pee Wee’ go through its brilliant fall color, develop adorable dangling berries, and delight the birdies come winter. Check out this snowy cacophony from a few years ago! The Barberry is over on the left, and its branches were so heavy with snow, it’s looking a bit out of sorts.

Now, of course YOU can color up this branch any way you please, in fact, I love to see folks take my artwork and try new colors, whether they be impossible to be found in nature or if they mimic another similar plant. Isn’t that the fun of creativity, to just do whatcha want?

Speaking of doing what you want creativity, I can’t WAIT for you to see the cards created by the magnificent Instant Gardener team. Their birds are each so sweetly shaded, their snowy branches and berries each colored in uniquely — there is so much here to inspire! Come and see...

Hop on back to to pick up a Chickadee for yourself, and get started on those holiday or winter-themed cards. The sentiments allow for all kinds of friendly expressions, they aren’t limited to Christmas, so you can get lots of use out of this digital set!

And folks.... TOMORROW we’ll start previewing the Happiest Holiday 2016 clear collection. I really cannot wait to start revealing glimpses into what you can make with these special new offerings.

Friday, October 14, 2016

The Happiest Holiday Collection.. IS... ALMOST... HERE!

Hello all! Can you just feel the excitement going on behind the scenes here at Power Poppy? Well, all of the Instant Gardeners and members of our beloved Bloom Brigade are anxiously awaiting this.....

While this teaser showcases little sneaky peeks of Marcella's illustrations being brought to life in our brand new clear stamp line, digi lovers should know that the Instant Gardeners will be here tomorrow to showcase our first holiday inspired digital stamp set for 2016! It is about as sweet as can be, I tell ya!

And ..... if that art doesn't just get you giddy, maybe these little sneaky peeks from our Bloomies will -- showcasing just a small bitsy bit of what's fresh off the Power Poppy Clear Stamp Production Line!

As you well know, Christmas card-making season is upon us and -- good news -- Power Poppy has got your creative process covered with five new stamp sets designed to add just the right touch of holiday sparkle to your life! From Action Santa whooshing by with a holiday "hi" to homespun stockings chocked full of goodies --- these images are ready to deliver heaps of holiday flair!  Trust me, you will not want to miss a day of the Happiest Holiday Collection festivities!

So, here's the scoop! TOMORROW, Power Poppy's Instant Gardeners will be kicking off a heavy dose of holiday spirit sharing the first holiday digital stamp set for the year! SUNDAY OCTOBER 16TH through THURSDAY OCTOBER 20TH, look for sneak peeks of the brand new clear stamp sets and then on FRIDAY, OCTOBER 21st, join us for a Power Poppy Hop, when the Bloom Brigade shares some extra inspiration on release day, when all of the new sets are live in the Power Poppy Shop!

On that bright note, I know some of the Bloomies have cards and snippets to share so, be sure to hop on over and see.....

Allison Cope
Christine Okken
Cindy Lawrence
Julie Koerber
Kathy Jones
Katie Sims
Stacy Morgan
Tosha Leyendekker

See you back here tomorrow with jingle bells on!


p.s. Don't forget, our Make It Move Power & Spark Challenge is still underway! All you need to do is make something on your card to "Move it! Move it!" Just click HERE to read up on the challenge and link up your movin' and groovin' creation!