Thursday, April 30, 2015

#TGIFC01 Welcome to TGIF Challenges!!



I'm very happy to welcome you to our very first challenge!  This week we are just warming up with a simple color  challenge to introduce you to our site.  We have selected our "Team Theme Colors" of:

Take a look at what these colors inspired our designers to create:
(Teneale is off this week due to her region's SU! Convention...Lucky!!)
Of course, the beauty of a challenge site is that you not only get to see what the Designers have made but you also get to play along! 
Check out our Guideline page
but here are a few things to keep in mind: 
  • Deadline for entries will be at 12pm (noon) PST on Wednesday 5/6/15
  • Uploaded projects need to be direct linked to your blog, Facebook, or other on line gallery.
  • Please post the TGIFChallenge graphic on your blog and link back to our site
  • Your project MUST be new and inspired by our challenge parameters
  • When sharing your project publicly, please use this weeks hashtag- #TGIFC01
  • Winning project(s) will be posted on next week's challenge on Friday 5/8/15
  • Questions should be left in the comment section or emailed to
  • Challengers can even post your cards on our FB page too!!  "Like us" while you're there :-)
Now show us what you've got!!

The Grand Prelude!

I'm not sure if the title of this post makes any sense...I was going for something like "Grand Finale" but this isn't really a finale since the debut challenge is tomorrow.  But it is the last post in my series of prologues and introductions, hence the Grand Finale-esque title.  Am I just overthinking it?  I tend to do that... Oh well, moving on... (At least now you know what I was thinking just in case the title didn't make sense to you...moving on for real now...)

This next designer is no surprise, she was the first one announced and has been very vocal about sharing her excitement for the site.  But I figured that even though I don't get to "announce" her, she is absolutely worthy of an introduction.  BTW, she doesn't know I'm doing this...she thought I forgot how to count when I was telling you how many designers I had left to introduce...Lol, the jokes on her!  I only say that because she is so humble that I can only get away with posting this because she is sleeping right do I know?  I can hear her snoring!  That's right, if you haven't guessed it, our last designer is:
(just in case you don't know's ok - I'm her husband.  I can say things like this:)
So now I have somewhat of a dilemma.  I have put myself in an awkward position... On the one hand I know too much about Mercedes; I can easily get myself in trouble for saying the wrong thing (like how she has to stamp on her paper cutter on her lap because her crafting countertop is always buried in piles of craftastrophe - she probably wouldn't want me sharing that).  On the other hand, I don't want to sound biased; I need to represent her fairly and equally in relation to the other amazing ladies on the team.  Limit my opinions and subjective statements... (but in reality, Mercedes is the World's Greatest Stamper. Hands down. No bias. Just truth.). 
So basically, I don't want to risk boring you all by allowing this to just become a public Love Letter (but Sweetie, if you're reading this; just know that words cannot express how much I adore you and cherish the time that we spend together), but at the same time I had so many good things to say about the other ladies and I don't want to risk under-emphasizing the talent and qualities that Mercedes brings to the team (like the fact that she can use the Big Shot - Like A Boss!).
So what do I say?? Is it enough to say that she is a back-to-back Artisan Design Team Member?  Or that she is continuously and repeatedly contracted by SU! to design for their display boards at the Conventions?  Is it too much to say that she has had her work published countless times in magazines like Papercraft and that she was even chosen as a winner of their annual "Stampin' Royalty" contest?  Should I say that on top of all of her stamping abilities and commitments she is raising (and homeschooling) 3 gorgeous daughters?  
Ok, I guess that's enough.  She's starting to stir and if I don't publish this soon, she'll make me take it down and you won't be able to get to know her better.  Oh, Dang, here she comes..."no honey, its just Jake from State Farm.  He is helping us get a quote for a new policy...ok, sweetie, just go back to bed...I love you too..." Whew, that was a close one.  I better go now. 
Thanks for spending time with us over the last week or so and getting to know us a little better (or in some cases, maybe too much? Lol).  We are all so excited about the site and being able to share with you, inspire you, and provide a platform for you to share with others.  Challenges will be posted every Friday and you'll have about a week to play along.  Also keep an eye out for some monthly special events, Guest Designers, Guest Stars, prizes, giveaways, and spiders!  Always keep an eye out for spiders.  Not on our site, just in general.  Especially if you're in Australia.  Australian spiders are creepy. #randomfact
Ok, that's really it.  Next time I see you it will be for our challenge debut!  Very exciting stuff!!! Thanks for joining us, and I promise that I will keep it CAS next time. No more coffee on blog nights!!
p.s.  Mercedes doesn't really snore.  She's too perfect.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

It Just Keeps Getting Better and Better....

By now I may be starting to sound like a broken record; "Amazing this..." "Talented that...." "She is totally awesome..." "I am thrilled about our team..."  But what else can I say when talking about this caliber of crafter??  Put yourself in my shoes; actually, just put yourself in the shoes of a 3 or 4 year old toddler going to Disneyland for the first time.  You walk up to Mickey Mouse and you can't believe he's really real!  But that's not all...Mickey turns to you and kneels down for a hug and starts talking to you by name!  That's right, he knows exactly who you are and he wants to be your friend!  If that wasn't enough, now he tells you that he wants you to meet somebody...and he brings out Elmo, Spiderman, Elsa, and Olaf, and they all tell you that they want to come to your house to play and be your friends, too!  Well being a part of this team is pretty much exactly like that.  Now take off those toddler's shoes before your feet start hurting...we have some serious business to get to.  Please welcome:
If you read my post about Teneale, I misspoke. Yes, Teneale is still your favorite Stamper's favorite Stamper...but your favorite Stamper actually has 2 favorite Stampers...and Kim is the other one.  When I was brainstorming for something to write about Kim, all  could come up with were terms like Legend and Royalty, so I thought that instead of giving you my opinion, I'll stick to the facts:
  1. Kim doesn't play Rock, Paper, Scissors...She plays Ink, Paper, Scissors and always wins.
  2. She doesn't own a paper cutter...She can just tear paper into perfectly straight edges.
  3. When Kim worked as a nurse, people would intentionally get injured just to be able to have her bandage them up and call it a "KVD Original Piece."
  4. Once Kimberly's Coastal Cabana inkpad dried up in the middle of a workshop...she just used Red, Yellow, and Blue reinkers to recreate the formula and refill her ink pad.
  5. She doesn't play along with cardmaking challenges...She just makes a card and the challenge plays along with her.
  6.  Kim invented Glimmer Paper when she sneezed into a handkerchief.
  7. Behind the scenes, the Stampin' Up! Artisan Design Team is really just the Kimberly Van Diepen Fan Club.
  8. Kim started the Staple trend when she was making a card and ran out of adhesive, but she really wanted to keep her card together.
  9. Kimberly doesn't need a Big Shot...She just holds the die like a stamp and presses down on the paper.
  10. The first watercolored card was made when Kim accidentally spilled her drinking water in her craftroom.  She liked the result.
So there you are with a few rare pieces of trivia that you can use for small talk at your next workshop, Stamp n' Chat, or even the upcoming convention.  Just imagine how impressed your friends will be by your depth of knowledge!
We are only a few more days away from our debut challenge, but I still have one more Design Team post coming...Hope you come back to check it out in the next day or two!  This one will be near and dear to my heart ;-)
Thanks for joining us!

Monday, April 27, 2015

The Countdown Continues From the Land Down Under!!

Without further ado, I am super duper privileged to present:
So let me let you in on a little secret that I just recently learned.  Teneale Williams is your favorite Stamper's favorite Stamper.  Yep, true story.  Just ask around...  I guarantee it!  Now there may be about 3 or 4 exceptions to the rule, but other than those, anyone who tells you different is just trying to spare somebody else's feelings and they are really a closet Tenealist (that's what Teneale fans call themselves)  (Ok, maybe I just made that part up, but I think I'm onto something here...). 
Teneale offers a unique blend of card making and scrapbooking abilities, but also has a real passion for 3D items (did you see her Maritime based party??? OMG!! What about her Easter Treat Carrot??OMG!!).  I could do this all night, but I'll just let you explore her Pinterest for yourselves...
So if you don't know of the legend that is Teneale, let me just throw a few accolades out there...
  • Cover of For Keeps' "Creative Paper" magazine
  • Cover of "Cardmaking, Stamping, and Papercraft" magazine
  • Published in "Scrapbook Creations" Magazine
  • Published in "Scrapbooking Memories" Magazine
  • Multiple features in For Keeps' "Creative Paper" magazine
  • Selected by Stampin' Up! for their 2014 Artisan Design Team
  • Member of Stampin' Up!'s My Digital Studio Design Team
  • Thousands of Pinterest followers
  • Thousands of Facebook Likers
And of course, perhaps most impressive.... Design Team Member for TGIF Challenges!! Woop Woop!! 
In all seriousness... we are all so excited that Teneale has decided to take this ride with us.  It's just amazing to think that we have been joined by this amazing group of the most amazingly talented talent on this planet for the sole purpose of sharing their amazingly amazing talented minds with all of you!  It's AMAZING!!

And guess what....


We are headed back to the States for the last 2 Mercedes said...#holdontoyourhats!!

See you tomorrow :-)

TGIFC Designers; Not Just International....INTERCONTINENTAL!!!

Thanks for joining us for another installment of introductions!  Actually, now that I think about it, perhaps “introduction” is the wrong word… these ladies need NO introduction, especially from lil’ old me, so I suppose “announcement” would be a more appropriate term. So…Thanks for joining us for our next installment of ANOUNCEMENTS!!
Inge joins us all the way from the Netherlands!  Beautiful art has no language limits or borders, and we are so blessed to be joined by this wonderful creator!  She is a lifelong papercrafter and her breadth of experience and eye for design definitely shows in her amazing work.  Her style is a combination of CAS and colorful, and I would strongly encourage you to visit her Pinterest page and her blog to see her work for yourself.  Just click on her photo above to check out her blog...If you're like me and you are not yet fluent in Dutch (I'm still working on it, je mucho danke) Google offers a very cool translation option so that you can share in a fairly accurate interpretation of her posts. 
Next, please join me in welcoming....
I actually do have 3 more designers to announce, but since we are getting closer and closer to our debut, I have decided to build up the anticipation and continue to tease. Not just that, but there is such an excitement brewing within our own team about these last few ladies that I will be announcing them one at a time, daily, until the grand inauguration on Friday May 1.
See you tomorrow! I can't wait!!  :-)

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Here Comes...Round 2!

While we prepare to debut our first challenge on Friday, May 1 2015, I get to unveil 2 more Design Team Members!  Just in case you missed the first batch of Amazing, check it out HERE!

So are you ready for more?!?  Well, here you go!

Jeanna (jee-nuh) joins us from the fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada!  An avid baseball fanatic (Go Angels!) and mother of 3 boys, somehow she is able to balance the crazy testosterone levels in her home by creating some of the most beautiful projects that I have ever seen!  Jeanna’s talent has been widely recognized and broadcast; for 2 back to back seasons (2012 and 2013), the Stampin’ Up! Artisan Design Team was privileged to have Jeanna as a member.  Stay tuned to see Jeanna "hit it out of the park" with her inspirational ideas as she joins us each week!!

Next I have the honour to travel back up North to Alberta, Canada to bring you Allison.  Her blog address says it all… NicePeopleStamp…and she is definitely one of the Nicest!  Maybe that’s why she’s so good at Stamping!  Lol!  Much like me, her creativity comes in the wee hours of the night but unlike me, she has the privilege of being able to be a full time Stampin’ Up! Demo!  How great is that!  Speaking of great, just a scroll through her blog will reveal the awesomeness that is Allison…but be warned; she advertises her class projects on there, so if you’re like me you WILL be tempted to travel to Canada just to sit in and see those projects in person.  Allison also loves to watercolour, so keep an eye out for some beautiful designs in the coming weeks.
That's all for now...but I do have a tease for you...
I can't reveal the next batch of ladies yet because it's a long flight...OVERSEAS!!  Yes, our next designers hail from a whole nother continent!  This whole global phenomenon is so exciting!  So check back in a few days and don't forget to be ready to create with us on May 1!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Introducing....(drum roll, please)...

Welcome to TGIF Challenges!  Today, I am honored to start introducing our International Design Team! I know what you're thinking... sheesh, it's about time!  Lol! 

I can only give you the first 4 designers for now...any more talent wouldn't fit into just one blog post.  Trust me; I tried to present 6 of our designers and my computer literally started smoking! A message from Blogger popped up and said that I had exceeded the allowable talent level and I was about to crash the internet! But I think I have it under control now…the World will be safe if I just tease you with our first few superstars:
Yes, your eyes do not deceive you, you just saw Krista Frattin!  If you are a part of Stampin' Up! or if you live in Canada, then you know Krista.  She has more accolades than I could begin to list and a burning passion for our art.  In her own words, “I love to make our world pretty ... one crafty project at a time,” so we can’t wait to see what wondrous offerings she will bring to TGIFC!!
We are staying north of the border as I introduce Cathy Caines!  Coming to you live from Newfoundland, this amazing creator offers an unmatched caliber of scrapbooking, card making, and humour (yes, I said humour, spell checker... don't mock me with your red squiggly line!).  It isn't often that I can go to a blog and be inspired by great projects while at the same time literally Lol-ing at the commentary.  What a find!  Next up is:
We come back to the States with Kaitlyn from Michigan.  Kaitlyn is a "Jackie-of-all-Trades" - full time student, world traveler, athlete, sports fan...and of course - Stamper!!  Her amazing ability has landed her a spot on the coveted SU! Artisan Design Team and her love for the craft has guided her toward a career in graphic design.  We are thrilled that she will be sharing her natural talent with us as a Design Team Member!  I can't wait to be inspired by her creations!!
So you may be wondering who I am...well here you go...
I don't know what to say...I am just so incredibly flattered to be included in this group of ladies.  My arms are Basic Black and Night of Navy (get it?)  from all of the pinching that I've done just to make sure that this isn't a dream.  I reside in the Silicon Valley (Northern California).  My wife has been Stamping for over 12 years, so I recently took a page from Sun Tzu and The Art of War and decided "If you can't beat 'em, Join 'em!"  So I started making my own cards and found out that I have a knack for thinking outside the box and putting a unique spin on the products.  I simply enjoy challenging myself to create and have fun! Who knew? 
Well that's all for today.  Stay tuned for the next batch of Designers as we continue to tour the globe.  I promise that you won't be disappointed...this is just the beginning!
Challenges start on May 1, 2015 and will post every Friday, so start marking your calendar so that you're ready to play along :-)