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January 2011
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March 2011

Winner, Winner, Cheshire Grinner!

It wasn't even close! Cheshire beat out "thinner" by almost double the votes! Thanks for playing, everyone.

(with a special shout-out to the two folks who got the Lost reference with "Sun and Jinner". Bravo!)

And now, to announce the winner of the Hearts-a-Plenty die:

Carol Taggart -  Winner, winner, who's the winner? Celebrate - go out to dinner!
Congrats to all whose names are "winner".
I'll try again - I'm just a beginner.

Congratulations, Carol! I will be contacting you by e-mail, so if you don't see anything in your in-box from me, use the sidebar link to e-mail me your address.

Thanks to everyone who entered!

Winner, Winner . . . and another GIVEAWAY!

I'm sure you've all heard the phrase "Winner, Winner, chicken dinner!" right? Well someone had to think that up and now they can boast of adding a phrase to the American vernacular! Well done, unknown coiner!

I think there's room for another "Winner, Winner" phrase, though. Coined, perhaps, by yours truly!

I decided to come up with my own "Winner, Winner" phrase to announce the winners of the Registration Passes to the UStamp with Dawn and Friends Big Shot Brilliance event.Ustampbigshot11600 
The problem is . . . I thought of WAY too many EXCELLENT phrases and can't decide which to use. I've got:

  1. Winner, winner, Cheshire grinner!
  2. Winner, winner, game show spinner!
  3. Winner, Winner, fish with finner!
  4. Winner, Winner, dimpled chinner!
  5. Winner, Winner, Aidan Quinner!
  6. Winner, Winner, sardine tinner!
  7. Winner, Winner, Sun and Jinner!
  8. Winner, Winner, slap my shinner!
  9. Winner, Winner, you look thinner!
  10. Winner, Winner, Lynyrd Skynyrd!

Obviously it is too close to call, so we'll just need another GIVEAWAY to decide.

BUT FIRST! Let's announce the THREE WINNERS of the registration passes to the UStamp with Dawn and Friends Big Shot Brilliance event. They are:

Tami Gilmartin - "Your pop-ups are amazing and FUN! Looking forward to learning more...."

Cas Rifkin - "Oh Karen, I always love your projects and I love, love, love learning about what seems to me to be magical: pop-up cards. I bought a whole book on them but am still intimidated to try them. Thank you for all of your inspirations!"

Carol G. - "I would love to be part of this. Thanks for offering the chance to win it.
It sounds like fun."

BUT WAIT! Let's give away TWO MORE registration passes to the event! They are:

Jannette E. - "I will love to win!, that was the first thing that popped up in my head when I was reading your email!! Hopefully my name pops up as a winner and I'm not popped out of the list!!"

Laura T. - "Would love to win this! I love Stampin' Up! and the Big Shot. Can't wait to see what you've done with the tree and cake pop-up dies!"

Congratulations to you all! I will be e-mailing you with the news and particulars. If you don't see anything in your in-box from me today, please e-mail me using the link in the sidebar.

Remember, just because you didn't win a free pass doesn't mean you can't participate in this event. Early Bird registration ($5 discount!) runs for two more days. Go to the UStamp with Dawn and Friends website to register.

So let's talk about the next GIVEAWAY!

It's the Bigz XL Hearts-a-Plenty Pop-up Die! Here's what it looks like:


 The card in the above photo was made by the uber-talented Deena Ziegler.

 And here's a card using this die that I posted a few weeks ago:

Muse You Card

So here's how you win your very own Hearts-a-Plenty die AND help me decide on a new "Winner, Winner" phrase to announce it -

  1. Choose your favorite "Winner, Winner" phrase from the list of 10 above and use it in your comment.
  2. Include the word "congratulations" (or a variation) for the winners of the UStamp passes. (Because good Karma pays forward, yo!)

Example: "Winner, Winner, you look thinner! Congrats winners!" or "Winner, Winner, fish with finner! Way to go, winners!"

On Monday, February 28, 2011, at 6:00 pm, CST, I will choose a winner by random draw. The winner will be announced in a blog post at that time (Titled with the most popular "Winner, Winner" phrase) as well as contacted by e-mail for an address to send the die.

Good luck and thanks for playing!

(GIVEAWAY) UStamp with Dawn & Friends: Big Shot Brilliance Online Event

This is going to be SO COOL! Dawn Rapsas, a Stampin' Up! Creative Coach, has invited me to be a guest designer for her upcoming UStamp with Dawn and Friends event featuring the Big Shot and all the dies that Stampin' Up! sells.

Early Bird registration ends in 4 days, so you really need to scoot on over to Dawn's site and register if you're a fan of awesome projects made with 100% Stampin' Up! materials. Dawn has an excellent video on her site to show you what her events include. You can also read the Q&A in the right sidebar for a great overview. Here's the link again: UStamp with Dawn and Friends

I will be teaching two projects using the O Christmas Tree die and the Pop-up Cake die.

The event starts on March 18th and runs through April 6th with a new project posted every 12 hours, complete downloadable PDF tutorials for every project, live chats, 30 designers, giveaways, swaps, fun, frivolity, dancing babies . . . (OK, so maybe not that last one)

But wait - it gets better. Dawn has given me THREE FREE REGISTRATION PASSES to give away on my blog! Just leave a comment on this post and I will draw 3 random winners on Saturday morning, February 26, 2011, at 10 am, CST. That gives you all of today, all of tomorrow and a little bit of time on Saturday to get your comments in.

Oh! And do make sure that when you're filling out the comment form that you include your e-mail. I've got to be able to get in touch with you if you're one of the lucky winners! I'll also announce the winners on my blog Saturday morning and you can e-mail me.

If you don't win, you'll still have two days to take advantage of the Early Bird Registration discount.

I mentioned that this event is 100% Stampin' Up! If you're unfamiliar with Stampin' Up!, take a few minutes to watch this video by the founder, Shelli Gardner. There are some awesome projects in this video!


 Hope to see you at this fun online event!

 SATURDAY, 2/26/2011 UPDATE: Winners and a new Giveaway are now posted!

Look at me, with the youfacetweetube! (or something like that)

Gretchen (or should I say gscrapbooks) has been telling me for some time that I need to join Twitter, but since it seemed like yet another thing (ala blog, facebook, website, housework) that I would have to keep up with, and would likely do so underwhelmingly, I resisted.

However, in the interest of having that adorable blue bird in my app icons, and grabbing my user name while the grabbing was good, I now have my very own Twitter account: karenburniston

I just don't know what to tweet about.

Eileen Hull and Jonathan Fong plus some creepy alligators

This just makes me smile!

Guest Towel Cupcakes

My brother is visiting us for the long weekend. He's from Seattle and doesn't often see alligators, so we headed down to Brazos Bend State Park yesterday. There were so many alligators . . . LARGE ALLIGATORS . . . along the path that at one point I turned and said "I'm not sure I'm having that much fun!" You literally had to have eagle eyes as you walked along the path to make sure you didn't trip over an alligator.



This picture of Brian is one of my favorites. I've blown up the background for your awe and amusement:

Brian Brazos


We're off for more amusing "Explore Texas" adventures today. The weather is fine!

Here's my "Why"

I went up to Indiana this week to teach at Erickson & Accociates' Simply Successful event and had a marvelous time! The event was fabulous and I loved the opportunity to speak to reps and retailers about my line of Sizzix pop-up dies and teach some tips and tricks for using them.

After I had already taught my class, a wonderful video was shown. It was Simon Sinek speaking about a concept he's developed for being successful in business called "Start with Why" in which he asserts that "People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it." I loved his message and took it to heart. Had I seen the video before I taught I would have started with my "Why":

I love pop-ups. I get a tremendous sense of accomplishment from creating something interactive out of paper. I am thrilled to watch someone open a card and be surprised and delighted by what happens. I think of pop-ups as a little bit of unexpected magic.

THAT is why I do what I do.

Now as to the "how" and the "what", you can see some of my dies in action on this video that Scrap Time shot at the CHA show. Thank you so much, Scrap Time!


CHA Winter 2011 Preview - Sizzix Pop-up Scalloped Circle Die

My new Sizzix dies that were released at last week's CHA show are a varied bunch. I might be most excited by the simplicity, which, if you know me, is a little unusual!

But we want people making pop-ups. That's what we want. And now, for people who want to make pop-ups, but don't want to invest a ton of time, energy or paper, I present the first of three SIMPLE pop-up insert dies.

Scallop Circle Insert

This die is a Bigz size, so it will retail for around $20 and here's what's awesome about it:

  1. SIMPLE, one-piece, single-cut construction 
  2. Completely generic - put anything on the tiers to make them pop-up
  3. Fits in an A2 card (half a 8.5x11 piece of paper) or larger

Need to make a quick card? Look no further than pre-made embellishments and this die and you can be done in a flash!

Who Loves You Card 
Supply List: Circle, Scallop Pop-up Die (May ship), Celebrate Sizzlit Set (May Ship), Sizzix matboard, Basic Grey "Green at Heart) papers and embellishments, Basic Grey letter stickers, Red ink, Zigzag rubber stamp

With this release I've also done some accessory dies - Sizzlit sets that are designed to fit with the pop-ups, but of course can be used on their own as flat dies. Here they are:

I used the frame and heart from the Celebrate Sizzlit set on the card above. The Celebrate set includes a fun 3D balloon. If you attach the balloon to one of the pop-up inserts, it will open up when the card is opened, creating even more interactive fun! In the card below, I cut the Scalloped Circle pop-up insert out of a clear plastic (I save the packaging that my dies come in) so the insert would "disappear" and the balloons would appear to be floating.

 Balloon Card 
Supply List: Circle, Scallop Pop-up Die (May ship), Celebrate Sizzlit Set (May Ship), Butterfly Flower & Swirl Sizzlit Set (May Ship) Sizzix matboard, Basic Grey "Green at Heart) papers and stickers, Dots & Flowers Textured Impressions folder, Die packaging plastic, white pen, embroidery floss

Now let's talk just a little bit more about the possibilities with the pop-up dies when you cut them out of a clear material. When you do this, you are essentially "robbing the mechanism" of the die and allowing it to animate other objects. This is how I am able to turn the Pop-up Christmas Tree into a Birdcage or Chandelier.

While I was at the CHA show, I had the wonderful opportunity to cut out a few of the new Tim Holtz dies to take home and play with. I only had shimmery pink and green paper, so I had to emboss the heck out of the cut-outs to use them, but here's a card made using the Scallop Circle Pop-up Insert, cut from clear, and used to animate some of Tim's new dies.

Live the Life Card 
Supply List: Circle, Scallop Pop-up Die (May ship), Tim Holtz Umbrella Man Die (by June ship), Tim Holtz Weathered Clock die (by June ship), Tim Holtz Scrollwork On the Edge die (available now), Tim Holtz papers, stamps, ruler twill (available now), Sizzix matboard, Inkadinkado "Art" phrase stamp, stash metals, embossing powders

Here's a closer look at the pop-up:

Live the Life Close Up 
Umbrella Man is glued to the outer tier and the clock hands are glued to the closer pop-up tier, creating two layers of dimension.

Stay tuned for more peeks of the new dies in action in the days and weeks ahead!

Hearts a Plenty Pop-up Die

I have heard that bad luck happens in threes. I have experienced that it comes in tens and twenties!

Let me explain . . .

No, it is too much.

Let me sum up . . .

Buttercup marries Humperdink in little less than half an hour. Also, my laptop's hard drive failed. Also, bad weather caused Eileen to miss her flight (but she did arrive in time for the class, so we'll count that one as a neutral). My pop-ups were ripping in class. A bird took a kamikaze flight into my back window. I got halfway to the airport before discovering that Emma had left her oboe in the van. The hotel was overbooked. The shuttle took off without me. I got sick and lost my voice. I am still without voice, but otherwise much better.

It's hard to figure that I've been home from CHA for a week, what with all the moaning on the couch and all, but it is true, and it is February, and it is just a few days until Valentines Day!

One of my dies has just shipped to stores ever-so-recently and you can find it just in time for V-day, should you choose. It's called Hearts-a-Plenty and it's a Bigz XL size die. A cute card by Deena using this die was featured on the Sizzix blog yesterday: Pop-up Time!

Or, if you feel like getting your grunge on, here's a different look for this die:

Muse You Card


Hearts-a- Plenty die, by Karen Burniston AVAILABLE NOW

And then I also used the Swirl and small Flourish from two of my new Sizzlit sets, which are shipping in May. Here's a visual:

Sizzlits Sizzlits Set, Butterfly, Flower and Swirl, by Karen Burniston AVAILABLE MAY
 Sizzlits Set, Crown, Medallion and Flourish, by Karen Burniston AVAILABLE MAY

Little Sizzles Matboard, Black
Rubber Stamps - Shoulders & Bowler Hat - Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers for Stamp Francisco
Tim Holtz Products - Patterned paper, ball chain, gears, letter charms, heart charm
7 Gypsies - key charm
General Craft (source unknown) - black embossing powder, eyelets