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September 2017

2017 Karen Burniston Design Team Announcement

I'm pleased to introduce the 2017 Karen Burniston Design Team. These six ladies have been on my previous teams for years and I was thrilled that they were available to make the jump with me from licensed design to my own small company, KB Riley LLC. -

Because we are a small start-up, we are starting with a small team, and then will expand the team over time as our product offerings increase.


Starting in September we will hold monthly Designer Challenges. The team will post their challenge cards on the first Tuesday of every month and then the next day, on Wednesday, you'll find a compilation post on my blog (you're here!) plus my challenge card and video. Join us here on Wednesday, September 6, 2017 for our first challenge called "Signature Style" where each member will show off their own signature style for a project of any theme. 

Let me tell you a little bit about these talented designers and what I most notice about their signature styles:

SHShelly Hickox - Mississippi, USA

 Shelly has a long resume in the crafting world, having designed for some of the biggest companies and designers in the biz. While many associate Shelly with her grungy/artsy/steampunk side (and it is amazing), she is equally skilled at making very soft/pretty/feminine cards. Her inking techniques for faux-finishes are legendary and I have been known to refer to her projects as "Shellypieces"



KAKaren Aicken - Alberta, Canada

Karen is a card-making dynamo! She blogs every day and normally every card is specifically designed for someone in her family, or friends, or friends of her family, or family of her family - she keeps everyone supplied with beautiful handmade cards. She also donates cards to Seniors Secret Service, providing birthday cards for centenarians. Karen is known for her beautiful handwriting and for her clever repurposing of die shapes. 



SHPSummer Hills-Painter - South Carolina, USA

 Summer is always up on the latest and greatest craft supplies and trends. Her classes and demos at The Stamping Place and other stores in the Carolinas are always packed with techniques and beautiful projects. She is a wizard at shaker cards, techniques and 3D projects. I would describe her style as equal parts cute and pretty, although she'll occasionally throw in a little steampunk just to keep everyone on their toes!



Kelly Booth - Arizona, USA

 Kelly Booth is the master of color. Her Copic skills are exquisite and she can bring any stamped image to life with her coloring skills. Kelly rarely uses patterned papers, preferring to make her own textures and patterns with stamps, inks, stencils, etc. Her signature color is teal, which turns up in amazing ways in her cards. A recent cancer survivor, (Go Kelly!) she's now back to crafting in her jaw-dropping colorful style.


Fran Sabad - Kentucky, USA

Fran Sabad's style is exquisite. She knows exactly how to balance elements with the perfect blend of color, pattern and technique. As a longtime demonstrator, Fran does an amazing job of combining the pop-up dies with Stampin' Up! stamps and papers for a look that is uniquely Fran. I would describe her style as classy and elegant (like Fran herself!) but she can also rock the cute cards! 


FBFrances Byrne - Queensland, Australia

There's a reason I describe Frances's cards as "downunderful" and it's not just because she lives in Australia and I love a good pun. Frances has the perfect stamps and paper for ANY THEME! You cannot stump Frances with any challenge - she will go digging through her craft room and come up with the most amazingly spot-on combinations. Frances has a fabulous eye for mixing patterned papers, stamps and dies in a style that is cheerful and colorful. 


In other news, anyone going to Stampaway this weekend, come see me in the Riley & Company booth, where I will be demoing the dies and they will be available for purchase. Fran will be at the show as well, and then we're heading back to Kentucky where we will be teaching a class to Fran's regular students on Monday. 

Happy Crafting!

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Paper Pros Challenge - Monochromatic Cards

It's time for our monthly no-stress, for-fun challenge with the Paper Pros group. This month's theme was set by Raquel Mason as Monochromatic.

I decided to create a Halloween Card using my two new die sets - Halloween Elements and Halloween Scene. 


I started with a 4.25" x 11" strip of black cardstock and scored it at 2.75" and 5.5" from the top. I added a decorator panel of cardstock, colored with distress inks, and then cut the creepy hands die from the Halloween Elements set into the center of the panel. This die is perfect for easel stops because the bottom edge is not cut by the die, leaving the option to hinge, cut or extend the arms.


For the labels I used the Katherine Label Pop-up, cutting the smaller of the two over the upper fold and then creating a black frame by nesting the two labels together. I backed the frame with a large label cut from vellum. The spiderwebs are glued to the back of the vellum.

For the front of the card, I added black bats to the area above the fold. The bat on the label and the spider were highlighted with black Nuvo drops. 


To open the card, the top is folded and placed behind the creepy hands, creating an easel card for display. I added some spiderwebs and the word "Boo!" to the inside of the card.


Check out the other monochromatic makes here:

Raquel Mason

Karen Aicken

Kelly Booth

Fran Sabad

Caz Counsell

Frances Byrne

Here are shopping links to the supplies I used on my card:

Summer 2017 Holiday Die Release Available NOW!

Happy August, everyone!

Is it hot where you are? Because it's blazing hot here in Texas. And so naturally I like to cool off with a little Fall/Winter/Holiday crafting!

There are ten new dies available now in the Summer 2017 Holiday collection. You'll find these dies at your local shops, favorite online retailers, or you can purchase directly from our website. 

Let's look at the three new pop-up dies. The House & Fence Pop-up is a very versatile die set. It comes with a Floating Floor mechanism that can be used for so many other things. Plus, the house can be styled for any season. To learn how to assemble this die, check out the video tutorial here: Die Assembly Video - 1015 House & Fence Pop-up 

This winter version of the house is the one I make in the video tutorial. In addition to the House & Fence die, I used the Winter Charms (trees, snowflakes) and Word Set 3 (greeting) plus labels from the Katherine Label Pop-up.


There are two Halloween dies in this release. The Halloween Elements die is all new, featuring lots of great elements and props to use with the other dies, especially with the House & Fence for haunted house cards. The Halloween Scene die was previously licensed last year, but sold through, so I brought it back. Combine the dies together and you have everything you need for a spooky scene!


The House & Fence is also going to be great for year-round cards for any theme. This card uses the Tree Pop-up, Nature Edges, Winter Animals and Word Set 1.


Next up, the new Christmas Tree Pop-up. Learn how to assemble this die set here: Die Assembly Video - 1020 Christmas Tree Pop-up

A really great pairing (can you tell I just returned from a trip to wine country?) with the Christmas Tree is 1012 Snowman Twist Circle. You'll be able to use the largest circle die (3" diameter) to make tree skirts.

The Christmas Tree Pop-up includes a decorative cardinal to perch in the tree, plus a die that cuts four circle ornaments at a time, plus a 3D star topper. Plus I design collections that coordinate, so that as you build your collection, you have tons and tons of options. The winter white tree below incorporates borders made with the Nature Edges, a flourish from the Gift Card Label, circles from the Snowman Twist Circle, and a few of the Winter Charms.

White Christmas Tree Card

The last of the new pop-ups is the Sleigh Pop-up. Now I have to give proper acknowledgement to my business partner, Tanya Kostynuk, for suggesting a pop-up sleigh for this release. I was hesitant at first, because I have designed two previous sleigh dies in the past, but Tanya rightly pointed out that a sleigh would be perfect for the little animals and her Riley the Moose stamps.

I challenged myself to make this new sleigh very different from my previous ones. The sleigh itself is more ornate, with swirly runners and a pretty damask stencil/emboss feature, and the mechanism is very versatile - you can assemble it as a standing pop-up (card opened up flat to 180 degrees) or as a traditional pop-up (card opened and viewed at 90 degrees) Learn how to assemble this die set by watching the video tutorial: Die Assembly Video - 1021 Sleigh Pop-up


For this traditional pop-up I incorporated the new Gift Card Label on the front of the card. It's a great all-around label/flourish set for any theme, but also holds a standard size gift card perfectly.


Another option with the Gift Card Label is to cut a piece of cardstock to gift card size (2 1/8" x 3 3/8") and slide it into the large label, as I did for the card below.

A note about the new #1017 Snowman set. Seven of the eight dies in this set are identical to the ones included in #1012 Snowman Twist Circle die set. For customers who bought last year's licensed version of the Twist Circle, you can purchase 1017 Snowman and it will add on all the pieces you need for a Snowman Twist Circle. For customers who own 1012 Snowman Twist Circle, you really don't need both these sets unless you want doubles for cutting multiple snowman parts quickly.

Snowmen Dies

Also, 1014 Halloween Scene is a straight re-release of last year's licensed version. It was a very popular die set so we've brought it back.

The new Winter Charms is a fabulous add-on for a lot of the pop-ups, including 1007 Charm Accordion. Learn how to assemble the Winter Charms in this video: Die Assembly Video - 1018 Winter Charms


This collection also includes a new animal set - 1016 Winter Animals. This set will make a bear, penguin and hedgehog. Learn how to assemble them in this video: Die Assembly Video - 1016 Winter Animals

Hey Ohio (and surrounding areas) - who will be at Stampaway this weekend? Me! Me! I'll be demoing these dies in the Riley & Company booth on Friday and Saturday. Also, if you're near Dayton, Ohio, stop in to Marco's Paper tomorrow to meet my business partner, Tanya, who will be demoing from 11 am to 5 pm and will have the new dies (and all of my sample cards) on display.

Happy Crafting!

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