Monday, October 23, 2017

Holiday Day 8: Winter Wonderland

We made it! It’s our last day of sneak previews — the final set of my Happiest Holiday 2017 collection is in the spotlight today and I cannot waiiiiiiit to show you!

Many of you heard that Doug and I were married last month, and boy oh boy was it a beautiful, love-filled celebration (note: I *will* be posting lots of photos here, I can't wait to share moments from our celebration with you!! Just been so busy working on this collection for you!). While flowers are always something that’s on my mind, they were definitely front and center as I worked with my very talented friend, Trenna Travis, to design our wedding flowers and decorations.

Flower design and photography by Trenna Travis Design Studio

Can you tell that our wedding had a woodland theme? Trenna and I absolutely went bonkers at the wholesale flower market — this bouquet has five varieties of ferns swimming around in there! Pepperberries, snowberries, and seeded Eucalyptus... Hellebores, Anemones, Astilbe, Coreopsis, Protea, Scabiosa seed heads, and the pi├Ęce de resistance: pitcher plant, which is a relative of Jack-in-the-Pulpit. The range of shapes, textures, and subtle shifts of color were simply dreamy. A pink petal would echo a pink vein in the pitcher plant, a pale green of the Scabiosa picked up on the greenish tinge of the double Hellebore. Budded Astilbe fronds resemble fizzy bubbles, a clever reference to the larger sizes of berries and seeds that mingled about. Twisting and curling ferns added a liveliness and vivacious burst of green to the calming colors — Trenna’s eye for detail and skill at arranging is beyond masterful. She texted me these photos of my bouquet as I was about to get my hair done the morning of the wedding, and I just sat in my car and cried. She had created the dreamiest dream bouquet for me, on the day I was to marry my true love.

Before we designed the wedding flowers, Trenna and I developed mood boards to help us determine the direction, adding photos of our attire, and scouring Pinterest for flowers that fit the theme. Once we had a vibe and general color palette, the mood boards helped us stay on target with every aspect of the wedding.

I share these with you today, my friends, because putting together bouquets in my mind is something I do quite often. While I adore working with flowers in real life, it is much more economical to dream them up I my head and put them down on paper, where the colors and style can be changed with every new stamp impression.

Photography by Lisa Fioretti

That is one of the reasons I’ve been sharing my “Marcella’s Mood Board” image for each day of the release this week — I want you all to see what goes on in my mind as I’m designing ANYTHING — whether it’s a room in my house, my wedding day, or the stamp sets I create for Power Poppy. I’m busy dreaming up new schemes, drawing on references old, new, natural, artisan, rustic, modern... getting inspired by colors and shapes, textures and tiny details.

I like for things to be special and rarified, and I hope you can feel the difference when you work with our Power Poppy designs. I know that I feel that way when I see what you make with them!! Each one of you has such a unique look to your work, you bring your personal experiences, your talents, your preferences, your special care for detail into everything you make, and it is a delight for all of us to see your precious creations.

On to today’s set, a Poinsettia-spiked bouquet I’m proud to share with you ... Winter Wonderland.

Winter Wonderland was inspired by fabulous wedding bouquets, wintery floral combinations with unexpected twists. A bouquet that can be as showy on Christmas as it can be in February! Starring a beautiful double Poinsettia (I know you’re getting good at working with them from what I’ve seen using our original Poinsettia set, so I wanted to challenge you with this one!), accented with Anemones, Pepperberries, and Dusty Miller Artemesia, this one will stop folks in their tracks.

REMEMBER: You can use any colors that strike your fancy!! While I have gone off into a muted maroon, periwinkle, and pink fantasy — this grouping would be stunning in reds, greens, silver and gold — stay traditional or make up whatever combo you want. We are running things and nobody is going to tell us we have to make our flowers match reality. #wootwoot

I’ve included some very large single word sentiments that can be used in a mix and match fashion to build the perfect message. I hope you enjoy working with these, I think they’ll make such pretty, unforgettable Christmas cards.

Wouldn’t you like to see what our Bloom Brigade designers have made with this one? Winter Wonderland is on parade at these Bloomie blogs...

Aren’t those FABULOUS???? I mean to tell you, I sit here in awe. Bravo, bravo, bravo, Bloom Brigade!

Now folks, tomorrow, October 24, IS THE DAY! 

We’ll throw a full scale blog hop with one more peek at ALL EIGHT of our new Holiday stamp sets... Everything will be available in the store, PLUS, we’ll announce a special promotional offer to save when you buy multiple sets. 


XOXOXO and thank you again for your kind words on our posts, you truly are all dear-hearts and make us feel really, really good. :)

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Holiday Day 7: Tweet Tidings

Yikes, we’re already on Day 7 of previews, how did that happen?? Happiest Holiday 2017 is rolling right along, chirping a merry tune, and ready to show you today’s clear stamp set..

So... more than a few little birdies have told me that our Chickadee in Barberry digital design should come out as a clear stamp. What a wonderful idea! This rather simple and lovely image is one you don’t have to spend hours working with to get an elegant holiday or wintertime card. As I reworked the bird/branch image to bring him out in clear, our Bloomie Allison Cope suggested that we add a little “friend” to the set. Marvelous suggestion, dear Ally.

What happens when two little birdies hang out in the Barberry bushes?

I aimed to find out the answer to this daunting and highly serious question! Do I add a birdie to the same branch as the original design? Are they sweethearts or friends? Do I have the second chickadee just sitting on the ground? Is he flying by with a holiday Hi? What would be the best way to draw a bird that could hold his own, and yet also integrate with the other chickadee, to be usable in multiple configurations? 

Tweet Tidings is what I came up with, and I am very pleased with the results, hope you are too!

Check out the little Chickadee buddies — they are separate stamps that can be used together or on their own. In Tweet Tidings, we’ve added a plethora of new sentiments to this set that are some of my favorites of any I’ve offered, with that hand-wrought look that we love (not by my hand, but by another talented typographer). Several of the sentiments were provided by Miss Ally Cope—she is so brilliant and clever!—with themes that can be used all year long. Music notes help add to the whimsy and can be used with our other bird-themed sets like Heaven and Nature Sing.

You must spend a few moments with the new cards by these sweet Bloomies featuring Tweet Tidings:

To see a BROAD RANGE of highly creative cards made by the Instant Gardeners and Bloom Brigade designers using the main large image from Chickadee in Barberry, be sure to visit THIS PAGE.

See you back here on Monday for our very last stamp set of the new collection... warning, it’s a really good one. As in, OMGeeeeeeee!!!

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Holiday Day 6: Glitter House Village

Very warmest tidings of the day, my friends. I’m filled with joy (and coffee!) meeting you here for today’s preview from our Happiest Holiday 2017 collection of crisply-stamping clear polymer designs.

I’m actually writing this post from the same spot I was sitting three years ago, on a cozy hotel sofa in Indianapolis, while accompanying my true love on a business trip. Last go-round, I was creating the artwork for what would become one of our most loved stamp designs, O Holy Night. Today, I’m tickled to introduce a set that actually resembles that quaint snowy church, but with a decidedly “homespun” bent. Maybe you will recognize the references I drew upon for this artwork...

Is there anyone else out there who is completely taken with glittery cardboard houses?

Tiny cardboard treasures. Houses, churches, barns, bungalows — with simple window-and-door details, bottlebrush trees in their yards, picket fences, completely encrusted in sparkly micro-flittery glitter. Meant to be arranged into a snowy village setting to decorate a mantel or bureau. They are purely precious! 

Originally popping up in the 1930s and 40s, these houses (some call them “putz” houses — a German word which refers to the act of moving around the little houses into a formation until you get them “just so”) were first available at dimestores. These days if you’re lucky, you can find original cottages and mansions and storefronts on eBay or in estate sale Christmas stashes (oohhhh, rummaging through folks’ old boxes of ornaments, the stuff of dreams!!) There’s been a resurgence of the popularity of cardboard Christmas houses, and many people are constructing their own. I have a collection of several, one of which looks a bit like our own house, complete with our house number painted on the front by my sweet mama after we moved in many years ago. They are ALWAYS placed in a position of prominence in my holiday displays.

I personally couldn’t be giddier about seeing so many glittery cardboard Christmas houses around the scene, and I thought it was high time to bring these sweet-and-simple structures into a stamp set... introducing Glitter House Village.

Isn’t that cute?? Holiday homes with wreaths and chimneys and snow drifts galore. Rather than provide single houses, I’ve designed a cozy scene of cottages surrounding a church — they are pre-“putzed”! — with plenty of bottlebrush trees. Glitter House Village is a large stamp that will fill the full card front (get out that MISTI, friends). I’m just going to be frank... it is sooooooo much fun to color and decorate. The variety of combinations is totally endless, and I hope to see you all experiment with them mightily.

We have some wonderful sentiments in this set, along with little accents to personalize your Glitter House Village setting: a snowy, starry sky, two different vintage “tree-topper-style” North Stars, and two swags for creating a repeating bough or a border.

Come see the Bloomies’ SUPERCUTE creations using Glitter House Village:

Is your mind swirling yet with the possibilities? I know mine is.... will I try this one in pretty light pastels? What about a version in all shades of green? Or classic white with colored roofs? No matter what, be sure to have plenty of glitter on hand to completely douse the whole scene.

Tomorrow will bring more holiday sweetness (dare I say, tweetness) and a bit of familiarity — just you wait! Enjoy your day to the highest, and I do thank you for spending some time with the Bloomies and me, we appreciate every little comment and bit of love you leave. You are the best! 

Friday, October 20, 2017

Holiday Day 5: Berry Sweet Holiday

Well, happy Friday to you!! Typically at the end of the week, we let our creative feelings flow with the Good Vibe 5. Maybe you’ve noticed, but this whole release week has been like Good Vibes Infinity! Happiest Holiday sneak previews continue today with the 5th of our brand new clear stamps. They will all be available in the shop on Oct. 24 — be sure to wait for a special promotion to be announced on release day to SAVE when you grab multiple sets.

Remember a few weeks ago when we launched a digital stamp set loaded with holly and mistletoe?

Absolutely bubbling over with berries, ribbons, and leaves, our Merriest Berries digital stamp set was a big hit with our customers and design teams alike...

Isn’t that a lively design? You can go all kinds of colorful directions with this one! It really adds a burst of happy energy to a card front, with the elements twisting and curling so wildly. After seeing oh-so-many adorable cards made with the digital stamp, we decided to introduce the candy-cane-centric design as a clear stamp — along with a bunch more berry sweet bits and pieces and LOADED UP with sentiments. 

Soak up the cheery vibes of today’s preview, Berry Sweet Holiday.

Berry Sweet Holiday doesn’t just have this focal image, OH NO. We have a second surprise wreath image that we’re bringing in to clear... one that’s been a favorite digi since we introduced it last year... think about stitching and felt and pom-poms. Do you know the one?

Something else special about this set... our very own Allison Cope contributed a number of wonderful sentiments to complement the set — and I don’t think they could be any sweeter!!

Let’s go check out the cards the Bloomies came up with featuring Berry Sweet Holiday — you’re sure to get riled up to create!

For EVEN MORE inspiration using the main focal image of this set (the digital set is shown both with and without the candy cane), check out our Pinterest board HERE.

Ohhhhhh friends, we have a really, really, REALLY delightful set to share with you tomorrow, so be sure to come back and visit. And, thank you for leaving your lovely comments on the blogs so far — we just soak up all of your cheerful words and encouraging energy and it fills us with the good stuff! Love you all so much!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Holiday Day 4: Flowering Santa

Today marks the HALFWAY point of our Happiest Holiday sneak previews — can you believe we have four more sets to share? And we still have so much creativity to explore.

It always strikes me as funny to work on Christmas designs in the middle of summer. Sometimes my mind wanders a bit while I’m sketching and scheming. One minute I’m thinking about Santa... but in the midst of gardening, dreaming about plant combinations, or dare I say, designing my wedding flowers, Santa’s curly beard morphs into a blooming bouquet.

Notice how closely Santa’s beard resembles a cascade of flowers...

To my mind, it’s a no-brainer — Santa’s beard was meant to bloom! I loved the image above from an old Neiman-Marcus Christmas catalog, a very clever quilled paper construction, where the beard swirls into beautiful snowflakes. But then look at those winter bouquets, spilling over with flowers and leaves. Why, some of the bouquets are the classic shape of Santa’s beard! Hmmm...

I let my mind wander, and Santa Claus and I took a merry skip through a fantastical winter garden to create our new stamp set, Flowering Santa.

In my interpretation, Santa’s curly strands have twirled their way into a bouquet of poinsettia and holly, starry-shaped daisies, and plump berries. Whether you color this large-scale image in full flowery splendor, or you keep it more monochromatic and even metallic, you’ll come away with a card that totally dazzles and delights the recipient! Flowering Santa is going to be the image I use on my cards this year!

I’ve included three sentiments in sweepy script for a myriad of holiday uses — but this Santa says so much all on his own, with his sweet smirking eyes and rounded spectacles. Don’t you just want to give him a hug?

To help your Christmas cards come into full bloom with Flowering Santa — just look at what the Bloom Brigade made:

What vision those Bloomies bring to everything their talented hands touch!! And I KNOW that YOU TOO can bring out the sparkling awesomeness within to create cards that are special and unique in every way. This image would be fun embossed, watercolored, and glittered, and could be completed en masse! Ohhhh I can already see the assembly line I’m going to mount on our dining room table... come here, children, Mama needs you... 

Psssst! Fans of one of our recent holiday digis (one that MIGHT have featured a whole lot of berries!!) will want to tune in to see what’s coming up tomorrow...

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Holiday Day 3: Under Glass Christmas Traditions

Happy day to you.

The mornings are beginning to be crisp and cool here at the Power Poppy HQ in St. Louis, Missouri, which means I am enjoying writing today’s blog post from my favorite spot in the house... across from the fireplace. Coffee in hand, laptop on lap, cat also on lap, puppy lapping up something or other that he probably shouldn’t be lapping... life is good. The rest of the day will likely be a blur of driving kids to and fro, scrambling to complete design deadlines while kids are at school, grocery shopping, errand running — I truly cherish quiet mornings. Breathe in, breathe out. :)

Surrounded by coziness and calm, we’re ready to launch forward with Day 3 of Happiest Holiday sneak peeks — and I’m filled with enthusiasm to introduce this one to you! Have you been able to see the first two days of bombastic Bloomie posts? Scroll on down if you want to catch up — so far we’ve had a cheery snowman with Nordic details and a rustic woodsy set, and the cards the ladies have created are nothing short of astounding! So, what do we have for our third new stamp set?

Have you noticed that everybody is going

Put all the things under glass! Domes, bell jars, cloches, Mason Jars, juice glasses — I don’t care what it is, but QUICK, find something really cute and stick it underneath!! What happens when you put something “under glass”? Well, my friends, it’s a hard to pinpoint, but the between the reflection of the glass, the whimsy of the contents, and a little bit of Christmas magic, everything just looks EVEN CUTER. 

See what I mean when you take a gander at this peek from Under Glass: Christmas Traditions.

With THREE holiday vignettes, a tall glass dome with a decorative wooden base, floating ribbon accent, and a couple of sentiments, you’ve got everything you need for extreme cuteness. 

If you already enjoyed our spring-and-summer themed cloche stamp set, Under Glass, this one is a great companion. The images are a little bit larger, and as with the other set, are ideal under the dome, but are equally cute on their own.

You don’t have to take my word for it, just see what the Bloom Brigade has created with Under Glass: Christmas Traditions.

Eeeeeee!!! We’re those adorable?! Seriously, I want to put all the things under glass. Our kids are lucky that I haven’t popped a giant cloche on top of both of them, holding Tibbs the Power Poppy while wearing Santa hats and dappled in fake snow. Yes, they are lucky indeed. SEE YOU TOMORROW — this next one is going to make you do a double-take at just what kind of barber has been tending to Santa Claus’ beard.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Holiday Day 2: Rustic Rejoicing

Hello there beautiful people!

Welcome to Day 2 of our 2017 Happiest Holiday previews — we are doing our best to dazzle you all week with interesting clear stamp designs and inspiring cards to get your marvelous mind reeling with ideas. Be sure to pop by the blog each day for a list of the Bloomies who are sharing cards. Today we have ALL 8 of THEM!! My wonderful Bloomies, I adore them!! Just as a little refresher of how cute and fun they are, here’s a picture from this summer when almost everybody made the trip to St. Louis for a superlovefest and inspiring field trips....

We were enjoying a gorgeous day at one of my favorite spots on Earth, the world-renowned Missouri Botanical Garden. I miss them all dearly — you simply cannot find a more loving, giving, caring, supremely delightful group of people, not to mention their off-the-charts creativity. We are SO lucky to have them!! Thank you, Bloomies. xoxoxox

So, friends, you all know how I roll. I’m all up in the nature. LOVE THAT PLANT LIFE!  Truly, my entire holiday collection could have been a series of something leafy and green with a vintage ornament dangling from it, but that might be too repetitive. :) Instead, I’ve tried to stuff little botanical tidbits into each of the sets!!

Are you ready to see what’s behind today’s holiday stamp set?

We’re hanging out in the evergreens for this set! Pines, most specifically, their branches loaded up with sweet details, like jingle bells and retro Christmas lights and.... a dove! Introducing our second sneak peek... Rustic Rejoicing.

I’ve paired up the rustic branches with a large-scale swoopy sentiment that will lay beautifully on your holiday cards, along with a few smaller ones with wishes for peace and good will. This set has classic, woodsy charm, and is easy to color up! A second large image has a peaceful dove — holding an olive branch in its beak — resting among the branches. It takes a lot of work to spread peace, this dove deserves a break to recharge near the vintage string of lights!

Like I mentioned earlier, all eight Bloom Brigade designers are with us today to share a card made using Rustic Rejoicing — come see!!!

Now, was that an awesome tour, or what?? And girrrrrrl, just you wait, tomorrow we have something that’s really special and unique (as if a dove in a tree with lights isn’t?). If you are a fan of our Short Stacks, Cozy Cupfuls, and Under Glass sets... then this one will be right up your alley! See you tomorrow, lovey doves!