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We got approval from the surgeon the other day for Hayley to play in basketball camp at the end of July–two weeks ahead of her 6 month post-ACL reconstruction surgery mark, so she’s a pretty happy camper!  Her persistence with physical therapy has paid off!  Today, we got her fitted for a hi-tech ortho brace for that knee–Ouch!  I had no idea how expensive these things are . . . But, she’s happy, and feels more confident, so that’s what’s important.  Now, we are hoping for an injury-free senior year! *wink*

As we pulled down the driveway (seems like a day off island always takes up the entire day), I found the new Stampin’ Up! catalog in my snailbox, courtesy of SU!.  I’m not a demonstrator any more, but, as a total rubbah fun-addict, it’s always fun to see new releases, and, I heard through the grapevine that SU! was still sending a complimentary catalog to demonstrators that deactivated over the last year.

The cover is gorgeous, reflecting a sense of fall with rich tones of blues, greens, pumpkin, and aqua.  I held my breath anxiously . . . last year’s cover was stunning, but, the color schemes throughout the catalog seemed tired and didn’t do too much for me.  I’m happy to say I was not disappointed!

This is probably the most visually appealing catalog SU! has ever released in the 10 years that I was a demonstrator!  I loved the concept of "Style Watch", and showcasing 3 trend collections:  Boho West, Tapestry, and Corner Office.  Stamps, patterned papers, and accessories were all designed to coordinate together with these three particular styles!  Smart and sophisticated!

This year’s "In Color" palette features 6 wonderful colors that I found particularly appealing:  Wild Wasabi, Soft Sky, River Rock, Groovy Guava, and Purely Pomegranate.  Beautiful colors that work well with each other, and the rest of SU!’s 48 exclusive colors.

Most of the Hostess sets appeared to cater to contemporary tastes, with Oh, So Lovely and Garden Silhouettes (both florals) taking a more subdued and artistic vein.  The Level III "Happy Me" Simply Scrappin’ Bundle is fresh and darling with paisley and daisies!!!  For me, it doesn’t get much better than that, and it features the In Color Palette to perfection!

Start Simply heads up the beginning of the catalog offerings, featuring all inclusive beginning stamping kits, with stamps, papers, and accessories that are designed to work well together, and should make it very easy for the novice to get started.  All very charming, and featuring primarily contemporary/whimsical floral motifs, and one with a more sophisticated, baroque type elegance.

I was really thrilled to see that each section of the catalog is introduced with a beautiful, full-color photo of some gorgeous projects, and, throughout the catalog, rather than having the "flat" effect of samples shot straight on or scanned, they did a fabulous job of filming them dimensionally (which I personally find so much more appealing!), and, some in groupings, nicely, but, not overly, staged/propped.

A particularly nice touch?  Along the bottom of many 2-page spreads, they feature products such as ribbon, punches, patterned papers, and other accessories that were either used in the construction of the samples, or would perfectly coordinate.  VERY NICE!!!

At long last, SU! has finally put together an accessory section that makes it easy to identify the product with the description, and along the top of every column in the inkpad/marker/paper charts there are icons for each item type.  This should make many very, very happy!

The following particularly caught my interest:

  • Boatloads of Love:  Although cute, I wasn’t ever really fond of Loads of Love, but, this little tug boat?  I just love boats (images of boats, anyway), I guess, living near the sea? Sweetly tempting!
  • Polka Dots & Petals:  Polka dots, daisies, and circles are always a huge hit with me
  • All in the Family and Family Accessories:  Cute, fun, interchangeable images.  If my children were younger, these would be a *must* have; I can draw a pretty good stick figure, but this takes all the work out of it and the kids would have a ball
  • Sporting, Just Basketball, and Just Soccer:  YESSSS!!! Finally!!!  My family doesn’t play all sports, so I have always been irritated at large sets that feature *every* sport–I only need certain images and would never use the bulk of the others.  Well done!
  • Fabulous Flowers:  Two of my favorite fonts (Porcelain, and Circus) are featured in the one sentiment in this set, and the floral images themselves are nicely sized, with plenty of potential for mixing and matching
  • Priceless:  EXACTLY the kind of Bohemian influence that I love–very clean, sophisticated–and, if I want to distress it, I can.  But, I think it’s PERFECT as is!  LOVE LOVE LOVE this!
  • Stem Sayings:  No matter what other contemporary florals you have, this set is a natural to pair with ‘em
  • Wild West Alphabet:  Absolutely *uber* cool.  ‘Nuff said.
  • Define Your Life:  I love dictionary definitions, and while this set is on the spendy side, I still think it’s an excellent value for all the different definitions–28 images!

Accessories:

  • Patterned Paper Collections:  Fall Flowers, Linen Prints, Porcelain Prints, Wintergreen & Cutie Pie
  • I don’t even scrap, and I thought every single one of the Simply Scrappin’ Kits were delightful!
  • On Board Chipboard:  I’m not overly keen on "kraft" chipboard, preferring the white coaster board variety much more, but, there is a very nice selection ranging from ginormous to smaller scale, alphabets/accents, etc.
  • On Board Clipboards:  Everybody likes clipboards–they’re fun to decorate and practical
  • Photo Corners Punch:   2 different sizes of BIG corners built into one punch–smart!
  • Pretties Kit:  Theoretically this concept should appeal greatly to stampers, who are very inventive at duplicating the effect of their ready-made, and often times more expensive, counterparts and features blank white flowers in an assortment of shapes and sizes, that can be custom dyed to match your project colors, along with flat-backed pearls, clear rhinestones, beads, etc.
  • Ribbon Originals:  beautiful, classy, as well as the Double-Stitched and Taffeta Ribbons.  Very nice to see something besides organdy, which had been in the catalog for so many years.
  • If I had a deeper counter/work surface, I’d definitely consider the Stampin’ Stack & Store–a spinning embellishments organizer that accommodates all the Store containers I already own.

As far as any negatives, on an otherwise beautiful catalog, I’d say that the bulk of the stamp sets cater to more of a contemporary, modern style.  Many of the gorgeous detailed vintage sets of the past are gone without much of anything to replace them, to my surprise, considering that vintage is on the rise in popularity.  I guess I’ll be glad I’ve hung onto all the previously retired masculine fishing themed sets, which were so well done–The new one, "On the Fly", was disappointing, featuring a crudely done sketch of a faceless fly fisherman.  I wasn’t overly impressed with "Winds of Grace", which also doesn’t hold a candle to the retiring "Set Sail".

Refreshed color combinations and clean, sharp photograp hy make for a beautiful catalog that not only highlights their products in a nicely organized fashion, but, is well worth the $9.95 MSRP for the well-executed and inspiring samples inside.

Have a fabulous weekend!

12 Comments
  1. Julie, thank you so much for posting your take on the new catalog. I enjoy reading your thoughts. I agree that this is the “most visually appealing” catalog SU has put out. I love the flourishes!! Thanks for sharing. :)

  2. Well done, Jules! It’s a beauty, isn’t it?

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