Stampin' Up! Retiring List 2017-My Top 10 Stamp Sets

The much-anticipated Stampin' Up! Retiring List has been published. You may see it here (I love that we now have OC-Occasions Catalog and AC-Annual Catalog page numbers!).  It is a vast document--10 pages!  So I have my Top Picks here to help you find what you must have before these items head off into stamping retirement.  

I'm doing this in 3 separate blog posts:  Top 10 Stamp Sets, Top 10 Dies & Punches, Top 10 Accessories.  This is the first in the series.

So here are my Top 10 stamp sets as well as 2 bundles.   I added the bundles because I love the stamps, but they have coordinating dies that I really love as well!  They fit best into my Favorite Stamp Sets Category:)  

stampinupretiringlist2017candyrattraytop10So here are the reasons for my Top 10 picks.  I've put pale yellow highlights on all links to samples of the stamps.

  • Birthday Fiesta Bundle--I live in San Antonio.  Need I say more??!!!  If you live in south central Texas, Fiesta (it is a month long celebration in our city, sort of a big city-wide party!)is huge.  The cactus, llama, and paper picado images are perfect for the whole of the Southwest USA and lovers of southwest art and imagery.  Here's a Christmas card I made with the dies. Just get the stamps and dies--you will love them!  Ole!
  • Birthday Blast Bundle-This is quite new, one of the Occasions Catalog bundles.  The stamps are perfect for quick and easy celebration/birthday cards as shown here.  And the dies make a very fun, element that is almost like a spring jumping off the card!  This brings delight to any age:)
  • Barnyard Babies-This stamp set is aimed at kids, but the whimsical art style and fun, punny words evoke smiles for the makers as well as the recipients!  I love this stamp set for 3D projects.  Check out my Easter treat video here using this stamp set.
  • Carousel Cupcakes-Again, this stamp set is aimed at the young but is perfect for the young at heart!  The artwork is just gorgeous and is full of really lovely, retro circus images.
  • Friendly Wishes-I have used the heck out of these large phrases in lovely fonts! Here's one of my cards with Friendly Wishes.
  • Joyful Nativity-If you like sending inspirational Christmas cards, this is a must-have.  You can make elegant Christmas cards in just minutes.
  • Kinda Eclectic-The images in this stamp set are so very versatile. The sunburst is my favorite as shown here. The butterflies coordinate with the Elegant Butterfly and Bitty Butterfly punches which are on my Top 10 Dies & Punches list here!  Here's a sympathy card I made with it, too.
  • Peaceful Pines-Again, if you like to make inspirational Christmas cards, this is a great stamp set for you!  In addition, it coordinates with the Perfect Pines Dies which are on my Top 10 Dies & Punches list.  Get them both--you won't regret it!
  • Strength & Prayers-If you like making inspirational cards to share the love and care of Jesus Christ, this is a must-have and absolute bargain.  At just $13, you can't go wrong!  In addition, you can use the gorgeous dove on Easter cards.  You can purchase my Online Strength & Prayers Class this month which includes the stamp set--then you will have all you need to get started making awesome inspirational projects with Strength & Prayers!
  • Suite Sayings-Word stamp sets are a staple for any avid crafter.  The wide variety of sayings and fonts in this one are outstanding.  Check out my Easter card here that features Suite Sayings stamp set.
  • Traveler-If you are a fan of vintage style, Traveler is for you!  In addition, these are great images for masculine cards--something many of us struggle with. Here's one of my simple masculine cards with this set. The artwork in Traveler is truly beautiful.
  • Wetlands-This nature stamp set is perfect for creating lovely scenes with classic images, classic words, and classic fonts.  Again, it is great for masculine cards which are always a need.  But it is also perfect for the ladies.  I think Wetlands makes some of the prettiest sympathy cards.

All the pictures below are linked to my online store.  Remember, things are selling out already.  Order sooner vs later to avoid disappointment.   

Remarkable InkBig Blog Hop, April-Retiring In Colors

Thanks so much for joining me today on the Remarkably InkBig Blog Hop where some very talented Stampin' Up! demonstrators are inspiring you with the Retiring In Colors (2015-2017) from the Stampin' Up! Annual Catalog. You are at Candy Rattray, All the blog hop participants are listed and linked at the bottom of this post, so if you get lost--just check there. You will want to click on all the posts for maximum inspiration!

I'm already mourning the retirement of some of the 2015-2017 In Colors!  In fact, I shared about my grief over losing Delightful Dijon in a blog post here.  So in thinking about my other big loss of this round of In Colors, I decided to share a card featuring Mint Macaron.  What's not to love about its cool, calm color?!!  I love greens in general, and Mint Macaron brings a calming presence or soft accent to just about anything.

I created this handmade card to celebrate some special people on my team of Stampin' Up! demonstrators, the Southern Sweet Stampers.  Celebrating the accomplishments of those we care about is a very fun aspect of card-making.  The stamp is from Birthday Blast rubberstamp set in the Occasions Catalog.  All other items are from the main, or annual, Stampin' Up! catalog.  I took my color scheme directly from the Blooms & Bliss Designer Series Papers.  The colors are soft, sweet, and pretty.  Flowers, butterflies, and soft colors--that speaks to me of springtime prettiness!














All Stampin' Up! supplies are shown below for your convenience.  Thanks so much for stopping by.  I hope I helped you love Mint Macaron even more than before!  Now hop on over to the next blog on the Remarkable InkBig Blog Hop for more inspiration using Retiring In Colors (2016-2018).  You are leaving Candy Rattray,



Balloon Adventures Scrapbook Pages

Today I'm sharing the 12 x 12 scrapbook pages we made in my scrapbook club in San Antonio in February.  My stamp club in San Antonio has 2 "tracks".  You can choose to card-making or scrapbooking.  I love options!  For my scrapbook club peeps, we mix it up between traditional 12 x 12 scrapbook pages, like those shown here, and pocket style (aka Project Life by Stampin' Up) pages or my favorite--a mixing of both.

For this 12 x 12 two-page layout I used the Party Animal suite of products from Stampin' Up! Occasions Catalog.  Product suites provide perfect product coordination and make scrapbook pages come together with a cohesive look in just minutes with minimal effort.  I'm a quick and easy crafty girl, so Stampin' Up! product suites are a great fit for me!

Party Animal suite has versatile colors and images I can use for boys, girls, men, and women.  the colors are bright and cheery, working for anyone of any age.  The images of balloons and streamers and gifts are universal for celebrations.  So whether I'm celebrating an accomplishment or a birthday, Party Animal suite is perfect.  

One more thing I would like to point out to you before I sign off today is that the Balloon Bouquet Punch (main aka annual Stampin' Up! catalog) perfect fits and coordinates with the Balloon Pop-Up Thinlit Dies.  Talk about options!  This increases your balloon-making options exponentially!  And all without taking all your breath away and making you feel light-headed (that's what always happens when I blow up balloons!).  

Check out all the details of my scrapbook club in San Antonio here.   With 3 different times to meet each month, there are options to fit your schedule.  We would love for you to join us!  We are a friendly and happy bunch:)  See all the Stampin' Up! products used in my scrapbook pages below.  Thanks so much for stopping by.  

Stampin' Up! Easter Treat Bag Free Video Tutorial

I'm super excited about my foray into the world of You Tube.  I'm having fun!  Now, I must warn you that my you tube videos are raw footage aka unedited.  If I had to edit and add flash music and such, it would never get done for this very non-techy girl!  My new mantra is, "Done is better than perfect!" That is how I came to share with you today my Stampin' Up! Easter treat bag free video tutorial.

This was the 3D project for my stamp club in San Antonio (click to check out the details of my stamp club!) this month.  We always make 2 cards or 2 scrapbook pages (members choose which one they want) plus a 3D item at my stamp club.  I really love this little Stampin' Up! Easter treat bag because it takes minimal supplies and holds one mini Easter treat.  That is easy on my time, easy on my supplies, and easy on my wallet when purchasing Easter candy.  Win, win, and win!

Once again, I used a favorite color combo:  Rich Razzleberry and Sweet Sugarplum (one of the 2017-2018 In Colors).  I used the Playful Palette DSP stack in my original and switched out to the Blooms & Bliss DSP for the one I shared here on my free video tutorial.  I hope you enjoy it and make a bunch of Easter treats for the peeps in your life (no pun intended:)

All the Stampin' Up! supplies are listed and linked below for your convenience.  And please subscribe to my you tube channel as I'll be sharing 1-2 per week as I press on with you tube!  


Stampin' Up! Easter Card with Falling In Love Designer Series Paper

I am seriously in love with Falling In Love Designer Series Paper from the Stampin' Up! Occasions Catalog!  In most sets of designer series papers, I have a clear favorite piece or two that I hoard and use every single inch.  With Falling In Love DSP, every single sheet is a favorite.  So many creative possibilities with these gorgeous papers in soft, trendy colors!

For today's free tutorial share, I teamed up Falling In Love Designer Series Paper with Kinda Eclectic rubberstamp set and Suite Sayings rubberstamp set, both from the main Stampin' Up! catalog.  I absolutely love the versatility of Kinda Eclectic--the sun is a favorite image of mine.  You can see another handmade card using the sun from Kinda Eclectic here and here.  

The color scheme in this card is what really makes it.  Blushing Bride and Copper Foil plus Copper Embossing Powder are a perfect trio.  The copper picks up the warmth of Blushing Bride.  I don't normally stamp a sun image with Blushing Bride Ink.  But here I did, and combined with a bit of Peekaboo Peach it creates a soft and lovely sunrise.  That is perfect imagery for Easter!

The other little feature I'd like to share is the Copper Foil Paper underneath the Very Vanilla Lace Trip.  I actually ran it through the Big Shot with the Falling Petals Embossing Folder.  I made sure I put my strip of Copper Foil paper at the bottom of the embossing folder--where there are lots and lots of petals/hearts.  By doing that, it creates a lovely effect when the light hits the Copper Foil Paper peeking out from underneath the lace trim.  It's soft and pretty which is the look I was going for in this Stampin' Up! Easter card.

The complete free tutorial is available here.  Just click!  All the products used in this project are listed and linked below.  Click on any photo to see more and/or order.  Thanks so much for stopping by!

Stampin' Up! Watercolor Pencils-Create Custom Colors

I featured a card earlier in the week in which I created Emerald Envy, one of the 2016-2018 In Colors, using Stampin' Up! Watercolor Pencils.  The only green in the Watercolor Pencils is Old Olive.  So how did I do that?  Here's a short video to show you my special (but oh-so-easy) technique to create custom colors with your Stampin' Up! Watercolor Pencils.


dragonflydreamsstampinupoccasionscatalogwatercolortechniquecandyrattrayI've listed and linked all the supplies below for your convenience.  The Dragonfly Dreams stamp set, Emerald Envy Ribbon, and Watercolor Pencils are all from the Stampin' Up! Occasions Catalog, and the fabulous Inside the Lines Designer Series Paper is a FREE Sale-a-Bration item available only through March 31st, or while supplies last.  Hurry and get yours before it's too late!  Shop Now!!!  Click here to email me if you need a hard copy of the Occasions Catalog


RemARKable Blog Hop, Sale-a-Bration: One Last Temptation!

Blog Hop-MarchWelcome to the RemARKable Blog Hop where a number of us Stampin' Up! Demonstrators are sharing creative inspiration for you to dive into One Last Temptation of Sale-a-Bration!  You are at Candy Rattray aka Sweet Stamper's blog. There are awesome demonstrators on this hop.  Check out the full list below in case you get lost along the way. 

For today's share, I actually used 3 different Sale-a-Bration items in this handmade card:  the Carried Away Designer Series Paper, Metallic Ribbon, and Reverse Words rubberstamp set.  If it's one last temptation you need, I'm giving you 3 awesome products to choose from! 

My handmade card uses Reverse Words rubberstamp set, one of the 2nd Release 2017 Sale-a-Bration items.  It is a versatile stamp set.  I like that it's just 2 big words.  Each of those words, Cheers and Hooray, can stretch to many occasions.  Inside this card, I stamped a Happy Birthday greeting.  You could easily change that to Congrats or Happy Anniversary, etc.

This is super quick and easy to make.  Lots of simple layers makes it look like premium pretty!  I stamped the Hooray with Delightful Dijon, one of the 2015-2017 In Colors.  It will be retiring in May.  Boo!  I love that yellow!  It's not just for fall--at all!  Pair it with So Saffron, like I did here, for a soft, feminine look.

Remember we are in the final days of 2017 Sale-a-Bration. That means that free, exclusive Sale-a-Bration items are only available through March 31 (one for every $50 you spend, no limits on free items). Have no regrets. Get yours now!  All items used in today's handmade card share are listed and linked below for your convenience.   Shop Now! 

Thanks so much for hopping in!  Now, head over to the other blogs on the RemARKable Blog Hop, Sale-a-Bration:  One Last Temptation where you will be treated to even more creative inspiration!

Janet Wakeland

Narelle Fasulo

Katrina Wolfe

Thailand Achievers Blog Hop-March, Sale-a-Bration

Thailand Blog Hop
Welcome to the Thailand Achievers Blog Hop for March where Stampin' Up! demonstrators from all over the world are showcasing 2017 Sale-a-Bration products.  You may just be starting the blog hop here at my blog – (Candy Rattray) or may h dragonflydreams2017saleabrationinsidethelinesdspstampinupcandyrattrayave come from the person previous to me in the list. If you get off track at any time, the full lineup below will help you move along from blog to blog so you see all the projects. At the moment you are visiting Candy Rattray,

We are showcasing Sale-a-Bration products one last time.  2017 SAB ends March 31, and it's been a grand promotion this year!  One of my favorite products is Inside the Lines Designer Series Paper.  Talk about versatile!  I love how you can chose to add color...or not.  Choose a small pattern...or a large one.  Every choice you make will bring a slightly different result; but all your results will be lovely!  You can see some other cards I made here and here using Inside the Lines DSP.

I created this card and used it for a couple of my events this month because I love it so much and it's so much fun to make!  I stamped the dragonfly with Emerald Envy ink and then stamped the inside of the wings with a second stamp using Pool Party to give a fairly realistic dragonfly look.  The wings are finished off with Wink of Stella for a bit of subtle shine, and I colored a single rhinestone with a green Sharpie marker.

I used the FABULOUS new Watercolor Pencils with Blender Pens, and oh my.  They are fun to use!  Now there are only 13 colors, but have not fear.  You can blend them for ultimate customization to create your own custom colors with Stampin' Up! watercolor pencils.  How fun is that??!!!  I chose to color in just the larger leaves, a few small ones, and some of the larger flowers.  My color scheme uses Emerald Envy, and the only green Watercolor Pencil is Old Olive--way too yellow for my crisp, clear Emerald Envy.  So I simply used Old Olive, Bermuda Bay, and a touch of Pacific Point to achieve a bluish green and am so happy with the results.  In addition to getting a good color, I like the variation in the green--which I think looks more realistic.  

Here's a quick video I did to show you my technique to create custom colors with the Stampin' Up! Watercolor Pencils.


My super quick and easy card is made special with Dragonfly Dreams, a really gorgeous stamp set, and just a bit of coloring.  All Stampin' Up! supplies are listed and linked below for your convenience.  

Thanks for hopping along on our Thailand Achievers blog hop for March. There are so many amazing ideas and inspiration you don’t want to miss, and they will help you figure out which remaining Sale-a-Bration items you want to scoop up before they are all gone forever on March 31st! Remember that currently you are at my blog  Candy Rattray,, so check the blog hop line up list to see who is next in the list.


Stampin' Up! Exclusive Host Stamp Sets

Stampin' Up! offers exclusive host stamp sets every year.  They are always wonderful designs in addition to being phenomenal value.  I have listed and linked all of the current host stamp sets below for your convenience.  

timeofyearstampinuphoststampsetincolorscandyrattrayAt $9-$18, they are incredible value (the market value is $15-$30).  So what's the catch?  Can anyone purchase them?  The answer is no.  They are special stamp sets for special people:)  But anyone can qualify!  Simply place an order of $150 or more and you will qualify for access to host stamp sets.  That can be your order alone, or you can gather orders from a few friends.  (email me if you need help)

You must use host dollars aka host rewards to purchase these special stamp sets.  And you get free shipping on them, too!  So that is additional value Stampin' Up! adds to make them an even better deal:)

Here is a simple card I made with Time of Year host stamp set.  This is my personal favorite of all the host stamp sets this year.  It actually coordinates with Bunch of Banners Framelit Dies.  But for today's sample, I just used the stamps. 

Once again, I used my favorite color combo of Sweet Sugarplum (2016-2018 In Color) and Rich Razzleberry.  Add a splash of black and a blank canvas of Very Vanilla and you have a simple, classic handmade card.  Since I didn't list and link the card supplies below in lieu of sharing all the host stamp sets with you, here are the supplies:

  • Time of Year host stamp set
  • Rich Razzleberry and Sweet Sugarplum ink pads
  • Sweet Sugarplum, Very Vanilla, Basic Black Card Stocks
  • Playful Palette DSP
  • Sweet Sugarplum Ruched Ribbon
  • Metallic Enamel Shapes

Thanks so much for stopping by today.  Click here to shop now, and get some host stamp sets. Shop Now!



Crafting Retreat in Texas-Day Pass

craftingretreatintexasstampinupcandyrattrayI'm so excited to offer a few day passes for my upcoming Crafting Retreat in Texas!  If a crafting retreat is in your dreams but you can't swing a full weekend away or your budget won't stretch that far, this is perfect for you!

Join us for a full day of crafty fun to rejuvenate your spirit, lift you up, and give you the break you deserve and long for.  You won't want to leave...but when you do, you will have a spring in your step, a bag full of new Stampin' Up! products and COMPLETED projects on your arm, and a smile on your face as big as Texas!

Day Pass Ticket includes:

  • 3 chef-prepared meals
  • Stampin' Up! products swag bag
  • free class
  • your own large table space to spread out and work
  • time to do what you want:  scrapbooking, card-making, journaling, reading, knitting, etc. in a distraction-free, positive environment
  • beautiful grounds in Wimberley, TX (just far enough from home to get away but close enough to get there quickly:)
  • 2 retreat hostesses, Stampin' Up! demonstrators Candy Rattray and Melissa Thomas, to spoil you and help you
  • access to all games and challenges plus gifts for the day that our full weekend retreat ladies get to enjoy
  • 2 optional add-on classes

We only have a few of these day passes, and registration closes on April 8th or when we sell out.  So don't delay.  Just do it!

Complete information and registration are here.  Just click!