Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Inspiration Week: Day 2

Today's inspiration focus is on stamps. With all the wonderful stamp companies out there, we are so fortunate to have about a gazillion stamps to choose from. This is both a blessing and a curse. Sometimes it's just hard to narrow down the choices...or keep our purchases reasonable because of all the deliciousness out there.

After studying the SU catalog closely, I decided to buy the new butterfly set that is basically an add-on to Flight of the Butterfly. I have and love the first set, but the text, houndstooth, and flourishy butterflies called to me. Plus, I wanted the coordinating punch. As soon as my goodies arrived, I dove right in to see what I could do with them.

In this case, I let the inspiration come from the flourishy butterfly itself. It's so pretty and soft and curvy, and I wanted to showcase it for max impact. As you'll see later, it makes a delightful one-layer card, but here, I wanted to create a bit of a frame for it to spill over. I also wanted to use that GAWGEOUS sentiment, which reminds me of the sentiments in Happy Harmony, one of my fave SU sets ever.

The matte frame helps the sentiment and butterfly relate to each other visually, and the crisp lines and high contrast of the colored mattes contrast nicely with the curves of the butterfly and sentiment. Remember, lines love curves, and curves love lines. I did briefly flirt with the idea of using the ticket punch on the corners but restrained myself. I'm so glad I did.


The brown pearls on the butterfly echo the brown of the sentiment, too, adding a bit more unity to card.


When you get a pretty stamp, ask yourself, "What is the LEAST I can do to make this stamp shine?" Often, it's really not very much at all.

Today's Give-Away: Another stamp set from Mark's Finest Papers, loaded with stamps to inspire! Just like yesterday's, this give-away is open to everyone. The deadline for entering all of the Inspiration Week Drawings will be Saturday, September 25, at noon Eastern time. The winners for all the give-aways will be announced on Sunday.

Today's Question: What stamps inspire you the most? Is it a particular theme (nature, vintage, cutesy, Christmas), image (frogs, leaves, kids without mouths, backgrounds), or brand?

103 comments:

  1. Beautiful cards :) Love the butterflies :)

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  2. It is a stunning card. I'm drawn most to nature stamps, and probably ones like this with a flourish or something that makes them stand out from the crowd.

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  3. Oh, its a difficult questiion, I think the image. Its the stamp which must give me an idea when I take a look at it.

    Greetings from germany
    Beate

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  4. What a beautiful classy pair of cards, especially the red one :o)
    Jackie xx

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  5. Beautiful cards..I'm partial to butterflies, however something cutesy will always draw my eye!

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  6. These are just lovely. It's amazing how different it looks, simply by changing the colours. As for inspiration - for me it depends on circumstances. Sometimes it's the stamp, and sometimes the occasion.

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  7. Beautiful cards Susan......I looked really hard at this set when our new Catalogue came out.......wished I'd bought it now!
    I'm a bit all over the place at the moment I love backgrounds and sets that I can play around with ....seldom buy just an idividual stamp.

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  8. I love flowers, leaves, and trees and also flourishes/swirls. I have to stop myself from buying those things over and over.

    The bit of bling on your cards is perfect!

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  9. Some stamps have me spilling with ideas when I see them. Those are the ones I buy. Some are really cute and I'd love to have them, but if I only have one or two ideas for it I don't think it's worth the money. I don't think one particular style does call to me, just the functionality of it. :)

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  10. Hero Arts does it for me, every time. So many of their images are inspired by nature, which in turn inspires me. Heaven!

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  11. Great cards, as ALWAYS! I am probably most inspired by flowers, but it really just depends on my mood. Oh yeah - Christmas stamps always inspire me, too!

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  12. Gorgeous card...I find that vines (leafy vines) and flourishes inspire me the most! I am not a cutesy stamp girl....have very few of those...and if I have them, normally give them away!

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  13. I love flourishes, flowers and butterflies!

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  14. Your cards are beautiful- simplicity at its finest. I prefer stamps that are trees and flowers mostly, although I occasionally like something cutesy!

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  15. I love your simple and inspiring designs.
    I basically love oriental/Asian stamps.
    I think I may own every bamboo styled stamp out there. Thank you sistah for a chance to win. :o)

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  16. Leaves and flourishes - can't have too many of them and can't use them too often.

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  17. I tend to lean toward butterflies and flowers! your cards are beautiful.

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  18. These are lovely, that butterfly is a real cutie, we seem to get designs a little later in the UK... I haven't seen these before.
    I love SU for the quality, efficiency and design.
    Chrissie

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  19. I am always inspired by Christmas (other holidays, too), but I think clean design inspires me, as well as images that will be versatile. Oh, and ones that don't need much coloring -- I still don't have much patience for that! Love today's cards -- and that you used your new colors!

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  20. I would have to say image and brand. There are some companies whose images just don't appeal to me. Also, the sentiments in a set often inspire what I want or need to do.

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  21. super cute cards!.. which stamps.. umm.. i would say background stamps.. especially polka dots!.. they are wow! :)

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  22. Great cards....hands down, my garden and flowers inspire me all the time....just can't seem to get away from them. I am enjoying reading your commentaries....thanks....

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  23. I am drawn to silouettes on a multicolored brayered background. Thanks for the inspiration.

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  24. The red card really stands out. I'm usually drawn to flowers, trees and cats...definitely not into cutesy.

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  25. Beautiful cards...I think I love the red one best. I'm drawn to nature stamps...flowers, leaves, trees, etc. More than that, I try to buy stamps that I know I can use for more than one "occasion"...you know, one that works well for a birthday, an anniversary, a thinking of you, or hello type card

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  26. i really don't know, i feel like i'm still a baby stamper so i try alot of different things--i like cute kids with no mouths, i like authentic looking natural images, i like bold backgrounds...ask me again in a couple of years

    i can say that hero arts receives the majority of my stamping budget, with papertrey ink coming in second

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  27. Awesome cards! So crisp and neat.

    I would have to say floral and nature stamps inspire me the most! I love flower stamps, but they don't make good masculine cards, LOL.

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  28. I like flowers and flourishes; overall I like any image that I don't have to color. Your butterfly cards are so very nice.

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  29. This butterfly stamp set and the matching punch are new purchases for me, too. I love how easy it is to create with them. How fun to find that you've created these beautiful cards to inspire me!

    The images that inspire me the most are floral or nature images.

    Rita

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  30. BEAUtiful cards, Susan! And you are so right about that sentiment. It's not gushy, but is just a beautiful thing to say. I agree with you on Happy Harmony, one of my all-time favorites too, and I just might have to get this set just for that lovely saying if nothing else! More than anything else, the stamps that inspire me are flowers. I love to stamp them plain, or color them with pencils, or use markers, pair them with sayings, etc. My current love are the poppy stamps from Hero Arts --- I LOVE blending the markers to color them!

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  31. Beautiful cards. I am most inspired by floral stamps that remind me of my garden and any Teddy Bear stamps. The first stamps I began to buy were PSX flowers.

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  32. I have 5 loves right now stamp wise.

    Kawaii--which means cute, from Japan...think Popsicles with faces

    Asian--especially Chinese lanterns, words/symbols, and those adorable dolls

    Retro 60's/70's--think mushrooms, owls cute deer, trees

    what I call European...anything to do with France or Italy...including of course the Eiffel Tower and anything Paris.

    For Christmas my craving is for desert scenes, palm trees and the city Bethlehem with the sojourning wise men.

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  33. What gorgeous cards! My friend has been in love with this set and punch, and I hadn't quite figured out why....now I see the light! I am inspired by images of flowers, leaves & trees, and animals (mostly dogs), as these are the stamps I seem to have a bazillion of.

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  34. As you will understand, the stamps sold by PTI speak to me! Of course it is easier to be inspired when I see the beautiful cards created by their design team .... more inspiration :-)

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  35. I love vintage or flourish-y styles the most. They make my jaw drop! But I appreciate most other kinds of styles as well.

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  36. Beautiful cards! I love the cutesy stamps, but end up purchasing more nature related stamps with beautiful flourishes--like your butterfly!

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  37. Gorgeous cards! I love that white space.

    I'm inspired by vintage and nature in stamp themes. I seem to be drawn to birds and flourish images, but do love those retro stamps too.

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  38. Gorgeous cards, love the simplicity. I seem to draw inspiration from images, especially cutesy.

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  39. Beautiful cards! I am inspired by all kinds of stamps. Sometimes it is cutesy and the card turns out cutesy; sometimes it is an elegant leaf that makes want to make a classy & elegant card; and so on... I am admittedly drawn to nature stamps and butterflies, but any stamp will do as long as I dont have to color it =)

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  40. Love those cards! Especially the red one.

    Stamps that inspire me most would have to be nature stamps. I tend to reach for flower, leaf, or tree images the most. It's so easy to create a card for any occasion with them. This is particularly true in Fall when I really go crazy wanting to make cards.

    Christmas is second biggest inspiration and I can pretty much get inspired by any type image. Cutesy, vintage, modern, classic....you name it.

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  41. Love both your butterfly cards-so pretty.

    I like nature, florals, silhouettes and collage stamps, especially if they can be used for more than one occasion.

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  42. Ohhh these are just EXQUISITE! Love the colors you chose. :)

    I'm a big nature lover so anything involving nature grabs me! I also love great sentiments. Whether they are sincere, or offer a lil pun, I love choosing images to match them!

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  43. I am terribly inspired by fabulous sentiments, especially those that are hand drawn by a calligrapher or influenced by antique lettering styles. Wordsworth and Inkadinkado are two companies that create sentiments I could build hundreds of cards around.

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  44. I'm probably inspired most by Stampin' Up stamp sets...'cause that's what I have the most of. I do LOVE flowers and butterflies (nature).

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  45. Oh what beautiful butterfly cards today, which to me is surprising because you have so many shapes and sizes of butterflies, both punches and stamps. When I got the 2 Martha Stewart butterfly punches you use, I then had 3 sizes and wouldn't think to look at any other butterfly punches. Perhaps that is more a budget-limited position than anything else, however. My Want List is always growing.

    Though I am always drawn to floral stamps, I seldom buy any stamp that is not gender-neutral. Lately my passion is for Repeat Impressions stamps because the quality is unusually wonderful. EVERY stamp, EVERY time, makes a crisp image. I can't say that about any other brand of stamp I own. My collection of brands of shoddy-rubber and/or shallowly-etched stamps is waaaaaaaayyyyyyy too huge!

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  46. LOVE your butterfly cards.
    these are on my wish list, too!!

    kids without mouths!!! yessss :)
    also like things that look watercolor.y
    flowers, leaves, animals, objects with just a hint of color.

    thanks for sharing with all of us.
    we so appreciate you!
    marty ferraro

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  47. Butterflies are so wonderful. We have had a great summer full of butterflies here in KY. It has been another inspiration for me. I gravitate to nature stamps; trees, flowers, etc.

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  48. Gorgeous cards and I agree we should let those beautiful stamps shine! I am going to try your card with a few colors. It's so well done! Personally, I am surprisingly very inspired by Christmas....my creativity seems to soar for that holiday. Also I love tree stamps and leaves....so I would say it takes a lot for me to buy non nature stamps right now. P.S. I was very tempted with your book related cards and plan to buy those for myself very soon! Loved em!

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  49. Fabulous cards! The stamps give me inspiration are mostly from nature and especially floral, but sometimes it a great sentiment.

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  50. Beautiful butterfly cards!
    I guess I am drawn to nature stamps, mostly flowers and leaves. Flourishes come in second because they are beautiful, can be used for background or main focus, and often seem to pull the whole card together.

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  51. On Q: theme is nature, mostly plants and birds. And I like stamps with a lot of details.

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  52. Love that sentiment and how you used it with the butterfly!

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  53. I like how you show that just changing the color changes the card. I'm inspired by good sentiments, especially quotes and western themed stamps. Not sure why the latter get me going but they do. I can't get enough of either.

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  54. I seem to be drawn to flower stamps and have a ton of them. I mostly like short sentiments.

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  55. your cards, as always, are stunning. with stamps it depends... sometimes the image inspires me and sometimes a quote within a set. i do love nature inspired sets though.

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  56. Flowers.....would be my pick. Cant resist a flower/leaf stamp. If I had to pick a company it would have to be PTI. I love their stamps both for the quality and for their designs. My PTI wish list is never-ending.

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  57. Images inspire me - the brand doesn't matter if the image grabs me. I'm drawn most of all to flowers and to Christmas (and within Christmas, to stars, snowflakes, and holly). I run a mile from anything cutesy. Isn't the world a wonderful place that we all have different tastes!

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  58. For me it is the nature stamps, since they open up so many possibilities with color (though my little robots are a close second as they are insanely cute). I feel weird making a pink lion, but somehow I love the idea of pink leaves and black flowers.

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  59. I loves trees and leaves stamps of any kind. Nature is the best inspiration.

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  60. right now, my favorite stamps are anything that has a flourish, i love them all! and anything related to france; paris, eiffel tower, french script, i seem to be using them on everything lately, even labels for my tupperware! what do you suppose that means? lol!

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  61. I am very fond of the Papertrey Ink stamps. I really like Nature and Christmas stamps Sandy Fullmer

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  62. I really like PTI and CTMH stamps as they are qualiy acrylics, but I find I am most inspired by flourishy type stamps i.e. SU!'s Elements of Style and Baroque Motifs.

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  63. I would say I get most inspiration from flowers and basic shapes. I have always had a CAS style so nothing to fussy appeals to me. PTI stamps seem to be what I use, probably because their stamps can be used so easily in a CAS card.

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  64. Beautiful cards! What inspires me? Wow, that is a good question. It seems simple at first, but when you start thinking about it, it's very hard to pin point. There is endless things to inspire. I think, since you've asked me to pick, for me it's colors.

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  65. Beautiful cards, Susan!

    This is a tough question for me to answer. I guess it depends on my mood. Sometimes I want a bold image so I don't have to color, but then sometimes I want to color. I am drawn to certain companies and designers, but I have a very broad range of stamp styles in my collection. I didn't answer the question very well, did I? ;)

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  66. I think I gravitate to stamps with nature themes. I also like CAS, and for that I go to PTI. I absolutely love their stamps and matching dies. Their paper is wonderful, too.

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  67. Your cards are beautiful as always!!

    As for the stamps, I am mostly drawn towards nature and floral ones. In-fact I sometimes find it difficult to make a card with flowers on it :D.

    And for brands like Hero Arts, Flourishes, Mark's Finest Paper...I go crazy without any reason too :D

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  68. Wonderful cards today, Susan! Great inspiration.

    My style seems to evolve, and lately I'm drawn to CAS designs. I enjoy coloring and have seldom met a flower stamp I didn't love. Nature inspires me.

    Hugs,
    Colleen

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  69. That is a bit of tough question for me. I do NOT tend towards floral, I know that. I guess I am most moved by nature; trees and butterflies, that sort of thing. I also get quite inspired by PTI, even though I have exactly ONE of their stamp sets.

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  70. Love your cards today, especially the red one.

    I tend to be most inspired by nature Christmas stamps. My all time default stamp set is SU's Snowflakes followed by Peaceful Wishes.

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  71. I am a SU! addict... They should have a SUA (Stampin' Up! Annonymous) lol... My favorite set ever is actually the same as yours... Happy Harmony. I love, love, love the sentiments in the set. I like to choose my sentiment and build the card around it, because sentiments are the whole purpose in sending the card to someone in the first place! :)

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  72. Lately I find my inspiration from three stamp companies, SU, PTI and Amuse. I love sentiment stamps and feel that one cannot have too many of them and if they come in a set with images, then it is even better. So glad I caved and now own the same butterfly sets/punch highlighted in your beautiful cards!

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  73. Wow! I love stamping and I definitely like to color images in. But I've moved away from that somewhat and like more "simple" stamping.

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  74. Both of these cards are clean, elegant and beautiful. And aren't butterflies fun to play with? My go-to stamps are butterflies, cats and music. (I've never made a card combining all three. Hmmmm...) :P And of course buying something NEW is always inspiring!

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  75. What inspires me? Definitely style, I see CAS cards and they make me smile and grin and get all giddy.

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  76. HI, this is the first time I arrived on your blog and I must say, I do like your CAS cards a lot. For myself I am a tree-addict (tree-stamps, ofcourse) and mostly inspired by mother nature and by the splitcoast galery.

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  77. thats a easy one today, FLOWERS I have so many that havent even been inked up. That is my goal this year ink them all up and make more then one card with them. I also like things that are related to the ocean, lighthouse's, boats, fish etc.

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  78. Hello Susan! The stamps that inspire me the most (or that I at least own the most of) are Christmas-themed. I just LOVE Christmas! :)

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  79. I think what inspires me the most are summer related stamps--anything to do with the beach--I LOVE it!

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  80. I am most inspired by background, design stamps. They can be combined in so many unique ways, really stretching the boundaries of a particular set!

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  81. I adore Papertrey & Hero Arts stamps, especially the cutesy ones.

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  82. I really like these with the narrow mat to coordinate with the butterfly image.

    I'm usually inspired by whatever I have most recently purchased regardless of the brand, image or style. If I buy it, I want to use it right away.

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  83. I'm always inspired by nature stamps, especially trees. I love their beauty and simplicity when stamped!

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  84. Hello Susan , hope that today finds you much improved from your nasty cold!
    Your designs today are beautiful as ever, I love the way you've used the mattes to enhance the colour of the butterflies.
    The stamps that inspire me the most are probably border or backgrounds but that's only if I have a good focal image, so I have to say that it's probably stamps that enhance my collection, yes, if I'm honest my newest stamps inspire me the most and if they 'go' with something in my collection (usually the reason for their purchase), I'm over the moon :0) xx

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  85. I am drawn most to nature type stamps. I love God's wonderful creations.

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  86. I like nature stamps a lot - flowers, butterflies, shells and water.

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  87. I am drawn to cutesy, quirky type stamps...... I always love the holiday stamps too!

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  88. Sentiment stamps are my favorite. Especially ones with beautiful fonts.

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  89. Love your cards! Nature stamps are my favorite. I have a ridiculous number of bird and butterfly stamps.

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  90. Oh, I am totally inspired by stamps of leaves and trees. Show me a beautiful tree or leaf stamp and I'm a goner. And so is my money...!

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  91. I love so many different stamps! But I guess I would have to say that Holiday is what inspires me the most, cutesie runs in second,nature third and masculine brings up the rear. LOL I like to decorate for the holidays and seasons and I love to make calendars and cards as gifts for my friends and family and I will buy stamps based on that first and foremost and everything else evolves. I do love SU and that is my one fling a month, going to card class and making the girls a fun die cut and stamped treat full of candy, love Penny Black and HouseMouse, Inkadinkado and Saltbox Studio and Amuse rocks!

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  92. Love both cards! Am thinking I just might NEED to have that stamp set and punch lol! To determine what stamps inspire me most one just has to look at my shelves...I have 13 of the large stamping up clamshells full of flowers! No other category comes even close...well, except may be Christmas ;-)
    Lu C

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  93. Both inspires me, images and brands. For me, SU and Hero Arts are always a good choice, the images in their sets fits easily together and so many ideas came in mind.

    Also I really love flourishes - they are perfect for clean and simple cards.

    Since a few weeks when I came cross your blog I like PTI too but they aren't available in any stamp shop here. It's a pity to live overseas ;-)

    BTW I love your blue butterfly card! Hope the su stamp will be available in the new german catalogue too ( only two weeks left!)

    Sandra

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  94. Nature stamps inspire me most, especially silhouette ones.

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  95. I missed this yesterday, but thought I would post anyway. I love Christmas and butterflies and flowers. I tend to use both flowers and butterflies on most of my girl cards.

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  96. Like most people, it seems, I love nature stamps with flowers, leaves, and trees. Also birds.

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  97. You give such great inspiration with your cards. I find beautiful sentiment stamps give me the most inspiration. I'm also soppy over baby images.

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  98. I love holiday designs, especially Halloween and Christmas!
    DeniseB

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  99. I am drawn to nature stamps, especially flowers and leaves. I'm afraid to count how many I own. It's definitely the biggest category on my shelves.

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  100. A particular brand for me- Papertrey Ink all the way! I trend to prefer the versatile and more unusual stamps.

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  101. lovely! I was wondering abt the butterfly punch.
    I love stamps I can get in India .. tee hee :p
    Cheers to u from India.

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  102. I would say flowers and critters inspire me the most :)

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  103. Love the card. I am usually inspired by flower stamps and my 'stash' shows that I have no restraint in purchasing these inspirations. :<)

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Thank you so much for taking time to comment!