Behind the Scenes at Clear and Simple Stamps


Hi everyone! I wanted to share with you a recent "Behind the Scenes" interview I did with Nicki, co-owner of Clear and Simple Stamps. This interview was featured on the CSS blog and now I am so excited (and a bit humble) to share it with you on my blog.

Before I get started on the "Behind the Scenes" interview, I wanted to say that Nicki is just the sweetest person. Both she and Rennee really put a lot of care into their product, provide amazing customer service (typically, my orders arrive in less than one week from the Atlantic coast to the Pacific coast - that's record time). Each shipment comes packaged beautifully, with little notes inside the box! I love this attention to detail!

And I had no idea how much of a team it takes to create the designs and products available in the shop! It's definitely a lot of work that I now appreciate even more! And now...on to the interview.

Behind the Scenes: The Interview
CSS: Hi Kim. Glad you could join us this morning. Hopefully it’s not too early where you are?
DURAN: Hi. No it’s not too early at all. Happy to talk with you today.
CSS: We absolutely love the project you are sharing today but we’ll get to that in a few. Tell us a little bit about Kim.
DURAN: Ahh thanks! Well, I’m a mom and I have two kids, work full time  – it’s a typical busy life. {laughs}
CSS: Two kids?
DURAN: Yes, a boy and a girl. They are usually right with me when I am crafting whether they are playing with toys or doing homework.
CSS: That’s great.  It’s always good when you can have the kiddos involved.
DURAN: Well that’s really how I got started.  I loved to create mini albums for gifts to give to family, you know the grandparents. And I really liked the tools I was using for the mini albums, like die cuts, and it grew into a love for stamping. Eventually I starting sharing my projects through blogging.
CSS: Ooh, so we’ll maybe see some CSS mini albums from you in the future. {laughs}  Blogging is an integral part to stamping, and you have a great blog.  Any tips or suggestions you have for beginner bloggers?
DURAN: Well, for me I like lots of photos.  You will see that I share images of the different angles so you can see all of the layers.
CSS: Speaking of layers, you have a fantastic style of stamping. What style of stamper would you say you are?
DURAN: Hmmm…that’s a tough one.  I would say eclectic. I like to take an idea and totally rework it into something different. It’s fun for me to look at a stamp set and create with it in a way that is not so obvious.
CSS: We would have to agree, you are masterful at that skill of creating out-of-the-box. Your project today is a great example of that. Walk us through your design process. How do you start with simple papers and stamps and create such a beautiful project?
DURAN: For me its all about color.
CSS: Do you have a favorite color?
DURAN: Oh gosh no favorite. I am inspired by the person I am creating for, the project I’m working on, or usually the seasons. Like right now I am really into yellows and browns for the fall.
CSS: So for today’s card color was the driver?
DURAN: Yes, I wanted to create a Christmas card.  I picked my papers first based off of color, and then coordinating patterns.  I’ll then select embellishments that are also in the same matching colors. And then I select the stamps.
CSS: So colors, papers, embellies, stamps….got it!
DURAN: {laughs} And sometimes if I get stuck I will ask my daughter what she thinks and she will help me with my projects.
CSS: Ahh that is awesome. Well with Christmas on its way, and this fun card you have today.  Are there any holiday traditions you have in the Duran house?
DURAN: Just to spend as much family time as possible.  We do lots of traditional things like build gingerbread houses, bake cookies for Santa, look at Christmas lights – those kind of family things.
CSS: What about cards? Do you send out Christmas cards?
DURAN: Yes, I actually make each one different depending on who I am sending it to.  I like to make them personal.
CSS: Wow Kim.
DURAN: I know, that’s why I have to start like now to get them all done {laughs}
CSS: We can’t tell you how fun this has been.  Thank you for joining us and sharing a little about yourself.  We know you have a great project for us today.  We’ll let you take it from here…
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Project Commentary: 
Die cuts are one of my "go-to" tools, and I am so excited that Clear and Simple Stamps is adding more die cuts that coordinate with their stamp sets. What I like the most about Trendy Tags is that you truly get several frame options for both size dies, and sentiments for use with any occasion. This makes it so versatile. And the matching Taglines set is also fun and it too can be used all year long.

For today's card, I focused on creating a Christmas card. I made a banner from the mini tag die cuts, and stamped each with a letter to spell out "joy". You have several options with the tags, which I love - it keeps the ability to be creative wide open. You can add chipboard letters, stickers, even jewels, but I chose to use stamps of course.

My papers were chosen based off of traditional holiday colors and I added jingle bells for my seasonal embellishment. I had lots of fun creating this project for you today. I hope it inspires you to use your CSS stamps and die cuts in a creative new way.  - Kim     
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Behind the Scenes: Joyful Greetings
  1. Make a card using Kraft Like a Rockstar Cream (measures 5 1/2″ x 4 1/4″)
  2. Trim green designer paper 4 1/4″ x 4 3/4″. Use scalloped scissors to trim the edges. Adhere to card.
  3. Trim red designer paper 4 1/4″ x 3 1/2″. Adhere in the center of green designer paper.
  4. Trim white paper doily in half. Adhere to top of red designer paper.
  5. Die cut 3 tags using Kraft Like a Rockstar Cream cardstock. Stamp tag with Dare to be a Diva Red ink. Stamp letters in Dish All the Dirt Brown ink. Thread red baker’s twine through tags. Set aside.
  6. Tie red seam binding ribbon around top of white paper doily.
  7. Gather tags and tie baker’s twine around red seam binding and embellishing with silver bells. Affix tags to card with dimensional foam tape.
  8. Stamp sentiment onto card stock in Dish All the Dirt Brown ink. Stamp stars in Dare to be a Diva Red ink. Trim and affix to bottom of red designer paper with dimensional foam tape.
  9. Lightly ink edges of card with Dish All the Dirt Brown ink.
Card uses Trendy Tags + Taglines + Alpha Block II (retired) – designed by: Kim Duran

(Thanks, Nicki! I had a blast!)

1 comment:

  1. What a fun little interview, Kim! Very, very cool! And I LOVE the card! Such a great mix of colors and papers and I adore the banner. :)