Saturday, December 10, 2016

Most wonderful time of the year

I did my first Christmas shopping this afternoon. I didn't have a lot of success -- partly because I'm not exactly sure what gifts I want to give -- but it felt good to at least get a start. And it was great to support some local stores and socially conscious and responsible companies (go, Penzey's Spices!). And now tonight I'm back to share another Christmas card with you.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Wonderful Year
Paper: Garden Green, Mint Macaron, Very Vanilla card stock; Christmas on Market Street 6" x 6" Designer Paper Pad (My Mind's Eye)
Ink: Basic Black, Garden Green, Mint Macaron, Poppy Parade markers
Accessories: Ovals Collection Framelits dies, Dotted Scalloped Ribbon Border punch, Christmas on Market Street enamel dots (My Mind's Eye), gold baker's twine, Dimensionals

I wanted the Wonderful Year stamp set as soon as I saw it in the Holiday Catalog. I love the different fonts, the accent lines and swirls, and most of all the large size of the image. This sentiment is the perfect size to take center stage, which is exactly what I did.

I wanted to combine this sentiment with some pretty paper, so I selected the pattern I was going to use, chose colors to coordinate, and then used markers to apply ink directly to the rubber stamp. After I stamped the image, I cut it out with an oval die.

For the background, I cut the patterned paper into strips 2" wide. (I wish I had taken this photo during the day so the flash wouldn't have washed out the patterned paper. The colors are so rich and vibrant, and the gold accents are perfect.) I punched strips of Mint Macaron card stock with the Dotted Scalloped Ribbon border punch, cut the strips in half length-wise and then glued the pieces behind the patterned paper so just a tiny bit of the scalloped edge is showing.

I adhered the strip down the middle of a Garden Green card base and then attached the stamped oval with Dimensionals. For embellishment I glued a gold baker's twine bow to the oval and added three enamel dots (one on the oval and two in the upper right corner).

This is probably my most "traditional" Chrsitmas card this year, at least in terms of color, and I'm really happy with the end result. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Peaceful banners

I finally finished making my Christmas cards this week. Whew! I was starting to get stressed about them, which makes it harder for me to come up with ideas, making me more stressed. It's a vicious cycle, I tell you. But then I realized that I had quite a few cards left over from last year, so I was set. Yay! (When I send out Christmas cards, I hand-write out a long list of recipients and next to each name I jot down which card I send them, so I don't have to worry about accidentally sending someone the same card they received last year.)

I used a couple of kits for quite a few of my Christmas cards this year, so I only created about half-a dozen new designs. I've already shared a couple of the designs (in my Same pieces, different cards and Merry Christ-moose posts), and I'll be revealing the rest in my next several blog posts. I'll start with a card featuring an elegant, but non-traditional, gold, white and gray color palette:

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Paper: Basic Gray card stock, gold foil sheets, Christmas on Market Street 6" x 6" designer Paper Pad (My Mind's Eye)
Accessories: Banners Framelits dies, Christmas Greetings Thinlits dies, pearls, gold baker's twine, Mono Multi liquid glue

(Sorry the picture isn't the greatest. It gets dark so early now that I have a hard time finding a good time to take pictures.)

I tried really hard not to buy any Christmas patterned paper this year because I already have more than I need. But I couldn't resist the Christmas on Market Street pad; the colors are gorgeous, and there is a great variety of patterns -- some "basic" patterns that are good accents and others that could easily be the focal point of a card. (And really, what's one more 6" x 6" pad of paper, right? It takes up hardly any space.)

For this card design, I used three of the gold foil patterns  from the Christmas on Market Street pad and die cut a banner from each piece. I adhered the banners along the top of a Basic Gray card base and then wrapped a piece of gold baker's twine around the card, tying it off in a bow. I die cut the word "peace" out of a gold foil sheet and adhered it to the bottom right corner of the card. Three small pearls around the word are the perfect accent.

And that's it! This design could work for any occasion by just changing the patterned paper and die-cut word (or using a stamped sentiment instead).

Now I need to start getting all these cards in the mail! Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Merry Christ-moose

Happy December! I can't believe Christmas is just a few weeks away. As usual I feel like I'll never get everything done. But I did manage to cross one task off the list today: making gift bags for our UPS, FedEx and USPS carriers. The gift bags aren't fancy, but I enjoy making them and spreading some holiday cheer. Of course I have to include a handmade card, and this year I designed a clean and simple card with a festive moose.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Jolly Friends, Winter Wishes
Paper: Crumb Cake, Close to Cocoa, Naturals Ivory, Real Red, Marina Mist card stock
Ink: Real Red, Marina Mist, Early Espresso, Smoky Slate
Accessories: Hat punch, mini jingle bells, clear Wink of Stella glitter brush pen, Dimensionals, Mono Multi liquid glue

I love this moose, and he's one of the main reasons I bought the Jolly Friends stamp set. He's even cute with this cozy hat and scarf.

There's nothing very complicated on this card; mostly just your basic stamping and a fair amount of "fussy cutting." I did use the hat punch for the red part of the heart, but everything else -- moose head, antlers, scarf and hat trim -- I cut out by hand. It really wasn't too bad since I only made six cards of this design, and  I actually like cutting things out.

To add a little embellishment to the card I painted clear Wink of Stella glitter on the trim of the hat and glued a mini jingle bell to the tip of the hat. I don't use the jingle bells on cards very often because I think they're a little too big to go through the mail. But it's a perfect addition here since these cards will be tucked into a gift bag.

Speaking of the gift bags, here's a shot of one of the finished bags. I tucked a card, a pack of flavored cocoa, three tea bags, a coffee shop gift card and three chocolates into a gusseted cellophane bag. I tied the bag closed with a piece of white sweater trim and added a piece of Real Red pompom trim in the bow for another pop of color.

It feels good to be able to cross one thing off my to-do list. Now I'm off to make my Christmas card list so I know how many more cards I still need to make ...

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Greeting cards made with Project Life cards

Back in September when we hosted a bridal shower for my cousin, I purchased the Bloom Edition Project Life kit to make a scrapbook for her. I asked the guests to bring a favorite quote or piece of advice, which they wrote on a Project Life card and then inserted in an album. (I had added a few photos and stamped/embellished cards to the album ahead of time, so at the end of the shower my cousin was able to take the album home.)

After the shower I still had oodles of Project Life cards left. Since I don't do any Project Life-style scrapbooking (at least not yet), I decided to use the cards to make greeting cards. Below are six cards that I've made so far.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Essentials Messages (Hero Arts)
Paper: Basic Black card stock
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black
Accessories: Bloom Edition Project Life kit (American Crafts), Balloon punch, sequins (unknown), clear Wink of Stella glitter brush pen, Dimensionals

For these first two cards I trimmed a 4" x 6" card to use as a background on a Basic Black card base. I punched out balloon shapes from three coordinating cards and painted one of them with clear Wink of Stella glitter

I stamped a sentiment in the banner portion of the cards, adhered the balloons to the card bases with Dimensionals and added a few sequins for embellishment.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Happiest Birthday Wishes
Paper: Raspberry Ripple card stock
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Project Life journaling pen
Accessories: Bloom Edition Project Life kit (American Crafts), metallic foil doilies, pearls, Flower Fair Framelits dies, 5/8" Neutrals brads, 1/8" Basic Black taffeta ribbon, Dimensionals

Again I used larger Project Life cards as backgrounds for these two cards. I used a smaller card as a focal panel. For the second greeting card I used a third Project Life card to die cut a coordinating flower. Here's a tip: For the pink layer on the flower, I cut the shape out of the Project Life card behind the flower. The hole is hidden, and I didn't have to cut into another card for a little shape.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Inside and Out: Birthday (PTI)
Paper: Crumb Cake card stock
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black
Accessories: Bloom Edition Project Life kit (American Crafts), Big Designer Buttons - Candy Cane, crocheted lace trim (Target), gold baker's twine, Swirly Scribbles Thinlits dies, cork stickers (Little Yellow Bicycle), Mono Multi liquid glue

For this first card, I used three Project Life cards: one for the background, one for the contrasting strip, and one for the swirly die cut. I added a large button with a bow and crochet trim.

For the second card I used a small Project Life card layered on a large one. (I got stuck in a rut with that layout; I'll have to be more creative next time I make more of these cards.) I stamped a sentiment in the lower right corner of the smaller card, and for the embellishments, I added a cork banner with a baker's twine bow and a few pearls.

Now that I've gotten a little practice using Project Life cards to make greeting cards, I think this would be a great way to make a lot of cards in a short amount of time. And I've still got a ton of Project Life cards left. I'd better get busy!

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Let patterned paper be the star

I have a short post tonight with a simple card. But a simple card doesn't have to be boring when you have pretty patterned papers to play a starring role.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Grunge Elements (Artistic Outpost)
Paper: Mint Macaron, Soft Suede card stock; The Mariposa Mat Stack (DCWV)
Ink: Soft Suede
Accessories: Very Vanilla seam binding ribbon, gold sequins (The Makery - Hazel and Ruby), sponge, Dimensionals

Last year I shared a card set I made with Mariposa Mat Stack card stock. I pulled out that stack again recently when I was looking for patterned paper to use with some Mint Macaron card bases I had left over from a Paper Pumpkin kit.

I chose a piece of card stock with good focal images and plenty of sparkle. I cut the piece in half and mounted each piece on a piece of Soft Suede card stock. I tied a Very Vanilla ribbon around the panel and added three gold sequins.

I wanted to give the card base a vintage feel to match the patterned paper, so I stamped a few textural images in Soft Suede ink and then sponged ink around the edges. That also helped tone down the mint color which didn't strictly "match" the paper. Then I adhered the panel to the middle of the card using Dimensionals.

So the next time you're struggling to create a card, choose a pretty piece of paper -- maybe even that piece you're saving for the perfect project -- and let it shine. Thanks for stopping by!