Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Ghost cookies

I can't believe it's been ten days since I wrote a blog post. Uff da. I've had good intentions, but unfortunately not a lot of time. And even less crafting mojo. But I had a wonderful craft weekend with a friend last weekend and got a start on some Christmas ornaments I'll be giving as gifts. I'm not sure if I'm going to share photos of them now or wait until closer to Christmas (so the future recipients don't get a sneak peak), but I'm hoping that those crafting juices keep flowing and I can get on a card-making roll. (Yesterday I wrote out seven birthday cards for various friends and family members, and now I really need to replenish my stash of birthday cards.)

But today I'm going to share a couple of pictures of a fun and easy Halloween treat I made for some of my coworkers.

Aren't they cute? I first saw these cookies at a local candy store -- and then of course on Pinterest -- and thought they looked easy enough to make myself (I don't have much patience for involved baking or cooking). And they were pretty easy. I dipped Nutter Butter cookies in melted white chocolate chips and added mini chocolate chips for the ghosts' eyes and mouths. It took a few tries before I got the hang of the best way to dip the cookies and get the chocolate to spread, but by the end of the batch I had a pretty good rhythm going.

After the cookies sat for a while so the chocolate could set, I packaged them in cellophane bags. I put three cookies in each bag, folded the top of the bag down and taped it to the back, and added a Halloween tag. The tags were pre-printed, so I just personalized them a bit by stamping "Boo!", adding a few black rhinestones, stapling three pieces of coordinating ribbon at the top of the tag, and writing out the To/From.

I'm bringing these to work tomorrow, and I hope everyone likes them. Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Easy Halloween cards

I am woefully behind on my cards for the autumn season. I've only made a couple of leaf-themed cards and nothing for Halloween or Thanksgiving. To get the ball rolling, I pulled out a pack of Halloween tags I've had for a year or two and used them as focal layers on a few easy cards.

Halloween card with a tag from the Haunted Tag Pad (K&Company) as the focal image.
Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Paper: Basic Black card stock, Designer Series Paper (DSP) Patterns stack - Brights (retired)
Ink: Whisper White craft, Memento Tuxedo Black, Stardust Gelly Roll pen (Sakura)
Accessories: Haunted Tag Pad (K&Company), button (Making Memories), Basic Black baker's twine, punched spider shape (unknown), Brick Wall and Decorative Dots embossing folders, Dimensionals

I embossed the Basic Black card stock with the Brick Wall embossing folder and then lightly rubbed it with a Whisper White craft ink pad. I rubbed the strip of Pumpkin Pie DSP with Memento Tuxedo Black ink and layered it on the card base. To embellish the tag, I traced over the lines of the web with a Gelly Roll pen and used Dimensionals to adhere a punched and embossed spider in the middle. I added a button tied with baker's twine to the top of the tag and adhered it to the card base at an angle.

Halloween card with a tag from the Haunted Tag Pad (K&Company) as the focal image.
Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Paper: Tangerine Tango card stock
Ink: Crumb Cake
Accessories: Haunted Tag Pad (K&Company), Witches Brew washi tape, Neutrals Candy Dots, natural ribbon trim, mini stapler (Making Memories), Mono Multi liquid glue, Dimensionals

I wanted to use washi tape as an accent on this card, but when I started pulling the pieces off the rolls, I discovered that one of the rolls -- the narrow one with words -- had lost its stickiness. But I solved the problem by applying just a bit of Mono Multi liquid glue to the back of the tape. Then I stuck the tape to the card like usual. For additional embellishment, I stapled a piece of natural ribbon trim to the top of the tag and placed a couple of Basic Black Candy Dots in the bottom right corner of the card base.

Halloween card with a tag from the Haunted Tag Pad (K&Company) as the focal image.
Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Grateful Greetings
Paper: Basic Black card stock, DSP Patterns Stack - Brights (retired)
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Stardust Gelly Roll pen (Sakura)
Accessories: Haunted Tag Pad (K&Company), button (Making Memories), Basic Black baker's twine, stickers (September 2014 Paper Pumpkin kit), 2014 - 16 In Color washi tape, Dimensionals

I added several little touches to this tag: a stamped sentiment, bat and crow stickers, a hand-drawn border made with a Gelly Roll pen, and a button tied with baker's twine. I also "popped up" the bow tie on the cat by cutting the tie from another tag (the tag pad came with two tags of each design) and adhering it over this tag with small pieces of Dimensionals.

I layered a piece of Old Olive DSP on a Basic Black card base, added a little piece of washi tape and then adhered the tag to the card. I also used the Gelly Roll pen to draw a border around the layer of DSP to add a little more visual interest.

Halloween card with a tag from the Haunted Tag Pad (K&Company) as the focal image.
Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Trick or Treat (Lawn Fawn), Gorgeous Grunge
Paper: Tangerine Tango card stock, Neutrals DSP Stack
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Tangerine Tango
Accessories: Haunted Tag Pad (K&Company), button (Making Memories), orange baker's twine, Dimensionals

Using the same technique as the previous card, I popped up the pumpkin on this tag by cutting out the same shape from a second tag. The stamped sentiment and button tied with baker's twine finish off the tag focal point.

For the background of this card, I stamped the lines image and one of the splatter images from Gorgeous Grunge using Tangerine Tango ink. Then I added a strip of black and white DSP across the bottom half of the card and adhered the tag over it.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

A birthday outing

Yesterday was my birthday. Forty. Oof. I'm not sure how and when that happened, but there it is. Instead of trying to hide from the big 4-0, I planned a whole day of fun with friends and family.

In the morning, my sister, two friends and I all headed to the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. I'd never been there before, but I think we all had a wonderful time (I know I did). I was a little worried about the weather at first; the day started out chilly, windy and overcast, but the clouds drifted away and left us with a brilliant blue fall sky. By the afternoon, we were all shedding jackets and sweaters. Here are just a few pictures:

To celebrate fall, the arboretum had lots of pumpkins, gourds, mums and even specially designed
scarecrows on display.

Picturesque view from the tram ride we took around the arboretum grounds in the morning.

We walked around the bog, and the view was beautiful in every direction.

Looking up through a maple tree. One of my
favorite sights in the fall is brilliant golden
leaves against the clear blue sky.

We took pictures wearing fancy masks in the rose garden.

We couldn't believe how many flowers were still blooming so late in October. This was one of the dahlias in the
trial garden. There were so many different shapes and colors it was hard to believe they were all dahlias.

Japanese garden

Watching the ornamental grasses was
mesmerizing; they undulated like waves
in the breeze.

After we had our fill of sunshine, fresh air and walking, we went out for a delicious pizza dinner and then came back to our house for a little party. I also invited my parents, brother, and a few other family members over, and we all stuffed ourselves with ice cream and cake -- my sister made a three-layer German chocolate cake, and my friend Lisa made a white cake decorated with flowers.

I had a pretty darn great birthday from start to finish. Maybe 40 isn't so bad after all.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Upcycled cards: All-occasion

It took me longer than I thought it would, but as I mentioned in my last post, today I'm going to share several all-occasion cards upcycled from store-bought greeting cards and product packaging.

Store-bought cards upcycled into new cards.
Here are the two cards I started with. The floral thank-you card I've had for ages; I saved it because I knew it would be a great image to embellish and add on another card. The bright thank-you card is from last Christmas, and it provides plenty of opportunity to add some sparkle.

Upcycled card made with the front of a store-bought card.
Additional supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Sweet Little Sentiments
Paper: Whisper White, Basic Black card stock; Sheer Perfection Designer Vellum Stack
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black
Accessories: Bermuda Bay sequin trim, Lime Green Stickles (Ranger), Glue Dots, Dimensionals

I trimmed down the card front a bit and added a few Bermuda Bay sequins to each flower. (I wished this photo showed the color better.) I wanted to embellish the leaves, so I used Lime Green Stickles to trace the stems and leaves in a broken line. I mounted that layer on a piece of patterned vellum and adhered them both to a Basic Black card base. (I made sure to place the adhesive behind the focal layer so it wasn't visible through the vellum.) I stamped the sentiment on a narrow strip of Whisper White card stock, trimmed the ends into points and layered it on Basic Black. Then I used Dimensionals to adhere that piece over the pre-printed greeting.

Upcycled card made with the front of a store-bought card.
Additional supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Paper: Real Red card stock
Accessories: Lucky Stars embossing folder, Basic Black baker's twine, primary rhinestones (Me and My Big Ideas), Clear Stardust Gelly Roll pen (Sakura), Corner Chomper (We R Memory Keepers), Dimensionals

Again I trimmed down the card front, and this time I also rounded the corners. I used a glitter pen to add sparkle to the white letters (t, a, k, y and u) and placed rhinestones over the dots printed on the background. For the card base I embossed a Real Red card with the Lucky Stars embossing folder. I wrapped Basic Black bakers twine around the card front three times and used Dimensionals to adhere the focal layer over the twine.

Package from Lollia At Last hand lotion.
Over the summer I splurged and bought myself this tube of Lollia At Last lotion. It smells wonderful, and to top it off, it came in a beautiful package: a sunshine yellow box with a lacy laser-cut wrap. The wrap wasn't attached to the box -- and the piece with the product name wasn't attached to the laser-cut wrap -- so I knew it would be a great embellishment for card making.

Three clean and simple cards made with upcycled product packaging.
Additional supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Chalk It Up to Love (August 2015 Paper Pumpkin kit), All Shook Up (December 2014 Paper Pumpkin kit)
Paper: Wisteria Wonder, Blushing Bride, Mint Macaron card stock
Ink: Chocolate Chip
Accessories: Masterpiece Ribbon Originals, pearls, Mono Multi liquid glue

I carefully trimmed the box wrap into three strips along the creases, which left me with three strips (the fourth piece, from the back of the box, was solid card stock printed with info). I chose three light colors of card stock for the card bases and adhered one lacy strip to each card using small dots of liquid glue. I covered the edges of the strips with a scalloped Chocolate Chip ribbon and stamped a border and sentiment on the cards with Chocolate Chip ink. For a final embellishment, I added a few pearls inside the laser-cut pieces and around the sentiment.

Belly band made with chevron ribbon, a layered flower and a silver doily.
Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Paper: Whisper White card stock
Accessories: Smoky Slate chevron ribbon, Flower Fair Framelits and Mini Treat Bag Thinlits dies, rhinestones, metallic foil doilies, metallic silver thread, Dimensionals

Technically I don't know if I really upcycled the box, since it's still the same box,but I did make a pretty belly band for it. I started by wrapping the box with a length of Smoky Slate chevron ribbon. To make the flower, I die cut three of the same flower shape out of Whisper White card stock. I lightly spritzed them with water, crumpled them, gently opened them and let them dry. For the center of the flower, I die cut a small scallop circle from part of the left-over wrap; I love that is matches the color of the box exactly.

Belly band made with chevron ribbon, a layered flower and a silver doily.
Once the white pieces were dry, I adhered them together with Dimensionals to make a layered flower. I glued the yellow piece in the center of the flower and added a rhinestone.

I cut a silver foil doily in half and used Dimensionals to adhere each each half to the back of the flower (there was about 1/2" of space between the pieces). I attached the flower to the ribbon with Dimensionals and used a small piece of silver thread to tie a die-cut "for you" onto the doily.

I have big plans to make at least a couple of cards tomorrow, so with a little luck and inspiration I'll have a few things to post next week. Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Upcycled cards: Christmas

I apologize that this is my only blog post this week -- and that I'm getting it in just under the wire. Work has been keeping me busy of course. And yesterday our landlord had work done on several of our windows, so I had to spend time rearranging my craft space and carrying bins of stamps back and forth from the garage.

But I'm going to try to make up for my lack of posts by sharing a whole bunch of cards: upcycled Christmas cards. I often receive cards, tags and even small gift boxes that I like too much to just recycle. Instead, I stash them away with the intention of using them someday. Well, last weekend was that someday, so I pulled out those items and made them into new Christmas cards.

Here is what I started with:

Old Christmas cards and packaging ready to be turned into new cards.

And here is what I created:

Upcycled Christmas card made with the front of another card.
Additional supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Paper: Crumb Cake card stock
Accessories: Corner rounder, linen thread, Glue Dots

I love the scene and saying on this card, so I wanted to keep that the focal point. (There is also glitter on the snow, but I had a hard time capturing that in the picture.) I cut the card front down to 4" x 4", rounded the corners and adhered it to a 4-1/4" x 4-1/4" Crumb Cake card base. The great thing about that size is that it will still fit in a standard A2-size envelope. Or you can make your own square envelope. To add one extra detail I adhered a bow made with linen thread at the bottom of the wreath.

Upcycled Christmas card made with the top from a small gift box and a Santa die cut.
Additional supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Paper: 110-lb white card stock (Recollections), snowflake vellum
Accessories: Silver metallic thread, Frosted Sequins, Wink of Stella clear glitter brush pen (ZIG), Glue Dots, Dimensionals

For this card I used two different pieces: the top of an old gift box became the background, and the Santa die cut is the focal point. To soften the background a bit I added a layer of snowflake-printed vellum between the pieces. To add some sparkle, I placed loops of silver metallic thread behind the Santa, scattered a few silver sequins around the card, and painted the brim and tassel of Santa's hat with a clear glitter brush pen. The finished size of this card is 5-1/4" x 5-1/4", so I will need to create a special envelope for it.

Upcycled Christmas card made with poinsettia die cuts from another card.
Additional supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Paper: Shimmer White card stock
Accessories: Filigree Frame embossing folder, gold sequin trim, Wink of Stella gold glitter brush pen (ZIG), Dimensionals, Glue Dots

I pulled the die-cut poinsettias off the tall card and used them as the focal point on an embossed shimmer white card base. I added gold glitter in the centers of the flowers and a few sequins for simple embellishment.

Upcycled Christmas card made with a glitter background from another card.
Additional supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Grateful Greetings
Paper: Cherry Cobbler, Very Vanilla card stock
Ink: Cherry Cobbler
Accessories: Deco Labels Framelits dies, felt poinsettia and leaves (Hero Arts), Basics Glimmer Brads, metallic art pencils, Dimensionals

With the poinsettias removed from the tall card, I cut a piece of the sparkly card front to use as a background on a Cherry Cobbler card base. To cover the pre-printed greeting, I stamped a sentiment on Very Vanilla card stock and cut it out with a Deco Labels Framelits die. I traced that same-sized die on Cherry Cobbler card stock then hand cut it to make the mat. To dress up the focal layer a bit, I used a gold metallic pencil to draw a border and added a felt poinsettia with a gold brad center.

Upcycled holiday card made with a mini snowman card as the focal point.
Additional supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: The Snowflake Spot
Paper: Marina Mist, Basic Black card stock; silver glimmer paper
Ink: Marina Mist
Accessories: Frost White Shimmer Paint, sponge dauber, Dimensionals

This cute snowman needed some snowflakes, so that's what I stamped on the background of this Marina Mist card. The flakes are stamped with Marina Mist ink, and the groups of dots are stamped with Frost White Shimmer Paint. This is a gate-fold card, so instead of scoring the base in the middle (4-1/4"), it is scored 2-1/8" from each end, and then the sides are folded in. I placed a piece of silver glimmer paper down the middle to hide the seam and used Dimensionals to adhere the snowman, matted with Basic Black card stock, in the middle of the card. Note: Be sure to adhere the focal image on just one side so the card will still open.

Upcycled Christmas card made with a poinsettia tag.
Additional supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Hardwood
Paper: Watermelon Wonder, Very Vanilla card stock
Accessories: Frost White Shimmer Paint, sponge dauber, natural trim ribbon, Dimensionals

This is another 4-1/4" square card. I didn't want to detract from the beautiful colors and shimmer of the poinsettia tag, so I matted it with Watermelon Wonder card stock and attached a tab of natural trim ribbon to the upper right side. I applied Frost White Shimmer Paint to the Hardwood stamp and stamped it on the Very Vanilla card base. It's both subtle and striking -- the perfect background for this image.

Box from Trader Joe's Candy Cane Green Tea.
You can find materials to upcycle in unusual places. I received a box of Trader Joe's Candy Cane Green Tea a few years ago, and I loved the cute animal images on the package. So I saved the box and turned it into a card:

Upcycled Christmas card made with images from a box from Trader Joe's Candy Cane Green Tea.
Additional supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Christmas Story (Penny Black)
Paper: Smoky Slate card stock, Winter Bright Simply Scrappin' Kit
Ink: Smoky Slate
Accessories: Real Red 1/8" taffeta ribbon, Frosted Sequins, 3/4" circle punch, Corner Chomper (We R Memory Keepers), Crystal Effects

I cut the two main images off the box and rounded their corners. I wanted to use red as an accent color on the card, so I matted the narwhal image with a piece of snowflake-printed Real Red Designer Series Paper (DSP) from an old Simply Scrappin' Kit. I punched three 3/4" circles from the same DSP and adhered them behind the left side of the polar bear image so they overlapped, creating the look of scallops. I adhered the images on a stamped Smoky Slate card base and added a ribbon and sequins.

I had a lot of fun re-purposing old tags, cards and packaging to make cards. This is also a great project to do with kids because all you really need is paper, scissors, glue and a little creativity. I'm working on a few upcycled all-occasion cards now, and I hope I'll be able to share those in a few days. Until then, thanks for stopping by!