Friday, December 30, 2016

A sweet season

I wanted to make a little holiday gift for the team leaders at work, but I didn't really have a lot of time. I decided to mix up a little sweet treat that the recipients could use in a variety of ways -- jars of cinnamon sugar.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Holiday Bingo Bits, 1-3/16" wood stamper (JustRite Stampers)
Paper: Thick Whisper White, Real Red card stock
Ink: Early Espresso, Real Red
Accessories: 1-3/8" and 1-1/2" circle punches, linen thread, ribbon, hot glue gun (unknown)
Other: Spice jars, cinnamon, sugar, cinnamon stick, whole star anise

For the cinnamon sugar mixture I used 1/4 cup sugar to 1 tablespoon cinnamon, and I think each jar held about 1/2 cup.

To make the tag, I spelled out my message using a customizable circle wooden stamper, stamped the sentiment on thick Whisper White card stock and punched it out. I added a stamped candy in the center of the circle, adhered the ends of a piece of linen thread behind the circle and glued it onto a slightly larger Real Red circle.

To complete the jars I wrapped a piece of ribbon around the top of the jar, tied a knot around a cinnamon stick, slipped on the tag, and trimmed the ends of the ribbon into a V. For a finishing touch (and a nice scent) I hot glued a whole star anise onto the ribbon.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Snowman tealight ornaments

Merry Christmas! I hope you and your loved ones had a joyful celebration. And now that the holiday is passed and gifts have been exchanged, I can share the projects I made for my friends and family. I'll start with some adorable tealight snowmen ornaments:

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Paper: Thick Whisper White, Basic Black, Cherry Cobbler, Chocolate Chip, textured Real Red card stock; red, gold glimmer paper
Ink: Crumb Cake
Accessories: Circles Collection Framelits dies; Gumball Green, Cherry Cobbler sweater trim; metallic sequin black paint (Plaid); black buttons (Michaels); hear tborder punch; snowflake punch; 1-3/8" circle punch; twine; Mono Multi liquid glue; Scor-Tape (Scor-Pal); sponge
Other: Battery-operated tealight candle, wooden skewer

Cute, right? I had a bunch of battery-operated tealights that I wanted to make into ornaments, so I did a Google search and found some adorable ornaments made by Karen Day. That was my inspiration.

I used two dies from the (retired) Circles Collection Framelits for the snowman's body pieces. I sponged the edges of each piece with Crumb Cake ink and punched a 1-3/8" circle so the back of the tealight candle was accessible. (I sandwiched the ends of a piece of twine between the two circles when I glued them together.) A punched snowflake with the "branches" snipped apart provided the arms, and I hand-cut the top hats.

To make the face, I used some black acrylic paint and a wooden skewer. I squeezed a little paint onto a plastic container, dipped the flat end of the skewer in the paint and then touched it onto the candle.

I struggled to find a ribbon that I liked for the scarves -- nothing seemed to be the right size or color or texture. (And that surprised me because I have a good-sized ribbon collection.) I finally settled on the sweater trims since they look warm and cozy. But it is skinny, so I wrapped the trim around the candle twice to give it a bit of oomph.

I think they all turned out pretty adorable (I believe I made fifteen of them total), and I'm pretty sure all the recipients liked them, too. And the fun thing about snowmen is that you can leave them out all winter -- and in Minnesota that's a long time!

 Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, December 23, 2016

'Tis the season

For my last Christmas card design, I had to pull out one of my all-time favorite Christmas sets: Polar Bears.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Polar Bears
Paper: Kraft, Whisper White card stock
Ink: Early Espresso, Real Red, So Saffron, Pumpkin Pie, Cucumber Crush, Pink Pirouette
Accessories: Gold-striped washi tape, Candy Cane Lane baker's twine, rhinestones, Dimensionals

I don't think I'll ever get tired of this stamp set, and I don't think I've ever made a card I didn't like using this set.

For this card I stamped the image on Whisper White card stock, colored it with markers and cut it out. I didn't use permanent ink to stamp the images, so I colored carefully and tried not to go back and forth over the outlines.

I used Dimensionals to attach the image to a Kraft note card and stamped the sentiment directly on the card base a little below the image. Below the sentiment I added gold-striped washi tape and wrapped a piece of Real Red baker's twine around the card, tying it in a bow. Of course I needed a little sparkle, so I added three rhinestones surrounding the polar bear.

I hope you and your loved ones have a peaceful holiday season. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Winter night

The last few days before Christmas are just flying by, and I think I might actually get everything done. It was more stressful than I would have liked, and I'll be wrapping presents on Christmas Eve, but at least I'll be finished.

One of the things I have to wrap up (pun intended) is to post my last two Christmas card designs. I'll share one of them tonight, and the other tomorrow.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Christmas Story (Penny Black)
Paper: Night of Navy, Shimmery White card stock; gold glimmer paper; snowflake vellum (unknown)
Ink: Night of Navy
Accessories: Ovals Collection Framelits dies; Country Houses and Country House Roofs and Background (Poppy Stamps); gold glitter ribbon; gold sequins (The Makery); Dimensionals, Glue Dots, liquid adhesive (Art Institute Glitter)

This batch of cards was a little time-consuming because I had to cut out and then glue together the layers of the houses. (They used four dies: one for the outlines of the whole piece, one for the back of the trees, one for the back of the houses, and one for the roofs.) But I love the end result, especially with the Shimmery White card stock to create the look of a snow-covered village. And with the gold glimmer paper peeking through the windows and doors, it looks like a cozy little village on a cold winter night.

I used a Night of Navy card stock stamped with a Christmas background (in Night of Navy ink) for the card base and adhered an oval piece of  snowflake-printed vellum near the middle of the card. Using Dimensionals, I attached the houses at the bottom of the vellum and added three gold sequins. For another gold accent, I adhered a piece of gold glitter ribbon along the fold of the card base.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Simple and jolly

With a snowstorm last weekend, another one on the way, and temps near 0°F, it is very clear that winter has arrived in full force. I am not tempted to be outside in this weather (Not. At. All.), so I thought I'd share a card featuring a jolly snowman whom I'm sure would think he was in heaven.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: KB's Heart Looking Up (Endless Creations), Christmas Sampler (Paper Smooches)
Paper: Whisper White note cards and envelopes
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Real Red, Pumpkin Pie, Pool Party, Cucumber Crush
Accessories: Frosted sequins, Corner Chomper (We R Memory Keepers), fine-tip glue pen

This is about the ultimate in clean and simple card design. I used a white note card for the base, stamped the image and sentiment directly on the card, added a bit of color with markers, and used a few silver sequins to create the look of falling snow. I also rounded the two right corners just to give a little finishing touch.

Do you like to make elaborate Christmas cards or do you stick to simpler designs? I do love some of the fancy, over-the-top cards, but I find that when I look back over the cards I've made, I always seem drawn to these "clean" cards.

Well, that's it for me for today. I've still got a plethora of Christmas tasks to accomplish, so I've got to get busy! Thanks for stopping by!

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, Penzeys 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!