Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Card for Grandma's 90th

It's not often that you get to extend birthday wishes to someone who turns 90. My maternal grandmother had this milestone birthday Dec. 22, and we traveled from GA to IN the weekend before Christmas so that we could be there to celebrate with her and my extended family.

I knew I wanted to make her a card, but I don't have much experience making cards for these kinds of very special birthdays. I know she likes flowers, so I started with an image I've had on my desk for awhile, saving for a what I knew I wanted to be a special card.

It was the hydrangea image from Because I Care, the Level 1 Hostess set. I wove the strips of Whisper White card stock like I did for this card but I made a smaller square this time. I matted this on Baja Breeze card stock and added some 1/8" Old Olive taffeta ribbon. Then I mounted this with Stampin' Dimensionals on a Top Note Bigz die that I embossed with the Vintage Wallpaper Textured Impressions Folder for the Big Shot, and I made it shimmer using our new Frost White Shimmer Paint. It's a bit hard to detect in the picture, but it created nice visual interest and highlighted the dry embossing.

Because I know my grandma likes texture--she quilted and crocheted for years--I decided to emboss the Old OIive card base with the Square Lattice TI Folder. Love it!

On the inside, I decided to make use of the frame that remains after diecutting the Top Note shape. I stamped the sentiment from Fifth Avenue Florals and added the simplest Happy Birthday I could find in my stash--from It's Your Birthday (retired)--along with some numbers from a non-SU! set, and the card was complete.

Here's a picture of my grandma with all her grandchildren. I'm the oldest one, so that's why I'm sitting by her! For those of you who have heard me mention my sister, she's the blonde on the left. I'm so glad we made the 12-hour drive to be at this event. It kicked off our Christmas celebrations in memorable fashion.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Gone, but not Forgotten

Yes, it has been quite a busy time since I last posted. Hope you've been crafting on your own in my absence. I've

Today's card is one we made at the Ronald McDonald House where I volunteer with a team of Stampin' Up! demonstrators monthly. It was my turn to make the card, and I saw a really cute one on Rosemarie Diehl's blog. Hers used our Snowflake Punch to make a Christmas tree, and I thought it would be something the families would enjoy.

Since I don't own that punch, I borrowed a similar sized diecut from a friend. I used some retired Handsome Hunter card stock, a perfect color for an evergreen, and provided each card maker with 2 snowflakes.

One was cut in half and created the bottom branches of the tree. The second snowflake was cut in half and then the second half was cut so that there was 1 section of 2 "branches" and 1 individual section that made the treetop.

I used up some Chocolate Chip scraps for the trunk. I think they measured .5" x 4". The star was formed using Summer Sun card stock (retired) and our smallest Star Punch.

It was so fun to see the reactions of the crafters when I showed them the card. At first they thought it was going to be hard, but as soon as I deconstructed the tree branches, they were gung-ho! Although this card's picture shows red ornaments decorating the tree, I changed my mind at the last minute and took my Regals Designer Button Collection and advised each person to choose 5 buttons to use. They added great dimension and visual interest to the final project.

It is such a blessing to craft with these families each month. Since many of them have been there for many months, we are familiar to each other now and they are eager to stamp as soon as they see us arrive. We said goodbye to 2 families this month and that was exciting. The progress the kids have made in the months we've seen them is a great testimony to the dedicated professionals at our area children's hospitals who have worked so hard to help them be rehabilitated.

I can't believe we're only 11 days away from Christmas! I had a surge of creativity hit me over the weekend, and I made some more of the ornaments I originally posted about here. I'm excited to give them to my friends and family when we travel home Friday.

I'll be back tomorrow to share a wall hanging I made using the Northern Frost Decorative Strip die for the Big Shot. Thanks for hanging with me during this busy month!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Test New Post

Hey everyone - just testing my posting system.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Few Announcements and a Present

Hope you're enjoying this holiday weekend. We have beautiful weather today--sunny skies and the temperature is around 70. AMAZING for November.

Don't forget that through Tuesday, Nov. 30, you can get some spectacular deals at SU!'s online sale. This flyer lists everything that's on sale--some items are 50% off! Don't miss out--click here to be directed to my online store.

You also have until Tuesday, Nov. 30 to join my team for the AMAZING price of just $87.50! There's never ever been a better time to become a demonstrator--the price just can't be beat, and you get to customize the starter kit just the way you like it! The kit contains $310 worth of stamps, inks, card stock, Designer Series Paper, and business essentials like catalogs and order forms. The normal price is $175, so you can see why I'm calling this offer AMAZING. SU! set a goal to have 10,000 demonstrators in the family by year's end, and we just met that goal Monday. Follow this link to see the YouTube video of SU! Founder and President Shelli Gardner presenting the Starter Kit to Farida, #10,000!

Even though we've reached the goal, it's not too late to become part of the company and my team. The more the merrier! Contact me at for details. You don't have to live in GA to be one of my group of demonstrators, and I'd love the chance to teach you all I know about sharing what you love with others. Let's talk!

Okay, now that I've concluded the business portion of today's post, let's talk about this card. It's a CASE of one Becky Roberts made.

For this is a pocket card I used Certainly Celery for the base and paired it with Jolly Holiday Designer Series Paper and Cherry Cobbler seam binding. Inside, I used Season of Joy stamps to create my greeting. It's held together with Sticky Strip, and the top of the present box is adhered to the interior greeting using Stampin' Dimensionals. This would be a fun card to use to present a gift card present, but it's a fun greeting card as well.

I had a last-minute Customer Appreciation Day today, and I really enjoyed having those who could come and play. It has inspired me to get going on my Christmas ornaments. Have a good rest of the holiday weekend!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Spectacular Online SALE!

I am not a fan of Black Friday. There. I said it. If I can get it without leaving my wingback chair, I'm doin' it. I do not understand people getting up or staying up after midnight to get some sort of deal. That invariably means fighting CROWDS, and I'm NOT a fan of those. Give me ONLINE SHOPPING for the WIN!!!

SU! understands and wants to give you some great deals to be happy about this holiday shopping season. Check out this flyer for all the details. There's stuff 50% off!

Just click on this link to be whisked away to my Demonstrator Website. Then click on the Online Spectacular and you're ready to shop!

If you'd like hubby to get you some of these goodies for Christmas, just make a list, include HIS email address, and send me a wish list. I'll contact hubby and he'll be so happy he doesn't have to fight the mall crowds to get you something you like!

Hurry, this sale only lasts 9 days!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Brayered Background

I'm putting on my elf hat tonight and helping Christmas-fy my Starbucks, so this Night of Navy is setting the mood for the evening.

The inspiration for this card was a technique I saw on Sue Bendinsky's blog, Stampin' with Friends. She turned over a piece of Whisper White card stock that had been embossed with the Vintage Wallpaper Textured Impressions Folder and ran her brayer over the debossed side! It makes a quick and stunning background paper, as you can see with my Night of Navy panel.

I used a stamp from the Many Merry Messages set, such a great sentiment set to have in your collection for all your Christmas cards, and heat embossed the Encore gold ink. The ribbon is non-SU!, but it was languishing alone in the stash and fit the bill perfectly. I added some 1/8" Whisper White taffeta ribbon as well.

I like this elegant look, and hope you'll give it a try. Thanks Sue!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Treat Yourself to An Early Christmas Present!

SU! is extending an AMAZING offer to anyone who has ever considered becoming a demonstrator. Between Nov. 15 (this Monday) and Nov. 30, sign on to be a demonstrator, and you will receive $310 of starter supplies for $87.50. YES, I typed that correctly!!! The normal price for the demonstrator starter kit is $175, but SU! is offering you the opportunity to join the demonstrator community atHALF PRICE for just 2 weeks! Squeal! There has NEVER been a better time to consider becoming a demonstrator.

Here's the deal:

* The Starter Kit can be customized to your preferences. View order form here.
* Starter Kit ships FREE. F.R.E.E!!
* Take 30% off your first $150+ Stampin' Up! product order (placed within 45 days).
* Save 20% on all other orders.

Stampin' Up! provides fantastic learning tools, video tutorials, and tons of resources on the Stampin' Up! demo site, in the monthly magazine, and at demo-only events. There is a $300 sales minimum/quarter to remain an active demonstrator, but there is no penalty for dropping. If you give this a try and it doesn't work out, you keep the kit and everything you purchased at a discount. You'll enjoy full demonstrator privileges through March 31, 2011. There's no risk!

Last but not least, you'll be a part of my team, which means you'll get individualized coaching to help you get started and create a strategy for developing your business. I will help you be as successful as you want to be!

Bottom line? ACT NOW. Don't miss this fantastic opportunity to share what you love and save! Contact me at to indicate your interest.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Christmas Photo Card with Stand

I've had photo cards on the brain the past few weeks, and today's example is a throwback of sorts to a style card I made a few of earlier this year: the easel card. Those I've made before have been 4"x 4", but I wanted something that would accommodate a typical 4" x 6" picture. Well, this one does--almost. But who will miss the bottom .5" of most of your portraits anyway?

This really is quick and easy and can be gussied up or simplified, depending on the amount of time you want to invest. Since I would bet that a photo packaged this way will get more desk or mantle time than others that arrive this Christmas, I say the time spent is worth it. Again I have to give props to Penny Wessenaur who posted the measurements for the creation of this type of card. My design was inspired by Diana Gibbs.

The base of this 4.25" x 11" card, scored at 2.75" and 5.5" along the 11" length, is Always Artichoke. I was tired of Old Olive and Garden Green's just a little too green for my taste. I cut a second piece of 4.25" x 5.5" for mounting on top of the part that becomes the easel.

I ran a piece of Real Red through the Big Shot twice, once with the Top Note die and a second time with the Petals a Plenty Textured Impressions Folder. Poinsettias! I added a matting of Very Vanilla, 4" x 5.25". It just seemed too dark without it.

I stamped the little Merry Christmas from Season of Joy and added the swirls from that set on either side. I stamped the poinsettia in Versamark on Real Red and popped it up on a dimensional. The Victoria Crochet Trim was added on a piece of Always Artichoke card stock to create a sort of ledge for the easel part to rest against.

The best feature of this design is that it folds flat for mailing. This will mail without any extra postage added. If you'd like to see the other photo card options I've come up with for this season, just click here. Click here and here to see two others that could be used as photo cards. Happy crafting!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Christmas Decor without a Speck of Green

It seems there are no rules when it comes to what is considered Christmas colors. A few years ago, when pink was added, I wondered if people had lost their minds. PINK?! Royal blue and navy have been part of traditional Christmas color schemes, paired with gold and silver, but lately light blue, as in BABY blue, has found a place.

If you can't tell by now, I'm a traditional red and green kind of gal when it comes to decorating for Christmas. But this year, I saw a color combination that changed my views. Cherry Cobbler, Baja Breeze, Very Vanilla, and Crumb Cake.

I know! Can you believe it? But as soon as I saw it I was lovin' it, and I knew it would only be a matter of time before I caved and made something for the holidays with this palette.

This ornament and candle set is the result of that creative catalyst. I received the Northern Frost Decorative Strip Die for the Big Shot Friday, and I knew at once that I wanted to break it in by making Baja Breeze snowflakes. The rest evolved from there.

The base is a Cherry Cobbler cut out of the Top Note Bigz Die. The Crumb Cake layer is also a cut out of the die, but the perforated edge has been removed to create a layer. I also ran a strip of Very Vanilla through the Big Shot with the die and stamped the greeting from Seasonal Sentiments on it to complete the package. Then I added the snowflakes! This strip has 8 snowflakes in various sizes and all have intricate details you'd expect to find when viewing a snowflake, all able to be punched out after they're cut. They're BEAUTIFUL!

The ribbon is a three-layered creation of retired Baja Breeze ribbon, 1/2" Cherry Cobbler seam binding from the current Holiday Mini, and retired Crumb Cake 3/8" taffeta ribbon. I started out with just the CC seam binding, but it wasn't sturdy enough.

The back of the ornament has plenty of space for writing a special message to friends and family. That way, when the recipient pulls it out with the rest of the ornaments yearly, you will be part of their decorating and celebrating! I also think this has potential as a photo card, but the only suggestion is that the picture be in portrait orientation. Landscape orientation works, but it's not the full size of the die.

Now about the candle...I was making a banana run (translation? a quick in and out stop, but not for produce) to Walmart the other day and I came across these little candles--for $1! Who doesn't want a little candle on hand for those times when you need to infuse a little aromatherapy into an environment? Well, I snatched up a few and after the ornament came together, I thought I'd try my hand at snazzing up this little jar. A simple 1.5" x 8.5" strip of Baja Breeze, a thinner strip of Very Vanilla, a few Cherry Cobbler snowflakes, and some hemp twine, and I was in business! The lid is covered with a 1.75" scalloped circle, a 1 3/8" circle, and a snowflake. Seriously simple but simply adorable!

These are going to be mass produced for friends and family this year, as we don't have a lot of money but we'd like to give something in celebration of the relationships we've been blessed with.

Friday, November 5, 2010

A Little Christmas Greeting Created by Accident

This card came together in the most roundabout way! I started out with a completely different focal image, but I just couldn't get it to look right. I had already cut the matting layers of Real Red and Old Olive and I didn't feel like wasting them. I happened to have my Decorative Label Punch sitting around on my craft table, and one thing led to another and this card layout came to me. (Just for the record, the base is River Rock and the large mat is Very Vanilla.)

The best part of this card, in my opinion, is the Petals A Plenty Textured Impressions Folder for the Big Shot that was used on the top half of the Old Olive piece. I used the debossed side and it just really is striking that way. I'd only ever used the folder to make an impression on an entire piece, and I really like how it makes a sort of border without adding another layer.

A side note: I am not an early adopter when it comes to trying new things, but I have to tell you that if I'd known how much I would enjoy the Big Shot die cutting machine back when SU! began offering it in 2008, I would've bought it immediately! It has enhanced my card making immensely, and it's super easy to use! Don't forget that the Mr. Santa in your life is probably looking for some idea of what to get you for Christmas. I can help him and he'll never have to leave his house! One phone call and he's DONE! Have him contact me at He'll thank you, I promise!

The most accidental thing about this card's metamorphosis was the sentiment. It's from a retired set, The Best Is Yet to Be, and I inked it in the aforementioned colors directly on the rubber and stamped it on Very Vanilla. Then I pulled out my Designer Label Punch. It fit perfectly, but I cut off the rounded portions of the punched image before I changed my idea about using the original focal image, so I had this little ticket shape left. It fits so nicely inside the Decorative Label Punch, though, don't you think? The addition of the 1/8" Very Vanilla taffeta ribbon was also just a whim that turned out just as I'd hoped.

What have you created that turned out better than you expected? I hope you're finding time to do something creative during your busy days. It makes such a difference in my mental state, I confess. Have a very happy, if chilly (it's supposed to be in the 30s overnight here), weekend. Don't forget to turn your clocks BACK one hour Saturday night!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Quickie

Everyone needs a card in their stash that comes together quickly, especially during the holidays. This is a flat 4.25" x 5.5" card that would be suitable as the front for a photo card (who would miss .5" from the bottom of a 4" x 6" photo?) or as a thank you note. We all have need of those, right? There's a lot going on in this simple, elegant card, so let me describe the details so you know what I did.

First, I cut 1-8.5" x 11" sheet of Old Olive card stock into quarters. Then I cut a piece of Cherry Cobbler card stock to 4 1/8" x 5 3/8". Then I took a piece of Whisper White card stock, originally measuring 4.25" x 5.5", and ran it through the Big Shot inside the Vintage Wallpaper Textured Impressions Folder. Such visual appeal this little thing creates!

Then I punched out the corners with my Scalloped Trim Corner Punch. Fancy lookin', huh!

The main eye catching element of this card is the Merry Christmas label from Seasonal Sentiments in the Holiday Mini Catalog. This uses 3 of the Decorative Label punches. The first one contains the sentiment. The Old Olive one is cut in half horizontally and separated slightly. The Cherry Cobbler one is cut in half vertically and spaced to create this unique focal image. I must confess I was inspired by this card on SCS. Doing this with the Decorative Label Punch is brilliant! I added a rhinestone to cover up an unintentional ink spot, and I think it adds a little something.

I wanted to incorporate ribbon into this card, and I ended up using 3/8" Whisper White taffeta ribbon and 1/8" Old Olive taffeta ribbon. I'm super thrilled with this result.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

See What Happens When I Get a Weekend Off?

Crafting! I saw a good sketch on the Cardabilities website (via Jen Allen's blog) and thought I'd play around with it. I have the Ovals Originals Die for the Big Shot, and I hadn't played with it yet. This didn't turn out at all like I thought it would, but sometimes that's a good thing.

I won't bore you with the evolution of this card, but I will tell you that I started out thinking there would be a greeting in the Very Vanilla oval with some sort of embellishment, like the sketch, in the lower right corner. The greeting I chose ended up being better oriented horizontally instead of vertically, so I began to rethink everything. A set I am not normally drawn to, Home for Christmas, came to mind, because I thought I could focus on the door in the image and pair it with the sentiment that goes with the set.

I inked the image in Early Espresso and laid the middle sized oval where I wanted it on the stamp. I colored only the wreath in Old Olive and Cherry Cobbler and matted it on Cherry Cobbler card stock with the largest oval. Again I chose Jolly Holiday DSP (I prefer traditional Christmas colors and this package is less muted than Deck the Halls DSP, the offering in the Holiday Mini) for the paper that the sketch showed as two large pieces behind the ovals.

I had some snippets of the 5/8" Victoria Crochet Trim and thought I could add them to soften up the sketch. This is about as vintage or shabby chic as I get, peeps. I like the end result though. These would be quick and easy cards for Christmas, as they don't require much coloring or stamping.

I know many of you lurk but don't ever comment, so let's see if I can get a response from you. How many of you are making Christmas cards this year? If so, what set are you using? If not, why?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Another Christmas Box & a Photo Card Idea

Whew! Have I been BUSY. I have a feeling it's going to be like this through the holidays, so I may only be able to get to the craft room once a week for a postworthy creation. I'm guessing your life is similar. Since we could probably play "I can top that" with our calendars all day, I'll stop with my sob story and show you what I promised in the headline for this post, okay?

My last few posts have featured different packaging ideas for gift cards, and this post is no exception. This box was designed by Dawn Griffith, and she has a great video that explains and shows how to make it better than I can. It may seem a bit confusing, but just do what she says, and it'll make sense.

I used Jolly Holiday Designer Series Paper and scored the 8.5" side at 2" and 7", and the 10.5" side at 2", 5", 7", and 10". It comes together really quickly, once you cut away a few unnecessary pieces, and it only takes two strips of Sticky Strip to hold it together. To decorate the front flap, I punched out a Decorative Label shape (currently back ordered, due to popular demand) in Very Vanilla and layered the tag ornament from Delightful Decorations, stamped in Cherry Cobbler and punched using the Ornament Punch, on top using Stampin' Dimensionals. The box is tied closed using the 5/8" Old Olive grosgrain ribbon.

Isn't this cute? The final box size is 3" x 5", which is the PERFECT size for a gift card! There's also room in there for a lot of small candies. My favorite is Dove Dark Promises, if you're wondering.

The other thing I've been playing around with, in my very minimal spare time, is a photo card. This one was inspired by one I saw online. I used the 1.75" scallop circle punch and 1 3/8" circle punch to create a wreath. Then I made "berries" using my .25" circle punch (retired SU!). I tied small white bows for the wreaths using the 1/8" Whisper White satin ribbon. The gate fold card, which you score along the 8.5" side of a 5.5" x 8.5" piece of card stock at 2 1/8" and 6 3/8", is stamped with the Woodgrain background stamp on Soft Suede card stock to create the idea of wood doors.

Inside, there's a generous center panel that will hold a 3.5" x 5" photo, but it has to be oriented in portrait style. You don't want a landscape orientation here, peeps. The two side panels are for your family's greeting. I used a sentiment from Home for Christmas, but you could just write something.

The second version is much more down and dirty, quick and easy. This is a piece of 3 7/8" x 9.25" Cherry Cobbler card stock. It will fit in a #10 business envelope and can be mailed for no extra cost. There is room for a 3.5" x 5" photo, landscape orientation or portrait orientation, as well as a small piece of Jolly Holiday DSP (3" x 3 7/8"). The only embellishment is an ornament from Delightful Decorations, stamped in Old Olive on Very Vanilla and punched out with the Ornament Punch. There's a sweet little 1/8" Very Vanilla satin ribbon bow, and that's IT! Sign them and you're done--bada bing, bada BOOM!

It's not too late to get a neighbor to take a picture, print them yourself, and send one of these photo cards to your loved ones. The little boxes are great for teacher gifts, neighbors, coworkers, anyone you want to give just a little somethin' to.

Enjoy the weekend. I intend to!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

ChristmasTriangle Gift Boxes, Part 2

I had a scheduling snafu, so here's Part 2!

I hope you enjoyed learning about the triangle gift boxes I shared with you yesterday. Today's post features these boxes made in a much smaller version--3" x 6". To review, creating these is very simple. Just score the 6" side at 3", mark the middle of the 3" side (1.5"), and score from that middle point diagonally down to the center score. You now have a very cute little triangle box. There are so many possibilities for this little box that I can hardly wait for you to see the pictures! Let's get started...

This size holds 2 Hershey's nuggets, making it PERFECT as a container for an Advent Calendar or Countdown to Christmas. I used Jolly Holiday Designer Series Paper, which has Cherry Cobbler, Very Vanilla, and Old Olive as its main colors.

I created the medallion for each day's number by using my 1.75" scallop circle punch, my 1" and .75" circle punches, and a great technique for creating a design around the scallop circle punch that I describe here. It's quick and easy and so cool! I just used some cream thread I had laying around, but you could use Linen Thread too, for a more vintage, rustic, country look.

I think these would make a great gift for a teacher too. For each of the 25 days before Christmas, the teacher could hide one of these boxes in a student's desk, and when the student finds it, tucked inside would be a note explaining that day's special activity. Made without the numbers, these could also be customized with each child's name to make great party favors for a class party. They fill easily from the top too, if you wanted to funnel in Christmas M&Ms. They could be sealed quickly with a Mini Glue Dot.

The boxes are sealed with 2 lengths of Sticky Strip, but the slight opening at the top gave me another idea: placecards, with a twist! Fold a .75" x 7" strip of card stock in half, write a conversation starter question on it, punch a hole at the top, and tie a ribbon or twine bow at the top. Stick it down into the box, much like a fortune cookie fortune. During dinner, each guest will be asked to remove their paper, read the question on it, and answer it.
Wouldn't this be a great way to find out more about your guests Christmas memories, favorite Christmas cookie, favorite Christmas carol, most wished for present while enjoying dinner together? I can't wait to put this to use when we go to my parents' house this year!

Are your creative juices flowing yet? I'd love to hear what ways you want to use these triangle boxes for your holiday occasions! I hope you're inspired. Remember, all you need to make these are the following items:

Designer Series Paper
Sticky Strip
assorted punches
card stock

To order any of these items, shop online 24/7 by clicking the icon in the toolbar to the right.

Monday, October 18, 2010

ChristmasTriangle Gift Boxes, Part 1

I've been thinking about what kind of unique gift packaging I could offer this Christmas, and in searching my own archives, I came across these marvelous triangle boxes. They are super quick and easy to put together, and they have a variety of uses I'll be profiling today and tomorrow. I'm so excited to show them all to you, but today I'll tell you about the gift card box.

This box is made using half of a sheet of Jolly Holiday Designer Series Paper, measuring 6" x 12". It's scored in the middle of the 12" side at 6", then the midpoint of the 6" side is marked at 3" and scored on the diagonal to the center score to create the triangles. All you have to do from there is fill them, punch a hole using a Crop-A-Dile, and tie a ribbon. A little Sticky Strip to close them and they're done!

This size holds 12 Hershey's nuggets and a gift card. Check out this post to see how I decorated the candies to make them more festive.

This is the best sized box for a gift card (I've tried smaller and it doesn't fit horizontally or vertically), but you can make this triangle box using any variation of doubled measurements for whatever suits your purposes. For example, you can make a 5" x 10" box, a 3" x 6" box. Just as long as the length is double the width, you're good!

This would also be a really great size box to use for hanging a gift on a Christmas tree or on someone's doorknob. Have you ever been "boo'ed" for Halloween? Perhaps your family would start a new tradition and use these boxes to leave some little sweets for your neighbors--you could call it being "elfed"! Here's a closeup of the medallion I created to decorate the box. I used Season of Joy to create it.

Come back tomorrow to see two more uses for these boxes, but in miniature! They're so cute I can hardly stand it!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Celebrating New Life

A friend of mine became a grandma for the second time last week. This grandchild had some stressful circumstances during her gestation and surrounding her arrival, so I wanted to make a keepsake for the baby so that she would know how loved she is and has been since before she made her debut.

The mother likes the colors brown and orange, and I know the baby has a quilt in those colors, so that influenced my palette for the card. I used the heart from retired Loop to Loop and stamped it in Early Espresso, Crumb Cake, and Peach Parfait. I wanted the hearts to overlap to communicate how many hearts joined together on behalf of this child before she was born. The "you are loved" stamp is a random one I've had for over 10 years, and I love its simple message in a stylish font.

The card is a simple gate fold with a piece of Crumb Cake down the middle to anchor the heart image to. I used some Chantilly Crochet Trim to soften the card.

For the interior, I pulled out my Billboard Alphabet for the Big Shot and used Early Espresso card stock to create the letters. Old-fashioned names are very hip these days, and Lucy Jean is very in vogue. The letters are glued onto Very Vanilla card stock and matted with Crumb Cake on the Peach Parfait base.

I hope you can find some way to use your paper crafting to enter into someone else's joy this week.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Giving Thanks

Halloween cards are all the rage on the card blogs these days, but I don't know anyone who actually SENDS Halloween cards, so I'm skipping that holiday and giving you a glimpse at a great card you can make for Thanksgiving. Yesterday I shared how I made a non-traditional baby card using the Friends Never Fade set, and while I had it out I thought I'd see if I could adapt the same color scheme and image for use as a Thanksgiving card.

I chose Poppy Parade, Peach Parfait, Soft Suede, and Old Olive as my color scheme and colored direct to rubber using my InColor Collection Stampin' Write Markers. I love having markers for this kind of detail work, and I like that I can try the colors out by purchasing the markers. Ink pads used to be the only options for the InColors, and I'm so happy SU! listened to us demonstrators and gave us markers!

Once I'd stamped the image on Very Vanilla card stock, I used my 2" scallop circle punch to crop it. I just bought the latest circle punch size, 2.5", from the Holiday Mini Catalog, and I wanted to put that to use, so I punched a circle from Poppy Parade card stock and layered the two together.

Then I inked up the Thanksgiving message from Seasonal Sentiments in Soft Suede and stamped it on Very Vanilla. It measures 1.75" x 3" so I could tuck it behind the circle image. I like how the wording seems to curve along the edge!

The patterned paper is from Greenhouse Gala, cut at 3" x 5.5". Did you know it was designed to coordinate with Friends Never Fade? I had scraps of Very Vanilla and Poppy Parade laying around, so I layered them behind to create a matting that ties everything together. Again, as with the last card, I added some Chantilly Crochet Trim and placed a thin strip of Soft Suede behind it so that the pattern shows more.

This card is one I'd really like to receive, as the message communicates how the sender feels about me and is so encouraging. Perhaps Christmas is just too crazy a time for you to think about making cards or even getting cards you've purchased in the mail.

Why not adopt a different approach this season and send out Thanksgiving cards instead! Your card would be a great way to bless those who've invested in your life this year. I'd be happy to help you calculate what you'd need in terms of supplies to make these.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Non-Traditional Baby Card

Friends of ours just had their third girl, Ruby Elliot, and I wanted to make a card welcoming her. I didn't want to use a traditional baby stamp set though, so I combed through my sets and pulled out Friends Never Fade. I like the floral image and thought I could give it an autumnal look.

Poppy Parade from the latest InColor collection seemed like a good choice because its orange-red reminds me of bittersweet. Love that stuff! Anyway, I colored the petals of the flower using my Stampin' Write Marker and added some Peach Parfait (another InColor) accents. I love how SU! does the color coordination work for me, so I can focus on creating. I decided to use Pear Pizazz, also from the collection, for my stem and foliage. Then I stamped it on Very Vanilla card stock. I sponged the edges with Soft Suede to soften it a bit and set it aside.

The color scheme was coming together nicely, so I only had to choose what other elements I was going to incorporate into it. I pulled out my A to Z small background stamp because I wanted to add a subtle inference to childhood to this card. I used Versamark for a tone on tone look and embossed it with Clear Stampin' Emboss Powder.

Then came the tricky part: choosing a sentiment. I ended up going with "small wonder" from a retired Hostess set because it communicated that this baby is a special and unique wonder. I inked it with Soft Suede and used my Stamp-A-Ma-Jig to position it.

The Vintage Wallpaper Textured Impressions Folder demonstrated its versatility again by adding some great texture and femininity to this card while not overpowering the main image. I used Very Vanilla again, cut to 4 1/8" x 5 3/8", so that the Pear Pizazz card base would still be seen.

Next I went to the ribbon drawer and chose Victoria Crochet Trim because baby girls make me think of frills and lace. I also added three Crumb Cake flower buttons from the Neutrals Designer Button collection because I wanted to create an element that would make reference to Ruby being the third girl in the family.

Why not give yourself this same challenge the next time you have an occasions card to make? Choose a set not normally thought to be used for that application and see what your mind comes up with. It knows how to think outside the box.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Corregated Cardboard "Sleeve" Card

Can you find inspiration from a piece of cardboard? Yep. This is how things happen sometimes. Kathleen's card inspired Lorri. Lorri's card inspired mine. Why I never thought of this, even though I handle approximately 200 sleeves a day, is beyond me. And the crafter who DID think of this? She doesn't drink coffee or tea! Just goes to show you that creative catalysts are abundant.

If you want to create the look of a coffee cup sleeve, all you need is a piece of corregated cardboard from any box. As you can see from the picture, although you probably already knew this if you enjoy nitpicking of any kind, cardboard is a sandwich of two thin layers of paper covering a fluted piece of fiberboard. You can read all about it here. To achieve the desired effect, simply remove one of the layers of paper to expose the fluted innards. Voila--you have a great card element!

I need a get-well card for a friend of mine who broke her leg a month ago. I always want to watercolor the images from Morning Cup, so I stamped the mug and the percolator on watercolor paper with Early Espresso Classic Ink. Brown Staz-on ink would've been better, but I don't have any, and as long as you don't use too much H20, you'll be okay.

I used my Stampin' Write Markers in Crumb Cake and Poppy Parade and didn't color the images completely. I laid down some heavy color on the edge and then used my Aqua Painter to pull the color away from the edges and fill in the image. In some cases, I went back over an area with the marker to deepen the color, but I love how fast and easy it is to get a watercolored look by using these two tools. I'm certainly no Picasso, yet I get consistently good results with this method.

Most of the rest of the card is a CASE, but I wanted to use the percolator since the message evokes the image. So I added it to the cardboard layer. The idea for the hearts came from the original percolator image, but I wanted them to be bigger, so they were punched in Poppy Parade using the Heart-To-Heart Punch. The 2" Scallop Circle Punch and the 1 3/8" Circle Punch were used to create the pieces that have the mug on them. I adhered 5/8" Early Espresso grosgrain ribbon to the cardboard, then tied Crumb Cake 3/8" taffeta ribbon and Hemp Twine around it to cinch it a bit. The base is Always Artichoke, a 7" x 6.5" scored at 3.5".

Monday, October 4, 2010

4x4 Cards with Matching Box and Envelopes

I have to warn you. This is a really cute post. If you love little things with their own packaging like I do, this is going to make your day. It's not quite as cute as a puppy, but close.

This box holds 4-4.25" square cards and matching envelopes--isn't it great? Cards measuring 4.25" square are about the smallest size the post office will deliver, and I found the idea for this at Angie Kennedy Juda's site, ChicnScratch. I gladly give her all the credit for the math it took to figure out how to make this box, but I adapted her idea for Christmas.

The idea is simple: use the Vintage Wallpaper Textured Impressions Folder(or any other TI Folder you like, for that matter) and emboss the card base front with it. Then take the Ornament Punch and create a hole in the front that you fill with an ornament from the Delightful Decorations set. I chose Whisper White card stock because I like the crispness of it when it's embossed.
I stamped the ornament with the word "joy" on it in Versamark and heat embossed it with White Stampin' Emboss Powder. Then I mounted it on Stampin' Dimensionals and placed it in the punched hole. A simple knotted ribbon of 1/4" grosgrain in Real Red and Old Olive and the card's complete!

Variation #2: emboss colored card stock (Real Red and Old Olive), but change the orientation of the card base so that you can create a hanging ornament using the punched ornaments left over from the white cards.
I think these would look even cuter with the 1/8" taffeta ribbon as the hanger, but I don't have any. Yet. These will have a Christmas greeting added to the inside, or they could be given blank so that they can be used as thank yous.

The only tiny problem with making 4.25" square cards is that there isn't a ready-made envelope for them. This problem is easily fixed by taking the medium size envelope, sealing it shut, cutting it vertically at 4.5" and creating a flap with a piece of 2.75" x 4 3/8" of Designer Series Paper. Just score it at 1" and adhere it to the envelope. Problem solved.

The box holds 4 cards and 4 envelopes. The directions for making it can be found here. If you'd like to get a group of friends together to get some of these cuties stashed away for December, contact me and we'll set up a date!