Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas Wishes...

Good morning everyone! It's a cold (50 degrees), windy, cloudy day here in Houston and I am so thankful that it has finally cooled off again- bring on the 40's baby! When you live with super heat all summer, you are so ready for some cool air when it comes. If only I could stay home and snuggle under a blanket *sigh* and enjoy it.... A quick post, then I'm off to beg for money, oh, I mean write a grant:)

Sometimes I cut shapes for a card, then find they don't work, so I keep an ever growing pile thinking I will use eventually use them. I decided to dig into that pile last night and found some matching scraps/shapes which were perfect for this card.

The main image was stamped with the Santa image from the "Christmas Mail" set by Craft Secrets- I love their vintage images! The image was colored with Copic markers, except the key in Santa's hand which was colored with a gold Spica glitter pen- it sparkles IRL- so cool! After cutting the image out with a circle Nestie die, the image was sponged with Creamy Caramel ink with the die still in place to leave a clear edge. The rest of the shaped layers were also sponged before layering them together.

The card base is layers of Early Espresso, Very Vanilla and a sparkly snowflake print from MME "Wonderful Winter", tied up with some soft brown suede ribbon. The greeting cut out by hand and mounted onto a Espresso oval from the scrap pile. A few bronze brads finish the corners.

The inside has a scrap strip of the same sparkly snowflake paper, a mail register mark and a vintage greeting from this set as well. This card is nice because it doesn't have too many layers and should make it into a standard envelope (yay- less postage!).

Hope you're having a great day~

Monday, November 29, 2010

Joyful Season...

I can't believe it's Monday already- I am sooo not ready to go back to work and start what I know is going to be an insane week. I have a grant to write (which I have not yet started...), hubby is on the inpatient service at the hospital and we have a 3-day finals swim meet over the weekend- I'm tired already! Such is life, I'm sure for everyone at this time of year~

I was playing around with some stamps I recently bought from Verve and trying to get the hang of getting well inked images with clear polymer stamps (there were several versions in my recycle pile-lol!). I made the card base from Old Olive, Whisper White and some Bazill red card stock that came with a kit years ago. I stitched a piece of patterned paper from Basic Grey's Blitzen collection to the top layer and added a piece of the red stripe across the card with an eyelet border peeking from underneath.

The tag was inked with Cherry Cobbler and Marina Mist markers, stamped on WW card stock then cut out with their matching die. The word "Joy" was stamped along the top and the whole tag was layered onto a hand cut piece of red card stock, then tied with a green taffeta ribbon from last year's SU Holiday mini. The snowflakes were stamped in Marina Mist, cut out by hand and attached with brads- the big brad has a snowflake image and is part of the SU Antique Brads set- so perfect for this card!

The inside was finished with snowflakes down the left border, a greeting from this set and a strip of paper to match the outside. I didn't want to add any more embellishments to the inside because I want to get this into the mail without any extra postage:)

Hope you enjoyed my card today- have a great one!

Stamps: Glad Tidings (Verve)
Paper: Old Olive, Whisper White, Bazill red, Basic Grey "Blitzen"
Ink: Marina Mist, Cherry Cobbler
Accessories: SU- Scallop Trim border punch, Antique Brads, silver brads, green taffeta ribbon, dimensionals; Sweet Scallop die- Verve; sewing machine

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Let the season begin!

The last few days have been a blur of activity- I didn't even get a chance to post a Happy Thanksgiving (serious cooking going on in my kitchen)! I've spent the past two days recovering from rich food, great wine and lots of company- fun, but tiring. It's taken me until now to become motivated enough to get into my craft room and think about holiday cards and teacher gifts.

I usually make some special gift for my kids' teachers or buy a special ornament and make a gift box for it to go in. Now that my daughter is in middle school, she has 9 teachers- this makes gift making/giving a bit more complicated (not to mention expensive!). I saw the tutorial for these double ball paper ornaments on Splitcoast Stampers and decided that this might fit the bill perfectly.

I used paper from the "Wonderful Winter" paper pack by MME that I bought last year and a hat pin from the Stampin' Up Pretties kit. I added some beads at the top and bottom for a bit of sparkle and a long ribbon with a bow for hanging.

For this one, I used a turquoise and pink combo with a pink glass bead I pinched from my daughter:). These were a quick, fun project and definitely something I can make a bunch of! Because these use very little paper, they are a great way to use scraps from Christmases past.

I'm off to dig further into my daughter's bead stash to make some more of these- enjoy your last day of holiday break!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Merry little snowman...

I don't know about you all (y'all here in Texas:) but I can't believe it's Monday already! I had to work this weekend, but thankfully there were no emergencies and I didn't have to go back to the hospital after I was done rounding on my patients (which is really a credit to my fellows who need to stay there- thank you!). Still, somehow the weekend slipped away with the arrival of my FIL and AIL (aunt in law) for the holidays (both in their 80's), a Girl Scout trip to a Masquerade Theater show (which had content that I will be "explaining" for some time to come...) and building 3 gazillion piece Legos with my son.

I had hoped to get a bit further along in making my holiday cards and teacher gifts, but all I managed to finish was this card- an achievement all in all-lol!

I've had a big pack of My Mind's Eye paper from last year sitting on my craft room table, so I've been digging through these fabulous sparkly patterns for all my cards lately. I loved these trees so the trick was not to cover all of them with my image and accessories! The snowman is digital image from an artist named Zlatoena whose drawings I just love- so whimsical! The snowman was printed on Whisper White and colored with Copics. The ric-rac is actually patterned paper cut out with a ric-rac shaped die (this one is definitely going to see some more use!). The ribbon is the new seam binding ribbon from SU- love how beautifully this ribbon ties- just gorgeous!

The inside was finished with the same polka dot/ric rac theme with some photo corners to provide balance. Because the patterned papers took up so much room, I decided to stamp the greeting directly on the white background and not mat it so I have "some" room for a note.

Hope you like my sweet little snowman as much as I do- he makes me smile every time I see him!


Saturday, November 20, 2010


As Christmas approaches and we begin to discuss what might be in letters to Santa (trying to get some hints so I'm not scrambling at the last second!), I am waiting for my middle school daughter to ask the dreaded question... is there really a Santa? I think this conversation is imminent since she has recently given up on the tooth fairy, although she plays along for her little brother. I'm totally not ready for them to lose the magic and am determined to hold onto it for as long as possible, so definitely some extra steps this year (more to come on that!). She's a good sport, though, so I am sure if there is disclosure, she will maintain a good front for Matthew.

Since I was in a Santa mode, I pulled out some stamps from Crafty Secrets that I bought awhile back and have yet to see ink. I do love some of their images, but I really am not a fan of clear polymer stamps- a red rubber girl for sure (sounds kind of kinky, actually-lol!).

The main image was stamped in Memento Rich Cocoa ink on Very Vanilla card stock, then cut out using a circle nestability die on my Sizzix machine. While the die was still in place, I sponged Creamy Caramel ink around the image, revealing a clear border when the die was removed- I love how crisp this comes out! The image was layered onto a larger circle of Early Espresso and a "Labels 13" shape cut from Cherry Cobbler.

The edges of all the layers were sponged with Creamy Caramel to make them match the vintage feel of the image. The card was finished off with some pearls and a bow made from Early Espresso satin ribbon.

The inside was finished with a computer-generated greeting cut with the same Labels 13 die and a strip of the glittery snowflake paper- very sparkly IRL!

Hopefully lots of Christmas and Santa cards and decorations will keep the magic alive for another year~


Stamps: Vintage Christmas (Crafty Secrets)
Paper: Early Espresso, Very Vanilla, Wonderful Winter (MME), Early Espresso DP
Ink: Memento Rich Cocoa, Creamy Caramel
Accessories: Basic Pearls, Early Espresso satin ribbon, nestabilities, Sizzix machine, Stampin' Sponges, dimensionals

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Northern Snowflakes...

Oh, what a beautiful morning...OK, people up north may hate me right now, but this is the time of year that Houston makes up for the long, hot, humid summers! I am definitely going to need to find an excuse to walk across campus today....

This is the last card in the series from my class last Friday night and was probably the favorite (funny how the simplest ones are often the big hits!). The card is simple layers of black, white and a snowflake print from the "Holiday Thyme" Designer Series paper pack from Stampin' Up a few years back (trying to whittle down my stash:)

The bottom edges were clipped with a corner rounder punch which gives it a nice look. The snowflakes are from the Level 1 Hostess set from the new Holiday Mini catalog, called "Northern Hearts" and has some nice patterns for quick cards and gift tags. The snowflakes were inked with Bashful Blue, then over-colored with Basic Black for accents, then stamped on Whisper White and cut out. The top of the inset panel was stamped with a greeting from the "Bright Christmas" set (love these!) and dots were make with a black marker and the mat pack as a guide. A little black dotted organdy ribbon with a double bow and it's done.

This card could be jazzed up with some silver brads, layered snowflakes and machine stitching, but it works the way it is for a quick, pretty card!

Hope you're having a great day- I'm trying to convince the painters that they really can finish my new master bathroom before the onslaught of in-laws for Thanksgiving:)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Christmas Bells...

Good morning everyone! It's a beautiful, cool breezy morning here- I'm loving this 50-70 degree range we're in right now- finally!! Just a quick post this morning to share another card we made at my class last Friday night.

This card started with a Cherry Cobbler and  Kraft base, layered with patterned paper from the "Deck the Halls" set. Stampin' Up has put out some fabulous matching fabric this season which is perfect for accents on cards and small sewing projects like Christmas stockings, quilted coasters, etc. I used a strip of the fabric for a ruffled ribbon by laying down a strip of Sticky Strip and pleating the ribbon over the top. You could also stitch the pleated ribbon on top of the card for a fancier look.

The bells from the "Bells & Boughs" set were stamped on Very Vanilla card stock with Memento Rich Cocoa and colored with Copics- for the class we colored the image with Cherry Cobbler, Always Artichoke and More Mustard reinkers using an Aquapainter, which looked remarkably similar. The image was cut out using a circular nested die on my Sizzix machine and sponged with Creamy Caramel while the die was still in place to leave a clear edge. The image was matted onto an Artichoke circle and a Cherry Cobbler die cut and mounted with dimensional dots.

A quick and easy card that could be dressed up with some machine stitching and some Prima flowers, but elegant the way it is.

Hope you're having a great day~


Stamps: Bells & Boughs
Paper: Cherry Cobbler, Kraft, Very Vanilla, Deck the Halls DP, Deck the Halls Designer fabric
Ink: Memento Rich Cocoa, Cherry Cobbler, Always Artichoke, More Mustard, Creamy Caramel reinkers
Accessories:Sizzix machine, nested dies, Aquapainter, Stampin' Sponges, red rhinestones, dimensionals

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Jolly Old Santa...

I just looked at the calendar and somehow it has become the middle of November and I am really not clear how that happened so fast. I am convinced that the days between Halloween and Christmas move at a different speed than the rest of the year- maybe Einstein needed to explore that theory of relativity!

I'm beginning to think about my holiday cards, teacher gifts, etc so I am not completely backed up by this time next month. I think I have nailed down the treats for my son to give out to his class (more to come on that another day) but am unclear what to do about my daughter's teachers- is it cool to give teacher gifts in middle school??

My stamp group met Friday night and it was a good time for all, except poor Janice who broke her hand:( We stamped her a kit so she can assemble it when she feels better!

This tag is a different version of my moose/reindeer tag I made a few weeks back. I started this one with the large Santa image from the "Jolly Old Saint Nick" stamp set in the Holiday Mini catalog- I love this set (i.e. you will be seeing more of it-lol!). Santa was colored using an aquapainter and Watercolor Wonder crayons. I used Real Red for his hat, Very Vanilla for the trim, Whisper White for his beard and Blush Blossom for his face.

The tag base was made with Sahara Sand cut out with a "Labels 8" die and embossed with a Snowflake embossing folder on my Sizzix Big Shot machine. Patterned paper was added from the retired sets- Holiday Lounge and Holiday Treasures, with a white scalloped trim layer in between. The hole in the top was punched with a Crop-a-dile and set with a large Pewter brad through both the greeting and the tag. It's finished off with some wide striped grosgrain ribbon tied with some hemp twine.

This layout is good for a variety of different main images and will likely be the mainstay for gift tags this year.

Hope you're enjoying your Sunday- hubby took my 8-year old to his swim meet today, sparing me the 6am wake up call- he is a good man!


Stamps: Jolly Old Saint Nick, Christmas Greetings
Paper: Sahara Sand, Whisper White, Holiday Lounge (retired), Holiday Treasures (retired)
Ink: Memento Rich Cocoa
Accessories: Watercolor Wonder Crayons, Aquapainter, Jumbo Pewter brads, 1-1/4" striped grosgrain ribbon, hemp twine, Crop-a-dile, Scallop trim punch, Sizzix Big Shot, nested dies, snowflake embossing folder

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Snowman Bearing Gifts...

Happy Saturday Everyone! Boy, this started out as a rainy, cool, yucky morning (which didn't stop me from packing my kids off to swim team practice- outdoors...) but it has turned into one of those Houston fall gems. It makes me a little sad that my kids are now past the point of wanting to go to the park- it's a perfect swing day! I'll have to hijack my 8-year old to go outside and throw a football for a bit so I can get out and enjoy it.

Today I wanted to share a card that has been sitting on my craft room desk for the past few weeks waiting for me to finish the last bits. This was made with a digital stamp that I bought on Etsy from the illustrator, Zlatoena- she has some super cute images.

The snowman was printed onto Kraft card stock and colored with Craft ink refills and an aquapainter. The Craft ink is thick enough to be semi-opaque on the Kraft paper and keeps it's color better than markers. I paper pieced his scarf and cut the image out using a nested die on my Sizzix machine, then sponged the edges with Craft Whisper White to make them stand out.

I used Basic Grey "Dasher" patterned paper which has been in my stash for a few years- I loved these patterns so much I have been hoarding them waiting for the right card-lol! The borders and snowflakes were also cut with Spellbinders dies. It's hard to see in the picture, but the white layers of the snowflakes were coated in chunky ice glitter and they really sparkle!

The inside was finished with some of the same paper and a greeting from the "Christmas Greeting" set.

I really like the way this card turned out so I am sure this cute little snowman will make an appearance on some other holiday items this season!

Hope you're having a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Santa Tag card

For some reason my family is having a difficulty adjusting to the time change this year, with the worst offender being my 8 year old son who is waking at 4:30am-ugh!  Once I'm awake at 5am, it's hard to get back to sleep so I've been piddling around in my craft room finishing projects, like this one, that have sat on my desk since the weekend. A good use of time, but I'd still rather be asleep:|

Stampin' Up has several great vintage sets for Christmas this year, including this "Jolly Old Saint Nick" set, which make beautiful tags and gift packaging easy to do.

One of the techniques I wanted to show my class this week was how to color on Kraft card stock and the different looks that can be achieved with Craft ink, Watercolor Wonder Crayons and Classic ink.

The tag was hand cut from a 3x4" Kraft rectangle with a strip of paper from the "Deck the Halls" paper set at the top for contrast. Santa was stamped in the middle using Staz On Timber Brown- I love how you can position the new clear mount stamps perfectly every time- no more wood blocks for me! Santa was colored with an aquapainter and Real Red, Whisper White and Creamy Caramel Craft reinkers. The Craft ink gives a semi-opaque finish which is nice on the Kraft card stock. I couldn't find my Black Craft reinker, so I used a Watercolor Wonder Crayon for the black pieces and it gave a very similar look.

The tag was finished with some Artichoke Seam Binding ribbon tied with some hemp twine and a strand of the cool Silver Tinsel trim (love this stuff!). The Kraft card base was layered with Very Vanilla and Cherry Cobbler, which had been run through the "Petals-a-Plenty" embossing folder on my Sizzix Big Shot machine to give it a look like poinsettias, with some silver brads added to lighten up the corners. A little hand cut banner for the greeting and one of those cool "Big Deck the Halls Buttons" and it was done! These tags would also look pretty on the front of a gift bag or tied onto a kraft paper wrapped package~

Hope you're having a good hump day- 2 more to go!


Stamps: Jolly Old Saint Nick
Paper: Kraft, Very Vanilla, Cherry Cobbler, Deck the Halls Designer Paper
Ink: Staz On Timber Brown, Craft ink refills: Real Red, Whisper White, Creamy Caramel; Black Watercolor Wonder Crayon
Accessories: Seam binding ribbon, hemp twine, silver brads, Big Deck the Halls Buttons, Silver Tinsel trim, Petals-a-Plenty embossing folder, Sizzix Big Shot machine

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Cute Christmas Snow globe...

I have to say it is a bit hard for me to get into the holiday spirit when it's 75-80 degrees here in Houston and the foliage (what there is) hasn't even really begun to turn. I think that disconnect between what I expect (i.e. the New England fall that I am used to) versus the warm sunny days here make me procrastinate about getting holiday planning and shopping done- or so I like to think:) That's my story and I'm stickin' with it!

I have seen some really cute snow globe cards recently and thought that this would be a fun card for my stamping group to make this Friday night. I used the layout from the Mojo Monday sketch and paper from the Candy Cane Christmas paper pack. I love colors in this set- Baja Blue, Real Red, Wild Wasabi and Blushing Bride- perfect for something different than the usual red and green.

 The snow globe was made by punching a 1-3/4" circle in blue snowflake paper, then lining it up over the Whisper White square to stamp the snowman in the middle. After he was colored, I poured some chunky ice glitter into a round Sweet Treat cup, popped it in the hole and glued the two layers together. The snow globe was layered onto a scalloped square shape cut with my Sizzix machine and popped up on dimensionals. The greeting is from an older set called "Short & Sweet" punched out with the Word Window punch and layered onto some Baja Breeze punched with the Modern Label punch. A red satin ribbon bow and some red rhinestones and it's done. My kids had so much fun shaking this guy around last night- poor thing must be dizzy!

Check back tomorrow to see a vintage tag card we'll be making this week. If you can't make the class or you don't live in Houston, email me and I'll send you a kit so you can join in the fun!