Saturday, November 28, 2009

For my not-so-little little boy

This week Ben turns 6! I can't even believe it. He's getting so big - literally, he's seeming much taller to me lately, and he's reading really well and doing great in school... he's just growing up. Sniff! I hope he's still little enough that I could make him a little-boy card for his birthday.

I was browsing the Oliebollen site (today's source for the SCS inspiration challenge) and looking for something that would work on Ben's card. I came across these dinosaurs and decided they would be perfect. I still have my retired Prehistoric Pals set - with lots of dinosaur lovers in my house I probably will never be able to part with them! Based on the colors on the Gund dinos, I picked bashful blue, certainly celery, so saffron and close to cocoa. I used a sketch challenge, and it's my first time playing along with the ladies at Stamping 411. I turned it into a horizontal card because that just worked better with my fairly large image.

I started off by stamping the brontosaurus in bashful blue and then masking him off to stamp the palm trees. I added the pterodactyl later with dimensionals. The sentiment from Bitty Birthday was punched with the curly label punch and mounted under the dino panel. For the background I used so saffron and bashful blue DP. The blue layer is the solid that comes in the DP pack - I decided to use this for a little less weight, although now I'm wondering if I would like the stripe better. Oh well... For embellishments I added celery poly-twill ribbon, a Sherbet button tied with hemp twine, and a chipboard 6 that I covered with the same saffron dot paper and sanded.

Happy (early) birthday to my favorite boy!

It's beginning to look a lot like...

no, not Christmas! For this week's Our Creative Corner challenge, we have a sketch that calls to mind beautiful Christmas ornaments. Well, I'm feeling rather Christmas-ed out in my stamping, as you could probably imagine! So I flipped the sketch upside-down and went a totally different way.

My idea was to turn the ornaments into trees or flowers. I ended up using one of my favorite flower images from Petal Pizazz. As I was trying to decide on a color scheme, my eye landed on the stack of Basic Grey Lemonade paper that is out on my table - I'm really trying to use stuff up while stocking my Etsy shop at the same time. I decided this paper would be lovely for my card.

I got a little fussy with my flowers - I wanted to stamp on whisper white so that I'd get the true color from the rich razzleberry ink, but I didn't like the white centers of the flowers. So I stamped them on white and cut them out, then stamped them again on the untextured side of my yellow Bazzill cardstock and just cut out the centers. Voila, yellow centers for my flowers! I then put American Crafts taffy buttons tied with hemp twine in the center of each flower to cover the ink, which when stamped on the yellow just looked too brown.

I arranged my flowers coming out of a strip of kiwi kiss cardstock stamped tone on tone with the Linen background stamp. I used more hemp twine for the "stems" and then added kiwi leaves. (These were stamped on white - I'm not fussy enough to try to cut out those leaf veins!) The sentiment (by Impression Obsession) was stamped on another of the Lemonade prints and then punched. To anchor that bit of gingham check, I added a strip of the gingham paper at the bottom, allowing just a bit of the yellow card base to show. A strip of eyelet border punch razzleberry cardstock finished off my card.

Be sure you check out all the wonderful samples from the OCC team this week! I hope you'll play along with this fun challenge.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I love my Etsy customers

Having an Etsy shop is so much fun, and I love when my loyal customers come to me with an idea and I get to create something special just for them. This project was a real joy to make. The request was for a frame that said "family" on it, in black, white, and light blue, with dry embossing and some scrollwork. I ran with those ideas and came up with this frame - I have to say, I just love it and may need to make one that I can keep!

I used the Bride specialty paper to cover the frame, which I'd painted with white acrylic paint. The sentiment was done on the computer and framed with one of the Gallery images. I really had fun embellishing this project. It took some thought as to how to get the dry embossing onto it - I ended up cutting out the Nestabilities label and the flower from the Birds & Blooms sizzlits with bashful blue cardstock and then embossing them with the finial press folder. Then I added more flowers - another smaller one from Birds & Blooms, one from Blossom Party, and one large chipboard flower that I covered with black craft ink and embossed with black EP. The scrolls are cut from the Tulipe die - I put the smaller pieces together with the larger ones to get more elaborate scrolls. Buttons (Sherbet and a couple black buttons I had on hand) threaded with cardstock gave the finishing touches. I really hope the recipient loves it!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Craft Fair ABCs

I am now on the other side of my only craft fair event of the season, and I would say that it went well for me, even though attendance was a lot lower than the preschool hoped it would be. I thought I'd share a couple of my favorite ABC projects that are new this year.

Last year my tumbled tile coasters were a big hit at the fair so I figured I'd better make some new ones. Click here for the SCS tutorial on making these. I was working on some other designs and trying to think of what else I could do, when I thought of the Vintage Ornament stencils I'd just received. They are in the Decor Elements catalog, and they are really wonderful! This one was the best size to fit on the tiles - it actually would have fit the whole thing but I liked it better offset a bit. I used daubers and Stazon ink in black cherry and jet black, then added the sentiment from Berry Christmas.

Here's another project - Christmas countdown blocks. I just loved how this set turned out. I made some of these when I first started doing craft fairs two years ago, but I never posted them here. I did find the idea somewhere but I'm afraid the link is long gone... I don't believe a tutorial was posted with that link, though, so here is mine.

1. From your local hobby store get two plain wooden blocks (I used 2" blocks) and an appropriately sized base, and sand edges.

2. If desired, paint base and edges of blocks with acrylic paint. These look great natural too, but I wanted to paint mine white. It took two coats to cover the base, but the blocks looked okay with just one.

3. Cover each side of your blocks with a square of designer paper (my squares are 1 7/8"). I used Basic Grey Eskimo Kisses paper. If possible, it's nice to use 12 different prints so you know two of the same print won't end up next to each other. But if you don't have that many prints to choose from, putting the duplicate prints on the same block will take care of that problem.

4. Add the numbers. You need the following: 0, 0, 1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. My numbers are embossed chipboard numbers (naked chipboard by Basic Grey, embossed with old olive craft ink and clear EP). The easiest way to emboss these is to leave them in the chipboard sheet, cover them with ink, emboss, and punch them out.

5. Adhere the numbers to the blocks. In theory these Basic Grey numbers were backed with adhesive but I used Tombow mono multi just to make sure they would stay on. VERY IMPORTANT: It matters how you arrange the numbers so you will be able to make all necessary combinations. On one block you need: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and on the other block, 0, 1, 2, 6, 7, 8. Note that you need to make sure your 6 can be turned upside down to make the 9 - for that square use a paper that can be turned any direction and a number 6 that looks OK both ways.

6. I printed the "Days till Christmas" text on the computer onto whisper white then adhered to the base with sticky strip.

For selling these sets I wrapped them in clear cellophane and tied them with a ribbon. I only had two sets and both sold in the first half hour of the fair! So I'd say these were a hit and I'll definitely be making more. I think my kids would love them too, so I'd better make a set for them to keep!

Thanks for stopping by. I know I've been quiet this week - I was actually hoping to stamp today but I woke up with a horrible headache that hasn't really gone away. Maybe tomorrow... I thought I would at least share these projects today, and hopefully I'll be back with more cards soon!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Divine Diva Inspiration Challenge #16

Thanks for visiting and checking out today's challenge! This week we have a room challenge - my favorite - from Pottery Barn. The typewriter-style wall art and the colors really grabbed my eye.

I kept it really clean and simple with my card. My sentiment, which I made with American Crafts rub-ons and a 3/4" punch, is meant to emulate the wall art. I put this on a plain kraft background. The image is a single flower from Petal Pizazz, stamped in riding hood red, with a stem made from some way old SAB rub-ons. I did one leaf separately so I could piece it with kraft. A bit of ribbon and lots of dimensionals and voila! I am liking the CAS style more and more these days, but I am also hoping that once my craft fair is over this weekend I will have a little extra time for creating just for me. We shall see...

Be sure to check out the cards made by all the Divine Divas for this challenge!







Hope you are inspired to come and play along. Just leave a comment here with a link to your card. We can't wait to see what you create! The keyword for uploading on SCS will be DDIC16. Have fun and look for the next challenge on December 3!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Blog candy winner!

I'm here to announce the lucky winner of the surprise Christmas blog candy for my Twelve Days of Christmas challenge. And the winner is...

Eryn, for this comment on Day 8:

"Love how you added the snowflakes to the ribbon....really changed the look!! I love the Dasher stamp..have done several cards with him myself..."

Thanks to everyone who visited my blog, left comments, subscribed, or all of the above... I appreciate all of you and hope you'll be back!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Twelve Days of Christmas (Cards) - Day 12 (a little late)

Sorry again for my inability to post yesterday. I'm not sure what was going on, but everything seems to be fine now!

Here is my last card for my Christmas card buffet, and my twelve days of cards. Today's card is also for this week's Our Creative Corner challenge, which is to make a card inspired by a postcard or postcard layout. This is what I came up with. The colors come from this purse for the SCS inspiration challenge.

I started out with the Christmas Punch set, which has this sweet little Santa postage stamp image. I sponged a vanilla card base with soft suede and then added the postage stamp in perfect plum. (Everything on this card was sponged with soft suede, and some of the edges were distressed as well.) Then I had the idea to take the Top Note die and put only a portion of the shape on the card. The background and Top Note were stamped with Serene Snowflakes (first, second and third generations). Over that I put a computer-generated text from the Christmas carol "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" - which I think of as being kind of old-fashioned somehow. To finish I added a strip of perfect plum DP with a vanilla ribbon and knot, and a sentiment from Many Merry Messages which I cut out.

And here's just one more thing for you to look at - I redid the last card (from day 11) with rich razzleberry instead of real red. I just wasn't happy with how the red looked, but I like this much better. What do you think?

Wow, can you believe it? That's all 12 cards! Thanks so much for reading along during this challenge. It's really been fun, and it makes me wish I could keep posting every single day! Don't forget your last chance to enter to win the hidden Christmas blog candy. I will announce the winner at 2 p.m. Eastern on Monday, November 16, so you have until then to leave your comments on my twelve challenge posts. I've really enjoyed sharing these cards with you - I hope you've gotten some great ideas, and I hope you'll visit my blog again!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Technical difficulties

I'm having some issues today, so I will be delaying the 12th day of my Christmas card challenge until tomorrow. Sorry to have to do that! I will keep the blog candy contest open until Monday, November 16, at 2 p.m. Eastern time, so you have until then to leave comments on my twelve card posts (one comment per person per post, please). Thanks and be sure to come back tomorrow for the last card!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Twelve Days of Christmas (Cards) - Day 11

Hello, me again! I can't decide whether to be proud of myself for keeping up with this challenge, ready to be finished, or sad that I'm almost done - I think it's a little bit of all of those!

Today's card is my second make and take for tomorrow's workshop. I really love how this one turned out. It came about because I wanted to use the Sassy Sparkles wheel, and I wasn't getting anywhere, so I searched the SCS gallery and ended up CASEing this card. I chose bordering blue for my lightest color, which I wheeled in soft suede, then layered onto real red and soft suede. I left enough room on the top and bottom of the suede layer to add some piercing. The ornaments are real red (I swear they are!) and on the center one I stamped a second time in bordering blue and punched out the snowflake to pop up the center. It seemed like the blue needed to be grounded by appearing somewhere else and this was the perfect solution. I used silver elastic cord to "hang" the ornaments and a sentiment from Christmas Greetings - I nearly missed this set in the catalog and I'm so glad I didn't!

OK, I'm off to work on some more workshop projects. Here's the blog candy reminder for today: leave a comment and you might win! Blah blah blah.... ;) (If you haven't been following my challenge all along then just go back and look at the previous posts - you'll want to comment there, too!)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Twelve Days of Christmas (Cards) - Day 10

Whew! OK, I will admit this is starting to get tough... but here is my card for today. No challenges with this one - I'm flying solo! And keeping it pretty simple as well.

For this card I started out with the lattice die and some always artichoke cardstock. I ended up making two lattices and overlapping them, then adhering them to a naturals ivory card base. For a pop of color I added some real red polka-dot ribbon. The tree and sentiment are from Season of Joy - I used one of the Lots of Tags dies for the sentiment and added an artichoke button (from Fresh Favorites) tied with hemp twine. And that's it! I'm really concentrating on getting ready for Friday's workshop - which will have at least 6 people, yay! - so I'm going to keep it short for today.

I'm sure you are getting tired of hearing this, but just in case anyone new is joining us today - don't forget to leave comments on my Twelve Days of Christmas posts in order to have lots of chances to win the Christmas blog candy that's hidden somewhere during this challenge. Only two more days after today!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Twelve Days of Christmas (Cards) - Day 9

If you're still here, thanks for sticking with me! Welcome to day 9. Today I made what I think actually will be a make and take at Friday's workshop. I wanted to make a card that is just stamps, ink and paper (SIP) - not as easy as it sounds, at least not for me! But I like what I came up with. The sketch is (loosely) Mercy Kerin's latest - I made it vertical and simplified it a little.

You may have seen this wreath technique before - it was demoed at our regional in Portland and I'd seen it even before that. This was my first time trying it out. The stamp is from Autumn Days, and I made it by first stamping the image in a square in always artichoke, then doing the same with old olive and certainly celery but just offsetting the image each time. The cardstock is naturals ivory, and I added bravo burgundy berries and a flower (both from Berry Christmas) to bring in a bit more color. I stamped the sentiment (from Four the Holidays) in burgundy on a scrap of celery, then cut it out to look like ribbon and added the stitching with a burgundy marker. Before I assembled the card I sponged all the edges with more burgundy ink.

My plan for the workshop is to stamp the wreath and the sentiment, put it all together with those basic elements, and then show how to step it up by adding the flower, the sponging, and the faux stitching. I hope they like it - tell me what you think! And don't forget to leave me a comment to enter for the Christmas blog candy that's hidden somewhere in my Twelve Days challenge!

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Twelve Days of Christmas (Cards) - Day 8

The days are ticking down... but I'm happy to say I'm still enjoying making Christmas cards! Today's card is for two challenges: Clean and Simple at SCS, which is a color challenge to use white plus only one other color, and a sketch challenge I'm playing for the first time, 2 Sketches 4 You.

Working with this sketch, I wanted an image that could stand on its own, and I thought the Dasher stamp would be a great choice. I've made a lot of cards with red and brown so I wanted to go with a blue - I chose brocade blue, which has the advantage that the wide grosgrain ribbon comes in that color. I wanted some special way to deal with the two strips on the sketch, so rather than just using ribbon, I adhered punched snowflakes (from Christmas Punch) to the ribbon with glue dots. Then the final touch was the sentiment from Heard from the Heart. This card is the epitome of clean and simple - in fact, it's probably a 10-minute card, and it's also pretty flat. Great for reproducing for Christmas cards!

Just a few days left to leave me a comment on my Twelve Days cards for a chance to win the Christmas blog candy I've hidden somewhere within these twelve posts - I'm really enjoying reading all the comments! Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Twelve Days of Christmas (Cards) - Day 7

Whew, the time is flying by... I'm back with another card! This one is the most involved I've made so far, and it's also very heavy - lots of dimensionals. I will probably recommend to my card buffet stampers that they make it a flatter card - you could even leave the knot off the ribbon. But I decided to go all out with my card, since it's always easy to simplify things later.

Today's card is also for the featured stamper challenge, which is honoring Christine ( I have seen Christine around SCS a lot - in addition to her beautiful cards, she is one of those wonderful stampers who is very good about leaving comments. From Christine's lovely gallery I chose this card, thinking it would be great as a Christmas card.

I liked Christine's use of metallic cardstock, but I wanted to use this twill ribbon from the holiday mini catalog, which I didn't really want to pair with gold or silver. So I turned again to my shimmer paint. For the punched snowflake (from Berry Christmas) I repeated the technique of combining reinker (old olive) with shimmer paint (champagne mist) as I described on this post, but I also used a dauber to apply the champagne paint directly to the stamp for the olive panel. Again, you need very little paint - one tiny dab will do it.

For the rest of my card, I used the tiny dot texture plate with vanilla cardstock. I loved how Christine put the white on white on her card, so I emulated that with vanilla. I used the pennant die for my scalloped edge and a sentiment from Four the Holidays - I couldn't decide whether I wanted real red or old olive ink for it, so I used markers and got both! I really love how this one turned out - I think it's one of my favorites so far.

I just want to give a quick shout-out to my readers and new subscribers - I've now passed 30,000 hits and I obviously couldn't have done it without you! I really appreciate all of your wonderful comments, and don't forget to keep leaving them to be entered to win the hidden Christmas blog candy that will go to one lucky commenter on my Twelve Days of Christmas posts!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Twelve Days of Christmas (Cards) - Day 6

Wow, I can't believe this challenge is halfway over. It's going by too quickly - that means I have less and less time to get ready for next weekend's events! I think I should probably clarify one little thing - I'm not attempting to incorporate the Christmas carol "The Twelve Days of Christmas" into my cards. ;) There have been some interesting coincidences, like the gold on Day 5, or elements of two and three on those days, but it hasn't been intentional! Connecting my cards to the song didn't even occur to me, LOL. But I will say the song has been running through my head all day!

Well, anyway... Here is today's card. I found a great inspiration piece on the Jonathan Adler web site for the inspiration challenge on SCS: the utopia bird vase. I translated this into a card using very vanilla, kraft, chocolate chip and ruby red with the Gifts of Christmas stamp set. I really wanted to stick to clean and simple today - hence the wide vanilla border and the large central image panel. I colored the image with markers because I wanted to stamp a different sentiment onto the base of the card, and while I was at it I went ahead and colored the flowers ruby red and the rest chocolate chip. This was pretty fussy coloring but I think it was worth it. I also stamped the dove a second time on vanilla, cut it out and popped it up. The sentiment is from Many Merry Messages. I did use some chocolate chip taffeta ribbon and piercing on this card since I have done very little embellishing on these Christmas cards so far, but I think this could easily be a nice SIP (stamps, ink, paper) card for the workshop folks. We'll see. Like I said the other day, I'm too indecisive to say for sure right now!

Pumpkin Patch

Welcome to the first November challenge for Our Creative Corner! This week we have an inspiration challenge from our November hostess, Jennifer Meyer. It's a photo of pumpkins decorated with faces, and when I first looked at the photo, I thought, "pumpkins... faces... scrapbook page!" So my project this week is a page I designed in My Digital Studio, using some photos from my trip to the pumpkin patch with my kids. I recommend clicking on the photo to enlarge it since the thumbnail may look a little pixellated.

A few days ago I was browsing my old Stampin' Success magazines looking for ideas for my workshop and card buffet, and I came across an article where a designer had found the inspiration for scrapbook page layouts in various packaging. I decided to try this approach for my own layout. One of the ICs on SCS had used a great site called Lovely Package, and it's always fun to browse. My layout came from this meat packaging (yes, really, meat). It seemed like a great layout for using several photos, and I knew I had a few good ones that I could use.

This is a pretty basic page... I'm still new at this, you know! ;) I used a pumpkin pie background paper and decreased the opacity to lighten the shade. My stamps are from Holiday Blitz, and I also put the Basic Black Distressed stamp over everything to get the distressed edges. The only embellishment is a Button Latte button, with a pumpkin pie grosgrain ribbon knot. (I hope we get some other possible ties for our buttons in a future download - I hate leaving them naked!)

I hope you'll play along with us, and don't forget to check out all the fabulous work from the rest of the OCC design team! Thanks so much for stopping by today!

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Twelve Days of Christmas (Cards) - Day 5

Five days into this challenge and I decided to do something different for today's card. I chose less traditional colors and made it a religious card. The layout is Beate's weekend sketch challenge.

For this card the colors came first - I thought the combo of rich razzleberry, bashful blue, and night of navy would be elegant and striking. I chose this image from Holy Triptych, which I stamped with basic black and colored with markers (the above colors plus close to cocoa and blush blossom). I wanted to make the star and halos stand out in some way, so rather than just coloring them, I added some two-way glue and gold galaxy glitter. Then to add a little more sparkle, I put more glitter in the corners of the card and on the scallops of the sentiment (which is from Many Merry Messages). Gold brads would have looked better, but I don't have any, so this will have to do. I may end up changing this one - I love how the image turned out, but I am not sure about the rest of it!

Don't forget to leave a comment on any of the Twelve Days of Christmas posts to enter to win the surprise blog candy that I've hidden somewhere during the challenge. My first post tomorrow will be for the OCC and will not be a Christmas card, but I will be sure to do a Christmas card as well. Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Twelve Days of Christmas (Cards) - Day 4

This was a toughie today... I had a hard time finding a challenge that was suitable and not a whole lot of time! Finally I happened on the Viva la Verve sketch challenge and I decided I could make that work. It was also a limited supply challenge, and it wasn't easy, but I did it! The limits were one (type of) embellishment, two cardstock colors (plus a neutral), and three stamps.

I'd seen a swap card at the Portland regional that used the five petal punch to make a poinsettia. I've since seen the idea elsewhere, so I think it's caught on! I decided to try it on today's card. I punched two real red flowers and two garden green flowers, then on the red ones I scored each petal, folded them in half a little for dimension, and sponged real red ink on the edges. I put the red flowers together with a very vanilla 5/16" brad and then added the "leaf" flowers behind them.

The largest circle is made with Stampin' Up! products - but not what you might think. The large scallop circle comes from the scallop circle #2 die; the inside circle is traced from a chipboard circle and cut out. Inside the vanilla circle I stamped the snowflake from Delightful Decorations several times with chocolate chip. The sentiment is from the large block stamp in Season of Joy, and for my third stamp I used the French Filigree background with garden green ink and cardstock. The designer paper is from Merry Moments.

Gotta run... I'm just in time for the bus dropoff! Whew, I'm glad that came together quickly! Thanks for visiting, and don't forget to leave a comment so you can enter to win the surprise Christmas blog candy that I'll give to one person who commented sometime during my Twelve Days of Christmas challenge!

Divine Diva Inspiration Challenge #15

It's so nice to be back with a new Divine Diva challenge for you - three weeks seems like a long time! I'm taking a break from Christmas cards for this week's challenge.

I decided to use some rich colors - melon mambo and elegant eggplant, along with old olive and whisper white. This wasn't my original plan - I was trying to do something a lot more complicated and it just wasn't working. When I'm in the middle of struggling with a card, and I feel like I'm beating my head against the wall, it takes me way too long to remember that simplifying things usually solves my problem. But eventually I decided to try fewer colors and a simpler design, and this is what I ended up with.

The main image is from Charming, and I colored it with melon and olive markers then cut out with Nestabilities. I used a larger layer of eggplant cardstock behind it. The card base is also eggplant, with a background of melon cardstock that I stamped tone on tone with the Cornish Heritage Farms sophisticated swirl backgrounder. The sentiment (from Papertrey Ink's Mixed Messages) was stamped in eggplant right onto the image panel. To finish off the card, I added olive ribbon (from the holiday mini) and three Martha Stewart adhesive pearls.

Be sure to check out the cards made by all the Divine Divas for this challenge!







Hope you are inspired to come and play along. Just leave a comment here with a link to your card. We can't wait to see what you create! The keyword for uploading on SCS will be DDIC15. Have fun and look for the next challenge on November 19!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Twelve Days of Christmas (Cards) - Day 3

I'm back with my Christmas card for today. This is a pretty simple one - in fact, I think it could end up being one of the make and takes for my upcoming workshop. (I am so indecisive that I may not make up my mind until the day of!)

This card uses the most recent Mojo Monday sketch. It's a contest week and I probably strayed too far from the sketch to even hope of winning, but I still like the card!

Looking at the sketch, I first thought of Patterned Pines to fill that large focal area. I then went to my Merry Moments designer paper and chose the old olive snowflake print to use for the background, and stamped the trees with olive ink on very vanilla cardstock. I placed a single layer of chocolate chip on a vanilla card base, then added the 4" square of DP and a strip of olive cardstock, leaving a border around the outside and in between. I put my chocolate chip punched snowflake in the upper left, with a 1/4" punch of old olive in the center. Then I just needed to figure out where to put a sentiment, and after considering lots of options, I cut out chocolate chip letters with the Timeless Type dies to spell "joy" down the right side.

This is a great Christmas card for mailing because it's totally flat - you could always pop the layers up on dimensionals, add brads or ribbon, etc., if you wanted to dress it up. I think I'll keep this design in my back pocket in case I need to crank out some last-minute cards this year. (What, me wait to the last minute? No way...)

Thanks for visiting and don't forget to leave a comment - there is surprise Christmas blog candy hidden somewhere during my Twelve Days of Christmas challenge and you never know where it might turn up!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Twelve Days of Christmas (Cards) - Day 2

Only the second day of my challenge and I'm having such fun making these Christmas cards! Today I tackled the color challenge, neutrals with a pop. Of course, it wasn't until I finished the card that I remembered the challenge was to use only neutral cardstock... but I really needed the red in the two places I added it so I'll stand by my card! I feel like this card must be a CASE of someone but I don't know who... I've seen so many great cards with this set, Delightful Decorations.

I have been wanting to try out the shimmer paints from the holiday mini for a while now and finally had an excuse to break them open. Andrea Walford has some great tips for using the shimmer paint, so I tried two of her techniques. First I combined 91% rubbing alcohol (Andrea used 99% - I'm not sure we have that in the US) with a few drops of champagne shimmer paint and soft suede reinker, then I sprayed it onto soft suede cardstock. Maybe the soft suede reinker wouldn't have been necessary - I'll have to play around more and see! That gave me a nice shimmery background when the alcohol evaporated. For the ornaments I mixed reinker and shimmer paint: real red and frost white, and soft suede and champagne. I used a small plastic lid to mix a tiny bit of each together, then applied the mixture to the stamps with a sponge dauber. It's a really lovely effect. Tip of the day: You don't need a heavy coating of the paint mixture - in fact, if you get too much the blank spaces in your image will start to get filled in with paint. So just aim for a light coating - I was able to cover the images nicely with one dab of paint.

This is one of those cards that I feel just doesn't photograph well... it's hard to see the shimmer, especially on the ornaments, and I think the red ornament doesn't look so pink IRL. But you know how that goes. This photo might give you a slightly better view of the shimmery areas.

I embellished both ornaments with a rhinestone brad for a little more sparkle. To finish the card I drew hanging threads for both ornaments with my soft suede marker, mounted the ornaments with dimensionals, and glued a red grosgrain bow on top of each one. The sentiment is from Teeny Tiny Wishes and was punched with the word window and modern label punches. This has to be my current favorite combination of punches for sentiments!

Don't forget that there is blog candy hidden somewhere for you while I'm running my Twelve Days challenge - leave lots of comments because you never know which day the winner will be chosen from!

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Twelve Days of Christmas (Cards) - Day 1

I have a couple big events coming up in the next couple weeks. The first is my first ever workshop, on November 13, and the second is my Christmas card buffet on November 15. I'm issuing a challenge to myself to get ready for both at once, by making at least one challenge card each day between now and November 13, which just happens to be 12 days. This is so I have a nice display of cards I've made to show at the workshop and also use at the card buffet.

Considering the limitations of the challenge, these cards will most likely be:
1. SUO (Stampin' Up! only)
2. Christmas cards (at least until I've finished the ten designs for the card buffet)
3. On the simpler side - and probably flatter as well, so that they will be easy to mail.

I hope you'll come check out my cards each day, and you are more than welcome to join in the challenge yourself - with whatever sort of Christmas cards you feel like making. And just to make this a little more fun - and to put a little more pressure to myself to keep up with the challenge - I'm going to offer some surprise Christmas blog candy to one randomly chosen stamper who leaves a comment on these cards. I didn't manage to give away any 25K blog candy and now I'm getting close to 30K, so it seemed like the perfect time for some goodies. The blog candy will be "hidden" on one of the twelve posts, so the more comments you leave, the better your chances of winning!

OK, now on to the first card. I know I've seen other cards that use this glittery embossing technique with the Scenic Season stamp set - so I'm not even sure who to credit with the idea. (You can see the glitter better if you click on the photo to enlarge it.) I thought this would be a fun card to make at the buffet and hopefully a wow at the workshop. I also used the Clean and Simple sketch challenge, although I had to fiddle with it a lot because my oval was so large.

I colored the trees on the stamp with a handsome hunter marker and the bird with real red, then stamped onto whisper white and cut out the oval with the scallop oval frame die. Next I took my Versamark pad directly to the paper and embossed right over the image with iridescent ice EP and added the real red frame. The strip of paper comes from the Christmas Cocoa specialty paper in the holiday mini, then I added the sentiment and the frame from Lots of Tags. Finally I adhered the bow, made from ribbon that's also in the mini catalog. (At the card buffet I will make the bow optional if folks are concerned about making sure it's flat for mailing.)