Wednesday, November 28, 2007

'Tis the Season for Parties!

I was playing around with my new "Merry & Bright" stamp set the other night, trying to come up with a Christmas card to use myself... and this little snowman told me that he wanted to have a party! So instead of a Christmas card, I ended up with this cute little Christmas party invitation:

This is a super simple pocket card, and would be adorable if you're planning on having a little holiday party in the next few weeks. Here's what the slide out looks like:

I used Naturals White, Brocade Blue, & Real Red here. The snowflakes in the background are stamped with Brocade ink, as is the "You're invited" sentiment. The little snowman is stamped in black StazOn and then colored using a blender pen and the ink pad lids. Plus, I used a 2 Way Glue pen on the rim and ball of the hat and then sprinkled some glitter on it to give him some sparkle - unfortunately that's not very visible in the photo cuz it's just so cute! He fits perfectly in the 1 1/4" circle punch, and can then be layered onto the 1 3/8" circle and finally the scallop punch. I also used the 1/16" handheld circle punch to make the little holes around the scalloped edge - I think it adds so much character like that. The Merry & Bright tag was made with the word window punch and then just stuck behind the scallop. The Real Red scalloped edge was made with the slit punch (kind of opposite of the way you scallop with a corner rounder punch) and then tucked under that 1" lip. Silver brads go all the way through to hold that lip down and create the pocket. Then another silver brad holds the ribbon (Brocade grosgrain used here) on to the slide out. The "time, place, date, rsvp" and "You're invited" stamps came from Hugs & Wishes. You can either stamp that and then hand write the information, or, if you're inviting a lot of people, keep it simple and print it all out on the computer, cut it to size, and stick it on the slide out!

Thanks for looking - hope you're getting geared up for the season!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Very Merry Snowmen

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday (and for those of you in Australia who visit me, I hope you had a wonderful week). I had one more Fall card to show you, but I sent it to my friend and fellow stamper, Nancy Morgan... so you'll have to visit her to see it!

So we're on to winter cards now, full of Christmas cheer! Here is a fun card I made using my Flaky Friends stamp set. I got to use a lot of cool hardware - including those jumbo eyelets! And how can you set one of those puppies without the amazing Crop-A-Dile? It just isn't done, my friend, any other way!

I think the reason I like this card so much is because of the soft watercoloring. Have I told you before how much fun it is to watercolor? It's super easy, too, if you have the right tools. And speaking of tools, I will take this opportunity to mention that I am starting a Watercolor Wonder Club in January! This is a four month commitment where you will receive all four color families of the Watercolor Wonder Crayons, PLUS ALL the tools you need to use them! In addition, you will receive a total of THREE stamp sets that are great for watercoloring, including one Hostess set. We will even meet at my home for some training so I can show you how to use all this great stuff! The cost is $54 each month, which includes the products, shipping, tax, and the training. If you would like to hear more about this club, including a list of all the supplies you will receive, let me know - and you don't have to be local to do this. I can ship anywhere, and I will have a detailed tutorial with photos and written instructions that I can send you in lieu of the training class. Fun! Fun! Fun! Give yourself a gift this Christmas and see for yourself how much fun it is to watercolor!

Card Recipe:
Cardstock: Mellow Moss, Always Artichoke, Rose Red, Naturals White
Ink: Black StazOn, Always Artichoke Craft & Classic, Versamark
Stamps: Flaky Friends, Short & Sweet
Accessories: Jumbo Eyelets, Crop-a-Dile, Hodgepodge Hardware, Photo Corners punch, Tag Corner punch, Watercolor Wonder Crayons, Aquapainter, Burgundy Grosgrain ribbon, Clear Embossing powder

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Christmas Box

Before I head off to spend Thanksgiving with my family, I wanted to share another Christmas project with you. This is the same wooden box that I used for the turkey (see this post), only I decorated it for Christmas this time. Remember that I found these boxes at Michael's for only $1.00 each.

And it looks real nice with a clear bag full of peppermints in it!

I used that wonderful Wintergreen double-sided Designer Series paper again (can you tell it's my favorite paper right now?!) along with a Level 2 Hostess set called Perfect Presentation. The star is from the On Board Accents chipboard pack, inked up with Whisper White craft ink. You can also see a hint of the gold elastic cord - that stuff is great! It ties so well and adds just the right amount of sparkle. If you need extra sparkle this Christmas, don't forget to order your elastic cord in either silver or gold (or both!) before November 30th!!

By the way, since I only had one comment left on my Thanksgiving challenge, I skipped the random selection and am sending the talented Nancy Morgan a beautiful card that I haven't shown anyone yet! I hope she likes it.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!

Monday, November 19, 2007

More Christmas Gift Ideas!

Got another one for you! I got this idea from another talented fellow stamper by the name of Michelle Tate. (I'd link her name, but she doesn't have a blog currently.)

These are made with Stamp & Supply boxes - the plastic boxes that hold our stamp sets. You may not have known that Stampin' Up! sells them empty too! This project uses the extra small size and then some gorgeous double sided Designer Series paper (DON'T FORGET, it's "buy 3 packs get one FREE" this month!! Don't let time run out on you!) Here's a picture of one of the boxes open:

Inside, you can place candy (or other small objects), and the lid has a pocket that you can slip a gift card into! How perfect is that?! What about putting a pair of earrings or a necklace inside for a little girl, or a hotwheel car for a boy, along with a gift card to their favorite store? Here are some other photos:

I do need to mention that one of these boxes is shown with a print of paper not currently available - I didn't realize it until I was almost done. The Christmas box uses the current Wintergreen paper, while the birthday box uses the Enchante paper from last year's winter mini catalog. It's almost the same patterns as the current Le Jardin paper, but in different colors. In a nutshell, almost ANY paper would look lovely on this project.

I know we all tend to give at least a couple gift cards away during the holidays (this is a great idea for teachers!)... So guess what?! I'm going to have another class! On December 15th, at 1:00pm, we will be making these boxes. The class fee of $10 includes the use of my stamp sets and punches, embellishments such as ribbons and brads, TWO stamp & supply boxes, and two sheets of double-sided Designer Series paper (more than enough for two boxes). I will have several patterns of paper available to choose from - be on time for the best selection! If you wish to purchase additional boxes to make during class, they will be available at $2.00 each.

Contact me right away to sign up! Please reserve your seat by December 5th, and if you have an idea of how many boxes you'd like to make, that would be helpful for me to know for ordering purposes. Remember that the $10 fee includes the supplies to make TWO boxes.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Christmas Gifts... the fun & easy way!

Great news! I have the perfect Christmas gift for everyone on your list! Take a look at this:

It's a decorative coaster made out of tile! These are so much fun to make - and they're super easy too! What a statement they make... even more so when your loved ones learn that you made them yourself!!

So here's the details: Instead of the originally scheduled Stamp-a-Stack on December 6th, we're going to do this instead. We'll gather at my home in Allen that evening starting at 7pm and we'll crank out as many as you need! Then you'll get to sit back and relax while everyone ELSE is frantically searching for those last minute gifts! The cost for this class is on a per set basis... A set of 4 coasters costs only $7.50. You can make as many sets as you'd like, but you'll need to let me know by December 2nd how many sets you'd like to reserve. All supplies are included. I will have the one pictured above, along with a few others, to serve as examples, or you can get creative and design your own. There will be several stamp sets and different colors for you to choose from.

Drop me a note to say you'll come join us! ...and don't delay, because this class is filling up FAST!

Simple Thanksgiving

Here is a card that the girls made at our last Girls Club workshop. It's another version of the brayered card I made before, but this one is simple and quick!

The colors are More Mustard, Ruby Red, Naturals Ivory, and Chocolate Chip. The base card is randomly stamped with a leaf from Autum Fest inked in Versamark. The tree comes from A Tree for All Seasons, stamped in Black StazOn (could use Basic Black classic ink if you want) and colored with the Stampin' Write markers. The sentiment comes from Holidays & Wishes, stamped in Chocolate Chip. I added some Chocolate Chip grosgrain ribbon (this particular size is retired, but I had some left) and I finished it off with three Ruby Red brads for balance.

How are you coming along on your Random Thanksgiving Card?? (see prior post)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Thanksgiving Challenge

Ready for a challenge?! I hope you are all working on a few Thanksgiving cards... sending a homemade card is a perfect way to let someone know you are thinking of them this Thanksgiving. I have a platter on my counter that says "Don't count your blessings, Share them." I challenge you to send a card to someone you don't normally send cards to. Let them know you are thankful for their friendship this year. When you've done this, leave a comment on this post and let's see how many blessings get shared this year that otherwise wouldn't have! On Tuesday, November 20th, I will choose a random comment from this post and that will be the person I send my card to!

To get you in the mood, here's another Thanksgiving card that's fun to do:

The focal point, of course, is the multi-color background behind the tree. It's done with glossy paper, the Pumpkin Patch Spectrum pad, and a brayer. You simply ink up the brayer over the spectrum pad - I leave the pads separated so I don't mix the colors on the brayer or on the pad - and then roll it over your piece of glossy cardstock. The ink stays wet long enough to be blended in as you continue to brayer over it. You need to move the brayer slightly to the right and left so you get the colors to fade into each other. Just beautiful! I then stamped a tree from A Tree For All Seasons using StazOn ink, mounted it on Naturals Ivory and then Chocolate Chip. I finished it off with a couple of Old Olive brads to balance it out.

The card base is More Mustard with a leaf from Autumn Fest inked in Versamark and rocked in More Mustard (you've seen me use this technique before here, here, and here. I love the look this gives). The sentiment is from Holidays & Wishes, stamped with Old Olive ink on a piece of Naturals Ivory with the corners punched using the Ticket Corner punch. I inked up the edges to give it just a hint of an outline. I used the Horizontal Slot punch so I could slide the 5/8" Chocolate Chip grosgrain ribbon through and tie.

Have FUN with this... I guarantee your cards ALWAYS turn out better when you're having fun!

Monday, November 12, 2007

What? Another Tutorial?

Yeah, I'm on a roll... 'course, the house is a mess and the laundry is piling up, but I wanted to get this one out there since it would be great for Thanksgiving!

The girls made the boxes (see this post) on Sunday and did a great job! So now it's YOUR turn! You can view my newest tutorial here. Remember to show some love by making a small donation... otherwise I'll have to fire the maid. ONLY JOKING!! (I wear ALL the hats in this house... maid, cook, mom, wife, taxi, and card creator. And not necessarily in that order!)

Have fun!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Snowflakes Spin, Don't They?

...if that title doesn't make sense to you, it will after you read this post. I promised I'd create another spinning card with something that's a little more "appropriate", so here it is!

And I did you one better... I finally made that tutorial I mentioned! You can view it here.


Thursday, November 8, 2007

Stamp-a-ma-jig Made Easy!

I promised some photos of the Stamp-a-ma-jig in action, and it's a promise I'm going to keep! I have created a tutorial on how to use this handy little guy... you can view it here.

Here's a sneak peak at what's in this tutorial...

Please let me know what you think... I strive for easy-to-understand instructions with crystal clear photographs. Did I deliver?

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

My All in the Family Arrived!

Yippee! My new All in the Family stamp set arrived yesterday afternoon and I got right to work assembling it! I wanted to make something right away (ie. I didn't want to take the time to design something myself!), so I browsed through other people's cards for something to CASE ("copy and share everything"). I found this lovely card on Splitcoast, so I ran with it and made both a girl and a boy birthday card.

On the boy card, I punched the circle in the front of the card for more interest. Here's how it looks when you open it:

How much fun!! These will be perfect for nieces and nephews, friends' kids, grandchildren... and they weren't hard to make at all. I used the Cutie Pie double-sided Designer Series paper (REMEMBER!! Buy 3 DS Papers and Get 1 FREE this month only!) which has wonderful colors to choose from. The girl card is So Saffron and the boy card is Brocade Blue. The little children are matted onto Rose Red. I chose a ribbon for the girl card, but used a couple eyelets and a strip of Naturals White (same as what the kids are stamped onto) for the boy card. The sentiment is from Think Happy Thoughts with a flower punched from the Spring Flower Bouquet punch. That's a fun punch because you get 3 different flowers with just one punch. You see two of them on the cards above... you can see the third kind at left.

For the kiddos, I used my Stamp-a-ma-jig to get them lined up perfectly. That's a REALLY cool tool... I hadn't really used it much before now, but now that I have mastered it, I can see all sorts of uses for it! For example, when I stamped the little girls' legs, a portion of it didn't show up because I had a scrap of paper stuck to the rubber (that's what I get for not cleaning off my stamp table before I started working!). Usually, that means I'll have to cut another piece of cardstock and start again. NOT ANYMORE! I used the Stamp-a-ma-jig to stamp those legs a second time in the EXACT same spot! It worked beautifully. I really do recommend this tool with this set.

That's it for now... but stay tuned! I'm Stampin' Up! a storm these days!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Happy Birthday, Ray & Michael

Today is a special birthday... it's my husband, Michael's, and our good friend, Ray's - both born the same year, too! Here's a card I whipped up real quick to give to Ray. ...come to think of it, I didn't make a card for Michael this time - what was I thinking?? Ah well, I made him a cake and I can promise you he appreciated the cake more than he would've a card!

I do not currently have a lot in the way of masculine stamps, so I relied on my old trusty Baroque Motifs to help me out! I thought this card kind of had a "tuxedo" feel to it. I embossed the black swirl for extra flair, but you can't tell from this photo. The sentiment is from All Holidays, but I inked it with the Real Red marker so I could stamp it on two separate lines. Simple card - and I honestly made it in 15 minutes... just before we headed out the door last Friday to go to a hockey game with Ray & his wife, Jazen. Had a great time, too!

Happy birthday, guys!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Let's Talk Turkey!

Now that Halloween is over and done with... well, except for this enormous pile of hip-expanding-sugar-coated-chocolate-bombs... we can start focusing on all the things we're thankful for! Here is what we will be making at the next Girls Club workshop:

What a terrific gift this would make... that is, if the girls will part with it! It can store pencils, candy, a bag of bath salts... get creative! I had a blast making this little guy, and I know the girls will too. This workshop will be held on Sunday, November 11th at 2pm. Girls ages 8 through 15 are welcome to attend, and yes, Mom can come too! Sign up now to reserve your spot! The class fee is $10 per child, or $15 for a mother/daughter pair. NEW: If you place a $15+ dollar order, you can take $5 off of your class fee! All supplies are included (even the wooden box!), but please bring your own adhesive and scissors.

Let me take this quick opportunity to tell you about Stampin' Up!'s November promotion... it's awesome!! When you buy 3 packs of double-sided Designer Series paper, the 4th on is FREE!! Take advantage of the sale and STOCK UP! There are no limits. I will be posting several projects this month that use these papers - like today's for example! The turkey box pictured above was covered with Certainly Celery monochromatic double-sided paper. Everything is dressed up when you cover it with DSP!

And finally, if you haven't checked my blog in the last few days (shame on you!), please be sure to read the previous post. I really want us to do all that we can to support the family of Dave Abbott. I ordered my All in the Family set yesterday and it has already shipped out... Yippee! As soon as it arrives, I'll be making some samples to show you. Remember that I am passing my demonstrator discount on to you by offering 20% off of this set during the month of November. Let's show Dave's family that we care!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

In Honor of Dave Abbott

Many of you may know that Dave Abbott, Stampin' Up!'s General Manager in Australia, passed away on October 18th from hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), a rare blood disease. He became ill in November 2006 and went through various treatments to fight the disease. I never had the honor of meeting this wonderful man, but I have heard so many great things about him from my friends in Sydney. Even though he was in and out of the hospital, Dave remained involved in building the company and getting to know the demonstrators in Australia as well as in the United States. Dave was only 41 and leaves behind a wife and three small children.

Stampin' Up! has set up a fund to help his family through this devastating loss. During the month of November, they are donating 100% of the proceeds from the sale of the 28-piece All in the Family stamp set in ALL of their markets to directly benefit Dave's wife and children.

I want us all to do our part... I will be purchasing my set immediately and would love for you to be able to do the same. To help you, I am giving up my commission on this set in the hopes that we can make a big difference for a family in need. From November 1st thru 30th, order this set from me at 20% off... instead of $36.95, your cost would be $29.56. It's a fun set - and essential if you have kids of your own! You can see it on page 83 of the current Idea Book & Catalog (you can access the catalog from the link down at left) or click here to view the official flyer that includes the set along with a picture of Dave's family. Let me know if you would like to purchase a set of your own and show Dave's family that we care.