Tuesday, December 30, 2014

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I just wanted to take a few moments to wish you all:



I hope you all have a satisfying and fulfilling 2015! Stay CRAFTY!

Smiles.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

STELLA'S CAT

Today is an extra-special day. My little granddaughter, Stella, turns seven years old today! Of course, I couldn't let a special Stella occasion slip by without creating a cute card for her to enjoy. 

For Birthday #7, I chose to make her a cat, using mostly punches and Framelits:


The color combo was taken from the 2013-2015 In Colors: Crisp Cantaloupe, Pistachio Pudding and Strawberry Slush. (Don't you get hungry every time you hear those color names??) 

A close-up of the card shows how each feature was made. 

To form the ears, I simply measured halfway across the card to find the center horizontally, went down 1 3/4" inches from the top, drew light pencil lines from each upper corner of the card down to where my little marks intersected, and cut away the ensuing triangle. 

The pink inside the ears comes with two punches of the Triangle Punch (page 222). The "whites" of the eyes were created with the smallest of the star Framelits (page 231), while for the green portion of the eyes, I used the 1/2" Circle Punch (page 221), for the black, it was the 1/4" Circle Punch (page 223) that I used. And, finally the 1/8" Circle Punch (page 223) was used for the tiny white dots on the eyes.

The nose, of course, was created with the Small Heart Punch, which is now retired. However, the heart punch from the Itty Bitty Accents Punch Pack (page 222) would work equally as well.

Kitty's tongue was one of the petals from the Fun Flower punch on page 219. 

Finally, I had loads of fun creating the kitty's cheeks. They were punched out with the 1 3/8" Circle Punch (page 221). I added Crisp Cantaloupe polka dots with a stamp from a past Paper Pumpkin kit. I then sponged the edges of the circles with Crisp Cantaloupe ink. Using the 1/8" Circle Punch, I punched five holes in the sides of each of the circles. The cheeks were then popped up in place with a single Stampin' Dimensional in the center of each.

To create the whiskers, I inserted ultra-thin strips of black cardstock that I cut, anchoring them in place inside the holes with a dot of the Green Glue (page 204). To make them look more like whiskers, I used my Paper Snips (page 215) to trim the ends to points.

Fortunately, I still had a bit of the glorious Gumball Green stitched ribbon in my stash. So, I cut a slit the width of the ribbon in the fold of the card and inserted enough ribbon for the ends to meet in the front, and anchored them with Glue Dots (page 204). I also attached the jaunty bow with a Glue Dot. 


Even though this card is the traditional 5 1/2" x 4 1/4", the whiskers stuck out quite a distance on either side. Since a cat's whiskers are so all-important, I didn't want to impair their effectiveness by stuffing the card into an A2-sized envelope. So, I measured the card from the tips of the whiskers, and made a custom envelope with my trusty Envelope Punch Board. 

To create the envelope, I used a sheet of scrapbook paper I had that is NOT Stampin' Up! But I liked the way the green and white of the design perfectly matched the ribbon. However, not being Stampin' Up! paper, I ran into the problem of the paper fraying when I scored on the upper portion of the envelope. It looked horrendous. I simply could not leave it that way. But, what to do? 

I took another scrap of the same paper, folded it in half horizontally to fit over the fold of the envelope, and added a 1/4" strip of Pistachio Pudding cardstock to the front of this piece, and adhered it to the envelope top. It worked perfectly to hide the unsightly edge, and added just a little bit more interest to the envelope front. 

For Stella's name on the front of the envelope, I used the Alphabet Rotary Stamp (page 191) in Gumball Green. I then punched it out with the Small Oval Punch, which is, unfortunately, retired. But any of a number of current punches or Framelits would work equally as well.



We Skyped briefly with Stella and her mommy this morning so we could actually see the Birthday Girl. She was then able to show us "in person" another thing that made the day even more memorable: she had wiggled and pulled her first tooth this morning! 

Happy Birthday, my dear little Stella!

Kitty
Smiles.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

IT'S GONNA BE A WHITE CHRISTMAS

Do you remember when I introduced to you the Stampin' Up! set, White Christmas? And how I was not originally drawn to the set when I first saw it in the Holiday Catalog? And how by mistake I found myself the owner of one of the sets? You can refresh your memory by checking out this post, White Christmas.

Well, I admit I couldn't have been more wrong. Waaay wrong. This set was so much fun to play with, it turned out to be the one I turned to time and time again. Even when I was supposed to be purging and packing to get ready to move, I sneaked in a few sessions with White Christmas. Each little session was brief, but enough to get 13 of these cards finished during the packing up process.


You see, one of the really cool things about this set is that you can stamp all the separate components on various pieces/colors of DSP. Then . . . I do what I like best: I cut out all the pieces. This was a many-day time consuming process. But, to me, totally enjoyable. It was a pleasurable way for me to unwind and still be getting something accomplished. 

The toughest pieces to cut out were the cardinals, the teeny tiny cardinals. Oh, and the windows of the SUV weren't a thrill either.

Either way, it was a wondrous way to use up so many of those scraps of Designer Series Paper that I had been hoarding all these years.


I put in a few more special touches that added to the stark "reality" of the scene. Yeah, right. Real??? Anyway, I added little snow lines underneath the sitting-in-the-snow doe, yellow for the beams of the headlights, and I darkened in the hubcaps on the vehicle. 

A little side note: This was the first of the 13 cards I created, and I ended up forgetting something crucial to the scene. The standing deer is supposed to be a buck, and I neglected to stamp in the deer first so his antlers would stick out above the head of the cut-out deer. The other 12 cards actually show a buck and a doe watching the car drive by. Mine is the only one that portrays two does watching the action. Darn.


Inside the card, I repeated the trees, but this time I didn't emboss them. I then hung the cute little Merry Christmas banner that came with the set between the trees. This was done on a separate sheet of Whisper White cardstock, then adhered to the inside of the card.


Here's hoping each and every one of you, my dear readers, have a wonderful and safe Christmas!

MERRY
CHRISTMAS
Smiles.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

SNOWFLAKE GIFT CARD HOLDER

To the great relief of many of you, I'm sure, I will now present my LAST experiment with the November 2014 Paper Pumpkin kit.

For this project, I cut one of the snowflake card bases in half, using only one of the halves to create a unique gift card holder. By adding Sticky Strip to the short sides, it was easy to form the perfect-sized pocket in which to slip a gift card for the Holidays.

To add lots of bling to this project, I faced the front underneath the diecut snowflake with a piece of Silver Glimmer Paper. Both the top and bottom of the pocket sport strips of the Washi Tape that came with the kit. I cut one of the kit's silvery diecut snowflakes in half and adhered it to the blue half snowflake. Then I added three of the Basic Rhinestones from the kit to the tips of each of the snowflake arms. Glue Dots, that also came with the kit, were added under each of the arms to fasten them to the Glimmer Paper.


See how cute the gift card fits into this darling EASY gift card holder? 
Very little effort, but lots of impact.


For the Holidays, did you create any special gift card holders? Or do you just depend on the ones you can purchase at the store? Anyone else use this Paper Pumpkin kit in other ways to make a gift card holder?

Did I happen to mention that I simply adored the November 2014 Paper Pumpkin kit? Now, I know the December kit is on its way, and can't wait to see what wonders that one holds. Stay tuned!

Glimmer
Smiles.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A STELLAR STAR

I needed to create a very special ornament. I'm sure you'll never guess who it could be for. Uh huh. My precious little Stella.

Stella and her mommy and daddy are all about stars. Hence, Stella's name: Italian for "star". So, I thought a star ornament would be appropriate.

Using basically the primary colors, plus a touch of lime-y green, along with the darling set Many Merry Stars that is available in the 2014 Holiday Supplement, was a perfect beginning. Cutting out the layers of stars with the Stars Framelits in my Big Shot made this project a snap.


Here is a close-up of the star so you can see how perfectly all the coordinates of the stamp set work together for a unified whole. A Basic Rhinestone in the center provides just the right amount of bling.


In the following photo, you can see how I stacked the layers to give it dimension. Basically, I glued together two layers, popped it up with Stampin' Dimensionals to the next glued-together layer, and continuing until I had the whole star finished. 

The horizontal arms of this star measure about 5" across. This is one of the smaller ornaments I've made for Stella over the past seven years. 

Using my Envelope Punch Board, I will make a durable envelope to fit the star perfectly to protect it over the years.


I usually spend quite a lot of time on Stella's annual Christmas ornament. This year, however, didn't allow me much time for creating. What with moving in the day before Thanksgiving and all. Ugh. So I was really glad to hit upon this ornament idea that didn't take tons of time, but still looks wonderful. And special, just like my little Stella.

Do you have a special person you make a unique ornament for each year? If so, how much time and planning go into its creation? 

I hope Stella treasures these annual ornaments I've made for her and will continue to make for many years to come as much as I enjoy creating them for her.

Stellar
Smiles.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

STENCILED SNOWFLAKE

Hey. I know. What can I say?? 
I'm still having a great time with my November 2014 Paper Pumpkin kit! 

Remember this fun ornament I made with the white snowflakes that were included in the kit? On this ornament, I used the snowflakes themselves. But, once you punch out the snowflakes, what are you left with?

Yes! A stencil! I certainly couldn't waste an opportunity like that!

Using the remaining negative space as a snowflake stencil, 
I sponged through the openings with Pool Party ink.

I could not throw away the letters I punched out to make this tag card. 

So, they found a new home on this stenciled card:


By adding a few supplies from your stash, along with some clever ingenuity, this kit just keeps on giving and giving! Absolutely nothing will go to waste.

Just one more way to keep those little Paper Seedlings growing and multiplying.

Snowflake
Smiles.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

CHRISTMAS PENGUIN

I thought I'd take a little break from showing you my variations on the November 2014 Paper Pumpkin kit. I do have two more variations to present to you yet. I hope you will like them.

For now, I'd like to introduce you to the Christmas Penguin.

As always, I wanted to make a very special card for my little granddaughter, Stella. I figured she would get a real kick out of this Christmas Penguin.

While I would love to take credit for this adorable little guy, I must confess that I stole the basics for creating him from Heidi Boos in this post: http://stuckonstampin.blogspot.ca/2011/12/2011-year-in-review.html?m=1. Of course, I made some changes to make penguin my very own.

This guy was so much fun to make! 

While I could have made the card base a bit smaller than the usual 4 1/4 x 5 1/2 in order to fit his feet on and stay within that traditional parameter, I decided to make my card base the standard size and add his feet to that. Unfortunately, with the added feet, he was a little too long to fit into an A2 envelope. So, I grabbed my trusty Envelope Punch Board and some retired Gumball Green (the absolute BEST green for Christmas creating!) and made a custom envelope to fit. And, the envelope matches perfectly his "scarf" made from retired Sweater Trim and the green and white stars DSP. 


To make it easier to stamp and write inside the card, I adhered another Top Note to match his belly. In Gumball Green, I stamped the sentiment and added another star to echo the star that he is holding on the front of the card.


I hope you enjoyed this brief commercial break!

How are you doing on your Christmas card creating? Do you feel like you're on schedule?

Personally, I feel lucky that I had some of my handcrafted cards left over from last year (yes, I went just slightly overboard last year!) because with moving, I only had time to create one type of card this year. And this was created in spurts while I took small breaks from packing to move. What a crazy, crazy few weeks that was! 

I am glad we make progress every day on getting settled in. Maybe by Christmas it will truly feel like home. And we won't be living with towers of boxes everywhere! I must report though that my crafting area is shaping up well. Still can't find certain things like my personalized stamp and my Simply Scored, but I am sure they will turn up one of these days as I continue to go through boxes.

Penguin
Smiles.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

PP DIMENSIONAL SNOWFLAKE CARD

Can we say seriously obsessed? That's what the November 2014 Paper Pumpkin kit has made me. Do I want to be cured of this obsession? NO!! That kit is way too much fun!

As a reminder, this is what the kit as per the instructions included looks like: 


So far you have seen a few of my personal renditions, including the Happy Holidays card and the snowflake ornament. Moving along on my Paper Pumpkin journey, I present to you my take on the snowflake card:

Please excuse my fingers. It was the only way I could keep the card truly closed to take the photo.
I must admit that this was one of the most enjoyable cards to create -- EVER! I used the snowflake card base that came in the kit. But with several variations. 

I thought the pretty snowflake stamped in Lost Lagoon would show up so much better on white. So I stamped it on a Whisper White circle and carefully snipped it in half so I could place one half on each of the gates of the card, centered over the diecut snowflake halves.

To give the card front a little more pizzazz, I stamped the snow flurries on strips of Whisper White, then adhered the strip to a slightly wider strip in Lost Lagoon cardstock. Then onto each side of the card.


Inside the card, I repeated the snowflake stamped on white, but this time I added one of the included rhinestones and a little bow tied from the Baker's Twine that came with the kit.


When the card is lying flat -- without fingers -- this is what it looks like:


The next two photographs I include don't show anything new. But, the light was so fantabulous 
(in our "new" house), that they turned out quite dramatic. And I love the way they look. 
So I thought I would share with you.



From here on out, my blog photos will probably take on a much different look from those pre-move. I like to use natural light for my photos, and the configuration of windows, thus lighting, is completely different from our other house. I actually sort of like the new look. 

Please let me know what YOU think. Does the proliferation of shadows, dimension and color discrepancies bother you? Does it take away from the effectiveness of the photos? I really do want to hear your opinion!

Drama
Smiles.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

PP SNOWFLAKE ORNAMENT

And so continues my November 2014 Paper Pumpkin kit journey. I am trying to put my own spin on the kit. The various components are splendidly delightful, and just beg to be played with.

This time I wanted to make an ornament. 

Do you see the snowflake card in the foreground? The kit came with white snowflakes split in half so they could be placed under the built-in blue snowflake on the card base. While I do love the look of the card created as instructed, as soon as I saw those half snowflakes, I immediately thought of a dimensional ornament. 


To make my large 3-D ornament, all I had to add to the kit contents were the dotted DSP in Island Indigo and the Circles Framelits set in the Big Shot to create the backgrounds for the snowflakes. Otherwise, everything else came in the kit!

I very carefully adhered one half of a snowflake along the center of the scalloped circle and followed with the other half set against the first. I folded each circle in half along those splits in the snowflakes. 


To make the dangling snowflake at the bottom of the ornament, I used two of the silver pre-punched snowflakes back-to-back with the Baker's Twine sandwiched between them. I added one of the included rhinestones to the center of each side of the silver snowflake.


Four circles with snowflakes folded in half and glued together make up this ornament. Before gluing the final sides of the circles together, I added the Baker's Twine folded in half so the loop stuck out the top for the hanger, and the ends met at the bottom to be sandwiched between the silver snowflakes.



If you are a Paper Pumpkin subscriber (WHAT?? You're NOT!?! Get right on over to mypaperpumpkin.com and get your little self signed up!), have you worked with this kit yet? Are you following the instructions to the letter? Are you deviating a little bit? How so? Are you completely reworking the kit like I am? 

One of the many things I like so much about these Paper Pumpkin kits is being handed a wonderful package of beautiful unique components to do with as I like. Monthly fun in a cute red box!

Flaky
Smiles.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

PP HAPPY HOLIDAYS I

We are officially moved into our "new" house. After a couple days of unpacking and trying to get organized (but not completely succeeding by any stretch of the imagination), I decided to take a little creativity break. 

Before we moved, I posted . . .


. . . and bemoaning the fact that there were such aDORable contents to the November 2014 Paper Pumpkin kit, and, just when I needed it the most desperately, I couldn't indulge in Creative Therapy because my acrylic blocks were packed away who knows where. 

I did go to a craft store to purchase one acrylic block so I could work on the kit, but discovered that I would have to buy a set of them. Since my Stampin' Up! beauties were packed away and would be available shortly, I just could not bring myself to buy another brand, only to use them one time. So I opted to not buy them. And decided to sit and wait . . .

Well, the time finally arrived last night,  and in my sketchy work area, not yet deserving enough of the name Creation Station, I created.

Anyway, this is what the projects from the kit are supposed to look like if you follow the instructions:


They are really cute, but I don't need any gift tags. I already have tons. I loved the idea of the tag though, so I incorporated it into a cute card that only required a few non-kit things. And this is what I came up with:


What I added to the contents of the kit to create this card was a snippet of Silver Glimmer Paper, a leftover piece of last year's Designer Series Paper (the snowflakes), a half sheet of my own Lost Lagoon cardstock, and a bit of Whisper White cardstock. Oh yeah, I embossed the Whisper White with the cute flurry embossing folder. 

Don't you love the shimmer and shine the Glimmer Paper adds?


And the Simply Snowflake Paper Pumpkin kit came with this wonderful sentiment for inside the card. Perfect, isn't it?


Now, hoping I can soon work with some of the other components of the kit. Stay tuned!

Holiday
Smiles.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

PP HAPPY HOLIDAYS

I tell you I am going positively CRA-ZEE. No one should be subjected to the fiasco that is the moving process! Today was supposed to be our moving day, but that has been postponed. The recent past for us has been nothing but trauma after trauma.

And I NEED some Creative Therapy. Badly.

My November Paper Pumpkin kit arrived the other day. After hastily opening the darling red box, I discovered, to my immense delight, that there are such wonderful components to this kit, and I am so excited to get started on it.


I mean, really, look at these scrumptious stamps!


I was so enthused about this kit when I first unpacked it. The directions that came for the projects are adorable. But, after I spread out all the components, I became inspired to not only make up some of the projects as instructed, but to change it up a bit to make some of the projects my very own! Yayyy!

Uh oh. Reality hits. My acrylic blocks are packed away, languishing inside some dark and dreary moving box. Hardly able to breathe what with all the nasty tape blocking the air. 

So, I was so desperate to get going on this kit that last night I untaped and dug through a few boxes marked "SU" just trying to rescue those little buggers. Unfortunately, I was unsuccessful in my search and was also making more of a mess than I needed at this point. So I reluctantly gave up.

As they say, desperation makes us do crazy things. Yup. Today when we run into town to sign some papers at the bank, I am going to stop at a craft store and buy one <non-SU> acrylic block. Maybe being able to tackle this darling kit will make me feel better?

Does being creative help you get through the tough times in your life?

CRA-ZEE
Smiles.



Saturday, November 22, 2014

THANKSGIVING AND ONLINE EXTRAVAGANZA

We are in the <agonizing> throes of getting ready to move. This process seems to be never ending, and is causing tons of undue stress in my life. To be perfectly honest, I could do with a great session of Creative Therapy right about now. 

Alas, a real hands-on creative session is not possible. You see, even though I kept out a Paper Pumpkin kit, thinking I could work on that in times of dire need, I have made even that plan go awry. Paper Pumpkin kits come with everything you need to create, except the acrylic block that arrives with a subscriber's first kit. My acrylic blocks have been packed away, and I know not where they have gone. My daughter, Emily, was here last weekend, and she took charge of all my Stampin' Up! goodies. With the stacks and stacks of sealed up boxes adorning that area, I wouldn't dare even try to locate them.

Well, I needed to create SOMEhow. So I turned to my ever-present MDS (My Digital Studio) for my hit of creativity. I know it's not the same as getting all inky and running stuff through my Big Shot, but I could still turn on my creative juices and get some satisfaction.

I came up with this little Thanksgiving greeting for all of you:


I am thankful for all of you who read my blog and especially when you leave me those precious comments. I hope that through Paper Seedlings, I have been able to inspire you in some aspect of your creativity. 

* = * = * = * = * = * = * = * = * = * = * = * = * = * = * = * = *

Speaking of Thanksgiving makes me think of Black Friday. Although, working in retail, unfortunately it should now be called Black Thursday, as our store opens with all its wonderful deals at 6:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. 

Anyway, Stampin' Up! has their own version, Online Extravaganza, starting on Monday, November 24, and running through Monday, December 2. You can check out all the details here: http://su-media.s3.amazonaws.com/media/Promotions/NA/2014/11_November/OnlineX/Online_Extravaganza_Products_US.pdf

Honest, it is truly an Extravaganza! There are special Doorbusters just for Monday, November 24, as well as different Doorbusters only for Monday, December 2. During the entire week of the Extravaganza, you can enjoy deals of 20-50% off the regular prices of catalog yummies. Items are as low as $2.48!

When you are ready to lap up all this Extravaganza goodness, remember to name me as your demonstrator! 

Love to you all.

Happy
Thanksgiving
Smiles.



Tuesday, November 18, 2014

AUTUMN BIRTHDAY

When I was finished with the background of this card, it just seemed to me to fall flat. No zip whatsoever. I had simply stamped the leaves and acorns in various autumn colors randomly across Naturals White cardstock. It just wouldn't do.

Now, I needed to put on my Paper Seedlings thinking cap, and come up with a way to give this drab ol' background some snappy pizzazz.

What I ended up doing was pat VersaMark ink sporadically over the blank paper and the leaves. I then sprinkled the sticky ink with Gold Embossing Powder. Before I heat embossed it, I flicked away a lot of the embossing powder, so it wasn't very thick in any one place. After I heated it, there was a precious gold glimmer in enough places to make it look really interesting and a little rustic.

Unfortunately, this is one of those cards that looks MUCH better in real life. The photo just did not capture the metallic richness the embossing gave it.


This close-up photo, although it looks sort of awful at this distance, shows the glimmer of the gold a bit better. 

I think this card is just like the Impressionist paintings: Don't look at it too closely; it looks much better from a distance.


After sponging the edges of the background and the piece that holds the sentiment, I mounted them onto black cardstock to make everything pop even more. I also embossed the sentiment in Gold, but did not use my Embossing Buddy so I would have stray specks of embossing powder to echo the background. An antique button with Baker's Twine adds just the right touch to the sentiment. Layered onto Rich Razzleberry, the card is complete.

Have you ever experienced this same thing? You've created something that looks great a foot or so away from your eyes, but get it closer, and it isn't nearly as appealing? Frustrating, but it worked for the Impressionists, so it works for me.

Autumn
Smiles.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

LET THERE BE PEACE ON EARTH


I realize that I have already shown you this card in a previous post. You can see it here: http://www.paperseedlings.com/2014/09/peace-on-earth.html, when I was displaying all the different ways that I had been experimenting with the lovely stamp set, Nature's Peace, found on page 26 of the Holiday Catalog.

But, this time I am going to share a tutorial with you on how to create one of your own.


My favorite feature of this particular card is the beautiful watercolor look you get when you employ this technique:


Because I cut out the image with the largest of the Project Life Cards & Labels Framelits, the card needed to be a little off-size from the traditional 5 1/2" x 4 1/4". There is only 1/4" difference between the two sizes, which makes my card measure 5 1/4" x 4 1/4". 

The Framelit size is a little goofy, and because I wanted the card to fit inside a traditional A2 size envelope, I needed to adjust a bit. This is what I came up with:

The reverse side of the card
Like to give it a try? Here's how:

Fold a 4 1/4" x 10 1/2" piece of Island Indigo cardstock in half, creasing well with a bone folder.

Choose 2-3 colors of Stampin' Write Markers. I used Island Indigo, Old Olive and Soft Suede. With the SIDE of the brush end, randomly color all of the stamp, first doing one color -- preferably the lightest color -- and then moving on to the next until you have the entire image colored in marker. Keep in mind that if you do too much overlapping of colors, you may get a muddy brown. Spritz VERY LIGHTLY with water so all of the stamp is re-wetted. IF YOU GET TOO MUCH MOISTURE ON THE STAMP, IT WILL BLEED AND RUN. AND YOU'LL HAVE TO START ALL OVER WITH THE COLORING. SO, BE PRUDENT.

When the stamp is properly moistened, stamp it onto a half sheet of Naturals White cardstock. 

With the largest of the Project Life Cards & Labels Framelits, cut out the image, trying to keep the bottom of the Framelit about 1/4" from the lower edge of the stamped image and centering from side to side.

With the Simply Scored board, score at 5 1/8'. Fold on this score line, and adhere the lower portion to the card front. The scored line on the white piece should match with the score line of the card base.

Round the bottom corners of the card base with the Corner Rounder.

Tie a piece of Island Indigo ribbon around the top back of the card in a knot so the two ends of the ribbon protrude over the top of the card. Trim ribbon ends at an angle as needed.

Stamp desired sentiment inside the card in Island Indigo or Soft Suede ink. If it bothers you to stamp and/or write on a fairly dark cardstock such as Island Indigo, glue inside the card a piece of Naturals White cardstock measuring 4" x 5", and proceed with stamping the sentiment.

By the way, this card is actually a monoprint. This means that you can only get one image from the stamping, and no two images will ever be the same. 

How are you coming along with your Christmas card making? How many cards do you plan on creating? And, will they all be the same design? If not, how many of each design do you plan to make? Do you have any "assembly line" card creating tips to share with us?

Peaceful
Smiles.




Tuesday, November 11, 2014

CALYPSO CORAL STRIPES

Have you ever given a gift to someone that consists of a set of handmade generic greeting cards?

I've done just that for my mom on a few occasions. She loves receiving a batch of cards that she can personalize for any special event or to thank someone. She does hesitate to use them though.

This set of eight cards was a lot of fun to make. The layering just continued and continued. An easy card to create assembly line-style, it utilizes punches and the Big Shot to make short work of the variety of shapes.

The card base of Naturals Ivory cardstock partners well with the other colors: Calypso Coral, Pool Party and Crushed Curry. No stamping was involved in the creation of these cards.


The scalloped center of the flowers was simply punched from a Stampin' Up! Designer Series Paper. Kinda cute, eh?

After the flowers were completed, they were popped up with Stampin' Dimensionals atop a label using the Chalk Talk Framelits, which was layered on top of an oval from the Ovals Collection Framelits.


My original intent was to make a box to house the cards. But, then I ran across a darling cloth-covered box with a plaid ribbon tie in which the cards fit beautifully. So that is where they will be stored for when Mom needs one.

A side note here: My life is in quite a state of upheaval these past few weeks and for the two weeks yet to come. You see, we had put our house up for sale in mid-May. Thinking it would take a year or so to sell it, we were astounded when the second party to view it gave us a very reasonable offer for it. 

But the timing is horrible. Only a few weeks to purge and pack up our stuffed-full nearly 4,000 square foot house. We needed to find and make an offer on another residence in only a matter of a few days once everything was rolling. We will be moving to a house that is 1,500 square feet smaller than the one we're in currently. 

Needless to say, I feel like an overwhelmed chicken with her head cut off. Still not sure I will make it through this and remain sane. Thus, until things are more settled, I will still post on my scheduled Sundays and Wednesdays. But, the posts probably won't be as in depth as you are accustomed to. I don't have any time for  Creative Therapy -- at a time when I need it more than ever. 

Head 
Cut
Off 
Smiles.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

ROCK AND ROLL ON FAUX SILK

Thanksgiving Day, a.k.a. Turkey Day, is just around the corner, as they say. So, it's time to get going on those Thanksgiving cards to express your gratitude for all your blessings.

Stampin' Up!'s beautiful set, For All Things, found on page 41 of the Holiday Catalog, is perfect for not only fall-flavored cards, but for Thanksgiving greetings as well.

To make my Thanksgiving card, I incorporated a few cool techniques.

Do you remember the bright yellow "Caterpillar" tissue paper I had used in a few of my cards with the faux silk technique? Well, when I was creating this card, I wanted to use that technique with the Caterpillar tissue, and opted to stamp on the reverse side of the tissue.

My original intent was to stamp the oak leaves first onto the smooth tissue. After I was finished stamping and had crumpled my paper, I realized that I hadn't stamped far enough out to fit my cut base cardstock. I glued it in place anyway, figuring I could fill in at the edges with a few more stamped leaves.

When I attempted to fill in with a few leaves on the glued-down tissue, there, but to my wondering eyes, I made a serendipitous discovery! When I stamped the oak leaves onto the crumpled adhered tissue, the leaves looked VEIN-Y! Yes, vein-y, a very technical term.

I loved the more realistic, more rustic look of the leaves that resulted from this newly-discovered way. So, I decided to start all over from scratch. For this card, I crumpled the paper first, adhered it to the cardstock base, and then stamped the leaves all over the background.


I love the effect you get when you stamp the sentiment over the little watercolor-y background. 


For my taste, on this card, I thought the oak leaves were a bit blah when stamped merely in Cajun Craze ink. So, I decided to groove to some rock and roll. By rocking the edges only into a contrasting color ink once the stamp had been inked in Cajun Craze, it gives a touch of extra color, and thus more interest.


Inside the card I stamped the cute little acorn trio, then followed with the greeting in Cajun Craze.


Even though this Caterpillar tissue paper is not readily available, you can use any neutral-colored tissue for this project. I simply wanted to upcycle something that had been given to me.

Now, would you like to duplicate this card for your own use? It's easy. Here's how:

SUPPLIES:
For All Things stamp set
Teeny Tiny Wishes stamp set

Soft Suede cardstock
Cajun Craze cardstock
Very Vanilla cardstock

Cajun Craze ink
Soft Suede ink

Striped Grosgrain Ribbon
Linen Thread
Glue Sticks
Tissue Paper
Paper Snips
Big Shot
Chalk Talk Framelits
Stampin' Dimensionals

INSTRUCTIONS:
Fold a 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" piece of Soft Suede cardstock in half, creasing well with a bone folder.

Adhere a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Cajun Craze cardstock to the card base.

Crumple a piece of tissue paper measuring about 5" x 7" several times in your hands, unfolding and repeating a few times. Slightly flatten the piece. Cover the entire front of a 3 3/4" x 5" piece of scrap cardstock with glue stick. Carefully place the tissue paper onto the glued surface. Gently pat down on the wrinkles to create a veined look. Adhere extra edges of tissue to the back of the piece.

Stamp the oak leaf randomly, overlapping SLIGHTLY, onto the veined piece. When satisfied, adhere this piece to the card front.

On scraps of Very Vanilla cardstock, stamp two oak leaves: FIRST, CLEAN THE STAMP. Ink up the oak leaf stamp with Cajun Craze. With the Soft Suede ink open and sitting on the table, gently rotate JUST THE EDGES of the stamp into the Soft Suede. Check to see if you like the effect on the stamp. You can always add a bit more brown by rocking and rolling it once again. Keep the center of the leaf Cajun Craze. Stamp. Repeat with the second leaf.

Carefully cut out the leaves, leaving a border of plain paper at the edges. Tie a piece of Linen Thread into a bow, and glue this to the stem of one of the leaves. Adhere the plain leaf flat onto the card front. Attach the leaf with the bow with a couple Stampin' Dimensionals at an angle to the first one.

On a scrap of Very Vanilla, stamp the shady background, STAMPING OFF FIRST. Over the shaded portion, stamp the sentiment in Cajun Craze. Cut out the label with the Framelit from Chalk Talk Framelits in the Big Shot.

Cut a "V" into one end of the striped ribbon. Tape the straight end to the back of the label. Use Stampin' Dimensionals to adhere the label and ribbon to the card front in the lower right corner.

Inside the card, stamp first the three little acorns in Soft Suede, stamping off first. Stamp "Happy Thanksgiving" across the acorns in Cajun Craze.

Now, share with us: How many, if any, Thanksgiving cards do you send each year? Are they all handmade?

Thankful
Smiles.