Sunday, November 29, 2015

PEACEFUL SNOWFLAKES

I promise you: This is going to be an extremely FLAKY blog post. PROMISE!

Recently I indulged in a set of Tim Holtz snowflakes made by Sizzix. These five flakes are just the right sizes and detail to use on a variety of winter-inspired crafts. 

I had a blast making the snowflakes out of MANY of my retired scraps of Designer Series Paper. I went so nuts making snowflakes that all too soon I was surrounded by a BLIZZARD!

Alright, Linda. Enough is enough. Quit being so flaky and DO SOMETHING with the snowfall you produced!

Since the DSP was retired, so was most of the cardstock that matched. But -- SURPRISE!! -- I still have a nice stash of retired cardstock. Huh! So there! It was lots of fun matching up the two largest flakes to cardstock for use as Christmas cards.

Here is a photo of the cards I created. I tell you, I had a real SNOWBALL making these!


I will show you close-ups of several of my favorites, and mention little things about them as I go along.


I love the contrast of this card. Although the DSP (one-sided, so you know how old that is!) was -- I think -- basically Night of Navy, it coordinated so beautifully with Concord Crush cardstock.


The snowflake sequins I had been using in the centers of the snowflakes would have gotten LOST among the dots in this polka dot number. Not possessing a small enough snowflake punch to fit nicely in the center, I opted instead for a small white star.


Although it's not there anymore, I discovered the snowflake sequins on THE CLEARANCE RACK. (Keep an eye on that spot for wondrous deals!!)

I especially love the looks of this happy snowflake. Doesn't it just make you smile??


Now, this one was also way too busy for a snowflake sequin. Besides, the background of this DSP was Very Vanilla, so a white snowflake would have looked, um, just WRONG. So, I opted for the punched star in Very Vanilla, and did the rest of the card also in Very Vanilla. No Whisper White on this little flaky guy.


A very nontraditional color choice for a snowflake card. But I love how it works!

What could be more peaceful than a softly falling snow? With that in mind, I chose to use the word, "peace", from the Christmas Greetings Thinlits Dies on page 34 of the Holiday Catalog.

One important word of caution: If you are using the Fine-Tip Glue Pen (page 43 of the Holiday Catalog) to adhere these delicate words, use the glue SPARINGLY! It works great, but you have no opportunity to move the piece once it touches the paper. Unlike other glues, it stains the paper and even an adhesive remover won't take away the spot it makes. This frustrated me SO MUCH! It happened on a few of these cards, where I wanted to make a teeny weeny adjustment in placement. Nope. CAN NOT DO THAT. 

I haven't done it yet, but to alleviate this problem, I plan on using my White Gel Pen and make white dots in appropriate spots near affected letters and some of their companions. I HOPE HOPE HOPE that this works! Otherwise, I won't be using a few of these cards, as I cannot send them out with little darker spots near the letters.


One of my favorites in the bunch is this one:


And here is a close-up of the little darling. It is created with Almost Amethyst (remember that??!!?) cardstock, and I love the way it turned out!


Another nicely-contrasting card, this one in the ever-popular Brilliant Blue:


Now, I really really like the way this one turned out, but I am so sad about it. Why, you ask? BECAUSE this is the one where the "glue dots" are the most evident. 

Look on the left side of the lower portion of the "p". Grrrr. You can see that I only moved it a smidge.


I definitely love the Fine-Tip Glue Pen, and will continue to use it and buy it again once mine is gone, but I wanted to share my story with you so you can learn from my experience rather than your own. Use care!

After telling you what I plan to do about the spots with the White Gel Pen, do you have any other better solutions for me? I'd LOVE to hear from you!

Peaceful
Smiles.

Friday, November 27, 2015

FOCUS FRIDAY: BOW


May the 
FACE
of
BENEVOLENCE
shine on 
YOU
and
YOURS.

Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. 
Thankfulness is the natural impuse to express that feeling.
Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse.
- Henry Van Dyke -

GIVE THANKS.


Thankful
Smiles.





Wednesday, November 25, 2015

GIVE THANKS BEAR

The stamp set, Thankful Forest Friends, (page 43 of the Holiday Catalog) made it lots of fun to create my handful of Thanksgiving cards this year. The animals in the set -- fox, bunny and bear -- simply tug at my heart strings.

For my card, due to his height, I chose Mr. Bear. He was stamped in Early Espresso, the Give Thanks design in eye-catching Mossy Meadow. To add a little interest to the white panel, and to complete the design, I added the wood-like stripes from Gorgeous Grunge (page 123 in the big catalog) in Cajun Craze.

To echo the wood look and round out the forest feel, I set the panel atop a Cajun Craze piece embossed with the Woodgrain folder. Before I adhered the embossed piece to the card base, I added a rich-looking Mossy Meadow ribbon.


For my daughter, Sarah, who was in the Army, I changed things up just a bit. I thought the colors I chose were slightly more military in style.


Do you normally go all out in making Thanksgiving cards for others? Or do you save all your efforts for your handmade Christmas cards? 

Speaking of Christmas cards, how are you all doing on your creations? Share with us how many you plan to make or have made! Enquiring minds want to know!

Thankful
Smiles.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

SPIDER WEB TURKEY

I have some exciting news!  I have done a photo-filled guest post tutorial on The Crafty Blog Stalker blog!

This is a sneak peek at the card I have guest posted about 
on her blog:



Please run over there and take a look at the post. While you are there, check out the rest of Katie's blog. She always has wonderful and interesting projects on The Crafty Blog Stalker. Show her some love!

Actually, I have something else exciting to share with you! You  know those precious Spider Web Doilies on page 47 of the Holiday Catalog that everyone has been raving about?? Well, I created another non-Halloween use for these little treasures!

A TURKEY CARD!


I cut one of the doilies in half, keeping the center intact rather than snipping it away. My next step was to grab one of the Circles Collection Framelits in the size that matched the size of the doily. I cut a circle from cardstock, held it behind the halved doily, marked where the bottom of the doily fell, then cut the circle to the same size.

Then, the fun began! I grabbed my little bin of Stampin' Up! Washi Tapes, not all of them current. I was simply looking for a good Thanksgiving-y color and pattern combination. Starting with the center of the circle, I applied one piece of Washi Tape vertically. I then built a fan of alternating tapes to cover the entire circle half. Of course, their bottoms overlapped to continue in a modified fan.

When I placed the spider web over the Washi Tape fan, it didn't match exactly. But, so what? It certainly gave the idea I was striving for! And doesn't he look so festive!


For the turkey's body, the old retired ornament punch and Soft Suede cardstock did the trick. I snipped off the hanger end of the ornament. A circle with the edges raised with my ever-handy fingernail and popped up with a Stampin' Dimensional serves as his head. I added a couple of the googly eyes we had a few years ago that coordinated with a Halloween stamp set. His beak is, well, a snipped triangle of Daffodil Delight cardstock. And his wattle (???) is an upside down punched heart.

Have you ever tried bending any of our Photopolymer Stamps? They can be bent and manipulated to fit into a space if needed, rather than just using them as they come. That's how I did the sentiment under the turkey! I used the Happy Thanksgiving from a past Paper Pumpkin kit to do this.


Have you thought of any other non-Halloween uses for the Spider Web Doilies? If you have, and you need more for the rest of the year, scurry on over to THIS IMPORTANT PAGE to grab them. 

While there, check out the rest of the products that will be retiring FOR-EVER from the Holiday Catalog, and snatch them up before they are all gone! 

Oh, before I forget: Starting Monday, November 23, Stampin' Up! will present their ONLINE EXTRAVAGANZA with prices as low as 50% off. This Extravaganza will only run one week, November 23-30. Deals too good to pass up! Why fight the store crowds when you can do your shopping for good deals in your jammies in front of your computer!?!?

As always, when ordering from Stampin' Up!, remember to name me as your Demonstrator! Thanks bunches!

Turkey
Smiles.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

FOCUS FRIDAY: TINY CURLS


This image pretty much
sums up my day today.

I had oral surgery yesterday,
so today I am at home
RESTING
and following
DOCTOR'S ORDERS.

The 
WEATHER
outside
matches.

Just sayin'.

Some tortures are physical
And some are mental.
But the one that is both
Is dental.
- Ogden Nash -


Toothy
Smiles.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

GREEN-PANELED THANKS

The October Paper Pumpkin kit is simply precious. The colors are striking, the ideas are darling, and I know I will use the included stamps a zillion times. SO VERSATILE!

Of course, as usual, I decided to march to my own drummer. Even though I love the cards that you can make with the kit, I wanted to stretch my imagination a bit, and make them purely my own. Putting  my own stamp on them, so to speak. 

On the following card, I only used three components that actually came with the kit: the cute green printed background, the precut banner and three of the stamps.


I used two of the leafy-looking stamps, facing in opposite directions, to outline the preprinted leaves on the white piece. 

Changing the color of ink for my card, I opted for Mossy Meadow, using this color as both the outlines and the "Thanks" on the banner.

Grabbing some of the Mossy Meadow ribbon I found on the Clearance Rack, I made a cute bow for the front of the card. Don't you just LOVE that ribbon? And it is simply exquisite to work with. The ribbon is still available in Basic Black, Crumb Cake, Melon Mambo, Pacific Point and Whisper White. But, unfortunately, not in Mossy Meadow. The current five colors can be found on page 159 of the big catalog.

But, as simple as it is, I think my favorite parts of the card are the three 3" Mossy Meadow panels that are spaced evenly across the Pear Pizzazz background piece. At first, I was just going to do the printed piece atop the Pear Pizzazz. But -- I don't know -- it looked somehow naked and unfinished. I'm not sure how inspiration struck me to do the strips. But I am so glad that my muse was looking out for me. Because I think the stripes are crazily effective.


Stampin' Dimensionals and the depth and richness of the bow 
add a pleasing dimensionality to the card.


Aw, here it is again.


 Are many of you, my readers, Paper Pumpkin subscribers? Do you receive that bright red box of fresh ideas and goodies in the mail each and every month?

I absolutely love it when I get the email from Paper Pumpkin telling me "I'm on my way!" Woo hoo! I know that within a couple of days, when I walk into the house a red box will be sitting there awaiting my arrival. And then the fun begins!

To subscribe and get your own monthly fix -- if you're not already addicted! -- click on the Paper Pumpkin image on the right side of my blog, and follow the prompts. I can guarantee that you will never regret it! Seriously.

Striped
Smiles.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

FLIPPIN' FLOWER


Have you ever had the opportunity to play with the Circle Card Thinlits (page 171 of the big catalog)? 

A few months ago, the Circle Card Thinlits was one of the offerings on the Stampin' Up! Weekly Deals. Since it had always intrigued me, and it was ON SALE, I leaped at it. 

Besides being able to create wonderful flip cards easily, the set also comes with many other cool dies. Just look at the picture on page 171. 

With the Circle Card Thinlits, you can make your creation as fussy and detailed or as simple as you want. This was a card for one of my Stamp-In Workshops, so I elected to make it more on the simple side.


The cute scallop around my sentiment came with the Circle Card Thinlits. Of course, it is just the right size to frame something on the circle created in the card.


The very center of the small flower, punched with the Petite Petals Punch, in this photo was made using the Flower Patch stamp set (page 76) and the matching Flower Fair Framelits (page 172).


The flower on the front side of the card was also created with the same stamp set and Framelits. I topped the center flower with a retired clear button.


Following are simple directions to re-create this card in any color combination you choose. My main colors happened to be Sahara Sand and white.

SUPPLIES:
Flower Patch stamp set

Sahara Sand Designer Series Paper
Naturals White cardstock
Sahara Sand cardstock

Sahara Sand ink

Big Shot
Flower Fair Framelits
Stamping Sponge
Petite Petals Punch
Glue Dots
Circle Card Thinlits
Corner Rounder Punch

DIRECTIONS:
Cut your card base from the Designer Series Paper you choose with the Circle Card Thinlits in the Big Shot. Crease on the score lines so when you pull on the card, it flips open properly.

Open the card flat and use the Corner Rounder Punch to round all four corners.

From coordinating cardstock, use the jagged larger flower from the Flower Fair Framelits to cut a flower. On a scrap of cardstock in another coordinating color, stamp the pointy flower in the same color. Cut this out with the appropriate Framelit. On a scrap of your first color, also in your choice of ink color, stamp the larger of the dotty centers and cut this out with its Framelit. Glue all the flower pieces together. Add a clear button to the center with a Glue Dot. Adhere the completed flower to the center of the circle that shows when the card is in the closed position.

To make the center for the opposite circle, stamp a sentiment onto a piece of the first color of cardstock. Cut it out with the scalloped Framelit that comes in the Circle Card Thinlits set.

Punch a flower from scrap with the Petite Petals Punch. Sponge the edges with ink.

On a scrap of your second coordinating color, stamp the smallest dotty center in ink of choice. Cut it out with the correct Framelit. Attach this center to the flower. Adhere the finished flower to the edge of the scalloped circle.

Adhere the completed circle into its position.

Flip
Smiles.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

FOCUS FRIDAY: PRESENCE


Witnessing a 
SKY
like this,
how can one
deny the 
PRESENCE
of a 
HIGHER POWER?

MAN,
despite his
INTELLIGENCE,
is certainly 
not capable
of creating such
WONDER.

PRESENCE.

. . . I mean, how can anybody look at this 
and not believe there is some higher power, 
some divine force at work in the universe greater than man, 
some god that created it, that created all this, that created us?
- Katharine Hepburn -

An interesting perspective:
DEISM:
Derived from the Latin word "Deus" meaning "God", deism is a theological/philosophical position that combines the rejection of revelation and authority as a source of religious knowledge with the conclusion that reason and observation of the natural world are sufficient to determine the existence of a single creator of the universe.

The classical view of the deist takes what is called a "cold" approach by asserting the non-intervention of deity in the natural behavior of the created universe. In other words, the belief that "God" created the universe, but remains apart from it and allows his creation to administer itself through natural law.

Please pay a visit to

Believing
Smiles.



Wednesday, November 11, 2015

SPIDER WEB DOILIES CENTER CARD

Do you remember a few weeks ago when I showed you this card that my girls made at my October Stamp-In Workshop? And I had them snip out the center of the Spider Web Doily to save for another project since it was being covered up anyway? And I promised that I would show you the other card that they made using that center?


Well, here it is!!


A couple of the best aspects about this little center snipped from a spooky spider web doily:

1. The center is beautiful
2. It doesn't look at all like a spider web.
3. It is not scary in the least.
4. It is WHITE on the back side!!

Paired up with one of our gold Metallic Foil Doilies (which, by the way, is one of the Weekly Deals), it makes a truly elegant statement.



If you have any of the Spider Web Doilies left over from Halloween, grab one (or two or three or ...) and snip out those centers . . . 'cause here are the directions for re-creating this card:

SUPPLIES:
White Christmas stamp set

Choice of Christmas-y Designer Series Paper
Always Artichoke cardstock
Whisper White cardstock

Always Artichoke ink

Basic Pearl
Snowflake sequin
Old Olive Baker's Twine
Big Shot
Softly Falling Embossing Folder
Glue Dot
1/2" Circle Punch
Stampin' Dimensionals
Center of a Spider Web Doily

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

Mount a piece of green-cast Christmas Designer Series Paper that measures 3 3/4" x 3 3/4" onto a 4" x 4" piece of Always Artichoke cardstock.

Adhere a large gold Metallic Foil Doily to the center of this piece, followed by the center you snipped from a Spider Web Doily, with the white side facing up. Punch a 1/2" circle from Always Artichoke cardstock,, and add to the center of the medallion. Top the circle with a snowflake sequin with a Basic Pearl in the center.

Mount this piece to the card front with Stampin' Dimensionals, leaving equal borders on the sides and top.

Run a 1" x 4" strip of Always Artichoke cardstock through the Big Shot inside the Softly Falling Embossing Folder. Wrap a length of Old Olive Baker's Twine twice around this piece horizontally, securing the ends on the back with tape.

Stamp in Always Artichoke ink the partial sentiment on a strip of Whisper White cardstock that measures 1/2" x 2 1/2". Pop this up over the Baker's Tine with a couple Stampin' Dimensionals.

Adhere this completed piece to the card base.

Stamp the rest of the sentiment in Always Artichoke ink inside the card.

P.S. I just discovered this fantastic video using the Spider Web Doilies in other ways! Have fun getting even more ideas for these wonderful doilies!

Doily
Smiles.



Sunday, November 8, 2015

BANNER THANKS

While I thought the cards you can make with the October Paper Pumpkin kit were simply adorable, I decided to do my part as a rebel and use the components to do my own take on the cards. Well, I've done two so far my way -- with lots more ideas in my brain for the rest of them!

The two Paper Pumpkin components I used on the following card are the flower-patterned circle and the darling banner.

I must say that the stamps that came with this kit are extraordinary, and I know I will use them time after time after time. That is one of my favorite aspects of the Paper Pumpkin kits: the darling exclusive stamps that come with each kit. LOVE them!

The color of Ink Spot that came with the kit was Basic Gray. But, for my card, I wanted to jazz it up a bit more, so I grabbed my Mossy Meadow ink, a green that is super delicious. 

The instructions wanted me to use the tri-petal flower outline stamps in the Basic Gray to "outline" the printed flowers on the circle. Instead, I did this with the Mossy Meadow. My "Thanks" was also stamped in Mossy Meadow (Go Pack!). 

I also made my card in the traditional 4 1/4" x 5 1/2' size. Because I stubbornly did that, however, that means my card will not fit in the adorable envelopes that came in the kit. Oh well. I will just save them for a future project!

The card base is Whisper White, followed by a layer of Mellow Moss, then a Calypso Coral layer that had been <cheerily> run through the Big Shot inside the Decorative Dots Embossing Folder.



If you'd like to watch a quick video of the October Paper Pumpkin kit in action, 
click on the following link.
DID YOU FALL IN LOVE?

Rebel
Smiles.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

FOCUS FRIDAY: SNUGGLE TIME


NOVEMBER.

In Wisconsin it's
TIME
to get the
QUILTS
and
FLANNEL SHEETS
out of storage.

It is the season to
fire up the
FURNACE.

And turn on the lights
EARLIER.

And shut all the
WINDOWS.

Grab some
HOT CHOCOLATE.

And
HUNKER
down.

Yes, it's
SNUGGLE TIME!

I have come to regard November as the older, 
harder man's October. 
I appreciate the early darkness and cooler temperatures. 
It puts my mind in a different place than October. 
It is a month for a quieter, 
slightly more subdued celebration 
of summer's death as winter tightens its grip.
- Henry Rollins -


Snuggly
Smiles.





Tuesday, November 3, 2015

GIVE THANKS

It is an amazing -- undeniable -- fact, but, Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Seriously. Take a peek! Can't you see it coming ever closer?

With this in mind, I grabbed three Stampin' Up! sets -- two of them new -- to create an appropriate card for the season.

The first to give its all for the cause is Thankful Forest Friends on page 43 of the Holiday Catalog. The cute sentiment came from that set.

Adding a distinctively autumn touch to the card were the feisty acorns from Acorny Thank You, found on page 45 of the same Holiday Catalog. Aren't they simply adorable all dressed in their Blackberry Bliss, Tangelo Twist and Mossy Meadow finery? Little knots of Baker's Twine add a finishing touch.

The final set that I used was one that I'd had on my Wish List ever since the big catalog came out. I had thought it would be so very versatile and useful for lots and lots of projects. I finally recently ordered it, and I'm so glad that I did! That set is Stamp a Bag on page 56 in the big catalog. The stamps I used from that set include the Tangelo Twist zigzag at the top and the vertical lines in Mossy Meadow tucked into the valleys of the zigzags. Those vertical lines are actually partial images of the lined circle stamp. I love how they look!

My embossed woodgrain panel is on Hello Honey cardstock. The squarish orange buttons were from long, long ago, but they added just the right flair. So I used them!

I cut out the sentiment with one of the frames from the Chalk Talk Framelits (page 173 of the big catalog). The complete sentiment and flourishes did not fit within the Framelit, but I like the way it is cut. It seems just right.

Finally, the DSP on the bottom of the card is from a stack I found on Stampin' Up!'s Clearance Rack. The card is mounted atop a Blackberry Bliss cardstock base.


This card has been entered in the following Paper Players challenge:


Giving
Smiles.


Sunday, November 1, 2015

SANTA'S FLIGHT

Oh, WHAT FUN! this card was to think up and put together! And I LOVE the end result.

So MANY Stampin' Up! products were put to work to create this little Christmas Eve scene.

First of all, I think the stars of the card are the stamps that came from the Cozy Christmas set on page 9 of the Holiday Catalog. The stamps from that set include the sentiment, the little house nestled in the snow among the pines and, of course, Santa and his flighty entourage.

The bare trees were from that ever popular classic, Lovely As a Tree, on page 86 of the big catalog.

The dimensional snowflakes were created with the new embossing folder, Softly Falling, found on page 24 of the Holiday Catalog. One of the cool things about Softly Falling is the size of the folder: 6" x 6". This larger size gives you so much more creative leeway when doing your embossing.

Let's see. The "stencil" through which I sponged the full moon was created with the 1 3/8" Circle Punch (page 165 of the big catalog) from a scrap piece of cardstock. I sponged the moon with a Stamping Sponge in Whisper White Craft Stampin' Ink, both on page 163 of the big catalog. I also used the sponge and the ink with a landscape edge I had cut from a scrap of cardstock to create the snow in the foreground. I then lightly sponged over the dimensional snowflakes.

After stamping the scene atop the snow in Tuxedo Black Memento Ink (page 163), I used the thinner of the Project Life Journaling Pens (page 145) to sketch in a few more details. 

Finally, I added quite a bit of Dazzling Diamonds glitter for that extra sparkle. The glitter can be found on page 162 of the big catalog.

The cardstocks I used in my creation were Whisper White, Basic Black and Marina Mist.


I just wish the sparkly glitter showed up better in my photos. Here it appears a little bit. In person, this card is very sparkly. 

If you're from a snowy area, you are familiar with an occasional wonderful nighttime snow when the flakes drifting down actually do sparkle in the moonlight. It's such a beautiful scene. I wanted to evoke that feeling in my card.


This photo shows the wonderful dimensionality of the snowflakes. Although this embossing is quite exaggerated, some snowfalls almost seem this heavy and lovely. Once again, it evokes a special Christmas-y feeling.


Ho Ho Ho!!! MERRRRRRY CHRISTMAS!


Snowy
Smiles.