December 11, 2018

STRING OF LIGHTS GIFT CARD HOLDER

Yesterday, December 10, was the Christmas Edition of my Stamp-In Club. This gift card holder was one of the projects the girls worked on.

At this time of the year, aren't we all looking for cute ideas for gift card holders? The stamps in the Making Christmas Bright set (page 7 in the Holiday Catalog) gives us lots of options to create and makes a really darling gift card holder with just a bit of work.


The String of Lights Gift Card Holder, wearing its belly band:


The naked gift card holder, sans belly band:


The inside of the gift card holder is fairly straightforward 
with a little creativity in the multi-colored letters in the word "Bright", 
to echo the colors used in the Christmas lights 
on the outside of the holder as well as on the belly band:


The belly band in all its glory:


Just a photo to show the belly band in the act of being removed:


Interested in making one of these quick gift card holders? Read on!

SUPPLIES:
Whisper White cardstock
Gold Foil Cardstock

Making Christmas Bright stamp set (page 7 in the Holiday Catalog)

Pacific Point ink
Real Red ink
Garden Green ink
Crushed Curry ink
Stampin' Write Markers in:  Garden Green, Pumpkin Pie, Pacific Point, Real Red and Crushed Curry
Black ink

Tear & Tape (page 213 in the Annual Catalog)
Simply Scored (page 208 in the Annual Catalog)
1" Circle Punch 
Christmas Bulb Builder Punch (page 6 in the Holiday Catalog)
Mini Stampin' Dimensionals
Basic Rhinestones

DIRECTIONS:
You will be using a strip of Whisper White cardstock that measures 4" x 7 3/4". With the Simply Scored, score at 2 1/2" and then again at 5 1/8". Crease on the score lines.

Work first on the part where you scored at 2 1/2". When folded up, this won't quite touch the next score line. There will be about a 1/8" gap. Refer to the sample. Take the 1" Circle Punch and, going in a little more than halfway, punch in the center of the end. This will help the recipient to get the card out of the holder.

With the piece still lying flat, and beneath the circle you just punched, stamp "May your Christmas be" in black ink. Then, using the brush end of the Stampin' Write Markers, color each of the letters in the word "Bright" a different color. REMEMBER: When working with markers, the ink dries quickly, so HUFF on the stamp before stamping it below the black words.

Add Tear & Tape along the sides with the tape going right along the edge so there is room enough for a gift card to slide in. Press the sides together.

Now you are going to work on the front of the gift card holder. In black ink, stamp the row of Christmas lights four times, being sure to stagger each line a bit so they aren't perfect rows of soldiers. Use the same Stampin' Write Markers to color in the strings of lights.

TO  MAKE THE BELLY BAND:
Take a 1" x 8 1/2" strip of Whisper White cardstock and wrap it around the gift card holder. Wrap it tightly, but not too tightly. You want to be able to remove and replace it easily enough but yet to stay in place on the gift card holder. Make creases where necessary.

Flatten the strip out. Centered across the top of the long portion of the strip, stamp the line for the bulbs in black ink. DON'T ROCK THIS STAMP AT ALL. ASK ME HOW I KNOW THAT.

Stamp each of the lightbulbs in a row in the colors according to the sample on Whisper White cardstock. Once your bulbs are stamped, use the Christmas Bulb Builder Punch to punch each of them out.

Take a strip of gold foil paper and punch out four of the bulb toppers. Adhere the toppers to the bulbs.

With a Mini Stampin' Dimensional on the back of each bulb, hang them hither thither on the black line.

Add a Basic Rhinestone to either side of the string of lights.

Adhere the two ends of the belly band together and slip it onto the gift card holder.

Go to your favorite store and purchase a gift card to slip inside for a lucky recipient.


There! Now, wasn't that fun?

Gifty
Smiles.

December 8, 2018

CHRISTMAS CHALLENGE - WEEK 4

Well, here I am, just having finished Week 4 of my personal Christmas Challenge. That means that I've created 28 cards since I started this challenge!! The stamp sets that I have left yet to create with should bring me almost to Christmas.

OK. Let's get started on this week's batch of cards.

Last Sunday, making the card below, I had just so much fun! These Christmas bulbs  and coordinating punch from the Making Christmas Bright set on page 6 and 7 of the Holiday Catalog make creating cute seasonal cards a snap.

Nothing terribly special about this card, except maybe its size. It measures 3 1/4" x 5 1/2". The cute spotty DSP in the background is from the Under the Mistletoe pack on page 189 of the Annual Catalog. Each of the light bulbs is popped up with Dimensionals.


I was really excited when I randomly grabbed this set, Beautiful Baubles, on page 10 of the Holiday Catalog. When I created the card in this post, I was so happy with the results of that one that I wanted to repeat the same color scheme for another card using the cluster of ornaments, so I kept the combination of Prismacolor Pencils out for just this case.

Treating the new card the same way as the previous one -- white embossing on kraft cardstock, then colored with Prismacolors -- I hoped I'd be as happy with this new card as I was with the one in the aforementioned post. However, that was not to be. I am not in love with this card. Perhaps it is the addition of Melon Mambo and Granny Apple Green to the kraft color. 

I don't know. It just doesn't grab me.


This next card was a lot more work than a card has any right to be. But, I am happy with the way it turned out, so I guess all the time and effort were worth it. 

Do you remember -- and have fond memories of -- this set, Loads of Love, from ancient times? Since they are showing so many red pickup trucks with a tree in the back, I thought I'd do my own rendition. 

For the post-Thanksgiving Online Extravaganza, I'd treated myself to several more duos of the Stampin' Blends. In that order was Cherry Cobbler. So that's what I used to color my pickup. I had also ordered the Smoky Slate set, so I used those colors on the trim and wheels of the truck.

The Christmas tree that comes with the set is sort of a "stick tree" in that it is all just lines, no substance whatsoever. To rectify that situation, I stamped the tree in Mossy Meadow ink, then filled it in with Old Olive Stampin' Blends.

To get that ol' tree in the back of the truck, I did some masking. After that, I added my little driver, then proceeded to fussy cut the whole thing.

To create the snowy landscape in which he is driving, I tore an edge of Whisper White cardstock, and sponged the torn portion with Balmy Blue ink so it blended well with the Balmy Blue paper of the sky. 

The faint trees in the background are from another set, but stamping them in Gray Granite worked well for the effect. The snow falling is from ANOTHER stamp set and is embossed in white.

So, this little creation utilizes THREE stamp sets!


I noted to my daughter, Sarah,  that this next card was the most problematic card I've ever endured created. It was a case of Murphy's Law from start to finish. What possibly could go wrong absolutely DID!

I know it doesn't show up in the photo, but the colors of the card are Whisper White and Blackberry Bliss. The stamping is embossed in gold.

Enough said.


I was sort of happy with this next card, but when I showed it to my husband, he just shrugged. I usually don't get much of a response from him, but never just a shrug. Husbands.

First of all, I think the color scheme is appealing. It's bright and modern. 

But, it's MORE SNOWFLAKES! In retrospect, I realize that I have an absolute BLIZZARD of snowflake stamp sets. 

To make the three little embellishments on the "merry" portion, I used some little ruffled edged sequins that came in a long ago Paper Pumpkin kit, followed by a silver sequin in the center, finished off with a Basic Rhinestone in the center of the whole thing. They do have quite a lot of dimension, so it would definitely require extra postage and hand stamping.


My oldest daughter, Emily, has long been a fan of the turquoise/red color combination. I'm not sure if she still feels like that. But, this card is a nod towards Emily. 

My color palette is Bermuda Bay and Cherry Cobbler on Whisper White. A strip of washi tape in the Bermuda Bay/Whisper White combo grounds the four trees as they proudly stand there is their red buckets and all their tree-y finery. Mr C is taking a quick flight through to check things out.

The cute embossed snowy sky is done with the Softly Falling embossing folder found on page 223 of the Annual Catalog. I never know if I should have the sparse snowflakes at the top or the bottom. So this time, I put them at the top.

Everything, including Mr C, is popped up with Stampin' Dimensionals.

This is another card that I made in a funny size. It measures 3 3/4" x 6". 


At this point in the photo session, Fred decided to pop in and check out the action.


Back to the cards.

This next one is the card I made for today. 

Ugh. MORE snowflakes! This utilizes the same stamp set that I'd used in my Beautiful Blizzard post. Since I wasn't crazy about the set at the time I made that card, I don't know why I didn't just stick it back into its drawer and called it done for the challenge. But, no. I had to shove it into the stack for the Challenge. Today it was my random pick. I balked and almost ditched it anyway. 

But a challenge is a challenge. The show must go on.

The photo definitely does not do it justice. It turned out peacefully beautiful. I loved the color scheme that I used, Smoky Slate against Whisper White. Since the colors were so subdued, I decided to add some glitz in a snowflake die cut from Silver Glimmer Paper.

Then, do you remember that old chestnut of a stamp set from which my sentiment comes? I LOVE those four stamps. I am going to make a note of it that I use them more frequently, retired or not.


Well, that's the end of my cards for my Christmas Challenge Week 4. Are you getting tired of this yet? I must admit that it is turning out to be a nice dose of Creative Therapy for me each day. It often turns out to be the highlight of a day.

Thanks for accompanying me on my challenging journey.

Challenged
Smiles.

December 4, 2018

BEAUTIFUL BLIZZARD

When I first laid eyes on the stamp set, Beautiful Blizzard, (page 39 in the Holiday Catalog), I felt that I just had to have it. So I ordered it. I think it was the snowflake image's fault. Yup. That's what it was.

Because when it was delivered to me, I really wondered. WHY did I order this set?

Well, I did. So I needed to use it. Somehow.

I was determined to design a card for my November Stamp-In Workshop attendees to make. So I came up with the card pictured below.


From the Clearance Rack while ago, I'd ordered this beautiful Night of Navy Corduroy Ribbon. Being that I used Night of Navy ink on my card, I thought it would be the perfect touch for the card.

After completing the card though, I was struck by the thought that the trim was too heavy and too dark for the card.

While preparing the projects for the workshop, I came up with another -- I thought more desirable -- option for the girls to choose from. Of course, I made the corduroy ribbon available, as well as thin strips of Night of Navy cardstock that I had run through the Seaside Embossing Folder (page 223 in the Annual Catalog) to mimic the blustery wind of the snowstorm.


Later I made another card using the embossed cardstock strip instead just to see for myself how different (and much better?) it looked. Unfortunately, I didn't use the Night of Navy ink as intensely as I did in my sample card, so it was not really a good comparison. 

Another thing I'd done differently with my second card was to add some Dazzling Diamonds Glitter to the Silver Embossing Powder before I embossed the snowflakes. I thought that by doing that, it would make the snowflakes glisten a bit more and show up more prominently. Wrong-o.


Anyway, if you'd like to give a card similar to this a try, following is a tutorial on how to do so.

SUPPLIES:
Whisper White cardstock
Night of Navy cardstock (optional)
Silver Glimmer Paper

Night of Navy ink
VersaMark ink

Beautiful Blizzard (page 39 of the Holiday Catalog)

Embossing Buddy
Silver Embossing Powder
Heat Tool
Night of Navy Corduroy Ribbon or strip of embossed Night of Navy cardstock
Basic Rhinestones
Stampin' Dimensionals
Seaside Embossing Folder (optional)

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

Next, take a 2" x 5 1/2" piece of Whisper White cardstock. Using the large blizzard-y blobs, stamp them in Night of Navy across the paper. Use the smaller blob if you'd like; otherwise, you can stamp the large blob twice, turning it each time, then filling in the remaining spaces with the edges of the blobs.

Once the stamping is done, rub the Embossing Buddy well over the piece. In VersaMark ink, add the cluster of snowflakes a few times, rotating the stamp with each new impression.

At the Heat Station, cover the snowflakes in Silver Embossing Powder, tapping the excess back into its container. Use the Heat Tool to emboss the images.

Adhere this piece to a 2 3/4" x 5 1/2" piece of Whisper White cardstock so it is centered with even borders on the top and bottom. On the bottom, adhere a strip of Silver Glimmer Paper that measures 3/8" x 5 1/2". At the top, either add a length of the Night of Navy Corduroy Ribbon, taping the excess to the back of the piece OR . . .  BUT, I think the ribbon is too dark and heavy for this card (my feelings once I'd had mine finished), so another option is to add a 3/8" strip of Night of Navy cardstock that had been embossed inside the Seaside Embossing Folder.

Once this panel is completed, adhere it with Stampin' Dimensionals to the card front, leaving about 1/2" of the card base at the top.

Underneath this panel, stamp "Season's Greetings" in Night of Navy ink. Add two Basic Rhinestones to the left of the greeting.


Blizzard-y
Smiles.

December 1, 2018

CHRISTMAS CHALLENGE WEEK 3

Week 3 of my personally-set Christmas Challenge! That means I've created 21 separate Christmas cards since I started!

As I'd explained in my post about the first week of the challenge, each day I am randomly plucking one of my Christmas stamp sets -- both current and retired -- and I then must create a card using at least one component from the plucked set.

Sometimes, it truly is a challenge. The set that was chosen for the day might not inspire me that particular day. Or I might have chosen ANOTHER snowflake set! As much as I love snowflakes, it's hard to keep coming up with new ideas using them. Some days I just am plain not inspired by anything. So that produces a challenge in itself.

But challenge it is. I must keep this commitment I've made. And I will do it!

The first card from week 3 features a stamp that I love love love. And will never ever get tired of. I stamped the precious little chickadee perched amongst holly in Memento Tuxedo Black ink, then proceeded to color in the holly leaves and berries with my Stampin' Blends. 

The Designer Series Paper onto which I mounted my chickadee also features holly to echo that in the focal image. Since I'd colored the holly berries in Poppy Parade, I used that color for the oval surrounding the bird as well as the card base.

I must say something here about the Stampin' Blends. I have a very limited selection of colors. I wasn't sure about investing too much money into the Blends. After all, I have a load of Copic Markers -- I think around 150! But, during these weeks of using the Blends, I have become a convert. They are just so nice to work with. So, what did I do this week? I ordered seven more duos of the Blends! I can't wait to get them so I have a better selection of colors to work with.


I decided to use Blackberry Bliss as the background for this next card. Purple and white -- a stunning combination. After rubbing my Embossing Buddy well over the cardstock, I stamped the snowflakes and little circles in VersaMark Ink. I then added White Embossing Powder and heated it to emboss. 

I then cut another strip of Blackberry Bliss, measuring 1" x 5 1/4". I repeated the prepping with the Embossing Buddy, but instead of snowflakes, I staggered the word "Joy", and then added some of the dots. I once again embossed this in white. When I held this piece against the snowflake background, it completely disappeared. To alleviate that complication, I added it to a strip of Whisper White cardstock which served as something of a divider/buffer. I then popped the strip onto the background with Stampin' Dimensionals.

At this point, I had considered the card finished. But after spending a bit of time looking at it sitting there, I decided it needed some bling. So I added dots of Dazzling Diamonds Glitter. I know the sparkle of the glitter doesn't show very well in my photo, but it adds a nice touch of bling in real life.


Oh man! The next day -- I CHOSE ANOTHER SNOWFLAKE! 

This giant snowflake, however, comes with a matching die. I stamped the snowflake in VersaMark, then embossed it in gold glitter embossing powder. I then used the die to cut it out. 

I decided to mount the diecut snowflake onto a circle cut from Lovely Lipstick cardstock, thinking the touch of pink would be a nice contrast to the sparkly embossing.

I mounted the circle onto Whisper White cardstock that had gained a bit of interest by being embossed inside the Subtle Embossing Folder. I LOVE that embossing folder! It's just so so so SUBTLE. But it definitely adds a touch of class.

Adding a Gold Faceted Gem (page 197) to the center of the snowflake was the final touch.

This card measures 4 3/4" square.


This little sharing image is so precious. Once again, the hedgehog and his buddy, the snowman, were colored with Stampin' Blends.

I hadn't made any gatefold cards yet during this challenge. And I love doing them. This image seemed perfect for a gatefold card, so I proceeded in that direction.

The two animals looked good cut into a circle with the Stitched Shaped Framelits. Since the die was still out from the previous day, I grabbed the snowflake (another snowflake!) and cut one from Pool Party cardstock. The circle was then adhered centered onto the snowflake.

After adding panels embossed with snowflake-looking dots in Whisper White to each of the gatefolds, I adhered the large snowflake to the left side. 

Of course, I needed a little sentiment. I thought the "A merry little wish" seemed appropriate for the exchange happening in the image, so went with that. I die cut it with the little oval from the Stitched Shapes Framelits and added that to the right "gate". 


I love this card. But, I must admit that gatefold cards are very frustrating to photograph. You see, they never stay completely closed unless someone is holding it. I thought by setting it onto a little wooden easel would help the situation. It improved it, but it still gapes a little. 


This next stamp is quite large, measuring about 3 1/4" x almost 5". Because it was so big, I grabbed my largest Clear Block, F, found on page 206 of the Annual Catalog. That particular block measures 4 7/8" x 6". I scribbled in various blues and greens of the Stampin' Write Markers onto the entire block, spritzed it lightly with water, then stamped the inked block onto a piece of Whisper White cardstock. 

After the ink dried, I stamped the image in black ink. I had trouble getting a perfect stamped image, so resorted to touching up the problem spots with a Basic Black Stampin' Write Marker. 

I think this card would have come out better if I'd done it on watercolor paper. But, since the Whisper White is thinner and doesn't take water all that well, it buckled a little bit on the edges. Even gluing it firmly to a cardstock base did not alleviate the problem entirely. That problem keeps me from loving this card. 

A smattering of Pool Party sequins on the sides of the card sort of finishes it off.


Do any of you longtime Stampin' Up! aficionados remember Mr. Twigster? This small stamp set is one I love and refuse to get rid of -- ever. 

The little guy, his Christmas tree and the tiny strand of lights in the card below all come from that set. Once more, all the coloring is done with Stampin' Blends. 

The cute Designer Series Paper upon which Mr. Twigster rests is from the Under the Mistletoe DSP on page 189.

And once again, both the circles surrounding our little man are cut with the Stitched Shapes Framelits. This is a set of dies that I go to sooooo often. They can be found on page 220 of the Annual Catalog. You would never ever regret purchasing these versatile dies!


This week's final card was so much fun to create. 

With the roundness of the wreath, I opted to echo this round shape all the way through the card, including the card base itself. 

Since I wanted the wreath to show as much as possible, I elected to put my sentiment onto vellum. 

The cool thing about working with ink and vellum is that the ink stays wet long enough to emboss it. Thus, I simply stamped my sentiment in Lovely Lipstick, then, at the Heat Station, I covered the stamping with clear embossing powder, and heated it to emboss.


The reason I show this card on a little easel also is that, being a circle, what did it want to do in the previous photo? That's right, it rolled a bit in one direction. I thought it may be a bit more stabilized on an easel.


I hope you enjoyed this little foray through the third week of my self-imposed Christmas Challenge. Please let me know if you have any questions whatsoever.

Tomorrow starts Week 4! Yayyy!

Challenging
Smiles.

November 27, 2018

GOLD SPARKLE ORNAMENT

I know. I know. I've said it several times already. The Beautiful Baubles set on page 10 of the Holiday Catalog is wonderful! I simply cannot get enough of it. I hope you all are not getting tired of seeing cards I make using it..

Anyway, at the November Stamp-In, the girls created their own versions of my sample card:


I regret to admit that the embossing powder used in this card is not Stampin' Up! But, I discovered this twinkly glitter gold embossing powder and just could not resist. It was perfect for this card. I tried to capture the twinkle to some extent:


Of course, Stampin' Up! Gold Embossing Powder could certainly be substituted in this card, and I'm sure it would be equally beautiful. It just wouldn't have the sparkle. Do you want to give it a try? Read on!


SUPPLIES:
Merry Merlot cardstock
Whisper White cardstock
Gold Foil Paper

Merry Merlot ink
VersaMark ink

Beautiful Baubles stamp set

Big Shot
Circle Dies
Pretty Pines Thinlets (page 219)
Embossing Buddy
Gold (Glitter) Embossing Powder
Heat Tool
Subtle Embossing Folder (page 223)
Stampin' Dimensionals
Gold Cord

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

Run a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Merry Merlot cardstock through the Big Shot using a 2 3/4" circle die, and leaving even margins at the top and sides. Then run this same piece through the Big Shot once again, this time inside the Subtle Embossing Folder.

Rub the Embossing Buddy over a 3 1/4" square piece of Whisper White cardstock. Stamp the large ornament in VersaMark ink. At the Heat Station, sprinkle the stamped image with the gold (glitter) embossing powder. Heat to set.

Adhere this embossed image to the back of the circle you just cut in the Merry Merlot cardstock so it is centered.

Adhere the Merry Merlot piece onto the white card base. The ornament should show through the diecut circle.

Using the bow and two branch dies from the Pretty Pines Thinlets, cut one bow from gold foil paper, one larger ended branch from gold foil paper, and the smaller ended branch in Whisper White cardstock. (See sample.)

In Merry Merlot ink, stamp the sentiment onto a 3/4" x 1 3/4" strip of Whisper White cardstock. With tape, attach the diecut stems, as well as a looped piece of gold cord to the back of the sentiment piece. Add a few Stampin' Dimensionals to the back to mount it to the card front.

Use small dots of green glue to add the gold bow to the top of the ornament.

Step back and admire your creation.


Glittery
Smiles.

November 24, 2018

CHRISTMAS CHALLENGE WEEK 2

Well, here we are in Week 2 of my personally set Christmas Challenge, in which I randomly pluck one of my many Christmas sets and make a card from at least one of the components in the set.

This first card was a STRUGGLE. I'm still not thrilled with it, but it will have to do. I spent enough time on it. I was going for a truly old-fashioned look. Hmmm.

Nothing too special about this finished card, except maybe that the stamped frame portion has been fussy cut. 


I had so recently chosen the other case that belong in this set of stars, so I wasn't ready to be terribly creative with yet another star.

Although it certainly doesn't show up in the photo, the star and the little sentiment are embossed with a glittery gold embossing powder. It is so sparkly and elegant in real life; in the photo it unfortunately looks fairly ordinary. 

Since the star itself was so beautiful, I set it against a simple starry Designer Series Paper in white and Cherry Cobbler. 

This card is an interesting size: 4 1/2" x 4 1/2". I trimmed it down from what I'd originally intended to complement the size and importance of the star a bit better.


This next card stumped me a little. I love this stamp of a row of winter-y trees. So stark. So Wisconsin winter. 

I was going for a moody winter's day. To accomplish this, I used a piece of gray/blue cardstock that is retired. It was the perfect color. I stamped the trees and the greeting in Gray Granite ink and mounted the piece onto the same gray cardstock. 

It was a little too somber looking at this point. To alleviate that and make it a tad more joyful, I took Two-Way Glue (remember that stuff??0 and gracefully streaked it across the entire tree image. I then covered the glue-y lines with Dazzling Diamonds Glitter. I was trying to convey the cold briskness of a winter wind.


I have always loved this darling deer silhouette stamp. I embossed him in copper and mounted him upon a piece of cream cardstock that I'd die cut with the largest oval from the Stitched Shapes Framelits. 

To be weird, I guess, I decided to mount the oval onto a deer-laden DSP background. At first, it bothered me that I was working with a cream color in my card, and the deer in the DSP were an obvious white. However, I love the contrast this provides in the finished card. 

When I received my Paper Pumpkin kit this week, I put it together immediately. (What a great kit!) There were a few leftovers in the box, and I used some of them on my card. The leftovers included the diecut pine bows and the cool Cherry Cobbler trim I tied into a bow, Thanks, Paper Pumpkin! They were an awesome addition to my card!


In the following card, I was trying to go for an Americana homespun look. 

The ornate ornaments were stamped on Whisper White in Blueberry Bushel ink and then fussy cut. I'd thought I had dies to cut them, but I guess not. So my Paper Snips and I did our work together. 

The pine branches were die cut using the Pretty Pines Thinlits, found on page 219 of the Annual Catalog. I used Dimensionals to pop the ornaments up on the branches. 

A little red and white baker's twine tied in bows at the tops of the ornaments adds to the homespun look. But I think it's the red and white gingham check Designer Series Paper I chose for my background that clinches the old-time-y look. 


I had a blast with this next card! It incorporates a bit of masking in order for the tree to appear to be behind the short round snowman. Easy to do. 

The scene was colored with Stampin' Blends. So much fun to color!

I know it doesn't show up in the photo, but if you notice the dots in the background, well, they are drops of glitter to go along with the pastel turquoise sequins and the white snowflakes. But, they just show up as dots. That's OK. It's snow. 

These snowmen and their bird friends are so adorable, and are always a pleasure to work with. I wish they were still current.


This is another card that I struggled with. I knew that I wanted to use the stamp with the sentiment from this set, but it, by itself, was not enough, unless I wanted to make a tiny square card. 

Before I even started stamping, I dug out this DSP for my background. I did it in this order so I could match my ink colors to the colors in the DSP. When I did ink up the sentiment stamp, I inked the entire thing in the lighter green, but used a Stampin' Write Marker to color over the light green to highlight the "merry" and the "Christmas". This was mounted on two layered squares cut with the Stitched Shapes Framelits. 

After lots of hesitation, I grabbed another of the stamps from this set, the image of Christmas bells. I also inked this stamp up in the lighter green, then came at it with a few other colors of Stampin' Write Markers to pull in the colors of the background. I fussy cut the bells and adhered them to two smaller squares, but in the same colors as the previous ones, to provide a bit of contrast, at least, in size. 

I didn't want to mount the squares right against the busy DSP. So I added a strip of Whisper White, cut into banner points, to the center of the card front. Before gluing this in place, however, I added strips of sparkly silver and white ribbon. I then popped up the squares, one on top of the other, with Dimensionals.

Still not happy with the card, I then added a couple Basic Rhinestones to echo the sparkle in the ribbon. And called it done.


Disappointingly today I randomly grabbed another snowflake set. That's what you get with random; not always what you want. But, that's part of the challenge.

Usually I am drawn to emboss resist when doing snowflake images. Since I'd already done that, and not too long ago, I decided to sponge a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Whisper White cardstock in five different blue inks. 

I was groping for a different sort of color in which to stamp my big snowflakes against the stormy blue sky, and opted for Tranquil Tide. Snowflakes aren't green, so I felt that was certainly different.

A simple card, it was finished off with appropriately sized Basic Rhinestones in the centers of each of the snowflakes.


Two weeks of my Christmas Challenge down. I hope I'm not boring you with my results. It is so therapeutic for me -- something that is desperately needed during this busy season.

Please let me know if you have any questions about these cards. I'd love to be able to help you out any way I can!

Challenging
Smiles.

November 20, 2018

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!


Following are the directions on how to make this simple card:

SUPPLIES:
Nature's Poem Designer Series Paper (Page 189)
Cajun Craze cardstock
Whisper White cardstock

Tranquil Tide ink
Soft Suede ink

Wishing You Well stamp set (page 35 of the Holiday Catalog)

Matching ribbon
Stampin' Dimensionals

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

About 1/2" from the bottom of a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of DSP from the Nature's Poem pack, add a strip of ribbon, putting a couple Glue Dots under the ribbon in two spots at the center of the ribbon, which will be covered up with the sentiment. Attach the ends of the ribbon with tape to the back of the DSP. Adhere this piece to the card base.

In Soft Suede ink, stamp the bundle of "wheat" in the center of a 2 1/4" x 3 1/4" piece of Whisper White cardstock. In Tranquil Tide ink, add the luscious bow over the stems.

Adhere this to a 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" piece of Cajun Craze cardstock. Adhere this to the card base with Stampin' Dimensionals so there are even margins at the top and sides.

On a 3/8" x 2 1/2" strip of Whisper White cardstock, stamp "Happy Thanksgiving" or sentiment of your choice in Soft Suede ink. Adhere this over the ribbon already added.


I am so thankful for all of you! Stay well. Be safe. Give thanks.

Thankful
Smiles.

November 17, 2018

CHRISTMAS CHALLENGE WEEK 1

I noticed recently that I have so so so many Christmas stamp sets. Almost shameful. Really. I even have a few that have never even seen ink. GASP!

To somewhat rectify this abysmal situation, I decided to set myself a little coming-up-on-Christmas challenge. 

I stacked all my Christmas sets into a pile on a table in my Creation Station. We must keep in mind, however, that these in the stack are only Stampin' Up! sets that are so "recent" as to be stored in the DVD-type cases. I still have a lot of the older sets too. I'll see if I end up getting to them.

Each day, I close my eyes and slide out one set from the pile. Whichever is the set of the day I MUST make a card using at least one component from this set.

I've decided that for my Saturday blog posts from now until Christmas, I will show you the cards I'd made from this challenge. For each card, I will explain any details and/or techniques I've used on it.

I present to you Day 1. This was actually NOT a random pick. I'd been holding in my hands an older stamp set that was more all occasion than Christmas. I noticed the cool window in the set, and aware that I'd never used that stamp before, I decided to concoct a wintry scene outside the window. 

I stamped the window from the older set, colored it with Stampin' Blends, fussy cut it, and popped it up against wallpaper-y Designer Series Paper. Outside the window, I built a snowy scene using stamps from a more recent set. The thing that doesn't show in my photo is that I used Wink of Stella on the snowman, the snow upon which he stands and the branches of the tree. I also colored these elements with Stampin' Blends.


Day 2 you've already seen.

Here comes Day 3. A simple card in looks, it features a cool technique that is so great to use with solid image stamps, such as these two Christmas ornaments: Ink up an ornament, then apply another clean stamp (I used the tall tree from Lovely As A Tree, page 148) directly to the inked portion, then twist it through the ink. Twist a few times in various places so the inked image then looks somewhat marbled. Stamp it onto cardstock.

That's how I did both of these ornaments, although I must admit that the green one could have used a bit more twisting to produce more marbling. 

Remember, to do this technique, you need a solid image, then another DRY image with detail.


I must admit that my Day 4 card proved to be more of a challenge and more time-consuming than I would have liked. 

A pretty basic, no nonsense card, the plan for it came together quickly. I knew I wanted to stamp the owl atop the large wrapped gift, and then to add the smaller gift from the set on top of his head. 

I originally stamped my owl in Gray Granite, then grabbed my Prismacolor Pencils to color him in. Unfortunately, Stampin' Up! Whisper White cardstock does not have enough of a tooth to work well with my colored pencils. I ended up with a less than satisfactory result. I tried going over it all with Stampin' Write Markers, but yuk. 

Finally I stamped him again on a scrap of Whisper White in Basic Gray. I then just colored him with Stampin' Write Markers. I used a little white gel pen to add catch lights in his eyes, fussy cut him, and adhered him over the first flop of an owl. To carry the fussy cutting a little further, I restamped the ribbon and bow, fussy cut them, and glued them over the previously stamped images.

The little "Merry" seemed to fit in perfectly. 

After I mounted this piece of Whisper White against a Christmas-y DSP, it seemed too stark. Too sparse. So I got a Black Stampin' Write Marker and added dots around the perimeter of the white. This seemed to finish it nicely.


Day 5 gives us a quietly elegant card. I will never stop loving this stamp set. The pine bough looks so real (as does the pinecone that accompanies it!), but I am most enamored of the luscious ornament. 

The ornament I'd added directly to the pine bough image was embossed with a non-Stampin' Up! glittery gold embossing powder. For some reason, with that embossing powder, I lost most of the elegant detail, which would not do. 

To fix that situation, on a scrap of Whisper White, I stamped it again in VersaMark, but this time I embossed it with Stampin' Up! Gold Embossing Powder. After fussy cutting the ornament, I popped it up over the detail-less ornament I'd first stamped.

I must admit that this card turned out to be a different size than I'd originally planned. I was trying to stamp a sentiment in the lower right corner. But -- HORROR! -- as I was approaching my stamping location, the stamp fell off the block and made a very unsightly inky smudge. 

Very disappointed with this unexpected development, I chopped off that portion of the cardstock, re-gathered my wits, and made it into an almost square card -- 4 1/2" x 5". I ultimately opted to resist putting any sentiment at all on the card. 

The white piece is mounted onto shiny Gold Foil Cardstock to echo the gold embossing and to further the feeling of elegance.


My intention for my Day 6 card was to make it in nontraditional colors. I started out by choosing Lovely Lipstick and Bermuda Bay, but then ended up with a fairly traditional Granny Apple Green. 

A set that I'm not sure if I've ever used, doing these trees enabled me to utilize a punch that I'd had but rarely even touched. So, that's a good thing. 

The stars on the tops of the trees were punched out of some of the Gold Foil Cardstock that I'd used in the Day 5 card. 

I liked the happiness of the DSP I used in the background. Unfortunately, when I added my diecut sentiment, it got lost against the busy background. So, I cut another set of words with Bermuda Bay cardstock, shifted the white off a little from the underlying Bermuda Bay, popping it up off the background with Dimensionals, and I think it works.

Through the use of strange colors and lots of Dimensionals, I think the card is fairly contemporary looking.


Poor Rudolph, the star of Day 7! I love being able to use the coordinating punch to cut Rudolph out. I "mounted" him onto a brown oval that I'd run through the Big Shot inside the Woodgrain Embossing Folder to make it look like he was a mounted deer head. Not a very festive thought. But, he was a good sport about it all. 

For his sentiment, I dragged out the banner-like greeting from the set I used in Day 1.


The Day 8 card is a little more special than it looks. 

I know you think I just embossed the star in gold onto a yellow-gold cardstock, right? Wrong. I embossed the star in gold onto Whisper White cardstock. After embossing, I used it as a resist by sponging on four other colors: So Saffron, Daffodil Delight, Crushed Curry, and finally a light coat of Pumpkin Pie. 

I'd intended to use this as a panel against the plaid DSP. But that was not at all to my liking. Thus, I dug out my old star dies and diecut the embossed star. It still didn't look right. So, I grabbed some Night of Navy cardstock and cut a larger star to which I mounted the golden star. That made the star portion a bit too large for a standard A2 sized card. I did not care. I went with it anyway. If I ever decided to mail it to someone, I will need to use a larger envelope or make a custom one to fit with my Envelope Punch Board. 

After cutting the star, I still had a lot of the sponged golden cardstock left over. So I decided to do my little greeting in gold embossing on this paper. I punched it out with an old oval punch I will never get rid of. I mounted it on a diecut piece of Night of Navy label from another retired die set. 

I wound gold cording three times around the plaid DSP before mounting it to my Night of Navy card base, then used Dimensionals to pop the sentiment up atop the cording.


This morning I made my Day 9 card. It was so much fun to do and came together quite nicely.

The stamp set I'd grabbed was one from last year (I think). It features two sizes of wonderful snowflakes (I can never have too many snowflake stamps!) and two wonky circle stamps.

I stamped the wonky circles wonkily onto a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Whisper White cardstock in Fresh Fig and Blackberry Bliss ink. 

Digging through my stash of retired cardstock scraps, I pulled out four different purples. I stamped and embossed the snowflakes in white onto these purples, punched them out with a 3/4" and a 1 3/4" punch. The larger snowflakes found places sort of centered inside the multiple lined circles, while the smaller snowflakes filled in the blank spaces. 

It was mounted onto a card base of Blackberry Bliss. I wanted my sentiment to be embossed as were all the snowflakes. But not in white -- at least, not onto white cardstock! 

Here is how you can make your embossing any color your little heart desires: Now pay close attention. This is VERY TRICKY. Not! I inked my sentiment stamp first in VersaMark ink, then I used Blackberry Bliss ink! Using the VersaMark ink first makes the image sticky enough for embossing powder to adhere to. Adding the desired color of ink makes it, well, the color you desire!! Very complicated, eh?

After adding the sentiment, the card needed just a little bling to bring it to completion. I dug through old retired stuff, and came upon this beautiful metal piece. Looks kinda like a snowflake, doesn't it?


Until my next installment next Saturday. Stay well.

Challenging
Smiles.