December 1, 2018


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!



  1. I just love every single one of these cards! My favorite, however, is the gatefold clever and so cute! Thank you for all your wondereful inspirations.

    1. Vickie, thank you thank you thank you! You are so sweet and you made my day!

  2. Linda, your cards are so beautiful! I can't get over that you have made 21 of them in such a short time. You inspire me! Thank you for sharing, and for being a part of the Hearth and Soul Link Party. Hope you are having a good week!

    1. Thanks, April! Usually this time of the year (Christmas coming) is difficult for me, but creating a unique card each day gives me something to look forward to! I will be sad when this challenge is over.

  3. These really are all so beautiful and I just LOVE this challenge idea. I have sets that I don't think I've ever even used some of the stamps in.. shh! Don't tell my husband! Pinned.

    1. Thanks! See? Now I've given you an idea for using your stamps! It helps to alleviate guilt. Your secret is safe -- I won't tell your husband!

  4. They are all so pretty. Thanks for sharing at To Grandma's House We Go DIY, Crafts, Recipes and More Link party. I pinned this! Hope to have you join us again this week.