Sunday, October 31, 2010

Veeery Spooooooky!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!
I trust everyone out there had a wonderful day and lots of Trick or Treating fun!  As you may know from previous posts, I don't really do much for Halloween.  My 3 year old son is just plain freaked out by the whole thing.  Case in point:  today we tried to convince him to put on his costume.  He wouldn't do it.  Period.  No amount of cajolling and encouraging would get him into that thing.  He also refused to leave the house to go trick-or-treating.  No interest, no desire.  Then we thought he could at least help us hand out candy at the door...well that didn't go over so well...he ran away crying at the sight of the first kids in costume who came to our door.  So much for Halloween at our house! 
Before all of this drama, my husband and I actually made an effort to make our house look a bit festive.  He carved a pumpkin in the shape of "Ramone" from the movie CARS (at my son's request, of course!).  I have to give him a huge amount of credit...this "simple" pattern took 4 hours to carve!!  He was exhausted by the end of it and, of course, our son did NOTHING to help out.  Here is a photo of John's masterpiece all lit up for the big night:
"Ramone" from CARS...my husband's Halloween masterpiece!

Ramone's close-up
For my part, I made some luminary bags to line our front steps.  They were really simple and quick to make.


Halloween Luminaries (photographed in our bathroom...the only room in the house dark enough to get the full effect!)

Scary Spider


 When I said these were easy to make I wasn't kidding.  I was done in less than 1/4 the time it took John to carve his pumpkin!  I started with plain brown paper lunch bags.  I ran each one through my Big Shot with a circle die.  I then cut a piece of vellum cardstock large enough to cover the opening from the inside.  I applied the "Spooky Things" Decor Elements from the Holiday Mini to the vellum.  Then I glued the vellum to the inside of the bag, ensuring that the image was visible through the opening.  Viola...easy-peasy Halloween decor!  The best part is that I can save them and use them again next year...too bad John can't say the same for his pumpkin!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Vintage gift card holder

As promised in yesterday's post, here is the vintage version of the same gift card holder.  I changed the orientation to landscape, rather than portrait. 
Gift card holder using the Bells and Boughs set and Deck the Halls DSP

Inside view #1

Inside view #2 (there's that Timmy's card again!)
I just love these rich colours and the classic images.  To construct the foundation I followed the same steps I  described in yesterday's post.  To decorate it I just used Cherry Cobbler, Always Artichoke and Very Vanilla, along with the Deck the Halls DSP.  One thing I did want to mention is that I stamped the holly image in versamark on water colour paper and then heat embossed it in gold.  This made it really easy to colour.  I then sponged it lightly with Soft Suede ink to soften the brightness of the paper.  The ribbon I used on this is the seam binding ribbon in cherry cobbler from the Holiday Mini.  The brad on the front is one of the Antique Brads from the main catalogue.
Time to get back to my stampin' desk and get busy prepping for a Stamp-A-Stack class on Thursday!  Enjoy your weekend and Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Contemporary gift card holder

As I mentioned in an earlier post, last weekend was spent working on projects for my upcoming holiday classes.  One of the classes is all about gift-giving and finding unique ways to make your gifts extra-special.  I designed this gift-card holder as one of the options for that class.  It has a contemporary look...I also did a vintage one I'll post tomorrow.
Gift card holder using Jolly Holiday DSP

Inside view #1

Inside view #2 (I had to use a Tim Horton's card...I AM Canadian, after all!)
This is one of the few projects I did last weekend that I was actually happy with and that will make my class line-up.  I started with a 4 1/4" x 11" piece of Cherry Cobbler cardstock.  I scored it at 3", 4", 5", & 8".  I folded along the score lines, creating a "mountain" with the two 1" sections.  I added a 4 x 3/4" piece of DSP to each 1" section and then glued the sections together with sticky strip.  Be sure to put the sticky strip on the OUTSIDE edge, otherwise your giftcard won't go into the slot (don't ask me how I know that!).  I then punched a slot with my Word Window punch that was wide enough to accommodate the gift card.  The rest of the project is up to you.  You can decorate it as much or as little as you'd like.  For the front of mine, I used more Jolly Holiday DSP which I matted on Old Olive cardstock.  I punched out an ornament from a different pattern in the Jolly Holiday pack, embellished it with a gilttery snowflake (cut with the Northern Frost die), added some linen thread and a little "Merry" tag from the Tiny Tags set.  The ribbon I used is the 1/8" taffeta in Old Olive.  The first inner page was again more of the Jolly Holiday DSP and a little tag from the Tags Till Christmas set.  The inside Christmas tree image is from the Contempo Christmas set;  I coloured it with markers and added a shimmer brad in Real Red for the star.  I left one page blank to write a heartfelt greeting on. 
What I like about this project is it's versatility...this layout could be used for any occasion and be as elaborate or as simple as one wants.  Tomorrow I'll post a vintage version of this idea.  In the meantime, have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Treat Box makeover

Last month Stampin' Up! ran a Clearance Rack Blitz where many discontinued items were offered for online purchase at deeply discounted prices.  Being the good little shopper I am, I picked up all sorts of goodies; among them the Treat Boxes that were in last year's Occasions Mini.  These cute little boxes are sturdy but the colour scheme (Chocolate Chip and Creamy Caramel) just weren't cutting it for Christmas.  So, I decided to make it over into a sweet little Christmas box. 
Treat Box Christmas Make-Over

Close up of focal image with 3D ornament.
 When I began this project I had thought it would be a good one to offer as part of my Gift Giving class in December...then I realized just how involved it would be and thought better of it!  I will certainly use this little box in my own gift giving this year, but I think it would have to be a class all on it's own if I were to try to teach it to anybody else!
In case you want to try it yourself, here is a list of supplies I used:
Cardstock:  Old Olive, Real Red, Whisper White
Patterned Paper:  Jolly Holiday, PlayDate
Stamps:  Lovely as A Tree (for the pine bough from which the ornaments are hanging), Tags Till Christmas, Contempo Christmas
Ink:  Real Red, Old Olive
Fibers:  Double-stitched White Grosgrain (retired), 1/8" taffeta in Real Red and Old Olive, gold elastic cord (also retired)
Tools:  Big Shot, Top Note die, ornament punch, decorative label punch, word window punch (to punch the slot at the top)

This project uses LOTS of adhesive.  To adhere the layers of patterned paper to the cardstock I used the new Big Shot multipurpose adhesive sheets.  I am LOVING these things!  It makes adhering paper so easy and it DOES NOT come up.  I also used lots of sticky strip to adhere the various panels to the box.

If you want to try this yourself, do as much as you can prior to assembling the box...it is easier to work on a  flat surface!
Good luck!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pop can card

Today's card was a bit of an experiment for me.  I have often wondered what would happen if I took the aluminum from a flattened pop can and ran it through my Big Shot with an embossing folder.  I finally gave it a try and was relatively pleased with the result...see what you think...
Focal image created by running a pop can through the Big Shot with the Petals a Plenty embossing folder.

Close up of the focal image.  The sentiment is from the Perfect Punches set.

Inside of pop can card.  The poinsettia image from Jolly Bingo Bits matches the embossing folder perfectly!
Using a pop can to create a card poses a few challenges.  First of all, how the heck do you cut the can apart?  Well, believe it or not, I just used my craft knife.  The metal in pop cans is VERY thin and doesn't take much to cut.  I just sawed it apart using my knife and my knife actually ended up being sharper as a result!
The second issue is one that you can't fix...the edges of the metal are SHARP!!  Use caution when handling it...blood doesn't mix well with ink. 
The third issue is that it is nearly impossible to get a straight edge on the metal.  You can't cut it with a regular paper trimmer.  I used scissors but even then, the edges were less than perfect.  My solution was to mat the metal with a frame to hide the rough edges.  I used the Scalloped oval frame and trimmed the sheet of metal to hide behind it. 
The final issue surprised me a little:  the metal really got stuck in the embossing folder.  I had to pry it off with a fair bit of difficulty after running it through the Big Shot.  The next time I try this I think I won't use any tabs on my platform...hopefully that will make it a bit easier to get the metal out of the folder.
So now on to the rest of the card...its really simple, actually.  After I embossed the metal and die cut my frame I glued the two together using Tombow (you need something strong here!).  While that was drying I embossed a Night of Navy card base using the Perfect Polka Dots folder.  The sentiment was stamped in Versamark and then heat embossed using silver embossing powder.  I punched it out using my 1 3/4"scalloped circle punch and then layered it on a 2" Real Red circle.  I set eyelets in either end of my oval frame using my crop-a-dile and threaded a length of Whisper White satin ribbon through them.  I tied a pretty bow on the left side.  I ran a layer of sticky strip underneath the ribbon to keep it laying flat.  I then adhered my sentiment using dimensionals.  The entire focal image was adhered the card base using sticky strip...again, stronger is better.
The inside of the card is pretty self-explanatory, but I did want to mention a discovery I made.  The poinsettia image from the Jolly Bingo Bits stamp set in the Holiday Mini matches the Petals A Plenty embossing folder perfectly!  I was mighty pleased to discover this...but I am easily amused...you may not be quite as excited about it as I was.  By the way, if you're thinking of purchasing this set, it will carry over into the new catalogue next summer...just thought I'd throw that out there...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Another petal card die box!

 Last night I sat down to stamp and just couldn't get inspired, so I pulled out my Petal Card die (that I purchase during the Clearance Tack blitz for $10!) and started to play with it.  Here is what I ended up with:

Hexagon-shaped gift box made using the Petal Card die and my Big Shot!
The box itself was pretty simple, but making the bottom and the lid were a little tricky.
A few days ago I posted a little gift box I did with 4 Petal Cards...this one uses 6.  I alternated Baja Breeze cardstock (which I embossed using my Perfect Polka Dots embossing folder) and Candy Cane DSP from the Holiday Mini.  I cut 3 of each and adhered them together using sticky strip.  Then I created a template for the bottom and lid by tracing the base of the box.  It took a little measuring and math to get something that looked like a reasonable hexagon.  Once I had something I was happy with I cut out two pieces in Real Red.  I adhered the bottom using sticky strip that I placed all the way around the perimeter of the Real Red base.  For the lid, I cut 1" strips of Real Red cardstock, scored them at 1/8" and then punched the non-scored side with my scalloped edge punch.  I then folded along the score line and adhered the scalloped pieces to the underside of the lid piece.  I left one side of the hexagon without the scalloped trim.  I adhered that edge to one of the petals to act as a hinge.  To finish it off I wrapped a piece of Real Red 1 1/4" striped grosgrain ribbon around the box and tied it in a pretty bow.  I punched out a tag and tied it to the ribbon using silver elastic cord (retired).
This is a cute box that works not only for Christmas but could also be used for Valentine's Day or even a birthday.  If I get my act together, I will create a tutorial for this and for the smaller square box from the other day.  I love finding new uses for my tools!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Bargello Ornaments

I finally cleaned off my stamping desk today.  The pile of scraps is gone, filed neatly away for future use.  Underneath all that paper I found some ornament punch-outs I made using the Bargello technique a while back.  I figured I'd better use them, considering the work that went into them!  Here is what I came up with...
CAS card using the Bargello technique
This really isn't a great photo, but I don't have time to retake it...my son has the stomach flu and I am posting between cleaning up after him and trying to calm him down. 

I kept the design for this card really simple because I wanted to showcase the funky design on the ornaments.  I started by embossing a piece of Real Red cardstock using my Perfect Polka dots embossing folder and my Big Shot.  Then I adhered the lengths of ribbon using glue dots.  The the highest ornament is adhered flat and the other two are popped up with dimensionals.  The sentiment is from the Word Play set in the main catalogue.  I coloured it with my markers, stamped it on Very vanilla and then punched it out.  The little bows are made using the 1/8" old olive taffeta ribbon and are adhered with glue dots.  I added a little tiny rhinestone jewel at the tip of the sentiment ornament to give it a little bling.  I adhered the whole card front to a Very Vanilla card base. 

Not terribly involved, if you don't count making the Bargello ornaments!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Missing My Mojo...

Ever have days when nothing you do seems to work?  When try as you might to create something spectacular, everything ends up simply mediocre?  This whole weekend has been that way for me.  I've been trying all weekend to come up with projects for my Gift Giving class in December (creative ways to package and present gifts for the holidays) .  I started out with lots of ideas in my head but when I tried to make them reality they just didn't measure up to what I had envisioned.  I HATE when this happens!  I feel like I wasted a whole weekend and a bunch of supplies creating things that are just ok.  So, unfortunately, all I have to post tonight is something that I'm not thrilled with and that may not even make my class line-up.  Anyhow...here goes...

Gift box made using my Box #2 die and my Big Shot 
For the focal image I used the snowman from the Jolly Bingo Bits stamp set and added Dazzling Diamonds glitter snow using my glue pen

I have had the Box #2 die for a while but just unwrapped it today.  I used Baja Breeze textured cardstock and ran it through the Big Shot with the die.  It is a really easy box to assemble and is a cute size for small gifts or stocking stuffers.  (In our family we wrap everything...even stocking stuffers, so I see myself using a lot of these little boxes!)  I wrapped a strip of the striped Candy Cane DSP around the box and adhered it with sticky strip.  The little snowman is from the Jolly Bingo Bits set...a great set with just about every Christmas-themed image you could imagine.  The images are perfectly sized for tags and, even better, this set will carry-over to the new main catalogue next July!  I stamped the snowman in Basic Black ink and then coloured his scarf using my Real Red marker.  I drew in snow with my glue pen and sprinkled some Dazzling Diamonds glitter over it.  It doesn't look very glittery in the photo but it does actually shine...just like freshly fallen snow.  On the lid I wrapped some Real red striped grosgrain ribbon (retired) around the flap and secured it with sticky strip.  I punched out a little tag and matted it on Real Red cardstock.  I added an eyelet using my Crop-a-dile and a bit of silver elastic cord (also retired) to tie it to the ribbon.  This little box should have actually been  pretty quick and easy to make, but I just wasn't feeling my mojo today and I struggled to get it together.  Looking at this now, I think I should have stamped the snowman in a darker shade of blue rather than in black...I think that is the main thing that is bugging me about this project.  The black is just too dark a colour, given the rest of the colour scheme.

Anyhow...there's so-so project #1.  I am going to try to get some sleep tonight and try again tomorrow to come up with something a little more exciting! 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Shimmery Suede Christmas

I am SO tired tonight...I almost didn't post; but, I am trying to be better about posting everyday, so I dragged myself down to my stamping corner and got to work.  I was inspired by a scrap of embossed Soft Suede cardstock that was lying on my table.  So....here is what I came up with...

A shimmery suede Christmas greeting!  (the shimmer doesn`t show all that well in the photo)

I embossed the sentiment in gold.

The focal image was stamped in Soft Suede and then sponged all over with Champagne Mist shimmer paint.  The centres of the flowers are Gold Lamme Smooch accent ink.

Inside of card.  I stamped the image using Champagne Mist shimmer paint...a gorgeous effect!  It looks embossed but it isn't raised.
I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly and easily this card came together...especially since I can hardly keep my eyes from crossing, I'm so tired.  I started by running a piece of Soft Suede cardstock through my Big shot with the Perfect Details texture plate.  I then sponged Champagne Mist shimmer paint all over it to give a beautiful sheen...almost looks like gold cardstock! I layered that piece on a slightly larger piece of brushed gold cardstock and then wrapped some Chantilly Lace trim around and tied a bow.  I added an antique brad which matches the colour scheme perfectly.  Then I stamped the poinsettia image (from the Bells and Boughs) set in soft suede and then sponged it with the same shimmer paint.  I added a narrow border of brushed gold cardstock that I punched with my scallop border punch.  I adhered all of it to the cardfront using dimensionals.  The sentiment (also from Bells and Boughs) was stamped in Versamark and then embossed in gold.  It was also sponged with shimmer paint so that it matched the rest of the card.  I punched it out using my Decorative Label punch and then layered it on another Soft Suede label.  I adhered it to the cardfront as well.  I added some Gold Lamme smooch accent ink to the centres of the poinsettias and some tiny pearls to the scallops and sentiment to finish it off.  the whole thing is mounted on a Very Vanilla cardfront.
For the inside of the card, I stamped the poinsettia image using the same shimmer paint.  I love the way it turned out...looking like embossing but a bit more subtle.  The sentiment is from the Snow Swirled set and is stamped in Soft Suede ink on Very Vanilla.  I again used my Decorative Label punch to cut it out, layered it on more soft suede cardstock and then adhered it using dimensionals.  The whole card took less than 15 minutes to put together.  Gotta love it when things come together quickly! 
And now...off to bed!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Petal Card Die Gift Box

I went a little crazy during the recent online Clearance Rack Blitz!  I couldn't resist all the fantastic deals...especially on dies for the Big Shot.  I think I bought one of pretty much every die that was available!  When my Petal Card die arrived last weekend I started playing around with it.  I tried some ideas I had seen using the Petal Card punch and was thrilled to see that most of them work in the larger version.  Today's post is a cute vintage-style gift box that I am going to include in my Tags and Packaging class on Dec. 4th.

This little box is 2 1/2 " square and will hold all sorts of little goodies!

The top of the box naturally stays closed if you layer the petals.  I looks quite pretty as it is but I had to add a little something extra.  I only adhered the embellishment to one petal so that it still opens and closes properly.  The sentiment is from the Tiny Tags set.

I tied a bow with the Seam Binding ribbon and then threaded the button with the Chantilly Lace and tied it into a bow as well.  A bit much?  Maybe...but I like it!

I tore a strip of the Designer Fabric to decorate my box.  Tearing gives it a soft, shabby-chic look.
I just love Christmas and one of my favourite parts is wrapping gifts beautifully.  My friends and family kind of expect a specially-wrapped gift from me and I have discovered that no matter how simple and inexpensive the gift, the recipient always feels extra-special when it is presented in a unique and pretty way.  I will absolutely be using this little box in my gift giving this year!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tin o' Tiny Tags

I am so excited about this new Handmade Holidays promotion!  I love all of the products that are being offered and the fact that they are available at a 20% discount makes them irresistible!  Tonight's post features one of the bundles being offered:  the Tags Till Christmas bundle.  This mini Tin o' Tags uses several stamps from the Tags Till Christmas set as well as the Decorative label punch.
This tin is covered using Jolly Holiday  DSP.  The ribbon is Real Red 1 1/4" striped grosgrain.

This sentiment is from the Word Play stamp set.  (Yes...that is TINSEL peeking out from under the bow!)

The edges of the skinny tin are covered using 1/8" taffeta ribbon...it fits perfectly!


Tin o' tiny Tags!
The tin contains 20 tags in 5 different designs.
One of the reasons I like this stamp set so much is that it is fast and easy to make lovely gift tags.  I whipped these up in no time!  Each image coordinates with a Stampin' Up! punch to make creating handmade gifts fast and easy.  I think I will offer this little set as a gift for my hostesses during the Handmade Holidays promotion.  So, if you would like your very own Tin o' Tiny Tags, give me a call to book your holiday workshop!  You will receive this as a thank you gift from me and receive amazing hostess benefits from Stampin' Up!

ABC's of the Perfect Handmade Holiday Promotion...

Just in time for you to get started on your holiday crafting, Stampin' Up! is offering the opportunity to purchase select products-perfect for Amazing cards, Beautiful packaging, and Cherished gifts--at a 20 percent discount! Products in these bundles come from the main catalogue, the Holiday Mini and the Definitely Decorative catalogue.  Don't miss out on these limited time offers!  Shop my online store or, better yet, book a workshop to earn your bundles for free!  I would love to show you and your friends how easy it is to create beautiful handmade gifts and cards this holiday season.  See my previous posts for numerous projects using items from these bundles. 

I'll be back later this evening to post a fun little gift idea that uses the Tags Till Christmas bundle...stay tuned!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Tin o' Tags - vintage edition

Today, as promised, I have photos of the Vintage Tin o' Tags I promised yesterday.  Again, this will be offered as one of the options as part of my Dec. 4th class.
Vintage-style tin covered with Deck the Halls DSP.

Again, I covered the sides of the tin with DSP and the edges of the lid with 1/8" taffeta ribbon.  The faux closure on the front is a piece from the Table Setting die with a couple of Very Vanilla buttons glued on...a cute little detail.

Close up of focal image.  Christmas Postcard stamped on water colour paper and then coloured using a blender pen and ink pads.  The bells are coloured using Gold Lamme smooch accent ink.

Tin o' Vintage tags!

Tag #1 cut using the Two Tags die. 

Tag #2 - another version of the above tag.

Tag #3 also from the Two tags die

Inside of Tag #3

Tag #4 using the Table Setting die

Inside of Tag #4

Tag #5 using the Scalloped Circle and Snowflake #2 dies

Tag #6 using the Top note die
I can't believe that there was a time I never considered doing anything in a vintage style...it just comes so naturally now!  I really enjoy layering and distressing to create that soft, worn look I have grown to love.  I have to say that it is thanks to this Holiday Mini and all the gorgeous vintage Christmas items in there!  If you haven't ordered your handmade holiday supplies yet you are in luck!  Starting tomorrow Stampin' Up! is offering some fantastic items from both the mini and the main catalogue as bundles that are discounted 20%!!  I will have more information to post on these fantastic deals tomorrow, so be sure to check in to learn the details.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Tin 'o Tags

Why is it that the weekends always go by SO much faster than the work week?  I just was settling in to get some stamping done this afternoon and here it is already 9:30!  How does that happen??
Today was all about the tags...gift tags that is. I am running a gift packaging class on the first Saturday in December and I decided it was about time I got going on planning the projects for it!  Part of the class will be dedicated to creating beautiful gift tags and so today I came up with a vintage and a contemporary collection all packaged in a reusable tin.  Class participants will be able to choose which style they would like to make.  Today I am posting the contemporary version...tomorrow will be the vintage one!
This sturdy tin is covered in Jolly Holiday DSP.  When the tags are gone the tin makes a lovely gift-box.

Close up of the focal image from the Contempo Christmas set

Even the sides of the tin are covered!  The edges of the lid are also covered in 1/8" taffeta ribbon...a perfect fit!

A Tin 'O' Tags!




Tag #1 - using the Two Tags die and my Big Shot

Inside of Tag #1

Tag #2 - also from the Two Tags die

Tag #3 - Uses the Top Note Die
Tag #4 - Using the Table Setting die

Inside of Tag #4 (not sure what's up with the smear on the right?!?)

Tag #5 - Using the Two Tags die

Tag #6 - using the Top Note Die
 My original plan had been to keep these tags fairly simple, but I've decided I just CAN'T do simple!  I start with something simple and just keep adding and playing and before I know it, I've spent an hour on a "simple" gift tag!  Ah well...I like 'em and I hope my customers will too!  If you are reading this thinking "I'd like to make these tags and have a lovely tin to hold them all", drop me a line and sign up for my class!  It is running on Saturday, December 4th at 9:30 am.  I'd love to have you join us!

Now for the worst part of the weekend...heading to bed and setting the alarm for 6:00 am!  Have a good night everyone...talk to you tomorrow when I show you my vintage version of the Tin 'o' Tags!

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