Sunday, December 14, 2014

An Easy and Adaptable Christmas Card

Funny story: I recently hosted my annual "Cocktails and Christmas Cards" workshop, and in trying to design 4 different cards that were appropriate for beginning stampers, I just could not for the life of me make anything in traditional red and green! Not that there's anything wrong with that... I love non-traditional colors for Christmas! :) But this card that I want to share with you is a variation on one of those workshop cards. It was also inspired by about 3 or 4 cards that I found on Pinterest, so I can't take all the credit. :)

This card comes together so easily and it's perfect for assembly-line style mass-producing. It's a great sort of rustic color combination thanks to the amazing new Kraft cardstock, plus Garden Green and Cherry Cobbler. I sponged the background with one of the stencils from the Hearts and Stars Decorative Masks and Whisper White craft ink. (Do your sponging on all your Kraft panels, then work on your embellishments while all the stars are drying.) The tree is from one of my favorite sets from the Holiday Catalog: Festival of Trees (it also comes in a bundle with the matching punch). A punched glimmer paper circle, a little Cherry Cobbler banner, a linen thread bow, and... done! The sentiment is from Ornamental Pine, and it's stamped in Chocolate Chip ink.

Now, let's say you're really in a hurry. Or maybe you want to keep your supply cost as low as possible. Check out this cute and extra super simple version of the same card.

This one saves a bunch of time by leaving off the glimmer paper circle - you can save time not having to punch or die cut all those circles. Now, I did want a little sparkle on this CAS version so I punched the star from the glimmer paper, but if you don't have it or don't want to buy it, the stamped star would look just as wonderful!

Happy Stampin'! :)

Monday, December 8, 2014

CCC#053: December Cards Challenge - Walking in a Winter Wonderland

December 2014 Cards Challenge
Walking in a Winter Wonderland

This month's card challenge marks my last challenge with Catherine and Cathy Create. We've had a great time bringing you fun projects and challenges to spark your creativity, but unfortunately, Catherine and Cathy - and all of us Design Team members, to be honest - have just gotten too busy with life to keep up! So sadly, the challenges will end with next week's December tags challenge. But we hope you'll continue to follow our individual blogs, as we'll all still be creating and sharing!

So this month's card challenge is all about winter... Snowflakes, snowmen, sledding - whatever makes you think of winter. So check out my fun and frosty (and super easy to duplicate!) card.

Red and aqua is one of my favorite color combinations of all time - especially for Christmas cards. And how fun do they look on this adorable snowflake stamp from the Seasonally Scattered stamp set?! I used a super fun and very easy technique called thumping to get the 2-color stamped image, and if you scroll all the way to the bottom of this post, you'll find a video tutorial on this technique.

Then I just finished off the card with some simple layering, some twine and an adorable metal snowflake embellishment, and of course, some sparkle with glimmer paper. :) Easy and totally do-able if you want to make a whole bunch!

So I hope you'll take the time to stop by Catherine and Cathy Create and check out the other winter-themed cards. Thanks for stopping by today! Oh, and if you're interested in learning about the thumping technique for inking stamps, make sure you watch my quick video below.

Happy Stampin'! :)

Monday, December 1, 2014

CCC#052: December Monthly Challenge - Home for Christmas

CCC#052: December 2014 Monthly Challenge
Home for Christmas

December already! Does anyone know where 2014 has gone?? I'm having a hard time even entertaining the idea of Christmas, let alone actually preparing for it! :) But working on handmade Christmas projects sure does help get me in the holiday spirit!

The group challenge for December is to make a Christmas home decor item. I don't typically do a lot of non-card projects, and this one was a little open-ended for me. I have to admit, pretty much all of the credit for this idea goes to my dad. :) We were sitting around talking on Thanksgiving, and I mentioned I had to do this challenge project. So he started looking around the house and making suggestions. He makes these hand-carved wooden hearts that hang on the wall that we put lavender in, and suggested I make something similar out of paper. So that's what I did! 

This project was a little time-consuming, but very easy. I cut two of the largest die from the Hearts Framelits out of the brand new, totally awesome, heavier weight, kraft based Under the Tree DSP. I wanted to sew the two hearts together to make the pocket, but I don't currently have a functioning sewing machine, so I decided to do it by hand. That was the time-consuming part, but I just put on some of my favorite Christmas tunes and enjoyed the process. :) Plus, I think it really adds to the rustic look of the project.

To decorate the heart, I used a few of the elements from the Many Merry Stars kit. There are so many pieces in the kit that I'm not even going to notice a few of them missing when I go to put the stars together!

The sentiment is from the Many Merry Stars photopolymer stamp set. I stamped it in Real Red ink to match the Real Red satin woven ribbon. I also added a punched Real Red cardstock star and a little baker's twine bow (those didn't come from the kit).

I hung it from one of the knobs on my kitchen cabinets, and I think it looks adorable as-is or with a few sprigs of holly tucked inside. It would also be great to give to someone with a small gift (cash or jewelry would fit great - wink wink!) tucked inside.

I hope you enjoyed this project, and I encourage you to hop on over to Catherine and Cathy Create check out all the great inspiration for decorating your home this holiday season. If you're inspired to make a project of your own, make sure you link it up to the group post, because you could win a prize!

Happy Stampin'! :)

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Watercolor White Christmas

White Christmas is, hands down, my favorite stamp set in the Holiday Catalog. You know how much I love any stamp set that is perfect for watercoloring! And this one really fits the bill. :) I've made a few cards with it, but today I wanted to share my favorite with you.

I had so much fun making this card! So much watercoloring! :) And I love making cards with tags on them. Sometimes it's just so much less pressure designing a tag, and then it can be really fun designing a simple card base to showcase your cute tag.

It's a little hard to see in the photos, but I also used an amazing new punch from the Holiday Catalog called Confetti Stars. It's a border punch that cuts out a ton of tiny stars - and bonus, you can use the stars as confetti, shaker card material, or accents on other projects! I punched it from a border of Dazzling Diamonds glimmer paper.

And here's a closer look at the watercoloring. Done simply, as always. But I really love how it looks.

So anyway, yeah. I don't really have too much to say about this card, I guess. LOL. Just wanted to share!

Happy Stampin'! :)

Friday, November 7, 2014

CCC#050: November 2014 Cards Challenge - Delighted with DSP!

CCC#050: November 2014 Cards Challenge
Delighted with DSP!

The Cards Challenge for this month is a fun one: Use your favorite DSP! :) But before I share my card, I have a confession. I am a DSP hoarder! I can't resist buying it, I love flipping through the packages, I love being inspired by its color combinations... but I so rarely use it! ;) So I decided share a simple card to show that, when it comes to DSP, a little bit can go a long way and you can use it very effectively as small accents.

I chose the Flashback DSP collection as the inspiration for my birthday card, and I pulled colors from the paper for the rest of the elements. The focal image was created with the Four Feathers bundle (stamp set and Framelits). And the sentiment is from my favorite sentiment set - Four You. Easy peasy! :)

Make sure you head on over to Catherine & Cathy Create to check out the other DSP challenge cards. If you feel inspired to make your own, make sure you link it up, because you could win a prize!

Happy Stampin'! :)

Saturday, November 1, 2014

CCC#049: November Challenge - Thankful for Fall

November 2014 Monthly Challenge
Thankful for Fall

This month's challenge from Catherine and Cathy Create is all about autumn! Leaves, sweaters, pumpkin spice, boots, Thanksgiving... whatever inspires you about fall, we want to see it! :)

I have a crazy-simple project for you this month, but I totally love it. I gotta say (and I know I say this every month but...) this last month really got away from me! And I'm so bummed, because October is my favorite month of the entire year and I feel like I missed it! I have been so busy lately, and I know I'm not the only one, and I know it's just going to get worse with the holidays approaching so quickly. I usually feel like I have to pull out all the stops on any projects I share here on the old blog-o, like I really have to turn up the "wow factor." But today I'm proud to be sharing literally a 10-minute project, because I know it's something we can all use around this time of year! :)

I decided to dress up one of Stampin' Up!'s great new Kraft Grid Journals. This could be a great little gratitude journal, or just a cute notebook with a great message to just throw in your purse to use for everyday lists and notes! And because I only used two stamp sets, it literally takes no time at all! :) I used one of my favorite sets from the Holiday Catalog for most of the stamping, so really, you only need one stamp set to make an adorable little journal. The set is called For All Things. I also used Gorgeous Grunge to add a little extra interest to the background.

One thing to keep in mind when stamping on these kraft journals... They seem to be more absorbent than regular cardstock. So don't press your stamps too hard, and expect that the images will lose a little of their definition. The stamp set I chose for my project - For All Things - is great for this because the images are designed to look sort of watercolor-y, but you do lose a lot of the great texture of the images.

So that's it for me for today. I hope you liked this super cute and quick project, and I encourage you to head on over to Catherine and Cathy Create to check out the other projects, and to play along!

Happy Stampin'! :)

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

CCC#047: October Cards Challenge - Halloween Color Challenge

Welcome to another Cards Challenge from Catherine and Cathy Create! This month, in celebration of October and Halloween, we've got a color challenge. (I love these!)

This photo is great because it's got a few different shades of orange, plus purple and green too. Fun! Here's my card - using my new favorite stamp set Fall Fest. :)

I brought in the purple from the photo by sponging the stars in Perfect Plum ink on the background. This is super easy with the new Decorative Masks from Stampin' Up! Love them! All the stamps are from Fall Fest - and don't forget that it comes in a bundle with the matching Framelits for 15% off! - except the sentiment, which is from Holiday Home.

Well, that's it for me today. Now head on over to Catherine and Cathy Create to see all the other great cards. If you're inspired to make your own card inspired by the color combo, make sure to link it up and you might win a prize!

Happy Stampin'! :)

Friday, September 19, 2014

Fall Wreath Card

Just a sweet, simple card to share with you today. :) I've shared a couple cards made with the new Fall Fest stamp set - I guess I like this set!

I'm particularly in love with the cute little leaves that are in this set. For this card, I decided to create a wreath with them. I just traced one of the Circle Framelits lightly onto my Naturals White cardstock panel. Then I just stamped the leaves around the circle. Easy! And it works great because these particular leaf images all have a slight curve to them, so they form the wreath shape beautifully. The sentiment is from Four You - I love this font!

I created a little embellishment for the wreath by layering a button (it's from a retired button collection), some linen thread, a sequin (from the Gold Sequin Trim) and a pearl. Cute!

Happy Stampin'! :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Partial Diecut Pumpkins

Hands down, die cutting is one of the coolest and most convenient things in a crafter's arsenal, don't you think? And you can get such amazing effects with all sorts of different die cutting techniques! I've shared cards in the past using partial die cutting techniques, where the die cut image sort of hangs off the fold of the card. I used a similar technique on today's card, but smack dab in the center of the front panel!

You could absolutely get this effect by cutting out the window and adhering the pumpkins over the bottom of it. But by using partial die cutting, the whole thing is seamless and it's such a cool effect. Here, I can prove it...

Look where the circle meets the pumpkin on the left. It's all one piece! Love this! If you want to see how to achieve partial die cutting on your projects (it's not hard, I promise!), I would recommend Jennifer McGuire's video. It spells out the technique really well.

I used two stamp sets on this card. The pumpkins are from Fall Fest, which is a great photopolymer set in the Holiday Catalog. It's kind of a cutesy, Halloween-y set, but I chose to grow it up a little more on this sophisticated card. I used Pumpkin Pie, Tangelo Twist, and Tangerine Tango inks, and the stems were stamped in Old Olive. The sentiment is from Kinda Eclectic. I love this sentiment because it goes with the fall/gratitude theme, without being a generic "thank you." The green background from the Color Me Autumn DSP collection.

Thanks for stopping by today. Happy Stampin'! :)

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Start-to-Finish #41 - Masked Leaves Card

Remember my recent post for the September Cards Challenge from Catherine and Cathy Create? The challenge this month was masking. The card I'm sharing with you today was the first card I made for that challenge. In the end, I decided it was just a little too clean and simple, and I wanted to step it up a little bit. But I still think it's a pretty card.

I used one stamp set for this card, from the new Holiday Catalog. It's called For All Things, and it's got some great watercolor-look images and some really awesome sentiments. I also used the Color Me Autumn DSP and coordinating washi tape.

You can watch the video below, or over on my YouTube channel. Enjoy!

Happy Stampin! :)

Friday, September 12, 2014

First Christmas Card

It's actually been a few weeks since I made this card, but here it is... My first Christmas card of 2014!

This was such a fun card to make! It took maybe a little more time than some cards, but I think the results are well worth it. :) I used the brand new and totally amazing Tree Punch to create both the Pistachio Pudding trees and the 3-dimensional trees. For the Pistachio Pudding trees, I punched the tree out of some scrap paper (just printer paper, nothing fancy), and used it as a stencil to sponge on the ink. I also stamped the Dictionary background stamp in Pistachio Pudding before lifting the "stencil" and moving on to the next tree.

These cool 3-dimensional trees were created by punching a mess of trees from a piece of Typeset DSP - I think each tree has 6 punches. (I don't quite remember, sorry.) Then I just folded them all in half, covered one half generously in snail adhesive, and glued them together back-to-back. A little time consuming, but ultimately pretty easy.

I also used a new stamp set from the Holiday Catalog that I totally love. It coordinates with the Tree Punch - it's called Festival of Trees. I stamped the cute little baubles on the trees, and embossed them with silver embossing powder. The sentiment is also from the same stamp set, and I embossed that in silver too.

So there you have it! My first Christmas card of the year! Hope you liked it. Have you started on your Christmas cards yet?

Happy Stampin'! :)

Sunday, September 7, 2014

CCC#044: September Cards Challenge - Fun with Masks

It's time for another Cards Challenge from Catherine and Cathy Create! This month, it's all about masking. Stampin' Up! has recently released some awesome stencil-style masks that I'm totally in love with. (One set is Dots and Stripes, the other is Hearts and Stars - they're so cute!) But I decided to do some CAS masking for my card this month, using some of the new fall stamps from the Holiday Catalog.

I used Post-Its to mask off a frame around the edge of a piece of Naturals White cardstock. Then I stamped the cute little leaves from the Fall Fest stamp set. (It has matching Framelits too - and comes in a bundle at 15% off!) I used Crushed Curry, Tangelo Twist, Cherry Cobbler, and Crumb Cake inks.

I embossed a sentiment from another new set called For All Things in gold on Early Espresso cardstock. I created the little embellishment using the Fun Fall Framelits (that match the Fall Fest stamp set), one of the Autumn Wooden Embellishments, and linen thread. Hey - Did you know you can make your own metallic cardstock? All I did to make that cute little leaf gold was press my Versamark ink pad on some scrap cardstock, shake on some gold embossing powder, and heat set it. Then I just die cut the leaf out of that! Easy and adorable!

So now it's your turn! Check out Catherine and Cathy Create to see what the other DT members made. Then link up your project using masks, and you might win goodies from Stampin' Up!

Happy Stampin'! :)

Friday, September 5, 2014

Coloring with Blendabilities Alcohol Markers

I have been wanting to share a video for a while now on how I color with the new Blenabilities markers from Stampin' Up! A lot of people are freaked out by these markers, but I promise they're not scary at all!

What's so special about Blendabilites? They're alcohol-based markers that you can use to create an amazing and life-like blended look. Plus, you can use them on all sorts of surfaces - even non-porous ones like rhinestones, window sheets, buttons... They come in sets of three shades of one color - light, medium, and dark. You want to make sure you're using a water-based ink pad when you stamp an image that you want to color with Blendabilites. Memento Tuxedo Black ink works awesome, and it just happens to be my favorite black ink of all time!

I made this great little tag using one of my favorite new stamp sets from the Holiday Catalog. It's called Holiday Home and it's adorable! It also comes in a bundle with Framelits, at a 15% discount! And just because it's a "holiday" set, doesn't mean you can only use it for Christmas cards. It's got a lot of great fall and year-round images and sentiments.

Look at the great shading on this house! That's Blendabilities for ya! :) Now, there's no one right way to use these markers. My video just shows how I like to color with them, as well as some tips that I've found work for me. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. But the best advice I can give is just to get your hands on these markers and play with them! :) Enjoy!

Happy Stampin'! :)

Monday, September 1, 2014

CCC#043: September Monthly Challenge - Primary Colors

CCC#043: September Monthly Challenge
Primary Colors

It's September, and we all know what that means... Back to School! So this month's challenge is inspired by Primary Colors. Think crayons, construction paper, lunch boxes, playground equipment, new sneakers... And make a project inspired by that! And here's a little inspiration photo to get your creative juices flowing even more.

I decided to make a card for this challenge. I will admit, I was more inspired by the back to school theme, and the inspiration photo above. So let me just say that, while I know that primary colors are only blue, red, and yellow, I chose to go with more of a rainbow look, like in the photo.

I was inspired by a card in the recent issue of our demonstrator magazine where they trimmed down one of the dies from the Homemade Holiday Framelits to make arrows. I decided to trim the die cut a little bit further, and make pencils!

I colored the "wood" part of the pencil with one of the Skin Color Blendabilities markers, and drew on the "lead" with a black marker. The colored part is cut with the same die, and then I used the smallest of the Starburst Framelits dies to cut the little zig zag parts at the top. The lines are stamped with one of the stamps from a great new border set called Draw the Line. The stars are punched from the Confetti Star Punch - one of my faves from the Holiday Catalog.

I was thinking this card would be cute to give to a teacher, so I chose the sentiment from one of the new hostess stamp sets. It would maybe be a little more relevant for the end of the school year, but I still thought it was fitting.

Now, make sure you head over to Catherine and Cathy Create to check out the other challenge projects. If you want to play along, make sure you link up your project, because you could win Stampin' Up! goodies! :)

Happy Stampin'! :)

Saturday, August 9, 2014

One Stamp, Four Ways: Love Birds Anniversary Card

If I may say so myself, I think this idea was pretty brilliant on my part! :-D This is the last of the four cards I made, and it's definitely the most different from the other ones. I shared three very different cards, but on all of them I used a flower stamp set to stamp, well, flowers. On this card, I wanted to think outside the box and really use the stamp in a new and different way.

I think these birds came out so cute! I used the large and small leaf stamps, and they're perfect! For the beaks, I just carefully inked the tip of the stamp in So Saffron ink, then inked up the rest of the stamp in my main color (I used Pool Party and Crisp Cantaloupe... which I realize looks like pink in this photo - sorry). Then I drew in their feet with a Basic Gray marker, and adhered them down with dimensionals. Easy and cute!

I also used the amazing new Hearts and Stars Masks to sponge a few hearts at the bottom of the Smoky Slate panel. I decided to make this an anniversary card, but I think it could be super cute for a baby card, too!

I hope I've inspired you to take another look at some of your stamps and see how you can mix them up. Have fun!

Happy Stampin'! :)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

CCC#041: August Card Challenge - Happy Birthday!

August 2014 Challenge
Happy Birthday, CCC! :-D

I can't believe it! Catherine & Cathy Create is celebrating it's First Birthday! I have been so honored to be part of the Design Team, and I've had such fun with the challenges. I hope you have too! So, of course, this month's card challenge is all about birthday cards. I rode with the first birthday theme too, and chose to make a birthday card that would be great for your favorite kiddo!

I love this little Kind Koala stamp! It's a single wood-mount stamp. So cute! I modified the image a little for this card. The koala is holding a flower, and there's a sentiment around him, but I didn't want to use those portions of the image. I stamped the koala on watercolor paper and colored him using Smoky Slate, Basic Gray, and Blushing Bride inks and a water brush

I also used Pistachio Pudding, Tangelo Twist, and Crushed Curry inks with the Gorgeous Grunge stamp set to create the look of confetti. This koala sure knows how to party!

Instead of the flower, I decided to make some fun birthday banners for the koala to hold. I used a piece of Confetti Celebration DSP, and a cute sentiment from Something to Say

That's it for me for this challenge. But make sure you head on over to Catherine & Cathy Create to see the other Design Team members' cards. Link up your own birthday card and you might win a prize!

Happy Stampin'! :)

Monday, August 4, 2014

One Stamp, Four Ways: Shabby Vintage Get Well Card

Hey - Remember that series I started a while back when I made 4 different cards with one stamp set? Well, I've got number 3 for you today! This one was a request from the guys at the Provincetown Department of Public Works. :-D One of their employees, a fellow stamper and friend of mine, had to have some surgery done. It's funny, because when they need a card for something like this, they usually ask her to make one. But she couldn't very well make her own get well card! LOL :)

Anyhow, she and I have very different styles. I love beachy sherbet-y colors, she loves jewel tones. I like clean and graphic cards, she's into distressing and sponging. So I really tried to work outside my comfort zone on this one. Here's the result...

I pulled out some colors I don't usually use on this one... including 4 out of the 5 new In Colors! The purple flower is Wisteria Wonder and Blackberry Bliss, the blue flower is Marina Mist and Lost Lagoon, the yellow flower is Daffodil Delight and Hello Honey, and the leaves are Old Olive and Mossy Meadow. This card really shows off the two-step stamping that the Flower Patch set is designed for... There are so many ways you can combine and layer the different images to create unique flowers!

I chose to stamp the flowers on a piece of the new Typeset DSP. I am madly in love with this stuff! The designs are gorgeous - text, numbers, ledgers, maps... and it's printed on this lightweight paper so it really behaves like vintage book pages! Hooray for not having to rip up yardsale books anymore! :) I punched the edge with another of my new favorites - the Spiral Border Punch. Then I distressed the whole piece with the Stampin' Distress Tool, and crumpled the edges a little with my fingers.

Other supplies I used on this card... The Hello Honey and Lost Lagoon DSP's are from the Moonlight DSP Stack. The sentiment is from A Dozen Thoughts, stamped in black on Hello Honey cardstock. I used a Very Vintage button and linen thread to create the embellishment on the sentiment. The cardstock layers are Lost Lagoon and Blackberry Bliss.

If you missed my first two cards, make sure you go check them out. I made an almost-one-layer sympathy card and a super fun birthday card I hope you're getting inspired to use your stamps in new and different ways! I've got one more card to share with you, so stay tuned.

Happy Stampin'! :)