Saturday, November 30, 2013

FESTIVE FLURRY WREATH - BONUS CRAFT PROJECT CENTRAL PROJECT

Nothing brings in the holidays like snowflakes and glitter.  Highlighting the wonderful Winter Frost designer paper and the Festive Flurry bundle, brighten up your door with a shimmery, glimmer wreath.
Isn't this a beautiful wreath????  I have resisted Stampin' Up!'s Festive Flurry bundle, and I know that this project is going to try to twist my arm.  Lauri Ingram, the designer of this project, did a great job, all the way down to the pretty snowflake in the center!  The tutorial for this project--a BONUS tutorial--can be found at Craft Project Central.  Qualifying for the bonus tutorial is easy . . . just subscribe to two or more months in a row, put the Craft Project Central badge on your blog, or refer a friend to the site.  When your friend subscribes, just let us know!

Friday, November 29, 2013

"FREESTYLE FRIDAYS"

Happy Black Friday!!!  It's Julie's turn to share a little inspiration today, and she has this pretty card with a die-cut dress form, buttons, lacy trim, and a little thread!  How cute is this?!?!  I love the spool with actual (what looks to be) linen thread, which is a Stampin' Up! product that I use a lot.  Take a few minutes to hop over to Julie's blog to get all of the details about her card, and don't forget to leave a little comment.  Sorry to keep this post short and sweet but, as of this writing, I'm contemplating running out for a little shopping.  ;-)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

ENVELOPE PUNCH BOARD PHOTO HOLDER

This photo holder is designed to hold 4" x 6" photographs but, with the Envelope Punch Board, you can adapt it to any size you want.  Pair this cute photo holder with your favorite designer paper, and the possibilities are endless.  Instructions are also included on how to make the pocket-style file folder card.
The Envelope Punch Board is one of my most favorite tools these days, so I'm excited to make this ensemble, which was created by Laurie Zoellmer.  Her tutorial can be found at Craft Project Central.


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

UPRIGHT DIAMOND FOLD

A few months ago, my sweet friend, Laura, was working on a tutorial for SCS and asked me to follow her written instructions to see if I could end up with a card that she named the Upright Diamond Fold (see the now-published tutorial HERE).  I'm almost always up for the challenge of learning a new "fun fold" technique, and it was exciting that Laura had shared instructions and a photo of her completed card.  If you've ever worked with "text only" instructions, then you know that they can be a real doozy, especially for a very impatient someone who is eager to see how the finished card will turn out and has trouble focusing on all of the details in between.  Ha!  I would never claim to be the smartest cracker in the box; however, when I first started stamping, the internet was NOT abundant with photo and video tutorials like it is today, so I had to learn to follow written instructions if I wanted to learn new techniques and fun folds for cards, boxes, etc.  Many times, it came down to me, a paper trimmer, a project photo, and the desire to figure out how something was made.  While I prefer photo and video tutorials today, I have a great appreciation for having to back my way into many, many projects in the past.  I think of it now as digging a learning and training "well" from which I still draw to help me understand a lot of tutorials today that either barely exist or aren't as explicit as they could be.  Laura's written instructions were very good, but things can get confusing (almost scary) when anything diagonal is thrown into the mix.  Circles and diagonals always make me cringe.  I bumped into a few stumbling blocks and do-overs, but I think my card turned out okay.  Actually, I like it a LOT!  Once I sat back and studied the finished card, I thought that it would make such a nice photo card with all of those fun pop-out, expanding panels but, since there were no photos on my card and the busy center didn't have a specific purpose, I decided to turn it into a gift card holder. 
Even though those fun triangular sections on my card are still blank, I am sure this would make a perfect birthday (or graduation) card--complete with a gift card--to send to someone and include photos of them at various stages in life.  Or a retirement card.  Maybe an anniversary.  Maybe just about any occasion!  Laura has a fantastic tutorial, complete with photos (woohoo!!!!), so give it a whirl!

Monday, November 25, 2013

"FOGGY MORNING IN A BURNED OUT FOREST" FOR MAKE-IT-SNAPPY-MONDAY

When all was said and done and I looked at this card from a distance, I realized that it didn't quite turn out the way that it looked in my head.  It reminds me of a scene from Duck Dynasty, and I think it's the one where Phil is patiently following Ms. Kay, hoping that she will sooner-than-already choose the "right" Christmas tree.  I was going for a natural, woodsy Christmas card, but this one is probably more like foggy morning in a burned out forest.  I was determined to use Stampin' Up!'s Stamp a Tag Kit, and I am pleased with the tag, which was sponged with Crumb Cake and Soft Suede ink.  It's hard to tell from the photo, but there's Cherry Cobbler Dazzling Details on the red heart (yes, that's a heart beside the "to:" on the tag).  I stamped the tree image from Warmth & Wonder with Always Artichoke ink, and the fringe/grass is covering a little boo boo--because tree trunks don't hover, you know?  I'm glad I ended up with the fringe, though, because it lent the perfect place for the stamped sentiment.  You know, the more I look at this card, I realize it looks nothing like Christmas.  Why don't we just consider it a card to never, ever make?  Since you took the time to visit my blog today--and I really appreciate that--let me share two great cards made by my stampin' friends:
Debbie surprised me with this sweet card.  I hardly ever receive cards, but I love it when I do!  And wouldn't you know it . . . that Hello, Lovely stamp set is once again tempting me!  Great job, Debbie!

Tracy made this awesome card for my Inkerbelles' October swap.  It's impossible to tell from the photo, but she used the Stripes embossing folder on the card front.  Love the distressed edges on the layers! 
Have a stampin' good week!!!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

GREETING CARD SET

Make this all-occasion greeting card set with a matching decorative box.  It is the perfect present for anyone, and it is easy to make and can be mass produced with ease.  The box, with its magnetic closure, can be used over and over.
This is truly one of those great projects that has perfect details!  Monika Davis did a great job designing this ensemble, and her tutorial can be found at Craft Project Central.

Friday, November 22, 2013

FREESTYLE FRIDAYS

First of all, today is my sister's birthday so . . . HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Renee!!!  We're not quite a year apart--she was born on November 22nd one year, and I was born on November 8th the next year--so we're the same age for two weeks each year.  For many years, people thought we were twins because we were pretty much the same size--until my vitamins worked and her's didn't.  You would think that being born so close that we would have been really close growing up, but we weren't.  I'm glad that we're friends now, but I suppose it's because opposites attract.  We are as different as night and day.  So there's your shout-out, Renee.  Wishing you not only a blessed and happy day, but blessed and happy EVERY day!

Before I share my Freestyle Fridays project, I must share the awesome mail that I received yesterday.  Remember the card and muslin bag that Julie shared last week?  They are now in my possession, and you should see what was in that cute little bag:
 
Aren't those necklaces FUN?!?!  Julie girl knows exactly how to spoil someone.  I felt like the birthday girl all over again when I emptied that pretty bag to find not one--but TWO--necklaces!  The tissue paper got the first "wow".  Just look at it!  And those adorable charms on the tails of the seam binding which, by the way, she threaded through the top of the hand-stamped muslin bag.  I wasn't sure which photo I wanted to share, so I'm sharing both of them because the second one shows off the card, which is worth seeing again.  And yes, she stamped the envelope, too.  If Julie had bags under her eyes for a week or so, then I feel responsible because I'll bet she spent many late nights thinking up and adding so many details to this sweet birthday gift.  Julie, THANK YOU so much for sending a huge amount of birthday happy to my house!
And now that I've covered everything else, let me tell you about my Freestyle Fridays project.  Of course, it pales in comparison to Julie's, and it just barely satisfies the mission that she set forth for me.  I was missing My Digital Studio, so I decided to use the program to create the focal point for my card.  At some point in the week, I was thinking that I was supposed to use Crumb Cake and Baja Breeze, and I began my design with those two colors.  Then, as if I couldn't hop over to Julie's blog to verify, I decided that I had been confused and that I was supposed to use Baja Breeze and pink.  Fortunately, I kept some of the Crumb Cake on my design, although I would have used it more heavily if I'd been doing the right thing.
After printing the design on Whisper White card stock, I trimmed it to size, adhered it to a Whisper White mat, which was adhered to the Baja Breeze card.  This digital design features several of my very favorite MDS embellishments . . . Taffeta Trimmings, Baker's twine, Mis-Stitched (I think I use something from this embellishment kit on every digital design), and Staples & Stitching.  Other MDS products featured include Artistic Etchings and Adventure Awaits stamp brush sets, and the Follow Your Bliss kit. Julie Beaulieu, thank you again SO VERY MUCH for such a sweet and generous birthday gift!!!!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

SEASON OF STYLE ENSEMBLE

It's time to deck the halls and wrap the gifts.  Why not make some cute decor and great packaging to match?  This ensemble includes an upcycled project - a wall-hanging from old CDs - plus some adorable gift boxes and a festive jar to use for holiday giving.
Having recently acquired Stampin' Up!'s Gift Bow die, I am excited about this pretty project which was designed by Jen Arkfeld.  Her complete tutorial can be found at Craft Project Central.

Monday, November 18, 2013

FROSTED HOLIDAY DECOR

If you love decorating for the holidays, you'll love creating this fun and frosty tree and wreath to add to your holiday home decor.  Make several to give as gifts.


I am in love with this project--especially the wreath--which was designed by Gayle Smith.  Her tutorial for this frosty ensemble can be found at Craft Project Central.

"MAKE-IT-SNAPPY-MONDAY"

For today's MISM project, I've got a quick card to share with you.  I can remember trying to decide if I "needed" Stampin' Up!'s Blooming with Kindness stamp set.  I seem to have a debate with myself every time I'm smitten with a new floral stamp set because I already have sooooooooooo many of them!  But you know what?  They're all unique and have a claim to fame--and reason to be in my collection, even if one stamp set shares the same claim to fame as about 15 others.  What really sold me on Blooming with Kindness was the fact that the floral image could be used to create a gorgeous background, used as a monochromatic focal point, it could be colored and fussed with, used to decorate just a corner of a project, etc., but the bonus selling point . . . the sentiments!  Besides the fact that they are a wonderful size and simply pretty, they fit several punches and dies and are perfect for a stamper's "go to" stamp set.  With one embossing folder and two punches, you can see how two images from Blooming with Kindness turned into an easy peasy pretty card.  Stampin' Up! products used to create this card include Wisteria Wonder, Whisper White, and Pear Pizzazz card stock, Pear Pizzazz marker, Wisteria Wonder and Black ink, Artisan Label punch, and Beautifully Baroque embossing folder.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

VINTAGE-INSPIRED ORNAMENT GIFT SET

This Ornament Gift Set is perfect for the upcoming holiday season! It features a vintage-inspired ornament and a beautiful cello gift bag with bag topper, along with a matching card for giving this set as a gift!  This ornament would make a beautiful addition to your holiday tree, a doorknob, or a wreath!
Vintage-inspired projects have a special place in my heart, and this is definitely a project that I look forward to making!  Michelle Wecksler designed this ensemble for Craft Project Central, which is where you can find her complete tutorial.

Friday, November 15, 2013

"FREESTYLE FRIDAYS"

Not only is today Friday, but it's also the slap-dab middle of November, which means . . . well, you know what that means.  It's time to make that Christmas list, check it twice, and start shopping!  For this week's Freestyle Fridays project, Julie has an adorable gift project and, although this one has a birthday theme, it demonstrates how awesome a stamped muslin bag could be for any occasion.  I love that she added seam binding to it, and she might have even threaded it through the top of the bag.  To learn more about her project, we'll have to visit her blog.  Don't forget to leave a sweet comment while you're there. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

"GETTING READY FOR SANTA" GIFT SET

This gift set will make anyone excited to get ready for Santa! The covered notepad will help you keep track of who’s been naughty and who’s been nice. Then, as Christmas draws near, you can give the hot cocoa tote and mini muslin bag of gift tags as a gift. Or, why not make a few sets of it all as part of your holiday gift giving?  
Doesn't this look like a great gift set to make?  It appears that Julie Beltramo didn't forget anything when she designed this ensemble for Craft Project Central, which is where you can find her complete tutorial.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

ANGEL ORNAMENT CREATED WITH GIFT BOW DIE

I tried to talk myself out of wanting Stampin' Up!'s Gift Bow die, but I couldn't resist.  It appears that  a variety of bows (styles) can be created with the cuts from the die, and I even came across some angel ornaments on Pinterest and had to make one for myself.  If you don't already own the Gift Bow die, you're in luck because it's among Stampin' Up!'s Weekly Deals, along with some other favorites of mine . . . burlap ribbon, muslin bags, and extra-large gift boxes!  Check out the deals HERE.

Monday, November 11, 2013

"MAKE-IT-SNAPPY-MONDAY" AND THE WINNER OF A FREE SUBSCRIPTION TO CRAFT PROJECT CENTRAL

I chose this particular project for MISM because--if everything had gone according to plan--it would have been one of the snappiest gifts I've ever made, and it still could be a snappy, snappy project.  The biggest problem that I had was that some of my vinyl (most of it, really) ended up as a wadded heap in the trash for one reason . . . none of the die-cut vinyl designs wanted to stick to the transfer tape and, if you have ever worked with vinyl letters/words, then you know that transfer tape is a MUST.  Even though I have a LOT of vinyl in my stash, I finally purchased a brand new roll of Silhouette vinyl, and it worked like a dream!  I am thinking that some of my vinyl may have been stored so tightly in page protectors which, over time, has made it highly resistant to letting go of its liner.  It's still useable--but not especially suited for this type of project.  But let me tell you about this project.  I began by designing the image (the quote) using Silhouette Studio Designer Edition software and then cut it with the Silhouette Cameo using black vinyl.  Once cut, I trimmed the vinyl so that there was a narrow border around the die-cut quote and then peeled off the excess vinyl.  All that was left on the liner was the quote, and all that was left to do was "weed" it.  Weeding is the process of removing parts of the letters that aren't needed, such as the solid space in o's, e's, a's, p's, etc.  Once the weeding is complete, transfer tape is placed on top of the die-cut image to pull it off of the liner (from the roll of vinyl) while keeping the letters completely intact and, at the same time, exposing the adhesive on the backside of the vinyl.  The last step was to place the transfer tape onto the frame's glass to apply the letters (the die-cut quote) to the glass.  Easy peasy!!!!  Having finally arrived on a successful course of making this gift, I proudly held up the glass and was reading the quote when . . . [gasp] . . . I noticed that the "w" was missing.  After the initial panic wore off, it was an easy fix--I just copied, pasted, and cut another "w" and used the same transfer tape method to apply it to the glass.  Inside the frame, I placed an old-world map (cut from an old calendar), topped with vellum to mute the image.  I then applied the large colored rhinestones to the four corners of the frame and a small one above the "i" in the word is because that little dot also went missing.  Don't you love this quote???  I saw it a few months ago and knew that I would somehow put it to use and, over the weekend, decided that this would be one of my sister's birthday gifts.

And now . . . the winner of the FREE one-month subscription to Craft Project Central, a name drawn from those who left a comment on my project HERE, is . . . (drum roll) . . . SherryBee in AZ who wrote:  "L.O.V.E.!!! This is beautiful and such a great idea! Love your stuff!"  Sherry, just send me an email with "CPC Free Subscription" as the subject, and we'll get your subscription set up! 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

O HOLY NIGHT BOXED SET

Make this gorgeous set of vintage style Christmas cards and tags and the beautiful box to keep them in!  The tutorial includes instructions for four cards, four tags, and the presentation box.  Makes a great gift, and it is easy enough that you can make several.  You'll want to keep a set for yourself.
I love the simplicity of this ensemble, which was designed by Kris McIntosh.  She added just the right splash of color and texture!  The tutorial for this project can be found at Craft Project Central.

Friday, November 8, 2013

A FABRIC EMBELLISHMENT FOR "FREESTYLE FRIDAYS"

 
With her Freestyle Fridays post last week, Julie shared a creative project featuring fabric and challenged me to do the same this week.  She really caught me off guard because I haven't even thought of creating with fabric in a while, but I reached up in the cabinet and pulled down a piece of fabric . . . and held it this way, that way, and just looked at it.  My mind was blank, and it seemed to want to stay that way.  This has been a really "off" week for me anyway.  I have awakened each day this week not knowing what day it was--having to think about it and subtract events to arrive at a conclusion.  Even so, every day has felt like the weekend, and I think it's because my husband keeps working from home.  My son's college classes this semester are all online, which means that he is home and, with all of us here all of the time, it's like a perpetual, drawn-out weekend.  It's like I am subconsciously waiting to really get this house tidy because, at this point, it's just pointless.  Anyway, back to my project, I finally decided to create a floral embellishment by cutting four circles (assorted sizes from small to large).  I pinched the center of each circle and glued them together with fabric glue.  Pinching the center gave them a little dimension, but not a lot.  I then adhered the fabric flower to a pinched-center doily, added some leaves, and completed the embellishment with a linen thread bow, button, and pearl jewel.  That cute box (Stampin' Up!'s Tag a Box) had just arrived, so I embossed the sleeve with the Modern Mosaic embossing folder, wrapped a strip of burlap ribbon around the center, adhered the tag (from the Stamp a Tag Kit), and then placed the floral embellishment on top.

REMINDER:  With my Make-It-Snappy-Monday blog post on November 11th, I will announce the winner of the FREE one-month subscription to Craft Project Central.  There is still time to get your name in the drawing!  Just visit my project HERE and leave a comment.  It's that's simple.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

ENVELOPE PUNCH BOARD MINI ALBUM

Looking for the perfect envelope mini album?  The one pictured here is made with the Envelope Punch Board, and it would make a fabulous gift for the holidays.  Wouldn't it be fun to have a get-together with friends so each of you can create an album and add all of your Christmas pictures?
This festive project was designed by Peg Coombs, and her tutorial can be found at Craft Project Central.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

BLACK MAGIC FOR CRAFT PROJECT CENTRAL'S "CREATING PRETTY CARDS - SKETCH CHALLENGE #29"

I don't mind admitting that I love this card, which was totally inspired by this one.  When I saw Joanne's card, my first thought was that I must buy that stamp set but then realized that I already had it and had never used it.  What??????  The Black Magic technique is a HUGE favorite of mine, and some stamp sets are just perfect for it.  Although the card that inspired me had been colored with pencils, I liked the ease of coloring with chalk because it's so "blendable".  When I finished coloring, I just used a tissue to wipe away the excess chalk.  I then used Stampin' Up!'s Chalk Marker to go over each and every tiny polka dot on the background since the white Craft ink that the image was stamped with just didn't seem to show up as brightly as I would have liked.  Don't you agree that Black Magic and Stampin' Up!'s Wildflower Meadow stamp set are a perfect match.  I will definitely make more of these cards!  This card was actually created for Craft Project Central's Creating Pretty Cards - Sketch Challenge #29.  Each month, there's a new sketch challenge, and anyone who participates in the challenge will have a chance to win a FREE one-month subscription to the site if there are at least ten participants.  Although I didn't strictly adhere to the scale of the sketch layers (I didn't want to cover up the pretty coloring), I came as close as I could and even stamped the sentiment on vellum card stock to keep from covering that portion of the image.  ;-)  I hope that you will feel inspired to participate in the challenge!  All of the details can be found HERE.

"MAKE-IT-SNAPPY-MONDAY" . . . ON TUESDAY

Today's MISM project is the card that I sent to customers who placed an online order last month.  I'm afraid the photo really doesn't do justice for this card, which was heavily inspired by this one.  When I saw it, I knew that I wanted to make something similar.  I love Stampin' Up!'s Gorgeous Grunge stamp set, and this card demonstrates a very fun way to use several of the images to create a simple card that really doesn't need a lot of fluff.  My color combo is Soft Sky, Cherry Cobbler, and Very Vanilla, and the "non-grunge" images (sentiment and the punched heart) are from one of Stampin' Up!'s new photopolymer sets, Another Thank You.  Adding a little mmmm to the card is the washi tape, rhinestone jewel, and the shimmery scratch images in the top left corner which were stamped with silver Encore Metallic ink.  I normally sign my cards, but I decided to do something different last month by including this poem that I found at SCS and tweaked just a tad:
I didn't sign this card
before sending it off to you . . . 
instead it holds my warmest thanks -
invisible, but true.
And if you find a time you need
to thank someone someday,
then take this card and sign it
and send it on its way.


Monday, November 4, 2013

"WINTER FROST" PORTFOLIO & CARDS

Normally, I share a Make-It-Snappy-Monday post on Monday's, but the project that I designed this month for Craft Project Central is being featured today so, of course, I want to feature it here, too!  This handy portfolio, featuring Stampin' Up!'s Winter Frost designer paper, is rather quick to make, and it features two interior pockets—one to hold four to six 4-1/4” square greeting cards, and the other pocket will hold the custom envelopes from coordinating designer paper.  This project is designed as a gift of holiday cards, but it can be made as a stationery gift for any occasion.  
As a designer at Craft Project Central, I have a FREE subscription to give away.  The subscription will grant one lucky winner access to all of this month's tutorials!  If you would like to be entered in the drawing for the subscription, just visit Craft Project Central and leave a comment on the blog post where my Winter Frost portfolio is pictured.  On Monday, November 11th, I will announce the winner!

Don't forget to come back tomorrow to see my Make-It-Snappy-Monday project!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

OCTOBER SWAP

I'm sure I'm not the only one with Christmas cards on the brain, and I have a gorgeous card to share with you today.  This card was created by a friend and customer, Debbie, for our October Inkerbelles' swap.  As I mentioned in THIS blog post, our theme was to create a project without using actual embellishments, and I think Debbie did a fabulous job!  Don't you just love that pretty Cardinal, which she created from a couple of punched pieces?  Also to love is the clean and simple design and, of course, her color combo.  Great job, Debbie, and thanks so much for participating in the monthly swaps!

Friday, November 1, 2013

"FREESTYLE FRIDAYS"

It's Julie's turn to share a Freestyle Fridays project this week, and she's been creating stamped balloons which, by the way, look awesome!  In all of my years of stamping and playing with paper, it has never occurred to me to make floral balloons.  I love Julie's idea!  I hope you'll join me in visiting her blog to see the whole project and read all about it.  I'm sure she would love it if we also leave a sweet comment while we're there--it only takes a few seconds!

"GENTLY FALLING" TEA LIGHTS & VELLUM CARD

This lovely boxed set of four decorated tea light candles with a matching card and envelope makes a gracious hostess gift wherever your plans may take you this fall. The candles by themselves will add a charming touch to your fall holiday d├ęcor.
The tutorial for this project, which was designed by Yapha Mason, is just one of the awesome project tutorials included with the November edition at Craft Project Central.