Monday, December 29, 2014

WHAT MATTERS IS HOW WE LIVE AND LOVE . . . AND THIS IS THE FACE OF LOVE

For the past several days, I have been spending time with my family, celebrating the life of the sweetest woman I've ever known . . . my grandmother.  She passed peacefully in her sleep on Friday, December 26th.  It's just like her to put her family first by waiting until after Christmas to take her journey.  See that smile?  That's how her face would light up when one of her grandchildren would walk into the room--regardless of how she might be feeling.  Mamaw loved, and she was love--a gentle angel on earth.  She was the sweetest, kindest, extremely talented, and most gentle person EVER.  I will never forget the way she would examine something (anything) that I had made.  She would hold it carefully--as if it was a priceless treasure--and rub her hand lightly over it, zooming in for closer inspection.  Of course, a compliment would follow the inspection, and she would hand the treasure back to me--very carefully.  She was a treasure!  When my son was younger, he shared an observation with me when he said that "mamaw never gets mad or yells at us (the children)", and he was absolutely right.  Although our family will miss her greatly, I can't help but be happy for her.  I figure her "meet and greet" session began on Friday, and I can only imagine that she's still beyond happy, glowing, and asking, "Why did it have to take so long to get here?"

In closing, an excerpt from Linda Ellis' poem, "The Dash" because mamaw made the most of hers, and ours is much richer for having the opportunity to know and love her:

For that dash represents all the time
that they spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved them
know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own,
the cars…the house…the cash.
What matters is how we live and love
and how we spend our dash.
 12/03/19 - 12/26/14
 

FLORAL PURSE CARD SET - BONUS PROJECT AT CRAFT PROJECT CENTRAL

This beautiful purse has a set of six cards with envelopes inside. There are two card designs, and they are both made with the Beautiful Bunch stamp set, Moonlight Designer Series Paper Stack, and Fun Frames Textured Impressions Embossing Folders to coordinate with the purse. The purse is made with Coaster Board, and there are two pockets inside to hold three of each card design and envelopes. This would make a wonderful gift and a great card class.
How pretty is this?  I love the details on this purse, which was designed by the talented Christy Fulk.  This purse and card set is the December Bonus project 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!
 

Saturday, December 27, 2014

ELEGANT GREETING CARD SET

Nothing makes a better present than a set of handmade greeting cards. Make this elegant card set, showcasing four different layouts, using the same stamp sets and colors. Learn how to make your own striped paper using a stencil. The cards come in an envelope-style box with its own decorative band. Great for a stamp camp, or as a class project.
Besides the fact that you'll enjoy creating this project, anyone who receives it will fall in love with the color combo.  Monika Davis, who designed this project, always does a superb job of combining colors and creating soft, feminine designs.  Her tutorial can be found at Craft Project Central, and it is not too late to get your subscription started. 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

FROM MY HOUSE TO YOURS AT CHRISTMASTIME

On this Christmas Eve, I thought it would be nice to share some other cards that I've made for the holiday.  First up is one of my favorites featuring Stampin' Up!'s White Christmas and Holiday Home stamp sets.
My second card features Festival of Trees and White Christmas and just enough sparkle and glimmer.  I loved the trendy design of this one.
Lastly, one of my Gentle Peace cards, which features the Stampin' Blendabilities Markers.  The image takes quite a while to color, but the end result is worth the effort.

My wish for you . . . a very MERRY CHRISTMAS and a blessed 2015!


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

SPIRAL FLOWERS & POLKA DOTS

This project uses an embroidery hoop to make a fun and easy work of art for your home. The coordinating card has a matching envelope with a unique twist on your “average” envelope. This trendy piece of art will put a smile on anybody’s face. It is so easy to make that you will want to make two so you can keep one for yourself!
The color of those spiral flowers is so striking, isn't it?  This lovely project was designed by Boni Montano, and her tutorial can be found at Craft Project Central.

Monday, December 22, 2014

"MAKE-IT-SNAPPY-MONDAY"

This is truly one of the easiest Christmas gifts I've ever made.  Actually, the gift was money, and this order of french fries was just a fun way to package the bills.  I didn't expect my nephew to go ga-ga over the neat packaging, but I also didn't expect him to totally dig the bills out of the fries and leave the packaging at my house.  Ha!  I guess I can fill it up and give it to him again next year, and that will be an even easier and quicker gift to assemble!  To create this project, I used Stampin' Up!'s Fry Box die to cut the Real Red card stock and the strip of Basic Black card stock, and the sentiments are from the Good Greetings stamp set.  I used a retired die to cut the snowflake from silver glittery thin foam, and the french fries were made from Very Vanilla card stock.  For each fry, I began with a 2-1/2" x 3-3/4" piece of card stock, scored it at every 1/2", crimped it, folded it into shape, and placed adhesive on one of the 1/2" flaps to finish it.  The top and bottom of the fries is open, and rolled dollar bills slip easily inside.  I love french fries, and I would love them even more if they were filled with $$$.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

ORNAMENT TREE

What if you had a tree base that you could decorate year-round?  This project features a unique and beautiful handmade sculpted tree.  In this tutorial you will learn how to create an armature using upcycled cardboard.  You will also learn how to color your Simply Pressed Clay to create realistic color for your tree. The tutorial also includes instructions for four different types of mini ornaments you can use to decorate your tree.  You might even choose to make customized ornaments for holidays throughout the year and change the look of your tree with the changing seasons.  Of course, there are also instructions for a coordinating gift card so that you can gift these trees to friends and family for the holiday season.   You might even choose to spend an afternoon or evening making ornaments with them! 
Isn't this a gorgeous project?!?!  The complete tutorial, which was created by Michelle Wecksler, can be found at Craft Project Central.  Have you started your subscription yet?
 

Friday, December 19, 2014

LOTUS BLOSSOM

One of Stampin' Up!'s products for the upcoming Sale-a-Bration promotion is the gorgeous Lotus Blossom stamp set.  It's a 3-step stamping stamp set that is so very easy to use and makes you say WOW!  For my card, I chose Smoky Slate, Blackberry Bliss, and Whisper White card stock.
It's just lovely, isn't it?  My finishing touches were a few sequins and silver twine for just the right amount of sparkle.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

"TOTE"ALLY TERRIFIC GOLDEN CARD TRIO GIFT SET

Who doesn't love a fashionable tote?  Just in time for the new year, this project features an elegant tote and three sophisticated cards, all featuring gold accents & embellishments.  Think Watercolor Wonder Washi Tape, Gold Foil sheets, Gold Glimmer papers, Gold Brushed cardstock, Gold Fancy Foil Designer Vellum, gold heat embossing, Gold Glitter, and Baked Brown Sugar Classic Stampin' Ink Pad for a faux gold look.  This tutorial will show you step-by-step how to coordinate all these wonderful products together for an amazing, perfectly finished look.  This project is easy to assemble but looks like you spent hours on it.  It's a perfect New Year's gift for that stylish and chic friend on your list!
The tutorial for this project, which was designed by Carol Lovenstein, can be found at Craft Project Central.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

NATIVITY SHADOWBOX CARD

I like to send extra special cards to my aunt Betty, and I wracked my brain for weeks trying to think of what kind of Christmas card I would make for her this year.  And then the Silhouette Online Store had a 50% off sale on all SVG designs, which is where I found this one by Lori Whitlock.  It looked easy enough, and I barely added anything to it.  The design really didn't need anything--for Christmas, doesn't a nativity scene suffice?  My apologies for the bad photo, but there was something special about the way the light was shining down from the top of the card.
I actually made two of these cards and sent one to aunt Betty and one to my parents.  Can you tell that the card is a shadowbox design, and can you guess that it folds flat for mailing?  Awesome!  What you definitely can't see is that the card has a depth of approximately 1" from front to back.  It was a bit tricky for me to initially figure out how to put the card together.  I knew how the three layers were supposed to fit, but I wasn't sure how much space to leave between each layer or whether it mattered when and how to adhere the front and back panels.  In the end, I thought I might have "overthunk" it.  It's a stunning design, isn't it?  I've been a fan of Lori Whitlock's designs for a while now, and this one doesn't disappoint!  My three additions are the rhinestone jewel in the center of the star, the navy organza ribbon, and the stamped sentiment from Stampin' Up!'s Gentle Peace stamp set.  When I first received that stamp set, I thought that I must have been out of my mind to buy it, but I have come to really enjoy and respect it.  It had the perfect, most appropriate sentiment for this card.  Soon, I will share a photo of the main image from that stamp set that I took the time to color.  In the meantime, you can get a glimpse HERE.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

MONOGRAMMED NOTE CARD GIFT SET

This festive set of note cards makes a wonderful gift for teachers, college students, and anyone else who might enjoy sending a personalized note. The handsome display case holds six single-sided note cards plus six folded note cards, for a total of twelve cards in three different designs. Wrapped in cellophane and finished with a tag, the completed project is ready for gift giving. This monogrammed gift pack is great for a stamp camp, a class, or making a gift for a friend.
If you would like to see the complete project, which was designed by Yapha Mason, and learn how to make this pretty gift set, you'll want to subscribe for the month of December. With your subscription, you'll get illustrated, step-by-step instructions for 10 wonderful projects for only $10! 

Monday, December 15, 2014

"MAKE-IT-SNAPPY-MONDAY"

Today's MISM project features some really fun Stampin' Up! products that will be available in January.  That beautiful bunch of tulips wrapped in newspaper . . . don't you just love it???  That stamp, Love is Kindness, was the first item added to my pre-order, which I expedited and received early last week.  It's a total indulgence to expedite an order (perhaps a slight waste of money), but I knew that I'd be out of town during the latter part of the week and wanted to be able to have the products early enough to touch and use them.  ;-)  After tearing open the box, the first stamp set that I worked with had to be the tulips.  I colored the stamped image with Stampin' Blendabilities Markers, embossed it with a script embossing folder, lightly sponged the card stock with Soft Suede ink, applied Crystal Effects to the tulips, and then set it aside to dry.  I enjoyed working with other new products and then went out of town for the weekend--totally forgetting about my tulips--until I got home late last night and realized that I needed a MISM project.  There they were . . . laying on the shelf, waiting to be given the spotlight on a card.  On a Crumb Cake card, I adhered the brick DSP from the brand new Adventure Bound DSP Stack and, before adhering the tulip layer, I cut the left wing from an Early Espresso die-cut butterfly (isn't it gorgeous), and adhered the remaining body and wing to the stamped layer.  The sentiment, which is from another new stamp set (Moon Lake) was stamped on a scrap of card stock, rough cut with scissors, and adhered to the bottom of the card.  It's always exciting to see (and work with) brand new Stampin' Up! products, and there are so many "must haves" coming our way!  This little card is just a taste of the goodness that awaits us all on January 6th.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

GOLD & SILVER NEW YEAR PARTY ENSEMBLE

You will be ready to celebrate the New Year in style with this classic Gold and Silver New Year Party Ensemble! This fun and festive set features a banner, party hat, party blowers and a card/invitation! The banner will look fabulous hanging in your home anywhere you want to add some sparkle! You can create the decorative bottom edges of the banner pieces using the Labels Collection Framelits. The party hat can either be worn or used as a focal point in a centerpiece. And don’t forget party blowers! You can make them yourself to coordinate beautifully with your party d├ęcor. They are simple to put together and make any event a celebration! For the finishing touch, the matching card is perfect for invitations for your friends and family to come and ring in the New Year!
What's not to love about the colors and sparkle of this project, which was designed by Julie?  Her tutorial, complete with full-project step-by-step photos and written instructions, is available at Craft Project Central.  Have you subscribed yet?

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

SNOW DAY PARTY!

Unless you live near the equator – or Florida – you’re going to have snow in the winter.  It’s inevitable, so you might as well enjoy it and have a party!  Here are some fun – and “out of the box” - ways to use the Gift Box Punch Board and All Is Calm suite from the 2014 Stampin’ Up! Holiday catalog to make party favor boxes and a basket of snow party refreshments.  Add a fun invitation and a sparkly snow banner using the Build a Banner Simply Created Kit, and you’ll have the best party ever.  If you live in an area that doesn’t get much snow, or your party is in the spring or summer, it’s easy to switch it to a “no snow” or beach party just by changing the designer series paper and colors. 
Doesn't this look like a lovely and fun project?  Anything with Glimmer Paper catches my eye these days!  The full-project photo and tutorial for this project, designed by Buffy Cooper, is available at Craft Project Central.  Have you subscribed yet?

Monday, December 8, 2014

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

This week's MISM project features a patriotic background technique that I have shared before (HERE).  I needed a masculine birthday card and was all too happy to do a "take two" from a few  years ago, but I wanted to make this one with as little bulk as possible.  On Naturals Ivory card stock, I placed a few swipes of ink using a Cherry Cobbler ink pad, being mindful to leave a blank space where I could sponge Night of Navy ink in the top left corner.  A torn piece of paper was placed over the top half of the card stock, and then I used a sponge to color the lower half with Soft Suede ink, letting the torn edge from the paper create a mountain in the distance.  The stamped images are from Remembering Your Birthday and Countryside stamp sets, and the stars were cut from Naturals Ivory card stock using the star punch from Itty Bitty Accents Punch Pack.  The other card stock colors are Night of Navy and Cherry Cobbler.

WINNER!  WINNER!  WINNER!
With my December 1st blog post (HERE), I mentioned that I had a one-month FREE subscription to Craft Project Central to give to one lucky person. The one and only easy requirement to get your name in the drawing was to leave a comment HERE, and I promised to announce the winner today.  I appreciate each of the kind comments and the time taken to get entered in the drawing.  The winner is #15:
Sue Root
who wrote, "Great project, Regina! Useful and pretty!"
  Sue, if you'll email me at randari at hotmail dot com
we'll get your subscription started.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

UNDER THE TREE WINDOW TREAT BOX & MONEY HOLDER

Fill this festive Window Treat Box with your favorite goodies for the perfect gift!  These boxes are easy to make, but sure to impress – and the window in the front adds just the right touch!  The coordinating money holder makes this ensemble the perfect gift for anyone on your list!
This handy project was designed by Laurie, and her tutorial (complete with written instructions and step-by-step photos) is available when you subscribe to this month's line-up of awesome tutorials at Craft Project Central.
 

Friday, December 5, 2014

CREATING PRETTY CARDS - CARD CHALLENGE #42

Each month, Craft Project Central has a Creating Pretty Cards - Card Challenge, and it's a tag this time!  How perfect since we're going to be needing a lot of tags for those Christmas gifts.  
It is a rare occasion for me to spend much time making tags.  I always need them for wrapped (or bagged) gifts, and it's embarrassing to admit that I normally find myself needing one immediately and end up grabbing a piece of card stock to write on.  Sometimes I don't even do that.  And so it's kind of a big deal that I made a tag tonight for Card Challenge #42.
Don't you love Stampin' Up!'s Glimmer paper?  If it's not already my favorite product, it must be somewhere near the top of the list.  The fun thing about my tag is that I used scraps to create the whole thing . . . scraps of Glimmer paper for the "tree" and punched star, scrap of Old Olive card stock for the sentiment, a portion of a doily, and I used leftover Santa & Co. DSP and Basic Black card stock (from a project that I was working on earlier in the day) for the actual tag.

Have you created a card for this month's Creating Pretty Cards - Card Challenge #42?  There's a FREE tutorial for the sketch in case you need it!  If you create a card and upload it to the web site, your name will be entered into a drawing for a FREE one-month subscription to Craft Project Central!  For every 10 cards uploaded to the web site, a winner will be selected!  

Thursday, December 4, 2014

"ALL IS CALM" DESK ACCESSORIES GIFT SET

Get ready for the New Year by organizing your desk in fashion!! This compact and practical Calendar Easel sits atop a secret pull out drawer to store your note cards. Plus it folds flat if you needed to stow it away. The coordinating Pen Cup is an easy up-cycling project that is super fun to make! And when you buy the tutorial, you’ll see the super sweet and simple card that will make this the perfect gift set to give!
Of course, the photo above is a sneak peek of the project designed by Julie Beltramo.  When you subscribe to Craft Project Central's December edition of awesome tutorials, you'll have access to step-by-step instructions and photos for this beautiful gift set.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

THINKING OF MAMAW ON HER 95th BIRTHDAY

95 years.  Say it slowly . . . ninety . . . five . . . years on this earth.  Can you imagine all of the things--the changes--mamaw has seen?  I won't give away my own age, but it is a blessing to have had my grandmother in my life this long.  Most people who are my age haven't had a grandparent for years--some don't even remember their grandparents.  To clarify, some people were young when their grandparents passed away and weren't given the chance to really know them.  Of course, there are people whose most extravagant waste of opportunity is the time they could be spending with a family treasure . . . a grandparent.  Until a year or so ago, mamaw's health was remarkably . . . amazingly . . . well, but things have been changing.  It's never easy to come up with a perfect card for a perfect little mamaw (and she would love whatever I send), but I chose this peony quilt block image (from silhouetteonlinestore.com), reduced the size of it, and made it the focal point for my card.  The sentiment that I chose is one that I felt really defines her since she has made so many quilts through the years.  Happy Birthday, dear mamaw!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

"MAKE-IT-SNAPPY-MONDAY" . . . A DAY LATE

So MISM is a day late this week, but only because I was excited to share the project yesterday that I designed for the December edition of Craft Project Central.  If you like what you saw, go ahead and start your subscription and gain access to all of the awesome projects this month!

I had a hard time deciding what to share for this week's MISM project.  Even though the card might not necessarily be a snappy one to make, it's definitely not difficult.  A lot of the time that goes into making a pop-up box card is directly proportionate to the decorative accents that go on the card; therefore, you (I) control how detailed and time-intensive a card like this will be.
This card features Stampin' Up!'s Tap Tap Tap stamp set.  I haven't used this set as much as I thought I would, but that could be because prepping for holiday projects comes right behind the release of Stampin' Up!'s annual catalogs.  The colors used for this card are Crumb Cake, Hello Honey, and Mossy Meadow.  Thanks for visiting today, and don't forget to leave a comment HERE to be entered in the drawing for a FREE one-month subscription to the awesome tutorials at Craft Project Central!

Monday, December 1, 2014

MONTHLY MEMORIES ALBUM FOR CRAFT PROJECT CENTRAL & A FREE ONE-MONTH SUBSCRIPTION! GET ENTERED TO WIN!

The "Make-It-Snappy-Monday" project will be delayed this week since the project that I designed for Craft Project Central is featured today.  I hope you'll come back tomorrow to see the MISM project!  

It's a brand new month at Craft Project Central--a month filled with inspiring, creative, and fun tutorials, and this is an ideal time to get your subscription started.  There's even time to add a subscription to your Christmas Wish List.  As I mentioned, the tutorial that I designed is up first and following is the introduction that I wrote for it:

Let’s face it . . . not every stamper is a scrapbooker, but we all have dates, events, activities, milestones, etc. that we’d like to record and remember.  This Monthly Memories Album, which can stand on its own, is comprised of pockets—one for each month—with at least one card in each pocket to record (with journaling and/or photos) special events.  Of course, photos and mementos can be included or attached to the front (and/or back) of each pocket.  The whole family can be involved in recording a memory about something special for each month!  The handy gift bag features a really neat way to make sure the card doesn’t get lost or separated from the gift and, of course, there’s a gift box for the album!  This is an especially perfect gift for a New Year’s party hostess, or host your own party and give this ensemble to each of your guests!


On Monday, December 8th, I will give to a lucky winner a FREE one-month subscription to Craft Project Central.  To be entered into the drawing for the subscription, all you need to do is go HERE and leave a comment on the post where my project is featured.  Be sure to visit my blog on the 8th to see if yours was the winning name.  It's that simple!