Monday, December 20, 2010

Merry Christmas!

My last post for Christmas.  Hope everyone has a beautiful holiday. 
I am posting just a few cards to share (now that they've been mailed away)...

and have one last hanging gift idea to share - that includes a a sneak peek at stamp available in January (shown on the magnet seen on the left from set called "Eat Chocolate!").

I enjoyed making this little magnetic board for a relative who loves cats & chocolate.

I wanted to give something personal, but had few other gift ideas for her this year.  Magnets are a lot of fun to make and I even cut a piece of magnetic backing for the Post-It notes that she can re-use (if she wants).
Again, Merry Christmas, everyone!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

PPA72 - Inspiration card

This week's challenge at Pals Paper Arts is a wintry inspirational challenge-
lots of beautiful bling & snowy scenes appear in the inspiration photos.

I decided to combine elements of the images with an easy snowflake card.  Love the felt snow flurries (they were a great SU! Clearance Rack discovery), but to make them sparkle a bit more, I added a rhinestone center & some dazzling diamonds glitter on the middle and edges. 

I painted a bit of frost shimmer paint on some scrap Crumb Cake cardstock to match the retired dsp I used and punched it with the modern label punch to use for the layered sentiment (phrase from retired More the Merrier hostess set was stamped in Crumb Cake & punched with the word window punch, that too has some frost shimmer added to it; the sentiment was adhered with dimensionals).

As long as you have time for the glue to dry on your felt snowflakes, this is also an easy to duplicate holiday card!  I've just finished a few more crafty gifts (you can see them on my earlier posts - decoupage frame & hanging decorations), so a quick and easy card to wrap things up is just what I needed.  It also was not hard to be inspired with wintry images as we look out our windows this beautiful Sunday morning.  Just under 3 inches of beautiful fresh powdery snow have covered everything.  
Happy Handmade Holiday, everyone! Enjoy!

Another Crafty Gift Idea: Decoupage Frame

Okay, I'm hooked on decoupage now... An unfinished wood frame from your local craft store is an economical & fun base for a personalized gift you can make with any patterned paper on hand.  For the frame above, I used some Karen Foster Old World Map scrapbook paper that served as a perfect background for the added international stamps I've collected over the years.  I made frames like the one above for my friends who I met when I worked with international students at our local university (that's where I got most of the stamps over the years, from our office mail!). 

I popped up a few of the stamps with dimensionals to give the frame some additional interest.

Only thing I stamped on this was the Friends embellishment (from SU! Vintage Vogue stamp set).  I covered the entire circle with Versamark then embossed it with clear embossing powder using my heat gun to add some sheen and texture.  Note, decoupage medium makes water based dye ink bleed if it is not protected by something like the heat embossing I used.  Instead of adhering the embellishment directly on the frame, I chose to attach it by some twine which I felt gave it a similar look to a unique package to coordinate with my international mail & postage theme. 

You cannot tell from the photos, but I cut a clear window sheet (any thick, clear, clean plastic would work) to fit the photo opening to make my own photo protector.  The unfinished frame does not come with any type of acrylic or glass for a photo, so this may be optional, but I liked the addition to use for a photo frame and was happy to have some on hand.

Hope you, like me, are having fun with your own handmade holiday this year, too!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Hanging around, waiting for Christmas?

Here are some hanging decoration gift ideas for you! 
I've been working like one of Santa's elves trying to get some handmade gifts completed and I think I may be half way there.  The first hanging shown is one for my friend living in Sweden.  God Jul is their traditional Christmas greeting.  An added plus with this phrase is it's easy to make 6 letters into a hanging decoration! 

I punched some dsp with an extra large circle punch then layered those on circles of cherry cobbler cardstock.  The red circles were adhered to alternating chocolate chip and always artichoke cardstock that was adhered to some thin chipboard and die cut with a Sizzix scallop circle die.  I covered all the circles with a decoupage finish that I hope will help the hanging decoration stay in good shape over time.

The letters were die cut in cherry cobbler cardstock using the Serif Essentials Sizzix dies.  Each letter had the edges lightly sponged in brown ink then I applied a thin layer of Crystal Effects to give the letters a glossy look.  The middle circle I decorated with some hand cut holly leaves from the package of Deck the Halls designer series paper. 

Antique brads also accent the first, middle and last circles. 

I punched holes in my covered chipboard circles with my Crop-a-dile then thread a long strand of felt ribbon (retired SU! Alpine ribbon) thru the holes to attach the circles.  I added an extra loop on top and added another accent of ribbon on the last circle. 

The close up pics of my holly center did not turn out, but here are some more images of the words (after seeing these close ups, I also realize it's time to re-paint our front door!):

For another idea, as a Pre-Christmas present, I made the magnetic hanging decoration shown below for my sister.  It's not just for Christmas, as everything on the board (except for the Chalkboard vinyl) is attached by magnets!

If your house was like my house, then I'm guessing you are familiar with the phrase, "If Mom's not happy, nobody's happy!"? I thought as a motivator for good behavior for my niece and nephew, my sis may have fun using this board to express her feelings.

The board is a piece of galvanized metal flashing (so popular with us crafters) that has been covered with some DSP.  I adhered a bit of chalkboard vinyl to it so she can use it as a list board if she wants to.
She can replace the "naughty" & "nice" magnets with something else after the holidays, of course.  And the kids' pics are on magnets, too, so they can be moved to either category (if needed!).

She can even move the cardstock dial to suit her mood
(or remove the dial when she tires of it- yes, it's on a magnet too). 
Of course, I'm sure that my niece & nephew are just angels all the time, so I went ahead & pre-set the dial at the happiest setting. 
Happy Birthday, sis!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Christmas Cards for St Jude's kids...

Operation Inky Paw pal, Madeline Marcelo, is sending a package of cards to give to the kids at St. Jude's.  I hope the cards I created will make their way to someone who needs a little smile for Christmas!   I added some texture to each one - may be hard to make out the flocking on the Santa dog hat & the snowmen, but it's there!  The first two cards were made with mainly SU! items. The first, my favorite of all, shows a dog from a retired set.  It didn't have a Santa hat on the stamp- I just added it by cutting a hat free hand.

The snowmen shown below are from last year's hostess stamp set, the More the Merrier.  I wanted to add more sparkle, so I tucked some tinsel garland behind the snowflake for an extra special embellishment on this one. This one has the most texture of all.

This last example is from an Imaginisce collection with a matching rub-on (some SU! cardstock & dsp to make it just right). The images were so cozy & cute.  I almost wanted to keep this one for me!

I love to make cute cards, but didn't realize how few stamps I had for kid-themed cards for this holiday, so the last card I had to use the cute rub-on (guess you know I'll be ordering more soon!).   Enjoy and keep crafting!

Monday, November 22, 2010

So thankful...

I am so thankful for many things... to my family, I miss you! 
One of these cards may be on its way to you today!

In the mean time, I'll be thinking of you and working at home.
Lots of things to do now that the weather cooperates.
Here's a photo of me playing "Leaf Terminator"!

We love living in wooded surroundings, but keeping the fallen leaves away from the house is a big chore here. So I guess I must add to the list of things I'm thankful for-
my leaf blower!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Embossed Leaf

I had an extra leaf from the photo frame collage I made a week or so ago, so I used it for a quick fall themed card this weekend.  I used a Revolution die to cut the leaf & stem then embossed it with the Elegant Lines embossing folder.  For the background, I created my own patterned paper using what is supposed to be a snowflake stamp from SU's Northern Hearts stamp set.  By stamping it in multi-fall colors on the Very Vanilla cardstock, I don't think it looks that snowy, do you? To finish the leaf accent I of course had to spritz it with a little sparkle!  Here's a close up view of the leaf:

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

It is a Christmas tag or decoration or...

just my ugly baby?  Ok, no offense to any moms out there, but sometimes my crafty creations are like an ugly baby to me.  I know that they're not the cutest or prettiest thing I've seen, but I made it, so I love it nonetheless... 

I just got an order of a bunch of Holiday Mini catalog things & just had to play with my waffle paper.  I got a little heavy handed adhering my cut out holly from my dsp, so it accidentally ended up crinkled too... oh well!  Tis the Season!  Gotta play to learn!   Have a great week everyone, and give your babies a hug from me!

Knock, knock...

Who's there?  Well, today it is a CASE for me,
inspired by a wonderful creation of the talented stamper at ARTfelt Impressions.

I used Crumb Cake (Kraft) cardstock for the door and door & window panels.  I changed the front door a bit by using a Movers & Shapers Window die, then adhering a window sheet behind it so you could see thru the front of the card.  I used a leaf shape hand punch to punch a few different color of leaves then individually glued each one to a circle frame shape I made with a couple of Nestabilities circle dies.  A large brass brad is the door handle. 

I loved making this so much I modified it for some Christmas cards similar to the original card that inspired these. Here's a front view ....

And here is a view of the Contempo Christmas tree & greeting on the inside of the card...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

PPA67 Celebrity Color Challenge!

I really like the Pals Paper Arts color challenge this week PLUS I actually had all three colors of cardstock on hand!  Daffodil Delight, Basic Gray and Poppy Parade are the colors. Inkadinkadoo stamps used here with a houndstooth Cuttlebug embossing folder (gotta get out the houndstooth when there is a dog on the card!). ;)

This was a great break from holiday brainstorming... I've decided to try to make all paper ornaments for our Christmas tree this year... what was I thinking!? Wish me luck!  Have a great weekend!

Blue Contempo Christmas

Combining some new with some old today... not sure that it'll be a blue Christmas this year, but had to play with my new Contempo Christmas stamps and tinsel!  Used retired Brocade Blue paper, dsp, ribbon & ink.  This isn't exactly what I pictured when I started, but a good practice card for more holiday crafts to come.   

I added some more paper craft home decor this weekend...  Found these cool frames at Crate & Barrel & I enjoyed adding some actual photos as well as some diecut & embossed leaves.  I'm looking forward to changing them with the seasons!  Have a great weekend everyone!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Dryer Sheet card

Happy Halloween everyone!  I've had my fill of Halloween crafts now, so posting a birthday card using the "dryer sheet technique."  Basically, you just take a bit of used dryer sheet and adhere it over the image then press some glitter on top. EASY!

I was really interested in trying this as I love the smell of a dryer sheet!  Silly, I know.  I'm anxious to find out if the recipient I'll send it to will still be able to smell the pleasantly clean odor!?

This is my first dryer sheet card.  I think I'll choose a bolder stamp next time, but with the start of frosty mornings and almost all the leaves off the trees, this image from Lovely as a Tree set just seemed to fit my mood. 

Now, will finish some chores & prepare for a quiet Halloween night.  We'll watch a zombie show tonight to celebrate the occasion here... Hope you have a lovely Sunday & quiet Halloween evening, too.  Enjoy.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Before I met paper crafts....

I used to make a lot of handmade crafts for gifts.  It was inexpensive, it was fun, it felt very personal.  I had a chance to remake one little craft gift for my Aunt Mary Ann this year (the original was lost).  So here's just a look at the little scarecrow doll I created for her. 

She has a fall birthday, and is so hard to buy anything for, handmade gifts seem more appreciated.  I cannot sew, so handstitching the doll & stuffing it is as sewing-oriented as I can get.  This time, I added a little paper heart to his denim overalls - had to have a little paper craft on this, right?  Just thought I'd share... the Craftatorium is a mess, so better get to cleaning.  Hope you enjoy a handmade holiday or any occasion this year, too!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fall Inspiration, PPA64

Easy to play at Pals Paper Arts this week with Fall Inspiration as the theme.  Leaves are falling all over the place, so fall inspiration is not lacking here.  I took my Forest Friends tree stamp & colored it with markers in some fall colors.  I colored in just the leaves on the stamp & turned the stamp around to create some fallen leaves under the tree and then drew in a ground line free hand.  

I adhered my layered image on a piece of scallop square chipboard covered with some DSP (used my Big Shot for the scallop dies - LOVE that tool!).  This will be a cute little fall decoration for my room. 
Now, better go get the leaf blower as I have a LOT of work to do!  Enjoy!

Here's a photo of my decoration hanging on my craft room door! 

New Toys PLUS a photo of my Papercrafting Dog!

It's 3 am, do you know where your crafty-blogger friends are? one else is reading this at the time I'm writing, but it's another craft-a-holic-insomniac night for me in the Craft-a-torium. 
                      Above is a photo of a Christmas card I made just a little bit ago (2am or so!?).

I don't think it's too bad for a 2am card...  I enjoyed combining the felt snowflakes with the Northern Flurries embossing folder from the new Mini and the coordinating colors are all current - baja breeze & riding hood red. 

Likely I cannot sleep as I've had too much fun this weekend already.  Friday was fun as I got my SU Clearance order and another with lots of fun stuff for my crafty friends.  The Clearance Rack Blitz is awesome, so I've been playing with all the extras I ordered which I'll share with my friends.  Clearance blitz ends Monday, so better act while you can.

Then Saturday was fun too as my hubby got a new TOY (I've added a pic below).  It'll be his "project" bike - he's planning a really cool transformation of this older Honda into a vintage style cafe racer. 

We had a great time going on a short road trip to get the bike where we found a GREAT bakery. It's one of those awesome small town local finds - the pastries & donuts were superb! My husband splurged on them as he's been gluten free, but donuts are his weakness ....then it was back at home for chores & the weekend usual... except for me, I guess... as I'm not sleeping... ugh.

And of course the dog's been having fun too... Who says dogs can't be paper crafters?  I'm sure he had something in mind with this bit of Halloween paper scrap, but then he must have seen a cat on it... :)

Some local October Raffle time news:
I'm lucky to work at a company that supports charitable causes on a regular basis and I love to participate in events when I can. I'll have a bunch of things to add to this month's department raffle - including a
Holiday Card kit like this:

If you work in my office - don't forget to check out these items and all kinds of other good stuff in the raffle room from October 25-29.
Time to rest now... zzzz.zzzz..zzzz Have a great Sunday!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

PPA63 Celebrity Color Challenge

This week's color challenge at Pals Paper Arts is for Pear Pizzazz, Peach Parfait & Melon Mambo.  I love the festive look of this color combo!  With some fall cards in mind this weekend, my thoughts turned to a fall favorite around my house - pumpkin pie!  I hadn't used my Changito baker stamp set, so this seemed a great time to finally use it with my $1 bin Thanksgiving stamp find that has a stamp of a tiny piece of pie!   Yum.  Time to bake... enjoy!

Love this Fall Weather!

Beautiful fall weather here inpsires me to make some autumn themed cards.
 The Lovely as a Tree stamp set is still a big favorite for me, great for all seasons.  The oak leaves shown here were colored with watercolor pencils.  I sponged a bit on top for an aged appearance, and also sponged edges of the More Mustard layer that was embossed with Lattice embossing folder.  Texture wheel was used on the base of Really Rust (retired) cardstock. Quickutz oak leaves cut with coordinating card stock were also embossed & added with a little twine on the ribbon.
The mustard grosgrain ribbon was just one of the great finds in the latest SU Clearance Rack!

For my Inky Paw pal, Marsha, who lives in a tropical setting, here are a couple images of our trees getting ready to change around here.  I think we'll lose more leaves than will change to pretty colors this year, so this may be best photo op I can get.  Of course, my pooch has to be in the photos, right?  He loves crunching on the fallen acorns around the yard.  So much so, I wonder how the squirrels will get by this winter...? 

Friday, October 1, 2010

Fright Night approaching...

This Halloween card with asymmetrical gate fold I made for my last card swap. I enjoyed using some new stuff, and continued my "spooky and sparkly" Halloween theme that I seemed to have started for myself this year...
Here are some details:

11” x 4.25” card stock scored at 2” on one end, then scored at 3.5” on other end makes an easy asymmetrical gate fold card. I used a punched circle for a moon mask on the main image. My brayering skills are less than wonderful, so instead used my sponge daubers to color the whisper white card stock with a blend of pumpkin pie and so saffron ink for the background with the moon mask placed on the cardstock with removable adhesive (post it note circle works well, too- easy to remove and reuse).

I spritzed stamped image and the Spider Web embossed black cardstock with Frost White shimmer spray (I used the Hand Sanitizer Spray instructions from my upline, Claudia Perry, to create my mist! – thanks again for the idea!). I sponged edges in black with a stamping sponge to dirty the bright edges. Wrapped the narrow black ribbon around the tiny clip and attached to main image. Voila! One more “spooky and sparkly” card for my growing Halloween card collection!

SU! only items used here:
Cardstock: Pumpkin Pie, Basic Black, Whisper White
Ink: Pumpkin Pie, Basic Black, So Saffron
Stamp: Midnight Raven (from Holiday Mini Catalog, #116529)
Tools and Accessories: Spider Web embossing folder (from Holiday Mini Catalog, #120889), Frost White Shimmer paint spray, mini library clip, basic black 1/8” taffeta ribbon, stamping sponges, sponge daubers, 1” circle punch

Here's another great Top Note die bag idea...
I found this idea on other sites (so no credit to me). How easy to use a small paper gift bag to create a quick decorative candy bag!  Look for the plain bags in the party section of your local craft store.  You just trim the top to fit the size of bag you want, then adhere on either side of the bag the die shapes of your choice!  I tied the top by punching a ribbon slot punch hole on either side then added some skinny ribbon.
Below is a photo from the side so you can see the bag attached.

Enjoy & have fun on World Card Making Day this Saturday!

Love my craft buddy!

Love my craft buddy!
Dog's view of the Craft-a-torium!