Monday, December 31, 2007

Oh No Another flip book -- and I've been tagged!

It just occurred to me that we have an awful lot of December birthdays in our family. And my cousin and his wife just contributed to the bunch with the birth of their first baby -- a beautiful little girl! Of course any new baby in our family has to have a flip book of her own (find the flip book tutorial here), so I made one for her as part of the baby gift. I've already seen lots of gorgeous pictures of her, so I know her parents will not have any problem filling out the book!

And on another note, my friend Julie from the Pixieshire blog tagged me the other day, so I thought I would tell you yet another 7 random facts about me -- and hope I'm not repeating myself. Here goes:

1. I really dislike olives -- but I love olive oil. go figure!

2. I am so very envious of that guy who makes a living building sculptures out of legos. I adore! legos.

3. I'm not a big jewelry person. Most days I just wear my wedding band, engagement ring and a watch. It takes a really special occasion to see me wearing a necklace, bracelet or earrings.

4. I liked I Am Legend, but for my "end of the world virus" movies I prefer 28 days later.

5. I never, ever, thought I would say this when the announcement came out that Daniel Craig was going to be the new bond, but he may just be the very best Bond ever.

6. I have recently become addicted to the show Top Chef and can't wait for the new season in Chicago. Utensils Down, hands up!

7. One of my New Year's eve traditions is having Chinese food for dinner. Yum!

So I'm off to each some fried rice and eff rolls. I hope you all have a very Happy new Year! I still have to figure out who to tag, but that will have to wait until tomorrow!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Second Birthday Card

I know I'm a day late in posting this, but I just had to show you the scrap page yesterday and I thought this could wait. This is the card I made for my Nephew's 2nd birthday. The card is a bit of a throwback to the way I used to design cards when i first started stamping. I had this idea that it wasn't good enough to just use the stamps in one set -- I had to somehow "creatively" put a bunch of different images together in a way that would make the card truly unique. Well, these days I am much more appreciative of how quickly and easily I can put a card together using just the stamps in one set, but it's nice to know I can still go back and do something like this.

I really love this little elephant image from the Happy Heart Day stamp set, but the hearts in the image and the "to an unforgettable friend" sentiment weren't really appropriate for a toddler boy's card. But no problem! that's what our stamping write markers were made for! I used my basic gray marker to ink up the image omitting the hearts and the sentiment. I then added the cake from the Voila set, and once again used the marker to isolate a second candle image to add to the cake to really personalize the card. Since all I had on the bottom were stems and leaves, I added little flowers from the Time Well Spent Level II hostess set from the new Spring/Summer collection. Boy, I cannot wait for Wednesday, when the new catalog will go on line so I can link to these sets so that you can see them in full. they are awesome!

I colored all of the images using my stampin' write markers in bashful blue, barely banana, certainly celery and lavender lace. I also used the same colors of card stock, along with confetti white. To finish off the card I stamped the birthday greeting with a stamp from the retiring punch party level 1 hostess set, punched it out with the 1 3/8" circle punch and mounted it onto a mat made of the scalloped circle. The whole thing was attached to the card with a dimensional. It looked pretty cool but I should have thought about it more before I made the card -- My nephew is at a stage where he likes to grab and pull, so within two seconds of opening the card it was in two pieces. Oh well, it really wasn't meant to be an heirloom or anything, and I think he enjoyed the "interactive" aspect of the card, even if it wasn't intentional. LOL!

So I hope you like the card and perhaps get inspired to use the little elephant to carry more than cards. Any small image would be perfect for him, which means that the elephant alone could take this set from Valentine's day to a year-round set.

Friday, December 28, 2007

fun birthday card

Tomorrow we'll be celebrating my niece and nephew's birthday -- they were both born on the same day 2 years apart. It's not their actual birthday tomorrow, but it is a weekend when we could all get together and they're still young enough where they don't mind.

In any case, I of course waited until the last minute to make their cards. This card will be for my niece. It's actually a card I made in accordance with the specifications of today's limited supplies challenge on SCS. The challenge was to use only a shade of white card stock (no other colors) 2-3 designer papers, 1 stamped image to color, an optional sentiment and 1 piece of ribbon. We could not use any punches or other tools, but we could use sponges and any coloring medium. What a fun challenge!

I used confetti white card stock for my card base and the main image. The designer papers both come from the Polka Dots and Petals designer series paper which is retiring this month. I know the mat looks like 3 different papers, but it's actually a piece of one striped designer paper. I thought this was a pretty clever take on the challenge!

For my main image I stamped the cake from Fun and Fast notes and colored it with markers and blender pen. I used pretty in pink, barely banana and certainly celery markers. I used the blender pen with sky blue and basic gray. I stamped the image in basic gray as well and used the direct to paper technique to edge the edges of my image piece of card stock. I added a piece of pretty in pink taffeta ribbon and just to be a little different I stamped the Happy Birthday Wishes sentiment in going gray ink right on the ribbon. It looks a bit fuzzy in the picture because of the way the ribbon reflects with the camera flash, but in real life it's quite legible.

I must say I'm pretty happy with the card and I know my niece will love it as she likes pretty much anything pink! I'll upload the card for my nephew tomorrow!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

More fun with new stamps!

Tonight we had our new catalog demonstrator shoebox swap and this was my card. I used the Embrace Life stamp set. I stamped the large flower on groovy guava card stock in ruby red ink and trimmed the flower out with my snips. I then used my signo white gel pen to highlight some of the petals and used an always artichoke brad for the flower center. Next I stamped the leaf image on rive rock card stock with always artichoke ink and colored the leaves with my mellow moss stampin' write marker. I added a mat of always artichoke and adhered the flower with a dimensional. I used my large flower stamp, again inked up in ruby red ink, to stamp a background on my ruby red card base. I stamped the sentiment in always artichoke ink on groovy guava card stock and added a river rock and always artichoke mats.

I really like how the signo white gel pen and the single brad in the center of the flower take this card from ho-hum to pretty interesting. Sometimes you really do just need the smallest extra touch to make a card really special.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Fun with new stamps!

Christmas is barely over and here I go, moving on to Valentine's Day! Actually normally it does take me a little while longer to leave winter behind, but I just got this fun Happy Heart Day stamp set from the upcoming Spring/Summer Collection and I just had to use it! I really like this whole set, which is a part of a really cool Valentine's Day bundle special, available in January. The cost of the bundle will be $33.40 and it will include the new Happy Heart Day 7 piece stamp set, a roll of wide real red ribbon, a pack of medium cello bags and a roll of regal rose wide grosgrain ribbon. The regular price of all these products would be $41.35, so by purchasing the bundle you actually get the regal rose wide grosgrain ribbon free!

Anyway, for this card I used pretty in pink card stock for the base and wheeled it with the Love wheel in regal rose ink. I stamped the butterfly and flower images in basic black ink on whisper white card stock and colored them using stampin' write markers in basic black, regal rose, real red and pretty in pink. I added a regal rose mat and a larger real red mat. Issued the double rectangle punch to punch 6 holes on the left side of the real red mat and threaded a piece of regal rose wide grosgrain ribbon through the holes for a bit of decoration. A fun card that came together in a jiffy.

This card and several other projects will be a part of a Happy Heart Day January class. I'm not sure of the timing yet, but I will announce the full January class schedule in the next few days.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

December Birthday

We always celebrate Bill's cousin's December birthday at Christmas, so in addition to all of the holiday cards I also had to stamp a birthday card this month. Bill asked me very nicely not to make it too feminine, which meant that I had a challenge in front of me because masculine cards are definitely not my specialty.

First I had to choose a color combination. I wanted something a bit muted, so I settled on bordering blue, bravo burgundy and more mustard. Then I needed a stamp set that wasn't too feminine. Initially I was thinking about using the Happy Birthday wheel with the Eat Cake set, but when I looked into my jumbo wheel storage box I saw this All About Birthdays wheel and figured it would be perfect.

I used my bordering blue classic ink pad to ink up the wheel. Since the card is only 5.5" long, I knew I could get away with using a color that I didn't have in a cartridge. I simply had to re-ink the wheel between wheeling the two rows. Just a couple of passes of the jumbo wheel and I had the perfect background on my bordering blue card base.

I then used my stamping write markers in bordering blue, bravo burgundy and more mustard to ink up the candles from the All Occasions stamp set and stamped them on very vanilla card stock. I made sure to clean the stamp between each impression as I had to alternate the bravo burgundy and bordering blue candle color. I also cleaned the wheel and inked up just the happy birthday sentiment in bravo burgundy to stamp it on very vanilla card stock. To see a tutorial on how to get this done see this post. I added more mustard and bravo burgundy mats to both the main image and the sentiment and adhered them to the card base to complete my card. Fortunately, it passed Bill's "masculine card" test!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Money Holder Card

Tonight I had to make a money holder birthday card for one of Bill's cousin's kids. He specifically requested cash and that makes sense for a soon to be teenager with a birthday in December. He knows very well that he will get all of the toys he can handle for Christmas and he can use the cash later in the year after the glow of the Christmas stuff wears off.

Anyway, since cash is always a popular gift with kids and adults alike, I thought I would tell you how I made this money holder. I started with a piece of 8.5x11 brilliant blue card stock that i cut down to 9.25x8.5". I scored this piece of card stock along the 8.5" side at 2.75" and 6.5". I then used the 1 3/8" circle punch to punch a hole roughly in the center of the flap measuring 8.5x2.75".

I lined up the cash so the the face of the president could be seen through the hole and held the cash to the flap as I opened the flap. I used an ink pad to keep the bill in place so I could cut and position 4 pieces of sticky strip adhesive.

I lined up 2 pieces of sticky strip adhesive at the edges of the flap and added two more close to the edges of the bill, leaving a little bis of "wiggle" room on each side. I peeled off the red protective strip and adhered the flap to the middle part of the card.

Next I decorated the card. I used a 9" x 3.5" piece of green galore card stock and attached it to the top flap of the card to form the front. I added a strip of yo you yellow card stock stamped with the candles from the Eat Cake Set. I added the confetti motif and happy birthday greeting form Eat Cake to the green card stock. I used the 1.75"x8.5" piece of brilliant blue that I had left over from cutting the card base to form a belly band, and added a 2.5" x3" piece of real red card stock and a 2x2.5" piece of yo yo yellow card stock stamped with the present and ribbon image from the Eat Cake set. I decorated the inside with a strip of yo yo yellow which can be used to jot down the birthday sentiment (you can see this in the first photo, above).
I like this card and I love that it fits into our large open-end envelopes. Unfortunately these envelopes are retiring at the end of the year, so if you like them you do want to call your demonstrator and order them before they're gone.
Anyway, the money holder idea is useful for a multitude of occasions, including Christmas, so I hope this helps some of you out when you're in need of the perfect last-minute gift.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Reduce, reuse, recycle!

Yesterday was a great day because I got to wrap all of Bill's presents in the living room in front of the tree, watching my favorite Christmas movie (well, OK, my favorite movie, period.) Can you guess what it is? Do you remember from the list I posted earlier this year? OK,OK, I'll tell you. It's Die Hard! Yup, the original Die Hard where super good looking terrorists take over the Nakatomi Building in LA. on Christmas Eve. As far as I'm concerned that makes it a Christmas Movie and I watch it every year as I wrap presents. Fun! I mean, nothing says Merry Christmas like Bruce Willis running around bare chested yelling "Yippy Kaye . . . . ", right? I know, I'm weird. For whatever it's worth, I love It's a Wonderful Life too!

Anyway, I love wrapping presents because I love wrapping paper. Yes, the pre-printed kind. I know as a stamper I'm supposed to be making my own, but some of the pre-printed papers are just so gorgeous I cannot resist! And nothing makes me happier than getting to the end of a wrapping paper roll, because it means I can start on another one. So you can imagine how happy I was yesterday when I finished not one but two rolls of paper! Woo Hoo!

Of course this did leave me with two rolls, but in our house no wrapping roll is ever wasted. Many of them are eaten by our bunny, Stew. Don't worry -- it's vet approved. The extra fiber is actually good for his digestive tract. Go figure! But even Stew can't eat as many rolls as we generate, especially since the whole extended family saves their tubes for him as well, so tonight I experimented with another way we could re-use these tubes instead of adding them to the landfill.

The idea is actually one I saw on page 75 of the new spring/summer Stampin' Up! catalog. In the catalog they use a tube made out of card stock, but I thought these wrapping paper tubes would be sturdier.

The first thing I did was to cut the tube to 4" lengths using my hobby blade and the cutting mat. Always be very careful when using the hobby blade as it is extremely sharp!

I then measure the circumference of the tube and cut a piece of dashing designer paper to 6" by the circumference + 1/4" for an overlap which, in this case, was 6.25". (Keep in mind that the tubes may have different diameters, so be sure to measure yours!) I attached the designer paper to the tube using sticky strip and added another piece of sticky strip to hold the other end of the paper.

After the tube was wrapped, I pushed the 1" overhang into the tube on each side. This should be a pretty snug fit, so I didn't use any adhesive on the inside of the tube.

I added a 1.5" strip of old olive card stock stamped with the holly image from background basics as a bit of decoration.

I then attached a tag from Perfect presentation to the tube using some real red grosgrain ribbon.

I stamped a piece of white tissue paper with the same holly stamp from background basics in old olive. This took a bit of time, so I would actually recommend using a wheel instead.

I flipped the tissue paper over and added some chocolate kisses to the center, then rolled the tissue into a tube.

I used real red narrow grosgrain to secure the ends so that the tissue took on a candy shape. I then inserted the "candy" into the decorated tube and fanned out the ends of the tissue until I had the look that I wanted.

And voila -- here is a fun little party favor. This one is for Christmas, but all you need to do is change the stamps and designer paper and you would have an ideal Valentine's day project or a birthday party favor. Cute and Fun!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Strawberry snow

I haven't exactly kept it a secret so you already know that lately I've been really stuck creatively. It happens to all of us and it certainly has happened to me before. It's frustrating, but I know that it will pass and I will come up with fun new projects soon. Maybe when I finally have time to mount and play with the new sets from the upcoming Spring/Summer catalog that just arrived this week!

But in the meantime, out of desperation, I reached for the only source out there that has never failed to inspire me, and it didn't disappoint tonight either. I was hesitant to reach for the Coldwater Creek catalog, because typically it inspires me to try all sorts of crazy color combinations which are great, but a little too cerebral for tonight. I should have had more faith! It didn't take me long to come across these awesome sweaters. Aren't they great? I just love them!

And, as you can see, the pink sweater certainly inspired me to create this super simple card. It's just the Snowflakes wheel embossed with white embossing powder on pretty in pink card stock attached to a regal rose base with the sentiment also embossed in white. It couldn't have taken more than five minutes to make this card, even counting the time it took to find the embossing powder and heat up the heat tool!

I love this card. It's soft and feminine and quick and easy and it reminds me of both the sweater and of the song "Strawberry Snow" by Brenda Lee, whose Christmas album is one of my all time favorites. In fact, I think "The Angel and the Little Blue Bell" is my favorite Christmas song that no one ever heard of. Yes, I like it even more than Dominick the Donkey and I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas. If you ever see Brenda Lee's album anywhere, give it a listen. I think you'd like The Angel and the Little Blue Bell and Strawberry Snow too!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

gift card holder

Well, I finally have something new to show you, even if it's not exactly original. This year Bill got his boss a gift card for Christmas and so of course I knew I would have to stamp a cute gift card holder. Unfortunately, with everything else that I've been doing I let this for the absolute last minute, so tonight I resorted to CASEing other people's designs.

This particular gift card holder is so clever! I learned to make it at one of Glenda's stamp camps, but I don;t think she is the original designer of this style of gift card holder. If anyone out there knows who should get the credit please leave a comment and I will update this post.

Anyway, the final measurement is 4.25x3. You start with a 4.25" x 11" piece of card stock and score it along the length at 3", 5.5" and 8". then you fold it along the score lines so that it forms a W. You sticky strip the two shorter pieces together along the "spine" of the card and use the word window punch and the 3/4" circle punch to create an opening in the center fold for the gift card. (this can be seen best in the third photo).

Decorate the front as you wish and then either use a ribbon closure or create a belly band like I did for this gift card holder. The whole things actually comes together really quickly and it nicely dresses up a plain gift card.

Well, that's it for me for tonight. I am frantically stamping to finish all my Christmas cards and get them mailed out by this weekend. I also have to do some wrapping tomorrow and finish baking the cookies. Ack!

Jen's gift bag revisited

Hi everyone -- yet another day when I have nothing new to show you -- this Christmas thing is really interfering with my stamping -- LOL!

But I don't want to leave you without a post, so I will use this opportunity to answer the many questions I received about Jen's bag, which you can see here.

I believe Jen used on 12x12 sheet of the new Ginger Blossom designer paper (available January 2 in the new Spring/Summer Collection Catalog) and the instructions posted here to make the bag itself. She then added handles made with double stitched river rock grosgrain ribbon. the attached the handles by punching 2 holes on each side of the bag, threading a piece of ribbon through each set of holes and securing them on the inside by tying knots.

For the image on the front Jen used an image and sentiment from the new Embrace Life set (again, available January 2 in the new Spring/Summer Collection Catalog) stamped in Ruby Red on very vanilla card stock. The edges of the very vanilla piece were sponged with cameo coral and adhered to river rock and cameo coral mats.
This bag is really super cute and the best part is that the reverse side of the paper is still visible on the inside, plus the origami folds combined with the heavyweight nature of Stampin' Up!'s designer paper make it quite a sturdy bag as well. I hope this helps those of you who asked for instructions! And cross your fingers that I'll actually get to make something new tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Glenda's ornament

ETA: Oh my gosh, I am such a dork! I finally took my ornament out of the plastic sleeve to put it on my tree and there is even more on the back! Here is the photo of the back (on the right side of the post -- the front is below on the left) and in this photo you can actually see some of the glitter! The words, if you can;t read them, are the Stampin' Up! statement of the heart: "To love what we do and share what we love, as we help others enjoy creativity and worthwhile accomplishments . . . in this we make a difference!"
This is so neat and I'm just so happy to be able to put this adorable ornament on my tree this year!
As promised, tonight I'm showing you the ornament Glenda gave to all of the demos who attended the Stampers in Stitches Christmas party last night. Isn't it great? She used the peaceful wishes stamp set and, although you cannot see in the photo, liberal amounts of glitter. And the sentiment? Well, truer words were never spoken. Stampin' Up! really does make me very happy!

I wish I had a creation of my own to show you tonight, but all of my creativity today stayed in the kitchen. I've been baking Christmas cookies, which did not leave a lot of time for stamping. Sorry! Fortunately the cookies are almost done, so I should have a bit more time to stamp tomorrow.

Monday, December 17, 2007

How adorable is this?

Tonight we had the Stampers' in Stitches Christmas party and it was so much fun! Glenda, as always, totally out did herself! Wait till you see the super cool ornament she made for each of us (I will post that tomorrow).

In the meantime, I wanted to show you this adorable little bag made by my upline, Jen. She used a new designer paper called Ginger blossom and a new stamp set called Embrace Life. Both of these will be available for purchase on January 2. The bag had a very cute gift inside as a congratulations on my promotion to Senior Supervisor, but I won;t post the gift here because my sideline Nancy, who also promoted to Senior Supervisor recently, was not able to make it to the party and I do not want to spoil the surprise for her any more than I just did. I probably should have kept the bag to myself too, but it was just too adorable not to share!

More tomorrow!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Office Accoutrement Christmas

I just love the versatility of the Office Accoutrement stamp set. It's a set that you can use on masculine and feminine cards and the calendar/date stamp makes it so easy to personalize any card. Even a Christmas card is somehow more personal when, in addition to the traditional greeting, the specific day that Christmas falls on this year is highlighted on the card.

For this card I went with an all bold-brights palette. I used whisper white, real red, green galore and glorious green card stock; real red, glorious green and encore gold ink; Office Accoutrement and All Holidays stamp sets; and wide real red grosgrain ribbon, round fire rhinestone brad, spiral hole punch, and gold embossing powder. I like the way it turned out, even if it is a little non-traditional. Hope you like it too.

How I organize my scraps

I have nothing new to post tonight. Not because I didn't stamp. I stamped quite a bit actually. But all of my stamping projects are a secret because their recipients just might read this blog and I do not want them to see the cards here before they get them in their mailbox. SO I had to come up with another topic and I thought scrap organization might fit the bill.

By now everyone knows that I am the queen of scraps. The thought of throwing away perfectly good strips or other pieces of card stock is absolutely shocking. But I know organizing scraps can be a challenge, especially when you're as big of a scrap hoarder as I am, so I thought I would share my "system".

I keep all of my scraps in two of the larger SU boxes. Each box holds 2 permanent color families plus either whisper white, very vanilla and basic black or the in colors and all other neutrals. This is what ti all looks like. I know it doesn't seem organized, but there is a method to the madness.

Colors are grouped together in these legal size accordion files. I have 1 file for each of the permanent color families, 1 file for the in colors, 1 file each for basic black, whisper white and very vanilla (as you can imagine I have quite a few scrap pieces of those) and 1 for all other neutrals. The file in the picture is my Rich Regals file.

Within each accordion color family file, each color gets its own 8.5x11 page protector. In this photo you can see the page protector for rose red. When I'm looking for a piece of a particular color I just go to the appropriate accordion file and pull out the page protector and bring the whole thing to my stamp table. Then I can look through the scraps to see if I have what I'm looking for. If I don;t have the exact size but I have a piece that can be cut down tot he right size, I go ahead and cut it down. If the leftover pieces are still usable I put them back into the page protector. If they're too small I toss them.

Since the most commonly used neutrals each have a file of their own, within that file I organize them according to approximate size. Strips with strips, squares with squares, rectangles with rectangles, etc. This is really helpful when I' working on swaps or workshop cards. Chances are I will never have to cut whisper white or very vanilla strips for any card out of full sheets of card stock, since I always seem to have these strips left over from other projects.

The great thing about this system is the portability. I can take the page protectors filled with all the colors I'm used on a card to my stamp table without disturbing anything else in the room. It makes it so much easier to experiment with color combinations and to find just the right mat or piece of card stock without having to cut into a full piece.

So what about you Are you a scrap fanatic like me and, if so, would you like to share how you organize your scraps? Post a comment and let us know!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Back to Basics

I was really hoping to feel a little more creative tonight, but no such luck, so I did what makes the most sense when you're stuck creatively -- go back to basics. I decided to use the most classic stamp sets I own -- Lovely as a Tree and Sincere Salutations. These are two sets that really should be in every stamp room. They are both perfect for nearly every occasion and

are pretty much timeless.
I added the dotted circle from the Think Happy Thoughts set for some added interest on the stamped strip and also to tie in the chocolate chip color, because I really wanted to use the chocolate chip satin ribbon.
I used handsome Hunter for the base, creamy caramel for the mat. And here's a tip for scrap lovers -- I just took a 1/2x11" strip and cut it in half, then attached each half to the outside of the stamped strip. It looks like the mat is under the whole thing when in reality you're just using a piece that many people simply discard.
The branch and pine cone images are stamped on whisper white with the edges sponged in handsome hunter and the middle sponged with creamy caramel. The greeting is stamped with versamark and heat embossed with white embossing powder.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

visions of sparkles

ETA: I left the original image and uploaded a new photo I took this morning in daylight. The funny thing is, you still can't see the sparkles on the card, but you can see the reflection of the sparkles on the wood counter. Go figure!

Tomorrow I will try to get a better picture of this card, because this one really does not capture the sparkle of the glitter. I had this vision in my head of using scrap strips to create a background and then adding a bit of sparkle to the card and I think it sort of works but it may be one of those concepts that needs to be refined a bit. The base of the card is river rock, the strips are real red and the main image is old olive. The tree is embossed with white embossing powder. I used 2 way glue and romantic red glitter to make the "ornaments" on the tree from Lovely as a Tree. I used heat and stick powder and romantic red glitter for the "Sparkle" sentiment from warm words.

It's not my finest effort, but after a day of stamping and writing out Christmas cards it's the best I could do. Hopefully tomorrow will bring out a little more creativity.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

scraps, scraps, scraps!

I'm super happy with this card because it was quick and easy to make and, except for the card base, I used only pieces from my scrap stash to make it! Woo Hoo! You know how I love my scraps!

I stamped the poinsettia from the perfect presentation set on a scrap strip of whisper white and punched it out with the 3/4" circle punch. I used the 1" circle punch to make the green circles out of a scrap strip of garden green and the 1 1/4" circle punch to punch some red circles out of a scrap strip of real red. I centered the garden green circle on the real red circle and used a dimensionals to attach the punched out flower in the center of the garden green circle.

I used the holly background from the background basics set (thank goodness this little super versatile set is not retiring!) and stamped it in garden green on the garden green card base. I added 4 strips of certainly celery card stock cut from longer scrap strips and added the flower at the end of each strip. I then stamped the word joy from the So Many Sayings set on the top three strips and the holiday happiness sentiment, also from the so many sayings set on the last strip.

So what do you think? Fun and super easy, right? And the sketch can easily be used for other occasions which means that this is the perfect layout to use up all of your scrap strips of card stock. So go on, make scrap cards of your own. Once you start you may just be hooked!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

More round coaster fun!

As my regular readers know, when I find something I like I can't just let it go, so you all probably expected me to come back today with yet another coaster ornament card, right? Well, I would hate to disappoint, so here it is.

For this card I covered the coaster with a piece of Notations No. 2 designer series paper. This grid paper would make an excellent background on a Christmas card for a teacher, but since Stewie is home schooled (hee hee!) I have no teachers to make cards for, so I decided to make a card with more general appeal.

I used the In The Spotlight retiring hostess set to stamp two five petal flowers on real red card stock in real red ink and punched them out with the five petal flower punch. I also punched the five petal flower from certainly celery card stock to serve as leaves. I layered all three pieces and attached them together using a gold brad. I then used the retiring spring bouquet flower punch (What was SU thinking? This punch is awesome!) to punch out smaller versions of the five petal flower from real red and certainly celery card stock, layered these and also attached the pieces using a gold brad.

I stamped the Merry Christmas greeting from the All Holidays set in versamark on whisper white card stock and heat embossed it with gold embossing powder. I then hand trimmed the card stock to resemble a tag and layered it onto a piece of real red card stock. I attached the tag to the "ornament" slightly askew so that it would be straight on the card after I adhered the ornament to the card base. I then attached the three flowers to the ornament using dimensionals. I finished the ornament off with a round tab attached with gold brads and decorated with some white taffeta ribbon.

I used white craft ink with my retiring Aida background (this is another retiring stamp that, along with Linen, has me scratching my head) to stamp the certainly celery card base and attached the ornament to the base using a glue stick. And there you go, another ornament card.

I also had to show you another round chipboard coaster card that is not an ornament but is going to be one of the cards I send out this year. As you know, I am still working on cards, so I really need cards that I can put together very quickly.

This card was inspired by a card I saw on SCS that used a round coaster and the retiring City of David set. I loved this idea so I ran with it and came up with a card that is quite different and, I think, my own.

The base is creamy caramel and the sentiment is stamped in chocolate chip. The not quite navy mat is a 3/75" square. I stamped the city image on the coaster in chocolate chip ink and sponged the edges with chocolate chip ink as well. I sponged the center o the coaster with creamy caramel ink. Finally, for a bit of sparkle, I used the zig painty to add gold to the star, as well as the roofs of Betlehem.

I love the juxtaposition of this very traditional themed set with the non-traditional colors. I think this will make the card stand out in any display!

Party pics

For those of my readers who might be interested in my life out of the stamp room, you can check out the party pics from last week's ornament exchange at this totally not stamp related post.

Monday, December 10, 2007

It's ornamental!

I'm not sure who originally came up with the idea to take a round chipboard coaster and turn it into an ornament by adding a tab at the top, but that person was pretty danged brilliant! Thanks so much!

The Stampers in Stitches (a demonstrator group I belong to) recently did a bulk buy of these round chipboard coasters so of course I had to purchase a sleeve (about 90). Had I known how much fun I was going to have making Christmas cards with these, I might have purchased more!

For this card I covered the round chipboard coaster with some Dashing designer paper. For these kinds of projects I use the Stampin' Up! glue sticks as my adhesive. I find that I can cover the whole area really well and the paper really sticks to the chipboard!

Next I added two strips of real red card stock and a narrow strip of the reverse side of the same piece of dashing designer paper. The dots on the narrow strips were actually white, but I wanted something a little bit more glitzy, so I used my zig painty to paint the dots gold and I also added the zigzag design on the red strips.

I used the round tab punch to make my tab, folded it in half and adhered it to the coaster with two gold brads. I then used the rectangle handheld punch to punch two wholes through which I threaded some white taffeta ribbon. I had a couple of these tags left over from making projects for the craft fair so I decided to use one of them, even though it features a stamp from the retired Tags So Much hostess set from last year. The ornaments on the tag just seemed like a perfect fit for this ornament card!

I attached the tag to the ornament using a dimensional and some gold cord woven through the taffeta ribbon. I tied the taffeta into a pretty bow and adhered the whole ornament to my old olive card base with the glue stick. I'm really pleased with the result -- hope you like it as well.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Simple joy

Today I stamped quite a few of the bunny Christmas cards, but since you already saw that design I also decided to create another card with my Perfect Presentation set. I think Stampin' Up! was pretty smart to offer a hostess set that was specifically geared towards Christmas -- I really got a lot of use out of this stamp set from the moment I got it!

For this card I chose a wild wasabi base and stamped it with the snowflake stamp inked up in wild wasabi ink. I chose real red and certainly celery as my complimentary colors. I stamped the tree and the sentiment in wild wasabi on whisper white card stock and mated both with certainly celery card stock. I added a couple of corner punches in real red and a real red strip across the card front. To finish the card I used the signo gel pen and certainly celery stampin' write marker to add some faux stitching.

It's a very simple card, easy to stamp and mass produce, which is exactly what is needed in a Christmas Card in the middle of December!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Holiday Happiness

When I was trying to think of a card to stamp tonight it occurred to me that I hardly ever used this little snowman from the Perfect Presentation Level II Hostess set. And since this set, along with all other current hostess sets, is slated for retirement January 1, I decided this would be the snowman's night!

I stamped the image three times in blue bayou ink on whisper white card stock, trimmed each image out and layered it onto a mat of sky blue. I cut a mat of whisper white card stock 1/4" smaller in each direction than my blue bayou card base and stamped it with a background from itty bitty backgrounds. I then arranged the three snowmen on a diagonal on the whisper white layer, overlapping them in the lower right hand corner.

To fill up the space in the lower left hand corner I stamped a sentiment from the So Many Sayings Level I hostess set in blue bayou ink on sky blue card stock and punched it out with the word window punch. I layered it onto a piece of blue bayou card stock punched with the large oval punch and adhered the whole thing to the whisper white layer. I added a cheater bow in the upper right hand corner. As a final touch, I punched the corners of the whisper white layer with the designer label punch (See this post for a tutorial). I adhered the whisper white layer to the blue bayou card base and I was done.

It's a happy little card. You can't help but feel holiday happiness when you look at the three grinning snowmen!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Stocking stuffer

Here's a fun and useful little stocking stuffer. I took an old Altoids tin, added a stamped image on top from the Big on Christmas set, and covered the side with strip of designer paper. Because the rim of the lid was red I didn't have to cover that up at all. .

Inside I just used a little bit of the dashing designer paper to cover the bottom and to make a pocket in the lid, with a bit of red grosgrain ribbon added to create e nifty place to store safety pins. Then all I had to do was take a sewing kit that I picked up at a dollar store and transfer the contents into the tin. And now we have a stylish sewing kit that can be thrown into a purse and is ready for all those sewing emergencies. Cute, huh?

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Meg's Cheater Bow

I got an e-mail today from Marie asking what my secret was to tying a knot around a corner of a card. I thought about trying to answer her in an e-mail, but this really is more of a visual trick so I thought I would do a tutorial instead.

And before I start I want to thank Meg Shumaker (aka WAXYO on SCS) for sharing this wonderful tip with all Stampin' Up! demonstrators in the On Stage magazine last winter. As some of you already know, Meg is my stamping hero, not the least because of this little trick, which saved me hours of aggravation (without this technique I'm an absolutely horrible knot maker!)!

For this cheater technique you need two lengths of ribbon. One needs to be about 2 inches longer than the length of the area you want to wrap it around. the other can be shorter but long enough to form the knot ends when folded in half.

The first step is to take the longer cut of ribbon ad tie it into a simple loose knot. Try to make it as pretty as you can with both edges "curling" towards the knot. Do not tighten the knot!

Flip the knot over in your hand. the ends should now be curling downward, away from the smooth side of the knot which now faces upward. Insert the shorter length of ribbon into the loose knot until it passes all the way through. Make sure that the short length of ribbon curls in the same direction as the other ends (downward).

Now tighten the ends of the longer piece of ribbon and pull the shorter ribbon through so that the ends are equal.

Without applying any adhesive, fit the tied ribbon on your stamped image, finding the best place to add it to the card.

Remembering the corner that you want to tie the ribbon around, turn the stamped image over and apply SNAIL adhesive on both sides of the corner to about half-way down each length of the reverse side of the stamped image.

Wrap ends of the longer piece of ribbon around the edge of the image and press down so that the ribbon is adhered to the image with the SNAIL you applied earlier.

Add more SNAIL right over the ribbon and down each edge of the stamped image.

Turn the image over and adhere it to the card base.

Trim the faux knot ends with snips until they are both the desired length. You are left with a nice smooth knot and ribbon that lays perfectly across your card front.
I hope this technique helps some of you with your card making as much as it helped me. Thanks Meg for sharing this awesome tip!