Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Love Wall Hanging

I have to admit, it's a lot of fun playing with the Love You Much bundle. Here's a little wall hanging I put together using some of the stamps form the Love You Much set, the Candy lane designer series paper and the three hearts punch. I also used some striped riding hood red ribbon from the holiday mini catalog (get yours before it's gone on January 18!) and the 5/8" striped riding hood red ribbon from the fall/winter idea book and catalog, plus some very vanilla and riding hood red taffeta ribbon.
I also used flowers, half pearls, pearls, hat pin and small clear rhinestone brads form the pretties kit, some felt fusion too flowers and some riding hood red buttons.
I used the Lovely Letters alphabet to spell out the word Love, stamped in close to cocoa craft ink on very vanilla card stock, embossed with clear embossing powder and punched on a diagonal with the scalloped square punch. On the first square I also used the En Francais background stamp on vellum with versamark ink and heat embossed it with white embossing powder.
As I said, I'm having a lot of fun working with this bundle, so more projects are sure to come! Stay tuned! And in the meantime I wish you a very happy New Year. May all your stamping and crafting wishes come true in 2009!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy Heart

Here's a simple Valentine's Day card using A Happy Heart -- a Valentine's Day set from the Holiday Mini available only through January 18. I love the many different images in this stamp set and I've been using it quite frequently over the past few days. If you haven't purchased it yet, I would strongly encourage you to do so before it disappears with all the other great stuff from the Holiday mini.

For this simple card I started with a pretty in pink card base. I then took a fairly narrow strip of pretty in pink card stock 5.5" in length and tore it down the center, then attached the two torn strips to the back of a strip of Georgia Peach designer series paper and attached the whole thing to the card base.

I used stampin' write markers to color the stamped image and stamp it on a piece of whisper white card stock -- old olive marker for the words and the stem, pretty in pink marker for the center of the flower and regal rose marker for all the hearts. I tied a piece of pretty in pink 1/4" grosgrain ribbon around a styled silver hodgepodge hardware ribbon slide and wrapped the ribbon diagonally across the lower right hand corner of the whisper white card stock. I then added a mat of regal rose card stock with distressed edges and attached the matted image to the card base using stamping dimensionals.

That's it -- a super quick and easy card, and a great use for a leftover strip of designer paper. Surprisingly, one of my favorite components of this card is the torn card stock on either side of the designer series paper. Not only is it a great way to economically use card stock scraps (and you all know how much I love using up my scraps!) but the subtle addition of dimension is surprisingly effective. I think this may be the first time I ever used the same color of card stock for the edges and the card base and I like it so much I think I'm going to do it much more often!

Monday, December 29, 2008


You guessed it, yet another card we'll be making at the January stamp camp. And, once again, my inspiration came from page 16 of the 2008 Fall/Winter Stampin' Up! Idea Book 7 Catalog. Yes, that's right, I copied two projects form the same catalog page! But why not, when they are both so cool? And, to be completely honest, I actually toyed with copying the third card too, but that may have been going a bit too far.
Anyway, once again about the only thing I changed about this card was some of the colors and the image. Here's the recipe:
Stamps: A Happy Heart
Paper: Ruby Red, Pink Pirouette, Close to Cocoa, Whisper White
Ink: Ruby Red, pink pirouette, close to cocoa
Accessories: whisper white taffeta ribbon, crafter's tool kit, corner rounder punch, spiral punch, stamping sponge

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Valentine treat box

Here's another project we'll be making at the January stamp camp. I always include at least one 3-D project at my stamp camps and a treat box just seemed really appropriate for Valentine's Day, which to me is all about chocolate!

I used the scalloped circle image from the new Love You Much set for the tag, because in addition to being perfect for the occasion, it could also be used to hint at the contents of the box (if you choose to fill it with Hershey's Hugs & Kisses).

I was inspired to create this box by the treat box featured on page 16 of the Fall Winter Catalog. In fact, you'll note I basically CASEd the shell of the box, only changing the color from baja breeze to riding hood red. I even used a sentiment from the "Best Yet" level 1 hostess set, just like the sample. I really love the fact that Stampin' Up! gives us such a great inspiration book filed with projects that are easily duplicated at home. My stamping time has been so limited lately that I really appreciate not having to come up with projects from scratch!

Here's the recipe for the box:

Stamps: Love You Much, Best Yet

Paper: Very Vanilla, Close to Cocoa, riding hood red, pink pirouette, riding hood red patterns designer series paper

Ink: close to cocoa

Accessories: riding hood red striped ribbon, natural hemp twine, 1/8" handheld circle punch

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Be My Valentine

I'm back! I took a couple of days off from stamping and blogging to celebrate the holidays, but today I was able to get back to the stamp room to work on samples for my January stamp camp, which will be all about Valentine's day.

This is one of the cards we'll be making at the stamp camp. In designing it I borrowed a layout from a make and take at our November Stampers in Stitches meeting. I love this layout because it makes great use of card stock: 2 cards per page with some card stock left for layers.

The other thing I like about this card is that I used a mixture of whisper white and iridescent ice embossing powders, so the heart shimmers a little.

Here's the card recipe:

Stamps: A Happy Heart, En Francais
Paper: Rea Red, whisper white, basic black
Ink: basic black classic, versamark
Accessories: whisper white and iridescent diamonds embossing powders, whisper white taffeta ribbon

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas Eve!

I was too busy with the pre-holiday rush today to stamp, so I just want to say Merry Christmas! I hope all of you and your families have a happy and healthy holiday and that all your wishes come true!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

No two are the same

Yes, I'm still on a little felt flurry kick. Today I used the card inspired by the Boston Market cup as a jumping off point for a few more Christmas cards. This time I only used the red felt flurries. The baja breeze snowflakes were stamped with images from the snow swirled set. For the sentiment I first stamped the oval image from Punches Three hostess set in riding hood red directly on the whisper white card stock. I then stamped the Christmas scalloped square image form the same set in baja breeze on another piece of whisper white paper, trimmed out the sentiment by hand and attached it over the oval.

Here is a close-up of one of the cards. The cool thing is that even though the layout, colors, stamps and accessories are the same, the 10 cards are all different because the felt flurry combination is different on every card.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Have a Heart

You might think December 2 is a little early to be thinking about Valentine's Day, but trust me, February 14 will be here before you know it so you might as well get ready now! Stampin' Up! and I are ready to help you with a couple of Valentine's Day theme specials. And I thought I'd include photos of some projects to help you get in the right frame of mind.

The first photo shows a couple of projects we made at our demo group Christmas Party. They were the projects that I couldn't show you earlier this month because of Stampin' Up! rules. But since the bundle special can now be ordered, I can post the photo of these cute three cards, all made using products from the Love You Much bundle special.

Here's the scoop on the special. Starting December 23 through January 31, you can order the Love You Much bundle for just $41.48! And, if you purchase the bundle today along with other products that, together, total $70 or more, you can also take advantage of the last day of FREE SHIPPING, saving you even more!

Plus, I'm offering a Stamp with Diane ONE DAY ONLY SPECIAL. All orders of something Valentine's Day related (it doesn't have to be a stamp set -- be creative!), placed by 8:00 p.m. today, with or without the purchase of other merchandise, will have their tax paid by me. Just call or e-mail me your order or place it on-line through my web site and I will either not charge the tax (for e-mail and phone orders) or will mail out a rebate check equivalent to the tax amount (for orders placed on-line through my Stampin' Up! web site).

Don't forget, you can combine the Love You much bundle special with many of our other specials, such as the 10% off all retiring stamp sets purchased today (It's the last day for that special as well, so be sure to order your favorites. Free shipping is like getting another 10% or more off the price of your purchased items) and the 20% off all stamp sets in the catalog sample with a $20 unrelated purchase.

Keep in mind that the products in the bundle can be used for all sorts of other occasions, like the small heart shamrock created just from small hearts punched with the new Heart to Heart punch.

So don't delay, CALL OR E-MAIL ME to place your order. Don't let this opportunity to double and triple dip into savings pass you by!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Still more flurries

OK, OK. I admit it. The felt flurries are definitely my favorite accessory this season and probably my favorite item in the holiday mini (and considering how much stuff I purchased from this mini, that's really saying something!)

For tonight's card I wanted to use up a 6x4" piece of ski slope designer paper. I trimmed it down to 4x5.25, but I didn't just want to throw the left over strip into my scrap pile to wait who knows how long to get used up. On the other hand, I also didn't want to simply run it across the 4" length of the designer paper. Not that this is a bad look -- just not what I was looking for tonight. So I came up with this layout as a compromise. I used a strip of the baja breeze double stitched grosgrain ribbon as a layer on top of the designer paper, running horizontally about 4" from one edge of the card. I added the reverse side of the designer paper strip (I trimmed it down a little so that the design would look more symmetrical) on to p of the ribbon. At the end of the ribbon strip I attached a riding hood red felt flurry and I added a baja breeze felt flurry on top of that.

To keep the card simple I just stamped the sentiment from the Snow Swirled set stamped in chocolate chip directly on top of the designer paper. To finish the card I attached the whole thing to a baja breeze card base.

Hint: If you wanted to create a similar look but did not have the double stitched baja breeze ribbon, you could just use a strip of baja breeze card stock and add faux stitches with a white signo gel pen.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas gift card or cash holder

This time of year cash/gift card holders really come in handy. It's the perfect way to "package" a gift for teachers, mail carriers, newspaper delivery persons, etc. And the good news is these are really easy to make.

You can check out this post for a basic tutorial, though for this card the measurements are a little bit different. I started with a 6x8.5" piece of real red card stock and scored it at 3", 4.25" and 5.5". Once you fold the card along the score lines you have a 3x6" card with a pocket for cash or a gift card inside.

To decorate the card I used a mellow moss and naturals white mats. I stamped the sentiment from the Best Yet Level 1 Hostess set in versamark ink at the bottom of the naturals white layer and heat embossed it with gold embossing powder. I stamped the reindeer from the Christmas Post set in versamark on mellow moss card stock, heat embossed it with gold embossing powder and punched it out with the wide oval punch. I added a red gingham ribbon at he top to create a hanger for my "ornament".

Inside I created the pocket with my word window and 1 1/4" circle punches. I also added a piece of naturals white card stock and stamped it in encore gold ink with a snowflake from the Christmas Post set.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Pringle All the Way

Tonight I was experimenting with a new idea. I wanted to figure out a cool way to package a stamped candle -- something a little bit different than a gift bag stuffed with tissue. Then it struck me that a Pringles can was the perfect cylindrical packaging. All it needed was a little dressing up.
I started with the cap. I added some sticky strip along the side lip and attached a strip of kraft card stock. I then used my coluzzle to cut a circle for the top of the lid. Unfortunately, this circle does not quite cover the entire top, so I had to think of something to cover up the rest. I decided to use another piece of sticky strip on the outside of the top of the kraft strip. I added some tombow mono multi glue to the edge of the top of the lid (you can see the top of the lid in the second photo). Then I sprinkeled some chunky red glitter liberally over the entire lid, shaking off the excess. The lid still looked a little bare, so I added a second strip of sticky strip along the bottom of the Kraft strip and covered that with red chunky glitter as well.

Next I covered the pringles can with a piece of old olive card stock. I then stamped the "noel" sentiment from the Big On Christmas set on naturals white card stock with ticket corner punched corners. I colored the ornament with old olive and going gray marker, the filled in the letters and portions of the ornament with tombow mono multi glue and, once again, added the chunky red glitter.
I attached the naturals white card stock to a mat of kraft card stock, and used real red brads to attach the whole thing to a wide strip of real red card stock that had been run through crimper.
That was it. As you can see in the second photo, this cylinder coordinated very well with the candle I stamped last year using the Big on Christmas and Ornamassortment stamp sets. the candle is a bit shorter than the cylinder, but I will simply stuff some tissue on the bottom of the can to eliminate that as a problem.
IF you plan on doing this project at home, here's a couple of hints. Make sure you stick the sentiment to the crimped card stock really well to make sure it does not go back to it's natural straight state. Also, keep in mind that the Pringles lids snap on for freshness, which makes taking the completed lid off a little challenging. Not impossible, but a bit challenging.
While I don't necessarily love this particular cylinder (I think it's a bit plain) I do like the idea of using Pringles cans to package gifts. Hopefully, now that I've worked up a prototype and know what I'm doing from the "construction" perspective, the next few cylinders will be prettier!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A cup of winter cheer

I know a couple of days ago I said I would show you the cute projects that Glenda designed as make and takes from our Christmas party using the new Stampin' Up! Valentine's Day bundle, but that was before I remember that due to new Stampin' Up! rules I'm not actually allowed to show you these projects before December 23. Sorry! I didn't mean to tease.

Then, to make things worse, I didn't post anything last night with no explanation. Sorry again! Last night we had a blizzard in Chicago which resulted in a 4.5 hour commute home, only to be greeted by a broken thermostat which, of course, had to be replaced last night. Needless to say I wasn't in much of a mood to stamp last night.

One good thing came out of that long ride home, however. At one point I had to pull over to use a rest room, and the only place available was Boston Market. Since I was stopping anyway and since it was dinner time, I purchased some sustenance for the road. And I couldn't believe it when I saw the drink cup. Was Boston Market channeling Stampin' Up! or what?

Well, of course I had to use that cup as an inspiration for a card -- you can find it in the photo. Mostly I used the little felt flurries in riding hood red and baja breeze on very vanilla card stock, but I also used two stamps form the punches three level 1 hostess set. First I stamped the oval in riding hood red on very vanilla. Then I stamped the scalloped square Christmas greeting, trimmed out just the greeting and place it over the baby sentiment on the oval image.

I think the card came out pretty well -- definitely reminiscent of the cup.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Merry SISers

Tonight was the Stampers in Stitches Christmas party, which means that I actually stamped (woo hoo!). Glenda prepared a bunch of cute Make and Takes for us with the valentine's bundle special that will be available to customers on December 23. Just like last year, we can turn around and use the make and takes as a ready-to-go class, which is really neat!

Unfortunately, though, I'm really just too tired to take pictures and edit them and upload them tonight, so they will have to wait until tomorrow. Sorry! But the projects are really cute and it will be worth the wait!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Flurry Greetings

Just a quick card tonight -- all I had time for between a couple of holiday events.

I started with a 3x3" piece of ski slope designer series paper left over from another project. Rather than use it whole, I decided to cut it into 4 1.5" squares. I mounted these with the stripes in different orientations on a 3 3/8" piece of old olive card stock.

Next I assembled a layered snowflakes using the felt flurries from the holiday mini catalog and securing them together with a silver brad. I attached the snowflakes to the designer paper with a mini glue dot.

I took a piece of confetti white card stock and used it as a card base. I wrapped some baja breeze double stitched ribbon around the card base and knotted it in front with the knot on the right hand side. I attached the old olive card stock to the card base with dimensionals on the left hand side. As a last step I stamped the greeting form Sincere Salutations in the card base in Old Olive ink.

If I could change one thing about this card it would be to emboss the greeting in old olive, rather than just stamping it in classic ink. All in all, though, I think it turned out all right.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

You've got mail!

I think tonight's project would make a great Christmas gift, especially for a teacher! And I'm happy to say that I'm not alone, as I completely sold out of these at today's craft fair.

The best part about this project? It's so simple!

I started out with a little mailbox I picked up at Target a couple of years ago. (Target also sold a slightly different version of these last year and may do so again this winter, so keep a look out if you'd like to duplicate this project for end-of-year gifts.) I covered the side using some of the Summer Picnic Designer Series Paper. To have the paper neatly cover the area around the flag I simply punched a 1/2" circle and made a notch with my scissors form the circle to the edge of the paper so I could attach the paper all around the flag.

To decorate the front I inked up the apple image using old olive, chocolate chip and real red stampin' write markers on whisper white card stock, then punched it out with my 1 1/4" circle punch. I added a 1 3/8" circle mat of old olive card stock and a scalloped circle mat of real red card stock. To decorate the flag I used a scalloped circle punched out of old olive card stock and added the Merry Christmas sentiment from the Punches Three Level 1 hostess set stamped in real red on whisper white and punched out with our scalloped square punch.

Inside the mailbox I placed 4 packets of Mott's Apple Cider mix -- each packet a different flavor. I absolutely love this cider mix and drank a ton of it last winter! If the weather so far this year is any indication, I better stock up for this winter as well -- it's proving, once again, to be the perfect warm apple cider season.

I should also mention that my mom and I had a great time at today's craft fair at Lake Park High School. It's always fun to be back at my Alma Mater to see how things are changing and how the students seem to be getting younger and younger every year. It couldn't possible be me getting older, right? ;-)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Photo pencil caddy

This is another craft fair project. Back in the spring I found these cool photo cube pencil caddies. They each have spaces for 4 photos and each came with 6 pencils and 6 note cards and envelopes. Originally I was going to cover them with Stampin' Up! designer paper, but after I packed them in a box i forgot about them until just this week. With no time to cover them in designer paper I was going to hold on to them for another year, until my mom pointed out that the design on the caddies is actually perfect for Christmas as is.

Of course mom is absolutely right, so this became a super easy alteration project. I just stamped some images to put in the photo holders (in this case I used very vanilla card stock, night of navy ink and the skating couple image from the Christmas Post set) and wrapped the caddy with more wired ribbon. Wow, that was easy!

This is what the caddy looks like from the side.

I think these would make a very elegant gift for a teacher, co-worker or friend. The recipient can keep the stamped images in or replace them with photos.

And it just goes to show that we should always be on the lookout for ready-made items that would be really easy to customize with just a bit of stamping and turn into sort of a store-bought/hand made hybrid.

Tomorrow I'll show you another project we made specifically with teachers in mind.

seasonal bucket

This is yet another craft fair project. I found these cute little bucket on clearance after Christmas of last year and held on to them knowing that I could find a way to use them in stamping somehow. Tonight I figured they would be cute filled with seasonal lollipops. I put some floral foam in the bucket, covered it with a bit of white tissue, and stuck the decorated suckers into the foam. To decorate the suckers I simply stamped the snowflake from season of joy on only orange card stock in real red ink, punched the image out with a 1 3/8" circle punch, and mounted it on a 1 3/4" circle punched out of real red card stock. I also stamped the image from So Many Scallops (the sale-a-bration set from last year) in bravo burgundy on regal rose card stock and punched it out with the 1 3/8" circle punch, then mounted it on 1 3/4" circles punched out of bravo burgundy.

I think this turned into a really cute project. Hope you do too.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ornament Frames

Tonight more projects from the craft fair stash. I had fun making these photo frame ornaments.

A while ago I picked up these frames at a Dollar store. They were white metal with a nicely finished back and were just begging to be altered. I showed you one of these last month, and now I've made a bunch more (with my mom's help). I used retired designer paper, punched pieces and little felt flurries.

This is just a photo of the back of one of the ornaments.

and this is a photo of the back opened to insert a photo.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Travel tin candles

Last year at the craft fair my best sellers were scented candles in tins that I covered with designer paper and decorated with poinsettia's made out of pieces punched with the 5 petal flower punch. My entire supply was purchased by a single customer so early in the show that I didn't even have time to take a picture. So obviously this year I wanted to feature this item again, and was very excited to find these travel tin candles at Michael's.

Trouble was, when I got them home and started experimenting with my designer paper, I realized that the tins were pretty enough in themselves not to need to be covered. Why is this a problem? Well, I can't exactly re-sell these without doing anything to them.

I tried wrapping them with some SU ribbon, but the look wasn't quite right. That's when it hit me! Although in most cases I try to use only SU products in my projects, this particular case called for a product SU does not carry -- wired ribbon. Fortunately, I happen to have enough wired ribbon in my basement to last a lifetime or more, so I ran down and retrieved several different patters. I then selected a ribbon pattern to coordinate with each candle tin and tied the ribbon into fancy bows. This alone made the tins super showy!

Of course I had to stamp something in connection with the tin, so I grabbed a retired hostess set and my large tag punch and made some tags that I attached to the bow with gold cord. Now I'm just crossing my fingers that the tins with big bows will yield the same sort of success that last year's candles did.

One of the more fun things about stamping for the craft fair is that I get to dig out my retired stamps, like the tag stamp I used for this project. I really only use the retired stamps to make items for craft fairs, so each December is kind of like re-visiting old friends. And, of course, with the new retirement list coming out tomorrow, these old friends will soon be joined by a whole new batch of retirees. Do you have any guesses as to what will be on the list? I do, but I'm not telling! We'll just have to all tune in on Tuesday to see.

And for all those who asked about the candy tins I used in my last post, I honestly can't tell you where those particular tins came from because I got them in a bulk buy I participated in with a bunch of other demos this past winter. I didn't order these and I'm not sure of the source. However, I do know that you can get the same (or at least very similar) tins from specialty bottle at this link: The tins I used seem to be the 4 oz. size. Hope that helps!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Getting ready for the craft fair

I know you've seen one of these before -- now see the whole family. These are just some of the little chocolate-filled boxes I made for the Lake Park High School craft fair. Once again my mom has been helping me get ready, and I'm really grateful because with the craft fair taking place next Saturday, time is running out!

I will upload other craft fair projects tomorrow and throughout the week. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Decor Elements Candy Jar

Tomorrow is our annual neighborhood Holiday brunch. Each year the families from out block take turns hosting and everyone brings their favorite food to share. It's a lot of fun!

This year I decided to make a gift for the hosts (something a little different form the last-minute bottle of wine we typically bring). I found this cool candy jar at Wal-Mart and I just knew that I could do something fun with it. I started by adhering the small Jingle All The Way home decor element to the lid. It was just the perfect size! Then I wrapped a piece of 5/8" real red grosgrain around the edge of the lid and tied a bow around that using the red gingham ribbon.

On the sides of the jar I wanted to continue the "jingle all the way" theme, so I stamped the image form the Sleigh Bells Ring set with the white stazon ink on each side of the jar. To make sure the image was visible, I used my coluzzle to cut out 2 circles from real red patterns paper (available only in the Level 1 Hostess paper sampler). I then attached the circles on the inside of the jar -- one on each side -- using mini glue dots.

After that I just had to fill the jar with peppermint candy to complete the gift. I love the way it turned out and I hope this year's brunch hosts will like it as well!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Diane did a bad,bad thing

Yes, it's true. I did a bad, bad thing. I disappeared for a week with little warning and with no pre-scheduled blog posts. My intention was always to stamp ahead and have blog posts ready to go up in my absence, but with all of the other things going on immediately before Thanksgiving I just ran out of time.

But now I'm finally back and I even had a chance to stamp a new card tonight. This card may be a sample for this month's technique Tuesday class, which is bleached images. When you first look at this card it almost looks like the image on this card was stamped on mellow moss and then carefully cut out and placed over a nigh of navy mat. In reality, though, the image was originally stamped on the night of navy card stock and then bleached to create the lighter effect. Once I bleached the card and saw that the underlying color was something between always artichoke and mellow moss, I knew exactly what other colors I would use to finish off the card.

It may not be a traditional color scheme, but I love how it showcases this technique. Here's the recipe:

Card Stock: Night of navy, Mellow Moss, Always Artichoke
Ink: Basic Black Craft
Stamps: Home for Christmas
Accessories: clear embossing powder, mellow moss taffeta ribbon, soft subtles buttons

If you want to know that I was doing while I was gone, tune in tomorrow. I won't spoil the surprise, except to say that I had a blast!