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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Last minute Christmas card...

If you read yesterday's post, you know that I had to make a quick Christmas card for someone whose address had changed, so they didn't get a card from me when I mailed mine out. A couple days ago, I received a card from them with their new address on the envelope, so I needed to make them a quick card (because I've misplaced the extra ones I made!!!)

I saw this card on the blog of someone who lives in my neck of the woods (Minneapolis area) and thought it would be the perfect simple, but elegant card to make.
It's a little difficult to see, but it's made by scoring 3 lines of different lengths, die-cutting some pretty snowflakes and adhering them to the endpoints of each line and adding some flat-backed gems. I stamped "Merry Christmas" with Versamark and then embossed with some sparkly silver embossing powder. So pretty!

I stamped a sentiment on the inside, and the card was done. So quick and easy! I think the secret to making this card is to use good quality, heavy cardstock. I will definitely be making more of these for next year.

I've also been busy making little treat bags for the 7 grandkids who will be visiting. Here's an example of what I've been working on:
I made a little box bottom that measured 2"X3.5". Then I adhered a 5"X12" piece of heavy wrapping paper to the box bottom and added the punched border. A couple of punched circles folded in half and glued to the wrapping paper provided extra support for the punched hole and ribbon tie.

The snowman was cut from the Doodlecharm cartridge, and I added a little ribbon scarf to each one. I hope the kids all enjoy their little treat bags.

I'm not sure if I'll get another post written before Christmas, so I want to wish everyone a blessed and peaceful holiday and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!

Thanks so much for stopping by, and remember to laugh--a little or a lot--every day.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Just five more sleeps to Christmas...

My little grandson called yesterday. He's only four and is having a really hard time waiting for Christmas.
"Grammy," he said, "I want to come to your house THIS night and open presents!" I had to explain as best I could that we had to wait until Santa came, otherwise we might end up on his naughty list. I think he was willing to risk it.
He will be here Christmas Eve, and we will get to be with him as he wakes early Christmas morning to see what Santa has brought for him. I can hardly wait. I want him to be here THIS night, too!
I've been working every night to get ready for the big day. Cookies have been baked...
These are my husband's favorites - Date Pinwheels. I only make them at Christmas time as they are kind of a fussy cookie to make. You have to make the dough and the filling, chill the dough, then roll it out, spread on the filling, roll it back up, chill again, slice and...finally...bake. You can probably understand why I don't make them very often.
I've also finished up my Christmas cards - all 83 or 84 of them. I stopped counting after 80. The problem is, we actually mailed 80 of them and I put the remaining 3 or 4 aside in case I got cards from folks not on my original list. Then I could grab one of those leftover cards and send it off. I put them aside for that purpose.  Aside, is right! I CAN'T FIND THEM! And, of course, it happened. I got a card from a friend I hadn't included on my list because I knew they had moved and I didn't have their new address...until now. Well, back to the craft room I went to make a couple more cards. Sheesh! Getting old is rough.
Anyway, here are a few of the cards (in the original 80) that I made but haven't shared on the blog yet:
I love the look of the DSP I used on this card. It looks like old-fashioned wallpaper to me.
The inside was kept simple, but the little sprig of holly added some dimension.
These two cads were made using some images from my Christmas paper pack. I only matted them on red and green cardstock and added a few red gems to dress them up. "Be merry" is embossed with an interesting embossing powder called "Christmas Tree." It is a combination of red and green particles and is really quite pretty IRL. It looks a little crazy in this photo, but trust me - it's much more attractive in person. I forget the name of the embossing folder I used on the green CS, but I think it's by Darice. 
This is the last card I'll share with you today.  I used my Memory Box Precious Hearts dies to make the very thin bows on top of the ornaments.  The ornaments were cut with the Quickutz Christmas Holiday Ornament die out of some glittery gold paper.
"Peace on Earth" was gold-embossed and the inside sentiment was stamped with some gold ink.

Well, that's enough of my rambling for today. I hope your Christmas preparations are going a little smoother than mine.
Thanks so much for stopping by, and remember to laugh--a little or a lot--every day.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Be merry...

I love the holiday sentiment "be merry." It always reminds me of Bobby McFerrin's hit song "Don't Worry, Be Happy." After all the hard work to prepare for Christmas, I like to sit back and just "be merry," and I wish the same for you!

This card was made with a snowman image from Dearie Dolls and a Cuttlebug snowflake embossing folder. Oh yes - a couple of oval Spellbinder's dies, too.

Here's a little closer look at his cute image.  You can see that I added a couple of sparkly little snowflakes. What is not quite so obvious is that I used some red Liquid Pearls on those tiny little berries to give them more definition and dimension.

I colored the image with my ProMarkers. It was very quick because the bulk of the snowman only required a little shading with a very pale gray marker.

I also added a tiny bit of blue chalk to the background area of the image.

I dressed up the inside of the card just a bit with the snowflake embossing folder and a couple of scored lines.

This card was so much fun to make that I actually made several of them.
I'm entering this card in the following challenge:
Thanks so much for stopping by, and remember to laugh--a little or a lot--every day.
Be merry!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

More sweet Christmas birds...

I really had fun with several of the Christmas images from Sielkje's Digi Stamps and this is another card I made with one of Angelique's drawings:
Isn't this image so cute?  It would not necessarily have to be used for Christmas, since the little sign between the birds is actually blank. I used a tiny "Joy" stamp from Close To My Heart that I stamped with Versamark and then embossed with some sparkly red embossing powder.  I think this image would also be super cute for a number of other uses: new home card, welcome baby card, etc.

Do you see the dark blue patterned paper at the top of the card? This was actually a solid navy blue piece of CS on which I randomly stamped some snowflakes with white opaque Stazon ink. Now this ink didn't turn out to be exactly "opaque" and left more of a watermark of the snowflakes that I stamped. To make them a little more noticeable, I went back and dotted parts of the stamped snowflakes with a glitter pen. I actually really liked the final result. The glitter is a little more subtle IRL. When I took the picture, the reflection off the glitter really popped out.

I colored the image with my ProMarkers and added a little bit of sparkle to the snow flakes in the air with some Stickles.  Then I cut and matted it with some Spellbinders oval dies. The white border is a Martha Stewart punch. I've used a little red crochet thread for the bow.
Here's a peek at the inside of the card. This is a very CAS card, but that's generally the kind of cards I make.

I'm entering this card in the following challenge:
Thanks so much for stopping by, and remember to laugh--a little or a lot--every day.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Happy Holidays card...

I saw a card similar to this on Pinterest, and thought I'd try my hand at making one. I really do like how it turned out.

I used papers from DCWV's Linen Closet. That pack has such pretty aqua papers.

I used some glitter paper for the snowflake, which is cut using a Spellbinders die. There are a number of dies in the set that all layer beautifully to make a very dimensional snowflake. I've used these dies a lot, and I'm certain I'll be using them more in the future.

Here's a little closer look at the layers. The layer that looks beige is really just an off-white glitter paper. It looks much whiter IRL.

You can also see in this angle shot that I used a circle die to cut a circle out of the aqua cardstock, setting the die just beyond the edge of the cardstock.

I also added a couple of ribbon tails under the left side of the snowflake to add another fun detail.

I used the cutout circle from the front to create a spot for my sentiment on the inside of the card. I added another glittery snowflake there, too. You can see from the shadows in the photo that It's only attached at the center and the spikes are allowed to bend slightly up for some added dimension.

Thanks so much for stopping by today, and remember to laugh--a little or a lot--every day.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Sweet little Christmas birds from Sliekje...

Today I have a card with an image from Sliekje's Digi Stamps called "Little Birds." It's so sweet and was quick to color with my ProMarkers, so I decided to use it for a few of my Christmas cards.
Don't you love these chubby little birds? The nice part about this image is that it took only a few colors to bring it to life. I don't have a full set of ProMarkers--only the basic colors--so I don't have a lot of options for shading or doing complicated images. This one was perfect for me, though, and I had a lot of fun coloring it. I find it relaxing to sit in front of the TV in the evening and color a few images that I have printed out or stamped.

Here's a look at the cards I made with this image:
Once the images were colored, these cards were very quick to make. Good thing, too, since I've been racing toward my magic number of 80! I always make at least 80 Christmas cards, and I seem to be slower than usual this year at getting them done.

I kept the insides simple to keep my card-making process moving along. Here's an example of the inside of the card on the left in the above photo. The others were very similar.
I'm entering these cards in the following challenge:
Thanks for stopping by today, and remember to laugh--a little or a lot--every day.

Monday, December 9, 2013

My sister's Christmas cards...

I know that I have said this before, but it's so much fun to have a sister who enjoys card making like I do. My younger sister Michelle has been busy making her Christmas cards and sent me pictures of three of her cards.

She used a snowflake punch to make this tree, with mostly green snowflakes, but with one gold snowflake at the top. I thought it was a cute idea to use a small wrapped gift for the trunk of the tree. I'm not sure if that's a brad or a dimensional sticker, but it's perfect! A few red flat-backed gems added a little sparkle. She said it was quick to make this card, since the snowflakes can be punched out in a very short amount of time.

Isn't the wreath on this card cute? She used the same snowflake punch again with some blue and white cardstock. The greeting was embossed, and you can just see some pretty snowflake-patterned paper peeking out from the inside.

Finally, here's a Christmas card in some really fun, nontraditional colors: pink, blue and green! There's a bit of a glare on the photo, but I think you can see it well enough to see how she has made this one. Again, she used the snowflake punch and said it was very quick to pull together.

If you need some last minute cards, these three cards may give you some ideas for cards that only take a few minutes to make. Thanks, Michelle, for letting me share your pretty cards.

So glad you stopped by today, and remember to laugh--a little or a lot--every day!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Jumbo Season's Greetings from Stampendous...

As I continue working on my Christmas cards, I am trying to use as many of my Christmas stamps as I can. I recently inked up one stamp that's a little more difficult to use on cards, because it is so large. It's a jumbo stamp from Stampendous, and believe me it's definitely jumbo! But, don't you love the curls and swirls in the font? I think the there is so much celebration built into the style of the script.

This is a big card--5" X 7"--and you can see how the greeting takes up a big portion of it. I stamped it with Versamark and used some wonderful red embossing powder.

I also used various dies to cut the snowflakes, and then I sprayed them with adhesive and quickly dipped them in glitter to add a wonderful sparkle to the card. My bow was made with a bow-maker that I designed and my brother made for me. I'll share that with you one of these days, too.

The inside was simply matted with green CS and the sentiment was computer-generated.

This card was very quick to make, and I think it's really festive with its bold elements in bold Christmas colors.

I have made a lot of different Christmas cards since my last post, so I plan to share most of them here with you in the days leading up to Christmas. My last 10 cards are sitting on my work desk, partially done. Hooray! I'm going to make it to my self-imposed finish line after all!

Thanks so much for stopping by, and remember to laugh--a little or a lot--every day.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

I have a "thing" for dies...

I don't know about you, but I am loving some of the dies that are available nowadays. Here is a card that I made with the "Precious Hearts" dies by Memory Box (sorry that the picture is a little out of focus!).

I purchased the heart dies on www.diesrus.com. I love their huge assortment of dies. There are so many interesting ones that I feel like a kid in a candy store when I visit their site. I only wish I didn't have to watch my craft budget so closely!!

Aren't those hearts hanging from a delicate ribbon pretty? After I cut out the hearts, I used an embossing tool to round out each heart a bit and give it some dimension. I used some spray adhesive to adhere the dainty ribbons and attached the hearts with a small foam square to help them keep their roundness. A couple of flat-backed gems added a little sparkle to the bows.

I didn't have any ribbon to match the green in the DSP, so I used a couple of ProMarkers blended together to get just the color I needed. I love that you can do that with alcohol markers.

The sentiment is actually embossed with some sparkly red embossing powder, but it's hard to see that in the photo.

I've only made about 50 cards for Christmas so far. I'd like to get another 25 or 30 made to make sure I have enough for everyone on our list. We'll see if I make it!!

I kept the inside of the card simple with a red mat and a stamped greeting. I definitely have to keep my cards simple now as I haven't much time to get them completed.

Are you still making Christmas cards? I'm thinking that if I decide to make an assortment of cards again (rather than mass-producing just one card), I'd better start making them much, much earlier. Is January too early to start making cards for Christmas in 2014?

Thanks for stopping by, and remember to laugh--a little or a lot--every day.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Happy Birthday to a little beauty...

We were so lucky to have many of our family members join us for Thanksgiving - 17 of us sat together around the dinner table. Two 12+ lb. turkeys seemed to be the right amount. After using some of the leftover turkey for sandwiches, we have very little left, but the bones and trimmings will make wonderful stock for soup.

While we were all together, we also celebrated my beautiful little granddaughter Lucy's 7th birthday, Here is the card I made for her, using a Saturated Canary image that I colored with ProMarkers. I also used some Diamond Glaze on the balloon to make it shine.
This image actually reminds me a lot of Lucy - from the dark hair to the gorgeous eyes to the funky outfit. Lucy also said she wanted to have balloons at her birthday (we did), which made this image even more fitting.

I dressed up the inside, too, using some of the same pretty papers. The turquoise paper is just the backside of the floral one. Aren't they pretty together? I love when I can just use one sheet of paper because both sides are so pretty and perfectly coordinated.

I hope Lucy had fun with several of her cousins here to help her celebrate. We had a good time making her Hello Kitty cake and wrapping her gifts. It's always hard for kids when their birthdays fall so close to a holiday. The only good part about that is that there are almost always special people around to help you celebrate.

It's hard to believe that we have just 3 1/2 weeks left until Christmas. YIKES!!! I'm almost done shopping--just a few smaller items to pick up, but I'm not done making my cards, and I haven't even started making cookies yet. We may be almost cookie-less this year. Are you ready? Or have the holidays sneaked up on you, too?

Thanks for stopping by today, and remember to laugh--a little or a lot--every day.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thank you card...

Not long ago I was selected to receive the "Best of 2009" cartridge from Joy Tracey on her blog "Obsessed with Scrapbooking." I wanted to use the cartridge to make a thank you note to send to her.

I selected this cute bird cage image as the focal point of my card. The bird is also from the cartridge, although, because I cut it at such a small size, I didn't cut all of its layers.

The flourish is a Cheery Lynn die and the flowers are from Petaloo.
It's difficult to see in the photo, but I actually wound the flourish under parts of the bird cage before adhering it all together.

For the inside of the card, I cut the word "Thanks" using a Cuttlebug die. An easy, but fun card to make. Now I need to try a few more images from this cartridge.

Thanks so much for stopping by, and remember to laugh--a little or a lot--every day!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Anything but a card...

Crimbo Crackers is one of the blogs I follow, and their current challenge (#55) is "Anything but a card." Since I needed some gift card holders for Christmas, I decided to join this challenge by making a few of those.

My husband and I buy gifts for one of the 80 families our church sponsors for Christmas. These families are low-income and have a difficult time buying gifts at Christmas time so we love to help out. We get a list of family members, their ages, genders and sometimes some ideas as to what they are interested in. The family that we selected actually suggested that gift cards for either Walmart or Target would be a welcomed gift, so along with a few other fun items for them to open, we did get them some gift cards.

I certainly didn't want to just put the cards in an envelope and add them to our box of gifts; I wanted to present the cards in a way befitting the occasion. Here's what I came up with:

 There's a great tutorial here on Splitcoaststampers for making this box. It's super easy and quick to put together. You can even add a little candy to the inside, which I haven't had a chance to do yet.

I used my new Cheery Lynn holly leaves die to create the poinsettia on each belly band. I think this die makes great poinsettias. Since the leaves are in 3 different sizes you can make different size flowers.

The flowers came together very quickly. I simply punched out a 1" circle as my base and began by gluing the largest leaves on first. I did ink the edges or add glitter and curl each leaf slightly before constructing my flowers.

Here's a peek at the inside so that you can see how the card is held in place and simply pops up when the box is opened. Isn't that fun?

Here's a little closer look at the pop-up portion of the liner. You can see how the card fits neatly into the slot. I did add a tiny little dimensional to the bottom of the card and adhered it to the front of the pop-up. It's such a tiny dimensional that it won't take much of a tug to pull the card free.

Here's one last look at these cute little boxes. I just need to pick up some candy kisses to add to the inside. If you check out the tutorial on Splitcoaststampers, you'll see exactly how that's done.

I hope you enjoyed taking a peek at my little 3D project. Give it a try. It's such a great way to give a gift card!

Thanks for stopping by, and remember to laugh--a little or a lot--every day.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Life's a beach when you're 60!

Today is my sister Michelle's birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MICHELLE!

Here's the card I made for her for this milestone occasion:
This image--from the Fun in the Sun cartridge--always makes me smile. I must have looked like that when I floated down the Rum River in Minnesota one summer with a couple of my girlfriends.

I think I cut the image at 3.5". I'm not 100% sure, but I think that's what I did. I need to start writing down what I do for each card. Do you do that? Or do you just remember what you've done when it comes time to post the details?

Here's an angled shot of the card. I've been having lots of fun with step cards lately. I was hoping the angle would show the sparkle I added to the polka dots on her swimsuit (with Stickles) and the sparkle (with a glitter pen) on the number 60 in the sentiment. No such luck, though. I'm a decidedly bad photographer and I really need to do something about that.

Here's a little closer shot of our mature femme fatale. You can see that I did some shading on her with my ProMarkers. I also defined the lenses on her glasses and the gray in her hair with some Letraset metallic markers. The gray lines in her hair look much more defined in the photo than they do in real life.

To dress up the inside just a bit, a cut a couple of the flowers out of the DSP and adhered them in a corner. Such a little embellishment really takes away the starkness of the white sentiment panel.

I hope my sister has a fantastic, relaxing, fun, interesting, love-filled, laughter-infused day! I'll drink a toast to you, today, Michelle! I love you and wish you that happiest birthday ever!

Thanks for stopping by today, and remember to laugh--a little or a lot--every day.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

A final Thanksgiving card...

I think this is the last Thanksgiving card that I will make. I really need to write in them now and get them in the mail. I made several of this design because they came together so quickly.
The tree stamp is a Hero Arts stamp. It works so well for fall cards. I added some tiny yellow flat-backed gems to some of the tree's curliques for a little sparkle.

I was hoping you'd be able to see the sparkle of the gems if I took an angled shot of the card...but I guess not!

I inked around the image and the sentiment label with some distress ink and also added a couple of gems on either side of the sentiment.

The ribbon is some lovely, brown, felt-like ribbon that is actually quite thin, probably because it was in the dollar bin and is a cheaply made ribbon. But for card making purposes, it's perfect!

I used an embossing folder (from Sizzix, I think) on the top panel and then sanded the cardstock to highlight the embossed pattern. It really only took a short time to make this card--and a few more just like it.

I have begun to purchase all the food items I will need to prepare dinner for the 17 people who will be seated around our dining room table on Thanksgiving Day. I've even taken the Wednesday before Thanksgiving off from work so that I can get most of the prep work done that day. I still haven't found a turkey big enough, though. I may have to break down and buy two 12-pounders. That really isn't such a bad idea--as long as I can fit them both in my oven. I'll have to think about that.

Will you be preparing Thanksgiving dinner at your house? If so, what do you serve for dessert? We usually have three or four different kinds of pie: cherry, pumpkin, apple and, sometimes pecan.

Thanks for stopping by today, and remember to laugh--a little or a lot--every day.