Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Lily Pad Sketch Challenge

I know, you're probably tired of seeing this stamp set, but Glory to God is my go-to set for Christmas cards right now. I tried to use another set, really, I did, but it just wasn't working for me. So, I pulled out Glory to God and voila!

I took a few liberties with the sketch, but I love the way it turned out.

To create it, I used my CM custom cutting circles to cut three overlapping circles on the dark cardstock. Then I lightly traced those shapes onto the cream cardstock. I removed the dark cardstock and stamped the images.

I cut one more circle of the same size onto a piece of scrap cardstock to create a mask. Using that mask and a sponge dauber I created those faint circles by lightly swiping the dauber from the mask in towards the center of the circle.

Then the tricky part. I decided I wanted a border of off white around the circles, rather than the dark cardstock coming right up to them, so I had to carefully center the circle templates over the circles on the dark cardstock, and use the next size blade to cut them a little larger. A few deep breaths, but it worked!

Then I trimmed the edges of the dark cardstock to create the frame around the edges, and cut the bottom right corner off. I trimmed about 3/8" off the long end to create the diagonal line.

The sentiment is from the Craft's Meow's All the Merry Best stamp set. It's just perfect for this card, don't you think?

Supplies Used:
CTMH: Glory to God stamp set; Cocoa Ink; Colonial White and Cocoa cardstock; sponge dauber
The Craft's Meow: All the Merry Best stamp set
Creative Memories: Custom Cutting System, Circles

Monday, November 28, 2011

SSD Sketch #103 - Another Gray Hare

Just a quick card tonight for Skipping Stones Design sketch 103.

I wanted to make a really simple card, and cut it to make a mosaic (or at least part of a mosaic) rather than use the squares as a design element.

There's very little in this card, which I thought was appropriate given the 'gray' subject matter. To color in the balloons and create the ground I used my go-to blending pen.

Hope you like it!

Supplies Used:
Skipping Stones Design - Gray Hares Stamp Set
CTMH - White Daisy Cardstock; Gray Flannel, Holiday Red, Topiary, Tulip and Pacifica Ink, Blending Pen

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Card for CAS-ual Friday and Ribbon Carousel (RCC30) Challenges

I'm so excited to share this card with you!

I had a great time creating it...it was a bit of an 'aha' moment for me.

A few months ago a won some clear Hero Arts stamps from the Simon Says Stamp blog. I've been waiting for just the right time to use them. The stamps I won were a promotional set that contains images from several different stamp sets, but I did a quick search on Hero Arts' Holiday catalog, and the ornament is included in the 'Decorate Your Holidays' stamp set. I didn't see the sentiment in the Holiday catalog, but there are plenty of sentiments we all have that would be appropriate.

This is really a simple, easy card to make, just takes a little care in the doing.

I stamped the ornament on a piece of white cardstock. Then I cut a strip of cardstock the same width as my grosgrain ribbon (3/8") to use as a guide. I made sure everything was square and marked the top and bottom of the guide on the edges of the ornament. Using my cutting knife, I carefully traced around the ornament (on the inside of the border line) between the hashmarks. Then I fed the ribbon through. You need to be careful in doing this so that you don't tear the slit. Then I threaded through the twine, and secured both to the back of the cardstock using my tombow.

Really easy!

For the bottom piece, I first stamped the sentiment. Then I ran the tombow over my twine so I could shape it onto the cardstock, and followed up with some Liquid Glass at a few points to make sure it was secure. The white pieces of cardstock were mounted onto Cranberry cardstock using dimensional foam tape, and then those pieces were secured to the card base.

I love the look of this card, and am planning to use this technique a lot more.

Thanks for stopping by!

Products Used:
CTMH - Cranberry Ink, Cranberry and White Daisy Cardstock, Cranberry Grosgrain, Dimensional Foam Tape, Cutting Knife, Liquid Glass
Hero Arts - Decorate for the Holidays stamp set, miscellaneous sentiment stamp
Twinery - Maraschino twine

Saturday, November 26, 2011

SPARKS Challenge Card - Get Well

I've got another SPARKS challenge card for you today.

It just so happens that in my recent CTMH order, in addition to my new sanding kit, I had two new ink pads: Grey Wool and Sunkiss Yellow...providential when you look at this inspiration photo, don't you think?

For this card, I was really inspired by the line/shadow of the gray branch of flowers. I used the flower and leaf from the Hot Concoctions stamp as well as my trusty blending pen to mimic that branch. Then I cut around it, leaving a little bit of a white border and adhered it to some Juniper cardstock with liquid adhesive.

I also really love that the fabric texture comes through in the photo, so I wanted to sand the entire piece once I got it adhered....DISASTER!

Turns out sanding doesn't work so well when you fancy cut an intricate piece (which is very thin in places, and on which you also did a lot of shading with the blending pen)....the whole top layer (with all the stamping) came right off! Not what I was expecting, but it turned out to be a happy accident.

When you sand the top layer of your cardstock off, you end up with a kind of felty looking layer. So, I went ahead and re-stamped on that layer....being a little more careful with the blending pen this time as the color shows up more saturated on this layer. (I'm planning to do a lot more experimenting with this. You can create some pretty neat textured backgrounds with this technique.)

The teapot and cup which are also from the Hot Concoctions set are stamped (three times) on some Grey Flannel cardstock which is then sanded. I added the ground for the teapot and tea using the blending pen.

I scored another piece of Gray Flannel cardstock and sanded that to create a mat for my main piece and to add a just a touch of that yellow, I swiped the Sunkiss Yellow stamp pad around the edges of the white card base. By the way, I found the cheapest, and best scoring tool....an old (dried out) ball point pen. Love that it never 'jumps' like the old scoring stylus I have!

So there you have it. This card has a much different look than the other Paper Smooches cards I've made, but I really like how it turned out.

Supplies Used:
Stamps: Paper Smooches - Hot Concoction; CTMH - A Little Bit of Everything
Ink (CTMH): Grey Wool, Sunkiss Yellow
Paper (CTMH): White Daisy, Juniper, Grey Flannel
Other (CTMH): Blending Pen, Sanding Kit

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Embellish Leaves Color Trends Challenge

I just received a small order of CTMH supplies in the mail which included the sanding kit, and had to try it out. At $3.50, this little sanding block/file make a great stocking stuffer, and they are great tools to have in your arsenal.

I decided to make a quick one-layer card for the current Embellish challenge.

I started with a 4x6 piece of Desert Sand cardstock, and just sanded away at it. I wanted a lot of the white core (all CTMH papers, including the patterned papers have a white core) to show through. I really like the distressed look this gives, almost a wood grain.

Then I used the large leaf from Something Splendid, bending it a little so it was straight, and stamped it three times with three different colors.

I thought about leaving the card sentiment free, but decided to use the 'thinking of you' sentiment from Say it in Style. Then I stamped just the 'thinking' a couple more times above the original sentiment using the same ink colors I used for the leaves.

All that sanding left the edges sanded too, but I ran the distressing tool around them to get it a little rougher.

Usually at this point I would adhere it to the card base letting a little bit of a frame/mat show around the edges, but I decided not to this time. I really like the rustic feel of this card, and wanted to keep it very simple.

Hope that you are having a wonderful Thanksgiving!

CTMH Supplies Used:
Stamps: Something Splendid, Say it in Style
Ink: Topiary, Garnet, Twilight
Paper: Desert Sand
Other: Sanding kit

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

10 Things - Thanksgiving

Journaling doesn't come naturally to many people. Maybe you don't like the tone of your writing (I often cringe when I go back and read what I wrote because it's SOOO stream of consciousness). Maybe you get writer's block. Maybe it's just too difficult/time consuming an excercise when you're just struggling to get pictures in books.

If any of these describe your situation, lists might be the solution you're looking for.

A list can be short - just one word, or long - a description, even a paragraph expanding upon that, or somewhere in between.

Making a list of '10 things' is all the rage right now, but 10 is just a number. If that's too long a list for you, make it 5. Or tie it to the theme of your layout/story. For example, 6 things I love about you, for someone's 6th birthday/anniversary. You don't even need to tie in a number. Use a word or name to make a 'list' acronym. For example: things I love about Carina: Caring/Crazy/Crashing, Adorable/All-out/Appetite, Renegate/Roly Poly/Riotous, etc.

Start off with the short, and see where it takes you. A great card or layout doesn't need to have the long description. Short and sweet can be just as effective. If your descriptions are intimate thoughts that you don't want everyone reading, there are lots of great ways to hide journaling in tags, behind photos, etc.

I wanted to share my list of 10 things I'm thankful for this Thanksgiving, and I've actually created three lists so that you can see the short, the long, and the in-between of it.

1) God
2) Andrew
3) My daughters
4) Family
5) Our home
6) My job
7) My other job
8) The plan for next year
9) Friends
10) Time off

1) God - his grace, and the knowledge that he is sovereign.
2) Andrew - our marriage, it's a work in progress, but we are truly growing together.
3) My daughters - what a joy they are, how amazingly different and complementary they are, and how proud I am of them.
4) Family - that they are close by and for who involved they are in our lives.
5) Our home - we're so blessed to live in the shadow of the nation's capital, we're so blessed to have a home and to be so close to so many activities, parks, etc.
6) My job - especially during these difficult times, I am thankful to be gainfully employed.
7) My other job - I'm grateful to have found Close to My Heart, to be putting away money in our 'fun fund', and to have an outlet for my creative energies.
8) The plan for next year - to be able to work part time once Ellie goes to Kindergarten.
9) Friends - what would I do without them!
10) Time off - time away from work, to relax and be with Andrew or Andrew and the girls, our larger families, or friends.

1) God - for his grace as I am truly undeserving; for the knowledge that he is sovereign and that even when I have not idea what is going on, he is working out a purpose in my life; and for the promises he has made to me in his word.
2) Andrew - for our marriage - that we are working at it. It's often hard work, but we are working at it. That he is stepping out as the head of our home, and that we are setting aside time together each day to be together in prayer and the word.
3) My daughters - for the joy and blessing they are to me. Even when I'm so frustrated that I'm yelling, I wouldn't trade them for anything. They make me want to be better, so that they will be better. They challenge me, but at this stage in life love me unconditionally and with no holds barred. I can't imagine life without them and find it hard to remember life before them.
4) Family - for the fact that the geographic distance between family members is shrinking. Mom and Dad have been living in Virginia officially for just over a week now. I love that they will be so involved and accessible to the girls. I love that the rest of my family, though far away, makes the effort to get here and see the girls. They aren't strangers. The girls know and love each of them. I love that Andrew's family is close by also, and that Ellie has been able to spend extended periods of time in Lynchburg visiting with grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins. This is so different from when I was growing up and all our relatives were living across the globe and were essentially strangers.
5) Our home - for the blessing of having a home, and that we live in such an amazing area. There are so many opportunities here in Arlington, VA. And even more, for the gift of being able to live in the United States of America. I'm only a generation removed from growing up in a different country. I have often thought about how vastly different my life would have been if my grandparents/parents had made slightly different choices. I would be living somewhere else, speaking a different language, perhaps lacking many of the freedoms I enjoy and often take for granted. I love my home, and I love my country!
6) My job - for the blessing of having one during these difficult times. It's often not the most glamorous or even enjoyable work, but it allows me to contribute to our family's needs and to have the means to help others also.
7) My other job - for the gift of Close to My Heart. This is an endeavor I stumbled upon, but has allowed me to grow and learn and nurture the artistic side of me which has been busy doing other things for the last several years. I've been blessed to be able to save some spending money for the trip Andrew and I have planned next summer. I've been blessed to make new friends/customers/consultants. I've been blessed to meet and be encouraged by folks like you, and the rest of the creative blogosphere. I love this second job and I love how unsure I am of myself when it comes to this. It's been a step out on faith, and I continue to be amazed at how the story unfolds.
8) The plan for next year - for the ability to work part time once Ellie starts Kindergarten. Like many working moms, I have often felt the tension between working and staying at home. It's necessary to work, and I'm not sure if I would be good at staying home full time, but working full time makes life so crazy! I feel that in many ways I parent differently (even though I shouldn't). I make allowances because I want our time together to be fun, and wonderful, and I don't want to go down that difficult path of discipline where I know the rest of the evening will be shot. I want to be able to take time to let Ellie help me cook instead of rushing through it to get some food on the table so we can get to baths so bedtime isn't late. I want to be able to sit down and read and help with the homework. Maybe my rosy picture of what I'm going to do with all that time next year isn't realistic, but if I can even get to part of that list, be there when she gets off the bus, have that time to really be there and listen, it will be worth it!
9) Friends - what would I do without them! They put up with me, encourage me, help me, and pray for me. I'm not always great about keeping up with them, but I know that they are there, and that I can call on them when needed, and I think they know that I would do the same for them.
10) Time off - for time away from work to be with Andrew, or Andrew and the girls, extended family, or friends. To be in my natural state where I can say and be who I am without worrying about my appearance, or having to think about my words (although I should probably still think about that a little). To be me. I find that I crave these times more and more as 'grow up'. I need these times to recharge, refocus, and remember what it's all about.

So there you have it. A long post, and no artwork, but I hope that it's encouraged you to try making a list. Even if you don't have time to do the long or in-between, job down the short list and come back to it later. See where it takes you, but try it. Journaling takes practice, and the more you do it, the easier it gets.

Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 21, 2011

CASE Study Card


I've been wanting to try out the CASE Study challenge for a while now, but I must admit that I've been a little intimidated. They do some amazing work over there! This week, as soon as I saw the card, I knew exactly what I would do.

First I used my sponge tool to create the background.

Then I stamped the Bethlehem scene leaving a little bit of space on the bottom of the card. I inked up my acrylic block and stamped that at the bottom for the ground.

I added the stars using white pigment ink - I thought about stamping over them twice to get more white, but I really like the kind of translucent look that a single layer achieves.

I cut two circles, one 1/2" smaller than the other, and stamped the sentiment and stars on there. The dark circle was colored by swiping my ink pad over the edges of the circle. I adhered the two circles together timmed them at the top, and added them to the card.

This card was really quite easy to put together and I really love how it turned out. I'm looking forward to playing along at CASE Study again soon!

CTMH Supplies Used:
Stamps: Glory to God, Happy Clusters
Ink: Cocoa, Pacifica, White Daisy
Paper: whtie Daisy
Other: Sponge Tool (from distressing kit)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Moxie Fab Trigger Tuesday - Fall is in the Bag

I've played along on a number of Moxie Fab challenges, but this is my first Trigger Tuesday entry. This is partly because the timeframe is pretty compressed for me, and partly because if I'm not immediately struck or 'triggered' on a challenge, I usually don't enter.

This week I immediately had a vision for what I wanted to create, and the card really came together quickly.

I cut 3/4" strips of cardstock from colors that I found in the trigger photo, and then adhered them to a base piece of cardstock on a diagonal.

For the off-white front piece, I punched three circles using a 1" punch, and then cut the 'sticks' using my craft knife. I actually created a template for the 'lollipop' shape using a scrap piece of paper. Then I used that to determine the spacing of the images and traced the stick portion so I could easily cut it with the craft knife.

The sentiment is adhered to the blue piece of cardstock, and then scored to wrap around the off-white piece with the lollipop cut outs.

I like how graphic and modern it feels. Hopefully the folks at Moxie Fab World will too!

CTMH Supplies Used:
Stamps: Say it in Style
Ink: Cocoa
Paper: Colonial White, Pacifica, Chocolate, Honey, Desert Sand, Sunset
Other: Sparkles, Dimensional Foam Tape, Cutting Knife

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

H2H Challenge - Metal Mania, and Moxie Fab Medallions

Seems like I am just always behind on my Heart 2 Heart challenges these days, but at least I'm not as late as last week, right? Maybe by next week I'll be caught up...

This card is for the hubby who celebrates a birthday on Wednesday. I'm also going to link it up with Moxie Fab World's Medallions challenge.

I started off knowing that I wanted to use the little photo hangers to string up the banner, and that it would say i heart u, but beyond that I wasn't quite sure where we would end up.

The medallions I made are 'smashed'. While I like the look of medallions, I just kind of think they're impractical. I mean, if you're going to send someone a card, or spend all that time on a layout, don't you want something that won't end up smooshed? So, I set out to make mine smooshed to begin with.

I scored 3/4" pieces of cardstock every 1/4", but when I went to fold them, on the 'hills' I pivoted the cardstock a little bit, so that the scored line ends up in the center of the fold.

I used the tombow to connect the ends, and then shaped it into a nice tight medallion which I adhered to a small punched circle using the tombow. It's kind of an imperfect science, but it gives you the same basic look and feel of a regular medallion. And, you know it's still going to look that way even if you put a ten pound weight on it.

The pennant pieces were cut using the Cricut Art Philosphy cartridge at 3 1/2". They are scored 1/2" from the top and folded. I wasn't planning on using the hinges, but in the spirit of 'Metal Mania', I thought we could use some more metal. The hinges are great because it's a nice tight fit with the hemp...doesn't slide around, yet you can still move it and adjust it easily.

Originally I started with plain Cranberry cardstock and an Outdoor Denim frame, but I thought it looked too plain, so I cut a smaller frame using the same paper I used for the medallions to put on top of the plain frame. Then I busted out my Happy Clusters stamp - the Christmas tree one, and stamped inside the frame using Cranberry ink to get the tone on tone effect.

I really like how it turned out, and hopefully the hubby does too!

CTMH Products Used:
Stamps: Happy Clusters, Cocktail Alphabet, Set from Elemental Workshop on the Go
Ink: Outdoor Denim, Cranberry
Paper: Cranberry, Outdoor Denim, Bamboo, White Daisy, Lucky Level 2
Other: Photo Hangers, Hinges, Hemp, Dimensional Foam Tape, Cricut AP cartridge

Monday, November 14, 2011

SPARKS Challenge Card

I wanted to play along with Paper Smooches current SPARKS challenge. I was inspired by the shape of the apples and the leaves as well as the colors. Here's what I came up with:

All the stamps used on this card are from the PS Hot Concoctions set. I used the steam swirls to echo the leaves on the apples, and did a fair amount of paper piecing for the card.

The tag/tag frame were cut with the Cricut Art Philosphy cartridge, and I freehand drew the little smiley face on the spoon.

It took me a while to come up with a plan for this card as the Orla Kiely print is so bold, but I think the card does evoke the graphic nature of the print.

Hope everyone had a great start to the week!

CTMH Products Used:
Ink: Black, White Daisy
Paper: Sunset, Outdoor Denim, White Daisy, Lucky Level 2
Other: Cricut AP Cartridge, Craft Knife, Dimensional Foam Tape

Other Products Used:
Paper Smooches Hot Concoctions Stamp Set

Sunday, November 13, 2011

SSD Sketch #101

I won a free stamp set from Skipping Stones Design a couple weeks back for this card: http://mprantner.blogspot.com/2011/10/fall-card-for-ssd-create-and-h2h.html.

I chose Gray Hares, which is a great versatile set for Easter, Birthday, and Get Well Soon cards, and decided to go with the Get Well Soon theme for this card.

The bunny and balloons are stamped in second generation black ink, and then paper pieced. I added a touch of pink to the bunny with my blending pen.

The borders are Kraft borders that I covered with black ink. Rather than sponging the ink on the borders, I think it's faster to just take your inkpad and swipe it over the border. You can very quickly get a very saturated color this way.

One more thing, the sentiment is not normally curved. This is one of my favorite things about acrylic stamps, you can bend them, curve them, etc. In this instance, I shaped the sentiment to follow the line of the bunny.

Even with the paper piecing, this card came together very quickly. Hope you like that little bunny as much as I do!

CTMH Supplies Used:
Paper: White Daisy, Olive, Lucky Level 2, Fanfare Level 2, Smoothie
Ink: Black, Sorbet
Other: Kraft Borders, Blending Pen

Other Supplies:
Skipping Stones Design - Gray Hares

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Heart 2 Heart Color Challenge

I'm getting caught up this week, and wanted to go back and work the Heart 2 Heart color challenge from last week, because I like the color combo so much: Autumn Terracotta, Juniper, and Bamboo.

To create the background, I took a piece of White Daisy cardstock, and then swiped my Autumn Terracotta ink pad across it. I started from the corners because I wanted to create a diagonal pattern/texture.

The two large hearts are from the Elemental Workshop on the Go set, and the small one is from Happy Clusters. The large heart is Goldrush cardstock stamped with Autumn Terracotta. The medium heart is paper from the Typeset Level 2 kit, and the small heart was rock and roll stamped with second generation Chocolate ink.

I edge distressed the longs sides of the pieces of Juniper and Bamboo cardstock and then lightly sponged with Autumn Terracotta. Then I swiped the short sides with the Autumn Terracotta stamp pad, much like on the background piece.

The sentiment is also from the Elemental Workshop on the Go stamp set.

This was a quick and easy card to put together, and one that you could recreate in many different color schemes. Hope you are having a great long weekend!

CTMH Supplies Used:
Stamps: Elemental Workshop on the Go Set, Happy Clusters
Ink: Autumn Terracotta, Chocolate
Paper: Juniper, Bamboo, Goldrush, Typeset Workshop on the Go, White Daisy
Other: Edge distresser, sponge

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Craft's Meow October Sketch Card

I was fortunate enough to win one of The Craft's Meow's new stamp sets, The Merry Best, last week during their new release. The set came this week and I decided to ink it up and participate in their monthly sketch challenge. All the stamps on this card are from The Merry Best stamp set.

Instead of using a border on the left side of the card, I stamped one of the ornaments from the set, and then cut the edge to create the border. I decided I wanted to see the entire ornament, so I cut the front of the card away as well....that part was a little tricky, but I like the result.

The Ho Ho Ho is actually the last line of one of the sentiments: Merry Christmas! Ho Ho Ho. I stamped just the Ho Ho Ho portion on a thin piece of Kraft to create a ribbon effect.

The tag was cut using the Cricut Art Philosphy cartridge. I added the to/from, and then paper pieced the other two ornaments and adhered them to the tag, and then fastened it to the Ho Ho Ho piece with some hemp.

This was a fun sketch to play along with, wide open for interpretation, the way I like them. Hope you enjoy the card!

CTMH Supplies Used:
Paper: Kraft
Ink: Holiday Red, Topiary, Chocolate (for distressing)
Other: Cricut Art Philosphy cartridge, hemp

Monday, November 7, 2011

Embellish Die Cut and CAS Over the Edge Card

I've been mulling this card over in my brain for some time, and finally had the opportunity to create it this week. In addition to shapes, letters, borders, cards, envelopes, and boxes, the Cricut Art Philosphy cartridge has a number of rolled flowers you can make.

I haven't actually made any of those yet, but I just love the shape of the die cut before it's rolled. There's something very graphic and beautiful about the swirls, and I wanted to showcase those in this card.

To create the background, I loaded some Petal paper into the Expression, and moved the blade in from the edge to cut the first spiral shape. I cut three of these shapes out, moved the blade a little each time to get a random pattern, and I varied the size from 1 1/2" to 2".

I then cut three corresponding spirals from White Daisy cardstock. These were adhered to the petal cardstock. The large 2" spiral I actually used three times since each time I only used a portion of it since it was on the edge/corners.

It's hard to tell from the photo, and you can see it a little better here, but the play between negative and positive cut outs makes for some interesting texture/dimension to the card.

Then I just added a little flag/pennant with sentiment and a little twine. This is the first card I've made that's 'over the edge' and I do like the look of it.

I'm really pleased with the abstract pattern that I was able to create using this shape, and encourage you to take a look at the different shapes on your cartridges and consider out of the box ways to use them too.

CTMH Supplies Used:
Stamps: Pair a Phrase
Paper: Petal, White Daisy, Desert Sand, Topiary
Ink: Topiary
Other: Hemp, Cricut Art Philosphy Cartridge

Saturday, November 5, 2011

No Christmas Stamps? No Problem!

Times are tough these days, budgets are a little tighter, and if you haven't been able to spend as much as you'd like on crafting, you're not alone.

The good news is that even if you haven't been able to go out and pick up those Christmas stamps/papers you wanted to get, you can still make some beautiful, and fun cards.

I wanted to share three cards with you today that were made without any Christmas stamps or paper. (OK, I'll admit that two of them have a Christmas sentiment, but it's from the Say it in Style stamp set which technically isn't a holiday stamp set.)

The first (above) has almost no stamping. For this card, I cut (freehand) a tall triangle (and you can use any scrap of paper you have - even one that's already been stamped on because it's just going to be covered up). Then I took a skinny strip (about 2") of Topiary card stock and tore small (about 1/2" wide) strips off of it. I adhered the strips to the triangle piece, and then trimmed the sides down when I was done. I very lightly ran the edge distresser along the sides as well.

The snow banks/sky were made the same way, just tearing strips from a longer piece of paper. You really don't need a lot of paper for this at all. In fact, the snow drifts are actually the same: the piece I tore off, and the piece I tore it from - just one tear required. I freehand cut some tree trunks, adhered it all to some Holiday Red cardstock, stamped the sentiment, and Voila! This card is one that you could easily do with kids....what kid doesn't like to tear paper?

The next card is one that I made from a Paper Smooches stamp set called Hot Concoctions that I received as blog candy from Simon Says Stamp...thanks Simon! I really wanted to show that you can take something completely non-holiday, and make it work for you! You can stamp a lot of things into a Christmas tree shape!

This one was a little more time intensive because of the paper piecing, but I love how it turned out. The tree trunk is actually the 'huggie' portion of the coffee cup turned upside down. The sentiment inside came with the set and says Warm Wishes...not holiday, but it totally works.

Finally, a wreath. Most larger stamp sets have some darling little stamps that you might not use that much. But take a look at them. They are often abstract enough to use in this manner. All I did was lightly trace a small circle and then randomly stamp the green swirls around it. Then I added the little red flowers throughout.

Both of these little gems came from a retired set I have called Endless Love, but there are dozens of little images that I could have used, and in fact, as you'll see below, I have two other wreaths made up that I haven't yet gotten to. The stamps for the one with the larger images are from Cupcake Sprinkles (the little oval), and Paper Smooches Hot Concoctions (the little leaf). The stamp for the other wreath is from Pair-a-Phrase.

So take a look again at what you have on hand. Chances are you already have some stamps to make unique and affordable cards for the ones you love.

Pssst. If you are able to spend some money on stamps this season, you'll want to consider Close to My Heart. With every $25 you spend in November, you can pick up the Holiday Wishes set for only $5. It's a great stamp set that has four images that coordinate with the Cricut Art Philosphy cartridge. Take a look....

Friday, November 4, 2011

Family Recipe Book - My Creations Display Album

I've got another holiday gift idea for you today.

Close to My Heart sells something called the My Creations Display Album. This is a cute little stand up album with 6x6" page protectors.

You can easily add paper, photos, and embellishments to make this a desktop calendar, or mini album feature family photos, baby's first year, etc.

Here's another idea. How about a mini recipe book? We all want to make the holidays special for the ones we love. I know I've had to ask my mother-in-law for her Swedish Meatball receipe because Christmas Eve wouldn't be Christmas Eve for Andrew without them. Include all those family/traditional recipes. You can print them up on the computer, or handwrite them.

Since there are page protectors, your receipe cards are protected from splatter/flour/ingredients. What a great gift for a newlywed, a soon to be married couple, or for one of those kids who has just moved out. You can also print up some easy measurement equivalents/substitutions and put them in the back - easy reference for when you're flipping through. (I'm seriously considering making one for myself too!)

This is one recipe book that your kids will want a copy of when they leave home!

CTMH Products Used:
Stamps: Friendship Alphabet Large, Friendship Alphabet Small, Pair a Phrase
Ink: Holiday Red, Topiary
Paper: Chocolate, Holiday Red, Topiary, Bamboo, White Daisy, Believe Level 2 Paper Pack
Other: My Creations Display Album

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Second August Layout

Quick post to share the second August layout for Carina's first year book. This one is pretty simple. I did a lot of journaling, but you could easily convert one or more of those spaces into a tag, embellishment, or title.

Once I got the main title in, I thought there was a little too much white, so I cut a circle out of a piece of cardstock and used the cardstock piece as a mask, sponging some creme brulee ink over the 'Little Miss'.

Now on to September, the last month!

CTMH Products Used:
Stamps: Cocktail Alphabet, A Typeface
Ink: Tulip, Creme Brulee
Paper: Creme Brulee, White Daisy