Today is the day for the biweekly Stampin' Up! Only Challenge at SUO Challenges.com. The theme for this challenge is to make something for Christmas that is "non-traditional." So a card with red and green Christmas ornaments was probably not the way to go. Great for me because, even though I've not yet made as many Christmas cards as I had done this time last year, I'm still becoming a bit weary of Cherry Cobbler and Old Olive! Coincidentally, the online Stampin' Up! Demonstrators group, Late Night Stampers, also has a challenge to make a card with anything but red or green. I'm not the only one tired of the color combo!
When I was a child, one of our traditions was to make Gingerbread Cookies and ice them to hang on our Christmas Tree. I don't think they were edible with the special recipe we used. And maybe we even used paint instead of icing – which may be why they lasted for the trip from the kitchen into the living room!
So a Gingerbread Cookie was the first thing that came to my mind. It didn't take too long for me to figure out that the Festive Flurry Stamp Set and the Festive Flurry Framelits Dies would be perfect for this. So I stamped the third largest Snowflake using Versamark on Chocolate Chip Cardstock, embossed it with White Stampin' Emboss Powder, and die cut it with the matching Framelit. I wanted it really to look like a cookie, and I couldn't make it look just like I wanted simply by using Stampin' Dimensionals. I found some lightweight cardboard and punched 4 of the snowflakes out with the framelit. I had to do each individually because the framelits are not that deep and cut only one layer at a time something this thick.
Once I had them all cut, I glued all of the cardboard pieces together and then used my Chocolate Chip Stampin' Write Marker to color the edges of the "cookie." Finally, I glued the stamped and embossed layer to the cardboard layers. Now I really had a cookie!
With Chocolate Chip as my first "non-traditional" color for this card, I needed something else. A Crumb Cake background nicely accented the darker brown of the cookie. But I still wanted something other than the neutral colors AND I wanted a color that had some matching ribbon that would go well with this card. Primrose Petals fit the bill nicely, with it's pretty Stitched Satin Ribbon.
Now about the sentiment layer. The five lines that I used for this card are the last lines of one of the stamps in the More Merry Messages Stamp Set. That set is not in the current catalog, but it's still available to purchase if you'd like. If you'd like to check out all the other fun stamps in this set, just click here.
To make the small Primrose Petals mat, I first cut the Whisper White Cardstock stamped image using the smallest of the Labels Collection Framelits. Then I traced the negative image onto a piece of Primrose Petals Cardstock and hand-cut the shape just outside of the line that I'd drawn. I flipped the cardstock over and that became the mat.
The final set of pieces in this card are the three little ornaments "hanging" from the same ribbon as the cookie shape. I punched these with the ornament shape from the Merry Minis Punch Pack, another product that's not in the current catalog, but is still available for purchase.
Do you have some ideas for a "non-traditional" Christmas project? If so, be sure to enter it in the SUO Challenge!
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Just after I posted about the Diagonal Double Pocket Card earlier in the week, I decided to make a few more to see just how quick and easy it was to make them. Today's card is one that I made in just 10 minutes!
The first thing that made this so easy was that I'd just finished a couple of the folds such as the one on the front of this card. So I didn't have to review my instructions (see, practice makes perfect – or somewhat close to it!). The second thing was that I did not have to pull out a sheet of Cherry Cobbler Cardstock to cut into a card shape because I used one of Stampin' Up!'s new precut and prescored card bases – just in time for the Christmas rush! Cutting the piece of Old Olive Cardstock was pretty easy, too, as I always seem to have some 4-1/4" x 5-1/2" rectangles in all of my color files – just needed to trim it up a bit. The only part that took a bit of time was stamping and cutting the greeting and the mat behind it. But even that wasn't too bad.
Oh, and the ornaments that I put into the two pockets of this card – simple, simple, simple with the Holiday Ornaments Framelits. I didn't add any texturizing – just cut 4 of the ornaments and sandwiched in a couple of strips of Old Olive 1/8" Taffeta Ribbon. I did stamp the ornament centers – using Old Olive Classic Ink – and then cut them with another shape from the Holiday Ornaments Framelits. OK – it made it extra easy that I had those all out on my work table from another recent project. So perhaps if you're better than I am at putting things away when you're finished with them, it might have taken you a bit longer to go fetch the framelits and stamps!
The whole card project is a 4-1/4" x 5-1/2" A2 sized card, so you don't even have to make an envelope – you've probably got a bunch of those standard sized envelopes in your stash.
And as for the pattern for this project – I have a new tutorial that just went out in my newsletter this week, along with the measurements for this card and two others. All you have to do is to sign up for my newsletter – the tutorial is free! So just look up towards the left of this page, find the sign up form, and click, "Submit." I'll be resending my newsletter on Tuesday to those who have signed up since I sent it out last Wednesday. The next re-send will be on the following Tuesday. So don't wait!
Now off to make my project for the next Stampin' Up! Only Challenge – one more thing that's coming up on Tuesday!
I just love CASE (Copy And Share with Everyone!) challenges. For one thing, the basic idea for the card is right there so I don't have to do too much thinking – just deciding what I'd like to do differently.
Today's CASE challenge was almost a perfect card to CASE – perfect in the sense that it took me only 10 minutes to make!!!
The first thing that made this so quick is that I used one of Stampin' Up!'s pre-cut card bases. This one is Cherry Cobbler. To make the chevron design on the left of the card, I used the Chevron Punch. I had to punch several times to get the whole side of the card punched. Oh, and I had to punch from the inside of the card in order to get those chevrons pointed down, which I really liked in the original card.
Next was to cut a strip of paper to go along the bottom of the card. The original used a piece from the Season of Style Designer Series Paper, and so did I. The original didn't use this particular design from the paper set, but I thought the chevron design was a perfect complement to the punched chevrons.
Finally, I stamped the Christmas stamp from the Tags 4 You stamp set twice – once using Old Olive Ink (yuck, the original was Summer Starfruit – where did that come from??) and the other using Cherry Cobbler Ink. I punched the Old Olive image with the Label Bracket Punch and then cut around the words "Holly Jolly" to make a rectangle which I glued to the Old Olive image. Add a few Stampin' Dimensionals to adhere the stamped element to the card, tie a piece of White Baker's Twine to one of the punched chevrons and, voilà – done!
Ten minutes! And that includes cleaning my stamp and putting things away as I went! A fun card to start my day!
One of my friends here in Hawaii had a significant birthday this weekend, and of course I had to make her a special one-of-a-kind card. It didn't take me long to decide that, as she is a retired English Professor, I should give her a design that featured at least one bookmark.
In looking around at various designs, I decided to make a Double Pocket Card with a bookmark in each pocket.
It's very refreshing this time of the year to have an excuse to get away from the holiday papers and stamp sets! So I went just about as far away as I could and picked the Gingham Garden Designer Series Paper set for my papers and Apothecary Art for my Stamp Set. And away I went!
Up until this year, I felt trapped into one of two versions of the Double Pocket Card because of the envelopes that were available to me in which I could send such cards. But now that we have the Envelope Punch Board, I can make an envelope to fit just about any mailable size of greeting card. With the size I made, I could fit in two bookmarks so that both could easily be seen, and so that both are a nice height for a bookmark. And then I can actually mount the Double Pocket Card onto a larger size greeting card so that I have a place for a hand-written (or even stamped) sentiment inside.
The Double Pocket part of this whole project is made from a 12" x 8" piece of Designer Series Paper, folded to make a 6" high x 4" wide set of pockets. I mounted it onto a 6-1/4" h x 4-1/4" w piece of Daffodil Delight Card Stock which I cut out using the Small Scallop Rotary Blade on my Stampin' Trimmer set with the Rotary Arm. Now that I've tried out that Rotary arm on the Stampin' Trimmer, I've ordered a second Trimmer for my craft room so I can keep the rotary blades on one and the regular trimmer on the other.
But enough of that and more about the card. The card base is a card made of a piece of Melon Mambo Card Stock cut 6-1/2" x 9", folded to make a 6-1/2" h x 4-1/2" w greeting card, folded on the left side. For the stamped pieces – the stamps from the Flower Shop Stamp Set and Apothecary Art – I used Island Indigo, Melon Mambo, and Daffodil Delight Classic Ink. I cut the large image on the front with one of the framelits from the Labels Collection Framelits, and then trimmed the stamped area down to just outside the stamped border. I cut some Daffodil Delight Card Stock using the same framelit, and that provided a lovely mat for the stamped piece. I used one other color a bit – Pear Pizzazz for the leaves in the stamped flower arrangements.
I punched the two flowers on the top of the 1-1/2" x 5-1/4" bookmarks with the Pansy Punch, and added a small element in the center of each flower punched with the Boho Blossoms Punch, and added in some Candy Dots to complement the three that I put on the main stamped image.
Now for the Double Pocket Card fold itself. I've written a brand new tutorial for this, with brand new photographs using products from the 2013 Stampin' Up! Holiday Catalog, and I'll be including it in my next newsletter which will be published Tuesday evening my time (for most of you, it will be Wednesday morning). So sign up now and you'll be among the first to get this new Tutorial! I'm sure you'll have fun with it!
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As I mentioned in my last blog post, I don't have much opportunity to see snow on Hawaii's Big Island. For sure I don't get to see it coming down in my front garden to cover the Norfolk Island Pines growing there! So I love the opportunity at this time of the year to feature snow in my greeting cards – that will likely be sent to someone on the U. S. Mainland who is more used to it!
I was quite pleased – after just having done one card featuring snow – to have the opportunity to make another one for a challenge!
Today's design is for the biweekly SUO Challenges Blog, where the theme is, "Let It Snow." We were to use anything that Stampin' Up! has designed that has to do with snow. For my card, I chose one of the Stampin' Up! 2013 Holiday Catalog Hostess Sets, Warmth and Wonder. You know I love Two-Step Stampin' – so having a separate stamp for ornaments on that little tree was a bonus for me. Actually, the first time I looked at this stamp set in trying to decide on what to use for this challenge, I skipped right on by because "tree" does not equal "snow" in my mind. But when I skimmed through my stamp sets a second time, I saw that darling little snowflake and decided that was just the size I wanted. But nothing else in the set seemed to follow along with the snow theme – until I realized that the tree did NOT have to be green. It could be all snow covered – and so that's what it became!
Both the tree and the ornaments (as well as the snowflakes) are heat embossed on Midnight Muse Cardstock. I first stamped the tree and snowflakes with Versamark and then sprinkled on White Stampin' Emboss Powder. After I heat embossed those, I stamped the ornament stamp over the tree (using my Stamp-a-ma-jig stamp aligner), again with Versamark. This time, I sprinkled on Cherry Cobbler Stampin' Emboss Powder. I wasn't sure that was going to work well, so I was pleasantly surprised that it worked JUST as I wanted it to.
Originally I was just going to have a matted layer over the bottom of the card with a greeting on the top layer. But I decided I really wanted a bow (imagine that – my wanting a bow!). Once I chose the Cherry Cobbler Seam Binding Ribbon for my bow, I really needed a small-ish greeting – and the Merry Christmas from the Teeny Tiny Wishes Stamp Set was the perfect one!
Speaking of Teeny Tiny Wishes – I have a Teeny Tiny Technique to share with you. But I wouldn't be at all surprised if you haven't been doing this all along. From the time that the Word Wndow Punch made it into the Stampin' Up! Catalog, I've been stamping my greeting (from Teeny Tiny Wishes mostly) and then punching the greeting out, carefully centering the punch over the greeting. Fine. No change there. Then the Modern Label Punch arrived – and what a Wow background mat for the Word Window Punch! So I've been doing the stamp/punch bit with the Word Window Punch, then punching out my Modern Label Punch mat, and gluing the first onto the second – and many times the stamped layer is not as nicely centered as I'd like it to be. Today I had the "duh" moment when I was standing there with my Merry Christmas all stamped and punched, looking at the card stock scrap I was going to use to punch the Modern Label, when I said, "Duh! Glue the Word Window to the scrap and THEN punch the mat." It's such a simple idea that I imagine the whole world has been doing this all along. If you haven't, you can rest assured that you are not alone.
So now that I have that out of the way, I'm going to be having a LOT more fun with my layering punches! Meanwhile, don't forget about the SUO Challenges "Let It Snow" Challenge. And for sure go check out the projects that the rest of the design team made, too!
I LOVE snowmen stamps (and snow women stamps, too!). Today's snow person seems to be of the snowman variety, and I think he's just cute as can be!
Stampin' Up! has had several stamp sets that have allowed us to create and decorate our very own snowmen so that each one is different – as are real-life snowmen. It's a good thing that I have these stamps to use because I don't get much opportunity to build the real thing in the Hawaii rainforest! I do occasionally see snow on the top of the mountains here on Hawaii's Big Island. But that's as close as I get!
This year's snowman builder stamp set is called Snow Day, with its big stamp including all three big snowballs that have been piled up to make this cute guy. I've seen him stamped in many colors on both light and dark paper, and he always looks different – and fun! For my card today, I used the colors that are in this week's Create with Connie and Mary Winter Collection Color Challenge – Pool Party, Coastal Cabana and Smoky Slate. I really wanted to see what the snowman looked like stamped on the Pool Party, thinking that I might change to one of the other colors of cardstock if I didn't like it. But once I stamped AND embossed the image, I was hooked on the Pool Party.
To make the image show up nicely on the Pool Party cardstock, I first stamped it using Whisper White Craft Ink. Then I embossed it using a mixture of White and Iridescent Ice Embossing Powder. The Iridescent Ice makes the snow sparkle a bit just like real snow does on a sunny day! For his face, arms and buttons, I used Jet Black StazOn Ink and stamped directly onto the embossing image. (I'm still debating about whether to include a "carrot" nose – I really do like the colors the way they are!).
There is a stamp that looks like a scart in the stamp set. But I thought I'd try a little piece of the Smoky Slate 3/4" Chevron Ribbon. By little I mean that I snipped a narrow strip along the length of the ribbon. Then I tied a knot to make it look like a scarf, and stamped the hat image using Smoky Slate Classic Ink on some Whisper White Cardstock.
To create the sense of the snowman standing out on a hill, I cut the Pool Party cardstock in a wavy shape from the left and right edges of the Pool Party up to the edges of the stamped image. I then traced the lines onto some Coastal Cabana Card Stock and cut that before placing it up against the cut edge of the Pool Party layer, with some of the Coastal Cabana hiding behind the stamped image. Then I used a Blender Pen with some Whisper White Craft Ink to draw along the cut lines and embossed that with the White/Iridescent Ice blend.
For the layers I found that the little strip of Whisper White Cardstock around the stamped image really set the Pool Party/Coastal Cabana layer off from the Smoky Slate Layer. And of course I really liked the idea of stamping the Snowflake from the stamp set all along the edges of the Smoky Slate cardstock layer. I embossed those snowflakes with the White/Iridescent Ice blend, too!
For the last little bit of stamping, I stamped a few snowflakes on the Pool Party layer. But rather than making them as bright as the rest of the card I simply stamped them with the Whisper White Craft Ink and embossed them with Clear Stampin' Emboss Powder. They still show up, but are as muted as a falling snowflake usually is!
These three layers are all mounted on a base of Coastal Cabana Cardstock, cut into a 4-1/4" x 11" piece that's folded to make a 4-1/4" wide by 5-1/2" high card, folded at the top.
I had so much fun with this challenge (and, yes, it was a color challenge! Maybe I'm getting more used to them?). You are invited to participate in this challenge, too! It's not just limited to those who have purchased the subscription to the Create with Connie and Mary Winter Collection. But now that I've seen all the projects in the collection, I can tell you that you should definitely think about purchasing it! You'll have lots and lots of ideas to take you right through all the holidays from now until the end of the year! You'll definitely have fun with it!
I have some friends with whom I like to get together occasionally for coffee. As of last month, we finally have a new bakery/coffee shop right nearby where it's a joy to meet. For those of you who live in cities, you cannot possibly imagine what this shop is like. It's been set up in an old metal building that used to be a car repair and tire sales shop. Yes, the floor is concrete, and the furniture is a collection of odd tables and chairs and whatnot. It's a hoot – and the baked goods are to die for! The Tin Shack Bakery in Pahoa, Hawaii, is a fabulous place for a fun time with a friend and some coffee.
I finally broke down and bought the Stampin' Up! Stamp Set, Perfect Blend when I thought of sending a card to one of my friends suggesting a date for coffee. What a change from phone calls and e-mails! I know it will bring a smile to her face!
The layout for this card is a CASE of a CASE! The magazine that we Stampin' Up! demonstrators get from Stampin' Up! often has articles about how to copy some of the basic features of another card while still making it our own unique creation. This month's magazine showed how someone at Stampin' Up! CASEd another card. And then I CASEd the second card. I changed out the colors, the stamps, the ribbon and embellishments. But there's no doubt that I got the idea from that other card!
My colors for this card are Cherry Cobbler and Old Olive. The printed papers are both from the Designer Series Paper Set, Season of Style from the Stamin' Up! 2013 Holiday Catalog. For the layer with the notched bottom, I sponged Cherry Cobbler Ink onto a piece of Whisper White Cardstock.
The Coffee Cup Stamp is made up only of the outline. To make this stamped image, I stamped the cup twice – once on some Whisper White Cardstock and once on the small polka dot design from the Season of Style paper set. The first thing I did was stamp the saying onto the center section of the cup, using my Stamp-a-ma-jig stamp aligner. Then I cut out the whole cup from the printed paper, and only the lid and center section from the Whisper White cardstock and glued it to the printed paper copy of the cup. What really makes this an easy job is that there are all those sketch lines along the edges of the cup and its parts. So I could place the two white pieces almost perfectly. Even if I wasn't perfect (and I wasn't!) you'd hardly notice!
The original design had nothing in the way of an embellishment on the bottom part of the card. Sometimes I like uncluttered spaces. But this time I thought something was called for, if only for a subtle accent. I chose one of the Needlepoint Border Embossing Folder designs, and it took care of that blank space nicely!
So now to mail off the card and look forward to some fun conversation with my friend some morning soon – at the Tin Shack Bakery, of course!
Has it been 5 days since I last posted here? Oh, my! But I've been very busy with two big projects I was designing for others. One project was for a class that I presented to a local group, and they loved it (at least that's what I heard)! It's based on a Crazy Quilt idea I presented here a few weeks ago. I'll be sharing the tutorial with those who are signed up for my newsletter – and my November newsletter will be coming out soon! The other project was for the Create with Connie and Mary 2013 Winter Collection, and only those subscribed to this collection will be able to get the tutorial. It's not too late to subscribe! I've loved all the projects so far and they'll all be fabulous for Christmas, which is still six and a half weeks away – plenty of time to do those projects!
But now I'm back to my regular fun crafting, and I did two projects yesterday, one of which I'm sharing with you today.
I loved this poinsettia stamp from the Stampin' Up! Stamp Set, Joyful Christmas, since I first saw it. Of course I ordered it back when I could first order from the Stampin' Up! 2013 Holiday Catalog – and I've never used it until today! Now that's sad. But now it's in use and I'm sure I'll be doing a lot more with it.
Another Stampin' Up! product that I haven't used is the Gold Foil, which is in the same catalog as the stamp set. Once I had those out, the idea to emboss the poinsettia was not far behind. Actually, I've had that idea all along – I first saw this embossed in Gold on page 10 of the Holiday Catalog and I've seen lots of gorgeous poinsettia projects done in gold since.
I did my poinsettia a bit differently than the project in the catalog. For that project, the artist stamped and embossed the flower on Cherry Cobbler cardstock. I stamped and embossed mine on Whisper White Cardstock and then colored it in with a Real Red Stampin' Write Marker. But if you look closely you'll see that I didn't color in the whole flower in red. I have poinsettias in my garden and I can see through the flowers where their stems attach to the base branch. So I colored the very center spaces with an Old Olive Stampin' Write Marker. Then, when I adhered the flower to the Old Olive Cardstock, there is the impression of seeing through the flower stems!
I colored the "berries" in the center of the flower using a Crushed Curry Stampin' Write Marker. Then for a bit more definition, I added several Crushed Curry Candy Dots. I love that I don't have to use full brads any more to get the texture of these little circles!
Of course, the Petals-a-Plenty Embossing Folder is perfect for this project as the flowers in that folder are little poinsettias!
I cut both the Old Olive Cardstock and the Gold Foil with dies from the Deco Labels Framelits collection. The poinsettia I cut by hand (I'm getting better and better at that with practice!).
The Gold Foil is very light and, at least in the humidity of the Hawaiian Rain Forest (where I live) curls up almost as soon as it's out of its package. So I adhered that layer with SNAIL Adhesive all around the edge, not just in spots as I do with some layers. I adhered the Old Olive cardstock to the foil with some strips of Sticky Strip Adhesive as I've had a bit of difficulty getting SNAIL to adhere to the foil for any length of time. I added the poinsettia to the card with Stampin' Dimensionals, and adhered the whole design to card made with Real Red Cardstock.
And that's my first project for the weekend! Today's another busy day with lots of Sunday activities, but I'm sure I'll be getting another project done before the day is over, and I'll share that with you later in the week, too!
It's going to be so much fun just working on my own projects with no deadlines for awhile!