Amazingly my Christmas holidays managed to be a lot more action-packed than I expected. If you follow me on Facebook, you might have noticed that our senior-citizen kitty became ill on Christmas Day. But she's pretty much all recovered, which is a real blessing as we head to the New Year.
And, no, my Christmas cards, though they are all made, are not yet in the mail. I'm really hoping that many of my family and friends celebrate the season until January 6th, which is a tradition in some cultures (add smiley face!)
But I also want to be on time with some Thank You Notes for some really thoughtful gifts I received this holiday. So while I'm sitting finishing up those cards, I can also finish up with the Thank Yous. It also happens that today is the day of the biweekly Stampin' Up! Only Challenge, so I was glad to be able to put the challenge to good use with a Thank You card.
The SUO Challenge this time is to use some of the Project Life by Stampin' Up! (PLxSU) products to make our project. Project Life is a unique way to help people such as I to make our scrapbooks easier and more reflective of our lives as they go on during the year. Because we don't have children at home and are not involved in any big winter holiday celebrations, I did not purchase the holiday version of the PLxSU. I decided to spend most of my creative time during the month making greeting cards.
But now as the new year begins, I will be doing more in the way of putting my scrap albums together, so I have purchased the soon-to-be-available, Let's Get Away Project Life Card Collection, along with the coordinating Project Life Accessory Kit. As neither of these products is available as I publish this, I don't have any links to purchase the products. But as soon as they are available – on January 6th! – I will add them here.
I think the main thing to notice here is that not all PLxSU cards have sayings or are journaling cards. This floral designed card is just that – a floral design. I didn't alter it in any way, except to cut it down to 3" x 4" (from its original 4" square size). The two little flower stickers on the sentiment layer are from the Accessory Pack, as is the little paper clip holding the Melon Mambo Cotton Ribbon in the upper left corner. Of course, these little clips are also available in the Basics Hodgepodge Clips collection of embellishments, which is the annual Stampin' Up! catalog.
To complement the dotted design in the background of the Project Life card, I texturized the Bermuda Bay Cardstock background with the Perfect Polka Dots Embossing Folder.
For the little sentiment layer, I stamped Thank You using the Four You Stamp Set, then die-cut it with one of the Labels Collection Framelits. These die sets are made so that we can mat a smaller shape with a larger shape. For this card, the next size up from the one that I used was just too large for my taste. So I laid the same framelit that I used for the die cut down on my Melon Mambo Cardstock and traced around the outside edge. I cut it out by hand and that made a mat that was just about the right size.
If you've ordered any Project Life by Stampin' Up! products – even if they're a digital version! – be sure to stop by the SUO Challenge blog to get some ideas about how you might use your products in a project. We'd love to have you enter the challenge!
After all those Christmas Cards I've made this year, I decided to check out my Christmas Card mailing list to see if I needed any more. Yikes! What have I been thinking! Just because we live in a lava zone that's been active of late is no excuse for totally not planning for our Christmas Cards!
How many more did I need? Would you believe TWENTY! Again, yikes!
So what I did was to go into a Stampin' Up! demonstrator's swap mode. Swaps are something we do throughout the year as new catalogs and occasions come our way. The idea is that we make 10 or 20 (more?) of the same card and swap them with other demonstrators. The hope is that we'll end up with lots of cards using different papers, embellishments and stamp sets to show off to our customers. Yes, every once in a while there is an "Over the Top Swap," but I can pretty well guarantee that you'll not find me in one of those. Instead, yes, I'll use several Stampin' Up! products, but I'll make cards that are quick and easy to make.
Today's cards took me exactly 55 minutes to make, start to finish.
These cards all use TWELVE Stampin' Up! products, all of which are shown below in the gallery of products I share at the end of most posts these days. So the key to this was to do these in an assembly line fashion that would hopefully allow for the fewest mistakes possible. (Mistakes! Happens with every project I make, and this was no exception, planning aside.)
So here are my steps in order:
- Cut five 8-1/2" x 11" pieces of Whisper White Cardstock into four 4-1/2" x 5-1/2" pieces of cardstock using the Stampin' Trimmer.
- Trim each of the embossed pieces of cardstock to be 4" x 5-1/4" and set them all aside. I feel like I get a cleaner edge if I emboss then trim than the other way around.
- Emboss each of the pieces using the Sizzix Big Shot and the On Point Textured Impressions Embossing Folder. Don't those little triangles look like Christmas Trees to you?!
- Stamp the sentiment, "A Merry Little Wish," from the stamp set, Festival of Trees, using Cherry Cobbler Ink on Pear Pizzazz Cardstock. I spaced them from the edge and from each other to allow them to be punched easily.
- Punch the stamped Pear Pizzazz using the Tree Punch. Set these all aside.
- Fold and crease the cards in one set of Whisper White Cut and Ready Card Bases. OK – this was the BIG time saver with this project. Love those ready made card bases!
At this point I stopped to take of photo of where I was (didn't take long for that, for sure!).
- On the inside of each folded card stamp the sentiment, "For Lots of Joy at Christmas." Note the positioning of this step. This is where I typically make mistakes – smearing the stamped image, stamping it cooked – any number of mistakes! So, if I make a mistake at this point, I can just take the inside of the card and make it the outside, which will be covered by the textured layer. Happened twice today!
- Using Stampin' Up! SNAIL Adhesive, adhere the embossed layer to the front of the card, centering it all around.
- Apply two Stampin' Dimensionals to the back of each tree.
- Apply a tree to the front of each card. If you've trimmed each of the emobssed layers the same way, once you figure out where you want the tree, just place it near the same embossed tree on each card.
- Apply one Cherry Cobbler Candy Dot (from the Regals Candy Dot collection) to the top of each tree.
Done! Now to get them mailed out. They're going to be late this year, as are all our cards. We like to write a Christmas letter about our year, and we're still struggling how to make a hurricane that knocked seven big trees down in our garden and a lava flow that kicked us out of our house sound cheerful. Believe me, we will, as we still both have our sense of humor. But still, it's been more work than we anticipated!
Tomorrow I'm going to show off a couple of the cards that I received from a couple of Stampin' Up! demonstrator friends. Then it's on to Thank You notes! Love writing thank you notes no matter the season or the reason!
Here are all the products I used in today's projects. I usually only include special items that are not those you might usually have around your own craft area. But today I was trying to keep count, so everything is in here!
Just two days until Christmas, but I finally figured out how to present the gift that I bought for my husband. Actually, we both shared a gift by treating ourselves to several days at a local resort on Hawaii's Big Island earlier in the month. Good prices for that early in December, especially for people who live on the island!
But the day after we got back, I was in a local grocery store and saw an ingredient from one of the very first dinners my husband made for me when we began dating well over 30 years ago. I mentioned it to him, and we both reminisced about the very first dinner he made for me, as well as the one with the special ingredient I had seen.
He then wondered what had become of the cookbook he'd bought and used as he was trying to woo me way back when. We've moved three times since then, and somewhere along the way, the cookbook disappeared.
That was the bad news. The good news was that Amazon is a good source for finding old, out-of-print cookbooks. It arrived at my doorstep a few days ago. Woo-hoo!
But I've spent the past several days trying to figure out how to make a special, memorable wrapping. Finally today I realized that the wrapping wasn't going to be what made it special. I was going to make a bookmark, which would stay in the book as long as we have it (I'm hand carring it with whatever move we make this Spring!), and the bookmark would have a loving note on the back.
For the bookmark, I used cardstock from several sheets from the Under the Tree Specialty Designer Series Paper set. I picked one of the Early Espresso sheets because I definitely wanted this to be a masculine bookmark. Then I die cut some snowflakes using the smallest snowflake in the Snowflake Card Thinlits Die. For these I picked out some scraps from some of the Cherry Cobbler and Garden Green sheets. I also used the same Die set to cut the "Joy". It got lost a bit more than the snowflakes when I tried to adhere it to the dark background. So I used the Ticket Duo Builder Punch to create a background for it, again using one of the pieces of cardstock in the Under the Tree Specialty paper set. The bookmark is as long as the cookbook is high.
OK – if you've read this far, then you're interested. The ingredient I saw (and I rarely see it in our stores) was fresh Chicken Livers. The recipe, from Pierre Franey's 60 Minute Gourmet, calls for double-sauteeing the chicken livers, once in butter and the other in peanut oil, then flambeeing them with brandy. There are other ingredients, but those are the main ones. Along with this recipe, the book calls for making an egg noodle dish using butter as well as chopped eggs with some cheese. Hmmm, does sound like something that might raise my cholesterol level about 30 points just reading about it! So you can probably see why it's not on our regular cooking schedule. We may just have to make it one more time once he gets the cookbook in his stocking!
An unfortunate side note to this is that, just this past Thursday, our local grocery store had to go out of business as the lava flow from the Kilauea Volcano is threatening the shopping center where it was located. Now I'll have to go searching for Chicken Livers!
Even though it's late in the season as well as in the publication timespan for the Stampin' Up! Holiday Catalog, I thought you might still be interested in the bookmark ingredients! Especially note that the Ticket Duo Building Punch is on sale as part of the Stampin' Up! Year-End Closeout Sale!
Cards are made and will be mailed this week – many not to reach their destination until a day or two after Christmas. There are a couple I haven't yet shared with you and I still have time for that! But today I just have to show off a couple of products that you'll be able to order after the first of the year as part of the Stampin' Up! 2015 Occasions Catalog. They are just too perfect for using for gifts that I'll take around to some of my neighbors on Christmas Eve.
Is that basket not the CUTEST thing!? It's the new Berry Basket, and it is a dream to make. Sometimes with a new product, there's a bit of a learning curve and people have to share hints about how to deal with a part of the product that doesn't work quite as you'd imagine. This is NOT one of those products. Right out of the box, I ran some of my Under the Tree Specialty Designer Series Paper with this Bigz L Die (a Sizzix designation for the size of the die) and put this baby together. You do have to make two copies of the die, but that's fairly typical of these kinds of three dimensional projects. There are score lines where everything has to be folded, and it's zip-zip-zip and this is done.
To adhere the pieces together, I used Sticky Strip. I use this adhesive any time there might be strain on a project, and this one is going to be handled, especially the handle!
And you might well notice something else that's new here. It's that darling little bow that's made with the soon to come Bow Builder Punch. Wow – a perfect size for so many projects! The punch has three pieces – the bow, the tail, and the little piece that wraps around the middle. As with the Berry Basket, we need to punch twice to get a complete bow. A few glue dots hold this little darling together and adhered to the basket.
What fun this is and I hope you're already planning to buy these fun products when the Occasions Catalog goes "live" on January 6th.
It's going to be a fun New Year with Stampin' Up!
OK, this is just about the last day you can be making Christmas Cards if you have much hope to get them in the mail (well, if you're not in Hawaii, you may have another day or two?). So I'm trying to figure out how to get some quick cards made because I do not have nearly enough to send to people to whom I like to send handmade cards.
Last week I had the opportunity to work with some friends who are fairly new to stamping. In fact, one of those friends has some physical limitations that also places some limitations on what she can do with stamps and papers. So I did a quick design that would help her – and the others – get some last minute cards done without any stress related to lining up layers and stamped images.
So what I did for this session with my friends was simply to cut some Designer Series Papers into 3" x 4" rectangles that they could just layer on a card base and onto worry if they lined up with anything else. Then I worked with them to stamp a simple sentiment image onto cardstock and then either punch it out or use a Sizzix Framelit to cut the sentiment out.
The cards that I've included in this picture are those that I made for my samples – darned if I didn't forget to take pictures of their projects before they left!!! – bad demonstrator!!!!
Besides showing off how to use two sheets of Designer Series Paper on these cards, I also demonstrated how to use sponges to accent the edge of layers and cards. The final touch was to add some Rhinestones to the projects to make a nice accent.
For this card, I used two sheets of paper from the Santa & Co. Designer Series Paper set. This is not my favorite paper set this holiday season, but it does have some nice qualities – shown here! I sponged around the edge of the card base and the edge of the sentiment layer using Marina Mist Classic Ink. I stamped the "merry Christmas" sentiment in Marina Mist Classic Ink and two stamps from the Endless Wishes Photopolymer Stamp Set. Nice how you can place several of these stamps on one acrylic block! I also added a snowflake from the same stamp set. I die cut this using the Sizzix Deco Labels Framelits and then added some Rhinestone Basic Jewels to add some sparkle!
For this project, I used the same layout, but different papers. The papers here are from the All Is Calm Specialty Designer Series Paper set. Same layout, same stamp set, same Framelit, same Rihinestones. But a bit of a different look!
And for my final project for this set of cards, I made something a bit different. It's the same layout, using some of the Santa and Co. Designer Series Paper sheets. But instead of a Sizzix Label sentiment, I used the new Tree Punch to punch the "merry." Then I double-punched two more trees with the same punch to make them a bit smaller. To do this, first stamp a full tree. Then insert the tree back into the punch, not all the way, and punch again. Makes smaller trees and that's a lot of fun with one Stampin' Up! tool!
While I know it's a bit late for ordering more products for this year's Christmas Cards and other projects, definitely think Christmas 2015 for products you might want to use next year! Most of what you see this year won't be available next year.
Here are the products I featured in this blog post. Just click on one of the pictures to find out more about the products – and you can even order it while you're there on my Stampin' Up! website. In fact, these products are available until early January. So you still have some time to order!
While I've spent much of the month of December 2014 using my own 2010 Card Layouts, I've been watching what other Stampin' Up! Demonstrators have been doing with their own new projects. The project that Cindee Wilkinson showed off yesterday in her blog post just grabbed my attention and that was it for the day!
What Cindee did was to use the pine cone in the Stampin' Up! Ornamental Pine Stamp Set (from the Stampin' Up! 2014 Holiday Catalog) to create a wreath. Cindee got this idea from a Pinterest post, but I got it from Cindee, so I'm calling her out as my inspiration!
Cindee's project used colors other than green to make her wreath, but as this is a CASE (Copy And Share with Everyone), I could use whatever colors I wanted. No rules in CASEs, except that it's polite to reference the originator. Thanks, Cindee!
For my project, I punched a circle with the Stampin' Up! 1-1/4" Circle Punch using a sticky note for the punched circle making sure that the sticky part of the sticky note was included in the punch. I placed this just above the middle of the 5-1/8" x 3-7/8" piece of Whisper White Cardstock that I was using for my top layer for this card. Then I stamped 5 of the pine cones from the stamp set around the circle using Pear Pizzazz Classic Ink. I finished the wreath by stamping between the Pear Pizzazz pine cones with pine cones using Old Olive Classic Ink.
After I removed the sticky note circle, revealing the center of the wreath, I added some Real Red Candy Dots from the Brights Candy Dots Collection to make holly berries (OK, I know this isn't a holly wreath – but give me some artistic license, huh?!).
I finished this up with a bow I made using the Real Red 3/8" Satin Ribbon (also from the Holiday Catalog), and attached it to the top of the wreath using Glue Dots.
The greeting at the bottom of the card is also from the Ornamental Pine Stamp Set, and I stamped it using Real Red Classic Ink.
I matted the stamped layer with some Real Red and Old Olive Cardstock before adhering it to a Whisper White Cardstock base.
What a fun project! It's down to the wire Christmas Card-wise, so I get my ideas where I can! Thanks, again, for the inspiration, Cindee!
Here are the Stampin' Up! products I used in this project. While it may be a little late for you to order them for this year's Christmas cards, they're still going to be available for another two weeks. Think Christmas 2015!!
Have fun with the last week before Christmas!
Every year I make at least one holidy card with a Hanukkah theme, and it's especially for my friend, Janet, whom I usually only get to see once a year. This year I didn't get to travel to see her at all, so I wanted an especially nice card, and not a simple A2-sized card with a Jewish image. So, when I saw a card shaped like a 6-pointed star not too long ago, I was thrilled! And so off I went to try to make one for this special card!
What a fun fold this was to do! There are plenty of videos on YouTube about how to cut and fold this card, and I don't have enough time right now to make my own tutorial. So what I've decided to so is just give you some hints that made my life with this card a little easier as I followed some of the YouTube instructions.
1. You can make this card with ANY sized equilateral triangle (a triangle with all three sides the same length). Click here for a website that shows how to make one out of a square. Trace this onto your Designer Series Paper and then cut the DSP.
2. Once you have your triangle of paper, mark the center of each of the three sides with a small pencil mark (it will likely not show once you get everything folded).
3. Fold each point to the mark on the edge opposite it.
4. With all three folds in place, take the fold that's lying on top and gently pull it back towards the outside of the folded triangle as if you are going to fold it again (and you are!) until it gets to the place where the other two layers meet. Then crease this new fold. You've constructed the first single layer star point.
5. Bring one of the remaining two layers to the front and repeat the above fold. Repeat with the third layer.
6. There you have your star!
It's especially fun if you fold two layers and then tuck the third layer in so that it's on top of one of the other layers and under the last layer.
Now for the Stampin' Up! Products that I used for this card. First, the paper is from the All Is Calm Designer Series Paper set. My paper was 9-5/8" + on each side. I made good use of the scraps with which I ended up after making my star by punching some smaller triangles with the Stampin' Up! Large Triangle Punch, and adhered them to each of the points of the folded star.
For the design in the center of the card, I turned to Stampin' Up!'s My Digital Studio, using one of the images from the Jewish Holiday Sayings Digital Stamp Brush Set and resized it to fit the center of the card. I then made a background for this image using the Hexagon Punch Digital Download. That made it easy for me to hand-cut the shape after I'd printed it out on some Whisper White Cardstock. Once I'd done that, I adhered the shape to a piece of Silver Foil Sheet and trimmed the Silver Foil so that it shows just a bit as a mat around the printed hexagon.
Finally, for the front of the card at least, I added an embellishment on the front, made up of one of the All Is Calm Snowflake Embellishments and a bow made with the Silver 1/8" Ribbon.
Now for the inside:
I was tempted to go a bit overboard on decorating the inside of the card. But instead, I just found another image in the Jewish Sayings Stamp Brush Set and printed it on a triangle that I constructed using the digital triangle punch in My Digital Studio. I colored the Happy Hanukkah greeting with the digital Pear Pizzazz color. And of course this is the layer on which I will sign our personal greetings to Janet.
Wow, this was quick and dirty, huh? I hope I'll have a chance to write a proper tutorial before the next big Star holiday – Fourth of July? If I do write this tutorial, it will be in my newsletter, which is where I publish any tutorial that I write these days.
Here are the major products that I used for this project. If you end up making this project, I'd love to see what you make, and I can even share it here on my blog if you'd like!
Happy Hanukkah to all my Jewish online friends!
For the last several years, every time I walk into a decorated room, I look around and wonder if any of the decorations would make a good greeting card design. This Christmas season has been no exception. I've got some photographs and maybe I'll be working with them before long. But at one dinner party, I could not get out of my mind the design on the paper napkins given to us with our drinks! Somehow in the mess of our move away from the lava in our home of Pahoa, Hawaii, I've managed to mislay just too many things. Most of them I figure I'll find eventually. But the Star Framelits Set was one that couldn't wait. I know they're around here somewhere, but I wanted to make that napkin design – and it would be perfect for a Christmas card!
Not only was it perfect, the sentiment that I found to use in this card is from a Stamp Set that features stars as its main design! The sentiment is one of several in the Bright and Beautiful Stamp Set!
The colors in this card are just two (well, not counting the Whisper White Cardstock card base): Garden Green and Crushed Curry. If you look carefully at the Crushed Curry papers, you'll find that they're from the Color Me Autumn Designer Series Paper Set. Back as my Autumn projects were coming to an end for this year, I looked carefully at the papers to try to keep in mind those that might work in Christmas and other holiday projects this year. Sure enough, that Crushed Curry paper was perfect for this project!
With a sentiment that uses "bright" and "shines," i definitely needed to use some sparkle in this card. For starters, I used five of the small Rhinestone Basic Jewels to scatter on the card. For a final sparkly touch, I added one of the All Is Calm Snowflake Embellishments to the middle of the star. This embellishment has one of the points that's longer that the others so that we can use some string to hang is. I clipped that off before I adhered it to the star using Glue Dots.
This is almost exactly what that napkin looked like. I know it's around here somewhere – probably with my first set of Star Famelits! But I have a good handle on the rest of the products I featured in this project and here they are. Just click on one of the pictures to find out more about the product – and even purchase one or two of them in my Stampin' Up! store while you're there!
Have fun with whatever you're doing this last week before Christmas!
Once again I've taken a bit of a step away from using the designs from my 2010 Greeting Card Layouts eBook to make a Christmas Card. For one thing, those layouts from 2010, while they have all the measurements that I need and are fairly quick to make, are just not quick enough when one looks at today's date!
So off I go to find things that are quicker – and Stampin' Up! has provided for that delightfully.
So today I cut a bunch of these cards and I'm much closer to having all the cards I need for this year's Christmas mailing!
When I say, "cut," that's exactly what I mean. The Stampin' Up! Snowflake Card Thinlits Dies cut this card so that it's ready to send out just as is with that delightful snowflake cut out of both the front and back of the card, with a bit of the card folded in between.
Of course, I had to embellish the basic card a bit, and here's what I did:
- Cut just the back part of the card out of a piece of the snowflake design from the Santa & Co. Designer Series Paper (DSP) set. I have faithfully avoided the quirky snowpeople on the bottom of this sheet of paper; but there's still plenty of the snowflake design left with which to work.
- Cut a snowflake out of Marina Mist Cardstock using one of the dies in the thinlit set.
- Stamped some snowflakes from the Endless Wishes Stamp Set on the front of the card, which I'd left blank – the DSP was just on the back inside of the card.
- Cut a small snowflake from the thinlit set out of Whisper White Cardstock and added that to the DSP sheet on the back inside.
- Added a greeting using Marina Mist Classic Ink with stamps from the Endless Wishes Stamp Set.
- Finally applied a few Rhinestone Basic Jewels to the center of most of the snowflakes – different sizes for different flakes – and sponged the edges of the front part of the card with Marina Mist Classic Ink.!
Definitely quick and such a fun look for a Christmas card!
Here are the products I used to make this project. Click on a picture to find out more about the project – and take the time to purchase any of them that you really like while you're right there in my Stampin' Up! store!
Yes, even during the main part of the holiday season, those of us on the Stampin' Up! Only Challenge (SUOC) Design Team are hard at work coming up with projects to help you with your own projects. Our hope is that you will be inspired by one or more of our Design Team projects to get involved with your own project.
The challenge this week is to make a card or other papercrafted project that conveys the idea of Merry or Happy. After all, no matter what holiday you celebrate during this time of the year, "Merry" or "Happy" often comes into your greetings of the season.
My project today is, once again, a card that uses one of the layouts from my 2010 Greeting Card Layout eBook. This eBook is no longer for sale. But I've been trying to make the point that, when you're under the gun to get a bunch of cards made on deadline (yes, the postal services in our various countries do create deadlines for us!), going to a book of card layouts can really help keep you on track!
Back in 2010, my layouts were fairly simple and involved, for the most part, squares and rectangles cut to different sizes and layered up with mats and overlapping designs and such. I was so happy to have this layout to use this season as I could bring in designer series papers (DSPs) as well as new stamps and punches that Stampin' Up! brought us in the 2014 Holiday Catalog.
The paper that I used in this card is from the Nordic Noel Designer Series Paper set. I love the red (Real Red) and green (Garden Green) used in this paper, as those are such traditional Christmas colors. But the Soft Sky in the snowflake sheet and also in the ornament sheet, added a nice touch that softens the red/green combination.
For the central element in this card, I stamped an image from the Festival of Trees Stamp Set and then punched it out with the Tree Punch that is new in this catalog. To make the punched tree stand out just a bit, I adhered it to the Real Red Cardstock layer using Stampin' Dimensionals. Note that I did not adhere the tree until after I'd put all the various layers and their mats together so that I could include the ribbon/bow behind it.
The sentiment on this card – Merry & Brght – is actually two stamps from the Endless Wishes Photopolymer Stamp Set. I stamped each stamp separately, which is so easy to do with the Photopolymer stamps which you can see right through!
To put the card together, I adhered all the layers, with the top rightmost layer adhered with Stampin' Dimensionals, and then I tied a piece of the Real Red 1/8" Taffeta Ribbon around all those layers, finishing with a little bow. Then I adhered the stamped and punched tree on top of it all, again using Stampin' Dimensionals. Once the card was all done and photographed, I realized it needed just a bit more. So out came the Rhinestone Basic Jewels, and I added one to the top of the tree. Perfect!
What fun it was to put this card together, especially as I had the layout measurements all done for me ahead of time! And I was so happy to have this kind of project to use as my Design Team entry in the SUO Challenge this time!
Here are some pictures of the Stampin' Up! products that I used for this project. Just click on a picture to learn more about the product – and even buy it right then and there on my Stampin' Up! website!