Easy Last-Minute Gifts!

Aloha, all!

     You might have noticed the absence of the word, "quick," in the title of this blog post. Depending on how many note cards you want to make for a gift this could be "Quick and Easy." Either way, this is an easy gift to make.

     Note cards do not have to have lots of layers and embellishments. When I make them for gifts, I assume that the person using the cards may wish to write on both sides of the inside of the card – and maybe even on the back. I do this when I write notes, and I do NOT like it when there are lots of bumps to write over when I'm writing inside the front of the card. So – NO embellishments, and little in the way of layers. Here are the two last-minute gifts I made – note card sets. Both took a while to make as I used the Sizzix Big Shot with both designs. But other than that the card was easy.

box-of-cards

     This set took the longest to make of the two. Each card required running plates through the Big Shot 5 times, and that is definitely time-consuming. Most of the set was made with Stampin' Up! products, though the Designer Series Paper that I used retired last year. It's got tropical garden designs in it and, as I live in a tropical garden, I stocked up on plenty of it when it was on the Clearance Rack.

     You can see that the design is simple – two layered squares on a coordinating background, all covering a Whisper White Thick Cardstock card base. The two colors of cardstock that I used with this set were Old Olive and Cajun Craze. Four of the cards look like the one on the front of the box, and four had a Cajun Craze background with another Designer Series Paper design masked with Old Olive cardstock. Each of the eight envelopes has a flower stamped on it, with the flower from the still current Botanical Blooms Stamp Set.

andinotecards

     This set is also a set of eight cards, but it was a lot quicker to make. I stamped the Hedgehog image from the Love You Lots Host/Hostess Stamp Set. The cards are for my daughter-in-law who just this fall was gifted a hedgehog for a pet. I've only seen photos of her so far, but she is just as cute as can be! What's struck me about her photos is that she looks blue! She's probably actually more of a silver color. But I thought it would be cute to stamp these little gals in Dapper Denim, which is kind of on the gray end of blue, especially when it's stamped on Very Vanilla Cardstock.

     This card required only two passes through the Sizzix Big Shot, which is one reason it was quicker. Another reason is that I didn't have to fuss with more than two layers, as opposed to the 5 in the first set of cards.

     I still have a couple more gifts that I'm going to try to make. But I think with my schedule over the next day or so, they may be gifts for boxing day, and not actually Christmas!

     I hope you're having a fun Christmas weekend! We have guests for dinner tonight (Christmas Eve) and then we're off to Bridge tomorrow. So I believe my craft room activity for today is called "cleaning up the mess"!

 


Comments Off on Easy Last-Minute Gifts!
Posted on : Dec 24 2016
Posted under 3D Projects, Gifts, Sizzix, Stamping |

Last Minute Christmas Favors!

Aloha, all!

     This is the time of the year when everything seems like it's last minute! I've been making Christmas and other Holiday Greeting Cards since the summer, and I've even made a few gifts to give to local friends. But wouldn't you know that I got the bright idea to make favors for those who will be coming to our Duplicate Bridge game on Sunday! Yes, my husband, who is the director of the Hilo Bridge Club, asked if anyone wanted to play bridge on Christmas Day as it's one of the days when we have a regular game. Sure enough, we have 14 people (he and I included) so will have a 3-1/2 table bridge game on Christmas Day. I couldn't go without something festive to put on the tables!

group

     With so much else going on this weekend, I had to do this quickly – and I didn't have much time to get too creative! The good news was that I had two bags of Ghirardelli Chocolate Squares in the house, so little chocolate square holders would be the thing. I found some unused Presents and Pinecones Designer Series Paper in my stash, and, not wanting to take the time to use my Big Shot, I pulled out a couple of punches to decorate the outsides – one old, one new. The Medium Star Punch is in the current Stampin' Up! catalog, but the Tree Punch is retired. There are some punches that I just cannot bear to give up, and the Tree Punch, as well as the retired Word Window Punch, are two of them. I like punches for projects like this because everything goes so much faster!

inside

     The inside of the holder is really quick and easy, too. Under normal circumstances I'd have done a bit more decorating, both inside and out. But this will do just fine! See how nicely the Ghirardelli Chocolate Squares fit in the pockets?!

     As I'm in a bit of a hurry (last minute Christmas gifts, too!!!), I'll not go into too much more detail. BUT I'll include a tutorial for making this in my next Newsletter, right after the first of the New Year. And, no, it won't be using Christmas papers! It will be for Valentine's Day. It's a FREE TUTORIAL, but you have to be on my newsletter mailing list to get it! Sign up form is up on the left at the top of the page!

     Happy Holidays everyone!

    

 


Posted on : Dec 23 2016
Posted under 3D Projects, Announcement, Punches, Stamping |

Over the Top Ovals!

Aloha, all!

     When I finished today's project for the new Stampin' Up! Only Challenge, I told my husband that I thought maybe this project was a bit over the top for one of my usual blog post subjects. You see, I usually try to feature cards that can fit in a standard A2-sized envelope (the Stampin' Up! Mediium Envelope) and that don't require extra postage. I missed today's project on both counts! But, hey, I met the criteria for the SUO Challenge!

happynewyear

     This project all started when we were out on a trip into town this afternoon, and I knew I had to make this card as soon as I got home so that I could include it in the SUO Challenge Blog Post. The challenge this time is to feature circles, ovals or squares as elements on our cards or other project. My husband was driving and I was contemplating what I wanted to do with my project. Aha! I would make a New Year's Card, stamping numerals and cutting them out with ovals. Yay! I had my card.

     The glitch in this thinking was that the only numeral stamps I have in my stash are those in the Number of Years Stamp Set. Rats – they're HUGE (well, larger than I'd pictured). Nonetheless, I pressed on with my idea, stamped the numerals and tried a LOT of different ways to organize them. They were just not going to fit on a standard A2-sized card. Oh, what the heck, said I to myself. Just make a big card. So I folded a sheet of cardstock in half, and off I went. The result is that this card, rather than being an A2-sized card is an A-9 sized card, which is a lot larger that my standard card.

     Then, of course, I had to start layering. What's a Robin's Craft Room card without layering. It's what I do, after all! First I layered the numerals. Each was stamped in Night of Navy Classic Ink on Very Vanilla Cardstock/ cut with one of the Layering Ovals Framelits; mounted on one of the scalloped ovals from the framelits set, using Night of Navy Cardstock; and finally mounted on an oval cut with one of the Stitched Ovals Framelits using Copper Foil. Already we had some weight in this card!

     The layers on the front of the card include a layer from the Petals and Paisleys Specialty Designer Series Paper set (from the Stampin' Up! 2016 Holiday Catalog) and a layer of Copper Foil (also from the Holiday Catalog, and continuing on into another catalog).

     This is an Easel Fold Card, so there's definitely an extra layer on the front of the card. Then, to make sure that the whole card looks wonderful when it's positioned in the Easel position, there have to be colorful layers on the inside of the card, too. Add a small 2017 calendar pad and another stamped image – the "Happy New Year" stamp from Teeny Tiny Wishes Stamp Set and a banner from the Number of Years Stamp Set – cut out using the banner die from the Large Numbers Framelits Die set, and there's the rest of the weight. There is a bit of Copper Wire on the inside layer, but that stuff doesn't weigh enough to make a difference no matter how much I used – and I used a bunch!

     So there's my BIG card – all 2.3 ounces of it with its envelope, bringing my postage cost up to $1.36 from whatever a Forever stamp costs these days. But I already know the special person who will get this in the mail, and she's definitely worth it!

     Here are the products I feature in today's card. If you're interested in any of the products from the Stampin' Up! Holiday Catalog, check with me first so I can find out if they're still available. We're getting close to the end of the catalog sales period, and things start to sell out fast this time of the catalog cycle!

 


Posted on : Dec 19 2016
Posted under Challenges, Sizzix, Stamping |

Quick Christmas Cards – Part 2

Aloha, all!

     When Stampin' Up! first introduced it's newest product, the Stitched Shaped Framelits, it also had a stamp sale and created some cards to highlight both product lines. Today's card is a quick CASE (Copy And Share with Everyone) of one of those cards.

happyheart

     As I said in yesterday's post, today's card uses the same Designer Series Paper and stamp as yesterday's: Warmth and Cheer DSP, and Suite Seasons Stamp Set. It also uses one of the Stitched Shapes Framelits which are on back order until next month. But as with yesterday's card, there are other products that will help you make an equally quick card.

     For today's card, I used my favorite non-Stampin' Up! product in my craft room –  and the MISTI stamp aligned. With this tool I easily stamped the image using different colors. Oh, I know that I could have just used my Stampin' Write markers to color each word differently. And I did!!! And I recolored and restamped and there's not a single misstamped spot!

     I used the Sweetheart Punch to cut the papers, which made it a lot quicker than using even more Framelits than the Layered Oval Framelits I used for the stamped image.

     This card seemed to me to need a bit more texture than the punched and stamped images gave it. So I used the ?Softly Falling Textured Impressions Embossing Folder for the background. Finally I tied the whole thing together with some Cherry Cobbler ribbon from the Silky Taffeta Combo Pack of ribbon in the Stampin' Up! 2016 Holiday Catalog.

     I hope I've given you some ideas for some quick Cards for this last weekend before Christmas. There's still plenty of time to get them all in the mail! Next week I'll share the last of this year's cards, of the quick and easy variety for the REALLY last-minute mailing!


Comments Off on Quick Christmas Cards – Part 2
Posted on : Dec 16 2016
Posted under Punches, Sizzix, Stamping |

Quick Christmas Cards

Aloha, all!

     This year, sending Christmas cards seems a bit easier for me. The big reason, of course, is that Christmas falls on a Sunday, which seems to give me a whole extra week to make and send cards! So, while I'm actually getting most of my cards ready to mail while I'm on vacation, there will still be some time for last minute cards when I get home tomorrow (Friday). Today and tomorrow I'll share two quick Christmas cards that I had fun designing earlier in the month.

suiteseasons

     Both cards use the same stamp set – Suite Seasons – and the same Designer Series Paper – Warmth and Cheer. For today, I tried to emphasize a color in the Designer Series Paper that I've ignored so far – the Delightful Dijon dark yellow. Looking towards the back of the Stampin' Up! 2016 Holiday Catalog, I found that the 3/8" Ribbon Trio Pack had that same color, so out came the ribbon. I'd even forgotten I had it! 

     To bring the red color back into the embellishment mix, I added some of the Cherry Cobbler Baker's Twine from the trio pack in the Warmth and Cheer section of the Holiday Catalog. Nice touch if I say so myself!

     I did use one of the Stitched Shapes Framelits Dies that are on back order until next month. But there is a nice variety of circles in the Layering Circles Framelits set to use as a substitute as you're making last minute cards!

     Here are the products I used for this project. It's a bit late for ordering these for Christmas 2016. But you can use other products with this layout! If you have any questions, let me know!


Comments Off on Quick Christmas Cards
Posted on : Dec 15 2016
Posted under Sizzix, Stamping |

In the Midst of the Holidays – A Wedding Card!

Aloha, all!

     Just before we left on vacation, a friend called to say she needed a wedding card. Not only that, she needed it that afternoon! So I brushed all my Christmas card supplies to the side of my work table, and got out my current favorite stamp set and thinlit combo to make the card!

weddingcard

     

     I first cut the heart using the Bloomin' Hearts Thinlits Die set, using Very Vanilla Cardstock. Then I went looking for Designer Series Paper – and immediately spied the brand new, not yet for sale, Falling In Love DSP that had just arrived in my craft room. It didn't take long for me to pick out the Sweet Sugarplum color from that set to use as my main color. 

     To give the card some texture, I chose the Happy Heart Textured Impressions Embossing Folder. After I put these layers all together, I decided to stamp the flowers using Sweet Sugarplum ink. I decided to stamp the outline flowers only, then I used a Blender Pen to color them in with more Sweet Sugarplum ink. Lovely!

     For the sentiment, I used the Teeny Tiny Wishes Stamp Set, stamped in Sugarplum and punched with the classic Label Punch. I adhered it to the point of the heart with mini Glue Dots, then added a bow that I made with the also brand new, Very Vanilla 1/4" Satin Ribbon. You're going to love this ribbon!

     So that's my newest wedding card! Here are the products I used, though the paper and ribbon won't be available until January. Well worth the wait! Oh, and after I took this photo, I realized that those little flowers definitely needed some Pearls! So I added them just before my friend arrived and whisked the card away – no photo!

     A fun side note is that, for the first time, I managed to write a whole blog post using just my Mini iPad. Not the easiest, but doable!

 


Posted on : Dec 13 2016
Posted under Punches, Sizzix, Stamping |

The Other “Elegant” Card!

Aloha, all!

     Earlier this week, I posted about a card that I'd made for the biweekly Stampin' Up! Only Challenge. I mentioned that I'd made two cards, and played Eeenie-Meenie-Miny-Moe to pick which one to post with the Design Team photos for this challenge. Today I'm sharing the other card!

joy

     This card uses the same Wondrous Wreath Thinlits set, the same Holly Textured Impressions Embossing Folder, and the same colors – Real Red and Very Vanilla. It's just that I used different shapes for this card. Oh, and I used one of the circle shapes from the Stitched Shapes Framelits set.

     Besides adding a bow to the top of the ornament – this time made from the Real Red 3/8" Stitched Satin Ribbon – I also added some Rhinestone Basic Jewels around the center of the round ornament. They sparkle in real life a bit more than they sparkle under the lens of a camera!

     So I have 2 more Christmas cards to add to my stash. I now have 70 hand made cards to send out – and a bunch more than I'll be making as part of classes or challenges this week. Oooh, I may need to buy more stamps!!! At least I haven't made too many that require extra postage – but I have some of those Butterfly Stamps ready and waiting for those cards to have notes written in them! Next week is some R&R time for my husband and me at a local Hawaiian vacation spot. The cards will go along and I'll have them ready to drop off at the post office on the way home!

     Here are the products I featured in today's project. Don't forget to order yours from my very own Stampin' Up! store!

 


Comments Off on The Other “Elegant” Card!
Posted on : Dec 08 2016
Posted under Challenges, Sizzix, SUO Challenges |

Holiday Elegance!

Aloha, all!

     Here we are with the second Stampin' Up! Only Challenge for this Winter Holiday Season. Last time the challenge theme was Holiday Cuteness. This time we're going in another direction, towards Holiday Elegance. So I couldn't dig out the Cookie Cutter cuties or the various snow people, foxes and bears, oh my! No, I had to get something a bit fancier out onto my work table.

noel

     I bought the Delicate Ornaments Thinlits set a few weeks back, and immediately put it away with some other Christmas dies that I wasn't quite ready to use this year (too much else to do to take the time?). But with this challenge, it seemed the perfect set to break out and finally make a card with it. Actually, I made TWO cards with the set, and had to choose between the two cards once I got them both done. It came down to "eeny-meeny-miny-moe." This one won. But the other one has its merits, too, so I'll share it with you in a couple of days.

     I really wanted a Real Red and Very Vanilla card, and I also wanted some texture to the card. That's why I broke out another set I've not yet used this season, the Wondrous Wreath Thinlits dies. With the two words – Noel and Joy – that are more on the elegant side, I thought they'd go perfectly with the theme. And the texturizing with the Holly Textured Impressions Embossing Folder I think made the perfect background for this whole set.

     I recently read a tip for applying adhesives to these delicate dies that has made all the difference in how I approach them. To begin, I really like the Tombow Liquid Glue that Stampin' Up! sells. I find it really sets up as a good adhesive, especially in the humid tropical rain forest environment in which I live. But it can be messy and frequently squishes out from the edge of the die cuts. Anyway, what I read is to use the teensy brushes that some people use to apply false eyelashes. So I bought some, and they're perfect for doing this kind of glue application. I just put a couple of dots of liquid glue on various parts of the die cut cardstock and then use the teensy brush to spread it around. No mess on my fingers and no extra glue squishing out to mess up the background.

     With everything glued on just like I wanted it, I tied the project together with some of the yummy Very Vanilla 3/8" Stitched Satin Ribbon. Love that stuff!

 


Comments Off on Holiday Elegance!
Posted on : Dec 05 2016
Posted under Challenges, Sizzix, Stamping, SUO Challenges |

What I’ve Been Doing All Week!

Aloha, all!

     I had a fabulous Thanksgiving weekend, beginning with a lovely dinner hosted by a new, but already dear, friend at her home on the ocean. Oh, my what a peaceful time that was, even with 30 or 40 people milling about. All of us were delighted to be there, and we met loads of new friends whom we hope to meet again. All live not too far from us, so that should certainly be a possibility.

     But now we're seriously into the Christmas season.  My first priority is finally to get done with a project that I started back at the end of the summer that I hope to give to our 16-year old grandson for Christmas. I have been concentrating so much on that this whole week, that I've totally spaced on anything else. But rather than just telling you what I've been doing, I thought I'd share a sample of the Digital Project Life Scrapbook pages that I've been making.

2014page3small2

     I'm sharing this particular page because this layout design is part of the Project Life by Stampin' Up! set of products. Yes, not only can you buy Project Life products through the Stampin' Up! catalog, you can buy Stampin' Up! products through the Project Life website! That's where I found this template, called Stampin' Up! 5a. Of course there are dozens of other layouts available digitally, and I have been using them throughout my project.

     The scrapbook that I'll be making will be documenting Quin's summer vacation with us for the past 3 years. At the time these photos were taken, Quin was just a few weeks shy of his 14th birthday, and it was the first time he'd come to visit us by himself. So he was definitely doing some exploring – witness the little affair with the gecko! But he also came just after we had been hit by a terrible tropical storm, and we had no electricity for the first week he was with us. So no television or much in the way of electronics, and certainly no light to do Sudoku puzzles after dark. The only candle we had in a convenient place was on our table on the lanai (porch) in front of the house. I'm sure you can tell he "loved" that!

     Even though we had cell phones, first of all the cell towers near us were out of commission, and second we had no place to charge them at home. So another "fun" activity was to go to the local community pool which had electricity and use their electrical outlets. They were kind enough to have as many power strips hooked up to their outlets as they could. All we had to bring was a chair to sit and visit with everyone else up there charging their phones and other electronics.

     So now you get an idea of what a scrapbook can do when it comes to reminiscing about life in the past – good or not so good. So this will be a great Christmas gift for Quin – he's loved every scrapbook I've given him so far, and I'm sure this will be no exception!

     I'm taking a break from this project to get a few Christmas Cards done for posting here over the next few days. If I'm really good at that, I'll get enough done to keep me going with the scrapbook until it's done and sent off to the printer!


Comments Off on What I’ve Been Doing All Week!
Posted on : Dec 03 2016
Posted under Family and Garden, Gifts, Project Life |

Stampin’ Up! Online Extravaganza – Until Tomorrow!

Aloha, all!

     I cannot believe it's already Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend! I've had a blast this weekend, starting with a great Thanksgiving Dinner, a workout at the gym on Friday, and a visit to my local scrapbook store for Small Business Saturday (yes, I succumbed to the sales she had!).

     So this is my last chance to promote Stampin' Up!'s annual Online ExtravaganzaMostly I've promoted this in my November Newsletter, but I would be remiss in not showing off some of the fun products that are included in this sale. In fact, what I'm showing off today I myself bought as part of the sale. I wasn't ready to buy either product before this, but the sale pushed me over the edge. And am I glad it did! I wish now I'd introduced you to this whole project sooner.

     It's the Stitched With Cheer Project Kit and the accompanying Stitched With Cheer Stamp Set.

stitchedwithcheer

     If you've checked out the project kit in the Stampin' Up! 2016 Holiday Catalog, you might see a few changes in my layouts – but not many! I was determined not to make the exact card shown in the catalog and elsewhere online. But I didn't make as many changes as I'd thought I would. Before I go a bit into each individual card, I thought I'd pass on some of my thoughts about the kit as a whole.

  • The kit has SO MUCH STUFF! Yes, you can make all 18 cards that the catalog promises. But there are tons of pieces in the kit that you won't need to make the cards, and you'll be able to use for lots of other cards!
  • While the stamp set really does help add to the features on this card, I can easily see using other stamp sets to make these cards just as nice. So if you might be interested in buying just the kit – 40% off!!!! – you can make it without the stamp set. I won't have time to make the substitute cards before the Online Extravaganze is over – but I will do that in the next week or so to demonstrate if you'd let me know you'd like me to do that!
  • The sewing is SO SEW EASY! I was hesitant about something that required me to take needle in hand as I long ago gave up counted thread needlework as taking too much time to complete a project. But I'm going to be very happy sending these cards to my old counted thread buddies (yes, we go back to the original Delphi days, continued into AOL forums, and still keep in touch today!) No, they're not hand-stitched ornaments, but they're STITCHED!
  • When it came to the stitching, I made things easy on myself, and didn't back-stitch. I made a running stitch forward and then a running stitch backward. It worked just fine with all of the stitching. Don't know what I'm talking about? No worried – just follow the instruction book steps!

starcardThe first card I made was the one with the large plaid star. I made two changes:

First, I used my own 5/8" Burlap Ribbon for the back layer behind the star. I had originally thought to cut notches in the large burlap ribbon that came in the kit. But as I was getting the ribbon out, I found that it was wrapped tight to the point that there were creases across the ribbon, and I wanted. to. do. it. now! I didn't want to wait to spritz the ribbon with some water and lay it out to dry. And I don't know where my iron is (sigh).

Next, I'd already decided to use the Christmas Joy banner stamp in one of the other cards, so I used the Merry & Bright stamp for this card. I also am SO not stamping Holiday Sentiments in black (unless I'm using that fab black/vanilla snowflake pattern in another Designer Series Paper set!). So I used Emerald Envy Classic Ink for this stamp.

snowflakecardThe next card was the Snowflake Card:

First, I was so not seeing the Kraft circle as one that went with this card front. Besides that, since the Holiday Catalog was published, we had a short time where we could order the Stitched Shapes Framelits. What the heck – why not use one of the circles from that set, and mat it with a colorful doily from the 2015-2017 In Color Doilies set – Watermelon Wonder, to be exact. Doesn't that go well with the Mint Macaron color of this card front?!

And then I was being told to stamp in Basic Black again – and I chose the Emerald Envy, which is the same color as the sparkles stamped around the card.

Third, I have a tip for the star stitching: Don't start/stop in one of the points. One of the things you'll want to do with all of the stitching is to tape down the ends at the start and finish. If you're up there in the point, there's really no place to tape. So start in one of the sides or at the bottom of a point.

Finally, I really do not like bumps as thick as the gold half-circles were going to make on the card front – I mail my cards, after all, and I want them to arrive in one piece without a ripped envelope. So I added some of the star-shaped sequins from the Brights Sequins Assortment. But you can certainly use the gold embellishments if you wish.

treecardAnd last, we have the Christmas Tree Card:

First of all, both the instructions with the kit and the videos I've watched state to punch through the holes on this card and its trees before stitching. I did that with the first tree, but found that I was stitching as if my needle was looking for the holes. So I saved myself the trouble of poking out holes prior to stitching.

Next, I totally did not like the die-cut shape or the sentiment planned for this kit card. So I chose to use one of the extra (yes, there are extras!) banners and stamped Christmas Joy using Emerald Envy ink NOT black. Why not keep the holiday colors!?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Here's all you really need to make this project (well, add some ink, adhesives, scissors and tape)

And here are some of the other products I mentioned using when I made my own projects from the kit:


Comments Off on Stampin’ Up! Online Extravaganza – Until Tomorrow!
Posted on : Nov 26 2016
Posted under Announcement, Sizzix, Stampin' Up! Kits, Stamping |