Tuesday, December 25, 2012

He's Got Proof

That he made Santa's Official "nice" list!

Here's the note that Santa pinned to Royce's stocking...on official Santa Stationary...from the North Pole!

There will be no living with him in 2013! He will simply pull out his "proof!"  What was Santa thinking?

Monday, December 24, 2012

Good Things Come In Threes: Christmas Projects #9, #10 & #11

Chickadee Stamp: Impression Obsession

Merry Christmas!

I can't believe that it is Christmas Eve! I hope each and everyone of you are with people you love! I feel like I blinked the day after Thanksgiving and it was Christmas! Has time moved in double time in your life too? Crazy - I have gotten projects done, but haven't gotten them posted here on my blog...so let's slow down the clock....and catch up!

This card started running around in my head from the moment that I saw the Poppy Stamp Arched Window Die (and Luminary Die). It reminded me of some of the old stone churches that I saw while I was visiting Scotland a few years ago. Then I found the Frosted Film (by Tim Holtz Ideology) - and a plan began to come together.  Sometimes it isn't about "just getting the project done" - you have to just follow the creative path and see where it takes you. This may be one of my favorite projects I have ever done. I enjoyed focusing on the details (like the little chickadee nestled in the snow on the window ledge)...and experimenting with products to get the results I wanted (like turning the brick embossing folder into a stone wall)

I colored the frosted film with copics - I really love that it so luminous.

The garland greenery was all cut with Impression Obsession dies or punched with a Martha Stewart branch punch. The snow was added with Liquid Applique and a bit of glitter.

Here is a video that will walk you through all the steps:

And then I had some fun with the Inkadinkado Stamping Gears.
The basic design plan was to do a tone-on-tone card with a few pops of color. I love this vintage Santa stamp from Santa Stationary (Papertrey Ink).

Here is the tutorial if you are interested in seeing the details of how this card was created:

And finally here is the card I made for Weston. It is a pop-up card that will fold flat for mailing. Although I made this little scene with the deer pretty masculine, you could use this basic design for all kinds of cards...I will definitely be doing more of these.

It will stand up on its own! Very fun...

Here is the tutorial:

I want to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I am looking forward to sharing some fun projects with you in 2013!

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Whew...I am a tad behind! Here are Christmas 2012 Projects # 6,7 & 8

This time of year I am convinced that the clock actually speeds up! I know the daylight is gone earlier - and even if I stay up later than usual, I still always feel like I am behind. But it is also my favorite time of year.  I love the crispness of the air. The fact that people seem to be kinder to each other (ok - I do NOT go to the mall EVER in the month of December, so please allow me to continue in my delusion that people are kinder! *smile*). I really love the twinkly lights and smile as I see homes all decorated with lights and candy canes and deer nodding their heads up and down.

But mostly - I love knowing that this is the time of year that we pause and remember that Jesus - the Son of God - came to this earth to live among us as the Son of Man. Even typing those words gets me all choked up. It doesn't make sense - in human terms - that God would choose to come to earth and take on the body of man...and as a BABY no less. God, Who created the heavens and the earth - chose to come as a baby...who needed to be fed, and cuddled, and sung to and taught to walk and run.


And later - He chose to voluntarily die for my sin. He who was sinless - paid the price for me.

Amazing Grace!

Yes, this is my favorite time of year! And even though I get busier than at any other time of year - I can't help but be happy to share some of my joy in the season with others. With you...my sweet friends and family.

I feel very blessed to get to share this Christmas Project Series with you...and I apologize that I am a bit behind in getting them posted here on my blog...I will try and get caught up here...and stay current as we move on through the month.

This holly card was not what I had in mind when I first sat down in my studio. I had planned to work on creating a rustic card with the Tim Holtz Bright Star Die.  It cuts and scores your material so you can create a 3D star (in two sizes).

I had planned to make the stars out of some thin copper sheeting (you could also carefully open up a metal soda can and "recycle" the can into lovely Christmas decor or card). And since I thought they would end up being rather rustic looking - I had planned to use some canvas so create a backdrop for the stars. I was going to use another of Tim Holtz's Christmas product line - the holly branch embossing folder. 

As the saying goes, "the best laid plans....oft go astray"....but when you are a creative sort - going astray is a good thing! If you would like to see how I got to the Holly Card - check out this video tutorial.  You can also watch it on YouTube.

But I didn't abandon the star idea...I just had to come back to it later. These were the cards I created when I came back into the studio to see what I could do with those lovely stars and a fresh look at what they needed.

If you would like to watch that tutorial, you can see it here or watch it on YouTube.

There is a bonus tutorial in the video explaining how to use an embossing folder diffuser. It is a really cool tool that allows you to get so much more mileage out of your embossing folders. A diffuser lets you select an area to NOT emboss at the same time you are embossing the rest of your card base.  You will want to check it out.  In the process of learning to use the diffusers, I ended up with several card bases and thought I would use up some of the small 3D stars I made while learning to use the Bright Star die.  Here is another card...bonus!

And finally, today I had a blast creating this rustic button tree card with a bit of sparkle and shine. I cut the buttons out of watercolor paper, stained them, embossed them, stained them some more, put clear crackle paint on them and a touch of vintage glitter! I used the Papertrey Ink Button Dies, but you could use circle punches to create your own.  Even though I call it a "Button Tree" - I really recommend you making it out of watercolor paper as opposed to real buttons because they are easier to distress and add the sparkle and shine.  However, I do think a button tree made of real buttons would be cool too! Just another idea to pursue! *smile*

Here is a tutorial to show you how I put this card together.  I think one of the things I like the best about it are all the "imperfections!" If you watch the video - you will see that after I embossed the card base, I somehow got some green ink on it...probably from when I was working on the buttons.  But, instead of throwing it away - I just used it - and added more "green stains" so the one stain wouldn't be lonely! Also, as I was adding the walnut stain, I accidentally touched the edge of the ink pad onto the center of the card...again - I decided to just make it part of the design...and added more "accidents" with the ink pad and then use some water and a paintbrush to soften them. Love that Distress Inks react with water - and you can actually get a bit of a watercolor look when you add a little H2O.

Here is one more tutorial (yeah...crazy post! Three tutorials? Really??!?!?!) Mmmm Hmmm - it's just the "giving" time of year...and I'm a giver! LOL You can watch it here - or on YouTube.

Whew! I think we are now CURRENT! Let's try and keep it that way, ok? Here is a close-up of the button tree - wanted you to see all that sparkly, embossed and stained goodness up close!

I am working on our next project and am anxious to get to finished and the tutorial done for you.  Thought I would leave you with a little glimpse of one of the components of the card I am making. I hadn't seen the FROSTED FILM that is part of the Tim Holtz Ideology collection, but when I did...oh my stars! It is GORGEOUS! It is sticky on one side and really has the look of frosted glass. I am also using a couple of Poppystamp dies - Gothic Luminary and Gothic Frame (not pictured here).  I am working on creating a stained glass card...so hopefully will be back soon to share the final project.

Have a great week...and Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Christmas 2012: Tattered Poinsettia (December Daily Cover)

I really love the Tim Holtz Poinsettia die and embossing folder! Used together they create a really gorgeous flower. 

I cut several out of watercolor paper. I found that watercolor paper is great for using Distress Stains on - they absorb the color but don't pill up AND they give you a really great impression when you use them in the embossing folder.

The key to making the flower so vintage and sparkly - is to use a combination of Rock Candy Distress Crackle paint and Dry Distress Glitter. Love how they turned out - they have a bit of a vintage porcelain flower look when you see them up close.

I created a tutorial that you can watch here or on YouTube if you want to see the details of how I created the cover for my December Daily.

Hope you have a great week...and be sure and save some time for creative play!


Friday, November 30, 2012

Christmas 2012 Series: #4 December Daily Binding

We're making progress! I've gotten the binding done and all my base pages mounted into "signatures."

I didn't want to put the binding through the actual spine because I wanted to preserve the title - so I created a hidden "faux" spine to bind the signatures and then I can attach it to the front and back cover.

I used seam binding to attach the signatures through the spine. Seam binding is strong - but keeps the vintage feeling of the overall altered book.

I created a tutorial to show you the steps in the binding process...you can watch it here or on YouTube:

I am working on decorating the cover - and will have that tutorial ready for you soon! Am pretty excited about how it is turning out.  Thanks for stopping by - and I hope you have a wonderfully creative weekend!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Christmas Project Series: Projects #2 & #3

Hope your week is off to a great start and that you had some creative time over the weekend.

I was able to work on a card for Sybil (JandSib80 on YouTube).  I really love this knit stamp set from PaperTrey Ink. I know I will want to make several more of these little Sweater Cards.  I'm trying to figure out how to make one of those tacky Christmas Sweaters (I still have a couple in my closet that my Mom gave me - I think she secretly wanted me to be a kindergarten teacher! LOL)

Here is the tutorial I did for the Sweater Card. You can watch it here or on YouTube.

I also got the base pages made for my December Daily! Do you see muslin patches I sewed onto the base pages? I had some Coffee Dyed fabric left over from when I made my Thanksgiving Blessing Box during the Fall Project Series so check out that tutorial if you want to know how to make your own.  I tore it into strips and stamped some images and scriptures onto them.  I am going to use them as pockets in my finished book - so needed to add them now before I get to the binding. Here are a couple of base pages.

I did a step by step tutorial on how to create the base pages.

I have had this idea in my mind for a few years - and am really enjoying seeing it begin to take shape.

I will be doing 2-3 more tutorials on this project as we make our way through finishing it.

Here is what I have planned right now - but please feel free to leave me a comment if you have an idea of other aspects of this project I can share with you.

1. Binding - I am going to be binding these pages into the Charles Dickens "Stories of Christmas" book cover using a "Signature Binding" - it is really a versatile technique - and would work great on lots of other projects.
2. Creating the Date Tags I will be using throughout the month of journaling and adding photos and other Christmas Event Memorabilia. Even if you don't want to do the tags for your December Daily or Journal your Christmas project, the ideas I will share could work for an advent calendar or just a tags for projects
3. Decorating the Front Cover....right now I am playing with Tim Holz's new Poinsettia Die...and am pretty stoked about the possibilities.
4. And then - I will try and run through the techniques I will be using to create the content for the book. Stamping and watercoloring, Using Acetate, "Blinging it up!" And in the middle of it all - we are going to had FUN! How can I not have fun when my studio is filled to the brim with ooodles and oodles of Paper Crafting goodies! It just makes this girl smile to see it all lined up.

So - when we finish up the December Daily Journal - you will be ready to take up the task of being the documentarian for your family....and I will have hopefully given you some ideas for your own.

I have also a whole card series planned...my mind is a whirling...and a few little gift items for my sweet friends and family. (I'm Knittin....yeah - I know...just socks...but they are a bit addictive.  They can go with me wherever I go...good sanity check when I find myself with  extra time on my hands....waiting at the mall, the traffic light, book club (I'm listening - but knitting helps me be a better participant...keeps me from blurting everything out before anyone else gets a chance to speak.  So...I knit - and have better friendships, and I learn stuff too.

Ok...gotta run. I have some prep work to get done so we can move on to binding...it is gonna be FUN!

Hope your Tuesday is a "My Life is an ENTHUSED day!"

See you soon!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

December Journal Inspiration

Well - I hope if you live here in the United States, that you have enjoyed too much food and plenty of good fellowship with friends and family today.  We had a lovely time - and the guys are in a turkey and football coma (absolute happiness for them, except I seem to have heard quite a bit of yelling at the tv screen - so I am assuming that their teams aren't doing too well!) The perfect time for me to come get a blog post written and to share a little December Journal Inspiration with you.

Here is a flip through my journal from last year...and a little peek at my plans for this year's journal.  I have been planning this for a while.  Do you ever do that? Have an idea in your mind - and hope that what you create lives up to your imagination? I am excited about my idea...as I have been collecting bits and pieces for this one for several years...and I am going to be creating several tutorials that hopefully will keep your creative juices flowing if you are working on a Christmas journal or mini album this year.

Here is the video...you can watch it here, or over on YouTube.

If you would like to learn more about Shimelle and Journal Your Christmas...click here. I really enjoyed her on-line class when I participated the first time - and LOVE that as an alumni to Journal Your Christmas you continue to get the daily prompts each year.  She has loaded it up with new inspiration, tips on photography and a great forum to share your project as you go along.  I highly recommend it, if you haven't ever done this with her before.

Also, I have always been inspired by Ali Edwards and her December Daily project.  Ali is the master at keeping a daily Christmas Season project "do-able." I have done several December Daily projects over the years - and really treasure them, because Ali encourages her followers to capture daily photos and a bit of journaling and as I flip through them - they are filled with delightful memories.

My plan for this year's book is going to be a bit of a hybrid...so hopefully there will be some inspiration for you as well.

As soon as we get this project moving, I am planning to get some cards and a few other Christmas tutorials created for you - hopefully in time to inspire you before Christmas gets here!  Well, that is the plan anyway!  For now, I am going to get into my studio and get all the Fall Project Series supplies and mayhem cleaned up and put away...and then begin on our Christmas Project Series.  Sometimes you just need a clean slate...and my studio is ONE HOT MESS...and I think I will be more creative if I get it in order.

Let me know what kind of projects you are going to be working on for the Christmas season!

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Happy World Card Making Day....Sort of

Well stink...

The internet is off at my house...and me with three more videos to upload. Drats and double drags!  I am making a quick post here via my phone to let you know that I will upload the videos as soon as the internet is back.  I have been having fun creating cards like crazy  - I need to have a day to get the studio back in order!  Nah....I'm going to keep going while the mojo is stirring!

Here are a few pictures to give you a taste of the projects I will share as soon as I can!

Hope you have had a great day!

Happy World Card Making Day - Card 1

My studio is a MESS....but I am having a ton of fun. I've pulled together some projects that I hope you will enjoy and find some inspiration for your own card making.

Let's get right to the first one.

I fell in LOVE with these mustaches...and bought them - with not ONE thought of what I was going to do with them....sometimes you just have to do that....get the thing that speaks to you and figure out what to do later...especially when the "thing" was just $1.99.

I now have a fun little 4.25 x 4.25 masculine card that I can use for a surprise note to my honey! Well...and since I made a second one to show you the process....I will have to come up with someone to send it to!

Here is the first video... be sure and watch to find out how you can be eligible for my WCMD Giveaway.  Just a little added fun!

Thought you might want to see that little alpha die up close...it is by Die-Versions and I got it here. They may be out of stock - but just add it to your "wish list" and Simon Says Stamp will alert you when they are back in stock.  This one just stays out on my desk...and I run it through a couple of times every time I use it and put the extra letters in a clear bag so I have them ready to go.

Oh and a couple more links.  I told you about my friend Tracie who always inspires me with her cards - you can find her blog, My Happy Life here. She is always creating her own sentiments for her cards and preprints them on the card base before she starts!  Super creative gal...I know you will love seeing her cards.

And you probably want to check out the YouTube channel of Sybil...my friend who made this card for me. You can find her here!  Ok...I am off to play with that little squirrel stamp....hmmmm what shall I do? Decisions, decisions!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Fall Projects #5 & #6

 I have been a baaaa-ad blogger!  I actually have TWO projects to share with you...so hang on to your hats!

The first is a fun "folk art" style card. And the technique I wanted to share with you involves using your "colorless blender" Copic market to add texture to images that you color. The stamped image is from Papertrey Ink's "Autumn Hills" set.  I love all the little bits and pieces that you get in the stamp set...I used two of the companion stamps to "spiff up" the inside.

Don't you just love that "peek-a-boo" die cut strip down the right side of the card?  That is a fun Memory Box die called Piestra Tile.  The detail it adds really means that you don't have to do much embellishing  to your card...it does all the work for you! I did add just a touch of Chestnut Liquid Pearls in the centers of some of the lacey cuts.

You will want to watch the video either here or on YouTube because it explains how to use your colorless blender to add texture...no shading required.  Expert colorists use this technique all the time - but it is easy to do even for us "beginners!"

Project #6 was so much fun to make. I used the Papertrey Ink Shape Series: Pumpkin die to make a couple of shaped cards.  I have loved seeing other card makers do them...and I found out they are super easy to make - especially with the die set.  Both of these cards were made with the same set. For the first one I used several different pattern papers to cut the sections for the pumpkin...this is a great project to use up paper scraps.

These dies can cut paper and ....FELT! I used some rust colored felt to make the second card. If you are going to cut out felt with these dies, I really do recommend that you use 100% wool felt...this is one of those times that it is worth getting the higher quality product.  100% wool is denser than craft felt - and that makes it easier to cut.

I added some stitching to the sections to give them a bit of definition and some brown floral wire twisted around a paintbrush to imitate a pumpkin vine. I can't wait to send this to one of my friends that loves fall and is always on the hunt for "the perfect pumpkin."  Maybe I can talk her into thinking THIS one is the "perfect pumpkin" to adorn her mantle!

I have created a video for this project as well...and most of it centers around making a decorated glassine bag....to add all the parts and pieces of the jack 0'lantern card...not yet put together.  I am going to send it to my youngest niece. She is already a little crafter...and I think she will enjoy making her own card to give to a teacher or a friend.

You all know I can't resist a good pun...so with a little "selective stamping" (a technique explained in the video) I was able to change Happy Halloween....to Happy OWL-oween. *insert horrible attempt at a British accent.* In the video, I also show you how I created that cute little owl...I especially LOVE the eyelashes on her googley eyes!

I numbered the sections and made light pencil marks on the base so it will be easy for my niece to put her Pumpkin Puzzle together. If you have any young crafters in your life - this would be a great project to do with them.

Hope you are having a great FALL...and that the weather in your part of the world is allowing you to have a little extra time outside!  I hope to be back soon with another project...so stay tuned.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Fall Project Series #4 - Inspired by Louise Nelson

I am SO EXCITED to share this project with you! I had so much fun playing and experimenting...and I am pretty sure I am not quite done with the "creative play" that started with this layout.

As I told you in my last post, I have been enjoying the art of Louise Nelson...a designer who lives in Australia. She does some SERIOUS - outside the box creating.  You can check out her blog here. Her projects have such a wonderful sense of movement and feel very organic.  I have been wanting to try and apply some of the things that she uses on her layouts, and this fall layout seemed the perfect time.

See what I mean? She creates backgrounds that I would describe more as "back drops" for her overall design...I love it! I couldn't wait to try to create my own take on the inspiration that I find when I look at her projects.

Louise uses "gray board" (raw chipboard) for her base and often uses gesso in a sprayable form to create her subtle backgrounds with stencils and masks.  I knew these were two things that I would concentrate on when I started experimenting. I haven't ever seen a "sprayable" version of gesso...so I decided to create my own...and you know me...once I start mixing it rarely stops!

To make it a bit easier to follow - I've done a video highlighting the techniques that I used.  You can watch it here...or over on YouTube if you prefer.  I will put some close-ups of the project and the process down below so you can see the results a bit better.

Here is a close-up of the focal image. You've seen those felt die cuts before, right? Sharp eye! I always keep the "leftovers" from previous projects and you never know where they may show up!

 I am totally loving the SPLAT! I think it takes away the "edges" and gives a softer look to the background.

Here is a close-up of the secondary focal image area....just added a bit of stamping and another die-cut sprig.

All these fun layers just make me happy!

And here are a few of the extra bits and pieces you could use if you don't have exactly what I used...remember - "raid your stash" when trying something new!

And finally, I know most of the folks that visit my blog are "lurkers" - and that is totally ok...but I want to get your opinion about my next series (we're not done with this one - but I am thinking ahead), so if you would humor me and leave me a comment I would really appreciate it. Here is my idea..

I know a lot of us do some form of "December Daily" (Ali Edwards) or "Journal Your Christmas" (Shimelle Laine) mini album project...and I was thinking that I would do a series in November sharing how I prepare my basic project to get ready for December. I would focus on some fun techniques and products and by the end of November we could have our Christmas Journal to the point that we only need to add pictures and a bit of journaling from the day.  What do you think of this idea?  Would it be something that you would be interested in seeing?  I wouldn't do a DAILY video - but I would probably cover 2-3 pages per video. Let me know what you think...and if there is anything else you would be interested in us doing after we finish our Fall Project Series.

Gotta run - but I will be back soon with another Fall Project!  Have a great week...and be sure and save some time for Creative Play!