12/24/13

Peppermint and Chocolate

That’s what this card reminds me of - peppermint and chocolate. The dark layers are a pretty chocolate brown, although it doesn’t show up well in the photo. I found a similar card on Pinterest and although I didn’t have the exact same candy striped paper, I had something close enough.

The Hero Arts sentiment was stamped with the same Colorbox Chianti ink and embossed with clear embossing powder. I added some Impression Obsession holly and berries to the corners, and applied a bit of Christmas Red Stickles to the berries.

The banners are made using the corners of a square punch - so much easier than trying to hand cut them. I only made 3 or 4 of these but they were so easy I could have done many more. I just needed to get on with it and get the cards in the mail so they will arrive before January.

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Popped up on a bit of foam adhesive.

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I gotta have a bit of sparkle on my cards this time of year.

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I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a healthy and prosperous New Year.

May your troubles be less

and your blessings be more,

May nothing but happiness

come through your door.

12/23/13

My Favorite Things Wreath

Another pretty simple card with minimal layering of die cuts. The wreath is from My Favorite Things and I only layered 2 of them this time and only made 2 of these cards. The die comes with the bow and an extra bow piece so I did layer that, too. The bow was die cut out of red suede paper. I added a little Stardust Stickles to the center, and Christmas Red Stickles for the berries on the wreath.

The name of the die is Spring Wreath and it shows the bow at the bottom, but it looked like a Christmasy wreath to me and I like the bow at the top, so there!

The sentiment is stamped with Colorbox Chianti pigment ink and heat embossed with clear embossing powder. Simple, yet kind of elegant, too.

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One more post tomorrow and that will be it for my Christmas cards this year.

12/21/13

Glittery Trees

I had one of the glittery garland and ornaments trees left and was bound and determined to do something different with it. I had already cleaned the Hero Arts stamp and put it away so I went with this design. No sentiment on the outside, just the tree popped up on some foam adhesive with a little bit of Tea Dye Distress Ink sponged on the kraft layer.

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It will still go through the mail just fine and it has a little bit of dimension to it.

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That’s all I’ve got for today - more soon.

12/20/13

Washi Tape Christmas Trees

Yes, I have jumped on the washi tape bandwagon with both feet. I wanted to make a couple of washi tape Christmas trees so I stuck several different designs to a piece of white card stock and die cut them with the Taylored Expressions Trim the Tree die. I just used the solid tree, no layering needed for these. The background paper is from a Doodlebug Designs 6 x 6 paper pad and the sentiment is the same Hero Arts one from last year’s clear set. The sentiment doesn’t show up well for some reason, but I used Hero Arts Mid Tome Red Royal and it is really pretty in person.

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Same everything, just a different arrangement of washi tape.

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Just one or two more posts and Christmas cards will be history!

12/19/13

Polka Dots and Christmas Trees

More Taylored Expressions trees and simple stamped sentiments. I had this tree left over from last year and I liked it so much I found the paper I used and made some more of them. Stickles are used for the ornaments and the background paper is from BoBunny. The smaller polka dots are from the 6 x 6 paper pad, the larger ones are from a 12 x 12 sheet. The sentiment is Hero Arts, a clear set from last year.

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I got a little tired of the layering so I went with some Stickles for garland and ornaments this time. The zig zag garland was done with a Viva D├ęcor Glitter Liner instead of Stickles because it holds its shape when it’s dry and the Stickles tend to flatten out sometimes.

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I hope you are enjoying these cards. I’d love to hear what you think - just click the comments link below and say howdy!

12/18/13

We Wish You a Merry Christmas

This is the last of the series of 12 and the simplest ones to make. Just a little glitter added to the snow bank, a heat embossed sentiment (Papertrey Ink), and that gorgeous Delicata Gold ink for the Penny Black trees.

The Cool Highlight Glitter Ritz glitter is adhered to Scor-Tape which was first adhered to a piece of white card stock and hand cut using a template. This is a slight modification of some cards from last Christmas - I just added the glittery snow bank this year. I love this stamp and it will probably make an appearance for several more years, too.

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I tried to capture the glittery goodness, but it is difficult to get a good photo of it. If you have used this glitter, you know how sparkly and pretty it is. The thing I like best about it is that if it is properly burnished it won’t come off of the card and get all over everything like most glitters will.

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One fairly clean and simple card for today, more in a day or so.

12/17/13

Merry Christmas

More die cutting and layering going on here. The Merry was cut with my Silhouette and has 3 layers, the tree is the Taylored Expressions Trim the Tree die and the sections of the tree were layered on top of the solid tree. I added a folded glue dot under the bottom edge to make the layers raised for some dimension. This die is to Christmas what the Impression Obsession Halloween Hill die is to Halloween. I will probably be using this one for years to come.

The Christmas is an Elizabeth Crafts die and I was not about to add layers to that one, it would have been way too tedious. The backgrounds are Papertrey dies from a couple of years ago. I really like the look of the kraft against the red card stock. I sponged a little Tea Dye Distress Ink on the edges of the kraft strip. These are another series of 12, 6 with one background and 6 with the other.

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I tried to keep most of the cards as flat as possible, no gems, pearls, or ribbon, so they would go through the postal machinery and not get destroyed. Fingers crossed!

12/16/13

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

It seems like I’ve been making cards for months when it’s only been a week or so. I finished up the last of them yesterday, the mess is cleaned up, and the supplies put away until next year. Here are some of the results of my labor.

I thought using dies would be the quick and easy, down and dirty way to go this year. It probably would have been if I hadn’t gotten a little over zealous with the layers and glitter. The wreath is simply a circle punched in the center and a scalloped circle punched around it - sounds simple enough, right? It was, until I decided I needed 3 extra layers underneath the patterned paper for some dimension. I could have used Pop Dots or foam adhesive, but noooo, it had to be layers of card stock. Once I did one of them, I had to make the rest of them the same, of course. I made 12 of 3 different designs and some onesies and twosies of others. This is one of the series of 12.

There is Apple Red Glitter Ritz glitter behind the Christmas on the die, adhered with Scor-Tape. No card stock layers this time, just some foam adhesive.

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I used 3 layers for the bow, too. Some red Stickles were added for berries on the wreath and a little on the bow. This is the time of year I get all glittered up - along with the floor, the tables, and even the cats sometimes.

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It’s hard to get a good photo of the glitteriness, but it’s there and I love it!

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The background was embossed with an older Stampin’ Up embossing folder. The only stamping is on the inside, which I forgot to photograph before they went in the mail. I did remember to get a photo of the back, though. It is the same on all of the cards, except the ones on brown card stock. The kitty is still there, minus the red hat and red and green scarf.

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The stamp is an older Hero Arts stamp and he’s colored with Copic Spica glitter pens.

Stay tuned for more Christmas cards this week and thank you for stopping by.

10/31/13

Halloween Cards - the inside story

Halloween is almost the only time I decorate the inside of the cards. I don’t have any idea why that is, except maybe that Halloween is my favorite holiday and I have some pretty cool stamps for the inside.

This one is made using a Hero Arts spider web stamp from a couple of years ago, stamped in Colorbox Frost White. The sentiment is from Lizzie Anne Designs and I’ve had that one for a couple of years, too. Are they still around? I used a Spellbinders die to cut out the image. I didn’t leave a lot of room for writing, but with the sentiment I really didn’t need to say much more. The other side is blank and I used a silver pen on the black card stock to sign my name.

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The sentiment is from Darcie’s  and the corners are from a small Inkadinako clear set.

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Of course, I had to make envelopes, too. I used up some of my 12 x 12 Halloween paper that I’ve been hoarding and made 20 envelopes. Yes, the “Boo” one is sideways because I cut it wrong :-/. Hey, it’s Halloween… things are supposed to be a bit wonky.

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Because I obviously couldn’t write on those envelopes I had to make some labels for the front of the envelopes. I used a Gina K Designs cling stamp and cut it out with the corresponding Spellbinders die. (I don’t think it’s available anymore, I couldn’t find it one her website). They are a bit large and cover a good portion of the envelope, but there’s plenty of room for the address. I just wish I could write in a straight line without having lines to go by. As long as they arrive at their intended destination I’ll be happy. Again - Halloween - wonky. Right?

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It will soon be time to break out the Christmas card supplies, so maybe I won’t be MIA for quite as long this time. Thank for hanging in there with me and I hope you all have a Happy Halloween!

10/29/13

Embrace Your Inner Witch

I’ve had this stamp from Impression Obsession for a couple of years and decided to finally get it inky this year. I only made 2 because there was so much coloring involved. The cards are A6 because the sentiment and the image wouldn’t fit on an A2. In retrospect I could have just put the sentiment inside, I suppose. Anyway…I think I like the placement of the sentiment better on the second card.

Which do you prefer - card #1 or card #2?

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Copic markers were used for coloring the image and I sponged a little Black Soot Distress Ink around the edges of both the image and the sentiment. The image was cut out using a Spellbinders die - Wonky Rectangles, I think it’s called.

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Stardust Stickles added to the bubbles for a little shimmer.

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This next card is a little over the top. It sort of took on a life of its own. I started out with the Memory Box Grand Willow Tree die and was determined to use the witch stirring the cauldron under the tree (Martha Stewart punch). I added the moon and the bat but there was too much empty space on the right side. I found a little square stamp and tried punching it out with a circle punch, a square punch and several other things, but none of them fit the space. So I got out my deckle edge scissors and tried that. Better.

Still too much empty space, though. Fill it up with ghosts - what a great idea! Add some googlie eyes to the tree and cauldron! Perfect! Um, not so much. So this turned out to be a lesson in perhaps less IS more, after all. I love that tree but couldn’t come up with a good way to use it. It probably should have been cut from black card stock instead of brown to start with. I’ll try again next year and maybe have something better to show for it. This one goes in my “don’t do this again” file.

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If you have any ideas on what to do with this lovely tree, I’d love to hear them!

10/28/13

Halloween with dripping slime

Are you tired of seeing this die yet? No? Good, because here are some more cards made with it!

I hoard the paper for the background because it is no longer available. I measure twice and cut once, as they say. I think I have a couple of sheets left which may  or may not make an encore appearance in next years cards.

The punch for the dripping slime you will probably recognize as an old Martha Stewart punch and the Happy Halloween is by Memory Box. I added a bit of Stardust Stickles to the stars for a little shimmer and used the Stardust Gelly Roll pen for the eyes on the kitty.

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Same design turned vertical, with the addition of the Memory Box graveyard die and a little glittery ghost.

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10/27/13

More Halloween

As promised, here are a few more of my Halloween cards.

This one is pretty simple - Memory Box patterned paper, a Memory Box graveyard die, Memory Box ghost die, a couple of bats cut with my Silhouette and a shimmery moon punched with a circle punch. Hero Arts sentiment.

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I can’t take credit for this design, I found it here and just changed it a tiny bit. I used a Tim Holtz embossing folder for the bricks, Memory Box Small Madison Window die and the shutter to match, Impression Obsession ghosts and a Hero Arts sentiment. I sponged the window and background with Black Soot Distress Ink and finally found a use for those metallic rub-ons - I rubbed some silver on the shutters to make them look weathered. I tried to find a link to the rub-ons, but I’m not sure the company is around anymore. They were made by Craf-T Products and I bought them at a convention several years ago. I think Jennifer McGuire’s video is what inspired me to buy them and then I promptly forgot how to use them, so they’ve been sleeping in the Land of Forgotten Stamping Accessories.

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Another one with the sponged background and the Impression Obsession Halloween Hill die. Yes, I am a bit obsessed with it. The sentiment is from an older Inkadinkado clear set and I added a couple of googlie eyes.

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I have a few more to post, so please stop back by soon.

10/24/13

It’s almost Halloween!

I actually finished my cards fairly early this year, too. I did cheat a bit and just copy some of the ones I did last year, but I will be sending them to new people so they will be new to them.

These two, of which I made multiples, are last year’s cards revisited.

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Impression Obsession Halloween Hill die on both of them, Memory Box Grand Madison Window die on the second one. The background was sponged using Distress Inks and the sentiment is from an older Hero Arts clear set.

A couple of new ones, still using the IO Halloween Hill die. Until someone comes out with a better die, I will probably be using this one for years!

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The Happy Halloween at the bottom is a Memory Box die. It only completely cuts off the bottom of the letters, leaving the words attached at the top.

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I think the sentiment is an old dollar stamp from Michael's.

I will be posting more in the coming days, so please check back. I know my blogging has been non-existent lately but until now I just didn’t have anything to post because I haven’t made anything in a long time. I will most likely start on Christmas cards next month and maybe get those finished up early, too. The weather here has turned sort of wintry already with highs in the low 50s, so maybe I can get in a Christmas card making mood early.

9/18/13

Washi Tape

I didn’t want to jump on the washi tape bandwagon, but I really couldn’t avoid it. I haven’t had the chance to expand my collection yet but I have a really long wish list.

One of my penpals asked what else I do with washi tape, besides using it on the envelopes, so I made these. They are almost identical to these, except I used 3 strips instead of 4. I could make these all day, they are so quick and easy.

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I am looking forward to acquiring more washi tape soon. There are so many pretty designs and colors out there now. Queen & Co. and Doodlebug Designs are among my favorites. I went to AC Moore last week in hopes of finding some washi tape from these companies because they used to carry them, but apparently they don’t anymore. They had the same old tired stock they had 6 months ago. So I guess I will be doing some online shopping for my washi tape addiction. You know what that means, right? I’ll have to order enough to make the shipping charges worth it :-)

9/16/13

OWH Labor Day weekend VCMP challenge

I did not participate in the Virtual Card Making Party (VCMP), but I did peek at some of the other participant’s cards. Dixie made a beautiful card using this sketch, so I decided to dig into my patterned paper stash and see what I could come up with.

This is what happened. The patterned paper is from the Hello Summer 6 x 6 paper pad from Echo Park, punched into 1” squares.

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The hardest part was lining up the squares. I drew a light pencil line down the center of the card stock and lined up the center square first, making sure the points lined up on the pencil line. I erased the line and instead of adding the square to the right or left of the center one, I added the one to the top right next. I tried it the other way - twice - and made a mess of it. So instead of doing what I usually do - doing the same thing over and over expecting different results and therefore making myself crazy - I tried something different. It worked much better. Once the squares on the top and bottom right or left are added, the others are so much easier to line up.

A LOT of card makers participated in the VCMP! If you’d like to see some beautiful and creative creations, check out the master thread here. There were 9 challenges and that post has links to all of them. At the bottom of the posts are thumbnails with links to the individual entries. Grab a cup of coffee, or a glass of something stronger if you are so inclined, sit back and enjoy browsing. I’m sure you will find some inspiration there!

9/14/13

Birds on a Wire

I made a similar card back in June and I needed some card fronts for my card/letters, so I just CASEd my own design and changed it up a bit. That’s much easier than coming up with a completely NEW design. Lazy? Me?? Ummmm……yeah.

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I added tiny black dots with a Micron pen for eyes on the birds and on this one I drew in some itty bitty bird legs. It occurred to me (after making 2 of them) that birds are usually standing on the wires rather than sitting. Duh!

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No eyes and no legs - obviously physically challenged birds on this wire. But they are colorful and cute, and maybe no one will notice that they are blind and legless.

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The birds are made with a Memory Box die called Resting Birds and the speech bubble is a stamp and die from Hero Arts. The wire is made with a black Memento marker - and a ruler. One of my hand drawn lines without using a ruler would mean the poor little blind, legless birds would be wobbling about on a really wonky wire and we don’t want that, do we? Maybe they’re not blind or legless after all, maybe they’re just napping - resting, as in the name of the die set, Resting Birds. That’s what they’re doing. I feel better about it now, thanks.

9/12/13

Chevrons

Every time I see the word “chevron” I think of the oil company. To me, they are still zig zags. Anyway, I used my chevron/zig zag dies from Papertrey to create a card.

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I used the wider die for the colors and the narrow one for the white strips. I added the black “hello”, cut using the MFT Die-namics die from the Happy Hellos set. Again, no stamping involved. I tried cutting them to length and then adhering them to the card stock, but found it was easier to leave them full length, stick them down and then trim. Liquid glue or a good glue pen is also easier than using the ATG, since it gives a little wiggle room when lining them up with one another. The dies are 8-1/2” long, so I was able to make two cards without having to cut all of the pieces twice. Maybe that’s why the zigs are off a bit at the end.

8/27/13

Birthday Cards

It was my birthday a few weeks ago (never mind which one) and I received some lovely cards from friends and penpals. Here they are, in no particular order:

From Pat M.

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From Rebecca in Vero Beach

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It’s one of those cute swing cards!

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From Claire in St. Augustine (she never forgets). I miss you, Claire!

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From Dixie

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From Brenda

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From Emogene

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From Karen K

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From Stephanie (the same girl who sent me this lovely letter/card)

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The papers are box pleated!

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From Vicki F

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A closer look at all of those gorgeous flowers!

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From my good pen friend Tami in Oregon! She also sent me a package of goodies. Thank you so much, Tami!

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This gorgeous creation came all the way from Germany, from my lovely pen friend Marina. It’s stunning! The design around the edge looks like it is cut out of the card stock, red line tape placed behind it and the micro beads adhered to the red line tape. It’s gorgeous - this photo does not do it justice! Thank you, Marina!

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She also included this lovely handmade necklace:

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It was a wonderful birthday, I love every single card and gift. Thank you all for thinking of me, it means more than you know :-)