Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Winter Birthday

Good morning everyone! I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. Mine was very nice, I had a few days off so I really got to enjoy it at home and we went to my parents to spend the day with my folks and brothers. I did get all my baking done, as well as those snowflake cookies I was talking about but I've got NO pictures to show for it! I made the mistake of making two batches of butter cookie dough, not knowing that one would be way more than enough and it ended up being a HUGE project! I spent the entire day making cookies, then rest of the evening decorating them so I was exhausted. I wanted nothing more to do with them when they were finished! I learned a few things from that day, and I can say I won't be making them again any time soon, lol! But I had plenty to give out to family and friends, and even brought some to work and they seemed to be a big hit. It was a good recipe.

Anyway, I want my routine back, enough hustle and bustle so here's a card I made recently. I'm still in winter mode, not ready for flowers and springtime yet, so I decided on a winter birthday card. This is a digital image from Wee Stamps.


With the popularity of Nordic patterns all over the place, I was really wishing for an embossing folder with a knitted pattern. Cuttlebug, Sizzix, anyone? Anyone? Nope, nowhere to be found unfortunately. So, I improvised and created a stamped pattern using the knit background pattern from Waltzingmouse Stamps. How awesome would that be as an embossing folder?! They have herringbone, argyle, hounds tooth, but no knit! Get with it!




Image was colored with Copics, and I added a little decorative hand stitching around it. The snowflake is an Amuse Studio die that I covered in clear EP to make it nice and shiny.


Thanks for stopping by!


Stamps: Wee Stamps, Waltzingmouse Stamps, PTI sentiment
Ink: Versamark, Memento
Paper: Hammermill, PTI
Tools & Accessories: twill ribbon, Amuse Studios snowflake die, embroidery thread, clear EP, Copics, Souffle pen, white EP, Stickles



Sunday, December 25, 2011



Thank you to all of my wonderful blog readers and friends, I appreciate all your kind comments in the past year.

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas, and a bountiful, blessed New Year!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Cards for the men in our lives....

I know a lot card makers struggle with cards for the men in our lives, but it's not that hard to do if you start thinking differently. Think about the clothes your man likes to wear, what kind of patterns are on them? What colors? Are they sports enthusiasts? Hunting, fishing, cars, woodworking? What are some of the materials used in their hobbies? If you start looking at the different elements that make up their wardrobe and hobbies, you can easily come up with a card they will like.
Here's an example of a card I know my Jimmy will like. He loves to hunt, deer and pheasant are his favorite. So when I come across a deer or bird stamp I know he would like, I get it specifically to use for his cards. In this card, the image is a gorgeous snowy scene from Northwoods. 


Now what about papers/patterns? For a hunter/outdoors-man plaids are almost a given, as in flannel shirts. To recreate a plaid flannel shirt, I stamped my own plaid using a plaid maker stamp from DRS Designs and Waltzingmouse. He likes blue, so I used two different blues and a rusty red for some holiday accent. Then I ran it through my Big Kick using the linen Impression Plate from Papertrey Ink, for some realistic fabric texture.



Let's see, what else does Jimmy like? He collects guns/rifles not only for their purpose, but because of the craftsmanship of the wood grips. He appreciates beautiful woods. So, from my stash I get some of the real wood paper I found at Michael's a long time ago.


Since I know he wouldn't really appreciate flowers, or bows on his card, I did something else. I added a little pine decoration to the bottom of the image. A couple of shaped pine branch die cuts from Cheery Lynn, tipped with white acrylic paint and some tiny hand made pinecones frosted with glass glitter does the trick! A festive little greenery swag  to spruce up the whole card. 


So quit agonizing over those masculine cards and just start thinking about the few things I've mentioned, and you'll have no trouble coming up with a gorgeous card your man will love.


Thanks for visiting, I'll be back soon with updates on the snowflake cookie baking project I'm going to working on all day today.


Stamps: Northwoods, DRS Designs, Waltzingmouse, PTI
Ink: Versafine, Distress, Marvy Heritage
Paper: PTI, wood paper, water color paper, SU, gold c.s., Raspberry Road Designs digital paper
Tools & Accessories: Niji water brush, gold leafing pen, Cheery Lynn pine branch dies, flower punch (for pine cones), Americana acrylic paint, glass glitter, PTI banner die, Michael's ribbon, Viva Decor pearl pen

Monday, December 19, 2011

Old Fashioned Candy Canes

Good morning friends! I'm winding down with the Christmas projects, this is one of the ones I've been putting off since last Christmas! You see, last year right after Christmas I saw these gorgeous old fashioned candy canes in the liquor store on clearance. I snapped up whatever they had left thinking they would keep till this holiday. Well, I stored them in a box in a kitchen cabinet and when I went to get them out a couple of months ago, they were completely ruined. Melted and gooey and icky! Who would have thought hard candy could do that? I didn't. But as it turned out, these are all natural, no preservative candy canes from Hammond Candies, so they weren't meant to last that long, lol! 
Well, I waited, and waited to see them again in the liquor store this year, and when I didn't see them I had to order them from the Hammond Candy web site. They are just so beautiful, and come in luscious flavors. My favorite is the chocolate filled cherry one. YUM! There's also cinnamon filled, gingerbread, pear, apple...
Anyway, they're so beautiful I couldn't cover them up in a box, or package, so this is what I came up with;


They're very, very big candy canes (9") so this folder style card with the cane attached is very big. Pretty, but kind of cumbersome.


How about that antique candy cane DP from Karen Foster? Is it a perfect match to these or what?! The image is from Penny Black, water colored with Distress inks and markers. I went back with some colored pencil to do the soft amber glow around the image.



The rest of the candy canes are much simpler, with just a tag attached to it. Some more snowmen, one from Penny Black again and the other from Whipper Snapper. 


The candy cane on the left is the gingerbread flavor one, and on the right is peppermint. Aren't the colors just divine! I haven't tried the gingerbread one yet, but the peppermint and cherry ones are delish.



It's off to work for me, but I've got quite a few days off this week, thank goodness, I plan on baking those snowflake cookies. Of course I'll take pictures and share them here.


Thanks for dropping by, have a great week!


Stamps: Penny Black, Whipper Snapper, Cornish Heritage Farms, PTI
Ink: Versafine, Distress, Marvy Heritage
Paper: Core'dinations, Karen Foster, PTI, Fabriano w/c paper
Tools & Accessories: Nestabilities, Amuse Studios snowflake die, Marvy/Uchida snowflake punches, glass glitter, SU tiny tag punch, sewing machine, PTI buttons, baker's twine, Tombow/SU markers, acrylic paint, SU ribbon, wide striped grosgrain ribbon, Spellbinders Labels/Lacy Circles, Sizzix embossing folder, Tonic ticket punch duo, EK Success tiny scallop edge punch, colored pencils, OMS

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Joyeux Noel

Hello friends! I have to admit, my mojo is playing games with me, I have plenty of ideas but nothing seems to come of them. I think I'm suffering from Christmas burnout. I've been making merry cards since September, and I think I need a change. Which is upsetting because I still have so many projects I want to get done! So many ideas, so little time. I think the fact that Christmas is only 10 days away is frustrating me, making me a nervous wreck! 

Well, this card was done a while ago, and I wonder if it will be the last for the holiday...



I used 'Christmas Bears Bird Table' on this card. I can't believe how much I love these little animal images even after all this time. I've got to tell you, I go through stamps much faster than I change my socks, but I just never get tired of Lili of the Valley's sweet stamps. 



The papers are Raspberry Road designs, 'Cranberry Cottage'. I did a little stitching around the edges of the card, added some mini pom pom trim to the bottom, some jingle bells, and my favorite snowflake dies, SU's Northern Frost. 
I sponged the color around the image in Fluid Chalk, Amber Clay. The chalk inks are awesome for sponging, it produces such a soft, velvety color.


Thanks for stopping by!


Stamps: Lili of the Valley, Papertrey Ink
Ink: Memento, Fluid Chalk, SU
Paper: Hammermill, PTI
Tools & Accessories: SU snowflake die, PTI ribbon, jingle bells, Nestabilities, SU Markers, Copics, Stickles, baker's twine, pom pom trim, embroidery floss

Monday, December 12, 2011

'Cookies' and Nutcracker in Blue

Good morning all. It was a short weekend, but- I did manage to get some Christmas shopping done. Not much, a few small things for my other half. This is a record for me, I hate real-life shopping and will usually put it off till the last minute. It's online shopping all the way for me! I love coming home from work, stopping by our mailboxes and finding surprises there. It's like Christmas every time, lol!

Last week was kind of dry for me, not much going on in the creative department. I seemed to hit a wall and couldn't get much done. Everything was starting to get stale and nothing I usually do was inspiring me. I decided to try something different...


Somehow a Family Circle magazine ended up in my mailbox, I don't know if it was a freebie, wrong address or what, but I was flipping through it a couple of weeks ago and came across the recipe section. There were the most gorgeous snowflake cookies I had ever seen and I immediately went online to hunt down the fancy cookie cutters! I bought a bunch of them, snowflake junkie that I am, but this one particular set of 5 was amazing. There were three snowflake shapes in several sizes and two small triangular cutters for cutting out the insides in pretty patterns. (See them here.) I couldn't wait to make Christmas cookies, but it's still kind of early for parties and such, so I got to thinking...



What if I dig out all my old polymer clay gear and make some snowflake cookie ornaments to hold me over till I can make real cookies? Bingo! Out came the P.C. dedicated pasta machine, clay, and roller. I wanted to make them look like real sugar cookies, so I used a beige colored clay mixed with pearl white and translucent. In no time at all I rolled out some sheets of clay and started cutting. Popped them into the oven for half an hour and let them cool. I inked the edges of each ornament with Corduroy Distress ink to simulate the golden color they get from baking. Then I went to work with the Viva Decor Pearl Pen, lines, swirls, dots and glass glitter (looks like real sugar!), added some gold cord for hanging and voila! This project seemed to bash through the creative block! 

And finally yesterday, I was back to making cards. This gorgeous nutcracker from Waltzingmouse Stamps has been a long time coming. Doesn't he look proud!


He's gold embossed and Copic colored. Kept it simple with one color family. I decided to stick with the monochromatic color scheme for the papers too. Blue, white and gold. 




I made the plaid label layer using a plaid stamp from DRS Designs as well as one of the herringbone patterns from a WMS background set. I'm lovin' the plaid lately if you haven't noticed....


So, it's a pretty good start to the countdown till Christmas, no more dry spells please!!


Thanks for stopping by.


Stamps: WMS, DRS Desings
Ink: Versamark, Adirondack, Palette
Paper: PTI, pearl stripe from The Paper Temptress
Tools & Accessories: Spellbinders Nestabilities/Labels, Martha Stewart snowflake PATP, Filigree gold embossing powder, Stickles, Copics, PTI ribbon

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Cranberries and pine

Good morning everyone!
This is another fast, easy to crank out Christmas card, with no coloring involved. (Well, it's fast for me).


The background was created using Waltzingmouse Stamps' chevron from 'Offbeat Backgrounds' in Scarlet Jewel and Avocado. Such a pretty, yet different Christmas color combo.
I embossed a piece of gold mirror cardstock with a Sizzix folder, LOVE the way this looks, it's almost like a sheet of metal.



The wreath was stamped several times, to make it look more full of cranberries, and I embossed the top layer with clear. 
Sounds like a lot of steps, but it went pretty quickly.


How are you all doing with your Christmas cards this year? All done and mailed out?


Thanks for stopping by!



Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Last Lili of the Valley Thursday Challenge

Hello blog friends, if you've been to the LOTV challenge blog already then you've already found out that this is our last challenge. There will be an independent LOTV challenge blog but it will be run by our very own Jacqui. Look for it in 2012. The Inspire blog will be LOTV's focus, with lots of new and exciting content in the coming year. While I am sad that challenge blog will be no more, I am eager to see what's in store for the Inspire blog! 
Now onto the final challenge. We're using Pink, White and Silver for our projects today. I thought of this beautiful image right away, 'Christmas Magic'. She looks perfectly elegant in her pretty coat and scarf, and pink is her color. 


I stamped her in Memento Ink, using London Fog instead of black for a softer look. 


She's colored with Copics, and the fur is glittered with Stickles. The patterned papers are hard to see in the pictures, but they're the Victorian Holiday collection from Raspberry Road designs. I love the beautiful pale pinks, soft blue greens and vintage designs in this collection. 


See the tiny tag I attached to the bow? I love tiny tags, but there seems to be a shortage of really small sentiments to fit on them. I have some, but I love variety. I came up with a solution... I printed a ton of little sentiments in all kinds of fonts on a sheet of paper. And yes, I spent an hour punching them all out with a SU tag punch, lol! But at least I'll have a dozen different kinds of holiday sentiments ready to go at any time. 


Thanks for stopping by, take care!


Stamps: Lili of the Valley
Ink: Memento
Paper: The Paper Co. silver cardstock, Bazzill, Hammermill, PTI Autumn Rose
Tools & Accessories: Spellbinders Fleur de Lis squares, silver satin ribbon, jingle bells, baker's twine, Copics, Stickles, white trim from Webster's Pages

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Little Ragamuffin

I finally colored up this adorable little ragamuffin from Mo's Digital Pencil. It sat for the longest time on my desk, and I just kept passing it over for something else, and now I can't understand why! Gosh she's adorable!


I used very earthy, grayed colors she is after all, a raggedy angel. She's a poor little soul, not a dime to her name, but a heart as good as gold. I always tell myself these little stories when I color, I'm telling you, stamping and coloring is wonderful therapy. 



If you look closely, and click on the picture to enlarge it you might be able to see that I've finally managed to emboss a digital image out of the printer! It was such a frustrating thing for me, most times I was wasting paper. THIS time, I used some bleedproof paper and it worked beautifully! I love the way it looks. Copics color a bit differently on this paper, but nothing I can't work with. 
Again, I did some hand stitching around the label die cuts, to tie in with the raggedy angel look. And of course, some very vintage looking papers from Kaisercraft. The newsprint paper on the bottom layer is perfect, because I imagine this little ragamuffin might sell newspapers on a street corner to help buy all her family little gifts for Christmas! 


Thanks for stopping by, have a wonderful day!

Stamps: Mo's Digital Pencil, Cornish Heritage Farms sentiment
Ink: Versamark, Distress
Paper: Bee Paper bleedproof paper, Kaisercraft paper pad, The Paper Company
Tools & Accessories: Cheery Lynn pine branch dies, tea dyed baker's twine, jingle bells, Copics, Filigree black embossing powder, embroidery floss, grosgrain ribbon, Spellbinders labels

Monday, December 5, 2011

Merry Little Elf

Hello again! How adorable is this little guy swinging from a shiny red ornament?! He looks a bit mischievous doesn't he? He knows he's so cute he can get away with almost anything...lol. He's 'Little Elf Finn' from Mo's Digital Pencil


I had a heck of a time coloring that red ornament, it's a pretty large area and hard to get a smooth blend. Perseverance is the name of the game! Eventually, it looked like a shiny red ball, lol!


The papers are from PTI's newest release, and I have to say, I like it a lot. If it's got snowflakes, I  love it!! Plus the colors are really awesome.


Well, I'm off, the weekend's over and it's time to go back to work...poo!


Have a great day!

Stamps: Digital image from Mo's Digital Pencil, sentiment from PTI
Ink: Memento
Paper: PTI, Hammermill, Heavenly White
Tools & Accessories: Nestabilities, Lacey Circles, PTI scallop die, PTI ribbon, Martha Stewart Snowflake punches, PTI Button, baker's twine, PTI Winterberry Die, Copics, Crystal Lacquer, self stick pearls, SU Heat n Stick powder, Glitter

Saturday, December 3, 2011

My new Christmas car dangle/air freshener

Hello blog friends, finally a weekend off from work for me. I came home from work yesterday so tired, the first thing I did was lay down on the couch and take a long nap! I didn't have to worry that I wasn't going to be able to go to sleep at night, and not be able to get up early in the AM. That felt good! It also felt good to sleep till 9 AM, lol.
Anyway, I needed a new car dangle for my rear view mirror, the Autumn one I still had in my car was doing nothing for my Christmas spirit, soooo-- here it is:


I 'stepped it up' this time (according to my 14 year old daughter) and made it as a car freshener as well. I first did this a while ago in this post here. The scent doesn't last that long, but for a few weeks, it smells wonderful. Since I change the dangles in my car for every season, this doesn't matter to me. Or, I could always add more scent.



I took a lot of time with this project, and I have to say it was worth it. I'm obsessed with stitching seed beads to everything, as well as hand stitching with embroidery floss. This project might look a bit familiar if you've been following my blog for a while, I made a card using similar techniques a long time ago. (See here.) Because that card was my all time most favorite card I ever made, I had to use it for inspiration on this project. 



The background papers were all stamped using a white ink resist technique I learned from Pine is here. LOVE this technique, it is one of my faves. I first stamped a piece of Aqua Mist cardstock with Impression Obsession's sheet music cover-a-card in Ocean Tides. Then I stamped random snowflakes from Peace Be Still in white ink. When that dried, I brayered over it with Soft Sky (SU) ink. I cut it out with a Spellbinders label die, spritzed it lightly with Glimmer Mist and ran it through the Big Kick again to emboss it with an impression plate. Pheww!



A lot of work, but so worth it to create beautiful patterned papers in your favorite color combinations. 


The beads are all Swarovski crystals, oh-- and some pretty little jingle bells. Maybe all the pot holes won't be so bad when I hear a little jingle every time, ha ha!!


Hope I've been able to inspire you a bit to make your own car pretties, if you have I'd love to see what you come up with! Just leave a link with your comment so I can take a peek!


Thanks for stopping by!


Stamps: Papertrey Ink, Impression Obsession
Ink: Perfect Match, SU
Paper: PTI
Tools & Accessories: Spellbinders Labels, PTI Impression plate, seed beads, self stick pearls, embroidery floss, wool felt, Swarovski crystals, silver bead cap/spacer beads, jingle bells, PTI ribbon, eyelet, Crop-a-dile, invisible thread

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmas in the heart....

Happy December! Can you believe it?! The countdown to Christmas is ON! Yikes...

I think this is the card for my folks this year. I am very pleased with the way it came out. All the papers are digital, from Raspberry Road Designs, my new favorite digital paper place. This one is called Christmas Chic. 


I sewed on some tiny seed pearl beads all around the edge of the card. The only stamping I did was this beautiful quote from Impression Obsession in gold embossing powder.  


I cut out the circle frame and cut out another layer to pop up on some foam tape for dimension. I added some German Glass Glitter here and there for a little icy sparkle. 



 I even decorated the inside of the card with another stamped sentiment, from Waltzingmouse Stamps. The gold frame is from Marianne Designs.



I think my Mom will like it. Hope you do too, thanks for stopping by!


Stamps: Impression Obsession, Waltzingmouse
Ink: Versamark
Paper: Bazzill, Heavenly White, Cascata, Stardream
Tools & Accessories: Marianne Designs Creatables die, Filigree gold embossing powder, pearl seed beads, twill ribbon, SU Northern Frost die, German glass glitter, self adhesive pearls