Thursday, December 25, 2014

Countdown to Xmas: 25 Cards, 25 Days - Day 25! MERRY CHRISTMAS!

MERRY CHRISTMAS, everyone!  Wow - Day 25 is finally here.  How awesome.  Hope you are all spending some great time with friends and family.  Thank you for the support and encouragement through my first Christmas Card series.  This project was so much fun, and though it took a bit of time, it was totally worth it!  Thank you for the fun comments as well!

Since I love Christmas and I love Bubblegum... here's my Christmas greeting for all of you:

Click below for a behind the scenes look of the bubblegum machine assembly process:

  • Kraft cardstock: 4.25"W x 11"H, scored at 5.5" mark
  • Pink card stock: 4"W x 5.25" H
  • White card stock: 3.75"W x 5"H
  • The Stamps of Life:
    • bubblegum4me stamps
    • moregum4me stamps
    • bubblegume die set
    • ornaments4Christmas stamps
  • Patterned paper for the machine and gum balls
  • Black ink pad
  • Adhesive tape runner
  • Liquid adhesive for gumballs
  • Stamp the bubblegum machine stamp on four pieces of paper: white, grey, pink and green.
  • Cut each piece of the machine from the different colors.  I wanted a pink machine with green trim.  The base of the machine is on white background.  The metal sections are in grey.
  • Piece the machine together
  • Add the bubblegum gum balls in different colors that coordinate with the machine. 
  • Stamp "Have a Bubble-rific" on a piece of white card stock using black and pink ink.
  • Stamp "Christmas" underneath.  I used the top part of the "Christmas Blessings" sentiment for this.
  • Cut a strip of 0.75" pink polka dot paper.  Glue this to the top of the white card insert approximately 0.325" from the top.
  • Place the sentiment on some green patterned paper to create a mat.  Glue this on top of the pink strip of paper.
  • Adhere the machine with foam adhesive.
  • Glue everything to the pink and kraft card stock.

Yummy!!!  Have a very Merry Christmas!!!

Note: Although this "Countdown to Xmas" series has ended, please check back often for some new card designs.  I have a few lined up to ring in the New Year!  Thanks for reading and following!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Countdown to Xmas: 25 Cards, 25 Days - Day 24

'Twas the Night before Christmas and all through the house...  How are you spending your Christmas Eve?  Some of you may be wrapping up last minute Christmas gifts, so today's "card" is just for you.  Instead of a card, I made two gift tags.  This was also a suggestion made by a good childhood friend, so here goes:

 Here's a close-up of the Penguin figure skating tag:

Materials for the Penguin skating tag:

  • 7 pieces of kraft card stock cut to 3.5" squares
  • Sizzix Scalloped circles die set
  • Simon Says Stamp stitched circles dies set
  • 2 pieces of white card stock
  • Ranger Distress Ink: Tumbled Glass
  • Mama Elephant Happy Everything stamp set
  • Simon Says Stamp stitched slopes die set
  • Penguin stickers
  • Ranger Enamel Accents

Directions for the Penguin skating tag:

  • I used seven layers of kraft card stock to make a super thick, heavy duty tag base.
  • Cut seven scalloped circles and then die cut the center with a stitched circle die in only 6 of the layers.  The solid scalloped circle will serve as the back of the tag.
  • Punch a hole in the same spot on each of the scalloped circles for twine.
  • Die cut two white stitched circles slightly larger than the window opening on the tag.
  • Use the stitched slope die to cut a slightly concave shaped section for the bottom of the circle.  This will serve as the ice/frozen pond.
  • Use distress ink and lightly color the sky.  Use the same color and color the ice with more ink to provide some contrast from the sky.
  • Stamp "FOR YOU" on some patterned paper and cut out a banner.
  • To assemble the tag, start with the solid scalloped circle.  Glue the white stitched circle to the center.  Add  two scalloped circles on top of that. Then glue the ice piece in place.  Add the remaining four scalloped circles the top. 
  • Add the "For You" sentiment with foam adhesive.
  • Glue the penguin stickers in place.
  • Tie twine through the holes and finish with a bow.

Here's a close-up of the Penguin shaker tag:

Materials for the Penguin shaker tag:
  • Two pieces of patterned paper (same pattern)
  • One piece of patterned paper for the background
  • Vellum Paper
  • Button
  • Mama Elephant Polar Pals stamp set
  • Mama Elephant Happy Everything stamp set
  • Twine
  • Star confetti
  • Foam adhesive strips
  • Copic Markers
  • Memento Tuxedo Black ink pad
  • Ranger White embossing powder
  • My Favorite Things STAX Tag Dies 
Directions for the Penguin shaker tag:
  • Die cut all the patterned paper and vellum in the shape of a tag
  • Take one of the patterned papers and cut a window in the center.  This will be the front of the tag.
  • Punch a hole through the top of the tag.
  • Glue the darker patterned paper to the back tag.  
  • Add foam adhesive strips around the edges of the tag.  Fill with star confetti.
  • Emboss "happy" and "holidays" on the vellum in white embossing powder.  Adhere the vellum to the top of the foam adhesive.
  • Add the top of the tag with the window. 
  • Stamp the Penguin using Memento Tuxedo Black ink, color with copic markers and die-cut.  Attach to the front of the tag with foam dots.
  • String twine through the button.  
  • String twine through the hole at the top of the tag.
  • Glue the button to the tag covering the hole.
  • Shake it up and make sure nothing falls out.  
Enjoy!  Good luck with all the last minute gift wrapping!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Countdown to Xmas: 25 Cards, 25 Days - Day 23

Christmas Carols are my absolute favorite and Jingle Bells inspired today's musical post.  The "music theme" was also a suggestion from one of my childhood music teachers.  I was always a teacher's pet, so why change old habits now that I'm thirty-something?  Here's today's card:

  • Red card base: 5.5"W x 8.5"H, scored at 4.25" mark
  • White card stock for the inside of the card: 5.25"W x 4"H
  • 1.25" strip of matching red card stock for the sentiment
  • Green Polka Dot Ribbon
  • White card stock to place behind the sheet music.
  • Foam adhesive
  • Ranger Distress Inks in the following colors:
    • Tea Dye
    • Old Paper
  • Ink Jet Printer

  • I did not have any sheet music patterned paper in my collection.  So, I turned to Google and searched for free to use Christmas Carol sheet music.  Lo and behold, Jingle Bells popped up.  How perfect!  My favorite line in the song is "laughing all the way" because I love to laugh.  I figured that would make a fun sentiment.
  • Print the sheet music on regular Ink Jet paper (white paper).  Cut the music to fit the card and adhere to a piece of card stock the same size.  I wanted to have a little bit of a margin on the left side for the ribbon, so the sheet music isn't evenly placed on the front.
  • Use distress ink to cover the paper and the edges.  I wanted this to have an old parchment kind of feel, so I chose Tea Dye and Old Paper ink colors.  Be careful when applying the ink.  Distress Ink doesn't take away the InkJet printer ink, but water does.  So be sure not to splash any water on this.
  • Cut the sentiment so it's approximately 0.75"H - be sure to leave plenty of room on the sides to wrap around the sheet music.  
  • Glue the sentiment to the 1.25" red paper strip.  Wrap this strip around the sheet music and adhere with foam adhesive to add dimension.
  • Add the green polka dot ribbon.
  • Glue the white insert to the inside of the card.  
  • Here's a close-up of the music:
  • What I love about this design is that you can make a whole series of Christmas Carols using this layout.  Find sheet music for different Christmas Carols, choose the line that means the most to you... and there you have it!  Hmm... I might have to make a boxed set of Christmas Carol cards now.

"O'er the fields we go, laughing all the way (ha ha ha)..."  

Monday, December 22, 2014

Countdown to Xmas: 25 Cards, 25 Days - Day 22

Christmas is just a few days away!  Are you ready?  Here in LA we've had some amazing weather and gorgeous sunsets.  Today's card reflects what Christmas in LA feels like.  I know, I know, some of you are bracing for a big winter storm heading your way, so stay safe and warm.  At least you'll have a White Christmas!

  • White card base: 4.25"W x 11"H, scored at 5.5" mark
  • White card insert: 4.25"W x 5.5"H
  • Ranger Distress Inks - colors used:
    • Mustard Seed (yellow)
    • Spiced Marmalade (orange)
    • Seedless Preserves (purple)
    • Chipped Sapphire (dark blue)
    • Peacock Feathers (aqua)
    • Black Soot (on the bottom)
  • Simon Says Stamp Christmas Blessings die
  • The Stamps of Life: "wishes" sentiment from snowman2build and mini-Christmas trees from Merry & Bright September 2014 card kit.
  • Sequins
  • Adhesive Tape Runner
  • 1/2" Corner Rounder

  • Distress Inks are perfect for making cool blended backgrounds.  For this card, start from the bottom up and blend Mustard Seed, Spiced Marmalade, Seedless Preserves, Chipped Sapphire and Peacock feathers.
  • Stamp the trees on the bottom of the card in black ink.
  • Use Black Soot to blend the bottom of the card to make it dark grey/black.  Think shadows during a sunset.
  • Cut the word "Christmas" at an angle.  Be sure to keep all the little pieces inside the loops.  You will be gluing these back onto the card stock later.
  • Stamp the word "wishes" under Christmas.
  • Glue the background to the white card base.  
  • Use glue and careful piece together the rest of the "Christmas" word (i.e. loops in the letters: c, h, r, s and t).
  • Glue sequins to the top of the card.  I used micro glue dots because I was super lazy.
  • Round off the corners with a corner punch. 
  • Here's a close-up of the sequins and die cut:

Enjoy!  Warm wishes for a festive holiday!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Countdown to Xmas: 25 Cards, 25 Days - Day 21

It's Sunday!  And that means... Gameday!  Yup, Sunday Football.  I participated in a Fantasy Football League this year.  I was the only female competing against 11 guys... and I managed to place 2nd heading into the playoffs.  Keep in mind, I know very little about football.  I don't even know the first names of my players, just their first initials (thanks, Yahoo! Fantasy Football).  I'm all about the projections... and luck.  Here's a card for the football fans in your life.  The green stripes remind me of referee jerseys or the field.

  • Sizzles Circle Flip-its Framelit die
  • Red Cardstock: 6"W x 6.5"H
  • Patterned paper for the edges: 6"x6"
  • White paper for the back panel: 3"x6"
  • Football stickers
  • Stamps of Life ornaments4Christmas stamp set for the sentiment and ornament topper
  • Ranger White Embossing Powder
  • Ranger Liquid Platinum Embossing Powder
  • Red Baker's Twine (The Twinery)
  • Adhesive Tape Runner
  • Foam Adhesive
  • Use the largest die to cut the card base from the red card stock. 
  • Use the two side panel dies to cut the patterned paper.  If you're using striped paper like mine, make sure the edges of the dies line up with the lines on the paper.  Otherwise, you'll have diagonal lines.
  • Use the larger side panel to cut out a white back panel for your message.
  • Use the largest scalloped circle die to cut the white and green scalloped circles.
  • Use the largest pierced circle die to cut the white and green pierced circles.
  • Stamp the ornament topper on some scratch white paper with Versamark Ink.  Heat emboss with Liquid Platinum powder.  Cut the topper out and adhere to the top of the football sticker.  String baker's twine through the hole and tie a bow.  Glue this entire embellishment to the white pierced circle.
  • Stamp the "Christmas Wishes" sentiment on the green pierced circle.  Heat emboss with White powder.
  • Now it's time to glue it all together!  Start with the two side panels.  Glue those to the red card stock.  Glue the football circle to the green scalloped circle and use foam adhesive to attach to the front of the card.  Here's a close-up of the football circle:

  • Glue the green pierced circle to the white scalloped circle and glue this piece to the inside front cover behind the circle.  Here's a close-up of the Christmas Wishes circle.

  • Glue the white side panel to the back of the card.  Here's an image of the back of the card:

Touchdown!  Enjoy!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Countdown to Xmas: 25 Cards, 25 Days - Day 20

Hello! Day 20 already.  That means Christmas is just around the corner.  Many people aren't going to work next week, so if that includes you... YAY!  Enjoy the time off.  Today's card incorporates simple embossing and stickers!

  • White card base (folded card): 5.5"W x 8.5"H, scored at 4.25" mark
  • White card front (flat card): 5.25"W x 4"H
  • Stamps of Life bee4me stamp set (for the dashed line)
  • Mama Elephant Polar Pals stamp set (for the sentiment)
  • Tsukineko Versamark Ink
  • Ranger Liquid Platinum Embossing Powder
  • Variety of Ornament Stickers
  • Use Versamark Ink and stamp the dashed line across the front of the flat card stock, closer to the top.  Cover with Liquid Platinum embossing powder and heat set.
  • Use Versamark Ink and stamp the sentiment in the lower right corner of the flat card.  Cover with Liquid Platinum embossing powder and heat set.
  • Hang the ornaments from the dashed line.
  • For the folded card, emboss the edges.  The best way to do this is to mask off the center of the card using washi tape or any other removable tape.  This is similar to painting a room and masking off the edges with painters tape.  Cover the exposed edges with Versamark Ink.  Add embossing powder and heat emboss.  
  • You end up with a gold-framed card.  
  • Glue the ornament flat card to the front of the folded card.  That's all!  
  • Here's a close-up of the sentiment and ornament stickers.

Happy Holidays!

    Friday, December 19, 2014

    Countdown to Xmas: 25 Cards, 25 Days - Day 19

    I drove by a house in my neighborhood that was completed decorated for the holidays.  They had Santa, Frosty, several reindeer, life-sized ornaments and gifts in multiple colors.  So festive, so bright!  That inspired me to make today's multi-colored card.  Luckily, I found this Merry Christmas sticker in my sticker box.  It's a Mrs. Grossman's sticker.  Do you remember collecting Mrs. Grossman's stickers as a kid?  Their Classic Bear was one of my favorites.

    I also wanted to use up some scraps, so I dug through my scrap paper folders (all color-coded, of course) and pulled out different colors.  The ornament paper background is left over from the Day 8 ornament card.

    • White card base: 4.25"W x 11"H, scored at 5.5" mark
    • Ornament patterned paper: 4.25"W x 5.5"H
    • White card front: approx. 4"W x 5.25"H
    • Sizzix Triplits Gifts Dies by Stephanie Barnard
    • Mrs. Grossman's Merry Christmas sticker
    • Various patterned papers
    • Place sticker on white card stock.  Cut a piece of patterned paper approximately 1/8" longer on each side and frame the sticker.
    • Cut out two gift boxes.  Mix and match different papers to make the style you want.
    • Glue sentiment and gift boxes to the front of the card.  Use foam adhesive to add dimension.  
    • Adhere white layer to ornament patterned paper layer.  
    • Glue card front to card base.

    Simple, easy and colorful!  May your days be merry and bright!

    Thursday, December 18, 2014

    Countdown to Xmas: 25 Cards, 25 Days - Day 18

    Today, I went with a Clean and Simple card.  I found a stamp that I purchased back in 2004, so to commemorate its 10th anniversary in my stamp collection (probably one of the first stamps I've ever purchased), I made it the central focal point of today's card.

    Here's a close-up of the tree:

    • Red Card Base: 4.25"W x 11"H, scored at 5.5" mark
    • White card stock for the front (approx 4.25"W x 5.5"H)
    • Stampin Up Christmas Tree
    • Small round stamp for ornaments (I used the dot from an "i" from an alphabet set)
    • Copic Markers
    • Tsukineko Versamark Ink
    • Wink of Stella Glitter Brush Pen, Clear
    • Ranger Liquid Platinum Embossing Powder
    • Spellbinders A2 Mat Basic Dies
    • Stamp the tree in Tuxedo Black ink.  Color with Copic Markers (three shades of greens, two shades of yellows)
    • Stamp the sentiment below the tree in Versamark ink and emboss with Liquid Platinum powder.
    • Add the dots on the ornaments and emboss these as well.
    • Add Wink of Stella to the tree.
    • Glue on the red card stock.
    These would be super easy to mass produce and give away as sets of cards.


    Wednesday, December 17, 2014

    Countdown to Xmas: 25 Cards, 25 Days - Day 17

    Question: Do you want to build a snowman?  Come on let's go and play!  Has Frozen ruled your household all year?  Here's a fun snowman card.  While he isn't exactly Olaf, he's still a very happy snowman.  I used The Stamps of Life snowman2build stamp set for this and created a evening sky background using Distress Inks.  So fun.

    • White card base: 4.25"W x 11"H, scored at 5.5" Mark
    • White background card: 4.25"W x 5.5"H
    • White card stock for the snowman and all his accessories
    • The Stamps of Life snowman2build stamp set
    • Ranger Distress Inks in Broken China, Stormy Sky and Chipped Sapphire
    • Snowflake stamps for background (Paper Source and Lawn Fawn)
    • Ranger Silver Pearl Embossing Powder
    • Versamark Ink
    • Hero Arts Ink: Black Dye, Orange Soda, Field Greens, Pale Tomato
    • Simon Says Stamp stitched slopes
    • White Gel Pen
    • Stamp snowflakes with Versamark ink all over the background.  Heat emboss with Silver Pearl Ink.  The embossed snowflakes will resist the distress inks, so they will still show up under the blue sky.

    • Cut a 1" circle out of a post-it note and place on white card stock insert.  This will be a mask for the moon as you create the distress ink background.  
    • Start with the lightest color (Broken China) and gently cover the white paper.  It's helpful to use a Ranger Craft Sheet for this so you protect your surface.  If you don't have one a piece of scrap paper on a cutting mat will work as well.
    • Next, blend in the Stormy Sky ink, don't get too close to the moon.  Finally blend in the Chipped Sapphire.  You can go back over the the whole thing with the first two colors until everything evens out.  
    • When I took off the moon mask, I felt the moon was too bright and would take away from the snowman, so I went back over the moon with the two lighter colors just to mute it a little.
    • Here's an image show each of the steps above:
    • Stamp the snowman on some white card stock.  Decorate his face and buttons.
    • Stamp the arms and accessories on the card stock, but not on top of him.
    • Cut each piece by hand.  This is the part that takes the longest.  You'll notice once you cut out the pieces, so of the white card stock may show up on the edges.  Go back with your different colored inks and use a make-up sponge (or any other foam brush) to blend the white edges out.
    • Cut the stitched snow slope.  Adhere to the bottom of the stormy sky background piece.
    • Adhere the arms to the back of the snowman, then place the snowman on the background with foam adhesive.  Adhere the hat, scarf and mittens to the snowman.
    • I added some polka dots and rough outlines to the mittens.  I thought a mitten on the ground would be a fun effect.
    • Adhere everything to the white card base and you're done.  
    Do you want to build a snowman?  Enjoy!

    Tuesday, December 16, 2014

    Countdown to Xmas: 25 Cards, 25 Days - Day 16


    I decided to stray from the traditional red/green color combination and made a purple/aqua card.  It's a generic "happy holidays" card using the Taylored Expressions hearts cutting plate along with some product you've seen in previous cards.  The cute Polar Pals Penguin from Mama Elephant makes her appearance again in today's card.



    • Stamp the Penguin on white card stock with Memento Tuxedo Black ink and color with Copic markers
    • Cut a scalloped circle from the Aqua Paper, Stitched Circle from the purple paper and plain circle from the white card stock.  Glue all three layers together and put the penguin on top with foam adhesive.
    • Adhere one Sizzix Adhesive Sheet to the back of the purple card stock (at least 4.25" x 5.5").  Also add some waxed paper between the heart cutting plate and the card stock.  This will prevent the paper from getting stuck in the cutting plate.
    • Repeat the previous step with Aqua paper.  You only need to die-cut half the heart cutting plate since you only need 14 aqua hearts.
    • Place the purple heart pattern on the white card base, remove the hearts, but keep the little pieces between the hearts in place.  Create a "ribbon" - vertical and horizontal lines using the aqua hearts.  
    • Adhere the Penguin piece over the intersection of the aqua hearts.
    • Die cut the tag and add the twine and sticker.  Adhere to lower right corner with a foam dot.
    • Here's a close-up of all the die-cutting for this card:


    Monday, December 15, 2014

    Countdown to Xmas: 25 Days, 25 Cards - Day 15

    Hello all!

    Today I have a very special twinkling card to share.  I incorporated cool Chibitronics circuit stickers into this card to electrify the string lights.  Chibitronics circuit stickers are super easy to use and really fun... and they have a way of making you feel smarter when you're done with the project.  I also used the lights4Christmas stamps and die sets from The Stamps of Life.


    • Green card base: 8" Square, folded at 4" mark to make a 8"W x 4" top folding card
    • Patterned paper: 7.75"W x 3.75"H
    • White paper: 7.5"W x 3.5"H
    • Patterned paper and glitter paper for the lights
    • Green baker's twine (from local craft store)
    • Chibitronics circuit stickers in blue, red and yellow
    • Chibitronics copper tape, approximately 11"
    • Battery (CR2032)
    • Foam Tape
    • Adhesive Tape Runner
    • The Stamps of Life lights4Christmas stamp and matching die set
    • Stamp the "Twinkle Twinkle" sentiment in the lower right corner of the white card stock using Versamark ink and heat emboss with Liquid Platinum embossing powder.
    • Die cut the string lights from three different glitter and patterned papers.  I chose red, blue and yellow ones to match the circuit stickers.  This die set is great.  It includes a larger die for the background and a smaller die for the actual light bulb.  You can mix and match patterned paper to your heart's delight!
    • Glue the patterned paper to the glitter paper
    • Punch a 1.8" hole just above the patterned paper.  See image below.

    • Place the string lights on the white paper and mark the holes on the white background paper.
    • Glue the white paper to the red patterned paper.  Punch holes through both the white and patterned paper.
    • Mark these same holes on the green card base, but don't punch holes in the green paper.  This will be your guide for the circuit stickers.

    • Place copper wire above and below the circuit stickers and connect them to a makeshift battery holder (1"x2" piece of card stock, folded). 

    • Place the circuit stickers exactly where the penciled marks are located.  Add the battery to the battery holder and see if it works.

      • Add foam tape to the edges to provide dimension and space for the battery.

      • Place the white/red card stock over the lights to make sure everything lines up.  If they don't move the stickers around so they do.

      • That wasn't so bad, right?  So now you just add the lights and the twine to the front.  Use glue dots for the twine and regular tape runner adhesive for the lights.
      Twinkle Twinkle!  Enjoy!

      Sunday, December 14, 2014

      Countdown to Xmas: 25 Cards, 25 Days - Day 14

      Oh... I'm posting Day 14 just in the nick of time!  I went out to dinner this evening at one of the world's best dumpling houses.  Yes, world's best.  If you've ever been to Din Tai Fung, I'm sure you'd agree with me.  We had a wonderful time catching up with good friends and by the time I got home, I realized I had less than an hour to make a card and post it before the clock strike's midnight.

      So here's is today's quick card - I call it the Dumpling Dash card, but it has nothing to do with dumplings.  Instead - it's a Hawaiian-themed card.  I love Hawaii and always wondered what it would be like to celebrate Christmas in Hawaii. "Mele Kalikimaka" means "Merry Christmas" in Hawaiian.

      Here's the behind the scenes video:

      • White card base: 4.25"W x 11"H, scored at 5.5" mark
      • Kraft Card Stock for the sand
      • Palm Tree stamp
      • Ranger Distress Ink: Pine Needles and Walnut Stain for the tree
      • Prismacolor Colored Pencil in Brown and Aqua
      • Hero Arts Shadow Inks: Tide Pool and Soft Pool
      • Multi-colored embellishments (pink, blue, white)
      • Buttons (My Mind's Eye)
      • Pink Baker's Twine (The Twinery)
      • Simon Says Stamp Stitched Rectangles dies
      • Simon Says Stamp Stitched Slopes dies
      • The Stamps of Life flipflop2stamp stamps for the waves
      • Stamp the Palm Tree onto the white card base using the Pine Needles and Walnut Stain distress inks.  Color the trunk with colored pencil.
      • Stamp the waves at the bottom of the card.  Color in with colored pencil.
      • Cut out the sand mound from the stitched slopes die.
      • Layer the sand on top of the waves.
      • Print the sentiment out on the computer and cut with the stitched rectangles die.
      • Cut a piece of patterned paper to border the white sentiment.  I found some scrap pink paper that felt Hawaiian themed.
      • Layer all the pieces onto the card. 
      • Add buttons to the sand mound.  I added pink twine to the larger button.
      • Add ornaments/embellishments to the tree.
      • Tied Pink Twine on top of the card for additional color.
      Here are a few close-up shots:

      There you have it!  Mele Kalikimaka!

      Saturday, December 13, 2014

      Countdown to Xmas: 25 Cards, 25 Days - Day 13

      It's the "Season of Giving" and today's card is inspired by a gift from one of my neighbors.  We were both coming home from Trader Joe's and started talking about random stuff: work, rain, and then she said, "I'm stocking up." I was thinking to myself -- "hmm... the storm shouldn't be too bad... no need to stock up on milk and water, etc..." but then she said, "Oh no, I'm stocking up on these amazing Dark Chocolate Mint Stars from Trader Joe's."  Apparently, some of the local stores are already sold out.

      She generously gave me a box (from her coveted stash) so I could try them.  I tried to say no, but she insisted I take them.  I looked in my grocery bag to see if there was anything she might like: strawberries, bananas, basil, cucumbers... nope.  Nothing.  I not-so-reluctantly accepted the gift and guess what?  She's right!  They're delicious!  Shortbread cookies covered in dark chocolate with mini white nonpareils - super scrumptious!  Today's card is inspired by these cookies and my generous neighbor.

      Here is the card:

      And, for reference, here are the cookies:

      • Cut 5 stars out of the the brown paper.
      • Using a white gel pen, add polka dots.  Or should I say, add nonpareils. 
      • Temporarily adhere a piece of the mint green paper to a piece of white paper (not the card base).  This helps ensure the squares/borders line up.  Starting from largest to smallest, start die cutting this paper stack.  I used the two larges Sizzix squares and the two largest Simon Says Stamp squares (alternating between the two).  
      • Once all the frames are cut, separate the pieces of paper and glue them to the white card base alternating between the colors so it looks like the card above.
      • Stamp "yum" down towards the bottom of the center square in Versamark ink and heat emboss with Silver powder.  
      • Place the stars in the center square and use foam adhesive on a fewof the stars to add dimension.
      • Here's a close-up of the stars and embossed "yum" sentiment:
      • But wait, there's more!  I had some extra borders and stars, so I went ahead and made a coordinating thank you card for my neighbor.  Here are the two cards together:

      Now, who's going to Trader Joe's to pick up a box of cookies?  Happy munching!

      Friday, December 12, 2014

      Countdown to Xmas: 25 Cards, 25 Days - Day 12

      Hi everyone,

      Last month, I was flipping through some magazines - Martha Stewart Living, Real Simple, Stationery Trends, the Paper Source catalog (yes, I consider that a magazine)... and I saw some paper rosettes.  I said to myself, "I want to make some rosettes!"  I'm sure you all say that every now and then.  So, I gathered my supplies, started my new craft project, got sidetracked and never finished them.  Fast-forward a week later and a good friend of mine came over for a craft night.  We finished making rosettes that night.  She used them for a bridal shower while I still didn't know what to do with mine.  I gave a few to friends' kids during Thanksgiving weekend, but I still had a pile sitting on my desk.  So, that's my long way of saying... I made a card with one of those mini rosettes today!  I used Carta Bella Merry and Bright (surprise, surprise) patterned paper for the rosettes.  Carta Bella makes really study, heavier, textured patterned paper.  I love their designs too.

      And, in case this looks familiar, I also used a few Christmas trees similar (practically identical) to the ones in the Day 4 Gingerbread House card.



      • Make a mini paper rosette.  Score the 12"W x 1"H paper at the 0.25" mark.  Fold in accordion style as if you were folding a fan.  Cut off one of the ends (0.25"W).  Glue to the two ends together so it forms a circle.  Squish the circle down to form the rosette.  Apply hot glue to the center (don't burn your hands) and hold in place for a few minutes until the glue cools).  
      • Eventually I'll make a video or post how this is done. 
      • Stamp the Christmas tree on white card stock with Memento Tuxedo Black ink.  Color with Copic Markers.  Add white accents on the tree and cover with Wink of Stella Glitter.  Cut this out from the coordinating die cut.  Make two trees.
      • String twine across the back of the rosette and glue in place.
      • Cut two stitched circles and place them in the center of each side of the rosette.  Add the trees to the center using foam adhesive.
      • Temporarily adhere the red card front to the white card base.  Place the scalloped circle die in the center of the card and die cut through both pieces of paper.  Remove the red front and set aside.
      • Use strong adhesive (like Scor-Tape) to adhere the twine and roses to the white card base.  See image below:

      This is what's hiding under the red card stock front panel
      • Place adhesive on the back of the red card stock.  Glue the red card stock to the front of the white base; be sure to line-up the scalloped circle.
      • And... there you have it!  A spinning tree card.
      Have a Spintastic day!

      Thursday, December 11, 2014

      Countdown to Xmas: 25 Cards, 25 Days - Day 11

      We are supposed to receive a lot of rain in the next few days.  I heard school was canceled in parts of the Bay Area today.  Imagine that, a "rain day" not a "snow day."  Today's card is inspired by those good old snow days where you can sleep in, snuggle up on the couch in the front of the TV and just watch the snow fall outside your window.  I used the Falling Snow stencil from Simon Says Stamp along with their Season's Greetings wafer die. The patterned paper I used wasn't actually Christmas paper.  It's from the Carta Bella It's a Celebration birthday collection.  Doesn't it look like snowflakes though?

      I also pieced together a Flipagram video showing the making of this card:

      • Layer the stencil on top of the patterned paper and use a white gel pen to draw in all the snow dots.  Most people use embossing paste or paint for these types of stencils.  I didn't have either one, so I went with my handy white gel pen.  It worked fine, although it was a little tedious at times.
      • Cut out the Season's Greetings from the blue card stock.  (Note: I realized this step was optional at the end of making the card.  I still cut it out, but you don't have to.  You can just glue the sentiment directly on the patterned paper.  That would be MUCH easier than piecing it back together.)
      • Cut the out five Season's Greetings sentiments from the white card stock, but adhere the adhesive sheets to the back before cutting.  This makes gluing layer on top of layer 10,000x easier.  
      • Glue the layers on top of each other.  Don't forget the apostrophe mark!
      • Stamp the greeting in Versamark ink and cover with Silver Pearl embossing powder.  Here's a comparison of how the greeting looks with and without embossing powder.

      • And a step-by-step on how to add the embossing powder.

      Step 1: Stamp in Versamark Ink.  Step 2: Dip in Embossing Powder.  Step 3: Use tweezers to hold and heat emboss.

      • Add enamel accents to some of the snow dots to add more dimension.  I chose to add them to the medium and large dots, not the small ones.
      • Glue the sentiment onto the card.
      • Here's how it looks close-up with the enamel accents:
      A close-up shot of the layered embossed greeting

      Wednesday, December 10, 2014

      Countdown to Xmas: 25 Cards, 25 Days - Day 10!

      Hello everyone,

      Today's post is a little late, but technically it's still "Day 10" here in CA and some of you night owls on the East Coast may still see it tonight.  Otherwise, it'll be a fun surprise for tomorrow AM!
      For Day 10, I went with a simple and elegant holiday card using several wafer steel cut dies from Simon Says Stamp.  Originally it was all white, but I felt it was missing something so I added some glitter paper to make it sparkle.


      • Use the large stitched rectangle die from the Stitched Shapes set and cut out two white stitched rectangles.  One will be used for the layer with the tree.  The other will be used to cut out the two snow slopes.
      • Take one of the rectangles and cut out two snowy slopes - you can decide which shapes to use. Just make sure they look good when layered.
      • Take the other rectangle and cut the Christmas tree from the Deco Trees set.  You want this tree to be closer to the top of the card to make room for the snow slopes.
      • This Christmas tree has so much detail, I love it!  The little swirls stick out so it gives more dimension to the tree.  I added mini pearls to each of the swirls.  Here's a close-up of how that looks:

      • Take the front slope and stamp the sentiment using Versamark Ink and heat emboss it.  It's hard to see in the photo, but the silver pearl embossing powder on white paper looks super awesome and elegant.  Here's a close-up of the sentiment.  The light bounces off the "and" to show you how it looks.
      • Now assemble the card.  Adhere the glitter paper to the card base.  Place the tree layer on top of the glitter paper using foam adhesive to add some dimension.  Place the first slope on top of the tree layer.  Add the last slope with the sentiment to the front of the card.  Use foam adhesive for this layer too.
      • Add a few more pearls to the sentiment and you're done!

      Have a merry and bright, super elegant Christmas!

      Tuesday, December 9, 2014

      Countdown to Xmas: 25 Cards, 25 Days - Day NINE

      Today, I'm all buttoned up for Day 9!  Haha - I just HAD to say that.  I've been making a lot of red and pink based cards lately, so I thought I'd change it up with this grey card.  But as I started working, I felt it needed a little more pink.  This card requires very few specialty crafting items.  Just some buttons, card stock, glue and twine.  It would be a fun project for kids as well!


      • Grey card stock: 4.25"W x 11"H, scored at 5.5" mark
      • White inserts (for the inside of the card): 4"W x 5.25"H
      • White card stock for tree base
      • Buttons in varying sizes and colors (I found mine in the $1 bin at Michael's) 
      • Glue Dots
      • Hole punch
      • Twine

        • Dump all your buttons on the table.  This is totally optional, but oh so much fun!  
        • I wasn't sure how I wanted the card to look, so I sketched a quick tree (i.e. measured an isosceles triangle on some white card stock - initially with a 2.5" base and then I increased it to a 3" base).

        • Ultimately, I decided to start with an all-green tree and gradually replace the green buttons with pink and white until I achieved the final look.

        • Cut out the white triangle / tree base.
        • Glue each button onto the tree base using glue dots.  These work better than liquid glue - super strong, clear and no mess.
        • Attach the tree to the grey card stock
        • Punch holes in all four corners approximately 1/4" from the edges
        • String twine through the holes and tape to the inside of the front flap
        • Cover twine with one of the white card inserts.  Attached the second card insert to the inside of the bottom flap for space to write your message.
        • Ta da!
        This type of project would work for all different occasions: Snowflakes using white buttons.  Hearts for Valentine's Day.  Clovers for St. Patty's Day!