Wednesday, December 31, 2014

You Are a Blessing

Hi, again! My absolute favorite Make it Monday is this week.  It's a la carte, which is perfect since I missed most of the year.  I looked at all of them and made a long list of the ones I wanted to try, and guess what?  When inspiration struck the technique that worked best was the one I did not even two weeks ago - Laura Bassen's camouflaging die cuts. I can't help it. I just love Laura's work! Though I didn't blend ink this time either, this card is definitely a tribute to Laura because I used her ink smooshing technique to create the background.  My other inspiration was one of my adorable nieces. She is sweet and kind and loving, and I wish I was more like her.  She is certainly a light for me to follow (which is why I'm linking this up to CASology's light challenge).  She's been on my mind all week, so I made this card to let her know how special she is and how much I love her.  The colors and shiny gold flecks were inspired by an outfit she recently bought herself with some birthday money.  I thought this card was a great way to close out this year as well, because I definitely feel like you all are a blessing!  You make this little hobby of mine so much more enjoyable. :) Thank you!  Hope you have a happy and safe New Year's Eve/Day!
Stamps: PTI (Wet Paint III)
Ink: PTI (melon berry); SSS (smoke)
Dies: SSS (Big You)
Other: Heidi Swapp (gold color shine) 

CASology #127: Light

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

12 Kits December: Baby...It's a New Year!

Hello!  Happy {almost} new year!  Today the 12 Kits of Occasion team and our December guest Lynn Mangan (love her!) are celebrating the ultimate "new" year with all things baby.  Cathy sent the most amazing kit that was jam packed with goodies.  Honestly, there was so much that I'm sure I could use it to make all the baby cards I'll need for an entire year...and probably into next.  I'm super excited that  Almost everyone I know right now due to have a baby is having a girl, so naturally I started out by making four boy themed cards. Ha! :) Thankfully, I did manage to sneak in a few girl cards last night.  I have to admit, December literally flew by, so the name of the game was simplicity with these cards.
Isn't this sentiment perfect?  I can't wait to give this card to my friend.  And I liked it so much, that I made a similar girl version with an equally cheerful sentiment.
This one just makes me smile.  I have a sister who loves turquoise and owls and a little boy who loves green and needs to send her a thank you for some very nice Christmas presents.  I just love that this card has things they both love, especially because the majority of it was preprinted.  I simply added the speech bubble, fussy cut the wee little owl from another tag in the kit, and popped him up on the branch.  The legs were a little tricky, but it was totally worth it.
I hemmed and hawed over whether or not to share this train card.  It is mostly what I wanted, but not quite.  I loved the "smokey" message, but I feel like it is still missing something...some clouds maybe?  I don't know.  
Isn't this bear sweet?  I was too afraid I'd ruin her if I added some watercolors (which is what I wanted to do), so I just left her alone...and I still think she's cute. :) The bow was a tribute to my sweet little one.  I love putting bows/headbands in her hair, which is quite ironic.  My poor mother tried so hard to make my hair look cute, and I never wanted anything to do with it.
Oh how I wish the photograph did this shaker card justice.  The little onesies floating around are so cute in real life.  I've been getting a ton of use out of the Simon Says Stamp Thanks set.  It's a small set, but I sure do love it, and three of my cards today used it.  (PS I'm linking up my cards today to the Simon Says Anything Goes Wednesday Challenge as well as the SSS Flickr Challenge #9 featuring anything "New".)
And that's it for me today!  Pop over to the 12 Kits blog to see what all the other ladies and Lynn did with this super cute kit.  You'll surely be itching to create and/or cuddle a baby after you do. :) Speaking of babies, my little ones are sick's been a rough month.  However, we were thrilled that everyone was feeling well for Christmas.  Oh, and much to our delight we did get the white Christmas we were hoping for.  Here's the proof. :) 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas....

While I was working in my "workshop" last night (aka my closet...yep, I was back in there again :) ), I made a second card.  This has a completely different feel from my Candy Cane Camo card, but both made me super happy.  Isn't it wonderful how creativity can bring such joy?  This particular card was inspired by The Card Concept's Silent Night Neutrals Challenge, CASology's Snow Challenge, and Simon Says Winter Inspiration Challenge.
There was lots of beautiful texture in The Card Concept inspiration photo, so I wanted to make sure my card had texture, too, but remained Clean & Simple at the same time.  The layered snowflake was especially inspired by the star cookies with the frosting on top.  I chose to layer vellum instead of white because I love the closeup of the snowflakes on the Simon winter inspiration board and vellum seemed to depict that better.  And to really solidify the snow theme, I decided to add some snow on the background. A little detail that I love are the silver "splats" that were actually the leftover cutouts from the die cut joy.  It reminded me of how when you step in snow it creates a wet squishy splat.  I's pretty silly, but those are usually the things that bring me the biggest smiles.  
All this snowy inspiration has certainly got me hoping for a white Christmas.  I also hope that this next week is full of love and happiness and lots of blessings for all of you!  In case I don't make it back before Christmas....Merry Christmas to you all!

Candy Cane Camo

Hi!  Not exactly the card you'd expect given the title, huh?  (I'm picturing my brother-in-law decked out in all his hunting gear or the awesome Christmas camo Steve wears in the movie Arthur Christmas...I'm so easily sidetracked!) But the title makes complete sense knowing the challenges that inspired this card: CASology's Snow ChallengePTI's Make It Monday #193: Camouflaging Die CutsSimon Says Winter Inspiration Challenge, Curtain Call's Candy Cane Challenge, and (CAS)E This Sketch Challenge #104.  How's that for inspiration? And in case it wasn't obvious how the challenge's inspired me I listed them literally in order of the layer they inspired starting at the top (i.e., CASology = snowflake sequins, PTI = die cut technique, Simon = layer of glittery snow, etc.).
I had so much fun making this card.  And I just now realized that if I had thrown a little green on there it would have all the colors on our Christmas tree.  That's probably another reason this card makes me so happy. :)  Thanks for stopping by today!  I hope you'll come back soon...I'm bursting to share another card, which basically means that I won't be spacing the posts out like I should and it will probably be up in the next few minutes. :)

Monday, December 15, 2014

Tags Galore!

I am so happy to share a bunch of tags with you today.  I recently received an early Christmas present: the Cozy Christmas stamps and Home and Hearth dies by Julie Ebersole.  Before I even ordered them I asked my husband if I had to wait until Christmas to open them...that was crucial information...I've been dying to get them ever since they were first released. Thankfully his answer was no.  The next trick was finding some time to use them.  A few nights ago after everyone was asleep I decided that instead of going to sleep like I've been doing, it was actually better for my health to stay up and create something.  The little ones are sick, my husband has had some really long work days...and well, I needed some time.  (I hope that doesn't sound bad.) Plus, we really need to get our gifts out to the neighbors, so it seemed like a win-win.  I used just a few supplies for all of my tags.  Basically it was what I could grab quickly and more importantly quietly.  Oh, and it had to fit in the small space of ground in my closet because, yes, that is where I could work without disturbing anyone.
I was so inspired by the tags shared during the 12 Tags of Christmas with a Feminine Twist over at Ellen Hutson that I decided to make some to join in their 12 Tags of Christmas with a Feminine Twist 2014 Challenge.  The one you see above was inspired by Day 11: Sharon Harnist.  I especially loved the corrugated cardboard die cut she used on her tag, so I started there.  
My next tag was inspired by Day 1: Julie Ebersole (gold string, stars, and sentiment) and Day 10: Heather Campbell (pink sky and "skyline").  PS I finally bought some Delicata gold ink after seeing it on so many neat projects, and let me tell you, it is worth every penny! You've gotta see it in person to really appreciate the beautiful gold shimmer.  Silver is on my wish list now.
So I wasn't sure how I felt about my second tag, so I decided to make another version inspired even more heavily by Heather Campbell's tag on Day 10.  I added some glittery snow (sorry it's hard to see in the photo..we've had grey snowy skies here) for the Simon Says Bling It On Challenge.  In fact, I purposely added some type of "bling" on these last three tags with the Bling It On Challenge in mind.
I really loved Sharon Harnist's tag on Day 11, so I used it for inspiration for another tag.  I was also inspired by the gold string Ellen Hutson wrapped around her tag on the 12th day.
My last tag was inspired by Day 8: Dawn Woleslagle.  I focused in on just a portion of her tag.  I was determined to use the Cozy Christmas set on every tag and I snuck it in on this one by selectively inking "to" and "from" from a longer sentiment in the set.  I had another tag in mind inspired by Dawn's awesome gold stripes, but alas I knew I needed to get some sleep that night.  Maybe I'll have time another day. :) Thanks so much for stopping by today!  I hope the coming days are full of cheer! 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

12 Kits of Occasions: November

Kim sent such a fun kit this month.  It was full of fabulous die cuts and images most of which I had never even seen before, which made it extra fun.  Make sure to check out the 12 Kits of Occasions blog to see the other designer's fabulous creations.  It will certainly put you in a happy Christmas mood, which is totally allowed now that Thanksgiving is over. :)  And now for my cards...
This tree was on one of the papers in the kit.  It was pretty great on it's own, but I felt like I needed to put at least a little effort into this card, so I added some fun flat sequins from Pretty Pink Posh.  I like cupped sequins, but there is just something about flat sequins that I love. Plus, it is great for mailing.
There was a lot of black in the kit, which I don't normally reach for, but really enjoyed using.  I went with a slight chalkboard effect.  Isn't this Christmas sentiment pretty?  I love it.
Sorry for the dark photo on this one.  The glitter is quite bright and sparkly in real life.  This was such a simple card.  I just added a little watercoloring and glitter to the image and hand cut the hill.
This last one changed so many times.  It looks nothing like my original idea.  It was fun embellishing this Santa.  I added just a tad of watercolor, glitter, and glossy accents and was amazed at how much it changed the image.  
I feel like I barely scratched the surface with this awesome kit, and I can't wait to be able to use it again.  There are some notes from Santa that I'm particularly excited to use for my son.  Make sure to pop over to the 12 Kits blog to see how all the other designers used their kits.  It will be a worthwhile trip I'm sure. :)

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

PTI November Blog Hop: Snow

Hello, friends! Today is Papertrey's Monthly Blog Hop with the focus of snow and I had made a bit of time this morning to participate.  There are few things more beautiful and peaceful than softly falling snow, so I tried to capture that in it's simplicity with this card.  For those prepping for Thanksgiving (and for everyone really), I hope this week is full of loved ones, happy moments, and feelings of gratitude.  Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by today!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Colorful Tag Set

Remember this photo I shared yesterday?  I should space this post apart since I know posting will be sparse, but I'm no good at waiting when I'm excited about sharing something.  That goes for gifts, too.  When I make or buy a gift I know someone will love, I have the hardest time not giving it to them right away.  I also prefer to have gifts ready well in advance, so that makes things tricky.  But I digress.  While I had my supplies out and the kiddos were happily spending time with dad, I made this quick set of tags.  I intentionally made my first tag set to resemble ornaments because I thought it would look pretty tied to a gift, but then I was a bit worried that it wasn't the right fit for the occasion...that it wasn't "taggy" enough.  So...I made these, too.
Please forgive the lighting.  There was no sun when I finished, and I knew if I waited to take pictures another day, it may never happen.  My goals were to make use off the teeny tiny stamps that come in stamp sets and often get overlooked, to use some never-before-used-schtuff (yes, Darnell...I think of you and your NBUS every time I create), and use lots of ink colors.  Check, check, and check.  This first sequins tag is made with stamps in PTI's Sparkle & Shine: Holiday Additions Mini Stamp Set (definitely worth $5).
This tag features my NBUS: WPlus9's Just Geometrics Triangle. (Why have I waited so long to use it?  I LOVE these triangles!) It also features a color scheme I adore.
These little bows are from Clearly Besotted's Make a Wish Stamp Set.
The big snowflakes on this tag are from Clearly Besotted's In Stitches: Christmas set and the little ones are from PTI's Sparkle & Shine: Holiday Additions Mini Stamp Set. And that's it. Lots of ink, lots of stamping, and done.  All that adds up to one very happy stamper.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

25 Days of Christmas Tags

Hi!  I'm finally back...and for a special occasion.  The incredible Tracey McNeeley is hosting her annual 25 Days of Christmas Tags and has invited the 12 Kits of Occasions designers to participate today.  Yay!  You've got to head to Tracey's blog to check it out.  Trust me: It will be worth your time. ;) 
Speaking of time, though I've known for nearly a month what I wanted to do for my tags, only yesterday was I able to sneak a few seconds to make them.  (It turns out that adding one feels more like adding 10.  Good thing she also brings 10 times the joy, too!)  So yesterday when my husband got home I asked him, "Want to hold a cute baby?"  Then, I literally ran upstairs to make my tags.  I knew exactly what I was going to do, so I pulled everything out and whipped these up as quick as I could before the baby woke up.  
These were completely inspired by the etched wood ornaments, signs, etc. I've seen on Pinterest.  I love them, and one sleepless night while wishing I had an etcher and some wood slices, I realized I could recreate the look with what I already had at home.
After die-cutting some balsa wood tags (I still can't believe I actually cut into the sheet I've been saving for months), I purposely masked an uneven circle, so it would look more like a real wood slice.  Then I rubbed on Walnut Stain Distress Ink.  I stamped the sentiments (from PTI's Wet Paint Holiday Stamp Set) with the same ink.  The little pine bough was created with an image from TAWS's Trees Company Stamp Set.
I didn't have a snowflake in the scale I needed, so I die cut a Lil' Inkers' snowflake out of foam and used it as a stamp. I love that you can still see the stitched lines in it.  I tied on some twine and voila!  These really take no time at all to make, and I can't wait to tie them on to our neighbor soon as I figure out what they are going to be this year.  Ha! All I know at this point is that they need to be quick and these tags.  
And because I was in a crazy mad rush, this is the aftermath.  Yikes!  Thankfully I can happily report that everything is again tucked away neatly in our Ikea cart and wardrobe (two of my best presents/purchases ever!), and that I actually was able to create an entirely different quick set of tags.  I'll share these in a day or so, but here's a peek...  
Okay, now you must go check out all the fun, inspiration, and PRIZES Tracey is offering on her blog.  And guess what?!  You can get an extra chance to win by commenting on my blog today. :) Just make sure to leave a comment before November 27th.
PS I'm linking up these tags to CASology's "Festive" Challenge because they certainly put me in a festive mood. :)