Winter Wishes

I want to take a moment and wish all my readers and their families a Happy Holiday season. Whatever holiday (if any) you celebrate, I wish you and yours a peaceful time with family and friends. May love warm your hearts and the season stir your spirit. I wish you love and much joy…and I’ll “see” you again after the holidays.

I have one more of my Christmas cards to share with you today. I think I’m really going to miss making Christmas themed cards as we head into the new year. I tend to create in seasonal moods, so I probably won’t return to Christmas cards again until next Fall. But, soon we’ll have the New Year and holidays beyond until Spring awakening. Keep warm. Keep happy. And as always, keep crafting. xox, A.








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Joy

Today’s card project came together after playing with some of my Sizzix dies from Tim Holtz’s Alterations line. For those of you not familiar with the line, you can find some information here. I particularly love the Movers & Shapers dies, as you have more control and creativity over where your designs are situated on the materials you are working with.

The basic layer for this layered card is a die-cut note shape called Baroque. I’ve had the Bigz Baroque die for a while now and recently added the miniature version of the die (Mini Baroque) to my collection. Using both dies together allows you to create some custom frames and designs. I also used the new Hope Movers & Shapers die from Mr. Holtz’s latest Sizzix release. I should also add that you can use this dies with most die-cutting systems out there (and not exclusively Sizzix machines). I prefer to use my trusty and reliable Cuttlebug (as opposed to the Big Shot) to cut my shapes out. (The dies simply sandwich between two “B” plates.)

Here are the basic pieces for putting this card together: the cardstock base is Papertrey Ink in Pinefeather (5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″, scored at 4 1/4″), the solid Baroque die cut in American Crafts glitter cardstock in Evergreen, the Baroque frame from the same cardstock (created with both the large and mini Baroque dies), and another Baroque die cut with the “Joy” cut-out done with decorative cardstock from Joann’s “Peppermint Forest” collection (from last year).



The main objective was to create a window look using the Baroque cut layers. Using the solid glittered cut as the base and layering the decorative “joy” cute between it and the glittered frame.

After I adhered the layers of my window frame together, I decided that I wanted to use another piece of tree print decorative cardstock to create a mat on my cardfront for continuity of design and theme. So I used some left over from my die-cutting and cut a 4″ x 5″ piece for matting.

Now it was just a matter of choosing the right finishing touches and embellishments for my card. In the end, I chose to continue the Christmas tree theme out with a small layered tree decorated with a bit of flocking and various gems. For the inside of the card, I used another scrap piece of the tree cardstock as a backdrop for my sentiment block. I also used some Tim Holtz tissue tape from the Tidings collection. All in all, I was really pleased with the way my “playing” turned out.







It’s hard to believe that we’re in the final stretch leading up to Christmas festivities. The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas has literally seemed to fly by. I hope you are all well, warm, and close to “wrapping” up your holiday plans. I’m waiting on one more straggling package from my on-line shopping and then my Christmas list will be completed. I have to say that in addition to allowing us to share ideas and projects, the Internet has revolutionized my shopping modus operandi. Each year, I’ve relied more and more on on-line shopping to complete my gift list. With the exception of a couple of items, I think this year 95% of my retail therapy was done on-line. This cyber thing is an amazing place.

Hung…With Care







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Materials Used:

Cardstock: Papertrey Ink in Pine Feather, Bazzill Textured in Snow;
Mat Cardstock: SEI, from the “Glitzmas” Collection;
Decorative Paper: Memory Box, from the “Tinsel” Collection;
Stamps: Stampin’ Up! “Heard From The Heart” set;
Tools: Cricut Imagine, Cricut Imagine “Snow Angel” Art Cartridge;
Embellishments: Jenni Bowlin Pearl Flowers in Cream Cheese;
Ink: Stampin’ Up! Stampin’ Pad in Cherry Cobbler;

Ornaments

Christmas is one of my favorite times of year–for many different reasons. However, I have to admit that I have a fondness for ornaments. Over the years, I’ve amassed quite a collection of Christmas ornaments–from German blown glass, vintage glittered balls, figurals, pysankas to everything in between. There’s something about sparkling ornaments hanging on a tree reflecting the colored lights that speaks to one’s soul. It’s the perfect embodiment of the spirit of the holiday and the fascination of the child inside of all us that will never grow up.

Today’s card project is inspired by my love of ornaments. It’s also another card made experimenting with my Cricut Imagine. The ornament layers were printed and cut with the Cricut Imagine Art Cartridge entitled “Snow Angel” at 4″. The layers of the ornament were then assembled using Stampin’ Up! Stampin’ Dimensionals to create depth and visual interest. The base cardstock and ribbon are both from Papertrey Ink’s Blueberry Sky color way. The card mat is a 4″ x 5″ piece of glittered cardstock from Die Cuts With A View (DCWV) “Winter Wonder” paper stack. The sentiment is a clear acrylic stamp from Papertrey Ink.








I hope that if you celebrate Christmas, your tree is filled with beautiful ornaments that remind you of family, friends, and most importantly, love. As always Crafters, keep the adhesive and scissors nearby–because there’s nothing that can’t be made a bit better with the proper tools.

Vintage Christmas

Well, I hope you are all keeping warm and busy as the holiday season ramps up! I’ve feel like I’ve been on a shopping crusade. I’ve made a big dent in my holiday gift-giving list. Unfortunately, I seem to end up picking up something for myself every place I shop (one for him, two for me, one for her, three for me….). Shopping is my calling in life, lol.

For the past week, I’ve twisted or pulled something in my right shoulder and its really put a pinch in my routine(s). It was so bad for a couple of days, I was in bed with a heating pad, some decent pain killers and the thankless task of trying to find a position to lay in that didn’t hurt. It’s finally on the mend (*fingers crossed*), but I’ve been lax in the crafting department. I finally worked on this card yesterday…and I really love the very vintage Christmas feel it invokes.











It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like…

Yesterday, the Stampin’ Up! Holiday Mini Catalog went live. You can now order items from this lovely 39 page mini-catalog via my Stampin’ Up business website (clink link in the sidebar) or from your favorite Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator. The catalog has a great array of holiday (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas) themed stamp sets, embellishments, gift ideas, and projects. It also features the introduction of a new line of Build-A-Bear Workshop themed items. Finally, there is the introduction of the forthcoming jewelry line and a software suite called ‘My Digital Studio’.

Today’s card project features many items that you’ll be able to find and purchase from the 2009-2010 Holiday Mini Catalog. This project uses Stampin’ Up! Riding Hood Red cardstock (now retired) and decorative paper from the ‘Merry Moments’ DSP pack. The red cardstock is cut to 5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ and scored at 4 1/4″. The decorative paper mat is cut at 4″ x 4 1/2″.

Using Stampin’ Up! Whisper White cardstock and the new stamp set ‘Delightful Decorations’ (#116517, $21.95; p. 24) and the coordinating ‘Ornament Punch’ (#116794, $15.95; p. 25), I created my decorative elements using Stampin’ Pads in Rich Razzleberry, Crushed Curry, and Bermuda Bay. I chose three of the holiday ornament stamps and onced stamped, cut them out using the coordinating punch.

Once my ornaments were stamped and cut, I decided to use some Stampin’ Up! Gold Elastic Cording (#109867, $4.95; p. 27) to tie a bow around the stem of each ornament for a bit more sparkle and visual interest.

I thought the ornaments looked right at home on this sheet of Designer Series Paper with green pine boughs scattered throughout. This paper is found in the ‘Merry Moments’ collection in the 2009-2010 Stampin’ Up! Idea Book & Catalog (#115672, $9.95; p. 160).

The decorative paper and ornaments called out for a traditional holiday color–red. So, I chose to go with a piece of the unfortunately retired Riding Hood Red cardstock (from last season’s In Colors selections).

Using the Stampin’ Up Tag Corner Punch (#107215, $6.95; p. 186), I contoured all four corners of both my base cardstock and Designer Series Paper mat. I then attached the mat with Stampin’ Up! SNAIL Adhesive. The ornament pieces were attached with Stampin’ Up! Stamping Dimensionals to give the card some depth and a focus on the ornaments. Finally, I decided to use a sentiment from another new stamp set entitled ‘Four The Holidays’ (#116921, $13.95; p. 19).

The sentiment was stamped with Basic Black ink and the card was complete.


Though the Christmas holiday season is yet a few months away, now is the time to be thinking about what design and format your holiday cards will take. If you’ve never made your own holiday cards, now’s the perfect time to look at some of the marvelous ideas Stampin’ Up! offers and get your feet wet and your brain oozing creativity. Some of the best gifts and rememberances are the ones that come from the heart–and from the hands.

I’m going to be hoping for snow this year(yet, again!) and wishing you all a very creative Wednesday! Keep Crafting…

O Christmas Tree Pop-Up

Today I turn 44. So, I thought I’d share a sneak peak of something I bought as one of those “present(s)-to-myself”. This exclusive Stampin’ Up! Sizzix Bigz XL die will be available in the upcoming Stampin’ Up! Holiday Mini-Catalog, which will be active from September 1, 2009 through January 4, 2010. The die is called “O Christmas Tree Pop-Up” (#116822) and will retail for $42.95. This Bigz XL die and a complementary ornament Sizzlits die were designed by artist Karen Burniston.

I used some Bazzill Bling cardstock and my Cuttlebug to cut out the pieces for my tree assembly. To create this pop-up, you will need one (1) cut of each of the largest tree shapes, four (4) of the smaller tree silhouettes, four (4) of the triangular tree pieces, and one (1) of the base piece (which attaches your tree pop-up to your card base if you choose to use it in a card fashion). Of course, this Bigz XL die is highly versatile for use in home decor, holiday decorations and other Christmas projects. Here are the cuts used in this project:

The assembly of the actual Christmas tree pop-up is relatively easily and I highly recommend reading the enclosed instruction sheet with the die before you begin. After a bit of awkwardness the first time, it becomes a logical process. Amazingly, the assembly of the tree does not require any adhesive or other fasteners. It is comepletely built on a tab and slot construction.

Here are a few shots of the construction portion of the project:






Once you have your basic pop-up tree constructed, the real fun begins: trimming your tree. As I mentioned, there will be a Sizzix Sizzlits die that will cut a star tree topper and various shaped ornaments in the Stampin’ Up! Holiday-Mini catalog. (You’ll have to wait to see that! I can’t just spill everything…). For this tree, I thought it might be fun to use some of my Basic Grey Bling jewels to decorate my tree. Using various colors and shapes of stones, this is what I ended up with:




The fact that I used so many three-dimensional rhinestones as decorations does not make this pop-up tree the ideal candidate for a card. But, I did it anyway so that you can see the possibilities. The one little odd piece from the original cuts is all that is required to attach the tree to a card. Here, you will need a bit of adhesive. I have to admit that I’m absolutely intrigued by the engineering behind this pop-up mechanism. It’s quite brilliant.




This is but one of the new and brilliant ideas and products coming in the Stampin’ Up! Holiday Mini 2009-2010 catalog. The stamps are adorable and the accessories are all MUST HAVES. (Trust me, if you saw my preview order you’d understand!) Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll continue to give you a few sneak peaks of things coming down the pike in Santa’s Big Bag of Surprises. Until then, Keep Crafting!