Monday, December 15, 2014

Quick Cards & Tags From Only Two Sheets of Paper

Hello and good Monday morning all. Christmas is just a week and a half away and if you're like me, you're a little behind on card making. Every year I say I'll start early, but I never seem to. So I've got an idea for you. I challenged myself to create as many cards and tags as I could from only two sheets of 12 x 12 scrapbook paper, plus two sheets of cardstock for bases.

I used Graphic 45's "Time To Flourish" collection. In this wonderful collection, there are 24 sheets. Two sheets for each month of the year. One of the two sheets is called the Flourish page, the other is the Cut-Aparts page. So I took December's Flourish and Cut-Aparts and created the following:

2 - 4" x 6" cards
2 - 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" cards
4 - gift tags
2 - gift card holders

I'm featured over on the Graphic 45 blog today with more details, photos and a Snapguide showing you step-by-step how you can make your own. And did you know you can order single sheets of Graphic 45 papers on And they ship super speedy! Click on these links below...

Thanks so much for dropping in today. Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Filling the (Blog) Gap with 3 Card Ideas

I hate to put so much time between my blog posts, so as I'm working away in my craft room on CHA projects I can't yet share, I thought I'd share a few cards I've made lately.

5" x 7" birthday card using Graphic 45's Time To Celebrate and accents of black. Black?! Why not?

The bright colors in the papers serve as a nice contrast with black cardstock and stamping. The stamps are from Hampton Art for Graphic 45. I've added some glimmery accents with my Gelly Roll pen. (You may have to click on the photo to get a closer look.)

A few extra strips of the paper and some stamping make the inside pretty too.

This baby card measures 6" x 6" and features the re-released Baby-2-Bride collection by Graphic 45. Lots of love and layers went into this easel card for a special friend of mine.

Again, the stamps are from Hampton Art's Time To Celebrate set for Graphic 45. This Congratulations piece serves as the prop for the easel card.

Sometimes, but rarely, I go to other papers from companies other than Graphic 45. But I have to be really crazy about the paper to do such a thing. LOL. When I saw the Warm & Cozy collection from Carta Bella, I knew I had to have it. I'm in love with all the knit sweater patterns, the plaids and the natural images of wood and pine. This is a 6" x 6" card. I mixed some 12 x 12 and 6 x 6 papers from the collection. 

The stamp is from Close To My Heart's Snowhaven Card Making Workshop on the Go. Sometimes I buy the entire kit if I love the stamp set in it. Crazy, eh? I knew I had to have this one when I saw this lovely stamp in the set. I paper pieced the red portions over the green. The little acorn at the bottom is stamped in Chocolate ink and paper pieced too. You could achieve a similar look by masking off areas, but sometimes I find that a little tricky, and I don't mind cutting stuff out anyways.

The mittens were cut on my Cricut Explore from the CTMH Artiste cartridge. The sprigs coming out the tops are from a Martha Stewart punch.

Again, the inside of the card shouldn't get neglected. It doesn't take long to put down a few strips of coordinating paper and stamp something inside. As you may have noticed in the first photo of this card, I made a custom envelope from more of the paper collection using my Envelope Punch Board by We R Memory Keepers.

Okay, off I go back to creating for CHA! Thanks for taking the time to stop by today. Hope you're having a great day!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Compendium of Curiosities Challenge 17 - Woodlands & Tinsel Twine

Hello and happy Saturday everyone! As Christmas races toward us, it's that time when things get SO darn busy I can hardly think straight. But taking the time to craft is the one thing I always insist upon, because it's my happy time, my reprieve, my quiet little break from the hustle and bustle.

I had the best day creating this holiday birdhouse for the next Compendium of Curiosities Challenge, "Woodlands and Tinsel Twine" which can be found on page 60 in the fabulous Compendium of Curiosities Vol. III by non-other than Tim Holtz. You can find the current challenge on our lovely host, Linda Ledbetter's, blog and join in the fun. There are prizes to be won and inspiration to be had. You can read all the details at the end of my post today.

On to my creation for this challenge...

I am quite fond of birdhouses lately and have been creating them for each season as home decor pieces. If you're like me, you change out your home decor as holidays and seasons change. Not ALL of it, just a few pieces here and there. (I'm not CRAZY, after all.)

The original idea in my head began as a gingerbread birdhouse, which I still might do (okay, maybe next year) but instead it took on more of a peppermint candy birdhouse with all the reds and whites with some touches of pink. Here's how it all came together...

I love the wood crafts aisle at my local craft store! There are so many types and sizes of birdhouses to pick from. This house is about 4 inches tall. I gathered my basic supplies to build my house. 

After painting my wood pieces with Antique Linen Distress Paint, I colorized my trees with Victorian Velvet Distress Stain spray. A very non-traditional color, but Victorian Velvet is one of my all-time favorite colors in the Distress pallet. So why not start there?

After the stain was dry, I gave my tree a haircut to make it flat on the back side.

I blobbed dots of Glossy Accents and sprinkled Distress Glitter in both Spun Sugar and Festive Berries over those glue blobs and set them aside to dry completely.

I used the 12 x 12 Merriment paper stash to cover most of my house, but the stark white background didn't seem vintage enough for my project, so I gave all the papers a blast of Antique Linen Distress Stain. After the papers where dry, I started adhering them to the my wood pieces.

For the opening of the birdhouse and the peg area, I made a printer paper template first, then traced it onto the Merriment papers. I also inked the edges of all my pieces with Vintage Photo.

On to the house the papers go.

Next I cut out a couple strands from the Holly, Beaded and Snowflake Garland die from red and pink Kraft Core cardstock. I cut away the bows from the red and glued them to the pink. I cut each strip to about 4 inches in length. Basically from bow to bow.

I spread a thin layer of Glue & Seal over the surfaces and then sprinkled an even layer of Distress Glitter over them to give a sugared effect. 

After doing Tim's technique to some tinsel twine, I added some to the base along with some Red/Cream Trimmings. 

And did the same to the house portion. As you see, I added the snowflake die strip to the base of my house. Red snowflakes? Why not?

I added some lace trim, then my sugared garland strips around my house's base, then more lace to the top of the roof. The woodland tree and wreathe were next, then a mirrored star. You may have noticed more tinsel twine added to my base. I added a pink-ish colored string of it to bring more pink into the base to tie in with the rest of the house.

I used the pink snowflake strip to adorn the top of the roof. 

An adhesive pearl is attached to the end of the perch peg.

And my little cardinal sits on the ledge.

At first I colored this mirrored star with Cranberry alcohol ink, but it came out rather purplish and icky, so I dabbed some Silver Alcohol Mixative over it and LOVED how it turned out! Don't you love when that happens?

Here's a final look at my little peppermint birdhouse. It was so much fun to make. Can't wait to see what YOU create with this challenge!

*   *   *   *   *

Do you have the fabulous Compendium of Curiosities Vol. III book by Tim Holtz? (the master of all things vintage and distressed.) If not, you can find one at your local craft store, scrapbook store, or you can get a signed copy by Tim himself by going here. 

You can find all the CC3 Challenge details and FAQs here.  The lovely Linda Ledbetter is our hostess of this fun series of challenges, and all you have to do to participate is create your project, and upload to her site. Be sure, though, to read through all the FAQs so you're eligible to win...

We're working our way through this fantastic book of techniques and tips, and challenging you to join in the fun. This round's challenge is sponsored by the great folks at Inspiration Emporium who have a fabulous gift voucher to give away to one lucky random winner. Also, the Curiosity Crew's Choice scores a giant prize pack of goodies straight from Tim and Mario!

And don't forget, you can find these great products I've used today at Inspiration Emporium's online store

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Our Baby Girl is 17

Holy crap. Can it be? Our daughter Jamie is 17 years old.


Where has the time gone?

Only one more year of high school and then she's off. 

I can't think about that right now.

I'll think about that tomorrow... (channeling my inner-Scarlett O'Hara).

For those who haven't heard me talk about this kid before, I'll keep it brief. She's simply an amazing person. She's a gifted artist and a very unique kid. She thinks differently than a lot of her peers. She's intense, passionate, and sets high standards for herself (like Mom). She's strong-willed and opinionated (like Dad). And she's funnier than hell (also like Dad). Maybe it's the only child thing, but she's beyond her years in maturity. She's sharp, this kid. Smarter than I ever was at her age. She's been beating to a different drummer ever since she was little. And I just love her to pieces. 

Here's a look at some recent artwork of hers. When she's not busy with school and boyfriend, she's at the computer on her Wacom tablet drawing either commissioned art for her followers and friends, or designing a futuristic scene for the cover of a soon-to-be-published book.

(It was hard picking just a few pieces!)

Finally, I thought I'd share the birthday card I made for her. (her actual birthday was yesterday) I used Graphic 45's Time To Celebrate papers and stamps (by Hampton Art) to create this 6" x 6" card.

You can find Jamie and more of her art and musings on Tumblr.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Handmade Gift Idea: 6-Card Set with Box for the Pet Lover

Hello and happy Monday, all. I hope you all had a nice weekend. For many of us Americans, it was Thanksgiving weekend, filled with LOTS of great food and early morning shopping. (Yes, I was out there with my kid along with all the other crazies.)

Today kicks off Graphic 45's first day of their Holiday Handmade Gifts series, and I'm featured with my Raining Cats & Dogs 6-Card Gift Set with Matching Box. I've included a fun little video tutorial as well, so be sure to hop over there and check it out.

Meanwhile, here's a couple peeks at the project...

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Lighted Christmas Mixed Media Box Display

Hello all, and thanks for stopping in. Today I wanted to share another holiday home decor project and tutorial with you. It's a sweet Christmas display that actually lights up. I created something similar to this for Graphic 45 to teach this past September, shown above.

Tim Holtz "Reindeer Flight" die has been cut from Grungeboard and painted with Antiqued Bronze Distress Paint. A bit of Picket Fence Distress Paint adds a snowy effect on the deer's body.

This mixed media box is 5" x 5", so it's a sweet little decor piece which doesn't take up a lot of space.

This one has a battery-operated lantern by Tim Holtz inside as well as a little tree. Aren't those little gift boxes cute? I'll share how to make those in a bit. 

Lots of the papers are frosted around the edges. This was achieved by dabbing Picket Fence Distress Paint on the edges and quickly sprinkling Distress Glitter over it.

Other papers, like this fussy-cut holly cluster, was brushed with a thin layer of Glue & Seal then sprinkled with glitter for a frosty coating, reminiscent of vintage Christmas cards.

The same was done on the pattern paper that covers the front of the box.

Pinecones and more holly cover up the hole punched through the top to accommodate the battery pack and cord.

Okay, since we can all figure out how to cover a box with paper, I thought I'd share how I made the little Christmas presents inside the box.

Inside each Graphic 45 Mixed Media Box are six thick card stock inserts with rounded corners like the one shown on the left in this photo. You can use these for photos, to create a mini album, cards, whatever you like. I decided to use three of them to create the Christmas presents bases. For mine, I cut and scored the inserts as follows:

Small: Cut 2 1/2" square, then score 7/8" all the way around
Medium: Cut 3" square and score 1" all the way around
Large: Cut 3 3/4" square and score 1 1/4" all the way around

Once you've scored, cut away the four corners of each square and discard. Easy so far?

Now you can fold on the scores and tape the card stock boxes at the corners to hold them in place to get them ready for paper. You'll simply cut strips and wrap them around the boxes. I like to use my Xyron sticker maker so the strips are good and sticky. My strips measure:

Small: 3 1/2" x 7/8"
Medium: 4 1/2" x 1"
Large: 5 1/2" x 1 1/4"

I gave a little extra length for overlap.

For the lids, you'll follow the same basic assembly, but first the measures for each are:

Small: 2 3/8" square
Medium: 2 5/8" square
Large: 2 7/8" square

Score each piece at 3/8" all the way around, then again at 3/4" all the way around.
Watching your score lines, make a snip at each corner (as shown above on the right) across two scores, then rotate the paper and do the next snip. Do this all the way around, in a pinwheel fashion.

Now you'll cut the outer corners away as shown in the far left photo above. After that's done, I find it helpful to trim about 1/16" off the outer flaps, then give them a slight diagonal cut to reduce bulk when folding them inward later.

Put a small square of sticky tape on those little square tabs, but don't peel them up yet. Flip the lid to the inside and put more sticky tape on the outer flaps as shown in the middle photo. 

Now you can peel up one of the small square's sticky tape and bring that square tab inward and attach to the lid as shown in the far right photo. Do the same with each of the little square corners until you achieve the same look as in the photo. Now you can peel and stick the outer flaps down. 

These make nice secure lids to the packages. They should fit snugly. Now you can add some ribbon. 

I attached them from the top down. I don't care how the bottom looks because I'll be hot-gluing them into my box. But if you were making them for another use and might see the bottom, simply work from the bottom up and cover the raw edges with something decorative.

You can add brads, buttons, pinecones, bows, chipboard, or whatever you have on hand.

Here's another look at the inside of the box with the Christmas presents and lantern.

I hope you enjoyed the project. Let me know what you think. And since I won't be posting again until after Thanksgiving, here's wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving Day. I hope you're sharing it with those you love and enjoy.