Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Keeping Christmas {Let it grow, let it grow, let it grow!}

"I will honor Christmas in my heart...and try to keep it all the year" ~Charles Dickens

Hello and welcome to April's installment of my Keeping Christmas series! I was so happy to receive a few emails from some readers that have been participating in the "Keeping Christmas" challenge! Thank you so much for playing along! It made me so happy!

I am excited to share the project that I have been working on for this month. Back in 2001 or 2002, I made potted gifts like this for friends and family. It has been SO long, I decided it was time to re-visit the idea. It isn't any secret that I love play on words, punny gifts and coordinating themes; hence today's post "Let it grow, let it grow, let it grow."

Each pot will hold a trio of paper white narcissus or an amaryllis bulb. I won't be able to get those until it is the right season, but I am so excited to get the pots and tags done.

I had the idea of making "Christmas Tree Seed" tags last year but didn't get around to it. I am so glad that I waited and was able to use it with this gift idea.

The "Let it grow" portion was computer generated onto Always Artichoke card stock printed in black ink.
I was able to find my stash of rusty jingle bells which was the perfect addition!
I white washed 6 pots and 6 saucers and made 6 tags. 

The tags were created using the "Garden Variety" stamp set and "Oh Tannenbaum" from PTI. I was so thrilled that the Christmas tree was the perfect size to peek out from the seed packet opening. If you aren't interested in making the "let it grow" portion, this is how they would look.

Before you begin, make sure that your saucer fits the top of your pots perfectly since this will be the lid for packaging. This is how the finished white washed pot will look.
To begin, get a cup of watered down white acrylic craft paint and a sponge brush. Make sure you remove the sticker from the bottom of the saucer, since this will be the lid and you will see it. I struggled getting mine off, so I had to spritz the sticker with water and rub the adhesive off with my finger. It is important to get it all off, because if you don't, the paint will adhere to the adhesive differently than the rest of the pot and you will be able to see it. Hmmm...I wonder why I know that?! Ha Ha! Make sure you paint a little bit inside the rim of the pot because you won't be putting the potting soil all the way to the top. Also, don't forget to white wash the inside of the saucer as well, because when it is in use, you will see the inside. I let mine dry while I worked on the tags.
I diecut the seed packets using the coordinating die from Garden Variety and stamped it in Palette Black in. The "Green Thumb" portion was stamped in Smokey Shadow ink as well as the sentiment at the bottom.

I made a rough measurement where the tree needed to be stamped on the white paper underneath. It gave just enough room that I could add the additonal "pot" for the tree. I fussy cut it and adhered it with foam squares. Each tag was threaded with red and white baker's twine so that it can be tied to the ribbon. I also laced a big, rusty jingle bell on as well.

This project was perfect for this time of year when you want to be planting! 

I hope you will find some time to join me this month! Let me know what you make by using the hashtag #keepingchristmas on Instagram or linking your blog in the comments! It really has been so much fun and I know that I am going to have a ball this Christmas as I give all of these gifts to my loved ones! It will be like Christmas for me as I revisit each of the ideas I have shared. They are all being stored in my storage room. Thanks for fluttering by! Have a Merry April!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Vintage Cherries {Everyone needs a friend like you}

I promised to share the project that I have been working on earlier this week. My older kids were supposed to bring an item to auction for their youth camp fundraiser. I decided to work on two card sets and that made it so I got to play! I was worried that I wouldn't be able to make the deadline, but it was so much fun that I didn't want to stop. I made 28 cards in total, 4 each of 7 designs (2 of each design per set) which I will share the rest after my "keeping Christmas" post on the 25th of the month.

I couldn't resist this beautiful vintage cherry fabric collection. I knew it would be the perfect inspiration to create a nostalgic, vintage collection. The fabric that I have shown here, reminded me so much of the flowers in PTI's "Rosie Posie" so it was the perfect starting point.
You can see the rest of the darling fabrics worked up into the basket here. If you'd like to see more of the basket, pop over to my other blog Thimbles and Thread. There are additional photos as well as a link to the tutorial I created earlier this month.

I started the design by diecutting a circular nestabilities die that I have had for years. It reminded me of the circular pieces on the blue cherry print fabric. The flowers were die cut and stamped using coordinating inks to match the fabric choices.

The sentiment is from the last PTI release! I love all of them that came in the set and have used a few throughout the entire card set. 

I diecut the felt pink border and machine stitched it down for some extra charm and detail. I used a lot of stitching, lace, buttons and twine to give it the vintage feel I was going for.

You can see all 4 of the cards here! Such fun to create! The finishing touch is a gold embossed "uniquely handmade" tag using a stamp I picked up a few years ago at Hobby Lobby. Thanks for fluttering by! Stay tuned for my "keeping Christmas" post coming up on the 25th.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Boy cards {3 ways}

I'm super excited to share the project that I am working on right now, but in the mean time I'll share the 3 cards that I made for a few of my 5 year old's friend's birthdays. Easter weekend was chock full of boy birthdays. I bought a few of the "Boy Basics" mini stamp sets from PTI YEARS ago because I knew they would come in handy as the mother of 4 boys. This first card features the skateboard set which is always fun. The skateboard "deck" was stamped using Simply Chartreuse ink onto Stamper's Select White cardstock. The wheels and trucks were heat embossed using silver powder for a more realistic look. The funnest part was diecutting the letters to spell "DUDE" out of pattern paper and adding glossy accents to the top for a professional look.

The sentiment was also heat embossed with silver powder for continuity and shine. I also did some dry embossing on the bottom panel for some added texture. A few white stars and burnished silver sequins finish it off for a fun, boyish card. This would actually work well for a teen as well.

I got a bit creative with this second design. I'll see if you can guess what the theme of the party was.....hmmmmm...let's see; repeated cloud pattern, purple green and white, "To Infinity and Beyond"....that's right! Toy Story! I also included the new sentiment from PTI's "Simple sentiments: Friendship" which says "You've got a friend in me". How perfect is that? I added it to the inside but didn't take a picture.
The space ship was diecut and stamped using Palette Black ink and then colored using Copic markers. I added some Stardust Stickles here and there for a fun galactic feel. The sentiment was heat embossed using silver powder.

The sun burst design was stamped in blue over the top of the clouds to give it a more dynamic feel. The stars and moon were diecut and colored as well and then added using foam squares. This one might not be the prettiest or cutest card in the world, but it was so fun to design.
Last but not least, the sports card! This one is clean and crisp with a few fun details to make it pop! I really like the foam cork that I used as a background for the pennant detail. I absolutely love this realistic football texture paper. It totally makes the card with minimal effort. A little bit of gold embossing add some shine.

I added some machine stitching to anchor all of the layers and I love using it as a detail on many of my sports designs. I love the craftsmanship of sports equipment. Lots of stitching, lacing and leather work. 

I added a length of black twine for some contrast and a tiny clothespin for added detail.

I really wanted to use the jersey image but felt it would be too cluttered on the front. It worked well for me to add the "Future Hall of Famer" sentiment to the inside! Thanks for fluttering by! Join me soon as I post what I'm currently working on and don't forget to join me on the 25th for this month's "Keeping Christmas" segment.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Bon Voyage Bunnies!

I'm popping in one more time before Easter to share the last of my Easter designs. My desk is clean, the Easter sets have been put away and I'm ready for our annual egg hunt tomorrow! I was able to spend some time in the flower beds and yard getting ready for the eggs to be hidden! I love this time of year!

My first design is a quick card using the new "So Sweet" stamp set from PTI. I thought it would be so fun to make a Mr. and Mrs. Bunny. I added a narrow gingham ribbon to the bunny's ear and then made a bow tie for Mr. Bunny out of the same gingham ribbon. Don't they look like they're ready for the Easter Parade? I only added color to their ears, nose, and eyes. A little bit of Stickles on the nose and ears finish it off. I diecut a tag using one of the ones included in the carrot treat box die set. The sentiment was stamped using Palette Noir ink. I covered up the hole on the tag using a button threaded with button twine. I didn't want to add more ribbon to the design.

My next design uses a very old SU! set called "A Good Egg". I've used it every year and in pretty much this exact same way because it's just too cute! I love paper piecing the egg shell! The pattern paper I used is "Pretty Pastels" from PTI but I think they just retired it. The sentiment and circle piece are from the "Tags for Spring" set that is always fun to use. A ribbon and a button finish it off! Super simple spring designs today!

I needed a few tags for some Easter tins I put together for a few special people. I used a new "Tag Sale" diecut that I recently purchased in preparation for my upcoming "Keeping Christmas" series that I am doing this year on the 25th of each month.

This particular tag die comes with three separate pieces; the base, which is cut out of pink card stock, the slotted background piece, which was cut from "Pretty Pastels" pattern paper and then the white piece which inserts into the slotted piece. These were simple and fun to make! Thanks for fluttering by! Follow me on Instagram @kellylunceford

Monday, April 10, 2017

Bunnies in my {Basket}!

Easter is coming WAY too fast and I am having WAY too much fun creating all kinds of fun things to celebrate one of my favorite Holidays! I'm back today to share my new current obsession...besides the carrots! LOL! If you saw THIS post you know I've been making a paper garden of carrot treat boxes! I decided that I needed something to put all of them in. Of course a basket comes to mind and I remembered a darling fabric basket that one of my dear friends gave me a few years back. I asked her for the pattern and she told me that she got it off of Pinterest. I decided that it would be easier to come up with something myself rather than try and read confusing instructions that just make my head spin. So...I came up with my own confusing instructions and a tutorial that you can see HERE

I'm calling my version The {Flutterby} Basket! They are really fun to make and they are the perfect companion for Mr. Bunny's cute carrot treat box! Isn't the argyle carrot so super cute? I think my kids would eat carrots better if they looked more like this!
I had so much fun mixing and matching the fabrics that I picked up to make each one unique. They're just like snowflakes...no two alike!

You can see the assortment of fat quarters that I picked up the other day at my favorite sewing store. They are from Moda which is one of my favorite manufacturers.

The carrot treat box was diecut from the new "carrot treat box" die from PTI {go figure}.Ha ha! The paper is old DSP from SU! but it perfect for these boxes. I also discovered that you can get two carrots from one piece of 12 by 12 paper. On some of the earlier ones I made, I didn't position the die on the paper to maximize the paper and I ended up wasting it. I was so thrilled to see that if I layed it out better, I could get two from one paper.

The tag was created using one of the other dies that comes with the box. I wasn't planning on threading anything through the hole at the top, so I used a PTI button to cover it up. I thought the cute flower button was the perfect touch. The bunny is from "Sweet Treats" another new set from PTI and the sentiment was heat embossed using gold powder onto Kraft paper. I added some stickles to Mr. Bunny's ears and  nose for an extra detail. Thanks for fluttering by! Follow me on Instagram @kellylunceford

Friday, April 7, 2017

My cup runneth over...{thank you}

I happened upon the "Inspired by all the little things" challenge on Instagram the other day and was...inspired! Isn't this photo beautiful? I would love to be a guest at this event, whatever it may be! I love the color combo and the rows of teacups caught my eye immediately...such a small detail, but I knew EXACTLY what direction I wanted to head in! You can check out the challenge HERE
I took hints of the inspiration photo as my guide. I began by sponging green ink onto 40 lb. watercolor paper and then spritzing it with water. I applied the ink a little heavier in the areas where I knew that I would be placing the teacups. I wanted there to be a nice contrast between the cups and the background. I taped the watercolor paper down with washi tape, leaving the slightest white edge for contrast and to keep it from curling.

While that was drying, I die cut all 6 of my teacups out of the same watercolor paper. I knew that I would be watercoloring at least 3 of them, but just did them all just in case. I used "Tea for Two additions" from PTI, an oldie but goodie, for today's design. I heat embossed 3 of the cups using the line art image and 3 using the solid images included in the set. The line art cups were watercolored using a watercolor pen and "Apricot Appeal" ink.
The embossing gives it the perfect amount of delicate shine that I was hoping for. After the watercolor background piece was dry, I measured the height of the teacups and used my paper trimmer and scoring blade to make 2 indentations for some extra detail, beneath each row of cups as well as creating a "sandwich" for the sentiment panel as well. The sentiment was heat embossed as well and I just love the impact it gives the card. The roses were diecut from "Apricot Appeal" cardstock and then brushed with gold ink for some extra detail and continuity.

The background of the inspiration piece boasted a backdrop of lights, which I love. I decided to add a hint of sparkle by adding a few gold sequins here and there.

The spoon and tea tag were some extra finishing touches that made the card feel complete and balanced. The focal piece was layered onto "Apricot Appeal" cardstock and a Kraft card base sponged with white ink. This card was so much fun to create! I was actually inspired twice for this particular design. I was standing in line at the post office to mail out THESE AND THIS card and I saw a card available for purchase there that struck my fancy; not the colors, not much really, but it had teacups on it. As soon as I saw this photo, it was the teacups that caught my eye as well...and that is how an "inspired" card was born! Thanks for fluttering by!