Saturday, September 30, 2017

Happy, Happy, Happy Halloween

I've been itching to create a Halloween background for a few weeks now and I got the perfect inspiration last night at my son's football game. The sun had almost completely set and I looked out at the horizon and decided to snap a picture. I will share the picture further down in the post so you can see it. Last year I only made ONE Halloween card using this same Spooky Smiles stamp set. You can see it HERE. I thought it would be fun to use these same sweet images to highlight the spooky background.
The background is blended using an assortment of Distress Oxide Inks to achieve the look I was hoping for. I spritzed some Shimmer Spray and water over the top and set it aside to dry. In the mean time, I die cut the tree and fence using the  Spooky Town: Yard dies. I glued two of each die cut together for a more substantial piece. I popped them up using foam squares and I REALLY like how they created shadows onto the blended background for a fun effect!
I stamped all of the images from the set using my MISTI, but only ended up using the ghost and kitty with a few other fun additions, like the candy corn and hat. Once they were all colored with Copic Markers, I spritzed them with shimmer spray as well. The band around the hat, the candy corn, candy and kitty's bow all got a coating of Nuvo Crystal Glaze for some added shine. 
Once all of the elements were created, I assembled the card using foam squares. The sentiment is heat embossed using silver powder. I really like how it turned out. 

You can see my inspiration here. I didn't enhance this photo at all, so it is a little dark, but I just LOVE how it looks. The colors in my card ended up being brighter, but I like that, especially with the "cutesie" stamps.

The blended background panel is adhered to a black A2 card base for some contrast. I also added a few Sparkling Clear sequins for some added shine (it really didn't need any more) LOL! I just love how it turned out! I hope to get more Halloween cards made this year since it is one of my favorite holidays! Thanks for fluttering by!

p.s. I have been keeping a little secret for a while now so stop by tomorrow when I spill the beans! EEEp!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Keeping Christmas {Gifts from the Heart}

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

I have been working like a crazy lady these past few weeks and was thinking that I wouldn't get a "Keeping Christmas" post done this month. One of the reasons that I have been so busy is that I have been putting together samples of crafts for our "Super Saturday" activity at church. This is where a bunch of ladies get together and get crafty! This isn't something I would normally post, but decided that the ideas that I am sharing are things that you could make for Christmas gifts! The first idea is a menu board that I put together based on a few I had seen on Pinterest and one that my friend made. I taught a Meal Planning class and this is the perfect companion for what I taught.

 The second project is a set of pumpkins made from 2 by 4s. I got the idea HERE but tweaked it a little by adding birch branches for the stems and adding some heavier ribbons. Even though these are an autumn craft, I can't imagine that someone wouldn't like getting these as a hostess gift for Thanksgiving or Christmas. 
 The next project is a re-recreation of a board that I saw at the local craft store that I just loved! I am calling it an "Interchangeable Seasonal Welcome Board". There is a cup hook on the top left corner that allows you to swap out the garland/greenery for each season or holiday. I got the wood cut at Home Depot and then used acrylic paint and letter stencils from Hobby Lobby to create it.
The last project is a simple ornament that I found HERE and thought they were so sweet! I created the cardstock backer for them to be attached to with the scripture verse. These would make great gifts to pass out to neighbors with a goodie or to family and friends. If you would like the file for the backer, you can email me at . The cost to make these is only 25 cents! 

I still have lots more ideas I can't wait to share with you before the holidays...I just hope I get lots more time! LOL! Thanks for bearing with me for this "out of the box" Keeping Christmas post, but it is what it is! ha ha! Thanks for fluttering by!

Merry Monday #258 Let it Snow!!

Welcome to this week's Merry Monday challenge! Things have been a little chilly around here lately so this card doesn't seem so out of place anymore! 

This week, Colleen has challenged us to add a penguin to our cards. I used penguins on THIS project so I decided to change things up a bit and create a cool, winter scene! You can read all about the challenge HERE and also see what the rest of the design team created!

I pulled out another Birthday purchase, which is this fabulous Marilyn Stencil from Simon Says Stamp, that had yet to be used. I thought it had some Christmas-y hints; the holly looking leaves and dots for berries, the pinebough-eque branches at the top and then the whole thing almost looks like one big giant snowflake! I knew this would be the perfect starting point for a fun penguin card!
To begin, I dry embossed the stencil using a piece of Stamper's Select White cardstock and ran it through my cuttlebug using the tan embossing pad for a crisp design. After that, I used an assortment of Distress Oxide ink pads in cool, wintery colors for a fun effect! I haven't used any oxide inks on any projects lately and I felt like they needed a little love! LOL! After that was done, I spritzed the entire piece using Shimmer Spray very generously. I wanted it to have a lot of sparkle and snowy shine! I also added some Nuvo Crystal Glaze to all of the circle images on the stenciled piece.  I set that aside to dry and got to work on the penguins.

I die cut the penguins using the Tremendous Treats Christmas die set and then stamped them with the coordinating images from the Tremendous Treats Christmas stamp set. I colored the images using Copic and Prismacolor markers. I added some Wink of Stella to each of the scarves for some added shine.

The sentiment is heat embossed in silver onto a strip of black cardstock and then adhered to a piece of white cardstock. I spritzed the white piece with shimmer spray as well and then added a strip of adhesive and a coating of chunky iridescent glitter. The penguins are stacked on top of each other using foam squares. I had fun with this card! I love challenges because I usually end up creating something that I NEVER would have otherwise! I hope you get a chance to play! Thanks for fluttering by!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Thinking of Autumn

I can't believe tomorrow is the first day of Fall! How did that happen? I'm still reminiscing of beach days and sunshine. I thought I'd put myself in an Autumn mood and create a few cards that I need to send out this month. I'm slowly working my way through my birthday stamps and I chose to use the floral image from Happily Ever After and the sentiment from Fancy Floral

I chose to heat emboss the floral image onto some watercolor paper using gold powder. I have been using SU!'s "Gold Glory" embossing powder that I have had forever, but it is almost gone. Anyone out there have one that they love more than another? I am totally up for some suggestions! 
Once they were embossed, I used some "Bravo Burgundy" reinker to watercolor the floral images and some "Always Artichoke" reinker for the leaves. I thought it seemed like early Autumn. On this particular card, I used some Nuvo Glaze on a few petals and leaves. I really like how it turned out. I wasn't as happy with the embossing on this particular card, so I decided to use it as my guinea pig for experimentation! LOL!

This ended up being my favorite of the two. The sentiment is heat embossed onto a strip of Kraft cardstock using gold powder as well. I cut it at an angle and then added it to the floral piece using foam squares.
Rather than adding glaze to this particular card, I chose to use some Wink of Stella on the flowers and leaves for some sparkle and shine. I also added some Bright Gold Nuvo Drops here and there around the floral arrangement.

I took a risk and added a few Sparkling Clear sequins in addition to the nuvo drops, but I really like the sparkle that it adds to the design.

You can see the crystal glaze on the leaf in this photo. I just love how it looks on top of the embossing. The finishing touch is a few splatters of "Close to Cocoa" ink using a Color Spritzing tool. I just felt that the white space needed a little warmth. Thanks for fluttering by and Happy Autumn!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Merry Monday #257 {Love from our House to Yours}

It's Monday and that means it is time for a new Merry Monday Challenge! I am so excited to be getting a head start on all of my holiday cards! 
This week, Sue has challenged us to add a decorated tag to our cards using texture, bling, and die cuts! Sounds fun, right? It is! You can find out about all of the details HERE and see how the rest of the team incorporated tags into their designs!
To begin, I die cut a postage looking piece using the "Post and Parcel" kit from Papertrey Ink. It has been discontinued, but it is one of my favorites! I sponged some Peacock Feathers distress ink onto the die cut and then layered it with different die cut pieces from the kit. I just love the vintage vibe, especially the bird pulling the bow!

After all of my bits and pieces were attached, I tied some red ribbon onto the tag and then a bow of True Black Baker's Twine and a red jingle bell. I usually buy a few packs of all of the jingle bells at the Dollar Tree as soon as they come out. I am sure it will happen any minute now! LOL!

The tag is attached to a piece of red card stock using foam squares and then adhered to the dry embossed piece. 

The finishing touch is a few drops of "Duck Egg Blue" Nuvo drops here and there for some added detail. I also added some Nuvo glaze to the ornaments in the arrangement on the mailbox. Thanks for fluttering by!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Hello, Birthday Girl!

 I'm just popping in with a sweet and simple card I whipped up last minute for my daughter to take to a birthday party tonight! Once again, I thought I'd better post something before Monday rolls around and I share a new Christmas design! LOL! I'm completely missing my lazy summer days that meant as much creative time as I liked! I guess all good things must come to an end! 
 I picked up this super cute gift sack that you can see in the background that inspired the simplicity of the design. My first instinct was to use Pedal Pusher but I ALWAYS use that so I decided to simplify and use one of my more underutilized stamp sets;Everyday Button Bits. There's not much to color and the buttons do all the work since they look so darn cute! 

I did minimal coloring with just a touch of Wink of Stella on the bike and then just a tiny amount of Nuvo Crystal glaze on  the seat for a fun, retro vibe. My brother had this bike with a blue banana seat that was made of blue glittery plastic that I LOVED! I wanted to recreate that look on my card!

Last, but not least, I used the Hello, You stamp set from CZ design that I got for my the beginning of AUGUST and this was the first time I used it! I still have a STACK of stamps from my birthday that remain unopened and uninked! Hangs head in shame! I've decided that I'm going to bag the housecleaning and just focus on stamping and see how that works out! LOL! Thanks for fluttering by!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Merry Monday #256 {Season's Greetings}

Welcome back for this week's installment of the Merry Monday Christmas Card challenge and boy is it a good one! I seriously had so many ideas running through my mind, but decided that execution would probably be the hardest part in this particular challenge. 

You can read all about the challenge HERE as well as soak in ALL of the inspiration from the other designers! They have some very fun and festive cards that really will get your creative juices flowing. For my card, I decided to make something (and I couldn't resist making some coordinating tags) inspired by the Holiday classic "Home Alone" and also inspired by another classic "Holiday Inn"...two VERY different movies, but I love how this door image works so well for either one!

 To begin, I used the Door to Door Die on a rectangle of Pure Poppy cardstock and then used the coordinating Door to Door stamp set to stamp the door image. Once that was done, I used my bone folder to crease the door open. I spritzed it quite heavily with Shimmer Spray for some nice shine. I adhered the entire red piece onto a slightly larger rectangle of white cardstock so that I could stamp a greeting or image inside the door. I was truly wishing that I had an outline image of Kevin McAllister to add to the inside, but alas, I don't! LOL! Right now it is still blank and I will probably remedy that once I have a recipient in mind for this particular card.
 The stair case is stamped using Palette Black ink onto a 5 1/4 inch by 4 inch piece of Kraft Cardstock and then the sentiment is heat embossed in gold using images from the Two Feet Deep stamp set. I used my MISTI for exact placement and nice saturation of the Versamark ink before I embossed it. I just love how it turned out. I always like it when people paint clever things on their staircases or add a detail of some kind. I also felt like stairs in Home Alone make quite a scene! LOL!
 Once that was done, I  stamped a few snowflakes from the Two Feet Deep stamp set as well and added some Bright Gold Nuvo Drops in the centers for some added detail. The rest of the details are die cut using the Door To Door Accessories Dies for some added interest and Christmas charm. My daughter joked that she wished that there was a little "Jockey" lawn ornament that the Little Nero's pizza delivery boy knocks over. It's actually a fun little detail that John Hughes likes to add in his movies. However, I don't have one to add! LOL!
 Well, because I had so much fun with the card, I just couldn't stop, which happens to be a habit of mine while creating holiday designs. I thought the little open door would make FABULOUS tags.

 As you can see, I made a whole army of them and I can't wait to add them to my holiday gifts.

In this case, the open door was the PERFECT spot to add the "To: from:" sentiment. They are all tied up with black twine...I went and bought the rest that Hallmark had on clearance! Yay me! I had A LOT of fun creating this card and matching tags! I really hope you get a chance to play along! Thanks for fluttering by!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

{Celebrate} your big day!

 I thought I'd better post something besides a Christmas project before tomorrow so I don't have three Holiday posts in a row! LOL! My daughter was invited to a surprise sweet 16 party for one of her friends so of course I needed to make a card! I wanted something fun, bright and sparkly! I was in such a rush to make the card because I had to get to my son's football game which meant I didn't get a chance to photograph the card before my daughter left. So...what's a girl to do? Well, make a whole new identical card, of course! LOL!

 I just worked in reverse and put everything away as I was done so I was cleaning and creating at the same time! It worked out fabulously! To begin, I blended some Picked Raspberry Distress ink onto a 4 by 5 1/4 inch piece of Bristol paper for a smooth blend. After that was done, I sprinkled some chunky iridescent glitter onto the panel and then spritzed it with some hairspray and Shimmer Spray for optimum sparkle. I had spritzed water onto my original card as well, but I didn't feel it added anything extra so I didn't add it to this card.  After that was done, I set it aside to dry.
 I die cut the word "Celebrate" out of some "Gilver" glitter cardstock using the Birthday Cheer die set. On the original card, I layered it three times but I just couldn't bring myself to do it again on this card! lol! I actually think it looks just fine like this anyway. You can see how it would look stacked on THESE cards using the same paper and similar die cuts. The "Your big day" sentiment is heat embossed in gold onto purple cardstock using the Birthday Cheer stamp set.
 I'm just slightly obsessed with balloons lately so I was super excited to get to work creating the balloon details. To begin, I gold embossed the "strings" using the Birthday Style stamp set. I also embossed the cute little bow that's hanging at the bottom. A few iridescent sequins add a little bit more sparkle as well as frame the two sentiments. 
 The balloons are die cut using the Birthday Style die cuts and then stamped in bright colors. I actually used the gift sack that the gift went in as the inspiration for the order of the balloons on the card as well as the colors. The balloons all got a nice coating of Nuvo Crystal Glaze over the top. On my original card, I decided to add the chunky glitter over the top of the wet glaze and of course, a little bit sprinkled onto the card front. I liked the effect so well, that I decided to just sprinkle it on in the beginning as I mentioned earlier in my post. I added the purple sentiment strip to the bottom of the card and then layered the "Celebrate" diecut over the top. 
You can see how fun the glitter looks on the glossy balloons. I wanted to recreate the look of the balloons that are filled with confetti or glitter. I think they turned out great! I sprinkled more at the bottom and then gradually worked my way up using less and less. Such a fun and festive card!! Thanks for fluttering by! Join me tomorrow for a new Merry Monday Challenge!

Monday, September 4, 2017

Merry Monday #255 {Joy to the World}

 Hello and welcome to a NEW Merry Monday challenge!! I am so excited to have been asked to be a part of this amazing Design Team! I was feeling really sad when "The Challenge" ended and I am so glad for this opportunity and you ALL know how much I LOVE Christmas!! I really hope you get a chance to play along! Nothing says "Happy Labor Day" like sharing a Holiday Design! LOL!
You can read all about it HERE! I just love this inspiration photo and as much as I wanted to take an absolute literal approach, I resisted so I could challenge myself as well as try some new ideas! As soon as I knew what the challenge would include, I  searched online stores for a  "JOY" stamp set because I wanted something new. There are a TON of fabulous sets out there, but I ultimately decided on Concord and 9th's JOY stamp set and coordinating die. I really like the style as well as the many possibilities that it holds. 

 During the design process, I also decided to use Fair Isle Motifs to enhance the word JOY and the Spruce and Sprigs stamp set as well as the coordinating DIES. It's a potpourri of products, but I love how they all work together!

To begin, I die cut 5 of the JOY words from Kraft cardstock so that I could stack them up for a nice focal point. 
 Once they were all cut, I placed one of the words BACK into the negative space in my MISTI. I placed the fair isle image that I wanted directly onto the center of the "O" so I would have proper placement. Now, you might be wondering why I didn't just stamp it first and then die cut it? Well, I knew that I was going to be doing some heat embossing and I didn't want to run the embossed piece through my Cuttlebug. I didn't want to run the risk of smashing the raised detail or tarnishing the shine. So...I stamped it like this and then sprinkled gold embossing powder over each piece and used tweezers to heat them so I didn't burn my fingers or smudge the intricate design.
Once that was done, I was able to glue all 5 of each letter on top of each other using Tombow Mono Multi for a strong bond. While those were drying, I created a die cut circle piece as a base for the die cut JOY. I stamped the same image as I did for the letters and heat embossed it using gold as well. Once that was done, it was very easy to line up the letters over the top for perfect alignment. Even though the letters are so thick, I also popped them up using foam squares for even more dimension. I just love how they look floating above the circle. The inspiration piece used a snowflake in the center, but I thought this fair isle pattern was a perfect alternative!
 I like the wood of the sign on the inspiration piece as well, so I thought a wood background would be nice as well. I used the Wood Grain Impression Plate on a piece of green paper for some nice texture. I cut it into two pieces and adhered it to a base of white flecked paper. It is super old from SU! and I can't remember what it is called...rustic something or other, maybe? It is my last piece and I am sad. I also used this same paper for the circle detail. The "to the world" sentiment is gold embossed onto a strip of the same green paper and then glued over the top of "JOY".
 The gold embossed lined strip uses another image from the "JOY" stamp set and I adhered that to the card in between the two green pieces, but I popped it up. I can see lots of possibilities with those lines. I almost left the card just as it was, without the sprigs of greenery. It felt done with the design in a CAS way, but felt it needed something else.
I added a few sprigs of greenery as well for a festive touch. Each of the pieces were spritzed with just a hint of shimmer spray and then some Wink of Stella on the holly leaves. The trio of berries got a nice coating of Nuvo Crystal Glaze for some added shine. I arranged them in a little cluster and then added them to the card front using foam squares. Of course, I just HAD to add some Bright Gold Nuvo Drops for some fun detail! I had so much fun with this challenge and I hope you will all find some time to play and get a head start on your holiday cards! Thanks for fluttering by!