Previous month:
August 2010
Next month:
October 2010

September 2010

Piecing Together a Jolly Holiday

Hello!  Thanks for stopping by to visit!

As I mentioned in my last blog post, the Holidays are only a few weeks away and I know many of my customers are thinking about a design for this year's Christmas card.  The members of the SASS Stamp Club are actively searching for ideas, so to give them a boost in the idea department, I promised them that we'd be making a Christmas card at each month's club meeting leading up to Christmas.

Here's the card we made at the September meeting.  I wanted to showcase the Jolly Holiday Designer Series Paper because it's so bright and fun.  If you look closely at the Top Note focal point at the center of the card, you can see a strip of paper from every pattern in this Designer Series Paper pack.

(click on card to see larger image)

The Jolly Holiday Designer Series Paper features Old Olive, Cherry Cobbler, and Very Vanilla.  A simple color combination, for sure!  To begin, the edges of a strip of Cherry Cobbler cardstock were sponged with Cherry Cobbler ink and adhered to the card base of Old Olive cardstock (you can see the card base at the top of the photo above where the back of the card is visible).  Snugged up to the Cherry Cobbler cardstock is a piece of the jumbo circles pattern from Jolly Holiday.  The edges of this paper were also sponged with Cherry Cobbler ink.

To create the focal point, a 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" piece of lightweight, smooth cardstock (Whisper White or Very Vanilla) was covered with Anywhere Glue Stick and placed on the tabletop with the 4 1/4" side as the height and the 5 1/2" side as the width.  Strips cut from each piece of the Jolly Holiday paper (1/2" x 12" cut into two pieces, 1/2" x 6" each) were placed on top of the cardstock beginning flush with the left side and continuing side-by-side until the entire piece of cardstock is covered, making sure that no pattern is repeated.  Since the cardstock is 5 1/2" wide, this means that you'll have one paper strip left over.  Just set that aside for a minute.

Trim off the overhanging paper from the cardstock and place the cardstock with the paper piecing face down on the Top Note Bigz die.  Run the cardstock and die through the Big Shot.  Flip open the cutting rail on your Paper Trimmer and place the points of the widest part of the die cut so that they are lying centered on top of the cutting trough of the Paper Trimmer.  Close the rail and slice the die cut in half.  Run a piece of Brushed Gold cardstock through the Big Shot with the Top Note Bigz die cut and slice it in half the same way.  Place a Brushed Gold and a paper pieced die cut half with the centers together on the tabletop.  Apply Anywhere Glue Stick to the back of the remaining 1/2" x 6" strip of Jolly Holiday paper and place it across the middle, centered over the seam between the two pieces of die cut.  Use the Bone Folder to burnish the glue in place.  Then sponge Cherry Cobbler ink on the paper pieced part of the combined Top Note die cuts.

Use the Crop-A-Dile to punch 1/8" holes approximately 1/2" from each side of the Top Note focal point on the center strip and thread a piece of Old Olive 3/8" Taffeta ribbon through the holes and knot on the front.  Stamp a cheerful holiday sentiment at the upper left corner of the Top Note focal point on the Brushed Gold cardstock with Staz-On Jet Black ink.  For this card, I used "Merry Christmas" from the All Holidays stamp set.  To add some bright and shiny zip to the focal point, I placed three 4 mm Rhinestones in a row at the upper right side of the Brushed Gold cardstock.  Finally, the Top Note focal point is adhered to the card front with Stampin' Dimensionals.

The inside sentiment area of the card (not shown) was lined with a piece of Very Vanilla cardstock; the edges sponged with Cherry Cobbler ink.  There are so many great Christmas sentiments that can be used here so I left this blank so that my SASS Stamp Club members could choose a saying that reflected their own feelings about the Christmas season.

(click on envelope to see larger image)

The Very Vanilla envelope was embellished with a piece of Jolly Holiday paper adhered to the envelope flap with Anywhere Glue Stick and then trimmed with Paper Snips to follow the edge of the flap.  The edges of the envelope flap were sponged with Cherry Cobbler ink.  I also stamped the "Merry Christmas" sentiment on the lower left front corner of teh envelope (not shown) using Staz-On Jet Black ink.

You may be wondering what happened to the other half of the paper pieced Top Note die cut.  Well, it's ready to be made into another card!  OR you could use it for a title piece for a scrapbook page by snugging the center edge up to one side of the page or edge of a mat.  And don't forget about the frame that was left over when you created the die cut...think how awesome that would look as a mat for a family Christmas photo either in a frame or on a scrapbook page.

I hope that this card will help to jump start your thought process for designing and making your own Chrismas cards.  For me, making and sending the cards is an important part of my preparations for the holiday season.  It puts me in touch with one of the most important aspects of the season:  conveying the love I feel for family and friends, both near and far.


Stamps:  All Holidays; Inks:  Cherry Cobbler, Staz-On Jet Black; Cardstock:  Cherry Cobbler, Old Olive, Very Vanilla, Brushed Gold; Designer Series Paper:  Jolly Holiday; Embellishments:  Jewels Basic Rhinestones, Old Olive 3/8" Taffeta Ribbon; Adhesives:  SNAIL, Anywhere Glue Stick, Stampin' Dimensionals; Tools:  Paper Trimmer/Scorer, Paper Snips, Bone Folder, Sponge, Crop-A-Dile, Big Shot w/Standard Cutting Plates, Top Note Bigz Die; Other:  Medium Very Vanilla Envelope

French Foliage for Fall

Hi there!  Sorry I've been absent for a few days.  I had a minor surgical procedure last week that left me feeling rather drained.  It's all good though; the healing is progressing rapidly and the results are positive beyond expectations.  So I'm thrilled!

To get back into the swing of things, I'd like to share a project from the September meeting of the SASS Stamp Club.  One of the loveliest stamp sets in the new Holiday Mini Catalog is one called French Foliage.  I looked at this stamp set and imagined so many possibilities, so it was the first thing I ordered from the Mini Catalog.

When I designed this card, I had just returned from my cruise to Alaska's Inside Passage where the leaves were already turning and falling.  Holy Cow!  I'm not sure that I could accept such a short Summer season...a result of a Florida upbringing, I'm sure.  However, many of my SASS Stamp Club members are HUGE fans of Fall, so I knew that this type of project would be well received.  It was good to do this project while the colors were fresh in my mind.

The card base for this card is River Rock.  The "splatter" image was randomly stamped over the front of the card base with River Rock ink.  A layer of Always Artichoke was added with one side punched with the Scallop Edge Border punch to lend a little interest.  On top of this layer, two more layers of Not Quite Navy and Early Espresso cardstock were adhered with Stampin' Dimensionals to frame the focal point of the card.  Of course, the edges of all the layers were sponged with their corresponding ink colors.

The focal point of the card is a piece of Very Vanilla cardstock randomly stamped with the medium sized leaf image inked with Always Artichoke and So Saffron inks using a Sponge Dauber for more precise placement of the ink on the rubber.  The "splatter" image was stamped in between the leaf images with River Rock ink and the edges of the cardstock were sponged with Early Espresso ink.  The "With Sympathy" sentiment (from the Teeny Tiny Wishes stamp set) was stamped with Always Artichoke ink near the bottom edge, then the Very Vanilla cardstock was adhered to the Early Espresso cardstock.  An Early Espresso 1/4" grosgrain ribbon was wrapped around the Not Quite Navy, Early Espresso, and Very Vanilla layers and knotted on the front about an inch from the bottom edge of the Very Vanilla cardstock.

The largest leaf image was stamped three times with Early Espresso ink on Soft Suede cardstock.  Each leaf was cut out and the large veins of the leaf were scored with the tip of the bone folder.  To create a more realistic leaf, I carefully folded the leaf along the score lines by pushing up from the back of the leaf against the score line.  Two Stampin' Dimensionals were placed on the back of each leaf and then the leaves were placed onto the focal point in the area above the ribbon.


The inside sentiment area of the card features a piece fo Very Vanilla cardstock with the medium sized leaf image stamped across the bottom of the cardstock.  I used the same leaf image and inking process to stamp these leaves as was used for the focal point of the card.  And since I liked it so well, I repeated the same technique one more time on the left front of the envelope!

French_Foliage_Sympathy_Envelope (click on envelope to see larger image)

Now that Fall has officially arrived, thoughts of the Holiday Season start to creep in.  Have you begun making your Christmas cards yet?  If not, be sure to plan a return visit for Christmas card ideas.  Also, if you live on Florida's Space Coast, you may want to consider signing up for my Christmas Card classes.  I'll be having two sessions:  one on Saturday, November 6th, and the second on Sunday, November 7th.  At each session, you'll make 15 cards, three cards each of five different designs.  There are still a few slots left at each session, so be sure to sign up as soon as you can.  The cost for each session is $25.


Stamps:  French Foliage, Teeny Tiny Wishes; Inks: Always Artichoke, Early Espresso, Not Quite Navy, River Rock, So Saffron; Cardstock:  Always Artichoke, Early Espresso, Not Quite Navy, River Rock, Soft Suede, Very Vanilla; Embellishments:  Early Espresso 1/4" grosgrain ribbon; Adhesives:  SNAIL, Stampin' Dimensionals; Tools:  Paper Cutter/Scorer, Paper Snips, Bone Folder, Sponge, Sponge Daubers, Scallop Edge Border punch; Other:  Medium Very Vanilla Envelope

A Simple Flower

Hi there!

Thanks for stopping by to visit.  Don't you just love a simple flower design?  Since it's Friday, I wanted to share a simple idea for you to try this weekend:  a lollipop flower.  All it takes are some circle punches and a bone folder. And if you don't have circle punches, don't worry.  You can cut out the just takes a little longer.


I used this simple card design to make a stack of workshop invitations.  For this card, I used the 1 3/4" circle, 1 3/8" circle and 1" circle punches with Baja Breeze, More Mustard, and River Rock cardstocks, respectively.  The edges of all the circles were pulled across the edge of a bone folder (by pulling the edge of the circle between thumb and the bone folder) to roll up the edges slightly.  Then the circles are placed one on top of the other with the largest on the bottom and the smallest on top.  You can use Tombow Multi Adhesive or SNAIL to adhere the circles to each other or you can place a brad at the center of the smallest circle so that the brad legs go through all the circles to hold them together.  For this lollipop flower, I decided to use SNAIL and add a heart Bitty Button mounted to a small heart punched from Bravo Burgundy cardstock.  A piece of Linen Thread is knotted on top of the Bitty Button and Crystal Effects was used to adhere the button to the cardstock.  Now it's just a matter of placing your flower on the card.

A piece of Crumb Cake cardstock (formerly known as Kraft cardstock) was attached to the Bravo Burgundy card base.  Then a strip of Old Olive 1/8" Taffeta ribbon was adhered to the cardstock with Tombow Multi Adhesive to create a flower stem.  Next to the flower stem I placed a couple of leaves made by stamping the leaf image from Vintage Vogue onto Old Olive cardstock using Old Olive ink.  You can see that I added a bit of length to the leaves to give them a touch of whimsy and then sponged the edges of the leaves with Old Olive ink.  The grass was created with a scrap piece of Old Olive cardstock repeatedly snipped with Paper Snips and then sponged with Old Olive ink.  The grass was attached to the bottom of the flower stem with SNAIL and then I "ruffled" the grass with my fingertips to add a little dimension.  The lollipop flower was added to the top of the flower stem with Tombow Multi Adhesive.

The invitation sentiment was stamped on Baja Breeze cardstock using Bravo Burgundy ink and then punched out with the wide oval punch.  The edges of the cardstock were rolled just like the edges of the circle of the lollipop flower.  This piece was attached to the card front with Tombow Multi Adhesive, too.

The inside sentiment area of the card (not shown) was lined with Crumb Cake cardstock.  For workshop invitations, I print the workshop information in Microsoft Word using a post card template (in portrait orientation) on vellum designed to accept inkjet inks (sorry, not available from Stampin' Up!).  Then I tear out each "postcard" and adhere it to the inside sentiment area of the card using an adhesive that is applied by rolling the vellum through an adhesive applicator (sorry, also not available from Stampin' Up!).

Lollipop_Flower_Envelope (click on envelope to see larger image)

The invitation sentiment was stamped on the lower left corner of the Crumb Cake envelope with Old Olive ink.  A mask made by punching a Fancy Flower from a Post-It Note was placed over the invitation sentiment.  Then Bravo Burgundy ink was sponged around the mask.

Hope you find time to have fun this weekend!


Stamps:  Sincere Salutations, Vintage Vogue; Inks: Bravo Burgundy, Old Olive; Cardstock:  Baja Breeze, Bravo Burgundy, Crumb Cake, More Mustard, Old Olive; Embellishments:  Old Olive 1/8" Taffeta ribbon, Bitty Buttons (heart), Linen Thread; Adhesives:  SNAIL, Tombow Multi Adhesive; Tools:  Paper Cutter/Scorer, Paper Snips, Bone Folder, Sponge, Paper Piercer, Mat Pack, Wide Oval punch, 1 3/4" circle punch, 1 3/8" circle punch, 1" circle punch, Small Heart punch, Fancy Flower punch, Post-It Note; Other:  Medium Crumb Cake Envelope

A New Twist on a Thank You

Hi there!  It seems like FOREVER that I've been able to post, but I have to admit that a trip to Alaska's Inside Passage is NOT to be missed!  Wow!  Everything was so AWESOME!  Even the capital letters can't convey to you all the wonderful things that I saw and did on the cruise.  It's hard to put a finger on any one thing that stands out as the highlight of the trip:  the train ride to White Pass from Skagway, the Sawyer Glacier at Tracy Arm, the Mendenhall Glacier outside of Juneau, my first taste of "real" salmon, or a horse-drawn trolley tour of Victoria, BC.  Everything was equally wonderful; but I have to say that sharing the trip with my sister was truly special. 


Kathy (right) and I at the Mendenhall Glacier (outside Juneau, Alaska)

We returned to Florida on Labor Day weekend and the transition from pampered lifestyle of the cruise ship to laundry, jet lag, and work were quite a slap-in-the-face.  I was chomping at the bit to get back into my craft room but it took a few days to get myself back into the groove before I could get my fingers inky.  Once I did, I had to dig in and get creating because I had a SASS Stamp Club meeting the very next weekend to prepare for!  All went well with the SASS Stamp Club and you'll be seeing the projects that we made in a few days.

Today's project is a Thank You card I designed for a workshop and for last month's SASS Stamp Club orders.  This card uses the Perfect Punches stamp set for the sentiment and the Big Shot with the Vintage Wallpaper Textured Impressions embossing folder to add dimension and texture.


(click on card to see larger image)

A piece of Basic Black cardstock was run through the Big Shot inside the Vintage Wallpaper Textured Impressions embossing folder.  The edges of the cardstock were roughed up to add some character before the cardstock was adhered to the Cherry Cobbler card base.  Strips of Baja Breeze cardstock and Newsprint Designer Series paper were punched with the Scallop Eyelet Border punch; the edges of the Baja Breeze strip were sponged with Baja Breeze ink and the edges of the Newsprint Designer Series Paper were sponged with Cherry Cobbler ink.  A piece of Very Vanilla satin ribbon was knotted on the front of these strips and then layered on top of the left edge of the Basic Black cardstock.  The sentiment image was inked with Baja Breeze ink and a Cherry Cobbler Stampin' Write marker was used to ink the "Thanks" part of the image which was then stamped on Very Vanilla cardstock and punched out with the Scallop Oval punch.  The sentiment was attached to a piece of Cherry Cobbler cardstock punched with the Decorative Label punch (Brand NEW in the Holiday Mini catalog) with Basic Black brads.  The edges of the Cherry Cobbler label were sponged with Cherry Cobbler ink and then the sentiment was adhered to the Basic Black cardstock with Stampin' Dimensionals.

The inside sentiment area of this card is lined with a piece of Very Vanilla cardstock; the edges sponged with Cherry Cobbler ink.  The "twist" for this card is that nothing else was done for the inside, which is why you don't see a picture!  My customers must like the Thank You cards that they receive inside their Stampin' Up! order bags, because they asked that I write my thank you note on a Post-It Note, attach it to the inside of the card and not address the that they can remove the Post-It Note and use the card themselves!  I never told my SASS Stamp Club members if I would actually do this for them; however, they were quick to tell me how tickled they were that I actually did as they asked when they came to this month's SASS Stamp Club meeting this past weekend.  


(click on envelope to see larger image)

The flap of the Very Vanilla envelope was embossed with the Vintage Wallpaper Textured Impressions embossing folder and randomly sponged with Baja Breeze and Cherry Cobbler inks.  

It feels good to get back in the groove with papercrafting after a much-needed vacation.  The next few months will be super busy with classes, Stamp Club, and workshops; but I'm really looking forward to it!  I hope you'll stop by to visit when you have a chance.  I look forward to your feedback.


Stamps:  Perfect Punches; Inks: Baja Breeze, Cherry Cobbler ; Stampin' Write Markers:  Cherry Cobbler; Cardstock:  Baja Breeze, Basic Black, Cherry Cobbler, Very Vanilla; Designer Series Paper:  Newsprint; Embellishments:  Very Vanilla 5/8" Satin ribbon, Neutrals Brads (Basic Black); Adhesives:  SNAIL, Stampin' Dimensionals, Tombow Multi Adhesive; Tools:  Paper Cutter/Scorer, Paper Snips, Bone Folder, Sponge, Paper Piercer, Mat Pack, Scallop Oval punch, Decorative Label punch, Big Shot w/Standard Cutting Plates, Multi-Purpose Platform, Vintage Wallpaper Textured Impressions embossing folder; Other:  Medium Very Vanilla Envelope