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November 2010

Royal Blog Tour -- A Christmas Collage

Edited to add:  This post was written for the Royal Blog Tour conducted from November 4-8, 2010.  I received lots of positive comments about the projects in this post, so I hope you enjoy all the projects made using the Christmas Collage background stamp.  References to the Blog Tour and the Blog Candy that was offered during the tour have been removed from the post text.


My projects feature the Christmas Collage background stamp.  This stamp is available from the Holiday Mini Catalog and features a truly lovely vintage look that coordinates beautifully with other stamps and accessories in the Holiday Mini Catalog.

When I first saw this stamp, I immediately thought of Christmas gift tags.  Growing up, my Mom used to make Christmas gift tags from the card fronts of the previous year's Christmas cards.  My sisters and I would spend an afternoon cutting up card fronts, writing the "To:" and "From:" on the back of the tags, and stringing embroidery floss or narrow ribbon through the punched holes for the tie-ons.  Our Mother wanted to get as many tags from a card front as possible, so it was always a challenge to see how many we could "find" in a particular card front design.  With this wonderful stamp design, I'm thinking that I can find quite a few tags!

(click on the tags to see a larger image)

The stamp image used for the white area on all the tags was stamped on glossy cardstock with Basic Black ink.  Color was added to the stamped image with a Blender Pen and inks.  For tags 1, 2, and 4, coordinating cardstocks of Always Artichoke, Basic Black, and/or Real Red Textured were used to mat the stamped images cut out of the glossy cardstock.  Taffeta and satin ribbons decorate the tags and are also used for the tag tie-ons.  For tags 3 and 5, the collage image was stamped on Brushed Gold cardstock with Basic Black ink.  Then selected areas of the Brushed Gold cardstock were cut out with Paper Snips to serve as mats for the images cut out of the glossy cardstock.  As with tags 1, 2, and 4, taffeta and satin ribbons were used to decorate the tags and for tie-ons.  Tag 3 uses images from the Bells & Boughs stamp set to provide the sentiment and a "shadow" image to further enhance the sentiment.

Another way my Mother recycled the previous year's Christmas cards was to make boxes from them.  She would go through the stack of Christmas cards and pull out five or six of the larger cards printed on a smooth cardstock to make her origami box tops and use a white, green, or red cardstock for the origami box bottom.  She used these boxes to package the beautiful earrings and brooches that she made for us.  Rather than make the origami box, I decided to use the Bitty Box Bigz XL die for the Sizzix.


(click on boxes to see a larger image)

With such a pretty design provided by the stamp, you don't need much to finish wrapping your Bitty Box.  The neat thing is that by changing the type of cardstock you can get a completely different look to the same design.  I just love that!  The box on the left was made with Crumb Cake cardstock, the middle box with glossy white cardstock, and the box on the left with Brushed Gold cardstock.  All were stamped with Basic Black ink.  For the Crumb Cake box, I added color to the images with a blender pen and inks and wrapped the box with two pieces of Real Red 1/8" Taffeta ribbon.  Color was applied to the image stamped on glossy white cardstock with sponges and Whisper White Organza ribbon was used to wrap the box and make the shiny bow.  As for the Brushed Gold cardstock box, I felt that with such a beautiful piece of cardstock, no further color was necessary!  This box was wrapped with pieces of Real Red 3/8" Taffeta ribbon and Old Olive 1/8" Taffeta ribbon that was pulled up through an Always Artichoke button and tied off. 

Of course, you need a Christmas card (or two) to be able to recycle them for tags and gift boxes the following year!  You'll see that this card front easily lends itself to eventual recycling for many of the projects shown above.


(click on the card to see a larger image)

This card front can be recycled to make the Christmas gift tags shown above just by removing the ribbon and cutting a rectangle around "Joy," a rectangle around the "Silent Night" lyrics, a rectangle around the boxed sentiment (to include the flourishes), and punching a circle around the "25."  The collage image was stamped on glossy white cardstock using Basic Black ink.  Color was added to the images using a blender pen and classic inks.  Brushed Gold cardstock helps to frame a greeting from the Sincere Sentiments stamp set stamped in Cherry Cobbler ink on glossy white cardstock.  The Real Red satin ribbon slides behind the "25" and knots on the front to add a fesitve touch to the card front.  The glossy white cardstock was matted with Brushed Gold and Always Artichoke cardstock and then adhered to the Real Red Textured cardstock base.

(click on the photo to see a larger image)

The interior of this card features a piece of Whisper White cardstock stamped with the bells and holly boughs you see on the card front using Basic Gray ink; however, to stamp a clean image I used the Bells & Boughs stamp set, another stamp set available in the Holiday Mini Catalog.  This stamp set has the poinsettias, holly bough, "A Merry Christmas", and the bells images you see in the Christmas Collage stamp.  [As an FYI, you'll find the rectangular box with the flourish from the Christmas Collage stamp on the Vintage Frames Decor Elements stencil, also available in the Holiday Mini Catalog.]  As with the card front, I used a blender pen and inks to add color to these beautiful images.  The Whisper White cardstock is matted with a piece of Always Artichoke cardstock before being adhered to the card interior.

For me, Christmas is all wrapped up in family traditions.  Looking back, I'm always amazed at how my Mother could make every Christmas so special for a busy family with six very active children.  The most wonderful thing, though, is that my sisters and brothers and I have each taken a few of these special traditions and incorporated them into our own family's Christmas traditions.

Thanks so much for taking the time to stop in for a visit.  Be sure to come back to visit during the next week for how-to's for all the projects shown above. 


Stamps:  Bells & Boughs, Christmas Collage, Sincere Sentiments; Inks:  Always Artichoke, Basic Black, Cherry Cobbler, Crumb Cake, Marina Mist, More Mustard, Old Olive, Real Red, Riding Hood Red; Cardstock:  Always Artichoke, Basic Black, Brushed Gold, Cherry Cobbler, Crumb Cake, Glossy White, Real Red Textured, Whisper White; Embellishments:  Deck the Halls Big Designer Button Assortment, Linen Thread, Old Olive 5/8" Satin ribbon, Old Olive 3/8" Taffeta ribbon, Old Olive 1/8" Taffeta ribbon, Real Red 5/8" Satin ribbon, Real Red 3/8" Taffeta ribbon, Real Red 1/8" Taffeta ribbon, Whisper White Organza ribbon, Whisper White 5/8" Satin ribbon, Whisper White 1/8" Taffeta ribbon; Adhesives:  SNAIL, Stampin Dimensionals, Sticky Strip; Tools:  Paper Cutter/Scorer, Paper Snips, Bone Folder, Craft Knife & Cutting Mat, Blender Pen, Sponge, 3/16" corner rounder, Crop-A-Dile (1/8" hole punch), Big Shot w/XL Cutting Pads, Bitty Box and Envelope Bigz XL die

A Vintage Thanks

Hello!  Thanks for stopping by to visit.  Another busy weekend wrapping up my projects for the Royal Blog Tour and preparing for my Christmas Card class next weekend.  Be sure to make plans to stop by beginning November 5th to take the Royal Blog Tour.  You're sure to see some amazing work from some very talented artists.  AND you'll have lots of chances to win Blog Candy.  AND you can collect clues to enter for a chance to win some really great prizes from the Royal Blog Tour.  For more information, click on the Royal Blog Tour graphics on the right sidebar (AFTER you read my post!).

(click on card to see larger image)

Today's project is a simple Thank You card that I made for the October merchandise orders.  I really appreciate all the folks who placed orders in October and wanted to make sure how much I valued their support of my Stampin' Up! business.  Quite a few of them took advantage of the great Stampin' Up! Clearance Rack sale and were tickled to get some really great bargains!

The card base is Sahara Sand.  On the lower third of the card front I stamped the script image from French Foliage using Not Quite Navy ink.  At the top of the script I placed a piece of floral Presto Patterns Specialty Designer Series Paper sponged with Poppy Parade ink and run through the Big Shot with the Tasteful Trim Bigz XL die to create the scallops.  A piece of Old Olive Taffeta ribbon was then wrapped around the top of the scallop piece and the card front.

The focal point for this card uses the Vintage Vogue stamp set with the triangular vine image stamped twice on Whisper White cardstock using Pear Pizzazz ink.  On top of that, the large flower image was stamped with Not Quite Navy ink and some leaves were added with Old Olive ink.  The large flower and small flower were stamped on a scrap piece of Whisper White cardstock; the large flower with Not Quite Navy ink and the small flower with So Saffron ink.  These flowers were cut out with Paper Snips, the edges rolled with the bone folder, and then attached with a gold brad to the focal point.  The "thanks" image, from the Fabulous Phrases stamp set, was stamped near the lower right corner of the focal point using Poppy Parade ink.  The focal point was matted with a piece of So Saffron and a piece of Not Quite Navy cardstock and placed on the card front with Stampin' Dimensionals.

(click on card to see larger image)

The inside of the card was lined with a piece of Whisper White cardstock.  The triangular vine image was stamped repeatedly across the top and bottom edges of the cardstock using Pear Pizzazz ink.  Then the small flower image was stamped in the top left corner using Not Quite Navy and So Saffron ink and in the lower right corner using So Saffron and Poppy Parade inks.

(click on envelope to see larger image)

The Whisper White envelope was stamped twice with the triangular vine image using Pear Pizzazz ink.  Then the small flower was stamped among the vines using So Saffron and Not Quite Navy inks.  The "thanks" image was stamped in between the flowers using Poppy Parade ink.

Sometimes the simplest designs carry the biggest impact.  I think that's true of this card.  It's simple to make and has a great color combination that is grounded by the neutral card base.  And just in case you're wondering, I didn't figure out this color combination by myself.  I used Stampin' Up!'s Color Coach to guide me through the process.  It takes all the guesswork out of making those pesky color decisions.  That's a very good thing when you're looking for just "the right thing" but don't have a whole lot of time or patience to figure it out for yourself.

Well, back to cutting cardstock and assembling card packets for this weekend's Christmas Card class.  If you're in the Central Florida area near the Space Coast you're welcome to come!  There are still a couple of slots left for this weekend's classes.  Just give me a call to reserve your spot.  I'd love to spend the time with you!  The class cost is $25; we'll be making 15 cards, 3 cards each of 5 different designs.


Stamps:  Fabulous Phrases, French Foliage, Vintage Vogue; Inks:  Not Quite Navy, Old Olive, Pear Pizzazz, Poppy Parade, So Saffron; Cardstock:  Not Quite Navy, Sahara Sand, So Saffron, Whisper White; Designer Series Paper:  Presto Patterns Specialty; Embellishments:  Gold Brad, Old Olive 3/8" Taffeta ribbon; Adhesives:  SNAIL, Stampin' Dimensionals; Tools:  Paper Cutter/Scorer, Paper Snips, Bone Folder, Sponge, Paper Piercer, Mat Pack, Big Shot w/XL Cutting Pads, Tasteful Trim Bigz XL die; Other:  Medium Whisper White Envelope