Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas!!!

Just a note to wish you all a Merry Christmas and every blessing in the New Year!!  Enjoy your friends and family and count your blessings!!

It was a trip down memory lane when we put up the tree this year as we unwrapped ornaments we have not seen for quite a few years because we have been travelling over Christmas.  They all fit on the tree!!


Friday, December 14, 2012

Large embossed Christmas cards

These are the other kits I prepared for my cardmaking session last night.  I created these for one of my Christmas card classes and still had some supplies so I prepped a few kits.  I used a variety of colours and embossing folders.  I decided to add a bit of colour to all of the ones I made by sponging very lightly over the embossed areas with ink.  I like the look!!  Before I headed for bed I decided to add a bit of bling to them as well so I added red glitter glue to the berries on the holly one, silver glitter glue to the snow flake one and several rhinestones to the tree one.  A bit of a different look from the clean and simple (CAS) look of the ones I created earlier.
I hope you have your cards ready to go and are in the home stretch in your preparations for Christmas.  I am ready other than some food preparation that will happen in the next few days.


Embossed with oval greeting

I created these greetings at the same time as the ones I used on these cards though they never made into the kits for that class.  So, yesterday, I invited my friend and her daughter over to make cards and decided to make up kits using them.  The image is from MudMaven Designs and I really love the little bird.  These were quick and easy cards to make - just a bit of colour on the greetings, layer onto the larger oval and add this element to the embossed card front using 3D foam tape.  I added a bit of glitter gel pen to greeting and its layer on this one.
We had a wonderful evening and they went home with some cards and goodies!  After they left I thought this was wonderful way to gift friends with cards because you get the gift of their company as well.


Santas with a vintage look

A few more cards created with supplies from my stash!!  I sponged the edges of my backgrounds, added seam binding and 1/8" ribbon, glued them to card fronts and added my layered colour printed Santa images.
I like how much of the background shows with the smaller images.


Santa with ruffled seam biniding

I needed just a few more Christmas cards so I went looking into my stash and found these backgrounds along with these Santa images and thought they would work well together.  I have been wanting to ruffle seam binding so decided to give it a try as this card needed a bit of texture.  I laid down a piece of double sided tape and started at the top by laying the seam binding onto the tape, making a little fold and repeating.  I really like how it turned out and it was easy to do!!  I added white 1/8" ribbon over it, tied it down with crochet cotton and added a little round greeting.  I sponged the background and added it to a black card front then layered my Santa image on red to coordinate with my seam binding.
I like the creative challenge of digging into my stash and finding supplies that I can combine to create new projects.


Iridescent Christmas RAK card

 Created this card as a RAK  - Random Act of Kindness - for a member of one of my groups.  It is always wonderful to receive a handmade card in the mail so I should really be doing this more often!!
The main element is Angelina Fiber impressed with a snowflake.  This was a fun activity with a group of friends - they had purchased a variety of colours and wanted to play.  I chose this bluish iridescent fiber and a snowflake stamp inked with blue.  Here is a tutorial if you are interested in giving it a try.  I added a silver snowflake confetti then layered it onto colour printed decorative paper which was stamped with snowflakes in blue and embellished with a blue gel pen on a blue card front and attached all the layers using a mini silver brad.  I added the torn vellum greeting afterwards - you get a very cool look when you layer the vellum over the angelina fiber - but I did have to peel up the edges of my decorative paper to tuck the ends of the greeting below it.  The soft blue of this card  seems to be just right to go with this greeting.
RAKs are such a wonderful way to spread love into the world!!


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

3D snowflake embellshment

 Here is a close up of the 3D snowflake embellishment I created for my Twisted Christmas cards.

I used:
1 - 1 1/4" punchie (SU)
1 - 1 3/8" punchie  (SU)
1 - snowflake punchie  (MS) (you could use confetti)
1 - sequin
1 - brad
6 - snowflake punchies

First, layer the snowflake punchie onto the 1 1/4" punchie, then that onto the 1 3/8" punchie.  Position the sequin in the center of the snowflake, make a hole and insert the brad.
Next, glue the snowflake punchies to the back of this  element positioning them with their centers aligned with the spaces between the branches of the snowflake.  Position the center of the punchies just to the outside of the edge of the layered element you just created.

This creates a nice 3D embellishment for adding to your cards, tags or back to back for making ornaments.



More Twisted Christmas cards

I created more Twisted Christmas cards.  You can see the others here. I played with the dimensions a bit so I could  put them into A2 invitation size envelopes.  You need to cut the length to 10 1/8" and you can leave the width at 4.25".  See the link above to find the tutorial on how to fold and score them.  I added decorative paper from my scraps so I just cut what I needed to cover the different areas of the cards.  These cards are cool because they have a pocket on the front and the inside.  I sealed off the front one before I added my dimensional  snowflake embellishment.  You can check out the
next post to see what I used and how I put them together!!  I added a colour printed greeting which I punched with the Window Punch (SU).
My Christmas cards went out today!!  I always write a family newsletter, print it on decorative letter head and include it in my cards to catch people up on what is going on at our house!!  I love getting news in my Christmas cards too!  Especially from those who we only write to once a year at Christmas!


Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Upcycled Heart ornaments

 I have been making little heart ornaments for my friends - just a little handmade something!!  The base of these hearts is a red sweater I bought years ago and wore all the time, especially at Christmas.  As it happens, it because a little stretched out and no longer looked great and fit well so it was removed from my closet to the give away pile.  When I was sorting through that pile I saw my sweater in a new light - crafts supply!!  So I brought into my craft room and cut it apart to so I could use it in my creations.  I first used it to die cut hearts for cards and went looking for it the other day to see if it would work for these little ornaments I had in mind.  One section had Heat N Bond already applied to it because it needed to be stabilized for die cutting earlier so I just ironed it to another piece of the same and  cut out hearts my hand.  I added a bead, round sequin and snowflake sequin to each side by sewing them together with crochet cotton.  I also added blanket stitch all they way around
using the same white crochet cotton.  I created the hanger using the two ends as I started my stitching at the top dip of the heart.
I am really liking the handmade look they have and that my red sweater will live on as tree ornaments in the homes of my friends and family!!
Christmas is about what is in your heart and not about what is under the tree!  There will be less under the tree this year because as a family we have decided to make a charitable donation instead of buying adult gifts. So we will be shopping for the grandchildren and sharing hand made goodies with our families!!
If the holidays are stressing you out, consider changing your mind about what needs to be done and changing any traditions that no longer work for you and your family.  You get to choose!!!


Christmas Tree tags

 Created these tags for the Tag Exchange with my card making group!  I die cut some decorative paper I created when I made this card using this cool tree die (SX) and then cut bases out of white cardstock for each one.  After gluing them together I sponged all the edges with green ink to blend the white to the green.  I die cut the stars and trunks separately, trimmed them neatly and glued them on afterwards.   I used hot glue to adhere the red sequins to the tree.  Had to be careful as the heat from the glue does interesting things to the plastic sequins.  To finish off the middles I added a little squirt of red glitter glue!  The perfect touch!
Here is the forest of trees that I created!  I did add a string to the top so it can be attached to a gift or used as an ornament!!
We cleaned on the weekend so we could start decorating the house for my get together tonight.  Yeah, the tree is up and has lights!!  Will add ornaments this afternoon and we will be ready to go!!  Looking forward to enjoying all of my Christmas decorations.  We are home this year for the holidays.


Monday, November 26, 2012

Twisted Greeting card - Christmas

 On one of my groups I am participating in a Christmas fancy fold card exchange so I went looking on the Splitcoast Stampers gallery for some inspiration!!  I found a link to this tutorial by Kelly Gettelfinger for this Twisted Greeting card off a blog so I decided to give it a try!!  It is really easy and looks pretty cool!!  You start with a 4.25" x 11" piece of cardstock, score it diagonally once, fold it over and then score and fold in half to get this angular card.  She also explains how to cut your decorative paper so it will fit your card. It works best with double sided decorative paper
but it is worth paying attention to how you cut it because it will only fit one way.  In my case, I cut it with the wrong side facing up the first time so ended up with the white back side of my paper facing forward so I had to redo it.  If you use double sided paper you can cover both the inside and outside with opposite papers which works quite nicely.  So I embossed my card instead but that was a bit tricky too because of where the folds are I had to be careful how I put the cardstock into the folder so it would fit in my Big Kick.  I embossed a few areas manually - with a mallet!!  Yogi does this all the time and it gives you lots of control as to how much of the folder you want to use or the ability to do just one element on a folder!!  I applied white ink to the embossing afterwards.  I created focal elements using die cuts, double sided tape, glitter and punchies!  This card has a little pocket on the front and on the inside.  I sealed up the front one before I applied my embellishments and colour printed greeting and added a bit of "something" in the inside one!!  Unfortunately, they do not fit in an A2 envelope but I expect playing with the length of the paper you use would fix that.  Once I have experimented I will add any new info to the end of this post and may show you all how to create this embellishment.


Sticky Note books - stocking stuffers

I have designed some new sticky note books!!  You can see previous versions here and here and here! These feature decorative paper and have elastic closures with chipboard accents!!  They hold a full pad of 3"x 3" sticky notes and can be refilled once the pad is finished.  They will make a wonderful little gift or stocking stuffer for the upcoming holiday season!  Everyone can use one of these!!
I started with a 3" x 11" piece of heavyweight decorative paper and scored folds for a doubled up front cover, 3/8" spine and a reinforced back. I have added layers on the front and back to stiffen up these areas and added clear tape on the inside of the spine to reinforce it. I sewed on the elastics and then added chipboard spacers to each side before I glued on the colour coordinated chipboard circle accents!
These are great little gifts!  Great as hostess gifts, stocking stuffers and little "on hand" gifts for when you just want to give a little something!!


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Masculine Birthday card

Love how this card worked out!  It is a birthday card for my Dad who is 80+.  I am grateful that he and Mom still live independantly in their own house and are still active.  My Dad was a wood worker/carpenter most of his life so I used a thin piece of veneer that my DH gave me earlier this year for the central element.  I backed the veneer with label before cutting it with the Hanging Sign die (SX TH) using just the sign part.  I stamped the greeting with dark brown ink and sponged the edges as well.  I cut the hanger part of this die using silver foil cardstock.  To give it the look of old metal, I sanded it, added dark brown permanent chalk ink and then dabbed on black sharpie which I rubbed in before it dried which resulted in giving it a bit of a coppery tinge.  I added the hanger to the card front using 3D foam tape and tied on the sign using cotton thread.  I added a piece of 3D foam tape to the back of the sign as well to keep it from flipping over when the card is opened.  I like the way the elements work with the decorative paper.
I like that the wood has a connection to several generations.  I am so fortunate because my DH, knowing that I use all sort of "stuff" in my art, often comes to me with items he thinks I might be able to use!!  As soon as he presented me with several of these thin pieces of wood he had leftover from his night light project I knew I would be using one of them to make a card for my Dad.  As they were born, DH has made wonderful night lights for all of our grandchildren with interchangeable front panels which have been scrolled with detailed scenes.
So I will be sending off my card this week with all the best wishes I can pack into it so it will arrive in time for for his special day!!  Be grateful if you live close enough to your family members to actually hug them on their special days!


Friday, November 23, 2012

Birthday Scrapbook Card

A friend of ours is turning forty and his family is having a  surprise party for him!!  I decided to make him a card that is also a bit of a scrapbook.
This was a fun project!! I created it using two pieces of cardstock - one 4.25" x 11" (folded at 2 7/8")  and the other 4.25" x 10.75"(folded at 4.5").  I set them into each other and bound them on the fold with cotton thread to make the book.  I colour printed 4" letters with a variety of textures and colours which I cut out and mounted to my pages - J on page one, O on page 3, H on page 5 and N on page 7.  I sponged the edges of all the pages, and added some stippling with a stamp as well.  I created and colour printed some 3D embellishments, added some doodling and a few details of the event leaving room for photos and journaling on several of the pages.  I added my greetings on the back!!  Also created a custom envelope using brown wrapping paper and some cool letter packing tape to house my card/scrapbook.
Looking forward to the celebration and wishing him the very best!!


Christmas cards - star embellishments

Gotta love finding cool embellishments for card making for a bargain!!  These stars were formally part of a Christmas garland which I cut apart to create individual elements for cards!!  Always worth keeping your eyes open and seeing the possibilities for the parts!!
I colour printed the greetings onto letter sized card stock, cut them into quarter sheet layers and embossed them.  I used a subtle embossing folder - Swiss Dots - to keep the greeting legible.  I added ribbon into a point of the star and attached both ends with double sided tape to the top of the embossed layer.  To finish off this layer I covered up the ends with a strip of decorative paper which was cut on the bottom edge with decorative scissors.  I added another strip to the bottom edge.


Christmas card - winter scenes

These cards feature different winter scenes which I colour printed from images off of a Vintage Holiday CD.  You could easily use old Christmas cards cut with a die or circle cutter instead.  They are layered onto a scalloped circle die cut (Nestibilities) which is embellished with a clear glitter gel pen called StarDust by Sakura.  Love being able to add just glitter with no colour!!  This element is layered over the card front which features a length of seam binding with a single knot bow, a colour printed background and a coordinating card.


Christmas cards - white on white

I love the elegance of white on white embossed cards!!!  For this card I embossed a swirly oval embossing folder onto shimmer paper and added a soft blue oval using a stencil, blue dye ink pad and a sponge.  Love the way it worked out!!  Added a length of white seam binding, a blue confetti snowflake with a white mini brad, an embossed little tree die cut (SX - movers and shapers) and a colour printed punchie greeting (punch - SU)!!
I hand cut the stencil I used here but have subsequently discovered that the largest oval Nestibilties die is the same size and does the work in no time!!  It is fun creating your own stencils for using with your stamps and embossing folders!!
Want some white on white inspiration??  Check out Sue's Nelson's gallery Heart Prints or search Splitcoast Stampers for white Christmas cards.


Christmas cards - trees

I was invited to make cards with a new group of women last night. It is always fun to meet new people and share card making with them.  I did not know if any of them had card making experience so I prepped kits accordingly!!  Turns out that only a few had made cards before but all were up to the creative challenge of making cards so we had a fun night.
We started with this card which features these cool little Christmas trees which is a digital stamp from The Alley Way Stamps.  Check them out - they have cool images, a design team and challenges!!  I cut and pasted an extra one into this image to give the card better balance.  I laser printed the images which allows them to be coloured with any medium - watercolour which is what I used, colour pencils, chalk, markers, etc.   The image is layered onto coordinating cardstock and adhered to the card front using 3D foam tape.  For the card front, I added a length of seam binding to the decorative paper layer, tied an extra piece to the front to simulate a bow and glued this layer to the card.   We added a bit of glitter with glitter gel pens but we could easily have used glitter glue instead.
A versatile sketch which allows you to create different looks by simply changing up the decorative paper.  So you can make all your cards the same and not have them all look identical.  Perfect if you are looking to create lots of cards in a short amount of time!!
I have almost as many cards as I need now!  Even if you have not yet started, don't panic.  With this sketch all you need is some decorative paper, some coordinating cardstock and ribbon!!  Quick and easy!!


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Double Dutch Fold card - Tropical Paradise

I created this card for a "Tropical Paradise" Double Dutch fancy fold card swap in one of my groups.  I really enjoyed the process of creating a single card because I took the time to cut the palm trees by hand and embellished them with watercolour, added multiple die cuts to the sky, stamped the sand with shells and added a layered embellished greeting!!  You can check out Splitcoast Stampers for the instructions for this fancy fold.
It was refreshing to be creating something other that Christmas cards and took the better part of an enjoyable afternoon.

It is off to my partner tomorrow!!


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Credit card sleeves

Just created these cool credit card sleeves!!
I used heavy weight decorative paper for the main body, lined the insides with sticky backed foil duct tape and used a few more pieces on the outside edges to make them durable.  I used a round punch, half way over the edge, to make the little finger divot doing the sides one at a time before I taped the edges together.
These covers will protect my cards - debit and credit - that have a chip (RFID - radio frequency identification) in them from being scanned by accident.
You can see a documentary video here about how easily your information can be obtained without your knowledge.    Of course, there are companies out there selling protective card sleeves for this purpose but I thought it would be fun to make my own and make them personal!! Might consider adding some alcohol inks and/or permanent marker doodles to these as well.


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Cards, Cards, Cards - Christmas - Embossed

I love the elegance of these simply embossed cards!!  These 5" x 7" cards feature an embossed image layered onto coloured cardstock which is layered back onto a card the same colour as the embossed layer.  I added a layered ribbon/lace embellishment which I created by laying a small piece of lace or ribbon over a wider ribbon and tying them all together with a double knot of very thin ribbon right in the middle.  It simulates a bow without the bulk created by actually tying a knot in the wide ribbon.  This was done to keep the thickness of the card within the allowed measure for first class mail. Several of the girls were going to add rhinestones to their cards at home.  If you are wanting coloured rhinestones - like red ones for the berries on the holly card - I would suggest colouring clear ones with Sharpie markers.  I sponged the tree card just slightly with green ink to highlight the shape which gives a different look.
I borrowed these embossing folders from a friend.  It is great to be able to share tools!!  So many more possibilities and options!!  Thanks, Carol!!
A very successful class and an enjoyable morning!!  Even brought Christmas music to get us all in the right mood for creating Christmas cards!  We have yet to receive any of the "white stuff" which surely would have brought to mind how close Christmas really is!!


Cards, Cards, Cards - Christmas - Santas

Vintage Santas!!  Had fun creating these cards that feature vintage Santas which I got off of a holiday CD which I bought at a garage sale years ago.
Several at class were asking about the images so I went looking for some.  I found quite a few vintage Santas at the Graphics Fairy under Christmas.  Click hereherehere and here for some great Santas.  If Santa is not your thing you will also find angels, children, birds, poinsettiasMadonna and Child, manger and nativities as well.  There are quite a few more of each there, as well as images of winter scenes, holly, animals, etc.  Check it out!!
I created the background for this card in Corel Draw by arranging some Christmas words and sayings nicely nestled into each other using different fonts. The fun part is that because they are all fonts - even the snowflakes - the colour can be easily changed and in this case printed at a percentage of transparency which gives a nice subtle background.  Just what I wanted!!  We sponged the edges of our backgrounds before we glued them to our card fronts.  The bracket was created using the Tim Hotlz (TH) (SX) Hanging Sign die.  I only wanted part of the die cut so I cut my pieces of cardstock with the right angle and rough cut the rest, positioned them carefully on my die and ran them through my Big Kick - a perfect bracket for my Santa image.  I added a ribbon hanger in the hole of the bracket and simulated a bow by tying on a short piece of ribbon using a single knot to the top layer of my ribbon hanger.  Layered the colour printed Santa image over coordinating cardstock and added him to the card front using 3D foam tape.


Cards, Cards, Cards - Ornaments

These cards feature white core cardstock.  If you have never tried it you should - a really cool effect when sanded.  I embossed the swirly frame on the cardstock and we gently sanded the embossed areas to remove the colour and reveal the white core!  Love this effect!!  You can go here  to see how to make your own using white cardstock and acrylic paint!!  I cut the ornaments with a Sizzix (SX) die using a variety of decorative papers - many of which were not Christmas ones.  Both of these cards feature non Christmas papers but because of the small pattern, limited colour palette and a good colour combination for the card I managed to create great Christmas cards!!  So when creating Christmas cards, dig into your stash to see what you have that might work.  I added an oval punchie embellished with a fiber snowflake, a brad and some tiny dots added with a white gel pen.  Double layered the topper and added a double knotted piece of string to create a hanger which was folded to the back of the layer.  Finally, all of this was glued to a coordinating card front.
Some of the girls offset their snowflake and added swirls instead of dots! Love how each person makes their cards their own!  That is what it is all about!!


Cards, Cards, Cards - Christmas - Snowflakes

Another wonderful morning making cards with a great bunch of ladies!!
This was our first card - lots of Christmas decorative paper and embossing!!!  I started by embossing the top of my card and then glued down the three strips of decorative paper to the bottom section.  Added a coordinating cardstock strip which I cut with decorative scissors, embossed, glued over the ends of the decorative paper and trimmed to the edge of the card.  Added a snowflake die cut embellished with a sequin as accent attaching it with a brad!!
This was a fun card and it would be a good design to make use of any scraps of Christmas paper you might have on hand.


Saturday, November 03, 2012

Cards, Cards, Cards - Christmas - little tree

O Christmas Tree!!
I used the little tree Movers and Shapers die (SX) in my Ornamental die (TH)which cut both shapes at the same time from a quarter sheet of cardstock with one pass through the Big Kick!  Gotta love that!!  At class everyone embossed their shapes with their favorite embossing folders, sponged the edges and surface as much as they wanted and glued them down onto a card front that has been layered with a rectangle of decorative paper.  Really makes that little tree pop!!  We added the little sequin stars with a glue dot and the little window punch (SU) colour printed greetings with a strip of 3D foam tape.  This was a good card to finish with as it provided some design choices but was still relatively simple to create!!
Great class today!!  I so enjoy the creativity everyone puts into their cards!!


Cards, Cards, Cards - Christmas - Oval greetings

These worked out so well!
I embossed the card fronts with a scroll oval embossing folder to which we added an oval greeting that was layered to a coordinating cardstock oval.  The digital images are from Arthurs Clipart.  They were laser printed and cut with an oval Nestibilities die.  I cut the cardstock layer with the next largest die for a perfect layer.  We embellished our greeting ovals with a bit of sponging on the edges and coloured the little elements with glitter gel pens or added clear glitter over them after we coloured them with colour pencils.
Everyone was grateful for cards that were a little easier to put together!!


Cards, Cards, Cards - Christmas - warm wishes

These card were fun to create!!
I used a rectangle Nestibilities die to cut out the center section from the decorative paper which was then layered over coordinating cardstock and layered back over the opening!  A great layered look as well as an efficient use of paper and the added benefit of keeping the weight of your cards down.  It can be disheartening to find out you have to add extra postage to all your Christmas cards!!
I used glittered decorative paper for these cards.  To add some variety to my card kits I added glittery elements to several sheets of decorative paper using Versamark ink and glitter embossing powder.  The top example is one that I glittered.  Hard to see the difference on these scans.
So we layered a trimmed strip of vellum, colour printed with a greeting, over the small rectangle of decorative paper and glued the ends to the back.  Added the ribbon to the left by wrapping around the back and tying a double knot on the front.  Layered this over a rectangle of coordinating cardstock and layered that over the decorative paper that was glued to the card front.  Nestibilities makes this card a breeze!!  Cutting all of these by hand would be a lot of work and a challenge to make them all neat so you could reuse the cut out section.
 Here is how I set up a jig on my platform so I could cut all of my decorative layers exactly the same. I used the black design on the left and lower edges of the platform as a corner guide and taped the rectangle Nestibilities die to the platform using painters tape so it would be in the center of the space.  I made a mark on the left and lower edges to help center my decorative paper.  On the right you can see the Nestibilities in place, on the right I have placed the decorative paper and am ready to run it through the Big Kick.
Made these with a bunch of different glittery paper so had lots of different looking cards!!


Thrifty tips - custom die cuts & maximizing paper

I cut the labels for the previous card using my Sizzix die - Frame back, Ornate #3.  I trimmed my cardstock to 2 5/8" wide and placed it on the center of the die to create a slim label die cut with ornate ends at the top and bottom. I placed my trimmed cardstock right in the center of the die aligning it between the two cutting edges at the top and the bottom. If you click on the photo you will see that with my cardstock centered in the middle section I avoid cutting the outer rounded section of this die.  One die - two labels!  I could have cut the whole die and cut off the rounded sections which would have worked reasonably well for one or two die cuts but I had to cut LOTS of these and this method was a more efficient use of cardstock.  So, see if there are ways you can use your dies to create custom die cuts by cutting your paper differently!!
To maximize my decorative paper for this card I cut my 12x12 into 2 3/8" strips and cut half circles instead of full circles. As you can see I marked my scallop die with painter's tape so I could easily line up the edge of my decorative paper with the half way mark.  I cut the first half circles at the very top of the paper, flipped it over and carefully lined up the next cut very close to the last one.  Flipped the paper again and cut one more half circle out of the last section. Being careful yielded 15 half circles - trees - from each sheet of decorative paper - a very efficient use of paper!!
So a couple of ways of using your dies differently to get some custom shapes and to make the best use of your paper!!


Cards, Cards, Cards - Christmas folded tree

Made Christmas cards with a great bunch of ladies this morning!!!
We started with this folded Christmas tree card which had a bit of a learning curve but we eventually got all the trees folded!!  I originally found this concept on Splitcoast Stampers but had to find a combination of steps that worked best for this scalloped circle (SU) and was slim enough to fit in the label die cut (SX) I had created. The shape of the tree changes depending on where on the center line you fold to.   It took me a "forest" of paper trees before I hit on a winning combination so I would recommend making your trees first and then working up a sketch that works with it.
The tree is folded from a half circle of paper - this scallop die cuts a 4.5" circle.  I used the following formula - on the center line mark 1" below the dip of the top and fold from that mark to the dip of the second scallop to make the top of the tree.  At the other end, fold from the dip of the fourth scallop to the 1" mark to form the bottom of the tree.  The other two folds pretty much line up with the sides of the tree.  Once you have all your creases, ensure that the tree is accordion folded which leaves your main pattern showing at the top, middle and the bottom.  Here is a tutorial where you can download a template for folding this tree:
With our trees made, we embossed our labels, added the red layers below each end, cut a stem from brown cardstock for our tree and glued all the pieces to the label.  Finally we added a little star punchie using 3D foam tape. The ribbon was glued to the back of the card with double sided tape and trimmed long enough to be glued to the inside front of the card.  We glued our tree element over the ribbon and tied the left over ribbon to the ribbon on the front just to the right of the element, using a single knot to simulate a bow.
I created the glitter paper we used for our trees..  I stamped "bubble wrap" in red on the back of my 12x12 sheets and embossed an overall swirly design in a red/green glitter mixture of embossing powder on the green fronts.
So consider adding some glittery embossing to a plain looking paper to step it up a bit!!  These trees work best with double sided paper which is the reason I stamped the back of my paper with an overall design.  This lighter weight paper was much better for the folding necessary to create the trees.
Check out my next post to see how I maximized my glitter paper and created a custom label die cut using the label die I had on hand.
Have you started on your Christmas cards??  If not, consider joining a few challenges and making a few cards every weekend in November to get yourself ready for the season!!  My sister has a monthly Christmas card challenge so check out her blog and see if you find any inspiration!!


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!!

Carved my Jack O' Lantern!!  Seeds are soaking for roasting later!!
Looking forward to all the Trick and Treaters who will be visiting tonight.   I am handing out
packages of hot chocolate!!  They love it and are always so excited!! 
We have had up to 250 but the last couple of years has been closer to 150.  
We have a wonderful bunch who visit our house - always polite - even the larger than average ones!!

Have a spooky Hallowe'en!!


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Little boy birthday!!

How does it happen that babies turn so quickly into little boys???    
Our second youngest grandson will be a year old very soon.  He is learning to walk and loves playing and eating!!
I made him this card with balloons and an embellished little tag house!!  I reverse embossed - debossed  - the white core card front and sanded it to give it a bit of texture and interest.  Added stitching to all the elements, added fiber to the tag house and strings to the balloons, then glued them into place!!  I love the colours and am sure he will be have a wonderful birthday!!

If you are close to your grandchildren - count your blessings!!


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fall card!!

I hosted the girls last night and it was a wonderful time as we all caught up with each other about our summers and our activities since the kids have headed back to school!!
This is the card I made as the make and take in our Shoe Box.  I made the background paper using brown paper, acrylic paints and ink!! The brown paper was given to me by my SU demonstrator - Catherine.  They receive all of their product packed with this paper so they have it around all the time.  It is strong and thin - love it!!  I started by adding large brown dots using brown acrylic paint brushed onto bubble wrap and stamped on the paper!!  COOL!!  Next, I added smaller orange dots using a smaller bubble wrap and orange acrylic paint.  Afterwards, I added leaves using a foam leaf die cut (TH Tattered Leaves die) which I painted with acrylic paint and stamped in an all over pattern.  I used a mixture of gold, copper and brown paint.  It still needed a bit of something so I added script using a stamp and Old Olive (SU) ink.  To help connect all the design elements I just used a foam brush with clear water and painted the whole surface which caused the green ink to run just a little and it did the trick - a nice cohesive collage!!  Cut it up into quarter sheets and paired it with brown or green cardstock.  The focal element is a digital stamp I downloaded from Meljens Designs and printed on white cardstock with my laser printer.  I watercoloured the images, layered them on coordinating cardstock and adhered them over the fiber I tied to the card front.  I provided a variety of different greetings but several of the girls decided not to a greeting.  They will add an appropriate one when they use the card!!
We have been enjoying the fall colours but with the rain and cooler weather last week they are duller and starting to fall!!  Still seems like a pile of treasure when I walk through them!!


Little packets of fun!

Here are the little packets I will be stuffing into the pockets in my Advent Calendar for the recipient to open each day of December until Christmas Day!!  I am keeping the contents a surprise until after Christmas!!  I will be updating my Advent Calendar posts to include that information when all the little surprises have been revealed!!
I have wrapped each one in hand decorated paper!!  Once opened the paper can be used for creating with - as background paper or in collages, etc.
I love making everything useful!!


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Mixed Media advent calendar

I have been working on a Mixed Media Advent Calendar for a swap on AFTCM for the better part of a week now - off and on between cleaning up and sorting my stuff!!
I am so happy with how it worked out!!!!!!!!!!
I used heavy weight cardstock - the backs I ripped off of commercial cards before I refurbished them for donating. Check out the cards here and here.

 Check out the process I used for decorating both sides of these papers before I created the little houses.  For the backs - the glossy ones have alcohol ink backgrounds and the matte ones have collage.  All the fronts were decorated with a multiple step paper decorating process that used a handmade stamp, acrylic paint and plastic wrap.  Fun!!
To keep all the houses looking like they belonged in the same neighborhood I decided they would all have black roofs, A's down their sides, a door and windows.  Each also has a number which doubles as a house number.  After all, we need to know how many sleeps before the big day!!
So there are little houses, big houses, skinny houses and everything  in between. Even a few duplexes!!
 Some with chimneys, some with dormers, some with hedges and a wide variety of roof styles.  The scored flaps are folded to the back and tied on the sides with fiber to create a little pocket which holds the surprise of the day as we count down.  The letters on the roofs and down the sides were created with decorative packing tape I bought at Michaels last year!!
 Worked so well - added texture and a funky style to the whole lot!!  It was fun to design doors and windows for each house and hand draw the details.  They were all layered and watercoloured to give them a bit of dimension.  None of the houses are exactly the same.
 So click on the photos and check out the fun little details I added.  A little bit of something below the roof line, something above or around the door, etc.  I used brads and eyelets for the door handles.
They have numbers on the backs as well.  These were die cut from foil lids!!  The little pockets are waiting to be filled!!
It has been a super fun project.  It can be used to count down to any occasion and left up year round should the recipient be so inclined!!
A wonderful little neighborhood!!

I have a few leftover card backs which I hope to use to make another little village.  Maybe I will use different architectural guidelines for the next one!!!  What fun!!  They can stand on a shelf or mantle or maybe could be tied together to stand independantly.
Consider making yourself a fun little advent calendar that you can reuse every year to count down to Christmas and, if you make it fun enough, it will decorate your house or studio all year long!!  A new tradition!!
Would love to see what you have created!  Leave a comment and include a link!!


Paper decorating!!

I started on a new project last week and decided to use the backs torn off of old commercial cards as a base because they were good heavyweight cardstock.  I picked the largest ones because those  worked best for the final result.
Are you asking yourself what I did with the card fronts?? You can see the cards I have refurbished and donated here and here.
For my project all of these needed to be scored at 2.5" so I used my "new to me" Martha Stewart scoring tool - Thanks Carol.  That was easy!!
For my project both sides of the cardstock needed to be decorated so I decided to use alcohol inks on the glossy ones!  Worked really well!!
 For the matte ones, I decided to create small collages using decorative papers.  I just dug through my stash of papers and picked pieces that seemed to work well together and glued them down.

So that took care of all the backs of these pieces of cardstock.  Now,  on to the fronts!!
Here is my set up for doing the fronts.  I started with this cool looking piece of packaging that I found as I  was going through my "stuff".  I coated the edges of the open weave with gesso to seal it before I started using it as a stamp.  I sponged acrylic paint onto the edges with a foam brush and stamped it on the cardstock.  Repeated 3 or 4 more times until the whole surface was covered, not worrying too much about how well it stamped because it was just going to be texture in the final project.
   Once they were dry I started adding colour using watered down acrylic paints.  Just painted them on pretty willy nilly and covered them with wrinkled plastic wrap to help create interesting patterns. I waited only a few minutes before removing the plastic wrap and discovered that the stamping was resisting the washes better than I expected, so combined with the random pattern of the plastic wrap, some of the backgrounds turned out pretty cool.
I have taken digital photos of all of them so I can use them in my art later on!!

Decorating paper is so much fun!! I love the randomness of it all and it is fun passing the day just mucking with paint and paper.  In this case, it is even better because I started with cardstock that was headed to the recycling bin!!  Now, that is upcycling!!