Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas Cards Done! - Now it's time to celebrate the season and relax

Ahhh, the Christmas cards are created, addressed, stamped and ready to go. I think I am finally done with all the Christmas preparations. I know, I know, I shouldn't create all the 75+ Holiday cards by hand, but I can't give it up. I know I should try My Digital Studio and make my life easier, but I enjoy creating hand made cards and have the mass producing process down; however, I did have too many elements and steps on my Christmas card this year but found time to work it all in. In addition,  I enjoyed the process of assembling the cards while I watched "Christmas Vacation" with my family in front of the Christmas tree. Here are the cards I created for for those who celebrate Christmas and a Winter Wishes card for my Jewish friends along with a few pics of the "assembly line".

Now it's time to load the 2 kids, the 2 dogs and the cat into the car and head to Mammoth which has accumulated 15ft of new snow over the weekend. There is a fireplace, a couch, a blanket and a Nook just calling my name.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and a very happy, healthy New Year!

Christmas Cookies

Melt Away Cookie

Each year it is a tradition to bake our favorite cookies for our neighbors and friends. You do not want to know how much butter and sugar I use to create all these little goodies. My kitchen always looks like a powdered sugar bomb exploded when I finish, but all the cookies are a pleasure to make and I believe my neighbors appreciate the effort. From left to right we have Heath Bar cookies, Million Dollar Fudge ( diabetic nightmare), Melt Aways, Lemon Blossoms and Russian Tea Cakes. Luckily each neighbor has a different favorite so I load their box with and extra portion of their preferred cookie. I vacillate between Lemon Blossoms, Tea Cakes and Melt Aways as favorites. None of my cookies are really gorgeous to look at but I believe their taste is very, very good.

One of the favorites that I have been making for YEAAARRSSS is the Melt Away cookie. Although not a handsome cookie, it is very delicious and lives up to its name due to cornstarch. It really melts away in your mouth. Here is the recipe which I hope you will try and enjoy for the holiday season.

Melt Aways Recipe

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

3/4 c cornstarch
1/2 c powdered sugar
1 c flour
1 c butter

3 oz. cream cheese
1 c powdered sugar
1 t vanilla

For cookies, blend all ingredients and place teaspoons full of dough on cookies sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Place gently on baking rack to cool. Add frosting.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Jolly Holiday Frame

I love adding beautiful Designer Paper to picture frames. Last night's stamp club created picture frames using designer series papers. I also demonstrated this picture frame using the Jolly Holiday DSP which is just fabulous. Add a few buttons and a greeting and you've got a pretty frame that would be perfect to send to your loved ones; however, mine is going right next to my living room chair so I can enjoy these smiling faces ( aren't they cute!)

Paper - Jolly Holiday, very vanilla, cherry cobbler and old olive card stock
Stamps - Four the Holidays
Ink - Cherry Cobbler
Accessories - Assorted buttons, wood frame, glue dots.

Christmas Tree

Megan and Jake Decorating the Christmas Tree

The Supervisors - Dempsey and Barney

It is always a special night when the Christmas Tree goes up in our house. We don't have a beautifully color coordinated tree that you see in decor magazines with matching balls, ribbons and embellishments but we LOVE decorating our tree with our special ornaments. We collect our ornaments when we travel and it is so fun to pull each one out of the box and remember our family trips. Many times we cannot find a traditional "ornament" on a trip so we alter an item that we find and hang it on the tree.  We also have special ornaments given to us by family members and friends. These all are very dear to us and we think of each person as we hang the ornament on our tree. Our Christmas tree may not be the type to grace the cover of magazines, but to us it is absolutely perfect.

Ornament from St. John

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Christmas Tag

Here is the tag I created for our stamping group. I have been wanting to try my hand at the folded flower and had this design in my head for a while.  Even though the picture doesn't show all the detail, the branch is accented with white flock and a bit of dazzling diamonds to look like snow.  I think this tag would be the perfect holiday tag for a nice bottle of wine.

Stamps - Friends 24-7, Four the Holidays, Stampin' Around Music Notes
Ink - Staz-on black, cherry cobbler, old olive, chocolate chip, more mustard
Paper - Jolly Holiday, Love Letter DSP, very vanilla, cherry cobbler, black card stock
Accessories - Glass Glitter, flock, dazzling diamonds glitter, large brad, cherry cobbler seam binding, 1 3/8" circle punch, 3/4" circle punch, scallop border punch

Sunday, November 28, 2010

OOhhh It's a Jolly Holiday

Every time I think of this DSP the song from Mary Poppins pops into my head " Oh it's a jolly holiday with Mary." I just love this holiday paper. It is so versatile and GORGEOUS. I am trying not to make too many Christmas cards at this time because I want to enjoy the Thanksgiving season. Yah, remember that one? I don't think the retailers do since Christmas decor goes up on October 31st. Anywhoo, enough of my rant.

We created this Christmas card in my Christmas card class. I wanted my customers to have plenty of time to order items for their holiday cards and gift giving so we created Christmas cards right after Halloween - and we had a jolly good time.

Paper - Jolly Holiday DSP, very vanilla, old olive, cherry cobbler card stock
Ink - cherry cobbler, old olive, basic black
Stamps - A Cute Christmas, Short and Sweet 
Accessories - Scallop trim border punch, 1 3/4" circle punch, 2 3/8" scallop circle punch, old olive satin ribbon, thread, red button, corner rounder punch

Monday, November 22, 2010

Stampin' Success - Extreme Elements CASE

As a Stampin' Up! demonstrator, I have a wealth of resources available to me to help with both the creative and development of my  business. One such resource is Stampin' Success sent each month to Stampin' Up! demonstrators. This months edition features a card that really jumped out at me and I had to do my take on the card. The technique, a really fun one, is emboss resist. If you would like to know more about this technique, contact me for more information OR host a workshop and I will demonstrate the technique for you and your guests.

I needed a card for a pre-teen boy and this fit the bill perfectly.

Stamps - Extreme Elements
Paper - marina mist, old olive, whisper white, peach parfait, early espresso
Ink - marina mist, tangerine tango, old olive, chocolate chip
Accessories - vintage tags, brayer, peach parfait poly stitched ribbon, clear embossing powder, sticky strip, dimensionals

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

SPCC #73 - Real Red, Certainly Celery and Pear Pizzazz

I have had ONE moment to stamp between volleyball, soccer, lacrosse and football. I actually made this card in 10 minutes between school and soccer practice last night, and had to get it out on paper. It was that simple! The SPCC challenge was calling to me with these colors to create a simple Christmas Card. I used the beautiful hostess set Peaceful Season for a quick and beautiful sentiment and added both certainly celery and pear pizzazz to the holly leaves. A little DSP and of course a pretty bow and it is finished.

Paper - Greenhouse Gala DSP, very vanilla and real red card stock
Ink - real red, certainly celery, pear pizazz
Stamp - Peaceful Season (hostess)
Accessories - real red satin ribbon, real red glitter, scallop trim border punch

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A "Tea"-rific Hostess Gift

Our new Stamp Club met last night for the first time and this is the project I had for them. With the holidays fast approaching, it's always nice to have a little hostess gift or little something for a neighbor. I created this tea box using the Morning Cup stamp set. I have also created a similar box for 3x3 cards with envelopes. I think these make great gifts when you need a little somethin' somethin' to take along. 

Paper - early espresso, cherry cobbler, more mustard, whisper white card stock
Ink - basic black, more mustard, cherry cobbler, early espresso, cajun craze
Stamps - Morning Cup
Accessories - early espresso taffeta ribbon

Thanksgiving Card - I Inked the Plates Again.

Our Splitcoast Stamp group had a theme of Thanksgiving this week and this is the card I created for the group. I inked up my texture plate again to create the background paper after I had stamped the leaf images. The result reminds me of aspen tree bark and I think it works well with a new favorite stamp set French Foliage.

Paper - very vanilla, cajun craze, early espresso card stock
Stamps - French Foliage, Seasonal Sentiments
Ink - cherry cobbler, cajun craze, chocolate chip, sahara sand
Accessories - very vanilla satin ribbon, linen thread, antique tags, brad, Big Shot texture plates kit #4

Thursday, October 28, 2010

PPA66 - A Sketch Challenge

I know we are days away from Halloween and I post a Christmas card. Crazy eh? When I saw Margaret Moody's sketch, the bottom circle was calling out for me to use the snowflake from Sweet Season so I switched gears from Halloween preparation to Christmas.

I haven't had much time for stamping with Halloween costumes to make, a sick little cat ( that is being spoon fed) sports activities and school projects - BUT - I had to stamp today even for an hour. I have been waiting to create cards with the new A Cute Christmas set. Both the stamps and the new Candy Cane Christmas paper are wonderful. 

Now it's off to finish 2 Halloween costumes, soccer practice, volleyball practice and piano. 

Stamps - A Cute Christmas, Sweet Season, Short and Sweet
Ink - basic black, baja breeze, real red, pretty in pink
Paper - A Candy Cane Christmas, whisper white, real red card stock
Embellishments - scallop punch, dotted scallop ribbon border punch, dazzling diamonds glitter, glimmer brad, dimensionals

Friday, October 22, 2010

My Poor Boo

I came home from a school meeting to find my little Boo writhing in pain in our hallway. Upon taking her to the animal hospital, we learned she broke her hip. Although, shocked we were not totally surprised since she is not the most graceful of felines. We have dubbed her the "black elephant" due to her heavy footed ways. When running on the hardwood floors she really does sound more like an elephant than a cat.

Boo had to have surgery yesterday and some of her hip bone removed. She came home this morning with a cone and a bare tushy and is resting in her favorite spot on our bed.  We are glad to have our little girl back. She is always around to help with card making, homework, any computer work and as always to pounce on our dog Barney.

Here she is at work.

Helping Me Cut Paper

Helping Megan with Homework

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Handmade Holiday - Special Bundle Offers

Now through December 16th you will have the opportunity to purchase select products--perfect for Amazing cards, Beautiful packaging, and Cherished gifts--at a 20 percent discount!

  • Additional products from current catalogs may be purchased on the same order.

  • There is no minimum purchase required to participate in this promotion.

  • You must use the bundle item codes provided. The 20 percent discount will not be applied if individual bundle item numbers are entered separately. 

  • Click here to order your Holiday Bundles online or contact me and place your order directly with me.

    Monday, October 18, 2010

    Operation Write Home - 92 Cards Created!

    Our Stampers Hard at Work

    Our Finished Cards

    This Sunday, I hosted an Operation Write Home day to make cards for our service men and women to send home to their loved ones. For more information about Operation Write Home click here or on the OWH name above.

    We had four stampers working through the afternoon to stamp and create holiday cards. The OWH deadline for holiday cards is October 30th. We used lots of discontinued paper as well as our new and old favorite stamps to create various designs. You would think that there would be a lot of chatter going on, but our group was so focused on reaching our goal of 20 cards each, and concentrating on the assembly of the cards that it was very quiet.

    Here are our creations

    Kim's Cards

    Marianne's Cards

    Megan's Cards

    My Cards

    After Kim and Marianne left for the day, Megan and I created these cards using the self adhesive die cuts from the Simply Scrappin' kit from last year ( discontinued). Simply scrapping kits are a great way to QUICKLY make a variety of cards and contain almost everything you need to make a great number of cards. These cards literally take about 2 minutes to make. 

    It was such a joy to host an afternoon for Operation Write Home. It is so fun to see other stamper's creative process and work side by side to create something together for others. I will definitely be hosting another Operation Write Home event after the New Year. Please check out the OWH website and host your own OWH gathering. 

    Monday, October 11, 2010

    My DAUGHTER Made this Card!!!!!!!!

    Friday was my anniversary and my beautiful 13 year old daughter, Megan,  made this card for my husband to give to me. She covertly grabbed the items from my stash and made this beautiful card. I was so impressed. I can't believe she even used the embossing folder for the background. I am so proud of her! Since the colors were exactly what this weeks Paper Players challenge calls for, I had to put her card in the challenge post. Yea Megan!!

    Monday, October 4, 2010

    Fall Themed Card

    After a record breaking high of 115 here in California last week, it is so nice to have a little rain today. It feels like Fall is finally here. I am always in need of thank you cards and created this Fall themed card to accompany the weather. I created the background paper by inking up a texture plate. I always get so nervous when I try this technique but it always comes out perfectly. I should know it's just plastic and the ink washes right off, but applying the ink to the plate makes me squirm. The results are worth the effort and I am happy with my card and the weather:)

    Paper - cajun craze, chocolate chip and very vanilla card stock
    Ink - chocolate chip, cajun craze, more mustard, daffodil delight
    Stamps - Autumn Splendor, Afterthoughts ( hostess), Notably Ornate, Woodgrain
    Accessories - linen thread, dotted scallop ribbon border punch, antique brad, dimensionals

    Wicked Class

    These are the 2 projects we completed this weekend for our Halloween stamp class. The "wicked" accordion tag banner design was altered for Halloween from the original Christmas design by Sharon Johnson from the Just Rite Stampers blog. We also made some treat packages using my new favorite Big Shot die "Candy Wrapper". I know this die is going to get a lot of use for all the holidays and when I entertain at home. I used Wicked Fun DSP for this project and can't believe how much paper is contained in the packages. I bought 2 packages of the DSP and I was able to do a workshop for 15, a class for 11 and still have a bunch of paper left over . What a WICKED value!

    Paper - Wicked Fun, basic black cajun craze, rich razzleberry, old olive, whisper white card stock
    Ink - basic black, old olive, tangerine tango
    Stamp - Wicked Cool
    Accessories - Raven lace trim, Black and white striped ribbon, pumpkin pie taffeta ribbon, jumbo brads, bat punch, scallop circle punch, 1 3/8" circle punch, 1 1/4" and 1 3/8" square punch, brads, candy Wrapper die

    Wednesday, September 29, 2010

    Color Throwdown 112 - Sweet Stop Combination

    For this card, I combined two challenges Color Throwdown and The Sweet Stop. It is so nice to be able to visit such amazing challenge blogs especially when I have a creative block. The Sweet Stop provided the layout for this card, and Color Throwdown challenged us to use old olive, riding hood red and pumpkin pie. I used the new hostess stamp set Silhouette Sentiments which is quickly becoming a new favorite along with old favorites such as old olive striped ribbon and a pumpkin pie button. If you are ever looking for inspiration for a card or project, just visit the above blogs to jump start your creativity. 

    Paper - Love Letter DSP, watercolor paper, very vanilla, old olive, pumpkin pie card stock
    Ink - old olive, riding hood red, pumpkin pie
    Stamp - Silhouette Sentiments ( hostess)
    Accessories - oval dies, old olive striped ribbon, white and pumpkin pie buttons, dimensionals, polka dot embossing folder.

    Thursday, September 23, 2010

    PPA61 - Sketch Challenge

    I needed a 50th birthday card and this week's PPA challenge offered a perfect sketch. Since I was keeping the card monochromatic, I wanted a lot of texture and some depth. I used two coats of clear embossing powder on the chipboard numbers to give them some shine that would contrast with the rough square lattice texture of the base. A little satin ribbon and an antique brad offer more textures to this simple card. 

    Paper - Newsprint DSP, basic black card stock
    Ink - basic black
    Stamp - Afterthoughts ( hostess set)
    Accessories - Chipboard Basics, black paint, clear embossing powder, black satin ribbon, antique brads, dimensionals, square lattice embossing folder.

    Saturday, September 18, 2010

    PPA60 - Wicked Inspiration

    This week's PPA challenge is a Wicked inspiration challenge. I finally got to break out my new Wicked Cool stamp set that is soo cute and paired it with Wicked Fun DSP - so it's very very Wicked. When creating the layers of color on the card, I wanted to contrast the rustic texture of linen thread against the new black lace trim to represent the fibers of a broom.  A faux spiderweb button tops off the tag for another wicked element. This faux button was made by stamping the web image and embossing with white embossing powder and then punching using 1" circle punch.  I then created 2 layers  of clear embossing to give it shine. I punched 3 more circles and adhered them all together to give the button dimension. Wicked cool!

    Paper - Wicked Fun DSP, old olive, basic black and whisper white card stock
    Ink - basic black, old olive
    Stamp - Wicked Cool
    Accessories - Black Lace Ribbon, linen thread, white and clear embossing  powders, 1" circle punch, dimensionals