Friday, December 31, 2010

Last Card of 2010

My heart doesn't want to let go of Christmas cards just I made one more today, the last day of 2010.

As a holiday gift, we received a package of milk chocolates from England.  Each small bar was wrapped with a different vintage Christmas image, such as the one above.  I carefully removed the wrappers before doling them out to my family.  Here, I matted it on a piece of black cardstock for stability and definition.  The gold snowflakes and swirls are joined on one large acetate die-cut from K & Company's Brenda Walton collection.  The gold ribbon is repurposed after receiving it on a gift this year.  What a quick, easy card! 

I feel I could keep going with the holiday cards for a little while longer, but I'm sure many folks are just plain old tired of them.  So while I can't promise this is the last Christmas card for me this winter, it definitely is for this year.  :)

Happy New Year!


Paper:  kraft, Basic Black
Other:  Big Shot, Vintage Wallpaper embossing folder (SU), gold ribbon from a package, acetate die-cut from K & Company Brenda Walton collection, dimensionals, candy wrapper

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Roses at the Cafe

Hello!  This week's color palette at The Play Date Cafe is soooooo feminine and beautiful. 

I took my inspiration from the shape of the man's jacket lapel, the caning on the chair backs (hence the gingham paper), and the romantic, floral images on the envelopes in the top picture.

I finally broke out my Build-A-Brads from Stampin' Up! to make a custom-designed brad to match my paper.  I've only had them for like, oh, 6 or so months (another hoarding problem...that's a story for another time).  And I used the Botanical border punch by Martha Stewart to create a strip, then score it and tuck it under the gingham paper.  A couple of low-rise dimensionals (SU) under the strip help keep it raised up.

I made a matching envelope, too:

There is a paper-crafting goodie bag for this week's "Cup of the Week" winner at The Play Date Cafe.  My sources tell me there's always great stuff in those goodie bags!  Come join us!

Today I am heading to the mall for some gift returns and lunch with my girls and my stepmother.  Later we are going to the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, my husband and the kids and I, to see the Cleopatra Exhibit

I am so excited!  Any ancient Egyptian stuff fascinates me.  (love those shows on the Discovery and History Channels)

Thanks so much for joining me during this very busy holiday week.  I appreciate your visit!


Stamps:  Abundant Joy, All Holidays, Simple Delights (all SU)
Paper:  gingham designer paper retired from SU, Sahara Sand, Ruby Red (also retired)
Ink:  Ruby Red, Sahara Sand, Basic Black
Punch:  Botanical border by Martha Stewart
Other:  Stampamajig, dimensionals, Build-A-Brad (SU)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Snowflake Grid

Merry Christmas!  Hope you all had a wonderful holiday.  Our family is enjoying the break from school and work (though I work a couple of nights this week; no big deal) by getting lots of rest, playing with new toys, and visiting with family.  Yesterday we went to Philadelphia to the old Wanamaker building (now Macy's) to see the Christmas Light Show.   It is a holiday tradition around here; I remember seeing it when I was a child.  Here's a picture from the website linked above:   

Then we had lunch at the Reading Terminal Market, where you can get just about any type of food you want.  My husband and I ate Middle Eastern food, but the kids opted for hamburgers.   We brought dessert home:  pineapple pie and rich chocolate cake from an Amish bakery there.  Mmm!

I did get a little bit of crafting time in so far this week, but much of it I cannot show you yet.  I am getting prepared for my new position as Private Blend Designer at The Play Date Cafe.  That is still my best Christmas present!!  I'm anxious to share new creations each week based on the unique color stories presented by Julie Ranae and Sarah Anderson, owners of the Cafe.  Please do come play!

Today's card is a simple one...

I was hoping to use a new snowflake punch on this card, but I received the very same one again!  Need to exchange it for another.  :(

The card is 5 1/4" square, and I tried out my new Martha Stewart Scoring Board around the edges.  What fun! 

I pulled out all the blue scraps of Stampin' Up! cardstock I own and there are sooooo many shades.  I don't even know all the names any more, because many of them were In Colors long gone. 

I used a ruler to help me align all of the snowflakes.  They were each popped up on dimensionals, and pearls were added.  Isn't it pretty? 

Challenges entered:
Remember my Blog Candy Contest from a few weeks ago?  My winner never showed up, and I allowed extra time because of the holiday.  I am re-drawing a name right after I am finished with this post.  Best of luck to you all!

Thanks for joining me today.  Happy New Year!!


Paper:  white by PTI, various blues by Stampin' Up!
Punch:  Arctic Snowflake by Martha Stewart
Other:  pearls by Queen & Co., dimensionals, MS Scoring Board

Friday, December 24, 2010

Rustic Christmas Wishes

Ah, it feels good to be all "done" in preparation for Christmas!  It helps that we are not hosting dinner here, but we are having my stepmother over for breakfast and that's a pretty casual affair. 

...which is why I was able to make a few cards last night, and here's one:
I asked my 12 YO what she thought of it, and she said, "Well, it's different."   Yes, it is different for me, but it helped me think outside my comfort zone a little.  I used a sketch by Card Positioning Systems:

The Soft Suede card base was already cut out and folded for me (one of those wonderful things I find in my $1.00 Scrap Bags from my SU lady - thank you, Gail!), so I adhered a piece of Sahara Sand off to the right on top, then went over the card base and Sand piece with Versamark ink and the Weathered background stamp (SU). 

The 'Comfort & Joy' stamp was a Recollections bargain from Mike's and it didn't have a name on the package, but there were four vintage-looking clear stamps in it.  The paper I stamped on is a piece of what most people throw out:  my Merrell shoes were wrapped in it inside a shoebox.  It is rather thin and crinkly, but I loved how rustic it felt.

The red strip is from Anna Griffin's Christmas die-cuts found on sale.  Added some old SU buttons and rough twine and there you have it.  Now I've got four cards (all this design) to put in my stash for next year.

This qualifies for the Stampin' B challenge this week, too, which is to use ribbon or twine without using a bow or knot.  Well, my buttons are knotted, but not the piece wound around the card!!

I'm off to work soon so I'd better go.  Thanks for visiting with me this Christmas Eve; it's so nice to see you and I wish you the Merriest Christmas!


Stamps:  Weathered, unnamed by Recollections
Paper:  Soft Suede, Sahara Sand, paper from shoebox
Ink:  Soft Suede, Versamark
Other:  rough twine, Anna Griffin die cut strip, SU buttons, Aleene's craft glue

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Get Well Wishes

Wow, it's the night before Christmas Eve!  At certain moments, I can hardly believe it.  I'm all caught up with the To-Do List and found time to play with my stamps this afternoon. 

Only one challenge for me today, and that is this one at The Play Date Cafe:

Isn't that little vintage deer so cute?  If you look closely at the inspiration pic, at the top there appears to be a quilted look.  I tried to mimic that with my SU Texturz Plate "Perfect Details". 

Using a product called Treasure Gold by Plaid, I rubbed the gold wax lightly over the textured areas with my finger to highlight the subtle embossing.

I'm still feeling "over the moon" about my appointment as Private Blend Designer at the Play Date Cafe.  I hope to dazzle you all with my Play Date creations week after week beginning in January!  And please do come play, too; I'd love to see you there!

Yesterday while we girls went to the orthodontist, Santa Claus stopped by our house and left a small gift for each of the kids.

He took stuffed animals and American Girl dolls and their sleigh and arranged them in "reindeer" order, with a white tiger filling in for Rudolph.  "Rudolph" was holding the gifts, and there was a nice letter from Santa tucked in the sleigh. 

The girls received pajamas, which is tradition here, and they wore them to bed last night.  Now they really can't wait for the Big Day!

Merry Christmas,


Stamps:  Medallion, Teeny Tiny Wishes (both SU)
Paper:  River Rock, Brilliant Blue
Ink:  Bravo Burgundy
Other:  Big Shot, Texturz Plate 'Perfect Details', Sizzlits Lots of Tags, found ribbon, blue bling, Treasure Gold wax, dimensionals

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My Early Christmas Gift!!!

Yay!  I got an early Christmas gift about a week ago, and it's just what I wanted:

Little ol' me!  I've been chosen as the Private Blend Designer for The Play Date Cafe!  Whoo hoo!  What an honor.  I consider the Cafe to be one of the classiest challenge blogs around, and boy am I proud to be a part of the team.  I truly feel blessed to be given this opportunity, Julie and Sarah.  Thank you!

Julie and Sarah picked out some awesome crafters to make up the next Design Team, and I hope you pop over to each of their blogs to see what I mean. 

Oh, I can't wait to get started! 


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Classy Birthday

Wow, 6 cards (2 each of 3 designs) so far this week for me, and here it is Christmas week!  I honestly didn't think I'd be making cards so close to the holiday, but I'm almost ready with all my holiday 'stuff' so I have a little extra time.  And it's a good thing, too:  stamping is therapy for me - I know it is for a lot of you out there, too - and I'm STRESSED! 

I wanted to play at the Play Date Cafe and Waltzingmouse this week, so here is my inspiration:

And also at Splitcoast, the Free For All #43 is to make a birthday card, so that's what this one is.

See my pop of yellow on the 'button'?  I made that with a stamp from Simple Delights (SU), using Summer Sun and Basic Black inks and two circle punches, 3/4" and 1".

Some white rick-rack trims up the envelope design (it is for show only; it opens like a regular A2 card).

I'd better go wrap some more gifts now.  I have to work tonight until 11:00, and believe it or not, also on Christmas Eve until 8 pm.  So I need to get my stuff done!

Thanks for joining me today, twice.  And I hope you pop back tomorrow for my BIG NEWS! 

Happy Stamping,


Stamps:  Simple Delights (SU)
Paper:  Whisper White, damask DP from Michael's, black stripe DP from SU's Groom Specialty Paper Pack
Punches:  circles 3/4" and 1"
Other:  white rick-rack from SU, Crystal Effects glue and dimensionals

Gift Tag Snowman

It's just days 'til Christmas, and though I've been making plenty of Christmas cards this season, I didn't make any for my girls until yesterday.  You already saw the 12 YO's card ("Inspired by a Shower Curtain"), and now here is the one for my 9 YO:

I grabbed my color inspiration from Off The Wall Craftiness:

I made two of these cards in no time at all, because the snowman (which already boasted the challenge colors) is a gift tag saved from last year, and I had two of them.  I did nothing to him, except thread some baker's twine from The Twinery and green metallic cording through the tag hole.  Easy, easy! 

I hope you are not tired of seeing my same Martha Stewart punched snowflakes over and over again.  For Christmas, I asked for a different snowflake punch!  These glimmery ones were punched out of Cameo Coral to try to match the snowman's accessories.

There's another card I'll be posting shortly, and tomorrow will be the reveal of my BIG NEWS!!  I am super-excited!  :)


Paper:  Real Red, white by PTI, Cameo Coral
Punch:  snowflake by Martha Stewart
Other:  Pink Sorbet bakery twine by The Twinery, green cording, dimensionals, iridescent glitter, Big Shot, Sizzix Snow Globe embossing folder

Monday, December 20, 2010

Inspired by a Shower Curtain & more

I'm back with a quick Christmas card that was inspired by a luscious shower curtain I saw in a magazine.  The magazine, Where Women Create, by Stampington & Co., is HIGHLY inspiring to my card-making.  The photos are gorgeous, the work featured in each issue is incredible, and I go crazy with ideas for cards!

Here's the inspiration pic:

And here is my interpretation:
This will be for my 12 year old 'fashionista' daughter, who loves bling and elegance. 

Instead of designer paper, I used a scrap of wrapping paper from the $1.00 bin at Target.

See those letters spelling out 'Noel'?  I needed something bold to stand out against the En Francais background stamp in red, but none of my sentiment stamps would work.  I dug out some die-cut letters that I got in a $1.00 Scrap Bag from my Stampin' Up! demo, but they were purple:
So I got out a black Sharpie marker and colored those letters I needed.  Don't forget to do the edges!  With a fine point marker, I added the umlaut (those two little dots over the "o")(I took several years of German language in middle and high school).

Happy News:
Over the weekend, this card - Frosty - was named as A Cut Above Winner at The Paper Players.  Yay!  Thank you, Anne Marie, for choosing my card!

I have bigger news yet...but it must wait until a little later this week.  :D

Happy Stamping,


Stamps:  En Francais by SU
Paper:  Real Red, Whisper White, damask gift wrap by Target
Ink:  Real Red
Punch:  Double Scallop by Martha Stewart, Decorative Label by SU
Other:  red & clear rhinestones by Queen & Co., dimensionals, black Sharpie marker, repurposed ribbon from a gift bag, Sizzix letter die cuts (don't know the name of the die)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Red Ornament

Hello everyone!  If you are looking for the Blog Candy post, please scroll down several posts.  Contest ends soon!

Earlier this afternoon I posted a similar card to this one:

I put them in two posts because I want to enter each in different challenges.
This version is more elegant, the other more cute and whimsical (see this post).  I colored an ornament from Flourishes' All That Glitters using Copic markers.  I also added touches of gold with my new Smooch Accent Ink.  Neat stuff!  It has a superfine brush tip to add the gold just where you want it. 

I kept the wreath made of Rose Leaf punched leaves, but adorned it with bling instead of twine. 


I really didn't need to make any more Christmas cards, but they're just so much fun to make I kept going!  Now I'm "ahead" for next year.

Thanks for joining me once again today.


Stamps:  Flourishes' All That Glitters
Paper: Real Red, Old Olive, Whisper White, dp from Me & My Big Ideas "Our Holiday Traditions" stack
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black
Punches: SU punched scallop border, Martha Rose Leaf
Other: Big Shot, circle Nesties by Spellbinders, dimensionals, gold cord from Michael's, Smooch Accent Ink in gold, craft glue, red rhinestones from Queen & Co., gold ball bling from Recollections, Copic markers

Frosty & More

Hello everyone! If you are looking for the Blog Candy post, please go down several posts.

It sure feels frosty here in New Jersey today!  We are expecting an inch of snow this afternoon.  I know it's not much, but it might be a white Christmas after all!

Isn't he cute?  The snowman is from the Stampin' Up! Snow Buddies set, and I drew in the horizon line with a black SU marker.  The accessories he wears were colored with SU markers, as well.  The ground is covered with sparkly "snow" (Martha Stewart glitter), as is one side of his face and body.  The wreath surrounding him was assembled using a Martha punch called Rose Leaf.  It's a new toy and I love it!   Also new to me:  the Maraschino twine from The Twinery.  I picked up two of their sample packs on Cyber Monday at a discount.

This little guy is entering at:

In other news....

My blog candy is coming to a close on Sunday, December 19, 2010.  Make sure you check out this post to enter!

Happy Dance x 2:
I won an award on 12/11/10 at The Paper Players Challenge 27 for this card, Inspired by a Stack of Gifts.
And for my Peace Wreath card I was named Colour Queen Courtier on 12/13/10. 
Thank you, design teams, for choosing my cards - I am very grateful.

I have one other big announcement but I cannot give you the details yet.  I'm bursting at the seams with excitement about it, though!

There's another I need to post after this one, so I'll see you soon.  Thanks for joining me today!


Stamps:  Snow Buddies (SU)
Paper:  Real Red, Old Olive, Whisper White, dp from Me & My Big Ideas "Our Holiday Traditions" stack
Ink:  Stazon Black
Punches:  SU punched scallop border, Martha Rose Leaf
Other:  Big Shot, circle Nesties by Spellbinders, dimensionals, Martha Stewart fine glitter (can't remember the's white; Marble?), Maraschino twine by The Twinery, craft glue

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Inspired by Pottery Barn Pillow

Hello everyone!  If you are looking for the Blog Candy post, please go down one post.

I want to enter the Pals Paper Arts 72 current challenge, which ends in about two hours, so this will be a short post.  Here is the inspiration pic from PPA's challenge:
And here is my own personal inspiration pic, from PB Teen:

See the ivory pillow?  Click on photo to enlarge.
 And here is my card:

I have wanted to do this card FOREVER it seems, and now I'm down to the wire to enter it at PPA!

I'll be back later today with another post about my recent wins, but right now I have to run!

Thanks for joining me,

Paper:  Sahara Sand, Very Vanilla
Ink:  Sahara Sand
Punch:  scalloped circle
Other:  Big Shot, pearls by Queen & Co., dimensionals, Vintage Wallpaper embossing folder (SU), sponge, Blossom Party Die (SU), ivory satin flower trim from Michael's

Friday, December 10, 2010

Winter Dusk

When my mom visited me in the summer, she asked me to do a card that looked like the evening sky as it changes colors.  Mom, I'm sorry it took me 6 months to do it, but this one's for you:

Techniques used:  emboss-resist (check out this tutorial on SCS), masking and sponging.   I had all of these dye inks out for sponging:  Perfect Plum, Lavender Lace, Tempting Turquoise, Ballet Blue, and Brilliant Blue. 

The sketch is from Splitcoast's Sketch Challenge #310, turned on its side:

And the color palette is courtesy of The Play Date Cafe:

I also drew inspiration from the EtsyInspired Challenge's Paper Seeds company:

The emboss-resist technique is this week's Try a New Technique challenge at Splitcoast.
And even though I am late for it, I simply had to play at Stampin' B's challenge #87 (which ended Wednesday) because it was issued by my friend Emily Keaton!  We had to use turquoise, purple and something shiny.  Sorry I am late, Emily.  :(

Thanks for joining me today!  Keep your eyes open for Blog Candy here very, very soon.  I am in a celebratory mood because my blog has over 10,000 visits.  I am so grateful to you all.


Stamps:  Lovely As A Tree (SU)
Paper:  Lavender Lace, Whisper White, Tempting Turquoise, Brilliant Blue
Ink:   Perfect Plum, Lavender Lace, Tempting Turquoise, Ballet Blue, and Brilliant Blue
Punches:  snowflake by Martha Stewart, Bracket by EK Success
Other:  silver ric-rac by Michael's, dimensionals, iridescent glitter, Zig Two Way Glue Pen, blue rhinestones, Big Shot, Top Note die 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Peace Wreath & More

Hello Everyone!  I made a card yesterday so I could play at Mark's Finest Papers, where the challenge is to use red and green; in Splitcoast's Clean and Simple challenge - to use a bow; and at Colour Q, where the challenge is to use this color palette:
I've never been a fan of Glorious Green and wasn't too sad when Stampin' Up! discontinued it.  But I must say, for a change, it was nice to play with it on this Christmas card:
The card measures 4 1/4" square, so it will fit into an A2 envelope (having to pay extra postage at this time of year turns me off, which is why I went with this size).  I loved adding the 'ornaments' to the wreath, which is a stamp from a Mark's Finest Papers set called Seasonal Poinsettias.  I won this set a month or so ago, and I've gotten so much use out of the sentiments it comes with.  This is the first time the poinsettia wreath has seen ink.  I like it!

I found out this morning that my Inspired by a Stack of Gifts card won a FAB 4 Badge from The Play Date Cafe!

And finally, I received an award from one of my favorite bloggers, Ann Schach, a couple of days ago.

Ann makes utterly gorgeous creations and sits on the Design Teams for Pals Paper Arts and The Paper Players and is an alumni of Splitcoast's The Dirty Dozen.  Ann, thank you so much for the award! 

Rules that accompany this award:
1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this
2. Share 8 things about yourself
3. Pay it forward to bloggers that you have recently discovered

Eight random things about me:
  1. I am afraid of clowns.
  2. I lived in Houston, Texas for six years.
  3. I love, love, love Yankee Candles and have a candle 'wardrobe' for different moods and times of the year.
  4. As a substitute teacher, my favorite grade to teach is First Grade.  They're just so darn cute!
  5. Organizing anything helps calm me down.
  6. I run a Yankee Candle Fundraiser for my daughter's elementary school twice a year, for the past three years (see?  I told you I like Yankee!)
  7. I adore my "alone" time, when the kids are in school and husband's at work.
  8. I laugh at silly things, like this YouTube video with "talking" cats.
And now to pass this award on to bloggers I have recently discovered:
Tammy Hobbs - Tammy is such a sweetheart, who makes the cutest clean and simple cards
Beatriz Jennings - Bety makes such breath-taking shabby chic creations - wow!

Thanks for joining me today.  I always appreciate any comments you have and the time you have taken to visit me.  Stay tuned for Blog Candy, celebrating the 10,000+ visits to my blog!


Stamps:  Seasonal Poinsettias by Mark's Finest Papers
Paper:  Real Red, Whisper White
Ink:  Glorious Green, Basic Black
Punch:  1/8" hole
Other:  gold cord from Michael's, blue/yellow/red rhinestones, dimensionals
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