Saturday, December 28, 2013

Final Christmas Card Share of 2013!

Here is my final Christmas card of 2013. This year, unlike the past few years, each and every recipient on my card list was sent a card (although the last batch went out on Christmas Eve day!) That is a big accomplishment, especially with all of the extra time I've devoted to work. I started 2013 with plenty of time to pursue my crafty endeavors, and finished the year lucky to squeeze even an hour of crafty time in each week! What a difference a year makes. That is a good thing, as it's nice to be contributing significantly to the household, but a bad thing as I need to have creative time in order to feel complete. It's odd how that works with us creative folk -- our desire to create is so great, we end up grumpy or sad or wandering through life like a lost soul if we do not get enough creative time in. It's like an itch that needs to be scratched, or an addiction that leads to "withdrawal" symptoms when we aren't able to just. make. something.

So my 2014 intention: make more time for craftiness. My crafty business is doing well, but my scrapbooks are not. They are quite neglected, so it's time to get back to what got me into papercrafting in the first place: preserving my family's memories for generations to come. It's time to strike a balance between work, family, and my creative needs so that I do not lose my mind! here's the card. It is simple, yet striking, I think. Of course, Crafter's Companion to the rescue, with the 4.25x5.75 Darice Ornaments On Side embossing folder and a piece of sandpaper. After sanding the embossed image, I just added a matted sentiment stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black ink, from the Crafter's Inspiration magazine, one of the freebie stamps provided. Done! (That's the key to Christmas cards by the way -- if you want to send out a bunch, keep it simple!)

Get ready for one more post to finish off 2013. My last Crafter's Companion post for 2013! Can you believe another year has ended? I certainly can't! So many good things...I wonder what's to come in 2014?

Saturday, December 21, 2013

'Tis the Season...Card Season, That Is.

Yes, Christmas card season is in full swing. I have about half of my cards out, the other half to go out by Christmas Eve (yes, you might get them late, but at least you'll get them!), and am happy to report that each and every card is handmade this year! You might remember last year half were handmade, while I resorted to store bought after realizing I just didn't have the time to make the rest. Well, this year I have devised an easier way, one that allows me to be more productive, in terms of my "assembly line" method.

Last year, I started each card from scratch. That included the image that I stamped and colored, all the way to the final embellishment. That can actually be a hindrance in getting your cards out. Think about it: you get into the card zone after completing a card, having a great idea for the next one. The only problem is that you need to stop in between cards to stamp and color the image in. This can disrupt the crafty groove more than you think!

I just took a sheet of Ultra-Smooth Premium White Cardstock (8.5x11) and filled it with stamps that I wanted to include on this year's holiday cards. I don't do them all the same. Rather, each one is unique. They might have the same stamp here or there, but they're colored and designed completely different from one another. So I set out with a collection of holiday stamps from Crafter's Companion. Pictured here are the S.W.A.L.K. Winter EZ Mount Stamp Set - Warm Heart, Paintbox Poppets EZ Mount Stamp Set - Sleigh Ride, and Popcorn the Bear EZ Mount Stamp Set - Just For You all on the same page.

 I got the S.W.A.L.K. images colored in first, each one different than the other. Both girls feature FS3, FS4, and FS5 for their skin and True Black, OR1 and OR3 for the penguins. The girl on the left has TN5, TN6, GB6 (hair) and PP3, PP4, and PP5 for the bows/clothing. The girl on the right has TN2, TN3, TN4 hair, PL1, PL2 bows, and HB1, HB2, and HB3 clothing. They both have Frosted Lace Stickles on the fur accents of their clothing.

And here's the card I put the pink-suited cutie on. I stamped the sentiment directly onto the patterned paper with rich, deep Memento Luxe Natuical Blue ink. I just love that stuff!

 Today, I hope to complete my cardmaking for the holiday season. They will all be sent in the mail on the 24th, and I can start to enjoy the holiday with my own family more peacefully, knowing I got it all done!! It feels good to say that -- ever since Patryk was born, it felt like I just couldn't get all of the usual holiday tasks completed. I'm happy to say that after 6 years, even after picking up more work and having less available time to get things done, I have gotten back into the swing of the holiday routine. I love Christmas! I'm hoping to get one more post in before Christmas, but in case I don't, I hope everyone has a peaceful, relaxing holiday with the ones they love. May 2014 bring you abundant blessings and happiness (and craftiness!)



Sunday, December 15, 2013

Crafter's Companion December Challenge: Ribbon/Twine

Good morning! It's December, and that means more than the holidays: it's time for another Crafter's Companion challenge! This month, we want to see you use ribbon or twine (or both, like I did) on your project.

Making your own Christmas cards can be a daunting task, unless you keep it simple. The Crafter's Inspiration magazine helps you accomplish this while still looking like your best work ever with all of its freebie papers and stamps!

I used the magazine to make this card, which took me all of a few minutes. Perfect when you have a long list of Christmas card recipients!

All I needed was my Collal Tacky Glue, which I love because it ensures the paper elements are perfectly in place. The papers are all freebies included in the magazine, including the stamp and image. The sentiment was stamped onto Luxury Centura Pearl cardstock with Memento Paris Dusk ink. Blue and white twine was added around the top of the sentiment. I cut out the image and adhered it with adhesive squares over a piece of white ribbon. That's it! the perfect card for anyone on my list, and it was soooooo easy!

Head over to the Crafter's Companion Challenge blog to see what the other designers have come up with, and don't forget to enter your own creation for a chance to win a gift certificate to the Crafter's Companion store!


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Everyday Sentimentals for Christmas!

Christmas card making is in full swing, and I couldn't be happier. I love this time of year, and sending out handmade cards when I have the chance. The past few years have been ultra busy with all of the kids' various activities around the holidays, but I've actually had some time to get cards made! We'll see if I can make all that I need (I have a rather big list!), but for now, I'm about halfway through. Impressive, I know! ;)

I decided to use this stamp from the Everyday Sentimentals - Love Is All You Need EZ Mount stamp set on one of my cards. Why not? It is quite versatile, and works perfectly for the holidays!

The key to making your own holiday cards is simplicity. You need to let go of those voices in your head that say this has to be the fanciest card you've ever made. Simple can be stunning, too! So I used scraps in my Christmas paper collection, which I save just for cards, to make it easy. A few sheets of perfectly placed paper adhered with Collal Tacky Glue (wet glue helps you ensure perfect paper placement!), the sentiment adhered with foam circles, and black bling makes a nice, simple card that will be perfect for anyone on my card list!
Head to the Crafter's Companion store and grab some Sentimentals stamp sets. They're perfect for any occasion!


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Crafter's Companion/Card Maker Blog Hop!

Good morning, if you're reading this post then you must be here for the CC/Card Maker Blog Hop! If you have come here from Stacy's blog, then you are on the right track. If not, head to the Card Maker blog to start from the beginning. The prize (and there are actually two of them): a Makey Bakey Mice Christmas stamp set, two 6-pen sets of Spectrum Noir markers, Mistletoe Moments embossing folder, and a 1 year digi-subscription to Card Maker magazine!

Here's the full blog hop list in case you get lost along the way:

Our challenge was simple: make a holiday card. So I decided to grab a couple of my favorite Christmas stamp sets, the Dee Gruenig Ahh, Christmas and Dee Gruenig Jolly Holly EZ Mount Stamp Sets:

I used my Spectrum Noir pens to color up the ornaments from the Jolly Holly stamp set (JG4, LG2, LG3, DR1, DR3, CR6, JG3, CR6, CR7, CR8) after stamping them in Memento Tuxedo Black ink. I fussy cut them, ran a piece of twine throught the holes, and adhered them with Collal Tacky Glue. The sentiment is from the Ahhh, Christmas set.
Alright, there you have it! You're headed to Laurel's blog next. Happy hopping!


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

More CC Sentimentals Fun

Good morning! I made this card a week or so ago, but with the Thanksgiving holiday and 2 birthdays (happy birthday to my oldest daughter who turned 14 on the 26th and my son who turned 6 on the 30th!), I kind of forgot! Better late than never, right? I just couldn't stop using the new Crafter's Companion Sentimentals collection!! I had just received the best package of goodies in the mail, and couldn't wait to use them. This card came together quickly and easily -- I love when that happens!

This card uses the Everyday Sentimentals - Memories Are Made EZ Mount Stamp Set, inked around the edges with Memento Espresso Truffle ink. After adhering the two coordinating patterned papers and sentiment with my Extra Strong Permanent adhesive tape runner, I added the fun wood veneer arrows, rubbing the Espresso Truffle ink over them. When they were adhered to the card with my Collal Tacky Glue, I inked around the entire edge of the card. Done! How easy was that? And it's still such a pretty card. :)

There you have it! There will be another post later, I have some catching up to do! I hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving holiday, and I hope Christmas isn't sneaking up on you (like it is me!!)


Friday, November 22, 2013

Sentimentals Release!

Who doesn't love a good sentiment? While I love receiving scores of images ready to ink, stamp, and color in my Crafter's Companion order each month, even more do I love a good, versatile sentiment. Whether stamped alone, with an image, or even inside the cards you give your loved ones, sentiment sets are essential for the cardmaker.

Crafter's Companion released new Sentimentals EZ Mount stamp sets today, and I know you have to have them (ok, well, at least I have to have them, all of them!) Here's a fun little card I designed, inspired by the sentiment stamped on the front:

The sentiment comes from the Memories Are Made EZ Mount Stamp Set. I started tearing through my patterned paper, selecting the majority of the designs from the Basic Grey PB&J line. The orange with red polka dot piece is from the MME Lime Twist collection. I free-drew each part of the rainbow on the pieces of cardstock, cut them out haphazardly, and glued them down to the Ultra Smooth Premium White Cardstock card base with Collal Tacky Glue. I love the primitive look to the rainbow, and decided Black Diamond Stickles would be the perfect finishing touch. I matted the sentiment, added a bow, and gave it the Stickles treatment as well.

There you have it, a quick and easy card that includes a wonderful sentiment, sure to bring a smile to anyone's face :)

Check out the fabulous sentiments available in this new Sentimentals release at the Crafter's Companion store today! Don't forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or our blog to see doses of inspiration all day, every day from our talented team of designers.


Saturday, November 16, 2013

New Sheena Release!

Sheena Douglass is at it again, this time with an addition to her A Little Bit Scenic line. If you love Sheena, you NEED these stamp sets!

I loved the Seascapes set, and sat down to make this as soon as I had a moment:

How awesome is that image?! I used my Spectrum Noir pens (EB1, EB2, EB6, TB1, TB2, BT5, BT4, and GB9) to color it and then mounted it to woodgrain paper. Netting was a nice ocean-y touch, and a few black bling touches finish it off perfectly!

So you should head over to the Crafter's Companion store -- all of Sheena's stamps are being offered at a discount to celebrate the release! Hurry, it won't last long!


Friday, November 15, 2013

Crafter's Companion/Xyron Blog Hop!

Exciting stuff today: the team at Crafter's Companion is teaming up with Xyron to bring you some fabulous holiday creations! You *need* to head over and take a peek at our blog, and visit all the blogs you can. Lots of giveaways and goodies when all is said and done, so hit up some blogs and leave some love in the form of comments for your chance at a sweet CC/Xyron prize package!

All of us CC designers received some awesome Xyron goodness to make our projects, and if you've used Xyron, you know that is something to be excited about! Here's what I came up with: a holiday box created with my Ultimate Tool, made possible by the fabulous Xyron Mega Runner and High Tack Adhesive Dots.

 After following the instructions for this neat box on the Advanced Construction Techniques DVD held in place with the Mega Runner, I adhered the ribbon handles with the High Tack Adhesive Dots. I added the image, part of the Dee Gruenig - Ahh Christmas stamp set. Memento Dew Drops made it easy to color different parts of the image -- rich cocoa for the sentiment, ladybug for the red, and bamboo leaves for the green. After matting it, the Mega Runner assures it stays put on the top of the box!

There's no question: Xyron makes excellent adhesive! Head over to the Crafter's Companion blog to see the gorgeousness the rest of the team made, and don't forget to leave some bloggy love for your chance at a great prize package!

Happy hopping!


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A Little Bit Oriental Gift Box

Good morning! I hope everyone is enjoying their Wednesday thus far (and no, I'm not going to start getting all "HUUMMPPPP DAAAAAAAAAAAAY!" on y'all).

Today, I plan to get a lot of craftiness accomplished! Ornaments for the shop, Christmas cards, and maybe even a scrapbook page or two! I have some scrapbook pages to share that I just haven't had the time to post, but before I get to those I wanted to show off a gift box I made with the new Sheena's A Little Bit Oriental - Sakura EZ Mount stamp set and coordinating Cherry Branch embossing folder. I love these stamps, just as much as I love Sheena!

After cutting, scoring, folding, and assembling my box from Luxury Centura Pearl 16X16 paper (the only real choice for boxes -- it's so strong and thick, and makes sturdy, reliable boxes), I went crazy with Sheena!

 A sheet of grey cardstock serves as the base, inked around the edges with Espresso Truffle Memento ink, the same ink used to stamp the tree and sentiment on Ultra Smooth Premium White 8X10 cardstock. My Spectrum Noir pens (PP2, PP3, PP5) were used to color the tree. I found a coordinating sheet of cardstock to mount it on, and three brads to add a little something extra to the rectangle. I then embossed and sanded a sheet of black Coredinations cardstock, and adhered it all to the box using Extra Strong Adhesive Tape Runner.
Isn't it so pretty? And I love having this pretty box on hand for a special gift!

Head to the Crafter's Companion store to get your hands on these lovely Sheena stamps and coordinating embossing folders and papers. Check out the redesigned third generation Spectrum Noir pens (which I LOVE), and follow us on Facebook and Twitter to see all of the fabulousness our DT creates. In a few days, I'll be sharing our latest challenge, you won't want to miss it!


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Embossalicious Release

Can Crafter's Companion get any more fabulous? The answer is YES! They just did: a new line of Embossalicious 6X6 folders was released and is available in store now! Here's a quick project I made using the Cherrylicious folder, a birthday card for my oldest daughter (I'm ahead of the game: all November birthday cards are made!):

This was super easy: I ran a piece of black cardstock through my embossing machine using the folder. It wasn't Core'dinations, so I couldn't pull my usual "sand it-ink it" technique. That just makes the colors pop better when you rub the ink on. Instead, I pulled out my Memento Brilliance white ink pad and put a base layer on the raised, embossed cherries. I then added color to the cherries with some Memento Dew Drops, both Ladybug and Cottage Ivy. Their tiny size makes them perfect to get the parts of the cherry colored perfectly!

The sentiment is from the Bebunni - Hip Hip Hooray EZ Mount Stamp Set which I mounted with adhesive foam squares for added dimension, and simple penstitching adds the perfect finishing touch.

Head to the Crafter's Companion store to get your hands on these must-have embossing folders! Don't forget to follow our blogFacebook page, and Twitter feed to see the fun stuff the design team is making, and hear about our deals FIRST!


Friday, October 25, 2013

Introducing Bebunni!

Good morning!

Crafter's Companion is always releasing new, adorable stamps. This new range, Bebunni, is probably one of my favorites of the year! (Well, at least when it comes to cutesy stuff!) I used the Hip Hip Hooray EZ Mount Stamp Set for this card, which I intend to give to my son for his upcoming birthday. Isn't it cute?

I colored him with my Spectrum Noir pens (TB3, IB1, LY1, LY3, OR1, OR3) on Ultra Smooth Premium White Carstock and used Collal Tacky Glue to affix blue glass beads to the "Birthday" letters. After choosing fun background papers and double-matting a sentiment, I had a great birthday card for a great boy :)

Have you been to check out the Birthday Week deals going on at Crafter's Companion? You don't want to miss out!

Watch my blog for another tutorial, and a beautiful gift box made with a beautiful new release!


Thursday, October 17, 2013

CD Envelope Tutorial Using Crafter's Companion Ultimate Tool

Good morning! Yesterday was my wedding anniversary (8 glorious years with the best man in the entire world!), and I always make something for him every year, even before we were married (in fact, today we celebrate the anniversary of the first day we met, 10 years together to the day!) So that's a 10 year tradition I just can't break :)

He was desperate for a new CD for his truck, so I took the liberty of burning him one along with some bonus tracks I thought he'd like. Of course, I was out of jewel cases. What's a girl to do? Why, pull out the Ultimate Tool and Boxer Board and make a custom envelope, of course! Want to make one of your own? Follow along with me and I'll give you the simple instructions. You'll need the following:

Alright, here we go:

1. Cut your 12X12 paper down to 6X11.

2. Pull out the Ultimate Tool and put the Boxer Board in place. Butt the long side of the paper against the side with the handle and score on the 1/2" mark. Turn the paper and score the other long side, also at the 1/2" mark.

3. Butt the short side of the paper to the side and score at the 5" mark.

4. Turn and score the other short side at 1".

5. Now get out those scissors, and after folding along all scored lines, cut away the long pieces along the bottom and the two small rectangles out of the flaps. Make it look like the image below :)

6. Using your tape runner, get adhesive on the side flaps. When you're done, fold up the bottom piece and adhere the flaps to it... this.

7. PANIC MOMENT. I realized I hadn't yet planned out how I was going to close it. So...I grabbed a pen and marked a half oval that I then cut out with my craft knife. Problem solved!

I used the edge of my craft mat (because I had already adhered the sides!) to cut the half-oval slit. Mistakes can always be worked around!!
 There, now it closes!

8. Choose a stamp and add to the front. I chose the Stamp It Australia EZ Mount Stamp Set 67 - Birds & Butterflies which I stamped with Memento Paris Dusk ink and Rock-A-Blocks. I decided it needed a bit of trim, and loved the vintage-y feel to the paper and I chose this roughed-up ruffle in a nice cream color. I used my Collal Tacky Glue to keep it all in place.

The finished product!

9. Add embellishments as you wish. I added a sentiment from the Crafter's Inspiration magazine, not currently available in the store, but watch for it! So many great freebies, like this sentiment. AC Alpha stickers to match the Memento Tangleo ink, and this baby's done!

It's easy to make an envelope for every occasion with the Boxer Board and Ultimate Tool!


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

More Stamp It Twinkle Sneak Peek Goodness!

Before I get too far into my post, I want to wish my wonderful, supportive, hard-working husband a very happy anniversary. I don't know where I'd be, or what my life would be like, without you! I love you, can't believe it's been 8 years since we decided to take the plunge. Best 8 years of my life!

I thought that since tomorrow is the scheduled release day for the new Stamp It Australia Twinkle stamp range, I should tease you with another great set. This is the Falling Snowflake set, and I made two cards with it. The first: simple. The stamps, on vellum, with patterned paper and a red cardstock backer.

 I curled up the points of the star after adhering the entire piece to the card with adhesive squares.

The second card features images stamped on vellum, and after adhering them with Stick & Spray Permanent adhesive spray, I added stitching above the sentiment. The red cardstock was embossed prior to adhering it to the card with the 6X6 Embossalicious Christmas Patchwork embossing folder, which was cut to fit the size card I wanted to make.

This is my #2 favorite stamp set from this range...but like I said, I want them ALL! Check out the amazing work from our other designers on our blog and Facebook page, who have been sharing awesome sneak-peekiness all weekend! And head to the Crafter's Companion store tomorrow to buy yourself these stamps!


Monday, October 14, 2013

Stamp It Australia Twinkle Sneak Peek!

Oh I just love new releases...especially Christmas-y ones! Crafter's Companion is due to release this gorgeous new line of stamps on October 17th (yes, that's THURSDAY!), the Stamp It Australia Twinkle range. I am absolutely in love with them! These are great for people who aren't into cutesy cuddly animal stamps. It's a great mix of designs, from vintage to modern, snowflakes to Christmas. I know you'll find at least one set you have to have (but I have to have them ALL!)

Here's a sneak peek using the Christmas Happiness stamp set. I chose to stamp the image onto vellum (which means I had to be good and patient, giving it adequate time to dry.) The image is one of my favorites out of all of the stamp sets, and the Christmas papers layered on red cardstock showcase it nicely. I adhered the vellum using Stick & Spray Permanent Adhesive spray. The green ribbon was a last minute addition that I am glad I added before adhering to red sheet music paper!

Don't you just love this image? I know you'll love them all! Don't forget to follow our Facebook page and blog to see the gorgeous sneak peeks from other designers. I will be posting another couple of cards on my blog the day prior to the release, and head to the Crafter's Companion store on Thursday to order yourself these fab Christmas stamps!

PS: the tutorial I promised last week is coming! It's quite photo-heavy, so it's going to take some time to get it posted :)