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!!)