Monday, December 21, 2015

Simple Teacher Gifts for the Holidays

Hi folks! Thought I'd share the small teacher/office assistant/bus driver/neighbor gifts that I made this year. Since I have a lot of gifts to give in this category, they need to be simple, quick and inexpensive.

These chocolate covered pretzel rods check all those boxes.

The layered gift tags only require a pass through the die-cutter, and some quick stamping for the bell on top. Very simple and quick.

Chocolate Covered Pretzel Rods

Then we have the amazingly good Trader Joe's Chocolate Covered Pretzel Rods. They come individually wrapped (perfect for gift-giving) and come out to only 50 cents each. Very inexpensive.

You can see more information on this project at the CAS-ual Fridays Stamps blog.

There are only a few days left for the sale at CAS-ual Fridays Stamps ... use the code "gingerbread" for an additional 10% off ANYTHING in the store from now through December 31st!
Thanks for looking!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Our Family Christmas Cards 2015

Hi Folks! I'm so excited to share our family's 3D Christmas card for 2015! I've got details on the card itself on the Winnie & Walter blog, but I thought I'd share a few additional things in this post.

Here's a picture of my trusted, non-card-making friend who's helped me put my Christmas cards together for the last 3-4 years. It's become a tradition now. We chat, eat some lunch, and have lots of fun. Having a date on the calendar for her to come over right after Thanksgiving helps alleviate any procrastination tendencies of mine.

Here she is putting the jump rings and stars on the "O's" with pliers. There are very few people who are detailed enough to help me make my cards, as you might imagine. I'm so grateful for her help!

Here's the word tree on the back of our Christmas cards. Has anyone noticed that there are fewer newsletter-type cards in recent years? Maybe everyone feels pretty caught up during the year due to Facebook? Or people don't have time to write? Or people are just really happy sending photo cards now that the quality is so good? I'm not sure, but I'll probably be the last one sending a newsletter ten years from now. I'm a sucker for traditions : )

Here's a look at the full-blown assembly line. I see my paper cutter, extra paper, glue, hole punch (the holes on the stars needed to be bigger so they would swing better), pliers (for the jump rings), photo spray adhesive, sizzix, water bottle, and NERF BULLET. Do you see the blue bullet with the orange tip in the middle, left side? These have invaded EVERYWHERE in my house. Including my Christmas card assembly line.

Not done yet! After finishing the cards, I stamped some "we have moved" cards on 110# business-card-sized paper with our new address. I was so happy to have these in the mail! I didn't do anything creative for about a week afterwards. 

Sure hope you are having, or have already had, a joyous holiday season! Thanks for looking!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Essentials by Ellen Pin-Sights Challenge

Hi Folks! I'm so excited to be asked to participate in the Essentials by Ellen Pin-Sights Challenge this month! When I saw the gorgeous inspiration board below I knew immediately that I wanted to create something with layers of white dies. And a pop of red. Message received loud and clear : )

Side note: here's Julie and I at CHA in January. Yes, I was beyond thrilled to meet her in person. Yes, she is the sweetest person ever. Yes, I'm in love with all the fun and funky products she creates for Ellen Hutson. Yes, yes, yes!!

Here is the card I made following the inspiration board. Lots of layered white dies, with a pop of red. I felt like I should add something else, but I'm glad I stepped away. That sentiment has such a presence on its own, and stamping it in red (instead of black) is all the attention it needs.

Because I was still feeling the need for "more" I applied this inspiration photo to my December Daily attempt for this year (which will get worked on in January, I just can not fit it in during December).

Here's another of Julie's sentiments from Holly Jolly. Again, its got such a presence that it can totally stand alone, embossed in gold on vellum, for a front piece to the next page.

This page has the layered, white dies, only more densely laid to create a more solid circle to frame the photo. And the pop of red turned into more of a feature of red, but I'm OK with that. It's Santa after all!! 

This year, our visit to see Santa was very different than in prior years. This is the first year I had The Talk with my oldest son. I knew this day would come, but I kept hoping for one more year. With Logan in Middle School this year, I figured there was no escaping, so I pulled him aside and watched another piece of childhood slip away. He claims to have known for two years, but was completely surprised about the Tooth Fairy! I plan on printing out my on-line journaling for that day and slipping it behind the photo, away from prying eyes.
The Essentials by Ellen Pin-Sights Challenge is a monthly inspirational challenge based on a Pinterest Inspired photo that is located on the CLASSroom blog. A random challenge participant will receive a $50 gift certificate to the Ellen Hutson store!! To be eligible, you MUST use Essentials by Ellen products and the photo badge as inspiration. Look for the inlinkz on the challenge post where you can submit your project.
I sure hope you're able to participate, or check out all the inspiration in this monthly challenge. I've always fond of monthly challenges, with all the time given for you to put something together, especially around the holidays. More time = less stress.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Coupon Code for CAS-ual Fridays!

Hi Folks! I'm happy to share a coupon code from CAS-ual Fridays Stamps with you ... it's good for an additional 10% off ANYTHING in the store from now through December 31st! This includes items in the Sale Section, like my favorite Flurry snowflake dies, as well as sets in the Retiring Section, like Rad which has the best sentiments for teen boys. If you've been thinking about picking up some of these sets, now's a great time to do it : )

Just use the code "GINGERBREAD" when you're checking out.

Happy shopping!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Advent Calendar Extravaganza

Advent Calendar Extravaganza
Advent Calendar Extravaganza square

Advent Calendar Extravaganza is -the- festive event of the season! This ‘hop with a twist’ was dreamed up by Taheerah Atchia and features surprise destinations each day! Joining in the fun with Taheerah are over 60 special guests - each serving up some fantastic Christmas inspiration! Just like an Advent Calendar, you’ll never know where you’re going to be visiting next until you ‘open the door’!

And that’s not all! With 25 *amazing* sponsors taking part as well, your crafty wish list is bound to get a boost with a chance to win a prize EVERY SINGLE DAY!!

Join in the fun every day at to see what special surprises wait behind the door!

Hi Folks! What a fun idea, right?! I'm over on the Winnie & Walter blog today with a card for Taheerah's Advent Calendar Extravaganza. 

The Take a Bow cutaway goes through canvas like a dream. Just the texture I was looking for! Head on over to check out the other inspiration and leave a comment there for a chance to win : )
Thanks for stopping!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

2 Cards with Winnie & Walter's Free Stamp Set

Black Friday - Cyber Monday Alert:

Winnie & Walter is giving away a FREE STAMP SET with any order of $35 or more on Wed 11/25 - Mon 11/30. It's a great set (naturally.) If you've been waiting to place an order, now's the time to do it!

JE Shay's photo.

Shall we look at a few cards?

This set is just right for making some of the happiest cards ever. I started out with the large, solid stars in fuchsia and then worked my way down in size until I got to the small blue star. The star outlines are nice to give them a little more energy. I stamped the outlines with the previous color in the rainbow. "Happy" is in a chunky font that goes well with all the typewritten words in the Big & Bold series.

After I finished, I was thinking if you stamped this in reverse order, it would make quite a happy Christmas tree. Add a sentiment and you're all set!

This set is also great to build backgrounds. A little ink smooshing, a few stars, a sentiment, and you're all set.

Stop by the Winnie & Walter blog to see more inspiration with this stamp set, and for additional details on how to add the set to your own collection!

To all my American friends, have a wonderful Thanksgiving! To all my friends abroad, I hope you can enjoy some quality time with your family!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Sympathy Card with a Hanging Bouquet

Hi Folks! I'm on the CAS-ual Fridays blog today with a sympathy card that unfortunately I needed to send out this week. My cousin's husband passed away unexpectedly from a heart attack, and was only in his mid-50's. My heart goes out to them, especially since so many people were dependent on him. No one is ever ready to loose someone you love, but it's always so much more difficult when you loose someone so young.

Hugs to your family tonight!

PS. Michele is having an awesome give-away with purchase through Nov 30th ... check it out! There's also lots of sets in the sale section, and the retiring section for your browsing pleasure : )

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Our Newest Thanksgiving Tradition

Hi Folks! I'm excited to share a project on the Winnie & Walter blog today!

Winnie & Walter, LLC

Head on over to see how we've started recording what we're thankful for each year. I really love this new tradition!!

Gobble, gobble!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Calling All Sistahs Blog Hop

Hi Folks! It is my great pleasure to participate in the Calling All Sistahs Blog Hop. You may have heard that Michele (CAS-ual Fridays owner and designer) was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. If not, you can read her personal story here. Michele is not one to sit back and let things keep her down, so she is making it her personal goal to fight back in more than one way. We are kicking of a monthly reminder on the 17th of each month to do your self exams (now would be a great time!!) To start things off right, a new collection of stamps and Fri-dies is also being released, with its own pinkalicious packaging. 50% of the profits from this collection will be donated to breast cancer research and awareness programs in honor of all who have been, and will be, affected by breast cancer.
This is one of the Fri-dies ... I love that it's large enough to make a cute little card out of it! Just make sure that the top of your die is slightly above the fold of your card. So easy. The detailed stamp gives such a nice texture to it. The sentiment is actually in two pieces, you can use an "I'm" or a "we're" to start it off.

You can make a 3" x 4" envelope with the We-R-Memories Keepers envelope punch board to fit the ribbon of hope card.

Spoiler alert for Michele, don't look unless you've already received this in the mail!!

There are lots of little phrases included in the set, which are perfect for adding to your envelope. Also, you can get creative with writing your sentiment inside the card ... just follow the direction of the ribbon. Note: if you're going to mail an envelope that's smaller than 3 1/2" x 5" in the US, you'll have to add additional postage ($0.71) since it's non-machinable. I think it's worth it ... good things come in small packages!

Off to your next stop at the lovely Catherine Pooler's blog. The full list of stops is at the CAS-ual Fridays Stamps blog.

Thanks so much for stopping by, and don't forget to check yourself!!!!

Monday, November 9, 2015

w&w Happy Christmas Rerun

Hi Folks! I'm joining Winnie & Walter today as we explore an older set in the Rerun feature. This month it's Happy Christmas which has a TON of tiny elements and a TON of mixed font sentiments. Such a great value!


For this one I used the same format as the Halloween cards I made for the Moonlight rerun, where I stamped the circular 31 image in multiple Halloween colors as the focal point. This time, it's Christmas, of course, and I turned the circles into dangling ornaments by drawing a cap on each one. I also loosely drew around each circle to give them more definition.

The new In a Word: Merry Cutaway goes so well with the sentiment from this older stamp set. Everything from Winnie & Walter mixes together so nicely!

I've been getting in the habit of making duplicates when I have my supplies out. Partly because it's more efficient, and partly because I'm hoping the second one turns out better : ) This is the second one with slight changes ... smooth outlines around the ornaments, layered cutaway, sponged ink on the bottom, and gold thread to hang the ornaments.

Here's a closer look at the gold thread. I like it, but I still think the first card feels better.  Hey, at least I have a second card in my stash!

Very fun to play with this set again. Thanks so much for looking!

Friday, November 6, 2015

The 25 Days of Christmas Tags

Hi Folks! It is my great pleasure to join the 25 Days of Christmas Tags festivities hosted by none other than Tracey McNeely, who, as you all know, is just the sweetest blogger and friend ever!  I'm joining this year with CAS-ual Fridays Stamps.

This tag uses my favorite Flurry Fri-Die layered onto a Funky Square Tag. I am such a fan of tiny sentiments ... this is one of the many different sentiments from Sleigh Bells. For the wrapping, kraft paper is my go-to when I have fancy tags and ribbons. I also like to layer the ribbons so you get all those textures together. Here we've got the woven canvas, velvet & metallic pink crossed over each other, and wired tinsel from Dollar Tree (at $1 for 50 feet, it's the best deal around!! I'm on my second helping already).

For the tag, I wanted to give the feeling of fresh snow, so I chose a glittery paper for the tag base, and then bent the snowflakes up. Doesn't it look like they just fell there? OK, maybe it's just me, hahaha!

Anyway, thanks so much for stopping by. Be sure to check Tracey's blog throughout the month for more tag inspiration, and lots of prizes too! It's been so fun to watch this event grow bigger each year. Thanks for all your hard work putting this together, Tracey!

- Kelly

Friday, October 30, 2015

Too Early for Winter Decorations?!?

My kids were so confused when they walked into the bathroom last week and saw snowflakes dangling in the window. It's not even Halloween yet. Such is the home of a blogger, right? : )

I'm at CAS-ual Fridays with this winter project so you too can completely confuse your family!!

Thanks for stopping by!

Winnie & Walter Release Day (4 of 4)

Hi folks! We're at the last day of the Winnie & Walter release, and I know you are going to fall in love with the calligraphy in the Evelin T Designs sets like I did. This first card features one of the sentiments, again with a nice mix of typography and calligraphy. The hanging birdhouse and twig is watercolored, with a few sequins added for good measure.

Winnie & Walter, LLC

Here's a tag I cut with the Essentials: Noelle Cutaways. The to/from are also in this set. The florals on this tag are from yesterday's In Bloom: Hollie's Festive Florals. Love how the pieces of the flower, leaf, stem, berries etc. are all different stamps so you can easily work a bunch of colors in. Under the tag I layered In Bloom: Paulina's Greenery Cutaway. The package looked a little plain without it, so I was excited when this wreath added a little more color, width and interest. So easy to do.

This last card uses Scenery: The Leaf Effect a couple different times for the sponged leaves, which have been masked off the sides. The scalloped panel that the leaves are on is another great die in the Essentials: Noelle Cutaway set. I went with a solid pink for the flower (from In Bloom: Anna's Flora) since there was so much going on in the background. The gold sentiment is another one of Evelin T Designs ... both sets are Christmas themed, but as both cards in this post show, you can easily use them for non-holiday (even summer!) cards.
Be sure to check out the other amazing projects from Julie, Shay and our guest designers (the always surprising Keren Baker!) on the Winnie & Walter blog. As usual, leave a comment there for a chance to WIN all of today's goodies. The Big Giveaway is also going on with a chance to win the entire release!! Of course, there's a ton more inspiration on the personal blogs of our Talent:

Joni Andaya | Lydia Evans | Vanessa Menhorn | Gayatri Murali | Heather Pulvirenti
Whew, you've made it all the way through the release! As sad as I am that it's over, the good news is that all the shopping can begin. Whoo-hoo!! 
Thanks for looking!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Winnie & Walter Release Day (3 of 4)

Hi folks! We're only half way through this massive Winnie & Walter release and there is still so much to show you! This next set is called Our Town and it's full of houses, fences, trees, lamp posts, etc. Anything you'd need to make a town of your own. For this card I stamped all three houses in different colors and masked as I worked my way up the card. The sentiment is another tiny one I'm in love with from Comfort + Joy. It goes so well with the huge neighborhood on the card ... kind of like the card is from everyone who lives in each of the houses.

Winnie & Walter, LLC

After I put the w&w watermark on the photo I realized that I created the Winnie & Walter town ... the colors are almost exactly the same as the w&w circles!

For this house I swiped the stamp across a juicy distress ink pad and then stamped it. Love the textured horizontal lines that resulted! I can hardly stand how cute those little stars are. To add to my chilly winter scene, I cut a few layers of hills. This was a perfect place to add my sentiment (from Catherine Pooler's Holiday Stamp of Approval Box.)

Although I made a winter scene here, all the accessories that come in this Our Town set will let you create a scene for all seasons. What a great set of cards that would be!

This last card features a wreath cut with the In Bloom: Paulina's Greenery Cutaway. Really love the open leaves on this wreath. They work well for letting layers show through, especially this gold foil layer on the bottom. The top layer is colored with a few different Copic markers to make a blended Fall wreath. The In a Word Thanks sentiment is bent slightly in a curve to make it fit better on the card (it take up more of the space inside the wreath, as well as doesn't extend over the card edge as much.

For the bow I used the same Copic markers that I used on the wreath to alter my seam binding tape. Perfectly matched!

Be sure to check out the other amazing projects from Julie, Shay and our guest designers (the always surprising Keren Baker!) on the Winnie & Walter blog. As usual, leave a comment there for a chance to WIN all of today's goodies. The Big Giveaway is also going on with a chance to win the entire release!! Of course, there's a ton more inspiration on the personal blogs of our Talent:

Joni Andaya | Lydia Evans | Vanessa Menhorn | Gayatri Murali | Heather Pulvirenti
Be sure to stop by tomorrow for the last day of the w&w release! 
Thanks for looking!