Monday, December 31, 2012

Chalkboard Tag for Starbuck's Gift Card

Out of all the fantastic cards showcased by bloggers this year, none that I have seen has been more referenced in other people's blogs than Betsy Veldman's amazing chalkboard card. So I wasn't surprised to see that be the focus of a Papertrey Make It Monday.

 This was one of the tags in the same chalkboard style that I made for a white elephant gift this year. It's tied to an insulated cup with a Starbuck's gift card hidden inside.

The presents are gone now, so this is the only full-sized picture I have of the cup. The other envelope uses some leftovers from another project (made with the Silhouette ... so cool how the "have a merry" text can automatically follow the curve of the shape I drew ... wowee!!) and has an Amazon card and gift certificate inside.

Thanks for looking!

Supplies used (chalkboard tag): 
stamps:  Happiest of Holidays, Heart-2-Heart Mini (Papertrey Ink)
dies: Heart-2-Heart #1
other:  chalk pencil, circle punches, baker's twine, ric-rac, Spectrum Noir markers

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Papertrey Ink December Blog Hop (Again)

One more for the white on white Papertrey Blog Hop.

This one uses the new Framed Out #10 die that I just got for Christmas.

 I cut 4 of these, backed them with vellum panels, and stamped white snowflakes from the Places, Please set. Some triangles for the top, embossing, and trim on the edges to make it look more detailed and hide the seems. Jump rings are on either end of the Memory Box delicate chain die.

Here it is on our tree with a light underneath. So hard to photograph the snowflakes, but they do show up well in real life. Stripes are embossed on the side panels, and Mehndi Medallion is embossed on the top.

Thanks for looking (again!)

Papertrey Ink December Blog Hop

I hope all who celebrates had a Merry Christmas and made a memory or two to tuck under your belt. My favorite memory was when my Mother-in-Law opened the earrings we bought on behalf of our 90 year-old Grandma, who can't go shopping too easily. Our mother-in-law thanked Grandma, and my 5 year-old son stood up to righteously clear the record. "No," he said, "that was from my mom ... you know, 'Kelly!'" So much for our secret mission. Luckily Grandma joined us in laughter!

The white on white Blog Hop sponsored by Papertrey Ink is so appropriate for today. After all the colors, excess, business, and mess of the holidays, a clean white project sounds like heaven.

And here it is.

What? You're not that wild about it?

Once you set it in the window, it comes to life and you see the layers. To me it has a bokeh-like effect, like Christmas tree lights in the background of a photo, only all in white. I put the embossed, white sentiment in the middle of one of the circles and lined up the words on different shades of light (except for "day" which straddles the darkest part).

It came together pretty quickly. I cut an 8.5 x 11 piece of vellum in quarters, randomly stacked them under the circle die and ran them all through the Big Shot. Did that one more time, with
random stacking, and then did a few individual cuts after holding the sheets up to the light. Then cut out the inside of the card, taped them in, added the sentiment, and adhered the whole thing shut.

I'm adding this to the 10 minute challenge at CAS-ual Fridays. I don't know exactly how much time it took because I stopped in the middle to take this photo, but I'm pretty sure it was under 10 after I restarted the time.

Thanks for looking!

Supplies used: 
stamps:  Lighten Up Sentiments Mini, Papertrey Ink
dies:  Limitless Layers 1 3/4" Circle Die, Papertrey Ink.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

One More Barn Star + Christmas Cards

Here's another barn star, this time with a patchwork treatment, as showcased by Papertrey's MIM feature. By cutting the facets of the star from different dies, you could limit it to two colors, have all different colors, use the same color but with different patterns, mix up solid and patterned papers, etc. So many ways to mix it up! Plus then you'll have extras available for making additional stars. 

The sentiment is in between the masked dotted line. The green layer ended up being slightly tilted when I lined it up with the dotted line so I was going to redo it, but I think it like it this way.

This also fits in with the CASology cue word of Star

And finally, I can come out of hibernation ...

Christmas cards are in the mail, all 90 of them! It seemed like it was going to be a quick design, all I needed was to cut the base on the Silhouette, stamp and emboss the front, add the photos inside, and print the word tree on the back. 

Well, as I'm surprised by each year, anything times 90 takes a looong time. Sending the paper through the Silhouette became problematic after about the 30th time ... it started cutting the letters in odd places. My computer was pretty hot at that time too, not sure if that had anything to do with it. Has anyone had this issue with the Silhouette?

Also, my photos from Shutterfly (which were free due to a printing issue last year) were cut 1/8" crooked. It took me awhile to figure out why my cards weren't square when I put the photo in ... it was the actual photo!! Who would have guessed. So both of the photos had to be manually cut on the top and bottom. I have a feeling next year's photos will also be free ...

Here's the inside. We loaded the chair and the pillow into the car and stopped at our local forest preserve. It was late afternoon on a warm, sunny, winter day ... that timing is never going to happen again for us. The boys are smiling so well here. You would never know I had a mini-melt down just 10 minutes earlier (how hard is it to sit there, look at the camera, and smile, people?!) They recovered nicely and after telling some fart jokes that didn't make sense at all, we ended up with some really great photos. You do what you have to do.

On the back, each year instead of a newsletter we send a word tree. So much easier for me to write phrases, and it's quick for people to read. I scroll through our photos for the year and jot down the notes.

Here's a better feel for the card. 

Thanks so much for looking, and hopefully I can start getting to your blogs to catch up on what I've missed!

Supplies used (Barn Star Happy Birthday): 
stamps:  Papertrey Ink Mat Stack II
dies:  Papertrey Seeing Stars

Friday, December 14, 2012

Snowflake Tree

One quick card, and then I really need to stop procrastinating on my Christmas cards. Really. 

The snowflakes are stamped in a tree shape, filling in with the smaller snowflake where needed. Then embossed with white. I only had 3 shades of blue markers that fit with the blue in the inspiration photo, so on some of the snowflakes I added ink to selective areas and smudged them inward with my finger to get a varied effect. I colored the centers orange to tie in with the sentiment, and act like "ornaments" on the snowflake tree.

Washi tape is over a row of 3 snowflakes below the sentiment. I like how they partially show through.

Inspired by the colors in the Runway Inspired Challenge.

Thanks for looking!

Supplies used: 
stamps:  American Crafts Let It Snow, Papertrey Think Big Sentiments, Places Please (tiny snowflake)
other: Up! decorative tape, white embossing powder, Spectrum Noir alcohol markers 

Seeing [Barn] Stars

I am so excited about this technique Amber Kemp-Gerstel showcased on her blog Damask Love. You take a star die, score down the middle of each point, fold, and then bend the points towards each other (turning the mountain fold in between the points into a valley fold). Then you have a fancy, 3D barn star! What a difference it makes on a card when you otherwise would have used a flat star. 

This was so fun, I thought I'd use this technique for several different challenges to see how versatile it is. 

First up:

Very simple, the barn star colored with alcohol markers, with a white, embossed sentiment below. Of course, this one is inspired by the CAS-ual Fridays challenge to use scoring on your card.

Layering the barn stars gives another look, especially when you layer with glitter. To complete the electric orange triangle of the star and the word "shine", I added the three gemstones. I don't own this color in anything except a marker, so I colored the star, the word and the gems.

 This one is inspired by the vibrant colors pictured in this Betsey Johnson number from the Runway Inspired Challenge (great challenge, I never would have combined these otherwise!), the Moxie Fab challenge to use neon,

and the Papertrey MIM challenge to layer with glitter. The glitter looks nice in person on the shimmery silver papers.

Grouping smaller barn stars also gives a nice dimension. I had a hard time getting the card base to be flat again after embossing the sentiment. I sprayed it with water, put it between two books and stood on it for awhile (picture a circus elephant balancing on a tiny stool) ... it got better but still not perfect. Any advice for when this happens on your card base?

This card is inspired by the CAS(E) this Sketch challenge and the fresh, Christmas color scheme at The Play Date Cafe.

 The Memory Box delicate chain die looks like real metal in the foil paper. It's a fun one to touch!

Thanks for looking!

Supplies used (Little Card Big Thanks): 
stamps:  CAS-ual Fridays Big Thanks
dies: Papertrey Ink Seeing Stars  

Supplies used (It's Your Day to Shine): 
stamps:  Papertrey Ink Lighten Up Mini Sentiments
dies: Papertrey Ink Seeing Stars  
other: Spectrum Noir alcohol markers, Martha Stewart glitter, gems

Supplies used ('Tis the Season): 
stamps:  Papertrey Ink Think Big Favorites #20
dies: Papertrey Ink Seeing Stars, Memory Box Delicate Chain
cardstock: Papertrey Ink, American Crafts foil, Memory Box Wedding Day


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Ombre Lace Christmas Trees

Here's another variation on coloring lace with markers, this time for an ombre effect with Christmas trees. The trunks are colored with the same marker as the lace. At first I was going to trim the strip of white showing at the bottom of the card since my silver piece was too short, but then I though it looked like the tiniest dusting of snow so I left it. This is a larger format card that fits in a business-sized envelope.

Here's the insane amount of vintage lace that I got for only $3 from the flea market. It's wide enough to cover the trees in one layer.

I stamped the sentiment on the tree to keep from interrupting the overall series of trees. 

The top of the card looked a little plain. So I selectively embossed the areas in between the trees. This time I did it manually. At first I ran over the folder with my fingers. That worked pretty well, but I found a sponge gives a slightly deeper impression (and doesn't hurt your finger tips).

Inspiration is from the fresh color scheme at The Play Date Cafe (prompting me to add the tiny green holly sprig on the sentiment tree), and

Elizabeth Kartchner's super-cool, dyed, Tim Holtz bottle brush trees that she featured on Dear Lizzy this week. Aren't those just delicious?!

Thanks for looking!

Supplies used: 
stamps:  Papertrey Ink Places Please, Happiest of Holidays
impression plates: Provo Craft Swiss Dots
other: lace 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012



Wida Miller of Beachorado started a fun event (much like the childhood game of telephone) where you have many card-makers lined up, each CASing the person before them. How interesting it is to see the cards morph as you go down the line!   

It all started with this iconic card by Laura Bassen

and 22 cards later we get to this beautiful, yet very different card by Pauline Pollington. How fun is that?! Here are the previous entries summarized on Wida's blog.

OK, so now it's my turn to play!

 I was inspired by the pretty lace border on Pauline's card. Awhile ago I bought a huge spool of vintage lace for $3 (a crazy deal, there must be 25 yards on the metal-edged spool from the 50's!) I wanted to make something Christmas-y, but didn't want to use the ecru lace. So I colored it with markers. I'll have to remember this, it's a great way to customize embellishments to your card. 

 The background was selectively embossed with Swiss Dots. Originally I had the sentiment in Turquoise, but it was too light so I searched for a Kelly green. Boy, was it hard to find a "true" green ink in my drawers. I must never use it! So now the turquoise is just behind the lace. I dusted each tree with a little left-over glitter.

 The Make It Monday challenge uses glittered & layered die cuts. So I layered a left-over neon berry as the focal point in the middle of the card. It's only a tiny bit, but it's still going into the Moxie Fab Keen on Neon challenge.

Fun, huh?

If you're interested in joining, let Wida know. You could be next!

Then after cleaning my desk I'm left with the piece of lace from when I was experimenting with the colors. I am such a saver, and can never toss anything. So ...

I made a quick card with it. On this card the lace doesn't relate to the star. I like how the point of the star separates "you" and "re", but the line of the lace leads your eye right off the card never to return. So let's try again.

Better, the line of lace leads to the star now. And I added lines to the bottom half of the star to fill the space more.

Here's another version with larger text, and an angled star to give a little more energy. 

Not sure which you prefer, but I always enjoy hearing others' thought processes, so I included my own here. Plus, it fits with the "evolution" theme of Wida's CASADIA event.

Thanks for looking!

Supplies used on Tis the Season: 
stamps:  Papertrey Think Big Favorites
impression plates: Provo Craft Swiss Dots
dies:  Papertrey Stars
other: lace, hole punch, Martha Stewart glitter, Spectrum Noir markers

Supplies used used on the Star cards: 
stamps:  PSX lowercase alpha, Papertrey Just the Ticket
dies:  Papertrey Ink Stars, Provo Craft Tag Sale
other: lace, Martha Stewart glitter, Spectrum Noir markers

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Foldable Christmas Ornaments

 These exploding, foldable paper ornaments are just so fun to make! Once you have it down, they go very quickly and before you know it you have a couple dozen of them. It's the perfect project to do while watching a movie in the evening. 

 We have 21 young cousins on my side of the family so anything I want to make them for Christmas has to be quick and easy. These exploding ornaments were my project this year. We celebrated yesterday, so I was able to snap a few pictures of the action. The ornaments were all hung on the tree and I challenged the kids to find which one was theirs. 

Once you slide the bead up the string, the ornament unfolds and you see the message inside. One side has the cousin's name, and the other side has the date. They had so much fun trying to find their ornament, and teaching the other cousins how to work it. Well worth the effort!

Here's a closer look...

You can completely customize the ornaments by the papers you pick. For many of the ornaments, I didn't use Christmas paper. Any colorful, fun paper will work. This one has cute aliens. Use what you have on hand, no need to buy anything new.

This one is from the same striped alien paper, but I've used a different section of the paper, and folded all my circles along the same solid blue line. It looks completely different than the previous ornament. No aliens, but you can see UFOs in the green stripe. 

There's quite a mix ... floral, graphic circles, dots, gears, football helmets, glittered holly leaves.

Here they are from the side, you can get a feel for how dimensional they are.

Then when Christmas is over, slide the bead down the string, flip the ornament over, fold it up, and slide the bead back down the string. It's not going to get smashed in storage! I also appreciate that it doesn't take up much space (our ornament box is overflowing!) You could even attach it to a present in this form as a gift tag.

Interested? I have a tutorial in my last post HERE.

How about some varieties?

 Alternate the patterns. Or use all different papers. 

Vary the number of folded sections. This ornament has six folded sections so it has a slightly different shape and depth on the side than the previous ornaments with five sections.

Double up on the layers. For this neon ornament I started with the green base, and in the center of each section I glued another folded pink layer. Also, on this one I embossed the papers for some interest since there is no pattern. You could also stamp something in the middle before you fold the layers.

Change the shape. This one is a snowflake (silver with script on the inside).

I hope you give them a try! Or come up with your own version. I'd love to know what you do.

Thanks for looking!

Submitting these in the Knotty or Nice CASual Fridays Challenge. They all have knots at the end to keep the bead from sliding off.

The neon ornament is inspired by the Moxie Fab Keen on Neon Challenge.

Also sharing with: