Sunday, December 24, 2017

Advent Calendar Extravaganza with Taheerah Atchia

Welcome, folks! I'm so pleased to be joining my friend Taheerah as a stop on her famous Advent Calendar Extravaganza again this year!

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 ONE HUNDRED 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 guests 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 await behind the door!

And today's surprise is ...

A rainbow Christmas tree! Which of course is a little bit merry, and a little bit bright. Let's take a quick look: 

With today's sponsor being My Sweet Petunia I knew I wanted to make a card that would be difficult, if not impossible, to make without the valuable MISTI. Attempting this rainbow effect pre-MISTI would involve inking the stamp all at once with every color, all the while hoping you weren't disturbing the previously inked sections as you added each new color. Then hold your breath and hope you stamp it well enough to get a good impression on the first try. Yes, pretty much impossible, for me at least. With the MISTI you have the luxury of stamping one color at a time. For the rainbow tree I stamped yellow first because it's the lightest color.

Then added the rest of the colors above and below the yellow.

Before stamping the colors I'd smudge the edges a little so there were no hard lines of ink on the tree. As with most of my cards for the last year, I'm using the wonderfully juicy Catherine Pooler Inks.

I could have left it as-is, but since it's a Christmas tree I thought sequins would be right at home here, just like ornaments on the tree. The tree is from Winnie & Walter's Winter Woodland set.

The drawn star and sentiment are embossed in gold. Originally I stamped them in black but then I decided to keep this a colors-only card. 

Love that the MISTI was able to help me easily create a rainbow Christmas tree!

A couple things before I close ... the first is a big thanks to Taheerah for organizing this festive event for us during the holidays. It takes a massive amount of effort and brain power to pull something like this off so successfully. Also, here is some information on prizes:
It’s not a party without a prize - and with prizes every day there are several chances to win! Today’s prize is generously supplied by My Sweet Petunia so you’ll definitely want to win! Simply leave a comment on this post - then head back to and leave a comment there too! You must leave a comment on Taheerah’s blog as well as mine in order to be eligible to win! Don’t forget to grab the other surprise destinations from Taheerah’s blog and head over to them to leave comments there as well to improve your odds even more! You have until 23:59 EST on December 31st 2017 to enter.

Don’t forget Advent Calendar Extravaganza runs one more day so make sure you visit tomorrow for fabulous inspiration and amazing prizes every single time! 
Merry Christmas, and thanks so much for looking!
- Kelly

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Make Your Own Plaid

Hello Folks! I've got a plaid Christmas card on the Winnie & Walter blog that I made with a few different stamps from the newest release (Scenery: Ticking Stripe Creative Screening and Scenery: Rugby Stripe Creative Screening).

The sentiment is layered with just three layers of comic backing boards for a super thick greeting. The rest of the sentiment continues vertically (well, it's horizontal in this photo!) instead of how I'd normally just place "christmas" under "merry." If you're interested I've got more information and photos on the Winnie & Walter blog.

For all those who celebrate, I would like to wish you a warm Christmas filled with much love and happiness!

CFS Pink Ombre Christmas Tree, and LAST POST for CASual Fridays

For those who celebrate, I hope you are having a wonderful Christmas season so far! I have two Christmas cards to share with you today, both using a pink ombre snowflake tree from Sugar Plum Fairies, which is currently on sale!

But before I get into the details, I'd like to share that this is my last official post with the CASual Fridays Stamps team. Michele took a chance on me a whole FIVE YEARS ago, invited me to be on her challenge design team, and shortly thereafter to be on her CASual Fridays Stamps team to showcase her *new* line of stamps. CASual Fridays is the first design team I've ever been on, and I can still remember getting that wonderful email from Michele offering me a spot on her team. I even made my husband take me out to dinner that weekend to celebrate! It's been such a wonderful experience, made even better by the fact that Michele is so laid back and easy to work with. I will greatly miss her, the team, and being a part of something from the very beginning. Transitions are never easy, but this one is particularly difficult with a friend as special as Michele. Sigh.

OK, now for the card details ...

What I wouldn't give to have a real tree that looked like this! Could you imagine?!

The sentiment is from Snowy Sayings. I stamped it in gray to go along with the pink and lime.

I really love these colors for Christmas, and even together outside of Christmas.

I ended up with one more card for the pink ombre tree...

At the base is the sentiment/snowflake from Joy and a secondary sentiment from Shalom. Love that I can use a stamp from a Jewish set on my Christmas card!

No layers other than the sequins here, which are totally optional. This could easily be a true one-layer card.

 These cards are over at the CAS-ual Fridays Stamps blog today if you'd like additional information. Feel free to use my code "KELLY2017" which will save you 15% off any purchases at CAS-ual Fridays Stamps.

Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

CFS Hanukkah

Hi Folks! I've got a Happy Chanukah card for today with a funny story ... this card was actually made for the Chanukah release in October, but when I went to upload my image on our Facebook group I saw that the lovely Jeanne Jachna had already created the exact same background! Even down to using the tiny Star of David from 8 Happy Nights (I almost used the tiny dreidel instead). So I decided to save this card for later (now!) and come up with a different card for release day.

Guess that just means I have good taste : )

On top of the stamped background I added the star and dreidel die cuts from Hanukkah Fri-Dies, along with a secondary sentiment from Mazel Tov which also works for Chanukah.   


This card is over at the CAS-ual Fridays Stamps blog today if you'd like additional information. Feel free to use my code "KELLY2017" which will save you 15% off any purchases at CAS-ual Fridays Stamps.

Thanks for looking!

Friday, December 8, 2017

Winnie & Walter Rerun - Comfort + Joy

Hi Folks! It's time for another Rerun challenge at Winnie & Walter! This month's featured stamp set is the adorable Comfort & Joy set which has lots of useful elements, like barn stars, wreaths, a moose head, a flock of birds, tiny sentiments, and two different jingle bells.

 I used the jingle bells on this card to illustrate the song ...

"jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way"

"Jingle" is stamped a couple times without reinking to give the feeling of movement.

 Winnie & Walter, LLC

The panel, which is fairly low-key, is mounted on some glitter paper. I added just a few sequins to the jingle bells. This is a  simple and modern card, perfect for a trendy young gentleman.

Head on over to the Winnie & Walter blog to find out details on how to win this set, and on how to participate in the challenge which is open throughout the month.

Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

CFS What's This Snowflake Doing in the Garden?!

Hi Folks! I went rogue on Michele at CAS-ual Fridays Stamps today ... she asked me to create a card with a snowflake, and I'm pretty sure this is not what she was expecting! But I thought this snowflake from Flurry Fri-Dies made such a cute little flower.

To further the flower illusion I used strips of scrap green paper for stems, sequins for the middles, and the leaves from Acorn Fri-Dies.  

I think it's quite cheery for a snowflake card : )

In fact, I was having so much fun that I created another snowflake card ...

This one has dandelions, just before they spread their seeds all over your lawn!

Frosted vellum is a great choice to capture the wispy feeling of seeding dandelions.

The flowers are laid out the same as the first card (why make it hard on yourself coming up with a new layout?) and the sentiment is the same too, from Shenanigans and Wheat Wreath.

I was happy with how this one turned out! I bet I could have layered another snowflake and rotated it slightly to get a fuller dandelion. Hmm ...  off to the craft room to check that out!

This card is over at the CAS-ual Fridays Stamps blog today if you'd like additional information. Feel free to use my code "KELLY2017" which will save you 15% off any purchases at CAS-ual Fridays Stamps.

Thanks for looking!

Friday, November 24, 2017

Black Friday Alert: Free Stamp Set from Winnie & Walter!

Hello Folks! For all those go-getters who already have your holiday cards ready to mail, decorations up, presents bought and wrapped, I have a project for you ... holiday thank you cards! It's never too early to start thinking about thanking those in our lives who have generously given us treasures with the sole purpose of making us happy. Honestly, I have to admit, I am awful with thank you cards. I get overwhelmed and am usually rushing around at the last minute with all the must-complete projects. But having these thank you cards ready ahead of time will certainly increase the chances of me sending timely notes of gratitude!

This card base couldn't have been quicker to stamp with several "thanks" across the middle, and a black secondary sentiment that adds so much.

You could choose to add any embellishment to this card base (or even just leave it plain!) but when there are adorable Christmas critters like the ones from Sweet Holiday with Evelin T Designs I don't need to look any further. This festive puppy is just the cutest ever!


Using this formula it's easy to create a whole set of these thank yous, which would make for a great present itself! And speaking of adorable Christmas critters, here's another one from that same Sweet Holiday set.

Sometimes by the time January rolls around, I'm a little over green & red, so it's nice to add different colors to keep the design fresh.

Usually this is the part of the post where I tell you where the stamps can be purchased, but not this time! This In a Word: Thanks stamp set is actually FREE with a qualifying $35.00 purchase during the Black Friday-Cyber Monday Sale.


I know! It's not a small stamp set, it's an actual, honest-to-goodness regular-sized 4x6 stamp set full with 4 different "thanks" (including an outline version), 3 secondary sentiments (which I always love to add) and several small designs (like the branch that I added to the bear's present above).

WOW. So generous!

Hopefully your Winnie & Walter wish list is up-to-date so you know exactly what to get!

Happy shopping!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Ellen Hutson LLC's 11th Anniversary Hop

Hello Folks! I am SUPER excited to celebrate Ellen Hutson's 11th Anniversary along with a host of wonderfully talented artists! You may have come from one of them, the lovely Carolyn Peeler.

For this special hop, we were asked to make a project with our favorite Essentials By Ellen set. I easily could have gone with the Mondo Hydrangea stamp, Oh Deer, or the innovative Hinged Alphabet dies, but I simply could not pass up my absolute favorite stamp and die of all ... the bear from All Inside! I love, love, love him for three main reasons:

1) his dead-pan expression just cracks me up;
2) he can hold so many different things, from all sorts of various sets; and
3) his streamlined shape makes him super easy to color, but he's so cute you can just leave him as-is (a.k.a., polar bear!)

Here are cards from the post where I first fell in love with him:

I haven't gotten to make a holiday card with this cutie yet, so I was excited to get to work!

And here he is, hanging out at the North Pole all majestic-like, wishing joy to the whole world!
For the world, I cut out a circle from watercolor paper, lightly penciled in the continents (while looking at a globe on google), and then watercolored them with zig clean color markers. Since it's a Christmas card I made the globle red and green. It was fun not using traditional colors for land and water, and I like how festive it looks! Finally, I washi-taped the Hinged Alphabet Dies to keep the word "joy" spaced together, and ran them through the die cutter.
One of the benefits of the hinged alphabet dies - since the letters pop up at an angle you can read a card that's lying on top of a counter in another room : )
Another advantage of the hinged alphas is that you get the opportunity to hide a little surprise underneath. When you look at the card from the side you see all sorts of gold sparkles coming out, like the world is literally bursting with joy!
I guess a fourth reason I love this bear is that Julie has thoughtfully designed accessories for him, kinda like paper dolls! The Bear Wear 2 set has Halloween, winter and Christmas accessories to get your bear prepared for the holidays. I've added the Santa hat and candy cane here, but there are many other accessories to choose from.

For this card, I copied an idea I had my kids do for Christmas cards one year. I made them large J, O and Y letters to hold up, and I took a picture. They had a ton of fun being silly which made for a fabulous greeting. These bears can hold things too, so why not have them spell out a sentiment?

These letters are from the hinged alphabet dies. Nice to know you can use them like regular die cuts if you cut the letters off at the hinge. After inking them in red I made some stripes with a white gel pen. Love the bears' chubby little hands grabbing things! I didn't even adhere these letters down, they are actually holding the letters. Just like my kids : )

The globe is made the same way as the first card, only with traditional colors, and a healthy dose of glitter on top to make it all sparkly. The sentiments in all caps on both cards are made with the Basic Alphabet set. Just perfect for occasions like this where you need to finish off a phrase. I wanted "to the" to be smaller (so more of the world would show) so I just hand wrote that in script. The black fish tail ends are hand cut as well.

In this case it really worked out that polar bears live in the North Pole, as that meant no coloring for me! (Fun Fact: Did you know polar bears live in the North Pole, while penguins live in the South Pole? They are NOT neighbors!)

I have about a dozen bears pre-cut and ready to go at all times, because, well, you never know : )

In fact, I took this opportunity to use up some of my empty card bases, extra sentiments, and stray embellishments, and turned them into three more cards. All of the elements are recycled from prior projects. Such a good feeling to clean and be productive at the same time! And what a great illustration on how the All Inside bear goes with just about anything. The heart, envelope and party horn are all from different stamp sets that aren't even designed by Essentials by Ellen. Love that!

Thanks so much for taking a look and letting me share my favorite Essentials by Ellen set with you!

The fun continues at the delightful home of Laurel Beard where there's something wonderful waiting for you!

A huge thank you and HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to all the mighty fine folks at Ellen Hutson LLC!