Thursday, December 26, 2013

Swappin' With the Freaks

One of the perks of being a Control Freak is getting to swap several times per year with the other Freaks. We try to choose a wide variety of stamp sets, card styles, and/or techniques so we can inspire our stamping friends and show them sets that we may not necessarily have in our own collection. It's a wonderful thing!

This is the swap card that I just sent off.  The theme this time is, of course, the new Occasions Catalog.  My stamp set of choice was Peaceful Petals again. Can't help it - I just love that set!  Plus I'm holding off on buying too many new sets until after January 1st.  (But it's so haaarrrrrd!)

So, more bright, Spring-y colors with the Watercolor Wonder DSP, plus I used four of the stamps in that set!  And as I was coloring all the large leaves (and fussy cutting them), and coloring all the flowers, and all the smaller leaves, and adding the glue and glitter to the centers, I was kicking myself for not thinking it through enough.....I had to do that 28 times!

Oh well, I hope they like it!

Stamps: Peaceful Petals
Cardstock: Watercolor Paper, Whisper White, Island Indigo, Daffodil Delight, Goil Foil Paper, Watercolor Wonder DSP
Ink: StazOn Jet Black, Daffodil Delight, Wild Wasabi, Crushed Curry
Accessories: Big Shot, Perfect Polka-Dots folder, 2-Way Glue Pen, Gold Stampin' Glitter, Blender Pens

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Occasion-ally Freaky

Ha, bet that got your attention, didn't it? It's time for the Tour de Freaks blog tour and the theme this month is the new, soon-to-be-released Occasions Catalog. It's a short tour this month....only eight of us were insane dedicated motivated enough to sit down and be creative less than a week before Christmas! (What was I thinking?!) If you joined the hop at the beginning, you just landed here from the uber-talented Julie Davison's blog.  But if you started here on my blog, you can take the whole tour by clicking on the "next stop" button at the bottom of each blog.

I have three projects for you today, using the Peaceful Petals and Perfect Pennants stamp sets. They all use the Watercolor Wonder Designer Series Paper, yet they all look completely different. Variety is the spice of life, right? And Stampin' Up! makes it so easy with these great products!

My first project is very, um, timely. (Haha, I crack myself up sometimes!) The end of the year is hurtling toward us at break-neck speed, and a new calendar will soon be starting. I thought it would be nice to keep a mini calendar and sticky notes beside the phone, so I made this cute easel stand to hold them both.  And hidden behind the calendar panel is a pencil for jotting down phone numbers or appointment times!

STAMP: Peaceful Petals  CARDSTOCK: Whisper White, Island Indigo, Wild Wasabi, Watercolor Wonder DSP  INK: StazOn Jet Black, Island Indigo, Wild Wasabi, Crushed Curry  ACCESSORIES: Stampin' Trimmer, Blender Pens, Sticky Strip

My next two projects are cards. The first one was made for my honey, who has been having to work a ton of overtime. He had to go in to work two hours early yesterday (we got up at 2:45 am, ugh) so I tucked this in his lunch to give him a hug at work. Without co-workers to witness it and razz him, because I'm thoughtful like that.
From Millan.Net

STAMPS: Perfect Pennants  CARDSTOCK: Whisper White, Smoky Slate, Tangerine Tango, Watercolor Wonder DSP  INK: VersaMark, Tangerine Tango, Smoky Slate  ACCESSORIES: Big Shot, Banners Framelits, Heat Tool, Heat & Stick Powder, Gold Stampin' Glitter, Gold Baker's Twine, Gold Sequin Trim, Stampin' Dimensionals, Multipurpose Glue

And here is the second card.  As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I'm soooo happy to be playing with Spring colors.  I was just about ready for something new, and the colors in the Watercolor Wonder DSP are just the ticket!

STAMPS: Peaceful Petals  CARDSTOCK: Whisper White, Tangerine Tango, Watercolor Paper, Watercolor Wonder DSP  INK: StazOn Jet Black, Tangerine Tango, Old Olive, Crushed Curry  ACCESSORIES: Big Shot, Starburst Framelits, 2-1/2" Circle punch, Blender Pens, Gold Baker's Twine, Stampin' Dimensionals, Mini Glue Dots

That's it for me today. Thanks so much for stopping by! Now head on over to LeeAnn Greff's blog and check out her projects - I'm sure she's going to wow you!!!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Make it Mailable 13-13 (and a Sneak Peek!)

There is so much beautimus schtuff in the new Occasions Catalog, that I can't settle on any one product! I feel like a butterfly, flitting from one pretty flower to the next, not landing on any one blossom for more than a split second.

Case in point - this card. I tried to use everything from the pre-order on just this one card, lol.  Well, four products, anyway. Not that I exaggerate or anything.
From Millan.Net
The Peaceful Petals stem was stamped on Watercolor Paper in Jet Black StazOn and colored with an Aqua Painter in Pacific Point ink.  The stems/leaves are Pear Pizzazz and the flower centers are Crushed Curry. (Since it was going to be covered with the Fancy Foil Designer Vellum, it needed a vibrant blue to overcome the muting effect of the vellum.)  The Gold Baker's Twine complements the gold foil hearts embossed on the vellum.

That Watercolor Wonder Designer Series paper is one of those rarities for me.......I love BOTH sides of ALL the sheets. That's going to make for some tough choices in the future, I'm sure!  But with 12 designs to love, I think I'll cope somehow, haha.  And, believe it or not, I love the chevrons, as well! (I know, right? What's up with that?!) Maybe because they aren't as overpowering as some previous designs?

I can't link to any of the new products yet, because they won't be available until January 3rd, but if you would like a copy of the new Occasions Catalog when it is released, let me know and I'll have one sent to you. Trust me, you don't want to miss any of the awesomeness! I know I say that every time.  Have I ever steered you wrong???

Sunday, December 15, 2013

'Tis the Season......

....for me to be so busy that I can't keep up with my blogging! Sorry about that, folks. I've made so many cute things, and then promptly mailed or gave them away, forgetting to take pictures before I did so. Sheesh. I'll try to be better in the next few weeks, but I'm not making any promises!

Well, this time I did remember, and have a cute little treat holder to show, and even a tutorial for it so you can whip some up and give them away! (Just don't forget to take a picture before you do!)

Isn't that just the cutest little gifty?  These would make perfect teacher or co-worker treats. Nothing too much (don't want to send the wrong impression), just a little sweet thing that says you remembered them at the holidays.

Here are the instructions:


Whisper White cardstock for box: 3¼" x 5⅜"
  1. With short side at guide on Simply Scored Tool, score at ⅝" and 2⅝".
  2. With long side at guide, score at ⅝", 2⅜", 3", and 4¾".
  3. Cut off tabs, as shown:
  4. Punch opening for candy with 1⅜" Circle Punch.
  5. Add Sticky Strip as shown, but don’t remove liner yet.
  6. Apply Sticky Strip to the inside of the three flaps surrounding the punched out circle - form into a box and adhere.
DSP for outer wrap (Old Olive DSP from Polka Dot Parade used here): 2" x 7¾"
  1. Score at ⅝", 2⅜", 3", 4¾", 5⅜", and 7⅛".
  2. Slide Artisan Label Punch in from short side as far as it will go, and punch window.
  3. Cut Window Sheet (acetate) 1⅝" x 1⅞" and adhere to inside of window with ⅛" sticky tape.
  4. Using ⅛" Circle Punch, punch holes for Organza Ribbon about ½" from each side of top.
  5. Remove liner of Sticky Strip on box and adhere outer wrap to box.
  6. Thread ribbon through holes and tie in a bow.
  7. Add a tag (Christmas Tagables stamped in Old Olive used here).

Thursday, December 5, 2013

I Love the Man in Brown!

From Millan.Net
Yesterday he brought my box of stamping goodness from Stampin' Up!  My pre-order from the Occasions Catalog arrived, and I can't wait to show you some of the lovelies.  Well, I can't show you the products (yet) but I CAN show you what I make with them!

I don't know about you, but after dozens and dozens of Christmas cards these past few weeks, I'm about over Christmas, and Christmas colors. So when I tore into the pack of Watercolor Wonder DSP, I got positively giddy at the beautiful Spring-y colors!  And here is the card that resulted from the giddiness:

There are new Framelits used here; the banners and the starburst circle are all new. And the blossom is from the gorgeous Peaceful Petals stamp set.  I heat embossed it in gold on watercolor paper, then used an Aqua Painter to add Blushing Bride to it.

So, ya know how I love me some bling, right? Well there's bling aplenty in the new catalog!  The Gold Sequin Trim and Gold Baker's Twine are just two of the fabulous new shiny items.

Note: Items in Red are in the new catalog available January 3rd.

Stamps: Peaceful Petals, Perfect Pennants
Cardstock: Whisper White, Wild Wasabi, Watercolor Paper, Watercolor Wonder DSP
Ink: VersaMark, Wild Wasabi, Blushing Bride, Crushed Curry marker
Accessories: Big Shot, Starburst Framelits, Banners Framelits, Decorative Dots embossing folder (Sale-A-Bration FREE item!), Heat Tool, Gold Stampin’ Emboss Powder, Aqua Painter, Gold Sequin Trim, Gold Baker’s Twine, Stampin’ Dimensionals, Glue Dots, 1/8” sticky tape (non-SU)

Monday, November 25, 2013

Make It Mailable 13-12

Hello, stampers, and welcome to another Monday. Can you believe Christmas is ONE MONTH FROM TODAY?!  Eeeeek, I have to get my cards in the mail next week! I have about 50 done and need about 30 more.  How many do you send out each year?  Today's card is another one that I will be making in quantity. It was inspired by this card on SCS.

One of the ways to keep the weight down on your cards, if you are making multiple layers, is to cut the centers out of the mats, leaving just a frame.  I did that on this card, and used the cut out piece as the mat for the image. The Stampin' Trimmer makes it so easy!  Just determine how wide you want the 'frame' sides to be.  I made them 5/8" on this one, which left plenty of room for the adhesive holding the brushed gold panel.

I love the Endless Wishes stamp set that was used on the brushed gold, but unfortunately, it was sooo popular that it's sold out already!

Stamps: Evergreen, Endless Wishes
Cardstock: Whisper White, Early Espresso, Brushed Gold
Ink: VersaMark
Accessories: Stampin' Trimmer, Gold Stampin' Emboss Powder, Heat Tool, Embossing Buddy, Linen Thread

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Huge Holiday and Doorbuster Sales!

First of all, let me mention the doorbuster items, because the deal is for TODAY ONLY!  The rest of the Holiday sale is good through Dec. 2nd.

These are the Doorbuster deals (and they are aMAZing!):
Many Marvelous Markers #131264 $109.95   $76.97

Simply Scored Diagonal Plate #125586 $11.95   $8.37

Stampin' Trimmer #126889 $29.95   $20.97

To see the rest of the sale items, you can click HERE.

Or, to see the list in PDF form, click HERE.

When you place your order, you will be visited by my favorite guy (other than DH, of course), the Man in Brown! I'm always happy to see him, because he brings me lots of goodies!

From Millan.Net

We are down to the last few weeks of the 12 Weeks of Christmas, so be sure to sign up for my mailing list (on the upper left) to get the last few projects in your email on Wednesdays!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

It's CHRISTMAS on the Tour de Freaks!

Welcome to the Christmas 2013 edition of the Tour de Freaks! It's the most won-der-ful tiiiime of the year (you sang that in your head, didn't you?), and we're excited to show you some terrific ideas for your holiday.  If you started at the beginning and have been hopping in order, then you just landed here from Mindy Backes' blog, Bada-Bing! Paper-Crafting!  If you're starting here, just click on the links at the bottom of each blog and they will take you full circle back here, so you won't miss a single stamptastic thing!

My first project is a little gift for nectar of the gods coffee lovers.  I've been seeing these tiny hot cups with lids popping up everywhere on the 'Net, and just had to get them to make some quick gifts.  They're filled with Espresso, Coffee, and Latte candies for a quick pick-me-up. Wouldn't these be cute teacher or co-worker gifts? (ETA: These will hold 5 Starbucks Via packets, folded in half.) They're big enough for a tea bag or two, as well. (Don't know about a cocoa packet, though.) The base was covered with Winter Frost DSP, and the lid was topped with a 3D snowflake.

Here's a close-up of the snowflake topper. I was inspired by the Festive Flurry Ornament Kits, making my version small enough to fit on the lid.

For my card projects, I had a hard time choosing which stamp set to feature, but finally decided on Best of Snow.  I just love that little snowman, and the hedgehog is so sweet!  So, let's start with my little snow buddy. He was super easy to color; just a few quick swipes of the markers. And you can't really see it, but the Dazzling Diamonds Stampin' Glitter really makes the snow sparkle.

And here's my little hedgie buddy. I acidentally stumbled on this color combination when some Early Espresso and Soft Sky cardstock was laying next to each other on my *ahem* very messy desk. I was struck by how well they complemented each other. For the Deco Labels mat, I first tried Silver Glimmer Paper, but there wasn't enough contrast. The Red Glimmer sets off the red scarves better, anyway, don't you think? The hedgie was colored with a blender pen to get a lighter shade of Soft Suede. I think the marker would have been too dark.

Well, that's all from me today. Thank you for stopping by! Now on to the next stop, Justin Krieger's blog, JK Cards. I'm sure he has something fabulous cooked up!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Best of.....Snow(man)!

I was so excited when I saw the new "Best of" stamp set for November, because every stamp was devoted to snow! The snowflake is absolutely gorgeous, the snowman couldn't be any cuter, and the hedgehog building a snow-hedgie is adorable! Top it off with a 'Let it Snow' greeting, and the stamp set couldn't be any better, in my book.

Today's card features the snowman, obviously. You could turn it into a snow-woman just by adding a tiny punched flower to the hat! The image is easy-peasy to color, and it fits perfectly in the Extra Large Oval punch, which fits perfectly in the Designer Frames oval embossing folder. (Imagine that!)

I added some sparkle to the snow with a swipe of the 2-Way Glue Pen and a sprinkle of Dazzling Diamonds glitter*.  The buttons on the snowman became rhinestones and a rhinestone was added to the center of the white heat embossed (on vellum) snowflake. The snowflake was then cut out with a Festive Flurry Framelit.

*I've heard glittter referred to as 'the herpes of the crafting world', which is kind of sad. I love the sparkle that it adds but, I admit, it can be messy. My solution is to keep the Dazzling Diamonds in a medium stamp case like I use for my embossing powders.  I sprinkle the glitter on with a plastic spoon (kept in the case), tap the excess back into the case and let it dry for an hour or so.  Then the dried image is brushed off with a stiff brush, over a waste basket, so any loose bits are removed. This method really helps keep the mess to a bare minimum.

Stamps: Best of Snow, That's the Ticket
Cardstock: Whisper White, Cherry Cobbler, Gumball Green, White Cardstock Vellum, Season of Style DSP Stack
Ink: StazOn Jet Black, Cherry Cobbler, Soft Sky, Pumpkin Pie, Gumball Green (2012-2014 In Color pack)
Accessories: Big Shot, Designer Frames (oval) folder, Snowburst folder (retired), Festive Flurry Framelits, Heat Tool, White Stampin' Emboss Powder, Two-Way Glue Pen, Dazzling Diamonds Glitter, Extra Large Oval Punch, Ticket Duo Builder Punch, Blender Pens, Rhinestones Basic Jewels, Stampin' Dimensionals

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

New Festive Flurry Ornament Kit!

Add a little festive flare to your holiday decorating with our new Festive Flurry Ornament Kit! Top presents, embellish cards, create a wintery garland, or trim the tree. How you use them is up to you!
The kit includes everything you need (minus adhesive) to create 10 snowflakes, including
  • 10 feet of Soft Sky Ribbon
  • Printed cardstock - die cut and scored, ready to be assembled (Soft Sky, Crumb Cake, Whisper White Cardstock and Silver Glimmer Paper)
  • Large Rhinestone Basic Jewells (40)
Product name:Item #: Price: 
Festive Flurry Ornament Kit135813$14.95
Supplies are limited - these are only available while supplies last!

See it on YouTube HERE!

Hang In There

One of the nice things about being a card maker is I never have to drive to the store and try to choose (from a limited selection) just the right card for whatever the occasion might be. Case in point: I want to send a card to a family member who could use some cheering up, and a "Hang in there".  The stamp set From My Heart had just exactly the greeting and sentiment that I wanted (inside it says 'Hang in there'), and I got to choose the design. How cool is that? Sooo much better than any store-bought, mass-produced, printed card!

Again, the designer paper makes the card. The Venetian Romance DSP has so many completely different designs, yet they all complement each other. Yesterday's card also used Venetian Romance, so you really can see just how versatile it is!

The color in this photo is a little off - the main background is Pistachio Pudding, such a lovely light green. Not at all yellowish, like the photo.

We are now halfway through the 12 Weeks of Christmas for my mailing list subscribers. Don't miss out on the last six weeks of projects! Sign up today (on upper left) and you will get week 7 in your email tomorrow. The projects go out every Wednesday!

Stamps: From My Heart
Cardstock: Island Indigo, Very Vanilla, Venetian Romance DSP, Champagne Glimmer Paper
Ink: Island Indigo
Accessories: Big Shot, Labels Collection Framelits, Stampin' Dimensionals

Monday, November 11, 2013

Make It Mailable 13-11

From Millan.Net

Hello, peeps! It's Monday, and that means it's another mailable card today. But first I want to thank all our Veterans for serving our country and protecting our freedom. The depth of my gratitude can never be adequately expressed, so all I can offer is a humble THANK YOU!

Today's card is a variation of one we did in the Second Saturday Stampers club a couple days ago. That one had a rather large, bulky button which may have presented a problem in the postal sorting machinery. Today's card has a smaller (thinner) button, but it didn't have enough "oomph" for the card, so I added some feathers to make it more appealing. What do you think?

I just loved this image when it was current a few years ago because, honestly, I LOVE to color! Never outgrew that from when I was little. The Blender Pens are so much fun to use with the Classic Stampin' Pads. Every color is available to use, and you can make an infinite variety of shades, depending on how much color you pick up with the pen. The Watercolor Paper doesn't pill up when you color on it, either, so it's easy to lay down layers of color and deepen it where you need shadow.

Stamps: Best of Autumn, Gorgeous Grunge
Cardstock: Soft Suede, Early Espresso, Crumb Cake, Watercolor Paper, Venetian Romance DSP
Ink: StazOn Jet Black, Pumpkin Pie, Cajun Craze, Old Olive, Soft Suede, Real Red, Early Espresso
Accessories: Designer Naturals Buttons, Linen Thread, Mini Glue Dots, Stampin' Sponges

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Festive Flurry with a Twist

What is the twist, you ask?  Well, I don't know if you can see it unless you click on the photo, but I mixed Dazzling Diamonds into the White Stampin' Emboss powder to make the snowflakes extra glittery.  It looks really sparkly IRL!  Maybe this close-up will show it better:

I keep my embossing powders in the medium size (old style) stamp cases along with a plastic spoon for sprinkling the powder. (Hint: cut the hinged part off the case so the lid doesn't get in the way when using the powder.)  To make the sparkly white, I mixed two spoons of White EP with one spoon of Dazzling Diamonds glitter.  I liked it so much that I tried mixing some Black EP with Gold glitter, as an experiment. It looks AWESOME, too!

This card was CASEd from Donna Centamore's take on Freshly Made Sketch #104, but I made it a holiday card instead.  I think this one is going to be in the selection of cards I send this year!

Stamps: Festive Flurry, Endless Wishes
Cardstock: Whisper White, Island Indigo, Pool Party Core'dinations (Subtles pack)
Ink: VersaMark, Island Indigo
Accessories: Big Shot, Northern Flurry folder, Stampin' Sanding Block, Heat Tool, White Stampin' Emboss Powder, Dazzling Diamonds Stampin' Glitter, Embossing Buddy

Friday, November 8, 2013

Stepping it UP!

As promised, here are the stepped-up versions of yesterday's cards.  It was so much fun looking at each card and thinking up ways to make it a little more special, because there are so many ways that it can be done! I stuck with some of the basics; adding mats, texture, ribbon, banners, and paper-piercing. There were many more techniques I could have used, too; heat embossing, spritzing, sponging, masking, fancy folds, and so on.

For the first card, I stamped the greeting again in Crushed Curry, punched it out with the Modern Label punch and popped it up on dimensionals.  A narrow banner was added, as well as a mat behind the greeting. (Below each picture is a link to the original version, so you can compare.)

For card number two, all that was added was a border of Coastal Cabana Ruffled Trim around the image, with a little Bermuda Bay banner peeking out the bottom.

On the third card, a Coastal Cabana mat was added behind the DSP, so it pops a bit more. Then a some Coastal Cabana was embossed with the Square Lattice folder and used instead of the strip of DSP behind the image. The image panel was pierced all around with the Essentials Paper Piercing Pack, and a Paper-Piercing Tool and Mat.  I topped it off with a tiny Bermuda Bay bow. (You just knew I had to use a bow somewhere, right?) :D

So, there you have it! It's really easy to take a simple card to the next level, with very little effort. And the best part? These are all still mailable cards - none are too thick or heavy!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

More Mailable Examples (or, Letting the DSP Shine!)

I have "This DSP of mine, I'm gonna let it shine" stuck in my head. (Don't ask.)

From Millan.Net

I wanted to show some more examples of letting the Designer Series Paper carry the card, so I started pulling out some of my hoarded paper carefully organized paper supply and got to work.  Eastern Elegance DSP is so pretty, but I was really at a loss as to how to use it until I made this Make it Mailable card. Then the possibilities started flowing, and I got to work! Lookie what happened in a very short period of time!

This is such a fab way to use up some of the paper that you have hoarded stashed!  Between these simple cards and making envelopes with the Envelope Punch Board, I have no excuse for running out of paper storage room in my stamp cave!  And since I've gotten a peek at the new Designer Series Papers coming in the Occasions catalog (Jan. 3), I need to get busy making LOTS of room for the new schtuff!!!

Think these easy cards are a little too "simple" for your taste? Come back tomorrow and see how easy it is to step them up a notch!

Stamps (from top): Happy Day, Gifts of Kindness, Harvest of Thanks
Carsdtock: Whisper White, Coastal Cabana, Bermuda Bay, Crushed Curry, Eastern Elegance DSP
Ink: Bermuda Bay
Accessories: Big Shot, Apothecary Accents Framelits, Rhinestones Basic Jewels

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Joyful Christmas Wishes

You do realize there are only seven weeks until Christmas, right? That reality hit me a couple days ago and I immediately went into panic mode began calmly planning the upcoming festivities. Starting with the Christmas cards. Yes, Christmas may be seven weeks away, but the cards have to be completed, addressed and mailed in about four weeks. *Hyperventilating here*
From Millan.Net
So, today I'm sharing a pretty Christmas card made with the Joyful Christmas stamp set.  This is a card to be sent to someone special, since it takes just a tiny bit more time and effort to produce, but it will knock their Christmas stockings off when they receive it!  And yes, it is mailable!

The poinsettia was heat embossed in gold on vellum cardstock, but instead of coloring the back (stained glass technique), it was colored on the front for a deeper color. After coloring and drying, the excess ink was buffed off the gold embossing with a tissue, the flower was cut out, and petals curled by a bone folder.

Stamped/embossed/colored image again, and fussy-cut just the inner petals. Attached to flower with Mini Glue Dot. Placed a good size dollop of Crystal Effects in the center and covered with Champagne Glass Glitter. When completely dried, excess glitter was tapped off and poinsettia added to the card with a Stampin' Dimensional.

Okay, off to dream up more cards, and plan the holiday baking schedule. How are YOU doing with your holiday preps?  If you signed up for my mailing list, you'd be getting weekly ideas from the 12 Weeks of Christmas. It's easy, just subscribe using the link on the upper left!

Stamps: Joyful Christmas
Cardstock: Whisper White, Wild Wasabi, White Vellum, Pear Pizzazz DSP (Subtles stack)
Ink: VersaMark, Cherry Cobbler pad, Real Red and Gumball Green (In Color pack) Stampin' Write Markers
Accessories: Big Shot, Snowburst folder (retired), Heat Tool, Embossing Buddy, Gold Stampin' Emboss Powder, Crystal Effects, Champagne Glass Glitter, Stampin' Dimensionals, Mini Glue Dots