Thursday, November 29, 2012

Holiday Cards in a Snap!

December 1st is just a few days away, which means I'm behind on my Christmas cards (again!).  If December has surprised you, too, never fear!  Today I'm featuring some great holiday cards that come together in a snap!

First, gather your supply of Basis Cardstock.  My favorites for this season are Dark Red, Light Brown, Red, Navy, White, Green and Natural.  Right now, through the end of November, they are all on sale!

Next, gather some coordinating ribbon, die cuts, and embellishments.  Below I'll show some supplies I gathered

For the Blue & Silver card
For the snowflake card
For the house card

For the poinsettia card
 I love to use up random leftover supplies from other projects, so a lot of what I gathered came from those leftovers.  I essentially started out with the same idea with each card.  An A2 card base made from the cardstock, then layering cardstock that's 1/4" smaller than the card front on top.  The differences come in once I have the layers completed.  

For example, on the Navy and Silver card, I used a piece of Stardream Metallic Silver 65# cover cardstock to emboss in my embosssing folder.  I really love the way the shimmer pops when embossed!

On the gingerbread house card, I used a tag by We R Memory Keepers Yuletide Collection.  I tied some ribbon and baker's twine, but I felt like it needed something more.  After adhering to my card front with 3D foam tape, I used some Close to My Heart Glitz Glue in Almond to accent the scallops on the roof and the bow on the wreath.  I think it adds quite a bit, don't you?  I also embossed the sentiment with white embossing powder to look like icing. 
For the Green Snowflake card, I tapped into that same Yuletide collection by We R Memory Keepers and grabbed the snowflake tag.  I carefully cut off the tab of the tag, and then added a pearl accent from Close to My Heart.  I embossed some snowflakes and the sentiment using white embossing powder, and rounded the corners of the layers.  What a different look!

For the last card, I used my Close to My Heart Art Philosophy Cricut Cartridge to create the label and used a coordinating stamp by CTMH to stamp the sentiment onto the Natural cardstock.  I used some shimmery gold ribbon and the poinsettia stickers to finish it off.  (the is one little sparkle added to either side of the sentiment)/

Here they are all together:

Happy Stamping! 


P.S. I wanted to show you a tip for your embossing powder.  I like to use those disposable plastic containers for my embossing powders, that way, I don't need a tray, I just keep the powder in them until I'm ready to emboss, then snap the lid back on and put it away!  Truly less mess and fuss!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Paint the Season Red

The holidays are upon us and I love to decorate with the bright and cheery color red...but not all reds are created equal, so today I'm going to share a little comparison of some of Cut Card Stock's Metallic reds...side-by-side in my studio. I've made some gift tags to demonstrate.
 I used four metallic reds for comparison:
Curious Metallics and Stardream Metallics. I know it is a challenge to really see the beauty of these on the monitor but at least you can get a nice idea of the relative colors of them when you see them together.
The reds left to right are:
Stardream Metallic Mars and Jupiter.
Curious Metallic Bloom and Red Laquer

First I played around with three frame stamps, a couple of inks and some embossing powders...

I inked up three frame stamps on one acrylic block.
 Then stamping the trio onto to Basis White card stock.
 After, sprinkle with red embossing powder, I tapped off excess and heat embosses.
I used two red powders and also gave gold a try.
After adding some additional seasonal sayings, and trimming the frames, I was ready to add them to the shimmery paper and embellish them...yeah, play time!

At some point, I stumbled onto this handsome Santa stamp and he won my creative heart. Here he is.
One of the interesting qualities of metallic paper is that because of its shiny and slippery surface, inks tend to stay on top and not get soaked up. Normally, when you want to heat emboss, you use an ink formulated to dry slowly, but in this case, use a dye ink (a speedy dry one).

So stamp Santa in a dye ink and heat to emboss in an Opaline embossing powder...what an incredible shimmer Santa has. Check out those tags.

Papers: Curious Metallics Red Laquer and Bloom, Stardream Metallics Mars and Jupiter, Basis White (
Stamping: Santa's Wish Stamp (Stampers Anonymous), Holiday Tag Clear Stamps (Hero Arts), Doodlebug Frames (Hampton Arts); Stampabilities Eggplant dye ink (Crafts, Etc.); Top Boss Watermark ink (Clearsnap), Encore Ultimate Metallic Gold ink (Tsukineko); Embossing Powders--Red Dragon (Stampendous), Chinese Firecracker (PK Glitz), Opaline (Sparkle N' Sprinkle)
Other stuff: Martha Stewart Edge punch (EK Success), Fibers (BasicGrey), PVA glue, Glue Dots, dimensional adhesive, ribbon, heart brad, gold embossing powder, acrylic stamp blocks

Friday, November 23, 2012

Easy Gift Card Holder

Hopefully you're back from your mall madness and Black Friday frazzle and are ready to relax a bit.  I've got a fun little project to share today that will go perfectly with all the gift cards you just picked up and aren't sure how to "wrap" to make the perfect gift.
Even though stores typically give away free gift card holders, none are going to be as adorable (and appreciated) as this handmade one.  And, don't tell anyone, but they're really simple to make!
Start with a 9.25" x 3" strip of card stock.  I used's Basis in red as my base.  I scored the strip at 4.25" and 8.25".  Next I rounded the two corners closest to the portion that will be the flap.
I used a tiny hole punch and made two holes on the score line (see photo) and then ran baker's twine through the holes, tied a knot, and slid that to the center between the holes on the inside of the holder.
Now for the fun part -- the stamping and decorating!  I used Fresh Squeezed Stamps' clear stamp set called Subway Series: Holidays, for yes, this holiday project as well.  I'm sure getting my money's worth this winter on this one stamp set!  I stamped the Christmas stamp in Olive Grove ink by Memento onto Neenah Classic Crest in Solar White card stock.  I trimmed the image fairly close and then mounted it onto patterned paper from Authentique's Festive line.
This gift card holder opens and closes much like a match book, so when I mounted the stamped piece to the front of the holder, I didn't put adhesive on the top 1" or so of the piece.  This allows for the flap to easily slip under this piece and keep the holder closed.

The inside of the gift card holder is simply made.  I used another piece of Festive patterned paper (cut to approximately 3.75" x 2.375") and punched two rounded notches, one on either side, with a paper punch and slipped a gift card under the notches.  You can use a bit of repositionable adhesive on the back of the gift card to ensure it stays put.
With the handy twine in place, this also makes a fun Christmas tree ornament and gift in ONE!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Monday, November 19, 2012

Digital Thank You {Free Download}

The week of Thanksgiving is upon us.... how are your plans coming along?  In the midst of grocery shopping, menu planning, thawing the bird and of course planning your shopping strategy for Black Friday, it's nice to take a little time to remember those we are thankful for.
You may already be addressing your Christmas cards, but how about dropping a nice little Thank You in the mail for someone, or creating a thoughtful card to hand deliver to someone on Thanksgiving day?  We are here to help you out it a bit with two free downloadable images that will make creating that special card a breeze.

The images are available for you to download for free and use as many times as you'd like.  Just head over to, add the cards to your shopping cart and check out.  While you're there, you may want to stock up on cardstock, envelopes and invitation sets to get you through the holidays!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thank You Card and Hostess Gift

Whether you are spending Thanksgiving dinner at your home or somewhere else, we are approaching the season of holiday parties. It's always nice to bring a little something for the hostess in appreciation of her efforts for a gracious gathering. So here is a lovely thank you card and hostess gift to take along.
The gift container began as a humble gelato container and now it can hold just about any kind of treat you want, home made or store bought.
You can see how the Pop Tone Cotton Candy card stock matches the lid perfectly. I was so excited about that!

I began by covering the container. I recommend using double sided tape on the top edge of  the border paper so it can "absorb" any shaping issues. Then use a piece down the short edge. The photo below shows the die template I chose for the size of the lid (S4-114 Standard Circles LG). I cut it from Basis Brown. You could also measure it and use a computerized cutter or any one of the awesome circle cutters or punches out there.
Here the bin is covered, now let's "fuss it up."
Using Cotton Candy again, die cutS7-014 Classic Lace die template and S4-224 Snowflake Border. Also punch 6-10 large snowflakes.
I wasn't sure how exactly to layout the snowflakes but realized I could "try it out" on my desk. Here are two examples that I designed.
I chose the top version and used the extra snowflakes, cut into smaller pieces, to decorate the lid.

Now, for the card, I used the border that made the small snowflakes that you see from the die cut board.
In between each of the snowflakes was a hole in which I threaded ribbon. I assembled the card on the Basis Brown, and then onto the Basis Natural card back.
When I finished I had the following:

They are nice but I felt like they were missing something--glitter glue! YES!! Then they became this...just what it needed, don't you think.

As we approach the winter break, think about teachers and other professionals who might feel the spirit of the season if they received a gift like this. Sounds like an assembly line just might be in order.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Papers Basis Brown, Natural, Pop Tone Cotton Candy (
Tools Grand Calibur die cutting system, S4-114 Standard Circles LG, S4-224 Snowflake Border (retired) , S7-014 Classic Lace Border Grand (retired) (Spellbinders Paper Arts), Martha Stewart snowflake punch (EK Success)
Other Star Dust Stickles (Ranger), PVA Glue, ribbons, gems, decorative pin

Monday, November 12, 2012

Paper Pumpkin Table Decoration

I thought it would be fun to make paper pumpkins as table decorations this Thanksgiving.  You really don't need to be super crafty to complete these cute pumpkins.

All you need is:
½" x 11" Basis cardstock in Dark Orange, Olive, and Light Brown.  I love the Basis cardstock for this project because of the slight texture.  It really is very pretty for fall decorations.

¼" - 1 ½" circle punch
a heart or leaf punch (I used a scalloped heart by Fiskars)

red line tape or a hot glue gun

Alphabet stamp and brown ink, if turning into place card holders.

Start out by cutting the Basis Dark Orange cardstock in half, creating two 4¼"  x 5½" pieces.  Then, cut about twelve ½" x 5 ½ " strips.  With remaining cardstock, punch two circles using the circle punch.  Either size will be fine.  

Next, I ran the cardstock strips across the edge of my table to curve the strips.  This really makes the pumpkin rounded nicely- otherwise you get a sort of bend in the strip, instead of the curve. 

I used tiny strips of red line tape (or you can use hot glue) to adhere each strip to the cardstock circle, alternating sides to prevent the pumpkin from being lopsided.   Once all the strips are adhered to the base, you can adhere the strips to the second cardstock circle at the top.

After the pumpkin is together, you can work on the stem and leaf.  I punched a leaf from the Basis Olive cardstock and then cut a strip of cardstock from one edge, the strip is less than 1/8" wide.  I curled the cardstock around a pen to create the twirly vine look.  

For the stem, I cut a piece of 1½" x 8 ½" from the light brown cardstock.  Using fringe scissors, I cut the strip as shown in the photo.  I rolled the strip up and used redline tape to hold it together.   

 I adhered the vine and stem to the leaf before adhering to the pumpkin.

In this example, I made a small banner from the light brown Basis cardstock and stamped a name on it to create a place card.

This would also be a cute teacher gift in the fall using red strips to create an apple.  Hope this inspires you to do something crafty!

Happy Stamping!