Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas with Love

If you've been following my blog for a while, you know that Paul and I exchange home made cards for most special occasions.  This Christmas was no exception.  Paul made me a lovely quilled card - I think this is the first large snowflake he has made.

He called this a simplistic design, but I think it's pretty special and intricate.  The green panel has die cut openings and is popped up to create depth.

I went with a bit of a non-traditional color scheme and design - pink and green (from the Retro kit by Club Scrap). Paul loves hearts, so I stamped lots of them on pink paper with white ink and trimmed them out.  These are all from various Stampin' Up! sets, and some coordinated with punches (I love those!).  My message inside reflects more Christmas than the outside - he commented that this could be a Valentine's card!

It's always fun to see what Paul has created for me, and these cards are really special to us. Hope you enjoyed a special day with those you love.  We're looking forward to a week off from the usual routine and celebrating the beginning of a happy new year!

In case you missed them, here are some other cards we've exchanged...

I'll be back on January 2nd to show you how I'm now organizing my craft desk!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Merry Christmas - Christmas Joys Altered Book

This is my first, and so far only, finished altered book.  I'm not sure why - I really enjoyed it and love the finished product!  I made this about seven years and filled it with some of my favorite parts of Christmas.

This started out as a board book.  I peeled off the paper from the pages, and primed them all with gesso.

I was into a lot of aging back then, so I think a lot of the papers are walnut stained and of course there is tearing!  These little girls are still two of my favorite stamps.

No winter would be complete without some snowmen!

And, of course, the reason for the Christmas season is a holy one.  I've sung Silent Night many times with choirs and in church.  I was happy to find this music to include in my book.

I  made this book seven years ago, so I can't remember many of the techniques involved in making it, but I remember the feelings I had and cherish the time I had to put these memories in a book form.  I hope no matter what holidays you celebrate that you take some time to record your memories and cherish those you love.

Check back next week to see my holiday card to my darling husband.  I can't show it to you before he receives it!  We make a habit of making each other cards for holidays, and it sometimes gets a bit competitive!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Paper pieced cards inspired by a card

Debbie Olson recently had a card on her blog (Merry Kiss-mas) that inspired me to make these cards.

One thing I liked about her cards was her use of patterned paper and stitching.  I don't do a lot of stitching on my cards, so I used a black pen to draw stitches.

I also liked how she had a small focal point, and it wasn't overly elaborate.  I had fun searching through my stamps and found these adorable images that I haven't used in a long time.  Instead of coloring the image, I stamped on patterned paper, and then paper pieced some of the bits, like the star and button.

I wanted to add a greeting to the front, so I stamped tiny greeting, rounded the edge, and used my tiny attacher to give a little oomph to the right edge.

I'm starting to use tools like EverNote and Pinterest to collect ideas and then scan through them for inspiration.  It was a lot of fun to use Debbie's card as a starting point, and see how I could use my supplies to make it my own.  How have others inspired you?  How do you organize all of those pieces of inspiration?  Patterned paper and stamps are from Stampin' Up!; other cardstock from various Club Scrap kits.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Make a Ruffled Ribbon Border for a Card

When I made my set of cards for Club Scrap using the Tilescapes kit, I decided to play with ribbon and made this ruffled border on this card. (Check out the rest of the Tilescapes cards in the Club Scrap Scrap Rap)

I wanted to see how this might work for a holiday card (surprise, it does!): 

I had a few folks ask me how I did the border, and it couldn't be easier.  It's easiest to show, however, with a video.  My video shows how to do the ruffled border and how to make those adorable holly leaves.

Here is the final card that I was working on in the video. The background is subtle, but more pronounced in real life:

I'd love to see what you make using this technique!  If you don't already have a tiny attacher, check it out at Amazon, or my previous blog post where I review it and show another sample card.  If you like the background stamp, check out the 2011 WOW Holiday set. The greeting stamp is from the Angels on High collection.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Tutorial: A snowy paper-pieced scene

While on vacation for Thanksgiving, I was watching some podcasts, and got inspired to make a card featuring a paper-pieced Christmas scene. If you haven't seen it already, check out Christine's Scraptime podcast that shows her paper piecing snowmen, or Amy's blog and video featuring a snowy scene.

I started by stamping my snowman (Happy Snowman from Hero Arts, no longer available) on white paper and patterned paper.  Trim around the outer edge of the white snowman, and the pieces that want to be patterned paper - in my case, the scarf and hat.

I used my Fiskar's Rotary Cutter to trim pieces that look like a rolling hill from a piece of blue patterned paper (a 6x6 pack from Stampin' Up!). 


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