Friday, November 26, 2010

Sorrowing with You...

Why is it that the most important cards are the hardest to make?  I found out a few days ago that a sweet beautiful girl that used to live next door to us passed away unexpectedly.  I used to babysit her and her siblings all the time, and my heart is just breaking for her family.  Her funeral is tomorrow, so I wanted to make a card to take along. 

What strategies do you use for making "tough" cards like this one?  It's fun to make birthday cards and baby cards, but at the times when you most need to communicate love and support, it's harder to get what you're feeling onto paper.  I wanted to make something simple but still beautiful, and I also wanted to communicate something of how beautiful I thought this sweet girl was.  That is why I added the little butterfly with the pearl on it -- it's a detail that might not ever be noticed, but it means something to me.

On to the nitty gritty -- I used this week's CPS Sketch as my jumping-off point.  I embossed the background with my Cuttlebug, using a folder from Quickutz.  The stamps are from Stampin' Up, the ribbon is from Fancy Pants, and the butterfly is a cut file I designed myself and cut in Sure Cuts a Lot.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  Times like this remind me just how much I have to be thankful for, and how much others need our prayers in so many ways.  Blessings to all of you!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I have an album specifically for Christmas, but I am woefully behind.  So I was very happy to have my DT assignment to motivate me to dig out some old pictures and get to work.  This month I am working with the Joys of the Season cartridge and Glaze pens.  The only problem was I could NOT decide which cuts I wanted to use!  I decided that if I used the ornament feature, I could use a bunch of my favorite designs without making the layout too crazy.*

I used my Gypsy to plan out the whole layout.  First, I created a sort of sketch on my screen, planning where everything should go and making sure all the elements were the right size.  Then I rearranged the elements into one block for each color so I could cut out all the elements at the same time.  Saves a lot of time!  The row of small ornaments on the bottom are cut at about 1.75", and the big gold ornament at the top is about 2.5".  (The pointy ornament is a chipboard photo turn from this paper collection.)  I cut "Merry Christmas" using the shadow function at about 3", then used my Glaze pens to add the detail of the letters.  I love how whimsical and fun it turned out. I used a white Glaze pen to create the little numbers for the date.  Oh, dang it!  I just realized I put in the wrong year.  Well, I'll be fixing that as soon as I finish posting... :)

When I went to put everything together, the title was really getting lost on that busy ornament background, so I cut a gigantic red ornament to make a nice background for it.  The ornament is about 8" wide, and I added a yellow scallop-edged strip at the top to give it a little detail. 

Other materials: Patterned chipboard -- Daisy D's; Glimmer mist -- Tattered Angels; baker's twine -- Martha Stewart; scallop-edge punch -- Stampin' Up

When you're doing all your holiday shopping, don't forget some goodies to stuff your own stocking with! has free shipping for orders over $25 and they ship same day.  After all, you've been good all year! :)

*Actually, this layout is a little crazy for my tastes.  But isn't that kind of how Christmas is?  All the decorations and the presents and the kids in their bright pajamas?  I'm just going to run with it...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Bee-yewtiful Thanksgiving Giveaway

Sachiko at Tea Rose Home is doing a giveaway for Thanksgiving with the most beautiful goodies.  One is a gorgeous necklace, another is one of her beautifully trimmed bags, and the biggie is a $50 gift certificate to M&J Trimmings.  Yes, please!  Go check it out!  (It will even give you a chance to think about something you're thankful for!)

Friday, November 5, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

I really, really love Christmas!  I would seriously start celebrating in mid-September if I could get away with it, but somehow that's not okay... unless you're Costco, I guess.  The people around here want to celebrate things like Halloween and Thanksgiving, the weirdies... :)  But one of the benefits of being a crafter is that you have a great excuse to start your own personal celebrations early -- after all, you've got to be prepared ahead of time, right?

This month sent me the "Joys of the Season" cartridge to play with, and I was very very happy.  This is one of my all-time fave cartridges -- I love the elegant shapes and all the different goodies on the cartridge.  My first assignment this month was to create a card, and I did start out with that in mind, but then I thought, "What good is a card at Christmas without some chocolate to go with it?!"  So I turned my card into a big tag for a jar of Candy Cane Kisses (oh, yum!).

I used my Gypsy to size everything on this tag just right, but I'll give you the basic measurements. I cut the ornament tag base at about 4", then the wreath at about 3 1/2" and Santa at about 2 3/4".  I used adhesive foam to give dimension to all the different layers.  I also used Creamy Brown chalk ink for distressing, and these awesome Glaze pens to add some accents.  The smaller tag is just a die-cut from this Basic Grey paper pack with a couple little paper strips added.

These Glaze pens are so cool, because the create a raised effect like embossing.  I was just going to use them for accenting my die cuts, but then I read on the package that they can write on glass!  Well, that's just cool, right?  So I used them to add some vine-y artwork to my jar, and it turned out beautiful.  They write really smoothly on the glass and dry quickly.  (It didn't show up very well in the first photograph, so here's another with a white background so you can see it better.)

Bonus projects!  Like I said at the beginning, this cartridge is one of my favorites, and I use it for all sorts of projects.  I thought I'd include a little trip down memory lane, sharing some of my favorite Joys of the Season cards and other goodies: