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Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

We looked at a Thanksgiving card yesterday, so why not start looking at Christmas cards next?

I was mildly horrified to go to Home Depot on Sunday afternoon to buy a couple extra rakes (because our children are now big enough to do manual labor for us – yay!) and find that the entire indoor garden section had already been taken over by Christmas decorations.  I mean, what about Halloween, what about Thanksgiving?  Of course the kids were beside themselves to find that such a thing as an inflatable Tyrannosaurus Rex wearing a Santa hat exists in this world!  What fun!  Can we buy it, Mom, can we buy it?

Sigh.  How about if we start stockpiling some handmade cards for all those teacher gifts and neighbor gifts that we’ll be handing out in December?

When you look at the Mosaic Madness stamp set, is Christmas the first thing that comes to mind?

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It was not the first thing that came to my mind.  If anything, I can imagine using some of these shapes as ornaments, but when I was browsing Pinterest one night and saw where someone had used them to make up a whole tree, I was blown away!  Thanks, Rachel Woollard, for this fabulous idea!

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Materials:

  • Stamp Sets:  Mosaic Madness, Sweet Essentials
  • Ink:  Garden Green, Old Olive, Pear Pizzazz, Wild Wasabi, Always Artichoke, Real Red
  • Cardstock:  Real Red, Whisper White, Real Red Glimmer Paper, Soft Suede
  • Tools and Accessories:  Mosaic Punch, Dimensionals, paper snips, and I made the red star using a retired set of framelits from last year but I think the Frosted Finishes embellishments would look stunning as well:

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Tips:

  • I stamped an assortment of the mosaic shape in a variety of ink colors and punched them all out at once.  It really saves a lot of cardstock if you use a long strip about 1″ wide and stamp a whole row of shapes on it to be punched out.   This is a great use for scraps that you are hanging onto (I don’t know about everyone else, but I keep a giant folder full of Whisper White scraps from previous projects and I always go digging in there for projects like this that need small pieces rather than cut up a full sheet.)
  • I used my Petite Pennants Punch to cut a piece of Soft Suede and snipped off the pointy end to make the “pot” that the tree is sitting in.  The tree trunk is a small scrap that I just cut freehand with my paper snips.

Don’t forget all the promotions that are going on right now:

 

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Look at this adorable gift!  One of my fellow demonstrators, Kim Parker, made one of these for everyone at our quarterly group meeting.  It is so cute, I can’t wait to make a few myself for last-minute gifts. 

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If you’d like to make one of these cute trees yourself, Kim found the tutorial on Brenda Quintana’s blog, Qbee’s Quest.  This is a great project for your Simply Scored tool

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Oh my gosh, it’s seriously time to get down to business and get ready for Christmas. How did that happen so fast?

To be quite honest, Thanksgiving is really my favorite holiday – I love the idea of just taking a break from our busy lives and spending some time with loved ones to give thanks.  My husband has decreed that Thanksgiving is our non-travel holiday, so instead of going over the river and through the woods to see BOTH our kids’ grandmothers like we do at Christmas and worrying about packing all those gifts, we just enjoy a little staycation at home and make way more turkey than we really need so that I can enjoy leftovers and no grocery shopping for about five days.  🙂  With our children old enough now at 3 and 5 to entertain themselves for a bit when they get up in the morning, we even slept in* a few days for probably the first time since 2006!  It was heavenly.

* “Slept in” means getting up at 7:30 or 8:00 instead of the usual 6:00 AM that is required to get a kid on the bus in time for school.  I think our days of REALLY sleeping in on weekends are gone forever.

That 6:00 AM alarm clock on Monday jolted us back to reality and daily routine, and yesterday my children both came home from school with letters about Christmas music programs and class holiday parties –  I started counting the days and all of a sudden Christmas is RIGHT around the corner!  I have been working along steadily making cards since July or so but can always use more – even if only to stockpile extras to enclose with small gifts for people like our mail carrier and my hairdresser and all those people you remember at the last minute.  Plus, I keep seeing more cute ideas from other stampers every day using products I already have, so I just have to try them out!

Here is a quick one I have CASE’d from my very own upline demonstrator, Beth Crocker.  I just love this idea.  Last year I made a wreath out of branches I’d punched from green cardstock using my Bird punch, but this one is so much faster…just stamp a circle of snowflakes!

Materials:

Tip:  I punched a 2 1/2″ circle out of a piece of scrap cardstock and used that to trace a circle very lightly with pencil on the front of the card as a guide – then I just made sure to stamp all the snowflakes centered on that pencil line.  Using clear mount stamps helps because you can see the line right through the block.

Don’t forget the Online Extravaganza ends Wednesday, 11/28!  Click on the image above to browse all the products on sale for up to 50% off!

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Snow Flurry

Here’s a great wintertime card using some great new items from the 2012 Holiday Catalog.   I make sure to do a snowflake card for my classes and workshops each holiday season.  For the past couple years I’ve been using the Northern Flurry embossing folder, but I love this year’s new Snow Flurry die and Snowflake Soiree stamp set!

Materials:

  • Stamp Set:  Snowflake Soiree
  • Ink:  Marina Mist, Bashful Blue, Whisper White craft ink
  • Cardstock:  Bashful Blue, Whisper White
  • Tools and Accessories:  Big Shot with Snow Flurry die, Pearls Basic Jewels, Sponge daubers, Stampin’ Dimensionals

Tip:  To make the “snowbanks” in the foreground, I took two pieces of Whisper White cardstock and tore along one edge of each piece by hand. I sponged the torn edges using Marina Mist ink and a handy sponge dauber, and layered them as shown on the front of the card.  This is an easy technique and really gives a different look to your card.

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I am seeing cards like this all over Pinterest lately!  I love going to Pinterest for ideas when I am in a creative rut, I always find something new to try out.  Here is a very simple yet elegant Christmas card, but you could take this layout and use different paper and a different greeting and make a great card for any occasion.  I used Stampin’ Up!’s Be of Good Cheer designer series paper for a classic holiday color scheme – just cut into 1″ wide strips, cut those cute little flagged ends with scissors or  corner of a square punch, and arrange around your greeting as desired.

Materials:

This card uses this fantastic 3/8″ stitched satin ribbon, which not only coordinates perfectly with the DSP, but it is part of our current “Back to Spool” promotion.  If you love this ribbon, get it free with any $40 purchase during the month of September!  It is available in each of our five newest In Colors.  I love this ribbon, I can’t wait to get myself a few more spools for free!

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When I was a little girl, scratch and sniff was all the rage.  I remember having scratch and sniff stickers that smelled like lime.  I can still remember exactly how that lime smelled, it was delightful.  But better even than stickers was this book (copyright 1978!) that combined the novelty of scratch and sniff with the world of Richard Scarry!  I loved this book when I was in preschool.  So much so that my mom saved it for 30 years so that MY kids could enjoy it.

Now, a few decades spent in an attic seem to have lessened the sniffi-ness of these pages a little bit, but this page still smells EXACTLY like a freshly cut Christmas tree:

And I swear this smells exactly like my grandmother’s pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving Day:

So, is scratch and sniff still cool, or is it a trend that has come and gone?  Let’s experiment and see how the kids of the 21st century like it!  Here is a picture of what happened the first time my daughter looked at this book, she was probably 18 months old.

Oh, it gets even better:

My husband and I were rolling on the floor laughing (although later we admitted this made us a little bit concerned about what her adolescent years may bring…).  But we can definitely say scratch and sniff still has appeal.

So, for the grown up crowd like me who love the way scents can evoke such strong feelings (especially around the holidays!), Stampin’ Up! has come up with another great way to bring smell to paper.  Unlike the scratch and sniff of my childhood, now we have scented embossing powder!  The scent is activated when you heat set the powder.  Scents include peppermint, sugar and spice, vanilla, melon, and cherry – all yummy in their own way! Here’s one I made with the new Peppermint Stick embossing powder in the holiday catalog (I only wish I could convey smell via the internet!).  I CASED this card from Heidi Boos (thank you, Pinterest!)

Materials:

  • Stamp Sets:  Scentsational Season*, Pennant Parade
  • Ink:  Real Red, Versamark
  • Cardstock:  Whisper White, Real Red, Old Olive DSP (from Brights Collection Designer Series Paper Stack)
  • Tools and Accessories:  Stamp-a-ma-jig, Peppermint Stick scented embossing powder* and heat tool, Big Shot with Labels Framelits and Holiday Collection Framelits*, Bitty Buttons, white baker’s twine, Glue Dot, Stampin’ Dimensionals

*indicates new item from 2012 Holiday Catalog

Tip – These scented powders are clear, so if you want a colored image, you either need to use craft ink or stamp twice – once with your colored Classic ink and then again in Versamark.  Here are the steps I took:

  1. Stamp candy canes using Real Red Classic Ink.
  2. Stamp candy canes again in Versamark (using Stamp-a-ma-jig to place Versamark directly over Real Red image)
  3. Cover versamark with scented embossing powder, shake of excess, and set using a heat tool (as you’re heating, enjoy the amazing scent that fills the room!)
  4. Cut shape out using Big Shot and coordinating Framelit and adhere to card

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Yesterday we took my daughter to her kindergarten orientation.  It’s an exciting new adventure.  FYI, fifth graders look REALLY BIG compared to kindergarteners.  🙂  And elementary schools are big enough these days that we had to consult our floor plan multiple times during orientation.

It definitely went better than my kindergarten orientation in 1983.  That August night, there was a huge summer thunderstorm, the power went out while we were at the school, and most of the orientation was conducted by flashlight.  I was already kind of hesitant about the whole thing, and when my new teacher looked like she might start telling scary campfire stories at any time it did NOT help!  Thankfully when the first day of school came around, the lights were on and my teacher turned out to be pretty much the sweetest lady in the history of the world.

My daughter is much more adventurous and outgoing than I was at that age and she is PUMPED for kindergarten.  She was so excited to meet her teacher (who also seems wonderful) and see her classroom.  She introduced herself to the kid who’s going to sit next to her, she found her locker, she explored the library and gym and cafeteria, we met her bus driver.  That’s right, they had all the BUS DRIVERS at orientation.  I remember my bus driver as being this somewhat intimidating gruff man who pretty much never talked to the kids on the bus unless someone was misbehaving.  Fortunately, my daughter’s bus driver is this super pleasant, friendly lady who seems like she knows all the kids in our neighborhood.

Meeting all these new people (teacher, principal, assistant principal, librarians, bus driver…and we didn’t even meet the PE and music teachers) makes me think about all the little cards and gifts we’re going to want to be handing out around the holidays.  Like I said before, better make a few things a week all fall so I’m not pulling all nighters in November and December.

Here is a neat little card that DOESN’T USE THE BIG SHOT.  Gasp. When was the last time I made a card that did not utilize the Big Shot in some way, whether for embossing or for die cutting?  If you do not own a Big Shot, this one’s for you:

Materials:

  • Stamp Set: Snowflake Soiree*
  • Ink:  Bashful Blue, Marina Mist, Midnight Muse
  • Cardstock:  Marina Mist, Whisper White
  • Tools and Accessories:  Versamark ink with Pewter embossing powder and a heat tool

* indicates new item from 2012 Holiday Catalog

This card uses a little technique called Triple Time stamping that seems to be a big trend right now, I am seeing it everywhere!  Here’s how you do it:

  1. Cut six pieces of cardstock as follows:  Marina Mist: 8 1/2″x5 1/2″ (card base), 3 1/4″x4 1/2″, 2 1/4″x3 1/2″;  Whisper White:  4″x5 1/4″, 3″x4 1/4″, 2″x3 1/4″.   This should only take one 8 1/2″x11″ sheet of each color and you will have scrap left over for another project.
  2. Stack up your three pieces of white cardstock (arranged concentrically).  I recommend using a teensy bit of temporary adhesive between layers so they don’t accidentally shift when you stamp on them…I used a tiny swipe of glue stick which did the trick and unstuck easily when I was ready to separate the three pieces to be adhered to the Marina Mist mats.
  3. Stamp as desired on the assembly of white cardstock.  Try to distribute your images randomly yet evenly throughout the space, and definitely stamp across the edges of your smaller pieces of cardstock.  You will notice that there is a small gap in the stamped image between the edge of one layer and the continuation of the image on the layer below, but don’t worry…the Marina Mist borders will hide that when you add them in the next step.  If you plan to stamp a sentiment on your card, leave a space for it so things don’t look too busy.
  4. Separate the white pieces of cardstock and adhere them to the corresponding Marina Mist cardstock.  Then adhere the layers to the front so that the stamped images align correctly across the layers.  Easy peasy!

Try this technique with different colors and stamp sets.  I have seen lovely versions done with floral stamps and summery colors, and I can’t wait to try something with leaves and my Rich Regal ink colors for the fall!

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