12/26/12

Happy Boxing Day

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas day with friends and family, lots of good food, lots of laughter and fun! Wikipedia has this (and more) to say about Boxing Day -

“Boxing Day is traditionally the day following Christmas Day, when servants and tradesmen would receive gifts from their superiors or employers, known as a "Christmas box". Today, Boxing Day is better known as a bank or public holiday that occurs on 26 December, or the first or second weekday after Christmas Day, depending on national or regional laws. It is observed in the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and some other Commonwealth nations.”

Without further ado, here are the final three Christmas cards of 2012.

Another CASE, I’m afraid. Different paper, different sentiment, but same basic layout. A CASE of a CASE, apparently – here is where I found it. It was just such a striking card, I couldn’t help myself. The embossing folder is by Darice, I found it at Hobby Lobby a while back. The faux brads are actually Candi Dots, attached with a little foam adhesive. Much easier than real brads! The patterned paper is BoBunny and the sentiment is Hero Arts, of course.

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My husband needed a card for Richard’s Coffee Shop and asked for an all-out over-the-top card this year. He is on the board of directors and spends a lot of his free time volunteering and hanging out with his friends there, so I had to honor his request and do my best to impress him. What do you think – mission accomplished?

The poinsettia is made with a Spellbinders die and I used red and green suede paper for the flower and leaves. The layers are popped up with foam adhesive so it is a very dimensional card, which is not a problem since it wasn’t being mailed.

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Here is the last of the bunch. I had to have this die from Taylored Expressions and I don’t regret this purchase at all! It cuts beautifully using the metal shim in the Big Shot. Attaching it is not really a problem either, because the holly leaves are big enough to add glue dots or liquid glue. I used 1/8” Scor Tape around the edges and adhered it to some red suede paper.

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Well, another Christmas season is behind us, we have survived the Mayan apocalypse and now it’s on to another year. What’s in store for you in 2013? Do you do New Year’s resolutions? I have been giving it some thought and there are several things I would like to accomplish in 2013. One of them is honing my photographic and photo editing skills. I have all of the tools I need to create really wonderful photos, I just need to learn how to use them effectively.

What’s on your list for next year?

12/24/12

Merry Christmas Eve

I hope everyone is doing well this fine Christmas Eve! All of the decorating is done, packages wrapped and under the tree, cards finished and mailed. It’s time to relax, kick back, pour a glass of your favorite holiday beverage and enjoy the evening.

This is one of those cards that I could have made a LOT of this year. It was tempting to just make this my one and only Christmas card this time, but then I felt guilty about all of the other stamps and dies. Every year I promise myself I won’t buy any new Christmas stamps and stuff, but every year I break that promise.

The stars are made with a Simon Says Stamp exclusive die called Falling Stars. I was a little disappointed with it at first because it left an impression of the edge of the die on my paper. It is a large die but instead of being a rectangle piece of metal, it is trimmed around the edges of the stars and that’s what left the impression. Kristina Werner was kind enough to offer a suggestion and it helped quite a bit – she said to run the die through with the side first instead of head first. Using thinner paper like this Stardreams helped, too. Most of the impression is at the bottom where there are fewer stars and that part is usually covered up anyway, so it’s all good.

I added some shiny, sparkly holographic paper behind the stars. It is hard to capture in a photo but it’s very striking in person. The landscape die is from Memory Box and the sentiment is by Hero Arts, stamped in Memento Nautical Blue. That is such a pretty navy blue ink and I love the way it works so well with clear stamps.

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Here’s a close-up – you can sort of see the sparkliness, yeah?

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Just to change it up a bit I made a vertical version. Same die, same sparkly paper, sentiment from a Technique Tuesday set. There was a tiny smudge of ink inside the O in Joy on one of the cards, so I added the snowflake gem to cover it. I liked the way it looked, so I added the gem to all of them. It was not a mistake, but an opportunity for embellishment.

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Merry Christmas!

12/23/12

A little more Christmas

Procrastination is my middle name and as I have mentioned before, it seems I work best under pressure. As usual, I waited until the last minute to get all of my Christmas cards finished. They are all in the mail and there are even a few left over for next year.

I tend to overwhelm myself by dragging out ALL of my Christmas stamps, paper, embossing folders, dies, ribbon….a whole heap of stuff, and then I just sit and look at it, wondering where to start. I did end up with a couple of sets unopened and unused but I am ok with that – I’ll use them next year and they will feel like brand new stamps! There were a couple of dies that I regret buying because they were just too much trouble to deal with, picking out all of the tiny pieces and sometimes not cutting all the way through, but that’s the chance you take buying intricate dies, I guess. Sometimes I wonder if the designers think of that when they design the things. It just shouldn’t take so much time and effort to cut out one little shape! Anyway, on to the cards…

I had to make a couple of kitty cards for my cat loving friends. I made 2 of these:

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The kitty is by Stampendous, colored with Copic markers, and the sentiment is Hero Arts. I remembered that I had the Tim Holtz edges die and was determined to use it at least once. So I did. I used it twice. Mission accomplished.

I saw this one on Krafting Kelly’s blog and had to CASE it. I used my Silhouette to cut out the trees, added some patterned paper and a little twine and boom! done! I made half a dozen of these using different patterned papers. They were just so easy and I love the way they turned out. Thanks, Kelly!

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That’s it for today. I hope everyone is staying warm and avoiding the last minute shopping craziness. Most of my shopping was done online and shipped directly to the recipients this year, no mall madness for me!

I will be back soon with a few more Christmas cards. Thanks for stopping by.

12/16/12

Snowflake wreath

I got a little punch happy with this one! I’ve seen so many wreath cards lately, I   decided to just use snowflakes instead of branches or holly. The snowflakes are punched from Stardreams paper using the Tonic Studios Medium Snowflake punch, with their Snowflake Pop-Up punch in the center. I used gems in the center of the snowflakes again and added a little blue and silver bow.

The sentiment is from a Technique Tuesday set and I made my own pop-up banner because I don’t have the die that everyone’s using these days.

I know it goes past the edges of the card but I can just use a slightly larger envelope. Problem solved!

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That’s all I have for today. I will be posting more Christmas cards as soon I stop procrastinating and get them finished.

12/14/12

And now for the blue period…

Apparently my camera (or the photographer) is no better with blue than with red. Maybe it’s because the paper is shiny. I used Stardreams for the background and it does cause the camera a little trouble. That’s what it is ;-).

I saw a similar design on Kath’s blog and I really like it, so I CASEd it! She does such beautiful work. All, or most, of her cards are square and I guess in the U.K. that’s normal, but over here it costs extra to mail, so I adapted it to the standard A2 size.

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I used the Tonic Christmas Tree again, along with the Snowfall border and the Star Multi Detail punch. The small snowflakes around the star were left when I punched the border – a twofer! There are gems in the center of the snowflakes, but they are hard to see in this photo. The sentiment is Hero Arts, from a small clear set that is several years old. I added the dashed lines with a navy blue Sharpie marker.

I probably should have changed the background paper to something a little more compatible with blue and while before I took the photo. Sigh.

12/12/12

More red and green

Not so much red on this one, thank goodness. I love this SU stamp, even though it’s at least a couple of years old. Some things never go out of style.

The edge is punched using the Tonic Border System and the larger Riblet punch. I really wanted to use the plaid ribbon but it wasn’t wide enough for the slots, so I backed it with some red satin and I like the way it turned out. The tree is, of course, colored with Copics and gems added for the ornaments. The edge on the sentiment is an SU border punch.

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Do those look like eyes to you?

12/10/12

Red again!

Here we go with another badly photographed red card. Sigh.

This one uses the Christmas Tree punch from Tonic Studios and a Stampin’ Up sentiment. The embossing folder is by Sizzix.

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I added Glitter Ritz-ed circles of Scor-Tape behind the Christmas Trees, but the glitteriness is barely visible in this photo. This is a better representation of the correct red, though. Why can’t it be correct on all of the photos?? Argh!

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Thanks for stopping by!

12/8/12

Ho Ho Ho!

One more Christmas card using my Tonic Studio punches. This time, it’s reindeer and a sleigh.

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I don’t know why my camera has such trouble with red! Anyway, I tried to punch the reindeer in a row like they were taking off and pulling the sleigh behind them. The other 4 reindeer are obviously already airborne but I don’t know what happened to Santa ;-). I couldn’t figure out a good way to connect them with a harness of sorts, so I didn’t. My drawing skills are severely lacking and I didn’t wish to screw up the whole card by trying to draw something. Maybe it’s an invisible harness. Yeah, that’s the ticket – it’s an invisible harness. Or is it called traces? Or harnesses and traces? I don’t know.

The sentiment stamp is one I found in the dollar bin at Michael’s a couple of years ago. I colored the letters and holly with Copic markers, and added a bit of bling for the berries.

Stay tuned for more Christmas cards soon!

12/6/12

Another Tonic Studios card

I decided to go with the traditional red and green for this one, along with a bit of bling here and there. I love a little extra bling this time of year, don’t you?

The sentiment is from a Hero Arts clear set – Miracle of the Holiday, new this year.

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The punches I used are 954 Holly Accent and 941 Edger Punch 2, along with the Border System. All of the boot punches can be used on its own or with the Border System, as I did here, to create a continuous border.

It is a little difficult to see in the photo, but I punched the white card stock first, using the Edger Punch 2 and the Holly Accent punches. I punched some smaller circles out of Scor-Tape, adhered them to the back of the holly and added some green Glitter Ritz glitter. The Holly Accent punch also punches 3 holes for the holly berries but I couldn’t find a way to get red glitter onto them because they are so close and so small, so I used sparkly red stickers instead. Then I adhered the white piece to a piece of red card stock, punched another piece of red card stock with the Edger Punch and used the negative piece above the holly, which created the appearance of a partial circle around the holly. Since it is an edge punch, there was only a fairly narrow strip, so I added another piece of the same red card stock above it and covered the place where they’re joined with a piece of ribbon. The holly next to the sentiment was also made using the same punch, I just punched the holly from a green piece of card stock, adhered them with the Quickie Glue Pen and used the same red stickers for the berries.

The Holly Accent punch looks like this:

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See how close the berries are? I suppose I might have been able to get red glitter in there if I had been very, very patient, but after 2 or 3 cups of coffee it just wasn’t happening.

I really do like these punches and the Border System makes it so easy to create a lovely border using the edge punches, accent punches the medium punches, or any combination of them. The punches are sharp and punch through Bazzill paper pretty easily, which is something most of my other punches do not do very well.

Again, thanks for stopping by and I will have more cards to show you soon.

12/5/12

Time to get started on Christmas cards

Thanksgiving is over and Christmas will be here before we know it. Last week the UPS truck showed up with a box full of new goodies from Tonic Studios for me and I got to work straight away creating Christmas cards with them.

I thought I’d have a go at a clean and simple design, and I think this one almost qualifies, even though it does have layers. I liked the first card so much I decided to create a set of 6, each one using a different punch and in a different color.

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Here are the individual cards and the punches I used for each one.

I tried and tried to get the gold to show up better on this one, but this is as good as it gets, I’m afraid. I used the Tsukineko Delicata Gold ink for the sentiment (from Papertrey) and it is so pretty in person, not so much here. The punch is the 911 Deer border punch – all of the punches are from Tonic Studios. The bit behind the punch is a Spellbinders die and the top squares are all popped up on foam tape to add a wee bit of dimension.

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915 Sleigh border punch

Sleigh

992 Medium Snowflake

Snowflake

993 Medium Snowman

Snowman

908 Stocking border punch

Stocking

906 Christmas Tree border punch

Tree

Thanks for stopping by and stay tuned for more Christmas cards using more of my new toys from Tonic Studios coming up soon.