Monday, October 24, 2016

Good Things in Small Packages

I have two teenage boys.  (Actually one's almost 21 so I guess I have to find a different way of referring to them!)  Their favorite Christmas gift is cash. I really struggle with that because it just feels too easy.  I've always managed to make Christmas shopping stressful and hard; that's my holiday tradition and I'm sticking with it!  Gift cards are OK with them and I feel a bit better in that I can still stress over the best gift cards for them.

Here's where it gets better.  I don't just hand them a gift card - I have to craft around it to make it feel special.  (I realize the "special" is for me - remember, my boys are the ones to whom I could hand cash.)  I've kept my eyes open over the years for products to display gift cards.  Some companies have pockets or tabs, etc.   Taylored Expressions has a fun series of dies and products for gift card tins.  They sell the tins, tin toppers, inserts, etc. (all linked below).

Here's what I came up with.  (NOTE:  I temporarily adhered the top to a second tin just for the photo - this will just be one tin.)


I clearly matched to the gift card. I did the Tin Topper in a bright green.  On the top piece, I added Little Bits - Snowman and Little Bits - Christmas Tree and my favorite little sentiment for gift cards "Good things come in small packages".  I added a second sentiment on the inside plus the "to" and "from" from the On Display Tin Insert and a few bits and pieces from the snowman and the tree.  The insert holds the gift card up for display and also has cut-outs for things like earrings or a necklace. 

This is such a great compromise.  My boys get their gift cards - although theirs will be XBox or Starbucks or Amazon - and I still feel like it's special!  


Sunday, October 23, 2016

Merry Monday: Tis the Snow Season

This week's challenge at the Merry Monday Christmas Challenge is plaid!

I love the warmth and the rustic look of plaid!!  But I didn't go that way.  Mostly because I could not find my brand new paper pad of Christmas plaids and I got frustrated. So given that my hour of crafty time was already down to a half hour before heading out to church,  I used the winter plaids that I was able to find!

MM Snow Season

Speaking of not being able to find something - I just got this stamp set from The Cat's Pajamas.  It's a Limited Edition re-release of a discontinued set.  When I saw the sneak peek of it - I was convinced that I had it so I dug through all of my stamps and paged through my stamp index - it's not there.  I'm still convinced I own it, but just the words "Limited Edition" worried me, so I ordered it again!!  I'm sure eventually the first one will turn up, but until then no worries.  And aren't both of these stories just sad statements of my addiction!!


The little jewel snowflakes are from Memory Box. I've had them from years and I can't find them anywhere to link them.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Freshly Made Sketches: Fa La La

It's time for a new sketch at Freshly Made Sketches! Today we have a sketch by Linda from Stampin' Seasons.

I had just unpackaged a recent order from Reverse Confetti that included a wreath and some Christmas ornaments so given the round element on the sketch - it was a no-brainer!


I'm not 100% sold on the big stripe in the background, but I'm trying really hard to incorporate more current patterned paper.  I love it when I see it on other people's cards, but on my own cards, I always lean toward my older paper pads of small prints or monochromatic patterns. But it's the first patterned paper that I have purchased from Reverse Confetti and I had already pulled my colors from it - so it stayed.  (I'll know that I have succeeded in embracing patterned paper when you see more than one pattern on my cards!)

I hope to see you playing along this week.  Remember that the big circle in the middle of the sketch is "any shape" so there's lots of room for you to work!


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Taylored Expressions: A Merry Scene

Last Christmas, Taylored Expressions' holiday paper pack included pre-made scenes.  They add a really nice backdrop to a scene, particularly when paired with the wide variety of Christmas dies.  I had an idea that I would spotlight part of the scene.  Not literally, but by adding a Christmas frame then only decorating the scene inside the frame.


I love little scenes made out of dies.  They can be a bit frustrating to put together because they are so teeny-tiny.  First, make sure you have a good tweezers.  Second, the adhesive...I use either a fine-tip glue or Stick It Adhesive.  (I prefer the Stick It Adhesive, but sometimes I have everything cut out before I remember it.)


The third difficulty is getting everything down in the right place.  I get everything laid out but not adhered, then I use my phone to grab a quick picture.  Here's the picture for this one.

Then I take it apart and adhere things piece by piece.  I use various cues to get things lined up.  I see that the pond goes over to the second "R" and it goes through the middle of the M, E and R.  The deer's nose is right under a snowy branch.  Two of the sequin stars at the top are next to the little white dots.  This way I can lay down my little piece with the glue on it and get it right on the first try!