Monday, October 31, 2016

TE Sneak Peek Day 1: A Calendar with Critters

It's the first day of sneak peeks for the November release from Taylored Expressions!!  I love the November release each year because there are always calendar supplies that are perfect for making fun little gifts.  I have some calendar pages for a dog-lover to show you. Be sure to keep reading all the way to the bottom to find out how you can enter to win release week prizes.

With this release, Taylored Expressions has a new calendar size - the 2017 5x7 Calendar - which is a great size because you can use many of your regular stamps.  There is also a new set of dies that fit perfectly and frame your scenes - Build a Scene Calendar - 5x7.  I decided to use my favorite dogs from the Pawsitively Purrfect line.

TE Calendar with Critters

Before I share more picture and details on this project, I'm excited to tell you that Taylored Expressions is celebrating Release Week with some fabulous giveaways! Visit the TE Blog to answer Taylor's Question of the Day for a chance to win the prize from the latest release!

I just doesn't get much cuter than these dogs.  Here's a close look at April.  I used Marley for April. There are so many fabulous critters at Taylored Expressions.  As I was finding an Easter sentiment for Marley, I pulled out Somebunny Loves You and guess what? There's a dog in that set dressed like an Easter bunny!  I could have saved Marley for another month and used the Easter puppy.  I only have three months of calendar on this post - but it's going to be very, very easy to find puppies for all twelve months!

TE Calendar with Critters

And for May, I've used Tanner.  I picked him specifically because he comes with a doghouse and I wanted to use this sentiment from Mama & Me.  (Can you tell I had a great time putting this project together? ) The new Build a Scene Calendar - 5x7 set of dies makes it easy.  On my calendar pages, you can see the frame, the grass, the sun and the clouds.  As I continue working on this set (because I do have dog-lovers in my life who need Christmas presents!) - I'll use the other ground die as sand, and the moon and stars are perfect for Halloween.

TE Calendar with Critters

June is Watson.  Watson has to be one of my favorites and he comes with the best sentiments.  He actually is a get-well puppy with sentiments like "Sit. Stay. Heal. Get Better".  (FYI - the sentiments comes from two sets - the "Dad" is from Best in the World and "I woof you" is from Tanner's set above.)

TE Calendar with Critters

There are other new accessories in the TE store to package everything up.  You can see the 5x7 Acrylic Frame in the individual photos above.  It's very easy to change months with this frame. Then I packaged them all up into the 5x7 Clear Calendar Boxes which come in a set of five.

TE Calendar with Critters

Now I'm going to sidetrack briefly.  I hated the idea of making this calendar and having all of those charming little dogs in their scenes just thrown away.  One option is to use temporary or repositionable adhesive behind each framed scene, then they can be pulled off when the month is over and re-purposed!  I would guess any dog lover that gets this calendar would be happy to keep the scenes to be re-used.  Or you can cut the tops off the calendar pages to make cards - you could give your dog-obsessed recipient a full set of cards for the next year!  Check it out!

TE Calendar with Critters

The calendar pages are just a little narrower than an average card.  Just make a card base with a front that is 4 1/4" by 5 1/4", add a bit of background paper, plop on the re-purposed dog panel and you have a card! know what else would be fun?  A Grumplings calendar!!!  I love the Taylored Expressions grumplings. Scenes using them would make me smile each day as I looked at the calendar!  I think I have Christmas for my friends all figured out!


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Freshly Made Sketches: Christmas Greetings

It's time for a new sketch at Freshly Made Sketches! Today I have the honor of bringing you the sketch!!

I have to admit that I drew up this sketch on the day that I got an order in the mail full of dies like pinecones and pine boughs, etc.  I had been shocked about a week earlier as I studied my stash that I didn't have any of these dies.  Living in Colorado and spending time the mountains, I love pines, so I had to remedy the situation right away.  My new dies arrived in the mail and I envisioned a cascade of pines with a sentiment banner - the sketch was born!

FMS Christmas Greetings

I liked this particular pine cone die because it had two main layers plus it had options for a snowy top. I embossed the "snow" with heat-n-stick powder and dumped clear glitter over it.  A few pine sprigs and a woodgrain background - LOVE this type of look for Christmas!

I do hope to see you playing along.  It is absolutely amazing to design a sketch and then to see all of you creative crafters put your own touch on it!


The glitter paper I used for the floral sprigs is the retired Champagne Glitter from Stampin' Up.

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!