Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Freshly Made Sketches: Very Merry

It's time for a new sketch at Freshly Made Sketches!  This sketch will be around for three weeks!!!  We are taking a Christmas and New Years break and we are guessing you will be too!  Today we have a sketch by Amy.

Not only is is the last sketch for the year, this is my last Christmas card for the year!!  This is going out to my Stampin' Up demonstrator! (I did cheat on the sentiment)

A Very Merry Christmas

The design team was having a little side discussion on the wonky panels on this sketch and one said that the wonky panels seemed like how she was feeling during the busy Christmas season. I immediately realized that feeling would be perfect for my Stampin' Up lady.  Besides selling Stampin' Up and holding a very stressful full-time job, they sold their house this past summer - then their new house got delayed. They've been living in a small apartment and just got into their new house a week ago.  That REALLY makes the Christmas season busy for her! I'm sure she's feeling a little wonky.

Not only is FMS taking a holiday break, I won't be blogging the next few weeks. I'm ready for Christmas but my youngest is back from college for the first time and my oldest will be home soon. I'll only be taking a few days off work and when I'm home, I plan to simply relax and enjoy my family.

A very Merry Christmas to you!!

Stamps: Hello Bluebird Typed Christmas
Dies: Neat & Tangled Skinny Strips
Embossing Folder: Stampin' Up Seasonal Wreath 3D and Pinewood Planks 3D
Paper: Stampin' Up Garden Green, Real Red DSP (the old version)
Other: Stampin' Up Toile Tidings Glitter Enamel Dots

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

One More Joy Noel Wreath

It's my second to the last Christmas card!  I've actually been enjoying the crunch of getting these cards done.  There's something to be said for being an empty-nester because I can really focus on cards and not on the stress of all of the kids' holiday commitments and their panic over semester finals and papers.

I used one of my favorite sets for this season one more time.  I've used it multiple times (which really beats my typical use of a purchase - one card or even none!).  It's Honey Bee Stamps Joy Noel Wreath.  For my previous cards, I used that center wreath without adding all of the little leaves (see this card for example).  I do like simple cards so that worked for me but given there was a die that cut dozens of leaves at once - I had to give it a try!  It's a bit tedious - thank goodness for tweezers - but I really like the look.

Joy Wreath

I added a bit of pattern to the bow to differentiate it from the letters.  I just did tone-on-tone but I wish I would have used a slightly different color because it's very hard to see.  The bow itself has polka dots and the middle has stripes.  

Joy Wreath CLOSE

This card definitely makes me happy!!  It was designed for my boss's boss - so hopefully it makes her happy too!!

Stamps: Honey Bee Stamps Bitty Patterns (on the bow)
Dies: Honey Bee Stamps Joy Noel Wreath
Paper: Martha Stewart Snowflace Mat Pad (very old - and yes, that is spelled correctly!), Taylored Expression Watermelon and Mushroom

Monday, December 16, 2019

The Card Concept: 'Tis the Season

I am down to needing three more Christmas cards. The inspiration at The Card Concept was exactly what I needed for one of them.

I have a workmate who is retiring very soon so she just bought a "farm".  (I guess for her retirement doesn't mean being lazy!) I even heard her on the phone last week buying a tractor!!  You have to understand - I work with accountants and auditors, so this farm thing is unique.  I don't know if she has a little red truck, but the inspiration this graphic gave me was just right for her card.

Tis the Season

This card is somewhere between their definition of CAS and of Clean and Layered.  I'd call it CAS but it doesn't have one main image and it's not particularly easy to recreate due to the fiddly little pieces.  So I guess it's probably Clean and Layered. Interestingly, I would have said I was CAS cardmaker until years ago when I read the definitions at The Card Concept, I realized I was totally a Clean and Layered person!!

Stamps: Taylored Expressions Simply Stamped - Christmas Tree (the sentiment) and Buffalo Plaid Background
Dies: Taylored Expressions Transportation (retired) and all of the following Little Bits: 'Tis the Season (the tree), Holiday Bloomers, Bows, Snowflake Confetti
Cardstock: Cherry Pop, Sweet Basil, Oreo, Sugar Cube

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Honey Bee Stamps: Joy Noel Wreath

One of my favorite purchases this year was the Joy Noel Wreath from Honey Bee Stamps followed closely by the Winter Bouquet set.  I used the Joy Noel Wreath last week on this cheerful pink/blue/green JOY card. I used Winter Bouquet on this card and this card.

Now I've combined them on this card. It's for my mother-in-law so needed to be richly colored and traditional.  I used the letters from the Joy Noel Wreath set then used the poinsettia from the Winter Bouquet set.


There's nothing particularly unique or creative about this card but it looks special.  That's why I've fallen in love with these die sets - quick and easy, but gorgeous!

Dies: Honey Bee Stamps Joy Noel Wreath
Paper: Simple Stories Cozy Christmas, Papertrey Ink Pinefeather, Taylored Expressions Mulled Wine, Concord & 9th Neutral Foils
Other: Taylored Expressions Holly Embossing folder, Corrugated Embossing Folder

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Freshly Made Sketches: Merry Trees

It's time for a new sketch at Freshly Made Sketches! Today we have a sketch by Narelle.

I'm still on the final Christmas card push but I'm down to local and work friends so I can relax a bit and totally enjoy the last few cards - of course, with Christmas music playing and tree lights twinkling!!

FMS Merry

The background on this one might seem familiar if you watch my blog.  I used the same background here just two days ago.  When I get out the embossing paste and know there will be some serious cleaning up to do - I typically make several backgrounds and often not all of those are usable (I seem to have an issue with stray embossing paste!)  But in this case, they both worked and I couldn't let them go to waste.

I hope to see you playing along with use this week!

Dies: Reverse Confetti Branching Out and Winter Words
Paper: Fancy Pants Oh Deer!, Taylored Expressions Peapod and Granny Smith, Stampin' Up Cherry Cobbler and Soft Suede
Other: YNS Gumdrops, Neat and Tangled Fa La La Stencil

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

CAS(E) this Sketch: Joy and Peace

The wide open space in this week's CAS(E) this Sketch gave me room to do my favorite thing - a scene with multiple dies!!

Joy & Peace

These dies are part of the Winter Bouquet set from Honey Bee stamps.  I've been using the poinsettias quite a bit but hadn't used the candle, pine cones and other greenery.  I definitely wanted to build a scene like this before I put the set away.

The sentiment is from The Greetery.  I didn't have anything from them yet so I enjoyed a recent sale they had.  However, instead of getting any of their beautiful image sets - I got all of their Sentiment Suites and the coordinating dies.  I am such a sucker for sentiments. Sometimes I think I work harder at picking a sentiment than at the actual card!

This is the 350th sketch at CtS!  Congratulations!!

Stamps: The Greetery Sentiment Suite Christmas
Dies: Honey Bee Stamps Winter Bouquet, The Greetery Sentiment Suite Basics Die
Ink: Taylored Expression Pineapple
Paper: Stampin' Up Mossy Meadow, Old Olive and Soft Suede, glitter paper from Michaels store

Monday, December 9, 2019

Color Throwdown: Making Spirits Bright

I love the fresh color combination at the Color Throwdown. Of course for me, anything with aqua is fabulous.  I kept the card light and clean.

Color Throwdown Making Spirits Bright

I think the fun stenciled background (done with embossing paste) works perfectly with the sentiment on the ornament.  I was surprised to discover that I have no gold cord which is what I wanted to use to hang it.  So I cut off a very thin slice of gold shimmer paper.  The stamp set had bows, but they required stamping and I wanted it to match the cord, so I found this tiny little bow in a different set. 

Thank you to Color Throwdown for the inspiration.

Stamps: Reverse Confetti Vintage Ornaments
Dies: Reverse Confetti Vintage Ornaments die, CottageCutz Spruce Stems, Avery Elle Finished Frames
Ink: Stampin' Up Coastal Cabana
Paper: Stampin' Up Granny Apple Green, glitter from Michaels store
Other: Neat & Tangled Fa La La Stencil, Stampin' Up Glitter Enamel Dots

Sunday, December 8, 2019

CAS Colours & Sketches: Oh Holy Night

CAS Colours & Sketches has the perfect Christmas colors this week, especially when my favorite die set right now includes poinsettias!!

CAS Colours Oh Holy Night

If you follow my blog, I haven't missed a day with a card in over a week!  Of course, they are all Christmas cards as mailing day is coming soon and I am more than a little behind.  Thank goodness for challenges.  They give me a place to start and I need that extra little push right now. And with fabulous products, my Christmas cards are coming together quickly!

Dies: Honey Bee Stamps Winter Bouquet, Cutplorations (Stamplorations) Oh Holy Night, My Favorite Things Stitched Rectangle Scallop Frames
Cardstock: Stampin' Up Cherry Cobbler and Shaded Spruce, Concord & 9th Neutrals Foil Paper Pack, the glitter gold is from Michaels store

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Filled with Joy x2

Filled with Joy 1 CLOSEFilled with Joy CLOSE

Aren't these wonderfully different looks made from the same die set??  I love versatile sets!  I made the snowman and posted that card on Thursday.  I hadn't put the die set away and got to looking at the other centers - an ornament and a snowflake. I used the ornament, found some unique papers and got a very different look!

Filled with Joy 2

FYI - the ornament comes with a topper, but on this card, it felt like it messed up the clean lines.

Dies: My Favorite Things Filled with Joy
Paper: Simple Stories Winter Wonderland, My Favorite Things Whip Cream, Stampin' Up Lost Lagoon, Papertrey Ink Fine Linen
Ohters: Stampin' Up Heat & Stick Powder, Martha Stewart Fine Crystal Glitter, Pretty Pink Posh Buttercream Jewel

Friday, December 6, 2019

Addicted to CAS: Birthday Blessings

In the middle of all of the Christmas crafting, people actually have birthdays!!  I have multiples around Thanksgiving and around Christmas - how dare they!!!  (Of course, two of them are my kids who have birthdays immediately after Christmas so I supposed it's my fault too that I have birthday cards to make during the holiday season.)

For this friend, as soon as I saw the challenge at Addicted to CAS: Blessings - I pulled out the Blessings die from Paper Smooches and then I just had to find a background.

Birthday Blessings

I found the Poppystamps Floral Clusters die in my not-yet-used stash.  I cut it an angle and then inlaid it with some cheerful colors.  I cut one extra little flower as an accent.  I like the concept.  If it weren't the busy holiday season - I think I would have done it again either moving the sentiment down or the whole panel up.  Right now, nothing is in a sweet spot - it's not centered, nor is it the rule of thirds. Sometimes (often) I have to sit back and remember that my obsession over these things is for this blog, but my heart was with the recipient as I made the card and that's the only thing that really matters.

Dies: Paper Smooches Blessings, Poppystamps Floral Cluster
Paper: Doodlebug Design Dot-Grid-Daisy-Stripe Rainbow Petite Prints, Stampin' Up Mango Melody and Granny Apple Green

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Paper Players: Filled with Joy

The challenge at The Paper Players this week is Frosty the Snowman with a sweet little snowman in blue.  I have so many snowmen in my stash, I couldn't miss this one!

Paper Players Filled with Joy

My use of blue came directly from the inspiration photo as did the snowy background. But I had to use the cute little top hat instead of a blue beanie like the photo.  FYI - the holly on his hat isn't in the die set - I found it in a border die. 

This guy is so cute I made four of these.  Shhh...don't tell anyone...but when December comes and I'm not done yet, I do start making multiples!!  It's not my favorite thing to do.  Especially right now when my mojo has made a comeback after having been gone all fall.  I have SO many ideas and I'm excited to be crafting but if I made every card I'm picturing in my head, I'd be mailing Christmas cards in March!

Dies: My Favorite Things Filled with Joy
Paper: Taylored Expressions Gumball, Sunny Studio Dots & Stripes Pastels, Bazzill Basics Licorice
Other: Stampin' Up Embossing Folder

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Freshly Made Sketches: A Classic Christmas

It's time for a new sketch at Freshly Made Sketches! Today we have a sketch by Karren.

I hadn't made any truly classic Christmas cards yet - so this sketch just called out for Christmas plaid and a tall tree!

Merry Christmas Trees

The tree is a set of two dies from Frantic Stamper.  The big tree was absolutely the right size, then I put that trio in the background.  Of course, I had to decorate it so pulled out my favorite Christmas pearls - Little Things Glossy Berry Mixed Pearls. They have a golden sheen - so the golden stars fit in perfectly.  Then I had all of that wonderful open space to add a fun Merry Christmas die!  

I hope to see you playing along with us this week.

Dies: Frantic Stamper Tall Pine Trees, Echo Park Merry Christmas
Patterned Paper: Echo Park Christmas This & That
Other: Pretty Pink Posh Metallic Stars Confetti, Little Things Glossy Berry Mixed Pearls

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Inspired by...Pink Joy

I've had red, green and gold out on my desk for a while now and wanted a change so I was inspired when saw the challenge at Inspired By...Pink Christmas.

Inspired by Joy

I pulled out my favorite cover plate die with the sweet Christmas foliage.  It has room for an oval but I had another die set out on my desk (more on that on Thursday and Saturday!) that included "JOY".  I added a poinsettia for the "O" to coordinate with the background.

I'm making so many cards right now, I'm not taking time for great photography.  The above picture doesn't show the detail in the poinsettia and I had specifically picked that poinsettia die for the fun detail that tied it into the background.  Here's another photo that shows the detail - but the natural lighting on a winter day turned the card peachy instead of pink!

Inspired by Joy CLOSE

And here's the challenge that inspired me!

Dies: Taylored Expressions Blooming Holiday Cover Plate, My Favorite Things Filled with Joy (the "J" and the "Y", Flora and Fauna Poinsettia Flower
Paper: Taylored Expressions Cupcake and Pink Champagne (just the flower center and the small leaves), Echo Park Dots & Stripes Candy Shoppe Collection
Other: May Arts ribbon

Monday, December 2, 2019

CAS Colours & Sketches: Joyful Snowflake

On a ziploc bag on my desk are big glittered snowflakes that I had made months ago but not used.  By the time these dainty things were die cut, then heat 'n stick powder applied, then dipped in glitter (with the very annoying side effect of glitter everywhere - including eyebrows), I wasn't going to toss them out.   Then I had cut out "joyful" for another card but it was too big.  Finally - I saw the sketch at CAS Colours & Sketches and I knew what I was going to do!

CAS Sketch Joyful

I pulled out some sequins to give the background the more unique shape that is in the sketch.  These are sequins I was so excited to get - but I'm just not thrilled with.  No offense to the company - but the sequins are much bigger than I usually like and the snowflakes are smaller.  But they work for this so I should stop complaining!

Dies: Simon Says Stamp Joyful, Tim Holtz Flurry #2, Lil' Inker Designs Cover Up Die: Stitched Woodgrain
Other: Hero Arts Snow and Berry Sequins, Stampin' Up Heat 'n Stick Powder, Martha Stewart Fine Crystal Glitter

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Color Throwdown: Joy Wreath

I fell in love with the colors at the Color Throwdown particularly since one of my remaining Christmas-cards-to-make is for my niece.  She's growing up quickly and cutesy doesn't work any more - but feminine and fun is good.  So the colors plus my new Honey Bee Stamps Joy Noel Wreath are just right!


This was my first Thanksgiving holiday as an empty-nester.  Neither son was home.  The oldest is only 90 miles a way but the weather was a problem. The youngest went with his roommate to visit his family in Chicago.  My husband works retail - over Thanksgiving (at a store that didn't close) and Black Friday - so I didn't see much of him either.  

I should say that I was sad and lonely - but I've had a wonderful holiday!  Lots and lots of Christmas cards made!  I'm almost done with Christmas shopping. The house is decorated.  The tree looks fabulous vs. all those years when I required all of the men in my life to help which then required me accepting however the lights and ornaments looked!  If that sounds terrible there are two things you need to know.  All my guys are well over 6' tall so guess where all the ornaments ended up.  And my boys have gotten an ornament a year representing their life.  Of course, their ornaments are the most important ornament so they all cluster right in front!  

I'm actually going into December without stress!!!  I definitely gave thanks for this long weekend.  

Dies: Honey Bee Stamps Joy Noel Wreath
Paper: Sunny Studio Gingham Pastels and Dots & Stripes Pastels, Stampin' Up Granny Apple Green
Other: Taylored Expressions Winter Flurries Embossing Folder, misc enamel dots from Your Next Stamp and Doodlebug