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Friday, December 25, 2015

Holiday Card Favorites!

Merry Christmas, my friends! I hope you are all having a wonderful holiday, filled with love, laughter, and good food. :) We're going to be attending a few holiday celebrations this weekend, so we'll have all of those things in spades! 

As I was stuffing and addressing the envelopes for my holiday cards (ahem, on Monday), I realized that I hadn't blogged about some of them, and so I thought I would put together a "Top 10" post for my holiday cards. I love holiday cards so much (and have such a copious amount of holiday supplies) that I feel compelled to make more than fifty different holiday cards, so I had plenty to choose from. So, without further ado, here are my top ten favorites, in no particular order:

I was feeling a little burnt out on making my holiday cards, as coming up with so many different designs was quite creatively tiring, but now that I'm finally done... I'm a little sad. I love Christmas stamps so much (probably explains why I have such a ridiculous amount), and the idea of having to wait at least six months to pull them out again makes me sad. I'm thinking I might start doing at least one holiday card per month, perhaps dedicating the last day of the month to holiday cards. What do you think?

 Now that the holiday craziness is over, I am going to be getting back to regularly scheduled crafting, including The Ton Stamps's One Year Anniversary in a few weeks! 

From my home to yours, wishing you a very happy holiday season.


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Glitter, glitter, everywhere....

But it's so worth it!!!

Hello there! Are you feeling the Christmas crunch yet?! I know I am...

Today's card makes me so happy. As I've been stuffing and assembling my holiday cards to send out this year, I've  noticed that a lot of my cards have very non-traditional color schemes. This card is no exception. I love those vintage ornaments with the pinks, blues, silvers, and golds. (Did anybody else hear "Silver and Gold" from Rudolph in their heads? Just me? Okay.) I looooove glitter, love sparkle, but I absolutely abhor the mess they create. But this idea was too insistent in my brain to be ignored.

To start, I stamped my pale pink card base with a Hero Arts background stamp using The Ton's new Hollywood Star Couture Color Dye Ink. I love tone-on-tone backgrounds. They're so subtly elegant, but still add some interest to a large expanse of space. I then used my ink blending tool to blend around the edge with first the Hollywood Star, then Pink Cosmopolitan Hybrid around the very edges. 

My next step was to create the ornament. I placed Scor Tape all over a piece of card stock, then die cut it using the solid ornament from PTI's Ornament Shaker die set. After die cutting, I peeled off the release paper from the Scor Tape, then used silver, light pink, medium pink, and a reddish pink glitter (from the Martha Stewart glitter pack) to create an ombre effect. (Can I just say how crazy sparkly this is in real life? The photos just don't do it justice.) For the greeting, I die cut Christmas from super shiny silver foil card stock. I stamped the "merry" and "and a happy New Year" sentiments on strips of white card stock, then flagged the ends and did some ink blending with the same pinks as on the edge of the card base, concentrating the darker color on the ends. 

The final step was to add color to a length of silk ribbon with a Copic (I'm sorry, I don't remember which one!) and attach it to the top of the ornament. Isn't this card just so pretty and sparkly?! It's going to be sent to my voice teacher from my Master's Program. I always try to send her my prettiest and most feminine cards, since I know she loves them. I'd say this pink, pink, and pinker number fits that bill lol!

I hope you all enjoyed this card! I am hoping that my cards will arrive before Christmas, but if they don't, I suppose I have a good excuse, eh? Have a wonderful holiday, friends! 

Sunday, December 20, 2015


Good morning, friends! I'm a little astonished to type that it's only FOUR DAYS BEFORE CHRISTMAS.


I'm sorry the blog has been pretty silent the last few weeks. I've been so busy with seasonal activities, plus our kiddos have been sick off and on for the past month, so that's been so fun to deal with. I have managed to make some more Christmas cards, and my project this weekend has been creating sentiment panels for the interior (WHY I don't do that as I make them is beyond my comprehension, but I have 50+ cards with no sentiments lol!), then signing, addressing, and stuffing the envelopes. I will have a few cards to share with you before Christmas, as long as everyone cooperates with their naptimes lol!

This first card uses one of the cutest installments from Papertrey Ink's Petite Places line: Holiday Lane. I absolutely adore this little gingerbread house/Santa's workshop scene, and I couldn't wait to make a card with it. I started by stamping the building and a few of the trees approximately where I wanted them, then covering them with Molotow masking fluid. I then did some ink blending with Hero Arts Navy dye ink, concentrating the darkest color towards the edges of the panel, then blending more lightly towards the house. To create the stars, I used the Memory Box Stars Shimmer stencil with pearlescent embossing paste, taking care to put the stars only in the sky and not on the house or trees. 

I was a little frustrated when I peeled back the masking fluid, because it mottled some of my (very tiny and detailed) stamping on the house. I die cut a house and restamped everything, then popped it up over the original stamped house. Not what I was initially going for, but I was making lemonade. I die cut a few snowdrifts from white glitter paper, then assembled them on the bottom of the card base. I then die cut the Santa sleigh from white cardstock, stamped the image in black, then used my blender tool to add the blue around the edges, which I then covered in clear Wink of Stella. (I hate when those white edges of the die cuts distract from the rest of the card!) Tip: to blend on a tiny die cut, put the die cut back in the negative space of card stock from which it was cut, then do your blending; it helps to hold it in place. I added a Heidi Swapp "believe," cut from red foil card stock, to the bottom of the card. The final touch was to add some "snow" using my snow pen around the base of the house and trees to try to make the whole scene flow a little more naturally. 

I hope you've enjoyed this card! I will be back later this week with another card. On Christmas I will have my top ten favorite Christmas cards from the year, so stay tuned for that!! Merry Christmas!! 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Ton Sneak Peek!

Hi friends! I'm here to let you know that I'm up on The Ton Stamps blog today with a pair of teacup bouquet cards that use the "but first" dies that didn't make it to me in time for last week's release. I hope you'll stop by and check them out!

Have a fantastic Thursday, friends! I will be back soon with some holiday cards. I'm in frantic mode right now... So many projects to finish, so little time.

Monday, December 14, 2015

BRI Sneak Peek!

Happy Monday, friends! I am sorry it's been a little quiet on the blog lately.... Tis the season to be busy. It's also the season for short, dreary days, so taking (good) photos is a bit of a challenge.

Luckily, the sun came out long enough this weekend for me to be able to get some good photos for my Butterfly Reflections Ink post. I hope you'll stop by and check it out!

Have a fantastic week, friends!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The Ton December Release, Day 2

Hi friends! Back again with the second installment of The Ton's December release. Aren't you just in love with those gorgeous sets released yesterday?! The bows... the roses... the inks... Gah! Well, we have even more fun in store for you today. 

So, I will admit to being a bit of an Anglophile. I love tea parties, tea pots, tea cups, tea, the little tea sandwiches and cakes... I grew up watching Elizabeth Bennett and Elinor Dashwood daintily sipping tea from a porcelain cup and nibbling delicately on a piece of tea cake. When I was a teenager, I started collecting tea cups and tea pots, wishing for an excuse to throw a tea party. There was a fabulous little shop in the town where I went to college called "Bit of Britain." It has sadly closed down, but I will admit to purchasing a beautiful porcelain teapot and several matching porcelain, rose-bedecked cups and saucers, along with several tins of tea and cookies, and I used to imagine myself to be a British heiress while sipping tea from my (totally awesome) porcelain tea service. My husband thinks I'm nuts for having so many teapots, none of which are used for anything other than decoration these days, but that's another blog post...

Anyway, my first card focuses on a new sentiment set devoted to all things coffee: Caffeine Crush. It's got some really cute, smart-alecky sentiments that are just perfect for someone who would like to have an IV drip of coffee. I started with three pieces of card stock: pink, white, and kraft. I stamped the white panel using some Wplus9 Little Piggy ink on the Rose Terrace background set, then die cut all three using a comic strip block die. I then played with the different sentiments, deciding which fit best in which block, then heat embossing them using Bronze embossing powder, some on pink, then some of the white and pink rose background.

To accent the fun coffee sentiments, I used another stamp set: Hug in a Mug, to create a latte in a pink mug. The set comes with multiple designs for the foam of your latte, and it really is so fun to play with. We don't have any coffee shops in my little podunk town that are fancy enough to do the beautiful foam designs that you see elsewhere, but now I can stamp my own! I added a touch of sparkle with some Matte Gold, Fairy Pink, and Precious Pink sequins. 

Next up is probably my favorite card out of the whole bunch. I just love this shade of orchid-y fuchsia and the gorgeous dainty teacups. This card focuses on another new set, this time devoted to beautiful, delicate teacups: Tea Party. This set is fantastic because it allows you to stamp the outline, which you can then follow up with a beautiful rose pattern (the same pattern as in the Rose Terrace background set), super chic polka dots, or just stamp a plain color. I chose to heat emboss the outline of the cups in silver on watercolor card stock, then add in the decorative patterns in silver heat embossing, as well, so that I could color them in with my Zig Clean Color markers. 

After coloring the cups and fussy cutting them out, I decided to heat emboss the adorable (and scarily accurate) sentiment from Caffeine Crush in silver on some hot-press watercolor card stock. I then took two different shades of purple ink in colors that matched the watercoloring on my cups and blended them around the edges, first the lighter color, then adding the darker shade of purple just around the very edge to add some highlights. 

I lined up the cups along the top of the blended panel, then added some adhesive gems to resemble the "hooks" that the cups would be hanging on. I added a few sequins (Smoked Amethyst, Glass Slipper, and Light Amethyst) to accentuate the sentiment. Wouldn't these cups be a pretty sight to see first thing in the morning? 

This next card was inspired by one that I saw on Facebook in the Stamping Enablers' group. Someone had posted a New Year's Eve invitation using this layout with a champagne bottle and champagne flute on the second panel. I immediately wanted to translate it into a coffee-themed card: 

I first took two panels of pale aqua cardstock, cut to 4x5.5 inches, and stamped the Rose Terrace background on both in coordinating pale aqua ink for a tone-on-tone effect. I placed the panels flush on top of each other, then punched a hole through both using my Crop-a-Dile, connecting them with a gold brad that I found in my stash. I then stamped the teapot image from Hug in a Mug stamp set and the teacup image from Tea Party with Versamark and heat embossed them in gold on watercolor paper. I fussy cut them out, then watercolored the images with the Zig Clean Color markers and some gold Perfect Pearls for the handles. I used the same gold embossing powder to emboss the sentiments,  (from Caffeine Crush) then strategically placed the teapot and tea cup on the card so that, when the card was swung open, it would look like the pot was pouring into the cup. (I know the size of the teapot is a bit small for the size of the cup, but in my head it was one of those cute individually-sized teapots. Just go with it...) Wouldn't this be layout be cute for a tea party invitation? 

My next card is super fun. I used the Hug in a Mug set to create my own dainty little tea party! (Coffee party?) Anyway, I stamped the mugs and teapot on some pale blue card stock, then fussy cut them out. The Rose Terrace background stamp was just perfect for a "tablecloth." I die cut a scalloped rectangle from cream linen cardstock, then heat embossed the Rose Terrace background using white pearl satin embossing powder to add just a hint of pattern. 

I wanted to add a bouquet to really make it look like a dainty little tea party, so I pulled out the Mini Wild Florals set and stamped some flowers in shades of pink and leaves in mint. I fussy cut them and arranged them on a 1 inch circle punched from white cardstock and covered in liquid adhesive. The flagged sentiment is so good for a card of encouragement, something I'm sure everyone can appreciate. I added a few Glass Slippers sequins to add a touch of sparkle.  

My final card is probably the simplest of the bunch. I used a variety of shades of aqua and gold. The Tea Party set comes with not only the darling little tea cup, but also a saucer. The cup and saucer are two separate stamps, so you can do a variety of techniques and designs with them. I chose to stamp them and fussy cut them out, then glued them together. I stamped the solid cup with a dark aqua, then heat embossed the polka dots in white to get a really good contrast between the colors. For the background, I stamped a panel of white linen card stock with the Rose Terrace background in a pale aqua to create a subtle, elegant backdrop for the super chic teacup. I cut a strip of coordinating dark aqua card stock and white heat embossed the sentiment from Caffeine Crush. I added a few sequins to add just a touch of sparkle: Medallion Gold, Turquoise and Caicos, and Bermuda Blue. I matted the whole panel with some gold foil card stock, then mounted it on a coordinating dark aqua card base.

That's all for me today! I just received some of my dies in the mail, so I will hopefully find time to create some cards with them in the next few days. I hope you all are enjoying all of the new products and inspiration from the Design Team! All of the products are available for purchase TODAY, and they will begin shipping on Thursday, December 10. Don't forget that each design team member has a GIVEAWAY, so be sure to leave a comment on each blog for your maximized chance to win! The contest closes at 11:59 on December 11, and the winners will be announced on The Ton's' blog on December 13. 

Hop on around to the rest of the amazing Design Team's blogs to see more inspiration using these fabulous new products!!

The Season

Monday, December 7, 2015

The Ton December Release, Day 1!

Well hello there, friends! I've been a little MIA this past week, but it's for a really good excuse, I promise...

Today is the first day of The Ton's December release, and boy, do we have some amazing goodies for you this month! First off, a few of the details about this month's release:

Not only do we have five new stamp sets to be released, but we are also introducing WORD DIES, as well as 31 new and fantabulous INKS.  I unfortunately also did not get the dies in time for today's post, as for some reason USPS is being annoyingly slow, so I will have projects for you using the dies later in the week. (One can only hope...) 

Direct from Effie: The Ton Couture Color is our curated collection of dye, hybrid and pigment inks. Our initial color release is made up of 25 dye inks, 4 hybrid inks and 2 pigment inks. Our first ink release is comprised of mainly jewel tones that can be layered over each other or stamped individually. In addition to bright jewel tones, we’ve included a crisp, true black dye ink, a copic friendly black hybrid ink and an all purpose smooth white pigment ink. We’re also very excited to announce the release of the first ever Rose Gold Pigment ink.

I am so ridiculously excited about these inks. I haven't received mine yet. They will all be shipping out Thursday. But there will be Rose Gold pigment ink. Rose Gold, people. Oh my word. And just look at all of those luscious colors.... let me tell you, they're going to be perfect for our fabulous multi-step florals. Just you wait.  

On to the projects! This post is very long and photo-heavy, so bear with me. 

For my first project, I'm focusing on the new Rose Terrace background and the newest member of the bow family... Grand Bows! I thought the new bows looked like something you would find on a wedding gift, so I tried to make my card shower-appropriate. I stamped the Rose Terrace background in some mint ink onto a 4 3/4" x 4 3/4" square of white linen card stock. I then stamped the largest of the Grand Bows using the same mint and a light teal color. I fussy cut it out, added a "Congratulations" greeting from Large Peony 3 on a flagged strip of white card stock, then added some strips of mint foil card stock for some faux ribbon to complete my "gift." I mounted the whole panel on a mint 5x5 notecard. 

My second card focuses on the stunning Rose Terrace background stamp. I stamped and heat embossed it onto a panel of hot press card stock using Bronze embossing powder. I then got out my trusty Zig Clean Color Markers and paintbrush to add color and shading to the panel. I filled my shaker with Clear Pink Coral seed beads, and Matte Gold, Peach Mousse, Sparkling Sage, and Glass Slipper sequins. 

Isn't the background so pretty watercolored? Love it! The sentiment is the same "congratulations" sentiment from Large Peony 3 as used on my first card today. 

My next card is maybe my favorite today. There's something about pink and mint that makes my heart go pitter patter... and these roses are just so beautiful. I started out by heat embossing the Rose Terrace image onto another piece of Strathmore Hot Press watercolor card stock using White Satin Pearl embossing powder. I added color and shading with my Zig Markers again, then added a sentiment heat embossed on vellum from It's Cray Cray

I popped up the watercolored panel on a hot pink card base using fun foam. They're a little hard to see in the photo, but I added a few sequins on either side of the sentiment- Glass Slipper, Fairy Pink, and Precious Pink. I can't wait to send this one out, and I have the perfect person in mind. 

Now, to completely switch gears. My last card today is inspired by those Christmas decorations that you see all over Pinterest... the apothecary jars filled with beautiful bows. Since I didn't have an apothecary jar die, I improvised and used an ornament die that was the approximate shape. I traced the die onto my white panel, then started stamping the Holiday Bows in light and dark gray in random spots, then stamped the new Grand Bows in red and darker red on a different piece of white card stock. I fussy cut the red bows, then placed and glued them onto the white panel. I wanted to make a holiday shaker out of the card, so I added a piece of acetate to the back of the negative die cut and filled the shaker with Call Me Maybe Red and Engine Red sequins, Round Silver and Silver Star confetti, and Diamond seed beads. 

I added a bow to the top, heat embossed the "Merry Christmas" greeting from Holiday Flourishes on a flagged strip of red card stock, and decided to stop messing with it. (Sometimes I fuss too much and ruin my project... anybody else do that?)

I hope you're as excited about these new releases as I am... Everything is so versatile and so, so classy. All of the new products will be available for purchase tomorrow, December 8 at 7 am EST, and will begin shipping Thursday, December 10. 

Now, for the extra fun part.... A GIVEAWAY! Effie has graciously given each design team member a $10 gift certificate to give away on each blog, while there is also a $25 gift certificate being given away on The Season!  All you have to do to be eligible to win is make a comment here telling us your favorite set released today before 11:59 on December 11. The winners will be announced on December 13.

Good luck!! Enjoy hopping around to all of the other Design Team members... I know I'm going to have inspiration overload looking at all of the fabulous projects! Don't forget to leave a comment on each blog to maximize your chances to win a gift certificate to The Ton! 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The Ton Sneak Peek!

Good morning, friends! I'm up on The Ton's blog today with a couple of projects using the new Holiday Flourishes set. I hope you'll stop by and check them out!