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Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year's Eve!

Good morning! Just a quick head's up, I'm over at the Butterfly Reflections Ink blog today with the full version of this pretty, icy card, as well as a sweet and sassy dino card. I hope you will stop by and check them out! 

I will be back tomorrow with some of my favorite cards for 2016... I hope you all have a wonderful, safe NYE celebration. Does anybody else want to say "Bye, Felicia" to 2016?? I know I'm ready to kick it to the curb! 

Cheers to happy and successful 2017! 

Friday, December 23, 2016

A fun announcement!

Hello, and merry Christmas Eve-Eve! I am thrilled to announce that I'm joining the A Blog Named Hero team for 2017! 
I have my introductory project up on the A Blog Named Hero blog, and there's a giveaway, so if you hop over there and check out my project, be sure to leave a comment so you are entered to win! Leave comments on all of the new team members' posts to maximize your chances. You could win a $20 shopping spree to Hero Arts! 
Hope your shopping, wrapping, baking, eating, celebrating, crafting, and whatever other holiday fun you enjoy is going swimmingly! Merry Christmas! 

Monday, December 19, 2016

Joy to the World: C9 style

Something about the designs from Concord and 9th bring out my inner clean-and-simple gal. White space and C9 designs seem to go hand in hand in my mind's eye... This tag and card set are no exception. Simple design, lots of white space, just a hint of sparkle. Sounds good to me! 

For some reason, I struggle with tags. This was one of my rejected projects for the 25 Days of Christmas Tags blog hop... I liked it, but I wanted to come up with something a little different, so I saved this for a different day. I started by using the Bags and Tags die set to create a little square tag with a rounded edge. Then, I used the JOY die to die cut at an angle, then added the " 'tis the season" from the coordinating stamp set in bright red ink beneath the negative die cut space. I adhered a piece of acetate behind the die cut, then placed foam tape all around the die cut word. I filled it up with a holiday shaker mix from Lucy Abrams, then backed it with a piece of red card stock. I added some gray twine and a bow at the top and decided to stop messing with it for fear that I would mess it up!   

The coordinating card has a similar process and color scheme. I simply started with a panel of white card stock and die cut the JOY from the center. (I used my T-ruler to line the die up and ensure that it was straight.) I finished off the sentiment using the Perfectly Penned stamp set... I love the juxtaposition of the simple font of the JOY paired with the flourish-y, fancy calligraphy. I added some snowflakes stamped in Silver Delicata ink to add a little interest to the front panel. I backed the die cut panel with acetate again, then filled it with the same Vintage Christmas shaker mix. The final touch was to add a panel of red card stock just slightly smaller to the A2 panel to frame the die cut panel. 

Well, what do you think? Clean and simple, a bit of a change from my normal fussy watercolored projects. :) I have a few more holiday projects to share with you this week before Christmas, so I will be back later! Hope you all have a wonderful, productive week! (Especially if you're still trying to get Christmas cards out... I'm working on finishing up making a few gifts. Yikes!) Have a great week!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Ellen Hutson December Pin-Sights Challenge

Good evening/morning!! I am seriously thrilled to be joining the fabulous ladies over at the Ellen Hutson blog for this month's Ellen Hutson Blog Pin Sights Challenge!!! If you're not familiar with this particular challenge, here are some of the details: every month, the EH blog highlights a different graphic chosen from images on Pinterest to use as an inspirational jumping point for challenge participants to use! A random challenge participant will receive a $50 gift certificate to the Ellen Hutson store.  To be eligible, you MUST use Essentials by Ellen products and the photo badge (above) as inspiration. There will be an inlinkz on the challenge post where you can submit your own project to be entered in the drawing for the prize!

I loved the graphic so much (and you all know how much I love EH stamps) that I created two different projects!

 The first uses an older Ellen Hutson holiday set: Mistletoe and Holly, as well as the new Leaping Deer die from the last release. I started by stamping the poinsettias and foliage from Mistletoe and Holly onto the edges of a panel of watercolor paper using Silver Pearl embossing powder. After embossing everything, I colored the images with my trusty Zig Clean Color Markers, spreading the color and adding shading with my wet paintbrush. 

The sentiment, also from Mistletoe and Holly, was added using Versamark and red glitter embossing powder. After my watercolor panel had dried, I adhered it to a red A2 card base, then die cut the Leaping Deer from red foil card stock. (The linked foil card stock isn't the exact same card stock that I used, but it will certainly do the trick!)  I simply popped it up on the watercolor panel to add some dimension. I thought that the card needed a little more sparkle... since apparently pearl embossed flowers and sparkle embossed sentiment aren't sufficiently shimmery and sparkly... so I added a few Sparkling Clear sequins from Pretty Pink Posh. Classic, but still trendy with the watercolor and foil reindeer! 

My next card is a new favorite. I am the first to admit that I'm not a "homespun" kinda gal... just not my style. I like clean lines, bright white, and symmetry. But I loved all of the watercoloring potential for the Homespun Holiday set that was included in the Winter 2016 release. Those stockings were particularly intriguing to me. To start, I die cut three of the stockings from watercolor paper using the coordinating dies, then heat embossed them with White Pearl embossing powder and did some coloring with my Zigs and wet paintbrush. I decided that a white card base was just too plain, so I used some light gray ink that I stamped off once on scratch paper to stamp some of the cute little berry sprigs from the Homespun Holiday set to add some interest to the background. I adhered a strip of gray cardstock across the top of the card as a way to sort of ground the stockings, then adhered the stockings with regular adhesive. 

I thought a pretty, shiny frame would accent the pearl embossing nicely, so I die cut the Mama Elephant Park Avenue Frame from some more red foil and popped it up around the edge of the card base with some dimensional adhesive. Finally, I die cut three of the "Believe" die from the latest release, one from that red foil, the other two from some scrap watercolor paper I had on my desk for extra height and sturdiness. I glued them all together, then adhered them over top of the stockings in the center of the card. And that was it! One of my favorite cards out of all of what feels like the bajillion cards I made for this holiday season... I like it so much that I kept it for myself instead of mailing it out when I mailed out my holiday cards yesterday. ;) 

Now, for some more fun! Now that you've seen the inspiration photo and the project inspiration, it's your turn! 

  • To participate, simply use any Essentials by Ellen product and create a project based on the above inspirational photo. 
  • One participant will be randomly selected to receive a $50 gift certificate to the Ellen Hutson store!
  • To enter, please add your projects to the Inlinkz link up on the bottom of the EH Pin-Sights post.
I can't wait to see what you come up with! Such a fantastic inspiration photo, and the EH products are fabulous to work with. Have fun, and good luck with the challenge! 

Friday, December 9, 2016

Where Creativity Meets C9: December Edition!

Good morning! Today is December 9, which means Concord and 9th release day, AND the new challenge for the Where Creativity Meets C9 blog is up!!! Our theme this month is.... 

Use your Concord and 9th products to create a "Winter" themed project, then link it up to the inLinkz on the December challenge page. The design team has some wonderful, frosty inspiration for you. 

Brainstorming for this project took far longer than I'd like to admit.... Once I hit on an idea, though, I went running with it. Obviously, "winter" can conjure up all sorts of images... snow, Christmas, food, etc, etc, etc... But as I was brainstorming, I came upon this gorgeous cake stamp and knew I needed to create a winter wedding cake. Or two. Because you can never have too much cake. 

For this cake, I attempted an all white, naked (as in, no frosting on the outside) cake. I've never been satisfied with my white flowers before... they always end up looking sort of dirty. This was definitely an experiment, but I'm happy with how it turned out! I stamped the absolutely stunning cake from Happy Day onto some watercolor paper into which I had impressed some scallops, then heat embossed with silver detail embossing powder. I colored my flowers with Zig markers, using some very, very pale shades of gray, adding color only to the areas that would have the darkest shadow, then pulling the pigment out with a wet paintbrush until the color practically fades into nothing. I also think that the trick for white flowers is to ensure that they're surrounded by color, so as to accentuate the lack of color on the flowers. I chose to color the leaves and cake some pretty deep greens and a nice beige-y tan. After all of the coloring was finished, I added my greeting. I wanted a wedding sentiment, so I used the "lovely" die from Wonderful Words dies and Beautiful Words sentiment set (stamped with Versamark and heat embossed with White Satin Pearl EP... what a lovely, softened effect!). Such a pretty wedding card, I think, and perfect for a winter white wedding! 

Now, something with some icy, wintry color to it. People can loathe winter because of the absence of color, but there are plenty of beautiful colors to be found if you're looking for them. The sunsets are particularly beautiful in winter, I think, with all of the icy blues and purples... perhaps they are more noticeable because of the absence of color elsewhere. Anyway, those icy blues and cool purples are what inspired this next "winter wedding" project. I started by heat embossing that beautiful cake from Happy Day, again using silver detail embossing powder, then coloring with my Zig markers in shades of purple, blue, and icy mint green. (Wintergreen? Is that too on the nose? Ha!) After I had finished coloring my chocolate cake, I die cut it with the coordinating dies, then added a sentiment created by stamping the "congratulations" and "Mr. & Mrs." from the Happy Day stamp set and the "beautiful" die from the Beautiful You die set, cut using silver foil . 

Next, I turned my attention to the card base. I cut a panel of A2 watercolor cardstock, then heat embossed the gorgeous flower bouquet from the cake in the corners using the same silver embossing powder. Hint, hint, Greg and Angie... More bouquets like this, prettiest of pleases! So crazy people like me don't have to cut up this beautiful cake. (I seriously have contemplated buying another one of these stamp sets just to cut off the flowers... Don't judge me.) I watercolored the pretty blooms, then added the blue halo to really give it an icy, wintry feel. I added some of the "sparkles" using a pale blue ink and silver Delicata ink. Then, I just glued on my foil die cut, popped up the cake, and called it quits! 

Two totally different looks, but both appropriate for a winter wedding, don't you think?? 

Now, it's your turn! Use your Concord and 9th stamps and dies to create a "winter" themed card, then enter it into our InLinkz on the main challenge page. Concord and 9th has generously donated a $25 gift certificate for one lucky random winner! Also, the favorite entry will be asked to join the Design Team as a guest designer for an upcoming challenge! How cool is that? Just be sure to have your entries in by December 29, 2016. :) Go forth and craft, my friends! Have a fabulous weekend! 

Monday, December 5, 2016

Little Red Truck

So, my hubby has this awesome truck. I'm not a car gal, necessarily, but I can certainly appreciate a beautiful vehicle when I see one. Well, he has a '51 Chevy 5-window truck that has been beautifully refinished, and that thing is his pride and joy. (Other than me and the kids haha!) When HoneyBee Stamps came out with their Little Pickup set a few weeks ago, I absolutely had to have it. 
For this card, I've stamped the fabulously detailed truck with Versafine ink, then heat embossed with clear EP onto watercolor paper. I then used my Zig markers to color the truck. Easy peasy. I inked up the tree with a light green Zig marker, then filled in the rough spots with a wet paintbrush, adding in some shading with a darker green Zig marker and blending it with my wet paintbrush again. I die cut both pieces using Little Pickup's coordinating dies, then set them aside. I had a stitched oval cut from some glitter paper on my desk, so I used that as a grounding agent for my festive little truck. I added a die cut "merry" and stamped sentiment  from Wplus9's Hand Lettered Holiday to my sparkly oval. The card base was stamped with Concord and 9th's Stripe Builder set using Pure Poppy ink, then the stitches using Delicata Silver ink. 
Well, that's all for me today! I hope you have had a lovely weekend... we had a craft fair for my jewelry shop, and it didn't go the best. Need a better venue, I think. Try, try again! :) Going to get the Christmas tree up this week... it is utterly shocking to me that we don't have it up yet, but we will rectify that this week! 
Have a fantastic week, my friends!