Thursday, December 31, 2015

Day 313: Top Posts for 2015

Time flies when you are having fun, Stampin' Friends. I'm 313 days into my 365 day blogging challenge, and I hope you've been having as much fun as I have!
I poked back through my (almost) year of blogging to see which posts were most popular, then picked out my favorites of your favorites to share once more today. I hope you'll forgive me for not posting a new project, but today was my littlest son's birthday and he needed me more than I needed to craft, so I only got to work on my project for tomorrow's Blog Hop in between cooking all his favorite foods and cleaning and decorating for the Harry Potter shindig we are hosting Saturday. There's only 52 more days to go in my challenge, and I can't tell you how grateful I am to each of you friendly readers for following along and supporting my creative exploration this year. Crafters are the best!

We just found out that we are moving back to Portland, which brings for me a confusing mixture of joy and tears...and a wee bit of panic as my hubby needs to be there to start his new adventure in just two weeks, leaving me to manage the whole caboodle until we can get the family move organized too. I'm looking forward to my nightly crafting sessions as therapy and rest from the crazy days ahead!
I made this image of my oldest son's hands just before we decided to move to Spokane a little less than two years ago. I find it a helpful reminder today as well. 

Happy New Year, Stampin' Friends, and onward to new adventures in 2016!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Day 312: Planners Gonna Plan

Can you say, "Squee!!"? My new CTMH Planner bundle arrived today, with a few goodies from the new Seasonal Expressions, and I couldn't wait to dive in!
The beautiful planner cover is a bit bigger than 9x8 and features this pretty gold foil design.
The planner pages include 12 monthly tabs, a pocket folder with gold foil designs, a pretty bookmark, and 4 sheets of planner stickers. I love the variety of different designs they used for the monthly dividers. 
Each month includes a two page spread for the monthly calendar as well as two page weekly spreads. 
I also got the January special Live Your Day PML cards (sneak peek) that coordinate and the sweet washi tape and roller stamp. Just until the end of December 31st you can get the CTMH Planner Bundle for a nice discount
I just started working on my January layout today. I added a few bits from the Penelope Complements (which goes live January 1), plus some extra washi tapes. I'm going to use my planner as an actual planner plus I'll be adding stamping, quotes, life planning, and more to the monthly pages. I plan to use the weekly pages to organize my blog posts and ongoing CTMH projects. I just LOVE my pretty new planner!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Day 311: Glitter Mason Jar Thank You Card

Tonight's project is one of those that looks so much better in person that it makes me wish I were a better photographer.
I started with a new (to me) sketch challenge blog I found this week called Can You Case It? I stamped my card base with the friendship sentiment and tiny heart from the December SOTM in Cashmere ink.Then I layered on a Beautiful You PML card. I crossed that with some silver washi tape and popped up the Thank You sentiment on thin foam tape.
By then my Mason Jar treatment was dry. I wanted to evoke glitter mason jars (like these that I made for my craft fair table), so after I stamped the jar I filled it in with glitter nail polish. I could've used Stickles, but it would be so chunky and take forever to dry. Since this wasn't for a scrapbook page I just painted on some glitter nail polish and a few minutes later it was dry and so very sparkly! I did the same for the little heart, except I used silver sparkly nail polish and dropped a few drops of the berry color from the jar into it and swirled it around with my piercing tool. 

It's photographing as kind of bumpy but in person it' just shimmery and sparkly loveliness. I'm really hoping my ShotBox gets here soon!!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Day 310: Light in My Life Friendship Card

It's Monday, and time for another Atlantic Hearts Sketch Challenge!
I used this adorable December SOTM because I L-O-V-E this mason jar so much. The papers are from the Zoe line.
I lightly water colored the candle and the glowing light, then added clear Wink of Stella and shimmer gel pen. I finished off with a few enamel gems. Pop over to Atlantic Hearts and try this fun sketch for yourself!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Day 309: No Way Dude Congrats Card

I'm in the process of cleaning off my desk, hoping for a fresh start with the new year. While I was cleaning up I found this Crazy Good set that CTMH gave us at the Album Retreat...and I got a little distracted from my tidy time.
I still have the CAS(E) this Sketch challenge kicking around in my head, and this seemed like a perfect stamp set for that. I stamped the triangle background using Pear Ink, working from first to second generation for an ombre effect. I was only going to do a band across the middle but I couldn't stop, lol. Then I layered on the sentiments using black ink. I framed the card front with green shimmer trim and added a quick pen outline to the card front. 
I popped up a few of the sentiments with thin 3-d foam tape onto White Daisy cs banners which I edged with black journaling pen. Then I added some shimmer gel pen to the DUDE, and enamel glitter triangles to either side of the DUDE. 

This card is going into my card stash, which is seriously depleted since I sent almost everything I've made since July over to Jacobsen's Books in Hillsboro, Oregon. Tina has the cutest little book store and she's kind enough to carry my handmade cards there, so if you need a card, some books, or just a friendly smile, stop by there and check out her awesome shop. I order almost all my books through her instead of my beloved Amazon Prime, because she's so awesomesauce!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Day 308: January SOTM Sneak Peek Thinking of You Card

Today I finally got a chance to ink up my January Stamp of the Month for the first time. 
This is a 2 step stamp set, with a solid base image and coordinating detailed outline image. I inked the base in Cranberry ink, then stamped it off onto scratch paper before stamping it onto the white cardstock. Then I stamped the detail image on top using full strength Cranberry ink. I used a post-it to mask off the blooms to layer the two smaller blooms together, and to add some of the floral sprays in a Kraft colored ink in the background. My color combo inspiration came from the ColourQ challenge. I added a hand drawn line around the card front, and a ruled line around the base.
I went back in on the blooms with my shimmer gel pen to add some sparkle to the blooms. I also dabbed some gold glitter gel in amongst the kraft floral sprays. I added a few Fundamentals sparkly heart stickers to accent the sentiment. This pretty stamp set is not available until January 1, but I hope you'll forgive me a little sneak peek. 

Friday, December 25, 2015

Day 307: Free Disney Mini Album Instructions

Merry Christmas, Stampin' Friends! It's been a busy but happy day here today. After we put the boys to bed, I was pondering what to share with you today...and I realized I have one project left from my Convention Presentation this summer that I never shared with y'all. I meant to, but I was finishing the instructions and then it just got away from me.
I made this adorable Disney Mini Album using lots of Cricut cuts, the PML Gold Overlays, and the Reel Life stamp set. It was so much fun to build, and quick to fill. I'm sharing the instructions (with lots more pics) for this cutie for free - just email me and I'll shoot you a PDF. You can grab the Cricut Design Space cut file here. I'm linking this project up to the Heart 2 Heart Gifts from the Heart challenge. 

Merry Everything, Stampin' Friends!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Day 306: Celebrate Love Card

Tonight I filled my little mason jar with love!
The sketch is from the current Freshly Made Sketches. I was inspired by the teacher mason jar gifts we gave this December. I adhered a Through the Year PML card to my card base. I outlines it with a shimmer gel pen and then dotted all around it with a fine tipped journaling marker.
I added some strips of Simple Stories I Am paper and a water colored mason jar.  A few glitter hearts floating our of the jar finished off this quick and simple design. I'm linking this card up to the Seize the Birthday challenge.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Day 305: Easy Reindeer Kid Craft

Today I was supposed to get to sneak off and fit in some card making time with a crafty mom friend...but instead our neighborhood got blocked in by a bunch of cars who were stranded by the snow and a jackknifed semi truck. No one could get in, and no one could get out. So instead of crafty time, I got lots of kid time. We took a snowy walk, sledded, ate gluten free danish bread with homemade jam, and wrapped some presents.
The boys (usually) love to craft, so when I saw this pin on Pinterest, we had to make some. Obviously I made the center sample, and the other two were made by my youngest son, Max. The other two did not want to make anything (except these Disney Shrinky Dinks). We painted the mason jar lids with brown outdoor paint. Max made his first reindeer pretty much according to the instructions...but the second attempt was much more satisfying according to him. I try to encourage them to be creative and follow their own path. So I plan to punch a hole in the tops of these with my Crop-a-dile and hang them right onto our tree, 8 bazillion pom poms and all, once I get the artiste to sign his creations. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Day 304: Light in My Life Thank You Card

I find that I'm not quite done with this month's adorable SOTM. That mason jar is just too cute!
I started with the new sketch from RetroSketches. I decided to stamp the base of my card with the LIGHT IN MY LIFE sentiment and added a panel of black cardstock. I loved the Friday Mashup idea of using Black, Silver, and Gold, so I layered on a Beautiful You PML card that is gold foil embossed. I altered the card by adding stripes of Silver foil tape. 
I stamped the jar and the thank you sentiment onto white cardstock, then cut them out together as one piece. I colored the candle with silvery Wink of Stella, and added gold glitter gel to the flame and as a halo around the flame by tapping it out with my fingertip. Then I popped that element up with thin 3-D foam tape. Finally, I added the light strands in White Daisy ink along the bottom of the black cardstock panel and filled them in with the same gold glitter gel.  

Thanks for stopping by today, Stampin' Friends!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Day 303: Easy Glitter Monogram Gift Tags

I live in a house full of boys. When it comes to holiday traditions, the boys care deeply about Christmas cookies and visiting Santa to drop off their list of demands share their wish lists. No one but me wants to decorate for the holidays. No one but me is happy about the new jammies on Christmas Eve tradition. No one but me cares how the presents are wrapped.  
Since no one else cares, I tend to go very simple and utilitarian on most of the gift wrapping. It breaks my heart a bit, because I'd love to go all fancy on the wrapping doo dads, but since everything gets unwrapped in 3.2 seconds flat, it makes more sense to chill on the frills. Items are wrapped with an easily read tag to show who gets to tear off the paper. No bows, no ribbons, no carefully crafted pretty paper tags that they will scrunch into a ball. But the Santa that gets a bit of care. Extra hooplah and ribbons and specially crafted tags...but not too much like my normal style, because we can't out Santa due to excessive CTMH stamp usage.  
This year I found these inexpensive monogram letters at Target. They are thicker than chipboard, but pretty lightweight. I wanted to jazz them up a bit, so I coated them with Paper Mod Podge and a thick, chunky silver glitter, with an extra layer of mod podge to seal in the glittery goodness. Now they are so fabulous and sparkly! Better yet, the boys can add them to the Christmas tree as ornaments once they are done with presents this year, because they love monogram holiday ornaments (or anything with their name/initial that they can claim only they have the right to hang on the tree). Only four more sleeps!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Day 302: Disney Mini Album Three Ways

This week I finished off a Disney Mini album project using the My Creations Black Mini Album.
I made a few of these, all with the same basic idea for the front cover, but with varied embellishments to finish off the design. 

My papers were Simple Stories Say Cheese II and La Vie En Rose black stripe

The embellishments came from a coordinating die cut pack for the Simple Stories line, and a cricut mickey head that I made myself in Design Space. The black acrylic stars came from the Scaredy Cat Assortment.

I'm linking these albums up to the Paper Issues Owl I Want for Christmas party, since tomorrow they head off in the mail to their new homes!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Day 301: Merriest Christmas Holiday Card

Got a quick and easy card tonight, with a little twist on the wood veneer snowflakes I've been loving lately!
I started off with this week's sketch from CAS(E) this Sketch. I stamped some Kraft cardstock with snowflakes from various sets in Colonial White pigment ink. I inked the flakes unevenly on purpose to get a distressed look to the background. I swiped the edges of the cardstock with the same ink and quickly heat set it because I'm too impatient to wait for it to dry. Then I sprayed the kraft cardstock with glitter spray for some excellent shimmer.
I stamped the sentiment in brown Memento ink, the again in Ruby ink onto some Colonial White cardstock so I could make a banner out of the MERRIEST word. I popped that banner up on foam tape, then broke off a couple of the prongs of a wood veneer snowflake (American Crafts - I tossed a few into the first photo including the one I snapped). I tucked these behind the banner with some Liquid Glass. Finally I went over the MERRIEST banner with shimmer gel pen, and also added it on the centers of the stamped snowflakes. I think this will be the last of my holiday cards this year!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Day 300: Enjoy the Here and Now Layout

I'm excited to share with you another Scrap Much? layout sketch challenge!
I have been hoarding a bit of BoBunny's You're Invited line for a while. Finally I decided that this sketch was the one worth cutting into this beautiful paper! I had to scootch things a bit to make room for the photo strips I wanted to use on this page, but I think I managed to keep the spirit of this pretty sketch intact. 
I mixed in a bit of the Simple Stories I Am 6x6 pad as well. You can see here that I grabbed some of the subtitling as well as some of the banners from that pad. 
Here's the sketch! I hope you love it enough to hop over to Scrap Much? and play along!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Day 299: Freshly Made Reindeer Holiday Card

Tonight I played with the new sketch from Freshly Made Sketches.
I stamped that adorable reindeer from Reindeer Bells in the center of a Colonial White cs panel, and quickly colored him with Shin Han Alcohol Markers. Then I masked him off, making a mask with a handy post-it before stamping a large (retired) snowflake over top of him. 
I went over the snowflake image with a shimmer gel pen, and used the same pen on his bell collar too. For the nose I added a drop of red sparkle nail polish! 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Day 298: Homemade Toffee Candy Teacher Mason Jar Gift

So this is what I did with the tags from last night's post - I popped them onto these adorable mason jars filled with a homemade toffee candy to deliver to my boys' hard working teachers at our conferences today.
I got the jars on Etsy. I know I can make my own, and heaven knows there are enough mason jars in my house, but sometimes you need a little helping hand. These were adorable, and not too expensive, and best of all I didn't have to paint them myself. I did make the tags  (I'm sure you can see where the tag inspiration came from) plus the candy to fill them up. On the tags we wrote, "Thank you for every piece of knowledge." We heart our teachers!
Here's the link to the original toffee recipe I altered. It's simple, with few ingredients, and totally yummy! It was originally supposed to be an Almond Roca copy, but I crushed some pecans and unsweetened shredded coconut together in my food processor and put that down instead of the crushed almonds. Then I poured the toffee mixture on top (made with real butter and dark brown sugar) and topped it with melted Enjoy Life Semi Sweet Chocolate Mini Chips, because that's our favorite allergy friendly chocolate. You'd better just go ahead and make a double batch because it's so delicious! I'm going to save all the crumbs left from break it up for ice cream topping. Sweet!


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