Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Money to Spend?

Do you still have Christmas money to spend? Today is the last day for the fantastic specials of Stampin' Up!s December Frenzy Promotion, so don't delay: email me with your order! These specials really help the money go further!
As a special festive thank you I am offering free shipping. Pay by Visa or Bankcard (I also accept Paypal or direct banking) and you can shop in your PJs! (like I am now at 9am oh the joys of the holidays)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Celebrate a Tropical Summer

Weather is Auckland has certainly been tropical over the last few days. Walking out of the airconditioned supermarket yesterday I got that blast of warm humidity that transports you to memories of holidays in Fiji!  I'm looking forward to more tropical feelings by the pool over these holidays, especially once I have an icy drink in my hand.

With that spirit in mind I made and demonstrated this card at my team Christmas meeting last night. This bright card is a CASE from the very talented Dawn Olchefske. I  loved this fun design that uses a real straw, along with the new (summer mini) Island Oasis designer paper and the Island Flower die. I borrowed the Tropical Party stamp set (thanks to my upline, Donna) But I don't have the new square lattice embossing folder that gave such a cool texture on Dawn's card. So I came up with my own idea to give texture and dimension to my coconut. (NOTE: I will upload better quality photos later today)

First I cut a circle out of Chocolate Chip cardstock. You can use the Circle Scissors (on special in the December Frenzy) or the Circles #2 Die for the Big Shot to make the circle. Then run the circle through your crimper several times, turning the card each time to get a grid effect. Use your bone folder to partially smooth the card and you will end up with a subtle texture. I highlighted this by using my Early Espresso inkpad direct to paper.

Everyone at the party wanted to know how to make the cool 3D flowers from the summer mini (page 20), so we had a little play with the Island Flower Die. The orange flowers are super easy: just cut 3 of the tri-petal shapes from Tangerine Tango, and 2 from So Saffron. The beauty of the Big Shot is that you can cut all these pieces in one pass. Curl the petals using a pencil or chopstick. Layer together with a brad: you can add a pearl or jewel for extra sparkle.

The pink blossoms are a little more tricky.Tutorials on the web all seem to use a knotted string centre. In the process I had the brain wave to make a beaded centre to the flower. Of course when I got home I just to get out my bead box and create this flower. The beading makes it extra pretty.

I used a bead and sequin for the centre of each floweret. The cardstock is Pretty in Pink, sponged with Rose Red. One of the other shapes from the die is cut from Old Olive cardstock to form the leaves. If you would like to learn how to make this flower come to my Summer Pool Party 15 January 2011. There will be a demonstrations, a make and take and prizes. This is a free event to enjoy summer and the new mini and kick start your crafting year once the hype of Christmas is past. Just email me for your invitation.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Peach Parfait Thank You

Here's a quick share of a card I made as part of a Thank you gift. A set of these Fresh Cut notes go together fast and make a thoughtful gift for any occasion when packaged in a set.

I used the Fresh cuts cards with matching square envelopes. The square card makes a nice change. A piece of Peach Parfait designer paper is layered behind. I echoed the polka dots on the paper by embossing some Whisper White cardstock with the Perfect Polka Dots embossing folder. Before I ran the card and embossing folder through the Big Shot I brayered the male side of folder with a mixture of Peach Parfait and Tangerine Tango ink. I punched this paper out using the 5 petal punch. The polka dots are on the debossed side, so it is easy to stamp the little flower shape in the centre (from Baroque Motifs) in more Peach Parfait and accent with a pearl. I chose the thank you phrase from the Because I Care Hostess stamp set to finish the card.

You can see I am enjoying the beautiful colours in the orange range that Stampin' Up Offers!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Definitely Contempo! Non Trad Colours

Another quick card for Christmas: well quick is relative! By the time I had tied 100 ribbon bows I had got pretty good at it! Yes I made over 80 cards of this design for a friend whose corporate colour is orange!( Tangerine Tango and Peach Parfait) And I still love the Contempo Stamp set and the Ornament Punch after all that! In fact here is another card in non traditional colours (Pretty in Pink, Melon Mambo, Bashful Blue and Pear Pizzazz) using the same stamp and punch set.

Planning to trial some new card sizes as soon as my next order arrives with some new envelope sizes!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Quick but stunning Cards for Christmas

If you still have a lot of cards to make (gentle reminder: only 17 sleeps til Christmas), choose a simple design with a feature that makes it special: in the first card it is embossing (using the Big Shot), in the second a wide luscious ribbon.

This is a full reveal of two of my recent Stamp-a-Stack Cards. I am really pleased with how they turned out. The first one uses a Whisper White, Real Red with a touch of Old Olive colour scheme. I also used Petals-a-Plenty embossing folder, 5 petal punch, Real Red Ink, Stampin' Up gems and the sentiment is from Season of Joy.

The second card goes together so quickly: great for mass production. Colour scheme is Ridinghood Red, Always Artichoke and Very Vanilla. The feature is the stunning ribbon: this was the Ridinghood Red ribbon from the recent Dress Up Christmas promotion, but I have also used the current catalogue Real Red 1 1/4 inch striped grosgrain (with Old Olive and Whisper White) to equally good effect. The So Swirly wheel across the bottom, and the stamped sentiment from Curly Cute and a mat and another card is complete.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Cherry on Top! Top Note box in Cherry Cobbler

We made this gorgeous box last month at team training. It really is just a glorified modified mini pizza box... but it packs a real wow with sponging and bling, organza ribbon and the yummy combination of cherry cobbler and old olive.

 The stamp set is Snow Swirled, and of course we used the Top Note Big Shot Die. Contact me if you want to learn how to make this box,

Monday, December 6, 2010

Santa's Hat: another Christmas Box

So Shelli's Creative Challenge for this month is to share a favourite technique. If you have been reading my blog recently you will know that I have been having a wonderful creative time making lots of different boxes and bags for Christmas gift packaging. I made this one several weeks ago, but haven't shared it yet. I got the inspiration when I saw triangle boxes that had been converted into witches' hats in several Halloween project blog posts, back in October.

Then I found a Santa Hat version, a seasonal box better suited to this part of the world. (Halloween isn't big in New Zealand) This was inspired by Paula Wright who I stumbled across on Facebook! She has some awesome Christmas ideas.

I used Real Red cardstock stamped in Real Red with one of the stamps from Season of Joy stamp set. The hat is trimmed with Whisper White punched with the scallop edge border, and the pompom is 8 scallop circles punched from more Whisper White. I scrunched them up then layered them together. A brad anchors them all together. The tag is made using the curly label punch again with a Seasons of Joy stamp and using Real Red and Old Olive markers. Whisper White grosgrain ribbon to close and its done! Cute!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Clean and Simple:Christmas

Here is a one layer card (quick and economical too) that I made for the Simplicity Challenge. The challenge was Back to the Beginning, using a technique that first got you hooked on stamping. Like many people, the magic of heat embossing was what really got me into stamping. The first Christmas cards I made featured a kiwi stamp embossed in gold on a torn mulberry mat... no heat gun of course, so they were embossed using the toaster! I hadn't even bought the stamp with cardmaking in mind: I had bought it to make quilt labels for an international swap I was in. The rest as they say, is history! (must be at least 15 years ago)
It would be fun to make a new card using that first stamp... maybe thats a challenge I should do in the New Year...

For this one the colours are Always Artichoke and Cherry Cobbler on a Very Vanilla base.  I used my bone folder to make the embossed lines at the bottom of the card. The stamp set is Season of Joy and I used my Versamarker pen to add the gold embossing powder for a subtle highlight to this clean and simple card.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Little Christmas Gifts: under $5

Yes December! It's definitely time to focus on quick craft ideas for little appreciation gifts and stocking stuffers. Here are a couple of ideas that come in under the $5 mark. I find $5 is often the guideline figure for staff santa presents... but it takes some ingenuity to come up with a worthwhile store-bought gift in that range. That is one of the joys of crafting: a unique individualised present that can be made in less time than it takes to find a parking spot at the mall in December! Both these project just require a couple of score lines and sticky strip combined with supplies you probably already have on hand (go on, admit it: you love stationery supplies too)

First up a little notepad holder with matching pen:

Ingredients: 1 sheet (total) cardstock (Melon Mambo, Daffodil Delight, Whisper White) 73c
8cm 1.6cm wide grosgrain ribbon (old olive) 8c
sticky strip 15c
notepad 88c
pen 45c
inks (Old Olive, Tangerine Tango,Melon Mambo, Daffodil Delight, Pacific Point) and stamp set (Cheep Talk)

Total cost (NZD) $2.13

I have also made a handbag from the summer mini paper Island Oasis. I love this bright and summery paper and the matching Tropical Party stamp set is magic with it.

Open the handbag: suprise... its a little Post-It holder!

1/3 sheet of designer paper (Island Oasis) 56c
25cm Pumpkin Pie 6.4mm grosgrain ribbon 24c
Post-It notepad $2.50
sticky strip 22c
jewel 8c
velcro dot 16c
Cardstock scraps Melon Mambo and Whisper White
Ink (Pumpkin Pie) and Stamp set (Tropical Party)
5 petal Punch
Total cost (NZD) $3.71

Want to learn how to make these? Join my class Quick Christmas Gifts this Monday 6 December 7-9pm. Or get 3-4 friends together and I will come to you: I still have some daytime and a few evening dates available before Christmas! Email me now to arrange a time to suit.