Thursday, December 7, 2017

Good Will to All

A super simple Christmas card to share today featuring one of my favorite Ellen Hutson sets, Wonky Backdrops.

The background image was stamped using a MISTI, first with a light blue ink, and then I used a sponge dauber to add a darker blue to the upper frame of the image.  This was repeated several times until I got the coverage/blending that I was looking for.  

The trees are from Ellen's Holly Jolly set.

I'm a little embarrassed, but I don't remember where this sentiment came from.  The card was created a while ago and I just haven't blogged it, and I'm racking my brain, but just can't remember where it came from.  Anyone know?

Anyway, I really love this look and this is another one that could be very easily mass produced....and it's very possible I'll be doing just that this weekend!

*Affiliate Links Below

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Medallion Flower Builder for Christmas, Two Ways

Hi everyone!  I've got another duo of Christmas cards for you today, this time featuring my Medallion Flower Builder set for Neat & Tangled.

I love all my sets, but this one is especially fun to play with when it comes to pattern building, and things come together pretty quickly too, which is good for this time of year when I'm racing to get the Christmas cards done!

For this first card I started off by lightly penciling in a couple of guidelines along the center of the panel both vertically and horizontally.  The main petals were then stamped with gold Delicata ink.  (This is by no means perfect, and it actually doesn't form a perfect flower medallion either since I knew I was going to put the sentiment strip across the middle and I wanted more of a mirror image than full medallion effect.)  The accent images were then stamped with Ruby Red ink from Altenew.

The sentiment is from the Bright Baubles set and was embossed with Princess Gold embossing powder.

Since Delicata take a little longer to dry, I let the panel sit overnight, then erased my pencil marks and finished the card off by popping up the sentiment strip.

For the second card, I just stamped a pattern in the corner, again using the gold Delicata and Ruby Red ink.  No real plan here, just having fun.  Again the sentiment is from Bright Baubles.

Normally I would add some sort of mat, but I really loved the crisp clean look of the panel directly over the card base, so I went with it.

Which is your favorite?

If you're interested in this stamp set, it's currently on sale at Ellen Hutson (EH affiliate links are at the bottom of the post).

BUT there's also some great sales going on over at Neat & Tangled.  We're retiring a bunch of sets and their coordinating dies.  Everything in the sale section is 40% off and no code is required.

On top of that, all this month N&T is celebrating Holiday Hump Day, which means every Wednesday there's a 24 hour flash sale on something.  You won't know what it is until the big day arrives.  This week it's 25% off all dies using code HUMPDAY1.

So, between the retirement sale and the Hump Day sale, you can get some great deals.  (The Hump Day sale ends at 11:59 EST tonight.)

*Ellen Hutson Affiliate Links Below (links in text to Neat & Tangled)

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Papertrey Warmest Wishes

I've got a couple cards to share with you today using the Warmest Wishes set from Papertrey.  I picked this up earlier in the year and finally got around to using it.  I really love the style of the images.

For this first card, the background images was stamped with WPlus9 Fairy Dust Ink and then no lined colored it with Copics.  No shading in the coloring, I just chose two shades of gray using the darker where the mountains overlap.

The bear was then colored with Copics, die cut and popped up over the mountains.

Really simple and easy, especially since there is minimal coloring required for the bear.

For this second card I also kept my coloring pretty simple for the background.  Just coloring the trees/parts of trees in varying shades of green with no shading.

I did do a bit of shading on the fox and in this case I adhered him directly to the panel rather than popping him up.

The sentiment on this card is from an older MFT set (the sentiment on the first card is from the Warmest Wishes set).

These ones were pretty quick and easy and are definitely mass producible.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, December 1, 2017

DieCember, Joy to the World

Happy Friday everyone!

Today I'm popping in with a card using one of the new Simon Says Stamp Diecember dies.  There are lots of fun things going on at Simon this month having to do with all things dies, so you definitely want to be keeping an eye out over there.

I'm showing off this fun Swirling Star Trail die from Simon.  I ran in through my Big Shot four times to create a pattern.  The easiest way to do this is to cut it in opposite directions rather than rotating it 90 degrees each time.  It's a little easier to line up and get square.

The sentiment is from an older Simon set called Peace on Earth and was embossed with Princess Gold embossing powder.

I cut a small panel of glitter paper which was adhered directly to my card base, and then I popped the die cut panel up over it.

A thin strip of gold foil cardstock anchors the bottom of the panel.

Super quick and easy!

Be sure to head over to the Simon Says Stamp store to check out all the fun new DieCember products.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

November 2017 in Books

A really good month of reading for the most part with one big dud in the bunch.  Lots of books that made me think and some really sweet and wonderful stories as well.  Coming up next for me are a couple of Ellie's Battle Books (the next battle is Friday and this is the first time I haven't read them all in time), The Age of Miracles, and The Sun is Also a Star.  Would love to know what you've read this month!

The Bitter Side of Sweet - Tara Sullivan - juvenile fiction - five stars - About two boys in Africa who look to find work in another country, but are tricked into slavery on the Ivory Coast.  They have given up on going home when a young girl arrives at the camp and she inspires them to escape.  A really compelling look at modern day slavery and exploitation of kids in other parts of the world.  This is a juvenile fiction book and I would let Ellie (in 5th grade) read it. 

Tomorrow There Will Be Apricots  - Jessica Sofer - fiction - four stars - The story of Lorca, a girl who is having a hard time and whose mom wants to send her to boarding school, and Victoria a recent widow.  They are both searching and in doing so find one another through a shared love of cooking.  As they get to know one another, they being to feel they might be connected by more than just cooking.  I enjoyed the book, I thought some of it was kind of contrived and I am not a huge fan of teenage angst (very much not looking forward to the teenage years here), but overall I really enjoyed the story and how it was told.  Some really interesting twists and turns too.

Dear Pen Pal (The Mother-Daughter Book Club, #3) - Heather Vogel Frederick - juvenile fiction - four stars - Another installment of the series that Ellie and I have been reading.  In this book they girls are reading Daddy Long Legs and they have joined with a book club in Wyoming with whom the girls become pen pals.  Besides that, Jess is going to a boarding school, she misses her friends and hates her roommate, Cassidy's family is about to grow, and Megan's grandmother comes for an extended visit.  Just as enjoyable as the rest of the series.

The Life She Was Given - Ellen Marie Wiseman - fiction - four stars - I have read all of Wiseman's books and have always enjoyed them.  She's a great storyteller and here weaves the story of an albino girl who her parents hide her in the attic because she is different.  Eventually her mother sells her to the circus where she ends up thriving.  Years later a woman inherits her parents house and begins to unravel the story.  It was a really good read, but I just didn't like the ending/climax at all and felt a little let down at the end. 

The Snow Child - Eowyn Ivey - fiction - five stars - The story of a couple who move to Alaska to escape when they are unable to have children.  They live reclusively until one evening, almost if by magic, they are visited by a child.  She is almost like a stray dog who comes and goes.  They build a relationship with her, but most folks don't believe she exists.  She becomes a big part of their lives and is almost a good luck charm who helps open their hearts to other friendships as well.  Sad and sweet and hopeful.  I really enjoyed this one.

The Luster of Lost Things - Sophie Chen Keller - fiction - five stars - Such a sweet story about a boy named Walter who has a hard time communicating due to a speech impediment, but a huge gift for finding things.  When his mother's bakery loses a special book that brings magic to the store, it's up to him to find it again.  In his journey he meets and helps a series of strangers and finds a way to bring life back to the store.

The Underground Railroad - Colson Whitehead - historical fiction - five stars - A great book!  It's the story of Cora a slave who runs away.  In this book the underground railroad is depicted as exactly that, a railroad under the ground.  It's kind of an interesting concept that blends historical fiction and fantasy.  Aside from the undergroundness of the railroad, it's a really compelling story describing her movements through the U.S., the attitude towards slavery in different states, the practice of slave catching, etc. 

The Best of Adam Sharp - Graeme Simsion - fiction - two stars - I had high hopes for this as I really liked his Rosie books, but I kind of hated this book.  It's basically about a guy on the cusp of a mid-life crisis and an email from his old girlfriend, the love of his life, the one that got away sends him over the edge.  Basically a bunch of messed up people.  Generally if I get to the end of a book and really don't like any of the characters it's a bad book, right?

Nick and Tesla's High-Voltage Danger Lab: A Mystery with Electromagnets, Burglar Alarms, and Other Gadgets You Can Build Yourself - Bob Pflugfelder - juvenile fiction - four stars - This is one of Ellie's Battle Books.  Nick and Tesla have been sent to California to stay with their slightly wacky inventor uncle while their parents are working overseas.  There are strange things happening in the neighborhood and they and some new friends work to get to the bottom of things.  It's a fun story, and a really easy read that will appeal to boys as well as girls.  There are actually directions for different experiments inside too which are pretty easily duplicated which your kids might also find really appealing.

To Be Where You Are - Jan Karon - fiction - five stars - My mother-in-law introduced me to the Mitford series many years ago, before kids, so at least a decade ago.  All the books are sweet and charming and I've a vested interest in the characters now.  The characters have also aged and many that have been with us for a long time have passed, or are getting to retirement age.  This book deals a lot with that next stage in life for some of the older characters, but lots of hope and new beginnings for the younger set.  For me, Mitford never disappoints and I love to see how the characters are doing.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

O Come Let Us Adore Him

Happy Wednesday!  I've got another Christmas card to share today.  This one features a new stamp set from Simon Says Stamp debuting today called Joy to the World.  

The set includes a whole host of nativity images, but I wanted to focus on baby Jesus.  I started by inking up my panel with a variety of inks.  I used some Distress and one of my dark blue Close to My Heart Inks since I couldn't find the dark blue Distress ink, which is not actually that surprising given the state of the craft room.  

The stable and manger images were stamped on Neenah Solar White and colored with Copics and then fussy cut.  I did use a craft knife to cut out the triangular openings in the stable.  

Both the star and sentiment were embossed. I used Egyptian Gold embossing powder for the star, I like how yellow it is and there are some great glittery sparkles in there as well.  I did emboss the star multiple times to give it a puffier look.

You definitely want to head over to the Simon Says Stamp blog to see more of this set!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Merry Christmas Reindeer

I recently received this Seasons Tweetings stamp set from A Muse Studio.  I thought I would ink it up for a quick and easy Christmas card.

I started by stamping the reindeer on some Primitive Cream cardstock.  I created a mask to place over top of it and then added the trees in two shades of light green ink.  

The sentiment was then stamped over top of the trees.  

The reindeer was colored with colored pencils.  I'm not 100% happy with him, I wish he was a little more shaded/less dark, but I think I just need some more practice with the pencils.

I also added some green accents to the trees to give them a little extra oomph.

I added a couple of mats to the panel and some stitching and then adhered the entire piece to an off white card base.

Thanks for stopping by and hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and a happy weekend of shopping!