Please note that every challenge in this blog can be entered with any form of art work, not just cards. Themes may have to be slighly altered, but as long as they represent the general idea, feel free to enter.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New Year, New Challenges

It wouldn't be a New Year without Resolutions.  Here at Your Scrapbook Place we are resolved to offering you new challenges that will specifically target the word NEW.  2012 is the year to crawl, walk or junp your way out of your comfort zone and try new products, new techniques and new media.
Look for our first 2012 Challenge Yourself challenge in the next week.  Challenges will run every month, and you can enter as many times as you want.
Happy Crafting!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Day 24 of the "24 Days of Crafting Christmas"

Pammie's Tree
 We would like to extend season's greetings to all crafters, near and far.  Whether you celebrate Chirstmas or Hanukah or Kwanzaa; whether you're snowed in or sunbathing; whether you live alone or with family.  Enjoy love and laughter, celebrate family and fun, count your blessings, give generously, and keep on Crafting!

Happy Holidays!
'twas the night before Christmas,
And all through the home,
Only one creature was stirring,
A late night scrapper alone.

While she cropped and she trimmed,
Under her breath she was muttering,
"He hid my darn Herma fix!"
The poor wife was stuttering
Melissa's Tree

While she cropped and she trimmed,
Under her breath she was muttering,
"He hid my darn Herma fix!"
The poor wife was stuttering!

When out on the lawn
There arose such a clatter,
She sprang from her table,
And dropped her Magic Matter.

Away to the window
She flew like a flash,
Thinking maybe it was UPS
Bringing more for her stash!
Anna's Tree

Linda's Tree

But what to her wondering eyes
Should appear,
But a miniature (die cut) sleigh
And 8 (punchie) reindeer!

With a little old driver
So lively and quick
She knew right away
It was Jolee old St. Nick.

He carried a sack
Filled up to the brim,
With paper packs, cardstock,
And templates crammed in.

There were punches, and stickers,
And eyelets galore,
There was even a Sizzix font
Not yet! in the stores!

He went quickly to work,
Stowing it all under her tree,
The wire, the fibers,
And all Acid Free!

"Those Whale Punches are heavy!"
She heard him exclaim,
Then he turned to his reindeer
And called them by name:

"On Buyer and Stasher,
Puncher and Cropper.
On Scrapper, on Matter,
On Trimmer and Cutter."

And he sprang to his sleigh
But before he could leave,
The woman yelled, "STOP!"
And pulled a camera from her sleeve.

She snapped some quick photos
For future keepsake,
Thinking all the while,
Of the layout she'd make!
And she heard him exclaim.
When she finally let him go,
"Happy Scrapping to All"
And to all, "HO HO HO!"

Pat's Tree

Friday, December 23, 2011

Day 23 - Crafting Full Circle

I was at work this morning when a couple of Youth Group girls from the church I work at asked me for some craft ideas for a Christmas Party they were hosting at a Home for Seniors with Disabilities.  They had already planned the carols they were singing and an activity, but needed a craft or two that a nine or ten year old could handle (mental age of most of the residents).  Did I mention our youth group has garnered awards for their social justice and service programs?

Besides the Candy Cane Reindeer craft, I came up with ornaments made with these wonderful free digi's I got online.  They are circles with images and greetings inside, and two of them were Christmas themed.  I printed enough of them for each resident to color and glue onto paper doilies on which the girls had already attached ribbon hangers.  But when I was playing with the right size, I printed up a bunch of circles that were too small for their needs.

So being the miser that I am (although I prefer the terms "frugal" and "upcycler"), I thought what a great size to pop into bottle caps and make a Christmas tree.  Problem was, I hadn't been saving any bottle caps!  Then I thought, I don't necessarily need the bottle caps, let's see what they look like by themselves.

Hmm, pretty plain, if you ask me.  So I used some metallic glitter glue around each of the circle images and by golly, they look like bottle caps!  I dimensionally popped them onto my green cardstock tree frame, gave my tree a leg (or limb) to stand on and adhered it to this awesome patterned paper from Me & My Big Ideas paper stack.  I added some jute lace ribbon, which was recycled from packaging on a gift I received (thank you, Liz, for the chocolates and the ribbon).  Of course, every tree needs a star, but my brown rose with glittered leaves looks perfect perched on top.

Here's a close up of the two images I used.  I just wish I knew the designer so I could give credit where credit is due!  If you happen to know the artist who made or offered these, please speak up.  If I come across her work, I'll come back and ID the images.

Meanwhile, take a cocoa break and breathe deeply.  relax your shoulders, stretch your neck, and be in the moment, right now, and enjoy the sights and sounds of Christmas.

Merry Crafting!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Day 22 - A Little Poetic Justice

I just thought, with everyone busy finishing their presents, decorations, cookies, etc., a little break was in order, so read and chuckle and identify with this Christmas Crafting poem:

Linda's Card

'Twas The Week Before Christmas

'Twas the week before Christmas
and the house was a hush.
Save the stamping of rubber
in a last minute rush.

The cardstock was cut
with precision and care,
In hopes that a greeting
would soon be stamped there.

The children were tucked in
their beds around eight,
but now it's 10:30--
How'd it get so late?

And I in my PJs
with bleary red eyes,
had finally arranged
all the stamping supplies.

It started out simple
(it does every year)
just make a few cards
for friends who are dear.

Nothing too fancy--
just an elegant touch
A gold embossed image,
some ribbon and such.

I pressed ink to paper
(it looked crisp and clean)
a sprinkle of powder,
then heat for a sheen.

When what on my green Christmas
cards should appear?
Why a tiny gold Santa,
with sleigh and reindeer!

But with little stray flecks,
and some missing spots, too,
I knew in a moment
this one wouldn't do.

On Santa's Lap

Then I tried it again,
once more, and another.
"I will get this right!"
I said to no other.

On pigment! On powder!
On heat from a gun!
Now ribbon! And envie!
Can I make fifty-one?

"I can do it!" I said
with all of my might.
And looked at the clock--
'twas well past midnight.

I went straight to stamping
out card after card.
"This might take all night,
but at least it's not hard."

But after I finished,
they looked a bit lame.
I didn't want fancy,
but these were too plain.

And then in a twinkling
a thought came to mind.
"I'll just dress them up
and then they'll be fine."

Anna's Card

So I went in my craftroom
and looked all around.
Then back to the table
with all that I'd found.

My Fiskars I brandished
(I wasn't a quitter).
And soon I was covered
in EP and glitter.

A bundle of papers
I spread on the table
to find the right background
(quite sure I was able).

With fibers that sparkled,
a mulberry sheet
was just the right choice,
my card to complete.

I started to smile
when the cuckoo came out.
"It's now 3am!"
That bird left no doubt.

The cap of a marker
I held in my teeth.
I'd lay in some color,
or maybe gold leaf.
My broad little face
was all beaded with sweat.
But I wouldn't give up!
Well, not at least yet.

There was glue on the table
and ink on the floor.
I laughed at the site,
though my fingers were sore.

I did not complain,
just kept up my work.
When more things went wrong,
I did not go berserk.

When I finally finished,
one card, around six,
it looked pretty good
after all of my tricks.

"I'm keeping this one.
My work on it shows."
So clutching my card,
up the staircase I rose.

I crawled into bed
at the first crack of dawn.
Creativity spent,
motivation all gone.

But make no mistake!
I promise one thing--
"You'll all get your cards!
But you'll get them next Spring!"

Author Unknown

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Decorating the Tree

With my Christmas cards all postal, my creativity turns to tags and packages and ornaments for the tree.
I had an extra colored image left over from a wreath I had made using the Cute Companions stamp set called Christmas Magic.  So I made a new ornament for my tree.  I decided to try my hand at one of those handmade flowers, the ones you make out of patterned paper and a gazillion folds!  Well, my Ultimate Crafter's Companion Tool made short work of scoring my paper (3"x6") at half inch intervals.  I did this to two pieces of leftover Christmas paper.  Then I adhered the fans into two semi-circles, and then adhered them  together, holding them in place with binder clips until the glue dried.

Next I inked the edges of my "fan flower" and adhered it to a paper doily.  Then I had to add some shine, so I Stickled the edges of both my flower and the doily.  Last two steps were to pop on the image, which had already been Copic-colored, Stickled and framed, and to attached some gold cord from which to hang my ornament.  (I also added a white ribbon with pearl embellishments to hide where the cord was tied to the ornament)

And now you see it proudly displayed on myChristmas tree!  I can't wait for hubby and the kids to "discover" the new ornament!  BTW, have you been over to the Crafter's Companion Challenge Blog?  This month their challenge is to "make it shine", whether it be cards, layouts or altered art.  Just use a CC image and give it some glow and play for a chance to win an awesome prize!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Santa Pops in with a Surprise

Well, maybe not Santa, maybe it's just me, Pat, but the surprise is here, and it's a Pop-Up Christmas card!  I decided to go CAS (Clean And Simple) on the front of the card, just some patterned paper from Me & My Big Ideas Christmas Stack, a leftover piece of ribbon and a couple gel stickers.  I got these stickers on clearance at my local scrapbooking store, Craft Fancy.  Not oinly do they have the newest in papers, embellishments and tools, but they offer a ton of classes each month, including Copic coloring and Cricut creations. 

Back to my card: The cool part comes when you open the card!  As you can see, Santa popped in (or rather up) after all!  Here he is looking out over the sleeping town on Christmas Eve, ready to shoot down another chimney. 

The image is a digi from Dustin Pike, colored with my trusty Copics.  The paper is from the same Me & My Big Ideas stack.

The technique is easy peasy.  Just plan out your background on the inside, as well as the image you want to pop up.  Before adhering your paper background, fold it in half as it will be folded in side the card, and using a scissors, cut a "flap" in the middle of the fold, just wide enough to adhere your image to it without it showing.  Unfold your paper, push the flap out and fold again, this time with your flap folded in the opposite direction.  When adhered to your inside card base, the flap looks like a little step leading from bottom of your card base to the top of it.  Adhere your image.  Then close and open the card and watch the magic!!

I hope you get a chance to try a pop-up card in the coming year.  And as always, happy crafting!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Day 19 - Albums & Journals & Notebooks, Oh My!

No matter if you have a scrapbooker, an artist or a writer in your family, these covers will inspire you to think handmade for Christmas this year.  They are so easy to make, so useful to give, and so economical for your budget. 
Our project today comes from Donna Clark, whose family and friends are going to love their presents!'

The first cover is for a 2012 Calendar.  I love those Interstate signs, and they way she mixed her aalphas.  What a great gift for practically anyone!

Next up are some Journal covers.  I love how Donna placed buttons and ribbons on the covers for bookmarking inside.
I've seen the ribbons come out of books' spines, but this is something we can do ourselves very easily!

Now for a couple of drawing book covers, customized toward their prospective owners' interests and personalities.
I have a teen daughter who could use a journal AND an art book AND a calendar!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

18th Day of Crafting Christmas

Have you discovered the simplicity and great presentation of an easel card yet?  I don't know why I waited so long to try out this type of card, but I am hooked on it now!  Here I made a Christmas easel card using Squigglefly's Unconventional Christmas Tree digi image by Mark Hicks
To make your own easel card, cut a piece of 8.5x11" cardstock in half so that you have two 8.5x5.5" pieces.  Fold one piece so that you have a 4.25x5.5" standard note card.  Now fold the top half horizontally in toward the center fold.  Now you have a card whose face is folded in half and kind of sticks up like a tent across your card bottom. 
You can go two ways with an easel card.  You can color an image and adhere it to the bottom half of your card, so that when you open the card (lift up the top like a tent) your image sticks up as if it were resting on an easel.  OR You can cut your second piece of carsdstock in half to match the card front's dimensions of 4.25x5.5 and adhere only the bottom half of the piece onto the bottom half of your card.  I elected to color and cut out my image and place it on my card so when it is propped open, it looks like a tree coming up from the base of the card.
Decorate as you like, but remember that to keep your top half propped up, you'll need to put something with dimension (a jewel, a flower, a sentiment adhered with dimensional dots, etc) on the bottom piece of your card (the base).  I placed a small jewel in one of the musical notes.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Day 17 - Presentation is Everything, or Monogrammed Note Cards Part 3

Paper Mache gift bag
So,  now I have the pretty monogrammed cards, how do I wrap them?  Well, I could have  just wrapped in tissue paper and tie a beautiful bow around it.  Hmmm…. Nope.  I wanted to do something special.  Let's look around the old craft room and see what I can use.  Wrap a shoe box?  Nope.  Put in a pretty plain bag and decorate the bag? Nope.  I wanted something that they can display and keep.  Eureka!  I have a box of paper mache boxes and bags with handles.  First box with lid, too small.  Flower shaped box with lid, too big.  "Bag" with handles, just right.
What am I going to do with the bag?  I wanted to keep with the color palette of the cards to tie everything together.  Time to go and raid husband's painting supplies.  I see a bottle of light blue and metallic gold "pearlescent" acrylic paints.  Perfect!!  I put a light base coat of blue.  Let that dry and came back with sponging gold.  Then I took the sponge and blended the gold.  Oh, it looked antique! 
My mind is racing at this point.  The two people I made these for are very classical and elegant.  I need flowers, pearls, ribbon…. Off to my scraproom!  Ribbon… ribbon…. Oh I have some sheer gold with a gold outline and some light blue with some sheer in it too.  Perfect.  Flowers…. flowers…. Oh, I just got a pif from Pat with some beautiful flowers in shades of blue, ivory and glittery gold and blues.  Perfect!  Pearls…bling….  Open my CTMH drawers…. Antique rhinestone brads and a pack of bling assortment.  Back to the living room floor on my drop plastic (not to ruin the carpet with paint.)  I was so giddy!   It's a rare moment when things just click!
I wrapped the gold ribbon first.  Used glue dots to adhere the ribbon to the bag.  I put it near the bottom of the bag.  It was wrapped along the entire bag.  Next, I wrapped the blue ribbon, leaving a small space between the blue ribbon and the gold ribbon.  Then I wrapped the gold ribbon again, leaving a small space between the blue ribbon the gold ribbon.  So, it was gold ribbon, space, blue ribbon, space and gold ribbon.
Grab the flowers and put thick glue dots on the back and place them on the bag.  Get the bling assortment out (CTMH).  It has faceted rhinestone buttons in two sizes and some embellished stick pins.  Put a glue dot on the bigger buttons and put in the center of the flowers.  Hmmm…. didn't look right.  Idea!  I'll alternate the antique rhinestone brad and the bigger button.  Step back… loooooooking good!  I get the stick pins and put it on every alternating flower.  Needs filler.  Grab the CTMH adhesive-backed pearls.  Scattered those.   Alright… get the little rhinestone buttons and scatter those.  Getting close.  Get the small rhinestone brads and put a glue dot on the back and scatter those around.  At this point, my brain is just going a mile a minute and just filling away.  STOP…. My brain said, "STOP Melissa.  You have a tendency to go overboard with the bling."  Stepped back….  butterflies.  I punched some butterflies from some of the glitter paper that was used on the monogram cards to send as RAKS.  Get some foam dots and put on the butterflies.   Beautiful!  Done!!!  I was so excited.
I brought it into the scraproom and sat down at my table with it.  I'm in love!  I happen to turn around the put something on my shelf and I see Stickles.  Crap!  I get the light blue color and put some dots here and there.  Ok, really, I need to stop.  I did.  That's where it sits.    The picture I took was before I added the little blue glitter dots. 
I had everything on hand to make this bag.  I bought the bag some time ago for 50% off.   Now, I have to make one for the other gift.  I have enough materials, just need another bag.  Here I come HL with my 40% off coupon. 
Thanks for letting me share.  I enjoyed making this.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Crafting Christmas Day 16 - Handmade Albums

Is anyone besides me making albums for Christmas presents?  I've made one and mailed out already, and WITHOUT TAKING PICS OF It!   My Bad!

front & back covers
 But this one I made sure to photograph the final results before mailing off!  I had received a Mixed Media Album Kit as a PIF from the group, but had never ventured to putit together until now.  I used My mind's Eye Paper Stack for most of the papers to keep it coordinated, and kept the colors in blues/teals/whites/silvers.  Anyone who has cropped with me knows I LOVE to rip my papers, so the cover shoiws off my style perfectly!  I had some extra alphas, and I used Copics on those whose colors were a little off.
Then it was just a matter of creating a design for each two-page "layout".   Here I used more alphas and inked and Stickled them for a shimmery effect.  I also inked paper doilies because they look so much like snowflakes!  I added some skittles on each page for added bling.
Photos or journaling can be added to these pages easily.
The next "layout" is for journaling, while highlighting the chilly fun to be had this winter.  I used papers from me & my BIG ideas paper stack, while the journaling diecut stickers are from the "Snow Globe" line from Reminisce.  All materials were sitting in my craft room, just waiting to be used up, so I didn't have to go out and buy anything new!

I just had to use some lace on the next set of pages.  I scored a shoebox full of lace at our church's rummage sale and have never regretted the
price I paid for it all.
I cut out circles with my Creative Memories circle cutting system as photo frames, and embellished with snowmen and snowflakes.  The snowman on the left page is an oversized ATC from another Yahoo group swap.  it perfectly in with my theme here!  The white background paper is textured and I used an ink pad to swipe some color on the raised circles.

Finally, I had to use this great winter quote I bought on clearance at Michael's years ago.  Together with the snowglobe with a floating snowman and several winter phrases, it seemed a good ending to my album.  More skittles and adhesive-backed pearls finish off the embellishments and I put the album in a plastic bag and placed it into my Priority box and am going out to mail it NOW before I forget.

I hope my little friend likes her gift.  She's a crafter like us all, just a little younger than us.  I RAKd her a butterfly-shaped mini album to create her own, along with some coordinating papers that are cut to the album.  I'm sure she'll have fun with it.  And that is the name of the game, isn't it?  We ALL have fun with our crafting, no matter if we give it all away or keep it all to ourselves.  It is our own little circle of Zen.

So keep crafting everyone, for Christmas and throughout the year.  If you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Crafting Christmas Day 15 - Monogrammed Note Cards Part 2

I took Pat's idea for her co-workers for monogrammed note cards and made my own.  Can I tell you, it was fun, it got rid of some paper that was sitting in my drawer AND I made at least four gifts, with cards to spare. 

But wait, it gets better!  Each card was just 29 cents to make (just in materials, not labor).  Great personal, handmade gifts for an economical price!

How, you ask? Well, I used a 4.5"x6.5" DCWV matstack - Linen closet.  That was originally $8.99 but it was purchased for 50%.  Then I used white cardstock as my base from Paper Studio (50 sheet pack) for $2.99 but purchased for 50%.  I used Champagne Pearlustre Embossing powder from Stampendous that cost $4.19.  I estimated that I used 1/4 of the bottle (probably used less but just guessing).  I used double-sided tape I received in a pif (Thanks Linda) for $3.00 (pif value).  Envelopes were around $7.69 a box for 50 envelopes.  I'm sure I bought them on sale but didn't remember so I will just use that as a base price. 

$5.99 for paper
$1.05 for embossing powder
$3.00 for tape
$11.38 for envelopes
$21.42 / 74 (actual cards made using paper) = $.289 per card

I finished them in about two evenings.  I cut the patterned paper to fit the cards.  Then cut the patterned paper in half.  This way I can mix and match papers and give it an elegant look.  I then took the strips of paper that were cut as "ribbons" across the middle of the cards.  I used the same CTMH stamp set Pat did - Baroque Alphabet; embossed using Versamark and the Champagne Pearlustre Embossing powder.  I then cut out each square using my trimmer.  I tell you, I'm getting that 40% off coupon at HL and will be heading out there to get a 1.5" square punch to save me time next go round!   

That's it.  Cards are done!

I stamped the envelopes with Desert Sand CTMH Exclusive Inks using the same Baroque Alphabet.  The first set I stamped at the top left corner.  Second set, I stamped it on the back flap.  Third set, I stamped it on the lower left side.  I liked that one the best!

Wrap it in some white tissue paper, tie a glitzy bow around it, make a tag and you're done!

Thanks Pat for sharing your idea! 

Have a great Christmas and a crafty New Year!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Day 14 - Set the Table with Holiday Flair

Wow, is it the 14th of December already?!  I hope you're churning out those handmade gifts and cards like mad right about now!  Here's another idea for your holidays - Create some nice table settings. 
And for this, it's time to breal out the...wait for it...empty toilet paper rolls again!!
I just found a tutorial for these great holiday crackers here: 
In addition to making table favors, you can make coordinating napkin rings as well, both with toilet paper rolls.  The crackers require two rolls. Cut one in half and lay the pieces along the edge of wrapping paper, leaving about an inch between the longer roll and the two shorter rolls ( short  long  short).
Using double-sided tape, roll the paper rolls in wrapping paper, seal with more tape, and twists and tie the shorter ends,  I used twine.  Tuck in the edges of the wrapping paper and decorate as you please.  I used a colored and Stickled image from Melissa (thank you!).
For the napkin ring, I cut a toilet paper roll in half and rolled it in the same Christmas wrapping paper and embellished it with a diecut snowflake and a jewel.
These place settings will make a lovely presentation on Chrtistmas Day when my family comes over, don't you think?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Day 13 - Snow is Glistening

And with glistening snow, how can we crafters NOT use all the supplies in our craft rooms to make our own cards and layouts and projects glisten, too! 
(think Jingle Bells:)
Stickles, Glitter, Liquid glass,
Bling it all the way!!!
Oh what fun it is to glitz
Our projects every day!

Diamond Dust, Glimmer Mist,
Bling it all the way!!!
Make your Christmas shine with love
Is all we have to say!  Hey!

Karen's Ornament
Our first glistening project comes from Karen Gumino, whose snowflake makes a gorgeous ornament for any tree or wall or even as a handmade tag on a present. 
Can you see your guests walk into your house and have several of these ornaments hanging from the ceiling,  lights sparkling off of them,  creating a wonderful winter scene?
I can!
Then again, anyone would love to get not only their present but one of these snowflakes as part of the wrapping!! 
It looks like Karen covered a chipboard snowflake with some Glimmer Mist or other ink, then adhered some chunky glitter to it.  I love the ribbon hanger tied into a bow, don't you?

Anna's projects
 Next up is Anna, who says, "This year, I promised myself I would only use existing supplies from my stash to create holiday gift boxes, bags, and cards. 
I made this gift bag & gift card holder for a friend's daughter from the following dies:
Sizzix Bigz XL Bag with Handles
Sizzix Bigz XL Gift Card Holder
Sizzix Original Die "Joy"
Sizzlits Tag Scallop
Sizzlits Embosslits Snowflake

Pat's Wreath
 And here, Pat has used images from Crafter's Companion Cute Companions Christmas Magic Stamp Set to make a glistening Christmas wreath.
She stamped and colored the images, all four of them having a circular shape.  She then cut circles in various sizes with patterned papers from CTMH and, starting with the biggest, placed them onto a chipboard circle base. 
She then placed the rest of the circles, including the ones framing her images, until she liked the look.  Then she added snowflakes and stars. 
A ribbon and bow finish off her ornament just in time for the holidays!  Her son liked it so much it is now hanging downstairs in the family room/his bedroom.  Now that's high praise!

Whatever you do, wherever you are in your Christmas plans, just remember to keep crafting.  Nothing says love like a handmade gift!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Day 12 - Winter Wonderland

Walking in a scrapbook wonderland!

Shakers rattle, are you listenin'?
In the aisle, beads are glistenin'!
A beautiful sight, we're happy tonight!
Walking in a scrapbook wonderland!

Gone away is my money
Here to stay's my croppin' buddy!
We're singing a song, as we shop along
Walking in a scrapbook wonderland!

In the workroom we can build a layout
Using diecuts, punches, fibers too!
We'll have lots of fun making our layout
And they have just the right shade of Bazzill blue!

Later on, we'll conspire
As we crop by the fire
To bring all our pics and our hermafix
Walking in a scrapbook wonderland

In the workroom we can build a layout
With our eyelets, stickers, tags and brads.
We'll have lots of fun making a layout!
All those patterned papers make me glad!

When we crop, ain't it thrillin',
Though the shop's makin' a killin'?
We'll frolic and play the Scrapbooking way
Walking in a scrapbook wonderland.

Walking in a scrapbook wonderland.

Walking in a scrapbook wonderland!!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Day 11 - From Plain Jane to Chic in No Time Flat

Welcome back to our 25 Days of Crafting Christmas.  So far we've seen some pretty amazing projects, but wait, here comes another line of the song and a new project:

On the SEVENTH day of Christmas my crafter made for me,
A Christmas DECORATION (a few gift card holders, 5 shiny snowflakes, 4  goodie bags, one 3-fold card,  2 Christmas cards, and that pretty Christmas ornament to hang)…

For my decoration, I altered a couple of Black Friday deals into table decorations.
I got to Menard's in time to snag a few Jar Candles--they had very limited choices: Vanilla, Cinnamon Vanilla Spice and Pumpkin Spice, but the jars were nice and large, and the scents not too bad (remember, a gal with allergies thinks a lot of things stink).  You can also check out the selection of glass jar candles at the Dollar Store, because you can change a boring, inexpensive gift into a beautifully hand-crafted gift of love with a little time and a few materials.

So anyway, I covered the jars with leftover patterned paper, adhered a nice diecut sticker or colored image, nicely framed, then added ribbon, lace and flowers to give a Christmas look.  A piece of coordinating patterned paper cut to fit the circular cover and a holiday sentiment, and I have two handmade decorations ready to warm the room with light and warmth! 
Check out the handmade flowers on the lids:  The one on the left is mine (I just started making them) and the one on the right is from Shannon (flower-maker extraordinaire).  I have several of Shannon's flowers and I'm going to see how her larger ones look on a Christmas wreath that is in need of some paper magic!

Saturday, December 10, 2011


Got gift cards to dole out?  Got 6x6 double-sided papers left over from a project or received in a swap?  Then have we got a project for you, crafted to the tune of the 12 Days of Crafting Christmas:
On the 6th day of Christmas, my crafter gave to me,
SIX Gift Card holders...

These darling gift card holders were an accident!  We were making extra 6x6 envelopes and accidentally cut one of the sheets an actual 6x6 for the envelope!  Duh!  But no problem......we simple decided we could make gift card and cash holders out of the miscuts plus a few more now that they were fun, and wallah, these are easy.  The paper is mostly from CTMH and they are the 6x6 swatches that you can keep on a ring.....having both sides a Christmas pattern makes them so cute!  Don't you think?
You can also get four gift card holders from a siongle 12x12 sheet of patterned paper!  So start cutting and folding, cause you know the kids all want gift cards (don't they trust their moms to give them the perfect gifts???)

Next, on to finishing my Goody Bags - for the Mailman and whomever, and I want to start a Christmas Decoration.  That is the easiest as my total house is beginning to look a lot like Christmas - even the cat towers!

Friday, December 9, 2011

North Pole Suburb - Rural Cuba City WI

  I'm really getting the knack of mass production on my Christmas cards this year.  My house is slowly beginning to look like a suburb of the North Pole. 

He Sees You When You're Crafting...
    On the right, 16 Santa cards await centers and gifts tucked inside for friends and relatives.  The card is based on one I saw HERE - just click!  Of course they aren't identical - nothing ever is, is it?  I used up a lot of wiggle eyes I know - they were a lot of fun.  Some Santas may look a little cross-eyed, but not as much as I feel after adhering them to the cards!

  The down side is, with this many Santas staring at you, you really have to be good and not pout, etc.  You absolutely KNOW he's watching you!

Bella in her Preschool Period
   Another crafter who is getting good at what she does is Pat's granddaughter.  Pat gave her a few images to color, because she always steals into the craft room to "make a card or two".  So after she colored the images, Pat cut them out and helped her attach them to card bases.  Bella printed the names of those who are getting her cards on each, as well as writing her name on the inside.  She needed a little help with wrapping her gifts and attaching the cards to them.  After all, she's only four years old!

  Some crafters are just born to create!  So follow Bella's lead and create.  There are only 15 more crafting days until Christmas, don't you know!?!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Day 8 - Here Comes Suzy Snowflake...

Oh, that's another Christmas song!  Meanwhile, we have been busy making snowflakes for our Twelve Days of Crafting Christmas Song...
On the FIFTH day of Christmas, my crafter made for me, FIVE shiny SNOWFLAKES!!! (4 goody bags, the 3-fold card, 2 Christmas cards, and that pretty Christmas ornament to hang)…

Linda's cards

So here are 5 Snowflakes punched out of very pretty, heavy shiny cardstock; green holly leaves and red rhinestones to set it all off.  5 more cards for my card box........very easily done using the Spellbinders Snowflake Pendant set from 2010, which I recently found on sale online.

Pat's Album Cover
 Another snowflake-induced project comes from Pat, whose giving us a sneak peek of her Winter Acrylic Album that she's making for a swap.  This is the front cover of the album.  The recipient told her to surprise her with something that "will make her heart sing" so she took the words as her theme for the album.  Not only has she drenched the cover in Diamond glitter from Stampin Up for the crystal snowflake effect, but she added a small pper doily glitzed with Stickles and a few punched snowflakes to set the tone of her album.  She inked all the cardstock alphas in the crystal ice blues and frosty evergreen colors of winter.

There's so much that you can do with snowflakes---punched, diecut, snipped with scissor out of paper, stickers, vellum---no matter what they're maded of, make something with them!  And keep on crafting!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Pammie L. from our Scrapbook/Card Making Group made this gorgeous card - which was displayed yesterday on this blog.

Well we hounded her enuf to get permission to post the basic instructions. Luv you to pieces Pammie!
Actually it is half of a circle made from a Stampin' Up circle die. But basically draw a 4 inch diameter circle, cut it in half and then fold it three times. It works with a scalloped circle also, I made a Temmplate in Make the Cut for it with score lines so I just cut them out on my Cricut Expression and fold on the score lines.. Easy Peasy.  Hugs Pammie

Thank you so much dear friend!  And with this post I'm hoping you will join me in making a simple tree - put it on a card or an ornament or whatever.  But email a copy of the image and we will have a drawing at Christmas time and AWARD someone a very nice Christmas gift for doing so!  As we count down the days to Christmas, our group members continue to contribute fun ideas to make your Christmas complete!  Did you check out that potato soup gift in a jar?  How awesome - and delicious!

Day 7 - Warm Up Someone's Winter

When the weather outside is frightful, what better gift to give than the gift of warmth?  Whether it be something to warm your insides or your outside, it's a present that's sure to be appreciated this winter!  Below are two gifts that are easy to make and warms the recipient with holiday love:

Hi, this is Allie from Minnesota and I am counting down to Christmas by taking a holiday class.  I highly recommend my teacher, Jennifer Priest.  Learn about her Etsy shop, her amazing classes, projects, and more at Hydrangea HippoThis "Gift in a Jar" is my first homework assignment for Jennifer's Nifty Gifty class going on now at My Creative Classroom
Here is my easy recipe for a quick, hearty potato soup.

My Potato Soup Mix
   1 1/2 cups potato flakes
   1/2 cup dry milk
   2 tablespoons spinach dip mix
Directions for Soup
   Bring 7 cups water to a boil.  Add 2 tablespoons butter.  Slowly add mix, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.  (Optional, add two tablespoons sour cream.)

Something tasty from the heart is a nice way you can share your art...Allie Gower
Below, Karissa has made a warm winter gift for the tea lover in all of us:
1.       Cut cardstock 8 ½ x 3 ½
2.       Score at 4 and 4 ½
3.       Cut patterned paper 6 x 6
4.       Fold at 2 ½  x 2 ½ x 1
5.       Score at 2 ¾ and 3 ¼
6.       Glue down the back side of patterned paper to inside of cardstock
7.       Place a tea bag in each pouch
8.       Run  24” piece of ribbon around outside leaving enough ribbon on both sides to be able to tie a bow on top.  Glue this down.
9.       Decorate front of it however you want!

Keep warm and keep crafting!!  Be sure to come back tomorrow for some more holiday inspiration!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Day 6 - Going Postal This Christmas

Hmm, is that our states of mind, or the fact that we have been busy crafting beautiful Christmas cards?  Both, I think!!  And here to prove it are some gorgeous cards to inspire you to "go postal" with some handmade cards.  They took the next line of the song to heart:

"on the Second day of Christmas, my crafter made for me...
TWO Christmas CARDS (and that pretty Christmas ornament to hang)…"
Pammie used embossed card fronts for both cards.  The first one uses pieces cut to frame each stocking, while the second card sports a full embossed card face.  Don't you love those stockings, rady to be filled with the magic of Christmas?
I also love the way Pammie folded her double-sided paper in the shapr of a Christmas tree on her second card--very innovative.  Looks like she used
a half circle and, starting with the bottom "limb",
folded the paper UP to form the top of the tree.  I tried it and it works with single-sided patterned paper as well.  It makes such a pretty presentation!

Next up is Linda, whose snowman and house is colored so beautifully.  I love how she gave the white snow just enough shading to give it depth!
Looks like she glitzed the falling snow with Stickles.  I could walk right up the hil and feel welcomed at the house--such a pretty scene. 
The image is from Squigglefly and is called "Seasonal House on a Hill" by Rich Davis.

Her second card is one of true friendship in the family.  She framed her sentiment inside a wreath for extra impact, and it works well here, don't you think?
This image is also a digi from Squigglefly called
"Snuggle Buddies" by Lynne Stansbery.

Diane also offers two cards for the season.  I loved layered stamping, and her stamping the trees "in the background" with her reindeer in the foreground is an awesome technique to try if you haven't already.  The card is Clean and Simple (CAS), another technique that is gaining popularity throughout the crafting world. 
Here, Diane uses large diecut snowflakes to embellish her card, which really shows up against the red cardstock background.  Ricrac is a great way to mesh two patterns together, as seen here with the solid red cardstock and patterned paper.

All of Diane's images were stamped with Stampin' Up stamps.

SO...have you mailed off all your holiday cards yet?  Better get a move on,there are only 18 more postal days before Christmas!!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Day 5 - Monogrammed Notecard Sets

I work very closely with three others in a small Catholic school.  That's not counting the teachers, principal, and the Parish staff in the other office.  No, just the Religious Ed Office (formerly known as CCD) and the Youth Group Office.  We're kind of like Little Switzerland, not a true part of the teaching staff, not a close relationship with the Parish staff, just in-between.  So we have had a gift exchange between just the four of us for the last few years, over a lunch of our fave appetizers (artichoke dip and chips, chili cheese dip, crab butter and crackers, etc.)

G is for Gregg
 This year I thought they could all use a set of Monogrammed Notecards.  It's really easy to make, as all you need are:
cardstock for the card bases,
patterned papers for the card face (I matched the papers to the personalities),
alpha letters (I used Baroque Alphabet stamp set by CTMH),
and some ink (I used Copics). 

The cards are clean and simple (CAS), and look great.  However, I realized that the packaging was just as important as the gifts, so I had to come up with some creative containers.  I made an extra monogram for each set, so I could then place each on the package, which leads to minimal embellishing (phew!)

Gifts for the workplace

I made a set of ten cards for each person, and the Christmas card to go with each checks them off of my Crafting To-Do list for the season! 

Besides a few more paper crafts, I have some machine sewing to do, and I haven't brought out the Singer for almost a year, so cross your fingers that my next project will go smoothly!!