Thursday, December 29, 2022

2022 Favorites

It's become a tradition for us to look back over the last year and choose our favorite makes, so here are some of mine!  I say "some" because these are only a few!  

Just click on the caption below each card to visit the original post, and then close the window to come back to this one.  

Happy New Year from our family to yours!  It is our prayer that 2023 will be a year filled with good health, happiness, and lots of love!

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Merry Christmas!


Just a few more days and Christmas Day will dawn!  It seems that there is always more to do right up until the big day arrives, so it's nice to have a couple of quick and easy cards on hand.  Maybe you still need a couple of cards, or a little "Me time" in the stamping studio but only have a few minutes.  This pair of cards is super fast to make using both the "positive" and "negative" of one pass through the die machine.  

The first step is to cut some designer paper to layer on top of your base card stock.  It is better if the print is not too busy and the stamp you choose is not too detailed.  Stamp the image on the designer paper, position the die over the stamped image and run it through the machine.  Remove the stamped image, set the "positive" die cut aside for now, and glue the remaining paper with its "negative" open space onto the card base.  Stamp the image through the opening onto the base card stock.  Color it using your favorite method (here I used Copic markers).  

Stamp a sentiment and embellishment for your card.  I stamped and die cut two of the same sentiment and snowflake for both cards just to make it faster and easier.  

Here's the super clean and simple second card with the positive die from the plaid paper set up on dimensional adhesive dots.  The shimmery gold card stock makes even this simple design feel elegant.  

A splash of diluted white acrylic paint or Snow Tex to both cards gives them a more Wintery holiday feeling.  With so much of America 30 degrees below normal temperatures this Christmas, that seems appropriate!

I hope you and your family have the very merriest Christmas! Happy Holidays!


Thursday, December 15, 2022

Time to be Merry!

I have a real soft spot for fancy fold cards and periodically peek on Pinterest for ideas.  This one was inspired by this post which includes measurements for scoring the card base.  I adjusted the size of the focal image panel to fit our lovely seasonal wreath.    

Here's a bird's-eye view of the fold so you have a better idea of the card's construction.  Lots of places to put coordinating prints of lovely, colorful designer paper.  I pulled sheets from three different pads for this one and kept the colors traditional except for the pale green of the poinsettia.  

The "Time to be Merry" sentiment gave me the idea to use my Tim Holtz dies to embellish the wreath as a holiday clock face.  The tiny numbers are from Tim Holtz's Postale die set; the clock hands are arrows from our Farmhouse dies set. 

Of course, clocks have gears and the old timey ones often need winding so I added gears and skeleton keys from our Man of Knowledge set onto the peek-a-boo panel.


Thursday, December 8, 2022

Christmas Peace


Hello my friends!  I hope you're having a happy December so far! I can hardly believe that Christmas is just a few weeks away. There's still so much that I want to accomplish, and I'd also like to take plenty of time to just savor the Season.  

Last week I played around with distress inks and some scraps of watercolor paper which I've incorporated into this week's Stamp Simply project, a Christmas tag.  I pressed various colors of distress oxide and metallic inks onto my craft mat, spritzed them and the paper with water for the "Spray and Smoosh" technique. They've had plenty of time to dry since then so for today's stamping session they were ready to stamp and die cut without any more waiting.  

The watercolor paper that I used for the background (on top of a die cut tag of white card stock edged with metallic inks) included various colors of green, blue-green and red with splashes of silver and copper.  The ornament, also of watercolor paper that had been smooshed with only silver and copper, was stamped with Memento ink, then given just a tiny touch of Copic marker shading and metallic gel pen accents.

So here is the ornament tucked into the branches of a Christmas tree.  The greenery was cut from textured card stock smudged with silver ink, nestled with berried branches of metallic copper card stock and splashes of diluted metallic ink and diluted acrylic paint "snow" (I'd have used SnowTex if I'd had it).    

Some of our real-life ornaments have a tiny silver tag, so I added one to this ornament, stamping it with the peace sentiment from the companion set with the candle, Christmas Peace.  So this project uses the smallest and the largest of the dies in the Tim Holtz tag collection.    

While simple sticky tags are fine for some gifts, there are definitely plenty of occasions to have something a little more elegant on hand!  This would make a pretty tag for a simply wrapped gift, or an embellishment for a nice bottle of wine to share with the host of a holiday celebration (especially on a dark green bottle of red!)


Thursday, December 1, 2022

It's Coming!

Are you ready to welcome 2023?!  It is hard to believe that it is only a month away!  I always find this time of year a little bittersweet!  Some years are easier to wish good-bye than others, and whether we want the end of the year to go by slowly (or not!) so that we can savor it, it seems to speed by!

This beautiful Ink Drops designer paper print reminded me of a glittering New Year's Eve table-scape with sparkling silver and gold decorations.  Slicing the paper for a standard sized card left just enough to stamp and die cut a Pretty Poppy for a monochromatic card design.  A touch of warm Copic marker shading and sparkly metallic gel pen accents were all it really needed.  

The Welcome sentiment from Welcome Baby worked perfectly with the small die cut numbers from Tim Holtz' Collector set (The Postale die set also has small numbers in a different font for another option).  That pop of black is such a great contrast...this color combo has always been one of my favorites!  

Here's a look at the inside.  Sponging and splashing with Delicata metallic ink makes it so simply elegant.


Thursday, November 24, 2022

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  I know today is an American holiday, but each and every day is a good day to be thankful so I hope y'all will celebrate along with us!  

My family and I have so much to be thankful for!  Most are simple, everyday things that have to do with treasured relationships, health, hearth and home (and maybe a few stamps and ink, a spindle or wheel or two and some fluffy fiber to spin and knit because creating brings me peace and joy)!  

Our son (who lives in Virginia now) is home for a visit and more than anything that makes my heart happy.  I've been in the kitchen cooking for days already, so this evening we will have a Thanksgiving feast to celebrate being together, sharing the bounty of the harvest and our favorite flavors of the season.  

My card for today is a very sweet and simple card given a splash of unusual color (inspired by the designer paper) with Copic markers and some added sparkle with a clear Wink of Stella glitter marker. The oak leaf die cut allows the base layer to peek through the sheet of designer paper, and the sentiment and acorn embellishment add a little dimension that is squishy enough to make it through the mail machines without mishap.  

I hope you have a beautiful day and that it will be the beginning of a wonderful countdown to the end-of-year holidays.  It's such a magical time that seems to rush by in a blur when we'd rather it pass slowly so we can savor it!  Holiday blessings to you and yours!    


Thursday, November 17, 2022

Special Delivery Christmas Gift Card Envelope

For today's Stamp Simply project I had so much fun playing with these our new Christmas Stockings and Mittens bundle and a handful of Tim Holtz dies that interact so perfectly together! There are definitely times when a gift card is the most perfect choice and this is a fun presentation.

I love these non-traditional colors and how the dies mimic elements of the designer paper.  I tied the envelope with black string to create the illusion of a gift which, of course, the card inside actually is.   

The inside is super simple although it did take a little time to create.  The house is fussy-cut from the designer paper with accents added using Copic markers.  The "special delivery" was cut from two colors of card stock with the letters swapped between them.  A little tedious but well worth the effort!  (Of course, one could just leave the spaces of the letters open if so desired!  Lots easier and less time-consuming!)


Thursday, November 10, 2022

With Gratitude

Hi friends!  It's an overcast, blustery day here in Northeast Florida. We are really hoping and praying that "Nicole" won't be a big deal. It is concert weekend for the chorale, so this one kinda caught me a little off guard!  I will be so very thankful when hurricane season is behind us!  

Today's Stamp Simply project reminds me of the Bokeh photography that is often so popular during the snow/holiday season.   There were quite a few tutorials for the paper-crafted version a few years ago.  

I suppose I should call it "faux bokeh" because it is simply a beautiful piece of patterned paper with a few added splatters of diluted ink and acrylic paint underneath a colorful stamped and die cut floral focal point.  

For that focal point, starting from the bottom up:  the sentiment was stamped directly onto the designer paper with shimmery ink and then heat-embossed with gold embossing powder.  There is also a heat-embossed shock of's hard to see but adds to the overall shimmer and sparkle of that bottom layer.

The die cut leaves were cut from card stock that had been smashed into puddles of diluted distress inks (mahogany and walnut) and then pressed into and dragged across a Delicata ink pad.  The "berries" are cut from shimmering gold card stock.

The pretty pumpkins on top were stamped and colored with Copic markers, then the die-cut edges sponged with tea dye distress ink to soften the contrast against the darker background.  

Then the entire card (inside and out) was splashed with diluted distress ink and white acrylic paint.  I tried to avoid splashing too much on that focal image because Memento ink and water don't necessarily get along all that well!

The inside is pretty enough to be an outside!  I stamped the leaf border with Memento ink, colored it with Copic markers, and added a hint of tea dye distress ink to its background.  Splattered the whole thing with diluted distress inks along with the front, and then added another die cut leaf next to the sentiment.

Here you can see how beautifully shimmery it is!  (I could not capture that for the card front no matter how hard I could either see the sentiment or the shimmer but not both!)

Although this card is dimensional, it does not have any pearls, rhinestones, or ribbon, so should be just fine to send through the mail without having it hand-cancelled.  It would be so pretty to glue one of those die cut leaves to the outside of the envelope so it would coordinate with the card inside!  

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Tea Time

Hello friends!  Happy November!  

This week our Stamp Simply team is sharing paper-crafting gift ideas for the upcoming holidays.  Mine is born from the idea that we all need to preserve some quiet time within the hustle and bustle of the season.  (This is a photo-heavy post, with some "ambiance" photos and also some "light box" photos so that the details are more clearly visible).  

Already (especially with Halloween now behind us) the rush is on...the inbox is bursting with advertisements, the pressure to find the perfect gift is ever-present (please pardon the pun!), and the rush hour crush is already awful and sure to get worse as the all-important celebrations draw near.  Just thinking about it makes me want a break!  How about you?!  

Just set aside some time to make one of these tea towers for a friend and one for yourself.  Fill it with your favorite flavors...herbal and/or caffeine for when you need it!  Then when the stress closes in, you can just take a deep breath and enjoy a quiet moment with a steaming hot cup of will work wonders!  (Here's the link to the tutorial for how to trim and score a sheet of 12 x 12 inch card stock to make this project.  I followed the dimensions of the tutorial but simplified the layers on mine).

It's especially nice to settle in with a hot cup of tea next to a twinkling tree and a warm, crackling fire to meditate on the blessings of the season.  A pretty presentation makes a treat taste even better imho!    

I used several sheets of designer paper from Studio Light's "Sending Joy" to decorate this box.  The border at the top looked like cookies and tea spices and had a pretty tartan bow which inspired the tartan plaid embellishments.  The cookie frosting is a beautiful silver-white blue, so I backed the designer paper with shimmery metallic silver card stock and used silver ink for all of the stamping.  I also sponged  silver ink onto all of the edges of the paper and splattered it everywhere.  In real life it is so elegant and beautiful!  

The cups are die cuts that are embellished with stamps or tiny die-cut snowflakes, rhinestones and stamped/die cut tea tags.  

There is a to/from tartan heart on the back.

The top has beautiful sheer silver bow accented with sprigs of Christmas greenery and a sparkly clear button.  


Thursday, October 27, 2022

Trifold "Thankful for You"

There have been so many beautiful designer paper pads from Craft Consortium lately, and today's card provides a great way to showcase prints from several of them and how they can work together so beautifully!  They provide a gorgeous backdrop for our new Falling Leaves border strip.

Most of the time Fall cards are vibrantly colored, so I thought it would be interesting to go more monochrome/neutral with this one.   I stamped the image with black Memento ink,  shaded outside the images with warm grey Copic markers, and then painted on diluted Delicata Celestial Copper ink; had to be quick about it because the Memento will run if not careful.  I also flicked on some diluted black distress ink and then sponged black ink onto the edges too.  

Because it is so shimmery with copper ink, it came out very elegant in spite of being a little bit grungy, but that shimmer is really hard to capture on camera!  And in spite of its shimmer, these "colors" could work quite well for a guy card I think!

Here's a view of the card open.  It is really easy to make (here's the scoring tutorial for this fold) even though it looks fancy. 

I added some cattails to the inside, with just a touch of that pretty copper ink to make them shimmer.

The sentiment and the tiny tag on the front were made the same way the belly band was, but die cut with  dies from the Tim Holtz Collector set.  

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Deck the Halls!


Hi everyone!  I'm back with  another Pottery Barn inspired design, this one mimicking a quilted bedspread using some of our newest stamp sets and supplies from Stamp Simply.  

I used square dies in various sizes along with tartan paper and greenery dies to create the quilt design which reminds me of both traditional and Hawaiian quilting patterns.  How many of you "Deck the Halls" with a pretty bedspread or duvet?  We don't have one yet...I could purchase one, but I'd really love to make one myself.  

Here's the inside, embellished with another very traditional decoration, the Christmas stocking.  

This one was cut from the papers from Grunge Festive Tones, accented with more of the greenery cut from shimmery metallic paper.  There is no coloring at all on this card; the only stamping is the sentiments.   

I off-stamped the sentiment with brown ink and then over-stamped that with shimmery copper.  This sentiment always makes me think of Burl Ives and leaves me with a song in my heart!  ❤️