Sunday, November 29, 2009

Verve Blog Party Challenge 5

Last one!!! This little gift card holder is for the Verve Blog Party Challenge #5. The challenge was to create a gift card holder. So, I pulled out, for the very first time since I bought it, Lauren Meader's Timeless Template Cash or Charge. This took absolutely no time at all to put together, and it was so cute, I didn't even need to add a stamp. I just grabbed some great papers and a couple of embellishments, did a little cutting and folding, and then DONE! I think I'll crank out a few more of these to have for Christmas giving. Afterall, who has time to actually shop when there are projects to create! Be sure to check out all the new stuff from Verve on the blog and in the store.
Project Recipe
Paper: DCWV Berry Street Farmer's Market Stack, My Mind's Eye Organic Glitter Paper
Accessories: PTI Timeless Template Cash or Charge, PTI Pure Poppy Twill ribbon, Kaiser Christmas Mix flowers, Recollections Gemstone brads

Verve Blog Party Challenge 4

It's another mini pizza box, aka. cookie box! If you don't get this, be sure to read my previous post. I make these little boxes and fill them with a couple of homemade cookies which I give to my coworkers on their birthdays. Talk about perfect timing, too, because the Verve Blog Party Challenge Four was to create a mini pizza box! I do these all the time, but how fun to be able to enter this one for a chance to win some Verve treats for myself!
This box is for one of our male coaches, so I tried to avoid all the froofroo (sp?). I used some Core'dinations Spell Caster Color Core Cardstock and then "went to town" with a sanding block. Do you think he'll appreciate that it's distressed, or do you suppose he'll just think I gave him a "heavily used" box??? Men! Who knows! He's a basketball coach, so I thought this old Basic Grey patterned paper looked kinda like a worn out basketball and I added some crazy stitching on it, too. Our school mascot is a bulldog so I heat embossed some doggie paw prints to the paper. The sentiment is from the Verve Birthday Surprise stamp set. I used a couple of circle punches to give the feel of a basketball bouncing. This is finished off with two ribbons tied into a knot (no bows for the dude!).
I'm off now to finish baking some cookies to go in the box!
Project Recipe
Paper: Core'dinations Spell Caster ColorCore CS, Basic Grey PP
Stamps: Verve Birthday Surprise, Rubber Stampede 0218 Paw
Accessories: embossing powder, EK Success 1.75" Circle Punch, SU 1 3/8 Circle Punch, sewing machine, PTI Terracotta Tile Saddle Stitch ribbon, PTI True Black Twill ribbon

Verve Blog Party Challenge 3

And onto Verve Challenge Number Three! This Blog Party challenge included using embellishments that begin with the letters in V*E*R*V*E. I used two E's, an epoxy sticker and embossing and an R, ribbon. I also dragged out the Cricut for this one. Now I've spent a fortune on my Cricut, the software and cartridges, but I don't use it near as much as I should. Still, I thought I could create a great band for my recycled glass jar. This is a used candle jar which my mother completely cleaned out for me. I filled it with some delicious candies and then went to work on the band.
I used the Mini Monograms cartridge and my Design Studio software to weld the oval shape and the square into a band. Then, I created a coordinating mat for it. I used the Verve Believe stamp set for the flower which I stamped and then heat embossed and filled in with copic markers. I put an epoxy sticker in the center of the flower and added a cute red bow.
I missed one of my coworkers birthdays last week and feel just horrible, but I had had a crazy week and just couldn't get my little cookie box finished before school let out for the holiday. So, to make it up to her, I'm giving her the jar of candies and my usual "cookie box" which is just a mini pizza box filled with a couple of homemade cookies. Since, I was giving her both, I made them a coordinated set. On the top of the box, I stamped the sentiment from the Verve Birthday Surprise stamp set and heat embossed it. Then, I added another of the red bows. Hope she'll forgive the tardiness of the gift!
Project Recipe
Paper: SU Ridinghood Red CS, DCWV Nana's Kitchen Stack PP
Stamps: Verve Birthday Surprise and Believe
Accessories: Cricut, Mini Monograms cartridge, Design Studio software, cuttlebug, Spellbinders Classic Oval and Scalloped Oval dies, embossing powder, SU Large Oval Punch, PTI Pure Poppy Satin Ribbon, ColorBok epoxy stickers

Verve Blog Party Challenge 2

WooHoo! Challenge number 2 over at the Verve Blog Party Release was a sketch challenge with a twist of thankfulness. You can check out the sketch here. This card is 8.25 X 3.75, a little untraditional but seemed to work well with the sketch.
I had a piece of patterned paper from some Basic Grey Wassail that I bought last Christmas and I thought it had some really great colors in it. I paired it with some new PTI Terracotta Tile cardstock which I ran through a cuttlebug Textile embossing folder. I accented these papers with Stampin' Up's Always Artichoke cardstock.
The stamps are a Verve freebie "thanks"(I always get a freebie when I order from Verve and very fast service!), and a sentiment and flourish from the Verve All About You set stamped in SU Dusty Durango and Always Artichoke. The rhinestones are Prima's Say It in Crystals.
Hmm, maybe I'll send this to my SIL who was kind enough to feed us this Thanksgiving. And there was a lot of food to be thankful for!

Project Recipe
Paper: PTI Kraft CS, PTI Terracotta Tile CS, PTI Rustic White CS, Stampin' Up Always Artichoke CS, Basic Grey Wassail PP
Stamps: Verve All About You
Accessories: Cuttlebug, Textile embossing folder, Spellbinders Classic Oval Die, Spellbinders Scalloped Oval Die, Prima Say It in Crystals rhinestones

Verve Blog Party Challenge 1

Verve Stamps had a huge party Friday on the Verve Blog to celebrate the November release. Throughout the day several challenges were issued. First up was a color challenge: Turquoise, Olive, Black and White.
I needed a birthday card to send to my son's girlfriend, so I used the challenge to create a card for Sarah on her 22nd birthday (she thinks she's getting old!). I wanted to use this scrap of Basic Grey paper which had the turquoise and green in it. I had to choose a slightly different version of olive for this to all come together. I used Papertrey Ink's New Leaf cardstock in place of olive. The ribbon is Stampin' Up's striped grosgrain in black. I used Verve's Wishing You stamp set for the sentiment on the front (which I embossed) and completed it with another sentiment from this set on the inside which says "a very happy birthday". I sponged the edges of the sentiment with some Stampin' Up Turquoise and some PTI New Leaf ink. A few black rhinestones and my Martha Stewart lace doily punch rounded out the project.
I hope Sarah has a wonderful birthday and years of them to follow! Oh, and I hope I win some Verve goodies!
Project Recipe
Paper: PTI New Leaf CS, PTI True Black CS, PTI White CS, Basic Grey Lemonade PP
Stamps: Verve Wishing You
Accessories: cuttlebug, Spellbinders Scalloped Circle dies, Martha Stewart Lace Doily punch, sponge, SU Striped Black grosgrain, embossing powder, the Paper Studio black gemstones

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Some Christmas Potpourri

Whew! What a crazy week this has been! I need about 15 hours of sleep to get caught up. But at least the work part of the week is over and there's lots of time for family, food, and shopping. My son is home from school for the holiday so I'm looking forward to having him around for a few days, too. 
Still, the BIG holiday (Christmas) is looming close and I've got LOTS to do to get ready. I've been trying to get some cards and projects going but it sure seems slow. I did manage to salvage an empty tea box which I altered with papers and some great digital stamps.  Now I just need to find a great little gift to put in there!

The papers are some Basic Grey Lemonade and the stamps are from Lindsay's Stamp Stuff. They are part of the Christmas Potpourri set. This is a great set for creating Christmas cards, tags, or altered projects like this one.
By the way, if you find your self needing to do some shopping on Thursday while the guys are in a football frenzy, check out the great online deals. Lindsay's stamps are on sale at 20% off all day Thursday over at My Grafico. And if you need to get in some crafting time after the Thanksgiving dishes are done, there is a contest at the Lindsay's Stamp Stuff group. Be sure to check this out for a chance to win a free stamp set!
Happy Thanksgiving!
Project Recipe
Paper: Basic Grey Lemonade, DCWV Holiday Glitter pack, Ginak White Pure Luxury CS
Stamps: Lindsay's Stamp Stuff Christmas Potpourri
Accessories: cuttlebug, Spellbinder's Scalloped Circle die, copic markers, Spica Atyou Glitter pens, Clearsnap Smooch, beading wire, bead, Fiskars Effervescence border punch, checkered ribbon (Michaels)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sweet Cocoa

Awwww! Isn't he a cutie? This is a digital image from Sweet n Sassy stamps which you can find here. I colored his little cocoa cup to match the paper which is some more of my new My Mind's Eye Organic Papers. You can see how glittery it is. I used Liquid Applique on the marshmallows to make them "puffier".
I created this card for a few challenges:
1) Tuesday Morning Sketches--Melissa has a 3-2-1 challenge. Three decorative papers, two embellishments, and one flourish.
2) Dare U2 DigiStamp--the challenge was to use glitter. My papers have lots of glitter and I used the Spica Atyou mint glitter pen on the snowflakes, too.
3) Cute Daisy May--the challenge here was to add texture. The Liquid Applique marshmallows give them texture and the glittery papers also add texture to this card.
I haven't played these challenges in a while so it was a lot of fun creating a card that could incorporate so many fun challenges!
Project Recipe
Paper: PTI Vintage Cream, SU Chocolate Chip CS, GinaK White Pure Luxury CS, My Mind's Eye Organic Paper PP
Stamps: Sweet N Sassy Sweet Cocoa digital stamp
Accessories: Walmart Sheer ribbon, PTI Holiday mix button, cuttlebug, Spellbinders Labels One die, QuikCutz Flourish die, Liquid Applique, heat tool, copic markers, Spica Atyou Mint glitter pen

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Digi Rub-ons for Christmas

Gotta add some digi stamps to your Christmas list. These things are waaaay cool! I use them all the time, but I finally figured out a way to get them on non-paper items! And since these days I'm all about Christmas, I thought I'd show you how I put a digital image on a Christmas ornament. Yep, you heard (read) right! I put a digital image on a round, glass Christmas ornament. Okay, it didn't fit in the printer, but I found this cool product that lets you make your own rub-ons. I used a product called Grafix Rub-onz Transfer Film. It's expensive (well, I think $9 for four sheets is expensive), but I did use a 40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby.
There are tutorials out there for making homemade rub-ons using transparency film, but I could not get them to work for me. I tried everything I could think of: different brands of film, different printers, longer drying times, etc. All I ended up with using the regular transparency film was a wet mess. The Grafix Rub-onz has an adhesive component to it that allows the image to actually transfer to a smooth surface.
So, basically, I printed out my digital stamp onto the transfer film following the instructions provided, colored the image, and then rubbed it onto my ornament. Look at the stunning results.

I chose an image from Lindsay's Stamp Stuff Christmas Cupcake Wrappers Digital Stamp Set. Love that set and I have yet to make a cupcake--so much versatility. I sized the image in a word document and did a couple of test runs with plain paper to make sure the size was what I wanted before printing on the transfer film. Once I got it the right size, I printed it out on my rub-on paper, colored it with copic markers, and rubbed the image onto my ornament. I added a few dots of Frosted Lace Stickles to the berries for highlights. Isn't that so cool! But wait till you see this next one!

Ahhhh! Love the intense green on this one! Same exact process as above, but instead of using copic markers, I used Clearsnap Smooch and some red stickles. Have you seen Smooch? It looks like a bottle of fingernail polish but has a much more precise brush. In fact, I didn't color in this image until after I transferred it to the ornament, so I actually "painted" the image in on the ornament itself instead of the transfer paper. I loved this so much, I promptly returned to Scrapbook Gadgets (Angela's got a great selection and shipping was super fast!) for more Smooch in more colors! My poor Christmas tree won't know what hit it after I'm through decorating the decorations!
Now, if you're thinking you'd like to jazz up your ornaments, jars, metal containers, etc with some cool, custom-made rub-ons, let me encourage you to do a little Christmas shopping at Lindsay's Stamp Stuff where you can pick up this great Christmas Cupcake Wrapper set or her brand new Christmas Potpourri (to "die for" cute) set. You might also try googling "homemade rub-ons" and see if you can find a cheaper method of creating rub-ons. If you find something that works, leave me a comment. I'd love a more affordable option, but I must say, I still have lots of transfer paper left. It goes a long way. And digi stamps are so affordable, you can afford to splurge a little on the transfer film.
Be sure to check out what the ladies of the Lindsay's Stamp Stuff design team have prepared for you, and Lindsay's sure to have a Christmas treat or two, so don't forget to stop by her blog. Have fun and have a homemade Christmas!
Project Recipe
Paper: Graffix Rub-onz Transfer Film
Stamps: Lindsay's Stamp Stuff Christmas Cupcake Wrapper
Accessories: Old Christmas ornament, copic markers, Clearsnap Smooch Green Apple and Moonlight, Ranger Stickles Frosted Lace and Glitz Ruby Slippers

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Playing With New Papers

Why, oh, why cannot I not get my pictures to show true color? Always Artichoke looks positively khaki in this picture and it looks just gorgeous IRL. Yes, I played with settings in Photoshop Elements. Maybe, I overplayed with it. Ever done that? Anyway, this is a gorgeous, sparkly card that I created using My Mind's Eye Organic Papers. I love that stuff. Paired with a great Verve stamp set called Fairy Tales and it just positively glows! I added some crystals to the swirls for added sparkle (can't have too much sparkle!). There's even some glimmer mist sprayed on the flower that you can't see in the picture. Hope your day sparkles, too!
Project Recipe
Paper: SU Always Artichoke, SU Mellow Moss, My Mind's Eye Organic Papers PP
Stamps: Verve Fairy Tales
Accessories: SU Brown Craft Ink, Ranger Embossing powder, heat tool, Martha Stewart lattice border punch, SU Pretties Kit flower, copic markers, copic airbrush kit, Jolees Jewels

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Christmas is in the Air

I warned you I would be gearing up for Christmas and here's my first project. It's a little gift box just the right size for some jewelry or a gift card and some candies, perhaps. We do secret Santa's at work and this would be great for a little treat for my secret Santa, but as soon as I put this in the workroom, everyone will know who it's from, lol. If I want to remain a secret, I have to go with store bought, but that's no fun!
You can find the tutorial for creating the box here. You need the top note die if you want this particular cover, but once you create the box, you can probably come up with all kinds of ways to cover it. I love this new paper I found by My Mind's Eye. You will be seeing a lot in the future from this paper pack called Organic Glitter Papers. You see the sweet little Santa in the circle? He's an adorable digital stamp from Lindsay's Stamp Stuff called Christmas Cupcake Wrappers and these stamps aren't just for cupcakes! I printed Santa out on some PTI Vintage Cream Cardstock, colored his hat and cheeks with  copics, and then used Liquid Applique and some glittery embossing powder on his hair, beard, and hat. Once the Liquid Applique dried, I heated it up and "puffed it" with a heat gun. He's a cutie patootie!
I cut out the swirl using my cuttlebug and a sizzix die, put a Kaisercraft flower on top of the swirls, and "popped" Santa on top of the flower. These little digital stamps make this type of project fast and easy! This will be so simple to mass produce.
Be sure to check out Lindsay's Shop today. She has a new set perfect for creating recipe cards. Also, don't forget to stop by her blog. It's Thursday and that usually means freebies! She's also got the complete list of design team members and you will want to stop by their blogs for more holiday and crafting inspiration!
I'm in Houston right now, so it may be a few days before I can get back in the craft room, but I've got a cool holiday ornament to show you next week so stay tuned!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Fall Fest

This is it! My last fall project. I'm heading full force into Christmas after this! I have to if I plan to finish everything I have planned (like that is ever going to happen). But I did want to put together a couple of hostess gifts and it is, afterall, Autumn (though you'd hardly know it with the temperatures we're getting).

First up is a candle I made using a digital image. There are lots of tutorials out there for traditional stamping on candles. I referenced this one but modified the instructions for using a digital stamp.
To begin, you need to print out your digital stamp onto tissue paper. I used the Maple Leaf Digital Stamp from Lindsay's Stamp Stuff. I inserted the image twice into Microsoft Word and sized the images appropriately. I like to do a test print on regular paper to make sure everything is going to fit and look how I want it. Once I have the image adjusted the way I want, I take a piece of white tissue paper and tape it to matte photo paper, but you can use cardstock.

Smooth out your tissue paper and tape it down all the way around. I use a printer that feeds from the back so I have fewer issues with printing on non-standard papers, but if you make sure everything is smooth and well-secured, you shouldn't have any problems. I do suggest you use a paper that is a little thicker than plain copy paper, though. If you are using a printer with a front feeder, you should should do a test run to see what will run through your printer without ripping or getting jammed.
Once the image was printed, I waited a few minutes to make sure the ink was really dry. Then, I colored the image in with my copics. I've really darkened the image in the picture above so you could see the tape. You'll get a better look at the leaves in the finished product below.
Next, I cut out the image in a tight rectangle, but you can crop the image closer if you prefer.

Now, take a piece of wax paper and wrap it around the tissue paper and the candle. Use your heat embossing tool to heat up the wax on the candle until it "absorbs" the tissue paper. Be careful not to overheat. You don't want the candle to completely melt, but the tissue paper should look like it is disappearing. Take the wax paper off, let the candle cool a little, and you're done! I can't wait to do some more with Christmas images!

Isn't this pretty? I added a flower that I colored with copics to match and put the candle inside an acorn candle ring.
I also wanted to create a paper "acorn" that I could put a few little treats in. I used Kelleigh Ratzlaff's pumpkin template to create an acorn. (See this post for a look at how I used the template to create a pumpkin.)

I printed out the bottom portion of the acorn using some digital paper designed by the LSS design team's very own Shannon of Desert Designs. And guess what? The paper is part of a FREE set you can get at her blog today. The top portion is printed on brown cardstock with a ribbon added for a stem. I ran the top through my cuttlebug with an embossing folder. The little acorn tag is a digital stamp from LSS called Three Acorns. Yes, I cropped out two of the acorns so I could use just the one. Don't ya love the versatility of digi stamps!
Be sure to check out Lindsay's Stamp Stuff for all your Fall and Holiday crafting needs. Also, be sure to visit Lindsay's blog today. She always has lots of eye candy and a sweet free treat or two! Also, if you're just lovin digi stamps, send Lindsay some samples of your stuff. She has a design team call going on until Saturday! I know she'd love to see what you've been doing! Don't forget to check out what the rest of the LSS Design Team is up to today! There's lots of ideas for the holidays and gift giving! It's that time of year, afterall!
Project Recipe
Papers: Desert Designs Fall Gradient Digi Papers, PTI Dark Chocolate CS, SU More Mustard CS, scrap tissue paper
Stamps: Lindsay's Stamp Stuff Three Acorns and Maple Leaf
Accessories: candle, sheer green ribbon (Walmart), PTI Dark Chocolate satin ribbon, Prima white flower, copic markers and airbrush kit, cuttlebug, Tiny Bubbles embossing folder, Kelleigh Ratzlaff Pumpkin Template, sponge and brown ink

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Friends Who Make a Difference

I have to confess that SU's Sage Shadow is about my all-time favorite color. And because I love it so much, I force myself NOT to use it. Is that crazy or what? Well, I could hold out no longer! Verve holds a weekly Viva la Verve sketch challenge with a twist, and this week's challenge only allowed us one type of embellishment. I chose brads. Then, I paired brown and my favorite Sage Shadow. There are three different stamps on here (also part of the challenge). All three are from Verve's Fairy Tales very pretty!
I just love the sentiments in this set (well, in all the Verve sets). This is going to be a pick-me-up for a dear friend who's going through a rough time right now. She can expect this card and a Verve-a-licious treat in the mail next week! Go here for more info on Verve's challenges.
Project Recipe
Paper: PTI Dark Chocolate, PTI Kraft, SU Sage Shadow, K&Co. Classic K Baily PP
Stamps: Verve Fairly Tales
Accessories: cuttlebug, Victorian embossing folder, brown brads (unknown), Paper Studio blue pearl brad, Fiskars Effervesence border punch, embossing powder, heat toold, Paper Shaper 1.5 scalloped circle punch, SU 1 3/8 scalloped circle punch, Nestabilities Classic Scalloped circle die, SU Boho Blossoms punch