Saturday, December 31, 2011

My Christmas Cards

Christmas Time is Full of Cheer:
This Christmas, I am happy to report that I got my cards made and sent out in time. Now that the recipients have these in their hot little hands, I can share the my cards with you. 
Christmas 2011
I actually made these in January about a year ago since I know what it is like in December with all the activities, shopping and merry making that happens during a condensed period. I looked through the Two Peas gallery  for inspiration and I liked the style with four quadrants, but by now, I can't remember who to give credit to, sorry. 

The Process:
All I remember about making these was that there was a lot of cutting and inking. The card base is a standard 4.25 x 5.5", which I like to use since I have clear envelopes that I mail these in. I cut out rectangles in coordinating patterned papers in 1.75 x 2.25" and I printed a photo in the same size. I also hand drew and cut out the holly leaves. All the pieces were inked in white. I dug out my stamping equipment and stamped a sentiment on one of the rectangles, and heat embossed for some texture. I drew in some stitching lines. I don't like to sew on cards since I don't know if people keep them, so I only sew on  layouts as a general rule. I used some liquid pearl dimensional paint to outline the leaves. Lastly I glued everything together and added a 3D embellishment in the center. I used different flowers, layered stickers or buttons so each card came out slightly different. By the time I remembered to take photos, I only had two cards left. 

Some variations
I wanted to save one to scrap but I ended up giving out all my cards. Each year I tell myself that I have to make more for next year. I save all the handmade cards and photo cards that I receive. I usually make a layout with a pocket to house them so they will be stored in my 2011 photo album. I feel so bad throwing away cards. Here is a pocket layout I made for birthday cards I received last year. The pictures show just the layout and then with some cards inside.

 Inside the Christmas card, I used some digital scrapbooking elements to create a mini page so this is 2D even though it looks like it has brads and a tag.

Inside Sentiment
I hope you had a merry and meaningful Christmas and I wish you the best in the upcoming new year. 

Take care,

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Walk in the Park with Nikki Sivils' Collections

The cards in this post were featured on ScrapStreet Magazine's blog. Further details about how to make these can be found there.

The Background:
My dear ol' Dad was visiting us from Taiwan during his annual Thanksgiving visit. We took him to high tea and to saunter the grounds at The Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens which replicates gardens from around the world among its numerous offerings. We took some photos in the Chinese Garden, which is ironic since my Dad traveled half way around the world to see a replica of his home style.
Visiting the Chinese Garden at Huntington Library
The Details:
When I was choosing the papers to match my photos at Pages from the Heart, I was drawn to the pastel colors and cute designs in Nikki Sivils' "Summer" collection even though these are technically autumnal photos. 

My favorite part of the collection were the lil' cameras so I cut a strip of them and placed them all the way across the center of my page. I wanted to emphasize them further, so I cut out one camera, hand stitched on it, used Glossy accents on the lens and flash and popped it up around the title. 

To continue with the hand stitched theme, I used my Sew Easy paper piercer and stitched a scalloped border around the whole layout. To add the final cherry on top, I made some French knots in the white circles on the scalloped border strip. 

To tie in the garden theme, I had some tiny handmade paper flowers I purchased in Thailand this summer that I'd been waiting for the right time to use. This layout design was based on a one page sketch by Allison Davis.  

The Extras:
When I was done with this layout, I had quite a few pieces of scraps left over which I didn't want to waste. I'll give you a glimpse of my mid-process workspace.

I decided to make some cards with the leftovers. I added two pieces of solid cardstock for the card base, a Nikki Sivils "It's Your Day" birthday sticker sheet and some twine and here are the results.

I always need birthday cards during the year so now I am ready for three occasions. I began with three main strips in the background as my starting point and to make them different, I added a varying 3D birthday themed element. 

For my first card, I rolled a rectangular piece of paper into a tube and glued that onto my card as candles. For the flames I used an Imaginisce Glam Rock accented with gold Stickles glitter glue.

For my second card, I put a row of presents across the card in the middle strip.

 I tied some twine on a few of the presents and popped them up at differing heights.
 For my third card, I made a banner at the top for a festive touch.
 I cut the banner pieces from the patterned paper design, glued some twine at the top and popped it up over the sentiment.

This was a really cute collection to work with and it was really easy to mix and match between the two different themed papers.  

Take care,

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Pages Reveal: Stamped Candle Tutorial

The Assignment:
The December challenge for followers at Pages from the Heart is to use a stamped image on a project. Instead of stamping on a card or layout, I immediately thought of a stamped candle gift that my sister and I made a few years back for our coworkers. We stamped "The ______ Family" and filled in the blank with the recipient's last name along with a snowman family image. It was a fun way to make personalized gifts. I created a new design for this challenge.

Stamped Candle 
Featured Collection: Imaginise's Snag 'em Stamps

Supply List for Candle:
Stamps: Ornaments - Imaginisce's Snag 'em Stamps (Snowy Jo Collection),
Merry Christmas - We R Memory Keepers (Peppermint Twist Collection)
Glitter Pen: Gelly Roll
Ink: Delta (dye based ink)
Other: white or cream candle, white tissue paper, wax paper, heat embossing tool

The Tutorial:
1. Choose which stamps you'd like on your candle. You can use designs, sentiments or names. Stamp the images on a piece of tissue paper. I just dug a piece out from my gift wrapping box. You can use any color ink. I used green and red for Christmas. You can use black ink and then color in the images with markers or watercolor color pencils. I colored in my images with a silver glitter pen since it was just a small area. Tissue paper is very delicate so work carefully and stamp and color more than you need so you can choose the best image. The ink tends to bleed on the paper which is very absorbent. 

2. Cut out the images that are to your liking and place them on the candle. I used a tiny bit of adhesive to place the pieces on the candle to make sure the spacing was even. Again, be careful as the tissue can easily rip when you move it around the candle.

3. Now comes the fun or painful part if not done correctly. Cover your images with a piece of wax paper. It is best if you cover the entire candle with wax paper and then hold the paper tightly in place from the opposite end on the excess wax paper. Use your heat embossing tool to heat the stamped images that are covered by the wax paper. You will see the white tissue paper disappear. That is when you know you are done. It only takes a few seconds per heated spot. The wax from the paper melts and covers up your image therefore, embedding it in wax. It gets really hot and can easily burn your fingers so that is why it is important to hold the paper 180 degrees from where you are heating it. Don't hold the paper in place with your fingers close to your image to save paper.

4. When you remove the wax paper, the image is coated in wax and looks and feels like part of the candle and is safe to burn. It is almost like you stamped directly onto the candle. 

5. To make it more personalized, you can use alphabet stamps and spell out the recipient's name. 

6. To decorate the finished candle, I folded some origami puffy stars symbolic of friendship, and placed it in a ring around the candle. I also threaded two stars along with some glass beads on embroidery floss to tie around the packaging. If you are interested in making some stars, you can see a tutorial here.

7. Here is the finished product gift wrapped in ribbons and cellophane. I made a tag copying the shape of one of the ornament stamps to tie everything together. You can see it in person at Pages from the Heart.

This is a relatively easy project, especially if you streamline the process or work with someone at the same time.

Hope you are getting all your Christmas preparations done.
Wishing you a scrappy dappy Christmas,

Monday, December 19, 2011

Pages Reveal: Secret Lil' Box

The Reveal:
This is part two of my Pages from the Heart Christmas themed reveal. I made a secret box which can be the present itself, or the packaging for three tiers of little presents. The secret box is in the foreground along with the envelope gift bags from my last post in the background.  

Secret Box in Foreground
Supply List for Secret Box
Featured Collection: Santa’s Workshop from Doodlebug Design Inc.

Cardstock: Bazzill Basics
Patterned Papers: Doodlebug Design Inc.
Stickers: Doodlebug Design
Alphabet Stickers: Making Memories
Ink: ColorBox Chalk
Glitter Glue: Stickles by Ranger
Scalloped Circle Punches: EK Success
Tutorial: Splitcoaststampers 

The Details:
You can open the box to reveal three trays that can house candies and other fun little gifts for the recipient. 
Opening to discover the secrets within

The box opens up 180 degrees with both sections remaining attached to each other. 
Contents Revealed
I decorated the four sides around the box with scalloped circle punches, stickers and patterned papers. I used a white chalk ink on the edges of the paper to elicit a snowy feel. I made a paper bow for the top. I popped up the scalloped circles using foam tape to add some dimension. Here are the four sides around the box. 

There is a written tutorial and a video tutorial in the link under my supply list for Splitcoaststampers' site. I did find the construction of this to be a bit complex and time consuming in order to be precise so everything lines up and folds evenly. If you want something quick and easy, I'd suggest the mini envelope gift bags. If you have more time and want something with more of a wow factor, then choose this project. It is super cute and the recipient can have fun just opening and closing it. 

Take care,

Friday, December 16, 2011

Pages Reveal: Mini Gift Bags made from Envelopes

The Assignment:
This month for Pages from the Heart, the DT members were asked to make two items for Christmas, a present wrapping idea and a present, while incorporating baker's twine. This is my first reveal, a mini gift bag that would work well for items like jewelry or gift cards. 

Mini Gift Bags

Supply List for Mini Envelope Gift Bags
Featured Collection: Santa’s Workshop from Doodlebug Design Inc.

Cardstock: Bazzill Basics
Patterned Papers: Doodlebug Design Inc.
Stickers: Doodlebug Design
Stamps: We R Memory Keepers
Twine: The Twinery
Ink: ColorBox Chalk, Delta
Glitter Glue: Stickles by Ranger
Decorative Scissors: Fiskars
Other: Buttons, Card Envelopes

The Details:
The main part of this bag is made from a regular sized (A2) card envelope. You can use any sized envelopes that you have lying around, especially if you don't have the card to match anymore. Basically you just seal the envelope, slice off one end, score and fold 3/4" along the other three sides and open them up to make the little baggies. For a more comprehensive tutorial, you can go here. I also made a handle that I attached with glue dots. To decorate the handle, I tied some buttons and origami stars using baker's twine. 

Then I decorated the front and back sides of the bags using Doodlebug's Santa's Workshop line which has a lot of cute stickers and tags that are the perfect size for this project. For the baker's twine component, I glued some twine in a circular pattern using Fabri-Tac for the holly berries on the tag that I popped up with foam tape. The cardstock stickers already come pre-glittered and the border stickers really finish out the scene. Here is a front and back view of my snowman gift bag. 

This second bag is also made from the same sized envelope as the snowman one, the only difference is I cut the opening along the wider edge. So from the same sized envelope, you can get two different shapes, taller and narrower or shorter and wider. Here is the front and back view of my Santa gift bag.  


The snowman and Santa Claus peeking out from the top of the bags are Target gift cards. I got the gift cards first and then made the bags to match the theme of the cards. This was a relatively quick and easy project, and will really add a personal touch when giving a gift card to someone. 

A Shout Out:
I have to give a shout out to the UCLA women's volleyball team that will compete in the finals tomorrow against Illinois. The last time they won an NCAA championship was in 1991, when I was a senior in college there. It has been twenty years in the making. Best of luck!

Take care and happy scrappin' & spikin',

Thursday, December 15, 2011

ScrapFIT Reveal: Mini-Pics

The Workout:
It is time for another scrappy workout! The guidelines for today's workout at ScrapFIT are as follows:
Workout #58- Mini Pics 
     It seems when something is smaller than normal size, it makes it better or cuter!  For this Workout you will need to work with Mini Pictures!  They need to be wallet size or smaller – you can have any many or as few as you would like. 
     You will have until December 31st to link up your layout or project to the Mr Linky for a chance to win!  Don't forget about Workout #57 - Word Of The Year - you have until December 31st to enter this Workout as well.

My Reveal:
I love layouts with multiple photos, so I decided to try and see how many I could get away with on one page. So without further ado, let me introduce you to my doggies who graciously posed for this photo spread.

Workout #58: Mini-Pic Layout
The concept behind this was that I've seen a lot of photo templates for sale, especially for digital scrappers. I decided to make my own photo collage using QuarkXPress. Here is a screenshot of what I came up with:

Designing a Photo Collage

I can now change out the photos if I like these measurements for another layout. The photos print out as one giant photo which make it really easy to work with on the page. Usually I have to glue all the little pictures individually and try to get them to line up straight. 

The Details:
At this point, I thought the photos looked too grid-like on the page and needed some cute elements to balance it out. I decided to build a doghouse to surround the collage. I used several different Bella Blvd. lines that had the patterns I wanted, like wood grains and stripes to paper piece the doghouse. 

I cut strips of striped paper and then tore them into smaller pieces to simulate sawed off planks of wood. Then I used Imaginisce Glam Rocks to look like nail heads. 

Wooden planks in the doghouse roof

I raised different elements of the page to make it look more 3D, like the roofline and the doggie door. I also used the door as my title block which I also designed and printed from QuarkXPress.

Doggie door and title block

For the embellishments, I created a scene by cutting out different designs from the patterned papers. I popped up some pieces for a layered look and used Glossy Accents on the dog's eye. 

Scenery embellishment cluster

There wasn't a lot of room for journaling since the photos took up most of the space, so I grouped some journaling spots in a cluster and labeled the basics. 

Journaling spots

The Prize:
If you like working with mini-pics, then link your creation to today's post for a chance to win another great kit from Paper Lovelies, an online crafting supply site.

Sponsor for this workout's prize
The prize this week will feature the "Old School" collection from Pink Paislee.

The prize for Workout #58
Hope you are getting your crafting and Christmas shopping done.

Thanks for stopping by,

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Do You Have What it Takes to be ScrapFIT?

Repaired bears
Let There be Light:
Yeah electricity! We finally got power back after a week of no cell service, internet or electricity. It felt very primitive and Little House on the Prairie like, trying to get all the chores done before the waning light. It really gave me an appreciation for connectivity and extended daylight. At least I had family members who let me visit their home in the evenings.  I don't know how the Amish do this on a daily basis. 
The gale force winds were really powerful, besides all the trees and power lines that were knocked over, my wooden hanging bears both had their arms severed and blown away. I had to search for it among the tree branches littering the lawn. My hubby repaired them with wires so they are fine now and can withstand the next attack. 

                            ScrapFIT Design Team Call:
My six month term is rapidly drawing to a close with ScrapFIT and now there is an open call for anyone interested in applying for the new term which will begin in February for another six months. The basic requirement is to turn in two challenges a month. You can read about all the details here on ScrapFIT's blog post. I really enjoyed my time on the team and found the workouts both fun and challenging. The experience really allowed me to utilize my creativity and grow as a scrapper. 

Here is a traipse down memory lane to give you an idea of what transpired on the team for me:

Workout #49: Put a Banner on It
Workout #50: Be Inspired by a Book
Workout #51: Salt and Pepper

Workout #52: Sketchy Thursday's sketch

Workout #53: The Journaling Goes Round
Workout #54: It All Adds Up
Workout #55: Christmas Card
Workout #56: Technically Inclined
 Workout #57: Word of the Year

If this is something you are interested in, please try applying for the team. 

There are still three more reveals so it isn't all over yet for me.
Take care,