Sunday, December 1, 2013

"Get Well" Blog Hop

Welcome back! This month, with cold and flu season right upon us, we decided to do a "Get Well" Blog Hop. This way, you can get ideas for what to give that friend, neighbor, sibling, etc. who may be sick or just feeling down. I chose the topic this month, and it hit close to home as I found out (after choosing the theme) that both my grandmother and my husbands grandmother were in the hospital. So whether it's sniffles or surgery, these Get Well ideas will help you know just the thing to give your loved one a pick-me-up.

As anyone who's been around me much may know, my go-to way to help and comfort those around me who are in need is always through food. So this cute little "Get well" mug is right up my alley. It's filled with Hot Spiced Apple Cider mix, a pocket pack of Kleenex, and a handful of cough drops -- everything you need when you've got a case of the sniffles.

My husband and I had also made a quick "Thinking of You" card for his grandma, who was in the hospital. If I have time tomorrow, I'll add the picture of it here. For now, just know it was lovely.

Be sure to hop through to all the lovely blogs in our Hop to see what they have to share!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Gift Giving Blog Hop

Hello! And welcome to this month's We Create Blog Hop! This month's hop is all about gift-giving. Be sure to visit all the gals in the Hop. We love comments and Pins!

I'm super excited to share my project -- inspired by a recent stamp session with Julie, as usual. I"m teaching 2 Christmas classes in the next few weeks, and I love giving my hostesses a great hostess gift during their parties. This lovely Christmas-themed package will make a great hostess gift. (If you're one of the ladies whose classes I'm teaching, this is what you have to look forward to! Um, Surprise!)

I'm super-duper pleased with how this turned out. It was my first attempt at embossing the acetate cover or sleeve that comes with our Tag-a-Bag Gift Boxes. Even though it sounded intimidating, it was actually super-simple! I'll definitely be doing this again in the future.

After embellishing the box cover, I made a simple belly band for the box. Old Olive, Cherry Cobbler, and Crumb Cake cardstock with a touch of bling make for a simple and elegant centerpiece for the box.

Here you can see the box cover/sleeve and the contents of the gift. I love the level of detail that shows up on the acetate sleeve -- so crisp and clear! The ornament stamp is from my favorite Christmas stamp set possibly ever: Ornament Keepsakes. Love it!

 I found a lovely red glass jar at Hobby Lobby, and it fit perfectly in the Tag-a-Bag box! Hooray! I wrapped a bit of our Burlap Ribbon and added 3 simple Basic Jewel rhinestones. The filler in the back is some leftover paper Easter grass -- but hey, it looks Christmas-y, doesn't it?

The jar is filled with homemade relaxing bath salts. They were super-duper easy to make. Here's the recipe! You can use whatever essential oils you like; this citrus-based blend is invigorating, but a touch of lavender makes it relaxing too. Perfect for a nice soak in the tub, maybe with some candles and a great book.

Homemade Bath Salt Recipe 
1/2 cup Epsom salts
1/2 cup Sea salt 
10 drops Wild Orange essential oil 
10 drops Lemon essential oil 
3 drops Lavender essential oil 

Mix in a metal bowl, then store in a glass jar. Add about 2 Tbsp to warm bath water and enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to click on through to see the rest of the fabulous gift ideas the other Hoppers have for you.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

I know it's a bit late, but I wanted to share a quick post about some of the fun Halloween crafts I've seen and made over the last few weeks. Halloween has never been a huge holiday for me, but it sure makes for some fun creative opportunities. I dressed up in the costume I made for Comic Con in September, and my husband and I spent a quiet evening at home with friends celebrating Halloween. What are your Halloween traditions?

First up, the Halloween banner I made at Julie's class. Mine is the "condensed" version to fit on my kitchen cabinets, but I really love the way it gave some holiday spunk to my small little kitchen!

Close-up of some of the fun details on the center panel.
Isn't the glittery bat great? I love the small button, too.

Next up - another one of Julie's projects! She made these adorable Witches' Brooms our of black licorice, skinny cello bags, cardstock, and a stamp. Quick and easy, but super cute! I feel like that about sums up so many of Julie's projects.

These two adorable paper pumpkins were made for me by a friend. The first one is a more simple pumpkin, and the second one is made of layers of paper "lollies" -- accordion-folded paper circles. Both are wrapped around cute little twigs.

And here's my costume! I dressed as Chell from the computer game Portal. Not many people recognized who I was, but that's ok; the costume went over very well at Comic Con, which was it's intended audience anyway. I got the jumpsuit at a military surplus store, the shirt is stenciled on with a Sharpie, and I made the "long fall boots" out of hardware store finds, shoes from DI (thrift store), and officially licensed Portal socks.

Super pleased with how the boots turned out!!
Check out the originals here.

And here's our pumpkin! It's the Crest of Hyrule, from the Legend of Zelda video games. So yeah, we had a super-nerdy Halloween!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Getting Back on the Wagon

These last few months have been crazy for me, hence the virtual "radio silence" on the blog lately. It mostly started in September, when I went to Salt Lake City's first-ever Comic Con and put together a costume within 5 days. After that huge burst of creativity and resourcefulness, my brain had just had enough!

So now I've taken a bit of a hiatus and I'm back! Unfortunately, during my "break" I completely missed sending my own Dad a birthday card! (Yeah, I'm such a great daughter... But I did call him on his birthday!) When Julie invited me over to stamp the other day, I thought "Here's my chance to jump back into stamping again." Looking through some stamp sets, this one jumped out at me as the perfect choice for a belated birthday card for my Dad. And hey, it happens to fit with a challenge! I'm on a roll!

I love the way the Smoky Slate looks with Pacific Point. My default was to just go with Whisper White, but on a whim I tried out the (relatively) new color of gray. I think it turned out great! The fun stripe details come from the "Gorgeous Grunge" stamp set, and the phrases are from (ironically) the "Remembering Your Birthday" stamp set. By the way, this Gorgeous Grunge set is ON SALE for 25% off! But hurry - sale ends October 28! Use hostess code ABJABXYN at checkout.

I'm linking this card up at The Paper Players weekly challenge. This week it's to make a masculine birthday card. Perfect! The colors, layout, and details of this card are definitely great for a guy's birthday.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

"Fall Fun" Blog Hop!

Hello! Thanks for checking out our Fall Fun Blog Hop!

If I'm your first stop, welcome! If you've been hopping for a few blogs, thanks for stopping by! For anyone who might not know, let me explain how our Blog Hop works: We are a group of Stampin' Up! demonstrators (and friends) who have banded together to put on a monthly blog hop for our readers. At the end of each post in the Hop, you'll see the "Next Blog" sign; after you've checked out this entry in the Hop, click on that sign to take you to the next blog, then the next one, etc., until you wind up right back where you started.

This month's theme was "Fall Fun." I'm a BIG fan of Fall! I love the crisp, cool weather and the changing colors in the trees. I love the back-to-school vibe (especially now that I'm done with school!) and all the great holidays that sneak up on us so fast in the next few months. I just wish that here in Utah Valley we could get true Fall weather for a bit longer before the snow sets in. Ah well. I hope you enjoy the fun, festive projects we've created for you today! Remember to click through the whole hop, and comments/pins/shares are always welcome. Happy Fall!

I created this card for the Cards In The Mail Swap I'm participating in this coming year. You can see the other (amazing!) cards I've received in my last post. This month's Swap theme was to focus on the Holiday catalog and anything "fall" themed (so it fit perfectly with this Hop -- two birds with one stone!). The lovely "Truly Grateful" stamp set from the Holiday catalog really stuck out to me. I LOVE wood grain, and so this background stamp was just begging for me to use it!

The layout for this card was actually inspired by a sketch challenge (which has, of course, expired by now -- just my luck) but it lent itself so well to this banner with a faded stamp detail. I chose the color palette using Stampin' Up's Color Coach, which I borrowed from Julie. I've had one on my "short list" for ... well, probably years now, and every time I use it I wonder why I haven't bought one yet. Hm. It may be going on my next order, now that I think about it.

Thanks again for stopping by! I hope you've enjoyed my "Fall Fun" creation. Be sure to click through to the rest of the Hoppers to see what they've made.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Fall Card Swap

Wow, September has been a busy month! Comic Con, birthdays, traveling with family, and school starting up again (for my husband -- I'm done, thank goodness). September also involved my first ever "Cards in the Mail" swap with some fellow stampers. I'm SO excited to show you all the fun cards I've gotten, so here we go!


Aren't they fantastic?! I love seeing all the great projects that my fellow stamp addicts come up with. Check back on Tuesday for our "Fall Fun Blog Hop" to see the card I made for the swap (and, of course, the other awesome projects by the ladies in the swap).

ANNOUNCEMENT: I'm holding a Halloween Banner class on Saturday, October 12. We'll be making an adorable "BOO" banner that's perfect for decorating this Fall season. Class is $15 per person; deadline to sign up is Friday October 4. Contact me to sign up today!

What fun fall projects are you planning? 

PS: Sorry for the short, image-heavy post today. Next week should have more posts from me, including one about my costume-making experience for Salt Lake Comic Con (yup, I'm that much of a nerd).

Sunday, September 1, 2013

"CASE That Pin" Blog Hop

Hello! And welcome to this month's We Create blog hop! This month, our projects have all been CASE'd from projects that inspired us on Pinterest. If you're new around here (or if you need a refresher), "CASE" stands for "Copy and Share Everything" and it's our motto when it comes to sharing ideas among friends. We love being inspired by other peoples' projects! So this month, you get to see what inspires us, and hopefully it will inspire you to create, too!

The cards I chose (from my over 400 Stampin Up pins!) all focused on a fun technique that I haven't really played with before: Negative Space. Stampin' Up! has tons of fun punches, and I've done plenty of projects with them, but these cards use the punches kinda in reverse - instead of looking at the punched out shape, you're looking at what's hiding behind it. It's super-duper easy, and it gives a really fun look to your cards. Try it out!

Here's the original, from Kay Kalthoff:

And here's my CASE'd version.

This is just such a cute and simple card. The background is a piece of the Quatrefancy DSP, and the center of the Blossom punch is popped up with the 1/2-inch circle punch. I added a few little rhinestones in the upper corner to help balance out my rather bottom-heavy version of this card. Such a bright, happy hello to send to a friend!

The second project I did was a lovely little butterfly card. Here's the original (which I just love!) from Karla Dick. Unfortunately, this one was only posted on Stampin Connection, so not everyone will be able to see the original source page - sorry! I tried to find it on a blog or something and just couldn't. :(

And here's my (larger) version.

I realized as I sat down to make this butterfly card that I don't have any white ink -- a major feature of the original. Oops! So I improvised and used the silver metallic ink that's available in the Holiday Catalog. This card is very elegant. The background flowers are stamped in the silver ink on Not Quite Navy cardstock, then the butterflies are punched out of the Crumb Cake overlay layer. The Crumb Cake layer is popped up on a few dimensionals, so the background pattern is a bit removed from the butterfly outline. It gives a lovely pattern to the butterflies, don't you think? I added some pearls and a quick sentiment, and that was that!

I hope you've enjoyed the "Pinspiration" this hop has shared so far! Be sure to check out the rest of the hop, and as always we welcome comments and Pins! Click on through to the next blog, and Happy Stamping!

Quick Apology: Somehow, the month of August just completely flew right by! I started prepping for this Hop and realized that I haven't blogged at all since last month's hop - yikes! Sorry, guys! I promise to do better this coming month. Now that summer is winding down, maybe my schedule will start to be a tad bit less crazy.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

"The Great Outdoors" Blog Hop featuring Stamp Camp Creations

Hello, and welcome to this month's We Create Blog Hop! Tanya from Tanya's Stamps & Things chose the theme for August: "The Great Outdoors!" So this month we're showcasing our nature-themed projects, whether it be flowers or birds or camping - anything you'd find outside is fair game!

For the hop, I've decided to show y'all the projects I made for my first-ever Stamp Camp that I held a little while ago. (For an explanation of how a Stamp Camp works, see yesterday's post.) The set I featured for this Camp was "Regarding Daliahs" - a cute set that's perfect for a beginner; it has ONE image and four great "any occasion" greetings.

I made 4 projects for this camp. Most of them are very straightforward projects, as this was a camp for beginners. The last one (my favorite!) involved heat embossing (one of my favorite techniques) but was still a very simple card. All of these cards were CASE'd, but I don't have the originals handy right this moment. As I find them, I'll link to them in the picture descriptions.

Enough words. On to the pictures!

Thanks for checking out my Stamp Camp! I'll be holding more of these in the coming months; my goal is to do one EVERY SINGLE MONTH! Early next week I'll reveal August's stamp camp, so be sure to check back!

Now go enjoy the rest of the hop! If I was your last hopping stop, thanks for joining us! Hope you've felt inspired to go CREATE!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Regarding Daliahs

Last week, I had my first-ever Stamp Camp! For those of you who might not know what a Stamp Camp is, let me explain. I plan out 5 projects for you (cards, notebooks, gifts, etc.), all centered around 1 stamp set. You pre-order the stamp set and pay the usual class fee, then on the day of the Camp you come and learn how to make the projects. At the end of the day, you go home with 5 fantastic projects AND your own stamp set! It's a great way for beginning stampers to start building their own collection of products.

You'll get to see the fun Stamp Camp projects tomorrow during our We Create Blog Hop, so be sure to check back!

The card I'm sharing today is one that I made after the camp as kind of a bonus project. It's full of sparkle and, of course, my favorite color: Pool Party.

I'm quite proud of how this card turned out! This is the first time in a long time that I haven't relied on a challenge to come up with a card idea. I also realized that, for as often as I used to use them, I haven't used banners in a while. I created a "waving" effect with this banner by carefully bending and rolling the paper and then attaching one end higher than the other (the flower is popped up on Dimensionals for a bit more ... well, dimension!). 

The ribbon in the back is some of our retired 1" Satin ribbon in Whisper White, but you could easily substitute a current ribbon or even a strip of cardstock, perhaps with a decorative edge.

Here's a close-up of the detailed parts so you can see what's going on a little better.

Remember to check back tomorrow to see my Stamp Camp projects and the rest of the We Create Blog Hop!

Card Details
Colors: Whisper White, Pool Party
Paper: Silver Glimmer Paper, Quatrafancy Specialty DSP, Whisper White Cardstock
Supplies: Pool Party ink, Stampin' Sponge, Basic Rhinestones, Paper Trimmer, Dimensionals, 3-Way Glue, 1" Satin Ribbon in White (retired)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Soft Vintage "Oh Hello" (and 3 more challenges)

I seem to have gotten into the habit of posting really late at night. I've been trying to get better -- I promise! -- and had every intention of posting early, but then I got distracted. Go figure. I'm working on planning a trip to Disneyland, and it seems to invade every waking minute of my thoughts lately! So here I am again, nearly 1 AM, and I'm just starting to write up this blog post.

Maybe next time I'll manage to post before midnight.  . . . Maybe.

Anyway, on to the card! Determined after my last epic fail of posting a multi-challenge card, I wanted to get this one up as soon as possible so I didn't miss ANY deadlines. Woo-hoo!

I combined the color challenge over at Create with Connie and Mary (CCMC SUM13-02) with the layout from this week's Clean and Simple challenge (FTL248). Then, my stamping buddy Julie pointed out that Friday Mashup was hosting a Tic-Tac-Toe challenge (FM117), so I was all over that -- especially since it involves butterflies and pearls! My favorite things! So combining all that, I basically had my card all set up for me; I just had to pick out two measly little stamps. How easy is that?!

A close-up of the butterfly, colored in, with some great pearl details.

Julie suggested adding a tiny seed pearl to the brad - perfect!

The tiny butterfly details were colored in with a Stampin' Up! Blender Pen in Pistachio Pudding and Crisp Cantaloupe. The tiny pearls create the "body" of the butterfly, and in that one little details I've captured all three elements of the Friday Mashup Tic-Tac-Toe challenge! I also added a pearl to the antique brad off to the left, which adds just the perfect touch of "something special" to tie it all together.

Card Details
Colors: Crisp Cantaloupe, Pistachio Pudding, Soft Suede, Very Vanilla
Tools and Accessories: Lace ribbon, Antique Brads, Linen Thread, small Butterfly punch, Perfect Pennants Bigz Die (Big Shot), Basic Pearls, Blender Pens, 1 3/8" circle punch, DSP (don't remember which - sorry!)
Stamps: Oh, Hello and Butterflies

Friday, July 5, 2013

3 Challenges with Mosaic Madness (But Too Late)

This is, I think, the first card that I've made at home for weeks. This is sad, people! I have really fallen out of my stampin' groove. However, I'm really quite happy with how this one turned out. It went through at least 3 iterations before I ended up with the final product. It's a more modern look than I've been doing lately, but I think that works well with the clean gray-green-white color scheme.

I made this card based on THREE challenges - talk about getting back into the groove of things! Yeah! Go me!! Aaaaannnnddd then I completely forgot to post this early enough (I blame the holiday - Hope you had a happy 4th!) and I missed TWO of the three deadlines. FAIL. Ugh. Oh well, I still got a great card out of it.

The layout came from this week's Clean and Simple sketch challenge (FTL247), which was a great - but challenging! - layout to work with. And thankfully, I haven't missed this deadline. Hooray for only incomplete failure!

Dynamic Duos provided the color palette ... kinda. The challenge was to use Basic Gray and a choose-your-own color. (Neutrals are always allowed.) So I chose green - Lucky Limeaid in the paper and Old Olive in the stamp. It's hard to tell them apart, so I'm just counting them as the same color, okay? Okay. This deadline I did miss, so sad day.

My favorite part of this challenge combo, though, was one I was very sad to have missed: PaperPlayers issued another tic-tac-toe challenge! I LOVE these! They give you a grid, like the one below, and you have to pick one row/column/diagonal to work with.

I chose the diagonal Embossing-Bling-Birthday, and I really like the result! But again, I missed the deadline (UGH!) so I wasn't able to enter. *Sigh* Maybe next time I won't fail so badly and actually get these things posted on time!