One Hot Mess (Or, Just A Vlog)

I filmed a bunch of short clips to make one crazy vlog tonight. Let me know what you think!

Christmas Tree Shaker Card

You guys, I'm getting better at these! Actually, I should re-phrase. It's getting easier to make these. Yeah, that's it.

Another die I picked up from My Favorite Things was the Christmas Tree Cutout die. I knew it would be perfect for shaker cards.

To make this one, first I ran white card stock with this die and one of the rectangles from the Lawn Fawn Large Stitched Rectangles die pack through my machine together. This cut out the panel along with the tree window. For dimension, instead of using foam behind the white panel, I ran three sheets of white chipboard through my Big Shot and layered everything together. It meant a lot of taping with tear tape, but I like that you can't really see the chipboard and the sequins don't stick to it as much as using foam adhesive.

As usual, I used spare transparency film for my window, and after I added my sequins, I backed the white with a green glittered card stock from DCWV. My sequin stash is a mix of lots of vintage sequins passed along to me by my mom. I did use a few mini star sequins from Martha Stewart as well. I adore this mini sequin pack - it's perfect for shaker cards. I did use a brown card stock behind the trunk of the tree.

Behind the white panel I added paper from the My Mind's Eye Merry Little Christmas 6x6 pad, and then I die cut another white panel with the Stitched Rectangle dies. All of that was attached to a white card base.

For the sentiment inside the card, I used the My Favorite Things Cheerful Christmas Greetings stamp set. I stamped 'Season's Greetings' with Versamark, then used Stampin' Up! gold embossing powder and my heat tool for this raised gold result. I have to admit I don't think I'm the best heat embosser - this always looks bubbly to me. Perhaps I need to do it twice? If anyone has any tips, please post them in the comments!

Anyway, I know the recipient of the card will love it as it is, so I am happy with the result.

Quilt Christmas Card

This past weekend I was in a random holiday mood, and decided to make up a couple of Christmas cards using some new dies I had purchased from My Favorite Things. (By the way - their site has super fast shipping. I think I received my order in two days).

Anyway, the first card uses the Die-namics Quilt Square Cover Up die. I'd mentioned in a post a couple of weeks ago how I was eyeing quilt cards, and I just could not get this die out of my head. The only place it was in stock was directly from MFT, and since they were offering a free die with a $60 purchase, I picked up a few other items as well.

I absolutely LOVE this die. It cuts through card stock like it's butter.

Since I was making a Christmas card, I chose red and green patterned paper from the Studio Calico Wonderland 6x6 paper pad. I just ran the die through my Big Shot a total of three times - once with the red, once with the green, and once with plain white card stock. Then I punched out the middle sections from the white (most of the pieces stayed in tact, which made it easier for me), attached that part to my card base with double sided tear tape, and added in the alternating red and green pieces.

I wanted something on the front other than the quilt, and the Stampin' Up! Expressions Thinlits 'Merry' die was perfect. I die cut that with some gold foil card stock from DCWV, which I first ran through my Xyron to add adhesive to the back. Then I just pressed it down on top of my card.

Inside the card I stamped a sentiment from the Stampin' Up! Wondrous Wreath stamp set with Memento Tuxedo Black ink.

Sometimes it is nice to work on holiday cards when there is no pressure of trying to get them done in time for Christmas. I'll share my other holiday card later this week!

Happy Birthday Wishes!

Just sending a big old Happy Birthday to two of my favorite people! These two share a birthday today - Brad is 46 and Summer is 19. I'm hoping they both have a fabulous day!

Embossing Folder Organization Update

Sometimes when I'm lacking some creative mojo, I choose to organize. It feels productive and crafty but it doesn't require any design skills.

My embossing folders have been bugging me for awhile. I used to organize mine in an Iris container (see this post for details) but have since moved my folders to a drawer in one of the Michaels storage units. I wanted an easy way to see which folders I have, both while I'm working at home and while I'm out shopping. I used to use the ring with small examples of the folder, but I found with some of the larger patterns the smaller shape wasn't capturing the entire image.

My solution was to use a $1 photo album from Dollar Tree.

I chopped up some chipboard for the front and back covers to add some stiffness to the album. On the front I also added a sheet of patterned paper and a simple label.

Inside, I used 4x6 sheets of spare card stock (I have a lot of purple) and ran each folder through my Big Shot. Then I labeled the bottom of each sheet with the brand and name of the folder, if I had it.

In my drawer the folders are (mostly) labeled. I have the album sitting in front of the folders, the folders organized (mostly) by type, following the order of the album, and then behind those I have my diffusers.

Now, for an easy on-the-go index of what I own, so I don't double buy, I uploaded images of each folder to an Evernote notebook. (I just googled each folder to find an image to use, rather than photographing each separate folder).

I can see what I have on my phone, and add new ones as I purchase them. So easy!

So that's my updated embossing folder storage. Hope you like! Feel free to share how you organize your folders in the comments!

Freebie: Disney Journaling Cards

Today I have a small freebie for you guys!

We're preparing for another Disney trip and I had an idea for a simple journaling card to use in pocket scrapbooking/Project Life albums. I thought you could use just one of the cards or maybe print one for each park. Hope you like!

This little freebie file comes with the card in five colors, along with a printable PDF. You can use the JPG files in your digital layouts if you like, or you should be able to bring the JPG into Photoshop/Elements and recolor the edging or the Mickey head if you prefer a different color.

Click here to download your freebie!

Quick Book Recommendation

Just a quick post today. I am up to 70 books read in 2015 guys! That is CRAZY. Last year I am pretty sure the only books I read were the Fifty Shades books.

Anyway, I very recently read the Losing It series of books from Cora Carmack. These are Romance books, but not Erotica (despite what you might think from the cover). At least, I don't think they'd be considered in that genre. They contain very little adult scenes, but they are steamy. It's a lot of character background and relationship build-up. They're witty, and the characters are very easy to fall in love with. The women seem strong and independent, and the men aren't the usual controlling billionaires in most of the books I read.

I couldn't put these books down - I read all three main books and the two novellas in a five day period. Just wanted to pass this along for any readers out there looking for a fun, steamy series to read.

Oh, and if you're not already on Goodreads and you're a reader, you should be! This is a great little free site (and app) to track your books - those you want to read, and those you've read. Oh! And if you're a reader and haven't already checked out Bookbub, that's another one you should be on. They'll email you every day with the day's e-book deals. I've saved quite a bit of money on some of the books I have sitting in my Kindle wish list, because I was alerted to when they went on sale. And I've downloaded several dozen freebies or 99 cent books as well. Make sure you check out both of these sites if you love to read and haven't yet!

Giving Thanks Card

I picked up the Simon Says Stamp Giving Thanks stamp set quite some time ago, but I hadn't used it yet. I just love the tree in this stamp set. I love that you can stamp leaves or a large "cloud" style color over it. Plus I'm a huge fan of handwritten sentiments. So here's the card I finally made with it. Stamping the tree was as fun as I had expected, so I can see myself using this set a lot!

I used four different inks for this card - Hero Arts Cup O' Joe, and Stampin' Up!'s Hello Honey, Cajun Craze, and Pumpkin Pie.  I just inked up a little bit of the leaves at a time and stamped those in place before moving on to the next section. Then I used the single leaf stamp and made it look like the leaves were falling from the tree.

It killed me to do it, but then I chopped up the stamped design into panels. I knew the result wold be worth it but yep, cutting through all that work was hard!

For the 'Giving Thanks' sentiment I stamped it right onto the orange paper (from the Lawn Fawn Into The Woods 6x6 pad) with Versamark, and used Stampin' Up! white embossing powder to heat emboss it.

I used Stampin' Up! Chocolate Chip card stock for my card base. Inside the card I placed a white panel, and stamped a small sentiment from the Hero Arts Thanks Stamp & Cut stamp set.

Such a fun card! I am looking forward to using that tree stamp again!

Welcome Baby Card

Last week, I helped to throw a little surprise baby shower lunch for my boss. She's due with her second baby boy in a month, and we wanted to do a little something for her at work.

I took inspiration for my card from one that Kristina Werner had posted awhile back, which you can check out here. Of course, she's a pro, and hers is way cuter!

My boss has a nautical themed nursery, so I loved the idea of a mom and baby whale. I didn't have any mom and baby whale stamps though, so I purchased this digital stamp from 2CuteInk's shop on Etsy. I used PSE to slightly modify the image so that the baby had a different face than the mom. Then I printed them and colored them in with Copic and Spectrum Noir markers.

For the shaker window, I die cut a square frame using the Lawn Fawn Stitched Squares dies. The papers are from the Glitz Uncharted Waters 6x6 pad and the Studio Calico Atlantic 6x6 pad. I added in a bunch of random sequins and used some spare transparency film I have on hand, and put my shaker window together using foam tape.

My sentiment was stamped onto vellum from the Simon Says Stamp Handwritten Borders stamp set and embossed with Stampin' Up! white embossing powder. I embossed the dotted panel using the Cuttlebug Swiss Dots embossing folder, added some gray baker's twine tied in a bow, and the card was complete. I do love how it turned out and my coworkers and boss thought it was adorable, so, yay, success!

Disneyland Memory Tray

A few months back, I picked up a black framed memory tray from Michaels (Recollections brand). I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with it, but I was drawn to the individual sections in the tray. They reminded me of Project Life-style scrapbooking.

Last weekend, I decided that this tray would be perfect for photos from our day at Disneyland back in June.

This took me a few hours to pull together, but I am really happy with how it turned out. It's now hanging proudly on a wall in our hallway.

I started by printing the photos I wanted to include. There are two 4x6 slots in this frame, but the other slots are unusual dimensions, so I measured, sketched a general idea of what I wanted each slot to look like, and printed everything out. Then I chose the main papers for my tray. I used the My Mind's Eye Chalk Studio 6x6 paper pad for all but the largest slot (which is longer than 6 inches). For that space I used a sheet of paper from a Crate Paper 12x12 pad.

I wanted one space to have some sort of large text to "describe" what was happening. I thought using 'Our Happy Place' was the right phrase. I used Dear Lizzy Treasure thickers in the cream color for the words 'our' and 'place,' and I die cut 'happy' using the Avery Elle Simply Said Happy die. The little word stickers are from Authentique.

In the bottom corner I added '2015' using some Simple Stories chipboard stickers. This slot is just below the one that says 'DL' (Disneyland). We don't go to Disneyland often, but I do find that if I don't date a trip that we've taken more than once, I forget which year we were there.

At the very top of the frame, there's a silver handle. I suppose you could hang the frame on the handle (though there is hardware on the back of the tray to hang it as well), but I thought I would leave it as decorative and add a ribbon. I just used the natural chevron ribbon from Stampin' Up! and tied it in a knot. The perfect finishing touch.

Other supplies used for the tray include some embellishments from October Afternoon's Daily Flash collection, My Mind's Eye, and Dear Lizzy. I also used the Memory Box Banner Parade die for the banner in the center slot. The 'explore' text was done with Jillibean Soup Alphabeans stickers.

This was such a fun project! Have any of you ever made a memory tray? If so, add a link to your project in the comments. I would love to check them out!