Card Making From A Sketch: Square Holiday Card

I've got one more card from a sketch to show you this week.

Here's the sketch I used for today's card:

This sketch is from Laurie Schmidlin. I found it through Pinterest, on the Skipping Stones Design blog.

Another super versatile sketch! You could use this for any occasion. I chose a holiday card.

My card base is 5"x5". I chose my papers first. I used the My Mind's Eye Merry Little Christmas 6x6 paper pad. I cut three strips that were 4.75"x1" and placed them on my card base (which is Stampin' Up!'s Pool Party). Then I cut another strip out of the text patterned paper and created my banner. I layered it on top of some deep red card stock from my scraps bin.

For the star part of the sketch, I die cut an ornament shape from glitter card stock (DCWV) using the Stampin' Up! Holiday Ornaments Framelits dies. Then I tied some baker's twine around the "neck" of the ornament and added it to my card with some foam adhesive. The final touch on the card were some sparkly gems that I found in my stash of bling.

I may make more of these ornament cards. The card came together very quickly and while it is simple, it's also bright and fun and cheerful.  I've got a good stash of holiday cards made already to send out to family and friends this Christmas season. I'll be sharing more over the next month!

Card Making From A Sketch: Birthday Card

Today I have another card made from a sketch for you.

This is the sketch I worked with:

This is FTL 86, from Clean & Simple Stamping, which is one of my top favorite sites to find card sketches.

When I saw this sketch, I immediately thought of a stamp set I had received as a gift but had not used yet. The Hero Arts Many Dots set is full of patterned circle stamps, so I thought it would be perfect on this card. Many of the circles look a little distressed, so when I stamped them they look like I just didn't stamp them evenly, and I actually kind of like the contrast to the solid card stock base.

Here is my card:

I stamped several of the circle stamps and then cut them using various circle dies and punches I had. The inks I used were all Hero Arts Shadow Inks - in Pool, Soft Pool, Passion Flower, Butter Bar, and Soft Cantaloupe.

I then stamped 'happy birthday' from the Stampin' Up! Tin of Cards stamp set with Hero Arts Soft Granite onto a piece of white card stock. I layered some textured card stock that seemed to match the Soft Pool color behind it, and used Stampin' Up!'s Calypso Coral card stock as my card base.

This card was really easy to pull together, because it pretty much follows the sketch. I love how versatile this sketch is. I am thinking how fun it might be to punch different shapes from my scraps bin (like hearts or stars or flowers) and make a bunch of cards in this same layout. I could easily build up a stash of cards using this sketch.

Card Making From A Sketch: Season's Greetings (Includes Process Video!)

This week on the blog I wanted to do a little mini series showing cards I made from sketches I've found. I use sketches often, because otherwise I tend to waste a lot of time planning the "perfect" layout. The wonderful people who have designed card sketches and shared with the world have already done that far better than I usually can, so why not use them?

For today's card, I used this sketch:
This sketch is from Yana Smakula. I actually found it on Pinterest. The butterflies drew me in, because I tend to love anything with butterflies, but the layout could be used for anything. I chose to make a holiday card (because that's the kind of mood I'm in lately).

I filmed myself making this video, so if you enjoy process videos, and don't mind that I sound very nervous throughout this entire thing, watch away:

Here is my take on the sketch:

My card base and the small panel with the tree are Stampin' Up!'s Sahara Sand. The dark red is also SU, but I cannot recall which specific color. (It's from the Regals color family). The dark brown was just from my scraps bin.

I stamped the tree from the Lovely As A Tree stamp set from Stampin' Up! (which, I believe, is the oldest in the line of SU stamps?).  I stamped it first with Memento Luxe Wedding Dress (a white pigment ink). Then I stamped with Stampin' Up!'s Early Espresso over it, but slightly off. I thought this would make it look like there was a bit of snow on the tree.

Next I die cut the red card stock using the Lawn Fawn Large Stitched Rectangle dies, and then cut the tree panel to fit inside. I punched my snowflakes with a Martha Stewart punch from white card stock.

For my sentiment, I used the 'Season's Greetings' from the My Favorite Things Cheerful Christmas Greetings stamp set. I embossed it with Stampendous Sterling Silver embossing powder.

My final touch was to add clear Wink of Stella all over the snowflakes and on much of the tree to give them some subtle sparkle. 

I really enjoyed working with this sketch, and I hope you guys enjoy the video. I'll be sharing two more cards this week using sketches.

Birthday Card for My Dad

Just a quick one today - and this is an iPhone photo. But I made a card for my dad with a sticker set that Shannon gave me last month, and I wanted to share:

The sticker set is called Funny Frosting from EK Success. Of course...I don't think it looks like frosting. :)

I used several stamp sets (miniabc2stamp from The Stamps of Life, Cupcakes & More from Fiskars, Crappy Day from Unity Stamp Co, and a little birthday set from Heidi Swapp) and Stampin' Up!'s Baked Brown Sugar ink on this card. I colored in the cupcake wrapper with Copic BG23. And then I rounded the corners with the 3/8" Corner Chomper from WRMK.

It's a simple looking card, but it took me awhile to line up all the lettering. Knowing my dad, he will love it.

Handmade Christmas Gift Tags

I love adding a handmade touch to my gift packaging at Christmas time. I have a hard time tying bows, so I usually try to add some sort of handmade gift tag. Last year, I used my printable digital gift tags and tied them with twine around my packages. This year I thought I would try to use items from my stash, some older and some newer, and start my gift tags early. If I can get them done in November, I'll be ready to wrap gifts come December. I usually use around 90 tags, so I'm going to try to plan out a little schedule of how many to complete each week over the month of November.

I decided to use 8 designs this year, varying the colors and papers used to mix things up. By keeping to just 8 designs that I have planned out in advance, that will keep things a little simpler as I work through making these tags.

Here are the tags I came up with this year:

I'm using scraps, dies, lots of heat embossing, and just a few stamp sets. My goal was for the tags to be coordinated by using one main stamp set throughout. My tags were cut from kraft card stock using the Tag and Bookplates die from Tim Holtz. These are large tags, so they'll go on my medium to large packages. I'll be doing a smaller version of these (likely using a punch or tags cut with my Silhouette) for smaller packages.

Here's a closer look at each tag, along with the details of what I used on each one:

For every tag, I used the lines from the Envelope Sentiments stamp set from Simon Says Stamp.  I stamped the lines in Versamark, then added Stampin' Up! white embossing powder and heat embossed them. This will allow me to write a 'to' and 'from' on each tag.

On the tag on the left above, I used the large 'a gift for you' stamp in the center, also heat embossed with SU white. I added strips of patterned and glitter paper above the lines, and then I die cut some snowflakes out of glitter paper using the Stampin' Up! Bigz Snow Flurry die. On the tag on the right, I simply added a large piece of patterned paper, and die cut 'merry' from red glitter paper using the Stampin' Up! Expressions Thinlits die. I liked that the 'merry' was curly, similar to the handwritten stamps in the Envelope Sentiments set.

The tag with the mittens was a fun one to do. I stamped snowflakes from the Neat & Tangled Falling Flakes stamp set, using Versmark and SU White and heat embossed them. Then I stamped and heat embossed mittens using The Stamps of Life's Christmas2build stamp set. I die cut them using the matching dies. Next I stamped the 'open me a.s.a.p.' from the Envelope Sentiments set, heat embossed it, and die cut a present shape around it using the Sizzix Triplits Gifts dies. I added the mittens over the present so it looked a little like someone was carrying the present.

For the tree tag, I simply stamped and heat embossed an older tree stamp I had. I used Stampendous Pearlustre Emerald embossing powder, which heats to a really smooth beautiful foresty green color. Then I punched out a gold glittered star using a Fiskars punch.

I used Stampendous Red Tinsel embossing powder on the tag above on the left. It's so sparkly! Next, I stamped the holly leaves using The Stamps of Life's holly4Christmas stamp set onto white card stock, and heat embossed with Recollections clear embossing powder. I did this because I wanted to color in the berries and leaves with my Wink of Stella brush pens, and the clear embossing acts as a resist, so my colors didn't bleed. Then I very carefully cut them out, and added them to the tag.

On the tag on the right, I die cut more snowflakes using the Bigz Snow Flurry die, and stamped and embossed that 'open me a.s.a.p.' again in the upper right corner.

The tree tag was done using the Christmas Tree Cutout die from My Favorite Things. I just added a piece of patterned paper behind the tag, and I also attached another of the kraft tags behind it, so that the paper won't show. 'Joy' was die cut from gold glitter paper using the Stampin' Up! Wonderful Wreath Framelits dies.

Finally, the tag on the right above is super simple - just a strip of patterned paper and that same 'a gift for you' stamp, embossed with the SU White powder.

I am pretty sure I can do these in batches - die cut all the tags, do all of the lines, then do one style of tag several times before moving on to the next. It is good to have all the designs picked out though, because that's usually where the most time is spent for me, trying to come up with what I want my tag, card, page, etc, to look like. And these were really fun to work on, because I got to use older supplies and do a lot of heat embossing, which isn't something I do that often.

Do you guys add handmade touches to your holiday packaging?

Freebie: Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party Overlays

I've been working on creating digital items to go in my Disney albums, and I have a new freebie for you all. I thought it might be fun to create a set of overlays/stamps to go with photos from Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party.

This set includes pumpkin stamps with and without the text in both black and white, both images in ABR format (to use in Photoshop or Photoshop Elements as brushes), and a 4x6 overlay. You can choose to add your own text (or not) to the overlay (which coordinates with the MNSSHP park map colors).

Without text:

With text added:

I used a Halloween themed font I downloaded (Blood Crow) on the Mickey pumpkin head, so it isn't exactly a match to the party logo, but it is pretty close.
You can download the freebie here. I'd love to see how you use these, so feel free to link up in the comments to your photos!

Digiscrap Stash Busting Idea - Desktop Background

I had the idea to do some organization of my Mac desktop background this weekend. Awhile back, on Pinterest, I saw a Mac background that had little sections for things like "Work," "Personal," etc. I thought it would be fun to make myself a background that was a little more crafty, so I thought I would use some of my digiscrap supplies!

Here's my new Mac background:

On my background, I've got areas for my Time Machine and EHD's (in the "backup" section), a spot for things to sort and file, a spot for work in process, and a spot for items to post (like blog posts or creative team layouts).

To make my background, I used Photoshop Elements. For a 27" iMac, I created a new document that was 2560x1440 pixels. (I found these dimension with a quick Google search - I would search for your own particular computer to get the proper dimensions).

I added a background paper. This wood surface one is from Amber LaBau's Golden paper collection. I like that it looks like a real wood desktop. On top of the paper, I wanted to add boxes or frames. I thought that since I had the Creashens Bare Necessities Frames set those would be perfect to form my boxes. I added two of them on top of my paper (scaled down) and added a shadow style (I use a free shadow style set from Mommyish, which you can grab on her freebie page).

I thought I would add a photo to the bottom right box. By saving my template file I can change up this photo every so often. I just dragged in my current favorite, resized it, and added a shadow style again.

I also added words to my boxes. This was done by selecting colors from Amber's Golden collection, typing my text (my font is Stam Pete), and adding a sticker style from Mommyish, then once again adding a shadow style and centering inside the box.

I added a couple more of the Golden papers to the right hand side (with shadows of course). Then I added a large word art from Amber's My Heart Sings element pack. And then I added a whole bunch of embellishments, all from the Golden element pack.

I flattened the image and saved as a jpg, then set as my desktop background. Now I can arrange my folders and thumbnails inside the individual boxes as necessary. (On my mac I had to right click on my desktop and choose "sort by-none" to be able to move them freely).

I think this is a warm, cozy fall desktop look. I saved my template so I can change up my backgrounds, photos, and elements as the seasons change too. I definitely think it'll be fun to make one of these for the Christmas season. By saving the template it will keep my frames in place so I can easily apply a new background and not have to move my icons.

Anyway, I just wanted to pass along this tip for an option to use some of that digiscrap stash for something besides a layout!

Traditional Scrapbook Layout - Selfie Time

I scrapped the "old fashioned way" last week! Just kidding, of course, but I have found I definitely have better mojo when scrapping digitally now. However I am always itching to touch papers and photos, so I printed out two special ones from our vacation and made a page for them.

When we were in St. John, Austin pulled Brad down and said "Selfie time, Daddy!" so of course I had to snap a photo with my camera of them taking their selfie. I think it is neat to have both perspectives of this. 

My inspiration for the layout was from this sketch I found on Pinterest, from Jayne at Scrap Paper Scissors, Etc.

I picked out a bright solid background card stock (from a DCWV stack), and then some papers from the Stampin' Up! I Am Me dsp pack from a couple of years ago. The cameras and the wavey pattern are what drew me to using this pack.

To cut the circle behind the photos, I actually traced around the edge of my scrap room trash can (which is pretty clean, mostly only paper and adhesive go in there) with my craft knife. I just didn't have anything else circular to cut around and neither of my circle cutters make large enough circles. Then I followed the sketch for the papers and cut several patterns and layered them over the circle. I cut the scalloped strip using another solid card stock from DCWV and a pair of shape scissors.

I didn't follow the sketch 100% with the embellishment or title placement. In the bottom corner, I did add a tag (from October Afternoon) noting where we were, a geotag (from Studio Calico) that coordinated with the camera paper, a cute "Click!" flair (from The Flair Shop) and some yellow enamel dots.

In the top right corner, I added a strip of washi tape (I think from Stampin' Up!) and a clear plastic embellishment that says "I will never forget this" that I stapled to the page. I think that's from BasicGrey but I'm not certain. It came in one of the older Studio Calico Project Life kits, I believe. Then I included more of the yellow enamel dots.

For the title, I used American Crafts Roster thickers. They're a little beat up because those things do not stick very well to the sticker sheet...but they do stick to each other. (Scrapbooker problems, yo).

You probably already noticed but I did distress the solid card stock pieces. I just liked the softness it gave to the paper and it helped the background not look so plain.

I love working on pages that highlight special moments even more than working on one that's of a whole event.  I have this moment to look back on and remember. It's easy to forget those little things that actually ARE important bits, when you look back at a vacation years later.

Minuteman National Historical Park and Fall Photos

I adore the colors of fall in New England. Last weekend I so badly wanted to get out to see the foliage, but the idea of a long drive to the mountains or western Massachusetts was not very appealing to either myself or Brad.

After some internet searching, I found a place we could visit nearby that neither of us had ever been to - the Minuteman National Historical Park. I knew this would be perfect for us. For one, the weather was predicted to be quite beautiful. Two, it was a trail full of history, which I knew Brad would love, and three, it was supposed to be absolutely gorgeous in the fall. So Saturday morning we packed a picnic lunch and headed out. We started at the Visitor's Center, where we happened up on this lovely little pond:

After a stop in the Visitor's Center we started out on the Battle Road trail.

The Battle Road trail is approximately 5 miles long, so we opted to do about half of it. Our turn around and picnic lunch point was Hartwell Tavern. 

You can go inside this building and all around the grounds. We stopped in the backyard and had our lunch and I took some photos of Austin collecting leaves and checking out the wood fence surrounding the yard.

We stopped at each of the historical markers along the way, reading the signs and remembering history we'd been taught in school years and years ago, but is so easily forgotten as we grow older.

Along the way, I wanted to get some fall shots of Austin, so we stopped in one of the fields with a gorgeous brightly colored tree behind us:

Austin even took one of us with Brad's iPhone :)

After we made it back to our car, we did drive a short distance away to Concord and stopped at the  North Bridge.

The trail is so long that we weren't able to do the second half, so we plan to go back (likely next fall) and do the rest. There are some gorgeous spots along that half of the trail as well, from what I could tell as we drove to North Bridge.

I got a chance to make a digi page about our day with a few of my favorite images and some new releases from Amber LaBau Designs. I used her Cottage papers and one of the Story Grids Vol. 7 templates, along with elements from some of her older fall collections to make my page:

It just amazed me that we've never been here, and it is so close by. New England really is full of history, but when you grow up here, you just seem to forget how special it is to be able to see these places. People come here from all over to see these sights that we kind of take for granted. It was really nice to get out and experience the park, and I am eager to return.

Birthday Witches Card

Today I wanted to share the birthday card I made for my BFF, Shannon. Her birthday is this weekend, and so close to Halloween, so I thought this year I'd make her a Halloween-themed birthday card.

This card was made with two stamp sets - Lawn Fawn's Spooktacular, and Simon Says Stamp's Handwritten Borders. (I needed "birthday" and that wasn't in the Spooktacular set). To stamp the little witch kitty, I first stamped the hat on white card stock. Then I stamped the hat again on some Post-It tape, and cut it out to use as a mask. I layered the mask right over my previously stamped hat image, and then stamped the kitty. This made it look like one continuous stamped image.

I added the sentiment and some little stars, and then colored everything with my Copic markers. Then I ran the card stock through my Big Shot with one of the dies from the My Favorite Things Stitched Circle die set.

For my card base, I used some dark purple card stock, and I layered a sheet of patterned paper from an older Halloween themed paper pack I had. I added my circle with foam tape.

On the inside of the card I stamped some of the smaller images from the Spooktacular stamp set along the bottom of a white card stock liner sheet I'd cut and attached.

I adore the Spooktacular stamp set. It is super cute. I just wish I had a reason to make a bunch of Halloween cards!

Supplies Used:
Lawn Fawn Spooktacular stamp set
Simon Says Stamp Handwritten Borders stamp set
Post-It Tape
Memento Tuxedo Black ink & marker
Copic markers - R32, V09, YR07, C5, Y08, C-1
My Favorite Things Stitched Circle Dies