Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas Challenge

Howdy, I hope you are well.  I made my own Christmas cards again this year.  And I want to enter them into a few challenges during this beautiful time of year!
The wonderful folks over @ Brown Sugar Challenge have a Christmas challenge.
Also, the talented ladies over @ Merry Monday Christmas Challenge have a Holiday Cheer challenge.

And finally, the lovely, and inspirational ladies over @ Word Art Wednesday have a family friendly anything goes challenge.

and here is my entry:

I used a variety of products for this creation.  Special mention to Stampin' Up! crumb cake & mint macaroon card stocks, along with Prima Sweet Peppermint collection of pattern papers.  I added a bit of machine stitching, and a big beautiful lace bow!  The complete recipe of products and such can be found on this post.  Thank you for stopping by, and Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!
I want to take a moment, and wish everyone around this beautiful globe, a very Merry Christmas!  With today's technology we are able to reach out to folks across the globe, and to connect with other cultures, and through other languages, than our own native tongue.  I hope all people find hope, love, and happiness during this season of giving.  And that they start a new year, with a new purpose of forgiveness, love, and laughter.  Our globe is becoming more and more small, and our need to learn to  work and live together becomes stronger and stronger.  May we all find Peace!

I make my own cards, as you all know.  And I make my own Christmas cards, as well.  Typically, I make one card.  But there are years, and this one is no different, that I make 2 cards.  I can't decide which one I like better, so I make both, and it is generally a roulette as to which one you will receive. {smile}  I wanted to share them with you, here, @ my little piece of blog-land: Designs by Sharon.

This one I made first, and I loved the large sentiment piece.  
So of course, I had to add a large bow. {smile}

I wanted a smaller sentiment, but one just as 'pretty', 
to show-off that beautiful pattern paper!

Recipe:  I used Stampin' Up! crumb cake card stock as the base of these cards.  Their card stock is a nice heavy weight, that will stand up to my layers.  {smile}
The layers:  first piece is Mint Macaroon by Stampin' Up!.  I just love this shade of blue green.  It is soft, sweet, and super easy to work with!  
The next layer, is a retired piece from Stampin' Up!.  It came from a holiday collection last year.  I just love sheet music!  
The next layer, is a candy stripe from Sweet Peppermint collection of pattern paper by Prima.  I just love the red and white diagonal stripes.  The shade of red is vintage, and really pops with the mint macaroon.  
And the top layer, is this fun, festive advent calendar holiday print from the Sweet Peppermint collection by Prima.  It has numbers, words, images; everything you would find, or need on an advent calendar.  I thought this paper was just divine, with a bit of nostalgia.  {smile}
I added a simple machine stitch border all the way around.  And yes, sewn through all the layers. {smile}
My sentiment pieces are on whisper white card stock by Stampin' Up!.  I love both the weight of this paper and the feel.  The weight is light, so it won't add bulk to your projects.  The feel is super smooth.  It takes ink (any variety) beautifully!  I matted the sentiment piece with another piece of mint macaroon card stock.  I thought it would help give some definition for that piece, and repeating the same color help solidify that color as belonging to the project.  I kept my sentiment colors, to those I used in the layers of pattern papers.  I didn't want to distract the eye.
I tied bows in either mint macaroon lace or a vintage red gingham print.  The mint lace repeats the mint color from the layers, and the red gingham print repeats the red candy stripes, anchoring both ribbons to the project.  I then tied the embellishment to the bow with thin silver string.  I wanted a sparkle of metallic.  I used either a frosted candy cane or a shiny pine cone.
The cards remain blank inside, and this year I actually wrote in them.  Shocking, I know.  If you didn't know, I never (until now) write in my cards.  I add a hand written note, or typed note to the inside of the card.  That way, you have a card to give.  It's like receiving two gifts in one {smile}.

Well, I am off to the kitchen to get a few dishes started for Christmas dinner.   I hope you are able to share this beautiful season with family and friends.  I think being surrounded by those who love you, and care about your happiness, is enough to bring you joy!  And my heart goes out to those who are serving abroard and can't be with their love ones.  It is a sacrifice to keep our nation safe.  So be vigilant and guard us well.  Merry Christmas! and Peace on Earth.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

It's a Cozy Christmas

Howdy!  Welcome.  I know, it has been a while (eek! 11 days) since I posted last.  My apologies.  But, I'm sure that you all can relate.  It's that crazy, busy time of year.  We all have obligations, commitments, and festivities to attend.  And todays share is just that.  {smile}  I am a Stampin' Up! demonstrator, and my team gets together periodically to share creative ideas, and to socialize.  It's always way too much fun!  Anyways, we always get together during the holidays to do a gift and card exchange.  So, I am sharing with you the gift I made for the exchange.  I am also entering my project into a few challenges {smile}.
My first challenge entry is @ {Cupcake Inspirations}: CIC388.  They have this beautiful cupcake inspiration photo.  The required colors: red, gold, and cream.  How beautiful together!

What a gorgeous cupcake, right? and how inspirational!  And if this photo isn't enough, check out what this wonderfully talented group of ladies have created!  Amazing!
My next challenge entry is @ Word Art Wednesday #260-#261.  Their challenge is typically Anything Goes.  Which allows you to get creative and just make something.  This is a family-friendly site.  This wonderfully talented group of ladies provide you with a scripture (not required).  But the write-up will be spiritual.  So, it's always a good idea, to grab a cup of coffee, and read their beautiful words. {smile}

and here is what I made:

cupcake inspiration entry #22 & word art wednesday entry #237

Yes, it is another one of my holiday totes.  I just love these!  The decorated front has two coffee cups, because the inside in coffee themed.  Pretty sweet, right?
Recipe:  I used all Stampin' Up! supplies to create this, except the die to cut the tote and the clear box to hold my goodies.
The card stock to make the panels, Cherry Cobbler card stock (#119685).  I just love the depth of this red, and the heavy weight of the paper.  {smile}  The pattern paper for the tote and coffee cuffs is a new holiday paper Warmth & Cheer designer series paper stack (#141991).  This paper 'stack' comes in a 6" x 6" pad.  So the patterns are a smaller scale for cards and other projects.  The main panel is white card stock that was run through an embossing folder to give it the appearance of a sweater.  I thought it was a perfect pair! The embossing folder is Cable Knit (#143537).  This new embossing folder is 6" x 6", which I just love.  I machine stitched the embossed panel to the main pattern paper.  Then I wrapped a scrap piece of another pattern paper from the same pack: Warmth & Cheer.  
I used Delightful Dijon 5/8" mini Striped ribbon (#141430) to tie a simple bow to the tote.
The coffee cups from the Perfect Blend stamp set (#130745) were stamped on white card stock and then again on more pattern paper from the Warmth & Cheer collection.  I used foam tape to 'lift' one of the coffee cups off the front of the tote.  I didn't want it to look too flat.  I tied some kraft twine through a wooden button (retired) and adhered it to the cuff with a glue dot.
I made my sentiment with the same pattern paper as the belly band.  I stamped my sentiment in black classic ink, because that is what I used to stamp the coffee cups and cuffs.  I used a retired holiday stamp set Cozy Christmas (#139779) for the sentiment.
The tote contains: homemade Peppermint Bark, Vanilla Bean Marshmallows, and Cinnamon Nuts (almonds and pecans) packaged in clear (food safe) cello bags, along with a Starbucks coffee cup Christmas ornament, and a Starbucks gift card.  
Thank you for looking.  I hope you have been inspired to play along with these challenges.  I am off to cut card stock to make my Christmas cards.  Yeah, I am over a week late at this task.  But, they will be in tomorrows snail mail.  {smile}  I also need to get a few more totes made to go into the mail.
Have a wonderful day, and enjoy whats left of your weekend!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Christmas Tiny House

Howdy!  I wanted to share with you a project I made, that isn't all paper.  I made these tiny wooden houses for my holiday craft fair.  (Yep.  Me.)  But, I cover them with paper and fun embellishments.  My husband does a little wood working, and so he did help me in the beginning.  But, I'm a quick learner {smile}.  I made a few dozen of these for my holiday craft fairs.
I started with a scrap piece of MDF.  (please, I don't know what that stands for, or what it means.)  And I cut house shapes out of it.  My house shapes aren't perfectly symmetrical.  Which, is how I like it!  I think it helps add character, and interest to the finished product {smile}.
here is one of my holiday favorites:

Recipe:  The tiny wooden 'house' roughly measures 2 inches wide (at the base) and 1 1/2 inches tall (at the peak) and 3/4 inch thick.  Super cute size!  I painted the block (all over) with white chalk paint.  Just one good, thick coat.  Then I took my sanding block and sanded it smooth.  This took off some of the paint, giving my naked block a distressed look.  It also help soften the corners.  Then I applied a cream sealant.  I didn't want the block to continue to 'loose' its paint.  
Now the fun part! Decorate!  I used two scrap pieces of my Tilda pattern paper. (love, love, love this paper!)  I used my Paper It to adhere the pattern paper to the block, and it also seals the paper.  To help cover the seam of the two papers, I added a scrap piece of white crochet trim.  I added this beautiful rhinestone flat-back snowflake.  It has so much sparkle in real life.  I tied a tiny bow with a scrap piece of pink silk 1/4" ribbon and adhered it to the other side of the snowflake.  I added a trio of flat-back faux pearls; one in the attic, and two on the side.  (I thought it added a fanciness, and a sweet feminine touch.)  The word 'NOEL' is actually a rub-on.  My final touch, was to add 'snow' to the roof.  I adhered glitter to the roof, and then sealed the glitter with an application of Paper It.  I didn't do anything to the back.  So, it is left plain, well, distressed {smile}.
Thank you for stopping by and having a look!  I will get busy making a few things for some challenges I want to enter.  Hopefully, I can get some 'good' photos (fingers crossed).  So, please come back again soon!  But, until then, happy crafting!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Holiday Stitching

~ photo heavy, long post ~

Howdy.  Whew, what a crazy, busy weekend.  But busy in a great way!  I had a very successful holiday arts & crafts fair, this past Saturday!  Very exciting, and very enjoyable!  It was sweet to meet so many wonderful folks.  And I had a chance to chat with everyone!  Who wouldn't love that? {smile} 
I started off this week, at getting back to the gym and running.  Yes, it's never ending.  But I love it.  The gym gives me a chance to work out some aggression.  If you work in corporate america, you know exactly what I mean.  And running, gives me a chance for me.  It's just me, my music, and the road.  Some quality time for me to sort my thoughts, and get some clean, fresh, mountain air, and take a break from corporate america.  {smile}
I wanted to share a few of my favorite things I crafted (and sold) from last weekend.  So, I will post today, most likely tomorrow, and maybe another day this week.  It all depends on my energy level. 

I am entering my large gift card holder in the Word Art Wednesday : Anything Goes challenge!
*my large gift card holder was selected as a 'Top Three'!  Thank You Word Art Wednesday.
I am also entering my large gift card holder in the Retro Sketches challenge.  it's a sketch!

I love fabric (along with paper).  But, I don't sew garments.  I don't sew toys.  I sew on paper.  And I know a lot of folks who make wearables.  Not me.  But I understand the thrill of finding a gorgeous print.  Or the perfect shade of pink (or any other color) to finish a project.  
I collected some pattern papers from Carta Bella, the Sew Lovely and So Noted.  I wanted to make something sweet, pretty, and practical.  

a sweet gift tote (to hold fabric, or supplies):

a covered notepad (to jot down sketches, supplies, etc):

and finally, a large gift card holder (it holds a pre-packaged gift card):

I just loved how the green stripe and the blue ruler pattern papers looked together.  Not really christmas-y, but simply pretty!  And if you craft (any kind) you know if you find something that works really well together, you don't 'un-do' it.  
I used a variety of stuff from my stashes, so it would be ridiculous to name everything.  But, I'll list a few.  And as always, if you have a question about a particular product, please just ask.
The blue-ish solid card stock used for everything is Mint Macaroon by Stampin' Up!  The cream cotton embroidered trim is from an internet purchase.  The stamping for the gift card holder is from Paper trey Ink (no peeking: holiday friendship jar.  homespun: love lives here holiday).  I stamped in Mint Macaroon and Basic Black classic inks by Stampin' Up!  The pink seam binding is from Stampin' Up!.  However, it is retired: Pink Pirouette.  The sewing theme fabric brads are from LemonCraft.  (LemonCraft is an eastern european company)  The silver scissor 'charm' is an internet purchase.  The large snowflake is a die from PaperTrey Ink, and the glitter paper is from Stampin' Up!.  The green check pattern fabric strips are from an internet purchase as well.  It was listed as fabric ribbon.  And as always (ok, almost always, always) I did machine stitching on my projects.  I think it adds a 'homespun' touch! {smile}

Well, thank you for stopping by!  now, I am off to finish some holiday shopping, and to get a few items out in the mail!  I hope you have been inspired, or at least the creative wheel is turning!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Last Holiday Craft Fair

Howdy ya'll!  Just popping in real quick to let you know that my last holiday craft fair, (ok, any craft fair) this year is TODAY!  I will be at La  Cueva High School, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  The craft fair hours are 9a to 4p.   So, if there has been anything I've posted on my Facebook page, InstaGram or Twitter that you just have to see in person, I suggest you shop early!  I have reduced some of my pricing, to move everything!
Also, if you can't make the craft fair but are interested in anything I have posted, please let me know. If it hasn't sold, I will sell it to you.  PayPal can generate an invoice, or I can post it in my Etsy shop.

Thank you for stopping by.  And I hope to see you at the craft fair!