Monday, December 10, 2018

A Meowy Christmas To All

I love cats. I have five fabulous felines and they are the loves of my life.  Since I can't possibly get any more cats {well, I could, but I'd need a better paying job!}, I collect cat stamps and I have since I began stamping a long, long, time ago.  The set I used to make this card is one of my new favorites; I mean, who wouldn't want a Christmas tree full of cats? A Catmas tree!!  Here is my design team entry for Not Just Cards - why not link up one of your holiday creations and join us?

What I Used to Make my Card:
White Card Base
Scrap White Card
Watercolor Paper {I use this}
Mama Elephant Oh Kitty Tree stamps
Mama Elephant Oh Kitty Tree dies
Zig Clean Color Markers
Sakura Gelly Roll Pens, Stardust Set
Distress Ink in Hickory Smoke
Ranger Archival Ink in Jet Black

I have to tell you, I couldn't remember if I posted this card or not. I made it a few months ago and I looked through my blog posts to see if I had posted the card, couldn't find it, but I still wasn't sure.  To keep track of the products I use when I am making something, I have a notebook where I write the card name and then the items I used to create the card or project. I couldn't find the list in my book.  Now I KNOW I made the card because it's sitting right here in front of me.  For me not to write down something, even if I only get as far as the stamps and dies I've used, is not like me.  This card was a mystery.  I asked my friend who helps me with my blog if she'd seen the card before, and I checked my pictures.  Turns out I'd taken a few pictures, but the card wasn't ever posted.  Lucky you, I figured it out!  I can tell what I used by looking at the card and I know I started this one by stamping the Catmas tree on a panel of watercolor paper, then I colored in the cats, and cut out the tree.  The tree looked lost when I placed it onto the white card base, so I used a scrap piece of white card and inked it up with a light coat of Hickory Smoke just to give the tree something to be "on."

I stamped the sentiment onto the inked panel, then attached the Catmas tree to the panel, the panel to the card, and I have this adorable card.  I am in love with the cats that Mama Elephant puts out and I am so happy I got this set {I got it as soon as I saw it - I just could not help myself.}  I have a few other cards in the works using this same set and you will be seeing them soon.  Do you have a system for keeping track of what you've posted on your blog, or Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, or any of the other social medias?  How do you know when a card, or project has been "done"?  In addition to my book, I used to keep my cards in separate piles by my computer, but my little, fat, black, cat, Mew, has decided I actually put them there for her to chew, so that system was abandoned.  Now I keep them out of her immediate reach; she's too lazy to figure out how she can get to them, thank goodness!  I hope you enjoyed my post for Not Just Cards! Thanks for stopping by and reading my post; I truly appreciate it!  I'd love it if you'd drop me a comment so I can come and see your blog and share some blog love with you!  Fondly, Christi

I am entering my Meowy Christmas card into the following challenges:
Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge - Warm Winter Wishes
Papercraft Challenges - #26, Winter, Wintertime
Show Us Your Pussies - #37, Anything Goes with Cats
Coloring in Scrapland - Anything Goes - Option - Christmas
Winter Wonderland - End of Year Anything Christmas Goes
Crimbo Crackers - #173, Anything Goes
Christmas Sweet Stampin' - Anything Christmas Goes
The Little Red Wagon - #475 House Pets
Card Mania Challenge - #111, Christmas
Stampin Sensations - Winter Sparkle {the little ornaments really do sparkle!}
Archi-scraps - Anything Christmas
Do-Al(l) Creative - #24, Christmas/New Years Eve/New Years Day
2 Crafty Critter Crazies - #21, Anything Goes with a Critter
Merry Little Christmas Blog - #5, Anything Christmas Goes
Inkspirational - #175, Designers Choice, Anything Christmas

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Simon Says FaLaLa at Die Cut Diva's

Another holiday card - are you getting tired of seeing all of them yet?  I know
that by this time of year, especially since the holiday advertisements began right after Halloween {!?!}, I'm a bit over the songs and whatnot but I still have some holiday cheer left! I've made this card for the December Die Cut Diva's Challenge, Winter or Winter Holidays, sponsored by the lovely Di's Digi Downloads; I hope you will join us and link up your cards and/or projects, you could win a $12 voucher to the store!  The background paper I used is what inspired this card; it's so pretty and I wanted to figure out a way to showcase those intricate snowflakes.  I hope you like it!

What I Used to Make this Card:
White Card Base
Shades of Brown, Red, Vanilla, Blue, Black and Silver Glitter Cardstock
Simon Says Stamp Fa La La Stamps & Die Bundle, #Set311FL
Simon Says Stamp Picture Book Santa die, #S492
Simon Says Stamp Picture Book Deer die, #S440
Simon Says Stamp Picture Book Polar Bear die, #S526
Bo Bunny Winter Wishes 6" x 6" Paper Pad, #20917843 {discontinued but available}
DCWV Metallic Textured 4.5" x 6.5" Stack {discontinued but available}
Nuvo Crystal Drops in Ebony Black, #650N

This card looks much more complicated than it was to make.  The dies include everything you need to make the character, but I skipped trying to put the teeny, little, black eyes on some of them and used Nuvo Drops instead. The worst part is cutting with the die the numerous card stock colors you need, but even that isn't THAT bad.  I cut out all the parts and pieces of the Santa, Deer, and Polar Bear, and got to work putting them together. I have a trick I use to keep everything together when I am paper piecing like this; piece together the cuts using the wrong side of the paper and, once you assemble the cuts, add some tape.  You won't be able to see it since you're putting the tape on the side that will be attached to the card.  Plus, I use regular generic cellophane tape and the ridges the cutter makes on the tape make it easy to tear it, so you can make tape pieces to fit just about anywhere!  

The first image is the back of the deer all taped up
{the "double" antler is shadow}

And the second image is the front of the deer; you
can’t see the tape at all! 

Once my three characters were complete, I set them aside to dry overnight.

I cut the patterned background paper to fit on the A2 white card base, glued it
Another Look
on, and set the card under my tile to dry overnight.  While everything was drying, I cut "falala" out of the metallic textured paper.

I assembled the card putting the figures onto the bottom of the card and the sentiment at the top.  I like the subtle color of the sentiment and how it works so well with the patterned paper.  My eye keeps going to Santa's belt buckle and I think next time I make him, I would use a silver paper instead of the glitter but it depends on what scraps I have on hand. Why not enter your cards that have some die cuts in the Die Cut Diva's Winter and/or Winter Holiday Challenge? You could win a $12 voucher to Di's Digi Downloads and that is a bunch of digital goodness!  The challenge doesn't end until December 31, so you still have loads of time.   I hope you enjoyed my little tutorial and I hope you are making headway on your holiday cards.  I'm sure I'll be crafting my cards until the evening of the 24th!  Thanks ~ Christi

I am entering my FaLaLa card in the following challenges:
Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge - Warm Winter Wishes
Cardz TV - #77, Anything Goes
Creative Friday - #220,  Animal Christmas
Moving Along with the Times - Anything Christmas
Cute 'n Crafty Christmas - #1, Anything Goes
Ellibelle's Creative Wednesday - M, Snowflakes, Snowmen, Winter Wonderland
2 Crafty Critter Crazies - #21, Anything Goes with a Critter
Animal Friends Challenge - #69, Anything Goes
Simon Says Stamp - Christmas Card Day
Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge - B is for BEAR! As in polar :)
Happy Little Stampers - Anything Goes with Dies

Friday, December 7, 2018

Nutty or Nice with Lawn Fawn & Simon Says Stamp

Every September STAMPtember Simon Says Stamp releases some fabulous sets that are collaborations between them and some of our favorite stamp companies.  The catch is you only have a limited time to purchase these sets!  I was lucky to nab one of these adorable, limited edition, sets {there is always a chance that the set will be released again later; let's hope!}

What I Used to Make my Card:
Vanilla Card Base
Lawn Fawn/Simon Says Stamp Nutty or Nice? bundle, #LF1766
Lawn Fawn Leafy Tree Backdrop, Landscape, #LF1237
Lawn Fawn Snowfall Backdrop, Landscape #LF1802
Lawn Fawn Say What? Christmas Critters stamp set, #LF1778
White and Brown Cardstock
Watercolor Paper {I use this}
Zig Clean Color Markers
MFT/Die-Namics Stitched Circle STAX
Sakura Gelly Roll Stardust Pens
Ranger Archival Ink in Jet Black

To make this card, the first step was to stamp and color all the critters on watercolor paper.  Once they were dry, they were cut out using the matching dies.  Then I stamped the ornaments on white card, colored them with Gelly Roll pens and cut them out.  Since the ornaments are on the tiny side, I find it easier to use the gel pens than try to watercolor them.

Making up the scene is the most fun for me!  I decided to use the Snowy Backdrop die and the Leafy Tree Backdrop to make my holiday scene.  I attached the Leafy Tree to the Snowy backdrop and then layered that onto a vanilla card base.  I wanted you to be able to see the snow but not make it a distraction and layering the white card onto vanilla gives the snow just a hint of color.
Another Peek

Lastly, I finished the scene with the squirrels putting the nose onto the snowman.  I love that one squirrel is standing on the other's head; I have a major squirrel population around my home and I swear I've seen them do this trying to get at the bird feeder.  I also put one squirrel up in the tree hanging the ornaments.  Finally, I stamped the sentiment, used the stitched circle die to cut it out, and placed it onto the card in the top right corner.

I love these little animals!  Most of Lawn Fawn's critters go together; meaning I can use these squirrels with any other squirrels like the ones in Cheery Christmas {a set I just got!}  I just can't get enough of these sets but I'm sure I will be able to feed my addiction for years to come!  Thank you so much for stopping by.  I appreciate your visits as I know your time is valuable, especially this time of year. ~ Fondly, Christi

I am entering my card in the following challenges:
Dragonfly Journeys - Handmade Holiday Magic
Creative Friday - #220, Christmas Animals
CARDZ TV - #77, Anything Goes
Lawn Fawnatics - #42, Winter Holiday {graphic below}
Stamp, Ink, Paper - #179, Holidays {graphic below}
Papercraft Challenges - #26, Wintertime
Muse Challenge - #293, Free for All 
Cards in Envy - The Spirit of Christmas
Muse Christmas Visions - #114, Free for All
Moving Along with the Times - #86, Anything Christmas
Time Out Challenges - #124, Joyful {graphic below}
Simon Says Stamp Work it Wednesday - Ho Ho Holiday {graphic below}

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Winter Wonderland ~ Thinking of You

Isn't this polar bear just adorable!?  I knew I had to have this stamp set as soon as I saw it - it's perfect for any occasion cards and what better occasion than thinking of you?  I made this card for my last design team project with Stinkin' Inkers.  I'm sad that I have to leave but I've gotten a new job and one of my design teams had to go, and since I've been with Stinkin' Inkers since the beginning, I decided that my post for the December challenge, Winter Wonderland, would be my last.  I want to thank Terri and all of my teamies for a wonderful experience and I will miss you all! 

What I Used to Make my Card:
White Glitter Card
White Scrap
My Favorite Things BB Polar Bear Pals stamp set
Sakura Gelly Roll Pens, Stardust set
Ranger Archival Ink in Jet Black

I have to give a shout out to Cut Card Stock.  They have some awesome $1.99 specials and beautiful card stock.  I even got a handwritten thank you note in my order!  I wasn't aware of the extensive collection of card stock, papers and other goodies that they carry so you might want to consider taking a look at them the next time you are in need of some card stock.  In any case, my order from Cut Card Stock helped this card come to fruition.  I had an idea how I wanted it to look and when I saw the Stardream Coral A2 cards in person, I instantly knew how I was going to make it happen!  I began by stamping the bear on white card, die cutting him {why a him? I don't know, looks like a him to me!} and coloring the scarf with gel pens.  Then I cut the hillside out of white glitter card, trimmed off the frame piece so all I had were the hills, cut the
Another Peek
snowfall backdrop, and attached all of that to the coral card base.  I added the snowfall backdrop first and then the hills over that.  The subtle pink of the coral is just a shade different than the white glitter card so the snowflakes stand out a little bit.  

Next I stamped the sentiment onto scrap white card and die cut that with a banner die, attached that to the top left of the card, and put the polar bear on one of the hills.  I wish you could see how sparkly this card is in person.  All the metallic and glitter papers really make the entire card pop!  Even the sparkle of the scarf adds to the Winter Wonderland theme.  I wanted to create a wonderful, wintry place for the polar bear to be sitting while he was thinking of you, and I think I did just that.  Blue and white is one of my very favorite color combinations; something about it just looks so crisp to me.  Now it's your turn to enter your Winter Wonderland cards in the December Stinkin' Inkers challenge; maybe my polar bear can visit your wonderland?  I do hope you will enter as we just love seeing all your creations!  Thank you to the Stinkin' Inkers team for a wonderful design team and to you for stopping by and visiting my blog.  Fondly, Christi

I am Entering my Thinking of You card in the following challenges:
TioT - Winter Wonderland
Muse Card Challenge - #293, Any Card Can be Linked
Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge - "B" is for. . . BEAR
The Paper Girls - #165, Die Cuts
2 Crafty Critter Crazies - #21, Anything Goes with a Critter
Die Cut Divas - Winter Theme
CARDZ TV - #76, Anything Goes
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge - Anything Goes
Work It Wednesday - Ho Ho Holidays
Stamping Sensations - M, Winter Sparkle
Path of Positivity - #64, Anything Goes, OPTION: Silver, Gold, Metallics

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Autumn Blessings

While the last of the leaves get blown off the trees and we begin to prepare for snow, I thought at least one more autumn card was needed.  I love creating with fall colors and this card was really fun to make.

What I Used to Make my Card:
White Card Base
Simon Says Stamp Thanks & Leaves stamp set, #SSS101894
Various Autumn Colors of Ink {I used Hero Arts Ink}
Lindy's Gang Embossing Powder in Tannenbaum Green Gold
Embossing Ink
Simon Says Stamp Autumn Greetings stamp set, #SSS101637
MFT/Die-Namics Stitched Oval STAX, #MFT-0152
Dimensional Dots
Tim Holtz Tonic Stamp Platform

This was a fairly easy card once I was able to stamp the background without messing it up.  Even with the stamp platform, I struggled with getting ink where I didn't want it, but I think that had more to do with the fact it was really late and I was tired.  Who knows why I do that to myself, but I do!  I know crafting late and/or when I am tired is a disaster waiting to happen, yet I do it anyway.  I'll probably never learn.  Anyway, I trimmed the background down a bit and layered it onto a white card base.

Once I got the background done, I went through my stamps and dies and choose a sentiment stamp and a shaped die.  None of the word dies I have really fit the card and they took up too much room.  After what I'd been
through, I wanted people to see that background!  Plus, I really like it.  I settled on using Autumn Blessings and a new embossing powder I just got.  I embossed the sentiment and then cut it out with the stitched oval die.  I finished the card off with adding dimensional dots to the back of the sentiment to pop it up.  I used tall dots so it really sticks out.  

I personally don't subscribe to the craziness of this time of year, of course not having little ones {or big ones for that matter} helps.  The cats don't ask for anything that they don't regularly get so I don't have any pressure to buy gifts.  The few gifts I do give out I make by hand and I'll be sharing a few of them here next month.  I hope you take some time out for yourself to enjoy the true spirit of this upcoming season.  It's not about presents, or how much you can afford to buy {your teenagers may vehemently disagree.}   To me it's about enjoying the gifts that you already have in your life.  And you, dear reader, are a gift to me.  Thanks so much for reading my post; please don't forget to leave me a comment or just a hello!  Fondly, Christi

I am entering my Autumn Blessings Card in the following challenges:

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Girl With Balloons

It's the last day of the month and I am sharing this card I made for the Die Cut Divas November Challenge, thoughtfully sponsored by SheepSki Designs.  This month's theme is "anything goes" and you still have a bit of time to get your project in, but hurry!

Here is the card I created:

What I Used to Make my Card:
White Bristol Card
SheepSki Designs Birthday Balloons, #157
Spellbinder Nestabilities Curved Etched Rectangles, #S5-006
Various Alcohol Markers
Falling Star Background Die {Unbranded}
Baby Blue Card
Sakura Pigma Micron Black Marker in .005
Sakura Gelly Roll White Gel Pen in .05 
Small Purple Gem 

While this image was designed for a birthday card, I decided to make it an all occasion card as I don't have nearly enough "just because" cards.  As you may know, I am struggling to learn how to use alcohol ink markers successfully and I had printed this image out much smaller, thinking smaller would be easier to color.  Nope.  That was NOT the case.  It was much harder to color when it was smaller.  I did color it though, but I wasn't pleased with it at all, so I printed out the image on a bigger scale and found it to be much more relaxing to color.  I am actually proud of how I colored this digital stamp; I colored the entire thing which is something new for me.  I colored the background, the girl's skin, everything.  Being a good student, I looked up online how to properly color hair but, as usual, I didn't have the colors I needed.  I'm sure once I become more comfortable with using the markers, I will be able to improvise better with the colors I do have on hand.  I even attempted to color her eyes and give her that look that makes the images seem to actually be looking at you; again, I couldn't do that with the smaller image {I used a white Gelly Roll pen and I highly recommend buying the 3 pack which has the sizes .05, .08 and 10}. All in all, I think I did a pretty good job! 

Once the image was colored, I used the curved rectangle die to cut it out.  I found a piece of pale blue card and used an unbranded die I have of what looks like falling stars to cut it for the background.  I mounted the panel onto a white card base, and then the image onto that.  I noticed I went a bit outside the line around the ear, but I fixed that by giving her an earring made from a small flat-backed gem from my stash.  

I hope you like my colorful "anything goes" card for Die Cut Divas.  I'm so glad I am on this design team and I am getting much more comfortable with using digital images; considering about two years ago I wouldn't have touched them and really wasn't pleased that I couldn't use my Zig markers to color them.  I think I may have found a fix for that; I have an old spray can of fixative that fixes the image but you are still able to color it.  That's going to be my next experiment working with digis.  I hope you and yours had a marvelous holiday and thank you so much for stopping by. ~ Fondly, Christi

I am entering my Girl With Balloons card in the Following challenges:
CARDZTV - #76, Anything Goes
Colour Crazy - #48, Anything Goes
Cut it Up - #162, World Hello Day
CASology - #322, Girl
Word Art Wednesday - Anything Goes
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge - Anything Goes
Penny's Paper Crafting Challenge - #408, Anything Goes

Challenge Graphics

Hero Arts You Are Appreciated

You still have a bit of time to enter the a2z Scrapbooking November challenge.  The theme this month is "Thanks" and you can use any brand products you wish.  But if you use Hero Arts or Sugar Tree Digital stamps and are chosen as the monthly winner, you will get a gift certificate from the a2z Scrapbooking store.  That's an awesome prize!
I went a smidge out of the box with my card.  I have a plethora of old Somerset Studio, Take Ten, and Stampers Sampler Catch Up issues and I've been looking at all the beautiful creations from years ago.  Seeing all the beautiful cards with fibers used as embellishments inspired me! Here is my card:

What I  Used to Make my Card:
White Square {5 1/4" x 5 1/4"} Base
White, Blue, Light Blue, Aqua and Yellow Card
Hero Arts Ink in Summer Sky, Tide Pool, Deep Blue, Fiesta Yellow, Teal Topaz and Intense Black
Unbranded Long Round Stitch Die {it's a long single die}
Fibers from my HUGE Stash

I started by stamping the peacock on a piece of white card.  When a stamp is as detailed as the head and body of this peacock, and it is a layering stamp, instead of stamping the solid image first I'll stamp the detailed image and then the solid image on top of the detail.  It's backwards from the directions that you get with the stamp, as well as backwards from what we used to do with the old 2 Step stamps from SU!, but it seems to work better for me.  Trying to use a layering stamp for the first time is the hardest; it gets easier {in my opinion} once the stamps are stained a bit so you can see the clear stamps better.  I followed the directions for the rest of the peacock per the directions; solid stamp, detailed stamp, even more detail stamp for the feathers of the bird.  It isn't lined up perfectly, but I like imperfect creations {good thing because I'd never get finished with anything if I didn't!}

I finished the peacock by stamping its legs.  I wasn't sure if I was going to use the accompanying die cuts and cut out the bird, and I decided against it.  That was mostly due to the fact that since my peacock wasn't layered that well, cutting it out would have been a problem.  The bird was then cut out with a square stitched die.  Then I realized that I had a feather die - and a peacock has feathers!  I dug out the feather die and cut it from three coordinating card stock colors, glued them together at the top, then pulled on that inspiration I'd
Another Look
gathered from all those older magazines and added some fibers.  Yes, I wrapped the fibers around the top of the feathers and adhered them.  Do you recall when fibers were the rage?!?  I have an entire drawer full of them.  Occasionally I go through it and get rid of some I doubt I'd ever use, but it always seems as if there are more to take the place of the ones I tossed.  I think they multiply by themselves.  Anyway, while the feathers were drying, I stamped the sentiment for the card.  I also made my own round stitching pattern on the large blue square since I had no die large enough.  I mounted the peacock onto the blue square, added the feathers, mounted the whole thing onto a white square card, and I was done.  I am tickled about how the card came out and I'm so proud that I used something from my stash; especially because these holiday sales are so hard to resist {yes, I confess, I bought more paper.  It was SUCH a good deal!}

I hope you have time to craft a bit before the serious holiday rush begins.  This card is going into my newly formed "Thank You Card" stack.  I've made it a mission to make more thank you and thinking of you cards because it seems I never have the right one on hand.  Maybe you'll join me and use some of your older craft supplies to make your stack of cards a bit taller?  If you do, be sure to enter it in the November "Thanks" a2z Scrapbooking challenge, but hurry! Time is running out! 

Thank you for stopping by today; I hope your season is going smoothly and you are finding joy in the process!  Fondly, Christi

I am entering my You Are Appreciated Card in the following challenges:
A Blog Named Hero - M, Thankful {challenge graphic below}
Creative with Stamps - #32, Feather {challenge graphic below}
The Artistic Stamper - M, Square It
Brown Sugar Challenge - M, #284, Thankfulness
Stamps & Fun - #335, White & Blue
Incy Wincy - Square Cards