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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Sweet Baby's First Birthday

My sweet baby turned one this past week, and is no longer a baby.  He's a toddler.  I can't believe how time flies!  It was only yesterday that I brought that sweet-smelling, snuggly bundle home from the hospital!
We celebrated with a big party for family and friends that weekend.  We were overwhelmed with the generosity of our friends and the love everyone has for our son.

I was pretty excited to get to make something for his decorations--I made his Birthday banner and his invitations.  Here are some pictures of the banner I made; sorry for the poor quality of the pictures; I still don't know how to take a good picture with back light.

I used Stampin' Up! paper : Big Top Birthday and some retired SAB paper from last year (something about ice cream??  I don't recall the name of it)
I used Pacific Point cardstock for the letters to spell Happy First Birthday.  I used some ribbon from my stash that used the same colors of the paper: crushed curry polka dots, real red striped, and old olive grosgrain.
This picture is way too dark, but you can see how I hung the banner across the windows

Here is the happy birthday boy.  He LOVES balloons




  

Here is the invitation I sent out.  I decided to add two bows of twine to each end of the pennant banner on the card front after I took this picture.  The bows were a perfect touch, and really finished the look I wanted.
Cardstock: whisper white, Pacific point, summer sun, real read, Big Top Birthday, red glimmer
Accessories: bakers twine, red/white twine for the bows I put on the ends (not shown), dimensionals, little star punch, tag punch, pennant punch, stripes embossing folder, Big Shot
Ink: (markers) real red, old olive, bashful blue, pacific point, blushing bride, daffodil delight, rose red (for mouth), sponge

I sure had a ball with this stuff!  I hope you enjoyed it, too.  
Now, go out and 
~ be creative ~


Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Oh my goodness, how time has gotten away from me!  I can't believe Christmas is here!

Forgive me for slackin' off on my posting these last 2 months.  I do plan to get back into the swing of things after the new year.  I'll post all the beautiful handmade cards I've received, and some that I've made.

I will also share my class schedule for the coming 8 months or so.  We have an awesome stamp club, and would love for you to join us anytime!  If you need more details, please shoot me an email.

In the meantime, may you have a very merry and Blessed Christmas and a happy New Year!

~ be creative this Holiday~

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving Week

I can't believe this week is Thanksgiving!  How time flies!  It's evident on my lack of posts this month, and I hope to be more consistent with my sharing.

I would like to share the projects we made for my stampin' club this past weekend.  This was our last meeting for the year, and I look forward to the chance to create projects for Baby M's first birthday now.

For class, I wanted to do some projects they could use right away, or be simple enough to recreate, or something they could use for Christmas gifts.
1. We made a gift card holder using Stampin' Up!'s scallop envelope die.  Start with a 5x5 piece of designer series paper, and fold in half.  Doing it this way makes the completed envelope slightly larger than the real size of the die, so you can fit a gift card inside.  I didn't want to leave the envelope plain, so we made this adorable little Santa Claus punch art!

2. Then we made a chipboard gift tag/ ornament using the large scallop oval die.  We used the oval inside of the die, and they took home the scallop frame to use for any project they wanted.  We used the felt pieces from the SU! Winter mini.  They could choose which shape they wanted, and then the color of the chipboard was chosen based on that.  We used the Crop-a-dial for the ribbon hole, and Dazzling Details glitter accent from the mini.  Here's my sample


I will post the card we made using the sweet stocking  punch tomorrow.  I seem to have forgotten to take a picture of that project so  I could share it.  oops.

Here are a few gorgeous swaps the ladies did for each other

Wendy V.

Robbie M.

Linda T.



I'll be back tomorrow with more to share!  Make sure you take time out today to 

~ be creative ~


Monday, November 7, 2011

Welcome November and Fall!

I am so thrilled that it's finally Fall.  My hubs would disagree--he hates to rake.  Leaves are the bane of his existence.  I think they're pretty.

Anyway, I don't think I ever shared a card that was made for and given to me for my birthday by a very sweet young lady in my stamp group, Wendy D.  She's quite a talented stamper, and I am always impressed by what she creates.  We do swaps for our monthly club, and I'm never disappointed in her work.
Here's the beautiful card she created using the Nature Walk stamp set

I am sorry for the lack of posts as of late; my dearest friend, Lori, came to visit me from Texas.  We went to high school together, and she's been coming to see me since we moved to NC.  Neither one of us know why she never came to see us when we lived 200 miles from home.  I guess she prefers to fly :-)

I'll post a few pics of our Halloween weekend later this week. We had fun frying peanut butter snickers and making our costumes.  This was my son's first Halloween.  He was the cutest  bumble bee EVER!

~ be creative! ~

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Happy Hump Day!

Good Wednesday morning to you!
Today I'm sharing a couple of all-occasion cards you could make that won't take much time at all.  The first card uses the Treat Cups.  I haven't filled mine yet, but some blue & green M&Ms would be perfect.  I created a little door for the back of the cup so you can get the candy out without destroying the card.
I love the inside of the card, with the balloon basket floating away!


I used the Thoughts and Prayers set for the tree tops, and a scallop circle punch for the clouds.  You just lay that punch on your card front, and sponge with a swooshing motion up from your mask onto the card. Then move the scallop around to get as many clouds as you like.
I attempted to fill my cup with glitter, but I don't think that's such a good idea.  I like candy, buttons, tiny pieces of crimped paper, confetti--the ideas are endless.

My next project is very simple, and can be used for almost any occasion.  I used some retired printed vellum (Night & Day paper on the clearance rack!) but you can get the same effect by stamping on a piece of vellum or using the dots embossing folder.
I stamped on a piece of Whisper White CS with the stripes a la carte stamp, and punching with the largest scallop circle punch.  Mr. Owl is stamped with last year's SAB set, but you can build him with the owl punch if you don't have that set.  Add some rhinestones for eye-bling, strip of  old olive CS, white grosgrain ribbon, and you're done!
Hope you enjoyed these projects.  Make sure you make time today to go out and 

~ be creative ~

Monday, October 24, 2011

More details

I didn't put as many details in my blog hop post as I probably should have. So I wanted to take a moment to mention a few things that I didn't yesterday.

For the card, it's a 5 1/2 inch square card, layered with Cherry Cobbler, Garden Green, and Very Vanilla CS. The vanilla was cut using the large clear square scallop die on the Big Shot machine.  I stamped the tree in Garden Green twice, without reinking between stamps.  The house was stamped in Early Espresso, and colored with a blender pen and Cherry Cobbler ink.  You can't tell in the photos, but I colored the snow on the roof and part of the ground with the Moonlight Smooch Pearlized Ink  This stuff is handy, because it comes with a built in tiny paint brush, and you can get into the tiny spaces.  It really adds shine to the snow, without drawing too much attention.
The bow is made with the Cherry Cobbler bakers twine.  I used a needle to get the twine through the mini bells so they would hang from the bow.
Here's a picture to remind you of my project.  Scroll down to the Blog Hop post to see more pictures of this card.



The second project I did was that sweet little box.  I told you most of the major details about which paper I used, etc. in the original post.  I didn't talk much about the lollie on top.  It was easier I think, to use 2 scallop circles punched and scored between each scallop, than trying to use a strip of DSP scored--I still can't get that right :-)
The center is a piece of the same paper punched with a circle punch and is simply the reverse side of the paper.  I layered it with a felt snowflake (retired) and topped with a Vintage Brad.  I taped down a couple of pieces of Marina Mist taffeta ribbon to the box, then hot glued the lollie on top.
The little tag on the front was made using the Designer Label punch.  I colored the stamp with Marina Mist & Garden Green markers, then stamped on Whisper White. I punched it out, and also punched a piece of Marina Mist CS. The Marina Mist punch was cut in half in the center, so I could spread it out behind the white, and layer it, so you could see the edges.  I put another piece of white behind the label, thinking that I was going to hang it off the box somehow.  If it was hanging, you would see that blue paper in the back and I didn't want that---plus the extra white would provide a place to write your TO & FROM info.  But I changed my mind, and glued it to the front of the box instead.
If you notice, the bird image also has some words below them "to you and yours".  This was taken from the largest stamp in the set, with the swirls and the great big Happy Holidays.  You will notice this phrase under that Happy Holidays, which completes the saying on the whole sentiment.  I used my Marina Mist marker to color only that phrase and stamped it on the image.  I tried my luck and didn't use the Stamp-ama-jig to place those words, and I have to tell ya--that was some awesome stampin'!  :-)  Then, I just dotted the Dazzling glitter onto the image randomly.

I hope that clarifies any details I didn't mention about these projects.  Feel free to leave me a comment if you have any questions.
Here's the picture of the stamp I used for the words on the bird tag.

~ be creative! ~

Sunday, October 23, 2011

First Ever NC Demo Blog Hop



As a member of an awesome group of Stampin' Up! demonstrators, specifically for North Carolina residents, I am thrilled to be a part of our inaugural Blog Hop!
I chose to use the Christmas Lodge stamp set for my projects.
I don't usually make square cards, but this set seems to beg for one.  I have also had the mini jingle bells for a while, and have been itching to use them on a project.




My second project uses the kraft boxes that are new this year's catalog.  These are perfect for neighbor gifts st Christmas!  I used the Frost Lodge Designer Series Paper to cover the sides and for the lollie.  I used 2 scallops punched from the same pattern.  They are scored between each scallop, using the Simply Scoring Tool.   I find that hot glue is the best way to adhere these lollies to your projects.  
The tag on the front is a stamp I completely missed from the Christmas Lodge stamp set--I didn't even know it was there until I made this project!  It was like a Christmas surprise!  :-)  I used the dazzling diamonds glitter (found in the Holiday mini) to accent the branch and the snowflake on top.  
I hope you enjoyed these projects and you will be inspired to ~ be creative! ~




~ be creative! ~

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Prize for my Book Club

I am a member of an awesome online book club, VampireRomanceBooks.com
I have been a member for about 4 years now (wow!) and decided it was time to update my member name.  I joined when I first discovered Twilight, and have since grown in my taste for all Paranormal Romance.  This great group of ladies (and a few guys) have shown me the light--no more YA for this lover of vampires...no way.  Now I have new favorite authors, including Jeaniene Frost (Night Huntress Series), JR Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood) and Karen Marie Moning (Immortal Highlanders).

So I promised the person who helped me choose my name, or offered something that inspired my new name, would get a prize from me.  Olivia C. won that honor, and this is what I sent to her. I sure hope she likes them. I had a ball making them!


~ be creative ~

Thanksgiving Card

This is the next card I've gotten from my Monday Mailer partner, Sharon M.  She sent a lovely Thanksgiving card using one of the Hostess sets from the catalog.
Love that Espresso quilted ribbon!
She also used some delicious Spice Cake DSP (thanks to Regina A. for my falling in love with that paper)


Stay tuned for some more cards we did for our stamp class this past weekend.
~ be creative ~

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Creativity for Halloween

I am a member of an awesome Yahoo group for North Carolina Demonstrators.  We have a program called Monday Mailers, where we are assigned to send a card each Monday to our designated partner for the month.  This month, I get to receive cards from Sharon Maranich, the program coordinator.  Boy was I excited!  And she didn't disappoint (not that I expected otherwise).  She shows some awesome creativity with this card...take a peek

This stamp set, Wicked Cool, has these witch feet as one of the images.  I love how she made these into the Ruby slippers, and appears to be under Dorothy's house--how wickedly clever!  The house is done with the Stripes embossing folder, and she highlighted underneath the stripes to give it depth and look like siding.

I can't wait to see what she does this week!

I also wanted to show you what I came up with for our October Club card project.  I really enjoyed making this card, and using the delicious Spice Cake DSP.  I also used the French Foliage stamp set and some pretty Crochet trim. 




Look closely at the leaves--I used the Rock-n-Roll technique, and sponged the edges of the crochet ribbon, to make it appear a bit more vintage.

Happy Fall!  It is my mission this month to take some pictures in a pumpkin patch.  Wish me luck.
Now, go off and
~ be creative ~

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Happy Birthday!

This card is one we created in my stamp club.  I didn't have enough chocolate corduroy buttons left for them to use those (you can find some on the Clearance Rack on my SU website--click on the Shop Now link on the right side), but the rest of the card was essentially the same.  I added the rhinestones to the flame after the class because I wanted more blingy stuff on it.
This is a great way to use those small pieces of DSP (designer series paper) that you can't bear to throw away.   Those little pieces make excellent candles!
The candle flame is the wing portion of the XL Bird punch (there is also a leaf/vine shape on that punch).  The candle flames were sponged with Pumpkin pie ink, and the CS (card stock) is More Mustard.

The card base and the largest panel is Poppy Parade and Bashful Blue.  The brown layer is a piece of retired DSP.  We colored the Wish Big stamp with matching markers, and added a rhinestone.  The ribbon is Old Olive grosgrain ribbon.  (and just to give a little FYI, that's pronounced GROW-grain)

Here's this lovely creation:

Here is another birthday card I made using the gorgeous The Open Sea stamp set.  This set is still available from Stampin' Up! as a write-in.  That means even though it's not in the big catalog or the current mini, you can still order it!  This set was originally available in the Summer 2011 Mini.
Let me know if you would like to order this set--it's really beautiful and makes beautiful masculine cards.

This next card is quite simple, and I'm sure I got my inspiration from a blog and some one's creation, but I can't tell you where--I just don't remember.  So if you recognize your work, thanks for the inspiration!
I made a reverse mask to create the setting sun.
How to:  Get a piece of copy paper, cut it so it's larger than the area you want to sponge and punch a hole with a circle punch (I used the 1 3/8" circle punch).  Place the mask (the piece with the hole missing) on your Whisper White CS where you would like your sun to be, and sponge on the Daffodil Delight ink.  Swirl the ink rather than dabbing, and you'll get a smoother image.
Next, swirl-sponge on the pumpkin pie ink.  Remove the mask and admire your beautiful sponging!

Now, stamp your ship using Basic Black ink so it appears to be just below the sun (the sun is still just above the horizon; if it was below the horizon, it wouldn't appear to be perfectly round).  Add some pumpkin pie ribbon, layer top image panel with Pool Party CS, stamp the sentiment, and attach to the card front with dimensionals. 



Thanks for stopping in today.  Make sure you go out and
~ Be Creative~

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Boss's Day

Next Monday is Boss's Day.  I am quite fortunate to work for a great man.  He's not only a great manager, he's also a great person.  Which, in my opinion, you can't be a great manager without being a great person.  So our team (all 4 of us) decided that we'd like to do something special for him.  We talked about taking him out for lunch, or decorating his office. 
The office decorations won.  So we're doing star-themed decorations, in honor of the STAR award our corporate office does, for which he was nominated by us, but he didn't win it.  We were quite disappointed by that. So we'll make him our star anyway.
I would like to share the card I made.  I had a ball making this oversized card.  I figured we would need more room to write something poigniant and sappy, rather than just our signatures. 

I used Brilliant Blue (retired) cardstock, and some retired DSP I had that I thought would be perfect.  I printed the sentiment in Word, and used the font called Jokewood.  Stamped on the bottom section of the DSP with the stars from Extreme Elements.  That's also where the big blotch came from.  I embossed that in clear.
Punched some stars from coordinating paper, and use a chipboard star for the focal point.  I covered the star with Pacific Point ink, then painted the whole thing with Smooch paint, Pearlized Top Coat.  I glued an orange star behind the opening, and topped it off with a large star brad (I think those are still on the Clearance Rack on my SU website).
Take a look at the close up:

Then I searched the internet for something nice and appreciative-sounding, without being corny.  Granted, my manager appreciates corny--he is a Star Trek fan, afterall.  But I thought something nice would be better.  I'll save corny for the birthday card  :-)

Here's a look on the inside
I even stamped my initials with the Hand stamped seal on the back, and wheeled a couple of times with the Stars wheel.  I also used the wheel on the corners on the right side, and on the bottom on the left side.
Hope you enjoyed today's post.
~ be creative! ~

Monday, October 3, 2011

October is already here!

I can't believe that October is already upon us.  This week, the weather is gloriously cool (cold if you ask some folks around this house) and I love it!  When the weather turns cold, it makes me think about fall, pumpkins, Halloween, Halloween CANDY, chocolate, warm soup, cozy socks, hot chocolate, and of course Thanksgiving and Christmas (and all those lovely theme chocolates.  Are you noticing a pattern?)

I finally got around to taking some pictures of cards that have been given to me this summer or those we've made in class. 
This gorgeous card was made by my friend Wendy D.  She's been in my stamp club almost as long as I've been a demonstrator.  She's a fantastic artist!  Here, she used the Beautiful Wings embosslit, and the Elegant Bouquet folder (both used with the Big Shot).  Then she stamped the greeting on a cute banner. I love this!

These next cards are made by my dearest friend, Leah H.  This woman is a stampin' machine.  She can crank out the most beautiful cards and record time. And sometimes I'm lucky enough to get to pick one!  they are always so pretty, I find it hard to give them away.   Notice the lovely technique she used on this card- it's called bargello (see the tutorial here).  I love the way the black butterflies pop off this card!  And the ribbon is so yummy.  I wish SU! still had this gorgeous ribbon.
 

Make sure you look closely at the purple card above.  Leah stamped on the background of the card base, and embossed in clear on the top note die layer.  Then she finished off with some glitter on the focal image.

I am so impressed with the ladies in my stamp clubs.  I will make sure to take more pictures of their work and show you here.  I am blessed to call all of these ladies my friends. 

Here is a card I made, and we made this one for class, although slightly different.
The candle flame is made from the bird punch--it's his little wing! Everthing is sponged and there are several rhinestones to add a bit of sparkle.  And that makes everyone happy. 

I'll end this post with a great big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my mom and Mema.  I hope they have a wonderful day!  Love you!
~ be creative today~ 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Halloween Milk Cartons

Here are the samples of milk cartons I made for my class this week.  I offered them use of my friend's punch, since she so graciously buys contraband (aka MS punches).  Since we don't sell anything remotely close to this, I thought it would be fine to allow.  We used the retired bat punch and a glitter pen for his eyes--aren't they creepy and cool!?
The next one uses Cajun Craze and Basic Black cardstock.  We used the Dark & Dreary stamp set
punches: both tags, bat, 1 1/4  & 1 3/8 square punches
Other: mini paper clip

here's a close up of the spider on this project.  I think it's almost too creepy to see close up, it looks so real.  I used 2 rhinestone jewels for the spider body, colored with a black sharpie marker.  It's best to color your jewel while it's still on the backing sheet, rather than after you adhere it to your project; this will keep your project clean of accidental sharpie bombings.

6th Annual Christmas Stamp-a-Stack

I am so thrilled that I have been able to present this event each year I've been a demonstrator.  Thank you to all of my customers who regularly attend this fun event!
Here are the details:
What is a stamp-a-stack (SAS), you ask?  I design the cards, cut all the paper and pieces you need to make your cards and bring all the stamps and ink.  You stamp and assemble your cards and have a fun time.  There will be instructions and examples to help you make your projects. I will also have some refreshments to help keep you going.
 
** I do suggest bringing a paper trimmer, scissors, and your favorite adhesive. **
 
When:  October 29th, Saturday
Time: 10am - 2pm
Where: Biltong USA (Anna's store--we were there last year)
    511 Union West Blvd
    Matthews, NC 28104
    (behind Grainger on Hwy 74)
What: 25 Christmas cards with envelopes (5 each of 5 different designs)
Cost: $40  (check or cash only, please)
Deadline: You must let me know that you will be participating no later than October 10th
Payment is due BEFORE the SAS, please.  I need to have your payment no later than October 10th in order to save your spot. (you can email me to say you are coming, and send your payment by the 10th).
 
Early Birds! - If you send me your payment by September 30th, you will get a bonus project to make at the SAS.
 
Friend Bonus: if you bring a friend that has never stamped with me before, I will give you each a gift as a thank you for coming.
 
As promised, I am showing you the cards we're making this year. 
 
The last card is a surprise! I can't show you everything at once, then you won't be so excited to make these beauties!  There are several elements you can't really see in the pictures, unfortunately, like the shimmer and shine on a couple of them.
These are the basic idea of what you'll be making, and may change slightly from these pictures.  For instance I may add some brads to the corner of an image, or use a different color ribbon.  But you get the main idea here of your cards.
The bonus project for Early Birds will also not be published here--I want to tease you :-)
It will be a project, and not another card; something you can use for a gift if you like.
 
I am excited about this and I hope you are, too!  I look forward to seeing y'all in October to get all your handmade Christmas cards completed before November even rolls around!
~Ariel