Friday 30 December 2011

I decided to try joining a challenge! First time for me. This one is sponsored by Twin Touch Markers, and cosponsored by The Stamps of Life. Check out the designers' submissions, using the above link, and join in yourself!

The Twin Touch Colour Challenge: TTC08  was to use these four colours:   I first stamped the image using Staz-on ink in Black.  Because I don't own any Twin Touch Markers (yet! fingers crossed that I win some in this challenge) I used a water pen and my Close-to-My-Heart ink-pads--corresponding colours were Barn Red, Olive Green, Old England Ivy, and Sunflower. I also used a little bit of Crystal Blue for the windows and sky.  The stamp set is "Houses4us" from the Stamps of Life; the small sentiment was an extra in December's set-of-the-month, "Candy2share." The card stock (in Barn Red) and patterned paper are also by Close-to-My Heart. I must say, having looked at the designers' entries, I am curious to try some TT markers. I'd love a lesson on how to get the shading effects. I'll have to re-visit the website myself and look for a local vendor and/or tutorial. Happy colouring!

Wednesday 28 December 2011

On the Fourth Day of Christmas...

...We began writing thank-you notes! One of my gifts was some stamps and dies from The {Stamps} of Life. The shapes and sentiments on "stamps4fancylabels," shown above,  are interchangeable and coordinate perfectly with the Sizzix Framelit dies, "fancy labels,"available through The {Stamps} of Life website or from Sizzix I used some double-sided paper from Close to My Heart and twine from The Twinery.  I stamped a sentiment from the stamp-set "candy2share" on the inside of the cards.

 This card features the reverse side of the paper, some ribbon from CTMH and some more Twine. I'll be making the envelopes with my Sizzix XL A2 die, and hopefully getting them into the mail by the end of the week.

Thursday 22 December 2011

The Sweat-shop is in Business...

 For the last few years, my husband has given hand-rolled beeswax candles to his co-workers and staff. He makes the candles and gets help with the labels and bows, from whoever happens to be in the house at that time--me, our sons, their that they are ready to distribute before Christmas. This year we ordered the beeswax as usual from CandleWic, but got a rude shock when we collected the package from Fed-Ex--about 30% duty $$ on top of higher-than-before shipping charges, all because we are now in Canada and the company is in the US. We will have to locate a Canadian supplier!

Anyway, it is a wonderfully satisfying thing to do--the beeswax smells so good! And people just love to receive them, and can't believe my husband did them himself.
The other must-do pre-Christmas activity is the making of pajama bottoms. I used to do complete sets for my husband and sons, but they never wore the tops, so now I just do the bottoms. And I have an increasing number of other "sons" who have come to expect a pair... The fun and challenge is to find flannelette in patterns that have something to do with the hobbies/interests of the recipients: fishing, music, penguins, birds, skate-boarding, basketball, goth, the list goes on!  This is a photo from last year's batch, as I am still sewing today, December 22nd. Time to get back to it...

Monday 19 December 2011

Holly Days

Today's three tags feature the amazing "Art Philosophy" Cricut cartridge from Close to My Heart. The grey decorative layer for this ornament tag was cut using the Cricut, then mounted on foam tape to the same basic shape, cut in white. "Sparkles" jewels and dabs of Liquid Pearl add were all that was needed to finish it off. And the hanging twine in Stone, from the Twinery, of course.
I was trying for an earthy look here, with the kraft-paper card and attempt at a paper pine cone! I used one of the 3D shapes on the Cricut cartridge which forms a rose. I added some Marvy Uchida Liquid Applique to suggest snow, some pine bough paper from Paper Wishes, and more Twine, this time "Peapod."
This final tag features the beautiful "Remarkable Wreath" stamp from Close to My Heart. The set includes the branches, and a choice of ways to decorate it, with berries, leaves, and flowers. There are also three different banners to stamp. I cut and lifted the banner letters with a craft knife, for added dimension. The ornament shape was also cut with the Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge.
Hope your holiday preparations are going well!

Sunday 18 December 2011

Good Day=Baking, Shopping, Wrapping and Creating

Enjoyed a very productive day today, including a fabulous brunch with family at my father-in-law's golf club.  I have to share some of the personalized gift tags I've been making for family gifts...prolongs the wrapping process, but its so much fun! This special delivery truck features stamps from {The Stamps of Life}, specifically, "penguins4Christmas" and "cars2drive," and is intended for my 5-year-old nephew. Ranger's Liquid Pearls worked especially well for the bumper and hub caps.
 The second truck tag uses the trees from Close to My Heart's "Holiday Magic" stamp set. The red jewel and gold glitter star stickers are Dazzles from Paper Wishes.
Finally, this reindeer tag hangs on the gift for my niece. A similar idea was featured by Tifany on Ink Blots by TRD (look through her posts because she recently provided a tutorial on how to make the paper rosettes). I have had the Sizzix reindeer die for about three years now, but he is so joyful-looking that he deserves to be brought out every year!  PP for this tag by Bella Blvd; twine from The Twinery; glitz by Ranger Stickles. The technique for making the twine tag-ties is demonstrated by the highly-talented Emily Liephart, HERE.
Oh, and I got a batch of cookies and the laundry done today, too. Woo hoo!

Thursday 15 December 2011

Hopping to IT ("it" being Christmas preparations...)

Had to add this little fellow (froggy2love) to The Stamps of Life gallery today, in order for it to be included in the monthly video and drawing for a free stamp set... Haven't won yet, but my work was featured on the blog in May (see "Vroom...Vroom"). The frog, like the "penguins4Christmas" set is easy to stamp and cut out and very fun to personalize!
I attempted to make it look like the lily pad was sitting on a frozen pond, using torn velum and 
Liquid Glass. The label is by Spellbinders (whoops, just got a bit distracted there, visiting their site to verify the link--lots of new products!). Twine from The Twinery. The red holly-berries are jewel "Dazzles" from Paper Wishes.  
The Dazzle stickers are a great product. They come in a huge variety of colours, finishes (holographic, mirror, pearl) and beautiful as well as whimsical styles (the copper ferns are gorgeous). The Dazzles can be coloured to match your project, with markers or Staz-On ink. You can also use the left-over sticker material for borders, accents, etc. So a great value for  $1.99 a sheet. Okay, enough product placement activity! I'll be aiming to bake a batch of Christmas cookies every day this week, and the day is fast a-passing...

Thursday 8 December 2011

Back to Christmas Preparations... Batch of Tags #2

Here is another bunch of tags which I hope to "workshop" this weekend with some friends and relatives.
All stamps, inks and embellishments are from Close-to-My-Heart. Baker's twine from The Twinery.
The idea for this first tag was "lifted" from the Archiver's website. I liked the banner shape, love the sentiment, and was itching to try out the holly-leaf stamps. The faux-stitching was done with a Glaze pen for added dimension.

The next group of tags were made with the "Holiday Magic" stamp set from CTMH. The sleigh tag was another "lifted" idea, this one by Linda Langlais of Ottawa. I liked the non-traditional colours of this one, and tried to continue that theme with the light green tag, and the kraft-colour one. I added some glitz with snowflakes stamped with pearlized paint on the blue tag, and used up some glitter brads from last season on the tree.
More tags in the next day or two...

Thursday 1 December 2011

Okay, not Christmas, but definitely COLD!

As its the first of the month, a new stamp set was just released at the {Stamps of Life}. It is called "candy2share" and looks like it will be a lot of fun to play with (take a look at {The Stamps of Life}).  Earlier this year, Stephanie released an ice-cream stamp set that was delicious. Even had drips to add to your cone. "Scream4ice-cream" had a companion set, "cone2dish." I used both on a scrapbook lay-out from our trip last summer, out east to Prince Edward Island. We toured Cow's Creamery, which makes the best ice-cream, bar none (this coming from a Wisconsin Culver's frozen-custard addict).
Don't those big, juicy cones look good enough to eat?
Here's the companion page. I made the little cow on the right with quilling paper. Putzy, but very satisfying! Patterned paper is Close-to-My-Heart's "Mayberry" collection.
Enough reminiscing about ice-cream; time to start Christmas baking...