Sending holiday joy

Hi! I have another entry to share for the Superstar contest over at My Favorite Things. This time, it’s a card for the Clean and Simple Genius category. I keep saying I don’t really like red for Christmas, but for someone who doesn’t, I’ve made a lot of red Christmas cards this year.

I blame the cardinal. I really wanted to create something of a scene with this bird flying to trees in the distance to add the star to the top, and I couldn’t really choose any other color for him.

Onto a piece of X-Press It cardstock, I stamped the hillside in a grayish green ink, before using the Sending Christmas Joy die to partially cut from it. I only wanted the word joy to be cut from the white panel, so I made sure not to cut the words above by not having the cutting plates cover the top two words of the die as I ran everything through my die cutting machine. I did this twice, stacking the two layers together, trimming off a little on each side before adhering it to a cardbase I created from Wild Cherry cardstock. I added the center of the o back in, and really love how the cardbase is showing through the opening of the die cut letters.

I die cut my little colored cardinal with the Christmas Cheer die set that coordinates with the Christmas Cheer stamp set, added two more die cut layers behind him for stability and a little bit of dimension and adhered him to the front of the card.

I stamped part of a sentiment from the Itty Bitty Holiday stamp set with Wild Cherry Ink and used the Itty Bitty Strips dies to turn them into strips. I added two more layers behind each of them so they’d be flush with my cardinal and adhered them to the card.

Here you can see the tiny bit of dimension you get by stacking die cuts and also the recessed JOY.

I’d like to say that I didn’t use a lot of colors for this, and I really didn’t, but that bird isn’t very big. Maybe 7 markers to color red was overkill? Maybe 4 greens for that tiny scarf was? I tend to go overboard with my colors, but that is one cute bird in the end. Even if he IS red 😉

Season’s Greetings

Hi! It’s time for the annual Superstar contest over at My Favorite Things. They do this every year, and I try to carve out the time to create something fun for this challenge. I tend to start with the innovation category, it’s the one where I really need to rack my brain to come up with something creative using MFT products. It’s also the most time consuming one, at least it is for me.

I’ve made what looks like a pretty plain box for my Innovation Master entry this year. It measures 3 7/8 x 3 7/8″, and it’s 1 3/8″ deep. I like creating these three dimensional projects, but I prefer not having to use any specialty dies, so this project is made by scoring and folding what essentially starts out as rectangular pieces of cardstock. I’ve only used one die for this entire project, and it’s the smallest of the dies in the Fishtail Flag Frames die set to die cut the two banners that the cute little bird is sitting on.

When you pull on the little handle at the end, you reveal a scene of more cute critters on the inside. I’ve used two stamp sets for this project. The sentiment and the stamped snowflakes are from the Flurry of Love stamp set that was released last year, all the colored critters are from the Christmas Carols stamp set that was part of this year’s September release. The snowflakes stamped in light blue on the “lid” and the ones heat embossed in white are the same ones stamped repeatedly to create backgrounds.

The outer casing splits open and works as an easel of sorts to display this little scene on the inside. I stamped and colored all these critters with Copics, before fussy cutting them right up against the black stamped lines.

I ink blended blue inks on the background to get a gradient of color, going from Blue Beyond at the top where it’s the darkest, then Cornflower in the middle and Blue Yonder at the bottom. The critters are more or less hiding the gradient, but it’s more visible in the die cut banner on the lid, where it goes from dark blue on the far left, to a lighter blue on the right.

I cut away the center of the lantern and replaced it with acetate for it to be see through. I used a yellow Copic on the back of the acetate, and you can see the dark blue background and the white snowflakes through it. I added strips of acetate on the back of the critters to make a dimensional scene where the different animals are on different levels. The lamppost is at the very back, 1/4″ from the back, then the cow and sheep are both at 3/8″ from the back, the pig at 1/2″ and finally the goat at 7/8″. I’ve glued the acetate strips to the back of the background for them to be as hidden as I could. I only created small slits for the acetate to go through, you can spot a few of them behind the goat and the lamppost in this photo. I have a slit towards the top of each of the critters as well as one closer to the bottom, so they’ve all got two anchor points. The lamppost has three; one at the base and one at the top and the bottom of the actual lantern.

As you can see, the drawer can be pulled out completely from the casing. I stamped the cobblestone image that comes in the Christmas Carols stamp set repeatedly on a piece of X-Press It blending card and colored it in, creating a ground for these critters to stand on. Here you also see the different levels of the animals better. This cobblestone image is perfect for repeat stamping, and it looks like one big stamp instead of a smaller one stamped four times. I love that you can create this effect with this stamp, because of how brilliantly it’s designed.

I needed to place the critters fairly high up in this drawer to prevent them from being hidden behind the lid of the casing that covers it when it’s all standing up on display, so I decided to create a box within the drawer for a little surprise. It was just big enough for a small Snickers bar to fit.

I didn’t use a whole lot of Copics for this, in spite of coloring so many images.

Fill the season with joy {Lili of the Valley}

Hi! I’m sharing another red Christmas card today. I’ve been sharing a lot of red Christmas cards recently, I’m hoping to go back to normal colors soon 😉 I created a shaker card, focusing on the Snow Folk image from the Christmas 2021 release from Lili of the Valley. This digi set actually comes with two images. There’s one with a frame and a few additional stars and extra greenery and this pared back version that I used.

I printed the image on a 4 1/4 x 4 1/4″ piece of X-Press It blending card and colored in my scene using Copics. I don’t always color the sky behind my images, but for this one I knew I wanted to create a framed shaker card, and I colored the sky with a single marker, making sure it was nice and juicy before starting.

Using a couple of dies in a set of nesting squares from Lifestyle Crafts, I created a frame to go around my image. I taped the two squares together, so I could run them through my die cutting machine several times and be sure that the size of the frame would be the same with each pass through the machine. I die cut 8 of these frames, I wanted a very dimensional shaker card. I stacked 7 of them, glued them to my colored piece, added lots of sequins from the Icicle sequin mix from Hero Arts and glued the last die cut frame on top.

That’s when I ran into trouble. I wasn’t able to glue the frame onto the acetate so that it lined up with the others. I’d adhered it with score tape, so there was no way to remove it without ruining it. My solution was to die cut a new, larger frame with a slightly smaller window. I went one die larger for the outside and one die smaller for the inside for this frame, and adhered it directly onto the ones that were already there. It was a happy accident, because I’m really happy with the chunkier frame.

I added the shaker to a 5 1/2 x 5 1/2″ card base I created from Wild Cherry cardstock from My Favorite Things, before stamping and white heat embossing a se23ntiment from Norsk Stempelblad AS to a separate piece of the same color cardstock, which I then die cut using a die from the Gemini Extra Deep Loving Tags die set from Crafter’s Companion. I adhered it directly to the inside top right corner of my shaker frame, and my card was finished.

Not a whole lot of colors for this card, in spite of all those stripes on the snowmen’s accessories.

Sweet Christmas wishes {Streamside Studios}

Hi! I colored this Merry Mallows image from Streamside Studios back in November last year for Kathy Racoosin’s 30 day coloring challenge. Sometimes, I turn my colored images into finished cards pretty quickly, other times, it takes a while. Today’s card is one of the latter.

I printed my image with gray lines so I could do no line coloring. Whenever I do this, I like keeping facial features black or a dark brown, so I don’t have to free hand draw them back in once I’m done coloring. It’s a neat little trick.

I die cut my colored panel using the largest die in the A2 Double Stitched Rectangle STAX die set from My Favorite Things and adhered it directly onto a cardbase I created from Amarena Cherry cardstock, also from My Favorite Things.

I die cut the word wishes five times from my red cardstock using a die from Mama Elephant. I stacked the words for a dimensional look and also stamped and white heat embossed the words Sweet and Christmas onto separate pieces of the same color cardstock. The stamped words are from two separate sentiments from the Bitty Bears stamp set from My Favorite Things. I love using pieces of sentiments from stamp sets to create new sentiments, it makes them more versatile.

I felt like I had to add a little something to this, so I pulled out my White Orchid Sequin mix from Little Things from Lucy’s Cards and added them in a visual triangle on my card. This mix is one of my favorites, it’s right up there with the Sparkling clear mix from Pretty Pink Posh.

Let it snow {Rachelle Anne Miller Creative Studios}

Hi. Sharing a simple mini slimline today with a cute image from Rachelle Anne Miller. I love this Snowman Hug image, and I’ve used it previously for a wintery birthday card, but today, I’ve got a red and tealy blue Christmas card to share. If you use the code ELINVENGE in Rachelle’s store, you get a 10 % discount on your purchase.

I feel like I haven’t made my signature cluster cards in a while, so I decided to pull out patterned paper scraps and my Happy Days Ticket Stubs die from XCut, an amazing die that cut nine different tickets in one pass, I love it. It’s an older die, but I always use it for my clusters.

I don’t often create red Christmas cards, but when I can pair that red with a tealy blue, a light blue or a gray, I can make red work. I printed and colored the image onto a 3 1/4 x 6 1/4″ panel of X-Press It blending card, before sprinkling on lots of chunky white embossing enamel from Stampendous to make my scene extra snowy.

The patterned papers are all die cut from the 6×6″ Home for the Holidays paper stack from Maja Design. I love their patterns and their colors, and the colors in this stack are SO good, I couldn’t resist.

Mini slimline cards are fun to make. I really should make my envelopes as I go, but I’m not very consistent with that, I’m afraid, and will have lots of envelopes to create once we get a little closer to Christmas (we’ve got less than 100 days to go, by the way).

I stamped and white heat embossed a sentiment from the Itty Bitty Holiday stamp set from My Favorite Things onto a scrap piece of patterned paper from that stack from Maja Design, and die cut that with the coordinating Itty Bitty Strips die.

I added a few snowdrift sprinkles from Little Things from Lucy’s Cards, and the entire panel is adhered onto a card base I made from Wild Cherry cardstock from My Favorite Things. I love their cardstock!

As usual, I finish with my colors. Not a whole lot for this image.

Yellow Christmas {Lili of the Valley}

Hi. I’m sharing something a little bit different today. It’s a Christmas card, and it’s one with lots of yellow, which isn’t really a color most people associate with Christmas. It also has three badgers on it, which is not your typical Christmas critter, either. We’re used to seeing cute penguins and reindeer, badgers are new and different and fun!!

These badgers are the Christmas Badgers from the Christmas 2021 release from Lili of the Valley. Aren’t they fun carrying that tree? And with their scarves and that hat? Come on, how cute is that? I was unsure of what colors to use for this, so I asked my “twin”. Liz Vefall is the one person I always ask if I can’t decide on colors or card designs. She likes challenging me and suggests things that are a little out there. I LOVE that. I love the challenge. For this card, I didn’t know what color to use for the scarves. I’ve colored so many Christmas images recently, and felt I’ve used up the entire Christmas color palette. She suggested yellow and I just went with it. Who says you can’t use yellow for Christmas? Fun, unexpected and.. FUN!! I printed the image towards the top of a 4 1/4 x 5 1/2″ panel of X-Press It blending card and colored it in, making sure to go all the way to the edge for the sky and the snow.

I adhered my colored panel to a top fold card I made from Bright Buttercup cardstock from Papertrey Ink. I added a strip of that same cardstock below my image and left tons of white space. I printed a sentiment from the Embossed Christmas sentiments set from Lili of the Valley and mounted on top of my image using foam tape. I love this stamp set. It has 52 different Christmas sentiments. Most of them are in English, but there are some that say “Merry Christmas” in various languages. I, of course, used the Norwegian one for my card. I think I know who I’ll send this to; a person who appreciates the whimsy fun look and yellow! I added Glossy Accents to the star and a little black glaze pen to their noses for some shine, and that’s it for this card.

Simple color palette, of course with a pop of yellow in there.

Have a magical Christmas {Mo’s Digital pencil}

Hi! Sharing a super simple Christmas card today, featuring the Boughs for the Wreath image from Mo’s Digital Pencil.

I colored in the image using my Copics, adding footprints on the ground with my markers. Using the new Watercolor Wash Free Form die from My Favorite Things, I die cut a hole from the center of a 4 1/4 x 5 1/2 panel of Classic Kraft cardstock from Papertrey Ink. My Favorite Things released a stencil with this design back in July, and it’s awesome. Now there’s a die to match. I added two more layers of white behind my kraft panel to give it a little bit of dimension. I love how the little kid is looking back through the opening.

I stamped and heat embossed a sentiment from the Itty Bitty Holiday set from My Favorite Things onto Scarlet Jewel cardstock from Papertrey Ink and die cut my sentiment using the coordinating Itty Bitty Strips die set. MFT has a stamp set called Itty Bitty Basics, which I love. Great sentiments in a font that will never go out of style, and it makes me so happy that they now have a Christmas one too – I love making Christmas cards. I added a few snowdrift sprinkles from Little Things from Lucy’s Cards to finish off my design.

Simple color palette. I always use lots of blues, purples and blue greens for the snow.

Witch better have my candy {Streamside Studios}

Witch way to the party? I’m sharing a treat holder today for Halloween. I try not to make too many Halloween cards, simply because I have no idea who I’d send them to. I do make the occasional Halloween project that isn’t a card, though.

This cute witch is part of the My Little Pet Ghost digi stamp set from Streamside Studios. There are lots of of other images in the set, but today, I only used the witch. I colored her and fussy cut her, before using foam squares to mount her onto my treat holder. These treat holders are super easy to make. Start with a piece of cardstock (or patterned paper if you want, if it’s heavyweight enough) that measures 3 1/8 x 10 1/2″. Score on the long side at 4 1/2 and 6″, and you have the outer part all done, ready to be decorated however you want. Score a 4 1/2 x 3 1/2″ panel 1″ from all four sides, cut, fold and glue along the flaps and glue it to the bottom of the outer part. Super simple.

I did ink blending on this one, using the Slimline Cloud Edges stencil from My Favorite Things and inks from Altenew in the colors Deep Iris, Lavender Fields and Soft Lilac. I used the House on the Horizon die from Simon Says Stamp and die cut that from True Black cardstock from Papertrey Ink and adhered it directly onto my ink blended piece. Using a yellow Copic marker, I quickly colored in the windows and door of the house. I colored some white letter stickers from Papirdesign to match the orange on the girl, and adhered the letters next to her feet, before finishing off with a few ghosts from the Candy Corn mix from Little Things from Lucy’s Cards. I put a scrap piece of patterned paper on the inside back for a little extra visual interest, die cut holes through both layers and added a piece of ribbon and some twine to finish.

Simple, Halloweeny color palette.

Merry & Bright {Rachelle Anne Miller Creative Studios}

Hi. I’m sharing a sneak peek today. The new release from Rachelle Anne Miller is right around the corner, and this month, there’s a Christmas Penguin Scene Creator set. In the set there are three single penguins, one penguin decorating a tree, a couple of separate trees, a sheet of ice and lots of small elements that coordinate and work well with the larger ones. I’ve used one of the single penguins as well as the one decorating the tree today for the focus of my card.

I put the penguins on a sheet of ice, made the ice no line and scattered baubles and stars around the ice to create a fun scene.

I colored in my scene using Copics, die cut my panel using a double stitched rectangle die from My Favorite Things and decided to add a few little details for shine and texture. I added Rock Candy distress glitter to the stars, a dot of black glaze pen in each eye for a little bit of dimension and shine, and I also glued on some additional stars to the tree. The stars are from the Icicle sequin mix from Hero Arts.

I printed one of the sentiments in the scene creator set onto a piece of Aqua Sky cardstock from Concord & 9th, and die cut that using a die from My Favorite Things. I used the same die to die cut from some Grapefruit cardstock, another beautiful Concord & 9th color, and one that matches perfectly with the baubles I colored.

Near the sentiment, I added sequins from the White Orchid sequin mix from Little Things from Lucy’s Cards, and that finishes my card.

I used lots of Copics for the ocean, the sheet of ice and the sky, not that many for everything else.

Let it snow {Purple Onion Designs}

Hi! I’m sharing a fairly simple card today, using two images from Purple Onion Designs.

I did something a little different for this card. Exactly one year ago, with helpful advice and a gentle nudge from Debby Hughes, I bought a 36 tube watercolor set. Watercolor’s always scared me, but at the same time I’ve really wanted to try it, because it gives an effect you just can’t achieve using Copics. I decided to finally pull them out and try them on this card.

I stamped the Pine Tree Farm onto a 5×7″ sheet of Fabriano Artistico Extra White watercolor paper using Fadeout ink from Inkon3 and used my Mijello Mission Gold watercolors to color the sky, the ground and the trees. It took a while to get the dimension and depth I wanted in those trees, but I’m kind of stoked with my first attempt at watercolor, it wasn’t as scary as I thought it’d be.

I used a die from Waffle Flower to cut my panel down to a rectangle that would fit my card, which also helped flatten it out a bit, it was a little bit warped. I sprinkled on Chunky White embossing enamel from Stampendous and melted the granules from the back, before mounting the panel on foam tape and adhering it to the front of my top fold landscape A2 card.

Using My Favorite Things Extreme Black ink, I stamped the Sweet Snow Friends image onto a piece of X-Press It blending card and colored the image with Copics, before fussy cutting it and giving it that same chunky white embossing enamel treatment as the background. I added lots of 1 mm foam squares to the back, and added the cute little critters to my watercolor background.

I die cut the words let it snow three times from white cardstock using a die from Mama Elephant, stacked them for a dimensional sentiment and adhered it to my scene to finish the card.

The Copics I used for the cute critters and snowman.