Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Black Magic Technique

Several months ago I was asked by Beate Johns over on Splitcoaststampers if I would be willing to do a tutorial for the Resources forum on this technique. No problemo ...

So here we are, several months later, and this is the card I created for the tutorial. You can see the step-by-step photos and instructions here:

Black Magic Step-by-Step Instructions on SCS

And here (again!) is the video tutorial I posted on youtube waayyy back in the day when I first started playing with this technique (thanks to my genius-friend, Karen Barber!):

Stamps: Style Beautiful, Friends Never Fade
Paper: Daffodil Delight, Tangerine Tango, Basic Black, Whisper White
Ink: Whisper White, Tangerine Tango
Accessories: Scallop Trim Border Punch, Framed Tulips Textured Impressions Folder, Mini Clip from Mini Clips Assortment, Wide Oval Punch, Dimensionals

Friday, December 24, 2010

The True Meaning of Christmas ...

Where to begin? First, I want to wish everyone the very happiest of holidays (whether it be Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, or just a very lovely time of the year to spend with family and friends). I wanted to make a card today that reflected my true joy for the season and the gratitude I feel for the blessings with which I am so richly bestowed ...

Stamps: Come to Bethlehem
Paper: Basic Black, Very Vanilla, Brushed Gold
Ink: Gold Encore, Basic Black
Accessories: Top Note Die, Framed Tulips Textured Impressions Folder, Very Vanilla Taffeta Ribbon, Designer Label Punch, Rhinestone Sticker, Pop-Up Glue Dots

I also wanted to share the most wonderful experience I had last weekend with you. My dear friends, Phil and Pam Roundy, started the most amazing organization ten years ago - Spencer's Wishes. Their sweet little boy, Spencer, was diagnosed with cancer at the tender age of 4. After a valiant 6-year battle, he succumbed to the dreaded disease. Shortly after his death, his parents came across a recently-completed school assignment entitled "Christmas Wishes". Spencer had only written down three wishes - and the only thing he wished for himself was that he could have a belly that "wiggled and jiggled like Santa." The other two wishes were (1) that he could help Santa deliver presents to ALL the children, and (2) that he wanted to help Mrs. Claus sew clothing for the elves, Santa and all the children who needed them.

Shortly after that "Spencer's Wishes" was born. Phil and Pam, along with a legion of family and friends who volunteer their time (including the Jazz Bear - the mascot for the Utah Jazz basketball team - who was a close personal friend of Spencer's), talents and love to help raise money so that more children and their families can have a Merry Christmas. After the fundraising has been done and the preparations made, they throw a rip-snortin' all-out party for the kids complete with pizza, a magician, the Jazz Bear, Santa, great music and a 5-bus-long parade through the streets of Price, Utah, led by the Jazz Bear atop a flashing red fire engine. Final destination??? Walmart!! Each child, accompanied by a chaperone volunteer, gets a $100 shopping spree!

Can I just say that this was the most fun I have had for Christmas in a loooonnnggg time?? My new buddy, Jared, was sooo excited!! He brought me to tears a few times with his gratitude and enthusiasm. As we were riding the bus to Walmart he said, "I sure hope this isn't a dream ..." I leaned over, gave him a little pinch on the leg and said, "Did ya feel that? It's real, buddy! You're NOT dreaming!"

The chaperones were challenged to come as close to $100 without going over (a challenge you should NEVER throw at me 'cause I am the QUEEN of Bargain Shoppers!). The winner would receive a little prize. Since we were not taxed, I figured it would be easy-peasy. Once Jared heard about the challenge, he was ALL over it. We were done in less than 10 minutes. He picked out two mega HUGE Lego sets ... one for $40 and one for $60 ... there was NO swaying him once he did the math and realized we were gonna win!! (I honestly tried to encourage him not to worry about the exact price and get what he wanted ... he said he had, he was done, and we WON!) So, there ya have it ... we hit $100 exactly!! I didn't need to employ my shopping skills at ALL!!

Another highlight to the day was the balloon release at the end. One of Spencer's friends, whose favorite color happened to be purple, died a couple of years after they met while they were being treated. After that, Spencer's parents noticed whenever he saw a bunch of balloons he would remove any purple ones and let them go up into the air. When questioned about it, he said, "Well, Suzie's favorite color was purple. I want to thank her for being my friend. I am sure she will find that balloon once it reaches her in Heaven." More tears from me ...

After we were all done shopping and had gone back to where the party had started, everyone went inside and got some balloons (purple, of course!). After Spencer's dad (Phil - aka Santa!) told Spencer's story to everyone assembled, we all went outside and - on the count of 3 - released our balloons to Heaven. "Thank you, Spencer!" filled the air as we let them all go. Truly ... thank you, Spencer Roundy, for being such an inspiration to all of us ol' grown ups - especially your parents and family - and reminding us of the true Spirit of Giving. And thank you Phil and Pam, for listening to the wishes of a tender little boy and paying them forward to make Christmas special for so many others. I love you guys!

Smiley from millan.netHappy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Freakin' In the New Year

Here we are ... the last Freak Blog Tour of 2010 ... and you should have just come from the blog of the incomparable Gretchen Barron. She is such an inspiration!

We are sharing projects made with items from the upcoming Occasions Mini and Sale-a-Bration catalogs ... which will be "live" on January 4.

My husband just recently completed a 10-year project. He built his OWN airplane (not a model, mind you, but a FULL-BLOWN real deal!!)!! When I saw this stamp set - Plane & Simple - I knew it was a "must have" ... I love the vintage-y aviation images with this set. I am sure it is gonna see a LOT of ink around here!!

Stamps: Plane & Simple, Wonderfully Worn
Paper: Soft Suede, Early Espresso, Very Vanilla, First Edition DSP
Ink: Early Espresso, Soft Suede
Accessories: Top Note Bigz Die, Decorator Label Punch, Designer Label Punch, Word Window Punch, Early Espresso 1/8" and 3/8" Taffeta Ribbon, Springtime Vintage Big Designer Buttons, Paper Distressing Tool, Dimensionals

One more project for ya ... I LOVE making things that hold other things. Hence, this cute little note card holder. I started with an 11" x 4 1/4" piece of cardstock. It is scored and folded at 1 1/2", 5 1/2" and and 9 1/2". Here is what it looks like closed ...

... and here is what is hiding on the inside! Little 2" x 2" note cards. I made eight in all ...

... SEE?? I wish spring were here, but we gotta get through winter first, right???

Stamps: Easter Blossoms
Paper: Pear Pizzazz, Rich Razzleberry, Melon Mambo, Tangerine Tango, Pacific Point, Whisper White
Ink: Pear Pizzazz, Rich Razzleberry, Melon Mambo, Tangerine Tango, Pacific Point
Accessories: Framed Tulips Textured Impressions Folder, Springtime Vintage Big Designer Buttons, Rich Razzleberry Taffeta Ribbon, Large Oval Punch, Dimensionals

Next stop? Lisa Martz ... she ROCKS!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

2010 Family Christmas Card

I need to start this post with an apology to family and friends who actually received one of these cards ... apparently I needed to send instructions on how to open it ... I always just assume that they all think like a papercrafter and can just figure it out without lookin' ... sorry guys!! It IS a present ... just take off the lid!

I know you have seen a couple of other similar types of cards from me this season. Frankly, every time I sat down to design our family Christmas card I was drawing a complete zero ... a blank ... and I kept coming back to this idea. So I just ran with it ... again ...

Here is a link to a tutorial I did on how to make one of these little gems. The only difference is that the bottom of my "package" is bigger here than in the tutorial. The unfolded dimensions for the cardstock are 4 3/4" x 9 1/2".

Gift Box Card Tutorial

Here is what it looks like pulled open (note to family and friends ... again ... just wrap your hand around the back side of the "lid" and gently slide up and out). I totally feel in LOVE with this Damask paper ... it's FLOCKED so it is all warm and fuzzy!

And here is one more of the inside/outside pieces side by side. It really didn't take me too long to make (okay ... to be fair it DID because I made 80 of 'em ... put the time per card was a little over 5 minutes).

It's probably a good idea for me to take inventory of what-all I have purchased for Christmas gifts and see if I can't get to wrappin' somethin'! I DO have 8 days left, though ...

Stamps: Bells & Boughs
Paper: Early Espresso, Always Artichoke, Very Vanilla, Lush Red Damask Paper by My Mind's Eye
Ink: Cherry Cobbler
Accessories: Snowflake Punch, 1 1/4" Circle Punch, 1/2" Circle Punch, Decorator Label Punch, Wide Oval Punch, Martha Stewart Fir Branch Punch, Cherry Cobbler Seam Binding, Glimmer Brad, Perfect Polka Dots Textured Impressions Folder

And don't forget to tune back in Monday morning for the Control Freaks Blog Tour. We will be showcasing stuff (and it is AWESOME!) from the upcoming Occasions Mini and Sale-a-Bration catalogs. (Little hint: the tour is usually up and running by the evening of the 19th of each month - so that would be Sunday night!)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Outside the Snow is Fallin' ...

... and friends are callin' "Yoo-Hoo!" It's been sooo unseasonably warm this past week ... up in the 50's ... which is GREAT, but feels WEIRD for the middle of December.

So I was pretty happy to wake up to the pretty snow outside my window this morning. Which inspired me to make this card (did it using SC311 over on SCS). I have been using the Northern Flurries Textured Impressions folder to DEATH lately!! 'Tis the season, right????

Smiley from millan.netWish today were a day where I could stay home in my fuzzy slippers and just keep cozy. Too bad there are piles of paper at work for me that are ALSO calling "Yoo-Hoo!"

Don't forget my Stamp Sale ... still lotsa sets left! And the prices have been DROPPED!! (See the link at the top of my blog ...)

Also ... stay tuned for the Weixler Family Christmas Card ... I'll post it on Friday!!

Stamps: Serene Snowflakes, Fabulous Phrases
Paper: Concord Crush, Marina Mist, Whisper White
Ink: Concord Crush, Marina Mist
Accessories: Basic Jewels stickers, Large and Small Oval Punches, Whisper White Taffeta Ribbon, Scallop Border Punch, Northern Flurries Textured Impressions Folder

Monday, December 13, 2010

Warm Wintry Wishes

Try as I might, this ended up being a Christmas card instead of just a wintry card. It just looked kinda "blah" without the gold bling! So, I just added it anyway!!

This was for TLC303 on SCS - to do a little sponging. I used to sponge pretty much everything. Now I sponge pretty much nothing ... I guess I should find a happy medium somewhere, right???

And it seems kinda hard to stay in the Christmas spirit with the freaky weather we have been having. During the week around Thanksgiving it was snowing and we were in the single digits as far as temperature. Yesterday it was 55 stinkin' degrees and there wasn't a single spot of snow left ANYwhere!! The sky was blue and clear ... it really was lovely, it just didn't feel a BIT like Christmas!! Weird ... Smiley from millan.netC'mon SNOW!!


Stamps: Lovely as a Tree (one of the bestest SU sets EVER!!), So Many Sayings (retried)
Paper: Very Vanilla, Early Espresso, Brushed Gold
Ink: Whisper White, Early Espresso
Accessories: Scallop Trim Border and Corner Punches, Large Oval Punch, Very Vanilla Seam Binding, Gold Glimmer Brad, Northern Flurry Textured Impressions Folder, Gold Lame' Smooch Pearlized Accent Ink

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas "On the Fly"

I went to a lovely and super-fun Christmas party last night ... I think I may have mentioned (mucho many times!) that I have been in the same book group for nearly 20 years. We have a GREAT party/dinner/book exchange every December. I love my book group friends to BITS!!

While I was sitting at the table enjoying the most DELICIOUS meal (thanks so much, Shellee, for being the "Hostess with the Mostest"!) I had one of those lightbulb moments ... one that makes your stomach turn over ... I realized that it was MY turn to be the hostess for today's F4A challenge on SCS! I had remembered about it earlier in the day, but somehow had a complete and total brain block after that and forgot ALL about it!!

So ... when I got home VERY late (well after 11:00), I ran down to my craft room and started creating this card. The challenge was to make a Christmas/holiday card in 15 minutes or less (for those occasions when you are running out the door and realize you need a little card or something for a party hostess or a dear friend - or both rolled in to ONE!).

That's pretty much it ... have a GREAT day and FABULOUS weekend!!

Stamps: Come to Bethlehem
Paper: Whisper White
Ink: Night of Navy
Accessories: Northern Flurries Textured Impressions Folder, Decorator Label Punch, Whisper White Satin/Organza Ribbon

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Muffin Tin Advent Calendar

I know you guys have probably seen these cute little advent calendars made from muffin tins, but I just had to share mine! I showed them a photo of one of these and they were just DYIN' to make one ... so we did!!

I've been busily working on my family Christmas card ... all 80 of 'em!! I'm almost done. Once they have gone postal I'll share a photo with ya!!

Have a wonderful day!

Paper: Old Olive, Real Red, Very Vanilla, Dashing dsp (retired)
Accessories: 2 1/2" Circle Punch, 2 3/8" Scallop Circle Punch, Snowflake Punch, 1" Circle Punch, My Digital Studio (for numbers), Alpine Ribbon (retired), Magnets

Still lotsa stamp sets for sale ... see link above ... :)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Red Soldier Nutcrackers

This card is an ode to my darling, 16-year-old daughter, Amelia. She started taking dance lessons at the age of three. It has become her passion in life ... she even dances down the aisles at the grocery store!! She has been performing in Ballet West's Nutcracker for seven years running now (or should I say seven years dancing??). This year she is the Red Rifleman Soldier ... so this card is for her!! You go, girl!!

And it is also for today's Free for All Challenge over on SCS ... which, oddly enough, is entitled "Nutcracker Suite" ... (and I just used the cardstock that is currently sitting ALL over my table in various forms of unfinished family Christmas cards!!)

Stamps: Yuletide Christmas, Tiny Tags, Woodgrain
Paper: Cherry Cobbler, Very Vanilla, Early Espresso, Old Olive
Ink: Cherry Cobbler, Early Espresso
Accessories: Medium Oval Punch, Little Leaves Sizzlets Die, 1/8" Early Espresso Taffeta Ribbon, Pop-Up Glue Dots

DON'T FORGET TO CHECK OUT MY STAMP SALE - the link is at the top of my blog!! (Sorry for yelling ... I'm just excited!!) Lotsa fun sets still left at pretty dang good prices!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Do Some Crafty Christmas Shoppin'!

Smiley from millan.netI just added a link at the top of my blog to a HUGE sale I am having on some gently-used stamp sets (my own personal stash!). Be sure to check it out 'cause I have some KILLER deals goin' down!! :)