Happy Holidays, and a contest!!!

Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, I'm sure we are all busy preparing for the upcoming holidays. I want to take another opportunity to say "thank you" to all of you, my blog subscribers and readers. I have had the idea to make ornaments for some time now, and I just recently have been able to sit down to put them to paper, so to speak. And, seeing that sometime over the weekend my blog had its 5,000th hit, I thought it would be the perfect time to celebrate! So, from now until Friday, each person who responds to this post, will be entered into a drawing to win one of these handmade ornaments AND the coordinating stamp I used to create the project!!! And, only one entry per person please! ;) Okay, on to the details. For the snowman ornament, I covered a piece of circle chipboard, from the SU! On Board Accents pack, with snowflake patterned paper from the Holiday Thyme collection on both sides. I then took a scalloped circle punched piece of Whisper White cardstock and stamped the snowman image, which is from Michaels. I watercolored his hat and scarf with Bashful Blue ink, and his nose in Pumkin Pie. Then I sponged the sky with Bashful Blue ink as well. I pierced the scallops and accented them with my Sakura Stardust glitter pen. Then I used my Sakura Quickie Glue Pen and SU! Dazzling Diamonds glitter to add some shimmer to the snowman and the snow. On the back of the ornament, I accented the snowflakes with my Sakura Stardust glitter pen as well. Finally, I added a piece of May Arts sheer white dotted ribbon to the top for a hanger. The gingerbread ornament is actually a cookie cutter purchased from Michaels. I liked the fact that it was painted brown already! To make the tag accent, I inked the gingerbread stamp (also from Michaels) with my Creamy Caramel and Real Red markers, then huffed and stamped on Confetti White cs. I trimmed the paper, and slid it through my tag punch to create the long narrow tag. I edged the tag with my Green Galore marker, to tie in with the American Crafts ribbon hanger. Both are ideas for very simple and easy handmade gifts, which I love to do, especially around the holidays! I hope you like them, and don't forget to post a comment so you can have a chance to win one of the ornaments and matching stamps!!! I will draw and post the winners on Saturday morning!

So thankful . . .

. . . for family, for friends, for shelter, for food to eat, and for all the luxuries we have to enjoy. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone, everywhere! I spent this morning baking some nummy desserts to share with those I love. I made my very first pie today!!! I am so proud of myself, even if I did encounter a few "complications" along the way! It is a Praline Pumpkin Pie, and it looks simply delicious!!! I also made a Caramel Apple Cheesecake to take to my friend's house, where we will spend Thanksgiving tomorrow night. She is one of my closest friends from back home in Chicago, and she invited us to her home for our very first Thanksgiving in Florida, before we had any family down here. In fact, we consider she and her parents to be part of our extended family!!! Last year, we invited them to share Thanksgiving with us, as they were in the middle of a big move. This year, her sister and her family, who recently moved to FL, will be there as well. We are really looking forward to seeing everyone. Our schedules are so hectic, and we live far enough away, that the last time we have actually seen each other was February!!! Anyway, I also wanted to make a little hostess gift, to express our appreciation. I purchased these fabulously rich BoBunny Press papers awhile back, and they were just begging to be used for this project. I started with 5 black chipboard coasters, and 10 4x4 squares of the patterned paper. After rounding the corners of the paper, I adhered them to the front and back of each coaster, and used my silent setter to punch holes in each corner of the coasters. I then sanded the edges for a smoother look, and began to fasten the coasters together to form a cube. I found this ribbon at a local scrapbook shop, and the colors are a *perfect* match for these papers. I tied bows through all the holes, first connecting the side coasters to the bottom, and then to each other along the top, which is open. Inside I place a "pumpkin pie" scented candle in a frosted glass jar. Just a note of caution: the box is for presentation and display purposes only! DO NOT under any circumstances burn the candle while it is inside the box!!! A fire is not considered to be a good gift, ok??? ;) Anyway, it is just a little something, but I hope she likes it. We certainly appreciate the kindness and generosity she and her family have shown us, and we are truly greatful for their friendship! Here's wishing you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving! And to those of you who are like me, one of the brave Black Friday shoppers, here's hoping you find tons of greal deals! Until next time, I'm as always, Inkfully Yours . . . .

I *heart* flowers . . .

. . . and these beauties are no exception. Check out these giant sunflowers! Aren't they just gorgeous? This project was made for Betsy, the owner of Innovative Stamp Creations. ISC offers many wonderful rubber stamp sheets. The stamps used in this project are fom the Flowers & Elements sheet. Unfamiliar with sheets? Basically, they are uncut, unmounted rubber stamps which all coordinate in some way, similar to a stamp set. This ends up being a way to keep costs down, and allows the stamper a variety of mounting options. It could be as simple as attaching double-sided tape to the back of the trimmed image and temporarily adhering it to the back of another stamp's handle. Since ISC's images are so deeply etched in the rubber, this makes for a very economical option. I chose to purchase a sheet of cling foam, which provides a feel similar to the way most of the stamps I own are mounted. Assembling the stamps is super simple and easy! I peeled the backing from the adhesive side of the cling foam and adhered the entire rubber sheet. From there, I trimmed away any excess cling mount to save for future use, although there was not much because the rubber stamp sheet measured approximately 8x10. From there, I trimmed the stamps as I would normally with my SU! stamps. After they were all trimmed, I removed the backing over the cling side of the foam, and laid all the stamps (18 in all!) in an extra SU! case I had. This is going to be a perfect way to store these stamps, alongside my others. I also purchased an acrylic block for mounting purposes. They come in all shapes and sizes. The one I got is A-2 card front sized, 4 1/4" x 5 1/2". I thought this would provide the most versatility. The neat thing is, while the stamps are *not* clear stamps (they are made of high quality red rubber), you can still see through the acrylic block to know where you are stamping!!! This really helps with placement, especially if you are omitting part of an image. Ok, on to the project! Betsy, who is a subscriber to my little blog, contacted me regarding my previous post with the 3x3 boxes. You remember the contest, right? ;) Anyway, I thought it would be fitting for my first project using her stamps to be a 3x3 box and cards. I started by cutting a piece of So Saffron cardstock down to fit the box dimensions. I stamped the sunflower image all over in So Saffron ink, although it is hard to make out in any of the pictures. I then scored and assembled the box, using a strong adhesive (Miracle Tape). For the lid, I used So Saffron cs again, and covered it with a piece of SU!'s double-sided designer paper from the Spring Flowers collection. I then scored and assembled the lid, and added some caribbean rikrac, from the Flirty ribbon originals collection, around the middle. Next, I stamped the sunflower using Timber Brown StazOn on Naturals Ivory cs. I watercolored using my Watercolor Wonder Crayons and an aquapainter, then cut out the image. I added microbeads to the flower's center, and added it to the box using dimensionals. The "F" for flower, was stamped in Cool Caribbean ink on Cool Caribbean cs, cut out and adhered to the box. Next, I set out to create some matching cards to go inside the box. For the So Saffron card I inked the petals of the flower using So Saffron ink, and used my Chocolate Chip marker to ink the flower's center. I stamped the word "blossom" along the bottom in Chocolate Chip ink, and tied some chocolate gingham ribbon along the fold. For the Chocolate Chip card, I again stamped the sunflower in Timber Brown StazOn on Naturals Ivory cs, and watercolored using my WWC's and an aquapainter. I punched three 1/16" holes in the flower's center and added copper brads from SU!'s vintage brads collection. The background is stamped with the ISC "script" stamp repeatedly, in Chocolate Chip ink. The flower was then cut out and adhered using dimensionals. For the Cool Caribbean card, I stamped the petals of the sunflower on the corners of the card in Cool Caribbean ink. I then stamped the entire image in the center of the card using Versamark ink. I embossed the image using Classy Copper embossing powder and my heat tool. I made 2 of each style card, for a total of six, and included 3x3 envelopes also. I had so much fun creating this set! I really hope that Betsy likes what I came up with!!! And I am looking forward to creating many more projects featuring ISC's fabulous flower stamps!

Big Holiday Wishes . . . .

It's Wednesday, better known as Sketch Challenge Day over at Splitcoaststampers. I know, I know . . . I never did get around to making a card for *last* week's sketch, but it *is* on my list . . . . That being said, here is the card I made for this week's unique sketch. Everyone seems to be doing holiday cards, and since I have so many yet to make, I guess I am no exception. I have been wanting to pick up my new Winter Mini set, Big Pieces again so I thought why not make them into a holiday card??? And, since they are "big" pieces, I though what better sentiment to use than the Think Big set from the Holiday Mini??? Perfect! I started with a True Thyme card base, and cut it to the specifications of the sketch. For the front of the card, I repeatedly stamped the same image from Big Pieces in Always Artichoke ink. I then stamped the same image from the coordinating Little Pieces in Cranberry Crisp, then punched them out with the 1/2" circle punch, and adhered them to the centers of the Big Pieces images. For the inside panel, I cut a piece of Very Vanilla cs 1/4" smaller than the card base, sponged the edges and mounted onto Cranberry Crisp cs. To create the multi-colored "big" sentiment, I sponged ink onto the letters, then "huffed" and stamped. Beneath it I stamped the "holidays" (omitting the "s") from Happy Everything, and "wishes" from Expressive Flexible Phrases. To add the ribbon tie closure, I used the horizontal slot punch on either side of the word "big", and also on the card fold. I threaded the cranberry stitched grosgrain ribbon through the fold to the front of the card and underneath the "big" sentiment, and tied at the front. I then added a tab to the top of the front panel made of the Big and Little Pieces images, but in the reverse colors from the remainder of the card. It is popped up on dimensionals. I think this is a neat sketch, and I just might try it again before the week is through. But for now, I'm off to catch up on *last* week's challenge!!! ;)

A Rainbow of Ribbon . . . .


I *may* have mentioned this before, but I *heart* ribbon!!! This is my ribbon from Jody's (the Ribbon Queen) ribbon share. There are 210 yards of glorious ribbon here, and that is only half a spot!!! 42 colors, 5 yards each ... I am in heaven!!! I received it last week, but was waiting for my new ribbon cards and drawer to arrive so I could organize it!!! I wouldn't allow myself to use it until I got it all neatly in its box. Now I don't want to use it because it looks soooo happy there, doesn't it??? LOL! ;) I spent hours wrapping yesterday, with Kaleigh's "help" of course!!! She just has to do whatever mommy is doing! Anyway, my fingers are still a little sore, but it was well worth it to have my rainbow of ribbon so beautifully organized!!! I can now rest easy, and move on to other projects!!! I can sense many more ribbon adorned goodies in the stamping future!

Coasters are such versatile things . . .

. . . who knew??? I was *persuaded* (read: enabled) to buy some of these blank chipboard coasters by many of the talented ladies at Splitcoaststampers. After receiving mine, and playing with them a bit, I am inclined to agree that the possibilites are in fact *endless*!!! I already have several ideas in mind, so stay tuned! ;) For my first attempt, I made a simple card using the new Loves Me double-sided designer paper from the SU! Winter Mini catalog. So cute!!! I covered all 4 sides of two coasters with paper, then sanded the edges for a smoother look. I used my Silent Setter to punch holes in the sides, and tied them up with ribbon to bind the two coasters together. For the cover, I stamped the paper with an image from Simply Said in Chocoalte Chip ink. I added a square label piece of Hodgepodge Hardware in Pewter, with a Hero Arts sentiment in Tempting Turquoise, and the heart from Little Pieces in Regal Rose. I tied caribbean rikrac from the new Flirty Ribbon Originals through the holes in the hardware to complete the look. For the left inside page, I added a stripe of pink velvet ribbon, and punched a scalloped oval in Close to Cocoa. I pierced the scallops, and higlighted them with my white Signo Gel Pen. Then I added another image from Simply Said in Pretty in Pink and Cool Caribbean, cut out and popped up on dimensionals. For the right inside page, I traced the heart from SU!'s On Board Accents chipboard onto another blank coaster, and cut it out. Then I adhered some of the Loves Me ds paper to it, trimmed it to fit and sanded the edges. I added two circles punched from the ds paper to the side, popped up on dimensionals. I had so much fun making this project! I can't wait to play with my coasters some more!!!

New toys - yippee!!!

My Winter Mini preorder has arrived!!! Yesterday, actually . . . and I am so proud because I already finished my swap cards so now I can play - guilt free!!! I made 19 of these cards for a swap I am in. I *love* the colors of the new Loves Me ds paper! Fabulously yummy!!! I wanted to try to imitate the small card on the cover, but I don't have the Pocket Notes (yet). I cut a piece of Pretty in Pink cs to the same dimensions as the pocket notes, and used the slit punch to create the closure. I used the Little Pieces stamp set and Regal Rose ink to create the background, then added a strip of the new ds paper. For the focal image, I inked the stamp from the new Big Pieces set with markers in chocolate, rose, and teal. Then I punched it out with the 1 3/8 circle punch, and mounted it on dimensionals. Then I stamped the Cool Caribbean card base repeatedly with the same image from Big Pieces, and added another strip of the ds paper along the bottom. I attached it with silver brads on wither side. The small notecard opens to reveal a sentiment from the Simply Said set, stamped in Chocolate Chip ink. It says, "Simply said from the heart . . . thank you". Just right for a simply cute card, made with such fun new toys!

Colors, Colors Everywhere . . . .

So, today is Tuesday, better known as Color Challenge Day over at Splitcoaststampers. As I sat down to attempt this week's colors, I realized that I never finished my card for last week's challenge!!! I had already watercolored the main image, but I neglected to finish and upload the card. Oops! So, that was the first order of business for today. I had chosen an image from the retired SU! hostess set, Nature's Sketchbook. I thought these birds would look pretty in Chocolate Chip and Pumpkin Pie. I only noticed after I had watercolored them that the words of the stamp include "black & white with gray". Oh well, so these aren't actually the colors of the Blackpoll Warbler! Oops again!!! This card was inspired by the lovely bird cards made by Lori (stamp_momma, link to her gallery at right). Lori is "my Linograph friend" and she had the fabulous idea to emboss the Linograph background (here, on Old Olive) - love, love, love it!!! For a few finishing touches, I notched the corners of the Linograph piece using the faux ticket corner punch technique, and added a piece of sheer brown polkadotted organdy ribbon. I really like these colors together, but I'll have to play with them later because the colors for this week are Chocolate Chip, Cool Caribbean, and More Mustard. For whatever reason, these colors inspired me to pull out my Finest Flourishes stamp set for the first time. Now, Lori has done some fabulous things with this set as well, and I have also been inspired by trudee and Jen (cobrielle - link to her blog at right) using this set as well. I also wanted to somehow incorporate this fabulous ribbon I searched out from Joann's. So, I started with the ribbon "belt", complete with Antique Brass Hodgepodge Hardware. I then stamped the French Script background onto the Chocolate Chip card base. For the main image, I first inked the stamp in More Mustard ink, then edged the image using my chocolate marker. I "huffed" and then stamped, sponging the edges with chocolate and the vanilla spaces with Cool Caribbean. I mounted this piece onto More Mustard cs, and again sponged the edges with chocolate. On the caribbean piece, I lightly stamped some of the flourishes on the bottom, but they are hard to make out in this picture. The tab on the right is a sentiment from the Warmest Regards hostess set, stamped and sponged in chocolate on Very Vanilla cs. A very simple, yet elegant card, with striking colors. I need to use this set more often, now that I have broken it in. I hope to work on some Christmas gifts today, because tomorrow my new toys from the Winter Mini are scheduled to arrive!!! I *know* that once they do, I will be infatuated with them and unable to use anything else for awhile - lol! Plus, I have swap cards I need to make using the Big Pieces stamp set, so those will be a top priority!!! But, *maybe* I'll be able to sneak in a sketch challenge card for you tomorrow morning. You'll just have to check back and see . . . . ;)

Not so far away . . .

. . . Christmas, that is! I realized that I have received lots of holiday images from the IRAK group, and that I will need to put them to use within a fairly short time period. After all, Christmas is less than two months away!!! I am usually so much more prepared for it than I am this year. Ask all my family and they will tell you that I am *probably* already finished with my holiday shopping. Well, that *is* normally the case, but I have really barely started!!! Not sure how time slipped away from me so quickly this year, but I really need to get a move on! So, I decided to make a pile of "Christmas Cards to be" this morning, and hopefully that will inspire me to get going! I made this simple card this morning. I cut a strip from a OSW style sheet of images from the Snow Flurries stamp set to use, and thought it would match perfectly with this designer paper from the Holiday Thyme collection. I used my Sakura Quickie glue pen to add some glitter to the cranberry colored flakes, although it is hard to make out. I mounted the strip onto Mellow Moss cs, then adhered it to the ds paper. I also added some stitched grosgrain ribbons in cranberry and thyme, and put it all together on a Cranberry Crisp card base. I stamped the sentiment from the Glad Tidings set across the bottom in cranberry ink, and voila! A simple card to get the ball rolling. Be on the lookout for many more Christmas cards in the weeks to come. I need to make about 20 more unique designs if I can *gasp*. We'll see . . . .

A little behind . . .

. . . in my stamping, that is! Until today, I had done zero stamping this week!!! I did however work on my Christmas gift for my sister and her husband. I am making them a wedding album - they have been married for over a year now *gasp*!!! Anyway, that and catching up on some tv, and tending to Kaleigh have been rather time consuming this week. But I made up my mind last night to *definitely* get some stamping done today. This card is for a dear friend's upcoming birthday, and it also fits this week's Sketch Challenge at Splitcoaststampers. I thought the patterned paper from the Friends & Flowers Simply Scrappin' Hostess Kit would be great for this layout. I used Certainly Celery for the card base, and folded the patterned paper according to the sketch specifications. At the bottom and on the right margin, I stamped some spotted circles from the Sweet Spot stamp set. I watercolored the main image, and added some glitter with my Sakura Stardust pen. I mounted it onto Chocolate Chip cs, and added So Saffron brads in the corners. I added a flower cs sticker from the SS Kit to the corner of the pp, and popped it up on dimensionals. Finally I stamped the "HB" from the It's Your Birthday set in Rose Red, cut it out, and added it to the bottom left corner on some dimensionals. Anyways, it feels good to have *finally* gotten some stamping done this week. I hope my friend likes her card, and that she has a very Happy Birthday!!!