Saturday, December 29, 2012

TSTR - Favorite Project

Well, the holiday season is winding down, and soon the pretty decorations and lights will be packed up and put away for another year.  But for now, we're getting a few more days of enjoyment from them...the tree is still lit up in the living room, and will be that way until New Year's Day.

I haven't had much time the past couple weeks to craft in the Korner, so this week's challenge at The Shabby Tea Room  is perfect for me. This week's host, Lenet, is asking us to pick out our favorite project we created for any of the Shabby Tea Room's challenges for 2012.

Although it was a little hard to choose among a few of my favorite projects, I realized that one of my most favorite was one of my latest creations...the Christmas mini album I created for the Sweet Shabby Christmas challenge in November, while I was a guest designer (and which also happened to be another challenge that Lenet hosted).

You can find my original November blog post here, and in December I posted detailed photos of all the finished inside pages here, along with a little "candy box" I made to sit alongside the album on the side table.

Thanks for visiting today.  I hope you're having a wonderful weekend!

Monday, December 24, 2012

May Your Days Be Merry...

It's Christmas eve...all the hustle and bustle is done here...and now it's time for quiet celebration.

But before I go, I'd like to share with you the gift box I made for my mother's gift.  You've most likely seen these little papier mache "cottages" around the Web the past couple years, but this is the first year I've had the right sized box for the right sized gift!

This time, I used what I call the "medium" size house, and it fit the box for the gift just perfectly. It started like this...

This box measures 5-1/2"W x 4"D x 7"H (the top simply lifts off, making it easy to "unwrap" a present). Once decorated, it came out like this...

The front door and curtained windows are made with Papertrey Ink stamps.  Those little white plant urns are actually buttons that came in an assorted pack from the craft store.  The "ferns" are branch punches...and the "brick step" was constructed from a piece of cardstock that was run through the Big Shot using the Tim Holtz brick embossing folder (inked up first with Pumice Stone Distress Ink to provide the contrast detail) and glued to the front of the box/house.  

I got the idea for the "sugared" button roof from Melissa Phillips' blog last year...there are about 95 assorted white buttons covering the front and back of the roof/box top, all then covered with coarse clear glitter.  I used that particular crocheted trim around the dormer because I love the way the shadows remind me of icicle shadows.

Thanks so much for visiting.  I wish you a Merry Christmas!


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

And Last But By No Means Least...

Hello again. :)  With all that's happened since I last checked in here,  I thought it might be a good time to just show some pretty pictures and not focus on the sadness that the events in Connecticut caused so many of us to feel this past week. Trying to comprehend events such as this are hard for so many, including me.  So I'm hoping that, in my very small way, I'm giving you a break from the sadly serious for a just a few moments.

How are your holiday preparations coming along?  In my well-intentioned effort not to stress myself this season, I seem to have "relaxed" just a bit TOO much...LOL. I still have a few presents to shop for (i.e., I have to brave the mall this week), and some finishing touches on the house decorations to make. But I'll be ready come Sunday night, and relaxing on Christmas Eve...yep, I think I can!

Here are the last of the Christmas card designs I made this year. The first two use a couple Basic Grey Christmas paper collections from last season. They were a couple of my favorite collections, so I purchased them in full 12x12 size as well as a couple each of the 6x6 pads to match!

Patterned papers:  Basic Grey Jovial collection      Dies:  Sizzix Flowers Branches and Leaves
Edge Punch:  EK Success Diamond Lace      Pebbles glitter dots      Hug Snug seam binding
Miscellaneous:  handcrafted pearl wire, chipboard star, silver German glass glitter

Patterned papers:  Basic Grey Eskimo Kisses collection     Dies:  Spellbinders Layered Poinsettia
Lace:      Pearls:  Recollections     
Hug Snug seam binding      Miscellaneous:  snowflake button

The next group of cards uses papers from this season's Prima and Carta Bella collections...first up, the shabby chic/girly card...

Patterned papers:  Prima Tea Thyme collection      Vintage Image:  Graphic 45 Christmas Emporium collection
Pearls:  Recollections     Hug Snug seam binding      Sentiment stamp:  Inkadinkado

This next one doesn't truly qualify for the "clean and simple" label, but it's closer than some of the previous cards...LOL 

Patterned papers:  Carta Bella Winter Fun collection
Rub-on sentiment:  BoBunny     Clear crystal snowflake:  Basic Grey
Sentiment Chip:  Spellbinders Lacy Doily Accents die

And for the single guys on the Christmas card list - a few less fussy, more clean-and-simple style cards...

Patterned papers:  Carta Bella Winter Fun collection      Rub-on Sentiment:  BoBunny
Miscellaneous:  packing twine, snowflake buttons

Patterned papers:  Carta Bella Winter Fun collection      Rub-on sentiment:  Making Memories
Miscellaneous:  packing twine, buttons


Patterned papers:  Carta Bella Winter Fun  collection; Graphic45 Christmas Past collection (teal dot)
Edge punch:  Martha Stewart Cherish PATP     Sentiment rub-on:  unknown
Sentiment Chip:  Spellbinders Twisted Metal Tags and Accents die     Miscellaneous:  buttons

Thanks so much for visiting today!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

It's A Wrap...

Every year at Christmas time, I cruise the web admiring all the different gift-wrap ideas.  I bookmark them, (this year) I "pin" them to my private board, I paste them into my idea book on my hard drive, and admire them all, thinking "this year...".  But when I start to wrap my gifts, I realize I've purchased the oddest collection of sizes and shapes to try to wrap...and away goes my dream of having a wonderful tree surrounded with packages wrapped with the same papers, all topped with beautiful bows and decorations. And I console myself with the idea that the wrappings will likely just be tossed in the trash bag in the frenzy of Christmas morning anyway, and merrily go on with my life. LOL

But the crafter in me just won't surrender I handcraft gift tags each year.  And it wasn't until last year that I learned that many of the people I gift to at Christmas actually save the handmade gift tags in addition to the holiday cards I send.  What a wonderful acknowledgement that is to a crafter!

This year, I chose to make chipboard ornament gift tags. And the best part? I can make them as lumpy as I want, since I don't have to be concerned with "flatness" for mailing.  I used Spellbinders' 2011 Heirloom Ornaments die as the base, cutting one from chipboard, and two from patterned paper (front and back) for each tag.  I used glitter sticks at the top of the tags instead of ribbon or twine...makes attaching them to gifts and removing them later so much easier.

Here's a selection of some of the tags. First up, a few of the "flowery" tags, decidedly for the ladies...

You may have noticed that some have a little "to: from:" tag at the top, and some don't.  If the ornament had a light-colored, subtle patterned paper on the back, I used a different "to: from:" stamp on the back of the ornament itself, as done here with the tag above:

Flowers just won't do for the gents' gifts, and for couples' gifts I wanted something a little less gender specific, so for those I used snowflakes and stars...

And because I always seem to leave a name or two (or three) off my list when I'm planning the number of tags I need to make, I made some that could work for either a man's, woman's, or couple's gift.  So here's a couple of those...

Thanks so much for peeking in for a visit. I hope you're having a great week, and having fun with your holiday preparations.  I still have a few more cards to make and mail...and a few more gifts to buy and wrap...and a few more decorations to put out...and a couple more visits with friends to enjoy...and, well, you get the idea. LOL

Friday, December 7, 2012

Catching Up a Bit...

Well, by my conspicuous absence for the past week, you can see that crafting has slowed down quite a bit in the Korner lately. :)  I will most likely be posting only once a week until after the first of the year.

Truth be told, paper crafting normally slows down a little during December, but last year wasn't as obvious because I had prepared several projects in advance to post on the blog. But not this year, so you're seeing the results of that now. In fact, I've totally slowed down just about everything this year in an effort to enjoy the Christmas season to the max, and not spend so much of it under pressure to get things "made in time" or finished for a holiday deadline. And I can tell you now that it's really enjoyable!  I've always thought of myself as the type of person who works best under the stress of a deadline, but I'm finding out that's not always true anymore.  LOL

However, all crafty play hasn't stopped, and I do have a couple projects to share with you this week.  One is the shadowbox baby card I talked about a couple posts back...and the second, a trio of Christmas cards.

By the reactions I got from the recipient, this baby card was a hit.  And that made me happy, because I liked it so much, too!  (The "a" on the card represents the baby's first name...and his mom's first it was a perfect embellishment for the mom-to-be's card, don't you think? :) )

Baby shower cards are fun, because even though the gifts may be for a little boy, the fact that the card's for Mom means you can throw in some feminine my favorite, a flower cluster, could be adapted for one of the corners...with the addition of the large cardstock letter...

The banner was stamped, inked, and glued only at the left end and just to the right of the center...the dimension really worked well in the lower left corner opposite the flower cluster...

Another change to the aperture (cutout) shape...this time a large scalloped circle...

Dark red gems dress up the twine swags, with a little banner with rub-on letters spelling out "baby boy"...

Patterned papers:  My Minds Eye Tres Jolie "C'est La Vie";  Cosmo Cricket Dutch Girl collection
Alpha Rub-ons:  My Minds Eye and 7Gypsies      Sentiment stamp:  Hero Arts
Vintage collage elements: (florals); (mother & child image)
Dies:  Spellbinders Classic Scalloped Circles Small; My Favorite Things Royal Leaves; Memory Box Elegant Scrollwork
Punch:  Martha Stewart Medium Branch      Paper flowers:  Prima and Wild Orchid Crafts
Crystal gems:  Creative Imaginations     Bronze pearls:  Queen & Co. 
Miscellaneous: clear coarse glitter, cotton lace scrap; cheesecloth

This trio of holiday wreath cards was fun to make...trying to make them the same, but different.  There's lots of white-on-white, with only the wreaths and fir branches to break that up.  I was hoping for a sunny day to photograph them, but it wasn't going to happen, although I now understand the sun might be back tomorrow.  I had to settle for my trusty "sunlight" indoor lamps...not my favorite way to photograph white cards. The wreaths are made with punched branches, leaves, and flowers on a circle of cardstock.

This is the "medium" sized wreath - the diameter is approximately 2-3/4"...

Dies: Spellbinders Labels 22 (for aperture shape); Spellbinders Fancy Framed Tags Two (sentiment)
Sizzix Diamond embossing folder      Sentiment stamp: Inkadinkado
Punches: Martha Stewart Medium Branch; Punch Bunch Ash Leaf; Martha Stewart 3-in-1 Hydrangea  (wreath)
Miscellaneous: foam tape, ribbon, Golden Rod Stickles

The wreath on this card is the largest of the three...the finished diameter is approximately 3-1/2"...

Dies: Spellbinders Labels 22 (aperture shape)      Sizzix Diamond embossing folder
Punches: Martha Stewart Medium Branch; Punch Bunch Ash Leaf; Martha Stewart 3-in-1 Hydrangea (wreath)
Pearls: Recollections      Miscellaneous: ribbon, foam tape, Golden Rod Stickles

I changed things up just a little on this card.  After embossing the front piece with the woodgrain texture, I cut it into strips, distressed the long edges, and adhered them to the card front, using foam tape to adhere every other "plank" to provide a little more dimension...

Tim Holtz Woodgrain Texture Fade embossing folder
Punches: Martha Stewart Medium Branch; Martha Stewart 3-in-1 Hydrangea (wreath and pine spray)
Glitter dots: Pebbles      Maya Road chipboard window and flower box
Miscellaneous: ribbon, foam tape, Tonic edge distresser, Golden Rod Stickles

Thanks so much for visiting today! I hope you're having a wonderful week, and that you, too, are able to find time for some joyful moments in this busy holiday season.

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