Monday, 25 July 2011

Welcome Christmas in Winter with the Inklings Blog Hop!

Welcome to the INKlings "Christmas in Winter" Blog Hop!

You may have arrived here from  Vanessa's blog or just be visiting my blog, whichever way once you’ve checked out my creations you can continue the hop through the link at the end of this post to the next team member.

How quick is this year going! Have you started to think about your Christmas cards and projects yet? The INKlings team has and we thought that this month was the perfect time to host a Christmas in July blog hop. You'll find lots of great ideas when you take a tour of the blogs of 15 of our crafty team members.

Want to win some Blog Candy? Simply leave a comment on each blog and then email Clare and let her know you’ve done so and you’ll be in the running for a fantastic prize of 15 handmade items plus other goodies.

Sorry Blog Candy prize not available to SU! demonstrators but you're more than welcome to leave us a comment!

My projects use the delightful stamp set, "Welcome Christmas".  You can find it on page 26 of the Idea Book and Catalogue, 121584 $49.95 in woodmount, and 120597 $39.95 in clear mount.  It has a variety of images, so I find it quite versatile.  I've made three different cards with it, and some gift tags are under construction - you may have to come back another time to see those!  I've stuck to a simple palette of Crumb Cake, Cherry Cobbler, Early Espresso and Very Vanilla, and have used our Basics Adhesive Pearls and 1 1/4" striped grosgrain ribbon for embellishment on each of the three cards.

Card one is a 1/3 sheet card, so it's a good choice for a gift card, or if you have several squillion people on your Christmas card list.  It is quite suited to production en masse, and is the kind of card you could make while watching a DVD in the evenings.

The card base is Cherry Cobbler (oooh YUM!), and I have inked the edges and given it a good squirt with my DIY Shimmer Mist (you can click HERE for a tutorial I did earlier on this).  Next is a layer of Very Vanilla, cut just 1/4" smaller on each side for neat layering.  Then there is a layer of Early Espresso, my new favourite brown.  I've roughed up the edges with my trusty distressing tool from the Cutter Kit here.  (tip - you need this tool if your trimmer cuts tend towards the wonky, it masks a multitude of sins...)  More squirting with shimmer here too. 

Then, a Crumb Cake layer, sponged on the edges, and clear embossed using Versamark ink and the lovely silhouette style Christmas tree family stamp.  The label stamp is part of the set, and I have simply inked it with markers in Cherry Cobbler, Early Espresso and Crumb Cake, and stamped onto Very Vanilla.  It looks fiddly and time consuming, but it's faster and easier than you'd think.

I've added some Basics Pearls and some Stampin Dimensionals behind this to give it some lift from the front of the card.  To finish, I have used some of the extra wide stripy Grosgrain ribbon in matching Early Espresso.  When I first saw this wide ribbon, I thought "what the!" , thinking it would take masses of ribbon to make something on the right scale.  I've since discovered that there are several ways to use this wide ribbon on a card, and with pretty small pieces too.  Here I have taken a short snip, approximately 8-10cm, and have folded in half-ish (deliberately not evenly).  The centre is secured with a short piece of Early Espresso narrow grosgrain, and it's attached with a mini glue dot (or two for good measure).  Ta da!  Done!

Card 2 is a standard landscape orientation A5 fold, and again I have used Cherry Cobbler as the card base.  Then, a layer of Early Espresso cut 1/2" smaller is layered on this (and I've used the edge distressing tool again)  Before I distressed and attached it, I ran it through the Big Shot using the Finial Press Embossing Folder, you can see a peek of this behind where the ribbon is tied. The squares are cut from Very Vanilla, Crumb Cake, and Jolly Holiday DSP using the 1 1/4" square punch,  and inked the edges before attaching them to the Espresso panel.  Here's another way of using the wide ribbon, as a band across the centre, but tied at one point with matching narrow ribbon.  The "joy" sentiment is from the set, and I have stamped it twice, cutting a second layer of letters out for a dimensional effect.  I cut the oval using the Oval Big Shot Sizzix originals die, a great choice when you need more room than a punch.  It's dressed up with a few more pearls, and attached with Stampin' Dimensionals.

The final card in the trio is a Gate Fold A5 card.  The card base is Cherry Cobbler, and I have inked the edges and stamped with the gorgeous wreath stamp in matching ink all over the base.  The wreath was stamped again ont Very Vanilla after using markers in Cherry Cobbler, Early Espresso and Crumb Cake to pick out the berries and open leaves for some colour variation.  I then trimmed around it carefully, but for speed and ease of production, you could simply leave it as a stamped panel.  The "bow" is not really a bow - yet another way of using a small bit of wide ribbon for maximum effect.  it's about 15cm, bunched into two loops and secured with a needle and thread around the middle to stop it from springing apart.  I used my lighter portable miniature flame throwing tool to seal the ends of the ribbon on all these projects.  Never was a smoker really, but I will be mighty annoyed if these end up on a banned list sometime in the future!  I wrapped more Early Espresso narrow grosgrain around the centre, and the tails can be seen peeking through from the back for extra effect.  On the trimmed out wreath, I used some dots of Crystal Effects dimensional gloss adhesive to highlight the berries, but perhaps I should have used glitter, you'd be able to see it better in the pic!  The wreath is attached to only the left side of the gatefold, so you can still open the card in the normal way.  The same effect is used for the greeting and band, in Crumb Cake, and edged with the Pinking Hearts punch.  This punch appeared in the Summer Mini, but it is thankfully still available, and I am liking it more and more! The sentiment label was made as above for Card 1, and attached with Stampin Dimensionals and some blingy pearls attached.

I hope you have enjoyed looking at my projects, please don't be shy in asking a question about how I have done something, I love questions!  I will be running some Christmas Card Stamp-a-Stacks between now and the end of the year, you can sign up for my newsletter or follow my blog to be kept informed.

Well that’s all from me. Next stop on the INKlings’ Team Blog Hop is the lovely
Ryn Gibbs. Have fun and don't forget to leave a comment on each blog to win some great Blog Candy.

If for any reason you find a missing link on the blog hop head back here to find links to all the members taking part.   After the blog hop is over, I'll pop back in here to convert these to permalinks to the actual Blog Hop posts, so you will be able to do it all over again for inspiration later on!

1. Clare
2. Janice
3. Christie
4. Kari
5. Joanna
6. Michelle
7. Alana
8. Carol
9. Cath
10. Amy
11. Vanessa
12. Michelle D
13. Ryn
14. Fiona B
15. Liz Halbisch

Friday, 22 July 2011

Get Ready for the Inklings "Christmas in Winter" bloghop!

It's time to get your thinking caps on, and gather some inspiration for your Christmas Projects!
Starting Monday 25th July at noon, you can take a tour of blogs where Inklings team members have posted some gorgeous projects to inspire you!  There will be blog candy on offer, so make a note in your diary, snuggle up with a notepad and hot cocoa, and get into the spirit of Christmas in Winter!

Monday, 11 July 2011

A good Sympathy Card (stamp set) is hard to find... Thanks for Caring

I always feel like I am tempting fate somehow by making a sympathy card without a specific recipient in mind, but I do then try and apply my sense of scientific judgement to overcome this! 

It is hard to find a nice, elegant stamp set suitable for sympathy occasions (and nigh-on IMPOSSIBLE to find a half-decent store-bought card at all!), but I think this lovely set from the Autumn/Winter mini fits the bill.  The set is called "Thanks for Caring", and you can see it on page 17 of the mini (123565, $39.95 in woodmount). It's not just for sympathy cards, the sentiment messages could be used for many card-giving occasions.  It's also the first set I can recall as having a stamp ideal for thanking people for their kind thoughts during difficult times, "Thanks for caring", much easier than handwriting lots and lots of notes.

This card I have made using a Designer Series Paper collection that I haven't used much.  I do like the colours and I love the patterns, so I'm not sure why it has been overlooked.  Perhaps it is the scale of the patterns as shown in the catalogue not doing it justice?  Anyway, it is beautifully elegant in real life -  "Lap of Luxury" (120436, p 126). The card base is Concord Crush, followed by a layer of Pretty in Pink, and a wider border of Basic Gray.  A square of Lap of Luxury paper sits over these, with a belly band of more Concord Crush.  The sentiment is inked with matching markers, and punched out with the extra large scallop circle punch.  The matting I have used is a little trick - layering two of the oval shape from the "Lots of Tags" Sizzlit set for the Bigshot (114508, p152) behind the scallop circle.  Some Basics Pearls, Concord Crush twill ribbon, and some Stampin' Dimensionals for lift and it was almost done.  I wanted to give it a pretty look, so I spritzed it with a squirt of DIY shimmer spray - my tutorial on this can be found here.

If you'd like this set, please don't delay, being a Mini Catalogue set it could well be available only until July 31st before disappearing all together.    Please contact me by email or phone 0403 175 790  to order any available Stampin' Up! products, or drop me a question ( I lurrrve technical questions!)

Friday, 1 July 2011

Free Ribbon and Button Bundle! Gift with $100 purchase

This is such a cute pack!  Great for bright, cheery cards.  You can get one FREE, a $31.95 value, with an order of $100 or more (limited to one pack per order)

It goes beautifully with the Sewing themed items from the Autumn/Winter Mini, as you can see from the image, where the "Hello Blossoms" individual stamp ( just $13.95) has been teamed with yellow flower buttons and pleated ribbon (left).  The pink card on the right uses the pink and blue buttons on the "Sew Suite" button card.  Most of us have a clever stitching person in our lives (I have several!), so these products will come in very handy.  Click the image to visit my Demonstrator Business Website to view more details on this promotion.  While you're there, why not sign up for my occasional newsletter - click "contact me" and follow the prompts.