Happy New Year and an Announcement

Happy New Year!  I hope you are all planning a fun, safe New Years Eve tonight...Even though we plan to stay in, I am still going to be celebrating the new year and some very exciting news for me.  Not only is the Fusion Card Challenge resuming, but I am so happy to be joining the design team along with 14 other very talented designers!  Pretty sweet way to start 2014, isn't it?
The Fusion Card Challenge's first challenge will be posted in just two days on January 2nd.  It will run for two weeks and players can choose to focus on the Sketch...the Inspiration Photo...or mix them together and create Fusion!  It is going to be one of the best card challenges out there!  If you aren't familiar with the Fusion Challenge, here's a link to the fabulous cards that were made during December when the challenge resumed.  

Ready to meet the whole Fusion Design Team?  


Why not stop by and congratulate everyone on the new Design Team and I hope you all will join us on January 2nd for our first challenge.  
Happy New Year!


12 Kits of Occasions - December with Jessica


As I write this up, Christmas is officially over at my house.  All the decorations are down and stored away for next year and there are just a little bit of sweets leftover that we have all been nibbling on the past week.  Weight Watchers is expecting me to show up the day after New Years and I am actually looking forward to some healthy eating for a switch.  Did you all over-indulge during the holidays like I did?
One thing I did do that didn't add one single pound to my waist was open up the fabulous kit that Jessica of The Paper Parade sent everyone in the 12 Kits of Occasions for our December challenge.  It's the 30th of the month and time for December's edition of The 12 Kits of Occasions.  You can find us on our blogFacebook and our Pinterest page (I especially love seeing all the cards made this year grouped together all in one place). I made the mistake of opening it just to peek and then when I tried to put it back, I could not stuff all of the papers, die cuts, embellishments and stamped images back in.  I had to find a box I could fit it all back into.  Here is a picture of everything that Jessica sent us:


See what I mean?  A ton of goodies to create last minute Christmas cards or else a start to next years stash.  Here are the four cards I made with Jessica's great kit.

This is my favorite card...love that cute Santa's workshop and the sweet Santa image all glittery and sparkly.

This card uses the sweet Rudolph image, the woodgrain kraft card stock and the little sentiment "Be Merry" strip.  I added a punched pine bough border, a Lil Inker Stitched Circle and a little red pom pom for his nose.
Jessica sent us this pre-stamped panel with the sweet deer and birch tree images.  There was an open space just perfect to put a poinsettia, pearl flourishes and the Cheer die cut that came from our kit.  Love those cute deer!
My last card was a lot of fun to make.  Those cute Christmas trees were just begging for a little bling!

Thank you Jessica for sending us a fabulous kit...I spent a lot of time just shuffling the different papers and elements around deciding which one would go where...and... on which card!

*The drawing winner of the Guest Designer position for January is... #7, Michelle (Pretty Periwinkles). *

Congratulation Michelle...I can't wait to see what you make with Sharron's kit!



Want to Be a 12 Kits Guest Designer?

Want to be a guest designer for The 12 Kits Of Occasions?
Sharron is the hostess who is putting together and sending out the kits for January.
She has put together one extra kit that could be for you!
She would send you the kit for you to create projects to share along with us on the last day of January.
Sound like fun?
Head over to the 12 Kits blog to enter. 
The winner will be announced on this month's reveal, December 31st!
 
LOL...I got this from Marybeth, who got it from Kara.  I wonder how far this little casing train will go?

Merry Monday Challenge #88 - Use An Animal On Your Holiday Card

Merry Monday Challenge #88...use an animal on your holiday card.  How about using an animal FOR your holiday card?  LOL.  That is what I did today.  I love shaped cards...they are always so different and a little unexpected for the person who opens up the envelope.  The Merry Monday Challenge for this week is to use an animal and since I didn't have too many cute little animal stamps...I decided to use a reindeer cut file from the Silhouette store and convert it to a shaped card.  First though, here's the inspiration photo for Merry Monday #88:
I sure wish I had some cute owl stamps to use...(Joyce, this one is right up your alley!).  Since I didn't have any owl stamps, I looked through the Silhouette store and found a very cute reindeer file I could use instead (Reindeer Face, Silhouette Store, ID #14808 by Sarah Bailey).  
It was very easy to make a shaped card by inverting the shape and welding the top together slightly. I cut all the pieces from patterned papers...embossed the reindeer face with an embossing folder...added a lot of tea dye stain to the edges.  I drew a Santa Hat freehand, cut it out and cut little holes for the antlers to peek out from under the hat.  The cute sentiment is from PTI Santa Stationery.  The last touch were those little jingle bells so everyone can tell just when this little guy has arrived.  

I have already mailed out my cards for this year, so this little guy is going in the Christmas 2014 box.  Wow...only 374 days until next Christmas!  I better get going.  Check out all the sweet animal Christmas cards at the Merry Monday Challenge Blog.

Fusion Card Challenge

 Every December it's a great day when you are finally done with your Christmas cards...have them addressed and ready to take to the post office.  That's the kind of day I had today.  Yay!  It did help that I have been making holiday cards since last January, and I made so many...it was fun choosing which one to send to everyone on my card list.  Today I finished the last card I plan to send this season, and it was a very fun card to make.  I used both the inspiration photo and the sketch from the Fusion Card Challenge.  Did you know they have started up their challenges again due to the many requests they received?  They even have a Design Team call out...here are the details.
I used Lil Inker stamps and dies for this card.  Do you recognize that poinsettia?  I used the leaf image from the Modern Mehndi Stamp Set, clear embossed and layered onto a Stitched Mat Circle to create my poinsettia.  I used a small circle for the top layer (worked easiest if you make the smaller top layer first) and a larger circle for the bottom layer.  Those glittery poinsettia berries are from Holly Jolly Die Set and those branches...they are the Christmas tree from Christmas Bits Die Set.  I think it totally looks like pine branch greenery...don't you?  
I have my good friend Kim Heggins to thank for the beautiful red Cover Up Christmas die cut...she was nice enough to send me a few cuts, SOS style.  What a great friend to help me out with a die I don't yet own myself.  Thank you Kim!
It's not too late to join in the fun over at the Fusion Card Challenge...this one is running for the entire month of December.  Why not play along?

Merry Monday Mittens



Less than two weeks from now, the Christmas season will officially be over...too soon for me as Christmas cards are my very favorite cards to make.  Luckily, there is a card challenge that will allow me my Christmas "fix" all year long.  I have just discovered the Merry Monday Challenge where this week's challenge (Merry Monday #87)  is to use a mitten somewhere in your card design.  I am also playing along with ColourQ 219.  The colors this week are perfect for Christmas...I had so many pieces of patterned paper in my Christmas stash, I didn't need to search too long to find just the right combination.  Here is this week's ColourQ palette.
When I think of mittens, I always think of my the sweet stitched mittens from Waltzingmouse Stamps, Sewing Box Christmas.  I love the sweet stitching and how many different looks you can achieve when stamping them on patterned papers.  

 I told you this weeks ColourQ palette was a good one...didn't I?  I used some Recollections patterned paper (Sugar Plums) and some red hand stitching to bring out the red colors in the patterned paper.  The stamps and sentiments are from Waltzingmouse Sewing Box Christmas which I stamped and embossed in a deep, rich brown.  The cute little stitched sentiment flags, stitched mat circle and square are from Lil Inker Designs.  My final touch were the cute little jingle bells tied with brown twine.

Are you still working on your Christmas cards?  If so, here's a link to the Merry Monday Challenge and if you are all done for this year...it's never too soon to get started on cards for Christmas, 2014!

A Gingerbread House...minus the mess

A favorite yearly Christmas tradition that I shared with my daughter was making a gingerbread house. Her two brothers were older and I never had the courage to undertake a gingerbread house with them, but I did bring out the gingerbread, the frosting and all the trimmings for Carly until she turned 14 and decided she was too old to be making candy houses.  After making at least 10 gingerbread houses, a rational person would think I would have a ton of pictures to look back on that time...but you would be wrong!  I swear I took some, can even picture some of those frosting covered houses in my head, but I could not find one single picture of the actual houses themselves.  Bad mother.  I must have been too busy cleaning up after the sticky event to bring out the camera...at least that is the excuse I am going with.

Carly is 22 now, way beyond making a gingerbread house with me, but it wouldn't be Christmas without at least attempting a gingerbread house, so I got to work with my papers, embossing folders, die and stamps to create a mess-free gingerbread house.
                                                               The outside of the house.
                                                      Opening up the doors of the house.
The inside of the house with the sentiment.

This project is made with all Lil Inker Designs.  I laid out all of my Lil Inker dies and started picking and choosing any one that could even remotely be used to make my house.  Here's a list of the dies and stamps I used:

House Base: Stitched Mat Square and Stitched Mat Rectangles (the square is turned on its side to create the roof.
The icing on the roof:  Stitched Scallop Border Die
Bow on top of house:  Christmas Bits Die Set
Heart Window:  Of the Heart Die Set
Window Curtains:  Stitched Sentiment  Flag Die
Holly/Berry Trim: Holly Jolly Die Set
Christmas Trees: Holly Jolly Die Set
Stars on Christmas Trees:  Balloon Dies
Gingerbread Men:  Christmas Bits Die Set
Gumdrops on the inside of the card: Holly Jolly Die Set
Jolly Sentiment:  JollyWord Die
Stamped Sentiments:  Jolly and Joyful Sentiments; Instant Camera Christmas Stamp Set

I am entering my little house into 4, yes, FOUR different challenges...three of them new to me.  First, Craft a Scene where the challenge is to create a Winter scene with an option to make it a tri-fold card.  The second is Winter Wonderland Challenge  where the challenge is to use any kind of embossing.  The roof of my gingerbread house is embossed with a Cuttlebug embossing folder.  The third is for Christmas Card Challenges where all you have to do is make a Christmas card...how easy is that? The last is ColourQ#219 and a challenge that was a lucky surprise for me, all my gingerbread colors matched with this weeks challenge.


Thanks for taking a look at my house...I would love to see some pictures of any gingerbread houses you may have made with your kids, I am certain at least a few people managed to get some pictures!


Fusion Card Challenge and Monday Mood Board #24

It's a cool and rainy day here and the perfect kind of weather to stay inside and use some of those stamps and dies I have bought, but not used yet.  I am playing along with the Fusion Card Challenge which may just become my favorite card challenge.  Have you ever played along?  If not, you should!  You can use any stamps or dies you want and also have three choices of how to play along.  You can use either the sketch, the inspiration photo or both to create "Fusion".  Here are the sketch and inspiration photo for this month long challenge (lots of time to make more than one if you want to!)

Since we have a month to play along this time, I decided to use just the inspiration photo for this card.  I'm going to create a little Fusion by using both the sketch and photo later this month.  
I am also playing along with WPlus9 Monday Mood Board #24 which also had an inspiration photo that included lots of red and white, very similar to the Fusion photo.
In both challenge photos, red and white just jumped right out at me and in the MMB#24, I was also inspired the by berries, greenery and beautiful pattern on the silk ribbon.  Here is my card based on both photos:
I used WPlus9 Silver Bells Stamp set for my focal point.  The beautiful bells are colored with a glittery pen and the sprigs are colored with copics.  I thought the red/white patterned paper ( Martha Stewart Cottage Christmas) really reminded me of both the ribbon and the cozy scene in the Fusion photo.  The frame is from Impression Obsession (Circle Shaker Frame Die) as is the Pine Branch greenery.  I cut the holly berries from a Silhouette Cut File.  Can you see the berries are all glittered up with stickles?

I was cutting it pretty close with the Monday Mood Board challenge, but there is still plenty of time to play along with the  Fusion Challenge...you have one whole month to make something fabulous!  

25 Days of Christmas Tags



I feel so lucky.  You have probably seen that Tracey McNeely is doing her third annual 25 Days of Christmas Tags countdown and I was so excited she asked me to join her this year.  There was lots of pressure on me...have you seen all the fabulous tags that Tracey and her crafty friends have been making?  I spent a good day and a half just trying to decide what stamps and dies to use for mine and I hope you like what I have come up with.
I made a button card tag using Lil Inker Christmas Bit Dies attached to a PTI Button Boutique card.  Wouldn't those be sweet buttons?  My favorite is that sweet gingerbread man...now, which one of my crafty friends will I send this one to?

Thank you Tracey for including me in your 25 Days of Christmas Tags this year...if you've missed any of Tracey's tags...here's a link to her blog so you can catch up.

Christmas in California

When you think of Christmas, most people will be thinking of snowmen, icicles and wearing warm, cozy boots...but here in Southern California, we are more likely still wearing our shorts and flip-flops.  Today I have made a card for Case Study Challenge #168 and Curtain Call Inspiration Challenge and it is all about the flip flops us Californians might wear while we do our Christmas shopping.

This week's case study challenge is the last one by this month's muse, Keisha Campbell and I was inspired by the cut out circles, the polka dot embossing and the stamping through the window.  Here's the inspiration photo for this week:

At Curtain Call Inspiration Challenge there was another great photo and the theme is

The two challenges were perfect to combine so here is my card:
I was going for 5, 4, 3, 2, 1...Christmas for my countdown.  I used my Lil Inker Flip Flop Dies to make five pairs of Christmas flip flops.  This was one of the most fun cards I have ever made...so much fun coming up with the different combination of flip flops using the dies I had on hand.  My favorite...the Santa thongs, complete with a little gold belt buckle.

I also stamped my own plaid pattern on flip flops #4...and yes, I used Lil Inker stamps to do it.  The strips are from Mom and Dad Sentiments.  They make a very cute plaid pattern and they were topped off with a little red flower from Flip Flop Dies.  The holly leaves and berries are from Holly Jolly Dies.  The cute Merry Christmas Wishes sentiment and countdown numbers are from Instant Camera Christmas Stamp Set.  I also used the cute hanging bow from Jolly and Joyful Sentiments.

I was doing a little Christmas shopping yesterday and I sure do wish I had been wearing a pair of these cute flip-flops.    Make sure to check out the cards at Case Study Challenge #168 and Curtain Call Inspiration Challenge as there are lots of holiday cards brimming with inspiration.


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