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So, this is how I spent my weekend…

(No, not making all the cards, just cutting up the card stock for them.)

Today I hosted a card making workshop to make some Christmas cards for a special cause. A woman in Australia is collecting handmade Christmas cards to send to the troops currently serving overseas, either in combat or on peace keeping missions. A lot of those service personnel will be away during the Christmas holiday period and won’t have ready access to Christmas cards; this initiative allows those service personnel to send home a nice card to their loved ones. It’s a cause close to my heart and I know this small gesture will be well received.

We had nine ladies, and myself, making cards this morning (and thank goodness for that… if everyone who RSVP’d had turned up, I would have been short of card stock due to a silly miscount on my part!) There were quite a few first time stampers, so I kept the designs pretty simple and stuck to that classic Christmas colour combination of red and green.

Together we made 30 cards, in three designs. Much to my surprise, we finished the card making in record time, which allowed plenty of time for tea, coffee and a bit of morning tea.

 

This was the little token of thanks I made for each person who attended, filled with a few treats…

 

To be honest, the star cookie (although cute) wasn’t anything to rave about, but those nuts…oh yes, they’re going to get their own blog post soon enough. I also made some of my “famous” chocolate cookies, which I’ve never really shared the recipe for. Do I or don’t I? I must admit it’s kind of fun to have a secret recipe…

Thanks again to all the ladies who came along, made three excellent cards, and made the morning such a pleasurable one. I really appreciate your efforts. If you want to learn more about the initiative, this is the lady who is organising this effort.

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I’m doing a stackload of card making this afternoon (there’s a lot of birthdays going on at the moment!) and thought I would use the colours from the current Just Add Ink challenge as my inspiration for one of the cards. Since the challenge closes in a few hours I thought I better get it up and posted now.

This is nice and simple, using the cute little Fox and Friends set in the challenge colours of Blushing Bride, Pear Pizzazz, Bashful Blue and Sahara Sand. The ribbon is (sadly) retired Kraft taffetta ribbon, which I have decided is my favourite ribbon to tie bows with (it just feels much easier!) I cut out the number one using my Timeless Type Sizzlits set – great for putting numbers on cards.

If you hadn’t guessed, this one is off to a gorgeous little girl I know who recently clocked up her first year on this planet.

Thanks for a great challenge JAI – nice to get back on and have a play!

PS. I just want to commend JAI on hosting challenges recently which put a spotlight on Breast Cancer Awareness Month (Just Add Pink and Bling) and Anxiety and Depression Awareness Month (Just Add Blue). As someone who has personally experienced depression and watched a relative struggled with breast cancer, it’s important for there to be a public dialogue about both of these conditions. Due to time restrictions I couldn’t take part in the challenges, but I wanted to commend you regardless.

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I’m trying to avoid the dishes, so am channeling my procrastinating energy into putting up pics of the cards we made at my recent class.

(That, and one of my regulars who wasn’t able to make it to this class really wants to see what we got up to. So here you go, Christie! Hope you enjoy the post!)

You’ll notice there are two very distinct styles amongst these cards. Don’t ask me to pick which style I prefer, as I love them both for different reasons.

Anyway, let’s talk about the cards. I had a few newbies in class this month so we started off quite simple with the above Christmas card. Recently I designed Christmas packs for some of my ladies to purchase, and this uses some of the elements from that pack. We punched out pieces of Jolly Holiday DSP using a 1 1/4 inch square punch, and stuck them together to form a patchwork-style grid, turning one corner over to show off the double sided paper. The little circle images come from Delightful Decorations, and were punched out with a 3/4 circle punch. The scallop circle punch was used to trim the bottom of the Crumb Cake square, and we used the Christmas message from the Heard from the Heart set as a greeting on the front. Self-adhesive rhinestones (my new favourite bling) finish off the card.

 Now we have another colourful card using a technique which was new to my class – the baby wipe technique. Basically, you use a baby wipe and Stampin’ Up’s re-inkers to create your own stamp pads. This means you can come up with some crazy, tie-dye effects with your stamps. On this card we used a baby wipe with two dabs of So Saffron and a drop of Pumpkin Pie and swiped the wipe over some Whisper White card stock to create the background. We then created stamp pads using a baby wipe, So Saffron, Pumpkin Pie and Rose Red inks, and stamped the images from Butterfly Prints in this psychadelic-looking ink. One of my class attendees pointed out I’ve used Butterfly Prints quite a lot in class and in my samples; I would have to say this is a well-loved set as I adore butterflies and love the fact this set has a matching butterfly shaped punch. It makes creating card embellishments, especially for classes, quick and easy with great effect. The greeting on this card is from Heard from the Heart and I’ve added a bit more rhinestone bling. The middle black butterfly was also mounted on dimensionals.

Now, this is the part of my class where my card style takes a massive detour from the preceding projects;

   This is a CASE of a design I saw on Splitcoast Stampers, a fantastic resource for papercrafters, particularly for Stampin’ Up fans as there’s whole galleries devoted to SU stamp sets. This was in the gallery for the Winter Post set, which I recently purchased. I just love the vintage postcard feel of this card. The images from Winter Post are paired with the En Francais stamp to create the writing in the corner of the card. The snowflake images were stamped using Sahara Sand using the “stamping off” technique; stamping on a piece of scrap paper, and then stamping the image onto your cardstock. This gives it a light, faded look. We did the same thing with the postmark, stamped off using Early Espresso. We used square punches to create the reindeer “stamp” and also sponged the edges of the card with Early Espresso ink. Taffetta ribbon finishes off the card (retired Riding Hood Red ribbon as I’m still waiting for some current ribbon).

I think this may have been the favourite of the class. It’s a very elegant card which could be used for weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, any occasion really. I relied on two sources of internet inspiration for this card; the gorgeous design comes from Tania Gould and the ribbon rose technique from Amanda Reddicliffe. The background cardstock is stamped with En Francais in Sahara Sand, and we also used the Sahara Sand to sponge the edges. The flourish from Baroque Motifs was stamped over the top in Basic Black, and then mounted onto Basic Black cardstock. We made the ribbon roses using Real Red ribbon and used Always Artichoke leaves cut from the Little Leaves Sizzlits die (another favourite of mine). A sentiment from Occasional Quotes finishes the card.

Hope you enjoyed this tour through my October class, and I must say I’m impressed with myself for posting it in a timely manner. I should ignore the dishes more often 😛

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Today I hosted my monthly card making class (a great time had by all, as always). This afternoon I was snapping some pics of the cards we made, all ready to share our projects with you all, when I had a sudden revelation.

I hadn’t posted the photos from my Christmas card making class a few weeks ago, as I promised I would. Oops! Bad blogger!

So today, I share with you the cards we made a few weeks ago, which probably means you’ll see the cards we made today sometime in July next year, judging by my current track record of posting things in a “timely” manner…

Anyway, let’s talk about the above card first. I just absolutely love this design, which you may remember from this post. That particular post explains how I made the baubles; the only difference in this one is the background is stamped using the Sanded background and the filigree in the Artistic Etchings set. I love this colour combination of Not Quite Navy, Baja Breeze and Whisper White; very elegant and a welcome break from the traditional Christmas colours.

Some of you may have seen this design before on Facebook, I thought it would be a good one to show the class as quite a few people have purchased the Season of Joy set (I can’t say I blame them, it’s such a versatile set). I had to use some retired designer paper *gasp* as I was awaiting a shipment of new paper and it hadn’t arrived in time for the class – never mind, it used up some stash and the colour combination of Real Red, Old Olive, Very Vanilla and River Rock is gorgeous regardless. Oh, and the bow isn’t SU, my mother-in-law sent me a packet of pre-tied red bows and they were just the right touch to finish off the project. It’s easy enough to tie your own though, unless you’re me and knot challenged…This card is a simple design that’s very easy to reproduce en masse.

  Believe it or not, this is another card that would be easy to punch out quickly in rapid succession, thanks to the use of the new ornament punch. Paired with the Delightful Decorations set, you can stamp a whole heap of ornaments, punch them out, and you have embellishments aplenty for your cards. I used the pine tree from the set Lovely as a Tree to make the branches (I made sure the base of the tree was stamped off the page) and drew in the ornament string with a marker. A greeting from Many Merry Messages and dimensionals on the back of the ornament finish the card. I’ve used the colour combination of Rich Razzleberry and Always Artichoke on this card; another unconventional combination of colours for Christmas but the pairing really works.  

However, this innovative little creation was my favourite project of the class:

 

Okay, so on the outside it doesn’t look like much, until you open it up and realise…

…it’s a cute little gift card holder! I was looking for a simple gift card holder to teach my class and came across this little beauty by Makeesha Byl (go check out the tutorial here, and check out some of her other fantastic tutorials too). It uses half a piece of A4 cardstock and is so ridiculously simple to make. We used the So Swirly roller to make the background of this holder, as well as Delightful Decorations for embellishment. The colour combination is Soft Suede, Real Red and Very Vanilla. I’ll definitely be making these for any gift cards I choose to give this year, as it’s a great way to personalise an otherwise boring present.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this little tour through my class and it inspires you for your own Christmas crafting (I can’t believe Christmas is just a few months away! Gah, where did the time go!)

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I haven’t done any challenges for a few weeks (due to illness, organising workshops, etc) but I’m hoping to get back in the groove in coming weeks. I’m starting with an entry to this week’s Just Add Ink challenge. It’s a colour combination challenge (my favourite) using Rose Red, Pumpkin Pie, Old Olive and Always Artichoke. I’ve used the first three together in combination before but throwing in the Artichoke…makes it a challenge! I decided my best tactic was to treat the Artichoke as a neutral, and it seems to have worked for me.

For some reason, I decided it would make a really nice Christmas card combination, so I present to you not one Christmas card…but two!

The card at the top at the post is my favourite, so let’s talk about that one first. It uses the stamp sets Delightful Decorations (with the matching bauble punch!), Lovely as a Tree for the ferns the bauble hangs off, and Many Merry Messages for the Greeting. For extra oomph I ran a sheet of AA through the Big Shot with the Textured Impressions Vintage Wallpaper embossing plate to use as a background, and added a new adhesive rhinestone to the centre for a bit of bling.

The second card was a bit trickier, despite its simplicity; I had to play with it for a while to get the effect I wanted. I cut out some Rose Red with the Top Note Bigz die in the Big Shot, then stamped the snow flake from Winter Post all over to create a background. I coloured the greeting from my new Christmas set, Welcome Christmas, with Old Olive, Rose Red, and Pumpkin Pie markers, then cut out the greeting. I’ve used one of the tags from the Sizzlits Lots of Tags set, cut out in Pumpkin Pie, behind the greeting to add a bit more colour.

Thanks for a great challenge as always JAI. Nice to be playing again!

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Last night my husband and I went to an 80s themed costume party. What a fantastic night! Everyone looked fabulous with their teased hair, chunky jewellery and fluourescent colours…and that was just the men…

I must admit, I was born in the 80s (much to the horror of some of the older folk present), so I don’t have firm memories of wearing shoulder pads or Madonna-inspired get-ups. That didn’t stop me from getting into the spirit of the decade though. I still own the crimper my mum used to use to make my hair birthday-party fabulous; add a can of hairspray, blue eyeshadow, some fabulous plastic jewellery and a shoulder-padded, ruffly op shop dress and I was ready to go. My dress was well-received, except people kept patting my shoulders all evening because they enjoyed the feel of my shoulder pads! My husband decided to go the character route for the night, and dressed up as The Rebel in The Breakfast Club. He was a pretty close match to Judd Nelson, I have to say.    

Anyway, I was asked by the organisers to make some envelopes to house gift certificates awarded to the best dressed man and woman on the night. I could have stuck with simple, but decided I wanted to make the envelopes look like wallets and purses from the 80s. I used our entry tickets to the party as inspiration and this was the end result.

(Apologies for the crap photo above, the afternoon was unrelenting in its greyness when I took the photos)

For the men, we have an awesome 80s-style ripper wallet, with Stampin’ Up’s Basic Black and Tempting Turquoise card stock as the envelope base, and stripes of Whisper White, Daffodil Delight and Wild Wasabi. That description doesn’t make the combination sound very manly, but I think you would agree the end result is pretty gnarly (as they liked to say in the 80s).

The ladies’ purse was a little bit more complex:

To make this cute little clutch purse, I made an envelope with Rich Razzleberry, then punched out squares of Basic Black using the 1 1/4 inch square punch and stuck them on the envelope to make a checker board pattern. For the heart, I punched out a heart from Real Red card stock using the Full Heart punch. I then drew on the white “reflection” and covered the whole thing in Crystal Effects to give it a glossy, patent-rubber shine. It looked pretty amazing in real life, like a badge you’d buy to pin on your acid-wash denim jacket (I think that’s what people did anyway!). I added some of Stampin’ Up’s new stick-on rhinestones to add some glam, because a piece of 80s apparel would not be complete without rhinestones.

(And oddly enough, it was Mr B who suggested I add the rhinestones for the very reason stated above. That man comes up with some crazy, though great, ideas. And I trusted his judgement because he remembers more of the 80s than I do, being older and all.)

What do you think of the end results? They look pretty authentically 80s, right? Let me know what you think. After all, my age was still in single digits by the end of that decade…

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Last week I hosted one of my monthly card making classes, based around the theme of “new stuff” from the new Stampin’ Up catalogue. I’ve got another Christmas-themed class on tomorrow, so I thought I’d show you what we made at the “new stuff” class before I run the second class!

We made three gorgeous cards, so let me talk you through what we did. But first, a disclaimer; I made the samples for these cards while sick with my chest infection and cold thing, and so was a little trippy on medication…the designs ended up being a bit more complicated than I planned for because I’d start making the sample, and then go off on a tangent (as you do when your thinking isn’t as sharp as normal). When it came time for class it was a little tricky with 10 people all trying to grab the same stamp and repeat my pattern, but it did work out alright in the end.

Anyway, the first card (pictured above)…this uses patterned paper and inks in SU’s latest “In Colors” (Blushing Bride, Pear Pizzazz and Peach Parfait) and features a number of new crafty tools. The butterflies are cut out using the new Embosslits Beautiful Wings die for the Big Shot. I’m a butterfly freak, and I love the fact this die cuts AND embosses! We also punched out circles of paper embossed with the new Vintage Wallpaper Textured Impressions folder, as well as the Polka Dot one. The stamp set used is Artistic Etchings with the greeting from Apple Blossoms. The design is a CASE of some cards I saw on Adele Khoo’s Stampin Bliss site. This woman designs some gorgeous cards and I loved this design in particular, as I’m a fan of creating “grids” of punched-out circles on cards. The punch used was the 1 inch circle.

Now, the next card…

Yes, this was a “trippy on medication” one. I don’t quite know what I was thinking when I decided to colour in the daisies from Inspired by Nature with markers – all I know is that it took ages for each of the ladies to colour in and stamp the daisies during class. Some just used the grass image on the other side to ink up with a stamp pad instead – much easier and more sensible for a class (oh well). As well as Inspired by Nature, we also used the Butterfly Prints stamp set, with that matching butterfly punch that I just love. We also used the scallop punch on the bottom, and the large oval punch for cutting out the greeting. A band of Old Olive ribbon finishes the card. The colour combination is Crumb Cake (Kraft), Certainly Celery, Pumpkin Pie and Rose Red and I like the fresh, vibrant end result.

I was going for a vintage feel with this card to match the “old school” lolly dispenser from the Something Sweet stamp set, and I think I pulled it off. The colour combination is Riding Hood Red, Very Vanilla and Basic Black, with some Pear Pizzazz and Peach Parfait for the jelly beans. This was another trippy card, as I stamped the jelly beans in the circle and then decided to layer over the top some more cut-out jelly beans. I got a little carried away…but I do like the end result.

To make this card we stamped out the top and the bottom of the lolly machine onto the vanilla card stock, and then cut the images out. We stamped the circle onto a piece of Very Vanilla cardstock sized to fit the front of the card, and then arranged the machine “bits” around the circle and stuck them down. The text print designer paper is from the Newsprint DSP pack and adds a nice finishing touch, as does a little silver brad on the lolly dispenser. The edges of the greeting are sponged with a little Riding Hood Red ink to add some definition.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this little display and are inspired to do a little creating of your own. There’s nothing like a bit of “new stuff” to get the creative juices flowing.

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