Oy vey. I'm glad that I have made the decision each year to keep this blog "alive," but I really need to feed it some content on a regular basis. Quality content. And I guess that's a big part of the issue: while I have been paper crating a fair amount in the intervening months between my last post and this one, my creations haven't been anything I've been particularly proud of. They've been derivative at best and generally uninspired. But hey, at least I'm using some of the "stuff" I continue to acquire. We are always our own worst critics. And if the happy mail I send actually achieves its goal of making other people happy, then all is good.
Now that my self-loathing has been aired, I can get on to the task at hand: sharing, only three months late, the two cards that were my contributions to a small shoebox swap I hosted at our house back in mid-November. How I wish I had taken a photo of everyone's cards -- and I really thought I had. But now I just can't find it. phooey (Maybe it's living on my Mac's hard drive? I'll check when I'm at home.) Anyway, every now and again I like to invite a small group of crafty friends to come over to swap seasonal card projects. It's always great to see people and catch up. It's also fun to build my card stash while playing with other people's stuff -- and often learning new techniques. Bonus!
Here is the first card that I brought to the table (literally) -- with a lot of help (with design and execution) from the fabulous Cheiron Brandon, who came up from New Jersey for the swap. I love when she comes to visit. We always have a blast.
This awesome set, "Holiday Spirits," is by Avery Elle, and right now it's on wicked sale. I hadn't yet bought the matching dies (which I now have), so we fussy cut out the "holiday cheer" bottle. We stamped with Lawn Fawn Jet Black ink and used some Copic markers to color in the bottles. Stickles (Xmas Red) blinged out the holly berries and we used a heat tool to pouf Liquid Applique on the little Santa hat. The rectangle border die is from Lawn Fawn. Candy Cane striped paper is from my stash, originally from A Muse Artstamps -- don't know if it's still available. White cardstock is Neenah.
I love how this card turned out and ended up making a bunch for my friends. Thanks, Cheiron, for your talent and vision! I have to share -- I thought this was really funny: my son, who is six, really likes to play with my supplies and make cards for his friends. He really wanted to make a card for his cousins on Ben's side of the family. He grabbed the liquor bottle stamps and started crafting up a storm. I decided not to make a big deal out of it but did tell him to use the bottle labeled "Holiday Cheer." Ahhh.
Here is the card that I designed for the swap. This one was a little complicated for me, a generally lazy stamper who likes that the term "clean and simple" makes my general laziness sound like a style choice.
I loved this card. And I was seriously impressed with myself that I was able to figure out how to use, and then actually use, my MISTI (Most Incredible Stamp Tool Invented). Like, woah. Not being sarcastic in the slightest. I didn't have a hard time wrapping my brain around the stamp-a-ma-jig back in the day, but this is like -- boom to the brain. Anyway. Seriously worth the investment. If you want to see how it works, please search for a video and watch it. While I've pretty much figured out how to use it... I'm not at all sure I could explain it to someone else!
This card was made using a whole bunch of retired products -- sorry, guys. The wreath stamps and matching dies are an awesome Stampin' Up! set from a couple of years ago -- the stamp set is called "Wondrous Wreath." The red paper is a Designer Series Paper from, goodness, five or six years ago? (It might be even older than my oldest child!) I used three A Muse Studio inks -- two greens, and the red. And I used Xmas Red Stickles, a perennial favorite. I used the MISTI to stamp the wreath and the bow. The wreath had three steps, matching three individual stamps in the set: leaf batch one (done in a lighter green), leaf batch two (done in a darker green), and holly berries (done in red). Each image was perfectly positioned. It was amazing. I did use a corner-rounding punch, too, and also used ivory cardstock from Neenah. (The brown you see at the edges of the photo is my table.)
And that's it, for now. I did design a batch of adorable Valentines this year, using a bunch of Lawn Fawn sets. I made seven designs in total. I'll post those soon. But I had to play catch-up first.
Thanks for stopping by.