Monday, 31 October 2011

This place is getting Spooky!

This morning while out for a walk, I found that much of the neighborhood was all prepared for Halloween. Check these places out!

The specter hanging from the porch on this last one was truly scary. The hands and face on it were very life-like.

Some night-time pics for you...

We were digging out the Halloween decorations the past few nights and we found this sign I made with last year's Wicked designer series paper. I added black glitter to the inside of the letters on the dsp and a few spiders, and hung it with some black lace ribbon that was available last year.

Add in a pumpkin, some spiders, and a jack-o-lantern!

And  some scary tees we'll be wearing to give out candy:

Sorry no card for you today, I'm rather wiped out from yesterday but just had all this Halloween awesomeness that I wanted to share!

Happy Halloween!

Friday, 28 October 2011

A Dark & Dreary House of Haunts

Halloween is around the corner and I had the hankering to see if I could case Heidi Baks' awesome stamp arrangement shown here.

Now the reason why Heidi's layout it so cool, is because it combines my 2 favorite Halloween stamp sets. When I saw it, I just flipped!!!

The Dark and Dreary Stamp set, was a must-have as soon as I saw it and I got it when it came out in last year's holiday mini:

Dark & Dreary Stamp Set - by Stampin' Up!

I can't even start to express how much I love this set. It's creepy, it's vintage, it's got Edgar Allan Poe written all over it! Or better yet those old Bette Davis movies in black and white that creep your socks off. I looove creepy movies this time of year! The old ones are my favorite, the black and white aspect makes them creepier than all the crazy effects they have in the new ones.

Add, this set in:
(It's soooo good isn't it?)
House Of Haunts Stamp Set - by Stampin' Up!

So here's what I came up with...

Version 1~ aka "My favorite"

Stamps: Dark and Dreary, House of Haunts
Ink: Basic Grey, Basic Black & Always Artichoke, Daffodil Delight & Cajun Craze markers
Paper: Going Grey (retired), Basic Black, Cajun Craze Cardstock & Wicked dsp (retired)
Extras: Black & White Gingham ribbon
Tools: Pinking Hearts border punch, scallop border punch, 1/2" circle punch, 1 3/8" circle punch, sponge

Isn't it cool, how it looks like the gates open up toward the haunted house?

After stamping the house in Always Artichoke (the most Frankenstein of the greens,) I masked the moon with a post-it note, using a 1 3/8" circle punch, and sponged around it using Basic Grey. The windows are coloured in Daffodil Delight. Then, the best part, in Basic Black I stamped the Dark & Dreary gate/frame over the house, making sure to keep the moon in the frame. Then cut around the frame, did some distressing, and voila!

Version 2~for the girl in the crowd

Stamps: Dark and Dreary, House of Haunts
Ink: Basic Grey, Basic Black, Elegant Eggplant, Daffodil Delight & Summer Sun marker (retired)
Paper: Going Grey (retired) & Daffodil Delight Cardstock  & Wicked dsp (retired)
Extras: Black lace ribbon
Tools: 1/2" circle punch, 1 3/8" circle punch sponge, blender pen, sticky strip

The only difference here is that I used the blender pen and Daffodil Delight to colour in the moon. I used Summer Sun  on the windows and to rim the popped-up piece numbered  "31." To adhere the ruffled ribbon, I added a piece of sticky strip to the bottom of the focal piece. I love how easy it is to repeat the candelabra across the bottom with the clear block stamp.

Version 3~

Stamps: Dark and Dreary, House of Haunts
Ink: Basic Grey, Basic Black & Perfect Plum, Crumb Cake & Daffodil Delight markers
Paper: Going Grey (retired), Basic Black, & Pumpkin Cardstock, Wicked dsp (retired)
Extras: 1/8" taffeta ribbon in Razzleberry
Tools: Dotted Scallop Ribbon punch, 1/2" circle punch,1 3/8" circle punch, sponge

On this one, I went around the distressed edges of the focal point with the Crumb Cake marker. I also used it to colour in the spiders' bodies. The bat at the top is actually flocked and already part of the paper. I love any excuse to use that 1/8" ribbon, it just never disappoints!

Hope all your Halloween preparations are going well !

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Punch Bunch Minis

I have a thing for mini cards. I might be because they are so quick to make, therefore I always have to make a bunch of them or cause they are so cute, but whatever it is, I just love them!

Stamps: Punch Bunch (Sale-a-bration 2011)
Ink: Pacific Point & Old Olive
Paper: Ice Cream Parlour dsp and Peach Parfait cardstock
Embellishments: Marina Mist 1/8" taffeta ribbon
Tools: Scallop square punch

I used the supplies I got during this year's Sale-a-bration. They had some really cute stuff this year, well they always do, but each year it's an exciting time. It's great because it comes after Christmas, in the doldrums of the new year, just when you need a pick me up! Prepare yourself for it, remember that it's coming, it's always extra fun because in addition to the Occasions Mini catalogue, there is a separate Sale-a-bration catalogue that comes out too where you can earn free products. More stamps and paper and embellishments...oh my!

And, as if that weren't enough, that is when they come out with the list of retired products from the current Idea Book & Catalogue (ie. the big catalogue.) Yes, the list of all the stamps you have a last chance to purchase before they are gone forever. Arghhhhhh! How to pick!? What to pick!? Told you it's an exiting time.

The paper on these mini cards was my favorite of the Sale-a-bration papers. The background colour, wasn't ivory but more like a tea-stain, a bit deeper, and gave a vintage feel to it, despite the bright colours. 

It just had that retro feel, that makes you want to change your whole decor and go all "Mad Men" on your home. It reminded me of stuff like this that you see on that show:

I love that show, course I think it's because partially this stuff is still in the recesses of my memory from when I was a kid. But then the other part is mainly this part here...

Mmm-hmm. Okay, detour over, back to cards. 

As I was, saying I love that paper, these pictures don't do it justice, it feels like a wallpaper that was once in my grandma's house. I love it so much it took me a long time to cut it, but as you can see, I finally got over that. Especially since I got it in digital form too from the Sale-a-bration catalogue, which is how I'm able to display the sheet of dsp on the blog here below, plus I can use it for digital scapbooking! yay!

Here's another little card I did ...

Sorry, I'm not trying to make you fall in love with something you can't have because it's retired. Instead, I'm sharing something I love with you and reminding you to jump on those items you see in the mini catalogues or the Sale-a-bration catalogues. So many times I don't and then I'm sorry after the fact, but this time I got it and fell in love with this paper, and even got it digitally.

To be honest I feel the same way about the Spice Cake designer series paper in the current Holiday Mini (shown below) as you can see, I used the paisley one to beautifully decorate my blog.

Spice Cake Designer Series Paper - by Stampin' Up!

Contact me, if you fall in love with something and feel you can't live without it too! I want to hear all about it!!!

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

A Little Halloween Owl

Here's a look at some little treat bags that I made for my long-time friend's kids this year. They wanted to give out treats to the other kids in their class and had these little orange bags that they needed help dressing up. 

I had seen a similar idea in the holiday mini catalogue with the little owl from the L1 hostess set, and I thought it would be perfect. Plus, it would be simple enough to handle making 48 bags. Thank goodness for my stamping partner's/mom's help!

Stamps: Warmest of Wishes - L1 hostess set, Halloween Frights (retired)
Ink: Almost Amethyst (retired) & Tangy Tangerine markers, Basic Black, Craft White, White gel pen
Paper: Crushed Curry (retired), Old Olive, Whisper White cardstock
Tools: Owl punch, 1 3/4" circle punch, scallop punch

The greeting and the little bat are from the retired Halloween Frights set. I really love that little bat, I think it's because he has one eye bigger than the other. Cause we all know that bats have a wonky eye, especially around Halloween! So perfectly adorable! 

But the little Halloween owl is from the current holiday mini, which you can receive as a L1 hostess set. It's only available for the duration of the current mini catalogue. Here are the other stamps that come in that set.

That little owl is one I pined for from the moment I saw him. He's sooooOoo cute! I jumped at the chance to be able to use him for the kids' treat bags.

I've seen so many gorgeous cards done with this set. If only I had the ability to make all the cards I want to, but I'd have to be a machine, and i'm at best, a turtle on most days. So, I will settle for the few projects that I actually do manage to do. Each one of them puts a smile on my face and that's a great achievement on some days. On those days, when nothing feels good, everything hurts, everything... but along come a little owl dressed for Halloween and he manages to put a smile on my face. Now that's something I want to keep in my pocket, a hobby that gets me through the bad days, even if it takes all day just for me to get myself there. It's always worth it. Hey, if it takes a little Halloween owl, that's okay, sign me up, I'll take it! Sometimes a little creativity is the best happy "drug" there is.

What have you seen lately that made you smile (even if it was only on the inside) on one of those days?

Saturday, 22 October 2011

For You Fall Flower

Just a quick post to show you some cute mini cards I made.

Stamps: For You Flower (retired), Silouettle Sentiments (hostess L1 set 2010)
Ink: Razzleberry and Really Rust markers
Paper: Peach Parfait, Razzleberry, and Vanilla cardstock, Really Rust dsp (retired)
Extras: Razzleberry 1/8" taffeta ribbon

These little cards are pretty self-explanatory. I used the markers to colour onto the stamp randomly to bring out both colours.

I love this picture. Aren't my photography skills just great? The only cards in focus are the ones in the background!?

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Fall Trees

I'll be showing you some 3" x 6" cards today. I really like this size, it gives a whole different perspective when making a card.

A Tree for all Seasons is one of the first stamps sets I ever bought from Stampin' Up! I knew the moment I saw it that I HAD to have it! That doesn't happen often with me, I tend to hum and haw a great deal over stamp sets. I just love the leaves in this set, and how you can even stamp them off twice to get that faded effect, which is what I did with the ones around the foot of the tree. 

Stamps: A Tree for all Seasons (retired), Vintage Labels (retired), Grateful Greetings
Ink: Chocolate Chip, More Mustard, Dusty Durango (retired), 
Paper: Dusty Durango (retired),Very Vanilla, and Creamy Caramel (retired) cardstock
Extras: More Mustard 1/4" grosgrain ribbon, random button
Tools: Pinking Hearts border punch, XL Oval punch, sticky strip, dimensionals

For the label at the top, I used More Mustard for the swirling effect behind the greeting. I also put sticky strip around the back edge of my label and gathered the More Mustard ribbon around it to make a "frill." I used a strip of ribbon at the bottom also, and a random button I found in mom's sewing kit.
Pinking Hearts Border Punch - by Stampin' Up!

I used the Pinking Hearts border punch on some Creamy Caramel cardstock at the bottom of the card. I am trying to use this punch on cards other than Valentine cards. Every time I see it, I remember that I should use it more, and I should use it for any occasion. After all, most cards are sent with love!


Now, the next card uses the Lovely as a Tree set, which if I ever had to part with would cause me some serious heartache. 

Stamps: Lovely as a Tree, Fabulous Phrases
Ink: Chocolate Chip, Soft Suede, More Mustard
Paper: Dusty Durango (retired), Creamy Caramel (retired), Vanilla cardstock
Tools: Sponge Daubers, Decorative Label punch
Extras: More Mustard 1/4" grosgrain ribbon, linen thread, random button

Sponge Daubers - by Stampin' Up!
I added some linen thread over my strip of More Mustard ribbon this time. Then I punched my greeting out and slid it under the edge of the tree panel.

I used my sponge daubers and applied Soft Suede to the ground and More Mustard to the trees. I don't know what I would do without these things! I used to think using a sponge would be no different, but once I tried these I never used the sponge again. I also used them to apply Soft Suede to the torn edge of Creamy Caramel at the top of the card.

Such a quick and easy card to make!

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Well Worn Puns

I ordered the Well Worn designer series paper thinking it was just "okay," and even when it got here I wasn't instantly wowed by it. However the end results using this paper are amazing. If you're on the fence about getting this paper, stop doubting it, it makes for gorgeous projects!

Well Worn Designer Series Paper - by Stampin' Up!

I wasn't sure what to do with it so I searched around and found a lot of beautiful designs that got me so excited about working with this paper! I chose to case a design by Angela Mackay which you can see here, because it just was soOOooOo nice!

I tweaked it a bit and chose to showcase either Cajun Craze or Not Quite Navy in behind each of the 3 panels, to bring out those colours in the Well Worn dsp.

Stamps: Puns from the Past (retired)
Ink: Early Espresso
Paper: Well Worn dsp, Cajun Craze, Not Quite Navy, Naturals White and Early Espresso cardstock
Extras: Early Espresso taffeta ribbon (retired)
Tools: 1 3/4" circle punch, 1 3/8" circle punch, 1" circle punch, circle from Itty Bitty Shapes Punch Pak, lattice folder, Big Shot machine, dimensionals, glue dots

Now, I recently received a retired set called Puns from the Past. I'd been coveting it for a long time but never purchased it last year. Sometimes you don't know want until it's gone! haha

I thought the colours of the Well Worn paper would go nicely with the vintage feel of the Puns from the Past set. Especially if stamped in Early Espresso on White Naturals Cardstock, which I always refer to as the "dirty white paper" because it seems to register a little better with my stamping partner/mother.

Alas, I did not have the Early Espresso Quilted Satin Ribbon that was on the card I cased, and I will be sure to remedy this problem on my next order after seeing how beautiful it is. Wow. I do, however, have it in Cherry Cobbler though : D so stay tuned...

I turned instead to the Early Espresso 3/8" Taffeta Ribbon that I bought off the clearance rack.Yes, the clearance rack! Isn't it lovely? The great thing about any of the colours in the 3/8" Taffeta Ribbon is they all have that subtle worn colour to them.


On another note, I hope everyone had as delicious a Thanksgiving weekend! Mom always makes our old favorites at Thanksgiving, and the first of these is her Maple Squash.


There really is nothing better! It's almost like candy. If you haven't tried it, you must!!! According to mom, it's just maple syrup (it has to be the real stuff, never accept anything else! Pay extra, it's worth it) poured over the acorn squash and baked. We grew up back east on the real stuff, had a sugar shack just up the road from us, and I will not eat the fake stuff ever. Not even in a restaurant when that's all they have. I secretly bring my own if this is going to happen. It's a little ridiculous but, that's just how it has to be, the real stuff or nothing at all.

I'll share another piece of our thanksgiving with you next time.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Christmas Card Class

Hello all!

I know we haven't even yet had thanksgiving but I'm going to talk Christmas for just a brief moment.

I'm so excited to announce that I will be hosting a Christmas card making class! A friend and I have diligently been working on designing cards using the Simply Scrapping Christmas Lane set. I'm so pleased with the results. The colours and designs in this kit make it easy, they are bright and cheerful and yet modern and christmasy all at once!

Contact me if interested!
Or simply use the PayPal button on my sidebar to register.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Fall quilts

This is the last card using the scallop square die. I cased this idea from Leanne Pugliese, and you can see her card here

I am trying to use up as much retired DSP as possible lately so that it doesn't go to waste. I hate having anything go to waste and even if it's retired, because it still makes some very pretty cards. Doesn't it look like a quilt made in fall colours? (Please excuse the blur.)

Then, I tried doing the same card but putting part of it through the lattice folder, to enhance the quilted effect. Which do you like better? I still can't decide.

stamps: fabulous phrases
cardstock: creamy caramel, very vanilla cardstock, really rust and perfectly plum dsp
ink: cajun craze
tools: 3 heart punch, scallop square bigz clear die, lattice folder, dimensionals
extras: linen thread

On the topic of wasting stuff unnecessarily, we have a Reuse Centre here in Edmonton where you can bring certain items to be reused, usually for crafts, etc. I bring them a big bag of stuff every couple of months. 
Here's a link: Edm Reuse Centre

I remember when I first looked at the list of acceptable items, I got a kick out of some of the things they googly eyes and don't how they will accept wrapping paper and paper towel cardboard tubes but not toilet paper ones (teehee) but whatever, I think it's a great idea!

So yes, I save odds and ends that are on this list, like milk jug lids, rubber bands, bread bag tags, yogurt containers and lampshades. Ok, i'm only kidding about the lampshades! It drives my boyfriend batty, but...I'm saving the environment!!! (therefore he can't really object)

I switched the colours around and also made these versions. I sponged the edges of the scallop square and the centre heart with perfectly plum or cajun craze.

stamps: fabulous phrases
cardstock: perfectly plum and naturals white cardstock, really rust, close to cocoa, and perfectly plum dsp
ink: perfectly plum
tools: 3 heart punch, scallop square bigz clear die, lattice folder, dimensionals
extras: linen thread

These will make great Thanksgiving cards.

Happy Stamping!

Monday, 3 October 2011

Grattitude in the park

My mother is the reason this stamp set was purchased. She always knows which stamp sets she loves and never wavers. I on the other hand, change my mind all the time on which ones I love. I see something on a pretty card and then my mind changes again. There are certain elements I'm always more drawn to but I always second guess myself and could spend forever just trying to decide which set to get.

Of course now that it's here, I love it and can't believe I ever doubted getting it! Wow!

I'm using the same ribbon trick as on the last card, and the same scallop square shape. I'm almost done with this theme, just one more card to go using the Bigz scallop square clear die after this one and i'm moving on. Promise!

Stamp set: Pendant Park, fabulous phrases
Cardstock: really rust, creamy caramel and very vanilla
Ink: cajun craze, more mustard, chocolate chip
Tools: Bigz scallop square clear die, decorative punch
Extras: chocolate chip striped grosgrain ribbon, linen thread

This card is pretty straight-forward, I did the rock and roll technique for the tree. I used the decorative  punch on creamy caramel cardstock and stamped my greeting in chocolate chip ink. Then I slid it under the chocolate chip striped grosgrain ribbon at the top of the card.

Sorry the picture is fuzzy, but you get the idea. 


Now, look at this cool fall dessert my mother made me the other night after our day of stamping together.

It's a baked apple that is filled with raisins, walnuts, chopped apple and cinnamon. It was delicious!!!

My mother is an amazing cook, but now that I have Celiac's disease and she has to cook gluten-free for me, it has been a challenge. I was so impressed with this little dessert she whipped up for us, it wasn't a holiday or anything special, which is what made it such an extra special treat. I'm crazy for raisins in anything, and I think it may be her fault. She would give them to us in our lunch boxes and put extra on our cereal. She was a bit of  health nut and we were not allowed junk food, so somehow that made raisins a really big deal to my sister and I.

I can't wait to see what she makes us for Thanksgiving!