Thursday, December 19, 2013

Baby Onesies

Last weekend I had a holiday party for some college sorority sisters, their spouses and little children. I wanted a cute gift to give to all the kids. I had some leftover onesies and toddler t-shirts from other projects, so I thought that I'd bring out the Cricut and iron-on vinyl sheets. They turned out super duper cute. Funny how while I was in college I was in charge of designing our sorority's t-shirts. Now, here I am 10 years later making my own homemade shirts for our kids...

More Christmas Cards

Here are a couple more Christmas cards I made for this holiday season. I had to use at least one of my stamps to try out my alcohol markers, so I picked one of the Penny Black stamps and created two different cards with two different color schemes. I love the pink and teal especially--not necessarily the colors you would think of for Christmas, but I think it totally works. I love the sentiment--only $1 at Michael's! The snowflake embossing folder is one of my favorites as well. The extra details are what really make a card, i.e. the glitter from Wink of Stella, Glossy accents for the eyes and nose, and Stickles glitter for the holly.

I couldn't let the beautiful backgrounds I created earlier with white embossed images and Perfect Pearls Mist go to waste, so I created these additional cards. I love the sophisticated look of the gray card, and the masculine nature of the blue card--making it perfect for a male recipient.

Christmas Tree Bow Topper and Marquee Light Garland

With all the traveling we've been doing over the last few years, and especially after our Germany trip, I decided to commemorate all the places we've seen with Christmas tree decorations. Decorating the tree hopefully in years to come will remind us of all the great travels. To go along with an international tree, I dreamt of creating or finding a tree skirt to fit the theme. The closest I came to one was from The Land of Nod:

I drove all the way to Orange county, but unfortunately in person the tree skirt looked a bit childish. I was back to square one, and I was a bit too tired to attempt to create my own tree skirt. Maybe next year--after I've taken up sewing, hehe. So I looked to other things to tie my tree together. 

First, I looked up how to create a ribbon tree topper on YouTube--Super easy! The wire floral glittered ribbon was from Joann's. I bought two spools each of the two colors, and I had barely enough leftover to make a teeny bow to coordinate with my front door wreath that I got from Costco.


My next idea was to create a tree garland with the saying "All Around the World." I initally thought I would just cut letters with my Cricut and attach them to raffia or fishing wire, but I thought I'd look first to see what ideas were out there in the world of crafting. I came across this awesome post--and I knew I had to try it. WARNING: getting the lights to stay in the holes of the letters is a lot harder than it looks. But again, the end result makes it worth it.

Step 1:
Cut out 3 inch letters using Cricut and glittered cardstock. The simpler the font, the better.

Step 2:
Punch holes about an inch apart along the letters.

Step 3:
Cut 1 1/2 inch strips of cardstock. Run a small line of glue down the middle of each strip beginning at one side and wrap the strip around the letters, landing the letter right in the center of the paper strip. Continue around, until each letter is fully lined. Let dry. I used small binder clips at times to keep the edges together as the letters dried. 

Step 4: 
Carefully insert the lights through the holes and then display on your tree. If I were to do this again, I might have tried a smaller caliber hole punch, so that the lights fit snug in the hole and don't slip out. For some I actually tried scotchtaping the strand of lights to the back of the letters as a last resort. 

Loved the look of it against hardwood

Tah dah!! I love that great DIY ideas are available at just the tips of your fingers!!

Personalized Christmas Stocking Flip Cards

The problem with Christmas cards is that there are so many possibilities! The amount of different styles and techniques are almost overwhelming. I took my first online card-making class from my favorite card makers, and from there I got a few of my ideas. I've amassed a large collection of Christmas stamps, but I had to hold back and just focus on just one or two for this year. 

I knew I wanted to create personalized cards for each of my recipients, and I had visions of using the stocking from the Stamps of Life Christmas2Build set, along with its coordinating die. I also wanted a brick background simulating a fireplace. I wanted the stockings to hang--I originally bought tiny clothespins, but later nixed this idea as it was not very snail-mail friendly. I also was determined to create a unique flip-it card, so I ended up using Sizzix Movers & Shapers L-Die cards in square and rectangle Flip-Its. These conveniently fit 2, 3, or even 4 stockings at once.

For those who don't know, these are the dies, or templates, which I used to run through my Sizzix Big Shot machine, in order to create the cool card bases.
 I admit, these cards were a little time consuming, but I was sooo happy with the end result. 

Step 1:
Stamp stockings...over and over...using black Memento ink and using my Fiskars stamp press to get as many as possible onto a sheet of Copic Blending xPress Blending paper.

Step 2:
Color the stockings with alcohol markers. Depending on the recipient I personalized the colors or design. For some I flocked with Martha Stewart flocking powder and glue. For others I embossed with gold powder.  I added details with Uni Ball Signo pen, Stickles glitter, or Liquid pearls. For some I stamped trees or snowflakes with white ink.

Step 3:
Cut out stockings. I tried cutting them out at first using the coordinating die, but then I realized I didn't like the white border that would go around it (you can see a couple of these in the photo above). So I ended up cutting out each stocking by hand with scissors, and took a black marker to touch up the edges for a crisp outline.

Step 4: 
Personalize with names. I originally flocked the area where the names were to go, but then I couldn't find a dimensional type ink/paint to write on top of the flocking. I got away with being able to write names just with a thin Sharpie. Later I stopped flocking the top of the stocking, and just directly wrote names onto the paper. It gave it a much cleaner look I thought. 

Step 5:
Create card base using Bazzill cardstock, Sizzix Big Shot, and the Movers & Shapers L-Die in square or rectangle depending on how many stockings are to go on the card. These things are awesome--not only do they cut the card perfectly, they also score the card so it makes it easy to know where to fold the card. Unlike the new Framelit Flip-Its set, these don't have coordinating dies to cut layers for the card base. For this, I cut out more card bases using patterned paper from my 6x6 Christmas My Minds Eye paper pad and then trimmed the patterned paper to fit onto the card base. Assemble using adhesive running tape.

Step 6:
Cut either square or rectangles using white cardstock to fit on the panel of the card base. Dry emboss with Tim Holtz' brick background. 

Step 7:
Cut piece of baker's twine to fit across the embossed white square/rectangle. Pierce holes on each side and use brads to hold twine to cardstock. Glue on stockings.

Step 8:
Glue white cardstock to folded card base.

Step 9:
Stamp sentiment onto strips of cardstock using Versamark. Heat emboss. Cut the ends to create the appearance of a banner. Using a technique that I learned from Jennifer McGuire in my Holiday Card Workshop, I created a banner that "extends" as the card opens. 

Step 10:
Admire your work :) 

 Here are a couple of my favorites:

For a Ghibli loving family
Had to represent the 49ers

Love the dimension one gets with these cards

The card completely open, showing the extended banner
This dog from Tiddly Inks looked just like my friend's dog, I couldn't resist adding him

Had to try a Christmas card in non-traditional colors

I tried to capture the brick background as best I could in this photo

Made this card for all of my coworkers

Created this personalized greeting using the new Stamps of Life alpha4banners set

I could have stopped here. But I decided to keep going and create handmade envelopes. I basically had to, since I couldn't find 5x5 inch envelopes anyway. I got a 12x12 inch Christmas paper stack for 70% off at Michaels, along with my handy dandy We R Memory Keepers Envelope Punch board that I got 50% off during my Black Friday purchases.

Phew!! That was a loooong post! Thanks for reading!!