Monday, December 26, 2011

Snowy Cheer

Another favorite from last year.  And some bingo pieces--is anyone getting close?  The Christmas pick (sorry the blog took a day off for the holiday) was the bell and today's is the candy cane.

Good luck!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Is Santa Headed Your Way?

Tonight's the night!  Just a quick post with one of my favorite stamp sets from last year...I love this big guy.  And today's bingo piece is the mittens.  Good luck, and wishing you all visions of sugar plums!

Happy Holidays!

Stamps: Jolly Old Saint Nick
Ink: cherry Cobbler
Paper: Crumb Cake, Cherry Cobbler, Marina Mist, Whisper White
Extras: Big Shot, Top Note die, Basic Rhinestones

Friday, December 23, 2011

Only 2 Days Till Christmas! =)

A 'Christmas Jingle' designer template changed with some DSP, a little ribbon embellishment and a punch.  What do you think?  With all there is to do with the fast-approaching holiday, I'm having a blast knocking out cards on my computer.  Oh, the joys of technology.  Stamping and cutting will always be my joy but when I'm short on time the thought of making it upstairs to my stamping studio and making a creative mess...seems like a luxury I can't afford right now.  

MDS to the rescue!  Get it now...or give it as a gift!   

Today's Bingo piece is the stocking.  Yesterday's bingo piece got added to the post late, so be sure to scroll down and get that too!

Happy (digital) Stamping!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry & Bright

T-3 days till Chrismas!

I love the color Old Olive.  Can you tell?  This was easy to alter by simply deleting the extra scallop edge from a designer template called 'Christmas Jingle' and adding the olive Designer Series Paper (DSP) in the background.  

Need a card in a jiffy?  Stampin Up's digital downloads are the way to go.  Create in minutes and print.  Haven't tried it yet?  It's worth the price since most downloads are under $10!  Check out the wide selection here .  

Today's bingo piece is the ice skate.

Happy (digital) Stamping!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Christmas Jingle

Christmas countdown: only 4 days left!  This is another example of what My Digital Studio can do in a matter of....minutes.  Yup, took me all of 10 minutes to "make" this card.  All I have left to do is print this out.  Have holiday or Christmas cards yet to be made & mailed?  Why not try this?  Easy, breezy, beautiful, card-making.  =)

The base was the designer template from 'Christmas Jingle' and I just changed the background paper, added the white grosgrain ribbon and the chocolate chip stitching.  Done & done!

Today's bingo piece is the Christmas tree light.  Good luck!

Happy (digital) Stamping!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Celebrate Any Day...especially the holidays!

WOWZERS!  I know that's what you're thinking.  I'm on an MDS kick and this little beauty was fantastically easy thanks to one of the designer templates I mentioned getting during November's crazy good sale.  The 'Celebrate Any Day' download really caught my eye because of it's unique (and kind-of retro) color palette and combinations.  I played around with an existing design and tweaked a little here and there and voila!  

If this has inspired your inner digital designer check out all the fantastic designer templates for purchase here!  Only 5 more days till Christmas!!!!

Obviously we have a bit of a bingo backlog (are you suddenly feeling the holiday crunch as well?), so here's a double dose of fun.  Mark your cards for the wreath and the gingerbread man.

Happy (digital) Stamping,

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Run, Don't Walk

And don't trip!  You are already at your computer, after all.  Stampin' Up! is having a Clearance Blitz for the holidays, and these fantastic deals are only available while supplies last, or until January 5th.

Oh, and today's bingo piece is the holly.

See you tomorrow,

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

We Have a Winner!

Seriously, this time.  Congratulations Kiki--send us an email to collect your prize.

That means it's time for Round 3--so clear your cards, change your pencil color, whatever you have to do.  The first piece for this round is Santa.  Good luck!

Today's project is very quick--I want to give some customized recipe books this Christmas, so I made binder covers for them in My Digital Studio.  I love the fun and funky retro design of the pears, and the fact that I can just print this off at home...which is what I need since it feels last minute already.  I even went the extra mile to design the binder spine.

Happy Holidays!

My Digital Studio: Sunny Day, Now You're Cooking

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

BINGO update!

This special post is to help those of you following along on your bingo cards.  There were three false alarm bingo calls, which means that we are still playing Round 2, which started on December 7th.  This also means that I had to redraw today's piece--so mark off the reindeer for today and keep on playing.

Happy Holidays!
~Melanie & Kiran

A Little Holiday Sparkle

There's nothing like a bit of sparkle--or a lot of glitter--to say happy holidays.  This card goes out to all my friends who love a little bling, whether that's for the holidays or in general.  You know who you are.  ;)

I got the idea for this modern rendition of a Christmas tree from Judy May's fantastic holiday card, which caught my eye a few weeks ago when it was featured in Nancy Riley's iPicks #157--a weekly roundup of fantastic inspiration from around the web.  Why oh why didn't I buy any of the silver glimmer paper?  Then I realized that I can make glimmer paper in any color using heat & stick powder and dazzling diamonds (one of the best techniques I learned last year)

So I got to work, using punches to cut out different size circles from Red Glimmer Paper, Pear Pizzazz, and Baja Breeze.  I then inked my larger Pear Pizzazz and Baja Breeze circles in VersaMark--I just pressed the whole circle into the pad--and put them in my Powder Pals tray to catch the stray powder.  I dumped Heat & Stick powder over all of them, then moved the circles to a different spot on the table to apply some heat.  As soon as the powder started to flow, I moved the circles into a different Paper Pals tray where I dumped Dazzling Diamonds glitter all over them (and glitter went everywhere, like snow inside!  Pretty...and I vacuumed after card making.)  I applied some more heat, to make sure the Dazzling Diamonds were set in the Heat & Stick powder, and then I had glimmer paper in two new colors.  Success!

I laid out the circles to create my tree first, moving them back and forth before deciding I was ready to glue them down.  I used a combination of dimensionals, to hold the larger circles off the page, and mini glue dots for the littlest ones.  My finishing touch was the sentiment, inked in Baja Breeze from Four the Holidays.

BINGO ALERT!  We've had another winner, so it's time for round three.  Audrey, send us an email to collect your prize (and Jenny, we still haven't heard from you for your round 1 winnings--email us!).  Everyone else, reset your cards...but since the winner was on Sunday's post, you can keep yesterday's poinsettia for this round, and add the snowman as today's pick.  Good luck!

Happy Holidays!

Stamps: Four the Holidays
Ink: Baja Breeze, VersaMark
Paper: Whisper White, Red Glimmer, Baja Breeze, Pear Pizzazz
Extras: Heat & Stick powder, Dazzling Diamonds, 1" Circle punch, 3/4" Circle punch, Itty Bitty Punch Pack

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Holiday Favorite

"And the stockings were hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that St. Niklaus soon would be there..."  I absolutely loved to recite 'Twas the Night Before Christmas as a child, and think I still remember most of the lines.  Stockings are a big part of my family's holiday traditions (read about that here), so the Stocking Builder punch and coordinating stamp set were obvious purchases for me when I got the holiday mini.  I just hadn't gotten around to using them until now...and I have no idea what I was waiting for!!

I'll try to spare you my ode to punches, one of my absolute favorite card making tools, but I'll remind you that there's nothing better, in my book, than punches that coordinate with a stamp set, because you can instantly and easily punch out your image.  No painstaking hand-trimming, because I certainly don't have time for that!  (Did you notice that today's post is going up late...the holidays are fast approaching!)

I was inspired to try out my punch and stamp set because of FTL170, the most recent card layout over at Clean & Simple Stamping.  I could easily see making lots of this cards, or more variations on the theme with snowflakes.  But for this card, I started with a base of Crumb Cake, to which I adhered the plaid from Frostwood Lodge DSP for an eye-catching background.  Next up, I cut a piece of Early Espresso and layered another piece of Crumb Cake on top of that, so I'd have a crisp and sharp border.  I stamped Happy Holidays (from Four the Holidays) in Old Olive, and mounted this piece on my card base.  I cut a strip of Cherry Cobbler ribbon, to "hang" my stockings on, and then got to work on the stockings themselves.

That part was really easy--I just chose my ink colors (Riding Hood Red, Old Olive and Island Indigo), stamped and punched.  Then I attached my super cute stockings to the card, and added mini jingle bells as my finishing touch, creating a card that announces its good cheer.  

Today's piece is the poinsettia.

Happy Holidays!

Stamps: Four the Holidays, Stitched Stockings
Ink: Riding Hood Red, Old Olive, Island Indigo
Paper: Frostwood Lodge DSP, Crumb Cake, Early Espresso
Extras: Stocking Builder punch, Cherry Cobbler Seam Binding ribbon, Mini Jingle Bells

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Favor Boxes For Your Holiday Dinner

Today's Bingo piece is.............................................. the  jingle bell !

No doubt whatever holiday you celebrate or feast you host, there will be some sort of favor for your guests.  How about these cuties?

They are as simple as 1-2-3 with Stampin Up's fantastically easy dies.  (1) Just pick your card stock colors to match your holiday/dinner theme & die cut using the Big Shot.  Then, (2) use your bone folder to sharpen the folded edges so they're nice & crisp before gluing everything together using the super-duper sticky strip to ensure everything stays together.  (3) The best part is last--decorating and embellishing!  You can have fun with all that SU offers: brads, buttons & glitter (oh my!).

I think it's little accents and details like this that will surely make your holiday (or any dinner party) memorable.  And, during the holidays, it's all about making friends & family feel special so what's more special than a little box as a place card, in a bowl as a centerpiece or a 'thank you for coming' parting gift?  Tis the season to stuff these with homemade chocolate goodies, mini candy canes or red, green & white m&ms!  I hope this gets you crafting on a Sunday!

Happy Stamping (& favor box-making!)

Other: Bitty Box & Envelope Bigz XL Die, Box #2 Bigz XL Die, Matchbox Bigz XL Die

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Summer in December? Why not?!?

Sorry this blog post is a little late.  Tis the season for family and I have 19 coming over so there's lots going on!  =)

I thought I'd bring a little warmth to the blog with these summer invites I made.  These were so fun to make for a friend as she planned and hosted her mom's surprise 60th birthday.  The party was at a shore house so the seashell stamp set (retired) and the color combo was perfect to reflect the sand and the water.

I printed everything first, making sure to measure the size of the punch and leaving that amount at the top of the page.  Then I stamped the large conch shell and punched the sand dollar (non-SU).

I stamped the crumb cake envelopes to match and voila!  =)

Stamps: Seaside Beach
Paper: Bashful Blue, Crumb Cake
Other: non-SU punch

Happy Stamping!

Today's bingo piece is: the present!  Good Luck!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Birthday Greetings

If there's one thing I never have enough of, it's birthday cards.  You'd think that since I make my own cards, I would never run into that shortage, but I do!  So it's always good to have some on hand, or even better, to design a simple card that's easy to replicate--and that's exactly the motivation behind this card.

Simple can also be stunning, which is my personal opinion of this card...probably because I always love the classy look of red, black and white.  In this case, I started with a base of Cherry Cobbler--a deep, rich shade of red--and prepped it for embossing.

Since many of you may be reading about embossing for the first time, I'm going to slow down and take you through the process--one of my very favorite stamping techniques--step by step.  On this card, "Happy Birthday" is embossed using black embossing powder.  This literally is a powder that you dust over your stamped image, then apply heat to melt the powder so that it flows together, creating a continuous image that is raised off the paper (and caught the light in this photo, so you can see some of the dimension).

  1. In order to emboss, you have to use a sticky ink called Versamark on your stamp.  But since the oils from your fingers could also hold the embossing powder to the paper, the very first step of embossing is to rub your embossing buddy all over the card stock.  Similar to chalking your fingers for bowling, the embossing buddy ensures that the powder won't stick where it doesn't belong.
  2. Next up, ink your stamp with VersaMark, then stamp on the paper.  [Pretty easy, isn't it?]
  3. Move your paper over a Paper Pals tray (to catch excess powder), then liberally pour the black embossing powder over your inked area.  Dump excess powder into the Powder Pals (you can put it back in your jar of embossing powder later).
  4. MOVE YOUR CARD AWAY FROM THE POWDER PALS AND JAR OF EMBOSSING POWDER!!!  I can't stress this enough--you don't want to melt all of your embossing powder, just what's on your card.  (Wondering how I know this??)
  5. Using your heat tool, move the jet of warm air back and forth over the area with the embossing powder on your card.  After a few seconds, you will see a dramatic transformation as the powder melts and begins to flow.  [When I use silver, this always makes me think of the bad robot from the future in Terminator 2]  Shut off the stream of heat as soon as all your powder flows.  TIP: Put a piece of aluminum foil under your card stock before applying heat--this will help to distribute the heat evenly, and keep your card from warping.
These five steps probably take about two minutes total from start to finish--and that's because I keep moving around my table, rather than just moving things out of the way.  Once I had my sentiment in place, I merely added a strip of designer series paper from Timeless Portrait.  My finishing touch, because Cherry Cobbler is a darker card stock, was to add a liner of Whisper White to the inside of the card for writing my message.

[Want to see more embossing?  I thought you would.  Here are a few samples/favorites from the archive--Silver Silverware, Pops of Color, Polished Pewter, Gold Medallion.  Of course, you could also check out the entry for Dec 1, which was an embossing double feature as I choose between the Cherry Cobbler embossed ornaments and the silver snowflakes for this year's holiday card--did you tell me which you prefer?]

And I made a whole stack of these, so I'll be ready for the next few birthdays in my calendar.  I learned yesterday that this is a very busy birthday month, so it looks like I might need to make even more!  Would you like to get this card for your birthday?  Let me could happen.  :)  And make sure you mark the star on your bingo card today.

Happy Friday!

Stamps: Perfectly Penned
Ink: VersaMark
Paper: Cherry Cobbler, Timeless Portrait DSP
Extras: Embossing Buddy, Black Embossing Powder, Heat Tool, Powder Pals, aluminum foil

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Variations on a Theme

Recognize this card?  You might; it's based on the same layout that I used for my celebrate any day card last week...but with all different colors, papers, and stamps.  I just loved this layout, and think I could use it for any number of cards to feature Stampin' Up!'s fantastic designer series paper...which I always love, even when the designs don't cater to my love of the geometric.

One of the great things about designer series paper (or DSP for short) is that each pack features a different selection of colors which you know will coordinate perfectly.  So you can look at any pack of DSP in the catalog (pages 183-186 of the Idea Book & Catalog), see what colors it features, and have new color combinations for your own creativity.  Normally, I wouldn't pair Bravo Burgundy, Not Quite Navy, and Tangerine Tango, but since Paisley Petals uses these colors, I knew I would have a winner.

Again, I used my Circle Scissors Plus to cut out the two circles, one of DSP and one of Bravo Burgundy cardstock.  My sentiment is from Curly Cute--I'm a huge fan of that font--and its inked in Basic Black.  The card base is Naturals White, so you can easily read what you write on the inside, and this is ready to go in the mail.  Yay!

Oh, were you checking in for today's bingo piece?  It's the snowman.  Good luck!

Happy Holidays,

Stamps: Curly Cute
Ink: Basic Black
Paper: Naturals White, Not Quite Navy, Tangerine Tango, Bravo Burgundy, Paisley Petals DSP
Extras: Circle Scissors Plus

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Say it in Lights

Alright everyone, it's already happened--Jenny has BINGO!!!  That means it's time to reset your cards. (Have you been using blue ink?  Switch to red)  I put all the pieces back into the bowl, and the first piece for this new round of bingo is Santa's hat.  Mark your cards...and cross your fingers.  :)

On to today's card.  This one is really simple, and though I didn't think too much of it, it's been a big hit on Stampin' Connection, the demonstrator-only website where demos share creative and business ideas.  The beauty to this card is that it's really simple to make and to mass produce--I'd love to show you how.

All you need is paper, a Big Shot with the Stocking Accessories die, a Basic Black marker and then whatever stamp you'd like to use.  For this card, I used Perfect Plum, Wild Wasabi, Daffodil Delight and--my personal favorite--Red Glimmer paper and, with just a few cranks of the handle, had four Christmas tree lights.  I used my Basic Black marker to put a band across each of the lights.

Next up, I adhered the lights to my card and used the Basic Black marker again to string my lights on wire.  The final touch was my merry and bright holiday sentiment from Merry & Type, inked in Island Indigo and stamped in the corner.

It takes longer to write this out than it does to make the card!  You should try one for yourself.  :)

Happy Holidays!

Stamps: Merry & Type
Ink: Island Indigo, Basic Black
Paper: White Naturals, Perfect Plum, Daffodil Delight, Wild Wasabi, Red Glimmer Paper
Extras: Big Shot, Stockings Accents die

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Digital Brainstorming!

As promised, here is the first of many digital cards coming your way!  These are for a client that just got married in September.  She needs to get her thank you cards out and asked that I help.  After giving her the Color Coach and our MK Brainstorm Sheet, she knew the colors she wanted to use but was still undecided with the design.  I knew she wanted something simple with "fuschia" (aka melon mambo), whisper white and a heart if possible.

MDS to the rescueeeee!  Sorry, I sang it out loud as I typed it.  This is where MDS is great.  I can simply upload these four card fronts as jpeg files and email them to her.  I can even send these in to be printed and minimize the amount of cutting and punching I'm actually doing.  Instant [almost] cards!

I'll keep you posted as to which one she chooses so be sure to stay tuned as I'm sure that project will make it to the blog.  =)

Colors: melon mambo, whisper white
Extras: MDS

Happy (virtual) Stamping!

PS-the next holiday bingo piece is the penguin!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Embossed Doilies that Dazzle

Ok, so before I start posting some fun MDS cards (I just purchased 5 digital downloads during the AMAZING sale last month), I wanted to share these samples I made for a friend's wedding invitations.

I had an October post with her sample Save-The-Date as well.  Her colors are Blushing Bride, Basic Black and Whisper White and I made two versions of this very simple envelope card.  The card was the same template Melanie used for another wedding order and was simple to copy.  It's nice because it uses the entire sheet of 8.5" x 11" cardstock so there is no waste.  =)

No matter how much I stamp that doily, I'm always struck by it's beauty.  The addition of matching punches along the pocket edge just add to the doily/lace theme.  The bride ended up liking the contrast of the pink with the black embossing.  Which one is your favorite?

Stamps: Hello Doily
Ink: Versamark
Paper: Basic Black, Blushing Bride
Extras: Scallop trim border punch, non-SU punch, black embossing powder

Happy Stamping!

PS - today's bingo piece is the figure skate.  Good luck!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

MDS Peacock Menu

Sorry this blog post is coming later in the day, both Mel & I have been traveling out of state.  Better late than never, I say!  

I made these a few months ago and just found them in my stash of digital card photos.  With all the card-making Mel & I have been doing, we're collecting quite a few photos!  I'm glad to have come across these menu cards because though they are simple, they convey elegance.  A few minutes on MDS, print, cut and then some double-stamping does the trick!

The stamp is non-SU but the rest is everything Stampin Up.  I love the ease of My Digital Studio (MDS)!  It can turn anyone into a graphic designer and it's instant satisfaction.

Get your bingo cards's Holiday Bingo Piece is the cardinal.

If you haven't tried it yet...what are you waiting for?!?  Look forward to some exciting MDS designs from us soon!  =)

Happy (digital) Stamping!

Stamps: Non-SU
Paper: Very Vanilla
Ink: Rich Razzleberry, Gold Versaink 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Technical Difficulties

Im having trouble posting (not sure why) so check back later for today's project. But I can't keep you waiting for today's bingo piece--it's the snowflake. Cheers! ~Melanie

Friday, December 2, 2011

Celebrate Any Day

You may not know this about me, but I love a great geometric pattern.  In fact, that's usually my favorite thing about Stampin' Up!'s designer series paper, the focal point of today's card, but it's something that's easy to overlook in the catalog.  Why?  Well, small geometric patterns like this one don't show up very well when shown at 25%.  In fact, I entirely missed this pattern, and wouldn't have caught it if another stamper hadn't used the paper for a card on her blog.  I'm so grateful, because I do love this cheery and bright pattern.

The paper is Pocketful of Posies, and it offers a great set of geometric delights to yours truly, so I can promise that you'll be seeing more of this one.  I was also inspired by the great layout FTL167 over at Clean & Simple Stamping--there's nothing like a great layout to get my creative juices flowing, and the sample card for 167 was a huge inspiration.  

To make this card happen, I used my Circle Scissors Plus--one of my favorite tools which has been terribly underused of late.  I love how easy it is to cut circles of all sizes with only one tool, and I've used it time and time again.  I love geometric shapes as well as patterns, but often need some curved edges to offset all the squares and rectangles of my cards.  I cut out a 2.75" circle of the designer series paper (DSP) and a 3" circle of Pear Pizzazz.  

Next up, I stamped my Whisper White with the sentiment from Perfectly Penned in Pear Pizzazz BEFORE embossing the paper with my trusty Big Shot and the Perfect Polka Dots embossing folder.  I've learned from experience that the stamping is much easier to do before embossing.  Then it was simple layering and glueing, and this card is now ready to go to absolutely anyone for a fun and bright pick me will probably get good use on a gray January day.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves!  After all, it's barely December and you're wondering what today's bingo piece is.  Get your cards ready, and mark off the Christmas tree.  

Happy Holidays!

Stamps: Perfectly Penned
Ink: Pear Pizzazz
Paper: Pear Pizzazz, Whisper White, Pocketful of Posies
Extras: Big Shot, Perfect Polka Dots embossing folder, Circle Scissors Plus

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Why Hello There Holidays

These ornaments just put me in the holiday spirit, and I'm loving the bold typeface of "Deck The Halls."  Even though I still have a stack of holiday cards that I never sent to my friends and family last year (how did that happen?!), I think this is going to be my holiday card this year.  I just love it too much to not mass produce it.  What do you think?

I'll give more details on how to make today's card down below, but there's extra excitement starting on our blog today--HOLIDAY BINGO!  I'm happy to say that the fun is back by popular demand, since I've been hearing from many of you, itching to get your hands on this year's bingo cards...and I imagine, this year's prizes!  You're in luck, because Kiran and I are happy to oblige.  (Wondering where your card is?  Check your mail...the last batch went out yesterday.)

Here's how it works.  Every day, check our blog for another great project from Stampin' Up!, and another bingo piece.  When you get five in a row (diagonal, horizontal or vertical), leave a comment saying "BINGO" (what else?) and we'll be in touch so you can claim your prize.  And then, the game starts right over again--and we'll keep on going until the new year rolls around.  This means that you should strategize how you'll mark your bingo card, since you'll be using it more than once.  (Maybe x's in the corner?  I recommend using different colored ink for each round)

Are you ready?  Today's bingo piece is the candle.  Mark your cards!

For today's holiday card, I started with Merry & Type (my #1 gotta-have-it set from the 2011-12 Idea Book and Catalog) and Cherry Cobbler embossing powder.  I knew that I wanted to make some magic with these two!  Since the woodcut/letterpress look of the ornaments and fonts made me think of Sherlock Holmes and those old newspapers, I decided to keep the base colors muted with a base piece of Crumb Cake that I die cut using my trusty Big Shot and the Top Note die.  I decided I loved the look of the embossing, so that was good to go.

Next, I needed a card base, and decided to go traditional for this card--red and green it is, in shades of Cherry Cobbler (that fantastic embossing powder) and Garden Green.  I stamped the sentiment in Garden Green ink on the Garden Greek paper for a tone on tone look, in keeping with my toned down idea for this holiday card.  The Stamp-a-majig helped me achieve perfect alignment for decking the halls four times.  I trimmed down the top note piece with my paper trimmer, and sponged the edges with Early Espresso ink for a little extra texture.

Now it's your turn to weigh in--should I send today's card as my holiday card this year, or a version of the sparkly medallion from last December?  Leave a comment with your vote and help me decide.  Thanks!

Happy Holidays!

Stamps: Merry & Type
Ink: VersaMark, Garden Green, Early Espresso (sponging)
Paper: Garden Green, Crumb Cake
Extras: Big Shot, Top Note die, Cherry Cobbler embossing powder