Saturday, December 20, 2014

Noel Card

So many Christmas cards to make, so little time to do it. Lucky I'm on a roll! And lucky there's plenty of places to look around for inspiration. Here's my latest effort.


It's based on the latest Jot Magazine Mood Board challenge, which looks a little something like this...
The board inspired me straight away with it's combination of rustic neutrals and then the pop of dark red and green on top. So that's exactly where I started my card - by adding the letterpressed white and platinum background paper onto a kraft base. Then I began boosting up the texture another notch with giant shiny gold alphas and grossgrain ribbon.


The final touch was the stamped leaves and red bling which I'm hoping looks close enough to holly or mistletoe to pass as a Christmas embellishment?!


I'm thinking I've got a couple of Christmas projects left in me yet.
And yes.... I'm still working on my 2013 December Daily for a start! ;-)

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Friday, December 19, 2014

Using those Cute Jot Tags!

Just can't stop the Christmas crafting around here!


I'm pretty sure if I had sat down at the start of December and started writing a list, or calculating how many Christmas cards and tags I would have to make in order to cover everyone then I would have driven myself bonkers. Instead, I've just been doing two or three here and there along the way as different events come up and it's actually been a really enjoyable process.


When the latest Jot Magazine came out, and it offered up these free printables designed by Kate Mason (aka Messy Miss Kate) I just knew I was going to have to do something with them. Aren't they just super duper cute?! And this is just a selection!


Motivated by their sweetness and their fun colours I quickly whipped up these two cards as a sort of inverse process of each other. Not changing the design helped, and being able to just glue those cute tags on without any real process really made these come together in a snap. Which I'm finding is also important for crafting at this time of the year :-)


I used my well-worn Metal Christmas Die to cut through all the layers of tags and card at once (which it did with ease) and backed it with some glitter paper because it offers all the bling with none of the mess of traditional glitter!


A scattering of gold sequins and some mist droplets was the finishing touch, and I'm pretty happy with how they turned out.


And I've still got heaps more of those tags to use, so I could easily make a whole set. In fact, come to think of it, these are going to be perfect for my girly work colleagues.... so I better make a few more 'cos there's more than just the two of them!

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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Papercut Labs 12 Days of Christmas Crop and Hop


As many of you know, I recently became involved with Papercut Labs, a new online Australian business offering inspiration through a variety of online classes. I even taught my own class throughout November called 'Flashy Cards Fast' (which has now got ongoing registration available! If you ever wanted to learn some fabulous techniques for creating cards on a time-budget then feel free to join in the class at any time. Registration details are here!)

But today I'm here with my Studio Calico hat on, as we join forces in the 12 Days of Christmas Crop and Hop!! 





As the name suggests, there are two components to this event!
Firstly, the BLOG HOP which started on the Papercut Labs blog on Monday 8th December. The list of participants is below:


Each stop along the way is promising you an inspiring project to get you crafting over this busy Christmas season, and each of these sites is a sponsor for the amazing set of prizes on offer. Which brings me to the second part...

The ONLINE CROP is how you go about winning one of these prizes! Simply visit our Facebook Events Page here and upload a project that fits one or more of the 12 challenges (this is where it ties into the 12 days of Christmas!!) For more entries, simply 'like' or comment on one of the previously entered projects. All the challenges, rules and details are here.You'll need to get cracking though... it finishes on the 20th!

Studio Calico have sponsored two awesome PRIZES! The first is this....

Yep, you read that correctly! It's a 3 month Card Kit Subscription for one lucky participant.
And the second prize is super fun too! It's free entry into the Send Joy class. I can tell you from personal experience, I'm enrolled in this class myself and it's been really motivating :-) 


Now onto the project I wanted to share with you today! Might I suggest you get ready with a cuppa, 'cos it's a long one!

Often at this time of year I start thinking that I really should go through my scrapbooking stash and de-clutter a bit lot. Occasionally I even attempt that. But most of the time that process only leaves me with the feeling of "that's still such a cool product I can't possibly get rid of it. I must use it on something" and not much ever makes it into the de-stash pile! Seems I suck at culling my supplies!

So instead I set myself a little challenge. I decided to go through each of the 12 scrapbook kits I've received from Studio Calico this past year as part of the Creative Team and try and make a further dent in them by creating a Christmas card from each one. The challenge of course is that only the November kit has anything Christmas-themed in it, so it was truly going to be an adventure to see if it was achievable.


I went through each kit in order, starting with January's Copper Mountain. A good place to start given it ultimately turned out to be one of my top 3 favourite kits from the year!

Just to let you know... the photo I've taken of each kit is the bits and pieces I pulled out that I thought might work for a Christmas card. I still keep all my old kits separated by month, but in each month's crop bag goes the Main Kit plus all the Add Ons so this is a big mix up of product. And this is just what I have left over which means there are half-finished packets of stuff, and scraps of paper rather than full sheets. But that's the whole point right? It's about using up what I've got hanging around!


And here's the first card I made. If you've ever seen my Instagram account before then you know I've got a 'thing' for deers anyway, but at Christmas time they become one of my go-to embellishments of choice. You're going to see a few deers along the way here!


I started on a downhill roll because February's Sugar Rush kits really are my No.1 favourite of the year.  It's totally me - pinks and aquas and sweet girly Valentine's themes.


The saving grace as far as Christmas is concerned though was those silver glitter triangles which I saw Emily on the Studio Calico gallery turn into Christmas trees with the addition of enamel dots. A genius idea which I immediately lifted for this card!


The March Office Hours kits are perfect for all you traditional-Christmas-colour-scheme-lovers out there. Packed with red and green and gold, there was so many possibilities here.


And yes, there was another deer!


I was able to pick out very similar colours from April's Bluegrass Farm kits too.


But had to use my imagination a bit for a Christmas style embellishment. The cork leaves became holly leaves, and I painted a trio of the Dear Lizzy Alphabet Stickers red to become the berries.


So many fond memories going through each of the kits, because Camelot was another favourite.


And it was the sparkly gold Heidi Swapp stickers that saved this card from being too non-Christmassy!


June's Hello Hello kits presented a challenge, and I probably struggled with this one the most.


But with all the different choices of stars (stamps, puffy stickers, plastic ones too) I figured that was the sign of what direction to take. In fact it was probably at this point that I realised most of the kits, or at least the bits I was picking out of them, all contained stars. I knew they had been one of my favourite embellishment choices for a while, but now I know who to blame! ;-)


Oh the lovely whimsical July Penny Arcade kits with all of their Ashley Goldberg designed papers...


But it was the chevron pattern in one of the Bazzill papers that ultimately inspired this card, as I cut out separate strips and layered them up to look like a forest of Christmas trees.


As I said previously, if a kit has a deer in it then it's going to be my embellishment of choice, and the August Sandlot kits have a whole patterned paper full of them!


It also had the striking combination of bright green and red and gold sequins so I was pretty set with this one :-)


September's Poet Society turned out to be quite a surprise. On first glance it's full of a rainbow of happy colours and lots of fun embellishments, but not much that you could call Christmassy.


But the idea of turning those triangle stamps into a Christmas tree was bordering on clever if I do say so myself (!) and the card quickly came together after that. In fact, this card was one of my favourites of the lot and ultimately became the basis for a quick tutorial over on the Studio Calico blog as well.


I definitely contemplated using the Silkscreen from the October Underground kits on my card somehow, but it was a little too big and overwhelming for my 4x6" base, so I had to figure out something else.


My little friend the deer came to the rescue again when I found him in amongst the Maggie Holmes stickers, and after framing him I backed it with simple block colours in the traditional Christmas scheme.


November was easy of course. The Walden kits, especially it's Add On Pine Hill was packed with Christmassy supplies so this was a no-brainer.


In fact the only difficulty lay in which bits to choose out of so many! I went with the gold wreath as the winner :-)


Which only left the current kit Park Ave to play with, and I was already on a roll from just working on all my Creative Team layouts prior. I really wanted to use the diamond chipboard shapes and played around with them for ages, but it just wasn't coming together for me.


So I went with some leftover snowflakes as the focus because I'm not sure I'll have too many other occasions to use them otherwise. Because even though it doesn't snow for us here in Australia at Christmas I figured it's still an acceptable Christmas embellishment? Anyway, it's cute enough!


And that was it. 12 Christmas cards from non-Christmas kits! Here they all are lined up next to one another so you can fully appreciate them ;-)

I think I've passed my own challenge (if I can say that?!) and I've learned a few things along the way. I'm certainly happy that it's proven you don't need to go out and buy a tonne of new product at this time of year if you don't want to. Scrapping with your scraps can easily yield some fairly impressive Christmassy results!

So there's just one more stop along the way on the Blog Hop, and that will be back on the Papercut Labs blog at this time tomorrow. But in the meantime please check out the Crop happening on the Facebook page in order to be in the running for our amazing prizes.

And have a Merry Christmas!

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Monday, December 15, 2014

Same Same, but Different

Bethany had two piano teachers this year. Wonderful, beautiful, lovely, identical twin piano teachers.
She still can't tell them apart. 
Either can we. 

So she was in such a dilemma when it came time to giving them a Thank You / Merry Christmas gift each at her last lesson this week. When she sat down to address the tags we made to adorn each gift she realised that she wouldn't know which gift to give to which teacher!! We settled on the idea that she would just write a very generic (but meaningful) message without mentioning any names! Cheeky!


We had already purposefully made some tags earlier in the month. Tags that were very similar, but also very different. I thought that would be about right?


The tags were created by combining some letterpress labels, with the Printable Journal cards released last month with the Walden kits at Studio Calico.


I stacked those two elements up on top of a watercoloured tag and added a few extra pieces like the enamel dots on the reindeer horns (which has become a bit of a standard decoration for this little fella!)


And finished them off with a bit of my stamped Christmas ribbon.


I'll also be entering these tags into the 12 Days of Christmas challenges hosted by Papercut Labs. It obviously fits the criteria for Challenge #12 'Make it Chrismtassy'! Have you checked out the challenges there? They're quite straightforward, and you could easily combine lots of them into one project. For example, I could possibly pass this off for Challenge #4 'Stitch Something' because I ran them through my sewing machine as I usually do.


There's some pretty amazing prizes up for grabs, sponsored by all these generous companies. It's worth having a look at, trust me! You'll be hearing more from me about this in a couple of days as well...... but don't wait for that ;-)

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