Saturday, December 21, 2013

LOTV - Warm Christmas Wishes...

Good morning, everyone...hope you're having a great weekend so far!  Do you feel it? That's the rush of Christmas, just around the corner now. :)  If you're like me, you might still be getting a few last minute gifts purchased, and a card or two ready for mailing just in the "Nick" of time. (please tell me I'm not alone! heehee)

Today I have one last Christmas card to share with you, using Lili of the Valley patterned papers from the Simple Joys paper pad and a wonderful sentiment stamp that fits perfectly inside a small die cut ornament...

I wish I could capture the sparkle on this card...many of the edges are coated with clear tinsel glitter, and it just shines...this photo from an angle might give you a better idea...

Each layer on the front is attached with foam tape above the layer before it, giving the card more dimension without adding too much more thickness...

The sentiment was stamped with clear embossing ink, then coated with white embossing powder. I don't know why it took me so long to figure out how to get the look of falling snow that I wanted on this sentiment ornament, but once I figured it out, it worked out just the way I had hoped. I usually rub my little Embossing Magic pouch over the area I'm going to stamp and emboss, to avoid having those little stray bits of powder distract from the image. When I thought about adding more powder after the sentiment was embossed to get the look of falling snow, I was afraid the sentiment would get blocked out by it. All I had to do was *not* use the talc pouch first, and allow those little stray bits of powder to remain, and after I applied the heat, I got the look of tiny falling snowflakes that I had hoped for. What can I say? I was having a "senior moment" I guess! :)

The flower is a "shabbified" die cut poinsettia, that you've seen me use many times before. This time I misted the edges and played with them a bit before dry brushing some white acrylic paint around the edges...

Patterned papers:   NitWit Collections for Lili of the Valley, Simply Joys
Stamps:   Lili of the Valley Set 10, A5 Verses
Dies:   Spellbinders Majestic Labels 25,  Labels 25,  and Layered Poinsettia
Lace and pearl ribbon:   local craft store          Tinsel glitter:   Martha Stewart
Miscellaneous:   white craft paint, white embossing powder

Thanks so very much for stopping by today...have a wonderful Sunday!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

A Call for a C.A.S.E...

Time is passing just a little too quickly these days...I'm starting to feel like a little hamster on a wheel spinning to nowhere...heehee. But after talking to a few of my friends, it seems I'm not alone this year. It's time to take a deep breath, start crossing things off my "to-do" list one way or another, and take some time to enjoy the true meaning of this season. It's time to turn the holiday preparations left on the list into a source of fun, and not just "to-do" items.

So, in the interest of that, and being in a temporary creative block the other day, I decided to turn to one of the creative blogs that never ceases to inspire me, and that's Kittie's. Kittie's use of die cuts is something I've admired for quite a while, and this time, I used one of her cards here as inspiration. For all intents and purposes, I CASE'd the design of her card. I did, from what it appears, do a bit of a different card size, and changed the border frame, thereby requiring fewer trees, but there's no mistaking that my design came from her beautiful card...

The inked background trees were made using the negative space of the tree die cuts as a stencil. I  accented the small die cut trees with Viva Decor Ice White Pearl Pen and clear coarse glitter, and applied Frantage Vintage White embossing powder on the large trees. The front tree was decorated to more represent a living Christmas tree, using red Stickles to simulate berry clusters (or ornaments if you'd prefer to think of them that way)...

There's a die cut star for the tree top, covered with gold glitter. 

Dies:  Spellbinders Romantic Rectangles, and Create-a-Flake Three;   Impression Obsession Fir Trees, and Deer Trio
Christmas Red Stickles          Stampendous Frantage Vintage White embossing powder
Viva Pearl Pen, Ice White          Clear coarse glitter

In the end, I have a finished card made with nothing but cardstock, ink, die cuts, and embossing powder and glitter...quite a change from my usual style...but a fun change!

Thanks so much for stopping by today. I'm off to spend a day running errands, and then, hopefully, have time left to put the finishing touches on our Christmas tree. :)

Monday, December 9, 2013

Celebrate the Season...

Happy Monday, all! I'm on a race against time this year (are you, too?). I'm woefully behind getting my Christmas cards made, and I'm afraid I won't be able to send out as many as I had hoped. But I keep plugging away. If you were visiting last year around this time, you know that I don't make my holiday cards in big batches, but two or three, at the most, of the same design. I enjoy the process this way, since I tend to get bored halfway through a large assembly-line process, but it does make progress slower. LOL

Here's the latest design completed. This was one of those designs that just "happened" while I was pushing papers and the tag and the doily around to decide on the main shape and size. When I finally decided where I wanted them, the embellishments, thankfully, seemed to come to mind easily. I had already die cut a few of the large open hearts, so I glittered them up, then got the idea to add a smaller premade heart inside it - which was also painted, inked, and glittered up. All that was left was to add some Christmas-themed florals, and a little sentiment tag, and it was done - well, after even more glittering, I should admit...

The burgundy flowers are technically "lilies" I've now christened them "Christmas lilies"...and Christmas lilies must have a light coating of snowy-looking glitter, right?...

The die cut snowflake was first lightly coated with Stampendous Frantage Shaved Ice, which is large mica-like flakes in clear and pink. I filled that in with clear coarse glitter to cover the whole snowflake...

And finally, the die cut pine branches were coated with Glistening Snow-Tex...

Patterned papers:   My Minds Eye Lost & Found/Christmas collection
Text rub-ons:   Tim Holtz Christmastime
Dies:   Stampin' Up! Northern Frost (snowflake-retired);   Xyron Shapeabilities/Heart (large heart);
Impression Obsession Pine Branch;   Sizzix Sizzlits Crescent Tag
Small chipboard heart:   Maya Road          Flowers:   Wild Orchid Crafts          Heart stick pin:   Maya Road
Gold pearl:   Queen & Co.          Glitters:   Stampendous Frantage Shaved Ice;   clear coarse glitter;   Glistening Snow-Tex
Miscellaneous:   Wilton doily, Hug snug seam binding

Thanks for visiting today...I hope your week is starting with a smile!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

One Last Autumn Card...

I have one last autumn birthday card to share with you before I dive head-first into the Christmas season. :)

This is a masculine card, so I couldn't really use the flowers and feminine touches that seem so natural for me to use. This time I went with a leaf theme, with burlap, cheesecloth, hemp cording, shabby embossing powders, and multi-layered pieces, to give a textured and festive look. A little dry-brushing of white craft paint around the dark brown edges, and the green die cut edge around the orange frame, brighten up the card a bit and give it a worn and shabby, but still masculine, look...

Since I had a large digi image in the center, I decided to place my embellishments in opposing corners, top and bottom. On the bottom cluster, there's one large punched leaf edged with bronze glass glitter. Beneath it is a scrunched piece of cheesecloth, and a few thin strips of partially unraveled burlap. There's a double-loop hemp cording bow, three threaded buttons, and a few bronze and grey pearls holding the end of the sentiment banner.

Here's a little hint to keep your burlap strips from unraveling more after you've gotten the final look you want...use some clear liquid glue (or, if you're a sewer and have some handy, Dritz Fray-Check) and coat the ends to glue them in place. The glue will be invisible when it dries, and the ends will keep that perfectly unraveled look you worked so hard to get. :)

I like to "shape" my sentiment banners over a rounded pen (or any other round object I can quickly grab as I'm working along). Place the center of the banner over the pen and use your fingers to lightly shape the little bump in the center, then wrap the end of the banner in the opposite direction around the pen to make the end bend upwards...

Up in the top right corner is another smaller cluster, with the shabby unraveled burlap strips beneath the punched and glittered leaves...

I used lots of layers and foam tape on this card. The brown embossed cardstock layer is raised up from the green layer with foam tape. The green layer is raised up from the digi collage picture using foam tape. And finally, the orange die cut frame is raised from the green cardstock layer using foam tape. I love the dimensional and shadowed look that the use of foam tape can add to an otherwise "flat" card - I buy it 2-3 rolls at a time so I'm never without it in my stash...

Dies:   Spellbinders Labels 22
Embossing folder:   Cuttlebug Kassies Brocade          Leaf Punch:   Marvy Uchida
Silver & gold pearls:   Creative Imaginations 
Embossing powders:   Stampendous Frantage Vintage Silver, and Vintage Gold
Miscellaneous:   bronze glass glitter, burlap, cheesecloth, hemp cording, white craft paint
Digital collage elements:   Music paper background:;   fall leaves:

Thanks so much for visiting today. I'm off to visit with my Mom again tomorrow, then back home this weekend where I hope to get the big Christmas tree up and decorated...wish me luck! :)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Make a Wish...

Hello again! Here's the girly birthday card I spoke of in this morning's earlier post...palest pink accented with gray, and just a few deep pink roses and a touch of green in the leaves to add some contrast...

I found the pale grey roses on Etsy at LayoutsFromTheHeart, and I knew they'd soon become a favorite...I couldn't wait to pair them with my pink and grey patterned papers...they worked so perfectly...

I die cut the circle frame from lightweight white chipboard, inked it with Spun Sugar Distress Ink, then coated it with clear German glass glitter for a subtle sparkle with some texture. The white doily was inked with the same ink, and a circle die cut through the center to let the dotted paper show through the whole frame set. This made it easier for some of the flowers to overflow into the center of the frame, along with the embellished memo pin holding the sentiment tag...

And finally, a second floral cluster in the lower right corner balances out the larger one at the top...

Patterned papers:   MyMindsEye Lost & Found /Madison Avenue collection;   Glitz Pretty in Pink collection
Dies:   Spellbinders Standard Circles Large & Small;   Sizzix Flowers Branches & Leaves
Grey and raspberry pink roses:   LayoutsFromTheHeart on Etsy          Pink mini roses:   Wild Orchid Crafts
Rose buds:   Local craft store          Pearls:   Recollections          Hug Snug seam binding
Miscellaneous:   Wilton doily, white hemp cording, clear German glass glitter

Thanks for stopping by for another visit today!

A Few Fun Announcements!...

Happy Cyber Monday, all! There are some fun things happening at Lili of the Valley this week that I thought you might like to know...and then I'll have a girly birthday card to share with you later today in a separate post.

First, just in time for Cyber Monday, Lili of the Valley is having a great sale on the LOTV website - and the new baby stamp sets are part of this sale! It starts mid-day today GBT...that's a few hours from now, and will run for 24 hours...

This could be the perfect time to order those LOTV stamps on your personal wish list! :)

If you'd like a chance to win a stamp every day, check out what's going on at the Ideas to Inspire blog...

And speaking of winning stamps, a big CONGRATULATIONS to the following winners of stamps from our Baby Blog Hop...coops (drawn from the replies on Jen's blog), RibenaRuby (from the commenters on Mary J's blog), and Yvi (from commenters on my blog hop post).  

And I've been saving the best for last! LOTV has been nominated, along with one of our Design Team members, Dawny Phillips, in a few categories for the British Craft Awards! Only companies in the UK are eligible to win, and only UK/Channel Island voters are eligible to win the random drawing prizes...but international voters certainly can participate in the voting process and have their votes count. If you're so inclined to help LOTV and Dawny towards a win, it would be so appreciated! Voting is open until December 20, 2013, so there's still plenty of time for you to get your votes in and counted.

For those of us outside the UK, it might be a bit confusing when you first get to to start the voting process in the craft category, so to help you along, here are a few hints. If you want to skip a category, remember to type a "." in the comment box and you'll be able to move on to the next category.

Here are some details that I found on the Ideas to Inspire blog that will help you navigate this quickly and easily.

The first section is the one that seems to confuse people outside the UK, as you're asked to select a region. This is not where you live, but the location of the shop you're voting for. You can really choose any of them listed in this category, or you can vote "other" and put a "." in the comment box.

The next question is to name a craft retailer who went the extra mile. You can vote from the list, or choose "other" and write "Lili of the Valley" in the box.  You can add the reason, or if you don't want to write anything, just put a "." in the comment box to move on.

Next is "best online retailer."  It does say UK, but you must vote to move on, so again it would be lovely if you chose to vote for Lili of the Valley by choosing "other" and writing "Lili of the Valley" in the box.

Next is about craft chain stores - you can vote or just opt to check "don't visit them" or comment as applicable.

Next, it's onto a category where Lili of the Valley is nominated...most inspirational craft blog.

Next, it's favorite paper craft range...if you like Lili of the Valley paper pads, you can select "other" and type "Lili of the Valley" in the comment box.

Next, it's another where LOTV is on the nominated list...stamp range you couldn't resist. It would be so wonderful for LOTV for their customers to vote them the winner in these two short-listed categories!

There are a few questions about the craft products you like to use...answer with your favorites, or use the "other" and "." if there's a question that doesn't apply to you, and you want to move on to the next category.

Favorite card designer is the next category, and our Design Team member Dawny (Dawn Phillips) is up for this award -  it would be so wonderful if you'd help her win by giving her your vote!

The final question is about your favorite presenter or demonstrator on craft TV.  If you have a preference, here's where you vote for them, or you can opt for "I don't watch craft TV."  But if you've enjoyed watching Dawny demonstrate LOTV on craft tv shows, here's where you can check "other" and write in "Dawn Phillips" in the comment box. We just might be able to see our Dawny win a couple awards!

Finally, at the end, they do ask for your name and address...and don't forget to review the marketing boxes at the end, and indicate whether or not you prefer to be added to their mailing sure to check the "no" box if you don't want to receive mailings.

Phew! That's a lot of information for a Monday morning, hmmm? Hopefully I haven't worn you out with fun news...I'll be back later today with some birthday card pics to share.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

LOTV - It's a Baby Blog Hop!

Gee, first I "disappear" for weeks, and now you see me twice in two days! :)  Thanks for stopping by today, and for my U.S. friends, Happy Thanksgiving! It's late in the evening now in the U.S. (except for my friends in Alaska and Hawaii), and you're either relaxed on the sofa, playing family games, or, if you're really brave, out shopping in the stores that opened this evening for a head-start on Black Friday deals. Me? I'm relaxed at home, on the web with all of you, because it's another fun Lili of the Valley blog hop day!

We're celebrating the launch of 10 adorable new Baby Stamps, that will be available to purchase at the LOTV Christmas event at the Leeds shop on Saturday, November 30, and available on the LOTV website at midday Monday, December 2 (GBT).

To participate and be eligible for the prizes (isn't it fun that the LOTV hops have prizes?!), just "hop" from one blog to the next, and be sure to leave a comment on each blog. Why a comment on each blog? Because the prizes are "hidden"...even we don't know whose blog(s)  is/are  the "magic" prize blog(s).

You see, this time, 2 full sets of the new Baby stamps will be given away...2 lucky commenters will each get all 10 new designs! Annnnnnd....there will be a third winner of a clear set of the new Baby companion stamps!  The lucky winners will be randomly drawn from all the commenters on the lucky blog(s), and announced on Saturday hop and comment away!

Here's a list of all the blogs taking part in today's hop. For the best chance of winning a prize, remember to leave a comment at each stop along the way...

Kathy (you're here!)

Enough chatter...bring on the pics, right? they are! As you may know, my main focus with LOTV is to highlight the use of the wonderful sentiment stamps and papers...but this time I couldn't resist using the baby shoes companion set to include a set of tiny tennies on this little-boy-colored card. And these papers from the Winter Wishes paper pad are the perfect complement to this theme!

The chipboard heart is painted, inked, and coated with coarse clear glitter, and surrounded with blue and tan flowers and a flourish die cut...

After fussy-cutting the stamped and colored tennies, I punched a tiny hole in each heel to "string them up"  so they'd dangle from the floral cluster. They fall right over the center of the twine bow...

Here's a detail shot of a corner of the sentiment block - the sentiment stamp is in LOTV's  Set 61, Quotables/Celebrate set. It's stamped onto cold press watercolor paper, die cut, the edges watercolored with Faded Jeans Distress Ink refill ink, and has just a sprinkling of Vintage Blue Frantage embossing powder around the edges...

Patterned papers:  Winter Wishes, Mary Fran/Nitwit Collections for Lili of the Valley
Sentiment stamp:  LOTV Set 61, Quotables/Celebrate
Baby Shoes: *new* LOTV Boys Shoes stamp
Dies:   Spellbinders Labels Two;   Sizzix Flowers Branches & Leaves;   Memory Box Elegant Scrollwork
Chipboard heart:  Maya Road          Cream burlap:
Brown crystals:   Prima          Flowers:   Prima and Wild Orchid Crafts
Embossing powder:   Stampendous Frantage Vintage Blue
Miscellaneous supplies:  hemp cording, lace, paper doily

Your next stop on the hop is Kim's blog to see the lovely treasure she's made to share with you! You can always use the link list up above to get back on track if you get lost along the way. :)

Remember to stop by the Ideas to Inspire blog on Saturday evening (GBT) to find out if you're one of the lucky prize winners!

Good luck on the hop, have a wonderful weekend...and a big thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Well, Hello Again!

Yes, I know...I've been missing from the blog world for a bit. :)

What started as a planned one-week break turned out to be longer than I planned. I've needed to devote more of my time and efforts to help out a family member in the past few weeks, and because of that, had to put several non-essential tasks, that are normally on my schedule, to rest for a bit. Sadly for my creative mojo, crafting and blogging was one of those tasks that I had to put aside for other responsibilities.

But things are evening out a bit now, a new routine is coming into shape, and hopefully you'll be seeing some crafty creations here on a more regular basis again.

No better time to start than the present, right? So I'm going to give you a nice, long, picture-filled post today.

I was thrilled to be asked by my friend Linda Coughlin, who I first "met" through Etsy and Zibbet and who now owns the wonderful online shop The Funkie Junkie, to participate as a Guest Designer in the newest challenge over at the Frilly and Funkie Challenge Blog. The new challenge is gift tags and thank you notes for the upcoming holidays...and if you were around here last Christmas, you know how I love making holiday tags and cards! (I hope to again have the time to make as many as last year, but we'll take that as it comes this year.)

Making these tags took a bit of time, but it was a fun break here and there over the past few weeks. And to be honest, don't think all my gift tags are this "loaded." :)  I have one special gift each year for each person on my list, and that special gift gets a special gift tag, one that's a bit more involved and loaded with I hope the recipient keeps as a remembrance of the gift itself. These two tags are for two of those special gifts.

The first is pink and feminine, with a bit of sparkle. The base of the tag uses the Tim Holtz Baroque die, so it's a nice, large tag. Layered on top with foam tape is the Mini Baroque die, and each of the pieces are accented using some Stampendous Frantage embossing powder (vintage white and vintage pink)...

...and then all the fun began! The little deer was die cut and covered with bronze glitter, then a couple teeny little bells were tied around his neck, with clear glitter over the string to make that sparkle, too...

Here's a close-up of the layers, and the touches of the vintage embossing powders, that are flecked with gold and dark glitter...

After adding a small piece of cream burlap and topping it with a tea-dyed piece of Venise lace, I added some lilies coated with Flower Soft and clear glitter, some punched leaves, and scattered a few pink pearls around as an accent...

Additional Supplies:
Flowers:   Wild Orchid Crafts          Pearls:   Recollections          Leaf Punch:  Punch Bunch Ash Leaf
Miscellaneous:   white string, mini bells, Hug Snug seam binding, Snow White Flower Soft, clear glitter

The second tag is in a traditional "tag" shape, made by covering a manila tag with some patterned paper, distressing and inking the edges, then accenting them with more of the Stampendous Vintage White Frantage embossing powder. After layering some narrower red burlap over a piece of cream burlap, then a strip of white crocheted lace, I began the layering of fun embellishments...

I used a sprig from a craft store Christmas pick, and covered it, and a red flower, with a mix of Flower Soft and clear glitter...

...and layered them atop a white resin frame accented here and there with some clear Rock Candy glitter. A little pearl flourish inside the frame and a row across the top of the lace and the center of the seam binding bows were the finishing touches...

Additional Supplies:
Flower:   Wild Orchid Crafts          Pearls:   Recollections and The Paper Studio          Punch:  Punch Bunch Ash Leaf
Miscellaneouos supplies:   pine branch, Hug Snug seam binding, Snow White Flower Soft

Next up is the first of the Christmas thank you cards. These are 3-1/2" x 5" cards...the same design, just a different color combo. 

I started by painting white acrylic craft paint in the center of the patterned paper pieces, then distressing and inking the edges of the pieces. I did this to make the embellishments in the centers of the cards stand out more against the background. 

The cute little packages are made using the Tim Holtz Packages & Bows die. The "wreaths" are made using white hemp cording and a loop of some Tinsel Twine...

To the side of the wreath, I put a bow of the hemp cording, added some deep red roses, a couple tiny gold bells, and some white flower stamens...

The timepieces and spinners were dry-brushed with white craft paint to shabby them up a bit, and the little snowflake punches have a coating of Rock Candy glitter for sparkle...

Additional Supplies:
Patterned papers:  Graphic45 Twelve Days of Christmas collection
Roses and white stamens:   Wild Orchid Crafts           Snowflake punch:   Martha Stewart
Pearls:  The Paper Studio
Miscellaneous:   cheesecloth, white acrylic paint, mini gold bells, white hemp cording

Thanks so very much for popping by for a visit today!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Believe in Your Dreams...

Happy Halloween!  We have a busy day today...but we'll all be back in time for our annual "block party" Halloween pot luck dinner out on the cul-de-sac where we eat, socialize, enjoy whatever game is on tv (oh yes...there is actually a tv that's wheeled out onto the street and hooked up with all kinds of high-tech gadgets - Thursday night football will be the featured showing tonight), and most importantly, pass out candy to all the trick-or-treaters who come by. It's a fun tradition!

If you have a bit of extra time, and you love Lili of the Valley blog hops (and who doesn't?), there's a fun one going on right now. This time, part of the team is showing how they've used the same new image stamp - a fun new twist for this release! As always, there are fun prizes to be awarded for hopping and leaving comments, so be sure to head on over to the Ideas to Inspire blog to start the Oh-So-Girlie hop using the new "Getting Ready" stamp!

But today's card that I'm sharing with you *is not* part of the blog hop, and has nothing to do with Halloween or the holidays. It's a shabby friendship card with a message of encouragement for someone who might need a little pick-me-up while striving to reach a goal. It features several Lili of the Valley stamps, and of course, papers by LOTV, too...

The larger main sentiment comes from LOTV's Set 61, Quotables/Celebrate set, while the supporting sentiment on the small tag inside the memo pin can be found in Set 29, Vintage Sentiments/Just to Say set. The blue and white dotted paper (and the solid blue you can see peeking out from behind it) can be found in the new Winter Wishes paper pad...

Of course, I had to surround it all with a shabby floral cluster, complete with cheesecloth pieces, flowers, pearls, hemp bow, and other little bits of fun...

Instead of just placing some flowers on the upper corner, I tucked a cluster of rosebuds and leaves behind the top corner of the sentiment block and the stamped postcard piece that's from LOTV's Set 46, Background Bits/Notes set , and added another hemp bow behind one of the rosebuds...

Patterned papers:  Winter Wishes collection, NitWit Collections for Lili of the Valley (blue papers);   
Country Lady collection, NitWit Collections for Lili of the Valley (tan background paper)
Stamps:   LOTV Set 61, Quotables/Celebrate;   LOTV Set 29, Vintage Sentiments/Just to Say;  
 LOTV Set 46, Background Bits/Notes (postcard)
Flowers:   Wild Orchid Crafts;  Prima;   local craft store          Stamens:  ChocolateLetters on Etsy ;  Wild Orchid Crafts
Pearls:   Recollections          Tim Holtz Memo pin (embellished)
Miscellaneous:   cheesecloth, hemp cording, Stampendous Frantage embossing powder

Thanks so much for popping in for a visit today!

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