Thursday, November 28, 2013

His and Her Christmas cards

A couple of days ago I made two Christmas cards that are extremely similar - one masculine version and one feminine version.  I am challenging myself to do the same today and here they are:

I used two different Cover-A-Card background stamps from Impression Obsession.  I think the wavy lines appear to be more feminine, while the short straight lines are more masculine.  I used Forest Moss for the masculine one and Pale Tomato for the feminine one.  For the sentiment, however, I am using the same image from a Tim Holtz set.

I am going to ask a couple of guys and girls to see which one they like better.  What do you think?

Thanks for stopping by!


I've finally tried embossing using dies.  I'm sure that I will do this more often from now on as it is fun and easy.

Using the dies for embossing rather than die cutting is a big time saver, especially for an intricate die like the one above.  On one hand, there is no worries that the delicate parts did not cut through, there is also no need to poke each hole and clean up the die.  The next big time saver is that there is no need to apply tiny dots of glue on the die cut.

I've made cards using the die cut itself and they are certainly pretty, but I also like to make some using the die for embossing.  It is also pretty, but different.

My card is entering the following challenges:
Amusing Challenge - Anything Goes
My Besties - Christmas
Artistic Inspiration - Anything Goes
Lexi's Creations - Christmas

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Catching up

I have created a couple of simple one layer Christmas cards.  They are quick and easy to make - just perfect for me as I am still catching up!

This card is entering the following challenges:
Christmas card challenge - Faith
Avenue 613 - Anything Goes
Challenges for everybody - Anything Goes
Paper Play Time - Anything Goes
Anonymous Stamps - Anything Goes

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Her Christmas card

If you want to see the masculine version of this card, please scroll down to the next post.

This feminine version of Christmas card uses Tim Holtz stripes stencil and distress inks to create the background.  The hearts were colored with distress stains on plain old white cardstocks as I didn't have the matching red cardstock.  Don't you love this trick to create your own while keeping your stash at a minimum?

I thought that while the guy version has stars as embellishments, I'd use hearts for this feminine one.  It turns out cute. 

If you are interested in knowing, I like this feminine version better.  However, I presented these two cards to a guy and he likes the masculine version better.  Go figure.

I do not like the masculine version as much because the greens were not dark enough.  If I were to make them again, I would have used forest moss or pine needles, some darker shades than shabby shutters. 

Remember to scroll down to the next post for the masculine version of it.

Thanks for stopping by!

His Christmas card

I can't tell you how fast time is flying these days.  This year it seems that I have a lot more to do than last year.  Last year this time I had all my Christmas cards done but now, I'm still preparing them.  The fast-approaching Thanksgiving certainly gives me some pressure, then my yearly family trip gives me extra burden, let's not forget about buying gifts for everybody.......

With all these tasks on my list, I've decided to take it easy and slowly.  I am sure no one is going to kill me if I send a Thanksgiving email instead of a handmade Thanksgiving card.  If I really can't find the perfect gift, a gift card should do.  All I want is to enjoy the holiday season with family and friends.  I feel that my struggle for the perfect holiday season weakens the holiday spirits. 

Just want to remind myself and you the same - enjoy the holiday season, don't let the list of tasks kills you.

Onto His Christmas card, I never really thought that Christmas cards have a gender, until I learn those tricks from a workshop.  I decided to make a his version and a her version of a Christmas card.  This is the his version:

I have used the Tim Holtz Stripes stencil to create the background.  In order to make the stamping area more pop, I had sponged it harder before I peeled off the mask.  Then I realized that I did not have the green paper for stars, so I used distress stain to swipe across white cardstock to create my own colored cardstock.  After sticking the die cut stars and sponging the edges, the card is done.

See its sister twin by scrolling up!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

One stamp two ways Part II

Thanks for joining me in seeing this second card made with the same Lawn Fawn stamp set.  When I first bought it, I already thought that it would make a cute Anniversary card.  I still think it does, except that I need the sentiment to go with it.  As I have a stamp that says "congrats" I think it could turn into a wedding card.  Check this out:

The two birdies scream "smooch" to me.  With a little heart between them, don't you think they have word bubbles above them that say "I love you" to each other?

To me, it feels really great that I've found an unconventional way to use this Christmas stamp.  Who doesn't want to stretch the products we already have?

My card is linking up to the following challenges:
Less is More - Designer Paper CAS way
Corrosive Challenge - Fur/feathers
Through the Craft Room Door - Anything Goes
Lady Anne Challenges - more than one layer
Make it Monday - Anything Goes

Thanks for stopping by!

One stamp two ways Part I

I've made two cards using the same Christmas stamp set from Lawn Fawn.  One is a Christmas card, while the other one is a wedding card.  Let's see the Christmas card:

It is very simple indeed.  I first inked up the Tiny Ink Spots background stamp in Soft Granite as the background, then stamped the words in Pale Tomato, and finally the leaves in Tide Pool.  The fun thing is the two thin strips of paper - I don't have any cardstock that matches the colors used, so I've used direct to paper technique to create two color strips.  Quick and easy, and most important of all, efficient use of scraps to create coordinating cardstock strips!

This card is linking up to the following challenges:
Artistic Inspiration - Anything Goes
Created with Love - Anything Goes

Thanks for stopping by and please see my next post One stamp two ways Part II!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


I am very sensitive to temperature and I doubt that I will ever live in a place that snows.  I see snowflakes most often on the cards I make!  This is one of them:

This year I am very addicted to using light grey, lavender and light blue for my Christmas cards.  It depicts the foggy or rainy sky, but the hint of blue balances it out.  I can't tell you why I added lavender, except that I think it looks great with the light grey and light blue.  LOL.  I like that I am exploring different color combos rather than the traditional red and green for Christmas cards. 

My card is linking up to the following challenges:
Creative Corner - Let it snow
CAS on Sunday - One layer card
Dream Valley - CAS
52 cct - one layer with a little bling

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Black and Gray Christmas

Let's take a break from my experiments and see what else I created over the weekend.  It is a lovely card that's monochromatic:

I wouldn't have thought of using this color combo except I came across this from Dynamic Duos:

I miss playing along with Dynamic Duos!  Glad that I can join this week and add that dessert option of Christmas!

My card is also linking up to
Totally Papercrafts - Clean and Simple
CAS-ual Friday - Christmas

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Experiment Part III

Part III of the experiment is Layered Die-Cut Inlay.  I could have tried something complicated like a poinsettia, but after the epic failure from faux quilling I decided to try something conservative - ornaments.  Here they are:

I am a big fan of matching die and stamps.  For this particular one, I have had the die from Impression Obsession for quite a while then one day I saw this matching stamp set so I grabbed it immediately.  It looks as if the ornament on the right is on top of the one on the left but they are all on the same level.  If you touch the card it feels one layer.  Amazing, and love it!

My card is entering the following challenges:
Jingle Belle Rocks - Christmas tradition (mine is adding more and more ornaments to the tree, what about you?)
Hiding in My Craft Room - Die cuts
My time to craft - baubles
Jo's Scrap Shack - Anything Goes
Sister Act Challenge - Anything Goes
Creative Fingers - Anything Goes

Thanks for stopping by!

Experiment Part II

Part II of the experiment is to use thin strips of paper to create a faux quilling effect.  Difficult.  DIFFICULT.  Did I say difficult?

I must admit I know nothing about quilling and I didn't use the tools for my faux quilling here.  Further, instead of using the given template (which is a tree), I went off to challenge myself with hearts!  No, I didn't mean to challenge myself, but I thought I could use more hearts than trees.  I wanted to make a Christmas cards that tells the recipient that I am sending Christmas love, so I really wanted to use hearts rather than a tree.

Ready for an eyesore?  Don't say I didn't warn you!

My blog is my creative diary so I have to include it here.  Sorry for the eyesore, nuisance, visual pollution, whatever you call it and I don't blame you.

It was a good practice, however.  We were suggested to use pins on a corkboard to fix the thin strips of paper.  I tried that but I quickly realized that it would not work for the curves of a heart.  What did I do?  I used the negative of chipboards as my guide to shape the hearts.  It was hard, but I will try it again till I can do better.

Thanks for stopping by!

Experiment Part I

I did try a couple of new techniques this past weekend and will be posting them one by one.  Whew!  It was a bit overwhelming for me to try so many things in such a short time but it is well worth it!

On this post I'm sharing the most difficult thing on earth - Plaid stamping.  It is not the most difficult thing on earth but it is very difficult to master it.  I can't tell you how sad and frustrated I was whenever I went off the line and I had to chuck that piece of paper.  There were at least twice that everything went well but towards the end I messed up.  Literally, towards the end and I had to start all over again.  I felt so bad wasting the paper. 

It is not a new thing I learned but last time I did it here I only used two colors but here I've used four.  This time, because the colors do not belong to the same color family my mistake is extremely obvious even though the deviation is slight.  I am happy that I have at least this part that is presentable:

How can I not love the bright colors?  So vivid and vibrant that scream MERRY!  I am hesitant to give this card out because it represents my very first success of plaid stamping (Giggling!). 

Alright, I'm off to preparing another post on another difficult thing I tried.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Let it Snow Let it Snow Let it Snow

My tummy feels funny and that prompts me to go to you-know-where very often.  I am finally feeling better and getting back to catch up with making Christmas cards.

I created a Z-fold card with Kraft cardstock, stamped snowflakes on the entire card (really love the snowflakes from Frosted Cardmaking Workshop on the Go), then stamped and colored the snowman:

I matted the circle on a piece of Sky cardstock, and made a banner in the same color.  When the card is close, it looks like the banner is in one piece.  When the Z fold is opened, we can see that the banner is a continuous strip with "let it snow"  stamped all throughout.

One thing I keep wondering is whether White pigment ink will become completely dry.  I have the habit of rubbing over it (and also glitter surface) to make sure things do not rub off.  After heat setting it and letting it dry overnight, my fingers still show white after rubbing it.  You have any trick to prevent the white from rubbing off?

My card is entering the following challenges:
Divas by Design Challenge - Something Snowy
Papertake Weekly - Snow and Ice
C is 4 Challenge - Winter is coming
The Glory of Christmas Challenge - Special Card Form
Crafty Hazelnut Challenge - Outdoors
Hiding in My Craft Room - use some scraps (did you know that the circles, and the banner came from scrap?)

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Window card

I am still obsessed with window cards and I am happy to share one with you today. 

While I was determined to make a Christmas card with a window, I thought I'd like to keep most other things simple.  The window should be the star of the card!  I saw the love snowflakes from the muse at Muse challenge, then I was inspired to stamp snowflakes on my window card.  In particular, I knew I was going to use a couple of snowflake stamps.  The Muse used a couple of colors for the snowflakes but I opted to use one color, again I want to create this background of snowflakes for the stunning window. 

Since the snowflakes are in light gray (Whisper), I'd love to create something bold for the window:

And as if the big sentiment isn't enough to draw your attention, I've added washi tape on both the top and bottom of it, with a bigger red circle as a mat.  This picture shows the interior better:

I can't tell you how happy I am with the results of this experiment.  I really like to turn this postal-friendly flat card so interesting for the recipient!

My card is also entering the following challenges:
Avenue 613 - Anything Goes
Challenges for everybody - Anything Goes
That Craft Place - Sentiment
Cards in Envy - Say What?
Artistic Inspiration - Use a Sentiment

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Having fun with Washi tape

The washi tapes that I have were not very popular until recently.  I thought they were just tapes and didn't bother to do much with them.

But as I was thinking about cutting some baubles out from my Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge, I had an idea and experimented it.  It worked pretty well:

I first taped the washi tapes on a piece of cardstock.  Since the patterns of the washi tape can form a continuous pattern, I did my best to line them up perfectly.  When the ornaments were cut out, it looks as if they were cut out from a piece of patterned paper.  So cute!  The big round ornament was covered with the silver washi tape from Holidays from the Heart Guide but I'm afraid the picture does not do it justice. 

I threaded the linen through and tied a bow, stamped a sentiment, added a piece of the glitter tape, put it on the Juniper cardstock background, and finally the patterned paper was cut with my new favorite - the scallop border punch, the card is done!

My card is entering the following challenges:
Sweet Stampin' - Christmas is coming
2 Sisters Challenge blog - Christmas sparkle
Great Impressions - Holiday card or tag
Amusing Challenge - Glitter
Addicted to Stamps Challenge - Favorite punches & dies

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

One stamp two ways

I love to explore more ways to use the same stamp.  A couple days ago I used the big sentiment stamp on a one layer card.  Today I'm sharing another card that uses the same two stamps:

This time the sentiment was stamped in Ruby and the panel was matted in Ruby cardstock.  The similar thing is that I used the same small background snowflake stamp as the background.  Because I inked it in Whisper and stamped the second generation image, it is really really light.  I like this subtle background as it echoes the polka dots background. 

For the snowflakes I could not have thanked the Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge enough.  It helped me cut 10 snowflakes (P.27 of the handbook) at 3 sizes: 1", 3/4" and 1/2".   If you are thinking where I got the coordinating snowflake stamps, look at the same stamp set from Frosted cardmaking Workshop on the Go.  There are three snowflake stamps in the set.  I didn't use the largest one, as it is really large, but I made use of the other two.  These snowflakes do not fit perfectly with the snowflake die cut, but it will work just fine because it is a symmetrical hexagonal shape.  I can't really explain the geometry here, but try it out and you'll see why.

I added some Glitz glitter gel (silver) to the tips and center of each snowflakes and the snowflakes are all sparkling!  Love it!

My card is based on the sketch from Atlantic Hearts Sketch Challenge:

It is also entering the following challenges:
Sister Act Card Challenge - Anything Goes
Craftitude - Anything Goes
Crazy 4 Challenges - Let's Frame It
Crafty Calendar - All Things Christmas
My Besties - Snowflakes or Glitter

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

One Layer Christmas card

I love that one layer christmas cards are mail friendly.  I heard that some crafters think that it is more a hassle to mail their cards than to make them because the volume and bulkiness of the card make it impossible to avoid a trip to the post office.

As many of my cards will be sent through mail, I like that flat cards will be received in a nice shape.  How sad it is to learn that the embellishment comes off or a corner was torn because the card did not survive the torture of handling?

When I saw the OLW challenge at Ardyth's blog I just had to play along.  Christmas cards are those that I send the most, and give away the most.  Taking part in this challenge will help me build my stash.

The challenge is to use colors other than red or green for a Christmas card.  I have chosen gray and blue (Whisper and Indian Corn Blue in the Close to My Heart palette).  The stamps come from the set in the Frosted Cardmaking Workshop on the Go.  I have stamped the little dots/snowflakes stamp repeatedly in Whisper to create the background for the big sentiment.  It is quick and easy, clean and simple.  

My card is entering the following challenge:
Bearly Mine Challenges - Anything Goes
Through the Craft Room Door - Anything Goes
Twisted Tuesday - Anything Goes
Card Mania - Anything Goes
Craftin Desert Divas - Anything Goes

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Merry & Sweet Christmas

After playing with the Candyland stamp set yesterday I couldn't help making another card with the set!  This time I'd like to pair it with the Sparkle and Shine paper to give it even more Christmas vibe.  I've used the sketch from Mojo Monday:

When I first saw the sketch I thought the clean lines shouldn't present much of a challenge.  I was wrong.  It did take me quite a while to put the elements together.

One of the things that took me long was to decide which side of the paper to be used.  I love them both!  I actually wanted to use the polka dots side of the paper then use washi tape for the banner but it came out to be too busy so flipped the paper over to use this stripes side and instead of a busy pattern for the banner, I've used the pattern stamp from Love Life stamp set to stamp the background of the Juniper banner.  The tag is a shape from Artiste cartridge.  I cut the white one in 3.5" and the Ruby one in 3.75".  I have been having a lot of fun with coloring and I just can't resist to use the gingerbread and candy cane again here.

Chevrons are very on trend and even though I am not a huge fan, I like it on the Ruby ribbon.  It adds some interest and matches with the patterned paper very well.  I think it will be used again and again on Christmas cards.

My card is entering the following challenges:
Tuesday Throwdown - Tag it
Holly Jolly Christmas Challenge - Traditional Colors
Papertake Weekly Challenge - Anything Goes
613 Avenue Create - Anything Goes
Challenges 4 everybody - Anything Goes
Make it Monday - Anything Goes

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Coloring again

If your kids are older and tell you that it is a waste of their talent to color the wreath and owl from yesterday's card, try this one:

The images on this card are apparently more complicated - they can play shades, mix of colors and go really creative in coloring the gingerbread house!  I certainly had a lot of fun coloring the images and fussy cutting the gingerbread and candy cane, but honestly this is not a card that I would mass produce, unless someone will do the coloring and I only need to do the stamping on the Artiste cut shape!  LOL.

The sketch came from Sketchbook Saturday challenge:  Check out Iwona's Christmas card and the other participants' entries.  I like to draw inspiration there. 

My card is entering the following challenges:
Created with Love Challenge - Christmas Reds and Greens
All Sorts Challenge - Christmas Cheer
Card Mania Challenges - Anything Goes
Craftin Desert Divas - Anything Goes
The Paper Nest Doll - Anything Goes

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Happy Owlidays

I love owls and I couldn't resist the Season's Tweetings Gift Bag Kit in the Holidays from the Heart Gift Guide.  When I first got it I had quite a lot of ideas to decorate the tag and bag to hold small gifts for kids.  But the more I think about it, the more I think that it is just as good to hold gifts for adults.

The stamp set is super adorable.  I love the two birds and the owl!  It also has an image of a Christmas hat, so darling cute.  All the images are outline images, so I can play coloring and of course, kids can play coloring too!  The sentiments are all super cute too.  Don't you just love "Happy Owlidays"?  For today's card, I've put the owl inside the wreath and stamped "Happy Owlidays" inside the banner:

It is a very simple one layer card.  If you need to mass produce Christmas cards, this one can serve as a quick and easy sample.  I just stamped the wreath in black and the owl in brown, then used the water color pencils to color the two.  I stamped the sentiment in Olive and the banner in New England Ivy, poked two holes on the card to thread through the hemp, tied a bow, it's done.

I love coloring so I took my time to color the leaves in four shades of green (all of them in the water color pencil set), but it you are in a hurry, just use one, or two shade, or have you kid color for you.  Hehehe~~

I love how simple it is yet it is festive!

My card is entering the following challenges:
1.  Color My Heart Color Dare - Black, White, and Green
2.  Rhedd & Rosies - Anything Goes
3.  Creative Fingers - Anything Goes
4.  Challenges and Candies - CAS
5.  Card Crafters Circle - Cute cards
6.  Polka Doodle - Anything Goes Christmas
7.  Addicted to CAS - one layer
8.  Festive Friday - wreath

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

A Silhouette Image

I love silhouette images.  I think they are romantic.  Did you just say you also think that they are romantic?  Thank you.  I thought I was crazy to use the word romantic to describe them.

Having said that, I don't have a lot of silhouette images.  I am very inclined to start a collection!  When I saw the Christmas stamp set released by Stampers Anonymous, I knew that I *need* it!  LOL. 

I have made a simple Christmas card with the silhouette image as the focal point:

The background is simple - I stamped a big polka dot background stamp with Versamark then heat emboss it with clear powder.  I then used four distress inks and an ink blending tool to add colors.  Those colors are Broken China, Tumbled Glass, Iced Spruce and Shaded Lilac.  I love that purple in between the blues and gray.  For the main panel, I used the same distress inks and employed the wrinkle-free distress technique on watercolor paper.  It's the same colors but much more subtle.  I added some silver stickles on the ribbon of the wreath but the picture probably can't capture that well.
I can't forget to mention that I love that sentiment - for the longest time in history I have been looking for the sentiment "Merry Christmas" printed vertically.  Isn't it nice and special?

The sketch is one from Atlantic Sketch Challenges.  The original sketch looks like this:

My card is also entering the following challenges:
A Gem of a Challenge - Christmas is coming
Crafting Calendar Challenge - All things Christmas
CHNC - Bling it up
2 sisters challenge - Christmas without red or green

Thanks for stopping by!