Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas present (passed)

Better late than never, I guess.... I did get my Christmas tags into the hands of recipients by Christmas Eve (except Joyce, who didn't visit her mailbox on Saturday), although it may have been too late to be of use this year. Oh well, everyone said they were too pretty to part with, so hopefully by next year, they'll adorn some gifts.

I think the boxes were the best part. I have thought about this little image, Sweet Snowglobe, since last year (when I ran out of time). This year I finally got it just like I wanted, by handcoloring the stamp with Riding Hood Red, Lucky Limeade, Early Espresso and Baja Breeze markers, and accenting the snowflakes with Dazzling Details. I stamped the base separately and embossed with pewter embossing powder, snipped it out and layered onto the card. Love the glass glitter snow inside!

I made boxes in several colors of textured card stock; I think I like the Old Olive the best, although the (retired) Blue Bayou looked very nice with the Baja Breeze.

I made up a few last-minute one-of-a-kind tags to add in a couple boxes. (I never did get around to finishing the stocking tags... oh well, there's always next year....)

I only mailed cards to two of my aunties... I hope they got them by Christmas.

I really love this Marina Mist/Cherry Cobbler plaid... so different and pretty.

And last but not least, here's a trio of cute little hexagonal boxes made with the Mini Milk Carton Bigz die:
Well, that's it for my Christmas creations for this year. I still have several ideas kicking around my work table; I wonder if I'll get a jump-start on next year's projects or if I'll just pick up all the pieces and clear up the considerable mess... I'll let you know!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Angels on high

I love angels. I have a feeling that angels are all around us. Maybe it's a vestige of my Catholic grammar school days, but I like the sense of protection I feel when I think of Archangel Michael, or the tenderness in the message delivered by the Angel Gabriel. I often think that angels manifest through people, through friends and kind strangers, and perhaps that's why I like to imagine them among us.
I love thinking about the angels announcing the birth of the Christ child to the shepherds in their fields (Hark! The Herald Angels Sing is one of my favorite Christmas carols). The big, beautiful angel at the top of our Christmas tree brings this glorious image to mind.

I'm not sure how Santa got mixed up in this holy day, but I like to think of him as a magical angel fulfilling children's fantasies. I just hope he shows up with presents to finish decorating our tree!

Wishing you a merry, magical, and mystical Christmas!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Stocking stuffers

I've had a lot of fun with this Holiday Stocking Bigz XL die. These cards have a little surprise: the tag in the pocket pulls out to reveal a gift card (which I'll attach with a little removable adhesive).

The candy cane really pops with the chunky red glitter, and the tiny jingle bell is just so cute.

I've made several of these in various color combinations. It's hard to pick my favorite, but this might be it. I just love River Rock and Riding Hood Red together, and the little lace border adds a soft, pretty touch.

The tag can be removed and used as a gift tag or a bookmark - or it can remain in the card to be used again next year! I'll attach a separate name tag when it's time for gift-giving.

I got some 6 x 9 catalog envelopes from Staples to hold these cards. Since I don't intend to mail them, I can embellish to my heart's content!

Love this Cherry Cobbler and Wild Wasabi combo, too, especially that gorgeous Frost Lodge DSP. I'm not usually a fan of plaids, but these are beautiful.

I think these stockings will make giving gift cards a lot more exciting!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Winter wishes

Well, it's not quite winter, yet, but we all know it's coming. Each year I try to think of something to add to my list of things I like about winter (it's a short list). I like wreaths, especially this tiny one with the glittery berries.

I stamped the wreath image in Pear Pizzazz and the berries in Riding Hood Red, with some Dazzling Details glitter glue to accent the berries. I cut the Whisper White and Riding Hood Red from PTI's Mat Stack 3 dies; for the card, I used the Mega Mat Stack 3 die and placed a piece of folded Old Olive just inside the left edge, to make a folding card. (The layers fit the card well but the photo makes it look a little unbalanced - it's not.) The dots are dry embossed with a Texturz plate. The Riding Hood Red taffeta ribbon is retired, sadly; it is one of my favorites but I use it sparingly. The little tag was stamped and cut using Tiny Tags and the jewelry tag punch; "to you" is just a part of a larger sentiment stamp.

I just love this little card, which could be mailed in a regular envelope, or used as a gift tag. This reminds me of another item to add to my list: I love making holiday cards.

What do you like about winter?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Taggin' along

There are plenty of things I ought to be doing... but I'd much prefer creating little treasures in my craft room. This little snowman shaker tag is so much more fun than folding laundry!

Most of the tags I make are created out of pure whimsy... looking to put a few little design elements together to make a pleasing whole. I might start out with a particular idea, but chances are it will change into something completely different before I'm through. That's part of the fun!

This little poinsettia and pine bough tag is an exception: I wanted to do something with the Pool Party tag, and I knew I wanted some sort of red. Since I tend to favor Riding Hood Red and Cherry Cobbler as my favorite reds, I looked to something a bit brighter for this 5-piece flower, made from several layers (from a PTI Flower Fusion die and several punched flowers) all snipped between the petals to give some great texture. Poppy Parade was perfect! The pine bough is also from a PTI die, cut twice and layered, with the top bristles tweaked upward for a great 3-D accent. As you can imagine, this particular tag was a lot more labor intensive than many of the others, but I love it!

Some of the tags were spritzed with glimmer spray, like holiday wishes (above) and Dasher, which was also stamped with shimmer paint.

I absolutely adore this little snowman from My Favorite Things; some watercolor accents is all he needed. The candy cane was cut from the Stocking Accents Original die; I then colored every other strip with a Versamarker and heat-embossed with Cherry Cobbler embossing powder. A little messy but cute.

Each tag is stamped, either on the front or the back, with "To" and "From" to make it easy to identify a gift recipient.

I'll admit I like the little glass microbead snow much better than the real thing!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Countdown to Christmas

"He's making a list and checking it twice..."

When I saw this Advent calendar, I knew I wanted to make it. I'd seen other versions of calendars using the set 25 & Counting but nothing really struck me; I'd also been toying with an idea of making a calendar using the candy wrapper box die. But this calendar is made using the Petal Card punch - which I love - so it didn't take me long to decide. I made three of them for each set of my nieces and nephews.

This is nearly a complete copy of Brenda Quintana's design; she was so generous to share her terrific tutorial at http://qbeesquest.blogspot.com/2011/10/inch-box-advent-calendar-tutorial.html. Thank you so much for both the fabulous box design and the equally excellent tutorial!

I just finished making the third one last night and hope to deliver it tomorrow, to Katherine and Michael. I gave one to Aidan and Jake at Thanksgiving, and Toots brought another one to Paige and Max.

There were a lot steps to create these adorable boxes-in-a-box but it was truly fun. The hardest part is to find treats small enough to fit 2 to a box - remember, we're sharing.... Most of the boxes hold candies but a few have miniature ornaments, like these little packages.

(Don't tell: there are two tiny gold angels behind this door!)

I hope my nieces and nephews enjoy counting down the days in December and looking forward to celebrating a Christmas full of love and good cheer!