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!

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