CAS Embossed Tree

So have you had a chance to play along with the Happy Little Stampers new Christmas Challenge yet? If not, jump right on in! Here’s a little more quick, simple, easily mass produced inspiration for you!

This tree is simply embossed using a fun background stamp and then cut at several angles to form a few trees. You would be surprised at how quick and easy it is to mass produce these beauties.

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CAS Embossed Tree July 2015 HLS

I made several versions on different neutral colored card bases. My tree is in Always Artichoke with an Early Espresso trunk. The background stamp is Dotted Fusion by Penny Black, embossed in gold.

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So if you’re in a pinch for a super quick, fun, very clean and simple card – this one is a winner!

Tell me which base you like the best in the comments below – I’m still undecided. And be sure to jump into the challenge fun over at the Happy Little Stampers Christmas Challenge! I can’t wait to see how you are inspired!

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1+2=3 Gold Silver & Black Project Three

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If you’ve followed along this week for this awesome color combination for Christmas Cards inspired by the Merry Monday Christmas Card Challenge this past week, then you’ll love this final project.  To say I loved this challenge is an understatement.  I made seven cards in all, and really loved switching around the combinations and playing with some new elements in each.  Although the main theme is similar, they are each different and have their own personality.

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Here’s my third, and if you’re on the creative tips list I shared a fourth and VIP Community Members got another in a video form.  Have a great holiday weekend – see you in September!

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Sparkly Ornaments

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It seems to be a sequin theme this week!  Today’s project combines two great weekly challenges – Mojo Monday and Merry Monday.  Fittingly – both give your week a creative jump start.  I have to admit, if I wasn’t prompted to use them (thanks to Deanne over at Merry Monday), I wouldn’t have used Sequins.  In actually, I had to go out to the store to get some!

I got lucky, there was a 50% off bin, and I quickly grabbed these super rich in color Magenta sequins along with some cool chocolate brown ones + plus three other colors at regular price – a whole 1,15 euros – seriously, that’s pretty cheap – where have these been all my life?

You may have seen my other Merry Monday card too – that one uses clear sequins to perfection – as snowfall!  I have a link to that project right here.  This week I’m a guest designer at the Merry Monday Christmas Challenge Blog.  Both Merry Monday and Mojo Monday challenges are fun, I encourage you to enter both!

Here’s the sketch for Mojo Monday this week and my interpretation:

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Do you ever not know whether or not to put embellishments on your projects?  I have a little trick for what I do in that case below.

Creative Tips –

  • To really let the sequins be the star, choose neutrals as your card elements.  Here you see Basic Black, Whisper White and Basic Gray.
  • Both the darker pieces were run through the big shot with embossing folders, the black with the stylish stripes and the gray with the Mosaic Maddness.
  • To add a little depth to the Gray, sponge it lightly with the same color, then on the edges in black.

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  • Cut a circle with framelits or a large punch.  Stamp your ornaments in a pigment based black in and emboss using the heat and stick powder then dazzling diamonds glitter.  To keep that glitter from really staying put – the heat and stick powder works wonders!  And the black ink under the glitter really shows off the various colors of the glitter – very cool!
  • Edge your circle lightly using a sponge and first Gray then black inks.
  • For the subtle background, use Christmas greeting stamps and emboss in Versamark ink, then heat and stick powder then Dazzling Diamonds glitter.  Edge with Gray or Black ink.

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  • Adhere the black card stock strip (2 x 4 7/8”) to your background using Tombo Multi purpose glue.
  • Pop up the Gray piece on foam tape.  Glue the half of your ornaments circle to the gray, then add foam tape to the exposed side.  Adhere to your project.

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  • Wrap silver cord around your project three times.  Create a triple loop with four strings and place in between your stamped, embossed in black and cut out greeting.  Pop it up using foam tape and place over an Artisan Label punch out piece of Basic Black.
  • I wasn’t sure whether to leave it along at this point or use the Magenta Sequins as I planned.  Here are three choices I had.  My trick – take photos and then look at them in my camera or on the computer.  It’s much easier to figure out what to do here.  You can see that you can add sequins, photograph and switch out without having to adhere them.  My choices were none, clear or magenta.

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  • I still couldn’t decide – so I went to my failsafe choice – ask my hubby Michael he quickly said purple and I knew my instincts were right!  Why do we always doubt those?!
  • My final touch was to add a few Rhinestones to the sequins, I know it’s a lot of bling, but why not?

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Hope you love the end result.  If you liked this tutorial and want to learn more exclusive tips, videos and see other projects not on the blog – sign up in the box below and I’ll stay in touch with an e-letter from time to time.  You’ll immediately get the first of three project videos to keep you inspired!

Have a great day – now get stamping!

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CAS Christmas Trees

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It’s only July 7th…but before you know it, the holiday season will yet once again have crept up on us.  That’s why I’ve started to religiously make a card for the Merry Monday Christmas Card Challenge.  This week the challenge was to create a green and white card.  You were able to incorporate a neutral if you chose to.

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I kept it completely clean and simple (CAS) this week – just the bare minimum…which can be hard for me.  I usually reach for my paper piercer and add some corner piercing to a card like this, but I wanted to keep it really basic.  What do you think?  Let me know in the comment section – I’d love to know if you think it’s perfect as is, or you think the piercing is the perfect finishing touch.

I’m a bit excited today – this challenge really made me smile.  I enter these challenges as a creative mojo booster, and never expect to win.  It honestly is the furthest from my mind…so I nearly fell off my chair when I saw that I WON last week’s challenge! Smile  I mean…really…little ‘ol me?!!  There were some amazing cards in there!  I’m totally honored and can’t wait to be a guest designer in next weeks challenge.  Here’s the card that gave me my first ever win! Smile

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Creative Tips –

  • To make the trees, stamp various background and large image stamps in tone on tone colors onto a 1 3/4” x 1 1/4” piece of coordinating card stock.  I used Pear Pizzazz, Wild Wasabi, and Old Olive.
  • Don’t have any – no problem – use a versamark pad for whatever color you have.  It’s a watermark of that color and a great muted image.

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  • On the reverse side of your rectangle at the top – make a mark with a pencil half way across the smaller measurement.  Should be 5/8”.
  • To make your trees, cut from the opposite corners to that middle mark.  Use a Paper Trimmer or just scissors – larger ones help here to get a straight cut.

  • Add a 1/2” piece of scrap Early Espresso for your trunk and pop them up on a  card front of white.
  • Stamp your sentiment in the corner – I used a contemporary looking greeting from More Merry Messages by Stampin’ Up!.

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  • Pop up your card front and you’re done!

Totally easy, right?  You could quickly make a bunch of these watching a movie.  Hope you enjoyed that this week.  If you did – be sure to sign up for our Creative Tips list.  You’ll get a video series emailed to you with several cool projects and the occasional email about exclusive projects you won’t see here on the blog!

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Now off to make your own green and white Christmas Cards.  Join in on the fun over at the Merry Monday Challenge.

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Merry Monday Bokeh Flurry

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Have you tried the Merry Monday Challenge?  I seem to be on a challenge kick lately, and thought I’d have a go at this one this week.

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This week, the challenge is to add some Sparkle, Shimmer and Shine.  Sounded like fun and I needed to get started on some Christmas Cards! Smile

Here at the grove, we have an exclusive step by step video and we’re having fun with a new technique this week – Bokeh.  I promised them I’d try it with some snowflakes along with all the other samples.  Here’s the result – enjoy!

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Merry Christmas from the Black Forest

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The rain is making little pitter patter noises on our skylights and the early morning daylight has just begun to rise here in Germany.  The lights on the tree are twinkling as I listen to my Diana Krall, Harry Connick Jr. and Jazz Christmas CD’s this early morning.  The house is quiet as everyone is sleeping.  The fire in the fire place is crackling and the presents are perfectly placed under the tree, that’s all Michael – not me, he has a gift for it!  I’m fighting off some sort a bug and refuse to let it dampen the excitement of this day!  You can hear nothing outside – no cars, no hustle and bustle and it’s nice.  Just the Black Forest, the rain and us!

Last night we went to a Christmas service in the actual Black Forest.  There was a live manger scene with an orchestra and about 800 people came from far and wide to stand out in the cold and listen to the Christmas story (even on big buses!).  A bonfire twenty feet high crackled in the background and you could hear a pin drop as the pastor enthralled the masses with this joyful story as children dressed as angels with massive wings and shepherds also looked on.  It was quite something. 

After, we ventured the 20 minutes back through the Black Forest back to the Bad Wildbad valley to the town center.  We gathered at the town square just outside the Church and sang German Christmas carols with 1000 other town folk while a 60 piece orchestra filled this quaint small village with beautiful music.  It was the perfect way to start our Christmas Eve.

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I would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas.  Thank you for taking the time to visit here and leaving comments this past year.  I hope you have enjoyed all the creative inspiration this past year.  I’m excited for all the great creative inspiration that will be shared in 2014!

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I made this special card just for you today.  The poinsettia flower is embossed and water colored from behind.  It is delicate, just like a stained glass church window.  The small details like just a tiny bit of gold embossing on the raised embossed words in the background really make this card special.  This card is my all time favorite of the 2013 season, and I hope you love it too.Christmas Eve 2013 027 edited_edited-1From my home to yours – I hope you have a safe and happy holiday this year! 

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A Mojo Monday Noel

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Hi there paper crafters!  I hope you all are having a fabulous Monday morning!  I thought I’d jump right back into life with a Mojo Monday card.  My how I’ve missed this little challenge and you all!  Smile

In case you’ve been wondering, we’ve been traveling for the past seven weeks, moved out of our home, and visited four countries all in the span of 10 days!  We’ve been getting settled and I’m finally able to get back into the paper crafting groove.  Check back tomorrow for the personal 411.

So, here’s today’s Mojo sketch and my interpretation – enjoy the tips!

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Creative Tips –

  • Since all my really cool tools (Big Shot, templates, etc…) are still making their way over to Europe, I had to go old school and KISS (Keep it sweet and simple) for this project.
  • I stamped the three smallest snowflakes from Snowflake Soiree in Pear Pizzazz, Early Espresso and Cherry Cobbler.  I just LOVE this color trio!
  • You’ll want to punch our your snowflakes with the 2 1/2” Circle Punch
  • Sponge the edge lightly with Early Espresso ink and pop that up on Stamping Dimensionals.Snowflake Soiree 008 (8)
  • Wrap some of the Cherry Cobbler Baker’s Twine around a piece of Pear Pizzazz Cardstock that is 2 1/2” x 4”.
  • Paper Pierce seven holes in the top and bottom of the Pear Pizzazz and attach to a 5 1/2” x 4 1/4” piece of Whisper White card stock that has been sponged in Early Espresso.
  • Next Stamp your greeting in Early Espresso.  I used Noel from Greetings of the Season.  I used a piece of scrap paper and then trimmed it down to the size I needed. 
  • Sponge your greeting and paper pierce some holes on the right of the greeting to add balance to your project.Snowflake Soiree 008 (12)
  • Matte your greeting onto a piece of Early Espresso card stock that leaves a 1/16” border so a not to overwhelm your card.
  • Pop your greeting up on the right side and add regular adhesive to the left so that it matches the height of your popped up circle .Snowflake Soiree 008 (1)
  • TIP – to achieve balance in your project, sponge your matching white pieces, and have the same amount of space to the edge for the greeting and the circle. 
  • I chose to have my circle and greeting slightly offset to the bottom of the card for interest.Snowflake Soiree 008 (4)
    It’s a simple card, but rather cute.  You could easily mass produce this card.  Stamp strips of white card stock and then punch your circles out.  Quite simple!  I hope you enjoyed this!
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O Holy Night Masterpiece

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Have you ever set out to create a simple card and end up creating a little piece of art?  That’s how I feel about this project.  My goal was to just create a clean and simple card.  If you look a bit closer, you’ll see some cool techniques come together to make a little piece of artwork.  These are the kind of techniques you’ll learn in the creative cards classes taught in the online classroom.  After all, not everything can just be cut, assemble and create, right?

Creative Tips –

  • The O Holy Night stamps together are striking.  I love the mixture of fonts to create this great image.  Be careful not to mix it with too much in the background, as it will take away from the cool font look.O Holy Night 001 011
  • Night of Navy is always a great choice for a striking card.  Here you will pair it with Elegant Eggplant to create your background along with gold embossing powder.
  • The background is sponged lightly using the two colors onto a piece of Crumb Cake.  You will then use a sponge to randomly add some versamark ink and then Gold Embossing powder.  Don’t overdo the gold.  I blew and tapped off some.  It’s meant to be an added look, not overtake it.O Holy Night 001 001O Holy Night 001 002
  • The piece I made was a bit too wide, so I cut off a strip 1/2” wide, and separated it for some interest to the background.  This broke up the dominant look and allows you to focus on the stamped image instead.  Don’t be afraid to try separating your backgrounds if it’s not working for you.
  • The Night of Navy front needed a little bit, so you can add a little interest with the Festive Flurry set as pictured here, or try Gorgeous Grunge.
  • You’ll want to matte your stamped image, Night of Navy was the only real choice here, but it got lost on the Night of Navy card front, and white would have been too much.  So, I matted it onto a piece of our Vellum cardstock and tore the edge for a little texture.  The outcome was stunning. O Holy Night 001 010O Holy Night 001 013
  • To give it a little more drama, pop it up on Stamping Dimensionals along with the card front.
  • Using card stock like Crumb Cake or Brown Sugar along with rich colors like Night of Navy, sometimes look like gold as here. O Holy Night 001 005

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Brayer 102 – Advanced Creative Scenery Pre-Release savings!

Do you love to create Creative Scenery?  Then don’t miss out on the Advanced Techniques class.  Brayer 101 was a huge online hit, and we’re continuing the series by taking these creative pieces of artwork to a whole other level.  The class is slated to go live Thursday October 24th, but you can save during the Pre-release!  Check it out here.  And if you missed the 101 class, get caught up in the 101/102 bundle!  Check out the bundle here.

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Stamps – O Holy Night, Festive Flurry Ink – Night of Navy, Eggplant Envy, Versamark Paper – Crumb Cake, Night of Navy, Vellum Cardstock Cool Tools – Gold Embossing Powder, Heat Tool, Sponges Finishing Touch – Stamping Dimensionals