Wednesday, December 17, 2014

12 Days of Gifts: Ornaments

Hi there! Welcome back to 12 Days of Christmas Gifts. How are you making out with you holiday preparations? I'm making progress, but not quite ready. Can you believe we're only a little over a week out?? Crazy.

Today's gift idea is fast and festive! I try to stock up on these little plastic, see-through ornaments from the craft store each year after the holiday. They make the cutest and simplest hostess gift or co-worker gift.

I just cut strips of the Nordic Noel Designer Series Paper (2.5 x. 5 inches each), curled them with my bone folder and then dropped them into the ornament. Seriously, does it get any simpler? If you're at a loss for a last minute gift, this is the best idea!

It's a great way to use up the leftover holiday paper you have from your Christmas cards or projects, too. You could even use non-holiday paper and make a set of ornaments for someone to use as decorations all year long. Think of how cute these would be in fun bright colors for Easter hanging from the mantle or something. Ooh... the wheels are turning now.

Well, this one was so simple I don't really have much else to say about it!

Thanks for stopping by today... hope you'll come back and visit again soon.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

12 Days of Christmas: Birthday Book

Hi There! Happy Tuesday. Monday this week was tough for me -- as I mentioned yesterday I was in Christmas Card mode this weekend and I stayed up until 12:30 in the morning on Sunday night making them with my niece. It was SO much fun, but I was really paying for it yesterday.

Today I'm a bit more rested, but still working diligently to get my holiday messages out to all my friends and family.

Today's gift idea can help you stay organized in 2015. It's a perpetual birthday calendar using the small grid journals from the Annual Catalog. Can I tell you how much I love these (I probably don't have to since I think I've used them for three of my 12 Days of Gifts Series)!

I love that you can stamp directly on these books and they accept the in so beautifully. I added some birthday stamping using the Amazing Birthday stamp set, a little washi tape, linen thread and bling for the cover. Then I used the Project Life "stickies" from the Happiness Is Accessory pack on the pages to mark the start of each new month. It's funny I designed this a while back because I'm really in need of one of these perpetual calendars so I can get back to sending birthday cards each month in 2015. Well, little did I know that Stampin' Up was going to be helping me with that task next year with a beautiful new perpetual calendar kit in the Occasions calendar. I haven't put it together yet (I can't play with my new toys until I finish all my holidays chores: Christmas Cards, decorating, gifts, etc. It's torture I tell you!), but I'm so in love with the samples I've seen so far and I can't wait to offer it as a class in January. In fact, save the date of Thursday, January 8th. That's the day I'll be holding the class at my house in Harwich Port. Class cost will be $20 and include all the supplies you need to create an adorable little clipboard-style birthday calendar.

If you don't live near me, but would like to make the perpetual calendar in January - e-mail me because maybe we can get a group of your friends together and I'll take a road trip! Fun!

Anyway, back to today's gift idea. This is an adorable way to keep track of birthdays as well because you can carry it with you at all times. You know how you'll every once in a while learn about someone's birth date in everyday conversation and then write it on a little sticky note. Then, you promptly lose it. What? That doesn't happen to you? Well, if it did... this little book would be a great way to counter that problem.

So have you ordered your little grid journals yet? What will you make with them? So many options... so little time.

Have a great day and see you back here tomorrow for another installment of 12 Days of Gifts.

Monday, December 15, 2014

12 Days of Gifts (continued...): Picture Frame

Hello... so I took a little unexpected hiatus in my 12 Days of Gifts. Let's just say making about 200 Christmas cards sort of slowed me down a bit! But I'm just about ready to start the process of writing out the cards and getting them in the mail. With any luck I'll have them out by Christmas (wink, wink)!

Since it's too late to get purchased gifts in time for Christmas now for the most part (without expediting shipping), I'll just be sharing hand made gifts for the remainder of the 12 Days of Gifts. Hopefully I'll still have a couple of ideas you can use this season.

With that... on to today's gift idea. I purchased this little white frame at Michael's over the summer (but they still have some now -- just in different colors). They were in those little $1 and $2 bins near the front of the store. That area is a gold mine for little "gifty" ideas.

So my Harwich Port stamp club members decided to have a handmade gift exchange at our meeting last week so I made this little gift for my contribution to the exchange. I used washi tape for the little banner (I think that was an idea that I got from the bi-monthly Stampin' Success magazine that Stampin' Up provides for their demonstrators).

The flower is a super, super simple paper flower. You can use any size scallop circle punch you want. For this smaller size flower I used the 1 1/4" scallop circle. I punched out three of them (you could do more if you wanted a "bulkier" flower) and spritzed them with a little bit of water to soften up the cardstock. I then crumpled each of them up in a little ball (yup - just completely crush them) and then I carefully unfolded them.

Next, I piled them all on top of each other and poked a hole in the center of all three; insert a small brad to hold them all together and then "fluff" and "scrunch" until you get the carnation-like look. Then use the 2-way glue pen to add some glitter for a little pop of sparkle. Voila! I attached it to the frame with glue dots and there you have it. Simple!

Here is a close-up picture of the frame so you can see the flower a bit better.

Fun, right? I do have a little warning for you with this project -- it's very hard to stop making these once you start! In fact, I first became obsessed with making these way back in 2010. You can see another project I made with these here.

Ok... I'll be back tomorrow with another idea. Promise!

Monday, December 8, 2014

12 Days of Gifts: Christmas Tags

So I unintentionally took a little hiatus over the weekend... sorry about that. It was a busy weekend for me for my "day job" and unfortunately my stampin' job took a back seat!

But I'm back and have another hand-stamped gift idea for you today... do you have any holiday parties to go to in the next couple of weeks? Probably, right? One of the things I love to bring my hostesses is a cute little package of Christmas tags. I took a picture of an assortment of tags I made recently with the Shore Stampers team members. You could easily make two or three of each of these designs in one sitting and put them together in a little cello bag tied with a ribbon and it would make a great hostess gift (add a bottle of wine to that and you'll probably be the favorite guest!). These would also make great gifts for teachers, friends and/or co-workers.

Do you already have someone on your list that is a "Martha Stewart" all on her own? One of my new favorite products from Stampin' Up is the tag topper punches... they make creating tags so, so easy and would be a great gift! We have two different styles (and a new style coming out in the Occasions catalog!) and at just $22 each they are a great price point for a gift.

You can see the scalloped edge topper here and the angled tag topper here.

Well, I'm going to be pretty lame today... I'm off to bed... another busy week for me this week and I'm truly in need of my beauty sleep after this weekend (I even had someone tell me I looked tired this weekend and I had make-up on and everything.... oh well, perhaps it's time for a new foundation/concealer combo!)


Saturday, December 6, 2014

12 Days of Gifts: Project Life Album

Howdy! Welcome back for another edition of 12 Days of Christmas Gifts!

Have you ever taken on a scrapbooking endeavor where you decided to create an album for someone to use -- say, for a baby shower gift or a wedding gift? It's quite the undertaking, yes?

Well today's homemade gift idea is the perfect way to give people the gift of memories, but without the 6 months of prep work that it can take with a traditional scrapbook album.

If you have a new Mom (or soon-to-be), a new bride, or even just someone who love to take photos to remember all of the little things in life, creating a 6x8 Project Life album for them is a great gift.

The idea is this... you decorate and set up the cover of the album and then "prep" the inside, too, so that all your "gift-ee" needs to do is slip in some photos and his or her memories are preserved. Easy Peasy. Let's take a look inside a sample one... the one I'm showing you today is actually my December Daily album for this month, but you can use the same concept for any theme - whether it's documenting the first few months of a baby's life or just the everyday details of life.

So for the page to the right I used the Hello December Project Life Card Collection and the Hello December Accessory pack. For this album I actually numbered each page  - one through 25 - so I can document holiday festivities for the 25 days of Christmas, but you wouldn't have to do that for an everyday album if you didn't want to. For, say, a baby album maybe each spread could translate into one week or one month of her life...

Anyway, you get the idea right? Each of the white cards above represents a photo so in each of these sample pages I have a spot for three photos. (I already have the photos taken, but I haven't printed them out yet!).

Here's another photo of the inside. This one is from December 6. The beauty of this "pocket-style" scrapbooking is that if I get to December 6 and I don't have festive photos to match the pre-designed layout I made, I just switch the little pocket cards around to better fit the happenings of the day... so much easier than pre-designing traditional scrapbook pages (don't get me wrong -- I still love my traditional scrapbooking, too! Just this makes a gift SO much easier).

My suggestion for a "purchased" gift today is going to be the same -- because perhaps you have someone on your list that would love this concept, too, but would like to set it up on their own (rather than having it pre-designed by you). So here are some suggested items to purchase if you want to try either of these gift ideas:

Early Espresso 6x8 album, #135293, $9.95
Variety Pack 6x8 pocket pages, $135297, $5.95 (I would suggest 2 or 3 pkgs. to fill an album)
Journaling Pens, #135304, $4.95

and then for an Everyday themed album I would pick either one of these card collections and accessories packs:

Everyday Adventure Card Collection, #135298, $15.95
Everyday Adventure Accessory pack, #135301, $9.95


Happiness Is Card Collection, #135307, $15.95
Happiness Is Accessory Pack, #135309, $9.95

For a baby themed album, you could try:

Little Moments Card Collection, #13599, $15.95
Little Moments Accessory Pack, #135302, $9.95

And for Wedding or Graduation this one would be great (Even though some of the cards will say "love-themed" things the back sides of the cards are always different, which makes this a great option for graduation albums):

Love Story Card Collection, #135308, $15.95
Love Story Accessory Pack, #135310, $9.95

Thanks for stopping by again today! I'll be back tomorrow with another idea for you... Right now I'm off to make some Christmas Cards! :)

Friday, December 5, 2014

12 Days of Gifts: Gift Card Holder

Whew! I almost forgot about this today!! Sorry I'm so late, but it's 11:21 so I still made it. :)

Today's gift idea is more of a packaging idea. Because I don't know about you, but now that my niece and nephews are older I have a whole lot of gift cards to hand out!

So to make your gift a little more "thoughtful" why not package it up pretty, right? This gift card holder was one we made at Creative Escape in November using the pre-scored gift card enclosures included in the 2014-2015 Idea Book and Catalog. You get 10 in a package so that's a lot of gifting!

I used my stars mask and whisper white craft ink to stencil the white stars onto the gift enclosure. then stamp a cherry cobbler star on cherry cobbler cardstock and topped it with a silver star... tied a ribbon around the gift card enclosure to hold it shut and popped up the stars with dimensionals. Voila!

So to go along with my hand-stamped gift suggestion for today, my "purchased" Stampin' Up gift suggestion for today is a Stampin' Up gift certificate! Did you know I offer gift cards in any amount and I'll even package them up to look super nice for you! :)

On a side note, if you're the type that prefers to get an actual gift for unwrapping... be sure to check-out the year end close-out sale -- there are lots of new items in there at up to 80% off, but everything is while supplies last.

Alright... short and sweet tonight... but have no fear... I'll be back again tomorrow!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

12 Days of Christmas Gifts: Technique Book

Ok. I must admit at the outset... I'm exhausted! I had so much fun at the new Occasions catalog launch in Marlboro, MA yesterday with four other Shore Stampers (hi girls!!), but boy am I beat today... worst part? I have an extra long day at work tonight... oh well... you play, you pay, right! :)

Before I move on to today's gift -- let me just say that you may want to ask from some cash-ola this holiday season... the new catalog is so, so fun! My wish list is already a mile long... but I digress... we're talking about presents for others today!
Today's hand stamped gift is for a "seasoned" crafter or even for someone who is just starting out. I made this little technique book at convention earlier this year and have referenced it so many times already! Basically, the idea is to create a pretty little book (I used those adorable little kraft grid albums again) and fill the pages with different stamping techniques - my book has some more advanced techniques (but, honestly, not anything you couldn't do as well!), but if you were making this for a new stamper you could do the classics like heat embossing, the rock and roll
technique and "kissing."

I've posted some of the inside pages as well... just so you can see how we put ours together. We took pictures of the finished cards and then wrote notes on how we accomplished each technique.

I think the coolest part of my book is that all of the techniques I learned were in a class with four of the Stampin' Up concept artists. Can you imagine if your JOB entailed playing with stamps all day and designing samples for the catalog... so, so fun. I guess I can kind of claim that as I do play with stamps a lot AND get paid for it!!

Anyway, on to today's product gift idea. I don't know about you, but I am in love with coloring. I'm not too ashamed to admit that even though I'm approaching 40 (well in a year or so!), I still LOVE to color. I even have my very own Strawberry Shortcake coloring book (remember her?). That's why I was so excited to learn about our new Blendabilities markers. Each color family is sold in a package of three (light, medium and dark) so you can blend your way to beautiful images. It's so much fun. I'm sharing a couple of samples of the projects we made in my Blendabilities class at Creative Escape in November. The card was simple shading 101 and the scrapbook page we did the uber popular "ombre" (light to dark) effect.

And here is a photo of an adorable little gift basket you could put together for the "color-er" in your life!

Here's the run-down of the product I put in my little basket:
Calypso Coral Blendabilities, (#130996, $11.95) you could include any color, though:
Tuxedo Black Memento Ink Pad, (#132708, $5.95)
Blended Bloom Stamp, (#135906, $11.95)
Blendabilities Color Lifter, (#129369, $4.95)

Okey Dokey... I'm off to work... wish me luck! :)

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