Monday, December 22, 2014

2014 Christmas Card

Happy December 22nd, Y'all!!

I can't believe Christmas is only THREE days away and the new year is just 8 short days away. My gosh, where has time gone?!? 

Now that my head is spinning and I'm realizing how much stuff I need to complete, I'm going to jump straight to our 2014 Christmas card so I can get offline and finish making them don't keep you waiting.

(click photo to enlarge)

With all of the hustle and bustle I'm not sure how much time I will have to sit down and create between now and Christmas, but I am going to try sneak in a card or two. If I am successful, I will make sure to share it with you!!

I hope each of you are having a happy holiday so far!!

"But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times."  Micah 5:2

Friday, December 19, 2014

Throwback Thursday on Friday

Happy Friday Y'all ...

Today I am going to throw it back to 2011 and show you what I consider to be some of my all-time favorite Christmas cards. So without further adieu, let's get to it!! You can click on each photo to enlarge it.

If you have a minute, I'd love for you to leave a comment as to which card is your favorite!

Make sure and check back on Monday to see our final Christmas card for 2014.

Have a great weekend!
Smiles, Hugs, and Happy Stamping!!

"And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven." Luke 1:76-78

Thursday, December 18, 2014

2014 Christmas Card

Happy Thursday!!

If you have been following my blog this week you know that today is the day that I am going to post the Christmas card that we will be sending out this year. When I was browsing thru the MOJO Monday 2014 Sketches I knew I wanted a sketch that wouldn't require a lot of tedious work (paper piercing, coloring, etc.) AND in order to make it F-L-A-T, I needed a sketch that wouldn't require embellishments. That my friends is how I picked out Sketch #345.

(click photo to enlarge)

The best part ... the only stamping I have to do is the sentiment. Everything else is either DIE CUT or cut with my SU! paper trimmer (now WHY did they retire that thing?!?  Best.Trimmer.Ever -- but that's okay because I have two spares, of which I am about to get one out because the cutting blade on my current one is quite d-u-l-l. -- GOSH! How was that for running down a totally irrelevant bunny trail? *SQUIRREL!!*).  <pauses to regroup>

I had a package of All is Calm DSP sitting on my desk so I did my mock up card using it. However, upon completion, my hubby informed me that he wasn't a fan of the non-traditional Christmas colors so I have since switched to last year's paper stack, Festival of Prints. The new colors I am using are are Old Olive & Cherry Cobbler and I have to say, I.Like.Them. 

Since I haven't had a chance to photograph the finished card(s) I will show you the mock up now and then post the final card(s) either Saturday, or more likely, next Monday so make sure to check back.

(click photo to enlarge)

That's all for I have for now. I must get the mass production assembly line going SOON!! *yikes*

Have a blessed day!
"But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, 'Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is coneived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.'" Matthew 1:20-21

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

He's Making A List & Checking It Twice

Happy Wednesday, because greeting you with "Happy Hump Day" just seems wrong!

In reading over my last post, I realized that my days were off so today I will show you another epic flat fail and then tomorrow (Thursday) I will show you the card design that made the cut for this year's Christmas cards. You will definitely want to check back on Friday because I will be posting some really great cards from Christmas 2012. It is likely that they would make the list of some of my all-time favorite cards.

For today's flat fail, I have for you a great card using the MOJO Monday Sketch #354. I love everything about the card; the sketch, the image stamp, the sentiment, the colors, the layers, the various textures, and the details. The problem is the LAYERS!  A card with 5 layers PLUS a banner with dimension is everything but flat, thus it will require extra postage for special handling. Another.Epic.Flat.Fail  *sigh*

(click photo to enlarge)
On the bright side, even though I haven't conquered "flat", I think I have accomplished being able to make a decent card without using embellishments (ribbon, baker's twine, buttons, clips, jingle bells, etc.) which are all the things I absolutely LOVE!!

That's all for now. Make sure to check back tomorrow and especially on Friday!!

Smiles, Blessings, and Inky Hugs!

"But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, 'Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.'” Matthew 1:20-21

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Triple Time Stamping with Flat, not fluffy, Christmas Cards

The last thing I mentioned in my previous post (before answering the four questions) was that I needed to continue working on making f-l-a-t, instead of fluffy, cards. The two cards I have today are definitely more flat than my previous ones, which is good; however, I am not a fan of either of them because I think they are too p-l-a-i-n. Therefore, my quest to make a flat card that is visually appealing continues. *sigh*

I used the Seasonally Scattered stamp set, Crumb Cake, Cherry Cobbler, and Whisper White cardstock, and the Perfect Polka Dots & Snow Burst (retired) embossing folders to create the card below.

(click photo to enlarge)

For this "Triple Time Stamping" card I used the Snowflake Soiree (retired) and Endless Wishes (sentiment) stamp sets. Crumb Cake, Cherry Cobbler, and Whisper White cardstock and I added a few Basic Jewels for a little bling.

(click photo to enlarge)

Triple Time Stamping:

Whisper White Cardstock:
Top Layer: 2 x 3 1/4
Middle Layer: 3 x 4 1/4

Bottom Layer: 4 X 5 1/4

Cherry Cobbler Cardstock:
Top Layer: 2 1/4 x 3 1/2
Middle Layer: 3 1/4 x 4 1/2

Bottom Layer: 8 1/2  (scored at 4 1/4) x 5 1/2 

Layer the three white pieces of cardstock on top of each other making sure they are centered. Stamp your images and then adhere the white pieces onto their respective Cherry Cobbler mats.

I would love your feedback (aka: constructive criticism) on both cards in the comments section below. Do you think they are too plain? What do you (or don't you) like about both of them?  I'm curious to see what you think.

Tomorrow I will have another epic flat fail for you - because I'm good at those, ya know! I will use the (retired) Santa's List stamp set and MOJO Monday Sketch #354 as my template.  Even though I manage to not use any embellishments, the five layers plus a banner definitely disqualifies it from being considered "flat".

On Wednesday I will show you the Christmas card that made the final cut so I (with help from my hubby) will be duplicating it to send out later this week. On Thursday I will do a little Throwback and show you a few of my cards from Christmas 2012 - all of which my mother took hostage for her box of Handmade by Hallie cards!

Until tomorrow, Wednesday, and Thursday ... Hugs, Smiles, and Blessings!
"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love." Ephesians 4:2

Monday, December 15, 2014

Endless {Christmas} Wishes - A Creative Blog Hop

A little over a week ago I received a PM (private message) on Splitcoaststampers from the uber talented stamper, a fellow Texan, and after Convention 2014, now my friend ... Beverly {Bev} Gerard. The purpose of her PM was to nominate me to participate in the Creative Blog Hop that she had received from the cat loving, funny story blogging, entertaining, stamping diva who isn't afraid to try new techniques and get dirty inky, Lydia Fiedler, who also happens to be a fellow Texan. The hop features Stampin' Up! projects by an ongoing list of demos and friends from around the world, except when three Texans in a row participate! LOL!! Thanks Bev for the nomination ... it means A LOT to be thought of by you as a worthy participant!  ... and oh, the description of me in your blog post made me *blush*. You are too sweet!!

Now Bev used the hop as a means for a break from her seasonal projects; however, this girl right here took the opportunity to START her Christmas cards. That's right folks, it's December 15th and I'm just starting on 50 {gasp! - F-I-F-T-Y} handmade cards. YIKES!! Obviously I have L-O-T-S of work to do so rather than continuing to hopefully entertain you with this blog post I will post my project, answer my questions, and pass the hop on to the next two talented demo stampers.

If you will recall in my last post, I have a really.hard.time making flat (aka: non-dimensional) cards. I would rather clean house and do laundry instead of giving up my dimension on a card. I love me some layers and embellishments (ribbons, buttons, and clips - Oh My!) ... but I digress ... so my goal this year is to make my cards {as} flat {as possible} so that they don't cost a fortune to mail or jam the mail machines in Waco, Texas which happens to be up by Bev, but I digress again. So here is one of my {as} flat {as I could possibly make it} Christmas cards which happens to be a big fat 5-layer non-mail-able FAIL!! *sigh* Thus I shall continue to work on f-l-a-t instead of fluffy!!

(click photo to enlarge)

 ...and now for my questions:

1.) What are you working on?  

I think this one answers itself ... Fifty.Christmas.Cards amongst a few other "Thank You" cards that I need to make for my church greeters (I am the Hospitality & Greeting Ministry Leader at our church in case you missed that post). For the record, my goal for 2015 is to make 5 Christmas cards per month so by the time December arrives I can mail them on December 1st instead of starting them on December 15th. I will let you know in a year from now how that worked out or how about I just set a more realistic goal now?!? That's probably a better idea!

2.) How does your work differ from others in your genre?
I'd say that my style has developed after being influenced by, in my opinion, the ultimate of ultimate stampers in the stamping community. For many, many, MANY years I followed (okay, I stalked) the work of the super duper talented Beate (those of you from back in the day {circa 2003-2009} will remember when she was a SU! demo and graced us with her talent). Day in and day out I admired her work, watched her video tutorials - I loved her German accent! - and soaked in as much as I could and then I finally started digging out all of the product that I had been hoarding and not using to begin stamping rather than stalking her and collecting supplies! As a result of her influence, I would claim that my style is simple and clean while complex and somewhat intimidating because of  my layering, dimension, and embellishing. I am a Type "A" personality and suffer with major OCD (self proclaimed, not by diagnosis) so I like things clean, lined up, matching, neat, organized, perfect, straight, symmetrical, and tidy which, by the way, means that I am the complete opposite of Lydia ... who is an artist and NOT a Type "A"!!! I very much stick to what I am comfortable with and don't venture too far out of my box/comfort zone. *NOTE: did you notice my OCD list is in alphabetical order?!?  I rest my case!

3.) Why do you create what you do?
When time permits, stamping is my escape, my getaway, my creative outlet; therefore, I create for fun and for the satisfaction of accomplishing something unique, one of a kind, and handmade by me. I enjoy sending my creations to my family and friends because I know that what I send will make them smile and they will cherish it for-e-ver! To sum it up, I love making cards because I know that my creations have an impact on and make a difference in others' lives.

4.) How does your creativity process work?
I am very methodical when it comes to creating so the MOJO Monday Blog is ALWAYS my first stop. I normally have an idea of the stamp that I want to use as the focal point on my card so I browse the MOJO sketches, pick one that I like and that will work with my image, and then print it. From there, I pick the cardstock and DSP that I will use on the card. Once I have my cardstock and DSP picked out, I layer them on my desk to make sure they work with the sketch and are pleasing to the eye. After that I stamp my main image, color it if necessary, and then begin building my card based on the sketch.

Now for the passing of the baton hop:
My first nomination is a super talented stamper who is a Canadian Demonstrator ... if I had been able to recruit internationally, she would be in my downline!  Although I have never met Marsha Lavoie (Stamping With Marsha), I feel as if I know her. There is no doubt that I am drawn to her work because of her clean and neat style. I certainly hope you love her creations as much as I do!

My second nomination goes out to another super talented stamper, Jeannine Tarrio, with whom I had the privilege of being on the SCS Stampin' Up! Creative Crew Design Team. It is Jean's clean, crisp, and elegant style that draws me into her work and I'm sure you'll love what you see on her blog, Jean Stamps.

If you are in the mood to hop over to one more blog, check out the talented Nancy Smith at iguanastamp. Nancy was also nominated by Bev to post today and I had to giggle when I received a PM from Nancy nominating me to participate in this hop with a post due next Monday. Sorry for having to decline Nancy, it is an honor to have been nominated a second time.

Both Marsha and Jean have until next Monday, December 22nd to post their work so make sure and check their blogs next week to see what they have created for you.

One final note, make sure and check back tomorrow because I have 7 or so more Christmas cards ready to show you.

Crafty Blessings,

"But the angel said to her, 'Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.'”