Friday, December 23, 2016

Bear on Candy Cane Lane

As you might recall, I've been making Christmas cards with Stampin' Up!'s suite of Candy Cane Lane products. I have a handful of pieces to turn into cards yet (most likely for next Christmas) and decided to put some of them towards a card using Splitcoaststampers sketch challenge SC624 which looks like this:

Here's my card, front and inside:

I nearly abandoned the project when I cut the bottom piece of designer series paper and realized that I had a headless Gingerbread Boy right over the sentiment "Put on a Happy Face," and that just didn't seem right. I saved the card by fussy cutting his head and reattaching it to his body. I wasn't sure I'd like the Gingerbread Boy hanging over the diagonal, but once I saw it I thought it was rather cute and kept working on the card. It was the extra attention on this little guy that gave me the idea of cutting pieces out of the designer paper to decorate the card inside and envelope. The final touch was putting the Real Red Candy Dots on the front to balance out the bear. Despite the beheading, this card was a breeze to make and done in record time compared to how long I usually dink with my cards.

* * * * * * * * * * * *
... and that brings us to Christmas! I have a low-stress weekend planned for the holiday -- a couple friends will visit tomorrow and one will take me for a much-needed haircut, and the rest of the time is mine to craft, sleep, read, eat, watch movies, or do whatever else strikes my fancy. Love it! I'll likely be talking on the phone with out-of-town friends as well.

Let me wish you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays filled with love and laughter! 

Big, big smiles,
Joyce Spear a.k.a. StamperJoyce

P.S. I'm not sure if I'll have something to post next week, but I will be back soon!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Candy Cane Lane Christmas Cards

When Stampin' Up!'s Holiday Mini catalog first came out, I was decidedly unimpressed with the Candy Cane Lane suite of products. I thought the colors were bland and the theme was unimaginative - and now I can't get enough of them! I wish I had been able to snag some more of the designer series paper before it sold out during the Holiday Extravaganza. I'm nearly halfway through this pack of paper, which is unusual for paper that I'd usually hoard, and I still have a handful of cards in progress.

For this batch of six cards I used the photopolymer Cookie Cutter Christmas stamp set almost exclusively. You may be able to tell from my cards that I'm totally in love with Gingerbread Boy and the Bear.

Card 1

Isn't that embossed background AMAZING? It was made with the Cable Knit 3D embossing folder turned so the design moves horizontally. If you have yet to see a 3D embossing folder in action, you must check it out! The 3D folders work much the same as regular ones, except that you need to spritz the cardstock with water before embossing. This helps the fibers break down and hold the texture more deeply. Both sides of the embossed cardstock look fantastic!

Card 2
Here's the same card but with the Cable Knit folder turned 90 degrees to emboss vertically:

The bear is raised up with Stampin' Dimensionals over an oval die cut from Stitched Shapes matted with a scalloped oval from the Layering Ovals die set. Don't they work wonderfully together? I used the same size shapes for the sentiment on the inside of the card:

Close-up of the sentiment, in case the above picture isn't readable:

Cards 3 and 4
These next two cards feature the Gingerbread Boy standing in front of a row of gingerbread houses. (How fitting!) Once again the cards are almost identical except for the direction of the Cable Knit embossing:

I kept the inside of these two cards pretty simple, leaving plenty of room for any personal note I might want to write out:

Cards 5 and 6
Here are two more Gingerbread Boy cards, this time using Candy Cane Lane designer series paper as the backdrop instead of the Cable Knit embossing. The cards are essentially identical except for which section of the designer paper is showing:

The insides of these last two cards are also simple, so simple that I forgot to take a photo. There's a Gingerbread Boy stamped in the lower left corner on a Whisper White stitched rectangle, and then the "Warm Heartfelt Greetings" sentiment from Cards 3 and 4.

* * * * * * * * * * * *
... and that brings you current with all I've finished making so far. I'm pleased to say that all of this year's Christmas and holiday cards have been mailed, so any more I create will be for Christmas 2017. 

How about you? Have you finished your Christmas cards? Hung your stockings with care? Baked cookies to feed Santa on Christmas Eve? I would love to hear how you all celebrate the holiday and where you're at in your plans!

Gingerbready Smiles,
Joyce Spear a.k.a. StamperJoyce

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Festive Christmas Treat Boxes

Friday can't get here fast enough! It'll be the Friday before the Christmas weekend this year, and I have small gifts for both my aide and home health nurse that I can't wait to give them!

I was looking for something little I could do for them since I'm not allowed by their agency to buy them presents (and I don't exchange presents anyway). They adored the Halloween tins I made for them in October, so I wanted to do something a little more creative for Christmas. What to do, what to do? And then I saw Sandi MacIver's goodie box and I just knew I had to make something like it for my peeps. 

I took Sandi's basic idea and converted it into a box 4.5" square and 2" high, my secret plan being to put a couple cookies inside each box. Here's how the boxes look:

Since I'm no longer much of a baker, Pepperidge Farm did my baking for me this year. I was astonished at how many Brussels and Milanos fit inside each of my "little" boxes! 

I did CASE (Copy and Selectively Edit) one of Sandi's box top designs, adding a little more to it since I had so much more surface to cover. The two jingle bells hanging from the moose's right horn makes me giggle.

Have I mentioned how much I'm looking forward to delivering these two boxes? I think both ladies will be quite surprised and pleased.

* * * * * * * * * * * *
As I finish up this post, I realize that I unwittingly lied mis-spoke last post when I promised pictures of some of my Christmas cards in this post. How about I show them in the next post, and you can consider this post a bonus?

Excited smiles,
Joyce Spear a.k.a. StamperJoyce

Wonderful Winterland

While I'm not a monthly subscriber to Stampin' Up!'s My Paper Pumpkin, every now and then SU! will give hints as to what's in the upcoming kit, and if it strikes my fancy I will sign up for the month. A couple weeks before December's kit came out they enticed me with a beautiful blue box in place of their trademark red-orange box, and on the box was a beautiful winter scene. How could I resist? Well, I was delighted with the kit when it arrived because it included supplies to make eight gorgeous Christmas cards I liked so much that I ordered the kit refill! Without further ado, here's what the card looks like when made according to the kit's instructions:

The card itself is rather small, but the kit came with notecard-sized envelopes which can be put into standard mail. I did not stray much from the original design, simply adding some Wink of Stella to the evergreen trees as my own personal touch. 

The card base is white, and on that are stamped some stars. Over that is laid a sheet of vellum on which are some pretty sequins. On top of the vellum layer are three more layers in Pool Party, Soft Sky, and Whisper White, all adhered with Stampin' Dimensional to create a scene with lots of depth. The included stamp set allowed me to stamp the trees in Pear Pizzazz, and on a few of my cards I stamped the left-most building in Island Indigo. The final touch is some silver metallic bakers twine strategically tied around the top of the card to help keep the vellum attached to the card base. I don't know if my photo does the card justice.

Shortly after I finished my cards I started to see what other Paper Pumpkin subscribers did with their kits, and the most frequent modification was to put the scene onto a standard A2 card base (4-1/4" x 5-1/2") with various colored layers to complete the design. Why didn't I think of that? (It might have something to do with my mouth pain - from having teeth pulled - and the pain medications I was using. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!) I was considering ordering the kit refill already, but when I realized what great A2 cards I could make using the kit, reordering was a done deal. I haven't assembled the second kit yet, but plan to do so sometime during 2017 to create some of next year's holiday cards.

I decided that it would be more fun to use some of my other supplies to make a variety of 2016 cards with my time instead. The next post will showcase those cards, so I hope you'll stop by to see them.

Holiday smiles,
Joyce Spear a.k.a. StamperJoyce