Monday, December 30, 2013


Today I want to share a fun way to use Stampin' Up!'s Tag-a-Bag Bundle.  This project features a mini album, which is perfect for adding photos from just about any occasion--birthdays, vacations, retirement, etc.  Included are ten pages where you can add photos, plus three decorated panels that tuck into the open pages.  You can journal or add more pictures to the panels--the possibilities are endless!  Pair this darling album with a coordinating greeting card, and it makes the perfect gift!
This project was designed by Laurie, and her tutorial can be found at Craft Project Central.  It appears that she thought of everything (and then some) that you might need from a mini album!  

Bonus projects can be obtained by subscribing to two or more months in a row, putting the Craft Project Central badge on your blog, or by referring a friend and letting us know when they subscribe.

Saturday, December 28, 2013


When it comes to mixed media and canvas art, I'm a huge fan of Christy Tomlinson's style.  Earlier this year or sometime last year, it was her She Art product line that made me want to pull out and use my assortment of mixed media products that had been collecting dust for a little while.  My sister and nephew spent a couple of nights with us this week after our family celebration on Christmas Day, and Renee (my sister) wanted to try creating a canvas project.  The good thing about mixed media art is that you don't have to have a specific direction from the start.  As far as I'm concerned, it's good to just start creating and see what evolves.  Sometimes it's good; other times, it's good to blank the canvas and start over.  Renee's canvas is the prettiest one . . . the one on the right.  Didn't she do a fabulous job of selecting her base/background papers and colors and building her layers?  I was so proud of how her canvas turned out!! 
Renee's work of art
My canvas (close-up below) was one of those that screamed to be blanked and started over.  For some reason, my base coloring was darker than I wanted.  Having covered the canvas with printed-text tissue paper may have been the reason why I struggled with the colors because I normally do as Renee did and cover a canvas with assorted patterned paper.  I gave up too soon on achieving a lighter look and added a dimensional sun.  Although I had planned to highlight the "she was a daughter of God" text on the faceless girl's dress, I decided to choose a different text that seemed to work well with what appeared to be the sun finally appearing after an extended time of darkness and despair.  I thought that it did, indeed, look as though she was heading for brighter days, leaving her fears behind.
The best part of mine and Renee's mixed media projects was the process of creating . . . and having her sit beside me as we worked together, sharing products and ideas, and deciding for ourselves what to do next and when to call it complete.  We both began with the She was a Daughter image that was stamped, colored, cut out, and ready to go . . . and everything else simply evolved.  I look forward to the next opportunity to sit down at the table with Renee by my side and a blank canvas in front of each of us.

Friday, December 27, 2013


You can always expect great project ideas from Craft Project Central, and the one posted today is no exception.  Make this set of coasters for yourself or as a gift.  The tutorial even includes a matching note card and handmade envelope.
Angie Jones designed this adorable project and, as I mentioned, the tutorial can be found at Craft Project Central.  The note card, envelope, and coaster are definitely eye-catching, but isn't that a cute, cute, cute little box?!?!  Have you subscribed to Craft Project Central?  It's not too late!  Did you know . . . when you subscribe, you are only paying around $1 (US) per tutorial and that you will have access to the tutorials (.pdf format) for eleven months?!?!  That is a fabulous deal!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013


I won't even begin to claim credit for the idea of making this card, which I had a wonderful time creating for my parents.  The card that inspired it all . . . the card that turned my head my so fast . . . was this one.  Who could resist making a card like that?  And now . . . photos of my creation from different angles:
 And when all is said and done . . . it even folds (nearly) flat for mailing! 

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas
and a blessed 2014

Tuesday, December 24, 2013


It's time to get organized!  In this project, you will create a desk organizer and two decorated note pads to help clean up your desk.  This is perfect to keep for yourself or give as a gift!
This project was designed by Jen Arkfeld, and her tutorial can be found at Craft Project Central.  I like that the organizer has stepped sections (for lack of a better description) that are divided, and I would imagine that additional divided sections can be added, if needed--or just create two organizers. 

Monday, December 23, 2013


This Monday before Christmas I thought that I would share a My Digital Studio card that I designed but didn't get around to having printed.  There was something about the bow that I didn't like, but the red ornament (which I liked) needed a little something to keep it from just being suspended and out of place.  I think if I had gone through with the printing of this design, I would have removed the bow and just placed a real one on each card.  My favorite two things about this design are the bright splash of red and the obvious "keeping Christ in Christmas".  It's definitely a digital design that I can work on and have printed for next year.

Sunday, December 22, 2013


I had so much fun making this card for my grandmother!  Knowing that she would keep her card on display throughout the Christmas season, I wanted it to be something that was really festive.  This was the first time that I had used Spellbinders' Window Two die, and I love the pretty detailing and the fact that the window actually opens.  Two other dies that are featured on this card are the staircase, to which I added "garland" using a Martha Stewart sprig punch, and the Christmas tree, which was also covered with the same punched sprigs to give it a little dimension.  I used Stampin' Up!'s silver glimmer paper and one of the punches from the Itty Bitty Shapes Punch Pack to decorate the tree, but the photo didn't pick up just how glittery those pieces really are.  The little card to the left of the tree was used to write a message, and I placed four rhinestone jewels to give it a little wow.
One of the bonuses to making this card was that--even with all of it's dimension--it fit nicely in a regular envelope.

Saturday, December 21, 2013


Start the new year off right with this fun and festive set, which includes a bottle tag, matching card, set of four champagne glass charms, and a box to put them in.  It's just what you need to ring in the New Year!
It looks to me like Yapha Mason, the designer of this project, has thought of everything, and hasn't she done a fabulous job?  Her complete tutorial can be found at Craft Project Central.

Friday, December 20, 2013


It's my turn to share a Freestyle Fridays project, and I think that I successfully completed the mission as set forth by Julie in her post last week . . . to use a marker to add a sentiment or part of an image.  I had to read the mission a couple of times to make sure that I understood what was expected of me, and it seemed to be quite a challenge--until I decided what to do.  
I needed to make a birthday card and had stamped the floral image from Happy Watercolor (from Stampin' Up!'s upcoming Occasions catalog), colored the image with Copic markers, and then added a little Dazzling Diamonds glitter.  For the sentiment, I used the Pear Pizzazz marker to ink the word happy from one of the sentiment images included in the stamp set and then used a Marina Mist marker to write the word birthday.  Other Stampin' Up! products used to complete the card include the Decorative Labels and Photo Corners (retired) punches, Pear Pizzazz Classic ink, sponge dauber, and the following card stock:  Whisper White, Marina Mist, and Pear Pizzazz.

Thursday, December 19, 2013


Sharing today another project that was made possible by a cut file, designed by Samantha Walker, that I purchased from the Silhouette online store during their recent sale.  The most difficult part of making this card was choosing the paper and card stock to use.  
I used a marker to give the snowman eyes, a smile, charcoal buttons, and to write "J-O-Y" for the banner, which is held together with glue dots and Stampin' Up!'s linen thread.  I don't believe it's apparent from the photos, but a piece of acetate was used for the "glass", and two snowflakes were adhered to the edge of the globe's frame.  Partly, this was done to draw the eye away from a little glue smear.  ;-)
It's just a fun little trifold that I sent to aunt Betty!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


This New Year Memories Set, which features an envelope mini book, coordinating card, and a matching pen pocket, is perfect for welcoming in the New Year and would make a wonderful gift for a friend!  You could also create the mini book for yourself to keep track of your 2014 memories!  The inserts in the mini book provide a wonderful place to journal and add special photos.
I think this project, designed by Michelle Wecksler, would be a great gift, but it would also be a really fun project to create (with friends) on New Year's Day!  The complete and easy-to-follow tutorial can be found at Craft Project Central.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


Last year, I really wanted a printed burlap stocking but couldn't find the burlap.  Well, that's not true.  I found the exact burlap that I wanted at an online site where individuals often sell handmade items, I became a member of the site so that I could order the burlap, but I never received the item.  It turned into a nasty episode when I opened an inquiry, and the seller turned into quite a psycho because I had the audacity to take reasonable steps to find out why I hadn't received the item that she had listed but obviously didn't have on hand and available to sell.  I don't mean that the seller was just a little unfriendly . . . I mean that she went to the far depths of hell for some extra crazy fury and tried to twist everything into something that it definitely wasn't.  She had no choice but to refund my money (which she eventually did), but she never admitted that the listing shouldn't have been there and that she didn't have the item to sell or ship.  Maybe that would have created an issue between her and the popular online site.  All I know is that it was such a nasty experience that I immediately cancelled my account once my money had been refunded and have never gone back to that site again.  Isn't it unfortunate how one unreasonable and awful person can make you cringe over something that could be quite enjoyable?  I don't even like to hear the name of the site, but I often do because people love it.
So, several months ago, I found burlap that would work nicely for my stocking and later purchased other stockings to use as a pattern.  When my mother and sister didn't have time to make it for me, I had to resort to my own means which takes the quality down a notch or two.  Ha!  It wasn't until I looked at photos of the finished stocking that I noticed some areas where I could have made the cut line a little smoother and blended.  It's not a perfect door decoration, but I am so happy to have it.  In the making, I learned that Stitch Witchery and a hot glue gun will hold just about anything together.  Don't tell anyone, but I breathe a sigh of relief each time I open the door and find everything on the stocking still intact.

Monday, December 16, 2013


This winter sampler of snowflakes, snowmen, and snowy hills will decorate your home all winter long.  Make one for a friend and one for you to enjoy.  You'll probably want to go ahead and make several of these to give away!
What I like most about projects like this is that it's really easy to make several at one time.  Sharon Burkert designed this project, and it is so pretty!  Her tutorial can be found at Craft Project Central.


Today's MISM project was a very snappy one to make.  I came across the cartoon on Facebook and decided to print the picture and make a card with it.  I didn't actually send this particular card to anyone; instead, I made another one without a Christmas sentiment and gave it to my grandmother with a delicious batch of cheese biscuits.
I used a little of Stampin' Up!'s Dazzling Details for some glimmer to the "ice hole".

Saturday, December 14, 2013


What do I enjoy making as much as boxes, bags, and other 3D items?  Cards that have fun or fancy folds, interactive cards, or any card that has a design element that might wow the recipient.  I used a Silhouette cut file (by Daniela Angelova) to cut the pop-up insert for this card, and it is really a quick and easy one to make.  Choosing the papers and deciding how to decorate the front is what takes the most time.  I used a cut file designed by Lori Whitlock for the skate and chose glittery card stock for the white boot and silver blade, and a shiny black card stock for the bottom of the boot.  The designer paper that I chose for the card has its own shimmer and glimmer going on with the white embossed detail.  I used torn strips of card stock to create the snow, a piece of ribbon to create a scarf, and a punch to cut the leafy sprigs coming out of the top of the boot.
There was very little to do on the inside of the card, other than adhering the white bell (again, I used glitter card stock), sparkly rhinestone jewels, and the silver ribbon. 

Friday, December 13, 2013


Happy Friday!!!  It's Julie Beaulieu's turn to share this week's Freestyle Fridays project, and this is the sneak peek that she sent to me.  Maybe it's the rhinestone jewel, but something about the stars reminds me of Hollywood.  To see the whole project and learn more about it, hop on over to Julie's blog.  Leave a little comment love (it's her birthday tomorrow) while you're there.  ;-)


Make this small "Feel Better" survival kit that holds Chapstick and a pack of tissues.  This is the perfect little package for those sick days when you need those items within reach, and the box will look great on your desk.
Isn't this a neat and cheery project?  It was designed by Monika Davis, and her tutorial can be found at Craft Project Central.


This Calendar will not only last a lifetime because it has every day, month and date possible, but also its coaster board construction makes it everlastingly durable! And the coolest part of making it is the cheapest but most awesome alphabet ‘secret’ stamp set – and you can only find out about it when you get the tutorial! Plus you’ll get the directions to the everlasting Note Card Box and twenty Anytime Notes.  You’ll want to make several of these to give away as gifts!

What's not to love about a perpetual calendar to save you from having to fill in birthdays, anniversaries, and other important reminders on a new calendar each year?  Julie Beltramo designed this project, and her complete tutorial can be found at Craft Project Central.  Have you subscribed yet???

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


After deciding to not go out and shop on Black Friday, my sister and I couldn't resist (actually, I may have insisted that she accompany me).  I don't know if it's a good thing or bad that sales start before Friday, but Renee and I went to a couple of stores very late on Thursday night.  It was a great experience--NO crowds and hardly any waiting in line.  One of my purchases was Cricut's Creative Cards cartridge which, until I really looked at in the store, hadn't been of any interest to me.  This is the first card that I made with images on that cartridge.  I love the bird cage and the shape of this trifold card and, obviously, I love that all of the hard design stuff (card shape and mats and layers) has already been worked out.  Stampin' Up! products used to enhance and complete the card include Itty Bitty Shapes (scallop circle) Punch Pack, pearl jewels, Teeny Tiny Wishes and So Sorry stamp sets, Bird Builder and Modern Label punches, silver brad (retired), and Brushed Silver card stock.
 Unfortunately, there was a need for this card, and I hope that it was well-received.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


Decorate for winter with this lovely Let it Snow frame, complete with snowflake.  There is even a card so you can gift this set to someone who is wishing for snow.  Although it looks complicated to make, it's easier than it looks.
When I first saw this project, which was designed by Amanda, my first thought was "Wow!"  It definitely has a striking presence, and I look forward to trying to make one of my own.  The tutorial can be found at Craft Project Central.

Monday, December 9, 2013


In a recent blog post, I mentioned that I had recently purchased quite a few Silhouette cut files (during the Black Friday sale), and I used one of those cut files, which you can find HERE, to create this mini 3D laundry art for the ledge above the doorway by my laundry area.  I actually hadn't paid much attention to the Ledge Village cut files and then stumbled upon the designer's blog.  I was so intrigued at that point that I had to try at least one of her designs (and ended up purchasing a few more).  To give you an idea of the size, the house is approximately 4" tallI apologize for the poor quality of the photo but--trust me--the project is a nice, subtle decoration for the ledge.

I promised last week that I would announce the winner of the FREE one-month subscription to Craft Project Central, and that lucky lady is . . . MARSHA E., who left this comment, "Love your thank you ensemble. It is so bright & cheerful. Any crafter would welcome a package like this!"  I appreciate everyone who took the time to leave a comment!!  Marsha, if you will email me at randari at hotmail dot com with "CPC Free Subscription" as the subject, we'll get your subscription set up.

Saturday, December 7, 2013


Don't you just love having a pretty table during the holidays?  These napkin rings, using the Joyful Christmas stamp set, are so easy and quick to create and will add a little glitz to your decor.  The mini muslin bags make unique place tags for the table, and they hold a special treat for guests.  
One thing that I especially like about this project, which was designed by Buffy Cooper, is that these items can be made way ahead of time and used to decorate the dining room in the meantime.  The complete tutorial can be found at Craft Project Central.

Friday, December 6, 2013


Can you believe that it's Friday again . . . already?  The days seem to be rolling past even faster than usual, and I still don't have my Christmas tree up.  That's beginning to bug me.  I didn't even get my Freestyle Fridays project completed until the wee hours yesterday morning.  With her post last week, Julie Beaulieu issued a mission for me to create something with Stampin' Up!'s Strawberry Slush, and my project should include ribbon.  Since part of my Black Friday shopping included the purchase of a lot of Silhouette cut files, I decided to choose one for my project . . . a mini tissue box.
This is the cutest little box, and I happened to have one pack of tissues on hand to put in it.  I had a hard time deciding how I wanted to decorate it, and I discovered that I don't have a lot of "get well" stamps.  It occurred to me to just make it pretty, without giving too much attention to sickness, but then I laid hands on Paper Trey Ink's Comfort Food stamp set and remembered that I also have the coordinating dies.
I'm thinking that I should purchase some more tissues because these little boxes will be great stocking stuffers!  I can decorate them generically--just pretty--to be slipped into a purse or bookbag, left out on a desk or table, handy in a car, etc.  Best of all . . . the box is a snap to assemble!

Have a wonderful weekend, and get those Christmas trees up and decorated!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


Each month, there's a fun sketch challenge at Craft Project Central, and I had the opportunity to design the sketch and tutorial for Creating Pretty Cards - Card Challenge #30 this month.  

The Sketch
The card that I created for the sketch tutorial

It's really a fun and easy little sketch!  I used it this morning to create this card:
Why don't you create a card, too?  For every ten cards that are posted HERE, a winner will be selected to receive a free one-month subscription to Craft Project Central.


The project that I designed for Craft Project Central this month is featured today, and I'm excited to share it here.  This is the time of year when we (especially Stampin' Up! demonstrators) like to come up with useful gifts for customers, neighbors, co-workers, etc. to thank them for their business, loyalty, and friendship during the year, and I think a gift that gives creative inspiration is quite perfect.  The ensemble that I designed features the perfect box to hold a sampling of assorted card stock and designer paper, and an assortment of embellishments are the perfect fill for the small container.  My tutorial includes instructions for creating the 3-D floral topper on the container wrapped with washi tape and, of course, the greeting card.
I have a free one-month subscription to Craft Project Central to give away, and it's really easy to be entered in the drawing.  All you have to do is go to Craft Project Central and leave a comment on the December 4th post that features my project (the same photo as the one in this blog post).  I will use to choose the winner and will announce the winning name with my Make-It-Snappy-Monday blog post on December 9th.

Monday, December 2, 2013


Today's MISM project is a quick and fun card featuring the following Stampin' Up! products:
Card Stock:  Pool Party, Whisper White
Designer/Specialty Paper:  Winter Frost, Silver Glimmer
Ink:  Pool Party, Island Indigo
Stamp Sets:  Designer Typeset, Another Thank You, Snow Day
Sizzix:  Label Card Thinlits, Northern Flurry embossing folder
The Label Card Thinlits dies (card, die-cut label, and sentiment banner) make it fast and easy to whip up an interactive card.  I love that the die for the sentiment banner scores the fold lines!  It's not easy to tell from the photo, but I used the banner image from Designer Typeset to stamp the banner in the top left corner, and I also stamped the back of the designer paper so I could cut out the pretty flags to complete the banner and give it some "wow".  The snowman, of course, is from the Snow Day stamp set.  I started to put his hat on his frosty little head, but then it occurred to me that it would look cute on the die-cut Whisper White label.  Although I made several of these with the "thanks" sentiment, this particular design would be just as cute for Christmas cards.  I hope the ladies who received these cards were pleased, and I might be making more of them since it's almost time to start mailing Christmas cards.

If you would like to purchase any of the products used to make this card (or any Stampin' Up! products), just click the link with the shopping cart in the right sidebar.  If you place an online order, please don't forget to enter the current Hostess Code, which can always be found in the top of the right sidebar.  Stampin' Up! has decided to take away the capability for demonstrators to enter the code when customers forget to enter it and, unfortunately, the place to enter the code is in an easy-to-overlook location on the ordering web site.  Of course, I can always enter your order for you and have it shipped directly to you

Have a stampin' good day!

Sunday, December 1, 2013


It's time to start wrapping those Christmas gifts, and here are four packaging projects to help you out.  They are all made with the Envelope Punch Board and Winter Frost designer paper.  Two of the packages are perfect for treats, one is a pretty way to package gift cards, and one is perfect for a little gift.
Aren't they adorable????  Christy Fulk designed this beautiful ensemble, and it appears that she has something for most of your gift-giving.  Her complete tutorial can be found at Craft Project Central.  As usual, the project line-up this month is outstanding, and now is a great time to start your subscription for a month's worth of awesome .pdf tutorials.

Saturday, November 30, 2013


Nothing brings in the holidays like snowflakes and glitter.  Highlighting the wonderful Winter Frost designer paper and the Festive Flurry bundle, brighten up your door with a shimmery, glimmer wreath.
Isn't this a beautiful wreath????  I have resisted Stampin' Up!'s Festive Flurry bundle, and I know that this project is going to try to twist my arm.  Lauri Ingram, the designer of this project, did a great job, all the way down to the pretty snowflake in the center!  The tutorial for this project--a BONUS tutorial--can be found at Craft Project Central.  Qualifying for the bonus tutorial is easy . . . just subscribe to two or more months in a row, put the Craft Project Central badge on your blog, or refer a friend to the site.  When your friend subscribes, just let us know!

Friday, November 29, 2013


Happy Black Friday!!!  It's Julie's turn to share a little inspiration today, and she has this pretty card with a die-cut dress form, buttons, lacy trim, and a little thread!  How cute is this?!?!  I love the spool with actual (what looks to be) linen thread, which is a Stampin' Up! product that I use a lot.  Take a few minutes to hop over to Julie's blog to get all of the details about her card, and don't forget to leave a little comment.  Sorry to keep this post short and sweet but, as of this writing, I'm contemplating running out for a little shopping.  ;-)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


This photo holder is designed to hold 4" x 6" photographs but, with the Envelope Punch Board, you can adapt it to any size you want.  Pair this cute photo holder with your favorite designer paper, and the possibilities are endless.  Instructions are also included on how to make the pocket-style file folder card.
The Envelope Punch Board is one of my most favorite tools these days, so I'm excited to make this ensemble, which was created by Laurie Zoellmer.  Her tutorial can be found at Craft Project Central.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


A few months ago, my sweet friend, Laura, was working on a tutorial for SCS and asked me to follow her written instructions to see if I could end up with a card that she named the Upright Diamond Fold (see the now-published tutorial HERE).  I'm almost always up for the challenge of learning a new "fun fold" technique, and it was exciting that Laura had shared instructions and a photo of her completed card.  If you've ever worked with "text only" instructions, then you know that they can be a real doozy, especially for a very impatient someone who is eager to see how the finished card will turn out and has trouble focusing on all of the details in between.  Ha!  I would never claim to be the smartest cracker in the box; however, when I first started stamping, the internet was NOT abundant with photo and video tutorials like it is today, so I had to learn to follow written instructions if I wanted to learn new techniques and fun folds for cards, boxes, etc.  Many times, it came down to me, a paper trimmer, a project photo, and the desire to figure out how something was made.  While I prefer photo and video tutorials today, I have a great appreciation for having to back my way into many, many projects in the past.  I think of it now as digging a learning and training "well" from which I still draw to help me understand a lot of tutorials today that either barely exist or aren't as explicit as they could be.  Laura's written instructions were very good, but things can get confusing (almost scary) when anything diagonal is thrown into the mix.  Circles and diagonals always make me cringe.  I bumped into a few stumbling blocks and do-overs, but I think my card turned out okay.  Actually, I like it a LOT!  Once I sat back and studied the finished card, I thought that it would make such a nice photo card with all of those fun pop-out, expanding panels but, since there were no photos on my card and the busy center didn't have a specific purpose, I decided to turn it into a gift card holder. 
Even though those fun triangular sections on my card are still blank, I am sure this would make a perfect birthday (or graduation) card--complete with a gift card--to send to someone and include photos of them at various stages in life.  Or a retirement card.  Maybe an anniversary.  Maybe just about any occasion!  Laura has a fantastic tutorial, complete with photos (woohoo!!!!), so give it a whirl!