Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Christmas book fit for a card

As presents go, gift cards hardly make the list for me ... not for receiving, of course, as I'll take absolutely any present that's offered.

Instead, I'm not fond of giving gift cards. Some people, from what I hear, don't like choosing gifts. It's a scary thing, with lots of worry about whether the color or style is good for the recipient. My gifty world, though, holds only one real negative: I am generally so excited about what I'm giving that I can't keep my mouth shut.

Not that I'm usually busy keeping even the slightest bit of random chatter to myself, but where most people wrap a present and leave it under the tree I'm dancing around cackling "You wanna open it? You wanna open it?"

I hate waiting for Christmas because I'm dying for everyone else to open presents. Surely this makes clear then, why for me gift cards sort of suck the fun out of gift giving.

This year I found a fix for my addiction: With the help of a Christmas book class we attended in the Spring and a Zutter binder, I found out that gift cards can make me a very happy Santa indeed.

I Zuttered two chip board squares which I'd already covered in distress ink, then embellished with flocked Christmas paper for the base. The front also got a vintage image and a few copper glitter Thickers.

The inside pockets also are punched with the Zutter, of course. These pockets are designed so that they're  more or less open at the bound edge, after all nothing would be going in the pockets that could slip out, and the outer edges are the pocket flaps.

I used 5/8 inch Velcro dots for closures and covered the pockets and flaps with designer papers on the two pocket-style pages.

A third page, and the main "gift" page, has a window and tabbed pull-out to reveal the gift card. The inside back cover has a piece of colored stock for writing a note to the recipient.

Tada! A Christmas book and a way to make a gift card a little more memorable.

Man ... just think of all the books I can make. Birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine's, Talk Like a Pirate Day! Yay!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Turning minutes into hours

I hope I'm not alone. I hope I'm not the only one who sometimes feels like a dunce.

In the assumption that each of us have our little hurdles in life, I'd like to tell you that trying to add the Alpha Stamps "gadget" on my sidebar took about an hour of fiddling and googling and swearing.

So, the next time you're frustrated or feeling dumb ... just remember that something the rest of the blogging world seems to accomplish in seconds takes me an hour. And remains still slightly incorrect since the logo doesn't take you anywhere except, well, the logo.

Oh well. I'll figure this out at some point.

Until then, smiles and hugs to you!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Forced to join the fun

Hi everybody! I hope your stockings and Solstice mugs were packed full of frankincense and grog and art supplies!

Santa must have been looking the other way a lot this year, because I got my wish: Check out the brand new printer over there ... on the shelf where my old printer was only a week ago ... it's the HP color printer with built-in duplex and wireless features!

Can you believe this is my first ever color printer? Me who does nothing without color?

Ah well, some things take time and an offer too good to pass.

It's kind of like the deals at Alpha Stamps. Today and every day through January 2, the good folks over at Alpha Stamps are hosting a daily giveaway.

You have got to see what they have that's new and what they're offering at sale prices, let alone the enter-to-win products. I'm wondering what they'll have in stock after smart buyers load up their carts, and then Alpha gives out all of this stuff!

By the way, it's only fair to note that I found Alpha Stamps in general, and this giveaway particularly, by visiting Lynn at Trash to Treasure Art. Check out her blog that is packed full of some of the coolest art you'll see, and features lots of Alpha products.

p.s. Later this week I'll be showing off my very first printer-based project!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Scribble stain: A Studio L3 Compendium Challenge

This week's Studio L3 Compendium Challenge technique, scribble stain distress, makes me crazy!

As you can see here I finally made a bit of scribbly stained paper that is an interesting base for this notebook cover.

But this is the fifth, maybe sixth, attempt. Every other scribbly sheet came out like rainbow vomit in mud. OK, that almost sounds pretty ... my muddy messes were not pretty.

The reason for my scribble stain handicap, I think, is because my touch is not light.

As a child the phrase most often used in my presence was "Don't press so hard!" I squished marker tips, broke pencil leads and spread crayon chunks everywhere.

More than once I was in trouble for "etching" words into tabletops and auto paint jobs (although I still contend that it wasn't me who permanently etched my sister's name into my grandmother's coffee table).

Today's problem is the same as that of yesteryear, it's only the product that's matured. I've moved from Ticonderoga No. 2's to reinker eye droppers and a craft sheet covered in inky swimming pools.

Luckily I love to swim, so it's not all bad. Plus, who really cares what happens when the whole process means you get to play with inks and heatguns and mini metal embellishments?

Not me!

Oh, and this week I even get to show off my Zutter binder "technique!" The Zutter is a somewhat new addition to the CuddlyBunny craft room, but I haven't been able to reveal anything yet because the creations are gifts that haven't yet been opened.

Not to worry, though. I'm completely digging the Zutter binding thing, so you'll see lots and lots of Zuttering in the future.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Rock Candy: A Studio L3 Compendium Challenge

Unfortunately I don't have all night to create this post. As usual, in fact, I'm pretty much hiding behind the Last Freakin' Minute for the Compendium Challenge at Studio L3.

The reason I wish there was more time is because I have multiple stories to tell about this One Damn Project.

In case I can't finish, then, let's start at the end. The finished project makes use of tissue paper, a phrase stamp and sheet of ephemera from Firecracker Designs (sadly she's close up shop), a ticket printed from Miss Cutie Pie (I got to her from Terry's) and a sticker from somewhere I forget.

Alright on to the related stories: First, I couldn't find my own Rock Candy Distress Stickles. My own as in the two separate bottles that are hiding somewhere in my craft room.

Second, I couldn't buy them anywhere in town. Anywhere. So, I ordered two more, along with a few other Holtzy things. I ordered the Stickles back on December 10th. Now I can not find the RCDS I already had, nor do I have the ones I ordered more than a week ago.

But I figured, you know, it's OK because Linda and Mr. Holtz will forgive me. After all, I tried, and I do own the right stuff (thank god, because I surely wasn't born with it, ha ha). I only can't find it amongst the other items I'm saving for the challenges.

Still. You knew that I wouldn't do then what I can wait and try to accomplish during a snowstorm, after the power goes out.

Just to prove how devoted I am to The Last Minute, I'd actually posted a comment on Studio L3 just before the power KRAZAPed! out.

Reading Laura Ingalls' books as a child I always imagined myself living without electricity: Huddled near the fireplace for warmth while reading school books by the light of a gas lamp (as if I read my school books) while Ma rocked and Pa fiddled.

It's with a great deal of confidence, however that I tell you while Laura Ingalls might have been able to darn socks and combine quilt squares in near darkness, I can barely find an acrylic stamp block with a LED flashlight.

Oddly my creation ended up being one of my favorites. Maybe that's because I'm busy patting myself on the back for being so resourceful.

Or, maybe it's just that the power came back on 20 minutes ago and everything seems better after the baseboard heaters again start pumping out warmth.

Huh. Look at that. Heat and I got to tell all of my stories related to this one creation.

No wonder My Guy's always saying I talk too much.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas DS style: A Drunken Stampers challenge

I'm not sure that this piece is actually "DS style," but I definitely enjoyed my share of wine while creating it, so I figure that counts for this weeks' Drunken Stampers challenge.

Inevitably my favorite Christmas-themed pieces turn out with lots of blues and whites and snowflakes. I suppose this is because I look forward most to the snow and scarves and serenity that surround the Christmas season.

So, it's no surprise that as I write this I'm not nearly as thrilled by my card as I am by the foot or more of fresh snow that has been falling for the past 24 hours.

Strings of lights glow from the eaves and jingle bells ring every time we walk past the hall garland. Color reflects on the snow and the windows and the glittery baubles everywhere.

Take a minute to enjoy the season, and then put that joy into your very own creation! We can't wait to see how your DS style Christmas looks!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Crafting keeping me awake at night

Hello crafty friends! I'm sure you think I haven't been crafting much what with all of the Toasting To The Season and all, but really I've been crafting constantly.

The thing is I have lots of stuff that I can't post because the creations are for people who read this blog and because, frankly, blogging is time consuming (but you know that, don't you?).

Anyhow, the crafting and creating has been keeping me busy nearly every minute that I'm not at work or sleeping ... and last night it even interrupted the sleeping.

I was just about to drop off into the dreamy oblivion of perfect sleep under fluffy feathers and cotton quilts in a nicely-chilled room when suddenly it came to me: A rosette Christmas tree!

Please don't tell me if this wasn't my idea. Nobody wants to know that they lost sleep because of an idea someone else had first. Just keep it to yourself if I've stolen an idea and am calling it my own (unless I actually have stolen it, of course).

Here's how the little tree came together: Cut six rosettes using the Holtz Alterations rosette die (or make them by hand, if you've the patience).

Put together one full-size rosette. Then, before folding and flatting the remaining five rosettes, trim them so that each rosette strip is slightly smaller than the previous. Just eyeball the sizes and keep in mind that you'll want the smallest rosette strip to end up somewhere around half an inch wide.

Make centers for each of these smaller rosettes using a 1/2 inch or 3/4 inch round punch.

Now thread a glass or metal bead on embroidery floss to act as the tree base (a heavy bead will ensure that the tree hangs nicely).

Using a large-gauge sewing needle, pull the floss through the full-size rosette center, and on through to the smallest, using a small bead between each rosette to create a classic, triangular tree shape.

Finish the tree with an origami wishing star (learn to make them here).

And now my friends I have even more to do in the ten and a half days before Christmas ... a whole bunch of rosette Christmas trees!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Tags: A Drunken Stampers Challenge

Hello Drunken Stampers and holiday season visitors!

This week's challenge is all about tags: Something that even my busy self has been finding time to create.

Surely you've all seen lots of little tags appearing here and there and everywhere, between Mr. Holtz's 12 Tags and all of us paper crafters salivating over vintage Christmas prints and glittered dreidel chip board stickers and shiny Solstice-ready snowflake punches.

My creation is less tag and more tiny greeting card. I've no idea why, exactly, but a tiny folded card on a gift always seems so very lavish and magical.

My small card, not exactly tiny at three by three and a half inches, is adorned with a chipboard piece, a vintage Santa cut from stationary, a green corduroy brad and three punched snowflakes with very special star centers.

Those gorgeous little stars, each with a single glittering rhinestone, are a kind gift from fellow blogger and friend Terry at Terry2dogs!

I seem to remember promising myself that I wouldn't be a "saver" anymore ... but here I sit writing that I saved these fantastic stars for the perfect project ... and writing further that I won't be using any more until another perfect project reveals itself.

Apparently some old dogs can't unlearn silly tricks. Luckily I know where my rhinestones are buried.

So, where are your favorite shiny and pretty bits hidden away? Why not pull out one or two or three special little pieces and create your very own tag for the Drunken Stampers Tag challenge?

We'll be waiting to see what you create!

Until then ... egg nog anyone?

Friday, December 3, 2010

An office party with Attitude: A Drunken Stampers Challenge

Welcome to the very first Combined Design Team Office Party Blog Hop!

We all worked hard this year and wanted to have some fun, so it's time for a truly unique Blog Hop!

Our theme is Office Party and oh, this will be such fun because we teamed up with Digi's with Attitude to give you a wonderful time! You'll find many chances to win and so much inspiration that you're sure to have a good time!

All Prizes have Attitude, that much is for sure: See what you could win at the Digi's with Attitude! Store. The total of prizes is worth a whopping $115.00! Who needs more?

Read on to discover how you can score a prize!

As you're mingling at the office party (blog hopping) with the fabulous gals from Digi’s with Attitude be sure to leave comments along the way! Each designer will draw from the comments on her blog's Office Party Blog Hop post and that winner will receive the digi which was used on that designer's blog post as well as a $5 gift certificate to the Digi's with Attitude store! How cool is that?

Plus, if you show us your Office Party-themed creativity, you'll be in the running for a chance to win a $20.00 gift certificate from each challenge blog! Simply make a new card with this week's theme or for someone at your office (Digi’s with Attitude stamps are not required but the DWA December freebie is available for download from the Digi's With Attitude! Store). 

Next, post your creation on your blog and enter the link to your card on the The Digi's With Attitude! Challenge Blog or the Drunken Stampers Challenge Blog before Thursday, December 9 at 11:59 p.m. EST.

You can submit multiple entries, but no duplicate creations, and your post must be new as of December 3, 2010 (non-eligible entries will be removed).

The Digi’s With Attitude! Challenge Blog/Drunken Stampers Challenge Blog will draw one winner each for a $20 gift certificate to the Digi's with Attitude Store as well!

Names of winners will be posted on December 13, 2010. Design Team Office Party members will post the names of the individual who have won each blogs' prize, while the the two "big" winners will be posted on the Digi’s With Attitude! Challenge Blog and Drunken Stampers Challenge blog respectively. So, be sure to retrace your steps to see if you are a winner.

We hope to see you at the Office Party!

Below is a list of the designers in the hop in case you get lost along the way!

1) Drunken Stampers Challenge Blog <---- Add your Challenge Entry Here!!!
2) Mari
3) Peg
4) Viv
5) Spike
9) Tazza  
11) Linda
12) Jenny
13) Louise
14) Tracy
15) Juanita
17) Digi's With Attitude! Challenge Blog    <---- Add your Challenge Entry Here too!!!

Other Important Links: