Sparkle & Swirl Gift Card Holder

Last week I was asked to make 25 Gift Card holders for a company event.  The holders had to hold not only the gift card but the cardboard sleeve it was wrapped in.  My first thought was to use an envelope, but I had done that last year and wanted something new.

My second thought was to ask my friend to search for tutorials online for me.  I was in a serious time crunch and only had 3 days.  Then I remembered the tutorial I did for StampNation and knew that I could adapt it to fit this large size.

Instead of using an 8.5" x 11" piece of cardstock, I cut 12" x 12"cardstock down to 6" x 9.5" to create these "envelopes".  I needed 25 of these puppies and I didn't have 25 sheets of Whisper White cardstock left.  (Yes, I placed my SU order last weekend.)  By using 12x12 paper I was able to get 2 holders out of each sheet of paper.

I think they turned out pretty nice and everyone seemed happy with them.  If you would like to see the video on how to createthis style of gift card, you can find it HERE on StampNation.

Stamps: Chalk Talk (Stampin' UP!)
Ink: Marina Mist
Paper: White, Glitter (JoAnn's)
Accessories: Circle Punch, Scallop Circle Punch, Basic Rhinestone (Stampin' UP!)


Big Little News

Today I finally get to share my BIG little news.   I've been asked to take over creating the weekly challenges for StampNation.  You all know how much I love a good challenge.    Creating challenges is a new challenge for me, but with the fabulous dream team behind me I am excited to enter this new adventure.

 My first "official" challenge creation went live today.  Normally I can't share it here with you, but I'm bending the rules today exclusively for my blog followers.   (that's you!)

It's a photo inspiration and you are going to LOVE what the dream team came up with.  Oh my, they made me look good.  I want to CASE each and every one of them.  Thank you ladies!  You totally rocked this challenge.  If you are a StampNation member CLICKY to go to Challenge #156.

Clicky if you want to join StampNation now

I have one more little piece of news to share with you.  A super talented group of designers is working on a new online class.  This class covers dye inks.  I've seen some of the projects and I think you are going to love them.  I created 4 cards with videos for the class.  Between creating and editing for the StampNation Birthday Bash & this new Dye Ink class, along with creating challenges for the next few months I have been super busy!

Hopefully next week I will have time to just play and have fun.  Although, I must admit having a creative job IS fun!


Sew Monday ~ ALYOF January

My husband got a new TV & DVD player for Christmas and we got a reclining love seat for the Den.  That meant lots of movies to watch in January and an early finish to my January goals.  I have a hard time just sitting and watching TV, so I enjoy doing needle work.  When the show is boring I can do more complex applique, when it is intense I can whip out a binding in no time.

January Finish

My ALYOF goal for January was to complete my Jelly Roll Race quilt.  If you remember I ran into a snag a couple of months ago trying to quilt it.  Literally TONS of snags.  My machine was eating my thread.  I finally figured out the problem.  I was using Aurifill thread I had won last year and didn't pay attention to the thread weight.  Silly me, I assumed they were like the others I had purchased at my local quilt shop.  Even though I changed threads, they were from the same pack, so they were all super thick.  Even changing my needle didn't work because I need a larger size eye than I have. 

The great thing about this mistake is that it gave me freedom to put my pedal to the medal and just freely quilt that puppy up.  There was no way I was going to pull out all those threads and start over.  I wanted this quilt done so I could give it away. 

Can you believe how sunny it is?!  Yesterday it was 61 degrees.  My husband and I almost took the top down on the convertible.  Almost.  :)  The weather could easily turn and we could have snow and ice next week, but today I am basking in the sunshine and soaking up some Vitamin D. 

How are you doing on your goals this month?  You still have a few more days to link up with Shanna & Melissa over at A Lovely Year of Finishes.  I need to complete another quilt so I have a binding to work on again.  :) 


Inspired By

Last week there were posts every day and this week there have been very few from me.  Sorry about that.  I was struck with a cold last weekend and though I am feeling better I am still tired and dragging.  My body must need extra rest.  :)

Today I am posted another tutorial in my Inspired By series over in the StampNation classrooms.   You will never guess what inspired me to make today's card.  Here's a sneak peek for you.

StampNation members can CLICKY to go to the post.  If you aren't a StampNation member and want to become one CLICKY to sign up now and then the link should work for you.


Heart-full Stampin' Celebration Challenge

It's time for a new challenge at Stampin' Celebration.  Check out this amazing inspiration photo.

As soon as I saw this photo I knew I wanted to sew on my card.  I planned on sewing in white thread, but there was black thread in my machine.  The sentiment was black so I thought the black thread would look good and tie into the sentiment.  Now I wish I had chosen a lighter thread.

Aqua, pink, white or gray might have been better choices, but I don't think the person that gets this card will mind too much.  This card is going in my OWH box.  Even though it has hearts on it, it doesn't have "Valentine" anywhere so it can be sent all year long.

On the inside of the card I used a couple of my heart punches.  It adds a little bit of decorations, but leaves plenty of room for a long note of love.  <3

Stamps: Groovy Love (SU)
Ink: Black Staz-On
Paper: Pink Pirouette, Whisper White (SU); Smitten (Authentique)
Accessories: Heart Punch , Bitty Banners (SU); Rounded Stitched Rectangles (Lil' Inker Designs)


Sew Sunday

Last week I was super busy with the StampNation Birthday Bash and didn't get any time at the sewing machine.  Today I needed to get a card made for the Stampin' Celebration Challenge that goes live tomorrow.  The inspiration photo for the challenge was a perfect opportunity to sew on my card.  I put it into my machine and discovered I still hadn't plugged it in from the sew-in before the last South Sound Modern Quilt Guild meeting.  My poor sewing machine must have felt so lonely.  

Sew In at Ruby Street Quiltworks with South Sound Modern Quilt Guild.

It's not a quilt, but it is fun.  Sewing on cards is so easy!   I wish I had chosen a different color thread, but not enough to re-thread my machine and remake the card.  :)

Much progress has been made on my ALYOF goal for January.  In fact I have finished adding the binding on the quilt, but I don't have a picture of the completed project yet.  Sorry.  I'll try to get a picture taken this week to share with you next weekend.  Now it's time for  me to take some more cold medicine and take a nap.  Hope your sewing machine is seeing more love lately than mine has.


StampNation Birthday Bash Day 7 ~ Inspired By ~ Simon Says Stamp

Today is the last day of our week long celebration on StampNation celebrating our 4th birthday, and you aren't too late to join in.  Come in fashionably late because you have another week to get your cards made and enter the challenges for your chance to win some amazing prizes from our sponsors.

I'm wrapping up the week with a double video day.  The first one is here on my blog and the second card/video will be up on StampNation later today.  It was a fun process to see what I came up.  The challenge was to create a project inspired by one of StampNation members.  I chose Karolyn Loncon from Paper Therapy. You can see her original card in the StampNation gallery here.  Clicky


While I was cleaning up the mess I made from this first card I decided to make a second card instead of throwing the painted outline balloons away.  Here's a sneak peek for you of the card and video coming exclusively to StampNation later today.

 Don't forget to pick up your code and freebies today from our sponsor.  Some of them expire TODAY.  

Stamps: Celebrate (Simon Says Stamp)
Ink: Surf Blue (SSS); Peacock Feathers, Picked Raspberry, Salty Ocean, Seedless Preserves, Squeezed Lemonade (Distress) Onyx Black (Versafine)
Paper: 120lb White (Simon Says Stamp); Distress Watercolor Paper (Tim Holtz); Basic Black (Stampin' UP!)
Accessories: Balloon Bouquet Die, Happy Die (Simon Says Stamp); Clear Embossing Powder (SU); Washi Tape (Little B)


StampNation Birthday Bash Day 6 ~ Verve ~ Cards for Anyone

Tomorrow is the last official day of StampNation's Birthday Bash.    Have you been enjoying the fun?  The challenge today is anything goes.   I'm enjoying getting my stash of birthday cards up again.  It was seriously depleted, especially in the teenage guy category.  That is why I am back today with another masculine card.

My sponsor focus for this card is Verve Stamps.  Verve is one of the first companies I found that made high quality clear stamps.  I discovered them through one of my favorite sketch challenges: Mojo Monday.  They were a dream to work with, as were all our sponsors.  When I think of Verve Stamps I often think "pretty" and "floral", but that is not what I made.  I used this super cool set to create a card any guy would love to receive. (with a little money inside, because let's face, not many teenage boys are actually into cards)

This is a fairly "Clean & Simple" card for me, but I could have gone much cleaner and taken the basic design down to a one layer card.  That's not how I roll though.  :)  Check out the video to see how this card came together.

If you only enter one challenge this week on StampNation, this should be it, because the only limit is your imagination.  :)

In the video I mentioned I would give you a little more info about StampNation.   StampNation is online community of passionate paper crafters.  We have classrooms with video and written tutorials, weekly challenges, quarterly events (like the birthday bash), an amazing picture gallery that every member can submit their project to, and forums for us to just chat & share ideas.  Sound like something you might be interested in?  Membership is just $9 a month and you can cancel at any time by emailing them to let them know.   Give it a try for a month, enter to win one of fabulous sponsor challenges, watch as many videos as you can and see if it is something you might enjoy.

To sign up now CLICKY HERE

To find out more CLICKY HERE

Later today I will have another video going up exclusively for StampNation members.  Here is a sneak peek of that card.

Stamps: Better Together, Happy Birthday (Verve)
Ink: Garden Green, Tempting Turquoise, Versamark (Stampin' UP!)
Paper: Garden Green, Tempting Turquoise, Whisper White, Basic Black (SU)
Accessories: Stitched Rectangles (Lil' Inker Designs); Clear Embossing Powder, Mini Stapler (SU); Wooden Stars


StampNation Birthday Bash Day 5 ~ Whimsy

All week long we are celebrating StampNation's 4th birthday with challenges and prizes from our sponsors.  The challenge today is to use 4 of something in honor of our 4th birthday.  :)  I chose to use 4 colors on my card.

This card was very quick to make.  Watch the video to see it come together.


Whimsy Stamps sent each of the design team members at StampNation this adorable Birthday Balloon stamp set.  Today it is being released in their shop. I didn't even know that I was getting a preview product until I looked for the link in their store.  :)  How cool is that?!  Thank you Whimsy!!!  If you are a StampNation member you have one of 3 chances to win gift certificate to their store.  Every member can also use a special code to get a FREE gift with purchase.  Clicky to find out more.

Not yet a member and want to become one?  Clicky

Stamps: Birthday Balloon, Happy Everything (Whimsy)
Ink: Lavender, Mint (Simon Says Stamp); Bubble Gum, Soft Pool (Hero Arts)
Paper: Whisper White (Stampin' UP!)
Accessories: Glossy Accents


StampNation Birthday Bash Day 4 ~ Simon Says Stamp ~ Non Traditional

We are halfway through the Birthday Bash over at StampNation.   I don't want this party to end.  :)  Today I am highlighting one of our sponsors, Simon Says Stamp.  I call them SSS for short here on my blog.  Simon Says Stamp in an online super store for paper crafters.  If there is something you want to buy for making cards, chances are Simon Says Stamp has it.

One of my favorite things about Simon Says Stamp is their exclusive line of products.  They fit my style.  :)  You can find stamps with coordinating dies, ink with matching paper and stencils that are completely unique.  SSS doesn't just follow the paper crafting trends, they create them.  If you've been following along my blog this week you have already seen me use their ink & paper.  Today I'm showcasing their stamps, dies and stencils.

In the video you will see several "experiments" and at least a couple of "fails", but I think I turned them around and turned them into two beautiful cards I would be proud to send to anyone.


Stamps: Celebrate, Cupcake Party (Simon Says Stamp)
Ink: Picked Raspberry, Squeezed Lemonade, Worn Lipstick (Distress); Versamark
Paper: 120 lb White (SSS); Distress Watercolor Paper (Tim Holtz); Basic Black (Stampin' UP!)
Accessories: Happy Die, Tiny Dots Stencil (SSS); Sequins (Pretty Pink Posh); White Embossing Powder (SU)


StampNation Birthday Bash Day 3 ~ Whimsy ~ For Kids

I'm back for Day 3 of the Birthday Bash with another card using supplies from Whimsy Stamps and adding in some ink + cardstock from Simon Says Stamp (another fabulous Birthday Bash sponsor that I will highlight tomorrow).  Today's challenge is to create a card for kids.

This little set is so cute I couldn't make just one.  I had to make one for a boy and one for a girl.   Check out the video to see how you can make your own sweet as candy card.

Be sure to check out the StampNation challenge forums for your coupon code to get a free gift with $50 purchase from Whimsy Stamps.  Trust me, it's going to be easy to fill your cart at this fun store.  

Whimsy stamps is also giving away $25 gift certificates to 3 lucky StampNation members who play along with this week's challenges.

Members click here to find out more
If you aren't a member, and want to join clicky

StampNation is sponsoring Operation Write Home as their charity for this event.  These cards were made with our troops on my mind.  I picture a mom or dad writing to their son and daughter and I tear up every time. 

Stamps: Sweet As Candy, Birthday Balloon (Whimsy Stamps)
Ink: Audrey Blue, Doll Pink (Simon Says Stamp); Smoky Slate (Stampin' UP!)
Paper: Audrey Blue, Doll Pink, White 120 lb (Simon Says Stamp)
Accessories: Aquapainter (Stampin' UP!); Birthday Die, Sweet As Candy Die (Whimsy); Wink of Stella Pen; Glossy Accents


StampNation Birthday Bash Day 2 ~ Whimsy ~ For Him

The party is going strong over at StampNation celebrating its 4th birthday.   New challenges every day, along prizes and gifts from our sponsors.  If you aren't yet a member, it's not too late join.  Sign up today and you can take full advantage of the Birthday Bash fun along with everything else that StampNation has to offer.

Each day I will also be posting challenge cards on my blog and spotlight our sponsors.  Today I have a card made with stamps & dies from Whimsy Stamps.  This company is fairly new to me, but I am already in love!  In fact, I'm about to place my 3rd order to take advantage of the special offer for StampNation members only!  Woot Woot!!!

Today's challenge is to create a masculine card.  My supply of masculine cards is completely depleted so I made a card exclusively for StampNation, one for my blog and another card is probably coming later this week.

It can be difficult to find patterned paper that works for teenage boys, so I decided to make my own with stamps.  Check out the video to see how.

If you are a StampNation member, be sure to check out the forum to see all the special offers from our sponsors and get your code for a FREE gift with purchase from Whimsy Stamps.  If you are not a member, join now and get in on all the fun.

Stamps: Distressed Background & Ink Splats, Happy Everything (Whimsy Stamps)
Ink: Slate (Simon Says Stamp); Sahara Sand, Smoky Slate (Stampin' Up!); Black Onyx (Versafine)
Paper: Basic Gray, Sahara Sand, White (SU)
Accessories: Clear Embossing Powder (SU); Birthday Die (Whimsy); Metal Dots (Cloud 9 Designs); Washi Tape (Little B)


StampNation Birthday Bash Day 1 ~ Verve ~ For Her

StampNation's 4th birthday is today and we are celebrating with a week of challenges and fabulous sponsors including Simon Says Stamp, Verve, and Whimsy Stamps.   There are prizes, specials and discount codes at StampNation and I will be partying along with the challenges on my blog spotlighting each of our sponsors.

Verve Stamps will be giving away a $50 Gift Certificate to one lucky member that participates in the challenges this week, plus a FREE digital download to all members.

Simon Says Stamp will also be giving away a $50 Gift Code to one lucky participant in the challenges this week at StampNation.

Whimsy Stamps will be giving away $25 Gift Certificates to 3 lucky StampNation members who join in this week's challenges.  Plus, they have a special gift with purchase offer!

If you are a member, head on over to the forums for all the deets and to see the exclusive content on today's challenge.  If you are not yet a member and want to take part in the birthday bash, then join today.  :)  I joined 3 years ago for StampNation's first birthday, and I'm so glad that I did.

The challenge today is to make a card "for her".  I took the challenge a bit further than I needed to and made 3 cards and 2 videos for you.   All week long I will be highlighting our sponsors.  Today I am focusing on Verve Stamps.  Verve stamps fit my style with their lovely script fonts and beautiful images.

***Note- if you cannot view the video below, head to my blog or click on the link to watch it on youtube.  http://youtu.be/mNR1AZQ0bGA

Check out the second video to see what I did with some of the pieces leftover from the first video.  http://youtu.be/IswHqgDYZBs

Stamps: Be Blessed (Verve)
Ink: Peacock Feathers, Picked Raspberry, Salty Ocean, Shaded Lilac, Squeezed Lemonade (Distress); Black Onyx (Versafine); Versafine
Accessories: Sequins (Verve); Clear & White Embossing Powders (Stampin' UP!)


Stampin' News

Have you heard the news? 

Stampin' UP!'s new Occassions catalog is now live!  Check out the newest releases HERE

2015 Occasions Catalog

The biggest sale of the year is also going on at Stampin' UP!  We call it Sale-A-Bration.  For every $50 you spend, before tax & shipping, you can choose one of the Sale-A-Bration items for FREE!  


If you are one of my customers, you should have both catalogs in your hot little hands.  If you have not yet received yours, please email me to let me know and I will look into it for you.  (cr8tvblessings@hotmail.com)

StampNation Birthday Bash starts on SUNDAY!  All week long we will be celebrating with challenges, videos, prizes and gifts.  The sponsors lined up have been so generous.  You are going to love them!  (Clearly Besotted, Whimsy Stamps, and Simon Says Stamp)

A little birdie told me I get to give away one FREE month membership to StampNation!   Woot-Woot!  Be sure to tune in Sunday for all the deets.


Scrapbooking for Stampin' Celebration

It's time for a new challenge at Stampin' Celebration and this week it is a sketch.  You can make a card or scrapbook page using this awesome sketch as your inspiration!

Last year I almost completely ignored my scrapbooking.  I got together with friends a few times, but I made more cards than layouts.  In December of 2013 I got a new laptop and it didn't have MDS on it, so I haven't done any digital pages either.  In 2015 I want to change that.  My goal is to truly get a grasp on MDS so I can start doing more digital albums.

I've downloaded MDS onto my computer and spent the day playing around and getting familiar with it again.  The pictures are from our nephew's wedding and I used the sketch to give me a fabulous starting point!   I was on a roll with MDS and decided to make a second layout.

It's fun to see how fast a page can come together once I learn the program, but I'm still not planning on going 100% digital.  I also want to scrapbook all the pictures I have printed and use up at least some of my paper supplies.  Wish me luck.  I'm going to have to add this goal to my datebook.


New Year ~ New Goals

Are you a resolution maker or a goal setter?  Personally "resolution" sounds too strict tome.  I prefer setting goals that I know I can attain with a little bit of effort.

My Scrapbooking Goals
1) Start scrapbooking again. 2 pages a month.
2) Learn how to use MDS2

Cardmaking Goals
1) Send out more cards (on time)
2) Post a video (or 2) every week
3) Expand my Design Team duties for StampNation (more on this later)
4) Get on another Design Team  (what can I say, I love the challenge!)
5) Post 3 cards (or more) a week
6) Enter 3 challenges a month

My sewing goals for 2015

1) Finish 4 quilts, including 1 for myself, 2 baby quilts that are in progress and create a twin size charity quilt for "The Sophia Way"
2)Work on a quilt for my second son
3) Make 8 BOM for the SSMQG
4) Take one quilting class  (hopefully more)
5) Complete 9 finishes for ALYOF

I would also like to continue working on my Christmas applique blocks, create another jeans quilt with the leftovers from the quilt I made last year, and start 5 more quilts that I have percolating in my head.  :)  These are secondary goals though, that I will work on when I have quilter's block from the goals above.

What are you goals for 2015?


Sew Saturday ~ January Goals

New year, new logo, new goals and I am all in with A Lovely Year of Finishes.  This challenge blog run by my friend Melissa and her friend Shanna has kept me motivated to set goals each month and try to get them completed by month's end.  I love checking things off my list almost as much as I love starting them.  It's the in-between where I get bogged down.  Participating each month in ALYOF has helped me so much in the year and half I have been following along.  I'm very excited to see what we can accomplish together in 2015!

A Lovely Year of Finishes

My goal for January is actually part of my unfinished goal for November.  In November my sewing machine and I had a bitter disagreement about Free Motion Quilting my jelly roll race quilt.  I wanted to quilt it in time to give away to charity before Christmas because it was in Christmas colors.  My machine wanted to break threads and tie them into bird's nests.  My machine won.  I was so frustrated by the end of the month that I didn't even sew on it in December. 

Thankfully some lovely blog readers gave me helpful suggestions and I am happy to report that my sewing machine and I are on sewing terms again.   The biggest problem was my thread.  I had tried 3 different kinds, but wasn't paying attention the weight.  I assumed all my aurifill threads were 50 weight, but I had been using threads from a pack I won last year.  They were thick and did not like my machine at all.  DOH!

I also changed my needle size and that helped too.   On January 1st my goal was just to finish up the machine quilting on my jelly roll race quilt.  I'm happy to report that the machine quilting is already done, so my new goal will be to add the binding and complete my quilt. The binding is my favorite part.

The best part about all the struggles I had with my machine is that I stopped caring about trying to get it perfect.   There was no way I was going to rip out all that thick thread, and start over.  This was supposed to be a quick and easy project to donate to our guild's charity stash.   I just put the pedal to the metal and got it whipped out .  By the end of quilting this beast I felt more confident.  I'm not proud of my stitching, but I am putting it out there anyway so other beginners can feel more confident to try too.

Now it's your turn to link up your January goals.  I'll be back tomorrow with my creative goals for all of 2015.