Thursday, September 18, 2014

Cozy Christmas...

I'm back again here and on the Mama Elephant blog today, for a closer look at the new Cozy Christmas dies and what you can do using them.

cozy christmas {mama elephant designer series}

I think this Santa is so cute, and it's extra nice not having to cut out those arms!  I stamped, colored and die-cut Santa and his extra arms, and wanted to have him perch over the sentiment banner (from the new Tags a Lot die set.)

but he was too short.

womp, womp.

cozy christmas {mama elephant designer series}

Here's what I did: i cut him in half. Complicated, right? ha.

Having sliced Santa above his belt, I was able to take my scissors and cut around his beard a bit, so that when I put the card together, his beard could overhand onto the sentiment banner.

cozy christmas {mama elephant designer series}

Once I had everything stamped out (including the sentiment from Believe in Magic,) I adhered the focal rectangle to a starry clear card base. I think this is my first-ever acetate card base. Pretty nifty.

A length of candy-cane twine and some pretty sequins finished it off. That was that!  I hope you like what I made for you today, Visit the Mama Elephant store to see what else is new this month - click!

In other news.

I will be back tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that, and for the next 6 days in a row - because today marks the beginning of Lawn Fawn's September inspiration week!

Check out their big giveaway post here.

And, did you see the exclusive set lawn fawn designed for Simon Says Stamp's big Stamptember event? You can see it here.

THEN. I just want to show you this sneak of what I worked on all day yesterday:

My niece is turning 4 at the end of October and wants a mermaid party. You recognize some of the stamps: lawn fawn's critters in the sea and the frame from sweater weather. But what's that on the left? Oh yeah. I drew myself a mermaid. And she fits right into the lawn fawn scene with an ease that blew my socks off. I can't wait to keep making more decorations for this party. 

The more I play around in Illustrator, the more excited I get to create new images. I cannot wait for you to see what I have in store in October! Stay tuned!


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

You can't be sad... {mama elephant designer series}

Hi there! I'm here and on the Mama Elephant blog today, to show off the brand new "tags a lot" die. I went bananas when I first saw this tag set. If you're thinking who needs another tag set - the answer is you do. this one. The oversized tag is making my life.

you can't be sad... {mama elephant designer series}

Who needs holiday cards when the tag is card-sized? Fantastic.

I combined the following sets for my tag:  toy shop, cozy christmas, and carnival toppers.

you can't be sad... {mama elephant designer series}

You can't be sad when you're holding a holiday treat is my new fave. I did some selective inking to achieve this sentiment. Forget cupcakes! Gimme a plate of gingerbread cookies, please.

you can't be sad... {mama elephant designer series}

I stamped the toy shop directly onto the tag, masking it and the tag's edges to be able to sponge on the rich, red ink.  I like the pop of white around the outside of the tag!

I also created a bit of a bokeh effect by splattering water onto the tag. The red distress ink reacted with the water and gave this great effect.  In front of it all, Mrs. Claus is standing out front passing out free samples.

I hope you like it!  I'll be back tomorrow with a Cozy Christmas card.


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Mama Elephant first look: believe in magic dies

Hi! I'm here with a pair of projects to show off the new Mama Elephant dies for Believe in Magic. I have loved this set since it was released last year, and now I love it even more! The dies will be available for purchase as of September 15th.

believe in the magic {mama elephant first look}

My first card features a snowglobe-santa-baby. hee. I love that he's wearing Christmas pjs, and a Santa hat (borrowed from Santa himself, from the Cozy Christmas set.) I stamped the little boy, masked him, and swirled a light blue ink all around. Keeping the mask on, I used white embossing paste and a snowfall stencil to create the snowglobe blizzard.

believe in the magic {mama elephant first look}

Once the inside of the snowglobe was all set, I grabbed some candy-cane striped patterned paper and used the globe's die to create an opening through which to peek my santa-baby.  On the back of the patterned paper, I taped down some clear packaging (ok, really just a piece of a ziploc sandwich bag. i'm so fancy.) and propped it all up onto a white card base.

believe in the magic {mama elephant first look}

The base of the snowglobe was adhered to the front of the card, as was the cozy greeting.

My second project uses the Believe in Magic stamp set and die set in a more straightforward way:

believe in the magic {mama elephant first look}

I love everything about this tag.  The night sky, the dark reindeer (that requires no cutting, thank you new dies) and the twinkle of stars overhead.

I colored the sky with dark blue and black copic markers, and then used the colorless blender to remove dots of color. I also used a white gel pen to add brighter dots of stars.

believe in the magic {mama elephant first look}

I stamped the reindeer in black and colored the die-cut outline to match the sky.  I then used a wink of stella glitter pen to make him stand out a bit more.  Before placing the reindeer onto the globe, I brushed on a thin layer of glossy accents.  It shines in real life!

I hope you like both of my projects today, and thank for stopping by!


Friday, September 12, 2014

the girl with the bear hat - a free digi stamp

Hey there!

I know not all of you are into digi stamps, but as I work and practise on translating my hand-drawn doodles into illustrated artwork, I just love to be able to share a little something with you.

the girl with the bear hat - free digi stamp

I drew a few back to school images, but I had in mind that she could be used for just about anything. Stick her next to a dear Santa sentiment, or a happy birthday and it would be just as cute. I love her bear hat and little school-girl dress.

I used a stencil on the background and printed her again so that I could fussy cut and pop her up. The sentiment is by Altenew.

the girl with the bear hat - free digi stamp

This is my little gift to you, thanks for visiting my blog! I hope you like her.  If you decide to download and color her, leave me a link in the comments so I could come see - it always gives me a thrill!

the girl with the bear hat - free digi stamp

If you want to download the png file, click HERE.

If you would rather download the jpg file, click HERE.

If you want to check out last month's free digi stamp, click HERE.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

milk & cookies {a mini party for lawn fawn}

hi there!

this month's lawn fawn party is a yummy one...

milk & cookies

Create some decor using the new milk & cookies and violet's abcs stamp sets, bake up a batch of chocolate chip cookies, and suddenly it's a party.

milk & cookies

This would make the perfect little anniversary or valentine's day card too! I added some free-handed cow print throughout the decor, (and by free-handed, I mean it was me and a black copic marker, squiggling and splotching all over the place) starting with this invitation.

milk & cookies

These labels are my favorite. I love the white border left around the die-cut edge, and the variation of color you get by sponging the ink on.  Violet's ABCS are so perfect, with that little fancy "and" in the middle, don't you think?

milk & cookies

The cookies on top don't hurt either. My kids loved this after-school snack!

milk & cookies

I made a simple flag to decorate the plate of cookies, swapping out the double o's for two cookies and coloring everything to look like baked goodies.  To create the double-ended banner, I used the one-sided flag, (from the large stitched journaling card die set) sending it halfway through my Big Shot, and then flipping it over and doing the same on the other side. easy peasy. I also did the same thing for the milk & cookies banner on the invitation you saw above.

Every party needs a take-home favor.

milk & cookies

I scribbled on the fancy cow-print again, added a little tag and tucked a couple of cookies inside. These were for my hubs, who couldn't party with us after school. A consolation prize, ha.

I hope you like my milk & cookies party! Hop over to the lawn fawn blog for a link to the chocolate chip cookie recipe I've been using for years - it's foolproof, especially if you slightly underbake the cookies. YUM!


Monday, September 8, 2014

Getting to know me blog hop

Hi there!

Today's post is a little different.  I am taking part in a kind of blog-tag-you're-it chain hop - the getting to know me blog hop. I was tagged by some of my favorite crafty friends to answer questions about my creative process and at the end of the post I'll send a high five to a few more who will continue the chain in their own posts next Monday.

I was nominated by some amazing bloggers: Melania (Deasy), a previous Gallery Idol winner and all-around blow-your-socks off creative mind, and also Taheerah, whose style is ethereal and dreamy and always unexpected. I am proud to count both as friends.

Let's get started!

1. What creative projects are you currently working on?

I have piles of Mama Elephant and Lawn fawn stamps in my work area.  I am so blessed to be a part of both company design teams and I am in the middle of working on projects that will go live in a few weeks.  I am also learning how to use Adobe Illustrator.  I offered a free digi stamp last month (click!) and I'm working on a new one for you - it will probably be offered later this week. Here's a sneak:

the sentiment is courtesy of Altenew.
Lastly, I was asked to help create table decor for a fall ladies' event at my church.  I'm thinking some brainstorming and a test-run or 2 may be in order this week!

2. What inspires your designs?

Inspiration can hit at any time: a wallpaper design, how things are stacked up in a display window, or the layout of a print design. I am first and foremost inspired by fellow crafters, especially fellow design-team members. Sometimes, I create something and think: so great! and then I see what the others made and I am in awe. I would love to craft with some of them to see how they operate!

3. What method or process do you apply to each of your creative projects, and how long does each project take to complete?

I'll answer the time component first: a looooong time. Even though I'm a stay-at-home-mom, I don't like to ignore my babes to work on stuff (even though, in a crunch, it's been known to happen as much as I try to work ahead and stay organized.)  I try to limit my crafty time to before they wake up and naptime. That doesn't leave enough of a chunk to start and finish a project all at once.  I find that I need to start with a clear vision, so I always sketch ahead, or at least figure out my focal images first. I may stamp and color an image in the morning, then work on the background in the afternoon and figure out placement in the evening. That's just how I roll.

4. If you have to describe your signature style, what would it be?

It's definitely cute. And as CAS as you can get with sponged edges? ha. I'd say I still like things to look clean and un-busy, but it has to look cute, dynamic, and fun. Quirky, even. I'm not too good at this, huh?

5. What 3 crafty tools or products can you not live without?

This is an impossible question. I obviously need stamps, a copic-compatible black ink and copic markers. But paper would be nice too, and at least scissors. This answer is a #fail. I can't narrow it down to 3 items!

If you've made it through my babbling (!) it's time to hand off the baton to 3 more worthy card-making bloggers:

Chari Moss - one of the lawn fawn teammates I was talking about. She's creative and her designs are so sweet, with just the right amount of quirky to make me go whoa! Did you see the pacman card she made? Like that.

Wida Miller - the newest HA girl on the block. I'm happy to have known her from way back when. She layers things with an ease that I can only dream of, and always has an unexpected pop to her cards.  And, the icing on the cake is that her blog posts are as much of a treat to read as they are to look at. She makes you feel like you know her when you follow her blog.

JJ Bolton - I mean. of course she's on my short list. She's a cardmaker, stamp and die designer, and all around genius. The things she thinks of doing with dies is beyond what my brain can come up with.  Plus, I have a huge weakness for party crafting - hee.

Thanks for stopping by, and have a beautiful Monday!


Friday, September 5, 2014

Beach par-tay!

Ok, so not so much a beach party, as a party at the beach house.

You may remember that we spent a few weeks in Virginia Beach just last month.


It was glorious. During that time, both my nephew and my hubby celebrated their birthdays.  My sister brought all kinds of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle decorations to the beach. I totally winged it for my man. And for cheap too, so I thought I'd share.

beach par-tay!

I picked a spot in the dinning room to stage the desserts. The sideboard was perfect, as was the cutlery box that I propped the cake up onto.

The first thing I bought was a 2$ roll of black and white wrapping paper and went to town, using it as a backdrop and also as bottle wraps.

beach par-tay!

Now, these bottles. I didn't find them at the house. When on vacation, we like to scout for drinks that are not available to us in Canada. I picked up a 6-pack of Margarita drinks and washed and stored each bottle as they were polished off. I cut lengths of wrapping paper, wrapped them and called it a day.  Just don't look too closely - I was really missing my paper-cutter! My scissor work is questionable, hee hee.

beach par-tay!

For the cake, I went REALLY fancy. A chocolate cake mix. The only problem was the lack of cake pans. The one I used as a cake stand was the only one I could find. Boo-urns. I pinterested my problem and thankfully found a solution: i baked the layers in the waffle-maker we'd been using all along for breakfast. At 3 minutes per cake layer, this was such a quick solution. While the layers were baking, my sister whipped up the filling and we were done really quickly.

beach par-tay!

Dudes. These cinammon cookies from Trader Joe's are amazing. I wish we had a Trader Joe's around here!

Back to the party.

beach par-tay!

The swan centerpiece was hilarious. I had been eyeing it, atop a bookshelf for about a week before I climbed up and brought it down. It matched my color scheme, so I thought, why not? What I didn't expect was everyone asking where the swan came from. Not much of a eye for detail, the rest of them!

I used a leftover square of wrapping paper and a roll of crepe paper to dress up the table.  Let's pretend it all works.

beach par-tay!

This guy looks pretty happy.

Here's the decor damage:

roll of wrapping paper - 2$
roll of crepe paper - 1$
candles - 1$
chalkboard easel - 2$ with a half-off coupon at michaels
garland of stars - 8$ each (I bought 2 of them on liquidation, but I justified it by knowing I'll use it for christmas decor this year.)

If you wanted to throw a similar party, you could even skip the chalkboard stars and cut a garland out of cardstock. With just a few special touches, you can throw a cute party anywhere you go!

beach par-tay!

Thanks for stopping by,