Monday, December 31, 2012

Top 12 of 2012

  Hello, friends! As I wrap up this year I'd like to thank all of you for visiting and supporting my creative efforts. I hope my ramblings at least occasionally brighten your day and inspire you.

  Today's post is a little year-end list of my favorite projects of the year. It's always interesting to me to look back and see how my tastes have changed and my design sensibility grown during the course of a year. I also like to look and see what my projects have in common - the design elements that define my personal taste.

  Anyway, here we go in some sort of order that makes sense to my brain:


1. Believe in Magic
I think it's the sentiment of this page that I love even more than the page itself (although the bold, elegrant colors do appeal to me, as do all the little bits and bobbles to look at.) The photo on the page captures such a lovely moment: one of the last years my daughters truly believed in Santa Claus.

2. Christmas Holly
I got my first set of Copics this year. I have lots of practicing to do, but I'm really enjoying them!

3. Vintage Santa Season's Greetings
I have a thing for Christmas, and I definitely have a thing for bold, bright Christmas colors with a little hint of vintage. Layering is just a must for me, as is creating lots of little individual elements in the foreground and background to catch my eye.

4. Candlelight Christmas Mini Album
I love the bold, elegant colors of this project coupled with all the layered stamping on the tags inside. I like the look of intricate, layered, and lifelike designs. Like these:

5. Best Bunnies
I love the soft pastel colors, the banner, the layers, and the feminine details that echo the softness of Sophia's favorite stuffed buddy.

6. Tea Party Mini Album
I made lots of mini albums this year, and this one is one of my favorites. I love the soft pastel color scheme and all the Victorian touches.

 7. Halloween in Wonderland Mini Album
I LOVE Graphic 45, and I feel like a lot about this album defines my personal aesthetic: Lots of detail, bold color, layering, and some "realistic" elements, like the little potion bottle. 

8. Dinner Agony
I like a lot of things about this page, but I particularly like the way it tells a story and uses interesting colors and patterns. The layers interest my eye, and the vintage elements give it a news-like feel.

9. The Simple Life Mini Album
Yes, another mini. This was the year of the mini album for me. I have to say that the appeal of this project for me comes largely from the adorable piggy on the cover. I love his country-vintage feel, which reminds me of summer days on the farm growing up.  

10. Little Wryn Thank You
I'll admit that I love to color cute little expressive girls for my cards and layer on lots of girly details, like banners, flowers, and bright-yet-feminine colors. 

11. 10 Years
One of my top two layouts for the year. The bright colors are so cheerful, the banners so sweet and vintage, and the layered, popped up flowers in the lower right corner add an element of realism.

12. Dream
Probably my favorite layout of the year. Again, bright feminine colors, banners, and lots of little details like the stamped zipper under the ripped paper. I like to feel like my projects could come alive at any time.

  I'm a little surprised by the brightness of my pages ... I've always thought of myself as a pastel lover. I do love them, but I guess I love brighter colors too! I love layering, vintage elements, and realistic details as well.

  I hope your New Year is full of as much joy as each day can hold. Thank you, my friends!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

My Creative Sketches December Challenge

  What a glorious weekend I've had! I got to scrap for four hours yesterday, and that seriously made my whole Christmas vacation! Even if I don't get to break out the cutter for the rest of the break, I feel totally scrapbook-zen. 

  The hubby and I undertook the monumental task of kitchen cleaning for our big Christmas baking day tomorrow, and it's so nice to have all the little chores done before the holiday so we can just enjoy being together. Ahhh ....

  Anyway, I got to play yesterday with the December sketch from My Creative Sketches, and as soon as I saw the banners I knew exactly what paper collection and photo I wanted to use!

  Here's the sketch:

And here's my take on it:

  This paper collection (Harvest Time by Simple Stories) came in my My Creative Scrapbook kit for November, and I plan to make a mini album with it as well since the collection has so many cute little elements. The layout is fairly simple: Just some fussy cutting and a few flowers and other goodies from Little Yellow Bicycle. I wanted the photo of my daughters to really shine since it's such a real, everyday photo with such great memories.

  I had two pictures with a related subject, so I decided to make a second layout to compliment the first. I wanted to complete the "Hello Fall" banner title on the second page, so I used a sketch from Page Maps for my second layout. 

Here's that sketch:

And here's my take:

  This layout is super clean with more Simple Stories scraps, a page from the summer collection for the background and some more flowers from Little Yellow Bicycle. 

 I hope your holiday season is full of joy wherever you are. Wishing you many blessings, my friends!

Saturday, December 22, 2012


  My mom is one of the most beautiful people I've ever met. She's been through so much over the last few years as she adjusts to life as a single woman again after being married for 30 years. The dignity and grace that she's displayed throughout the process has taught us many lessons and has shown all of her children just how special she really is.

  This photo of her was taken at our family birthday party this year. She was listening to one of my daughters tell a story, and I just love her expression. 

 Nothing could be more appropriate for my plant-loving mommy than  lots of flowers and butterflies, so I used some Prima flowers as well as making a batch of my own. (Gabriel Pollacco has a great tutorial on her blog teaching how to make these white flowers. Thanks, Gabriel!)

 I misted the background paper (Bo Bunny Country Garden), added some liquid pearl butterfly trails, and crackled the wings of my butterflies for a little extra shine and depth. I used the April 2012 sketch from My Creative Scrapbook for inspiration.

 I love my mom, and I hope this page will pay tribute to her for a long time. Happy scrapping, my friends!

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Last of the Cards ...

  Whew! I think I'm finally finished with Christmas cards, so I wanted to share the last batch I've been working on. As I mentioned before, I hate mass production, so I did multiple designs this year and just did a few of each. Coming up with designs that were simple and flat enough to mail with a regular stamp was the goal, but how I longed to tie some bows on these and add some buttons, bells, and other goodies!

This little postcard was inspired by a page in our Christmas mini album project from earlier in the fall. My aunt and uncle took a trip to Paris recently, so I wanted to make them a special card that brought back fond memories of their trip.

This simple design features scented embossing powder, so the gingerbread man really smells like a cookie!

And finally this simple wintery scene was done with inking and my Spellbinder's oval dies. Some of my relatives live in areas without wintery weather, so I wanted to send a little bit of Montana to them this Christmas.

I hope you are having a wonderful week, my friends! Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Keepsake Christmas

  Hi, friends! I'm still working on my homemade cards for Christmas, and I'm having lots of fun coming up with various designs. This fun card uses the Keepsake Ornaments stamp set from Stampin' Up and the coordinating dies, along with Stampin' Up's On the Edge Dies and Embossing Folders.

  The snow is gently falling here in beautiful Montana. I hope today finds your heart full of Christmas joy. Thanks for stopping by, my friends!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Pastel Christmas

  I love using pastels at Christmas, so I had to do a simple card design featuring these sweet colors.

  I used Blushing Bride for my card base and stamped my Jolly Bingo Bits with Crumb Cake, Rose Red, Pool Party, Certainly Celery, Daffodil Delight, and Blushing Bride. That cute little gingerbread man is just too much! I sooo wanted to add a seam binding ribbon to this card, but I remembered my flat card goal for this year and resisted the urge. 

  I really want to make a fun Christmas bingo game for the girls with this set. Wouldn't that be fun?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Big Glittery Reindeer!

  What would Christmas be without glitter? (Well, I guess it would still be chocolate and pie and lights and love and ... you get the idea.) But Christmas needs glitter too!
  So, with glitter in mind, I cased a simple card from the Stampin' Up catalog:

The card base is Cherry Cobbler, the DSP is a Snow Festival left over, and the stamp set is called Christmas Deer .... and then I found this magical stuff called Heat and Stick Powder! Combined with Dazzling Diamonds glitter, the images it creates are truly a dazzling wonder to behold!

My dark and dreary photo can't do this sparkling creation justice, so you'll have to try this technique for yourself. Can you tell I'm a little excited about Heat and Stick Powder?

Thanks for stopping by, my friends!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Making Mittens!

  I absolutely ADORE the new Make a Mitten stamp set from Stampin' Up, and I've used it for nearly 20 projects already this holiday season. I made a giant stack of gift card holders for all my nieces and nephews and a number of Christmas cards, so my stamp set is looking well-used already!

  This card is cased from the holiday mini catalog:

 As I mentioned in a previous post, I'm trying to make all my cards really flat this year, so I keep having to resist the urge to embellish my head off! 

 I cut my card base from Baja Breeze and cut a strip of Snow Festival DSP for my background. I stamped images from Make a Mitten in Rose Red, Lucky Limeade and Baja Breeze and then clear embossed the snowflakes and sponged over them with Baja Breeze. The mittens were stamped in the same three colors and punched out. A few pop dots, one sentiment (from the retired set called Bright Christmas), and a piece of Lucky Limeade Bakers Twine later ... a simple card was born!

 This is a fun project I hope you'll try. The colors are bright and cheerful, and the mittens can be used for a variety of winter projects. Happy stamping!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Merry Monday #43

  Hi, friends! My well-intentioned plans to get a lot of crafting done over the holiday break just didn't come to fruition (as much as I loved having company, it forced me to spend my time elsewhere), so I'm just now getting some of my Christmas cards made. Last year, I made my cards way too fat, and they cost a small fortune to mail, so this year I'm trying to make them much flatter and simpler. We'll see how successful I am when I take them to the post office!

  I absolutely HATE mass production, so I decided to make just a few each of multiple designs. I'm still only about halfway done, but I'll share a selection of what I've finished up over the next few days. Did I mention how difficult it was to make cards without pearls, diamonds, and a big bow? I keep having to resist the temptation to gussy them up a little more!

  This design was inspired by the sketch at Always Playing with Paper, a challenge blog I found recently, and I thought it would make a visually interesting flat card:

Here's my take:

 I used a white card base with some cute and inexpensive MME Christmas paper from Michael's. The reindeer is a Unity stamp colored with Copic markers, and the red card stock is SU Cherry Cobbler. I'm loving my new small doily dies from SU as well!

 Thanks for stopping by today, my friends! I'm off to make some more ... guess what ... Christmas cards!