Cardmaking Feed

A Few Notes | Cardmaking

I was talking to my good friend Sue R. not long ago about scrapbooking, and how that 12x12 page can be totally overwhelming.  Like, totally overwhelming.  It doesn't seem like a lot of space, but sometimes it's WAYYY too much.  This is one of the many reasons I love cardmaking - the size is less daunting, and it's easier to put a few embellies and your sentiment and be done!  

The main reason I love making cards is because it's a) something people don't really receive anymore - cards, with actual handwritten notes on the inside, and b) totally personal, coming from your heart to the person/people receiving your specially made card.

I've said in the past that all my Christmas cards that I make each year are totally unique.  Well, it's not just my Christmas cards that are unique - my thank you notes are the same way.  

With the exception of last year, when I made these --


- I always try to make each card different.

Since Christmas just passed (ok...not was 2 weeks ago....), I decided it was high time I started making my thank you notes to send out.

I won't give them all away - I haven't mailed any of them out yet - but here are  a couple of my favorites so far - 

Lovvveee that ampersand :-)

I'm not normally a fan of really bright colors, but I loved this paper & embellishment pack from Amy Tangerine's Sketchbook line.   The stamp I used on the "guest check" is from a Kelly Purkey set that I just love.  She has some of the greatest stamp designs out there.

Ohhhh I love those little flags!!!  They, along with the butterfly, are from Basic Grey's Fact & Fiction line.  The stamp sentiment is from Tim Holtz/Stampers Anonymous.


And lastly, on the back, this pretty little stamp from Kelly Purkey tells the recipient I handmade it just for them :-)

That wraps it up!  These smaller surface areas are much easier for this ca-ray-zy girl to handle and not be overwhelmed ("I know you can be overwhelmed....and you can be underwhelmed....but can you ever just be...whelmed??" love that movie!) by all that empty space in a 12x12 layout.  4x6 cards are much more manageable :-)

Until next time, my friends....go forth and be crafty :-)


Christmas Cards | Cardmaking

Well, Christmas has come and gone already...which I can hardly believe.  There's always so much excitement about the Christmas season, and when the actual day is here, it feels like it just flies on by quicker than you can blink.

But I still love Christmas.  Love it.

As you may or may not know, I handmake the Christmas cards that I send out every year.  Yep.  Takes a sh-- ton of time, but I think it's worth it.  This year, due to time constraints, I mass produced a few -- usually I make each one totally unique.  This year....not so much.

I saw this way cool tutorial over at Tim Holtz's blog (he is beyond creatively talented. the things this man does with ink & paper? totally amazeballs.), and decided I wanted to give it a try.  Seemed easy enough, and the result is totally awesome.

The tutorial series is all about tags, and in this case, specific to Christmas.  The pic above is all the tags I made and then distressed by inking the edges and using a paper edger to rough up the sides.  Some tags I used were kraft paper; the others were manilla.  Same technique, different look, all of it easy & awesome.  LOVE.  

Taking these tags, I then dressed up some Paper Source  card stock, and this is the end result --

IMG_2677They didn't all have the same patterned background paper, but they all look pretty similar to this.  I'm definitely going to be repeating this design!  Make sure you check out the original tag over at Tim's blog - so totally cool.

Next up:  glitter embossing powder.  I hate glitter.  Like, hate it.  It gets ev-a-ry-where.  You end up sneezing glitter for months, because it's so fine you breathe it in without knowing it...random specks end up all over your your hair........uggggggh.  BUT....when it's embossing powder, which means you get to heat it to make it adhere to your page and never come off, then I'm all about it.

Enter watermark ink pad, awesome  Santa stamp, and red glitter embossing powder...

IMG_2850BOOM.  Seriously.  So awesome.  This was my favorite card that I made this year.  In fact, I may still have it.  I don't remember if I actually sent this one out....whoopsie....

Where there's red glitter, there's also green.....

IMG_2860It might be tough to tell, but those are gifts all lined up.  Totally super cute.   Add green glitter embossing powder, and poof!  Sparkly gifties!

I also had a little too much fun with the "quantity" function on my I was able to just keep repeating some of the cuts I made....

This "Noel" made quite a few appearances on my cards with different background paper.  I used the Teresa Collins "December 25th" cartridge for this image, along with "Santa" and a few others that I totally forgot to take pics of, so I can't share them :-(

So there you have it!  A little snippet of some of the cards that I sent out this year!  Maybe if you're lucky, you'll get on my card list for next year, and get one of these for your very own!  :-)

Much love ~~~


More Sewing Fun

Well.  I survived.
I survived a 1st birthday party with more kids in one house than I thought could actually fit.
For those of you who don't know, me and small children aren't really friends.  Now, my high school band kids?  They rock.  Small children that scream for no reason whatsoever?  Not cool.
BUT.  This was for my T-girl, the daughter of one of my good friends from high school.  She turned 1 last Friday, and her party was on Saturday.  
There is one good thing about shopping for babies:  babygap.  Oh, yes.  babygap.  Here's a fun tidbit to know and tell:  I once worked for Gapkids/babygap.  Yep.  I was the denim/khaki specialist, and could make those walls and walls of denim and khakis just look perfect and pristine.  I was that crazy person with a cart and piles and piles of denim stacked around me, folding away like Rainman.  Touch my perfect wall of denim and you lost a hand.  Sometimes I'd be nice and I'd let you get away with only losing a few fingers.
I digress.
babygap.  T-girl. 
Another fantastic place to be when you're shopping for baby gifts:  Pottery Barn Kids.  Oh man.  At one point, they had The Grinch sheets.  GRINCH.  SHEETS.  If you are unaware with my complete and total obsession with Dr. Seuss, particularly The Grinch That Stole Christmas, go to this post where I freak out only slightly about fabric I bought.
Ok.  So, my shopping consisted of one item from babygap (because omg i couldn't resist) and one item from Pottery Barn Kids.  Again, couldn't resist.  I wanted to get her something else, but nothing was hitting me.
Then, I thought to myself, "Self.  Why buy something when you can MAKE something????"  
I mean, really.  
I have the tools, an amazing craft room, and a sewing machine.  I'm totes making something.
I remembered I have leftover fabric from the apron I made for my sister for her birthday, and I thought this would make a perfect pillow sham,  much like this one that I made for myself last week.
I switched it up a bit, and I decided that nothing said "baby" like a cute quilted pattern.  
OOOOOMG.  How adorbs is this????!??!!!?!  This turned out so daggone cute!!  
OK!!!  I did the same type of sham back covering, so Katie can take the pillow out and wash it every so often, along with the cover itself.
So.  Darn.  C-U-T-E.  Cricut owners:  you can cut fabric with your Cricut!!!  The possibilities are endless when you have a die cutter that can cut your fabric into shapes!!! 
Once I figure out the precise combination of speed and pressure, it'll be wonderful, that is.  This time around, I couldn't get it to make clean cuts on the fabric, so I cut paper and traced it on the fabric.
Moving on....since you're all supposed to believe that I'm absolutely perfect at everything....
This is the birthday card I made for the occasion --
Cute, amiright??  I love that birthday cake.  It's so...slanted....and it looks delicious.  Actually, now that I think about it, I think I showed you guys this pic already.  Wow.  I'm losing my damn mind.  Huh.  Well, there's the card.  Again.  ("Yeah, thanks, Jack.  We saw this already.  Aren't you doing anything new and innovative in your craft room???  Sheesh.")
Patience, peeps. There is much going on in my craft room, I just can't show you all the deets yet.  Somewhere aroundabout 23 April I should be able to show you more.  But not before then.  Well, not anything that I've been feverishly working on, anyways. 
Until tomorrow...or the weekend....whenever I have something supercool to show you (like the chipboard album I made last night -- keep an eye on that Instagram feed on the top left of my blog -- you'll find pics there that don't always make it to the blog right away....and it updates almost once a day....just sayin'......).  
Much love to all of you, my crazy crafting & stitching friends!
~~~ J

Bridal Shower Favors: Part One

My sister's wedding is rapidly approaching (2 June is the day!!), but the shower is coming even closer.  It's in April, and we're all hoping that we have some spectacular weather like we had here a week or so ago!!  
As part of my maid of honor duties, I'm making the favors for the shower.  I had this super-cute idea, which I borrowed from a friend's wedding oh-so-many years ago, and I'm thrilled that it's going to work!
Now, I don't want to give too much away, so I'm just gonna give you a lil' peek into what I'm working on for the favors :-)
Glassine envelope + cute stamp + embossing = yay!
Ok.  That's it.  That's all you get to see.  More pics will most def be posted the day after her shower so you can see all I've been making in her honor :-)
Much love ~~~~

So many cards, so little time.

Last night I left work and went straight to the accountant's office so I could file my tax return, only to get there and realize I forgot THE most important documents -- my W2 (I mean, really.  Who forgets this.) and the 1098 for my mortgage insurance.  I had every other single document.  Except them. 
So, I left with a homework assignment: get them and send them to the accountant.  Like, tomorrow.  ASAP.  Stat.  
I felt so stupid.  I couldn't believe it.  Oh well.  Nothing I could do about it at the time, so I'll just have to scan them today and send them off.  
After I gathered all the appropriate docs and put them right into my canvas tote that I carry to/from work with very important things such as my change of shoes and my hearty lunch, I ran up to my craft room.  It's not often I have an extra hour lingering about at night during the week to do much of anything, so up I went!
I'd been waiting for some time to cure these pots that I'd painted.  Why, you ask??  Because I painted the bottom of them with CHALKBOARD PAINT.  Holy fun in a garden basket!!!  OMG.  I saw this idea on Pinterest (but for the life of me cannot find it again, so please, please, please, if you pin this picture, PLEASE credit the original source.), and as soon as I saw it, I knew I HAD to do it.
I had to "cure" the chalkboard paint with actual chalk before using my new favorite thing -- chalk paint pens.  These are amazing.  They go on wet, and then dry like chalk.  You remove what you wrote with water, and viola!!  Good as new and ready for whatever you decide to put in them next!  I think this is an amazingly cute way to remind you what seeds you started in your kitchen window before transplanting them to your garden -- it beats the heck outta those silly little tags you stick in the soil and they get all ruined and just...ugh.  Way cuter and prettier and funner.  Yes, I just made up a word, but you're over it, b/c these pots are awesome :-) 
This also solidified my decision to paint one of the smaller walls in my craft room with chalkboard paint for those moments when I need to jot something down so I don't forget the fabulous idea I had, or to do sketches and such to keep me inspired.  
I need to quit my day job so I can play in my craft room all damn day.
What else could I be doing up there?  Only making these awesome thank-you notes for my lil' sis :-) (yes, these will go with the rest that I showed you all the other day in a big set that I'm making for her for either her wedding gifts or her shower gifts - whichever she chooses to use them for)
Seriously peeps.  I have so much fun doing this stuff.  I was talking to one of my friends about it last night, and made the decision to make a bunch and sell them in my (currently vacant) etsy shop.   So, keep an eye out for upcoming announcements about when I add stuff in there!  Who knows - you may even see some of my handmade sewing projects pop up in there, too ;-)
The fun doesn't stop there, folks.  It continues right on with the other half of Danielle's wedding gift.
Rather than throw out her invitation, I put it to good use!  After I took this, I added glitter accents (yes, glitter), and roses in the bottom left corner.  I'm waiting for a pic to come in so I can replace the upside down one I placed in the bottom right for placement.  Fun, amiright??  :-)
Alright my crafty & stitchy friends.  I'm off to bed.  Insomnia parked itself for a visit the past week, so hopefully it's done with me and has moved onto its next victim.  I need sleep, dagnabit!!
May you all have a creative crafty day :-)
Much love ~ ~ ~

I should have just started all over with today....tomorrow.

Ever have one of those days where you wish you could just have a time-turner and start all over again???
Today was totes one of those days.
I was watching the news while I got ready for work, as per usual, and during the traffic report they said that Rt. 1 northbound was closed.  All three lanes.  Shut down.  Accident.  At least I found out before I left the house, amiright?
Bad news is, I had to take the only other route to work, which literally takes me all around the outskirts of the city.  Yes, there are quite literally only 2 ways for me to get to work.  NOT good when you work in/around a major city.  So, even though I didn't hit any traffic on my way to work (thank you Action News!), it took me a solid 20 minutes extra because I had to go all the way around the city.  I did get to see my favorite place to be in the summer --- Citizens Bank Park --- and got super excited that opening day is LESS THAN A MONTH AWAY!!!  WOOP!!
So, that happened.  20 minutes extra on the trip to work.  Then, to make matters slightly worse (after jinxing myself, of course), I got the heel of my shoe caught between the sidewalk cracks, and it scraped the leather off my heel.  AWESOME.  That was at 0800, and I still had a solid 9 hours of the day to go.  Amazing.  
Needless to say, when I got home, I needed nothing more than some tunes and my craft room.  Like whoa.   
First up -- the finishing touches on this frame for the pic of the gals at D's wedding in October --
The theme for her wedding was pumpkins, and her bridesmaids were in black dresses with hot pink shoes, so I used the black & pink to keep with the feel of the night.  Her wedding was SO much fun.  Seriously.  A total blast.  Can't wait to celebrate with these girls again at my sister's wedding!! :-)
Next up -- some cards I made --
This one came out way cooler than I thought it would.  I got a window punch a week or so ago, and am still getting the hang of it, so I think this turned out pretty good for a first-timer!  I stamped the "Merci" on a piece of grey paper over and over (not always re-inking), and then put the window on top for the layered effect.  Pretty cool, right?!
Here again with the window effect, I just swapped the square for a circle, and just used it as a little addition in the corner.  Not too much, but just enough.  I find that with this pack of cards I got, you don't need to add too many adornments to make it really special.
I have a ton more of these thank yous, which I swore I posted here somewhere, but can't find the post to give you a link back.  Maybe I dreamt I posted them.  Altogether possible.  Anyways....they're going to be part of my shower gift to my sister, which she can then use for either the shower or for her wedding thank you's.
IMG_1008 ADORBS did this come out??!!?!  This is for my friend's baby, we'll call her T-girl.  Her 1st bday is coming up, and I clearly had to make her a very special card for the occasion.  The base card is from my favorite paper store and yours, Paper Source.  I believe I got them on sale, so they may not have these particular ones anymore, but I'm sure they have something similar.  I also got the bday cake stamp there.  So funky and fun.

 And you have all been so patiently waiting for me to show at least one cross stitch WIP, so wait no more.
For those of you obsessed with the With Thy Needle and Thread "Word Play" series as much as I am, you'll know that this WIP is "March."  I seriously love this series.  Love.  They're so simple, yet so....nice.  I don't know how else to say it.  I just love each one so far.  "April" just came out, so I'll have to get that...hopefully this weekend.   This pic came out kinda dark, and I apologize for that, but I just couldn't get it any brighter so you could see the fiber colors.  I'm stitching it on 40 count "Purely Primitive" by Silkweaver.  At least...I think that's the name.  I know it has "Primitive" in the name.  Man.  I need a vacay.
Alright peeps.  That's all I got for now.  Do something creative today!! Stitch your hearts out!
Much love ~ ~ ~
PS - before you even ask...all my pics were taken using new obsession.....

Simple "Thank You" notes

Hello all!!  You know I couldn't possibly go and entire weekend without doing something scrapbooking related.  
Today I want to share some SUPER easy "thank you" notes that I made to send to my fam for the faboo gifts they gave me for Christmas.  I know, I know, I'm a little late, but better late than never, right???
Ok planned scrapbooking/papery event in my house is complete without at least a walk through Paper Source.  When I was there last weekend getting the supplies for my sister's "Save the Date" cards, I saw a FAAAAAAAAAAABULOUS new color called "Aubergine".  Oh, hello new color.  How I love thee.  Not only is it in the purple family (we all know my thoughts on purple!!!  well, as long as it's not barney purple and it's covering an entire wall in one of the rooms of my third floor, and then sponge/rag painted on top of a white base all over the remaining walls.  ahem......), but it's Paper Source's only textured paper!!  Oh, it's awesome.  LOVE. 
Mkay so.....I scouted out the Aubergine line last week, and this past Friday, decided to head on over and see what I could pick up for these thank you's I had buzzing around in my head.  Way back in March of last year, when I went to the opening of the Walnut Street Store, I saw a demo of a really cool idea.  Take a chalk stamp pad, and use IT as your stamp to create a color background.  Stay with me...then take another stamp, and ink it with regular ink, and stamp it on top of the chalk background you just created.  Viola!!!!  Magic!!!
Let's go through it....
Ok, so here are all my stamps and inks --
Yay!!  Ok - I forgot to take a pic of them, but the cards I got are #10 Paper Bag, and the envelopes are Aubergine.  I picked Paper Bag over Khaki because the Paper Bag ones actually have flecks of color throughout.  Way cool.'s the first step:  take your ink and make a color background:
Boom.  Next, take another stamp, ink it with a contrasting color (I used Frost White), and stamp it on top of the color block, like so:
Nifty, amiright???!!  The little "thank you" stamp was inked with the same chalk ink (Blackberry) as the background for the "j".  I took that stamp and put it in a different spot for each one - so some people have the thank you on the right in a spot, others have it on the left.  Gotta keep  'em all on their toes ;-)
The flap of the envelope I stamped with the "do something creative everyday" stamp that I got from Paper Source (all the stamps used for this project were purchased there, actually), because I FIRMLY believe that we should all do something creative every day.  I have a highly technical job, and I just have to dump all that stuff at the door when I leave, and turn my left brain on in full force, so that when I get home, I can fully engage it and either cross stitch, scrapbook, sew, or whatever!  It's such a great thing to be able to do that, and we all need to make time for it every day!!!
I digress...
I took the "do something creative..." stamp, inked it with Frost White, and then covered it with clear embossing powder to emboss it.  I'm not sure how I like it, to be honest.  I should have stamped it with a Versamark ink pad and embossed it with white powder instead, so it would be more vibrant white against the Aubergine...but oh well.  Ya live & learn, right??  :-)
That's it!!  Your 'thank you's' are all done!!  This project might be the quickest one I've done to date -- it only took me a whopping 30 minutes from start to finish, including clean-up!!  I'd say that's pretty daggone good!!!  haha!
That's all I have for today, crafters!  Have a fabulous Monday, and do something creative today!!!!!
Much love :-)

"Save the Date"

Hello my friends!  It has been a whirlwind of a week, complete with stitching and much papercrafting in this house!
I'm almost done the Prairie Schooler "Winter" that I showed you a few days ago (or has it been a week already...I seriously can't keep track...), but today's post isn't about stitching.
It's about cardmaking.
My sister is getting married in June, and way back when, I offered to do "Save the Date" cards for her if she wanted to send them out.  Well, she took me up on the offer, and today was the day that we decided to sit and get it all done!  It took a solid 5 (yes, 5) hours to do them, but they're all done and ready for mailing!
I had so much fun coming up with the idea, and I'm so glad she liked them :-)
Our bridesmaid's dresses are a granite color (in fact, i think that might actually be the color name), and sis wants us all in yellow shoes (funky, right?!  i see a trip to South Street in the very near future for some bangin' yellow pumps!! ha!), so I thought that we should continue that trend with the "save the dates" and came up with this:
Now, the background is more cream than yellow, but I didn't want it to be too bright on the front and take away from the stamp.  Fun, amiright??  These are 4-bar flat cards in Slate from one of my most favvvvorite places to go - Paper Source.  They're not very big, in fact I think they're the smallest card they sell, but they were perfect for what we needed them.  The above picture is the front side of the card.  Below is the back:
Now THIS is where the fun yellow comes into play!!  My flower stamp and little yellow & grey flower adornments.  Yayyy!  We had a regular assembly line going in my craft room today - I cut everything down to the correct sizes, and then we all set to work gluing and sticking and stamping and adorning so that we could just plow through everything and all sis had to do was go home and print labels!  Viola!!  In the blank space, we wrote all of the information (well, sis and cuz did that while I hole-punched and adorned), and they turned out just super cute :-)
It's not done there, though!  As most of you know by now, I have this love affair with my envelope liner templates that I got from, you guessed it, Paper Source.  Seriously  So, all of the envelopes are lined with pretty black/grey/yellow paper, much like the one in this pic -
All of the envelopes have a different lining, and all of the cards have a different black/white themed back paper on the front (the one under the cream).  So, even though all the recipients won't know that theirs is different from everyone else's, we know, and it makes it that much more special :-)
That's it for this afternoon, my wonderful crafty stitchy friends!  I thank all of you for following me and all the crazy crafty things that I do!  I hope to inspire you all as I have been inspired by so many here in the blogosphere!!!
Hugs and stitches :-)

Christmas Flair

I have a very important question for you all:  how and when did it suddenly become 4 December?????  I feel like it was just July and I was down the shore on vacation.  Honestly.  I need a pause button for life.  There are not enough hours in the day for me to get everything done that I want to get done.  I do not count cleaning, because no one actually WANTS to clean.  And if they tell you that, well, they lied to your face.  

Being that it's going to be mid-February next time I blink, I figured it was time to get moving with the rest of the Christmas cards I'm making.  I hope to send them out before Christmas 2015.  HA!

I won't show them all to you, because then you'd be yelling at me for taking up too much download time with all the pictures, so I'll just give a small sampling of what I have going on in my craftroom these days....

Simple, but pretty :-) 


This one's a smidge dark (sorry 'bout that...not sure what the heck happened...) but this one continued with my Vintage Christmas theme that I showed you all the other day.  I used my Cricut "Joys of the Season" cartridge for the ornament.  Love my Cricut.  Love.

I'm sorry, but how freaking C-U-T-E are those penguins????  I had to incorporate them into something, so this is what I came up with.  The one lil' guy is all tangled in lights!!  Hahaha!!  Sooooo cute!!  Oh, man.  Cardmaking is addictive.  I almost regret getting myself sucked into this nonsense.  


I WILL have stitching updates for you soon.  I PROMISE.  I haven't been able to stitch much, since I spent a lot of time on my sister's apron, and I've been trying to meet my goal of making cards for people this year, instead of buying them.

I hope you all are trying to stay calm through this crazy holiday season.  Do something creative each day to help calm your nerves.  

Or, just drink some mulled wine.  That usually does the trick.