Friday, December 30, 2011

[Scrap Our Stash] December Challenge - Anything Goes

Christmas is truly a wonderful time of the year. It's also one of the craziest when it comes to getting everything done (at both work and home) I have to come clean and admit that my international mailing is not complete. So, dear international friends, if you're reading this, you might be getting it near around (after) Christmas. It will allow you to enjoy Christmas a little longer ;)

This is also the time of year when I am most grateful for any Anything Goes challenges, like we have going at Scrap Our Stash's December Challenge. It allows us DTers to "kill a few more birds with that the many Christmas stones" we have going. It's also neat, because lots of the girls are sharing cute gift ideas which are already making me think of next year :)

Mini Gingerbread Houses

Most of you know that I make a home-made thing every year, be it baking or something paper crafty. This year is no different, except that I didn't inspire this project, but rather Florian. Who would have thought he'd take a crafting interest in my December madness? Evidently, he use to make these very cute "gingerbread" houses during his childhood. The catch is, they are made out of butter cookies, rather than gingerbread. Look, our own Mini Candy Cane Lane! 

Mini Gingerbread Houses

I really like them, because they were (1) easy to make (2) fast to make (3) fun to make (although some houses had some questionable structural integrity) (4) and they don't make you sick to the stomach trying to eat it all. Nice bite-size houses that any parent could approve.

Mini Gingerbread Houses

  • Lemon Juice (fresh or bottled in the plastic lemon)
  • Powdered Sugar (lots!)
Foundation & Structure
House Embellishments
  • Haribo Gummy Bears
  • Lambertz Dominosteine
  • Kraft Marshmallow Trees & Stars
  • M&Ms Dark Chocolate
  • M&Ms Mint Chocolate
  • Hersey Mint Chocolate
  • Holiday Red Raspberry Berries
  • Holiday Dark Chocolate Nonpareils
  • Sugar Sprinkles (Red & Green)

There is really no science to this, except to have fun! It's really a great project to do with friends or kids.

Some hints:
  • For the icing just start with some powdered sugar & some lemon juice and mix to the right consistency. The icing does harden over time, so with a little drop of lemon juice, the icing can be quickly thinned out.
  • Watch out, that it's not too runny, or else the little candy pieces won't stick.
  • The LU Le Petite Beurre were better foundations & walls because they do not crumble as easily as the Bahlsen did when trying to create half sheets for the walls. (But the Bahlsen taste better ;) Maybe I am biased since I had those cookies growing up.) But next time I make them, I will go with the LU Le Petite Beurre.
  • With two people, we managed to make about 30 in 2 hours. This is a fast project!
Here is a fun pic of my friend Kat helping (with my first self-bought Christmas tree in the background)!

Mini Gingerbread Houses

She has a sneaky look on her face, because she's munching innocently on some house embellishments ;) Let me just add a disclaimer, that Yours Truly was not that innocent either.

My lessons learned from this whole project: take a chaperone with you when purchasing candy (we went crazy buying all kinds of candy cause we haven't had any in a long while) and curb eating the embellishments while making the houses. It's the fastest way to a tummy ache.

Check out the Scrap Our Stash's December Challenge. You have until the end of the month to get your inspirations in. What are you making for the holidays? Are you done?

Friday, December 23, 2011

[Mami Doodles] Challenge #40 - Altered Item or Home Decor

Happy Friday, Everyone! I am enjoying my first day off from work for the rest of the year ;) It is also a great way to get caught up on everything that's been this blog post ;)

Last week we had a Mami Doodle challenge: Altered Item / Home Decor. My project is actually a Christmas present for two very special friends, who were wed this past summer. If you remember this blog post, then you can see why I chose to alter the frame the way I did. It's for the same couple :) And you know my slight obsession with matchy-matchy...

For the Bride & Groom
Stamps: (Love Tree) Mami Doodles; (Victorian Alphabet, Big Blooms - Chrysanthemums, Big Day Additions) Waltzingmouse Stamps
Paper: (tissue paper) Recycled stash
Ink: (Versamark, Brilliance - Pearlescent Sky Blue, Memento - London Fog) Tsukineko
Embellishments: (Detail Embossing Powder - Black) Ranger

I started by measuring out the frame and centering the sentiment, stamped off the watermark and then embossed it in black for some extra shine.

For the Bride & Groom

Then I repeated the same for the date, and stamped off some Chrysanthemums in the same/similar shades of the same card. I actually chose London Fog, rather than embossing silver powered, and a shade of blue that is similar to the Papertrey Ink Spring Rain paper.

For the Bride & Groom

I added the Love Tree to this frame. The digi parallels the picture of the wedding couple in front of the tree, and thought this was a nice touch. What do you think?

For the Bride & Groom

A closer look at the beautiful digi. I kind of had some creative liberties with outlining the couple. I made their mouth angles be a little more smiley than the actually digi. I hope Elisa doesn't mind...

For the Bride & Groom

I hope the couple really enjoys this. Last I checked they didn't have a picture of their wedding in their home yet, and I thought this might help them jump-start on capturing the wedding day.

For the Bride & Groom

Hope you play along. We are leaving this challenge open for a while, so you have until January, 13, 2012. If you need some inspiration, check out the many DT's work and then make a fun project for your home. Perfect way to ring in the new year with something new...

Thursday, December 22, 2011

[DYSU] Challenge #51 - Stripes

Good morning folks! Sorry for the "silence" in blog land, but it's just that time of the year where everything is racing to get done...! I just finished the last bit of domestic mailing. It will be a big miracle if those greeting cards go out in time. If not, everyone gets an extended Christmas...

You are probably here to enjoy the next challenge. You'll like this one because we're all about Stripes this week! And stripes are super in this year - did you notice the clothing trend?

Stripes actually made me think of candy cane. And I had this Banana Republic tag from my jeans sitting on my craft table for the longest time. I thought it had an interesting dimension, and was totally re-useable. I've also felt inspired and less scared to used Gesso. So in honor of my friend & inspiration Janna, who is a mixed media queen, I whipped out some left-over Gesso and decided to try a few things out of my comfort zone. Here is what the end product looks ;)

Christmas Tag - Believe in Christmas
Stamps: (Skating Circles) The Prairie Fairy; ('Twas the Night Before Christmas) Waltzingmouse Stamps
Paper: (Banana Republic Jeans tag) Recycled
Ink: (Jenni Bowlin Ink - No. 11 Brown Sugar; Tim Holtz Distress Inks - Vintage Photo) Ranger
Embellishments: (Peppermint Collection - Border Stickers) Crate Paper; (Artists' Color Acrylic Series - Light Portrait Pink, Cadmium Red Hue) Utrecht

It was really fun to get my fingers dirty. The background is inspired by candy cane and my need to break open the tube of pink acrylic paint that I had bought a few months back. To place the digi onto the tag, I used the trick we learned in our Nathalie Kahlbach workshop - transfer the print onto tissue paper, and brush Elmer's Glue or Glossy Accents onto the tissue paper.

Christmas Tag - Believe in Christmas

To make the edges of the tissue paper more antiqued, I brushed on some Vintage Photo distress ink for good measure ;) Anyways, head on over to the other DYSU girls and leave them some holiday love. They are getting all stripey for you....

And our sponsors this week:

The Prairie Fairy
$15 Gift Certificate

The Craft's Meow
Winner's Choice of 1 Stamp Set

Thursday, December 15, 2011

[DYSU] Challenge #50 - Winter

Greetings to all of you! The weather has dropped down to frigid, but there is snow! If I have to freeze, I might as well have some snow to go with it, no? I hear all the clamoring protest already... heehee.

Well, dearies, if you want to stay in, bundle up warm and put your winter or Christmas mojo to good use, we have something perfect for you: a Winter theme! I bet you didn't see that one coming ;)

This card features a cute little scottie dog from Digi Darla. Although we've been sponsored by them before during my term, I haven't had the opportunity to really play with these images. So I am doubly psyched to show you what I have today. (And if you know anything about my Carnegie Mellon ties, you already know that I am one big Scottie Dog fan :)

Jingle Bells
Stamps: (Scottie Pulling Kitten) Digi Darla; (Seasons of Love Tags) Waltzingmouse Stamps
Paper: (Paper Basics Card Stock - Kraft) Papertrey Ink; (Basic Card Stock - Cream) Recollections; (blue envelope) Recycled
Ink: (Perfect Match Pigment Ink - Fresh Snow) Papertrey Ink
Embellishments: (Soft-core Color Pencils) Prismacolor; (Mister Huey - Calico White) Studio Calico; (Stickles - Xmas Red, Gold Rod, Baby Blue) Ranger; (6x6 Doodling Templates - Mini Reverse Branches) The Crafter's Workshop

This was a really fun card to make. I really enjoyed coloring in these images - super clear lines! I also enjoyed "bedazzling" the image with a few hints of sparkle here or there on the scottie dog's hat & blanket trims, the reigns and the cute blue tie. I also recycled parts of this fantastic blue envelop. Something about the paper weight and the texture of the envelop really made me want to save it when I was opening the card. I know, I'm such a hoarder - but it does make a fantastic background paper, and in this scene a magical midnight winter sky! You just never know when you can use something...

Jingle Bells

These branches I had picked up during one of my runs through Paper Source (a dangerous store to walk if armed with a credit card or other monetary means). Since I haven't had a chance to play much with my templates, i thought this would be the perfect occasion to pull them out and give it a nice whirl. A few sprays later with my trusty Mister Huey - and we have ourselves some branches! One quick sentiment second later, I call this a fun little ride through the wintry landscape done :)

Are you already getting Jingle Bells stuck in your head? This sentiment is "evil" like that ;) Head over and leave the other DYSU girls some love. I'm sure many  DTers feel extra burned out during this season to come up with something creative to inspire, while trying to fit their own personal holiday crafting, baking, mailing, gift-giving, and volunteering all in, while maintaining the usual routine of work & house keeping & parenting & other responsibilities that responsible adults do...

But before I leave you, here our list and prizes from our dear sponsors this week:

Digi Darla
Digital Stamp Club One Month’s Membership

Inky Impressions
$10 Gift Certificate

Crafty Emma
£10 Gift Voucher (exc p&p)

Friday, December 9, 2011

[Mami Doodles] Challenge #39 - Make It Shine

Happy Friday, Everyone! I apologize for posting this challenge one week late. I was barely making it through last week with the jet lag, let alone I got sick. So I got home from work, slept, and slept some more right through the weekend! But good thing, I feel much better, just in time for me visitors!

In the meantime, you have one more week to complete our Mami Doodle challenge: Make It Shine. It's really perfect for the Christmas holidays fast approaching. After all, there are always shiny baubles, tinsel, lights and glistening snow for starters.

My card features one of the recent release, called Baby's First Christmas.

A Christmas Greeting
Stamps: (Baby's First Christmas) Mami Doodles; (Complements of the Season) Waltzingmouse Stamps
Paper: (Paper Basics Card Stock - Pure Poppy) Papertrey Ink; (Eskimo Kisses) Basic Grey
Ink: (Perfect Match Pigment Ink - Fresh Snow) Papertrey Ink
Embellishments: (Soft-core Color Pencils) Prismacolor; (Stickles - Diamond) Ranger

My shine is very understated. I added some Stickles to the Christmas ornaments. I blended the color pencils with my trusty Gamsol OMS.

A Christmas Greeting

I hope you play along... check out the many DT's inspirations and come make a few more holiday cards with us. Do you have a favorite ornament?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

[Paperplay Challenges] Week 48 - Snowman

Note: If you are looking for DYSU challenge - please keep scrolling :)

I would love to have a huge snow blanket come down for the holidays. Just for when we're celebrating Christmas, and then it magically disappears. Skip the slush, the cold, the gray yucky mass while the snow thaws. Wouldn't that be perfect? I guess I can keep dreaming...

Here at PaperPlay Challenge we are getting you guys to think about Snowman. So feel free to bring your inner child out to play :)

I am using a fun digi from Mami Doodles that has been just released. It's quite adorable with the little birdies perched onto of the hat and the branch...

Season's Greetings
Stamps: (Snowman) Mami Doodles; (Twas the Night Before Christmas, Very Vintage Christmas) Waltzingmouse Stamps
Paper: (Paper Basics Card Stock - Aqua Mist) Papertrey Ink

Ink: (Memento - London Fog) Tsukineko
Embellishments:  (Artists' Color Acrylic Series 1 - Titanium White) Utrecht; (Soft-core Color Pencils) Prismacolor; (Glaze) Sakura; (Green Sheer Ribbon) stash; (Tilda - Mini PomPom Ribbon) Panduro Hobby

I started off by painting the base card stock with some white acrylic paint. After it dried, I stamped off some lil grey snowflakes to set a background.

Season's Greetings

While the acrylic paint was drying I painted the lil snowman with lots of love and Prismacolor pencils. The sentiment and the berries on the branches have a little Sakura Glaze. The ribbon and pom poms are added as a little base to anchor my little snowman. I know it doesn't looks very straight in the first picture, but I promise it is in real life :)

Please check out what the other PPC girls have prepared for this Snowman challenge and come play along. After all, maybe we'll get our magical snow just in time to celebrate Christmas.

Our sponsors this week:

[DYSU] Challenge #49 - Something Old

Good morning, dear blog world! Is anyone else feeling the holiday crunch? I haven't mailed out a single Christmas card and am wondering if I have missed the deadline for them to receive them on time ;) I haven't started my holiday baking, or my home-made little something treat...I have guests visiting for a little more than a week, maybe I can put them to work ... Ines & Meik if you are reading this, I am kidding!

Anyways, here is a non-holiday card to fit our Something Old theme, and it's not wedding-ish, although I did contemplate making something with the "something new, something old, something borrowed" theme.

My card has an image from Saturated Canary and is just a fun little card for any occasion. 

Dancing Gypsy
Stamps: (Zorana the Gypsy Dancer) Saturated Canary; (Gertie "Girly") My Mind's Eye
Paper: (Paper Basics Card Stock - Royal Velvet) Papertrey Ink; (Wisteria) Basic Grey
Ink: (Tim Holtz Distress Inks - Antique Linen) Ranger; (Brilliance - Moonlight White) Tsukineko
Embellishments: (Soft-core Color Pencils) Prismacolor; (Lace Pack - White) American Crafts; (Stickles - Xmas Red) Ranger

Some of the "old" elements that I was going for was: pattern paper that I have been hoarding in my stash, like the Wisteria line from Basic Grey. I also sponged some distress ink along the edges on the Gypsy girl with some Antique Linen to give it that old vintage feel. Lastly, I thought doilies and lace are great "vintage" elements and decided to stamp off the background with some small doilies I have in my stash. It's quite lovely, isn't it?

Dancing Gypsy

Since this digi is quite lovely, here is a up close look on the image. I decided to give this little gypsy a red-brown mane. I thought it made her look a little more fiery! The little heart on her dress actually has some red Stickles, but it is hard to tell in this picture.

Dancing Gypsy

Anyways, I am going to leave you with the rest of the inspiration from the DYSU girls. Don't forget to make your "something old" project and you might just be a lucky winner :)

Our sponsors this week:

Saturated Canary
Winner’s Choice of 2 Digis

Copic Markers Scrapbooking
Prize Package: Pack of paper of the winners choice, 4 collage sets of the winners choice, a stamp set of the winners choice, and vintage pearl button pack, vintage lace, and Gecko Galz fibers

Thursday, December 1, 2011

[DYSU] Challenge #48 - Ribbon

Hello DYSU-ers and lovely readers! I'm back from a wonderful vacation. However, my biological clock is pretty messed up. It's currently 545a and I have been up for the past one hour or so. So I mind as well get some blogging done, right? ;)

This week we have a great challenge:Ribbon. I have massive amounts of ribbon at home, and there is so many things you can do with it, including weaving, tying a bow, wrapping something up with it, making a flower, creating a cute little tag hanger...the options are endless.

I went back to the basics, since I was in need of another wedding card, and let the ribbon speak for itself. I hope you like it...

Stamps: (Lace Starbust Rubber Stamp) Hero Arts
Paper: (Paper Basics Card Stock - Aqua Mist) Papertrey Ink
Ink: (Jenni Bowlin - No. 10 Malted Milk) Ranger
Embellishments: (Portrait Collection: Accent Cuts, Sticker Borders) Crate Paper; (Designer Brads - Claire) SEI; (Spool 'o Ribbon - Cream Lace) Offray

Here an up-close look on the little pretty lace bow. 


Anyways, I am thinking of heading in early to work...If I hurry I can be there at 6a ;) In the meantime, go check out the other marvelous creations from the DYSU girls. I know you have tons of ribbon, so come play along :)

Our sponsors this week:

Stamp Fairy
Winner’s Choice of 3 Digis

Copic Markers Scrapbooking
6 Copic Ciao Markers (North/South America)
Martha Stewart punch (rest of the world)

Sparkle Creations
Charlotte with a Rose and Scooter Chloe
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