Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Hope you are having a fun day!  My boys are actually home from school today (it's a staff learning day in our school district), and we've been taking it easy so far.  That's been especially nice because we had a jam-packed weekend with soccer, birthday celebrations, church activities, and more!!! 

Anyway, I have a post full of random, but really fun Halloween projects to show you! 

This first two are cards that I created for my Halloween kids class:

This one is a "peek-a-boo" card, with a special frame made using the new Peek-a-Boo Frame Bigz Die.  When you open the panel with the owl on the front, here's what's revealed inside:

For the background behind the haunted house and inside the peek-a-boo frame, I used a technique I learned from my friend Marlene Caravello.  Here's the amazing artwork she sent that was the inspiration for my cards (with apologies because my photography doesn't do justice to this -- it has wonderful shimmer paint details!): 

The other project that we made at my Halloween kids' classes was a treat-holder bat.   I found these on Heather Summer's blog, and thought they were so wonderful, I just had to make my own!  Here is mine:

Timothy (my almost 6 year old!) had fun making these, too . . . in fact he made two pretty much identical bats!  Here's one of them:

And, here are some fun little tags that I made as a thank you for my hostess club members to go with their orders this month:

I also whipped up some more cupcake thrones for Halloween treats to give the boys' teachers, and this time used my friend Yuka's sponging technique on the pennants so you could see it:

I filled the thrones with some Truffle Brownies I baked.  I simply cut the brownies, put them in a cupcake wrapper, then in a medium cello bag, and tied with either a Black Satin Ribbon or with the new Basic Black Polka Dot ribbon:

And, last but not least, I just have to share an adorable little bat treat holder that I also received in my last swap with my friend Marlene Caravello (isn't she awesome!?!!!):

Hope you like these!  Thanks for stopping by!

- Michelle

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Halloween Woods

Yesterday, I showed you the fun cupcake project that my friends and I made at our hostess club this month.  Well, that wasn't all we made . . . we also made a Halloween card using Stampin' Up!'s Wood Sheets.  This card was inspired by an article and project in Stampin' Success, a monthly magazine Stampin' Up! publishes for demonstrators, which is full of wonderful ideas, information, and inspiration.  Here's my card:

The card base is Basic Black, and I layered two scalloped pieces that were die cut using the Big Shot and the Tasteful Trim Die onto the base.  The outlining and dots along the scallops were added using Dazzling Details.  Then, I added a square of Basic Black that I had embossed using the Spider Web embossing folder.  I also spritzed that square with Silver Foil Smooch Spritz, for some extra sparkle. 

To create the "Happy Halloween" tag, I started by punching a 2-1/2" Circle out of a Wood Sheet.  (I was happily surprised to learn from Stampin' Success that the Wood Sheets can be used with punches as well as certain Big Shot dies.  That opens up so many possibilities!)  The image of the owl in the tree (from the House of Haunts stamp set) was stamped lightly on the wood using Black StazOn ink.  I then lightly watercolored around the image using my Aquapainter and Old Olive ink, and leaving a moon-like circle to the left of the owl.  The "happy halloween" from the Teeny Tiny Wishes set was stamped afterwards, again using Black StazOn.

I added two 2-3/8" Scallop Circles, punched from Cajun Craze card stock, behind the wood tag.  I also punched a hole in the tag, using my Crop-o-Dile, and tied a piece of Black Satin Ribbon through it.

The gals from club again came up with some great variations in how they colored the tag and which images they used (turns out the haunted house from the House of Haunts stamp set also works well!) . . . should have taken photos of that!  Will try to remember to do that next time!

Thanks for stopping by!

- Michelle

Thanks for stopping by! 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Halloween Cupcake Fun!

Just over a week ago, I had a fun afternoon creating some Halloween projects with my friends in my hostess club.   A while back, maybe even when the new Idea Book came out in July, one of my friends requested that one of our projects be the cupcake holder shown on page 67 of the Idea Book.  So, I set to work, searching the blogosphere to see if anyone had come up with a pattern we could use!  And, lo and behold, none other than the amazing JanTink (aka Janine Tinklenberg) already had figured it out and has an amazing, super-easy-to-follow, and in her usual style, incredibly fun to read tutorial on her blog -- and, at the risk that you'll pop over there and forget to come back here to see what else we made, here's the link to Jan's tutorial.  (Thank you, Jan!!!)  Although, in case you need incentive to keep you reading this whole post, you won't want to miss the photos of the cupcakes we frosted to put in our "cupcake thrones."  (Thank you, Catherine and Jana, for supplying the cupcakes, icing, and fondant!!!)

So, armed with Jan's method for putting a "cupcake throne" together, I set about designing a throne fit for a Halloween cupcake.  I liked the pennants on Jan's sample, so stuck with that, but decided to try to fit images from Spooky Bingo Bits on them.  Here's what I came up with:

Plus, I created a little 3x3" note card to match:

The base card stock on these projects is Pumpkin Pie, and the designer series paper is Just Add Cake.  I ran the designer paper through the Big Shot in the Spider Web embossing folder, then sanded the raised areas. 

The pennants were created with the Petite Pennant Builder Punch, and Whisper White card stock.  Spooky Bingo Bits images were stamped on them in Basic Black Classic Ink, and then I sponged around the pennant in Rich Razzleberry, Old Olive, or Daffodil Delight. 

I always get great ideas from the gals in my hostess club when they re-create my projects, and this time was no exception!  My friend Yuka sponged each pennant with more than one color, leaving no white, and creating almost a tie-dye effect . . . it looked so cool!  Apologies for not taking a photo of that to show you.  I'll have to try to recreate the look soon so I can . . . or maybe Yuka will send me a photo of her project?

I added the little taffeta ribbon knots on here and there using glue dots.  It's my way of making creating the illusion that banners are hanging on ribbons, without actually going through the trouble of glueing the ribbon on behind them. 

As I mentioned above, perhaps the best part of this project was the cupcakes!  Jana had the brilliant idea of testing out the new Sweet Pressed Cookie Stamps to see whether they would stamp into fondant.  Guess what?!  It worked with the marshmallow fondant Jana made!!!  Here's Jana displaying how the cupcakes turned out:

And, here's our cute little Jack O' Lantern cupcake on its throne: 

Thanks for stopping by! 

- Michelle

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Hello to the KA-POW Creative Challenge

Yesterday, I mentioned that I had a chance to finish two challenge cards!  Well, now it's time to show you the other card I created.  This one is for the current KA-POW Creative Challenge (KKC03), which is a color challenge to use Daffodil Delight, Pumpkin Pie, Wisteria Wonder, and Whisper White.  These colors are so bright and cheery!   So, here's the happy card I created using them: 

I used a Daffodil Delight card stock base, and then added pieces from the Flirtatious Specialty Designer Series Paper.  The layout was inspired by an older Mojo Monday layout (#194) that I had printed out a while ago and was sitting on my desk because I have been wanting to make something with it for a long time.  I just turned the layout on its side because that worked better with the paper pieces I wanted to use. 

The white strip along the bottom is a piece of Whisper White that I die cut using the Big Shot and the Tasteful Trim die.  I tied a piece of Wisteria Wonder ribbon around the card and into a bow above the white strip. 

To finish off the card, I added the flower embellishment and the "Hello" greeting.  Those pieces were both created using stamps from the Posy Punch hostess set.  I stamped the "Hello" in Wisteria Wonder Classic Ink, and punched it out with the 1" Circle punch.  

For the flower, I stamped in Daffodil Delight on Whisper White card stock, and punched it out using the Fancy Flower punch.  I added a Pumpkin Pie button from the Bold Brights Designer Buttons pack on top.  On top of that, I layered another image from the Posy Punch set (the flower in the circle), which I punched out with the 1/2" Circle Punch.  I inserted a Wisteria Wonder Designer Printed Brad through that before adhering to the button.  Here's a close up of the flower:

Hope you're having a great weekend!   Thanks for stopping by!

- Michelle

Friday, October 14, 2011

Stamp-Happy Friday!

Today was a fun day -- this morning, I volunteered in my kindergartener's classroom and it was fun to be able to help him and his classmates with a project about goldfish and guppies.  Only problem is now my little guy is convinced we need our own guppies at home.  I loved having them when I was a kid, but not sure I'm ready for them now!

Then, after school, I was able to spend fun time stamping with friends and with my boys!  My friend Charlene and I started an advent calendar project that I hope to show you soon, but for now it's still a work in progress.  I also had friends over to work on some Halloween projects that I hope to show you soon, and managed to finish up not one but two challenge cards, which is something that hasn't happened in quite a while! 

Here's the first of my challenge cards -- it's for the current challenge over at Late Night Stampers.  This week's challenge is to make a card using River Rock, Cajun Craze, and well, just discovered in looking at the challenge again that it is supposed to be Night of Navy, but I got that part mixed up and used some Not Quite Navy.  Oops!  Guess I only managed two out of three, but at least I was pretty close on the third.  Here's my creation:

The card base is Cajun Craze.  I used Well Worn Designer Series Paper with a layer of Not Quite Navy behind it for the background.  Then, I added a strip of River Rock, with a greeting from the Perfect Words set on it. 

The base of the medallion is a piece of River Rock, which I die cut using the Big Shot and the Perfect Pennants die.  I added a Not Quite Navy circle cut with the Circles die, and a piece of Well Worn paper punched with the 1-3/8" Circle Punch. 

For the flower, I used my Fun Flowers die and cut two flowers out of Cajun Craze.  I then used the Faux Suede technique to peel those apart, crunched them up, and used an Antique Brad to hold them together.  Last but not least, I added a Denim Ribbon bow.

Here's a close up of the flower:

This was a fun challenge -- these colors are so perfect for fall cards.  Hope you'll give them a try, too (with the Navy of your choice!  Ha!)

- Michelle

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sweet-Pressed Cookies!

Last week my littlest guy and I had a chance to test out one of Stampin' Up!'s newest products -- the Sweet Pressed Cookie Stamps.  We followed the sugar cookie recipe that was included with the stamps.  Here's how the dough turned out: 

Then, we balled up the dough, put it on the cookie sheet, and stamped it.  My little guy really enjoyed that part, although he took it extremely seriously, as you can see from his expression in the photos:

The handle for the set is just the perfect size for not only big hands but also little hands to be able to use it successfully.   There are three images you can stamp, and Timothy insisted we try out each image.  The stamps are very easy to interchange -- simply remove one image from the handle, and pop the next one on. 

Here's a cookie we made with each design:

And, a whole plate full of our cookies:

In all, we were able to make about 13 cookies with the recipe, but everyone here thought they were so tasty, they did not last long! 

If you'd like to buy your own (or pick up some for some fun gifts!), be sure to stop by my online store here -- and don't forget to visit the Clearance Rack while you are there -- there are some great deals on other holiday crafting items right now, too!

Thanks for stopping by!

- Michelle

Friday, October 7, 2011

Deck the Halls with Fabric Stockings!

Here's another of the projects I made for my recent swap with my wonderful friend Marlene Caravello.  One of our challenges was to make a 3-D project, and I decided to make a Christmas stocking.  When I saw the new Holiday Stocking Bigz L Die from the Holiday Mini, I saw so many possibilities -- not just in paper, but also in fabric!  So, I decided it would be fun to stitch up a stocking with some of Stampin' Up!'s beautiful holiday designer fabrics.  Here's the finished project: 


Here's just the stocking, unstuffed:

I used the Deck the Halls Designer Fabric to make the stocking.  I die cut 4 stockings total -- 2 from the fabric you can see on the outside, and 2 from the fabric used to accent the heel, toe and cuff.  I first added the heel and toe accents to the pieces for the outside of the stocking.  Then, I stitched each pair of matching stockings together right sides together.  I turned the fabric for the outside right side out, and then stuffed the other stocking inside that without turning.  Finally, came the most challenging part to figure out -- I stitched both stockings together, along with the cuff at the top and the ribbon for the hanger.  For the ribbon, I used the new Cherry Cobbler Quilted Ribbon from the Holiday Mini.

Here's a closer look at the goodies for inside:

For these, I stuffed some yummy chocolates into the new 1 x 8" Cellophane Treat Bags from the Holiday Mini.  I tied them together with some Very Vanilla 3/8" Velvet Stitched Ribbon and Cherry Cobbler Seam Binding Ribbon.  The tag is an image from the Stitched Stockings stamp set, stamped in Cherry Cobbler on Very Vanilla, and punched out with the coordinating Stocking Builder Punch.

This project was fun to make, and I really like how it turned out!  Definitely going to have to make some more of these soon -- perhaps even for blog candy?

Thanks for stopping by!

- Michelle

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Gently Falling with Spice Cake Napkin Fold Card

Those of you who follow my blog regularly know that I enjoy swapping regularly with my amazing and talented friend Marlene Caravello.  We finished up another of our swaps recently, and so I'm ready to share some of those projects with you! 

One of the challenges we came up with was to create a fancy fold card, and that card should be for Halloween, Thanksgiving, or Christmas.  I chose to make a napkin fold card for Thanksgiving.  I followed this excellent tutorial from Splitcoaststampers to create the napkin fold (I wanted to do the fancy scalloping around the edges, but must confess I bungled my first try with that badly -- I punched corners first when I should have started with edges -- then decided that for this card, I actually liked the straight edges better anyway.)

Here's a photo of my finished card closed:

Then, after removing the belly band:

And, opened to show the inside:

Close up of the stamping on the interior panel:

I used Sahara Sand for the card base, then the Spice Cake Designer Series Paper for the accent layers on top of that.  The interior panel is Very Vanilla, stamped with the Gently Falling Stamp Set.  I used the Rock n Roll technique on the colored leaves, inking first with More Mustard, then with Cajun Craze, before stamping.  The outlines and greetings (from the Perfect Pairs set) were stamped in Soft Suede. 

For the belly band, I used Pool Party Ruffled Ribbon and Sahara Sand Card Stock as the base.  I scalloped the Sahara Sand using the Scallop Trim Border Punch.  I added a layer of Spice Cake Designer Paper on top of that.  The medallion piece was created using Sahara Sand and Very Vanilla pieces cut with the Perfect Pennants die and Big Shot.  I punched out a Pool Party circle to go under a fussy-cut leaf I had stamped using the same Rock n Roll technique as for the interior panel. 

Thanks for stopping by!

- Michelle