Sunday, November 27, 2016

Chatty Sunday - Catch-up and Stash Kits

So, it's November 27th and you may be wondering where all the cards are from November's Stash kit. And the answer is... there aren't any right now (*insert sad frowny face here*).

Those of you who work in retail or sales know that winter holiday season is the craziest, most time-consuming time of the year - and it's no exception for my work. Add to that the family dinners/events, two design teams and a guest design spot, and I feel like I've barely had time to breathe this month.

Don't get me wrong, I'm extremely grateful for all the fantastic DT opportunities, all the lovely time spent with family/friends and having a great job! But there's still only 24 hours in a day and I do need a little time to eat and sleep every now and then. And until someone invents bottled sleep, I'll still need that good night's sleep.

December is likely to be more of the same. Although I'm not guest-designing for anyone in December, I've got a ton of extra Christmas prep - from baking cookies to finishing hand-made gifts to that last-minute shopping.

So, I'm going to pause Stash Kit projects until January - when I should have actual time to sit down and create some great projects. In the meantime, I'll try to share some of my holiday cards as I create them.

And, finally... Shopping/Spending Freeze...

I broke my spending freeze to do some Black Friday shopping this year. I had been building up a shopping wish-list for the past few months, and I basically bought everything on my list + a little extra and saved a very significant amount. So, I'll have quite a bit of new goodies to play with in the coming months - but I'm back on the spending freeze again after this.


Thanks for reading!
~Elle~

Monday, November 21, 2016

YNS: Tags Dare

Are you ready for another Design Team Dare?! Your Next Stamp is challenging its designers to break away from the same old same old and make a set of tags!. Hop on over to Your Next Stamp blog to see the other lovely creations, and don't forget to leave a comment for your chance to win a free stamp set of your choice.

I decided to go in the winter holiday direction and made a set of 4 Christmas tags that I can use to embellish my Christmas gifts with. For all four tags, I used the super fun stamp set called Holiday Buddies. This fantastic large set features 8 whimsical images that you can stamp and color, and 2 classic simple sentiments.
I admit, it was tough choosing just 4 images to feature, so I'm definitely going back and making another set of tags with the rest of the cute critters.

Since this stamp set has a bit of a retro flair, I chose some classic masculine/winter patterns as my tag backdrop. I used my Vintage Photo distress ink around the edges to add a bit of extra warmth and to go with the vintage feeling. Kraft stickers as sentiments kept the focus on the images.

Lastly, I added a few sparkly gumdrops from Holly Jolly and Ice Ice Baby. Don't they just look fun?!

Thanks for reading!
~Elle~



Thursday, November 17, 2016

YNS Challenge #52

Your Next Stamp has another challenge up and another chance to win a certificate to the YNS store and a chance to be a featured top pick on their blog!

For my card, I was inspired by the lovely palette that was shared as a part of this challenge:
Although the palette is fall-inspired, I thought it could work great for a winter holiday card. I thought I'd go in a more masculine-inspired direction, especially since there's a lot of boys and men in my family. It's nice to be able to share a card that sports my "cute" modern style, but still feels cool and fresh.

For my card, I used the sentiment from Holiday Buddies and the skate from the brand new Sports Fanatics Skating Fun stamp.

Isn't that stamp set fun?!

I hope you'll get a chance to play along with Your Next Stamp, too! Click over to Your Next Stamp blog for the rules and submission area.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

YNS: Snowman Dare

Are you ready for the Design Team Dare?! Your Next Stamp is challenging its designers to bring out the new November Release out for a little more play. This week, we're focusing on winter fun. Hop on over to Your Next Stamp blog to see the other lovely creations, and don't forget to leave a comment for your chance to win a free stamp set of your choice.

For my card, I decided to use the Snow Much Fun Snowman set - a smaller and more affordable set featuring an adorable snowman and matching sentiments. I stamped the snowman and colored him in with Copics, going for a yellow and grey contrasting color scheme.



I created a little scene for my snowman by using a circle die, some snowy patterned paper and a snowbank made with the Hills Die set.

Since I wanted the card to be small, I used a 4-bar card base and stamped the sentiment on the bottom. I added the circle, the hill and the snowman. As a fun embellishment, I added a few gumdrops in yellow and teal.

This card didn't take too long to create, which makes it a great candidate for a card set. A set of these thank you cards would make a fun Christmas gift.

Thanks for reading!
~Elle~

Saturday, November 5, 2016

YNS: November Blog Hop!

Hello and welcome to my little corner of the card-making universe! This post is a part of the Your Next Stamp November blog hop, where the talented design team ladies and guests such as myself are sharing fun and unique projects to inspire you. You can play along with us by hopping along! The more blogs you visit and comment on, the greater your chances of winning a 25$ gift certificate to the Your Next Stamp store.

One of the things that I love about Your Next Stamp is the abundance of super cute and whimsical images to choose from. You can find a variety of trendy images and themes, but there's also a few very unique sets to choose from. One of my favorite sets is the mini splatter background (heart and star), and I haven't seen anything like it out there.

Of course, I couldn't help but mention the amazing gumdrops (enamel dots)  featured in the YNS store... They are my go-to embellishment, and I have loved every single shade I've bought (and I've bought a lot!). The sparkly gumdrops are especially fun to use because they add a subtle shimmer that makes a card shine.

For my blog-hop card, I opted for a mini-scene card featuring a sweet Darlings girl and her pet raccoon. I used my Copics to color a sunset scene, going with warm colors that are both autumnal and bright. With the versatile journey sentiment, I can send this card to a friend that's about to embark on a big trip or a friend that's entering a new and exciting chapter in their career.



My card uses the fun new set called Little Darlings Indians. You can find this set and other new stamps in this release here.  And if you place your order before November 10th, you will receive 20% off with the special coupon code:

Thanks for reading!
~Elle~

Friday, November 4, 2016

YNS: November Preview

Today, I've got a different kind of card to share with you. This card features a new stamp set from Your Next Stamp called Cool Backgrounds, as well as the Fancy Congrats die.

I was super excited when I saw this stamp set because it features a large splatter stamp. I love the splattered look on cards - it can add texture, color and the overall aesthetic of a cool modern card. And while you could get the same kind of effect with making a messy splatter with water or ink, it's just as fun (and much more useful!) to have a stamp that can play the same role. Knowing exactly how your inked splotch will looks makes for one great element that you can incorporate into your card layout planning.

In addition to the splatter stamp, Cool Backgrounds has a variety of patterns set in rectangles. This makes them both useful for stamping small sections, and for repeating to create one big textured area. I decided to use a stripe stamp and some clever masking to create striped circles on my background. Since I was going for subtle and planning to sprinkle some glittery gumdrops, the round shape was a detail I wanted to incorporate. 

I cut my sentiment with the Fancy Congrats die and a few stars (pst, there's a really cool star die set at Your Next Stamp) out of sparkly silver glitter paper. This echoed the soft gray of the stripes and the glitter from the gumdrops.

The end result is all elements playing together and fitting perfectly. Isn't that fun?!

Thanks for reading,
Elle

Thursday, November 3, 2016

YNS Challenge #51


Your Next Stamp has a really fun challenge up that is both fun and inspiring!

When I saw the lovely autumnal palette featured in challenge #51, I knew immediately that I wanted to do something different and unexpected. I happened to have the Party Animals stamp set on my crafting table, and I thought it might be fun to use it for my challenge card.


Using these autumnal colors was a refreshing challenge. I found myself a lot more careful about how I chose the color and where it was placed. The bright yellow and red turned into great accent colors, and the green, brown and grey gave the card a very masculine feeling.

This challenge also came with a sketch - and that made it much easier to pick and choose which shapes I wanted to highlight.

I hope you'll get a chance to play along with Your Next Stamp! Click over to Your Next Stamp blog for the rules and submission area.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Guest Designing for Your Next Stamp!



I just wanted to make a quick note that I've been asked to guest-design for Your Next Stamp for the month of November. I am so thrilled!

Your Next Stamp is a Canadian-based company that features absolutely adorable stamps, useful dies and a plethora of gumdrops (enamel dots). I'm a big fan and I'm honored that they asked me to join them. :)


Sunday, October 30, 2016

Chatty Sunday: Stash Kit October Review


 As October is now over, I wanted to review the kit and how I did with it.

In last week's chatty Sunday post, I briefly mentioned one of the biggest challenges and concerns with this kit - that the cards were starting to look or feel too similar. Both September and October had very thematic stamps (fall and Halloween) . October, in particular, was difficult because I felt like I ran out of steam sometime in the middle of the process (the spooky purple card). While I'm not unhappy with the cards I created, those last few cards fall more in the category of "like" than "love".

My goal with the Stash Kit project was to make use of my supplies, but I didn't want to create mindlessly or repetitively. Instead, I wanted it to be a way to continue being creative while having a better and more definite focus.

So, future kits will be less thematic, and hopefully a lot more fun.

Here's the tally:
- 11 cards created.
- Added dies, ribbon and card bases from my stash.
- Images colored with Copics and fussy-cut.
- 14 colored images and 4 sentiments left -- they will go in my ready-to-use bin.
- Images were colored with Copics and a couple were enhanced with Prismacolor pencils.

While Copics are still my top choice for coloring, I will try to expand my range a little in November and add some watercolor and purely pencil crayon coloring as well. I think that will lend itself to new techniques and designs.

Thanks for reading!
~Elle~

Friday, October 28, 2016

SOG - Spooky Scary Blog Hop!

It's time to trick or treat with the Odd Crew!


Our hop this week is full of spooktacular Halloween Tricks and Treats. Don’t worry, our tricks won’t be too scary! AND, just like trick or treating for candy, you don’t want to skip any houses…or blogs in this case! Every stop along the way will have (crafty) goodies for you but you won't get the treats you must be a good trick or treater and stop at every house and leave your comment. You can Trick or Treat with us thru midnight EDT on October 31, winners will be announced back here on Nov 2.


My trick is inspired by one of my favorite Oddie cards Ghostly Violin. I wanted to give this concept another try, but take it up a notch. So, I've combined Violin Gwen digi with the Wraith Mae digi to create a new undead bride. I set her against an aged paper script from Romeo and Juliet, and made a spooky sentiment with stickers.
So, my trick for you is to look beyond your digis and combine them in new and unexpected ways! You can add a touch of spooky or a touch of fun.

For this card, I printed a copy of each stamp, then printed another Wraith Mae onto a piece of very thin copy paper. I put the thin paper over Violin digi and traced where I needed to trim the image so it would layer over the stamp correctly. Then I used that as a guide to fussy-cut the shape I needed. Then I colored everything and adhered the two stamps together. Voila!

Here is our hop order for you after you leave the comfort of my porch...
Anna
Melissa
Elle * You Are Here
Lynda
Ellen
Janine
Ria
Tabbatha
Alexis

Wondering what our treats are?
Well, of course we'll be doing a coupon code for 31% off at the shop throughout the hop, TRICKORTREAT.
Then from those of you who comment on every stop we'll be giving away 3, $20 GCs to the shop. Awesome, right? Make sure to stop in our community, Kristy  may have another surprise up her sleeve as well.
And there you have it!  Happy Haunting – I mean HOPPING!