Brown Paper Packages Tied Up With String

Hello stampers. It is that time of the year when we truly embrace gift giving. We would like to be able to give presents to everyone, but that can cost too much money or involve too much time. There is a solution.  Even simple, inexpensive gifts can seem so much more extravagant when you put some thought into the packaging! This treat holder fits the bill.

 

Christmas time is also a great time to gather with the family and watch some classic movies. One of my favourites is The Sound of Music and the song My Favourite Things. Hence the title, “brown paper packages tied up with string”. At this time of the year I really love to remind the adults around me to take pleasure in the simple things. After all, we are still all children at heart, and these simple treat holders will make anyone happy.

 

My favourite go-to quick gift is the diaper-fold pouch. You simply take a six inch square and fold it into triangles to make a pouch. I will share a video at the end so you can see how it is done. Then I put a cookie inside and give it to lots of friends, to shopkeepers, waitresses, mailmen, anyone who crosses my path that day. Everyone is just so delighted to get something homemade and they whip up so quickly that it is easy to find the time to do this even in the midst of a busy Christmas season. A big bonus for any paper crafter is that this will also deplete your stack of excess paper!

 

Share the love and use up your extra paper with these treat holders

 

The trick with these cute treat holders is the circle. Stamp a cute snowflake and a greeting and punch it out using a 1 1/2″ circle punch and then punch a coordinating colour with the scallop circle punch. This hides any imperfections that might arise from making a bunch of these in quick succession. If the cookies are not going to be consumed right away you might want to tuck them into a cellophane bag. We sell different sizes of these on page 195 of the catalog.

 

six inch square piece of paper transforms into a cute treat holder in seconds

 

To make this treat holder I used retired paper from last year as well as retired stamp set that I just couldn’t part with. Snowflakes never go out of style! I did however think it fitting to make another one with current product as well. The saying on this next treat holder comes from the stamp set Christmas in the Making which retires on January 2. My advice is to get it before it sells for a ton of money on Ebay!! The paper is Merry Music Specialty paper, also something you don’t want to run out of for a long time. Do you see what a difference one little rhinestone can make? I put one on the treat holder using the retired paper, but I forgot to put one on the music themed one. I will have to fix that!

 

The next best thing to brown paper packages tied up with string!

 

So, although this wasn’t a brown paper package tied up with string, it did bring a smile to many faces this morning and that made me happy too! Inside the pouches was a sea salt caramel chip chocolate cookie. These cookies are amazing. I adapted the recipe from the Hershey’s recipe on the package by adding a teaspoon of espresso powder. I am sure that this will be added to the Christmas repertoire of favourite, not to be missed cookie recipes. The trick is to not bake them too long so that they are crunchy on the outside but soft in the inside.

 

Sea salt caramel chip cookies

 

This recipe makes about 36 cookies and they do not last long! Let me know how they work out for you.

 

I tucked a business card in behind the cookie so that people could find out how and where to make things like this if they want to, but you could also easily use this as a gift card holder for teachers, mailmen or newspaper delivery people or really anyone you want to treat.

 

I thought it would be good to have a diagram as well for how to make this but didn’t have time to make one up myself, so I went to the best resource ever, the internet and found this great one from Dawn Olchefske. Thanks Dawn!!

 

a visual from Dawn Olchefske on how to make this simple fold

 

Here’s the video so that you can see how easy this is to do. Happy Christmas everyone and have fun spreading cheer while simultaneously diminishing your excess supply of paper!

 

Slow Down and Recharge with our new Blends

Hello stampers! Have you tried our new Blends yet? They are amazing. Beautiful colours and so very easy to use. Even people who don’t usually like to colour are falling in love with these beautiful alcohol markers. They can be used individually for plain colouring with no lines or together if you want to blend and make it look even prettier. Now I totally understand how even the word “blend” can make you break out into hives. It implies that you need a certain level of artistic ability. Not true. My mind does not work that way. I don’t think to myself, now which way is the light coming in and where would the shadows be? I wish my mind worked that way, but even if it doesn’t, you can still do beautiful colouring and enjoy it. Recently I made some great Christmas cards using the Blends. Check it out.

 

Christmas in the Making and Blends.

 

We also used Blends at my Bingo party on Thursday night. Now I am telling you this was a rocking party and everyone was having a lot of fun and it was loud!! But as soon as the Blends came out, it quieted right down. Everyone just got really zen and relaxed. Truly amazing to see. So if you are feeling a bit of holiday stress, try colouring, it really helps. Tomorrow at coffee and a card class we will be using the Blends to make this card and two others. Class will be a bit different than usual. SInce last week was a “snow day” we are having coffee and a card at the regular time of 10am but then we are going to have a lovely lunch together and do another class after lunch and that is the one where we will be using the Blends.

 

Retro Christmas card using Blends and Christmas in the Making

 

For this card I used Pool Party, Cherry Cobbler, Smoky Slate and Old Olive Blends. I used a touch of our embossing paste on the cuffs of the dress, or is it a coat?

The last card that I am making at class was totally cased from my friend Pat Skirtschak who sent me this very card in the mail. It was her card that just made me want to have the set Christmas in the Making and now I am so glad that I have it. It is one of those stamp sets that just makes you happy to look at.

 

Winter Wonder embossing folder with Christmas in the Making and Blends

 

I used Rich Razzleberry, Pink Pirouette and Crumb Cake on this card. The pretty metallic ribbon was one of the sale-a-bration freebies last year. After I was done making these cards I wanted to try them with a new kit that I got from the Occasions catalog. It will be available to you on January 3. The kit is called Lots of Happy and it comes with 20 cards, a stamp set, a block and four watercolour pencils and an archival black ink spot. The pencils are lovely but the kit also works beautifully with our Blends. The best part of this kit is that two of the watercolour pencils are brand new colours that are not in the watercolour pencil kits that are in the catalog:  lemon lime twist and flirty flamingo.

 

Lots of Happy kit with new watercolour pencils and Blends

 

The best way to get the Blends

 

Did you check out the link above to the Blends? Did you have a mini heart attack? They are NOT cheap. To get the complete set of blends is $162 before shipping and tax. So what is the best way to make this investment? I thought of two great ways.

 

  1. Wait till January and get the Starter Kit. You could get the kit now as well and it would still be a great deal and you would also be able to get all the things out of the Occasions catalog because as a demonstrator we can preorder now already and we can earn sale-a-bration rewards on our purchases in December. BUT…in January you will also get TWO free stamp sets with your kit and that is a pretty sweet deal. The starter kit is $135 but you get to pick out $165 worth of stuff and the blends are $162. You pay no shipping and no tax. After getting the starter kit you get a 20% discount on all your own purchases and you earn 20% on anything you sell to other people. I would love to have you on my team and will support you any way I can so you get the most value for your investment. Here is the link to get the starter kit.
  2. Join the Blends Club. We meet on the third Wednesday of each month from January till April. Each time I will have three sets of blends waiting for you and we will make two free cards. You pay $36 plus shipping and tax. You also get a free ivory, bronze and colour lifter for joining. This way you spread out your investment over four months, you get freebies and you make free cards and have four fun classes where you will learn some great tips and tricks for colouring.

 

 

Here are the finished cards from the Lots of Happy kit. Both versions turned out well. Which one do you prefer?

 

 

Comparison between watercolour pencils and Stampin'Up! Blends

 

If you have any questions about the starter kit or about joining the Blends Club, send me a message at [email protected] or comment here. I always love to hear from you. Wishing you a great last week before Christmas, and remember to take some time for yourself to relax and unwind.

Musical Season and Merry Music Paper

Hello stampers. Music is such a big part of Christmas for me. I love all the old religious classics and I have even joined a choir just to be able to sing in Handel’s Messiah! That’s why the Musical Season bundle and the Merry Music specialty paper made me very, very happy this year.

 

Those of you who know me also know that I can be quite scattered and that whereas I truly strive to be an organized person, it is definitely NOT my natural bent. So I had to scroll through my old posts to make sure I hadn’t already blogged about this great set. Well, I hadn’t and it is better late than never. That being said, if you want these products you better not wait and order them asap before they disappear forever! Be sure to use my host code on the sidebar and I will be sure to pop a card in the mail for you, you can even request a card using a specific stamp set if you like.

 

Here are some cards that I made for my coffee and a card class a few weeks ago. When a card fits that category, you know it will be relatively quick and easy.

 

French horn, little drummer boy and the harp are all great accents from Musical Season.

 

The plaid paper that also goes well with any Christmas cards comes from Christmas Around the World. I am not so into the “cutesy” paper but there were enough classic patterns in there to make it irresistible for me.

Plaid paper from Christmas Around the World plus dies from Musical Intsruments make for a beautiful Christmas card.

 

The next card is the easiest yet. When the paper is this great you don’t need much to make a very striking card. The sentiment is from the Christmas Pines stamp set in the annual catalog.

 

 

The last card uses more of the instruments and the treble clef in red for a great pop of colour. Add some silver glimmer paper and a stitched red circle and you have some very pretty contrast to the black musical paper. The harp is embossed in gold but the lyre is simply stamped in basic black.

 

Stitched framelits and musical instruments framelits combine for a fabulous Christmas card that is also fairly quick and easy.

 

If you were planning to make a bunch of these cards I would recommend that you stamp a bunch of harps in versamark and emboss them with gold all at once. This is much more efficient than embossing one at a time. The Merry Music specialty paper is also great for making multiple cards. It is lightweight, has 24 sheets, four of each design and all in black and white. I used every bit of this paper and never got sick of it. I will be sad to see it go!

 

Stitched framelits and silver glitter paper make for a great musical Christmas card.

 

In the card above I stamped the drummer boy in Memento black and then used a direct to paper technique with Versamark and clear embossed to make it a bit more special. I am including a video at the end of this post to show you how to make this bow and several others.

 

1/8" real red ribbon and 1/8" silver ribbon join forces to make a beautiful triple bow with the Musical Season drummer boy.

 

The 1/8″ silver ribbon from the annual catalog combine with the 1/8″ real red ribbon from the Holiday catalog to make this beautiful triple bow.

 

Finally, here is a video that will show you how to make these bows yourself. Bows are a great addition to a card and they don’t have to be difficult to make. I had lots of experience raising my three girls tying ribbons in their hair and sashes on their dresses. One of my favourite memories as a little girl was a big red satin bow in my hair whenever I had a half ponytail. So yes, I love bows!

 

 

 

Easy, Beautiful Bridge Fold Cards

Hello stampers. For the most part I make regular cards, but once in a while it is such fun to switch it up with a fancy fold card and the bridge fold card is a great one, especially for Christmas. You can go over the top amazing with these cards (I will share a few that other demonstrators have made) or you can go fairly simple and the result is still quite wonderful. Of course, they fold flat in an envelope for easy mailing which is necessary at this time of the year.

 

Before I tell you more about the bridge fold card, I want to share with you that for today only there is FREE SHIPPING! That is a rare event in the Stampin’Up world and I am going to also offer a draw for host benefits as well as a $20 gift certificate with every $100 order. The gift certificate can be redeemed for classes or products from January 1 to March 31.

 

Free shipping Monday November 27, 2017

 

Now on to the card. My first card was actually given to me in pieces by my friend Joanne McTavish. She had made this card at her last event and had some left over. What a treat. I changed it only a little bit.

 

Carols of Christmas bridge fold card.

 

Here is a diagram with the measurements for the base pieces. The patterned pieces for this card are 4″ by 1″ (2 of them) and for the bridge part you use old olive 1 1/4 by 5 1/2″ and patterned paper (Merry Little Christmas) 1″ by 5 1/4″.

 

measurements for two different sized bridge fold cards

 

I was quite pleased with my second card. I knew that I wanted to use the Night in Bethlehem framelits and that I wanted a card that would be larger than normal but not require a special envelope. So….I made this one to fit into a regular business sized envelope.

 

simple bridge fold card to fit into a business sized envelope

 

What makes this card unique is that it uses a strip of our window sheets (known in the regular world as acetate). This strip measures 8″ by 1 1/4″. I adhered it to the card before adding the silver glimmer strips which are 1 1/2″ by 4″. The framelits from Night in Bethlehem were cut using basic black and silver foil sheets. The stars were stamped in Versamark and silver embossed. The Mary, Joseph and Shepherd were stamped in night of navy and adhered to the strip of window sheet.

 

A close up of the Bethlehem bridge fold card

 

The last card I made uses the Musical Season bundle. The dimensions are the same as for the old olive Carols of Christmas card.

 

Musical season bridge fold card using Merry Music specialty paper.

 

I love the pop of red with the musical notes on the sides. This card also uses window sheets as the bridge and it is tucked under the merry music paper.

 

Here you can see the structure of the bridge fold card.

 

With this last picture you can see the structure of the card and the way the card folds and is held in shape with the “bridge” part. So simple and so effective, plus it folds flat to go into a regular envelope. Finally here are some great cards by some other demonstrators around the world that use this same structure.

 

Kate Morgan made this great card using the Detailed Gate thinlets die.

 

 

Amanda Bates from the UK made this incredibly detailed card.

 

 

Dutch demonstrator Sacha van de Kerkhof made this tranquil tide bridge fold card.

 

I hope to add a short video later showing how to make this card, stay tuned for updates and happy shopping with the free shipping today only. If you live in Canada and do not have a demonstrator I would love to have your business. If you spend $100 you will get a $20 gift certificate from me to use in January!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paper Pumpkin and Crinkled Seam Binding for Christmas

Hello stampers. It is always so very exciting when unusual combinations turn out well. I love our crinkled seam binding ribbon but it has been in the house now since May and I haven’t used it yet!! I looked at the colours and thought that yes, I could make this work for Christmas. This is how my mind worked. I also wanted to use the stamp sets from the last two Paper Pumpkins. A snowflake card for my next coffee and a card class was at the top of my agenda and I usually use shades of blue for my snowflake cards. It was a perfect match for the night of navy crinkled seam binding ribbon. I also wanted to keep the cards clean and simple since I was still in recovery from the detailed, fussy cards we made at the last coffee and a card class. Here is my snowflake card:

 

November Paper Pumpkin and Colourful Season pair up for this snowflake card

 

For this snowflake card I used night of navy, pool party and dapper denim as well as the stamp set Colourful Season. The white layer is 3 3/4″ by 5″. Dapper denim layer is 4″ by 5 1/4″. The Everyday Label punch coordinates perfectly with the Back in Plaid November Paper Pumpkin. A Paper Pumpkin subscription would make a great Christmas gift for the crafter on your list, maybe even you! I always compare it with the analogy of cooking. While I love to cook, I also very much enjoy a take-out meal or a pizza delivered to my door. That is what Paper Pumpkin is for the person who already has all kinds of stamps. This is a surprise box of instant gratification with very little thought required and lots of satisfaction. I really like that you can see what other people in the stamping community have done with their kits. It’s like a global design challenge. If you are interested, just click on this link. You can choose a one month, three month or six month prepaid subscription, or you can subscribe month by month and cancel or skip at any time.

This next card uses Berry Burst ribbon. Do you also see how this card is not necessarily limited to Christmas time? It could be a baby congratulations card or a New Year card too, or even a birthday card.

 

Berry Burst seam binding ribbon and Back in Plaid combine with Cheerful Season dsp

 

I love how this card looks like a present with the pretty ribbon. The Year of Cheer specialty paper and the scattering of rhinestones make this card simply elegant. The white strip with “joy” is 1″ by 3 3/4″. The final card in this trio uses the emerald envy crinkled seam binding ribbon.

 

Emerald Envy crinkled seam binding ribbon is the perfect accent for this clean and simple card.

 

The best part about this ribbon is how textured it is and how surprisingly light, so it is very easy to tie, doesn’t take much room in an envelope and it really has nice volume too. It gets the two thumbs up from me. It also comes in Peekaboo Peach, but there is no way I could turn that into a Christmas card!

 

Back in Plaid Paper Pumpkin Trio

 

I find it rather amusing that these cards all use the Back in Plaid Paper Pumpkin and there isn’t an iota of plaid to be found. What I really do love is that the stamp sets live on long after you have used up your adorable kit. Here is the actual project that was in the kit, I am looking forward to surprising random people with one of these cute stockings full of Lindor chocolates. I also love how the stocking turned out when run through the Big Shot with the cable knit embossing folder. This folder just happens to be on sale now too!  Quick tip: I just sprayed it with ironing starch and then ironed it before embossing it.

 

Paper Pumpkin stockings

 

Take a look at the crinkled seam binding ribbon up close. I love how this picture turned out. You can really see the shimmer and the texture and the glorious richness of the colours.

 

Berry burst, emerald envy and night of navy ribbon.

 

The last thing I made with this Paper Pumpkin was a cute little tag. I couldn’t resist using our embellishments from last year. Unfortunately they are no longer available, but maybe you also have some leftover in your stash from last year. This tag is the only project that I didn’t use the crinkled seam binding ribbon on, but it looks cute with the twine too.

 

Scalloped tag topper punch with Paper Pumpkin Back in Plaid

 

I hope that you have been inspired by these clean and simple cards. If you have any questions or feedback, please comment below and I would be happy to help. Have a super day!

 

 

Christmas Sampler Frenzy

Hello stampers. I just wanted to create a quick blog post before I go and visit my parents. It is such a joy to own your own business so that you can prioritize your family. Now that they are almost 91 and 85 I try to visit at least once a month. This month it will be twice! My Pap is turning 91 on November 19. In the meantime, I had given myself a deadline, to get these two samplers done and posted before I left. I will be able to truly relax with them then. These samplers are the same layout as the one in my earlier post. The first one uses Night in Bethlehem and is a traditionally religious sampler. I love the clean lines. What do you think?

 

Bethlehem Christmas sampler

 

I used a smoky slate base of 8″ square and basic grey squares 2 1/4″ square with white squares that are 2″ square. The focal point is basic black 4 3/4″ square with a white piece 4 1/2″ square. The framelits are cut out of basic black and copper foil. The star is crushed curry. The next sampler is made using Hearts Come Home and is more traditional in colour and theme with Santa Claus and a Christmas village look.

 

Hearts come home sampler in real red, garden green and night of navy with a touch of silver glimmer paper.

 

For this sampler I used garden green, real red, night of navy and a touch of silver glimmer paper. The dimensions and layout are the same as the other samplers. You can get a class to go kit for $25 in Canada, just message me if you want one and we will figure out the details. The reason I am starting to offer these classes to go is that I am transitioning my business and my life! Bittersweet for sure.

 

 

Please just pray for me that I will find a new home that has one room that is big enough to hold my beautiful stamp room table. Sending big hugs your way, and now I am off to visit my loved ones.

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