Saturday, December 18, 2010

Just Us Girls Challenge #64

Hi friends.  Today is the third Saturday of the month so Just Us Girls are challenging you with a splach of fresh color!  Our hostess, Andrea, selected the prettiest palette for today's challenge.  Check it out:

I love the soft pretty.  It just sang spring to me, BUT I'm still in need of packaging for some of my holidays treats, so, I took some of my old MTME digi paper, A Loving Heart, and used my image editing program on the white flourishes paper to swap the pinks for blues, the green for olive, and the yellow for river rock.  I cut the base of my Pick of the Petals template and my petal inserts from the digi paper (note...when Lauren says not to use thick cs for the petal inserts, she's giving sage advice...look closely and you'll see how I know).
I cut my MTME Rambling Rose from Neenah cs, ran it through my paper crimper several times in different directions, smoothed out the ridges and curled with my fingers.  I then sprayed each piece with Pearl Shimmer Mist and let them dry.  I hot glued the lids center (because I screwed up my petal inserts) and also glued the rose and leaves to the top.
The pretty olive ribbon is May Arts, and I used a SU punch for my very simple sentiment from the MTME Sugar and Spice set.  I know my project is more girly than Christmas-y, BUT, I love the blue blooms and the icy white rose on top.  I think it's totally suitable as a Christmas gift :]
Look how large this template is!  I added a whole bag of Harry and David yummies inside and the lid closed snugly.  Perfect for my bag!!
Okay, it's sooo late right now...our post has already gone live on JUGS, so I'm going to refer you to the amazing JUGS girls over at the JUGS blog and invite you to play along this week!  It's our last challenge until January 1st!!  Have a very Merry Christmas and a safe, happy New Year!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

FREE Downloads!

Hi everyone.  I finally saved the Snowflake SVG file I promised to share for FREE on my blog!  You can find it under the tab above labeled, FREE Downloads or click the image below.  The tab above is where I'll post all of my future free products.  When you click the image, you will be redirected to Mediafire to download the zip file. Please be sure to extract all files from your download in order to use them in your cut file software (such as SCAL or Make the Cut).
I'm giving these snowflakes away free, because I feel that they lost quality when scaled to 1"-1 1/2" in size.  They are GORGEOUS when you cut the larger versions.  Here are a couple of projects I made using these (the one on the left is scaled to about 1.5"):

Hope you enjoy!  Please let me know if you use them...I would love to see what you come up with!  Happy holidays ♥

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Just Us Girls Challenge #63

Okay, it's the weekend and we're creeping up on the holidays FAST!  I know some of you still have cards and ornaments and pretty packaged baked goods to whip up, so let's get fancy and use the technique Maria is challenging us with over at Just Us Girls!  Maria chose the Sparkly Stained Glass technique for you to try! 

The tutorial shows the technique using Crystal Effects and glitter...BUT, read the fine print at the bottom, there are other ways to achieve the stained glass effect without doing it this way.  So, go with whatever works best for you!  I chose not to use glue and glitter.  Instead, I used Liquid Pearls for my stamped gift box, and Crystal Effects mixed with a Real Red reinker for the bow.  I stamped the image in black Staz On, turned it over and applied my pearls and red crystal effects.  It's very shimmery in person (of course), but my camera had a hard time picking up the fine details (user error, I'm sure :)  Then, I set it aside to dry while I finished my card.  In the end, I adhered the transparent oval with two glue dots hidden behind the Liquid Pearls.
We sure hope you can find some time to relax and craft this weekend amongst all of the chaotic holiday shopping!  I'm late in decorating my house, so I'll be busy doing that :]  If you play along, be sure to post a direct link to your project using the Linky Tools widget on the JUGS blog and use keyword JUGS63 in any online galleries.

Last but not least, take a peek at what the JUGS sisters worked up to inspire you! 

Elise ~ December Guest Designer

Thanks for stopping by today!

Stamps: My Time Made Easy, Secret Santa
Paper: MTME, Candy Shoppe, Fluttering-by
Ink: Memento, Tuxedo Black; Staz On, Black; PTI, Fresh Snow
Accessories: MTME, Rosey Posey Rosettes and Trendy Tags 2; Liquid Pearls; SU! Crystal Effects and Label Punch; Rhinestones Flourish; MS, Snowflake and Scalloped Border Punches; Buttons and Craft Thread from my stash

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

FINAL Color Throwdown #122...of 2010

Hi friends. Today is a very special day at the Color Throwdown…it’s our LAST challenge of the year! In the true spirit of a traditional holiday season, our awesome hostess, Laura selected a color palette perfect for this time of the year. Check it out:

I varied ever so slightly from the palette so that I could use my MTME Timeless Tradition paper from the November release. This means I swapped olive for pear, cherry for riding hood red, and espresso for chocolate (though my plaid paper has chocolate). I am in the middle of creating little holiday gifts for friends so I’m whipping up templates instead of cards right now. This is my most recent project:

I used the MTME Carry It template to create a super cute gift box (instead of a house which is what I’ve seen this template used for more often than not).  I printed two sheets of my plaid paper on Neenah at full size and cut the front and back of the template using my Cricut. I cut two layers for my top from Cherry Cobbler cs. For the lower layer, I welded the MTME Border Builders Scallop Dot cut file to both sides in SCAL before cutting. I embossed the upper layer with my new Sizzix Basic Grey Plaid ef. I tied off my MTME All Tied Up – Oval tag with some olive May Arts ribbon, some hemp twine and jingle bells I painted with chocolate acrylic paint. I stamped “Cup O’ Cheer” and “Just Add Marshmallows” from the MTME Grab A Cup stamp set.

I created a quick cut file for my cup using the digi stamp from MTME Fancy A Cuppa, pinned one of the snowflake cut files I created (and still plan on adding to my blog to giveaway free…just a little behind in getting to it) using a red, sparkly brad, and adhered the cup with dimensionals just below some flourished rhinestones I had leftover from another project.

Here’s a shot without the ribbon treatment…

…and another with the box opened.
I tucked away some dark hot chocolate and chocolate covered marshmallows inside :] YUM! …and an easy template to put together! I was happy with how quickly I whipped this up.

That’s all I have for you today, but my Color Throwdown sisters have an array of BEAUTIFUL projects waiting for you at their blogs!!! Swing by and leave them some love ♥ Also, be sure to post a direct link to your project on the CTD blog and use keyword CTD122 in any online galleries!

Happy Holidays, my friends!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Just Us Girls #62

Hi all!  It's finally the weekend and Just Us Girls are here to challenge you and your creativity ;]  Alicia is our sweet hostess and she came up with a fun sketch!  Check it out:
I immediately thought of my friend, Laura's little flag die when I saw the pennant banner in the sketch!  It was perfect for what I was creating in my mind.  This is what I came up with:
I printed my Dotted Stripes - Collection 1 artichoke dots and blushing stripes paper, double sided and scaled to 3"x5".  Scaling the pattern helps to really show it off when I die cut the little flags :]  I curled the flags around a wire curling tool I use for making jewelry (but you can use something you have on hand like a thin pen or paintbrush stick), and then stamped my "ho" sentiment on each one.  I knew I wanted to use jingle bells as spacers on my banner, but I only had silver, gold, green and red on hand.  I definitely wanted pink or ivory!  Sooooo...I painted them with light pink acrylic paint!  I love how they turned out!!  My recommendation if you paint jingle bells are to dry them quickly by using a heat gun and DON'T pick them up until you give them a chance to cool off.  Ask me how I know...  If you find spots that you missed, just add more paint and heat set again.  That's the beauty of acrylic can layer until your heart's content and it still looks good :]
Moving on to my snowflakes...these are cut files I originally made for MTME, but I wasn't satisfied with the quality when I scaled them to an inch, so I didn't submit them to Lauren for release in the store.  I DO however like them when they are cut at a larger size, so I plan to add them to a separate page on my blog FREE to any of you who are interested :]  I'll publish a quick post when I do and direct you to the appropriate page...I'm sure there will be other "throwbacks" that I'll add later.  The ones I used here are about 2 inches in diameter.  I cut them from the same paper I printed for my flags plus one in the river color from the same collection.  I separated them with dimensionals, added some organdy ribbon and another pink jingle bell and I had my cluster of snowflakes!
I used the same organdy ribbon to string my pennants and jingle bells.  I pinned my pennants (err...flags from Lil Inker) with some vanilla Hodgepodge Hardware from SU! and adhered to my card with dimensionals.  Can you see how the ribbon looks "crinkly"?  Kind of like the new fad with seam binding that's going around?  Well, my crinkly organdy ribbon was super easy to do (thanks for the tip, Lauren)!  I basically tied my bows and heated the bows with a heat gun until they crinkled up.  Don't go overboard or it will melt holes in your ribbon while it scrunches it up. 

Last but not least, notice the main, striped panel of paper?  Well, this is from one of my MTME October packs, called Down to Earth (one of my all time faves).  This is a good example of how different packs complement each other.  I try to keep my packs of paper diverse, yet versatile in that they coordinate with other packs from the store.    My base card layer was embossed using my new Sizzix Basic Grey Snowflakes #6 folder. 

Okay, I THINK, that's it... ;]  Be sure to check out the rest of the teams' AMAZING projects!  They are over the top this weekend!!  Links are in my left sidebar, but don't forget to stop by our December Guest Designer's blog...Ms. Elise Durenberger!  She's so fun ♥  Welcome, Elise!!

Hope to see everyone who played along last week, back again this week!  Have fun with the sketch and then post a direct link to your project over at JUGS and use keyword JUGS62 in any online galleries.  Have an awesome weekend, my friends ♥

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Throwing Down a MTME Wonderfully Wrapped Blog Hop!

Today My Time Made Easy is offering a year in review instead of a normal release.  Lauren wanted to keep it simple and only introduce a new template - Wonderfully Wrapped, and some new digi paper - Dotted Stripes (in 4 collections) :]  So, you still get a little taste of what you crave from MTME, and an opportunity to stock up on some past favorites you've been putting off buying because you've been going hog wild on all the new stuff each month!  Aren't we a generous bunch?!  LOL 

I'm also hosting the Color Throwdown today, so my project is for both teams.  I selected a palette based on the Lindt Stracciatella Truffles bag.  Check it out:
 For my project, I used some new Dotted Stripes - Collection 3 paper in 'Bashful' on my Wonderfully Wrapped template.  I can't get over how easily this went together! 
I tied the handle with Trendy Tags 1 and decorated the front with a Perfect Poinsettia
Check out how it opens...neat, huh?  I cut a window from the front of my template in SCAL using the MTME Killer Curves cut file.  I centered the cut file vertically and manually moved it horizontally to a spot I thought looked right.  Once I had that spot, I grouped my pieces and copied/pasted the grouping onto the page in SCAL that had my decorative layers.  I centered the grouping vertically on one of my layers and manually moved the decorative layer to the spot that looked like it would be the appropriate placing when adhered later.  I used the "break apart" function and deleted the front template piece and tic marks and left the cut file in place.  I then grouped the cut file and my decorative layer to easily move it on my mat to where I wanted to start cutting.  It was a perfect fit when I adhered the panel to my template!  I also cut a separate "frame" by layering/centering my Killer Curves cut file pieces and cutting it with my Cricut.  I embossed it using clear, glittery Stampendous "Kaleidoscope" embossing powder on Marina Mist.  Isn't it pretty?  Before I adhered all of the pieces together, I added a square 4"x4" layer of transparent cs to the inside of the box behind the window.
The inside of this box is HUGE!  I filled it with an entire bag of truffles and as you can see, it's not even half filled!  I swear I didn't cheat and eat a bunch beforehand :]
For my Trendy Tag, I stamped the bell from the MTME Secret Santa stamp set directly on my tag in Marina Mist, and again on another sheet in Versa Mark.  I embossed in gold embossing powder and cut it out.  I also cut out the slit at the top of the bell on both the tag and the gold bell.  I adhered my gold bell with a dimensional and ran ribbon through both layers in order to tie it to my handle.  My sentiment is also from the Secret Santa set.
I cut my white poinsettia from Neenah cs and Marina Mist.  I formed the leaves with my thumb and forefinger by softly curling them back and then gently pinching them together near the tips.  I then sprayed the layers with Perfect Pearls Mist in Perfect Pearl.  Isn't it shimmery?!  Love how it turned out ♥
I adhered some cute bows to the side panels and a blue pearl brad to the poinsettia and I was finished!  So easy! 
Okay, so you get a double dose of inspiration just for visiting today! 

Swing by our MTME DT to see how they worked the new template:

Don't forget our amazing CTD DT!  They need some love also:

Thanks for stopping by today!  Hope you found a little inspiration to get your creative juices flowing mid-week!  I'll see you back here on Saturday for the JUGS challenge :]