Monday, December 11, 2017

Nontraditional Christmas

I needed to do something funky and fun the other day, so I made this nontraditional Christmas card in pinks and purples.

Card Size 3.5" x 6.25"

Every Christmas, I feel the need to break out of red/green/gold/silver/blue colors for Christmas cards. This year, it's with girly colors.

And it was fun.

Do you ever break out of the traditional color schemes for your Christmas cards? Or do you stick to tradition?

Peace, love, hope, and joy,
Susan

Supplies
stamps: Papertrey In the Meadow, Ways to Say: Merry Christmas
ink: various dye inks from Memento and Archival Ink
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: rhinestones, Copics to color the rhinestones, post-its for the mask

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Snowflake Thanks

Ho, ho, ho! 

We have, for the second weekend in a row, procrastinated. Our tree has lights and ribbon and an angel on top, but no other decorations. In my defense, I did decorate the book-themed tree in the basement. But the two trees upstairs (the one we cut down before my husband had surgery and a small artificial tree) are simply lighted and beribboned.

If I thought I could get away with leaving them thus, I would. 

I'm a lover of simplicity, after all. 

But my children. My husband. Not so much.

Anyway, I needed a bunch of thank-you cards for myself and made this one when I was feeling delightfully blue. 



Papertrey's Ombre Borders and Hero Arts ombre ink make a lovely card, don't you think? That border stamp looks a bit like frost on a window. The bling is blue, and so are my husband's eyes. Although he has two that are roughly the same size, whereas the card has three of varying size.

I should stop free associating.




May your holiday preparations move more quickly than mine. 

Peace, love, hope, and joy,
Susan

Supplies
stamps: Papertrey Ombre Builders, Hero Arts Thank You sentiments
paper: Papertrey white, baby blue; StampinUp ballet blue
ink: Archival black, Hero Arts ombre blue
accessories: snowflake punches, glue pen, rhinestones, Copics to color the rhinestones

Thursday, December 7, 2017

A Bookish Birthday Card

My brother-in-law is a college professor and comes across as a bit, well, professorial. Not surprisingly, I give him a gift card to Barnes & Noble every year for his birthday.

I wanted to make the professor laugh on his birthday, so here's his birthday card.


The books and shelf were stamped on scrap paper, cut out, and glued to the white panel. The middle book is popped up not with dimensionals but with two layers of card stock underneath. Dimensionals would have popped it up too much, I think, but the little bit of dimension is nice. The clock was stamped directly on the pane.



The stamped panel is white, but when I put it on a white card base, it looked pretty stark. The Papertrey natural card stock softens it a bit and adds a subtle masculine feel to the card. I really like how it turned out and hope he does, too!

I like big books and I cannot lie, you other readers can't deny....

Ah, big books. One of life's true joys.

Peace, love, hope, and joy,
Susan

Supplies
stamps: Simon Says To Thine Own Shelf
ink: various dye inks
paper: Papertrey white, natural
accessories: none

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

A Merry Merry Card

Placement on a clean-and-simple card makes or breaks the design. If something is a little too far right or left, a little too high or low, the whole looks wrong. There's simply no place to hide in CAS design.

So when I made a card in which everything was shifted a bit too high and to the left, I trimmed the right and lower edges of the card until it all turned out right.




This card uses a die I ordered with my birthday gift card to Papertrey. Years ago, a kind reader sent me cuts from this die, and they were simply delightful. Now the die is mine, and there's a Cuttlebug sitting in my craft room with which to use it.

My, how times have changed.

Change is good. Without it, there is no growth. But don't worry. As this card proves, the essence of Simplicity will not change with the addition of a Cuttlebug. Oh, no. Simple I am, and simple I will remain.

This card has only three elements: a bow, die-cut word, and stamped sentiment. The gingham bow makes a bold statement at its jaunty angle, and by stamping Merry Christmas in red to match, I enhanced the unity of the card. The lime green is non-traditional and adds interest.

That ribbon is very soft and won't be as hard to mail as it looks like it would be. I so rarely use ribbon these days, but this one made me happy. I got it right on the first try.

Yay, me!

Love, peace, hope, and joy,
Susan

Supplies
stamps: Papertrey Keep It Simple Christmas
ink: Tim Holtz die ink in cherry red
paper: unknown lime, Papertrey white
accessories: ribbon, glue dot, PTI word die, glue pen

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Arboreal Thanks

If yesterday's thank-you post was bottom-line thanks, today's is arboreal.




My arboreal card was totally inspired by Ardyth's pretty card HERE. The idea wasn't original to her, either, but it's her card that inspired me to make this one.

I added bling, of course, and it's oh so lovely!



Our Stephen Ministry group is having its Christmas party tonight. I'm making Cranberry Brie Bites and mulled apple cider. Yum! I love Christmas parties!

I love Christmas!

I love Christ!

Are you going to any Christmas parties this year? Not all parties are created equal. A friend told me today how she's dreading a Christmas party. Do you enjoy the parties you are going to? What makes a Christmas party great for you?

Love, peace, hope, and joy,
Susan

Supplies
stamps: Hero Arts tree, Clearly Besotted A Little Sentimental
ink: Tim Holtz tumbled glass, Archival black
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: rhinestones, stipple brush, post-it notes

Monday, December 4, 2017

Bottom-Line Thanks

Quick post tonight about a quick set of thank-you cards. These simple single-panel note cards are incredibly useful.








As you can see, the note cards showcase Kaleidacolor ink pads in a bold and bright design: high impact and super simple. The bottom line (ahem) matches the last color on the pad, as if the color is wrapping around the back of the card at the end of the thanks and returning for a hug.

Love that!

Love, peace, hope, and joy,
Susan

Supplies
stamps: Papertrey Wet Paint and Faux Ribbon
paper: Papertrey white
ink: Kaleidacolor pads
accessories: none...and that's the bottom line!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Stranger Things

My aunt took a trip to Japan and thoughtfully picked up a package of absolutely gorgeous paper for me.


Then she read my comment on Ellen Hutson's FB page that I don't use patterned paper and worried I wouldn't use the papers.

So I made this card to prove her wrong.



The design in the paper was perfect for a narrow vertical strip which leaves lots of glorious white space, so it definitely looks like a LateBlossom card. So no worries, kind aunt!

The gorgeous paper contains an olive green that looks amazing with the pink background...a color combo I would never have come up with myself. That olive shade on the paper is slightly darker but a great match for Brilliance pearlescent olive ink. The slight shimmer of the olive ink looks great in real life with the shimmer of the gold on the paper. 





There are stranger things than LateBlossom using patterned paper. Plus, it's fun to get out of the box now and then...especially with such lovely papers!

Thanks, Aunt Sylvia!

Love, peace, hope, and joy,
Susan

Supplies
stamps: My Favorite Things label maker sentiments
paper: Japanese paper, Papertrey white
ink: Brilliance pearlescent olive
accessories: tape runner

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Blogger AWOL

Well, it's been a while. Sometimes, life just takes over, doesn't it. My husband had arthroscopic surgery on his knee Wednesday, and blogging had to take a back seat. The patient is doing very well, but his days of competing in Ironman triathlons may well be over. Severe arthritis in the knee and running marathons just don't go together.

I missed you!

I found a great idea for party favors while getting a peppermint mocha at Barnes & Noble about a month ago. They'd just put out these adorable snowflake marshmallows for hot chocolate toppers, and I bought all they had. Combined with a single-serving pouch of Land O' Lakes hot chocolate mix in a snowflake treat bag (Hobby Lobby) with a jingle bell and tag for accents, and you've got a sweet-looking party favor!



I've made a bunch of them and thrown them in boxes of gifts for family and friends. These in the basket below are for our Stephen Ministry Christmas party, and after that event, I'll reload the basket for our book club, which I'm hosting this month because everyone wants to see my book tree.




For the record, I chose The Hundred-Year-Old Man who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson for our December meeting. It's a satisfying read, very much along the lines of Forrest Gump. I love our book club...we actually talk about the books, but we also have time for socializing and fellowship. We've been meeting for over four years now, and it's really quite delightful.

Do you like to read? Are you part of a book club? If so, what do you like best about your book club?

Tonight, I'm going to see If a Man Answers, the high-school fall play. My son Nick has a part in it.

Here's a picture of Cooper and the beginnings of my Christmas decorations. We went to the tree farm on Sunday so hubby could kill a tree, drag it into the house, and put it in the stand before surgery. We will decorate it when the play is over and my son can help.


Here's a picture of the two pups sleeping. Because you can never have too many pictures of pups sleeping. They lower your blood pressure, you know.



Can you tell I have holiday ADHD? Whew. I'm all over the place. Well, everywhere except my craft room. I got some time today to stamp, only to discover I've forgotten how to do it. *sigh* It'll come back, but I made a lot of pretty trash today.

I hope you all had a November that was surgery-free and full of thanksgiving, and I pray your December will be surgery-free and full of the love and peace and hope and joy of Christmas.

Love, peace, hope, and joy,
Susan

Supplies
stamps: Hero Arts
ink: Archival red geranium
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: white satin ribbon (1/8"), treat bags, silver twist ties, silver jingle bells, snowflake marshmallow toppers (Barnes & Noble), Land O' Lakes hot chocolate mix