Category Archives: 25 days of holiday crafting | 2011

21 | buddy’s turn to get crafty…



Mama is working on computer things and paperwork and COOL ideas to share soon.

So our resident elf is taking over today’s crafty quota…

Note: I came up with the PERFECT December daily page design. Stay tuned. It’s coming atcha real soon…


Pink Persimmon + Lisa Pace = great stamps!



 Pink Persimmon is a stamp company that is locally owned, and they are such great ladies! When they asked if I’d like to try out some of their new Lisa Pace designs I said of course! So today I want to share with you a tag technique I’ve been using a lot this holiday season – and you can see the tags I’ve made with the perfumery set.

First use distress stain (a light color) all over a manila tag. Then stamp text image with SAME COLOR of distress, but the ink pad (not stain). It is faint, but there is a slight color difference that gives you a great watermark-like effect.

Then stamp in a darker color the bottle image, stamp the entire tag with versamark ink, coat in embossing powder, and heat until the powder is set into a glossy finish. (and that’s it!)

Aren’t they lovely? My plan is to use these on some packages for the holidays – just adding a monogram sticker or something simple, and a note on the back perhaps. I jus adore these bottle stamps. So fancy and the coordinating text stamp is going to be used a lot around here as well I’m sure…

 I just love this process for making quick, sturdy, fabulous tags that could act as page embellishments, adorn gifts, or even be for a card. What’s even more fun? I’m going to give a set of Pink Persimmon stamps away!

Aren’t they so vintage chic? I love them – but I’m going to share that love and give this set (shown above) away to one of you darling blog readers! Just leave a comment here, winner will be drawn around the 21st…

Happy Crafting!!

19 | surprises, gifts, and multi-tasking as ever…


This morning the girls woke up to find unadorned wrapped gifts, holiday shirts, chocolates, and even the Christmas dog “Jingles” + book (which is AWESOME, by the way) they had been dreaming of on the stairs. Who could be responsible? Credit was given to Buddy (their elf on the shelf) who was hanging from the garland overseeing it all.

This afternoon I was working on videos for my new BPC class, and I found out that my Scrapbook Update article (link) about the new 2012 Hero Arts stamps + their debut parties was up.

how are these things in any way related?

I multi-tasked! I created a tag with two of my new (beloved) Hero Arts stamps while talking about my Big Picture class and made it a tag for one of Elizabeth’s gifts that clearly needed something fancy.

I LOVE the green tulle I purchased (craft store, wedding aisle) on a whim. I’ve been using it tons. I also use cardstock as a base ‘strip’ around my packages a lot lately too.

If you want to read more about my experience with the Hero Arts party and see all my favorite picks then check this out:

The two stamps I used on this tag are the leaf & flower background (link to and the four hearts (link to set.

If you’d like to see some of my process on this tag, and hear about the A-Z library that is 26 videos, available on day 1, and just one part of my new Big Picture class (registration/info page link)- check out this video I made this afternoon:

Have an idea for something you’d like clarified, talked about, or ‘sneak peeked’ about my class? Let me know! I hope you’re finding some crafty happiness somewhere in the midst of the crazy that can be December. I need to go journal today’s elf-capades and edit videos for Field Guide too…

day 18 | thanks Martha Stewart


While not everyone’s favorite person, I can not give anything but mad props to Martha Stewart’s creative team for the holiday products that they release. They are simple, useful, and have really accented my holiday preparations this year! As I wrap, wrap, wrap gifts for my family & friends, I thought I would take a moment and share the products I’ve purchased that are helping make things merry & bright!

Some of these things will come in handy with baked goods, and some of the containers meant for baked goods I think will be fun for gifts of the un-edible variety too!

I will be sure to take photos, and keep on sharing my adventures… 7 more posts in this series are still coming!! 🙂 Hope you’re making merry in your own ways…

day 17 | dec.daily “santa” entry


I don’t have a ton of share-able pages in my December Daily album at this point. There are a lot of text-only, printed recipes, and visually BORING things at this time. There are no photos, as I’ve not developed any. Up until now, not a lot of craftiness either. Ah, but yesterday’s trip to San Francisco and our visit with Santa made me want to play.

I took the photo and scanned it first so I have a digital back-up in case something happens to this one, or the paper (which I can’t belive is super high quality) fades and the photo is ruined somehow. In doing so I realized that the top of the red paper frame has a slit, and that the photo can come in and out of it. So I removed the photo, mounted the red frame onto kraft cardstock, and got to playing…

I cut out some foil (mounted on grunge paper + embossed) and painted it with my new precious (Jenni Bowlin paint dabber in seed packet) a-la-Tim Holtz ‘enameled metal’ technique. Then? Well then I got greedy, added other colors, and generally made a muck of it. But that is OK! I just die cut a deer and stuck that over it a bit to cover for my craptastic effort. It works.

I took my new embossing powder (just plain clear) + snowflake Tim Holtz stamp for a test drive. Since I do NOT want anything messing with this photo, I put plastic into the photo frame when stamping/emboss powdering so that none got in the photo area and gunked it up. A little heat later…

I did 3 snowflakes + some green patina mist. I also stitched around the very edges – because this is all about the creative play.

Then I just attached some trim, felt shapes, and my die cut (and ink edged) reindeer + foiled (heh) embossed foil and it was done. A 30 minute crafty session, and yesterday’s visit to Santa is already in the books. NO adhesive is touching the photo, so it can still be removed if I so desire or need.

Oh, and I edged the red frame + kraft edge with gold dabber paint (I swear – I use that on EVERYTHING these days)


On a separate page I plan on writing about our trip, perhaps put more of the iPhone photos I took, and ask Elizabeth to write about the trip as well. Details like what we did and what favorite parts were. But that page will be more utilitarian. No fancy stuff or embellishing. That’s what I am LOVING about this project – and the way Ali inspires me with her own. Some pages are PLAIN, others fancy. Let the day, amount of time, and mood decide…

come check out my new class at Big Picture- class starts 2/7/2012 [registration now open!]

day 16 | Tim inspired tag


I *ADORE* the Tim Holtz 12 tags of Christmas. It’s like taking 12 mini “Tim” classes in awesomeness. I always come away with new ideas and techniques I’m reminded to do more often.

That said, as I mentioned in yesterday’s post this is a time of year when multi-tasking is a good idea, and time is as short as daylight is! SO! My solutions are several, the first being that I wanted to play so I mixed & matched some techniques from Tags 4, 6, and 7. Mix & match works great as well because I don’t have a lot of the things Tim uses, so it allows me to play without frustration of wishing I had the ‘right’ thing to make stuff happen.

True story: I am AWFUL at remembering “how-to”. What happens EVERY SINGLE TIME is that I think I remember it right, set off on my own, then end up changing things because I mixed up ideas or products. Whoops. Sometimes (ahem, my attempt at tag 5) it ends in disaster and frustration. Other times, I end up with something unique and made of awesome. My snowman falls (luckily) into the awesome category. 

I wanted to do the painted foil technique Tim did (tag 6), because I LOVE that foil sheet stuff, and I thought I could combine that look with the die cut within a die cut (tag 4). So here’s what I did/how it went down:

foil placed face down on cutting mat, grunge paper set on top and pressed firmly onto it. Then die cut in snowman shape. THEN I ran it back through the die cut machine using my brick texture fade. I wanted to use snowflakes or something Christmas-y… but alas I do not have any that would work!

Ok, I love it JUST LIKE THAT. ah I’m such a fan of the foil… anyhow! I wanted to do that AWESOME enamel paint thing, so I pulled out paint. Err… except my paint is pretty much all neutral colors. SO I did pearl + silver (which is a darker silver than the foil), but I also dotted a bit of blue alcohol ink on.

As you can see it ended up blending, becoming a bit too subtle too. That’s ok, I have a plan. First I die cut a snowflake out of him, then I sanded him lightly to get some of the foil showing back through. The sanding block worked fine for this – will be totally doing the technique again!

Ah but here’s where I wanted to keep kicking it up more notches. What I really wanted was more BLUE… but distress ink really ain’t gonna stick here. Oh wait – but I could cover it with UTEE and then it would be sealed in. (I know Tim talked about this in one of the tag posts)

But it wasn’t enough, so I did it again with distress stain and re-coated + re-embossed. Above you see the “before heat gun gets involved” version…

Now we are talking!!! I added some kraft paper + glossy accents inside/behind the die cut area and set frosty aside to dry…

Time for the tag. I just did the usual ‘put inks on craft mat, swipe damp tag through’ classic Tim Holtz technique. I then stamped a flourish with pearl dabber paint.

There wasn’t quite as much color on the background as I wanted so I “splatted” my distress stains a bit on there. Roll with it…

Bam! there you have it – my finished tag! The snowflake that got die cut is up at the top along with a metal charm I used snow cap + blue alcohol ink on (and then sanded). My trim was white – I used faded jeans stain + water to dye it.

Three tags into one, and in a way that is uniquely my own. *LOVE THAT*

I can’t suggest enough that you read up for ideas, tutorials, and videos from this series. It’s a seriously awesome Christmas gift from him that I enjoy every year now.

I just LOVE the color + texture I wound up with on this tag. Here are links to the supplies I used:

Happy crafting + creative play time!!

multi-task holiday season crafting [BPC blog hop]


Season’s greetings!

It’s the holiday season, and that means days are short, to-do lists are long, and time is precious. The one pitfall I try very hard to avoid is making the mistake of not making time to be creative.

Today I am participating in the Big Picture 12 days of Christmas instructor blog hop! As a multi-tasking woman this time of year I am combining my contribution with a “25 days of holiday crafting” post with a real gift I needed to wrap up this afternoon.

See how that works? Not only can you multi-task by crafting in especially useful ways, but I find that I feel better because I’m crafting – even if it is small projects and short amounts of time. Multi-tasking is my absolute favorite thing to do during December! It’s a holiday tradition really, and I love the challenge.

Today I am going to share with you a how-to on this gift card holder – gift cards are a favorite thing of mine to give, but I like to take 5-10minutes and dress them up a bit. That is truly all it takes! It gives me the chance to play with crafty things AND fancy-fy a gift for someone.

First, you need an idea. I took a little Starbucks gift card holder and covered the front with white cardstock. Because COME ON. I’m not giving someone a gift card that SAYS where the gift card is from right on the front!

To get some color on it I just dotted distress stain onto my craft mat, then misted my gift card holder with water and rubbed it around…

Bam! As you can see it turns out there was a hidden pattern on the sides – cool! This idea is one I borrowed from Tim Holtz – he’s been doing this for backgrounds on his tags this week. scrap-lifting, another great time saver!

I misted with my green patina perfect pearls mist, then closed it up (gift card inside), wrapped with some green tulle, added a charm…

then I stamped some holly leaves + my one and only Christmas sentiment stamp (love it!), edged with gold paint…

Then my deer seemed too silver, so I dabbed some (caramel) alcohol ink onto him and it’s ready to go!  I timed myself with this project – it took 7 minutes start to finish and I am SO much happier with giving away this Starbucks gift card than if I had just handed it over plain.


If you’re short on time this holiday season, consider multi-tasking so that you can feel that you are accomplishing things while also getting to be creative. Looking for more ideas? Please do continue along the hop! The next blog hop stop is Karen Grunberg 

Want to know more about the Big Picture Class “12 days of Christmas” that I’m a part of? Head on over to the class registration page and check it out. It’s a great way to get inspiration for a dozen scrapbook pages from a dozen BPC instructors. I’m so happy to be a part of it – and see what the other instructors have come up with too!

Here is a full listing of the instructors participating in today’s blog hop:

Nic Howard
Georgana Hall
Stacy Julian
Tami Morrison 
Wendy Smedley 
Lisa Day
Kelly Purkey
Elizabeth Dillow
Karen Grunberg

day 14 | faux snow globes


I created a video tutorial for an article that just posted at all about my new favorite project – snow globes!

Well to be honest, they’re not real ones. No water or fluids, just a cool scene and glitter.

 This one has been on display a little over a week now, and gets lots of attention from my girls + comments from visitors too. A one of a kind, easy, fun, and looks great on display decor piece! I can not wait to make more.

Here’s a link to my article that has the how-to video:

day 13 | the projects don’t all work.


I have not been happy with my attempts at banners. They simply aren’t working in the way I envision them, and for now I am tossing the project aside. Perhaps I’ll re-visit at Valentine’s Day time or Easter.

Know what? that’s alright. Because mistakes, projects gone bad, and hideously ugly creations are a part of my process.

Above is a die cut snow globe gone wild (in the worst sense). Oh yeah. Using photo paper because I’m too lazy to figure out where I have white cardstock… well… sometimes things do NOT work as substitutions. SO noted that my rock candy crackle paint doesn’t like to play with that particular paper. It’s like a nasty sunburn or something… so gross…

Y’all know that you have to be careful when stamping with distress inks and you don’t let it dry/set and instead in your big hurry apply rock candy distress crackle paint right away. You know it’s gonna bleed out until you can’t see the image, right?


These are just three of today’s examples of crafting gone bad. That’s alright. It’s cool baby. I have had a few “HEY! mine didn’t turn out like so-and-so’s” moments too – in which I realize I didn’t follow directions.

Sometimes that leads to AWESOME things…

Like my first tag inspired by Tim’s 12 Tags of Christmas. I got all mixed up, ended up adding steps that aren’t there… and it WORKED. I LOVE IT. I will be sharing a full how-to this weekend because I have two other posts that are going up (also GOOD things) before it!

Just remember – the goofs can lead to good things – so enjoy the process…

day 12 | using scrapbook product off the page this holiday season


Today Nancy and Melissa (aka the other contributors to Nancy’s site are also blogging about using scrapbook products “off the page” this holiday season. Be sure to check out their blogs for their ideas!

This time of year – nothing is off limits. I’m yanking silk flowers out of arrangements to use on gift wrap, stamping onto brown paper bags to create custom wrapping paper, using patterned paper in place of ribbon.

In other words, when it comes to crafting supplies – the walls are torn down! I’ve been sharing my crafty adventures (25 days worth!) you can see the archives here: There is still much to come, today I want to look specifically at how I use my scrapbook supplies off the page:

Above you see a wrapped gift… done almost entirely with craft supplies! The paper I use (and most often use) is just a roll of kraft paper you can find at any craft store. A shopping bag works too. From there I built with my crafty stash. Patterned paper, stamped tag, die cut patterned paper, paper rosette… even the doily and ribbon are from my scrapbook stash!

The biggest thing to remember is this: use what works. Sometimes that fancy (expensive) “gift wrap” product is something you as a crafter have, or can quickly DIY.

shown above: a package arrives at my house with baker’s twine (trendy SB product!) + stamped image wrapped in kraft.

Above you see a glittered postcard (here’s a link they’re on sale at amazon right now – LOVE Cavallini postcards) I purchased these to use both on gifts and in my scrapbook. LOVE products that are multi-purpose.

Where else can you use crafty products? Anywhere really! Here’s a list of some other favorites:

  • table settings [napkin rings, place cards, centerpiece, table runner (paper!) or place mats]
  • ornaments
  • wall decor
  • altered items [wood items, re-purposed, etc]
  • other items for decor [configurations boxes, mini books, etc]
  • cards & gift wrap
  • garlands
  • punch “confetti”

The best thing about all of this for me, is maximizing my budget AND using up what I already own. *LOVE* the budget aspect. I can make stuff for SO MUCH LESS than buying so much of the time!! I made myself a very quick & easy table runner from 2 pieces of fabric (minimal sewing too) from stuff I already had for a dinner party last weekend.

 I also used some Tim Holtz die cuts to create quick and easy place cards that I set on the napkins

I edged the snowman die cut in faded jeans ink, used a banner die cut for the name, and my white sakura souffle pen to write the name. Simple, but it added to my blue & white “winter” table better than anything I could find to purchase.

Customization and total control – another reason I love cardstock and die cuts AND bringing my craft room out into the house this time of year. Semi-homemade and DIY craftiness does not have to take a lot of time. You can do things quickly and on a budget, and have fun too.

Personally, nothing makes me happier than seeing my craftiness in use and being enjoyed by friends and family.  I’m off to make my first paper banner of the season – I will share that how-to, as well as an apron tutorial and more later this week.

Reminder: Check out Melissa & Nancy’s blogs for their ideas too: