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: http://www.scrapbookupdate.com/2011/12/13/hero-arts-debuts-2012-stamp-catalog/

The two stamps I used on this tag are the leaf & flower background (link to simonsaysstamp.com) and the four hearts (link to simonsaysstamp.com) 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 www.timholtz.typepad.com 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 http://www.karenika.com/ 

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 http://nichoward.typepad.com
Georgana Hall http://www.georganahall.typepad.com
Stacy Julian http://stacyjulian.com/blog
Tami Morrison www.bcre8uv.typepad.com 
Wendy Smedley  www.wendysmedley.typepad.com 
Lisa Day  http://www.lisaday.typepad.com
Kelly Purkey  http://kellypurkey.typepad.com
Elizabeth Dillow  www.elizabethdillow.typepad.com
Karen Grunberg http://www.karenika.com