It's September already and the Stampin' Up! 2016 Holiday Catalog launched at the beginning of the month. Have you seen it? I saw it for the first time as a PDF on my computer and fell in love with quite of few of the new products. Once I had the real paper catalog in my hands, however, that changed. Radically! I'm not sure that I need everything with which I fell in love but I know I want it all! So you can imagine that getting ready for this blog hop and coming up with THREE favourites was a monumental task. I kept changing my mind.
I'm excited about this month's blog hop for more reasons than the Holiday Catalogue and all its tempting goodies. This month we have a participant from England and one from Australia joining the participants with whom you've grown familiar. As you will remember, if you've wandered through our blog hops before, our blog hop is presented in a circular fashion. What does that mean? Wherever you begin in our blog hop, whether you go forwards or backwards through the participants, eventually you will wind up precisely where you began. I hope you'll take time to visit all the participating blogs and, perhaps, leave a short message letting us know what you've thought of our posts.
If you've been moving forwards through the blog hop, you'll have arrived here from the very talented Gail Allen's post. Gail lives on the west coast of British Columbia and is a member of our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge artists.
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For my first project I decided to revisit the Cookie Cutter Christmas stamp set which I showcased for the last Blog Hop. This set is part of the Candy Cane Lane Suite. There are so many things I love about this Suite. The Candy Cane Lane Designer Series Paper, for example, is stunning. The colours are very simple: Whisper White, Crumb Cake, Early Espresso and Real Red. That's right, just four colours, but the WOW factor is real. Actually, besides the stamp set, this designer paper is the star of my creation.
For this hop I also looked around for products and tools that I have been neglecting. It's so easy to buy and then forget to use the things with which you originally fell in love. One of those tools is my Gift Bag Punch Board. I don't know why I've neglected it since it really is so easy to use and the sizes of bags you can create is almost endless, but now that I've dusted it off, I decided that I would use it and the designer paper to create a nice Christmas Gift Bag. The paper is really beautiful. The designs--what can I say except it almost came down to "eeny-meeny-miny-moe" because I couldn't make the choice. Finally, however, I went with the sheet that has a solid Early Espresso background and features some adorable gingerbread trees, stars, mittens, and, of course, "men".
My bag is the large sized one. I could make it any height so it would even fit a wine bottle since it is gusseted, but I chose to make this one about 6 inches high. Actually the bag would be about 4 3/4 inches tall but I decided to add flaps to both ends. The bottom flaps are glued shut the conventional way but the top is different. At about 4 3/4 inches there is a score line and I also cut off the side flaps. That just leaves the one along the top front of the bag and one along the top back. I finished off by using the Reverse Punch on the other side of the tool. The two holes on each flap will allow me to lace through my twine and tie it shut with a bow.
Of course every bag needs a tag, right? I used the colours from the bag to create mine. The little Christmas tree was simply die-cut using the Perfect Pines framelits and the little gingerbread man was stamped using the Cookie Cutter Christmas set and cut using the Cookie Cutter Builder punch. To make the tag pretty, I used the Scalloped Tag Topper punch.
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My second project is also all about Christmas but the colours and the atmosphere are totally different. For this card I turned to a stamp set with which I immediately fell in love when I first saw it in the online catalogue. Those feelings didn't change when I saw it in the actual catalogue and it was on my first order. The set? Christmas Magic. I love all the images but for this card I needed something small because I planned to combine it with images and the sentiment from the Star of Light set as well as the Starlight Thinlits dies. So I picked the snowman. He's such a cute little guy and perfect with his slightly bemused look.
I wanted the card to be elegant and understated with a touch of dazzle. For my base I used the Heavy Whisper White followed by a layer of Emerald Envy. Then I cut a piece of Shimmery White Specialty cardstock on which I planned to do my stamping and which I also planned to cut with one of the star thinlits. I love the thinlit that doesn't cut out a star but just cuts holes which make a star shaped pattern. You can see how it allows a peek at the Emerald Envy underneath. Then I used the smallest of the Starlight thinlits to cut a star from the Dazzling Diamonds Glimmer paper. Isn't it gorgeous layered on top of the star cutout?
I stamped my little snowman using the Basic Gray archival ink because I thought black would be too stark and snowman are soft. Because I stamped it on the Shimmery White cardstock, the snowman has a slight shimmer to him which I love. I used Emerald Envy and Real Red to colour his mittens and scarf. For the mounded snow at his bottom and for the snow along the brim of his hat I first added glue and let that get tacky. Then I added the Dazzling Diamonds glitter to it and "wow", did it ever sparkle! It perfectly balanced the dazzle of the die-cut star.
For the inside of the card I kept it simple. I stamped the wonderful flourish from the Star of Light set using Mint Macaron and then stamped the sentiment from the Wondrous Wreath set over that using Emerald Envy ink.
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For my third project I turned to the Home Sweet Home thinlits dies and their coordinating stamp set, Sweet Home. I knew that I would get this bundle as soon as I saw it. I could imagine how excited my grandsons and their friends would be, getting a spooky house filled with candy for Hallowe'en. Not to mention Christmas. Yes, that little house bundle will be seeing a lot of activity.
I was really upset with myself for not ordering the Hallowe'en Night Specialty designer series paper when I ordered the bundle. As I saw after I put in the order, this paper has a great brick design which is absolutely awesome on these little houses, especially the Hallowe'en ones. But with the paper not due to arrive until Monday and this blog hop launching this Thursday, I've had to improvise. And so I turned to the Timeless Textures stamp set and my Whisper White craft ink. I think the effect on the Basic Gray cardstock is just rough and aged enough to be perfect for Hallowe'en, don't you?
I had a lot of fun adding spider webs, ghosts, gravestones and a little fence by combining the Home Sweet Home bundle with the Spooky Fun bundle. This little house can just sit on a table as a decoration because of the way I've put the scene together, but by itself and filled with candy, it's going to give a bunch of kids a real Hallowe'en treat.
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And that's it for my projects. I hope you've enjoyed them as much as I enjoyed creating them. From here you'll be visiting another wonderfully creative stamper, Jan McQueen, who is joining our blog hop for the first time. Jan hails from Australia and we've had an interesting time figuring out the time difference.