Monday, December 22, 2008

Pun Fun Ensemble

As we're snowed in here in Bellevue, I've taken a break from my Christmas Cards and made some cheerful cards using Pun Fun. Each of these cards started with a 2.5" square image in Whisper White cardstock that I stamped with Black Staz On and then colored with my Watercolor Wonder crayons and Blender Pens while watching It's a Wonderful Life (no pun intended, in spite of the stamp set I was using). I'll be posting more about Watercolor Wonder Crayons soon.

Each image is mounted on a piece of Basic Black cardstock so it would coordinate with any other cardstock I wanted to use.

If you have a stash of these focal points on hand, you can quickly (or not so quickly) create a card when you need one. Here are all of them together. As you can see, you can vary your layout and complexity a lot with the same starting point.

This first one is a super duper quick one if you have the focal point already complete. Simply stamp the sentiment and adhere the image and presto, you're done! These other ones are a bit more time consuming, but not too terrible. They use a variety of punches, the Big Shot, etc. In the latte card, I actually used Whisper White as the card base. For some reason, I usually forget that it works for the base as well as for stamping on.





I just realized that I don't have an individual image of the skunk card. If I get to it, I'll post that too.
If you want to see more of my Pun Fun samples, click on the following links
As always, if you want to order any of these supplies, email me or order directly through my website. To do that, click here.
Remember that the 10% discount on retiring stamp sets and FREE SHIPPING ends tomorrow.

Cheers,
Sharon

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Never Been Used Challenge

Some friends and I have weekly challenges and this week's was to use something we'd never used. I'd had the Gratuitous Graffiti background stamp sitting unmounted in its case for several months so I chose that for my challenge. I'd gotten it because I thought it would make quick "thank you" cards. Well, I was certainly right! This card went together very quickly.

Actually, it's a double challenge because I used the Color Challenge 197 from Splitcoast also. The color challenge was to use Basic Gray, Kiwi Kiss, Baja Breeze and Not Quite Navy. I love this color combination! You could easily make a masculine card with it, which is always a challenge.

The other Never Been Used components of this card are the Flower Layers with Leaf die and the Trio Flower punch.

To make this, I simply stamped the background image in Basic Gray on Whisper White and then sponged Kiwi Kiss and Baja Breeze all over. Then I sponged around the edge in Not Quite Navy. The die cuts, punches, Kiwi ribbon, rhinestone brads and Curly Label stamp and punch complete the supplies.

So, my challenge for you is to dust off something you've never used or that's been sitting on a shelf for a while. If you post it on your blog, send me a link and I'll put that here.

Cheers,

--Sharon

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

December Project ideas on SU Website

Did you know that Stampin' Up! posts project ideas WITH INSTRUCTIONS on their website every month? They're fantastic! This is the one for December.


The directions for both the card and pencil wrap are posted there. Click on the photo to go to the SU website.


Let it Snow card
Stamps
Big On Christmas stamp set
Jolly Stampin' Around wheel

Paper
Bashful Blue card stock
Riding Hood Red card stock
Whisper White card stock
Bashful Blue Patterns Designer Series paper

Ink
Bashful Blue Classic Stampin' Pad
Basic Gray Classic Stampin' Pad
Garden Green Classic Stampin' Pad
Only Orange Classic Stampin' Pad
Riding Hood Red Classic Stampin' Pad
Jet Black StazOn pad
VersaMark pad

Accessories
Dazzling Diamonds Stampin' Glitter
Riding Hood Red 3/8" taffeta ribbon
Silver brads
Stampin' Dimensionals
Blender pens

Instructions
Wheel Jolly image in VersaMark ink along bottom edge of Riding Hood Red card.
Adhere Bashful Blue Patterns Designer Series paper to card. Attach three Silver brads to card.
Tie Riding Hood Red taffeta ribbon around front of card.
Stamp "Let it snow" image in Jet Black StazOn ink on Whisper White card stock. Watercolor image with Bashful Blue, Basic Gray, Garden Green, Only Orange, and Riding Hood Red ink using blender pens.
Apply Dazzling Diamonds Stampin' Glitter to letters.
Adhere image to Bashful Blue card stock using Stampin' Dimensionals. Adhere Bashful Blue card stock to card using Stampin' Dimensionals.

As always, if you want to order any of these supplies to make these projects, please contact me or order directly through my website.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Retiring Stamp sets 10% off and FREE SHIPPING

Stampin' Up! has announced which stamp sets will be discontinued as of January 19th. And, in an unprecedented move, the retiring stamps are all 10% OFF through December 23rd. And, more good news...from now until Dec. 23rd, orders of $70+ get FREE SHIPPING. So, place your orders now by either emailing or calling me, or ordering directly from my website. http://www.stampinup.net/esuite/home/sharongraham/

If you want to see all the sets go to my website at http://www.stampinup.net/esuite/home/sharongraham/ Scroll down and where it says PROMOTIONS click on details. That will take you to all the current specials, you can download the retiring list by page numbers, and you can shop on-line.



Happy Shopping!
---Sharon

Monday, December 8, 2008

A Week of Gift Ideas -- Friday (kind of)

Ok, so it's not really Friday when I'm posting this. Between my workshop Friday night and various family commitments, it just didn't happen. So, for all of you who were going to order $1,000 worth of stamping supplies from me and then changed your mind, please forgive me :-)
Don't you love my fantasy world?

This last installment of gift ideas is a Photo Wallet. We made this at Crystal's workshop Friday night and it was a hit. It's the perfect gift for grandparents who want photos of their grandchildren. I got this idea from Splitcoaststampers.com which is an awesome website for ideas. You can find the instructions for it at http://www.splitcoaststampers.com/resources/tutorials/photo_wallet/
The photos below show the wallet closed and open. It's secured with a belly band that slides off.




The idea is that you could put journaling on the white areas and photos on the colored sections. I really like this color combination because you can change the blue to pink for a girl album. Or change one of the greens to pink if you have boys and girls.

Hope you've enjoyed this week of gift ideas. It's been fun sharing it with you. I plan on posting a few more ideas before Christmas, so please stop by again soon!

Cheers,
---Sharon

Thursday, December 4, 2008

A Week of Gift Ideas -- Thursday

Today's featured project is card sets. All of these sets of cards were made with 2 colored pieces of cardstock, one 4" x 12" piece of designer series paper, a little bit of neutral cardstock and embellishments. We've been making these at stamp club and the gals are loving them!

As you can see from the samples below, the components are the same and there's a bit of variation in the layouts. The first photo also shows the card holder that we made. That takes another piece of solid cardstock for the folder and more designer paper, contrasting cardstock and neutral cardstock for decorating it.






I have the instructions for cutting the cardstock and you can download them by clicking here. Enjoy!

Cheers,

---Sharon

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A Week of Gift Ideas -- Wednesday

Here are a few fun ideas to dress up a little gift for a host(ess). This first photo is bottle tags for wine, champagne or sparkling cider. You can dress up that bottle that you give to your host(ess) and maybe they won't notice that you brought 3 Buck Chuck (our favorite cheap wine).

You've probably seen these decorated Frappucino bottles before. Once you drink the yummy beverage, you can wash the bottle and the lid in the dishwasher, decorate it and fill it with goodies such as chocolate covered espresso beans, nuts, M&M's, or whatever your heart desires.




This final sample would be perfect for letters to Santa. Target has these mailboxes in the dollar spot occasionally. Just slap on a bit of designer paper, ribbon and glitter and you're good to go.


As you probably noticed in all of these samples, I used my beloved Ski Slope designer paper and my Big Shot for the snowflakes. If you want more instructions for any of these projects, please email me.

I'll be back soon with Thursday's projects

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A Week of Gift Ideas -- Tuesday

Remember the glass bowl that I stamped on a couple months ago? Well, here are some additional ideas for glass items you can stamp on and give as gifts. I used White Staz On for these containers also. As I mentioned before, if you mess up, you can just wipe off the ink with rubbing alcohol while it's still wet. Gotta love something that is so forgiving! In anticipation of your questions about how washable these are, yes, you can hand wash them.
Please ignore the double images. I stamped on all sides of the jars, so you can see the image on the other side too. Looks kind of weird in the picture, but is fine in real life.

The jar on the left could be used for olive oil, dish soap or fancy vinegar. The jar on the right at one time had fancy almonds in it. You could easily fill something like this with home made candy or nuts and give it as a gift.

The glass bowl/plate that I showed you earlier (click here to see it again), could be filled with delicious home made cookies. And, I just hit the jack pot for clear glass plates at Bed, Bath and Beyond. You can get a box of 6 for $9.99. We'll be using them at Crystal's party on Friday evening. If you'd like to schedule a hand-stamped gifts class before the end of the year, contact me right away. I only have room for one more in my schedule.

If you need a bazillion recipe ideas for holiday goodies, check out this site. http://www.northpole.com/Kitchen/Cookbook/


Thanks for stopping by. If you have decorated glass items to share, please comment and include a link to your projects.

Cheers,
Sharon

Monday, December 1, 2008

A Week of Gift Ideas -- Monday

Let's kick off our week of hand-stamped gift ideas with an easy idea that's sure to please lots of people on your gift list. I'm talking about home-made bath salts in an decorated container. It's easy to make, fun to decorate, and very affordable.

There are a lot of samples that use glass bottles, but frankly, I don't like the idea of combining wet hands, glass and bare feet in the bathroom. So, in the spirit of "reduce, reuse, recycle," I recycled a water bottle for my bath salts. The band around the bottle uses Ski Slope paper and Not Quite Navy cardstock. The adorable star dangling off the neck is from the Star Bright Designer Series Paper Ornaments Kit (say that three times fast) which makes more than 65 ornaments. Check it out on page 15 of the Mini Catalog.

My recipe was pretty simple: Epsom salts, a few drops of scented oil and soap coloring from the craft store. I ground it up in the blender because I find that the chunky Epsom salts don't dissolve all the way in my tub. For hundreds more bath time recipes, check out http://www.bathandbodyrecipes.com/ One recipe I saw on there was for Hair Glitter. Heck, just come hang out in my craft room for a few minutes and you'll get glitter on more than your hair!

And, what gift is complete without fantastic packaging? You can easily transform a plain gift bag into something that your recipient will love with a little designer paper and tag. The red tag on the left can be taken off and used as an ornament. I used my Big Shot and the large scallop die and cut out the white cardboard that comes with the designer paper as a base and then layered the cardstock on top of it. The snowflake is another of the BS dies that I blinged up with glitter and a red Rhinestone Brad.

If you have other home-made bath ideas that we can put in decorated containers, please tell me about it in the comments section. If you have samples on your website or blog, please let me know and I'll post the link in this post.

Thanks for stopping by. Please visit again tomorrow for Tuesday's gift idea.

---Sharon