Friday, December 30, 2011

Year in Review

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Hey y'all! I hope you're having a Great Friday and are getting ready for your New Year's weekend.

I know I normally have an End of the Week Technique post about this point in the week, but I decided to take a cue from most of my other blogging friends and do a little recap. I guess I should have put a survey up to ask for your favorites but the truth is I didn't think about it till just now so I did the next best thing and just looked at my stats. I know they only reflect the direct page hits and not the ones that were scrolled through but still....maybe next year I'll have a big enough following I can do a survey, at least that's the hope.

I decided I would do the Top 10 Readers Picks and then my Top 10 Picks so here they are-

Top 10 Readers Picks-

#10 - A Sneak Peak, an Oops and A Smile 

 #9 - I Love You Guys

#8 - Merry and Pink

#7 - A Ghostly Challenge

#6 - Pretty Pines & Poinsettias

#5 - Very Last Minute Gifts


#4 - Wine Bottle Gift Tag ( Good Grief it looks like there's a trend here!)

#3 - ATriple Challenge and A Little Holiday Cheer (This was my second challenge winner. I entered in 3 challenges and won at Stampin Queens an all SU challenge)

#2 - Just a Preview  which was actually a preview for this End of the Week Technique and My Christmas Card for this year.

#1 - Merry Christmas - Stampin 411 Challenge  This was second card I ever entered in a challenge and I won with it!

Now for my Top 10 Picks-

#10 - Merry Christmas - Stampin 411 Challenge

Yeah, Yeah, I know you just saw it. It made my list because I stuck my self out there and it worked. I really kinda had a Sally Fields kind of moment and felt like maybe my stuff wasn't so bad. In fact it still surprises me and makes me smile when I see on my ticker that someone new has stopped by and taken a look at this card. Not only that, but I really do like the card. I knew in my mind how I wanted it to come out and it did just like I saw it. For that reason it gets a spot on my Top 10.

#9 - End of the Week Technique #5 A G3 (Ghostly Trio) Halloween Purse

How could I not love these little guys? Seriously, I still wish I had a big girl purse featuring them! This was my first 3-D project and one of my first EWT's. I went back later and added a little glitter around the scalloped edge and loved it even more!

#8 - End of the Week #3 A Sparkly Spinner for a Friend in Need

Spinners are one of my favorite types of cards. They just make me smile. This one was made especially for a little girl who loved frogs and who really needed to be able to smile. Unfortunately the color didn't photograph well, but it was absolutely beautiful in person and when it spun it sparkled like crazy. It made me smile to watch it and I really hope it made her smile too!

#7 - Serendipity

I love this card because it's soft and simple and just is.... something that is not usually associated with my cards. It also reminds me that I need to learn to relax and not stress so much and that things don't always have to be perfect or have to end up just like I planned. They can start out in one direction and end up somewhere else and be absolutely "Amazing!"

#6 - Purple Passion- Hope in the Fight Against Domestic Violence

This is one of my favorite cards/posts for two reasons- 1- It's about a subject that's near and dear to my heart- Domestic Violence. 2- I think it's just a beautiful card and yet it always surprises me that it's one of the least looked at posts out of all of my posts. Even after I re-posted the card in another post with a similar title. Shocking, huh? It saddens my heart greatly. Hopefully though, people will at least see it through this post and some might even read the actual post that goes along with it. Love Does Not Hurt!

#5 - Snow Swirled Christmas

I picked this card because I think it's so pretty and because it's the first card of mine anyone ever saw and told me they wanted. My girlfriend Stephanie, who I love dearly and miss bunches (Luv you Nannie!) told me "I want that for my Christmas Card this year!" and I gladly obliged her and even made it a little more sparklier (just cuz I luv her sooo much!!!!)

#4 - You Know Why They Call it Distressing, Right?

 For any of you that have followed me for any length of time you know about my little (HAHAHAHAHA) OCD issue. I love the fact that 1- This card turned out, I think beautifully, and 2- I was able to crumple up paper. Now I know that may not seem like a big deal to you, but oh my goodness! You have no idea how long I held that piece of River Rock c/s in my hand before I was able to make my self crumple it up and then when I unfolded it and found out it wasn't crumpled enough, well I just about put myself into palpitations! Thank the Good Lord above I didn't have the inclination to tear it as well as crumple it or this card may never have been made. Read the full post for more on the story.

#3 - A Very Special Birthday

This was a card I designed for a very special friend. I design all my cards with the hope that they are going to be loved and appreciated, but this one was extra special. It was for my best friend Jason and it had a symbol on it that was significant for the both of us, kind of hidden in the design, that I was certain he would see right away and he did. Of course when you do something extra special for someone specific, you're really hoping even more than usual that it's well received and this one got me a "You're wicked good at making those (cards)." I loved the card to start with but knowing how much he loved it and that he's going to put it on his desk where not only he gets to see it everyday but everyone else gets to see it everyday, well that's pretty special.

#2- 911 Remembrance and A Thanks

Although I posted this card for 911, I actually made it prior to that. This is actually the first card I made specifically for someone, since becoming a demonstrator. I made it for my friend James' son Jonathan for his graduation from Army Bootcamp. Not only did James like what I had made for his son, but more importantly his son liked it too. I recently met his son, who just graduated from AIT and is about to start his first duty assignment as an Army Combat Medic. He told me "I Love My Job!" How amazing is that? In a day when so many of our young and even older adults have no jobs or are under employed or complaining about their jobs this young man is not only willing to go out and put his life on the line for you and me but he's excited about the opportunity to do it! God Bless Him! I was so stressed out hoping to make a card he liked and I am glad to know I put that much effort into a card for someone that was so worthy of it!

#1- A Scaredy Cat Beginning

No card here just pictures of my two studio assistants-

 This was where it all started. Absolutely no-one has gone to this page alone except probably me. Not a single page visit. :-) But that's okay. It's still my favorite because it's where this Scaredy Cat took the first step in this crazy world of blogging and designing and decided to become just a little bit better. And you know what? I do believe it's working. I have MDS Monday's and End of the Week Techniques. I'm entering challenges and I've won two of them. Most importantly though, I'm stepping outside of my self-imposed restrictions and learning to stretch my creative boundaries.

I've only been doing this for a few months but I'm so excited at how far I've come and can hardly wait to see what the next year brings. I hope you will come along on that adventure with me!

If you liked any of today's cards, I would love it if you left me a comment. It's great when I get to hear from you! Also, if you liked today's card, please feel free to +1 or Pin it. I've added the buttons to my side-bar for your convenience. Friends and Followers are also welcome. :)

I hope you have a Safe and Happy New Year's Weekend and I hope to see you next year.

Till next time-

Be Safe,

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Dual Sneak Peak - Framelets & Every Day Elegance

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Hey y'all. Hard to believe Wednesday's here already. Before you know it the week will be done and so will the year. Am I the only one that finds this hard to believe?

Well, with a new year comes a new Mini catalog and today's card showcases items from that as well as from our exciting Sale-A-Bration that starts January 24th. Normally I'm not a "Vintagey" person but I'm really loving the new Everyday Elegance DSP from SAB. Such a beautiful collection. Can't wait for you to see it and to get it for FREE! Yep, I said for FREE! For today's card though I went went with the "vintagey" feel for the whole card and kind of surprised myself. Here it is-

I started with a base of Peach Parfait. I like this color but often have trouble finding color combinations to use it with and luckily the Everyday Elegance DSP works beautifully with it! I also stood my card up tent style (not sure if that's what it's really called) and I almost never do that. In fact I don't think I have any cards here shown in that style. I ran the card front through the Big Shot with the Vintage Wallpaper Embossing Folder. I thought it kind of picked up on the design in the DSP. I sponged over it lightly with CrumbCake Classic Ink to make the images stand out a little more. The DSP is already antiqued around the edges so I had to sponge the other 2 edges (the cut edges) to make them appear equal and I used more CrumbCake for this.  I decided to use some  lace to cover the edge between the DSP and card base and actually antiqued it a little as well. Boy was my CrumbCake getting a workout on this card! I used SNAIL to adhere the lace to my DSP and then Tombow to adhere that to my card base. I also used my Corner Rounder Punch to round the bottom corners also something I don't normally do.

For the focal point I used the Fresh Vintage (an OxyMoron I think) stamp set from our upcoming Sale-A-Bration. I used my Blender Pens and In Color Ink Pads to color right on the the stamp in Peach Parfait and Pool Party and used my Old Olive Stampin Write Marker and then stamped on Very Vanilla c/s. I then used my new Heart Framelet to center and frame the image and cut it out and then while the frame was still in place I sponged with, what else, CrumbCake and then removed the framelet. If you look closely you can see a faint cream edge. I then took the next size up and used it to cut out another heart and then embossed that one with the same Vintage Wallpaper Embossing Folder I used earlier on the cardbase. This time however I flipped it over and showed the debossed side. I sponged it as well to enhance the embossing. I adhered the two together with Tombow and then used dimensionals to pop them up off the DSP layer.

WOW! A lot of antiquing for me! Can you believe it? LOL...

Here's a look at the inside-

The sentiment is from Sprinkled Expressions and it's stamped in Peach Parfait. The design in the bottom is once again colored in with my Blender pens and Classic ink pads. I stamped off once to decrease the intensity of the color and then sponged around the edge of the Very Vanilla c/s. A quick rounding of the edges before adhering it to the card base and all done. I kept the inside simple since the outside had so much going on, but I think it still keeps with my theory that the inside should still be pretty. What do you think?

Well, that's all I have for you today. I hope you like it and I hope you're getting excited about the new products that are coming next month! I know I am. If you liked it, I would love it if you left me a comment. It's great when I get to hear from you! Also, if you liked today's card, please feel free to +1 or Pin it. I've added the buttons to my side-bar for your convenience. Friends and Followers are also welcome. :)

I hope you have an Amazing day and you come back soon!

Till next time-

Be Safe,
Shan Pin It

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

MDS Monday- Remembering the Year

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Hey y'all. I hope everyone was lucky enough to enjoy yesterday off from work before returning today and I hope your Monday-Tuesday (what I call the Tuesday at work after a Monday off, because then Tuesday is just like a Monday...but you figured that out without me, I bet) is Amazing and more like a Tuesday than a Monday. :-)

Sorry for the late post. I meat to post yesterday, but the day got away from me. By the time I got to a point where I could post it was getting late, so I figured I would use that time to stamp instead, for a card I'll show later this week, and watch me some Monday Night Football.

Did you see last night's game?!? Sadly, it was the last MNF of the season. *tear* I just don't know where the season went! But what a game...Holy Cow! How bout Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints? He broke Dan  Marino's single season passing record on a touchdown pass and they still have another game to add to those passing numbers. What a phenomenal QB! In other news, Dallas narrowly avoided a shutout by getting on the board at the last minute, actually it was in the last few seconds. The good news is Romo will be back this week. Sadly Denver also lost in Tebow's 2nd worse showing of his NFL career. :-( Miami and N.E. played a game of halves where Miami ruled the first half and N.E. ruled the second half pulling out a last minute victory. And I was last minute shopping and didn't get to watch any of the second half. Thank Goodness for ESPNMobile! And, the second best news of the weekend, behind N.O.'s win and Drew's amazing feat was of course the Redskins' loss to the Vikings. (so sweet!)

So, now that I've gotten the football out of my system for a few days at least, how about a peek at today's (or yesterday's) card? I wanted a little card to celebrate the upcoming New Year. At first I thought about a "Celebration" theme, but then I decided to go with "Remembering" the past year. I always think of New Year's as a time to reflect back on the year, the good and the bad, and to plan a direction for the upcoming year. Here's what I came up with-

I found this DSP in one of the designer collections and it reminded me of fireworks lighting up the sky. I kept trying to place it on the top portion of the card to reflect that idea, but couldn't really make it work. :-(   It's hard though to not always have something turn out the way you envisioned it. I think it still works with the card though. I chose a base of Melon Mambo to coordinate with the color in the DSP layer. I used the stamp set Define Your Life for the sentiment. I decided to add a bow as a little symbol of remembering. You know when you "tie a bow around your finger to remember something"? Of course I would most likely forget why I had tied a ribbon around my finger, but it was one of the inspirations for this layout. Plus, I think it looks cute there. A few colored brads to finish it off and the front was done.

I tried to come up with an inside, but wasn't having much luck with my borders and punches. I'm sure that will become a little easier with some practice on MDS and a few more punches and stamps. I have to say though that I am really enjoying playing around with my MDS. I hope you have yours and are playing along and challenging yourself to create with it. I know one of things I thought would be neat about MDS was the chance to preview a layout before cutting precious cardstock. I really like this layout and and can see myself using it with c/s in the future.

That's all for today. I hope you liked today's offering and would love to see what you are doing with your MDS and/or paper. If you liked it, I would love it if you left me a comment. It's great when I get to hear from you! Also, if you liked today's card, please feel free to +1 or Pin it. I've added the buttons to my side-bar for your convenience. Friends and Followers are also welcome. :)

I hope you'll check back in soon. I've been playing with my SAB and new Occasions Mini items and can hardly wait till you get to see all the new items starting January 4th.

Till next time-

Be Safe,

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Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas - The True Meaning of Christmas

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Merry Christmas once again y'all!
I had really hoped to have another post for you today, but I got a little busy spending time with family. I'm sure you will all forgive me. (At least I hope you will.)

In our busy lives we often forget the importance of spending not just time, but Quality Time with our families and those we love and hold dear. I wish I could have spent time with all of my family and friends, but that just wasn't possible. Instead I made the most of the time I could with those I could, and let the others know how much I love them and miss them.

I hope you got to spend some quality time with those that are precious in your lives as well. Even though I don't have something to post from the design studio, I wanted to give you a little something. It's a clip that I love and it never fails to make me stop and just reflect for a moment about the True Reason for the Season.

Enjoy and I'll be back tomorrow with something for you all.

I hope you all have a safe, happy and very Merry Christmas and get to enjoy it with family and friends.

Till next time-

Be Safe,

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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Very Last Minute Gifts - Wine Tags

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Merry Christmas Y'all!

I had intended to do this post on Monday but when I went down to the storage room to get the plastic ornaments for the Dasher Ornament I was going to show you, guess what I found? That's right no ornaments. Now I'm sure they are down there somewhere but definitely not where I expected them to be. :-( As I am however already about 12 hours later than I had planned on posting I decided to just go ahead and post this instead. So I sit here writing this blog as I watch A Christmas Story. It just never gets old!

I did a wine tag and post for Thanksgiving and it was so well received and so easy to do that I decided I would make extras and keep them on hand. They dress up even a bottle of Sparkling Grape Juice and are so much nicer than a bag. I have 3 to show you today. These will make great last minute gifts that you can whip up in no time as you are getting ready to head out today or for any of your other special occasions.

Here's a picture of them grouped together-

The possibilities are really just endless with this design. Just take a 7 x 3 piece of c/s, score it at 2 punch out the opening for your bottle neck with a 1 1/4" circle punch and then decorate to your hearts content. The backer piece starts at 3 1/8 x 5 1/8 and then you adjust the length, adding to it depending on how much border you want to show at the bottom. See, I told you, Super Duper Easy!

Here's the one I'm taking to my sister's house for Dinner tomorrow-

I used the Petals-A-Plenty Embossing Folder, the Scalloped Ribbon Border Punch and added a few of our large rhinestones for a little extra shine.
Here's one for any winter occasion-

I did an extra layer on this one with Whisper White c/s that I spritzed with Frost White paint and alcohol to make it Shimmer after I ran it through the Big Shot in my Northern Flurries Embossing Folder. I used some Silver Glimmer Paper on this one. Want to know a secret? I punched multiple different punches from the center of the glimmer paper (it's so pretty I didn't want to waste any!) and then simply put another piece of Old Navy c/s behind it to cover up the holes.  Bonus, no waste! I used a whole string of rhinestones at the top and it's so nice because they were already attached to each other. All I had to do was lay them down in place. I just had to add two extras to finish off the line. How easy is that?

With New Year's coming up I thought about all the Celebrations that would be happening and decided to use one of my new SAB stamp sets. Here's a little Sneak Peek for you.

I started with a base of Pool Party and then got to play with some of my SAB goodies. I used a backer piece of Everyday Elegance DSP, which you can see peeking out at the bottom. I then got out my Outlined Occasions stamp set, also a SAB exclusive and stamped it 3 times on Very Vanilla c/s. I used my Blender Pens and Classic ink pads to color in the images. Because the Everyday Elegance paper is antiqued around the edges I got out my Crumb Cake ink pad and lightly sponged over the whole  piece of c/s, making it a little more concentrated around the edges.

If you liked today's project, I would love it if you left me a comment. It's great when I get to hear from you! Also, if you liked today's card, please feel free to +1 or Pin it. I've added the buttons to my side-bar for your convenience. Friends and Followers are also welcome. :)

That's all I have for you, well almost all.

Here's a video of one of my All-Time Favorite Christmas Songs. I couldn't find a video from the artists but I did find this one with Harry and Hermione. Yeah, I'm a Harry Potter fan. This is a funny song, and it always makes me smile, but I think it also gets the message out about how we often forget the true meaning of Christmas in our desire to get just the right gift.
If you don't like Harry and Hermione I hope you at least enjoy the song. It's the Twist of the Magi by She Daisy and Rascal Flatts.

I hope you have a safe, happy and Very Merry Christmas spent with family and loved ones.

I hope to see you back here soon.
As always, if today's project inspired you to make some of your own, I would love to see what you come up with.

Till next time-

Be Safe,
Shan Pin It

Friday, December 23, 2011

Last Minute Cuteness & Chocolate- Is There A Better Combination?

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Hey y'all. TGIF!!!! Are you all ready for Sunday? I've still got a few last minute gifts to get/ make, a Pumpkin Cheesecake to bake and then I'll be ready. Now, if I just didn't have to work tonight and tomorrow night I'd be set. :-) Do you have all your little gifts and crafty holiday touches ready? If not, today's post is for you.

First though- If you follow me or saw yesterday's post  , you know my best friend (guy) Jason had a birthday yesterday and due to a little mail-mix-up he had to view his Birthday card here on line with the rest of you. Now, like I said he is very supportive of me and he tells me how nice my cards are (What a guy, right?), but he gave me the Nicest compliment yesterday about his card, which by the way he totally saw the hidden surprise. (That's my man!) He told me I was "Wicked good at making those (cards)." How nice is that?!? Totally made my day. Then he told me, it would be sitting on his desk when he went back to work. He is sooo fab and it's so funny how in sync we are and will say or text the same thing to each other at the same time. How scary for him. He just tells me to get out of his brain and laughs. In fact we did it last night when we were texting about the cards. Soooo Funny. I ask him often why we aren't married and then I remember I'm opposed to marriage (for me) and why would I want to ruin such an Amazing Friendship. Silly Shan! Any-hoo, just wanted to let you know he liked his card and I hope you did too.

For today's project I created little holiday baskets filled with chocolate yumminess for my co-workers. They come together so quick and are so easy, you can make all you need before the big day with plenty of time left over. In fact making them will take you less time than it takes me to write this post and not much more than it takes you to read it. The original idea came from Angie Judah's post HERE. I changed mine up just a little from her original to work with what I had on hand and I have to say I really liked how they turned out.

Here they are-

Aren't they cute? and they only use a 6 x 6 piece of  DSP. You could crank out 4 from one sheet of DSP in no time at all. I used some Holly Beary Boquet and Letters to Santa DSP for these little Nom holders. If you like the Holly Beary Boquest DSP fon't forget it is only here for a limited time and will be gone Jan. 3rd. It has some really pretty glimmer designs in it and most of it can be used year long, so don't wait too long and then wish you had some.

Here's another pic that shows a little more of them filled-

Each one has 4 little sections plus the center section. I put two Hershey's miniatures in each section plus some White Chocolate Peppermint Kisses and then more Kisses in the center. They hold a deceptively large amount of nommy goodness.

In the original design there was a metal "O" ring holding the sides together. Instead of this ring I used coordinating bakers twine which I strung through the holes and knotted. I then tied a bow with my ribbon, looping it through the twine to secure it and then as you can see in the pictures I looped the twine around the center of each bow and then secured the gift-tag with the twine. You can also run your ribbon through the holes instead of twine if you use the bigger punch on your Crop-A-Dile or a nice sized hole punch. I made coordinating tags from the Tags Till Christmas set, punched it out with my Scalloped Square Punch, and attached it to a coordinating piece of c/s for a little added stiffness. I also shredded some coordinating c/s, to add as decorative filler, to the sections, but I have to admit it was late and I was a little tired and probably should have made more for a little nicer effect, but you still get the picture. Also, in the original video some of the scoring is done with a ruler. I did all of my scoring on my Simply Scored Tool. I just rotated the paper so the top & bottom points were in a channel and a side point was against the side.

*Tip*- If you trace down the channel with your stylus you can lay a place holder at the lower end of the channel so you know where your bottom point should go. Now you know where to place the bottom point after every turn. This is especially helpful if you are making multiples of this design.

Here's a close-up. I love how our DSP has coordinating paper on the inside so it's pretty too. Are you inspired to finish up your holiday to-do-list now? I hope so. Grab a bag of chocolates, put a few to the side for yourself (you do have to keep up your strength after all) some DSP, and some beautiful binding and get ready for the smiles your gift is sure to bring to both you and your gift's recipient. Don't forget these would be great for anytime of the year. Once you make these I know it will be something that you come back to time and time again.

If you liked today's project, I would love it if you left me a comment. It's great when I get to hear from you! Also, if you liked today's card, please feel free to +1 or Pin it. I've added the buttons to my side-bar for your convenience. Friends and Followers are also welcome. :)

That's all I have for today. I hope your day is Amazing and you get everything crossed off your to-do-list and then get plenty of time for Family, Friends and of course Designing.

If you need supplies to recreate this project you can SHOP HERE-

Project Recipe-
Cardstock- Holly Beary Boquet  and Letters to Santa DSP, For the tags- Very Vanilla, Real Red, Garden Green, and Pacific Point.
Ink- All Satmpin Write Markers- Real red, Garden Green and Pacific Point
Stamps- Tags Till Christmas
Punch- Scalloped Square
Accesories- Simpy Scored Tool, Cherry Cobler and Island Indigo Bakers Twine, Crop-A-Dile, Red Riding Hood Taffeta Ribbon and Simply Celery Grosgrain, SNAIL

I'll be back this weekend with a few posts. I hope you'll find your way back here soon.

Till next time-

Be Safe,

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Very Special Birthday / End of the Week Technique #13 Gate-Fold Cards

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Hey y'all! I hope you're having a great day! Thursday's here and you know what that means, right? Yep, one more day till the weekend. It also means it's time for my weekly feature, End of the Week Technique.

But today is a Very Special Thursday. It's my best friend (guy) Jason's birthday!
Now due to a little mix up with our mail carriers at work (AUGH!!!!!) and the fact that my bestie's going home for the holiday's he's not going to get his birthday card (or his Christmas card for that matter) (Again, I say AUGH!!!!!) in his hands today. So, he's going to get to preview it here along with you guys. Now, being the great and supportive friend he is, he sees my cards online and has even commented on them. What A Great Guy! I just never thought he'd have to preview his card here with you guys.

When I decided to make Jason's card I knew I wanted to do something a little different than just a regular card,  (Not that he wouldn't have appreciated that too) so I channeled my inner Pooh-Bear. You know how that goes....Think, Think, Think, Think...Oh Bother...Think, Think, Think, Think. (You know you're saying it with me in your best Pooh-Bear voice) What to do? Masculine cards are a little harder to do to start with. Just not a lot of practice with them and let's face it, my guy's a gun-toting-kind-of-guy so I couldn't very well send him something covered in glitter. (Sorry, Tink you had to sit this one out)  You know my OCD was kicking in on this card, the need to be perfect was definitely there, but for Jas I just went with it. I'm so excited about how this card turned out! It's actually one of my All-Time Favorites (even without glitz and glimmer!) and I really hope Jas likes it too!

Here's the first look-

Hey Jas, can you see the surprise yet?

I started with Well Worn DSP because it's one of our more masculine papers and drew my color palate from there. The card base is Night of Navy and I decided to go with a Gatefold Design (which is our EWT) for a little something special. As I was trying to decide which section of the pretty Very Masculine, Blue and Gold DSP to cut for the front of my card, I noticed a faint design hidden in the Gold Marbling (wow, that word just doesn't look right does it?) I started to get excited, because I wanted this to work for this card so bad, I would have changed the design of the card if I had to. You know what though, I didn't have to. It fit perfect. This was meant to be Jas' card. I was def doing a little happy dance. Here's what I mean-

Bet you see it now, don'tcha?

It's a Fluer-de-Lis! And it fit perfectly right there on the front of my card. Now Jas and I both love New Orleans, in fact he's from just outside of there, and the Fleur-de-Lis is a symbol that is widely associated with Nola. See, I told you, it was meant to be his card! (More in a minute)

Now for our EWT #13 I chose Gate Fold Cards. When you want to switch up your cards a little this is a great way to do it. I Googled Gate-Fold Cards and came up with this site  that shows all sorts of Gate-Fold Designs. (Make sure you go there and look at all the beautiful designs. What a lot of inspiration!) For this card I used an 8 x 5 1/2 piece of cardstock scored at 2 and 6. This made it easiest for calculations. You can make yours whatever size you choose, that's what's so neat about this design. This gave me a 4" center panel and 2- 2" panels on the front. You can decorate the panels any way you choose. I chose to just go very simple and let the design element stand on it's own, so there is no additional matting on the front. I used Tombow adhesive because I wanted to make sure everything was secure.

Here's a picture of the inside-

I used more Well Worn for the side panels and to mat the center panel of Very Vanilla which I lightly edged in Night of Navy. Isn't this paper just gorgeous? I used our stamp set Engraved Greetings for the sentiment. I'm so sad they retired this set! It was perfect for masculine cards. I inked it in Night of Navy and then stamped off before stamping on my Very Vanilla piece. Would you believe I actually stamped off 4 times? Yep! I won't tell you how many pieces of Very Vanilla I went through to get that just right! Let's just say I  have some scraps to use now. :-)

I decided the card needed just a little something extra, so I decided on a belly band. This was actually the first time I had made one believe it or not. Not all Gate-Fold's require belly bands or ribbons it's really more of a personal preference and a design element.

*Tip #1* When you score your belly band don't score on the same lines as your card or it won't fit around. I know it sounds basic, but you know it's the simple things that trip us up. Ask me how I know. I ended up scoring so that I had a middle section that was 1/8" bigger than my card. Our Simply Scored Tool made it so easy since it's the only one on the market with 1/8" score marks.

*Tip #2* If you're not goig to be there when your card recipient opens the envelope, tell them about the belly band and to slide it off so they don't just rip it or mess up the card trying to get it off. I'm telling you...the simple things!

Now, you know I couldn't just leave the belly band plain - just because I wasn't letting Tink loose on Jas' card didn't mean it couldn't have a little glitz, I mean it is one of  my cards after all! So, I inked up my stamp again, but this time I used my Stampin Write Marker and just colored in the letters. I then used my Versa-Mark Marker to color in the scroll design. I thought it might be nice embossed in Gold to accent the Gold in the DSP. Have you purchased  a Versa-Marker yet? They are AMAZING!!!! Really, one of the best purchases I've made. So I inked everything up, Huffed and Puffed and Stamped my image, (Ok, so that made me giggle and smile. How about you? So, I'm silly! This is nothing new to anyone here right?) walked over to my embossing area, added my powder which stuck to my Versa-Marked areas so nicely and then heated it up. It always makes me smile when I heat emboss. I love watching the magic as my image changes before my eyes, don't you? This time though I got an unexpected surprise, a little Happy Accident, a little added Serendipity for my special birthday card. Some of the powder had hidden in the Night of Navy ink on my letters and this is what I saw-

I couldn't have planned this if I had tried. In fact, I went back and tried to replicate it and couldn't get the same look. In person you can see the Blue through the Gold even on the "B". It's just a sheer marbling effect. So Pretty and so perfect for this card! This effect will come out different every time based on your ink pad and the length of time you wait. If you don't want this effect I would suggest using your Stamp-A-Ma-Jig and stamping the letters first, letting them dry and then going back over the scroll area with your Versa-Marker. I then punched this out using my Decorative Label Punch and sponged the edges lightly with Night of Navy. I adhered this with dimensionals for a little pop, used Tombow to secure the edges of the band in the back and I was done.

Then I did another Happy Dance! The perfect card, for not just an Amazing Friend but a just Downright Good Guy!

Jas, I'm sorry you're having to see it first on here, but I hope you love it as much as I love you! You're the Best and I really wish I was down in Nola with you tonight celebrating! I wish you the Best Birthday ever and a year that's as Amazing as you are! Have a safe flight home and hope to see you soon! MWAH!

Well, that's all for this week's EWT. I hope if you haven't tried this style of card you give it a try or pull it out of your toolbox and give it some use if it's been a while. I know you'll be glad you did.

If you liked today's card, I would love it if you left me a comment. It's great when I get to hear from you! Also, if you liked today's card, please feel free to +1 or Pin it. I've added the buttons to my side-bar for your convenience. Friends and Followers are also welcome. :)

Thanks for sharing today's post with me and my bestie. I hope you'll come back tomorrow for a little last minute Christmas/Secret Santa gift. If you need supplies to make a card for your best fella or even just someone else who deserves a handmade card, and let's be honest doesn't just about everyone deserve at least one, you can SHOP HERE.

Today's Card Recipe-
Cardstock-Night of Navy, Very Vanilla, Well Worn DSP
Ink- Night of Navy Classic Ink Pad & Stampin Write Marker, Versa-Mark Marker
Punch- Decorative Label
Accessories- Gold Embossing Powder, Heat Tool, Powder Trays, Simply Scored Scoring Tool, Tombow Adhesive

Thanks again for stopping by,
Till next time-

Be Safe,
Shan Pin It

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Sneak Peak an Ooops and A Smile

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Hey y'all! I hope you're having a good day wherever you are and that you are warm and dry and as stress-free as can be at this time of the year. It's a dreary morning here in the DMV but at least it's relatively warm. :-) We're expecting rain off and on today, but at least it's not the white stuff right?

Well I have a bright, cheery card to show you today. It makes me smile when I look at it, and hey, isn't that the point? I have to say this card didn't make me smile to start with though! Have you ever had one of those cards where you know what you want it and it just won't work? Never happens to me! HA!!!!!! Yeah, well you know I'm still pretty new here, so I thought I would step out of my comfort zone and try something new...What an OOOPS! (and not in the the good way) Ok, if I'm honest it was a fail Big Fail! I wish I had more stuff on my MDS and could have tried out there what I wanted to do. Oh well, you live and you learn, and then you save up to buy more MDS downloads and more SAB paper. SMH! The only things that stayed the same were the color palate and the stamp set. However, on the positive side, if that hadn't been such a fail, I might not have made this card which I really like. What do you think?

It's a little Sneak Peek from our upcoming Sale-A-Bration that starts Jan. 24th. I started with a base of Poppy Parade, which is one of my absolute favorite colors. It's so pretty! I layered it with a pretty floral patterned paper from the SAB DSP called Everyday Elegance. They are all slightly "Vintagey looking" around the edges so when I cut my DSP I heavily sponged the edges all around to kind of even them up. Of course this meant my Very Vanilla layer needed the same treatment so I sponged it by rubbing Crumb Cake ink in a circular pattern all over the  edges starting off the paper. I think it gives it a well-loved feeling. I adhered these top two layers together with Tombow.

My flowers are from our new Sale-A-Bration set Sprinkled Expressions. I colored the stamp in with my Pretty in Pink Stampin Write Marker and then using the Rock and Roll technique colored the edges with Poppy Parade and then stamped onto Very Vanilla cardstock. I love how just like real flowers this technique makes each one come out unique. A little love from Tink on the outer edges and the inner white flowers and they were ready to be placed on the card. A few dimensionals for each flower gives them just an added little punch.

Isn't that ribbon pretty? I don't use ribbon often. Not because I don't like it. I do! I just don't have much. I got this for free. Free is good right?!? It's so shimmery and delicate... just like me. O. M. Gheeeeeee! I'm almost on the floor laughing right now! I'm so not shimmery or delicate! If you knew me you would be so surprised that there is so much glitter on my cards. (That explains why I let Tink live with me rent free!)

Where was I? I laughed so hard I lost my train of thought! Oh yeah,  pretty, free, ribbon. This ribbon is Lucky Limeaide and it comes in a pack with some shimmery, sheer Calypso Coral and the cutest little brad pack. You can't buy it, but SU will give it to you for free starting in Jan. How sweet is that? Anyways, I just wrapped the ends around the back of my top two layers and stuck it down with SNAIL and then stuck my sweet little bow on with a Mini- Glue Dot. Then I adhered this whole layer with Tombow and my card-front was done.

Here's a look at the inside-

The sentiment is from The Sprinkled Expressions set and I just love it! I stamped it in Poppy Parade on Very Vanilla that I antiqued like I did on the front of the card. For the flower at the bottom, I just inked the stamp up in Poppy Parade and stamped off once before stamping  on my cardstock. Tink finished it off for me and my card that started off in a totally different direction ended up at the same desired endpoint, making me smile. I hope it makes you smile too. (Sorry about the lines in the picture. For some reason I sometimes get those when I take pictures with my BB and use my Ott light. I get truer color but that sometimes happens. If anyone has any ideas how to avoid that I would welcome the tips.)

Card Recipe-
Cardstock- Poppy Parade, Very vanilla, SAB Everyday Elegance
Stamp- Sprinkled Expressions
Ink- Poppy Parade, Crumb Cake Classic Ink Pads- Pretty in Pink Stampin Write Marker
Accessories- SAB Lucky Limeaide Ribbon, Dazzling Diamonds, Tombow, Two- Way Glue Pen, Mini- Glue Dots, Stampin Dimensionals

If you need supplies to make your Ooops cards with, or even just Fabulous first attempts, you can shop HERE 24/7.

That's all I have for today. I hope you're inspired to try something new and to remember- If at first you don't succeed (you can either flip to the other side of the paper, use it for another project later, or at the very least scraps) don't give up. You might just come up with something you like even better than your original idea.

If you liked today's card, I would love it if you left me a comment. It's great when I get to hear from you! Also, if you liked today's card, please feel free to +1 or Pin it. I've added the buttons to my side-bar for your convenience. Friends and Followers are also welcome. :)

I hope you'll come back tomorrow. I have a very special card for this week's End of the Week Technique.
Till next time-

Be Safe,
Shan Pin It

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tying Up Christmas

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Hey y'all. I hope your day's going good and you're not pulling your hair out thinking about all the things still left to do before this weekend. I'm gonna help you out with that. Not the hair pulling out silly, the getting everything ready! Just a quick post today because I know how busy you are right now.

Just a few more days left to get everything wrapped up all pretty and placed under the tree, but never fear you still have time. Even the plainest wrapped gift, a simple gift card, heck even just plain old cash will look Amazing when it has a Unique, One-of-a-Kind, Handstamped tag attached to it. And if you don't have this stamp set yet you still have time to order it and get it in time to make said tags. See what a great friend I am? Just saying.... :-)

We did these recently in one of my stamp camps and my good friend and stampin' buddy April helped me come up with the designs.  I used the Tags Till Christmas set and you get 9 stamps and endless possibilities. Love it! There are so many different ways you could use these these stamps to make tags. Holy Cow, it just boggles the mind! I've also seen plenty of cards that have incorporated these stamps as design elements and not just the ornament stamp either.

Here's my jumping off point-

Aren't they just too cute?!? You can just barely see the edge but the snowman tag has Island Indigo Bakers Twine from the new Mini. (Love it!)

So, what are you waiting for, save yourself some stress fighting the crowds... give something from the heart and tie it up with something spectacular that you made with love. After all, wouldn't you love a gift all tied up with love?

Well, like I said real quick today. I hope this gave you a few ideas.

If you liked today's project, I would love it if you left me a comment. It's great when I get to hear from you! Also, if you liked today's card, please feel free to +1 or Pin it. I've added the buttons to my side-bar for your convenience. Friends and Followers are also welcome. :)

Project recipe-
Stamp set- Tags Till Christmas
Ink- Stampin Write Markers- Real Red, Basic Black, Pacific Point, Pumpkin Pie, Always Artichoke, Early Espresso, Garden Green, Cherry Cobbler, Poppy Parade Classic Ink Pad, Crumb Cake Classic Ink Pad for distressing,
Cardstock, Silver Glimmer paper, Whisper White, Basic Black, Cherry Cobbler, Always Artichoke, Real Red, pacific Point, Very Vanilla
Punches- Ornament, 1 3/4" Circle, Decorative Label, Large Tag, Scallop Square, 1 1/4" Square
Accesories- 1/16 hole punch, Bakers Twine, Cherry Cobbler, Early Espresso, Island Indigo, Dazzling Details

If you need to do some last minute ordering you can hurry on over to my ONLINE STORE and get any thing you need. If you order before 11 MST for express delivery they will ship it out the same day. That means you can get it in time to tie everything up for Christmas, and you don't have to fight crowds or look for parking! ;-)

I hope you have an Amazing day and I hope you 'll come back again this week I've got more things to show you including a sneak peak at some of our New Sale-A-Bration items.

Till next time-

Be Safe,
Shan Pin It

Monday, December 19, 2011

MDS Monday - A Holiday Card

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Hey y'all! Christmas week is finally here! I can hardly believe it! It just doesn't seem like it should be here already and the end of the year just a week away too. Where has this year gone?!?

I hope you had a good weekend and got plenty of rest and play and shopping and stamping and football in. Wait, if you did all that you're probably tired.... maybe that's why I'm tired! *Smacks myself on the forehead* LOL! Oh well, hope you had a good one at least.

Speaking of football, it is Monday so it's time for a quick run down. Not too much longer for this and then some of you will get a break. Dallas won big over Tampa Bay in a rare Saturday Night game. Can I just say I thought I was going a little crazy when I saw this on the screens at work on a Saturday night? It was however a nice addition. Yesterday brought happiness as Miami beat Buffalo and the Saints beat the Vikings. The lowpoint in the day came when the Redskins beat the Giants for the second time this year. SMH! Now for the game of the day, the Pats vs the Broncos, Tom vs Timmy. WOW! What a game! You just can not count Timmy T out. I don't think anyone would have anticipated he and the Broncos would have done as well as they did against Tom and the Pats. Great game with the Pats coming out on top but Broncos still having a respectable showing. So impressed.

Ok, So if anyone knows anyone over at Utah Divas I'm trying to play along with them and their MDS Mondays. They say to upload your cards to theirs but there's no link and I tried e-mailing and commenting but got no response, so if anyone knows them and can get me in touch with them I would love to get in touch so I can really play along with them for real. Until then I'll just do what I can.

This weeks challenge was to create a project for the Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays etc. Here's what I came up with for my second ever MDS project-

And for the inside-

I was very happy with how it turned out, especially the distressing around the edges (go figure!) I was trying for a sponged look and think I came pretty close by taking the "distressed page" and applying it a couple of times at different angles and different opacities.

I don't remember the name of this set but it's in the basic MDS set as I haven't purchased any additional downloads. It came together really quick too. I have to say I'm really enjoying using MDS and learning how to use it. I hope you have it and are enjoying it too. If not, I hope you have it on your Holiday wish list, it's pretty Amazing! I really do wish I could just figure out how to make it shine on here then it would be Perfect!

That's all I have for today. I hope you liked it and I hope you'll come back tomorrow to see what I have for you. If you liked it, I would love it if you left me a comment. It's great when I get to hear from you! Also, if you liked today's card, please feel free to +1 or Pin it. I've added the buttons to my side-bar for your convenience. Friends and Followers are also welcome. :)

Don't forget to check out my ONLINE STORE. Our online Clearance is going on with over 200 new items just added at up to 80% off. Designer paper at only $1.99, pretty Cool!

Thanks again for stopping by,
Till next time-

Be Safe,
Shan Pin It

Friday, December 16, 2011

A Triple Challenge and A Little Holiday Cheer OWH #99, SQSC #17, PPA #124

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Hey y'all.

Friday is finally here! Woo-Hoo! The cold is coming quickly here in the DMV and we are expected to drop nearly 20 degrees during the day today and maybe even some of the white stuff. YUCK! But, I'm doing a Christmas lunch with my co-workers and counting down to the weekend. I hope you have some fabulous plans for this last weekend before Christmas. Holy Cow, it's so hard to believe it's almost here!

No Christmas card today though, I'm looking ahead to V.D. (Ok, I hope you all went back to High School with me on that one.) Of course, I meant Valentine's Day. Operation Write Home is sending Valentine's Day cards overseas to our troops and they need to be sent out by Dec. 31st. Have you heard about this group? They send cards to our troops so they have beautiful handmade cards to send home to their loved ones. They also send cards to our Hero's from us, to thank them for the Amazing Job they are doing. Check them out. Here's their Sketch Challenge for this week-

It doesn't happen often for me, but as soon as I saw it I knew what I wanted to do. I just needed to flip the whole card on it's side and I'd be in business. This really doesn't happen often for me so I was really excited. One of the things I also really liked about the challenge sketch is it gives dimensions on it. What a big HUGE help that is, especially to someone like me. This of course meant I didn't have to do any math to try and figure out my dimensions. Thanks OWH!

However, While I was waiting to get a chance to stamp, I saw this sketch over at Stampin Queens-

I thought "It's kinda similar to the OWH one, just flip it on it's side too, skinny up the middle layer and stretch out the top one." Are you seeing it?  Now if you  have followed me at all, you know I usually don't see these kinds of connections. I'm usually a very literal interpretation kind of girl, so I was really excited that I might be able to do 2 challenges with one card. The only thing it didn't have was the little accents in the corners. I hope they'll forgive me for not using them.

And then I saw this sketch over at Pals Paper Arts and thought "No Stinking Way! 3 challenges from 1 card?" Here's the PPA sketch-

Here I thought "If I just flip the layout of the top layers side-ways, ( a quarter turn counter-clockwise) I think it will work."  And you know what? I think it does!

What do you think? Here's my card-

Can I just say, it turned out just like I saw it in my head, and it came together so quickly too. I'm really happy with how it turned out.

I started with a base of Real Red and then a layer of Pretty in Pink for my strip, which I adhered with Tombow. I then used my LOVE Letterpress Plate and my Big Shot to create the center panel. I inked it up with Real Red classic ink (although I do believe it probably does work better with the Craft Spots) and ran it through. This was, sad to say, the first time I had used this plate, but I will definitely use it more. I popped this up with dimensionals and then added my large Red Glimmer Heart which was left over from my Valentines Day swap a few weeks back. I used a few dimensionals on this too.

It's kind of hard to see in this picture, but there are embossed hearts on the pink layer. I made a Textured Plate with the backing from our DSP packs and my small heart punch. I did an End of the Week Technique on it a while back. You can check it out HERE if you haven't seen it yet. The hearts are all turned randomly on 3 lines (yeah, random was really hard for me here, because there are a lot of hearts!) and then glued down. Here's a look at what the strip looks like-

Ooops, it looks like I  showed the debossed side :-)

Here's a closer look at the card-

Just a little added touch of the unexpected and since I made it myself, I know no-one else will have one just like it.

Here's the inside of the card-

As I currently own just one Valentine's set that's what got used even though it's from last year and is retired. I used Real Red for my ink and let Tink do her thing at the bottom. Now, if this card was actually being shipped to OWH I wouldn't have been able to use the Dazzling Diamonds, I would have just used a small Glimmer heart instead.

So what do you think? I think I pulled it off. I always wondered at how people could get 2 or 3 challenges out of one card. Most of them are sketches and color challenges or mashups, but I think I managed to get 3 different sketches out of one card. I'm enjoying this because I'm sure it will probably never happen again!

If you liked today's card, I would love it if you left me a comment. It's great when I get to hear from you! Also, if you liked today's card, please feel free to +1 or Pin it. I've added the buttons to my side-bar for your convenience. Friends and Followers are also welcome. :)

Today's Card recipe-
Cardstock- Real Red, Pretty in Pink, Whisper White and Red Glimmer
Ink-Real Red
Big Shot- Love Letterpress Plate
Punch- Large Heart
Accessories-Tombow, Dazzling Details, Two-Way Glue Pen

Now back to the holiday's for just a moment. Ever get a phone call and you look at the number and go???????

That happened to me yesterday when I looked at the caller ID and it was my home number. Now I know my studio assistants are pretty talented and Duecey actually likes to talk on the phone, but him calling me, well that would be one for the record books. And, as I'm an empty-nester, (except for Deucey and Bitty) I knew no-one was in the house unless my resident ghost had decided to call and there again, one for the record books. So I answered the phone to find my sis on the other end. *WHEW!* She was calling to tell me she was dropping off a surprise, but where could she put it so the babies wouldn't get it for the next few hours because Bitty was already playing with. We finally came up with a hiding location, but I was going bonkers trying to figure out what she possibly could have left for me that Bitty Kitty wanted so bad.

I got home and found this-

Ok, I actually found it in the spare bedroom so Bitty wouldn't play with it and brought it up so I could take a picture. Do you know what it is? It's the Charlie Brown Christmas tree! With the little red ornament and Linus' blankie around the bottom. You know what else? It plays the Charlie Brown theme.

My sis had got us both one and it was just in time for me to watch A Charlie Brown Christmas on t.v. last night. She is so AMAZING!!!! Really, Just the Best!

Here's the cute card that came with it too. Just right for my studio assistants-

I was laughing SO HARD! I loved my early gifts and just wanted to be able to share them with you all. I hope they bring a little joy to your day. Remember also, to Just Dance, and to dance like no-one's watching.

I hope you have a Great weekend filled with Family, Friends, Lots of Love and of course plenty of time for designing!

Till next time-

Be Safe,
Shan Pin It

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Sneak Peek 3 Challenges OWH #99, SQSC- 17, and PPA 124

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Hey y'all just a quick Peek at tomorrow's post. I had to hurry up and upload it so I could get in on Operation Write Home's Challenge #99.

*Note- The full post is up HERE. Thanks for visiting. :-)

Here's their sketch-

I just rotated the sketch for my card.

If you're wondering about the pink strip it's embossed with hearts from a texture plate I made myself just for this card. Closer images tomorrow.

Full post tomorrow.

Till then-
Be Safe,

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