March 30, 2013

Blog anniversary giveaway winner!

Hey there!  

Just popping in to share the winner of my blog anniversary giveaway.  I used to select a comment out of the 39 I received by the deadline, and the winner is...

Amy McCue!

Congrats, Amy!  Just drop me a line at christinamaclaren @ yahoo. com (no spaces) and tell me which gift certificate you'd prefer, Paper Smooches or WPlus9.

Thanks to all who played along!  Have a wonderful Easter!

The 12 Kits of Holidays--March 2013

Hello,  I'm back!  I've taken a much-needed break from crafting, but I'm ready to share the latest installment of The 12 Kits of Holidays with you.  What a fun kit we had to work with this month, courtesy of Tracey.

Photo by Kara
The bright colors and spring theme of this kit were just what I needed after the long winter we've endured here in Massachusetts.  Let's get right to the cards, shall we?

The first one is my favorite, with just some negative space to highlight the colorful patterned paper, a sentiment banner, and a trio of pink hearts on a navy background.  Love this design.

Cardstock:  Papertrey Ink (Enchanted Eventing, Raspberry Fizz), WPlus9 Design Studio (White)
Patterned paper:  Pebbles (Sunnyside)
Stamp:  My Favorite Things (Clearly Sentimental About Art)
Tools:  Papertrey Ink (Fillable Frames #11 die, banner die, Linen & Canvas impression plate), Simon Says Stamp (Holiday Shapes die)

I tried to use lots of the patterned paper in this kit, so this card makes it the star!  Tracey included the polka dotted tag, and I added the smaller tag using one of the sentiments from the kit.

Cardstock:  Papertrey Ink (Orange Zest), WPlus9 Design Studio (White)
Patterned paper:  Pebbles (Sunnyside)
Stamp:  Paper Smooches (Spring Fling)
Tools:  Papertrey Ink (Tiny Tags die, Tremendous Tags die)
Other:  The Twinery (baker's twine)

Again, trying to use more of the pretty papers in this kit, I focused on this larger pattern, framing it with a negative die cut and adding a simple sentiment treatment.

Cardstock:  Papertrey Ink (Hibiscus Burst), WPlus9 Design Studio (White)
Patterned paper:  Pebbles (Sunnyside)
Stamp:  Papertrey Ink (Egg Hunt)
Tools:  Spellbinders (Labels 18 die)
Other:  Papertrey Ink (buttons), DMC floss

Tracey included several colorful eggs in the kit, so I grouped a few of them on a strip of green "grass" and a panel of fun, pink chevron paper.

Cardstock:  Papertrey Ink (Hawaiian Shores), WPlus9 Design Studio (White)
Patterned paper:  Pebbles (Sunnyside)
Stamps:  Paper Smooches (Spring Fling)
Tool:  Silhouette Cameo (original die cut by Tracey)

Finally, one of the large die-cut words included in this kit (I have several more I can't wait to use!).  I added the word "happy", colored a fun little flower and added a button center, and used a cheerful yellow cardstock base.

Cardstock:  Papertrey Ink (Summer Sunrise, Raspberry Fizz), WPlus9 Design Studio (White)
Patterned paper:  Pebbles (Sunnyside)
Stamps:  Paper Smooches (Spring Fling), WPlus9 Design Studio (Spring Post)
Ink:  Stampin' Up! (Melon Mambo), Copic markers
Tools:  Papertrey Ink (Linen & Canvas impression plate), Silhouette Studio (original die cuts by Tracey)
Other:  Papertrey Ink (button), The Twinery (baker's twine)

I thoroughly enjoyed creating with this kit and still have it on my craft desk, ready to CASE the rest of the girls!  You won't want to miss their creations, either:

 Joyce: Cards-by-the-Sea
Renee: ItsAPatchworkLife
Tracey: InMyCreativeOpinion
Sharron: OnPapillionWings

Jeanne: AKeptLife
Amy: Stamp-n-Paradise
Kim: CupcakesCardsandKim
Kara: KandRDesigns
Kelly: GinghamGirl
Jessica: The Paper Parade

Thanks for stopping by!  I'll be back later with the winner of my blog anniversary giveaway!

March 20, 2013

Happy New (Blog) Year!

Hi there!  Guess what?  It's my blog anniversary!  Believe it or not, I've been posting here for 3 years, and it's because of people like you that I keep coming back.  That's right--YOU!

I continue to be amazed by the number of people who stop by regularly to see what I've been up to in my craft room, and I appreciate every visit, comment, and new follower.  Many, many thanks for keeping me going!

In the past year, I've been fortunate to guest design for two of my very favorite stamp companies--WPlus9 for their February/March release and Paper Smooches for their August Kismet set release.  So as a thanks to you, I'm giving away a $25 gift certificate to either WPlus9 or Paper Smooches, winner's choice.  Just leave your thoughts, silly or serious, on this post for a chance to win, and I'll draw a name at random for the prize.

You have until 9:00 PM Eastern on March 28, 2013 to enter.

Cardstock:  Papertrey Ink (Soft Stone, Smokey Shadow), Stampin' Up! (Midnight Muse)
Stamps:  CAS-ual Fridays Stamps (Countdown)
Ink:  Versamark
Tools:  My Favorite Things (cityscape die), corner rounder
Other:  American Crafts (Zing silver embossing powder)

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you about my card.  This was a recent reject for a Paper Crafts publication call, but it was my favorite submission this go-around.  :)

Thanks again for visiting!  See you back here soon.

March 15, 2013

CAS-ual Fridays #94

Get out your sunglasses!  I'm sharing a card for this week's CAS-ual Fridays challenge, which is to use chipboard on your clean and simple design.  Play along and you'll have a chance to win a $20 gift certificate to CAS-ual Fridays Stamps, too!

I have lots of old sets of chipboard letters from my scrapbooking days, including a set from Making Memories in black, red, yellow, and pink.  I chose this pair of brackets to frame a sentiment from Truth Is, adding texture to the white border with PTI's Linen & Canvas impression plate.

For the accents, I die cut small circles from a chipboard coaster, covered them with white cardstock, and stamped them with flowers from Loving Thoughts.

Cardstock:  Stampin' Up! (Daffodil Delight), WPlus9 Design Studio (White)
Stamps:  CAS-ual Fridays Stamps (Truth Is, Loving Thoughts)
Ink:  Stampin' Up! (Real Red), Memento (Tuxedo Black)
Tools:  Papertrey Ink (Linen & Canvas impression plate), WPlus9 Design Studio (Lacey Layers die), corner rounder
Accessories:  Making Memories (chipboard), Papertrey Ink (coaster)

I hope you have plenty of real sunshine in your part of the world today, and not just the bright yellow cardstock variety.  :)

Have a great weekend!

March 11, 2013

Iron Craft Challenge!

Hi everyone!  I have such a fun post to share with you today.  A couple of weeks ago I got the sweetest email from a fellow crafter, Chaitali, of Cuts Crops and Creativity.  She explained that she's a big fan of the show Iron Chef and had an idea to create a crafting challenge inspired by it.  You can read all about it and see the first Iron Craft guest HERE.

Now, while I'm blushing at the thought of being called a "celebrity" crafter, I was completely honored to be asked to participate in what will become a weekly feature on Chaitali's blog.  Ready to see our challenge "ingredients"?

For this week's Iron Craft challenge, we used this color board from Design Seeds and stamps from Papertrey Ink's Happy Trails.

These colors definitely have a masculine vibe to me, and I've been wanting to make a simple set of notecards that would be appropriate for the men in our lives.  Think teachers, coaches, and co-workers.  For a set like this, it's best to keep things flat for mailing and no-frills.

Each card is stamped with one of my all-time favorite borders from PTI's Background Basics:  Retro in two shades of brown and two shades of blue onto an Oatmeal card base.  Then I simply added a sentiment and one or more accent images from Happy Trails.

Cardstock:  WPlus9 Design Studio (Oatmeal)
Stamps:  Papertrey Ink (Happy Trails, Background Basics:  Retro)
Ink:  Stampin' Up! (Chocolate Chip, Marina Mist, Baja Breeze), ColorBox (Dune)

I can't wait to see what Chaitali created for the Iron Craft challenge, and I hope you'll pay her a visit, too!  Many thanks to her for including me this week!

Have a great start to your week, and thanks for stopping by!

March 9, 2013

Cloud9 Blog Hop--March & a Farewell

Hello there, and happy Saturday!

It's time for another Cloud9 Blog Hop featuring all of your favorite WPlus9 stamps.  Here is the beautiful photo we're taking inspiration from this month:

{photo source}
You may have seen the news on the blog hop preview post that I'm stepping down from the Cloud9 team.  There have been some major changes in my personal and professional lives lately, and I'm trying to find better ways to balance work, home, and my hobbies.  So for the moment, I need to step away from a few things, and unfortunately that includes the Cloud9 team.  Many thanks to Suzanne for inviting me to be a part of it, and all the best to the team going forward!

Speaking of the team, two new designers are making their debut this month at Cloud9:  Erin Taylor and Maureen Merritt.  I love both of these talented ladies, and I know they'll have some amazing inspiration to share at Cloud9 every month.

Okay, on to my card.  :)  I tried a few different things with watercolor that failed miserably before deciding to focus on just the beautiful bouquet in the photo.  Using shades of aqua, pink, and green, I did a lot of stamping and masking using Very Vintage Florals on Oatmeal cardstock.

This card is going out to a crafty friend who always uses beautiful ribbons on her cards, so I just had to include a bright pink bow.

Cardstock:  WPlus9 Design Studio (Oatmeal), Papertrey Ink (Hawaiian Shores), Stampin' Up! (Early Espresso)
Stamps:  WPlus9 Design Studio (Very Vintage Florals)
Ink:  Stampin' Up! (Melon Mambo, Garden Green, Pretty in Pink, Pool Party, Chocolate Chip)
Other:  Michaels (ribbon), thread

You have until March 12 to link up your creation in the Cloud9 gallery!

Thanks so much for your visit.  Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

March 8, 2013

CAS-ual Fridays #93--Color Blocks

Hello!  It's finally Friday, which means a new CAS-ual Fridays challenge.  This week's theme is Color Blocks:  incorporate blocks of color in your clean and simple design.  We also have a generous sponsor: is offering a $25 gift certificate to this week's winner.

I made a quick and easy tag with a coffee theme, using blocks of cardstock as the tag base.  At the intersection of the blocks, I die cut a coffee cup and stamped the coordinating image in the negative space.

I came across this "hugs" sentiment from Paper Smooches, which I thought resembled steam rising from the cup.  Plus a warm cup of coffee is really like a warm hug, isn't it?

As a finishing touch, I got to use some wonderful bits of ribbon from May Arts that my blog friend, Erin, sent to me.  Her little guy included a handmade card for my son, which totally made his day, too.  :)

Cardstock:  WPlus9 Design Studio (Kraft, Oatmeal), Stampin' Up! (Garden Green), Papertrey Ink (Dark Chocolate)
Stamps:  Papertrey Ink (Heart-2-Heart #1), Paper Smooches (Sentiment Sampler)
Ink:  Stampin' Up! (Garden Green, Dark Chocolate)
Tools:  Papertrey Ink (tag & cup dies, Linen & Canvas impression plate)
Other:  May Arts (ribbon)

Show us your design using color blocks at CAS-ual Fridays!  And if you need more inspiration, look no further than the Girl Fridays--those girls rock!

Happy weekend!

March 1, 2013

CAS-ual Fridays #92--Wallpaper

Helloooo March!  Does anyone else think February is the longest month?  Just me?  Well, I'm always glad when it's over, because once you hit March you can finally start talking about spring with some real hope that it's just around the corner.  So hooray for March!

Not only is there a new challenge at CAS-ual Fridays today, but we have a fantastic sponsor and the debut of our newest Girl Fridays.  Go on over and give them a warm welcome!

The theme this week is wallpaper:  stamp a background on your clean and simple design.  Who doesn't love doing that?

To add to the fun, our wonderful sponsor, Ellen Hutson, is offering up a $25 gift certificate to this week's winner.  And who wouldn't love to add some more papercrafting goodies to their stash?

I've been dying to try out WPlus9's white ink on a kraft background using the woodgrain border from Woodgrain Silhouettes, so I did just that for today's card.  I stamped the border three times to cover the card base.  

Next, I stamped the large leafy flourish from Woodgrain Silhouettes Additions in navy over the top.  Hello, gorgeous!  And what a nice coincidence that Jennifer McGuire posted a video about this technique (apparently it's called "ghost stamping") just a few days ago.

I stamped the sentiment onto a wide strip of white cardstock, layered a strip of navy on top and another strip below the white border.  Some foam dots behind the sentiment panel add dimension while keeping the design flat for mailing.

Cardstock:  Papertrey Ink (Kraft), Stampin' Up! (Midnight Muse), WPlus9 Design Studio (White)
Stamps:  WPlus9 Design Studio (Woodgrain Silhouettes & Additions), Papertrey Ink (Through the Trees)
Ink:  Stampin' Up! (Midnight Muse), WPlus9 Design Studio (White)

Hoping I don't need a sympathy card anytime soon, but it's essential to have one or two on hand.

Have I mentioned how thrilled I am to be serving as a Girl Friday for another term?  And how honored I am to have such incredible teammates?  You won't want to miss any of their designs, so be sure to pay a visit to the CAS-ual Fridays blog to see the entire line-up of inspiration.

TGIF, friends!  Have a great weekend!
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