Tuesday, December 29, 2015

After-Christmas Cards

Would you believe that I am still  sending out Christmas cards? I had a few cards that needed more than just a signature, so I got those out this week. We had to write some letters to our friends back in Pittsburgh, with a note on each one saying "come and visit us in 2016!" We really do miss them all so much!

Here's one of the hand-watercolored cards I made using the tree from the PTI stamp set "Believe".

{Today's Brew: Believe stamp set (Papertrey Ink), sentiment from  Tag-Its, PTI Tiny Tags die, PTI Holiday Plaid paper, PTI card stock, watercolor paper, Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolors, ribbon and baker's twine, Amuse Rhinestone star}

For this series of cards, I used the same template and swapped out the colors, papers, and stamped images.
{Today's Brew: Star of Wonder stamp set (PTI), PTI inks and card stock, PTI Holiday Plaid papers, SU glitter card stock, Amuse Rhinestone stars, Mister Huey Calico spray}

Now that the Christmas cards are done, I can move on to the thank you cards. Maybe I can get those mailed out before Valentine's Day. Ha ha!

My craft room needs some serious attention this week! Time to clean and organize. We've been working on our basement and I'm hoping to show you some photos soon.

Blessings, cafe friends!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

PTI December Blog Hop: Blessed!

Happy Boxing Day!

Today is the December blog hop at Papertrey Ink! I LOVE this inspiration photo! I think the plates and photo come from Pier One. Makes me want to go out and buy them if it weren't for the fact that I'm a.) broke from Christmas and b.) tired of malls and stores. Can I get an Amen?

So instead, I crafted a card that reminded me of these sweet plates!

I'm still having a mad crush on Rustic Wreath stamps and dies. Today, I cut out the wreath die in two shades of green. Then, I cut a slit in each wreath, which allowed me to carefully entwine the two colors. After that, I glued them both to this square of black card stock that I had inked up with some white ink on the edges.

{Today's Brew: Tiny Tags stamps and dies, Blessed die, Rustic Wreath die, PTI card stock, baker's twine, enamel dots}

This one word really sums up Christmas 2015 for me. Blessed! Blessed with a new church family, blessed with time spent with our families in Michigan and Ohio, blessed with fun and festive activities, blessed with good food and good health, blessed with a new home in a new town, blessed with time spent with our three sons together....

...and of course, blessed with all of you dear regulars at Mary Rose's Cafe! Thank you!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas Cards Day Three

Merry Christmas Eve!

It's a very exciting time in our house today because SANTA! (said in my best Buddy the Elf voice)

This year, I decided to torture my youngest son, Sam, by putting presents under the tree a week early, rather than waiting until Christmas morning. Oh, the agony! Every day, he's shaking and squeezing and trying to guess what is inside every carefully wrapped box. I told him if he's not careful, he's going to really hurt that kitten I wrapped up for him! (Just kidding...no kittens were harmed in the making of this Christmas).

Today's card features Santa.

I don't traditionally do a lot of Santa in my Christmas because a.) it's all about Jesus and b.) my sons are older now and Santa has lost some of his magic. Also, we can no longer bribe them to be good with the threat that Santa's watching.

But this Santa image from the Papertrey Ink stamp set Believe is one of my favorites. It's such a simple, classic Santa. I've had this set for a while now (cough! cough! maybe two years, cough!) and have yet to color this Santa. So the other night, I stamped him with Memories ink on watercolor paper and I watercolored that Jolly Old Elf.

I thought the Rustic Wreath die made a great frame for Santa. I've been getting a lot of mileage out of two products: Mister Huey Calico spray and PTI's Holiday Plaid papers.

{Today's Brew: Believe Stamp set and dies (PTI), Rustic Wreath die (PTI), Tiny Tags die(PTI), sentiment from Tag Its (PTI), card stock and papers (PTI), Mister Huey Calico spray, baker's twine, watercolor paper, Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolors}

I'm going to fill you in on a secret. I bought this set used, and the seller told me that it was missing the bird/dove stamp. So last month, I finally bought the dies that go with this set, and here's what I did. I cut out the bird die, used a Sharpie marker, and drew the dove onto the die. Voila!

Yesterday, I spent the afternoon addressing and fancifying my envelopes. Yes, I know it's Christmas Eve and I should have done this job say, around Thanksgiving. But here I am.  I love the washi tape! I'm just hoping that it doesn't unstick itself and get mangled in some post office machinery. I used washi from Simple Stories on the kraft envelopes. I'm going to smooth them all down with my bone folder and hope for the best.

Tonight is my favorite part of Christmas: church and candles and Silent Night. Somehow, in that wonderful spiritual moment, everything else gets washed away and we are right there in the stable with that Holy Family made holy because of Immanuel, God With Us.

Merry Christmas, cafe friends!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Christmas Cards Day Two

Winter Woods...they had me at the name alone! Although I have to say, if I was taking a walk in a winter woods today, it would be a soggy walk. Thunderstorms...two days before Christmas?! I'm really missing my snow.

This new stamp set from Papertrey Ink features three birds: cardinal, chickadee, and blue jay. I love them all!

I wanted to give this card a snowy effect, so I first sprayed with a white ink spray, and then followed with a Glimmer Mist sparkly spray.

For the pine needles, I used two different green inks. I've been using a LOT of papers from the Holiday Plaid collection, too. I think they really add a little something to each card.

{Today's Brew: Winter Woods stamp set (PTI), sentiment from Peace stamp set (PTI), PTI inks and card stock, Holiday Plaid papers (PTI), Mister Huey white calico spray, Glimmer Mists spray}

I hope you're having a warm peppermint mocha kind of day! Blessings!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Countdown To Christmas Cards!

So apparently "packing the holidays full" also equates to "making Christmas cards until the very last possible moment"!

Actually, I enjoy doing it this way. A few here, a few more there, a couple of watercolor projects while I watch a holiday movie on the tele.

I don't like to mass-produce the same card over and over again. I can make about four, and then I get bored with it.

This was one of my favorite cards for its simplicity. Mind you, simplicity does not mean easy, it just means it has the look of easy. In this case, I stamped the wreath on watercolor paper with Memories ink, and then hand painted the wreath with Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolors.

I find that a watercolor project looks its best when it is slightly imperfect. Imperfect, you say? I can do that!

{Today's Brew: Rustic Wreath stamp set (PTI), watercolor paper, Memories ink, Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolors, PTI kraft card stock and Holiday Plaid papers}

So, do you have all of your cards mailed out yet? What projects did you work on this holiday?

Monday, December 21, 2015

A Christmas Gift For Katie

My son, John, was home last weekend for some fun filled family time...movies, food, sight-seeing in the big city. We took John out to lunch in Geneva and he managed to do a little Christmas shopping for some of his friends.

I asked John what he was going to give his friend, Katie.

"She would really love one of your cards," he told me. As it turns out, some of John's friends discovered my blog, and John told me that Katie was so impressed by my card making and needle art projects that she wants to meet me and spend a day crafting with me.

Aww! That's so sweet!

But a card alone would not do. So Katie will be the recipient of my first handmade coffee cozy! John picked out the colors...he told me Katie loves purple (sorry, no purple felt in my stash yet, but we added purple stitching!), and she really likes teal and green. So here it is:

{Today's Brew: felt and dies from Papertrey Ink, DMC floss}

These are so fun to make! I may even have to fire up the sewing machine and make a few more! My favorite part is the little tag that hangs off the side. How fun!

Next, I made a card that would coordinate with the coffee cozy gift.

{Today's Brew: Cup of Cheer stamp set (Papertrey Ink), dies, ink, card stock (PTI), Mister Huey Calico spray, rhinestone twinkle}

Merry Christmas, Katie! And if you see this before John gives it to you, just act surprised. :)

Sunday, December 20, 2015

The Sights of Christmas!

Don't you love the sights of Christmas?

Last weekend, we managed to fit in a trip to the Toledo Zoo to see the 30th annual Lights Before Christmas. The weather was beautiful, and it looked as if the whole city turned out for this event! It was well worth it. This zoo is one of our favorites...but to add a newly remodeled Aquarium? Even better!

It's so much fun to see the animals, like the wolves, that are normally pretty lazy during the daytime hours, wake up and roam their exhibits freely at night.

The Toledo Zoo in Toledo, Ohio gets top honors for the favorite zoo in the country, a well deserved honor!

This weekend, our sight-seeing Christmas light tour took us to downtown Chicago! The boys and I hopped on a train and met Ed at the downtown station for a fun night of exploring. We saw the Christkindlmarket, where I finally found a German Humpfleman! We also oohed and aahed over the amazing window displays at the Macy's store in the old Marshall Field building!

The architecture of the Marshall Field building is stunning! The tree and the displays in the Walnut Room were so beautiful. I definitely want to go back next year!

Tell me...what sights have you seen this Christmas?