Tuesday, December 18, 2018

A Misty Mountain Christmas

After checking my list, I realized I needed a few more Christmas cards. I made eight of the last design, which is about four over my usual limit. Seriously. I just don't like making large amounts. I must have a short attention span.

Anyhoo, I had an idea for another card with the Neat and Tangled stamp set. I wanted to make a misty mountain, and keep the colors in evergreen tones.

I used the hillside stencil from My Favorite Things, and I laid it on top of Strathmore watercolor paper. Using a blending tool, I carefully inked the edges and voila! Misty mountain!

I used Pinefeather ink and card stock from Papertrey Ink. This is rarely my Go To green, but it is so lovely this time of year.

I added a little pine bough detail, and made silver glitter "berries" with a hand held hole punch. Easy.

One week until Christmas!

How are your preparations going?

Monday, December 17, 2018

The Magic of Stamping Off

Do you remember when you first started paper crafting?

I do! It was twenty years ago, and I was living in a 900 square foot cottage that we fondly referred to as the Love Shack. :)

I loved stamping, and I wanted it all! But funds were limited back then, and I often had to find ways to make do and stretch my creativity as a newbie.

One of those ways was the technique known as stamping off. By using one ink pad, you could create several other shades just by stamping off on a piece of scrap paper, and then stamping again without re-inking.

It was magical!

Sometimes, I have to remind myself of the old techniques, when the craft was simpler and not so cluttered with the latest and greatest product.

I had so much fun stamping off for these envelopes. And when I was finished, I had to ask myself "Why am I not doing this more often?"

Simple and sweet. Just as I had envisioned.

Blessings on your week, cafe friends!

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Birthday Mix

I need to warn you, my cafe readers...expect to see a LOT of Concord and 9th creations in the days ahead!

I have seriously been loving everything from this company lately! Consequently, I've been snagging a lot of great deals....Black Friday deals, Cyber Monday deals, even the buy/sell forums. I love their clean, graphic design and their really great images.

Take, for example, this Mix Tape set. I HAD to have this one! My husband used to be quite the mix tape dude back in the day. He even did a few stints as a DJ. We were so cool once upon a time. ;)

I knew this would be his birthday card for 2018.

Did he love it? Oh yeah! He especially liked the sentiment "Party like it's 1989!" Funny, because that's the year we were married!

The inside features some dies from Concord and 9th, too!

Just a fun way to say "We love you, Hon! You're a classic!"

{Today's Brew: Mix Tape stamp set (Concord and 9th), Birthday dies (Concord and 9th), washi tapes, enamel dots, PTI card stock and inks, COPIC markers}

Blessings on your Sunday, cafe friends!

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Adding Bling To A So So Card

I made this card a while back, but never found the right time to send it. I would pick it up, think "Meh", and put it back in the box.

It was my mother-in-law's birthday recently, and I decided that this card would work...with a little bling.

I used some glitter paper to make the number 80, and added a strip to the bottom to unite the two elements.

And then I used some papers to jazz up the inside and the envelope.

From "Meh" to "Yeah!" Works for me!

Blessings, cafe friends!

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Handmade Cards and Store-Bought, Too!

Last Christmas, I came to the realization that I really don't enjoy making Christmas cards. I might like making a few, but making enough to send to all the relatives and friends on the list? No thank you.

So I sold off a LOT of my Christmas stamp sets in an effort to simplify.

This year, during a great after-season sale, I found a Christmas card that I loved. I bought a box, and would have bought more, but this was all they had in stock at Hallmark. It has the nicest sentiment inside, and a cute matching envelope, too.

But some of my crafty friends still expect a handmade card. So I decided to make a few this week.

I purchased this used/new-to-me stamp set from Neat and Tangled a few months back. It has been on my wish list for a while. I love the simplicity. It has the look of a linocut, which I love, and can be stamped in one solid color, or multiple colors.

I created a wintry night scene by stamping the image and sentiment on the bottom in white, topping off the panel with a stitched hillside, and then layering it on top of a dark starry snowy sky.

I thought this sentiment from PTI Year of Psalms went well with the snowy scene.

{Today's Brew: Winter Wishes stamp set (Neat and Tangled stamps), Lawn Fawn snowy backdrop die, Lawn Fawn stitched hillside die, PTI Year of Psalms sentiment stamp, PTI inks and card stock, SU silver twine}

I've pared down my Christmas card list this year. In many ways, I've been paring down the non-essentials of the season, but find that I am enjoying it more.

Less shopping and complicated gifting. More time spent with family and friends.

I'm slowing down and meditating on the Advent season before rushing in to Christmas. Advent is a time of hopeful anticipation, and I am enjoying this waiting period rather than stressing out about what needs to be done.

All is calm, all is bright!

Blessings, cafe friends!

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

An Early Christmas Present

Last month, my husband and I were discussing Christmas gifts for each other. Did we really need another sweater? A piece of jewelry? A tie? Probably not. But you know what we really needed? Night stands for our bedroom.

Before our last move, when we had our ginormous garage sale, I sold off the pressed wood round side tables with their tablecloths that we'd been using for night stands for years. I just could not see moving those ugly things one more time, so I sold them.

In the meantime, we moved to our new house and didn't have night stands. To make do, I'd propped a vintage magazine rack (roadside find) and an antique humidor on both sides of the bed, and we made do. And there they sat for over a year, barely functioning.

On our trip to Boston last fall, we visited a Macy's with a furniture department, and we were able to check out the furniture in person that I'd been admiring online. So last month, during a great sale, we ordered two night stands.

These have been wonderful! I love the big size, with ample room for a lamp, a book, and a cup of tea. A felt-lined drawer to hide tissues or hand creams or pens, and a shelf below for books or magazines.

Sometimes, it's the little things that we appreciate even more than the big things.

I think that eventually, we may purchase the matching chest of drawers and dresser, too. I don't think I need the headboard because I still like the metal wrought iron headboard we found on Craigslist. The room looks better when it's not all matchy matchy.

The coziness of the quilt, the soothing paint color, my bedtime tea and a good book...everything I need to cuddle in before blissful slumber.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

A Coffee-Themed Gift For Christmas

I've had a blast making these coffee cup gift card holders! They are so fun!

I got the coffee to go cup dies from Honey Bee stamps last month, knowing that the season of gifting was right around the corner.

I decided to make my cups Michigan themed because...

...they are holding gift cards for Biggby Coffee, which is a Michigan-based coffee company.

I'm also pairing these gifts with a coffee-themed devotional book from Deb Burma. I did this Bible study last spring and really enjoyed it. I think the devotional and the coffee gift card will make a nice gift.

{Today's Brew: Honey Bee coffee to go cup die and gift card dies, Lawn Fawn Papers and sentiment stamp, PTI Michigan die, amuse rhinestone twinkle}

Thanks for visiting the cafe today!