Sunday, December 25, 2011

{12 Weeks of Christmas}: Week 12 -- Smeby Family Thank You Note

Once again, I've had fun using My Digital Studio to create a card for our family.  MDS is my go-to program for photo Thank You notes.  For example, I like to use a photo from each of my kid's birthdays as the backdrop for their Thank You note for friends and family.

This is our Christmas Thank You picture.  I'll trim it (which is why there's so much blue space below the photo) on the right side and bottom to fit a 4 1/4 by 5 1/2-inch card base.
The background color is one the I chose using the Color Picker function (I wanted it to coordinate with the kids' outfits); I simply guided my mouse over the photo and chose my color.  The snowflakes are from the Season of Cheer stamp set and the pinecone arrangement is from Pines and Poinsettias.  The Modern Label Punch is Always Artichoke and I lowered the opacity to make it translucent (one of my favorite effects to use!).  I've also added a silver brad to the Modern Label punch, as I would to a "hard copy" version.  The "Thank You" comes from one of my favorite sets, Thank You Kindly.  Finally, the photo has a small black mat and as well, I used the "Drop Shadow" effect on it.

Our Christmas Thank You notes turn out to be "hybrid" (which is often the case).  I usually add buttons, ribbon or some other embellishment as well as sometimes mounting it upon two different pieces of card stock for visual interest.  Here, I've simply trimmed the picture and mounted it on a Very Vanilla card base.  I've added a length of Whisper White Narrow Grosgrain and made a Faux Bow and added a rhinestone to the center of the small snowflake on the right.  So simple and just enough "Wow!"

Here are some past Thank You notes I've made with My Digital Studio:
Stampin' Up! Supplies:

Stamps:  None

Paper:  Very Vanilla card stock (#101650)

Ink:  None

Accessories:  My Digital Studio (#118108), Whisper White Narrow Grosgrain ribbon (#109025), and Basic Rhinestones (#119246)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

{12 Weeks of Christmas}: Week 11 -- Smeby Family Christmas Card

I thought I'd show some photos of how I put together my family's Christmas card...  I make a ton of them, so I need to piece it apart and do it assembly line-style.

I started with a 5.25 x 4-inch piece of Wild Wasabi.  Above, you see it with a piece of Chocolate Chip, run through my Big Shot with the Perfect Pennants Die.  I laced the Cherry Cobbler Seam Binding Ribbon through the holes of the die cut...
This is a picture of the pieces of Jolly Holiday Designer Series Paper that I've punched using the Scallop Edge Border Punch.  I've done the same thing below with a piece of Cherry Cobbler card stock before I ran it through the Big Shot in the Perfect Polka Dots Textured Impressions Embossing Folder.

The sentiment is from the Petite Pairs set.

The chickadee is stamped again on Very Vanilla, punched with the 1-1/4-inch Circle Punch and then mounted on a circle of Cherry Cobbler, punched with a 1-3/8-inch Circle Punch.  To make it stand out, I colored the holly berries with my Cherry Cobbler Stampin' Write Marker.  If I weren't making 150+ of these, I'd probably color the "highlighted" image in it's entirety with Watercolor Pencils.

All in all, this was a manageable card to make.  The optimum way to do this is in phases, like this (just wish I hadn't made them as close to Christmas--I was really cranking them out toward the end!).

Stampin' Up! Supplies:

Stamps:  Beautiful Season (#122680W, #122682C), Petite Pairs (#122495W, #122497C)

Paper:  Wild Wasabi (108641), Cherry Cobbler (119685), Chocolate Chip (102128), and Very Vanilla (101650) card stocks, and Jolly Holiday DSP

Inks:  Cherry Cobbler Classic (119669), Jet Black StazOn (101406), Cherry Cobbler Stampin' Write Marker (#119681)

Accessories:  Big Shot (113439), Perfect Polka Dots Textured Impressions Embossing Folder (117335), Perfect Pennants Bigz L die (123126), 1-1/4" Circle (#119861), 1-3/8" Circle (#119860), Large Oval (#119855), and Scallop Edge Border (#119882) punches, Cherry Cobbler Seam Binding (#112920)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

{12 Weeks of Christmas}: Week 10 -- My Digital Studio Christmas Picture

One portion of our family Christmas card is the picture.  These beautiful shots were taken by Yuen Lui, a local photography studio which has photographed everything from our engagement photos to our wedding, to countless pictures of our children.  We've had sittings in their studio, at our home and on-location.  They're terrific!

I like to create a collage with captions in My Digital Studio, have it printed in 4 X 6-format and then trim it to fit into my Christmas card (which is 4 1/4 X 5 1/2-inches).  The images are from the Pines and Poinsettias brush set.  I fiddled with the opacity of my rectangular punches to make them translucent (you'll see that again in our Christmas Thank You note).  I left the big Chocolate Chip bottom border because I'll trim an inch from it.  So simple!

My next post shows you part of my process in creating our family Christmas card.  It's a big job, but it's manageable because I do it assembly line-style...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

{12 Weeks of Christmas}: Week 9 -- Belly Band Gift Idea

O, the Belly Band!  How I love thee!  There are so many fun ways to use a Belly Band. In today's {12 Weeks of Christmas} post, I wanted to share a gift idea with you...

This funky origami project is actually a gift card holder!  It's so very simple, uses supplies which are readily on-hand and quick to make with a great WOW factor.

Start with a 4-1/4 by 10-3/4" piece of Always Artichoke card stock.  I scored it (using my FABULOUS Simply Scored tool) at 2-1/4, 3, 3-3/4, and 7-1/4 inches.  I made a careful slit in the 3-inch cut, being sure not to cut all the way across the piece (you're making a slit for the gift card here--note in the picture below that a scant 1/2-inch is left on either side, uncut).  You can easily use your paper trimmer to make this slit.  Add adhesive to the "inside" of the gift card holder part at those uncut places so that it stands up when opened.
Once folded closed, I added a 3-1/4 by 4-inch piece of So Saffron card stock, which I'd run through my Big Shot with the Perfect Polka Dots Textured Impressions Embossing Folder.  I made the sentiment tag using a scrap of Whisper White card stock and the Modern Label punch (do you see how much I love to lop off a side of that punch?  I use it all of the time). 
Finally, the Belly Band...  I created it starting with a piece of Always Artichoke card stock (measuring 9-1/2 by 1-1/2 inches), run through the Big Shot with my new Snow Burst (Holiday Mini) Textured Impressions Embossing Folder.  Oh, how I love those snowflakes!  I scored it at 2-3/4 inches and 7-1/2 inches and adhered the flaps to make the band.  

It is adorned with an image from Sweet Season, which I colored with my Always Artichoke and Cajun Craze Stampin' Write Markers.  It's punched with the 1-3/4-inch Scallop Circle and popped up on Stampin' Dimensionals on a piece of Cajun Craze, which I punched with the larger, 2-3/4-inch Scallop Circle.  This piece is adhered to the Belly Band in an off-set manner to give visual interest.  A strand of white Baker's Twine completes the look.

Stampin' Up! Supplies:

Stamps:  Sweet Season (#116471) and Short and Sweet (#115060)

Paper:  Always Artichoke (105119), Cajun Craze (119684), So Saffron (#105118) and Whisper White (#100730) card stocks

Ink:  Always Artichoke Classic (#105219) and Stampin' Write Marker (#105113), and Cajun Craze Classic (#119671) and Stampin' Write Marker (#119678)

Accessories:  Big Shot (#113439), Snow Burst (#124096) and Perfect Polka Dots (#117335) Textured Impressions Embossing Folders, Simply Scored Scoring Tool (#122334), 1-3/4" (#119854) and 2-3/8" (#118874) Scallop Circle and Modern Label (#119849) Punches, Baker's Twine (#124262), Stampin' Dimensionals (#104430) and Stamping Sponges (#101610)

We're closing in on Christmas -- I hope you're able to find time to slow down and enjoy the festive spirit.  Stay tuned for a corresponding video and more {12 Weeks of Christmas} posts!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

{12 Weeks of Christmas}: Week 8 -- Resource Thursday: Inspired by the Catty

"Resource Thursday" means that I'll be creating a project and writing about its inspiration.  For this post, I used my favorite "Resource" as a demonstrator and that is the Stampin' Up! Idea Book and Catalog.  When I first got my hands on this behemoth (over 10 years ago), I was totally overwhelmed.  Then I decided to focus my attention on one single aspect of a card.  I might look for particular features (like a punched accent) or color combinations.  For this card, I was focusing my search on layout...  Here's my take on the card:
I used the tree and sentiment from the Contempo Christmas set (#118734 W, 120594 C).  The large scalloped circle is from the Bigz Scallop Circle #2 die.  The More Mustard circle was punched using the 2-1/2-inch Circle Punch.  I punched holes in each of the scallops using my Paper Piercing Tool and Mat Pack.

The circle was mounted on a piece of Elegant Eggplant that I'd run through my Big Shot and the Perfect Polka Dots Textured Impressions Embossing Folder.  What isn't readily visible in my photos is that I've trimmed about 3/4-inch from the edge of the front of the card and allowed the scalloped circle to go to the edge of the card body...
I created the sentiment, on a piece of Whisper White card stock, using my Stampin' Write Markers.  I used Elegant Eggplant, More Mustard and Garden Green.  I sponged the edge of the Whisper White with More Mustard Classic Ink.  It's mounted over two scalloped circles from the Itty Bitty Shapes Punch Pack, using Stampin' Dimensionals.  

For finishing touches, I've added Basic Rhinestones to the sentiment and the top of the tree (they come with self-adhesive).  I've also used a strip of (retired) Elegant Eggplant rick rack.

Stampin' Up! Supplies:

Stamps:  Contempo Christmas (#118734 W, #120594 C)

Papers:  Elegant Eggplant (#105126), Perfect Plum (#101889), More Mustard (#100946), and Whisper White (#100730) card stocks

Inks:  Elegant Eggplant (#105210) and Garden Green (#102272) Classic Inks, Elegant Eggplant (#105110), More Mustard (#100076) and Garden Green (#100080) Stampin' Write Markers

Accessories:  Big Shot (#113439), Scallop Circle #2 Bigz Die (#113469), Perfect Polka Dots Textured Impressions Embossing Folder (#117335), 2-1/2-inch Circle Punch (#120906), Itty Bitty Shapes Punch Pack (#118309), Extra-Large Oval Punch (#119859), Paper Piercing Tool (#116631), Mat Pack (#105826), Basic Rhinestones (#119246), Stampin' Dimensionals (#104430)

Thank you for joining me for another {12 Weeks of Christmas} Post!  We're getting closer!  Hope you get a chance to catch your breath and enjoy the joys of the season...

Friday, December 2, 2011

December Makeover

December is upon us and I've just spent a bit of time updating the banner and buttons of Studio Sara with a winter look.  I used the branch and birds from the Christmas Lodge set (available in My Digital Studio #125611, as well as in the Holiday Mini for paper-and-ink use, #123767 W, #123769 C).  I loved the snowflake in the Season of Cheer digital brush set, so that's what I used as a background.  The card I highlighted was the {Technique Tuesday} post that I published earlier this week that you can view again here.

I love the ability to adjust the opacity of items, so I had a lot of fun with that this time on both the banner and the buttons..

The buttons were made using the Ornament Punch, which I have as a digital download (and in hard, cold metal  #119847).  Love it!  Such a fun way to make gift tags!

Anyhoo, I thought I'd just draw your attention to The New Look...  I will be posting some tools this weekend that will make your gift-giving a little easier (Studio Sara Exclusives and a wish list to print out).