Saturday, December 13, 2008

Day 12 - Never to Late for Christmas Cards!

Each year I vow to start my cards in August, but I never can seem to get into the Christmas mindset in the middle of summer. This hasn’t gotten any better since we moved to Florida. In fact, getting into the Christmas state of mind takes some real convincing until the reality of Thanksgiving sets in. This year I am being good to myself and have decided to not design a nightmare card that has me up all hours. Here is a peek at our card for this year. I went back to the traditional red and green color scheme with a twist, using the In Color Kiwi Kiss from Stampin’ Up!® with my favorite bright red cardstock, Real Red and the silky smooth Whisper White. I just loved the beautiful swirly tree from the Snow Swirled stamp set embossed in White on the red — it really pops! I will later post a cool poinsettia project using this same combination! So keep checking back on the blog for that project.

Other tools and supplies used: Kiwi Kiss/Very Vanilla Satin Ribbon, Stampin’ Dimensionals, So Swirly wheel, Stampin’ Around jumbo handle, jumbo cartridge with Versamark ink refill, heat tool, white eyelets, Color Spritzer tool, Old Olive Marker and Kiwi Kiss Classic Ink. Adhesive: Glue Arts Glue Glider Pro and the easy-to-use cartridges make large cardmaking projects like this a breeze! They are easy to switch from temporary to permanent adhesive and you don’t have to fiddle with reloading new adhesive when you run out. Just pop in a new cartridge!

Hot Tip: For even spacing on the eyelets, I used the double circle punch from Stampin’ Up!
This is a really fast way to make sure the two eyelets are properly aligned on top of one another. Next use the Crop-A-Dile for quick and easy setting prior to mounting the red panel on card front.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Day 13 - Handmade Altered Ornament

This “Snowy Skies” Ornament was featured in the Dec. issue of Scrap Arts also in my 12 Tips to Make the Holidays Greener article. For this, I altered the plastic packaging from some brads I purchased. I filled the center with some snowy glitter, attached some snowflake brads from to the background cardstock, and used Glue Art’s adhesive Ring to attach the embossed snowflakes to the top of the clear packaging. A frame of Mulberry Cardstock cut with Fiskars’ decorative edge scissors was added around the sides with some matching aqua wire and rhinestones to make this shaker ornament ready to hang!

So think a little greener this holiday season and give some consideration to altering or using some elements from some product packaging to create a fun gift or decor item.

No More Room 25!!!!

Today will be a double post day. Life has been a bit crazier than normal at the Wenger house, and it has nothing to do with the holidays...imagine that! Forget the to do lists and the half decorated tree, I have spent the last two nights at the ER with my youngest daughter, Kylie. Both nights, we landed in the same dreaded 25. Not a very magic number for us this holiday season!!!

Kylie was diagnosed back in August with a condition called EE (Eosinophilic Esophagitis). It is a condition where she experiences swelling, difficulty swallowing foods and this sometimes is in response to a delayed allergic reaction to foods. She also has anaphylaxis to oats and some severe food allergies to many foods. These two trips to the ER shed no real light on what is going on presently, however Kai’s allergist reassured us today that her asthma is under control and these symptoms that she is experiencing seem related to EE and some muscle aches with another fancy name. She is back at school and hoping to have no repeat visits to room 25 this weekend.

I haven't really talked about this until now, but I think it is time to make others aware of this rising epidemic that many kids are being diagnosed with daily. EE is one of the Eosiniophilic Disorders that specifically effects the esophagus. For more info about EE & EGID, you can check out the APFED website which explains these conditions in greater detail. Our world was rocked 3 mos. ago when she was put on a highly restrictive diet along with medications to treat this condition. I joined a yahoo support group that is growing in new members daily. These parents are the most wonderfully supportive individuals and the stories are heartbreaking for the suffering that many of these kids are going through. 

Can you imagine not being able to tolerate food, to never indulge in your favorite treat again, to be on a super restrictive diet or rely on a feeding tube and nutritional supplements to survive? Think about what it is like for a child with restrictions to eat lunch at school, to hesitate to go to a friend’s birthday party because they know they can't eat cake, pizza or snacks, and how stressful a common holiday celebration can be for the whole family when you really have to consider everything on the menu. We have had to learn to read EVERY label for the ingredients, to wander aisles even in the nutritional food stores to only find one item that is o.k. to eat, to learn to cook using different ingredients, and to have to pack alternative foods when we go elsewhere to eat. My daughter and I have shed many tears together, picked one another up on those down days and have held hope for the future that she can maybe have some of the foods back one day, and not lose any others. We all work together to make life as “normal” as it can be.

There is a foundation called CURED, and if you are looking to make any year end donations, I encourage you to support this cause so that we can find a cure for our kids who are suffering from Eosinophilic Disorders. There are T-shirts and bracelets for sale, or you can do direct donations for as little as $1. Another organization that has been a great resource to Kylie is the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis site for teens (FAANTEEN.ORG). And as you count your many blessings this year, don't overlook the most basic ones. As Kylie said to me the other day, “I will never ever take food for granted.” Continue to keep us in your prayers in the year ahead.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Day 14 - Snuggling up with Santa

I couldn’t resist scrapping this moment when I caught our irresistable Wheaton Terrier, Bella, snuggled up on this old stuffed Santa. It is an heirloom from my husband’s childhood and we put him on the couch each Christmas. I came out of my studio and saw that she had used him as a pillow. It was too sweet. I grabbed my camera knowing I would have to make a page layout from this. The stamped images are from Inque Boutique’s Arabesque set, the adhesives are from Glue Arts and the chipboard is K&Company Glittered Twinkle Type. The top and bottom border were a freeform design I cut from patterned paper.

Hope this puts you in the mood to scrap your photos on Santa’s Lap!  ho, ho, ho!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Day 15 - The Shellebrating Continues

Let the Holiday Shellebrations continue! Again, I have used the same basic layout, but have changed out some colors and the basic embellishments to make these two Christmas cards. The main cardstock is Taken with Teal from Stampin’ Up!®. I used markers and blender pens to colorize the bucket of shells from the Shellebrate stamp set. To add some sparkle, I dotted 2-way glue over top of the colored stamping and sprinkled with Dazzling Diamonds glitter to add shimmer to both the Buckets of Shellebrations & Beachy Shimmer card.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Day 16- Time to Shellabrate the Season!

Living in a coastal climate, I always love creative ways to make Christmas cards that fit that bring a touch of Florida into the design. In these two card examples that I demonstrated at my November Stampin’ Up!® workshop, I 
used the Sanded background stamp with a shell stamp from the Seaside set to create this simple and elegant card. The verse is appropriately from the Shellebrate stamp set which I used for the Surfin’ Snowman pull-up card. Tomorrow I will post another set of cards made with that cute set.

To recreate this:  Cut a piece of Naturals Ivory CS to 3-3/4" x 5". Stamp shell in versamark ink and use Gold Stampin’ emboss powder & heat tool to emboss the shell image. Ink Sanded background stamp with Versamark pad and colorize using chalk Stampin’ pastels in natural tones of mustard, cocoa, chocolate, carmel, moss and rust, or add others you like! The sponge daubers work great for this! Punch 1/16" hole in top right corner and insert mini gold brad. Mount layer onto More Mustard Cardstock. Tie chocolate chip taffeta ribbon around front panel and trim points. On a small scrap of chocolate chip cardstock, emboss verse in gold, tear bottom edge, drag over versamark pad and emboss edging in gold for a gilded effect. Bend top left corner down. Mount onto card front. Note: In the second card sample, I added some more colored pastels to the background, made a bow with ribbon, added embossing around edges of shell layer and adding more tearing to the verse. You can always use the same basic concept, change out ink colors, papers, ribbons, backgrounds to get a variety of looks, not only on this example, but on any project. Tip: The reason I embossed the shell first in gold was to avoid the gold embossing powder sticking to the versamark ink used with the pastels. So whenever you want to add embossing to a chalked background or stamped card, you have to plan to do the embossing first, unless you don't mind having some touches of embosssing in your background.

If you want to see the Stampin' Up! sets that will be retiring, click here to view. Order by Dec. 23rd and receive 10% off plus FREE shipping!!! You can order these directly from my website. They will no longer be available after Jan. 18th.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Day 17 - Handmade Garland

If it’s time to trim the tree and you’re tired of the same, store bought trimmings, think about using your scrap & stamp supplies to make your own garland or ornaments. Here is an example of handmade garland, from my 12 Tips article in the Dec. 2008 issue of Scrap & Stamp Arts Magazine. You can use wire, hemp, floss, fibers, ribbons and more. Add buttons, brads and other fun embellishments to make your tree Scraplicious! I used dollar stamps from Inque Boutique’s Holiday Spotlight collection along with favorite finding buttons, Glue Arts Adhesives and Karen Foster Design’s scrapper’s floss. Happy Decorating!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Day 18 - Reusable Wish List

If you haven’t picked up your copy of the Dec. issue of Scrap & Stamp Arts, then you have missed this and some other fun projects featured in my 12 Tips to Make the Holidays “Greener” article. This is a reusable wish list featuring an acetate overlay. You can use permanent marker and replace the overlays for different shopping days or family members.