Friday, December 31, 2010

Celebrating You

Happy New Year's Eve! I felt like a kid in a candy store last night with my Webster's Pages Hollywood Vogue paper collection and some beautiful JustRite stamps. I played and played with no real plan in mind and was so happy with the results. (By the way, the Hollywood Vogue choice was totally inspired by these two knock-outs by Oliwiaen. I was drooling!)

Some fun details:

  • Accordian-fold medallion, edges painted in ivory and dusted with chunky glitter
  • A lacy circle within a lacy circle, both with stitched perimeters, and topped with a sentiment from JustRite's Birthday centers
  • Decorative black die-cuts on the left and right. These were done with one of the small accent dies in JustRite's new Nested Sentiment Custom Spellbinders Dies set. The large pearls are by Kaiser Craft.
  • Behind the medallion, a Spellbinders Labels Five diecut stamped in black using a pretty JustRite decorative rectangle frame. I used one from the Baroque Nested Frames set, currently sold out at Stamper's Dream. The Victorian Nested Frames would work beautifully as well.
  • Along the bottom, my silly favorite part of the whole card ... a curvy piece of cheetah/leopard print peeking out. This was cut with a Tim Holtz Plaque & Postage Alterations die.
  • At the top, some buttery, creamy lace trim (pretty sure it's made by Prima).
  • And through the middle, some dramatic wide black and ivory striped ribbon, a crinkled ivory seam binding double bow and a gorgeous pink Webster's Pages sparkler.

Here are a couple of detail shots:

Thanks so much for visiting! See you bright and early tomorrow morning as the SFYTT sisters kick off the new year with a brand-new monthly format, an awesome sponsor, and a fabulous Sketch For You To Try!

Farewell 2010!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Best Gift ...

I was needing a Pure Innocence "fix" and reached for the adorable Don't Open Until... by My Favorite Things. Coloring is with Copics on Neenah Classic Crest Solar White. The papers are from the Tickled Pink collection by My Mind's Eye. Details include stitched borders on the circles, a punched butterfly trio, orange twine, an MFT Open Scallop Border die-cut topped with some Tickled Pink bling, and some super fun turquoise felt ricrac from MME's Tickled Pink trim card.

The sentiment carries over to the inside:

I covered up most of the felt ricrac, but I love it!!

Only two days left in 2010!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Where There is Love

Don't know about you, but it's always tough for me to get back to stamping after Christmas. I'm definitely ready after the break - just not focused. So I was especially looking forward to yesterday morning's Mojo Monday sketch challenge (#171). Julee's sketches always do wonders for my creative juices! This week, it's a Circle or Square challenge. I (obviously) chose the square version.

The sentiment is from Verve's Text Objects and the flower accent is the Wild Flower Plain Jane. I'm so accustomed to coloring and paper-piecing line images that I often forget how quick it is to stamp with solid images like this Wild Flower. I stamped three flowers in Ranger Fired Brick Distress ink, trimmed down two of them, and layered them onto the first. The glass bauble in the center is from Tim Holtz's Fanciful Acoutrements set. The patterned paper is from Basic Grey's Curio collection, and the pewter pearls are from KaiserCraft. Each layer is popped up on foam adhesive, too, so this card is a thick one!

Don't miss the awesome Good Buy 2010 Sale going on right now at Verve! Enjoy a 15%, 35%, or 50% savings on every single item in the store. Valid on in-stock merchandise only, while supplies last.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Stamps: Text Objects, Wild Flower Plain Jane (Verve Stamps) 
Paper: Stampin' Up Early Espresso card stock, Papertrey Rustic White card stock, Basic Grey Curio dp
Ink: Ranger Walnut Stain and Fired Brick Distress Ink
Accessories: Spellbinders classic circle and Labels Sixteen Nestabilities, Kaiser Craft Pewter adhesive pearls, May Arts burlap string, Tim Holtz Idea-ology Acoutrements - Fanciful, foam adhesive, paper piercer
Size: 4 3/4" square

Friday, December 24, 2010

Jolliest Christmas Ever

What a week! I mentioned in my last post that my youngest had come down with something. Guess who followed right behind him? I was finally feeling better yesterday evening and quickly got to work making up for lost time. I've got dozens and dozens of truffle balls in the fridge, but couldn't bear the thought of hand-dipping them into chocolate. So, into the freezer they went, putting me waaaaaay ahead for Valentine's Day - woohoo! Instead, I pulled out a quick, easy and delicious recipe a friend passed along last year ... Comet's White Chocolate Crunch:

10 ounces pretzels
2 cups peanuts
5 cups Cheerios
5 cups Corn Chex
16-ounce bag of M&M's
2 12-ounce bags of white chocolate chips
3 T vegetable oil

Mix the first five ingredients in a very large bowl (this makes a LOT). Melt the chips and oil in the microwave or in a double-boiler, and pour over the cereal mixture. Stir well and spread onto wax paper. When cool, break into chunks. Note: For Valentine's Day, make Cupid's Crunch - just swap the Christmas M&Ms for Valentine-colored ones.

I packaged the Comet Crunch into cracker jars that I get at Target for around $3-$4 each. I wrapped a length of wide green striped ribbon around each jar, then decorated the lids with accordian-fold medallions.

The sentiment is from one of my favorite holiday sets this year -- JustRite's Whimsical Christmas. The papers are from The Girls' Paperie Tinsel & Twig collection. Behind the medallion is a scalloped border circle die-cut that was made using a Spellbinders Lacy Circle Nestabilities.

Be sure to check out the Sale & Specials section at Stamper's Dream for lots of markdowns on Christmas and other items!

In case I don't get a chance to post tomorrow, Merry Christmas to all!

Giveaway Winner!

Contratulations to Kelly at Kelly's Place ...

BloggerKelly said...
What a great prize package! Love your designs and seeing your work CONGRATS on your achievements and milestones and thank YOU for sharing your work with us!
December 20, 2010 8:27 PM

You're the winner of my big celebration giveaway! Please email me with your address so I can get your goodies on their way! Congrats!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Mojo Love

[Don't miss my special celebration giveaway, open through December 23]

I snuck in some stampy playtime yesterday and decided to play along in this week's Mojo Monday sketch challenge (#170). Here's the sketch:

I used Verve stamps and a Verve die to create the focal panel. First, I die-cut a white panel using Verve's Vintage Oval die. The next layer is a lime piece that has been stamped first in Kiwi Kiss ink with one of the Text Objects background stamps and second in black ink using the Vintage Oval Frame. I hand-trimmed it flush with the stamp outline and layered it onto the white die-cut. Next are two hearts from Text Objects, stamped onto two of the patterns from Basic Grey's Marjolaine collection, and a sentiment flag with the word "Love" stamped in Kiwi Kiss ink.

Here's a detail shot:

Instead of the circle at the upper left, I stuck on some rhinestone flourishes. The notch along the bottom of that dark grey floral pattern was done with a Martha Stewart Flourish punch.

Through December 31, enjoy a 15% discount on Text Objects and all of Verve's newest releases. While supplies last.

Before I go, continued thanks for all of your sweet comments on Sunday's giveaway post. They're like little virtual hugs -- so heartwarming and so very appreciated! Thanks also for your input on the post office complexities! Guess who hasn't yet made it there after all? So much left to do still, beginning with getting my littlest one well again. Poor little guy :(

Sharon, Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth is yours! Click here to email me your address.

Thanks for swinging by today!

Stamps: Text Objects, Vintage Oval Frame (Verve Stamps)
Paper: Papertrey Smokey Shadow and White card stock, Basic Grey Marjolaine 6x6 designer paper
Ink: Versafine Onyx Black, Stampin' Up Kiwi Kiss
Accessories: Verve Vintage Oval die, white crinkly seam binding, rhinestone flourishes, foam adhesive, Martha Stewart Flourish punch, SU corner rounder
Size: A2 / 4 1/4" x 5 1/2"

Monday, December 20, 2010

Wimpy Kid Fans?

I have a GREAT BIG GIVEAWAY in progress ... don't miss it!

For today ... something not at all stamping-related, but fun for someone, maybe?

If you're the parent of an elementary school-age child, you've no doubt heard of the Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney. It so happens that Jeff's brother recently opened a music store here in my small town and arranged for Jeff to come do a book signing during the Thanksgiving weekend. Very exciting for my fourth-grader!

Due to a pre-order misunderstanding, my son ended up with a paperback copy of the latest book in the series, The Ugly Truth, while all of his other Wimpy Kid books are hardback. My obsessive tendencies got the best of me at the book signing, and I purchased a hardback copy of The Ugly Truth so the set would be all matchy-matchy. Which leaves the original paperback copy (also signed) available!

If you or someone you know is interested in a free, signed copy of The Ugly Truth (paperback, read once, but in very good condition), please email me. All I ask is that you cover postage - thanks! First-come, first-served.

[Update: Sharon, comment #2, it's yours! Email me and I'll get this on its way!]

Just for fun ... here's the stack of books belonging to my son and two friends:

Tell me that lone paperback wouldn't aggravate you, too? No? {grin}

Four very happy boys ...

The goofball on the left? Mine.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Let's Celebrate!

I haven't done a giveaway on the ol' blog here in a looooooong time. What do you say we fix that today?? We could call this a Merry Christmas giveaway, a blog anniversary giveaway (my third anniversary was back in October), or even, get this, a one-million hits celebration giveaway, a milestone I quietly passed around September/October, shortly before my blog anniversary. But what it really is is a Thank YOU celebration for all of you who continue to visit with me here at Pickled Paper Designs. I'm so grateful for each of you -- for your emails and comments, your support and encouragement. You're the best readers any blogger could ask for!

I mentioned yesterday that I'd have lots to share today, so let's get started! No hoops to jump through, just leave a comment and you'll be entered into a random drawing. Winner takes ALL (a $180+ value)! The deadline to enter is 11:59 pm EST Thursday, December 23. I'll announce the winner sometime on Friday, Christmas Eve. Fun!

Before I spell out the prize package contents, I'd like to thank the companies who have so generously contributed to this giveaway. These are companies that I've either worked with or purchased from for years! I am confident you'll love these products as much as I do!

Here's what goes to one random commenter:

... thanks in part to Verve Stamps and owner Julee Tilman, one of the most amazing individuals in this industry--caring, generous, big-hearted and wildly talented ...

 $25 Verve Gift Certificate

Believe ($24 value)

... thanks in part to Stamper's Dream, the best online stamp retailer, and owner Michelle Rodgers, someone I'm so very honored to call a friend ...

$25 Stamper's Dream gift certificate

Purr-Fect Christmas stamp by Stampavie ($7.50 value)

... thanks to JustRite Stamps, one of my favorite stamp lines that Stamper's Dream carries ...

Groovy Snowmen and 3 1/4" stamp block ($30 value)

... thanks to My Favorite Things, for whom I proudly designed in 2009 and half of 2010 ...

Who's That E-Girl (value $15.95)

... thanks in part to Skipping Stones Design, seriously fun (and funny!) stamps ...

 Chick-Chat stamp set ($14.49 value)

... and last, since you'll need great paper and embellishments for all your new stamps, thanks to Paper Posies, an online monthly papercrafting kit company...

One July 2010 Kit ($42 value)

I've been a Paper Posies subscriber for many, many years and continue to look forward to each month's package of goodies like it's my first. I was lucky to win a free kit giveaway a while back, and am thrilled to 'pay it forward' to one of you! Here's a full list of the July 2010 kit contents:

Patterned/Specialty Paper
October Afternoon Needs Paint (double-sided)
October Afternoon Still in the Box (double-sided)
October Afternoon Complete Set (double-sided)
October Afternoon One of a Kind (double-sided)
The Girls’ Paperie Newsprint Stripe (double-sided) Not Pictured
The Girls’ Paperie Blue Ledger
My Little Yellow Bicycle  Cornflower/Cornflower Ledger (double-sided)
My Little Yellow Bicycle Chrysanthemum/Cora Stitched (double-sided)
KI Memories Blushing Gossip Lace Cardstock

2) American Crafts Powder
2) American Crafts Mint
2) American Crafts Blush
2) American Crafts Vanilla

 The Girls’ Paperie Chipboard Eclectic Alphas
American Crafts Emma Remark Alphas
My Little Yellow Bicycle Tape Borders
5) My Little Yellow Bicycle Journaling Sheets
Prima Designer Pearls
Prima Belle Arte Script Flowers

 1 pkg.  Pink Paislee Black Dot Artesian Tape
1 yard Maya Road Crochet Pom Pom Trim

Altered Project:
 Maya Road Tickets Keychain

**FYI ... this portion of the prize will not ship until mid-January.

Okay, I've made my list and checked it twice. Prizes -- check, how to enter -- check, deadline -- check. Let me know if I've missed anything!!

Good luck to all! And once again, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart!

Much love,

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Backyard Cardinal

Happy Saturday, blog friends! I learned at church last week that this coming Monday is the busiest day of the year at the post office, with 800 million pieces of mail expected to come through. Ha! Proof that I'm not the only procrastinator when it comes to mailing holiday cards! Actually, I mailed out my photo cards already, but all the handmade ones still need to go out. I dread taking them in to the post office and going through them one by one with a postal clerk, since I cannot for the life of me figure out their system accurately enough to determine postage myself! Now that I have a heads-up about Monday at the post office, you can be sure I'll be aiming for first in line (and drawing the ire of everyone behind me, no doubt)!

Today's card uses a beautiful cardinal image from JustRite's Backyard Birds set and a classic sentiment from JustRite's Christmas Nested Sentiments, along with more of that yummy Webster's Pages Waiting for Santa designer paper. The ornate embossed white/ivory shape to the left of the main image is one of Pink Paislee Ornament Artisan Elements. I've talked about these Artisan Elements before, but it's worth repeating for those who haven't seen them. They are so fun! They're made from a flexible resin-type material, and can be sponged, misted, painted, stamped on, colored on, etc. (or left plain, as I always seem to do). The Ornaments Artisan Elements are the perfect size for card-makers, too. Here's a closer look at one of the fourteen elements in the Ornaments collection:

Thanks so much for stopping by. If you're a regular, you know I don't normally post on Sundays, but do tune in tomorrow, as I have lots to share!!

Stamps: Backyard Birds, Christmas Nested Sentiments (JustRite)
Paper: Papertrey Rustic White, Webster's Pages Waiting for Santa, Neenah Classic Crest Natural White
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Versafine Onyx Black, Ranger Antique Linen and Brushed Corduroy Distress Inks
Accessories: Spellbinders Lacy Circles, Papertrey button, May Arts burlap string, Pink Paislee Ornament Artisan Elements, needle/thread/piercing tool, foam tape, rhinestone flourish (source unknown)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Viva La Verve!

I'm so excited to be hosting the Viva La Verve December Week 3 challenge over in the Verve Forum on Splitcoast! I'm guessing many of us are busy with holiday activities, so I've kept the sketch super simple. Here it is:

Instead of inspiration pictures this month, we're going with an inspiration theme - Ornaments & Holiday Decor. Hope you can play along!

Here's my sample:

The sentiment panel is stamped with a greeting from Glad Tidings and is framed with the Vintage Oval Frame stamp. I used the matching Vintage Oval die to die-cut the frame, then accented it with a black heat embossed snowflake, also from Glad Tidings. The snowflake is topped with a black button and further accented by a trail of bling peeking out from behind. The sheet music paper is from The Girls' Paperie and the snowflake pattern is from Making Memories. For the horizontal strip, I used some burlap ribbon (SEI) and baker's twine (Papertrey). The edges of the papers are dusted with some Martha Stewart snow glitter.

This is the third of four Viva La Verve sketches for December. You're welcome to participate in any of them, but those who complete all four will be eligible to win the entire January release! Worth playing for? You bet!! All the details are posted HERE.

And if you have some catching up to do, here are the first two sketches:

** Viva La Verve, Week 1 {December 3} **
** Viva La Verve, Week 2 {December 10} **

The final December sketch will be posted next Friday - Christmas Eve! And the deadline to complete all four is December 30. Good luck! By the way, Verve stamps are not required (but if you have them, we love to see them).

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward Men

Hi stampers! I must confess I haven't set foot in my craft room in more than a week (but I'm headed there in just a minute)! Today's card is one I made way back in mid-November, but neglected to share here. The patterned papers are from Basic Grey's Jovial collection and the sentiment is from JustRite's Simple Blessings cling set. The blue border at the top was die-cut with the Open Scallop Border Die-namics by My Favorite Things. The ribbon and brown baker's twine are from Papertrey, and the yellow trim is by Prima (I think). I attached more of those rusted jingle bells to the bow. Here's a closer look:

Thanks so much for visiting! Have a great day!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Wishing You Peace & Love

I can't believe it's only two weeks until Christmas. I am nowhere *near* ready! How about you? Mostly, I send out photo cards of the kids, plus as many handmade cards as I can get made, but this year, my completed card count is less than twenty, and I don't have a photo for the photo cards yet. Eeeeeeek! I've been crossing off names on my lengthy "small homemade gift" list -- not because their gift is done, but because they're not getting one! Sigh ... it happens every year.

Today is the last Sketch For You To Try for the year. We'll be taking a short break for the holidays, then returning in January! You may have seen the announcement last week that changes are coming to the SFYTT challenge. I'm going to send you to Jen's for most of the details, but one of the changes is that Jenn Diercks will be leaving the team. It's a sad farewell, as I have loved seeing her take on the sketches! Jenn's departure makes room for a new face, though, so a very warm welcome to ... Kerry Johnson!

This week's challenge, just like last week's, is to pick a favorite sketch from the archives and give it another go.

Here's my card ...

... based on this sketch, from November 13 of this year. (I was a little loose with it,  you can see.)

I just received JustRite's new Nested Frames Custom Dies set and couldn't wait to try them out. The Nested Frames set is one of two new sets of Spellbinders dies, custom-made to work perfectly with all of JustRite's rectangular Nested Frames and Nested Sentiments sets. For my sentiment panel (working bottom up), I first stamped the frame image from Christmas Nested Frames onto Neenah Natural White card stock, colored with Copics, and die-cut with the new dies. I then die-cut another rectangle with the next smaller die. Last is the sentiment, from Christmas Nested Sentiments (say that three times fast!), which I die-cut with a Spellbinders Labels Fourteen die to throw a curve into all those straight edges. The die-cut pieces have all been sponged twice, first with the die in place and second, a light sponging on the outer edge.

The black background paper is from Webster's Pages Waiting for Santa & Sweet Season 6x6 combo paper pack. I know some people are thrown off by black for Christmas, but I love it! Timeless, classy, elegant. This particular pattern has the words to "Do You Hear What I Hear?" in a gorgeous, script font. Here's a close-up:

The first time around with this sketch, I can remember being puzzled by that heart accent being behind the image (I ended up moving it in front). This time, I found that some crystal flourishes worked perfectly! Instead of three separate panels on the background, I chose to visually break the background into three sections with some seam binding. Do you still see the sketch? I hope so!

Have a look at which sketches the rest of the SFYTT sisters decided to re-visit this week:

Jen del Muro
Susan Liles
Amy Rohl
Megan Lock
Amber Hight
Sony Christoph
Jodi Collins
Jenn Diercks
Kelly Lunceford
Leigh O’Brien
Carole Burrage
Kerry Johnson

and Ana and Joanne, too!

[ETA: Sorry! I always just assume others will know how to play. Everyone is invited to participate! Just use any previous sketch for your project, then link it up to Jen's post. If you upload to any online galleries, use keyword SFYTT. That's all! Future guest designers are chosen from current participants, too!]

Thursday, December 9, 2010

An Old Friend

The other day I was trying (unsuccessfully) to color a snowy landscape for an image I was working with and was reminded of this snowy scene that I created during my Splitcoast Dirty Dozen tenure. The tree image and sentiment are from Tree Silhouettes by GinaK, the background is watercolored using Stampin' Up re-inkers, and the whole scene was colored to look like a P. Buckley Moss print (Trees in Harmony) that's in my home.

Thanks for popping in today!

Stamps: Tree Silhouettes (Gina K. Designs)
Paper:Canson 140-lb cold-press watercolor paper, SU Basic Black and Mellow Moss; Around the Block
Ink: Versafine Onyx Black
Accessories: SU top note die and clear embossing powder; Kaiser black adhesive pearls, Offray black satin ribbon, SU Basic Black and Going Gray markers