Sunday, August 14, 2011

Back with a Christmas card, and some flowers

Hello!  We had a lovely vacation up to Montana the other week- it was wonderful up there, not too hot for a change.  We unplugged for a couple of days up at my cousin's cabin waaayyy out in the middle of nowhere, and that was awesome!  I have never experienced such dead quiet before- no noise from the road or neighbors, because they're on 5 acres and pretty far from anyone else.  It was great!  Not even any cell service- when I could get a signal, it was from a Canadian cell company, and I'm not one to pay international rates, cell service.  It's always nice to get away from it all, but it's hard coming back, and I'm just now, a week later, starting to feel like things are back to normal.

I had some catching up to do once we got back, because I realized that the embellishment swap that I signed up for with the PBS Swappers group has a pretty short deadline- they have to be to Christy by the 20th.  Yikes- guess I got this one mixed up with the Christmas in July swap, which is due by the 30th!  I got a new Sizzix Sizzlits die set right before I left on vacation, and was anxious to put it to use.  I signed up for medium sized flowers, which are 1.5-2.5 inches in diameter, and these were perfect for that.  Instructions are to send 4 flowers to each person signed up, so I decided to do 4 different flowers.  One of the flower dies looked an awful lot to me like daffodils, so I decided to use  yellow shades for it.

This is cute.  The outer and middle layer are from the die set.  The center was punched with a small snowflake punch for the flower stamin.  I actually experimented with a star punch first, but the snowflake worked out better.

I also finished two other sets of flowers:

The shape of the one on the left might look familiar...I used this Sizzix die last year for the Christmas in July card swap for my poinsettia cards.  Here, I've used pink and brown shades, including a patterned paper that I liked.  The center is a glittery brown embellishment that I had left over from last year when I did that custom order of Black-eyed Susan bookmarks for an Etsy client, and made a gift bag to match, using those as the centers for the paper Black-Eyed Susans- pictures in this post.  The one on the right was made from another Sizzix die that I got recently.  I think I got that one at JoAnn's at the 4th of July sale they had.  The outer two layers are from that, and the inner two are from punches I already had.  I used a glittery card stock I found at JoAnn's the other day when I stopped in.  Oh, I was so excited to go there!  They are now carrying Spellbinder dies, and I got another deckled rectangle Nestabilities set!  I ordered one from their website a couple weeks ago, but the one I got yesterday has longer/skinnier rectangles, which are perfect for stamping card sentiments on.  Their prices are WAY better than at Craft Warehouse- they've been 40% off at JoAnn's, so I will have to go back and see if there are any others I want.  Plus, JoAnn's offers a lot more coupons than CW does, so I will probably get my dies there from now on.

So, now I just need to do one more set of flowers for the embellishment swap.  I have the mostly done, but still need to finish them off, then I can mail them out.  My last set are in shades of purple and I think will be pretty when they are done.

Also this weekend, I finally finished my Christmas cards for the Christmas in July card swap.  Woohoo- I am glad to have these done!

I had a lot of trouble with these for some reason.  I picked up the holly paper over a month ago at JoAnn's, and had done a sample card with no problem.  But my sample card was a standard A2 size, which was not big enough for my Merry Christmas stamp to fit on.  So I increased the size to 4 7/8x7.  The problem with that was that then I had too much empty space on the bottom of the card.  I tried making a few different holly embellishments myself, only to fail with each one, and finally ended up buying some at JoAnn's.  So, I cheated a little bit.  Usually, I am not in favor of using premade embellishments on my cards, but in this case I really could not find anything else, and I was running out of time.  So, I cheated, but just this once. ;)

Some fun news- I have volunteered to host my first swap at the PBS Swappers site!  I am going to do a fall-themed card swap.  Cards can be for a fall holiday (Halloween or Thanksgiving), or just a general fall theme.  I have lots of ideas on this one, so it will be hard to narrow it down!  I hope I get lots of sign-ups for this one- it's so much more fun when there are many participants!

That's it for now.  We're gearing up for the start of school in the next few weeks, so spare time will be scarce!  Hopefully I can finish up my flowers for the embellishment swap, and get started on the fall themed cards soon.  Til next time!

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