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Why I Love Handmade Non-Traditional Coloured Christmas Cards

Why I Love Handmade Non-Traditional Coloured Christmas Cards

Today I want to tell you why I love handmade non-traditional coloured Christmas cards. Tell me, if you had to guess the number of red, white and green cards you received last year, what would you say? Probably more than half right?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of traditional colours. After all, Santa would look a little funny in a pink suit. But isn’t it a super feeling to get a little unexpected surprise in your envelope? So why not think about making your own with a different colour palette like I did here?

why I love handmade non-traditional coloured Christmas cards

Well? Would you send a card this colour? Or is it a bit too “soft” for you? I admit, it’s completely different from another non-traditional coloured card I shared last year. Maybe that’s why I like it so much – it’s not every day you see powder blue stockings hung on the fireplace. This one brings to mind Victorian decorations don’t you think?

What are my favourite things about non-traditional colours?

  1. they will be unexpected
  2. my cards will stand out from the normal Christmas colours
  3. I can create a certain “feeling” if I want
  4. colour coordinating keeps paper crafting fun
  5. creating with non-traditional colours keeps me inspired
  6. I come up with new combinations I can use for non-holiday projects

But how about we take a closer look ‘cause I’ve got a lot going on with this card, even though it doesn’t really look like it because there’s really only ONE colour!

why I love handmade non-traditional coloured Christmas cards

First, I paired the snowflakes on the stocking with the Softly Falling embossed background. If you don’t have this embossing folder, get it! Not only is it superb for snow like you see here, it works for celebrations, birthdays, even sympathy and thank you’s. Really just about anything. It’s one of the most versatile embossing folders we have and one I reach for over and over. Did you know the Christmas Stocking thinlit is on sale this week? At 30% off, it’s a fabulous deal!  But only until November 26th!

why I love handmade non-traditional coloured Christmas cards

Then I glitzed up the stocking with some Dazzling Diamonds glimmer paper I repeated for the background. One small strip is all you need to take your card from pretty to spectacular! I’m sorry you can’t see this card in person. It really is stunning. The light catches the glimmer and it sparkles just like the moon on newly fallen snow. Another little touch is each of the snowflakes has a dot of Dazzling Diamonds glitter. They invite you to touch them and mirrors the glimmer paper.

why I love handmade non-traditional coloured Christmas cards

The last touch is a perfectly matted greeting, one of my all time favourites. Isn’t it a beautiful script for “Christmas”? Being a calligrapher, I know it was created with a pointed pen, one of my three “go-to” lettering styles when I pull out my ink and nibs. And I love how the little flourish at the bottom is so whimsical. I repeated the Soft Sky ink to maintain the card’s softness. A quick whiz through the Big Shot with the second smallest layering ovals and a stitched shape oval in bright Whisper White and it’s done.

Some tips as you try out some different colour combinations:

  • Stick with some traditional images, like my stocking or presents. Because they’re familiar your card will immediately say Christmas even if your colour doesn’t!
  • Think about sticking with only one colour like I did here. The simplicity will make it WOW all on its own.
  • Make sure your colours work with each other. For example, Crushed Curry would have looked out of place here!
  • Pick colours and images that suggest a “coordinated feel”. If I had chosen to add a dark purple topping for the stocking, it would have looked too heavy for the card.

So now you know why I love handmade non-traditional coloured Christmas cards. Do you wanna make one for yourself? Here is everything I used and they would love a place in your craft room too!

 

why I love handmade non-traditional coloured Christmas cards

When you get a card in colours out of the norm, your greeting will stand out from the rest. Not only because it’s unique and handmade, but because you’re willing to go out on the “coloured limb”. Every year designers come up with new and trendy colours for the holiday season. Take a peek at those and maybe you’ll also be saying “why I love handmade non-traditional coloured Christmas cards”!

Cute Stampin’ BLENDS Coloured Christmas Card

Cute Stampin’ BLENDS Coloured Christmas Card

Today is my last focussed post on how cute Stampin’ BLENDS coloured Christmas cards can be. It doesn’t mean you won’t see BLENDS ever again though because they have truly become a favoured tool of mine.

Once again, I turned to the Cookie Cutter stamp set for inspiration for a quick card. Ever since it came out last year, I wanted to feature an igloo with the little Inuit kiddie. It only took me a year, but I DID finally get around to it with the new alcohol markers!

Then I want to share with you a recap of my FAVOURITE THINGS about Stampin’ BLENDS. But first, let’s see our cookie cutter cutie.

cute stampin blends coloured Christmas cards

Isn’t she a sweet little thing? I chose cool colours for her parka, spiced up with a little orange for contrast. I thought it coordinated well to create a “frosty” scene.

What colours of BLENDS have I used here?  Light and Dark Night of Navy, Dark Pumpkin Pie, Light and Dark Pool Party, Dark Smoky Slate, Dark Crumb Cake and Light and Dark Pink Pirouette…oh and the Color Lifter too of course.

Here’s the technique I used to create a hint of colour on the parka fur. I first laid down a layer of the Colour Lifter, then while still wet, dotted a couple bits of Light Smoky Slate and Light Pool Party. Then I lightly ran the Colour Lifter over it to blend. It gives just a “suggestion” of colour ! Take a little closer peek.

cute stampin blends coloured Christmas cards

A couple things to note in this card?

  • I used the Brick Wall textured embossing folder on a piece of Thick Whisper White then cut out a large circle with my framelits and a small 1 1/2” circle with my punch for the igloo
  • The igloo gets just a hint of colour with sponged Marina Mist on the edges and the “snow bricks”
  • Torn edges of two pieces of Whisper White overlap to create snow piles, also sponged on the torn edge with Marina Mist

So let me recap my favourite parts about the Blends:

  1. Simplicity: I can’t stress enough how simple these markers are to create with! Stampin’ Up! Has taken all the work out of trying to match colours and tones with introducing only a light and a dark in each colour. (WAAY easier than the old Blendabilities IMHO.)
  2. Blendability: And they do blend superbly. For anyone who has not experienced alcohol markers yet, this is s HUGE benefit!
  3. Cost: In comparison to other alcohol markers out there, the Stampin’ BLENDS are very affordable.
  4. Dual tipped nibs: I really am having fun playing with both the bullet tip and brush nibs. I’m pretty firmly set on the brush tip, but for smaller detailed areas, texture and quick clean ups with the Colour Lifter, the bullet tip is great.
  5. Short Dry Time: Again, like Goldilocks porridge, the level of moisture is “juuuust” right. Not too wet to warp or pill the paper and not to dry that your blending doesn’t happen. I can let it dray a couple minutes and go back in to rebound or pick up colour. For an impatient crafter like myself, this is AWESOME!

You may have everything to make this card – except your BLENDS 😉 But even if not, everything you need is right here! Simply click on the image to order and have it delivered right to your doorstep using my hostess code FT6ESYNK. Don’t forget about my SPECIAL OFFER on until Nov 5th!

Let’s take a last look at this cute Stampin’ BLENDS Christmas card.

cute stampin blends coloured Christmas cards

My advice to you if you’ve never used alcohol markers before? Start with a few colours to see for yourself how EASY they are to use. For example, you can select the colours I’ve used here which is almost my Option 1 (with a few tweaks!)  I totally predict you will fall in love with this colouring tool too.

But if you’re having any challenges, I am ready and willing to give you a hand to work them out. Because I want you to love these as much as me…if you really can’t seem to get them to work…I WILL BUY THEM BACK from you! There’s not too many times I would offer a guarantee like that! I really hope that doesn’t happen though. And that soon you’ll have fun making a cute Stampin’ BLENDS coloured Christmas Card just like this one.

Stampin’ BLENDS Tips and Tricks

Stampin’ BLENDS Tips and Tricks

Want some more Stampin’ BLENDS tips and tricks? Yesterday, I shared my own tips  as I’ve been learning and playing with the new BLENDS. Now I want to share some of Stampin’ Up!’s videos and tricks to give you lots of ways to get started creating right away.

Have you noticed I REALLY love these new artist quality alcohol markers? They’re SO easy to use, anyone can get superb results fast! Let’s recap some of the first projects I started with…in the order I coloured them (not necessarily the order you saw them on my blog LOL!) so you can see some progression. I’ve made a couple notes about my experiences!

 

Stamped on Thick Whisper White with Memento Tuxedo Black as recommended. Used only the light and dark of three colours and the Colour Lifter. Lovely to work with.

like to colour? get your stampin' blends today

blends make cute cards even cuter

 

Stamped with Chocolate Chip ink on Crumb Cake. Neither of which are suggested (because I’m a rebel!) And WORKED like a charm! Blended with Light and Dark Crumb Cake with a touch of Bronze and accented with Dark Cherry Cobbler and Dark Calypso Coral.  Removed a little bit of his red nose with the Color Lifter.

 

Stamped on Thick Very Vanilla. Experimented with removing colour with the Color Lifter after blending Light and Dark Daffodil Delight with some Light Smoky Slate in the corners. The grapes are done with Light Rich Razzleberry and Light Night of Navy and highlighted with the Color Lifter. I did have some bleeding outside the edges which I was able to clean up with my Color Lifter – an absolute NECESSITY!)

stampin' blends available tomorrow

I got started just by viewing Stampin’ BLENDS tips and tricks videos from Stampin’ Up!. Take a few moments and see for yourself!

No matter your level – beginner or experienced – working with alcohol markers, I KNOW you will fall in love with the new Stampin’ BLENDS. I have one more project to share with you tomorrow focussing exclusively on the BLENDS and then I’ll be sprinkling them through my regular blog posts.

In the meantime, don’t forget about my SPECIAL OFFERS to get your own sets of markers. Then you’ll be able to come up with your own Stampin BLENDS tips and tricks as you play!

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What I Love About Direct-to-Paper Reinker Techniques

What I Love About Direct-to-Paper Reinker Techniques

You know what I love about direct-to-paper reinker techniques the MOST? How quick and easy they are! Make a TON of backgrounds in a flash! But that’s not all…take a peek and then I’ll share why they’re on my top ten techniques list.

what I love about direct to paper reinker techniques

Like it? Doesn’t it look fabulously clean and crisp? The colours just POP off the page! Know which ones they are? How about Powder Pink, Melon Mambo and Rich Razzleberry? Set against a Shimmery White background, they’re an intense background for the bold black lettering.

Here’s another angle so you can really see how the paper shimmers in this light.

what I love about direct to paper reinker techniques

This technique is so quick, I made almost 30 backgrounds in about 20 minutes!  What a feeling of accomplishment.  Then they were all ready for stamping my greeting and popping onto a card to throw into the mail.  And all of them are just a wee bit different so you’ll never get bored.  So when you have a whole bunch of cards to send, like I did for customers thank you’s last month, this is a huge time saver – with pretty fabulous results!

So let’s see…I promised to share what I love about direct-to-paper reinker techniques right? Here goes…

  • Brilliant colour combinations – it’s pure refill, no added water, so you’ll always get the truest colour
  • Fantastic Colour blending – my three colours mix together and complement each other beautifully – there’s so many combinations to play with it’s hard to know where to start
  • Unexpected results – you can never pre-plan what you end up with – pure chance and luck play a big part
  • Contrast – if you like bold colour contrasts, this is the technique for you
  • One layer art – I’ve got a perfectly flat piece of Shimmery White – and it doesn’t need any embellishment!
  • Limited supplies – reinkers, a palette knife and some paper…and maybe some paper towel!
  • Instant results – this technique takes probably 15 seconds! Holy moly that’s FAST!

See how few supplies I have for this card. You might even have everything you need at home. If not, I’m glad to help you with that!

what I love about direct to paper reinker techniques

There are SO many ways to use reinkers in your papercrafting.  Here’s another thank you card which has a TOTALLY different feel.  Don’t you think it’s ultra exciting to create unique pieces of art with a simple supply?

So do I hear you zooming into your craft room for your reinkers and some Shimmery White cardstock right now? I hope so. And once you do, I predict you’ll be just as hooked as I am. Then it won’t only be me saying what I love about direct-to-paper techniques – we’ll be saying it together!

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Create Quick and Easy Punch Borders

Create Quick and Easy Punch Borders

If you like having a matted frame for your paper crafted greetings, today I’m sharing how to create quick and easy punch borders. While I love my dies, I absolutely ADORE punches! They’re at the top of my go-to tools list for fast and fun crafting. So when you have a ready-made “says-it-all” stamp like this Christmas greeting, a matched punch is dee-vine!

create quick and easy punch borders

Know the number one reason I think punches are top notch? Just one quick “ker-chunk” and voila, a greeting with a unique shape! Not a boring old square or rectangle anymore!  This Everyday Label punch has a cute scalloped edge, almost like an admission ticket. See it on the four corners? And it’s got a fab rounded end that’s fun to dress up with a metallic shape or rhinestone – or leave plain like I did here. Take a closer peek.

create quick and easy punch borders

Now don’t get me wrong…I’m an accountant – anyone say Type A personality? Symmetry, straight lines, perfect circles, squares and rectangles speak to me. On top of that, borders and mattings for frames and cards are a MUST HAVE. (I start to itch if I think it’s missing!) So when I can create quick and easy punch borders to frame my shape, I’m a very happy crafter. And this is SOOOO easy, you’ll wonder why you haven’t done it sooner.

No need for fussy cutting. Not necessary to pull out your Stampin’ Trimmer. Just one quick snip of your punched shaped, a little adhesive, and you’re done. What a great way to get even more life from your punches. Here’s what it looks like from the back so you can see what I mean.

create quick and easy punch borders

See? Not rocket science I know. In fact I suspect you’ve seen or heard this before. But I sometimes forget how quickly this elevates a card to star status so thought a reminder might be timely. You might even remember I used this exact same technique on this beautiful wedding card – for a double matting!

create quick and easy punch borders

Let’s talk about how the rest of the card comes together. Patterned paper, in this case the Be Merry designer series paper – ON SALE NOW – is the main background. Aren’t these little trees cute? With traditional red, white and green, I didn’t have to even think about my colour choices. Our 1/4” double stitched Cherry Cobbler ribbon is a perfect complement with its bright white stitching. I wrapped it around my card, secured it with glue dots then attached my greeting with dimensionals. Two mattings on a Garden Green card base stopped my itch reaction – and really gave a nice solid weight to the card!

I always think it’s fun to create a little work of art on the inside too – a nice surprise!

create quick and easy punch borders

Wanna make this card for your holiday greetings? Here’s everything I used. Why not treat yourself to something new today?

create quick and easy punch borders

You’ll never go wrong with a classic card with fun details, like this one. If you’re like me and NEED lovely defined mattings, let your punches come to the rescue. Create quick and easy punch borders with minimum steps – and maximum results.

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