Monday, December 30, 2019


If you had told me last year about this time that I would be using a lot of Petal Pink and fall in love with a stamp set with an Eiffel Tower image now, I would have said, "Not.  A. Chance."  I would have been wrong.  When I first saw the Parisian Blossoms Suite in the new Mini Catalog, I was inexplicably drawn to it.  I loved the cherry blossoms, I loved the Eiffel Tower, I loved the designer series paper (which has a lot of Petal Pink in it) and I loved the pretty Petal Pink metallic edged ribbon.  I must being going through a Paris and Petal Pink stage. I don't know.  Maybe it was all those pretty pink pillows with Eiffel Towers on them and the Parisian themed accessories that I saw while I was shopping in several neat little boutique shops in Charleston this Fall.   The Eiffel Tower and Paris themes are on trend right now, that I know.  But why am I drawn to it, that I do not know.  I didn't think I was even the Paris or pink type.   I'm just going to go with this feeling, though, and stamp a lot of Eiffel Towers and cherry blossoms this Spring.

The TGIF Challenges product spotlight this week is fancy foil.  When I saw it, I immediately pulled out my new Parisian Beauty stamp set (#153778, available 1/3/20) and the coordinating Parisian Dies (#151463, available 1/3/20),  I knew an Eiffel Tower die cut out of Champagne Foil (#144748) would be stunning. After playing around with some ideas for a thank you card (my thank you stash is depleted), I ended up not even stamping on my card.  The Parisian Dies were all I needed to create a monochromatic Petal Pink thank you card with Champagne Foil and Champagne Rhinestones (#151193, available 1/3/20).

The card base is Petal Pink card stock layered with Champagne foil and a Petal Pink pattern from the Parisian Blossoms designer series paper (#151192, available 1/3/20). I die cut 5  "merci"s out of Petal Pink card stock and arranged them diagonally down the paper.  Then I adhered my Eiffel Tower over them and add the Champagne rhinestones to complete the card.  

I love using our foil papers on projects!  They seem to give a card a special little something.  You'll see what I mean by checking out the projects over at the TGIF Challenges Blog here.

Thanks for stopping by today!--Sara Nell

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Merry & Bright--#tgifc243

The TGIF Challenges challenge this week is to create with our favorite products from the Holiday Catalog.  Tough challenge!  I have lots of favorites from the Holiday Catalog. However, as I wrote my Christmas cards this year, I saw lots of cardinals and "Christmas Greetings" from the Toile Christmas stamp set (#150469). So I pulled out that stamp set and coordinating die set, Christmas Cardinal dies  (#150640), and decided to make a card without a cardinal or wreath made with the leaf dies  and without the "Christmas Greetings" stamp.

Most of my Toile Tidings designer series paper (#150436) is gone, too. Instead, I used a fun technique for my background.  I saw this technique on a card created by one of the Stampin' Up! concept artists and featured in a video that came out shortly after the Holiday Catalog went live.  It took me three tries and a now sorry looking Brick & Mortar 3D embossing folder (#149643) to get the background right on the first card I made with this technique, but I think it was worth it.

To create the German Schmear look on the background, I dotted the inside of the Brick & Mortar 3D embossing folder with drops of Snowfall Accents Puff paint (#150691) before placing the Real Red card stock inside and running it through the die cutting machine.  Then I hit the card stock with the Heat Tool as soon as it came out of the embossing folder to bring out the puff paint.  The first card I made with this technique was with Crumb Cake card stock and it looked great, but I wanted something different this time around.  I tried it on Cherry Cobbler and it looked good but was just too dark for this card. Learn from my trial and errors:  Do not try and spread the puff paint around on the folder--it will turn out ugly.  Just dot the paint on and dot it on more of the surface of the embossing folder than you think you need--when I first tried to be conservative with my puff paint, I ended up with glaringly blank spaces around the edges. Don't try to fix anything once it's out of the folder.  Be happy with an imperfect look (I know I have a problem with this one myself!)

WARNING:  Either have a tub of warm soapy water next to your die cutting machine to immediately drop the embossing folder into or be resigned to a cruddy looking embossing folder.  That puff paint does not come off after it dries--I found that out the hard way.  It still works, though.  The puff paint sometimes leaks out onto your cutting platform and plate--so wash those quickly, too.

I arranged two of the berry branches over the background.  They were stamped in Soft Suede and colored with the Cherry Cobbler combo, Old Olive combo and Soft Suede combo Stampin' Blends, then die cut.  The greeting was stamped in VersaMark on Old Olive card stock and heat embossed with White Stampin' Emboss Powder. It was die cut and adhered to the card front with Stampin' Dimensionals.

You are going to see lots of great projects over on the TGIF Challenges Blog this week.  Everyone is working with their favorites!

Wishing you a very Merry & Bright Holiday Season!
--Sara Nell 

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

A Christmas Package--#tgifc242

My daughter and I just came back from our 2019 Mother/Daughter Adventure.  Little grandson, Easton, came along for the fun.  We went to Waco, Texas to visit all of the Magnolia sites, the Waco Mammoth National Monument (I highly recommend it--great guided tour to the dig site), and the Cameron Park Zoo (where Easton got to feed a giraffe and we saw a serious rhino confrontation which included growling and horn clashing).  Needless to day, I came home with some neat Christmas gifts.  I used this week's TGIF sketch challenge as my inspiration for this Christmas package:

I created the gift box with a Crumb Cake card stock bottom and a top out of the Garden Green gingham pattern from the Toile Tidings designer series paper pack (#150432).   The finished size of the box is 4" x 9-1/4" x 1".  The box decorations were all added to a 2-3/4" wide Garden Green card stock belly band.

First, I die cut several pine boughs using the Beautiful Boughs die set (#150661).  They were cut from Garden Green and Granny Apple Green card stock and Gold Foil, then arranged on the belly band.  Next, I die cut the Crumb Cake label using a Stitched Nested Label die (#149638).  I stamped the label with the snow image from the Peaceful Boughs stamp set (#150541) in VersaMark ink and the greeting from the Dashing Deer stamp set (#147728) in Garden Green ink.  I added more die cut boughs and an acorn to this piece.  Two deer from the Dashing Deer stamp set were stamped in Soft Suede on Crumb Cake card stock and die cut using the Detailed Deer dies (#147915).  I sponged  some Champagne Mist shimmer paint (#147044)  on the two deer before adding them to the label. 

I am going to hand the gift to the recipient, so no need for a "from and to" tag.  Maybe she'll recycle the box next year!

This week's sketch is a terrific one for cards, too.  See more entries and the design team's take on this sketch over at the TGIF Challenges blog here.

Hope your Christmas is Merry!--Sara Nell


Wednesday, December 11, 2019


It's a sparkly color challenge this week for TGIF Challenges:  Whisper White, Seaside Spray, and Silver Glitter.  Sparkles, glitter, and shine--these give me joy when creating this time of year.  So, why not a "Joy" card?

The first step was to die cut the letters out of both Seaside Spray card stock (#150883) and Silver Glimmer paper (#146960) using the Hand-Lettered Prose dies (#149550).  I coated the Seaside Spray letters with Shimmery Crystal Effects (#150892) and let them dry.  I adhered these letters to the Silver Glimmer letters so that just a rim of silver showed around one edge of the letters.  That little edge of silver helps bring out the shimmer in the letters!

The background for the letters was created with Whisper White card stock (#100730) stamped with the snowflakes image from the Frosted Foliage stamp set (#150520).  The stamp image was first sponged with Delicata Silvery Shimmer Ink Refill (#150710), then  the silver ink was wiped off a few of the snowflakes which were then colored with the Seaside Spray Stampin' Write Marker (2019-2021 In Color Stampin' Write Markers, #150079).  The stamped piece was embossed with the Subtle 3D embossing folder (#151775).  This piece was layered over a piece of Silver Glimmer paper and then adhered to a 4" x 4" Seaside Spray card base.

The card was finished with a fold of Seaside Spray 1/4" metallic ribbon (#150446) and a Clear Epoxy Droplet (#147801).

To see more projects made with this beautiful color combination, head over to the TGIF Challenges blog here.

Wishing you a joyous holiday season!--Sara Nell 

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Happy to My Day--#tgifc240

Today, I have a clean and simple card created for this week's TGIF Challenges inspiration challenge:  Autumn Leaves.

All of the leaves from our trees have dropped and I have a nice crunchy pile of leaves to enjoy as I walk Roxie around the yard (at least until Herb gets them chopped up).  When the leaf cover is high, Roxie takes several short hops over it to get around--so funny to watch.  Autumn leaves are definitely the happy in my day so when I saw this sentiment in the Country Home stamp set (#147678), I had to use it for my card!

I started with a card base of Very Vanilla thick card stock.  I stamped the sentiment in VersaMark and heat embossed it with Copper Stampin' Emboss Powder (#141636).  Next I stamped some scrap pieces of Terracotta Tile card stock with the speckle image in the Gather Together stamp set (#150589), using the Delicata Celestial Copper ink refill (#150708) and a piece of Stampin' Sponge.  I die cut the small maple leaves out of the stamped card stock using a Gathered Leaves die (#150662).  Copper Trim (#144179) finished the card.

You'll find plenty of leafy inspiration over at the TGIF Challenges Blog here.

Hope you are having an awesome week!--Sara Nell

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Creation Station Blog Hop--Put a Ring on It!

Welcome to the December Creation Station Blog Hop!  So glad you stopped by.
Our theme this month is "Put a Ring on It".  It's all about belly bands on--so be sure and hop on through the design team's blogs for plenty of inspiration for your holiday projects.

I decided to create holiday packaging with belly bands for two gifts for her and two gifts for him (without mentioning who the "her" and "him" are--they may or may not see this blog post).  The packaging may be just a bit over the top.  But, hey, I had fun with these!

Two of the gifts fit perfectly inside the Gold Mini Pizza Boxes (#152068).  Love them!

On the "her" box, the belly band was made with a piece of the Toile Tidings designer series paper (#150436) layered over a piece of Real Red card stock.  Next a piece of the Real Red Ruched Ribbon (#150435) was tied around the belly band and into a bow on the side of the box.  The greeting is from the Toile Christmas stamp set (#150469).  It was stamped in VersaMark and heat embossed with Gold Stampin' Emboss Powder (#109129).  It was die cut using the Christmas Cardinal dies (#150640) and layered with two Gold Foil (#132622) swirls die cut using the same die set.  This was layered over a Real Red Glimmer Paper (#150427) scalloped circle die cut with a Layering Circles die (#141705).

On the "him" box, the belly band was made out of Shaded Spruce card stock tied with a piece of Shaded Spruce/Gold striped ribbon (#149597).  LOVE this ribbon!  A square of Wrapped in Plaid 6" x 6" designer series paper (#149596) layered over Shaded Spruce card stock was added over the belly band.   A greeting from Toile Christmas, heat embossed in gold and die cut with the Cardinal Christmas dies; two Gold Foil deer die cut from the Detailed Deer dies (#147915); and three Holiday Rhinestones (#150457) complete the belly band.

The larger "her" gift was wrapped with a piece of Toile Christmas designer series paper with a piece of the ruched ribbon wrapped around it.  The belly band was made with Real Red card stock.  Two Stitched Nested Labels (#149638), one die cut out of Real Red Glimmer Paper and the other out of Gold Foil (#132622), were layered on the belly band. The foil label was decorated with the cardinal from Toile Christmas stamped in Tuxedo Black Memento ink and colored with Real Red and Mango Melody Stampin' Blends; the greeting from Toile Christmas stamped on Very Vanilla card stock and heat embossed in gold;  Real Red glimmer paper leaves and Gold Foil swirls die cut using the Christmas Cardinal dies; and Red Basic Rhinestones (#146924).

The box for the large "him" package was created with Shaded Spruce card stock.  The belly band was made with a piece of the Wrapped in Plaid designer series paper. A piece  Shaded Spruce card stock was used as the back of the belly band because the 6" x 6" paper was not long enough to wrap completely around the box.  A piece of Shaded Spruce/Gold striped ribbon was wrapped around the belly band and tied in a bow.  Next a Gold Foil Stitched Nested Label was added.  This was decorated with a Detailed Deer die cut out of Shaded Spruce card stock and sponged with Champagne Mist shimmer paint (#147044); a greeting from Toile Christmas heat embossed in gold; more leaf and swirl die cuts from Christmas Cardinal dies; and Holiday Basic Rhinestones.

Hope I've inspired you to create some fun belly bands for your packaging this year!  

Now it's time to hop on over to Denita's blog for more inspiration:

Happy Holidays!--Sara Nell

Creation Station August Hop--Where the Wild Things Are Party Animals

Welcome to the August Creation Station Blog Hop.  Our theme this month is "Where the Wild Things Are Party Animals".  We'...