Monday, December 31, 2012

Challenge: The totally mad (no rules) tea party...

It’s New Year’s Eve and anything can happen - let’s break 2013 in with a crazy week of projects. Are you mad as a hatter? Do you love a good tea party? Is it your un-birthday? Do you like to break all rules and just do your own thing? Use wild colors and bold design? However you choose to interpret the challenge, we’re sending 2012 out with a bang - and one Mad Tea Party.
We're having a party and you are invited! This is an 'anything goes' week - so enjoy!
While you'll see that the team created projects inspired by my intro to this challenge, this is an "anything goes" week and so I (May) took that to heart and scrapbooked some photos I'd been meaning to find time for.
I scrapbook so very often - and yet so rarely here on the challenge blog so I couldn't resist breaking out some bright colors, fun Kelly Purkey stamps, and whipping up one last layout in 2012. Since this is an anything goes challenge - I went for a funky messy look with stencil and ink and splatter. My motto this time of year is to take any small amounts of crafting time you can find - and run wild!
Pack up your suitcase and ring in the New Year with Candy at the Mad Hatter's Tea Party!  This little vintage beauty is full of fun and yes; even tea!
  I love this little Sizzix Suitcase Bag die cut.  It's the perfect size for packing tea bags for the party! The cover actually opens and I have added an extra interior flap so that I could use more of these gorgeous vintage style stamps from TJ's Mad Hatter's Tea Party stamp set; three scenes in all.  I used Distress Inks, Stickles, Biscotti Perfect Pearl Mists and  Essentials Watercolor Pencils to create backgrounds and bring the characters to life.
Expect the unexpected is what Trace thinks of when she thinks of Mad Tea Party.
The theme of Mad Tea Party had me envisioning crazy bright wild colours, .so that was the starting point for my tag. I want big and bold, so these #10 manila tags really fit the bill, and so do the Dylusions spray inks in colours Bubblegum Pink,  Fresh LimeCrushed Grape, and Squeezed Orange. I wanted my tag to be fun and a little unexpected, and adding some doodling is new to me. I used these Sakura Pens for the black doodles, and added a little bling with Sakura Gelly Roll Metallic Pens. To finish off the tag I wanted a saying that would match the fun tag, so I choose one from this Dylan Reaveley's Quintessential Quotes Stamp Set , this was the only saying in this set I had yet to use- perfect!

Ring in the new year with a Mad Tea Party, raise your tea cup with Tracy and enjoy the New Year with a refreshing cup of tea.
No Mad Tea Party is ever complete without a quirky tea cup, tea always tastes better in a tea cup. I always associate blue with Alice's dress and so my cup was coloured with broken china Distress Ink and covered with book pages from an Alice in Wonderland book. My Alice In Wonderland characters are courtesy of Crafty Secrets Greetings From Wonderland Stamps, coloured with blue, neutral, red/yellow Pitt Pastel Pencil. There is nothing finer than a refreshing cup of tea!

 could not pass up the opportunity to scrap these fun photos of her little one with the Rabbit for this week's challenge!
When I think of The Mad Hatter, all I can think of is an unexpected adventure. In addition to the obvious reference of the Rabbit in these photos, they were also taken at The Magic Kingdom, which is FULL of unexpected adventures! After fussy cutting those adorable little tea cups from my American Crafts Soho Garden collection, I layered them over my photos. More fussy cut floral loveliness balances out my areas of embellishment. Then, using Jillibean Soup Alpha Beans, and some shiny Sequins, I added in my title- trailing down the page into the rabbit hole. Perfect for setting the tone in this section of my Disney Scrapbook!
Sarah immediately thought of the White Rabbit being "late for an important date" and she was also thinking that despite the fact we are all living in a digital world, the good old paper and pen are sometimes just what you need.
Although we have phones, i-pads, computers, email and technical wizardry galore, I still find myself grabbing a paper and pen to jot down those important dates and numbers. Then when you need that piece of paper, it's gone AWOL. So I thought I would celebrate the joys of the hand written note and create a grungy year book to squiggle in! I used Tim's Destination Paper Stash, Walnut Stain Distress Ink, and a word band to create my dimensional cover. Now, there's no excuse being late and - Viva paper and ink!
To celebrate last year and starting a brand new one, Sandra Mouwen likes to toast with a nice cup of tea.
This is the last day of 2012, and what a year it's been! I wanted to create some home decor pieces for myself and incorporate all my favorite products and tools into it. It's was been a while since I've used my Silhouette Cameo. This 3D project was perfect to put it to use again. The base is made from Bazzil Cardstock and the design paper is the Little Black Dress Collection from Basic Grey. To give it some color, I've inked up all the edges with Peacock Feathers Distress Ink. The Crinkle Ribbon is colored with Peacock Feathers as well as Broken China Distress Stain. To give it a crazy edge, I've used some Mini Sprocket Gears, Sprocket Gears and Game Spinners.

To celebrate the last day of a fabulous year, Anna-Karin made a pop-up card full of surprises:
What better way to end a year full of stamps, dies and inky fingers than to make a colorful Mad Hatter's tea party pop-up card, with additional surprises on the front. I used the same wonderful TJ Designs stamps as Candy did on her project. The 'shelf' of the Sizzix Party Phrase pop 'n cuts formed a fun stage for my mad tea party. The background was inked with Distress Inks and heavily misted, since a New Year's Party has to shine. The small Kaiser playing cards were almost made for this project, but where is the Queen of Hearts hiding?

Suzz has been watching the new show "Once Upon a Time" and immediately thought of the magic hat owned by the Mad Hatter which is a portal between the two worlds. 
I had this vision of a hat with all the numbers dancing around along with the striking reds and blacks associated with the Queen of Hearts and the Mad Hatter.  The 7 Gypsies Numero 17920 Number BarcodeI provided a mix of numbers for my background. The Darkroom Door Fun and Games set was the inspiration for my hand of hearts on the hat band.  The JK Rowling quote from the Artistic Outpost Quote and Quotables set is a lovely addition to my hat.   Now I have my own portal between the worlds if I can only find the fairy dust to go with it.

Dan has chosen to share some family photos.
What with the holidays and one thing or another I haven't had time to make anything for this week's challenge, so I thought I share some photos of an old family album I found in the attic when I was looking for the Christmas lights.  There's only room here for a couple of pages and it's well before my time, so I'm not too sure who these folks are or who made the album!  I'll ask my mom if she can shed any light on it.  Obviously you won't have access to my family photos yourself, but if you wanted to make something similar you could probably use things like the Tattered Time paper stack and the Artistic Collages, Steampunk, Road Trip and Artful Artifacts stamp sets and a Bind-it-all machine.

I really enjoyed each and every project shared this week - and now it is your turn! Whether you're tea inspired, Wonderland calls to you, or just want to go some entirely different direction it is ALL good - because in this challenge we've gone mad - and anything goes!
As always, Simon Says Stamp is giving away a $50 gift voucher that will go to a random entry chosen by Random Generator. To qualify all you need to do is create a new project that ties in (in any way!) with our theme and post it, along with a link back to this challenge, and add a link here. This challenge will end at 11:59pm on Sunday January 6th EST.

For the full rules, read the "challenge rules" posted in the side-bar here on our blog.


Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Holidays from the Simon Says Stamp and Show team!

The Simon Says Stamp and show would like to wish you all the best this holiday season! We hope it’s merry, bright, and filled with joy. We are taking the week off from a challenge this week [since balancing festivities with family and friends is likely to keep our hands full!] - but we are each sharing something special with you, our lovely readers this week.

Making Christmas cards is one of the most important, and fun, parts of Christmas to me. I love the idea of my cards travelling across the globe to their destinations, bringing happiness. These are some of my cards for this year, they are all different, but have the same post card design and colouring method. Wishing you a very merry Christmas!

One can never have too many Christmas ornaments! Especially the unbreakable handcrafted kind, the kind that kiddos can help make and hang on the tree. These little vellum and twine stars are perfect for last minute holiday decorating or tying onto a little gift. Wishing you and your family a blessed Holiday!

For me, Christmas crafting is all about memories; either ones you have from Christmases past or ones you will be making this holiday season. So from Tim Holtz' Santa and Tick Tock die cut to all of the beautiful vintage ephemera from Fancy Pants Saint Nick and Kaiser's Turtle Dove; I wish you and yours a memorable Merry Christmas!

It's a rule in my house that anyone who enters the house when the Christmas tree is up has to bring an ornament with them to hang on it - I don't care if it's old or new, big or small, bought or homemade. It's only fair that I give them something in return, so I make bags of white/milk chocolate bark to give out, and a bow cut from the Retro Grunge paper stash makes a perfect finishing touch. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season, surrounded by friends, loved ones, good food and good cheer!

May Flaum
My Tim Holtz Blueprint stamps are helping me keep last minute wrapping fun as always. It has been fantastic working here with the Simon team in 2012, and I look forward to an amazing new year sharing crafting ideas and being inspired by this wonderful community. I wish you all the best for a glittery, bright, and utterly fantastic Christmas!
I started making Christmas cards for the first time last year, and I had so much fun making them. I used my favorite Distress Ink colors once again, Peeled Paint, Shabby Shutters, Crushed Olive and Walnut Stain. I like to wish you and your family a Joyful Christmas!
I lived in Holland for many years and each Christmas we visited the famous German Christmas markets. Every year I would scour the stalls for the prettiest most unusual baubles and glass work and now 15 years later they are my prized festive decorations. Wherever you are, however you celebrate, I wish you all a wonderful holiday filled with warmth, love, light and hope.

Christmas Eve our children get to open their gift of Christmas pajamas. To help out with packing these gifts I have gotten in the habit of using gift bags This year I re-cycled paper bags using scraps form my Merry and Bright papers and a tag using the Artistic Outpost Frosty and Friends. Sending you Christmas Wishes that your holidays are happy!
Lots of stars, Utee and Bling and Metallic Distress Stains were used to make this ATC especially for you to wish you a Merry Christmas and I hope you will have lots of loving time with your family and loved ones and for the New Year lots of luck and happiness.
I love giving at Christmas and ATC's are the perfect way to send a little special piece of art to a crafting friend. This is one of three ATC's using many different techniques included the embossed background using the Snowflurries Texture Fade adding pitch black Paint Dabber to age a little. Wishing you all peace, joy and happiness at Christmas and The New Year.

For me Christmas has me thinking about family memories more then ever, and that includes our furry critters too. Authentique's 6X6 Paper Pack Lively is so pretty is was purrrfect! Wishing you and your loved ones the Happiest of Holidays!
Please feel free to visit our team member's blogs to wish them happy holidays and to see more holiday greetings from each of them as well as see more of their beautiful work. Thank you to Simon Says Stamp for a fantastic year of sponsored challenges! We will be back on the 31st with a new challenge - and ready to begin a new year!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Winners: 12 Tags *AND* gift-spiration challenges

Because of the schedule and holidays this week, I've combined the winners from our last two challenges into one post.

First of all- I'd like to thank Simon Says Stamp for another great chance to win a $50 voucher!!

First, let's talk about the Tim Holtz 12 tags challenge.

The lucky (randomly drawn) winner for the challenge is...
19 Kayla Turner

Please claim your prize within the next two weeks by emailing May with your details. Now let's talk about the top 3 projects as chosen by the Stamp & Show design team.  This week the honors go to:

2 Danee
7 Maura
34 Lisa Fish

Be sure to visit their blogs and check out their amazing entries. So inspiring! Congratulations to each of you on a challenge well done! Please email May for the Top 3 Blinkie.

Now let's talk about the Gift-spiration challenge!

The lucky (randomly drawn) winner for the challenge is...

Please claim your prize within the next two weeks by emailing May with your details. Now let's talk about the top 3 projects as chosen by the Stamp & Show design team. This week the honors go to:

Be sure to visit their blogs and check out their amazing entries. So inspiring! Congratulations to each of you on a challenge well done! Please email May for the Top 3 Blinkie.
I'd like to thank everyone who took part in the challenge. It is always a joy to see what you create. I'd also like to say thank you again to Simon Says Stamp for their generosity - each week we give away a $50 gift voucher to the shop that you can use to buy all kinds of fabulous stamps, inks, and paper crafting supplies. Remember - you just need to enter the challenge each week to be entered into the drawing!

The Simon Says Stamp and Show team wishes you very happy holidays - we'll be checking in this Monday morning (as usual!) with inspiration and personal greetings as well...


Monday, December 17, 2012

Challenge: Gift-spiration

Whether handcrafting something special, making gift tags or wrap, ornaments, decor, or hand crafting your cards - the odds are that you’re up to something crafty, and we’d love to see it! This week our challenge is inspired by gift giving and our design team has traditions as well as project ideas to share with you.

Check out their inspiration - then join us and share your projects!
Anna-Karin made a winter woods Christmas decoration, based on her memories of driving through snowy forests on the way to her grandmother on Christmas.
In Sweden, Santa knocks on the door on the evening of Christmas Eve, which is the main family celebration day. We sisters used to sit in a window and see who could spot him first. Santa hands out the gifts one at a time, and there are often rhymes written on the gifts, so the recipient can try to guess what is inside. On the evening of the 23rd of December, the whole family would sit in separate places in the house and wrap gifts and make up rhymes. My project would work great as a gift, but I think I might keep it for myself. I covered a wooden box with Composer tissue wrap and built a snowy scene inside, using layers of Tim Holtz's tree line die cuts, Woodland trees, a dimensional deer and a star hanging in the sky. Snow was created with Enamel Accents, white flock, white paint, snowflake die cuts, dry Distress Stickles Rock Candy glitter and lots of faux-snow.

Tracy decorated two seasonal candles perfect for decorating any home at Christmas.
It's always a Christmas tradition in our family to fill every room with candlelight, and it gives such a warm cosy seasonal feel to a home. Candles at Christmas are a perfect inexpensive gift for a friend or family member, simple to decorate and long lasting. The ornate reindeer from the Reindeer Flight stamp set decorates one of the candles and the background stamp from the Seasons Silhouettes stamp set is added to the smaller candle.  For added dimension I have included two wonderful decorative buttons from Cosmo Cricket. No gift is complete without a coordinating tag also showcased on my blog. When it comes to wrapping your handmade gifts, try brown paper stamped with Christmas images or simply wrapped with ribbons and twine it gives such a real Christmas cottage hand made feel to your gifts.

Dan has made his own crackers as wrapping for small gifts.
In our family I'm known as the one who puts a little more effort into gift wrapping than the others, which is nice, but does mean I get phone calls asking for help when there's an oddly-shaped gift to be wrapped!  I have a few small gifts for various people this year so I thought I'd put them inside homemade Christmas crackers rather than wrap them conventionally.  Traditionally, crackers contain a gift, a cheesy joke and a paper hat.  We put our crackers on the tree until Christmas dinner, when everyone gets a cracker at their place at the table.  After pulling them we share the cheesy jokes with each other and wear our hats while we eat dinner.  I cut the crackers from the Dear Mr Claus collage kit and made my own hats to put inside them with the Classics #6 stamp set.  The toppers used the Holiday Wishes and Santa's Wish stamp sets and lots of Rock Candy stickles.

Candy created a very useful gift that keeps on giving throughout the year; a birthday calendar album.
Since I was a little girl, some of my favorite Christmas memories are of big family dinners on Christmas Eve; with as many family members as possible gathered around the table (or tables).  In the days leading up to Christmas, I would help my mother wrap Christmas presents and she would always finish them off with the most beautiful hand made bows and glitzy sprays of tinsel or corsage type pine cones and shiny balls.  So many wonderful memories that I now carry on with my children and grandchildren.  With an increasing family, there comes more birthdays that need to be remembered.  So, I created this vintage style birthday calendar album.  It is constructed from chipboard and covered in papers from Prima's beautiful Ledger #1 Paper Pad.  The metallic antiqued tiles on the cover are really embossed Ranger's Metal Foil Tape Sheets that have been given a patina look with the help of a Juniper Paint Dabber.  A Tim Holtz' Large Ring Binder holds monthly pages with pockets for the easy addition of birthdays.

Trace created a gift for her family tree.
One tradition in our family is that I always buy a new ornament for our Christmas tree. So with this challenge, I knew I would make a home-made ornament. It was so much fun, maybe this will become a new tradition! I think these would also be great hostess gifts for the holiday season. They don't have to hang on a tree, but I know that when the Christmas lights shine on this ornament it will be magical! I started by embossing the Ranger Metal Foil sheets with my Tim Holtz Regal Flourishes embossing folder. I applied a thin layer of Claudine Hellmuth Gesso, and went to town adding various Ranger Alcohol Inks and Heidi Swapp colour shine sprays. Two of my favorites are topicana teal and chartreuse green. These sprays have such a pretty shine to them.

 Ashli was inspired by this week's challenge to create a little hostess gift for her dear friend.
One of my family's Christmas traditions is participating in our dear friend's cookie swap. Well, for my family the tradition is mostly that I come home with a bag full to the brim of homemade cookies. But for me, the tradition is much more than that. Joy, affectionately referred to as "Joyful," puts her heart and sole into creating a perfect evening of food, fun and friends. It wouldn't be Christmas without it! So, I wanted to create a personalized journal to give her as a hostess gift. I began this little book by stenciling and misting a piece of Sticky Back Canvas. Once that had dried, I adhered it to some Lily Bee paper. A bit of Basic Grey floral paper embellishes the cover and some Doodle Twine and Alphas finish off this little holiday journal for my wonderful and deserving friend.

Sandra Mouwen made some snowflake ornaments out of the Snowflake decorative strips, that would make lovely gifts.
The preparations for the holidays are such fun times. I really enjoy decorating my house in Christmas style. I like to use just a few colors, and not the traditional ones. I thought that a great gift would be some Christmas decorations. So I made some ornaments made with the Snowflake Rosette and Mini Snowflake Rosette Decorative strip. Love those strips! I've used Peeled Paint, Shabby Shutters, Crushed Olive and Walnut Stain Distress Ink for the background on both sides. To create some design I've stamped with the Merry Christmas tree, the dots of Bitty Grunge and with En Francais on both sides also. Just attached a Jump Ring through one of the whole, so it can be used as an ornament.

I (May) believe that whether you're a scrapbooker or not - creating a gift with phoos is one of the most simple and cherished homemade things to make!
In our family I'm definitely the go-to girl for wrapping gifts. One tip that I'd share with you for saving time but having a big impact is to use something bold in your wrapping. A big fancy lace, a big paper doily with a stamp layered over it - just something that is bold without a lot of time or extra work. That is definitely the approach I took with this fun Heidi Swapp memory display stand - I love how quickly the project came together. I used some mistable butterflies and hearts, webster's pages trims and cameos, and before I knew it my little display was ready to share! Despite being an avid crafter I rarely make homemade gifts, so this was a real treat to create.

Suzz's family exchanges gifts for nieces and nephews and gift card holders are especially helpful this time of year.  
For our family get together the nieces and nephews exchange names for the gift giving.  As the kids have gotten older the gifts have turned into money and gift cards.  I am always looking for clever ways to wrap up the gift to give them something fun to open.  This year I looked to upcycle a few items and the Artistic Outpost Frosty & Friends stamps paired with the October Afternoon Make it Merry Paper made it easy to create my gift card holder.  I added a  little sparkle to my card and box to finish it off. At least the wrapping for one of  the gifts is done.

Sarah was asked to make some tree decorations for her sister but they also had to be child friendly and able to withstand the odd nose-dive!

I often get asked to make something crafty around this time. It's a busy month for us all and you might be short on time, yet you still want to get into the creative festive mood. You just can't go wrong with paper decorations and who remembers making those long paper chains as a child? Well, this is the grown up take on that and you don't need to worry about any breakages or little fingers either! I used variety of blue Distress Inks, Tim's Mixed Media and Snowflakes stamps and just one festive word to create a stylish addition to any tree!

Terry loves gifts and giving them to someone is even better, so she created a Christmas Chocolate Gift.
I just love making Christmas Gifts and giving them to someone is even better, so I made a Christmas Chocolate Wrapper. I used the fabulous paperpack from Tim Holtz and played around with the Embossing Folder, Embossing powder and lots of Crackle... The Deer are just perfect for my Project. The first one that I was making did not even end up inside a wrapper because I ate it! So I am sure the recipient will have a yummy time enjoying the chocolate inside this one because they taste delicious.
I love all of the approaches and tips the team shared this week - be sure to check out their blogs for more photos, how-to, and supply lists too. Once you've done that remember that you can share a project of your own to join in our challenge! Any gift-spiration is welcome big or small, wrapping or gift itself!
Note: This week our challenge will end on Saturday December 22 at 5pm EST, and the winners will be announced later that evening.
As always, Simon Says Stamp is giving away a $50 gift voucher that will go to a random entry chosen by Random Generator. To qualify all you need to do is create a new project that ties in (in any way!) with our theme and post it, along with a link back to this challenge, and add a link here.

For the full rules, read the "challenge rules" posted in the side-bar here on our blog.