November Playtime and Prototypes – Season of Simple Grace

Hi All,

Yep!  I’ve been playing once again and once again I’ll share the fun even before the designs are perfected (warts and all).

My friend and fabulous upline Cheryl (hi sweetie) loaned me her set of Season of Simple Grace to play with.  This set was originally featured in last years Holiday mini and made it into this years catalog as a new addition.    A while back I saw some Nativity  type dioramas and it got me thinking….and then my eye lit once again on the Curly Label Movers and Shapers die and I was off to the races as they say to create my own prototypes. 

Season of Simple Grace Flap Diorama

My version of what I call a flap diorama card (standard A2 size) that creates a 3D crèche perfect for a holiday gift especially for those with limited space or in hospitals, nursing homes or in foreign lands serving in the military with a need to keep things simple.

And here it is folded flat for mailing:

Season of Simple Grace folded flat for mailing

 I cut a partial oval from a template of sorts then scored and folded in to create the floor of the crèche.  Eventually the plan is to use the Scalloped Oval Frame Big Shot die to create a frame for the opening and if I can find my Coluzzle I’ll be able to cut a neater opening.  For now though my theory is that cave openings and rough wood shelters (scholars are still debating which it was) are just that rough…that’s my story and I’m sticking to it – LoL!   I then cut a slit across the back of the card to fit the folded flap into to keep the card upright and open.  A slit in the floor allowed me to insert the family grouping that was cut with an extension piece sticking out from the main image.  All images except the star were stamped and then cut out. Card will fold flat for mailing.  I used a gel pen to highlight the star image and a sponge to darken the “floor” flap, cave opening and card edges.  I considered gluing down some raffia in place of straw but decided I wanted to keep things simple and less messy since invariable some would fall off.

Here’s the undecorated inside that shows the flap, the slit in the back and the underside of the flap with the nativity cut out piece’s tab placed through the small slit and glued down with sticky strip:


I haven’t quite decided how I’ll decorate the inside.  Any suggestions?  Tricky since the slits and flaps can’t be covered up as they have to be moveable.

Supplies List:

Stamps: Season of Simple Grace

Inks: Soft Suede

Papers: Kraft, Naturals White

Other: Craft Knife, Paper Snips, Stamping Sponge, Uni Ball Gel Pen, Sticky Strip


Next window variation using the same Season of Simple Grace used the Movers and Shapers Curly Label die to cut, score and create a window card all in one step.  Of course if you don’t have the M&S die you could approximate this with the Curly Label punch.   A template (see this post) created from another Movers and Shaper (Holiday Collection) was used for the sponge daubed framing. Hard to tell that a Curly Label die was used for the original window if you don’t see the back side opening.  Our SU white gel pen was used to add interest to the star image as well as the stencil area

Season of Grace Mover and Shaper


Curly label shape shows best from the back


inside of the card - keeping it simple


The plainer Scalloped Border Punch would probably fit the simplicity of the image better but the eyelet was the only current border punch I have at the moment.  This card is going out to several of my weaving and Carmelite nun buddies come Christmas.  I realized the other day that our new Soft Suede in color is the exact same shade of my Carmelite friends habits.   Wonder how SU knew :D.

Supplies List:

Stamps: Season of Simple Grace, Many Merry Messages

Inks: Soft Suede

Papers: Bermuda Bay, Soft Suede, Naturals White

Other: Whisper White Taffeta Ribbon, Big Shot, Curly Label Movers & Shapers die, Holiday Collection Movers & Shaper die, Plastic template material (to create stencil), Eyelet Border Punch, Paper Snips, Sponge Dauber, Uni Ball Gel Pen, glue dots


In between bouts of Simple Grace I also came up with another Stair step card to send a recently bereaved friend.  As a widow of 12 years I find myself putting extra thought into Sympathy cards and I have to say from my own experience that the cards that spoke to me the most were those that reminded me of the love my husband and I had shared and the memories that will remain with me for the rest of my life as well as the healing power of God in all things.   Some of those cards and notes I still read from time to time so when I set out to create a 3D stair step card that could potentially be out for a bit I wanted to focus on the positive and wanted to avoid words like sympathy that, seen everyday, would be a reminder more of loss than of love lived.  And  one of my favorite sayings that “There is no sorrow on earth that Heaven cannot heal” was also somewhere in the back of my mind.  And the blurry camera strikes again…now if only the pictures had turned out as well as the card seems to in real life (at least to me) you might be able to see what I was aiming at.   And does anyone elses camera not take the picture you see through the view finder.  For some reason I have to guess at what angle the lens is going to use and multiple takes to get both sides of the project in the picture.  The trials of an 11 year old digital camera I guess…it must be losing it’s programming or something.




I used Friends 24-7 and God’s Blessings once again (love those two sets with a passion) as well as a retired set Wonderful Words for the Love sentiment – what on earth was SU thinking when they retired that set will someone please explain??!   Since I joined SU too late to purchase that one Cheryl was good enough to lend me that one too.   I really have to start trolling for that set somewhere here online as I’m quite sure I’ll never pry that set out of Cheryl’s hands…it’s just too good to part with!

I used markers to color in the flower image though for the leaves I used the thinner pen end of the marker for a different more stylized look.  Got out the piercing tool as well.  I wanted to keep it simple so passed on using any kind of background on the card base itself though I’ve been considering doing some kind of texturing or wheeling on the next one.  I did use texture paper for the punch flowers to add another layer of interest.  And of course my favorite gold brads I seem to be addicted to lately.

Supplies List:

Stamps: Friends 24-7, Wonderful Words

Inks: Real Red, Always Artichoke, Soft Suede (text) classic Pads – Real Red and Always Artichoke Markers

Papers: Kraft, Soft Suede, Real Red (textured), Very Vanilla

Other: Gold Brads, Boho Flower Punch, Paper snips (slit the flowers), Paper Piercing tool and Mat Pack, Paper Trimmer


Hope you enjoyed this peek into my latest playtime.  These same images have also been posted to my Stampin’ Addicts Gallery.  I’ll be back another day with a few more projects from this same crazy stamping day.  Here’s a hint:  I finally used some of the card candy flowers I created and showed you a while ago.  If you would like to learn how to create some of these for your own I’d be happy to schedule a workshop or class for you and a few of your friends.  I’m also creating a PDF tutorial that will be available for purchase using PayPal.   And as always I’ll be happy to help you order any of the materials used here so you can create your own flap fold diorama.

Hugs and blessings – Jean

Just a reminder:

Playtime Supervisor

Playtime supervisor is watching you!!!


5 Responses

  1. That’s so funny, I just got out my Season of Simple Grace to play with, as I haven’t used it much, even last year. I like both of your ideas – they are fantastic! I may have to re-create the M&S idea! TFS! And have a great weekend!

  2. Wow, Jean! So creative! I love all of these cards!

  3. Jean – absolutely fabulous projects you shared with us this week. I love them all. I especially love the step card. And…no, you aren’t the only one who doesn’t quite get the same image as they see in the viewfinder. I swear I’ve taken photos of George Clooney looking at me with those gorgeous brown eyes of his… I swear I did… honestly.. really… it’s not my fault the picture didn’t turn out that way 🙂 Now, having taken us completely off point here 🙂 your projects were fabulous

  4. Love the pop up card… and no raffia needed! You could use naturals ivory cardstock scraps to make your straw too.. I used scraps recently to make pasta 🙂

    I’ve been wondering what was wrong with my camera too.. mine has blurry picture disease too! Especially if I set the macro to ultra macro..

    Love the kitty lumps.. we have a speed bump in our home.. you’ll be strolling through the room doing errands or trying to answer the phone and all of a sudden one of our cats will throw himself down on the floor.. stretching across the room, rolling back and forth and exposing his belly to form a speed bump… stop and pet the kitties time!

  5. […] Season of Simple Grace stamp set.  I love how this one turned out!  I saw how Jean had done this similar idea using the Movers & Shapers Curly label die, but I didn’t want to cut out my figures.  […]

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