Decorative Housing: Noel Treats raise the roof!

What’s this you ask….read on…….

So many possibilities for titles when building houses…even paper ones.   Wicketcat was so entranced with the tiny bells and the moveable roof I considered something along the lines of cat shakes bells and house falls down.   If I’d made this house with stripes it could have been the jingle bell jailhouse rocks the roof.  But then I’d have had to fill it with rock candy for the prisoners to work on.  Not sure Wickets teeth would have been up to that…poor boo has some weird tooth or jaw or spider bite thing going on that the vet seems to be stymied by but has her stoically miserable and waiting for relief.    She’s going in for an orthodontic style x-ray this week so hopefully that will provide an answer.    If it’s indeed spider or other bug venom we may have to just wait for it to clear her system.  Not an answer she will be happy with.

This little house box is something I learned how to make at last July’s Stampin’ Up Convention.   Since one of the convention highlights was the introduction of the new Simply Score many of the projects there centered around that very cool tool.   Now that I have that tool in the house I can’t seem to stop building things with it.   Of course its good for simply scoring card bases too but boy is it capable of so much more.

 And while you’ll see I made mine a Noel Christmas box you can of course vary the colors, papers and other embellishments for any season or occasion.  I’m contemplating a bridal version for spring…all in White!  Might make a cute house for presenting the bride her garter at a shower or a slinky negligee.    Cute too as a welcome to your first home.   Hm…wonder if I should be offering these to local realtors?  What do you think…if you were buying a house would you like to receive one of these? 


Donna Griffith  a fellow demo who also works for Stampin’ Up Corporate  presented this house box project and I fell instantly in love with it (and with the scoring tool as well).   Luckily she also provided us with a template for the scoring and cutting and all dimensions.   Good thing too or I’d still be hounding her for it – LOL.   I’ve added that template to this post to in case you want to try your own.


As you can see my Noel House makes use of a number of Holiday Mini products.  The tiny Jingle Bells, the Frostwood Lodge Designer Series Paper and of course my beloved Silver Glimmer Paper.   Boy do I hope that paper continues past the end of the mini.  Just in case I’m stocking up…you might want to as well.

I introduced this at a recent Gifts to Make Stamp Camp earlier in the month and it was an instant wow.   I had a little fun with the ladies who didn’t realize 1) this was a box and 2) just how much it would hold.    I stuffed an entire knitted scarf into it!  All 6 feet of it!   Then I slowly drew it out like a magician with one of those endless scarf tricks.   Luckily my scarf was a narrow one so I was able to cram it all in there.  Pretty impressive if I do say so myself.    Generally speaking you may want to keep the contents just a wee bit less compact.

 With a few alterations, I figure I can put together a village of different heights, colors and styles.     This little guy is also the reason I’m stocking up on the Holiday Mini’s mini jingle bells.   I still have a few more to make as Epiphany gifts (the traditional time to exchange gifts in many countries) so am ordering bells like crazy before they go bye-bye on January 3rd.  They do go pretty far but with 7 bells per house it still requires quite a few sets for the number of villages I seem to be creating.

Speaking of the bells I learned a very fun trick for stitching them on.  You’ll see a wire threader referred to in the directions and its one I made myself.    My SU partner Cheryl is a former jewelry maker and had several spools of very thin wire so for each person attending the Stamp Camp I snipped about a 7 inch piece folded it in half and showed them how to use it as both a thread puller and a needle for the project.   An easy peasy tool that impressed almost as much as the little house itself.   The tiny jingle bells have a very small loop at the back that most needles don’t fit through but the wire is the perfect little miracle tool.    Now that I’m addicted to these little guys I may just have to buy a spool of the wire myself.

While the house looks complex let me assure you that once you have your sheet of paper scored its easy enough for anyone including beginners to put together.  An economical gift too that comes in at just under $2 each and takes about  half an hour to complete including the scoring.   Well…depending on how much you chat while stitching the bells…with conversation it might take a tiny bit longer – lol.

Here’s a look at the interior and the underpinnings of the roof.    The roof on this box is attached fully on one side of the peak and then left as a flap tied down with ribbon on the other side.   Of course you could also opt to do both sides with the ribbon thus allowing the roof to be fully removable allowing a larger item easy access to the insides of the box.



Supplies list:

Stamps: Many Merry Messages (Noel Stamp), Or other phrase from Four the Season

Ink: Cherry Cobbler

Paper:  Cherry Cobbler (full sheet scored and cut for basic house box),

Early Espresso (2-3/8” x 6”),  Frostwood Lodge DSP (11”x 2” strip),

Whisper White (5/8” x 3-3/4” scrap for banner)

Ribbon: 1/8” Taffeta Ribbon – Early Espresso – 13”

Other: Paper Piercer and Mat pad, wire threader tool (7″ length of fine wire folded in half), Simply Score, Perfect Pennants die & Big Shot, glue dots, dimensionals, scissors, Jingle Bells (holiday mini), linen thread or baker’s twine (alternate is to glue dot on the bells), Crop a Dile.

Directions:  House Gift Box Directions – Word file


The template means it when it says it’s not to scale.  Use the measurements (follow the arrows to see the scoring lines they relate to) to locate your score lines.  If you try to build it by printing out the template it won’t work.   The tricky scores are the diagonal lines.  I found that if I placed a light mark at the top of the angle I could then line it up in a score board groove using that mark and a corner.    You may also want to practice on a piece of cheap copy paper before moving to cardstock just to make sure you have the scores and cuts in the right place.   One other note…I actually made my roof piece slightly longer as you’ll see in the directions.  I like a bit more of an overhang. 😀

And a downloadable PDF: Donna’s House pattern and scoring template

Here’s a picture of Donna’s Convention Creation.

She made use of the Christmas Lodge Stamp set and the Winter Wishes Stitched Felt as well as the same items I CASE’d.

I hope you enjoy trying this for yourself.  It’s a wonderful sample project for your Simply Score and will impress the recipient with your crafting skills.  

Of course you can always opt to keep them and start your own village.     With my recent marathon viewing of the BBC series Monarch of the Glen I’ve decided to declare myself the Laird of my own little Village in the Glen.   Wicket of course will be the Gillie Gamekeeper.  Now if I could just remember which clan I’m supposed to be descended from.   Time to investigate some genealogical sources.

Hugs and Blessings and I hope your Christmas was a warm and wonderful one. – Jean

P.S.  While it’s still the season…have fun jingling your bells!    It occurred to me that Jingle would be a wonderful name for a Christmas Kitten.

Christmas Blessings



Christmas Blessings to one and all!


Inspiration comes from many places and fills our heart and soul until we must join in the creativity….

Today is one such time for me and for many throughout the world today.  

May you be blessed today and everyday and find your creativity rekindled anew within each special moment that you live.



From the hand and from the heart….

Christmas hugs & blessings from myself and Miss Wicketcat. – Jean

The Blitz is Back!!

Hi All,

The Blitz is Back…Clearance Rack Blitz that is!   

I try to be up on all the latest but….

Stampin’ Up slid an amazing promo right by us!   Not a peep, not a hint, not a word!  

As is my practice since I’m a night owl I check in last thing before bedtime to see what Stampin’ Up has in store for her demo’s and customers in the coming day and…

I checked for the latest updates shortly after midnight and lo and behold what to my wondering eyes did appear but a sale to beat all sales before the new year!

Isn’t it gorgeous!  Well…trust me…you’ll think so once you go take a look.   Click on the banner below to see what all the excitement is about.  

Here are the basic details:

Dates: December 15, 2011-January 5, 2012

Nearly 200 new Clearance Rack items are being added to the Online Store at discounts up to 80 percent off retail–while supplies last!
Things to Remember

  • Only online orders qualify for this promotion. Orders can include non-Clearance Rack items, as well.
  • The Clearance Rack Blitz includes old-body style punches.
  • There is no minimum purchase required to participate in this promotion.
  • Qualifying Clearance Rack orders are eligible for hostess benefits/Stampin’ Rewards. But only for orders placed through a demonstrator website.
  • Following the Clearance Rack Blitz sales period, some blitz items may remain in the clearance rack; others may be removed and reappear at an undesignated time in the future.
  • Clearance Rack Blitz items are only available while supplies last. There are no refunds or exchanges on Clearance Rack items.

One last VERY IMPORTANT benefit…TODAY ONLY…an extra $35 in hostess benefits will apply to your order…if…you place the order on my online store site…today…AND…the order meets a $350 minimum in merchandise of any type (clearance rack, MDS downloads or regular merchandise).    What this means is that if you place a $350 order today only (12/15)  you will get $85 in free merchandise to select from the regular or holiday mini catalogs.   That’s the regular amount of $50 + an extra $35 from the It’s Good to be the Hostess promo I’ve told you about earlier this year.   So $435 in merchandise for $350 + shipping!  Very cool!   

Even better.  Many items on the Clearance Rack are similar to or virtually the same thing as current merchandise in the Idea Book and Catalog.  Old style Whale Tail punches with current shapes.  Yes they don’t store as easily but they work well and long and punch the same shapes as the new style.   There are a number of previously retired Big Shot dies as well as items from last years Holiday and Occasions minis.    Time to stock up for Valentines, Easter or even next years Christmas.  Or if you are like me and send out Christmas gifts and cards late you can take advantage of them for this year.   I tell my friends and family they aren’t late until Epiphany is past in January.   After all that was the traditional time to actually exchange gifts in past eras as that is the feast celebrating the visit of the Wise Men and their gifts among other traditions.

So check out the sale, make your list and if you need Santa to keep track for you grab the Wish list from my sidebar and send your significant other my way.     If you are local I’ll even gift wrap the goodies for you and your Santa if Santa lets me know when to pick them up.    To take advantage of the deals you’ll have to place the order online through my online store here.   And don’t forget that supplies are limited.  I’ve got my order in already…how about you?

Happy shopping and enjoy the Blitz!

Hanukkah Hugs (a wee bit early)  and Christmas Blessings – Jean

It’s a Big Shot Christmas – quick neighbor gifts that sparkle

December is underway which means Christmas isn’t far away.  Time to get to my crafting for special friends and neighbors.   The Online Extravaganza may be over but there’s still plenty of sparkle and deals to be found in the two current Stampin’ Up Catalogs.   Some probably to be found on your own desktop too!  Would you believe I’m planning to gift some friends and neighbors with scraps!  Yep.  The many projects I’ve been working on and that are in the queue to share with you produced a lot of scraps and here’s a couple or three items rescued from the scrap heap.

My Big Shot Christmas mini gift set. Two cards (3″x3″) and a small ornament. Ornament is cut with the Bigz XL Flower Folds die from aluminum flashing from Lowe’s.  Layered with some netting then a snowflake from Northern Frost decorative strip die a small Real Red scallop circle from the Itty Bitty Punch set and a rhinestone.  This smallest flower from the die was another scrap!  A left over from the tea light holders we made sometime back that have been kicking around.  I knew they’d come in handy.    Snowflake was left from some recent holiday projects as well.  Those of you attending recent events probably recognize the flake.  I’ve had everyone punching out and die cutting the little bits for weeks and months now!   Love that die!    Ribbon is some retired Stampin’ Up gingham run through an eyelet placed with a crop a dile.  The ribbon was a Clearance Rack buy from a year or so again (love those retired SU bargains) but since I was looking for a Folk country feel with a bit of bling and polish it was the perfect counterpart to the silver embossing and glimmer paper.  Sadly Stampin’ Up no longer sells eyelets either but my drawer is still filled with them and without an eyelet the Flashing will cut the ribbon in no time.  Makes for a more finished look as well.  Taking pictures of this card had me realizing just what my sister bloggers have been talking about.  The glimmer and shine of Stampin’ Up’s Silver glimmer paper is of such high quality that the average camera just can’t help being overwhelmed!  Makes it almost impossible to see the Versamarked watermark on the Cherry Cobbler paper peeking out through the glimmer bird frame.

Cards use the Holiday Collection Movers and Shapers  bird die.  One is Whisper White run through the Snow Burst Folder on a background of French Script (retired version of En Francais) embossed in silver layered on Night of Navy with Silver cording from 2 Holiday Mini’s ago (those reels were so large they last forever – hee,hee).   Second card uses the glimmer paper negative left from another 20 swap projects.   Have you figured out that I have a bird and flake thing.   My swap buddies have come to expect wings on any card I send in.   One of these days they’ll all faint when nary a feather they see.   Won’t be anytime soon that’s for sure – LOL.    You can’t see it but French Script was watermarked with Versamark on the under layer piece of Cherry Cobbler then layered onto another 3″ x 3″ of Night of Navy.  More cording was tied across the top.

Nice little neighbor gift or even a his and her card set, for a friend with the ornament. I thought it was fun to create and  group these with the birds facing towards each other. Will present in a Fancy Favor Box or small Pizza type box with another die cut bird on the the box.  A Fancy Favor Box could also be a luminary making a fourth gift as well as a holder…still figuring that part out.   Only 23 more days to do so though so better see what else is on the scrap heap.

Paper:   Whisper White, Night of Navy, Cherry Cobbler & Silver Glimmer Paper(available in the Holiday Mini and slated to expire January 3)

Ink:  Versamark

Stamps:  French Script (retired version of En Francais)

Big Shot:     Big Shot,  Bigz XL Flower Folds die,  Holiday Collection Movers and Shapers die, Northern Frost Decorative strip die,  Snow Burst Impressions Folder 

Other:  Silver cording (ret. SU), Gingham ribbon (SU retired), rhinestone jewels, netting (fabric store), Silver Embossing powder, Heat Tool, Itty Bitty Punch Pack

If you sense me giggling right about now…you’d be right.  I have a secret and it’s killing me.  There’s another bird in my future and it’s winging its way from the future.      A future promotion that is.  And I can’t show you the die!   December 1st was a wild day as tens of thousands of Stampin’ Up demonstrators rushed to place their preorder for the Occasions mini promotion that begins  January 4th for the rest of the world.    As a demo we get a month’s jump on the rest of the Stampin’ Up fanatics (another good reason to join my team don’t you think?) in the world.  The oohing and aahing as we discussed our purchase strategy with one another online in the demo only and marvelously inspiring Stampin’ Connection was so much fun I forgot to sleep.    Now for the good news…My die will be here Monday…squeal!!   

Wonder what Wicket will think about “another” bird in the house.   This one however can bite back if she gets funny with it.   Shortly after that…while I can’t show you the die…I can…show you what I make with it!   And not only that…you may just grab a glimpse of future Sale a Bration product in action too!    That’s the double surprise SU hit us with last week.   Demo’s don’t have to wait for the Sale A Bration to start on January 24th we started earning them with our preorder purchases as of yesterday!    And should I mention Stampin’ Up ran some contests over the last couple of months and thousands of demo’s will be receiving free stamps, brads and more (yep…arriving Monday as well! ) as well as a chance at a few more stamp sets next week.   If you get a call from me then…do me a favor…pick up the phone and lets talk…you know I’ll share the loot at stamp camps and workshops so we can all have some fun with new rubber!    There’s never been a better time to be a demo than this very week.   Does SU know how to celebrate Christmas (and paranthetically my birthday in January) or what!  Yep…or what for sure and for the next several weeks!!    

Now of course I don’t want to distract you or I from the Holiday Mini that’s currently current.  There’s still a lot of terrific bargains and inspiring product found there and not only is Christmas still in the offing but so is Valentines and the need for the glimmer paper among others great craft product…and yeah…I ordered a bit of that holiday mini magic too that will be coming on Monday as well.   I’ll be showcasing that too before the mini expires  Jan 3rd.   I hope Mr. UPS is in shape…he’s going to get a work out!  Hard to believe its coming all in one 25 or 30 pound box!   Could be a Mary Poppins thing going on in that desceptively simple looking cardboard box.    You’ll be seeing some new color tones here too as I finally start playing with more of the In Colors.  Both sets are featured in the Occasions and Sale a Bration so get those colors warmed up and ready you’ll be using them for sure come the new year if you aren’t already.

One last detail about today’s project.  If you sign up and prepay for the Dec 10th Holiday Gift Camp my partners and I will be running the two 3 x 3 cards will be your bonus project!  We have mini houses, aluminum garden markers, joyful banners and more on the menu so come and enjoy for only $20 and a wonderful potluck lunch.   Email and Paypal will take care of your sign up so you can tuck some of these fun scraps into someone’s stocking or other gift.  If you can’t be there in person I’ll be happy to send you a kit with the directions you’ll need and most of the pieces prepped for you to put it all together in the comfort of your home.  Just add shipping to the basic fee.  I’ll even tuck in an ornament  for your very own tree.

So don’t forget to check your crafting area and scrap heaps.  There’s bling and gifts to be found in those there piles

Hugs and blessings as we begin our second week of Advent this Sunday. – Jean

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