The Wacky Watercooler December 2014 Blog Hop: Best of Edition

2014 Best of banner

Welcome everyone to the Wacky Watercooler December Blog Hop: Best of Edition where this month we’re featuring projects that highlight the Best of Stampin’ Up products past and present as well as a CASE of a sister hopper.

With luck you’ll be able to find any retired product used on the hop in the current Year End Closeout Sale currently found in the Online Store or through your own local demonstrator.   Of course supplies of products featured in the Year End Closeout Sale are limited to supplies on hand.

Our hop crew is an  international one of Stampin’ Up Demonstrators so don’t be surprised if you see a few different spellings and price guides along the way.  Links to Catalogs will vary by country as well.

If you are moving in hop order you’ve arrived from the very talented Kathe D’s  Kathe’s Adventures blog.  Just the name of Kathe’s blog gets my creative juices flowing.   She and I have shared a number of different hops and groups together and she never disappoints.    You’ll definitely want to go back and check her past posts after the hop.   If you are working in reverse order weren’t you dazzled by Gail’s creative projects?  Gail is another of my international friends.  As a Canadian Gail and I don’t quite share a border (I’m in Oregon) but we do share a love of stamping, cats and hanging around virtual watercoolers to chat!

How ever you are viewing the hop, we’ve built it in a circle so you can join and hop on and off at will.   If you get lost just click the hop banner or the home watercooler button to get back to our hop home site with the list of participants.    You may want to keep an eye on that site in between blog hops as we are trying to post members without blogs projects there somewhat regularly as well.

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First up is my Best of…Kathe D.  As part of the Best of December Hop we drew a hop partner to CASE (Copy And Share Everything).  I was fortunate enough to get Kathe!   I love her clean and simple designs from past hops.  It was a tough choice but I realized I could use a few more past as well as present favorites by selecting this card of hers from last March’s hop.

flowered wood - Kathe Deck

If you know me…you know I love wood & flower themes and am a big fan of the Petite Petal Stamp set.   So…..here’s my interpretation using a retired favorite Woodgrain Background Stamp and going circular instead of oval.   I suppose it’s a bit of a stretch as a CASE goes but it does use flower, leaf and wood themes as well as her Wisteria Wonder principle color so I’m calling it good.  😀    Thanks Kathe for the walk down memory lane as I had a blast flipping through many of what I considered your best.   To see a few others I had considered check these links.  The sunburstThe weave card & Flower Shop card. And lastly Holiday Home.

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CASEing  Kathe D

Woodgrain Wreath - Wacky Watercooler December Best of Hop

I love cards with peek through windows so my scallop circle die from the Circle Flip Card die collection was perfect for that purpose.  Of course it also helps if you remember to stamp the woodgrain background first so you don’t ink through the window!  If you forget…no worries…the large 2-1/2″ Circle punch will come to your rescue and clean up the interior.   It was a sad day for me when Stampin’ Up retired the Woodgrain background though thankfully they gave us a new Hardwood Background like Kathe used!  Sad too was the loss of the Itty Bity Punch Pack.  I know we have a newer version now but I used the old one pretty much every day so you know it’s seen a lot of love!

Supplies:

Stamps: Petite Petals, Trust God, Woodgrain Background (retired)

Ink: Early Espresso, Wisteria Wonder

Paper: Naturals Ivory, Garden Green, Very Vanilla & Daffodil Delight Cardstocks

Punches: Petite Petal, Bird Builder, 2-1/2″ Circle (interior sentiment), Itty Bitty Punch Pak

Other: Big Shot,  Scalloped Circle Framelit from the Circle Thinlit Card die collection, Glue dots and Multipurpose Liquid Tombow

Note: You can fancy up the card with pearls in the flower centers but I wanted this card to be easy to mail…and besides…it’s heading out to a woodworking guy…wasn’t quite sure how he would feel about pearls!

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As a big fan of Stampin’ Up dies and punches I was jazzed to get to bring some oldies but goodies out to play with as part of my Best of presentation.  Always a tricky proposition to declare a favorite don’t you think?  After all if I buy a stamp or die or punch you know I love it!  From En Francais my all time favorite background stamp to the Beautiful Butterflies and Lattice dies it’s so hard to choose.   It was nice to see this year that even Stampin’ Up felt compelled to bring back a Best of favorite stamp set.  Endless Wishes.   Last years phenomenon sell out set made it back into this years 2014 Holiday Catalog.  Bless you Stampin’ Up!  That being the case I knew I had to meld old and new into a fun Christmas Angel card using two retired dies and an angelic choirful of punches.  Beautiful Butterflies and Perfect Pennants are here to stay in my collection that’s for sure and unless they’ve sold out by now both are available in the Year End Closeout Sale.

Butterfly Die Angels

Angel - Endless Wishes punch art - Wacky Watercooler December Best of Hop

Supplies:

Stamps: Endless Wishes

Ink: Whisper White Craft Ink

Paper:  Soft Sky, Night of Navy, Whisper White, Blushing Bride, Early Espresso, & Brushed Gold Cardstocks.

Punches: Scallop Border, Scallop Oval, Large Oval, 7/8″ Scallop Circle, Word Window, 1-3/8″ Circle, 1″ Circle, Itty Bitty Punch Pack (retired),

Other: Big Shot, Perfect Pennants Bigz die (retired), Beautiful Butterflies Bigz die (retired), Fancy Fan embossing folder, Argyle embossing folder, Heat Tool, Silver Embossing powder, clear embossing powder, two way glue pen, Dazzling Diamonds

NOTE:  Check back next week for a punch chart and a framed project using this Angel idea and more tips on the construction.

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Another great reason to list the Butterfly die as a best of….it makes stencils!   Stampin’ Up a while back shared this fun video and it inspired me to create this card last Spring (yep..I forgot to post it then) using my very own die cut stencil and a few fun stamp sets like En Francais and Happy Watercolor.  The bonus to this video tutorial…it also uses En Francais.   I used that too in my CASE of the video but unfortunately it don’t show up quite as well as I intended in the photo.

Beautiful butterflies die & En Francais & Happy Watercolor - Wacky Watercooler December Best of Hop

How about a quick hint for our upcoming Spring catalog…Beautiful Wings Embosslit (also used in the card above) will have a new die cutting butterfly product to keep it company.   Sh..Shh…..

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Christmas Cactus Box

Christmas Cactus Box - Wacky Watercooler December Best of Hop

Last up is my pick for Best of Newer Product from the Annual Catalog.  The Envelope Punch Board!  If you’ve been hopping with us before you know this very cool tool makes more than envelopes!   This project also highlights another of my favorite best of’s from the past.  Core’dinations Paper.  Especially the pack from last years In Colors.  I love that you can sand the paper to reveal another color!   This is also my Christmas tribute to my beloved Mother-in-Law Dorothy Fitch.   I still miss her presence in my life, so every Christmas I try to come up with something that reminds me of her many Christmas traditions.   This year it’s her annual Christmas Cactus that was the inspiration.   Now if only she was still here for me to present her gift in this fun filled box.

The “cactus” flower is made using the Blossom Punch.   Once I punched a few layers I placed them in the Fancy Fan embossing folder and then sanded lightly over the top.  And Voila!   The Fancy Fan image appeared.   Before putting the box itself together I stamped the surface with En Francais to add a bit of depth and texture to the look of the box.  I also made a slit in the top to close the box.  The decorated side panels were also sanded in the Fancy Fan folder and the ends were punched with…can you guess…yep…the heart punch.  Gives a bit of a curve to the ends.

Here’s a side view so you can see how it all went together:

Christmas Cactus box sideview - Wacky Watercooler December Best of Hop

If you’d like directions on how to make the box with the Envelope Punch Board you can find it here  & here.

Supplies:

Stamps: Mixed Bunch, En Francais Background (retired)

Ink: Versamark, Garden Green

Paper: Wild Wasabi,  Razpberry Ripple Cardstocks, Primrose Petals Core’dinations

Punches: Blossom, 1″ Circle, 1-1/4″ Scallop Circle, Heart

Other: Heat Tool, Silver Embossing Powder, Envelope Punch Board, Glue Dots and Dimensionals.

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 That’s it for my post for this December Best of Watercooler Hop.   Hop along now to see the wonderful and talented Gail and the rest of the “Best of” hop entries and look for our Wacky Watercooler crew every month as we create more new hops for your viewing and crafting pleasure in the new year.   Click the appropriate watercooler buttons to find your way.   And if you would like to view past hops…check out our hop home page and scroll to see links to other hops and hoppers.   Always a creative treat!

Hugs & Holiday Love – Jean

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12 Responses

  1. Jean, I’m so glad you could be a part of the hop …. I love your projects as always! 🙂

  2. Well my friend, as always I so enjoy checking out your work!

  3. Jean, what a fun spin you put on the CASE! Love your projects, especially the butterfly card – it made me happy!

  4. They’re all so pretty, Jean – TFS!

  5. Jean, first off thanks so much for all your kind comments! Great to see you in the Hop line-up. Your projects are all fantastic and each one combines so many elements without looking like they do. The angel is very sweet and the wreath of flowers looks like you could pluck it off the card and wear it around your head like a Flower Child. But my absolute favourite is the butterfly. I have that die also and this is a perfect CASE project!

  6. All fabulous projects, as usual, Jean! Thanks so much for sharing all the details and links, so we can get creative too. Love your Christmas Cactus – I should make one of those for a friend who can’t keep live plants, live!

  7. Thank you for being part of this wonderful blog hop. I think it’s our best so far. I hadn’t realized until now that not only did you “draw” Kathe as your “best of” but you also follow her in the blog hop. What a coincidence! I love how you made her inspiration your own with a few changes.

    The Beautiful Wings die is one that I feel the lack of since it retired as well and it will not be leaving my home anytime soon. It’s gorgeous both as the wings for your wonderful angel and also as the stencil for your beautiful card. The cactus box? For some reason my first thought was that it was a lotus blossom but it really does have the look and colour of the Christmas cactus that I claimed from my Dad’s greenhouse. Thanks so much for sharing.

  8. Ah Jean, who would’ve thought to use a butterfly die for angel wings??? Great idea, and very timely–this will make some really cute Christmas tags for my gifts! And I love the Christmas cactus box–the colors are absolutely perfect! How nice to remember your MIL with a cute project. Great job!

  9. Oh, Jean!! What incredible cards you’ve made!!!! I will definitely be CASEing these! Love EVERYTHING!!!! Your angel is stunning and one of the very best punch art angels I’ve ever seen – bravo, my dear! I hope you are feeling better these days, and I wish you a very Merry Christmas! BIG HUGS!!!

  10. Jean, I love your creations. That little angel is such a cutie. Her hair is masterful. I always forget about using the negative part of dies as stencils. I know how much you love stencils. The other day I found the ornament stencils that SU! had a few years back. I have such a great idea for them on some large cheese boxes a friend gave me last year. Yep, they are the real thing, a little sanding, some paint and stencils.
    As always I found your ideas so great and will be casing them all. Hugs to you.

  11. Great projects, Jean! Love them all. Your angel is quite cute and the butterfly is gorgeous!

  12. Love them all Jean and the Butterfly template is genius!!

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