Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from snowy Oregon

Merry Christmas from Snowy Oregon

The snow is falling in curtains, the deicing trucks are moving on the roads and of course it’s cold….so what better time for cocoa and Christmas carols to warm the heart, the spirit and the body!

Luckily I put together some cocoa packets, candy canes and treats to share with neighbors and of course…I had one left over to put under my own tree.  Yep…that’s what my late husband (who was a boy scout) would call planning ahead and being prepared.  {grin}

Here’s a peek in case you want to make your own.  They’re quick, easy and the perfect warm up to share with others.  All you need is some paper, an envelope punch board and the treats.  Of course if you want to glam it up then you’ll want a few other bits too!

Envelope Punch Board Cocoa Treat Packets

Envelope Punch Board Hot Chocolate Pouches - Jean Fitch

Supplies:

Stamps: Jingle all the Way, White Christmas, Cozy Christmas

Ink: Mossy Meadow

Paper: Mossy Meadow Cardstock, Home for Christmas Designer Series Paper, Red Foil

Other: Envelope Punch Board,  Itty Bitty Accents (star) punch pack, Big Shot, Seasonal Frame Thinlit dies (Holiday Catalog and now sale priced), Christmas Greetings Thinlits,  Fine Tip Glue Pen, Tear and Tape, Cocoa Packets, candy canes and Pearson’s Peppermint Patties.

Hot Chocolate Envelope – Envelope Punch Board Pouch
Paper: Designer Series Paper – 6-3/4” x 6-3/4” Start Score and Punch at 3-3/4”

Measure, score and punch once at 3-3/4” then rotate and line up previous score with guide then punch and score again all the way around. Fold on score lines and trim off upper flap. Score lightly so as not to tear DSP.

I CASE’d the idea from one of my favorite stampers Nicole Tugrul.  You can see her original creation here.

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It’s Christmas Eve here as I’m writing this and unfortunately I wasn’t able to make it to Midnight Mass this year.  But YouTube and the Internet make so many things available – Carols, Christmas programs, broadcast Mass from around the world and of course I have my cocoa.   How about you?   Are you warm and safe and feeling the joy of the season?   I hope so.

Peace and joy be yours on this very special night.

Jean Fitch in pink

Here’s one more share.

A picture I came across that melds perfectly with one of my favorite songs for this night.

merry-christmas-baby-jesus-sign

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June Wacky Watercooler Blog Hop: Celebrating the New Annual Catalog

June 2015 Wacky Watercooler Hop Banner

Welcome to the blog hop.

Welcome to the new catalog!

Hopefully you’ve arrived from Stefanie’s wonderful Crafty Medic blog.  Stef is indeed one crafty medic.  She’s also one of our Canadian contributors.  Her blog is definitely one I turn to when I need to jump start my mojo.  She has some wonderful videos too!  As usual you can follow this hop in a circle going either direction.  Of course you can also return to the home hop site if you ever get lost along the way.

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When there is a special event we dress up right?  So today’s celebration of the new 2015-2016 Annual Catalog seemed the appropriate time to dress up with a vest and bow tie.  After all…Father’s Day is just around the corner too.   Thankfully these bow ties are made from paper with a punch.  If you’ve ever seen me try to tie a real bow tie you’ll understand my relief.  😀

Take Out Box Vest

Vest Take Out Box Top view - Wacky Watercooler June New Catalog Hop - Jean Fitch

Hard to tell it’s a box from the top isn’t it?  Here’s a side view:

Vest Take Out Box - side view - Wacky Watercooler June New Catalog Blog Hop - Jean Fitch

And here are all the pieces.  I left the inside sentiment blank so I can customize it when I’m ready to use it.

Vest Take Out Box in pieces - Wacky Watercooler June New Catalog Blog Hop - Jean Fitch

tip:  To make your own template:  First put the box together and then flip the box upside down with the top flaps folded out and draw around them on a piece of copy paper.  Then cut out, place on top of your designer paper, trace and cut   The perfect tool to use to fit your paper to the box. Easy peasy.

I’ll save the template pieces for future box decorations.  Did you spot the new product?  My favorite new paper stack…Pretty Petals.  Trust me…you’ll be buying lots of this stack!   And the Just Because sentiment is from the new stamp set Tin of Cards (this is one set you will find yourself using for just about everything!).  The tag ends used the new Triple Banner Punch.  The Note Tag and Bow Builder Punches are carryovers from the previous seasonal catalogs but new to the Annual Catalog.

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Card Vest

Vest Card Case - Wacky Watercooler New Catalog June Hop - Jean Fitch

Here’s all the pieces:

Vest Card in Pieces - Wacky Watercooler New Catalog June Hop - Jean Fitch

This card doesn’t unfold (unlike the take out box version).  The inner card just slips out and you can write on the front or the back.  You can also glue down or add a pocket for a gift card.

Can you spot the new products?  Greetings Thinlit die (yep…a favorite already), Go Wild paper Stack and the sorta new punches I noted above.  I love that the bow tie was created from the flip side of the vest paper.  Way to go Stampin’ Up on coordination yet again.

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Both versions of the vest have a pull out card where you can stamp or write your heartfelt sentiments.  And the Take Out Box also opens (without destroying the card) to hold a lovely treat for the man in your life (though of course some of us women also like vests, ties and treats too!).

Supplies:

Stamps: Tin of Cards

Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Soft Suede

Paper: Kraft 12×12, Basic Black, Pacific Point, Pretty Petals Stack, Go Wild Stack, copy paper for template for box

Punches: Note Tag, 7/8″ Scallop Circle, Itty Bitty Accents Pack (star), Bow Builder, Envelope Punch Board

Other: Big Shot, Greetings Thinlits, Silver Basic Metal Buttons, Take Out Boxes, Stampin’ Trimmer, Craft Knife, SNAIL or Tombow multipurpose adhesive glue.  Glue dots

Hopefully it’s clear which supplies apply to which version.  The box uses the blue theme from a Pretty Petals page and the card uses the neutrals from the Go Wild stack along with coordinating cardstock papers.  As I mentioned before I was jazzed that the flip side of the vest was perfect for the bow tie.  Meant I used up most of one 6×6 page for the entire card.   I don’t know about you…but I’m loving the new 6″x6″ paper stacks.  So many projects only need one page where before they needed close to two!   Perfect for some of the punch board projects too that start with that size!

The take out box version was inspired by our Demonstrator only, Stampin’ Success Magazine from May/June.   Took a bit of figuring how those wonderful Stampin’ Up Artists put it all together but it didn’t take long.  Of course other crafty demos quickly figured out how to turn this into a fun card as well.  I CASE’d my version (with a tweak or two)  from Sharon Armstrong, a sister demo.

Since I created these projects for a recent event as well as the hop I thought I’d simplify things for you by sharing the directions from the event as well as a link to a video that explained how the card version was created using the Envelope Punch Board.

Directions from Stamp Camp for both Vest projects: Sweater Vest Card or Box Directions by Jean Fitch

Video and post by Sharon: http://txstampinsharon.blogspot.com/2015/05/ics-blog-hop-celebrate-dad.html

That’s it for my share of the hop.  Time to move on over to Miss Buffy’s wonderful post sharing her always creative outlook and gorgeous projects fashioned from new and old products from the new catalog.

To follow the hop click on the link below:

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Honey Bunny and a bunch of paper bunny friends.

Earth Day April 22

Happy Earth Day everyone!  Time for the planet to celebrate right?  So grab your tie dye and granny glasses or just a trash bag and head for the beach, the mountains or just your park down the road and give Mother Nature a hand in whatever way you can.   There are lots of links online to what’s happening in your own communities.   Using Google just enter Earth Day in (insert town and state) to find ways to help and ways to party.

Since bunnies are a creature of the earth I thought is was more than time to share a few more bunny box pictures and my own tip sheet.

Today is also my own honey bunnies birthday (would be his 60th if he wasn’t already in Heaven).  Do they celebrate birthdays in Heaven?  I’ve always wondered.

If you haven’t seen the other bunny boxes I’ve made and posted here is a refresher:

Jean's WCC21 - Bunny Box CASE  of Linda Parkerclick here to see the post

James Bunny Bond - Bunny Box - CASE of Linda Parker - Jean Fitch - watermarkclick here to see the post

 I just noticed that James must have been on a dangerous assignment (getting between me and the chocolate kisses possibly?) recently…one of his toe pads has gone walkabout.  Sigh…even a tuxedo is no guarantee of safety these days. 😀

I do have a close up of his sign so you can see the pretty All is Calm paper.  The lettering was done with the Rotary Alphabet stamp (it’s bigger than the sign for sure).  I cut a rectangle and rounded the corners then added the “stake”.  Pretty paper on the front and reinforced on the back with a strip of Basic Black cardstock.

Bunny Bond sign - watermark

Bunny Bond back of sign - watermark(Yeah…the placement could have been a bit better. :D)

Stay tuned for a bride for the tuxedo bunny…sans sign of course. I’m still trying to decide on the dress.  Isn’t that just like a bunny bride…slow to decide instead of hopping to it?

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Here are a couple more fun bunnies.  At Easter time I made some for the neighbors and of course they said Happy Easter.  Now that Easter is past I’ve swapped out for Hello Spring!  Assuming Spring is planning on visiting for more than a day or two here and there.  No pressure Spring…I just want to say Hello.

Cabana Boy and Pink Chick bunny boxes

Cabana Boy and Pink Chick take 2

Does it look to you as if Cabana Boy stole a kiss (chocolate of course) from Pretty in Pink Chick?

The supplies and directions links from the earlier posts have the basics.  These two were done in Pretty in Pink (retired color) and Coastal Cabana (about to retire In Color).  I used the Sale-a-Bration Coastal Cabana ribbon and button and the flower centers for Cabana boy are Bermuda Bay.  Doesn’t it just seem as if those two names and colors are meant to be together?

Here’s a tip and tricks sheet with various links and more in the way of directions:

Bunny Boxes – A Linda Parker CASE with info & tips sheet

And here’s Linda Parker’s Video that gave me the idea for the CASE (copy and share everything):

That’s it for the bunnies.  Can’t wait to see what you create for yourself (I’d love a link to your creation).  I just know there are other famous bunnies waiting to come to life as a bunny box.

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As a reminder:

Retiring header with 50 percent off marking

Not only are the retiring products going fast Stampin’ Up has also added new items to the Clearance Rack.  Most from the 2014 Holiday Catalog.

Take a peek and don’t forget to use the hostess code: EAE3TYVU

To start your shopping click here.

Cool way to recycle right?   From the warehouse to your craft room and then using it all up to spread joy to others!

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 Since the Watercooler Challenge gang just had a Watercolor (and silhouette) challenge last Sunday I thought it appropriate to close with a fun watercolor Earth Day image.

Earth Day watercolors

Hope your Earth day was a happy one.

Hugs and Blessings,

Jean Fitch in pink

The Wacky Watercooler April Blog Hop: April Fool’s is still waiting around the corner!

2015 April Fool

 Welcome everyone to the Wacky Watercooler April (Fool) Blog Hop where this month we’ve gotten wackier than ever with an April Fool’s blog…just a tad after the 1st.   You might guess that means we’ve been fooling and being wacky for half a month.  Hm…you might not be far wrong from that. {grin}

We’re an international crew 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.

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.

If you are moving in hop order you’ve arrived from the very talented Marie Green.   I love the title of her blog it just makes me want to settle in for some crafting in a cozy atmosphere!   If you are working in reverse order weren’t your socks knocked off by Kath’s wonderful projects?   Another dear friend I discovered through stamping and hers is another blog to investigate after the hop for sure.

Here’s my first (and somewhat wacky) project:

Hello Spring!

Uh…where are you?

Hello Spring - Created by Jean Fitch - watermark

Supplies:

Stamps: Crazy About You (Hello Spring)

Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black

Paper: Lost Lagoon, Very Vanilla, Basic Black

Punches:  Extra Large Oval

Other: Big Shot, Word Bubble Framelits, Spring Flowers embossing folder, Northern Flurry embossing folder, Snowflake  Card thinlit die (clearance rack), Lost Lagoon 3/8″ Silky Taffeta Ribbon (clearance rack)

Mother Nature is a tad confused about what season it is.  We’ve alternated between spring temps and lilacs in bloom and hard frosts and sleet!  Just a bit higher up the hill from me there has even be snow!   So that was my starting point for something that isn’t what it is supposed to be (our directions from hop master Heidi).   A Spring card…that isn’t quite that!   Notice the dual or dueling embossing folders.  One with snowflakes and one with spring flowers.  And the greeting that’s edged in black.  Not sure if I’m mourning the loss of winter or the almost missing spring.

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This one is almost as wacky in it’s own way and I have a couple of people to thank.   Linda Parker who created the idea of a bunny box and kindly shared her project how to’s in a video.  And my friend and fellow Wacky Watercooler bud Patti Leeke for suggesting the Bond theme for the Tuxedo Bunny…she also insisted on the cummerbund to match my bow tie idea.  This one’s for you Miss Patti!

James “Bunny” Bond

James Bunny Bond - Bunny Box - CASE of Linda Parker - Jean Fitch - watermarkYep…that James Bond!   Ahem…that’s why the kisses are in the box/basket…not sure which one of the silver screen Bond’s I most want to kiss…I rather think there are several!  LOL   Of course  Sean Connery will always be first in my heart!

Edited to add: I just noticed that James must have been on a dangerous assignment (getting between me and the chocolate kisses possibly?) recently…one of his toe pads has gone walkabout.  Sigh…even a tuxedo is no guarantee of safety these days. 😀

Supplies:

Stamps: Rotary Alphabet Stamp

Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black

Paper: Basic Black, Whisper White, Smoky Slate Cardstock, All is Calm Designer Series Paper ( bow tie and cummerbund – Clearance Rack)

Punches: Extra Large Oval (formerly Wide Oval), Large Oval, 2-1/2″ Circle, 1/2″ Circle, Scalloped Oval, 7/8″ Scalloped Circle, Owl Builder (small circles on feet), Bow Builder, Corner Rounder, Small heart from Itty Bitty Accents punch pak.

Other: Envelope Punch Board, Paper Snips scissors, Black Baker’s Twine.

If you’d like to make your own here’s the link to fellow demo Linda Parker’s excellent video tutorial.  She’s a demo in the United Kingdom.  As far as I can tell she’s the originator of this design.  Thank you Linda for sharing your most excellent project and generous free tutorial.

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Now for a more serious (and seriously cool) project.  Nothing wacky about this one at all, except possibly the name of the stamp set.  Try typing flowering and flourishes and spell them correctly the first time when the words are right next to each other!  I wonder if Stampin’ Up was having their own wacky day when they named this fabulous stamp set?

Flowering Flourishes Card Box and Card

Flowering Flourishes Card Box - CASE of Glenda Calkins - Jean Fitch

Flowering Flourishes - card from Card Box - Jean Fitch

Last Tuesday I followed along on a very fun Livestream class (free) from Glenda Calkins another fellow Stampin’ Up demonstrator.  I was so enchanted with Glenda’s Book Box Card Box I had to make one of my own.   The box holds 8 (or so) cards and envelopes and once you get the steps down it’s not to hard.  I see I forgot to show an open picture of the box holder.   Sigh…something else to add to the to do list for another day.

Supplies:

Stamps: Flowering Flourishes, Wetlands (greetings)

Ink: Lost Lagoon, Blackberry Bliss

Paper: Blackberry Bliss, Lost Lagoon, Very Vanilla, Crumb Cake

Punches: none

Other: Big Shot, Spring Flowers embossing folder, Crumb Cake Seam Binding, Basic Jewels Pearls, Simply Score, Sticky Strip

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That’s it for my post for this April Fool’s Watercooler Hop.   Hop along now to see the fabulous and talented Kath and the rest of the holiday hop entries and look for our Wacky Watercooler crew every month as we create more new hops for your viewing and crafting pleasure.   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!

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Watercooler Challenge WCC21 – Happy Easter!

Happy Easter sunrise and ribbon

And welcome to the WaterCooler Challenge WCC21

For this challenge Susan Horr has provided us with a wonderful set of colors to play with and create projects.

WCC21 - Susan's color challenge

Join the rest of the design team over at the Challenge blog website here to see the rest of the teams designs and to add your own with the linky doodad.

Here’s my entry…can you see all five colors?  I couldn’t resist making a 3D Easter bunny project.

Jean's WCC21 - Bunny Box CASE  of Linda Parker

With the challenge going live on Easter Sunday I felt I had to create something fun and just a bit sweet (yeah I know…bad pun with all those chocolate kisses on view).  I’ll also admit I’ve gotten addicted to these bunny boxes.  I’ve made quite a few as gifts the last week or so.    I’ll share pics of those others next week.  Along with their stories and a handy cheat sheet for making the bunny boxes.

The basic box uses my favorite Envelope Punch Board tool.  The rest is all punches, glue dots and sticky strip.  Can you see the bitty touches of Calypso Coral and So Saffron?  The whiskers are Calypso Coral Baker’s Twine that is sadly now retired but the paper is still current and available to punch with the Itty Bitty Accents Punch.  Only two dots of So Saffron but Susan only gave us the colors and didn’t say how much of each we had to use.  LOL   This really is a paper and glue project with almost no ink and only a couple of stamps from the Crazy About You, a 2015 Occasions catalog stamp set.

If you’d like to make your own here’s the link to fellow demo Linda Parker’s excellent video tutorial.  She’s a demo in the United Kingdom.  As far as I can tell she’s the originator of this design.  Thank you Linda for sharing your most excellent project and generous free tutorial.

 Supplies:

Stamps: Crazy About You (Happy Easter) from the 2015 Occasions Catalog

Ink:  Bermuda Bay

Paper: Whisper White, Bermuda Bay, So Saffron, Pool Party, Sahara Sand, Basic Black, Calypso Coral Cardstocks.

Punches: Extra Large Oval (formerly Wide Oval), Large Oval, 2-1/2″ Circle, 1/2″ Circle, Scalloped Oval, 7/8″ Scalloped Circle, Owl Builder (small circles on feet), Cupcake Builder (smallest So Saffron circles), Itty Bitty Accent pak (heart and flower), Curvy Label

Other:  Envelope Punch Board, Calypso Coral Baker’s Twine (retired), Venetian Crochet Trim, Calypso Coral Subtles Designer Buttons, Glue dots, Sticky Strip, Two-Way Glue Pen

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I’m also submitting this project for the Friday Mashup Challenge – FM203 –  here.

This is the first time I’ve entered the Friday Mashup and I’m not entirely sure if it’s okay to add additional colors (besides neutrals) or not.  If so then this is both the color challenge and the Easter Critters challenge all mashed up.  If not then I guess it’s only the Easter Critters.  I was so excited to see that their colors matched mostly with our Watercooler Challenge colors.  Great minds think alike right?   Check out the Mashup I linked above and join in that challenge as well.

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One more WCC21 Entry

Since Easter is for me, primarily a religious celebration I thought I’d make a second card to add to the WCC21 Linky.

Jean's Modern Label Cross - WCC21

Supplies:

Stamps: Crazy About You (Happy Easter) from the 2015 Occasions Catalog

Ink:  Bermuda Bay

Paper: Whisper White, Bermuda Bay, So Saffron, Pool Party, Sahara Sand, Calypso Coral Cardstocks.  Best Day Ever Designer Series Paper (2015 Sale-a-Bration retired) Calypso Coral sheet.

Punches: Modern Label, Itty Bitty Accents Pak, Cupcake Builder (small circles)

Other:  Stampin’ Up! Paper Trimmer, Glue dots, Snail, Basic Jewels rhinestones, ruler, pencil

Quick and simple, easy to make and mail out to friends.  I think this one will be going out to a community of nun friends in my old stomping grounds of the Santa Ynez Valley.  They have a wonderful farm and a mixed community of nuns and laity living on the property.  All committed to a simple way of life and celebrating our Lord Jesus in the context of the Divine Mercy.   I hope they will approve of the simplicity of this card and the joyful colors of Susan’s color challenge.  Lucky for me the Catholic Church celebrates the feast of Easter for more than just a day…so when they get it next week…it won’t we late!  😀

The basic shape of the cross uses Brenda Quintana’s brilliant Modern Label Cross Tutorial.  Brenda is also known as Qbee and and she’s famous for Hershey Treat folded 3D projects of all kinds.  To me she is simply the queen of simple and fun and she freely shares so many of her wonderful projects.  Check her out.  I’ve got an entire Pinterest board dedicated to her brilliance!

I hope you’ll join the Watercooler color challenge and show us your own interpretation of the picture and link up to us.  Don’t forget to check the Watercooler Challenge Blog post here to see who was the winner of the last challenge submissions by linky artists.    Check the challenge site for rules on competing for future challenges.

Hugs and Happy Easter!

Jean Fitch in pink

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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The Wacky Watercooler October Blog Hop: Thanksgiving & Christmas Edition

Wacky Watercooler October Blog Hop

Welcome everyone to the Wacky Watercooler October Blog Hop where this month we’re featuring projects for Thanksgiving, Christmas and all the days in between.

I’ve been away from the hops and blogging for awhile as many of you know but it’s a joy to be back and hopping again with my favorite wacky watercooler crew of hoppers.

We’re an international crew 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.   Which reminds me…have you seen the newest Holiday assortment found in the Holiday Supplement?  It just went live this week.

 2014 Holiday Supplement

Here’s the U.S.  2014 Holiday Supplement (US version) .

 Holiday Supplement (PDF)

HolidaySupplement Stampin’ Supplies  (PDF)

 Spanish Flyer (PDF)

Want to see the variety of stars you can create with the Holiday Supplement Many Merry Stars Kit?  Check out the Stampin’ Up Pinterest Board here!  And the Stampin’ Up Youtube site for related videos.

If you are moving in hop order you’ve arrived from the very talented Kath R’s  All That Scrap blog.   I love the title of her blog…love Kath  too!  Amazing what she gets done with all that reconstruction going on.   You’ll definitely want to go back and check her past posts after the hop especially if you love dragons or are addicted to the new Curvy Keepsake box die.   If you are working in reverse order weren’t your socks knocked off by Deb’s wonderful projects?  Deb has been a regular on our Watercooler Hop schedule and never fails to show me something I have to CASE!  Another dear friend I discovered through stamping and hers is another blog to investigate after the hop for sure EH?  Yep..Deb’s Canadian.  I couldn’t resist. 😀

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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As it’s October and Fall is still in full swing here in Southern Oregon (yep my two lonely non-pine trees are now all red though after last nights wind storm only a brave few are left to admire) I thought I’d start off with a Fall inspired card, perfect for gifting those at your Thanksgiving or other fall event table.  My Grandmother used to tell me I was always gilding the lily with my stories and modes of dress so of course I thought of her when I decided to gild the leaves (and every other part of the card) on this one.

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Golden Leaves Fall Card

Golden Leaves Fall Card - watermarked

Supplies:

Stamps: Trust God, Apothecary Art, Pumpkin Welcome Kit stamp (spots – you can also use Gorgeous Grunge), Itty Bitty Banners

Ink: Early Espresso, Always Artichoke, Versamark, Encore Gold

Paper: Always Artichoke, Naturals Ivory, Crumb Cake, Brushed Gold Cardstock

Punches: Scallop Oval, Decorative Label, Extra Large Oval, Envelope Punch Board

Other: Big Shot, Autumn Accents Bigz die, Bitty Banners Framelit or paper snips to cut the banner, Fancy Fan embossing folder, Big Polka Dots embossing folder,  Heat Tool, Gold Embossing Powder, Very Vintage Designer Buttons, linen thread

Found this video that showed a cool gilded leaf technique (works on buttons too) and that set me on the path for this card.   Turned out to be a hit at my September Stamp Camp though people kept asking…what do we add gold to next?  {grin}  I decided to draw the line at gilding the linen thread, though to be honest…I did consider it for more than a few seconds. 😀   Tried several different embossing folders too but the Large Polka Dot folder proved to be the most popular.  Adding a single rounded corner to the base and two to the focal piece added to the “mod” look of the piece too.  Of course it all glitters even more in person.

Gilded spots, gilded button, gilded leaves and a bit of brushed gold cardstock (the mat behind the sentiment) makes for a project that’s truly “golden” don’t you think?

Here’s the project PDF if you’d like to recreate it:

Golden Leaves Fall Card – September 2014 Stamp Camp

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Endless Wishes Aurora Card

Endless Wishes Aurora Card - watermarked

Endless Wishes is turning out to be one of my favorite stamp sets.  I’m very grateful to Stampin’ Up! for bringing it back for this years Holiday Catalog.  We endlessly wished for its return and…Voila!…here it is!   Last years run of stamp production ran out in two weeks…this year we get it for the whole run of the Holiday Catalog…so if you love it as much as I do…order it before January 5th or you’ll be wishing you had.  This is a set that works all year round with words like joy, cheers and more.

This is another CASE of a card I saw last year and couldn’t get out of my mind.  Also another case in point of similar ideas occurring to many minds at the same time .  I had a similar idea but never got around to making it and then found this card on the Iguana stamp blog and loved her version.  To me the colors swirling about remind me of a stylized Aurora Borealis.   We were supposed to be able to see that phenomenon in the lower part of North America last month but I’m afraid it never quite made it far enough south for me to see it.    So instead…I’ve made my own.  LOL

Supplies:

Stamps: Endless Wishes

Ink: Tempting Turquoise, Wisteria Wonder, Elegant Eggplant, Basic Black Marker, Project Life Pens, Memento Black or Black Stazon

Paper: Tempting Turquoise (11” x 4-1/4”), Elegant Eggplant 5-1/4” x 4”), Whisper White (5” x 3-3/4”)

Punches: Scalloped Oval, Large Oval

Other: Stampin’ Sponges, basic jewel rhinestones, Post-It’s, Dazzling Diamonds, 2 way glue stick. 1/8” gold or silver ribbon.

One of the very cool things I discovered…punches can cover a number of boo boo’s if your hand with the ink pen is a tiny tad unsteady.  You can also add a bit of extra sparkle quite easily with Dazzling Diamonds and a two-way glue pen if glitter is a must.

Here’s the project PDF if you’d like to recreate it:

Endless Wishes Aurora Card

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Last and perhaps the sparkliest yet (hm…is sparkliest a word?) is my Jingle, Noel, Joy Tree card also known as the Little Letters Form a Tree Card.   Originally I set myself the challenge of creating a fun Christmas card using only items from the Annual Catalog but as you can see…my hand strayed from grabbing the Moonlight Designer Series Stack and instead found the Trim the Tree paper stack.   Everything else you see though can be found in the Annual Catalog (eta: well oops…the frosted snowflake sequins is a holiday catalog item too).   My favorite component being the Little Letter Thinlit dies.  Amazing the words you can spell with die cuts isn’t it?   A tad tricky to get the alignment just right unless you have the magnetic platform to use with your Big Shot…but it can be done!

Little Letters Form a Tree Card

Little Letters Tree Card - watermarked

Supplies:

Stamps: none (unless you want to add some to the inside).

Ink: none

Paper: Garden Green Cardstock.   Trim the Tree Designer Series Paper Stack, Red Glimmer Paper.

Other: Whisper White Baker’s Twine, Big Shot, Little Letters Thinlit dies, Star Framelit Collection, Basic Jewel Rhinestones, Frosted Sequins (holiday catalog), dimensionals and glue dots.

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The design started when I flipped through the paper stack and wondered what I would do with that almost neon looking lined paper.  Then the light went on as I thought the lines reminded me of learning to write on that big lined paper block my Mom had lots of when I was growing up.    Then my eye lit on the Little Letter dies and a design was born.  Lots of words that describe the Christmas season and experience but I wanted a stacked tree looking set like that of a die from another company that I came across awhile ago so after brainstorming words I settled on Jingle, Noel and Joy.   Happy occurrence since those are three of my favorite Christmas season words and the letters work into just the right lengths to form the tree.  Add a star from my favorite new set of framelits (the Star Collection) and Bob’s your Uncle (or in my case my Brother in Law!).  Of course the little Frosted Sequin snowflakes from the Holiday Catalog came in handy too.  Oops…that’s a second thing I used from the Holiday Catalog.  So cute though…can you blame me?

One design note when working with the Little Letter thinlits.  I think they really pop when you separate the layers with dimensionals so the letters have some visual depth to them.  Then it’s up to you if you want contrast like the glimmer or metallic papers we have or a basic contrasting cardstock paper background behind the die cuts.   Boy do I wish you could see the shimmer and shine of the glimmer paper on the actual card.   While cutting the words is a tad time consuming I think a few people on my card list will definitely be getting this design!

For a few more fun ideas with the Little Letters die take a look at this video from the Stampin’ Up office in the UK (United Kingdom).

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That’s it for my post for this October Watercooler Hop.   Hop along now to see the fabulous and talented Deb Smart and the rest of the holiday hop entries and look for our Wacky Watercooler crew every month as we create more new hops for your viewing and crafting pleasure.   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!

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