Okay you guys. Today's crafty goodness. It's a darn cute one. (If I do say so myself...) And it's a darn simple one. So would you mind, for a moment if we pause to talk about the REAL showstopper here? It's not the Ho Ho Ho garland. (Although it IS ...


How to Make a Festive Christmas Banner with Die Cut Letters

Okay you guys. Today's crafty goodness. 
It's a darn cute one. 
(If I do say so myself...) 
And it's a darn simple one. 
So would you mind, for a moment if we pause to talk about the REAL showstopper here? 
It's not the Ho Ho Ho garland. 
(Although it IS cute. And simple. And we'll get to that.) 
And it's not the Willow Tree nativity which is the first holiday decoration to go up, and the last to be put away each year.
Do I play the piano? 
No, no I do not. 
But do I LOVE this piano? 
Well, yes. Yes I DO.
This piano has been in my parents' house for as long as I can remember. Prior to that, it lived in the restaurant my dad owned when I was a little girl. And before that, it belonged to the restaurant's previous owner - who used this piano during his time as a Vaudeville performer. WHAT? So much history in this sweet old piano. I love every single scrape and blemish, and there's no way I'm repainting it. It hasn't been tuned in about a million years, (but we've already covered the fact that I don't play the piano, so I wouldn't know if it was in tune or not.) 

Okay. Thank you for indulging me as I ramble about my piano. I wasn't expecting it to come live at my house when we went home for Thanksgiving. But somehow my parents tricked us into taking it....parents are sneaky like that. But I'm thrilled to have it here now. (And it's RED! HELLO.) 
Plus, bonus - my nativity looks amazing on top - AND I had a darling place to display today's super fun and simple craft! (See, I told you we'd get back around to that.) 

To make this banner, I used FSJ's Alpha Bold Steel Rule Die. This die set is AMAZING to have in my stash. We've used it for banners, and Science Fair projects, to make personalized gift tags - all kinds of things. The set comes with three platforms to accommodate the whole alphabet. (These are the thick dies, like what teachers use at school for bulletin boards!) 

Here are the simple steps to make a HO HO HO garland: 

  • First, trim red and green cardstock into pieces about 3x3.5 in. Lay them just onto the letters you want to diecut, (in this case, H and O) and run through the die cutting machineTIP: You can die cut quite a few layers of cardstock all at once, which makes this really fast! These steel rule dies are POWERFUL! 
  • Adhere each H and O pair together using one or two small foam adhesive squares. 
  • Punch a hole in the top corner of each H and O and then string together onto twine. TIP: You could easily add a die cut star or heart in between each, but I forced myself to keep this REALLY simple! 
  • Find a fun place to display your darling creation! Easy peasy! 

Alright friends. If you've made it through this blog post, kudos to YOU. Your prize, should you choose to accept it is this...
Today and today ONLY all of FSJ's steel rule dies are 50% off. 5-0. Fifty. FIFTY. That is an AWESOME deal. This alphabet die set is an investment, but it's 50% less of an investment today! And you might just find you use it for all KINDS of things! (I hope a cutie patootie Ho Ho Ho banner is project number 1!) 

Every day this week FSJ and Spellbinders each have an awesome Daily Deal that you won't want to miss. So tell me...what will YOU create with this Alpha Bold Steel Rule Die? And what other steel rule dies do you have your heart set on? You can find all the steel rule dies in the FSJ shop! 

Happy shopping my friends! (I am truly sorry to enable you...but I would be remiss to not have shared this great deal with you!!!!) ;) xoxo

How to Make a Merry Pink Reindeer Card for Christmas

You guys know I LOVE pink and aqua for Christmas crafts! And this reindeer is SO cute stamped on pink cardstock - I'm pretty sure it's the only way I've made him so far. I just can't stop stamping pink reindeer! 
To begin this card, I added strips of black and white printed papers to a Watermelon Fusion panel of cardstock. These papers aren't even from a Christmas paper pack - don't be afraid to dig through your papers and see what might work on a seasonal project! Then I attached it to a black card base. (TIP! Add a panel of white cardstock on the inside of the card to write your message!)
I embossed our reindeer friend in black - i love the shine and dimension that the embossing creates, with the cool texture of the stamp. 

I thought I'd share this card today because each day this week Spellbinders + FSJ is offering a DAILY DEAL, and one of today's deals is PAPER! 12x12 FSJ paper packs are 50% off today! So grab some gorgeous printed paper at an amazing deal today! Below you'll see all the deals - there's an FSJ and a Spellbinders deal for each day this week. 

I'll be back on Wednesday to share the SWEETEST and EASIEST (seriously SO easy) Christmas home decor project using FSJ's steel rule alphabet dies. I can't wait to share it with you! In the meantime, check in with Spellbinders + FSJ's social media channels so you don't miss a thing during the Daily Deals! Which deal are you MOST excited about!? Leave me a comment and let me know! 

Don't miss a thing:
Find Spellbinders + FSJ on social media! 
Spellbinders on Facebook, InstagramPinterest and YouTube

Supplies Used on Today's Card:


All You Need is Love (and Handmade Goodness!)

All you need is love... and maybe an amazing sheet of patterned paper. When I saw this piece of paper from the brand new Follow You Heart collection from FSJ, it pretty much had me at HELLO. Hearts and polka dots? YES, please. And that gorgeous Haystack color that I'm more in love with every day that goes by. And I love me a Valentine with a non-traditional color palette. Really, this doesn't even HAVE to be a Valentine. It would be a great anniversary card too!

This card is so simple, but the patterned paper (and that white embossing) just make it shine. 

The Follow Your Heart collection is available NOW! To celebrate, FSJ hosted a fantastic and fun online launch party full of demos, games, tips, and techniques. It was so much fun! Have no fear, if you missed it you can still enjoy it all on YouTube!  Don't miss it!!!

Want to check out this fabulous Valentine-themed release of rubber stamps, dies, and SO MUCH MORE!? Head right on over to the Follow Your Heart collection on the Spellbinders + FSJ website! 

Thanks so much for stopping by today! Want to stay in touch?! Find me across social media by clicking those buttons right up there on my sidebar! xoxo 

Supplies on today's card:


Christmas Is the Time for Coffee and Cards!

 Coffee and Christmas are pretty perfect together, don't you think? I'm excited to check out the Fall/Winter Coffee Loving Cardmakers Blog Hop this week because it's sure to be filled with fabulous crafty inspiration that combines coffee and winter!
For today's card, I combined two sweet stamp sets. I started with the Cup of Tea stamp set from Fun Stampers Journey. This red rubber stamp set is part of a card making kit filled with supplies to make four darling cards, bright and cheery and full of fun. But for today's card I wanted to take those stamps and give them a cozy, warm Christmas spin. 
After embossing and die cutting the coffee pot, I paired it with a sentiment from the Deck the Halls stamp set. Perfect, right?! I added some die cut leaves, some "berry" buttons and a twine bow and this card came together just like I wanted - warm, cozy, and perfect for Christmas! 
After I finished the card, I wasn't quite ready to be done playing, so I pulled out one of FSJ's DIY Hoops - it's a darling little faux embroidery hoop, all ready for customizing with paper and embellishments. I added the same gorgeous buffalo check printed paper for the base, and then I added another stamped coffee pot and cup. The sentiment is from the All Roads stamp set (it's one of my favorite Christmas stamp sets!!)
This little embroidery hoop will be a darling Christmas ornament with a little loop of thread attached behind it - and the card is all ready to go with it! What a sweet and simple gift for a coffee-loving teacher, friend, or coworker, right?! 
Be sure to stop by the Coffee Loving Cardmakers blog hop this week and check out all the caffeinated crafty goodness. You can even join in with your own winter/coffee card - and you might just win a PRIZE! FSJ is offering up the Cup of Tea stamp set and card making kit for a lucky participant, plus there are a BUNCH of other amazing prizes up for grabs too! Thanks so very much for coming by today! I'd love to connect with you again! Find me on social media, using the links above in the sidebar. 

Looking for more inspiration? Check out some more coffee-inspired crafting here on my blog! 

Supplies for today's projects:


5 Easy Tips: How to Get Brave with the Gel Press

Last week I shared a speedy quick little video of a print that I made on the Gel Press. (If you missed it, it's below!) I wasn't sure whether anyone would think it was cool or interesting. But apparently people did! (Yay!) And I promised I would share the card I made with the print - plus, you get a bonus because I made TWO cards with that print! Ready to check them out and talk about printmaking with the Gel Press for a few minutes? 
To many crafters, the Gel Press is a little intimidating at first - I'll admit, I was one of those people! I knew I could use acrylic paint on it, but I wasn't sure about all that MESS. The Gel Press IS really fun to use with acrylic paint, but there are so many other options too! (And most of them are not too terribly messy either!) For today's print, I used FSJ's Re-Inkers. 

Why don't you take a second to watch this QUICK video, and then I'll walk you through the steps below. 

To begin, I dotted three rows of Re-Inkers across the Gel Press: Turbo Teal, Pool Play, and then Limeade Splash.  I knew those colors would blend nicely together - which brings us to the first Gel Press Tip.

Tip 1: Don't add colors near each other that won't blend together nicely or you'll have a muddy mess. Whether you're using paint, Re-Inkers, or Liquid Colors this same rule applies. If you put green and red next to each other, there's a good chance you'll end up with an ugly brown, if you blend too much. 

After applying those dots of color, I used a brayer and blended them out until they filled most of the Gel Press. Generally, it won't take as much color as you think - and you can always add more if needed, so how about we say that's our next tip?

TIP 2: Less is more! Start with less color than more. You can always add more, but it's tough to take it away!  

After the color was blended and filled the press, I splattered Sparkle Silk. If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know this is my GO-TO Gel Press technique. I absolutely love the way the Sparkle Silk allows spots of the white cardstock to show through, as well as adds a little shimmer. It's subtle, but adds the perfect amount of interest. Is that a tip? Sure!

TIP 3: ALWAYS ADD SPARKLE SILK! (Seriously, you don't HAVE to....but you should.) 

After the Sparkle Silk, I pulled a print on Whip Cream cardstock. What does that mean? "Pull a print,"? It simply means - lay your cardstock down on top of all that inky goodness, smooth over it gently with your hands to pick up all that good color, and then literally pull the cardstock back up, starting from one corner. Guess what? You've just pulled your first print. YAY! But we aren't done there.

After that, I placed the Polka Dot Wall stencil onto the Gel Press. (No, I didn't clean the Gel Press before doing this.) Then I dotted the same three colors of Re-Inker in the same order, onto the opened spaces of the stencil. I brayered right on top, to cover those dots with color and then carefully removed the stencil. Next, I pulled another print right on top of my first. Ta-dah! And NOW we're done. Then I proceeded to make today's two cards.
For the first card, I heat embossed the poinsettia and let that bold image and that fun colorful background just be happy together. I added a sentiment on vellum, some Sparkle Tape, and a few rhinestones. For the second card, I die cut some snowflakes, and added Sparkle Tape and enamel dots. (Plus a splatter of Black Silk.) I love that the Gel Press prints really are the stars of the show on these cards, just enhanced by some simple stamping and die cutting. And you could use a print like this ALL YEAR LONG for any type of card. I'm excited to make some more, trying different color combinations!

Before you go, I have one more TIP for you, about the Gel Press. 

TIP 4: Don't clean it too much. I know that sounds crazy, but if you can pull most of the color off by pulling prints on some scrap paper - do that. If you're completely changing colors, and you want it totally clean, wipe it with a baby wipe. But before you start another project, you may need to season it.  And that brings me to one (really) last tip.

TIP 5: SEASON YOUR GEL PRESS. Let's say I'm going to start a new print in pink. I've wiped the previous colors off, and I'm about to start. I'll grab a pink color and add dots onto the Gel Press, and brayer it out, covering the whole Gel Press. Then I'll pull a print or two on scrap paper. If there's still ink on the brayer, I'll usually roll it out again and pull a second print. This will get a nice surface on your press, that's ready for your project. If you've ever brayered out color and it kind of beads up and doesn't stay smooth (if you've done this, you know what I mean!) then you need to season your Gel Press. Now, sometimes you WANT that beaded-up look. But if not, give it a practice run, pull a print on scrap paper and then your color will stay much smoother for the finished product. 

Alright friends! Ready to grab your Gel Press and give it a shot?! YOU GOT THIS. You can totally do it. Practice makes perfect! I believe in you! 

Looking for more Gel Press inspiration???? I've got some other great posts with tips, tricks, and techniques using the Gel Press: 

Supplies for Today's Cards:
Gel Press
Polka Dot Wall Stencil
Christmas Sprig Stamp Set
Frosty Snowflake Die
All Year Long Stamp Set
Silver Sparkle Tape
Turbo Teal, Pool Play, Limeade Splash Re-Inkers

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