Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I had planned to have a Christmas blog candy, but realized that most people will be too busy to visit blogs, so I decided to postpone it until next year and it will be a bigger prize that includes new stamps and a sampler of my seam bindings. So, stay tuned.

For my Christmas post, I thought share a few cards from each of the teams I have had the privilege to be a part of in 2010.

First is a card using Layers of Colors' A Touch of Elegance clear art stamps.

Elegant Ornaments

This one uses my Gina K Designs stamp sets, Heirloom Ornaments, Fanciful Tags and Vintage Backgrounds.

Heirloom Card 1

Here's a card using SRM Stickers Sentiments Happy Holidays using the upcoming Card Patterns sketch. Here's a little sneak peek for you. :-)

Nina Sketch 96

Finally, I hope you all a very merry Christmas. As a Christian, I have a huge appreciation for this holiday. Beyond presents and merriment, Christmas is a day that celebrates God's love toward mankind. As my pastor, John MacArthur says, "The babe Jesus Christ in a manger is more than just a tender child. He is the express image of God. He took on a body of human flesh so He could bear in that body the sins of the world. He made possible the gift of God--eternal life (Romans 6:23). That is the sum of the Christmas message."

I took the quoted notes above from Grace To You's article that you can find in its entirety -->> HERE. I hope you will take the time to read it and even follow the Scripture reference. It sums up why I, along with the many followers of Christ, celebrate Christmas. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to email me by clicking on the Contact tab above.

Here's my favorite new Christmas song this year. I love the lyrics!


Monday, December 20, 2010

Card Patterns #95

This is for Card Pattern's Sketch #95. Our sponsor this week is Creative Vision and the Creative Clear Stamps Store. The sentiment on my card is by them. The papers are Basic Grey Curio and the seam binding is my own.

Nina Sketch 95

I hope you're all having a productive day, counting down to Christmas.


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Glittered Cake

Before I begin, I just want to wish my talented friend and co-crafter in Croatia, Jane Beljo, a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I hope this year is the best one yet! Stay warm and enjoy your snow-covered day.

I am so thrilled to join her and her amazing design team in the re-release party of her very own Jane's Bakery stamp set, available at her etsy store. This cute set of stamps is perfect for coloring, paper piecing using all sorts of cardmaking style. These stamps are high quality photopolymer clear stamps that are made in the USA. If you're in Australia, you can purchase them, along with Jane's yummy buttons, at Jay Gee's Nook.

Here's my card using the layered cake, banner and sentiment from Jane's Bakery stamp set. The papers are PTI Melon Berry and American Crafts Dear Lizzy.

Bday Jane

Here's a detailed photo of the cake, which was embellished with glitter and my own doodles (polka dots and lines). The cake and banner were colored with Copic markers. The seam binding is my own.
Bday Jane detail
Make sure you visit Jane's Doodles design team, as well as the Guest DT for this hop. I know you will not be disappointed. Here are the links:

Friday, December 17, 2010

For the Lovebirds

My husband and I are going to try to do a quick shopping trip today. We window shopped with the girls last week, so we already know what to get them (but they have no idea). And I need to shop for our 2 Christmas dinners.

I used to love shopping way back when, but when it involves driving in the snow, and not finding everything you're looking for (like celery), pay twice or more than US prices ($4/lb for a skinny turkey), and driving back home in more snow...then it's not so fun anymore. I used to dislike Walmart or K-Mart or anything like that, but now I wish we have one nearby! Now, if I'm really wishing...I'd love to have a Costco here :-). Then, I wouldn't need to dedicate two precious shelves of my teeny-tiny freezer for our chocolate chips and pecan stash :-).

Well, on to my card for today. This is for Stamp TV's Color sketch challenge to use Bubblegum Pink, Black and white. I used one of my first GinaK sets called Elegant Post. The sentiment is from Heartily Yours Additions. The papers are Webster's Pages' Hollywood Vogue.

STVCSP6 Lovebirds

I'm participating in a VERY special blog hop tomorrow for a dear friend, so see you then!


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Easy Shabby Cards

Here's another set of mass-produced cards I made that are more on the shabby side. I used my Heirloom Ornaments and Vintage Borders stamp sets, Cosmo Cricket Mitten Weather papers and SRM Stickers Sentiments Happy Holidays.

This is what I did:
  • I cut the coordinating 12 x 12 double-sided papers into 4 x 5.25 sheets (I got 6 from one 12 x 12 sheet with small strips leftover for other projects).
  • I cut each small sheet on the 2" mark. I used the purple side for the bottom of the card and flipped the paper strip for the top portion.
  • I inked all the edges of the strips and card front using Distress Antique Linen and Vintage Photo.
  • Die cut the Spellbinders Lacey Circles and ink edges. Stamp text background stamp.
  • Stamp world, then die cut or punch out (I used a 1-3/4 circle punch).
  • Tie bow to hide seam between two papers.
  • Adhere sticker sentiment.
To make it all go faster. I did one step at a time for all the cards. So, I inked all the edges of the pieces at the same time. I cut all the paper strips and sheets for all my cards. My kids even helped with making these. They love die cutting and punching out stamped images. They could have helped with inking the edges, too. It's more fun when it's a group effort. :-)

Mass produced cards World detail
Mass produced cards World

Monday, December 13, 2010


One of the things I love about my girls is they are very well-adjusted kids. As missionaries, we are often in people's homes and host many guests throughout the year. My girls get along with them right away. Put them in a roomful of strangers and they will make friends within a few minutes. Even attending a school where they are the only non-white, non-Croatian and the only non-Catholic, they thrive.

They recently entered a Supertalent contest at their school singing a duet. They were one of the top winners. That was great, but the best part I thought was how the audience loved them. The kids applauded many times during their performance and that really encouraged them to sing better. As their mom, I was touched by how they're accepted by their peers in a culture that's experienced war in recent history and did not have foreigners living among them until we moved here 12 years ago.

My girls may look different, but they speak like their Croatian peers and thrive among them. I am so thankful to God for that. Here they were at the Supertalent show. They are truly a gift from the Lord.

Today's card is for Stamp TV's Sketch Spotlight #6. I used my Lovely Labels 2 and Vintage Backgrounds sets. The butterfly is also by GinaK called Hope is Faith. The yummy papers are Basic Grey's Curio. The seam binding is my own.

Here's a close up.
STVSKSP6 Merci detail


Friday, December 10, 2010

A new color combo for me...

Today's card is for the StampTV's Color Spotlight Challenge. I would never have picked combining the colors this week: white, Vibrant Violet and Fresh Asparagus; but that's what's fun about challenges. They inspire you to try new things.

I used my Hugs and Prayers and Lovely Labels 2 sets for my card. The papers are Pink Paislee Old School and my Vintage Basics digital papers. The ribbon is my hand-dyed seam binding. Speaking of bindings, my girls and I had fun yesterday coloring more of them. You should have seen my rainbow hands. Oh, but the results are so pretty. I may have to share some with you. Stay tuned for a Christmas giveaway soon on my blog!

STVCSP5 Just for You

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas Cards, Pt. 2: Tips on mass producing cards

I would say I owe it to not having Hallmark-type stores in Croatia for me to be interested in cardmaking in the first place. Even though I only started with papercrafting seriously and professionally less than 2 years ago, I was already making cards for many years prior to that with what little paper scraps, ribbons and stamps I had.

Because my husband and I are in full-time ministry, one of my main responsibilities is correspondence. And we have been blessed with so many friends and family who pray for us faithfully. So, I made a commitment to send them at least a Christmas card every year to let them know how much we appreciate all that they do for us.

This year, I made about 150 and, as you can imagine, that's no easy feat, esp because of the lack of craft stores here. I've learned some tricks and tips to accomplish this in the last few years.

Make a simple sketch to follow. I used the same sketch for all my samples below.

Mass produced cards

Use a paper collection to mix and match since they are already color coordinated for you. Use the collection's colors as a guide and limit the colors you use to 3. I used the Cosmo Cricket Jolly By Golly papers for these cards.

Mass produced cards 3

Utilize available tools like punches, stamps and stickers to get the job done. I used the GinaK Heirloom Ornaments set, which I punched using my 1-3/4" circle punch. I used the SRM Sticker Sentiments Happy Holidays on another set of mass produced cards on this post. This card design is also great to use ribbon scraps.

Mass produced cards 4

Computer-generate your note inside and print on white paper. For A6 cards, I print 4 in one sheet and just trim the papers to 4" x 5.25" then adhere inside the cards. Make room on the bottom for a personal note. I also computer generate the address labels.

Mass produced cards 2
More tips:
  • Start early. I start mine around September and do it slowly until about mid-November when I do most of them.
  • Pre-cut all your patterned papers. I can get 6 card fronts from one sheet of 12 x 12. I cut them to 4" x 5.25" and mix and match the papers for more variety.
  • I don't make all my cards look the same. Otherwise, I would get bored :-). I make 6-12 cards per design. You can see another set of mass produced cards I made in a previous post.
  • If you're in a DT, make Christmas cards with your DT assignments as early as possible. I had close to 50 cards by the time mid-November came. If you're not on a DT, think Christmas cards when entering challenges. You can see a Christmas card I made using fall colors on this post. I wouldn't have thought of doing that, but that's the fun of entering challenges.
  • I set a goal to send out our Christmas cards in late Nov/early December. It's not because mail takes longer here. We get many guests from the US and so I just plan ahead to send my cards through them. It's cheaper this way. I set the date goal because it's always better for the recipients to get your cards early on. The closer it is to Christmas, the more cards people get and more likely yours to be set aside.
I hope that helps.

Monday, December 6, 2010

In honor of the Georgia Dawgs

I have a couple of projects for you today that use the colors of my husband's favorite college team, the Georgia Bulldogs. And this color combo of red and black is one of my favorites, too.

First is my card for the Stamp TV Sketch Spotlight Challenge. I used my Lovely Labels 2 (cut with Spellbinders labels 15) and Lord of the Season sets. The papers are Cosmo Cricket Circa 1934. I did the stitched ribbon/lace technique on the lace before placing the paper rose in the center.

STVSKSP4 O Maginfy the Lord

This next project is for the SRM Stickers Gift Holders Challenge issued to the DT. Here's my take, a special bag and tag for a special mom. I used the SRM WGYS Sweet. I did the same technique again with the lace here. The papers are K&Co. I used my Cuttlebug alpha dies for "MOM."

Gift bag

Here's a close up of the tag:

Gift tag


Sunday, December 5, 2010

I did a scrapboook layout!

Okay, so it took a contest from one of my favorite paper manufacturers to get to me finally do a scrapbook page. I know it's lacking in embellies and I wish I could add my favorite buttons, lace and ribbons. But, this will do for now. I used Webster's Pages' Nature's Storybook digital papers. They have a digital contest for Dec 2010 on their InspireMe forum.

I love this photo of Gaby. It was taken when she was two while we were on a conference in Oslo, Norway. I realized after I uploaded it that it needs a title. Oh well, I'll learn next time :-).

Digital Dec 2010 Challenge NBrackett

I bought the digital papers awhile back when I wanted to submit vintage shabby cards for the Paper Crafts Card Style Magazine. I used it on this card, which was published under the Elegant category. The sentiment is GinaK Love Notes.


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Big Joy!

I'm in winter wonderland here in Croatia. Snow is sooo beautiful, esp when you're watching it from the comfort of your home :-).

Today's card is for Card Patterns Sketch #93 and this week's sponsor is Jen Marie who sells Ippity stamps. The papers are Cosmo Cricket's Jolly by Golly. The cardstock is PTI Aqua Mist. Button and ribbon are also PTI.

Nina Sketch 93
I hope you can join us this week at Card Patterns this week.

Finally, Layers of Color is welcoming a new designer today. Not only does she make beautiful projects, but she's a beautiful person, inside and out. Check out the Layers of Color blog to find out who it is!


Friday, December 3, 2010

More Cosmo Cricket Circa 1934 Creations

Here are a couple more things I made with the Cosmo Cricket Circa 1934 Collection and SRM Stickers. I just love these papers, so easy to match with my SRM. I used the We've Got Your Stickers Sweet on both of them. The wings are from Layers of Color's Regal Wings. And I can't believe this color combo follows this week's The Color Room colors.

Life is Sweet

For this card, I added some stamped images on the Postcard (also from Circa 1934) using GinaK's Vintage Backgrounds and Special Delivery stamp sets.

Love Postcard

Make sure you visit the SRM Stickers blog for the hop's winners and more Cosmo Cricket creations. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Circa 1934 Blog Hop and Tutorial

The SRM Stickers Crew is featuring Cosmo Cricket's Circa 1934 Collection today. This paper collection is perhaps my favorite of the Cosmo Cricket lines. The color combo is something I use often: red, black, aqua and a hint of straw.

If you're coming from Tobi Crawford, then you're on the right spot. If not, check out the SRM Stickers blog for a list of participants, including the info for today's prize giveaways: Cosmo Cricket Circa 1934 Crafting Kit and SRM Stickers Prize Package!

I made a family photo ornament for today's hop. This would make a great gift, esp for the grandparents. I used the SRM Sticker Sentiments Happy Holidays and A Year of Memories 2010 for my project.

Cosmo Cricket Circa 1934 Ornament
I shared a similar ornament a week ago and I promised to give you a tutorial, so here it is:

Supplies used:
  • Cosmo Cricket Circa 1934 paper collection
  • SRM Stickers Sentiments Happy Holidays and A Year of Memories 2010
  • Spellbinders Label 15, Circle Large, Heirloom Ornament Dies
  • GinaK Designs Heirloom Ornament stamps
  • Thick cardstock
  • Fibers: cream ribbon and red baker's twine
  • Accents: buttons and paper flowers
  • Tools: hole puncher and ScorPal, Scortape
Step 1: Die cut the following:
  • 1 of the largest Labels 15 dies from cardstock and another from patterned paper
  • 2 of the 2nd largest Labels 15 from cardstock and one from patterned paper
  • stamp ornament four times, then die cut
  • four of the smallest ornament die from patterned paper
Step 2: Score middle of the ornament die cuts, then fold. Glue sides together to make a 3-D ornament.

Step 3: Adhere patterned papers to corresponding die cut cardstocks. Layer the smaller label frames using foam tape. Punch holes on the frames and 3D ornaments as shown above. Adhere "merry christmas" sticker to cardstock, then adhere to label frame using foam tape in the middle and Scortape on the sides as shown above.

Step 4: String twine and make a knot through hole on the ornaments and ribbon on top of the ornament.

Step 5: Tie a knot to attach hanging ornaments as shown above.

Step 6: Thread twine through button and wrap around twine attached to the ornament as shown above. Tie into a bow. For better placement, adhere stringed button with a glue dot.

Cosmo Cricket Circa 1934 Ornament Detail

Step 7: Repeat Step 6 for the second ornament. Adhere paper flower and stringed button with ScorTape.

I hope you found that helpful. Now your next stop is the very talented Kathy Racoosin.

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