Merry Christmas! *photo heavy*

December 23rd, 2011

I’m sure you all can agree that it’s been a busy holiday season. At first I was excited about Christmas being on a Sunday… but now it just seems really inconvenient as far as trying to get everything ready by a Friday.

I tried to give myself a break this year and not beat myself up about doing everything that I wanted to, and one of those things that did not get done was our Christmas card. We just never had a good time to get pictures done, and ended up having my friend Gennifer take them on the fly. There was still time to get them printed and sent, but with our travel schedule, it did just not work out… so our card this year is an e-card delivered via my blog, facebook, and email. So really we are just super “green” right? So in lieu of a card in the mail, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

The decorating mostly got done – I couldn’t slack on this since its our first year in the house and I was excited to see how my existing decorations fit the new house. I still need a bit of filler since the house is so much bigger than our apartment, but I can pick some of that up on clearance on Monday! Here are a few snapshots that I took of our decorations this year:

(the iphone 4s takes THE BEST night-time christmas tree photos)

I saw the ruffled tree skirt tutorial that was floating around pinterest. I got everything ready and started to glue all of those ruffles, but only made it a few inches and decided it would be MUCH MUCH easier to just sew the ruffles on (actually my mom was visiting and she sewed them on for me – which is why this is even finished BEFORE Christmas). And trust me, if you do this, SEW the dang ruffles on, you will save your fingers and yourself from going crazy.

I totally need two more cream stockings from pottery barn! And extra points for anyone who spots the baby!

One other exciting thing that happened this week was that our back splash tile went in the kitchen! It looks amazing and I’ll share it very soon!

I hope you all have a wonderful and relaxing holiday weekend!

Motivated Mondays – Christmas edition! *Free Downloads

December 19th, 2011

Okay so I know Christmas is less than a week away, but I am so behind so this is still going to work for me!  But even if you’re Christmas is all done and organized you can remember this for next year.

So I created a checklist with 5 major columns, and under each of those columns are a bunch of check-boxes for different activities, parties, gifts etc that you need to schedule, accomplish, shop for etc. This is a great over-view type of document that you can use to schedule all your various Christmas happenings. Since everyone’s Christmas activities are so vastly different, I made this form an EDITABLE PDF file. You can’t change the categories ( I should have done that too, but it’s too late now!) but you can change all the existing checkbox text as well as add text to all of the existing checkboxes. And you can save the file and reprint next Christmas so you have a good idea of all the things you need to do for Christmas.

Click on the images below to begin download of PDF file

And since Christmas is a week away, I created a simple Christmas Countdown with 7 days leading up to Christmas. This one will have to be printed out to be filled in, but you can quickly write up all the things you need to get done this week… like STARTING TO SHOP for Christmas gifts… or is that just me??

Click on the image below to begin download of PDF file

Click on the images above to download a PDF version of my printable Christmas Checklist and Countdown forms. The downloadable PDFs in this article (and across my entire site) are free for personal use only. If you would like to blog about this free download, please accompany and images from my site with a credit and link back to this article. As a courtesy please do not link directly to a downloadable file but rather to this page. At this time, no customizations of this or any of my forms are available. Forms are a free download AS IS. Also since you’ve made it this far, please subscribe to my RSS feed and facebook page so you can find me again! And don’t forget to tell your friends 🙂

The Versatility of a Card Sketch

December 19th, 2011

Are you like me and sometimes sit frozen…staring at lovely patterned paper and fabulous stamps but do not have anything to jump start your creativity? How about trying out a simplified card sketch? Today I’ll show you four versions from a card sketch that I designed. All of the cards feature products from Jen’s Lost & Found Two Collection from My Mind’s Eye. This collection has so many beautiful designs that make card-making so easy!

So here’s the simple sketch:

This first card stays very true to the design, where the gray area is a patterned paper panel placed onto kraft cardstock. I skipped the sentiment because the Breeze Dream 6×6 paper already included what the card was meant to say to the recipient-You Are So Special. I inked the edges slightly to give the panel some dimension:

The following card features selective trimming of L&F2 Breeze Dream Stamping Paper, the white area within the design on the paper just called for a simple sentiment to be stamped. I carried the damask element into the card base through embossing. Did you notice how I shifted the gray panel to the middle of the card and the sentiment was moved up to the top as well?:

The next card features stamping on a one layer card (using a card base only). The images from the L&F2 Breeze Dream set are wonderful when creating your own patterned paper. Masking off the right part of the card, I stamped various images in coordinating colors on the left side then came back and stamped the filler scroll image in an ink only slightly darker than the card base to add dimension. The final element was to stitch a line to separate the sentiment from the stamping:

And finally, I used the banner stamp included in the set as a focal design element. I trimmed the panel, inked the edges and layered that onto the same card stock as the panel.

When you have amazing products such as the Lost & Found Two Collection and a simple card sketch, the possibilities are endless for making cards. Let the sketch serve as a starting point and really make the elements and designs from the product shine by throwing in your own twists! I hope that you will be able to use the sketch too for those last minute holiday cards that you’ve got to make!