A simple ‘Thank You’ is all it takes …

Linda_Neff_mini_mug_shotHave you ever received that little gift during the holidays from a friend or co-worker you weren’t expecting it from? It seems to happen periodically and it can catch us off-guard and unprepared. Years ago I would feel very awkward about accepting it and not giving a gift in return, but as I grow older, I’ve learned over time to graciously accept the gift in the spirit in which it is given, smile and say ‘thank you.’

I do, however, like to acknowledge the receipt of the gift and so I have taken to making holiday-themed ‘Thank You’ and note cards. These are quickly made with leftover papers and embellishments from your Christmas cards, tags and wrappings. You can simply send the pretty hand-made thank you card to the gift-giver or even better, give them a set of note cards in a pretty little gift bag for them to use!

This is a set of four Christmas-themed cards I made using leftover papers from Authentique’s Festive line, my Xyron Mega Runner with permanent adhesive, bookboard accents from Globecraft & Piccolo and some pretty twine from The Twinery.

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As you can see, these are your basic A2 card (4 1/4 inches-by-5 1/2 inches). I basically used coordinating scraps, cut and inked them and stuck it all down on a plain white card made from 110 lb. white cover stock from Staples. I added some borders punched with a Fiskars Border Punch, popped some of the elements up with dimensional foam tape and added a few embellishments.

The Globecraft & Piccolo (G&P) bookboard pieces are left natural and coated lightly with G&P Glastique Gloss to give it that beautiful shiny finish. I love these because they’re thinner than most chipboard elements on the market and will easily go through the mail.

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I like to present them in a hand-made gift bag. The bag is made from a 6-inch by 12-inch strip of cardstock and then just add pretty papers to the front, back and sides. Tie a pretty ribbon for a handle or braid some colored twine from The Twinery. All the papers, including the gift bag, are stuck down with the Xyron Mega Runner using permanent adhesive.

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These make perfect gifts any time of the year. They’re easy enough to make that you could keep several extras on-hand for that last-minute gift for co-workers, teachers, etc. January is also a great time to take the time to sit down and make your Christmas cards for 2013!

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Sending Halloween greetings …

You know, I love all the Halloween decorations I see popping up everywhere lately. I don’t really get into decorating for any holidays except Christmas since the kids are all grown, but I do appreciate what others do to celebrate. We passed a house on our way to Williamston last night that was really decked out with lots of ghouls and ghosts hanging from trees – it made me smile and I could only imagine how scared the little ones will be come Halloween when they walk through that yard to the front door for Trick-or-Treat.

I’ve made this Halloween card for our Cracker Jack Stamp Club that meets tonight. This months’ theme, after all, is Halloween!

I used Bazzill Basics paper and cardstock from its “All Hallows Eve” collection in the 6-inch by 6-inch pad. The patterns in this line are really cute and easy to work with; they coordinate really well.

I started with a free clip art sheet from Red Lead Paperworks and selected the lovely little girl with her Jack-o-Lantern. The edges are distressed and inked with black ink. It’s then matted with the Bazzill Basics cardstock. I layered it all up using more of the black cardstock and two different pattern papers from the collection. Yarn is wrapped and tied around the purple paper strip.

The adorable little Jack-o-Lanterns lining down the side are from Globecraft Memories. The Piccolo Accents – Happy Pumpkins Accents – are coated in Art Glitter Monarch 501 Microfine Opaque glitter. The perfect color for pumpkins! I love the contrast of the glittery sparkle alongside the Vintage-looking clip art.

A very simple card to make and I’m sure it will bring a smile to any recipients face! We all love to get mail – the old-fashioned kind – in an envelope and everything! So get your supplies out and start making some cards to drop in the mail. There’s still plenty of time!

Supply list:

Art Glitter Monarch Microfine Opaque Glitter
Globecraft Memories Piccolo Happy Pumpkins Accents
Bazzill Basics Paper “All Hallows Eve”
Xyron Mega Runner
Free Halloween Clip Art from Read Lead Paperworks
Black Soot Distress Ink
Yarn

Hop on over to Art Glitter’s blog for another AG/Globecraft Memories project from me!

Repurposing with style

A recent challenge among the Xyron Design Team was to take an old project and make it new; Xyron would send the project with our supplies. Unfortunately I didn’t receive an old project with my supplies so I had to find something old and make it new on my own. I find it easier when someone just hands me something and says “here, fix this please.” But, that didn’t happen so I dug out my bin of ‘stuff’ I’ve held on to in hopes that one day I would use them to create a project. At first I found an old cd wooden advertisement box. Took photos of it and everything but nothing came to mind as to how I would use it. Then I stumbled upon my Nook box and I found the magnetic closure on the lid fascinating.

In my supplies from Xyron I received papers and stickers from the Curio collection by Basic Grey. It’s always been one of my favorite lines from that company so it would work perfectly. My daughter’s boyfriend had just left for a six-month journey so I decided to create a countdown journal for her that would fit into the Nook box and here’s how I did it.

I started by selecting papers for front and back then traced the outline of the box onto the paper. A little tip for cutting a traced image – cut just inside the pencil line rather than on it, that way the paper should fit really well without needing to be trimmed. The box was actually dark brown on all sides, top and bottom so I didn’t even need to paint or cover those areas! I inked all my white paper edges with Jet Black Archival Ink from Ranger because it dries fast. Then I ran all the papers through my Xyron Creatopia. See how nicely it all fit through the machine – very easy.

After peeling the cellophane cover from the Xyron-covered papers, I carefully placed the papers onto the box. I selected a butterfly dimensional sticker for the upper left corner and used Basic Grey’s paper tape on the front edges.

Next, I used a Tim Holtz Ornate Plate and matched ‘a perfect memory’ sticker to it for a title on the box; it is adhered with two brads.

This box was very easy to cover. The book inside was just as easy – I don’t think I’ve ever made a project that came together so easily. The book to fit inside the box was cut from three sheets of Curio papers. I measured them to fit in the box after they would be folded (the pages are made by simply folding the papers in half).

I used my Scor-it-all Board to get a good clean crease down the center of each paper. Then I lined the pages back-to-back  and used my Xyron Mega Runner to stick them together. I inked the edges of the pages with the black Archival Ink. An EK scallop border punch was used to make my spine, scored it down the center then inked it in black and ran it through the Xyron 2.5 inch Create-a-Sticker. Peeled away the backing, lined it up and pressed it into place.

I used a chipboard sticker from the Curio collection on the front cover. I kept the inside pages pretty simple so there is plenty of room for journaling and included stamped calendars (Tim Holtz) (CMS034 & CMS035) on each section so she can mark off the days till his arrival back home. I added additional stickers to the pages as well and sealed it all with a pretty ribbon.

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If you’d like to see the before and after hop on over to http://aintshecrafty.blogspot.com/2012/06/something-old-something-new-day-2.html#comment-form

Let me know what you think and please feel free to email with any questions.