Wednesday, December 31

Another New Year's challenge card

Okay, I'm back with another card for you! This time I used the sketch from The Whimsical Butterfly (MTTSC3), and the theme from Jacksonbelle's New Year's Eve Challenge #2 (black, white & glitter). I started out thinking I would do something very simple, like a group of trees stamped in black with white painted over to look like snow. It didn't work out quite right, and I didn't have the patience to keep fiddling with it. So here's what I did instead:

It looks complicated, but it was actually quite simple. I used my Cuttlebug to emboss the black cardstock on the bottom half of the card, and then used the Cuttlebug again to cut the hearts and architectural elements. The red heart has been coated with red glitter glue to give the card some bling, then layered over a black heart and affixed to the card with pop dots to give the card more dimension.

I'm still not feeling so great, so even though I planned to ring in the year making cards, I don't think I'm going to make it. My goal is to do the other two Jacksonbelle challenges, but not tonight. The deadline is the 4th, so I think I'll continue tomorrow.

Remember, you only have until midnight tonight to enter my blog candy!

supplies ~ cardstock: stash, die cuts & embossing: Cuttlebug, sweetheart sentiment: Studio G

Busy, busy, busy on New Year's Eve

Bill and I are still feeling pretty cruddy, but we managed a trip to town for about an hour. It was -35F in town, and -25F at our house, so we're glad to stay home this evening. So I decided to ring in the New Year crafting and chatting it up on the Jacksonbelle PCP forum! So expect multiple posts this evening, and make sure you enter my blog candy before midnight tonight (Alaska time, -0900 GMT)! I'll announce the winner tomorrow!


So here's my first card of the evening. Simple, but I like it. I started by choosing my colors. I already had the sketch (Laura's Sketch #16 at 2S4Y) and a theme (Jacksonbelle's "Rings"). I looked in my stash for some coordinated papers and found some wonderful ones called sarapapers by Hot Off the Press. I also used cardstock from my DCWV mat stack.

I was going for these particular colors because I also wanted to try the KWerner Color Inspiration challenge for this week. Here are the colors she gave us. I sort of like 'em! I also like the shabby chic feel of the papers, so I tried distressing the edges of the cardstock a bit. I stamped the flower on white cardstock and colored it with my PrismaColor pencils. The Pink (PC929) in my set was too bright, so I blended it with a tiny bit of Sienna Brown (PC945) to mute it. Then I cut it out and popped a brad in the center.

I'll be back later with another card, so stay tuned!

supplies ~ papers: Hot Off the Press, cardstock: DCWV, flower image: Scrappy Cat "Sunny Days" set, {thanks} image: Studio G, brad: Making Memories

Monday, December 29

Simple thanks

I think this is the first time I've ever posted three times in one day....(now I KNOW I have too much time on my hands)!

I was doing my blog hop today and ended up over at the Hero Arts Club Blog. I really liked the simple winter thank you card they demoed, but I'm not feeling well enough to mess with my stamps, clean them up, yaddayaddayadda. Besides, my mom got me some new embossing folders for my Cuttlebug, so I decided to do a slight twist on the Hero card. Instead of stamping snowflakes, I just used my Snowflakes folder before punching out 3/4" circles. I also used my Swiss Dots folder to emboss the base instead of heat embossing the dots. For the sentiment, I just used Making Memories rub-ons. For these four cards, I think it took me a grand total of an hour ('course, I still need to make envelopes, but that's a snap).

supplies ~ cardstock: stash, embossed images: Cuttlebug, rub-ons: Making Memories

A treat despite bad judgement

So, Bill and I are sick with bad colds. You think we'd be staying home where it's warm instead of going out into the -25F cold-as-all-get-out weather? Oh, noooooooooo! We get it into our heads that we absolutely MUST do a trash run (we live out of town & have to haul our own trash), go to the post office and drop off recyclables at Wal-Mart. We might as well get lunch, too, as long as we're out. Even though we're miserable. And it's cold. And just going downstairs seems like a huge effort. Let alone coming back up.

We got all the trash and recyclables loaded into the car, and off we go. I'm thinkin' to myself I hope this is fast because I just wanna go home and curl up in bed. Suddenly Bill says, "Moose!" I'm in lalaland, so I don't see it right away but the car ahead of us has come to a complete stop. The moose had obviously just crossed the road and was standing in our lane looking at us like WE'RE the idiots hogging the road. Something must have spooked him because he lopes off the road into someone's yard. Every other car goes on their merry way, but I tell Bill to stop once we get within view of the moose - I wanted a picture (the only camera I had was the one on my phone, but maybe it would work).

I roll down the window to get the picture, but the camera won't zoom in close enough to make the moose bigger than a dot. Meanwhile, the moose looks directly at our car. Now, that's not a good thing, folks. What goes on in a moose's head is utterly unfathomable. He might just be checkin' us out, or maybe he's thinking about running over to stomp the dickins out of us. Bill decides not to take chances, so we drive away (the photo is one from Google images since I didn't get my own pic). FYI - up here, if you hit a moose with anything less than a monster truck or semi, chances are your car will be totalled and the moose will walk away.

By the time we dump the trash and get some lunch, we're both feeling worse than when we started. I ask Bill, "Do you think I can twist you're arm into going straight home? The recyclables can wait." He doesn't argue...he's more miserable than I am. Once home, he immediately collapses in a chair with the quilt and conks out.

But at least I got to see a moose!

Up with the baby...

No, I don't have any children, but I do have Baby Dragon from High Hopes! I couldn't sleep last night, so I finally finished the baby card I've been meaning to do for a week. Both Bill and I are sick, and I slept poorly Saturday night. Fortunately, I'm on vacation, so I crashed after lunch for four hours on Sunday, but then I couldn't sleep at bedtime. C'est la vie, I suppose.

I'm entering this card in the High Hopes Challenge (theme: Flower Power) and Stamp Something challenge (a sketch) for this week. This was fun to make. I've only used watercolor pencils once before when I was teaching 5th grade. Our school district has a fantastic art department that puts together kits for elementary teachers to teach art each week, then goes to classrooms a few times a year to teach a lesson. They encourage the teachers to participate just like the kids, so I got to learn how to use watercolor pencils. I need more practice, but this one came out pretty nicely considering my inexperience.

Another lady at my church had a baby right before Christmas, so this is going to her along with a gift.

Thanks for stopping by to look. Remember to enter my blog candy before it closes on New Year's Eve!

supplies ~ papers: DCWV, Paper Pizazz, Provo Craft, Strathmore, flowers: unknown (from stash), brads: doodlebug design, image: High Hopes, watercoloring: General's Kimberly watercolor pencils, adhesive: Glue Glider Pro

Friday, December 26

Something recycled

So here's my last word about Christmas until next year (I think). I went to Michael's today to see what kind of deals I could score in terms of Christmas stuff for next year. Believe it or not, there wasn't all that much selection. I was able to load up on quite a bit of ribbon, some of it Martha Stewart spools that normally go for $7.50 up here (I'm sure those of you in the Lower 48 pay less). I got it for just $1.29 a spool. I was also able to get a couple of punches I've been wanting, but wasn't willing to fork over the money they were asking for regular price. So I guess for now, I'm done with Christmas. On to new things!


So here's my first "new thing". My craft room is a mess right now, so I was looking for ways to clean it up. Here's what I did. We don't have a comprehensive way to recycle here in Fairbanks, just what local businesses or nonprofits decide to do to help better our community. Right now, the best way to recycle that I've found is to take it to my local Wal-Mart (yes, we do have one!). They still don't recycle glass, but they take tin, paper and #1, 2 & 3 plastics. It's better than nothing, but we still have a long way to go. I'm also loathe to go buy new containers for things if I have time and materials right here at home. So, this large soup can make its way into my craft room instead of the recycle bin. Arty Girlz has a recycling challenge, so I think I'll enter it just for fun.

It was simple to make. I cut some 12x12 paper down to a scant 5 1/2" x 12, then used my Glue Glider Pro to put adhesive on the paper. I adhered it to the can, then tied on some gorgeous ribbon I just got today. It needed just a little something more, so I used some coordinating paper for a tag I made with my Making Memories tag maker. I used some rub-ons for the label and silver embroidery thread to attach it.

supplies ~ papers: Paper Pizazz, adhesive: Glue Glider Pro Perma Tac, ribbon: Martha Stewart, tag rim & rub-ons: Making Memories, silver thread: DMC


So a week of my vacation is gone, but I don't have a lot to show for it. My husband, Bill, and I have been enjoying each other's company and pretty much just hangin' out. There are plenty of things for us to "get done" - we still have some boxes in our garage from our move this summer, and his office and my craft room are in need of some major organization. This is our first year of NOT traveling during the holidays, so we still have a week left to get them done. Or maybe we'll just keep relaxing... (oh, the beauty of vacation!)

I'm working on a baby card for a lady in our church who just had a baby a few days before Christmas. I'll post it when I'm done, so keep an eye out. And remember to enter my blog candy - it closes on New Year's Eve at midnight Alaska time!

Thursday, December 25

A day worth celebrating

May your Christmas be blessed with peace and joy!

Wednesday, December 24

And the last one

Well, I think I'm finally done with Christmassy things. This last gift card holder was a last minute project to hold the Christmas message my brother & his wife sent for my husband to tell him what his gift is this year. I found this totally cool embroidered card from The Little Green Frog. She has some cool stuff over there, and when I saw this I had to do it. I thought it would be a snap since it looks so simple, but it ended up going a lot longer. Anyway, I like how it turned out.

Merry Christmas Eve! I have a quick post scheduled for tomorrow, so come on back if you happen to be online!

supplies ~ cardstock: stash, thread: DMC, beads: Beader's Paradise, snaps: Making Memories, gold inking: Sakura pen

Sunday, December 21

On the shortest day of the year...

So, if you've read any of my posts or seen my profile you know that I live in one of the farthest northern places in the USA. Fairbanks is less than 200 miles from the Arctic Circle. And today, the shortest day of the year, we had only 3 hours and 42 minutes of daylight. Funny thing - this far north, the sun doesn't rise in the east and set in the west. It rises in the southeast, follows the horizon instead of going directly overhead, and sets in the southwest. The only way for us to get enough vitamin D in the winter is to take vitamins or sit near a "happy light", or full-spectrum light (SAD - or Seasonal Affective Disorder - is extremely common here).

Since today is the winter solstice, it is technically the first day of winter. But Fairbanksans have been calling it "winter" since the beginning of October. If my memory serves me correctly, snow flew on Friday, October 3 and stuck around for good. Yes, the kiddies in Fairbanks go Trick-or-Treating in their snow boots and winter coats every year! The good news is that every day will get longer. Sometime in February, I will finally be going to work and coming home again with a little daylight instead of complete dark!

I live about 10 miles northeast of Fairbanks. Because there are fewer people and less traffic, we tend to see more wildlife and in greater variety than in town. At the end of summer, we saw a family of 5 quail in our backyard. They had been wandering in our area for a few days, and then they wandered into our yard (well, I guess yard isn't the right word - we live in a very wooded area and don't have a lawn. It's just trees and ground cover for the majority of our property). I had never seen a live quail before, so it was a treat to see a whole family!

And you must always be prepared to welcome 4-legged guests, like our neighbors did a few days ago. The moose just camped right outside their front door! We sat and watched for a few minutes, and it looked as though it hadn't moved for quite a while, and it wasn't GOING to move for a while! I bet the kids at their house were going nuts! The scene reminded me of the children's book, If You Give A Moose A Muffin by Laura Joffe Numeroff. That moose was hangin' around for something, but who knows what? Moose are unfathomably stubborn and one of the most unpredictable creatures on earth. You never know WHAT will happen when you meet a moose!

Well, I think that's it for tonight. Sorry there aren't any pics of my creations. School let out on Friday afternoon, so the last couple of days I've been relaxing and running errands. I'll get back to creating some more stuff to share tomorrow. Happy Winter Solstice!

Edited to add: Make sure you go over to SheetLoad Shortcuts for their FROSTy giveaway!

pictures courtesy of Google Images

Friday, December 19

Have you heard about the Spellbinders design team call?

If you haven't you should head over to see the details. They've got some good stuff going on over there, and past teams have come up with some wonderful samples. If you think you're up to the challenge, enter!

I'm offering my first BLOG CANDY!

OK - so I've left teasers all week about something coming this week, so here it is.....


Last week, my blog rolled over 500 hits (and I'm already to 620 now). You wanna know what I'm offering? Since this blog IS called The Paper Freak, there's quite a bit of paper here.

Lighting has never been a great friend of mine, but I try to edit the photos before posting. You can click to enlarge them, but here's a list of what I pulled out of my stash:
  • assortment of papers ranging in size from 5 1/2"x8 1/2" all the way up to 12"x12" - there's cardstock & regular papers. Lots of these are Paper Pizazz & DCWV.
  • a puzzle card from Inkadinkado
  • assorted ribbons - about 1 meter of each (there's some black, white & green in there that didn't get into the photo)
  • 4 metal beads: 2 angels, a butterfly and a dragonfly
  • 3 chipboard sliders from Cosmo Cricket
  • assorted Prima flowers plus two organza flowers
  • package of icons bling
  • package of dried flower epoxy stickers
  • stamped images of my new High Hopes stamps: Ace, Gavin the Givin' dragon, Warm Wishes, Baby Dragon and Lenny's Love Me Nots (not pictured - sorry)
And now I'm sure you want to know what you have to do to enter, right? Two ways for two chances to enter:
  1. Put a link somewhere on your blog to my blog and leave a comment on THIS post.
  2. Become a follower and leave a SECOND comment on THIS post.
I will post worldwide, so international entries are welcome. Easy, peasy! Enter before December 31 midnight (Alaska time, -0900 GMT) - I'll announce the winner on New Year's Day using to generate a number, then count down the list! Good luck to you all!

Wednesday, December 17

Light at the end of the tunnel...

I thought I would never get to the end of all this Christmas busyness, but I think I'm finally seeing the light at the end! My Secret Santa gifts are all done, and the final gift was completed tonight. I sent off all the gifts for family except for one, which will go today, and there are only 2 shortened school days left for the semester (then Christmas vacation for 2 weeks - WOOOOHOOOO!)

So, I have a few things to share today since I've been busy the last couple of days. I took the photos as I completed the projects, but didn't have time to post them until now. So without further ado...


This little guy was a hurry-up-get-it-done-quick card. My father-in-law called to say there was a little girl in Ohio who was very sick and has had health problems her whole life. All she wants for Christmas, he said, is mail. So he asked if I could send her a card with a note about how special and sweet she is (my FIL has a soft spot for little girls - good thing since he has 4 granddaughters!). So here's what I put together. It was super simple. The base is just red cardstock. On that I affixed a Santa image and frame that I cut out from a Bitty Scrap Pad. Then I took my ZIG Millenium pen and wrote the HO HO HOs around the outside. Very simple, but it makes a cute kid's card, and I hope it will make a special little girl smile for Christmas.


As I posted earlier this week, I finally received my High Hopes stamps, so last night I inked one of them up to make a gift card holder. I can't remember which blog I got the template from, but this one is soooooo super simple compared to some of the more elaborate ones I've seen lately. I'm so proud of how this one turned out! I'm going to enter it in the Stamp Something challenge this week: Red, Green and Gold.
I toyed with adding some other embellishments or embossing the folder, but this image took me a long time to finish. Plus, I wanted it to be the focal point without any distractions. After stamping the image, I used my ZIG ColorTwin markers to color it in, then used glitter glue to make it pop. This photo actually came out very nicely; you can see the glitter glue I applied to Santa's hat, mustache, beard and the snow around him. There was so much white space left after coloring the image that I tried to mimic snow mounds in the background and used glitter glue to emphasize them.


This last one has an image you may remember: a snowman with a cute little birdie. This one adornes another gift card holder, but I decided to go a little more elaborate than the one above. I used this image on a Christmas card a few weeks back. There are two pictures here because I wanted you to see the glitter on this one, too (I must be glitter-crazy lately!). This first photo has the better lighting, I think.

But the second photo shows you the glitter much more clearly. I stamped the blue cardstock with white ink using the snow flurry stamp in my Inkadinkado set. There are a few stamps in this set that I haven't used yet (but with some more cards to go, I'm pretty sure I'll be using them soon).

I think that's it for me today, but keep coming back - I'll have something wonderful for you folks at the end of the week! *wink, wink* =D

Monday, December 15

It's my lucky day! High Hopes stamps arrived! I have been waiting eagerly for these to come, but High Hopes has been swamped with orders the last few weeks. So when the envelope came, I was ecstatic! I have fallen completely in love with so many HH stamps, but especially the dragons - they're so stinkin' cute! So in my mailbox today was a large Ace stamp, Lenny's Love Me Nots, Baby Dragon, Gavin' the Givin' Dragon, Warm Wishes and the "Bewareth Ye of Dragons, For Thou Art Crunchy!" sentiment. Along for the ride came Leapfrogs, Fishing Santa, Woodland Santa, and Reindeer Games. If you've never visited High Hopes, you should; they've got some great stuff going on over there. They have a blog, too, that hosts challenges and has great inspiration. Hop over for a visit!

I decided to buy just rubber; no foam, no wood block...just rubber. Remind me in the future to at least get them already mounted on cling foam. I spent the better part of the evening getting them all mounted on the foam so I could clean them up and get to inkin'. It could be the fact that there were a grand total of 11 stamps to mount, but I'm of the mind that this was a sticky job (literally) that required a certain amount of care. So, as slow as the job was, I'm happy with the final outcome. Thank goodness for Honey Bee scissors from EK Success - just a few wipes of some rubbing alcohol and all the sticky was gone!

So nooooowwwww, I get to play with my new stamps. And since it was my lucky day TODAY, it will be someone else's lucky day here pretty soon.... (yes, I'm teasing you for what's coming later this week!)

Keep coming back, because I have a special somethin' for someone in a few more days!


So the last thing for today is this: I noticed Sunday when I was checking the hits on my blog, that the numbers really jumped, and again today they've jumped. As of right now, I'm at 573; on Saturday it was only 520. I started this blog at the beginning of October, and it took me 2 1/2 months to get to 500, but in the last two days I had 53 hits (and I haven't done much in the way of challenges lately, either, which generates more hits than usual).

So I was wondering why all the increased traffic? My followers haven't changed. No one with lots of traffic has posted about my blog (that I'm aware of). I checked the webmaster tool for my blog and nothing seems to have changed. So what gives? I googled myself and my blog, but only one of my posts is showing up so far. Then I scrolled down a bit and found my blog listed on someone else's blog - one I didn't recognize! I followed the link - lo and behold - there's my blog hyperlinked in a list of a few other blogs. Allison over at Stampin' When I Can posts "Newly Discovered" blogs on a fairly frequent basis, and I made her list on Saturday. I was floored! The fact that she's got some beautiful stuff going' on over there humbled me. As I strive to improve what I create, her creations are the kind of thing I look to for inspiration. So, Allison...I don't know how often you visit, but thank you! And in the process, I found another source of great work to find inspiration.

Saturday, December 13!

I just realized that my blog has had over 500 visitors today! When I looked yesterday, it was at 480something. Yippee **doing the happy dance**! So, I guess that can mean only one thing...BLOG CANDY!! I wasn't expecting to make it to 500 before Christmas, so it will take me a bit to get a candy together. Check back in the next week or so - school will be out on Friday afternoon, so I'll have plenty of time on my hands to get a prize together!

Speaking of candy, you gotta see the HUGE giveaway over at Suzy is generously offering a TON of blog candy!


Alright, so now that I've calmed down a bit...I originally came online to post my latest creations. They are all for my Secret Santa at school. I really hope she likes them.

First up, the note cards I mentioned in this post. They're super simple: I made 3 1/2" square cards to fit inside the crayon box (it's only 4" square). Then I stamped them all with a flower and "Thank you," both from Scrappy Cat. Then I colored in the flowers with my ZIG ColorTwin markers. I only included 8 cards and envelopes because I don't think 2 more will fit without the box bursting at the seams.

From Paper Freak Creations

From Paper Freak Creations

From Paper Freak Creations

Next I finished my mini pizza boxes. These are super-simple, too. I used the template I found at Cat's Creations. Her boxes are WAY more elaborate than mine since I'm in a bit of a dither trying to finish the semester at school and get ready for Christmas. I just took a big swirly Rubber Stampede background stamp to one of the pizza boxes, and the other one is a collection of snowflakes from an Inkadinkado Christmas stamp set.

From Paper Freak Creations

From Paper Freak Creations

From Paper Freak Creations

The red & white pizza box will hold Sugared Cranberries once I finish getting them made ( that sweet-tart taste!). The green & white one you can see holds my favorite adhesive, a UHU Glue Roller. This was the first time I've used a large background stamp on a project, so I can see I need to practice a bit to get the image right.

Well, I need scoot. I hope you enjoyed looking; I know I appreciate you stopping by. If you'd like to follow me, you can do so over on the right hand side. I'd love to come by your blog for a visit, too! ----->

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