the nightmare before christmas

bccxmas2013Well, perhaps “nightmare” is a little harsh, but I just couldn’t resist the little Disney tie-in.  Maybe I should call this “What NOT to do with your holiday cards”, LOL.

First, let me say that I LOVE Christmas cards… holiday cards… whatever you want to call them.  (Not too terribly surprising, given that I love cards in general.)  I try to give out as many as possible. I must confess, though, that I don’t often make them – most years, I’ve settled for nice, store-bought cards. But this year, I was determined to give them that personal touch.

I had a plan.  Last winter, I was going to come up with a design while I was still in the “holiday spirit”, and then I’d have nearly a whole year to work on them.  Didn’t happen.  So I decided half a year was still good, so I would definitely come up with something by July and start working on them.  Didn’t happen.  Suddenly, it’s mid-November, and I have absolutely no plan.  How did this happen?

I knew it would have to be something fairly simple, quick, easy to replicate.  I tend to go for “safe sentiments” as not everyone on my list celebrates the same holiday, and I would hate to leave anyone out.  So, I decided to go for a simple, stamped image of a snowman, on a card embossed with snowflakes, and a simple stamped “Let it Snow” sentiment.

I hated it.  The snowman was awful, the dry-embossed card was too flimsy, and the whole thing just looked boring.

So, I decided to mat the snowman on a die-cut red lacy square, and give him a hat.  But the hat didn’t go with his scarf, so I found another stamp with a scarf to match.  And then he looked lopsided, so I decided to add the bird… and some sparkle.  That finished snowman up there?  He was stamped in blue, coated with glimmer mist, fussy-cut out, adhered to a die-cut white square, arms hand-drawn, nose stamped and fussy-cut, hat printed from a digi-stamp, colored and fussy-cut, scarf stamped and fussy-cut, bird stamped and fussy-cut, stickles added to the hat, and eyes & buttons added with enamel accents.  And adhered to a red lacy square, which was adhered with foam adhesive to a dry-embossed white panel, which was then adhered to a thick red card-base.  And I wasn’t happy with stamped sentiment, so I ended up die-cutting all the individual letters.  And I rounded two of the corners.  And added some glittery snowflakes to the inside:

bccxmas2013insideHad this been a single, one-time card, I would say I’m fairly happy with how it turned out, and it was kind of fun.  In fact, I probably enjoyed the first two or three.  After that?  Not so much, LOL.  What was I thinking?!!  Do NOT try this at home.

If you didn’t get a card from me this year, it probably means I don’t have your address. It also probably means you’re out of luck.  Next year?  Store-bought.  🙂

Happy Holidays!

Supplies used:  Bazzill Peppermint cardstock, Georgia-Pacific white cardstock, Sizzix Lacy Squares die, Lifestyle Crafts Nesting Squares die, Memory Box Typewriter Lower Alphabet Set dies (“let it snow”), EK Success small snowflake punch, Fiskars ‘Tis the Season clear stamp set (snowman, scarf), Meljen’s Designs Christmas Star Snowman digi-stamp (hat), Simon Says Stamp’s Giving Thanks clear stamp set (bird), Cuttlebug Winter Wonderland embossing folders collection, various inks and glittery stuff… and a very well-used pair of EK Success Cutter Bee scissors.

mini me

bcc12813

A little while back, I took an online card class, called Insider, hosted by Kristina Werner, Jennifer McGuire, and Laura Bassen.  It’s the first time I’ve done any kind of card class, but I don’t think it will be the last.  These are three of my favorite card designers, and I enjoyed every minute of it.  Tons of inspiration!

One of the things we learned was how to do pop-ups.  (I’m not going to share the directions here as it was a “paid for” class, but there are tutorials on the Net.)  Ever since I saw their example of a standard A2 card with a little bitty card on the inside, I’ve had one thought:  what if I did this with a non-traditional-shaped card?

I just happen to have a large Wildcard template and a matching smaller Wildcard Sizzix die.  Both of them come with that little window cut-out, and that wonky window frame.  (Am I the only one that thinks of Beetlejuice when they see this card design?)

I cut out two of the larger design – one in that blue cardstock, and one from the flowery patterned paper, and then I sliced the patterned paper down the middle, and very carefully cut both pieces down just a bit on all four sides, and adhered to the blue card base.  (I wanted the look of the patterned paper on the outside, but the stability of thick cardstock for the base.)  I also cut out two “window frames” and adhered them around the window on both the front and the inside.

The flower was stamped on white cardstock, colored with Prismacolor pencils, and fussy-cut.  I carefully adhered it with foam adhesive, positioning it so it would show through the window.  And then came the fun part – the inside!

bcc12813insideI cut out a mini version of the card, this time with a different pattern on the outside (though you really can’t see it), and white on the inside.  I stamped and colored a smaller flower, and stamped the second part of my sentiment on this smaller card, and attached it so it pops open when you open the larger card.

So, it’s a little bit bizarre, but I kind of like it.  🙂  (And just a little FYI – the larger card template comes with a matching envelope template.  However, keep in mind that “odd shaped” cards do cost more to mail.  You might be able to avoid this by putting the card is a standard letter envelope (4-1/8″ x 9-1/2″), but it’s a bit of a tight fit.)

Thanks for stopping by, and have a great day!

Supplies used:  Wordsworth WildCard template (might not be available any longer), Sizzix Originals Wildcard & Envelope Bitty Tall Guy (don’t know why it says “envelope” in the name – this little one does not have a matching envelope… that I know of, anyway), Bazzill cardstock (light blue), Chatterbox Scrapbook Walls Sandbox Flowers patterned paper, Stampendous Flower Vases clear stamp set, Simon Says Stamp Inside & Out Sayings clear stamp set, Memento Tuxedo black ink,   Prismacolor pencils.