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December 2008

Holiday Gift Bag

I love the holidays but there’s no denying that they bring lots of extra tasks that demand time that is in too short supply.  Yesterday my goal was to wrap, tag and mail gifts to my family who are all out of town.  I was so happy to accomplish that goal and to know the gifts would arrive in time to be under the tree Christmas morning.  I made numerous tags quickly by die cutting and embossing the Cuttlebug “For You” ornament from all colors of mirrorcard.  The shiny tags looked great on all the packages.

Snowman-Gift-Bag-lg Now I need to finish my Christmas cards and gift bags (shown at left) for my homemade cookies and treats.  I found these small gift bags at my Walmart Neighborhood Market for only $.50.  The snowman and the snowflakes are Spellbinders dies and the “snow” under the snowman is the Cuttlebug snowflake embossing folder.  The snowflake die cuts five snowflakes and I assembled two or three attaching them with a pearlized brad (Creative Impressions) and a tiny sequin snowflake from Hero Arts.  “Warmest Wishes” is a senti-metal from Lasting Impressions.  The stickers on the snowman’s hat are Class A’Peels from Stampendous.  I added sparkle with Star Dust Stickles glitter glue.

Have you noticed all the segments on crafting holiday gifts that have been on TV lately?  Our local newspaper, the El Paso Times, wrote a similar story on Sunday.  It was all about making personalized gifts and cards.  The paper interviewed me and my customer and friend Susana Herrera for the story.  You can read all about it at this link: http://www.elpasotimes.com/living/ci_11226791.  Susana just finished giving a baby shower for her daughter and she made the invitations, centerpieces and favors.

Stampendous-Angel-1-lgSunday two friends, Karen and Denise, came to the store to work on Christmas cards, and I used Karen’s Stampendous Elegant Angels clear stamp set to design two new cards.  For this card I stamped and embossed the angel in gold on vellum and colored her on the back with Tombow markers.  Karen suggested coloring the dove with the Ranger white pigment ink pen which really made the dove stand out.  I mounted the angel on pale pink cardstock using two gold mini brads and adhered the panel to decorative paper (K & Company’s new Life’s Journey red/green damask) and a green folded card.  The final touch was to add the wings which are Class A’Peel stickers from Stampendous.  I applied the stickers to acetate and cut them out and mounted them on the angel using small pieces of Glue Lines.  The “Peace on Earth” sentiment is from a Hero Arts set.

Stampendous-Angel-2-lgFor the second angel card I stamped the angel in black Versafine ink, colored her with Prismacolor markers, and cut her out.  Before I adhered the angel to a blue-green scalloped oval cut with a Classic Oval Nestabilities, I stamped the same image in Versamark embossing ink and embossed the image in gold.  Then I mounted angel on top of this image so that her halo would be gold.  I tucked the wings (same stickers sheet as above) under her before the glue set. This oval was mounted on a brown oval (Classic Oval Nestabilities) and decorative paper (Basic Grey Figgy Pudding) and a blue-green folded card.

I hope you enjoy these little paper crating treats.  Good luck with your holiday preparations. 

Christmas Cards with Religous Themes

Today I would like to share with you several Christmas cards that with religious themes.  Nativity-1-lg The first two cards use the “Nativity” stamp from Inkadinkado two ways.  In the first card I inked the stamp with Memories Sepia and stamped it on white glossy cardstock.  I added highlights to Jesus’ halo and the star with a Spica gold glitter pen and mounted the image on decorative paper (K & Company Blue Awning collection).  The sentiments are from Make an Impression (2 stamp set).

Nativity-2-lg For my second treatment I inked the stamp in Versafine black and stamped it on off-white paper.  I colored the image with Prismacolor pencils and added a gold border with the Spica gold glitter pen.  I mounted it on Blue Awning DP and added the same sentiment.  I like knowing I can use a stamp in several ways and get two very different looks.

Angel-2-lg My next cards use wonderful angel images from JudiKins.  The first card uses a stamp called “Heaven Sent” and since it looks like a statue I inked it in Versafine Smoky Grey ink and stamped it on off-white cardstock.  I highlighted the angel’s wings with a light grey blue Prismacolor pencil, edged the image in black, and mounted it on black cardstock.  The image is mounted on Blue Awning DP stamped first with a script stamp from Hero Arts.  The sentiment stamp is one I have had for many years from RubberMoon.

Angel-3-lg The next two cards use angel images from JudiKins’ “Angelic Faces Cube.”  I stamped the first image with Versafine Black on a pale grey blue cardstock and mounted it on very brilliant gold DP then black.  I then adhered it to the same grey blue cardstock then to black, and stamped “Noel” (Penny Black).  The final step was to distress the music paper (Creative Imaginations) with Paris Dusk ink and mount everything to a light blue card (5” square).

Angel-1-lg For the second card I stamped the angel with Memento Paris Dusk on tan cardstock and mounted it on gold DP then black.  Next I stamped “Latin Parchment” (Stampington & Co.) with Paris Dusk on a scrap of Blue Awning DP, cut it out and used it as a background.  This piece was mounted to Blue Awning DP and then to a folded dark blue card.  The Silent Night sentiment was added last.  I hope you like these cards and that they inspire you to create some of your own!

Product Update 

If you have been following Tim Holtz “12 Tags of Christmas” you have seen him using the new Distress Stickles Glitter Glue.  It has just now become available and I have a shipment arriving tomorrow.  I will also be getting the new white Distress Crackle Paint.  Both these products were introduced at the CHA Summer show in July and just now shipping.  Remember that the next time you’re looking for something.  Give me a call and ask me if it is even released because chances are good it may not be.

I also have all of Tim Holtz embellishments in stock so if you “need” or want something just stop in.  I have his masks, Christmas stamps and his tools.

Something that will soon be released and available at The Stamp Act is the new Basic Grey Bittersweet Valentines’ paper.   I have ordered all 18 papers and the card kit which will be a class in January.  If you are interested in the class or the kits let me know ASAP because they will sell out quickly.

I really appreciate you reading my blog and all your kind comments.  Our readership is growing and I am so flattered that you are interested in what I have to share.  Until next time … happy stamping and take care!

Christmas Card with Memento Inks


I decided to show this card much larger than usual so you could see more detail on how the colors were laid down.  I wish you could see this card in person because then you would see the very special bonus feature which I will explain later.  I chose the Penny Black “Leaping Deer” stamp for this card because you will need a solid or mostly solid stamp for the technique.  I used a paper called Cryogen White (funny name) which has a tiny sparkle to it. 

My first step was to use Spellbinders Circle Nestabilities to cut a moon from JudiKins Eclipse Masking paper.  I adhered the moon to the white card (cut to 5” x 5”).  Then using Jumbo Daubers and Memento Dye inks (both from Tsukineko), I started laying down color on the white cardstock.  I used Summer Sky, Bahama Blue, Paris Dusk and Tuxedo Black, in that order.  The Jumbo Daubers are fabulous for sponging on ink as they blend the colors easily and are less likely (than the smaller finger daubers) to leave a round imprint of ink.  Always use a light hand when first applying the inks; stipple on the first coat then start using a circular motion to blend and smooth the colors. 

You can see that I applied the lightest color (Summer Sky) first all over the card then added Bahama Blue on top but not covering the lighter color entirely.  There are no “rules” to this technique, but I do have a few suggestions.  (1) Apply each darker color right on top of the lighter one, but never cover the preceding color entirely.  (2) Be very careful when sponging on darker colors as you don’t want a big splotch of color.  I ink my dauber then stipple twice on scratch paper (to remove some ink) before sponging on my background.  (3) Be very careful around the corners of your card as you can easily bend the corner making a very unattractive crease.  Also be careful around the “moon” so as not to lift the Eclipse Masking Paper.

When you are happy with the background, remove the moon and stamp the Leaping Deer in back ink (I used Versafine Onyx Black).  I stamped the “Believe” sentiment by A Muse in the bottom right corner and added a tiny blue crystal to the reindeer’s nose.  I mounted the deer on platinum mirror cardstock then onto a royal blue folded card.

The bonus I spoke about earlier is that the Cryogen White cardstock sparkles brilliantly once dark ink is applied to it making the entire card even that more special.  You must try this technique.  If you need the Memento ink pads or the Jumbo Daubers, we have them all in stock so just give me a call or email.  Here’s a link to an earlier post showing samples using  this technique. http://stampaction.typepad.com/stamp_action/2008/10/index.html


Cuttlebug Embossing Christmas Samples

Hi friends; thanks for stopping by to read what's new.  It's Tuesday and it's cold and raining here in West Texas which means it's a great day to stamp!  I should be starting on our annual end-of-the-year inventory, but ... I'd rather be stamping!  Stop in and join me if you'd rather be stamping too.

Gift-card-mitten-lgMy first card today is a cute idea I saw on Sue Nelson's blog.  I adapted it to make a gift card holder for my niece Marilee, aka Mimi.  She is the mother of a 20 month old boy name Brody and a struggling college student so all she wants for Christmas are gift cards to a nice grocery store (she wrote: "I see all this wonderful food there ...steaks, cheeses, etc but don't spend the extra money on it. I would LOVE to get a chance to buy some really good food").  And she'd like a gift card to a children's clothing store (she wrote: "...the clothes are cute, inexpensive and wash well. I use mostly hand-me-down clothes or Target/Walmart brand which are cute, don't get me wrong, but I "dream-shop" in this store. It would be really cool to get to buy him some stuff from there!")  Isn't that sweet!  Naturally my sister and I are giving her both!  To make the gift card holder I embossed the front of a folded green card with the Cuttlebug Snowflakes folder then embossed a piece of red cardstock with the Argyle folder and a piece of white cardstock with the Swiss Dots folder.  The white cardstock was actually a remnant from cutting out the the Label One Ice Crystal card below. Next I drew a mitten shape, traced it on the red argyle cardstock and cut it out.  I adhere the white cuff to the red mitten then flipped the mitten over, placed the gift card in place and ran tape around the perimeter of the mitten.  I adhere the mitten in place on the green card.  The letters were die cut using the Spellbinders Playful alphabet and the snowflakes are die cut with a Cuttlebug snowflakes die.  I added some red pearls (Kaiser Craft) and a tiny star (A Muse) to complete the card.  I hope this inspires you to "dress up" your gift card giving.

STA-Gift-Card-lg  Don't forget that The Stamp Act has gift cards.  For added convenience, just tell your family and friends to call and I will have the card ready when they drop in.  They come in any size and always fit!

Label-1-Ice-Crystal-lgI wish this was a better photo. I made this card (again inspired by Sue Nelson) by creating a folded card then die cutting it with the Spellbinders Labels One die.  I embossed the card front with the Swiss Dots folder then die cut the Ice Crystal.  I lined the inside of the card with blue cardstock and added blue crystals.  This would a beautiful gift tag or gift card holder.  By the way, the Labels One die cut through two layers of the white cardstock with ease.


Felicity made this beautiful card using the Cuttlebug Snowflakes folder (white background) and the cute little Christmas Tree combo.  She die cut the tree then embossed it in the accompanying folder.  She mounted the tree on a mat cut with the Spellbinders Petite Oval Nestabilities.  Notice that she used three mats: the white oval, green scalloped oval and the rosy pink oval.  Her "Happy Holidays" sentiment is a senti-metal from Lasting Impressions.  Thanks Felicity for a cute card!

Peace-Love-Joy-lgMy final card today is a simple yet elegant card created with the Cuttlebug "Joy & Cheer" embossing folder. I embossed the words on white cardstock and added a felt poinsettia (Hero Arts) held together with a glitter brad I made myself.  You may have done this before:  holding a brad with tweezers, run the head of the brad across an embossing ink pad (I used Versamark) then dip it into whatever color embossing powder you want.  I used a glittery gold powder.  Heat the brad and you have a  new brad just the color you want. 

A Note About Classes

Cover-lg  I have scheduled the Penny Black 12 Days of Christmas Page-2-lgGarland for this Saturday afternoon at 2pm.  If you are interested in attending or want a set-up please call (915-833-9500) ASAP as the set-ups take time to create.  This is such a cute project and one I know your family or friends will love.



  Last Saturday's Recipe Book Class was very successful.  I had three attend class and many more asked for a class set-up.  I decided it would be best to offer the class again next month and see if those who want to make the project can attend then.  If you are interested in making this book, please let me know as soon as you can because the set-up on this book is very, very involved.  I would say the class will be offered sometime after the middle of January.

Have a great week and happy stamping!

Penny Black 12 Days of Christmas Decorated Tin and Garland

Cover-lg Today I would like to share with a darling project that I found on the Penny Black website (www.pennyblackinc.com).  I was so excited when I saw the 12 Days of Christmas Decorated Tin and Garland, and when I realized I had the 3” tins in stock, I quickly started stamping and die cutting!  As I said the tin is 3” and the plain and scalloped circles are cut with Spellbinders Circle Nestabilities.  This is a perfect example of why I encourage customers to buy the entire set of die (all four nests) at once.  If you have them all, you can always find circles that fit any dimension. In this case the large plain circle is 2 ¾”, the scalloped circle is 2 5/8”, and the smaller plain circle is 2 5/16”.

  Page-2-lgI die cut 12 scallop circles from Cryogen White cardstock (it has a tiny sparkle to it) then stamped each image from the Penny Black 12 Days of Christmas clear stamp set using black Versafine ink.  I colored the images using Prismacolor pencils then embellished them with flocking (Stampendous), googly eyes, feathers and Glossy Accents. 

Page-3-lg Next I die cut 6 red and 6 green plain large circles and laid them out in a line alternating the colors starting with red.  I placed a strip of ¼” scor tape (a great double sided tape from the Scor Pal Company) across the middle of each circle.  Page-4-lg I then took 40” of red ribbon (“merry & bright” from Creative Impressions) and secured the ribbon to each circle.  Leave about 4” to 6” on each end of the ribbon and 1/8” between each circle for folding.

Page-5-lgI applied adhesive to each of the 12 stamped and colored images using my Xyron and adhered them over the ribbon to the red and green circles.  I then added dots to the white scalloped circles using Spica Glitter pens: red dots to those mounted on green and green dots to those mounted on red.  Page-6-lg I took the finished garland and laid the last image (12 drummers) in the bottom of the tin and accordion folded the other images on top of it.  The extra ribbon can be cut decoratively or you may choose to tie a knot in the ends to use for hanging. Page-7-lg




To finish the tin I stamped two Penny Black sentiments in black, embossed them in clear, and embellished them with punches.  Inside-cover-lg I also stamped a wreath (A Muse) and glittered it using red and green Stickles Glitter Glue.  The sentiment above the wreath is from a Hero Arts clear set.  I chose the “Merry Christmas” sentiment for the cover, mounted it on a red scalloped circle and a green plain circle.  The “Wonderful” sentiment I adhered to a green scalloped circle then mounted it on the red circle which is the back of the first stamped image (Partridge in a Pear Tree).  Using the Ranger white pigment pen I added white dots to each scallop.  Finally I mounted the wreath to a red scallop circle and a green plain circle and adhered it to the inside of the top cover.

I think this makes a darling gift for friends and family.  The garland could be hung on the wall, on the mantle or on the tree.  I doesn’t take that long to make especially if you die cut a plain and a scalloped circle at the same time.  The coloring takes the longest and you need your “over 40” glasses as the images can be quite small in places.  Please let me know what you think!

Many of you have emailed me to ask about supplies that Tim Holtz is using on his new 12 Days of Christmas tags.  I have quite a bit of the supplies already in stock and a big order coming soon.  His stamps have become scarce since he started the tag project – my supplier has been out.  I will go directly to Stampers Anonymous and try to get them, but it will take a couple weeks.  If you want any of the stamp sets, just call me (915-833-9500) or drop me an email and I will hold them for you.  In case you haven’t seen Tim’s work, check it out at http://www.timholtz.typepad.com/my_weblog.

I will close today on a sad note.  I just heard that the Stamp and Scrap Trap, a scrapbook and rubber stamp store here in El Paso, is closing later this month.  I am so sad to hear this news.  I have been in business for more than 10 years (a very long time for any small retail store) and in that time I have seen three stores in my market open and later close.  During these difficult economic times it is especially hard to keep going.  I understand I have lots of competition especially on the Internet.  But without local stamp stores introducing new people to stamping our industry will eventually shrink and that will hurt everyone including experienced stampers.  If you think it is self-serving for me to preach “shop locally,” so be it.  No one including me opens a stamp store to make money; we open it because we love the hobby and want to share it with others.  Without local stores, who will you ask about the latest products?  Where will you go to see and touch the newest stuff?  I simply ask that you consider the value of having such a wonderful resource close by the next time you shop at a big box store or on the web.

Have a great weekend and happy stamping!