Friday, December 19, 2014

Blog Design Team: O Night Divine

Happy Friday! Next week is Christmas and we just can't wait! We know many of you will be doing last minute shopping this weekend, so we're pleased to help you sit back and take a moment to enjoy a bit of peace and joy. Today is the very talented Lea Lawson's first post as a part of our Blog Design Team and she is sharing a stunning watercolor project that truly captures the beauty of the season.

So, to send us off into your last shopping weekend, we are giving away the die set Lea used on today's project! Keep reading for details...

Lea's Notes: Hey there, TE friends!  I am so excited to be sharing my first project with you as a Taylored Expressions Blog Team member! Christmas is right around the corner, and in keeping with the spirit of the season, I've created a Nativity card for you today.

Lea's  Notes: Creating a galaxy background with watercolor has been a popular trend this year, and I don't think I will ever get tired of this technique! I can't take credit for it, as I learned it from watching several videos from other talented crafters, and then adapted it to the supplies and skill level I have at watercolor (which is very beginner). I used my set of basic watercolors and brushes, and blended my galaxy background using black, blue & green paints. (Lea's Tip: I did use an art paper for the background, as too much water on regular white cardstock will make it peel.) Once the watercolor dried, I misted it with white glimmer mist to give it a glimmery look. I then splattered it lightly with watered down white acrylic paint to make the stars in the sky.

Lea's Notes: The mist and paint splatters dry really quickly, so I was able to stamp and heat emboss the sentiment right away. I stamped a sentiment from the Sing of the King stamp set in embossing ink and covered it with detail white embossing powder. After shaking off the excess, I then heat set the sentiment and let it cool off. Watercolor and heat embossing can make your paper fairly warped. So I lightly misted the BACK of the paper block with water, and placed it between two flat surfaces, added a heavy object to the top of it, and set aside.

Lea's Notes: While waiting for it to flatten, I cut my A2 card from Cookie Monster cardstock.  I then die-cut the Nativity Border from Oreo cardstock. Once the background was flat and dry (should only take about 10 minutes or so as long as you don't spray it with very much water), I adhered it to the card base.  I added the nativity border along with a glittery gold strip to the bottom of the galaxy background, and then accented the sentiment with enamel star stickers to finish!

Lea's Notes:I was a little intimidated by watercolor at first, but it really is a lot of fun once you get into it!  If you are interested in trying out out the galaxy background, I suggest searching for some online videos & watching how it's done first. And then practice a little! I promise that it isn't hard, and you will figure it out in no time!

Thanks so much, Lea, for inspiring us to create take a moment away from the hectic side of the holidays to think about the beauty of the season. You can catch more of Lea's design work on her blog, Lea Lawson Creates. Have a safe and happy weekend, friends!

Are you feeling inspired to create a lovely card like Lea's? We're giving away a Nativity Border die to one lucky winner!
How to Enter: Leave a comment below telling us about what you are wishing for this holiday season by Sunday, December 21, 2014 at 11:59 pm PST. We'll choose one lucky winner at random to win our Nativity Border die and announce the winner next week here on the TE Blog! Good luck!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Blog Design Team: Today I Learned...with Amy Sheffer

Happy Thursday! It's time for another installment of "Today I Learned..." and this time we've got the perfect holiday project for you. Today, Blog Team Member Amy Sheffer shares how to craft fun keepsake Photo Snow Globe Ornaments! Check it out...

Amy used our Snow Globe die set to create these wonderfully memorable photo ornaments for her children. Here's a note from Amy about her project:

Every year, I like to give photo ornaments to my three children. It’s so fun to hang these special ornaments each year and look back at how much they’ve changed and grown over the years. As soon as I saw the Snow Globe die, I thought how fun it would be to make snow globes as their 2014 photo ornaments. I hope you’re inspired to make some snow globe photo ornaments as well!

Would you like to know how Amy made these perfect holiday ornaments? Well, you are in luck because Amy's tutorial is in this week's TE Newsletter! Check it out here:

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Blog Design Team: Hang Some Mistletoe!

Happy Wednesday, crafty friends! Today, Blog Team Designer Julia Stainton makes her TE Blog debut with an absolutely gorgeous project that is sure to inspire you to create and share some holiday joy!

Julia's Notes: Hi there! I'm so excited to share a fun holiday card project with you today. It's one I had the most wonderful time creating and it's really two projects in one. Yes, it's a card but it's also a holiday ornament that you can hang on the tree or wherever you need a little holiday spirit.

Julia's Notes:  From the moment I saw the Lattice Cutting Plate, I knew I just had to try stitching it. Felt is one of my favorite things to work with and I love the soft dimensional look it gives. I started off by die-cutting the Aqua felt with this die and then trimmed it to approximately a 3.75" square. To get that quilted look I laid the felt over a piece of Marshmallow felt that was a little bigger and then stitched down every diagonal line. I then zig zag stitched around the edges to keep it nice and firm. Next step was to trim the marshmallow felt down around the edges with pinking shears. (Hint: To make the tag stiff, insert a 3"x3" piece of cardstock and then stitch on the berry felt layer.) Once again, I used a pair of pinking shears to trim the felt.

Julia's Notes: The tag uses a little scrap of white measuring tape to hang the ornament. I just stitched it down at the back of the design. To add some embellishment, I die cut the Twiggy Branch die from some Moss felt and adhered the pieces. They really look quite like mistletoe and by adding on some white vintage buttons, I have some sweet mistletoe "berries"!

Julia's Notes: The card base is created from Sugar Cube cardstock and measures 5" square. To hold the tag onto the card, I adhered a Velcro adhesive tab to both the card and the tag. They hold together nicely but also come part easily when needed. I'm looking forward sending out this card this holiday season!

How cool is that? We love that the card has a double function that will last as a special keepsake for years to come. Be sure to check out Julia's blog, Belle Papier to see more of her beautiful projects. Tune in tomorrow as Blog Design Team member Amy Sheffer shares a fun and special project (and there just might be a tutorial available to show you how she worked her magic!)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Blog Design Team: A Mitten of Thanks

Yay! Next week is Christmas and the TE elves have been hard at work filling orders and creating joy. Today, Blog Team Designer Wanda Guess is sharing how she took our Mitten Garland die to create the perfect way to say 'thank you' to all the little elves who spread Christmas joy!

Wanda's Notes: So Christmas time is almost here, but it isn't too early to create your thank you cards! It's always nice to have a few thank you cards on hand for when someone gives you a nice gift or does something special for you. Today I've used the really cute Mitten Garland die, and made it into a fun card!

Wanda's Notes:  It's super easy to take your larger shape dies and make them into cards. Simply fold a sheet of cardstock and then position your die so that a little bit doesn't get cut. Here you see my set up on my Big Shot. Easy, right? And fun!

Wanda's Notes: Once your card shape is cut out, it's time to have fun decorating it. I chose some pretty felt and cut it with the large scallop border die. Then I added some die-cut snowflakes, too. 

Wanda's Notes: I stamped a few white snowflakes in the background for some layers. See my sentiment? That's stamped on the ornament die from the Very Merry Scallops set! I like a bright pop of lime green with all that red. So cheerful.

Wanda's Notes:  I hope you will try this idea - no limit to your creativity with embellishing this one. And THANK YOU for always coming by to see us at the TE Blog!
And thank you so much, Wanda, for always creating such stellar work! Be sure to check out Wanda's blog, A Blog Called Wanda to see more of her beautiful projects. Tune in tomorrow as Blog Design Team member Julia Stainton makes her Blog debut!