August 12, 2012

Hand-made gifts, Part 2

Here is a basket full of hand-made gifts that comprised a hostess gift.  Our family was invited to be weekend guests at Lake Anna in Virginia.  My husband's entire family - all generations - were invited together by some long-time family friends.  I am so impressed that this couple in their seventies could host such a crowd.  And, let me tell you, this hostess cooked for the crowd!  We had a made-to-order pancake breakfast with our choice of blueberry, apple or chocolate chip pancakes, plus all the fixins!!  And cocktail hour for the grown-ups with scrumptous munchies.  This was better than any resort we could have stayed at.  The kids had a blast water-skiing and tubing on the lake, and on and on.  So, this hostess really deserved a special thank-you gift.  I'm so glad I was prepared with this hostess gift when we arrived, before I even knew what an awesome weekend we would have.

This first picture shows the items that were included in the basket.  I had recently hosted a Dove Chocolate At Home party and had everything I needed to make some yummy and attractive home-made chocolates.  Even the clear acetate box came from Dove.  I wrapped it in some pretty ribbons and hand-stamped a tag, identifying "Homemade Dark Chocolate Candies."

I had picked up some bath salts and Jasmine body butter from the dollar store recently and loved the pale blue color.  So, I made my packaging to coordinate with this pretty color.  I also stamped on tissue paper and melted that onto a candle, and decorated a little box of matches.  (The stamp set has long since retired, and I can't remember the name of it).  

I arranged the goodies in a gift basket I had left over, after stuffing the bottom with paper shreds.  You want the items to sit up at the brim of the basket, if possible, so that it looks attractive and the recipient (and jealous observers) can see what is in the basket.

Finally, I wrapped the entire filled basket with cellophane wrapping (just like Easter baskets) and I topped it off with a coordinating bow.  I am so pleased with how it came out.  Looks like I spent a fortune on something from a high-end gift boutique, when really just some dollar-store finds were re-packaged and personalized with my craft supplies!  It was received very well by my hostess.  She just raved about it and I scored points of approval (noone else in the family even brought a hostess gift of any kind for such a generous and lovely invitation)!  We had a wonderful weekend with the two extended families together.

So remember, next time you are invited to stay as a guest, or to a dinner or party at someone's home:  The host or hostess has gone to some effort to entertain you, cooked for you, cleaned for you and make you feel comfortable and special.  Take a little time and effort to make something special for him or really doesn't take much to make a little hand-made gift!  (And it doesn't need to be as elaborate as this basket full.  Just one of the items here would be a nice token of appreciation!)

Hand-stamped Gifts

I've been busy learning this week.  They say a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step...and then another, and another.  So, I am beginning slowly and taking one step at a time.  Thanks for journeying with me!

Today, I am sharing some ideas for hand-made and hand-stamped gifts.  First up is a framed monogram art piece that I made for my niece and her fiance for their engagement.  His last name begins with "M."  It is a little hard to capture the subtle details of this piece, but I hope you can see the shimmer in the tone-on-tone stamping.  I think it looks better in person, but you get the idea.

 Stay tuned for the next post with the other hand-made gifts.

August 6, 2012

Check out this lip dub video from Stampin' Up!'s convention...Such a catchy song!  I am...loving this:

I'm on a roll, 2 days in a row!

Today's card is a wedding card I made for my niece, Heather, and her husband Jesse, the most beautiful couple EVAH!  A beautiful couple needed a beautiful card.

This card shares a few features of the Anniversary Card I posted yesterday, but with a completely different look.  The butterfly is from the Strength & Hope set, and the "Happily Ever After" sentiment comes from the retired Fancy Flexible Phrases.  The card stock and ink colors are Whisper White, Pink Pirouette, and Sahara Sand.  There is a little square of Berry Bliss DSP behind the butterfly.  The Dotted Scallop Ribbon Border punch was used to make that awesome shaped white layer under the butterfly.  The Vintage Wallpaper embossing folder was used with the Big Shot again for that wonderful textured background.  Whisper White Organza Ribbon was layered over Pretty in Pink Satin Ribbon, and the card was embellished again with Basic Pearls and a Trinket Key. 

The theme of this card, with the butterfly, coordinates with a gift I made for the couple for their engagement party the year before.  Perhaps I can find a picture of that for next time!

Until then, Happy Stamping!

August 5, 2012

Okay, I'm getting the hang of this now!  Practice makes perfect they say.

This time, I'm sharing a sympathy card I made for a co-worker last fall.  A sad occasion, but a pretty card to express my condolences and support.

The stamp set used here was Thanks for Caring.  I've used 3 different patterns from the Paisley Petals Designer Series Paper (DSP)...I LOVE that paper!  So sad it is now retired, but I'm hoarding what I have left of it, LOL!  The coordinating card stock used includes Whisper White, Baja Breeze and Pear Pizzazz.  After stamping the butterfly image, I used the 2-Way Glue Pen to outline the image and sprinked on Dazzling Diamonds glitter.  There is also a small Rhinestone Basic Jewel on the focal sentiment (see it there on the top?).  I've used the Ticket Corner punch again on the layers, and the final touch is the Pear Pizzazz Seam Binding Ribbon. 

This card is much prettier in person.  The photo really flattens it and merges the different patterns and images.  Anyway, I hope it brought some comfort to my friend.

Until next time,

I'm Back!

Well, hello there.  I started this blog and then had to abandon it for a long time when life took over!  Things are settling down a little now, so I am back at the helm and learning how to do all this technical stuff.  Bear with me as i tweak this site.  With any luck, my blog will be looking fun and professional very soon and I will be posting here and elsewhere regularly.

Today, I have a few cards from the past year or so to share with you while we catch up!

First up is a card I made for my in-laws' anniversary.  This was a special card and I'm proud of it.

This card is made using the Strength & Hope stamp set, and the little "Mr. & Mrs." are from, appropriately, the Tiny Tags set.  Card stock and ink colors include Chocolate Chip and Baja Breeze (and Very Vanilla card stock).  The background was embossed using my Big Shot and the Vintage Wallpaper embossing folder, and then I sponged Chocolate Chip ink on the edges.  I've used the Scallop Trim border punch on the Choc. Chip layer matting the focal butterfly.  All layers were punched with the Ticket Corner punch (now retired).  You can't see it in this photo, but the butterfly was sprayed lightly with the Vanilla Shimmer Smooch Spritz (also now retired), to give it that slight shimmer.  Finally, the embellishments were added, including Taffeta Ribbon, Pearl Basic Jewels, and the Trinket Key.  (All supplies are from Stampin' Up!)

I had such fun creating this card!  Please feel free to leave a comment or question here.  I'll be back to post more....