Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sizzix Triple-Play Blog-Hop Week 7: Single Rose

Happy Holidays to ALL! Here we are 7 weeks later, with our final projects for the Sizzix Triple-Play Blog-Hop! With all the busyness of the holidays, I decided (well, needed) to keep this weeks entry very quick and easy! The great thing is that's possible when you're working with such well designed dies. This die comes with several bag topper size options and shapes ready for embellishing. You can slap a bit of paper and tie a ribbon and waalaa a handmade gift that looks very special! Simple as that!

I decided to look a bit into the future and think about Valentine's Day. We all know the sentimental meaning of a single rose, so I thought I'd create a simple gift bag to hold one dried rose. I also think this would be a great way to save a dried flower from a special wedding or other event. When my kids were still at home we often had roses tied upside down on cupboard door handles for drying. The girls couldn't simply put their old flowers in the compost barrel, no, they had to save them all! A simple see-thru bag with a topper and a note would have been a great way to organize their treasures. Now, why didn't I think of this before!

"Thanks for checking out the Triple Play Blog Hop! Please visit for more fun ideas from Brenda Pinnick, Karen Burniston, Eileen Hull and friends. If you have enjoyed seeing all of the inspiring ideas on the blog hop, please "like" Triple Play on Facebook:!/pages/Triple-Play/125068950891362. Happy Holidays!"

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Sizzix Triple-Play Blog-Hop Week 6: Gift Tags

I've been on vacation with my family for the last 2+ weeks. Knowing I'd be away from my studio for three weeks of the blog-hop I packed a very basic crafting kit, the die-cuts for the scheduled projects and a challenge for myself. The challenge was to not over-think my projects, complete them quickly and use the limited supplies I'd taken with me. It's been a good lesson for me. Trust my basic design instincts and just let it flow... and maybe I don't need ALL that "Stuff." Here's the result of Week 6; Brenda Pinnick's Sizzix Die (656053, Sizzix Bigz XL Die - Album, Brackets)

We were each sent a set of pre-cut die shapes to work with. I chose to use the largest of the shapes to create gift tags for the upcoming holiday.

What I used:
* Sizzix Bigz XL Die - Album, Brackets
* Vintage Text
* Color-box Chalk ink in Chestnut Roan
* Felt Snowflake from The Container Store
* Small hang tag
* Small jingle bell sprayed with Krylon Brushed Metallic
* Baker's Twine
* Stamps: snowflake, "To"
* Vintage Glass Glitter

What I did:
1. Trace shape of largest die-cut shape onto vintage text, cut out and glue to shape; ink edges with chalk ink
2. Apply glue along outside edges of shape; apply glitter to all edges
3. Tie felt snowflake to glittered shape at die-cut hole
4. Ink small hang-tag and stamp snowflake and the word "To"
5. Spray paint silver jingle-bell and dip in glitter while still wet
6. Tie tag and bell to snowflake with an 6" length of baker's twine
7. Write recipients name on tag and tie to package

I can hardly wait to see what the other 50+ designers have come up with using this great die from Sizzix! Hop along by clicking on the blinkie in the right side-bar.

Thanks for stopping by!


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sizzix Triple Play Blog-Hop Week 3- 1st Birthday Headband

You'll need to use your imagination... and a little simple math to get the full effect, but here's my 3rd installment to the Sizzix Triple-Play Blog Hop. WARNING... This post is a little heavy on proud grandma bragging, but I figured I could get away with it, since the designer of the Beauty Bloom Die just became a Grandma to her own little pink princess! Congratulations to Brenda and the whole Pinnick family!

Many of you know I'm head over heals in love with a little bundle of joy. Our first and only Grandbaby, Grace Ashlyn Phillips, who will be turning ONE in just a few weeks. I can't believe how fast this milestone birthday has come! We won't be with her on her actual birthday, December 24th, but we'll celebrate with her a couple weeks from now. When I saw the Beauty Bloom Die I knew instantly I had to make Grace a flower headband to match the Birthday dress I'd sewn for her.

ONE Birthday Headband + ONE little girl +...

ONE birthday dress + ONE year ...


A little ONE YEAR OLD FAIRY PRINCESS whose Grammy thinks she's the sweetest thing ever! (Picture to follow after the party... use your imagination for now)

Here's how I made the headband...

Flower, Beauty Bloom, Originals Die #655455 by Brenda Pinnick
Fabric Scraps
Iron-on Adhesive (HeatnBond)
Ready-made headband (or make your own with ribbon)
Green ribbon 1" wide: two 3" pieces
2 small buttons
Scrap pieces of toile
Sewing machine with thread
Fabric Scissors

1. Iron HeatnBond to the backside of fabric scraps, peel backing off and iron matching fabric to backside. Repeat with two or three different coordinating fabrics.
2. Die-cut fabric with Beauty Bloom Die. You'll need three 3-petal flowers and 1 medium sized flower for each blossom.
3. Free-style stitching on petals of flowers. (optional)
4. Cut petals of one of the flowers into strips.

5. Layer 3 large flowers and one medium flower together with green ribbon folded in half and toile. Stitch in place on headband with machine or by hand. Repeat for second flower.
6. Stitch buttons in center of flowers.

Be sure to hop onto the next blog to see what creative ideas the other designers have come up with!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Time with Daughters... Priceless!

Daughters...everyone should have at least one! (or one to borrow!) Lucky me, I have been blessed with two! ... and a daughter-in-law, to boot! And recently, a week and a half to spend with the two I raised!

Leading my way, Autumn leaves drifted onto the roadway reminding me of a flower girl dropping petals down the aisle to lead a bride to her sweetie. Traveling through the Blue Ridge Mountains is truly spectacular this time of year! And my destination, even sweeter!

Although I can’t claim to be a vegetarian, we eat many meatless meals at our house. I’m married to a successful hunter, so we have a freezer loaded with plenty of totally organic totally delicious wild game and we will eat organically grown, humanly raised pastured meats. We’ve taken time to learn what goes on in our country’s food industry... and folks... it ain’t pretty! If you are interested in learning more, start by reading this and watching this.

With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, the girls and I took a Vegetarian Thanksgiving cooking class at Mise en Place in Richmond, Virginia. Surrounded by a dozen foodies and lead by a very talented Chef, we made a feast “to die for.”

I thought to take a few pictures while we worked together in this well-equipped classroom, but totally forgot to snap some shots of the beautiful food we’d prepared. Sorry. But let me tell missed the Turkey or the Ham one iota! How could you when there is so much to be thankful for on a menu like this...

-Onion Leek Tart with Fresh Tarragon
-Mashed Potatoes with Roasted Vegetable Gravy
-Acorn Squash stuffed with Brown and Wild Rice, Cranberries and toasted walnuts
-Mushroom Spinach Galette
-Fresh Sauteed Kale with garlic
-Ginger Orange Cranberry Tarts for dessert
and plenty of wine!

What a festive flavorful meal! I think we’ll have some added traditions from this delightful time with my girls!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Sizzix Triple Play Blog-Hop Week 2- ATC with a Twist!

Artist Trading CUBE... with a Twist!

We've all heard of Artist Trading Cards, but how about using a cube instead of a card? The 3-D Pop-up Die from Sizzix puts an exciting new twist on an old idea! With careful placement of embellishments, this cube will twist flat for easy mailings.

See the assembly instructions of Sizzix, Twist Cube, 3D Pop-up, Bigz XL Die by Karen Burniston at these links: Part 1 and Part 2

Here's how I embellished mine...

1. Cut four 2 3/4" squares of decorative paper for sides of cube. Fold squares corner to corner to match folds on sides of cube.
2. Cut one 2 3/4" square of decorative paper for top of cube. Pierce hole in center of square for threading cord through.
3. Ink edges of all squares. Adhere papers to cube with tape runner or favorite adhesive, being very careful to align folds in paper with folds in cube.
4. Using a Krylon Leafing Pen, highlight all edges of cube.
5. Embellish cube with additional trims, inks, etc.
6. From decorative paper and french text, cut elongated tag shape to tie to top of cube. Tie 6" length of coordinating silk ribbon to cording.
7. Attach a variety of metal embellishments to a small chain and dangle from the brad at the bottom of the cube.

Look the the Triple Play Blog-Hop Blinkie in my sidebar and click on forward to hop along to the next creative use of this fun die-cut! See you next week!

Monday, November 8, 2010

What is Art?

Art doesn't have to happen in a studio or on an easel or behind a lens. I often think about art while I'm working in the garden or painting a wall, cleaning my house or mowing our lawn. I think there is art in anything you do beautifully and with heart. Putting a seed in the ground and tending a garden, harvesting the bounty and preserving it for enjoying in the months ahead is an art. An art that brings me great satisfaction, especially when I look in my pantry in the dead of winter!

The harvest from my organic garden the day before our first freeze filled our counter. Vine ripened tomatoes, string beans, peppers, basil, egg plants and lettuce greens in November... priceless!

Crispy Dilly Beans... a collage of pickling spices, vibrant green and purple string beans, a banana pepper and a garlic clove.

After 7 pints of Dilly Beans, 21 pints of Green Tomato Relish and 8 pints of spicy pizza sauce... I've completed my masterpiece for the day!

Next art project will involve paper and a very cool 3D Pop-up Cube for the Blog-Hop I'm participating in. Stop back by on Thursday afternoon to see what you can do with this very cool Die-cut from Sizzix!

Artfully Yours,

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sizzix Triple Play Blog Hop Week 1: From Our House to Yours

Honored to be included with the amazing group of 60 allstar artists, I’ll be participating in a HUGE blog hop. For this week I’ve decided to turn Eileen Hull’s 3-D house into clever gift holder. On every Thursday, for 7 weeks, each artist will share a design created with a new Sizzix Die-Cut. Look at the sidebar of my blog to find the “blinkie” with the forward button and begin hopping your way through some of the most creative blogs in the industry!

I know it seems just a bit early, but Christmas is right around the corner for our family. With our “kids” each in a different state on both sides of this huge country, we get together and celebrate when we can. This year that means the first week in December. We’ll have Thanksgiving, Christmas and two birthdays, including our only Grandbaby’s very first birthday all at once! Yes, the Phillips’ will be partying like rock stars for an entire week!

I still take holiday goodies to my neighbors. Do you? We usually spread good cheer with cookies or candies, sometimes drink mixes, sometimes homemade cinnamon rolls or maybe jams or preserves. This little house makes perfect packaging for holding a bag of mulling spices or other treats and the roof turns into a simple gift card for including a sentiment or recipe.

So let’s get going...
Here’s how the pieces looked before the assembly began.

Here’s the how...
Sizzix supplies: (Sizzix link)
  Sizzix Scoreboards Pro Die - House, 3D, by Eileen Hull #656836
   Sizzix 12x12 matboard, white
   Sizzix Big Shot Pro die cutting machine
Other supplies:
Decorative holiday paper (double-sided or two coordinating papers)
Zip-Dry Adhesive by Beacon
ColorBox Chalk Ink in Chestnut Roan
Letter stickers or die-cuts
Red-Liner Tape
Craft Scissors
Decorative Waxed Tissue (The Container Store)


1. Die-cut 3-D House from matboard. Use walls of house, large roof top and small house module as templates to trace onto decorative papers. Cut with craft scissors. Cut paper where mat-board folds. Do not cover tabs with paper.
2. Leaving roof off, assemble main body of house using red-liner tape on tabs. Adhere floor the same way. Cover house with decorative paper pieces using Beacon’s Zip Dry adhesive.
3. Cover small house module with coordinating paper and adhere to front of large house with red-liner on tabs, without roof.
4. Cover large roof with Decorative paper.
5. Ink all edges of house and roof (gift card) with Chalk Ink.
6. Ink window and door frames with Chalk Ink and adhere to house.
7. Apply letter stickers to gift card and face of small house module.
8. Fill house with goodies wrapped in waxed tissue.
9. Write sentiment or recipe inside of gift card.
Now go play Santa!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

So cool!

Do you see the image to the right of this post? The one about the Triple Play Blog Hop. The one right over there ------------>

November 4th is the big day. the day we've all been waiting for! Come visit my blog that day, then click on the forward or back buttons on the bottom of the sidebar image to navigate through the blogs of 60 extraordinary artists. Each will be creating something fantastic with the same Sizzix die-cut. There will be eight weeks in a row of fabulous ideas and inspiration galore!

Guilty as charged!

Saying I'm guilty of neglecting my blog would be an understatement. During the last several months my life has been filled to the brim with travel and babies and gardening and remodeling and spending time with family and friends. Not bad ways to spend my time. Not bad in the least! Here's a little photo essay of "How I spent my Summer."

Saying goodbye...

Saying hello...

Celebrating milestones...

Great visits with my sis...

Spending time with family...

Preserving summer's bounty...

A little artwork, here and there...

Learning to tile...


And best of all, loving on my beautiful baby Granddaughter, Grace Ashlyn...

I’ll be back on a “somewhat” regular basis from now on and I’m looking forward to re-acquainting myself with the wonderful world of blogging!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tie a package up with this bow and the recipient may not want to open the gift! This is the last installment of Eileen Hull's Sizzix Scoreboard Die-cut Blog Hop... at least for now! I'm sure she has more fabulous designs up her sleeve for future releases. What relaxing fun I had while "Zentangling" up the pieces cut from the bow die. Simply run white paper and bow die through your die-cut machine and start doodling with your favorite pen! See below for assembly instructions.

For this bow I used six large strips, six medium strips and five small strips.
Now the fun begins... Just start doodling designs allowing them to evolve as you go!

To assemble:

Step 1: Loop about 18" of thin wire (or thread) through a button leaving long ends of equal length hanging from the backside of button.
Step 2: Being careful not to crease loops of bow strips, align holes of paper strips one at a time and thread onto wire beginning with all small strips, then all medium strips, then all large strips.
Step 3: Spread out and arrange to create a perfect package bow!
Step 4: Secure by wrapping wire into a loop on the underside of bow.
Step 5: Attach to gift or use as an element on a piece of decor.

Now get your hop on by following these links to other fabulous designs using the same Sizzix ScoreBoard die...

Ann Butler
Sparkle's Bow Bracelet
Bonnie Bruns
Candice Windham
Debra Quartermain
Eileen Hull
Einat Kessler
JGoode Designs
Just a Thought or Two
Life in the Craft Lane
Michelle Cummings
Marisa Pawelko
Veronica Goff

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Masculine Twist...

Collar stays seem to show up all over our house! Do you think my hubby will remember to put them in one spot if I make him a manly little box? I won't be placing any bets that it'll work, but I can give it a try! I've used Sizzix new ScoreBoard Die designed by my friend Eileen Hull as a base for this project.

Here is the easy to assemble die-cut. Simply fold on scored lines and assemble using red-line double-sided tape.

For this project I assembled the box then applied wide red line tape to the entire outside surface. I found an assortment of coordinating ribbons and laid them side by side on the tape allowing ends to wrap toward the inside of the box where I adhered them with more double-sided tape.

I used a heavy-duty hole punch to make a hole for a large initial brad. For the lining, I cut a coordinating decorative paper and adhered to the inside. A length of leather cording wrapped around the box and brad provided the perfect closure.

This is the third in a series of blog-hops (my second) to show an amazing variety of designs using the same ScoreBoard Dies. Follow the lists of blogs below to see an amazing variety of ideas for using this same die-cut. Now get hopping!

Eileen Hull
Ann Butler
Candice Windham
Carla Schauer
Cindi Bisson
Einat Kessler
Jen Goode
Julie McGuffee
Laura Bray
Lisa Rojas
Lorine Mason
Madeline Arendt
Melony Bradley
Michelle Cummings
Marisa Pawelko
Niki Meiners
Sandy Laipply
Sparkle Studio
Veronica Goff
Karen Burniston

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Vintage Inspired ATC case

Over the next few weeks I'll be participating in a blog hop. What's a blog hop, you ask. Well, Eileen Hull, a friend, artist and fellow CHA Designer has released a product line with Sizzix. Her soon-to-be-released ScoreBoards Dies are different than those we've seen before. They cut and score mat board to create sturdy three-dimensional objects, ready for assembly and embellishment. It is so much fun to "hop" through the blogs of the participating designers to see the ingenious ways these die-cuts can be used. I promise you'll be inspired by these amazing artists! Scroll down to the bottom of this post to find the links to begin the adventure as you find your way through participating blogs.

So here's my first entry...

A Scalloped Box turned Vintage Inspired ATC case. I recently participated in an awesome Artist Trading Card swap with a group of my local artist friends so when I noticed the size of this box I knew it would become a case to store a few of my favorites. What a fun little hostess gift to give a swap coordinator!

With the score line already made for you, this box is a cinch to assemble. Simply use red-liner tape to adhere the side tabs in place. Of course you know I can't make anything without a little "RockCandy," so for this project I used a couple sheets of our Vintage French Text to completely cover the box, inside and out. I inked the edges with Colorbox ink in Chestnut Roan and accented the edges with Krylon's Gold Leafing Pen. I embellished the box with some of our Dresden Foil trims and a vintage image from our "Girly Girls" Image CD. I came across a vintage typewriter "Lock" key and attached it to the scalloped flap. I wrapped the box with a long strand of black cording.

Now get to "Hopping" by visiting the following links:

Eileen Hull

Ann Butler

Bonnie Bruns

Candice Windham Designs

Cindi Bisson - Fat Cat Creations

Craftside - A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world

Designs by Roxi

JGoode Designs

Just a Thought or Two

Karen Burniston

Life Snippetts

Mel Designs Trendy Thank You Gifts

Niki Meiners

Pink Lemonade

Sizzix ScoreBoard blog Hop

Sparkle's Studio

Stampin' Queen Creations

Jenn Ellefson

Michelle Cummings

Brenda Pinnick

Carla Schauer

Marisa Pawelko