Elizabeth Cooper
I love participating in challenges. I knew I wanted to do something for this week's Play Date Cafe challenge, but the colors were very Christmas-y, and, well, I'm a little burnt out on Christmas projects.

I do have a whole lot of birthdays coming up over the next couple of months, which is how this card came about:

I thought the colors worked beautifully for a pretty, feminine birthday card. And as a bonus, I used scraps to pull most of it together!

I started with red and green scraps of cardstock. (I had plenty of both left over after Christmas.) Then I chose some coordinating paper scraps -- these happened to be from previous Jillibean Soup card kits -- and punched them using two different Fiskars edge punches. I also added a leftover scrap of a border from a Jillibean Soup die cut set at the top.

I punched out a piece of vanilla-colored scrap patterned paper using a 1 inch circle punch, and stamped the sentiment using Memento Ink in Bamboo Leaves. The stamp is from the All Year Greetings set by Fiskars. I thought the sentiment needed a little something extra, so I went over the word "birthday" with a Zig 2-way glue pen, and sprinkled some green glitter on top.

I created the flower from some Prima petals I had lying around, and used a green brad from the Recollections: Pastel Medium Squares package for the center. I attached the flower to the sentiment circle, and adhered the whole thing to the card front with foam adhesive.

Finally, I wanted to embellish the card front itself. So I used a piece of self-adhesive pearls from the Prima: Say It With Pearls package. I also filled in some of the edge punch holes using Stickles in Xmas Red and Firefly, and Liquid Pearls in Buttercup.

Elizabeth Cooper
I'm having to work over the holidays, so I've had very little time for anything even remotely relaxing in the last few days. At least until this afternoon, when I finished work early and was able to spend some time at my crafting desk.

I knew I wanted to enter the CAS-ual Fridays theme this week, which is kraft and twine -- two of my favorite crafting supplies. How could I resist? I set to work, and came up with this:

I started with a kraft card from Jillibean Soup. Then I cut a piece of pattern paper from the Fancy Pants Designs: Beach Bum 6x6 paper pad, and adhered that to the bottom of the card. On the pattern paper, I stamped the oval frame from Tim Holtz's Visual Artistry stamp set using Memento Ink in Rich Cocoa.

On a piece of white cardstock, I stamped the bird from the same stamp set, and used some blue Copic markers to color in his white feathers. I also added a blue rhinestone eye, and inked the edges of the paper using Distress Ink in Gathered Twigs. I matted the image onto kraft cardstock and adhered it to the card using foam adhesive.

I stamped the sentiment (also from the Tim Holtz Visual Artistry stamp set) onto more of that same pattern paper using Memento Ink in Rich Cocoa. I matted the paper onto more kraft cardstock, inked the edges using Distress Ink in Walnut Stain, and adhered the whole thing to the card using foam adhesive.

Finally, I added faux stitching around the sentiment using white gel pen, and wrapped some brown-and-white twine around the center of the card.

Elizabeth Cooper
Here's the last set of Christmas cards I sent out this year.

I hope you're all having a fabulous holiday season!




'Tis the season

Enjoy the season

Elizabeth Cooper
Here's yet another set of Christmas cards I created for the 2011 season. If you have questions about any of the supplies or techniques I used, please ask them in the comments.

Season's Greetings

Be Merry

Winter Wonderland

Merry Christmas

Let It Snow

Elizabeth Cooper
Here is the next set of Christmas Cards for 2011.

Again, because there are so many of them, I won't be posting descriptions or supplies. But if you have questions about any of the cards, leave me a comment and I'll be sure to reply.

North Pole

Cute Christmas Gift Tag Set

Happy Holidays

Merry Christmas

North Pole 2

Elizabeth Cooper
All right, I admit it... I waited until the last possible minute to create my Christmas cards this year. And then I ended up doing a 3-day marathon in which I got them all done.

Everyone one: created, personalized, addressed, and posted. In 3 days.

Now, I'm sure that's not a record, but it sure is for me! So now that the Christmas cards are done, life can go back to normal around here. And I can start posting the cards!

Here are the first five. Because I've got so many to post, I won't be doing in-depth descriptions or listing supplies. If you have questions about specific tools or techniques, please let me know in the comments.

Christmas Joy

Deck the Halls

I Believe



Elizabeth Cooper
I'll be hand-delivering this card to a good friend in a few days. I knew I wanted something decidedly masculine. No flowers, butterflies, or sparkles. Since I love everything feminine, this was quite a challenge for me! In the end, I'm very happy with the way this card turned out.

Once again, nearly everything I used on this card is from Jillybeansoup's September 2011 Card Kitchen kit. I started with a piece of Red Beans paper, which I cut into two different sizes. My friend is from Texas, and I thought the red-and-white stars had a Southern US look to them. Next, I cut a piece of Brown Pea Pod paper. I love the colors and bold pattern on this one.

The last pattern paper was a strip of Pinto Beans, into which I cut some slits and tied brown-and-white twine, securing it with a bow. For the sentiment, I used a die cut scallop shape from Jillibeansoup's Homemade 6 Bean Soup collection. In the center, I adhered a piece of white cardstock, which I stamped with a sentiment from the Fiskars All Year Cheer stamp set using Tuxedo Black ink from Memento. I inked the edges using Walnut Stain Distress Ink, and went around the oval with a brown marker.

The buttons were the finishing touch, and they come from Nikki Sivilis Cute as a Button collection. These are her Burlap Buttons.

My husband commented that the card has a leather feel to it. I love that!

Elizabeth Cooper
A good friend asked me to create a card for his mother's 71st birthday. I was thrilled to be asked, and had a blast creating this card.

I didn't want the focus to be on her age, which is why the number is more or less tucked under the flower. But let's start at the beginning, shall we? Once again, nearly everything I used came from Jillibeansoup's September 2011 Card Kitchen kit.

I started with 4 strips of pattern paper: Navy Beans, Green Stock, Black Eyed Peas, and Brown Pea Pod. After I adhered those onto the card, I added a strip of blue ribbon (it also came with September's kit). Then I rounded the corners of the card, and added faux stitching with a white gel pen.

The flower is made out of vintage papers that -- you guessed it -- also came with my kit. I crumpled the paper and layered it all together, then I added a button from my stash and secured it with a piece of Sew Easy Glitter Tertiary Floss in bright blue.

I stamped the sentiment using a stamp from Fiskars' Birthday Party stamp set using Colorbox black ink. And finally, I took two numbers from the chipboard sticker set that came with my kit, and used Distress Ink in Walnut Stain to fade some of the bright yellow color. I tucked those under the flower so they'd be out of the way, but still a nice surprise.

I hope she likes it as much as I loved making it. :) 

Elizabeth Cooper
In a few days, I'll be leaving to visit a friend I haven't seen in about 8 months. I'm planning on bringing her a hostess gift, along with this cute little card:

I wanted something girly and pretty, with a personal touch (hence the handwriting, such as it is). Everything I used on this card is from Jillybeansoup's September 2011 Card Kitchen kit. I love, love, LOVE her kits!

I started with a piece of Navy Beans paper, which I cut into two pieces. The first piece I adhered with the flower side up at the top of the card, using foam adhesives. The second piece I turned over so the green stripes showed. I added a piece of green ribbon, which I tied into a bow, and adhered it to the card front using foam adhesives.

Then I took a die-cut shape that came with my card kit and spelled out the word "friend" using letter stickers. I used my own handwriting to finish the sentiment.

Finally, I added faux stitching in black gel pen to the sides of the card.

Elizabeth Cooper
Since I didn't have time to follow along with the Holiday Card Boot Camp, I'm trying to catch up now. This card was based on a tutorial from Day 3, in which Jennifer McGuire created a pretty window card. I didn't have the same supplies she used, but I substituted a few things and I'm quite pleased with the result.

I started with a piece of pattern paper from the Basic Grey Nordic Holiday 6x6 paper pad. I love all the wonderful words, as well as the colors. Lovely! Once I adhered it to the card, I cut out a window using my 1 inch EK Success punch.

I stamped the gift from Fiskars What a Hoot stamp set, and colored it using Martha Stewart glitter markers. Then I cut it out and adhered it behind a strip of pattern paper (also from Nordic Holiday), on which I'd stamped a sentiment (again from What a Hoot) and embossed it using silver powder.

I secured the sentiment strip onto the card using two brads from the Recollections Brads: Pastel Medium Squares collection. Lastly, I wrapped some silver ribbon around the bottom of the card for the finishing touch.

Elizabeth Cooper
I wanted to do something for this week's extended CAS-ual Fridays challenge. The sketch is simple and lovely, and I really wanted to work with it. Here's what I came up with:

I started with a lovely metallic green cardstock from Recollections. Then I cut out a piece of pattern paper from an ATD Christmas Specialty collection pack. I just loved the cute glitter on the toes and at the top of each sock. I adhered the paper to the card front, and moved on to the stamping.

For the snowflakes, I used Frost White Colorbox ink and stamped directly onto the cardstock. At the end, I added some tiny beads of Liquid Pearl in Silver Pearl.

I punched out a circle out of white cardstock using my 1 inch EK punch, stamped the sentiment, and then went over the letters with a green glitter gel pen. Both the snowflake and the sentiment stamp sets are from Inkadinkado's Christmas Characters stamp set. I inked the edges using Distress Ink in Evergreen Bough, and attached the sentiment circle to the card using a brad from Recollections: Pastel Medium Squares.

Finally, I created a border for the patterned paper using Stickles in Mystic green, and added three pearls under the sentiment using more Liquid Pearls in Silver Pearl.
Elizabeth Cooper
My best friend's sister just passed the Bar Exam, and I wanted to send her a pretty card to acknowledge her accomplishment. I wanted a fun, feminine feel to the card, and this is what I came up with:

I started with the pattern paper. The vanilla strip and mat are from the DCWV Old World Stack, while the others are from the Reflections: Graceful paper pack. After cutting all the papers to the appropriate size and adhering them to the card front, I moved on to the main images.

I must admit, I stamped and re-stamped these a few times until I was happy with the color and the stamp choices, but in the end, I'm quite pleased with the overall effect. I used two stamps from Fiskars' Girls Night Out stamp set. I stamped them using Memento Tuxedo Black ink on white cardstock, and colored in the images using watercolor markers and a blender pen. 

Then I inked the edges of the image panel using Distress Ink in Festive Berries, and I adhered it to the card using foam adhesive. I also added some rhinestones from the Fine and Dandy Blue Blue Bling pack by My Mind's Eye. Lastly, I covered the martini glass in Glossy Accents for that "glass" look, and stuck a bow on top.

Elizabeth Cooper
I'm relatively new to Pinterest, having only created my account a few weeks ago. Already, it's become one of my favorite daily digital stops. Pinterest is a "virtual pinboard", a way for people to share photos of all the wonderful things they find on the web. And then, in true social media style, everyone else gets to see and enjoy those things, too.

After spending some time (all right, a LOT of time) on Pinterest, I realized my love for the site comes down to these 5 reasons:

A card I pinned on my inspiration board

1. Inspiration. I don't know about you, but I'm always on the lookout for things that inspire me. Maybe not consciously, but if I see something that catches my eye, I'll immediately start thinking about ways I can use it. Can I make a card using the color combination in a piece of fabric? Can I create wall art from an old magazine? Can I decorate a cupcake using the general shape of a scrapbook felt flower? On Pinterest, I can find more ideas than I know what to do with!

Another card from my inspiration board

2. New pretties, all the time. Every morning when I log in to Pinterest, I'm amazed by the wonderful things that are showing up in my feed. It's a little bit like reading the newspaper to learn what's new, except instead of being bombarded by bad news, I have beautiful things to look at and absorb. I can't think of a better way to start my day.

A vintage French label necklace that shows my style

3. Learning about myself. I've never really given much thought to my style. I know what appeals to me, but that's about it. Ever since I've started browsing Pinterest, I've started making sense of the styles that call to me. For example, I didn't realize I like vintage and "shabby chic" motifs and much as I do. And I wouldn't have thought I liked grunge designs, but I really do! Armed with this knowledge, I can use those styles in my own designs and push my creativity more than I would otherwise.

A Christmas card tree project

4. New project ideas. When I started out as a paper crafter, making a card seemed difficult. Now I'm contemplating branching out into other crafts. So when I see something I'd like to do, but don't think I have the skill to pull it off yet, I'll pin up the project idea on Pinterest. I'd love to go back next week, next month, or even next year, and try my hand at some of those more complex projects to see how far I've come.

Cheesecake-stuffed strawberries

5. Collecting recipes. I've tried many different ways of organizing recipes I've found online... from bookmarking them to importing them into software specifically created for that purpose, nothing's really worked for me. But Pinterest allows me to pin up the recipes that interest me, and then shows them to me using mouth-watering images. They say you eat with your eyes first, so what could be better than seeing a bunch of incredible looking food when looking for something to make for dinner tonight?

These are just a few of the reasons I find Pinterest a wonderful website, and wholeheartedly recommend it. I'd love to hear from you... Do you have an account? Do you love it as much as I do?
Elizabeth Cooper
For this project, I wanted to keep things as simple as possible. Originally I'd envisioned just a simple stamped image, but, well, I couldn't resist adding a button, some twine, and a bit of ribbon just to brighten things up a little.

Each of the notecards is going to a different person, but the sentiment inside is the same for all of them. So I thought having the notecards be part of a set, yet using different colors for the embellishments, would work well. if I'd had more time I would have colored the stamped image, but I like the way it looks like this, too.

The stamps are from the Fiskars Terrific Tags stamp set. I used Colorbox black ink, and some random buttons and ribbons from my stash. The twine is from Jillibean Soup.