Monday, November 30, 2015

Peace at Christmas

Hi everyone.  Today is the start of the Happy Little Stampers December Sketch Challenge.


I made a Christmas card using the sketch ... but remember that the sketch can be any style of card and any subject, as long as you use the general design.  It doesn't have to be a Christmas card. :)

I decided to create a small winter scene within the circle aperture.  I heat embossed some Shabby white (with gold glitter) Frantage for the falling snow ... and carried that onto the card front as well, representing the stars in the sketch.  A hill of snow with two embossed trees was added inside the aperture, and a simple sentiment as stamped and heat embossed on the card front.

We are excited to have the very talented Darnell (djkardkreations) as our Guest Designer this month for HLS Christmas.  Welcome Darnell!

Please click HERE to see Darnell's sketch card, along with the cards from the rest of our amazing design team.  I hope you'll make a card using our fun and easy sketch, and join in the challenge.

Thanks for dropping by!

Stamps:  Mixed Christmas Sentiments (Happy Little Stampers)
Paper:  White (Neenah); Mixed Media Paper (Strathmore)
Ink:  Gumball Green re-inker (SU!); Peacock Feathers re-inker (Tim Holtz), Versamark
Accessories & Tools:  Shabby White Frantage (Stampendous), Circle Nestabilities (Spellbinders), Holiday Cheer tree dies (Sizzix), Snowdrift die (My Favorite Things), Inka Gold wax (Platinum), water mister, Musical Flourish embossing folder (Cuttlebug), gold embossing powder, heat tool

HLS December Sketch Challenge

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Twelve Tags of Christmas ... Wrap-Up

Hi everyone.  Back today with the winners of the Twelve Tags of Christmas event.  I am thrilled to say that there were over 150 entries this year --- WOW! :)

Each and every tag is creative and unique.  I really enjoyed visiting each entry to find out how you made your tags.  Thank you for sharing your creative gift with all of us!! :)

Here are a few words from Judge Jeremy ...

"The second annual 12 Tags of Christmas event was an overwhelming success!  I am inspired by how all participants mixed, layered, stamped, inked, and embellished their way to thoughtful and beautiful results.  Similar to last year, the winning decision was not an easy one.  Congratulations go to ... "

Winning Tag

Tanja, your design is modern and sophisticated, with a touch of romance.  You remind us how a neutral colour palette can achieve a strong impact.  Well done!  -Jeremy

Top Three Tags

Honourable Mentions

Random Draw Prizes

Winner of the HLS $20 Gift Certificate ----- #86 Nancy

True Random Number Generator  86

Winner of the Christmas Bell Medley stamp set from Dee's Arsty Impressions - #116 Marcia

True Random Number Generator  116

Congratulations to everyone!
Please email me at to claim your prize.



  $40 STAMPlorations gift certificate for Winning Tag
$20 STAMPlorations gift certificate for each of the Top Three Tags
$20 Happy Little Stampers gift certificate - random prize draw
Dee's Arsty Impressions Christmas Bell Medley stamp set - random prize draw

Random prizes donated by:

    Happy Little Stampers                       Dee's Arsty Impressions


Thanks to everyone that entered.  I hope you had fun making your mixed media Christmas tags.  There's so much amazing inspiration in the gallery from my guest designers and challenge participants, and hope that you'll find yourself wanting to make more tags for this upcoming holiday season.  Check out the Twelve Tags of Christmas 2015 Pinterest Board for inspiration ... and there's lots of amazing tags on the Twelve Tags of Christmas 2014 Pinterest Board as well.  :)

I hope to be back next year with the "Twelve Tags of Christmas" 2016 edition! :)

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Happy Birthday Susan!

Hi everyone.  Whew ... I was without internet for the past day and can't believe how much I rely on it.  I'm SO HAPPY that it is back working ... along with our TV which is tied to the service. :)

Today I'm sharing a CAS birthday card I made for my good friend, Susan (Cardmaker's Garret).  Susan loves blue ... so I just HAD to make her a blue card. :) The background is smooshed with three colours of Inka Gold, and then stamped and heat embossed with white.  I used clear glitter glue to add some sparkle to the tree branches, but it's hard to see in the photo.

Have a wonderful birthday Susan!!  :)

I've been experimenting with my photography ... just trying to figure out how to get better quality photos.  With the low light of winter, and the dreary, cloudy days this season brings, it is especially hard to get any good shots of cards with embossing.  I still have shadows on the photo above, but at least you can see the design of the card. :)  I have ordered a photo tent, so looking forward to giving it a try to see if it will help.

I always appreciate you dropping by for a visit.  And a special thank you to those that take the time to leave me a message ... it always makes my day.

Stamps:  Etched Branches (Penny Black); Butterfly Birthday (Happy Little Stampers)
Paper:  White card stock (Neenah)
Ink:  Versamark
Accessories & Tools:  Inka Gold wax pastes (Steel Blue, Jade, Platinum), white embossing powder, heat tool, dazzling details (clear glitter glue from SU!), paint brush

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Stitched Snowflake

Hi everyone.  I had a bit of time to play in my studio yesterday.  I didn't get much else accomplished, except for making a batch of Christmas sugar cookies.  It's my third batch and they are in the freezer, ready to be thawed, iced and decorated close to Christmas.  It's a tradition in our family to have these sweet delights.  Each batch makes seven dozen ... and I'll be making four batches this year.  Yep, that's a LOT of sugar cookies. :)  Most will be given to family for gifts.

On to my card.  First, I want to thank my sweet friend, Karen (Snippets).  She sent me these stitched snowflakes LAST year and I'm just getting around to using them. Thank you so much Karen! :)

I saw the challenge at Merry Monday (#181 - blue, white with texture)  and this idea popped into my head.  It actually turned out how I expected, which is unusual for me. :)

I used a background stamp that is all Christmas sayings (love it), and heat embossed in white onto soft blue card stock.  I love the texture and dimension from the embossing.  Then I layered three white snowflakes to create a thick die to "lift" it from the tag, adding a smaller blue snowflake on top.  A simple stamped sentiment (this is very pale blue ink, so it's actually better in real life than in the photo), and some baker's twine and my card was done.  Easy, peasy and so fun! :)

Check out the challenge at Merry Monday to see all the amazing cards from their very talented design team.  I know you'll be inspired to play along. :)

Thanks for coming by for a visit!

Stamps:  Snowman Sayings (Amy R); Christmas Story (Penny Black)
Paper:  White (Neenah); Bashful Blue (SU!)
Ink:  Versamark; Bashful Blue (SU!)
Accessories & Tools:  Stitched tag die (Lil' Inkers), Stitched snowflake die-cuts from my friend Karen, white embossing powder, heat tool, white baker's twine (SU!)

Merry Monday #181

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Stenciled Christmas Tree

Hi everyone.  While the tag event was running, I didn't post any other cards ... but I was busy making lots more!  :)  Managed to get lots of Christmas cards done ... mostly versions of a few simple designs, making them in different colours.  But besides those, I did find some time to try out a stencil from STAMPlorations that I've had for a while, but hadn't used yet.

I LOVE the modern, graphic, stylized tree.  For the card above, I started with a piece of smooshed inka gold with peacock feathers distress re-inker left over from this video tutorial I did a little while ago.  I cut the panel down, and then stenciled over top ... first with gold ink, and then once that was dry, clear glass bead gel was added on top of that.  The glass bead gel is so pretty and sparkly ... but it does take a while to dry, so I always plan to leave it overnight.  I didn't want to take away from the pretty panel, so simply stamped a gold sentiment to finish the card.

I'm entering this into a few challenges that are running right now:

Sparkle #51 - Anything Goes
CAS on Sunday #72 - Christmas
AAA Cards #53 - Anything Goes
STAMPlorations - Stencil Sunday #18 + Nov. Mixed Media

Thanks for dropping by for a visit!

Stamps:  Mixed Christmas Sentiments (Happy Little Stampers)
Paper:  White card base (Neenah); Mixed Media paper for smooshed panel
Ink:  Delicata gold (Tsukineko); Peacock Re-inker (Tim Holtz)
Accessories & Tools:  ARTplorations Christmas Tree stencil (STAMPlorations), Inka Gold wax paste, water mister, Clear Glass Bead gel (Golden), palette knife

Sparkle #51 - Anything Goes
CAS on Sunday #72 - Christmas
AAA Cards #53 - Anything Goes
STAMPlorations - Stencil Sunday #18 + Nov. Mixed Media

Monday, November 23, 2015

Rainbow Snowy Sky

Hi everyone.  Today I'm sharing a card that is a CASE of this amazing card by TaeEun (rainbow in november).  When I saw her card, I completely fell in love with the colourful sky and bokeh technique she used.  I had to make one of these for myself.  Thank you so much for the inspiration TaeEun!!

I sponged distress inks onto my card panel, starting just off center with pink, and moving outwards, trying to add colours that would overlap and blend well.  Then I used the dot stamps from the HLS Mix Mash stamp set, stamping them with white pigment ink and then blending them out with a paper towel to soften them.  To finish the background, I diluted white acrylic paint with water and then splattered (A LOT!) over top. :)  I added a simple die-cut snowbank and white tree ... and then stamped the sentiment in soft gray so that it didn't compete with the background.

Stamps:  Mix Mash and Mixed Christmas Sentiments (Happy Little Stampers)
Paper:  White (Neenah)
Ink:  Picked Raspberry, Ripe Persimmon, Mustard Seed, Peacock Feathers, Wilted Violet, Salty Ocean (Distress Inks by Tim Holtz); White Pigment ink (Hero Arts);  Smoky Slate (SU!)
Accessories & Tools:  Sponges, water mister, brush for splattering, Snowdrifts die (My Favorite Things), Swirly Tree die (Memory Box)

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Happy 3rd Birthday ATCAS!

ATCAS is celebrating it's 3rd birthday!!  YAY!!

Hi everyone.  It's the start of a new challenge at ATCAS.  The challenge this time is being hosted by me :)  ...

We have a whole bunch of sponsors to celebrate our 3rd birthday at ATCAS, with lots of prizes and fun give-aways.  Please check out the challenge HERE to read all about it.

There are lots of ways to add dimension to your cards.  My favourite is die-cuts. Today's card is made with just that.  I die-cut the leafy sprigs in green card stock and then sponged more green around the edges to add shading.  I die-cut three of the flowers, sponged the edges with yellow and orange inks, shaped and layered them to create a lot of dimension.  The center finishes off the flower ... these are actually mini sun punches, sponged with more orange, shaped and rolled into small cones, and then placed close together to create this dimensional center.  Click HERE to see a written tutorial on how I made these flowers.  To finish the card, I stamped the sentiment is the same green ink as the leaves.

We are so happy to have Gerrina (Gerrina's creatieve wereld) as our Guest Designer again for this challenge.  Please click HERE to see Gerrina's "Dimension" card, along with the cards from the rest of our talented Design Team.  Then make a CAS card that has dimension and join in the fun.  Hope to see you in the gallery!

And thanks for dropping by for a visit!!

Stamps:  Fun Birthday Sentiments (Happy Little Stampers)
Paper:  White card base and flower (Neenah); Old Olive, Tangerine Tango (SU!)
Ink:  Daffodil Delight, Pumpkin Pie, Tangerine Tango, Old Olive (SU!)
Accessories & Tools:  Little Leaves die (Sizzix), Lovely Aster die (Memory Box), mini sun punch (Punch Bunch), stylus and mat for shaping, sponges,

ATCAS#77 - Dimension

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Missing Autumn

Hi everyone.  Autumn is coming to a close and I realized that I have made very few autumn cards this year.  They are one of my favourites to make, second only to Christmas cards. The time has been a busy one for me and the season has just slipped away.  But before it's gone, I'm going to share this CAS card I made a little while ago, but haven't had time to blog until now. :)

This is a super simple card.  I die-cut the maple leaf from watercolour paper and sponged with red, orange and yellow inks (just randomly over the leaf).  Then I spritzed with water to let the inks blend.  Once dry, I splattered with a little diluted brown ink.  Simple design that was easy to make.

I mounted the leaf onto a piece of text DSP, adding a stamped sentiment at the bottom in brown.  I felt it needed just a little something more, so cut a small strip of the same colour of brown card stock to add to the bottom to ground my panel.


Just a reminder that my tag event link-up is still open for another three days! :)  It will close on Nov. 22, so if you haven't had time to link up your mixed media Christmas tags yet, there's still lots of time.  Winners will be announced on Nov. 29th.  Good luck to everyone!

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!!

Stamps:  Thinking of You (Happy Little Stampers)
Paper:  White card base (Neenah); Watercolour (Arches 140 lb. cold press); Early Espresso card stock (SU!)
Ink:  Real Red, Tangerine Tango, Daffodil Delight, Early Espresso (SU!)
Accessories & Tools:  Text DSP (I {Heart} Summer by Simple Stories), Maple Leaf die (Small Leaves 2 from Cheery Lynn), sponges, water mister, paint brush for splattering

Monday, November 16, 2015

Happy Birthday Evan!

Hi everyone.  Today I'm sharing the birthday card I made for my oldest son, Evan.  It was his birthday a few days ago, and the family met at his place last night.  We ordered in dinner from a restaurant and enjoyed spending the evening together.  It was great to see everyone, and with being at Cooper's house, he was able to get to bed at his regular time --- which is always good for little ones. :)

I've been having some fun playing with the embossing folder technique on regular card stock.  For this background, I used Peacock Feathers and Vintage Photo distress inks and a woodgrain folder.   Spritzed with a little water and "stamped" my folder onto white card stock.  I'm really happy with how it turned out.

For the leaf sprig, I die-cut it from watercolour paper and then dragged it through the same colours of distress inks.  It didn't give me the depth of colour I was looking for ... and I was being impatient :) ... so I dried it with my heat tool and then sponged over top with Tempting Turquoise and Baked Brown Sugar dye inks from Stampin' Up.  I'm happy how the colours worked together.  I added a frame and a simple birthday sentiment stamped in black.

That's it for me today.  Just been playing around with a few different techniques and having fun. :)

Stamps:  Mix Mash (Happy Little Stampers)
Paper:  White (Neenah); Watercolour (Arches 140 lb. cold press)
Ink:  Peacock Feathers, Vintage Photo (Distress Inks from Tim Holtz); Tempting Turquoise, Baked Brown Sugar (SU!); Black (Memento)
Accessories & Tools:  Woodgrain embossing folder (Sizzix for SU!), water mister, Rectangle Nestabilities (Spellbinder), Little Leaves die (Sizzix)

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Day Twelve ... Twelve Tags of Christmas

Hi everyone.  Welcome to Day Twelve ... the final day of the Twelve Tags of Christmas event.

I'm a little sad it's coming to an end.  It's been so much fun sharing my tags with you over the past twelve days.  And I am so thankful to my Guest Designers.  Their tags have all been amazing and I appreciate them taking the time to help me with this event.  A big thank you and virtual warm hug to each and every one of my fabulous Guest Designers!

I'm here with my last Mixed Media Christmas tag for the event ... along with THREE fabulous tags made by my wonderful Guest Designers.  We hope that you'll come join us by linking up your own tag below.  The link-up will remain open for another week to give participants lots of time to make a tag and join in.  Hope to see you in gallery!! :)


Background is smooshed inka gold, over stamped in gold with a mixed media background stamp.  Gold paint was added to clear embossing gel and stenciled in a harlequin design.  Small strips of green glitter paper in different widths are added at the bottom.  The wreath is made with pine sprig die-cuts out of more green glitter paper, and the Merry is die-cut from Inka Gold sponged card stock.

* * * * *

Guest Designers

Welcome to Bonnie (Stamping with Klass).  Bonnie and I  are team mates at Happy Little Stampers, designing cards for the CAS challenge as well as for the new line of stamps.  Bonnie is an extremely talented card artist making mostly CAS designs.  But she is flexing her creative muscles and joining me again this year with an amazing mixed media tag. Make sure to check out Bonnie's blog to see how she made the gorgeous tag below.


Ohhh ... I LOVE all the shine from this tag filled with gold deliciousness!  Thank you Bonnie! xx

* * * * *

I'm also joined today by Ingrid (Ingrid's Crafts Corner).  Ingrid is so talented and I have learned a lot from her.  She experiments with lots of different mixed media products and freely shares her knowledge on her blog.  She is also a designer for "Simply Cards and Papercraft" magazine.  Check out Ingrid's blog to get all the details on how she made this amazing tag!

This is so beautiful Ingrid!  I love all the texture and sparkle of your background .. and your poinsettia is absolutely gorgeous!  Thank you so much!! xx

* * * * *

And now for the final tag.  This beautiful creation is from my friend, Pamellia (My Little Craft Things).  Isn't it amazing??!!  Pamellia makes the most gorgeous layered creations.  Every detail is so well thought out and perfectly done.  Not only does she make beautiful cards, tags, and sculptures ... but she also makes a lot of her own mixed media products and freely shares her "recipes" on her blog for her embossing pastes and more.  She has just ventured into making video tutorials, so check out Pamellia's Channel on YouTube --- you'll be glad you did.  You'll find all the details for Pamellia's stunning tag on her blog.


LOVE the soft, delicate blue background paired with your white accents and then dramatic edging of black ... WOW!!  Thanks Pamellia!  xx


Meet the Judge ---

My son Jeremy is back as judge again this year.  He has a degree in Visual Arts and a Master of Arts Education.  Jer is one of my biggest supporters for my card making and encourages me to try new things. :)  He is also one of my best "customers" :) ... making sure to call "dibs" on any of my cards that he is particularly drawn to. :)

Jer is looking forward to going through all the incredible tag entries we've had this year and picking his favourites.  Thanks so much Jer!! xx

The winners will be posted on Nov. 29th on this blog. There's still lots of time to enter as the link will remain open until Nov. 22. :)

* * * * *

I want to thank you for joining me for my Christmas Tag event.  I really appreciate those that took the time to share their wonderful tags ... they are all so creative! And thanks to those that left messages of support ... it means so much! :)

If you want to check out the whole selection of tags (mine, guest designers and entrants), check out the Twelve Tags of Christmas 2015 Pinterest board --- click HERE.

And again, a big thank you to all my Guest Designers --- Shirley, Karen B, Kathy, Jules, Kylie, Karen DMary, Marina, Karen M, Nancy S, Maria, Shery, Nancy L, Darnell, Julia, Lee-Anne, Linda, Vicki, Deepti, Jenny, Hazel, Susan, Bonnie, Ingrid, and Pamellia ... you all out-did yourself!  Each and every tag is unique, creative and inspiring ... you girls are the BEST!! :)

And thanks to Happy Little Stampers and Dee's Artsy Impressions ... for donating the random draw prizes.


Saturday, November 14, 2015

Day Eleven ... Twelve Tags of Christmas

Hi everyone.  Welcome to Day Eleven of the Twelve Tags of Christmas event.

Back again today with three tags to share with you.  I hope you'll be inspired by the tags below.  Thanks for coming by ... and join in the challenge if you have time --- we'd love to see you in the gallery!

Click HERE to see the Twelve Tags of Christmas Pinterest Board with tags from me, along with my wonderful Guest Designers and participants.  More tags will be added each day! :)

Rules and Prizes for the Challenge are listed in the right-hand column, just below the Twelve Tags Badge.  Thank you!!


Embossing paste over stencil background, coated in mix of iridescent and gold embossing powders and heated.  Die-cut poinsettia, shaded with ink, shaped and coated with red glitter glue.  Clear seed bead center.

* * * * *

Guest Designers

Today I'm joined by my friend, and fellow team mate at HLS, Hazel (My Card Attic).  Hazel is so talented.  I'm always in awe of her gorgeous cards and tags ... her designs speak to me. :)  Drop by Hazel's blog to find out the full details on how she made the beautiful tag below.


LOVE the soft colours and bokeh design of your background, Hazel.  And I love all the special touches you've added with the glitter snowflakes, stenciled stars, and black accents --- GORGEOUS!  Thank you! xx

* * * * *

I'm also joined today by Susan (Cardmaker's Garret).  Susan is a CAS girl at heart, but is experimenting more and more with mixed media.  We live fairly close, so we get together to exchange ideas, share products that we've bought and what we've learned using them, and we demonstrate favourite techniques.  It's been a lot of fun and I have learned a lot from Susan.  Check out her blog to get all the details on how she made her beautiful tag below.


LOVE your design Susan ... and love all the sparkle and shine from the gold.
So pretty!!  Thank you! xx

See you tomorrow with the last set of mixed media Christmas tags!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Day Ten ... Twelve Tags of Christmas

Hi everyone.  Welcome to Day Ten of the Twelve Tags of Christmas event.

This tag event is just flying by.  I hope you've been inspired by the tags I've shared so far.  Aren't my Guest Designers amazing??  Come play along!

Click HERE to see the Twelve Tags of Christmas Pinterest Board with tags from me, along with my wonderful Guest Designers and participants.  More tags will be added each day! :)

Rules and Prizes for the Challenge are listed in the right-hand column, just below the Twelve Tags Badge.  Thank you!!


Watercoloured spray background.  Stenciled over top with glass bead gel in Quatrefoil design.  Torn snow hills and die-cut silver glitter paper trees with gold foil stars.

* * * * *

Guest Designers

Today I'm joined by my friend Deept (Dee's Art Utopia).  Deepti is an artist and makes THE most amazing cards.  She launched her own line of stamps a few months back called Dee's Artsy Impressions (sold through STAMPlorations) ... and she has started teaching on-line watercolouring classes through Craftsy Blog.  I'm so happy for her!!  Make sure to check out her blog.

Her stamps are beautiful, as you will see below.  She used her newly released Christmas Bell Medley stamp set to make her tag.  And she has generously donated the same stamp set as a prize for this tag event.  Thank you so much Deepti!!


GORGEOUS tag Deepti!!  Thank you! xx

* * * * *

Also joining me today is my friend, Jenny (My Paper Epiphany).  I LOVE Jenny's mixed media cards.  She has such an eye for colour and design.  And I love the shading she'd used to give this sweet tag so much visual depth.  Such a wonderful mix of elements.  Check out Jenny's blog to get the full details on her tag.


LOVE the fun design and gorgeous colours of this tag Jenny!  Thanks so much! xx


See you tomorrow with more mixed media Christmas tags!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Day Nine ... Twelve Tags of Christmas

Hi everyone.  Welcome to Day Nine of the Twelve Tags of Christmas event.

Three more tags for today ... hopefully we'll inspire you to play along.  Come join in the fun!! :)

Click HERE to see the Twelve Tags of Christmas Pinterest Board with tags from me, along with my wonderful Guest Designers and participants.  More tags will be added each day! :)

Rules and Prizes for the Challenge are listed in the right-hand column, just below the Twelve Tags Badge.  Thank you!!


Sprayed background in red, dry embossed with script which is highlighted with Inka Gold.  Scribble circle (gift from my friend Barb --- thanks Barb!), coated with red glitter glue.  Poinsettia die-cut from Inka Gold sponged card stock, shaped for dimension with stylus and mat.

* * * * *

Guest Designers

Today, my good friend Mary (Carolina Cards) is joining me.  Mary is such a warm, loving person, and we have become good on-line friends.  She also makes beautiful cards and tags.  Mary is especially talented when it comes to colouring.  She is an expert with Copics and I am always in awe of her talent.  Please check out Mary's blog to see the full details on how she made the beautiful tag below.


LOVE these poinsettia's Mary ... so beautiful.  And love the gold stenciling in the background.  Thanks so much Mary! xx

* * * * *

I'm also joined today by Marina (Marina's Craft Space).  Marina makes fantastic CAS cards ... and she is a whiz when it comes to mixed media.  Marina also has lots of wonderful tutorials on her YouTube channel.  Drop by her blog to see how she made this adorable tag below.


This is so sweet, Marina!!  LOVE the creative design and all the texture on this fun tag.  Thank you! xx


See you tomorrow!