Monday, November 30, 2009

Collage Corner: Color and Texture

Today, I decided to not only create a collage effect with images but also with texture to make some hangings for the upcoming Christmas season.

The craziness of the holiday season tends to make me yearn for simpler times and simpler things. I decided for this month's Collage Corner, I would give you a simple and fast project.

Quick to do, color collages can be quite attractive and create pleasing blend of images. To find out more about making Color Collages and using many other fabulous techniques, check out the Technique Junkies newsletter. I used shades of caramel, green and brown to create two 4" x 4" collaged panels for my hangings.

To create an interesting field of color and texture to center these panels on, I turned to my stash of Paper Temptress papers. I knew I wanted to replicate the main colors of the collage - green, red and the underlying white - so I looked in my Christmas Sampler Pack.

To get different textures, I chose Green Plastic, Red Crepe Ruche and Solar White Classic Column. The combination gave me rich colors with a soft glossy look, a natural rough texture and the pretty stripes of the Classic Column. I love the interplay of papers with such different characters!
I ran all the different panels through my Xyron machine to make sure that I got full coverage with my adhesive. The final white layer I adhered to cardboard panels to provide the finished product with a little more weight to help it hang properly.

Here are the finished results:

Joyous Noel Pair
Stamps: Winter Snow and Season of Giving (Oxford Impressions)
Cardstock: white glossy; green plastic, red ruche, solar white classic column (PaperTemptress); thin cardboard
Ink: Hunter Green, Garden Green, Creamy Caramel, Real Red (Stampin Up); Antique Linen (Ranger Distress Inks)
Embellishments: 4 gold eyelets; 5/8" white organdy ribbon
Tools: Xyron machine; Crop-a-dile

Why not try your hand at your own holiday hangings using this simple technique? We'd love to see what you create if you do!

We hope you join us tomorrow when we start De-Stressing the Holidays and have fun with some great distress techniques and holiday projects, including creations for both Christmas and Chanukah!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Reasons to Stamp in December

As if Christmas and Hanukkah alone don't give you enough reasons to make cards during the busy month of December, we have some more ideas to keep your creativity flowing. The fabulous Gingersnap Creations Design Team have provided you with some eye candy to inspire you even more. Let's get started:

1 - Cookie Cutter Week

Baking and holidays go hand in hand. Why not compliment your homemade treats with some handcrafted bags, tags and boxes!

2 - Bingo Month

What a great excuse to pull out all those bingo card backgrounds and vintage bingo cards! Put bingo daubers, which can be used in lots of fun ways, into the mix and you have an irresistable month of card making inspiration!

Artwork by Lynn Stevens

Artwork by Hels Sheridan

3 - Read a New Book Month

Why not make a book-themed card to go with that new novel you are giving your sweetie for the holidays? Not enough time to make a card? Why not try a bookmark, the perfect companion to that literary gift?

Artwork by Sharon Briss

4 - National Dice Day

Use the idea of dice to create a game-themed card or use the black and white color scheme of the dice as inspiration for a striking creation.

5 - Blue Jeans Day

Casual, rugged and comfortable - blue jeans can inspire so many different ideas. Use the color, the texture or the pattern of jeans to create a unique piece of art. Add a pocket to a card or color in some denims on your favorite character image.

6 - St. Nicholas Day

Here's a day devoted to the inspiration for the modern Santa Claus. Have some fun with some vintage images or some modern versions of this beloved icon of giving.

Artwork by Lynn Stevens

7 - National Cotton Candy Day

Fluffy and pink, cotton candy is a happy treat. Why not make a candy-themed card for a sweet friend?

8 - Bad Hair Day

We've all been there. Here's a fun theme to make a great gal pal card. Use your imagination and comb through your stamp stash for this one.

9 - Christmas Card Day

Do we need a day specifically for Christmas cards? Well, I do as I use this day as my deadline for getting my holiday greetings in the mail. Have some fun and devote a day to making some Christmas magic with your supplies.

Artwork by Laura Liddell

10 - Dewey Decimal System Day

Today is a great time to make a little something for your favorite librarian!

Artwork by Sharon Briss

11 - Chanukah begins

The Festival of Lights is a fantastic celebration of miracles, dedication and perseverance. Why not make a creation to brighten someone's day this holiday season?

Artwork by Sharon Briss

12 - Poinsettia Day

These brilliant red flowers with their striking dark green leaves make a great focal point for any Christmas card. Why not send some bright blooms in the heart of winter to make someone's day flower with friendship?

Artwork by Hels Sheridan

Artwork by Laura Liddell

13 - Ice Cream and Violins Day

While there is very little background on this obscure holiday, it does bring to mind two great stamping themes - ice cream and music. Let your imagination go wild and create something frosty and fabulous or magnificiently musical!

14 - Buy a Tree Day

The practice of decorating a Christmas tree traces its origins back to Northern Germany and the 16th century. Since then, it has become one of the icons of the holidays.

Not into Christmas trees? Why not include a tree-themed card with the gift of a tree planted to help the environment or to honor someone special. There are several excellent charities that plant trees in communities all over the world.

Artwork by Ali Manning

15 - International Language Week

Have a friend that speaks another language or lives in another country? Take some time today to create a card dedicated to their mother tongue and say hello in another language!

16 - Boston Tea Party happened on this day in 1773

The legendary Boston Tea Party happened 236 years ago. Create some art to commemorate this important event in American history. Of course, you can also just send a card to your favorite tea drinker!

Artwork by Erika Taylor

17 - Wright Brothers Day

Fly high with the invention of the Wright Brothers and salute aviation today! Make a card for your favorite pilot or aviation afficionado! Take another direction and just honor the spirit of invention!

Artwork by Sharon Briss

18 - Underdog Day

This day, celebrated annually since 1976, honors unsung heroes like Dr. Watson from the Sherlock Holmes stories and Robinson Crusoe's Man Friday. Do you know someone that's an unsung hero? Why not send them some art and let them know that you appreciate their efforts?

Artwork by Laura Liddell

19 - Chanukah ends

With all the candles lit, Chanukah is coming to an end but it's never to early to start on some great cards for next year!

Artwork by Sharon Briss

20 - Crossword Puzzle Day

If you have a friend that is addicted to the grid, why not send them a note with a crossword puzzle theme? Incorporate a crossword puzzle background or create your own crossword with a special message in a wonderfully unique creation.

21 - First Day of Winter/Winter Solstice

It's the turning point of winter, the shortest day of the year. Let's welcome the change in the season with wonderful winter cards!

Artwork by Joanne Wardle

22 - Lincoln Tunnel opens to traffic in New York City

Ah, the joys of traveling and traffic! Why not poke fun at this every day trial of life in the city? Have some fun with transportation themed cards and creations.

23 - Festivus

Although any Seinfeld fan knows about Festivus, the Festival for the "Rest of Us", the first Festivus was actually celebrated at the home of writer, Dan O'Keefe, in 1965. To find out more, you can check out the lengthy entry in Wikipedia. In terms of making art, just invent your own Festivus card and send it to someone who will appreciate the sentiment.

24 - Christmas Eve

A time for stockings, Santa cookies and dancing sugarplums, Christmas Eve has gained almost as much tradition as Christmas. Why not use this day to capture your own traditions in art?

Artwork by Sharon Briss

25 - Christmas Day

Bring out the spirit of Christmas in your art! Holidays are great times to get back in touch with friends and family who live far away. Send some love in the form of a papercrafting creation!

Artwork by Hels Sheridan

Artwork by Laura Liddell

26 - Kwanzaa

Kwanzaa is a 7-day celebration of African heritage and culture in America. Help someone you know celebrate this holiday with some handmade love.

27 - National Fruitcake Day

Add a stamped tag to your gift of fruitcake this year! Make a fabulous inked gift box for it! Have some fun dressing up this holiday staple.

28 - Chocolate Day

You could be inspired by the rich chocolaty color or by the sweetness of this confection! Have fun making a delicious chocolate creation.

29 - Tick Tock Day

As the year draws to a close, we are ever aware of the passage of time. Use stamping time to create a time-themed creation and send it on to a friend who you haven't contacted for some time.

Artwork by Ali Manning

30 - Rudyard Kipling's Birthday

Rudyard Kipling gave us such wonderful stories as Jungle Book and Rikki Tikki Tavi. Celebrate his birthday with some art with Indian themes or give a nod to the jungle animals that he brought to life as unforgettable characters.

Artwork by Hels Sheridan

31 - New Year's Eve

Party with paper today! It's a party day and party is a great theme to express your joy at the beginning of another year of stamping yet to unfold.

Have a wonderful time creating this month! If you need more inspiration, don't forget to check out this month's challenges and tutorials or go to our archive for more fun ideas!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Counting My Artistic Blessings

On this American Thanksgiving Day, I want to say how thankful I am to be part of the Gingersnap Creations family of talented, supportive and amazing artists!

Our group of Gingersnappers - from the Design Team to the Yahoo Group Members, from the ardent blog followers to the occassional challenge player - is made up of incredible papercrafters and sensational people! I am thankful to have been able to be continually inspired by their art and share in their company this year!

I count you all as blessings in my life!

Stamps: Pilgrim Pets and sentiment from Quilted Pumpkin (Serendipity Stamps)

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

GC32: Random Redhead Challenge - Frames

We're having a Random Redhead Moment here at Gingersnaps and are challenging you to create something that includes a


There are lots of ways to interpret this challenge - you could alter a picture frame, include a frame on a scrapbook layout or frame a stamped image on a card. Think outside the frame! (Sorry, I couldn't resist!)

Artwork by Patricia The PaperTemptress

Our November Challenge sponsor, PaperTemptress, has graciously donated some wonderful blog candy!

The randomly drawn winner of the blog candy will receive their choice of one of the following 4 variety packs of PaperTemptress paper: Spring Premium Package, Valentine's Day Package, HiT Summer Fun Package or the Christmas Paper Package.

Here's a peak at the Christmas Paper Package:

For your chance to win this fabulous blog candy, just follow the simple guidelines below:

1) Make a papercrafting or mixed media creation that includes a frame.

2) Post your creation to your blog or online gallery with a mention and link to this post; and

3) Come back to this post and leave a comment including a link to your creation or use Mister Linky below. Remember to make it a link to the specific post or picture and not just a general link to your blog or gallery. We need to be able to find your art!

For more information on our challenges and directions on linking, please check out our FAQ.

One winner for a variety package of PaperTemptress paper, as described above, will be chosen at random from the qualifying submissions on December 22, 2009. You have until December 20, 2009 to enter!

Here's some beautiful artwork by the Gingersnaps Design Team to inspire you:

Artwork by Laura Liddell

Artwork by Jo Capper-Sandon

Artwork by Debby Boltman

Artwork by Erika Taylor

Artwork by Ali Manning

But wait, there's more! We have these beautiful creations by the PaperTemptress Design Team to share with you:

Artwork by Diana Weber

Artwork by Patricia The PaperTemptress

Artwork by Anita Autore

We can't wait to see your creations. Please use Mr Linky below.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Wrap Up: GC28 - Thankfulness

Here at Gingersnap Creations we are thankful to all of you who participated in the Thankfulness Challenge. We love seeing your creations and visiting your blogs - keep 'em coming!

Before we view your lovely artwork, the Cornish Heritage Farms stamps go to.....

at A Wee Blether

Congratulations, Angela. Please email us at within 30 days (by December 24) to claim your prize.

Enjoy the show!

Come back tomorrow for another Random Redhead Challenge!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Clean and Simple - Let the Paper Shine!

With a busy holiday season fast approaching, this is the perfect time of year for me to make some clean and simple Christmas cards. But I still wanted them to have a 'wow' factor! So, to help me achieve this, I reached for some beautiful papers from PaperTemptress.

In order to let this gorgeous paper shine, I kept my images fairly subtle by heat embossing them in silver and not adding any color. All the images were stamped on Pearl Glimmer card stock for an extra layer of richness. Because of the slightly slick surface of this paper, you do need to use an embossing buddy to reduce static and stamp firmly, so the image doesn't smear. But it's certainly worth a little more effort because the results are lovely.

The first card uses Silk Silver Lustre card stock as its base with an image from Stampin' Up!

Vintage Silver Lustre card stock is the base for this card with an image from Stampington.

And last, but not least, the classy Laser Silver Lustre is the base of this card with another image from Stampin' Up!

I hope these cards have inspired you to take some of the stress out of the holidays and make some clean, simple but classy Christmas cards for your friends and family.

Note: PaperTemptress is offering a Silver Lustre Package at the moment, which is definitely worth checking out!

If you want to a chance to win some PaperTemptress goodies, then take part in our Cozy Home Challenge, Button Challenge and Monochromatic Challenge.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

November Home Page Art - Part Deux

At the beginning of the month, I told you that we had, once again, had a tie for Home Page Artist for November! It seems we have such talented and amazing Gingersnappers in our Yahoo Group that it is very hard to choose a winner!

Both our winning artists have graced our posts before, Lisa Somerville and Lynn Stevens, and we are very happy to have them both back!

A couple of weeks ago, I shared my interview with Lisa Somerville. Today, I want to share my conversation with Lynn Stevens!

Stamp from I Brake for Stamps.

I asked Lynn what inspired the design of her journal. She responded:
"I love working with mixed media and incorporating different textures and elements into my art. Besides doing the submission for the contest, I knew I wanted to create something I could give away as blog candy for my one year blogaversary."

I loved the way she used texture and color on her journal. I asked her how did she created the title block and the family image. She told me:
"The block title "Our Family Tree" actually came from a vintage folder that belonged to my Grandmother. I had copies made then did a gel transfer from it. The Family image is a stamp from I Brake for Stamps and depicted the perfect image I was looking for. I stamped this on vellum."

I recently heard that Lynn was featured in the lastest Somerset Studio. I mentioned that she had used lace for some of those pieces just as she had on her Family Tree Journal. I wanted to know what drews her to this delicate embellishment and she shared:
"I love all things vintage and have quite a collection now. I love using bits and pieces in my art - old lace, buttons, religious cards, medals, and crosses. They all have special meaning to me. I was so thrilled when Somerset Studios published so many of my pieces. It was quite unexpected."

To find out more information about Lynn's published pieces in Somerset Studio, please check out her blog post about it.

We are quickly coming into the season for family holidays, so I asked Lynn which of the upcoming family holidays was her favorite. She told me:
"Oh, Christmas is by far my favorite. We have our family traditions. A Christmas Eve with family and close friends; Christmas day we spend at our families homes. Every third year, we throw a Huge Christmas party.

But my favorite of all is decorating. Our entire home is filled with decorations. The bay window has my Elf collection with around 50 different elves with an indoor and outdoor scene. Our yard looks like the Griswold's. (seriously) I have different themes set up all over our yard that I have made over the years - a penguin village, a gingerbread village, a choir of snowmen, - and candy canes and lollipops surround the front yard. Thousands of lights. A big Merry Chrismoose on our roof. We have even been featured in the newspaper!

It's a huge undertaking to set up. Our son helps us, but still takes the three of us about a week. We start the day after Thanksgiving. Our power bill takes a huge jump for the month of December, but its worth every penny."

To see more of Lynn's fabulous art, please visit her at Trash to Treasure Art.

Remember, you too can be featured as a Home Page Artist by becoming a Gingersnap Creations Yahoo Group Member and winning our monthly contest.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Cooking Up an Accordian Album

Yesterday, I reviewed Cookbooking by Barbara Winkler and showed off a creation inspired by the projects in this fun book. Today, I would like to show you how I made it.

Materials Needed:

1 - 12" x 12" piece of cardstock
1 - 12" x 12" piece of designer paper
5 - 8.5" x 11" pieces or 2 12x12 pieces of cardstock
* I used two pieces of green, 2 pieces of red and 1 piece of burgundy
4 pieces of opaque vellum (laser-friendly)
desired stamp and collage images
various inks
glue stick or other adhesive
bone folder

Step 1: Creating the Accordian Album

Start with a piece of 12" x 12" cardstock and cut it into two equal pieces, each 12" x 6".

Fold the first piece in half and flatten edge with a bone folder.

Fold again in the opposite direction, making the open edge touch the middle fold and making a mountain fold to oppose the valley fold you just made. Repeat with other half of the paper and then repeat the entire process with the second piece of cardstock.

You should end up with two accordians that measure 6" x 3" when folded shut. Interlace the two accordians to create a larger album. I adhered the two sides together with a glue stick ensuring that I maintained the pattern of the folds.

Step 2: Create the Inner Panels

I cut 12 panels from the cardstock, 5.75" x 2.75" in size, from the cardstock. I used Jupiter Red Metallic and Emerald Metallic cardstock from PaperTemptress, cutting 6 of each color. I loved look of these two shimmering cardstocks. I then cut my designer paper, Wreath from Kaisercraft, into 4 strips of 12 x 3. I then cut these strips into 12 rectangles of 3.5" x 3". These pieces of paper make up the pockets for the recipe tags to sit in.

The Pocket

I like things that do not require a ton of measuring. To start, I put the paper face down on my work surface. You should be looking at the rectangle so that it is wider than it is tall. I then folded over the "top" edge to form lip, about 1/4" deep. Then I placed my cardstock panel approximately in the middle of the rectangle.

My next folds were to fold the desiger paper rectangle around the edges of the cardstock panel. I ran my bone folder over the edges to make them more crisp and then opened the folds up again. My next fold was to fold the "bottom" around the panel. Again, I smoothed the fold with a bone folder and opened up the folds again.

At this point, I took my scissors and snipped the corners off the bottom of the pocket so that it would sit nice and flat underneath the panel. Use the folds as a guide as to where to cut.

Voila, a pocket!! I applied the glue stick to the cardstock, set the pocket in place as it was when I folded the tabs. Next, I pressed the pocket tabs down into the glue to hold them flat. I then ran my bone folder over these tabs, further flattening them into the glue. Finally, I added more glue to the edges of the tabs and pressed the finished panel down onto the accordian album.

So that I did not need to measure every single pocket, I simply lined up the one I was working on with a completed one before doing the final bottom fold.

Once, I had glued down all the panels, I created two panels from a third carstock to be used on the front and back cover of the book. My base paper for the covers was a wonderful leather-look paper called Cordovan Leather from the PaperTemptress. The texture is subtle but very attractive.

Step 3: Create the Recipe Tags

For this part of the album, I used simple shipping tags. They matched the light tan I had chosen for the base cardstock and the accent color in the flourishes on the designer paper.

I gathered up my Old Paper, Tea-Dye, Fired Brick and Pine Needles Distress inks from Ranger. I used the Old Paper ink and the ATC collages from the Holiday Collections set and an element from the Reindeer Flight set - all Stampers Anonymous - to create a subtle pattern on one side of each tag. To this pattern, I added a tea-dye flourish (from the Take Flight set), green trees and red snowflakes (both from the Reindeer Flight set) to create a simple color collage. I finished off each tag with a piece of ribbon.

For the other side of the tag, I stamped a reindeer image, also from Stampers Anonymous' Reindeer Flight set, in Tea-Dye distress ink.

Step 4: Adding the Recipes

I created a word processing document with a landscape orientation and 3 vertical columns. I the typed my selected recipes into this format, one recipe per column. I printed these recipes on digital vellum paper from PaperTemptress. I particularly like this vellum because it is more opaque than other ones I have encountered and it can be printed on so easily. The opaque quality allows the writing on the paper to still be easily visible even if there is a pattern behind or, as I did here, stamping on the other side.

I stamped snowflakes and flourishes on the underside of the recipes. I then accordian-folded the recipes (what else?) and attached them to the backside of the tags with Tombo vellum adhesive. You can see the reindeer on the tag ever so slightly through the vellum and there's just a hint of snowflakes ad flourishes visible. A very pleasing effect!

Step 5: The Covers

As I mentioned, I chose an elegant burgundy leather-look paper, Cordovan Leather, from the PaperTemptress. I applied stickers (typewriter keys), dimensional embellishments (game piece letters) and some collage pieces from Crafty Secrets and Artchix. My final touch was to add a piece of gold ribbon which is adhered to one cover only (this is important if you ever want to open your album) with double-sided tape.

The whole thing was quite fun to put together and now I have a keepsake and a decoration for the upcoming holiday season! I hope you try this fun project, adding your own details and style!

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