December 27, 2011

ColourQ #117

Hello!  It's ColourQ Tuesday!  Hooray!

Arielle is taking it easy on us this week, as many of us are likely still in Christmas hangover mode.  *heehee*  This week's color palette is black, white, and your choice of any one color.  Fun!

I'm still recovering from hosting my husband's family for Christmas, and now I'm trying to get everything ready for our trip to Indiana to see my family.  So things will continue to be a little quiet around here for the next week or so.

I kept my design fairly simple, using red as my third color to make a Valentine's Day card.  The white cardstock is stamped with music score at the bottom and debossed with the sheet music impression plate at the top.  I die cut 2 heart-shaped windows at the top and placed red cardstock behind them.

The black border was cut with PTI's Photo Finishers die, then stamped and heat embossed with a sentiment from WPlus9's Spring Post.  The largest heart was die cut and wrapped with Maraschino baker's twine.

Cardstock:  Papertrey Ink (True Black, Pure Poppy, white)
Stamps:  Papertrey Ink (Background Basics:  Sheet Music), WPlus9 Design Studio (Spring Post)
Ink:  Inkadinkadoo (Black), Versamark
Tools:  Papertrey Ink (Heart Prints, Photo Finishers dies, Sheet Music impression plate), corner rounder
Accessories:  Filigree (embossing powder), The Twinery (Maraschino twine)

I hope you'll find time to play along this week!  I'm looking forward to seeing the rainbow of colors in the gallery.  And one of my New Year's resolutions is to do a better job at making comments on the blogs I visit, so I'll be sure to stop by and leave you some love when you post your creation!

Thanks for your visit, friends!  Have a great day!

December 24, 2011

Sending Holiday Cheer!

Cardstock:  Papertrey Ink (Dark Chocolate, Pure Poppy), Stampin' Up! (Garden Green)
Stamps:  WPlus9 Design Studio (Poinsettia Patterns)
Ink:  Stampin' Up! (Chocolate Chip)
Tools:  Papertrey Ink (Photo Finishers die, Sheet Music impression plate), Martha Stewart (holly punch)
Accessories:  Ranger (Candy Cane Stickles)

Hi friends!

I just wanted to pop in before the day gets away from me and share the Christmas card that I sent to family and friends.  Most of them have come to expect a photo of our kids, but I wanted to add a handmade touch to the traditional photo card this year.

I kept the design fairly simple so it would be easy to mass produce.  I debossed a Dark Chocolate card base with the music score impression plate to give it a subtle texture.

I ordered PTI's Photo Finishers dies a long time ago anticipating being able to use them with the coordinating stamps, but since those didn't arrive I used a sentiment from WPlus9's Poinsettia Patterns.  Don't my kiddos look full of holiday cheer?

I considered leaving it at that, but then decided to add a simple embellishment in the form of punched holly leaves with red Stickles for berries.  Much better.

To those of you celebrating Christmas this weekend, I want to wish you a wonderful holiday filled with the joy of being with family and friends.  I hope Santa is good to you this year!

Much love to you, friends, and Merry Christmas!

December 22, 2011

Papertrey Ink update

Hi friends!

As you probably remember, I recently vented my frustration over the fact that I had not received the September release prize package that I won from Papertrey Ink, and that I had not heard from Customer Service in several weeks.

I am happy to report that I received an email from Julie at PTI today, in which she apologized and explained that the package had been shipped weeks ago.  I still don't have any tracking information in order to find out where it went, but it obviously didn't make it to me.

Julie generously offered to send another package, and offered to let me replace the Christmas sets in my prize package with other PTI stamp sets.  This seems more than fair, and I greatly appreciate Julie's willingness to make it right.

It was very difficult for me during the last PTI release, feeling disconnected from the festivities and disgruntled over the lack of service I had received when I had a complaint.  I am hopeful that this is a step in the right direction, and that in the future I will be able to put as much faith in PTI's customer service as I already do in their products.

I will keep you all posted here on the blog if there are further developments.

I'll be back with a card tomorrow!  Thanks for stopping by!

December 21, 2011

One more Fair Isle Holiday card--three variations

Cardstock:  Papertrey Ink (Kraft, white)
Stamps:  WPlus9 Design Studio (Fair Isle Greetings, Winter Wishes)
Ink:  Stampin' Up! (Bravo Burgundy, Pear Pizzazz), Clearsnap (Frost White), Inkssentials (white pen)
Tools:  Papertrey Ink (Mat Stack 3, double ended banner die, Linen & Canvas impression plate)
Accessories:  DMC floss

It's quiet out here in blog-land, isn't it?  I'm guessing many of you are like me, with to-do lists growing by the day.  Whether you're celebrating Hanukkah, preparing for Christmas, or putting the finishing touches on your list of New Year's resolutions, I hope you're finding some time to enjoy it!

I finally got my holiday cards in the mail yesterday, so I thought I'd show you the final set I made with WPlus9's Fair Isle Backgrounds and Winter Wishes.  I just had to use those cute mittens!

As you can see, I stamped the Fair Isle pattern on the bottom half of each card front, then added a die cut Mat Stack 3 at the top.  Each one is stamped with the mittens and debossed with the Linen & Canvas impression plate.  I pierced holes at the top of each mitten, threaded some floss through, and tied a bow. The bow is adhered with a tiny drop of Glossy Accents to keep it in place.

Cardstock:  Papertrey Ink (Enchanted Evening, white), Stampin' Up! (Baja Breeze)
Stamps:  WPlus9 Design Studio (Fair Isle Greetings, Winter Wishes)
Ink:  Stampin' Up! (Not Quite Navy, Baja Breeze), Inkssentials (white pen)
Tools:  Papertrey Ink (Mat Stack 3, double ended banner die, Linen & Canvas impression plate)
Accessories:  DMC floss

For the sentiment, I die cut a double-ended banner and stamped my favorite greeting from Winter Wishes.

Cardstock:  Papertrey Ink (Scarlet Jewel, Spring Moss, white)
Stamps:  WPlus9 Design Studio (Fair Isle Greetings, Winter Wishes)
Ink:  Stampin' Up! (Bravo Burgundy), Clearsnap (Lettuce), Inkssentials (white pen)
Tools:  Papertrey Ink (Mat Stack 3, double ended banner die, Linen & Canvas impression plate)
Accessories:  DMC floss

Thanks for taking some time to stop by!  I'll be grocery shopping and cleaning tomorrow, then baking cookies on Friday.  It will be our first year making grain-free treats for Christmas, so hopefully we'll find some recipes that are good substitutes for past favorites.

Enjoy the rest of your week!

December 16, 2011

Fair Isle Greetings, take 2

If I remember correctly, I think I promised you more cards with WPlus9's Fair Isle Backgrounds!  I have two more to share today, both with the same design but different colors.

This is a quick and easy card for mass producing, plus it's relatively flat for mailing.  You could easily leave off the gems and eliminate the foam adhesive to make them totally flat.

The first version uses Not Quite Navy and Baja Breeze, a combo I used previously with this set and really liked.  I used a snowflake punch to create a simple embellishment that highlights the sentiment, from WPlus9's Winter Wishes.

Cardstock:  Papertrey Ink (Enchanted Evening, white)
Stamps:  WPlus9 Design Studio (Fair Isle Backgrounds, Winter Wishes)
Ink:  Stampin' Up! (Not Quite Navy, Baja Breeze)
Tools:  Martha Stewart (snowflake punch)
Accessories:  Michaels (rhinestone)

Version two uses burgundy, spring green, and evergreen and some punched holly leaves embellished with pearl berries.  I scored a "vein" along the length of each holly leaf to make it a little more realistic.

I made 5 of each design in no time at all.  These stamps are incredibly easy to line up, especially if you use a block that has gridlines.  And they stamp beautifully.  :)

Cardstock:  Papertrey Ink (Scarlet Jewel, white)
Stamps:  WPlus9 Design Studio (Fair Isle Backgrounds, Winter Wishes)
Ink:  Clearsnap (Evergreen, Lettuce), Stampin' Up! (Bravo Burgundy)
Tools:  Martha Stewart (holly punch)
Accessories:  Queen & Co. (pearls)

I'd love to make a version of this card with Real Red and Garden Green, but my red ink is looking pretty washed out and needs replenished.  Maybe Santa will put some in my stocking.  *grin*

That's all for today!  I still don't have my photo cards finished that will be sent out to family and friends, but I'm planning to have a marathon crafting session tonight to get them done.  I'll share those soon!

I also have one more design to share that I made with Fair Isle Backgrounds and Winter Wishes, so come back soon for that.

Hope you're having a great day!  Thanks for your visit!

December 14, 2011

A Message about Papertrey Ink

Those of you who come around often know that I generally keep things pretty upbeat on my blog.  I usually go by the old adage, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." 

I'm sorry to say that this post is different.

I know that most of you come here to see a card, be inspired, or just say hello.  You don't expect to hear me complain.  If that's you, I won't be the least bit offended if you decide not to keep reading.  I promise to be back soon with something more cheerful!

As you may know, on September 15 I was thrilled to be named the winner of Papertrey Ink's monthly release night giveaway.  Tomorrow will mark 13 weeks since that announcement.  That's three months.  I was told that prizes usually arrive in 4-6 weeks.  That struck me as ridiculous to begin with, considering how quickly I have received prizes from other companies, but I didn't feel I had any right to complain.  I was getting free stamps after all, right?!

But 3 months have passed, and I still have not received my prize.  A prize that consists of Christmas stamp sets, which I will obviously not be able to use for making holiday cards this year.  I even purchased two of the coordinating die sets that were not included in the prize package, anticipating being able to use them before Christmas.

Unfortunately, that's only half the story.  I emailed PTI Customer Service after 7 weeks had passed, to politely inquire about whether the package had shipped.  Jennifer responded, saying that she would pass the message on to Julie.

Two weeks later, I got an email from Julie saying only "Your prize package was shipped out a while ago.  Please let me know if you did not receive it."  I also received an email from Jennifer saying that the status had been changed to "shipped".

So of course I was a little concerned.  I emailed Customer Service again, asking if they had a tracking number or ship date, thinking I could at least talk to someone at the post office about whether it had been mis-delivered.

Six days later, Julie emailed me to say, "I don't have the tracking number at this moment as I am working from home.  I will get that information for you.  However, if you don't have it by now, I think there is a problem.  I will definitely look into it and get it taken care of.  I am very sorry for the delay."

That was two and a half weeks ago, and it was the last update I received.  

Mistakes happen.  Sometimes things get overlooked, lost in the mail, whatever.  But what I will not accept from a company is being ignored and treated like I'm not important to them.  I did not pay for these stamps, but they were promised to me nonetheless, and it is incredibly misleading to customers to promote a giveaway that never happens.  But more than that, I never expected to be given the run-around by a company I respected and admired.

You all know how much I love PTI products.  I promote them regularly on my blog, enthusiastically recommend them to other crafters, and even attended the PTI Stamp-a-faire event last summer.  I spend a lot of money on PTI products.  But even that shouldn't matter.  Every single one of their customers, no matter how much they buy, or whether they are receiving products as a prize, should be treated with the utmost respect.  The customer is always right.  Unfortunately, I have been given the impression that my issue is of no great concern to them, and that makes me both sad and angry.

I sent one last email to Julie last Thursday, December 8.  In it, I explained how frustrated and disappointed I am in the lack of communication and the way this whole thing has been handled.  I have yet to hear back from her.

Yes, I have read Nichole's posts on the PTI Forum and her blog enumerating the excuses for why their Customer Service has not been meeting expectations.  Most businesses would never get away with that kind of hand-wringing.  PTI's customers, and their satisfaction, should be the company's number one priority.  If they don't have time to respond to customer complaints or ship packages in a timely fashion, they should hire people that can.  I no longer have any sympathy for pleas to respect their space and time while they figure out how to best handle complaints.  All I asked for was a simple email; an acknowledgment that I had been heard, understood, and respected.

It was never my intention to publicly complain, either here or in the PTI Forum, about this issue.  But since being completely dismissed by Customer Service, I feel I have no other recourse if I want to be heard.  I also feel like this is an issue that many of you would want to know about.  I've gotten lots of comments and emails asking me why I haven't been using my new stamps, or wondering whether they've arrived.  Many of you put your faith and trust in PTI just like I did, so I think you should be aware of what's going on.

You will still see me using PTI products on my cards, because I love them and because I've invested too much money in them not to use them.  But I doubt that I will be ordering anything new from them in the near future.

I have closed comments on this post, as I don't want this to become a forum for complaints, either about PTI or about me.  I just wanted to express my opinion, and I won't say any more about it here unless there are further developments.

Thank you so much for letting me get this off my chest, if you've made it this far!  I appreciate having this space to be able to vent, though I promise not to make it a habit.  :)

Thanks again for listening!  I hope you'll come back soon for something crafty!

December 13, 2011

ColourQ #115

Good morning!  It's ColourQ day!  I'm still finishing up my Christmas cards, and you'll be seeing more of them this week, but thank goodness this fresh color combo came along to inspire another design.  Isn't it a fun twist on the traditional holiday colors?

I had to substitute Garden Green and Lucky Limeade for the greens, but they worked just fine!

I had this design buzzing around in my head since I started working with WPlus9's Fair Isle Backgrounds.  I stamped the pattern on a square of white cardstock, then placed it behind a die cut window.  I used PTI's Linen & Canvas impression plate to add canvas texture to the stamped piece and linen texture to the red panel.

My red ink is looking a little washed out in these photos, but I really did use both red and Regal Rose to stamp the pattern!

The sentiment, from WPlus9's Winter Wishes, is stamped onto a double-ended banner and embellished with punched holly leaves and rhinestone berries.

Cardstock:  Papertrey Ink (Pure Poppy, white)
Stamps:  WPlus9 Design Studio (Fair Isle Backgrounds, Winter Wishes)
Ink:  Stampin' Up! (Regal Rose, Garden Green, Lucky Limeade), Clearsnap (Cranberry)
Tools:  Papertrey Ink (Mat Stack 4, Double Ended Banner dies, Linen & Canvas impression plate), Martha Stewart (holly punch)
Accessories:  Michaels (rhinestones)

I think I might make another version of this card using Garden Green cardstock in place of the red.  What do you think?

Be sure to stop by the ColourQ blog today to check out the rest of the DT samples and get the details on how to play along.  I hope you'll join us this week!

Thanks for visiting today!

December 11, 2011

Fair Isle Greetings

Hey there!  Are you ready to see *lots* of cards using WPlus9's Fair Isle Backgrounds?  I have the first two today, but I've been playing with this set all weekend, along with Winter Wishes, to make my holiday cards.

The first thing I wanted to do with this set was to CASE a gorgeous card by Amy Kolling.  (Thanks Amy!)  I stamped the Fair Isle pattern onto kraft cardstock using Bravo Burgundy, Pear Pizzazz, and white ink.  I tied a white twill ribbon around the panel and added a punched tag, which I stamped with one of the medallions and a sentiment from Winter Wishes.

I don't often ink edges on my cards, but I added some soft white sponging around the edges of the kraft panel and tag for a snowy look.

Cardstock:  Papertrey Ink (Scarlet Jewel, Kraft)
Stamps:  WPlus9 Design Studio (Fair Isle Backgrounds, Winter Wishes)
Ink:  Stampin' Up! (Bravo Burgundy, Pear Pizzazz), Clearsnap (Frost White)
Tools:  McGill (tag punch)
Accessories:  white twill ribbon, jute twine

The second card is a clone of the first, only I swapped out the colors for wintry blues and used Enchanted Evening grosgrain ribbon.

These cards will be perfect for some friends of ours who don't celebrate Christmas, but enjoy getting an end-of-the-year card with updated photos of our kids.

Cardstock:  Papertrey Ink (Enchanted Evening, White)
Stamps:  WPlus9 Design Studio (Fair Isle Backgrounds, Winter Wishes)
Ink:  Stampin' Up! (Not Quite Navy, Baja Breeze)
Tools:  McGill (tag punch)
Accessories:  Papertrey Ink (ribbon), DMC floss

This set is so much fun to stamp with!  I'll be back tomorrow with another set of cards using Fair Isle Backgrounds in these two color schemes.  I hope you'll stop by!

Have a great start to your week, friends!

December 10, 2011

A Note of Thanks

Hello!  I'm thrilled to say that I received a happy email from Paper Crafts magazine yesterday, as one of my cards was accepted for publication in Card Creations.  Thank you, PC!

I thought I'd share one of the cards that wasn't picked up, which I happen to love nonetheless.  *smile*

This purple number features stamps from WPlus9's Woodgrain Silhouettes Additions.  After stamping the leaves on a Rustic Cream panel, I added a Kraft die cut frame that is debossed with woodgrain.  I die cut a piece of Rustic Cream cardstock to go in the "window" and stamped it with a sentiment from PTI's Gracious Vases.

The little birdie and leaves were stamped and cut out by hand, then perched on the corner of the frame.  

The design seemed a little unbalanced, so I added some brown "pearls" to create a visual triangle with the bird.  I just used some die cut circles and gave them a coat of Glossy Accents for shine.

Cardstock:  Papertrey Ink (Plum Pudding, Rustic Cream, Kraft, Dark Chocolate)
Stamps:  WPlus9 Design Studio (Woodgrain Silhouettes Additions), Papertrey Ink (Gracious Vases)
Ink:  Stampin' Up! (Perfect Plum, Chocolate Chip)
Tools:  Papertrey Ink (Mat Stack 4, Fillable Frames #7 dies, Woodgrain impression plate)
Accessories:  Ranger (Glossy Accents)

I've been working feverishly on my Christmas cards today, so I'll have some of those to share with you in the coming days.

Thanks for your visit!  Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

December 9, 2011

Warm Wishes--a simple holiday card

Hi friends!  It's probably time I started on my Christmas cards, don't you think?  *giggle*  I've had a serious lack of crafting motivation since being sick, but I'm hoping to get a stack of simple holiday cards done this weekend.  I thought I'd pop in and share one today that I made last during a crafty get-together last weekend with Jessica Davis and Suzanne Dahlberg.

I finally inked up WPlus9's set, Winter Wishes, which I adore.  I stamped the large medallion onto a white cardstock base, then centered one of the sentiments from the set below it.  I added a pretty scalloped edge with PTI's Edgers #4 die (thanks, Jessica!), then adhered a panel of red cardstock behind it.  

Cardstock:  Papertrey Ink (Pure Poppy, white)
Stamps:  WPlus9 Design Studio (Winter Wishes)
Ink:  Clearsnap (Fireberry, Evergreen)
Tools:  Papertrey Ink (Edgers #4 die), corner rounder
Accessories:  Michaels (rhinestones)

This would be a great design to mass produce, and it's relatively flat for mailing.

Thanks for visiting today!  I'll have more holiday goodies to share with you soon!

December 6, 2011

ColourQ #114-Anything but a Card

It's ColourQ Tuesday!  So glad you stopped by for this week's challenge.  This week we have a fun and festive color palette, as always, but we are also challenging you to make something other than a card.  Fun, right?  

This is the time of year when I'm always scouring the web looking for creative ideas for holiday gift-giving, so with that on my brain I decided to makeover a travel mug that's been sitting around on our counter.  Someone gave my hubby one of those decorate-it-yourself mugs from Starbucks, and I can't see him breaking out the craft supplies anytime soon, so I took it upon myself to give this sad little travel mug a new life.

My colors aren't the exact ones from the palette, but I used what I had in my stash that was closest.  I started with some pretty patterned paper by SEI from the Wintersong collection.  I've had this in my stash forever!  I simply removed the template that came with the mug and traced it onto the back of my patterned paper, cut it out, and slid it into place.  What's great is that I can change the paper out with the seasons!

To decorate the outside, I chose to add a felt wrap, just like all of those cute coffee cozies I see on Etsy.  Using one of those corrugated Starbucks wraps as a template, I cut a piece of PTI's Fine Linen felt, pinked the bottom edge, and sewed it together at the back.

To decorate the wrap, I cut snowflakes from Ocean Tides felt using Spellbinders Create-a-Flake dies and stitched them with basic embroidery stitches to a piece of cream felt.  A few button centers add the finishing touch.

Patterned paper:  SEI (Wintersong)
Felt:  Papertrey Ink
Tools:  Spellbinders (Create-a-Flake One & Two), pinking shears
Accessories:  Papertrey Ink (buttons), thread

I hope you'll join us this week at the ColourQ to make a non-card project using these colors!  And be sure to stop by and see what the rest of the DT gals have cooked up.

Thanks for your visit today!

December 1, 2011


Hello again!  Thanks for all of your well wishes yesterday.  The kiddos are much better today, and I'm starting to get my voice back.  I think an afternoon nap today should have us all feeling as good as new!

Today's card is one I made for my hubby's birthday, which was yesterday.  His favorite color is green, and he likes any earthy tones, so this week's CR84FN color palette was a perfect fit.

My hubs is not a big fan of white space.  He's stopped saying so directly, but every time I show him a clean and simple card I can hear the voice in his head saying "Why don't you put something there, in that empty space?"   So I knew that his card shouldn't be too CAS, but who can resist a bit of white space?  Certainly not me!

I think this card is my CAS version of a collage.  I always admire crafters, especially scrapbookers, who can execute a perfectly balanced but seemingly random arrangement of elements.  I long to be that scrapbooker, but my attempts always wind up looking, well, random.  I think I found a happy medium on this card.  Not too busy, but just enough elements to keep it interesting, with an empty space where the eye can rest.
Stamps are from PTI's Postmarks and Star Prints.  I used the Linen & Canvas impression plate to add a worn look to the kraft panel, and PTI's star dies to make the star frame.

All supplies from Papertrey Ink unless noted
Cardstock:  Pinefeather, Kraft, Rustic Cream
Stamps:  Postmarks, Star Prints
Ink:  Vintage Cream, Chocolate Chip (Stampin' Up!), Evergreen (Clearsnap)
Tools:  star dies, postage die, Linen & Canvas impression plate

So what did hubby think of his card?  He said he really liked it, especially the green, but he thought the sentiment should read "First Class MALE".  *snort*

I hope you have a great day, friends!  Thanks for your visit!
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