Halloween pocket letter/ATC

Happy Halloween! It’s been a busy, busy month at work, so I’m just popping in today to post my Halloween-themed pocket letter and ATCs!

I never turn down the opportunity to do a Halloween-themed pocket letter!

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The bottom row features a spooky graveyard scene. The background was made with Distress Oxides. The haunted house and ghosts are from Memory Box/Poppystamps and the skeleton is Tim Holtz colored with a bit of Antique Linen Distress Oxide ink. The graveyard border is a chipboard piece from Creative Embellishments that I’ve heat embossed with black embossing powder to give it a shiny look. The sentiment is from the Tim Holtz Halloween Clippings.

In the center, I have a SnipArt chipboard skull frame heat embossed with Oyster Glintz embossing powder from WOW. The raven, bats and creepy eye are Tim Holtz, as is the sentiment. The black cat is a sticker from Michaels.

On the top row, I’ve mounted three ephemera pieces from a Michaels ephemera pack on different pieces of Halloween paper and accented with sequins. I’ve tied little bows with purple and black twine and added Tim Holtz Halloween quote chips on the spine to finish the project.

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For my Halloween ATCs, I’ve again used Distress Oxide inks to create my background, masking off a small strip along the bottom for my sentiment, along with the moon. The black die cuts are from the Impression Obsession Halloween Hill border die. The sentiment is stamped from the Poppystamps Halloween Fun stamp set. The ghosts are stamped from the Mama Elephant Little Boo Agenda stamp set, colored with Copic markers and die cut using the coordinating dies.

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I also made a set of autumn-themed ATCs for my monthly swap. For my base, I used a set of pumpkin die cut pieces from Joggles that I trimmed just a bit to adhere to the standard ATC size of 3.5 by 2.5 inches. I used the ink squishing technique using Distress Oxides to color them, inking the edges with Vintage Photo Distress Ink for definition. I glued down some gold thread, then placed a sprig of flowers from Prima in autumn colors on top. I added some puffy stickers from the Autumn Sunset collection from Prima, as well as gems from the same collection. The sentiment is from the Small Talk Occasions sticker collection from Tim Holtz.

Now that Halloween is over, it’s time to start on Christmas projects! Let the holiday season begin!

Christmas 2017 projects

Because the holidays were crazy hectic for me and I didn’t get a chance to blog my projects, I thought I’d quickly go through some of my holiday-themed makes. I abstained from the usual ATC swap for a couple of months in order to get other things done, but I did sign up for a Christmas-themed tag swap and pocket letter swap, and made something just for me.

My first project of the season was a holiday sled. I fell in love with the Kaisercraft Beyond the Page sled when I first saw it, so I bought it on a whim, even though I hadn’t really done anything like it before. I also decided the Mint Wishes collection, also from Kaisercraft, would be perfect to decorate the sled with.

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First I broke apart the sled pieces and sanded down the tabs. I also painted the edges with white gesso, but not very carefully, as I wanted to leave a bit of a distressed look. I took several pieces of the “Cabin” paper from the Mint Wishes collection and traced the pieces onto the back before cutting them out. I adhered the paper with Mod Podge and set it aside to dry.

Next, I sanded the edges to take off any excess paper. I also decided to give the sled a snowy feel by splattering the pieces with white ink before I assembled the sled with a strong glue. I set the sled aside to let the glue dry while I assembled my embellishments.

I found a pretty white flower made of vellum in my stash, so I added some Cool Mint Stickles to some of the petals for some sparkle. I also chose several pieces from the Mint Wishes ephemera pack, as well as some sparkly leaves by Prima and a flair button by My Mind’s Eye. I layered these pieces on top of a piece of sparkly tulle at the base of the sled.

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I felt it was missing a little something, so I die cut some pine branches using a die by Impression Obsession and colored them with Evergreen Bough Distress Ink. I took a wood flourish from the Mint Wishes collection and painted it with white gesso and layered these together at the top of the sled. I also added some sparkly gems to represent berries as well. Finally, I took a piece of sheer green ribbon and looped it through the runners to hang it with. It looks great hanging on the wall!

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My first swap of the Christmas season was a tag swap. I knew I wanted to do something in non-tradition Christmas colors… I just wasn’t sure what. I had recently purchased the Tim Holtz Tattered Poinsettia die, so I thought I’d make a pink poinsettia for the top half of the tag. I die cut the petals from some patterned paper with music notes on it and inked them with Worn Lipstick Distress Oxide ink. While the ink was still wet, I sprinkled on some Judikins Iridescent Sparkle embossing powder. When heated, the powder becomes transparent, leaving behind the most beautiful sparkle. The leaves were die cut from plain cardstock and inked with Peeled Paint Distress ink. I ran them through with the coordinating embossing folder for added texture.

After assembling the flower layers and adding a few extra leaves, I made the center of the poinsettia by adhering yellow and gold seed beads with Glossy Accents. I also added a wood flourish word painted with white gesso, to add a bit of “joy” to my tag.

While the glue was drying, I made the base of my tag. I adhered a piece of paper from the now-retired Sugar Plum collection by My Mind’s Eye to the tag base and sanded the edges to distress it a little. I glued down a bit of sisal and added the poinsettia to the top of the tag.

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The bottom half vexed me for days. I just wasn’t sure what to do with it. Finally, the background paper I used gave me an idea. The sparkle on the paper reminded me of stars, so I thought I’d do a snowy scene with die cuts at the bottom of the tag.

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The die cut village at the very back is by Your Next Stamp. All the other dies are by Memory Box/Poppystamps. I layered my scene with adhesive foam squares and added some sparkling snow with Crystal Stickles glitter glue. I thought my scene needed just a pop of color, so I added a green tree with little sparkling red dots as well. The sentiment sticker is from the Tim Holtz Small Talk Occasions pad. Finally, I die cut a Christmas star from silver paper to “hang” over my village.

I then tied a piece of pink ribbon onto the top and my Christmas tag was done and ready to be sent to my swap partner.

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My final swap of 2017 was a pocket letter. I had fallen in love with my non-traditional color scheme I’d used in my tag, so I continued it through my pocket letter.

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I used pages from the Sugar Plum 6×6 paper pad by My Mind’s Eye for the backgrounds of all my pockets. In most the pockets, I simply added some ephemera from the same collection, die cuts or quote stickers from Tim Holtz.

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I knew I wanted to add a Julie Nutting doll to my pocket letter, so I chose Marisol, as I wanted to make her dress using JN Haute Couture die set, which I’d had for a while but hadn’t gotten around to using yet. The bottom layer of her dress was cut from a festive piece of patterned paper, while the overlay was die cut using metallic green paper. I also added some holly die cuts to her hair.

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For the center pocket, I wanted to make a wreath. I took a pair of twig dies from one of my Impression Obsession sets and die cut them into green cardstock… over and over and over. I’m not sure how many I ended up with. Fifty or more, I’d say. I die cut a circle about the width of the pocket, then layered all those twigs on top, using Glossy Accents to glue them down to make it look nice and leafy.

The poinsettias are also from an Impression Obsession set, which I die cut into pink cardstock. I layered the petals together and added a small yellow gem to the center. Finally, I took a small pink ribbon and adhered it to the bottom of the wreath.

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I had such fun with my Christmas projects, I can hardly wait until next year to make more. Though, truth be told… I may not wait that long. I may have to do some Christmas in July projects!

Pocker Letter #2: Autumn Bliss

I’ve never been much of a fan of fall-themed decorations or craft supplies. But when Prima announced their new Amber Moon paper collection, I fell in love and my inner pumpkin spice demon was set free. So when I signed up to participate in the September pocket letter swap on my craft forum, I knew I wanted to do an autumn-themed project using these gorgeous papers.

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Autumn Bliss

Every pocket uses a different paper from the 8×8 paper pad. I cut all my bases using the Memory Box Pin Point Rectangles die, as it is the perfect size for pocket letters and ATCs, plus it gives each card a nice stitched design.

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The first pocket I created was the centerpiece. In preparation for this pocket letter, I hopped on eBay and purchased a set of fall-themed Jolee’s Boutique sticker packs. The wreath was in one of those sticker sets and I wanted to use it in the center. The little sign that says “Autumn” originally hung in the center of the wreath, but I snipped it off and added it beneath. I had a gorgeous brown cameo I felt would be perfect to put in the middle of the wreath.

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The next pocket I worked on was the bottom center pocket. The paper pad features a sheet with 12 different designs on it you can cut apart to use as smaller cards. I cut out the panel with the butterflies that says “Blessed,” distressed the edges and adhered it to my base panel with foam tape. I added a few autumn leaf stickers around the edges, then slid it inside. I then fussy cut the same butterflies from another sheet and hot glued them onto the outside of the pocket, giving them some dimension. I also added some Wink of Stella brush pen to the wings.

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I have a pretty Wheat Stalks die by Cottage Cutz that I had used in my Indigo Skies canvas that I wanted to use in this pocket letter. I chose the middle left pocket. I die cut a few and colored them with various shades of distress ink and glued them down in a cluster. I also added some sparkling black washi tape, gems and a chipboard quote sticker, all from the Amber Moon collection.

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For the bottom left pocket, I didn’t want to do too much to it since the paper was already so pretty. So I just glued down some brown moss and added a chipboard sticker and a quote sticker from the Tim Holtz Small Talk Occasions pad.

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The bottom right pocket was also one I didn’t want to do too much to cover the background. I had a cute little pumpkin cart sticker I thought would look great. I also added the Pumpkin Patch sticker to go with it. I glued the cart to the outside of the pocket as it was slightly too wide for the inside.

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For the top center pocket, I used a birdhouse sticker from the gorgeous Photo Play Falling Leaves collection. I added a little bird from the Amber Moon ephemera pack with foam tape and the pumpkins are stickers from Jolee’s.

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In the top left pocket, I took some leftover wheat stalks I hadn’t used earlier and layered them behind a glittery red leaf from Paper House Productions. I also cut a strip from the Amber Moon paper pad that said “Hello Autumn” to lie across the bottom.

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For the top right pocket, I used the Memory Box Small Forest Archway die and the Cottage Cutz Deer Petites die to make a quick little woodland scene. Both die cuts were colored with Distress Inks and I added a couple of gold leaf stickers and a Tim Holtz quote sticker to finish.

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In the final pocket, I had a gorgeous gold pumpkin sticker by Jolee’s I wanted to use, but wasn’t sure how to incorporate. Finally I decided to stamp some stitching along the edges with VersaMark ink and heat embossed some gold embossing powder onto the base. I added a final Tim Holtz quote sticker before gluing down the pumpkin.

I finished the pocket letter by adding some Amber Moon washi tape down the binder edge and added some twine to each hole tied in a bow. For my tag, I die cut a the pumpkin and a leaf using the Lawn Fawn Fall Tiny Tag dies and tied them on. I stuffed each pocket with a few craft goodies and sent it to its new home.

My partner loved it. I’m so glad! It was one of the first things I’d made that I really wished I could keep! 😀

Pocket Letter #1: Red, White and You

POCKET LETTERS!

I had been admiring the pocket letter swap over on Scrapbook.com for months, but hadn’t really had the time or opportunity to join in until this past July. But once I dipped my toes into the pocket letter pool, I knew I was hooked.

My first pocket letter swap took place in July, so naturally the theme was Red, White and Blue. Now, I’m not a very patriotic person, since I have dual citizenship I can’t just pick one country, but I figured I could work with the theme. I did order the small 6×6 Yankee Doodle paper pad from Doodlebug to use as the background papers, but I pretty much had everything else I needed already.

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Red, White and You

I’m not going to go into a step-by-step process of the whole pocket letter, as that would take too long, but I will share what products I used in its creation.

The first thing I made for the pocket letter was the Julie Nutting doll, Collette. I knew I wanted to attach one of the dolls to the outside of the plastic pocket  holders and I wanted to dress her in red, white and blue. I used paper piecing to make her dress out of the Doodlebug paper, then created a mostly-white background for her to sit in front of.

The lighthouse and jar of flowers pockets were next. Both were created using dies from Cottage Cutz, specifically the Lighthouse with Clouds and Flower Bouquet Jar.

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I also knew I wanted to create a shaker pocket as my middle pocket. I cut my acetate and dry embossed the front panel to give it some texture. I added some red, white and blue sequins and attached the two pieces of acetate together with glossy accents and added a frame to hide the glue.

Next, I had planned to use a new fireworks stencil by StencilGirl I had recently gotten, because what Red, White and Blue holiday is complete without fireworks? But the stencil was larger than one pocket, so I decided to create it over two. I used silver Nuvo mousse to give it some shine. I still lacked something, though, so I found an adorable airplane with banner die in my stash and added it and my sentiment to the fireworks panels.

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I admit, for my final three panels, I was a bit stuck as to what to do. But I just had to root around in my stash to get ideas. I used a trimmed-down version of the Memory Box Star Garland die over red Doodlebug paper and die cut the words “Sparkle” and “Shine,” using dies by The Greeting Farm, for one panel.

I also found a pretty blue and red flower brad embellishment amongst my stash and added a cute little lady bug for the top left panel.

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And for my last panel, I used the Memory Box Quinn flourish die and a butterfly fussy cut from a piece of Kaisercraft Indigo Skies paper. I glued the butterfly to the outside of the pocket to give it some dimension.

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To finish off my pocket letter, I added some washi tape to the spine and tied some festive ribbon to the top hole. I also added a die-cut banner to my center panel, as I felt it needed a little something.

I was very nervous about sending this to my swap partner, as it was my first ever pocket letter, but she said she loved it!

I’ve since completed my second letter and will have a post on that one as soon as my new swap partner receives it.