Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A Year's Worth of Inspiration

Hi everyone! I hope you all a wonderful holiday. I thought it would be fun to look back through a year's worth of projects and pick my favorites from each month. I was worried that I wouldn't have enough, but the truth is, it was hard to narrow them down! I have been very lucky to work with some amazing designers and products, and these creations wouldn't have been possible without their brilliance and innovation. Read on to find a dose of inspiration for every month!

2014 was definitely the year of the pop-up box card. I first saw the technique on Splitcoast Stampers and knew I had to make a steampunk version. This ended up being a birthday card for my Air Force son who was deployed to Dubai at the time. He loved it which made me very happy! You can see more views and find a full supply list HERE.

February is all about love, and I love experimenting with new techniques! This cool, grungy tag features a transfer technique using one of Tim Holtz's Found Relatives cards and has a surprise pop-up inside, courtesy of one of Karen Burniston's Pop it Ups dies. You can find a full tutorial HERE.

March marked the beginning of my love affair with Artist Trading Blocks - a trend that was started by Eileen Hull and Amy Bowerman. Eileen's block dies are so much fun to create with! There is no end to the artistic possibilities with these dies. For this one, I used a lot of Tim Holtz products to create a little vintage shadowbox. The tutorial can be found HERE.

When  you're a designer, you often have more ideas than time will allow. This little dollar store wineglass cloche was one of those ideas I'd played with ages ago but never got around to doing anything with. Easter ended up being the perfect time to make something. I love the bunny made with real moss and Tim Holtz's Mini Bunny die. So cute! I have a full list of materials and instructions in THIS post.

Since my husband has been in aviation as long as I've known him (we met when we worked at the same airline!), I'm always up for a flight-themed card. This one features lots of different techniques and finishes, all pulled together with Karen Burniston's Accordion Fancy Label Pop it Ups die. Lots to look at on this card! You can see how I made it, plus watch a video of it in action HERE.
June marks another birthday in our family - this time my daughter's. She is so hard to shop for, so I decided to get her a gift certificate to one of her favorite stores and put in in a gift box constructed with Eileen Hull's box dies and decorated to look like a cake. It's still one of my all-time favorite projects! If I'd had more time, I would have filled up each compartment - maybe next year. I have a full tutorial with lots of pics in THIS post.
Before I was bitten by the stamping/paper crafting bug, my favorite hobby was gardening. I love that this piece combines both my new passion, and an older one. And it's all made from paper! Like I said in one of the previous project posts, Eileen Hull's box/cube dies can be turned into just about anything. In this case it's a French garden tote. To find out how easy it is to get a worn painted wood look using chipboard, check out the full tutorial in THIS post.

Sometimes you hit upon the perfect combination of die, technique, paper, and theme. This is one of those cards! I had made an earlier masculine version for my dad's birthday. This time I decided to use some of Karen Burniston's new dies plus some of the wonderful Elizabeth Craft Designs glitter to make a more feminine card for Karen's birthday. I used up the last of my precious stash of Graphic 45's Steampunk Debutante paper and it was totally worth it! For a quick tutorial on what looks like a complicated card, check out THIS post.

This is yet another piece that was the perfect combination of dies, paper, and embellishments! The base is Eileen Hull's 3D Cube die, and on top of it, I built a spooky scene with dies from Tim Holtz and Karen Burniston, plus a witchy Found Relative from Tim Holtz. The paper is my favorite from My Mind's Eye. My friend actually asked what I would do if I ever run out. Hopefully, that day will never come! You can find more views and brief instructions HERE.

You might have guessed that I love using transparencies/clear plastic sheets for my Pop it Ups cards. I think that it makes the cards even that much more amazing. I love the look of this lacy frame die cut from black cardstock and given a coating of black glitter. So dramatic and elegant! The rubber stamps from Artistic Outpost work perfectly with Karen's Burniston's Oval Accordion die. For a full list of supplies, plus a little video of the card opening and closing, pop over to THIS post.
I love being inspired by something in a magazine, and then trying to figure out how I can reproduce it in my style, with supplies I have on hand. I spotted the inspiration for this fall decor piece in Country Living Magazine. They used a vintage silver tray, but I thought I could come up with a way to age a tray from the dollar store. By using Ranger alcohol inks and Distress paint, I created a tray that looked decades old in just minutes! I have the whole process stepped out in THIS post.

Christmas is always one of my favorite holidays to create for and this year was no exception. In fact, I went totally overboard and decided to do a series of 12 handmade ornaments. It was a lot of time and work, but I had a blast coming up with something new each day. Even better, I stumbled upon some cool techniques that I shared in each stepped-out tutorial. It's a great resource to bookmark now and come back to next year! You can find all the ornaments by clicking HERE.

I hope you've enjoyed this look back at 2014 and have revisited some old favorites, or discovered some new ones. I can't tell you how thankful I am for your support and comments, your pins, and purchases through my links. All of that makes what I do so much more rewarding, and inspires me to continue sharing my creations with all of you.

Best wishes for an art-filled and inspired New Year!


  1. It is fun seeing what you will dream up next! Inspired by your creative vision. Happy New Year!

  2. Happy New Year to you! I love your creations and can't wait to see more in 2015!

  3. Beautiful masterpieces, each and every one! Happy New Year Shelly! Anne x

  4. Happy New Year! A truly inspiring year again!

  5. Happy New Year Shelly! I rarely post comments, but I just wanted you to know how much I appreciate your blog! I love, love, LOVE all your projects, and the 12 ornaments were extra fun to see! Thanks for all you do!

  6. Wow Shelly. What a visual feast. Thanks for pulling this inspirational post together!! A very happy 2015 to you.

  7. Oh Shelly. Your art is awesome. And to see these master pieces again reminded me of how much inspiration I have soaked from you for a while. Gosh you are so smart, creative, skilled !!! LOVE your style so much !
    Also wanted to wish you a Happy New Year filled with joy, happiness, love and creativity.
    Sending hugs from Monica.. Spain

  8. I'm with Anne - each and every one a masterpiece Shelly! Seriously impressive to see all lined up like this. Nicola x

  9. I don't come over here to comment often but I must say that I enjoy your projects, you are so talented!
    Hugs Kelly

  10. thank you so much for sharing so much of your tips and talents! I especially loved the 12 ornaments of Christmas and tried many of them! :) Gave away a Lot of those lil' lanterns! People loved them. I varied mine a bit. Happy New Year to you and yours!


Thanks so much for taking the time to share your thoughts. I appreciate your comments so much!