Thursday, December 31, 2015

Only 359 Days Until Christmas...

...time to get started on those cards, people!!! :) :) :)

Ok, that's the single silliest thing anyone has ever said, right? Except... if you're a papercrafter who celebrates Christmas, you've likely just experienced the equivalent of the cardmaking olympics, otherwise known as "December". How did yours go? Did you sit down at the beginning of the month and spend a few leisurely hours writing notes inside a stack of gorgeous cards before mailing them off to your lovely friends and family? If so, well done, off you go to watch the Doctor Who marathon on BBC America!

If not, may we take five minutes of your New Year's Eve to say that the reason we (Stephanie and Laurenstarted Jingle Belles in 2011 is that we'd both just experienced one too many of the *other* kind of December. The kind spent frantically mass-producing holiday cards, at the expense of actually experiencing the fun holiday activities said cards are meant to commemorate. Which, when you think about it, is quite a bit sillier than making ONE beautiful, individual card per week... even if the latter course does actually involve starting in January. Because for us, the success of "Taking December Back" lay in establishing the at-first-totally-weird-feeling habit of spreading the job throughout the year. And establishing that habit was infinitely easier and more fun when we did it together, in the company of all our lovely fellow cardmakers, giving and taking inspiration and --most importantly-- cheering each other on.

But do we really HAVE TO start on New Year's Day??! Well, no... but can you think of a better day in the entire year to symbolically inaugurate a brand new habit? Plus, you've likely still got all your Christmas supplies out, and you've maybe even received some cool new goodies that you didn't get to play with yet... do you really wanna wait until November to bust those out? ;)

Our first prompt of 2016 will go live at midnight, with new posts every Friday. And yes, you can jump in *any* time! So please consider yourself officially invited to come along and join us for as many or as few weeks of the year as you'd like. Meanwhile,

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Jingle Belles 2016!

Hello, JINGLE BELLESwe hope you've had a wonderful holiday and that you're even now enjoying the company of family, playing with your brand new supplies, and eating the leftover Christmas cookies! We'll be back on New Year's Day (that's FRIDAY... can you believe it?) to kick off the 2016 season, meanwhile, we're freshening up the blog with a new header and badge!

See you on Friday! 

Friday, December 4, 2015

Happy, Happy Holidays!!! ♥

Can you believe it is December 4th already?! The 2015 ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ season certainly flew by at record speed! But that shouldn't surprise us, since it's a well-known fact that "time flies when you're having fun" and we've had an absolute blast making cards with our friends all year long! Plus we're excited to each have *48* uniquely wonderful holiday greetings ready to be addressed and sent out to the special people in our lives.

If you're done your holiday card-making we congratulate you! If you're still working, we've added one more link-up at the bottom of this post so you can share your creations and we hope our last two cards of the year will inspire you! We'll be back on January 1, 2016 for a brand new year of fun, friendship and stress-free holiday hi-jinks and we hope to see you then!

Meanwhile we wish the 
♥ Happiest of Holiday Seasons ♥ 
to you and your family !

Stephanie and Lauren
aka the 

Lauren says, "My card-making process always includes getting out way too much stuff, which means there will even be leftovers when I'm making "leftovers cards", lol! Which is what happened last week, so I've used them here: a blendy Color Burst ornament topped with Viva Decor glitter embossing paste; some holly leaves cut from an old greeting card; remnants of rhinestone flourishes I trimmed down to fit on smaller cards; all atop a piece of vintage text paper adorned with experimental inky stenciling. I never expected *ALL* of these elements to get combined into one card... but I confess to liking the result!"

Stephanie's Card

Stephanie says, "I incorporated many of my favorite things into my final card design ... stenciling some Color Burst on a vintage piece of sheet music and then decorated a glitter tree ... this has certainly been the year of the sequin, and I'm still not tired of them yet."

We've set up one last linky for you to share your December creations, we'll leave it open through Christmas Eve so you can show off your favorite makes, check out what others have created, and grab some last-minute inspiration! 

Thursday, December 3, 2015


...make the best after-Thanksgiving meals AND the best holiday cards, as you guys have proven pretty conclusively this fortnight. Such a glorious gallery of luscious leftovers... here are a few we found particularly delicious!

...diecut this ♥AMAZING♥ mixed media tree using the leftovers from another project and it couldn't be more lovely, could it?!  (Bonus ingenuity points for the fact that, not having any of the watercolor pigment powders which are so popular right now, Toni used fabric dyes she already owned to get a similar effect; cleverness is the ultimate renewable resource, so there's always some of that leftover!!!) 

...constructed her gorgeous baubles from scraps of patterned paper and watercolor paper, then used lots of little "bits and bobs" to dress up this utterly lovely card!

...had been saving this incredibly beautiful triple-embossed Santa tile and we agree that she found *exactly* the right home for it!!!

Many thanks to everyone who played along with us this week and the whole rest of our ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ year, we're especially thankful to have a whole box full of holiday cards done with the entire month of December still to be enjoyed! We'll be back at midnight with one more set of holiday cards we hope will inspire you!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Raiding the Refrigerator

For me, the leftovers are almost better than the main holiday meal ... so that is why we're still celebrating Holiday Leftovers at Jingle Belles.

Pull out that box of scraps, leftover die cuts, and orphaned stickers and let them find the perfect holiday home.

Here's what we created with our leftovers this week.

Stephanie says, "My work team all dressed as dominoes for Halloween, which meant I spent a few hours die cutting circles from white adhesive felt.  I had saved the bigger scraps of felt and they have been sitting on my studio table since October.  This prompt was the perfect push to use the adhesive felt to die cut a collection of snowflakes ... two of which are featured on this card.  I also used a stray button and a ribbon scrap for this week's Retro Card Sketch.  I felt so inspired by the leftover theme that I made a second card from the *leftovers* of this design, which you can see on my blog."

Lauren says, "Once again, unintentionally, my card turned out to be composed entirely of scraps... what can I say? I've got A LOT of scraps! In this case, I found a few that were too small to make a whole card, so I used 'em together, kind of like a quilt block. Btw, that is my favorite tip for paper scrap usage: check out blogs and patterns and pinterest boards related to applique and quilting-- because sewing people definitely know a thing or two about how to turn tiny unrelated items into glorious art!!!"

Make sure you link-up your card by 6pm (EST) on Wednesday, December 2nd. Keyword for galleries and Flickr is JB:15:24.  You never know ... there might even be a little *LEFTOVER* prize surprise for someone.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Holiday Leftovers

One of our favorite things about a big Thanksgiving dinner ... are the leftovers (turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce sandwich anyone?) ... so this week we're celebrating Holiday Leftovers at Jingle Belles.

We're asking you to make a card using paper scraps, offcuts, an image you colored or diecut or fussy-cut but never used, a small piece of ribbon too pretty to toss away, the last sticker in the packet or... whatever "leftover" bits and bobs you have laying around. Of course you can mix in new stuff too. Oh and be sure to tell us what your leftovers are so we can marvel at your cleverness! 

Here are our "leftover" creations:

Stephanie says, "I have a container where I toss all of my *extra* die cut images.  I decided to see if I could make a card using only those *leftovers* as my focal image.  I combined Pretty Pink Posh Stitched Filmstrip in Silver with the outline from Memory Box Tall Taper Candle in a silver flecked navy.  I used this week's Retro Sketch incorporating scraps of paper for the rest of the design and a Tim Holtz Sticker for the sentiment."

Lauren says, "I make a lot of layery, collagey cards and i tend to "dry fit" things together before committing to an actual design. So I tend to wind up with LOADS of stickers cut away from their backing sheet, diecuts that were made in several colors before i decided which i liked, and all the usual bits of paper that were too small to live in my ordinary file-folder-like storage but to big to toss away. On the plus side, this sort of arrangement means that for the card above i was able to use ALL "leftovers" and still have plenty of choice, lol; I also used Sketch Saturday #387 because it's totally awesome!"

Now it's your turn to raid the "leftovers" ... add in what every new things you'd like ... and link up a gorgeous holiday card before 6pm (EST) on Wednesday, December (!!!) 2nd. Keyword for galleries and Flickr is JB:15:24.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Feasting Faves

We can never say no holiday treats... whether they're proffered on a plate, or on a lovely holiday card! Here are a few we found especially irresistible:

Miss Chris totally *ROCKED* the genre of shaker card, accruing beaucoup bonus points for having tiny candy cane gems inside the shaker!!!

How fun is this amazingly textural gingerbread man sweater?! Also, you HAVE TO click through and see the amazing concertina fold of this card... off the charts of cool... ♥ 

On the other hand, there's something to be said for the perfection of a minimalist CAS design, and this card says it most eloquently! (and thus we forgive Helen for making us want a cupcake right now!!!) :) :) :)

Many thanks to everyone who played along, we never get tired of seeing your ♥AMAZING♥ creations. We'll be back at midnight with a brand new prompt that we hope will deliver you more than a scrap of inspiration!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Candy Kisses

We're still celebrating the foods & drinks of the holidays at Jingle Belles this week.  What delicious paper creation will you make?

Here are our second cards:

Stephanie says, "I love collecting vintage Ideals Magazines because they remind me of my Gran ... she always had the seasonal ones on the coffee table, and I would spend hours looking at the pictures and reading the poems.  This poem reminds me of my Grandma who always let me bake & decorate Christmas Cookies with her.  I scanned a page from a vintage ideals holiday magazine & shrunk it to fit my card base.  I added some holly leaves & berries as an accent."

Lauren says, "I have a shocking true holiday confession this week: I don't actually enjoy *eating* Christmas pudding... but there are sooooooo many cute images out there that I can never resist! :) This one is an Echo Park sticker from a couple of years ago that I was unconsciously hoarding, lol; I've paired it with an Elle's Studio journal card and half a doily that was just fortuitously hanging out in my "offcuts" envelope. I've used the very fab current Retro Sketch (#189) to guide my layout."

Remember you have until 6pm EST on Wednesday November 18th to link-up your foody creation!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Bring Us Some Figgy Pudding

This fortnight we're making cards that celebrate holiday foods & drinks: Gingerbread and candy canes... Christmas cookies and cocoa... Sugar plums and figgy pudding... maybe even Who-hash and Roast Beast for you Dr. Seuss fans? Whatever your favorites, we can't wait to see them! Meanwhile, here's what we made this week:

Lauren says, "I built the layout of my card around the awesome Crooked Stamper Sketch Challenge #10 (because, no, Stephanie and I never confer beforehand!!!) and the theme around that super-cute Pebbles' popcorn and cranberry garland sticker. The latter is a fond memory from my childhood, I remember stringing popcorn and cranberries for our tree. I also remember that it took ages to complete; because we kids (and my dad!) would eat most of the popcorn before it could become garland, lol!"

Stephanie says, "I featured two foods that I only consume around the holidays ... peppermint sticks and gingerbread men.  I remember having such fun cutting out & decorating the gingerbread cookies with my Grandma.  I added a fun sentiment from Kelly Purkey (where --of course-- I used pearls to choose all three options) and used a great sketch from The Crooked Stamper (hey, it is so good we both used it)."

We can't wait to see how you will feature your favorite Christmas foods & drinks... (and maybe some of your favorite Christmas memories, as well?) ...this fortnight. Link up here before 6pm (EST) on Wednesday, November 18th. Keyword for galleries and Flickr is JB:15:23.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Super Sketchy

Wow ... there were so many creative and wonderful interpretations of the sketch layout it was challenging to choose just a few to highlight ... but we did.


turned the wavy layers into perfectly sloped sledding hills.  
Her coloring really brings her daring duo to life 
(I love the bear's snow mask).

used a fabulous combination of papers and colors.
We loved the fabulous holiday wreath as the sketch element.

got creative with text for a clean & simple wavy line design ...
and who can resist a glittery gold jingle bell.

Join us at midnight for another *delicious* holiday card prompt.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Sketching, Sketching We Will Go

Week two of creating using a fun sketch ...'s what we created on our second try:

Stephanie says, "I was thinking about Lauren's cool torn edges as I rifled through my holiday paper stash ... and I found this gorgeous designer paper from Basic Grey's Alpine Frost Collection that already had wavy layers to torn paper build right into the design.  All I had to do was cut to size, add a coordinated 3-D sticker and a tiny sticker sentiment ... and voila.  It almost felt like cheating ... but it's not."

Lauren says, "Apparently, I was still thinking about torn edges, too! :) This time I combined them in lots of layers like snowy hills inspired by the holiday trees on this pretty "Craft and You" paper. The fact that they were positioned perfectly to accommodate both my layery patterned paper tree and Stephanie's beautiful sketch I suppose could also be looked upon as 'almost cheating'... and for the record I'm 100% *FINE* with that, lol! Let's face it, we all have some weeks with loads of lovely crafty play time and some weeks with very little wiggle room, so I'm always happy and grateful to accept a bit of serendipity when it comes my way!"

Remember, you have until 6pm (EST) on Wednesday, November 4th to link-up your design. Keyword for galleries and Flickr is JB:15:22.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Do You Sketch What I Sketch?

We're bringing you another sketch this week to help you keep building that holiday card stash.

This one has lots of possibilities for using solids or designer papers ... and of course the circle can be any shape. We can't wait to see what you create!

Here's our take on the layout:

Lauren says, "Coincidentally, the day before I saw Stephanie's amazing sketch, I had bought some beautiful new holiday papers by "Crafts and You" and "Pion Designs" plus the most gorgeous glittery Prima poinsettias and I was dying to use all of it at once... with a few vintage bits of my own thrown in to boot! So that's exactly what I did, because *YOWZA* this is the perfect sketch for some torn layers, don't you think?!" :) :) :)

Stephanie says, "I used a two sided designer paper, so I die cut my curvy line and then just flipped over the paper for the other layer.  A dimensional sticker made this one come together quickly."

Now it's your turn to take this fun sketch in any direction that suits your holiday card-making mood! Link your cards right here by 6pm (EST) on Wednesday, November 4th. Keyword for galleries and Flickr is JB:15:22.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

In the ♥PINK♥!

Holy moly, you guys surely did ♥ROCK♥ the Pink Christmas this year! We were thrilled to see 63 links in the gallery and a total of 90 totally amazing cards submitted. When you multiply that by $4 that means we raised a total of $360 for The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, who have a donor that is matching gifts during October up to $50,000... which means we've basically doubled that amount!  WOOHOO and a big giant ♥THANK YOU♥ to everyone who made cards, cheered each other on, and spread the word!!!

Of course there isn't a single card in that gorgeous gallery that doesn't deserve a huuuuuuuuge shout-out, so we heartily recommend that you go see them all! Meanwhile here are a few that especially tickled us pink:

...managed to work the iconic pink ribbon into her gloriously funky mixed media design, plus it's got loads of SPARKLE! 
('Cause sparkle is GOOOOOOD!!!)

...built a CAS retro pink masterpiece that's all ONE LAYER!!!
(Which boggles our minds in the best possible way!)

...mixed hot pink with bright turquoise and crisp white in her super-layery confection that's got "eye candy" written all over it!
(Ok, technically it says, "Jolly" but you know what we mean, lol!)

Many many thanks to everyone who played and extra love to those who linked multiple cards, posted on Facebook or Instagram, or gave us a super-special shout out! We appreciate every single bit of your goodness, which is exceeded only by your card-making talent! We'll be back at midnight with a brand-new prompt that isn't nearly as sketchy as it seems...

Friday, October 16, 2015

♥PINK♥ Christmas for the Cure

PINK CHRISTMAS♥ is always one of our favorite fortnights at Jingle Belles and the 2015 edition is off to a fabulous start! There's still plenty of time to play along (til next Wednesday, October 21st, at 6pm) and remember we (Stephanie and Lauren) are each donating $2 per linked up card to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, so the more you play, the bigger our contribution will be, for which we thank you! ♥

Stephanie says, "I pulled out some vintage Cosmo Cricket Jolly Days paper in retro colors and design.  I love these fun little Christmas Critters all backed in pink."

Lauren says, "I was in the mood to play around with watercolor paints and glitter embossing paste, so that's what I did, lol! I traced the bauble shapes in pencil on watercolor paper, then filled in with washes of color. After the panel dried, I added a few shades of glitter embossing paste through a stencil to give each ornament a bit of sparkle... but not too perfectly, because I wanted them to look like the beautifully worn and tarnished ornaments my own vintage bauble collection. I found this fantastic sketch at Atlantic Hearts Sketch Challenge, and it really inspired me."

Friday, October 9, 2015

Deck the Halls... in ♥PINK♥!

If you've played along with us at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ in any of our previous years, you probably already know that the first prompt of October --which is, of course, Breast Cancer Awareness Month-- is always PINK CHRISTMAS, that the brief is to make a holiday card which (perhaps you've guessed, lol?!) has at least a bit of pink in it, and that Stephanie and Lauren each donate $2 for every card linked up during this fortnight.

This year we'll be donating to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, which focuses strongly on the research aspect of the disease and has earned very high marks from charity evaluation sites such as Charity Navigator. There's no limit to how many brand new ♥PINK♥ holiday cards you can submit, so we'd love for you to join us early and often! Just link up at this post before 6pm on Wednesday, October 21st. Feel free to share this info, re-post the graphic, and link to us on your blogs and your favorite social media sites. Many thanks and lots of love! ♥♥♥ 

Meanwhile, here are our PINK CHRISTMAS cards:

Stephanie says, "I created a paper quilt using scraps of pink holiday papers (and some non-holiday papers) ... I love playing with my scraps."

Lauren says, "Ok, yeah, I almost feel like I'm cheating, because let's face it, I looooooove pink, and make plenty of pink cards all year round. None of them mean as much to me as the ones I make right here in October, however, so I like to go all out, as you can see. Having found a bit of somehow totally forgotten (?!) pink fabric paper with Eiffel Towers on it, my card took a bit of a French twist, with a sentiment to match!"

As you know, we love to see all your holiday cards, all the time; but ♥PINK CHRISTMAS♥ is very near and dearto our hearts so we hope you'll join us (maybe more than once?!) this fortnight. Link up here before 6pm on Wednesday, October 21st. Keyword for galleries and Flickr is JB:15:21.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Winter Holiday Wonderful

Do you guys even know how to make cards that are less than astonishing? Obviously not!!! Here are a few that especially prove our point:

...made a Hanukkah card that is easily eight crazy nights worth of awesome!

Marianne of Marianne's Card 'n Stuff
...knows a thing or two about stamping... and vellum... and making super-fab cards!

...made four different winter holiday cards, and we love all of them!

We'll be back at midnight with the first official prompt of October, so we're pretttttttty sure our "regulars" can already guess what it's going to be, but here's a little hint: get out your favorite PINK CHRISTMAS supplies! (Ok, it was a pretty big hint, lol) ♥♥♥

Friday, October 2, 2015

The Hanukkah Song, Verse Two!

We're still creating holiday cards for friends or family who don't necessarily celebrate Christmas... these types of winter-themed cards also make great Winter thinking-of-you cards or holiday thank you cards, too. You could feature one of the other winter holidays or you could go with a winter/snow themed design. Be sure to scroll down to The Hanukkah Song readers' gallery for more inspiration!

Here's what we created:

Lauren says, "I've been having loads of fun playing with Ken Oliver's Colorburst powders. For this card, I made a snowflake stencil using one of my Tim Holtz snowflake dies, sponged Versamark ink through it and embossed in white, then applied a few different shades of blue Colorburst in an emboss/resist technique. I really love how this one came out. I embellished with a stack of diecut and punched snowflakes, added in a few miscellaneous rhinestones and called it a (SNOW)day, lol!"

Stephanie says, "Blue and snow worked so well for me last week, I decided to continue with that theme (it also gives me the perfect opportunity to use the many felt snowflakes I have in my collection).  This time I used the sketch from The Paper Players & an SRM Sticker for my sentiment."

Friday, September 25, 2015

The Hanukkah Song

This week's prompt is to make a card for your friends or family who don't necessarily celebrate Christmas. 

This could take the form of one of the other winter holidays (Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Year or Winter Solstice to name a few); or you could go totally non-denominational with a general winter-themed design.

Here's what we created:

Stephanie says, "I loved creating peaceful snow-themed designs ... this one layers on the details of a doily with the softness of felt and the texture of embossed paper.  I decided to omit the sentiment, so I could have it available for one of those unexpected card needs in December.  Sketch is from Cardabilities."

Lauren's Card

Lauren says, "I'm pretty hooked on stencils right now, and when I was flipping through my (embarrassingly large) collection, I realized that while I don't have a menorah, I *do* have a stencil with skinny stripes... that could turn into candles; and one with raindrops... that could turn into flames! I added silver glitter Thickers, a few silver stars and some machine stitching, and called it a day!"

Now it's your turn to embrace your favorite non-Christmas winter holiday, make a card, and link it up before 6pm (EST) on Wednesday, October 7th. Keyword for galleries and Flickr is JB:15:20.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Superlative Stash-Shopping!

Soooooooooooo many gorgeous holiday cards linked up this fortnight! Here are a few feats of stashly derring-do which especially caught our eye:

...stamped a previously uninked partridge onto vellum and layered it over sheet music, for a card that'll put a song into anyone's heart!

...mastered her previously unused spritzer tool to create this incredibly cool snowflake-bedecked background!

...revived this beautiful Angel stamp from several years ago and created this fabulous metal effect (it's called Molten Double Embossing) to really show her off!

I suppose we'd all love to know who won those super-fun goodies, as well, eh? Be sure to hop over to Shopping Our Stash to see who won that prize; meanwhile as for the ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ portion of the festivities, the fine folks at have chosen #37... which means that

♥Carol L♥ 
of Our Little Inspirations
is our lucky winner!
(please send your snail mail to lauren via llaurenb @ hotmail (dot) com to claim your prize!)

Many thanks to everyone who played along, and a big cyber high-five to our lovely friends at Shopping Our Stash, for co-hosting with us! Stephanie and Lauren will be back at midnight with a brand new prompt guaranteed to give you more than eight crazy nights of fun, be sure to pop back then! ♥

Friday, September 18, 2015

Stashing through the Snow

Let's face it, we *all* have more supplies than we need, but they're sooooooo much fun! Luckily, Shopping Our Stash posts a new challenge every Tuesday, specially designed to encourage us to use a few older items. This fortnight, we Jingle Belles are proud to help in that particular mission, and we invite you to make a holiday card using something at least a year old, link it up here and at SOS, and be eligible for two different prizes. Sound like fun? Scroll down to last week's post for full details. Meanwhile, here's what we made this week:

Donna's Other Card

Donna says, "Designer paper is from a 2013 kit; stockings, twine and sentiment are at least a year old!"

Stephanie says, "I think I could probably shop my stash every day for a year and find something new each time.  I found these gorgeous Darkroom Door Noel Stamps I'm sure have been stashed away for several years without ever seeing any ink ... until now.  I combined them with some ancient green designer paper and some new designs from Simple Stories Claus & Co."

Lauren's Other Card

Lauren says, "I could *definitely* shop my stash every day... and in fairness, I do make it a point to do so most of the time, not just for my SOS design team cards. I really do like a mix of old and new stuff together. For this card I've combined some vintage sheet music, Studio Calico holiday paper from a few years ago, an absolutely ancient sequin and brad, plus a brand new Memory Box snowflake border die. Oh and the ornament is made using my two newest obsessions: Ken Oliver's Color Burst Powders and Viva Glitter Paste!"

Be sure to check out the other fabulous design team cards at Shopping Our Stash!