Sunday, December 25, 2016

Wishing you...

...A very happy holiday! We'll be back, bright and early, on New Year's Day to kick off our SEVENTH season of Jingle Belles... hope to see you then! 
Stephanie and Lauren

Friday, December 2, 2016

Taking Back Our ~SIXTH~ December!*

It's hard to believe that we've just wrapped up another ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ season, but it's December 2nd and we've been working towards this all year long, so we've got a pretty good stash of cards built up. Whether you joined us once a fortnight, once a month, or just once in a while, we've had a blast seeing your amazing creativity and sharing your enthusiasm. Thanks very much for turning our card-making "chores" into something enjoyable and fun! We'll be back again on January 1, 2017 to start this whole shindig over again, and we hope to see you then! Meanwhile we wish you the loveliest of Decembers and the happiest of holidays! 

♥ Merry Christmas! 
Stephanie and Lauren

Of course, we don't rule out making another card or two in the next few weeks, and just in case you need to make a few more, as well, we'll leave this linky open until Christmas Eve so you can upload your cards, get a little inspiration and spur each other on to the finish line! ♥

*It was pointed out to me (Lauren) by m'colleague (Stephanie) that when I said this was our FIFTH year of Jingle Belles I was off by a whole entire year. I guess it just proves that TIME really does FLY when you're having fun, right?! (And also that you should never trust me to do math in my head, lol) :)

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Winter Wonderland

Thanks so very much for joining us at Jingle Belles.  We hope you have quite a few holiday cards ready to address and send across the miles.  We've had a blast creating with you all year.

Here are a few of our favorites from the final prompt of 2016:


Her snowy owl decorated glitter tree was just too stinkin' cute 
(click through to see more views)
and you know we're suckers for glittery sparkle.


used such a clever design to find a home for all of those stray
embellishments you have in your stash ...


cleverly incorporated so many lovely elements from
the inspiration photo into her peaceful
and elegant design.

We'll be back tomorrow with our annual round-up post.  We hope that we helped you take back your December one holiday card at a time ... we'll look forward to seeing you in 2017.

Friday, November 25, 2016

The first NOEL

We're still creating cards inspired by our gorgeous Christmas photo this week.

Here is how we were inspired for our second round of cards:

Stephanie says, "I wanted to feature a white Christmas tree this week ... and the design of the rug inspired me to use this gorgeous cable knit embossing for the background.  I used a *home* themed sentiment to complete my design after decorating my tree with silver glitter enamel dots & a square bling for the *star*."

Lauren says, "I had saved a photo of this gorgeous card by Debby Hughes a while ago and when I saw it again the other day, I realized it shared a lot of the things I love about the inpsiration pic: it's got white + kraft colors, plus a sort of rustic vibe with intricate decorations, and a little bit of sparkle on top! Since I don't own either of the Clearly Besotted stamp sets in the sample card, I decided to draw the poinsettias and use an actual doily instead of a stamped one. Eventually, it occurred to me that a doily is really just a very dense white mandala-- my favorite thing to draw, lol-- so I got out a white Gelly Roll pen and had a bash at that as well. The beautiful pearl heart brads and white glitter enamel dots are from Eyelet Outlet "

Remember, link-up your inspired designs in the post directly below this one by 6pm (EST) on Wednesday, November 30th.  The keyword for galleries & Flickr is JB:16:24

Friday, November 18, 2016

Dreaming of a WHITE Christmas

For our final Jingle Belles prompt of 2016 (can you believe it) we're bringing you a holiday photograph to inspire your designs ... and there are so many possibilities for finding inspiration.  

Maybe you'll be drawn to the white & neutral color palette ... the fun spelling of NO*L ... the Christmas tree decorated with white owls ... possibly even the quatrefoil design in the rug ... or the plaid on the pillow.  We can't wait to see how all of the gorgeous elements in this photo inspire you.

Here is how we were inspired by the photo.

Lauren's Card

Lauren says, "I loved the neutrals + naturals color palette of the inspiration photo, and for supplies I was definitely feeling in quite a vintage mood. So I've loaded my card up with sheet music, an old postcard, some cancelled postage, text paper, doilies... a little bit of everything I love that felt like it would "fit" in that pretty, cosy room!"

Stephanie says, "I wanted to start by capturing the gorgeous white-on-white feel of the mantel decor, so I die cut my Hero Arts Tag from textured white cardstock and then attached it with foam to white cardstock embossed with Taylored Expressions Nordic Holiday design.  Next I pulled in the wood-grain from the wine rack and the touches of blue on the wine labels and the mantel to finish my design.  I love how it captures the peaceful rustic feel of the photo."

Link-up your inspired cards here by 6pm (EST) on Wednesday, November 30th.  The keyword for galleries & Flickr is JB:16:24.  

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Beautiful Blooms

There were so many glorious floral creations this fortnight--as usual, you guys make it really hard to choose only a few to feature. Which, coincidentally, is our favorite "problem" lol! :) So here are three cards from the many MANY that made our flower-loving hearts beat a little faster:

...brilliantly used a sketch, an inspiration challenge and our floral theme to show off her exemplary stamping and coloring skills!

... combined floral paper, a gorgeous hand-made blossom, and the clever use of decorative scissors to make a Christmas stocking everyone --including Santa-- is sure to love!

...proves that you don't necessarily need *COLOR* to go floral with her amazing white-on-white CAS masterpiece!

Many thanks to everyone who linked up, we always love to see what you are creating! We'll be back at midnight with a brand new prompt we hope won't require a photo-finish! ♥

Friday, November 11, 2016

Flower Power

We're still wishing you "Mele Kalikimaka" and we'd still love to see your flower-bedecked holiday cards, whether they're tropical or otherwise. You've got until Wednesday evening to link them up on the original post (just below this one). Meanwhile, here's what we made this week:

Lauren says, "This week I put the emphasis on more traditionally "Christmassy" colors and patterns; I love the way that bold tartan brings out the colors of my cardstock and fabric florals, and kind of "grounds" the whole design. I used this week's beautiful layout from Atlantic Hearts Sketch Challenge."

Stephanie's Other Card
Stephanie says, "I finally added Penny Black's La Fleur Rouge to my stamp collection, so I had fun inking and spraying with water to get the cool watercolor effect.  A little bling for the flower sentiments and a hand-written stamped sentiment and this one came together quite quickly."

Remember, you have until 6pm (EST) on Wednesday, November 16 to link-up

Friday, November 4, 2016

Mele Kalikimaka

If you're a Bing Crosby or Jimmy Buffet fan, you probably already know that "Mele Kalikimaka" is Hawaiian for "Merry Christmas". but don't panic because we're not asking you to make a full-on tropical-themed holiday card! In fact, we just want to see cards with flowers on them. Poinsettias, Amaryllis, Roses --or whatever flowers you happen to love-- in their traditional colors will work just fine.

Here's what we created:

Stephanie says, "This week I featured the traditional holiday flower the Mondo Poinsettia all blinged out with gems & pearls.  The sketch is from Just Add Ink."

Lauren's Card

Lauren says, "Once again, I'd like to stress the fact that you DO NOT have to make a tropical-themed holiday card this fortnight, we just want to see cards with flowers on them. On the other hand, if you to WANT TO make a tropical-themed holiday card, we definitely won't try to talk you out of it. And I seriously doubt that anyone will be too surprised that OF COURSE I wanted to do just that, lol. I took advantage of the fifth Saturday rule at Sketch Saturday to choose a sketch from the archive; I've used #249 this time."

Link your floral masterpieces here by 6pm (EST) on Wednesday, November 16. keyword for galleries and Flickr is JB:16:23.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Sensational Critters

We loved seeing all of your fun critter creations.  Here are a few that particularly caught our eye.

Christine Craig

shared four adorable little penguins decked out in lovely pastels ... we're sure their holiday happy mail would make anyone smile.


shared her fantastically decked out Holiday Goose 
(see those cute jingle bells around his neck) ... 
and yes, the sentiment made us snicker.


displayed perfect paper-piecing for her holiday trio ...
and added a punny sentiment too.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Not a CREATURE was stirring

We're still celebrating animals (and CREATURES, aka Monsters) at Jingle Belles this week, so pull out your favorite creature* and join us at the post just below this one to link up.

Here are our week two creations.

Lauren says, "If you've JINGLED along with us other years, you probably know that I generally break out my favorite intergalactic monsta hooligans (technically, creatures from a retired Paperchase line called "Mini Mutants") around Halloween. So this week those guys have dropped in to help us get ready for a big holiday celebration, and thanks to Sketch Saturday, they knew exactly how to arrange themselves for maximum photogenic benefit."


Stephanie says, "You had to know I was going to break-out a Yeti ... especially these fun new Beast Friends from My Favorite Things.  I colored him with Spectrum Noir Markers and used this week's Sketch Saturday layout.  I finished with a bit of Christmas Washi Tape and a sprinkling of enamel dots.  Love him."

*Earth animals such as reindeer, moose, penguins, cardinals, etc, are also welcome!

Friday, October 21, 2016

While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks

This week we're breaking out the animals … it could be a sweet little sheep, a cardinal in a snowy tree, or perhaps one of Santa's reindeer … okay, or even a monster if you're in a Halloween mood and want to stretch the theme (and your name is Lauren).

Here are our animal creations.

Stephanie's Card

Stephanie says, "I couldn't resist featuring one of the super-cute Holiday Grumplings from Taylored Expressions.  I colored him with Spectrum Noir markers and used this week's Mojo Monday Sketch."

Lauren says, "I know it's shocking to everyone who knows me well, but my card's got a perfectly normal, perfectly adorable reindeer! (Don't worry, there's a MONSTA on deck for next week, I promise!) Meanwhile, I'm still pretty smitten by the adorable Doodlebug reindeer stickers, and I still had a set of eyelet outlet antler brads, and the pairing is apparently quite irresistible to me at the moment. I've used my favorite "washi tape letters" trick (details on my blog) as well as this week's layout from Retro Sketches."

Link your amazing animal creations here by 6pm (EST) Wednesday, November 2nd. Keyword for galleries and Flickr is JB:16:22.  

Thursday, October 20, 2016

In the Pink!

Before we reveal the totals for PINK CHRISTMAS 2016, we have to tell you something really special that happened this week. We got an email from our lovely friend Mimi, who participated this fortnight as one of our guest stars from Shopping Our Stash, and as a linked-up card-maker, as well. Mimi's eight year old daughter, Maude, had been (independently!) raising money for breast cancer research and wanted to know if she could contribute it to our total. Well, OF COURSE we were thrilled to accept! Here's what Mimi said,  "Maude decided to earn money for breast cancer on her own earlier this year. She did chores for some of the teachers at school, and I think grandpa even gave her some cash. I don't know why Maude focused on breast cancer, but I think at age 8, it was a mentally accessible concept-- she had heard about it, she knows people as they have gone through treatments, and she's seen how sad it's made my family for the families we know dealing with it." We were sooooooo impressed and so touched, we just had to share the story with you guys!

Thank you, Miss Maude, for your kindness and generosity, you've helped make this year's PINK CHRISTMAS celebration our best yet!


Meanwhile, counting all the link-ups, the extra cards in some of the links, and the cards by our lovely guest stars, we had a total of 75, and with a donation of $2 for every card from each of us (Stephanie and Lauren) we came to $300; when you add in $30 from Miss Maude we've got a total donation to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation of $330!!! Which is pretty flippin' awesome, in our opinion.

Thank you, JINGLE BELLES for thinking pink and linking pink with us again this year!


Of course, it wouldn't be a proper wrap-up post if we don't add in a few shout-outs, so here's a trio of PINK CHRISTMAS cards that made us especially happy this fortnight:

...made not one, but *FIVE* gorgeous pink greetings, making it nearly impossible to choose just one to feature. 
(Those BUTTONS, though!) 

...started with an amazing vintage image and added lots of pink-n-glittery bits!
(Clearly, a girl after our own hearts!)

...rocked the stamping, the masking and the ghosting, all while proving that pink and grunge can totally be BFF's!
(Plus: Wordfetti!!!)

We cannot possibly thank our readers AND our lovely friends from Shopping Our Stash enough for making cards, linking cards, sharing and posting about the challenge on social media, and all-round reminding us how truly *WONDERFUL* the online papercrafting community can be! Take 18 hours or so off, won't you? Then head back here at midnight, because we'll have a brand new prompt to be enjoyed by all creatures, great and small! 

Friday, October 14, 2016

Fuchsia Festivus

We're off to a pretty good start in the ♥PINK CHRISTMAS♥ gallery, but there's LOTS of room left for your card (or cards, plural, lol!) so be sure to scroll down to the original post just below this one for more inspiration and to link up your own pink masterpieces by Wednesday night!

Meanwhile, here's what we... and our lovely friends from Shopping Our Stash... made this week:

Lauren says, "Not only do I love (GAH!) pink, I love all the different shades of pink, and I'm quite happy to mix them all in together! In this case I've added some very soft fawn mats as a neutral to tie the layers together and a teeeeeeny bit of gold glitter because glitter makes everything better, right? I've also used the current Sketch Saturday layout to make the placement of each element super-easy!

Stephanie says, "I created a fun patchwork design using several pieces of pink glittery holiday paper.  The fun cardstock sentiment stickers finish the design." 

Friday, October 7, 2016

(gah!) Pink Christmas

Woohoo! It's time for our favorite prompt of the year, Pink Christmas! If you've ever hung out with us in October, you already know the drill, and there's an FAQ type post just above this one, but basically: each year in October, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Stephanie and Lauren host a challenge where we ask everyone to make holiday cards that are, (as the title suggests, lol) *PINK*... and then we each donate $2 to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation for each card that gets linked up. 

If you're wondering why this year it's (gah!) Pink Christmas, you may remember that our friend Leslie Hanna (aka the Crooked Stamper) who passed away last December, was always a big cheerleader for this event, despite being a famously ardent NON-fan of what she always called, (gah!) pink. So it just seemed like this year we should make it a bit of a tribute and remembrance of that lovely, snarky, crafty, fun lady. In fact, we've asked a few of her teammates from Shopping Our Stash, to come along and help out. So without further ado, here's the bumper crop of (gah!) Pink Christmas cards we've assembled:

Barb says, "House Mouse angel framed by an off-cut from a top note I had in my Christmas scrap from last year, edged in pink for dimension and coloured with alcohol markers."

Chris says, "Leslie was truly a one of a kind lady. I loved her incredibly sarcastic sense of humor, and her distaste for the color (GAH!) pink always made me laugh. Her blog posts were always funny and it was wise not to drink or eat anything while reading them, as you'd most likely be spitting whatever was in your mouth out form laughing so much! I miss you, sweet friend! ((HUGS!))"

Stephanie says, "There are lots of fun holiday papers that feature pinks ... like DCWV Jolly Whimsy ... so if you use those, the designs can come together quickly.  A stamped sentiment and a few snowflake embellishments finish the design."

Lauren's Card
Lauren says, "I've really missed Leslie this year. She, the lovely June Houck and Tracy Parlett were my very first blogging friends, and ever since, our online lives did a fair amount of overlapping. We knew a lot of the same peeps; we were on SOS together; we chatted and joked via email a couple of times a week. It's tempting to complain how unfair it is that she's gone waaaaaay too soon, but when I really stop and think, the thing I marvel most about, is that I was given the incredible bonus of a friendship that lasted nearly a decade, purely based on the fact that I like to make cards, and in 2007 I decided to start posting them on a blog. Seriously. HOW COOL IS THAT?! For that matter, Stephanie and I --and most of the rest of the people reading this-- met the same way. I'm amazed and grateful for all of the fun, inspiration, friendship and love that has come my way because of this hobby. It blows my mind. Thank you Leslie, and thank you, fellow Jingle Belles, for all of the *FUN* we've had together. I'm looking forward to all of the good things still to come!"

Ok, so, the one thing that would make this event even better, would be if we could break our 2014 record of 144 cards, for which we donated $576.00. Tell your friends, tell your fellow crafters, heck, tell your Granny if she likes to make cards! Feel free to link, share and repost the graphic and the FAQ in the post above. Then grab your fuchsia papers, your cerise embellies, your salmon ink, your bubblegum florals... well, you get the idea: THINK PINK and LINK PINK right here on this post between now and 6pm (EST) Wednesday, October 19th. Keyword for galleries and Flickr is JB:16:21

Thursday, October 6, 2016

It's Nearly Time

What is it? 
A challenge to make and link *PINK* holiday cards in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Where is it?
Right here!

When does it start?
At midnight!
(technically, at 12:01am (EST) on Friday, October 7th)

Whom does it benefit?
Lauren and Stephanie (aka the Jingle Belles) are each donating $2 per linked up card to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

How many cards can I link?
As many as you want, there's no limit!

What if I don't celebrate Christmas?
You're welcome to make pink Hanukkah, pink Solstice, pink Kwanzaa or pink New Year cards instead.

Does my card have to be ALL pink?
Nope! But it should be noticeably pink. So there should be more than, say, the blush on Mrs. Claus' cheeks, if you see what we mean?

What's with the "(GAH!)"?
Our friend and fellow papercrafting blogger, Leslie Hanna (aka the Crooked Stamper) passed away last December. Each year, Leslie was one of the most enthusiastic supporters of this event... which was pretty cool, seeing as how she really REALLY did not like the color pink, at all. A fact she wrote about quite hilariously on many occasions. So it's a bit of a tribute, and a way to have her with us in spirit!

Please join us to Think Pink and Link Pink at Jingle Belles!

(Feel free to link, share, repost and spread the word, we'd like to raise as much money as possible!!!)


So many fabulous Bells in the gallery this week ... here are a few that did an extra-special job of RINGING in the holidays.

rocked some big bold jingle bells with a perfectly tied double bow ...
and what a fun holiday sentiment.

turned Cherry Blossoms into an amazing holiday wreath ...
and topped it with two perfectly placed little jingle bells.

Kathy Schweinfurth of Stamps At Play

featured a pair of rusty little bells with her perfectly place pine bow ...
it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas indeed.

Our next prompt is a super-special annual event that you won't want to miss.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Jingle Bells, Jingle Belles

We're still ring-a-ding-dinging this week with lots and lots of bells-- and Belles! Here are our jingly cards for this week:

Stephanie says, "I found this musical glittery card in my stash, so all I had to do is mount it on a kraft card base and add some die cut glittery jingle bells."

Lauren says, "This lovely bell image was actually on an oversized rectangular pocket-scrapbooking card, but when I saw the current Fusion Sketch, I knew I had to trim it into a circle, instead. I did a bunch of machine stitching, added some super-cute Eyelet Outlet Holly Brads, and assembled all my layers."

Plenty of time to link up your bell-based goodness, scroll down to the post directly below this one for full details and linky widget!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Christmas Bells, Those Christmas Bells ...

It's probably no surprise that the Jingle Belles love BELLS ... so for this prompt we're asking you to create a card that features at least one BELL ... it might be a Jingle Bell, a Sleigh Bell, a Church Bell, a Silver Bell ... just make sure we see a BELL.

Here are our jingly cards this week:

Stephanie says, "I found this vintage image of a cute little kitty with a jingle bell collar (remember digital images are always an option if you don't have any bells in your stash), and I couldn't resist featuring him on a holiday card for one of my cat-loving friends.  I used this week's Sketch Saturday with some Eyelet Outlet Champagne Bling and a gold glitter die cut sentiment from Essentials by Ellen."

Lauren says, "The very first year of Jingle Belles, my lovely blogging friend and fellow Jersey girl Lorraine of Paper Vernissage gave me this beautiful Memory Box "Jingle Bell Border" die and it is still one of my all-time faves! In this case I've used it-- and most of the other elements on the card-- to make my oversized sentiment even more prominent; a task for which the adorable (brand new!) Eyelet Outlet Cardinal Brads are admirably suited, imo. My layout was inspired by this week's sketch (#178) from Atlantic Hearts Sketch Challenge."

Link your bell-laden creations right here by 6pm (EST) on Wednesday, October 5th. Keyword for galleries and Flickr is JB:16:20.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Home *SWEET* Homes

With so many clever takes on the theme of holiday architecture, you guys certainly do make it hard to feature just a trio of cards at a time, but here are three cards that made us especially happy this fortnight:

...knew she didn't have to put an entire town on her card OR make any reference to Bethlehem; but if a gal has the perfect stamps for a particular challenge, and can use them this beautifully, we wouldn't dream of stopping her!

...made us remember that as much as we love a great minimalist design, we also love cards with loads of layers, texture and sparkle. Yeah, we're kind of swooning right now...

...gave us a bit of "card envy" with this clever concept. We love the white-on-white of all those embossed houses, we love the brilliant choice of sentiment, and we really (really!) love those two red hearts! Yowza!

and just one more photo for you, because our lovely friend and fellow Belle June Houck was unable to access her blog and link up her card because of computer issues, but it's sooooo cute and totally needs to be seen!!! ♥

Many thanks to everyone who played along, we are always wowed by the cards you link up! We'll be back at midnight with a brand new prompt we hope will ring a few bells with our Belles!!! ♥♥♥