Christmas in July 2016 ~ Day #5

Hi everyone and welcome to the 5th and final day of “Christmas in July”!

Create the perfect winter scene with these sweet little guys. They could adorn a Christmas tree, wreath, garland and Christmas packages ~ so I made some in both card stock and felt. The assembly process is basically the same for both except for the blanket stitching on the felt ones. 

Please note: I just have the card stock snowman ornament instructions pictured below but have included some hints on creating the felt snowman. If you have any other questions regarding either, please do not hesitate to contact me.


*I used the Sizzix Bigz Die w/Bonus Textured Impressions – Snowman and Hat {ordered from} for this project.

For card stock ornaments, you will need: card stock {white, black and brown}, glitter paper {any color for the band on his hat/button hearts/snowflake}, snowman/hat die, die cutting machine, adhesive, ribbon or twine, markers, heart punch or adhesive hearts, fabric or yarn {for his scarf}, “to/from” stamp and ink {optional for tags}, glitter or Wink of Stella pen, rhinestones/pearls and extra chosen embellishments.

For felt ornaments, you will need most of the above with some exceptions:

*replace the card stock with felt

*replace the adhesive with a needle and thread for blanket stitching the body layers together

*tiny twigs for arms and hat layers added with a strong liquid glue

*polyester fibrefill stuffing for added dimension {if desired}



Each ornament {both felt and card stock} requires 2 each of the snowman and hat die cuts ~ one for the front and one for the back.



Center the top snowman card stock layer in the embossing folder and run it through the die cutting machine.

*Please note: For the felt ornament, I did emboss the top felt layer ~ it only adds a bit of texture and not nearly the detail of the card stock embossing. Also, by the time the blanket stitching was done, there was hardly any texture left ~ probably from the handling.

IMG_2316     IMG_2317


Stamp “to/from” on the back {if making a tag}, attach a loop of ribbon or twine to the inside top center of either layer for the hanger. Also, if arms are being added, glue them on now to the inside. I punched these arms from brown card stock with the Stampin’ Up! Tree Builder punch but they could easily be handcut.

*Please note: For the felt ornament, if adding twig arms, glue them and the hanger on the same way with some strong liquid glue before stitching.



To complete the ornament: 1}Adhere both snowman layers together and then the two hat layers {these will go on each side of the ribbon or twine hanger}. 2}Color in the facial features with markers. 3}From the glitter paper I added a small strip for the band on his hat, punched three small hearts for buttons and a snowflake. 4}I then attached a rhinestone to his hat band and the snowflake center. 5}Finally, tie on a cozy scarf and this little guy is ready 🙂

*Please note: For the felt ornament, I stitched the nose with orange floss before blanket stitching the two snowman layers together. As the body layers are being stictched together, a small amount of stuffing can be added to make him a bit puffy. Black pearls were added for the eyes and mouth, glitter paper was used the same way for the hat band/heart buttons/snowflake. Finish him off with a scarf.



*These will be available at Sparkling Dahlia in Carstairs in November as well as on my website.


Thank you so much for joining me for this years “Christmas in July”. I hope that you have been inspired with some ideas for this upcoming holiday season! 🙂


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The Country Touch




Technique Tuesday #17

Hi everyone!

Welcome to this weeks Technique Tuesday. In these posts I share a technique that can be applied to many forms of paper crafting ~ card making, scrapbooking, albums and tags. I alternate Technique Tuesday and Tuesday’s Tip just to change things up a bit.

This week’s technique: SEED BEAD FLOWER CENTERS.

This is a very simple and quick technique but it adds some extra dimension and pretty shine to paper, felt or fabric flowers.

You will need: the chosen flowers for your project, Glossy Accents {I used Liquid Glass from Close To My Heart, which is basically the same thing}, tweezers.



Apply an even layer of Glossy Accents to the centers of the flowers.



While the Glossy Accents is still wet, sprinkle on seed beads until the dimension can be seen. I thought this flower kind of looks like a sunflower 🙂



Then let the flowers dry completely. I did an assortment for this and future projects.



I ended up turning this card into a shaker card with sequins and seed beads as the shaker materials. Then adhered the flowers to the front as shown.



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I hope you enjoyed this weeks technique. As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. See you next time!


Until next time,


The Country Touch




Christmas in July 2016 ~ Day #4

Hi everyone and welcome to Day #4 of “Christmas in July”!

It’s not too early to start getting your Christmas card list ready for family members, friends, co-workers or clients/customers. Today, I have a card design that is easy to mass produce no matter how many cards you need this year. Many different “tree” stamp sets can be used for this design should you choose to make your own and don’t have this particular set ~ just follow the design with the stamps of your choice. I used the Stampin’ Up! Happy Scenes stamp set.

*These will be available in singles and boxed sets at Sparkling Dahlia in Carstairs in November as well as on my website.



You will need: a card base, card stock {white for embossing/stamping and 2 other colors for mats}, chosen stamps/ink, acrylic blocks{if using clear stamps}, powder tool/embossing powder/heat tool {if heat embossing is desired}, embossing folder, die cutting machine {for embossing card panel}, adhesives, glitter, ribbon or twine, pearls.


*White card stock measurements:

4 1/8″ x 5 3/8″ {embossed panel}

3 1/4″ x 3 1/2″” {stamped layer}

*Colored card stock measurements:

Silver glitter ~ 3 1/2″ x 3 3/4″ {middle mat}

Always Artichoke ~ 3 3/4″ x 4″ {bottom mat}


Stamp the images onto the smallest piece of white card stock. *If heat embossing, be sure to use a powder tool before stamping. To give the look of trees in the distance, stamp off the ink pad once onto scrap paper, then stamp onto the card stock.



Emboss the largest white piece of card stock and adhere to the card front. Layer/adhere together the stamped image and 2 colored mats.



After applying a liquid glue, sprinkle on the glitter to the desired areas on the stamped layer.



The layered stamped image can be adhered directly to the embossed panel or raised up with dimensional adhesive, which is what I did with this card. Add a bow and any embellishments and your card is complete!




*To save on the cost of glitter paper which can be a bit pricey, you can make your own which is what I did. First, choose the color of card stock that you want the glitter paper to be. Then, swipe a VersaMark ink pad across it to cover completely or just the edges if it’s going to be a mat. Finally, sprinkle on sparkly embossing powder and heat set.

*If you don’t have the right colored pearls, color some white or cream ones. Just be sure to use a Sharpie or some type of permanent marker, such as alcohol markers.



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See you next Friday for the final “Christmas in July” 2016 ~ Day#5!


The Country Touch



Tuesday’s Tip #5

Hi everyone!

Welcome to today’s Tuesday’s Tip. These posts are tips about different products, crafting and also ways of stretching the supplies that you already may have. I alternate Tuesday’s Tip and Technique Tuesday just to change things up a bit.

Today I want to share with you some of the different kinds of ink used for stamping. Inks are one of the main supplies needed by every stamper ~ you can’t stamp without ink of some sort.  Not only can you find every color imaginable but there is also a varied selection of different kinds of inks.  It gets confusing trying to figure which ink does what and which inks you really do need for your paper crafting.

*Please note: The ink pads pictured are the kinds that I have in my collection but there are many, many more different colors, shapes and sizes of all the different ink pads other than what is shown below.

#1} Dye ~ this is the most common type of ink which comes in many different colors. Most of them are not waterproof which means you can’t color the stamped images with markers or water colors as the ink will run. But colored pencils will work.



#2}Water-based dye ~ These inks are great for stamping on card stock and will generally not stamp well on other surfaces. They work best on light colored card stocks and most colors will not show up well on dark card stock. They dry quite quickly so they are not good for embossing.



#3}Chalk ~ these are a pigment ink which have a matte and almost powdery finish to them once dry.  With their matte and chalky finish, they look really nice on dark card stocks.



#4}Distress ~ are water based dye inks but do dry slower than other water based dye inks. This means that it is possible to emboss with them, although the application and heating of embossing powder must be done quickly. Distress inks react with water which makes them perfect for water coloring because they blend well together. To give a vintage or aged look to a project, sponge some distress ink around the edges.



#5}Pigment ~ are thicker than dye inks. The colors are bright and fade resistant. Because it doesn’t soak into paper like a dye ink does, it takes a little longer to dry on regular paper but the colors will be nice and rich looking.  Also, it will not dry on glossy paper so you need to heat set it with an heat tool for it to dry properly.  However, because a pigment ink stays wet for so long, that means it’s perfect for heat embossing images.



#6}Embossing ~ VersaMark ink is a clear and very sticky ink which makes it ideal for heat embossing because the embossing powder will stick to it. Also, because it is clear, you can add any color of embossing powder to it and get wonderful results. As well, it creates a “watermark” look on paper which results in excellent background designs. Embossing pens are available with both fine and chisel ends ~ ideal for tiny areas/images to be embossed.



#7}Hybrid ~ these inks are are basically a combination of dye and pigment inks and they contain characteristics of both. They stamp well on all types of paper but some papers such as glossy or photo require heat setting to completely dry the ink. Hybrid inks dry just as fast as dye inks so for this reason they are not good for embossing.



#8}Archival/Permanent ~ when a stamped image needs to be permanent {for example, for coloring} a archival or permanent ink is required.  StazOn is the ultimate permanent ink although I do not have that brand. These inks do take a few minutes to dry thoroughly but if you are in a hurry, you may use a heat tool to heat set it. Once dry, it does not smudge, streak or smear which makes it ideal for coloring techniques, such as water coloring or markers.


A few tips for caring for your ink pads:

*Always be sure to replace the lid tightly after using.

*Clean stamps thoroughly after using them. Please feel free to check out this post about stamp cleaning:

*Most  ink pads have matching re-inkers available to purchase. When it seems like the ink pad is getting a bit dry, just squeeze a few drops of the re-inker over the surface of the pad and use the back of a spoon to push the ink into the pad. Stamp an image to see if enough has been added. If you end up putting too much re-inker on the pad, gently blot the ink pad with a paper towel or piece of paper.

*It is best to store ink pads upside down as this will keep the ink on the surface of the pad.


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Until next time,


The Country Touch




Christmas in July 2016 ~ Day #3

Hi everyone and welcome to Day #3 of “Christmas in July”!

Today I want to share with you a mini quilt that can be added to your table décor or hung on the wall. It can be used in any room for winter or Christmas decorating. Quilted cotton fabric is hand embroidered with an adorable snowman angel with a gold halo surrounded by holly leaves/stars. It is then bordered with assorted Snowman Gatherings fabric by Moda Fabrics {colors: ice blue, navy, paper bag, tallow, warm blue}. The binding is  navy and the backing is a printed snowman cotton fabric. The finished size {outside dimensions} measures 12″ x 12″.



Close up of embroidered design.


*Please note:

*The quilted cotton with the embroidery has been aged with a coffee/vanilla/cinnamon mixture but could certainly be left plain.

*If you are interested in making this project, here is the link for the free pattern/instructions. Thank you to Ellies Quiltplace!


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See you next Friday for “Christmas in July” 2016 ~ Day#4!



The Country Touch



Technique Tuesday #16

Welcome to this weeks Technique Tuesday. In these posts I share a technique that can be applied to many forms of paper crafting ~ card making, scrapbooking, albums and tags. I alternate Technique Tuesday and Tuesday’s Tip just to change things up a bit.

This week’s technique: CHALKBOARD LOOK.

The chalkboard look has been a popular trend for a while now in everything from cards to tags to framed prints. Using this easy technique to create a black and white sentiment {which closely resembles a classic schoolroom chalkboard} as the focal point of the project means that the color choices for the other layers and embellishments are endless.

You will need: black card stock, powder tool, stamp/stamps, clear acrylic block {if using clear stamps}, white pigment ink, white embossing powder {optional}, heat tool. *Additional supplies may include a card base/tag, patterned paper, adhesive and whatever embellishments/extras need to complete the intended design.



Rub the powder tool over the black card stock before stamping to give it the “chalky” look.



Stamp the image/images with white pigment ink. Sprinkle with embossing powder and set with the heat tool {if desired} ~ this gives a brighter white image. I have shown both ways ~ just plain white ink and then white ink with white embossing powder {which is what I used for my project}. If a more “chalky” look is desired, just rub the powder tool over again but be sure that if embossing powder was not used, the plain ink is completely dry or heat set it to prevent smudging.



Now it’s time to use the chalkboard in a project. I created a card with a white card base, matted some patterned paper on card stock, added some little banners and liquid pearl embellishments.



I hope you enjoyed this weeks technique. As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. See you next time!


Until next time,


The Country Touch



Christmas in July 2016 ~ Day #2

Hi everyone and welcome to Day #2 of “Christmas in July”!

Sweeten the holidays with homemade treats wrapped in festive handmade packaging. Today I am sharing a treat bag that will be a welcome gift ~ especially since it’s filled with yummy homemade Almond Bark {recipe follows} but you can certainly fill it with your choice of treats.


You will need: 1 sheet of card stock {cut to 7″ x 10 1/2″}, scoring board, bone folder, scissors, chosen stamps, acrylic blocks{if using clear stamps}, embossing buddy, VersaMark ink, embossing powder, heat tool, double sided tape, hole/slot punch.



Score the card stock {long side} at 1/2″, 2″, 5 1/2″ and 7″. Score the short side at 1 1/2″.



Run the embossing buddy over the areas that you choose to stamp ~ I just stamped the front and back but you could do the sides also. Stamp the images with VersaMark.



Sprinkle on the embossing powder and set with the heat tool.



Once the trees were heat embossed, I then stamped and heat embossed the snow flakes. Because I was using a wider ribbon, I had to use a slot punch instead of a hole punch at the top of both the front and back panels.



Cut off the small flap on the bottom right side. Then snip the other fold lines just up to the score lines ~ these are the bags bottom tabs.



With the bone folder, crease all of the score lines. Add some double sided tape to the narrow right flap {above where the small flap was removed}.



Line up the flap with adhesive with the other edge and press to seal. Then add the double sided tape to the insides of the 2 long bottom flaps, fold in the 2 smaller flaps and adhere closed.



Once the bag is assembled and the treats are put inside, squeeze the top shut and close with your choice of ribbon or twine. I used a wider sheer ribbon and tied it closed with some baker’s twine. Before tying the twine into a bow, a tag was threaded on. I applied a tiny bit of liquid glue here and there on the trees and sprinkled them with glitter. I wish the glitter showed up in the picture ~ it is so pretty!




*You could use fun, playful Christmas stamps and bright colors for this project as well. It could also be made for any occasion, not just the holidays.

*Panels of patterned paper could be adhered to the bags front and back instead of stamping if preferred.


This is the Almond Bark recipe I have been making for years. *Please note: dark or milk chocolate may be substituted. You can also add dried fruit such as cranberries or apricots.


White Chocolate Almond Bark
~1 ½ pounds white chocolate, coarsely chopped
~1 cup raw almonds
~2 tsp. shortening

1} Prepare a cookie sheet with a piece of parchment paper.

2} Place the chocolate and shortening in a glass bowl and melt over simmering water stirring until melted and smooth.

3} Stir in the almonds and pour onto cookie sheet. Spread it to about ¼” in thickness.

4} Let the bark set until firm at room temperature ~ this can take several hours to overnight.

5} When the bark is hard, break or chop it into pieces and store in a zip lock bag or air tight container. I find that almond bark stays fresher in the fridge and can also be frozen for longer storage but I doubt that it will make it to the freezer 🙂 Enjoy!

Please note: I put the almond bark in a cello bag before placing it into the treat bag {for freshness and so the oils from the chocolate don’t stain the bag}.


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See you next Friday for “Christmas in July” 2016 ~ Day#3!


The Country Touch