Introducing Our December Guest - Jenn Shurkus

Today we're introducing our December Guest Designer, Jenn Shurkus.  Jenn's no stranger to Neat & Tangled.  She's been a mainstay in the card making world.  Jenn loves working with a variety of mediums and techniques and we are so excited to have her with us this month.  Here's a little more about Jenn:

Jenn lives on Cape Cod, with her kitty Mister Harley and her boyfriend Chris. She's been papercrafting for 18 years, and has played multiple roles in the paper craft industry as an independent store manager, designer and teacher. Jenn loves to show people new and clever ideas to design their cards and projects. Jenn is eager to share her creative passions with others and encourage their artistic growth. She currently teaches in person and online classes as well as host Art Retreats. You can read more about her, on her blog {creative chick} as well as follow her creative endeavors on

You Tube:

And here she is with her first project:

Hello everyone! I am wicked excited to be here guest designing for Neat & Tangled! I love everything that N&T releases, but I am a HUGE addict of all of Elena’s designs. I have lived in New England my whole life, but I can’t stand winter… I live on Cape Cod and wish we could have summer beach days all year long. This is what inspired this card.

I combined a few sets to create this card. Using “Oh Deer”, “Get Yeti”, “Hello Winter”, and “Merry Kisses” I decided to create a card to celebrate winter, the best way I know how, by saying “Oh deer!” :)

For the background I started by ink blending a little bit of Tumbled Glass Distress Ink. Then using some Matte Embossing Paste, I spread some through a snowfall stencil and sprinkled Prisma Glitter all over the wet paste. I set this aside to dry.

I stamped and colored all of the images with Copic markers. I then die cut them all out.

I arranged all of the images on the card using foam tape to pop some of them up off the card.

In honor of guest designing for Neat & Tangled this month I have a fun little giveaway over on my site- so be sure to check that out! {creative chick}

Hope this card inspires you, and I can’t wait to be back next week with more!

December Deals - Week 1

Hi friends!  We're doing something special each weekend in December.  Each weekend there will be a special sale.  It might be a category of items, it might be a percentage discount, it might be something like we're offering this weekend:  Buy one stamp set, get a second 50% off.  There's no limit, if you buy one set you get one half off, if you buy ten, you get ten half off. 

Each sale will run Friday through Sunday, but if you're a newsletter subscriber, you'll get early access some time on Thursday.  Use this link to sign up:

Happy shopping!

Merry & Bright Homespun Christmas Card

Hi friends!  Miriam here today to share a card using some older N&T holiday products. 

This card features the Star Cover Plate.  This design can be very modern, but can also take on a homespun, quilted feel.  Today I chose to go with the latter.  

I pulled out a very old 6x6 pad (Pink Paislee's Merry & Bright collection), and picked out a couple more neutral prints - one with small sprays of flowers/leaves and one with a sheet music background.  I also chose an almost solid red print, with some quilted looking stars on it, and cut the cover using each of these patterns.

Just like with quilting, you can get very different looks just based on which prints you choose to use in each part of your pattern.  Since I wanted a more neutral look, I used the red print in the center stars since that's the shape that gets used least.  

The pieces were inlaid into my 'webbing'.  This part is a little fiddly, but the results are so pretty it's worth it. 

I had inlaid all the pieces into the webbing from the print with the little sprays of flowers, but I thought the design wasn't standing out enough.  To remedy the situation, I cut the cover again from some white cardstock that is a bit thinner than my normal card base cardstock.  This was adhered over top of the inlaid design.  To really make sure it was adhered well, I ran the entire piece through my Big Shot between the cutting plates.  This is one of my go-to trips when creating inlaid cards as it helps to make sure everything is tightly adhered.  As you can see, you can't really tell that I added that extra layer of cardstock webbing.

For the sentiment, I used the Merry & Bright sentiment dies.  I love these.  When it comes to holiday cards, if I've got a really pretty background that I don't want to cover up too much of, this is what I reach for.

The sentiment was cut from red cardstock and adhered to the sentiment outline piece cut from white cardstock.  The entire piece was then popped up over my background.

Since there are plenty of pieces of patterned paper left after creating this card, you could definitely crank out two more...that is if your dog hadn't decided to take a stroll through your workspace (the floor) scattering pieces everywhere....

That's all for me today.  Thanks for stopping by!

reindeer family fun with Elena

Hi there!

Elena here, with a Christmas card that mixes a few sets to create a family of winter deer:

I started out by stamping out my deer. The mama and papa deer are from Oh Deer, and the little one making a tiny snowman is from Santa's Wonderland. I think they all look so cute together!

I colored them all using my favorite brown copic marker trio: E30, E31, and E34. I went back in and added some W5 in the spots that would be most shaded.

I added rolling snowbanks beneath their hooves, using our Stitched Slopes dies.

I added a gingham paper sky and popped up the focal images before creating a frame using 2 rectangle dies.

I stamped out the greeting, from Nativity Play to the bottom of the frame using a crisp black ink. I'm so happy to have this french greeting for all of our teacher cards this year! We live right outside the city of Montreal, and our kids are in a french-immersion program.

I hope you like it! Thanks for stopping by!


N&T Throwdown - Gift Wrap Ensemble Challenge

Hi friends!  Can you believe it's already December?  We're kicking off our last Throwdown of the year, and it's aimed at helping you prepare for the holidays.

This month we're asking you to create a gift wrap ensemble.  There is an extra special prize involved (you'll have to read to the end to get to that), and we have a very special guest to get you inspired as well!

Happy December! I'm Rebecca Luminarias and I'm thrilled to be a guest for the Neat & Tangled Challenge this month! It's all about gift wrapping, which is my most favorite kind of paper craft!

I have some easy and fun projects for you today, beginning with stenciled gift bags. I used the Fa La La stencil from November's release as the main ingredient in almost all of my projects. I was going to use it in conjunction with plain white wrapping paper, but then I decided to stencil muslin bags instead and I love the results!

If you want to do it, too, you'll need a few things to get you started:

- Fa La La Simply Stencil (or any Neat & Tangled stencil!)
- Muslin bag (The main size I used was 4" x 6" but any size works.)
- Ink colors of your choice
- Blending tools
- Washi or painter's tape
*I'm using muslin bags, but this tutorial is good for any medium, from paper to fabric.

To begin, I placed my bag on a scrap piece of paper to protect my work surface. I used thick washi tape (about 2" wide) to tape the stencil in place over the bag. I wanted to vary the colors of the falalas so I used thinner tape to cover certain sections of the text. When I'm done applying the first layer of ink, I'll go back and apply a different color to the taped off sections.

With an ink blending tool, I filled in the stencils with pink ink. The bag is thicker than plain paper or cardstock so it moves around easier. You'll want to be careful of this and use your free hand to firmly hold it in place.

I lift the stencil up every so often to be sure it looks okay. Once the first color is finished, take a look for any missed sections (unintentional, of course!) and add a bit more color.

Before moving onto the second color application, you'll want to wipe the pink ink off of the stencil. I didn't want to move my bag so I folded a paper towel into quarters and placed it under the stencil to protect the bag. I wiped it clean with a baby wipe, and then dried it with another paper towel.

To apply the second coat of ink, I did it section by section, instead of covering the entire stencil with tape all at once. I used green ink as an accent to the pink. It didn't take too long at all to do it this way.

Once it was done, I removed the tape and stencil, and admired my colorful FaLaLa-lovely gift bag!

The best thing is that there are all kinds of variations you can do with the stencil--do the entire bag in one color, apply a different color to one whole row, alternate the rows with colors, or use an entire spectrum of hues for a rainbow of prettiness! For Christmas, I stayed with red, green, and pink, but I encourage you to experiment and have fun!

I used dye inks in bolder, more saturated tones for the bags because paler colors don't show up as well. You might try acrylic paints, as well.

I dressed up the bags with some trims, and even added some yarn pom poms, choosing trims that feel warm and cozy. I also tied on a couple of skinny tags from the Classic Tag 2 die set and I stamped "From Me to You," found in the Wishing You Love set. I then added a gold glittery foam alpha to each bag, which acts as a monogram for my recipient.

These gift bags are so convenient for giving small trinkets, gift cards, baked treats, and candles (or certain stamp and die sets for crafty friends!). I use them all the time for giving gifts and I'm so excited to use them with the Fa La La stencil this holiday season. Every year I make a set of cards and gift tags for my husband's side of the family and this year, they'll be housed in these.

Another fun item you can put inside of these bags is a handmade card. I made one with the Classic Tag 2 die and the Wishing You Love stamp set.

I liked the idea of creating a folded card from this large tag so I taped the die to a folded card with the top of the die set just above the fold in order to preserve it.

After running it through my die cutting machine, I had a folded card in the shape of a tag.

I then heat embossed the large sentiment on it with gold embossing powder--large messages like that are so nice for mass producing cards at Christmastime!

I embossed and die cut some of the small stars that come with the stamp set, too, arranging them in the white space around the sentiment. They are adhered with a 3-D foam dot to lift them off of the card.

The card needed just a bit more at the top so I used one of the accompanying dies from the Classic Tag 2 set to cut the mint gingham top piece. After adhering that to the card, I ran bits of lace, seam binding, and fuzzy yarn through the hole in the tag and tied them in place with some gold thread.

The card fits perfectly inside the 4" x 6" gift bag and the bag is a nice way to deliver handmade greetings like the card. If you're giving money or gift cards, it's also a great way to keep it safe and it's a little more personal and meaningful when it's being given in this manner.

Speaking of gift cards, I have one more thing to show you before I let you go to get creative. The best part is, you can use all 3 of these ideas together to create a 3-piece gift ensemble!

Gift cards are practical, easy, and often much appreciated presents during the hectic holidays. I always love to come up with fun ways to hold them, and I used the Fa La La stencil and the Classic Tag 1 to help me out with that part. I got the tag die with the intention of making an actual tag with it, but when I took it out of the packaging, it suddenly screamed 'gift card holder' at me and I had to oblige!

I cut out two tags and used the stencil to decorate one of them. I only wanted to cover a certain portion with the stencil so I taped off the outer edges to avoid applying color there.

Next, I stitched the 2 tags together, back to back, using a gift card as a guide--it wouldn't be very good if I'd gotten all done and the card didn't actually fit, right? I'm a hand-stitcher so I paper-pierced and sewed that way, but it'll be a lot quicker if you machine-stitch the tags together.

When I was finished sewing, I slipped the gift card inside and added my requisite trims, which were a pom pom, red seam binding, and pink fuzzy yarn. I added a glitter 'A' as the final step and I've got another gift in the books!

I hope you are challenged to create some fun (and easy!) gift wrap this year. It's my favorite time of year for wrapping presents and adding handmade touches to all of them. The Fa La La stenciled gift bags will become a permanent fixture in my holiday wrapping-repertoire, how about yours?
Thanks so much to Rebecca for her fantastic sample ensemble!  Now for the challenge details:

1) Create a gift wrap ensemble that includes at least THREE different elements, and submit it through the Inlinkz tool below. When linking, please link to the specific blog post, not your entire blog.
2) Link back to the challenge blog and display the challenge graphic in your post.
3) Neat & Tangled products must be the focal point of your project. You can use products from other companies, but Neat & Tangled products should be the star.
4) You may enter as many times as you would like.
5) You have until Thursday, December 27th at 11:59 EST to enter
6) Winner will not be chosen at random, but rather will be judged based on creativity and execution.

And what is the prize?  The winner will receive the entire January release as well as a $25 Amazon gift card.  We cannot wait to see what you guys create!

Cheery Rainbow Christmas with Guest Designer Meghan Peterson

It's the last Friday of the month, which unfortunately means that we're saying goodbye to this month's guest designer Meghan Peterson. It's been a pleasure having her this month, and you're going to love her last project. Here's Meghan with all the details:

Good morning all! Today is my final day at Neat & Tangled as their Guest Designer for this month. It has been such an honor to be a part of this, and thank you all for joining me!

Today I decided that since Christmas is less than a month away (when did that happen??), I would make a true Christmas card. However, I wanted to try it with a twist and to make a rainbow Christmas card. I was skeptical about how it might turn out, but I actually really like the cheery feel of this card.

I started by taking a watercolor paper panel, the size of an A2 card and cut it in half, hot dog style (or vertically if you’d like to be technical ☺). I took my distress inks and smeared the rainbow colors I wanted onto a craft sheet (acetate or shrink wrap would work for this also). I then took one half of my watercolor paper, and smeared heavily and richly my distress inks in rainbow order. I added water to emphasize the watercolor look, and made sure to put the colors closely together so you would get multiple colors in each tree. I put this aside to try.

I then took the second half of my watercolor paper and diluted the colors still on my craft sheet with more water, and added more water as I applied them, in the same rainbow order, but not with the exact same color ratio as my first panel. This variance will only add to our piece. After I had a pale watercolor rainbow, I let that try as well.

As they dried, I took my card panel (not watercolor paper), and added sparkly snow falling from the sky, partially using the snow stamp from Neat and Tangled, and then added in more dots where I wanted. I debated heavily with myself about adding color to the top portion as well, but decided I wanted my rainbows to be the color focus and left the top part completely white (unless you count the iridescent sparkle).

I then die cut my trees (Scandinavian Prints Christmas) and my houses (Warm Winter Scene Cover Plate) from my dried watercolor panels. On the trees, I stamped the black detail stamps for a fresh contrast to the colorful watercolor. I then built up my neighborhood along the bottom with my pale trees in the background behind some vellum and my Christmas village houses in the front.

I stamped my sentiment in black ink over the houses (Scandinavian Prints Christmas), and then some tree branches from . This gives a modern looking card that is still bright and cheery. I’m thrilled with out in turned out.

Thanks so much again for joining me, and I hope you are all having a wonderful holiday season.



Monochrome Holiday Cards with Daria

Hello-hello Dear Friends!

Daria here, and I have a few cards to share with you today. I missed my November DT package due to  the post mistake (seriously, I was so sad about it). So, for these projects, I've decided to take some oldie but goodie stuff that would work perfectly for the holiday season.  To say the truth, I am really behind on making all the cards I want to send this year...

Having that in mind, I need some simple and fast to make yet pretty idea for holiday crafting. My recipe for that is to take cool cover plate, add themed elements, and finish with season's sentiments.

I was playing with two cover plates: Falling Circles and Warm Winter Scene. Those two are my favourites. The first one is just a perfect backdrop for any winter or holiday themed card. While the Warm Winter Scene cover plate die could be used for so many different occasions - both negative and positive die-cuts.

I went with monochrome looks for these cards. They are pretty simple to make, but I love the look. Hope you do too :) The sentiments are from Happy Holidays Stamp setGet Yeti and Wishing You Love stamp sets.

While making all the die-cutting, I also wanted to use some of the pattern papers I have. That is how the last card was created. It is to show that just by using different colours you may change the feel of the card.

Thanks so much for stopping by, hope you liked that simple ideas and will give them a try.
Have a wonderful day,
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