***ETA: I just realized that I forgot about the image of my photo card giving my grief, and never did fix it. I will work on that and get a new one loaded as soon as I can!***

***Fixed!!***

I am so excited about today’s post! I am so thrilled to be Guest Designing for WPlus9 during the month of November, showing you all kinds of ideas for your holiday crafting, using the latest, GOREGOUS release of stamps!

I’ll be posting projects officially every Wednesday this month, but I can already tell you that I’ll be creating many more projects, which I will also share with you as I make them.

Today, I am featuring two sets, and some coordinating dies:

Merry & Bright Stamps and Dies
Strictly Sentiments 3 Stamps

My favourite thing about design work is when I am pushed to use stamps that would normally fly under my radar. Sometimes they end up being some of my favourites to work with, and I might not have noticed them if they weren’t plopped into my hands!

Introducing, Strictly Sentiments 3. It’s a modest little thing, but I feel I’ve barely chipped the surface of what this set can do. It lends itself to a variety of styles, and the scale of the sentiments allow it to easily take center stage.

As soon as I saw this one, I knew it would suit the chalkboard technique beautifully. I also knew that I wanted to try my hand at something that is growing in popularity – photo cards. I chose a photo taken by my brother during a visit last year, and then created my oversized card from there – I figure this is something that would hang on Grandma’s fridge, so it’s okay to make it big!

I also threw in some stamps from various other sets, including Hope Seed Co. for my frame, and snowflakes from Folk Art Flurries to tie it all together.

Next, I wanted to try a softer approach. I thought that this set would work well using bokeh-effect stamping, since the circles are such a perfect shape for it.

I created a card earlier this year using this same technique, and basically these same colours… I liked it so much, I decided to create a new version.

I embossed the “Peace” in gold powder to dress it up for the holidays, then added a strip of Washi to the top of my panel to tie it all together. I still thought it needed a little something, so I cut the felt bow using the Under the Mistletoe Dies (more on those in another post), and added a pearl.

Next, I created a tag that would work for a few different purposes. I’ve showcased it as a Holiday tag for the sake of this post, but I think it would lend itself perfectly to Valentine’s Day, or just a little gift for a special someone… showing how versatile this set can be!

I started by layering a few dies, including the Label Layers 2 die, and then just did a little bit of stamping to bring it to life.

The vine stamps are from the Heartfelt Holiday, which I will be showing you more of later. I added a bow and button to finish it off.

I tied my tag to my paper bag of goodies simply by folding it down and punching a hole to tie it through. This was simple to put together, but makes for a pretty impressive little gift!

Switching gears now, to the beautiful Merry & Bright products.

I think Dawn was thinking centerpieces when she designed this set, so I took it in a completely different direction, just to be difficult!

You know me and stamping backgrounds, and this set is just asking to become beautiful patterned papers. Who am I to resist?

How gorgeous is that? And I am not taking any credit – it’s all Dawn’s impeccable design work. These are 3 step stamps (once you include the stamens), and the detail is incredible.

My label is intended to be a hurricane lantern around the candles included in the set, but I decided to do something else with it. I backed my sentiment with a Simple Snowflake and embossed my patterned panel with an impression plate. It’s a simple card, but sometimes when I stamp like this, I don’t want to cover it up!

I used this same set to create a completely different background as well.

I am sure this would have lent itself perfectly to a masculine card, but I couldn’t help but add a bow and some lace. Don’t you love that even the pine cones are 2 steps? Look at all the detail!

When I saw the hurricane stamp, I knew right away I wanted to turn it into a tag, so that’s the first thing I did when I cracked this set open.

I thought it turned out pretty cute! I attached it to this little paper bag-box that I have from the dollar store – left overs being put to work!

Here is a closer look at how I layered the gorgeous images and dies on my tag:

Cute, right?

Alright, did you make it through this enormous post? I can’t help it – I can’t put the stamps from this release down – I have so many ideas overflowing in  my sketchbook, and I want to stamp them all out! I even have more projects from the Merry & Bright set to show you, but I’ll save those for another post.

Thank you so much for sticking it through to the end. I’ll be back next Wednesday with more WPlus9 gorgeousness, so make sure you come by!

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