Crafty Wednesday – Christmas Cards

I just calculated that there are exactly 7 weeks until Christmas Day, so I will post a couple more Christmas cards for you eager beavers who might want some ideas on hand-crafted cards to hand out to your family and friends. Back in October, after my scrapbook weekend, I posted a couple of cards I’d made based on Sketch Challenges. I thought I’d do some more of those for you.

The first ‘challenge’ I want to cover today is this one. Notice that the main elements of this card are:

1) 5 squares (1-1/4″ each) of differing paper,

2) a ‘ribbon’ of some kind that runs the length of this portrait-oriented card

3) an embellishment (the flower)

4) the sentiment.

5) card stock base

This is a great card to use up any small scraps of paper you might have hanging around, as long as the colours sort of go together. You also will need a corner punch to round off the opposite corners on each square. That pretty much gives you the list of materials you will need, other than the usual, such as scissors, paper cutter and sticky tape/dots to affix your elements.

Option: two small brads

Step 1 – Cut card stock base 8-1/2″ x 5-1/2″. Fold in half.
Optional – the centre piece of card stock cut to 3 3/4″ x 5″. (I know pink isn’t a normal Christmas colour, but it complemented the glittery striped card stock that I used for the squares. In retrospect, I should have embossed it the same as the light blue squares)

Step 2 -Before cutting out the light blue squares, run the card stock through the Cuttlebug, embossing them using the ‘Large Snowflake’ folder. Cut out 5 – 1-1/2″ squares, rounding off opposing corners with a punch. Attach to card, as shown, using sticky dots or a glue runner.

Step 3 – Cut  5-1/2″ long piece of 1/2″ wide ribbon. Wrap around card, as shown, and affix ends to back of card with Sookwang or some other permanent double-sided tape. (Since the centre of the ribbon was transparent with small snowflakes, which are very hard to see in the picture, I wrapped three strands of purple chord  around the centre of the ribbon.) The ribbon I used was from a Walmart package of 5 spools, each of differing widths, that I purchased at an end-of-season sale. The package really drew my attention because I’m a magpie who loves glittery things! 🙂

Step 4 – Choose an embellishment no more than 2″ high or wide. Since I was focussing on Seasonal cards, I chose a snowflake as the main embellishment. This one was from a sheet of plastic stickers with metal trim. Other suggestions might be a sticker or stamped version of a snowman, Santa Clause, angel, reindeer, etc. Use your imagination and whatever you have in your craft supplies! 🙂

Step 5 – Centre your embellishment as shown and affix over ribbon. If you use brads to secure your embellishment, be sure to do this before gluing on the cover card.

Step 6 – Measure the distance from your embellishment to the edge of the card and cut a 3/4″ wide strip of white card stock. Stamp your sentiment with black ink or use embossing powder and a heat tool for a more finished look. Attach sentiment with glue runner, sticky dots or brads, as I have done.

Step 7 – If you decided to add the contrasting card stock cover, affix it to the card base, centering it and using a strong adhesive such as Sookwang tape or permanent glue runner.

This second card is a square one, the finished card measuring 5″ x 5″. This card design also uses up a lot of those scraps you might have lying around your craft room. It’s a bit more complicated, using many more elements than the last one, but I liked the way mine turned out.

As you can see, there is:

1) a base – card stock measuring 10″ x 5″, folded in half

2) cover card stock (4-1/2″ square)

3) a 3/4″ wide ribbon, cut to 5″ in length, placed horizontally across the centre

4) an image (stamped or an embellishment of some kind) placed over a ‘mat’, measuring 2″ x 2-3/4″

5) a strip of contrasting paper behind the image measuring 1-1/2″ x 5″

6) a 3-1/4″ x 2-1/4″ rectangle in the upper right-hand corner

7) a half-circle (cut with a 2″ circle punch and trimmed with a paper cutter) below the rectangle

8) the sentiment in the bottom right-hand corner.

Here is my version, The Skaters, from the Stampin’ Up set ‘Winter Post’:

As you can see, after heat embossing the image, I used my shiny paint set to colour the skaters. Once the paint dried, I trimmed the image and glued it to the ‘mat’.

Once you’ve cut out all the elements, it’s just a matter of attaching them to the card. I always make sure I use the most permanent type of glue-runner or Sookwang double-sided tape to affix the bottom elements that have other things stuck to it, as it has the most stress. In this case, that would be the orange square of textured card stock. After the cover card stock (orange square) is attached to the base, glue these on in order:

1) strip of card stock on left-hand side (striped), about 3/4″ from outer edge of card.

2) rectangle in upper right-hand corner, allowing an even spacing around the top and right-hand edges so the cover card stock is visible.

3) Attach the half-circle below the rectangle, partially covering the strip on the left.
Option: emboss the half-circle using the Cuttlebug and whichever folder you prefer. I used ‘Victoria’, one of my favourites. 🙂

4) ribbon, just below the centre mark, covering the bottom of the rectangle.

5) image, allowing about 1/4″ of the rectangle to be visible and overlapping the ribbon, slightly.

6) sentiment in the lower right-hand corner. I used the sentiment from Stampin’ Up‘s ‘Bells and Boughs’ set, which I trimmed with scissors.

Hope you enjoyed this little ‘demo’! 🙂

Sketch challenges

On Wednesday’s post, I mentioned volunteering for our local writer’s festival. I also briefly touched on last weekend’s scrapbook extravaganza during which I participated in a variety of sketch challenges. For those that missed the explanation of what a sketch challenge is, here it is in more detail. For each challenge we were presented with a sketch of a scrapbook page layout or a card layout. These sketches were guidelines, or blueprints, on how the page or card should look. We got to choose what stamps, embellishments and paper to use, but you had to follow the guidelines as closely as possible. Here is the first example:

As you can see, the card would need a sentiment, 3 different strips of paper, a contrasting ribbon-type thing beneath the strips and 3 of the same type of images. This is what my card looks like:

I chose to use the coffee mug stamps from the Close To My Heart set from the ‘Wonderland’ Workshop on the Go. Since the images are fairly large, I had to start with a larger-than-normal sized card stock base – 6-1/2″ x 5-1/2″ (folded dimensions). The ribbon element I created with a holly-edge punch and green card stock, trimming it so it fit the card. The sentiment is also from the WotG stamp set. The hardest part was trying to find paper that went together (sort-of).

Since I had time before the next challenge started, I finished the inside, as well. It’s kind of hard to see the sparkly snowflake pattern at the bottom. The mittens were also part of the WotG stamp set and fit in nicely with the ‘warm my heart’ sentiment on the front. Now, I’m sure all you crafty folk could use whatever stamp you wanted to start with and find complimentary papers to complete this challenge. 🙂

The second challenge was this:

As you can see, there is a musical theme to this sketch, requiring a strip of music paper cut around the ornament on the left. It is a standard-sized landscape card (5-1/2″ x 4-1/4″). Here is my vision of it:

I started by embossing the front of the card with the Polka Dot folder for the Cuttlebug, then added the green and gold contrast paper, an inch smaller in length and width to the card. For the ornament, I used the Cuttlebug die-cutter,  ‘Stocking, Ornament, Lightbulb’. I cut a square of shiny gold card stock to fit over the ornament cutter (there are 3 designs on the cutter), then passed it through the machine. The die-cutter also perforates the squiggly bit in the middle and the top part, so I cut out a red ornament and the silver bit for the top, trimming the pieces so they separated from the whole and used glue dots to attach them to the gold ornament. I looped a bit of silver elastic through the hole in the top to ‘hang’ it on the card. If you look closely at the sketch above the music, there are a series of dots. I decided to go along with the musical theme and added note-shaped sequins. I cut the half-circle end of the musical strip with my 2″ circle punch. I used some burgundy and white-striped ribbon and attached it over the music and under the ornament with Sookwang tape. The wavy bit of shiny striped card stock I first embossed with my wavy-edge folder and Cuttlebug, then cut the edge by following the embossing. (I didn’t have my shaping scissors with me!) I know the colours are a little unusual for a Christmas-themed card, but it seems anything goes, these days! 🙂

Well, that’s about all I have time for, today. I completed 7 challenges, so I will share the others another time. In addition, I managed to create 3 more cards using some unique elements, which I will also share at a later date. By the time Christmas rolls around, you’ll have lots of card ideas!

Feel free to share YOUR ideas for Christmas cards, too. 🙂

Crafty Wednesday – kids cards

Welcome to another Crafty Wednesday. Sorry it’s been awhile since I actually posted about my cards but I’m sure you know how busy life can get sometimes. Today I have a few cards for kids to show you. Some might be similar to ones I’ve shown you before, but they are not exactly the same. Let’s start with the owl. It is suitable for a girl or a boy.

To recreate the front of the card you will need:

Dark green card stock, 8-1/2″ x 5-1/2″
a long-stemmed plant stamp
black ink pad
wood-grain specialty paper
2-1/2″ circle punch
Stampin’ Up‘s Owl punch
brown paper (about 2″ x 3″)
cream-coloured paper (about 1-1/2″ x 2-1/2″)
yellow card stock (about 1″ square)
red permanent marker
glue runner &/or Sticky Dots
double-sided sticky tape
quick-drying white glue with narrow nozzle
yellow ‘google eyes (those plastic ones with the pupils that move)
leaf stamp
white card stock
olive green ink pad
a strip of green paper 1-1/2″ wide
sharp scissors
lady bug brad
sentiments printed using word processor – any font & colour you prefer

Instructions:

1. Fold green card stock in half to create the 4-1/4″ x 5-1/2″ portrait sized card
2. Stamp the foliage at the bottom of the card.
3. From the wood-grain paper, cut out a tree trunk that is at least an inch wider than your circle punch
4. Use the punch to cut out the hole in the tree, approximately 1/2 way down the trunk
5. Punch out the owl body from the brown paper and the chest part from the cream-coloured paper
6. Attach the chest part to the owl body with a glue runner
7. Cut out a 1″ diamond shape from the yellow card stock, fold it in half and draw a red line down from the fold to create the tongue.
8. Glue the beak just above the chest piece. Glue the eyes above the beak. Set aside to dry.
9. On the white card stock, print out the sentiments for both front and inside (see below) of card and cut it out. on the left over card stock, stamp out several ‘branches’ using the olive green ink pad and cut them out
10. Cut a fringe along one edge of the green paper to look like grass
11. Once the owl has dried, tape it to the inside of the tree trunk so it is looking out through the hole
12. Before attaching the tree trunk to middle of the card with the double-sided tape, stick the lady bug brad about an inch up from the bottom of the tree trunk
13. Tape the ‘grass’ strip to the bottom of the card, so that the lady bug is peeking above it. If the grass strip is too wide, it can be trimmed with a paper cutter
14. Attach the leafy branches in an overlap pattern at the top of the card using a glue runner or sticky dots

For the inside, I used:

Green paper 5″ x 3-3/4″
Cuttlebug
Owl embossing folder
2 gold-coloured ‘jewels’
quick-drying white glue
3-D sticky strips
double-sided tape
Brown and gold-coloured Pebbles Metallic Cream Chalks
Printed sentiment from word processor
Ticket corner punch (Stampin’ Up)
glue runner
Q-Tip

Instructions:

1. Use the Cuttlebug and owl embossing folder to create the owl pattern on the green paper. The paper will be a little smaller than the pattern, so place it fairly evenly on the folder before running it through the Cuttlebug
2. Using a Q-Tip (or the cotton balls that come with the Cream Chalks) apply the cream chalk colour to the raised portion of the owl embossing to help make it stand out (click above to see a demonstration)
3. Centre the green owl-embossed paper to the card and attach with double-sided tape
4. Attach jewel eyes with a drop of glue. Set aside to dry
5. Trim the sentiment to size and clip corners using the ticket corner punch. Attach it to the green with the 3-D sticky strips.

One down, two to go! This pretty little girl’s card is fairly simple to make using Close To My Heart‘s ‘Magic Adventure’ stamp set.

What else you will need:

White card stock 8-1/2″ x 5-1/2″ folded in half
White card stock for embossing
Pink polka-dot paper 5″ x 3-3/4″
Thin string, thread or cord at least 5-1/2″ long
small 1″ squares of multi-colored paper
2″ scalloped oval punch
double-sided tape
3-D strips
shiny paints (or markers or coloured pencils to fill in the design)
Versa Mark sticky pad
black heat-embossing powder
green heat-embossing powder
heat tool
star stamp
silver ink pad
curved-corner punch
printed sentiment using word processor

Instructions:

1. Attach double-sided tape to coloured squares and fold squares over the string to make little flags.
2. Attach string of flags to the back of the pink polka-dot paper with tape, about 1/2″ from the top
3. Centre pink polka-dot paper and attach to front of card
4. Stamp the carousel horse with Versa Mark. Sprinkle on embossing powder, shaking off excess. Use heat tool to melt and set the powder
5. Colour in the design as you like, either with paint, colored pencils or markers. The nice thing about the embossed image is that it keeps the paint from running into the wrong area.
6. Cut out sentiment with scalloped punch.
7. Attach both sentiment and stamped image to the card with squares of 3-D tape

Now for the inside:

1. Using the Versa Mark sticky pad, stamp the roller coaster image to the centre of the card.
2 Sprinkle on the embossing powder, shaking off excess, and heating to set.
3. Using a star stamp and silver ink pad, stamp the area of card above the roller coaster.
4. Stamp the sentiment from the ‘Magic Adventure’ set using the Versa Mark pad
5. Sprinkle on the green embossing powder, shake off excess and heat until set
6. Trim the sentiment and punch off the corners. Attach to card with 3-D sticky tape.

This next feminine card has a bit of a circus theme to it. I used the acrylic stamps from the My Mind’s Eye Lost & Found 2 ‘Rosy “Everything” designs’ stamp set. The set has a vintage look to it and included the tight-rope walker, a hot air balloon, stamps, coins, a typewriter, among other things. I think it might be a discontinued set, as I have not been able to find one on-line to show you. Anyway, without further ado, here is the list of supplies:

Pink card stock 8-1/2″ x 5-1/2″ folded on half
Cuttlebug
Dots embossing folder
Frames die-cutter
Pale blue card stock approximately 3″ x 2″
navy blue ink pad
sponge or ink dauber
Crop-A-Dile
2 pink flower eyelets
pink cord
Flowery ribbon approximately 10″ long
1/8″ wide double-sided tape
2 pieces of Cloud specialty paper, (5″ x 3-3/4″), (5-1/2″ x 2″) cut so that clouds are facing the right way
Versa Mark sticky pad
black heat-embossing powder
heat tool
2″ scalloped circle punch
shiny paints, coloured pencils or markers
sentiments printed on white card stock using word processor
stencils for oval shapes or oval punches (2″, 2-1/2″)
small sticky dots
3-D double-sided tape
glue runner
sharp scissors

Instructions:

1. Using the Cuttlebug and dots embossing folder, place the front of the card into the folder so the dots are punched out on the front. Run through Cuttlebug.
2. Using the Frames die-cutter, place pale blue card stock over the cutting blade and run through Cuttlebug.
3. Cut out the front sentiment by either tracing the oval around it and cutting it out with scissors or using the appropriate sized punch. Sponge around the edges of frame and sentiment with navy ink
4. Centre sentiment on frame and attach with glue runner. Attach frame to the front of the card with 3-D tape
5. Using the Crop-A-Dile, punch holes on either side of the larger piece of cloud paper a little higher than halfway up the page. Insert the flower eyelet into the hole and press with the Crop-A-Dile. Repeat with other hole.
6. String the cord through the eyelets loosely and secure to the back of the cloud paper with double-sided tape
7. Centre the cloud paper to the front of the card and attach with double-sided tape
8. Tie a bow in the centre of your ribbon and attach with double-sided tape to the left-hand edge of card, covering the edge of the cloud paper
9. Stamp images (tight-rope walker and balloon) using Versa Mark, sprinkle with embossing powder and heat until set. Carefully cut around images and colour as desired.
10. On front of the card, use Sticky Dots to attach the tight-rope walker to the cord and card as shown
11. Punch out half a scalloped circle from smaller rectangle of cloud paper about 1-1/2″ from the top. Attach remaining cloud paper rectangle to the left-hand side of the card with glue runner.
12. Place the half scalloped circle opposite its other half and attach with glue runner
13. Trace an oval shape around the sentiment for the inside of the card and cut (or punch) out. Centre over the scalloped circle and attach with 3-D tape
14. Attach the balloon to the bottom of the cloud rectangle with 3-D tape

And there you have it! Three cute cards for kids. Actually, the tight-rope walker one could also be for a teen or young adult. I gave this one to a pre-teen.

So, what crafty things have YOU done lately?

Crafty Wednesday

One of the last few times I visited the zoo, I dropped in to see what was new to the gift shop. Among the very cute stuffed animals, chirping birds, books and T-shirts, I found some very unique paper that I thought would look nice on my cards. The heart shape is perfect for weddings and anniversaries. What is especially good about the paper is that it is ‘green’. I know, you’re looking at it and saying, that’s not green, it’s PINK! I meant, it is environmentally friendly. Can anyone guess what it’s made from?

No, not bamboo.

Not hemp.

Would you believe elephant poop? Despite its origin, it is lovely thick paper. There is no smell, like you might imagine, just a little texture since elephants eat mostly plants. You can see at the bottom of the label, the process in which it’s made.

I just hope the people I gave these cards to won’t immediately toss them in the trash or recycling bin because of this post! Let me show you how the cards turned out and you be the judge on whether they should be trashed or treasured.

The first card I used it on was a house-warming/anniversary card for my nephew and his wife. The background was a set of cards I picked up at Michael’s in one of the bargain bins. I liked the unusual round shape, but I wanted it to be red on both the outside front and the inside of the card instead of red only on the outsides. In order to accomplish this, I cut the card at the fold and turned the back side to the inside. Using my Sew Easy stitch piercer, I punched holes for sewing along the top edges so I could weave pink embroidery cotton through the holes to bind the two parts together. I used my castle stamp that originally said “This book belongs to”. I stamped another copy of the banner and cut it out before printing “A new house is like a” onto it. I attached it with 3-D sticky tape. Using Q-Tips and my chalk palette, I added a sand-stone color to the castle.

Inside is where I used the heart-shaped elephant dung paper. Onto this, I added a circle where I had printed “Happy housewarming and…”. The “Happy Anniversary” was heat embossed with red embossing powder. The flower was stamped and heat embossed in black. I then painted the stems and leaves green with my shiny paint and glued ‘Sweet Pea’ Flower Soft embellishment bits onto the flower part to add color and texture. The final touch was the two sequin hearts. Considering where it came from originally, it’s not bad, is it? 🙂

Here’s another card where I used the heart on the front. Before attaching it to the red circular card base, I stuck lace around the back edges with Sookwang double-sided tape. I pierced the heart through the heart-shaped buttons so I could run the red embroidery cotton through the holes and tied them in a knot, tucking the strands behind the ‘love’ sentiment that I heat embossed.

Hint: I should have separated the strands or used only one strand instead of three so I could have made a bow that didn’t overpower the buttons. (That’s why I just tied the strands.)

Once the lace was in place and the buttons sewed on, I traced the heart onto a sheet of Sooqkwang and cut it out. I stuck the Sookwang heart on the back of the elephant dung heart over the lace to hold it all in place before sticking the whole shebang onto the base.

Hint: While any two-sided tape might work, I have found that Sookwang tape has the strongest stickiness and holds when many others might fail.

I stamped and heat-embossed another flower, but instead of the Flower Soft, I used red flocking powder for a different effect.

Inside, I cut out a simple scalloped circle with my 3-1/2″ punch. I printed out the sentiment onto white card stock and cut it down to size, trimming the corners with my corner punch. I left a large enough space so I could tailor the number to suit the recipient. I have a small scalloped circle punch to cut out the 1-1/2″ circle onto which I stamped the number with a set of Dollar Store stamps I picked up that are the perfect size for the job.

The final project in which I used the heart-shaped poop paper is this one, another anniversary card. I followed the same procedure for the lace as I did on the last card. This time I simply heat embossed “Happy Anniversary” onto whit card stock & cut it out. I added two jeweled-heart embellishments and the ribbon rose at the bottom.

 

Inside, I used paper with a red/orange pattern for the 3-12″ scalloped circle. I printed out the sentiment onto white card stock, added the number onto the 1-1/2″ scalloped circle. To add some embellishment, I used a red ink pad and the clear acrylic swirl and tiny heart stamps from the Close To My Heart ‘Love Life’ set. At the end of the swirls, I glued on tiny red jewels.

What do you think? Is Mr. Ellie Pooh’s Elephant Dung Paper trash or treasure?

Sunday Interview #11

Hi, Everyone! Today I have a treat for any of you who have a yen for creating beautiful things. Please welcome the creative mind behind the blog Liz J Fox Design.

Hello, Liz! Would you please tell my readers a little bit about yourself?

I’ve been happily married to my sweet husband Dave for almost 30 years, retired from my business as a graphic designer (self-taught), am a confirmed Macintosh user, and became a serial hobbyist, loving every minute of it. Many of the hobbies continue to overlap, which makes my hobby room an interesting place to visit.

Sounds like my craft room – although I have a feeling yours is more organized than mine! lol

How long have you been blogging and what prompted you to start a blog?

I’m a very new blogger so still on a learning curve. I had a web site through Apple’s me.com, but they did away with it at the end of June. In exploring what to replace it with, preferably free, I discovered the wonderful world of blogging. You were one of my first commenters, which was wonderful. Thank you.

I heard of you through a comment you made at PILLOWS A-LA-MODE, another crafty site. 🙂

What can one expect to see when they visit YOUR site?

A glimpse into my life as a serial hobbyist. You will see what I’ve learned, pictures and how to’s, and even more importantly what not to do. Each blog has tips that might help others who want to do the same thing. I may share things that have inspired me from others, too. I want to share the riches of exploring new things and how God continues to bless us with His creativity.

What are some of your favorite crafts?

I have explored many, and I will be writing about them in future blogs. I would say right now, machine embroidery, paper arts (quilling, teabag folding, iris folding, card-making, scrapbooking) are on-going. I recently got into jewelry making, dichroic glass and wire-wrapping, and purse/tote making.

But my most interesting craft over the years is rock painting – turning rocks into 3-dimensional life-like animals. I started when I got a book “How to Paint Animals on Rocks” by Lin Wellford (link below). She spells it out in wonderful detail. Anyone can do this – even my 5-year old granddaughter! I met some wonderful people in the Yahoo Rock Painting group and got the encouragement to expand, so went on to do memorial rocks for people who lost their beloved pets. These are difficult, because of the emotion involved. I must not only capture the physical likeness of the dog or cat, but their character as well. My last one was a German Shepherd who perished in a home fire. That one was tragic and done with so many tears.

I can imagine! That would have been rally hard to do.

Are there any special tools you need for that?

First of all, rocks. They can be pebble size to huge. Start small. Landscape rock places will have river rocks. People will also give you rocks if you ask. (I sent 40 lbs from the rock wall at my Mom’s house on the Ottawa River. The Post Office clerk asked, jokingly, “What ya got in there, lady, rocks?” Yup!

The rest of it, after thorough cleaning and sometime wood-filler, is craft paint. I use outdoor acrylic paint and a gel medium to help the paint stay moist. A turn table – a little plastic one – to help paint all sides. Finally, patience to layer, layer, layer, letting the paint dry in-between. I use a waterproof sealer at the end and a special treatment to make the eyes look real. I will be journaling one from beginning to end shortly.

That sounds fascinating, but I should think you’d need some artistic talent as well! 🙂

Where do you get the inspiration for your creations?

I have had one goal all my adult life: “Do something new this year that you didn’t even know existed last year.” That opens my eyes to new creations and activities. It takes away the fear of trying new things and keeps me expectant. I have a wonderful husband who laughs at me when I get inspired to start something new because he knows the pattern – read all about it on line, get lots of ideas, buy all the stuff for it, buy all the stuff to organize it, do it, buy more stuff, reorganize it, etc. Specific inspiration often comes in the tub. “Oh, why don’t I try or make or create xyz.” I don’t like following patterns (or recipes). I may combine many different ideas into one thing, so often it is trial and error till somehow it tells me “I’m done.” If I’m smart, I stop.

What advice can you give someone starting a creative hobby?

– Be open to ideas. 

– Google, google, google. Pinterest. Blogs. There are lots of free tips, patterns, ideas, dos and don’ts out there. 

– And just start.

– Decide not to be perfect. Keep the first things you do to remind you how far you come with practice. 

– Don’t point out your mistakes. No one else can see them. 

– Use your God-given talent to enrich someone else’s life (for example, make cards for military members or kids in the hospital.)

– Give your crafts as gifts and teach someone else how to do it.  

– Take pictures of your process (you might never know when you want to blog it).

– Take pictures before you give it away.

– Don’t throw anything away … you might be able to use it in a craft. LOL 

– One other tip, since buying stuff for hobbies can get out of hand. Start an envelope or quicken line item, or however you separate money, and put a certain amount in a hobby play fund each week. If it has money in it, you can spend it or save it for something larger, if not … well, wait for the next week(s). Use money from coupons to fund the hobby account. Keep it separate from household budget so DH won’t care.

All good tips! That last part sounds like a wise way to do it – unlike my “Oooo, I love this, so charge it!”  process, which irritates my husband! lol

Do you have any pictures of some of your favorite creations that you’d like to share with us, today?

Just started learning to do purses.

My most ambitious embroidery – 20 5×5″ blocks of a Nativity Scene

Dichroic glass and wire-wrapping

Iris Folding – Small strips of paper following a pattern (and this time I DO follow the pattern) Done from the backside through the hat-shaped hole.

Tea bag folding – 8 of the top squares of wrapping paper turns out to be a unique embellishment.

Rock Painting – animals are done using all parts of the rock.

Simple quilling on a candle holder. Great gift.

Wow! Those are all really beautiful! I love how the paper folding turned the butterfly into a kaleidoscope effect! 🙂

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

I didn’t know I was crafty, although my mom always said I always liked to fancy things up. She often told the story (in later years many, many times) that when I was young, my very down-to-earth twin sister proudly came into her proclaiming, “I finally taught Liz how to color grass green!”  … how boring! But it wasn’t till late in adulthood I tried my hand at real art … watercolors for the first time (see Quackers and Cheese on my blog). 

And the other thing that is so important to me is that after 43 years of doing everything on my own and making a pretty good mess of my life, I accepted Jesus into my life, and that decision gave me everything I ever needed, no matter what happened. I just hope there are crafts in heaven, cause I know that’s where I’m going. 

For those who would like to visit Liz’s blog you could do so by clicking www.lizjfoxdesign.com

Liz, are there any other links you’d like to share?

For getting started with rock painting: http://www.linwellford.com

A really great link to check out is http://gotquestions.org

Thank you for chatting with us, today, Liz. 🙂

Hope you all enjoyed learning a few things from this ‘master crafter’! To learn more, be sure to check out her blog. 🙂

Crafty Wednesday – Cuttlebug demo

Hi, folks! Since ‘reveal day’ is getting closer, I didn’t want to give a sneak peek to any relatives who might be wondering what their cards look like, since I’ve started to label the photos I take with the person they’re for and the year. This way, I can keep track of the style of card I give a person so I don’t make the mistake of doing the same type of card for them the next year!

Instead of showcasing my cards, I thought I’d demonstrate my Cuttlebug, using a new embossing folder I picked up at Scrapbook Cottage’s Garage Sale a couple of weeks ago. I think the wrong folder was put in the package I bought, but I still like it – and for 3 bucks, I can’t complain! The one I am referring to is the one on the bottom of the picture. The 3 folders shown are of the larger variety, measuring 5″ x 7″ instead of the usual 3-3/4″ x 5″ size.

To start with, for those who have never used a Cuttlebug before, here is what mine looks like. It’s an older model, but works just as well as the newer models that have folding handles, which makes it easier to transport. (I’m jealous!) With mine, you need a wrench to remove the handle – and it’s green. The one I recently bought for my niece is black.

There is a similar product on the market, too, called The Big Shot. It works basically the same and all the embossing folders seem to work on either machine. The machine itself has fold-out guide shelves, a handle for carrying and the crank handle, which turns rollers in the centre portion that press against the plates to form the designs. It can be used by either hand – just turn the machine around, if you happen to be left-handed. There are plastic plates of varying thicknesses depending on the thickness of your embossing folder or die-cutter. Today, I will just demonstrate the embossing procedure and leave the die-cutting for another time. If anyone is interested in learning about that, leave me a comment to that regard and I will show you how my die-cutting plates work. In the meantime, here is how embossing works:

Step #1 – remove embossing folder from its package, find the paper or card stock you want to emboss and place the paper/card stock inside the folder.

Step #2 – sandwich the embossing folder between the two thin clear plastic plates (labeled ‘B’). Leave a bit of space at the top so the machine can ‘grab’ it.

Step # 3 – Place the two ‘B’ plates on top of the thicker white plate ‘A’…

…and place everything on the guide shelf.

Step #4 – Crank the handle until the plates & embossing folder are completely through the rollers and come out on the other side.

Step #5 – Remove your embossed paper/card stock from the folder. You’re done!

There are, however, some things you can do with the embossed impression once you’ve finished…

You can dust it with embossing powder – the non-heat type. This will enhance the images so they are easier to see.

Using a clean brush, remove any excess powder.

The end result.

If you have a steady hand and like to paint, that is also an option. I’ve often mentioned using my glittery shiny paints that I’ve used to embellish stamped and embossed images. Well, here is what the set looks like:

It’s called Pearl Ex Watercolor CD Series. It comes in a handy CD-sized package which is easy to bring with me whenever I go other places to scrapbook. I only wish I could remember where I bought it!

Since the pattern on the embossing folder reminded me of stained glass, I chose the black paper, thinking it would look really cool once it was painted. What do you think?

Above is the final results of my handiwork. I cut apart each panel to show what each individual panel looks like. The far left shows the image reversed, with the outlines indented. The second is the painted panel. Third is the glitter-embossed version and the last panel shows what the embossing looks like with the outlines raised. Now, I can use each of the four panels on separate cards. Stay tuned. I’ll figure out what to do with them all and show you in another post.

While the painted version takes the longest to accomplish, I really prefer it over the plain, unembellished versions and even the glitter-embossed one. Now, you know why each card takes me so long to make. 🙂

This is only one element in a card. There’s also deciding what colour palette to put it on, what other embellishments would look good with it and also decide on the appropriate sentiment. Each card I make is unique, usually keeping in mind to whom I will be giving it. People have often told me I should sell my cards, but with all the family & friend I make them for, there isn’t time. I also don’t think I could make cards for random strangers. I might be coerced into being commissioned to make cards for people, as long as I’m told a little bit about the recipient – for a fee, of course! 🙂

So, of the four embossed panels, which one do you prefer and how would you use it on a card or scrapbook page?

Crafty Wednesday

It will be a short one, today, since I posted my Liebster award stuff earlier. Not only that, but I have to leave soon to babysit the Grandson. (Hooray!)

I thought I’d discuss this card because it uses one of my favourite stamp sets by Stampin’ Up – ‘Cool Cat’. It comes with the cat, perfume bottle, crown, a stack of presents and the sentiment. The paw prints stamp that I used on the inside was one I found in the bargain bin at Michael‘s.

I started with a bright pink card stock (8-1/2″ x 5-1/2″), folded in half. I ran the front part of the card through my Cuttlebug using the Dots embossing folder. I cut a pink polka dot paper to measure 3-3/4″ x 5″, then trimmed the corners with my corner punch. I measured a piece of pink polka dot ribbon about 1/2″ longer than the paper and fastened to the back with two-sided tape. I then attached the paper to the card stock with the two-sided tape. I used my Versa Mark sticky pad and black embossing powder to stamp the cat and sentiment, then used my heat tool to finish the embossing. I carefully cut around the cat and painted the eyes, ears, nose and collar with my shiny paint set. I used my ‘Postage Stamp’ punch to cut out the sentiment. I used gold heat embossing powder for the crown and cut it out. I used purple ink to stamp the perfume bottle and added finishing touches with my shiny paints. All elements were attached with 3-D double-sided tape.

For the inside, I cut pink polka dot paper, 5″ x 2-1/2″, and used a glue runner to attach it to the card base. I printed out the sentiment with MS Word, then used my 3-1/2″ scalloped circle punch to cut it out. I poked holes in the bottom of the circle and threaded four 6″ strands of pink embroidery cotton through and tied them in a bow. I attached the circle to the card with 3-D double-sided tape. With my Versa Mark sticky pad, I stamped the paw prints across the polka dot paper, sprinkled black embossing powder over it, shook off the excess and heated it with my heat tool…and we’re done!

Drop by next week for the next installment of Crafty Wednesdays! 🙂

Crafty Wednesday/Who wants an Interview?

Before I begin another Crafty Wednesday, I want you to know I have some Sundays open for Interviews, if there is anyone out there who would like a little face time on my blog. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a published author or not, or whether you are crafty or whether you just blog about everyday things.  If you are interested, please leave a comment below and I will contact you.

Now, on to the crafty stuff:

For the musical folks in your circle of family & friends, here’s a simple little number that’s sure to please. I started with a dark green card stock for the base card which measures 8-1/2″ x 5-1/2″, then folded it in half. I found some green polka dot paper that I cut to 3-3/4″ x 5″, then trimmed the corner with a curved-corner paper punch and attached to the front of the card with a glue-runner. If you have any old sheet music lying about (or if you can find printed paper packs with musical paper in it) cut it to 5-1/4″ x 2-1/4″ and trim the corners with your curved-corner paper punch. I sponged the edges with green ink and angled it over the polka dot paper and attached it with a glue -runner.

The scrolled ‘Happy Birthday’ was created with a Stampin’ Up stamp and the ‘Groovy’ is from the Close To My Heart ‘Groovy’ stamp set. Both sentiments were first stamped using the Versa Mark sticky pad, and then heat-embossed with black embossing powder. I cut out the HB with a 2″circle punch and the groovy was cut out using a 1-1/2″ scalloped oval punch. I sponged their edges with green ink.

The inside started with more green polka dot paper measuring 3″ x 5-1/4″ with corners rounded with the corner punch. It was attached to the inside of thecard with a glue runner. From the CTMH ‘Love Life’ clear acrylic set, I stamped the ‘cherish simple pleasures, Live. Laugh. Love.’ with Versa Mark and heat embossed with black embossing powder. I sponged around its edged with green ink and attached it with a glue runner. The musical grid, notes and treble clef were stamped with black ink using the CTMH ‘Groovy’ stamp set. I cut around the treble clef and stuck it on the card with 3-D sticky dots.

Here’s a masculine card. I started with a white piece of card stock measuring 8-1/2″ x 5-1/4″ and folded it in half. I sponged the edges with brown ink. The brown card stock measures 5″ x 3-3/4″ and was attached with a glue runner. Around a piece of wine-colored card stock, measuring 5″ x 1-3/4″, I wound twine three times, tying it in the front a little off-centre so the ship will hide the bulge of the knot. I attached this piece to the card using Sukwang double-sided tape to secure it & the twine. With my 3-1/2″ scalloped circle punch I cut out the centre piece out of gray card stock, then embossed the bottom half of it with the Cuttlebug‘s embossing folder ‘Vine Swirl‘. I cut out white card stock with my 1-1/2″ scalloped oval punch and stamped ‘happy birthday’ with the stamp from my Stampin’ Up set ‘Plane & Simple’, (there’s a similar ‘happy birthday’ stamp from SU‘s ‘Just My Type’ set) using a blank ink pad. It was slipped under the twine and stuck on with 3-D sticky dots.

The main features of the card front were created using the SU‘s ‘Open Sea’ stamp set for the ship and the globe and a black ink pad. I added color with my shiny paint set & a thin brush. I carefully cut around the ship and used my 2″ circle punch to cut out the globe. The globe was attached with a glue runner, the ship with 3-D sticky dots.

Inside, I cut a 3-1/4″ square, embossed it with the ‘Vine Swirls’ Cuttlebug embossing folder and lightly sponged it with brown ink to bring up the swirl pattern (I probably should have done that on the front, too). It was then secured to the card with a glue runner. Next, I cut out the scalloped circle out of brown card stock with my 2-1/2″ scalloped circle punch and glue-runnered it to the centre of the embossed square. I stamped the compass (SU‘s ‘Open Sea’ set) with black ink. The ‘Go confidently in the Direction of your Dreams’ (from SU‘s ‘Word Play’ set), was stamped with black ink and carefully cut out. Both the sentiment and compass were attached with 3-D sticky dots.

For the super hero among your friends and family, here’s a card that will be sure to ‘fly’ with whoever you choose to give it to. I started with a blue card stock for my base, measuring 8-1/2″ x 5-1/2″ folded in half. I cut out a yellow card stock ‘sun’ with my 2″ circle punch, & attached it to the lower left-hand corner of the card with a glue runner. Superman was cut out of a wallpaper sample book and attached with 3-D sticky dots. ‘Built Tough’ (CTMH‘s ‘Hero’ set) and ‘Brave and True’ (CTMH‘s ‘Brave Adventure’ set) were stamped with Versa Mark and heat-embossed with black embossing powder. I carefully painted a bit of color onto them with my shiny paint set before carefully cutting them out and attaching them with 3-D sticky dots.

For the inside, I cut out the Superman emblem from a wallpaper sample book page, cutting out the ‘S’ and replacing it with the appropriate letter cut out of red card stock using a Cricut and the ‘Winterland’ cartridge. (Thank-you, Sister-in-law!) It took some adjustments to get the right size, but we finally did it. I attached the red emblem outline to yellow card stock and the whole emblem onto the card with a glue runner. I attached the ‘J’ with 3-D sticky dots. The ‘Incredible’ (from CTMH‘s ‘Hero’ stamp set) and the ‘Happy Birthday’ (from SU‘s ‘Punch Bunch’ set) were stamped with Versa Mark & heat-embossed with black embossing powder and carefully cut out. I colored the ‘HB’ with my shiny paints. Both sentiments were attached with 3-D sticky dots.

Well, I think that about covers it for today. Now, it’s off to make more cards! 

Don’t forget to let me know if you’d like to be interviewed! 🙂

Crafty Wednesday

Hello, fellow crafters! Here’s another couple of cards fresh off the presses, so to speak. I might not be as exact with the details, today, as I left my crafting supplies at my sister-in-law’s, and my memory isn’t that great! I plan to go back to her place tomorrow and get more cards done, so I will make a note of the things I forgot today and maybe add them in later.

The first is obviously a birthday card. I started with a white card stock base (8-1/2″ x 5-1/2″ folded in half). I cut yellow card stock to 5″ x 3-3/4″ and trimmed the corners with a corner punch. I wrapped green cord three times around the centre of the card and tied it at the back. The scroll patterns are from the Close To My Heart set, Love Life. The large one was embossed with green embossing powder and green sparkles (I sometimes mix the solid embossing powders with glitter) on white card stock and cut out with precision scissors (really sharp pointy ones!) The Happy Birthday (from Stampin’ Up) and small swirl were stamped with green ink (I think it was CTMH’s Olive shade), as were the stars which were from the Love Life CTMH set. I cut out the ‘Happy Birthday’ using a 2″ paper punch and attached it to the upper left-hand corner. To the large swirl I attached 3-D squares and attached it diagonally across the page.

On the inside, I continued the stars, adding them randomly along the top half of the card, interspersing them with other small stars. The Swirls are also from the Love Life set. The ‘Celebrate You’ stamp is from the ‘b is for birthday’ set by Stampin’ Up. I cut it out with my 2″ punch. Using my 2-1/2″ scalloped circle punch to cut out the yellow scalloped circle on which I stuck the ‘Celebrate You’ circle. I attached them to the centre of the card.

 

 

 

 

 

Now, on to the anniversary card. I used the other half of the card stock from which I cut out the first card for the base. I cut a piece of wine-coloured card stock, then punched out the scalloped edge with an edge punch. I used my 2-1/2″ scalloped circle punch to create the centre design and attached it to the front of the card. I stamped the ‘Love’ (I can’t remember which set it came from) in the centre of the scalloped circle and added the two little hearts (from the Love Life set). I attached a gold/silver bow to the right-hand side with 3D double-sided tape. I stamped the hearts on white card stock and cut them out. I added heart-shaped jewel to the largest heart on the stamped hearts and attached both large hearts to the left-hand side of the card with 3D tape.

Inside, I used the punched-out scalloped circle from the piece I used on the front of the card. I stamped the heart (from CTMH’s Roxie Workshop-On-The-Go set. I typed out the sentiment using MS Word and  added one silver and one gold heart beside the word. I cut it out, then cut out a piece of wine-coloured card stock 1/4″ bigger, on all sides, than the sentiment. I stamped the ‘Happy Anniversary’ (using a Stampin’ Up stamp) onto white card stock and cut it out carefully, attaching it to the card with a glue runner. I attached one large gold brad and two small silver brads to the right-hand side of the card.

And there you have it – two more card to add to my stash, awaiting the family gathering. Only 30 more to go!

Happy crafting, everyone!

Crafty Wednesday – preserving memories

I have been a little too busy lately to jump back into creating scrapbook pages, but between 2004 and 2008, I created several memory books – one for my parents’ 50th anniversary, one about my mother when she passed away and one of my Dad for his 80th birthday. Here is a little peek into my family history with relation to my early days of scrapbooking. It goes to show that you don’t need to be really fancy when putting a scrapbook together. There are many other ways you can pretty up a page. These books were created before I had my collection of stamps and fancy embellishments. Let’s start at the beginning.

First there was my dad:

You will notice that I made a collage of pictures with his parents and created a title – “Special times with Mom & Dad” using the ‘text box’ feature from Windows Word. I used a 12″ x 12″ blue patterned paper for the background and embellished it with stickers. You will notice there’s also a strip of antique-looking paper near the bottom.

 

 

 

 

A few years later, my mother came along. I think there was about 7 years difference in their ages. This page shows Mom & her sisters as children. I embellished the page with stickers (even the oval ‘frame’ is a sticker) and glitter glue. I have found that the glitter glue stays a bit tacky and will stick to the inside of the page protector. Personally, I would not advise using it.

The two pages above show Mom & Dad about the time they met at the office. Mom was actually nominated to be a beauty pageant contestant representing the floor she worked on. From this picture, it’s easy to see why.

Her picture was from the 8″ x 8″ album I made about her. I used a wood-look paper with brick strips on either side for accents. To get the shape of the journaling piece, I traced the shape, printed the comment and used glitter glue around it. I added a flower sticker and a butterfly sticker around the picture for embellishment. Dad’s page was the first of his 80th birthday book for which I used a 12″ x 12″ album. I liked the idea of making it like the old TV series, “This Is Your Life”. The page on the left (below) is also from Dad’s birthday album, highlighting a few moments from his twenties.

After working together for awhile, Mom & Dad decided to get married. The right-hand photo above shows a wedding picture and one from their honeymoon in Minneapolis, among others from that time. The photo directly to the right shows a page from my parents’ anniversary album – the construction of the house where I grew up. I made mats for each photo and arranged them on angles, embellishing them with stickers.

 

 

 

Soon after the house was completed, I arrived on the scene. (I’m the hand puppet!) I was tiny, barely over 5 lbs. A few years later came brother #1, then 15 months later came brother #2.

The page is embellished with stickers and graphics from my Printmaster Gold Publishing Suite disc, printed and filled in with coloured pencils.

 

Below is an example of how many similarly-themed photos can be bunched together. This represents a few of the 50 anniversaries that Mom & Dad shared. I embellished with stickers and printed labels from my word processor.

After Mom’s passing, I came across a box of material scraps that brought back a lot of memories for me. Mom used to sew a lot when I was growing up (curtains, clothes for her and us kids, even doll clothes), so I thought that I would put these items into her memory book so that people could see some examples of her handiwork. On the left (above) is a sample of the curtain material that made up the living room drapes when I was young – pretty ugly, by today’s standards but definitely memorable! The picture on the right shows her initial attempts at crocheting and smocking. When I think about the many hours she spent smocking my dresses, I wish I’d appreciated them more. She used to make clothes for my Barbie, too, and in later years, would knit or crochet outfits for dolls that were entered into a contest where Dad worked. The entries were then given to the Christmas Cheerboard which added them to care packages delivered to needy families in the city. These pages prove that when creating a scrapbook, it doesn’t have to be fancy. It just has to represent the life you are showcasing at the time, using whatever materials you have on hand. 🙂

The pages above show just how goofy our family could get at times. Mom & Dad were pretty fun-loving in their youth and that humour was passed onto their kids and grandkids, as you can see! Scrapbook collages are fun to do. You can find stick-on word bubbles that you can use to add funny sayings to your pictures, or simply print out the comments or journaling from your word processor.

And now, a final picture from one of Mom’s famous Halloween parties, embellished with stickers. She often used dry ice to froth up her ‘witch’s brew’. Mom enjoyed entertaining, a trait I have inherited. I love any excuse for a party. I remember some of those parties more than my brothers who were sent to bed early on those days. I usually got to stay up until the guests arrived so I could see them in costume. I have pictures of those crazy parties but probably shouldn’t show them as some of the participants are still around!

Scrapbooks these days are more than simple photo albums. The way they are set up can give future generations a pretty good idea what life was like for the person who created them and will be so important for family anecdotes. So many of my grandparents photos did not even have a name or a date on the back, so they have no context for us looking back. They are gone now, so those photos will probably end up in the trash because they are simply nameless people that we don’t know anything about.

I hope you liked this trip down Memory Lane and have picked up a few ideas on how you can dress up your photos so that future generations will know the important people in your life. 🙂