Monthly Archives: January 2010

Mini Valentine

Note inside the Mini Valentine

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching.  Do you need to have some quick little items to put together for your child’s classmates?  Want to make something for your co-workers?

This little card is made with the Petal Card die.  Using the Big Shot and Designer Paper the Petal Card die not only cuts the shape out, it also has creases or score marks for the folding areas on the card.  No measuring, no rulers, nothing.  Just cut it and fold it.

Mini Valentine

Using double sided Designer Paper makes the outside just as cute as the inside.  Put a couple of glue dots on the candy treats and attach to the front of this adorable Petal Card and you have a treat with a hidden message.

I’ve used a thin die for the scroll heart.  Just tucked the end into one of the flaps of the card and leave it to hang.  No gluing or anything it just hangs right there.

Today’s video shows using the Petal Card die and the Big Shot.  I also give some information about the acrylic cutting pads and what to do when they bow up, which is normal.  Nothing to get excited about.  The acrylic pads warp during use because of the pressure applied to them with the die beneath.  It is not necessary to replace them when they warp and are all marked up.

Normally, with a die such as the Petal Card, you can cut through three or four sheets of paper and make the cutting process quicker.  Because this die has a score plate for the flaps, it is recommended you do the cutting one at a time.  Any more than that and the scored flaps will be cut through.  You can’t salvage them then.  The process isn’t difficult, a bit tedious on 10 or more, but it is over fairly quickly.

I’ve used a 6×6 sheet of Designer Paper for these treat cards and the creases are well defined without being cut and damaged.  This die works great for card stock.  Same for the card stock, one at a time for best results.

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Mini Mailbox

Mini Mailbox

You can say that I am behind on things.

I saw these little mail boxes when I was out running errands.  Having Valentine’s Day on my mind these boxes looked ideal for little cards and packed with candy.

Making sure I get one for each of my kids and their families was pretty simple.  There were shelves full of these boxes.

However as of yesterday, they are totally gone!  So, late as usual, I checked online to see how other people have decorated their mailboxes.  Surely there would be one or two videos.  Yep, there are one or two.  Quite a few to be exact.

Today’s video is only about the base covering of the mini mailbox.  The decorating is up to you.  How to get around that flag was a bit that took me a little while to figure out.  I used a slit punch then snipped off the tab ends to get around the flag.  I’ve covered the cut paper area with a heart glued to the flag bottom.

Other side of mailbox

One of my daughters has three girls and one boy so the paper dolls represent the girls and the boy.

With the Love Sparkles Simply Scrappin’ Kit comes two sheets of border stickers.  I used the really skinny borders to decorate the lid edges.  You can see the pink dotted scallop on the left and the yellow dotted scallop on the right.

I have a die from Sizzix for the paper doll, another die for the clothing, and another die for the hair.  While searching the internet for these boxes I did come across a video that uses the Cricut for the paper dolls, hair, and clothing.  You can see that one at Cricut Episode 167 – Mailbox with Paper Dolls.

Back of mailbox

Back cover of mailbox

Front cover of mailbox

I glued on a ribbon and four heart shaped crystals on the back mailbox cover along with a die cut heart.  The front has four more heart shaped crystals and a die cut heart.  I’ve used a chipboard arrow along with die cut letters to indicate the side that opens.

If you can still find these little mailboxes then get them quickly.  They seem to disappear really fast.


Leaving A “Good” Impression

Stamped image on air dry clay

Air dry clay can be purchased at your local craft/hobby store.  It comes in a brick.  Tear off the amount you want and knead it into a ball shape then press it out with your fingers.  This is a paper clay and it is very lightweight and pretty durable.

While kneading this clay you can put a drop or two of ink from your reinker to color the clay to your desired color.  You can also add glitter during the kneading process to make this sparkle all over.

Because it is wet, I recommend you use wax paper beneath this clay during your working process.  The wax paper can also be used to press the clay flat.  Treat it pretty much the same way you would pie dough.  Flatten it out to the thickness you desire then stamp your image.  To get a good image the thickness needs to be about 1/8 inch.  Anything less will give you a flatter image.

If your first attempt doesn’t come out well just wad it back up and start over with the kneading and the flattening.  This stuff is pretty forgiving – that is until it dries out.  Once it dries out just add water to it and continue squishing it around in your hand until it comes back to the consistency of pie or bread dough.

Using letter stencils with air dry clay

Last year, for one of my granddaughters birthday presents, I did the letter stencil technique on this clay.  Press around the stencil to raise the clay above the stencil surface then let it dry.  After it was dry I cut it out with decorative edge scissors and painted it with acrylic paints.   I made her name using this technique and applied the letters to a big paper mache or chipboard “R” that I painted and decorated just for her.  Today’s video shows you how to use a letter stencil to get this raised lettering as well as the stamped image.

It has been a year since I last used the air dry clay, and it was pretty dried out and quite lumpy.  Some of the lumps did not get enough moisture and left the first stamped image pretty lumpy. Please make sure you find some kind of air tight storage container for this clay, save you some time and have less frustration.  I’ve gone to using my Food Saver and the bags to seal in the clay.

As you see the first stamped image, the ink colors have bled out.  That is because I applied colored markers to the stamp then applied the stamp to the wet clay.  If you want better results then let the clay dry before you use inks.

Acrylic paint works very well on this product, once it is dry.  You will like the results.

If you make beads, you can create your own beads with this then paint them after they dry.  If you are a Fimo Clay person and you make beads, work the same way with this clay as you would with the Fimo.  I do not think it will reduce as well as the Fimo Clay does when you put the layers together and then press and elongate.

I do know this clay works really well with stencils and rubber stamps.  You can get an impression from just about anything with this clay.  If you want to add flowers and brads to your creation just use the paper piercer and make holes for the brads.  You might be able to use a Crop-A-Dile on this product once it is dried, but I think it might be too thick to fit through the jaws.  There is a bit of shrinkage as this clay dries, so you might need to check any holes you punch in while it is wet – after it has dried.


“Circling” The Drain

Round Drain Cover

While following my husband around our local hardware store, as he was searching for some things he needed, we went down a plumbing aisle.

Content to follow and look at all the items on display I was sort of lost in my own world.  He would make a comment about a product or ask me an occasional question.  I don’t even remember if I answered him.  Must have since I don’t remember him stopping, turning around, and asking “Are you listening to me?”

That is until I spied shiny items like this drain cover.  We have these in our home, as do you.  I dig hair out of them when the drain slows, especially when I had long hair.  Looking at this drain cover in the store package it became something more than a drain cover to me.

I guess my husband had been talking to me and I was non responsive.  He came over and asked if I’d heard him.  I had to admit that I had not heard anything he had said.  I was totally lost in my crafting world.  Consumed with this drain cover and how I could use it.  Put it on a piece of white card stock and cover the paper with colorful circles, use the outer rim of circles as a frame, use the widest middle section to make a row of circles.

Drain cover with square holes

Then I saw the squares and my mind really took off on its own.  So lost in thought and creative imagination that the outside world was gone.

My husband had to touch my arm to get my attention.  “What do you want with drain covers?”he asked.  And before he could take a breath he knew.  “Something for your crafty stuff” was what he said next.

Then, because he is the love of my life he said “Put them in the cart and lets go”.  How lucky can a girl be?

The holes in the drain covers are not sharp or ragged so they won’t tear up your markers as you color in the spaces.  Using chalk in the holes can be a bit tricky but the effect is quite nice.  The centers are highly colored while the outer edges of each square or circle are lighter.  Acrylic paint used in these holes can be the hardest to do.  While the paint is wet you should not disturb the drain cover.  It will smear the paint and it won’t look very good.  Too much paint and it bleeds beneath the cover and makes a horrid mess.  How do I know this?  Tried it that is how I know.  Do the Dry Brush technique if you want the best results with acrylic paints.

So, if you want to try something different on a card front or a photo  matte, then go to your local hardware store.  Today’s video shows you how to use felt tipped markers and these drain covers.


My Funny Valentines

My Grandchildren

Don’t be mislead by the complexity of this two page layout.  It is so easy and the results are great.  A really good thing about this style of layout is, once all the pieces are attached, you can turn the pages to change the look of the layout pattern to suit your photo needs.  Watch today’s video to see it all come together.

This layout style is suitable for any photos you might have.  Do you need to have a way to showcase floral arrangements, cakes, jewelry, handcrafted items?  This configuration is great for all of these, not just family photos.

Grandchildren.  Celebrating life is what it is all about.

In the hurly burly life as a young mother I had no time to really enjoy my children.  Watch them from a distance and see how they are growing and becoming people.

The most used word in my vocabulary was “No”.  Keeping them out of harms way and safe was my uppermost concern.  Every day was lived in a hyper vigilant mode and distractions were plenty.

Being a first time mom was fraught with so much anxiety.  Wondering if my child was being hurt when I held her, was she cold, was she hot, was she dry or in need of being changed, was she hungry or not, why was she crying.  Her first heat rash I knew I had been a bad mother and exposed her to some horrible disease.  Seeing the tiny red bumps all over her little body was terrifying.  Each red bump testified to my inept skills of motherhood.  The first time I fed her beets and the resultant poo being stained red I was positive my baby was hemorrhaging and would surly die in my arms.

My Granddaughters

Being a grandmother is so much better.  Being the one on the giving end of assurance is so much better than being on the receiving end.   No doubts vs full of doubts.

The Regal Rose and So Saffron of the papers in Love Sparkles Simply Scrappin’ Kit are scrumptious.

The cutting and mounting instructions of this layout are in my video of today.  There are three sheets of 12×12 textured card stock used in this two page layout.  The Regal Rose papers are background and two are used.  The So Saffron is the single piece of 12×12 used for all of the photo mats and journaling spots.  The only scrap you will have after all of these cuts will be one (1) 1×2 piece of card stock.  I cut, from a different piece of patterned paper, a background matte for to of the photos.  One for each page.  This is optional and not added to the cutting directions.

The paper used is from the Love Sparkles Simply Scrappin’ Kit #113918.  The “I (heart) my Grandkids is something I picked up at my local craft/hobby store.  I also used some glitter glue from my stash to make the “i” and the “u” stand out more on bottom of the page on the topmost layout.  Everything else, all the hearts and journaling spots, is from the die cut sticker pages included in the kit.

Along with the kit are two sheets of sticky backed border die cuts.  You can add these borders if you choose to .  Have fun in your creation.


Attended My First Meeting

My 15 minutes of fame

Having spent the last nine years on the road with my husband moving trucks across country, getting to know my neighbors has been a bit difficult.

Not being home long enough for any one time to get out and knock on doors I don’t know my community very well.

When I decided to get off the road and let my “passion” be my job I have found it to be a challenge.  Not impossible, just a challenge.

I’ve gone door to door in my immediate community armed with a brochure and tidbits of information all neatly tucked in the clear bags that hang from door knobs.  I’ve knocked on doors along my street and spoke with whomever answered the door.  I have encountered resistance in many forms.  Just plain “No”, an occasional “No thank you”, quite a few of “No speak English”, and I’ve had the occupant make a trek to the dumpster to deposit my literature where they thought it was best to be stored.

None of these things have stopped me from sharing my passion.  I changed tactics.  Distributing my business card to all I come in contact with at the grocery store, hair dresser, the cashier at stores I spend my money in, and even at my local craft/hobby store.  What eventually happens to my business card is anybodies guess, but I’m sure that someone will call me and say they got my name from my business card – someday.

Seeking to engage people in your business is not the easiest thing to do.  There are more “No’s” than there are “Yes'” and that is the norm.  Don’t give up on yourself.  Keep trying, shift things up a bit now and again.  If you believe in yourself and the products you offer then it will come.

I have been wanting to attend a meeting of other Stampin’ Up! Demonstrators in my local area but did not know of any that attended meetings.  I finally heard about a group meeting and I made sure I attended it.  It is always best to find a group of like minded people that share your same passion to bolster you during the times when you feel discouraged or are now asking yourself “What was I thinking?”

I do know that each woman I met today began the same way I have.  They  had a few friends and family members to help them out and they kept with it, kept trying to make one more contact.  Just because I have no family or friends where I live right now doesn’t mean that it will always be that way.  Meeting this group of women  has helped to bolster my resolve to hand out more business cards and knock on a few more doors.

During today’s meeting I learned of different ways to approach a problem.  Just because you have always done something a certain way doesn’t mean it has to always be that way.  Change is good, although we fight it.  Change should be embraced,  maybe not totally loved and welcomed but at least shake hands with change.  You never know who you are shaking hands with or talking to.

So, armed with some great information on what to take to Workshops, how to demonstrate at a Workshop, and seeing how to engage the people around you in what you are trying to sell was both enlightening and refreshing.

What I learned today, most of all, is that I am not a Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator just to sell paper, inks, and stamps.  I am a Demonstrator sharing my knowledge and passion to someone that wants to give their family and friends a unique item they have made by hand to celebrate the events in their loved ones lives.  The products sell themselves.  What you can do with the products is what I am selling.

So I am glad I found a group of women that share my passion and enthusiasm for paper crafting.  It hasn’t hurt that each of these women are Stampin’ Up! “Sisters”.


“Ad-Libing”

Thank You Card

Using magazine ads in card making can be useful.  Just  have to look at the photos in a different way.  Forget about what product is being advertised look to see what the photo is saying.

For this ad I thought it would be a good one to use for a Thank You or to let someone know you received their invitation and have made note of it on your calendar – or something similar.

I’ve used a scrap piece of Tempting Turquoise #102067 behind the ad, Old Olive  #100702 with the Modern Label Punch #116630, “Thanks” is from the Fundamental Phrases stamp set #114968, and I’ve stamped it on Whisper White #100730, and used the Word Window Punch #105090 to punch out the “Thanks”.  Brads are from my stash.

As you can see, any magazine ad can be dressed up and made into a card.

"Work Hard" Sentiment Card

Using a scrap piece of Certainly Celery #105125 for the background and a piece of Kraft #102125 that I’ve previously smeared coffee grounds on for a mat, and some faux stitching around each piece for borders.  This is my card front.

The sentiment piece is Chocolate Chip #102128 cut out with the Modern Label Punch #116630 and Whisper White #100730 with the Word Window Punch #105090 topped with a piece from my stash that says Work Hard.  The brads are from my stash.

The colors I chose reflect the colors of the ad inside the card.

Love What You've Done To The Place

The inside of the card is the “message”.  This photo is about reconstruction of the damaged homes after Katrina and the work that had to be done to restore the home to occupancy.

Using Old Olive #100702 and Chocolate Chip #102128 to mat the story’s photo and make it more noticeable.

Do you know someone that has done renovations and been through the whole demolition process?  The work is done and the results are beautiful and comfy?  Use a magazine ad or story photo that relates to the trials and tribulations they have encountered during the process.

Happy Anniversary

Using an ad for Viagra that shows a happy couple can be made into an Anniversary card.

I’ve used Old Olive #100702 as the vertical strip and the Baroque Borders Stampin’ Wheel #109675 with Old Olive ink #102277 for a bit of flourish.  Scraps of Rose Red #102544 are the horizontal pieces.  Chocolate Chip #102128 is used as the photo mat on this card front.  From the Fundamental Phrases stamp set #114968 I’ve stamped “Happy” and “Anniversary” on the horizontal strips.

The ad photo is not the total message you are sending.  How you have used that ad and the sentiment you wish to express is what the message is.  Showing you care and remembering an event in their lives is what counts, the ad photo helps to get the point of the message across.

Encouraging Words

Do you have someone in your life that is thinking of taking a different career path, or striking out on their own?  Someone that is stepping out of their normal life and stepping forward into a different way out of their comfort zone?

Do they need your support and encouragement to keep going on their newly chosen path?  Use stickers that have encouraging words and add your own along with them.

I’ve used bold strips of color on the card front.  Tempting Turquoise #102067, Real Red #102482, and Old Olive #100702 with the encourage word stickers attached.  Below each word personalize them with your own words and hand writing.  This kind of a card will not only lend support to the person but let them know you care enough by “speaking” directly to them with your words.

Take That Leap Of Faith

To most people, the thought of jumping off a cliff is scary and something they would not, normally, choose to do.

Making a drastic change in their life and the terrifying and exhilarating feelings are just the same as any cliff jumper has.

Taking that leap of faith is hard to do for anyone.  The thoughts of crashing at the bottom and not surviving the life change are upper most in anyone’s mind.

This card can be used as a sort of “I know what you are going through” message.

In the empty space within the card you can tell your friend or loved one about your experiences when you got out of your comfort zone.  Plus you can also show them that you survived the “Leap” and are doing well.

A card received with these unexpected images are what personalize your heartfelt messages of love and support.  You don’t necessarily need to use the images on the cards, use them as a starter to get your mind working and searching for the items you currently own in the way of rubber stamps or stickers.

Whatever you use to make a card is not the issue.  The important thing is that you have cared enough to let someone know you are thinking about them.  So what are you waiting for?  You don’t need to make a trip to the store, just take a look at what you have in your home.