Carissa’s Creation

I’m about googely eyed.  I’ve been at this computer most of today trying to get caught up.

If you remember the story of Carissa’s friends that recently got engaged….the one’s that have been friends for 10 years.  Here is the beginning of Carissa’s creation for them.  I had so much fun with her.  We laughed, both of us had blank looks a couple times, my heart plummeted to my feet when I gave her wrong directions, and then my heart soared to the heavens when I saw that she was beginning to get a better idea of what she wanted to do on her own.

Squash Book oops moment

It had been quite a while since I made a Squash Book so I could not remember the folding sequence.  I told her to fold the paper in half diagonally the first thing.  WRONG.  It wasn’t until I saw how badly it was turning out that I remembered the process.

Fold the paper in half FROM TOP TO BOTTOM first, then turn so the crease is now up and down from the center.  Fold it again from TOP TO BOTTOM so you have four equal squares when the paper is opened.  Then you fold on the diagonal and crease from the center out on ONLY ONE SIDE.  When you open it up you will have two squares with no fold lines in it.  One will be the mounting square that you attach the other papers to.

Purple one is correct

The purple paper to the left is folded correctly.  You can see the one square, closest to you, that has no fold lines in it.  The brown paper is the botched one but it can be hidden.

There are NO mistakes in paper crafting.

Only OPPORTUNITIES for embellishing.

Or….I meant to do that 🙂

You can see the darker purple one to Carissa’s right near her mug that is folded correctly and has a flat top to it.  Oh well, it will all work out fantastic.

All attached

This is not a very hard thing to do.  Quite easy really.  You just need to remember there are only 3 folds to make.

Getting the thing to smoosh down is a bit of a trick in itself but once it learns how it is supposed to go then after a bit it will automatically fold that way.

When you do this you need to have a liquid glue to attach the pieces together as you see them.  Spread the glue thinly along the entire square or you will have the circles you squeeze the glue in and that is not a pretty sight.

You can also use a really good tacky tape just inside the folds and outer edges of the pieces to be attached.  That is what I would recommend.  Tape runners are not the best for this kind of thing.

Ahhhh, love birds

Carissa wanted to use this image she has on some Stampin’ Up! paper.  She wasn’t sure where she wanted to use it but it will show up somewhere on her piece when she is done.

She has one of the trimmers with the sliding blade.  That is a pretty good trimmer and has some tricks it can do that guillotine trimmers or rotary trimmers can’t do.

Once she marked the paper at where she wanted to make her top cut….

Using the blade guide

I showed her  how to use the blade guide to cut the paper in the dimension she wanted without cutting across the entire piece of paper.

As long as you have the paper evenly butted up against the paper stop at the bottom edge of the trimmer you can use the measurement markings on the cutting guide and cut the paper to the desired spot from the ruler gauge on top.

The cutting blade has a couple of pointy arrows on the sides that will line up with the marks on the cutting guide ruler so you can do some fancy cutting in the center of the paper to make a hole.  I’ll have to get one of these trimmers and do a tutorial on that sometime……

Auditioning the piece

As we all do, think we have the perfect piece of paper for a spot and put it on only to find that it is not quite right.  Carissa has set this piece off to the side for another place to put it.

Glimmer Mist

From the tons of stuff I’ve sent her over the years she has found of piece to use for this squash book.

I got to treat her to the wonders of Glimmer Mist.  Compliments of Jann Saulsbury of WhatYouMakeIt1 from the fantastic kit she made for me.

Like a product model I got to show her the bottle, teach her to “Swirl” the contents like Roxyfur showed us in her videos, instead of shake it up and down.  Then I had her spray the piece all over and then heat set the Glimmer Mist.

Carissa was not totally impressed with what we were doing until it dried and she held it under the light to see all the sparkle.  Gets them every time 🙂

Embellishement Kit

I have to brag a bit here.

When she had her Stampin’ Up! Workshop for me last Thanksgiving I made her this embellishment pack as a Thank You.

It is made from a left tab manilla file folder.  It is folded in a fashion to  make it into an accordion type holder with pockets.  I’ll have to see if I can dig up the instructions from Split Coast Stampers.

I made all the embellishments in this from my Stampin’ Up! stamps and attached them to a piece of clear stuff (I don’t know what it is called) with Stampin’ Dimensionals adhered on the back of the pieces and adhered to the plastic sheeting.

Enough patting myself on the back for now.

Carissa's Technique

This is totally Carissa’s Technique.  I won’t take credit for this one.  Works fantastic.

She has the Poppin Pastels from Stampin’ Up!  Carissa used a popsicle stick to get the chalk out of the tiny space that it lives in.  I was sure the chalk would crumble in her fingers but it stayed solid while she rubbed it around on the piece of paper she was distressing.

With the excess chalk that got on the top she used her fingers to smear it around and give the piece even more dimension.

You Go Girl!!!

More distressing

Carissa glimmer misted her matte piece, heat set it, and then used the chalk on it also.

Focal Point Matte

Carissa trimmed a piece of off white card stock to 5-1/2 by 5-1/2 since the front cover of the Squash Book is 6 x 6.

She is trying it out to see if she likes what she sees.

More distressing

Carissa started to use the ink pad flat on the paper and I stopped her.  I told her she would be leaving lines on the paper that would not look very good.

I had her do the edges in this manner.

Who knows which is the right way or the wrong way.  Some people like the over distressed look while others like a bit less.

The Try Out

This was the “Try Out” stage.  Put it in the center, off set it, move it to the bottom, over to the top?

Carissa settled for the center and stuck it down with big glue dots to give it some dimension.

A few flowers never hurt

Carissa chose some flowers I had in the kit from Jann.  Gave the piece some much needed pop of color.

Carissa rummaged through the brads I had given her a few years back and used a couple different colors in the flower centers.

Looking good!!!

No explanation needed

Your craft area never looks like this, does it?


A punch of print

This was Carissa’s choice for the adjacent page.

Awesome.  It looks fantastic.

Oh, and Carissa’s friends name is not Kristine…It is Krystal.

Oh will, began with a “K” anyway.

Lending a "Hand"

Carissa had some ribbon but it was all too thick to fit through the button holes.  I tried clipping down some paper to use in place of twine.  She remembered she had some tucked away in a drawer.

“Mom, can you help me”.  You bet.  I quite literally, lended a hand here to help her tie the bow on the button.  Two buttons to be exact.

Buttons and Bows

The buttons turned out so good.  She found a black heart shape and attached a lighter colored button to it.  The twine bows make it so cute.

A Stencil

I forgot all the ju..”stuff” I sent to Carissa.  Amongst it all was this mylar stencil.

She applied VersaMark from the pen into the stencil openings while I held it down for her.

“Are you sure this is not going to dry out” was Carissa’s repeated question to me.  I assured her that it would remain wet until she heat set it.  In the back of my mind I was thinking “Man I sure hope this turns out right or she’ll kill me”.

A bit of Gold Embossing Powder

Wouldn’t you know it!!!!  I forgot to have her use the Embossing Buddy on the paper BEFORE she used the stencil and the VersaMark.

I remembered it after she began sprinkling the Gold Embossing Powder over the VersaMark.

Well, truthfully, Carissa asked me if now was the time to use the Embossing Buddy.  Ooops.

Another stencil

Another stencil was brought out of the goody box I had sent her.

First she filled in the stencil area with the deep pink colored pen.  When we pulled the stencil away she didn’t like what she saw.  A look of panic came over her face and she was worried we had just screwed the whole thing up.

I tried to tell her we could fix it and cover it up.  She was not having any of that.  I asked if she had a fine tipped black pen to use.  She used that to follow the outside edges of the stencil.

Catastrophe averted

By the time we added a couple items to the large flourish stencil (with a bit of over whats-it of the gold embossing powder you can barely see) this page turned out quite beautiful.

Fabric Paper

This is fabric paper.  Cool stuff.  I love the color against the brown background.

Too late did I realize that this was to be a square piece instead of two triangles.  Oh well.  Never a mistake in paper crafting only an opportunity to embellish.

One of my tricks

Carissa said she had seen me do this on one of my videos and she wanted to give it a try.  She had even gone out and bought a quilting ruler because of it.

I love this technique.  You can figure out where you want the letters placed before they are stuck down permanently.   They are also aligned straight and with the proper distance between the letters.  I’m all for less wonky since I am the Queen of Wonky anyway.






Try that again

Carissa rummaged around through her stickers and she began coming up with what she wanted to say on the page.

Using the ruler trick some more…..

The final page

This is what she came up with for Kevin’s page.

Totally AWESOME page it is.

She used an image of sheet music to hide the gap between the two triangles so the page looks like she wanted it like that all the time.

A few more music related things and stickers spelling out “Music” and you don’t have to guess what he had been focusing on over the years.

Carissa, I’m so proud of you.  This was all your idea.  With just a bit of brainstorming you have begun a piece from our heart that your friends will cherish for a long time.

The remainder of the Squash Book will be done as she has time and finds her “Mojo”, which I’m sure will kick in and she will make this a work of art.

The funniest part of this process.  When she looked at what she had created she said the very same thing that I’ve heard uttered from other crafters.  I’ve even said it myself a time or two.

“I’m so jealous of what I’ve done.  I think I just want to keep it!”

And Rissa, you deserve to be proud of what you have created.


About Message In A Fold

I am an over the road truck driver in Drive-Away Transport part of the year, and the sole bookkeeper of this operation the other part of the year. I do a lot of whining until I can get in my craft room and play with paper and glue. View all posts by Message In A Fold

6 responses to “Carissa’s Creation

  • Maureen Mathis

    This is really great! She probably surprised herself when it came out so well. You must have been so thrilled to be able to share it with her. I’ve always wondered if she watched your videos, since she is the main reason you started filming. She must be so proud of you. What a great team you guys make! I like reading about your heart dropping to the floor, but I’m sure she thought you were as cool as a cucumber. Never let ’em see you sweat! They can wait till they read the blog to find out how freaked out you were! Thanks so much for sharing this!

    • Message In A Fold

      Working along side Carissa has been something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. The strange thing was she thought I would not have fun because I would not be making anything. I thought she would feel like I was trying to make the project my very own. We ended up having a BLAST!!! Through my mistakes and fumbling she learned a few things along the way and we both were excited about that. Then to hear her say “I’m so jealous of this. I want to keep it!” I knew we had worked really well together.

      Do you and your girls craft together? Any tips for me?
      Thanks Big Sis. Love you.

  • Jann

    This is FABULOUS! Two awesome artists in the family. What a treasure she is creating! TFS

    • Message In A Fold

      Thanks Jann. I’m so glad you approve. I was a bit concerned that you would be upset that I’ve not worked in the ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC book you had made me.

      I agree, she is creating a treasure for her friends. One no Hallmark store could compete with!
      Love you – Leslie

  • Lynn Claridge

    Oh what a lovely daughter you have there Leslie and your pride is so evident. She has made a good start to this and hope she continues. An excellent student but then her mum is an excellent tutor. Great work you guys and pats on the back all round
    love and hugs

    • Message In A Fold

      Thank you Lynn. I’m so proud of her. I, too, would like to see the finished project. I know it will be totally awesome. She’s really good at creating things, and a really fantastic party planner as well. I love to brag on her. She gets embarrassed when I do it, but I just can’t help myself 🙂

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