Please let me hear from you!

This blog is for sharing a love of paper crafting. You can also check out my Pintrest pages. If you find the ideas here to be helpful, I'd love to hear from you. It is what helps make the time I put into this blog feel worthwhile, and always brightens my day. I love hearing your ideas too!

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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Royal Birthday

Today's card also comes from the Clearly Collage pack from Paper Wishes, but I made some changes.  The card as designed was just not appropriate for anyone I could think of sending a card to, so I had to figure out how to change it.  I still wanted to use the window with the "queen" seen through it, so decided to move a tag from the inside to the outside as shown here.  I liked the idea of a "royal birthday" rather than calling someone to whom I might send the card, a "queen".  I did the inside similar to that shown in the packaged design, but changed some words around.  I also cut extra pieces and wrote other words on them so that I could say what I wanted to on the inside - see below:
Not a particularly outstanding card, but much more useful for my needs.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

More Clearly Collage

Today's post demonstrates how I added my own touches to the suggested cards from the "Clearly Collage - All Occasion Card Kit" from Paper Wishes.   I found that I wanted to re-arrange the elements for the front of the card so that the clock on the inside appeared to line up with the clock on the outside.  This meant moving the tag to the other side of the card and putting it at an angle - which I liked better.  Then I wanted to focus attention on the change from caterpillar to butterfly, so I added an arrow (cut from an extra label) that points to the caterpillar on the front.  On the inside, the only changes I made were to rearrange the butterflies a little bit.

The change I made to this one was to add some at the top of the card.  In the kit, it was designed as a square card.  I don't like making square cards very often since they require extra postage to mail.  So, in this case, instead of cutting the whole card down to make a square as they suggested, I simply cut the FRONT of the card down, leaving the back intact.  I finished the card in much the same way as they suggested -- simply covering the whole of the inside page with the gray (rather than just the square part), changing the position of the stars a bit, and adding an extra star on the inside page.  I then stenciled the word "Congratulations" with dimensional paint (on the part of the card that stuck up above the square part on the inside page) so it showed above the square front of the card.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Hiding Brad Legs

Today's tip comes from the challenge of adding a brad to a card at the last minute and having to figure out how to hide the brad legs.

First, though, a tip about doing wavy paper weaving.  This card was made in response to a challenge on the Paper Wishes Message board.  We were challenged to include weaving on our object.  I had never done wavy weaving before and thought it looked cool.  Only 2 things are required that are different from regular weaving:  you cut your strips with wavy lines rather than straight, and you have to keep track of the proper order so the strips are woven right next to the one that was cut beside it, so the wavy edges line up. 

For my first try at this I wanted to make it as easy on myself as possible, so I started with a printed blank card from Hot Off the Press.  I cut wavy lines in the front of the card only, from the bottom edge of the card to the fold.  Stopping at the fold meant that all of these strips were held in place by the solid back of the card, so they were easily all in proper order.  Then I took a piece of adhesive-backed cardstock (used an adhesive-backed matstack in this case) and cut it to the size of the card.  I then cut my wavy strips (horizontally this time) one at a time, removing the paper backing to expose the adhesive on each one and weaving it into place before cutting the next wavy strip.  The adhesive backing made sure they stayed in place.  I finished it off by cutting a piece of thin white cardstock and gluing it in place on the inside of the card (to cover up all the remaining adhesive on the strips!). 

When I was finished, it reminded me of car racing, so I searched to find something related to that to finish off the card.  What I finally found was some artwork from which I printed out and used.  I glued it as you see on a red circle, and added "Happy Birthday" peel offs.  A white strip with yellow down the center and red stamped words "celebrate" helped to finish it off.  But it just needed something more.  I ended up adding the ribbon and the spiral brad at the last minute to finish it off -- but this meant the brad legs showed on the inside of the card!

To hide the brad legs, I took a small strip of paper - about 1/2" by 2 1/2".  I made 3 folds, one somewhat it the center, and two 1/2" or so from the ends forming tabs.  I opened the card and glued the two tabs to the inside of the card, one on each side of the fold with the ends facing the fold so the rest of the strip formed a pop-out for the second printed car to sit on.  When the card is closed, it all folds down, but when it opens, the car pops up and hides the brad legs.  Here's a picture of the opened card with the car popped up:
It turned out pretty well.  The strip hides the brad legs from the top and the car hides them from the front.  I hope you can understand what I mean.  This is one time when it would be nice to be able to make a video to show you what I mean.  Perhaps I'll have that capability one of these days . . .

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Help for a little boy

An acquaintance of mine has a little boy (3 years old) who is very sick.  She creates digital stamps and is currently having a sale (selling each for $1) to raise funds to get her little boy to the Mayo Clinic.  If you like digital stamps, this is a good chance to get some at a good price and help a little boy in the process.  The web address is:

Friday, March 25, 2011

Quick and Easy Focals - Tags!

Today's focal is a simple one that started with a tag.  This particular one came from a book by Paper Pizazz, but you can make your own tags as well.  This card is a gate-fold card that started with a black and white striped base.  The tag was emphasized by the multiple mats.  A scalloped square was cut out of white paper with a Spellbinders die.  This was put on the diagonal against a rectangle of burgundy corregated cardboard that was matted with black cardstock.  This forms an overhanging piece for the gatefold card.  The tag is then glued at a jaunty angle and finished off with a bit of black ribbon.  Here is a scan showing the focal piece a bit better:

Pretty tags can be made ahead and kept on hand for those times when you need a card at the last minute.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Thinking of You

I find the most frequent cards I send are "thinking of you" cards.  Even when it comes to get well cards, I often will send a thinking of you rather than a specific get well card.  Today's samples come from the Paper Flair Clearly Collage All Occasion Card Kit - a kit using a variety of fun transparency techniques.  While I usually prefer to come up with my own ideas, it can be helpful when you need a card in a hurry to have something like this on hand. It comes with materials and instructions for 10 cards, but there is enough extra artwork included that if you don't decorate your envelopes you often have enough to make a second card -- thus can make nearly 20 cards from this set. This particular set also is like a tutorial of neat ideas for using transparencies in card making.

The card above is from this set - the dragonflies are transparencies.  It is an unusual style of card.  Here are a couple more pictures showing the card opened and then the back of the card when it's open.  (These pictures also show the limitations of scanning your cards. Only the center part is full size, the rest is thin, cut out around the elements.)

Here is the additional card that I made:
The sentiment in the inside of this card comes from the Paper Pizazz definitions & words ephemera by Hot Off the Press, everything else is "extra art" from the previous card.  A little bit of chalking, and I have a second card (outside and inside!).

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Another Chalked Vase

Here's another card using the chalked vase technique.  The center of this frame is cut out so you can see through to the flowers on the inside of the card - which you see more clearly when you open it (though the scan of the inside doesn't show the hole in the front very well, since you see the scanner lid through the hole).

The outside frame is chalked. The silver sentiments are outline-type stickers. The flowers are paper flowers from two sources (a set of Floral Embellishments that I got from Paper Wishes and a bottle of white flowers from the wedding section of Michaels craft store). These are just layered and held together with brads.

Okay, I'll fess up.  The front of this card turned out differently than I had planned.  A major "oops" turned into a blessing in disguise :).  Just as I was finishing the chalking, the paper tore, badly!  That large hole in the center just plain weakened the paper quite a bit.  So, here I'd put all this work into the card, had the vase and flowers all done, and had just finished the chalking on the front and it TORE in two places - one completely through the edge!!!!  I tried to glue the edges of the tears and fix it, but it was still pretty visible. So, I got the idea of gluing the white to it.  The base card was one I got from paper wishes and I had another white card that was identical.  I cut the front of the white down and glued it to the front of the blue.  I needed to also add white to the inside, but didn't want to cut up another card so decided to use the inside page of the white -- only now I didn't have the hole cut out.  Rather than taking a chance of another problem by using an exacto knife on it, I used a scalloped spellbinders die that was a bit larger than the hole - giving me a nice scalloped frame on the inside!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Necessary Tools and Supplies

Do you have paper crafting tools and supplies that you want to ALWAYS have at your fingertips?  For me it's things like scissors, bone folder, pens and pencils, embosser, mister bottle, mini-mousepad for stamping on, tape, rulers, etc.  I found this little craft bag works great to just set on my work table and keep these things handy (I think I got it free from some craft related subscription, but I don't remember what now).  This particular bag, however, wasn't designed to sit on a table and wanted to keep falling over with all my things in them (making it much less handy!).  I measured the inside of the center area and made a sturdy box that fits inside.  This makes the bag quite stable and now I can easily find the things I need most often.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Chalking a Vase

Today's card was born out of a challenge I faced.  I had a friend I wanted to send a card to - but she is nearly blind.  I thought, "What is the point? She can't see it anyway."  I thought about sending fragrant flowers, figuring she could at least SMELL those, but to get flowers to where she lives cost more than I felt comfortable spending.  Then I thought, "If I make a card that has layers and texture to it, she can feel that. And if I make it with flowers, I can spray perfume on them so that she can smell it too."  It might not be quite as nice as getting a bouquet of flowers, but at least it won't only be a gift for her limited sense of sight.

To make a card with flowers like I envisioned for her, I first needed a vase.  I found a pattern and cut a vase - several different ones in fact, but I wasn't happy with them.  They looked very plain and ugly  - like this:
I decided I needed to do some shading to try to make my vases look more realistic.  I first tried my Pearlescent chalk set from Pebbles, Inc, but they just didn't show up well on my paper.  Then I thought about my Non-smear Pastels from The Stencil Collection.  They worked wonderfully.  Using the little stipple brush that I got with them, I added darker colors where shadows would be seen - especially toward the bottom and right side of the vase.  I added lighter colors for highlights in the upper left, and blended shades from one to the other.  Here is a sample of several different shapes that I did this way:
As you can see, they look MUCH more like vases now that they have some shading added.

The card at the top of this post is the result.  I used one of the vases above (the one on the lower right - though I cut the bottom off flat to sit along the bottom of my card), and used it to hold the flowers.  The flowers were paper ones that came in a set I purchased from Paper Wishes. The centers of the flowers are the new Jewel Dazzles from Hot Off The Press, and the little butterfly is a Stitched Dazzle (also from Hot Off the Press) with little jewel Dazzles added for spots on the wings.  The stems & curled "foliage" were fashioned from thin strips of plain green paper. The stamped sentiment was from the Tiny Words and Images set of acrylic stamps (Hot Off the Press) and Pearlescent Sky Blue Brilliance Ink from Tsukineko (Dew Drop).

I was pretty pleased with the result.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Another Dual Page Layout

Here's another dual page layout where the focal photo is an oval shape.  Here I also used another "trick".  I took an element from some of my pictures (in this case, the black swans) for use as embellishments.  I just printed them the size I wanted and cut them out.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Shape It Up

I love dual-page layouts!  Here is one that has several pictures of birds.  I have often found that a change of shape - especially to an oval - can make a very effective focal point.  In this case, I also matted it several times to help it stand out. (Tip, it looks like there are 4 mats - yellow, white, green, white, but there are really only 3.  I printed a yellow frame around the picture when I printed it, saving a bit of bulk, and saving myself the need to cut that mat. Here is a larger picture of the right-hand page so you can see the matting better.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Stamping Challenge

Today's wedding-themed card was sparked by a challenge posted on the Paper Wishes Message Board.

We were to take two different colors of paper, and find stamp pads to match.  Then stamp an image on the one paper with the coordinating ink, and on the other paper using the second ink. Next we were to cut them in the same place and match one half of one with the other half of the other.  I think an example will help to clarify what I mean.

For the focal on this card, I started with black paper, silver paper, black ink, and silver ink.  After stamping a black image on the silver paper and a silver image on the black paper (using the same image), I cut them both in the same place.  Then I took the left part of the black paper and the right part of the silver paper and matched the images up to create a rather striking focal.  (Thanks, Nancy, for this challenge. Great idea!)

The background paper for my card (Die Cuts with a View - "All Dressed Up" mat stack) with it's black and silver stripes set the focal off quite nicely.  I finished my card off with a black ribbon & bow and bordered the focal with silver Peel-Off border stickers.

The picture doesn't do this card justice.  The contrast between the black and silver and the sparkle of the silver just don't show up well in the picture.  In real life it looks very elegant.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Stamping Leftovers

Today's card was made with leftover art from the "Paper Flair Clearly Collage All Occasion Card Kit" from Hot Off the Press.  After making the card in the kit, there was enough paper and artwork left over for me to make this card - including the inside - with only the addition of some stamping to go with it.  The cupcakes and oval sentiment are on pop-dots to give additional dimension. The "Happy Birthday to You" border is stamped using an acrylic stamp from the "Matching Borders and Focals" set - also from Hot Off the Press. The Versa Mark Dew Drop ink pads match so well!

The inside of the card also uses the Small Cupcake stamp set from Hot Off the Press.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Craft Room Furniture

Today I thought I'd share a bit about my reorganized craft room.  This is a picture of my major purchase - A couple of Triple Large Stackable Scrapbook Storage Kits.  I got at a very good price from Chandler Creations.  (Update 2017/05/03 - can't get these there anymore, but they appear to still be available from bestscrapbookshelf.) I had considered at lest 2 other scrapbooking furniture solutions (Scrapbox and ScrapNCube) but for me, this was the right choice.  (The piece of furniture on the right is from IKEA and works great for holding scrapbooks and books of paper that I want to keep in book form.)

As you can see, on the left I have my 12 x 12 papers and cardstock, organized by color.  The next column holds:
  • drawers for smaller papers and cardstock - including my scraps. (If you look closely, you'll see that I organized the drawers so that some are 2" deep and others are only 1" deep depending on the color and how much space I would likely need.)
  • drawers for decorative elements (borders, frames, etc) - again organized by color
  • drawers for accessories (everything from stickers to brads to die cuts and home-made decorative elements) - again organized by color
Here is a closeup:

The third column has drawers for a variety of things:
  • Papers and accessories organized by themes (yes, the drawer is just a hair small for 12 x 12 in one direction but I put it at a bit of an angle, and it is fine)
  • Stamping supplies - rubber stamps, acrylic stamps (several drawers organized by theme), inks, etc.
  • Adhesives
  • Glitter, flocking, etc,
  • A variety of tools
  • Specialty items (like Sara Surfaces stuff from Paper Wishes)
I love that I can arrange the drawers so that the sizes would work for what I wanted to put in them.  I also like that as my needs change, I can order other drawers (1", 2" or 3.5" deep) or paper shelves and just install them in place of what I currently have.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Vacation Inspiration

Sometimes when it seems my creative juices have stopped flowing, a vacation helps to jump start it again.  I just spent some time at the coast, and it was a wonderful time to get away from all the challenges of life and renew my spirit.  A mini-vacation can inspire me just simply because of the renewal I experience.  However, the place you go can also inspire you -- for instance, a beach themed card after time spent at the beach.  This card showcases some paper piecing from patterns by Hot Off The Press, and a butterfly made from a flower, described here.