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!

(To leave a comment, scroll to the bottom of the post. You will see how many comments there are for that particular post. Click on the number of comments and the comment window will open. Also, if you want to add a link to something, follow the instructions at the bottom of this post.)

NOTE: If you click a link from the menu (below left) and are told the page does not exist, chances are good that it's a prepared post that will post at some point in the future, so be sure to check back!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Christmas in June!

Today's Christmas card is made with papers from the Cardmakers Christmas Ultimate Pack from Hot Off the Press. There are so many neat sets of papers in this pack. It makes it easy to find papers that compliment one another, and all those lovely papers really help inspire me to get Christmas cards made, too.

The focal is a stamp (from Inkadoo?). I colored the scarf with pens.  The mat is a vellum framed mat that I got from somewhere, and the black embellishments are outline Dazzles stickers from Hot Off the Press.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Suede Paper

Hot Off the Press makes some WONDERFUL suede paper.  I love the velvety feel and the paper cuts beautifully on my Silhouette, making it easy to use it for titles like I did here.  I also used it for the thin borders and for matting my focal. Since it only comes in 8 1/2 x 11" paper, I had to piece my 12" borders, but it really doesn't show unless you know to look for it.

All of the supplies for this page were purchased from the Paper Wishes Website (by Hot Off the Press).  In addition to the wonderful papers, there are matching tags, flowers (I colored some with marker to give me colors I wanted) and a double-stick Dazzles border that has been flocked.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Dazzling Scraps



Today's card doesn't show in the picture the way it does in real life.  All the sparkle causes a bit of discoloration in the photo because of the way it reflects the light.  However you can still see how I've used scraps here.  Scraps of paper were used for the "frame" around the opening that shows through to the picture inside.  It is made from strips of paper that have been folded in regular intervals to create this pleated effect.  The "flowers" are made from Dazzles Jewel stickers from Hot Off the Press.  Scraps from these jewels were cut into strips and a simple greeting to finish off the card.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Make Your Own - Glossy Paper













Where there's a will, there's a way! For this layout, I printed the photos with black borders and white titles, the journaling with black print and a black border, the black title with white matting.  This went well with my background paper and kept me from having to mat the photos.  (The strips of photos are pieced in the middle, but you can't tell that because of the way I cut the join.)  Anyway, after getting everything printed and cut out, I realized that I wanted thin black borders to set things off nicely.  But since the mats on the pictures had been printed on glossy photo paper, none of my black cardstock looked right with them.  So I just printed a plain black piece of glossy photo paper and sliced it with my paper trimmer to give me all the thin strips I used to finish off these pages. Hint: You'll notice that though it looks like lots of 12 x 12 strips of black paper, they all go behind a photo or something -- thus making it easy to piece from an 8 1/2 x 11 piece of photo paper!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Tribal Dances Dual Page Layout













I like dual-page layouts.  Here's one where the "film-strip" borders allow me to add 8 pictures and still have a couple of large photos on the pages.  These pages were really quick and easy since I now have a wide-body printer, allowing me to print the title and journaling directly onto the pages.  The most challenging part was getting the pictures into the film-strip.  I have transparencies for film-strips from Hot Off the Press, but instead of using those, I printed my photos with a faux film-strip frame from one of my software packages.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Another Mini-Scrapbook

Here's another mini-scrapbook I made.  It was made the same way as the graduation one I showed last week.  I put pictures in this gift for one of my dance teachers showing them and an exhibition dance they did. The title on the cover was cut with my Silhouette and the cover itself is made with a lovely hand-made paper that I got in a set from Costco!  The inside pages look like this:

Friday, June 24, 2011

Christmas Stamped Focal

Here's another Christmas card to remind us that we need to be working on them.  This focal is made with a stamp from Inkadoo.  The black and white snowman scene with the red scarf (colored with marker) is repeated in the colors of the card.  The snowflakes are cut with my Silhouette.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Butterfly Thank You Card

This card is another Mat Stack card -- meaning that the background is from a mat stack.  I love using mat stacks as they are just the right size for many of my cards. The top border is two ribbons layered one on top of the other.

The butterfly wings came from a swap I was in. The person that sent them to me (unfortunately I don't remember who it was - if it was you, let me know so I can give you the credit!) used a stamp and embossed them with gold.  They are really neat!

The butterfly body is from a set of butterfly outline stickers, as are the little gold butterflies.  The border is a peel-off outline sticker and the butterfly trails are the little bits left behind when a border sticker is uses.  The sentiment is one I cut on my Silhouette from gold adhesive-backed vinyl.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Fake Leather

Today's examples show how one can use specialty paper to create special effects.  In this case, I had some black leather-look paper I had picked up at a scrapbook store - no idea who the manufacturer is, but it is really neat stuff.  I used it on this set of scrapbook pages (2nd page below) to play up the masculine feel of the page. (background paper from Hot Off the Press).

I found the fake leather paper cut really nicely on my Silhouette, so that made it easy to create the title and also gave me the idea for my next project - some paper piecing (patterns and many of the papers are from Hot Off the Press).
That fake leather worked GREAT for the tire and the pads of the cat's feet, and the Silhouette software did a great job of outlining the pattern so it could be cut out on the Silhouette instead of by hand.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Another card from "Leftovers"

Today's card uses scraps from a couple of places.  The focal and butterflies were leftovers from the "Clearly Collage" card making kit from paper wishes. The sentiment - both outside & inside - is from a sticker sheet I got from somewhere (no idea where). The brackets and butterfly on the inside are also leftovers from the "Clearly Collage" kit.

I love making stuff from leftovers.  I really feel like I'm getting my money's worth that way! :-)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Make Your Own - Embellishments

For this scrapbook page, I didn't have any embellishments that I thought would work well.  So I went to work to make my own.  As you can see, using some drawing software, I made little starbursts that I printed out and added to the page.  I chose yellow for the background, figuring it was a complimentary color AND reminiscent of the sun we were glad to see come up that morning.  The words were printed in a color to coordinate with the swirled background paper and convey the meaning of the scene for me.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Scrapbooking Challenges Part 12 - Twelve Pictures!

The more pictures one wants to place on a page, the more challenging things can get.  I like this page.  It shows lots of pictures of the kangaroos (12 to be exact) without devoting a lot of pages to them, and still allowing for a clear focal picture of the kangaroo family - including large baby who still sticks as much of himself into his mother's pouch as he can manage.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Chalking with a Mask

Another challenge on the Paper Wishes Message Board was to create a mask and just color in the portion of your image that can be seen within the mask.  They suggested using a stamp for your image, but I used a digi-stamp instead.  I believe this one came from Digital Two for Tuesday.  I actually decided to make this the INSIDE of my card, using a hole in the front of the card as my mask before covering it in colored paper and covering the hole with vellum to soften the look.  Here is the front of my card, looking through to this inside page:
This card actually showcases several fun techniques.  The black border stickers were ones that I designed and cut with my Silhouette out of adhesive-backed vinyl.  The teddy bear was stamped on tan suede paper with StazOn ink.  The bow is colored with a glitter-gel pen, and the pads of feet, inside of ears, and nose, have Flower Soft glued to them.  I really like the way he turned out and may make several more!

Here's another card made using the chalking with mask, but I don't like it quite as well as the pink one:

Friday, June 17, 2011

Wallpaper Focal

Today's card comes from a wallpaper sample book!  I couldn't tell you which one, since I had several that I tore apart, but I loved the little horse picture.  Though this card says thank you on the front, it is actually a Father's Day card for my Dad, thanking him for caring.  I thought the picture supported that theme.  It can be hard to come up with ideas for masculine cards, and I thought this would work.  This was a border paper and I was able to trim it top and bottom to give me a couple of narrow borders for the top and bottom of the inside of the card. The sentiment was cut from brown adhesive-backed cardstock (with my Silhouette) and matted on cream to help it stand out on the dark background.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Birthday Card with Dazzles Innies & Alcohol Inks

This birthday card started out as a striped card with mini roses on it.  As you can see, I added a border on the right side of plain pink and plain green. The greeting on the tag is an outline sticker.  The focal was made from outline stickers -- probably Dazzles brand.  I mounted them on paper I had colored with alcohol inks to coordinate with the card base -- actually two were mounted on that and two on a plain dark pink paper.  Note also that some of what I used were actually the "innies" of the outline sticker. 

Several places sell transfer paper to allow you to transfer those innies, but I find that painters tape works pretty well, too.  I just take pieces of tape and cover the part I want to transfer, overlapping the pieces if I need more than one. I press them all down firmly, then start to peel them back, making sure the innies come with them - using my fingernail to help them if necessary.  Then I just position the whole thing where I want it on my project, rub it down firmly, and then slowly peel off the painter's tape, making sure this time that the innies stay attached to my project.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Punch it Up!



Today I'm going to demonstrate a bit about using border punches. The punched edge isn't all there is to using these punches. Save the parts that you punch out, too.

So, for example, on the bottom edge, the very bottom piece is cut off when punching the border, but I saved it and glued it along the bottom of the inside of the card. This lets you see the white through the punched border, and finishes off the bottom of the card on the inside.

At the top of the card I took a piece of white paper and punched the border, layering it over the green marble card.  I also took a scrap of the green marble card, punched the border, took the large punched off piece and glued it to the bottom of the white paper - in a similar way to what I did on the bottom inside of the card.

If you look closely at the punched border, you will see a section of it that looks a bit like scroll-work.  I save these little bits and use them as embellishments (a xyron sticker machine works great for applying adhesive to these).  Can you see where these bits (in a different color) were used on the card that follows?
Yes, I used them to decorate the edge of the sentiment block.  Note also the use of another border punch along the right edge of the card.  It is my favorite punch - "Doily" by Martha Stewart.  I used that same border punch on this scrapbook page:
It pairs nicely with the Corner Adorner I used on the photo (it's the one called "basket weave").

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Wedding card from scraps


A couple of months ago I showed some cards made from Paper Wishes Clearly Collage Card Making Pack.  Today's card is made from some of the leftover art from that pack. The card is a gate-fold card turned on its side with a bit of a flap added to it.  Here is a picture of what it looks like with the top flap opened:

and here you can see it opened all the way:

The border strips are cut from the leftover bits, and of course there is some stamping on the card as well.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Make Your Own - All Grayed Out

I seem to have the most trouble finding gray cardstock that goes with my photos and embellishments.  For this page, I solved the problem by printing my own!  For the background, I made a copy of the photo with large rocks in it, cropped it to one of the large rocks and then printed that portion full page size, giving me a mottled gray background.  I also printed the title and journaling for the page, choosing to use colors from the background photo.  This ensured all the grays went together well!  Obviously, the journaling could just be cut with my paper trimmer, but the titles were cut by hand.  However, with the titles mats printed as one, the cutting was much less arduous.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Scrapbooking Challenges Part 11 - Eleven Pictures!

Last time we talked about a page that had lots of pictures, it had ten. This one has eleven!  I enjoyed watching the koalas so much! I took lots of pictures and many of them showed such sweet expressions I wanted to keep them all -- but I didn't want TOO many pages devoted to koalas!  I solved that by printing a bunch of them in a small size and using them to border the page. 

Note that I printed the pictures with a black border this time - once again avoiding the time it would take to mat them.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Mosaic Challenge

Sometimes it's hard to come up with ideas for paper crafting.  We all go through slumps where we feel like we've "lost our mojo".  I find that going to various crafting websites and trying their challenges helps get my creative juices flowing again.

This card was inspired by a challenge on the Paper Wishes Message Board. We were challenged to take a photo, carefully cut around the main subject with a craft knive, and then cut the remaining photo into little squares.  They suggested an inch in size, but because of the size of my photo, I decided to go with 1/2" squares.

Gluing all these little pieces to a background (in this case it was cream colored) takes a bit of time, but gives an interesting effect.  Because you are allowing for the background to show through (I think of it as "grout lines"!) the background is now a different size than it was originally, so the center subject doesn't fit perfectly into the remaining space - but this is just a part of the effect.  I popped mine up on foam squares to emphasize the difference and give it a bit of depth.  This made a great topper for a card, and a greeting cut on my Silhouette finished it off nicely.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Tissue Paper Focals

Today's card is much prettier in person than the picture shows, but it DOES demonstrate that tissue paper can be used as a focal.  The greeting and all the packages and stars are a beautiful red foil (though they look dark here) - all from tissue paper I bought at the dollar store.  I simply glued the tissue paper to light-weight white cardstock and then cut around them before adding them to my card.  In this case the striped paper is scrapbook paper, but I've seen tissue paper that looks like that as well and that could have been used.  I used one on the inside of the card, too:

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Shirt Card for Father's Day

With Father's Day coming up, I figured these shirt cards might be just the thing.  There are instructions for them in many places on the web.  Here's one (note the Hawaiian print used for it as well -- very cool). There are a lot of nice papers that work well for shirts, and you can tuck a note into the inside of them.  I've also seen them made with paper money -- a mini-card & gift in one!  I thought the ribbon I put down the front made a nice band for the shirt and the buttons are actually brads.  I used faux stitching on the pocket -- just some pen lines around the edge.

Here's another one  made with plaid paper.  This time I made the front band out of matching plain fabric. Of course, you could always just leave it the original paper, too.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Cut and Fold with the Silhouette

Today's card makes use of a "cut and fold" pattern by Judy Headrick - found on this website (check it out, she has quite a few nice patterns there).  This one is the pattern she calls "Christmas Snowflake 1".  I traced the pattern with my Silhouette Studio software so I could save myself the pain of cutting it out by hand.  The sentiment was cut out of black adhesive-backed vinyl.  As I've mentioned before, I like to cut a whole sheet at a time with greetings I use often, so they are ready to go when I need them.  The card base is core'dinations cardstock and the black border and embellishments are there partly to cover up the printing on it. (They make their cardstock oversized so they can print along one edge, figuring you'll cut that off -- I didn't. :-))  I also backed the front of the card with black card stock so it shows through the areas where the pattern is folded back.

Unfortunately, tracing the pattern was a bit more work than I would have liked since the trace software drew around each line and would have cut out around each line rather than just cutting along the line.  Here are the steps I took to make it work (I am on a PC - I assume a Mac would work similarly, but there are probably a few differences):
  • Create a *.jpg file of one of the patterns (there are several on the page).  You can do this by printing them out and scanning one in, or by taking a "snapshot" (from within adobe reader) of one and importing it into photo software and saving it there.
  • Open this file in your Silhouette software.  You will need to change the file selection from "Studio" to "all files" in order to see it and open it.
  • Open the trace function by clicking on the icon toward the upper right corner of the screen that looks like a blue rectangle surrounded by a yellow mat. The trace window should open on the right hand side of your screen. 
  • Click on "Select trace area" and the click and drag a rectangle around the object you want to trace.
  • Then click "Trace Outer Edge".  Now comes the tricky part.
  • With the traced image selected click "release compound path" from the "object" menu.
  • This breaks the image into separate segments.  Click on one of these and then zoom in enough to see how the red line is drawn AROUND the lines you want to cut. 
  • With your segment still selected, go to the set of icons on the left and click the one with an arrow pointing to a dotted line - just below the larger arrow.  This is the "Point Editing Mode" and should show you the line segment with the "nodes" visible. There should also now be a "point editing" window open on the right side of your screen.
  • Now, click on the node at one of the ends of your segment. Click "break path" in the point editing window and the node you had selected will spring apart into two end nodes.  Repeat this on the other end of your segment.
  • Now you will need to click "release compound path" again (object menu at the top of the screen) to ungroup the two lines. 
  • Click on the big arrow icon on the left (the "select" icon) so you can select one of these lines to remove (I removed the smaller inner one). Once it is selected, hit the delete key and it will disappear.
  • Select the other line and click on the point editing icon again.  One at a time click on each of the end nodes of the remaining line and drag them into position. (The white box is the node itself and what you will drag.  The blue boxes allow you to change the angle of the curve.  Experiment with them a bit - you can always click the "undo" left pointing arrow at the top of the screen if you don't like what happens!)
  • This process will need to be done for each line!  I took what I think is a short-cut and did just one SET of lines, erased the rest, selected the set of lines I had completed and grouped them (click on select icon, drag a box completely around all the lines to select them all, then click "group" from the "object" menu).  Then I made a copy (press ctrl and "c" to copy), and pasted it as many times as I needed to (ctrl and "v" to paste a copy), dragging (select the set by clicking on a line, but NOT on one of the little squares - that will re-size it!) and rotating each one (clicking and dragging the green circle with rotate the image) into place above the picture. You need to be careful to have the set of lines selected when you go to drag and rotate it. It is easy to get the picture below instead (if you do, you can just click the "undo" icon).   When everything is in place you can delete the picture underneath and you should be ready to cut it! 
  • I always group everything at the end so it is easy to re-size it to fit whatever project I'm working on.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Serendipity Squares

One of the best ways I've found to use scraps is to make serendipity squares.  I am always surprised by how nice they look when they are done because while I'm making them they don't look like they'll amount to much.
They are really easy to make:
  • Take a piece of plain paper or cardstock to use as your base.  Then glue little bits of various scraps of paper all over it, letting some of the base paper show through as you wish.  Make sure you cover the back of the scrap completely with your glue so it will adhere when you cut this up. You can add other embellishments like scraps from sticker sheets, stamping, embossing, whatever you wish.  The most important thing is to have a variety of elements placed pretty randomly all over the page and to have them glued down completely. (see sample below).
  • After your adhesive has dried, use your paper trimmer to cut your paper into strips - I cut mine into two sizes -  1"  and 1 1/2", but you can make them whatever size you like.  Then cut the strips into squares - in this case, 1" squares or 1 1/2" squares.
  • Choose cardstock or paper in a complementary color to serve as a mat for your serendipity squares.  Cut it into squares 1/4" to 1/2" larger than your first squares (depending on how wide a border you want - I like them just 1/4" larger). Then glue your squares to the mats.  They should look something like this:
Now you can use them on projects as you choose.  In my first example, I used some stacking Dazzles Stickers on top of one of my serendipity squares to create the focal for my card.  Here are a couple of other examples of their use - some note cards and a scrapbook page:


For the scrapbook page, you can see that I used peel-off stickers as a border around my serendipity squares.  Here's a close up of that:

Monday, June 6, 2011

Never Ending Card

Today's card is an example of a card with real "wow" factor.  It also shows what you can do when you want to have a lot of room for a group of people to write messages to someone.  It is called a "Never Ending Card" and is really a fun little card. The picture above is the front of the card.  You open it up from the center and see another page:
Open that from the center (this time top to bottom rather than side to side) and see another:
open that from the center and see another.  Instead of being shaped like a full page, this one is shaped more like a plus sign (hard to tell from the scan, but the corners are missing in the real thing):
Open this 4th page from the center and you are back at the beginning!  The top and bottom part of the 4th page are the same as what you see on the 3rd page, but these are the only parts that show up twice and the center part is completely new.  It's a great card for astonishing your friends! Of course, if you don't want as much room for messages as I did, you can decorate the pages any way you please.

Though it looks pretty complicated, it really isn't that hard to make.  However, I recommend making a sample one that you keep so you can remember how it works when you want to put others together.
  • Start with two pieces of cardstock that are identical in size.
  • Cut one in half lengthwise (so you get two identical long & skinny pieces) and the other in half crosswise (giving you two identical pieces that are short and fat). 
  • Now, for each piece, fold the ends of the LONGEST sides so they meet in the middle. Here are some pictures - the red lines are cut lines and the blue dotted lines are the fold lines.  (The first picture is the one you cut in half lengthwise giving you two long and skinny pieces).

  • Using a bone folder or the back of your thumbnail, thoroughly crease these folds.
  • Now mark the CENTER of the shortest edges of each piece (on the outside edge, and on the foldline you just made), and lightly pencil a line from the outside edge to the foldline.  This along with the outer edges and fold line will help mark the edges of the area to glue (see above photos where they are marked "glue").
  • Now, taking your long, thin pieces, place them on your work surface so they would fold toward the BACK (don't worry too much about this, if you get it wrong, you can just make the fold go the other way later).  Apply glue ONLY to these two pieces and ONLY on the areas marked "GLUE" above (but cover those areas well).  I use double-sided adhesive tape and make sure it lines up close to the edges of the glue area.
  • Now comes the trickiest part.  Line your two skinny pieces up side by side as if they hadn't been cut in half.  Take one of your other two pieces and line it up along the TOP edges of your long, skinny pieces so the part marked "GLUE" on it lines up with the part you applied glue to (these ones should fold toward you - but again, you can just fold it the other way if you need to later). It should line up so that one edge is glued to 1 skinny piece, and the other edge of the same piece is glued to the 2nd skinny piece.  Repeat with the 2nd piece lining it up along the BOTTOM edges of your long, skinny pieces.  This is much harder to describe than it is to do.  The most important thing is to try to make sure that when you are done, the skinny pieces line up side by side without overlap so they look like they did before you cut them, and that the other pieces line up top to bottom without overlap in the same way.  The sections marked "GLUE" above should be adhered to each other with edges aligned, but no other parts glued.
  • Now you can decorate the front of your card, being careful to leave the center part so it can open.
  • Now "open" it along the center, exposing a new page to decorate.
  • Repeat this twice more, noting that the last page will be more like a plus sign, while the rest will be full pages.
That's it.  You've done it!