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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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Fun with Vellum Part 1 - Flowers

I fell in love with this floral printed vellum, but had a bit of a challenge figuring out how to use it.

I ended up backing it with a pale green card stock and then printing the title and journaling on green vellum that I put on top of it (of course, I could have just as easily had a picture instead of the journaling, but for this particular page I wanted room to tell the story). 

Now that I've discovered pergamano, I can just imagine how pretty this page would have looked with a fancy pierced & embossed border!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Challenging Papers - Part 1 - Buddha

Using leftovers isn't always about scraps.  Perhaps we have some papers we just don't know what to do with.  Usually they come in a pack of other papers we want, but sometimes we pick them up thinking we'll use them, but then find they're more challenging to work with than we thought.  For the next several Tuesdays, we'll take a look at this type of challenge.

In today's example, I purchased this paper from Hot Off the Press to use in a scrapbook about our trip to India.  However, it came in a package of 25 sheets!  Since it was on sale and I only paid about what I'd pay for one sheet, I figured I was getting a bargain. But then I had all these leftover sheets that I didn't know what to do with.  Clearly, in this case, I could just cut off the Buddha and use the rest as sand for summer or beach themed projects, but I decided to challenge myself to find another way to use the Buddha.

The idea came as I was going through a bunch of quotations I happened to have on hand.  One was from Henry David Thoreau and said, "It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see."  What a great quote! And it was the perfect reminder to me that I could look at these more challenging papers differently.  I decided the Buddha could represent quiet contemplation, so I made a card about that!  Here it is:
I've got plenty more of this paper, so I'd LOVE to hear any ideas you might have for using it!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Use Your Paper Features - Color Blocks

Color-blocked background papers can make help you make great scrapbook pages very easily. This dual page spread does just that.  The pictures and the journaling were all printed with narrow borders and cut to size with my paper cutter.  The color blocking sets them off nicely.  The titles were printed and cut out and added to their own block of color and I was done!

The hardest part was measuring my background paper and sizing my photos and journaling to fit.  Fortunately my photo editing software has rulers I can make visible so sizing is pretty easy.  Here's how I did it:

I started by creating a blank 300 dpi 8 1/2 x 11" page in my photo editing software (because I wanted to print my pictures to an 8 1/2 x 11" sheet of photo paper.

Next I pulled up a photo and re-sized it to 300 dpi.  Then, using the rulers as a guide, I drew out a cropping rectangle the size that I wanted for my page.  All I had to do then was crop to fit my rectangle, then copy my cropped picture onto my prepared 8 1/2 x 11" page.  If I wanted a white border around my picture, all I had to do was leave a bit of room around it.  To create a colored border, I create a colored rectangle slightly larger than my photo and make sure it is layered behind my picture.

My journaling boxes are done in a similar way, except that text boxes are placed on top of my sized-to-fit colored rectangles (of course, it takes more than one letter-sized page to fit all the photos and journaling that is needed for these two pages!)

Anyway, after my pages are all laid out, I simply print them onto photo paper, cut the photos and journaling with my paper cutter, and adhere them to my page.  My titles are cut from black & white cardstock with my Silhouette.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Title Tips Part 9 - Photo of Sign

Here, the focal photo serves as our title, since it is a picture of a sign.  The sub-title is printed on transparent label media, cut around it and attached to the background.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hospital Gowns - last but not least!

Here is an extra special hospital gown I made for my grandmother.  With the shimmery fabric and lace, and the soft flair of the skirt, you wouldn't think that's what it is, would you?  Here's a close up of the fabric and lace:

It's gorgeous fabric!

Here's a picture of her enjoying the first gown I made for her:
She wanted to make sure the pocket was visible as she loves the little heart-shaped pocket! :D

Friday, August 26, 2011

Enhanced Die Cut

Obviously I've been in the mood to create Thanksgiving cards, lately!  Here is a gate-fold card on it's side. The background is from a napkin like I did here.  The focal is a leaf I cut on my Silhouette.  Initially it looked very out of place, so I messed with it a bit to make it look more like I wanted.  Here's what I did:
  • Placed it upside-down on a soft mouse pad and embossed veins into the leaf.
  • Turned it right-side up and lightly rubbed 3 different ink pads over it to enhance the veins and create coloring that better went with my card.
  • Stamped the sentiment on it.
I wanted to add some sparkle. I wanted to use something like glimmer mist, but didn't have any in an appropriate color.  So, I decided to use Stickles in my favorite color - frosted lace.  This is a fairly transparent color, allowing the colors to show through but giving a bit of sparkle.  I started by drawing lines over the veins with the stickles.  I didn't like that look so I used my finger to just spread it around lightly. 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Christmas in August - Black for Christmas?

Though today's card has green and gold, it doesn't look very traditional for a Christmas card because of the addition of the black - an unexpected color, perhaps, but I like it.  The focal here is stamped with a cute little stamp from Paper Wishes.  A friend has suggested I could draw in a colorful vest on the gingerbread boy & I think that WOULD indeed add a nice touch.  Nestabilities were used to cut and emboss the focal and mat. The border was cut with a fancy blade on my Fiskar's cutter. The sentiment was also a stamp from Paper Wishes.  Black ribbon adds the finishing touches.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Stitched Together with Love

I liked the way this card turned out. The picture doesn't do it justice as you just don't get a good sense of all the different textures on it.

The background is tissue paper glued to a plain white card base and the hearts border at the bottom was a double-stick Dazzle onto which I rubbed very fine red glitter.  The focal was from "Foil Glitter Pack-Love" from We R Memory Keepers.  I bought the kit second-hand somewhere.  It has double-stick adhesive stickers & foil, glitter, and flock rub-on sheets to play with.  This particular one I used with the red flock and then matted it on a white shape cut and embossed with a Spellbinder's die with my Big Shot.

Like I said, I was happy with the card, but wasn't sure how I'd ever use it -- until I started making all those hospital gowns for my grandmother.  Then it was the perfect card! :D

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Thanksgiving with Scraps

This Thanksgiving card is another one made from scraps.  Even the card base was a leftover piece of card stock!  The focal uses my last little square of the leaf Color Me paper along with several other leftover pieces and a shaped brad from Hot Off the Press (from their Great Outdoors Finished in a Flash set).

The stamps were from my Melissa Frances Crystal Clear Stamps set.  I say stamps, because I don't have one that says Happy Thanksgiving.  This result comes from careful partial inking of 2 stamps - one that says "Happy Everything" and one that says "Thanksgiving Traditions".

Monday, August 22, 2011

Color Me Card with Glitter

The picture doesn't do this card justice. Yes! There IS glitter on this card made with Color Me paper, though it doesn't show very well in the picture.  I applied it by heating the raised areas of the paper one small section at a time and then adding glitter.  What I learned was:
  1. I'm not very good at it, and  I have a hard time knowing how much to heat it.
  2. Glitter gets all over the place, even when you're working over scrap paper and a craft mat!
  3. It would be best to use a clear glitter.  I used a copper color and that really shows up - clearly showing how inconsistently the glitter stuck to the page.  
  4. If I really want color, next time I'll try embossing powder.  If I can't get it to go on consistently, I can use an embossing pen to go over the places where I want additional powder.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Title Tips Part 8 - A Twist on a Common Saying

This set of pages uses a title that is a twist on a common saying to support the theme of the pages - the danger several parrots are facing of extinction.  The title was printed on card stock and cut out by hand.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Another Hospital Gown

Here's a picture of another reversible hospital gown I made for my grandmother.  Hospital gowns are so ugly and shapeless, but they are the shape they are for a reason and are necessary for her right now.  So - as I showed a couple of weeks ago, I've been working to make her a few that are at least prettier than what she had.  This reversible gown features a white trimmed pocket and neck edge on this side.  Here's a closeup of the fabric at the neck edge:

The other side looks like this:
It features a ruby-throated humming bird on the pocket -- one of the many bird visitors she sees outside her window.  Here is a close-up of that:
This was cut with my Silhouette - once again the fabric was backed with Heat 'N Bond so it just ironed on.  The pattern is another freebie from einnej.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Color Me with Vellum Focal

This is the fourth of 6 cards I made with that one Color Me sheet of paper.  It's interesting to see how the look of the paper changes as it is paired with other colors.  This card uses vellum for the focal and the sentiment (it's a little hard to see in the picture, but it says "Thanksgiving Traditions" on the front).

I made the focal leaf by tracing one of the leaves from the Color Me paper onto the green vellum.  Then I used the pergamano techniques I've started playing with and drew in the outline and veins with my embossing stylus.  This, of course, showed up white, but that didn't go well with the card, so I inked over it with a light layer of green & brown.  It would have been better if I'd drawn a slightly larger leaf, but I wasn't about to re-do it!  It didn't show up as well as I wanted against the busy background, so I backed it with brown cardstock like I put under the sentiment.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Color Me Thanksgiving

At Thanksgiving time, I like to give friends and loved ones a card expressing specific reasons I am thankful for them.  That can mean I need a lot of cards, so I try to get a bunch done ahead, just like I do for Christmas.  The Color Me paper that I talked about yesterday was a great choice for making some Thanksgiving cards.  This is the third of 6 cards I made from the one sheet (and most of them are decorated inside as well, though I didn't take pictures of the insides). 

One of the things that is WONDERFUL about the Color Me paper is that by using my ink pad to color the paper, I KNOW that the colors will match when I use my ink pad for things like coloring the corner treatments or stamping.  In this case, I used my Venetian corner punch from EK Success, and then used the stamp pad to color the punched area green.  I used a spellbinder's die for the sentiment.  This time after I embossed with it, I left the die in place while I applied some shading around the edge with the ink pad. Then stamped the sentiment. (The stamp is from a set that I find really handy.  It is called "Melissa Frances Crystal Clear Stamps" and has sayings for various occasions throughout the year.)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Simple Thank You

Today's card showcases a very simple focal - just the words "Thank You" cut with my Silhouette from sticky-backed card stock.  With the Color Me paper and the lace & ribbon border treatment a more elaborate focal isn't needed.  However, it DID need that bow to draw attention to it!  Here is what it looked like without it:

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Storing Spellbinders Dies

Here's a tip for storing Spellbinders Dies using the old-style CD cases & magnetic tape.  Pull out the molded plastic part (this is why you need the old style, the new thin ones are one molded piece so you can't do this) and put magnetic tape on each side to hold your dies, as shown above.  Or, if you have misc. magnetic sheets from advertisers (for instance, I had a magnetic calender with ads around it) you can cut that to size and glue it in - more magnetic surface area for your dies to hold on to!

If you wish, you can glue covers to the front and back of the case showing what is in it like this:
You could also use labels on the spine if you wish to store them in a CD tower or something similar.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Color Me Card on Yellow

I finally decided to try some of my Color Me paper from Hot Off the Press.  I have a terrible time using papers like this because I don't want to use them up!  I decided to try the leaf motif since I need to get busy on Thanksgiving cards (and because it was my least favorite of the bunch so I was more willing to sacrifice it!).

The most important thing I learned was that I need to buy some more make-up sponges!  I really didn't like applying the stamp pad directly to the paper as I didn't have as much control as I wanted.  I started out using my dove blender pen with stamp pads to color in the leaves and acorns.  This took FOREVER!  I then came at the rest of it with stamp pads - and a little chalk.  I tried spritzing it with water to see if that would let me blend the colors better, but all that did was make the paper soft enough that I started rubbing some of the finish off!  Bottom line, make up sponges would have been much better.  However, what I ended up with wasn't too bad.  I don't have a picture of the paper itself when it was finished, but this is the first of 6 cards I made from it.  I DO think I could get addicted to this paper. It's a lot of fun once you figure out the little tricks.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Title Tips Part 7 - Printed in Color & Hand Cut

For this layout, I didn't have the right color of green to match the background paper, so I printed it up myself (which allowed for white journaling).  The title was printed, cut out, and glued in place.  Here's another one done in a similar way - this time the letters were printed in stripes to coordinate with the store-bought border.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

CPS 230 Challenge

The above is the sketch for the CPS challenge this week.   Here is my version of it:

I've been experimenting with pergamano lately.  For this card I used green vellum and the Scandinavian Hearts template from Hot Off the Press.  As you can see, I embossed parts of the butterfly wings, and pierced all around the butterfly and heart shapes.  Though its difficult to tell in this photo, the butterfly heart is made of two pieces that are woven together.

The light green fern paper is from Hot Off the Press. The darker green was a small piece I had - not sure where from.  The sentiment was cut with my Silhouette out of green adhesive-backed cardstock.  To help ensure the right color, I blended colors on the sentiment with glitter gel pens, ink from a green stamp pad, and my dove blending pen.  Light green crystal stickers finish it off.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Digi-Stamp with Chalks

Today's card is another digistamp from Digital Two for Tuesday.  I colored it with my pastel chalks and added accents with my glitter gel pens.  I used my Dove blending pen to blend the colors.  As you can see, the digistamp is actually on the inside of the card, but the card front has a window that frames a portion of it.  The window is framed with a piece of card stock cut with one of my Nestability dies.  The stamp is from a Fiskar's set called "Laugh With Me Quotes".

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Just For You Pergamano Butterfly

Here's another pergamano card.  For this one I used the same technique and supplies as the card I showed yesterday, but I added color to it with Dusty Concord distress ink! With raised side up, I rubbed the stamp pad lightly over the butterfly.  Most of the color was added to the raised part with a little bit getting on the other parts.  I took a damp q-tip and spread the rest around to form a light lavender color, giving a two-color effect.  It's a bit hard to see it in the picture, but in real life, the butterfly is nicely 3-dimensional and delicate.  The background is Lavender Flowers on Purple from Hot Off the Press.  I added dazzles/peel offs for the butterfly antennae, and the border around the opening (which I cut with spellbinders labels one).  An outline sticker greeting finishes it off nicely.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Pergamano Butterfly

Today's card tries a "new to me" technique called pergamano.  After watching a webisode about the technique from Paper Wishes here, I decided I wanted to give it a try.  I didn't have the special Pergamano parchment paper, but had some similar paper for making sewing patterns that I thought might work.  While the parchment I used was a bit thin and I had to be extra careful when embossing, it worked pretty well.  I also didn't have the special templates, so decided to try it with the 15 Butterflies and Dragonflies Template from Hot Off the Press.

I started with a plain white card base and the Pink Butterflies Shine Design paper from Hot Off the Press.  After embossing and piercing my butterfly, I cut around the piercing.  Then I decided to add some black FlowerSoft for the body and antennae.  A sentiment and "trail" made from adhesive-backed vinyl (cut on my Silhouette) finished the outside of the card. The inside has another little pergamano butterfly:

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Alcohol Ink with Stacked Dazzles

Stalked Dazzles (from Hot Off the Press) can be such fun, and by using the "innies", one can get double the number of projects from them. In this case, I used some regular dazzles and some innies.  The large layer was created by using the innies from one of the dazzles, placing them on a bit of paper that I had colored with alcohol ink, and then cutting fairly close to the edge. The small one in the center, was made the same way. The paper I used with the alcohol ink was a silver one that had a bit of shimmer to it (Royal Metallics from WausauPaper - really neat stuff). The middle layer is a Dazzle that was placed on a dark pink paper and then cut out near the edge. This was then put on the silver royal metallic paper (without alcohol ink this time) and cut to provide a silver edge around it. I used foam tape to separate the dazzle layers for added dimension. The slider with the sentiment on it is also that royal metallic paper. The three smaller dazzles forming a border at the bottom of the card are also placed on that paper with alcohol ink speckles on it. A vellum mat was used to soften the brighter pink mat. 

Tip for using Dazzles innies: while you can use transfer tape, I find it just as easy to cover it with blue painter's tape and use that.  See this blog entry for information on how to do it (in fact, if you look closely at the picture in that entry, you'll see the dazzle that these innies came from).

Monday, August 8, 2011

Use Your Paper Features - Ribbon

I find it helpful to really take advantage of the features of my scrapbook papers, and I'll be talking about a trick I used here in a minute.  First, though, let's talk about the punching. 

The background paper on this page came in a scrapbooking kit.  It wasn't a full 8 1/2 x 11, so I trimmed it a bit so it would fit on a plain green paper that had been punched with corner punches from EK Success Card Creators line of punches ("Basket Weave" is the one used here).  Before inserting the page, I cut a hole in the green paper in such a way that it would be hidden once the page was in place (I often do this when placing a large photo on a page - no point in wasting all that paper behind it that no one will see, and this gives me more of the paper to use for embellishments!).  I punched the corners of this and cut these punched pieces to create the faux corners on the photo and it's white mat.  I also used this piece and a Nestability die to cut and emboss the piece used for the title (I hand-lettered the title and drew around the embossing with a pen as I often do).  I then cut a bow from it to be used later.

The trickiest part of this page is the ribbon going across the photo near the bottom.  This was a part of the paper!  I just took an exacto knife and cut along both edges of the "ribbon" leaving some of it un-cut at the edges, but making room to slip the photo (and its mat) in behind it.  Before slipping the photo behind the ribbon, I took the little bow shape I had cut from the leftover piece of green and attached it and a little white flower with a green brad to my paper ribbon as shown.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Title Tips Part 6 - Fancy Fonts

Here's another page that uses a font that supports the theme of the page - in this case, fire.  The trick I used this time was to print the font "mirror image" to the back of the red paper, so I could cut the letters out without having remnants of the print showing.  (Of course, now I have my Silhouette, so can let IT do the cutting!)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Hospital Gowns & My Silhouette

My grandmother has been diagnosed with terminal cancer and is now at home with hospice.  She has always dressed nicely, and I felt bad for her for having to wear ugly hospital gowns when she was receiving visitors and everything.  So, I decided to do something about it.

I didn't get a picture of the first one I made which was lavender flowers with a lavender heart-shaped pocket - which she loved. These pictures were taken by someone else and are a bit out of focus, but they give a little idea of a couple of others that I've made. The gown shown above was made using fabric that had already been cut out as a square dance skirt.  Since she loves cats and enjoyed Hawaii, I thought I'd use it even though it would be a challenge to figure out how to make the pre-cut pieces work.  The result, was a gown that looked quite different from a regular hospital gown, but the flaired skirt is sewn to a blue base of hospital-gown shape, so it still works as needed!

The next one I did is shaped more like a regular hospital gown, but it is reversible!  Here's a picture of one side of it:
It's pretty plain, but made with a pretty blue flowered fabric with a little pocket & lace at the base of the sleeves.  The reverse side looks like this:
I LOVE the pocket.  Here's a closeup:
The bird was from fabric (it's a shiny green, though it looks black here) that had been backed with Heat n Bond and then cut on my Silhouette!  The pattern was a freebie that I got here - created by Judith L. Perry.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Papier Tole

Here's another example of Papier Tole from Paper Wishes.  I LOVE these.  They make such special cards - with a bit of metallic shine to them and all the lovely dimension.

As you can see, this card has the bulk of the papier tole on the INSIDE of the card, but the birdhouse shows through the front window and there is a bit of it attached to the front of the card to add a bit of interest.  Most of the supplies are from Paper Wishes, including the base card and the lovely paper on the front.  Peel-off stickers frame the window and the border with the outline sticker greeting.  The message inside is stamped with silver ink using the "Mix Your Messages" set from Paper Wishes.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Spellbinders in Red & White

Today's post shows a card made with Spellbinders Dies (Labels Four) and a unique fold.  This card is done like a gate fold card except that instead of meeting with a straight vertical edge, the edges meet on the diagonal.  The stamps are from K & Company - SeraSera Clear Stamps.  I find I use them quite a bit as they are very versatile.  You can't tell it well in the picture, but the ribbon is white with red metallic threads running through it and really sets the card off nicely.  When you open the card, it looks like this (one tip got cut off when I scanned it, but you get the idea):

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Embellishments from Punch Scraps

Today's page demonstrates the use of punch scraps.  In this case, the borders and frame embellishments are the "leavings" from a corner punch.  I love the detail they add, though I would hate to have had to glue them down without my Xyron.  That makes it MUCH easier to apply glue to the back of all the little pieces and make them into little stickers. I also like the interplay of light on dark and dark on light.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Make Your Own Punched Borders

This scrapbook page had a lot of information that needed to be conveyed, so there wasn't a lot of room for embellishments (in the scrapbook, it is beside a large picture of the persons being discussed on this page).  I wanted to dress the page up a bit and help it go with the one beside it a bit better, so I used the same color maroon that I used for the background of the accompanying page and made a couple of borders out of it.  Though the borders look like I might have die cut them, I used a simple border punch to create them.  Here's how I did it:
  1. Measure how deep the punch goes -- including the part that is punched off.  You can do this either by punching a part of an edge and measuring near where you stopped, or by measuring from the paper guideline on your punch to where the punch guides end.  For this particular border, I used the Fiskars "Lace" border punch.  It measures about 9/16th of an inch deep.
  2. Double this amount and add a bit for the distance you want between punched edges and cut a strip of paper that is this wide and as long as you want your border to be. In this case I cut two strips of paper that were approximately 1 1/4" wide by 10" long.
  3. Punch all along both sides of your strip of paper, lining up with the guides on the punch as you normally would.
Don't forget to save the little punched out scraps.  Tomorrow I'll show you what I did with scraps from punched edges and corners.