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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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Monday, December 31, 2012

It's Hard to Believe This is Card Stock!

For Christmas this year, I wanted to give a gift of cash, and went looking for some sort of paper purse I could make to put it in. I found a tutorial for a Faux Leather Wallet from Splitcoaststampers.  Just making the faux leather is a WONDERFUL technique and I can imagine many uses for it besides a wallet.

I made my first wallet, following the tutorial pretty closely except for color and embellishments.  It turned out like this:

I liked it really well - except that I had trouble with my sewing machine not wanting to sew smoothly, leaving a lot of knots and mess on the underside (a not particularly unusual problem unfortunately - I need to get it serviced!).

Anyway, the stitching was such a mess on the inside that I just couldn't give it as a gift, so I decided to make another - which is what you see at the top of this post.

This time I modified the project because I wanted it to be wide enough to hold paper money without folding it - but a wider wallet also required a wider embossing machine.  And since I couldn't figure out how to use my Sizzix Texturz Plate in the Grand Caliber, I had to use a different embossing tool as well. I also decided to do without the liner and just stitch it by hand to ensure I didn't end up with a mess again.  Here's how I made it:

Materials and Tools:
  • 1 piece red cardstock 7 1/2" x 8 1/2"
  • 2 pieces red cardstock 2 1/2" x 3"
  • Aged Mahogany Distress Ink Pad
  • Embossing Ink (I used VersaMark)
  • Clear Embossing Powder
  • Needle & brown thread
  • Small Magnet Discs
  • Scrapbooking Dazzles (Swirls, Flourishes & Borders)
  • M-Bossabilities folder (I couldn't figure out how to
  • Grand Caliber machine
  • Corner Rounder Punch
  • Heat Embossing Gun
  • ATG
  • Crystal Lacquer
  1. Emboss the large piece of cardstock.  With my M-Bossabilities folder and Grand Caliber, I was able to emboss the whole piece in two passes.  Simply center along one edge, run it through; line it up with previous embossing to emboss the rest of it by running it through again.
  2. Round two corners using a corner rounder punch - choosing two corners that are 7 1/2" apart (rather than 8 1/2" apart).  These form the wallet cover edge (see picture).
  3. Using the ink pad, lightly go over the embossed paper to color the raised areas. (My ink pad was rather dry.  If yours is real juicy, you might want to put some of the ink on a make-up sponge and apply it that way.)  Repeat on the reverse side.
  4. Choose the side you will use for the outside.  Working one portion at a time, cover a section of the chosen side of the card stock with embossing ink, then with clear embossing powder. Heat emboss and repeat until entire side of card stock is covered with a lovely glossy finish.
  5. Taking the smaller two pieces of paper, score at 1/2" intervals perpendicular to the longest side - 5 score lines created.  Fold them back and forth to create an accordian-type fold. Open them back up again and lightly treat them with the ink pad as you did before in step 3 - on both sides.  Re-fold and crease your score lines with a bone folder.
  6. Working with the outsides of these small folded card stock pieces, apply glue from the ATG to each outside surface (two surfaces per piece).
  7. Now, these small pieces need to be attached to form the sides of the wallet.  With your large piece of card stock lying flat with the wrong side (inside) up, line up one accordian folded card stock piece along one of the 8 1/2" long edges, such that the fold of the small piece is along the outer edge of the larger, and the narrow end of the accordian folded piece is aligned with one of the un-rounded corners.  Repeat for the other edge. Now, working one side at a time, carefully fold the un-rounded edge up so the other adhesive edge of your accordian folded card stock pieces can align along the outer edge of the wallet, making sure that the edges align properly. (Depending on the embossing folder you used, you might be able to use the pattern to help ensure you get it lined up straight.)             
  8. Now all you need to do is fold the top down and fasten your mini-magnets to hold it closed. You need a really strong adhesive to hold the magnets.  I used Crystal Lacquer as my glue and it worked great!                              
  9.  The wallet now looked like this:
  10.  My final step was to add some Scrapbooking Dazzles stickers for embellishments as you see in the picture at the top of this post.

I guess that's it for posts in 2012!  Starting tomorrow, have a very Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Thank You Labels Twenty-seven

This card was inspired by my new Labels Twenty-seven and Decorative Labels Twenty-seven die sets (hereafter called LTS & DLTS).  I also used edgeability dies for the borders. Here's how I made it.

Cut a piece of the lavender patterned paper (from HOTP) just a bit smaller than the white card base. Edge each vertical side with the die cut/embossed border in lavender, and a purple glimmer paper strip.

For the focal, using the lavender gardstock, cut the largest die in the LTS, and the smaller die in the DLTS.  Using the die as a stencil, gently sponge in some purple ink from the stamp pad around the edges to form an inner border.  Stamp the greeting on the smallest piece.

Then from the purple glimmer paper, cut the largest and next to largest dies from the DLTS.  Look closely at the largest purple die cut piece.  Two sides have slits that the largest LTS die-cut (cut in lavender) can slide through, but the other two sides do not.  Carefully clip the center of the inner edge of these other two sides, so the die cut can slide through there as well.

Glue the large lavender die cut in place in the large purple one, making sure the ends glide through the slits.  Then adhere the next purple piece.  The smallest lavender one (with the greeting) is attached with foam tape for added dimension.  To finish the card, I ran a bunch of silver Liquid Pearls along the border and added a silver ribbon bow.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Butterfly Thanks

This card looks really pretty in person.  The card front was embossed with an Impressabilies stencil from Spellbinders. Then, using the it as a stencil, I sprayed all over with glimmer mist.  The resulting pattern is so beautiful and delicate!

The focal is another Small Stamp from HOTP, colored with my gel pens & Dove blender.  It was die cut with a die from Marvelous Squares dies, and then matted on a mat cut from aqua glimmer paper with a Fair Isle Pendents die (Spellbinders).  An outline sticker greeting completes the card.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Cat Thanks

This focal is a digi-stamp from the talented Angelique. She draws such cute digis!  I colored it in with chalks and gel pens for another Thank You card. The pink paper is from Hot Off the Press - not sure about the rest of the elements.  As you can see, I cut the focal with a Spellbinder's die.  The embellishment is several layers - a die cut, a couple of paper flowers, and an adhesive-backed jewel flower.  I've got to get busy, I need more thank you cards!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Thank You!

With Christmas over, it's time to think about thank you cards! Here's a fun one I made using a Spellbinder's die and the technique I showed here.  The dimensions are a little different because for this to work you need your score lines to be at the center of the die, and in a bit from the inside edge of the die.  But the technique is the same - cut with the die on either side, leaving the inside uncut as discussed in the previous post.  Then emboss the whole. Next I took a piece of the pink striped paper and die-cut the shape out of it so it would fit around the element as you see here.

Then I cut 3 more elements with the same die - one in white card stock, one in a silky white pattern, and one in pink - the same as the base card.  The one cut from white card stock was stamped for the focal you see here (small stamp from HOTP) and colored with gel pens & my Dove blender before being adhered in place.

I punched a border using my Martha Stewart Doily Lace Punch, and then finished the outside of the card with some ribbons and die cuts.

With the card open, you can see where I put the other two pieces I cut.  I stamped my sentiment on the white silky one and cut a piece from the pink one so it would align properly.  The pink will be used to write my personal message.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!!!!

It's Christmas morning.  Have you suddenly realized you forgot a couple of Christmas cards you need to hand out at Christmas dinner?  Here are several really quick cards.  These first two are made with purchased elements I had on hand from books from HOTP, the last one is from a recycled card I received!  This "Peace on Earth" didn't even require cutting out - it was a punch-out.  I didn't do much to it - just added a little star sticker over the printed star to enhance it a bit.  The mat was a shape traced and cut with the help of my Design Toolkit templates (HOTP). I then embossed it with an embossing folder and used chalk to add color to the edges before gluing to the card front.  A bit of glitter ribbon and 3 small Jewel Dazzles finish it off.

The inside was really quick - a printed transparency that I had on hand - cut with a Spellbinders die and my Big Shot.

This 2nd card is similar, except I used a die-cut tag and stamped a sentiment on it to go with the wreath punch out I had (I did fussy cut this one). The mat is just an embossed rectangle.

The inside is another printed HOTP transparency cut with a Spellbinders die.

This last card focal is recycled from a card I received. It came framed as you see it.  I inked around the tan edge with red ink and found a coordinating striped paper to serve as the background. I added a bit of ribbon, some stickers backed with card stock, and a die-cut with hand-written sentiment.  Another quick card completed.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Antiquing Techniques

Today's focal made use of some antiquing techniques.  The focal bird design was from a Victorian ornament book I purchased a long time ago and the design itself looked like this when I started:

To get the antique look, I inked the edges with brown ink, covered the whole element with embossing ink from a stamp pad, and then with clear UTEE (Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel). I heat embossed it, then quickly dipped it again in the UTEE before it could cool.  After repeating this step a couple of times, after heat embossing it I placed it face down over a bunch of microbeads before it cooled.  Then it was back to the embossing ink and UTEE for several more layers.  After I was happy with the thickness of the UTEE, before it cooled too much I bent it in various places to crack the UTEE.  Finally I rubbed a bunch of brown ink over the cracks.  That gave me an element that looked like this:

What a difference!  I already had the mat die cut - a leftover from a different card.  I added a little tag with a stamped greeting to this.  A bit of ribbon, and some die cuts (from Spellbinders Holly Motifs) for the corners, and my card is finished.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Stamping Inspiration

This card was inspired by a lovely stamp I got with my Cardmaking & Papercraft magazine.  What a cute scene! And it even has a cat. What more could you want?

Often when stamping images for a focal, I'll cut a shape with a die and then stamp it.  This allows me to easily mask off areas of the die cut that I might not want to be stamped.  After coloring this in with gel pens and chalks and adding a bit of Stickles and fun flock in places for the snow, I went looking for papers that would go with my focal.  I knew I would find some in the Christmas card kits I had from HOTP.

Not only did I find some papers, but I found some lovely embellishments to use for my greeting!  As you can see, I put the "Merry" oval up on foam tape to add a bit of dimension.  I also cut around some printed letter blocks to form the word Christmas - arranging the letters at different angles to get the look you see here.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas Focals - what not to do

Here are a couple of quick Christmas cards that I'm using as examples of what to do and what not to do with card focals. This first card is pretty good, but if I were doing it again, I would have put an oval mat behind the candle focal - for two reasons.  First, as it is, the focal is out of proportion to the greeting tag - it would be better to be larger because of the size of the tag, and adding a mat would make it look like it was.  Secondly, it would simply help it stand out better color-wise.

On this card, there is a bit of a fight for focal.  Is the focal the brightly colored candy-cane tag or the greeting with the cardinal and holly?  It's hard to say.  While the card is quite nice as it is, it would be better if the greeting and cardinal (from a new embossing folder I got from Sizzix) were more clearly the focal.  This could be accomplished by putting a simpler element in the upper left corner - perhaps a large red bow from tulle or a poinsettia flower.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Winter's Butterfly

This card comes from a Christmas Card Kit from HOTP - though I didn't make the card the way they suggested - and I'm not even sure all the elements came from the same kit! (I have at least 2 different kits).  It was fun taking a variety of pieces that went together color-wise and just playing with them.

I love butterflies, so really liked the saying about snowflakes and thought it would be a good focal.  Then I started playing with mats, using them at angles and different orientations until I found what I liked. 

The only added enhancements were some inking around the patterned paper used for the background and around some of the elements, adding an eyelet and ribbon to the tag, and adding a few jewel dazzles (four around the focal, and one above each little element on the upper border).

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Cut and Fold Greetings

This card was made using a couple of die sets from Spellbinders and a purchased focal and Dazzles from HOTP.

The purchased focal was enhanced by rounding the corners, adding a couple of 3-D Dazzles snowflakes, and inking around the edge. 

The frame was made by cutting one of the Marvelous Squares dies from a larger square, and then setting the die cut itself aside and using the outside as a frame.  Once again, I used a corner rounder on the corners and enhanced it with Dazzles snowflakes.

The lower border was created with Spellbinder's Octagon Strips and Accents. I love the 3-d effect created by folding the cut pieces back.  As you can see, I added a few more snowflakes - one at the center of the octagon strip, and three more on the narrow ribbon that runs between it and the frame.  With tools like these, you can create a stunning card pretty quickly! That's a good thing, because it's getting awfully close to Christmas!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Gift Tag Focal

This lovely red and silver foil ornament was a gift tag from a bygone Christmas.  I thought it would make a great focal and set about seeing what I could do with it.  Unfortunately the white in the picture doesn't show up well enough to show the lovely texture in this card.  The card background is embossed, helping the topper to stand out really well - something it doesn't do so well in the picture.  Here's how I made the topper:

Die cut a piece in white (Spellbinder's Fancy Ribbon Threader) and threaded a silver ribbon around it.  Next a wove a red/silver/white ribbon through it near the bottom and backed the lower edge with a strip of red glittered card stock so the lovely lacy edge shows up nicely.  Then I die cut another piece (Spellbinders Marvelous Squares) from the red glitter card stock to form the mat for my focal.  When I was done with all that, it looked like this:

Nice, but it seemed like it was missing something.  It needed a sentiment!  I decided to use some silver outline stickers.  I thought perhaps to put a sentiment on either side of the ornament like this:

It was okay, but I decided I preferred the one you see at the top of this post with the sentiment in the lower right.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Joy Flip Flop

This fun card was inspired by what was called a flip flop card demo - which I saw here.  In order to make this card exactly, you'll need a wider bodied die cutting machine than the standard Big Shot because the card has to be inserted width-wise - and this one was 7" wide.  I used the Grand Caliber because I started with a base card that was 5" x 7".

With the card open, I placed the die on the card front where I wanted the design (note I used a die from Spellbinder's Holly Motifs and had it a bit towards the top of the card), taped it in place, and scored the card front above and below the die - right at the center of the die. This score line is where the card front is folded back in the picture above.

Next I carefully placed my card and die in my die machine sandwich, taking great care to line things up so the first part of the card and die was hanging outside the sandwich, and the sandwich was aligned with the score line.  I ran this through my machine so only the right side of the die was cut (the part in the sandwich), leaving the other part intact. Then, put it all in an embossing sandwich so the entire design was embossed - that which had been cut AND that which hadn't.

Next I took a piece of red paper, and cut out the die in such a way that I could glue it to the card as shown - leaving 1/8" card around it for a mat, and giving me the little pieces needed to fill in the filagree design.  I stamped a sentiment in the center and added a bit of pizazz with gel pens & Stickles.

I cut out a second die piece from similar card stock, and lined it up with the first, gluing it to the inside in such a way that it isn't seen until you open the card.  This gave me just a little bit of room to write my message.

I finished by cutting a border strip, coloring it as I did with the focal, and then snipping it into pieces to add to the card.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Making a List

Do you make lots of lists at Christmas time?  How about others in your family?  One list we often make is a list of who to thank for what as we open our Christmas gifts.  This year I decided to make some little notepads for the family so they can easily make and find their lists.  They are similar to ones I've made previously and shown on this blog. 

I started with notepads that were 3 1/2" x 5" in size.  For each I cut a piece of card stock 8 1/2" x 5 1/4", and made 4 score lines at 3 3/8", 3 5/8", 7 1/4" and 7 1/2" as shown below:

Then I inserted just the longer flap into an M-bossabilities folder and ran it through my Big Shot (note how the rest of the cardstock just hangs out the end):

Some of the folders I left this way:

For others, I took a sponge applicator and a stamp pad and lightly rubbed ink over the embossed areas (you'll be able to see how this looked when I show some other finished ones at the end of this post).  Next I glued my notepads in place using my ATG:

I used small pieces of sticky-backed velcro to hold them closed.  Then decorated the fronts as desired.  Here are a few other examples:

As you can see, this embossed background was sponged with red ink.  For the focal I used a fancy label cut with a Spellbinders die for the mat.  The stocking was a Small Stamp from Hot Off the Press.  I stamped it in black on some red paper, added silver and green accents with glitter gel pens, and a dazzle star on top of the snowflake.

This was another HOTP Small Stamp stamped in red onto a piece of white card stock that had been cut with a Spellbinder's die.  The red mat was made by tracing around the die and then cutting it out of red glimmer paper.  In addition to adding a bit of color to the stamp with my gel pens, I used a fairly clear colored Stickles and fun flock to cover the beard, and fur areas.  Then I added red Stickles for the holly berries and for little dots around the frame.

This one uses the Spellbinder's Holly Motifs (I think it was) and another Small Stamp from HOTP.  Once again I colored with glittery gel pens & added red Stickles.

This one uses a die from the Spellbinder's Decorative Labels Twenty-seven.  The stamps were from Studio G and came with some adhesive backed gems that I added.

Once again I'm using a Spellbinder's die and a Small Stamp from HOTP.  This time I stamped it twice - once on the mat and once on a separate piece of card stock.  Using the die as a stencil, I added chalk lightly around the inside edge for a frame on the mat. After coloring the second bird (using glitter gel pens & my Dove blender pen), while the ink was still wet, I sprinkled it with clear embossing powder and embossed it for a shiny look.  I then cut around the bird and mounted it on foam tape above the other one.  I added a few dots of red Stickles for berries.

Here's another Small Stamp from HOTP stamped in green on a die-cut piece (Spellbinders Resplendent Rectangles).  For the snow on the branches, I used Stickles covered with Fun Flock.  I added a couple of 3-D Dazzles snowflakes above the tree.

This stamp came from Inkadinkado. I stamped it on a white die cut and colored it with gel pens.  Next I ran some silver thread stitches around the edge of the mat, threaded a silver ribbon through at the bottom, and tied a bow.  This was matted on another diecut - this one in silver.

Here's another stamp from Inkadinkado. I stamped it in white opaque ink on a piece of blue glimmer paper.  After the ink dried, I added color with chalk and gel pens, and then used some red Stickles to add some "pop" for the sleigh and the holly berries. This one is matted on white card stock (colored around the edge with silver ink), and a dark blue glimmer paper (cut with Marvelous Squares dies from Spellbinders).

This is another Small Stamp from HOTP stamped on a white piece that was cut with Spellbinders Label Twenty-seven and then matted on a piece of silver cut with a scalloped rectangle die. I colored the stamp with my gel pens & the Dove blender pen. For the snow at the bottom I added Stickles. For added interest, I drew around the outside of the white label with a red gel pen.

This one is also a Small Stamp from HOTP that was stamped on a piece of white card stock that had been cut with a Spellbinder's die.  Once again it was colored with gel pens and chalked around the edge.  I used a snowflake Dazzle on top of the original snowflake to enhance it.

The penguin one at the top of this post was another Inkadinkado stamp colored with gel pens.  The dies were Resplendent Rectangles from Spellbinders.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Let It Snow!

Today I have two cards, both of which start with this cute little snowman (a "small stamp" from Hot Off the Press).  I'll talk more about coloring the snowman when I talk about the 2nd card.  First, I'll just point out a couple of quick things with this card.

The snowman itself was stamped on a pre-cut piece of white card stock (die from Spellbinder's Splendid Circles).  I took a post-it note and cut it to protect the border because the stamp would have covered a bit of that lovely lacy look.  I placed this on another piece I had cut from a lightly patterned purple paper (the papers were all from a set of Christmas papers from Hot Off the Press).  Both this piece and the one with the sentiment were cut using a Spellbinders die set (Fancy Ribbon Threader).  The rest is pretty evident. If I remember correctly, the background is actually one piece of patterned paper, even though it looks like it would have been two.

A quick word about the bow.  I wanted to be able to mail this card and knew that if I tied a regular bow, the knot would be pretty bulky - so I simply formed a loop and ran a piece of ribbon around it, securing it with adhesive.

For this second card, I used my M-bossabilities folder (2 different embossing possibilities) to emboss the background.  The dark blue was embossed in one design, and the glimmer vellum in the other.  Together they make a striking background for the focal.  The focal itself is matted on a blue glimmer mat cut with one of my Marvelous Squares dies (Spellbinders).

To color the snowmen on both cards, I used a mix of glittery gel pens and pearlescent chalks.  I love using the Dove Blender pen with my gel pens to soften the effects.  For instance, the scarf was done that way.  The darker stripes are my gel pen, and the lighter stripes are color pulled from the darker stripes with my blender pen. I love the glimmer from the pens and chalks!

For this second card, the sentiment was stamped on a piece of white card stock that had been shaped by drawing around the smallest die (in the Marvelous Squares set) and then cutting it out with scissors.  A lovely silver-edged ribbon finishes it off.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Let it Snow!

Today's card is a fun little one that started with a gift tag I received on a package last year.  It was just too cute to throw away.  It's little body is glittered and looks really cute in person.  I added a bit of ribbon to it, and though it's a little hard to tell here, the snowman is popped up on foam tape for dimension.

The papers are from a Hot Off the Press Christmas card kit.  I stamped the greeting, and then went around the outside of the word SNOW with an opaque white gel pen.  The "snowflakes" are from a new "Fold and Tuck" die set I got from Spellbinders - called "Octagon Strips and Accents". It's so much fun to cut and emboss these little shapes and get the lovely 3-d effect as you fold back the little pieces.  I added a bit of Stickles to the words and the snow flakes, so they glitter like the snowman does.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Birds, Holly, and Poinsettias

Well, Christmas is coming fast and I need to be getting my cards finished!  Here are a couple more I made using the bird stamp I've shown previously (from StampinUp) for my focals, and my new Poinsettia embossing folder which I've also shown previously (from Sizzix).  As you can see, I started with a piece of red patterned paper which I glued to the front of the card, then added a slightly smaller piece of iridescent vellum that had been embossed in my poinsettia folder.  After stamping and coloring the focal, I cut it with a die from my Resplendent Rectangles set (love that set!).  I matted it with a piece of red, and ran a ribbon around it before attaching it to the background.

This next card was done in a similar manner, except there is no ribbon, and I used a nestability die to cut out my focal.  As you can see, this time I stamped on a colored piece of card stock and using the die as a stencil, lightly added a golden brown color around the inside edges.  The sentiment is a piece of art from a Christmas Cardmaking Kit from Hot Off the Press; the background strip is from them, too.