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!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

One Sheet Wonder Card #1


This is the first in a series of cards got their start from one sheet of double-sided patterned paper using a technique called "one sheet wonder".  In general for this set of cards, in addition to that one sheet of paper, I used:
  • Card stock cut & folded to make a 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" card base.
  • Printouts of an art & tag freebie download that was designed to go with the paper (and occasionally black or white card stock to stabilize them so I could pop them up with foam tape).
  • Black paper - mostly for matting.  
  • Black Sharpie - for faux matting
  • Misc embellishments from my stash. 
CARD FRONT:
  • Background: This card started with a triangle of patterned paper.  I matted that on black paper and placed it in the upper left corner of my card front - wrapping gold thread for my tags around it before adhering it to the card front.
  • Butterfly: The butterfly was really two butterflies stacked on top of each other.  The one on the bottom is a purple color and was on the sheet of printed artwork.  I fussy cut it, and folded the wings up along the body.  I applied double-sided adhesive to the body of the butterfly and added a couple bits of gold thread for "antennae" before attaching it to the card itself.  Then I added a dimensional blue butterfly sticker on top of that (purchased at a dollar store).
  • Tags: The tags came from the sheet of printed artwork.  I wanted the edges to stand out more, so drew around the edge with a black Sharpie. I punched holes and threaded several strands of gold metallic embroidery floss through the holes - tying each in a bow before attaching the tag to the card.  The message on the tag is from the HOTP stamp set called "Just a Little Greeting".  The three words are actually all on the same line, but I masked them so that I could get one per line above each other as you see in the picture.  
INSIDE:


As you can see, the inside is pretty simple - just a piece of patterned paper that is faux matted by drawing around the edges with a black Sharpie.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

One Sheet Wonder


Over on the Paper Wishes Message Board, they are doing a challenge using the "One Sheet Wonder" idea - where you take 1 sheet of patterned paper, cut it up in various ways, and use the pieces to make a bunch of cards.  I've seen a lot of examples of this on the web, and told myself I'd have to try it sometime - but never got around to doing so until now. 

I basically made my own template. Since I wanted to finish the insides of my cards as well as the outside, I ended up with the 7 cards you see in the picture above (could have had more like 14 cards if I didn't decorate the insides). 

Here's my template:


And this is how I decided how I wanted to cut it.  I started with a double-sided sheet of 12" x 12" paper from the "Artful Watercolor" set of papers from HOTP.  I wanted to make cards that were 4 1/4" x 5 1/2", so thought I'd start with rectangles that were 3 3/4" x 5" - a size that would allow for a mat around them & still fit on the card front:
  • I first cut two strips from the paper that were 5" x 12".  This left a third strip that was 2" by 12".
  • Next, I cut my 5" strips into three 3 3/4" sections - that gave me three pieces that were 5" x 3 3/4" from each 5" strip - with an additional piece that was 3/4" x 5". So in total from my two 5" strips I now had 6 pieces that were 3 3/4" x 5" and 2 pieces that were 3/4" x 5".
  • I took my 6 matching pieces and set the others aside for now.  I saved one whole (#6 above) and cut the other 5 as you see in the picture.  One was cut from upper left to lower right corner giving me two triangles (#1 & #2 above).  The next was cut in half both ways (#3's).  The next was cut on one side using a template as a guide for an interesting shape (#4).  The next was cut in 3 pieces horizontally (#5), and the final one was cut in thirds vertically (#7).  
  • I then turned my attention to my leftover pieces.  I left the 3/4" x 5" ones as they were (#3 & #7 on far right of picture).  From the 2" strip I cut two pieces that were 5 1/4" long (#1 & 2 on bottom of picture) which left me with a final piece that was 1 1/2" x 2" (#6 in bottom right corner).
Now, the colored numbers correspond to the pieces used to make my different cards.  Looking at the cards in the order they are in the picture at the top of this blog entry:
  • Back Left - This card was made using the pieces labeled #5 in the template - two on the outside, one on the inside.
  • Back Middle - This card used the pieces labeled #7 in the template - the narrow 3/4" one went on the inside.
  • Back Right - I used pieces labeled #3 for this one - 4 matching rectangles on the front & the narrow 3/4" one on the inside
  • Middle Left - uses pieces labeled #1 - rectangular one on the inside
  • Middle Middle - used # 6's - the large rectangle on the front & the smaller one on the inside
  • Middle Right - uses pieces labeled #2 - rectangular one on the inside
  • Front - uses pieces labeled #4 - large piece on the front, small one on the inside.
This worked pretty well, but I learned something to consider for next time.  While the 5" x 3 3/4" worked great by itself, when I cut it in pieces, there was not as much room for matting as I would have liked.  I think next time I'd want to take that into account and make the pieces smaller depending on how many "cuts" there are if they are all going to go on the front of a card.  This will probably have the added benefit of giving me enough for another card.  I think next time I would make ONE strip that is 5" and use that for the diagonal cuts (#1&2), the whole (#6), and the fancy cut (#4).   Then I would have to re-think the others - the one cut in thirds vertically, the one cut in thirds horizontally, and the one cut in half both ways.  Each of these should be cut from a piece that is smaller than 5" x 3 3/4".  

In the next few days, I'll take a closer look at each of the 7 cards made from this template.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Puppy Get Well


Today's card is another one made from coordinating papers & artwork from the "Cardmaking Value Pack #2" (HOTP).  Once again, it looks nothing like their samples - though it uses their printed sentiments & patterned paper.  This one is a "get well" card for a friend who loves dogs. 


CARD FRONT:

  • Background: I started by cutting a piece of patterned paper just a bit smaller than the cream-colored card base.  Then I cut about an inch off the bottom, trimming it a bit to fit as you see here.  I created the look of a black mat by drawing around the edge with a black Sharpie.
  • Focal: I made the puppy pieces some time ago using the "Pop-Up Puppies" Stamp & Die sets from Stampendous.  You can see more about how I did it here.  For this card, I placed the body where I wanted it, then added the head with an "Action Wobble Spring" from Hampton Art. 
  • Sentiments: The sentiment pieces were artwork from the kit - I just matted them on black paper and added them as you see here.


INSIDE:

  • Background: I left most of the cream from the card blank showing - just added another piece of the patterned paper near the bottom (outlined the same way as I did for the card front).  
  • Dog Bone: This was another piece I had created earlier using the Pop-Up Puppies stamp & die sets.  All I had to do today was glue it in place.
  • Sentiment: This time I used their printed sentiment with lots of layers.  I first layered it on a piece of patterned paper, then black for a mat, then another piece of patterned paper where I ran a Sharpie around the edge.  (The bottom mat is actually pieced together from two narrow strips since I was almost out of this paper by now.)

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Thank You Teacup


Back in March I purchased the "Cardmaking Value Pack #2" from HOTP.  I wasn't sure how much I'd like it because I always want to do my own thing and wasn't sure if there would be that much flexibility, but this value pack turned out to be a real bargain.  It basically had the printed papers & artwork and idea sheets from TEN "Card Makers Personal Shoppers"!  While it didn't contain any of the additional items that usually come with the personal shopper - like card bases & envelopes, buttons, ribbons, brads, chipboard shapes, specialty papers, dazzles, etc. - the coordinating papers & artwork give a great start to a quick and easy card.  The wide assortment of papers are designed with coordinating papers & embellishments, but done in such a way that you don't HAVE to create the same cards they designed with them. 

This card is an example of my using the papers for my own thing.  In fact, the paper I used as the main background paper for the card front was hardly even used in their examples (just used for a bit of trim)!  

I made this card for a friend who has a teacup collection.  It's a thank you card celebrating her hosting of a get-together for our dance group.


CARD FRONT:
  • Background: I cut a piece of the background paper a bit smaller than the card base.  Using a ruler I drew around the outside with a Sharpie (this saves me from matting it on black, but gives a similar look). 
  • Focal: Using my prepared teacup (see next bullet) as a guide to the size I wanted, I cut a piece from the coordinating border print paper and drew around the outside with the Sharpie (to fake a black mat).  I didn't feel this stood out from the background as well as I would have liked, so I matted it on white giving it a 1/8" or less border.  I decided I also needed to mat the teacup, so fussy-cut a similar mat for it.  Then I wanted a little more definition on the border area itself, so I cut two thin white strips of paper and glued them above & below.  
  • Focal - Teacup: Using a stamp from the "You're Tea-riffic" small stamp set (from HOTP), I stamped the whole teacup twice - once on the lavender paper, and once on the peach.  While it would probably have worked to leave it at that, I went ahead & stamped the flower portion again on the lavender.  Then I fussy cut them - the whole thing from the lavender, the peach one so I had just the cup (without handle & saucer) & flower, and finally cut the flower portion I had stamped on the lavender.  After adding a bit more color for interest (using Sharpies!) I layered all the pieces. As a last touch for the teacup, I added a small peach paper flower and smaller lavender crystal-like flower from my stash - layering them on the larger stamped flower.
  • Sentiment: The papers came with some printed artwork sentiment pieces.  I used the two lavender ones, and took advantage of the peach one that left room for my own sentiment.  I stamped the word "Dance!" on that using a portion of a stamp from HOT's "Thank You!" Stamp set.  Then I used another stamp from that set to stamp a sentiment above the teacup.  (I am so glad they include some blank elements so you can easily stamp your own thing and still have it coordinate!)
  • Finishing: After layering the elements as you see here, I finished the outside of the card by adding a small piece of ribbon from my stash.

INSIDE:
  • Background: I cut a piece of border paper just smaller than the inside of the card & again made a fake mat by drawing around the edge with a Sharpie. (I elected not to add white to the border this time.)
  • Focal: This tag was included as part of the artwork.  I didn't have to use the Sharpie here as the border was already printed on the tag.  I DID add the message on the tag using another stamp from the "Thank You!" set.  The stamp has the message as one longer line, so I masked it and stamped twice to split the message to two lines as you see here.
  • Finishing: I finished the inside of the card by adding another peach paper flower & lavender crystal-like flower to the top of the tag.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Woodland Thank You


Today's card was inspired by this one by Debbie Samples at Paper Wishes.  I wanted to make a card that felt like "woodlands" and had a squirrel in it.  I didn't have the exact same things she used, but you can see the influence of her card on this one.

Supplies Used:
  • Wood Grain Embossing Folder
  • Woodland Dazzles in a gold pearl finish
  • Leafy Vine ribbon
  • Cutting dies from Our Daily Bread (for greeting)
  • Brown textured-look light weight card stock
  • Misc brown & gold papers from my stash
  • Brown StazOn Ink pad
  • 5" x 7" cream-colored card blank scored down the middle prepared for folding
Method:
  1. Line up a metal ruler along one edge of the card and cut along the inside edge of ruler from 1/2" above the bottom of the card front to 1/2" above the middle score line.  Repeat on other side.
  2. Score card from the top of these cut lines to the edges of the card
  3. Make more score lines from the cut lines to the edges of the card that are 1/2" above the bottom of the card front and again 1/2" above that.
  4. Fold outside edges of card on these score lines (top & bottom folds are mountain folds, other fold is valley fold).  Fold the rest of the card along the original score line.  Crease all folds well with a bone folder.
  5. Cut brown card stock to 5 1/2" x 4 1/4" and emboss it in the embossing folder.  
  6. Rub brown StazOn ink pad over the embossed piece to bring out the grain. (My card stock cracked a little when embossed, so I also blended in the cracks with a bit of chalk.)
  7. Cut three strips from the brown card stock that are 1/2" wide.  Glue two on the sides of the center piece of card front (because the embossed piece isn't quite wide enough to cover it). 
  8. Take the 3rd strip and glue it to the bottom edge of the card front.
  9. Glue the embossed piece to the center front of card.
  10. Add sentiments & embellishments.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Unofficial Beach Bum


This is one of the scrapbook pages I made for the National Scrapbooking Day "Pick and Create Challenge" on the Paper Wishes Message Board - and it WON!  (Thank you, Paper Wishes!)

For this challenge I chose: Stream, Swimmer, Otter, Swim - which meant I needed to use/do:

  • striped patterned paper (used it to mat my photo)
  • lake/pool/beach - background & largest embellishment
  • Dazzles - a couple of my "shell" embellishments & my sea horse
  • Paper tearing - for my "ocean"
Products used were mostly PW:
  • PAPER - the paper used for the "ocean" & the striped paper mat for the photo were from an older HOTP "Finished in a Flash" kit called AT THE BEACH. The background paper is their "Sandstone" paper sold as single sheets (which was also used for the journaling piece).
  • OCEAN - I tore various strips of the blue paper to create the look of waves, layering them as you see.
  • TITLE - The title came from one of the old HOTP books of punch-out embellishments and/or borders. The starfish at the top left corner was cut from a punch-out border (not sure if it was the same book or a different one). I took a brown pen & outlined the edges of it so it stood out better and blended in better with the Dazzle pieces I describe a little later.
  • JOURNALING - I printed my journaling on another piece of the Sandstone paper, tore around it, and then inked the edges.
  • SAND CASTLE was made using the pattern in the HOTP Paper Piecing 201 book. I didn't actually make it myself - it came in a Paper Wishes Message Board embellishment exchange with IslandGirl way back in August of 2010!
  • DAZZLES - I had to really scrounge to find some Dazzles that would work for this layout. They make some wonderful ones that I don't have, but I finally remembered the sheet of "Tropical Christmas" Dazzles. I cut the holly off a couple of shells & colored the gold with brown StazOn ink. It wasn't as dark as I wanted so I added a darker brown marker & heat embossed it with clear embossing powder to make sure it didn't smear. Then I backed one with blue & one with pink. I also added the small seahorse from that set - but left it gold.
  • OTHER - I did add 3 little pieces that are not from PW - layered shell stickers I got from the Dollar Store.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Color Burst Mother's Day


I'd been wanting to play with my Color Burst again.  I used one color - Merlot - though it looks like several when you add water!  I tried sprinkling the Color Burst & some Perfect Pearls on heavy watercolor paper, then spritzing with water and a sheer shimmer sparkle spray.  That turned out pretty, but darker than I had been thinking I wanted & the Perfect Pearls didn't blend in as well as I had hoped. 

A bunch of colored water had run off the first project onto my craft sheet, so I took more watercolor paper and laid it on top to pick up color.  I kept diluting the remaining colored water with shimmer spray & laying papers on top, getting progressively lighter shades. 

Finally, I tried pouncing the color from the craft mat onto the watercolor paper with a make-up sponge.  That gave a much softer look - especially since it was also the most dilute.

After all were dry I stamped & heat embossed several images with fine white powder.  I used stamps from two HOTP stamp sets - Lacy Things and Tags & Trims.  To get the look of lace running beneath the roses, I first heat embossed the roses.  Then stamped the lace & added powder.  With a small brush, I removed any powder that was on top of the original heat embossed area before heat embossing again.

The card at the top of this post was made from the very first watercolor paper I had prepared, and the inside paper is the next one.  The tag & extra rose on the front are from some paper somewhere in the middle of my process and you can see it's a bit lighter.  Here's the inside:


I made another card from the lightest one's created.  You can see how different it looks.  Even though the same materials were used to color it, they were much more dilute, so the color is much more pastel.


I added a touch of darker pink with an alcohol ink pen.  Here's the inside of this one:


I hadn't intended to add the panel on the left side, but when I decided to outline the front in the darker pink, it bled through - this was my solution.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Got Cake?


For National Scrapbooking Day, on the Paper Wishes Message Board, they posted a "Tic Tac Toe" Challenge - with extra credit if you did all the ones to make 3 tic tac toes forming a "Z" on the board.

I decided to go for the "Z" challenge, requiring:
  • 3+ Patterned Papers - I used 5 - all older HOTP
  • Mono-Chromatic - Blues
  • Buttons or Brads - Two curly brads from HOTP
  • Doily or Foiled Fancies - Doily from my stash
  • 2 Photos - Yep!
  • Tags or Journal Boxes - I have both
  • Birthday Theme - Yep!
  • Die Cuts - tags - one from Hunkydory, one cut with my own Paper Artist Die
  • Stamp on your page - word "Amy" stamped & embossed with fine white powder (stamp made with Teresa Collins Stamp Maker)
  • Doodle or Color on your page - Corner doodles for small picture, stitching lines for mat for small picture & journaling box, dots around focal picture
  • Additional: Dazzles Title "Got Cake?"

Betsy Ross


Paper Wishes Message Board held several challenges for National Scrapbooking Day.  I did two of their "Pick and Create Challenges".  This is my 2nd one - I'll post the 1st one in a few days. I must admit that this page looks much better in real life because the picture doesn't show the glimmer & shine that's there.

Anyway, for my pick #2 I chose: Lake, Sailor, Fish, Picnic - which meant I needed to do/use:

  • Specialty Paper - I used red foil card stock from "50 Shades of Mirri - Festive" from PW, and dark blue glimmer paper from "Masculine SaraPapers".  These were used to mat my focal photo - both the smaller mats & the larger angled ones.
  • Military or Patriotic - Background paper is HOTP "Patriotic Blue Border" which has the red white & blue border - theme also carried out in the basic color scheme & paper pieced butterfly
  • Sequins or Rhinestones - stars on the butterfly are sequins from my stash
  • Paper Piecing - Paper-pieced butterfly made using my Silhouette - I used white gel pen to outline it & on the antennae, so that they could be seen against the dark background.
  • Other - "BETSY ROSS" title was made with alphabet stickers from my stash, journaling was hand-written on white paper used to mat the focal photo & on little "tag" on the black & white photo.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Diamond Top Kitty


This card was created for a challenge on the Paper Wishes Message Board - here. Instructions were given in the 2nd post for creating a card with a diamond topper.  

I made mine half an inch shorter (because of the dimension of the pot I had already made), so my instructions below reflect that:
  • Start with card stock 5" x  9"
  • Score in half lengthwise (2 1/2").
  • Score the other way across one end at 2 1/2"
  • Turn your card stark over so you can mark on the back.  Mark it at 3 1/4" at the center fold and 4 1/4" at each side (so marks on sides will be 1 3/4" beyond the 2 1/2" score line)
  • Still working from the back, score lines between these 3 marked points.
  • Still looking at the back of the card stock, we'll fold the 1st 2 folds as valley folds (mountain folds from the right side), and then carefully pinch the other two as mountain folds (valley folds from the right side).
  • Crease all folds well with a bone folder.
  • Decorate it!
I decided to make my card look like a kitten was popping out of a pot.  The pot was die cut using a Spellbinders die (Flower Pots) and shaded with chalks.  The cat was created using Stampendous Pop-up Kitties stamps & dies - colored with chalks, fine-line Sharpie, & a little Smooch Ink (see more details in a previous post - here).  The "grass" was hand cut from green glimmer paper, and the butterflies (here and on the inside) were purchased at a dollar store.  I cut away a little of the diamond so it wasn't sticking out below the cat's head.  The sentiment is Dazzles.

For the inside, I inked around the edges with a mix of Dried Marigold & Aged Mahogany Distress Inks so it would blend with the outside of the card.  With the little "roof" that pops out when you open the card, I decided I wanted to create a banner below it.  For that I took a strip of the same card stock that was used for the pot, folded it in the center and 1/2" over at each end, and attached it to the card as shown below - so it pops out when the card is opened.  This leaves me with plenty of room for my message.


Sunday, April 30, 2017

Cat Thank You


Today's card is a quick thank you card for one of the many cat lovers in my life - made using one of my card kits as described in a previous post here.  The patterned card stock is from a small DCWV stack.

FOCAL: The focal was made as described in this post, using stamps from JustRite's Grand Sentiments (frame & sentiment) and Inkadinkadoo (You're Purrfect Cat).   I used clear embossing ink & white powder for the border & a dark pink ink with clear embossing powder for the image & greeting.  Focal was cut using a die from Spellbinders Labels Twenty-Nine.

FRAME:  Because my card stock came from a 4.5" x 6.5" mat stack, it was just the right size to allow for a white border around it on the front of my 5" x 7" card.  I cut it into a frame by cutting the center out, using the same die used for the focal.  I popped the frame on the card using dimensional tape and my card front was finished.

INSIDE:  I didn't take a picture of the inside, but I used the piece that was left over from cutting the frame (inside piece) and cut another frame using a smaller die from the same set to cut the inside of that piece out - perfect for framing my inside message.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Pressed Flower Thank You


This card was made for a friend who does a lot with pressed flowers.  This pressed flower printed paper (HOTP) isn't nearly as nice as the real thing, but I thought she might appreciate the thought at least!  

BACKGROUND: I didn't have much of the printed paper left & wanted a bit for the inside as well, so I ended up with a strip that was perhaps 2" wide on the front of the card.  I found some old-fashioned lace that I thought went well and added along the border (for the inside as well - see below).

FOCAL: Focal was stamped on a die cut piece using a stamp from JustRite's Grand Sentiments.  I used the same ink to ink around the edge of the die cut and to ink the entire area of the die cut I used for a mat (dies from HOTP set called 6 layered labels & 2 swirls).  Because I ended up with some stray ink when I stamped the greeting, I added a little butterfly sticker to hide the mess.

INSIDE: For the inside, I had a narrower border done in a similar way as on the front - and added a larger butterfly sticker from my stash:


Thursday, April 27, 2017

Panda-rific



I love the way this card turned out!  The panda is made from suede paper & FlowerSoft, so just begs to be petted!  Using the back of the card stock for my extra pieces meant that if the back of the piece was visible, it blended perfectly with the rest of the card.
 

MATERIALS:
  • 12" x 12" piece of green card stock from DCWV Texture & Finishes stack (used for all but the panda itself (sometimes used the plain white back side of it & inked it).
  • Small piece of Black Suede paper from HOTP (big enough to cut out the panda)
  • Small piece of cream colored paper (big enough to hold panda)
  • Small piece of double-sided adhesive (big enough to hold panda - I used some from Elizabeth Crafts)
  • Ivory FlowerSoft
  • Very fine white glitter
  • 2 dies from Spellbinder's A2 Card Basics A
  • 1 die from Spellbinder's Labels Thirty-Two 
  • "Thank You" stamp from JustRite's Antique Autumn Tags One
  • Tea Leaves ink by VersaMagic 
  • Sponge Dauber
  • Printer & Light Box
  • Painter's Tape (to hold dies in place - & to hold card in place for printer)
  • ATG
  • Sakura Quickie Glue roller ball glue pen

CARD BASE/BACKGROUND: For basics on constructing the card base check out this previous one made using the same measurements.  For this card I used card stock from DCWV Texture & Finishes stack for both pieces and cut my openings with a die from A2 Card Basics A.  Before joining the two pieces of card stock together, ink the middle of both pieces where they will be visible when the card is opened (using a sponge dauber & ink pad - Tea Leaves by VersaMagic).  

FOCAL MAT: Using the reverse side of the rectangular piece that was cut from the "outside" card piece, ink the edges (again with Tea Leaves ink) and attached it to the card as you can see in the picture.

PANDA: Cut the panda from the Black Suede paper - including the eyes & nose.  Place the small piece of double-sided adhesive on the small piece of cream colored paper.  Smooth in place, then remove backing & add the panda.  Fussy cut around the panda and discard the sticky remnants before moving on to the next step.  Then, add Ivory FlowerSoft to fill in the white places on the panda - except for the eyes.  Use very fine white glitter for the whites of the eyes.

BAMBOO: Cut from the same card stock as used for the card base - using bambo die that comes with Scruffy Panda.  Cut some of these into smaller pieces to create the effect shown.  To glue these small pieces use Quickie Glue glue pen.

GREETING: On the reverse side of card stock piece that has been cut & embossed with Labels 32 die, stamp "Thank You" using stamp from Antique Autumn Tags One.  Ink around the edge.


INSIDE MESSAGE: Cut & emboss a piece of card stock using a die from A2 Card Basics A. Ink the edges.  Create your message in a Microsoft Word document (or similar software program) and print it to ensure it is the right size.  Place this paper on a light box and arrange your card stock piece on top, looking through to ensure it is lined up the way you want it.  Hold it in place with painter's tape (I placed it on my clothing a couple of times to ensure it wouldn't be too hard to remove later) and send it through the printer again so your message is printed on the card.  Glue in place as shown (picture doesn't show printed message, but shows where it would be).  Finish with a bit more bamboo, prepared as before.

Here's the card closed up and ready to go into the envelope for mailing (it really is rectangular, but was trying to open so looks a bit strange):


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Card Kit Swap Number Two


Today's card is another from the Card Kit Swap on the Paper Wishes Message Board.  This is the one made from items my swap partner sent to me. I wasn't smart enough to take pictures of the materials that came in the kit, but the list of items are: Focal image & sentiment from HOTP "Butterflies" stamp set (old one), stamped with StazOn Jet Black ink, Queen & Company Ribbon, 3 pieces of paper from the Double-sided Rhapsody paper pack from HOTP (2 that were 5" x 6.5", and one that was 5" x 5", and 12 red jewel Dazzles for embellishments.  

Since I decided not to use the ribbon for this project, and only used 1 piece of 6.5" x 5" paper and just a little of  a second one (none of the 5" x 5" at all), I have plenty of supplies left over for making another card!  

As I look at the card, I wish I had matted the black dotted paper with the red paper instead of just die cutting a couple of embellishments, but I can't do anything about that now!

Anyway, the rules were you could only add ink & shimmer (like Wink of Stella) to the supplies sent for your card.  

BUTTERFLY: Not having many standard alcohol ink pens, I used red & black Sharpies to color in my butterfly.  Then I went over the entire wings with Wink of Stella (which doesn't show up well in the picture. I then fussy cut around it, leaving a little white showing around the antennae so they would hold up better (and show better against the background!)

SENTIMENT: At first I thought about using a die to make the sentiment into a tag, but as I played around with the pieces, I realized I liked it as a stripe across the front of the card.  So, I cut it into a strip 2" by 4 5/8".

BACKGROUND: I didn't want to just cover up my dotted paper with the sentiment as I wanted some for the inside of my card, so, I cut 1" off the bottom to create my bottom strip, then 2" that I would use on the inside of the card.  I trimmed all pieces to 4 5/8" wide.  Saving the 2" strip for the inside of the card, I glued the remaining pieces in place on the front of the card and added the sentiment strip.

EMBELLISHMENTS: I realized I really wanted JUST black, red, and white on my card, and the Jewel Dazzles had a gold ring around them.  SO, I colored over it with my black Sharpie.  I cut two red decorative pieces from the red paper using a die from the Spellbinders Twisted Metal Tags & Accents die set.  You can see how I used these from the picture.

INSIDE: The inside is pretty simple - I cut my 2" strip into smaller ones for top & bottom & added the 2nd red embellishment I had die cut.






Here's another view of the finished card:




Saturday, April 22, 2017

Card Kit Swap


Today's card was created for a card kit swap hosted by the Paper Wishes Message Board.  The idea for this swap is that you create two "kits" as defined (a focal, a certain number/size of papers, ribbon, embellishments).  You make a card from one kit & send the other in the swap and see what your swap partner makes with it.  

This kit started with the Hunkydory Vintage Blossom Topper Card Kit - since I just happened to have 2 of them. It contained a card base & envelope, the focal, 3 small round coordinating embellishments, a border embellishment, gold-edged ribbon, 2 pieces of coordinating card stock from the kit (one was 6 1/2" by 5" and one was 5" x 5", and a 6 1/2" x 5" piece of rust-colored glimmer paper.

I thought today I'd describe the evolution of my card.  Often with this type of focal I might separate & use the frames elsewhere, but for this card I decided to keep it intact and use it for the center of a center step card.  I started by turning my card base into a center step card base:
  1. Modify a standard card base by carefully centering the focal on it and drawing lines either side - 3/4" from the bottom of the card & extending 3/4" beyond the score line for the center fold.  
  2. Cut along these lines with a craft knife.  
  3. Score from top of this cut line to the edge of the card on both sides.
  4. Score again from the bottom of the cut line to the edge of the card on both sides.
  5. Score again 3/4" above the last score line (#4).
  6. Carefully fold along the score lines - all are mountain folds except for the last set of score lines (#5) which are valley folds.
  7. Decorate!
I knew I wanted the rust-colored glimmer paper on the bottom & sides of the focal - BUT I couldn't just cover the front of the card with it - I didn't have enough paper in the kit.  SO, I cut three 3/4" strips lengthwise and glued them to the bottom & sides of the card.  Here's another view of the card front:


I had thought to use the yellow border strip on the bottom & sides of the card, so carefully aligned a couple of small pieces with the bottom of the focal so I'd have enough left over to use on the sides of the card.

Before I glued it all down, I wanted to make sure I was set for the inside of the card, so I moved to that:


I used one of the colored card stock pieces for the center, but it was only 5" wide, so I needed something on the sides.  I thought the rust-colored glimmer paper would be great on either side, but by this time I had realized that I wanted to mat my little circular sentiment on a piece of that paper and I didn't have a lot left.  Since I only needed the strips to be 4 1/4" long instead of 6 1/2", I cut carefully so the remaining 2 1/4" was left intact for my sentiment mat.  I also cut some off the top of  the inset piece so the flower border would align with the bottom of my card.

It looked good, but a little unfinished where the patterned card stock and paper met.  SO, I decided to use the ribbon as a border between the two - finished it off nicely.

Then I went back to the card front, glued the rust-strips in place, then held the focal in place so I could align the little border pieces correctly.  After attaching them, I attached the focal, lining it up carefully so it's side edges were aligned with the side edges of the center step & the top of the cutaway corner aligned with the top of the 3/4" strip at the bottom.  Then, I carefully trimmed away the upper corners of the card to match the curve of the focal.

I cut my mat for my circular sentiment & cut the corners to mimic the corners of the focal.  I did that by carefully lining up one of the corners of the mat with the corner of the focal (just so happened there were inner lines on the focal frame that gave great lines to match my focal to), and drawing a light pencil line on the mat along the curve of the focal.  I repeated this for all 4 corners & then cut the corners.

The sentiment was added with foam tape for a bit of dimension.  I decided that adding the yellow/gold border along the sides of the card made for too much yellow.  So, instead, I added a bit of the gold-edged ribbon.

As I set the card up, I realized the rust-colored edge at the bottom wasn't as sturdy as I'd like, so I used the leftovers I cut from the patterned card stock on the inside of the card to piece together a strip across the back of it (which you can see at the top of the picture of the inside of the card).

Adding anything else that I had in the kit, just made the card seem too busy, so I stored them away for a future project.  If I'd had a bit more ribbon I think a bow under the sentiment piece would have been nice - but I didn't have any left, so couldn't test that. :)

Update: Here's a link to pictures of the card my swap partner made: http://www.paperwishes.com/forum/showthread.php?p=87744#poststop  It looks like our different cameras made the colors look quite different, but the WERE made from the same materials!!:)

Monday, April 17, 2017

Embossing Folder Storage


For the last several days I've been working on a new project - storing my embossing folders in a couple of  3-ring binders.  I got the idea from this u-tube video.  She used 12" X 12" page protectors and the FUSE tool.  I decided to make mine with the 8 1/2" X 11" size so they would be easier to handle.  I ended up with TEN A2 embossing folder pockets ON EACH SIDE of the sheet protector - easy to flip through.


As you can see I added pictures of each embossing folder to the front of the pocket so it would be easier to see what each one looked like.  I just found the embossing folders on-line & printed the pictures.

For EACH page of 20 embossing folders (front & back), I used 11 sheet protectors - a fairly heavy weight sheet protector so hopefully it would last awhile. 10 of them were used to prepare the actual pockets for the A2 folders like this:

  1.  Using the fuse tool with the pointed end, fuse & cut on a line 5" up from the bottom of the sheet protector (see line 1 in the picture above).
  2. Lines 2, 3, & 4 indicate lines to be hand-cut with scissors (or use a paper cutter).  Line 2 is about 5 7/8" from the right-hand side of the page.  Line 3 is right along the fused edge at the bottom of the sheet protector, and line 4 is 5" from the right edge.  This results in 2 pockets that are approx 5" x 5 7/8" and fused on 2 sides.
  3. So, we get 2 pockets from each sheet protector - with a fair amount left over - making a total of 20 pockets from the 10 sheet protectors.
  4. Don't throw away the leftovers!  They will make great shaker cards, or smaller sized pockets!

Next make a pattern to use when assembling these pages (see picture below):
  1. On an 8 1/2" x 11" piece of paper, set vertically, draw a horizontal line 6" from the bottom.
  2. Now draw a vertical line 4 1/2" from the right side.
  3. Then 3 more vertical lines 1" from the previous, going to the left. 
  4. NOTE: This placement works well for most A2 folders, but I discovered that Sizzix folders are wider so I needed to make a small adjustment for them. 

To actually assemble the page, use the fuse tool with the wheeled sprocket end on it:
  1. Slip a sheet of 8 1/2" x 11" chip board into the last sheet protector, and then slip in the pattern on top of that.
  2. Starting with the lower right corner, place a prepared pocket with the open edges on the left and on the top, lining up the right edge & lower edge with the page protector.
  3. Then run the fuse tool along the first vertical line from the right - starting at the horizontal line and continuing to the bottom of the page.  This attaches the pocket to the page - with an opening at the top to slip the embossing folder in & out.  (As mentioned earlier, this placement works well for most A2 folders, but some, like SIZZIX, are a bit wider so need an adjustment.  The prepared pockets are okay, but fuse closer to their left edge (a bit to the left of the line for the first - each subsequent one is positioned a bit more to the right, so that by the time you get to the last one, it lines up with the edge correctly).
  4. Check to make sure the pocket is attached firmly and slide an embossing folder inside to make sure everything is okay.
  5. Repeat this process, adding another pocket - this time about an inch from the right-hand side of the sheet protector but still lined up with the bottom of it - and using the 2nd line from the right for the fuse line.
  6. Repeat several more times, moving progressively to the left.  The fifth pocket gets attached right along the left edge of the sheet protector.
  7. NOW, repeat the process with the top row, lining the bottom of the pocket up near the horizontal line (making sure there's a little space between rows). This time, the pockets extend a bit beyond the upper edge of the sheet protector.  That doesn't matter.  Just fuse all the way to the top of the pocket.  Repeat for all 5 and you're half-way done!
  8. Now, remove your pattern, turn the whole thing over, and slip your pattern in the other side.  
  9. Repeat the process, but this time there are a few more things to watch out for:
    1) Be careful as your fuse line crosses the bottom edge that it doesn't catch in the pockets from the other side. 
    2) Be careful as you fuse the pocket to the far left edge that you don't catch a pocket from the other side.
    3) When working the top row, place a piece of chip board across the top of the pockets from the other side & tape in place with painter's tape.  This keeps them from getting fused where you don't want them fused, but the chipboard can be easily removed when you're done.
   10. Now fill the pockets and tape a picture of the embossing folder to the front of the pocket. (I left the chip board in the pocket for added stability.)

I did a similar thing for my 5"X7" folders and my other embossing folders - except that I didn't try to overlap smaller or narrower folders.  Here's a picture of one of those: 


This pocket has a 2.5" x 12" embossing folder, two 2.5" X 7" border folders, and 4 little 2 3/4" X 2" folders.  Rather than putting more pockets on the other side, I slipped my large A4 folder into the sheet protector itself (so didn't use a chip board insert for this one).

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Tulips for You


This is a very quick all occasion card.  It started with an 4 1/4" x 11" piece of a plain-colored textured card stock (from DCWV Linen Closet), scored at 5 1/2" to form the card base.  

I added Hunkydory die cuts and printed card stock (from their "Floral Shimmer" kit) to complete the card.  The border on the left front was cut from one of the card stock pieces.  The greeting is just a small piece of a border die cut (it says "Just for You").  

The inside (below) has part of the printed card stock glued to the bottom half of the inside of this card.  You can see how well it blends with the textured card stock, and gives enough "extra" to the inside that I didn't feel I needed anything else there.


Such a quick card - but really very pretty in person!

Friday, April 14, 2017

A Fun Card Shape


After making the square specialty cards from the Hunkydory kit ("Floral Shimmer" - see them here), I heard back from a recipient about how amazing the card was and how she couldn't figure out how it was made.  So of course, I had to make one of my own - complete with instructions.  Since I prefer rectangular cards (so they go through the mail without extra postage), that's the way I made mine.

For this card, I used:
  • Glitter & plain card stock from a DCWV stack called "Linen Closet"
  • Patterned card stock & die cuts from a Hunkydory card kit called "Floral Shimmer". 
  • Die from Spellbinders "A2 Matting Basics B"
  • ATG with double-sided adhesive
I didn't get pictures of each step, so I hope the description below makes sense!!!  For the basic shape of this card I needed 2 pieces of card stock:
  • OUTER CARD - 1 piece of glitter card-stock - 4 3/4" x 12", folded in half (mountain fold) to make a card size 4 3/4" by 6".  This forms the card front & the card back.
  • INNER CARD - 1 piece of card-stock - 4 3/4" x 12".  With piece face up and horizontal in front of you, draw a light pencil line vertically at 3" and score at 6" and 9".  6" for a mountain fold and 9" for a valley fold.
Now, to finish the construction of the card we need to cut an opening in the card front and partial opening in the inner card piece. To do that:
  1. OUTER CARD PREP: Open out the first piece of card stock (outer card) and lay it face-up horizontally in front of you with the right side up.
  2. Cut an opening centered in the RIGHT hand side of this piece (card front) using a die or a craft knife.  Make sure the cut edges of your die are fairly straight.  Fancy edges might look pretty, but will make it much harder for the card to operate correctly.  I used a Matting Basics die from Spellbinders that left me with an 11/16" frame around the edges.
  3. INNER CARD PREP: Now lay the inner card piece horizontally face up in front of you with the 3" pencil line to your left.  Center the same die used with the outer card (or use the cut piece for a pattern if using a craft knife) in the LEFT hand half of this inner card (center over the 3" mark).  You only want to cut the far left half of the die (or pattern) this time.  To do this with the cutting die, tape it in place, then carefully line the pencil line up with the edge of your cutting platform with the longest part sticking out past the edge of the cutting platform.  (Only the left-most quarter of this strip of card stock is inside your cutting sandwich.)  Run through your cutting machine this way so only 1/2 of the die is cut out of the card stock.
  4. Now, erase the pencil marks, and score along the 3" portion above & below the cut line as a valley fold.
  5. ASSEMBLY: Now, place the OUTER CARD face down on the table in front of you with the cut side to your left.  Align the inner card with the outer card, wrong sides together - cut side to your left.  
  6. You will only be applying adhesive to the outside panels of the inner card.  Make sure to leave the inside cut portion of the inner card free of adhesive, sticking through the frame (this will form part of the card front).  Adhere the far left 1/2 of the frames together, and the far right panel to the card back, lining up the edges carefully.  Here's a picture showing what it looks like from above:


  7. Decorate your card! :)  
  8. Here are a couple more pictures:



Saturday, March 25, 2017

Post Office Requirements

I've decided to add the US post office requirements for 1st class envelopes to my blog where I can find them!  (I just spent WAY too long searching the USPS site for this information.)  Since I make my own envelopes and card bases at times, I want to remember the ratio required to be classed as "rectangular".  And for pricing, I need to remember other things on this list.  SO, as of their web-site on 3/25/2017:


Standard Sized Envelopes
Envelopes must be rectangular to qualify for letter prices.  This means that the aspect ratio of the envelope (length divided by height) is at least 1.3 and not more than 2.5.

Size Requirements

Minimum
Maximum
Height
3 1/2"
6 1/8"
Length
5"
11 1/2"
Thickness
0.007"
1/4"
Weight
None
N/A

Non-Standard Sized Mail - like square or vertical envelopes, lumpy or rigid envelopes, or mail with clasps, string, or buttons, cannot use our automated processing machines. Hand-cancelled mail is charged a non-machineable surcharge.

I've used these measurements to create a table for my own use.  

I make NO GUARANTEES that I did the math correctly, or that the numbers here represent current post office requirements.  I'm simply posting it here for your use, but strongly encourage you to double-check my math (rounded to 1/8" increments) and the current post office regulations for yourself!


Rectangle Requirements for U.S. Post Office

Envelope size (approximate card size)
HEIGHT
        APROX. MIN. LENGTH
APPROX. MAX. LENGTH
3 ½”  (3 ¼”)
5” (4 ¾”)
8 ¾” (8 ½”)
3 ¾”  (3 ½”)
5” (4 ¾”)
                9 3/8” (9 1/8”)
4” (3 ¾”)
5 ¼” (5”)
                   10” (9 ¾”)
4 ¼” (4”)
5 3/4” (5 ½”)
                 10 ½” (10 ¼”)
4 ½” (4 ¼”)
5 7/8”  (5 5/8”)
                    11 ¼” (11”)
4 ¾” (4 ½”)
6 1/4” (6”)
11 ½” (11 ¼”)
5” (4 ¾”)
                    6 ½” (6 ¼”)
11 ½” (11 ¼”)
5 ¼” (5”)
6 7/8” (6 5/8”)
11 ½” (11 ¼”)
5 ½” (5 ¼”)
7 ¼” (7”)
11 ½” (11 ¼”)
5 ¾” (5 ½”)
7 3/8” (7 1/8”)
11 ½” (11 ¼”)
6” (5 ¾”)
7 ¾” (7 ½”)
11 ½” (11 ¼”)
6 1/8” (5 7/8”)
7 7/8” (7 5/8”)
11 ½” (11 ¼”)