Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Take a Note!

I've been hunting the web for new ideas for craft shows. Hopefully I'll be in two come March and was faced with the problem of what to fill the table with instead of, oh, Christmas ornaments...I know, what a thought. In my wanderings I came across these cute little Post-it note clipboards and had to try them myself.
Ridiculously cute, right?? Off to Staples I went to stock up on Post-it notes and binder clips (two of my favorite things). They're so, SO simple to make as well! Here's what you need:
  • chipboard or really stiff cereal box cardboard cut to 4"x4" for the base
  • pretty paper cut to 4"x4", two pieces for each clipboard
  • medium-sized binder clip
  • more pretty paper cut to 1.25"x2"
  • adhesive
  • sandpaper
  • ribbon
  • corner rounder or crop-a-dile
  • Post-its
From here, it's really simple. Take your chipboard and put a piece of the 4"x4" paper on each side, sticking it down with adhesive. While that dries/sits, cover your binder clip with the smaller paper strip tacking it down with adhesive on each side. Round the edges of your chipboard with your crop-a-dile, corner rounder, or scissors. Use the sandpaper to even out all the edges and give it a slightly rustic look. Clip the Post-its to the chipboard with your decorated binder clip, tie a ribbon on it, and you're done! Here's how mine came out:
I'd love to see how yours come out if you try the project! Happy crafting!

Here's where I'm linking up to this week:

Monday, January 23, 2012

Time to Get Organized!

So my craft room had sort of gotten to the point where it was, well, a semi-organized mess. I knew it wasn't great, but with craft shows and the holidays there simply wasn't time to clean up. I started thinking about organizing again while at Target...their dollar bins had letter trays and assorted organizers. Ok, time to clean!

I spent two hours the other night sorting, sifting, filing, organizing, and tossing. It was almost embarrassing how many canvas boxes I had still in their wrappers! Those I used for my Cricut cartridges, Sizzix supplies, and boxes of card blanks. Those along with my Cricut, Big Kick, and new Spellbinder machine fit nicely in the one corner.
The wood you see is my laundry rack. Great in the summer, too cold this time of year!
Moving all of those around freed up space on my side table. There my stamps were slightly reorganized (I moved Christmas/winter to their own bin), Sharpies neatened in their bin, stamp pads sorted, and my assorted 'other things' neatened. Now I had space to add a letter tray for finished projects, one for open online orders, and get my tin o' templates where I can actually find it!
Business cards & mailing inserts are right by outgoing orders...think of it!
Next up was my work space...ugh. Paper scraps were taking up the majority of it, followed by punches, partially completed projects, pieces leftover from projects that could still be used...yeah, it was a mess. I started by using my $2.50 Target find - an over-the-door shoe organizer! It fit nearly all of my punches, just the really big ones are left on the table.
Tiny ones bunched together nicely and seasonal is on the bottom
After another 30-40 minutes of figuring out what was left on my table, it cleaned up well. The large paper scraps I moved to an empty 12"x12" scrapbook paper container I had picked up exactly for that purpose. All of my card base paper I use all the time I tucked under the table (easy when my "table" is actually a huge piece of wood on top of a bunk bed!). Out of the way, nice and flat, and very close by when I'm making cards.
Chipboard, envelopes, kraft paper...and it must be Valentine time with all that pink & red!
That cleaned off a LOT of space up top! I put stamps back away, moved Christmas back to its storage bins, and threw out some scraps that were miniscule and I was silly to keep. Now I had room to put my standard tools where the punches had lived, get my cutter out of the way, and had a much more manageable stack of scraps. The last letter tray I used to corral all those bits 'n pieces I was keeping so they don't get lost or destroyed. I left out the season I was currently on (Valentines!) but hey, there was actually room to do so! Wow!
A much, MUCH more organized end of the table!
Now I actually have room to lay out my supplies for whatever I'm working on AND have a ton of space leftover to work. See, I was already painting puzzle pieces!
My new, clean workbench! Yes, that is a Care Bear in the corner...he keeps me company
It was so great being reorganized that I made four cards last night - woohoo! It's amazing what you can do when you can find your supplies. :)

If you're curious about what the puzzle pieces were for, take a look in the shop: You're the Perfect Match

How have you organized your crafting space? I'd love to hear from you!

Happy Crafting!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Say it with Conversation Hearts!

I was inspired by the Crafty Steals blog to try to make a card from a sketch...I think it came out rather cute:
After all, who says that conversation hearts are only for kids? A little paper punching, some ribbon, add a smattering of embossing, ink everything...tada! I simply used my own handwriting for the sentiments, in classic conversation heart red. What do you think? If you really, really must have one of you own I've got it up in my Etsy shop.

Ok, now I'm off to play with all the fun 'toys' I bought today...yay! The one nice thing about having a husband glued to the PS3 is that I get plenty of craft room time...mwahahahaha...

Happy Crafting!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Lawnscaping Challenge #26 Winter Wonderland

Where has the week gotten to?? We finally have snow here which helped with my inspiration for this week's Lawnscaping Challenge. Of course between snowshoeing, helping a friend build a deck (I was the only one he trusted to cut 45 degree angles on the miter saw - go me!), general running around, and spending some quality time in the craft room here it is Saturday already and I'm just sitting down to write!

So this week's challenge was Winter Wonderland, something that has finally happened around here! I was really excited about this one. My Christmas present to myself this year was a Sizzix Big Kick and a bunch of cartridges that were on deep sale on Black Friday. My husband was thrilled because then he had an easy time shopping for me this year...hehehe... I had picked up one of the snowman cartridges (cartridges? punches? someone correct me if my terminology is off, please!) and a snowflake embossing folder. Better still, the Lawn Fawn Ornate Ornaments stamp set that I have includes a snowflake stamp - perfect! Put them all together and see what you get:
Isn't he adorable?? I love how he came out. Here's how it started out:
What I used:
  • white linen cardstock (paperandmore.com)
  • purple striped scrapbook paper (my stash)
  • brown cardstock (stash)
  • black cardstock (bazzill)
  • purpley/bluey cardstock, cut to 5.25"x4" (bazzill)
  • orange metallic cardstock (paperandmore.com)
  • white glitter cardstock (Joann's)
  • ivory linen cardstock, measures 5.5"x4.25" when closed (paper and more)
  • Memento Paris Blue ink
  • dark gray rhinestones, two sizes (Michael's)
  • clear Stickles
  • silver Stickles
  • Lawn Fawn Ornate Ornaments stamps
  • Spellbinders snowflake embosser
  • Sizzix snowman cartridge
  • glue
  • Zots 3D
Start off by making your card base. Emboss the purpley/bluey cardstock with the snowflake background and attach to the base card. Cut a piece of the white glitter cardstock to fit across the entire width of the card, then freehand cut it to make it look like a snow mound (I had this piece left over from cutting out larger snowmen). Attach it to the front of the card as well. Using the little snowflake in the Ornate Ornaments set and the Paris Blue ink, make some snowflakes floating down from the sky.

Cut out the snowman using the Sizzix cartridge. This is where the rest of the paper is used! You could probably use fabric for the scarf as well, but I loved this pattern for a scarf. To assemble and attach him I used glue on the scarf, carrot nose, and arms to attach them to the snowman. I then used the 3D Zots to attach the snowman to the card, putting him where I thought he looked cute on the snow mound. One last Zot for the hat right onto the card and he was assembled!

I then went back and decorated the hat with the silver Stickles and the snowman with the clear Stickles, just to give his snow some sparkle. Rhinestones for his eyes and buttons and we have a snowman!
On the inside I simple wrote "Thanks 'snow' much!" for a sentiment and the card was done! It was nice to build a snowman inside where it's nice and warm.

Have you built any real or paper snowmen lately? I'd love to see them!

Happy Crafting!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Coffee Note Cards...with Fabric!

Well, it had to happen eventually - a post about coffee! It has finally snowed here for the first time since October (yes, you did read that correctly...don't ask) which means my favorite caffeinated beverage now needs to warm my hands while it keeps me going.

This summer I came across some awesome coffee fabric. I was drawn to it because 1) its coffee and 2) the pattern is rectangular. Usually for fabric crafts this is a deterrent (I really cannot see a skirt out of this) but for paper crafting it's perfect!
I simply had to have it and make cards out of it. To prep the fabric I (shudder!) ironed it out and then cut out some of the blocks. I then went back around them with pinking shears (the funny scissors that cut triangles) so that the fabric wouldn't unravel once on the card.
That's it! Now it's time to make some note cards!
What I used:
  • fabric cut with pinking shears
  • white card base, final size 4.25"x5.5" when folded
  • patterned paper cut to fit card front, 4.25"x5.5" (found at Joann's)
  • chocolate grosgrain ribbon, 1/2" wide x 4.25" long
  • blue cardstock (from stash)
  • sentiment stamp, "how've you bean?" (Fiskars)
  • StazOn Timber Brown ink pad
  • 1.5" square paper punch
  • adhesive
  • Xyron machine
  • ruler
  • paper cutter
  • scissors
Start by cutting the patterned paper to fit the front of your card. Ink up the edges, then attach to the card base using your adhesive. Ink up your sentiment stamp and stamp out a few onto your blue cardstock. Here's a good tip - stamp first, punch out second! That way you can line up your punch and make sure the sentiment is centered:
Stamp, stamp, stamp...
Punch, punch, punch!
Ink up the edges and then set aside to dry a little. Cut out your ribbon so that it fits the front of the card. I used my little Xyron sticker maker to apply the adhesive.
Nice and sticky!
Once everything is cut & dry, I ran the fabric squares and sentiment squares through my Xyron machine. They stacked nicely so that I didn't waste adhesive!
In they go...
All done!
Now, time to assemble. Attach your squares to where you want them on the card. Be careful, the fabric will try to stretch out of shape! Now stick your ribbon down, pop the sentiment square on top, and you've got a unique note card!

Have you ever combined paper with fabric? What was the result? Post your creations here, I'd love to see them!

Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Quick pic!

I'll get a full post up later, but first a quick pic. My son was being quiet, so I of course ran to see what he was up to this time...

Bebe in a box! LOL

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Lawnscaping Challenge #25: Birthday!

Now that I'm blogging again and the holiday rush is over, I've actually started (gasp!) reading blogs again. I know, it's craziness, but it had to happen eventually. I've followed Lawn Fawn's blog for over a year now but just recently discovered their Lawnscaping blog and challenges. Their current challenge is right up my alley so I decided to jump in and come up with a birthday card!

Here's their inspiration photo, in celebration of their birthday:

Now obviously they'd like it if I used Lawn Fawn stamps for the challenge, but it's actually not a prerequisite. Good thing, too, as it turns out all I have are Christmas stamps and Get Well stamps from Lawn Fawn! Eep! (Their new breakfast set is totally on my 'must have' list, though).

So, what did I make? Take a look:

And then on the inside:
Cute, right? Who doesn't love yummy cupcakes on their birthday, especially chocolate ones.

How I made it:
  • ivory linen cardstock base (paperandmore.com), cut to a folded size of 4.25"x5.5"
  • chocolate toile paper (Recollections, Michael's store brand) cut to 4"x5.25"
  • chocolate cardstock (from my stash), cut to 3.5"x4.75"
  • pink cardstock (from my stash), cut to fit the stamp...about 1"x2"
  • white cardstock (seriously, you should see how much paper I own)
  • birthday stamp set (from my stash)
  • chocolate ribbon (stash again), about 4"
  • StazOn Java Bean & True Black ink
  • Versamark Plumeria chalk ink
  • watercolor pencils
  • glitter glue
  • hole punch
  • cutter
  • scissors
  • adhesive
  • Zots 3D dots
I started by stamping the cupcakes onto the white cardstock using the True Black ink. Then I started 'decorating' my cupcakes with the colored pencils. You could probably use Copics as well, but I haven't been able to budget them into my 'habit' yet. Carefully cut them out leaving a little bit of a white edge and set aside.

Ink the edges of the chocolate toile paper with the Java Bean and attach to the ivory card base. Next comes the inked chocolate cardstock. Stamp the sentiment onto your pink cardstock, punch a hole for the ribbon, then ink the edges. (Don't do what I did and ink the edges before punching the hole...you wind up with Java Bean fingers!) Feed a bit of ribbon thru the hole and knot it, trimming the ends to make them uniform and cute. Attach to the bottom corner with the 3D Zots to pop it off the card. Now for the cupcakes - attach them with the 3D Zots as well, then add 'confetti' with the glitter glue. After the glitter is dry, stamp the inside of the card with your sentiment. All done! A pretty, handmade birthday card for friends and family. You can easily make several of these at a time and keep them on hand for, well, birthdays!

Let me know if you make one yourself - I'd love to see how it came out.

Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Homemade Coasters

It was a very handmade Christmas at our house. Not only was it a financially-sound option, but it was really satisfying to see someone really excited about gifts we made them.

For my sister and her fiance we made two sets of handmade coasters. Each set had four coasters and were actually very simple to make. We did one set with a monogram (luckily, their last names start with the same letter! It's even funnier that the same thing was true with my husband & I...lol) and the second set was with kitties & a puppy. They have several cats and a dog so it was fitting to give a nod to their furbabies as well.

So, how did we make them?

Warning: the photos came out awful! I had no idea until after the holidays, of course...sigh...

  •  4"x4" ceramic tiles that we found at Lowe's for $0.16/each
  • Mod Podge, matte finish
  • spray Mod Podge, matte finish
  • 3/4" felt furniture circles, 4/tile
  • foam brush
  • 4"x4" design*
*for these personalized tiles I made up my artwork in Photoshop, but you could easily use scrapbooking paper as well

Trim up your paper to 4"x4" and set aside. Lay out your tiles on a covered surface and get your Mod Podge ready. Lightly coat your first tile with Mod Podge and carefully lay your paper over the top. Smooth it out to remove all the bubbles and set aside to let dry. Keep smoothing bubbles around the edges as needed while it dries and don't be afraid to go back in with your finger and more Mod Podge to tack it all down. Continue for all of your tiles and let them all sit & dry.

Once dry, give them a second coat of Mod Podge. Once that coat is dry, spray them all with the spray Mod Podge to give it a sealant against spilled liquids...coasters do seem to attract those. (ba-dum-bump) Once everything is dry (we let them sit for a day or so), apply the felt circles on the bottom to give them that non-skid goodness we expect from coasters. Ta da, beautiful handmade coasters that didn't break the bank!
Monogram coasters with the letter 'L'
Kitty and puppy coasters
If you're Photoshop-savvy, here's how you make the custom artwork: open a new file and size it to 4"x4". Let your creative self go crazy! You can fit four printouts on a standard letter-size sheet for printing ease. I used a lightweight cardstock and I would not recommend going heavier.

Where did I get the idea for making coasters? Pinterest, of course! I am truly loving that site...all crafters should hang out on there. Feel free to follow my boards on there for inspiration of your own! If you do make coasters, please let me know so I can see how they came out.

Happy Crafting!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy 2012

Another New Year is here! I generally do not make resolutions (you won't find me buying gym memberships or exercise equipment) but I did promise myself to make time for blogging this year. Hopefully I can get a good pile of posts going to help me keep that promise!

Today I'm sharing with you one of the Christmas cards I sent out this year. (Note to self: this year, start making Christmas cards in July!)  I really wound up in a time crunch with my personal cards this year, so I was looking for elegant but quick & easy!

I had found a card idea I really liked over on Pinterest (which if you're not a member of, join! It's a great place for ideas.) so I looked through my board and found it again. 

I really liked the snowflake, the layers, the stitching, and the simplicity of the card. Beautiful but rustic, natural but with a 'wow' factor.

Sadly when I first think about a card design based on a sample card, I try to recreate as much of the original as possible. Some day I'll learn! I just wind up driving myself crazy when I do that and then the card isn't me. So after some storming around the craft room, I came up with my own design that is me and that I was proud to send out to our friends and family.

The layered effect I liked is still there with the black cardstock, ivory parchment, and the green plaid all placed on top of a deep red base card. The snowflake is there (my favorite part) and the stamped sentiment of Merry Christmas. Perfect!

So, what did I use?

  • brick red paper from my stash, cut to 11"x4.25" and folded in half to 5.5"x4.25"
  • black Bazzill cardstock from my stash, cut to 5"x4"
  • ivory parchment paper from my stash, cut to 4.75"x3.75"
  • green plaid paper from my stash (seeing a trend?), cut to 2"x2"
  • EK Success Large Snowflake paper punch
  • StazOn ink in Timber Brown
  • sentiment stamp
  • We R Memory Keepers Sweetheart Inkers in green & white
  • adhesive
Yup, this card was made entirely of things I already owned! How cool is that? The Sweetheart Inkers are brand new and are AWESOME. I actually won them over on the Captured Moments blog (they're my local scrapbooking store and I adore them). This was the first project I used them on and they were so easy to use.

Back to the card - start by cutting all of your paper to size. I wound up making 16 of these (I ran out of the plaid paper!) and doing them assembly-line style was the way to go. After cutting, fold up your base cards (if you're using pre-made ones you can obviously skip this step, but I like making my own). Punch out all of your snowflakes from the ivory parchment paper. (I kept the punches for some future project, of course!) Ink all of your edges to allow them time to dry before assembly! I used the white Sweetheart Inker on the black paper and the green on the parchment paper.

Now for assembly! The green plaid paper was attached to the back of the ivory parchment. Ivory parchment goes on the black cardstock, then the whole stack onto the brick red base card. Stamp the sentiment of 'Merry Christmas' and it's done!

This design can easily be used for any punch, any holiday. If you use it as an idea card, be sure to come back and tell me what you made!

Happy Crafting!