Monday, May 25, 2009

TIPsy Tuesday - Versatile Double Rectangle Punch


The nifty little Double Rectangle Punch is easy to overlook in the catalog. I did until I saw an Internet video on how to use it to create a flat bow like the one on the card above (sorry, I’ve long ago lost the link to the video.) You've probably received wedding invitations with these bows. They allow your card or invitation to have a bow without the bulk.

And here are photos on how to create a flat bow:

Punch a hole with the double rectangle punch.







With the front side of your paper facing you, thread one end of ribbon into each of the two holes.







Turn the card over and cross the ends on the back.











Feed the ends back through the opposite hole each came out of. Voila! You have a beautiful bow.








Just trim the ends as desired.

Hint: If you are using a double sided ribbon like this Kiwi Kiss/Vanilla, have the ribbon wrong side up (vanilla side) in step on to get it to come out right side up (Kiwi) at the end.




Now here are some other fun things to do with this punch:

I used it in this basket to punch the holes to feed the ribbon through. It made holding the sides of the basket together super easy:










On this card front, I’ve used the punch at evenly spaced intervals to create a weaved design for the strip of cardstock. You could use ribbon, too. You will need to use a ruler or gridded paper to mark your holes before punching. Extra TIP: Those narrow little scraps left from your scallop edge punch are the perfect size to feed through these holes.

One final tip with this punch: If you have a wider ribbon than the punch is designed for (more than about 3/8”), just punch twice. After your first punch, move the punch a little further in or back so that it is still lined up over the edge of the holes and punch again. You can do two punch lengths and the ribbon will work fine. Any more than 2 and your paper will start to get weak in the middle and probably won’t withstand all the ribbon weaving.

For $5.95 US +tax and shipping, this little tool really packs a punch! (Awful, I know but I couldn’t resist. :-)


Ingredients for 3" x3"card: Kiwi Kiss and Very Vanilla ribbon, Rose Red and Cameo Coral Cardstock, Raspberry Tart DSP, Lovely Letters stamp set.

The Little Birdie Who Could...


pack a PUNCH!

The weaving in this card is done courtesy of the double rectangle punch. Check out tomorrow's TIPsy Tuesday for more info.
Ingredients: Stamp Set - A Little Birdie Told Me
Cardstock: Pacific Point, Tangerine Tango, Kiwi Kiss
Watercolor Paper
Orange Brad: Source Unknown.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Kindred Spirits Class

So often we need Sympathy, Get Well and Thank You notes. The new Kindred Spirits stamp set makes elegant all-purpose cards. Urban Garden designer paper compliments this set and lets you create cards that can be used for any occasion. Change the greeting on this Sympathy card and you could use it for Thank You or a pretty birthday card.


You get both Kindred Spirits stamp set and 6 double sided sheets of Urban Garden designer paper as part of the class fee. Class is scheduled for Thursday, June 18 at 5:30 p.m. We will go through the complete process for making a card. Also participants will learn:


  • How to work with very large stamps as both background images and focal points.

  • Taking a large image and using just part of the image in a small but powerful way

  • How to make the most of designer paper images

Please contact me by June 3 if you would like to attend. Cost of the class is $40.

Scalloped Notecard


A quick notecard I made using the All Scallops set. This one was much easier and showcases the pretty Raspberry Tart designer paper.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Fabric Swatch Quilts


Have I ever mentioned how much I LOVE fabric? That is probably a prerequisite for creating custom window treatments. For my business, I acquire numerous fabric sample books and eventually they get discontinued before I've had a chance to sell all those pretty fabric designs to customers. For awhile, I used some of the discontinued swatches for cards, but I found that I liked using pattern paper and stamps more for my cards. I just could not throw the fabric samples out and was running out of places to donate them. I decided to try using some of the fabrics in a quilt.

The first quilt is shown above. I fell in love with these pinks, light reds and warm yellows when I was actually sifting through my books for other colors. I had so many in these colors that I kept arranging and piecing until I had a full size quilt. These fabrics can get a little heavy so I used the lightest loft batting and regular quilt fabric for the backing. I tied the quilt rather than machine quilting.

My parents used it this last winter. Mother had many quilts from her family but like the ones I inherited, they were all too small for a queen bed. She enjoyed it so much I told her I would make her one. I just finished the top for hers using colors she likes - black, brown, gray, red, and gold. All the squares are made with discontinued fabrics but I purchased an animal print fabric to strip piece it and tie all the varied neutrals together. I'm planning to quilt it in early fall and give it to her and Daddy for their anniversary - the top being easier to store than a completed quilt.

In between these, I made one other quilt from discontinued samples - a throw out of mostly upholstery weights. We use it to cuddle under while watching TV.
With all these, I still have a huge stack of discontinued samples though there are very few of the those neutrals and the pink/yellow chintz combos left. These quilts are fun and challenging in that no two fabrics are alike and all the samples are different sizes. The only tedious part is the prewashing. Each swatch must be removed from the sample book and handwashed in the hottest water possible and then put in the dryer. Drapery fabric shrinks excessively if washed but of course we want our quilts to be washable.

With so many varied sizes of fabrics, I haven't attempted any fancy patterns. Yet I'm pleased that I've created three quilts with a minimum of purchased materials. To celebrate, I ordered several 1930's reproduction fabric medleys from Keepsake Quilting. (Ok, this is a little like a dieter celebrating her weight loss with a huge hot fudge sundae, but still, I've been good...)

Anyway, I've prewashed those new fabrics and am making my first cut into them today as I experiement with a pattern idea. Working with beautiful fabric is even better than a hot fudge sundae - at least the satisfaction lasts longer!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Seeds

This birthday greeting is going in the mail this morning to a little girl who loves purple. Happy Birthday, Jennifer!

I'm out to work in my flower beds this morning pulling weeds and thinning sprouts. Lenny saved some of our wedding flowers as he calls them. When we married, we had a garden theme and gave packets of zinnia seeds as favors. We planted ours and they return year after year. Since he has been doing heavy mulching, it takes longer for the seeds to find their way up. Just as a precaution, he saved some of the dried bloom last year and I planted the seeds where I really wanted them to appear in a new bed. It worked, plus many from last year came up in our old beds.

This weekend I'm making several cards. I need "Thank You's" in my stash. The past few days I've been finishing up his birthday party invitations. Also I've been obsessed with working out my next quilting pattern. More about that in another post. Happy Friday!

Ingredients: Pattern paper DWCV
Green ribbon - American Crafts
Stamps: Dots and Punches and a Little Birdie Told Me (greeting) by Stampin' Up!
Inks: Elegant Eggplant, Lovely Lilac and Only Orange by Stampin' Up!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Birthday Season


We are in the midst of 'birthday season' in our family. Does this happen in your family too - where you have many birthdays within just a few weeks or months? Ours starts in late March and runs to mid-June.

The card above was for my Dad's birthday this week. I finally found a great use for those extra large chipboard letters I bought three years ago. Or rather, I'm using the frames the letters came in. I love this so much I'm already thinkng of others I can make. There is only one of each letter so I have to plan carefully. With the green leaf background paper, flowers would be a pretty embellishment, maybe even some rhinestones.

I think Daddy liked seeing these photos of himself through the years. They were already scanned in my laptop for their Anniversary party last fall. This time though the photos were concentrating on his life. It is fun to see how someone has changed, or not, over the years.
Helpful hint: The Crop-a-dile made easy work of punching the holes in the corners of this think chipboard. I ran hemp twine through to tie them together.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

TIPsy Tuesday - Playing up the Paper Design

I love to have a patterned fabric to play up. One of my design strengths is being able to make the most of a pattern's fabric with the right cuts and arrangement of design. Last year I had a job of beautiful toile fabric with different scenes of ladies, gentlemen and children working, dancing and playing. I spent 6 hours working out the arrangement of the scenes for pillows and window treatments before I cut a single piece of fabric! It sounds excessive and it probably is but the results were well worth it.


Patterned paper - called Designer Series Paper (DSP) at Stampin' Up! - gives us the same opportunity. I'm not going to spend 6 hours working out how I'll cut a few sheets of paper for cards but I can take a few minutes to consider the design of the paper before I start cutting.


One of the most effective ways to use a paper design is with a punch. Just punch out some part of the design for your card. When you punch out a design and eliminated all the background and other images, your paper looks totally different. You are really getting more for your money. In the card above, I punched out 1/2" circles out of the Cameo Coral DSP to create the alternating circles on the card. The other circles are stamped and punched.

Here is another example:



The scalloped flower on the bag from a previous post was actually punched from a flower in Urban Garden DSP. The floral design of this paper is large and hard to use on cards, but one sheet of paper would yield several flowers in different colors that are perfect for cards or scrapbook embellishments.













So the next time you are looking for a quick embellishment or are faced with a particularly busy paper, browse your punches and see how you can use it in a different way.



Ingredients for top card:
All from Stampin' Up!
Stamp sets: One of a Kind, All Scallops
Ink: Rose Red, Whisper white
Paper: Raspberry Tart DSP
Cardstock: Cameo Coral
Ribbon: Whisper White 1/4"Grossgrain

Friday, May 15, 2009

Favors, anyone?

Need a party favor? Make your own bag or box using cardstock and decorate with designer paper and ribbon. This box is made from a 4" x 12" piece of Not Quite Navy cardstock (so you can get three per sheet of 12" x 12" paper.) The Kindred Spirits set gives the box a subtle tone-on-tone look. Many other treats would fit and the designs could be customized to the colors and theme of your party or wedding.

Speaking of the Kindred Spirits set... if you sign up for my Kindred Spirits class on June 18, the stamp set is included along with 1/2 pack of Urban Garden Designer Paper. We will make several items using this set. Cost is $40 which includes the over $30 of product. A great way to get a versatile stamp set and learn many ways to use it. Call before June 3 to register.


Ingredients for bag all from Stampin' Up!: Stamp Sets: Kindred Spirits, Baroqe Motifs
Urban Garden designer paper.
The ribbon is striped grosgrain Kiwi Kiss. Button from Button Bouquet
Medium size cello bag.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Another Stamp-a-Stack Card


Trees from "Lovely as a Tree" are stamped here in Chocolate Chip Craft ink and then embossed. I used the Stampin' Pastels to create the subtle sunset and the grass. This simple card was completed with a torn piece of Chocolate Chip cardstock and a strip of Mellow Moss stamped with a message from the Kindred Spirits set. An easy and elegant card. All the materials are Stampin' Up!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Butterflies

The Stampin' Up! hostess set "God's Beauty" is used here to make these two lovely cards. The thank you on the left was one of the cards at our All Occasion Stamp-a-Stack on Monday night. We cut the butterfly out completely and then drew in the antennae with a brown pen. It is much easier and nicer looking than trying to cut around the antennae. Also we stamped the butterfly on colored cardstock so we didn't have to color it in - a little quicker way to work with this image.

"Beauty is in God's handwriting" is the stamped message on the Kiwi Kiss card on the right. I used some Raspberry Tart designer paper to accent this card. This month, designer paper and 12x12 textured paper packs are buy 3 get one free!

When I cropped this photo, I just had to leave that bit of pink peony peeking in at the top. My dear husband dug up some of the plants my Mother didn't want, divided them and planted in our flower garden last fall. We are getting a marvelous showing this spring of both white and that dark fushia pink.

Ingredients: All products are Stampin' Up! Stamp set: God's Beauty. Spring Solitude for the Thank You message
Paper: Bashful Blue, Certainly Celery, Kiwi Kiss, Rose Red
DSP: Raspberry Tart
Ribbons: Certainly Celery from SAB 09 and Kiwi Kiss/Vanilla

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

TIPsy Tuesday - Glazed Chipboard



On the recent scrapbook layout I posted a few days ago, there was a Stampin’ Up! chipboard tag. Creating the glazed antiquey look was very easy.

If your chipboard is a small piece, use tweezers to press the chipboard face down into a Very Vanilla Craft Stamp pad. If you have a larger piece, lay it on scrap paper and press the stamp pad onto the chipboard. Get a good sponged coverage but leave a few gaps of raw chipboard showing through.

Sprinkle with clear embossing powder, tap away as much excess as you can, and emboss.

This is a simple, inexpensive way to turn plain chipboard into a classy embellishment.
Ingredients: Stampin' Up! Very Vanilla Craft Ink and clear embossing powder.
Chipboard - Stampin' Up!
Brad - Oriental Trading

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!


Happy Mother's Day to all Mothers, Grandmothers, Step-Mom's and all ladies who care for children, young and old.

I made this card months ago for my Mother based on a card in a magazine. "M" is her first initial. The chipboard is Stampin' Up! and inked in Close to Cocoa. The paper is My Mind's Eye. I'm not sure the source for the ribbon or the M. I think I inked the M in Baja Breeze and stamped whisper white on then embossed. It's been awhile and I've forgotten the specifics. The only thing important is that she loved her card and I love her much more.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Scrapbooking Now

My favorite scrapbooking magazine is going away. Simple Scrapbooks published their last issue this month; ironic being in May - National Scrapbooking Month. I loved their magazine because the layouts were all approachable. Some were more detailed than others but nothing was beyond doing. They also recognized that scrapbookers like to tell a story and often with numerous photographs. And they recognized that many of us want to scrapbook about our husbands, our friends, our hobbies, our work, our travels and not just our children. I didn't discover this jewel among craft magazines until a couple of years ago, but I've really enjoyed it. Supposedly it will roll back into Creating Keepsakes magazine.

It was an article in the last issue of Simple Scrapbooks that inspired the layout above where I captured what is important to me in page design right now. I'm going for layouts where all the elements are grouped and there is more 'white' space. This is a particular challenge to me as I tend to cram as many photos on a page as possible. When I go through magazines or back through my own layouts, I find that I can size the photos much smaller, crop tighter, and still tell the story. I'm also choosing simplier papers but playing up embellishments with lots of variety grouped together on one area of the page. My scrapbooking tastes change frequently so this would be a fun topic to revisit in a couple of years - when I'm caught up. Ha!

Ingredients: Designer Paper and chipboard tag - Stampin' Up!
Brad - Oriental Trading
Chipboad letters - some from Basic Grey, others I'm not sure. Stickers from Basic Grey

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

National Scrapbooking Month

May is National Scrapbooking Month. This is a wonderful time to start or continue on a scrapbooking project. Do you have a pile of photos you want to preserve but don’t know how to get started? Contact me, I’d be happy to help you.

I got started in papercrafts by creating my first scrapbook for my husband on the anniversary of our first date. He was thrilled and I continued to do these annual pages for many years. Now I still do either an annual book or sometimes I combine years. The books not only capture our memories but serve as our family almanac. When we can’t remember the name of that cute little town in Canada we visited or when such and such event took place, we just browse the scrapbooks. I could never seem to keep straight how old our cat Casey was since we got her as an adult. I just had to look at the scrapbook to find out.



When I went back to our first scrapbook to take these photos, I was surprised to be reminded of our first trip together to Missouri. I didn't remember going that first year we dated. I thought it was later on. Also, I had forgotten about taking Lenny's Mother on an outting from the nursing home to each of her children's homes. My journaling contains my first impressions of Bertha and of Lenny's brother and sister. The photo above is a of Lenny's sister, Velma.

These other pages are from 1993 and 1994. Look carefully at right and you'll see the 'pink' bathroom I just finished redoing! Our house was a huge topic in 1993. Travel has always been a big part of our lives and our scrapbooks.
Often I've thought about redoing these books with current papers and embellishments - like I would actually have the time! But my real reason for not doing it, is the books themselves preserve not only memories but how my hobby evolved. Early on, I relied on my computer for journaling and eventually clipart. After the first year I started doing themes. I took few photos so I did a lot of journaling. It is our history and my hobbies' history, too.

Currently, I’m working on 2008. The page from yesterday was part of that book. And I’m trying something new this year, I’m doing 2009 month-by-month as we go. I’m also doing these pages digitally using Photoshop Elements (if I have no hair left at the end of the year, this software will be the reason why!). I really like the results; I’ll share them in a later post.

The biggest change to my scrapbooking process is having multiple scrapbook projects going on at once. When I started in 1991, I did several pages for a year at once over a couple of weeks. Usually now I give myself a deadline like finishing before Lenny's birthday or Valentines' day. Now I'm working on what pages I want to when I want. The tortouise method rather than the hare. I won't let it go on forever; I love the freedom though.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

TIPsy Tuesday - Afterthoughts

Have you ever finished a project and wished you had stamped just one more image? Sometimes you can remove the paper you want to stamp on, stamp and put it back. Most of the time though, the adhesive has set and you and your project are stuck. Well, there are a couple of things you can do…

1. Consider a rub-on instead. I really meant to stamp some flowers on the photos and journaling of this scrapbook page before I put it all together; I even left some space in the lower right corner of the journaling block. But I forgot until I had it adhered to the filler page with a very dimensional page on the back. There was no way to lay it flat enough to stamp.

Then I remembered I had some rub-on’s in Old Olive that would work. Rub-on’s don’t require a flat surface. They worked perfectly!




2. When I finished the notebook cover in the blog entry (Notebook) below, I thought the tag looked empty. I had distressed the edges but there was this empty upper right corner. I really wished I had stamped something there. So I did. I masked the area around the card with scrap paper (or you can use post-its), made sure the cover was laying as flat as possible and then stamped. After removing the scrap paper, you would have never know it wasn’t done before assembling everything.

The other key besides masking and trying to achieve a flat surface is to have a backup plan. If I had messed up, I could always stamp a flower, cut it out and glue onto that corner to cover up any mistakes.

So don’t be afraid to add a little something extra to your scrapbook page, card or other paper project. If you are in doubt on how it will look, stamp first on scrap paper, cut it out – even a rough cut will do – and lay it on your page to see how it looks first.

Ingredients for Scrapbook Page: Green Tea Designer Paper from Stampin' Up!, Other paper cutouts from DCWV and Imagine That

Stamps: Big Flowers, So Many Scallops

Rub-ons: From SAB '08

Button: Button Bouquet from Stampin' Up!

Chipboard Letters: Basic Gray

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Bloom!


"where you are planted." is the inside message. A common phrase now it really does have a lot of meaning. It works for this card because I'm working with what I had to make it.


The flowers here probably look familiar because they are the leftovers from making Jaime's Frame in the post below. I stamped several images in different colors to see what I really wanted to do with the frame. I still have just a few more I can use on yet another card.
.
There are some cute flower pot cards showing up on Splitcoaststampers.com. They don't have the backing that this one does. I think I need larger flowers or more of them and a larger pot so I'll try that again another time.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Local Paradise

Lenny asked me recently if wisteria bloomed all summer here. I told him that was only on Wisteria Lane on the Housewives. Here we go from vines that look like dead weeds to lavendar blooms in only a couple of weeks. A few days and the vines are just greenery. In the meantime we get one of the prettiest and most Southern rites of Spring.

My uncle built this pergola for my Mother in her backyard about 6 years ago. She planted the wisteria at each post. This year it is just gorgeous and so inviting. Wouldn't you like to sit in that chair all day with a good book? She wanted to sweep up the lavendar blooms scattered on the rock floor but I wouldn't let her. They just make it all the more charming.


Her flower gardening has become her passion in retirement. I'm so proud of her for all she accomplishes in bringing more beauty into the world. It is amazing how she has transformed their ordinary yard into such a beautiful spot both front and back. These are just a few of the yards of pansies edging the front of the house.
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