Friday, November 30, 2012

Big Shot or Not?

So, did I buy a Big Shot?  Everyone from Wednesday's post says 'yes.'

I loved all the things we made.  I operated the machine with little trouble. When my right arm was a bit affected, I switched to the left. When we went out shopping, I bought some Spellbinders dies.

Then during the night I awoke with some hand and arm pain.  This happens from time to time (as it did last night) for lots of reasons.  I had really used the machine a lot so it didn't concern me that much but did keep me awake thinking.

While I loved all the embossed cards and the die cuts, they were all for cards.  I enjoy making cards yet my true love is scrapbooking.  Buying a Big Shot isn't that much of a commitment but once I got one, I'd be getting more dies and embossing folders.  I'd have a whole new category of things to purchase and they would almost exclusively be used on cards.  Plus I have to give up precious craft room space to store it all.

I know I can emboss paper and put it on a page but the size is limited.  Die cuts could add to my design as the flowers do above but the likelihood of using something like these flowers on more than one page is remote.  When I was a member of a stamp club and buying a Stampin' Up! stuff every month, after awhile I figured out that I needed to pick stamps that would work for both cards and pages.  I knew I wanted my investment in money and precious storage space to work for both parts of my hobby.

So it suddenly seemed clear to me that while I liked this new tool, it wasn't really what I wanted or needed in my crafting.  I would be happier with more background stamps and other products I can use easily on BOTH card making and scrapbooking. I could use my Cricut more and if my Cricut ever dies, I'm going for a Cameo.

So I surprised myself, my friend and now all of you with my decision.  The Big Shot, for me, is a Not.

I had already cut lots of these stamped flowers at Karen's so they decorated this page and this card.  The card is cased from one I saw at Archivers where I bought the stamp and die combo (see, I really, really thought I was going to get one, too!)  The papers and embellishments are from Artfuldelight's October kit.  I would have never put yellow, black and dark pink together myself but I really like them.  Most of it is My Mind's Eye.

I do have a correction for Wednesday's post.  The Big Shot is available at Amazon for $55 (not $60) - free shipping, too!  And gosh, isn't that card cute.  It is sometimes hard to keep my conviction.  So if I buy a Big Shot some day... a woman is allowed to change her mind.  :-)

Thanks for your visit!  Hope you have a great weekend.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Big Shot Cards and purchase?

For months, I've been thinking about getting a Big Shot die cutter.  I have a Cricut but I'd like to do embossing.  Also there are all these great stamp and die combos now.  You can get the Big Shot at Amazon for $60 and free shipping.

I decided to wait until I visited Karen to use her Big Shot and make sure it was easy to use.  I had some trouble a few years back with my right arm and there are certain things that really irritate it - rotary cutter comes to mind.  I don't think I own anything with a crank handle so I wanted to use it quite a bit and figure out how it worked for me.

Boy, did I use the Big Shot.  I gave it quite a work out creating parts of cards using her machine, embossing folders and dies.  Here are a couple I completed this week.

So did I buy a Big Shot?  Come back on Friday and I'll let you know...

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Shopping List

Within an hour of submitting my Two Peas order last weekend, I was flipping through a notebook and found one of my many lists.  This shopping list had all the items checked off except orange baker's twine.  I ran out a while back and Two Peas was out the last time I did an order.  Did I remember to order it this time round?  No, didn't cross my mind.  I got lots of other great goodies so I'm not that upset.  It did get me thinking though of maybe a better way to get organized.

Before my order, I did go through my scrap space, looking in various bins and thinking about what I might need.  This is a bit like looking in your pantry before you go to the grocery store and seeing what isn't there.  Tough, isn't it?  It is especially hard if you haven't used something in awhile.
In the kitchen we keep a running list on the refrigerator and I'm supposed to have such a list in my craft space and I not very good at keeping it up.

So I've made myself this cheat sheet.  What's different about this one is that it is sort of like the process I used before my order.  I can browse my bins and see what is missing based on colors. If I'd had this, I would have looked through the twine - like I remembered to do with the Washi - and seen that I was out of orange twine.

Click here to see the cheat sheet as a PDF.  You can download for your own use if you wish.

Now a lack of orange twine is hardly a great tragedy.  I could just order more but you know I won't.  I just hate to pay shipping.  So the first thing that is going on this little printout is orange twine and hopefully I'll get a little more organized in my shopping :-)

(This is my first effort at adding a PDF file to a blog post.  Please leave a comment or e-mail me if you have a problem.  Thanks!)

Thanks for stopping by today!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Us? Shop?

Hi!  Hope all my American readers had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.

We went out for dinner this year - my parent's choice.  I wonder if that says something about the meal I fixed last Thanksgiving. :-)  Oh, well.  I baked pies later in the day on Thursday.  I'd promised Lenny a pumpkin pie since I made pumpkin cake last year.  I also made a coconut cream for myself.  Umm! I've shared some of it so I haven't been a total pig though I have to admit doing so reluctantly.

Not making an entire meal left me time to do another Thanksgiving weekend tradition and that is shop!  Two Peas started their sale on Thanksgiving day so I had fun picking out a good variety of items for my bucket.  Also, grabbed a couple of other on-line bargains for Christmas shopping.  We don't do a lot of gift exchanging anymore.  Oddly, my Mother is the one I'm clueless about this year.  She is usually the easiest to buy for.  Will have to give it more thought.

I finished this layout early in the weekend and it seems appropriate for this time of year.  When I visit my friend Karen, we are sure to visit the local crafting stores.  Twice now we have furniture shopped while I've been there. (Her husband might wish I'd stay home!)  Hey, a sale is a sale.

The papers and embellishments are from an ArtfulDelight kit.  They are mostly Basic Grey Paper Cottage. Behind the cutout of SHOP, I layered 4 Washi tapes and then used them again to pull some color to the edges of the layout.

Thanks for visiting today! Back to work for me.  Hope you have a productive Cyber Monday.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Perfect Pearls Angel Card

For this card, I'm using Perfect Pearls in a technique that works flawlessly and gives gorgeous results.  You just need a couple of colors of Ranger's Perfect Pearls powder and some water color paper.

I've made 12 of these cards for my aunt for her Christmas cards.  Today's tip is to cut your cardstock for the card base a quarter inch narrower than normal to make getting cards into the envelope easier.  Sometimes, I find I've put so much on my card it really is a tight fit.  These fit fairly easily at regular size however, I think it will be a lot easier on her to have a bit of extra space.  You don't want to struggle getting cards in envelopes when trying to get holiday cards out the door.

Here's the video on the card:
Watch at YouTube

Anyone cooking yet?  We are going out this Thanksgiving - my parents choice.
Thanks for watching!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Perfect Pearls Ornament Card

Finally, I got Perfect Pearls to work the way they are supposed to!  When I was visiting my friend Karen a couple of weeks ago, I bought some more Perfect Pearls.  I wanted a few more shades to work with the ones I had.  When we were using them, I was amazed that they worked. I'd been able to use Perfect Pearls with a water technique I learned from Kristina Werner (and will be on tomorrow's card), but I could never do the technique described on the package.

For that technique, you stamp your image in Perfect Medium or Versamark and then brush on Perfect Pearls.  A mist of water and everything is supposed to be set - no rubbing off.  Every time I'd tried this in the past, the pearl finish rubbed off.  I certainly could not use this for Operation Write Home cards and really didn't want to send anyone a card that smeared.  This time though, it worked.  What was different?

When I got back to my house, I tried again and had my old results, the image rubbed off after it dried.  So what was it?  Finally it dawned on me - paper.  We had been playing with some cheap white cardstock that we normally wouldn't stamp on.  When I got out my cheap cardstock, the process worked for me.  I guess the smoother cardstocks just don't absorb the medium, the water or something.  Anyway, now I can use my pretty Perfect Pearls for more cards.

For this card design, I CASEd a card from Kristina Werner's Holiday Card Series showing every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I changed stamps and colors.  The scallop circle is cut with my Cricut and stamped with the Medallion background stamp and embossed with Stampin' Up!'s Iridescent Ice.

Thanks for visiting!  Tuesday I'll have another Christmas card and a video.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Mini Album - Part 4 - The completed album

And now the book is complete!

The video looks at all the pages, the final touches and how continuity was maintained through the album.

Watch at YouTube

To keep continuity in the album,

  • use one or two colors of background cardstock or designer paper
  • use a consistent color scheme
  • select a group of designer papers and use throughout the album (the multicolored stripe and star paper)
  • repeat embellishments scattered throughout particularly on the first and last pages (the circle embellishments and some of the trims.)
  • use one or two fonts for journaling
Doing these things allowed me to vary other elements like the title lettering.  I didn't have multiple sheets of the same stickers so I had to change letters on the titles.

And now for the last few completed pages...

I knew I wanted to repeat the layout above on Tubing from the 12x12 album so I used 6 of the 7 photos and cut the circles just a bit smaller.  The journaling went on the top instead of the side and circles of pattern paper were used instead of banners.  A few October Afternoon stickers added some fun to the page.

This photo isn't in our 12x12 album yet.  I thought it was a good way to end the mini album as my husband and his daughter are the connection that brings us together for vacation.

Whew!  It is all done and in the mail.  Thanks for joining me in this project.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Mini Album - Part 3 is a Work in Progress

Welcome back to the mini album based on 12x12 scrapbook pages.  This is part 3 of 4.  The pages are progressing.

Watch at YouTube.

In these two completed pages, one follows the original 12x12 page format and this one about Nai Nai and her doll varies considerably. The original was very girly with lots of pink.  Since that didn't fit in at all with the rest of the mini album, I used a red and white print and a feminine ribbon in green to match the opposite page in the album.

Here's the original 12x12 covered in this post:

In the next page, I kept the same photos, arrangement, journaling, and title, just substituting a smaller stamp.

Here is the original 12x12 covered in this post:

The album has given me the opportunity to repeat some favorite pages in a smaller format and also to use a favorite photo in a completely different design.

Thanks for visiting today!  Tomorrow is the last installment - the completed album.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Mini Album: Laying out Pages Part 2 of 4

Now it is time to lay out the pages.  This is my favorite video of the series.  It is all about getting the project organized.

I arrange all my pages on the bed with a background paper, the photos and journaling if I have it typed up.  I don't worry too much about where things go on the page.  I'm just trying to get an idea of how many pages and have them easy to pull out and work on.

Here are the next 4 pages in the album:

All of these were from our Biltmore day and mainly use the Saturdays collection by Little Yellow Bicycle.  There are a few of the other papers and trims added to connect these pages with the others in the album.

Watch at YouTube

Thanks for visiting!  Tomorrow I'll have part 3 showing some pages in progress.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Mini Album: from 12x12 pages to gift album, part 1

Over the last few months, I've created and shared many pages from our family vacation.  I also wanted to use these photos in a mini album for my stepdaughter.  A couple of weeks ago I pulled together the photos and papers and started filming.  I've worked on the album along with other projects.  It was easy to go back and forth once a kit was created and I had a basic arrangement for the pages.

Here are the first 4 pages in the album.  I'll be sharing these all week along with the videos of how I went from my 12x12 designs to an 8x8 format.

Doing this project was a lot like the way I used to do albums where everything was coordinated.  Since everything was not coordinated in my 12x12 pages, I had some adjustments to make for the smaller album.

These two pages from the 8x8 (on top)  are much like these two from my 12x12 album that are covered in this post.

For the 8x8, the banner goes across just the journaling and the title changed a bit. The journaling was left much the same just removing a few of my personal impressions.

For the following page, I kept it much like the original with the two of the same photos and title and added all the journaling in a pocket on top.  Here is the original. 

So here is how I got started on the mini album...

Watch at YouTube

Thanks for visiting!  Tomorrow I'll go through my process for arranging an album to make it easy to work on along with other projects.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sneak Peek at the Week

Coming this week is a video series on a new mini album I did for a Christmas present.  The album is using many of the same photos I've already done in 12x12 format but now in smaller pages.  The videos go from selecting products to changing page formats to finding ways to create consistency and interest through several pages.

I hope you will join me starting Monday with the first video!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Inking embossing folders

My friend Karen and I did a lot of crafting with the Big Shot this weekend.  I used a Big Shot die cutter a couple of years ago when I was a member of a stamping club; however, I didn't get to play with it nearly so much as this weekend.

Karen and I had both watched a great video from Jennifer McGuire on using ink with an embossing folder several weeks ago.  Unfortunately we couldn't find this video again but here is how we did this card front.

First I taped the old olive cardstock to the raised side of the embossing folder using removable adhesive.  I ran it through the Big Shot and then opened the folder and covered the other side of the folder with garden green ink.  Closed up the folder and ran it through again to get the green ink pressed onto the negative part of the image.

The ink cleans easily off the embossing folder.

The butterfly was also cut using the Big Shot.

I would have never put garden green and old olive together but it was what I had with me in dye inks and I really love how they came out.  It is such fun to just play and try out different techniques without having to do a particular project.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Inchies, Weaving and Voting

Hi!  My absence from the blog the last few days is because I was just too busy crafting and having fun with my best friend!  I was planning to drive 'down east' to see Karen last weekend but wasn't sure where Storm Sandy would go so we moved it to this past weekend.  We had such a wonderful time and really got a lot of crafting and experimenting done.  More on the experiments in coming posts.

In the meantime, here is one of the cards I did.  She had a set of Christmas stamps that were great inchies but we didn't have a 1 inch punch so I used her Creative Memories 1 1/4" selecting 5 out of the 12 I liked.  To give them a little zing, I did my favorite trick lately - weaving.  This takes quite a bit of designer paper but I love the result.  I spaced the strips out a bit and then sewed around the edges to bring it all together.  This paper was off the clearance rack at Two Peas.  I bought it because it wasn't too holiday specific so I can use the leftovers for other projects.

I also have some small holiday stamps in my collection.  Inchies are a great way to use those small stamps.  You can do all kinds of configurations by putting them in a single row or multiple columns and rows alternated with punched designer paper for a quick card.

On another topic for my American readers, have you voted?  Since I was traveling so close to election day, I did early voting last week.  There were over 6000 people who had already voted when I went.  We have one of the smallest, if not the smallest, county in our state so that is quite a lot.  I believe it is so important to vote. It isn't all about the Presidential election contrary to what the media seems to think.  Our local and state offices often have more of an impact on our day to day lives.  Anyway, I hope you will vote today if you haven't already.

Thanks for visiting today!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Scary and Cute

I made this page on Halloween and it seemed appropriate.  My husband looks downright scary!

When he visits his family, he doesn't shave until it is time to come back home.  He knows I hate it when he is unshaven and he won't get a welcome home kiss if he doesn't do something about that :-) Apparently, hair combing is also an optional activity.

Unfortunately this is the only photo of him holding his new baby grandson last December.  At first I thought it was just because they had been at the hospital all night but then I realized this was a few days after the birth.  Little Emmett looks adorable and he is sleeping so he can't see that Grampa needs a little grooming.  Babies can't focus that well at that stage anyway, can they?

The photo presented a real challenge.  All the colors are dark and just don't work for a newborn baby page.  I tried baby blue and that really didn't work.  So I went with Shimelle's suggestions from last week's Glitter Girl to use a more blocked layout in brighter colors for a masculine feel.  The colors are still suitable for a baby and the photo really doesn't stand out as much in person.  These papers are some old Stampin' Up! for the background and newer My Mind's Eye and Cosmo Cricket from Artfuldelight's October kit.

In other news, friends and family keep calling to see if we are alright and if we are snowbound.  Apparently there are reports around the country that we had a ton of snow.  We didn't have a flake here in the foothills.  We were very fortunate the storm passed around us with just a few gusts of wind and a sprinkle of rain.  I think the higher elevation mountains in NC got some snow. We were very lucky. It is heartbreaking to see the devastation up the east coast.

Thanks for stopping by today!
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