Just in case you didn't get one in the mail, consider this my Christmas Card to all of you :-) Thanks for reading my blog & encouraging me in my creative endeavours this year!
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Just in case you didn't get one in the mail, consider this my Christmas Card to all of you :-) Thanks for reading my blog & encouraging me in my creative endeavours this year!
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
The theme was about the parable of the seeds that fall in the good soil & grow because DMC has really grown this year! I was excited to be able to share with Heather the Decorations chair that Stampin' Up! has a "wheatgrass" stamp in the "Inspired by Nature" set. They used it on the menu cards (pictured), which went nicely with the REAL wheatgrass centerpieces! Cool, huh?
I've also included a picture of the Stampin' Up! basket (which was bid up nicely in the silent auction, I might add)--note the gold wheatgrass on the description frame too.
Finally, I made nine of these gift frames for the top donors and the gala co-chairs. This fall I was honored to become a Board Member so I wanted to do something a little special. The frame was made using a masking technique & sponge daubers to apply the ink. The Mother Teresa quote that comes with the set was just too perfect--I had to find a way to use it! Then, I incorporated a personal message from the Founder & President, Dr. John Bruchalski. This stamp set got a nice little workout for a great cause!
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
I LOVE making them. I just used a piece of designer paper & then adhered a cardstock block so I'd know where to attach the post-its later. Then I made some kind of matted stamped or rub-on image to match & adhered it on the paper. Put that into the frame & then added the post-its, ribbon & generic dew drops directly onto the frame. The finishing touch is a beaded pen made from matching designer paper. I almost sold out of them at my first craft fair so I went out & bought more frames to make more for my craft fairs this weekend.
Come find me at Fox Mill Elementary in Herndon on Sat. Dec. 6 from 9-1 & at the Herndon Community Center on Ferndale Rd. in Herndon on Sun. Dec. 7 from 10-4!
Monday, December 1, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Some thoughts on some of my items …I had my nicer cards in clear envelopes in the rack. I was pleasantly surprised the individual Xmas cards did well--the lady said she wanted special envelopes to put money in for family. I did explain to people how to mail in the clear envelopes but they could take a regular envelope if they really wanted (no one asked). I think they did well (first cards I've sold in three years of fairs) because of the rack & the clear envies--just made them look so much more classy & easy to look at.
General tips—try to do a sample set up at home to make sure stuff fits. I had the SU! kid tattoo kits & when a kid shopping with his mom looked bored, I offered to do a free tattoo & they really seemed to like that (I had a stamped sample so they could easily choose which one they wanted). Pretty packaging seemed to help. Having samples of how to use things helped (like the tealight in the candle, the card holder with a card in it, a wine glass with the charm on it). The most popular items in a nutshell: altered domino pin or magnet ornaments, large notebook sets & the post-it holder sets.
Friday, November 21, 2008
I'd seen these before but for some reason, the purpose didn't click with me until I saw Katie's blog. Duh! Use them as gift tags on bottles you bring as a hostess gift (instead of paying a bunch for a little wine bag). I always looked at them & wondered "Why would I want to put that on my wine bottle?" What does that say about my resistance to giving my wine away?
Anyway, here are some samples all using SU!'s Top Note Bigz Die & a stamp from "Frames with a Flourish" embossed on the bottom in gold with a sentiment inside. In the first picture, for the Christmas one I used the Snow-Swirled set with markers. On the Blessed one, I made a pumpkin with punches (sponge the edges with ink--really makes it pop) & the vine is from "Baroque Motifs."
In the second picture, I used the hostess set "Fall Flair" for the Thanksgiving tag and the retired "Glorious Garlands." If you enlarge the picture, you'll be able to see that there are little snowflakes that I stamped with Versamark & embossed with Irisdescent Ice--adds a really nice subtle sparkle.
Ok--off to bed--got to get up early for my first craft show of the season!
Monday, November 17, 2008
Anyway, I came up with a couple of projects using this die. First is a Christmas card holder (or letter or napkin holder). I saw these mesh letter holders in a store & then I was browsing the Oriental Trading catalog & saw a card holder project--combined the two & this is what I came up with. I used an old holiday scrapbooking kit for the paper & sentiment (it's a matted sticker--gasp!). Then I added SU!'s felt snowflakes, brads & Stickles to the snowflake die cut (used a thin white chipboard that backs SU! designer papers). I've had fun decorating each one differently to sell at my craft fairs (made ten--at least if they don't sell, I'll have cute teacher gifts!)
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Okay, so last February I did a class on creating 16 cards in a tote made from half of Stampin' Up!'s Boho Blend Simply Scrappin' Kit (see pics--got the idea from a local SU! meeting). It's been sitting out in my craft room ever since then & numerous times Maddie has eyed it.
Yesterday, I was in there an inordinate amount of time trying out a couple of new craft fairs ideas. There's kind of a point of no return when my time becomes non-productive because one of the kids will inevitably come in looking for attention. (My craft room is right off their playroom so I can keep an ear on them.) With Maddie, it usually involves me having to stop what I'm working on to help her make "something pretty." This time she wanted to make the Simply Scrappin' tote & cards.
As you can imagine, you're trying to get stuff done, the creative juices are flowing, the last thing you want to do is stop & figure out a way a 4 yr. old can make something complicated without using your good supplies! (I keep a stash of "dispensable" supplies for the kids & taught them not to use my good stuff.) Anyway, on her own initiative, Maddie goes to get her paper & proceeds to cut it up(using my Stampin' Up! tabletop cutter--safe for the kids!) & puts on glue stick, & then brings me the pieces to fold together to make a tote. When we were done, she asked for the handle, which I did. Then on her own, she made a bunch of "cards" to put inside & here's the result!
So, while I know as a good mother, I should probably spend more time making stuff with her, I also can't help but be tickled & proud of what she does when left to her own devices with just a little assistance :-)
Monday, November 10, 2008
Even though I wasn't able to meet up with the other lady from my SU! team there, I found a place at a table with some other VA demos. I've found stampers in general to be a friendly bunch (& a bunch of enablers!) They had some great projects for us to make (I'll post those later) & I learned a bunch of cool tips. I guess I've been doing this long enough now that I've at least heard of most techniques (at least the ones they showed us), but it's the little things that I love learning the most!
This "Snowman Kit" was a project demonstrated on stage. I doubt I'd ever make it but I still thought it was the cutest thing. She made the buttons (on clothespins) out of foam run through the Big Shot. So of course today I had to run out & get some foam! She had buttons, a styrofoam nose, foam eyes & a scarf all in the top hat to form the kit. A cool little tip was how she made the little snowman tag's face. Sorry--I didn't get a good picture of it, but instead of punching out little black bits for the eyes & teeth & sticking them on the white head, she punched out circles & squares for the eyes & mouth & then put black cardstock behind his white circle head so it only looked like she'd messed with itty bitty punch-out pieces.
This last project Shelli showed us from the stage. It's a little game where you try to rest two little BBs in the punched out holes. The display shows all the pieces. First a box of Designer Paper, two layers of foam, watercolor paper (the layer you stamp the image on) & an acetate top (click to really see it). Then you just punch a hole in the top foam & watercolor paper layers. The whole thing was about 3" x3". Probably not something I'll get around to making, but who knows--maybe stocking stuffers for the boys since they won't want my pink barrettes?
Monday, November 3, 2008
Shrinky Dink strip of 1" x 5 1/2" for this size barrette). Next, I used a 1/4" hole punch (to thread ribbon through) close to either end of the strip & rounded the corners.
Then I decorated the strip with various stamps (the Christmas trees are re-purposed Birthday party hats from "Party Hearty" by the way). I just used craft ink. On a few barrettes not pictured, I stamped ballet slippers in Staz-on Black & then colored in with markers since I didn't have the right pink in a permanent marker. The water-based dye beads up which creates an interesting polka dot look. That's okay with the small images produced because it still gives an overall pink color but for larger images, I'd splurge for the $1.99 permanent marker :-) I also found that simple shapes worked best since they shrink so small. I tried one intricate pattern & colored it in with permanent markers. However, it was all lost when the image shrunk & everything just blended together. When choosing colors, also remember that the color gets darker or more intense when shrunk.
Once the strip was stamped, it was time to shrink. I simply used my heat tool, holding down one end with a craft tweezer in one of the holes. This also took lots of trial & error because the long narrow shape was very tricky to shrink without it twisting & folding up on itself (& thus getting stuck & ruined!) The best I can describe the winning technique is to start on one end & let it shrink about a third of the way then switch sides. When the strip is shrunk, quickly flip it over & put the barrette onto the back of it. Then, with one side pressed down, pull the other side of the strip up to touch the barrette. You need to do this step quickly so that the strip forms to the curve of the barrette before cooling completely.
Before attaching the strip, I added an optional step of embossing the whole thing. I pressed the strip onto a Versamark pad & then scooped Iridescent Ice Embossing Powder over it. Then, I used my Heat Tool to melt the powder. If you do this too long, the strip will straighten out again. If this happens just re-shape it with the barrette as described before.
Finally, I attached the strip by first putting some Crystal Effects on the barrette & laying the strip down on the barrette with the holes on the strips & barrette lined up. When it was dry, I threaded the ribbon through the holes & tied a bow on each end (this helps the strip more closely fit against the barrette since the shape will not be perfectly contoured). My packaging, once again, is SU!'s exclusive Top Note Die.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Another reason I chose these projects is because they look really cool yet are pretty easy to make. Here's my friend Sue, a self-proclaimed non-crafty person, displaying her handiwork. She even had time to watch Danielle's new baby so Danielle could have her hands free (maybe the Starbucks helped!) :-) I thought it was pretty neat teaching this group because I'd been introduced to stamping myself at a moms' meeting in that very room four years previously. When people get intimidated by this craft, I try to remind them that I was there once too & I'm still learning every day. I love that when it comes to being creative, there's no right or wrong. Besides we're all crafty in different ways. For ex., I'd go to Sue for cooking advice in a heartbeat cuz that is just not my forte. My mom, the gourmet cook, still wonders where she went wrong...
I've made a bunch of these baskets & ornaments to sell at my craft fairs too. For the baskets, I added one of our felt Snowflakes & a bling brad. They are filled with Hershey's kisses. For the ornaments, I used our taffeta ribbon & added a simple bead at the bottom. The paper is "Ski Slope" from the Holiday Mini.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Now we come to what has to be my favorite project of all: handstamped candles! I finally decided to figure them out (just google handstamped candle tutorial & there are plenty out there!) Actually, there are so many tutorials out there that it can be kind of confusing since they all have different nuances.
The easiest way I've found is this: stamp on white tissue paper (not the Kleenex kind--the gift bag kind). I've found that Staz-on, Dye-based inks, Markers (the wreath & snowflake images), Watercolor Crayons (the Madonna image) & colored pencils all work. I haven't tried craft ink or embossing (but I've read embossing works). When using the Watercolor Crayons with an Aquapainter, just try not to have the tip too wet. Then you cut the image out closely & lay it on your candle (cheap & white work just great!) Next, wrap a piece of wax paper around the candle & over your image (this is an important step that some tutorials leave out) & hold tight. Then, heat the image with your heat tool until you see the tissue "disappear" & melt into the wax. The wax paper keeps the image smooth. Next, just peel back the paper & that's it!
If you'd like, you can embellish too. I tied matching ribbon around the candle & added some Stickles (glitter glue). I've had 3 Stickles for over a year now & really fell in love with them for this project--so much so that I went & ordered a bunch more (plus "Liquid Pearls"), thus spending my craft fair profit already. Sigh. I found the best prices at Cutters Creek (cuz shipping ended up being free), by the way. I'm not really cheating on Stampin' Up! I swear--they don't sell them!
This second picture is of the back of the candles--so yes, you can add as many images as you want to your candle (these are 3" x 3").
I'm hoping these will be popular at my craft fairs--so, my pricing advisees (& you know who you are)--I'm open to pricing suggestions!! (Please!) Oh--& which one do you like best? (i.e. what kinds of images should I make more of--I have Christmas trees & snow men too!)
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
I can't remember where I first saw Shrinky Dinks used with stamps, but I saw some wine charms (both kinds) on splitcoasterstampers (in the gallery) & decided to try them out. I had all kinds of jewelry-making stuff from when I had the inspiration to make my own jewelry a couple of years ago (got as far as supply shopping!) & I had the Shrinky Dinks from some other inspiration but hadn't used them yet. Now I remember--I saw someone make a baby mobile embellishment on the Carol Duvall Show years ago!
Using Shrinky Dinks is super easy. You can use your heat tool instead of an oven like when you were a kid. Simply stamp with either Staz-on & color in with permanent markers or stamp with pigment ink (I used Stampin' Up!'s Craft Spots.) I punched out the images & made sure to punch a 1/8" hole so I'd have a place for the jump ring or wire. The plastic shrinks to 1/3 its size so keep that in mind. For the ring wine charms, I used crimp beads as extra security that the beads wouldn't slid off & then twisted the end of the ring up too. The new "Cheers To You" set is perfect for wine charms, don't you think?
Another way of making the charms is to use just wire so they twist around the base of the stem. You could even use them for napkin holders or other kind of embellishment--on a key ring or backpack, for example. These take a little more time than the rings (& more beads of course) but I just beaded while watching TV. Jewelry pliers are useful too. I think the Tart & Tangy set is especially cute--think fruity summer drinks!
The other thing I'd like to point out is the packaging. The tops are simply SU!'s Exclusive Top Note Bigz Die folded in half. Super fast & easy.
Shrinky Dinks--more fun than a Slinky :-)
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
So here's my first effort at making them. They are the coolest little things. I love them because you can keep them in your book as you read & they don't cover up any of the words or slide out of place. Plus, they are super easy to make (shhh!) I'm going to show them to my tech club this Friday along with another craft fair project. (So, if you're local & want to join a regular stamping club--think about it--we do cool stuff!!)
Anyway, here's what you do. First, I swabbed up a piece of glossy cardstock using our daubers & a variety of classic ink colors in stripes. Then, on half the page, I stamped small images in Black Staz-on ink. I cut the other half in 2" x 3/4" strips. Then I punched out the images with a 3/4" circle punch. Fold the strips in half & glue the circle on one end. Finally, place a 1/2" x 1/2" magnet square on the inside of each half of the strips. TIP: Make sure you're placing the magnets so they attract each other! If you accidently turn them so they repel, you'll need to glue another magnet on top of one of them in the right direction. You can buy little magnets in craft stores, or I happened to have business card size magnets lying around that I just cut up.
I made 85 of these little guys in one day (in between carpool, laundry, etc.). I'm going to sell them for $1.50 each because I did individually bag them for display & they are ready-made gifts with the little card attached (ok, that part took a second day). Fair price? What do you think?
Monday, September 29, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Thursday, September 18, 2008
These name frames are from a class I gave a couple of weekends ago to show that you can do it too! Usually I take color & theme suggestions & will make a customized frame to order. For the class, we did it all together with the ladies actually making the frames & I acted as a consultant.
This first one is different from the others I've made because she wanted a frog theme & the only frog stamp I had was a foam one (I was just about to get rid of it too--glad I didn't!) I was nervous the foam stamp wouldn't work well with a dye-based ink, but it was fine (usually foam stamps are used with paints). This was Maggie's first time stamping and I think she did a great job! Her grandson will love this :) Her colors were inspired by a frog print she'd bought for her grandson's room.
My friend Danielle, a veteran stamper, made this frame to match her daughter's room. I LOVE the colors she chose. Doesn't the Kiwi Kiss look great with Perfect Plum?
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
This is an altered binder clip that had some kind of medical co. advertising on the white part. These are so cute to use as photo holders. I used rub-ons on the purple binder part. Then, I stamped on black cardstock in white craft ink & used Heat & Stick Powder to adhere blue glitter to the flowers (the flash muted the glitter). Then I spread Crystal Effects over the whole surface to give it a cohesive tile look. I did the same on the other side so if you wanted to use it as a paper clip, you'd have the decoration facing you too. Finally, I added just a dab of blue Stickles to the middle of the rub-on & added ribbon.
These are plastic jars from Oriental Trading. I used more rub-ons on these. The felt flowers on the lids are either from SU!'s "Flower Fusion" (the olive green) or I cut them using SU!'s Basket & Blooms Sizzix die (white & black) & secured with a brad. Inside are Hershey's chocolate nuggets wrapped in stamped address labels. While these weren't hard to make, the rub-ons actually took a bit of time because you have to cut out the images & create your design, often with more than one color. I made 16 of them & each one is unique.
I was really happy with how these little plastic purses turned out! I found the blank purse favors on clearance & got them without knowing what I'd do with them. I decided to make all ten the same with a straight Christmas theme (using up all my Silver Hodgepodge Designer Label holders in the process). I also used our new Holiday Treasures DSP & Baja Breeze 1" Grosgrain ribbon. I stamped the nuggest labels with the new "Snow-Swirled" stamp set.
One tip--to make the holes for the brads, I found it easier to secure the ribbon onto the paper first, place the whole thing onto the cushion in our Mat Pack & poke a hole with the paper piercer through both (instead of using the 1/16th" hole punch). You can then poke the brad through while it's still on the cushion & flip the whole thing over--the brads will stay put & then you can spread the prongs. This way, you don't bend the paper while trying to punch the brads through.
Whew. All I can say is, I've probably spent as much energy keeping these things out of my kids' hands as I have making them! My oldest (6 yrs.) is so cute--he keeps asking how much they are because he wants to save his money to buy them.
Monday, August 25, 2008
I tried using both Sticky Strip & Tombow Mono Multi around the bottom of the basket (on the one my daughter insisted on making for herself) & both worked fine. I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it really was to put together. Next time I think I'll stamp it after I run it through the machine, rather than before (you can see the line where the Canvas background stamp overlapped a little). The basket filling is just strips of cardstock that I ran through the crimper before cutting.
I can also report that the basket lasted traveling all day in my purse--it's a hearty cardstock :). I used Kraft by the way (you'll need a strip of 12" x 6" to fit the XL die if you want everything cut out at once.)
& my reunion? A surreally good time :) I was telling one of my good friends (with whom I'd lost touch) that I was doing this now & she asked rather surprised "You're crafty now?" Yeah, I'm still pretty amused by it myself! Of course, we agreed that the scrapbooking part actually does make a little sense because I did always love to take pics & organize them & write captions even before scrapbooking became the commercial behemoth it now is.
Monday, August 18, 2008
Anyway, I thought I'd share the baby projects we did. I first showed them how to make this baby onesie card with our punches. My great-upline Jeannette told me about them & then I got the directions from Lauren Meader's blog except I used a key tag punch to make the indentation below the sleeves instead of cutting with a hobby knife. Now that we have the scallop edge punch, we can scallop the sleeves too!
Next, everyone got to make this gender neutral Happy New Baby card. I used the new In-colors, scallop edge punch & showed how sponging the edges really gives cards a little extra sumpin' sumpin'. For both cards, I used "Wild About You"--one of my favorite kid themed sets.
My new catalog goodies (including the Big Shot) are coming this week! Yea!
Monday, August 11, 2008
I looked up some of the stuff on ebay to see how it's selling--the "Knobbly Gnomes" set went for $40 (it retailed for $22.95!) So, anyone who wins this basket in the silent auction is sure to get a great deal! The DMC Gala is Nov. 15 in Herndon, VA if you're interested in attending and/or bidding (or if you trust me--I'll bid for you--I can send a list of everything in there too :) )
Alrighty---just three more hours before the new catty goes live & then you won't hear from me for awhile (LOL).
Friday, August 8, 2008
I tried silver microbeads with these. I'd found some Scotch tape that's meant to hold up posters & small frames super cheap; they were thicker & cushiony, so I thought I'd try a different tack. First I put on the rhinestones, then rolled in the beads. For some of them, I filled in the gaps with glitter too. They're pretty darn sparkly in person.
Okay, so the new Catalog is coming out on Monday, August 11!! There are tons of promotions going on with it too ($99 starter kits! 15% off a bunch of new sets!) Be sure to visit my SU! website for more details!!