Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Door Prize Surprise

You know how you have some things hanging around for ages that seemed like they were crying to be altered but you never got around to it? Well, I've had this Chipboard box since Recollections went out of business over a year ago I think. Or was it two years? Anyway, I even tried selling it off at a garage sale with no takers. I'm glad I didn't because it occurred to me it'd make a pretty advertisement for our products while holding door prizes for my workshops & classes!

The stamped image is from "Inspired by Nature" (on the dormant list). I used my watercolor crayons to color the stamp directly, spritzed with water & stamped on Very Vanilla. Then I cut it & the mat out with the new Circle Scissors Plus. I've resigned myself to the fact that you really do have to tape the paper down (SU! recommends dotto) or the paper moves & your circle is all messed up. At first I didn't like the idea of putting adhesive on paper, but I'm going to adhere it later anyway & dotto on the glass mat doesn't rip the paper off so I'm ok with it now. I can't tell you how many other "solutions" I tried though before just doing as I was told! lol.

The paper is the Sale-a-Bration paper & I used the large scallop & butterfly dies (love!) Got the idea to use Sticky Strip & glitter for the butterfly's body at our local SU! group's meeting. The Thank You stamp & scalloped oval punch are coming up in the Occasions Mini!
For the door prizes, I then made a bunch of little "love note" card kits that contain one stamp, a black stamp spot, cardstock for one 3"x 3" card & some ribbon.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Easter Workshop Projects

Here are some Spring/Easter project ideas that we made at my last workshop (Thanks again Mary!!)

I've learned that the best part of a workshop is the hands-on participation so I tried to make these simple (yet interesting) enough for everyone to be able to make all three. Also, by making two smaller projects, as opposed to three cards, it's faster for me to prepare & uses less supplies.

So the first project is a "love note." These are a great size, especially for 12" x 12" cardstock. They are 6" x 3" folded to make a cute 3" x3" card to tuck into a present, basket, etc. This one uses the Tea Party Designer Paper & coordinating Sweet Stems stamp colored in with markers. The Eyelet Border punch adds a pretty touch.

Next is an Easter card using Fifth Avenue Floral. So quick & easy but still looks fancy! The Easter Wishes stamp from the All Holidays set fits nicely into the Designer Label punch (which also coordinates with the Vanilla Hodgepodge Hardware). I find gluing the cardstock on the ribbon & then putting the frame OVER it is easier than trying to adhere the paper to the frame first. I used my paper piercer to punch holes in the ribbon for the brads (adhered the ribbon to the vanilla cardstock first too but before adhering the vanilla layer to the Tangerine layer).

The last project is a very simple candy topper. We used the new "Egg Hunt" wheel from the Occasions Mini over a Top Note die cut. Then we punched "eggs" from Designer Patterns paper with the large oval punch. I used the double rectangle punch to secure the ribbon. I used Sticky Strip to secure the bag to the paper--looks cleaner than staples. You could easily whip up a whole school class worth of these babies in no time!


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Faux Silk "Praying For You"

This is the card we did at our latest Technique Club using "Faux Silk." The stamp set is "Thoughts & Prayers,", which I think really lends itself well to this technique. To get this look, all you need is tissue paper (the kind used with gift bags) & a glue stick or other spreadable adhesive. First, stamp on the tissue paper--any kind of coloring works--you can even watercolor. I colored my stamp with markers. Then, crumple up the tissue & spread back out. Apply glue stick all over white cardstock & smooth the tissue over the cardstock (but not too smooth--you want the wrinkles to show). Next, you can either trim off the excess tissue or, like I did here, run your aquapainter or a wet brush along the edge of the cardstock & gently pull the tissue off. The second way gives it a "fiberish" look, for lack of a better word.

A couple of other details here--I dusted off my Color Spritzer tool to add a little visual interest & added glitter to the flowers. I simply used glue dots to keep the ribbon fold in place. & finally--notice the super-cute scalloped oval punch? Thought you might enjoy a sneak peek of an Occasions Mini Catalog offering (coming April 1)!

Monday, March 9, 2009

My Stampin' Space

I enjoy organizing my craft supplies as much as I enjoy using them. Since I really enjoy getting organizing ideas from other people, I thought I'd share what my craft room looks like in case it helps anybody else. My craft room is relatively small--about 10 x 9ft. It has two doors because it's between the kids' play room & a storage room. It's nice because I can put larger items (like my craft fair displays) in the storage room & stuff my kids would also use in the kids' craft area just outside my craft room. I know I'm REALLY lucky to have a room all of my own! When I first started papercrafting ten years ago, I lived in a little condo & everything I had for scrapbooking fit in one scrapbook box that I had to pull out to use (so yeah, this craziness didn't happen overnight). Now I can leave everything out & shut the door. I do like to tidy up AFTER I'm done with a project though. I took these pics in between projects so it's relatively clean.

When we moved to this house a year and a half ago, my craft room was the first room I completely set up (cuz if mama ain't happy, ain't no one happy!) I painted it Duron's "Sour Apple" because it pretty much matches SU!'s Gable Green, one of my favs. I also wanted a bright happy color since it's a basement room with only one little narrow window up high. The picture above is my main work space. I'm all about function at bargain prices over having everything matchy, matchy (since this room is out of the public eye). First off--join Freecycle! I've gotten so much through it--this IKEA desk for starters (the drawers hold my ink refills, most used tools, extra adhesives). Next, keep your mind open at yard sales (the office chair) & consignment shops (the wooden tape holder that I use for my ink pads). Then, look around your house for stuff you can repurpose (the little plastic shelf that I once had in a kitchen closet for mugs).

Sometimes, it is worth investing in specific products with a purpose. For example, I bought two 4 ft. folding tables at Costco. I put one on either side of the desk so I can swivel to different stations. On my left I can keep out my cutting mat & glass mat at all times & on my right I keep out my Table Top cutter & have space for my Big Shot. (The left table is in front of the furnace closet so I had to keep stuff there that I can move easily.)

Oh & the pink crates under the table? Those hold my scrapbook stuff in 12" x 12" plastic envelopes by theme (boy, girl, baby, Winter, etc.) I keep things like theme-specific paper, stickers & some embellishments in them.

I also bought specific "Rubbermaid Shelf Saver" cubes from Staples for my non-SU! markers (which came in their own container). They come in different configurations & can stack (click on the pic to see how I used them). I get hives spending money on that kind of thing, but they were worth it! My little SU! embellishment caddy is fantastic & fits perfectly on one of the cubes (earned it through SU!'s great rewards program).

This view shows the door leading into the kid's craft/play room. I hang my punches on that door in a shoe bag. The white shelf was repurposed from an old bathroom; the dark brown one is an old spice rack that I didn't have room for in the kitchen (perfect for embellishments). My SU! cardstock scraps are in the filing box (each color has its own hanging folder) below the table. The two tall IKEA shelves I got through Freecycle. The left one holds my SU! 12" x 12" cardstock, scrappin' kits & designer paper. One shelf has the current stuff & the top one is retired stuff. Then below that is all my Big Shot stuff. The right one holds all my non-SU! paper. The bottom shelves hold paper I let my kids play with, my scor-pal & light table (I still use the Disney one I got as a kid!) I have nice empty shelves because of the AMAZING display find I got this past weekend (more on that). On a side note--I've tried horizontal storage for my papers--had one of those tall wire racks too. However, I've found vertical storage to be better--it's easier for me to find stuff & takes up much less room. So--those Cropper Hopper paper storage things are another great investment.

Moving along--my back wall. The shelf is from IKEA (I actually bought this one!) I love this thing! It holds my 8 1/2" x 11" SU! paper (in super cheap IKEA cardboard holders--the Cropper Hopper 12 x 12 holders don't fit in this), magazines, etc. In the plastic shelves I have things like my Stickles, SU! wheels, non-SU! stamps & misc. I keep all my SU! glitter & embossing powders in Gladware containers (with a spoon) for easy use in two of the cubbies. My photos to be scrapped are in photo boxes up on top (away from my kids who would mess up their order!) but I keep photo boxes for each kid below that has cards & other memorabilia in them & binders for special school/art work (they love to pull them out). I have TONS of alpha stickers in page protectors in a large binder (all the way to the right, second cubby up)--I went to a "Craft" yard sale that I found on craigslist almost three years ago & bought the entire binder for $15 with a friend. I got lots of great deals that day--sigh, good times :-) Of course, that was just a few months before I joined SU!, so last year, I ended up selling a bunch of stuff at a craft yard sale myself (some things for more than I bought them for!--shh...).

On the table you can see another big investment--my Clip It Up for embellishments. It's been said often "out of sight, out of mind" because it is SO true! I indulged in this for my Birthday (cleared out two of those plastic drawer things & then some) & it ROCKS! It holds non-theme specific things that I might forget about (like dew drops, metal embellies, rub-ons, clear stamps, tags, borders, felt dies cuts, etc. etc. ) (Oh, & that random piece of rug on the floor is where my kids can lie down & color without coloring on the actual carpet. I learned that the hard way.) Finally, you'll notice a few items clipped up on the wire "wall" next to the table. THAT is part of my awesome weekend find....

This view into the closet shows the display rack I got this weekend at a Circuit City that was down to selling off its displays. $10!!! Wooo-hooo! It's a rolling stand that wire shelves attach to (I can roll it out to the play room if I have people over to stamp--so cool!) I laid cardboard down in the shelves & then put ALL my stamps in it (hence four new empty shelves!) There's still room too. The bottom shelf has retired stamps that I use most often for scrapbooking. Then I organize the rest by: Flowery, Kids, Seasonal, Sentiments, Backgrounds & Alphas. Those work for me. I have more retired stamps in the IKEA dresser in the closet itself (Freecycle again). So, if you see a going out of business sale--be sure to check out their displays!

This closet is my catch-all--mostly craft fair stuff, office supplies, SU! business supplies, etc. I even have a "jewelry" shelf for when I start that hobby (yeah, right). I took down the garment rod & put up two more wire shelves. I also removed the doors for more space. Yeah, it's cluttered-looking, but I don't look directly into it so it doesn't bother me.

Ok, so obviously I'm a collector & a bargain hunter. I do try to sell or trade things I'm not likely to use too. & I know I'm not alone :-)
Just let me know if you have another organizing question...


Monday, March 2, 2009

And a Princess Scrapbook Page!

Ok, I promise to retire the princess motif for awhile after this! I got such an affirming response to my "Princess Panorama" that I wanted to submit it to Stampin' Up! for one of their contests (I'm always open to winning stuff, y'know.) The problem was that I couldn't exactly mail them the project. So, I had the sneaky idea of making a scrapbook page OF it & submitting that! The contest category called for a scrapbook page with multiple photos so that seemed pretty appropriate. So wish me luck :-)

Basically, I just printed out pictures of my project & my daughter jumping on her bed & used the same supplies/techniques that I used for the panorama (thus, negating having to think very much!) I used circle punches to highlight details from the panorama. At first I was kind of going for "thought" bubbles to signify how my daughter inspired some of the details but in the end it doesn't really look that way. Still, it is an easy way to cram a lot of pics on a page.