Weekend update #4

Okay, I am getting most of the projects done that I had floating around in my brain. I’m thinking I am going to spread these posts out a bit this week so that they don’t get overwhelming. I hope I don’t annoy anyone with over-posting! Here is a quick little project that I wanted to do.

What is it you ask? It is a tiny, double-sided tag that I made for my sewing machine. Since I am a sewer I use my machine for both paper and for fabric. I use different needles for the two tasks and find myself forgetting which needle I last used in the machine! I made this little tag to leave under my presser foot to remind me which needle I have installed. I use the “F” side for fabric needles and the “P” side for paper needles. Before I was just using a scrap piece of paper with a big “F” and “P” on either side . This is going to make me much happier! Here you can see it in action.

Recipe
ink, cardstock: Stampin’ Up
stamp: Scraptivity (an old stamp I almost got rid of, silly me. I think I’ll be using it more often for texture on projects!)
sealant: modge podge
ribbon, pattern paper, alpha: stash scraps

Steps
I made my tag a-la Tim Holtz. I put a couple of drops of dye ink from 3 different colors onto a plastic sheet (leftover packaging!), misted, swirled a bit and then dragged my tags through the pool of color. Then gave it some distressing by inking the edges and stamping with some cool texture. I finished the whole thing off with a layer of modge podge for added durability (and another layer of texture dimension that isn’t showing up on camera).

If you need a label for something you keep forgetting, give this little tag a try.

Weekend update #1

I’m going to have a few updates for you this weekend. This first one is a Moxie Fab World Tuesday Trigger challenge to use the photo above to create some piece of paper goodness. The very first thing that came to my mind was a card. But I decided to think on it a while and go for something different. As my mind worked the flowers began to bring up other associations for me. I landed on the idea of IKEA. Those flowers are funky hip and it reminds me of many things in IKEA. As my mind worked on it some more I thought of all the funky lampshades IKEA has. I wanted to create a lamp shade, but not-a-lamp-shade and I came up with this hanging piece. It is just something to hang in a room to bring it some spunk. I used the Moxie Fab trigger photo both for this indirect inspiration and for the color palette and a big funky flower.

I tried to get some better lighting and photographs for you all, but no such luck. I’m still working on my photo and “studio” lighting so that I could get great pictures of my projects. The orange of the flower really is closer to the color of the ribbon than this photo makes it look. And the glitter edging the flower is a nice green color, not this dull edging it appears. Guess there is always something to work on in life.

I may put this piece along with a second companion piece up on Etsy. Or I may add some other funky decor items and donate them to a silent auction to benefit a homeschool charity. I’m not sure yet. I know they won’t stay with me since this really isn’t my style! LOL. I’m just not a funky, hip girl.  But it is kind of fun to play outside of the box once in a while.

Cupcake saga continues

My latest challenge from The Paper Variety was to make something involving a cupcake. Oh how perfect since I’ve spent the last two weeks in cupcake land. Well I couldn’t just submit the cupcakes that I already made. That wouldn’t be in the spirit of a crafty challenge. I had to figure out how to incorporate those cupcakes. I decided to make a cake plate out of paper to display my cupcakes in my scrap room. I’ve been decorating my scrap room in a “Creative Cafe” theme and these little delights will be displayed to spruce up my space. What better way to present paper cupcakes, than with a paper cake plate? So here it is…

I used my Gypsy & Cricut to design and cut the stand. If you really want all the complicated details read more below. The stand was a little off from what I had envisioned. If I feel up to it, I will enlarge the circle plate at the top to make it more in proportion to the size of the stand. Other than that, it was a fun project and a neat way to decorate my space.

Recipe:
I took the letter L from a font (can’t remember which one). I flipped it horizontally and welded the L and the upside down L together. Then I flipped this vertically and welded then together again for form half of the stand. I cut two stands–each was 4 layers of heavy cardstock glued together that all fit on one sheet of cardstock. I sliced a slit in each stand about half way down and then slid them together. I don’t know if any of that made sense. I really should have taken photos for a better description.

New Video

Hey everyone. I’m happy to report that I finally got to making my second video. I was waiting for a data cable to arrive in the mail so I could switch to using my regular video camera instead of the video feature on my still camera. I was hoping the quality would be better. It is a little better but I am still having some trouble with the auto-focus. I’m going to have to play with it some more.

So here is my fun video presenting how I made these sweet cupcakes from a previous post.

Valentine’s Day goodies

My kids’ homeschool group will be having a Valentine’s Day party next week so I thought we should get to work on their “cards.” Most years we (I!) really do just make cards. But this year I wanted to do something that would be a little less time consuming. I was inspired by three things this time around.

  1. Paper Crafts Magazine did an article about making photo Valentine’s and I though that would be a great time saver to just print multiple copies, trim and go. And I’d save even more time since I wouldn’t have to sit down with three kids and get them to write their names on each of 30-40 cards. It is obvious who the card is from by the photo! Whew. Big time saver!
  2. Creating Keepsakes Magazine did an article a while back on using the white space in photos to journal on. I had my kids purposefully create me some white space to write our Valentines day message. I just cut the largest heart I could with the Plantin Schoolbook cartridge on my Cricut and had them hold it while I took their pictures.
  3. Finally, The Paper Variety gave us this little photo to draw inspiration from.

So using all those inspiration pieces I came up with the above goody bags. I photographed each child holding up the heart and cropped the photo to 4×3 so I could fit two up on a 4×6 print. I then overlayed the heart with our message in a font called Plastique. I then cut some brackets on my Cricut (Blackletter cart) and ahered to the photo. Then the photo is placed on a topper card that is cut to 4.25 x 5.5 and folded in half. The photo extends above the topper card but I like it that way.

Enjoy!

Make something yummy challenge

As I’ve said before I have a plan for prettying up my scrap space. For a long time I have had a sketch on my cork board of my “Creative Cafe” complete with awning, welcome sign and menu plaque. In keeping with the food theme I created a pink cake box and placed it on an actual bakers rack that holds my printers & some supplies. I didn’t post a picture of the box because it didn’t turn out well. But what I do have a photo for you of are these yummy cupcakes…

I created these both to fit with my new room theme and to enter the Make Something Yummy challenge over at My Pink Stamper. To create the cupcake wrapper I used a pattern that was in the Jan/Feb ’11 issue of Paper Crafts Magazine (and available for download here). I then ran the wrapper through my paper crimper, starting from the middle and doing each side separately. This helps the crimping to stay as straight as it can be. I used my Cricut to cut a 4″ circle and fringed the entire edge of the circle in about 1″. Adding a line of adhesive from my ATG gun all around the fringe, and across the entire surface, I then maneuvered the circle to fit inside the top of the wrapper. This gave me a solid base to adhere my ribbon to. I  twisted and folded my ribbon as I wound it around the cupcake to create fluffy icing. I topped it off with a rich pink button threaded with green twine for that sweet cherry on top.

So go whip up some of your own crafty cupcakes. Enjoy!

Crafting with my son

My son was part of a Lego Robotics team under the parent organization First Lego League. His team won 3rd place in the local qualifying tournament with the opportunity to advance to the state tournament. We went to state this past Saturday. At the tournament, FLL was celbrating its 20th year and the state organization, ORTOP was celebrating its 10th anniversary. They asked the kids to make some kind of celebratory hat for the occasion. After starting one type of hat, my son changes his mind and wanted to make a birthday cake hat. So we pulled out the Gypsy and Cricut and he designed this festive hat. Hope you enjoy.

Recipe

cardstock: DCWV sticky back 12×24 pad, Stampin’ Up, stash
die cuts: Cricut (Plantin Schoolbook and A Child’s Year)
ink: Stampin’ Up

Craft Room Decorating & My Pink Stamper Challenge

Hey everyone. I wanted to share this project with you today. I made these sweet photo flowers for two reasons. The first is that I am on a mission to decorate my craft space. Since I work in the unfinished basement I don’t have the prettiest of spaces. As you can see here, my craft table faces the furnace and water heater. I LOVE my space but I am getting tired of looking at the utilities. So, I’m starting to do something about it! Then today Robyn, over at My Pink Stamper, posted a message saying she is looking for 2 members for the next term of her design team. In order to apply for the position I have to create an item following her challenge: use the cricut and the colors of pink, green and brown. So I decided to create a room decor item to spice up my space. Keep reading and I’ll show you how I made these flowers and give you some ideas of what else you can do with them!

Recipe

  • cardstock: Bazzill and Stampin’ Up
  • pattern paper: Stampin’ Up and Hot Off The Press
  • spray inks: Tattered Angels & Clear Snap
  • die products: Circut using Plantin Schoolbook
  • foam adhesive: Therm O Web

Steps

1.  Use the cricut to cut your photos into 2″ circles. There are other ways to do this, but this is my favorite method. Choose photos that have the focal image that is about 2.25″ square. Next, create a template that you will use to line up and cut your photos. To make the template, place a scrap piece of cardstock carefully along the guide edges on the upper right of your mat. This part is important because it is going to help you line up your photos correctly. Load your mat, paying attention to where your mat sits flush when you load it (mine sits more to the left of the little guide bump). Insert your mat, choose the circle from the Plantin Schoolbook cartridge and cut once at 2″ (I used the real size feature to be sure my circle is really 2″). Unload the mat. Carefully lift up the top right corner and slip your photo underneath. Move the photo around until it fits how you like within the circle template. Be sure to trim off any of the photo that overhangs the mat! Lift away the template. Load your mat just like you did when you cut the template, then cut that 2″ circle again. Remove your photo, replace your template carefully on the guide lines and repeat this process for each photo you want to cut.

2.  Choose papers for your flowers. I decided to make the flowers have two layers with a center circle to hold the photo. I chose pink papers for the girls in the family and green papers for the boys with brown paper for the center. Each flower has a solid cardstock as the bottom layer and a pattern paper as the top layer. I cut the flowers at 5.25″ and the center brown circles at 2.5″ again using real dial to be sure they come out the size I expectt. Everything then got a good spray of shimmery inks. While the pieces were still wet I crumpled them up and then smoothed them back out to give them more texture. After they dried I assembled everything, using pop dots to lift up the center of the flower just a bit.

3.  I decided to mount these flowers on the edge of the furnace ducts. The sheet metal of the ducts will act as a nice backdrop for the flowers. I used one of my favorite products, 3M Command Hooks velcro-type strips, to attach the flowers to the ducts. That way if I get tired of the flowers or the placement I can remove the 3M strips from the items and move or replace them. The 3M strips have a removable adhesive that can be replaced with refill adhesive strips. Below you can see what the strips look like and how the look mounted to the ducting. And finally you can see how all the flowers look all lined up.

If you don’t have ugly ducts you need to hide, you could mount these straight to a wall, use them in a scrapbook page or how about this idea… Attach each flower to a colored craft stick and add a leaf (also from Plantin Schoolbook). Then stand all these in a shallow vase with foam in the bottom. Add a ribbon to the vase and display this never-wilt bouquet!

I hope I have inspired you to create some home decor item! And I’ll keep you posted with photos as I add on to my furnace camouflage project!

This weeks busy work

Every year I think I am going to get it together way ahead of time and every year I don’t. I either just delay or come up with inspiring ideas at the last minute. This year it was a little of both… I delayed on my Christmas cards and came up with inspiring ideas for small gifts for friends at the last minute. So here is what I made this week.

First off, I finished off my Little Book of Thanks album that I had showed you the beginnings of. Just wanted to let you see how I finished the inside. I put a photo of each family member opposite their personal word of thanks. Then I went online and found a quote that in some way fit that persons personality and added it to the opposite page.

Next…Christmas cards! I desgined these on the Gypsy and had a bunch of fun doing it. It was also nice that I could just attend the Cricut when it needed loaded/unloaded. All the other work (cutting all those elements!) was done for me while I worked on other things. Because I used just cardstock and a little stickles these cards cost me less than $2 to make 14 lovely, handmade cards. (Yeah, I know it doesn’t take the cost of the tools into account but that is another story!)

Then…9 votive candle holders out of vellum. I scored some really cheap electric votive candles at Big Lots before Halloween and then sat staring at them deciding what to make. Then inspiration struck! I used alcohol ink to blend a background, stamped my favorite trees (from Stampin’ Up) on there with StazOn, added a date stamp and a snowflake cut on the Cricut. Elegant yet simple.

And Finally, these little cocoa treat pouches. Again, designed on the gypsy and left to cut elements out while I was working on 0ther things!

More Advent

So I have been busy working on various craft projects for the holidays. I wanted to show you the finished results of the Advent projects I worked on. First off we have the rest of the earrings my daughter and I made. She managed to design and put together a couple of pairs all on her own.

The earrings, along with our other Advent goodies have taken their place on our Advent wall. You’ll notice a bunch of little boxes hanging on a card on the right side of the photo. Those are boxes I created several years ago. This year we filled them with the earrings.

The other elements of our advent wall: a Countdown to X-mas sign, advent note cards for my son, and down on the bottom right, large envelopes hanging on a binder ring. You can see an example of how the envelopes are simply decorated since a few are sitting up on the mantel. The envelopes are filled with resurrected Playmobil toys that we dug out of storage. They belonged to my older two children and now they are being passed on to the youngest in her Advent calendar.

A detail shot of  the countdown sign. This was one of the first projects I used playing with my new Gypsy. It was great to weld letters together to create a continuous phrase instead of gluing individual letters down!

I added a Merry Christmas tag to the bottom of the advent boxes since the original one was missing.

The note cards below I made for my oldest. He said this year he didn’t really need an advent calendar. He is at that age where toys are much less appealing (unfortunately he has moved onto expensive video games!) I was just happy that he didn’t get caught up in the greedy “they get something, so how come I don’t” mentality. He was very mature and understanding. But I still wanted to do something for him. So I made these note cards. Each day has a little message tucked into it. Some are just love notes and some are “treats” (like staying up late). I enjoyed making it and I think he is enjoying finding what his message will be each morning.

Happy holidays to everyone, in whatever way you might celebrate them!