Sunday, August 12, 2012

Awesome GIVEAWAY!!

This giveaway is valued at almost $200 and would be AWESOME!  Winning this would make me one happy crafter! :o)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Wedding Card

This past weekend I attended a dear friend's wedding so, naturally, I had to make her a card.  I mean, what kind of a card maker would I be if I went back to buying them at the store? ;o)

My goal was to create something simple and elegant.  I recently purchased a really nice matstack from Die Cuts with a View that includes several glitter pieces.  I found one in a two-toned grey damask print that I felt really had a wedding feel to it and I adhered that to the front of my card base after trimming it down.

For my focal image I used another piece of cardstock from that same matstack, except this one was a plain light grey.  I trimmed it down to 2" by 2.75", the same size as my mini Cuttlebug folder.  I used one of the folders from the Wedding Marriage set, and ran it through my Cuttlebug (yes I DID finally get a Cuttlebug.  I will have to do a blog post about all the nifty things I've recently gotten!). 

Then I got to play with some of my new heat embossing toys, err, tools to add the sentiment.  I used a stamp from the Fiskars "Toss the Bouquet" clear stamp set that simply said "Congrats!", stamped it with VersaMark ink, then used Zing! silver metallic embossing power and my heat tool. 

To finish off the focal image, I then rounded the corners very slightly and matted it on a piece of grey cardstock that was slightly darker than the image.  I mounted this to the card front with 1/4" dimensional adhesive.  I felt there was just something missing, so I added a Martha Stewart white mini pearl to the four corners of the focal image.  The front of the card ended up looking like this.

Unfortunately I really don't have a good enough camera to take the great pictures I would like, so you really can't even see the glitter in the background paper, but I think it looks much fancier in person.  Here's a close up of the focal image:

For the inside I simply mounted a piece of the same paper I created the focal image with on the right hand side.  I did this for two reasons.  One, the card base wasn't as thick as I would have liked so it really made the card sturdier.  And two, it was a lighter color than the card base, therefore making it easier to read the message I ended up writing on it.  Since I was pretty plain, I also applied Martha Stewart mini pearls to the four corners here as well.

This card was a "money" card, so I actually ended up creating a pocket on the inside left using another piece of the glitter paper that I had used for the outside.  I just cut it down to be 4.25" by 3" and rounded just one corner.  This technique is also good if you're giving a gift card instead of cash.  Just remember to only apply adhesive on two of the sides (I put it on the left side and the bottom).  When it was mounted to the inside it looked like this:

The one last step to complete the card was to add one of the stamps from a set from My Sentiments Exactly that are designed for the back of a card.  I used VersaMark ink and Zing! black embossing powder to add my cheeky touch.

Now I just hope my friend liked it when she opened it!

Happy crafting!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Curious George birthday invitations

Yikes, yikes,'s been far TOO long since my last post.  Being a single mom who works full-time apparently doesn't leave much room for crafting and blogging! LOL  Then throw in a sick baby (who shared his germs nicely with Mama) and you just have no energy to create.

However, somewhere in there I did finally start on the invitations to my son's FIRST birthday party!  I cannot believe that he will be one next month.  It's just crazy.  For those of you who know me (and I realize that's probably most of my readers) you know just how far he's come.  Having started out at just 3 pounds and spending 8 weeks in the hospital to where he is now is just amazing.  He will be OVER 20 pounds by his birthday!  I just love my little chunky monkey with all of my heart! :o)

So, I decided on the theme of Curious George for his birthday.  I knew that I wanted to print the actual invitations on velum and have that backed by cardstock, but honestly, I have never printed on velum so I was a bit nervous as to how it was going to come out.  I also had a vision of attaching a small banana shaped button at the top to hold it all together.  Over the course of the past several months I've had this vision in my head as to how I wanted them to come out, but didn't really know if my ideas could come together.  I snapped some pictures to show you my process.

First I designed the worded part of the invitation in Microsoft Word.  I found an image of Curious George that I thought was fun and would look really cute on the invitations and put that in the middle of the text.  Then I wrote the text around the image. 

Next came the actual printing of the invitations onto the velum.  I did a lot of reading as to the best way to do this but I think I was really making a bigger deal out of it than it needed to be.  The process went very smoothly and they printed beautifully.  The one "trick" I found and did use was to change my printer setting to "transparency".  I can't say whether this really made a difference though, since I didn't try it any other way.

Then I knew I needed to be able to mail these, so they needed to fit into the envelopes that I have (standard business size), so I knew how big I could make the cardstock backing (4inches x 9.5 inches).  I actually added 1 inch to the length so I could fold an inch over to make the top flap that would hold the velum.  It looked like this:

Then I lined up the text on the velum so it was in the middle of the cardstock and used my ATG to glue it down.  Then I also glued the cardstock flap down.

Then I flipped it over and used Scotch tape to tape the cardstock to the velum, just to hold it in place while I cut off the excess velum.

Then I just peeled off the little bit of tape that was still on the cardstock.  Thankfully I didn't have any issues with it ripping the cardstock.  I had kind of "unstuck" it before I put it on there anyway buy putting my fingerprints on to remove some of the tack.  After that I rounded to bottom corners with my Martha Stewart corner rounder punch.

After that I glued some yellow ric rack along the edge of the flap.  When I took these pictures (which was the first batch of invitations) I had used Mod Podge for this step.  This worked fine, although it's not the easiest to put on (I ended up using a wooden skewer and rubbing it along the edge) and it bleeds through the ric rack and makes it kind of "crispy" when it dries.  For my second batch I picked up some Tombo Mono Multi Glue which worked a lot better.  First, it has a nice tiny tip so you can apply it to your project straight from the bottle, and second you don't end up with "crispy" ribbon!  But I only have a pic with the Mod Podge.

Just one last step, and that is attaching a cute little banana button in the middle of the top.  See?  Isn't it cute?

At first I thought I'd punch a hole in the top of the invitation and tie a ribbon through the loop on the back of the button, but that proved to be "fruitless" (hahaha...I couldn't resist).  Actually the loop on the button wasn't big enough to go through that many layers so it just looked weird.  So, instead I snipped it off and just adhered the button straight to the invitation with some E6000.

Over all I think it came out very cute.  It wasn't exactly how I had envisioned it, but it still is cute.  The only thing that I don't like is that it's somewhat difficult to see the words "Curious" and "George" since they are in yellow and backed with the brown cardstock.  Also I should have probably used a higher weight cardstock, but now I know for next time.  Live and learn!

Next I hope to show you a wedding card I just made.  Hopefully it won't take me another month to post it!

Happy crafting!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

What I Want - Heat Embossing

In last weeks "What I Want Wednesday" post I showed you the Cricut Cuttlebug and talked about its ability to die cut and emboss.  What the Cuttlebug does is actually called DRY embossing.  There is another type of embossing called HEAT embossing.  Both techniques give you somewhat similar results in the end, in that your paper is embossed with an image, however there are some differences that make having the ability to dry AND heat emboss ideal.

To do heat embossing you need a few tools.  You need some sort of an embossing medium, usually in the form of either an "ink" pad (a lot of people call it ink, but in my mind it's not really ink because, when I think of ink I think of color, and it usually stamps clear) or in a pen (which is the exact same stuff as what's on the pad, just in pen form).  In my travels, I've mostly seen the brand VersaMark used, however I'm sure there are other brands out there.

You also need some embossing powder.  The powder comes in many colors and will dictate what color your image is when it's set.

Again, this is just one brand of powder.  There are many other brands of embossing powders out there in lots of colors and textures.  Some are matte and some are very sparkly.  It just depends on what look you are trying to achieve.

The last thing you need to heat the heat!  You need a handy dandy little tool that looks somewhat similar to a hair dryer, just a different shape.  Actually there are certain versions of them that do look exactly like those little hair dryers that you usually find attached to the wall in a hotel bathroom because, again, there are several brands to chose from.

Once you have all of these, relatively inexpensive tools, you're ready to start heat embossing!  The only other thing you really need are some rubber or acrylic stamps of images that you want to emboss on your projects.  Someday when I have the ability to heat emboss I'll probably do a video demonstration and add it to my blog, but until then you can search for videos on YouTube to see just how easy it is.  Then you will know why I want to be able to heat emboss!  It adds a lot of "specialness" to your projects with very little effort.

Happy crafting!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Temporarily sidetracked

Yikes, yikes,'s been too long since my last post!  Regretably it's also been too long since I've been creative. :o(  I know this blog is supposed to be all about crafting, but to add a little bit of my personal story for a minute, it's been a crazy week!

I am a single mother to a fabulous (almost) 10 month old little boy.  He came 10 weeks early and spent 8 weeks in the hospital, therefore, I'm now a staunch supporter of the March of Dimes.  This past weekend our team participated in our very first March for Babies and raised a total of $1603, so as you can imagine I have been busy fundraising and then making sure everything was done in time for the walk.  It was a great day and I can't wait until next year, but I'm kind of glad it's over.  Phew!

Now I'm going to have to switch gears and focus on my son's FIRST birthday party!  I'm very excited about that too!  I have lots of crafty ideas and will be making the invitations and some of the decorations (hopefully) so I am planning on posting about those in the near future.

I made a few Mother's Day cards, but stupidly only took photos of one of them before I sent them out.  On top of that, I had the brilliant idea, albeit too late, to photograph the process of making the card, so that's my plan for the future.  I haven't put the photos of the card on my computer yet, so until then, here's a picture of my 30 week miracle to tide you over!

I'll update this with the photos and info on how I made the Mother's Day cards when I get a second (and I'm not at work!).  Until then, happy crafting!


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

What I Want Wednesday

Last Wednesday I did a "What I Love" and this week I'm going to do a "What I Want" (which is a huge list, so that gives me LOTS of ammo for future posts!).

Anyway...after watching countless YouTube videos of crafty ladies, I've really been wanting an embossing machine.  I've been doing a lot of research, some on YouTube and some reading reviews, and I've been eyeballing the Cricut Cuttlebug.

Besides having the cutest name ever, this little machine can really do some cool things.  Not only can it emboss your paper and cardstock, but you can use cutting dies and also cut shapes from your paper.  And the real cool thing is that it works with ANY brand of dies that are out there now.  Of course there is the ones made especially for the Cuttlebug, but there are also other brands that will work too (probably the most popular being the Spellbinders Nestibilities I'd guess).

But I'm really interested in it's embossing capabilities.  The embossing folders look like this:

They are, in fact, folders, in that they are connected on one end and open on the other.  You place your paper or cardstock inside it, run it through the Cuttlebug, and it comes out looking like this:

This example is obviously not made with the folder shown (and it's NOT a card I made...because I don't YET have a Cuttlebug!), but you get the idea.  See how such a simple design can be so beautiful?  NOW do you know why I want one?

I've discovered a website that sells all Cricut related products at greatly reduced price.  The Cuttlebug retails at many stores for around $90, but I found it for just $40.  Um, yeah, I don't think there's really too much of an excuse to NOT get one now!

What's on YOUR wish list?

Happy crafting,

Sunday, May 6, 2012

My first challenge submission

I took a little break from blogging yesterday to attend a family gathering.  We've recently had an influx of babies born into the family (one of them being mine, who is 9 months old) so it was sort of a "meet and greet" of the babies.  But I guess it was kind of ironic that I didn't get to do much scrapping on National Scrapbook Day!

I DID, however, get a card made for a giveaway contest on Above Rubies Studio.  The challenge was to create a card (or scrapbook layout) to "make someone's day", so really no specific meaning, just something that might brighten the receiver's day.  Megan, the founder of ARS, also had a request to include the colors yellow and grey (or at least one of those colors).  I don't really have much in the way of greys, but I was able to include quite a bit of yellow).

Here's what I came up with:

I saw this "pinwheel" technique on YouTube (I can't remember who I got it from off the top of my head, but I can look it up and update that later) and have been dying to try it ever since.  As it looked, it WAS super easy and I think it came out really cute.  I got the patterned paper from JoAnn's and it's one of my favorites.  I just think it's so cute.

To make the sentiment mat I used a rub-on from a Making Memories sticker/rub-on pack that says "You are my sunshine".  I wanted to dress it up a little bit (and I didn't have thin red ribbon, or I would have used that) so I hand cut one of the bees and ladybugs from a scrap of the paper.  Then I hand drew in the little "bee trail".  I think it came out pretty cute.  Here's a close up of the sentiment:

Clearly I need to set up some sort of "photo studio" to have a better place to take photos, but this is what I've got for now!

This is a really simple card, so I'm doubting that I will win the challenge, but it was definitely fun to make it.  I envision many more pinwheels to come as they are quite versatile and you can change the mood, theme, and use just by changing the colors.

What do you think?

Happy crafting!