5/9/11

They say it’s your birthday…

Ok, maybe not your birthday, but it was Emogene’s birthday recently. I wanted to make something cool, something unusual, something that would make her smile.

I know - a tri-shutter card covered with glittery dots, owls with party hats, and a great big birthday cake! That’s just the ticket!

I saw the idea on DarleneDesigns.com blog and changed it up a bit.

I dusted off my Silhouette to cut out the birthday cake. I cut 4 cakes – brown, pink, blue, and yellow – and used the pieces that were cut out of the blue, pink and yellow to put in the cut out parts of the cake. The white dots are made with a white gel pen. I almost got too carried away with that, but I think I stopped just in time. Did I go one (or ten) dot(s) too far?

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Here it is partially open. I used yellow Stickles for the candle flame and put a little green pom pom on one owl’s party hat.

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Open all the way. Baker’s twine for the balloon strings and googlie (sp?) eyes for the owl’s eyes. All of those tiny pieces that get punched with the owl punch are too much trouble to use for the eyes, and i like the googlie eyes better anyway. The hats were cut out of some patterned paper that had a banner design on it. I just used the banner pieces for hats. The owl bellies and balloons are patterned paper, too. The sentiment is stamped inside a Gina K Designs stamp that coordinates with the Nestabilities. Love her stamps! The little cupcake circles are made with a Tonic punch, then punched out with a circle punch, and popped up on some foam adhesive.

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Here’s a close up of the cake. Chocolate, of course.

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I had a lot of fun making this card and Emogene said she really enjoyed getting it – mission accomplished. It even arrived intact – no eyes crushed or missing. Good job, PO.

I really do need to use my Silhouette more often. There are so many pretty designs and it’s easy to use, I don’t know why I don’t use it more. I tried to cut this cake design by hand and wasted several pieces of paper before I decided to look in my Silhouette library to see if I had something that would work. Bingo - this is exactly what I had in mind. I should poke around in there some more, there’s no telling what I might find.

5/8/11

The best card ever!

While I was at Stamper’s Alley yesterday, working at the used stamp sale, my beautiful and talented daughter got to work in my craft room. She made a card for Mother’s Day for me!! She chose the papers, measured, cut, stamped, embossed, punched, and embellished her way to a gorgeous card and I am SO proud of her. She has made cards before, but usually with a little help from me. She made this one all on her own.

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I love how she put the gems in a little semi circle under the sentiment. I would have lined them up in a straight line. She’s creative that way :-). It’s hard to see in the photo but the paper has glittery stripes on it and there’s lots of my favorite color – purple! Green and purple is one of my favorite color combinations, too. She said she was going to add a ribbon but had everything stuck down before she remembered that. That’s ok  -I love it just the way it is.

I think she is wonderful and I will treasure this card forever! We need to make more cards together, she will help me think a little more out of the box, I do believe.

Happy Mother’s Day ladies!

5/4/11

Product Review

I recently won some crafty products from Elmer’s and X-acto from the Letters & Journals blog, and decided to post a review of them here. It was a really nice size box of goodies – I love getting packages in the mail!

The decorative scissors are sharp and cut very well. I tried them on Bazzill card stock as well as a lighter weight and they performed well on both. These are designs I would use a lot on card edges and layers. I know we all have some of these types of scissors lurking around our craft rooms, and they are probably pretty lonely. Since so many of the new dies do the same thing it is easy to forget about the scissors, but I do find that when I just need a quick decorative edge on something, these are just the thing. I like ‘em!

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I also love the retractable craft knife. It’s easy to use, feels good in my hand and cuts like buttah! I have several other craft knives and I really like that this one is retractable. I can retract the blade and put it in my crafty tote without worrying about getting my finger sliced open when I grab it, or toss it into the bucket that holds my tools on my craft table and not worry that the tip will get bent. It is refillable with a standard #11 blade, too.

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The Glue Spots work just like regular Glue Dots, are about the same size as the regular Glue Dots, and perform every bit as well. I stuck a rather large button down using just one of them and it is still stuck. The come on a waxy paper roll and are easy to use.

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The tape runner is like a lot of tape runners, is not as permanent as claimed. I adhered 2 pieces of plain cardstock together with it and after an hour or so, I could still peel them apart. Disappointing.

On the other hand, the glue stick performed much better than I expected! I haven’t used glue sticks for a long time because of their tendency to not stick very well, but these work quite well. Again, 2 pieces of plain card stock adhered together, after just a few minutes I was not able to peel them apart without ripping the paper.

The Tacky Glue is nice. I used it to adhere some Flower Soft and it works really well. It does tend to warp the paper when used on card stock, and the tip is a little larger than I’d like it to be for use with small punched pieces. The best way to use it for those would be to squeeze some out and use a toothpick to apply it to the piece. the adhesion is quite good, too.

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I love the cutting mat! The color is perfect, I do love pink, and it has just the right amount of measurements on it for me. Some cutting mats are hard to use because they have lines going everywhere and they are just plain confusing. The mat had a sticker on it, which peeled right off, but left a slight sticky residue. Goo Gone took that right off and didn’t mess up the lines on the mat at all. I tried using some window cleaner on it first and although it didn’t remove the residue, it also had no effect on the lines. This will be staying on my craft table from now on.

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The circle cutter was another disappointment, I’m afraid. I had high hopes for it. There are no instructions on the packaging at all. It comes with a center point protector, a little round hard plastic disc with a rubberized circle on one side, to protect the paper from the point of the circle cutter. I tried it with and without this and maybe it’s operator error, but I couldn’t cut a decent circle no matter what I tried. I will see if I can find more information on their site or even a video, and do some more tests. The Letters & Journals blog gave it high marks, so apparently I am not doing something right.

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The gel pens are…well….gel pens. They write fairly well, but do tend to skip a little now and then. There are 18 pretty colors in the package, including a couple of gold and silver pens, which would be great for writing on darker card stock. Those actually wrote pretty smoothly.

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I only opened the white Painters Marker to test it on some black card stock. Since these are the calligraphy markers, they have a good size chiseled tip, which doesn’t really work for me as far as using it in place of white gel pens for smaller dots and lines. But it is very opaque and would work well for posters and such – which is what they are meant for anyway. They do come in different size tips, so a bullet tip would work well for cards.

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They also sent me some Bi-Fold Foam Core board and photo corners, which are not shown here. The foam core board is 12” x 18”, folded into 12” x 9” in the package. It looks like it is about 1/4” thick, is lightweight and rigid. The photo corners are self-stick, black and silver, and come in a nice little dispenser box.

A big Thank You to Letter & Journals for choosing me, you can see their evaluation of the products here. Another big Thank You to Elmer’s and X-acto for providing all of these great goodies. All in all I was pretty pleased with them. I was in Wal-Mart yesterday and I noticed that they do carry this line of products. I haven’t seen them at Michael’s and I’m not sure about AC Moore carries them or not.