1/26/12

Another CASE

By now I think we are all painfully aware that I don’t have any original ideas of my own anymore, and when I saw this card on the I’m in Haven blog I just had to give it a try. There are more of her wonderful creations I will be CASEing using for inspiration in the future, I love her stuff! Have a look around and I bet you will be inspired, too.

My first try failed miserably and it is now in the round file. I thought (hahaha) that I could draw straight lines without the aid of a straightedge. Um, no. So I got out my ruler and the second one turned out pretty fair, even if the lines are still a little crooked -or maybe it’s the angle of the photograph - yeah, that’s it, bad angle. Seriously.

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Fewer lines, different size flowers, and less bling, but I liked it alright.  Last night while I was trying to get to sleep…ok, tossing and turning…I had a brilliant idea. I have a Penny Black background stamp that I haven’t used yet and it has lots of lines and dots. No more ruler! That’s right up my alley - easy. I happened to remember this brilliant thought this afternoon so I got busy. I like this one very much better. For once, I was able to successfully bring to life the concept in my head, rather than beating my head against the proverbial wall for hours on end.

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I stamped it on textured card stock so I had to fill in most of the dots with a black marker but all in all it was much easier. More lines, more bling, and different placement of the flowers. The black dots in the center of the flowers are from a sheet of Halloween rain dot-type stickers from the big M that I’ve had for quite some time. I ran the colored pieces through the Swiss Dot Cuttlebug folder for a little texture, added some gems… done! The front is popped up on some foam tape for a little dimension. No sentiment, which means I can use it for almost any occasion.

I was also inspired by this post on Leslie’s blog a few days ago but I am sad to say that the results were not as good. I tried several times, swore at all of my corner rounders - why can’t they REALLY round the corner instead of leaving little sharp bits on the edges??? - cut up more than a couple of pieces of paper, tossed one version and finally decided to keep this one:

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I gotta tell you, I am not crazy about it. See those corners? Click on the image to see it larger, if you dare. Ugh! I even trimmed and sanded them, which should not be necessary. It didn’t help much. At least the papers go together well enough. But I still don’t like it. I was hoping for a relatively quick and easy card. Ha! This one took longer than the other two put together.

If anyone has a suggestion for getting rounder (more round?) corners, I’m all ears. I tried the Zutter, EK Success (both sizes) and Fiskars corner punches, and they all did the same thing. Now, I could understand if my paper was not perfectly square but I punched the squares with a square punch. No, I did not check for square but I hope the punch would be more accurate than cutting them on a paper trimmer (which I also tried). Manufacturers….are you listening? Please, please, please….make a good corner rounding punch. You will sell a million of them if they work better than these do. Is that too much to ask? I think not.

1/24/12

A little reorganization

Not a lot, just a wee bit. You see, I have lots of Memory Box, My Favorite Things and some Taylored Expressions dies. I wasn’t happy with the way I had them stored, in little plastic zippered baggies with the name written on the baggie with a Sharpie. I totally forgot to photograph that before I changed it all, but I think you get the picture. It wasn’t very inspiring at all. This way I can flip through and actually SEE what I have. What a concept! I’m sure I will use them more now that I can see them.

Leslie had a reorganizational post on her blog recently and then I saw Dixie’s lovely stamping space and I decided enough is enough, there has to be a better way. Here is what I came up with. It looks a little messy but it is so much better than the previous storage, it was just hard to get a good photo.

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I cut some card stock to 2.5 x 4.25, and some a little larger for the bigger dies, die cut each one,adhered them to the front, and labeled them.

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On the back is a magnet to hold the dies, since they are, of course, metal. I had one smallish sheet left but I saved all of those magnets from the front of the phone books, newspapers, wherever I could find them, and used those as well. I adhered them to the card stock with my ATG - I love that thing!

I was able to cut one set of dies apart with my trusty Tim Holtz scissors, too. The one on the left is from My Favorite Things and the flowers were all one die. But I didn’t want them to stay that way, and I had seen on a couple of other blogs that people had cut apart some Papertrey dies, so I gave it a shot. It’s not easy at all and it was a little scary - what if I ruined the die?? But I persevered and Voila!, separated flowers. The leaves are just too small to cut apart. I need to find a metal file for the sharp edges but in the meantime I will just be careful.

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Yep, there’s my little helper again. The black fuzzy thing in the upper right corner…little kitty toes.

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He’s checking the placement of the lighting, I think. He’s such a sweetie, but he is everywhere!

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I hope this is some info you can use, and thanks for coming by!

I never thought I would say this…

but I love glitter. Well, Glitter Ritz glitter, at least. Ever since I saw the sample at Stamper’s Alley I can’t stop glittering things, mostly the Maribelle Butterfly die cut from Memory Box. It is a huge die cut that takes up almost the whole card front, but with some glitter and a little Copic marker coloring….I am in love.

See what I mean? Just look at all that sparkle! How could I resist?

This is the one that started it all. I was going to save it as a sample of the Copic colors but decided to put it on a card instead. I used YR18, YR15, YR38 and Y17, the Memory Box Ringed Buckle die and a stamp by Outlines from the Posy Greeting Centers set.

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So I thought, why not try some blues and greens? I colored this one with Tombow markers 195, 133, 173, 452, 493, and 451, and added a few gems and pearls here and there.

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More blue and green with Copics again - B05 and G05, I think - I forgot to write them down. Sizzix embossing folder, no bling.

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Copics BG01 and YG01 for this one, and a little blinginess. I’m still working on randomly placing the gems and pearls. I’ve seen it on a lot of cards lately and I love the look, but it’s not as easy to achieve as one might think. I think I like this look best, it’s a little more subtle.

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I did have a little help with these photos. My trusty assistant, Sheldon, was giving me photo tips. He’s such a helpful kitty.

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Thanks for stopping by and I have an organizational post for tomorrow. Or maybe today. You never know.

1/17/12

Glitter and Copics and Stickers, oh my!

When I was at Stamper’s Alley last week I saw a gorgeous little cupcake image, all glittered up and colored with Copics. I couldn’t figure out how it was done, so I asked Brenda and she spilled the beans. Stamper’s Alley will soon be having a class on these wonderful new products and if you are in the area you really should stop in a sign up.

The glitter is a micro fine glitter named Glitter Ritz. It is super sparkly and once it is applied correctly it doesn’t come off all over everything like most glitters. I found some jars of this wonderful stuff at Claire’s in St. Augustine when I was there a few months ago, and I am so glad that Brenda will be carrying it at Stamper’s Alley! I also bought the gold stickers at Claire’s and the black sticker is from my sticker stash, it’s by Magenta.

Check out this glittery goodness:

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These two are the same image, I just tried to get a better shot of the glitter. I colored this one with Tombow markers since the sticker is gold and I am not careful enough to keep the Copic markers away from the sticker.

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This one was colored with Copic markers! OVER the glitter! I know!!

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Again, colored with Copic markers but this is a die cut (Memory Box) instead of a sticker.

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I bet you wanna know how I did it, don’t you? Should I tell?? Oh, alright, but you have to promise to keep it between us. Promise?

First I applied Scor Tape to a piece of white card stock, then either punched out a circle or trimmed close to the die cut by tracing around the die cut image. I removed the protective liner from the Scor Tape and applied the sticker or die cut, making sure that they were stuck down really well. Then I applied the glittery goodness and rubbed/burnished it in with my finger until no more glitter came off. It feels like velvet, it’s very soft to the touch once it is burnished down. And mucho sparkly!

I got out my markers and got to coloring! You need to be careful with the Copic markers and not to linger too long in one spot or the alcohol in the marker will cause the adhesive under the glitter to dissolve and the glitter will fall off. The colors blend so well that a lot of blending is not really necessary. The pink flower at the top was colored with Tombow markers and they take a few minutes to dry but they blend really well, too. Maybe my Tombow markers won’t be so lonely now. Once I was through coloring the butterfly I just carefully trimmed around it.

I am not sure I will put these on cards because I want to keep them as samples for the colors. I did remember to write the colors on the back, too.

Who knew you could color over glitter?? I didn’t try it with any of the others glitters in my stash but I’m pretty sure it needs to be the micro fine glitter. I did try some of the other glitters over Scor Tape and burnish them down really well, and it looks much better but some of it still comes off. The Glitter Ritz glitter is awesome!

I understand there are other techniques and they will be taught in the class, so if you are close by you really should stop in and sign up soon. There are 2 classes, Feb. 4, one on the morning and another in the afternoon, both with the same cards and technique. Two classes were scheduled to be sure that there would be enough spots, but I know they will fill up quickly.

1/15/12

Barb is having a giveaway!

She is a very talented and creative crafter and card maker, and she is having a wonderful giveaway. She asked us to spread the word, and although it doesn’t improve my odds of winning, I told her I would be glad to.

Her blog is called Enjoying Life and you can find the giveaway by clicking on the photo below:

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While you are there please take some time and have a look around. Her projects are fabulous and I’m sure you will find much inspiration there.

Somebody is over the hill!

Yes, I know I am, but now my good friend Brenda Mott is, too! It’s getting crowded here on the other side of that hill. The girls got together today at O’Charley’s to celebrate her birthday, which was actually December 28. Because of the holidays this was the first chance we have had to get all of us together, and we had a wonderful time.

She is a crazy cat lady like me (well, she only has 2 cats, but that’s a good start), so I made a special gift box for the occasion. I cranked up the Silhouette and out came this. I call him Murray:

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I saw the design online somewhere and was able to duplicate it and cut it out using the marvelous and magical Silhouette. The “stripes” on the kitty are cut by hand, I added a little pink heart for his nose and some white crochet thread for whiskers. Murray even comes complete with his own little kitten, Tabitha.

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The kitten is made from several punches, with a little hand trimming here and there. He was the bearer of the gift - a pair of pink and black earrings, also handmade by moi. Hey, when you’re broke you gotta get a little crafty and creative.

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Here is a shot of the box I made to go in between to hold the gift. I made it from plain black paper and adhered it all together with some Scor-Tape.

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Thanks for stopping by and I hope your team wins this weekend. I don’t follow football but I do look forward to the Super Bowl commercials every year. I still love the FedEx commercial from several years ago - the one with the cavemen. Remember that one?

1/11/12

A long forgotten project

Several years ago I begged for a Pro-Click binding machine, and I got it! I had big plans for it - making handmade journals to sell at craft fairs, to give as gifts, etc. I did a little bit with it, a few small books, I think, and then it was forgotten as soon as the Bind It All came along. The BIA was cool for a while, too, but those O-Wires were annoying to work with so I sold it at the Stamper’s Alley Used Stamp Sale last year.

Last week I was looking through a box of dollar journals from the Big M and found a whole stack of colored notebook paper (and don’t ask me where I got that!) that I had trimmed and punched with the Pro-Click to make a handmade journal. I decided to finish that project - better late than never - and this is the result. I am quite pleased with it, if I do say so myself.

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The covers are chipboard, covered with patterned paper from Basic Grey’s Indian Summer collection. I added a scalloped border, some pearls and gems, and a felt flower with a button. The flower was made using PTI dies and the doily behind it is an MFT die. The ribbon down the side is some seam binding I bought at the CK Convention last year and finally was able to talk myself into cutting. I tied a ribbon to the top of the spiral coil for a bookmark and I was done. I did add a pocket inside the front cover but forgot to take a photo of that. I put the covers and pocket on with my ATG tape gun. Love that thing!

I prefer the spiral bindings to the wire ones and although I was able to stretch these to fit the BIA holes, I still prefer the round holes to the square ones. Odd, I know, but what are you gonna do? I have thought about getting the Cinch but I don’t really do enough binding to justify the cost so I will stick with this one for the time being.

It’s not as versatile as the other binding methods since you cannot choose which holes to punch or just punch a few at a time, but that’s ok.

I hope you all are doing well, and thanks for stopping by.

1/3/12

A New Baby

One of the fur covered, four legged variety. This little adorable ball of fur wandered up, starving and cold, on to our back porch on New Year’s Eve and I was able to lure him close enough to me to snatch him up and bring him in. I don’t know where he came from but he lives with us now.

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He/she (we don’t know yet) is solid back and absolutely adorable but still a little skittish, which is to be expected. We keep him in the guest bathroom at night and have begun letting him have the run of the living and dining room during the day, but he spends a lot of time sleeping under the couch.

The other 3 full grown kitties are mostly terrified of this tiny little kitten, especially Michael. We thought sure Michael would be happy to have someone to play with, since the other two cats think he’s a nuisance to be either ignored or smacked on the head. I think he was a little intimidated when the tiny cat hissed at him and didn’t back down. This little guy is a brave (or foolish) baby. I don’t know how long he was outside alone and fending for himself but he’s not afraid of big kitties at all. My best guess at his age is maybe 10 weeks or so.

He’s been out to play a little and loves his new toys. We won’t mention that they are hand-me-downs….and he wouldn’t care anyway. He’s just glad to have a warm place to sleep, people to love and pet him, and plenty of food to eat. Which, btw, he scarfs down like it’s his last meal every time.

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A little play time...

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All tuckered out and having a nap on mama’s feet…

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Apparently this is what the other cats see when they look at him…

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That would scare me, too!