Congratulations to clever Niki G who was the fastest to comment in with my correct birth date....Feb. 26th! She chose the Hero Arts birthday banner set. The second person with the correct date was Lee Yonaoshi. Lee, if you see this please send me your mailing address via my email address (email@example.com) and I will send you the AI birthday set. ( I do not have any way of contacting you.) Congratulations again to Leanne for being the winner of the random drawing for the BFC $25 gift card.
February was my birthday month and so to celebrate I am picking a gift card winner from the comments left on my blog posts in the month of February. As I do occasionally, I randomly choose one comment and send the person who sent it a Ben Franklin Crafts gift card. This time the lucky winner is.....Leanne! who writes the wonderful blog, Finding My Groove. Congratulations! Leanne, please send your mailing address to me via my email address (firstname.lastname@example.org).
To further celebrate my birthday I have decided to give away the two stamp sets in the above photo. The first two people to correctly identify my birth date (year not needed) will each win one of the sets. (The first one sending a comment with the correct day and month will have first choice.) The winners will have to send me their mailing address via email. I don't think any of my regular blogging friends know my birthday so here's a hint: It's the same day as Dr. Oz's daughter, Daphne's new baby daughter. Daphne is a co-host on the ABC daytime show, The Chew. Good Luck!
Because I firmly believe that it is of utmost importance that we as a society teach our youths the love of reading, I almost always give a gift of books to children. Making a cute bookmark to go with gift books may further encourage a child to read and mark their place. Coupling the new animal Sizzix dies with the Paper Smooches bookmark dies is an easy and quick way to make an attractive children's bookmark.
The animal die sets seemed to have more parts than I needed or wanted. I kept the animals simple and drew in the lion's face and tail tuft. I also added two flat-back crystals for the eyes of the giraffe and tied some twine around his neck for extra texture. (Tip: Since the die sets had some very small parts I put them in a Ziploc baggie before storing them in the plastic storage envelope that came with the set.) I glued all the parts together with 3 in 1 Beacon glue except for the intricate giraffe pattern which I ran through my Xyron sticker maker before adhering to the giraffe base. The Basic Grey and Authentic 6x6 packs make choosing coordinating the papers for the bookmarks super easy because just about every paper in the pack works together. Since the paper wasn't quite sturdy enough for a child's bookmark, I cut two of each animal base and two of each bookmark and glued them back-to-back.
I hope that you'll give children books instead of electronic toys. Better yet, I hope you'll give a child a book AND read it to him/her. Regular book reading will create a lifetime of memories.
I was so impressed by all the chalkboard/blackboard projects at the CHA show that I had to try my hand at it. First I bought an unpainted wooden clipboard from HouseMart Ben Franklin Crafts and painted the front with blackboard paint (also from BFC). Once it was dry, I stamped the designs with white Versa Magic ink and dusted each image with white embossing powder before heat setting it. Don't worry about the little specks of embossing powder that remain on the clipboard because they will make the chalkboard effect more realistic.
You can use this clipboard to hold whatever you choose and hang it up using the hardware on the back.
Also with the clipboard was a mysterious wooden peg. After painting the back with DecoArt Americana Satin acrylic paint, I realized that the peg fit in the hole and formed the stand to hold the clipboard upright. Now I think that I will use the clipboard as a recipe stand to hold up recipes while I cook. Excellent! I decided to adhere the stamped blackboard image to the back of the clipboard because I wanted to have a place to insert a gift card/message. (The top of the stamped image was not taped down to form a pocket.)
I painted the edge of the clipboard and wooden people pieces (Studio Calico) (purchased at BFC) the same beautiful aqua color and tied on an American Crafts ribbon (from the jumbo pack sold at BFC). TIP: I would recommend painting the lighter colors first just in case a misplaced brush stroke requires clean up; it is much easier to paint dark over light. I'm sorry that I did not include the paint bottles in the photo below but I'm too tired to retake the photo. This was such a satisfying project that I am looking for other wooden pieces to turn into chalkboard surfaces. Crafty fun ahead!
I just got some Marvy Uchida chalkboard markers and tried them out on the clipboard. I think they look fabulous and the colors wipe off with a damp cloth. With these markers and the chalkboard paint you could even just do a plain chalkboard clipboard for a party favor. Kids and adults will love these!
After winning a bunch of Art Impressions stamps at the CHA show (see previous post), I was excited to try out the sets that had fronts and coordinating backs. At the AI show booth these stamps were combined with doors or windows where you could see the animal or person coming and then going. I thought these mini stamps would work well with the Paper Smooches dies that I had. From Emily Leiphart's video (on her blog, Art from the Heart), I learned how to place the long, skinny,scalloped die on first one side of the stamped image and then on the other to form the water or grass. It is a simple and clever way to form a pocket or cut down on extra parts.
When you turn the tag around you can see the backside of the animals which I think is so funny. I should have stamped the thank you stamp on a blank rubber stamp and restamped it on the back of the tag to give the reverse image and moved the frog a little to the right so that the back of the tag would really look correct. Oh well, I do think the overall look is interesting. I did a little better with the monkey tag where I even reversed the 'thanks' die cut. I plan to write a little message on the water/grass sections.
Dies made these tags a snap to make and they were especially easy because the AI stamps were so small and simple to color. I know that I will make more of these tags because it's always good to have a supply on hand to add to impromptu gifts. Can you tell that I am still trying to use up my Valentine paper scraps?
As promised, here are the some of the many, many, many photos that I took with my iPhone at the Craft and Hobby Association show last month. I hope that it gives you a glance of what I saw and enjoyed at the show.
One of my favorite trends is the chalkboard look for paper crafting. Lots of stamps and papers to give that desired look.
Another popular item at the show was the loom band jewelry. Initially designed for kids, adults can now enjoy this craft and make awesome creations from the same supplies.
I can't remember whose sample board this was, but I liked the food related stamps with the slightly distressed look.
I was impressed by the Darcie display of cards with the new button faces....so sweet!
As usual, La-La Land stamps were well represented by beautiful displays which included their new undecorated boxes and stands.
For me, it is always a pleasure to peruse the Graphic 45 booth because of the elegant displays using their gorgeous vintage-look papers and embellishments.
Here's a look at Graphic 45's Art Deco line.....so snazzy!
I believe these cards are from the Tim Holtz display. His booth is always buzzing with unique products and clever designs.
This last photo is of a House Mouse card which I was so happy to see because it's been a long time since I last saw these stamps and I thought that they would never be on the market again. The artist is still designing stamps and added bears and rabbits to the line.....cute yeah? I still have tons of photos which I may or may not get around to posting. Well, maybe later okay?
What is a tuck-in calendar? It's what I call a small calendar that you tuck into a card or letter to give the recipient an 'extra something'. I made these tuck-ins to add to my family holiday newsletter...don't laugh; I know I'm just a little early.... for Easter! Hahaha!
This pink dog tuck-in is my favorite because it is just so silly looking. Since I had all my Valentine supplies still out, I tied on some epoxy heart buttons (Little Yellow Bicycle) that I purchased from BFC last year(?). Any cute button with holes to accommodate the twine would work. I think heart buttons add even more silliness especially after Valentine's Day is past....love lasts all year-round right?
Here is a side-view of the tuck-in calendar. To make the base, I started with a 3" x 8" strip of printed scrap paper and scored it at 3", 6", 6-3/4", and 7-1/2". Simply folding and taping the end (with Merikan double stick tape from Ben Franklin Crafts) forms the easel which easily squashes flat to fit into an envelope.
Well, I've done it.....used up ALL of my Vipies calendars! Yay, me! I feel so accomplished. I even used up a bunch of papers from my mile-high scrap pile! Now to get going on that Valentine, I mean..... Easter family newsletter....LOL!
Almost forgot, the cute images with matching dies were from Paper Smooches. With the magnetic platform that I bought at HouseMart Ben Franklin Crafts, I have been thin die cutting like crazy...it's so easy now!