Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Shopping for Summer

Of course, this is not all the shopping I will be doing for summer, (LOL!) but I did have a great time at the Mapunapuna Ben Franklin Crafts. The staff there are so helpful and friendly. First, I found a new line of papers (new to me at least) from Best Creation Inc. The Safari Girl and Safari Boy papers really caught my eye. These double-sided pastel/brown cardstock 12x12 sheets are adorable and have just the right amount of sparkle for baby cards, scrapbook pages, and other baby-related paper crafts.
The warmer summer weather has made me think of creating summer jewelry with cool colors and ocean themes. When I saw the sea glass bracelet and necklace pieces that Lynn from the Mapunapuna Ben Franklin Crafts posted on the Inspiration and Ideas blog(http://ideasandinspirationsfrombfchawaii.blogspot.com/), I knew that I wanted to create something similar. If you visit the Mapunapuna BFC store you can see Lynn's jewelry in the glass case and then you'll really want to make some sea glass jewelry, too. Anyway, I found the Blue Moon line of Sea Life metal and some resin components ideal for what I want to make this summer. I plan to make lots of jewelry to give away to faraway friends and family I see this summer.....sort of a gift of aloha to remind them to come and visit us in Hawaii.

Please forgive me for not commenting on your blog.....still getting stuck in a Blogger glitch. :(

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Quilled Cherry Blossom Card

I'm still trying out quilling techniques and projects learned from various kits and books. I used origami paper to cover the front of the cherry blossom card and line the envelope. Although the quilled components of the card took a bit of time, it was what I call 'TV crafting' (repetitive and easily done while watch TV). Please note: If you want your card to look impressive, a lined envelope usually does the trick and it takes only a minute to make one. Even though you might be older than dirt (like me), you are never too old to try something new like quilling....you could discover a new hobby or add to your general crafting skills. Oh, in case you didn't understand my previous post, the quilling supplies are being sold ONLY at the HILO Ben Franklin Crafts store. Hopefully, this product test will conclude that we should sell these quilling items in our other BFC stores, too. We'd love to know whether you have an interest in quilling. Thanks for visiting this blog. I hope you'll leave a comment. I love hearing from you. Hopefully, you are not having trouble leaving comments like I am. When is Blogger going to correct the situation.....so frustrating.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Quilled Baby Card

The Hilo Ben Franklin Crafts store is now selling quilling supplies and kits. Have you seen them? Don't you want them at your local BFC store? Here is a sample card that I made to put up in the store. The windowed card blank is sold in a pack at the Hilo BFC store. Simple ribbon, flower, and shankless button heart were used as embellishments. Oh, the little baby is a clear stamp image from a Hero Arts stamp set. The image was colored with Copic pens (now available at Ben Franklin Crafts). If you love working with paper, I'm sure that you'll love the art of quilling. I love the fact that the supplies are inexpensive so I can practice without fear of wasting. Almost any thing you can imagine can be quilled. Give it a try!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Wedding and Shower Products

The warm, sunny days of summer are the reason so many couples plan their wedding for this time of the year. If you are like me, seeing wedding themed papers and embellishments are inspiring even when I haven't received any invitations to wedding related events. On my last shopping trip to Ben Franklin Crafts, I spied these very elegant die cut border strips (Martha Stewart), Sizzix embossing folder, Jolee's boutique wedding cakes stickers, and Hero Arts two hearts clear stamp set. Using these products and a plain linen blank card (Paper Accents), I quickly whipped up a simple card (click on photo to enlarge it) perfect for a wedding or bridal shower. (The 'congratulations' stamped word was heat embossed using silver powder.) Because the packaged products have multiples, and the embossing folder and clear stamps can be used indefinitely, each card produced with these supplies costs about $1.50....so much cheaper than store bought cards and prettier too! Oh, I also saw a Martha Stewart tag set, which matched the die cut border strips and could be attached to the gift just in case the card should be come separated from the gift, which often happens when the event has a guest list that numbers in the hundreds. You know that weddings are always coming up so why not build up a wedding card stash? Shop for supplies at Ben Franklin Crafts and have some fun crafting beautiful cards for the next romantic wedding.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Graduation Time

Wow! Where does the time go? It seems like just a few days ago I was getting misty-eyed about my son's graduation from Waiakea H.S. in 2010, and here it is graduation season again. This year we only have one graduate, our niece, so it is a much calmer time for us. Mary is an outstanding student at Parker School (colors: black, white, and maroon) and she is interested in drama and film making. I took the school colors and Mary's interest into consideration when I designed this card. (Please click on the photo to see the details.) Although she is not a glamour-puss or drama queen, I thought that the diva Stamping Bella stamp was appropriate in a humorous way especially with the 'never stop sparkling' word stamp that came with the set. The other stamps (cap, diploma, and 'Congrats Grad') were from a G Studio clear stamp set and the printed papers were from a DCWV pack called, 'All Dressed Up' glittered stack. Well, as another graduating class prepares for their voyage into the adult world, we at Ben Franklin Crafts send them our heartiest congratulations and wishes for a successful life!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Happy Shopping for Fun Items

Summer is almost here and bright, happy goodies are arriving daily at Ben Franklin Crafts. This post contains just a few of the summer fun craft items I found on my last shopping trip. First, the long awaited COPIC pens are here! If you've never had the pleasure of using this brand of intense color ink markers, you've got to give them a try. You'll be hooked on the pen tips, the ease of blending, and the seemingly unlimited color shades and hues. Be sure to pick up the free Copic booklet that explains about how to use the colors effectively. Shown below are just a handful of the hundreds of pens available now at Ben Franklin Crafts.

Oh, you're going to love the new papers and matching embellishments by Little Yellow Bicycle. In the next two photos you can see the boy dinosaur set and the girl princess set. Both of them are super cute and ideal for cardmaking and scrapbooking. I especially adore the papers which have a variety of coordinating small prints, stripes, and large designs. Even though you might not have a son or daughter to make scrapbook pages for, this line of products is so cute you won't be able to resist buying them to make cards and paper craft projects.

Also new at Ben Franklin Crafts is a line of wood plaques, frames, etc. to combine with already painted cute-as-a-button wooden dogs, cats, frogs, etc. All you'll need to do is paint the wood base of your choice and glue on a well-painted, inexpensive wooden piece to complete your project. These will make a good bazaar items, children's group projects, party favors, or gifts. This is really a great way to personalize a gift and save some money in the process.

Finally, this last item that I couldn't resist buying at Ben Franklin Crafts is a set of potted pinwheel 'plants' by Sierra Pacific. This company is known for their well crafted items offered at a very reasonable price. This set of six is only $5.99 and the pinwheels really work! Wouldn't these make great party favors with the guest's name printed on the pot? Or perhaps you could design a pinwheel note holder for your office co-workers.

Okay, this has been a really long post, but hopefully it has enticed you to go shopping at BFC. I'm sure you'll find some irresistible craft treasures there. Thanks for visiting this blog site. I hope it's been enjoyable.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Explosion Card #2 with a Bookmark

Here is the second explosion birthday card I made using the instructions from the June issue of Scrap and Stamp Arts magazine. This one is made from Bo Bunny printed cardstock and has a special bookmark gift wrapped around the card. The ribbon used for the bookmark is a velveteen one from Martha Stewart. It is topped with plain white flowers (found at Ben Franklin Crafts) that I sprayed with a wash of sparkle color because I couldn't find flowers of the right shade of salmon and green. On this card I placed the message in the recess and formated the card vertically. To keep the ribbon from unwinding but still easily removed, I wound a piece of green wire (a twisty tie might work) around the ribbon horizontally under the flower after placing the ribbon around the card. The hang tag attached to the wire has the information of how to dismantle the card to use the ribbon as a bookmark. Sometimes it is nice when you don't normally exchange birthday gifts just to let someone know that you thought of them on their birthday and a little included gift gives the card an extra special touch. I like to think that the recipient of this card will think of our friendship when she uses the bookmark. Of course it would be good to send this card with a book because reading is a good way to expand anyone's horizon. Okay that's it for today. Thanks for visiting and reading this post. Please come again and leave a comment if you have the time. I appreciate hearing from you.

Monday, May 9, 2011

An Exploding Birthday Card

I'm sure that many of you have made explosion cards before and used them in your scrapbooks too, but I haven't made one in a long time so when I saw the instructions in the June issue of Scrap and Stamp Arts magazine, I knew it was the perfect solution for two birthday cards I wanted to send. What I like about explosion cards is that they look compllicated but actually are made from one 4" x 12" strip of cardstock and shaped with a few folds. On the card there is lots of room for sentiments and handwritten notes. Plus as the backview shows, there is even a place for a photo in the center recess. (Using a double-sided birthday print cardstock meant I didn't have to search for coordinating paper.) This card just took me a few minutes to make and with the addition of a few embellishments (Dress It Up birthday pack and Martha Stewart cupcake sticker), it was ready to mail. All the materials used on this card were purchased from Ben Franklin Crafts including the magazine that jogged my memory about explosion cards. If you haven't made one before or in a long time, give explosion cards a try. It's so easy to do and will keep your head from exploding when you think about all the project you have to finish. LOL!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

When I first started envisioning this Mother's Day card, I thought that it should have lots of flowers because they are a good symbol for motherhood....sweet and soft. Then I started to think about my mom and I had a mental image of her sitting in an upholstered chair crocheting. Finally, I thought about what things my sons might remember about me as a mother. I hope that they will have fond memories of us reading together. One of our favorite childrens' books (at least it was one of mine) was 'A Chair for My Mother' which was about a family who survivied a fire and saved all their coins in a jar to buy a special flower print fabric upholstered chair for their mother. Putting all of these feelings and images together, I created this card.

Probably the most challenging part of the card was to punch the border so that I would end up with a 5-1/2" square card. After some experimentation I realized that I needed to start with a folded blank card that was 5-1/2" high by 6" wide. I only punched the front of the card using a Martha Stewart border and matching corner punch (available at Ben Franklin Crafts). Then a 1/4" strip was cut off both sides of the card using a ruler and craft knife. The little girl image is a Magnolia mini stamp and the chair (and the saying) are clear stamps from a Hero Arts set. The crocheted ribbon is also from Hero Arts. All the printed paper used on this card are from a BoBunny 12 x12 pack purchased at Ben Franklin Crafts. The pack contains many double-sided coordinating papers and some extra embellishments/stickers.

I hope this year you'll make a card for your mother even if she's alive only in your memory. Try to put thought into who she is or was and be inspired to capture her essence. Remember your mother on this special day. Happy Mother's Day to all of you blogland mothers!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Boosting your Craft Fair Sales

Most crafters eventually begin to sell their crafts to help pay for their expenses. Jewelry sells well at craft fairs especially around Mother's Day. Profits are probably greatest for earrings because of the low cost of supplies and minimal crafting time. However, I do believe that more sales could be generated by displaying the earrings attractively. For example, carding the earrings and including a box would make your product have more appeal especially to those shopping for gifts. Shown in the upper photo are some simple earrings (titled: Tears of Happiness) which are made of sterling silver with amethyst and chalcedony gemstones. I included this information plus my signature in the back of the embossed card. The card was just a scrap from my paper bin but it looks more artistic because I offset the earrings. The box is a recycled department store cardboard jewelry box which I covered with leftover scrapbook paper and woven ribbon. To cover the store name on the bottom of the box (see lower photo), I used a rubber stamped label that I had lying around my desk. Of course you could be more fancy and have personal labels made and attach it to the bottom of the box for more name recognition. Anyway, the point is that you can recycle materials to make attractive displays and also increase your sales by giving your product a handcrafted appeal. Now all the customer has to do is add a pretty ribbon and voila the gift is ready for giving. Oh, you might want to have on hand in your craft booth some simple handmade gift cards to sell or give away with purchases. Everyone loves a freebie! So start crafting for Christmas already....LOL!