Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Happy Bird-Day Card

 Here is the third of a series of birthday cards I made using the Sizzix happy birthday words die.  As with the previous two cards it was super simple to make because the die cut words occupy most of the card front.  I chose a printed feather pattern paper from a 6x6 paper pad and used a Xyron Adhesive machine to apply a sticky film to the back of the die cut words. Tip: Dust the card front with cornstarch to remove unwanted tackiness.)  I stamped the Santoro girl on a bird and used Copic pens to color the image. HM Ben Franklin Crafts has a good selection of Santoro stamps...you're sure to find one that you love.  I used the We R Memory Keepers Crop-a-dile corner clipper to round the card base (Paper Accents) corners.  Ben Franklin Crafts also has lots of different colored feathers so it was easy to find some to match my card. I pulled out some of the down feathers and glued them to the bird.
 Since I had a bit of the patterned paper leftover, I glued it into the envelope to fancy it up.  Funny how the little touches go a long way to make a greeting card extra special.  I hope my last three posts have demonstrated how easy it is to make many beautiful birthday cards using just one basic die. Give it a try!

Friday, April 20, 2018

Happy Unicorns Birthday Card

 Since unicorns are making a comeback (from the 70's), I decided that it would be fun to make my next birthday card (using the same die as in the last post) with the cute unicorn images from Mama Elephant.  For the 'Happy Birthday' die cut background, I chose a rainbow heart patterned card stock from the Doodlebug Designs 'fairytale' 6x6 pad (purchased at HM Ben Franklin Crafts).  Although you can't see the sheen of the pearlized card base (Paper Accents from BFC), I think it adds a lot to the overall 'shimmeriness' of the card. The unicorns required very little coloring (yay!), just some gold on the horns and silver on the hooves (I used Uniball Signo metallic pens which are available at HM Ben Franklin Crafts). For more unicorn beauty, I added sparkly crystal glitter and yarn tails (they have sparkly pieces in the yarn which don't show up in the photo).
 The Mama Elephant stamp and die set had  a good sentiment and other images so I applied them to the inside of the card. As with the unicorns, I adhered the images with foam dots.  As a final pretty touch, I decorated the envelope with Doodlebug Design washi tape...so easy to just wrap it around. I am pleased by how easily this card came together and I know just which birthday girl will enjoy it. Please visit this site again to see another very different birthday card made with the same wonderful Sizzix die.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Happy Hedgehog Birthday Card

In the coming months, I have a few birthday cards to make for friends and relatives.  Since I really love the Sizzix Happy Birthday word die that I purchased from HM Ben Franklin Crafts, I will try to use it in different ways for all the birthday cards I make in the coming weeks.  This die cuts very cleanly and when layered over a solid or moderately printed card stock (DCWV, Celebrations 12x12 pad) it makes an attractive backdrop for a stamped image (Penny Black). The finishing touches were Glossy Accents and crystal glitter added to the cupcake, foam dots under the hedgehog image, and a printed grossgrain ribbon.
I have a few funny stamps that I like to add to envelopes or the backs of my cards, like this one from Las Vegas Stamps (I think). Oh, this photo shows the Mama Elephant die set that I used to cut a panel for the inside (not shown) of the card. This die set is very useful for cutting pieces to cover up mistakes***wink***wink***!!! Since Sizzix also makes word dies for thank you and friendship cards, I may make some too, after I finish this series of birthday cards. Please come back for a lookie look at my future projects. Thank you for leaving your kind comments.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Planning for a Good Year

About this time last year I began my first planner.  As promised, I am reporting on the result of a year of writing down thoughts, expressing daily hopes, the success of finished projects, etc.  I am proud to say that I kept at it for a full year and I still enjoy filling out the pages, arranging a schedule and decorating with stickers.  Now I can truly endorse the planner products especially the 365 Create line by Me and My Big Ideas and the Life Organized 'emoji style' by Paper House. I know these happy planner items will encourage me to keep my life in order and plan for the days ahead this year. For a disorganized person like me, a planner is definitely an enjoyable solution for setting goals and accomplishing them. Give a planner a try...you'll find everything you need at HM Ben Franklin Crafts including a complete line of beautiful, colorful erasable pens.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Hummus Hack

My husband suggested that I include recipes and cooking hacks in my blog since I'm always inventing and tweeking my home cooking.  Here is a recent shortcut (hack) for making hummus that I created because I love the taste of Thai peanut sauce but find peanut butter to be messy in a blender.  Peanut butter powder from the supermarket is a quick add in to give hummus flavor without stickiness.  I placed a can of garbanzo beans, 2-3 T. of peanut butter powder, a splash of white vinegar, a few dashes of sriracha sauce, 1-2 T of sesame oil, and 1- 2 T. of honey in a Bullet blender.  Mix until hummus is smooth. (Add a bit of water if the mixture is too thick and add salt to taste.) There you have it.....a simple, tasty hummus. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Fancy Die Cut Gatefold Wedding Card

Our family is at that stage of life when all the young cousins seem to be getting married.  I liked the last wedding card that I made so I decided to make a similar one for an upcoming nuptial. It was simple to use the Sizzix dies to cut the gatefold card and the intricate front piece.
For the inside of the card, I used another Sizzix die to cut the piece for the stamped words. Stamping the (Studio G) words on the die cut label was probably the hardest part of making this card.  After several tries, I finally decided not to ink the word 'and' so that all the words would fit before heat embossing with Nuvo (silver moonlight) embossing powder.
I found some Martha Stewart parchment and foil butterfly stickers in my stash which I thought made the perfect add-on.  As a finishing touch, I applied some Little B wedding words washi tape to the silver envelope. Easy-peasy....wedding card done and ready to take to the happy occasion!

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Tales of Two Easters

 The Sugar Easter Egg

One Easter long ago my parents gifted me with a much desired sugar Easter egg. (You know the kind, decorated outside with icing and with an opening to peek in and see a beautiful scene made of icing.)  I loved that sugar egg and never ate it...wonder what happened to it?  Anyway, that long ago treat inspired me to make this card.  I started it by die cutting (Spellbinders) two egg shapes from white card stock and die cutting a smaller egg shaped hole in the center of one of them.  The one with the hole was run through a Xyron machine to apply an adhesive backing.  Onto the sticky background I sprinkled some fine white sparkle glitter to give it a sugary surface.  I found some frilly blue trimming and vintage-looking flowers in my overflowing stash and applied them to the front of the card.  Using the Impression Obsession 'Easter Greetings' die I cut the words from DCWV shimmery peach colored paper. I think the front of the card succeeded in giving a feeling of the delicate beauty of the too-good-to-eat Easter treat lovingly given to me by parents who knew I 'needed' it even though it was really did not fit in our family's limited budget.

The Chocolate Rabbut

The second Easter tale is one of woe not wonder.  It started with another Easter celebration gift from my parents, a large decorated chocolate candy rabbit.  I loved chocolate but I really had a difficult time taking even a tiny bite of the ears or tail because I feared spoiling the look of my treasured treat.  Our family was traveling to the other side of the island for a camping trip so I carefully placed my chocolate bunny on the ledge of the backseat in our non-air conditioned car. You can guess what my Easter rabbit looked like after the two hour drive. My sister and I cried over the loss especially since the ants attacked the chocolate puddles in the boxes making the whole melted mess totally undesirable. Anyway, the inside of this card is homage to that sad, sad Easter.  I started by stamping the Lawn Fawn image onto brown card stock with white ink. I sprinkled the inked image with white opaque detail embossing powder and melted it with a heat gun.  Next I applied Glossy Accent to the parts I wanted to look like chocolate and used Bo Bunny Pearlescent Paint to detail the ribbon, ear, nose and tail. Then the chocolate rabbit was die cut and mounted with foam dots. The grass was cut with a hand punch and the sentiment (from the Lawn Fawn set) was curved on an acrylic block before stamping.  I hope you've enjoyed reading the two tales of my childhood Easters and now understand that background stories often influence my craft work. Have a sweet and memorable Easter celebration!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Die Cut Easter Candy Basket

When I saw the Sizzix die for this basket, I wasn't particularly inspired because the cover photo showed the basket in a grey metallic color like an old lantern.  I thought that the die would be perfect to cut an Easter basket if the right paper was used...a dotted yellow one!  This basket took four die cut panels to form (about half a 12x12 sheet).
I used the grass border punch to form the strip I wrapped around the bottom of the basket.  The bunny and eggs were stamped and die cut with Lawn Fawn sets.  By using printed paper for the eggs I saved coloring time and the bunny only had one pink ear to color. Bo Bunny pearlescent paint was used to add some dimension to the ribbon and tail. I'm not sure why, but the basket handle had a tiny hole on each end. I decided the holes needed some finishing touch so I added (after much indecision and button changing) a pale pink flower button that seemed just right. (I found the buttons in a jar of assorted buttons I purchased at BFC....I think.)
Before using this basket as a candy holder, I filled it with shredded grass (from BFC). I think I need to buy more foil covered chocolate eggs to put in the basket....I already ate the ones I bought earlier....LOL!  Tip: If you don't have time or can't find the Lawn Fawn sets, you can use felt bunnies and carrots (Darice) to decorate your basket.  This will be less work if you have lots of candy baskets to make. Have a sweet Easter!

Friday, March 23, 2018

Glass Nail File With Resin Bunny Topper

I wanted to add a little something handmade to a purchased Easter gift.  These nail files seemed to be the perfect thing to enclose since I already had a bunch of these pretty glass nail files from HM Ben Franklin Crafts.  (The nail files really work well even for shaving off rough edges on resin projects.)

I started by putting a little of the new soft clear resin in the bottom of the tiny bunny mold.  (The new resin really comes out cleanly from the molds.) I set the resin in the UV light and then cut out some tiny acetate sheet flowers (available in the BFC resin department). These flowers were placed in the mold and a little more resin was added and set.  Finally a white liquid colorant was added to some resin and poured into the bunny mold as the last layer.  Once hardened in the UV light the bunny will have a slight depression in the back into which I added a little resin and placed the end of the file on top.  To keep the file level, I used some fun tak ( Loctite) under the file.  I hope that you will check out the resin program at HM Ben Franklin Crafts.  I'm sure that you will find some thing there that you would like to make....it's easy and creative and FUN!

Monday, March 19, 2018

Pampered Thank You Note

Our computer screen saver scrolls through our stored photos so when I saw a card I made years ago, I knew I wanted to make a similar one as a thank you for some beauty products I received.  In the old card I used a card stock that had a bathroom tile design...too bad I couldn't find it again so I used a two sided geometric print from a Sizzix paper pad.  Because the card base die was a thick old style one capable of cutting several sheets at once, it weakened the card at the fold.  Luckily, I have lots of washi tape which not only saved the card but even improved it with a cute cat design  (The recipients love cats!).  On my old card I used acrylic bubbles (Remember when that was a popular embellishment?) to add some realism.  I surprised myself by finding the acrylic dots with very little effort....amazing because my craftroom is so disorganized.
Here is the inside of the card with the swiveling panel upon which I glued a die cut  (Taylored Expressions)'thanks'.
At first I was planning to position the standing figure on the inside of the card but it interfered with look of the card front, so I used foam dots to adhere it to the back of the card.  I forgot to mention that the thought bubbles were made with a hand punch and stamped with words that came with the Greeting Farm stamp set. Although this card is not exactly like the first one I made years ago, I do think it is just right for expressing my thanks for the special pampering gifts I received.  Take some 'me time'.....you deserve it!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Natural Crystal Set in Resin Pendants

Just a few photos of some jewelry experiments I've been doing. On a trip to the Tucson Gem and Rock Show, I acquired these crystals and set them in resin to form unique pendants.
 It was easy to use the L'Bell supplies (available at HM Ben Franklin Crafts) to set the crystals in the findings with UV resin.
For the top pendant I used a chain made from wire-wrapped gemstones.  The lower pendant has a wire-wrapped bail on a sterling chain.  Hopefully, I will be making more of this type of jewelry to sell in my locker at Hilo Ben Franklin Crafts.  I hope this post has given you ideas for using UV resin to make one- of- a -kind jewelry. Experimenting with your crafts can yield amazing results...give it a try!

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Raccoon With Sunglasses Thank You Card

Recently, one of my longtime friends (from first grade!) sent me a wonderful pair of Mohala sunglasses for my birthday....lucky me!  I wanted to make her a special thank you card.  I happened to be putting away my Valentine stamps and dies when I realized that I didn't use my Valentine raccoon set.  Also, I noticed the raccoons had masks that looked like sunglasses....so I knew immediately what to create.  The Hero Arts dies cut out the stamped raccoons very easily and coloring involved very little work. For the sunglasses, it was simple to stamp and color the Lawn Fawn image, then apply Glossy Accents to make them stand out.
The thought balloon was stamped and hand cut.  Both middle raccoon and the thanks balloon were raised up on foam dots.  The card base was cut from a sheet of Sizzix Geometrics double sided paper. This pack from BFC has lots of good simple designs perfect for backgrounds. As you can see the background really changes the feel of the card.  I hope that you will check out the Mohala sunglasses website for some classy eyewear...protect your eyes this summer!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Happy Mail Thank You Card

This card was inspired by a TCW stencil and a Lawn Fawn die purchased from HM Ben Franklin Crafts. I was supposed to use the supplies to make a Valentine card.  However, since I ran out of time to use them for V-Day, I decided to employ them to create a thank you card.  I started the card by spraying the back of the stencil with re-positional Elmer's adhesive.  The stencil was then adhered to watercolor paper before dusting on some Ken Oliver Color Burst powder and spraying with water.  Next, the mailbox was die cut from DCWV shimmer paper.  I found a woodgrain paper to die cut the mailbox post. To make the stenciled, watercolored image seem more postal, I trimmed the edges with a fancy scissors.
 This different colored version of the same card has a nicer color palette, but the blurry image (I sprayed too much water) seems less like a post mark.  However, the Impression Obsession "Thanks" cut from DCWV foil paper does show up well.  Thanks for reading this post. I hope you found it interesting and will leave a comment if you have some time.  I do enjoy hearing from you.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Happy Girl's Day!

I love, love, love the new Paper Crane design products by Photoplay....available now at HM Ben Franklin Crafts.  The 6x6 paper pad is perfect for local card makers.  I used the cherry blossom design for my card background.  First I used two of the hexagon  Spellbinders dies to form the shadow box (foam dots between the layers).  I stamped the Dandelion Designs sentiment on the back hexagon before running it through the Darice cherry blossom embossing folder and dusting it with pink chalk. The kokeshi doll image was stamped and die cut before coloring it with Copic pens.  The artificial cherry blossoms are from my stash (maybe originally from BFC).  I think they add the perfect touch and give some dimension to an otherwise simple Girl's Day card.  This card is dedicated to all my blogger GIRL friends...enjoy the day!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Girl's Day Wooden Treat Box

I discovered a really cool sliding wooden box at HM Ben Franklin Crafts.  I decided it would make a wonderful Girl's Day treat box that could be used as a pencil/pen box after the goodies were eaten.  It was super simple to trace the sides of the box onto a sheet of 12x12 Paper Crane Collection, cut them out and glue them to the box. To make the card stock on the box water resistant I painted the sides with Glossy Accents. 
For the sliding cover I adhered some of the stickers from the Paper Crane Collection and coated them with Glossy Accents.  The box cover has a small depression for a finger pull but I chose to glue a thumbtack head (from my stash) in the depression to serve as a decorative button to pull the slide cover open.  Oh yes, the cover was a yellowish color that didn't match with the  decorative paper so I stained the cover a pinkish color. I filled the box with some individually wrapped arare. The un-decorated  box is a Sierra Pacific product which was unbelievably priced at only $2.99!  I'm going back to BFC to get more boxes because I love the style and want to use more of the pretty Asian print papers. See you at my favorite craft store!

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Punny Valentine Luggage Tags

These are not puny (small) luggage tags.  They are PUNNY (funny puns) regular sized tags made from the mini Valentine cards cut from a Doodlebugs Design 'So Punny' 12x12 card stock that I purchased at HM Ben Franklin Crafts.  I thought these tags could be given out on Valentine's Day or any time as a little surprise gift.  It was easy to trim the cards and add a few Doodlebug Designs epoxy stickers and 'Chit Chat' die cut sentiments.
The blank luggage tags are Paper Accent products that I bought at BFC.  If you still have extra calendars, you can add them to the back of the tags.  You never know when you will need to know the date while traveling. ...wink****wink*****!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Emoji Food Photos Checkbook Covers

Even though Valentine's Day is over, I'm still enjoying crafting with the Doodlebug Designs 'So Punny' 12x12 card stock papers.  This time I incorporated them into checkbook covers (plastic ones from my stash...not sure if BFC has them in stock any more). It was simple to cut the paper to fit and lots of covers can be made from just one sheet of card stock.  Sorry for all the glare in my photos.
It was my original intent to make mini Polaroid photos using the Lawn Fawn die and real photos.  Because I am not sure who will receive these checkbook covers I decided to make mock photos using Doodlebug Design and Sticko stickers. I wrote on the mini Polaroids as we did in our old photo albums...wish I had better handwriting.  Maybe for future checkbooks I will type the sentiment...but then it wouldn't look realistic would it?