Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Front and Back Thank You Tags

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?

Saturday, February 22, 2014

CHA Photos

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 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 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?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Tuck-In Calendars

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 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's so easy now!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Not Just a Valentine Box

For a long time, I resisted buying the Sizzix die that made this project.  I couldn't see spending money for a die that I would probably use only once a year for Valentine's Day.  However, desire overtook practicality and I finally purchased the die from HouseMart Ben Franklin Craft.  When I first opened the die box I was a little disappointed to find that the die didn't include the key shown on the front of the package.  (I think that the key may have been cut using a Tim Holtz Sizzix die.)  Also, I decided that I did not like the handle shown on the package front (made from a pipecleaner, I think).
Despite the negatives, I proceeded to spray glue (Elmer's) the Kand Co. paper (from a 12x12 pack) and adhere it to the chipboard.  After the glue was dry, I die cut the pieces making two heart sides and two bottom/side pieces.  Using Terrific Tacky Tape (it's very strong), I assembled the heart box. The scoring in the bottom/side pieces makes it easy to tape it to the curve of the heart.

 Next I used Deco Art Americana Satin paint (pink cadillac) to cover the edges of the chipboard and add color to the inside of the box.  For the handle I simply folded a strip of the K and Co. paper, taped it closed with Merikan tape, and cut it to a length of 10".  Beacon 3 in 1 glue was used to secure the handle to the box.

 For a finishing touch, I tied on a piece of soft  lace ribbon and added a brass heart charm with a Swarovski crystal.  I think this heart-shaped box could be used for Valentine's Day but it doesn't have to be restricted to just that occasion.  I think the rose print paper makes it suitable for Mother's Day too.  Dress it up in another printed paper and it could serve as a wedding or Easter party favor.  Now I am happy that I did buy this die because it was easy to assemble and does have many applications.  It is really fun to think 'out' of the Valentine box....LOL!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Using Scraps to Make Yummy Gift Card Holders

 While once again rearranging my box of thin die sets, I discovered a die that I must have purchased after last  Valentine's Day because it was still in the package.  The front picture on the set was not particularly attractive which may be why I let it get lost under all the other dies.  After trying it out, I discovered that the set was actually pretty neat with its heart closure and ability to be used as a small note card or to enclose a gift card.  I chose to make food related holders/cards (using Kitty Bee or Two Scoops Rice stamps, available in many designs at HouseMart Ben Franklin Crafts) because I will probably be enclosing food gift cards or giving them to foodies.
 On the top three pieces I glued on solid colored hearts (and glittered some) to have them contrast with the holder/card.  I especially like the one with the puppy in the bowl because I used Martha Stewart flocking with sparkles (from BFC) on the pink heart and it has a soft visual look and tactile feel.  On the cupcake version I did not cover over the heart insert because the cupcake design just happened to fall in a perfect place on the heart. Diamond Glaze and Stickles were used to enhance the stamped designs on the card holders/mini cards.
I don't think that these mini note cards or gift card holders should only be used for Valentine's Day because they can be cute for any occasion.  A small project like this can easily use up lots of your pretty scraps and build up your supply of ready-to-use cards. Tips: 1)Once you have your die out be sure to cut lots of blanks to save time and effort for later projects. 2) Stamp out several images when you have your supplies out and put the uncolored images in the package with the stamps so you will not have to ink up and clean up your stamps again the next time you want to use the image.  Okay go to it....use up those scraps....always be ready with gift enclosures......have crafty fun!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Ten Minute Valentine Shaker Card

I'm like a little kid when it comes to shaker cards.....I just can't help playing with them...LOL!  The trouble with making one is that it usually takes some effort to assemble.  When I saw one made from a printed acetate sheet ( sorry, I can't remember whose blog had it) taped with washi tape, I thought that I could make one in 10 minutes, if I started with a printed clear front bag.
 I found the perfect size, color and print bag (Heiko) at HouseMart Ben Franklin Crafts.  I also purchased (from BFC) a package of pearlized red cards and envelopes because the color and size was just right for this shaker card.  I cut off about an inch of the bag top and put some red sprinkles (Sierra Pacific) and punched out hearts into the bag before sealing it off with Merikan tape.  Next I used the washi tape to adhere the shaker bag to the card front. Voila! The 10 minute Valentine shaker card was done. I put a Heiko sticker on the back of card just because it add just the right touch.  You could put more decorations on the outside of the bag, but I decided to invest my time into decorating the inside of the card.
Since this card is going to be mailed to my cat-loving son (who has a rather large, non-meowing cat), I chose the 'Has Hugz' Art Impressions 3 piece stamp set.  The set even comes with an action wobble spring and the cute words that I stamped in a word bubble die cut with a Paper Smooches thin die.
I hope this photo shows you how much the wobble spring moves...hahaha!  I love playing with any moving parts on cards....what a big kid yeah?  Well, there it is..... The 10 minute (not counting the cat part) shaker card.....go make and play with your own..... LOL!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Recycled Valentine Tea Tin

I was very excited when I emptied another tin of tea because I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it.  I admired the tea tin that Yvonne Yam (Do More With Less) decorated a while back, so I was eager to make one too.  I started by covering the tin with Tim Holtz seasonal kraft 12x12 paper.  Double stick Merikan tape (available at House Mart Ben Franklin Crafts) was used as an adhesive.

Next I affixed a paper doily (stained with Tim Holtz Distress tea ink pad) and a trimmed greeting card (from a Barnes and Nobles Valentine greeting card box).   Flowers from my stash were glued on with 3 in 1 Beacon glue (a personal favorite from BFC).

Self-adhesive lace trim was attached around the cover, but you could just use Merikan tape if your lace is not the self-adhesive type.  I decided to add a calendar to this project too, because I thought after the tin is emptied it could be used to attractively store desk supplies.  It's always good to have a calendar on your desk.  The very pretty red lace with sequins was purchased at an after Christmas I am kicking myself because it was so cheap I should have bought two rolls!...hoarder alert....LOL!

I believe the beauty of a project is often in simplicity and the attention you give to the details.  The decorative top was made by combining  a printed flower and a pre-made lacey crochet work, just glue. Just in case someone looks at the bottom of the tea tin, I glued on a circle of the same Valentine printed brown kraft paper....attention to details remember?

Anyway, although this looks nothing like Yvonne's beautiful decorated tins, I think it has a similar feel and stems from the desire to not waste a perfectly good tin just because it's empty.  Now what should I fill this one with....cookies, candies, embellishments.....maybe be a personally mixed tea blend?  How's that for recycling come full circle?

Monday, February 3, 2014

Curious Cat Valentine Card

Finding a package of gatefold cards with envelopes (Paper Accents) at House Mart Ben Franklin Crafts provided the starting point for this Valentine's Day card (for the owners of a new, very curious kitten).  As soon as I saw the Art Impressions stamp of the cat (with the swallowed-the-canary-smile) I knew it would be perfect for this card idea.
I used paw prints from an Inkadinkado cat stamp set and inked only the 'Valentine's Day' words of the stamp (that came with the AI cat set) to print on the Paper Smooches die cut banner.  Distress Stain (worn lipstick) was rubbed on the stamped banner, stitches were drawn on the banner with red ink, and the cat image was colored with Copic pens.

 For the jar I used the Paper Smooches die and cut the stamped cat and a sheet of acetate.  The tail and one of the legs of the cat were amputated (oooh-noooo) and repositioned behind the cat to make them squish together. The jar lid was die cut from silver vellum paper and trimmed a bit so more of the cat would show.  Three edges of the jar were applied with a teensy bit of Beacon 3 in 1 clear gel glue.  Tiny assorted sizes of hearts were punch with the Martha Stewart punch and carefully inserted into the jar.  An Action Wobble (Art Impressions) spring was attached to the back of the cat-filled jar.
I really wish you could see the cat jar shake as the card is opened and the hearts move around.  It's so much fun to make a shaker card!  Although simple in design, this card took a bit of time to get it just right....but it was worth it!  I can't think of a better suited card for these cat-lovin' owners.  Thanks for stopping by and please visit again.