Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Blog Candy Winner!

Congratulations to Cherie who won the random drawing posted here.   Cherie has been a follower for a long time, so I'm glad to share some blog candy with her.  :)  Thanks to everyone who entered. 

Go back to read the great bargain tips on that post as well as my other posts this week- I've been sharing great inexpensive embellishments. 

Cards shipped to OWH in 2012: none thus far, but my box is filling up nicely! Cards shipped to OWH in 2011: 1695

scrappy day

Barb posted a tutorial by Thermoweb on how to use scraps efficiently. I grabbed a handful of green scraps and threw together some strips of the papers.  These new striped papers were the basis of all the ideas in the tutorial. 

I used some of the striped pages to make waves like you see in the top card.  I wish I had the CM wave cutter- it would have looked even better.  I lined the wave with dots, added paper flowers by MM, and adhered a sentiment flag to finish off the top card. 



For this card, I used a Bargello technique.   Thinner strips would have looked better.  I had trouble with certain strips not having enough adhesive.  Make sure you use more than you see in the picture in the tutorial, or your pieces will fall off when you cut your new paper apart. 

Cards shipped to OWH in 2012: none thus far, but my box is filling up nicely!
Cards shipped to OWH in 2011: 1695

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tutorial Part 2: Repurposed Stickers

Yesterday, I shared a technique to repurpose epoxy stickers using a Sharpie marker

 
Today, I want to take that tutorial one step further.  You'll need:
  • epoxy stickers
  • black Sharpie
  • Versamark
  • embossing powder (opaque color)
  • heat tool
  • protected work surface
We're going to make these: 

  1. Color your epoxy dot stickers with the Sharpie and let them dry.  I also tried this without coloring the dots and it produced a lighter finished product with the original color showing through.  Experiment! 
  2. Gently stamp the dots into the Versamark.  If your Versamark pad is new and clean, you might notice some ink rub off and stain the pad.  Avoid excessive pressure when inking the dots to reduce ink transfer.  (Ask me how I know.  ;)  Thankfully, my Versamark pad is 7 or so years old, so this wasn't its first small stain.)
  3. Coat the dots in embossing powder.  I used a color called "hematite" by Stampendous that produces an interesting metallic look.  
  4. Use your heat tool to melt the embossing powder.  
  5. If you have ragged edges on your finished product, they will likely come off easily with your fingers, or you can use a small sanding block to gently remove excess embossing powder trails.  
The finished product on a couple of cards:


 This one is lighter because I didn't color the dot first.  The dot was pink before it was embossed. 
I hope you try these dots on your cards and let me know what you think!


Cards shipped to OWH in 2012: none thus far, but my box is filling up nicely! Cards shipped to OWH in 2011: 1695

Mystery Card Part II

Yesterday, I posted what I dubbed a "mystery card" because I wasn't sure it would be clear to its recipient.  Here's the original version:


Based on comments from several blog readers who were kind enough to leave feedback, I changed the card to this:


Much clearer, right?

Cards shipped to OWH in 2012: none thus far, but my box is filling up nicely!
Cards shipped to OWH in 2011: 1695

Quick tip: storage

Hi everyone, 
I just wanted to share a quick storage tip today.  I love dimensional foam, but I can't stand it when it gets covered with lint.  Thank goodness I don't have any furry pets, or I'd really be going crazy! 

I don't buy the gigantic roll that Sandy's shown on OWHtv several times.  I found some thin, economical foam tape at Big Lots for $1.50.  The roll is about 4 inches in diameter.  To store the roll, I pop it in this Laughing Cow cheese container.  It's the right size and it keeps the tape tidy. 
My tape won't moove out of sight in this container! 
If you're looking for the Big Lots foam tape, I originally found it in the craft section in one store.  When I visited another location, it was in the hardware aisle.  The package is yellow, teal, and purple.  The roll pictured is partially used, so what you would buy is a good bit larger.
 
Cards shipped to OWH in 2012: none thus far, but my box is filling up nicely!
Cards shipped to OWH in 2011: 1695

Monday, February 13, 2012

Tutorial: repurposed stickers

I know letter stickers are SO passe now that electronic die cut machines have come into vogue.  That said, I still use them on my scrapbook pages and sometimes on my cards.  The leftover alphabet soup of letters that are seldom used is always a frustration.  I ended up spelling "btw u r gr8" on a card tonight to use more letters after running out of the letters A, E, and O.  I hate throwing away the leftover letters.  Maybe I will have a use for copious amounts of the letter Q one day.  For now, I want to repurpose the leftovers into something I can use now. 

I started with a sheet of epoxy letters circles.  These are by KI Memories from a kit given to me by a friend. 

Once I made a few titles and sentiments, I was left with alphabet soup or a license plate number, your pick. 

Would the driver of the car with license plate HPSZZ456 please report to customer service? 

After I'd used everything of value, I used a Sharpie to recolor the extra letters and numbers.  I tried a few colors, but only black was able to completely cover the print.  (Black Copics may work too, but my colors are too pale to test out.)  I applied three layers of ink, letting each one dry.  The first coat had the stickers covered, but left streaks.  You may do more or less coats to get the effect you desire.  Within a minute or two, I checked the pieces and found that they had dried to a nice shine and weren't at all sticky.   
You don't want to know what this part of the sticker sheet used to spell.  Time to black out those letters.  ;)

I used the new embellishments like we would use brads on a card.  It's easy to apply them since they're stickers and they're FREE since you were going to throw them away anyway!  I used them on a Mother's Day card, but I think they'd be great for masculine designs as well. 
The letters FLQ wouldn't make sense on this card, but black accents do!


Have you tried this or something similar?  If you try this technique, I would love to see a link to your card.  :)

Cards shipped to OWH in 2012: none thus far, but my box is filling up nicely!
Cards shipped to OWH in 2011: 1695

mystery card

It's time to share a crazy card I made with tons of epoxy stickers.  Can you tell what I was going for?  If not, I want to rework the card.  I'm not sure it's as obvious as I'd hoped for.  I'd appreciate any suggestions as to how I can improve the card's focal point.  :)  Thanks as always for your comments. 


Cards shipped to OWH in 2012: none thus far, but my box is filling up nicely!
Cards shipped to OWH in 2011: 1695

Sunday, February 12, 2012

I love bargains and a little CANDY!

I joked to my mom yesterday that my bargain shopping paid for the upgrade to leather seats in my new car.   It's probably more true than a joke- I am a major bargain hunter and rarely pay full retail for anything.  I said this as we were entering a junky liquidation shop to poke around and satisfy my sense of curiosity since I hadn't been there before.  Mom assured me it was worthless, but I had to see for myself.  We were both pleasantly surprised to discover they'd gotten an entire shipment of cardmaking and scrapbooking supplies in that were selling for $1 each or 12 for $9.   I came home with a haul worth about $200 retail that I got for $9.54 with tax.


Here's what I got:
100 A2 scallop rectangles in confetti white
100 sheets of dark gray 6x9 cardstock (to be used for layering)
40 sheets of red 8.5 by 11 (sold in packs at big box craft stores)
40 sheets of burgundy 8.5 by 11
25 sheets of yellow 8.5 by 11 (sold individually at big box craft stores for 59 cents each)
25 sheets of brown textured 8.5 by 11
25 sheets of evergreen textured 12 by 12
25 sheets of cream textured 12 by 12
25 sheets of white and grey diamond print 12 by 12
25 sheets of brown 12 by 12
25 sheets of pale blue 12 by 12
1 roll of about 25 sheets of Karen Neuburger flower stickers (meant to be sold individually at an LSS)


The cards below use some of the stickers.  I made a dozen of these cards and used up four sheets of the stickers. The cards also make use of bargain cardstock from Tuesday Morning.  I figured that this set of 12 cards cost 60 cents to make, or 5 cents per card.  
I used a modification of a technique that OWH shared last year.  The technique was to stamp a branch, glue paper flowers to it, and emboss the whole thing.  Instead, I stamped a sentiment, used stickers all over the card front, embossed it, and layered it with coordinating cardstock.

I'm pointing out the bargains I found not to make you jealous, but to encourage you to use your resources well and not be discouraged if you've seen your crafty budget shrink in recent years.  With the advent of digi stamps and numerous websites offering freebies, there's almost an unlimited supply of images and sentiments available to anyone with a printer.  With careful shopping, you can find papers to compliment your projects.  If you have any friends who also enjoy paper crafting, you may be able to get them to split packages with you to lower your cost and offer more variety.

Now, for the CANDY!  I doubt I'll be able to finish off all these stickers, so I'll be happy to send a few sheets and some card front-sized coordinating colors of cardstock to one lucky reader who leaves a comment on this post with a tip for saving money while crafting.  Comments must be submitted by Wednesday at 3:00pm EST (noon for West Coast peeps).  US addresses, only, please. Followers will get two entries! 

Don't forget about the Mother's Day challenge for OWH.  Boxes with half Mother's Day/Mom and half general themes are due by March 20th.  See my sidebar for a blinkie with more info.

Cards shipped to OWH in 2012: none thus far, but my box is filling up nicely!
Cards shipped to OWH in 2011: 1695
Here's a hero card I made today.  It was simple to make and I wanted to share it in case any of you are looking for hero cards that are easy to mass produce for card signings.

I cut a 4 x 5.25 inch piece of kraft.  Next, I used stickers to spell "hero" and used a white gel pen to outline the letters.  Then I punched a star and glued it to the cardstock.  Finally, I passed the whole thing through an embossing folder before attaching it to a white card base.  

Cards shipped to OWH in 2012: none thus far, but my box is filling up nicely!
Cards shipped to OWH in 2011: 1695

VCMP #9-13, OWH Sketch #108

I was away on Friday and Saturday, so I wasn't able to keep up with the VCMP challenges on the Stars and Stamps blog.  When I got back to crafting this afternoon, I was able to combine several challenges. 


Here are the challenges I worked on:
#9 Punches or Diecuts
#10 Vintage
#11 Green with a Splash of Color
#12 Boat or Ship image
#13 Embossing

#10, 13: This card is my vintage card.  I never do vintage, so this card was a challenge!  I heat embossed the heart image from Inkadinkado, distressed its edges, attached flowers, and colored the button brads with a Sharpie.  I think the text background paper is pretty strange- I looked down and the first word I picked out on the sheet was "sewage."  The graphic designer must have had a sense of humor to pick that text.  I half-hid the word behind the brown flower.  Sewage and love don't go together! 

#9, 12: This card uses some circle punches and a boat image by Inkadinkado.   I made a kids' card because I messed up on the jungle animals challenge and made that card an adult card. 

#9, 11- I started this card with the scroll-patterned green paper.  It reminded me of Christmas, so I ended up making that kind of card and using up the punched medallion that was left over from cards I made in the fall.  It's also based off this week's Sketch, #108. 

OK, I think I crammed enough fun into this post.  Have a great Sunday. 

Cards shipped to OWH in 2012: none thus far, but my box is filling up nicely! Cards shipped to OWH in 2011: 1695

Thursday, February 9, 2012

VCMP #8- Jungle Animal

Tonight's second challenge is to make a card featuring a jungle animal.  I got some Creative Imaginations epoxy stickers recently and was excited to open the package and make a card with one.  I used assorted cardstock, a CB embossing folder and a Fiskars crimper to build the card base.  There are Colorbok square brads as an accent. 


This is one of the "art" cards that Sandy said aren't in high demand, so I won't make very many with this type of sentiment.  I just liked the sticker.

Cards shipped to OWH in 2012: none thus far, but my box is filling up nicely! Cards shipped to OWH in 2011: 1695

VCMP #7- CAS

I think I might be much more of a CAS cardmaker than I give myself credit for.  I love a white-on-white card (provided there's no stamping involved because I'm fearful of smudges) and a simple embellishment.  I used We R Memory Keepers twine and a Cuttlebug folder to give the card a bit of extra interest.   I chose this Deja Views sticker for the focal point and mounted it on two layers of cardstock.  The sentiment is surely intended as a caption for a first birthday picture, but it made me chuckle and I thought our heroes might have a similar sense of humor. 

Cards shipped to OWH in 2012: none thus far, but my box is filling up nicely! Cards shipped to OWH in 2011: 1695

VCMP #6- Tan and Blue

Here's my blue and tan card to represent the sea and the sand!  It's not beachy, but that wasn't a requirement.  I used a sticker from Deja Views.  The papers are all scraps.  The solid is Bazzill, the blue check is K&Co, and the tan check is so old that I couldn't tell you a manufacturer.  I finished the corner with heart brads by Colorbok.  I also used my Tim Holtz distressing tool for the first time on this card.  I don't think it's any better than using my scissors like I was before, but it might be safer, and since my major run-in with the guillotine paper cutter at work a couple of weeks ago, I should best be careful.  ;)



Cards shipped to OWH in 2012: none thus far, but my box is filling up nicely! Cards shipped to OWH in 2011: 1695

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

VCMP #5- Birthday

This challenge didn't stretch my brain nearly as far as the fancy fold we did yesterday.  I don't like making birthday cards, though, so it did test me in that regard. 

I used a Deja Views sticker for the sentiment, some K&Co patterned paper, brads by JoAnn (I think), and border stamps by Martha Stewart.  

Cards shipped to OWH in 2012: none thus far, but my box is filling up nicely!
Cards shipped to OWH in 2011: 1695

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

VCMP #4- Beachy Thinking of You

So, it's time for another VCMP post.  Can you tell I don't want to do lesson plans or chores?  If you want more details about the VCMP, scroll down to my recent posts. 

This challenge was to make a beach-themed thinking of you card.  While I have a couple of beach stamps, they lend themselves to making a scene and I never like what I make with them.  Instead, I grabbed this decade-old die cut, mounted it on white to help it look a bit cleaner, and placed it on a card based on Sketch 42.  The stamp is my KI Memories, the brads are from Colorbok, and the papers are from K&Co. 



















Cards shipped to OWH in 2012: none thus far, but my box is filling up nicely!
Cards shipped to OWH in 2011: 1695

VCMP #3- Funky Fold

When I saw Sandy's funky fold tutorial this morning, I just knew it would be one of the challenges we'd face tonight for the VCMP.  

The directions were fairly straightforward, but that didn't stop me from making three mistakes on this card.  1) I cut the strips 1 inch in from the edge instead of 3/4 inch 2) I scored all the way across at 5.5 inches and 3) I scored all the way across at 1 inch.  Despite these three mistakes, the card came out alright.





The glittered paper I used is from Fiskars and is very, very well sealed, so it's safe for our heroes because it won't flake off on them!  I also used polka dotted paper from K&Co Girl Scouts stack and the Best of K&Co stack.  The ribbon is by Offray.  Stamp by Studio G, label punch by EK Success, modified by me.  Because this card has a smaller writing space than normal (the front panel would be hard to write on), I'm going to line the card with a piece of paper folded into fourths and trimmed to size so the hero can open it up and write a longer note if desired. 

If you need some cardmaking inspiration, check out the challenges posted each night at 5 and 8 EST all this week on the Stars and Stamps blog!

Cards shipped to OWH in 2012: none thus far, but my box is filling up nicely!
Cards shipped to OWH in 2011: 1695

Monday, February 6, 2012

VCMP #2

OK, two challenges in one night and a weeknight at that!  Craziness!

The second VCMP challenge is to make a nautical themed masculine card.  Do you sense the cruise theme with these challenges?  I feel like there's going to be one at the end of the week requiring a buffet, lounge chair, or bath towel origami animal!  Seriously, though, my predictions are 1) the sketches they're using on the cruise, 2) water, 3) sea life, 4) map, 5) summer, 6) the cruise digi, and 7) some additional color or sentiment themes. 

I used a stamp from SU Wonderful Woodcuts (a fabulous set for masculine cards) and some Bazzil that I embossed with two CB folders.  I tried to cut waves to make a ruffle card and it was a major disaster, so I nixed that idea early on.  I think the problem was that the Bazzil wanted to tear since it had been embossed and had been weakened. 

I colored the image with my watercolor pencils.  Frankly, I get much better results with them than the few Copics I have and the whole set cost about as much as 1 Copic.  One day, I will learn enough about Copics to make them worthwhile. 

The anchor was part of some random embellishments in a grab bag of sorts I bought at Big Lots about two years ago.  The pack didn't have a manufacturer, but it might be Colorbok because most items in the bag were from that brand. 

Cards shipped to OWH in 2012: none thus far, but my box is filling up nicely!
Cards shipped to OWH in 2011: 1695

VCMP #1



It's time for a Virtual Card Making Party!   The first challenge during this weeks "party" is to create a card using green, yellow, and hot pink.  As soon as I read the challenge, I thought of a pack of paper I have with exactly those colors of cardstock.  I used a technique I saw on Tonic's blog a while ago to make another Mom card.  It's a bit time consuming to make because of the border punch work, but I really think it looks nice, so I'm happy to put in the effort!  I wish I had a heart die so I could do the same thing to a heart shape. 

Cards shipped to OWH in 2012: none thus far, but my box is filling up nicely!
Cards shipped to OWH in 2011: 1695

Dad Cards and Sketch #68

On Saturday, I bought a package of Making Memories Dad stickers ($1 at Ollie's). I decided to use them all at once so there wouldn't be one or two lingering on the sheet. I love the sense of accomplishment I get from using up an entire package of embellishments, sheet of paper, or roll of ribbon. This weekend was great because of how many things I used up. Among other things, I finished off 10 rolls of ribbon!

Here are two cards I made based on OWH Sketch #68.



I'll be sharing the other cards I made later in the week, so stay tuned!

Cards shipped to OWH in 2012: none thus far, but my box is filling up nicely!
Cards shipped to OWH in 2011: 1695

Sunday, February 5, 2012

More Father's Day card

There are a pile of cards I made this weekend using a pack of Dad stickers and various papers from my stash. I'll be sharing them this week. Here are two cards based on OWH Sketch #66.





Cards shipped to OWH in 2012: none thus far, but my box is filling up nicely! I know I've been saying this for a month, but it's true. Right now, I have over 250 ready to go, and once I hit about 300-330 my box will be full.

Cards shipped to OWH in 2011: 1695

OWH Sketch #107

I used some scraps that were siting on my desk and a vellum quote for this card. The hardest part was choosing the ribbon- I just didn't have the right color to match the pastel scheme so I had to use white!

This card is based on OWH's Sketch 107. The February ODBD challenge is to use ribbon. I will link this card so I don't forget to enter. Many of my cards use ribbon, so this was an easy challenge!

Cards shipped to OWH in 2012: none thus far, but my box is filling up nicely!
Cards shipped to OWH in 2011: 1695

Saturday, February 4, 2012

CASE of Jennifer McGuire's blog skip card

OWH hosted a CAS skip today and Jennifer McGuire of Hero Arts was one of the bloggers. Her card inspired a lot of CASE action on the OWH FB page and I decided to join in the fun. I love the "graph paper" background that she used. I don't have any and didn't think my school graph paper would be an appropriate substitute, so I used this blue checked paper by Pebbles, Inc. The other papers are from the same line.

The stamp is from Hampton Arts clear stamps "Mom and Dad" set. The corner punch and label punch are both by EK Success. The snap is by Making Memories.


Cards shipped to OWH in 2012: none thus far, but my box is filling up nicely!
Cards shipped to OWH in 2011: 1695

Mother's Day CAS card

In case you didn't already know, I love a bargain. Today while I was at Goodwill, I stumbled upon 3 boxes of 40 print-your-own wedding invitation and response card sets by Martha Stewart for $1 per box. I read the back of the box and saw that the response card envelopes were A2 size, so I figured I would buy the sets just for that. $1 for 40 envelopes is a good price. The other pieces I could either use to stamp images on or as card elements. They have one edge that is punched like eyelet. I am using the large invitations folded in half as A2 card bases. Here's a CAS Mother's Day card I made using one of the invitations.



The stamp is from a Hampton Arts clear set of Mom/Dad stamps. (It was $2 at Big Lots several months ago.) The ink is Studio G. The ribbon is Offray Simply Grosgrain.

I'm planning to make about 20 of these depending on what grosgrain ribbon I have that matches my inks. I used up the green ribbon on 8 of these and found enough lavender for 4 more. Have you seen that OWH has a challenge for Mother's Day cards? Get your boxes to your shipper by March 20th- half Mom cards and half general. My sidebar has more details!

Look around carefully, and you might also find a bargain to use in your crafting! What's your best crafting bargain?

Cards shipped to OWH in 2012: none thus far, but my box is filling up nicely!
Cards shipped to OWH in 2011: 1695

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Organization: embossing folders

I've amassed a large collection of embossing folders over the past two years. The majority are the A2 size that emboss an entire card front. I have so many that it takes a bit of time to flip through them and find the one I want. I recently decided I needed a method to organize them further. I took a permanent marker and wrote the name of the folder on the front of the folder in an inconspicuous place. I like to be able to list the style on my blog but I rarely remember. This will help. I store my folders in a small plastic crate meant to hold CDs or DVDs ($1-$1.50 at dollar stores and big box stores). I'm going to make dividers for themes: floral, geometric (polka dots, stripes, plaids), characters (Disney), text, love, Christmas, stars, and other. I suspect this bit of organization will halve the time I spend looking for a folder. :)


Cards shipped to OWH in 2012: none thus far, but my box is filling up nicely!
Cards shipped to OWH in 2011: 1695

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Sketch #34 for Mom!


I made this card with Sketch #34. As it turns out, there's some mystery surrounding that sketch, so go here to learn more. As it turns out, there is also a lost Sketch #34 here. I'll have to do that sketch soon- I really like it!

This card uses papers from Making Memories, a punch by EK success, a corner rounder, and a stamp by Studio G. I made several of these for my box. I think I have my box about 3/4 full, so after another 50-75 cards, it should be ready to send.

Cards shipped to OWH in 2012: none thus far, but my box is filling up nicely!
Cards shipped to OWH in 2011: 1695

Have a Splendid Day!

I've been slowly using the paste paper I made way back in college over the past few months. This plum paper turned into 8 of these cards. Paste paper is meant to be used for the covers of handmade books, but since I've never made any books, I thought it would be great for cards. I love the variegated colors and kind of want to make more paste paper. Perhaps when I use up the dozen or so sheets I have, I will invest in the supplies to make more.

This card also uses a rose stamp from Inkadinkado, a sentiment from American Crafts, gems from Jo-Ann's dollar bin, and a corner punch. The corner punch helps this card qualify for OWH's midweek throwdown (though a corner punch is arguably the least interesting punch I could have chosen). It's also based on an OWH Sketch, did you notice? It's number 31!

Cards shipped to OWH in 2012: none thus far, but my box is filling up nicely!
Cards shipped to OWH in 2011: 1695