Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Valentine Projects

Today I am heading down to my recently cleaned studio and plan to create all day long. Expect good things to come soon.  I am also thinking of doing a give away in the near future.  Question…would you rather get a craft supply item or something handmade by me?  Leave a comment letting me know which you would get more excited over.

I am super excited to be helping a friend with her June wedding.  When I got married 18 years ago it was pre-internet.  Gasp..can you even imagine?!  I still managed to do a lot of stuff myself and will be sharing some of my projects from both my wedding and my friend's wedding over the next several months.  The best part of helping B. with her wedding is that we have the same taste so it is easy and exciting to come up with projects.

In the mean time I just wanted to share the Valentine projects I made last year.  My garland is being published in Northridge Publishing's handmade paper crafting J/F 2013 issue..Yay me!

Valentine Projects:
These are fun little cards that I made using images from House of 3 which are no longer available but what I wanted to show is how easy it is to take a digital image, lay it over a digital paper and print it out.  You can also take a digital image and simply print it out on patterned paper and get the same look. Then simply add some embellishments to make the craft a hybrid project.  This way you get the best of both worlds: the digital images allow you to be very creative and make it really your own and the 3D embellishments add texture and bling that make the project come alive.

This sweet and simple project I made for my grandmother to decorate her walls in the nursing home.

The Scrapbook below was made for a wedding gift but certainly could also be used as a Valentine gift or use as a place to record your Valentine's memories each year.

Below are a bunch of digital images I played with and printed out using products from Rhonna Farrer.  I adore her digital images, brushes, papers, etc.  So much fun.  This year she released a set that coordinates with last years images (these are last years). I played around with the colors because originally her colors were more peach than pink.  After I made everything more pink I ended up printing both colors and mixing them together…LOVED the combination. 
I added glitter and book paper hearts and rhinestones after I printed this out.
I love decorating bottles for the holidays.  So pretty. 
 Ah…..Swarovski.  Nothing sparkles more.  These are made using Crystal Clay and Swarovski Chatons.

What are you working on for this Valentine's Day?

Laters Baby….

Friday, January 18, 2013

Organizing My Studio

I have a lot of craft supplies….like A LOT….No, I mean more than the average Josephine Crafter…Really, you DON'T understand, I really really have a lot a lot.   Creating things fills my heart and soul in a way that is beyond words so procuring craft supplies gives my brain and spirit a transfusion of it's life blood. This would be bad enough if I was a paper crafter…but I also do glass solder, jewelry, sew, and make general crafts like wreaths, flower arranging, home decor and on and on.  Add on my I-Hate-To-Add-To-The-Landfill because I-Might-Find-A-Cool-Use-For-That hoarding and my studio is packed to the max with delicious items.  The end result is my studio is always a mess.

One way I know I have a lot of stuff is the new trend to publish craft rooms and studios in various magazines and blogs.  You see I laugh out loud when I see these well organized craft rooms.  Because there is no way my stuff would ever fit in anything even close to the storage in these rooms.  But having to see such well organized spaces does given em ideas and motivation to keep attempting to rein in the mess.  Last year I bought a bunch of the white laminate organizers sold at Michael's and it helped but my desk is always really bad.  You can see…

I must have mentioned this to my mom so for Christmas she bought me an ink organizers specifically made for Distress Pads- I have there pads but I mainly use Distress and have all of the 48 colors and most of the Reinkers.
You can see what an amazing change this made on my desk…and it keeps the Reinker right with the pad so it is easy to find whether I want to add ink to a pad or make a spray.  I added the colored labels from the set of labels I got from Paula Cheney making it easier to find the color I want with only a glance and giving me a very pretty visual right in front of my workspace.  While I was at it I also redid the labels on my Distress Stains- here you see the white labels before I inked them.   Ironically, cleaning off my workspace led to cleaning up my entire studio and moving my stamp cabinet closer to my new workspace and filling up again.  Don't tell anyone but for the last at least 8 months- I have been storing my stamps on the floor next to my workspace.  Ugh, it was a big mess.

The sad thing is that even though I reorganized everything it is still a mess….the clutter is the problem.  I just have too many projects half done or supplies purchased but haven't started them or supplies and tools for a specific craft that I am currently NOT working on…it is a process though.  I think the hardest part is finding storage that fits the need.  Like I need small shallow shovels and lots of them because deep shelves and drawers swallow supplies and I cannot find them or forget that I own them.  But it is a fight that I will continue to fight and I am trying to back off buying supplies…yeah right…did you see all the cool crap Tim is releasing in the next 6 months? I did and there is a bunch of must haves….like a TON.  Oh and I am helping a friend with her wedding…Super excited about it and you will see most of the projects here as they are completed but it also means ordering more supplies…new tags, new papers, ink in the wedding colors….peony stamp to coordinate with her flowers…you get my point.

But back to my new ink organizer.  It was made by Organize More and made in the USA.  Actually the products are Made To Order so it did take a good 6 weeks to arrive, but it was worth the wait.   Check out their website to see all the great stuff they sell.  This is not a paid endorsement, in fact they have no idea I am writing this post-I just love the product and wanted to pass it on.  They have organizers for Stampin' Up and Close To My Heart ink pads; ribbon rolls; punches; stamp wheels; and Sizzix dies.  They carry organizers that hold a combination of ink pads and ribbon rolls as well as stamp sets from Stampin' Up.  Even the Copic crowd will find a storage unit.  There are a few more but I don't want to bore you….check it out.

As for labeling my Distress Products…I used label paper and cut out circles using a 1/2 inch circle punch, applied them to the top of the Stains, then simply swiped the stain over the label.  I found it gave a nicer finish if I screwed the lid back on the stain and then dragged the wet label over paper towel.  It kept the color from pooling and leaving an uneven appearance.  The labels for the ink pads were made by Paula so I don't know the specifics but Avery 48266 File Folder labels would work.  You can add the names using either a Word or hand write them.  MS Word has templates for all the Avery Labels making it pretty easy to do.  For most of the labels I stuck the labels on and then used my Blending Tool to add the ink but as I went on I found that dragging the ink pad over the label worked better giving me a more accurate color.

Laters  Baby….

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Cheap-ish Craft Products

I am all post prolo (if you have no idea what I am talking about you can read more about this fun and not-to-be-missed medical procedure here).  Anyway, I was shot up yesterday and Doc hit my occipital area (AKA the back of the head) and while I don't actually feel that bad, those muscles are telling me that if I try to sit up and create today….well they will be PRETTY mad at me and take it out on me by giving me THE M.O.N.S.T.E.R headache that no amount of narcotics or migraine medication ever help.  So I'm listening to said muscles and I shall lay low today.  In the mean time, I thought I would share a couple of secrets for getting ahold of cheap-ish craft products.

Crafting is an expensive habit.  Or it can be if you desire all the latest amazing products.  CHA Winter opened this morning.  All the manufacturers are showing off the products they will be releasing for the next 6 months.  I mentioned that Tim Holtz had been running sneak peaks on his blog as have a lot of the different companies.  If you want to see what is going on you can check your out your favorite companies' websites or you can hit the CHA pages of the bigger sites like Two Peas In a Bucket or's.  So, how to keep from going bankrupt while enjoying all the latest craft products…ahhhh I have my secretes.

Secret #1 is
Blitsy is a members-only club that offers deals three days a week up to 60% off on craft products.  It's free to join and become a member and they offer a reward program for referrals.  What I love about the site is that they sell a ton of Tim Holtz products from all his lines- Alterations, Stampers Anonymous, Ranger, Core'dinations, and Idea-ology.  All at terrific prices!  Most items are at least 40-50% off and they run the most popular items- like Distress- often.  Not a big fan of the Holtz?  No worries, they sell much more than just Tim.  This week they had Sizzix, Teresa Collins, Smooch, Making Memories, Golden and Colorbox to name a few.  I love that they don't just sell the older products, but current lines as well.  I ended up purchasing a bunch of Tim's bottle brush trees and all the new Distress Stains from Blitsy this Christmas.  About that Reward Program: They offer a $10 Reward for inviting friends so if you are my friend you can click on this link and order $10 worth of product and I get a reward.  But this isn't a commercial and I really don't care if I get the Reward- I will still sing their praises and I will still shop frequently.  I really just wanted to spread the word about a company that I like, that I've ordered a lot of product from and that which I have nothing but good things to say.

Secret #2 is the national chain Tuesday Morning.  I've taken to stopping in once a month or so to see what they have.  On those occasions when they have Tim's products I grab what I can.  Last month I grabbed every last package they had.  I stopped in Tuesday and they had a ton so Idea-ology products so run out this weekend.  I scored Trimmings, Adornments, Baubles, Grunge Blocks and Tissue Tape Holders.  They also had Drill Presses (own one) and some older button packages (own too many buttons).  Several months ago they had Configurations at rock bottom prices.  I find most of the craft products are 50% off which who doesn't LOVE that kind of deal?

Secret #3 is For Sale or Trade Boards.  I only have experience with the Sell or Trade Board at Two Peas in a Bucket, but I have had great success with getting Sizzix dies and several stamp sets that I want at great prices.  Of course you are trusting the parties involved to do what they say they will but the Two Peas board has a running list of scammers and going through Paypal-which is really easy- does protect you a little more than just sending a check.  This secret is especially great for those of you who want Cricut Cartridges or are trying to find those "Have-to-Have" items like Studio Calico's newest stamp.  I find it hilarious to just read the board to see what the hot items are because it only takes a few minutes to see what items everything is asking for.  While I have only used the Two Peas board, other sites have them as well so look around.
Secret #4 ZipperStop for Seam Binding.  I've mentioned this before but I buy Snug Hug seam binding from Zipper Stop in 100 yard rolls for $10.  I like to keep white on hand and then whatever color I might need for a big project.  You can order from Zipper Stop's website or Etsy store, the prices are the same at each.  I have yet to find a deal with good anywhere else and having 100 yards on hand is terrific because you don't feel the need to be stingy with the ribbon.

What are your favorite secretes for saving money?

Laters Baby….
This post has been linked to the following Linky Parties:
I Gotta Try That

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Time for Tea

My new policy when trying a new technique or when meeting a challenge is to make several different tags.  So for the tea challenge at Simon Says Stamp I made another Tea tag and here it is.
Never one to miss a trend… Ok that a complete lie cuz I sorta always do my own thing and usually a year before everyone else does.  So let me try again.
In response to all the classic movies being released with 3D versions (think Nemo 3D) I went all Tea 3D.  The bottom cup is flat on the card, the orange cup has a Pop Dot under it and the green cup has 2 Pop Dots.  Bam!
The background was made using a Texture Fade.  For those of you have no idea what I am talking about and wonder if this is some sort of technique your husband's barber just performed on his hair, it isn't.  It is a plate that you run through the die cutting machine that gives the paper an embossed texture.  Tim's are officially called Texture Fades and can be seen here.  Sizzix also has their Non-Tim version called Textured Impression you can see here.  The Texture Fade I used is called Patchwork.  So now you are up to speed and it is time for me to admit…with my head hung low…that I got a big bundle of Texture Fades when I got my Vagabond but I never really like them.  I tried to like them really I did.  I would emboss a bunch of tags and then….hate them.  But then Tim released his January Tag with a Texture Fade Background and I had to do a Texture Fade if I wanted to compete.  Ugh…. So I embossed a bunch of tags (as per my policy, see above) that I thought might work and in full disclosure this background was one of them.  And you know what (she whispers)?  I kinda like them now.  It adds so much to this simple tag.  Without the Texture Fade this tag would pretty boring.  So the moral of the story is once again I've been Holtz-ified… hmmm….go figure! 
Gotta run, I have to finish my article for Cloth Paper Scissors…. I HAVE AN ARTICLE GOING IN CLOTH PAPER SCISSORS (She yells fangirling all over her blog).  
Laters Baby….

P.S. My local Tuesday Mornings has a TON of Tim's Idea-ology products at AhMazing prices.  Might be worth a trip if you have one near you.

This post has been Linked to the following Linky Parties:
Bloom Designs
Just Us Four
I Gotta Try That
Twigg Studios

Monday, January 7, 2013

January 12 Tags of 2013

You wouldn't know it from this tag  but it is the January edition of Tim Holtz's 12 Tags of 2013 cuz I went all Valentine.

As always we must begin with Tim's Tag:
Tag By Tim Holtz
And my Tag:
Laters Baby….
This Post has been LInked to the following Linky Parties:
Bloom Designs
Just Us Four
Twigg Studios
Mighty Crafty