Thursday, October 30, 2008

Catching up

I would love to be able to tell you that I've been stamping too much to update, but truthfully, I got engrossed in a book the other night and did nothing but sit around and read. And last night, I was pricing items for my local scrapbook store's garage sale this weekend. So I haven't done anything, but I thought I'd show you one of my favorite "useful" projects.

This is a little book that someone sent me last year - they'd decorated it for Christmas, with a cute Santa on the cover. Unfortunately, it came on about the 23rd, so it wasn't much use for Christmas, but I thought I'd make a new cover for it to use at work.

I don't have a Bind-It-All, so I just cut the purple cardstock to the size of the book, and attached it to the top page after I took off the old cover - the two thicknesses together made it just fine for a new cover - and cut inside each hole with my little Fiskars finger knife. The PTI Guidelines patterned paper made a cute bottom half for my cover, and I was working on watercoloring techniques that week, so I watercolored this little butterfly from my Stampin' Up! Merci set. I outlined some of the butterfly with a glitter pen to make him stand out, and popped up the punched-out image on Pop Dots. Once I put the cover back on the book, I cut several pieces of black velvet ribbon and PTI's twill (my favorite ribbon EVER, in any color) in Lavender Moon and Plum Pudding. I tied those around the wires, and voila! A cute little book to take notes in at work. I love being surrounded by fun things I've made while I'm at work - it gives me inspiration to think up new things to make once I get home. One of my favorite for-work projects is a pencil cup shown here and here - I keep the template for the insert at home and re-do it every once in a while, just for fun.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Homey owl

I wanted to make something a little different and special for my mom's birthday, so I made a Joy Fold Card. I think these are such a nice use of pretty coordinating paper, because you can use quite a few different designs on the various pieces, and none of them really get hidden (like they sometimes do when I'm putting a lot of layers on a standard A2 card). These Cosmo Cricket papers make me think of my mom, because they're so warm and homey, like fabrics you would use in a quilt. They're perfect for this time of year, too, because they make you think of hot cocoa and a warm blanket in front of the fire.

It's been too long since I've used my favorite PaperTrey Wise Owl set, so I had to use it here. The quarter-circle I used to hold the flap closed is actually something I started making for the aborted wedding card I started earlier in the weekend - it's a Stampin' Up! rub-on on PTI Dark Chocolate cardstock, and I distressed it a bit with Ranger Distress Ink (I don't remember which color) so it wouldn't be such a bright white.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Wedding tag

I had a whole concept in mind for this wedding card, right up until I started to make it. It just wasn't coming together, but as I was looking for the right paper to use, I came across this pretty bird and tree on French script. Fortunately, the same pattern was used on the largest tag on the sheet of die cuts that comes with the paper (that's one thing I love about Basic Grey papers - they all come with a sheet of coordinating die-cut shapes and a sheet of coordinating alphabet letters).

This, by the way, is from the Blush collection. Such pretty colors! Since the paper is so pretty by itself, I didn't want to do much to it, but I had these tiny pink flowers that coordinate beautifully with the flowers in the design. I stuck them on with ultra-thin Glue Dots (what did I ever do without those) and added Stickle centers to make them pop. Super easy and quick, but I think it's pretty adorable.

Postscript: Aaaand... I was FIVE AND A HALF HOURS LATE for the wedding. Five and a half hours! I am the lamest person in the history of lame. This is what happens when you "save the date" in Google Calendar and forget to ever go back and put in the real time once the invitation comes. Crap!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Work in progress

So this is where everything stands right now - boxes, boxes, and more boxes. All of my books (20ish boxes) ended up in my study, and all of my craft boxes, and all of my study furniture. I'm working through the books to get them all catalogued before we get bookshelves, so I can use Delicious Library to tell me where everything needs to go.

I figured instead of trying to box up my drawer-unit full of tiny things, I'd wrap it in the movers' plastic wrap - it worked pretty well, except when I tilted it backwards and lost a bunch of little plastic things.

This drawer unit and ribbon box got moved pretty much as-is... I keep my ribbon spools on rods hung in the box, and all of the smaller pieces just go in the bottom. Easy move! I picked up the top fabric box at Container Store for my 8 1/2" x 11" paper.

Isn't this a great little Reisenthal box? Once I get everything set up, I'm probably going to keep it on my desk to hold all of those little things that I like to have at hand and that don't fit in my craft tote - adhesives, button jars, stuff like that.

The view from the doorway - see my great windows? I get such wonderful light in here. You can also see the card spinner (well, sort of spinner... it's more of a stand. I haven't figured out how to make it spin yet, if it does) my sister got me for Christmas. Very cool! I'm going to get another desk - glass tabletop and trestle legs - from IKEA, and put it on the right, making an L with the current one. That way I'll have plenty of workspace for my stamping and my quilting, and a permanent spot for my sewing machine.

How cute is this guy, peeking out from behind the door? This is such a great bag - I carry all my various "stuff" to work in it - lunches, books, cards to put in my for-sale box, stuff like that. Thanks, Emily!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Windy birthday card

This was a fun card to do - I found it in a magazine from several months ago and had the right paper to copy it (with some changes). I love this Cosmo Cricket Dutch Girl paper, and have been trying to find ways to use it since I got it. They pick such wonderful colors! I also have the Cosmo Cricket Gretel collection, and I'd really like to pick up Hey Sugar and Oh Joy. Be Good is really pretty, too... oh, who am I kidding... I love their vintage colors and designs as much as I love Basic Grey's papers, and the only reason I have more Basic Grey is that Hobby Lobby carries more of their sets and has them on sale so often.

I substituted some stickers I had for the rub-ons in the original I was working from - forgot completely that I had an alphabet stamp set that would have been small enough, but oh well. The stickers worked out fine, I think. The purple X is a cool little tool - it's a Xyron product that lets you make small items into stickers. I don't use it that often, but it's fantastic for tiny little things that you can't use the Duck roller or double-stick tape on.

This is the inside - I don't usually do much with insides of cards, but I love how this layout made use of both designs on the double-sided paper - I may have to do this more often! (Although, on a tangent related to using both sides and not wasting the nice paper, it would have been nice if the instructions in the magazine had said either to cut an 8"x8" piece of paper and fold it in half, or to cut paper for a finished size of 4"x8" - I wasn't paying enough attention to the photo at first and cut according to the directions: "Cut your paper 4"x8"" and wasted my last piece of the blue-front paper I was supposed to use. Oh well, I'll repurpose it for something else.)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Packing purgatory

I'm right in the middle of packing up all my craft stuff, so I don't have anything to share.

Well, actually, I do, because I made a SUPER-cute card for my mother-in-law's birthday the other day, but she doesn't have it yet, so I don't want to post it. If I'm making a card for someone in particular, I like to wait till they see it for themselves before I put it up here.

So, once she gets her card, you'll get to see it... and until then, maybe I'll get some photos as I'm setting up my new! improved! craft room. We picked up the keys last night, and the apartment is so great (well, except for the living room wall - I showed the apartment person the yellow I was thinking of, and she was like, "Oh, we have one already just like that, so you don't have to buy any paint" - um, yeah... not really. It's like the brightest crayon-y yellow ever. So I picked up a paler, sunny yellow last night and they're re-doing it today) - I'm so excited to get moved in.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Card for Alyson

I thought I'd try this month's Dirty Dozen sketch on Splitcoast for a card for Alyson Kathleen. I think these baby girl papers from Nana's Nursery are so sweet - some of them have glitter and dimension, and they all work really well together. With a sketch and paper decided on, it was pretty simple to put together! I decided to change it to a 5.5" square card, since the papers are so pretty - I wanted to be able to show more of them.

I layered the criss-crossing strips on coordinating paper, and scalloped the edges of the pink piece with a cutter I got for Christmas. The little sentiment is from Papertrey's Bitty Baby Blessings set, and is mounted on a scalloped circle and popped up from the card on Pop Dots.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Catchup post

Between packing to move and some health issues, I haven't had time/energy to stamp lately, so I thought I'd show off one of my favorite projects. We took a trip to London and Paris in the summer of 2007 and I was really proud of the scrapbook I made of our photos. I started out by deciding to use only three colors throughout: red, black, and white. I ended up switching from bright red (SU's Real Red) to cranberry (SU's retired Cranberry Crisp) halfway through, in the Paris part - I don't think it messed up the concept, though. On this first page, the title is laid out on Chili's coasters covered with patterned paper - I like the depth and interest that gave the page.

The envelope is one of many I used throughout the book - this one holds our plane ticket stubs, and the rest of the little envelopes each have the day's date on them and contain my journal pages from that day. I decided to just include my actual journal, since I did it on small paper, rather than write out journaling directly on the pages.

It took me some time to get used to our hotel room - it was TINY. Just enough room for the bed, really. We had to crawl up from the foot of the bed to even lay on it - no room to walk on either side. It was stiflingly hot the first night we were there, and we got a fan from the front desk to set up in the window. I loved the view, though - I felt like Wendy, about to think my happy thought and fly out over the rooftops. Which was appropriate, since it turned out our hotel was on the same street as J.M. Barrie's house (the author of the Peter Pan books), and we were right down the road from Hyde Park/Kensington Park, where he got his inspiration for the books.

This adorable Doodlebug Designs paper was my inspiration for the black/white/red theme - I just thought it was so cute. I think all of the black and white patterned paper I used throughout was from the same few sheets of Doodlebug paper.

I picked up the little cross-stitch design in the Tower of London gift shop - it was supposed to be a card to mail, but I thought it'd be a nice handmade remembrance of the trip, and it adds some great color to the scrapbook.

We took a Duck tour while we were there - it was really fun. London is the perfect place for it, because so much of the city is centered around the Thames, and when you're just walking around, you tend to forget how vital the river was to the original functioning of the city. It's also very cool to be driving down what looks like a little alley between buildings and suddenly (well, after a switch from driver to captain) be on the water.

My sister picked up these cute travel-themed stamps from Love Elsie, and they were perfect for a travel-themed background. This little pop-out London map was a lifesaver - folds down to pocket-size, but shows pretty much everything you could want to see in London. I kept meaning to get one for Paris, and for some reason never did. They're so great, though.

I like this page from Paris a lot - I didn't include many of the Paris pages in this post, mostly because I don't think I did as good a job with the pages themselves as I did with London. This one, though, I like - the hardware is a great way to showcase the Eiffel Tower ticket stub, and this photo of Sacre Coeur cathedral from the top of the Tower, lit with a beam of light shining out of the overcast sky, is one of my favorites that we took on the trip. If you'd like to see the whole book, I have photos of it starting here.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Belated World Cardmaking Day

Due to anniversary and pre-move activities, World Cardmaking Day had to take a backseat to dinner, packing, and selling stuff on Craigslist (anybody want a fish tank, patio furniture, coffee table, or end table, by the way?). I did get a start on this card, and then kind of got stuck at this stage. A friend at work brought me this cute Halloween paper, and I had the stickers from my haunted house. I tore the edges of the paper put the owl on... and then really liked it. I was feeling like it needed something else, but I really liked how simple it was.

So I slept on it, and this morning I busted out my sadly underused Crop-O-Dile. It's a fun little tool for hole-punching, eyelet-setting, and snap fixing that is SO much easier (and quieter) than hammers and other various tools I've used for those purposes before. And it has pink handles and is in a pink case - can't go wrong there. I set these three jumbo eyelets (almost went for the black-black ones, but I thought this dark grey was nicer), and decided it was done. The inside will have my favorite Halloween-y verse from Macbeth: "Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble, something wicked this way comes!" (You're welcome for the earworm, Harry Potter fans.)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Abbey's candy

I thought, for the prize for yesterday's winner, it'd be fun to decorate that little French notebook I picked up this weekend. I started out by chalking the flowers - the cover is slick, so I first sanded the area a bit to give myself some traction.

I then used my Versamark pen to fill in the areas as I chalked them - Versamark is a nice medium for this kind of thing, because it gives the chalk a little "stick". I picked up a bunch of eyeshadow applicators at the beauty supply store last night - they're cheap in bulk and easy to use for this kind of thing.

For the lettering and design, I filled certain parts in with a glitter gel pen - just a little shine to make them stand out. I thought, at this stage, that I'd be using a spray fixative on the chalked parts to make sure the chalk would stick, and even made a mask for it, but I think using the Versamark made that unnecessary. (Abbey, if it starts to come off on your hands, let me know and I'll spray it.)

To finish, I wanted to use the little bottle of flowers that I bought this weekend - when I took out the stopper, I found out that it was really just flower petals, which was actually better - there were several little circles on the cover that I thought would make a nice pattern for "scattered" petals. I glued those on with a Martha Stewart glue pen - it's like a ballpoint pen for glue, and it goes on blue and dries clear so you can see where you've covered.

Time out

I'm working on Abbey's blog candy and want to finish it and give it to her before I post about it, so instead I'll link you to some adorable stuff on a great shabby-chic crafty blog: Sugar*Sugar - this blogger and Amy at Inspireco make me desperately want to attend Silver Bella - they all have a style that I'd love to co-opt, but I'm too much of a perfectionist sometimes for the torn/shabby/vintage style - I'd LOVE to have a weekend with those amazingly talented women to get inspiration, ideas, and motivation. I may at least sign up for Sweet Six Studio next time they do it.