Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Hello House

Just a fun little card for today - I thought I'd try pulling out some of my less-used stamp sets.

The main image is a pretty simple watercolor of PTI's Boards & Beams house, with layered and embossed cardstock.

Nothing terribly revolutionary, but I enjoyed getting out an old set!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Sweet Birthdays

I was running low on birthday cards, and thought I'd work on using some of my scraps from other projects. Both of these use scraps from my Fancy Pants 6x6 "it's the little things" pad.

For both cards, I stamped the cherry on the cupcake first, and glittered it using heat-and-stick powder and (appropriately enough) Doodlebug Designs Sugar Coating Cupcake Glitter. Their Sugar Coating glitter works really well - I only have this one color of it, and I've thought about getting a multipack of all the colors, but I can't decide between Doodlebug and Martha Stewart - her glitter multipack is pretty amazing as well, and has larger jars.

I embossed the cupcake base and top on different colors of cardstock, using the same Hidden Color Satin embossing powder that I used on the owls last time - this time I used blue for both colors of cardstock to kind of tie them together, and embossed the sentiment the same way.

This picture came out looking a little greener than it does in real life - it's really more of a khaki-beige cardstock. Anyway - these were fairly quick and simple, once I had the embossing assembly line going, and were a good way to use up some scraps.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

CAS Birthday

Thought I'd do a couple of CAS (Clean And Simple) birthday cards today, to use my cute owl some more, and to use up some scraps from other projects.

The owl and sentiment are stamped with Palette Burnt Umber ink (love my Palette inks!), and the owl is embossed with copper-colored Hidden Color Satin embossing powder. This stuff should probably be the subject of a WEP Award, except that I didn't buy it - someone gave me a set years ago, and it's one of my favorite things that I keep pulling out time and time again. It looks like clear/white embossing powder in the jar, but when you put it on colored ink or colored paper with Versamark and heat it up, it gets this amazing iridescent shine. You can still see the image through it (like clear embossing powder) but the different colors indicated on the lids (copper, gold, purple, red, blue, and green) really pop and look amazing. I tried to set up these cards side by side so that you can see how it looks straight on (on the left) and in the light (on the right) - basic brown at first glance, then a pop of shine!

I added a little strip of patterned paper to the bottom (these were left over from other things - I like to save little bits like this if they're long enough to make a border), and that's all it took for a 5-minute birthday card.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

New Feature: The WEP Award

I've decided to introduce a new (hopefully regular) feature on this blog: the WEP Award. In the interest of my recent contemplation of spending (my own) and value (in terms of what I'll sell in my potential store), I've been thinking about which crafting items I own that I would consider to be Worth Every Penny. Since this is what my desk looks like right now...

...I'll include links today rather than photos.

Today's WEP Award actually goes to two winners. Stampin' Up Grid Paper and Stampin' Up Stampin' Mist.

Does it seem a little odd that my first WEP Award goes to items that aren't technically CREATIVE? Sure. But really, I was thinking about these things today, because I just received an order that I'd placed for just these two things. I use them every single time I stamp, and the last time I ordered them? At least FOUR years ago. They may not be the most glamorous tools in my crafting arsenal, but holy cow are they the highest value per use.

The grid paper is shockingly useful - it's huge, so it really covers plenty of space on my desk and keeps me from having to wipe off ink, etc. I pretty much use one sheet until it's unusuable - either because it's got too much adhesive on it, so it starts sticking to new projects, or because I've been using it to catch glitter and put it back in the jar, and I want to change colors of glitter. By the time I throw one away, it inevitably has ink ALL over it, from stamping off before I clean a stamp, or from positioning, or whatever. The grid lines are so helpful in lining things up, and on the right-hand side, there's a handy guide to standard card sizes.

The stamp cleaner works ridiculously well (I use it with the Stampin' Up Stampin' Scrub, which has also been great, except that right now I need to replace the scrubby pads and the company isn't shipping them because of a quality problem. So I can't add the scrub pads to the WEP Award just yet.), and I've been using the same tiny spray bottle for years - just refilling it when needed with a diluted solution of the Stampin' Mist - I find that, undiluted, it's a little too soapy. But if I fill the smaller bottle half with water before I fill it up with solution, it makes the solution last forever and keeps it from being too sudsy.

One problem with this WEP Award is that I can't sell these items retail when I open my store - does anyone have any recommendations for similar items that might be from a company besides Stampin' Up?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A Head Start on Mothers Day

I promised a return to photos and crafts, and so I shall.

This is one of the results of my challenge to myself to use things I already have. I saw this cute template on another blog recently (and discovered that site in the process, which has a ton of cute stuff), and thought it would be fun to make these for part of my Mothers Day gifts this year.

The back compartment of this little organizer box is the perfect size for A2 cards (5.5"x4.25" - the size I always make), so I made some dividers for different types of cards out of coordinating paper. All of the decorative papers I used on this are from a Heidi Grace set I got years ago, and haven't used much of. The cream cardstock used for the base is something I picked up for a project a while back, and still had quite a bit left of.

When I give this as a gift, I'll fill up the back with appropriate cards, put pens in the front pocket, and put a book of stamps in the drawer. I'm trying to decide if I want to add some flowers or buttons or something to spiff it up - I kind of like it as it is, but I'll update with another picture if I decide to add anything.

Monday, April 4, 2011


One more pondering post, and then it's back to crafts and pictures, I swear.

So here's my dilemma - I've been discussing it with my sister, but I'm curious to know other people's opinions.

If you read my last post, you know I've been thinking a lot lately about crafting and spending. If you've talked to me lately, you might know that I'm also thinking about opening a store.

I'm a little bit ashamed to admit that I just today put those two things together.

On the one hand, part of my vision for the store is that I want it to be a social place, where people can come and learn a new craft in a class, or hang out with friends and make some cards or knit, or bring a project they've been working on and use the bigger tools that they might not be able to afford to have at home. So, in other words, I'd make money from people buying elements (and the bigger tools if they just like them and want their own, but part of the service would be that they could try out new things without having to buy them) while they're working on things, and from the classes and stuff.

On the other hand, there are certain items within the stamping world specifically (and I think probably in all of the other crafts) that encourage obsessive collecting. And one part of me thinks that some of them (a particular kind of marker) are important enough to enough stampers and scrapbookers that I can't NOT stock them, but another part of me feels like I would turn myself into an irresponsible-spending enabler if I did.

Like my sister says, don't guard people's pocketbooks for them! But I want to feel like I'm doing the right thing ethically, too.