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Monthly Archives: November 2011

Additional Christmas card designs

Over the past couple of days, I have made some more cards. I have been maxing out my credit cards to buy new stamps, paper and embellishments to come up with new ideas. Actually, I have found some really good deals lately and here is what I have created! If anyone wants to know what supplies I used, just ask!

More holiday cards using the Cricut and distress inks

I’ve been trying to come up with different ideas for all of my cards. Last night I created two more that I really liked and wanted to share. For the first one, I used the Cricut cartridge Winter Frolic. I cut out the reindeer shape at 3 1/2 in black (so the antlers and nose are black), and then used the shift key to cut out the top layer of his body in a brown shiny paper. I used another brown colored paper to create the spots on his back, underside of his tail and the string for the lights. I did this by hitting the Layers and Reindeer keys. Then I hit the shift key, layers and reindeer keys to create the red lights and scarf and repeated this step with a blue paper for the blue lights. If you don’t want to do the last step twice, you can always use white paper and then color in the scarf and lights whatever color you want. Once I put the reindeer together, I attached him to a white piece of cardstock and then glued him to a dark card base. I then used a My Sentiment’s Exactly! stamp that says Hope your holiday is bright! in blue on the front and stamped another sentiment from the same set on the inside. I used one final stamp from that same set to stamp the envelope.

The second card is similar to the one I did with the holly in another post. This time I made the card long ways though. I used the same word background stamp as before but used fired brick distress ink to create the textured background. I then cut out the poinsettia from the cartridge Joys of the season. I started by pressing the shadow feature and cutting out the poinsettia at 3 inches in the black paper. I then used the poinsettia key to cut out the leaves in green and the layer and poinsettia keys to cut out the top of the flower in red, both at 3 inches. I repeated the layers and poinsettia step in yellow as well. If you don’t want to do that, again, you can use white paper, make the cuts and color or paint them in. I like cutting multiple layers because I think it gives the objects more dimension, especially when they are sitting on a card. I used the stamp Seasons Greetings in Fired Brick distress ink for the envelope and two stamps to create the inside of the card’s greeting.

Hope you like them!

Need to wrap a present but don’t have paper?

I am the worst at remembering to pick up wrapping paper. Most of the time is because I can’t find anything I really like when I look. Or sometimes it’s so expensive for one little roll. So, instead, I started making my own.
All you need is tissue paper and some stamps. Today I made wrapping paper for a little girl’s birthday present. First I took white tissue paper and doubled it up (since its so transparent) to wrap the present. It usually takes about 4 sheets to wrap an average size present, but you can get a ton of tissue paper in the packs at the dollar store. I think I got a pack of 100 sheets for $1. Then, I took some stamps of a birthday hat, balloons and the word party and used different color inks to stamp all over the present. For the last step, I took a stamp that says “party. just because.” and I used it on the back of the card’s envelope. Here’s what it looked like when I was done:

Card making for the holiday season

I recently started making cards. So, I figured, why not try to make some for Christmas? I went to AC Moore tonight and got 2 packs of 50 cards for $10. Not too bad. I also picked up some more Christmas and holiday themed stamps, came home and started to make some sample cards.

The first card I made was with a stamp that I picked up tonight. It’s by Tara Reed. I used black archival ink to ink up the stamp and placed it on one of the white cards I bought. Once the ink was dry, I used markers to color in the stamped image. . The title was stamped with Distress ink in peeled paint and it was from My Sentiments Exactly! . The inside of the card has a sentiment from the same stamp set as the front. I then stamped an ornament stamp on the envelope and here is the final product!

The second card used some images from the Cricut and stickers. First, I used the Winter Frolic cartridge and cut out the “Wishing you & yours” phrase shadow and phrase at 2 1/2 inches. The phrase is in green and the shadow is in white. The Santa is from Paper Bliss sticker pack and the background paper is Christmas papers by Canvas Home Basics.
For the inside, I used two colors of distress ink to color the bottom half of the card for some contrast. I then used the Girl4 phrase (green) and phrase shadow (red) to create the title for the inside of the card. . The envelope was stamped with Recollections stamp collection using distress ink in Fired Brick.

The last card I made is a Holly Card. Using a background stamp, I used peeled paint distress ink to stamp up the background of the front of my card. . The next step was to use the Cricut cartridge “Stretch Your Imagination”. I cut the Holly at 2 1/2 inches in green, Layers for the berries in red at 2 1/2 inches and also the shadow in 2 1/2 inches. I then used the Happy Hollydays stamp with VersaMark ink (ink used to emboss images) and Perfect Pearls to obtain an embossed effect. I bordered it with red paper and attached the green paper to the red paper with Pop Dots for a 3D effect.
A quick tip when embossing – I have heard people say that you need an embossing buddy to run over the paper to get rid of static so that the embossing powder doesn’t stick to parts of the paper that you don’t want it to. I found that you can get the same effect from using a dryer sheet. It’s more cost effective and you don’t have to buy another supply that you may not use all that often!

For the inside, I used paper from the Christmas papers. I also used another stamp from the My Sentiments Exactly! stamp set with silver ink on a green sheet and glued that to a red strip of paper. . Finally, I used another MSE stamp with Fired Brick distress ink on the envelope.

I hope these cards give some inspiration for you to make your own!

Scrap booking with kids

Last Christmas, my goddaughter got a scrapbook from her aunt. Ever since then, she has been bugging me to help her in creating her own. It all started for her fourth birthday when I made one for her from birth until then. Right before her 5th birthday, she said to me – you know what I want? A book of pictures – of me! I was so happy. She actually wanted another scrapbook. And so began her obsession. Now, she wanted to make one of her own.

After months of asking, we finally had time today to work on it. I helped her with some of it (spelling, inking stamps, gluing pictures down, etc), but she did most of it on her own. She was so proud of each and every page that we worked on.

Scrap booking is a great idea for kids. It keeps them busy for hours (especially if they help pick out the pictures and help with a lot of the work!) A couple of things that I learned: Kids don’t care about the elaborate embellishments that we put on our pages. A few stickers and stamps and they are good to go. My goddaughter loved stamping. I let her pick out whatever stamps she wanted to go with whatever pictures she chose. She had a blast inking the stamps and deciding where everything went on the page.

Another tip when making a scrapbook with kids – choose the smaller 8×8 books. Kids like to color, stamp and draw on every inch of paper. If I would have let her, my goddaughter would have covered the whole first page with stamps. To keep the project moving, a smaller book helps.

Let the kids write. While their handwriting isn’t perfect, it makes the book theirs. For a type A person like me, it was not that easy! I had to remember it was her book, not mine, and if she wanted to have a yellow bat or put a bathing suit sticker on a Halloween picture, she could. I also let her decide what she wanted to write on each page – the only thing I did was tell her how to spell what she decided on.

Lastly, keep the amount of choices of materials simple. I gave her a bunch of colors of ink or markers to choose from, but I didn’t use any Cricut cartridges or embossing materials. I could have, but I wanted her to do as much of the book as possible.

Here are the results from our (incomplete) project. Hopefully it won’t take almost a year to finish it!


Wooden or clear stamps?

Now that you have the basic materials, my next suggestion would be to acquire stamps. I started off with the wooden ones – since I already was familiar with those ones! They are just like the ones your teachers would stamp on your papers in school. They come in all sizes and designs, perfect to use on backgrounds for your layout or to add to embellishments or tags.

But what about those clear stamps? Until recently, I stayed away from them because I wasn’t really sure what to do with them. Did they really just stick to the clear block? Wouldn’t I have to replace them often? I decided to give them a try and I realize that I love them just as much (if not more!) than the wooden stamps.

First, they are very simple to use. You just peel them right off the clear plastic sheet and stick them on to a clear plastic block. I have found that if you are trying to use stamps to write a title to your page, clear stamps are much easier to use. Since the stamp is adhered to the clear block, you can see exactly where the stamp will be on the page. And if you need to continue a design (for a border for example), you can tell where you left off, unlike when you use a wooden stamp.

Clear stamps are just as easy to clean as wooden ones (I use water in my Mini Mister – a small spray bottle that you can travel with – and a paper towel to clean). They also give you more value for your money. Most often background stamps can cost up to $20 – and that’s just for one stamp. For around $17, you can get a variety of stamps with a similar theme in the clear stamps.

When I pick my stamps, I keep in mind stamps that are going to be more versatile. Background (or larger) stamps are good for that because they are often a pattern. Just because the stamp is huge, doesn’t mean that the space you are stamping it onto has to be. If you have a certain theme that you know you are going to scrapbook about a lot (like vacations to the beach or Disney, birthday parties or weddings), try finding stamp sets. They are often more cost efficient because you get a couple of stamps in a pack and you will use them more often. I do have holiday ones that I can use season after season. Stamps that are swirls or a design are good choices because you can use them on many different layouts.

But what kind of ink do I use? I have recently found Distress Inks by Ranger and I love them for many different projects. When I stamp, I do use them. I have found that they tend to leave a smudged look if you don’t push the stamp straight down and pull the stamp up. Sometimes I rock my stamps or press to hard and it makes the ink bleed a little outside of the lines. I don’t mind that look, but just be aware if you want a clean look. Otherwise, I use the cheap inks that were at ACMoore. They are $1 a pad, so I have a bunch of colors.

If you are tired of just using black ink for the outline of you stamp and then coloring the image in, there are markers that are designed to use like ink pads on stamps. Because they stay wet longer, they are perfect for intricate stamps or stamps where you want to do lots of color. They are on the expensive side – I only buy them when I have a 50% off coupon at ACMoore or Michael’s! They have a thin tip for coloring in little spaces and a larger, brush-like tip to ink your stamps or color a larger area.

If you already use the wooden stamps, I’d suggest giving the clear ones a chance. It took me awhile to come around to the idea, but I am glad that I did. There are so many options for stamps. Have fun!

I’m ready to scrapbook. But wait! What do I need?

When you walk into the craft store (my favorites are AC Moore and Michael’s) it can be completely overwhelming! If you are like me, you want it all and you want it now! It has taken me awhile to amass the supplies that I really want. When you are starting off, you may buy things that you are either unsure of what you can do with them or feel like you are unsure if you are buying the necessities. Hopefully this blog will help you!

For starters, I would say the basics would be a paper cutter, a self healing mat, an exacto knife, a ruler, a craft mat, paper, an album and some glue. For a paper cutter, you have to consider a couple of things. Are you going to take it with you to do scrap nights elsewhere? Or is it going to be staying in your crafting room or area? I have seen some small ones by Fiskers, but I use one by The Purple Cow. Not only is one end a paper cutter (with very convenient markings of popular paper sizes), but it also has an arm on the other end that you can change the blade. It comes with three blades – a straight cut, a scoring blade and a wavy cut blade. This was one of my happy accident purchases!

Even though I have a paper cutter, I use my self healing mat, knife and a ruler to make small cuts. When a picture needs to be cropped or I have an image that I cut out from my cricut that needs some trimming, these tools are important. You can also use the knife to lift images off the cricut mat! (Don’t worry if you have no idea what a Cricut is – I will devote a lot of blogs to them!)The self-healing mat does exactly what its name says. You can make cut after cut and you won’t damage the mat!
The last things you need before you can start assembling your scrapbook are some paper and adhesive. I prefer to use Scotchtape glue in a squeeze bottle. It has two tips, one a thin tip to make lines and the other side is a roller. I also use a tape runner, but that is usually for glitter paper. As far as paper is concerned, in the beginning I bought packs of paper. Beware of glitter paper. While it is pretty, sometimes it is difficult to stick pictures or embellishments on to because it’s tough for the glue to adhere to. I also stuck to a monochromatic theme so that I knew all my papers would work together. I now buy single pieces when they are on sale (usually two of each piece of paper) so that I know I will use them all. When you buy the packs, inevitably there is always going to be one or two pieces that you don’t like or can’t use with any of your themes.

I hope these tips that I have learned over time will help you when you are getting started buying your scrap booking supplies. Check back soon for some projects that I have been working on and some new ideas!