Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Beautiful Grungy Monday on Wednesday

The challenges for Tim Holtz Compendium of Curiosities book has been completed and Grungy Monday has begun!  Linda at StudioL3 has started her Grungy Monday challenges, and I'm loving it.  It's a wonderful way to incorporate fun ideas into your crafting without trying to decide what technique to do next.  The tutorials are easy to follow along, because she gives you a direct link to Tim Holtz' tutorial--and he's fabulous for his step-by-step tutorials--even the most beginners of crafters can follow along and explore their creative side.  

For my Grungy Monday project--which I'm posting on Wednesday--I decided to make a tag for my Mom's birthday.  I wanted to make it a bit more flowery, so I used the flower parts mask for mine...added some sparkle, some flowers, and brighter colors. 

It was a lot of fun to make, and following Tim Holtz' tutorial was great!  Be sure to stop by Linda's blog to see the other submissions for this challenge--lots of great talent with different points of view for the same techniques!

LoveLee Supply List:
Manila Tag
American Crafts ribbon & other fibers
Turquoise Perfect Pearls
Tumbled Glass Distress Re-inker
Victorian Velvet Distress ink
Sage Distress ink
Forever Green Perfect Pearls
BoBunny brad
Silk flower petals from Michaels
Tim Holtz (TH) flower parts mask
TH Lost & Found paper stash
TH Shabby French stamps (quote)
TH grunge board
Ranger Turquoise embossing glitter
YG45 Cobalt Green Copic marker
Walnut Stain Distress ink
TH Muse token (Inspire)
Adirondack Cranberry alcohol ink
CTMH Butterfly Wings stamp set
Paper Studio Sophie-Alphas stamps
Archival black ink

Friday, March 18, 2011

A Card to Celebrate Today

I don't usually use a lot of orange, but I loved this two-toned cardstock.  Dark orange on one side/light orange on the other and has a linen texture to it; sort of a coming-into-Spring type of look -- it's Graceful Geranium, double color, by WorldWin papers from their DoubleMates line.  I picked it up at a LSS because I really liked the colors.

I embossed the front of the card with the Ornamental Iron embossing folder and sanded a bit of the front, thinking the lighter orange would show through--it didn't.  So I used CTMH Key Lime ink and lightly swiped it over the raised edges, before sporadically adding CTMH White Daisy pigment ink--which gave my mint green ribbon a helping hand in popping the card.  I don't know why, but I just love this color combination--I think it looks refreshing. 

I cut the wings from Tim Holtz Heart Wings die, and the crest & banner from TH Regal Crest die.  I used Antique Linen & Tea Dye distress inks to add a bit of distressed color to the die cut pieces before stamping with black Adirondack Archival Ink. I stamped the wings with CTMH Butterfly Wings stamp set, the dragonfly with CTMH Butterfly Kiss stamp set, and "Celebrate Today" with CTMH Today's Date stamp set.  Finally I used Rock Candy crackle medium to glaze over the wings and crest, though it may be a bit hard to see in the photo.

For the envelope, I quick-swiped my stamp pad (CTMH Taffy) around the perimeter of the envelope and stamped using black archival ink and CTMH Doodle Alphabet.  I also used my Spica Copic markers to color the doodles in.  I love the mica in the Spica alcohol it just the finest hint of sparkle when tilted in the light. 

And that's it.  Because I used my Cuttlebug to emboss & die cut, this card came together very quickly.  So now I'm off to work on another project I've been playing around with. 

Enjoy your weekend--the weather's sure to be better soon.  =)

NOTE:  Anytime you don't know an abbreviation I've used, click on the page link (next to "home", under the title block) for a list of Blog Acronyms.  Hopefully you find all you need to know and more.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Organized Tea Box

My friend, Kate, has about as much tea as I do...but it doesn't mean I won't send her more.  LOL  If I see a new tea, I may just pick up a second and send it to her to try too.  One time I found Bubble-Gum tea--I bought two packets, one for me, one for her--figuring she could tell me if it was good, then I'd try it.  hee hee.  As it turned out, my sister-in-law called one day to tell me she had the same tea and to say it was so good--thankfully she told me the bubble gum was for chewing and the tea was separate.  OOooo...good thing she told me, I was thinking the bubble gum got stirred in with the tea leaves (and yes, I did tell Kate).

Anyway, for my friend's birthday I wanted to make a small tea organizer--something she could put in her cabinet, or even leave out on the counter.  I created a box base from cardstock (approx. 12" x 7 3/4" with box measuring 8 1/2"w x 2 1/2"h x 2 3/4"d) which closely mimics the pasteurized cheese box I found at a thrift store (from an earlier post--you could also use a Velveeta box as a template).  I made an insert to fit inside the lightweight box to give it support.  (See photo below) The insert ends needed to reach the top of the box so it measures approx. 10 3/4"x 8", plus an additional piece taped to one end of 2 3/4" x 2 3/4" (subtract 1/8" from each of the insert measurements for an easier fit).  I scored the insert to fit snugly into the box shell, and removed the other two corners.  I covered it with coordinating cardstock (DCWV Rustic Stack), and used Claudine Hellmuth's Multi-Medium Matte to protect the inside of the box, so it could be wiped clean if necessary.  That multi-medium is SO awesome--I like it better than Mod Podge since it doesn't bubble as it dries, and it's much thicker so it gives a better coating.  I covered the exposed edges with yellow rose ribbon before adhering it to the inside of the box.

You can see how the sides of cardstock base doesn't extend to the top.
I added length to the insert to add durability to the box.
The cut-out design gave it a more snug fit inside and worked like a charm.
I decorated the outside of the box with fencing I die cut with my Cricut, using my Gypsy to weld them together, from the Heritage cartridge -- I used off white cardstock and inked over it with distress ink: Antique Linen.  I also used Tim Holtz Tattered Florals die to make the flower on the front end.  This was an extra one I made when I demonstrated paper sueding in an earlier post--it's attached to chipboard for a more dimensional floral effect.  Tea bag divider tags were cut 2 3/8" x 3 3/4" from coordinating cardstock--I stamped varied designs on each one and added clear embossing to each tag for special effects, though I don't know if you can really tell from the photos.  I labeled each of the divider tags with different types of teas, and of course added some tea bags so you could get the idea.  I left a couple blank dividers in case another label was thought of.  I used CTMH stamp sets:  Cup of Friendship, Annotations, Make it Count, Come Unto Me, and He is Risen for the various designs on the Tea dividers.

In case the Tea Box is left on the counter, I didn't want the bottom of the box to become wet and distorted.  So I used two dominoes for the "feet" (found a box of dominoes at the thrift store for 50 cents), and applied alcohol ink to them with a felt applicator (see this POST where I used alcohol inks, for more info).  I used: Adirondack Lettuce, & Gold mixative alcohol inks.  I adhered them to the bottom of the box with The Ultimate glue by Crafter's Pick.  I love, love, love this glue!  I works so well on sooo many things--holds really well, dries clear, water resistant, and child safe non-toxic. 
I originally made a box top for it, but in the end I liked it so much better without. 

I think this would be nice to pull out when company comes so they could browse through the tea they'd like to try.  In my case, I have tea in so many tins, boxes & tea chests that I'm thinking I could put quite a variety in this box and pick a tea according to my mood, or the time of day, without going on a search. 

Other ideas:  if you didn't want to use this box for your tea, you could use it to organize your ATCs (Artist Trading Cards), since it's the perfect size.  Or what about all those school sized wallet photos--I get so many of those during the school year & at Christmas time, and again...the perfect size to organize by friends, family, and so on.  It would look great sitting on a coffee table too.  Those are only a few ideas of how you could use this box...what will you come up with?!

Thanks for popping in.  Happy Crafting...Lisa

Monday, March 14, 2011

Thank you for the Tea

A variety of tea from:  Australia, Turkey, Korea, England, & Canada
In the cup?  Turkish Green Apple Tea -- SO Yummy!
Thinking of You "bagged tea samples" I'll be sending out with a card.
 I love sitting down with a hot cuppa tea almost any time of the day -- I've acquired so much tea that I'm constantly trying something new; of course I also have particular teas I drink for that perfect "me moment" as well.  But not all my friends/family are so into tea like I am--I guess living in England for five years really got me hooked.  One of the nice things about being military is moving around--you probably don't hear that too often, but I love to spend time in each new location visiting new places/making new friends.  I've been blessed being able to meet people from all over the world, and I've made some wonderful friends chatting over a lovely cuppa tea.  It's fantastic when they send me tea from a new duty assignment, or in some cases from their own country -- I enjoy trying new types of tea, but more importantly I'm thankful to be remembered.   [Sending big hugs & thank yous for my most recent gifts of tea -- Pete & Rachael, Autumn, Kate, & Suzi.]

In my family neither my husband, nor my sons are tea drinkers.  But on occasion my hubby will sit down with me and drink a cuppa Cinnamon Apple tea from Australia, or my Christmas Spiced Tea (sort of like wassail).  And I've only been able to get Cody to drink a very small cuppa Strawberry & Cream tea from England, while Nathan's only interested in iced tea -- but that doesn't mean I don't keep trying.  ha ha...

Later this week I'm meeting up with a new friend...yep--over a cuppa!  I think its a great way to chat and get to know someone.  Mind you--not all my friends drink tea, so I always have coffee or hot chocolate on hand.  But at the end of the day, it's not what you're sipping that brings friends/family's minimizing the distractions and enjoying the conversation.  Now doesn't that sound good right about now?

Stay tuned tomorrow...I've got something tea-licious up my sleeve.

Drink Tea!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Sentimentally Easy Card

 When I first started creating cards (about 12 years ago) I used a simple formula: 

1. card base
    - usually 1/2 sheet of 8 1/2 x 11 cardstock, folded in half
2. decorative mat
    - decorative scrapbook paper cut to fit just 1/8" to 1/4" smaller than card base front
3. embellishment
    - ribbon, ink, stamped image, stickers, die cut, etc. (initially I only used stickers & markers)
4. sentiment
    - hand-written, stamped, cut out, printed, etc.

Sometimes going back to the basics gives you a bit more freedom than you realize.  A simple, quick card doesn't mean you care any less...but just maybe you'll have time to make a few extras to send out, giving someone a smile just when they need an encouraging word.  

So, enter here another quick card!  This one starts with a card base I had cut with my Cricut using the Sentimentals cartridge onto green cardstock.  I also cut an envelope from the same cartridge from deco scrapbook paper.  I used the leftover scraps of the same paper I used for the envelope for the card mat.  I added a ribbon binding (without tying a bow), and stamped the bird, flourish, & sentiment with CTMH stamp sets:  Free Spirit, & Greetings Script.  I overstamped the flourish image with VersaMark and heat embossed with clear embossing powder.  Finally, I stamped images on the envelope and used additional scraps of the same paper for the handwritten message inside the card. 

Normally I might spend more time inking the edges, or adding more techniques, but I liked the simplicity of the card and decided it was finished. 

If you don't normally take time to make cards, why don't you try the simple formula I mentioned above.  You just might make someone's day extra special!

Happy Card-Making!  Lisa

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Quick Card - Purple & Glitter Pink

My card stash has dwindled down quite low, and with so many birthdays this month I thought I better get something accomplished.  I usually have a hard time working with purple, but I have a friend who really likes this color-- so I thought I'd go with a "mostly" monochromatic card in varying shades of...purple, and a touch of glitter pink.  Actually this was a pretty quick card.  I used a purple cardstock base, and made my mat from white cardstock already embossed with cupcakes.  I used Distress Inks:  dusty concord & milled lavender which I blended on to the white cardstock--the embossed design acts as a resist and the cupcakes popped.  I wrapped a wire ribbon bow to the front and added a paper ribbon with the stamped sentiment.  Finished it off with a glittery initial, for my friend Rachael.  I made the envelope from lavender scrapbook paper and stamped Happy Birthday with CTMH Greeting Script stamp set. 

Now...I'm off to the post office, and back with another quick card tomorrow. 
Happy Crafting!  Lisa

School Poster Projects

Decades Poster for the 90's
Music scales were copied, wrinkled, & inked. Title cut from Shall We Dance cartridge.
I don't know about everyone else, but my kids always seemed to have large projects due the very next day--like the teachers didn't give them any advance notice at all, which of course is not true.  And the big thing these days seem to be "group" projects.  Of course my son likes to tell his group that he'll be happy to do the poster projects since he has a "crafty mom".  And it never fails, he is voted unanimously to create the group's poster projects.  Enter--the Cricut!!  For Christmas 2009, my husband got me a Cricut cutting machine and the Gypsy design program!  This has been a lifesaver for last minute projects, I just gotta tell ya!  But before you start thinking that I do my son's projects for him--let me be the first to say, "I don't".  =)  I go through the different cutting designs that might pertain to his project and he decides what we'll cut and the colors he'd like them to be.  He's helped in all the processes, and along the way I might give him some ideas or feedback if I think of something else he can do.  He thinks it's funny that he can sit at the computer and work on other portions of the project, while the Cricut is working behind him.  Of course the Cricut works at a much faster speed than if we sat down to cut all the portions individually ourselves, so it's a great time-saver for those last minute designs. 

I don't think he's realized yet how much work he actually does himself, since I'm mostly just helping with direction-- he does the gluing, the inking, and paper piecing, as well as the research & printing from the PC.  And I don't plan on enlightening him either.   Ha ha...  I have to say though, that the Cricut is a wonderful tool in helping with school projects for the kids--and not just those last minute ones.  I know that Provocraft has donated quite a few Cricuts to schools all over, and teachers have been able to use them for their classroom creations.  And I think that's awesome. 

I don't use my Cricut for all my crafts though, because I enjoy using a variety of crafting tools & mediums.  But I love having it as part of my craft room for so many things besides school projects.  It's especially great when I need a LOT of a certain cut, such as gift tags, Valentine heart confetti, creative name badges, etc (the list goes on & on).  For those of you that have been thinking about getting one, I would recommend checking out some blogs that do a lot with their Cricut at the Cricut Top 40 blogs site.  The Gypsy is a handheld device that lets you do so much more with your cartridges--but I'd recommend becoming familiar with your Cricut first.  I'll talk more about the Gypsy in another post, but please feel free to contact me with questions any time.

In the meantime, here are a few school projects Cody and I put together that uses the Cricut in conjunction with paper crafting. 

Decades-The 90's, Television - one of our old TVs had the same scratches on it.

Sometimes using a white poster & filling in white space with squiggles works wonders.

Cody had to show the differences in weddings between the USA & China.
This was during the Bejing Olympics so we worked that into the design.

This poster had a lot of info about Panera Bread & the Cricut wasn't used at all

Cody's Spanish Album

Thank you for stopping by!  Lisa

Friday, March 4, 2011

Eagle Scout Ceremony Invite

The eagle's movable wing can be used as a gate-latch
My friend’s son, Keith, has been working on his Eagle Scout project for Boy Scouts -- collecting gently used musical instruments and donations for the local high school band/music department to assist students who would like to participate in the arts, but are unable to obtain an instrument due to lack of funds. What a wonderful project to benefit his community. [For more information, or to contact Keith directly about a donation, you can check out this local news article which includes his contact info.]

In the meantime, I’ve been trying to talk my friend, Marla, into making Keith’s invitations. Ha ha…yep, I am such an enabler! We did a bit of brainstorming and came up with the idea of using a gatefold card. So, to help get her creative juices flowing I made this “mock-up” invite. I used my Cuttlebug to emboss the stars on the two gate panels on the outside of the card on green cardstock (CS). I used CS with a white core so that when I lightly sanded the raised star images the green sanded away to expose the white. I used the Independence Day cartridge on my Cricut to cut out the eagle for the front gate “latch”. I actually cut the eagle out twice—I cut off the wing of the second eagle and added it behind the other eagle wing with a brad. This way the wing can be moved into any position. If you move the second wing down, you can actually slide it behind the left gate panel to lock the card in place. I added a “paper ribbon” to the brad with the Boy Scout law printed on vellum.

You could also use the pocket for an RSVP card
For the inside of the card, I embossed the Fleur de Lis design in the same CS and sanded again. But this time I printed the invite information onto vellum and adhered to the both inside panels with a brad. I love the quote I found from Neil Armstrong—apropos, don’t ya think? For the photo pocket, I printed out the Boy Scout emblem onto vellum (I love how easy vellum is to use), and arranged it by tearing and adding adhesive to three sides. Although I didn’t take a picture of the back, I added a group photo of his troop on the back of the invite.
This card actually didn’t take too long to make since I used the vellum for a lot of my wording—that can be pre-printed ahead of time, which is good considering it’s best to let vellum have a bit of drying time so the ink doesn’t smudge. If you don’t have an embossing machine, you could use printed scrapbook papers instead. And there are a lot of digital stamps you could find on the internet in place of the eagle if you don’t have a die cutting machine or a Cricut.  Marla’s daughter, Kelsey, is a talented artist and can draw an awesome eagle, but I personally wouldn’t like to show anything I’ve actually drawn. LOL.  Anyway, I hope this gives you some creative ideas towards your next card or invite!

Just to add: becoming an Eagle Scout is an awesome accomplishment – and I’m so proud of Keith! WTG!! Lisa