Saturday, January 28, 2012

A is for Abby

The downside of being the youngest is that Abby's was made second, so she had to wait longer for hers. The upside is that I was able to make hers better because I had learned from all of my mistakes on the first one. I used the font Headline News and made my letter size 600. I knew I would be using an 8"x10" frame so I then adjusted the dimensions of my letter to 7"x8.5" in my Silhouette program. Pick a font you like and then play around with the sizes to get one that fits with your frame. I cut out my letter using the Silhouette and then traced it using a pencil onto an 8"x10" piece of white foamcore board. I just traced it lightly this time and used a dashed pencil line. Less erasing that way. Another change was the foamcore board. This worked really, really well because my push pin embellishments went right in but not though it and it held them in tightly too. Buttons were a bag of brights from Wal-Mart. And I used the jewelled thumbtacks and half pearls from the dollar store as well as some rhinestone gems this time. And my flower brads too. I again used American Crafts adhesive runner for the bottom buttons, until I ran out. Then I used Elmer's Craft Bond Foam Glue for the rest of the bottom buttons and all of the top row. This worked SOOO much better than hot glue. You do have to wait longer for it to dry but it actually works and there is no burns trying to hot glue tiny buttons! And even if your button does shift a bit while drying, it dries clear so that's a plus too. This time I wasn't as picky about filling in all the spots on the bottom row because I knew one big button on top would fill in any bottom spaces. Another difference was that I used the little gemstones on both the bottom and the top row to fill in spaces this time. Erased my dashed lines as I went. Remove the glass from your frame and put your foam core letter right in. Put the back on, mine fit absolutely perfectly with the foamcore, and you are done.
My lessons learned: If you use a very thick button, it will be very hard to fill in around it because there is not a level surface on top to put another button on. This is where my brads and thumbtacks really came in handy. It is also a good idea to put two buttons of similar heights together so that you do have something level to glue the top row to.

Friday, January 20, 2012

I'm Supposed To Be AIS

All of us are going to the Teacher's Hockey Tournament (my husband is playing, thank goodness they keep the paddles right on the bench ~ clear, hehehe) this weekend. On Everybody Loves Raymond AIS stands for (Butt) In Seat, and if your A wasn't in the S on time you got left behind. My butt is supposed to be in the seat so this will be a short one. The final birthday week challenge at Bugaboo Stamps is to use 3 patterned papers and their freebie image of the week. I am NOT good with patterned papers. As you will see. This is a bit busy but oh well. I loved the sketch at Tuesday Morning Sketches and thought it was a perfect fit. Chose my papers from The Stack 5. I made a rosette using my Silhouette and striped paper as one of the circles for the challenge over at The Paper Variety. Awesome! Twinery twine adds the bows to the buttons. Popdots lift my little guinea pig off the page. I included a pic of the sentiment I made up for the inside.
My lessons learned: don't leave the lid off your glue pen, arrrrgh.
I just had to rework this one, it was just too bright for me. Here's the new one. Still used all the same elements and sketch, just toned the background paper down a bit. I also added blue marker and glossy accents to the balloon thanks to a great idea from Melissa!


My sister-in-law's birthday if February 10th and we no longer buy presents for the adults anymore (boooo) so I made her a card. The cleaning fairy is her present. I think my brother should have to break out his feather duster, apron and wings since I'm only sending the one on the card and not a real one.
I used the sketch from Bugaboo Stamps Thursday challenge. I used the cleaning fairy digital stamp from Mo's Digital Pencil Too. I used an old 8 1/2" x 11" piece of patterned balloon paper left over from the old days when I used that size for my scrapbooks (I dreaded the move to 12" x 12", but I made the leap) as my background paper. I then placed a piece of black polka-dotty acetate paper on top of that. I printed out my image and colored her using my EK Success pencil crayons. Distressed and stamped the edges of my image with silver ColorBox ink. The X's and O's border is a Silhouette image cut out of light blue cardstock. The sentiment frame is also a Silhouette image. I really like the way it turned out and I hope she does too (once she gets over the disappointment of no present...or cleaning fairy, boooo).
My lessons learned: I don't think my acetate paper stands out enough, but I tried it on a solid background and it didn't stand out any better. Probably best used as a transparency, over something else, like a frame.

I would like to share my card at:
Card Makin' Mamas something old (patterned paper), closes Feb. 3,
Sparkles Forum Challenges new crafty goodies (digistamp), closes Feb. 14

For Great-Grandma Kay

My Grandma is 97. She still lives in her own apartment and does the seniors visiting for the Church. She's an amazing lady and this Valentine is for her. I used Bugaboo Stamps Sunbonnet Love image. I made a 4"x4" frame from sparkly red cardstock with a white back (so I could add the sentiment there) using a Silhouette image. I was tired of fighting with my markers so I paper pieced her using bright primary colored cardstock which I ran through the printer and the cut out by hand. I even cut the little sliver of skin toned paper above her shoes. The red glam rocks were added with my iRock. The frame was run through my printer to put the sentiment on the back (I'll add our names later).
My lessons learned: it is almost impossible to take a good picture of this cardstock. It reflects the light and looks yellow or orange (it's red). Frustrating.
This is for Bugaboo Stamps primary colors and bling challenge.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Paint the Town Plaid

My cousins birthday is on Jan. 22nd. She has real red hair and plays the bagpipes. I knew when I saw this sketch from Bugaboo Stamps that the two panels behind Stella were going to be plaid! I used a little penguin image, his bells just worked perfectly for the sentiment I was thinking of. I used my Silhouette to cut out the penguin image and used the offset feature to create and cut the mat. I colored him with glitter markers and Zig markers. The 3 snowflakes are brads. I printed my sentiment on white cardstock, cut close and added that to the corners.
I would like to share my card at:
Crafting For All Seasons snowflakes, closes Jan. 25,
The Stamp Man use red, closes Jan. 27

A Wedding Card

Bugaboo Stamps offered a free bride and groom from their Tuesday new release and a mini challenge to use one or both of the images and a bow. I noticed that Christine Garner combined this mini challenge with the challenge at The Shabby Tearoom "Gorgeous Gateaux" (use gray or silver, lilac, peach, pink, lace and a metal embellishment ~ whew!). I thought that was a genius idea, until I tried it. I'm not a layers person, or even much of an embellishment person, so this was a bit tricky to fit all those things in, but I did it, eventually ;o) Using my Silhouette I placed the 2 images together, interlocking arms (insert awwww), and then placed the pink heart in behind them. I then used the trace feature and print and cut them all out as one image. Used silver glitter marker, Zig markers and EK Success pencil crayons to color them up. Used my iRock to add the bling and the glitter pink metal glamrocks to her dress and his tie. I used my Tim Holtz distress inks to stain/color the paper lace doily. I embossed some lilac cardstock with my new script embossing folder by Cuttlebug. I made a fork bow following this tutorial. I added the silver, metal, heart brad to the center of my bow.
My lessons learned: it takes a really long time to set the thick bling gems. The fork bow was strategically placed because as I was outlining the heart in pink marker, I slipped. Now you know where!
I would like to share my card at:
Sweet Stampin' Challenge glitter and bling, closes Jan. 21,
Stamptacular Sunday at least 2 different textures, closes Jan, 22,
Crafty Boots Challenge new beginnings, closes Jan. 23,
Divas by Design new beginnings, closes Jan. 25

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

It's -45 Degrees Celsius Here Today (-49 F)

It's a cold day here today, temperature around -30 C, -45 C with the wind chill. The school buses didn't run but the husband went to work. If your car starts, and if it's plugged in it starts, you go. I know, smart people would take one look at the temp. turn the alarm off and go back to bed! My 30-30 dog was in on the mat today. If it's above 30 or below 30 he gets to come in. The cats were cuddled up together in the cathouse. A good day to finish up some crafty projects!
This is a birthday card for my friend Amanda. Her birthday is Jan. 19th and I believe she is leaving her 20's behind with this one. We met when my husband was Vice-Principal and so he was only in the classroom half-time. She was his other half (we've made lots of jokes about that) and we've been friends ever since. I used a Silhouette image for the purse and cut it out of black cardstock. The 'fabulous' rhinestones were a sticker I bought a long time ago but always new it was for a card or layout for Amanda. We tease her about how many times she says "fabulous" (and she's usually saying it sarcastically). I used Lime Twist twine by MME in pink and threaded it through the holes. I tied 2 small knots on each side on the back to attach the twine. The sequin flower is from Imaginisce Cupcake Flowers brights. I attached it using double sided tape. A BoBunny brad made the flower center. A bow out of pink lace attached to the handle completes the front of the purse. I used the internal offset feature on my Silhouette to create the panels that I cut out of pink floral paper. Another frame image from the Silhouette made the 2 inside panels cut out of white cardstock. I used a sentiment from Birds Cards on the top panel. I'll write our sentiment on the other one. I used a pink and a yellow glitter marker for the faux stitching. Finished it off with a pop dot as my purse closure.
My lessons learned: I had to skip the middle hole on the purse flap so that the ends of my twine both finished on the inside. I covered that with my popdot. I will include a scratch and win lottery ticket (no purse should be empty) and who knows maybe she'll share if she wins the big one!
I would like to share my card at:
Card Crafter's Circle Happy Birthday, closes Jan. 19,
Bugaboo Stamps birthday, closes Jan. 21,
Sweet Stampin' Challenge sparkle, closes Jan. 21,
Sentimental Sundays ribbon and a sentiment, closes Jan. 22,
City Crafter Challenge pretty inside and out, closes Jan. 24,
Some Odd Girl bling it up, closes Jan. 24,
The ABC Challenge happy birthday, closes Jan. 31,
I Brake For Challenges fancy folds, closes Feb. 1

Monday, January 9, 2012

Drinks Well With Others

Not all teachers, just all the teachers I know (said completely with tongue planted firmly in cheek)! This is for my teacher friend Yaz who had her birthday on Dec. 20th, 2011. She was in Mexico for it. We usually go out for drinks on the last day of school to celebrate her birthday but she had a pretty poor excuse for missing that this year if you ask me ;o)  I used a Bugaboo Stamp, JJ Tequila. I wanted to make it look like a report card so I used some lined school paper as my patterned paper. I ran the background paper through my printer to add the black square and the sentiment. I printed the image out on white cardstock and used my new heat embosser that I got for Christmas to set it. Colored her with EK Success pencil crayons and a blue glitter marker for her dress. Then I colored her glasses light pink and then added glossy accents to them. I thought rose colored glasses went nicely with a stack of drinks. I also added glossy accents to the martini glasses. I outlined my cardstock with a light blue marker. I used a red Zig marker to add the check mark and the A+. Inside I added that I am one of those 'others'!
My lessons learned: my heat embosser works really well to dry my printer ink, but it can curl the paper up a bit. I also used my new Ott Lite that I got for Christmas to take the picture. With sunlight always a gamble in January and the fact that it's usually well after the children have gone to bed that I finish my projects, I can't tell you what a great investment that light was!
I would like to share my card at:
Fab'n'Funky Challenges something new (digistamp), closes Jan. 10,
Fussy and Fancy Challenge Happy Birthday, closes Jan. 13,
Catch the Bug Challenge anything goes, closes Jan. 14,
Sentimental Sundays sentiment, blue and glitter, closes Jan. 15,
Totally Stampalicious funny, closes Jan. 15,
Aud Sentiments sentiment and use scraps, closes Jan. 17,
Creative Craft Challenges what's your resolutions (to drink more...I mean less, or at least with other people), closes Jan. 17,
Southern Girls Challenge show us your sparkle, closes Jan. 19,
Card Makin Mamas something new(digistamp), closes Jan. 19.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

K is for Kaylee

I had seen these button monogram letters all over Pinterest and thought they looked really sharp, and fairly easy to make, a good combination in a craft project ;o) I used the font Headline News and made my letter size 600. I knew I would be using an 8"x10" frame so I then adjusted the dimensions of my letter to 7"x8.5" in my Silhouette program. Pick a font you like and then play around with the sizes to get one that fits with your frame. I cut out my letter using the Silhouette and then traced it using a pencil onto an 8"x10" piece of white cardstock. I bought a bag of bright buttons at Wal-Mart but any and all buttons will work. I used my American Crafts adhesive runner to apply adhesive to the back of the buttons. I entirely filled the inside of the letter with buttons, starting with the largest ones. You may want to overlap your pencil marks to save yourself erasing later. I had bought some jeweled thumbtacks and some small, self-adhesive pearl gemstones at the Dollar Store. I already had the flower brads. I used all of these to fill in any and all spaces left on the bottom row. For my top row of buttons, brads and tacks I used a glue gun. I also added a layer of cardboard behind my cardstock to push my brads and tacks into. I erased my pencil lines as I went along on my top row. I removed the glass from my frame and added my cardstock/cardboard monogrammed button letter K. LOVE!
My lessons learned: My kingdom for an adhesive that works (my battle continues)! A glue gun is not ideal for sticking plastic buttons to plastic buttons, especially where they only overlap a very small amount. If you find something better that works for you, go for it! You should also just plan on making your project 2 layers of buttons. I tried to fill in all the small spaces on the bottom row with other small buttons when one big one on top was a much better idea. And trace your letter lightly, erasing in between small spaces is not easy. Another option to consider would be to cut your letter out of colored paper, adhere that to the cardstock, and then cover it with buttons. This would save you seeing any white spaces. I think foamcore would be a much better choice instead of cardstock and cardboard if you are planning on using brads or tacks as I did. I hope my ideas/suggestions help, and get yourself a frame or shadowbox and make your own personalized piece of artwork!