Monday, April 30, 2012

Cut, Emboss and Stencil a Pretty Frame

 I recently found something new (to me) in the clearance aisle at Joann's.  A couple of years ago, Cuttlebug "Emboss Plus" embossing folders were introduced.  I saw them at CHA but I didn't pay close attention at the time.  When I found the "Brocade Window" folder for less than $5, I knew I had to give it a try (regular list price is about $24).

These sets are made with metal embossing and cutting plates, held together with a thin plastic folder.

 When you flip over the folder it looks like this.

This pattern includes a center section that will cut the frame opening and an elaborate brocade design that will be embossed to decorate the frame.

There is a thin plastic sheet that can be lifted while the paper is still in the folder so the design can be inked.

The first time you use the folder, it is difficult to see how the sheet will separate.  You just need to look for the thin line that shows where it is cut (I offset it a little for this photo).  Then you can fold it back at the top and it will be easy to use.

In this side view you can see all three layers, the base plate with the cutting edge, the top metal layer with the openings for the embossing and the cover sheet that you lift to stencil the design.

When the top cover is folded back you can apply inks to the design.  The photo above shows my first cut and stencil.  I used a half sheet of letter size cardstock which extended beyond the design area.  I used three colors of Tim Holtz Distress Ink, worn lipstick in the center, then milled lavender and finally forest moss around the outside.  I started inking in the center and worked my way out to the edges.

Here is my first stenciled and cut frame.  I discovered that it was a little tricky to trim the frame perfectly.  I decided to try again and to cut my cardstock to 5 x 7 inches before inserting in the folder.  It would be nice if the folder had been designed with a cutting edge around the outside of the frame.

When I used the pre-cut piece of cardstock, I positioned it very carefully and used a bit of tape to keep it from slipping (this is the bottom, or debossed side).

After you add the color and lift the plate, you see this lovely full color design.

For the second frame, I started with the forest moss ink around the edges, working toward the center.  You do need to wipe the plate with a damp cloth or paper towel before inking with the next color to keep the ink from transferring onto the next color sponge.

This time I used four colors, adding broken china between the milled lavender and the forest moss.

The first frame is on the left and the second on the right.  I think the effect is pretty on both, but I prefer the second version and may try to add even more colors on future cuts..

 Here is the full view of the first frame.

This is the second frame.  I think for the next one I'll try spraying the base cardstock with some glimmer mist or perfect pearls spray to get a nice shimmer layer in the background.

If you have a chance, you might want to check the clearance aisle at your store to see if there are any of these folders available.  Now I just have to decided what to do with my frames!

A few reminders...

The Creative Memories sale on software ends today.  You can find the information about Memory Manager 3.0 (for photo organization and editing) and Storybook Creator 4.0 (for digital scrapbooking, cards, posters, calendars and much more) on my CM personal website HERE.

The National Scrapbook Day Sale will continue until Saturday, May 5th at 11:59 p.m. (Central Time).

Lettering Delights has lots of items on final clearance - value priced bundles at $10 or individual sets for only 50 cents.  there are graphics, papers, alphabets and fonts included in the clearance.  They also have introduced a huge bundle of single line fonts, doodles and some sketches at a bundle price of $50 (individual prices total $70).  The fonts work with Make the Cut software and a compatible cutting machine.  You can use the fonts to write on your page or card using a pen in the blade holder.  Single line fonts can produce words that look like they were handwritten - there is no open area in the center of the letters.

Today is the last day you can use the code StepAndSave to take $25 off a purchase of $60 or more (so you could get the $50 font bundle and $10 worth of other items for only $35 - a great deal).  Please click  HERE to go to site.

Don't forget to check out  Blitsy - there will be new crafty deals posted today.  If  you aren't a member yet, you can use my link to register (it's free) and then invite friends and family to join and earn credits to use for shopping on the site.

Have a wonderful last day of April!

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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Cheerful Spring Card

This cheerful card doesn't take very long to make but it could certainly brighten someone's day!  My friend Mandy at Scrappy-Go-Lucky sent me some cute spring embellishments.  They were sitting on my table along with various other bits and pieces that hadn't been put away as they should have been.  I live in fear that if I get too organized, I will no longer have the "happy accidents" where I discover pleasing combinations of elements just because they have been left sitting around on my cluttered work island!

Last month I shared a tip on punching wide borders - you can click HERE to read the post (scroll down a bit past the Easter eggs).  The punch I used was the Martha Stewart Deep Edge Garden Gate punch.

I picked up one of the sample border punched panels, a card base in New Leaf cardstock from Papertrey Ink, and added the cute gingham bird and daisy from Mandy's package along with three colors of twine.  The stamped sentiment is from Studio G.

I tied a bow at one end of the three lengths of twine (green , white and green/white twist) and trimmed off the end.

 A little fluffing and shaping to round out the loops and a second trim of the ends and my bow was ready to add to the card.  I used glue dots to hold it securely.

I think that the fresh gingham and bright colors are a nice counterpoint to the more formal border punched layer.

Once you have carefully punched the edges of the white cardstock, this card will go together very quickly.

I've been doing some more shopping at Blitsy - three times every week they add new items to the store and the sale lasts for one week or until the item is sold out or "blitsed."  Last week I got some Tim Holtz embossing folders and yesterday I ordered some Scor-Tape and the Scor-Buddy mini score board ($12.95).

If you haven't tried this site with great deals on all sorts of craft items, why not check it out?  If you click the image above or this LINK, you will go to the sign up page as my referral.  Once you join (it's free), you can get your own referral code and invite your friends and family.  When they make their first order, you will get a $10 credit in your account.

Occasionally they offer a week when you get $1 in credit for anyone who signs up from your link (up to 25 people) whether they order or not.  This offer is on right now and will last until May 1, 2012 at 12 PM Pacific time.  Thanks for using my link to join and helping me keep up with my craft supply addictions!

I hope you are having a great weekend. 

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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Simple Baby Blanket - Made in a Day

A couple of weeks ago I showed you my baby blanket project in process.  This was a simple panel of fabric with the sweet animal designs by Sheri McCulley.  Sheri has designed several Cricut cartridges (Nursery Tales, Snow Angel, Christmas Wish, Nate's ABCs, Kate's ABCs, Savory) and also has designs available through Lettering Delights.  This panel is from the Woodland Tails collection from manufacturer Riley Blake Designs.

I chose the easiest way to make the blanket - it isn't really a quilt because there are only two layers.  For the back I used the wonderful soft "Minky" fabric with an embossed paisley design.  I also purchased the coordinating stripe from the Woodland Tails collection to use for the binding.  If you've never felt the Minky fabric, you should try to find some to see just how silky and soft it is.  The perfect cuddling fabric for a baby!

I measure the panel and trimmed the Minky to the same size.  Then I used quilt basting spray on the back of the panel.  I was at my sister's house and we spread out a plastic tarp on the patio to keep the panel clean.  I let the panel dry for a few minutes, and then it was time to line up the two pieces.  This is a job best done by two (or more) people.

I cut strips of striped fabric at 2 1/2 inches and joined the lengths by placing the right sides at 90 degree angle and sewing along the diagonal.  Then I trimmed away the excess fabric and press the seams open.  This strip was then folded in half, wrong sides together, to make the binding.

I machined sewed the folded binding to the top panel, taking care to keep the lines straight so a small border of orange would show around the edge.  I mitered the corners so the binding would roll smoothly to the back.

Then I turned the binding, pressed and pinned it, and hand sewed the binding to the Minky fabric on the back.

I tied the two layers together with embroidery floss, following the natural lines of the design of the panel.

The panel has lots of cute little animals and my plan was to make a card to match.  I still haven't made the card but I did send the blanket to Virginia with my sister and her husband when they went to help just before the new baby arrived.

I was able to finish the blanket in one day - much less time consuming than making a pieced quilt top and then quilting by hand or machine.  This was the only way I would be finished in time for the arrival of my first great niece!

I have to share these beautiful photos of the newest member of our extended family that were taken this week.  Here she is with her two big brothers.

Just look at those beautiful big eyes.  What a sweet little girl!

I was very impressed by the photographer that my niece used.  Her name is Audra Simsic of Simple Soul Photography and she works in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia.  I can't wait to see the rest of the photos from their session.

I hope you have a lovely weekend.  It looks like it will be sunny but chilly here.  My Dad was discharged from the hospital yesterday and is in the rehab area of his retirement community while he recovers and builds up his strength.  Thanks for all of your thoughts and prayers.

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Friday, April 27, 2012

Water Bottle Sculpture and a Big Sale

Fair warning - this is a different sort of "crafty" post today.  I wanted to show you the sculpture that a local resident made in support of the ban on single serving water bottles that was just passed by Town Meeting here in Concord, Massachusetts.

The sculpture is currently parked in front of our High School.  There are 1500 water bottles included - the number of water bottles consumed every second in the United States.

As I said before, there are valid arguments for each side of this issue, you can read a brief report about the article and the pros and cons HERE.  Seeing this sculpture made me realize how large an impact the use of these bottles has on our world (and the crafty part of me loved the "drips" from the faucet that you can see in the first photo!).  If you'd like to see a video interview of the creator of the water faucet, please click HERE to go to the interview of Bob Lawson by Patrick Ball for the ConcordPatch.

I posted the names of the winners of the card kits yesterday - congratulations to the winners and thanks to everyone who left a comment and shared a tip for their fellow crafters.  I will be doing some more classes and I'll try to make a few extra kits each time to share with some of you.

National Scrapbook Day is coming right up on May 5, 2012.  There are so many celebrations and sales happening that I won't try to list them all here - just do an internet search for National Scrapbook Day 2012 and you'll find lots of interesting options.

I do want to let you know that Creative Memories is having a big sale to celebrate.  If you don't have a local Creative Memories consultant I'd be happy to help you with your order.  You can order from my Creative Memories Personal Website and have your order delivered directly to your home.  The Creative Memories National Scrapbook Day Sale starts today and continues until midnight (Central Time) on Saturday, May 5th.  The sale on the Creative Memories software programs, Memory Manager 3.0 and StoryBook Creator 4.0, ends on April 30th.

Here is a listing of the items on sale.  You should be able to click the bold words to go to the relevant page for each category on my website.

35% off 12x12 Cardstock (excluding Decorative Cardstock)

35% off digital artwork downloads (for StoryBook Creator or Universal format)

25% off select trimming and tearing tools 

642659 12-Inch Rotary Trimmer $22.50
643157 Small Wavy Blade: $5.63
642661 Wavy Blade: $5.63
643161 Deckle Blade: $5.63
642662 Straight Replacement Blade: $5.63
642663 Scoring Blade: $5.63
642664 Perforating Blade $5.63
647864 Postage Stamp Blade $5.63
648381 Pinking Blade $5.63
649287 Scallop Blade $5.63
642660 Replacement Mat Strip $4.88
642969 Personal Trimmer $15
646206 Hummingbird Personal Trimmer $15
629419 All-Purpose Scissors $3.75
624385 All-Purpose Scissors (3/pack) $10.50
646974 Paper Edger $6.38
637120 Tearing Tool $7.50
644342 Wavy Tearing Tool $7.50
647080 NOD Scallop Tearing Tool $7.50

637332 12 x12 White Scrapbook Pages (15/pack) $12.75
637340 12x12 Natural Scrapbook Pages (15/pack) $12.75
637348 12x12 Black Scrapbook Pages (15/pack) $12.75
637336 12x12 Spargo Scrapbook Pages (15/pack) $12.75
637378 12x12 Page Protectors (15/pack) $6.38
638484 12x12 Side-Loading Sleeves (15/pack) $19.50
637353 8x8 White Scrapbook Pages (12/pack) $9.00
637364 8x8 Natural Scrapbook Pages (12/pack) $9.00
637369 8x8 Black Scrapbook Pages (12/pack) $9.00
637358 8x8 Spargo Scrapbook Pages (12/pack) $9.00
637389 8x8 Page Protectors (12/pack) $4.13
638479 8x8 Side-Loading Sleeves (12/pack) $13.50
648606 13x9 Multi-Pocket Pages (10/pack) $9
645023 12x12 Large-Pocket Pages (15/pack) $15.00
639274 11x14 Large-Pocket Pages (5/pack) $7.50
639275 11x14 Multi-Pocket Pages (15/pack) $15

15% off select digital products
    • Page Prints (all sizes)
    • Page Print Product Credits
    • Custom Album Pages (all sizes) ordered on the Digital Center
    • Custom Album Page Product Credit (10/pack)
    • Extra pages and lay-flat upgrades on all Hardcover StoryBooks ordered on the Digital Center

    My Creative Memories ID# for the Digital Center is 82352282
These sale prices are effective 12:00 a.m. (CT) April 27 through 11:59 p.m. (CT) May 5, 2012.

I am still trying to catch up with a backlog of email - my schedule has changed and my Dad has been in the hospital so things are a little off track.  I think Dad will be released from the hospital today - all positive thoughts and prayers are most welcome.  Thanks.

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Pansy Card Kit Winners

Thanks to everyone who left an organization tip, inspirational site, helpful hint, source for crafting materials or a favorite tool recommendation in THIS POST - if you didn't get a chance to see the comments, check them out HERE.

I had three cards kits to give away and here are the three names that came up in the random draw:

Congratulations!  Please email me as soon as possible with your mailing information and I'll get the kits out to you right away.  (

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Creative Charms Inventory Clearance

New items have been added to the Creative Charms Inventory Clearance Sale.  They will be on sale at a special price of 85 cents a package for a week and then any remaining items will be available on the SALE page (most items are $1 per package on this page).  All items are sold in quantities of six packages.

The Sparkled Butterfly Medley includes one 2 inch and three 1 inch butterflies that make adorable accents for cards and projects.  The clearance price is $5.10 for six packages.

The Sparkled Flowers measure one inch with a gem center and there are six flowers in a package.  There are eight colors available and the clearance price is $5.10 for six packages.

The Sequin Trimmed Butterflies come in four colors with two butterflies in each package.  The clearance price is $5.10 for six packages.

I have added some photos of a few of my projects using these embellishments - just click on any of the photos in this post to see the full blog post for the project.

Have a wonderful Thursday!

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