Friday, February 5, 2016

Children's Hour Star Album - Lots of Possibilities!

Graphic 45 has done it again. They've come out with another fabulous calendar collection and it's called Children's Hour. These types of collections are my all-time favorites because they are so versatile all year long. If you haven't checked out the entire collection, here's a link.

Today I'm featured over on the Graphic 45 blog with a project I created for their booth at the Craft & Hobby Association show this past January. It's my Children's Hour Star Album featuring the 8" x 8" papers and the Ephemera Pack in this wonderful collection, plus some ATC ivory tags as well. This little table top album has so many possibilities! I've given many suggested uses on the post, plus provided many more photos so you can see the details, so I hope you hop on over there and check it out.

I'll be using this collection all year long on many projects to inspire you, so make sure you stock up! These calendar collections are very popular and won't last forever.

Thanks as always for stopping in today. Have a fabulous day!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Valentine Mini Mason Jars

Hey everyone. Yes, I'm still at it with the Valentine crafting. I can't help myself! So many fun ideas for little gifts & treats, and so many people to show how much I love them.

Today I wanted to share something that didn't go super smoothly the first couple times I tried it. I wanted to tint Tim Holtz's cute little mini mason jars to make them different shades of pinks and reds, but still have a translucent effect.

Alcohol ink would be perfect, so I found an idea on Pinterest where they mixed a 3-to-1 ratio of Alcohol Ink to Alcohol Blending Solution, then poured it into the jars and swirled to coat, then drained them upside down. There were a few things I learned along the way that I thought might be helpful to share, in case you'd like to try them yourself one day.

I purchased two packages of the mini mason jars, so I felt okay about experimenting on one or two.  The first thing I learned was that Alcohol Inks on glass take a LONG time to dry completely. It retains this tacky feel for quite a while. I thought maybe overnight would be okay, but NO. It took a good couple of days.

But before I tried being patient, I tried to seal the alcohol ink inside the jar. I went to grab my Matte Mod Podge and saw the jar of Sparkle Mod Podge and thought, "Seal it and give it some sparkle? Yes!" Okay, so... no. Not only did this lift away the alcohol ink, it was rather streaky. 

On a second jar, I tried clear gesso. And that was even worse. It took away the translucency and left major streaks. I decided I'd just give it a few days and think about what else I could do.

On a third jar, I sprayed into the jar with Workable Fixative, and it didn't work immediately so I set it aside with the remaining three. I let these sit for three days and finally they weren't nearly as tacky. When I eventually put candies inside, I will place them in a clear bag first.

From my fabric scraps (I used to be a quilter, and quilters never get rid of their scraps), I traced a 4" circle from this little bucket that was handy.

I cut along the traced line with pinking sheers, the inked the edges with Gathered Twigs Distress Ink. Pressing the blending tool while swirling the ink also slightly frayed the edges. Perfect!

I adhered some trim around the screw tops of each jar, then I die cut some papers using the larger sized rosette from the Mini Paper Rosettes die and adhered each to the lids.

Another learning experience: Coloring Tim's Heirloom Roses. I didn't want heavy coverage that alcohol ink might give, so I tried painting on Red Geranium Archival re-inker. This worked well because the color wasn't solid and seemed to grab darker on the outer petals, however when I heat-set it, I overcooked it and tiny little speckles of red formed. I decided this didn't bother me too much, so I used them anyway.

And once they're on the pretty jars, they look just fine.

Before screwing the top onto the jar, I tied two strands of twine through a tag, catching a heart charm before tying a bow. The pretty tags are a free download I found on Pinterest by Katarina Art, but if you Google "Free Printable Vintage Tags" you'll come up with a zillion options. I printed mine out on matte photo paper and mounted them onto kraft cardstock, then cut them out for a nice sturdy feel. I die-cut the word "love" from Tim's Celebration Words die onto black cardstock and adhered it onto each tag.

I loved mixing and matching cardstock and ribbon trims to make these. Now I'm off to the store to get some Valentine M&M's! 

I hope you've enjoyed another Valentine's Day project. Let me know if you try them! Below are the links to all the supplies I used. Thanks for stopping in.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Blog Winner!

Good Saturday morning all and especially to Glenda Buster whose name was drawn from those who  left comments on my blog for the three different Valentine project posts.

Congrats Glenda! Now just e-mail me at with your address and I'll happily ship off these goodies to you today.

Have fun and thanks to everyone for the sweet comments. I hope you all share your projects you've made on Facebook or Instagram and make sure you tag me! Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Valentine Tutorial 3 - The Gift Bag

Hello and happy Friday! It's the third and final day of my Valentine tutorials and today I'm sharing this pretty feminine gift bag. Once you see how easy this one comes together, you'll want to make a bunch of them. The supply list for all three Valentine projects can be found here

Now let's make our gift bag... 

From Graphic 45's Children's Hour, cut apart the tag and the 12" floral strip from the February Collective page. For the bag's flap, cut a 3 1/8" x 3 1/4" piece (the brown stripe is the back side of the February Collective).  Make a score line at 1 1/8" from the straight edge and fold on the score. This will create a fold-over flap for the top of the gift bag. Trim to a rounded point like an envelope as shown.

Cut a 2" x 3 1/8" and a 3/4" x 1 1/4" piece of deep red card stock.

Adhere the cut-apart tag to the large red card stock piece and trim top two corners. Add a Shabby Chic brad. Adhere the small red card stock piece to the back of a Shabby Chic keyhole.

Connect a fancy bauble to the bottom of the keyhole using a large jump ring. Set aside.

Cut an 11" x 7 3/4" piece of Graphic 45's Mon Amour "Dearest Darling" paper. If you have the We R Memory Keepers Gift Tag Punch Board, follow the directions to create a medium gift bag. If you don't have the punch board, no worries. Here's how to make your own gift bag without it...

(For demonstration purposes, I'm showing the scoring guides on pink card stock.) Score the "Dearest Darling" paper as shown, starting with the horizontal score at 1 3/8" then continue with the verticals.

Use scissors to trim away the sections shown. These flaps are the bottom of the bag and will get folded inward later.

Fold on all the scores as shown. See next photo also.

Eventually this is the goal.

Before assembling the gift bag, adhere the floral border strip just above the 1 3/8" score line as shown, trimming the excess. Fold again on all score lines then assemble the bag by first adhering the side strip, then the bottom flaps.

Adhere the flap to the top of the bag as shown, lining up the score with the top back.

Lay the bag with its flap open onto a table, flat. Use E6000 to adhere the Shabby Chic key unit to the flap so it's partially hanging off. Pierce a hole through the top hole in the keyhole plate and insert a brad, folding open the prongs on the inside of the flap. Tie a 14" length of wide ribbon into a bow and adhere in place with Fabri-Tac glue. Let dry.

Adhere a 12" length of red lace around the gift bag above the floral strip using Fabri-Tac.

Adhere the tag below the keyhole and add a few small roses. 

Your Valentine gift bag is done!

Unbelievably, you'll still have all this left over from the February Collective page! Enjoy using the sweet imagery for even more Valentine projects.

Remember, as my thanks to you for following along, I have a GREAT give-away planned for one lucky winner. All you have to do is leave a comment on each day of my three Valentine tutorials. I'll pool those names together and draw one winner who will receive a wonderful mixture of Graphic 45 goodness! I'll post the winner this Saturday right here on my blog and on my social media sites. 

Good luck and thanks for following along! All the products shown in the three tutorials can be found online at stores like or your favorite local scrapbook store.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Valentine Tutorial 2 - The Heart-Shaped Box

Hello again crafty friends. I'm sharing another Valentine tutorial today and it's this sweet little heart-shaped box which measures about 5" x 5 1/2". The supply list for all three Valentine projects I'm sharing this week can be found here. Just scroll to the bottom of that post and it's all there for you. Now let's get started on today's project.

I have provided a few templates for you, since the Sizzix die I used is very old and no longer available. Here's what you'll need to cut as shown in the photo above:

Two hearts, both cut from Graphic 45's 12" x 12" Children's Hour February Montage sheet. One showing the front side of the paper and the other showing the back. (heart template below)

The Sweetheart cut-apart from the February Collective paper.

Six 1" x 12" strips from the February Montage sheet. You'll use two from the front of the paper and four from the back.

From the Heart Box Template, cut two hearts and four of the side walls. Flip two of the wall strips the opposing direction. You can use thin cardboard, heavy-weight poster board, or Bristol like I did. These pieces will serve as the box structure to which you'll adhere papers.

Score along the 1" length of each wall strip and fold in the tabs as shown along your score line. Condition the paper with the handle of a smooth pencil or dowel to get a slight curve on the side walls. You should have two sets like in the photo.

Place adhesive on the tabs of each of the four strips. (I used 3/8" Scor-tape)  Working with one wall strip at a time for the box's lid, carefully peel and stick each tab along the right edge of one of the cardboard hearts, curving as you go, matching up the outer edges evenly. Continue with other wall strip along the left side of the heart (see next two photos).

When you finish, there will be a gap at the top of the heart like this. No problem.

View of the wall strip lining up evenly with the heart piece.

Repeat the same steps for the heart box's bottom portion, except this time you'll adhere the wall strips about 1/16" inward from the heart's edge, as shown here. This allows the heart box lid to fit over the heart box bottom. 

When you're done, the gap should be minimal like this. At this point, you can add a piece of clear tape to reinforce this area. All of it will get covered with paper, so you won't see it later.

Check the fit by putting the lid onto the bottom box. Make any necessary adjustments at this point.

Use my Heart Base Template to cut one large heart from thick chipboard. This will serve as the base for your heart box and as a gripping point so you can easily lift the lid off your heart box. Trace the chipboard heart onto vintage pink card stock. (I used Tim's Kraft Core by Core'dinations). Cut out the pink and adhere it to the chipboard. If you have something similar, die-cut a fancy heart doily from Ivory card stock. I used Stampin' Up's new "Bloomin' Heart" Thinlits die. My friend Grace sells Stampin' Up. Here's her link.

Once you've adhered the pink card stock to the chipboard base, sand it gently for a smooth and finished look. Then dab some pink paint along the sides. This covers the chipboard core nicely. I used Victorian Velvet Distress Paint.

Adhere the strips of paper to the inside walls of the box bottom. (You will only need a small portion of the second strip to finish.) Trim the paper heart about 1/16" all the way around and test it to fit into the box. Adjust as necessary, then adhere. Adhere the red paper strips to the outer walls of the box, trimming excess as necessary. Use a thick tacky glue to adhere the box bottom to the pink/chipboard heart base. Set aside to dry.

Adhere the red paper heart to the box lid. Add the lacy heart die-cut. Adhere the remaining two red paper strips to the outer walls of the box, trimming excess as necessary.

Adhere pretty trim around the perimeter of the box lid. (I used this red pom-pom trim from May Arts). Tie a pretty bow with coordinating ribbon and adhere to the top of the lid. Adhere some pretty flowers to the center, then add a wavy look to the Sweetheart cut-apart with a smooth pencil or dowel and adhere it below the flowers. Add a pink sparkly heart.

Here's a closer look at the wavy cut-apart and the pink sparkly heart. The heart gem is actually a button from Hobby Lobby. I simply heated the back side with my embossing gun for a few seconds and removed the button shank from the back so I could glue it down flat.

Keeping the lid separate from the box, adhere beaded trim around the perimeter of the base of the lid as shown. It's helpful to work on a non-stick craft sheet so any residual glue doesn't adhere to anything below the trim. Let this dry fully before moving it.

You've finished the heart box! Now all you have left to do is put some yummy sweets or a nice little gift inside. Slide the lid onto the box and you're ready for Valentine's Day!

Join me again tomorrow as I share how to make the sweet Valentine gift bag. You'll want to make a bunch of these, they are so easy and fun!

And don't forget, as my thanks to you for following along, I have a GREAT give-away planned for one lucky winner. All you have to do is leave a comment on each day of my three Valentine tutorials. I'll pool those names together and draw one winner who will receive a wonderful mixture of Graphic 45 goodness! I'll post the winner this Saturday right here on my blog and on my social media sites. Good luck!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Valentine Tutorial 1 - The Card

Hello and welcome back. As promised earlier this week, I'll be sharing three Valentine tutorials this week. Today is my 6" x 6" card. I listed the supplies you'll need for everything in my last post, so if you missed it, simply go back and check it out. Let's get started...

From Graphic 45's Children's Hour 12" x 12" collection, cut apart the images you see above from the February Collective page, making sure not to cut into any other imagery on the page, since some of those pieces will be used in the next two projects. The floral strip on the left edge measures 5 3/4" long.

Select a red print and a pink print from the 6" x 6" Mon Amour Patterns & Solids. (I failed to list a third sheet in the supply list you would need for the pink band portion, sorry). Cut the 6" x 6" pieces down to 5 3/4" x 5 3/4" each, then the additional pink band to 5 3/4" x 1 3/4".

From Mon Amour's "Dearest Darling" 12 x 12 paper, cut a 4 1/4" x 4 1/4" square, and a 5 1/4" x 1" strip. From the back side of the Children's Hour February Montage page, cut a strip 5 1/4" x 3/4" then scallop one long edge as shown.

Cut a card base 6" x 12" from black card stock and score in half to make a 6" x 6" folded card. (My card opens from bottom to top, but if you prefer you can make yours open like a book, right to left.) Cut a strip 6" x 2" and a square 4 1/2" x 4 1/2". Save the extra black card stock scraps for the next step.

Cut a 5 3/4" x 5 3/4" piece of ivory card stock, a 2 1/8" x 3 1/8" piece of vintage pink card stock, and die cut a decorative rectangle from the remaining black card stock. (I used Spellbinders Nestabilities Labels 40 Decorative Elements.)

Assemble the pieces shown above. (I inked all the edges of my papers with Hickory Smoke Distress Ink before assembling.)

Notice that you'll need to cut out the word February from the calendar you cut apart earlier.

If you have a corner punch, you can dress up the corners by punching four corners from pink pattern paper, then backing them with some scraps of black card stock. Here I'm demonstrating how you can adhere the corners to a square piece of black, then snip through the center for an even and balanced corner unit.

Begin assembling pieces to your black card stock base as shown.

Layer on the center unit. So far I've adhered straight down to the card, no foam tape, to keep the thickness to a minimum for mailing. I like to use Scor-Tape for the layered bits for a strong hold.

Adhere a large Graphic 45 Shabby Chic Key to the card with E6000 glue. Tie a 10" length of red shimmery ribbon into a bow and adhere to the top of the key with Fabri-Tac. Set until dry.

Give the "Will You Be My Valentine" cut-apart a wavy look by running the strip along a narrow dowel or a smooth pencil. This breaks up the paper fibers so you can create some movement for added dimension. (see next photo)  I added a heart charm (Tim Holtz Idea-ology) just below the strip.

Add two layers of foam squares under the Valentine banner at the highest point, and adhere the ends directly to the card to keep that wavy banner appearance.

Finish off the inside of your card with the remaining pieces.

You can find full pads as well as single sheets of all 12" x 12" Graphic 45 papers online at or visit your local scrapbooking store. 

Join me tomorrow for another fun tutorial, as I share how to create the cute little heart-shaped box. Perfect for holding special sweets or a small gift. Then Friday I'll share how to make the gift bag. I hope you join me!

Now, as my thanks to you for following along, I have a GREAT give-away planned for one lucky winner. All you have to do is leave a comment on each day of my three Valentine tutorials. I'll pool those names together and draw one winner who will receive a wonderful mixture of Graphic 45 goodness! I'll post the winner this Saturday right here on my blog and on my social media sites. Good luck!!