Friday, September 4, 2015

Halloween Pie Box Treat Favors

Hello and happy Friday. Just For Fun Friday! I'm sharing these fun and easy Halloween treat holders made with a Sizzix pillow box die. (I've always called these "pie" boxes because they remind me of the McDonald's original apple pie containers.) This particular die is one I've had a very long time from Stampin' Up. 

I cut the pie boxes from Tim Holtz's newest paper stash Regions Beyond in the 8" x 8" pad. If you love Halloween and vintage, this is gonna be a favorite. 

I added a 1 1/4" wide band of paper around each. To ensure the scores and folds were crisp and lined up with the boxes, I cut these bands with the die, simply laying them across the center of the die area.

I had a bunch of these Halloween muse tokens in my stash, so I colored them with drops of Ginger, Sunset Orange, and Pitch Black alcohol ink. This gave them a cool creepy look.

Next I took orange and black Kraft Core card stock strips and ran them through the mini rosette die, assembled them, and attached the tokens with strong glue.

I stamped a strip of ivory card stock with Black archival ink using the Simple Sayings stamp set by Stampers Anonymous. Finally, I cut a strip of black tulle and tied it into a knot, then frayed the ends and attached them to the tokens with Fabri-Tac.

This is an easy, fun project you can do in just a few hours while watching TV or listening to Halloween music. All that's left to do is fill them with candy once Halloween is here. 

Thanks for stopping in today. Are you into Halloween like me? I can't stop making Halloween projects right now! I love it! What are you working on for the season?

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Halloween Mini Album Tutorial is Ready!

Hello all! As promised in my Instagram, Facebook and Twitter sneak peek posts over the weekend, I have finished my Halloween Mini Album 2015 using the new Nevermore paper pack and some fun embellishments from Close To My Heart

I've put really good use to the Cricut Artbooking Cartridge to make this fun album, and I'm excited to share it with you. I've done some welding, grouping and tweaking to some of the cuts to make this album more to my liking and style, and thanks to the Cricut Design Space online software, I'm able to share my custom cuts for this album with you!

Here are some teaser photos of the entire album. Keep reading below to see how you can purchase the tutorial and also receive my cut files so you can make your own.

There are few details you need to know before making your purchase:

  • The Digital Download Tutorial is available in my Etsy Shop for $12.00 at this link.
  • In order to receive my cut files, you must own the Artbooking cartridge and use Design Space.
  • Once you've purchased the Tutorial, I will share my cut files to your e-mail address. FREE!
  • You'll need the following supplies to complete the album exactly as I've made it, otherwise you can use any paper, any stamps, and any cardstock you like and the album will still turn out great.

                   Supply List:

                            Artbooking Cricut Cartridge
Cricut Design Space online software
Close To My Heart “Nevermore” paper pack (X7198B)
Close To My Heart Enamel Stars (Bulk362) Contact your CTMH consultant
Close To My Heart Sparkles Flourishes, black (Bulk336) Contact your CTMH consultant
Pumpkin Chevron  stamp set (B1488)
Steampunk Scoundrels stamp set (B1503)
Ink Blot stamp set (D1660)
1 sheet Saffron cardstock (CTMH)
Several additional sheets of black cardstock for base pages and Cricut cuts
Scoring tools
Foam tape
Office style single hole punch
Ribbon and twine
Three 1 1/2” book rings
Black ink pad and sponge dauber
Autumn Terracotta ink pad and sponge dauber
Autumn Terracotta marker (or similar color)
Slate ink pad and sponge dauber

For those of you who are wondering, no I haven't rejoined CTMH, but I'll always be a fan and I LOVE their Cricut cartridges. Being a big Halloween freak, I couldn't pass up the Nevermore paper pack. If you need a CTMH consultant, I highly recommend ordering from my friend Jacki Tibbitts. Here's her link.

Let me know if you have any questions, or simply how you like the project. My goal to is create projects with tutorials like this on a regular basis for you to enjoy.

Happy September 1st. Enjoy the new season, and thanks for stopping in.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Precious Memories Shadow Box - Behind the Scenes of a Graphic 45 Special Project

My Fridays all seem to be running together these days. It's been a busy, busy month here in my craft studio. I've been designing my little heart out! Three projects for Graphic 45's Fall season of events and a few special cards for the upcoming Clearsnap catalog. Not to mention my own class projects and a few other fun things brewing. Whew! 

Of course, I can't show you any of them, just yet. (Sorry.)

Because of all this fun creating, I wasn't able to create a "Just For Fun Friday" project this week.

What I CAN share is a fun project I designed this past Spring using Graphic 45's Precious Memories collection and the Ivory Shadow Box. This comes with a printable project sheet so you can make your own. Simply click here.

Just for something a little different, I thought it would be fun to share what goes into designing these special projects for Graphic 45 as I share the photos of this particular project.

The first step is a conference call with Charee Filimoehala, Graphic 45's Design Team coordinator. I make note of the time we begin and finish talking, plus all the hours logged along the creation process. Charee gives me the basic plan: which collection they want me to use, what major product they want to feature (in this case the Ivory Shadow Box), any other materials they want me to use, how long they have to teach the class, and a materials budget.

They usually have a general idea of what they'd like to see (for example, in this project they wanted me to use Precious Memories and the Shadow Box, but wanted to focus less on the baby imagery and make it more universal.) Oftentimes, we share a secret Pinterest Board where we pin ideas and inspiration. Based on all this, it's time for me to create.

The design process involves keeping track of the number of papers used and the cuts per sheet. I use repositionable adhesive for everything at this stage, in case I have to move things around or change things altogether. I take preliminary photos along the way and once I've finished the design process, I upload these to my Google Drive folder which is shared with Graphic 45.

At this time, Charee and Aimee look over the photos and discuss, then give me their feedback. I make any necessary changes, then upload more preliminary photos for final approval.

Once I've been given the final okay, I set up my camera and lighting and take the project apart and start adhering everything with permanent adhesive, taking step-by-step photos along the way.

After I've gotten the project reassembled and all photos taken, I go back into my Drive folder and type the supply list for Graphic 45. They use this list to gather the materials needed for the number of attendees in each of their scheduled classes. Sometimes it's 100 to 150 people, sometimes it's 40.

Next I pull each photo into PhotoShop Elements to retouch and crop them. These photos will be used in the Project Sheets Graphic 45 puts together and provides to shop owners and eventually to the public, just like this one you see today. Graphic 45 has a tab in the sidebar of their blog where you can find all their Project Sheets! Lots of great projects you can create yourself.

Once the photos are ready, I upload them into my Drive folder, named and numbered to keep things organized and easy to search online. Then I type the step-by-step directions to coincide with my photos. Graphic 45 uses these to teach their classes, so careful editing and re-checking are essential (and usually require my teenager's assistance).

The next step in the process is typing the cutting guides in my Drive folder. Earlier, when designing the project, I kept notes of paper cuts per sheet of paper. Sometimes these cutting guides require diagrams because of the number of cuts and cut-aparts. This cutting guide will go to Graphic 45 so they can cut everything needed for class. (Don't tell them I said this, but I am SUPER happy they don't ask me to do this part!)

(these are little mini accordion books that sit inside the shadow box)

(They are decorated simply with washi tape and a bit of chipboard.)

After the cutting guide is done, I print a copy and then cut a sample kit for Graphic 45. This is a good time for me to double check my measures and catch any mistakes. I place the pieces into individually marked zip-top bags to keep things organized and easy to follow.

The final stage of the process is to carefully package the finished project and the sample kit, and ship it to Graphic 45. Once I know the package has arrived in Portland, I tally up my hours and send then an invoice for the job. 

These class projects are usually on the intermediate level. Sometimes I'd like to add more, but this is where the customer can take over, if they wish. My job is to create a teachable, fun project that showcases the AMAZINGLY wonderful Graphic 45 line. 

I can't think of a better job. Can you? I'm one lucky girl. And I'm honored to have Graphic 45 put their faith in me project after project.

Thanks for stopping in today. Now it's back to my studio to finish a fun Halloween project in the works. Have a great day!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Just For Fun - Altered Wagon/Fall Home Decor

I've been a big fan of Carta Bella paper for a while now, and I recently discovered their Fall Blessings Project Challenge on Facebook so I thought I'd take a shot at it.

I've really been into Fall home decor projects lately and next weekend I'll be decorating my home for the season, so I went through my stash of alterables once again, remembering I had purchased a metal wagon on clearance this past Spring.

Here's what it looked like from the craft store. It was 60% off! One of my favorite things to do is grab a big Starbucks coffee and wander the aisles of my local Hobby Lobby. Not only are there great deals and wonderful choices, there's inspiration everywhere! 

Here's how it looked after I altered it with Carta Bella's Fall Blessings paper collection. Fun, eh? It didn't take much time at all to alter it. Let me take you through a few steps.

I started by cutting strips, punching some borders on some and then layering them together.

I removed the wheels to make it easier to work with and then I adhered the strips to the wagon with double-sided sticky tape and put 4-inch circles of paper behind each wheel with a few dots of tacky glue.

I reattached the wheels to the wagon...

...then I fussy cut the Happy Fall banner pieces and few leaves. I wrapped more of the paper around a candle and eventually tied a ribbon around it too.

I filled my wagon with Fall sprigs, pinecones, acorns, a pumpkin and my candle.

Not sure if I'll keep the stickers on the wheels or not just yet. They're cute, for sure though.

Make sure you pop over and LIKE the Carta Bella Facebook page and check out their challenges and new releases. Their paper is so fun to work with. It has great body and texture and the imagery is always fantastic!

Thanks for stopping in today. I'll let you know if I win the Project Challenge. They're picking three winners on Monday, August 24th.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Just For Fun - Fall Birdhouse

Hello everyone. It's another Just For Fun Friday and I've got a home decor piece to share with you. After I made my Graphic 45 Botanicabella card in my last post, my husband said it looked like a pretty Fall card. That's when I decided to create a Fall birdhouse. Even though it's still super hot here in Florida, and humid as can be, I can't help wishing for cooler temperatures and falling leaves. And I have this thing about birdhouses. I have one for every season now, I think. All you have to do is type "Birdhouse" in my blog search and you'll see for yourself. I love them! So, once again I grabbed the beautiful Botanibella collection from Graphic 45 and got going.

My finished birdhouse measures about 13" high, and is covered with Botanicabella papers, Petaloo flowers, Tim Holtz's Idea-ology findings, and a few more embellishments. Let me take you through my process and share a few tips when altering wooden items.

I started with these wooden pieces, all of which were in my stash. When wood crafts go on sale at my local craft store, I tend to grab a few things whether I have a plan for them yet or not. I've had this birdhouse for about a year now. I also give the rough areas a gentle sanding to make sure all is smooth.

I painted my pieces with Americana Rockwood Red acrylic paint and glued the two candle stands together with wood glue.

I always use this technique when covering wooden items: I make a paper template from recycled printer paper, testing where the holes will go and to check the fit. And in the case of a large hole or space like my birdhouse, I lay the paper on the wooden surface then do a pencil rubbing to locate the exact area of the hole. By scribbling, I reveal the outline of the hole. See it? Then I can cut it out with  a craft knife and lay it on my birdhouse again to check the fit. 

If my paper template is good, then I trace it onto the actual paper I want to cover the birdhouse with. I inked the edges with Aged Mahogany Distress Ink on a blending tool.

I glued my stand to my base with wood glue, and while it dried I adhered some papers to my birdhouse.

I used two (very old) paper punches to punch a maple and an oak leaf from the Botanicabella papers.

To make the leaves look more dimensional, I inked the outer edges and pressed some vein lines into each with a scoring stylus. After folding on the scores, I inked on those folds too. Big difference, right?

My leaves looked pretty good, but I wanted a bit more shimmer and drama, so I grabbed a few Perfect Pearls mists and gave them a light spritz. 

Here you can see a bit of that shimmer. My favorite combination was spraying Forever Green onto some of the red and orange leaves. It gave such a natural look! I also used Perfect Copper and Heirloom Gold on other leaves.

I used my favorite French Pastry doily die from Cherry Lynn Designs to cut this 4" doily from one of the Botanicabella papers, then cut a circle from the center for my stand to go.

I slid the doily over the stand and adhered it to my base. Why did I cut away that hole? If I hadn't, my stand wouldn't be as sturdy. This way, wood is glued to wood. You may notice a bit of shimmer on the stand and base. I decided to spritz everything with more of the Perfect Copper spray.

As I waited for the wood glue to set completely, I covered more of my birdhouse with papers using the same pencil rubbing technique described earlier. After all the paper were on, I sprayed the main birdhouse with the Perfect Copper spray too.

I laid the birdhouse on its back to adhere several metal adornments to my birdhouse using E6000 for a strong hold. Once those were completely set, I stood the house up again and adhered the pretty metal photo corners. (I'm pretty sure I got those at Hobby Lobby).

The laurel at the top is from Tim Holtz's Idea-ology "Nature Adornments." I gave it a hit of some Gold Mixative and Mushroom alcohol inks to mimic the look of the other metal findings. The brass button is from a mixture I found at Hobby Lobby, and the little Artisan Stud is from Close To My Heart.

 I adhered an Ornate Plate over the largest hole in the birdhouse which you can see is oval and not a great fit for the round hole. But don't worry, there's an easy fix coming up. I pulled the prongs off a Graphic 45 metal brad and adhered the head to the perch below the hole.

To cover the mis-matched hole, I simply adhered some overlapping leaves and flowers. Easy enough, right?

I had some leftover leaves and some pretty Fall stems, so I decorated the base of my birdhouse, using hot glue to adhere everything securely.

After adorning the front of the birdhouse with more flowers and leaves, I adhered the house to the stand. And my Fall birdhouse is complete.

Thanks for joining me for another Just For Fun Friday. I'd love to know if you like altering wood or other items? What are your favorite papers to use? Do you have any tricks or tips up your sleeve when altering items? We'd love to hear!

Thanks again for stopping in. Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Just For Fun Friday: Botanicabella Card

Hello and happy Friday everyone. I'm starting something new here on the blog. How about a "Just For Fun Friday" post? I'm constantly making something around here, and even though most of the time it's work-related, sometimes it's "just for fun." So I will be reserving my Fridays (as often as possible) for projects I'm making "just for fun."

Today it's a card I created with the gorgeous Graphic 45 Deluxe Collector's Edition of Botanicabella soon to be released. Originally released back in 2008, it's back and as beautiful as ever! Here are a few photos to share below AND I've included a handy Snapguide if you feel like making one yourself. In the tutorial, you'll see what supplies I've used as well. Enjoy, and let me know what you think. Thanks!