Thursday, May 31, 2012

June Stamp of the Month Blog Hop

Life is Sweet.

Or should I say "Tweet?"

"Life is Tweet" is the name of Close To My Heart's June Stamp of the Month. Each month when you spend at least $50 with your CTMH consultant, you qualify to get the Stamp of the Month stamp set for only $5!

You can view all the great images in this cute stamp set in the right hand column of my blog page. It's got sweet little birdies, flowers and cute phrases, plus the added bonus of a Cricut cut to match two of the large images in the set from CTMH's Art Philosophy cartridge.

And by the way, this is a Blog Hop, so you can view over 50 other consultants' creations with this same stamp set. If you're already hopping, you came here from Adeline Brill's blog. Keep on reading to the end of my post to see where to hop to next.

I made this card yesterday with the intention of making a birthday card (There are also party hats and balloons in the set) BUT after looking at the set and thinking about it, I started to imagine the birds standing on each other's heads. Thus, my card idea...

I used Smoothie and Chocolate card stock with some soft yellow floral B&T paper from the Pemberley paper pack, embellished with Dark Chocolate striped grosgrain ribbon and Smoothie Mini Medley Accents, with a bit of Baker's Twine from the Paradise Assortment.

See the teeny black bird on the top? That little guy was part of one of the phrases in the stamp set, but I cut him away from the phrase (an easy thing to do with our soft, pliable stamps) and mounted him to a small acrylic block and stamped him in black. I colored the large bird with Smoothie and Buttercup markers and added Liquid Glass to the eye as well as the flower centers in the background.

Making a bow like this is so simple. I used two independent pieces of ribbon. I cinched a straight piece with some strong thread where the bow would lay over. This gives the appearance in the end that the whole thing is one continuous piece of ribbon. Then, with a longer piece of ribbon, I created a loop, gluing the ends together, slightly overlapping using Fabri-Tac. When the glue was almost dry, but still pliable, I cinched the bow with Baker's Twine and tied that into a bow. Bow on bow, get it? A little more Baker's Twine in the Smoothie button gets glued over the whole thing. It's all about illusion!

Now, let's get some more inspiration and keep on hopping through this Blog Hop. Next up is Shannon Beck's blog. Can't wait to check out what she's come up with!

Thanks for stopping by. Have a fabulous day!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Altered Cigar Box on Pulley Wheels

For my All Things Tim group in June, we'll be altering cigar boxes using all kinds of Tim Holtz goodies, including some fun new stuff like faucet knobs, pulley wheels, drawer pulls, and Destinations paper. You can find these great treasures at Inspiration Emporium or Simon Says Stamp (two of my favorite go-to online stores). They carry tons of Tim's products.

Here's a look at the project...

I went to the largest local cigar shop in our area and asked if they had any empty boxes to sell, and to my delight they had a ton of them. If I was willing to get on hands and knees and go through them, I was welcome to buy as many as I liked, and at a pretty good deal too. Each member in the group will have a different box which I think will make it interesting and fun to see how they all turn out.

Here are a few close-ups of some of the details...

My box measures about 7 1/2 inches long and 4 1/2 inches tall and deep. 
The idea behind mine is a traveler's treasure box. Not necessarily literal "travel" as much as a creative journey. It looks great on the shelf among my studio supplies, and puts a smile on my face every time I look at it.

Thanks for stopping in today. Have a wonderful holiday weekend! 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Bragging Rights for Mom

Happy Thursday bloggers! We are very excited here in the Green household because we just found out that our daughter Jamie won the national Heinz Ketchup Creativity Contest!

Each year, Heinz hosts a ketchup packet design contest for school-age kids from 1st through 12th grade. Each contestant can enter as many ideas as they wish, following Heinz specific guidelines. Heinz selects one student per grade level as the winner. Winners not only have their designs printed on ketchup packets which will be distributed in U.S. schools, but they also win $1,000 cash each, $1,000 for their school's art department, and $1,000 in Heinz Ketchup for their school.

Jamie submitted seven ideas and Heinz selected her cute baby tomato design you see in the photo above. Her art teacher Ms. Thacker was instrumental in encouraging students to submit artwork and send everything in on time.

We received an official letter from the H.J. Heinz Company several weeks ago telling us that Jamie had been selected as a potential prize winner and that final selection of winners was to be posted on May 23rd on their website. Naturally we were very excited! So much so, I was up at 4:00 a.m. yesterday checking the website every 10 minutes until about 11:00 a.m. when the winners were finally posted. When I saw her name there, all I could say was, "Well, I'll be darned." And promptly got on the phone, e-mail, and Facebook telling everyone the great news.

Jamie, herself, didn't find out right away because she was in the middle of exams. I tried calling the school, but they wouldn't put me through.  She eventually called me when she got a break. We were so happy!!

I spent the afternoon watching the clock, waiting for her to come home so I could give her a huge hug. I made her favorite cake: chocolate with peanut butter frosting.  I also spent a little time in the driveway with some sidewalk chalk...

To see all of this year's winners as well as past winners, check out Heinz's Creativity website.

Thanks for popping in today. Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Minor Delay

I had promised to share my Project Week in the Life album with you yesterday, with high hopes of completing in over the weekend. Somehow weekends don't allow for quiet time in my studio, so I never got around to finishing the project.

I will, however, get it done. And soon. Thanks for your patience. I'm thinking about how I want to present it best, and it seems that video will likely be the way to go. That way, I can explain a few things like how to use Close To My Heart's flip flaps correctly. They're great, but somehow they mystify people. Well, they're super easy and I'll show you how.

Until then, enjoy your Tuesday and stay tuned.

Friday, May 18, 2012

More Teacher Cards & Custom Envelopes

My daughter will be finishing up middle school next week and soon moving on to high school. (Wow, is all I can say.) She's had some great teachers this year so I wanted to be sure to help her thank them with some handmade cards. When I offered her some older cards in my stash that were very simple (and already completed) she kindly said, "Mom, these really aren't up to your caliber. I want to show off how talented you are." That made me happy.

Fortunately I recently reorganized my paper stash into a hanging folder system in one of those scrapbooker's cubes from the craft store. It barely held my non-Close To My Heart papers. I didn't realize just how much I had and WHAT I had until I reorganized. And I'm so happy I did! I found these beautiful Basic Grey papers from their Origins line, which is now a few years old. Gorgeous nonetheless. So I whipped up a handful of cards. Then I remembered that SplitcoastStampers just posted a tutorial on making your own custom envelopes. Check it out here. I'm also including my own quickie formula for making envelopes at the bottom of this post.

I think I've found a new addition! I loved using up my older papers to make coordinating envelopes. I may never buy envelopes again. I have had templates of standard envelope sizes before, but sometimes they just didn't work out with my card size, or I just didn't feel like tracing them and cutting them out. The tutorial from Splitcoast shows you how to make an envelope for any sized card and it's SUPER easy.

Here are my cards and coordinating envelopes...

These are for the female teachers. Two of the cards measure 4 1/2 x 6 1/4 inches (sort of an odd size) and the other two are 5 1/4 x 5 1/4 inches (another odd size). Perfect for making my own envelopes.

Here are each of the female cards with their coordinating envelopes so you can see how well they work together.

These cards & envelopes came together in a matter of a few hours this morning. I used things I had on hand, which always makes me happy. I need to save my money for the Scrapbook Expo tomorrow!

Here are two quick guy cards I made also, and will make envelopes for them this afternoon.

These were made with Victory papers, cork shapes, studs and twine, all from Close To My Heart. One is for the bus driver and one for Jamie's only male teacher. 

Okay, here's my quickie formula for making your own custom envelopes.

1. To figure out the length of paper needed, measure the short side of your card    
   and multiply it by 2 and add 2". 

2. Measure the long side of the card and add 2". 

3. Score at 7/8" on each side of the paper width. (paper is tall in trimmer)

4. To figure out where to score on the long side of the paper (place the paper wide in 
   trimmer) subtract the short side of your card from the paper length, divide by 2 and  
   subtract 1/8". 

5. Cut away the four outer sections, round the four corners of the envelope using a 
   corner rounder, and trim a slight angle off the inner flaps to reduce bulk. 

Thanks for stopping by today. I hope you have a fantastic weekend doing something crafty and fun. I'll be finishing up my Week in the Life album and have it ready to share with you on Monday.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Cards & More "Victory" Projects

It's all about the guys this month in my Cards & More Club. We'll be using Close To My Heart's "Victory" paper pack and "Tough Tags" embellishments along with a few other goodies to make some fun masculine cards.

Check out the projects...

Let's start with that cool wallet...

I found a video online how to make this and now can't remember where or who it was. (hate it when that happens, because I like to give credit where credit is due.)  Anyway, it's super easy to make, and I added some of my own touches to jazz it up a little, like using one of Tim Holtz's Texture Fades to create the embossed texture on the outside of the wallet. The "Limited Edition" leather patch is one of the Tough Tags from Close To My Heart. Each tag has a peel-and-stick backing, making them easy to pop onto your projects.

The wallet opens up and really holds money and gift cards too.

Here are the simple measures & directions to make this wallet:

1. Cut a piece of sturdy card stock 9 x 3 1/2 inches. Emboss if desired.
2. Cut a piece of coordinating pattern paper the same measure. (this is like the lining of the wallet)
3. Round all four corners of those two pieces, then glue together.
4. Score this unit at 4 7/16 and 4 9/16 inches.
5. Cut another piece of card stock (same color as before) 8 1/2 x 3 1/4 inches.
6. Score that piece at 4 1/4 inches. Round bottom two corners only.
7. Cut 2 pieces of the same color card stock at 4 3/16 x 2 inches. This is the first, deepest, pocket on the left and right side. Round the bottom right of one and the bottom left of the other. I stamped stitches across the straight edge.
8. Cut 2 pieces of the same color card stock at 4 3/16 x 1 1/2 inches. (I did mine wrong, but yours will be right.) Round the corners like in step 7, then stamp stitches.
9. Assemble the inside of the wallet as shown in the photo, making sure to use super sticky tape on three sides of all pocket pieces so you can slide things in and out easily.

Now back to the other two cards...

5 x 7 card. The starburst shapes are cut from the Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge at 3 3/4 and 3 1/2 inches.

Here's a good look at the fun tags. Some are debossed leather, some are cork, and others are canvas. I've used all the tags in this pack on all the projects you see here today.

These great embellishments are called "Durables" square studs from Close To My Heart. They come in Antique Gold and Pewter, and they also come in a pack of round ones. These guys are peel-and-stick also, so super easy to pop onto a card.

The last project is an easel card for Dad. It measures 5 x 5 inches when folded flat.

I cut the card base from the Art Philosophy cartridge (Card+Square2, pg. 33) then cut the face of the card (Square2) both at 5 inches.

The jeans pocket is cut from Outdoor Denim card stock using an old Sizzix die. I sanded the card stock to get the look of jean material. This pocket could be used on its own as a decorative element or you can make it into a gift card holder like I did by adhering only three sides with some super sticky tape. A 3/4 x 9 inch strip (scored and folded at 4 1/2 inches) serves as a pull-out for the gift card. After sliding the card in, I put a few staples to hold it tight.

When I do easel cards, I like to add my message to the inside panel like this.

I used a brown marker over the stitches so it has the appearance of thread. I enhanced those stitches a little more by piercing through all the little holes that the die already put there. Here's one of the canvas Tough Tags I mentioned earlier. I inked the edges with a dark brown.

The stopper for the easel card (to help it stand up) is also cut from the Art Philosophy cartridge. Desert Sand card stock for the main image (Rectangle7, pg. 55) and the Barn Red frame for it (Decorative Layer+Rectangle7). Both are cut at 2 inches. I used foam tape to pop this up. And there's the final tag "Born Tough" which is canvas as well. I bordered it with some Olive card stock to help it stand out a bit.

Well, hope you liked the masculine projects today. Thanks for stopping by and have a fantastic day!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Teacher Appreciation Cards

Recently I was asked to make two completely different Teacher Appreciations cards. One for a garden-loving Kindergarten teacher and another for an iPhone-loving 6th grade teacher. The gardener, of course, loves greens and florals and the iPhoner loves pink and bling, I was told. What fun I had making these cards! Take a look, then I'll show you how easy it was to make the iPhone image at the end of this post.

Both card measure 5 x 7 when closed. The Kingergarten/gardener card is a try-fold and the iPhone card is  a single fold. I pulled together papers and embellishments from my stash which includes everything from Close To My Heart, Basic Grey, Crate Paper and so on.

With the help of the Serenade Cricut cartridge to make this cute little flower pot, I added some older paper flowers and buttons from Close To My Heart, and the little tiny tag is from PaperTreyInk, along with the stamps that match the tag die.

This is the first fold you see when you open the card. That big butterfly is from Tim Holtz's Easter Elements die. The phrase inside the frame was typed on my computer. The pretty leaf stems are also from the Serenade cartridge.

This card is a tri-fold to accommodate all those big, wonderful Kindergarteners' signatures.

The 6th grade teacher's card has a hidden gift card compartment built into the front of the card. A simple folded strip of card stock helps the gift card slide in and out easily.

I used metallic papers I got at WalMart about a hundred years ago (almost) for the iPhone. The "text" was typed on the computer onto photo paper with a slight gray background added for effect. I used a white paint pen to make the camera hole at the top and the home button at the bottom. Measures to make this iPhone are at the end of this post. 

A cluster of bling. All from Close To My Heart.

6th graders write a little smaller, so a single fold card was enough.

Pretty simple. Then layer them up as shown below. Be sure to round those corners though. I couldn't figure out how to do that in PhotoShop for my illustrations. I used two different sized corner rounders so they nested well. The larger corner rounder for the two largest pieces, then the smaller rounder for the dark gray piece. Check the photo again (above) for reference.

Thanks for stopping by today and let me know if you try the iPhone idea.
Have a great day!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

20 Years of Marriage. The Secret?

When Paul and I first started dating and things were looking pretty serious between us, he told me, "I'm not the marrying type and I definitely don't want to have kids. Just so you know up front."

Something told me not to believe this guy. "He's scared. That's all," I thought to myself. So I hung in there.

Sure enough, after six years of dating, a wedding, a kid, and now 20 years of marriage, I guess my instincts were right on target.

No marriage is perfect, of course, so I'm not going to say it's all been total bliss these past 20 years. We've had the typical ups and downs. But nothing terribly trying, no major catastrophes, and no serious illnesses, thank goodness. The usual stuff.

The thing is, although we love each other, we've always "liked" each other too. We enjoy each other's company, we make each other laugh, and we are comfortable together. We care for one another and we respect each other. This is what's long-lasting. When we first met, Paul had six-pack amazing abs and I was a lot more petite than I am now. Those things might have changed, but what hasn't is that I love him as much today as in the very beginning.

So Happy Anniversary to my husband and friend, Paul.

(Did I mention that he also said he never wanted to own a pet?)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

20th Anniversary Display Album

In my All Things Tim monthly club (Tim Holtz, of course) we will be making a display mini album for our May project. Since my hubby and I are going to be celebrating 20 years of marriage (this Wednesday) I'm going to make my album an anniversary themed one.

The project began with this plain white 6" x 6" Fold-Out Tag & Pocket Album from Pinecone Press.

Utilizing lots of Tim Holtz products, plus papers from Graphic 45 and Simple Stories, I created this album above. (I really need to get InLinkz) From Tim's newest book "A Compendium of Curiosities" Volume II, I employed the Enameled Metals technique (page 56) for my album's cover and the metal numerals.  

The tiny keyhole and key are from Michael's Bead Landing collection. 

This is how the album looks as you first open it. I've created secure pockets by gluing the sides with a clear glue that will dry hard. This way, the big tag can be pulled out easily. 

The album opens up to reveal a center area and another pocket flap on the right. The big tags pull out for photos and journaling. 

I altered the middle section more like an envelope flap (see original plain white album above to compare). 

The envelope flaps open to reveal more spaces to add photos and journaling. I stained and stamped the backs of each of the big tags for more journaling. The idea is for my husband and I to write some nice things to each other on each of the tags. (We'll see if he plays along nicely.)

The album stands up nicely on its own, but I wanted the option to display it closed also, so I added a black chipboard backing and easel. It works great!

Thanks for stopping by today to check things out. Let me know what you think. 

Meanwhile, I hope you have a fabulous day!