Archive for the ‘paper crafts’ Category

I’ve been working like a crazy lady emphasis on the crazy part! I’m working p/t at Target at nights, not a bad gig considering there’s no stress, no papers to grade, no lessons to prep, and no daycare costs. Plus I work with a fun group of people, many who are younger than I and single. Granted there’s not that big of an age gap but they are in a different part of life than I am. I have a card class I’m prepping for and I am also working on my Christmas gifts. That’s right, I’m doing handmade gifts with a few exceptions thrown in like a gift card or two–in a cute handmade holder! I wish I could say my desk is only this messy when I’ve got lots going on, but actually it’s normally a little worse!

From Christmas 08

My gifts:
-8 photo calendars
-ornaments (not sure what these are yet 🙂
-a few mini albums (about 5)
-a couple of journals/sketch books
-rice heat packs-with lavender harvested from my garden
-cute little emergency card kit, more details later
-? that may be it…..

I have some great layouts for the calenders all ready, using the stamps, wheels and paper I mostly have on hand. Using the Stampin Up 8.5 x 11 calenders. These are big enough to decorate but also there’s enough room to actually use on the calender! Since this is such a big project I’ve been doing it in steps a little each day and now that I have things prepped I just need to assemble and I’ll be done by next week! Seriously sweet! Last year it was the week before Christmas and I wasn’t close to be done!

But in the meantime I made a cute little sushi card for my friend, Lori “Stamper” (as my hubby calls her). Her and I like to get together and have some california rolls and craft so I thought this was a fun card. I should note that Lori is like a super stamper, card maker. So giving her a card I always have a little inferiority complex. But my cards are a little funky and different from hers so I think she likes them!

From Christmas 08

So there’s my little sushi card complete with chopsticks and my horrible attempt at calligraphy!


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The best made things are happy accidents. Or the best laid plans are those that aren’t made. These are my own versions of some of the many inspirational quotes floating around. I’ve been playing with embossing some of my favorite images and trying different inks. I hadn’t embossed in a long time so I looked around the web for directions.

There are some very good, very detailed instructions. As with most things, I came up with my own version. Feel free to do your own google search or use mine.

Here goes:
What you need: “juicey” ink-something stickier than regular ink, such as Staz On, Stampin Up craft pads, or Versa mark. Plus you need embossing powder, and a stamp. You will also want something to shake your extra powder onto like a plastic container, paper plate, or powder pal. This way you can dump the extra back into your container. Oh, and a heat gun. I’ve tried other things in the past and I really recommend you use a craft heat gun, trust me I speak from experience.

1) Stamp image with ink
2) Sprinkle powder, shake excess off
3) Heat image with heat gun, holding a few inches away.

Here are examples of three different inks I used for embossing. Tempting Turquoise Craft Pad, Versa Mark, and black Staz-On.

The craft pads are nice because they come in a variety of colors giving you lots of choices. The downside is that some of the craft pads are excessively juicy and can give you a smudged image. Versa Mark gives a nice tone on tone effect, looks best on dark card stock. You can use the Versa Mark pad without embossing to get a watermark effect.

The Staz-On ink pad allows you to stamp on glass, plastic, and other hard surfaces. I like the smell too. The downside is that these come in a small amount of colors.

Ta Dah! Now that you’ve got the basic process start embossing! It gets really addicting really fast! Start experimenting with different papers, fabrics, and other things.

Warning: Do not emboss living creatures (ex. your spouse, kids, or pets)

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My monthly project started on the 4th of July this year. It wasn’t really a planned project, just an idea that came to mind when I was sorting some craft stuff during the kiddies nap time.
I had a piece of chipboard leftover from another project, a wooden star, an old copy of “my country tis of thee”, and glitter paint. So I found a picture of the kiddies from last year, they had their matching shirts on and looked so cute in a lawn chair on the front porch. Then I just started playing. I wanted to make it a wall or door hanging so I punched the holes at the top of the chipboard for a hanger then painted the entire piece with red acrylic paint and set aside. I trimmed my photo down to slightly less than 6″ wide and cut a piece of burlap that was just a bit bigger than the photo.

Lately I’ve really been loving burlap, I love to mix it on cards and layouts with bright colors. I thought the burlap would give me a cool retro/americana type look. After I laid the photo next to the red chipboard it needed more, so I added some gold glitter and dry-brushed cream paint to soften the red. I used my tombow liquid glue to add the burlap and photo to the chipboard. I covered the wooden star with the sheet music, rubbed it with a bit of brown chalk ink, some red paint, and gold glitter. Now for the emblelies. I wanted to use my metal label holder then I experimented with stamps on ledger paper until I had July in a size and color that would fit in the label holder. These I attached to the chipboard with brads. Once the star as dry I attached it with tombow liquid glue. I added the twine to the holes for the hanger and went through my ribbon stash and found lots of fun ribbons to tie on.

This hung in my kitchen for the month of July, it just made me happy, and now I might add it to a scrapbook or something.

Supplies: chipboard, burlap, ribbon from Stampin Up! and Love Elsie, wooden star from Provo Craft, paint from Plaid, and vintage sheet music.

So today I thought I should make an August hanging.

I started with the back off of a small notepad, covered it with fun paper. Then used my turquoise craft ink pad to ink the edges and give it a border. Now for the photo. I tried to find one of both kiddies, but I really loved this picture of Miss Clara last summer eating. What is more summer than watermelon and babies in bikinis?
After adding a strip of ribbon to the bottom of the piece I added the photo, but it needed a little punch so I sanded the edges and inked with the same turquoise craft pad. Now for the word “August” I started with stamping on card stock and cutting out but wasn’t really getting the feeling I wanted. I grabbed my chipboard stash and hunted up the letters to spell out August and decided to use the same turquoise ink on the letters and emboss them! I just got into embossing and it’s like all I want to do! Love embossing! This covered my letters nicely and gave them a bit of a shine. I didn’t bother with inking inside each letter less work that way!
Next I added foam poppies (dimensionals) to stick the photo the piece and lift it off of the background a bit. Next added the felt flowers in the corner, and the letters along the side. This just about felt done but I then I decided it needed a frame which I made with strips of white scallops I made with my new super cool scallop border punch. To make a hanger I punched holes, added large eyelets and an organza ribbon with a few bits of other ribbon. Once again, this started out as a little idea and evolved into something a little different.

Supplies: (All from Stampin Up!) Whisper white card stock, flower paper from picnic collection, tempting turquoise craft ink pad, chipboard letters, felt flowers, bold bright brads, and ribbon.

This newest one will also hang in the kitchen and I’m already thinking about what September’s going to be.

These little bits of happiness are just the thing I needed to use up some of my stash of stuff.

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For Father’s Day I decided to make a mini album of my favorite pics of my hubby with the kiddies. I had this great red album from Stampin Up! that seemed just right.
This is my 3rd 6×6 album I’ve made. First I really love the size, so easy so quick. And then I love how nice they look when they are on a shelf together. You have to know I love mini books, love coming up with new ways to make and bind. But the one thing I sometimes wish is the ability to expand a book with out lots of hassel. Which is why I love using these ring albums. I’ve done books for each of our little family before, but I could see making one of these for each of us as a favorite shots album that could be expanded.

daddy album

When ever I make a mini book or album I come up with the theme and gather the photos around the theme. Next I decide what paper I want to use or if I want to just do card stock. Then I put the pics in order I want them to appear. This can be chronological or in the order of the story I want to tell. Finally I come up with a basic plan. Lately I’ve really been into using my 4×6 photos without cropping. My basic formula is a simple blocking idea. Here’s my rough sketch.

Nothing real fancy but a very clean design that I seem to use different variations on. It’s also real easy to flip the sketch for a 6×4 photo. I’ve seen more intricate, neater sketches but when I’m making an album or mini book it makes the whole process go much faster when I use this basic sketch. The other thing I like about this sketch is that you can switch out the flower for other embellies or a cluster of flowers, die cuts, or punches.


Something else I’ve started to do is make the photos pockets for journalling tags. I like to write a lot, but I don’t always like to see all of the writing on the page. When making a photo pocket I don’t put adhesive on the top of the photo, then I just slide my tag behind the pic. Again, super easy and quick.

A sidebar, I love to create all kinds of stuff. I love to play with paper and find new ways to do things. However, with two year old twins I have to be smart about my time which is why I come up with quick sketches that I can use over and over again. The other time saving tip I’ve really fell in love with is making kits out of my stuff. You can read that post here.

And now, I’m off to the gym with the kiddies to sweat off some pounds.

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I like to collect things with my name or first initial. So I have lots of crafty and non crafty things that are the letter “e”. But after a while it gets a little ridiculous and you realize you have saved an entire box of e’s and you haven’t done anything with them. I thought about doing a layout or mini book about myself or just highlighting the letter e. But then I thought I’d rather have something more 3-d since most of my letters are big and textured. 




I took a 9×12 canvas that I had prepped and aged with cream and brown acrylic paint for another project that I never did finish. I then had a self portrait I’d taken this summer while camping that I really liked. But I still had no real plan. I gathered up all of my e’s, shuffled them around and still didn’t quite use them all. For the other elements I used things and papers I love. The red polka by Chatterbox, the brown scallops from Bazzill, my favorite ink-walnut stain by Tim Holtz, and some of the vintage papers and vintage-looking papers I’ve accumulated. I like old things, love old writing and stuff.

 I also added a postcard from a women’s history event I had created while I was a teacher that meant a lot to me.


The title “the girl in the mirror” and vintage article and image are all from an old magazine article telling young women how to keep the inside and outside of themselves looking their best.

It’s a funny little article that tells you to first look at yourself and follow their checklist. Then it tells you to look away from the mirror and look into yourself. Anyway, I thought it was funny and used it.



The partial flower is from an old sheet of Rusty Pickle paper that had funky hearts in squares. I inked everything, used a pencil to add some highlights and swirls. I used my trusty Modge Podge to glue everything down. I let it dry a bit and then dumped more MP on the canvas to seal it. Some of the papers came up a bit but I kind of liked the dimension it added to the project. This was one of those projects that I had no purpose or audience for, it was just having fun and making something fun with my letters. All in all, it turned out better than I had anticipated. It’s a fun, funky piece that’s also a little personal. It is hanging on the wall of my scrap “studio”- and use that word very tongue in cheek (tic).

I had so much fun doing this I’m thinking about making something similar for my kiddies’ rooms. I should mention I was inspired by Ali Edwards new book–which is super cool– to use a canvas. I started with some of her canvases in mind and ended up with something much different. It still works.

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There are pictures I’ve taken that I just love. Pictures that just seem to say, “scrap me please”. Often times I will use the same picture or pictures in multiple layouts or mini books.

Last year my babies were 10 months old. This was before they were really moving and would sit for a few seconds to let me get some great shots of them in their Christmas outfits and Hats. My little girl was so sweet in her first Christmas Dress and I was able by pure coincidence to capture her sweetness.
I discovered that I had scrapped this same picture three times!

Why would a person scrap the same photo three times?
Well for me, I have an album for each of my babies, and one for everything else. So if there is something I really want to have in my album and one for the babies I end up making more than one layout. Sometimes I’ll do this in one sitting, and sometimes I will scrap them separately of each other. This may seem like a lot of work, but repetition really makes quick work of this.
How about you? Do you scrap for your kids? Do they have their own albums?

Here are a couple more pages I done for my babies, you can see they have different pictures, papers, and embellishments, but both have the same basic layout.

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I don’t know how many of you out there are like this, but I always have more than one book I’m reading, project I’m working on, or some household chore that is ongoing (like laundry). So here is a pile of the stuff I’ve been working on.

There are the two square canvases my Rv log book, a happy mini book, a giggle mini book (a gift), my daily something inspired by Ali, a fabric covered house book, 100 things notebook, wreck this journal, a friend mini book, and a covered notebook.
Well, when I got to looking at these projects I decided I really needed to get them done and move on. No more of this or that project waiting for inspiration to happen. Just do it. So here’s what I’ve finished so far:

The canvases that I’ve held on to forever waiting for the “perfect” project. I used staz-on ink, new Heidi Grace stamps that I got from a very cool person-May. I added a little Heidi Swapp bling, paper and cool brads from a Cloud 9 paper kit. I’ve added ribbon to hang them on the wall in my babies’ room. I’m thinking a cute peg board hanging in their room would be fun for hanging stuff like this. Might have to find a cheap unfinished wood one.

My Rv Log Book.

RV Log

The ribbon binding is an idea from Donna Downey off of the Simple Magazine’s web site. The foundation of the book is plain old cardboard covered with some of my favorite Chatterbox papers. This was made to document our little family’s adventures in the old motor home we bought off of craig’slist. And they have been adventures. Just think of any of the family vacation movies mixed in with 16 month old twins. Inside I have used a variety of things like maps, receipts, brochures, pictures, and scrap stuff. One of my awesome friends gave me the remains of a Stampin Up travel kit which had a bunch of self-adhesive die cuts, papers, and other fun things. Some of the other papers are American Crafts.
So I made the book before we left for our first trip, I packed some quickie stuff I wanted to use on the road and kept a journal of our trip. When I got home I made wallets in Photoshop, printed them at Walgreens and added the pics and finished it up. We only managed two trips for the summer but we put about 1500 miles on the motor home.

Giggle book.

giggle mini book

Was made as a gift for someone who gave my kids some cute shirts and other things. Just a thank you for being sweet. It was also requested because she loved my little books and wanted one of the babies. Used a new set of paper from Stampin Up, I think the boho line.

My daily something.

daily something

I started this in August and well, it’s October and I kind of quit doing it. I had great intentions and about every week I made at least one entry. The book is from recycled envelopes from bills and junk, and bound it with my new Zutter Bind it all. I think I’ll start back into it now, do something once a week. I like to do crafty/creative stuff every day. But it’s hard with two toddlers and when I’m lacking inspiration or motivation to do anything crafty.

100 things notebook.
Taken from the list of 100 creative things by Keri Smith. Started this last fall and did a few off of the list. Looking back at it I think this may be fun to keep handy to do when I’m stumped for ideas or need a little down time.

Wreck This Journal.
Book by Keri Smith. It is a book of things to do to the book, some are cool and some are off the wall. I had it a friends house where after a few glasses of red wine we took turns playing with the book. I highly recommend this as a gift for any crafty/arty person you know, or as a fun family gift. I think my niece is getting one of these for her birthday, just need to warn her not to do the parts where it tell you to burn a page.

Happy book.

Happy Book

Just some fun pictures I wanted to play with using a free Cloud 9 paper kit and Heidi Grace acrylic stamps. Simple, easy, and so fun to look at.

Friend Book.
Again using a free Cloud 9 paper kit and embellies and Heidi Grace acrylic stamps. I just need to get photos of my friends and journaling to finish it off.
There’s more to this story but can’t share until later!

And that’s just a little sample of my piles. I’m not even going into the piles of laundry I need to fold and put away. ICK!

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