Friday, January 29, 2010

Drink Coaster Calendars, versions 5 & 6

You may know that I ambitiously planned to make 20 of these desk calendars last August to give as teacher gifts for Christmas. My fingers have been hard at work this week and I now have completed 15 of the 20. The good news is I took them to school yesterday and gave them all out. (Phew! I made it before the end of January!) I really don't know who to make the other 5 for, and my fingers need a rest (those jump rings are tough!)

My tutorial is here with versions 1 & 2, including where to buy the post-it note calendars. I used my Cuttlebug Flourished Frame embossing folder around the calendar. I purposely have tried to use up SU papers that I don't have much of (make room for more, right?) Also, versions 3 & 4 are here.

We are off to sunny Florida for some warm weather and to visit family for the long weekend (it is the end of the second quarter; no school on Monday for a teacher workday.) It is very cold here and a couple of inches of snow are expected; we are leaving just in time to miss it :)

See you next Wednesday for another fabulous Cuttlebug Challenge blog challenge!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Be Inspired #68 - Cupcake (cake mix) tote bag tutorial

This week at Cuttlebug Challenge blog, we challenge you to take out your hearts, lace, flowers and vintage images and create a vintage card, layout or altered project.
I used my Cuttlebug Diamonds in the Rough embossing folder on my black card stock for my frame around the little girl image and on my large heart on the frosting cannister.
My gift set was made with these donated vintage papers from Crafty Secrets! Aren't they gorgeous? They were *almost* too pretty to cut.

Are you ready to see how I did it? Supplies: 2 sheets of 8.5" x 11" card stock, ribbon 2 @ 25", and photo tape (or any strong double-sided adhesive), and these two items:
1. Front & bottom/Back & bottom: I chose two sheets @ 8.5" x 11" of dark pink card stock. I cut each sheet down to 9 1/8" x 5 1/2". I scored one end of each sheet at 1.5" (these will be overlapping box bottoms.) Sides: From the scraps of pink card stock, I cut two pieces
@ 6 5/8" x 2 3/8". I scored each piece 3/8" from each side. Use photo tape (or a strong double-sided adhesive) to attach these two to the back of the tote. (See picture below:)
2. Now set the cake mix box inside and adhere the front of the tote. (See picture below:)
3. Ribbon handles: Cut 2 @ 25". Using photo tape, tape one end of the ribbon on the bottom of the box. Then adhere up the front. Now take the other end and adhere on the bottom of the box. Adhere up the front of the box. Repeat to add other handle: adhere to the bottom of the box (overlapping the ribbon for the front), up the back side, then adhere other end (overlapping the other front end ribbon) and adhere up the back.
4. Decorate as desired. I used a scrap of pink card stock and glued to the bottom of the front side to hide the ribbons coming up from the bottom.

5. Now decorate frosting container to coordinate!
(Frosting- front left view)
(Frosting- front right view)

Other supplies used
Black card stock: I used two Nestibilities rectangle dies to create the frame. I used my Pazzles to cut the large heart.
White card stock: EK Success border punch
Pink card stock: Hero Arts stamped sentiment
Acetate: little girl stamp (Stampa Rosa) with black Stazon ink; I glued the acetate to a scrap of paper that I painted with walnut ink.
Various hearts from Crafty Secrets papers: SU punch, one popped up with an SU dimensional on the crown and one popped up on the frosting

This was really fun to make. Now that I figured out all of these measurements, I will probably make this again sometime. This one will be my Valentine's Day gift for my girls' delightful 2nd grade teacher, Mrs. Jacobs. Love her!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Today is Christi Milliken's 50th birthday‏!

You make life sweet, Christi! Happy Birthday, my friend :)

(Your virtual birthday card is using Mary Fish's Mojo Monday sketch # 122 and made with BasicGrey Nook & Pantry papers and cupcake stamps, a Martha Stewart dimensional ribbon sticker, SU chocolate chip cs and ink, CTMH topiary and blush inks, oval Nesties, and the sentiment is an A Muse stamp.)

It's a birthday party for YOU, Christi. Look, I even decorated:
Time for presents!
I hope you're not too excited to eat, because I've have a cake for you:
Christi, I hope your special day is full of fun. I am thinking of you. Love you, Girlfriend!
The party is just getting started...Click here.

If you would like to celebrate with Christi, the party hop started here. If you get lost along the way, come back here and follow in this order:

2. Jeanne Tomshack

3. Barb Walker

4. Stacy L

5. Christi Thorsen

6. Cammie (Carolyn King)

7. Marie Isom

8. Mary Ellen Harrison

9. Sarah Masteller

10. Susan Roberts

11. Jeanette Fincher

12. Elise Durenberger

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Clearly...Art is just having fun

This feels so out-of-my-box and yet I can't remember when I felt so much joy! This week's prompt at *Tyggereye Art Love* is, "Clearly..."

There was very little thinking involved for my page. (I can hear you saying, "clearly" nice!) I did not know how to finish the prompt, but I took the prompt literally...I started with my acrylic sheet . I embossed it with my Cuttlebug Swiss Dots embossing folder. I had a xyron'd piece of white card stock left over from my quilt cards, and I decided to cover it with paper strips. I have not used my Michaels clearance Friendly Forest papers in a while, so I covered the card stock with these scraps and ran it through the top not die. I took my chocolate chip marker and put tiny dots in between the faux stitches. Next to my Friendly Forest papers, I have some woodland creature rub-ons (by October Afternoon). I saw, "just having fun" and I knew how I wanted to finish the prompt. I used Making Memories rub-on alphas to spell "Clearly" and "Art". The white for "clearly" did not show up well on the lime green floral print, so I traced the letters with my chocolate chip marker. I used a white gel pen for "is", then traced it too.

I seriously had so much fun making this! I wasn't going to participate in the weekly prompts at first because I thought I just don't have the time. Yet we all are capable of making time for things we really want to do. I have to thank Tyggereye and LFL (lovely friend Lauren) for inspiring me to make time for myself to do these little art journal pages. I enjoy participating in challenges and making cards for my friends, but I don't make crafts for me. I can't wait until Saturday for our next prompt!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Be Inspired # 67 - Valentine ATCs Cuttlebug Style

The challenge this week at Cuttlebug Challenge blog is to create an ATC with a Valentine theme. What is an ATC? It is an Artist Trading Card. I think of it as a 2.5" x 3.5" (or 64mm x 89mm) card topper. They are the same size as a baseball card. Some paper crafters trade these and store all their ATC swaps in a notebook with acrylic pockets, just as baseball card collectors do. It is an efficient and inspirational way to try out a new technique; just jot down the directions on the back of the card.

I have made ATC valentines in the past for my girls to use as their class valentines. I forgot how much fun these are to make! I hope you have time to make one and link it here.

I used my Cuttlebug Heart Blocks embossing folder on Core'dinations purple whitewash card stock (left card) and on some hand-made paper from India (pink pearlescent paper). I layered these on scraps of Bazzill card stock. The other solid color card stocks are SU whisper white and pink pirouette. Purple ATC: The tiny buttons are from my stash, the "i Love You" rub-on is BasicGrey, the mini brad is DCWV, and the mini tag is a QuicKutz die and the heart shapes I cut with my Pazzles (Santa brought it.) Red ATC: the rubber embellishment is by Making Memories, the stem is hand cut, and the tiny heart is a punch (manufacturer unknown.)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Japanese Box Tutorial - Cuttlebug Style!

I have a complete tutorial on how to make this Japanese box over at Cuttlebug Challenge blog. I used a small scrap from the box to create a coordinating card using my Cuttlebug Floral Fantasy embossing folder.
This is the one I made yesterday as I took pictures of the process for my tutorial. I hope you like it! This is one of my most favorite projects. If you have time, I hope you can leave a comment both here and on my tutorial at Cuttlebug Challenge blog. Thanks!

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Last week's prompt at *Tyggereye Art Love* is "Someday..." I immediately thought to complete it as Snow White would, "my prince will come." I also was reminded of this card I made in May 2009. I journaled on the back about my own prince charming, dhDH (dear husband Doug Houck.)

When I was 37 years old, my gray hair was beginning to be too prevalent. My hair dresser, Nese, suggested blonde hi-lites. I've been getting hi-lites 4 times per year to hide them ever since (I am now 43). At my last appointment, December 2, 2009, Nese commented, "We've got to do something else to hide this gray hair." I knew this day would come someday. Perhaps my Tyggereye journaling card should have been on this subject :) Last week my dd was Star of the Week in her class. There is a picture of me at age 36, before hi-lites, and with short hair. The teachers all commented that I looked so much younger with my natural color. I responded, "I was! Seven years younger!" This got me thinking about what I should do with my hair. I like to change my hairstyle every two years, but I did not know what I wanted. Yesterday I had Nese cut my hair a little shorter and semi-permanent dye my hair to my natural color, sans gray :) This morning dhDH took a picture of me with my new do and replaced last year's blog pic.

Happy Saturday!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Love You Much, 2S4Y & Meeting Anjou

Laura has another terrific sketch at 2 Sketches 4 You (2S4Y) this week. It gave me an excuse to use my new Love You Much stamp set (SU). This is Sketch #43.
I added a little bling for the flower center and I used my BoBunny Forget Me Knots paper scraps. I stamped in Memento black ink on Papertrey white card stock (thanks for this fab paper, Tracy!) I colored the image with B14, RV11, and RV29 copic markers. I layered on DCWV black card stock. The blue ribbon is a tiny scrap I had left in my stash.

Yesterday I met one of my blog friends in real life! Yep, I found out I don't live very far from Anjou Krelovich of Dreaming in Color. Crafty friends are the best, don't you agree? Anjou is as sweet in person as she is in blogland. We met at Angela's Happy Stamper. We both purchased some pretty papers ('cause ya know I need more paper...ROTFLOL...but it is the new BasicGrey Origins and Sugar Rush. I had to buy it.)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Be Inspired #66- Pocket Card Challenge

Our Cuttlebug Challenge this week is to create a pocket card with red as the main color. You do not have to go with an Asian theme...we are just so excited over the new Asian line of embossing folders by Provo Craft! I can't wait to get mine :)

I chose to make a gift card holder. I used red linen card stock as my base, Hero Arts origami paper, and scraps of yellow card stock and white Bazzill card stock. I embossed the yellow card stock with the Floral Screen embossing folder. I stamped and embossed the fan (Judi Kins stamp) in gold on a scrap of red linen card stock. I cut it out and popped it up with foam tape. I added some gold cording for interest.
Here is a tutorial on how to create this pocket card:
1. Cut red linen card stock @ 3.5" x 10.5". Score @ 3" and 7".
2. Create thumb hole: On the end that has the 3"x3.5" panel, punch a half circle in the center (I used a 1" circle punch).
3. Create a 1" notch: On the opposite end (3.5"x3.5" panel) use a pencil to mark off at 1.25" and 2.25". Draw a line with your pencil 1/4" up from and parallel to the end side. Using the Stampin' Up word window punch, line up your punch between the 1/4" line and your 1.25" pencil marking and punch (left side). Now punch on the right side (line up word window punch with 1/4" line and the 2.25" pencil mark). See the top of the second picture to see my notch.
4. Create slot for notch: Fold on scored lines with the thumb hole inside and the notch on the outside. Using a pencil, mark on the left and right side of the notch. Open back up. Use a paper piercer to make two tiny holes where your pencil marks are then use an Xacto knife and ruler to connect the two tiny holes.
5. Create gift card pocket: Use a strong adhesive (red line tape, Terrifically Tacky tape, or photo tape) on the edges on the thumb hole panel.
6. Slide in gift card, fold up and slide notch in slot, and decorate the front as desired.

I hope you have time to make a pocket card (any style) with red as the main color and link your creation over at Cuttlebug Challenge blog.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Mojo Monday - Happy Valentine's Day

I need to get started on making Valentines. I decided to start with my scrap bags (I sort by vendor and by collection.) I've had these BoBunny Forget Me Knots papers for years! I've made countless cards and mini books from it. Now I am left with 6"x 12" of the daisy print and tinier scraps of the rest. I still love it!

Today is Monday, and that means it is time for another one of Julee's sketches :) I sorted my scraps, made a quilt top note die (my tutorial is here) and followed Julee's Mojo Monday sketch #121. I added an EK Success epoxy heart and a BasicGrey rub-on (sentiment).

Friday, January 8, 2010

2 T-shirt inspirations & BasicGrey "June Bug" revisited

I think these chocolate chip shirts with pink, aqua, and lime green are so inspiring. I love the fab funky flower and the cute birds. No doubt you were so distracted by the unparalleled beauty of these two girls that you did not notice the shirts ;)
I actually cleaned up these BG June Bug papers on Tuesday after making the card I posted yesterday. When I flipped through the collection, I recalled this particular quilt pattern...I thought it is such a busy pattern and I wouldn't know what to do with it. I think my subconscious worked on it, because when I woke up this morning, I had this sketch in my head. (I made a card like it for my dh last year.)

Like my previous card, I used a BG Pops (3D sticker) layered on a scrap of white Bazzill card stock cut with Nesties Labels 1. I hand cut the blue Bazzill layer. The 2 layered squares behind are cut at 2", 2 1/8", and 2 1/4". The base card is DCWV (4 1/4" x 5 1/2").

The only other time I have used this particular collection was last August for my Flopsey in the tub and Hey, Chick card.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

BasicGrey June Bug & 2S4Y Kazan #43

On Monday I had no luck trying to create a card using Julee's Mojo Monday sketch, no matter what papers I tried (I love the sketch, I just couldn't make it work). Tuesday I saw Kazan's Sketch #43 at 2 Sketches 4 You. I knew exactly what I wanted to do! I have a package of BasicGrey Pops (3D stickers) and a 6x6 BasicGrey both in the June Bug patterns. Sweet & simple! The navy layers are Bazzill card stock, the entire panel is layered on a yellow DCWV base card. The ribbon is from ACMoore. The sentiment is an acrylic stamp from The Paper Company. I had trouble getting a good picture today, but I really like this patterned paper combo.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Be Inspired #65 - Cuttlebug Challenge blog

Open image.
Front of card (closed). Measures 4" x 5 1/2".

This week's challenge is to create something with a basic white theme, Asian if you have it! Provo Craft has released new Asian Cuttlebug embossing folders seen here. I don't own any yet. I used the Floral Screen embossing folder, some Asian papers from Michaels, a Judikins stamp "love" symbol, and 3 flowers and brads from my stash. This card is called a tri-shutter card. There is a tutorial on splitcoast stampers. It is so easy to make! Really.

Here is a brief tutorial on my card:
1. Cut white card stock @ 5 1/2" x 12".
2. Along the 12" side, score at 2", 4", 8" & 10".
3. Rotate card stock. Along the 5 1/2" side, measure in 1 1/2" from each end (1 1/2" & 3 1/2"). Cut with an Xacto knife from the 2" score line to the 10" score line.
4. Mountain & valley fold score lines (see top picture).
5. Cut & emboss white card stock:
  • 4 @ 1 1/4" x 1 3/4"
  • 1 @ 2 1/4" x 3 3/4"
  • 2 @ 2 1/4" x 1 3/4"
6. Cut Asian papers:
  • 2 @ 1 1/4" x 3 3/4"
  • 2 @ 1 3/4" x 5 1/4"
Give it a try! I promise you will be finished in 30 minutes or less.
I hope you have time to play along. Link your card at Cuttlebug Challenge blog by 5pm EST on Tuesday, January 12, 2010.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

I Heart the Art Journal - 2010

Do you ever feel like God, the Universe, or whatever higher power you personally believe in is trying to send you a message? For me, I often need a sledgehammer to get through to my noggin. Let me explain...
  • My friend, Roberta, first introduced me to her Dream workshop. Setting goals and writing them down have a much higher chance of success. When I moved away, Roberta and I kept in touch for a couple of years, but then we lost touch. She recently found me through blogging and we have resumed our friendship :) Coincidence? I don't believe in coincidences.
  • My friend, Lauren, has participated in 52Q for ~2 years. I have admired her ATC cards that she has shared on her blog and wished I had time to participate. Then she posted a link to Bruce Mau Design's Incomplete Manifesto for Growth. Lauren is participating in Tiggerye's I Heart the Art for 2010 (weekly Saturday prompts).
  • Maggie, owner of Cuttlebug Challenge blog, recently posted that she hopes to participate in Gretchen Rubin's Happiness Project.
See what I mean? A sledgehammer. When I saw Lauren's journal cover, I was intimidated and thought I should not even try. Yesterday I spent 3 hours in my craft room and I didn't create single card, but not for lack of trying! Some days are like that...okay, a lot of days :)

I woke up this morning and decided I have to do this. No thinking or planning allowed...just do it. I love the top note die, so I grabbed that. I knew if I wanted to stay motivated to do this for 52 weeks, I needed to choose paper for my project that makes me smile. You know I went for my scraps first! I pulled these Creative Imaginations papers and a scrap of red Bazzill (red is my favorite color and Bazzill is my favorite card stock). I picked two pieces of chipboard that happened to be cut the same size. I cut the CI paper to those dimensions. The heart was on my table from yesterday's lack of success trying to make valentines.

I decided to do the first prompt, "Aim to..." on the inside of the front cover. My aims were taken directly from Mau & Rubin:
  • Begin anywhere
  • Love your experiments
  • Process is more important than outcome
  • Spend out- don't save for a special occasion- now is special
I managed to "spend out" on the heart on the front cover, the stamped "i" on the front cover, and for the pink Thickers letters. None of these products had ever been opened.

So what do you think?

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Drink Coaster Calendars, versions 3 & 4

You may recall I wanted to make 20 mini desk calendars as teacher gifts for Christmas. My first two are in my December 12th post. I did get those delivered before winter break (before the big snow), but I have not made any more until today.

I don't have a lot of this SU Raspberry Tart paper, and I calculate that I could make 6 more calendars (total; 3 of each version shown above). I was brain dead, design-wise. With the help of my sweet friend, Tracy, this is what she and I came up with. It is a lot of fussy cutting, but I like 'em! Do you see that fun shape behind the fussy cut stamped flowers on the left? That is the SU ornament punch (upside down). That was one of Tracy's ideas! Fab friend, isn't she?

My finger tips are sore trying to put in the jump rings. I have learned that I have no talent for using pliers :) I am determined to get all 6 of these completed today. That will make 8 finished, 12 to go...

Friday, January 1, 2010

Thank You x4

I am rockin' creative blog post titles :) I am caught up on my thank you notes! I CASEd myself for these cards (see previous post & tutorial here.) I used four coordinating papers, which I personally prefer to just two, but sometimes you just have to go with the papers you have.

Happy 2010! I am truly thankful for you, my blog friends. It means the world to me that you stop by and especially when you have time to leave a comment. I am overwhelmed by the talent and inspiration from all over the world right at my fingertips. I can't believe I have been blogging for 2.5 years already. I am grateful for the friends I made early on as well as the more recent acquaintances. Blogging is a wonderful world. So many lovely people sharing their individual talents!

May you and your families have a happy and healthy 2010.