Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Summer of Creative Chemistry - Week 1

Hello all!

I just have a quick share today of a tag I made for the Summer of Creative Chemistry over at Online Card Classes. I'm sooooo excited about this summer event. I was recently wondering if Tim was going to do another Creative Chemistry class with all the great new products that have come out, and sure enough...my prayers were answered! Even better, this month and next month are going to be a review of the first two classes, which I definitely need. It's been great to get out my Distress Inks again and reviewing the classes has given me some much needed energy for creating. The challenge for the first week of the event was to make something using at least four colors of Distress Ink, using any of the techniques from class. Of course, I had to make a tag. =)




I used an oldie-but-goodie technique on this, the trusty blended spritz and flick. The colors of Distress I used were: Peacock Feathers, Victorian Velvet, Peeled Paint, Spiced Marmalade, and Frayed Burlap. One thing I'm rediscovering about Distress is that you really can't make a wrong choice when it comes to color. They all blend together so beautifully and in so many interesting ways that it seems no matter what colors you choose the result will be amazing. You gotta love these inks. =) 

After making my background, I used a Memory Box butterfly diecut for my focal point. After gluing this down and doing a little stamping around it with Walnut Stain Distress, I added some shimmer to the butterflies with a Wink of Stella pen, then added in their bodies with Liquid Pearls. The finishing touches were some ribbon I dyed with Victorian Velvet ink, some linen ribbon, and a heart charm attached with a wire pin. Here's some close-ups:



I like how open the diecut design is so that you can still see the blending and texture of the background. 







Thanks for looking today! Here's to a very creative summer! =) 

*~M~*


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

A Page for March

Hello again!

Did anyone else have a problem with March?? It was a very strange month for me. I started out great in January - I was very inspired by the idea of a fresh start, I set myself some new crafty goals, and decided to try out some new things. Things were going well, and in February I felt like the inspiration just kept rolling in. I was really productive and I just couldn't get enough of playing with my crafty supplies. Then all of a sudden - BAM! - March 1st rolled in and my inspiration and crafty mojo completely abandoned me! I didn't even want to be anywhere near my craft room or paper supplies. What the heck?!? I got a little knitting done last month, but that was the grand total of my crafty productivity (I didn't even actually make anything, I just made a swatch to practice some skills =P). From what I saw on Instagram and a few other crafters' blogs, I wasn't the only one. Apparently March Mojo Madness is a thing, and by that I mean the madness that comes from having no crafty mojo! =D (Maybe I should rename it March Mojo Misery??)

Anywho, this was one of those times where the goals I set at the beginning of the year really came in handy. Even though I was completely uninspired, at the end of the month I realized I needed to do at least one scrapbook page to keep up with my goal of one page per month. (I don't really care that much WHEN the pages get done, as long as I have at least 12 at the end of the year, but I didn't want to fall "behind" this early in the year.) So I FORCED myself to my desk and started looking through some photos. Once I got started again, I could feel the mojo starting to come back. Giving myself that goal to be accountable for was a great motivator to get me back in the craft room again.

My inspiration came from this photo of myself and my cousin's daughter from this last Thanksgiving. My cousin and I joke that she is my "spirit daughter" because, even though she isn't my daughter, her personality is so much like mine that sometimes it seems like she could be. When we took this photo I knew I would want to make a page about this connection we seem to have.




I used my February counterfeit kit to make this page. I started out by making a grid of patterns on my background using some of the plain Project Life cards as well as some papers from the 6x6 pad that I cut to size. Then, feeling emboldened by my sewing success on this card, I broke out the sewing machine again to sew down the cards and add a little detail to the grid. I placed the photo on a plain white mat to make sure it would stand out on top of all that pattern and color, and then I made a tag for my journaling so I could hide it behind the photo. 




I wanted this page to reflect me offering her encouragement both now and as she grows up. Having lived as me for over 35 years, I know that being like me can be rough sometimes, and I don't ever want her to forget how awesome she is. These phrase stickers from Tim Holtz were perfect to show a little of this on the layout (it's also in my hidden journaling). I especially love this longer one I was able to fit below the photo, almost like a caption. =) 



Some close ups of the other sentiments on the page...as well as the pinwheel embellishments I got to make with the pinwheel punch! I'm so glad I had this punch in the kit. These were just perfect for this page. =) 




This title was pretty fun too. I used the white Thickers I already had in my kit, but I wanted a script-like font for the other half of the title, and I didn't have anything like that in my kit. I found some DIY Thickers in my stash....do they still make these?? Basically they have adhesive on the top and bottom, so you can add glitter or micro beads to the top in any color you want. But I had a eureka moment when I realized I could probably use foil with them! I tried it on a random symbol sticker I was probably never going to use and it worked! I had to stick down the title letters first and then add the foil because they are quite delicate once the foil is added, but I loved the final result. =) 



One last close up of my sewing because I still can't believe I did that much of it and didn't screw up ONCE. =P  (Now I've completely jinxed myself for next time.) Also this floral pattern is adorable. =)


Thanks so much for looking!  

*~M~*



Monday, April 11, 2016

New Month, New Kit

Hello all!

I'm back, after a month's hiatus, with a new counterfeit kit for April. I'm pretty excited about this kit so let's get right into it. Here's the inspiration kit for this month:



There are a handful of add-on kits and even a mixed media kit for inspiration as well which are visible on the Counterfeit Kit challenge blog

With the black, butterflies and vintage elements, this kit immediately reminded me of the Curio collection from Basic Grey that I've had in my stash, virtually untouched, for so many years I've lost count. I decided that for my kit papers this month I would use the whole collection and build the embellishments around that. Here's a sampling of some of my favorites from Curio:




Most of the papers have a black border around the edge, which is part of why the inspiration kit reminded me so much of these. I didn't add them to my kit, but I'm sure I will probably be pulling out some plain cardstock, most likely cream or kraft, for my pages since many of these patterns are pretty busy. 




For my embellishments I started by pulling out what little Curio embellishments I had, which are the buttons and die cut pack shown here, as well as a large sticker sheet and some dimensional stickers I have in another photo. I also already had the gold letter stickers featured in the mixed media kit, so I pulled those out along with some wood grain letters in the same style. Then I just sort of grabbed everything I could find that had butterflies, black, or some vintage elements to them, like the tiles, doilies and journaling cards. I threw in the flowers because the inspiration kits had lots, and grabbed a coordinating pack of plain Project Life cards because I really liked having those in my kit last time. The wood veneer birds I threw in for added texture and because birds are a feature of the Curio collection. 




I've also really enjoyed having 6x6 pads to work with in my kits. I think I've gotten more use out of them this way than in my card-making! This month I grabbed two: the MME one has a very similar style to the Curio papers, and I thought the cream and white papers in the White Fern stack would be nice to have for contrast. 




Last, but certainly not least, are the letter and sticker sheets. The large sheets came with the Curio paper pack, so naturally I threw those in. I also found a sheet of kraft circle labels I thought I might as well include in case they came in handy, as well as a sheet of vintage book paper. Two sets of Thickers and the dimensional sticker sheet round out the kit. 




I have to admit I am really excited about all the beautiful things in this kit, but I'm also slightly intimidated because the style of the kit is a little outside my comfort zone. I worry I won't be able to find photos that I feel fit this kit. I will have to embrace this challenge! Since I skipped last month this is my third counterfeit kit and I am really enjoying the process of kitting my own supplies, and I love crafting with the kits as well. Later this week I will have a page to share with you I made using February's kit, and there should be a page using this kit soon! =) 

Thanks so much for looking!

*~M~*





Monday, February 15, 2016

One More Valentine

Hello all!

I have a late Valentine's day card to share with you today. This post was supposed to go up yesterday but my weekend got a little crazy what with working and sneaking in some time with the partner-in-crime last night for dinner and a movie. =) I still wanted to share this card though because I used my kit from this month to make it, and I was excited that I got a second use from this kit already. The Echo Park 6x6 pad I chose for my kit has a good range of colors in it so that I could make a nice Valentine without it feeling too frilly. Also, I thought the arrow paper I liked so much could stand in for Cupid's arrow. =) Here's the card I made:




I really liked this floral corner embellishment which made it easy to use a big piece of patterned paper as a background, and all I had to do was build the focal point. I made that using one of the Project Life cards from my kit, and I layered some of the gold glitter tape under a strip of the arrow paper to help it stand out. 




I thought this sentiment card could use a little something extra, and since I was already thinking about using some stitched elements on these Project Life cards this month, I broke out my sewing machine and did a zigzag stitch at the top and bottom of the card. I left the tails of thread hanging off a little to add a bit more texture. I got a sewing machine for just this purpose but I rarely use it, so it was nice to dust it off and get some use out of it! =) 




The sentiment itself is from the Simon Says Stamp stamp set "Paper Hugs". It's the same set I used on my previous Valentine's Day card

I think that's all for today! I've already set a new record for this year by getting two projects out of one kit. =P (Although I still have last month's kit and plan to use it some more.) 

Thanks so much for looking!

*~M~*



Friday, February 12, 2016

Valentine's Card...with Foil!

Hello all! I have a quick share today of a card I made using a new-to-me technique: foiling! Foil has been super trendy for at least a year now - maybe two - but it's taken me a while to jump on this particular bandwagon. I just wasn't a huge fan of it at first. Recently, however, there have been a lot of new products designed so that you can add your own foil to projects like, for instance, the Minc machine. I'd been contemplating buying this machine more and more lately as they came out with cool products to use with it that mean you don't have to worry about printing things in toner in order to have fun with it. When my local stamp store, Impress, offered a class showing different foil techniques, I decided to give it a whirl in the hopes that the class would help me cement my feelings about foil, and the Minc, once and for all. In the end, it definitely did; I fell completely in love!! =) I ended up buying the machine and some accessories. I haven't had time to play with it at home yet, but I'm hoping to have some projects (or at least experiments =P) to share soon. One of the techniques in class involved using foil with double sided adhesive and die-cuts so that you could have foiled die-cuts without needing a machine at all! I loved this technique and tried it almost as soon as I got home. The card I have today is the result.




When I was at Impress for the class I picked up this beautiful Basic Grey paper pad (why, oh why have they stopped making patterned paper?? =..(  ) and the foil-patterned washi tape in addition to my foiling supplies.  The butterfly die and XO stamp are both from Simon Says Stamp.




This foiling technique uses some double-sided adhesive made for using with foil. I think it's really the same as any other foam adhesive except that it comes in sheets and is thin enough to use with wafer thin dies. You just cut your die cut, remove the top protective sheet from the adhesive, lay your foil down and rub it into the die cut with your fingers. Like all foiling techniques there is a little magic moment when you remove the foil sheet and a beautiful foiled creation is left. =) The results for this technique aren't as smooth as when you use toner with the Minc or a laminator, but it is still shiny and beautiful, and less of an investment if you don't want to buy fancy equipment.




Foil is notoriously difficult to photograph, but I managed to get this fairly nice close up where you can see the true color of the foil. I used the gorgeous rose gold color from Therm-O-Web. 

Thanks so much for looking today. I would definitely recommend trying this technique...but only if you are prepared to become completely hooked! =) 

I will see you Sunday with a Valentine's Day card made with my February Counterfeit Kit

*~M~*

Monday, February 8, 2016

February Counterfeit Kit

Hello again!

Today I'm sharing the kit I made for this month's Counterfeit Kit Challenge. To start off, let's see the inspiration kit:



I have to admit I struggled a little with this kit this month. Nothing in the inspiration kit really felt like my style. I decided to start by picking out a 6x6 pad from my stash that had some vague resemblance to the inspiration. I realized last month that I should have included a 6x6 pad in my kit because I actually use them a lot for scrapping. Usually I pull them out for photo mats, journaling blocks, or just a smaller scale pattern to punch or die cut. Plus, I have way too many of them. =P I think I will try to include one every month when I make a kit. This month I picked out an Echo Park pad called "The Story of Our Family 2", which I think is relatively recent. It had a lot of the same colors as the inspiration, plus an arrow paper that reminded me of the handmade arrows in the original kit. 


Here you can see the pad plus the few solid cardstocks I pulled out, as well as some cream colored mulberry paper (how old is this stuff?!? =P) and a 3x4 card set from the Project Life Honey Edition. These colors matched the pad and I originally purchased the cards with the intention of making some layered embellishments much like the layered, stitched hearts in the original kit. We'll see what I can come up with this month. =) 



I found my patterned papers in a stash of old monthly kit papers. The doodled leaves on the bottom left reminded me of the "hello" patterned paper in the original, and I have a triangle paper that reminded me of the original kit too. The rest of the patterns I just picked because they matched the larger patterns and I liked them. =) It's hard to tell but the vellum on the bottom right has feathers on it, again going back to those feathered arrows in the inspiration kit. 




My embellishments don't really match anything in the original at all, they were more about just picking out some older stuff that matched the papers I had chosen. An older Dear Lizzy sticker book, some turquoise and cream labels that have been floating around in my stash forever, my beloved Studio Calico butterfly stickers, and buttons, just because I have so many and never use them. Those stitched felt pieces are literally a million years old and I threw them in because they match the papers and who knows? They might finally get used. =)





I remembered letter stickers this time! I've got a few basic Thickers in some great, versatile fonts and colors. I also threw in some glitter tapes (I was feeling very sparkly while I put together this kit) and a pinwheel punch that I've only used once (got to get in those abandoned tools!). 

I've already made a page with my kit, which I shared yesterday. I'm trying not to panic that I just broke into those gold Thickers for the first time and I've already used 4 "e"s for one title! =D However I also used two of those turquoise labels that have been haunting me so I guess it all balances out. I am having a lot of fun getting to know my supplies again by making these kits and I believe it's really helping me get scrapping again. It's so much easier when I actually sit down with a photo and I don't have to look all around my craft room for coordinating supplies...I already did that step! =) Here's the link for Counterfeit Kit Challenge again if you're feeling inspired to make a kit of your own. 

Thanks so much for looking! Hopefully I will see you again with a second page this month! 

*~M~*




Sunday, February 7, 2016

Selfie Challenge

Hello all!

I've got a last minute entry today for the selfie challenge over at Shimelle's blog. I am so excited about all the fun new things happening at her blog right now. There is so much inspiration it's got me wanting to make about 3 or 4 new pages already. I've settled for one this weekend. =) I lifted the design entirely from Shimelle's take on the selfie challenge which she shared here. Without further ado, here's my take:


Ironically, I just did a selfie page featuring my cat and I. I have to admit I felt a little weird scrapping another photo of myself. =P This one is my partner-in-crime and I at the Space Needle. Despite the fact that I have lived in Seattle my whole life, this was only my second time visiting the Space Needle. We were playing tourists on this particular occasion, so we definitely needed to take a selfie at the top. =)

Almost everything on this page is from a kit I put together for the Counterfeit Kit Challenge for this month, which I will be posting tomorrow. (Normally I would post the kit first, but I had to get this page posted for the challenge).




I did manage to sneak a tiny bit of Shimelle's new Starshine collection in for this center embellishment. I just got the paper pad this last week and it is SO. BEAUTIFUL. I may have squeed a few times. =P This little bit is a card from one of the cut apart sheets. I embossed the globe stamp from the collection around the flower and then stamped a couple of the words from the set in some grey ink. I also stamped the little camera onto my journaling area. Once I started using these adorable little stamps I couldn't stop! =)






My embellishment clusters feature some old Dear Lizzy stickers, some Tim Holtz word stickers, and some older Studio Calico butterfly stickers. I love these stickers so much I bought two sheets of them. I'm going to be really sad when I use them up.




I'm feeling pretty good about this page because it means I've already met my goal for this month! I might even get more than one page in this month. =D

Thanks so much for looking!

*~M~*


Monday, February 1, 2016

Birthday Card...and First Time Using the Fuse Tool

Hello everyone!

I have a quick card to share today that I made for a special little boy for his birthday. I bought the Fuse tool as a Christmas present to myself and the first thing I wanted to do was make a card completely encased in a shaker. Ever since I saw this tool I thought this would be a fun idea. Here's a picture of the card so you can see what I mean:




I cut some white cardstock with the Simon Says Stamp Stitched Squares dies then stamped some balloons and stars from their Birthday Balloons stamp set. The sentiment was cut from some DCWV glitter cardstock using the Simon Happy Birthday die. 




After writing my message on the back of the cardstock, it was time to start fusing. I bought a package of relatively inexpensive page protectors from Office Depot. They were a medium weight protector that seemed to have the right feel for a shaker card without being too flimsy. After fusing three sides of the plastic I put some Martha Stewart confetti stars as well as some coordinating sequins inside the pocket. Then I closed up the top and trimmed off the excess plastic. 




Since this was my first time using the Fuse tool there was definitely a learning curve for me as I was making this card. The biggest thing I noticed was that it really makes a difference what sort of surface you are using the tool on. Obviously you can't have anything that might melt under your project, but when I tried fusing straight onto my craft mat it didn't work very well. The surface has no give to it and the Fuse wheel didn't turn very well on such a smooth surface. The thing that worked the best was placing a few sheets of paper underneath. This seemed to have just the right amount of give as well as friction for the wheel to turn properly. The other thing I learned was that it's actually pretty tough to make a straight line with this! I think the most helpful thing would be to get some kind of grid-lined paper to use under a project (maybe this one), so that you could see a straight line under the Fuse ruler, as well as have some measurement guidelines. We R Memory Keepers just released a special mat to go with the Fuse tool. I assume this surface works well, but I wish it had even smaller grid lines printed on it. I need to hunt down some videos and reviews for this to see how other people like it. =) 

I think that's all for today. I'm looking forward to making more fun shakers and I hope you will try one too! I have it on good authority that 2 year old boys really enjoy shaking them. =D 

Thanks for looking!

*~M~*





Tuesday, January 26, 2016

First Page of 2016

Well, I did it! I managed to make a scrapbook page this month! Since I haven't done any scrapbooking for at least two years I am ridiculously excited about this. I mentioned my goal of making at least one page a month in my last post, where I also shared a kit I put together using some inspiration from the Counterfeit Kit Challenge blog. I am really excited that I managed to make a page using this kit. Without further ado, let me share some pictures.







The page features a silly selfie I took with my cat. This is something I like to do from time to time with my cat, probably because I'm a crazy cat lady. =D He doesn't like it so much....in fact he hates having his picture taken. Which is why for this particular photo he tried to smack my phone with his paw at the last second. But instead of ruining the photo, he managed to make it look like he's taking the picture. =) 

Anyway, I think I managed to use a little bit of everything from my kit for this layout. I used a whole sheet of paper for the background, so that's one sheet used! The turquoise mat is cut from another kit sheet, and I also used a bit of the vellum (the gold hearts under the photo). I did have to pull out another 6x6 pad from outside the kit for the orange mat (note to self: include more contrasting colors in next kit). The turqoise dots running under the photo are from the rub-on sheet. I don't use rub-ons very much but I LOVE how they look here. The letter stickers for the title also had to pulled in from my stash....because I didn't include any in my kit!! It completely slipped my mind and I'd already photographed the whole kit before I realized my error (note to self: alphabets are essential =P).



I used some stickers from the sticker sheets, some of the sequins and pearls, and that random little ticket strip for this embellishment cluster. Also a teeny tiny punch from the reverse side of that orange paper.




Some more sequins and tiny label punches helped me embellish this bit that was printed in the upper corner of the paper. Also a teensy scrap of vellum (this is why I can't throw away even the tiniest bit of paper! =P) 

I almost forgot! The layout of this page was completely inspired by the wonderful Glitter Girl videos done by Shimelle. This video in particular really helped me put this page together. When I sat down to do some scrapping, I found that I was completely nervous and intimidated because it had been so long. I don't know what I would have done without the inspiration from that video. Thanks, Glitter Girl! =) 

Well, thanks for looking! I think this page really helped me find a scrapping groove again and I'm looking forward to doing more! 

*~M~*



Monday, January 11, 2016

New Year, New Goals

Hello all!

Well, here I am, back after a fairly crazy holiday season. I ended up not having much time to craft or blog! But now it's the new year, and I'm taking this opportunity to get back on track. I've started using a planner again and it's already keeping me more organized and productive. =) One of my goals for this year was to start scrapbooking again, even if it's only one page a month. I don't think I have done ANY pages since....two years ago?? It might be three now, the way time flies. Whichever it is, it's been far too long. I've mostly focused on cardmaking or other non-papery crafts, but I miss scrapbooking and I need it back in my life. To that end, I've been on the lookout for some scrapping inspiration. One blog that I've been following for a long time, even though I haven't ever participated, is the Counterfeit Kit Challenge blog. When I saw their post for this month's kits, I decided that making a kit might be a good way to ease back into scrapping. For one thing, I don't even know what supplies I own anymore! So shopping my supplies seemed like a good idea, and it ended up being really fun. Without further ado, let's see some pictures!

First, the inspiration kit:


The thing I found most inspiring about this particular kit were the hexagon elements. Last time I was scrapbooking, hexagons were very trendy and I was a little obsessed with them, so I knew I had some fun hexagon elements in my stash. In fact, the first thing I pulled out were some mistable hexagon shapes Studio Calico made a loooooong time ago. I also knew I had some paper with hexagons on it in my stash of My Mind's Eye paper, and I went to pull that out next. But when I opened up my box of MME stuff (I sort my supplies by manufacturer) I discovered a whole bunch of paper I didn't even know I had! What I ended up with has some of the floral elements of the inspiration kit, but the turquoise, pinks, and oranges are in a much more muted color scheme. Which is fine, because I'm not really into super bright colors anyway. =) 

Here's the paper I ended up choosing: 


(Sorry for the wonky photos. It's winter here and we have about 2 hours of daylight to work with. Okay, maybe that's an exaggeration. Four. We have four hours of daylight.)

Those are all from My Mind's Eye. I added this cool sheet from October Afternoon because I thought I could cut it up and make embellishments with it: 






In this photo you can see the mistable hexagons I wanted to use, plus other embellishments: some die cuts, stickers, rub ons, some tab-shaped wooden pieces (going back to the planner theme of the original kit), a stencil (more hexagons) and some gold-foiled vellum, just because I liked it. =) I also picked out a teeny tiny bow die so I can make my own bow embellishments like in the original kit.




The original kit had washi and flair badges, so I picked some out of my stash that matched my papers. I also randomly found these flowers pieces and that little leftover piece of ticket strip. I figured I could use these up with this kit. And pearls and gems for when I need a tiny bit of shine. =)




Speaking of shine, I also found this random mix of sequins. I think I got these in a monthly kit years ago. The colors matched my papers so I threw these in too.


Well, all in all, there's not much of the original kit to be seen in my final kit. =P  But I'm really happy with what I found and I'm really looking forward to scrapping with it. I should have at least one page to share by the end of the month! =)

Thanks for looking!

*~M~*