Friday, March 27, 2009

Jason is 18!

If you spend any time on Patty Bennett's blog (doesn't everyone), you'll know it's been a very traumatic week for her. Her son Jason just turned 18! I can't believe Patty has an 18 year old son, but I was fortunate enough to be invited to his birthday party and there were a bunch of nice kids celebrating so it must be true. I gave Jason a gift card, and knew I wanted it to be in a skinny tin, since I took a class where his mom showed us how to use them for that (and I still have a bunch of skinny tins), but they were pretty girly, and I know that wouldn't be appreciated, so I used the Stampin Up! Tailor Made Simply Scrappin Kit to make it as manly as possible.
I also used the now retired Form and Function background stamp to stamp the front of the tin with Not Quite Navy craft ink, then embossed it with clear embossing powder. I haven't found anything that will keep embossing powder off the rest of the tin (I cleaned it with alcohol and used the embossing buddy), but since it's clear, it looks fine. Using the heat tool on metal gets really hot though, so be careful if you attempt it.
For my final attempt to make it as guyish as possible, I die cut Jason's initials using the tag shaped self adhesive die cuts in the Tailor Made SS kit with the Serif Essentials alphabet and also in kraft cardstock, so I could float the letters on the belly band. I was happy with how it turned out. Not girly at all.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

matchbox bunny

I've been having a great time making matchboxes with the new die available from Stampin Up! on April 1st. I had to make a bunny version. Ellen and I were making a 3 high chest of drawers and she found these bunny heads that were from a kit I had years ago, using pom poms and pipe cleaners, all of which are still available. After constructing 3 matchboxes and sticky stripping them together, we made a band to go around the three, and a handle to make it more like an easter basket.
We decided to add the head, and of course, a tail.
Here's what you can put inside:

Fun addition to Easter projects!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

another purse

I found this tutorial on Becky Roberts site,, and Ellen and I just had to try it while we were creating this past week at her house. I think we duplicated it almost exactly, we used non-SU! ribbon for the handle, since Ellen didn't have anything that coordinated, but I think the polka dotted pink is great! We also used the kiwi kiss corduroy button for the closure (love those). Check out Becky's blog, and follow along to make your own!

Monday, March 23, 2009

scallop envelope purse

I was going through a lot of email the other day, and I saw something like this, but when I went to recreate it, I couldn't find the post, or remember exactly how it was put together, so I made it up from there. I started with 2 scallop envelope die cuts, cut the bottom tab down to about an inch, then added a strip 1 1/2" wide along the sides. I used sticky strip on the envelope tabs, and it came together easily. I added the word window punch to the front of the purse with 2 brads, and then added another word window punch to the center of the back of the purse with a mini glue dot and another brad. I pinched the sides in to get a crease, but in the future, I'd probably try to do that before putting it together. I think it would look neater. The purse was a little bulky and wouldn't stay closed just by tucking the tab through the front, so I added another brad so it would catch on the cardstock. It stays together nicely now. I want to try this in a few more colors and a couple of other textures and probably in some DSP as well. I'll let you know what I come up with. I attached the grosgrain ribbon (from SAB) with a couple of coordinating brads. Too cute!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

dog days 2

During our walk by the creek at Ellen's, the dogs got a little fresh water bath. Louie was herding Ella from the far side of the creek back to the side Ellen and I were on. They had a blast!
Ahhh, success! Those were 2 very wet dogs, and why is it that when they are soaking wet, they choose THAT time to come and give you kisses???

Saturday, March 21, 2009

matchbox heart

The new sizzix matchbox die is available through Stampin Up! on April 1st. In the meantime, I've been making a few different things to show how versatile it can be. This is a very simple box to put together, once you have your die cut pieces, and for this box, I used the Stampin Up! full heart punch and a piece of acetate to show the pretty colors of the Easter candy inside. These would be great party favors, and you could use any punch to set the theme! I used one of the prints from the Bella Bleu DSP, and the Very Vanilla print would be gorgeous for a wedding favor (minus the Easter eggs).

Friday, March 20, 2009

clear matchbox

OK, I have a lot to say about the new matchbox sizzix die available April 1 through Stampin Up!
First and foremost, I LOVE it! It's the easiest thing to put together once you have your pieces, it comes with extra label pieces, you can stack them and make little chests of drawers (wish I had this when I was into Barbie's), and I'm sure that once everyone has a chance to work with them more, the possibilities will keep on coming in. It works just as well with DSP or cardstock, with mine I did need a different shim, and remembering that it's longer than 12", it did require 2 pieces of 5 1/2"x6 1/2" to put under my "sandwich", but once I figured that out, I made several, and I'll have a few different ideas for a couple of days, so please check back!
Now, with that said, I thought it would be fun to make one with the clear (medium) acetate also available April 1 through Stampin Up!, and use a clear bead from the Pretties kit as a drawer pull. In fact, I thought about making a stack of 3, but I put myself through so much torture, I stopped at one.
FIRST problem was locating clear acetate. I looked everywhere, was sure I knew where I'd put it, but didn't see it, checked several other locations, went back to location I was positive I'd left it, and all I saw was cardboard (any of you with me yet?). I did a little swearing under my breath, wandered around a little more, went back again, this time picking up cardboard, thinking acetate might be under it. Finally looking at cardboard, I realized that what I had in my hand was indeed the acetate I had purchased, but with it being clear, with tissue between it, I thought it was just left over cardboard. OK, problem solved, I cut acetate into 5 1/2" x 6 1/2" pieces, I have four, and have kept tissue between sheets so I don't lose them.
SECOND problem, knowing that acetate can scratch, and hearing people talk about how the multiple cuts into their cutting plates can sometimes leave ridges on their cardstock, I open up a brand new set of crystal clear extended cutting plates (any smiles out there?). I put one plate down, set the die down, go searching for acetate and can't find it.
THIRD problem, clear acetate with white tissue on a white table is nearly impossible to see. So I finally find it and set it onto the die, which is remarkably easy since it's see through and quite clingy, so it slides right into place. Then I go to put the top plate on, which is also very staticy (is that a word?), so the acetate moves and I lift the top plate off and can't find acetate (now very nicely clinging to clear cutting plate). I finally get it back together and get it cut.
OK, from here it's just my observations. The acetate is pretty thick and I just used the medium weight one. I used the cardboard the acetate came with, because with the way my Big Shot is calibrated, regular cardstock wasn't giving me any score lines. The cardboard worked great and I was able to see and score everything. On mine, the score lines needed to be reinforced by using the bone folder. Otherwise, the box wouldn't stay together. Once I scored and creased with the bone folder, it stayed pretty well. The addition of something in the box made it a lot easier to keep together (in this one I have 6 Easter Rolos-pretty colors). Sticky strip on the side of the cover worked really well, and is nearly impossible to see. I used crystal effects to adhere the bead, and once it had a chance to set up, it stayed just fine. In my picture it's still a little wet, so it's a little cloudy.
Having experienced what I did and knowing what to expect, I may make more, they look really cute, and I can't wait to figure out what to do with the labels that I got with each cut. I did waste a couple, since it took me awhile to get the right thickness in shims, but using something else as a test wouldn't give me the same thickness, so I don't know how else to test it. I can say that even with the cardboard thickness, none of my score lines came close to cutting through, so I can use the wasted cuts on other projects. I hope my experience will help you in your attempts. The good thing is, I'm still smiling!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

dog days 1

I was able to take a couple of days off from work to go down to Coarsegold, CA (between Fresno and Yosemite) to visit my sister, do some crafty things, and give the dogs a nice mini vacation. Ellen and Patrick (my brother in law) have a gorgeous piece of property with a seasonal creek.
She and I spent a fair amount of time sitting at the table making things (I'll show you soon), but we went out one morning with the dogs to "hike" down to the creek and enjoy how beautiful the day was getting to be.
The dogs (Louie and Ella) had a great time wandering around, investigating cow pies (Ella), barking at the horses (mostly Louie), running in the water (both), and just being loose. At home they are couch potatoes (in fact both are snoring on the bed right now), but when they are here, not only do they get spoiled rotten by Aunt Ellen and Uncle Pat, they get to go pretty much anywhere they want. We did take precautions so they wouldn't interfere with the pregnant horses (no matter how big they are, the horses are a LOT bigger) or the cows (closed a gate), but it was great watching them run. Each morning I'd take them to the front pasture and Ella would run from one end to another chasing squirrels and just being a happy dog. Louie would follow her a short way, then turn around and come back to me (he's really very lazy). He watched her closely, and if she seemed to be having too much fun, he'd trot down to her and see what she was doing, but mostly he watched. Part of what was so great for me to see them enjoying themselves so much was the recovery of Louie from 4 ACL surgeries, and Ella's recovery from a spinal cord stroke last year. Truly amazing and inspiring.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

more daisies

I had so much fun making the daisies for my Luv2Stamp swap, I made more with the Regal Rose Patterns Pack DSP II Hostess paper. I haven't decided what cards to make with them yet, but they look so fun just laying there, I had to take a picture or 2. I set up 12 build a brads, then snailed the DSP in place and added the clear domes. I thought they looked cool by themselves. I think it's really interesting how different these daisies look when you use different colors.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

fifth avenue floral too

This idea just came to me the other night, and I really like how it turned out. I sort of wish I'd thought of this earlier so I could have used this for my swap. I used the bleaching technique for the background paper on night of navy, then stamped a single rose and used heat and stick (my first successful time) with new fine galaxy glitter in champagne. I added our new eyelet border and a small strip of the taste of textiles printed kraft pinstripe. Love that paper! I can't wait for the new manhattan flower embossing folder (available today), I'm sure I'll be making more samples then!