Thursday, March 22, 2018

Really Reasonable Ribbon Easter Card

Hello, crafty friends! I missed out on the Really Reasonable Ribbon hop this month, so I asked if I could do a post later in the month, so here we are...later! 
I am using the March Ribbon Club, which is filled with spring! It is like a packet of Easter eggs! 
I wanted to color something to match the ribbons, so I chose this digital stamp by Power Poppy called Wreath: Succulents and Baubles. I colored the image with Copic markers, then added some sparkle with a glitter pen.

I had printed the image with the accompanying Christmas message in the center of the wreath, so I cut out the center of the wreath to remove the sentiment. I then stamped an Easter message instead! The Easter stamp is from a set by Taylored Expressions called He is Risen
I matched up three of the ribbons from the ribbon club: Garden Rose Swiss Dots Grosgrain, Sherbet Delicate Stitched Satin, and Turquoise Shimmer Satin. I created a giant, puffy bow for the card. This card will need a box or padded envelope in order to mail it! The card is 6 1/2" tall by 5" wide, which is an odd size, but I can make my own envelope and it will still fit in a standard-sized padded mailer. Win-win! 
The paper I used is from the Authentique Dame Collection. I used both 12x12 and 6x6 prints. It was fun to match up prints with the Copic colors I used for the image and the ribbons from the Ribbon Club Assortment. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Really Reasonable Ribbon Supplies:
Garden Rose Swiss Dots Grosgrain
Sherbet Delicate Stitched Satin
Turquoise Shimmer Satin

Other supplies:
Paper: Authentique Dame
Cardstock: CutCardStock Flavours Gourmet Smoked Sea Salt, Hammermill Bright White
Stamps: Power Poppy Wreath: Succulents and Baubles digital image, Taylored Expression He is Risen
Markers: various Copics
Gel pen: Sakura White
Glitter pen: Sakura clear
Ink: Memento London Fog, Ranger Distress Spun Sugar
Button and twine: unknown

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Product Review - Corner Rounders

Good day, paper loving peeps! I thought I'd do a product review for you today. I don't do these often because I feel that most of my blog posts are "product reviews" for the companies and products for which I design. I don't want to always be "selling" you stuff. But once in a while, I come across something that I like, and want to tell you all about it. {smile} 

Let's talk corner rounders. I have three corner rounders in my stash, each with its own use. Each with its own issues! My favorite corner rounder is not working well these days, so I went in search of a replacement. {oh joy, not}
These are the three punches in my stash. Let's talk about these first, then I will share the replacement I recently purchased.

1. Round it All by Zutter: This punch is the one I use for very THICK items such as chipboard, plastic, and so forth. It does not work very well on cardstock or paper, unless you punch a few sheets at a time. I find that it jams often and does not cut very cleanly on thinner items. It also has a 1/2" angle, which is quite large for my needs. 

2. EK Success Corner Adorner, Medium: I have had this punch for a long time, and it works fairly well. It is easy to use with the thumb lever and it punches cleanly, most of the time. My only complaint with this punch is that the angle is very large, bigger than 1/2". I rarely need to use such a large corner angle. I have also noticed it sticking and cutting a bit ragged lately. It is quite old, so I am not surprised that it is failing. I don't want to re-purchase this one because the corner is just too big for my needs. 

3. Creative Memories Corner Rounder: This is the first corner rounder I ever purchased, way back in 1996!!! If you are good at math, you know that this baby is 22 years old! This is the PERFECT sized corner to match up with the Graphic 45 tags, approximately 8mm, so you know I use it a TON! The downside is that it is very hard to use. I have to use my hand rather than my thumb, and even then, the mechanism is stiff and can result in my having a very sore hand! And, recently, it has been sticking and becoming even more difficult to punch through thicker cardstock. I think it is time to give this guy his retirement!

I was prepared to purchase several punches because I need one that is 8mm, and I also wanted to find one that can punch the tiny corners for playing cards, business cards, ATC cards, and so forth. I looked at a lot of tools, watched a bunch of videos, and finally settled on this rounder...

This punch is the Sunstar Kadomoru Pro Corner Cutter. I found it on Amazon for under $9 and free shipping. It arrived in about two days with Prime, so even if it is a stinker in the long run, it was pretty cheap! It can punch three sizes of corners, 8mm, 5mm, and 3mm. Each size corner has its own space and the paper lines up easily. (This product was NOT FREE, nor am I getting anything out of reviewing it.)
I know that I will use the 8mm (Large) corner the most, because it matches the Graphic 45 tag corners. But it's nice to have those smaller sizes for some things. The smaller sizes are good for ATCs and playing cards. The medium and large sizes both match up to various Project Life cards in my stash! 

The best thing about this one so far is that it is so EASY to punch things. I can use my thumb or my hand, and it punches cleanly with very little effort. It also has a removable plastic cover on the bottom to catch all those pesky snipped corners! I tried it out with printed paper, thick cardstock, computer paper, and even the cover of a catalog. It can cut through everything that other corner rounders can manage, but it's so smooth to operate.  

The one downside I see is that there is a lot of plastic on the inside, and it has springs and screws holding everything together. There are a lot of metal and plastic parts, so I fear that it may not last as long as my older rounders. But, since this one is clear, I can SEE all those moving parts, which may be why I feel it is not as sturdy! I use a corner rounder more than the average crafter, and I am not sure the quality of this guy can stand up to my abuse! But for under $9, I am willing to keep it and see how things go!  

As for where this punch comes from, my first guess is Japan, as I think Sunstar is a Japanese stationery outlet/store. At any rate, it was cheap, came to me in two days, and seems to fit the bill. I figure if the Japanese can bring us Copics, I guess they can bring us corner rounders, too. {smile}  

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

What a Wonderful Mess!

This is why you have not seen a new project posted to the blog in a week...
I had to prep for a craft retreat the first weekend of March, and when I came back I had to prep kits for a set of charity workshops. This is one of the sets of paper we had to cut. And by we, I mean my husband and I. He was such a big help, but he said he had no idea why I thought paper crafting was fun! {giggle} I had no idea I would so grossly underestimate the amount of time it would take to cut all that paper!!!  
The studio looks like we've been burgled by criminals who like to throw paper everywhere! The main floor of my house looks like vagrants have lived here for a year! (I did get the main floor all clean and tidy yesterday! But the studio still looks like a whirlwind passed through it...twice.) 
This is the second kit being assembled. I had to have my son bring in an extra table! There are boxes and such stashed in other rooms of the house, and the dust left behind from cutting paper and chipboard is legion! I always blame all the dust on the climate and the construction down the street...but I am thinking's all this paper! Scary thought! 
But the kits are finished, full-color directions are written and printed. I had the GREAT pleasure of teaching 11 ladies on Saturday. It was a small group, but I loved every minute of it!

More kits are ready to go out the door for mail order. I am also working to teach both projects at some local events and retreats, with the money all going to charity. I am exhausted, but feel great being able to teach other crafters, and I am overjoyed to be able to bless the charity with some extra funds!

The Craft-all-Day event on Saturday grossed over $12,000 for the charity, Bread of Life Rescue Mission! My tiny part in that makes my heart so happy!  

Watch the blog as I will be updating the charity kit and workshop tab so you can see how to purchase kits or attend future workshops, and see which charities I will be helping!


For now, I need to clean up this horrible, wonderful, colossal mess! I really want to do a studio tour, which is way overdue, one wants to see a tour of this!! {grin}

For those of you looking for the Really Reasonable Ribbon March Blog Hop, click HERE to start the hop. I am sitting out this month. Below is the lovely ribbon club assortment for March. I will have a project using the ribbons posted on the 22nd!

Have a great week! See you soon with some new projects!   

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Vintage Easter Home Decor

I am playing with Authentique papers again today! I am up on their blog this morning, with a cute little project! I used the Jubilee Bundle 6x6 Paper Pad from the Jubilee Collection to create a pretty home decor piece.
I found this little, white crate in my craft closet and thought it would be cute all decorated for Easter. I am pretty sure the crate is THIS one from Canvas Corp. The outside dimensions of the crate are 3" tall, 4 3/4" wide, and 2 3/4" deep. 

I also found some wood skewers in the kitchen that made perfect "plant picks" to hold the tags. Why should I only shop in the craft room? The office supply closet, the kitchen, and our various junk drawers are also a treasure trove of goodies! {giggle}
The Jubilee Bundle 6x6 Paper Pad is perfect for this tiny project. The small-scale prints on the 6" x 6" paper are just the right size!

Here is how to create your own mini crate project.
I started with this small crate, which was already painted white. I distressed the paint a bit with some sand paper and distress ink, just to make it look more vintage.  
I measured the crate slats and the end pieces and trimmed paper to size. I inked the paper with Vintage Photo Distress Ink, then used tacky white glue to attach the paper to the crate.  
I trimmed some wood skewers to size, but I decided I did not want to paint them white. They were a nice, natural wood color, so I just kept them that way. The tags are from Graphic 45. They are an ivory color and ATC size (3 1/2" tall and 2 1/2" wide). I pulled a selection of paper flowers, ribbons, and other Easter decor out of my stash to use for decorating the crate. 
I trimmed the decorative paper to fit the front and back of each tag. I then used hot glue to attach the wood sticks to the back of the tags.  
I covered the sticks with paper, to make the tags look more finished from the back.
The tiny images from the paper pad are the perfect size for these small tags. I decorated this tag in shades of pink and yellow to match the image. 
The second tag is decorated with yellow, orange, and a pop of pink. I also used some of the stickers from the Jubilee Details cardstock sticker sheet.
Once the tags were decorated, I used hot glue to attach them to the back of the crate. I cut one wood stick a bit shorter than the other, to make sure the tags would sit at different heights. 
I filled the crate with Easter grass. This is the kind of Easter grass made from shredded paper. I have cats, and if they eat the grass, the paper kind will be digested, however the shredded plastic kind of grass...well, it won't be digested. That is a visual that I will leave you with. My advice is....use shredded paper! My husband's advice is...why is that stuff even IN our house?!  But I digress.

I then created a bow from pink and green ribbon and glued it to the edge of the crate. The Easter sentiment is cut from the paper and attached to the front of the crate. I filled the crate with a paper mache egg and loads of paper flowers. 
This sweet home decor piece look adorable sitting on my desk! 

Thank  you so much for looking!

Authentique Supplies Used:

Jubilee Bundle 6x6 Paper Pad
Jubilee Details cardstock stickers

Additional Supplies: 
Mini wood crate: Canvas Corp
Cardstock: CutCardStock Basis Brown
Ink: Ranger Vintage Photo distress ink
Button: my stash
Twine: DMC ivory embroidery floss
Ribbon: Really Reasonable Ribbon 3/8" Apple Green Satin with Grosgrain Edge, 5/8" Pearl Pink Taffeta 
Paper flowers: Wild Orchid Crafts
Shredded paper grass: discount store
Paper mache egg: craft supply
Wood skewers: food supply
Tools: Creative Memories corner rounder
Adhesive: ATG tape, white glue, hot glue

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Mini Album Makers March Challenge

The Mini Album Makers Challenge will feature a monthly challenge, with each Design Team Member posting a link to a mini album tutorial, tip, or trick on the 1st of each month.  Then, one team member will post a full tutorial on the 14th of each month! (My BIG tutorial month has changed from February to April.) In addition, there will be guest makers each month! The team will pick our FAVORITE project to be the next GUEST MAKER!

Click HERE for the March Challenge! You will have all month to make a NEW project and enter the challenge for a chance to win a prize. (See prize details at the end of the post.) Winners will be posted on the 7th of each month on the Mini Album Makers Blog.

One of the most versatile, simple, fun, and interesting styles of mini album to create is...a tag mini album! I love decorating tags to use as gift packaging, as book marks, as album inserts, and more. But, creating a tag mini is pure joy!
There are as many ways to make a tag album as there are styles and sizes of tags. The most basic way to make this style of mini is to simply decorate some tags and thread a D-ring or some ribbon through the holes in the top of the tag! Presto! Tag mini album! 
You can decorate your tags as much or as little as you wish. you can use any size tags you wish. The choices are limited only by your imagination!  

I have oodles of tags in my stash. I have many sizes, many styles, and many colors. I also have tag dies and tag cut files. I love tags! But,for this project, I decided I was only going to use "throw away" tags and scraps! As a prolific crafter and design team member, I have so many left overs! It is hard to use up everything. Plus, I hate to throw perfectly good things away!
I found this stack of tags in a bin. These are all Graphic 45 kraft tags, either the Large or Regular size. They have all been damaged in some way. Most were "mistakes" from other projects. However, as you can see, none are damaged beyond repair. I salvaged six (6) tags for this project.
I decided to trim the bottom off the tags to make them various lengths. One of the Large tags had an ink blob on the back, but was otherwise in good shape. I started with that as my largest size, 8 3/4" long. I trimmed the rest of the tags to be between 3/4" and 1" shorter than each previous tag. All of the tags are 3 7/8" wide. 

Once I had all the tags trimmed, I used a corner rounder to round the bottom edges. 
My next step was to pick a theme. I remembered having this bin of Graphic 45 Cityscapes paper. I had used this to create some projects for G45 a while ago, but had not really used it since. I had so many scraps and bits left over. I pulled all the scraps out and set to work. I did not cut into any full sheets of paper!
I trimmed paper to fit the tags, rounded all four corners, and inked the edges. I cut two of each size listed below:
7 7/8" x 3 3/4"
5 5/8" x 3 3/4" 
4 5/8" x 3 3/4" 
3 3/4" x 3 3/4" 
3 1/8" x 3 3/4" 
2 3/8" x 3 3/4" 
I attached paper to the front of each tag, making sure I was pleased with the print arrangement. 
I flipped the tags over and added paper to the back.
Since I was in a "use it up" mood, I decided to work out of my scrap basket. This is a basket I keep on my desk where I throw odds and ends at the end of a project. Sometimes, after I clean up, I find a stray flower or button, so I toss it in this basket. There are times, I cut too many die cuts, so I toss them in the basket, too. This basket fills up quickly!  

I also have projects that have lived out their natural lives, and I want to salvage items off them before the projects go into the trash. {I know, but it happens!} I pull off things that are usable, such as metal items, flowers, and so forth. (Face it, Tim Holtz products are EXPENSIVE. Those babies are getting yanked off and re-used!)
I sorted through the bits and pulled out everything that I though would work for this project. This is what I found. Lots of flowers, some metal bits, a couple of die cut doilies, a bit of ribbon, a few D-rings (lucky find), an a few other odds and ends.
I pulled out some items from the paper scraps pile and started to work on the tags. It was fun to see how I could use all this left-over "junk" to make something pretty! 
 I ended up with a really fun travel-themed tag set, with a steampunk flair!
I decorated both sides of the tags. I was going to keep the back of each tag empty to be able to add photos. But then I thought, who am I kidding?! I am never going to actually put photos on the tags. It is more likely that I will use them for adding to gift bags or something!

Let's take a closer look at each tag!
I added a postage image, a die cut word, a few flowers, a tiny light bulb, and a Graphic 45 clock key. I was awesome to find a bunch of black, grey, and ivory flowers in the bin! 
The back of the first tag just has an image cut from the paper. 
For the second tag I added more images from the paper, plus a flower and a button. The button already had twine tied through the holes and was the perfect color. 
The back of this tag just has some of the postage images. This paper collection has postage stamps in various sizes!
I think this tag is my favorite! I wrapped one of the die cut doilies around the edge of the tag, then added a postage image cut from the paper. The tiny clothes pins were tan, but I colorized them with some ink.
One doily worked for both sides of the tag by wrapping it around the edge! I added this metal pocket watch and a phrase cut from the paper. Why was this great metal piece languishing in the odds and ends bin?!
For this tag, I added another tag to the front! I also added more postage, a flower, and a metal faucet. The faucet had a HUGE blob of hot glue attached to the back. I managed to pry that off, and...TA DA...good as new! 
The back of this tag has another image from the paper. Plus I found these Asian coins and charms in the bin. Again, super find!  
This is the one tag I kept plain for a photo. I did, honest! I added an image, a flower, and a clip. The clip had a bit of twine tied to it, and the knot was glued, so I just kept the twine on there!
For the back of this tag, I added the metal frame, which had a huge blob of goop on the lower left corner. I could not get it off, so...I just glued stuff over the top of that area! 
I found these altered die cut shapes and flowers to add to the metal frame. The bee has gold ink on it. The gears have rusty embossing powder on them. They must have been left over from a mixed media project. 
I kept this tag simple with just one of the ephemera cards and a metal clock. Again, how does this great metal stuff end up in the junk bin?! 
I used another doily for this tag, plus a small tag cut from the paper. And, oddly there was a "39" bingo tile in the bin. Which is hilarious because I always say I am age 39 when people ask me! {I am NOT 39...but...I could be...or I could play a 39 year old on TV...}
After I decorated all the tags, I added a metal D-ring through the holes at the top and then tied on the bit of dark grey ribbon I found in the junk bin! And there you have a perfectly amazing "junk and trash" tag mini album! 

Thanks for joining me today! I hope that this will inspire you to dig into your scraps and left-overs! You never know what you can make!

Below is a full list of the Design Team, with links to their blogs! Make sure to visit them and give them some bloggy love!

Alison Bomber (taking a break)
Gloria Stengel (you are here)

Our Prize Sponsor this month is....

The fabulous prize this month is...

Full Set of Baked Texture Embossing Powders

Our challenge follows a few simple rules:
Any Handmade Book Goes.  Enter any form of handmade mini albums, scrapbooks, journals, and book arts. Our focus is on completed works, so no layouts or journal spreads that are not part of a complete handmade book project. You do not have to provide a tutorial, but we wish you would. Feel free to use one of the DT tutorials to make your project and give proper credit where due. No back links allowed (this means your project must be first seen on social media between March 1st and March 31st, 2018).  Combine with any other challenges as applicable. No limit on entries. Share the love by visiting and commenting on other entries. Please become a follower. That's it - have fun! Click HERE to enter your project!

Come back on  April 1st for a new set of tutorials from the team! 

Printed paper: Graphic 45 Cityscapes (retired)

Tags: Graphic 45 Large and Regular Kraft tags
Embellishments: various
Adhesive: Scor-tape, ATG tape, white glue, hot glue