Saturday, January 31, 2015

Perler VS Pony -- the beads of it all ---

Ran errands this morning and picked up Pony beads to make the larger enamel dots like the ones I used the Perler beads for --- once again used the toaster oven outdoors and for the larger Pony beads I had the temperature at 400 degrees and it took approx 8-10 minutes to melt the beads, depending on the colour and the shapes --- here is a photo showing the Perler beads and the Pony bead:

These are red beads. The smallest bead on the left is a Perler bead cut in half and melted. The middle bead is the full Perler bead melted. The largest bead on the right is a full Pony bead. All three have very good colour and shapes. All three are flat on the bottom for easy adding to your projects.

While out and about this morning I stopped at Joann Fabrics and picked up a bag of the translucent sparkly Pony beads:

Being translucent these bead do not take as long as the solid colour Pony beads to melt into the the enamel dots. Once again I suggest when you are melting the beads to pay attention to the clock and the oven as to not cook them too long. I melted these also at the 400 degrees:

The photo is dark but these beads are sparkly and melted well. But not to settle for just that... I decided to make flowers:

Used solid and the translucent beads for the flowers and as you can see below the translucent beads took far less time to melt than the solid beads:

Then made more of the translucent flowers:

As you can see in the above photo I used a solid white Pony bead for the center of one of the flowers and that bead did not melt as fast as the translucent. The flowers will be great for a tag, a bag topper, on a binder clip or large paper clip and such. Fun to make and another way to use the beads . . .

Once again the Pony beads are smelly as they are melting but at the higher heat it does not take long for them to melt -- once again I melted same colours together as the darker colours take longer than the lighter.

Other items I bought today:  Plummer's Gasket -- from Lowes Home Improvement.... Cherry Tootsie Roll Pops from Walgreens, gem hearts bling from the dollar store, and Washi tape from Walmart....

Will be back tomorrow to post the projects I am using these items for but wanted to add the posting for the Pony beads. TFL and YOLO

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Enameled dots

The Perler beads of it all  . . .    had seen this long ago and just tried it out today for myself. These enamel looking dots were made using a toaster oven, parchment paper, and Perler Beads from Mikes.

Had seen a few videos on this technique and so I made my own --- I used a toaster oven outside in the garage (for fumes) and melted my Perler Beads from Mikes. Here is the new pack of those I used:

and so I will share what I learned. . .

Supplies needed:

Toaster oven
parchment paper
Exacto knife
Perler Beads (new ones not old ones from the kids as they don't melt well older)

First I used the Black and Decker toaster oven and these are the settings I used:

350 is the temp I used and I pre-heated the toaster oven while I was putting my beads on the parchment paper on the toaster oven tray. Here are the beads, standing upright on the tray, right after I put them in the toaster oven:

and approx 15 minutes in the toaster oven before I took them out:

Once this batch was done I removed them and cooled them and then removed them with a spatula approx 5 minutes later.

Second batch were the Perler Beads I had cut in half with an Exacto knife --- and they took approx 13 minutes to melt. Here is a photo of some of the cooled, finished beads -- full beads and then the half beads on the right to show the difference in size:

While I was at Mikes I picked up a bag of their brand shimmer Pony beads to see how those would turn out --- here is a photo of that bag:

Due to whatever they put on the beads to add the shimmer this is a photo of those beads after 17 minutes and I can not think of any projects I will be using them on --- haha:

They discoloured and are all wonky and look like lumps. Will have to try regular Pony beads as I know those will make larger enameled dots than the Perler Beads do and I really like the look of the enameled dots but not the price --- but I will say the beads certainly do smell and not only would I not put them in my regular oven but I would not cook them in the house -- esp the Pony beads -- very smelly. I expected things to get smokey but am happy to say that did not happen. 

The Perler Beads melted evenly and are smooth and flat on the bottom -- remember to use the PARCHMENT paper and NOT waxed paper. Fun technique watching them melt but I suggest you do keep your eyes on them. I also think next time I will melt all like colours together as the lighter ones melted faster than the darker ones.  TFL and YOLO

Questions ---

Yesterday I posted the post about the used bookcase that DH revised for me for my Stampin Up stamp sets since I had pared down my collection of over 300 sets. I took photos (post below this
one) to show the sets on the shelves in alphabetical order by clamshell box size.

Reva asked me a question about the coloured dots on the clamshell cases next to the titles and what are they for?

Many of the stamp sets have titles that really do not describe what stamps are in the set -- here is a master sheet I made up with coloured dots and these dots let me know what stamps I can use for what occasion:

For instance -- this stamp set:

Tiny Talk is the name of the stamp set -- it could be about babies, or maybe one word stamps or whatever. But here is the set:

The green dot lets me know that there is a stamp in this set for Christmas -- "happy holidays". The yellow dot lets me know these are all word stamps, and the blue dot lets me know it is a stamp that I can use with a snowman stamp -- "Let it snow".

For this set:

Just for Fun is the stamp set name -- but what are the stamps?

This stamp set covers a lot of seasons/holidays. It has a witch for Halloween (BOO Day) so it has an orange dot, then a red dot for the heart for Valentine's Day, the golden yellow is for Thanksgiving which would be the leaves/acorn stamp, and of course the blue dot for the snowman.

Not all the stamp sets have the dots as I use more sets more than others and so it goes -- I also have these dots on some of the SU cling sets I have --- in this photo I have a bright yellow dot to tell me that Petite Pairs is a stamp set of words:

In this photo you see the dot on Petite Pairs and next to it is a dot with a "P" on it -- that dot lets me know that I have the matching punch to that set -- which is the Petite Petals stamp set.

So this explains the dots on my stamp sets -- thanks for the question and your blog visit, Reva.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

The pare down - - -

Busy in the craft room weeding out, paring down, re-organizing as I go. Wanted to decide what I really use, what I really need, and what I really want. . .  had over 300 Stampin Up wooden stamp sets and that was too much. Due to that volume I had a binder with all the SU stamp set photos I had and I kept that in alphabetical order by set. This way I could check the binder to see if I had a particular stamp set rather than to try to dig through the SU cabinet.

Went to the Restore for Habitat for Humanity and bought this used book case for $12.00. DH cut a piece of wood to add three shelves to it and on the top of the book case I have all the SU wooden stamp sets I have decided to keep:

As I acquired the stamp sets I used the label maker and put the stamp set title on the end of the cases and I keep them in alphabetical order by clamshell box size:

Much easier to find a stamp set now if I should see a project that I need a set for. With the paring down I can now get rid of the binder I had for all the stamp sets. 

My cling sets (much less of the SU ones) I keep in a nearby cabinet. This used shelf also has room for the Paper Trey Ink, Close To My Heart, and Gina K Designs stamp sets that I also have. Well worth the $12.00 --- DH wants to know when I am going to paint the three shelves he cut for me? My answer? Probably when the craft room is all organized.... which has yet to be 100% ... ;0)   TFL and YOLO

Friday, January 23, 2015

Craft Room Organizing . . .

Love to organize the craft room with everything in its' place (has that EVER happened?). . . a place for everything and everything in its' place  --  or something like that.... Love finding new storage ideas that can be adapted to your own space and all works well . . .  until it doesn't.

Here is a glimpse of how I store my embossing folders:

This is one of the two white cubbie drawer units I have on my craft room counter to hold the embossing folders:

The green notebook on top of this unit has a sample inside of each embossing folder pattern. With the drawers open you can see I made dividers for the folders with the manufacturers name and title to the embossing folder:

And all was well and worked well . . .  until it didn't. . .   More and more of the craft companies are making larger embossing folders than the usual 4 1/4" w x 5 3/4" high, approx. Then if  you add the M-Bossabilities folders from Spellbinders .. (those are 5 1/4" w x 7 3/4" high, approx.).  These larger folders do not fit in the white cubbie drawer units so the time had come to make some changes. But
what to use???

Did not want to ditch the folder dividers I had made and labeled. So checked around and found that Close To My Heart sells their Large Organizer (item Z1834) and this organizer is great. It is clear plastic so you can see into it without opening it. It has a latch closure with a handle on top for moving around and I have two of these and they are stackable. They take up less space than ONE of the white cubbie drawer units I was using so not only do I have a new system that holds all the sizes I have but they take up less space. Here is a photo (not too good but) showing the two units stacked on the craft room counter:

and this photo shows the closure latch and top handle that can stand up or lay flat:

Still have the binder with baseball card sheets inside to show all the patterns and embossing folder titles so it is easy to find a folder with a pattern I am looking for:

The samples are not in alphabetical order or anything -- just made a sample for each folder as I acquired it. In the white cubbie drawers the folders are in alphabetical order by folder title with the dividers I made.

I also bought an embossing folder from Close To My Heart which is my first embossing folder from them. It is their Heart embossing folder and here it is next to an embossing folder from Stampin Up to show the size difference:

The Close To My Heart embossing folder on the left also has an opening on the fold of the folder so you can use a longer piece of card stock -- IE  12 x 12  for a scrapbook and such. For this photo to show this opening I used scrap card stock:

The folder on the right is Stampin Up and it does not have the opening on the embossing folder fold so you can not continually emboss your pattern onto a longer piece of card stock unless you fold your card stock and then the fold line would show.

This photo will show the shorter Stampin Up embossing folder, the Close To My Heart embossing folder, and then the white Spellbinders M-Bossabilities folder. As you can see they vary in size but all of these folders fit into the Close To My Heart larger organizer without any problems and can stand up so you are not wasting space in the organizer:

And also a photo of a sample piece of card stock I ran through the Cuttlebug with my new Hearts embossing folder and it embossed nicely:

Now I will transfer all my embossing folders from the two white cubbie drawer units, side by side on my counter, to the two stackable boxes from Close To My Heart. Hoping that does not take long as I want to make some Valentine items as well. TFL and YOLO

Update: Here are photos of the embossing folder storage boxes done:

Closed and stacked:

Saturday, January 17, 2015

SU retirement sale ---

A nearby SU demonstrator had a sale this morning of retired products that she no longer uses for her classroom so I decided to go as I was looking for a couple of things for me and a specific stamp set for a friend --- picked up the cling stamp set at a great price for my friend, got a retired colour ink pad I did not have and that was still sealed, and then picked up a SU wheel stamp that was brand new and is the retired Love wheel --- perfect for Valentine's Day.

As with all my SU wheels I will take this stamp off the wheel and put the foam backing on it so I can use it with clear blocks for stamping. Not only do these stamps off the wheels make nice border stamps but also dress up the bags/boxes I make. I know I use these stamps more with them off the wheels than I did when I kept them on the wheels so off it will come  - - -

While I was waiting for a total for my new-to-me loot I was standing by her work table talking to her and she had a row of these smaller wood/peg bow makers on her table. I had asked her where she had gotten them, thinking they were for her stamp club/classes she holds, as I had just seen a similar one in size on a blog for $15.00 each. She said they were not for her stamp club/classes but for sale also and they are $5.00 each. I picked one up and the size is good for bows for card making and boxes/bags and such and I like the weight of the base --- so for $5.00 ? ?   Here it is:

This is a photo of the wooden/peg bow maker with ribbon I will make two bows from. You can see the pegs on the bow maker have five slots for the pegs so you can make many different sizes of bows using this. First I made a small red bow with double tails and then moved the pegs and made a larger red bow with double tails:

To get the double tails I used a second piece of ribbon to tie around the bows to finish them off:

and the two sized red bows:

But here is a photo of a simple black bow that I used one piece of ribbon for to make the bow and tie it off:

This bow maker is great -- unlike a fork you do not have to try to balance it while you are winding your ribbon around it and then trying to tie it in a knot and slide the bow off --- I also like this because it 1 1/2" high and easy to use on your table top or work table. Whoever made this also sanded it smooth and beveled the top so there are no splinters to deal with -- another plus... and the pegs are tall enough if you are using a wider ribbon or perhaps wanting to have multiple loops on your bows . . .

Now I have to figure out how I can put bows on ALL my cards and projects using this new little gem. . . TFL and YOLO

Friday, January 16, 2015

Flap Over Tootsie Pop Holder

These are two Tootsie Pop holders I made for Valentine's. In the past when I have made the holders for Tootsie Pops my holders are strips of card stock that are scored, folded and tied on to the lollipop stick with a ribbon. But these two holders have a top flap over the holder.

To make this holder I used a piece of 2" wide card stock by 9" long and you score this piece with the long edge at the top of the score board at 3 1/2", 4 1/2", and again at 8". Use the bone folder to crease your scored lines.

For the black holder on the left in the photo I used printed card stock from Hobby Lobby for the holder front and the flap front. For the hearts print on the holder front I cut that at 3 1/4" long by 1 3/4". For the black and white dotted card stock for the flap front I cut that 1 3/4" wide by 3/4".

To make the black holder I cut and scored the black card stock. Once scored I cut the heart print and put that on the holder front using the ATG. Then I cut the black/white dotted card stock and used the ATG to put that on the flap front. Once these pieces were on the holder I then used a 1/4" circle punch and punched off the edge of my closed holder to allow for the lollipop stick to go through:

Then I used a smaller circle punch and made two holes for my ribbons to go through. The ribbons hold the lollipop stick in the holder:

Here is a photo of the black holder:

Stamped the Valentine's greeting on scrap white card stock using the Cherry Red ink from Memories and cut that out using a trimmer. Put the Tootsie Pop in the holder using a large glue dot. Tied my holder closed with sheer red ribbon. Put the greeting under the front flap using a glue dot.

For this second holder:

I used red card stock. Rather than add printed card stock to the front I used the hearts embossing folder from the Sizzix Curlique and Hearts embossing folder set and embossed the front flap only. As usual with embossing I added a piece of white card stock under the red card stock and embossed them together. This gives the embossing a softer look and the second piece of card stock prevents the red piece from cracking or peeling from a too deep embossing folder.

Once I had the front (only) embossed on this holder I put the Tootsie Pop inside and tied the Love ribbon around the lollipop stick to close the holder. For the red glittered heart in the upper right corner of the flap I used red glittered wrapping paper that I put onto white/GP card stock using the ATG and then I used a heart punch to punch out the heart. Put that on the flap using a glue dot.

Both are easy holders to put together and a different look for a Tootsie Pop holder. TFL and YOLO