Monday, July 27, 2015

Love the mail man . . .

New order came in today's mail that I had ordered from Dies R Us -- top photo is the new release from Poppystamps -- AKA Memory Box. Then the lower photo shows two more dies I ordered from CheeryLynn Designs. With this order I qualified for a free die from Dies R Us (their choice) and here it is:

"Good Stuff" with an arrow --- that will be good on a tag for a treat bag for Halloween or the upcoming holidays. Cute die. 

Am happy now that I have the metal shim plate from CheeryLynn Designs for my new detailed oval die I just ordered. Problem was since the edges of the metal shim plate are sharp how would I store it? I have a clear plastic (refrigerator) bin from Bed, Bath, and Beyond that I bought with a coupon and a gift card -- keep all my Cuttlebug plates in there with any paper shims I have used. But did not want to just reach into the bin and meet up with the metal edges on the metal shim.

Off to Walmart and in the office supply aisle I found this small clipboard for 97 cents:

I used a 3M Command hook to hang this clipboard with the metal shim on it, next to the die cut table with the Cuttlebug and Big Shot. I had some of the 3M hooks on hand as I used those to hang my stencils on the insides of my cabinet doors. This way the shim is out of the bin and right next to the machine I would use it with. (Sorry about the blurry photo). 

Now all I need to do is get past our stamping supply sale on Saturday and I will have free time again. Until then -- TFL and YOLO

Saturday, July 25, 2015

When Cheery Meets Cottage . . .

More and more manufacturers are releasing more detailed dies and die sets. With the more detailed dies you have to be willing to do the work . . .   or do you?

Love Cottage Cutz dies -- have a few and have ordered them from both and also  with good customer service and shipping. Cottage Cutz has detailed shaped dies and for my sample I will show their Oval Doily & Frame die set. Although it is a one piece die it cuts two pieces with one pass in the Cuttlebug. Here is a photo of this die to show all the small details of the die:

For my samples I used a plum coloured card stock from Close To My Heart and this is a thicker card stock as is Stampin Up. Here is my first sample using my Cuttlebug to cut it, and as I always do with such detailed dies, I ran it through the Cuttlebug and once it was through I left it in the machine and ran it backwards so it would have two passes in the machine. Using the awl to get this out of the die here is my cut sample:

After I got the pieces out of the die here are my poked pieces:

When first you don't succeed . . .  Cleaned out all the pieces left in the die and began again. This time I used the same card stock but before putting the card stock on the die first I put a piece of waxed paper over the die. Again ran it through the Cuttlebug, forward and back, and my results using the waxed paper:

Clearly the waxed paper helped but still had to use the awl to get the parts out of the cut piece and the die itself . . .  but when first you don't succeed . . .

Simply put? There HAD to be a way to cut these more detailed dies without having to set aside an extra hour per project just to make a die cut....

Checked around and stumbled across a video on YouTube by Cheery Lynn Designs. Saw that and made the rounds -- to AC Moore, Mikes, and finally Joanns..... none of the stores had a metal shim in stock so came home from the stores on Thursday morning and ordered my metal shim from Much to my surprise that afternoon I received an email that my shim was being shipped -- from Phoenix, Arizona to me in North Carolina... I figured it would be here probably with the Monday mail man. . .  Happy me that it arrived today and I have already tried it out.

To begin with here is a photo of this shim:

Removed it from the packaging and put Scotch tape on the four edges as the packaging suggests before I used it:

Now to the Cuttlebug and the sandwich of it all. The sandwich I used was:

A plate
Metal shim
C plate
Die - cut side up
Card stock
B plate

Once again I ran this through the Cuttlebug, forward and back. Once I removed the B plate, as the video had suggested, I looked a the piece in the die and decided to turn the die, with the card stock still in place, sideways and put the B plate back on top and again ran it through the machine forward and back. Here is my die cut piece after two rides through the Cuttlebug:

Very few pieces left in the die itself and here is a photo showing all three of the die cut oval frames.
Left one is just the card stock and the die, middle oval is card stock with waxed paper and the die, right oval is using the Cheery Lynn metal die shim:

Before the metal shim I have tried waxed paper with card stock and even added card stock shims and still things do not always cut well. Certainly it is not the Cottage Cutz die as other detailed dies also do not cut out well. It is not the card stock as I have used this card stock for other dies, still with details, and they cut well. More and more detailed dies mean more and more cuts per die and that makes for very small cuts on the same die.

This "Metal Adaptor Plate" AKA metal shim is around $11.00 --- some may say that is a lot to pay for a shim -- BUT it is stainless steel and it will last forever and happy me it is made in the USA and that is good. . . . .  but if you don't have one -- how often will you use your detailed dies for your projects?

Have to go search the "Warehouse", as DH calls the craft room, for dies I have and that I have set them aside due to cutting problems . . .  Happy Cheery Lynn also has fast shipping --- TFL and YOLO

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Almost here - - -

Have had emails asking where I have been and why am I not posting any new projects? Even though I have the summer off from work I seem to be busier now than when I went to work everyday.

Saturday, August 1st a couple of us crafters are holding a craft supply yard sale and I have been busy with that getting signs made, items priced, supplies sorted. Once the sale is over I will post photos of that and then back to cards and such before I have to go back to work.

But for now --- you want FAST shipping???? Just ordered the metal shim plate for my Cuttlebug to use with the detailed dies that do not cut or come out of their dies from at lunch time today and already I have a tracking number for my order which is now on the way to my house. Last week I received my order from  and again I placed the order and again it was shipped that same day. So both great places to deal with.

Right now is having a big site sale so if you are looking for anything in particular they may have it on sale already. Be sure to get on these web store email lists for sales and coupons as that can help you save lots of crafting dollars as well. TFL

What's Up With THAT ? ? ?

Mother Nature at her best. . .  If you have seen on my blog about the Porch People AKA "Birds Nest on Porch" then you know of our on-going story of birds using the front porch as a home for their newest babies. . .

To review we have an outlet near the ceiling of the front porch which Mr & Mrs Newlyweds decided to build a nest on top of. Cute idea when they only had 3 babies... but wanting a larger family each Mr & Mrs would add to the nest and soon they were having no less than 5 babies. Which is a happy moment for Grandma Bird I suppose but as the babies grew... the nest became smaller. . .

Being a good landlord DH decided to "build" a deck around the nest so the larger babies -- who were now pushing each other around -- would not fall out. Good thing DH put that up because it was not long after that when the larger baby birds would sit on the deck as there was not a lot of room in the nest with the five of them. . .

So DH decided to remodel -- he replaced the front porch ceiling with insulation and vents and such so while he was up there he removed the now vacant nest --- which had been the start for quite a few bird families --- took his wooden deck down and put up a vinyl deck that he thought the birds might like better. Guess again . . .

Meanwhile off I go in the Spring to Lowes to buy two rectangle, flat back planters for DH to hang on either side of the front door. Nice idea and I thought they looked great. . . they were already planted with Geraniums and Verbena. I picked out the two best planters they had. Apparently I was not the only one that thought they were the best as now we have this in one of the planters:

What is that??? A nest with four baby birds napping. . . DH got on a ladder to take this photo and was careful not to touch anything as Mom would have had a hissy fit. So now the dilemma. I am afraid I can not water the planter very well as I don't want the babies to drown so I only carefully water the one end of the planter with a measuring cup. Half the planter is dying but the babies are thriving.

I told DH maybe his vinyl deck is too modern for the birdie families to settle in... maybe he should go back to a wooden deck? Gotta' love Mother Nature. . .

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Have scoreboards.... will travel

Good morning today with DH on the hunt for tools or car parts. He stumbled across a make-shift flea market with about 10 sellers present and he pulled in. What had caught his eye from the road were car parts. Although he did not find the parts he was looking for he did get a Craftsman accessory for his table saw so he was happy.

While he was walking around I tagged along. Found this table, on casters, under an old printer for sale. No price on the table but I asked the seller and she said $10.00. Problem was I did not know if the size would work for me.

DH always has a tape measure in the truck so I went back to the truck and picked that up. Went back to the seller that had this table and measured it -- I needed to be sure that my score boards would fit in it since that is what I would use it for.

The score boards would fit so I paid for it and brought it home. Wiped it all down and in the craft room it is:

I have the Scor Pal 1/8" board, the Stampin Up Simply Scored score board, and two Marth Pal's. (The score board by Martha Stewart):

Not all score boards are the same. First I have two of the Marth Pal's as I call them as one was for my craft room and the second I used to take to my stamp clubs and classes. The Stampin Up score board I bought used for $10 including the diagonal plate and the extra markers. Then the new 1/8" Score Pal is for different projects. Many of the projects for the SU score board do not work using another score board but there was no way I would pay for a new SU score board that includes the diagonal plate and the extra markers as that is too pricey for me  -- but I was lucky to get it in excellent condition used at a great price on Craig's List.

Also the Marth Pal score board measures things differently for boxes and such so I have that score board as well. Used to be I would have to clear off a spot on the counter or table top to be able to put the scoreboard out and score my projects. Now all the score boards are together and now I also have a table top to put them on to score my projects.

Happy this table has casters as now I can move it all around the craft room if I need to. Plus it also helps to centralize all the score boards in one place so when I am working on a project I can grab the score board I need to use. Thanks to DH for seeing the car parts from the road otherwise I do not think we would have stopped to shop. TFL

Friday, July 17, 2015

Pros and Cons of it all . . .

More and more stamp companies are switching to cling stamps from wood mounted . . .   great for storage ... but still..... you can't see . . .

Now more and more stamp companies are switching from the wood mounted or cling stamps to clear stamps.... Pros are many --- you can see where you are stamping, you can see if it is straight, you can see. . .

Cons??? Ink....

Is it true or is it not? I saw it once but I forgot . . .

Had seen this tip "out there" somewhere but do not know who this tip originated with but it is a GREAT tip and before I forget to share it again --- here it is ---

This first photo is a stamp set from Inky Antics "Halloween Hilda". I am showing this tip using this stamp set as the set has not been used yet and I wanted to show a brand new stamp:

For my samples I will be using the stamp "I'm Batty for you":

For this photo above I show this clear stamp on my Close To My Heart clear block. Since this is the first time I will ink this stamp I will ink it with a light beige ink and stamp it onto scrap white card stock:

As you can see this is light ink. Now the stamp after I cleaned it with my stamp cleaner (1/2 Simple Green to 1/2 water in a spray bottle):

As with all clear stamps there is staining on the stamp but this does not effect the image or future use of this stamp. Now I put Memento BLACK ink on the stamp and stamped that onto the white card stock:

Now a photo of this stamp after I cleaned it after using the black Memento ink:

What a GREAT tip!!! No more dark staining of my clear stamps if I use rich inks like blacks, browns, and esp REDS. LOVE this tip and from now on any new clear stamps I use will first be inked with the lighter ink, then stamped onto scrap card stock, then cleaned and inked with the ink I am using for my project for stamping.

Thanks to the stamper that shared this --- and happy me that I came across this tip!  TFL

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Looming Halloween Card

Picked up this die from Inky Antics --- Card Loom die --- at the SSAT stamp show over the weekend. This die measures 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 and it is used to cut your card stock so you can make a woven background card. Long, long ago I had made a woven background card but did not have this die and it was hard to measure and cut all the strips perfectly but did finish that card. Liked the look but certainly not the work . . .

Inky Antics had a couple of samples of the woven background cards and they used quilling strips to weave in their cards. For my card? I used printed card stock cut into 1/4" wide strips by 4" long. Here is my card:

To begin with my card is on a card stock base of 110# weight white card stock from Mikes. The gray is SU and the black on the card front is 65# weight card stock from Mikes.

Cut and scored the white card stock base. Set that aside. Then I cut the gray piece for the card front. Lastly I cut the black card stock to the piece I wanted for the card front. Using the Card Loom die I put it on the backside of the black piece and used painters tape to hold that in place so it was centered. Ran this through the Cuttlebug. Using black and white polka dot card stock from Hobby Lobby I cut 1/4" wide strips by 4" long. Using a skewer - (bought at Walmart in the kitchen utensil aisle for 97 cents for the pack) - used the skewer to make the weaving easier as they suggest on the Inky Antic website. One row I started with "over, under, etc" and then the next row was started with
"under, over, etc" until my weaving was complete. Tips -- weave from the backside of your piece to make it easier. Once I had all the strips woven in this is what the back looked like:

Cut a thin piece of Scotch tape at the top and again at the bottom of the strips:

Flipped it over and here is the front of this piece:

Using the ghost die from QuicKutz I cut out two ghosts from textured white card stock. Sponged the edges of those. Punched out a small oval to cover the ghost eyes/mouth and put that oval on the backside of the ghost using a glue pen.

Set those aside. Using the ATG I put the woven piece onto the gray piece and then put these onto the white card stock base.

Using a larger oval punch I punched out three ovals from SU Pumpkin Pie scraps. Stamped these ovals with stamps from the SU stamp set Gorgeous Grunge. Sponged the edges and put these ovals together using glue dots. Used a Fiskers swirl punch and their pumpkin punch for the swirl piece and the leaf. Cut the brown stem for the pumpkin using scissors. Put a small orange bow on the pumpkin and then put the pumpkin onto the card front using glue dots.

"Have a Spooky Halloween" is from a Hero Arts Halloween clear stamp set. Stamped it onto white card stock and punched the banner end using the Banner Triple punch from SU. Put my ghosts on the card front using pop dots.

The Card Loom die certainly made quick work of this woven card and am happy I bought it at the show on Saturday --- between that show and so many online specials this is a good time for us card makers to get some deals!  TFL and YOLO

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Butterfly Breeze Card

To begin with the card stock base is Stampin Up Cool Caribbean. Black is from Mikes. The stamped front piece is Mikes 110# weight white card stock.

To begin with cut and scored the Cool Caribbean card stock base. Cut the black piece to the size I needed for the card front. Had recently made a trip to Enchanted Cottage and picked up the Butterfly Breeze stamp from Open Studio/Memory Box.

For my white card front piece I cut it to the size I wanted for the card front. Then using the Tumbled Glass distress ink I started at the bottom and added this ink to this piece making it darker on the bottom and lighter near the top --- had taken a class with Daphne on distress inks -- thanks to her and all her tips/how to's! Remember when you are using the distress inks for a background it may not look great to you when you finish with the distress inks but remember you will be stamping on top of this piece.

Using my MISTI --  love it -- :0)  -- I inked the Butterfly Breeze stamp using Memento black ink and stamped on my distressed piece. Put this on the card front using the ATG. For the greeting I used scrap card stock and stamped "just because" from the Taylored Expressions stamp set Sending Smiles. This piece is smaller than the SU Banner Triple punch I use for banners. So once I had the greeting stamped I used a ruler and put a pencil dot on my stamped piece to mark the center of it. Then I turned my banner punch over and lined up my pencil dot to the center of the banner punch and punched that to give me the banner ends. Trimmed the left side of this piece and put it on the card front using the ATG.

Wanted to add dimension to the card front so I used the multi butterfly punch by M Stewart and punched out three small butterflies using black scrap card stock. Put the butterflies on the card front and the greeting banner piece using TomBow glue:

Once the glue dried I pinched the wings of the butterflies to give them dimension.

Using one distress ink colour on the card front works just as well as if I had three inks to blend together for 'shading'. Just apply more or less ink from the bottom to the top of the piece just as you would if you had use multi inks. VERY simple card but it looks like it took a long time to make.

I did not know Memory Box had Open Studio stamps and will have to check that out. This stamp has many details but stamped nicely and the black ink cleaned right off of it. TFL and YOLO

Halloween Thriller Card

Card stock base is Mikes 110# weight black card stock. Added spider print (Hobby Lobby?) paper and a chevron printed card stock. Orange piece is from the scraps.

Went to the SSAT stamp show at the Fairgrounds over the weekend and the stamp set for this card is from the Thriller stamp set from Close To My Heart. A demonstrator had a booth there and she was selling CTMH stamp sets -- new and used -- and I came across this Thriller stamp set.

To begin with -- cut and scored the black card stock base. Cut the spider print to the size I wanted for the card front. Put that on the card base using the ATG. Then cut a piece of the chevron print to the size I wanted for the card front. Also put that on the card front using the ATG.

For my stamped image I used Vivid black ink and stamped him onto white/GP. Using the Sizzix Tags Rounded dies I cut the stamped piece out in the Cuttlebug -- once cut I left the stamped piece in the die and sponged a light gray ink on the stamped piece outside the stamped image. Once that was sponged I removed the die.

I had seen a video about applying glitter to card stock projects on YouTube by Sue Ralph -- she has a lot of good videos about tips and techniques. Here is the channel I made as she suggested to apply the glitter to my stamped piece edges--including the curves on my die cut piece:

Sue suggest using TomBow glue and applying it to the edges of your piece using a sponge and that is what I did. The channel keeps all the glitter together and works very well if you are doing corners or curves:

I used black glitter from M Stewart for my edges. Using a light gray card stock I cut another curved piece using a larger die from that die set. Put my stamped piece onto the gray piece and used the ATG to put these on my card front. Thanks to Sue for sharing  her ideas and tips on adding glitter to a card front without the glittery mess.

"Happy Halloween" was stamped onto scrap orange card stock and I added two black crystals to the ends of that. Put it on the card front at an angle using pop dots. TFL and YOLO

Halloween Tree Card

Stamp from Northwoods Rubber Stamps. Card stock base is Mikes 110# weight black card stock. Black print is from stash, orange from SU. and white is GP. Used Memento black ink to stamp the tree stamp onto the white/GP piece. Used coloured pencils for the tree, pumpkin, and grass.

Once the white/GP was stamped I cut that piece to the size I needed for the card front. Then cut the orange card stock to the size I needed.Used the ATG and put the white piece onto the orange. Used a very small paint brush and brushed TomBow glue onto the ghosts and pumpkin to added the glitter to them. Once the glitter was on I set this piece aside to dry. Then I put the black printed card stock onto the front of the black card stock base.

With the glue/glitter dry on the stamped piece I then put this onto the card stock front using the ATG. Easy and quick card to put together. TFL and YOLO

Saturday, July 11, 2015

You can't get there from here . . .

This doily was cut out using the Stampin Up/Sizzix Large Paper Doily die. When I first bought this die, like many others, I wanted to return it to Stampin Up because I could not get it to cut out all the details or if it did cut it was a surface cut only. Many suggestions were "out there" from covering the die with packing tape to dryer sheets to wax paper and beyond. But this is a nice doily design so trial and error until I figured out a "recipe" that worked in my Big Shot machine.

Once I figured out what worked to cut out this die I used the label maker and printed out all I needed to do, in which order, to get this die to cut every time. In the above photo my red doily is cut out of a piece of red Stampin Up card stock so this "recipe" works even with the heavier card stocks. However I still have to use the awl to get all the small pieces out of the cut doily but once that is done this is a nice doily -- but to use this die for multiple cards is not a good idea -- too much work. Here is the labeled die:

Much easier to use my new Cheery Lynn large doily die to cut out multiple doily pieces -- here is my red doily cut with the Sizzix/SU die next to the green doily that I used the Cheery Lynn large doily die for:

It is good to have the sandwich "recipe" on the SU die as if I did not have that on there I would not be successful cutting out a die piece. With having the "recipe" on the backside of the SU die each time I use this die I will have a good cut for a clean die cut piece.... but of course after it is die cut you have to use an awl for the smaller pieces... all in all???  The Cheery Lynn die is much easier to use but a totally different doily design.  TFL and YOLO

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Road trip . . .

DH just had a birthday and yesterday was the day we celebrated. He wanted to go to Red Lobster for dinner in Greensboro and so we planned the day --- but here is the card I made him and then the card with a treat bag of snacks he likes:

Card stock base is Mikes #110 weight black card stock. Red is from Mikes and the gray is SU. Used a diamond plate embossing folder for the gray piece. The checkered washi tape I picked up at the dollar store as well as the printed treat bag. The stars on the card were cut out in the Cuttlebug using the star die set by Little B. This is a perfect die set as it has dies for plain stars as well as dies for the stitched edged stars so an economical die set to have for two looks.

For his day yesterday DH wanted to drive to a place he has been before for car parts he was looking for and that was a good plan as not far from there was the Enchanted Cottage in Lewisville, NC, This is a store that is stamps/scrapbooking supplies and such. I rarely get to go there since it is so far from our house but since we were going to be so close anyways. . .

After he picked up his car parts, and other finds, off the the Enchanted Cottage we went and I picked up a few things as well:

This store is loaded with all the dies available it seems so it is hard to narrow it down to what a crafter has to have... but my pile was bigger so it had to be narrowed down. The plus about that store is there are card samples EVERYWHERE with tables of samples from recent classes with the products used for those classes right on the same table -- that is nice if you missed a class but like the cards/projects. This way you have everything you would need right in front of you. They have card samples they have made, customers have made, and the boards from the stamp companies like Great Impressions and Northwood Rubber Stamps. Lots of inspiration in those cards and fun to see them.

Then we headed back towards Greensboro and I bought these two items at another store I had never been to before:

The butterfly stencil was on sale for $2 and then I picked up a new distress ink colour ink pad. Off to Mikes in Greensboro and they were having a ribbon sale --- I know... I know.... like I need more ribbon NOT but I do --- I realized I needed more black and I also picked up orange for Halloween and of course red for the holiday season:

These ribbons at Mikes have 10 yards on each one and usually sell for $2.99 ea. Which would mean these ribbons would be approx $18 if I bought them at regular price. But their sale was $2.99 ea with
"three for the price of one" so it was approx $6 for these. 10 yards per spool will cover a lot of projects so this was a good deal.

After Mikes, and our other fav shopping places, off we went to Red Lobster for an early dinner and then headed home. Good day for DH and his car parts as well as for me and my CARD parts... :0) TFL and YOLO