Sunday, August 30, 2015

Spooky Ghosts Halloween Card


Card stock base is #110 weight black card stock from Mikes. Cut and scored that and then cut off part of the card front. Using gray card stock I trimmed a piece for the inside of the card. Used the MISTI and stamped the "Happy Halloween" using the Wicked stamp set from Gina K Designs. Using black ink I sponged the edges of the gray piece. Put that on the inside card piece using the ATG.

For the lower front of the card I trimmed a piece of printed card stock and put that onto the lower half of the card front using the ATG. For the "spooky" I used the alpha/number die from MFTstamps.com:


First I cut out "spooky" from black card stock and then used various colours for the letters. Using different background stamps I stamped them onto the letters using black ink. Used a glue pen and put my stamped coloured letters onto the black letters. This makes the letters look more finished as you can see some of the letter backs and edges when you open the card.

Using this old metal die from Provo Craft I cut out my ghosts from white scrap card stock:


Used a 1/4" circle punch and black card stock I punched out three black circles for the eyes on my ghosts:


Used a glue pen to put the black circles onto the back of my ghosts. The one ghost above the word "spooky" is put on the inside card piece using a glue dot. The ghost to the upper left of the "Happy Halloween" greeting was put on the inside piece using a pop dot.

Put the "spooky" letters on the lower card front piece using red sticky tape. Again using the clear transfer sheet I cut a strip to put my ghost on and tucked that behind the "y" and then put the "y" on the card. When the card is opened up this is what that ghost looks like:


On this last ghost on the clear strip I have a ghost on top of the strip and then a second ghost behind the first one to cover up the back of the strip:


That is my only double ghost as you can see the front and the back of him with the card opened. Easy card to put together once all the letters were cut out and stamped. TFL and YOLO.

Willow Halloween Card


To begin with the black card stock base is #110 weight Mikes card stock. Cut and scored that to the size I needed and set that aside. This card measures 5" x 4 1/4" as I wanted the tree top and side to be over the edge of my card. Using gray card stock for the card front I punched out a medium circle from white scrap card stock. Holding that in place I sponged all over the gray piece using black ink. Removed the white circle and then sponged the edges of this gray piece. Using a purple Halloween print I cut a strip to go on the left side of the sponged gray piece. Put that onto the gray piece using the ATG.

For the fencing I used a Halloween die from MFTstamps.com and white card stock. Once cut out I sponged it using black ink. Put the fencing onto the gray card front piece using a glue pen. Cut out a small pumpkin using a holiday die set from Taylored Expressions. Sponged the edges of the pumpkin and put that on the card front piece in front of the fence using glue dots. Using the ATG I put the gray piece onto the black card stock base.

For the tree I used #110 weight black card stock from Mikes and used the Memory Box Grand Willow Tree die and cut out a tree. Then using a very old (one of the original metal dies??) from Provo Craft for my white ghosts:


Once the ghosts were cut out of scrap white card stock I needed to add a black piece for their eyes so I used a 1/4" circle punch and put it behind my ghosts using a glue pen:


Using red sticky tape I put my two ghosts in the tree piece -- trimming off some of the white ghosts so they would not show behind the tree. Once those were in the tree I put pop dots behind the tree and then put this onto the card front so that the tree edge would hang off the top and side of the card:


Easy card to put together and the heavier black card stock makes the thin pieces of the tree branches sturdier. The bat was cut out using black foil card stock from Hobby Lobby and I used a holiday die from Taylored Expressions. TFL and YOLO

Moving Bats Card


Had seen the card made up by Vicki W on www.wizardshangout.blogspot.com that used the clear transfer sheets to hold the bats on the card front and this is my version of her card. To begin with my black card stock base is Mikes #110 weight black card stock. Cut and scored that and set it aside.

Then cut a Halloween printed card stock to the size I wanted for the card front. Cut a 1/2" wide strip of the stars card stock for the right side of my printed piece. Using an EK Success punch I punched a decorative strip from black card stock. Put the punched piece on the edge of the Halloween printed card stock using the ATG. On top of that I put the star print 1/2" strip again using the ATG.

Using ribbon from the stash I put the black ribbon across the lower part of the printed front pieces and used a black brad to keep those together.  For the "October 31" I used the Close To My Heart stamp set Halloween Greetings Holiday stamp set. Cut that out using a circle die. Then used a 2" circle punch for the orange piece under that. Used the Spellbinders Ironwork Motifs die set for the black piece behind the dated circle -- this die set was on clearance at Mikes for $2.99 so good deal there. Put the stamped circles and die cut piece together using the ATG. Added black crystals to the circle piece from the stash.

Using the ATG I put the Halloween printed card stock on the front of the black card stock base. Then I used my Fiskars trimmer to trim thin strips of the clear transfer sheets for the bats. Using the M Stewart bat punch I punched out my bats and used a white gel pen for the bat eyes. Using red sticky tape I put the clear strip onto the back of the bats. Trimmed the strips to the size I wanted and put them on the back of the "October 31" die cut piece using the red sticky strip tape. Using pop dots I put this piece on my card front. The clear strips give the illusion of movement for the bats on the card front:


Thanks to Vicki for sharing her card and idea for the bats. TFL and YOLO

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Sitting Duck . . .


As paper crafters we need to face facts . . . we have all bought products that the crafting industry sells, expecting the moon, but in reality getting products that do no more for us than collect dust and take up valuable real estate in our craft spaces.

Letterpress comes to mind. . . textured plates . . . detailed dies that don't cut . . . burlap that won't stick to anything with any adhesive, and so it goes. "If it looks too good to be true, then it probably is" or something like that . . .

With crafting experience comes questions. . .  why don't all embossing folders have the titles pre printed on them? They all have the manufacturer printed on them, never to wear off, so why not the folder title? Punches that you need to cut card stock to a certain size to fit yet there are no size markings on the punch. . . and so it goes. The more experienced crafter is less likely to leap into buying a new product until they see it used a few times and maybe can read some reviews on a product as too much of our crafting dollars and time have been wasted.

"You make a fool of me once, shame on you. You make a fool of me twice, shame on me." Or some such saying -- but things have changed for us crafters in the past few years concerning dies and the die manufacturer. Dies are no longer squares, circles, ovals. They are shapes, large, and small. Many of the crafting companies now sell stamps with matching dies available. Which brings me to Sizzix.

Sizzix now has many designers for their new thin metal dies and one of my favorites is Stephanie Bernard. A few months back she introduced "Drop-Ins" for her Sizzix line. Saw the product, watched her video, and although it seemed like a good idea I did not know if the 'drop-in' word dies offered in this set would get much use by me.

"Drop-Ins" are what she calls the word dies she offers for this line. Her two or three basic starter sets, (you would need to buy one of these starter sets to use the Drop-Ins), come with the dies for the card stock base, the card front, other pieces and accessories, as well as various words or sayings you would drop-into the die. Here is the package front of this die set:


On the packaging you see in the lower right corner of the card front the word "cheers". This starter set comes with other words and sayings. Not knowing if this would be a one time die set or if more accessory products would be available in the future I did not buy it. . .  until....

Saw that Sizzix/Stephanie Bernard are offering more drop-in dies to work with this set. I believe her new drop-in word dies are $6.99 per set. So of course, now I wanted a starter set so I could buy the new word drop-in dies to try it out. But knowing not everything works as well as we would like. . .

Decided if I was going to buy a starter set I would buy it off  Ebay and save $$ and see if it would work as well as they say it will --- this die set has 15 pieces and well worth every dollar to buy it. Here is my card I quickly made up with this die set that arrived today and I will honestly say it took me longer to pick out my Hobby Lobby printed card stock I used for the card front than it took me to cut it all out:


Here is a closer photo of the word "hello" so you can see it is not all "hairy":


All card stock pieces came right out of the dies and I did not use any shims or a metal plate when I used the Big Shot.

Stephanie Bernard and Sizzix have combined to offer us crafters great products at great prices -- 15 pieces in one die set certainly gives a crafter much to play with as well as many die pieces to use to decorate your cards and projects -- both inside and out.

If you have been thinking of getting this starter set, as well as additional drop-in dies, go for it. These products work as well as Stephanie shows in her videos -- head over to Youtube and in the search bar type in Sizzix Drop-Ins and the videos will come up. Happy Sizzix is offering products for us crafters that give us the most for our crafting dollars AND the products work!  TFL and YOLO

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Well.... go figure . . .


Many of the online stores that sell card making/scrapbooking items have incentive programs with your purchase. For some, if your order totals a certain amount, you can qualify for a discount, or free shipping, or my favorite, or so I thought, was "a free die" of their choice. Now being a proud owner of many dies that cut out "thanks" -- in printing and in script -- in small letters as well as capitals -- I am not interested in the "free die of their choice" program.  .  .  .  until . . .

MFTstamps.com --- My Favorite Things --- recently had new products for sale on their website. I placed my order and once again I qualified for "a free die of their choice". Ugh. . . Was looking forward to receiving my new toys -- I mean -- products to play with. . . Ordered from them in the morning, and as usual for them, later that day my items were shipped. MFT is one of the faster online stores I have come across that ships your order as soon as they can, many times the same day the order is placed. Even with my order being their new released products they always ship quickly.

Two days after I placed my order my new loot was here.... Happy me to open my package and see my new products --- pulled out the invoice, my new dies and other items, and there it was. . . "a free die of their choice". . .

HAPPY me to see it was NOT another "thanks" die but a die I really like and will get lots of use out. Well, go figure --- this free to me die I used for my first card I made from that order. Wanted to get it in use and figure out all the "how-to's" of it all.

This die is similar to other Peek-a-Boo dies except instead of circles it is squares. There are also stitching lines around the squares and one side of the die cut square is scored only and not cut so it mimics a window or door.

To begin with I cut and scored my black card stock base using the #110 weight card stock from Mike's. The orange is SU and the prints were in my Halloween bin in pieces so I do not know the manufacturers. The stamps used are the Spider Web stamps from MFTstamps.com. Used ColorBox black ink for those. The ghosts were cut out using an older die from Sizzix (the die is yellow) and I cut them out in the Cuttlebug using white/GP card stock.

Once my black card stock base was cut I then cut a piece of the orange card stock to the size I wanted for the front of the card. Then I had to place my die and cut it out -- for my samples I am showing this on white/GP so it is easier to see the details of this die:


First I trimmed the white card stock to the size I wanted it to be for the card front. Then used a ruler to be sure my die was straight and even on the white piece. Using painter's tape I taped the die to the white card stock. Ran this through the Cuttlebug. Once that was cut out I removed the tape and the die and this is what it looked like:


In the above photo you can see the windows/flaps the die cuts out and you can also see the top of these is just scored and not cut. Nice detail on this die with the stitching as well. Once the card with these windows/flaps goes through the mail system all three of the windows/flaps could be closed. I want to be sure the recipient knows to open them to see what is behind them so I used a small circle punch and punched out a piece of scrap red card stock. Then I put removable adhesive on the back of that and centered it on the flap. Pressed it in place and then used the punch to punch over this red piece and now this will let the recipient know to lift the windows/flaps to see what is inside. Here is what that looks like:


I used the small red piece to make sure each punch I made was centered on the windows/flaps. This will make it easier to use your finger to open these up.

Here is the Peek-A-Boo to You card:


When I get closer to the holiday to mail this card I will add crystals or sequins to dress it up a bit but for now this is the card.

I used the Stamp-A-Mi-Jig to stamp "Spooky", "Boo", "Scary" on the windows/flaps. Then I cut my printed card stocks to the size I wanted and put them on the orange piece using the ATG. Then I put the ghosts in the windows/flaps:


They are angled to be different from each other. I used a small piece of double sided tape to position them onto the orange piece in the windows/flaps. Once I had them where I wanted them I turned this piece over and used a piece of Scotch tape to tape the lower part of the ghosts to the orange card stock front. This will hold them in place on the card.

Once the ghosts were in place I tied a piece of black ribbon on the card front. Then I ran the ATG on the back side of the orange piece and put this on the black card stock base. Easy card to make once I figured out what I wanted in the windows/flaps and which stamps to use that would easily fit onto the front of the windows/flaps.

Happy with the "free die of their choice" this time and am sure I will be getting more use from it. TFL and YOLO

Monday, August 17, 2015

Halloween Window Card


Card stock base is black #110 weight card stock from Mikes. Cut and scored that and set it aside. The card front is white/GP and I used the brick wall embossing folder by Sizzix/Tim Holtz. As I usually do I embossed two pieces of the white/GP card stock in the folder in the Cuttlebug. By using two pieces of card stock the embossed pieces have a softer look and they do not have rips/tears from the embossing folder embossing too deeply. For my card front embossed piece I used the Hickory Smoke distress ink and sponged over the embossed brick pattern. Trimmed this piece to the size I would need for my card front. Here is a photo to show this better:


For the window piece I used the Sizzix Conservatory Window die that I bought used from a stamper's sale. I cut out the window using white/GP card stock. Once that was cut out I laid the window piece on black card stock and traced around it with a pencil. Then used scissors to cut out the black arched window shape. Using the Hickory Smoke distress ink and lightly I went over the stark white window piece to soften the bright white. Using a glue pen on the back of the white window I attached it to the black window piece.

For the "trick or treat" once again my camera is showing the purple as blue but I used scrap purple, green, orange, and black card stocks to cut out the banners/flags. This is a die from Poppy Stamps which is part of Memory Box.  Using a glue pen I put each lettered banner/flag onto a black banner/flag. Then I used black and white twine and spelled out "trick or treat". Used a glue pen to attach the banner/flags to the twine. Put the banner/flag pieces on the window piece using glue dots and attached the twine pieces to the back of the window piece using Scotch tape.

For the two ghosts I used an old Sizzix Ghosts die (the die is yellow) and I cut out two of the ghosts using scrap white card stock. Again used the Hickory Smoke distress inks to sponge the edges of my ghosts. Here is a better photo of one of the ghosts:


I positioned both ghosts so they are over the edge of the card front. The two bugs are punched out of black foil card stock using a dollar punch from Mikes.

Using the ATG I attached the embossed brick card front to the black card stock base. Using glue dots I put the two ghosts on the card front. Then using pop dots I put the window/banner piece on the card front. Put the two bugs on the card front using micro mini glue dots (from Hobby Lobby).

The Poppy dies are nice --- and a cute size for a Halloween card or project --- they will fit nicely on a tag for a Boo Day treat bag as well. TFL and YOLO

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Road trip - - -


After our craft sale I decided I would make a trip to IKEA. Problem is IKEA is in Charlotte, NC and that is a three hour drive. Not ones to make a trip this size for one thing so we made a plan. . .   DH had a guy outside of Charlotte that he wanted to buy auto parts from and I wanted to stop at my fav stores as well so a plan was made.

We stopped for the car parts and off to IKEA we went. I have always wanted to have one of the IKEA "Alex" drawer units but no IKEA near where I lived before and so it goes. Yesterday I picked up one of those and when DH assembles it into the craft room it will go --- here is a photo of what this unit looks like:

Also picked up a set of two plastic white magazine holders for the craft room and two plastic white bins for misc crafting supplies.

While we were out that way we stopped in Greensboro and I shopped my regular stops -- Hobby Lobby I picked up two stencils and a pack of sequins so that was a good find for me. Had a quick
supper and headed home. Long day but a good day.

Decided after our craft sale that I would buy the Alex unit I have wanted for such a long time. But now the problem.... what to store in it?  Stamps? Punches? Stencils? Bling? Dies? and so it goes... but I am sure it will be a good addition to my crafting space. TFL and YOLO

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Sale Day



Photos of our sale we held today:




Signs I made for our sale using the Slice machine and black card stock from Mike's on poster board from the dollar store. Here are some of our tables with items we were selling:









Needless to say we had a successful sale and enjoyed seeing other crafters that enjoy the paper craft world. When we set up the sale we tried to have like items together and organized as we know when we shop these sales, more times than not, we are looking for certain items to buy. I have been to many stamping sales and things are tossed in boxes, like items not together, items not priced, etc.

Once our tables were set up we put plastic table clothes on them, had boxes to hold like items, hung signs, etc. My theory is it is nicer to buy products at a stamping sale if things are organized and put together. You have to remember you are helping another crafter to stretch their crafting budget at your sale and you want your shoppers to know that they are buying clean items at great prices. As the shoppers came and left we kept up with straightening our tables for new shoppers.

Not all shoppers are into paper crafts . . .  Here is a butterfly -- hard to photograph -- that was more than happy to stick around and check out each of our tables:



This butterfly was absolutely jet black with the prettiest blues on the edges of the wings. But, apparently she was nothing more than a looky-loo as she left the sale with no purchases . . .

Nice to clean out our craft rooms to make room for our new items -- and at least our older, gently used items, have now passed onto other crafters. . . One man's trash is another man's treasure -- I am hoping the shoppers today found some really great finds and will enjoy the new-to-them products that we so enjoyed.

If you are thinking of having a stamping sale ask other stampers if they would want to also sell items with you as you never know if some of your stamping buddies have items they want to be rid of. It is also nice as with two or more sellers setting up and selling is easier. But in the end it is nice to see so many paper crafter's shopping and finding items that maybe they could not buy at other sales. . . A successful day for both sellers and buyers.  TFL