Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Joys of summer

I did not fall off the planet. I'm still here! I have been super busy trying to finish my swaps for convention. For some reason, I have had the hardest time this year! I have a fairly large pile of cards on my desk that I have made and not been happy with. In the midst of my struggles I finally decided I must be too competitive. It was a surprise to me. I never thought of myself as competitive. But, I think I am trying too hard to make a totally awesome card or 3D swap and I'm missing out on the joy of creating. Isn't that sad? Once I realized that, I stopped trying and put away all my stamps. (I had a stack of about 10 sets on my little desk.) I cleaned off my desk and walked away from it. I spent a day just looking at the catalog and browsing through some new blogs and some old favorites. It was kind of like a relaxing therapy for me. There are so many stampers and crafters out there with so many different styles and we all love what we do. I just love it!
After my little 'vacation', I went back to my desk feeling refreshed and was able to put together two of my swaps. They are simpler than I had originally been working for, but they are me. You are probably expecting to see a picture here of what I came up with, right? daughter left for girls camp yesterday and I let her take my camera. gasp! I know, I know,....she has not had the best luck with cameras, but ... she is 16 now and I think she will do fine. In the mean time, I wanted to share a couple new blogs I found for you to check out. I'll try and get my old, pathetic, camera working and get some of my stuff up tomorrow. Have a great day!

Val has some awesome scrap pages on her blog here
Scrapbook girl has a wonderful site here
Julia has a great scrapbook sketch here
And is you are looking for something funny to read that will keep a smile on your face all day, check out my sister's blog here

I'm off to try and bring some order to my house before my girlfriends arrive for our gathering tonight. Have a great day!!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Bloggers challenge

This week our challenge was a color combo challenge. I admit I struggled a bit with this one. These are not colors I normally put together. But hey, it IS supposed to be a challenge, right? So, I rolled up my sleeves and jumped in. The colors in our challenge were: Sahara Sand, Blue Bayou, Rose romance, Mellow Moss, and Really rust. See what I mean?
I started with a card base of Sahara sand and layered a strip of Mellow Moss cardstock on it. I used my paper trimmer to cut a small slit in the crease of the card and fed the Blue Bayou ribbon through it and around the card. For the focal point, I used really rust chalk to create the soft background color. I inked up my flower with Rose romance and mellow moss markers and stamped it right over the chalk. The 'thank you' is also inked with the mellow moss marker. I have to say that the hardest part of this challenge was getting the Really Rust in there. I like how it looks as a background color tho.
Be sure to check out the other bloggers challenge players to see how they tackled this challenge!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Miss me?

I missed a few days posting here due to family crazies and a subtle stomach flu that has me feeling less than great. I was feeling better this morning, til I saw the mess that had accumulated for me. sigh,...
I have also been figuring out what to make for my Stampin' Up! convention swaps. Here are a few of the rough drafts I came up with. I'll probably make 10 or so and pick my favorites for my swaps. Let me know what you think!
This first one uses chocolate chip and close to cocoa cardstock for the card base. I stamped the print patterns (retiring so, obviously won't be using that on the swaps) with Versamark on the cocoa and then layered a piece of celery designer paper on that. The scallop is made with the new Stampin' Up! scallop border punch. This thing is SO awesome!! Totally easy to use! I stamped the bird from Always with celery and colored it in with markers. The words are rubons added to a chipboard swirl. I added a celery ribbon and a pink rhinestone to the chipboard to finish it off.

The next one also uses chocolate chip cardstock. I stamped the words (new from the new catalog!!) with Vanilla and the heart in chocolate chip and cameo coral and layered them. Pretty straight forward, but I love the look!
I have lots of new colors and goodies to use, so I will be playing again tonight.
In other news, I signed up for Weight Watchers today. If you are a member too, let me know! We can work together!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Chipboard challenge day 7

I am guilty of hoarding many craft supplies. Rub ons are one, chipboard letters are another. I am always hesitant to use a letter because...what if I need that letter later for something else? I know, it is crazy. I actually have several sets of letters, just in case, and I still have a hard time using them! I guess that is why stamping is so perfect for me. With my alphabet stamps, I never run out of letters! I can always just stamp another one.
So, today, my challenge is to use chipboard letters. I made this cute scrap page for a contest over at PageMaps. This is the layout they gave and we had to make it our own. All the supplies are from Stampin' Up!. The rub ons are from Saleabration this year. I love that we got them in Chocolate! They look white in the lower right hand side, but they are really chocolate. Another thing I love about rubons is how easy it is to modify them and change them. I added a swirl at the top that used to be somewhere else. They are fun. My chipboard on here is the large circle which I inked up with creamy caramel and the C which is inked with chocolate chip. I stamped the rest of the 'cousins' with a small SU alphabet using more chocolate ink. I really like using sketches for pages, it gives me a great jump start on a page. If you like sketches, PageMaps is a great place to go. Check them out!
Be sure to send me pictures or links so I can see how you used your chipboard letters today!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Chipboard challenge day 6 and Friday

It is Friday, so time for anther Blogger's challenge! This week our theme was Bugs and Insects. Because I am also doing a chipboard challenge this week, I decided to combine them! Instead of a card or scrapbook page, I wanted to make my own chipboard tag. I was walking through WalMart yesterday and ended up in the scrapbook isle. I don't know how that always happens...maybe one of those..."all roads lead to scrap supplies" rules? Anyway, There were some really pretty pre-made tags by K&Co. that really caught my eye. But, there wasn't any paper by that company in sight. Here is a little waring for you. When you buy something pre-made like a tag or patterned paper, make sure you buy a coordinating paper or other supplies to actually make your project. There are about 5 million different shades of only red, so matching colors can be a real challenge. Since I didn't see any paper to go with the cute tags, I got to thinking that maybe I could just make my own tags like the ones there. I ended up buying them...for inspiration. (it's a good excuse, you can borrow it if you need it...)
I started with a naked chipboard tag from Stampin' Up! I painted it with cream memory paint and let it dry. The flower I used had a hole in the middle that popped out. I popped out the center, covered the chipboard flower with designer paper and sanded the edges, but I didn't cut out the center. I covered the center with celery cardstock and stuck it right back over the center. I sponged the flower with celery ink on the edges and the flower center with cream ink on the edges and celery craft ink in the center. The 'cuter' is stamped with celery using the Taffy Alphabet, 'than' with the rough edges alphabet, and 'bugs' with the ABC alpha lower. I used the print pattern stamp along the bottom and popped the 'bugs' up on a chipboard tile covered with celery.
The butterfly is from Time Well Spent and is stamped on vanilla with celery and colored in with banana and celery markers. The wire is from the 'wire works' that retired a few years ago. I added a bit of wide celery grosgrain to the tag and just tied a simple know.
I plan to use this on a scrap page of my little Ben. 'Cuter than bugs' is one of our favorite sayings. I did the colors in green and yellow and blue so they would work for a little boy. Your challenge for the day is to use chipboard to make a tag or other scrapbook element for a page. Have fun with it!
In other news, my daughter got her lisence yesterday. yay! I am so glad to have an official, legal, willing, errand runner! We came home from the DMV and I sent her right back out to run some errands for me so I could get ready for a class. It was lovely....Of course, the fact that she is a good driver totally makes this a good thing. ;o)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Chipboard challenge day 5

I had another project all done and even blogged when I realized I had also done it for a contest and I wasn't supposed to have it posted anywhere before the contest was over. So...I took it off. I'll show it on Saturday when the contest is over.
In the meantime, I wanted to show you this cute idea for making jewelry out of chipboard. I took lots of pictures along the way so you can see how I did it.

I started with a naked chipboard flower I purchased at the Scrap Expo. It was from a left over kit, so there isn't a manufacture name on it. If you recognize it, let me know! To prepare the chipboard, I sanded off all the little bumps from the framing and then painted it white with a quick drying memory paint from making memories. When the paint was dry, I pressed the painted flower onto my Versamark pad to get it sticky. Using a soft paint brush, I gently brushed purple Peal Ex onto the Versamark ink. The versamark is great for holding on to this fine pigment powder. Pearl Ex isn't like embossing powder, you don't want to dump it out over your project, instead you want to barely dip your brush into the powder and use it very sparingly. After I covered my flower completely, I went back over it with the brush to remove any lingering, non-stuck-down pearl ex. Then, I carefully pressed my now purple flower onto my Versamark pad to get it sticky again. If you are not sure if you got the extra pearl ex off, just use the edge, or corner of your Vmark pad so you don't mess up the center. Once I got my flower sticky again, I used Glassy Glaze embossing powder to heat emboss it. Another name for this powder would be UTEE, or Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel. This is a really chunky powder that turns to a thick laquer type coating when you heat it. After you heat the first coat, you can quickly coat the flower again with Glassy Glaze and heat it again. I did about three coats on this. After I let it cool completely, I used a paper piercer to pierce two holes in the flower. I fed a jump ring through each hole and attached each side to a chain. I thought it was a fun project and maybe even a bit original. I like jewelry, but I don't wear a lot of necklaces because the weight bothers my neck. This little necklace doesn't weigh much at all!
After I finished, I went back and added some glassy glaze to the back side of the flower as well to finish it off. Can you guess what the challenge is today?? Make a piece of jewelry with chipboard! Pendant, pin, brooch,....get creative! Don't forget to share what you make!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Chipboard challenge day 4

I've been having fun doing all kinds of different things to chipboard this week. I hope some of you are playing along with me! I did this layout for a challenge at Crop Addict and thought I would share it today. The challenge was to use "naked chipboard" on a layout. Sometimes doing nothing is the hardest thing of all! Because of the faded, natural look of the naked chipboard, I used an old picture from my husband's childhood. The colors are a bit muted so they go nicely with the chipboard. The background is cardstock from Stampin' Up! in artichoke, chocolate chip and summer sun. I stamped the 'family times' with artichoke craft ink. The rickrack is from a crazy collection I got from Rusty Pickle. Circus, I think. I stapled it on to add some metal to the page. The quotes are stickers (gasp!) from Me & My Big Idea that I stuck to craft cardstock and then rubbed some ink to the edges. Some are popped up and some aren't. I have to say it was hard not to add some ink or something to that chipboard flower, but I think it turned out okay!
Your challenge is to use some 'naked chipboard' on something today. Be sure to share what you made with me!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Chipboard challenge day 3

Have you ever made a shaker card? I have made many in my day. Sometimes it can be a real challenge to get the dimension you need for things to shake around while getting a seal around the edges. In the past, I have used things like foam tape and loads of pop dots to make the shaker cards.
Here is a much easier way to make a shaker card using chipboard! I am going to show you two different ways to do this. The first card is made using two different pieces of chipboard. To start, I made my card base using Certainly celery cardstock, white cardstock and celery designer paper. I then covered a large chipboard flower with Groovy Guava designer paper. Paper snips are awesome for getting into the little spots when you are cutting out, but my favorite tool for working with chipboard is the File Kit from Basic Grey. There are several different shapes of files that are sooo useful when you have curvy chipboard or little places you need to shape your designer paper to. I went ahead and glued this large flower to my card and put something heavy (a large punch) on top of it to make sure it dried securely. I used Tombow liquid adhesive for all of this card because of the weight of the card. I didn't want it to fall apart! For the flower stem and leaves, I used wide celery grosgrain ribbon. I just cut small pieces for the leaves, and for the stem, I folded the ribbon in half and stuck it to itself using sticky strip. I did this because it seemed a bit too wide to be a stem and also because when I stuck it together it became easier to 'mold' and bend into a stem shape.
For the second flower layer I punched a 1" circle in my Designer paper and then glued a piece of clear acetate over the hole. After it dried a bit I glued my smaller chipboard flower over the acetate, lining up the hole in the designer paper. I let it dry completely so it wouldn't slip around when I cut it and then cut and sanded it. The acetate doesn't really 'sand', so if you have any bits showing you will need to snip them away with your scissors. After this smaller flower was dried and cut out, I carefully put a bit of beads into the hole in the first flower on the card and then used the Tombow again to glue the smaller flower over the one on the card. Again, I put my heavy punch on top of the card to make sure it dried securely. I finished off the card with some silver cord and a chipboard tag I covered with white cardstock. I actually stamped the words first for the tag and then glued it to the tag. The way I got it on there straight was to hold it up to the light when I glued it. I could see exactly where to glue it that way.

The second technique I used to make a chipboard shaker box was actually quite a bit easier. Mostly because I didn't have to cut out any designer paper. For this card, I stamped the Groovy Guava card base with flowers using Vanilla craft and Guava ink. I inked up the chipboard frame using Close to Cocoa craft ink and dried it with the heat tool. I stamped the sanded background stamp over the cocoa using Craft Vanilla ink and set it aside to dry. The Wasabi flowers are stamped onto a 4 x 4 piece of whisper white cardstock and the open flowers are inked using a blender pen and the guava and pomagranate stamp pads. Using the three flower punch I punched out some guava and pomagranate flowers and added a white center to them with my white gel pen. I wrapped a bit of wide chocolate grosgrain around the card and tied it with the 'right over left, right over left' system to get the knot to point up and down instead of left and right. To make my 'window' I cut a piece of clear acetate to 4 x 4 and glued it to the front of the cocoa frame using Crystal Effects. I put the crystal effects onto the frame and them brushed it out evenly using a paint brush. The crystal effects will dry clear and strong and will look great on here! I let the frame dry for a bit and then **This is important*** I pounced the inside of the acetate with the embossing buddy as well as the white cardstock. This will keep your glitter from sticking to the inside of your shaker card and making it look messy. I stacked up a few flowers and added a bit of green glitter and placed the frame over the white cardstock. Now my flowers will move around in there.
Shaker boxes are great for cards but can also be used in scrapbooks and 3-D items. It is fun to make something interactive. I love to watch people play with their card when it moves.
Your challenge for today is to make a shaker box using chipboard. Any shape or size will do. Just get out that chipboard and.... shake it!! Come back tomorrow...I'll have another cool chipboard project and challenge!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Chipboard challenge day 2

Have you taken the chipboard challenge yet? Today I am going to show you a cool 3-D item I made for my sweetie while he was gone to scout camp with our boys. It is true that absence makes the heart grow fonder. Even after almost 20 years of marriage, I miss him when he is gone. Then he comes home and my laundry doubles. hmmmmm Anyway! I made him this little item and hung it on the wall between our closets so he can see it every day and know that I love him.
All of the supplies are from Stampin' Up! Because this full picture is so small, I am also including a close up of each panel. The rectangles are all chipboard pieces that I covered with designer paper from the Afternoon Tea collection. I have tried different ways of covering chipboard and I prefer the Liquid Tombow. I covered the chipboard with the tombow and then laid it glue side down, onto the designer paper. Then I cut around the chipboard using an exacto blade (AKA hobby blade). I sanded the edges with a sanding block to cover up any imperfections in the cutting and to make it look 'finished.' The 'i' is inked directly to the chipboard with a Cameo Coral ink pad and then the edges were sponged with chocolate chip ink.
The second panel was one that had tiny holes punched in it already. I went ahead and attached my designer paper to the side without holes and then used a paper piercer to punch the holes from the back. That way I could use the existing holes as a template. I used regular embroidery floss and a needle to stitch through the holes to make the border. The letters are also chipboard that I inked directly with a chocolate chip craft pad. To get the linen thread tied around the heart, I laid the thread under the heart and glued it down. After the glue dried I tied the bow and trimmed the ends.
For the last panel, I covered the u with more designer paper and used the hobby blade to cut it out. The heart is inked directly with more cameo coral ink and adhered with the tombow. I added a small stamped border with some words from the So Many Sayings stamp set from last year's catalog. To assemble the hanger, I used large glue dots on the back of the chipboard and laid the panels across some chocolate satin ribbon. Glue dots don't really like to stick to chipboard at first. The way I get them to stick is to peel them off the backing with my finger nail and then stick them onto the chipboard. They LOVE the ribbon tho, so if you put them where you don't really want them on the ribbon, you are 'stuck.'
This was an easy but fun 3-D project to make. My husband actually noticed it and liked it. (yay!) I hope you will take today's challenge and use your chipboard to make a 3-D item of your own choice. There is SO much you can do! Be sure to share what you make! Just wait til you see what I do tomorrow!! I'm having so much fun with this!!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Chipboard challenge day 1

First off, My boys are all home! I missed them while they were are Scout camp. I am SO glad they are all home safe. Jared did have a little bike accident on his 50 mile ride (!), but he is fine. Just a bit sore. We spent the day just relaxing and then had our official family 4th of July celebration tonight. We barbequed and then set of fireworks with the neighbors. I love the 4th of July!

There are SO many ways to use chipboard! During this week I will show you several different ways I like to use it. These are in no special order of importance or level of difficulty.
Although I love to stamp and make cards, I would have to say scrapbooking is my all time favorite craft right now. After years of making cards and asking my husband "what do you think?" He told me that when I started scrapbooking he finally saw the 'point' in all the crafting. He didn't mean that in a bad way, and I didn't take it in a bad way. It did make me realize that scrapbooking was more important to me as well. It is the perfect craft! Not only do I get to be artistic and craft, I also get to record my life as well as my family's history. What could be better or more worthwhile?
So, my first chipboard project is a scrapbook page. The chipboard is the scallop frame behind the pictures of my adorable children. This particular chipboard frame is from the Stampin' Up! Ginormous Pieces collection. There are SO many pieces in this set! To get this frame to the color I wanted it, I used the Pumpkin Pie Craft pad (SU) and inked directly onto the chipboard. I heated the ink with my heat tool to make it dry quicker and more uniformly. When you do this, you may experience a slight burning smell but, that is normal. Just don't start it on fire! I mounted the pictures onto a piece of Vanilla cardstock and adhered that to the front of the frame. The background paper is from the Tres Jolie collection at My Mind's Eye. The ribbons are from a clearance packet at WalMart. I punched a hole through the frame on the lower right side with my cropadile so I could feed one ribbon through and around to the front. This way, I could get a knot tied that would lay nice. I sprinkled some orange buttons and brads across the page and added a rub on, also from Stampin' Up!, over some white craft paint. The whole page is mounted onto some really rust cardstock.
YOUR Challenge is to use chipboard on a scrap page. As little or as much as you want. Dig out that chipboard you have been hoarding and use a bit of it on a scrap page. Leave me a comment with a link to your blog or an email with a picture of your project and let me see what you did. If you play with all the challenges this week, You will be entered into a drawing for some free chipboard from me! Have a great weekend, see you tomorrow for another fun chipboard project!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Coming soon!

I don't have a project to share tonight, but I did want to do a quick post and let you all know that all next week, I will be hosting a Chipboard Challenge! Each day of the week, I will be posting a project that involves Chipboard. I was up waaaay too late after the fireworks working on chipboard projects to share with you. I'm so excited! I love working with chipboard and have heard (read) too many people say they never use it! Now is the time to get out that chipboard and start creating with it! My challenge will start on Sunday. Come see what I make and take the daily challenge to make your own chipboard creations. You will discover how totally fun and addictive this stuff really is!
Have a great Saturday and, I'll see you Sunday! :o)

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Friday and Happy 4th!!

Happy 4th of July everyone!! What a wonderful day. How blessed we are to live in a free country! I think we all probably take for granted all the freedoms and liberties we have in this country. I know I do. Today, I hope we will all take some time to think about those that have sacrificed so much to make our freedom possible.
The challenge today was a color block challenge. Of course, I had to use Red, White and Blue! This stamp is an old retired Stampin' Up! set that I have had for years. I LOVE it! If you look closely, you can see the stripes on the red (cuttlebug) and stars on the white and blue (SU punch) I need a better 'studio' to take my pictures!
Have a happy 4th~!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A Gift Not Given

You may remember a few months back that I was looking for a good quote for a teacher's gift. I received TONS of ideas for this. Lots of great sayings about teachers, teaching, children, etc. I had fun reading through them all. I was planning to make a framed quote for a special teacher at the elementary school. As is sometimes (frequently) the case, I didn't allow enough time to actually finish the project in time. High hopes, little time. Sound familiar? So, the special teacher got something else instead. That is okay.
The other day I found the partially finished project in my craft room and decided to play with it a bit more. I kind of like how it turned out. I started wiht a dark brown, almost black frame from the Family Dollar store. I brushed white craft ink over it, leaving bits of the ornate design showing through. I was going for a bit of French Shabby Chic. Inside the frame is a bit of patterned paper from a grab bag I got at the scrappin convention....I think it is Bo Bunny press? Anyway, I layered some brown paper with it and added some white tafetta around it. The quote is printed out on velum cardstock and the edges are brushed with the memory paint. I added some Prima Flowers with silver brad centers and a silver brad to the opposite corner. It isn't exactly what I had in mind when I started but, I think it ended in a good place. Maybe it will be a teacher gift next year!
My big boys are at scout camp this week. You'd think the house would be quieter but...I think the younger ones are trying hard to make up for the missing boys. Aren't they sweet to try and help? LOL
***Next week I will be focusing on Chipboard! Be sure to come back and visit and see all the cool things I come up with to use my chipboard for. Get out all that chipboard you have been hoarding and play along!