Friday, January 30, 2015

Happy and bright - let's fly a kite! TCP Tuesday 282

Wow, it's been 12 days since I last posted. Last week I was working on a mixed media project and intended to blog about that, but I haven't finished the assembly so perhaps next week.

If you haven't noticed yet, I adore The Cat's Pajamas. Their TCP Tuesday challenge was the first challenge I ever participated in; I had a blast and realized I needed to do more of this card making stuff. So I try to make a point of joining in each challenge, which fortunately is only every two weeks. :)

This time it was a sketch challenge:

I really love sketch challenges because I'm still quite new at this whole cardmaking thing, and it gives me a really good jumping off point.

For some reason, I've been wanting to make a card with a kite. And in my mind, kites are bright bold colors. I kept trying to use patterned designer paper, but I don't have much in bright and bold. Fortunately I had a pack of primary colors cardstock to work with.
You know, I didn't even realize till just this moment that I used the same yellow background color as the sketch. Too funny, that was so not deliberate!

I used a Lifestyle Crafts embossing folder from the 'Dainty' set. The kite is a retired Sizzix die that was in the package Krista sent to me. It was one die, so I ran it through with red, yellow, and blue cardstock, and then cut out and layered the yellow and blue bows over the red ones.

The buttons were from The Cat's Pajamas Buttons CutUps die. This was my first time using this die and it worked great! Then I dabbed the buttons and the kite with Versamark ink and used Judikins clear embossing powder to heat emboss everything. Then I layered some of the buttons over different colored non-embossed buttons to show a little pop of color in the buttonholes, without the gloss.

Last but not least, I used the 'Life is Good' sentiment from The Cat's Pajamas 'Spring Fling' set. I really waffled back and forth over the sentiment. I originally planned on using the 'Happy Spring' stamp from the same set, but I really liked the font of 'Life is Good'. Realistically, 'Life is Good' is more versatile. :)

And there you have it. My contribution to TCPTues282. I really like how this card turned out, and I'm actually thinking of replicating it for a card swap I'm in. What do you think... if you were one of the swappers, would you want to receive this card? What kind of sentiment would you prefer? I might put the sentiment on a little banner and send a bunch of them so they can use the one they like. Thanks for reading, and I look forward to your comments. :)

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Wedding Butterflies (not mine!) - Cure for the Monday Blues Challenge #39

I had so much fun designing this card, I just let my mind flow. I only used a very loose interpretation of the Cure for the Monday Blues Challenge #39; primarily the colors, the circular and square shapes.

I love black, white and gold, I love shiny, I love metallic, and I love glitter. One of the challenges I face is limited supplies, so I really have to stretch myself to create what I need. Not that it's difficult, just more time consuming. So I used a gold glitter embossing powder to create some of the gold paper, and Ranger sticky powder to create the shimmery white and the other gold paper I used. I have to mention a caveat though, that since I started cardmaking last November, I've been very blessed to join a community of wonderful people, and in particular two very kind ladies both whom I met through SplitCoastStampers: Jan, and Krista. Both of them, completely of their own volition, saw my posts and comments and realized that I was just starting out with very little. They both (unbeknownst to each other, this wasn't a collaboration, or a board challenge, or anything like that) put together very large packages of stamping goodies for me. I can never thank them enough, and I look forward to the day that I am in a position to Pay It Forward. And that's not to mention the other kind people who have befriended me, offered moral support, constructive comments, praise, and all other forms of friendship.

So, on to this week's challenge. I'm down to my chinny chin chin hair with this one, the deadline is in less than 6 hours, and my pictures still aren't taken. I gave up, and had to solicit my husband's help. He's better at the photography thing than me, but it's also the middle of the night so there is no natural light to use. And let me tell you, for all that I love working with metallic and glitter, it is a son of a gun to photograph! Any suggestions or pointers, or links to tutorials would be very appreciated!!!

I knew I wanted to try out the Paper Smooches 'congratulations' die that Krista gifted me. I love script sentiment dies!! This is my only one, and I didn't know how I was going to use it until I was at the dentist last week, and the office administrator who I love to bits and pieces set my next appointment. She said she would make sure whoever is working at the time sends me an email reminder, as she might not be back from her honeymoon to Hawaii yet. This triggered thoughts of a wedding card, and wouldn't that be perfect for white, black and gold with a congratulations sentiment? Yes!

I somehow cut a square card, out of 110 lb Neenah cardstock. I don't think I intended to cut a square. I'm numerically challenged, and when it comes to measurements things don't always turn out the way I planned. I wanted to go with a big black circle in the middle, and I had just the perfect black shimmery cardstock to use. For Christmas, I treated myself to some a Lifestyle Crafts circle die set. I still desperately want squares and rectangles, not to mention all the lovely ones with faux stitching and piercing, etc. Anyhow, one thing at a time!

I die cut 'congratulations' into the circle so that I could use the negative space. I made some gold glitter paper and glued it behind the circle. I then proceeded to pop in all the centers of the letters (the 'o's, the 'a's, ect) so that the word was complete. Oh joy, that was fun. Actually, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be!

Then I started working on the butterflies. I used another die Krista sent me, a SU! Sizzix Embosslit of five different little butterflies. I thought that a more bold gold than the one I used for the sentiment might be good, so I heat embossed some cardstock with a glitter gold embossing powder by Stampendous that I had. I had to give it two coats because it looked really watered down to me. Then, I made a white shimmery paper and cut out some more butterflies. I positioned everything on the card, and it just fell flat. I knew the stark white cardstock background wasn't going to cut it. So I put everything on hold till I could get to Michaels and find something suitable.

I don't have any foam tape, and I didn't want to use a million foam dots under the circle, so I used an idea I saw in a Jennifer McGuire video: I used some fun foam (which funnily enough I do have, don't ask!) I didn't want the fun foam to be visible from the sides, so I die cut a slightly smaller circle out of it. Glued the fun foam to the black circle, then attached it to the new white cardstock which I had cut out to fit on top of the Neenah cardstock.

Last but not least, I started positioning the butterflies on the circle with glue dots. I decided the corners looked empty, so I made some more gold glitter paper out of the same glitter I used for the sentiment. I thought they should be a bit lighter than the bigger ones. Got those cut out, finished gluing everything together, and voila. All I had to do was enlist hubby while I started writing my blog post. I'm a little verbose, in case you hadn't noticed. ;)
p.s. See the itty bitty butterfly above the 's'? Yeah that's because I spilled some glue in that spot and it left a matte smudge. Thank goodness for itty bitty butterflies :D
p.p.s. No supplies list today, I might come back and edit later, but I'm tired and haven't slept yet. Yes it's 7:30 am on the west-coast. Hubby works a night shift, and since I'm not working right now I tend to follow his schedule. For the record, I only put a supplies list because I'm a very visual person, and I love visiting blogs where I can see what they used at a glance.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Find Beauty in Life - TCPTUES281

I was really excited that my Christmas purchase from The Cat's Pajamas arrived yesterday. I was the very fortunate winner of the Winter Blog Hop giveaway, and it didn't take me long to spend my gift certificate and then some. At some point yesterday, when I got up to let the dogs out, checked the front door and yay! There was a pizza delivery! I love that my goodies came in a pizza box!!! The mail person sandwiched it between the two doors. I somehow managed to safely wield a knife and slice into my box (haha pun intended). I quickly glimpsed at the goodies then crawled back into bed. You see, I was still letting the morphine wear off from my late Friday night visit to the hospital emergency room. I was the lucky recipient of a 4 mm kidney stone. Which is really not very big in the grand scheme of things. Don't make me get my collection out... I will take pictures and inflict them on you! I've had kidney stones for about 21 years now. It's pretty run of the mill for me, and in fact this is the first one in 18 months. So yeah, lots of grogginess over the past few days. At last check (CT scan Saturday morning) the stone was kicking around in my bladder. It should pass without too much trouble now. Knock on wood. I was in a fair amount of pain at the time though (before it migrated to my bladder) and was pretty loaded up on morphine. A whole 20 mg before I even got to the hospital, and it wasn't even making a dent in the pain so that's when I need it by IV. Anyhow, I'm sure you're not here to read about kidney stones or pain medication.

So I finally woke up after two and a half days of sleeping off and on, and decided to play with my goodies last night. Of course the first thing I wanted to do was to make a card for TCP Tuesday. This week is an inspiration challenge:

I thought it fortuitous that one of the sets I purchased and that just arrived was Simple Blooms. I knew right away when I saw the challenge posted last week that I wanted to use that set. I had somewhat of an imagine in my mind of what I wanted... the obvious flowers, blue sky, clouds... This is what I ended up with:

Where are the clouds you say? They didn't make it. In fact, this wasn't quite what I was going for, and I was going to start over (don't I say that every time?) Then I chose the sentiment "Find Beauty in Life" also from the Simple Blooms set. I chose to see a message therein to myself. Find the beauty, and don't be so hard on yourself. I've always been a perfectionist. If it's not perfect right out of the gate, then it's not good enough. And I usually quit. That's why I don't play sports. ;) I've tried a few things in my life, and I have a hard time sticking with them when I don't do so great. I tried pottery a few years ago. I loved the organic feel of playing with the clay. But I really sucked at the actual pottery part. No really. I wouldn't even let my mom keep that thing as an ashtray, even if she'd paid me a million dollars. Well maybe for a million...

So there you have it. I used Tumbled Glass distress ink for the sky, Evergreen Boughs distress ink for the grass. I inked up the flower stamp with Versafine Smokey Gray and stamped it on scratch paper, then 'shadow' stamped it on the cardstock. Then, I inked up the blooms in Worn Lipstick distress ink, and the stems/leaves in Evergreen Bough. And whammy. It was supposed to be closer to the shadow, but hey whatever. I'm practicing not being so hard on myself. I stamped the sentiment in Versafine Smokey Gray as well, and heat embossed with Judikins clear detail embossing powder.

And there you have it. Quick and simple. Easy peasy. Lemon squeazy. Yup.

Supplies used:
(All these links are from Amazon, except the stamp set is directly on The Cat's Pajamas website. I got all my supplies from TCP though, and I highly recommend that you purchase from there. Because I like Alma, the owner and designer, and I don't like Amazon near as much!)


Sunday, January 11, 2015

First crafty attempt in the redesigned craft room - Mojo Mondays and Cure For The Monday Blues challenges

It was all going quite well until I tried to fix a minor annoyance... I bet you've never had that happen to you, right? I'm seriously debating redoing this card, but first I need to buy more adhesive *sigh*. I had some more, but in my clean up I seem to have misplaced it. I did say organized chaos, didn't I? I haven't stocked up too much because I'm still trying to figure out what I like. I've been using Elmer's permanent tape runner. It's okay, nothing to write home about. In fact, my first roll got 'gunked' up because I was using it on paper that had Perfect Pearls on it, which is what made me think I should probably try something else before settling on the end all and be all. Adhesive runners seem to be awfully expensive here in Canada. I wanted to try the Tombow MONO Permanent Adhesive, but do you know how much it costs at Michaels? A pack of one applicator and two refills is $16.99. Ahh! Of course I could use this week's 50% off coupon, but I try to save those to buy Copics! Yes I know I can use a coupon a day... but that's a coupon a day I could be using on Copics. ;)

So anyhow, back to my card. The Seasons Givings Blog Hop just happened last week, and it included over 100 bloggers. Wow, this was so neat to discover so many new blogs, and a whole shwack of new-to-me challenges. I bookmarked a bunch of them, and decided to give some of them a try this week.

I was combining two challenges, Verve Stamps' Mojo Mondays and Taheerah Atchia's Cure For The Monday Blues:

I really liked the sketch that Julee Tilman put together for Mojo Mondays, and I wanted to make a very literal card out of it. As for Taheerah's inspiration, I loved the pink cupcakes and sprinkles. I thought the two would come together quite nicely. I like to use pre-folded cards for practicality's sake, but I didn't have one big enough for what I wanted to do. I thought this should be bigger than than a 4-bar, so I grabbed a sheet of Strathmore Bristol 300 series smooth and cut it down to... uh, I don't remember, lol. Okay, I just went and measured, and it was 5"x 8". I know, that's a weird size. Me and numbers don't go so well together. You can also tell why I prefer to use pre-cut/pre-folded cards. :)

I started rummaging though my small supply of paper, and pulled out a new 6"x 6" pad of Graphic 45 Time to Flourish paper that I bought during Boxing Week. I loved the pinks in it, and thought that would be perfect to represent the soft pink fluffy cupcakes from Taheerah's challenge. I eyeballed square and rectangle sizes to represent the Mojo Monday sketch. I used a coral pink ribbon from my stash, and instead of a bow, I decided to use some balloon embellishments. I thought that would give it a celebration feel, which is what cupcakes and sprinkles remind me of.

I used a stamp set by Inkadinkado. I picked one of the cupcakes and the word 'Celebrate'. I stamped in Versamark ink, and pounced it with a raspberry-colored mica pigment (my own secret no-name supply, lol).

I then got out some pearl and rhinestone embellishments which I semi-randomly placed on the card. I have a whole bunch of little vials of nail embellishments from when my sister was studying to be a nail technician. I thought she was pretty good at it, but she decided to go back to office work and gave me all her embellishments. I found some teeny tiny hearts which I placed to the lower left of the cupcake. I had these pretty pink shell-type fragments that I wanted to sprinkle in the lower right. I was struggling with that a bit, and then next thing I knew, I had smudged the pigment in the cupcake and the sentiment. So I got some pigment powder out again and tried pouncing a little bit. I figured if that didn't help, I would use my Versamarker and touch it up before adding more pigment powder. Well, next thing I knew, there was pigment powder everywhere. It got down in the shell fragments, which I tried to dust with a brush and just ended up spreading it everywhere. I smudged some of the white background cardstock, and it just all went downhill! I added a little string of pink pearls to the corner where the shells and pigment were making a mess to try to distract from said mess. Then I tried 'erasing' the pigment from the cardstock, and that made it worse. So guess what? We're now smudging pigment all over the white cardstock! It was looking a bit too glaringly white anyhow. ;)

I truly debated cutting around the Graphic 45 paper and regluing to a new piece of cardstock. Alas, that's when I ran out of adhesive, and couldn't find my spare. Yup, a real fiasco. I was going to wait a day or two and start all over again, but who cares?! I'm doing this for me, right? I had fun putting it together (until pigment got everywhere!) and that's all that should matter. I decided to document everything so that I can look back at some point and see how far I've come (hopefully!)

So there you have it. I think it's okay. Could I have done better? Absolutely. Can I give this to my sister for her birthday? Um, I'll think about it! ;)

Feedback is always appreciated, but please be nice. My hubby will be terribly upset if he finds me curled up in the bottom of the closet crying, lol. ;)

Supplies used:


Thursday, January 8, 2015

Houston, we have achieved Organized Chaos, mission is a-go!

I am so so proud of myself. I wish I had some before pictures to share with you so you could truly appreciate the depth of what I've accomplished. I spent the last couple of days, probably a good 20 hours or so, cleaning out my craft room. I lost track of the number of garbage bags hubby hauled away! I admit, there was a lot more recycling and reusing that should have happened, but sometimes you just have to plow through it and get it done. Every time I've attempted in the past to clean it out, I get so hung up on trying to decide what to do with stuff that it never gets finished. I even threw out some stuff that I'm mildly regretting, I could have taken them to my LSS's swap later this month, but truthfully the joy had being able to use my craft room again outweighs all of that.

There is still work to be done, but for the most part the room is useable. Here is a view of my worktable:

To the left I'm using storage cubes that you assemble in the configuration you like. I added some little hooks so that instead of making extra cubes, I could hang shelves instead. Funnily enough, the clip/hooks that I have and bought at Ikea two years ago are almost exactly like the carousel clips Tim Holtz is releasing at CHA 2015! Not to be mean Tim, but the Ikea ones are cheaper, only $3 for 24, and you get a set of 24 hooks as well. They're meant to be used as shower curtain hooks, isn't that funny?! When I was doing craft fairs a couple of years ago, I made my own carousel out of a cut down tomato cage and these clip/hooks to display the stretchy crochet hairbands for girls that have been the thing the past few years. I guess I should have launched my own line huh? ;) In any case there's a thrifty idea for y'all frugal folks!

Moving on... next to the storage cubes is my ribbon holder, aka a shoe rack with a soft canvas bottom. There's nothing to stop the regular size rolls from falling off the edge, so I just made sure to put bigger rolls that would be wedged against the side. The one I have is a little bit different from the one I linked (mine has four tiers) but it's the same idea. It works really well, I can see my ribbon at a glance, and it's tidy and out of the way. You probably can't see it, but I have an Offray ribbon carousel that I got on clearance at Walmart because one of the spindles was missing. The box also had a soap dish in it, but that's another story. 8( When I'm using any particular ribbon, I just stick it on there temporarily.

To the right, ignoring the bins which still need to be dealt with, you'll see a mostly empty wooden shelf unit which also needs to be organized properly. There's a funny white thing in the middle. That's a popup light box for taking photos. I'm still in the process of setting it up, and I need to figure out how to get the wrinkles out of the side panels. I've only taken a couple of pictures so far, without the lights set up. It's a hand-me-down from my sister who is a kickass photographer and outgrew her need for it. There are other models as well, including the updated version by the same company, American Recorder. I was also reading a craft blogger the other day (so sorry I can't remember who!!!) and she had just bought the Foldio version. I think your best bet price-wise seems to be this one by Square Perfect for less than $45 including shipping. Mine doesn't have the colored backdrops either, but I guess I can just get 'crafty' about that, right? ;) And if you want to get really crafty, you can make your own, I'm sure there are tutorials out there! Moving along...

This is a very old desk that has lived in about six different houses with me. In its latest incarnation, hubby took the L piece off because it was on its last legs. He also removed the keyboard tray because I broke it. Eep. It is currently cluttered with a lot of stuff that doesn't have a home elsewhere, but the primary purpose is going to be for my Fiskars Fuse which he bought me for Christmas 2013. It is so heavyduty, although it does fold up nicely. You know how you see people holding on to their Cuttlebug as if there life depended on it in YouTube videos? This thing is so rock solid that it ain't gonna me moving anywhere! After all, it weighs 26 pounds! I have the adapter plates as well, since none of my dies are from Fiskars. Those suckers are just way too expensive, although they do have some nice ones. And my nifty chart is hanging above so I know which plates to use. To the right, I finally have dedicated space for my Fiskars 12" rotary trimmer! I was stuck using smaller ones for lack of space to use my big one. It has a big footprint, so there is no balancing it on the corner of the table. Next stop...

Messy McMess area which still needs work. For one thin, you can't see my office chair shoved into the closet. It is just too big and bulky for crafting. Nice and comfy if you want to kickback on the computer though. Also, more bins which need to be dealt with. Then you have the three towers of doom. They are about semi-organized, but I'll save that for another day, since it feels like I've been writing for hours already. They're all mismatched because I got them at different times for different purposes. Oh well, make do with what you've got, right? Last craft room view...

I was pretty happy that hubby suggested moving the file cabinet out from under the desk, and putting the printer on top of it (which was on the desk previously). It's wireless, so he prints from his mancave and picks it up here. This way he doesn't have to bump around me as I'm doing stuff. :) Also, he can easily access the file cabinet which he has stuff in, without having to move whatever happens to be in front of it, which is usually bins... you would have never guessed that though right, cuz there aren't that many bins in there, right? ;)

Lest you think I'm mostly done, don't be fooled. Here is the leftover mess from the dining area which I still need to clean up:
That colorful wheely tray thinger needs to find a home too, it has more craft stuff in it. I just adore it, it's sturdy enough that I can easily move it around but still pretty lightweight too. And each of the drawers easily come out, so I can grab a tray and take it to where I'm working if need be.

The biggest thing left to do, in my opinion, is truly get everything sorted in the right place. I imagine that will take time. I don't know about you, but so many times I've organized a drawer, just to realize it doesn't really work for me.

So. Now that I've cleaned my craft room, and semi-organized it, I guess my blog has re-earned it's of 'Organized Craft Chaos'. Because it's always chaos in my world, but I know where everything is in that chaos. If you made it this far, thanks for reading. I'd love to hear your comments, especially if you have ideas for how I can set things up, or suggestions for making my blog posts shorter! ;)

Monday, January 5, 2015

Not really organized chaos

Eek! It has been two years since I last posted, in fact since I ever posted. Time to try again? A lot has happened since then. As you can see in my profile, we lost our princess Jenna last year. Somehow, the desire to make hair bows and cute girly stuff went away. Even though Jenna was my dog, she was my baby girl. When I lost her, something broke inside of me. I was already struggling with depression, and this made me spiral down further. I could not bring myself to crafting anything.

My mom was getting remarried in October and she asked me to make the wedding favors. This was good, it helped bring me out of my crafting darkness. I scoured the Internet and YouTube, to find something that will be beautiful and my gift to her. I wanted to use my Fiskars Fuse to make some sort of container for the favors. I finally settled on a die by Lifestyle Crafts. I ordered a small handcarved rubberstamp Happie Stamp on Etsy. It was a teeny little heart with my mom and stepdad's initials inside. I dug through my craft supplies, and remembered that I had "inherited" my sisters Stampin' Up! supplies when she moved away a few years ago. Amongst them, I found a tag punch. I ended up making little tags out of the same cardstock as the gift boxes, Core'dinations cardstock in Iced Cocoa, and heat embossing the heart on them in copper, which I attached to the little gift boxes. I bought a Spellbinders lacy border die to make paper lace that I glued around the box. I didn't really know what I was doing, so it was a lot of trial and error. I finally ended up running the lace border die through my Fuse using three layers of tissue paper. I had also discovered Perfect Pearls by Ranger, and made a mix of Perfect Pearls and water which I painted onto the lace. This fused the three layers of tissue paper together, which was serendipity because I didn't know if I would have to glue them together or what I would do.

Back to the tags. I used Tim Holtz's Vintage Photo Distress Ink to distress the edges of the tag. I also used my Perfect Pearls mix to paint over the tax which created a resist with the embossed heart. This gave the tags a bit of a different look from the box. Now would you believe that I don't even have a picture of them? I have all the supplies still, so I will try to make another one and take pictures and post on my blog. I was just really preoccupied, because as it turned out, I ended up making my mother's wedding cake as well as her centerpieces.I do have a picture of her wedding cake so I will post that here in the meantime. I won't go into details on the cake making that'll be a story for another day… maybe even another blog (just kidding)!

Anyhow, the whole point of this was to tell you about my path back to craftiness, and a whole different kind at that! In all my OCD anal-retentive research for my mom's project, I discovered the wonderful community of As they say, the rest is history, so now since November, I consider myself to be a fledgling cardmaker and rubberstamper. :)

Supplies used: