Friday, April 30, 2010

Express the Moment - May kits are here!

Got my Expressions card kit from ETM yesterday - what a fabulous conglomeration of fun springy things are inside this month! Ribbons - stamps - some funky sticky rub-ons, patterned papers, buttons and more. . . Here are just a few card ideas for cards I made using this months' kit.

The kit includes these great papers and embelishments from the Birds of a Feather collection by Three Bugs in a Rug. Perfect for making enough "bird-day" cards to last the rest of the year! Hooray! There is even an acrylic stamp by Daisy Bucket in the kit for stamping "make a wish" on anything that you want.

The kit also includes some fun papers and stickers from Three Bugs called "celebrate" - the stars and patterns are so much fun to work with and also make GREAT birthday cards.

You also get a really pretty sheet of pink flocked paper called artsy.licious by ChatterBox - it goes great with the patterns and flowers from the kit - I can't get enough of this warm fuzzy paper. :)

One of my favorite things in the kit this month is this great product by We R Memory Keepers - they are rub-on sentiments that have stickum on one side. You can add foil, glitter, flocking, or whatever you want to make these rub-ons totally unique on your project. See the "miss you" sentiment on the above card? I added pink flocking to the rub-on to make it match the pink flocking on the patterned paper. Neat! Here is a little tutorial on how to use these rub-ons. They are really fun.

Here's a pic of the rub-ons and my card that I am going to add them to.

Cut and apply the rub-on like you normally would to any project.

After your rub-on is adhered, peel up the clear plastic cover but SAVE IT. Add glitter, flocking, even embossing powder to the rub-on. The surface of this rub-on is sticky - so whatever you sprinkle will stick to it! Genious! I love it.

Here is the part where that piece of clear platic comes back into use. Put it back down OVER the glitter, powder, or flocking and lightly press with your rub-on tool. This helps the glitter or whatnot adhere to the rub-on with a good bond.

Remove the plastic and tap / shake / brush lightly to remove any remaining glitter. Complete the project by adding any other embelishments - I added some doodle lines with a glitter pen and a few buttons with twine.

That's it for my May Expressions kits - I can't believe how many fun things I found inside! I still have enough products left over to make some more cards and my 8x8 page for the month. Now don't forget to check out the Express the Moment crop this month - it will be Saturday, May 22 and those who attend will get to do lots of fun projects including this make-and-take card using supplies that are also found in the May Expressions kit! It's a fun pocket card and yours truly gets to help demonstrate the making of this card. I can't wait - hope to see you local people at the crop. . .  you don't have to be local to take advantage of the awesome value that the monthly ETM kits are - stop by Express the Moment to check them out. Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Challenge 13

Stars & Stamps weekly challenge is this sketch:

What a fun one - I particularly like the part about the sentiment on the diagonalish line. I searched through letter stickers and rub ons for the perfect sentiment but decided to practice using one of my favorite new Cricut cartridges this time - it's called Pagoda and it is just really beautiful and fun to work with! I downloaded screenshots of the kanji from a site called The Kanji Site and added text to them (font is called Parchment) The little shrine and some of the tree branches are popped up off the page using the booger technique and the patterned paper is from my Asian stack by DCWV.

I have a new video as of yesterday, did you see? :) 

Also I am trying to think of something really fun to do to celebrate - my YouTube Channel has had more than 20,000 views of my video tutorials! I am thinking that a prize package should be involved!!!

Ahh, but work calls and I am on duty tonight and tomorrow - so I will be back for the weekend. Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Rock this card!

Here is a fun card tutorial that makes a neat gift - it has a CD inside! This card would be fun for Father's Day or maybe you have a graduate or teen birthday coming up? This card is made from a paper bag! All you need is a few matching papers and embelishments and a blank CD to go inside. Burn some favorite tunes on it and you are good to go! I made a matching CD label in the video tutorial - blank CD labels can be found at the dollar store or any office supply store for really cheap and they are fun to stamp!

Thanks Cindy for the awesome Close to My Heart papers that I used in this project. Ready to burn some music???  Go!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

His and Hers Beesness

Stars and Stamps' challenge for today is a His and Hers combo - a card for Her to send to Him and vice versa. . . I will include the recipes for the cards but also a very special thanks to my new friend Cindy for sending me the cute little bee set from Close to My Heart - I love them and couldn't wait to use them for something - this was the perfect opportunity.

His Card (left)  Made on a 4.25 x 5.5 black cardstock card base with the fold at the top. A mat of 4 x 5.25 patterned paper by Adorn It "Bee Happy" paper was added with a brown ribbon tied around. The oval mats were cut and embossed using Spellbinders nestabilities and the top yellow mat was pierced around the border. The bee stamp was stamped using Staz-On and I colored the wings white with a white opaque gel pen. I used black and yellow flocking by Doodlebug to make the bees fuzzy! "bee all that you can bee" was printed on a yellow 4" strip of cardstock using CK Journaling font and was matted on a strip of black.

Her Card (right) Made on a 4.25 x 5.5 white cardstock base with the fold at the top. A mat of 4 x 5.25 yellow cardstock was added - a 3.75 x 5" patterned paper by Adorn it was matted on top of the yellow - I cut it at about a third from the bottom - the brown pattern is on the reverse side of the bee pattern. Cute!!! I added a strip of white with a scallop punch edge by Martha Stewart and added some more brown ribbon and a few paper flowers and gem brads. "Bee Mine" CtMH stamp was added to the lower right corner in white ink. I fuzzed the bee again after stamping it onto a 2.25" circle and matting onto a scallop circle by Spellbinders. You guys have no idea how hard it was for me not to glitter the wings on these dang bees. They scream for glittered wings! But these cards are going for the troops - and so I have resisted. Until next time. :)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Please refrain from eating the cards.

Card Day! It's like Christmas, only better! Yesterday was Card Day at Brandi's house. I missed some of it as AJ has been home sick for a while. He's got the crud and a tonsil the size of a golf ball! Ugh. At any rate, the CDC girls were kind enough to hook me up with my kits and they even put together a few for me. I'm so proud of these ladies. . . our Card Days have been more and more fun every month. It's awesome to be able to learn from each other! Deb is the seamstress and is always teaching us something about ribbon or stitching. Tiffani is the Queen of Distressing Ink! And Stephanie is like THE pro at Cricut cards . . . take a look at this month's loot - we all came home with one of each of these cards.

Tiffani brought this 6x6 card. The green paper that she used is called "Lime Rickey" and so appropriately - she brought us Lime Rickey drinks from Artic Circle to sip on while we scrapped. Yum! The purple flowers are cut from "Walk In My Garden" cricut cartridge. I love all of the different patterns and I LOVE THE PURPLE!!!

This one is made with a patterned paper that I found in a DCWV spring stack. I love the yellow. Yellow isn't a color that I work with much - but I love this paper. The blue scallop was cut using a Spellbinder template and the blue buckle was cut using my cuttlebug. Thanks Tif - for letting me borrow your stamp that goes with this card really well - especially with all of the curly doodles and patterns. :) I owe ya!

Stephanie cut the pieces of this "MOM" card with Cricut Indie Art and the Hanna Montana cartridge. The front paper is also embossed using Cuttlebug. Such a cute card - and Steph always makes the perfect inside sentiment for her cards!

Stephanie also brought these awesome Graduation sliders! I am so sorry that I missed out on making this one! One of the ladies put it together for me and I love it.

Deb's Card. :)  This is a perfect example of how pretty someone's handwriting can be when used to make a sentiment. Especially when your handwriting looks as pretty as Deb's does. Deb! Write on all of our cards for us, pleeeeeease?

Way to go Brandi! Our newbie newb! She made this cute cute cupcake card - I love it! Between the Lime Rickey card and the Cupcake card - the whole Card Day club must have been feeling pretty hungry right?

Brandi also made kits for this cute fold-out baby card - it's actually a tri-fold and the patterned papers all match so cute - just look at all of those cute stars. :)

Here is a card that Tiffani came up with after a trip to our local printing store - they had these really neat folding envelopes for sale for ten cents each . . . Tiffani found the most beautiful patterned paper from My Mind's Eye to go with them and printed the sentiment for the middle. The bottom flap is perfect for holding photos or mini-cards for your kids to sign. The sides of the card can fold back so that the whole thing sits up on display like this. . . wow! What a neat treat for Grandma, don't you think? The whole card also folds up and in like an envelope and could be tied with a ribbon - but Tif also supplied some big beautiful envelopes for mailing them in if we want. Love that flower. :)

Here is my last card for Card Day - I thought it would make a fun invitation for a BBQ or maybe a fun gift card for a summer birthday. The "buns" are made from a 3-inch oval cut on George and Basic Shapes. (an oval cut in half makes the "top" of one bun.) The bottom bun and the burger are just rectangles. Look closely and you can see the strips of cardstock used to make pickles, onions and tomatoes. A running strip of glue holds the green lace lettuce on top - I used dimentional squares to glue on the burger and the top bun. Don't forget to brown the burger with dark brown ink or chalk and toast the buns too. :)  "BBQ?" Is cut using street sign. And the cute red checker picnic paper is from that same DCWV Spring stack. Don't forget the cheese - I used an orange/yellow puff paint and a white puff paint to make the sesame seeds too.  Dang, now i'm really hungry.

Card day has been a ton of fun - we are going to take a break for the summer and start up again in September with Halloween cards again. If Card Day sounds like a fun time to you - I encourage you to try it - all you need is a few fun card-making friends. We meet once a month and we each bring one finished card as an "example" and enough kits for each other person to make that card. We take turns handing out kits and making cards - we share techniques and favorite new products and gab and eat and have a ton of fun - I am going to miss the CDC for the summer and can't wait to get back to it in the fall. Thanks guys!! You are the best!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Cross Training! . . . . ?

Cross training. . . I am pretty sure that phrase means some kind of exercise. Me, i'm not much of the exercise type. I think that I have some cross-training sneakers. I wear them at night at the hospital to run down the halls to rescue the old, feeble and broken who need help to go to the potty! That's about the extent of my running!! So. . . I prefer to think of my cross training outside the box. Today I have crossed and combined a love of two of my very favorite crafting organizations. They are the best things ever!!! Please, allow me to explain!

Those of my readers who are interested in or are members of the Express the Moment kit clubs may know exactly what I mean when I say that some times that monthly kit can be soooooo full of supplies that you barely know where to start! Sometimes. . . I get card block too. . . I sit and look at the pretty papers and embellishments and I think - wow. . . where to begin! That's where the other love of my crafting life comes in quite handy! Operation Write Home has a newish blog called Stars and Stamps. Like ETM, you can look and go . . . wow! There is so much stuff to learn and do here! Luckily, these two revelations come in quite handy when they are paired together!

Another thing that I love about Express the Moment is that I get so many supplies in my card kit each month that I have plenty of stuff to make eight, ten, even upwards of twelve cards every month, and I still might even have scraps left over! Now honestly, I send a few of those cards to friends and family, but I was a little bit at a loss for what to do with the rest. Last July, I came upon Operation Write Home (then called "Cards for Heroes") and the answer to my dilemma was solved. Now I have the supplies on hand every month to make plenty of cards for myself and for the troops - and the Stars and Stamps blog helps keep me inspired with ideas of things to do with those supplies! Serindipity I tell you! But here. . . let me demonstrate!

Stars and Stamps is hosting another color challenge this month. The idea is to make a card using the colors brown and blue. They posted a photo of this shower curtain as an example. Isn't that a pretty shower curtain? It makes me want to make a brown and blue bathroom. :) All you have to do to participate, is make a card using any of the colors shown here.

Now it just so happens, that the Expressions kit for April has a ton of really fun colors - two of them being brown and blue. Oh happy day! What an awesome suprise! I was able to make a card from my kit to participate in the Challenge!

The S&S blog also had a sketch challenge this week. A sketch challenge is a handy thing for exercising your creativity. See! I KNEW that this had something to do with exercise!!! Here is the sketch:

The April kit also includes lots of cute patterned papers and embellies that can be used to make cards from this sketch. Oh happy day again!!! I was able to participate in this challenge too!

All right . . . well . . . I think that you guys get the idea. If you love card making as much as I do, i'm sure that you would be a big fan of either place. ETM-ers, won't you please stop by Operation Write Home and check out what a super cool organization this is? In fact I challenge you - to make one card from your Expressions kit each month and send it for the troops. It will give you warm fuzzies. . . you'll see. For me, these two things go like peanut butter and jelly! Ham n Cheese! Peas and Carrots! Rum and Cok. . . . okay. . . :)  I love you all. Thanks for stopping by!!!

Friday, April 9, 2010

April Expressions!

The Expressions kit from Express the Moment has been released and I can't wait to show a few cards that I made with this months' goodies!

I am killing more than a few birds with one stone, er. . . post. . . today. I have seen a few tutorials for these really cool "slider" cards going around. There was also a slider card and template featured in this months' edition of Card Maker magazine. . . so I really have been excited to release a new video tutorial in "Scrap Happens" style that shows the measurements for making this fun card in an A-2 size! These would be so fun for sending to the troops as hero cards, don't you think??? 

I was super excited to see that Kim included everything that I could possibly need in the April kit - in fact I can still make lots more. (Lots more April Expressions kits to follow soon, ok? I am a little bit behind this month!) I love the flowers and it was super fun to use these patterned papers in this pop-up style card!

And so here you have it, the April Expressions Card Kit Slider-Card A-2 Size Perfect for Operation Write Home Card Tutorial. . . . I give you, The Slider! Cheers!

P.S. Leave me a message if you spot this months' special uninvited guest star.  :)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April Fail's Day!

Embarassing - but I am a fan of some of those crazy funny websites like Fail Blog that make fun of the mistakes in life - sometimes failure is just a silly little part of life and if you learn to see your mistakes with a sense of humor, they can be a riot! Here is another way of looking at things - at one of the first ETM crops that I went to, Kim passed along a few words of advice that I have always taken to heart. "There are no mistakes, there are only opportunities for embelishment!" So true!!! April Fool's day can be fun. I am somewhat of a prankster - but I couldn't think of anything to prank for today. . . instead I have come up with an awesome showcase of failures. . . er. . . LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES. . . of my own to share with all of my friends!

First, here is a little before and after. I made this card for the Febuary ETM Expressions kit and at first I really loved the little paper flowers. After making this card I set it aside and a few days later, guess what I discovered. GLUE FAILURE. Glue failure is seriously the bane of my existence!!! I hate glue failure! If you zoom in on the photo you can see that I used not one, but at least two kinds of adhesives to get those flowers to stick. But guess what, BIG FAIL!!!
Glue Fail: The wrong product or technique was used to get these flowers to stay put!
Fix: When working with a new technique, embelishment or adhesive, give your final product a few days to "sit" - come back, evaluate the effectiveness of the combination that you used, and try again if needed. I'm glad that I didn't send this card out in the mail right away. :) Better yet - evaluate the effectiveness of your adhesives over a long period of time. I keep scrapbook pages and cards for many years - every once in a while, I find an adhesive product that fails over time. NOT GOOD. I am also a fan of using weights to help things stick. I will often leave a finished card or page pressed under a large book, healing mat, or paper weight overnight to ensure that the glue gets a good bond.

Here is an older one. If anybody got this Christmas card in the past - I sincerely appologise. :D
Glitter Fail: I tried stamping with a regular stamp pad and I sprinkled some glitter over the ink while it was still wet on the paper - thinking that this would make the glitter stick! After a few days, the glitter flaked off and the sentiment can barely be seen.
Fix: This might work if you want only a light dusting of glitter on your stamped image. Clearly, it was not enough to make this sentiment stand out. There are glue pads that you can stamp with that are better for this technique, or maybe I should have tried to learn heat embossing. . . that would have worked much better. This card is still fixable - I could cover the glitter fail with another piece of stamped paper with a sentiment on it - or some flowers or a tag. :)

Here is one that I actually blogged about last year. I was SOOOO excited to purchase these awesome "puff" pens - they are opaque ink in these bright colors and they are supposed to look fantastic on dark colored card stock. I must say that the white one is really my favorite for writing on black paper with, and I have used the other colors a time or two. But here was an idea that just went really, really wrong.
Technique Fail: I taped a plastic template to a piece of black cardstock and used the gel pens to color in the flowers and butterflies. Sadly, I used a piece of black cardstock that had a texture to it - lots of little grooves and places for the ink to run and spread. When I lifted the template, the ink had run underneath causing a runny sticky mess. The cardstock even dried to the template and ripped and ruined both the paper, and the template in lots of places. In the end, my template was destroyed and I wasted a ton of my new pen ink and a lot of time. This technique may have worked on a flat piece of cardstock - and actually it works well on things like clear acrylic, and surfaces that are totally smooth. But this was a bad, bad failure.
Fix: Start small! When you are going to try a new technique, try it on a small area with a piece of scrap paper first. If it works well - go with it! If not, try again! I could have saved a lot of ink, time, paper, and my cute template if I had tried this on a smaller area first.

The following is a result of things that just go wrong sometimes. I like to blame sleep deprivation a lot. . . but that is not always the case. This is a really sweet little card that was designed by Tiffani at card day last year. . . I was so meticulous about placing the layers of torn pink papers along the bottom edge and getting that stamp to be *exactly* in the center of the circle that I failed to notice one small detail. Check out what direction the card opens up, eh? Nice!
Brain Fail: I spent so much time working on the little details of this card, that I did not notice that my card base was upside down underneath all of the intricate work. I reluctantly admit that I have actually done this on more than one occasion. :D
Fix: Take time to step back and look at the big picture. Don't get so focussed on the small details that you forget to visualize the final outcome. If you DO make a brain fail card - don't try to rip it all up off of the card base. Instead - cut the card front off and just glue it down to a new card base. Problem solved. Unless you glue it on backwards again. :)

Here is a whole page full of learning experiences to share! Whenever I get a new stamp or digital image (This one came from Hambo) I experiment with it by copying it several times on different papers or maybe by using different kinds of inks or mediums to color it with. Then I use this page in my spare time and I practice coloring or embelishing it in my spare time - while watching TV or before going to bed. Stamping, coloring, and any kind of paper crafting is just like playing a sport, or a musical instrument in that way. You have to practice a lot and not be afraid to make mistakes to get a final product that you are happy with. This photo shows that I practiced four different coloring techniques before I finally found one that I was happy with - the fourth try got cut out and used on a card. The other three, well, they remain in my FAIL PILE with a lot of other fails so I can remember later on what works and what does not. You can even use a pencil to remind yourself what ink or coloring technique combination that you tried. Sometimes things that don't work for one project, work out for something else. Don't be afraid of failures! Just get out there and try. :)

One final FAIL before I go. I was surfing facebook and websites and blogs late into the night last night and my son came along and let me borrow his Transformers pillow. I was also comfy in my hubby's borrowed sweater and seated in a comfy chair - probably a bad combination - also it is not very wise to leave the camera out next to me on the desk. Alex came along and snapped this photo because he thought that it was funny that Mom was dozing off. . . and anyway, I am having some schedule fail this week as I am returning to night shift for the weekend. So off to nap I go. :) Happy April 1st everyone!!!

Sleep fail: Repeatedly trying to adjust to the day schedule of a mom wife and scrapper to the night shift schedule of my job.

Fix: Nap! Also, this is my last week of working full time on 3rd floor. . . I will miss my friends but my new schedule is going to be much better for my brain and my poor old bones. :)