Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Hot Trend: Burlap

Unless you live under a non-crafty rock, you already know that crafts made with burlap are, like Hansel, so hot right now.  I only remember burlap from when my mom dressed me up as an indian (so non PC) in a burlap sack in the early 80s.  Now, I am not about to make a burlap wreath, but I did pick some up the other day to see how I could use it in card making.  Here is what I came up with:
Finished card size is 4 1/4"x5 1/2"
I used the sketch from Authentique Paper's January sketch challenge as a jumping off point for this card.  The paper is from Authentique Paper's Free Bird series and the stickers are from the Journey collection.  The jute twine is from May Arts and the button is from my stash.
Wishing you burlap bliss, 

-Amanda

You're My Sweetheart

I am crazy for valentines lately.  This card was inspired by the photo for CASE Study Challenge #75 this week.  The photo is somewhat lacking because hubby is out of town and took the good camera.  :(
Finished card size is 5 1/2"x4 1/4"
Like the inspiration photo, I kept a lot of white space and accented it with different colored lines.  I also stamped the sentiment in black.  Aren't the button hearts darling?  They are from Pebbles.
Inspiration photo
Good day to you,

-Amanda

Monday, January 30, 2012

Rejoice with Your Family

There are so many fantastic quotes attributed to Albert Einstein, and this one is no exception.  While most often thought of as an intellectual, Einstein also coined this quote on family:
Finished card size is 4 1/4"x5 1/2"

For this card I used paper and Excerpts from Authentique Paper's Splendid collection.  I love the purple birds on their nest!  It really makes the whole die cut pop.  The bright pink satin ribbon is from Offray.  The design for this card was inspired by Authentique Paper's January sketch challenge. Since I also used patterned paper for this card, I am submitting it to Lily Pad Cards Patterned paper challenge, too.
May you continue to find joy in family.

-Amanda

It Takes a Long Time to Grow and Old Friend

Here is another card inspired by Authentique Paper's January sketch challenge.  For this card I used paper and Excerpts from the Spendid collection.  I love how easy it is to mix and match patterns...my favorite thing to do! The striped ribbon is from May Arts.  I love the ribbon so much I could put it on just about everything!
Finished card size is 4 1/4"x5 1/2"

And since I used scads of patterned paper on this card, I am also entering this card into Lily Pad Cards Patterned Paper Challenge

Here's to my oldies but goodies!

-Amanda

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The World is a Book...

This card design is based on Authentique Paper's January sketch challenge (pic below), but the quote is inspired by my younger sister who is a world traveler.  As I was reading through the Diction stickers from the Journey collection, I ran across this quote:
Finished card size is 5 1/4"x5 1/4"




My younger sis has traveled to the likes of Egypt, Colombia and Guatamala, among many other places, and has lived there for several months at a time.  As far as the world goes, she is very well read!  This quote is something she will appreciate.

I used paper from the Freebird Endless & Fair Weather series.  I punched holes in one print to make it look  like notebook paper and wrapped jute twine from May Arts around the card several times.  Clean and simple, yet stunning. 

Safe travels!

-Amanda

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Snail Mail Mailbox

If there is anyone that doesn't love getting a letter in the mail, they just might be crazy.  I don't know what it is about snail mail, but I still love to get the mail everyday, even if it is just junk mail and bills.  I found this mailbox tin in the Dollar Spot at Target (isn't it the best?) and intended to make a mailbox for Valentine's Day.  But when I thought about my Slow Movin' stamps from Market Street Stamps, I knew making a Snail Mail box would be perfect! 
The snail stamp and both sentiment stamps are from Market Street Stamps Slow Movin' set.
The flag side of the mailbox.  I stamped the snail on pink paper and on white paper.  I applied clear embossing powder to the shell, heat embossed, and then pieced the snail together.
The front of the mailbox.


The back and opposite side of the Snail Mail box.

Supplies:
Stamps (Market Street Stamps)
Pink dimensional flowers (Pebbles)
Paper and stickers (Echo Park, except orange papers from Jillibean Soup)
Pearls (KaiserCraft)
Baker's twine (The Twinery)
Ink (Clearsnap)


I am entering this altered mailbox in Market Street Stamps January Block Party.  If you haven't checked out their stamps yet, you are missing out!  They quite possibly have the cutest stamps around!
I'm off to check the mail!

-Amanda

Non-traditional Valentine

Who says a valentine has to be red or pink?  Well, convention does, I guess.  I thought I would make a fun and colorful valentine that used non-traditional colors.
Finished card size is 5 1/2"x4 1/4"
So, I got these really great Art of the Card stamps from Hero Arts a while ago and thought the love stamp would be perfect for a valentine. I also had buttons, paper flowers and rhinestones from Hero Arts Hero Hues collection.  The paper is from Echo Park and the starburst die cut is from Studio Calico.  

I am entering this card in this week's Ribbon Carousel Challenge 37: Non-traditional Colors.

May your day be colorful and bright!

-Amanda

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Be My Love Valentine

I love patterned paper and I really love combining unexpected patterns for a fun and unique look.  This valentine is no exception.  I don't know that there is a trick to combining patterns, but typically I use contrasting colors and a mix of pattern sizes.  And a scalloped or faux stitched border or two can really separate two neighboring patterns.
Finished card size is 4 1/4"x5 1/2"
I was inspired by the hearts and mix of colors in the photo for the Virginia's View challenge over at Lily Pad Cards.  The printed paper, chipboard die cuts and stickers are all from Crate Paper's Paper Heart collection.  I love the quilt-like patterns and distressed details on the edges of the prints.  I used plain ol' staples as accents and a brown Zig marker to create the faux stitching.  

Have a warm day!

-Amanda

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

How to Make Tissue Paper Flowers

It's Tuesday Trigger time again over at Moxie Fab World!  This week's trigger is a photo of tissue paper pom poms.  Since Valentine's Day is near, I decided to make bright red flowers and shape them into a heart.  Since this card is so voluminous, I will have to hand it to the recipient directly rather than stuffing it into an envelope.  :)
Finished card size is 5 1/4"x5 1/4"
The trigger photo (below) and the photo for Virginia's View challenge at Lily Pad cards inspired me to try making my own tissue paper flowers.  I caught a glimpse of some tissue paper flower tutorials on Pinterest and thought I would give them a shot.  In the end, they were pretty easy to make and they held their shape pretty well.  

Here is a brief picture tutorial on how I made my tissue paper flowers: 

Supplies
Scallop punch (I used a 1 1/4" punch)
Tissue paper
Small brads
Paper piercer or screw punch

1. Fold a piece of tissue paper to make 8 layers (I made an 8 layer flower, but I am sure you could use more or less).

2. Punch folded tissue paper. 

3. Punch a hole in the middle and secure layers with a brad.

4. Scrunch flower, one layer at a time, starting in the middle.  

5. Gently "fluff" flower and adhere to project.  

I used Glue Dots for this particular project.  You probably already know, but liquid glue will cause the color in the tissue paper to bleed.
Tuesday Trigger: Winter Blossoms
Happy flower making to you all!

-Amanda

Quilted Heart Valentine

My new favorite card making technique is machine stitching!  I tried it a while back with my old sewing machine that was built in the 70's and it was a total disaster.  It was near impossible to adjust the tension so the thread would tear the paper to shreds.  But, everything changed when my hubby got me a brand-spankin'-new sewing machine for my last birthday!   It sews paper like a charm and I have been doing it ever since!
Finished card size is 5 1/2"x4 1/4"
This week's Create: blog challenge was to create a card using a square punch.  While my quilted card is nothing new, it was the first one I have ever made.  Since Valentine's Day is ever near, I sketched out a pattern creating a heart out of red squares.  Each square is 3/4" square.  I zigzag stitched between each square and around the edges of the "quilt".  All of the paper is from Crate Paper's Paper Heart line except for the polka dot paper which is from Echo Park

Stay warm!

-Amanda

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Conversation Hearts Valentine

I spent some of my "free" time this weekend making valentines.  The only thing that would make this card sweeter would be real candy hearts! 
Finished card size is 4 1/4"x5 1/2"
My inspiration for this valentine was this week's card from CASE Study Challenge #74.  I used a similar pattern for the candy hearts and sentiment and rounded the corners of the card and printed paper.  I also used a bright white card as the base.  The chipboard die cuts and patterned paper are all from Crate Paper's new Paper Heart line.
Thanks for dropping in today!

-Amanda

Monday, January 23, 2012

Black and White: Are They Colors?

This week's CAS-ual Fridays challenge (CFC36) was to create a card using only black and white.  I thought a chevron patterned card would showcase these two "colors" nicely.  (NERD ALERT!  In the visible light spectrum, white light is the result of the combination of all colors of light.  Conversely, black is the absence of color.)
Finished card size is 6"x 4 1/2"
I created the chevrons using this video tutorial.  It is pretty straight forward and easy, although it does take some time.  I cut each individual paper strip 1/2" wide and adhered them to a 6"x6" piece of black paper.  I then cut the completed patterns into 1" strips and arranged them on my card.  I finished the card by adding a thank you sticker from Doodlebug Designs.  I used this same technique to create this chevron card also.
As sung by MJ, "It don't matter if you're black or white."

-Amanda

Valentine's Day is Just Around the Corner! (RCC36)

I have been busy creating valentines in my basement craft room this weekend, so I decided that I would post a valentine every weekday this week. 
Finished card size is 5 1/2"x4 1/4"
This particular valentine was inspired by the challenge sketch over at Ribbon Carousel.  I love the vintage feel and the die cut frame.  The paper, stickers and die cuts are from Crate Paper's Paper Heart collection and the stamp is from Hero Arts
Love is in the air!

-Amanda

Friday, January 20, 2012

Born to Surf

We are not a surfing family, but we do love the beach.  I found some beach themed paper by My Mind's Eye at the craft store the other day and just fell in love!  I created this card for the My Mind's Eye Blog Challenge 31.  
Finished card size (not including the sun) 4 1/4"x5 1/2"
Isn't this fun? I downloaded the born to surf digital stamp and surfboard pattern from The Cutting Cafe.  The files come in both .pdf and svg.  I don't have a die cutting machine that uses svg, so I just printed out the pattern and traced the old fashioned way. 

Supplies
All die cuts and printed paper from My Mind's Eye except: 
Wood grain paper (Jillibean Soup)
Orange chevron paper (Echo Park)
Button (BasicGrey)
Twine (May Arts)
Kraft card (Recollections)














Hang loose!

-Amanda

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Altered Vacation Journal

My in-laws live on the Atlantic coast in Florida and a couple of years ago we were blessed to be able to visit Florida for 4 weeks and stay in a beach-front condo.  We all had such a good time, we plan on doing it again this year!  Now that my kids are a little older (ages 5 and 7) and are able to read and write, I thought I would make them journals to take on the trip.  

For some reason, the Sierra Club keeps sending me free maps.  Knowing that maps are a perfectly good crafting medium, I have held on to every single one.  I created this journal for the Map to Your Heart Challenge in the Moxie Fab World.
To create the journal, I started with a plain ol' composition notebook.  You know, the kind you hoard stock up on when they go on sale in August.  I adhered the map of FL to the front of the notebook and put the map of the western states (ID, UT, CO, WY) on the back because that is also where we are most likely to be on any given vacation.  I adhered then stitched on a kraft binding and corners.  I added the year using Thickers (American Crafts) and stamped You Are Here (Hero Arts/Studio Calico) with an arrow pointing to the general area where we would be.





I lined the front inside cover with kraft cardstock and stitched on a pocket (Little Yellow Bicycle).  I put some beach-themed scrapbooking stickers (Jolee's) and photo corners (Scrapbook Adhesives) in the pocket for the kids to use as the write in their journal.  I also included little sticker dots (oops, they fell into the pocket) to mark locations on the map that we visit during our trip. 





I also lined the inside back cover and added another pocket that I filled with journaling idea cards (paper and tabs from Cosmo Cricket).  One is suggestions for lists they could make, people they could write about, and vacation favorites. 






Here are some more closeups of the idea cards: 

Thanks for taking a look! 

-Amanda

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Retro Hello Card (CFC35)

This week's CAS-ual Fridays challenge was to create a Clean And Simple project with scallops!
Finished card size is 4 1/4"x5 1/2"
This retro, scallopy print from Cosmo Cricket's Social Club line is so fabulous it can carry a card all on its own.  I stamped Hello on a coordinating tag from the same line and attached it with some jute twine from May Arts

Have a crafty day!

-Amanda

Paper Pencil Thank You Card

This week's Create: blog challenge was to create a project using rolled paper.   In lieu of making a more traditional rolled tree, I tried to think of other things that could be made out of rolled paper.  Fence posts, chair legs, flower stems, etc.  I eventually settled on a pencil as I fancied making a thank you card that would be perfect for a teacher. 
Finished card size is 5 1/2"x4 1/4"
I think it is the details on the pencil that really make it pop.  At first glance, my kids thought it was real (and then they wanted it).  Since I incorporated a punched element in an innovative way, I am also entering this card in the The Punches Challenge in the Moxie Fab World.

Making the pencil was pretty straight forward, but here is how I made the tip:

First, I punched a 1 1/4" circle from wood grain paper and cut it in half.  I trimmed the round end of one half with zig-zag scissors.  I then rolled it into a point, adhered the loose end and glued it to the end of the pencil with clear, liquid glue.  Lastly, I used a fine tipped black marker to draw the lead.

Supplies
Kraft cardstock (Recollections)
Apple paper (Jillibean Soup)
Notebook paper (DCWV)
Swirley border sticker (Echo Park)
Pencil tip woodgrain (Jillibean Soup)
The rest came from my stash

To the many teachers out there, Thank You!

-Amanda

Sunday, January 15, 2012

How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways

Negative die-cutting is all the rage in paper crafting these days so I thought I would give it a shot.  The new Cricut Craft Room software (FREE!) is also pretty new so I thought I would give that a shot, too.  As soon as I saw the numbers in the Moxie Fab World Tuesday Trigger photo (below), I thought of the well-known quote by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, "How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways."  With Valentine's Day quickly approaching, I thought that combining these three elements would make a sweet and lovely Valentine's Day card.


To make the card, I first printed out the sentiment on white cardstock, flush right with a 1" margin.  This made it easier to line up my images in Cricut Craft Room (CCR) (I mentioned it was free, right?).  I then arranged the numbers from the free Cricut Craft Room Basics digital cartridge and moved them to the exact spot they would cut on the printed paper.  Believe it or not, this was the first and only cut I had to make.  CCR makes it really easy to determine the placement of a cut on a piece of paper. 

I trimmed my die-cut to fit my card with 1/8" margins, adhered a bright red heart to the card and mounted the die cut with foam adhesive.  Not too bad!

Here is a picture of my Moxie Fab inspiration: 

I am also submitting this card for this week's CASE Study Challenge #73, inspired by the negative die-cut butterflies on this card: 






Thanks for checking in!

-Amanda

Friday, January 13, 2012

Little Baker in Action!

So, in addition to cooking, my little 5 y.o. loves to bake.  Lucky for me, she likes to do the things that I don't, like roll cookie dough in balls and coat with sugar, etc.  She makes perfectly sized cookies and her ball rolling skills are second to none!  I am always grateful to have her helping me in the kitchen!

12"x12" paper from KaiserCraft, button from BG, everything else from Little Yellow Bicycle.
Have a fantastic weekend!

-Amanda