Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The $50 Quilted Hexagon Card (and a Cricut tip)

Gosh, I really love the challenges over at Create: blog.  This week's challenge was to create a quilt inspired card.  I had also been dying to make a hexagon card of some type, but alas, did not have a die or punch.   So instead, I downloaded a new Cricut cartridge (Yes! Some are available to download now!) just because it had a nice, symmetrical hexagon.  Soooo....$50 later, I now have a hexagon card. (Don't get me wrong, the Cricut Font and Basic Shapes cart has a ton of versatile images I am sure to use in the future.)
One of the challenges I anticipated in making a hexagon quilt card was creating nice corners.  So instead of quilting the entire card, I randomly stitched just a few hexagons to quilt.  It worked best to start at one corner and work my way around an individual hexagon.  I finished the edge of the quilt by doing wide a zigzag stitch all the way around.  
TIP: When you use the new Cricut Craftroom software, you can decide exactly where you want your cuts.  I placed four different 6x6 papers on my cutting mat so I wouldn't have to reload the mat several times.  
And, since this card has twine bows, I am throwing my hat into the ring for Ribbon Carousel Challenge 42: Anything Goes.
 Happy paper quilting!

-Amanda

Supplies:
Paper, chipboard butterflies, washi tape (Studio Calico)
Buttons (MME, Hero Arts)
Jute twine (May Arts)
Sentiment chipboard (MME)

Live in the Moment

Orange is my favorite color and I love to create cards with orange as a primary color.  The Free Bird Endless & Fair Weather collection from Authentique Paper is full of delicious orange prints!  I combined prints with some orange flowers I have been hanging on to for a while for the February Sketch Challenge
I am a sucker for square cards.  Sure, they cost more to send, but the square shape opens up more design possibilities.  They are like mini canvases!   The stickers for the sentiment are from Authentique's Journey collection.  

May you continue to live in the moment, 

-Amanda

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Grown Up Birthday Card for a Little Boy

I can hardly believe that my firstborn will turn 8 this summer!  As I am sure many of you know, time sure flies when you have little ones!  As I started playing around with my Celebrate collection from Authentique Paper, a birthday card started coming together.  As I added elements and layers, I thought this would be perfect for my son.  This card is not too childish, but still has some fun childlike elements.  Cute cards with puppies and balloons no longer suit his personality. 
I used the sketch for Authentique Paper's February Sketch challenge as a starting point.  The pinwheel is my favorite.  It was so easy to make, too.  I am thinking I need to make more pinwheels. 

Have a great night!

-Amanda

Monday, February 27, 2012

Epiphany Crafts Announces New Design Team and...

...I'm one of the new design team members!  Getting an email letting you know you have been selected from a highly qualified and talented pool of applicants is like Christmas morning!
Not familiar with Epiphany Crafts?  They make awesome tools that allow you to make your own custom epoxy embellishments right at home.  Here are a couple of places to check them out: 
BLOG  This is where I will be contributing!
WEB   
BUY 

Here is a video that shows you how the tools work.  They come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, too!  Pretty neat, huh?
Have a crafty day!

-Amanda

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Altered Tin

This week the folks over at the Cosmo Cricket blog challenged readers to create an altered tin.  For every project linked up, they will donate a can of food and $5 to their local food bank.  Sounded like a great idea to me, so I got out my Social Club collection and got started!
First of all, I don't drink, so I may be totally off on what is hip amongst those who enjoy cocktails.  This dapper man seemed like a great party host, so I ran him through the printer and printed Shaken or stirred? on his banner.   I dressed him up with a couple of martini stickers and an olive border.   He makes a great cocktail stirrer holder!
I fussy cut a couple of olives from a print, glittered them like crazy, and adhered them to a plastic cocktail sword.
This is the tin that I started with.  It sits about 5" tall and is about 2.5" in diameter.

Now what is a non-drinker and her family to do with a container of cocktail stirrers?  Suggestions welcome.  :)

-Amanda

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Follow the Yellow Brick Road

Sometimes I have a very clear memory of where an idea for a card came from.  My friend Rachel, who lives in NC, posted something about ruby slippers on FB yesterday which immediately had me singing songs from The Wizard of Oz.  As I sat down to look at my Market Street Stamps to create something for the February Block Party, I had the line "Follow the yellow brick road" stuck in my head and before I knew it, I had an entire scene from The Wizard of Oz.  .
Finished card size is 5 1/2"x4 1/2"
All of the stamps came from Market Street Stamps Travel Scapes set.  The road is straight, but I stretched and curved it a bit on my acrylic block to make the road curvy.  I used the squiggle stamp to create the horizon.  I printed the sentiment on my computer and ran the border around my sentiment through my Xyron 1.5" Create a Sticker before I added the red glitter.
Aren't the flowers cute?  I used a tiny Studio G flower punch on polka dot paper.
The Emerald City is embossed with metallic gold embossing powder and the rainbow is made with baker's twine from The Twinery.  

Thanks for dropping by today!

-Amanda

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Girls Night Out

This week's challenge over at the Create: blog was to create a girls night out themed card.   Sounded fun to me!  Here is what I came up with:
Finished card size is 4 1/4"x5 1/2" (not including ribbon)
All of the components for this card are from Echo Park Paper's Happy Days collection except: ribbon (May Arts), stamp (My Acrylix), paper for rose (Core'dinations), green paper (scrap).  I love the retro feel of this card.  Who wouldn't want to go to this girl party?  I die-cut the rose then sanded the paper for a more distressed/vintage look.   I am totally into making these roses lately.  It is really hard to mess them up. 

Happy Thursday to you!

-Amanda

Party Cardy!

This week's CAS-ual Fridays challenge (CFC40) was to create a party card using ribbon.  I am just smitten with May Arts' striped twill ribbon and will use it every chance I get.  It just so happens that May Arts is this weeks CAS-ual Fridays sponsor too!  I thought the yellow striped twill ribbon would be a perfect accent for this party card. 
Finished card size is 4 1/4"x5 1/2" (not including ribbon)
All of the paper and sticker components for this card are from Echo Park's Happy Days collection.  The striped twill ribbon is from May Arts.  And who wouldn't like a little Lady Gaga for some party inspiration?

TIP: Create rounded ticket corners by using a 1/2" circle punch.

It'll be okay,

-Amanda

Monday, February 20, 2012

Celebrate (RCC40)

Late last month I won My Little Shoebox's new Keepsake collection in their blog giveaway (yay!).  The prints and patterns are adorable!  I am smitten with the singing birds.  I finally dug into the collection and created this card for this week's Ribbon Carousel Challenge #40.  All of the components for this card (minus the twine and brads) are from the Keepsake collection.
Finished card size is 5 1/2"x4 1/4"
TIP: When spelling a sentiment out of stickers and you want the words centered, start with the middle letter and work out from either side.
Have a tweet day!

-Amanda

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Tuesday Trigger: Chiclectic

Time again for Moxie Fab World's Tuesday Trigger challenge!  There are so many fabulous things about the trigger picture (below), I didn't know what I wanted to play up in my card design.   I love using bright colors and graphic patterns in my card design, so I started to wonder how many components I could squeeze onto one card.  Here is what I ended up with:
Finished card size is 4 1/2"x5 3/4"
Closeup of roses
So fancy!  The photo just does not do the shiny gold justice.  I mimicked the overall color blocking of the trigger, but decided to go with animal prints.  I used several different patterns and styles also.  I created the zebra print by stamping bright pink onto orange paper.  The snake skin print is from DCWV.  I cut the dark pink roses using my Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge.  After I rolled the flowers, I applied liquid glue to the edges and sprinkled with gold glitter.  I used striped poly twill ribbon for the center band and shiny gold ribbon to accent the flowers.  Lastly, I layered my paper and adhered it to this fantastic mirrored gold cardstock I found at the craft store yesterday.  So shiny!

I was also inspired to make a trio of dimensional roses by this week's CASE Study Challenge #78 (CSC78). 

Supplies:
Ribbon (May Arts, Offray)
Stamp (Market Street Stamps)
Snake skin print (DCWV)
Ink (Studio G)
The rest is from my stash
Chiclectic inspiration photo source
Have a fancy day,

-Amanda

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Denim Pocket Gift Card Holder

I am seriously crazy about My Mind's Eye new On the Bright Side collection.  There are chevrons, distressed wood prints and denim prints that are all to die for!  This collection is my favorite new release of 2012.  I already have a few projects in the work with this paper!    All of the paper components for this card came from the On the Bright Side One collection.
Finished card size is 5 1/2"x4 1/4"
Closeup of pocket detail
Other supplies: 
Thread (Coats & Clark)
Ribbon (Offray)
Letters (Thickers by American Crafts)
Grommets (WR Memory Keepers)
Cash (Hubby's wallet)

My inspiration for this card was MME's Blog Challenge 32: Card Sketch.   The theme for the challenge was "you".  When I went to sew the pocket yesterday, my sewing machine was all messed up so I spent a good part of last night trying to self-diagnose the problem (to no avail) and then ended up at the craft store this morning to have a repair guy look at it.  Turns out a little spring was just out of place and everything was fine.  Whew!  I even bought new thread so the pocket looked more authentic.  If I can figure it out, I will create a file with the pocket pattern and make it available for everyone. 

I decided to leave the pocket open so this card could double as a gift card or cash holder.  I think the end result is pretty fun.  I imagine this won't be the last paper pocket I sew.  :)

Have a great weekend!

-Amanda

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Ribbon Tab Lion (prepare for cute overload)

Oh, man.  Sometimes the cuteness that comes out of my basement is a little too much for me.  I created this little lion card for this week's Create: blog challenge where the challenge was to use ribbon tabs in our creation. 
Finished card size is 5 1/4"x5 1/4"
Here is how I put the lion together:
  • Use the Cricut Create-a-Critter cart for the lion and cut three lions total, two solid lions and one with facial cutouts.
  • Cut the heads off of one solid lion and the piece with cutouts.  (Sorry, I just couldn't resist).
  • Staple the ribbon tabs to the head.  Adhere to the whole solid lion. 
  • Cut layers and assemble face.  Adhere face to mane with foam.
Supplies
Printed paper (American Crafts)
Ribbon (May Arts)
Stamp (Hero Arts)
The rest is scraps from my stash.

Overall, it was pretty easy and I think the result is to die for!  I think I will make a couple more lions just to put around the house to make me smile!

Love,

-Amanda

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Fun Announcement! (and a giveaway)

I am pleased and totally thrilled to announce that I will be designing for the Unique Crafters Challenge Blog!   This is my first time on a design team and I am SO excited!  The first challenge will be announced on the blog on March 1 and I can tell you there are going to be some fantastic prizes.  While you're at it, grab a badge for your blog! 
Be sure to drop by the blog today for the official design team announcement.  There is such a variety of talent on this design team.  I can't wait to see everyone's designs!

Unique Crafters Challenge is sponsored by Scrapbook Unique, an independently owned scrapbooking store in Lenexa, Kansas.   How neat is that?

GIVEAWAY! Do you want a chance to win a prize before the first challenge is announced?  All you have to do is become a follower of Unique Crafters Challenge.  You have until Feb. 29 to follow.  The winner will be announced on the blog on March 1.

Have a very lovely and crafty Valentine's Day!

-Amanda

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day to you!  I don't know about you, but I am fairly indifferent when it comes to Valentine's Day.  I SAY I don't want flowers and that it's not a big deal, but as my husband learned a couple of Mother's Days ago, what I say isn't always what I mean.  Despite my general indifference, I still want flowers.  

Here is a cute little ditty I put together using Crate Paper's Paper Heart collection.  I love the gray and white herringbone print.  I would like sheets and curtains out of that print, too.
My inspiration for this card was the sketch for this month's Young Crafters Unite sketch challenge.  

May your Valentine's Day be filled with what you really want (even if you don't say it), 

-Amanda

Monday, February 13, 2012

You're, like, so totally awesome!

Last year I die cut a bunch of 1/2" circles for my son's first grade class to use in a project.  The scraps looked so mod and awesome, I couldn't throw them away.  I knew that someday they would be useful in a project.  Well, that time has come.  I thought the circle scraps would be perfect to use in the Die Cutting Challenge over in the Moxie Fab World.
Finished card size is 5 1/2"x4 1/4"
It just so happened that my scraps were in neon colors which made me think of only one thing: the 80s.  I cut and layered some of the scraps then went back in time and used word art in MS Word to create the graphics and sentiment.  I then randomly cut some other neon shapes and adhered them to the sentiment.  Isn't it totally radical?

L8R SK8R, 

-Amanda

And just for kicks, one of my favorite sing-out-loud 80s songs.  Reminds me of rollerskating parties in elementary school. :)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Tuesday Trigger: Fancy Schmancy

First of all, this is the greatest Moxie Fab World Tuesday Trigger photo EVER!  Chocolate and pink?  Probably my two favorite things in the world!  I couldn't wait to get crafting with this photo as my inspiration.  I am making the photo extra big this time because it is so much fun to look at.  I should also add, this photo inspired me to be a little creative in the kitchen, too.  Yum!
Moxie Fab World Tuesday Trigger: Fancy Schmancy
And here is my card.  Too bad you can't eat it! ;)
Finished card size is 5 1/4"x5 1/4"
I used several patterned papers (DCWV) and layered them to look like the cross section of the Chocolate Pomegranate Petit Fours.   I heat embossed the sentiment with coordinating light pink embossing powder.  The end result looks delicious indeed!

Off to stuff my face with chocolate,

-Amanda

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Stamping Video Tutorial by Popper, Age 7

Last night my 7 y.o. son expressed an interest in making his own valentines to hand out at school this year.  He is not typically interested in this type of thing, so I immediately took this opportunity to do crafts with him!  He picked out paper, stamps, and ink and got to work at my craft table.  I took some video just for fun, and before I knew it, he was narrating his own how-to video tutorial.  He did this without any coaching from me.  Apparently he has absorbed stamping techniques just from hanging around.  :)
Enjoy! 

-Amanda

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Easy Kindergarten Valentine Flower

Hi everyone!  I have a bunch of new followers that teach kindergarten and first grade so I thought I would post a fun and easy paper craft that you can do in the classroom.  I did this project for my son's first grade Valentine's Day party a couple of years ago and plan on doing it again for my daughter's kindergarten Valentine's Day party this year.  These flowers easy to make, inexpensive, and the kids love to put them together! 

Supplies needed
Paper
Scotch tape
Heart punch, but plain ol' scissors work, too
Hole punch
Dum Dums or other suckers

Instructions are for assembling one flower
1. Punch or cut out three hearts approx. 3" tall/wide.  Cut out 1-2 leaves. (I die cut some leaves and hand cut the others.  Either one will work.)
2. Using a hole punch, punch a hole in the end of each heart and leaf. Fold hearts in half to create a crease down the center of each heart.  Optional: write greeting on heart or leaves now. 
3. Starting with the hearts, thread cutouts on the sucker stick and secure by wrapping a piece of tape around the base of the flower.

The finished product!
As I was thinking about this yesterday, you could probably use a variety of shapes to make the flowers and fold the shapes in various ways if teaching a lesson on symmetry.  Just some thoughts!

May you have a successful Valentine's Day party this year!
-Amanda

Monday, February 6, 2012

Steampunk Valentine

I am not terribly knowledgeable about the steampunk trend, but I know that I like the use of gears and clocks and all sorts of metal parts.  I found these really fantastic Tim Holtz embossing folders and couldn't wait to put them to work. 
Finished card size (not including the banner) 4 1/4"x5 1/2"
One of my favorite movies is Edward Scissorhands.  This card reminds me of of the scene where Edward is being assembled by Vincent Price.  

This card is simple and somewhat shocking.  I used a single piece of black and red Core'dinations cardstock for all of the components.  I embossed and sanded the gears and stamped and heat embossed the sentiment with a stamp from Hero Arts.  I attached the banner with a black metal grommet.  

Since this card is fantastic on so many levels, I am entering it into the Embossing & Debossing Challenge in the Moxie Fab World and the CAS-ual Fridays Movie Inspiration challenge (CFC38).  And wouldn't ya know, Create: blog also wants to see valentines this week!

Have a fantastic week!

-Amanda

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Lion Sleeps Tonight

I couldn't help but whistle "In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight" the entire time I made this card.  I apologize in advance if it gets stuck in your head, too.  Since I used the ever-versatile Martha Stewart fringe scissors to cut the grass, I am entering this card into the Moxie Fab World Trimming & Cutting Challenge.
Finished card size is 4 1/4"x5 1/2" not including the grass on the top.
And wouldn't ya know it, I used a plain ol' garden variety lunch sack to make the grass.  I layered several strips of grass starting at the top of the card.  After all of the grass was adhered, I started cutting into the tops at an angle not unlike a stylist would trim your hair.  This gave the grass a more random, natural look.  Lastly, I adhered the cute little lion (Offray) and stamped the sentiment. 
Cute little bugger, huh?
Now I wouldn't leave you hanging without posting the song, right? 
Enjoy! 

-Amanda

Friday, February 3, 2012

Braille Thank You Card Tutorial

The idea for a braille card came to me early one sleepless morning.  I have no idea why, but like many of my other design ideas, it just did.  Since I used an embossing folder to create the braille, I am entering this card in the Embossing & Debossing Challenge over at Moxie Fab World where the challenge was to focus is on creative ways to emboss and deboss. 
Finished card size is 5 1/2"x4 1/4"
I purposely chose a design that was rich in textures.  I chose a monochromatic white theme to keep the card pretty and clean.  I embossed the top portion of the card
and chose a smooth, wide satin ribbon to wrap around the front.  Then I embossed the word thanks in braille on the bottom of the card using my swiss dots embossing folder.

Here is how I made the braille dots:

Supplies:
Swiss dot embossing folder
Embossing stylus
Ruler
A bright light and a pencil will be helpful, too.

1. On a white piece of paper or cardstock, create a grid and draft your sentiment in braille.

2. Using a pencil, make a grid with segments approx 1/8" apart on the back of where you want your sentiment.  (I found braille formatting guidelines here: http://www.brailleauthority.org/sizespacingofbraille/sizespacingofbraille.pdf)

3. Recreate the dot pattern with a pen or pencil, in reverse, on your grid. 

4. Using a light, place your grid on the embossing folder, lining up a single dot on your grid with a dot on the embossing folder.  Place the folder on the table and gently emboss a dot using a blunt embossing stylus.  Repeat for each dot on the grid.  
This is what it should look like when you are done!
Ever grateful for my sight,

-Amanda

*Ignorance disclaimer: I do not personally know anyone who is visually disabled or uses braille.  I just thought this might an interesting and different idea for a card.  I have tried to make the braille as accurate as possible.   I apologize in advance if I unintentionally offend.*