Saturday, March 31, 2012

Happy Happy Joy Joy

Foliage and graphics and orange, oh my!  This Moxie Fab World Tuesday Trigger was made just for me!  As a child in the 80s, thought my parents old brown and orange decor from the 70s was absolutely hideous!   Now as an adult with a more sophisticated taste for design, I would love to have updated bold orange and brown graphics everywhere!  But now, as many of you know, because of Pinterest, I cannot settle on one decor scheme (you can follow me! ---->).  My preferences change every time I see a new room.  But I can tell you this: I will no longer be doing yellow and gray in our master bedroom.  Choosing a gray paint is really easy to screw up.  I know this because I now have a blue-gray bedroom that I detest.  Instead of taking the risk of messing up again, I have decided to go with a completely different color scheme all together.  I am now leaning toward navy blue now, but with yellow or pink???  I digress....Here is what I came up with for this week's trigger

I recently acquired DCWV's new Serenity stack and knew it would be perfect for this challenge!  This stack is chock-full of graphic, brown and orange 70s inspired prints.   I made a trio of square boxes using my scoreboard and, in keeping with the rustic feel of the prints, tied each one with jute twine (narrow twine from May Arts, wide twine from the hardware store).  I added an extra knot of twine to the orange box and frayed the ends.  It's like a messy bun, but on top of a box.  :)  I can't wait to use these boxes for gift giving!  They were so quick and easy to make I could hardly stand it.
Wishing you a day full of happiness and joy!

-Amanda

Friday, March 30, 2012

Hunger Games Pencil Toppers (and a heat embossed pencil tutorial)

As soon as I saw the Fascination with Feathers Challenge over at the Moxie Fab World blog where the challenge was to incorporate feathers or arrows into a craft, I immediately thought of The Hunger Games.
I wouldn't go so far as to say I am obsessed with The Hunger Games, but I enjoyed the trilogy immensely.  I even sneaked away to a matinee showing with hubby last week while the kids were at school. ;) 

I thought it might be fun to make alter some pencils into arrows.  I saw a paper feather tutorial on Pinterest a while ago and modified the idea to go onto a pencil.  I even made paper quivers out of toilet paper rolls serve as holders for the pencils/arrows.  :)  Not sure if it's wearable, but it is fun!

I made two sets of arrows and quivers.  The first is more rustic representing Katniss' life in District 12.  The second has a more industrial feel indicative of her life in the Capitol.  

The burlap quiver is my favorite!  I stitched a piece of burlap to the TP roll with jute twine.  It looks so rustic and homey!   I also braided a handle out of the same jute twine and stitched it to the side of the quiver. 

This second quiver and arrows has a more sleek and industrial feel.  I stamped and embossed "May the odds be ever in your favor" on the front of the quiver using bits from about a gazillion different stamps.  It took me several tries to get it right without messing it up.  I didn't have silver pencils, and after a major craft fail with silver paint, I tried using heat embossing powder.   The end result turned out quite nicely.  Here is how I made the silver heat embossed pencils:

Supplies needed:
Silver metallic embossing powder
Embossing heat tool
Embossing ink
Round pencils
Fine grit sandpaper

1. Sand the pencil with fine sand paper.  If you do not, the ink/varnish will overheat and bubble.   Roll one half of the pencil on your embossing ink pad until it is all gooey.

2. Pour silver embossing powder on a scrap sheet of paper and roll the pencil around until it is covered with powder.  Gently tap off excess powder.  Next, heat emboss with your heat tool.  If the powder starts to bubble, briefly remove from the heat, and begin again. 


3. Apply embossing ink and powder to the second half of the pencil and heat emboss.

4. When you are done, you should have a nice, silver pencil!  NOTE: I have not tried (and will not try) putting this in my electric pencil sharpener.   I would recommend using a cheap handheld sharpener so it doesn't gunk up your electric pencil sharpener. 

May the odds be ever in your favor, 

Amanda

Supplies:
Paper (GCD Studios, Lifestyle Crafts)
Ribbon (Offray)
Jute twine (May Arts)
Ink (Tim Holtz Distress ink in pumice stone)
Zing! Embossing Powder
Zap! Heat embossing tool
VersaMark watermark/embossing ink

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Easter Treats with Epiphany Crafts: EASY Paper Basket Tutorial

I am super excited to share my first official Epiphany Crafts blog post!  Easter is just over a week away, but there is still plenty of time to put together this super duper easy paper basket and paper carrots! 


How to make a paper basket and carrots:
Supplies needed: paper, adhesive, scoreboard, ink (optional)

1. Start by cutting 7 strips of paper  
  • Four 1 1/2"x10" (basket pieces)
  • One  1"x8" (handle)
  • Two  1/2"x10" (basket top)
Optional: Ink the edges of each piece for added dimension.
2. Score each of the four basket pieces at 3" and 7".    Score both of the narrow top pieces every 4", starting at about 2 3/4".
3. Gently fold at score lines and weave the four basket pieces together, leaving a 1/4" (approx.) gap between each piece.  Lightly adhere pieces together to keep in place.
4. Apply adhesive squares to the outside of each basket piece (hard to see in this pic) and add the narrow piece to the top of the basket.  I found it easier to add the top pieces by working from the inside of the basket.  Overlap pieces and trim where necessary.
5. Adhere the handle piece to the inside of the basket and you're done!  Now it's ready to decorate and fill!
Finished size 4"x4"x3" (not including handle)
To make the carrots, make a cylinder out of a 4"x5" piece of paper, pinch one end closed and fold in the corners, making a crease.  Using the creases as a guide, fold the corners to the inside,  adhere Easter grass and seal.  Fill the carrots with goodies and seal the bottom of the carrots. 
Supplies:
Epiphany Crafts Shape Studio Tool Round 14 and Round 14 Bubble Caps
Epiphany Crafts Button Studio Tool Flower 20 and Flower 20 Buttons


Patterned paper (Studio Calico, Imaginisce, DCWV)
Baker's twine (The Twinery)
Ribbon (May Arts)
Flower punch (EK Success)
Ink (Distress Ink, ColorBox)
Stamp (Studio G)
Adhesive (Scrapbook Adhesives, Therm-o-web)
Scoreboard (Martha Stewart)
Easter grass 
You can see more Easter treat ideas on Epiphany Crafts blog HERE.

May many Easter treats come your way!

-Amanda

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Hexagons, Hexagons and More Hexagons!

One crafting trend that I hope won't go away anytime soon are hexagons!  I don't know what it is about these symmetrical six-sided figures that is so captivating, but I just can't resist them!   Whether they be single, grouped, or in a honeycomb pattern, I just love them!  Okay, now that I think about it, a lot of it has to do with symmetry.   I just kinda like things that are symmetrical.  This week's challenge over at Create: blog was to create cards with hexagons or honeycombs.   It's not too late to play along, so be sure to send your hexagonal creations Paige's way!

This first card was inspired by a dress that some guest wore on the Today show last week.  I loved the large black and white hexagon pattern and how they were layered somewhat askew.  Look closely and you can see "...just because" embossed with clear embossing powder.   Confession: the sentiment was supposed to be white, but those darn embossing powders look the same!

This second card was inspired by the patterned paper itself.  The tiny triangles in this DCWV print could be perfectly fussy cut into groups of hexagons, so I cut a bunch out and started playing around.  I adhered each hexagon with foam of varying thickness for added dimension. 
May perfect symmetry bring you joy!

-Amanda

Monday, March 26, 2012

Little Owl Birthday Card

I absolutely love it when a friend or family member asks me to make a special card!  A few weeks ago my friend, Rachel, asked me to make a special owl themed birthday card for her owl-loving daughter who turns 6 next month. 
I knew this pretty owl print and embellishment from American Crafts would make a sweet birthday card.  I used foam Thickers for the sentiment and added some May Arts striped twill ribbon.  

Happy Monday!

-Amanda

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Rose by Any Other Name...

Every once and a while I come across a photo that inspires me to do a layout.  I love this pic of my 5 y.o. daughter in her braided pigtails.  The hairstyle and the ribbons were all her idea!  Although she is wearing her Christmas dress, I couldn't resist doing a spring colored layout.






Gosh, I wish I had pretty handwriting.  The sad thing is, this is about as good as my handwriting gets.  I try to keep scrapbook journaling to a minimum.  :)  The paper, die cuts, stickers and embellishments are from My Little Shoebox's Keepsake collection.  

Thanks for stopping by today!

-Amanda

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Vintage Flowers

This week's challenge over at Create: blog is to create a paper crafted project that includes vintage florals.  I have some darling vintage floral prints that I have been wanting to create with for a while, so this was the perfect time to give it a go! 
One of my favorite prints is a vintage inspired floral from Crate Paper's Random collection.  This paper paired nicely with the For the Record collection from Echo Park.  I stitched and gathered lace to create a frill near the bottom of the card.  I also like how well the feminine flowers and lace pair with the more masculine herringbone print. 

Happy Wednesday!

-Amanda

Monday, March 19, 2012

A Sewing Project: Purse Pattern Testing

This I know: pattern testers are essential for making your sewing projects easier. 

I few weeks ago I found My Taylor Made blog and saw a post asking for purse pattern testers.  I thought this sounded fun, and it was a great excuse to make a purse.   So I volunteered.   And here is what I ended up with: 
I picked a Moda antique map print for the purse and some coordinating brown fabric for the flower.  What you can't see really well in the pic is the shiny gold button I used for the center of the flower.   Despite all of the parts, the flower was actually really easy to put together.  

I used a coordinating Moda woodgrain print for the interior of the purse.  There are pockets on both sides which are totally handy.  

Here is a closeup of the braided handle.  It looks amazing, but was a pain to put together.  My fingers were raw after feeding the cording through the fabric. 

I packed all of my church things in the purse yesterday and got tons of compliments!  You can purchase patterns from My Taylor Made HERE.  Prices are great and the patterns are adorable!  She has lots of bag patterns and patterns for kids. 

Thanks for taking a look!

-Amanda

Saturday, March 17, 2012

How to Make a Shamrock Using Cricut Craft Room Software

It was my job yesterday to play the role of leprechaun in kindergarten yesterday (so much fun!).   I wanted to scatter some paper shamrocks around the classroom, but alas, I do not own any Cricut shamrock images.  So, about 30 minutes before I had to be to the school, I remembered I could create one using Cricut Craft Room software.  Here's how I did it: 

Using the free Cricut Craft Room Basics digital cartridge, drag 3 Heart (shift) and one ( (shift) to the cutting mat. 
 Rotate one heart 90 degrees, and rotate another heart 270 degrees.  Drag each image across the screen until you create a shamrock.   The shapes will automatically weld together.

Next, group the three hearts and parenthesis together to make one shamrock.  Create a box around the newly created shamrock, right click and select Group.  Now you can click and drag the entire shamrock.  This will also allow you to resize and copy/paste the shamrock. 

When you are done, your little shamrocks should look like this:

Have a fun and safe St. Patrick's Day!

-Amanda

Friday, March 16, 2012

A Dinosaur Party for Little Girls

Who doesn't love a little girl that is smitten with dinosaurs?  My cousin mentioned on FB earlier this week that her soon-to-be 9 year old daughter is now obsessed with dinosaurs.  I immediately imagined pink dinosaur cupcake toppers and a fun dino banner.  I thought a girl dinosaur birthday party would be perfect for creating a fun party ensemble for Paper Crafts Magazine Party Ensembles challenge.

For my dinosaur party ensemble I created an invitation, banner, cupcake toppers, cupcake holders, and a party favor bag. 
Here is the whole party ensemble (banner is below): invitation, party favor bag, cupcake holders and cupcake toppers. 
I used two dinosaur images from Cricut's Create a Critter cartridge.  I cut all dinos out of glitter paper.  Super fun for a little girl!

Each flag on the banner is about 8" long.  I reinforced the holes with eyelets and included a little rhinestone on each letter.  This picture is awful because I hung the banner against the green wall in our basement.  Yuck!  Trust me, in real life it looks a lot better. 
The pre-cut banner flags and letters are from ME & My Big Ideas.  They were super easy to use.  I added a pink scallop to the top for a little extra flair. 

Happy Birthday little cousin!

-Amanda

Supplies:
Glitter paper (Recollections)
Patterned paper (Echo Park, American Crafts, My Little Shoebox)
Striped ribbon (May Arts)
Banner flags, letters (MAMBI)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Oh My Goodness! Another BIG Announcement!

Eeeek!  I have been keeping a big secret for a week now.  Heidi from GCD Studios called me (awesome, right?) last Monday to let me know I was selected for GCD Studios 2012 Design Team.  How neat is that?  My position on the team is Altered Gal which means that I will be creating altered items with GCD papers and embellishments.  I will be sharing my creations on the GCD Studios blog a couple of times per month.  I may even get to throw in a card or two. I can't wait to get started! 
GCD has a fantastic group of talented designers that I am excited to work with.  The prints and the products from GCD are sweet and bright and right on trend.  

Here is a list of the talented ladies on the GCD Design team.
Click on their names to check out their blogs!
Leslie D.
Elizabeth C.
Tessa B.
Jennifer C.
Audrey Yeager
Guiseppa Gubler
Julie Overby 

Mary Ann Jenkins
Wendi Robinson
Tegan Skwiat

Penny Smith  
Teri A.
Heidi VL.
Clare P.
Tracy Schultz
Jenny Suchin
Emily Branch
Nina Yang
 

Amanda Coleman (ME!)
Pam Callaghan
Abbie Nichols

Happy Monday!

-Amanda

Saturday, March 10, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Card with Shamrock Barrettes

This week I was determined to make at least one card for St. Patrick's Day.  This is not a holiday where I would typically hand out cards, but I know I can find at least one person who would appreciate one!   I thought it would be fun to make an embellishment brooch so the recipient could have a little spot of green to avoid getting pinched this St. Patrick's Day.  Those of you with elementary school aged children know that they take this very seriously!
I made the barrettes out of a regular ol' hair clips and some satin ribbon that is usually reserved for Christmas crafts.  I cut slits in the card and inserted the barrettes.  This would make a fun gift idea! I am pretty lame with ribbon if I venture beyond a regular bow, so I did a quick search on Pinterest for ribbon shamrock and found THIS great tutorial.  Here is the barrette as modeled by my 5 y.o.:
I also created this card in a more grown-up version without the barrettes.  The shiny little pot of gold is my favorite!   The pot is actually a fish bowl from Cricut's Create a Critter cartridge.  The chevron paper is from MME and I embossed the sentiment with Zing! gold embossing powder. 

I am sending this card over to Paige at Create: blog for her St. Patrick's Day card challenge.  Since I did not post this challenge at the last minute, you should play along, too!

This card also fits The Paper Variety's Tic-Tac-Toe challenge.  I went down the right of the grid by creating a card that had embossing and a die cut (pot). 

Beware the tiny pinchers and don't forget to wear a bit of green!

-Amanda