November 30, 2008

French Flair Merci Card

This is another card for a gift for my sister's roommate. I really love this little card. I didn't really like making envelopes for them though so look for a post soon with my directions for making a 'display' envelope french flair merci for your custom sized cards. The display style shows off most of the card as soon as the flap is opened. It can be adapted to any size card.

This is a specialty trifold card. Go HERE for instructions for the layout. I made the card from pale plum CS with retired designer series striped paper. The bottom two layers are perfect plum and pale plum CS both stamped along the edges with the flower bouquet from Carte Postal in the same colour ink as paper, both were punched with the ticket corner punch. The top layer is very vanilla stamped with the French flair background stamp in mellow moss. 'Merci' from the same set was stamped in perfect plum on pale plum CS, punched with the word window punch. I reinserted the punched CS into the bottom of the punch to cut off the excess. Brads were added to the corners of the perfect plum panel and the 'merci' was adhered using foam dots. The card was adhered together according to the tutorial. I had a lot of fun putting this card together, I love interesting folds!

Stamp Sets:
French Flair, Carte Postale
Paper: Designer Series Paper, pale plum CS, very vanilla CS, perfect plum CS
Ink: Mellow moss, perfect plum, pale plum
Accessories: ribbon-unknown, pewter brads, foam dots

November 28, 2008

All My Thanks Card

This is one in a series of cards I am making for my sister's roommate who just got married. This is a called a tenall my thankst fold card I believe. Either way, it is a fun and easy fold to do. I started with a perfect plum 4.25" by 8.5" card folded in half with the fold at the top. I stamped Baroque border in Versamark and embossed with gold EP. I stamped French Script in mellow moss on mellow moss CS and edged it with gold marker.

I have a special technique for edging CS. The marker has a chisel felt tip. Take a scrap piece of CS or thin chipboard and gouge out a groove in the tip.  Hold the CS in the air and flex it so it will stay stiff. Align the groove with the edge of the cardstock; it will ride along the edge as you slide the marker down the paper. This gives you a nice even gold edge. TIP: hold the marker at a 45 degree angle to the paper for best results. the back will have little or no gold on it, repeat on the back if desired.

I adhered the moss panel to the card so the overall dimensions of the card would be 4.25x5.5". Next I cut a strip of pale plum CS slightly shorter than the width of the moss panel. I trimmed it so it would line up with the gold edge. I punched the label from perfect plum. I stamped the thanks stamp and cut the center out, adhering it to the punched label. After adhering the label with foam dots, I realized the label looked a bit boring compared  to the gold on the rest of the card so I used a thin tip gold paint marker to enhance the edge. Last, I added 3/8" gold ribbon across the bottom of the moss panel. My next posts will show more of the cards that go in the set. Have a great weekend!

Paper: Perfect plum, pale plum, mellow moss, very vanilla
Stamp Sets: Designer Label, French Script, Baroque Border
Ink: mellow moss, Versamark
Accessories: Gold EP, Gold ribbon, Label punch, gold chisel tip paint pen, gold fine tip paint pen

November 27, 2008

11th Anniversary Card

Do you find it hard to make manly cards? Me too, even if it is only for my DH. You think it would be easier knowing someone for 11 years! Yeah I know, 11 year anniversary...  known him 11 years... doesn't add up. In case you are wondering, I was not a mail order bride ;) but we did get married very quickly after meeting, less than 6 months, so I guess technically I have known him for 11 and a half years!

This card is basic, an easy layout, definitely masculine but I managed to add cherish anniv embellishments anyway. I thought it was a neat idea to use the tape measure twill tape cut at 11" to represent 11 years of marriage. I wonder how long it will take for him to notice. I started with a card base of River Rock, then added 2 pieces of ticket corner punched Designer Series Paper. I glued the twill tape over the seam. Then I stamped the square from Frames and Flourishes in Blue Bayou ink on the same colour paper and cut out the center.  I used foam dots to lift the frame up over the twill tape. The foam dots are SUPER sticky ones sold by Jody at her blog. The dots have the same adhesive on them as red line tape!! She also sells lots of other cool sticky stuff. I stamped 'cherish' from Lexicon of Love with Night of Navy ink on Vanilla CS, punched it with the oval punch and distressed the edges with navy ink to help it stand out. I realized you couldn't read the details of the stamp after punching it so I stamped it in the inside as well. It looked a bit boring so I added three brads to the bottom. Hope it inspired you to make some great man cards!

river rock, vanilla, Designer Series paper retired
Ink: night of navy, blue bayou
Stamp Sets: Frames with a Flourish, Lexicon of Love
Accessories: Oval punch, foam dots, twill tape, black brads, 1/16" hole punch

November 18, 2008

Purse Card Holder and Matching Card Sets

I made these for a craft sale and they didn't sell, oh well. At least I get to blog about them now! Instructions for making these are here. It is very easy to follow Andrea's directions. The only thing I changed is switching the order of adhering the side pieces of patterned paper to the cardstock base. They are two different widths, she has the wider paper adhered first and the narrower second. I prefer the wider paper on the outside (adhered second) so when you look at thcard pursese purse from the front, the 'sideseams' are as far from view as possible. A small detail but sometimes the beauty is in the details. I tried another small variation with one and wished I hadn't so I won't even tell you what it was!

Inside are 4 cards with envelopes, one from each set are pictured. You could fit a lot more than that, at least 8 I think. They are all a bit different, the pink ones are all verse-less, the plum ones have various verses on them, general sentiments anyone can use. In retrospect, I think the pink ones are a bit too plain, I had intended to stamp the pink pirouette card base with a background stamp but forgot. Even so, these are very elegant and a great gift. I find that everyone I know LOVES getting sets of cards as gifts from me. It would also be great just as a gift bag for any type of present, not just cards. They are pretty strong and would be even more so if made with double-sided cardstock instead of Designer paper.

I would love to get comments on what price point these should be set at. I guess you need to know the area because prices vary depending on where you live. I live in Mount Albert, a small town, partly rural suburb of Toronto. We are about 1 hour commute right to the centre of the city, the north edge is only about 30 minutes away, less in good traffic. I have heard of some gals getting $6-10 for one card in exclusive boutiques in tourist areas or big cities while others sell their cards for $2 or less in rural areas or on because of the high level of competition for sales. At the craft sale, I set my cards at $4.50 each or 5  for $20 so I figured this set priced at $22.50 was fair. All cards included some type of embellishments, like ribbon, rhinestones or buttons, not just paper layers. Leave comments below or email me!

Paper: Designer Series paper, the plum one is retired, the pink and red is Bella Rosa, currently available; pink pirouette, riding hood red pale plum and  confetti white cardstocks
Stamp sets: Sincere salutations, tiny asterisk from Rough Edges Alphabet, French Flair, Blossoms Abound
Ink: versamark, pale plum, chocolate chip, old olive, certainly celery
Accessories: tab punch, chocolate ribbon, gold cord, silver cord, white and eggplant grosgrain ribbon, flower punch, scallop punch, gold EP, stipple brush, red line tape, glue dots.
ALL BY SU! except stipple brush

November 14, 2008

Sunflower Thoughts

sunflower thoughts

Unfortunately I needed a sympathy card this week. It took me a long time to get it right; funny considering how simple it ended up. For the sentiment, I started with a chipboard label I covered with rose red CS and edged with a gold marker, it just looked clunky so I redesigned it. The edges of the confetti white panel and the oval tag are stipple brushed with chocolate chip ink. I hand cut the chocolate chip oval, I can't wait til I get my nesties!


Ink- summer sun, so saffron, old olive, always artichoke, more mustard
Cardstock- more mustard, confetti white, chocolate chip all by SU!
Stamp sets- Sincerely Sunflower, thoughts stamp from unknown set, French background, all SU!
Accessories- wide chocolate ribbon, gold cord, brads from Hodge Podge hardware, oval punch  all SU!, Fiskars corner punch, cord coloured with dark E Copic marker, foam tape

November 12, 2008

Scrapbook in a Box part 2

Here is the interior of the project I showed you yesterday. I decided to break it into 2 parts because I didn't want my posts to get too long and I didn't get much done on the weekend either (so not too many things to blog about this week)!scrapbook box mj int1 In the photo you can see all of the pages inside. There were lots of scraps from the corners of the pages that were cut off (each interior section is cut from one piece of paper) so I tried to use them up. You can see I used two of the corners from the plaid paper in the interiors of two of the blue pages. One of them covers up the eyelet holes from the front panel. Each interior page has a 1/16" hole in the top corner. Although not pictured, I made about a dozen little tags using the word window punch, leftover plaid paper stamped in not quite navy and riding hood red using combinations of words from Everyday Flexible Phrases, like 'special boy', 'mother and baby', 'summer vacation' etc. I put the tags and silver cord in a little bag to include with the scrapbook. That way the mom and dad can add the tags where appropriate. On advice of my 7 year old, Jameson, I added a few blank ones so they could write in anything else they wanted.

scrapbook box mj int2 You can just barely see one in the second photo, but I used the Basic Grey half circle cutter to punch the equivalent of photo corners into four leftover corners of the olive cardstock. This will allow the parents to slide photos under the corners, then I adhered them to the back of the patterned paper making sure not to use adhesive in the corners. I even measured the photo size needed and wrote it in with pencil. I think she scrapbooks a little so hopefully has a paper cutter but if I was giving this to a non-scrapbooker, I would cut a piece of scrap cardstock in the sizes required for all pages and include it inside.

Each page is embellished with something but I kept it very limited to leave lots room for photos. Some pages have stickers  or punched shapes on them, on others the stickers are lifted up on foam tape and I used my powder brush to spread powder all over the adhesive on the back, except the foam tape of course, so it is lifted up and the photo can slide under. Other pages have buttons with tiny embellishments glue dotted on. The red photo corners are similarly glued on with just the outer edges adhered with 1/8" red line tape so the photo can slip under.

I am really pleased with this project, I can't wait to give it to her. If it didn't have the baby's name on it, I would be tempted to keep it for my youngest! At least I have enough left from the kit to make another! My older son is dying to make one too. A good project for him I think, perhaps we will make some together!

Forgotten in the recipe in post 1: glue dots, foam tape. Thanks for reading!

November 11, 2008

Scrapbook in a Box

I scrapbook box mj exthad a lot of fun making this cute box/scrapbook.  I needed a gift for a friend's newborn baby boy so I decided I would go back to a link I saved for the instructions. It opens up with 8 double sided pages inside as well as the interior of the outer walls. The inside is decorated and I used a variety of methods to make it easy to add photos to the pages. The stickers and paper are from Toy Box, a  retired scrapbook kit by SU! I hope to teach a class for this project next Saturday night.

Paper- riding hood red, not quite navy, whisper white, old olive cardstock, patterned papers from scrapbook kit all SU!
Accessories- Eyelets by WRMK, stickers from scrapbook kit, Coluzzle, buttons, boy-themed embellishments Dress It Up (I think), red line tape, Quikutz die cuts for letters. Word window, 1/16" hole and corner punches, silver cord all from SU!. Powder brush from EK Success, star punch from dollar store, Basic Grey half circle cutter, Big Bite by Crop-o-dile.

Yeah, I now realize the tag is a bit crooked, OOPS! I will post the interior tomorrow. Have a good day!

November 08, 2008

Butterfly Dreams

This card is for a girlfriend of mine I have been missing lately. We just never seen to manage to get together even though we don't live far apart. I would have made an 'I miss you' card but can you believe it? I have thousands of rubber stamps (NOT counting alphabets separately) but not one 'I miss you' stamp! So I just decided to make something beautiful that would also work for the week's challenges.

butterfly dreams

I started with the colour challenge for this week, CC 191, pretty in pink, riding hood red and kiwi kiss. I decided on a pink card base, 4.25x5.5" as usual, I scallop punched the edge but it really didn't do much for the card because you could still see the straight edge of the back of the  card beyond. I put Bella Rosa patterned paper under the edge, rounded the corners and liked it much better. The back corners didn't look right now so I got out my corner punch and rounded them. I really don't use it much so imagine how surprised I was when I looked at the Ways to Use It challenge 191 and it was to use a corner punch! Next I punched holes in each scallop with my Big Bite, again it didn't have enough impact, so I put another strip of designer paper under the edge so kiwi kiss showed through. The paper is actually dotted so I aligned it so the dots didn't show. On the inside I made sure the second layer of paper covered the first so it looks tidy inside.

Then I looked at the sketch challenge, SC 201. It didn't work very well in portrait orientation with my border because the sketch is so symmetrical, so I flipped it to landscape. I layered riding hood red cardstock and another paper from Bella Rosa. Now all I had to do was pick a stamp that worked with the orientation of the sketch. Recently, in my web travels either on Splitcoast or while blogging, I saw someone use Natural Beauty, stamping the words almost as a background with the bird over top. I can't remember if the bird was cut separately and popped up or masked but it was lovely. So I CASE'd the idea only using the butterfly and adding it to the side rather than in the centre of the words. The words were stamped on confetti white paper with pretty in pink ink all over, then one side inked with riding hood red and spritzed with water. I had hoped the colours would bleed more but oh well.

I stamped the butterfly on whisper white paper with black Adirondack ink, hoping to colours it with Copics but since the colours I have didn't match, I went back to my oldies but goodies, my Stampin' Up! markers. Had I known I would use those, I would have stamped with Staz-on, instead I just coloured very carefully. I used pretty in pink, real red and old olive markers, then added 2 four mm ( millimetre, about 1/8") green Swarovski heat set crystals to the wings. I didn't want to get out my hot fix crystal setter for two crystals so I held them with tweezers under my heat gun; worked really well.

When I cut out the butterfly, I slit between the upper and lower wings. This allowed me to get more depth when I popped up the upper wings. The body is adhered with a glue dot, the upper wings have foam tape rolled up under the wings to make a very solid base. I hate when I use foam tape and it squashes flat under pressure, either from mailing or being stuck in my purse til I give it away! So I used a strip of tape, 1"x 1/4" and rolled up the end so it is tight, therefore not easily squishable, and extra high. Before assembling the card I very lightly inked all layers with riding hood red. The corner stamp is from Frames and Flourishes, stamped in pink ink. The only major problem I had was getting all the layers parallel to each other, I had to move several and though I LOVE the new double stick tape I am using, the Glue Glider Pro, it is really, Really, REALLY sticky, making the layers almost impossible to adjust. It is worth it though to know my cards will NOT be coming apart!

One thing you can't see in the photo is that the front of the card is about 1/8" smaller than the back leaving a border of pink next to the patterned paper edge. When DH took the photo he didn't realize it needed to be photographed closed for best effect. We were trying out my new light box set up. the photos are much better now, especially since we used a real camera, not my iPhone!

November 07, 2008

One of My Favourite Cards and Something to Think About...

I haven't gotten around to doing anything crafty lately except tidying my space. I was long overdue to put some stuff away properly, not just shoved on top of something else. :) So here is a card I made ages ago. It is pretty easy to make so I will just list the 'recipe' below.

hope card

Recipe for Hope card

Stamp Sets: Heartfelt Thanks, Everyday Flexible Phrases, Curvy Verses, Print Pattern
Ink: Versamark, elegant eggplant, perfect plum, pale plum, so saffron
Paper: confetti white, pale plum, Elegant eggplant
Accessories: 1 1/4" punch, 1 3/8" punch, Kraft die cut tag and vanilla die cut tab (retired), eggplant grosgrain ribbon, dimensional foam, staples
Pale plum layer is mounted under the square punched hole, the flower is mounted on the back of the card so it is seen when the card is open.

I was reading the Splitcoast Newsletter, sign up here, and one of the Hot Topics was "What Products are in Your Top Ten"? It was an interesting thing to think about. As I couldn't decide on 10 things, I 'cheated' and chose 10 consumables and 10 non-consumables. Come one, they really are different in terms of making good choices, budgeting and possible regrets if you don't make the right choices. I wonder how my Top 10 will change as time goes on...

1. A good selection of cardstock in favourite colours and some basic neutrals like Kraft, black, white, vanilla and a speckled white like confetti white by SU!
2. Ditto dye ink (yes, I know these could be considered non-consumable)
3. Ribbon in some basic colours, grosgrain and organza, in a couple of widths
4. Clear rhinestones in tiny, small and large, I prefer Swarovskis,  of course other colours are available but to start, white always works!
5. Mini glue dots
6. Double sided tape, I love the glue glider pro
7. Embossing powder in silver, gold, white and clear
8. Versamark ink
9. Prima flowers,  start with white, they dye nicely with ink pads, brayer them right on the pad!
10. Brads and eyelets in a range of colours

1. Paper cutter - I like the Cutterpede
2. Bone folder
3. Heat gun - for embossing and quickly drying watercolouring, paint, glue etc
4. Good sharp scissors for paper and ribbon
5. Stamps of course!
6. Brayer (for backgrounds, making nice impressions with background stamps and inking flowers)
7. Markers - both water-based and alcohol-based have their pros and cons, start with one set of 32, 48 or more if budget allows, eventually expect to want the other
8. Stamp cleaner and scrubber
9. Tweezers, I like the ones that stay closed until you squeeze them
10. Eyelet setting kit or Big Bite - my fav!

Others mentioned a paper piercer which can also be used for making a hole for brads, I use a sharp, big embroidery needle, very cheap!

Other things I use a lot:
-Coluzzle circle and oval templates with cutter (I am getting Nestabilities but if you are starting out, this is way cheaper), I also like the templates for 3-D items, then it is good to have the scorer.
-Assorted punches
-Watercolour brush
-Perfect layers
-Sharp craft knife, I prefer retractable
-Rubber scissors, of course if you only use clear stamps you won't need these
-Brown and black Staz-on
-Dimensional glaze
-Half back pearls
-Hodge podge hardware
-Glitter/clear mix EP
-Stamp wheels and handles
-Quick-drying acrylic paint
-Cutting mat
-Chipboard shapes and letters
-Scalloped edge cutter (either a punch or cutting wheel, they can be purchased for some paper cutters or handheld)

I can't wait to get my Cuttlebug (just won on Ebay) and Nestabilities-I am going for label1, circles and scalloped circles first!

November 04, 2008

Mother and Baby

I started with a stamp I have had almost since the beginning of my stamping career. The minute I Momandbaby1saw this I had to have it because it illustrates exactly how I feel about my babies. A lot of parents say that they love it when their kids are past the newborn stage when they have 'more personality' but my happiest memories are of cradling my babies just like this. I still get to cradle the little one like this, thank goodness! So Technique Challenge 191 was to use watercolour pencils to colour in an image, then to use pink (in honour of breast cancer week) Twinkling H2Os in the water used to blend the watercolour pencil. Interesting to say the least but I don't have any 'Twinks'! so I had to substitute. 

I started with the image stamped in black Staz-On and because I don't have flesh-coloured watercolour pencils, I used Copics to colour in the mom's and baby's faces. You can see in the photo below how I coloured the image with watercolour pencils. Note to Self: be very careful using Copics with Staz-On ink and if you get any on the marker, clean it on scratch paper before continuing. As I was colouring it, I realized that the arms of the chair were uneven. While I don't think they need to be perfectly aligned, I decided to realign the borders of the image. In the next photo, you will see I cut long the marked lines and I was much happier with it after. So my Twinks substitutemomandbaby2 was pink gold Pearl Ex mixed into the water I dipped by brush into to smooth the watercolours. The photo is a bit blurry due to the iPhone and the lighting and angle but you can see how pretty the glittery Pearl Ex looks. I had to set the Pearl Ex with Krylon Workable Fixatif so the Pearl Ex wouldn't all brush off. Apparently you can also add gun arabic to your water as a stabilizer but the spray fixatif was easier (and I don't have any gum arabic!!)

I like how the pink gold pearl ex makes the pale blue baby blanket look kind of purplish. I didn't expect it to affect the colour that much. This angle doesn't show it but I even used it in her hair! When it came to choosing a sketch, I didn't really have anything in mind. So I started by layering the image on black CS to give it a nice clean thin edge. In the spirit of breast cancer week (OK maybe it was last week but anyhow), I used a pink pirouette panel underneath. Now I went back to the tiny word sets I have resurrected lately. I wanted to stamp 'mother and baby' evenly around the edge but I wasn't sure how to get it centred. I decided to stamp them on scratch paper and align my card stock edge and copy the spacing as I stamped each edge. Next I looked in the past Sketch Challenges at Splitcoast Stampers for  a layout I liked. I finally found one that would work for my image, Sketch Challenge 185. I love that I have so many sketches right at hand ready to look through. Thanks Splitcoast!

momandbaby3 The final card uses Purely Pomegranate as the base with French Script stamped in it in Versamark and a panel of Elegant Eggplant stamped with the little dots from Itty Bitty Backgrounds using the same ink. The ribbon is white organza and the head pin is from the SU! pretties kit. I decided the flower was too white so I pressed it into my Versamark Pad and then brushed on more Pearl Ex with a dry watercolour brush. So far it seems to stick. Hope you like it!



November 01, 2008

French Flair Clipboard



I am in love with this clipboard! From Stampin' Up!, it is heavyweight chipboard, 13"x7.5"  with beautiful, antiqued metal clips, not the ordinary shiny chrome look you get at the dollar store or Staples and the triple clip style is so unique! I have been dying to decorate one since they came out but with a new baby, it didn't happen 'til now (I know, he isn't so new anymore). I can't wait to hang it in our kitchen. So learn to make your own! It makes a great gift for someone you love. The frame allows you to interchange the photos so maybe make it for someone who needs a place to keep the pictures of you or your kids you send them! My photo doesn't do it justice, it is so much prettier IRL!

Hoping for instructions to make this clipboard? I teach this class on November 22, 7pm but I will probably post instructions after that for all of you too far away to join me. I hope some of you visiting this site are checking it out because you live close enough to take the class! Be sure to confirm before November 8 to reserve your spot, spaces are limited. The class fee is $15, the clipboard cost is $23.50 (cost from Stampin' Up! includes taxes and shipping), you will also need to bring at least two pieces of 12"x12" patterned paper, I recommend three, matching cardstock and your choice of ribbon and embellishments. Keep in mind I have a Crop-a- dile Big Bite so if you have any fancy brads or eyelets you would like to use, we can set them right into the clipboard. Instead of bringing your own paper, you can buy a pack of 12 sheets of coordinating, double- sided Designer Series paper for $14.50 (taxes and shipping included). Go to to see all the available patterns. I can get anything else you need at the same time if you wish. If you need ribbon, let me know ahead of time to see if I have the colours you need and I can sell you some very reasonably. I provide everything else you need; tools, adhesives, cutters, glaze, stamps and ink as well as the calendar and to do list. If you would prefer to bring nothing and buy a kit with everything you need, let me know and we will work something out.

The patterned paper is retired SU! Some of the ribbons are SU!, some are from my stash. The verse on the tag is from the Old Island Stamp Company, originally it was in a line but I inked and stamped it in segments so it would fit. The frame opens up so you can change the photo throughout the year and is made from pale plum, sage and perfect plum including they flowers; they look like Prima flowers but are actually SU! cardstock I punched and formed using the instructions found here. The buttons are from my stash except the clear one from SU! The flowers on the clips are from the SU! Pretties kit and dyed to match; the half- back pearls are from the same kit.

The pads of paper are homemade, can you believe you can actually buy the glue used to make pads of paper? It is called padding compound and I got mine online, I just can't find the link, sorry. If you Google Sparco Padding compound, you will get tons of links. I have enough to make more notepads than I could ever use and it was only $8 plus shipping! So we will make our own to do list and calendar pad. The nice things about making your own are that you can print your own pages, make it your own size and shape and decorate the pages with stamps. I didn't get to decorate mine before I took the pictures. You can see I made my to do list smaller so it would fit in the area I had left. I suppose the cons are the extra work and it is almost impossible to get the pages exactly the same size.

Please don't forget to subscribe to the email updates from Feedblitz so you never miss a post!