Sunday, September 18, 2011

Mini Halloween Cards

I made the above set of mini Halloween cards out of scrapbook paper I found at Green Tangerines in the sale section. I thought it was adorable and made these cards that very weekend! I cut out some of my favorite images and embellished each with ribbon, rhinestones, brads and glitter. I think the end result is adorable! The cards measure about 3 x 4 inches each. I have them on sale in my Etsy shop here, and if they don't sell, I think I'll give them out as favors at work. I think they'd make great goody bag tags...if only I had the patience to make goody bags.

Be sure to check out my Etsy shop for more cute craft projects!

Thanks for stopping by!

Do I Really Need a Bone Folder? Bone Folder Review

When I was younger and at home for winter or summer breaks, I used to watch Martha Stewart's show in the mornings. Yes, I am a true craft nerd! I think it aired around 10 am, after the morning news shows. Whenever she'd make craft projects, she used a bone folder. I'd watch her create in awe, but I also scoffed at the idea of using a bone folder. Why would I need a specific tool just to fold paper? 

Well, now that I have a bone folder, I don't ever want to be without it! Mine is by the brand EK Success, as pictured above. I got it on sale at JoAnn, if you're wondering. I make a lot of cards and when working with cardstock, it can be hard to get a clean fold. Now that I use a bone folder, I can tell when someone has just used their fingers: the cardstock is all wrinkly around the fold, and the fold is not as tight. Even if you don't notice this, you will notice if a card is not standing straight, or if it isn't lying flat. A bone folder helps create a tight crease which in turn helps with a card's "posture," if you will. 

You can also use the tip of the folder to score along piece of cardstock. This is great for not only making cards, but making paper boxes, etc. I used to use a ruler for folding, but it would often leave lines or marks in my paper since it wasn't completely smooth. The plastic of the folder (and no, it isn't actually made of bone!) has a nice weight to it, is very smooth and also appears to be sturdy. It doesn't leave unnecessary marks or creases on my paper, and so far, I have nothing negative to say about it. 

Paper Lace: EK Success Edger Punch Project Ideas

I have been loving EK Success' border/edger punches! I made the set of stationery above by cutting cardstock down to size and then punching out the "paper lace" border. Simple and elegant. I've been seeing border punches pop up at Michael's, JoAnn's and other craft stores. They're easy to use, but you do have to have patience as it can get tedious to punch out several pieces. Also, you have to apply firm pressure to punch, which may not be suitable for those who have wrist/elbow issues.

I made a set of large gift tags (or luggage tags) by cutting kraft paper down to size, punching a hole in the top, adding a hole reinforcement and finally punching the bottom edge out. A long process for a simple set of tags! But I think the final result is pretty sweet. I handmade those belly bands with my shop name and think they add a really professional touch to my packaging! Have I mentioned it before? I'm a sucker for good packaging! They're on sale in my Etsy shop here:

Fiskars Paper Trimmer

I love my Fiskars paper trimmer! There are several models by various companies which work essentially the same way as the trimmer pictured above. You place the paper on the trimming board and slide the blade down. That's it! I used to avoid buying large scrapbook paper just because I hated spending time trimming things down to size. This trimmer allows me to have straight cuts every time! I was able to get mine on sale at JoAnn for $12.99 (I think the retail cost was $19.99) and it has so been worth it! I cannot imagine working on any craft project without this tool.

If you're wondering, the arm on the top slides up so you can measure paper up to 12 inches across. Super compact and easy to use. The only negative is that sometimes you get a slightly fuzzy edge when you cut. Some papers cut really cleanly, while others don't. It hasn't been a big deal for me; I just make sure to hold the trimmer down really firmly when I cut. The little fuzz is not nearly as bad as wobbly scissor-cut lines.

I am in love with this tool...can't imagine crafting without it.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Boys Birthday Card with Stars

I make so many bright, frilly, girlie cards, and it was about time I made something for a boy. Don't get me wrong, you can give this card to the special lady in your life, but I think the shades of blue and shooting stars would be perfect for a little boy. I stamped the background and sentiment, as well as the shooting stars. This would have been a perfect card for a summer birthday since it looks so patriotic. I've been loving simple scrapbook paper backgrounds, and when I saw this star-patterned paper at the craft store, I knew I had to have it.

Edge Punch Blank Cards

My edge-punched, or "lace edge" blank cards have gotten more views in my Etsy shop than my other cards that I decided to add this white option! I'll be adding them to my shop early next week. Simple and elegant.

Quilled Retirement Cards

A couple of friends at work were retiring, and since they've been great mentors to me as a graduate student intern, I couldn't let them leave us without giving them a token of gratitude. And for me, that token comes in the form of a handmade card! I had bought some quilling paper on and I had just let the packages sit around for a couple of weeks untouched. Usually, I can't wait to use my new craft supplies. I've mentioned before that quilling really tests my patience, but I enjoyed making these and was happy with the results.

For Linda, I knew I wanted to make something with coral pinks and oranges. She always wears coral shades and always has a coat of coral orange nail polish on her toes. She may be in her seventies, but she's still rocking those bright shades! For Vince, I opted for deeper shades, especially since we're heading into fall. I used Elmer's glue as my adhesive.

I hand-stamped their names using Inkadinkado alphabet stamps from the Somerset Set. I used Memento's dye ink, and I like the way it absorbed into the pearl-finish paper. The only thing I really dislike about these cards is the fact that when I erased the pencil line I had drawn to make the letters straight, it left a smudge that I couldn't get rid of. You can kind of see it in the photos, and I have since started using Post-It notes to make my straight lines. Overall, I really like the rich colors against the pearlized paper. Success!

Embossed Tags

I have a few Cuttlebug embossing folders, but don't use them nearly as much as I'd like to. I embossed a few pages of white cardstock and punched out a bunch of circles. I think these tags would be perfect for a wedding shower or baby shower. You can rub over the embossed design with ink (as I've done with the brown tag). Or, as with the turquoise one, I gently pressed it into a pad of Big Embossy embossing ink and embossed it with some turquoise powder. It didn't come out perfectly, but who's checking? I'll be adding them to my Etsy shop on Monday!

I added a sunflower sticker embellishment from Martha Stewart Crafts onto one of the punch outs and, voila! Instant gift tag! I have a ton of stickers, but if you just stick one on a card, it can look a bit incomplete. I think the embossed layer just adds that right something. String some ribbon through, and we're good to go.

Quilled Holiday Cards

I think I'm finally getting the hang of quilling! My designs have gotten a little more complex, and I even hand-stamped the sentiments using alphabet stamps. I guess a little practice really does go a long way. I added the above cards to my Etsy shop here