Using Scraps and Stuff

It’s always nice to use up little bits of this and that, whether it be paper, or stuff from a junk drawer.  A couple of years ago I was given a bag of miscellaneous bulletin papers that had never been used.  I finally went through that bag this weekend and found some interesting looking papers that I was able to use bits and pieces of, as well as some that I think will work well on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day cards.  In addition to that, I found a piece of cording.  So, I made two different cards using items from the bag.

The first card I made used the cording that I found as well as a piece of decorative postcard from the bag.

  The stuff I used.  I did use some card stock that coordinated with the colors on the postcard, some ink that also coordinated and some Gina K stamps.  And wound up with an interesting thank you card that looks like a picture.  I used some Sakura Glaze ink to make the flowers, the pot and the words shiny.  I also popped the piece up using some 3D tape.

For the next card, I used three different pieces of patterned paper I thought went together pretty well, stamped a Penny Black image and colored the image with colored pencils.  I also stamped a sentiment to include.

   And wound up with this. . .

It is a little busy looking with all the different patterned papers, but it was interesting to put so many found items together.

Don’t forget that you can use little pieces and wind up with something wonderful.  Whether you put lots of little pieces onto a plain sheet to make a random background, or cut pieces out of that random collection.  Or, you can use the little pieces to make pieces on your card like different petals of a flower, or clothes, pockets, etc.

Have fun!  Thanks for spending some time with me.

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Accordion Fold or Rosette and Fork Bow

The sketch challenge this week at CardSwap was really cute.  I tried a couple of new things: an accordion fold medallion or paper rosette and a bow tied using a fork.  Here is the finished project:

To make the Accordion Fold Medallion or Paper Rosette (I’ve see it listed as both), I took a 3/4″ x 11″ strip of paper and scored every 1/4″. 

I saw lots of different instructions for doing these and tried a couple of different ways.  You can have a scalloped edge along one (long) side of your strip, or use an edger, then score at the same point on each “scallop”.  You do want to know that however far apart your scores are, your medallion will be slightly higher than that.  My 1/4″ makes it too high to send through the mail without paying extra.  I also tried a 5″ long strip of paper, but that made the medallion very stretched out looking.

The next step is to do a fan fold along your strip.  A fan fold is to fold up on one score line and down on the next all the way to the end.

You will also need a small piece of paper to mount it on.  I cut out a 3/4″ circle, but it doesn’t need to be a circle, just small enough not to be seen.  The diameter of your medallion will be slightly larger than twice the width of your strip.

The top medallion in the image on the right was made using a 3/4″ wide strip.  The bottom medallion was made using a 1″ wide strip.

Now you want to put some glue in the center of your bottom mounting piece and one end of your fan folded strip.  There needs to be enough glue on the mounting piece that it will catch a good section of your medallion.  I tried using liquid glue, regular adhesive and glue dots.  The regular adhesive didn’t hold it together.  The liquid glue worked well, but I had to hold it for about a minute for it to set up and wound up getting it on my skin, too.  The large glue dots worked best.  Same for the end of my fan folded strip, too, only I used tiny glue dots for that.

Next step is to attach the ends of the strip together.  You want to wind up with the up down pattern going around the circle continuous, so you may need to trim off one piece, depending upon how you scored it.  Then you will want to stand the circle up with the edge you want on the outside down.  On mine it didn’t make a difference, but if you have a scalloped edge, you want the scalloped edge on your table and the flat edge up.

Now you want to grab a little ways apart at the top and kind of squish it together in the center, while pushing the center slightly down.  If you let go, it will spring back up.  When you get it pressed down in the center, use both hands and squish it together a bit so the hole in the center is fairly small, then lift the whole thing up, put it over the mounting base and squish it down into the glue.  The only thing you have left to do is attach something to the top over the hole.  You can put some glue around the center hole, then press a decorated circle, a button, a small flower, or whatever you want down on it.

I thought this was adorable, so I grabbed some paper and ribbon that went with the colors and put together a card.

The bow made using a fork was way too tiny, but I used it anyway.  I made mine using a dinner fork.  I’m going to have to find a serving fork to make a larger bow.  There were so many different ways of doing the bow using a fork, I’m just going to suggest Googling “Making a Bow with a Fork” and find a few instructions that make sense to you.

The sketch challenge is open until midnight on Tuesday, April 19, 2011, so take the time to check it out and participate!  I’d love to see what you come up with for the sketch.

Tea Bag Folding on a Card

I wanted to share a bit of teabag folding with you.  The colors on my card are for this week’s color challenge at StampTV.  Not the perfect colors for the theme of my card, but they’ll do.  Here is the completed card, then I’ll go through the steps of making the Nested Star in the center.

To begin to make my Nested Star, I chose paper in the color I needed for my card.  In this case, Mango.  The paper I used was about 80 lb paper, so quite thick for this use, but it works to show you how I did it.  Usually you would use quite thin paper, like origami, or plain copy paper which is available in colors.  Using plain or colored copy paper and stamping on it to begin with would work wonderfully. 

Next, I cut 2″ strips.  You can use either 2″ or 1-7/8″ for this, but 2″ was easier to line up on my cutter.

Then I cut the strips in the other direction to make 2″ squares. 

I cut my whole 12 x 12 sheet of paper into 2″ squares, though I only needed 8 for this project.

To begin folding, flip the squares over so the back side is showing. 

The next step is to turn the square so it looks like a diamond and fold the bottom point up to meet the top point.

Your fold should be on the bottom.  Then fold the left point over to meet the right point.  Unfold this last fold.

Your fold should still be on the bottom with the points at the top, but you will have a crease going from the top point to the center of the bottom.

Now you want to separate the points and fold just the top layer down so the top point meets the crease on the bottom.

Next step is to fold the bottom layer so the top point meets the horizontal fold you just made.

After that, fold that bottom layer down over the top layer at the same horizontal fold.

Your piece should look like the bottom left image.

The image at the top right of this picture is the same as the bottom image above.  Now, flip your piece over.

Then you want to take the point on the left side (while the image is facing down) and fold it up along the center crease line.

Flip your piece back over.

Do the same steps for all 8 of your squares.

Now you want to glue each of these pieces together.  You want to put a bit of glue on the white point, then slide the next piece up along that white (bottom of the paper) edge until the point touches the fold.  It will be under the top folded piece.  I found that my glue pen wouldn’t hold, so I used some tiny glue dots I made a couple of weeks ago.  Continue around until all 8 of your pieces are attached together.  On the last piece, you will have to pull the point of your first piece out and tuck it above as with the other pieces.

Your finished octagon should look like this. 

You may need to shift the pieces a bit to get all eight together.  You can see from the white areas that I had to do a bit of shifting.  Make sure you work quickly so your glue is still soft enough to wiggle a bit.  If you use glue dots, just don’t firmly press down until all pieces are fitted together.

Don’t worry, you are almost done and after you have done one, it really goes together quite quickly.  Now, flip this piece over.

If you like this look, you can use it like this.  However, if you like the look of mine, you have just a few more steps.

You want to take the outside point of each piece and fold it over so it touches the inside point.  This is the same as the second fold you did.  Once again, unfold this fold.  Now you want to separate the outside edges a bit and flatten it so the fold is on top, right down the center.  This is probably the hardest part besides gluing all the pieces together.  Don’t worry, you can do it.

Do this for each of the points.  For a different look, you could do every other point, too.

Your image should look like this: 

Now you can flip it over and put some adhesive on, then put it where you want it.  You just created a beautiful piece to use on a card, in a scrapbook, for a decoration, or whatever you want.

Tea bag folding is the process of using origami folds on small decorative pieces of paper, adhering them together in different ways to make beautiful pieces.  The squares of paper used can be anywhere from 3/8″ to 2″, if you want a piece small enough to fit on a card.  If you want something larger, use larger squares.

I will try to share a different design with you every so often as this is quite fun and makes beautiful pieces.

Hopefully my instructions were clear with the pictures.  If there is anything you don’t understand, please let me know and I will try to clarify.

Thanks for taking the time to share this fun art form with me!

Adhesive Testing and Making Your Own Glue Dots

I signed up to participate in an Operation Write Home card drive through CardMaker Magazine CardSwap Forum, so I checked out the Operation Write Home site to find out the particulars of what they wanted and didn’t want.  One of the things they stressed was using a good adhesive that will stand up to a LOT.  So, I started researching some of the adhesives they listed as being good.  Last weekend I was talking to my folks about it and my dad was asking if I thought one of the adhesives would work on metal as he sometimes needs to adhere a piece in a safe when working on them.  So, I did some testing. . .

To do the testing, I determined to use heavy nuts (the metal kind) on a metal background as I figured that would be closer to what my dad was looking for.  Besides that, if you ever attempted to adhere something that heavy to a card, you wouldn’t be making your card out of paper or mailing it.  I found some metal out in my workshop, along with the nuts and washed them off.  On the right side of the metal piece, I wiped it down with an alcohol wipe thinking that might make a difference in stickability.

The 3 adhesives I wanted to test are:

The Scotch (by 3M) Advanced Tape Glider.  I asked the people at 3M if there was a difference between this one and the ATG 714.  They said there were a couple of differences, but they wouldn’t be apparent to the user.  They do use the same adhesive rolls.  The Advanced Tape Glider I was able to get at Michael’s with a 40 percent off coupon, which made it affordable.  It is, however, pink, so my dad probably wouldn’t be too thrilled with it.  This is the one used at the top of the board.

The next adhesive on the board are some glue dots that I made.  One of the wonderful ladies on the CardMaker CardSwap Message board told us how to make these a while back.  I’ll show you at the bottom.  To make them you use Aleene’s Tack-It Over and Over.  You can see I made all different sizes of glue dots.  I used some that were approximately the size of a dime.

The last adhesive I tested was Beacon’s 3 in 1 Advanced Craft Glue.  This is a liquid, so I wasn’t sure how it would work.  This is the one used at the bottom of the board.

I had wanted to do this trial in video form, but I didn’t have anyone available to film it and I started work while still in my pajamas, so you get pictures.  Be glad.

I started applying at the top of the board and working down.  So I started with the Advanced Tape Glider, applied adhesive to the back of the nuts and put one on each side of the board.  I pushed them on, but didn’t hold them at all, just stuck them on, grabbed the camera and took the picture.

Next I used the glue dots, stick one to the top and slightly down the sides and stuck them to the board.  The picture is taken immediately after application.

Finally, I put some of the Beacon’s 3 in 1 adhesive on the back of the nuts, stuck them on the board and took the picture.  Then set down the camera, picked them up as they had immediately fallen off and put them on again.  I didn’t hold them for any amount of time, just stuck them up there again.  There was maybe 20 seconds between putting them on the board the first and second time.  They stuck the second time.  The reason they fell off immediately may have been that I used too much adhesive on them.  I was amazed that they immediately stuck the second time and so quickly, too.

I left the board sitting there for about 1/2 to 3/4 of an hour while I went in, got showered, dressed and ready for the day.  Then I stuck the whole thing in my ice box freezer (the kind you reach down into).  I checked them at just over 1 hour, then took them out at 2 1/2 hours.

You can see the frost all over it when I took it out of the freezer after 2 1/2 hours.

I immediately put it into the oven and set the oven for 500 degrees Fahrenheit.  I used a thermometer to see what the temperature was as I went along.

This was at 270 degrees:

The first ones to fall off were the Advanced Tape Glider.  The one on the left or washed side was the first to fall, but the other fell almost immediately afterwards.

This was at 333 degrees:

The next to fall off were the Beacon’s 3 in 1.  They both fell at almost precisely the same time.

Just before my oven got to 500 degrees (higher than the temperature gauge would read on my digital thermometer), the glue dot on the side wiped with the alcohol fell off.  The oven almost immediately got to 500 degrees, then I took the picture and turned off the oven.

That last one held on by my homemade glue dot kept hanging on.  I had to peel it off.

The only thing I didn’t check was for stickability in high humidity.  This is Arizona and it is extremely dry today.  So, all the adhesives worked quite well, but the glue dots lasted longest in extreme high heat.  I doubt any cards would be getting up to 270 degrees Fahrenheit even when being shipped around the middle east.

MAKING YOUR OWN GLUE DOTS:

Start with a bottle of Aleene’s Tack-It Over and Over and I used a sheet that had held computer labels.  Wax paper or parchment paper would probably work as well.  The bottle is a greenish color with purple on it.

Start making your dots.  This is liquid adhesive, so it runs.  If you get the dots too close together, they will run together.  My sheet also started to bend as the liquid stayed on it, so I had several that ran together.  I tried making teeny tiny ones (I have a difficult time getting rhinestones off with their adhesive still attached), medium sized ones, as well as gigantic ones, though I don’t know what I’ll use them for.  Then you just leave them to dry.  The tiny ones dried to clear within an hour or so, while the gigantic ones I left for about 36 hours.  When they are done, they are clear.  They are very sticky as I barely brushed the sheet with my hand and wound up with some stuck to me.  To save them, just put another sheet of non-stick paper on top and you are ready to go.  If you put them on wax or parchment paper, you could cut the pieces down and stack them with an extra on top.

This last picture is a close up of the large ones so you can see how they look.  You can make them fairly thick, or spread the adhesive out for thinner ones.  I didn’t get any that were paper thin, but it is probably possible.

Thanks for exploring adhesives with me today!

Blog Hopping and Giveaways

StampTV is having a blog hop today featuring Spellbinders new Grand Calibur die cutting machine and some of their wonderful dies.  As I was hopping along, one of the designers is celebrating 2 years and is having a giveaway.  So, if you are interested in the giveaway, check out Nina’s blog.  If you want to check out the blog hop, start here.  There are some pretty fantastic cards made by very talented ladies.

Thanks for checking in with me!

Simple Butterfly Card

The Sketch Challenge this week at CardMaker is a beautiful, simple sketch.  The Color Challenge this week at StampTV was also quite simple and neutral.  So, using both I came up with a very simple butterfly card using the following supplies.

I looked through my paper to find paper that matched the color, then determined what I actually wanted the card to look like with those.  I changed my mind a bit as I went along, but came up with something I liked.  The pretty green patterned paper I got at a paper swap at CardMaker.  There is actually a paper swap going on monthly, as well as a button swap, if you are interested in trading in some of your supplies for some new ones.  Anyway, here is the card I came up with.

I didn’t add a sentiment, yet, as I’m not sure what I will use it for.  It is nice to have a selection of cards that can have a sentiment added and be used for many different occasions.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Wedding Card in Chocolate

My favorite way to make a card is by thinking of the person I am making the card for and the occasion.  The card I made today is for the wedding of a girl who grew up with my daughter.  I asked her mother what the wedding colors were: chocolate-brown, tan and gold with sunflowers.  Many different ideas came to me, but as I looked through my papers, I found a bunch of brown and cream that were really quite nice.  The papers were 12×12, so the images are large for scrap booking.  I needed to only use part of the page for a card, so I had to determine which images would work for what I was looking for.  As I got started, these were my supplies:

I started off with the brown and cream patterned paper, a piece of cream cardstock for the actual card, a punch out that goes with the paper, some Memento Rich Cocoa ink and some gold ribbon.  I determined which direction I wanted the card to open and orientation, then determined I wanted to use the lower right corner of the patterned paper for my background.  I cut that piece, then smoothed the edges of my punch out and inked them.  I also cut a piece of the ribbon long enough, then determine how wide it should be to fit through the slots on the sentiment punch out and cut it width wise.  When I got the pieces together, I realized that I had forgotten the gold sunflowers that I had intended to use (that was my first idea).  So, I used some gold shimmer paper, dry embossed a sunflower and cut it out.  I wanted to use a brown button in the center, but looking through my buttons, found I didn’t have any that were the correct size.  So, I found two buttons I thought would both look good and had my daughter take a look.  She picked the one I used.  I took in all the pieces laid out so she would have an idea of how it was going to look.  I find it helpful to get another opinion when putting things together if I’m not absolutely positive about something from the way I lay it out to a piece on it, etc.

Now it was time to put everything together.  I slid the gold ribbon through the sentiment and determined that needed to be centered at the top.  Before I adhered it, I laid the sunflower at the bottom to make sure I had my placement correct.  I adhered the sentiment, then adhered the button to the sunflower with a glue dot.  Because of the look of the button, I determined not to tie anything through the button holes.

The finished card.  The colors, as well as the flower are all there and the leaves on the patterned paper look like they should be near a flower.  I’m sure she will enjoy the card.  I gave her a candle I had made as a present.  She is in the midst of the ceremony now and I’m sure she and her beau will have a wonderful life together.  That’s not to say there won’t be a lot of hard work involved.

Thanks for sharing this celebration with me!

Having Fun with Paper

Today I only had to spend an hour at work.  I do have to work all day Friday, which I normally don’t, which is why.  Anyway, it was fun to get to come home and spend a little time working on cards.  I actually tried a few of the different background techniques Gina K has been demonstrating on StampTV recently.  My efforts weren’t very good, but I have a pretty good idea of what is wrong, so I’ll keep working on it.

Here are the cards I actually made today:

This one is the Sketch Challenge on CardMaker Magazine’s Card Swap that started today.  The flower sheet is one of the background pieces I tried.  I added some rhinestones to flower centers to try to make it look a little better.  Check out the challenge as it just started today, so you have until next Tuesday at midnight CST to enter.

This one is for both the Sketch Challenge on StampTV and the Weekly Challenge on CardMaker.  The sketch you can see.  The weekly challenge was to make a manly card with no ribbon, glitter, etc.  Check them out and see what you come up with.  Half the fun is coming up with an idea.  This one is for my father who is a locksmith.  He is also intrigued by antiques, so he’ll like it.  I stamped the keys with brown ink and then embossed with gold embossing powder.

Thanks for taking the time to share my creative outlet with me.  Take the time to check out Isaiah 40 this week.  It is such a comforting and encouraging chapter.  Enjoy the rest of your week!

Cards Made at Crop

This is going back, but I’ve been busy recently and wanted to share the cards I made at the CardMaker Magazine/CardSwap February Crop.  We have a new crop coming up in May that will be tons of fun, so make sure you set some time aside!

This one was a challenge where we were given a recipe of items to use on a card and then we had to make a card from that recipe.  It was quite fun.  And, everyone’s card was quite different from the next.

This was a monochrome color challenge,using yellow.  I also followed the sketch challenge on StampTV and came up with my Sunshine card.  You can tell I embossed the triangles in the corner, then used Sakura glaze pens to bring out the yellow on some areas.  It was supposed to be monochrome, so only one color, but I didn’t notice the little white dots on the oval paper until the next day when I saw it in natural light.  It was still mostly yellow, and I liked it.

This one was a sketch challenge.  I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, but was fairly pleased with it.  The colors went together quite nicely and I tried some new things.

This one was a corner bookmark challenge.  I’m not too enthusiastic about the corner bookmarks, but my son had asked for a bookmark using this dragon image, so I figured it would work.  The way the corner bookmarks work, this can only be used on right hand pages, or just stuck in between the pages like a regular bookmark.  My son really likes it and got lots of nice comments from other students and teachers at school when he first took it.  I used Sakura glaze pens for all of the coloring, so it stands out quite nicely.  The red triangle is a shimmer sheet, so it sparkles nicely, too.

This challenge was to use lyrics from your favorite song and make a card.  As I couldn’t come up with a favorite song at the time, I asked my husband what his favorite song was and he came up with this one.  (Can you tell it was a rough week at work?)  I actually had a lot of fun making the card and figured it would work well for someone to give to their boss on retiring, or just for someone retiring in general.  Definitely NOT something you would want to give in anything other than humor!!!

The challenge on this one was to use something that had been printed for another use.  M husband came up with this idea for his mother’s birthday.  The magnifying glass has Glossy Accents so it shines.  Neither of us was totally impressed with the card, but we both figured it was the old woman figure that put us off.  Yes, we are still planning on giving it to my MIL for her next birthday.

This challenge was to make a card that would make someone laugh.  I loved the Penny Black stamp from the Bubbles set of the cat and mouse each taking a bath, so decided to go with the thought of giving a cat a bath.  From experience, I know it usually winds up with lots of scratches on the person, so I added some scratches to the woman going to do clean up afterwards.  Not sure how I’ll use this card, but thought it was funny.  Neither of my children, nor my husband, got it, but a lot of the ladies on the forum did.  (We aren’t a cat family.)

This challenge was to decorate something you love.  My children, husband and dogs didn’t want to be decorated, so I wound up decorating a candle I had made.  I’ve been burning it ever since (minus the decoration as that would be dangerous).  It is a coconut candle I made and actually looked better in person than in the picture as the colors don’t seem to go together too well in the picture.

I put my challenge for Friday about using blue flock up as a post, so I won’t repost that picture.

This challenge was to use a one inch square on a two-inch square on a card.  Inchies and Twinchies aren’t my favorite, but I actually liked how this one turned out.  The “J” is on the inchie which is at an angle on the twinchie with the other letters and an embossed dragonfly.  We also had to have an image on the card.  I used stickers rather than stamps for my letters, but they were all shades of purple.

One of our hosts absolutely loves butterflies, so her challenge was to use either a butterfly, bee, or bird (anything that flew) on a card.  I had a card kit from a swap of kits that we had done not too long ago that I used for most of this card.  It is always nice to have a few things that you wouldn’t normally have to use.

The challenge on this one was to make a wrapper for a candy bar.  My husband gave me a candy bar someone at work had given to him, so I had to wrap it up and give it back for a special occasion.  This was the weekend before Valentine’s Day, so he got an “Instant Vacation” for the holiday.

The last challenge I completed was one to decorate a container and make at least three encouraging sayings to go inside it.  Mine was fairly simple, but decorating the container was quite a bit of trouble.  I didn’t have any StazOn ink in black, and trying to cover a tin container with regular black ink just didn’t work well at all.  (That container wound up being recycled.)  I finally just made a black piece to cover the top and the edges went along with the teal, so I left them alone.  My husband really liked this one as he also got it for Valentine’s Day.  I did have to go back and round the corners on each of my pieces as my measuring was just slightly off when I made them.  I also trimmed the edges just a hair.

Whew, it was a busy weekend, but it was a LOT of fun!  We had several new players join in and they had quite a bit of fun, too.  There was only one challenge I didn’t complete and that was making a small picture album.  I’m not into picture albums, so figured it wasn’t something I would give away and didn’t need.  Also, it has been my goal the past several crops to not complete every challenge as the first few crops I participated in, I did WAY too many things.  Yes, I’m a bit OCD.  I think the biggest challenge is choosing which challenge NOT to participate in and then sticking to that.

Do join us for the next crop coming up in May.  It is easy enough to do whichever challenges you want and skip the others.  We also have plenty of time to complete the challenges as we have until the following Tuesday at midnight CST to post our creations.  All you have to do is take a picture and post it digitally to the challenge thread.  Please plan to join us!

Blue Suede Shoes with Flock

I am hosting one of the challenges in the CardMaker “Break Out of the Blues” crop.  My challenge is to be Elvis and give me some Blue Suede Shoes.  Use blue flock to make some shoes (any type of shoe is fine) look suede.

To start, I gathered supplies.  The pair of shoes is a clipart image I found online and printed out.  To get started, I put my image on a light table and used a blue pen to trace the image onto my cardstock.  If you don’t have a light table, you can use a glass table with a light underneath, or just tape the image to a window with the sun or a light behind.

Then I used a glue pen (mine was a Martha Stewart Fine Tip Glue Pen, but there are many different kinds and any will do) to fill in the areas I wanted the suede look on the shoes.  After I got the glue on the image, I covered the image with blue flock and pressed down with my finger to get it to stick fairly thickly.  I let it sit like that for about 15 minutes to make sure it was good and dry before dumping off the extra flock (I poured it on a sheet of folded paper so I could get the extra back in the container) and tapping the back to get off loose flock.

I used a glitter gel pen to color in the heels and give it a bit of sparkle.  That is also what I traced the image in.  Next I cut the image down to the size I wanted for my card.

While the glue was drying, I cut my background paper and embossed it with the Allegro Cuttlebug embossing folder.  The song was my theme, so I wanted to make it a bit musical.

After embossing, I used some blue ink and a dauber (you can use a small sponge) to lightly rub a bit of color over the background and make the music stand out.  As long as you rub lightly, it just highlights a bit.

Then I put it all together and came up with my finished card.  I was pretty happy with the way it turned out.

Please check out the crop and make a card with some Blue Suede Shoes for my challenge.  CardMaker is offering some fabulous prizes for each of the challenges!  You have plenty of time to play.