Wednesday, November 28, 2007


I found this idea at a quilt show and thought it was the cutest thing. Since I am in charge of craft ideas for our church's Secret Shop for children I just had to get one for a model. Have we made them NO of course not! Will we? Certainly not this year. The Secret Shop is on Saturday morning and time is quickly running out. I also saw ones decorated like Santa Claus. I think these would be fun as stocking stuffers. But I fear the snowman would not stay together for long as who can resist a yummy tootsie roll pop! I know I can't especially raspberry flavored ones. What is your favorite flavor?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Christmas Cards for Advent Workshop

Yesterday was our annual Hanging of the Greens and Advent Workshop at our church. Now there is no doubt about it. The march toward Christmas has begun.

As part of the Advent workshop the adults worked on assembling Christmas cards that will be taken down to Walter Reed Hospital in Washington DC for recovering soldiers of the Afghan and Iraqi wars.

I say assembled because I did all the design, stamping, cutting and punching work in advance. I knew that only two of us that would be there had any card making or stamping experience and we had a goal of 100 cards to be made in the allotted two hours of the Advent workshop. These are three of the six designs that we worked on. They all were fairly simple cards. These are my favorite three. I spent most of Saturday afternoon and evening working on preparing the the "kits" for each card. Part of my goal was to not have to purchase any supplies except for adhesive. Everything else came out o my stash. Most though not all of the cardstock used came out o a pile of stuff I have from my pre-SU days.

One new thing I tried with these cards that I am now hooked on is using MS WORD and printing the sentiment directly onto cardstock. This is how I got the "Merry Christmas" the size I wanted it as all my stamps that said this were either too small or a style that didn't work. I've often thought of doing this, but for some reason never actually tried it. Why I don't know it was so easy and I got just what I wanted. I guess it works best when mass producing a particular card so that you don't waste card stock. Now my next challenge to try printing a sentiment inside the card. This won't be as easy because to do that I need to be able to get it placed in the correct spot. If anyone has a hint on how to do this please leave a comment.

Friday, November 23, 2007


Back with info and hints on these other two ornaments. The ball ornament is actually a paper mache ornament ball that I covered by decoupaging small pictures of quilts all over it. In the past I have used regular Modge Podge and not been particularly happy with the results. They look nice, but always stayed slightly tacky feeling and it if was at all humid they got very tacky. This time I used a Modge Podge product for decoupaging on furniture. The label said it was an extra hard coating. It is not at all tacky feeling. This is a bit of a messy process, but is fun. I've also done them using small pieces of fabric. They are a nice ornament gift for a person who likes to sew. One other hint; I hang them to dry. I have a spool thread holder that I use, but you could also loop them over the top of a wire clothes hanger. They would had down into the triangular space in the middle.

The final ornament is also from Split Coast. I used the Stampin'Up! scalloped punch. I couldn't find a good link to send you to for directions so here are mine.

Using your scallop circle punch, punch out 8 different "scallops" of designer series paper. I cut four each of two different papers. Fold each scallop circle in half. Now glue one side of the folded 1/2 circle to the back of another 1/2 circle. Continue until you have all eight circles glued, then wait to glue the last two sides together. Take about 12" of gold or silver cord; fold in half, and place a Pretties clear "bobble" or two at one end. Then insert the cord between the last two sides of the scallop circles, and glue the last sides together. This makes a really cute "ball" with dangly "crystals". I tried several different types of adhesives and decides that SU's Anywhere Glue Stick worked the best.

I've made several different ones and you can embellish they all differently. For some I used stickles around the outer edges for a glittery look, and on others I painted around the edge with my Ziggy gold/silver ink pen.

Though it is hard to explain how to make these they are really very easy after you have made a few. I think the first one took me about a half an hour . Now I ca whip one out in about 15 minutes. HAVE FUN!

There are still a few more ornament types I want to play with making. I have some glass balls that I am going to place a stamped image inside of, and I purchased some microscope slide to experiment with. Also I just found directions for domino ornaments. So stay tuned for more ornament fun!


Thanksgiving is over which means it's now full steam ahead to Christmas. YIKES!!! Wasn't it just Christmas 2006 a few weeks ago? This year has really flew by.

In getting ready for the Christmas decorating and gift giving season I've been working on ornaments. These are three of the four ornaments that I am working o for this year. The Snowflake and Scallop Circle ornaments are ideas I picked up from Split Coast Stampers. The ball with pictures of quilts decoupaged on it is a ornament I have been making for quilting friends for several years now.

All three of these ornaments are very easy to make once you figure out a few tricks to make them so. I will try and share these tricks with you here so that you can maybe by pass the mistakes I made at first.

For the Snowflake ornament you need both size tag punches from Stampin'Up. Here is a link to the detailed instructions on SCS: Snowflakes. I will not go into detail but tell you some hints to maybe make your experience making them easier. I found that if I left at least 1/2 ich between punches I didn't make so many miss punches. Also do use some sort of grid paper under your project. It really helps to keep things straight. If you don't use a vellum you can see through for the back of your snowflake do your best. So far I have only used vellum.

If you want to use glitter like I did put it on before you put the two star layers together. I found either Stickles worked well or you can outline star shape with thin lines of liquid glue and then pour liberal amount of Dazzling Diamonds over top of star shapes. Let dry fully and then assemble. I used two SU dimentionals between the layers and laid the cording over the top of them before putting the two layers together.

The center of the ornaments was fun to do. I found sheets of sticky strip on the Oriental Trading website and I used my punches to punch out the flower shapes. I then removed the backing of the sticky strip and places the shape on white card stock. I carefully repunched the shape than removed the red covering of the sticky strip and lid the sticky side down into the Dazzling Diamond glitter. Before I layered the center piece I placed a half pearl from my Pretties kit in the center of the small flower using Crystal effects. I did discover if I put the pearl on after everything was layered together it was hard to keep it from sliding off center.

Okay, it supposed to be a relaxing and crafty day for me here and my fingers are getting tired of typing so I guess you will all have to patiently await the tips for the other two ornaments. While you are waiting you can make a few snowflake ornaments....right?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Two more cards completed. One of course is a sympathy card. I very much enjoy making cards, but I would much prefer to always be making some sort of congratulatory card rather than always these. But hopefully the ones I do make and send at least bring a moment of comfort to those who receive them. You may notice on the Sympathy card that there are a total of 4 eyelets used. Do you like it? See that interesting way of lacing the cording through the eyelets.......(confession time)....I used my crop-a-dile to punch the wholes for what was to be a single set of eyelets. I thought I was being very careful, but evidently I wasn't being careful enough. They were very crooked. Hmmmmm....that was not going to work....what to do. Through out the card front and start again? Of course not! I have learned from my years of crafting that with a little creative thought there are very few mistakes that are totally uncorrectable. (This now becomes a lesson in creative problem solving). The solution for me here was to add two more eyelets each of which was directly across from one of the crooked ones so I now had a pair of eyelets on each side of the card. Then a little creative lacing and...well I anyway was happy with the result. As a side note I had made several other sympathy cards as our church administrative assistant wanted to purchase one and guess which of the four she choose.....yup....this solution to a mess really did work. This was the one she choose.

The other card here is showing the use of another one of my frosted filters as a background. I wanted to see what would happen if I embossed on the filter and this is what resulted. The right and left borders are what are embossed. I really like using craft ink and clear embossing powder. I find it much nicer than having many jars of different colored embossing powders. And colors that really don't match the SU colors. By using SU craft inks I aleways have a perfect match or a well coordinatied color scheme.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


So here is part two of my challenges with the postcard.

Coloring: How to color nicely and evenly without the color bleeding though to the back of the postcard? I hadn't even considered this to be an issue in the beginning because it has never been an issue on my cards. WRONG! When I color on cards it is almost always a layer on which the image is colored that is than placed on the main card in some fashion. Since these were postcards I wasn't sure that layering was a good idea. Postal machines can be rather finicky and I certainly didn't want to risk either them being mangled in the mailing process or being total rejected by the postal service as a postcard. So I decided early on to keep the cards one layer. (I find that in and of itself a challenge; one layer cards that is.)

My first thought was to color with Prisma colored pencils and Gamsol (sp?). Well I found the pencils easy enough, but have looked every where and couldn't find the orderless mineral spirits Gamsol or any others for that matter, so I did some research and discovered that some folks reported success using alcohol or baby oil; that I had. I decided to try the alcohol as I was sure that baby oil would soak through and leave an oily mark on the back. Well, the alcohol didn't work either. The color bled to the back. I found a Prisma blender pen, but it also bled to the back. So I moved on to watercolor crayons and aqua painter, no that bled as well as I was sure it would. I tried markers and while they didn't bleed so badly there looked bad. Like they had been colored my a kindergarten student! I tried a few other things that didn't work and finally remembered my pastels and blender pen. I was worried that the blender pen would bleed through but it worked just fine. That took care of the coloring issue. It took a while to color them all, but I did get the 25 done in about 3 hours.

Then I moved on the the background. The colored images were nice, but to me they appeared simply to be floating on a boring white page. I have discovered I don't like empty space, even on my cards. I almost always use background stamps. First I determined I wanted some sort of a road to connect the truck to each of the houses and give move of a feeling of driving from one to the other. Nor trial and error here. I tried different methods of drawing or painting a road and once again they all looked horrid. Then I stumbled across the stem from the Serene Sunflower SU stamp set and it worked well I think. Another problem solved.

I still wasn't happy though. TOO MUCH WHITE SPACE! What to do? My first thought was to sponge a blue for the sky and then a green under the "road" and along the bottom for grass. I used Soft Sky one of the'07-- '08 In Colors and that worked well. I sponged a green on one card and that did not work! So I settled on sponging the whole card front in the blue and the card was finally done.

I am happy to report my friend was thrilled and thought they were exactly what she was looking for. And so another project and learning experience was completed.

Saturday, November 10, 2007


I made these postcards for a friend to give her father to announce his move. They were fun to do, but they did present a few challenges along the way.

This was a learning project! It was fun but it involved trial and error and much learning. I have never made postcards before, but thought they couldn't be much different than cards. WRONG! Well at least the way I choose to do them was different.

This first challenge was what to do them on. I choose plain white 110lb card stock. I could have purchased Avery Postcards, but that would have been much more costly as I only needed 25 cards not 200 which is how I found them packages. The second challenge was figuring out how to handle all the written information that needed to be on a card of this type. I immediately determined I wasn't going to stamp it all. That was not practical and I also eliminated my handwriting which is not all that good. The final result was using Printshop and designing the backside of the postcard (where you address it) to look like the back of a postcard complete with a little square that says "place stamp here" and all the information on the move. I also left room if my friends dad wanted to add a note.

The front of the card is what you see here in this Blog entry. I did the writing once again using Printshop and also printed out the pictures of the house and the apartment building in the corners. I did this mainly because I knew that I didn't have stamps for these. The truck is a SU stamp from Loads of Love and it's accessory set gave me the furniture and the person. The road is actually the stem from Serene Sunflowers. I did all the stamping using Stazon Black as I thought I might be watercoloring and didn't want to risk any running of the stamp. So far so good. The real challenge came with how to color the images. For the answers to those challenges I'm afraid you will have to wait as it is very late and I am making more mistakes typing than I care to correct. Tune in tomorrow for part 2 of the postcard challenge.

Sunday, November 04, 2007


I can't! Where has this year gone? I don't have anything to show today. Batteries are dead in the camera and what I've been working on today is not really scanable. I've been finishing u odds and ends of projects that have been sitting out on the dinning room table. I guess I finally got tired of looking at them. I've sewn snaps on baby bibs, sewn closed the turn openings on two sets of placemats, and now I need to go down to my sewing machine and put the final quilting touches on them all. When that is all completed I will be ready to head back up to the stamping area and finish up some projects that are sitting out there. I'm sure none of you ever have unfinished projects lying around being "clutter". BUT if you do now is the time to get to work finishing them so that we are all ready for those Holiday projects that are waiting in the wings. After all it is November! For those who celebrate Christmas you know it will be here in only 51 days!