Thursday, January 31, 2013

Stampscapes = great masculine cards

I have been wanting to use these stamps again for awhile.  I'm a big fan of Stampscapes.  I took a class with Kevin, the owner and creator of Stampscapes, a long time ago and he is wonderful.  He makes it look so easy too.  I recently looked him up on youtube and it bought back great memories of my class with him.  His  videos are so helpful, especially if you are like me, who no longer remember things as well.  I love making these type of cards for guys.  When I showed this to my husband, he was admiring it.  This type of card is so him, filled with the beauty of nature that he loves.  These are the stamps that I turn to when I want to make a card for him.      
Stampscapes stamps are designed to fit well together without any masking most of the time.  I did not mask anything.  I just eyeball everything and stamped.  The most time consuming part of this card was the layer of colors added to give this night scene.  I used to shy away from making a lot of these cards because they take a long time coloring.  Now I find it soothing and try not to rush the process as much.  This was all stamped on glossy paper so the color laid on is with dye-based ink.  Basically the picture below is all the materials you need along with glossy paper and card base.  I highly recommend that you watch his videos to make this type of card.  It's much easier than reading instructions.   



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A classic masculine birthday card

I always struggle with making masculine cards and from what I see requested on blogs, so does other paper- crafters.  I made this card for my father-in-law.  He is a classic through and through.  His first car was a Hupmobile and looks similar to the car below.  It even have wooden spokes on the wheels, wow!  Coincidentally, there was a documentary on Henry Ford on PBS the other night.  What an interesting man to say the very least.  Henry Ford had some major flaws but was a visionary no less.  
This is my favorite card layout.  I used pattern paper from My Mind's Eye 6x6 pad.  I adhered strips of paper onto the card base.  I stamped the birthday sentiment in black ink before I adhered it on top of where the two pattern paper meets.  I also stamped out the car in black before I cut it out.  I used the car as placement for my "You're a Classic" sentiment.  The alphabet stickers are easy to place but sometimes need a little glue like the letter C here.  I adhere the car with dimensionals.  I love this pattern paper.  I think it works well for this type of card.  



Papers:
Neenah Classic Crest Smooth Solar White
My Mind's Eye Moment pad 6x6 paper pad

Stamps:
Tim Holtz clear stamp set
Heidi Grace clear stamp set

Ink:
Memories ink pad - black

Other supplies:
Recollections alphabet stickers
Gelly Roll - white gel pen


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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A sticky situation - ATG and more

Here is my review of adhesives I've used and the results I seen with them.  I do not work for the 3M company or any adhesive company.  Though, I should, at least, get stocks in them since we go through so much.  :-)  My 7 year loves tape and feels he can attach anything and everything with them.

Over the years, I have used different types of adhesive and my favorite, for a while, has been the Scotch double-sided tape. I have been using Scotch double-sided tape for a long time and it works great but not very fast since I have to rip each piece individually.  I do like that it is a strong tape and it gives you a little time to adjust if you lay something down crooked and need to adjust.  Once you press it down, it is a strong bond.  You would ripe the paper if you try to pull it apart.  I like that I have a lot of control over the size of adhesive too, since I can cut the tape with a scissor and also I can place it right along the edge of a piece of paper.  It works great!  I buy it in bulk at Sam's Club so it is not the most expensive option out there.  I know there is some waste since it comes with a dispenser .  It worked for me since, for a long time, I've been too busy with my boys to do much crafting.  I had other fun things to do, like play with my babies!  :-)

Anyway, I did get a Scotch tape pen and that worked well in terms of how it dispenses.  It glides on very smoothly and easily.  It was not very sticky, though. Your project will come apart easily without any paper tearing apart.  So chances are great that your creation will fall apart when the person gets it in the mail.  :-(







I also recently got a Scotch tape runner and it was horrible.  It did not dispense the tape well at all.  Maybe I got a bad one but it was a waste of money, and a waste of time trying to "coax" the tape out.  Also, it does not create a strong bond to paper.  I sometimes use it if I need some temporary adhesive.  That was disappointing since I love Scotch and trust their products.  Oh well,  on to the next tape.





After that disappointment, I decided to try something cheap and was pleasantly surprised.  I bought an Ad Tech glue runner at Hobby Lobby, mainly because of the price.  I know nothing about this brand and I don't know anyone who uses it either.  I was happy to see how easily it dispenses and that it came with a cover for travel was a bonus.  The bond between paper was better than the two Scotch brand tape pen and runner.  Now at least I have another travel tape dispenser option.  I have to admit that I was a little embarrassed with my little double-sided tape and how slow it was to adhere everything.  Meanwhile everyone around me was zipping along with their tape runners. I also tend to be precise which means my tape has be right on the corner.  I know.  I probably drove them crazy!  Or should I say crazier. :-)

I have been eyeing the Scotch Advanced Tape Glider (ATG 085- 1/4" tape) for a  long time and researched it to see if it is a worthwhile investment.  It looks too bulky to me at first and not very travel friendly but I like that it comes with a lot of tape and there is not much waste.  Yes, I'm one of those who think of the environment and yes, I recycle and cringe when I see people throwing out recyclables.  Anyway, my husband surprised me at Christmas with one.  I was so excited and happy.  I know...over tape.  It's a simple life I lead.  It doesn't take much to make me happy.  :-)  Okay, back to the ATG, it has a strong permanent bond to paper so it's not very forgiving when you set it down onto another piece of paper.  I had a hard time lifting it up completely without creasing my work or ripping it once my paper with the adhesive touches the other paper.  I love the strong bond but I have to be careful with my placement of paper.  I like that you can also run some tape onto a piece of mat and then roll up the adhesive to make your own glue dot.  It takes a little extra time but I enjoy scrapping it up and rolling it, for some reason (told you, it doesn't take much to make me happy).  I have not bought any glue dots yet because I could make use of my ATG.  I love being able to use a product in more than one way.  I roll up the tape dispensed with my bone folder and try not to touch it too much or it will make it less sticky.  You can then place your glue "worm" or ball onto an embellishment, like my butterflies flowers in my hugs and kisses card.  You can also get pretty close to the edge once you get the hang of using it.  It doesn't take much to learn how to use it and the tape glides on really, really well.  It's amazing!  Putting the tape into the dispenser was a breeze.  There are tons of videos out there that guides you through the process and here is an old youtube video with the company rep on site to help.  So now, I have a new favorite tape.  I still use my double-sided tape but not as often as my ATG now.  Hope this helps those who are researching for a new tape dispenser.


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Monday, January 28, 2013

Happy Birthday with flowers

It's always good to have birthday cards on hand.  I wanted something bright and cheerful, especially on this cold and dreary winter day filled with snow, sleet and freezing rain.
I stamped the rows of flowers onto a standard A2 pink cardstock with Brilliance moonlight white ink.  I punched out a scalloped border with a Martha Stewarts punch.  I adhered that onto the base card before I adhered the strip of kraft paper on top.  I used a white gel pen to draw dash lines onto the kraft paper before I stamped the happy birthday sentiment with Brilliance Coffee Bean ink onto the far right side.  I stamped out the flowers 3 separate times with peony, marigold and magenta ink, and the leaves with green ink all from the Paintbox ink pad.  I cut out the flowers and leaves, and used dimensional adhesive to pop the flowers before I adhered the leaves. I used a yellow Crystal Clear Lacquer on the center of the flowers to give it dimension.  After they dried, I placed a heart shape button on the center flower.

I finished the card by rounding the corners on the bottom of the card and tying a bow at the top with a white sheer ribbon.

Papers:
Neenah Classic Crest Smooth Solar White
Recollections Pink Buttons cardstock - red, light pink, pink

Stamps:
TPC Studio Greetings Clear Stamps set -sentiment
Doodlebug Design Inc. Cling mounted rubberstamps - flowers

Ink:
Paintbox - Peony, Magenta, Marigold, Green
Brilliance Ink Pads - Coffee Bean and Moonlight white

Other supplies:
Fiskars 3-in-1 Rotating Corner Squeeze Punch
Martha Stewarts scalloped border punch
Gelly Roll white gel pen
3-D Crystal Color Lacquer
Recollections button
white sheer ribbon

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Saturday, January 26, 2013

One Valentines Stamp, three applications

I challenged myself to use this Happy Valentine's Day stamp on three different project and also using the cheapest rubber stamps out there too.  Papercrafting should not be a hobby that breaks the bank.  I have accumulated a lot of tools and stamps over time but now you can get a clear stamp set for a $1 or less.  These stamp sets were a dollar from Walmart but I got them after Valentine's Day so they were $0.20.  (I love a bargain!  It gives me such a rush.)  They are perfectly good stamps too.  I never knew.  That's what I get for being a stamp snob.  :-) These stamps are adorable!  Anyway, I develop these three projects for a library program.
With Valentine's Day around the corner, who wouldn't like to receive a card and a treat?!  These treat boxes can hold little Hershey's kisses and any sweets that are fun-size.  I learned how to make these from a local Stampin' Up demonstrator for Christmas.  They are so much fun to make.  I have even enlarge them to hold bigger ornaments.  Click here to learn how to make this keepsake box. 

The mini tote box below is perfect for Hershey kisses or  Dove chocolates (love them!) and they are sooo darn cute!  I made more than 25 of them for Christmas.  They are quick to make when you set it up like an  assembly-line.  Click here to make this tote box.

For the card below, I stamped the Studio G sentiment at the bottom right corner with Memories black ink and then stamped the flower swirl randomly all over the pink card base with Versamark.  I punch out a 2-1/2"scalloped circle and a 2" circle.  I punched out a large heart and stamped the birds onto it.  I cut a little hole on the side of the card to thread the DMC pink floss twice to tie a bow in the center of the card. 


Papers:
Recollections cardstock - pink and red

Stamps:
Studio G clear stamp sets

Ink:
Memories ink pad - black
Versamark ink pad

Other supplies:
circle punches - 3/4" and 2"
heart punches 
flower punch
DMC floss - pink
Gelly Roll - white gel pen
Studio G ribbon
Conversation Heart stickers




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Mini Valentine treat tote box



Mini Treat Tote Box
Paper:
Recollections cardstock – red, pink and light pink

Stamp:
Studio G clear stamp set – Valentine sentiment

Ink:
Memories ink pad – black

Other supplies:
Heart punches
Circle punch – 1”
Conversation heart stickers
Dimensional foam adhesive
Studio G ribbon


1.       Score a 5 ½” x 8 ½” pink paper on the 8 ½” side at 1 ¾”, 3 ½”, 5” and 6 ¾”.  On the 5 ½” side of paper, score at 1 ½” and 4”.
2.       Fold on all score lines.  Hold ends together and punch out the handles into center section with a 1”circle punch on each 5 ½” end of paper.
3.       Cut on score lines on both sides of the handle up to first score line.  Cut ¼” away from both sides next to the handle only on one end.
4.       Cut in on score line in center most section on the 8 ½” to form the base.  Cut in on an angle on both sections next to this one. 
5.       Fold up the box and adhere the box together with the shorter flap in first.
6.       Punch out hearts and stamp Valentine sentiment onto the large heart shape. Adhere hearts to the box.
7.       Tie a ribbon around the handles of box.
This was mostly based on a Stampin'Up demonstrator's, Alissa, class and instructions.    


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Valentine Keepsake box


Keepsake Box
Paper:
Recollections paper - pink and red

Stamp:
Studio G clear stamp sets – Valentine sentiment and flower swirl

Ink:
Memories ink pad – black

Other supplies:
Conversation hearts foam stickers
Mini brads
Heart punch
Circle punch – ¾”
Flower punch

1.       Score a 4 7/8” x 4 7/8” red paper  15/16” on all sides.  Fold on all score lines.  Cut in on two sides to form flaps and adhere together to form the base of the box.
2.       Score an 8 ½” X 3 ¼” red paper at ½”, 3 ½”, 4 ½” and 7 ½”.  Fold on all score lines.
3.       Place adhesive on bottom, front and back of base box and stick onto 8 ½” x 3 ¼” piece between the 4 ½” and 7 ½” score lines.  Stamp swirl flowers randomly on top of box.
4.       Pierce a hole in center of the front of the box approximately ½” down.  Punch a ¾” circle out of pink paper and two flowers from red paper.  Adhere flowers onto center of circle and pierce hole in a center.  Insert a brad into the center of the flower and attach to the box.
5.       Punch a heart shape out of a pink paper.  Stamp sentiment onto the heart and adhere to the  top of box with dimensional adhesive.   Place foam sticker onto the top of the box next to the punched out heart.
This was mostly based on a Stampin'Up demonstrator's, Alissa, class and instructions.

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    A birdie's Valentine's Day wish

    Another Valentine's Day card and this one was simple.  Valentines Day is not the only event coming up for me.  I got three events coming up and it's around the same time.  Ever since I got married, I feel like I live from one "holiday" event to the next and it's seems to start from September with school and it's non-stop until mid-May.  We celebrate every holiday with something, even St. Patrick's Day.  That's what happens when you have kids.  I want to make it special for them while they are so young and so they have nice memories when they are older.  Also, I come from a large family, so it is always some one's birthday.  Ever hear of the famous quote, "Celebrate Everyday", we take it literally here.  :-)
    I cut out a 5-1/2"x5-1/2" pattern paper from the Sweet matstack and adhere it to the card base (5-1/2"x11").  I die cut a heart on red paper with the Sizzix heart die.  I traced the heart opening onto the back of the chocolate pattern paper and cut it a little larger than the heart that I traced out with a scissor.  I adhere the chocolate heart onto the scalloped heart.  I outline the chocolate heart with dash lines with a white gel pen.  I adhere the combo heart to the card base.  I then stamp out the bird with Brilliance Coffee Bean ink and used a brush and water to color the bird with the same Coffee Bean ink.  This coloring technique is quite popular to get the water colored look.  All you need to do is smear some ink onto an acrylic block from your ink pad and use it like a palette.  I also used a red glaze pen to color in the hearts.    

    I used dimensional adhesive to place the bird on top of the card base.  I loved the way this card turned out and the bird is sooo cute!


    Papers:
    Neenah Classic Crest Smooth Solar White
    DCWV The Sweet 4.5"x6.5" matstack

    Stamps:
    Studio G clear stamp set - bird with speech bubble

    Ink:
    Brilliance ink pad - coffee bean

    Other supplies:
    Sizzix Originals - Heart, Ornamental die
    Fiskars Fuse
    Gelly Roll - white gel pen
    Gelly Roll - red glaze pen


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    Friday, January 25, 2013

    BoBunny's Flowers, Hearts and Butterflies

    I'm not a trendy person to begin with, mainly because I don't want to want the same things that everybody wants.  I'm trying in my own way to be an individual.  It's either that or I'm just slow on the uptake.  Ha!  LOL  Anyway, I notice trends mostly in fashion and I tend to stick to the basics that are timeless.  I know...boring!  I do occasionally buy something trendy and sometimes regret it later down the road.  Sometimes, it fits into my basic collection.  What I don't really think about having trends in is paper crafting.  I thought with rubber stamps, you could use it in anything and any time based on your layout.  Well, I came across a site and it advertises to stay in trend with the latest from CHA(crafts and hobby association) 2013.  It does make sense when I think about it more and also, as I visit more blogs.  People see something that somebody created and wants to make it too so they buy the supplies.  Well, when I saw the brand, BoBunny, at Hobby Lobby, I was thinking, now I am being trendy.  Of course, I looked at the copyright for this package of paper and it's from 2011.  :-)  LOL  So much for being trendy!  The discount price should have clue me in.  Oh well.  I still love this whole Collection.  I'm very drawn to these colors but I'm not crazy about the distress look.  I know it is very popular now but I still like crisp images.
    This was done with all pattern paper from the Vicky B. BoBunny collection.  It even came with the sentiment that I cut out and popped out with dimensionals.  I cut up all the paper and adhered it to the card base.  I used Stampin' Up Beautiful Wings Embosslits to die cut two butterflies on pale pink paper.  I finished up the card with white dash lines, a heart shape gem and pearl on the flowers.  Easy-peasy as they say and so lovely.  I'm using this as an anniversary card.


    Papers:
    Neenah Classic Crest Smooth Solar White
    Recollections card stock - light pink
    Vicky B. BoBunny Collection pack

    Other supplies:
    Stampin' Up Beautiful Wings Embosslits
    Fiskars Fuse
    Fiskars 3-in-1 Rotating Corner Squeeze Punch
    Recollections pearls
    Studio G heart shape gem
    Jelly Roll white gel pen


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    Tuesday, January 22, 2013

    thank you with a bouquet

    How about a bouquet of flowers with a thank you?!  I remember getting a bouquet of roses once as a thank you for a handmade quilt I gave my sister-in-law.  I was pleasantly surprised since I thought a note would have been enough but my sister-in-law was the queen of sweet gestures and thoughtfulness.  I am thinking of her as I type this blog entry and missing her terribly.  She loved purple too.  Anytime I work with any purple, I always think of her.
    I used Heidi Grace clear stamp set to stamp the flowers on to the card base with the different Paintbox ink pads for each layer of flower.  The sentiment was stamped on to the card stock with a Kaleidacolor ink pad.  I love the Kaleidacolor ink pads because you can have a burst of colors all on one image.  I used a Sizzix Flower Layers #7 die to cut flower dies in red, pink and light pink card stocks.  I layered the flowers and curled the edges with a pencil.  I used a brad to attach the flowers together.  I tied a double bow with DMC floss and place a button on top of the bow and brad.  I adhere the die cut flower in the center of the card with double-sided tape.    
     
    This is a card that you can hand deliver or send in a box.  I like its simplicity.


    Papers:
    Neenah Classic Crest Smooth Solar White
    Recollections card stock - red, light pink, pink

    Stamps:
    Heidi Grace Designs clear stamp set - flowers
    Stampin' Up Wonderful Words -Thank you sentiment

    Ink:
    Paintbox - Peony, Magenta, Marigold
    Kaleidacolor Raised Rainbow Dye Inkpad - Spectrum

    Other supplies:
    Sizzix Bigz Flower Layers #7 die
    Fiskars Fuse
    Fiskars 3-in-1 Rotating Corner Squeeze Punch
    DMC floss- Ecru
    Recollections button

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    Monday, January 21, 2013

    Ink Pads Galore

    I got a lot of ink pads over the years and I tend to use the same ones.  At first, I was inking up this car and stamping a rainbow of them for my 7 year old to use.  I finally decided to see how well all the ink pads work with a clear stamp.  I decided to label all the colors and catalog the inks together based on whether they are pigment or dye-based ink.  Here are two tips for using clear (acrylic) stamps with dye-based ink:
       1. Try sanding the stamp image with a sand block before using it the first time.  It does not damage the stamp.  The stamp seem to take up the ink better for me when I do this.  
    2.  I have also stamp in Versamark watermark ink pad before inking in a dye-based ink pad to help the ink adhere to the stamp more for a crisper image.  I have done this with matching color Brilliance Ink before inking up in a Marvy Matchables ink pad.   
      
    I was surprised how well the Memories and Close to My Heart ink pads ink up a clear stamp above.  I will use them more now.  

    The Memories for Hero Arts Shadow Stamps ink is still not my favorite in terms of how blotchy they look.  Maybe they improved since I got these, which was a while ago.  They are now known as Hero Arts Shadow Ink not Hero Hues as I thought.  Oh well, my bad, I'm still catching up on the paper crafting world.  The ink without "soft" in its name are Memories Ink and you can see how crisp the car came out and this car stamp was not sanded at all.  I know some people love the Shadow Ink but I still like crisp images right away.  It does even out so I will use  them for soft background as they were intended for originally.  
    The Marvy Matchables above and below, were used with a clear owl stamp, and they did fairly well  but was a little blotchy.  This owl was sand down before use so it would be worse without that step.  Anyway, I still went ahead with stamping all the colors since I like being able to see all the colors I have.  This is great when I am matching them to paper.  I find myself using this quite a bit now when selecting a color to match my designs. 
    Owls stamped in Brilliance ink is shown below.
    I love Brilliance ink!  I have a lot of pearlescent colors and love how they shimmer.  They work well with the clear stamps since they are pigment inks.  I also stamped on black paper to show what the metallics look like.  I have another sheet with Colorbox and Encore! inked images for my ink pad catalog. 
    Everything was placed in protector sheets and then into a folder.  I like everything in one place.  Now I reach for this before I go get my ink pads.  It saves me some time too.


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    Hugs and Kisses

    Hearts and Flowers.  This expression was running through my head as I was working on this.  It reminded me of the book, 50 Shades of Grey, where Grey felt that was what Anastasia wants, like any other women.  Yes, I read the book like millions and it read like any romance novel to me with more intimate details.  I have read a lot of romance novels in my teenage years to know how they go.  It did at one point get to be too much intimacy that I felt like saying, "Alright!  Enough already!  Get on with the story!"  :-)  If you like romance novels with a hint of teenybopper's issue of "you can't possibly love me?!", you might pick this book up.  Another question I have as an older female is do we really want hearts and flowers?!  It is nice to have romance in your life, of course, and everything is so new and lovey-dovey but a real relationship can not sustain that.  We have responsibilities and can not be wine and dine every night.  Also, I'm not much of a flower girl and never have been; I prefer potted plants since they live longer.  I enjoy gestures like random,"You're beautiful", or sushi or chinese in the fridge with a "I love you" note, all with no strings attached.  Which I do get and they make me one happy wife, and no, my husband is not looking over my shoulder.  :-)  Anyway, to each their own, hope you are blessed with random "gestures". 
    This is the same layout as my Oh baby! card since I liked it so much.  I embossed the card base with Sizzix Flowers embossing folder.  I used a Love definition wooden stamp to stamp all over a pink cardstock with Brilliance Twilight ink pad and then placed it in Stampin' Up embossilit's Beautiful Wings to get the butterflies from the Fiskar Fuse.  I stamped hearts randomly on white cardstock with VersaMagic Pixie Dust ink pad.  I stamped the sentiment and cut it into flag shape.  I tied a ribbon around the center design and placed a scallop border punched out from Martha Stewarts scallop border punch.  

    I used dimensional adhesive to pop up the center design.  I adhere the butterflies and popped out the wings.  I love the way this card looks.  I guess I like hearts and flowers!  ;-)

    Papers:
    Neenah Classic Crest Smooth Solar White
    Recollections pink cardstock

    Stamps:
    Studio G Clear Stamps sets (all Valentines series)
    Inkadinkado All You Need Is Love clear stamps set
    Inkadinkado Hugs and Kisses sentiment stamp
    Ink:
    Brilliance Ink Pad- Twilight and Pearlescent Coral
    VersaMagic Chalk Ink Pad -  Pixie Dust

    Other supplies:
    Sizzix Dots & Flowers Set embossing folders
    Fiskars 3-in-1 Rotating Corner Squeeze Punch
    pink stripe ribbon
    Martha Stewarts scallop border punch

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    Oh baby!

    A few people I know are having babies and a couple with twins even.  Babies, I miss them.  I just got a onesie with pupies feet and I could just see a baby feet kicking in the air with them on.  I showed my husband and we were smiling about it and reminiscing about our little ones.  My 7 year old wanted to see them and I could tell he really like them with that smile of his.  Oh babies, I love them.  They are just too cute and I remember my own and how they were.  I appreciate my boys now but something about babies.  It is a special time as it is now.  
    I embossed the card base with Sizzix dots embossing folder.  I used stamps from Fiskars Baby clear stamps set to stamp all the images.  I colored the elephant with Marvy Matchables grey ink pad using a paintbrush and some water to give it a watercolored look.  I used a Marvy Uchida 2 1/2" scallop circle punch on blue cardstock and a 2" circle punch for the elephant with sentiment stamped image.  I stamped the sentiment and cut it into flag shape.  I ran the edges along a blue inkpad and used Martha Stewarts border punch to create a scallop edge on the left side of the design.  This was after I tie a ribbon around the center design and round one corner of the design.  Everything is popped up with dimensionals.  I had to add a flower gemstone for that little spot to give a little something something.  :-)



    Papers:
    Neenah Classic Crest Smooth Solar White
    DCWV Nana's Kids 4.5"x6.5" premium stacks
    blue cardstock 

    Stamps:
    Fiskars Baby Clear Stamps set

    Ink:
    Marvy Matchables ink pad - blue(#3) and grey(#12)

    Other supplies:
    Sizzix Dots & Flowers Set embossing folders
    Fiskars 3-in-1 Rotating Corner Squeeze Punch
    Gelly Roll white gel pen
    blue satin ribbon
    flower gem
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    Sunday, January 20, 2013

    Sweet washi tape birthday

    I'm fairly new to the use of washi tape but it's a lot of fun.  I picked these up at Michaels, they were $0.99 for two rolls.  It was part of their Christmas clearance so I got some to play with.  It reminds me of the tape I used in Chemistry lab to label tubes.  Probably the same concept because you can write on it and rip it off easily off the roll and it came in all types of color.  Washi tape is fun to use when you need some color and something different.
    The washi tape is all from Recollections and I laid them diagonally together.  The "Sweet" chipboard is from Studio G.  I used a 3/4" circle punch to punch out pattern paper to make them look like candy.  The sentiment is created with alphabet stickers.  
    I used the new Fiskars 3-in-1 Rotating Corner Squeeze Punch to round the corners in the card.  The punch give you 3 different corner "roundness" and it is a good alternative to WeRMemories Corner Chomper, especially for price.  It cuts through a lot of layers nicely but if you have a lot of embellishments, it can not avoid them like the Chomper since you have to stick most of the card's corner into the punch.  If you think ahead, you should be okay with this punch.  I've also never tried a Recollections punch before and I'm happy with how easy it punches.  I had some old punches that are really hard to punch (Marvy Uchida and McGill Creativity brands) so I am leary of unknown brand punches.  I know that EK Success makes really good punches, and trust their punches and their associated brands like Martha Stewarts.


    Papers:
    Neenah Classic Crest Smooth Solar White
    DCWV The Sweet 4.25"x6.25" matstack

    Other supplies:
    Recollections washi tape
    Studio G chipboard words
    Studio G Alphabet glitter stickers
    Miss Elizabeth's Simple Alphabet clear stickers
    Recollections 3/4" punch
    Fiskars 3-in-1 Rotating Corner Squeeze Punch
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    Saturday, January 19, 2013

    Fiskars Fuse

    I got a Fiskars Fuse for Christmas, and have used it every now and then, mainly due to the fact that I do not have a lot of dies or embossing folders.  I like the ones that I have picked up and used them quite a bit.  I don't have a lot of experience with die-cutting machines but I've used the Big Shot a few times to know the gist of it.  I love the embossed look and having a die-cut machine is nice for cutting intricate designs.  It does save on time.  I like having the adapter set to be able to use other dies and embossing folder other than Fiskars.  I consider it a "must-have" since there are a lot more dies out there that are not Fiskars brand.  Hopefully, Fiskar will start making more dies and embossing folders.  I chose the Fiskar Fuse mainly because of the size and the fact that it folds up nicely.  I want to be able to use big dies if I want to for 12x12 paper.  And though, I rarely ever fold it up, it is a nice feature if I should travel with it.  It works just like the Big Shot and I would say that they are comparable.  I do like that the Big Shot came with all the plates attached together but once you have the adapter set it doesn't make much of a difference.      
    I know that all die cut machine does vary a little in pressure when feeding a sandwich through.  I noticed that when I follow the recipe that Fiskar provided, it creates a crease from the edge of the folder.  This is from a Cuttlebug's embossing folder.  I used a little notepad that I had instead of the adapter pads to create the right thickness to alleviate the pressure.  I placed the cutting plate on top as usual and feed it through.    

    You do not see the crease but I feel I should play around with it more to create a solution that is more definitive than a notepad of similar thickness.  It could be as simple as that and for now it works for me.  I will post if I find some other way.  Below is another example of using different embossing folders from the same Cuttlebug embossing folder set (With Love).  I was experimenting a little to get them on paper without flattening the other embossed images.  It works pretty well so far but if I want the dotted lines to be closer to the flowers, I will have to cut most of the plastic off the folder.  Regardless, it is a pretty set!


    Below are images of what the cutting plate looks like after some usage.  There are deep impressions from cuts and also, the plate curved a little but it works fine and does not change the quality of the product.  Even though I like things looking brand new, I know it is just the nature of the beast.  Overall, I like the Fiskar Fuse and what it can do.  I have been looking into die-cut machines for a long time and obsessed over which one to get.  Since I do quilt and want to scrap book, I want to be able to make big cuts and the Fiskar Fuse offers that for a good price.  Also, the fact that it folds up is a great feature for me.



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