Wednesday, January 30, 2013

(The RNG at) Creative Inspirations Paints liked Cheery Cherry Snowman!

I've been not terribly active in the whole reading-blogs-and-posting business lately, so I've only just now seen that Cheery Cherry Snowman came out of the hat as a Top 3 entry in Creative Inspirations Paint's "Case It!" challenge.

Random or not, it's always a thrill to see something I made show up in a winners post!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

State of the Stash #17: Weak to Paisley

I wasn't planning to buy anything this week. I'm trying to be a little more conservative money-wise -- it's not as if I don't have plenty of stuff to mess about with already.

Two things happened that lured me off this wise and narrow course. First, Joann had an online sale of Sizzix stuff at 40% off -- which is pretty good. I kept that order under control, and it should arrive next week.

Then Michaels sent out an email announcing that all their stores were having clearance events. So I thought I would go check it out. And now I have a lot of new stuff:

I like the idea of the Stamper's Big Brush pens, but their price seemed a little steep. Today, however, they were $3 apiece, so I grabbed all the colors left in stock.

Down the aisle from the pens and inks is the stamp section. I'm fairly sure that already having stuff in my basket made it easier to add more, but the $3 price tag on the Recollections stamp sets didn't hurt either.

And there were paisleys! I'm disturbingly weak to paisleys. I wish I knew why.

Normally I'm not all that into butterflies, and I've resisted this lawn gnome set for quite some time. That resistance disappeared in the face of the $3 price tag.

And then I saw a set of Christmas stamps which nicely complements one I bought last month. And I noticed that this Paris set was a) photopolymer, b) a good deal at $7, and c) had a couple of thank-you sentiments, which I find useful. So into the basket they went.

This pretty much exhausted the clearance stamp sets, so I turned into the next aisle to look at the stacks and cardstock. There were lots of good deals on full-size 12"x12" stacks, but those are way too big for me. I did find this foiled cardstock matstack on clearance, though. (Thankfully, the actual foil is much much shinier than the color representations on the cover.)

It wasn't until I looked in a completely different place that I found these cardstock packs. Why they were not with, y'know, the rest of the Recollections cardstock packs back in the paper aisle, I do not know. My Michaels seems to have a tendency to hide good deals away from their proper places.

At this point I announced to my boyfriend that I'd "found everything I could possibly buy" and headed for the checkout... then immediately went past it into the Area Of Dollar Stamps And Neglected Merchandise.

Presumably the Stamping Gear stuff was hidden back there and clearanced because it isn't selling well. But it's certainly not going to sell if no-one ever sees it! I didn't buy any of the gear stuff, but these branchy stamps seemed useful, so I rescued them from obscurity. Or something like that.

And then I finally did head to the checkout counter. (This is why my boyfriend brings something to read when we go to a craft store. I am not really sure why he comes at all, but it's nice to have him there.) The lady working there was clearly a papercrafter too -- she was excited about the Big Brush pens, and all the cheap stamps, and told me that the Stamping Gear was lots of fun. She let me know that this Michaels has crops on the first Saturday of each month. It was a very friendly checkout.

Michaels haul (I can't find the stacks online to link 'em.):

State of the Stash #16: Nothing New

I wasn't sure this day would ever come. But yes, there was a week in which my stash of crafty stuff did not increase.

I even made some stuff -- which I haven't yet posted -- so it actually decreased!

It wasn't this week, though. Oh no. I've got quite the increase this week. It's just that I didn't post last weekend, so this is a make-up post. Hey, a week when the stash didn't grow is just as worth keeping track of as one when it did!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Bookmarks LXIII: Love Life

This bookmark is yet another scrap-user (yay!). I was thinking about using the blue piece of paper -- and lo, I turned it over and had already stamped the large heart on it! I believe it was while playing with the avalanche of mini Lawn Fawn sets and the eensy square Versamark pad.

Well, the heart was pretty cute and already colored in with silver, so I figured I might as well do something with it. A different Lawn Fawn set provided the "love life" sentiment, and then I put the blue scrap onto a kraft-colored scrap.

At that point it looked great. But I wanted it to be just a teensy bit less simple, so I took another couple of hearts and added them to the bottom right corner. Probably I should have just let all that white (blue) space be, but it turned out well.

I'm entering this bookmark in the following challenges:

I'm also linking up to DL.ART's Thankful Thursday Linky Party, where anything goes.

Supplies:

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

State of the Stash #15: More Doll Dies

In a stunning departure from form, I did not buy any new crafty supplies last week. Please pretend to be proud of me.

That didn't prevent me from receiving new crafty things, however. Nope, I got the final set of doll-clothes Sizzix dies I ordered on eBay a while ago! (There were actually four in this lot, but as I already had the bathtime set I didn't photograph it.)

I have no idea what possessed Sizzix to make something as bizarrely specific as a graduation gown and mortarboard -- much less why it's called a "garduation" set -- but aren't they fun looking?

Final doll dies haul:

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Bookmarks LXII: Purrquoise

I apologize for the punny title. It's just... there's turquoise. And purring. "Purrquoise" just seemed to fit.

Sometimes I reach a beautiful understanding with the craft knife/ruler team, and produce long, skinny, straight strips of paper. Sometimes just as scraps. Well, I couldn't bear to just throw them away, so I hoarded them for a bit and then stuck them on a bigger black strip of paper.

And while that was elegant, I wanted a little bit more. I shuffled through my newer stamps and picked out this adorable little cat -- made cuter by the purring text inside.

Because I was stamping on black, I knew I'd need to emboss for anything to show up. I was worried about the text, though -- would it still be readable after embossing? So I did several trial runs. I liked this one so well I decided it was unlikely I'd do better -- so I just cut it out and used it.

The bookmark still seemed a bit unfinished. So I went fishing in DCWV's "All Dressed Up" matstack, which has some really lovely teal and turquoise papers at the back -- hidden behind all the black and red and pink. They're pretty much what convinced me to buy the stack, actually. And lo and behold, one of them matched my turquoise scrap almost perfectly! I cut it in half and used it to back the bookmark -- thus allowing me to keep the hanging-off bits of scrap strips, stiffen the bookmark, and add a little to its design all at once.

I'm entering this bookmark in the following challenges:

Supplies: (tape is from Recollections/Michaels)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Bookmarks LXI: Dots on the Diagonal

The skeleton of this bookmark -- the purple strip with navy tape across the top -- has been hanging around for about a month and a half now. "Look at all the pretty green/blue/purple scraps you have," it kept saying. "Wouldn't they look great on me?" I hushed it, because I had to make thank you cards, dang it!

But I finished the thank-you cards, and then it was time to play with scraps. I taped the blue strip of paper on with some new tape and glued down a punched-out circle. Then I was stuck. The blue strip needed something on it, and none of my stamps really seemed to fit the bill. (I guess I was wrong when I kept stopping myself from buying border stamp sets.)

So I tried a strip of another new tape. It worked nicely to fill the empty space. A couple of circles with a silver pen, silver embossing powder around the edges, and I was done.

I'm entering this dotty bookmark in the following challenges:

Supplies: (both tapes are from Recollections/Michaels)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Bookmarks LX: Scarfy Sledding

I couldn't resist recreating the sledding bunny thank-you card as a bookmark. And I had the perfect sentiment to do it with: I replaced "thank you" with "wheee!"

Since this bookmark has the same design as the thank-you card it's based on, it doesn't seem fair to double-enter it in the same challenges. I am, however, entering it in the following, since it fits rather well:

Supplies:

Monday, January 7, 2013

Plaid Paper Person

I just had to use the dies my mother gave me for Christmas on my thank you card for her. And I thought it was pretty appropriate that I use some of my first playing-around-with-paper-to-hand cuts, too: I only cut a new body for this card. I wanted a sort of neutral person-color, so I chose kraft paper.

My little figure looked cute and cozy on the front of the card, but very alone. So I turned to my tapes and picked out this bronze-y diagonal plaid -- I think it goes pretty well with the colors, and works okay with the plaid of the hat and scarf. It helps the card look less kindergarten-project-y.

I tried stamping my sentiment directly on the red with a vaguely kraft-colored ink, but it just didn't show up. Then I covered that effort with the blue circle and tried again... it still doesn't show up very well, but at least it's visible!

I'm entering this plaid-decked card in the following challenges:

Supplies: (tape is by Recollections/Michaels)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Bookmarks LIX: Cheery Cherry Snowman

I quite liked a couple of the thank-you cards I made -- so I repeated them as bookmarks. That way I can keep them as well as send them away! The first one I did was a copy of the red card with the snowman that I posted earlier today. Of course, I didn't keep the thank-you sentiment.

I started by stamping a sentiment that said "snow, snow, snow" across the bottom... unfortunately, I stamped it very badly. I wracked my brain trying to figure out how to fix it... and finally settled for the simplest fix of all. I cut off the bottom. Then I found a different snowy sentiment and used that instead, putting it pretty much where the "thank you" was on the original card. Take that, mistake!

Since the design of this bookmark is pretty much identical to the card that inspired it, it doesn't really seem fair to enter it in any of the same challenges. However, I am entering it into this one, for which it seems quite well-suited:

Supplies:

Cheery Cherry Snowman

My sister got me a little pot in cheerful red for Christmas, so for her I made a thank-you card in cheerful red. Hey, you gotta find inspiration where you can.

So I stamped a snowman and a sentiment on it, and it looked pretty much finished. But it also looked very plain, so I stuck some strips of patterned paper on the inside and the outside. One Christmas-y thank-you card, complete.

I'm entering this simple card in the following challenges:

I'm also linking up with DL.ART's Thankful Thursday January Linky Party.

Supplies: (the 'thank you' stamp was a gift with an order from Lawn Fawn)

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Saturday State of the Stash #14: Paper Doll Dies

My goodness, it's a stashy post actually posted on Saturday! Good job, me.

This week was very die-focused. First, my Vintaj BigKick arrived, replacing the pink-and-rhinestones of the Big Shot my boyfriend gave me for Christmas. I'm not super into vintage, but I like brown and turquoise rather more than pink.

My boyfriend is both kind and patient:

Last week, I ordered a few more of the dies that go with the original Sizzix paper doll die. Several of them have arrived, starting with the long hair die sans its case.

The seller, jbaybargains, kindly sent me a little hank of twine and a peppermint candy embellishment as extras -- but I've forgotten to take a picture! I imagine we'll all survive the lack.

jaybaybargains @ eBay micro-haul:

Just today, I received another three dies -- I haven't even cut anything with them yet! They are the short hair and basic clothing dies.

tonya1231 @ eBay mini-haul: In the realm of decreasing my stash (gasp!), I've made several bookmarks from scraps, which is always fun. I should have them posted sometime in the next few days.

Scarfy Sledding

Wheee! When I was looking for wintery images for my Christmas thank-you cards, this little Lawn Fawn bunny was an obvious choice -- especially since I hadn't used it yet! Then I went looking for something wintery to back it on, which didn't go well until I remembered that Anya had bought a whole darn pack of snowy paper only a few weeks ago. My memory, it's not always so great.

Well, I not only found a nice snowy background, but one that looked like snowy hills -- perfect for the sledding bunny. Hurrah for Anya's paper!

Then I found some plaid paper and paper pieced the bunny's scarf. Hey, it looked great the seventy-five times I saw other people do it with this stamp... and it looks pretty great here too, I think. I cut the front side of the card down so that the scarf could fly free but would still be protected in the envelope, an idea which I picked up from the card Jennifer McGuire created recently showing off one of the 2013 Hero Arts stamps.

I definitely picked a matching color to stamp my "thank you" in, but maybe I should have gone for something a bit darker and more visible! Well, they're the only words on there, so I don't think they're going to be missed.

I'm entering this wintery card in the following challenges:

I'm also linking up with DL.ART's Thankful Thursday January Linky Party -- it's anything goes, but (again) a thank-you card seems quite appropriate!

Supplies: (the "thank you" stamp is a freebie from Lawn Fawn)

Friday, January 4, 2013

Tropically Krafty

A few of my aunts and uncles recently got together and got me a nice gift card, so I made them some thank-you cards. I wasn't really sure what to do until I decided to be inspired by the card they sent along with the gift card. The card was brown, with a debossed gold vine and some white flowers with dark pink centers. I skipped the vine and used much bigger flowers.

I made an attempt at stamping the flowers in dark pink and using white embossing powder just around their edges, so as to have a dark pink center. Unsurprisingly, the embossing powder stuck to everything, and my flowers were plain white. Bah. So I took my finger, smooshed it in the pink ink pad, and dabbed at the centers -- and it turns out I really like the effect!

Thank goodness for serendipity. Whatever would I do without it?

I'm entering this serendipitous card in the following challenges:

I'm also linking up with DL.ART's Thankful Thursday January Linky Party -- it's anything goes, but thank-you cards seem very appropriate!

Supplies:

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

WOYWW #187: Getting Back Into the Swing of Things

What's on my worktable this Wednesday? Well, a mess, but not a very big one. I'm getting back into the "making" mode, starting with thank-you cards (nestled between the tripod legs) for Christmas presents. Soon there will be posts on this blog that indicate I do more than buy crafty supplies: I use them, too!

I think I'm going to re-use the card designs into bookmark designs, although without the "Thank You" aspect. I mean, I like the designs, why not send them away and keep them?

The socks aren't a project of mine. They are nice and warm, and I want to put them on -- but they are also new, and I couldn't get the stitching that held them together in the package apart. So they await a scissors before they can warm my feet.

To the side of my table is a chair, and in the chair is a cat. He really likes to sit there -- whether I'm at the table or not -- so we have outfitted it with a little heating pad. He's an old cat, you see, and he loves the heat for his achy bones.

The chair was originally my boyfriend's desk chair, but Mister Snoozy here (not actually named Mister Snoozy) kept sitting on it. Every time he got up. So he accepted the inevitable, and now he sits on a low piano stool... which actually is a better height for him, as the desk is kinda low and he is fairly tall. All's well that ends well, I suppose.