Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Tuesday's Tools: The FUSE by We R Memory Keepers

Yesterday, I showed Blog Followers the card that I made for my niece, Dani, in celebration of her graduation on Saturday from Penn State.  It was this card, which features a shaker full of sequins, stars and a graduation cap:

Today, I'd like to show you how to make any size "shaker" for your cards or scrapbook layouts, using a relatively new tool called the "Fuse" from We R Memory Keepers (WRMK) 

The principle of the Fuse is simple: take a good quality page protector like that sold by Close To My Heart (#4110, $9.95 for 10) or the Photo Sleeves sold separately by WRMK, insert the art you want to enclose along with whatever you want to include -- mementos, sequins, confetti, etc. -- and seal the items within the space by using the "Fuse."

I purchased my WRMK Fuse from Simon Says Stamp ($29.99).

The Fuse is similar to a heating device like an electric-operating wood burning tool. The tool comes with two nibs: one to cut the plastic, and the other a rolling serrated nip that heats and melts the top and bottom surfaces together.

To use the Fuse, first create your artwork, and pick the items you want to play on top of your art when fused together.  Take a quality page protector (thick enough to weld) like that sold by Close To My Heart (#4110, $9.95 for ten 12x12" sheets); trim it to size -- about a half inch around your art. Scraps are fine! 

Insert your artwork and sequins as you want in between the top and bottom layers of your page protector piece.  Then, put the piece atop an all-purpose, heat-resistant craft mat, to protect your work surface. I got mine from Close To My Heart (Z2045, $19.95). Plug in your FUSE and allow it to warm up for about 10 minutes.

Roll the warm serrated tool slowly, close to edge of the art you're looking to seal.  Once it is done and has sealed the entire perimeter of  your project, trim the scrap of page protector away from the serrated edge.  This (above) was my first try and I wasn't exactly perfect -- it didn't matter, because remember, it's being inserted into my card and sealed with tape or glue between the top navy blue edge and the bottom card surface. 

I can think of many different uses for the FUSE, including bookmarks and Christmas decorations. You can use it to contain an object onto a scrapbook page, to create additional photo pockets, and more.  How have you used YOUR Fuse?

Monday, May 11, 2015

Graduation Congratulations to My Niece, Dani

On Saturday, another one of my beautiful nieces graduated from college. Dani Hume, daughter of my sister Mary Beth and her hubby Anthony, graduated with a communications degree from Penn State University.

Dani, at left here, is the second of the three children of MB and Anthony to graduate from Penn State; her brother Anthony graduated PSU last year, and her sister Nicole will be a junior shortly. And yes, when the Humes say "We Are Penn State," they really mean it -- MB and Anthony also are PSU alums.

While at Penn State, Danielle had a Sports Production Internship with WPSU-TV, and enjoyed on-field work during the PSU home football games.

She also was supportive of her parents in their running endeavors, especially earlier in May when her Mom ran her first full marathon. Check out Dani's picture here -- that's her behind the sign at the left.

Congratulations, Dani!  For you, I have made this graduation card. 

Blog Readers, come back tomorrow (Tuesday's Tools) to learn more about how to make your own shaker card using the new FUSE by We R Memory Keepers.  

Friday, May 8, 2015

Hot New Technique: Bokeh Background

One of the hottest new techniques for cardmaking is called "Bokeh".  A Bokeh background adds interest to what might otherwise be a plain cardstock behind a stamped image.

Here is one card I made using this technique:

If you'd like to try this technique yourself, I've developed this tutorial in photo images:

Here are some supplies you'll need: watercolor paper, painter's tape, acetate circle stencils that you cut yourself, any kind of watercolor paints, and any kind of paint brushes.

Pigment ink dries fairly quickly. Again, if you'd like to rush it along, blow some warm air over the ink using a craft heater.  Once the white Bokeh circles are dry, stamp your images on top of the circles. Mat your watercolor paper on top of layer(s) of cardstock and embellish the art as you choose. 

Here, I used a retired Close To My Heart stamp set called "Quick Cards - Bumble Bee" (A1135), along with adhesive gems from CTMH and ribbon from May Arts.


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Mother's Day Card with a "Taste of Summer"

Spring has finally sprung here in Southeastern Pennsylvania after what seemed to be the endless winter. Trees are in bud and blossom, and yes, the daffodils and crocuses have popped. The azaleas will be in full bloom right in time for Mother's Day.  And then we know spring is over and summer is right around the corner.

This year, a few days after the Sunday holiday, I am thrilled to be visiting my Mom and Dad in Naples, Florida.  Life and 1200 miles between us have made the interim between physical visits far too long.  I'll mail this card I've made for Mom so it arrives on time:

The style of this card is called a "Tri-Fold Shutter Card". Its intricate cut/fold makes it a bit more interesting and fun to display.  I used Close To My Heart's new line of "Taste of Summer" paper that will be available May 1-31, in honor of National Scrapbooking Month.  I used my Silhouette Cameo (with files from the Silhouette Online Store) to cut the bee and both sentiments; I had the daisies made and in my stash.  The bee pops up on an action spring also from CTMH. 

If you too would like your Taste of Summer papers (shown above, in the lower right of the picture) and its complementing stamp set (also pictured), please don't hesitate to contact me at cardmonkey@comcast.net.  Pre-orders are being accepted, so contact me today.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Birthday - Cute Koala card

Recently, I had the fun of teaching marker techniques, using the professional Touch Twin art markers made by ShinHan and distributed by Close To My Heart.

These are fantastic markers that have been designed for the vibrancy and consistency of their colors. Frankly, because of that intent -- and ShinHan's primary market in Anime art -- these markers don't blend as well as Copic markers, in my opinion, and require a different technique than I learned in Copic Certification classes.

I'd love to teach these techniques to you! Can we schedule a workshop?

I colored this cute koala in the class, and recently turned it into a card:


Supplies used: Close To My Heart's "Cute Koalas" stamp set (D1642, $17.95), Memento Tuxedo Black stamp ink, ShinHan Touch Twin markers, leaves cut from a Silhouette Online store and applied with Bonding Memories (CTMH) glue; mounted on Black and Glacier cardstocks. Sentiment stamp by CTMH.

Friday, February 13, 2015

The Buckle Boutique blings out a Love Notes card box

For Valentine's Day, why say "I love you" with a simple card, when a set of love cards in a gorgeous box can be hers? 
I made this Card Box for Love Notes, covering one of Close To My Heart's Journaling Cards Box with CTMH's Yuletide Carol paper.  Yuletide?  Yes, right -- I think the roses on the pretty ruby paper is much better suited to Valentine's Day. Lovely, aren't they? 
Topping off the hinged opening is a strip of fancy Gold Rectangle Dazzling Diamond self-adhesive sticker sheets from The Buckle Boutique. I simply trimmed the row using standard scissors, peeled off the sticker back, and adhered it to the box. The scissors cut through the resin very easily, for when I needed to trim them on a slant for the box sides. 
Now, while I intend to write a love note for my sweetie (hubby John) to put inside of the box for Valentine's Day (shhhh, don't tell), I also made a set of four cards that could be used within the box if that's more your style. 

Let's take a look at these romantic cards. All are size A2 (4.25" wide x 5.5" high) to fit perfectly in the Journaling Card Box:

For this card, I used a CTMH Colonial White card base and topped it with a layer of CTMH Ruby cardstock, and then a layer of tan damask print paper from the Yuletide Carol paper pack.  I tied a pretty beige grosgrain ribbon around the height of the card (securing under the Yuletide Carol layer). Before tying the bow, I cut an intricate die cut called "Celtic Heart" from Cheery Lynn Designs; I topped the bow with a romantic mulberry-paper red rose from Wild Orchid Crafts.

Love is definitely in the air with this pretty, detailed Valentine.
Starting with a card base from CTMH White Daisy cardstock, I embossed/cut the beautiful pattern and heart opening using a die from Sizzix.  The word "love" was cut from a piece of CTMH Slate cardstock, using a word pattern available from the Silhouette Online Store, and my Silhouette Cameo. The pretty leaf flourish was also cut using the Cameo and an SOS file, from CTMH Topiary cardstock, and topped with a mulberry-paper red rose from WOC.   

Again, for this card, I started with a CTMH White Daisy cardstock base, and topped the card with a piece of CTMH Ruby cardstock that I embossed using a ProvoCraft Cuttlebug hearts folder, and my Cheery Lynn Designs "Crossover" embossing machine.  For the stamped roses, I used a CTMH floral stamp and the rock-n-roll technique to apply ink to the image before stamping.  The "I Love You Because" stamp is also from CTMH, using CTMH Exclusive Ink in Black.  The leaves were cut using a file from the Silhouette Online Store, and CTMH Topiary cardstock.

Finally, for this simple card, I topped a CTMH White Daisy card base with a piece of Yuletide Carol paper that I had trimmed into a pennant shape.  I then cut the word "Love" using a Silhouette Online Store word pattern; I cut it twice -- once in CTMH Slate, and the other in CTMH White Daisy, for a unique effect.  The adhesive epoxy hearts are also from CTMH. 

For some specific products links, see here:

Here is the link to the Yuletide Carol Paper.

Here is a link to the Journaling Card Box.

The Buckle Boutique:
Here is the link to the Gold Rectangle Dazzling Diamond Sticker Sheet.
The Buckle Boutique’s Website . . . click HERE
The Buckle Boutique Blog . . . . click HERE
Facebook Page . . . click HERE
Twitter Page . . . click HERE
Pinterest Page . . . click HERE

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Organizing Tip: Keep Your Bling in An Album

Assuming you're just like me -- a craft hoarder as much as a crafter -- you're always looking for a sweet technique for organizing your papercrafting supplies.  Today, I am going to show you one way that I organize my bling/gems.

I have adhesive bling in every color, shape and size. Some are rhinestone or clear, some are pearlescent.

I have taken one of Close To My Heart's gorgeous new D-Ring Albums and I have dedicated it to storing my bling. This is the new turquoise chevron pattern, which happens to match CTMH's new Rolling Tote and Shoulder Tote.

I filled the album with CTMH's Memory Protectors (Designs 1-5) which have pocket dividers in various sizes.  I insert sheets of the bling into the pockets, and arrange the sheets by color, starting with clear, through ROYBGIV (red, orange, yellow, blue, green, indigo and violet) to brown and black.  

Now, of course, I have plenty of these gems -- so soon this album will bulge. To keep the binder closed and the embellishments in place, I made a ribbon belt. This gray -- matching the Rolling Tote and Shoulder Bag as well -- is the retired Satin Polka Dot ribbon also from CTMH.  I affixed an adorable blinged buckle from The Buckle Boutique. This buckle splits in the middle with a hook and eye clasp.  Perfect! 

For more information, on purchasing the beautiful new turquoise chevron album from Close To My Heart, please visit my CTMH site at www.cardmonkey.ctmh.com, or see the CTMH Chevron Album 

If you'd like to buy some buckle bling for your own album belt, here are links to The Buckle Boutique:

The Buckle Boutique’s Website . . . click HERE
The Buckle Boutique Blog . . . . click HERE
Facebook Page . . . click HERE
Twitter Page . . . click HERE
Pinterest Page . . . click HERE

DeFiaNtLy DiFfeReNt & CreAtiVeLy Yours,

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Tip of the Day: Stop that Dreaded ATG Tape Slip

One of my very favorite tools in my craft room -- something I use every time I'm crafting -- is my "Adhesive Tape Gun" (ATG) by Scotch 3M.  I use the pink one, where the refills are typically 1/4".

From time to time, I sponsor a group "buy-in" of off-brand tape refills which seem to me to be just as great as the brand variety, though they are a lot less expensive.  I buy them from Tape Jungle, where with a purchase of 144 rolls (12 dozen), the price is $1.16/roll, including shipping. 

No matter if you buy off-brand or brand refills, many of my crafting friends say they've experienced the dreaded "tape slip".  Even a perfectly-threaded refill will fall off the applicator roll in the front, causing the tape to jam and the need to rip, disconnect and rethread the tape.

There just HAD to be a solution. Well here it is....

The tape needs a shim over the roll of tape, and you can create your own, either electronically, with punches, or by hand.  I used my Silhouette Cameo 2 (new, this Christmas -- thank you, Hubby!)  to create a disc out of cardboard that is 3" in diameter, with a 1" cut-out in the center, like this:

Just place the shim over the roll of refill tape that you've loaded into the ATG gun. 

Here's my offer to my readers:  If you just don't feel like making one of these shims yourself, just leave a comment here, and send me an e-mail (to cardmonkey@comcast.net) with your address and I will mail one to you, free! 

Be in touch if I can help you with this crafty tip!

DeFiaNtLy DiFfeReNt & CreAtiVeLy Yours,