Saturday, September 25, 2010

Put a Little YAY into your Every Day

Here's a cheery little card to sweeten your day.

When I was in the Craft Loft last night, the TV was on. I'm usually keeping one ear tuned to HGTV ... I love that channel, from Design to Sell, to House Hunters International and everything in between.

A commercial came on and I think it was for an insurance company. All I really heard was the phrase "Put a Little YAY into your Every Day" ... and that did it! A smile crept over my face and I knew that this card that was destined to become a birthday card would become an every day card to bring a smile to a friend in need.

The little bird is a rubber stamp purchased as part of a set. I cut it apart long ago, so darn it, I can't tell you its manufacturer. I colored it with cheery colors from my Copic marker set. I used a happy green interior paper, embellished with a floral trim snipped from the center floral paper. I even decorated the envelope in a style to match.

This is one of my favorite cards ... because it made me smile for no reason at all.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Dance, Sing, Live!

Hello, Friends!

It feels so wonderful when I have an hour or two to rub together like nickels in my pocket, so I can spend time creating in my Craft Loft. Tonight, I stole those hours -- somewhere after dinner, after watching some TV with Mr. Smiley, and before bed. Dishes? Ha! Something has to give!

Tonight I created this card with one of my favorite sayings. How often do we follow these instructions, to dance ... sing... live?

To make this card, I typeset the phrase using Adobe Illustrator and free fonts found online. I printed it out using simple black ink on white cardstock. Once trimmed, I inked the edges with my new Anna Griffin ink pads -- what a deal I got on those, 12 for $30 or so including shipping. They are in the most luscious colors! (See photo)

Next, I matted a brown liner on a premade white card, then added an additional two-tone liner for underneath the saying. I tied a bow from this handsome voile ribbon, wrapping it around the 2nd liner. Decorated with Jolee's stickers and voila!

Take time to enjoy these warm, Indian summer days. Dance, sing, live!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Hey, BabE ... A Shout-Out to My Crafting Partner!

Did you ever have one of those mornings when nothing seemed to be going right ...

... and even your cup of coffee seems to have a monkey in it?

Yeah, me neither!

LOL, thought you'd enjoy this little wake-up call.
Here is a true confession -- I haven't had a lot of time to be in the Craft Loft this week ... with work demands and my "second life" as a Township Supervisor, and now caretaking for my husband, Mr. Smiley, post-knee replacement. I'm weary!
So to keep up with this blogsite, I am going to send a shout-out to my Craft Loft partner-in-crime, my daughter Emily. Today, I will feature one of the cute cards she has made upstairs ...

Here it is -- a "welcome baby" boy card she made for one of her friends. It's in an adorable notecard size ...

With a patterned "onesie", complimenting bib pattern on a white cut-out hanger, placed on layers of a welcome-baby paper layer atop a pale blue paper that has been run through the indispensable Cuttlebug Swiss Dot folder. Inside (below), she cut out a royal blue CONGRATS for His Majesty and hand-dotted the words with a white pen.

Isn't it too cute! Can you believe I got my craft-talent-genes from my daughter, Emily?!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Good News in the Craft Loft

Hi, Friends!

I don't have a new card to show you today, but I wanted to share with you some GOOD NEWS in my little craft world in the Craft Loft:

Good News #1:
I met Marie,
"The Furry Godmother", when I brought my two dogs Sadie and Morgan, to her home to be babysat one night this summer. Before going off to follow her passion to love dogs as a terrific care provider to them (days and overnight), Marie worked for a paper company as a sales rep. She said she had lots of paper in her garage that she'd love to give to me ... and this picture shows the second lot of paper she gave to me!!! (The first lot a month or so ago was just as packed with goodies -- honestly, at least 50 pounds of coated stock, certificates, glossy cards with envelopes, you name it!)

Can you imagine!? All this paper, given to a paper addict?! The large sheets in the front are cardstock, and the rest will be perfect for card and envelope liners, and for a variety of other purposes. The colors!! How lush!

So I take this day to give a shout to Marie -- Thank you, dear friend! Our paths crossed ... you say I am helping you by taking this off your hands ... and I feel as though I've hit a jackpot, in paper and in friendship. THANK YOU again!

Good News #2... I am happy to say that I participated in the Fall Blog Hop this weekend, and WON blog candy from The Scrapbooking Queen. Thank you Theresa (aka Her Royal Highness!). I look forward to getting my prize, the coveted pink ATG gun. Woo-woo!!

Thank you for a glorious day!

Good morning, Friends!

Today, feeling grateful for a glorious morning, I decided to post this rather simple thank-you card for you to see, copy, whatever!

I found a very simple, free font that has this loose script that I like so much. There are many free font websites (and I forget which one I used to get this), just Google search "free downloadable fonts". I laid out the sentiment three times, cut one long strip of pink that I trimmed in three bars, embellished with this beautiful flower from Creative Charms, and tacked on three baby rhinestones on the right side of each strip as well. I rounded the corners of the white cardstock and mounted it on a small black card. The inside has a complimenting white card that has been embellished to match, for a writing surface.

Enjoy the day!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Your friendship is golden!

Friendship .... such a beautiful thing.
We cherish those with whom we need say so little, and they understand how much we mean. Dear friend!

Today I had a chance to spend a few hours in the Craft Loft, doing everything and nothing. It is the most relaxing way to spend a day for me -- in peace after a hectic week.

I was reflecting a bit today while playing, thinking about friendship. Isn't it true that women have more friends than men? I have some "golden friends" -- you know who you are! -- who I cherish more than I can say. Our time together may not be frequent, but I know that if I needed her or if she needed me, nothing could keep us apart. These are the friends whose sentences we can finish, where conversations continue even though they are years apart, and our years meld together to be one. And like this card says, a friend is someone who knows all your faults and still loves you.

So dear Golden Friend, I thought of you while making this card. And here's how I did it ... One 12x12" sheet of light olive cardstock, cut in half and then folded again in half to make a 6x6" square card. Layered, complimenting prints with a chocolate (has to be chocolate when we're talking about friends!) paper. I inked all of the paper edges with a cocoa-bean colored pigment ink from Inkadoodle.

The flower is from a pack of K&C Company embellishments I found at Michael's in the clearance aisle. TOO CUTE! Then I needed a suitable brad and had none, but remembered I recently got an I-Top from Imaginesce. This neat tool takes a paper or fabric of your choosing and smooshes it onto a metal top and brad bottom with a quick squeeze. Inked the brad too! And voila!

Bernie's Birthday Month!

Today, I'll continue to celebrate the birthday of one of my very best friends, Bernie. Bernie's birthday was earlier this month, so he's already gotten this card ... and it will be no stranger to my favorite blog follower, Star (Bernie's wife). Hi, Star!

To create this card, I used an image from a DVD from Dover Publications, dropped into the Sure Cuts A Lot program for use on the Cricut. By replacing the Cricut's cutting blade with a gel pen from Cri-Kit, "I" drew -- actually, the machine drew -- the image of the bird onto card stock. I hand-colored the bird using Prisma pencils and Gamsol to blend. To create the welded sentiment, I used Sure Cuts A Lot to lay out and merge letters together.

It's hard to believe September is more than half over, and soon the days will be getting cool and crisp. Enjoy this beautiful day. Dance!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Christmas is coming -- See companion website!

Hop on over to CardMonkey's companion blogsite, to see the 100 cards being made as we Countdown Til Christmas.
The blogsite is:
Instructions for the card at left:
After mounting sub-frames of red, green and white cardstock atop a 5 x 6.5" premade card, I cut a candy cane from gleaming red cardstock. In this case, I used a candy cane found in the User's Gallery of "Make the Cut."
I then wrapped the candy cane in red/white striped baker's twine that I purchased recently. I found the twine in red/white, green/white, brown/white and blue/white, and bought cones of each at a reasonable price. (It works out to $0.005/yard -- a half-a penny per yard! To compare, when Martha Stewart was selling baker's twine, she was selling 60 yards for $3.98 MSRP. That's six-and-a-half cents per yard! That product has been discontinued, though.) The sentiment was cut from Cricut's "Joys of the Season" cartridge.
Be sure to visit the North Pole Cards blogspot to see how you can get in on the GREATEST CHRISTMAS BLOG CANDY giveaway!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Fold Instructions for Bookmark


Several bloggers have asked for instructions on how to make the paper Page Corner Bookmarks I featured yesterday. Here are instructions which I hope help:
1. Cut your paper to 6" x 6". This will give you 4 bookmarks from a single page of 12"x 12" paper.

2. Flip your paper over and mark its center.

3. Lay the paper on a flat surface, interior up, with a corner pointing away from you. This I will call the "top corner". Fold the bottom corner (opposite the top corner) up from the bottom to the center mark.

4. Fold the top corner down to the center mark as well.
5. Leave the bottom fold closed, but open the top fold.

6. The bottom edge will be the finished/front edge of your bookmark, so if you want to hole punch it, now is the time. Fold the bottom edge up to meet the top fold's crease line.
7. Turn the folded piece over. Hold the piece so that the long flat edge is away from you, with the triangle pointed toward you. Fold the right and left points of your triangle down to meet the bottom point of the triangle, making a square.

8. Turn the square over. You'll see that there is a pocket that forms when you separate the layers of the front (dotted) side.
Fold and tuck just one layer of the front into the pocket.
9. Next, you'll be folding the other layer and the two flap/pointy sides down and into the pocket as well. I find it better to use a scoring tool to mark along the edge of the pocket, or to fold the 2nd layer and pointed ends away, to get a nice clean fold.
10. Embellish and Enjoy!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Friendship Card -- "I'd Pick You"

Happy Saturday, Blogettes!

Finally, I have a Saturday where I have few plans. This means as you might expect for a time-challenged cardist (that's card-artist combined, a mish-mash word of my own invention) ... time to make the cards!

I still am working on a surprise for my followers that begins on Thursday, September 16, which happens to be my parents' 59th wedding anniversary. Until then, friends, I will try to keep up by creating and posting card art that pops into my juicy brain while up in the Craft Loft.

Tonight, I decided to play with a set of new clear stamps that I just got in, from "There She Goes" Clear Stamp Company. (This is a clickable link posted here, so if you'd like to see what they have, just click to be taken to their front page.) I'm not on anybody's "Design Team" and so I actually pay for all my supplies. (Imagine that!) As we know, this isn't a cheap hobby, in any scrap-stretching sense of the word. This little scrap set with 18 images was about $30 with shipping ... but I splurged because I really liked the images and the sentiments on this set.

This stamp set is called "Dream a New Dream" -- the title of the set is what should be inside every fortune cookie I open! The two stamped images here are the flower trio and the sentiment. I colored the flowers with Copic markers. I cut each square 2.5"x 2.5" and mounted the foursome on a card that's 5.5" square. I machine-stitched around the two flower paper scraps, and adorned one with a felt flower from the Creative Charms collection.

I can think of many uses for this card, so I may have to make several more. Well, tomorrow is another day! I hope you have fun things planned ... enjoy life!

Corner Bookmarks

Good morning, all.

Last evening, I began work on other projects that I will start posting next week ... you'll see! So I only had time for this quickie project for today's posting.

In my spare time (haha!), I enjoy reading novels. Most of my current reading is either business reports (blahh!), magazines or easy-carry on my e-reader (a Kindle). But, I still occasionally carry an honest-to-God book. I know, I know, you're asking, "Book? You mean, from the library?! Who has time for those?!"

Not only am I always losing my train of thought, perhaps my mind too, but I certainly also lose my place in the book. I can never have enough bookmarks! So I came up with this fancy-fold bookmark using a folding technique like that we used to use as kids to make newspaper hats. Remember those? Fold here, tuck there and voila!

So, using a miniaturized version of that on a 6"x6" piece of paper, I first punched the Double Loop pattern (by Martha Stewart) on the exposed side. This happened to be on a printed pink border on a green piece of cardstock. I gently folded where I wanted the creases to be, and then scored and properly folded the final version. This holds so tightly that no glue was necessary. I adorned it with a Creative Charms felt butterfly, and I'm good to go back to reading.

I hope you have a sunny day!

(P.S. For those fans who have told me that leaving a comment has been difficult because of the format I had initially chosen for this blog, try again! I've updated the settings and I hope it will be easier. I would love to know what you think about what I am making in my Craft Loft.)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Blessings at Rosh Hashanah

To my Jewish friends and neighbors, warm wishes for a happy New Year as you celebrate Rosh Hashanah ... high holy holidays.

To make this card at left, I used the Sure Cuts A Lot (SCAL) program to convert the image of a dove I found online. I then cut that image out of the cardstock, saving the off-cuts for use in future projects.

I lined the card with a glossy deep turquoise paper from the Mariposa stack.

I then created another multicut of the dove using the SCAL program and cut the twigs and leaves from gold glitter stock from the same stack. For the Star of David, I used the Cricut "Joys of the Season" cartridge, cutting on a glitter stock as well. I pre-printed the message on the card using my standard HP inkjet printer.

Blessings to all, with peace.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Baby Girls and Butterflies

Good morning, Friends!

Today, the butterflies have emerged from their cocoons -- much as they did yesterday in the Thank You card posted.
Here, I've made two slightly different cards for two friends whose Girl Babies are due shortly; each of these women is using "butterflies and flowers" as her theme for the baby's nursery.

The Cricut Cartridge I used to cut these butterflies is still "Cake Basics" -- one of my favorite cartridges of all time because its basic shapes are multipurposed. The shapes cut neatly and completely, no thin edges that snag or tear when removing from the mat.

To accomplish the layering, I cut the top butterfly from the main element (no shift or shadow), set at 2.5" Real Dial Size. For the second and third layers of the butterfly, I cut the image with "Base Shadow" button lit, at 3" and 3.5", respectively.

Stickles ... I love Stickles! ... add shimmer to the top and third layers. Swarovski crystals on gold bead wire (hot glued in place) complete the antennae. The sentiment was printed on the front, using standard HP InkJet printer and a free font.

Here is another take on a similar design, this one with stitching around one layer:

Now in terms of glue/adhesive,
I have some recommendations.
Hot glue is great for adhering the antennae, but I will say that I tried using it to adhere the butterflies at the belly (so the wings fly up) and was disappointed. [Remember, 90% of the fault is with the operator of the equipment, not with the equipment itself.] I highly recommend using Scor-Tape instead. It is a permanent double-sided adhesive tape that holds images securely. Follow THIS LINK to be taken to the Scor-Pal site and tape sizes available. I have this tape in many widths and it is VERY easy to use and works beautifully.

I finished these cards off with inside images, including the mini-butterflies cut from coordinating cardstock.
I hope you have a butterfly-sort of day!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Thank You Cards

Greetings, Friends & Followers!

Yesterday's baby shower for daughter Emily was a huge success. We had a beautiful day for the brunch at the Five Ponds Golf Club (Warminster, PA). Forty guests showered Emily and Baby Girl ("Charlotte Grace") with niceties and necessities. The candy buffet was a hit -- I can't believe all that candy (woosh) went and there are no leftovers.

Today was a day to unwind after months of preparation, and to make some Thank You cards for my dear co-hosts, who include the two other Grandmothers (Sherry Michaels and Margaret Cohick) and Emily's godmother Mary Beth Hume (my sister). They were all generous with their time and contributions, even though they live 6-10 hours away!

Here is the card I made for them. I used a Cuttlebug embossing card to create the raised swooshes, and cut the butterfly using Cricut "Cake Basics" cartridge. The butterflies were decorated using Stickles; their antennae were gold wires highlighted by Swarovski crystals. The raised "Thank you" sentiment was given dimension with pop dots.

I've made a few more cards this weekend, which I'll be unveiling in the days ahead. Stay tuned!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Nearing the Shower

...and still, more crafty ideas!

Tonight, Baby Mama Emily came over to my house to help me make the chocolate-covered pretzel sticks that will be part of the "candy buffet" at Emily and Baby Charlotte's shower on Sunday.

Here's how they turned out -- pretty great, I think! I still want to make more using white chocolate, so hopefully tomorrow night I'll find the time.

Meanwhile, as I was driving home from my day job, I thought about how cool it would be to make little "sour cream containers" for the Hershey's kisses I bought for the candy buffet.

So here they are! I whipped up about a dozen of these in an hour or so ... creating the idea takes the biggest amount of time, I think.

To make these, I cut six equal pieces of paper from a 12x12" sheet (each piece was 6"x4"). I taped one short side and rolled the paper into a tube. Then I pinched the one end shut, using a piece of double-sided tape and a crimper tool. I filled it with 6 Hershey's kisses, pinched and glued the top end sealed (I used double-faced tape), and crimped. Decorated using monkeys from the Cricut Zooballoo cartridge and Creative Charms flowers, ribbons.

What do you think?