Monday, February 28, 2011

Spring Fever Hop: Bloom Where You Are Planted

Just a few weeks ago, the groundhog saw his shadow, predicting an early Spring.  We can all hope for it!  The good news is that as I post this, it's raining here -- not snowing!

To get you in the mood for the spring season, Jillian at JillianBean Crafts assembled a group of terrific bloggers to post their most Spring-inspired project(s) on the Spring Fever Blog Hop.

So welcome!  If you're joining me mid-hop, please be sure to go to the Hop start, to our fantastic hostess's site at Jillian Bean Crafts. Hop along and don't miss a single site, you'll be inspired!  At the bottom of this post, I'll list the entire line-up, as well as your next stop at Made by Momo.

Here is what I made in response to Jillian's challenge to make something "light, springy and fun"! 

I made a decorative pomander floral ball.  At the top, I removed some of the styrofoam ball and inserted a cachet of lavendar, to get a hint of the coming season.

I used my Fairy Cut software package to create two different sizes (1" and 1.5") of the flowers with five petals. Arranged tightly on each single sheet of 12"x12" pink Bazzill paper, I was able to cut 131 of the 1" flowers on one sheet, and 56 of the 1.5" flowers on another (I cut 2 sheets of this size). 

Using the Fairy Cut program, it is so SIMPLE to do this that it takes the paper-punch work out of what could have been a tedious project like this. (And yes, I used all of the flowers I cut to make this one floral ball.)

UPDATE:  Crafters who post to today's post here on CardMonkey will be entered into February's monthly drawing for a FREE Fairy Cut Software license (a $99 USD value!), generously provided to me as a monthly prize to my followers by the manufacturer. See Blog Candy below!
I adhered the flower to the styrofoam ball using thin (27mm) dressmaker's pins that I first inserted into pearl beads (half-price at Michael's this week).  I wrapped an inexpensive candlestick in wide, pale green satin ribbon, and capped the floral ball off with a butterfly clip I purchased at ACMoore, 3 for $1.00.

I also made a springtime card to be presented with the pomander.  The how-to on making the card's pop-dot flower strip was posted on YouTube yesterday. (Keep scrolling down on this blog to see the video.)

Note too that I decorated the inside of the card, with complementing artwork and coordinating paper strips. The envelope (not shown) also has the same coordinating paper strips.
Doesn't this just put you in the mood to get your garden growing?!

Now ... on to your next stop in this fabulous hop.  (And thank you, Jillian, for inviting me to be a part of it!)  

Here is the complete hop line-up:

1. Jillian at JillianBean Crafts

2. Ellen at CardMonkey - YOU ARE HERE

3. Momo at Made by Momo -

4. Ruthie at September Ninth

5. Paula at More Than Favors

6. Michelle at Scrappin with My Bug

7. Rachel at Live. Laugh. Create.

8. Sarah at Pink Cricut

9. Sherri at Sherri’s Crafty Place

10. Carri at DoubleClick Connections

11. Shannon at My Scrappy Creations

12. Brynn at Flair & Frills

NOW, who is in the March mood for some BLOG CANDY!?   I am offering a fun gift box of "how does your garden grow" embellishments, along with a Xyron 1.5" sticker making machine!  


1.   Be or become a follower of the CardMonkey blog.

2.   Leave a comment for me here.  Please include a way to contact you when you've won the prize. 
NEW!  3.  If you would like to be entered into CardMonkey's February drawing to receive a FREE Fairy Cut license (a $99 USD value), please let me  know that in your comment. It's easy to use with your computer and Cricut, so don't think you're not ready for this adventure in expanding the possibilities of your cardmaking or scrapbooking! The manufacturer notifies me of the winner and e-mails this prize directly to the winner ... how great is that!?  Thank you, William, at FairyCut for this generous prize to my followers!!             

Thank you for joining me today for the Spring Fever Blog Hop!
And wild appreciation again to Jillian at Jillian Bean Crafts for hosting this hop!

'Nuff Said

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Tip of the Week: Making Your Own Pop-Dots

If you're here for the Motions & Folds Card Hop, please scroll down for that post, which I'll leave up even though the Hop is officially over.

Hi, Friends and Followers! 

I hope you're having a fabulous Sunday.

The sun is shining here in the Philadelphia burbs, and I'm about to go to Moonlight Madness at a craft store (Michael's, I think), where there's 20% off my entire order with the coupon from the newspaper.  YAY!  Not that I "need" more craft stuff, but I do have a couple of things to buy to complete some current projects. 

One of the things I forgot to buy on my last trip out was another box of POP-DOTS ... you know, those adhesive bitty pieces of foam that give your embellishments or cuts dimension on your cards or layouts. 

So while waiting for Moonlight Madness which doesn't start 'til 4 p.m. today, I figured out a way to make my own Pop-Dots using equipment and materials on hand: craft foam, my Sizzix machine, and my Xyron sticker maker. 

Without further ado, here is a video I made with this tip.  Bear with me -- it's my first such endeavor!!  Let me know what you think about this technique and the video. Have you made pop-dots like this before?

Inspirational song and fun video

Play it. It will do your heart good.

"On the Bright Side" by
Never Say Never

Blog Candy Winner Revealed: #37 - Kathy!

Congratulations to KATHY at Kathy's Kreative Spot for winning my blog candy in the Motions & Folds Card Hop, February 26.  Her comment, #37, was selected by  Here's her comment:

Kathy's Kreative Spot said...

Love your projects, You did a great job constructing the stationary box--I made one in November. I love the monkey card with the wobble. I am a follower.
Katsews at gmail dotcom
February 26, 2011 11:37 AM
I have sent Kathy an e-mail; she has a week to respond with her USPS mail addy. Thank you again -- all of you! -- for both participating in, and joining us in this fun and educational blog hop.  I loved it and learned a lot too.  Let's do it again sometime!!!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Welcome to the:

Fifteen terrific bloggers share their interesting cards!

Be sure to read below to see
my project and to win CANDY!

I am very pleased to serve as your hostess for this fun, educational and inspirational event.  Here, I've asked our participants to show at least one card that has either a unique fold or motion.

Many are showing tutorials for their projects; others are offering yummy blog candy.  So hop along and enjoy your journey!  Please leave plenty of comments, and become a follower of blogs you enjoy. 

Here at CardMonkey, you are at the starting blog hop of 15 fabulous stops. Your next stop is Selina's blog at

Hopefully, you won't find any "broken links" but if you do, please pick up where you left off by jumping into any of the blogs listed below.

Our line up for today is:

1. Ellen at <-- YOU ARE HERE
2. Selina at
3. Sarah at
4. Jessica at

5. Sue at
6. Janice at
7. Wendy at
8. Kacee at
9. Jennifer at
10. Amanda at
11. Kim at
12. Brynn at
Late news UPDATE:  13. Ashley at
(I am sorry, hoppers.  Apparently Ashley forgot about us.  Please go directly to Nikki ..)
14. Nikki at
15. Elaine at

Here is my project: A folded gift card box, that features a card with both a tri-shutter fold and motion.

Earlier last week, I showed the box I made that was inspired by Alex @ 's and Ruthie @ 's PJ party webcast.  I designed and offered the template for this box, and showed it before it was "dressed" with the striped paper. 

UPDATE:  Here is a link to my older post that showed how I made the box, before it was "dressed".  It includes a printable template that I designed:

Here the box is dressed. I was careful to match up the stripes, and mounted each piece on blue cardstock before posting each piece on the box.

Next, I made the three cards to enclose in the box. Notice that each card incorporates the same papers as used for the box.

The first two are "basic" (standard fold) birthday cards, made using Cricut's Birthday Bash cartridge:

The third card is the one I made specifically for this hop. Its intricate fold is called a "tri-shutter fold" and the monkey is mounted using an Action Wobble.  As a result, the monkey freely swings over his banana vine to have a really good time!

Here is the card opened.
The yellow panel is the space for a handwritten message. 
The monkey is mounted to the front panel, hanging from the (peeled?!) banana vine, and he has motion thanks to his Action Wobble.

Monkey wobbling to the left, on his spring.

Monkey at rest

If you're wondering about Action Wobbles, allow me to show them to you.  They are self-adhesive spring sandwiches. The spring is a resilient plastic. To use, affix the top part of the Action Wobble to your object (monkey here), peel the bottom sticker, and place the bottom sticker on the card where you want the object to "rest".  Here is what they look like:

Top view

Side view

I purchased the Action Wobbles from  They offer both PayPal and Google check-out services. A pack of 25 wobbles is $9.95, and it is $18.95 for a pack of 50. 

NOW FOR THE GOOD PART .... Blog Candy!
One lucky winner will receive the set of boxed cards made for this hop, along with a printed copy of the template to make the box, a set of five Action Wobbles, and a roll of green and white Baker's Twine -- perfect to use in your St. Patrick's Day cards!  

1.  Be or become a follower of this blog.
2.  Leave a comment on this post; please indicate a way to be in touch with you when you win!  Deadline for comments: Sunday Feb 27 at 7 a.m. EST, when Randy from Random.Org will be picking our winner.

Don't forget to hop on over to

♥ Thanks for joining us today! ♥

It's OSCAR weekend!

Who will you bestow this award upon? 

Upload this award, and this weekend, share it with 3 of the bloggers you think best uses "up-cycled" material in their scrapbooking or cardmaking. 

What better time to start handing out OSCARs than this weekend in Hollywood?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Feeling Very Stylish Today!

I am humbled to have been chosen two more times this week to receive the Stylish Blogger Award again. These awards were given to me by:

Carol @ and
Denise @

Now, the award requires the winner to reveal 8 things about myself and to pass this award on to 8 recently-discovered bloggers. At the risk of boring my readers, I'll share 8 "favorites" ... and refer you to an archived post when I first won this award, if you're really just quizzical about what makes this monkey swing:

Favorite color: Aqua
Favorite newer singer: Michael Buble
Favorite ice cream flavor: Ben & Jerry's Turtle Soup
Favorite new tech item: Kindle e-reader
Favorite TV shows (tie): "Amazing Race" and "Survivor"
Favorite vacation spot: Outer Banks, North Carolina
Favorite exotic destination I've visited: Bora Bora
Favorite song: "Moondance," by Van Morrison (listen to it by clicking the link below)

Tomorrow, I'll be picking those blogs to which I'll pass award, and will post ASAP. In the meantime, we've got some BLOG HOPPING to do, so please be sure to check back tomorrow for the Motions & Folds Card Hop!

And again, many thanks for the kind and generous award. It's not quite the Oscar, but it will do!

Making the (Office) Max of Your Staples

Like the play on words there in the headline??  HA!  Well, it's been a few days now -- things got crazy -- but as promised, I wanted to show you some things I've made or used since I raided my home office cabinets. 

All of the stuff I'm showing you today was made using supplies I bought for office use, at a conventional office supply store (like Staples), not a craft store. Check this out!

First of all, have you ladies seen this product called "Wonder File?"  It's essentially a portable vinyl mat that has plenty of pockets and sleeves. It opens to create a tabletop space that the ad shows is for "office use".  But what about for crafters!?  Imagine it used as a mat on your craft table, or at a crop, like this:

Plenty of pockets for paper, glue pens, markers,
ribbons, scissors and more ...

There's even a zipper pouch for your Gypsy!

Fold it up and take it with you ... open it up and claim your Crop Spot.

Why have boring bookmarks when you can make pretty tags for your crafting magazines, using some die-cut flowers and standard jumbo-sized paper clips?

  I mark individual ideas using coded clips -- the purple 5-petal flower marked with "S" means it's a springtime project I want to try.  The 7-petal pink on the green clip is marked "TIPS" for my favorite ideas/tips to use and/or share.

And, while I'm showing off magazines, don't forget that often the cheapest and sturdiest magazine holders can be found at office supply stores.  And they're often on sale.  This sturdy plastic magazine box was just a $1 and truly helps keep me organized.

And speaking of $1 cheap-eats at Staples, this little lint roller was just a buck and it's PERFECT for picking small bits of paper off my Cricut mats, for a quick reconditioning.  I also use it for a quick clean-up of the floor or my pants after crafting!

Staples also has on sale this week for just $1: a pair of 8" excellent quality scissors, normally $7.99 ea.  Limit 2.  I can never have enough pairs of scissors in the CraftZone.

On to things I've made with my supplies.  How about this ... a cute cover for a 4x6" Post-It lined pad, perfect for grocery lists.  Makes a great gift itself or part of a gift set -- pair it with a personalized pen. To make a personalized pen, get a Pentel RSVP style with a clear barrel, and slip in a piece of paper to match your project, or one that's printed with your recipient's name.

How about this idea?  Gather up all of your project's scraps in a small booklet-style envelope. Punch off a corner of the envelope so the color of your paper shows through.  This way, when you want to make something to match the project, you know right where to find those off-cuts.

Binder clips can be decorated and used as card easels to show off your latest project ... or give them as a gift with a recipe card in the clip, for use in the kitchen. 
And imagine the fun envelopes you can make using CD envelopes!?  The one at left is the "standard" with the cello-hole in the front which I thinks shows off your round-focused card or project.  The other plastic colored solid also makes for an interesting envelope.

Clear packing tape can be used instead of pricier transfer tape in moving vinyl. And check out the drapery rings with the little clips to hold your stuff.

Here's a piece-de-resistance, I think -- storing your rubber stamps in crystal CD/DVR cases.

And wait until you see what I can make using overhead projector vinyl!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Creative Brain

Marie, a dear friend of mine who once worked for a paper manufacturer, continues to clean out her garage and comes across reams of old paper, samples, cardstock, photo paper, card kits and more. 

She'll send an e-mail every once in a while and ask if I want the box-full.  Are you kidding me?!  Of course!!  And then as if by miracle, this wonderful Papercraft Enabler will drop off her stash.  Here was one load last summer:

How could you NOT see magic in this rainbow of papers?

OMG!!  Marie thought this was junk??!  Once when Marie delivered this gift -- free delivery, too, and she was grateful to "get rid of it" -- she said something that's stuck with me:

"Ellen, the difference between your brain and mine is that you see a rainbow of possibilities in what I think of as trash."
Or, in other words, "beauty is in the eye of the beholder," or "one man's trash is another man's treasure." 

So in honor of Marie, I will post this picture of some things I found when cleaning out a cabinet in my home office this morning:

Office Supplies "Junque" - February 23, 2011
Check back later ... maybe today, maybe tomorrow ... to see what I make in my CraftZone from some of these little treasures!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Tip of the Week: Faux stitching made easy

A few Followers have asked how I made the box used (shown at left) for my notecard collection featured on this weekend's Friendship Blog Hop.

And, as one crafter put it, "how the heck did you keep those curved faux stitches so evenly spaced and the same curve." 

Easy-peasy ... I'll show you!

First of all, the box was cut using Cricut's Tags Bags Boxes and More cartridge, using the "crayon box" setting. I used a full 12x12" piece of cardstock, and set my Expression to "Fit to Size".  An added suggestion: set "Shadow".

Now for the faux stitching: Cheat!!!

Here's how I do it. Do you know those plastic canvas pieces we used to use before papercrafting took over our worlds? They come in round, rectangle, heart-shaped, etc. Then, as shown below, use them as a guide for your white gel pen:

Pretty neat, huh?

We've got a winner!

Thank you to all of the sweeties who participated in the Friendship Blog Hop, sponsored by Jennifer at Crafty Card Gallery. 

Randy -- that is, the king at -- picked #3 out of my 41 comments.  Sigrid had this to say:

lovescrapreflect said...

yes i agree with meighen its a great cart and i love the cards

February 19, 2011 10:45 AM
Congratulations to Sigrid, who has been notified by e-mail to send me her postal address so I can send her handmade (by this all-thumbs monkey!!) Swarovski crystal bracelet.  Woooo-hooo!!  
Meanwhile, girls, I am in the CraftZone and am working on projects for some upcoming hops I am in.  If you'd like to see more about those hops, I created a blog site just for those ... jump to  There, you can learn a little bit more about the Hops (date/time/participants) and join in, if you dare want. 
Check back this afternoon, in case I find a project to post for today! 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

For the Friendship Blog Hop: A Notecard Gift Set

Hello, and welcome to those of you joining for the Friendship Blog Hop, sponsored by Jennifer at the Crafty Card Gallery.  I am so pleased to participate in this Hop because your friendship means the world to me.  Thank you to my followers -- long-time and new -- for your support and kinship!

I am Hop Stop #23 ... you're welcome to join in this hop at any point (including here!), and hop along.  If you want to start at the beginning, click the link above to go to Jennifer's blog. 

Jennifer asked the participants in this Friendship Blog Hop to come up with "anything friendship related."  So I've decided to show you a gift pack of notecards that I typically make for my non-crafty buddies' birthdays.  Here is a picture of all of the cards included in the gift pack:

The pack includes cards that my friends can then send on to their friends for a variety of occasions. There is one birthday card, one get well, and the rest are just general greeting cards.  Inevitably though, my friends won't mail these on ... maybe I should include two of each, so they feel comfortable sharing!

I pack the cards in a box (shown below) made from the Cricut "Tags, Bags, Boxes and More" cartridge. (Update: I used the CRAYON BOX image on this cartridge, 12x12" paper, "Fit to size" ... turns out it's a perfect size for 4.5"x6" cards!  Note that the bottom flap is not curved -- it's flat and tucked into the box. I just decorated it with a curve faux stitching.)  It is decorated with white gel pen faux stitching and Jolee stickers, and tied with a bow (not shown):

The full collection (half dozen) is shown at the top of this post. Here the cards are individually.  These have all been made using the Cricut "Just Because Cards" cartridge:

Black card, yellow paper insert;
colored pencils highlight the
word "BIRD".  Gem for eye.

Pink card, white Cuttlebug-embossed ("birthday") insert. Happy birthday Cuttlebug folder embosses the front.
Stickles accent the word "CAKE"

Blue card with gold Stickles, white cardstock liner, faux dotted with black pen; pearls
for sun's eyes

Grey card, pale blue paper insert;
Stickles accent the "water";
black pearl for eye

Metallic gold cardstock,
white paper w/rounded corners
for insert. Martha Stewart
double loops punch for trim.

Kraft card, white paper insert;
wings (and shadow) cut from
AC glitter chipboard. White
gel pen to highlight and for
flight line of the bee.

BLOG CANDY:  What's a blog hop without candy?!  When I am not papercrafting, I am beading.  My favorite project to make and sell are "woven" beaded bracelets using Swarovski crystals, like the one shown here.  I've made one similar to this one (different colors, length) for the winner of my Blog Candy giveaway. Value: $35 sold in stores; priceless in that it's made by your very own CardMonkey!

TO WIN: Just two steps:  either be or become a follower, and leave a comment below.  Please be sure to mention a way for me to contact you, should you win.    UPDATE:  A winner has been selected by Random.Org.  Congratulations to #3 of 41, Sigrid of   Please feel free to leave comment(s) though, as you know I always them! 

This Hop is now over, so I will remove the line-up to conserve space. 

Let's meet next time over a cuppa'joe.  Cheers!
P.S.   Don't forget to stop back next week, when I will be hosting the Motions and Folds Card Hop (February 26).  There are 15 of us who have made cards with unusual techniques that you'll want to try!

p.p.s:  I know I've held you here long enough, but seriously, don't forget to ALSO post on my next message (scroll down).  On "Fairy Cut Fridays" I describe a craft I've made using Fairy Cut software. If you post there you'll be eligible to win a free FAIRY CUT SOFTWARE license ($99 value), drawn monthly.  Check out GLASS ETCHING on the next post down!