Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Can I interest you in a stack of books?

What do all these pictures have in common?
Why they all point to one exciting thing: craft room revamp!!! You see, we emptied all the books out of the sitting room and placed them upstairs to languish out of the way. I'll be laying claim to all that lovely Ikea furniture, and filling it with my myriad supplies. My desk will hopefully no longer look like such a disaster, and my walls will be one blissful color. I chose the one on the left! Ground Ginger. Mmmmmm- serene!

Painting is schedule for this weekend, who knwo how long it will take me to actually get things organized. Another trip to Ikea is in order!

Monday, July 27, 2009


For awhile now I've been intrigued by ATCs and wanted to get in on some ATC swap action, but have been hesitant- I've read so many complaint threads about bad swaps, that even though I know I'm not a jerk, I've still been wary of getting involved. This weekend, however, I took the plunge! I signed up for my first ever ATC swap- it called for 3 one of a kind ATCs with an animal theme, so I felt it was an easy enough way to start.

Man, I had no idea how tiny 2.3" x 3.5" is! I had a hard time fitting some of my stamps on there- I never though of my stamps as being beefy! But it went pretty quickly and was a lot of fun! All three came out very differently.

This first guy came out great- I even got to use that yellow cat's eye chalk ink pad I bought a few months ago and then immediately realized I had no use for. No use until now that it! It coordinated perfectly with that patterned paper I bought on a whim last month. Just one random sheet, but it has been taunting me as a total impulse buy since then. It feels good to put those random purchases to use! Notice his little gem eyes- I think they're a little creepy, but in a good way. I stamped him with VersaMark + Palette ink and clear embossed, then went over a few spots with my VersaMark pen and embossed those with gold.

This was a real bear to make- lots of cutting! I think it came out cute, though it is not a style I favor all that much. The pink and yellow fish were inked once, then a stamp with another color was 'kissed' to the fish stamp, then it all went down on paper. The blue fishy was a bit easier- I stamped him in blue then stamped the white over the top.

Hey there chocolate bunny! What's that you say? OAK ATCs are a perfect mate for 6x6 paper pads? I'll keep that in mind!

The first round of ATCs went so well, I went and signed up for another swap! This was 8+1 swap, theme was distressing. I think these are pretty cute and I like the way the various distress elements came out.
The light on my desk unfortunately gives things a funky yellow cast, but this picture shows the real colors better.

Again, that batch went pretty quickly, so I signed up for a spot in another group for the same distressed ATC swap. Here is a close up of the 2nd design. I love the way it looks with the background text stamp! Without that int he background, the main image just looks so lost. Some purple Stickles came in handy to jazz it all up and meet the 'one embellishment' requirement.
As you can see, I am half done with this set- I hope to get it all in the mail tomorrow!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Some old pages

In an effort to keep this blog somewhat interesting, I'll be posting some older work from time to time. It's interesting to see how my style and product use has changed, and it prevents huge gaps in posting. I know, my adoring fan loves me :D

First up is a favorite page- for both the finished layout and picture used!

The pic doesn't show the color of the pp well, but it is orange/yellow notebook style pp from Basic Grey- the lines are blue. Anywho, this was a fun layout- the only time I have ever done my journaling on the computer. I think the computer journaling fits well. I like the little twine bow I used- that twine is off of some packaging I had absolutely unrelated to scrapbooking. Now the picture, well isn't it awesome??? My friend and I were driving on the LIE one day and there was a school bus in flames on the other side. Naturally a picture was taken. This is the only copy of the photo I have- it's from pre-digital days. The pic itself is actually all crinkled from being taped up and removed from walls more than once, but it's still in decent shape.

This next layout features the one time I've used my foam stamps- sad, huh? Well, I tried some other new things when I made this- all the tearing and staples. I like the finished product a lot but likely won't do a title similarly again.

The cool parts of this layout are where I traced around the swirly design on the paper with my Sakura stardust pen (clear glitter pen), and the swirl I cut out of vellum. I'm quite pleased with how both came out!

So I hope you enjoyed your trip in the way back machine! Maybe I'll post some old cards next, although those aren't nearly as nice as my older scrapbook pages- I definitely think I'm a better scrapper than card maker!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Mini book completed!

I am pleased to report I finished up one of my hanging projects this past weekend! It actually did not take that much time either! So here are all 20 pages of my mini album. I'm not going to write too much because it I did this post would be out of control. All patterned papers are by K & Co. If anyone wants to know anything specific, just ask in the comments! Click pics to enbiggen.

Felt + Cuttlebug!

This post is for Leslie!

I'm going to try and show the marriage of felt and Cuttlebug, but not really do a tutorial. How much tutoring is to be done really? Here are a few pics to try and show the thickness of my felt.

See, not super duper thick, but certainly different than paper. I ran mine through my Cuttlebug with the regular sandwich. I'm not sure how many times it needs to be run through as you can't see if it successfully cut all the way through without disassembling the sandwich. Unlike paper you do not see cut lines when it is actually cut. Running it through once was insufficient, but I just run it through 5 or 6 times and it is definitely cut then!

Here are a few little shapes cut out from my Nestabilities. Layer, add a button, suddenly it's a flower! You'll confuse bees everywhere!

At the end, you get cool cut out shapes like this little frame.

Ok, I'm including this weird shot to show how you do in fact get some embossing on the felt. Enlarging it might help.

I have lots of felt from Mom, so I'm hoping to make more using it when I eventually get more dies. In the meantime, I think it makes for a nice backing layer for journaling spots- next post will have mini album pics showing how I did just that!

Next post will take a little while- I need to retake all my pics in an attempt to balance enough light with not having glare. All of a sudden I feel compelled to take nice pictures. Curses!

But where do you put it?

I have been asked before what the heck I do with my ATG when I'm not using it- it looks like it takes up a lot of real estate which is usually quite precious to a crafter. Well, I have seen people make little stands for theirs, or balance it in a coffee cup, and I've even seen someone drill a hole in the bottom of theirs so they can put a binder ring through it. Theoretically you can hang it from said ring. Also, if you use peg board some well placed brackets could give your gun it's own home on the wall!

I do none of those things though. I recently discovered that the flat top allows me to balance my gun on it's head, making it take up very little desk space and making it *extra* easy to spot!

As I've mentioned before, it is quite light, so I often just sort of toss it on top of whatever pile is nearest on my desk. I don't have to worry about it crushing any delicate paper or making it difficult to get out things hidden underneath.

Yes, my desk has gotten messy. I need to hang that shelf!

Monday, July 20, 2009

counting is hard

Yes, counting, it turns out, *is* hard. But I'll get to that.

First up are two supplies I had stashed with my x-stitch stuff- you see I have all sorts of miscellaneous craft supplies that are from my wee child years, stored in a series of shoe boxes in my closet. For the longest time it was all shoved into one large plastic storage tote, but a few months ago I set aside a few hours and went through every single thing shoved in there, tossed the junk and sorted out the rest. Now all these miscellaneous craft supplies are somewhat organized, which is how I was able to find any of this at all.

Back on track: I found this old pair of collapsible scissors and an ancient thimble. The thimble is easily older than I am. I was of course very excited when I found these- a dedicated pair of scissors is always ideal, and a thimble is better than getting stabbed, no? Well, a split second before I used the scissors it occurred to me that they may not actually be sharp, and lo and behold they were very much not sharp and shredded my thread as opposed to say, cutting it. The thimble, well those don't become suddenly stabible, but it too did not exactly work out. I think what I need are leather finger sleeves- do they make those?

As I was squinting at my heap of thread that came with my kit, trying to determine which was the medium green, versus the light or dark green, i had the brilliant idea to sort it all out to make my life easier: voila! Like the giant gash on our coffee table? We have no idea where it came from, so we just blamed the dog.

When I got to this point, I came to the very sad realization that I had started in the wrong spot on my canvas. How wrong was it? Well, turns out counting remained difficult and I had a hard time figuring that out. Eventually I said screw it, I would just work with the space available (I started too far to the left, so I did not have enough space).

Shortly thereafter, I realized that I had also managed to just skip a square at some point. Much finagling and adjustments of patterns had to be made, but I am finally back on track! Here is how far I am as of last night:

He's starting to look like a little alligator! Or crocodile. One of the two.

So my Math degree, which you could argue is a degree in advanced counting, appears to have failed me. My little crocoalligator is just going to have to live with a slightly wonky hind leg/rear. I hope he makes it.

Friday, July 17, 2009

For Randy

My co-worker Randy was fascinated by the ATG when I explained what it was to him, and was quite surprised by the need for that much adhesive, so this post is for him.

This is my ATG. It is quite large, but is lightweight and easy to maneuver. It has a pretty new 36 yd roll of adhesive tape in it.

Here is my box of 12 refill rolls, along with the other refill I still had. So that's 13 rolls of 36 yards of adhesive each. Not too shabby.

See how little space each roll takes up? The is another fine reason to use an ATG- no ridiculous pop-in refills and all their excess packaging to store.

See this cute little box? It sites on my craft table.

For kicks, I am saving all my empty plastic rolls in there. I got my gun in January and as you can see have gone through 4 rolls- that's with taking a substantial crafting hiatus this year. You can once again see how little waste this type of adhesive refill creates.

Here is the project I have been working on and wound up using some absurd quantity of adhesive on. It's still unfinished, so I don't have many photos of it. The black strips you see up top? Those are the base of each page- black chipboard. Chipboard is a fancy name for a specific flavor of cardboard, but it's basically fancy cardboard.

Here are the first two pages- do you see how they are completely covered? Each page is like that. There is not actual black showing except on the cover. Because everything is exposed to fingers, it needs to be thoroughly secured which means lots of tap. Let's also acknowledge the many layers we see here.

So you see, the ATG is glorious for several reasons, and it's certainly something I feel I got my money out of. Which is a good thing, because seriously? $40 for a tape dispenser? I too thought that was over the top lunacy. But I love that sucker as much as one can love a tape dispenser (which apparently is quite a lot).