Friday, September 24, 2010

In Style Stamps/OWH Birthday Challenge

Here is a HAPPY BIRTHDAY card I submit for the challenge over at In Style Stamps. No sentiment needed -who could have a sad birthday with all these colors! This cute clown digi came from my freebie stash but I can't remember who drew her, if anyone knows please advise so I can give proper credit. Thanks for looking! have a wonderful weekend!

Sparkle Challenge and Copic technique for cheapos!

   Hey ya'll! I am entering this first card in the challenge over at Sparkle Creations Rubber Stamps, the request was for any card that makes you think of fall. I had just whipped this card up the other day using this AKV Bugaboo Stamps freebie and some miscellaneous papers that were in my scrap folder. To color the image I used a combo of copic, sharpie, and cheapo kid markers. I was able to get a little shading by first coloring with the fine point sharpies then immediately using the lighter copic to blend toward the center, it may not be as good as using all copics but so far I only own six of them in the very lightest shades so I do what I can with those.

When I started the hobby of making cards for Operation Write Home; though I absolutely love it, I had  no idea what it would truly cost to build up a supply trove. For months I spent no less than fifty bucks a week at craft stores including my cuttlebug, then folders, spellbinders dies etc...thank god I hid the receipts from hubby...shhh. I must admit I put copics last because they really are expensive, they are also worth it for the exceptional blend-ability. One marker for four bucks is a lot of moolah in my neck o' the woods- and that is the SALE price! lol. As you can tell I used my "skin" marker to shade around the image, something I tried the other day and I liked it -kinda' looks a little antiqued. My next batch of copics will include at least one other color to represent another ethnicity because right now I'm limited to white skin.

I tried to buy my copics according to which I would need for the largest areas of my images. For example I started with the lighter browns for all of the bear(s) and even one very light green for turtles and frogs. I heard that by buying the lighter shades first you can get away with having less colors because you can build up color with the lighter ones by going over and over the same spot you want darker -it works! Since I only have a few copics - I "outline" a little darker with my cheapo markers -I kinda' prefer this method. I did splurge on a $16 collection of fine point sharpies which I really like for a variety of card-making purposes. They write very smoothly -love me some smooth writing pens- and of course they do include a darker and lighter version of each color which gives them some versatility, copics WILL blend with them if you do it in a hurry. For example below, check out the wings on this little bugaboo angel. I first used my pink sharpie to outline the inside edges (zoom close) where it would be naturally darker then quickly used my pink copic to blend toward the middle. A cheaper way to achieve some depth.Nothing could be done for the moon, however because I had no lighter color of yellow...note to self...need light yellow copic too!

While you're zoomed in notice there is a little sparkle on the middle band there. That there is OWH APPROVED glitter paper. This paper has glitter literally baked into the paper so there is absolutely no flaking whatsoever. I think I now have this paper in EVERY color because sometimes you just NEED glitter and even though I really haven't been using this paper as much as I thought I would, buying it and owning it and knowing you do have a way to add glitter is really fun, almost like breaking the rules without getting caught. lol.

...and just one more thing, it doesn't really show up in this pic all that great but I've added some real cheap bling there in the corners. Glitter paper is great for use with your punches to add a little flower, then pop a cheap as dirt sequin, then a little gem on top of that. It doesn't really translate here but this card is really bedazzled in person and who doesn't love that?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

OWH Sketch 35 Challenge

  Hi there, this time I wanted to make a birthday card for a boy since my last two were obviously for girls. It wasn't easy because I didn't have much colorful paper on hand but I found this in my scrap folder. Birthday cards are not my favorite cards to make either. I like to just make general cards and if they are to be used for a birthday I figure the soldier can write inside "Happy Birthday" but since many of the OWH birthday challenges of late are specifically asking for Birthday cards I am stretching myself. So the little alien monster I got from the freebies blog but (I feel really bad about this) I can't remember who submitted it, if you know please advise. I then added three googly eyes. I made the little sentiment sign on my scrapbook factory program.
By the way is anyone else's blogger acting funny. Mine keeps highlighting errors instead of turning them red and it won't let me type text except in link form with an underline unless I go and put a jump break which is got me baffled. I must have inadvertantly changed some settings but have no idea how to get back to normal blogger. It is really drivin' me insane! LOL

     This last card here is just a random I scrapped up from this image by Elizabeth Dulemba, theres a link on my blog that will take you to all of her wonderful digital freebies! Happy Scrap 'n!

Friday, September 17, 2010

TGIF Card Extravaganza!

This is my submission for Shelly's Images Challenge Blog  over at OWH which was to make a birthday card. The image used here is a Dustin Pike D.P. freebies and I added the googly eyes!

This Snowman card is for the OWH challenge over at Paper Romance, which was to make either a birthday or Christmas card.If you zoom in a little you'll notice on the snowflakes I dabbed a little blob of sparkly stickles. The paper used on both of the Christmas cards was a donation from Karen Gory Creating With Kajikit (she sent me a ton of paper a while back) she's a real sweet lady and the snowman was a stamp I received in Scrappy's blog candy I won a while back.
Next up is my submission for both the ABC Christmas Challenge Blog which was to use a Santa and the Little Red Wagon Blog Challenge  which was to use a star or stars. This image is by Dustin PikeD.P. freebies. Did you get the dragon "pun"? My daughter didn't! lol
Here's my entry for the OWH Some Odd Girl Challenge Blog which was to make a birthday card; This sweet little digi is a freebie over there so make sure you get it! This card is going to make some soldiers daughter smile when she receives it because it is so colorful. I was really on a roll today! Thanks So Much for stopping by to say Hi! I hope ya'll have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Cooking it up with Katie Challenge

     Yesterdays challenge over at cooking it up with Katie was to make a fancy fold card with an autumn theme. Here is my submission for that Challenge. The only thing I left out (doh) was the embossing which I must have skipped over that deet in my reading yesterday but hey... two out of three ain't bad right?

....and here is the inside of my easel fold card. Since this card will be received by a Soldier I needed to provide a little room for a quick note home. This is only the second easel fold card I've ever done and I really liked the fact that it can be displayed but the message inside still remains private from view.

All of my papers are random, some from books, others bought by the sheet (I can't seem to resist buying paper even though I have a LOT of books already) I'm not dedicated to any brand when it comes to scrapp'n , I like them ALL! Thanks for visiting my blog today, if you leave me a comment ill visit yours! Happy Scrapp'n!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Thanksgiving Collection

Hey there, here are my first four Thanksgiving cards...I made these from two (one dollar) stamps I picked up at Joanns the other day. On the first two I used a vellum to stamp the images onto. Also I used my quick cutz squares and circle frames on these!

Thanks for checking out my designs & Happy Scrap 'n!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Pink ATG on the Cheap plus Random Acts of Cardness

     Hey ya'll. Those of you who read my post on no-fail adhesives may appreciate this. Today I received my pink ATG ~WOOT WOOT! I did have to wait about seven weeks for it because it was a pre-order and there had been a defect in a huge batch of them that were to be shipped. Scotch had to pull and re-manufacture all of those so it put all of the subsequent shipments way behind.

     I LOVE this thing and would wait an eternity to have it in my I'm sounding like a bad romance novel, but seriously love is NOT too strong of a word here. I have scrapped up six (see below) cards with this thing and now I see what all the fuss over at Operation Write Home is about. First off it did not feel awkward to me which was a concern of it being so big, I picked it up and started to use it right away and it is very user friendly, if you're a scrapper it is pretty intuitive to use, just pull the trigger, drag on your card-stock, and release the trigger in a full motion -very fast and accurate for even narrow strips and ribbon. I even used it on the back of some tiny (less than 1/2 inch surface) paper flowers and yes it is that accurate in tape placement, so say goodbye to those sticky fingers. The loading of the tape reminds me of the way you thread a sewing machine...a little bit to learn but once you've done it one time you never need the instructions again! This tape sticks like no other. It far surpasses the Ad-Tech permanent variety that I reviewed in its stick-ability and this is the scotch gold that came with my Susan G. Komen ATG (2 rolls included). You will definitely become a shipper favorite card-designer if you use this!

     Here's one more thing to feel good about... I only paid thirty bucks with shipping ($21.50 + $8.50 S&H) for this ATG over at Glenda's Creative Place Glenda is an awesome seller, I do not work for her but; I had to call her because I was so anxious to get my ATG and she kindly explained to me about the pre-order. She makes no money on these...she is doing it solely for the good of cancer research and to offer scrappers this low price, what an awesome lady!! Please go there and buy one of these from her, you WILL have to wait... but you WILL NOT get a better price anywhere and during the wait time you will be able to use up all of the current adhesive you have on hand (no waste = no glue in a landfill) YAY - because once you receive this you will never want to use anything else. Incidentally I also found a cheaper brand tape WHICH I HAVE NOT TRIED, but that you may wish to try AFTER you buy your is the link to that JVCC brand tape thats fits the ATG $1.93 per roll.

     Now for my Random Acts of Cardness. I call it that because what follows is a mis-match of differently themed cards that I just scrapped up in a jiffy to test out my ATG. Most of the papers used came from a scrap box and honestly were not my favorites but hey...every paper deserves a "chance" to shine right? The Halloween card is the only one that follows this weeks Sketch 32 challenge @Operation Write Home. Have you ever noticed how your glue doesn't seem to stick as well to your embossed papers? The ATG tape solves this problem. I still used Beacons 3 in 1 for the buttons in case you were wondering.


    Please let me know if this post was helpful to you or if it took a long while to load (I just got a new camera and pics are taking forever to upload so I may need to reduce the resolution.) Thanks for stopping by and Happy Scrap n'!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

OWH Non Fail Adhesives (Follow Up)

     Hey y'all, sorry it has taken me so long to post this but my son was back to school last week and having gall bladder surgery in early August put me behind a little. I was frantically trying to play catch up with his transition journal (for those of you wondering this is a journal to introduce my son to his teacher that basically talks about his special needs and what she can expect this year.) So far my son is doing great, he has lost no recess time and he seems to be handling the demands of school more maturely.Fingers crossed that this continues.
     Many of you who read my recently featured post on the Operation Write Home Tuesday Tutorial "How to become a shippers pet: non fail adhesives" have been asking about the discounted "off brand" ATG tape I mentioned that I found on the internet. It is called JVCC ATG-7502 and according to  the per roll price is 1.93. The claims by users are that it works just fine in the Scotch ATG as it is the same 1/4 inch size by 36 yards ( JVC has their own off-brand gun as well.) I believe the cheapest price I came across on the scotch brand tape was in the five dollar per roll range. Now I should mention that since I have NOT received my pink pre-order ATG yet -I have NOT tried this tape but I certainly will be trying & reviewing it for OWH one day so stay tuned. It got 4.5 stars under the reviews section and most-if not all-of the reviews were by scrappers and they seem to love it!
     Some of you wanted to see pictures of my card liners where I had described the way I like to add a little interest using up the little paper scraps you cut off to make a 4" x5 1/2 inch card base out of a whole 11X 8 1/2 sheet of card stock. Here's a few examples of cards and their liners done different ways. This one I just took the regular computer paper in white, scalloped the side using a MS punch, over the top there I glued one of the black strips that got cut off when creating the card base. I punched a flower out of a scrap from the front designer paper and in the center of the flower popped out a dot from a regular hole punch. See now isn't that cute? Here's another...

     This picture turned out kinda fuzzy...I just got a new camera so it is the user in this case I'm sure. Below is an example of a liner I did that covered most of the card can do this to add weight when your card stock is on the flimsier side. I don't know why it is but when I started buying these card-stock specialty color packs from Johanns I realized that not all card-stock is created equal. I actually prefer Wal-Mart card-stock for bases because its fairly stiff and cheap, you can get it in primary colors, neon colors, and black and white. However if you enjoy using a broader range of colors and can't stomach the price of bazzill or pricier card-stocks you can try this method, just add a liner of heavier card-stock and problem solved!!

     So now I am off to experiment with the art of freezer cooking and advanced meal prep. I will probably be posting about it here in the coming days. I hear it leaves WA-A-AY more time for scrapping cards and of course I am all for that! Until then...Happy Scrap 'N!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Small kitchen!/What would you do?

      Hey there ya'll. Wow my posts are becoming more sporadic as I've been doing less cards for OWH lately. I just have had some other things going on and have had to focus on those things for a bit. One area of focus being "Back to school" which will be happening here in less than two weeks. My son is 8 and will be going in the second grade. He happens to have Asperger's Syndrome which presents a host of challenges for new situations/teachers/classrooms/expectations etc...and a LOT of Stress for me. Every year I go through and try and pair down papers etc.. from the previous year and believe me -there are LOTS but I have to make room for homework and after school organization-this means getting my kitchen in order.
    One thing I have been trying to do in this little house that my Mom left me is to make space. This place is at just about 1200 square feet but just feels so cramped and cluttered a lot of times. I've been trying to work on more visually pleasing organization. To be honest where the problem lies right now is CRAFTS, I just have no place for them as I have a child in each bedroom and a small kitchen and no dining room and a son who loves to use all kinds of crafts. Speaking of small kitchen here it is with original 1956 knotty pine cabinets. I have no idea how a family of 6-7 members lived in this house at one time but they managed so I suppose we (the four of us) can too but first I need more places to put stuff-like the overflow of food that won't fit in cabinets because there aren't enough cabinets. So I came up with an idea for the other side of the room -a high shelf.
        Now This is still in the process of being worked on. The bins came from walmart and do a pretty good job of hiding snacks/chips/cereal/etc... that I previously stored on this hutch stacked to the brim. Now mind you, I want to move this hutch over slightly to center with the table and move the trash bin back to the other side of the room so this wall is not crazy cluttered looking. On the other wall to the right I need some sort of bulletin board to keep school events/after school/dates/papers/etc... but I need it to NOT look cluttered as it often does when my son brings home papers and we display them. That will be my next project.
I am wondering for the longest time if I should attempt to paint these cabinets. I mean obviously I went with the "country" theme because nothing else would have meshed with these cabinets but I wonder if a more cohesive color pallet wouldn't  make this kitchen at least seem less cluttered and I do not have a LOT of money. Here's where I welcome your ideas and opinions. What would you do?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

How to become a shippers pet! Non-fail adhesives! my quest for the best adhesive for Operation Write Home...I have decided to extensively review here all of the adhesives I have used so far including their good and bad qualities. It seems as though I've tried them all but there are so many brands it can be really confusing for the newer OWH card maker. Operation Write Home cards obviously are going overseas where temperatures are extreme and require adhesives that will not dry out and cause our cards to lose their pieces or pop layers with a slight bend. In effort to not  have my cards be patients in the shippers triage (card hospital) I store and test my cards before shipment. I have stages my cards go through...

Stage one - Card front creation, I usually use glue stick for patterned (thin) paper to card stock adhesion - glue stick usually allows for easier repositioning than tape so that is the advantage and why I usually prefer it. However glue sticks are almost always the culprits in card triage. But -the BY FAR BEST glue ~stick~ I've found so far is POINEER Embellishment glue stick - it goes on very sticky and gummy and does tend to gum around the neck of the tube and makes for a hard to remove cap after a few uses (at which point teeth help) but this is a good sign -if your glue stick glides on very smoothly and easily I have found those are usually the worst culprits for popping up layered card-stock once its dry. PIONEER does not warp up the paper like some liquid adhesives I've used  and it is easily found at Walmart. I made all 20 of my recent Halloween cards with it and they have sat for three weeks and still seem to be adhered very well given the slight "bend" test. Speaking of 20 cards - you will get about 20 cards out of this stick. The price of one stick is $2.00 so that's about .10 per card.This product works well for card-stock to card-stock adherence as well as thin paper adherence such as liners or designer papers and also it claims embellishments so do give it a try if you are a new card-maker looking for a good glue stick -don't waste your money on the school glue stick varieties or even the Aleenes tacky glue stick-I have found all of these to be a "temporary hold" that will probably not survive shipping to A-Stan!.

     Another glue/ adhesive I have used with success is Beacons 3 in 1. This is a liquid initially re-positionable  fast drying tacky glue that is good for EVERYTHING from adhering paper to card-stock to adhering buttons, metal embellishments, buttons to buttons, ribbon, the kitchen sink - you get the idea. You can find it at any craft store. This glue IMO is a must have for certain embellishments because it is the only thing I've found that holds over time on the bulkier embellishments like buttons -it seems to remain somewhat flexible like rubber so this allows your card to still flex without popping parts. The drawbacks to it are; its slow as molasses to come out of the bottle,  so I store it upside down but immediately upon removing the cap it begins to bubble up more product than I can use...  as it has been stored upside down; (stored upright you'll have to wait for it like pouring ketchup)... so I have to wipe the nozzle of excess with a baby wipe and re-screw the cap quickly which can be time consuming when your glueing/stopping/glueing etc... - perhaps if I store it on its side it would ooze somewhere in between too fast and too slow (ill have to try that) but it is a definite MUST HAVE for repairs of pop offs from other faulty glues and embellishments. Also Beacon's only causes minimal warping on the card-stock -barely noticeable if any - unlike Aleenes which I find causes warping. The cost of Beacon's is around 3.95, however I have had one bottle last me months - if you used only "Beacon's" product (a little goes a long way with this) I estimate you could get between 40-60 cards + embellishments so that's a cost of  around .07 per card. If I were new to scrapping cards for OWH and my funds were limited and I could only have one glue for every purpose this would be the one I'd recommend -it will get you through until you can add to your adhesive (s) collection and your shipper will smile big every time they think of you because your cards will not need repairs.

     The next adhesive I use with success and mainly for those tiny pieces of paper embellishments such as sizzlits, die cuts with intricate lines etc... that need adhered without a huge blob of glue is "ZIG" pen, I always use it blue/wet and adhere quickly; as opposed to clear/dry which is a temporary hold according to the directions. I would not use it for large areas because the pen I have is the very small chisel tip variety - I have not tried the other ZIG products so I can not review them but the zig pen does work for small pieces when used in the blue/wet (permanent) method. I forget how much I paid for this product but it is a must have if you adhere the sizes of paper as described above.

    Up next: Stage two - Card liner creation. Lately I have been creating decorative, yet simple liners for the insides of most of my cards. I just think it adds a little more hand-made quality and weight to the cards. Usually if the card is any color other than white I will add a liner (ink-jet weight paper -the kind found at Walmart) of a complimentary pastel color. If the card is already pastel I will add a liner of white. I use the little 1/4 strips that get cut off of my card-stock to create a little interest line to the right of the fold then I punch out a flower or two and adhere in the corners or to the edge. I usually do this in stage 2 because I like to pick a day to do only liners and inside card embellishments, usually this is when I think I have enough cards to create a shipment. I go into my scrap box to find scrap pieces to use -it seems to go faster than if I were trying to create card fronts and do liners at the same time plus I like to revisit the cards I've previously made and assure my glues are holding strong before shipping - Next step- Labeling and Shipping!

     Now as for adhesive tape(s) I have used Ad-tech (permanent) variety, they also sell re-positionable but in making cards for OWH I stay away from anything that is not permanent for obvious reasons. The advantages to "tape" are mainly that you get no warping no matter how many layers of paper/card-stock you end up using and it is fast, easy, and the least-messy option, your creativity flows because you are not constantly having to stop and clean glue off your fingers, or tabletop or cap and un-cap adhesives which can be appreciated best when the creative mojo is flowing freely. The main problem I personally have with  permanent tape including ad-tech is once you've adhered it (even if crooked as mine often is) you've adhered it! You can "try" to quickly pull your pieces apart but sometimes it will warble your paper or rip and make it look like you used recycled paper to create your card - not a good look for our soldiers! Also I have noticed that cards adhered with tape may still pop up a little on the edges but seem to still stay adhered in the middle and tapes have not been accused of losing their parts as often as glues if at all. One trick I use for getting a straight layer is to use a generous line of glue stick in the middle of my paper in a line to be adhered/ position it down onto my card front pressing firmly so it will not move -then lift each of the individual sides/ apply tape runner/and press the sides down working from the middle out. 
     Stage three-labeling and shipping. This is the final card-check-through for shipping to my OWH "shipper". I first check the cards for any glue failures, loose embellishments etc...I fix those usually with Aleenes Tacky glue hopefully saving my shipper from a triage nightmare. At this point it is the only repair glue that will adhere peeling edges without making a huge mess of your card... due to the tip being very narrow, you can easily squeeze it under your papers and button up any glue failures you may have. Aleene's is very cheap-a huge bottle for a dollar and change, adhesion is very good however I do not like the warping you get if using it to create the cards. Next I adhere my OWH and handmade labels to the backs of my cards and pair them with their envelopes by sticking the back of the card into the envelope pouch and folding the envelope flap backwards. I sort my cards into categories such as Love/Miss you, Everyday/No Sentiment, Child, Man, or other Occasion categories. I then bundle with paper straps (liner scraps taped together) all of my cards so my shipper doesn't have the extra chore of sorting -it also keeps my cards compacted for easier packing.  I turn cards any way needed to offset embellishments to fit the most cards in a box. I label the bundles with post it's so she can open my box and know at an instant what kinds of cards are there in case she has a need for one particular type, she can quickly access it and then get to the rest later.

Now here are a few glues i've tried that will not hold up to OWH shipping conditions!
And "Terrifically Tacky Tape" is an excellent tape for those who make their own envelopes and need a super sticky "flap" tape adhesive. Now I have purchased an ATG gun from an online vendor at the beginning of this month.I got a great price at 30.00 with shipping - however I am currently holding my breath because it is a pre-order and I still have yet to receive it & I am told it could be months! I also found an off brand of tape that will work in the ATG for a fraction of what other tapes/glues cost! I hope I receive it soon though!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

OWH cards using bold papers

    Hey ya'll i've been afk for sometime...I kinda lost my card mojo after all those Halloween cards -I can't say it is entirely back but I have made a few cards since. I however am posting them way too late but one or two were based on OWH sketch challenge of last week or perhaps even the week before...yeah i'm behind!

I got a new snoopy stamp and thought I'd experiment with some papers that have been a challenge to use in the past due to their bold patterns!



 Sometimes ya' just gotta' let the paper speak for itself...I call this under-embellished but it made use of some scraps I had!

Again...challenging paper left to speak for itself and the center life saver I just wrote in "Life's a Beach"...simple!

This here is a Dustin Pike image (I think a freebie) utilizing some scraps again...this time for a birthday card - this layout loosely followed the OWH sketch although my measurements had to be modified! That's it for now, thanks for stopping by!