Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sympath Cards

When I ask other paper crafters what the hardest cards are to make, the 2 answers I hear the most are Sympathy cards and Masculine Cards. This past month I taught a sympathy card class at A Walk Down Memory Lane. For those who struggle with masculine cards, I made sure to include a few masculine sympathy cards, too. Oh, and I had to play around with the new papers from Echo Park, My Mind's Eye, and American Crafts, as well as a new stamp set from Kanban. The cards in the photo above are what we made at the class.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Seed Packets Redone

About a month ago I shared this tutorial with you on making cards that hold seed packs. This week I needed a little gift for 5 women who were serving on a panel at our MOPS meeting. I decided that these would make a great gift, and they're easy enough that making 1/2 dozen wasn't a chore. I wanted to share with you how using different paper and making a few changes gives the card a completely different look.

I used Jillibean Soups' new Blossom soup. It's bright, springy, and perfect for this project. Instead of tying the card shut with twine (like I did in the tutorial), I'm using a button. The top flap slips easily under the button, which is attached with a Glue Dot® to the front of the card.

The butterflies were fussy cut from the paper, and layered 3 deep for dimension.

If you decide to make your own version of these seed packet holders I'd love to see it!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Scrapping Large Photos

Every year when I have my kids' photos taken, I always order one of my favorites as an 8 x 10 to hang on my wall. I have a special place that hosts the 8 x 10 for that year. The dilemma comes when I get the photo for the next year. What do you do with the old 8 x10's? I ordered that photo in the large size because I really like it. I decided to try my hand at scrapping a few 8 x 10's last night. It's a bit tricky because the photo takes up so much of the layout. I really wanted to make sure I enhanced the photo instead of overwhelming the layout. I broke out my Echo Park For the Record Collection pack, and here's what I came up with.

I found scrapping a horizontal photo the easiest. Even though I used a lot of buttons, I only used 1 type of embellishment.

For this layout I mixed and matched a few papers, so I kept the embellishments to a minimum. I chose papers that had a basic pattern and that matched colors in the photo to keep having too much going on.

Finally, I've been dying to do some heritage scrapping with this line, so I pulled out a photo of my grandparents. It was an 8 x 10 that I trimmed down to about 7 x 9. It gave me a little more room to play with embellishments. In person, this layout has a lot of texture. The title and flowers are popped up with foam dimensional adhesive.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Be Silly

Whew, I'm just getting this submission to My Mind's Eye's Sketch Challenge #21 in just in time. I was able to finish and grab a few photos just before I completely lost the light (thanks daylight savings time!). This month's challenge theme is "Celebrate Today". Here's the sketch:
I wanted to try shrinking the sketch down and using it in a small corner of the page with a lot of white space. This is what I came up with:

Today I'm celebrating the silliness that is my children! I used MME Stella & Rose papers and accessories (I am head over heals in love with this line).


Today is going to be a fast post, but you know this Irish girl couldn't pass up wishing you health (Slainte) on St. Patty's Day. Something a little different... no crafts, just a couple of pictures. Tonight we will be having corned beef, potatoes, and rhubarb tort, but for a little fun this afternoon my boys and I made these:

These shamrocks are made from home made pretzel dough. Instead of salt, we used green sugar and cinnamon.

Here are the boys blowing on them so they'll cool down enough to eat.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Quick Cards

Last week I needed 3 cards, and I had about 1 hr to make all three. Sometimes, I have time to fuss, rearrange, and add lots of detail, but not this time. I needed to mail out 2 St. Patty's Day cards and a birthday card that day. Here's what I came up with:

Here are a few tips for making cards quickly:
1. Stick with what you know. I'm all for pushing yourself and trying new things, but if you're in a hurry now might not be the time. I love mixing and matching patterned papers, so I used that as a starting point.
2. Use paper that you know you have lots of embellishments for. This way you don't have to spend time searching for matching embellishments. For example, I just happened to have the whole Lucky Me collection (thanks to Little Yellow Bicycle!) including matching stickers and buttons.
3. Keep it simple. Often we add lots of "fussy" (read: time consuming) details to cards: stitching, bows, lots of embellishments, stamping... When short on time stick with 1 fussy detail. For example, since I stitched a border on one of the St. Patty's Day cards, I didn't do any stamping. Since I stamped and colored in the chihuahua on the birthday card, I kept the embellishments simple.
4. Finally, remember its the thought that counts! The person you're sending the card to is going to be thrilled to receive something you made, they're not going to be checking to see if every little button or bow is perfect.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Butterfly Topiary

Today I'm sharing a tutorial for making the butterfly topiary pictured above. Cutting and adhering the butterflies takes a bit of time and patience, but is absolutely worth the end result.

To start, you'll need:
Mini Glue Dots®
Craft or Memory Book Glue Dots®
A pot or vase
A Styrofoam ball (choose a size that goes well with your vase)
A wooden dowel (painted to match)
Twelve 6" x 6" pieces of paper (I used My Mind's Eye Stella & Rose Mabel 6x6 paper pad)

Start by cutting or punching out as many butterflies as you can from your paper. I used my Silhouette SD to cut my butterflies, but any butterfly punch, die, or cutting file will work.

Use 1 Mini Glue Dot® per butterfly and start attaching the butterflies to your Styrofoam ball. I started by doing a line of butterflies around the center of the ball and then worked out from there. The advantage to using Glue Dots® (instead of something like hot glue) is that there is no drying time, there are no glue strings to remove afterward, and you can adjust the butterflies slightly as you work.

Remember to leave a small space empty at the bottom of your ball. This is where you'll attach your wooden dowel. Place a Craft Glue Dot® on the end of your wooden dowel when you insert it into the Styrofoam ball to keep it from moving around.

"Plant" your wooden dowel into your container. The pot I used is from a houseplant that didn't make it (I'm much better with paper plants than live ones!).

I filled the pot with more foam, then covered my mess with piles of ribbon. You could also use shredded paper, decorative stones, or Easter Grass. Finally, decorate the outside of the container with a few leftover butterflies.

If you decide to make your own butterfly topiary, I'd love to see it! Just leave me a comment with a link to your topiary.

*I wrote this blog post while participating on the Glue Dots® Design Team.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


I posted a tutorial on how to make this fun Doodlebug rainbow card over on A Walk Down Memory Lane's blog today. If you'd like to check it out just click here. Have a lovely Thursday!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

March's Featured Manufacturers

It's a new month which means you can save 25% on 2 new featured manufacturers over at A Walk Down Memory Lane. This month the Featured Manufacturers are Doodlebug and Copic Markers.
I made this layout using Doodlebug:
I love having a garden in our back yard. I can't seem to keep a house plant alive, but we do pretty well in our garden. It's usually overgrown and a bit messy, but its a fun family activity. I especially love picking and preserving (by canning and freezing) the goodies from our garden.

I wanted to make this layout bright and fun, and also keep a bit of an organic feel, so I freehand cut the hills at the bottom of the page, and then used foam dimensional adhesive to pop them up off the page. The brown hill is layered directly on top of the base, and the blue hill is layered on top of the brown hill.

How Does Your Garden Grow
Paper: Doodlebug (Spring Medley, Dragonfly Stripe, Nature Walk, Seedlings) Bella Blvd Sunny Happy Skies (Magic in the Skies, Alpha + Bits)
Accessories: Prima Flowers, Doodlebug Boutique Buttons, Cosmo Cricket Tiny Type Alphas

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Everybody Love and Irish Girl

I have a good bit of Irish blood in me, I'm proud of the fact that I'm an Irish girl, and I love celebrating that on St. Patty's Day. This year I decided to use Permanent Glue Dots ® to create a no sew St. Patty's Day pin.

What you'll Need:

Permanent Glue Dots®
Green Polyester Fabric (I'm using an old shirt that I no longer want)
Circles in different sizes for tracing (I used 6 circles, starting at 3 1/2" and going down in size by 1/4" increments)
Small Candle
Pin back
Decorative button or jewels

1. Trace your circles onto green fabric and cut out.
2. Cut petals into the circles. Don't cut very far in. I averaged about 5 petals per circle.

3. Light your candle. Hold each circle over the candle to melt the edges. Take care not to burn the fabric or your fingers.

4. You should now have about 6 - 8 flowers, in different sizes, that look like this:

5. Use Permanent Glue Dots® to layer the flowers on top of each other, starting with the largest, and ending with the smallest.

6. Use Permanent Glue Dots® to attach a pin back to the back of your flower and a decorative button or jewel to the front of your flower.

7. Enjoy your bit 'o green for St. Patty's Day!

** A note about sizing - your finished pin will be about 1/2" smaller than your largest circle (due to the fabric shrinking when it is melted). My largest circle was 3 1/2", so my pin measures about 3". If you'd like your pin to be a different size, just determine what size you want the finished pin to be and add 1/2".

I wrote this blog post while participating on the Glue Dots® design team.