Friday, June 29, 2012

Four Ways Friday #92 - Language Of Friendship

For this week's Four Ways Friday I decided to play around with the Language Of Friendship stamp set.  This is a set that I received for free during Sale-a-bration and it is also in the new catalog (I LOVE when that happens!).  It was about time I gave this stamp some ink!
Let's start simple :)  This stamp set coordinates beautifully with the 2-step bird punch.  I began with a Pool Party card base and ran it through the Big Shot with the framed tulips embossing folder.  I stamped the bird and two wings onto Bashful Blue card stock and punched it out with the punch.  The greeting was stamped with the help of the stamp-a-ma-jig and some Always Artichoke seam binding was added.  I love how you can stamp multiple wings and give this bird some flight!
Don't forget that you don't have to stick to card stock for your stamping!  Here I stamped the image onto a piece of First Edition specialty designer series paper and punched it out with the 2-step bird punch.  Next I sponged the pieces with Old Olive and Bashful Blue ink.  I adhered the bird and branch to the watercolor paper mini card (3x3) with glue.  The greeting from Loving Thoughts finishes the card.
One the First Edition specialty designer series paper was out, I couldn't put it away :)  I love this paper!  This stamp set is also a wonderful set for decorating a small gift holder - the images are the perfect size!  I cut a 6x6 square of the paper and curled it into a cone.  The cone was adhered with sticky strip.  Next I attached a trim of Baja Breeze card stock that I ran through the scallop border punch.  Flowers from the stamp set were stamped with black ink onto Pink Pirouette card stock and then punched with the Boho Blossoms punch.  I LOVE that this stamp set coordinates with two different punches!  Of course, if you don't have the punches, you can always hand cut the images - I did that with the bird this time since I added the stamped feet with the help of the stamp-a-ma-jig.  I stamped the sentiment onto Pink Pirouette card stock and then ran it through the Big Shot with the oval shaped designer frames folder.  I then hand cut around the oval.  I added a piece of Victoria crochet trim before adding the other cut pieces to the cone.  Next, with the help of the crop-a-dile, I added some small eyelets to the top sides of the cone and threaded them with wire.  I stuffed the cone with some pink tissue paper and some thin strips of designer series paper that I had crunched and crimped.  Adhesive pearls added a final touch :)  I can't wait to place a small gift in this cone (maybe jewelry or a sweet treat...or maybe seeds for a garden...we'll see!).
I am so crazy about birds that I decided I needed to create a home decor item with this set for my craft room table!  I started with some floral foam in a small terra cotta planter.  I added the Always Artichoke seam binding with a few touches of hot glue so that it wouldn't slide around.  I stamped the flowers using black ink onto Pumpkin Pie, Pink Pirouette and Rose Red card stock.  I then punched them out with the Boho Blossoms punch and began adhering them to toothpicks with glue.  I adhered plain punched Boho Blossoms flowers on the backside of the toothpicks so that the flowers had a bit more dimension.  I added a touch of dazzling diamonds to the flowers and stuck them into the floral foam.  Next I stamped the bird onto two colors of card stock and punched the birds out with the 2-step bird punch.  I then cut up the Basic Grey bird and adhered the head to the Crumb Cake punched bird.  I also used the Basic Grey wing.  All of the bird pieces were sponged with Soft Suede ink.  I also punched a plain piece of Crumb Cake and stamped it with a few of the branch leaves for some decoration - this piece serves as the back side of the bird (which you can't see in the photo).  I then adhered the bird to a wooden skewer (so it would be taller than the toothpick flowers) using a combination of glue and glue dots.  Next, I stamped the sentiment from a retired stamp set (Charming) and created a small flag to glue onto the skewer before placing the bird into the floral foam.  Finally I took a bunch of kraft colored tissue paper and tore it up and began to hot glue it into the pot.  I love how this little guy looks sitting on my craft table :)
I hope you've enjoyed this week's Four Ways Friday and I hope you have found some inspiration to get you creating over the weekend!!!!!  Have a wonderful weekend!!!!!  Thanks for stopping by!!!!!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Comfort Cafe Labels Collection Framelits Card

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  Encourage Rest
It's been getting hot, hot, hot here in Denver!  We have had quite a few days where the temperature has exceeded 100 degrees!  For us, that's hot!  Even this squirrel would agree!
I have been trying to walk Buddy earlier and earlier so that we can enjoy a bit of cooler air before the oppressive heat.  Our walks tend to be long though, so usually the sun beats us back home.  Buddy has black fur so he heats up quickly.  We have found a wonderful tree along our walking route where we take refuge from the sun for a little while and try to cool off in the shade and grass.  The other morning, we were sitting under our tree when a man went walking by with his two dogs - they were both white Great Pyrenees - a large breed with lots of fur.  He looked at us and commented that our resting area looked great.  I told him it was tough in the heat for Buddy with all that black fur.  He said that one of his dogs is getting older and has trouble with her hips and that he had never really thought about stopping along the way on their walks.  As he walked away he said, "You have encouraged me to rest."  It struck me as odd that resting had not been on his mind prior to seeing us sitting there.  Then I remembered the society in which we live (and my post about productivity yesterday).  It seems we are encouraged to keep going, keep striving, keep moving.  What if we looked at our rest as being as important as our continuing to push forward?  I have a feeling the man will enjoy the rest as much as his dogs :)
I am loving the Comfort Cafe designer series paper and the combination of Cajun Craze and Soft Suede is not a usual one for me.  I love that this paper forces me outside of my usual color palette (even if I did sneak in some Crumb Cake :)  I adhered the paper to the Crumb Cake card base with glue and then did a little machine stitching on the edges.  The Soft Suede card stock was die cut with a labels framelit and then embossed with the Petals-a-Plenty embossing folder.  Next I stamped the image and greeting from Apothecary Art using a combination of Soft Suede and Cajun Craze ink.  I die cut the image with another framelit and hand cut the greeting into a banner.  I hand cut an additional banner in Cajun Craze and then layered everything together with glue and dimensionals.  Some Victoria crochet trim and some adhesive pearls finish off the card.  I hope you like it!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Out On A Whim Wednesday: Inspired By Cathy Taylor

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  I Allow Myself To Measure My Productivity In MSO, NPR and MICR
Outputs.  Inputs.  Blah, Blah, Blah!  I have decided it is time for me to adopt measures of productivity that fit who I am :)  So, here are the measures I came up with:  MSO, NPR and MICR.  Let me help you decipher the acronyms in case you'd like to adopt similar productivity measures for yourself.  MSO = Minutes Spent Outdoors; NPR = Number of Pages Read; and MICR = Minutes In Craft Room :)  I know these aren't the measures written about in the pages of business magazines, but I'm not written about in the pages of business magazines either :)  I'm tired of trying to measure my "productivity" on the basis of some formula ingrained in me by some societal norm I picked up somewhere in the hallowed halls of universities and the cubicles of corporate America.  These new measures are much more about me and what I value as a meaningful use of my time on this planet.  Watch out world!  I'm going to be the most productive person you've ever seen!!!!! :)
I went out on an incredibly enjoyable whim for this week's project (and definitely logged amazing amounts of MICR productivity!).  This project was actually inspired by productivity in the NPR area - I opened up my new issue of Cloth Paper Scissors magazine and was immediately intrigued by an article called The Workshop:  Rethink Alcohol Ink featuring some techniques by Cathy Taylor.  I already had alcohol inks on hand and made a quick run to a local art store to buy some Yupo paper (it is a totally synthetic "paper" with a slippery surface being used by watercolor artists) and some Tar Gel (I think you might be able to use Crystal Effects in place of the Tar Gel...I might have to give that a try at some point).  I found painting with the alcohol inks on this surface to be totally mesmerizing and meditative!  I also kept moving forward when I reached points where I was criticizing my work or displeased with what was happening.  I just plowed through it!  I think I could have kept going and going and going (good thing I have some more tar gel and Yupo paper!).  I am anticipating a very high MICR count as I continue to explore this amazing whim!!!!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Betsy's Blossoms Punch Card

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  What people somehow (inadvertently, I'm sure) forgot to mention when we were children was that we need to make messes in order to find out who we are and why we are here... - Anne Lamott
I recently finished reading the book Bird By Bird:  Some Instructions On Writing And Life by Anne Lamott.  Whether you are a writer or not, this book is wonderful!  I know I will be sharing many lessons I picked up while enjoying her pages.  When I read this sentence I had to smile.  Smile at the memories of making messes as a kid - mud pies, kitchen disasters, melting crayons.  What I was also smiling about is that I believe the need to make messes still exists for us as adults!  We are always searching to figure out who we are and why we are here (at least I am) and making messes in the craft room helps me on my way.  So if you came to this blog looking for permission to make a mess in your creative got it!!!!!!  You have my permission, blessing, encouragement and support to make a big mess in your craft space on your journey to discovering who you are and why you are here :)  Enjoy!!!!
Today's card was created by allowing myself to make a bit of a mess at my cousin's house (thanks for letting me make a mess in your space Brenda!).  I began by inking up the large flower in Betsy's Blossoms with three colors of ink - from light to dark - Pink Pirouette, Regal Rose and Rich Razzleberry - and stamping it on the card base.  I then used a scrap piece of paper to stamp the same flower twice except that before stamping the image, I spritzed it.  I had wanted to spritz with water, but since there was none immediately handy, I just grabbed the Stampin' Mist bottle and sprayed with that!  I think it contributed to turning things a bit murky in color - so I might suggest using water instead.  But if you want to go ahead and make a mess using your Stampin' Mist - you have my permission, remember?! :)  I then punched two of the flowers out using the Blossom punch and then began scrunching and smooshing and rolling until I had the flowers pretty textured.  The flowers were layered and glued on top of one another.  I then hand cut a few leaves and gave them veins with a bone folder.  I sponged the edges for some added dimension before adhering them to the card.  A button with some linen thread finishes the flower.  The sentiment is from Delightful Dozen (it is a set that I am now going to buy since I used it so much at my cousin's and really enjoyed it!).  I hope you like go make a mess!!!!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Toilet Paper Roll Gift Holder: Video!!!!

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  Sit On The Porch And Watch The World Go By
At some point in the afternoon last Thursday, Michael and I decided to go for a walk around the neighborhood with Buddy.  On our way back to the house we were passing by our neighbor's home and we decided to stop by to say hello.  We have become really great friends with these neighbors and they have the most inviting porch on the front of their home.  They were both home so we all ended up parking ourselves in their comfy chairs on the front porch and chatted for awhile.  It was such a simple thing to do - to just lounge on the front porch and watch the world go by - and it was so enjoyable.  When was the last time you sat on a porch and watched the world go by?  Maybe today would be the perfect day to give it a try :)
This great upcycle project was inspired by some ideas on Pinterest and a wonderful post I saw on Jan Hennings' blog.  I am always looking for ways to utilize things that we traditionally would throw away or recycle and this turned out to be a perfect project for me!  Here is a two-part video to show you how to make some upcycled gift holders of your own!  Enjoy!!!!