Friday, September 07, 2012

Friday Folds: Every Little Bit Pocket Card

Welcome to Friday Folds!  I have decided to change things up a bit on my blog.  Instead of finding Four Ways Friday on Fridays, you will now find Friday Folds.  On Fridays I will share with you a card or paper project that somehow incorporates a fold...or many folds.  On Tuesdays you can find Two Ways Tuesdays where I will share two ways to use a single stamp.  I hope you enjoy the changes!  I look forward to your feedback!
Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  When You Conquer Something You Didn't Think You Could, What Was Hard Before Becomes Easier :)
Last Friday we went on quite the bike ride!  I hadn't ridden any hills all summer long and we decided to go and give High Grade a try!  We had heard from friends that it is viewed as the toughest hill ride in the Denver area...good thing I didn't know that as I got on my bike! :)  The scenery was gorgeous and I learned that you can actually stay upright going just under 4 mph on a bike! :)  At times I wanted to give up - a lot of times actually - but somehow I kept telling myself that I could do it - I could conquer that hill before it conquered me.  My legs weren't in pain - I just felt exhausted - as if the wind had been taken out of my sails.  Which it might have been, given the 3000 foot climb in altitude.  But, after push after push on those pedals, I made it!  (And coming down was a ton of fun...and a lot quicker!).  Then, last week, we went out on the bikes again.  This time on a ride that we have done frequently.  It is a ride that has a number of hills that in the past felt challenging.  However, this time, they felt like flat ground!  It was amazing!  Sometimes when you conquer something you didn't think you could, what was hard before becomes so much easier :)  What can you conquer today????
Today's Friday Folds card is a simple way to create a whole new look to a card.  I started with an 8 1/2" x 5 1/2" piece of card stock and scored it down the center.  I then added an extra score line 1 1/4" in from one of the ends.  I folded the card as usual and then folded the 1 1/4" scored side in the opposite direction.  I sewed the edges of the "pocket" down on the sewing machine.  Of course, you can use sticky strip or another adhesive...or even a row of hold the card together as a pocket.  I stamped the hammer from Every Little Bit using Early Espresso ink all over the card.  Next I stamped the Curly Cute greeting.  I then cut a rectangle of Very Vanilla card stock that would fit in the pocket and stamped it with the hammer and the greeting from Bring On The Cake.  One quick extra tip - I used white thread on the sewing machine and then rubbed the thread on the card with a cotton swab that I had rubbed in the Soft Suede Stampin' Pastel.  You can tone down the brightness of the white thread this way...and not have to change the thread in your sewing machine every time you want to sew on a card.  I hope you have a wonderful weekend filled with creativity, laughter and love!!!!!!

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Established Elegance Canvas Stamping

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  We must remember that everything is ordinary and extraordinary.  It is our minds that either open or close.  - Natalie Goldberg
I have been reading an amazing book that I let sit on my shelf for too long...or maybe until the exact right moment since I seem to be gobbling it up right now!  The book is Writing Down The Bones:  Freeing The Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg.  As I am reading it I am finding it equally applicable to any creative endeavor.  All of her advice and wisdom around writing is so true for those of us who try to make creativity a part of our daily practice - no matter what medium we use.  Goldberg goes on to say that if we see others lives and festivals and experiences as fantastic and our lives as ordinary, we come to writing with a sense of poverty.  The same is true for us as we show up at our card stock - our stamps at the ready - our ink poised.  If we see what others make as fantastic and what we make as ordinary, we come to creativity with a sense of poverty.  We show up defeated before we have even begun.  Remember, it is our minds that either open or close.  It is your choice.  Which do you choose?  Ordinary?  Or Extraordinary?
For today's card I decided to stamp the crown from Established Elegance using Staz-On on a piece of canvas.  I then used the element as a layer on top of a piece of vellum that I had run through the Big Shot with the Lacy Brocade embossing folder.  Next came a piece of crochet trim.  Finally I added the greeting from Itty Bitty Banners.  Oh, and in case you can't tell, the card base is Crumb Cake.  I hope you like it!  I think it's extraordinary :)

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Out On A Whim Wednesday: Polymer Clay Switch Plate

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  Turn Around!
On Sunday evening we went for a walk with Buddy.  It had rained briefly and the pavement was shining.  As we were walking around the park we heard noise that sounded a bit like a transformer exploding!  It was a little strange since the neighborhood seemed quiet otherwise.  I started to look around and finally turned around and WOW!  The sky was a brilliant mix of colors and sparkles!  They were fireworks not too far away!  So off we trotted, to another park that is close to our house - using the fireworks as a beacon.  When we got beyond the trees at the edge of the park it was as if a private fireworks display was being put on for us!  So close and so bright!  It was amazing!  I am still all giddy inside as I'm writing this! :)  The park sits on a hill so on clear days you can see for miles - the mountains in the distance.  From this vantage point we watched until the first fireworks show was over and then another one began - far off to our left.  We watched for a bit and then took another route out of the park going down a hill.  I turned around again to look back and the hill obstructed the view of the fireworks.  Oh well.  But as we kept walking I heard another "boom!"  This one seemed louder.  So I turned around again and caught a gorgeous, huge circle of green sparkle behind a really large circle of red sparkle.  Yet another fireworks show had begun!  Be willing to turn around.  Maybe what's behind you needs to be front and center!!!!
For today's Out On A Whim Wednesday I decided to share the switch plate that adorns the light switch in my craft room.  I made this switch plate ages ago and it still makes me smile every time I turn on and off the light.  I used a metal switch plate as a template and as a surface for baking the polymer clay.  The clay was stamped with a variety of stamps (this was prior to my introduction to Stampin' Up!...the wheels are already turning on using my SU! stamps with polymer clay!).  I added some metallic powder to add a bit of shine.  I hope this inspires you to go out on a whim! :)

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Two Ways Tuesday: Mixed Bunch

Introducing Two Ways Tuesday!  I have decided after 100 Four Ways Friday posts to change things up.  So now, on Tuesdays, you will see Two Ways Tuesdays where I will show how to use one stamp set image or product in two different ways.  At times I may repeat a stamp set - just using a different image.  I would love your feedback :)  For this week's Two Ways Tuesday I used an image from the Mixed Bunch stamp set.
For this first card I stamped the image multiple times in different colors to create an entire card background.  These small cards are 3x3 in size.  I paired the image with the blossom punch and a greeting from Petite Pairs.
 For this second card I decided a bit of "overlapping" was in order!  Here I overlapped the stamped image.  I used Rich Razzleberry ink.  You might also choose to do this at full, half and one-third strength or you might use a variety of colors - beginning with the lightest shade and moving to darker shades.  I then used this square of card stock as a backdrop for the greeting from Petite Pairs.  Why not give overlapping stamped images a try?

Monday, September 03, 2012

Every Little Bit Get Well Card

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  I Used To Be Afraid Of Bees
I have never been stung by a bee.  At least not to my knowledge.  A friend of mine used to carry around a special "pen" when we were young.  She said that if she ever got stung by a bee she needed to prick herself with the pen - that it had some magic inside that would keep her from dying from the bee sting.  Maybe that's why I grew up being afraid.  My relationship with bees has changed in the backyard.  We are friends - the bees and I.  We have a shallow dish that we have placed on top of an upside down planter.  We fill it with water and have placed some small rocks in the center so the bees can stand and gather the water they need to bring back to the hive.  There are times that a bee will find it's way into the water.  It's not a good thing for bees - they cannot survive in the water and will drown.  So, when we pass by the shallow dish and notice a bee, motionless, in the water, we reach in and place the bee on our hand.  Michael did this before me - maybe that's where I began to learn to not be afraid.  It is amazing to watch so many of these motionless bees come to life again.  Most of them do.  They begin slowly - moving a leg or two.  Then, the more they sit on my palm, the more they begin to dry off and the more they move - preening themselves like cats.  Drying off all the soggy areas.  So methodical.  The first time I felt a bee start to fan it's wings in my hand it was a bit startling.  After all, I was supposed to be afraid.  But I watched in fascination as the wings dried in the wind.  As the tiny hairs on the bees head began to define themselves in the sun.  And finally, sometimes after 20 minutes of preening on the hand, the bee will lift off and fly away.  I used to be afraid of bees.  Now they are my friends.  I hope they won't sting!
My friend asked if I could put together a get well card for her mom.  Her mom loves dogs and so I went to the only current dog stamp I have - the puppy in Every Little Bit :)  If you have a few moments to cut out and color these adorable images, you can put together quick and easy cards that are sure to bring a smile :)  A piece of Bashful Blue card stock and a torn piece of designer series paper (brights pattern stack) create the background.  I used my scallop circle punch to create the clouds and added a bit of sparkle with dazzling diamonds glitter.   The greeting is from Teeny Tiny Wishes.  Hope it helps here feel better :)