Monday, September 26, 2016
*Crafty Tip* Usually, tips come at the end of my posts, but today I'm placing this one at the beginning: have kraft 5" (12.5cm) square card blanks on hand for quick, scrap paper friendly cardmaking. This one has scalloped edges, but others are plain, like the one I used on this Patriotic Eagle 4th of July card. I picked up a few packs of these in the $1 bin at Michael's my last visit to the States and I'm using the heck out of them. They're the perfect base to build a quick card on; their neutral color means they go with everything and their small size lets me use up my scraps.
This anchor thank you card is an example of that. The free Just Peachy France digital paper is left over from this soccer Father's Day card (and I print my digital papers at A5, so I'm being doubly thrifty here).
The Spellbinders InSpire Anchors Away die is the focal point, and since the card blank is small, it really fills up the space. I picked up the retired docrafts Papermania Confetti Thank You die cuts at my favorite discount shop a while back and never used them and actually, don't know that I will again. They don't show up as much as I'd like and I ended up cutting it down in size anyway, so there went the convenience factor.
*Update* For USA readers I'm sharing this tip my crafting buddy, Ginny, left in the comments about mailing square cards (we don't have this problem in France, it's by weight and thickness, not shape), she says:
'I have a tip for you and those using square cards. In the States, there is extra postage required for square cards. I use or make envelopes that are 1/2 in. longer [or more] so that it is officially a rectangle and I will cut cheap CS to exactly fit the envelope to hold it without getting floppy. It serves double purpose by protecting the embellishments too.'
Thanks, Ginny, an excellent idea!
Paper – kraft card blank, cardstock, Just Peachy free digital France Soccer paper
Die – Spellbinders InSpire Anchors Away, Die-namics Oval and Circle STAX
Embellishments – pearls
I'm linking up with: Artistic Inspirations #164 – Anything Goes, Crafting From the Heart #129 – Always Anything Goes, Craft Your Passion #331 – Always Anything Goes, Love to Scrap #86 – Anything Goes, and Crafty Enjoyments #9 – Marine Theme.
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
My front door needed something new and bright for summer, i.e. a new wreath, but being the lazy crafter that I am (quick = good in my book) I didn't want to spend too much time making one.
I dug around in my stash to see what I could come up with. Two of these bare wire rings were purchased a while back at my favorite outlet shop for only €0.79 each – ah, the perfect base. I dug around some more and found several containers of felt flowers (also purchased on sale) languishing around unloved as they're a bit too big for my cards – great! – I didn't have to buy a thing.
I went to town layering and gluing the felt flowers to the ring, then added some button fronts.
I can't really say it was super quick as it took me a while to get the layering and flower placement right, but it was easy.
*Crafty Tip* Go through your flower stash, take a bunch of those flowers your're not using and make a wreath!
Saturday, September 17, 2016
Summer's almost over . . . sigh. Now that Simply Cards & Papercraft #153 has been published I can share with you some last summer 2016 cards – these four I created for that issue featuring wonderful free digi stamps from Kate Hadfield.
Click HERE for the link to download these free digi stamps.
The digital paper pack is Katy Clemmans Tropical Twist. I used Tropicali Script BTN Bamboo font to create the sentiments.
Paper – cardstock, kraft cardstock, Katy Clemmans Tropical Twist digital paper pack
Digital stamps – Kate Hadfield
Color – Caran d'Ache Luminance 6901 pencils
Dies –My Favorite Things Die-namics Fishtail Flags, circle, oval, and square stax, and scalloped circle die
Embellishments – ribbons, buttons, thread, pearls
Font – Tropicali Script BTN Bamboo
I'm linking up with: Alphabet Challenge Blog – 'O' is for Oval, Color Crazy Craft Challenge #22 – Anything Goes, and Jo's Scrap Shack Fun Day Friday Challenge #156 – Anything Goes.
Thursday, September 15, 2016
Why it is important to print out your digital photos, a London, England mini-album and cost saving photo printing tip
This post is long on written content you probably don't want to read, but I do hope you will. Promise – if you're a papercrafter/scrapbooker it will make you stop and think.
I don't always post my scrapbooking projects on the blog, but I make quite a few albums, both for myself and to give as gifts. I think it's very important that we take the time to actually print our favorite digital photos – on the best paper and with the best ink – and I'll tell you why.
As I mentioned a few posts back, my mother passed away the end of July and I realized I didn't have many photos of her as a child. I asked one of my aunts to see if she had any and she did, which she scanned and sent to me. I was so glad to have them. When my mother became seriously ill in May, I went to the States to visit her and to help my brother sort her things. We spent days delving through photos and papers. We laughed, we cried – and I realized how precious those photos were to us (my mother was very good to write what/where/who/when on the back of each photo, too, bless her). And it wasn't just photos, but letters, as well; she kept letters I'd written to her as a child and reading those moved me deeply.
Now, ask yourself – will today's generation and future ones have these kind of visual, tangible, familial records to refer back to? What treasure – what history – are we loosing?
We keep digital photos with the best of intentions, but systems change, disks crash, and our cherished memories are lost. What our present systems can read now, future ones will not (remember floppy disks? how many computers can still read those?!). I'm afraid we're losing visual records for an entire epoch and it makes me sad.
The upside to this, though, is that it's a good excuse to scrap! Just think, you're not just scrapbooking, you're creating a visual archive for future generations – we're not just scrapbookers, we're archivists!
This little album is of a special June trip my husband and I took to London. I used one of my favorite techniques – taking an inexpensive album as my base (I only paid €0.79 for it) and altering it (this gift album post is another example). I used my image processing software to create and print an inside cover page and the photo descriptions on each of the patterned paper to which my photos are glued. Plastic pockets keep everything in place and protect my photos. I created a pocket on the back cover for ticket stubs, etc. and my favorite type of elastic closure keeps it shut. These are the before photos below.
*Crafty Tip* If I know I'm going to be printing a lot of photos, I use Snapfish. When you factor in the actual at-home cost of printing – using the best photo paper and brand ink – it's actually less expensive per photo to use Snapfish. Plus, you've got an archival quality print. Unfortunately, many inkjet photo prints quickly fade (never expose inkjet prints to the sun!). I've even used Snapfish to print an entire album and been very pleased with the result.
Craft Artist Digital Image processing software and Canon MG6150 inkjet printer
Paper – cardstock, TOGA Destination Londres paper pad, miscellaneous patterned paper
Dies/punch –TOGA appareils photo camera die, border punch, Die-namics circle stax
Embellishments – flower, coin charms, foam letters, heart sticker, elastic, eyelets
Misc. – inexpensive photo album
Font – Channel Slanted 2 font
I'm linking up with: Altered Eclectics September – Anything Goes Mixed Media/Altered Objects
Wednesday, August 31, 2016
This Paris vintage look Oh La La concertina card is a downloaded kit from Scrapbookingmad at Instant Card Making Downloads. Such a pretty, feminine design; it reminds me of the corset card kit I used on this birthday card.
Instant Card Making Downloads has a wide selection of downloadable kits, 3D decoupage sheets, etc. Their every day prices are very reasonable and their sale prices are great! This download was only £0.75 (apx. €0.91, $1.00).
Like all card kits I use, I dressed this one up and gave it my own personal touch. I printed out one sheet three times to cut and create a 3D effect on the back card base where the Eiffel Tower is. I prettied up the card's overall look with flowers, bows, vintage buttons, pearls and charms and die cut clock hands to use on the clock face to make them stand out. Upcycled flower wires were curled and added to the flowers for a wee hint of color (see my flower wire upcycle crafty tip for how-to's).
It isn't difficult to make one of these cards, but it does take a little time to cut out the pieces and compile. The back of the upright base has space to write your sentiment and there's even a matching envelope you can make, as long as you don't have many embellishments. My embellishments made it too thick for the envelope. There's a video tutorial link below the kit to show you how it's done.
Paper – Scrapbookingmad Oh La La concertina card kit
Die – Momenta clock cutting die
Embellishments – flowers, bows, vintage buttons, pearls, charms
I'm linking up with: Crafting by Designs September – Anything Goes, Crafty Gals Corner #87 – Anything Goes, The Crafty Addicts #23 – Use lace or pearls, City Crafter Challenge #327 – Birthday Wishes, and Sunny Day Crafting #12 – Always Anything Goes.
Thursday, August 25, 2016
I bought this Sizzix For the Record stamp and matching die set a few months back and decided it was time to actually use it. I'm so used to digital it feels weird to actually ink-up rubber.
It's in the same genre as the Sizzix French Flight set I used on this Paris birthday card and thank you card and like the Paris birthday card, I used the same paper from the retired Authentique Latest & Greatest paper pad.
I didn't go all old school though – the sentiment is a digital one from Barbara Anne Williams Punny Animal Sentiments One printable sentiments sheet.
Paper – kraft cardstock, Authentique Latest & Greatest (retired) paper pad
Rubber stamp – Sizzix Framelits For the Record
Ink – Versacolor Ultimate Pigment Ink black
Dies – Sizzix Framelits die set For the Record,
Embellishments – pearls, button, twine, decorative paper strip
I'm linking up with: Little Red Wagon #356 – Happy Birthday, 4 Crafty Chicks #313 – Let's Get Sentimental, Craft Rocket Challenges #22 – Things With Wings, Die-Cuttin' Divas #280 – Birthday, and Sunny Day Crafting #11 – Always Anything Goes.
Monday, August 22, 2016
Are you in the market for some new digital paper packs? If so, you might be interested to know that TACtile Studio is having a sale on digital paper packs for only $0.99 through September 16th – that's 75% off the regular $3.99 price. It's an even better buy when you consider that each pack contains at least 9 or 12 designs; some have even more! I use these papers a lot. Like the above pack – Absinthe – that I've used on this cute turtle card and this fairy thank you card. And just so you know, I'm not receiving a thing from TACtile Studio for letting you know about this sale. In fact, as a courtesy I've emailed TACtile Studio in the past that cards I've designed using TACtile Studio paper are appearing in such & such magazine and never heard a word back – go figure. Oh well, the papers really are nice and there is an outstanding selection. At $0.99 a pack you can't beat the price!
Wednesday, August 17, 2016
These four cards I created for Simply Cards & Papercraft #151 feature wonderful free digi stamps and sentiments from Clearly Besotted. What makes these freebies even nicer is that Clearly Besotted doesn't normally do digital stamps, so it's a real treat to have these.
Click HERE to download your free digi stamps and sentiments.
The digital paper pack is Medford by Tactile Studio.
Paper – cardstock, kraft cardstock, Tactile Studio Meford digital paper pack
Digital stamps and sentiments – Clearly Besotted freebies
Color – Caran d'Ache Luminance 6901 pencils
Dies – Die-namics circle, square, rectangle and oval stax, Xcut Square Parenthesis, Nellie's Straight Star die
Embellishments – ribbons, buttons, twine, thread, pearls
I'm linking up with: Little Red Wagon #355 – Surf's Up!, The Sisterhood of Crafters – Close to Nature, and Inspiration Destination #99 – Anything Goes.
Sunday, August 14, 2016
|The Pont du Mont Blanc and Geneva's famous water jet in the background (see the rainbow in the spray?).|
Sometimes we take the places we live and our surroundings for granted; we're so used to seeing them, that we don't see them. I was reminded of this recently when my husband and I spent a sunny, summer day out and about in Geneva.
|Place du Molard and its tower, built in 1591.|
Geneva is a town you don't hear much about. Sure we have tourists, but not like Paris, or London, or Rome. Most people if asked would probably know that the United Nations has its European headquarters here, that they're famous for their watches, bankers, chocolates and cheese, but beyond that probably not much.
|One of several restaurants in and around Place du Molard.|
Most folks don't realize that Geneva is a French speaking Swiss city (French being one of four official Swiss languages, the other three are German, Italian and Romansh). Nor do they know that Geneva was an important city during the protestant reformation and that Jean (John) Calvin lived and died here.
|It's up hill to Geneva's old town – rue de la Fontaine.|
Geneva for all its international and historical importance, is a quiet town. Its old town and town center are easily walkable and if you get tired there's always a sidewalk cafe to slip into for a cool glass of Suisse rosé. It's the perfect place for us to while away a pretty summer day – or even an autumn one – right here at home.
|Place de la Madeleine and more outside dining.|
Thursday, August 11, 2016
This month's Simply Cards & Papercraft #153 contains four cards I designed using Kate Hadfield digital stamps (the cover top right card is one of them) and Katy Clemmans Tropical Twist digital paper. You don't have to have the magazine to download the stamps, just click on the magazine link above and scroll down to download. These free stamps are super cute and are so fun to create with. If you can't find SCP locally (it can be hard to find in the USA), digital issues are available at Pocket Mags.