Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Graves R Us

Halloween is just around the corner so I have been working to move the graves from the backyard (they were in the back for Sydney's party) to the front, and beef up the decorations. I have much, much more to do, but it's starting to look pretty good! :)

Years ago I made a tombstone to add to our collection from simple plywood. It's the large one with "Carrie White" written on it. I decided that Carrie needed a hand coming out of the ground, so I whipped one up using a rubber glove stuffed with tissues and a toilet paper roll for her lower arm/wrist. I've always liked making things with paper-mache. I stapled a long wire to a small piece of wood that's inserted inside the arm. To dry I just stabbed it into the ground in the sunshine. This is Carrie's hand, palm up.

Once I painted it with a combo of white, black, and blue paint, I let it sit in the sun another hour. Then I dripped and smeared Riding Hood Red ink on her hand, and added some fake nails with hot glue. Click on the image below and zoom in.....not too shabby, right!?!

The hand isn't waterproof though. I have had to rescue it a few times from the rain, but that's a small price to pay for this little detail. I could probably have coated it with something, but I'm not overly worried about it. When it ends up weathered I might like it even better, or I can just make myself a new improved version!

So, anyway, we only had 5 graves that I was moving to the front, and on Sunday I was eyeballing a couple of small plywood scraps in the garage. They were just the right size for a few new headstones! My original DIY grave isn't anything that great, but after cutting and painting 3 new ones I had a "DOH!" moment. Why not STAMP the names on them!? Ta da...

Jack's headstone is actually embossed with VersaMark and Gold Embossing Powder! It's got good visibility in daylight, and at night with the red spotlight it really shimmers (pic below)! I tried Silver EP on Annie Wilke's grave. It's not as easy to read from every angle, but it looks pretty cool too! Silver would be FABULOUS on a plain black headstone. :)

The third gravestone is Norman you recognize that one! lol I stamped his name with Real Red Craft ink and embossed with Clear EP. I was pretty happy with it that way, but Gabe (the husband) wanted to outline the letters in white, so he did. They are certainly each unique!

So here's a trivia question for you. Do you know who Carrie White is? If so, do you know what she has in common with Jack and Annie? Leave me a comment, I'd love to hear what you think!

Can't wait to crank up the fog machine!!! Happy Haunting!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Stamped COOKIES!!!

We just had another Halloween themed birthday party for my daughter, Sydney. We have a really fun time decorating the whole house and backyard for her parties. Since she has a September birthday at the end of the month, we have done the Halloween theme venue a few times before. This one celebrated her 10th birthday!
Sydney in her mummy costume

I made her invitations using My Digital Studio. I just layered a few elements digitally and printed them on my printer. Once trimmed out with my chocolate bar measurements I wrapped them up for delivery to the potential party guests. And since MDS uses Stampin' Up! punches and images I was able to coordinate her cake with it. I used my Bat Punch* with a black sugar sheet to punch bats for her tombstone cake!

Party day is always so crazy I try to do as many things ahead of time as I can. The easiest was making these snickerdoodles, which happen to be the birthday girl's favorite cookie!
Snickerdoodles made with Sweet Pressed Cookie Stamps
I didn't put pumpkin faces on them using just any old cookie cutter or mold. These are reminiscent of my post on pie stamping. Stampin' Up! has released a new product for the holidays, Sweet Pressed Cookie Stamps!

They are super cute and easy to use. They're sold as a trio, so you get all three of the stamps above along with a beautiful wood handle that they easily slide on and off of. Here's a flyer with more info about Cookie Stamps! =)

The only real trick to them is to use any recipe that doesn't have a leavening agent in it. My snickerdoodle recipe listed baking soda, so I just omitted it. They came out fine. Not as puffy as usual, but still delicious and with cute pumpkin faces!!!

Here's my recipe...

Makes 3 dozen

1 Cup Butter, softened
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2-3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda (you can leave it out)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar mixed with 2 teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 400. Cream together butter and sugar, eggs and vanilla. Blend in flour, cream of tartar, soda (if using) and salt. Shape dough by rounded spoonfulls into balls. Roll balls into sugar-cinnamon mixture.

Place dough balls on ungreased cookie sheet and press with cookie stamp. After pressing they won't spread during baking. If not using cookie stamps (and if you included baking powder) make sure you space your cookie balls about 2 inches apart so they can expand and rise.

Bake 8-10 minutes depending on how soft you like your cookies. Eat them all!

*Bat Punch retired 2011 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Lighting the Way to Halloween

This is a lantern made from card stock. I made myself a simple template on one sheet of card stock and then I used it to trace onto Basic Black sheets. I was able to get 2 sides per sheet so there are 2 tabs that hold the whole thing together.
Click me to see a larger view

The windows are filled with Vellum on 3 sides, and Designer Series Paper in the back one. For the Vellum windows I used the Spider Web Embossing Folder to give them texture :)

Use flame-less candles for safety...they really flicker too. At night no one will know the lantern is paper, and no one will know the candles aren't real! ;)

For Stampin' Supplies visit my website:

Monday, August 29, 2011

Roses are Red...Sometimes

It was a little over a year ago, last Summer, when I made my first paper rose. That's it below. I was pretty pleased with the results...a pretty color combo and the resulting flower looks almost real, especially when you photograph it sitting on a climbing plant! LOL

Paper roses are beautiful attached to gift boxes and bags instead of bows, and they are easy to make. I have received many compliments on the original rose, so I decided it was time to make another one with my club members! We did a red rose using Real Red card stock edged with Cherry Cobbler Classic ink. We used a total of 18 petals to create the whole flower.

The hardest part of the whole process is taping the petals down. I recommend double stick tape since it's strong...but maybe a little liquid adhesive for the final center pieces since the "tab" holding them down is kinda small.

Here's a rundown of the process:
  1. Punch 18 petals in any color of card stock using the Ornament Punch (119847 $16.95).
  2. Use the "Direct to Paper" method to ink the edges of your petals. Make sure you do BOTH sides! Sponging works too, but I didn't find it very effective on darker colored card stock.
  3. Punch a circle in the same color card stock as your petals. I used the 1-3/8" Circle Punch (119860 $15.95).
  4. Curl your petals around the handle of a stipple brush, a marker, a pencil, or anything that you have on hand.
  5. Begin taping them down to the circle, layering 4 petals that aren't as curled (you can flatten them some leaving them slightly curved), then adding 4 more in a staggered pattern.
  6. Keep building in sets of 4, staggering each time and ending with the last 2 petals in the center. They should have the most curl!
Here's a view from the bottom of a paper rose...

Stampin' Supplies (Red Rose): 
PAPER - Real Red
INK - Cherry Cobbler
OTHER - Ornament Punch, 1-38" Circle Punch, Stipple Brush (for curling), Double Stick Tape

Friday, July 29, 2011

Just 3 More Days...

Top 10 reasons why YOU should become a Stampin' UP! Demonstrator: 
10. Never pay retail for crafting supplies again
9.   100% Support from SU!, you don't even have to be creative
8.   Bonuses and other perks from SU! such as the monthly magazine exclusive to demonstrators
7.   Craft with your friends and call it a workshop
6.   Flexible hours
5.   Attend corporate events such as regionals, convention, and someday leadership!
4.   Meet demonstrators who shares your love of crafting
3.   Be your own CEO
2.   Earn cash $$$$$$$$$$...
1.   Do what you love most -STAMP!
With the current promotion ending on Sunday July 31st, you can get $185 worth of quality SU! products for only $99, that's nearly half off! Go to my promotions page to see the list of items also get a bonus Christmas Keepsake Kit, so cute!

If you are like me and you love to stamp, you're already spending plenty on your "hobby" so why not join and spend less. Please contact me if you want more information. I would love to share this amazing opportunity with you!!!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Altered Art and Secret Compartments

A really, really, REALLY long time ago I did this challenge where you take a hardcover book and convert it into a unique photo frame. I actually thought it was so long ago that I hadn't ever blogged about it, but I checked my archives, and wow, it is in there:

In all the time I've had this fun frame within view, I've often thought, why not carve out the INSIDE of the book and make myself a SECRET COMPARTMENT?! Everyone should have little hiding places for their treasures, and while this particular book is just begging to be picked up and held, I couldn't resist altering it further!

I didn't want the compartment to be just inside the cover so I skipped a few pages before I started cutting. I used a metal ruler and a craft knife to cut into the pages as many at a time as the knife would penetrate. Once you have the first few pages removed you don't need a straight edge anymore. But you do have to hold the cover "up" to keep the pages straight as you're cutting. To be honest my hand got pretty tired before I made it to the end, so I set this project aside for a couple of days before I completed the cutout.

Once I had all the pages cut to my preferred depth, I began adhering the pages together, starting with the back pages. I was using a liquid glue with a foam brush at first, but the pages were puckering a bit so I switched to Snail Adhesive. Either way is very time consuming, and I'm actually not really done yet, but the end result will be worth it!

I never throw anything away, and if you are a true crafter, you are probably hoarding some things for "that special project" that will come along someday. I used a lot of these cut out pages to make a layered die cut flower.

Of course I sponged them with ink to give them more appeal before I layered them together. The flower stem is also made of paper. It's a card stock strip that I just folded in half lengthwise and pinched it all the way up to distress it a bit. It's actually inserted into the bottom three or four layers through a small hole and then the rest of the flower is layered on top holding it all together.

Stampin' Supplies:
STAMPS - Love & Care*

PAPER - Tangerine Tango, Certainly Celery, "First Edition DSP"
INK - Peach Parfait, Tangerine Tango, Distressing Essentials Tea Stain
OTHER - Glass jar, Sponge, Top Note Bigz Die, Fun Flowers Bigz L Die, Textured Impressions Vintage Wallpaper, Satin Ribbon, Button
*Summer Mini

Stampin' Up! has many GORGEOUS packs of Designer Series Paper. One 12x12 pack called First Edition would give you the same look as above and also be archival safe. That's a pretty important feature when you plan to use it in your scrapbooks with photos. Here's a look at this paper pack:

Item No. 121878 - 24 sheets for $12.95

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Best Dad Ever

Here are a few cards suitable for Father's Day. My daughter Sydney (she's 9) said the perfect Father's Day card should have footballs and beer on it! LOL Well, that is a good thought, I'll have to see what I can come up with for next year. Maybe she will draw them on the card she makes! ;)

This first card we made at Stamper's Club last Friday. It's a matchbook card...a fun card style I hadn't done in a while. The front of the card is tucked into a small flap at the bottom, just like a matchbook! To do this yourself, you just need to score and fold about 1" on one end and then measure 5.5" to the next score and fold. The center section is the back of the card.

I used an 11.5x4.25" piece to start. The front of the card should be a little don't want it to meet the bottom fold, you'll have to leave it about a half inch shorter than the back so you can staple the flap up and have room to tuck it inside. My staples are hidden under the ribbon, but there are two of them under there!

Stampin' Supplies:
STAMPS - Best Dad Ever*, All Holidays** (inside)

PAPER - Wild Wasabi, Whisper White, Perfect Plum
INK - Wild Wasabi, Perfect Plum, Marina Mist, Baja Breeze
OTHER - Curly Label Punch, Marina Mist Grosgrain Ribbon, Paper Crimper
*Summer Mini
**Retiring as of 6/30/11

The second one is another variation of the same card...even without beer and footballs I love this stamp set! It's called Best Dad Ever. The neckties are one stamp, and that's how I used it on the card above. I figured since I was using my markers to make them each a different color, why not stamp them one by one!?

Stampin' Supplies:
STAMPS - Best Dad Ever*

PAPER - Wild Wasabi, Whisper White, Perfect Plum
INK - Wild Wasabi, Perfect Plum, Marina Mist, Baja Breeze, StazOn
OTHER - Marina Mist Grosgrain Ribbon, Paper Crimper
*Summer Mini

I kinda hid this one at the bottom of this dad isn't one of my blog subscribers, but he is on Facebook and I don't want him to see it until I give it to him! :)
I spent every Summer as a kid at the lake or sailing the ocean because of his love of boating! When I saw this "a la carte" stamp in the Summer Mini I fell in LOVE with it!!!

Stampin' Supplies:
STAMPS - Sail Away*  

PAPER - Confetti White, Not Quite Navy, Early Espresso, Bravo Burgundy
INK - Not Quite Navy Craft
OTHER - Cherry Cobbler/White Bakers Twine*, Textured Impressions Square Lattice Embossing Folder, Clear Embossing Powder, Heat Tool
*Summer Mini

Happy Father's Day to all you GREAT dads out there! :)

Monday, June 13, 2011

3D Flower Medallions

The first trick to making one of these is to cut your card stock into a long strip. This one was 1-1/2" wide by 9" long before trimming.

Choose a punch to use down the length. In this example I used the Scallop Trim Border Punch. Scallops always work, but so could nearly any design.  Punch along the length of your paper strip.

Then using your bone folder, score at small intervals all the way down your paper strip. I use my paper trimmer, just run your bone folder into the cutting grove. Score at the "valleys" for scallops, with other punches look for the repeating pattern and choose a "natural" location for the folds.

Fan fold the whole strip...don't worry if it's not perfectly even, it won't matter!

Now look at your ends, feel free to trim a small amount to even things up, and attach the strip end to end creating a circle.

Next we "flatten it" and use a liquid adhesive on the peaks of the paper folds.
Glue it down to a paper scrap that measures at least 1"x1."

Hold your medallion between your fingers for a few minutes to let it set.

You need to sandwich your flower Medallion for stability. So repeat the process with a punched circle or any other "flower center" you'd like to use. Here I tried out the new Blossom Bouquet Triple Layer Punch. Have fun with these medallions, they can be used to decorate many different items.

Here's a card adorning a flower medallion. This one was the full 11" long. It passed the envelope test, but I wouldn't recommend trying to mail a card with one this thick. Did you also notice the rich color of the stamped butterfly? It's embossed with one of SU!'s new colored embossing powders, Melon Mambo.

Stampin' Supplies:
STAMPS - Bold Blossom*

PAPER - Pear Pizzaz, Daffodil Delight, Whisper White, Melon Mambo
INK - Pear Pizzaz, Daffodil Delight, VersaMark
PUNCHES -  1-3/4"Scallop Circle Punch, Scallop Trim Border Punch, 1" Circle Punch
OTHER - Melon Mambo Embossing Powder*, Basic Rhinstones

*As featured in the Summer Mini
Sale Dates May 1 - Aug 31

Try making one of these'd be a fun Summer activity to do with the kids! :)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Mini Scrappin'

Travel Log is a really fun stamp set! We love to take road trips as a family every year and I can see myself using it on lots of scrapbook pages to come. It's on page 12 in the Summer mini and it includes 8 stamps. This little 6x6 scrapbooking page uses 5 of them.

Stampin' Supplies:
STAMPS - Travel Log

PAPER - Pacific Point, Whisper White, Basic Gray, Rich Razzleberry
INK - Pacific Point, Whisper White, Basic Gray, Rich Razzleberry
OTHER - Decorative Label Extra-Large Punch, Pacific Point Marker

May is National Scrapbooking Month...just 3 days left to order any of the 10 select stamp sets offered for 30% off! Visit the Promo Page of my website for more details.

This is another little 6x6 that I stamped with the beautiful flourish image from Strength & Hope.
Stampin' Supplies:
STAMPS - Strength & Hope

PAPER - So Saffron, Paisley Petals DSP
INK - Peach Parfait
OTHER - Scallop Trim Border Punch, Trinket Keys, 3/8" Taffeta Ribbon

Strength & Hope
Stampin' Up! is donating $2 from every purchase of this stamp set to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation®. BCRF is dedicated to preventing breast cancer and finding a cure in our lifetime by funding clinical and translational research worldwide.

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