Tuesday, May 31, 2016

A Monster Thank You Gift!

If you follow along over on Instagram, you may have seen a photo of a ton of happy little monsters all colored and ready to be added to cards.  I used 8 of them to create a personalized note card set for my daughter's teacher as an end of the year thank you gift.  This post is picture heavy...sorry about that, but even though I used the same little monster - I love them all equally.  
In order to streamline the process a bit, I put these together in assembly line fashion.  Once all of the monsters were colored and embellished, I started working on the little tags.  I printed out the "from the desk of Mrs. Nicolas," onto white cardstock and then die cut the tags. I added a little bit of ink blending around the edges and added the monster using foam tape.
I die cut the tag shape in different colors of polka dot and striped paper.  I'm not sure why I ever purchase anything but polka dot and/or striped paper - it's all I ever seem to use and I never seem to have enough of it.  I quickly combined the two tags by punching a little hole through both and adding a baker's twine bow.  I set all of the tags aside and got to work on the kraft cardstock mats.  I debated embossing a pattern onto the kraft paper or even just leaving them plan, but decided instead to use a background stamp.  I used my paper trimmer to create 8 mats out and then used my MISTI tool to stamp the notebook paper background using Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Walnut.  After all the mats were stamped, I ran them through my Cuttlebug using a die from Simon Says Stamp to add the stitched border. 
  I used my MISTI stamping tool AGAIN to stamp the sentiment using a Versamark ink.  The MISTI really helped speed everything along, and ensured the sentiment was straight.  The ONE thing I forgot was to use my embossing buddy, to help keep the embossing powder from sticking to anything other than the sentiment.  Oh well.  I added white embossing powder and set everything using my heat tool.
As soon as I had the kraft cardstock all heat embossed, I cut and folded 8 A2 sized cardstock bases and attached the kraft mat.  That whole process would have gone much faster if I hadn't run out of tape for my ATG gun.  I wanted all of the tags to sit on the card at a bit of an angle, so I used foam tape between the tags and again to attach them to the card base.
If you made it this far - WOW, thank you for continuing to read and scroll!  This was a super long and picture heavy post, but these little monsters are just so cute.  We only have two more days of school till summer vacation!  Woohoo!  

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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Make Some Noise!

I love these monsters from Mama Elephant's Monster Jam set.  They are super fun to color and it's nice to have something that isn't quite so girly.  I didn't purchase the coordinating dies for this set, and then immediately regretted it.  I wasn't in the mood to fussy cut everything, so I decided to try the PicScan mat and the coordinating features in the Silhouette design software.  After a lot trial and error (and maybe a few curses) I gave up trying to make my Silhouette cut around the little stamped images.  It needs to be realigned, and for whatever reason it is not cooperating with me.  I almost ended up giving up, but I did come up with a solution.  Even though I couldn't get my Silhouette to cut around the stamped images - I was still able to trace the stamped images and create an offset to create a border around the little monsters.  I cut out a ton of the little monsters' outlines and then used my MISTI and the negatives from the Silhouette to line up the die cut monsters and the stamped images perfectly.  It was definitely more trouble than I anticipated, and the dies are definitely easier, BUT maybe it will go faster if I ever try this again.    
I did some quick masking to create an ink blended background, and then I misted the whole thing with some Perfect Pearls and water.  Once that was dry, I stamped my sentiment and added the monsters using a little foam tape.  I finished it off with a few sequins and baker's twine.  

I hope you aren't tired of these little monsters because I have a card set that I made as an end of year thank you for my daughter's teacher to share with you soon!

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Harry Potter Bookmark

My 2nd (almost 3rd grader) grader is in the middle of reading the Harry Potter series.  She's obsessed.     She's reading the 5th book right now, and I thought she might "need" a new bookmark to help keep her place.  Last month Elena from Just Me showed some adorable pictures of her daughter's Harry Potter themed birthday party. Luckily - she released the images she created for the party as digital stamps.  I think I purchased them as soon as they posted.  If her illustrations look familiar - she illustrates stamps for Neat and Tangled too.

To create the bookmark, I first imported the .png file into the Silhouette software and traced and outlined the digital image.  I then created an offset, so I would have a little border around Harry and Hedwig.   I added a rectangle and welded the traced digital image and the rectangle together.  I then added my daughter's name in the little banner and a quote to the rectangle.  I wish I would have thought to add a little circle or something to the top, so I would have had room to add some baker's twine to the top.  I cut out two bookmarks - one with the image and text printed and another plain version, so I could layer the cardstock.  I layered the two pieces of cardstock before laminating.  It helped provide a little extra strength AND it covered up any Copic ink that bled in through to the back.  

This was such a fun project and it came together really quickly.  I think it took me longer to get the text spaced then anything else.  

Have a great day!  I will be back with a few monster themed cards later in the week!


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Monday, May 16, 2016

DIY Patterned Paper

I have two cards to share with you today using an older stamp set from Simon Says Stamp.  I love the very stylized flowers and even though it is a smaller set - there are lots of options.  The flowers are rather small, so I decided to create my own patterned paper and keep the rest of the card pretty simple.  To make the whole process go a little faster, I try to color in one type of flower or leaf at a time.  Not only does it save time, but it helps create a more uniform pattern.  Once all the flowers were colored, I then went over all the lines with my Copic multi-liner pen and added some white gel pen accents.  I honestly could have probably skipped those steps, but I really like adding little details.  I actually brought the background with me and worked on it in the car while I waited to pick up my daughter from school.  I originally planned on adding little touches of glitter using my Wink of Stella pen, but I ended up adding it to ALL of the flowers. Even after all of that, I thought the background was a little flat, so I used a few warm grey Copic markers to outline all of the images and give everything a little more dimension.
This was actually the first card that I worked on and I wasn't 100% happy with how the background turned out.  I really should have added a few more flowers and I think I would have liked it a bit better.  I have seen quite a few cards using a camouflaged word die, and have been wanting to try it.  I first die cut the "you" out of the card base itself.  I then die cut the "you" one more time using white fun foam.  I added a little glossy accents over the word to make it stand out just a bit more.  

Hope you are having a great day!  See you soon with another project!


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Friday, May 13, 2016

Sweet Bunny Thank You Card

Happy Friday!  I have a fun card to share with you today using the super sweet bunnies from the Mama Elephant set, Pix's Favorite.  I used watercolor paper and distress inks to create the background.  Once I had the inks blended, I used some water and Perfect Pearls to give the entire background a shimmery look.  I colored the bunnies using my Copic markers and added a few details using my black multi-liner Copic pen, gloss accents and Wink of Stella glitter pen.  

Thank you so much for stopping by!  
I should be back to a more normal posting schedule next week.    


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Friday, May 6, 2016

Thank you Teachers!

Happy Friday!  I had every intention of posting this earlier in the week, and I just didn't get around to it.  It's been teacher appreciation week here, and our school has themes for every day.  Since I haven't been able to volunteer very much this year, I tried to send something thoughtful each day this week.  Thursday was school supply day and it's ALWAYS my favorite.  I love office supplies, so I always jump at any excuse to pick out cute supplies.  In the past, I have used glass etching cream to personalize a canister, but this year I took pity on Nicole (she is always so nervous transporting glass) and found a cute plastic container from Target.  This year her classroom is decorated with owls, so I used my Silhouette to cut out some vinyl to decorate the canister.  Monday's theme was "sweet treat," and I decorated a clear plastic insulated cup almost identically to the canister.  I completely forgot to photograph it, but you can imagine that it was super cute.  I filled it with some drink mixes because I knew she would get a ton of candy.
To make the gift a little more special, I added some decorated paperclip bookmarks.  I found these giant paperclips at Target and I used one of my favorite Peachy Keen Stamp sets - Smartie the Owl to create little bookmarks.  To make them a little more sturdy - I added glossy accents to the front and back.  I ended up making 5 of the little owl bookmarks and added some baker's twine to top off the rest of the paperclips.  

Here a few other ideas that would be perfect for teachers any time of the year:

Ribbon Wreath (with a video)

If you check out the "Crafts" page on my blog, there are lots of other gift ideas too! 

Hope you have a great weekend!  I will be spending it enjoying my new shade garden that I planted this week.  I am trying to become a better gardner.  I may be the world's best sweet potato vine grower, but I am trying to branch out this year...although I still added some to the flower beds in the front.  For the shade garden, I used three types of hostas, some pink and green caladiums and white impatiens.  I eventually want to extend it all the way across our backyard, but I figured it was smarter to start small first.  I always have such good intentions in April and May when the weather is nice, but by the time August rolls around I tend to lose my will to water.  The heat and I do NOT get along well.  I also have a tiny vegetable garden, and my fingers are crossed that it performs better this year.  

Happy Mother's Day! 
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