Sunday, February 26, 2012

Crafting with Martha

Hello, everyone!

"This is the day that the Lord has made.  Let's rejoice and be glad in it!"  Psalm 118:24

This verse resonates with me today, not only because it's Sunday, but because my son narrowly escaped a pretty frightening accident on Thursday night.  He lost control of the Jeep and hit a tree, but escaped with only a few cuts and sore muscles.  God had my boy in His hands that night...

On to the crafty side of life!

I'm getting ready for the Open House at Michaels next Saturday.  Michaels instructors will be on hand from 1-3 to discuss class offerings and offer you a 25% discount off of the classes in which you enroll that day.  To my knowledge, it's the only day the classes are on sale all year, so I hope you can make time to get there on Saturday.

This week, I played with my Martha Stewart Scoring Board.  I love, love, love this tool and you'll see why.  Back on February 9th, I bought the board and posted a video demonstration from madebymomo.  This week, I finally got around to using the board to make a card, an envelope, and a box.  They turned out sooooo well!

Here is the scoring board and the pieces that come with it.  The triangular piece sits in the corner of the board when you want to make envelopes.  The other small tool is for scoring and folding.

The envelope guide is a little difficult to understand.  I know that you have to label the envelopes somehow, but if  you don't know what the labels mean, it's kind of hard to know which size you need.  I didn't know the difference between a #1 and an A6!!  Obviously, the sizes are listed in inches, so I kind of knew where to start.  I played with the A2, 4 bar, and #1 which made the smallest three sizes.  The one I ended up using for my card was the 4 bar.

Since these were pieces for work, I continued using the Four Seasons pad from Die Cuts With a View.  I choose a spring-like lavender and purple page, full of pansies.  And here are the finished products:

The Box:

This is the top view of the box.  The white paper demonstrates the Martha Stewart Punch Around the Page punch in the Vintage Floral pattern.  Yes, I created the lacy edges using a punch.  :)  Isn't that pretty?   The recipient's name, a significant date, or other well wishes can be written in the center of the white paper.

Side view of the box.  I used the Vintage Floral punch along the edges of the box lid, too.

The Card:

Here's the card.  The Vintage Floral punch was used along the front edge.  The pansies were cut out of the sheet of paper I chose and adhered to the card.  The words were printed in dark purple in ivory cardstock.  I chose a Mother's Day theme as it's timely and seemed to go well with the papers I picked out.

This is the inside of the card.  Again, pansies and leaves were cut out of the papers, words were printed on cardstock, and edge was punched with Vintage Floral.  When the card is closed, the pretty lavender print along the bottom of the inside of the card shows through the punches on the front of the card.  (I forgot to take a picture of that - so sorry...  :(   )

The Envelope:

I made the envelope out of regular copy paper, using the instructions on the Martha Stewart Scoring Board. Because the card has a little bit of thickness to it with the pansies, lace, cardstock, etc., I had to adjust the measurements of  the envelope by 1/8" to make it a bit bigger.  Nailed it the first time!  Whoo-hoo!!!

Then, I used the corner punch from the Vintage Floral set to add the cute little trims on the envelope.  I rounded the corners on the sides of the top flap.  The card fit inside of the envelope perfectly!

Card and envelope...

This is the only picture I got of the whole set - not a very good one, but I didn't think of a picture with all of them until just now.

I used the scoring board to score the folding lines on the box, envelope, and card.  It really helped with the measurements, getting all of the lines in the right places, and folding them neatly.  I will use this board again and again, I'm sure!  :)


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Summery sample

Hey there, everyone!

Sorry it's been a few days.  Sometimes life gets in the way...  :)

Michaels is having their annual Open House on Saturday, March 3 from 1:00 - 3:00.  This event showcases the talents of the instructors at Michaels, giving them an opportunity to display their samples of the Michaels curriculum.  Since our store is so new, none of us have samples from past years to draw on, so it's a bit frenzied as we all work to create some spectacular samples for our customers' viewing pleasure.

Not only are we working to make samples, we are also working to make story boards - kind of a portable bulletin board display listing our class offerings.  Some of our samples will be posted on the story boards; some will be displayed on tables.

I am the scrapbook instructor, of course, but the beading, knitting/crocheting, fine arts, and cake making instructors will be there as well.  I'm really excited about spending a couple of hours with my fellow instructors and sharing our crafting enthusiasm with prospective students.

Yesterday, I set out to knock out a few more samples.  I'm very particular about my finished samples, so I put a little extra time into them.  For that reason, I didn't get as many samples done as I would've liked, but I'm pleased with what I finished.

Die Cuts With a View (DCWV) has a stack of papers called Four Seasons.  I picked that up last week because the summer pages really caught my eye and I wanted to play with them.  I picked up two sets, in fact.  One for store use for ME!  :)

I love the country, cheerful, sunniness of these two pages.

So, this is how my day started out:

You'll see a lot of my basic tools in that picture - Tim Holtz's ruler, my Cutterbee detail scissors (LOVE those!), my Fiskars corner rounder punch and one of Martha Stewarts' Punch Around the Page sets.  The other bits and pieces are the logos to put on my story boards.

One other picture of note:

When I'm in "the zone", intense on my work, I tend to set up a semi-circle.  Oh - there's my Recollections paper trimmer.  :)

After four hours of creative fun....

Voila!  I really liked how this turned out - it's so me!  Unfortunately, I don't usually scrap in the 12 x 12 format, so I wouldn't do one of these for personal use.  I might, however, replicate it on a smaller scale for one of my books.....  Stay tuned....  :)


Monday, February 20, 2012

Paper Roses

Hello everyone:

I finished another altered canvas.  This one has many more flowers on it than the first one did and I experimented with different types of papers this time.

I particularly like the way the vellum flowers turned out.  I like the translucent quality of vellum papers anyway, and the texture is always fun to play with.  It has a rather brittle feel to it when you work with it.  Torn edges take on ink in an interesting way, as well.  And when I color on vellum with Copic Markers, the colors don't absorb into the fibers of the paper.  In this way, I can kind of "slide" different colors around on the vellum, play up the strokes at bit, and sometimes create a kind of textured feel to it.  I particularly like to use Copics on vellum to create leaves.  So cool!  You'll see some of them here, though I didn't take a close-ups of the leaves to highlight the texture.  Maybe on another post!  :)

I also like to color ribbon with my Copic Markers.  For this ribbon, I colored it with YG97, then dragged Tim Holtz's Gathered Twigs Distress Ink pad over the ribbon.  I pulled out a small paintbrush and brushed the ribbon with a controlled amount of water.  Water can be reduced or added, depending on your tastes.  Then, I crumpled the wet ribbon, clamped it, and heated it with my embossing gun.  I had to un-clamp, re-crumple, and re-heat about three times to get the ribbon dry and produce the degree of crumpled-ness that I wanted.

I learned something in this process.  The amount of water I used and the lengthy drying/heating time washed out the ribbon in several places.  You will notice how the ribbon took on an almost silvery, rather than green, tint in a few places.  I like it, so I left it.  In the future, though, if I don't want to wash out the color so much, I may have to crumple and air dry (Oh, dear - the patience) or crumple and heat much more sporadically, allowing the ribbon to cool between heatings.  I'm always learning!

The surface of this canvas is covered with Mod Podge and then torn bits of plain old white tissue paper were added.  When that was dry, I inked it with Gathered Twigs, too.  I love that color and am sad that it was produced in a limited edition.  But lucky me - I got one!

Anyway, enjoy!!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Making "mistakes"

Hey there:

Over the last couple of days, I haven't had time to be at my desk playing with pens, paints, and powders.  I hope to remedy that situation tomorrow.  In the meantime, I was reading through the blogs I like to follow and came across this one today.

What I love about this is that Ali Edwards - one of the most well-known and beloved names in the scrapbooking field - walks us through one of her creations in an honest, transparent way.  In this post, we see that scrapbooking is truly a process.  You start with a vision that may or may not turn out the way you see it in your head, you use tools you're not familiar with and find out they do exactly what you wanted them to do - or not - and you make mistakes.  When I make a mistake in my scrapbooking, I tend to go with it.  What can I add to it?  How can I change my original vision to embrace what I just goofed up?  Is there a creative way to cover it that will look as if I planned it that way all along?  See?  It's very difficult to truly make a mistake.

Anyway, on with Ali's process.  I really like the way she wrote the embossed words on this and then journaled in between.  Definitely a technique I want to try.  Enjoy!


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Altered Art Canvases

Hi all:

Last night, I finished up one of the altered art canvases.  I really, really like how it turned out.

The canvas was purchased at Michaels.  It measures 4" x 4" and right now you can get a package of 9 of them for $19.99.  I used my 40% off coupon and got mine for $12.00!  I used Tim Holtz's Terminology Tissue Wrap Paper.  I cut out the "memory" part and modpodged it onto the canvas.  While it was drying, I printed off a picture in sepia tones, a tiny December calendar, and the words "No day is over if it makes a memory".  I cut apart the words and modpodged everything to the canvas.

To make the ribbon, I colored 1/2" wide white satin ribbon with a Copic marker (YR00 - Powder Pink).  Then, I wet a small paint brush , dried it a bit, and swiped it across the Gathered Twigs Distress Ink Pad.  I used that to "paint" the ribbon in spots - kind of aging it as I went.  I added more color here, more water there until I achieved the effect I wanted.  I scrunched up the ribbon, held it closed with a binder clip and heated it with my embossing tool.  (CAREFUL:  You have to use the embossing tool sparingly and keep it moving or you'll burn the ribbon!  Also, the binder clip gets HOT!)  Let it cool, take the binder clip off and check to see if the ribbon is dry and it's crinkled enough for your taste.  If not, scrunch the ribbon again and re-heat.

To make the flower, I used ivory paper with a cross hatch texture to it.  I tore out a circle about 3 1/2" in diameter.  Then, I tore the circle into a spiral and finally, rolled the spiral into a flower.  I tinted the flower the same way I tinted the ribbon, using the Gathered Twigs Distress Ink pad, a paintbrush, and some water.  When it was dry, I touched it up here and there with another Copic marker (RV11 - Pink).  I pretty much kept the pink color wherever I had painted with the Gathered Twigs.  I then dragged the Gathered Twigs Distress Ink Pad over the edges of the "petals" to darken them a little more.  Finally, I tipped the edges with Stickles in Frosted Lace.

I hot glued the flower and the ribbon, deliberately placing the ribbon where I liked it.  The embellishment of pearls is from the Recollections collection at Michaels.  I've had the key - can't remember where I got it.  It's hot glued into place, as well.  I also can't remember where I got the clock stamps.  I stamped the clocks in Gathered Twigs and Archival Black Ink from Ranger.  The "live" sticker is from the Typewriter Assorted Dots sheet from Studio 112.  The "legacy" stamp is from Michaels $1 collection.  I stamped it with Copic Marker E57 in Light Walnut.  This method will give you a rather rough outline of the stamp itself, which I kind of like.  It sort of looks distressed already, but sometimes it's hard to read, so I went back over it by hand with the same marker and brought the letters out a little bit more.

The quality of the pictures is a little lacking as my SD card for my camera broke and until I can get another one, I'm using my phone's camera.  I wanted to get this posted for you guys, though, so I hope you'll bear with the picture quality.  Enjoy!


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Unexpected surprise


Today, Tim Holtz posted that he was going to break from tradition.  Usually, he does a program called "12 Tags of Christmas", a treat that we Tim-fans eagerly look forward to every year.  But this year, he decided to do the "12 Tags of 2012" instead, creating a tag every month to celebrate different holidays throughout the year.

I had plans to work on some altered canvases tonight - which I did - sort of.  I started them.  Then....I couldn't help myself.  I had to do the Tim tag.  I'm not much for tags - don't use them for anything, so I made mine into a card.

Tim has a place for his followers to post these projects on his blog.  (He's nice like that.  :)  )  I'll be posting mine over there when I'm done here.  For your viewing pleasure....

I started with a piece of white cardstock the same size as the front of the card and ran it through the Vagabond to produce the embossed heart background.  I inked the background with Fired Brick Distress Ink and darkened the edges with Walnut Stain Distress Ink.  Then, I painted the raised hearts with some white acrylic paint.

The ruffled calligraphy print is Tim Holtz Tissue Tape.  It's sticky, so it's very easy to form it into a ruffled effect.  The rose started out as ordinary white tissue paper.  The tissue paper was colored with a Copic Marker, cut, shaped into a flower and hot glued onto the card.  The leaves are made of while vellum, colored with a Copic Marker.  The heart is chipboard, painted white, and glittered with a mixture of two of Martha Stewart's glitters - garnet and brownstone.  The ribbon was white ribbon I colored with the same Copic marker as the rose.  I put together the beads from some jewelry findings I have and attached them to a card with one of Tim Holtz's trinket pins.  Finally, I stamped the tag and inked it with Walnut Stain Distress Ink.  

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Hi all:

I am sooooo ready to create something new, but circumstances of life have occupied my time of late.  Keeping my fingers crossed that sometime in the next few days, I can make a mixed media canvas or two or some shabby chic picture frames - those are next up.  Then I want to try those amazing memory files and the magnetic closures - so much in my brain!!  :)

I finished my paper bag mini album last week, but neglected to post the pictures here.  (I think I did put them on my Kat's Scraps fb page.  Click here to see my fb page.

Anyway, here is the finished product.  I'm quite proud of it.  Do you see the influences of Tim Holtz?  (That's a rhetorical question...)  :)

The little ticket can be filled in with someone's name, a date, or an event - whatever the theme of the album is.


Pages 1 and 2.  The black mat on the left page is for a picture or memento.  The object can be slid under the band with the gear on it.

Pages 1 and 2, displaying the pocket in between and the tags contained in the pocket.  Tags are useful for additional photos, memorabilia, or journaling.

These tags are contained in a pocket built into page 2.  You can see them as they are actually stowed in the pocket if you go back and look at the picture above.

Pages 3 and 4 and the pocket between.  Note the pearls on page 3 in the lower left corner.  Those were white, but I colored them with a Copic marker.  Also, notice the chain and charm attached to the pocket in this one.  I made the charm by applying a sticker to a small piece of black paper, laying the open heart shape charm over the sticker, and filling the charm with Glossy Accents.  Voila!

More tags, pockets, and envelopes.

Pages 5 and 6.  As you'll see below, the flap on page 5 folds down for journaling or additional pics, while the flap on page 6 folds out....

Flap folded down - page 5

Page 6 and pocket between pages 5 and 6

Flap opened on page 6

More tags....

Back cover

  • Paper - "Tattered Time" - DCWV
  • Kraft glassine envelope, metal gears, bead chain, journaling ticket, trinket pin, Gathered Twigs Distress Ink - Tim Holtz
  • Glossy Accents - Ranger
  • Canvas - purchased at Michaels in a single sheet.  

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Hi all:

I know I"m on a Heidi Swapp kick lately, but heckfire - you have to see this.  She is installing magnetic closures on her albums.  The coolest thing.  I can't wait to try this.  Have fun watching this one....

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Learning new tricks...

I have to demonstrate the Martha Stewart Scoring Board later this month.  Until a couple of weeks ago, I had never heard of this product.  Not only do I have to demonstrate this, but I also have to use it to make really big rosettes for one of the classes I'm hoping to teach.  At first, I dismissed this product.  I have a Tim Holtz die to run through my Vagabond that will make rosettes - no cutting by hand.  Why would I want to mess with this scoring board?  But then, I saw all that this board could do.  My die could not make rosettes this big.  Nor could it make boxes or envelopes.  So, yeah, I gave in.  Today, I used my 40% off coupon at Michaels and bought it.  It retails for $19.99, so I got it for $12.  Score!  (See what I did there? :)  )  Anyway, here is one of the videos I found for this really cool tool....  Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012



Recently, I was reflecting on the twists and turns my life has taken over the years.  I've worked in fast food, school districts, a flower shop, and the early childhood education field.  Finally, at this point, I have the freedom and where with all to explore one of the passions in my life - working with paper.

I started out putting scrapbooks together.  First, I attempted to document one of my husband's mission trips.  He went to Fruitful Vale in Jamaica, so I put a lot of construction paper fruit on those pages.  Ugh.  One of my next projects was to document an entire year in the life of our family.  Six months into the project, I had so many pages in there, the book fell apart. Nowadays, I look back at my original attempts, roll my eyes, and thank goodness for all that I've learned since then.  

I now work with paper both on and off the page - meaning - I still scrapbook sometimes, but I also do mixed media projects, altered art, paper flowers, glitter projects, and many other art forms that catch my attention. 

I have a wonderful support group around me - gals who are my artistic muses, fellow scrapbook instructors.  I also search out terrific sources of inspiration - Tim Holtz and Ali Edwards especially.   

Now, I'm fortunate enough to be able to combine two of my favorite things - working with paper and teaching.  I'm a certified scrapbook instructor, capable of teaching all sorts of tricks and techniques.  I love finding new tools and new ways to use them.  Stay tuned - I'll share all of my findings with you....