Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Core'dinations + Spellbinders = LOVE.

You guys know that I do design work for a handful of companies, right?
Well, this past week, Core'dinations has teamed up with Spellbinders.
I got to create some projects using Spellbinders dies, and cardstock from Core'dinations.
Both companies are doing giveaways, as well as showcasing projects both design teams created, on their blogs.

Today is my day to participate.

I did a layout, that may already be on the Core'dinations blog, I stuck it here too, just in case.
Then I am sharing with you, one of my favorite secrets.
A tutorial on mass-producing little treat bags.
Seriously, it is a great way to use scraps, and if you make the treat bags with wrapped hard candies (that aren't going to go bad, or get teeth-breakingly hard,) you can keep a bunch of them on hand, for quick thank you's, or "holy cow I forgot it was her/his birthday."

Here are the Blog Hop details:
user posted image

Welcome to the Core'dinations and Spellbinders Blog swap!!! Are you ready for a week long blog swap filled with loads of inspiration? Well, you came to the right place. Spellbinders and Core'dinations have teamed up and created gorgeous projects just for you. But...a blog swap wouldn't be the same without give-a-ways, right?

Core’dinations will be giving away FOUR paper packs in total!!!

Here is how you can win:
1. Visit the Core’dinations blog and leave a comment every day, Monday the 26th through Friday the 30th. We will give away two packs to TWO lucky winners.
2. Like us on Facebook and comment to win a paper pack.
3. Visit the Core’dinations Designer’s blogs and leave a comment. We will be linking them up on the Core’dinations blog throughout the week and will choose one random designer’s blog to pick a winner.

Make sure you visit the Spellbinders blog for more details on how to win some of their awesome dies.

Here is what I created. (You can click on it, to make it bigger, and see more detail.)
Here are the supplies I used:

I used these Spellbinders dies.
Labels Twenty-Three SKU: S4-347
Butterflies Two SKU: S3-146
Nested Ice Cream Cones SKU: S4-275

I also used these Core'dinations cardstocks:
Core Impressions Basic Grey Whimsy Collection (Green, Pink, Yellow)
Core Essentials (Purple, White and Blue)
Core Vintage Collection (Ice Cream and Cone)

The Spellbinders Ice Cream dies came in three different sizes, to be layered if you would like to.
The label dies are graduating sizes too.
I love the graduated sizes for the label dies, they make it so simple to make treat bags.
They come like this:
The finished treat bag looks like this:
I chose the largest label die, and cut out a pink label.
Then I chose the next largest die, and cut out a dark gray label.
The dark gray cardstock is from the Core'dinations Vintage collection. It already looks "canvas-y."
I inked the edges of the label, and THEN I sanded it. It made a really cool edge on the label.
The next step is folding the labels in half.
The easiest way to do this, to get an even fold, is to line the die up on your paper trimmer, so the "fold" is running right down the gutter of your trimmer (where the blade would normally slide.)
Then you can use a bone folder, or embossing tool, to just run a line down the gutter where you want the paper to fold. In this case, I have turned my label over, so the fold will be on the inside.
I filled my treat bag with candy, and folded the top down.
Then I took the largest folded label, and lined it up across the top of the bag and stapled that sucker shut.
If the treat bag is hanging out of the side of the label, and it bugs you, you can tuck it under, and use a bit of adhesive to stick it there.
You can also fold the labels in half length-wise, if you would like to top a large-sized (think sandwich-sized) bag.
We are going to cover them up.
Take the smaller sized label, and layer it over the pink label.

Then add whatever embellishments you would like.
I stuck with the ice cream die.
I made the "drip" of the ice-cream on the treat bag, and also my layout, by cutting a heart in half.
Notice the  cardstock dust...:)

This is where it is easy to mass-produce these things.
Crank out a bunch of those labels.
Depending on the thickness of your cardstock, you can cut two, and sometimes three labels at one time.
You can use up any scraps you have.

You could also bag up gift certificates, instead of candy, to have on hand for a quick present.

The back side of the treat bag is blank.
You could easily personalize the treat bag by writing a message on the blank label in back.
Pretty sweet!
You know what else would be sweet?

If you won a prize from this hop.

Head over to the Core'dination blog, and the Spellbinder's blog, (links above) and give it a go!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Don't Panic.

But it is Christmas in three months from yesterday!!!
I have been working on Christmas projects for Echo Park paper co.
Can't say that it is making me want Christmas to come.
I am on Team Grinch when it comes to Christmas.
I am more of a July 4th, kinda gal.
Warm weather, no-stress (on me) entertainment, what with the fireworks and all.
Sam mans the BBQ grill...
Nice and relaxing.
Christmas, however, turns me into an anxiety-ridden hag.

Echo Park paper is releasing two Christmas lines.
Because, I guess other people *like* the holiday.
I decided to do some home decor projects this time around.
Last Christmas, I was so sick of looking at most of my raggedy holiday decorations that I threw a lot of them out.
And I know I am going to be too cheap to buy more.
So I will wait until they clearance them out, and then I will be decoration-less during the holiday, and only able to purchase the leftover, fugly decorations that no one wanted.

Here is the first thing I made:
It is a tree, which I felt need clarification, for some reason.
(Photo removed for publication)
This was made with the paper kit "Holly Jolly Christmas."
It is a fun, funky Christmas line.
I cut out all the leafy shapes with my Silhouette, and then hot glued them all onto a cardboard form I purchased at Hobby Lobby. The form stands about 22" tall. I did all that while watching the Kardashians.
Why can't Kourtney see what a dink Scott is?
This next item up for viewing was made from the "Dots and Stripes" collection.
I folded up all those 3D stars while watching another trashy show, cause Kardashians was over by then.
(Photo removed for publication)
This is one of those "looks better in real life" projects.
It doesn't photograph well.
Much like it's creator.
(Eating marshmallows toasted while sluffing Stake Conference.)

And the last project I wanted to share started out as a humble thrift store find.
A lot of crafty people are altering printers trays into home decor items.

Printers trays are pricey.
I was pretty excited to score this at the thrift store.
It used to be a case for wooden paper dolls.
This is the back of the box.
And the next picture is a google image of what the original box looked like, full of dolls.
The dolls were gone, and the wooden sectioned box was sitting on a shelf, and marked two bucks.
So with some mod podge, and some "Season's Greetings" Echo Park paper and embellishments, I turned it into this:
It is pretty big, and I am happy that it will be taking up a lot of wall space during the holidays.

The photos I used of the kids are pretty old.
Even if it was below zero, and those Santa hats would be the only things keeping my kids from losing their ears to frostbite, I still COULD NOT get them to wear them for me again.

I loved them so much when they were little.

Now they just make me feel stupid, and like a drug lord that deals in sugared, cold cereal.
And works for free.
Here are a couple of close-ups to show detail better.
I felt like this project turned out alright!
A lot of the stuff I do, looks to me like a home-making project gone slightly wrong.
Tampon Angel

Monday, September 19, 2011

"Fair" Warning

Occasionally, when I have a blog post in my head, I am a little hesitant to post it.
I know there are certain people that read my blog that get uncomfortable with some of my subject material.
We have covered it before, but you need to know, that on the inside...I am a 12 year old boy.
That being said, this post is going to be about The State Fair and What I Found Amusing, and there will be talk of balls.

Fair warning.

(Pun intended.)
I also want to state for the record that in spite of the fact that our family deliberately sluffed Stake Conference: (I was not inclined to showing up 1/2 hour early, to sit in a packed echo-y gymnasium next to the lady who rolls out a carpet race-track and a shoebox full of hot wheels to entertain her unrestricted kids. Yes, that happened last year. And yes, that is my justification for not going.) we instead chose to drive up the canyon and enjoy God's creations.
And perfectly toasted marshmallows.

Hey man, I have already done my visiting teaching for this month.
Go ahead and look at the calendar.
It is not the 30th.
For my non-Mormon friends, all you need to know is that given the choice between the cool breezes of exhalation, and the fiery flames of hell...I am sitting right on the fence, in the middle.

So, onto the State Fair.
We chose a Saturday, and it was nice and overcast.
When you first walk in, there was this:
Some salmonella, right off the bat.
Nothing like a Car-B-Q.
Chickens on a spit, right where people can, uh...spit.
But the food-borne illnesses are not all that attracts folks to the State Fair.
There are first class performers, from all over the globe.
Take for instance the Seal Show.
All the way from Tallahassee, Florida!
I am not sure what kind of pansy-ass seals they have in Florida, but this show was shut down shortly after we got there.
The reason?

It started to rain.

Our nice overcast day, started pouring on us.
I guess that rain is dangerous for seals.
That, and the wet started to make old yellow pants a little see-through.

We took cover.
Hoping it would blow over.
We finally gave in, and went inside some of the side-show buildings and tents.
The one closest to us housed some random taxidermy.
First rate taxidermy, might I add.
I call this little guy "Beaver, Beaver, Broken-Finger."

You can see why:

This next picture cost me $1.00 to take.
My kids are getting too old to voluntarily subject themselves to photographic humiliation.
They want cold, hard cash.
Off to the animal barns! And really, the only reason I insist we attend the State Fair every year.
First off, the sheep.
And what sheep they were!
A different angle for your viewing pleasure.
And while the children and I giggle hysterically, Sam usually acts disgusted, and walks several paces in front or behind us.
Here are some puff ball bunnies, but I mostly added the photo so you could see the grin on Brendan's face.
(This was right after that astounding sheep pen.)
He is my son.
Through and through.
Here is the poultry pen.
Sam has this thing for birds.

He thinks he can talk to them.
He sucks his teeth, and does these little chirping sounds.
And he thinks WE are weird for being fascinated by giant balls?

Speaking of strange.
I think the fair is where the carnival people go on the off-season.

You can get your teeth whitened.
In a canvas tent.

Next to these guys.
Selling glass tchotchkes.
Tchotchkes are another word for:
or tacky trinkets.
Otherwise known as "things my children beg me for, and then promptly break five paces from the vendor, thus causing the child to blame a sibling for the demise of the treasured item."
The fair is prime people watching.
There was this guy, the WTH of the State Fair 2011.
And this random guy, who was not part of any side show that we saw.
Just walking the Fair with his herd of poop-bag wearing geese.
The back of his shirt was spray-painted with the word "Coach."
We couldn't find any sort of connection for that.
I am pretty sure he also drives an ice cream truck.
The only food we indulged in was deep fried Twinkies.
Other food options were:
Deep fried Snickers.
Deep fried Oreos.
Deep fried Kool-Aid (you got me on that one.)
And the pièce de résistance: Deep fried BUTTER.
For reals.
Someone thought it would be cholesterolically possible to deep fry a cube of butter, and eat it on a stick.
Now, I am the first person to admit that toast to me, is just a vehicle for melted butter, but people....really?
Here is our little family group shot:
And see the sign in the background for the "Giant Gator?"
Sam forked out the 75 cents a person to go see it.
I opted to wait outside.
He said it was the best money he has ever spent.
I don't want to spoil it for you, in case this side-show ends up at your State Fair.
The kids said it resembled a dusty sleeping stuffed animal that may or may not have been attached to an extension cord.

I put my foot down when Sam broke the wallet out for the "Giant Snake Lady! Half Woman, Half Hideous Reptile!"
He sulked all the way home.
I am using the hope of seeing the snake lady as fodder to get him to take me back the the fair next year.
Always a good time had by all.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Mini-album made from a dollar store compact: Tutorial

A long time ago, I created this mini-album out of a powder base compact I picked up from the Dollar Tree. I still carry this thing in my purse. It has held up well, and the mirror is pretty handy to have too.
I have had several people ask me where I got it.
When I tell them that I made it, and that it was easy, they give me a courtesy smile and walk away.
Really, guys, it is easy.
I am re-posting my original post that I did for Mother's Day on the Quickutz blog, here, on my blog.
If you get working on this now, you could have them ready for Christmas!

Mother’s Day is quickly approaching, and I thought I would share an inexpensive project with you. This project would be perfect as a gift for the special women in your life, or as a gift for yourself on Mother’s Day.

I started with a mirrored compact that I found at the dollar store.

I used an awl to chip out the make-up, and actually with this compact, the makeup portion came completely out in a metal tin. I then washed and dried the compact. (And realized I would have never made it as a hand model.)

Next I gathered my supplies:

Nested Circles CC-SHAPE-14-024
Nested Flowers CC-SHAPE-088-5
Small Flowers RS-0005
Tab RS-0517
12x12 cardstock

Cut a strip of your cardstock measuring 2.25" X 12".

Then, using your paper trimmer as a guide, measure every two inches along your 12” strip, and score the paper. I like to run my bone folder right down the gutter of my paper trimmer where the blade would normally run. This gives me an accurate measurement, and a clean score line.

You should end up with a strip containing six equal squares.

Cut the strip in half, in the middle.

Next, you will want your nested circle die. Choose the die that is almost the exact size of your project. Be very careful to position the circle die so it DOES NOT CUT THE SIDES of the folded strip. (The top and bottom of the strip will be cut.) Roll it through your die-cutting tool. Repeat with the other half of the folded strip.

Whoa, who needs a manicure? :-)

You will end up with two sections of (now rounded) paper.

Adhere the sections back together, over-lapping one full circle as shown.

Using a strong adhesive, glue the end of the section into the compact, making sure to line it up so the compact will close. I used E-6000 glue. It smells good. I love me some glue fumes!

Next, I gathered my photos. I had already sized my photos to a 2" x 2” square, though this is not necessary.

Choose a photo that will fit within the nested circle die that is one or two steps smaller than the die you used to cut the cardstock strips.

I found it helpful to use the sticky mat to hold my photos into position when I ran them through the die-cutting tool.

Adhere the photos to the circles. You could also choose to add journaling or decorate as you wish if you don’t have a whole bunch of rug-rats to squeeze into the album like I do!

Before you adhere the top photo, cut a tab from cardstock, and attach it to the top circle of the cardstock strip. This will make it easier for the recipient to pull the album out of the compact.

Go crazy and decorate your album up however you wish. You can use stars, flowers, butterflies--whatever! I chose a small flower. I am sure my boys don’t appreciate that, but it is for MY purse!

When you are finished decorating, tuck everything into the album, and make sure it still fits inside the compact!

Now we are going to decorate the top of the compact, and cover up the distracting brand name.
Grab your felt piece, and the middle sized nested flower die. You will need to cut two of the middle sized flowers, and one of the smaller size.

Take a section of ribbon, and loop it to create a “leaf”. Attach it to the bottom flower. I used a brad to make sure it held well.

Using your strong glue, adhere the bottom flower to the top of the compact. Then using hot glue (the other adhesive tended to soak into the felt) adhere the second flower to the top of the flower already on the compact. Slightly off-set the flowers.

Adhere the smaller flower, and your button.

You are finished! A cute mini-album that will hold up in any purse!

Now if I were giving this as a gift, I would probably include a card with a sentiment along the lines of “I couldn’t “make-up” a better mother/grandmother/mother-in-law than YOU!” to match the compact/make-up theme.