Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Valentine's Tags

Okay the last Valentine's creation this year I promise.

But first... a huge big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my nephew Dallas who turns four today. Being a leap year baby this is technically his first birthday on his actual birthday. Love you Dallas xxx


Some people love them...

Some people hate them...

Tim Holtz is the king of making them...

Me... I'm a fence sitter on this one. 
I love tags to look at. I even quite enjoy making them, but (and you could sense it was there waiting)... I'm not sure I see the point in them on their own. What am I supposed to do with them?

ATC's (Artist Trading Cards for the uninitiated) I get. These are like a cross between a Sports Trading Cards and an individually personalised business card for a really amazing and incredibly talented artistic type person.
If done properly (so to speak) they will easily fit inside the same plastic pocket refills that Sports trading cards fit into but tags... not a chance in this lifetime.

Tags for some reason only to the artist who made them, also tend to have a lot more 3D embellishments, so even if you did find the perfectly divided pocket protector, they still wouldn't fit. And I have to wonder, for the same reason, whether or not you would use them on a layout, for a similar reason... would it be to bulky for inside the page protector?

Anyway... I still love them, now I just need to decide what to do with them.
Here is this year's Valentine's Tags.

Candy Pink cardstock base with the edges distressed using Tim Holtz Walnut Ink Distress Ink. Patterned paper from Teresa Collins Posh Range also inked with same distress ink. Keys are from The Dusty Attic. I painted these in silver acrylic paint which I had mixed with some Reeves Iridescent Medium. Once dried I sand the edges a little for a distressed look then ink the keys with Tim Holtz Walnut Distress Ink, wiping the excess off with a tissue. I stamped the saying, numbers and then finally the sentiment using Tsukineko Brilliance Ink - Coffee Bean. Final step was to add the flowers to the bottom left hand corner.
After taking the pictures I remembered I needed to add a hole and some ribbon to make it look more like a tag... but I forgot to take a picture. 
Ooops sorry!

If anyone is interested I can post a step by step tutorial on this tag as well.
Maybe I should stop asking and just do it...?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Valentine's Flowers

I have come to the conclusion I love flowers... all kinds, all materials... think they look absolutely gorgeous.
I have also come to the conclusion I hate making them from scratch. Anything else I don't mind, in fact I quite enjoy. It's just that when I make flowers, they never, ever, EVER turn out how I imagine.
And yet... like a fool who rushes in I keep on signing up for swaps to make them. 

When will I learn?

Or maybe I'm just living by the adage... "Practice makes perfect"?

I present in all their glory (and my dissatisfaction) the flowers I made for the Crafting Passionz Valentine's Flower swap.

Out of the flowers I made this time around, these are probably my favourite. I love the colours (so out there like me), I love the dimensionality I just don't think they are practical for scrapbooking. They would however look gorgeous on a denim bag or on a pin attached to a scarf or even as the centre of a decorative pillow... but they are just too big, too bold and too dimensional for a layout.
I really like this style of layered patterned paper flowers... though I don't like mine. Not sure if they need more distressing around the edges or maybe I should have scrunched them a little to give them some dimension. The patterned papers I like individually but I think this layering looks too forced... maybe I shouldn't have used only scraps of paper... but then isn't that the idea behind them??
Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions? Anyone?

When Good Scrapbooking Rooms Go Bad

Three big things happened in December...

  1. Christmas Craft Challenge - 24 days of Christmas Crafts all posted onto my blog;
  2. Christmas Day with all the family at our place for the big day;
  3. I ended up will a torn ligament in my left elbow two weeks before Christmas.
Why are they such a big deal I hear you ask in anticipation...
Because the three of them combined lead to my craft studio looking like a total bomb site!! And unfortunately as of the first drafting of this blog... it still does. (This blog has been a draft a few weeks now, so finally starting to look like less of a bomb site!!!)

  1. Christmas Craft Challenge is 24 days of intense crafting. No matter how much pre-planning I do, or pre-preparation, or finishing early, the last week always ends up like a total mad-rush so I become somewhat guilty (okay A LOT GUILTY) of not putting everything back in its rightful place once I have finished with it. Working my way through this slowly as we speak.
  2. With 20 something people for dinner and our family dining table being 4' by 12'... it was too big to get out the door and down the stairs to the garage where we had Christmas dinner... the obvious place to raid additional tables and chairs from was my craft studio. It's downstairs already which immediately reduces one major obstacle. Unfortunately those that were so quick to raid the tables and chairs were not quite so willing so return them to their former positions. Too much food on Christmas Day methinks!!
  3. My physio had me on a strict no heavy lifting policy for six weeks or there abouts. Which meant I couldn't put anything back into place myself anyway.
Of course this now means I have to show the before pictures. Hmmmm not sure if I should as it looks so bad. But in interest of full disclosure (and as regular followers will know, I usually don't hold much back)... here it is at its worst.
No this wasn't staged.
Yes it did look this bad.
And no I didn't pick up or put down anything before taking the photos... these are raw, unedited, scrapbook studios gone bad footage!!!

OMG... that really did look bad!!!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Valentine's Stick Pins

I don't know what it is about them, but I just love Stick Pins. It could just be that I love the bling, simple as that. You can look back over an earlier blog post on some of my stick pins here though I'm sure there are others as well.

Here is the latest instalment for a Valentine's swap I participated in on the Crafting Passionz forum. I want to share not only the Stick Pins I made but also the envelope that I presented them in.

Why is this important? 
The obvious reason is of course the health & safety aspect - yes even in scrapbooking we still need to play safe. For starters these needed to be posted to the swap host before being sent to the other participants. The last thing I want to happen is someone to get jabbed by one of my pins so I always make sure I push the ends of the pins into some firm foam or the like. Of course this thing looks a bit "daggy" so it's only natural to gussy the presentation up a bit to make it all "look so pretty" - reason number 2.

Red Pin "I LOVE YOU"
This pin is a traditional red and silver to represent the universally accepted colours associated with Valentine's Day and declarations of Love. It carries a heart and a declaration of love for that someone special.
White Pin "Pure Love"
This pin, in white and silver, represents pure or true love. When you find that someone special that you are meant to spend the rest of your life with, you just know that no matter what, your love will conquer all. It will always stay strong regardless of the obstacles you face.
Blue and Pink Pin "Marriage"
This pin represents the traditional love of a husband and wife. The blue and pink find a way to blend harmoniously together to form a strong bond that is hard to break. Alone we may feel weak and the cracks may show, but together we can face whatever the world puts in our way.
The patterned paper is some scraps from some old Breezy Designs paper. I've cut it into a heart using the smallest of the large Fiskars templates. I inked the edges then stamped a collage of Hero Arts swirl stamps over the heart in White and Baby Blue Chalk Ink. I finished off with a Fancy Pants sentiment stamp "Create Art". Finally I adhered the heart and pins inside a pre-cut petal envelope. I picked up a bag of 10 on sale at K-Mart for only a couple of dollars.
To finish off the outside I stamped this adorable KaiserCraft corner sentiment stamp from their LOVE Hearts Valentine's Day Collection.

Valentine's Favour Bags

I've been an avid follower of Pinterest since I was invited to join, earlier this year. Aside from some recent concerning blog posts and forums regarding copyright and pinning (no doubt more on this later)... I consider it a valuable tool and inspiration to many a scrapbooker and crafter like myself (not to mention designer, photographer, budding chef, dressmaker and handy person).

As a humble Kiwi, I've noticed a lot of seasonal things on Pinterest that we tend not to do, or at least not many people I know tend to do... I can think of one exception off the top of my head. I know that it's not that I don't thank people for good service, I do. I always make sure to verbally thank people, often several times. I've just never thought of giving them something for regularly giving me good service or being a great teacher or a good neighbour. Of course the later two could be because my kids are always complaining about their teachers and we don't get on well with the neighbours... but I digress...

Where this is heading... is that I've noticed a awful lot of what are called "Favour bags and boxes" being shown off. Up until now, the only favour box I've heard of was given at weddings to thank guests for attending. Though in saying that, I have heard of small gifts being given to guests at children's parties but they were always like goodie bags or the like.

Pinterest pinners have shared some incredible favour gifts in every theme and for every reason under the sun. They range from something as simple as putting your own label on a bottle of lemonade to highly elaborate, purpose created and in my humble opinion, at times OTT favour boxes and bags with matching cards and goodness knows what else.

I'm not sure that I will ever really get into creating these in any big way, shape or form, though I may be convinced to create something special from time to time. Only time will tell.

I was convinced enough to create a favour goodie bag for a Valentine's swap through Crafting Passionz forum. We were allocated a partner to create a goodie bag for then send the bag along with some goodies to that person.

Here is the end result. I created one for my partner Jude and another which I kept for myself.
The bag itself was made from Teresa Collins' Posh double sided paper. It was overlaid with an embossed vellum bag. I decorated the outside with hand-pleated tulle and ribbon then finished off the decoration with spritzed flowers and bling.
Jude's bag with the pink velvet rick rack ribbon.
My bag with the black shiny rick rack ribbon. (I still haven't worked out which version I like the best... I like them both)
And the goodie bag with the goodies that went along with it. Not everything fitted in the bag, but that's ok.

If anyone is interested in seeing a step by step tutorial and getting measurements etc, leave me a comment and I will organise a blog post for you.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Valentine's Card

I know Valentine's Day was a week or so ago so maybe I'm a little late... I think we are all used to that with me. I'm a procrastinator and a perfectionist, so it's a wonder I can get ANYTHING done at all.

This card was really simple to make but I think looks so effective.
It's a tri-fold card that was pre-die cut with the heart (The outer heart). I sketched a cutting line inside the die-cut heart then cut the strip off to give me a smaller heart. I added a zebra stripe insert which I sealed inside the card, folding the front flap over so no one could see my handy work. I then adhered the shrunk heart into to centred of the die cut hole.
For anyone who is not a card-maker or scrapper, this just shows you that you can make something that is handmade that looks great without having much more than a pair of scissors.
This is tent-fold card (folded on the top instead of the side). On top of the card base I have layered a piece of white cardstock which I distressed the outer edge with Brilliance Ink - Red Rocket (a favourite of mine). It doesn't show that clearly, but the distressing reaches in 1/2" - 1".
In the bottom left corner I also stamped a flower stem in a dark forest green ink.
I then layered a thick white vellum which I had run though my Cuttlebug machine to dry emboss.
I finished the front of the card with a simple white paper flower and bling flower.
Inside the card I adhered an insert of white cardstock onto which I hand wrote the sentiment "You set my heart all a flutter!"

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Sketchbook Project 2012 - Pages 5

At last the final installment of my Sketchbook Project entry... for this year at least!!
I wanted to make sure that my journal had a uniquely New Zealand feel, so I made sure I used New Zealand designed patterned paper on both the front and back covers. A couple of delicate rub-on scrolls to finish the corners and some gaffer tape to cover the spine. The title is chipboard, painted white (to stand out on the deep green patterned paper) and coated with Glossy Accents to finish.
And a quick glance at the gaffer tape on the spine.
The front page - the first page anyone viewing my Sketch Book will see.
"The phoenix hope can wing her way through the desert skies and still defying fortunes spite, revive from ashes and rise."
Miguel de Cervantes
The back cover - the patterned paper is pre-printed with "Aroha". The rub-on scrolls the same as the front and the official label with the bar-code that had to stay on the back of the sketch book.
 Finally the inscription I wrote inside the back cover.

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Sketchbook Project 2012 - Pages 4

I received an email over the weekend from the Art House Librarian Robot, from the Boston Art Library advising me that they had received my Sketchbook Project 2012 entry. So if you ever make it to Boston and you happen to find yourself wandering around the Boston Art Library looking at various Sketchbooks from the Sketchbook Project 2012, then be sure to look up call number 157A.2-4 and you will be able to see all the pages I created up close and personal.

"Hope is the elevating feeling we experience when we see - in the mind's eye - a path to a better future."
Jerome Groopman
Hope Definitions - Embossed Stamped Image
"Hope is not like a lottery ticket you can sit on a sofa and clutch, feeling lucky... 
Hope is an axe you break down doors with in an emergency!"
Rebecca Solnit
"All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word:
Freedom, Justice, Honor, Duty, Mercy, Hope."
Winston Churchill

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

When good planning goes out the window...

I had all these great plans after Christmas for some multi-day crafting lead up to Valentine's Day but alas it hasn't happened.

It might have gone to plan if I had remembered to organise the trailer for the first long weekend we had (Auckland Anniversary) so that I could put all the rubbish in there instead of having to pile it all up for a week but then I would have missed out on some quality time with my family, especially with my darling hubbie.
It might have gone to plan if I had organised some help, other than just my husband and I, to clean the studio up. Luckily my son and nephew were available the next long weekend we had (Waitangi Weekend). This meant we got all the heavy moving and rearranging done a week later but then I probably wouldn't have had everything out of the studio, the studio swept, the carpet laid and then everything back in the studio in under three hours.
It might have gone to plan if I had kept on top of upgrading my website instead of missing out an upgrade and then having to upgrade manually instead of automatically. But then I wouldn't have found out that my old host couldn't or wouldn't help me, so I wouldn't have gone looking for someone I could pay to do the upgrade and then I wouldn't have ended up with an amazing new look website that is supported by a fantastic guy Steve, who is probably sick of me harassing him already, even though its been less than 24 hours since he took over things.

We make plans with the best of intention... that is what my mission of getting organised is about this year... but for me part of being organised is also being flexible enough to know and understand that sometimes even the best laid plans of mice and men are apt to go straight out the window. What we need to remember is that sometimes... what we get instead is even better than what we planned to do.
My studio cleaning is still under way... there will be a blog in the next week or so about it, along with pictures - before, during and after. The Valentine's crafts will still happen, though maybe fewer than I had hoped for, but those that do get made will still serve the purpose of letting those I love know just how much I love them... and after all isn't that what Valentine's Day is all about... (if you forget all about the commercialism of it all LOL).

And do you like the new blog look... in honour of the big "V" Day. Just doing my part to share the love.