November 23, 2008

blog candy!

i haven't posted in ages, but this blog candy was too good to pass up... Debbie of Passion for Crafts is offering some beautiful paper, embellishment and stamps... along with a "starter kit" of 17 Copics markers... just too generous... sign up by 5 PM (WEST) on November 26th for your chance to win!

July 2, 2008

super dooper blog candy!

Jes over at craft-o-rama is celebrating 1000 hits on her blog by giving away not one, but two blog candy delights! so get on over there before July 6th at midnight (PST) and leave a comment...

(as you may remember, a few months back i linked Jes' cool stamping tiles mini tutorial on MCIYN)

June 27, 2008

blog candy!

Stampin' With Markie's Mom - quick! this one ends today at 11:59 PM EST... each comment you make (you're allowed one a day from June 20th until today) will be entered in the draw...

Just Crafty - ends June 27th at 1 PM EST...

My Favorite Things - ends June 29th at 6 PM CST...

Storage Units, Ink, & More! - ends June 30th...

My Life's Inky Escape & More - ends June 30th..

Starving Artistamps - ends June 30th...

June 26, 2008

WT172 / SC182

i made this for two card challenges, Ways To Use It 172 (Birds) and Sketch Challenge 182... i'm not thrilled with how the sentiment came out (my inspiration was to have the yellow be like a bright light shining out the window), but in the end, i didn't have any time to mess around with it as J was just waking up from a nap...

Recipe:
Inspiration: WT172 & SC182 card challenges on SCS
Paper: Night of Navy, Close to Cocoa, Chocolate Chip, Summer Sun
Ink: Night of Navy, Versamark
Stamp Set: Just Celebrate, In the Stars © Stampin' Up
Embellishments: gold embossing powder, brushed gold brads
Tools: Nestabilities, Cuttlebug, 1/8" hole punch, paper piercer, heat gun, tape roller, dimensionals, paper trimmer

June 17, 2008

My Scrapbook Table Blog Candy Card


so this is my entry for my scrapbook table's blog candy challenge... on the left, you'll see the picture that we were given as inspiration... i ended up doing a pretty literal translation of the picture, with a few alterations to accommodate colours and tools... i knew right away that i would be using the Always stamp set for this challenge...

i started by stamping the background layer of Close to Cocoa cardstock with the branch from Always, using Close to Cocoa and Cameo Coral ink... i sponged around the edge of the cardstock with Close to Cocoa as well... i cut the next layer (Whisper White) and sponged the edges with Cameo Coral first, then Close to Cocoa (i repeated this around sentiment as well)... the Nestabilities circles were adhered with Mini Glue Dots and i hand drew the trunks of the trees with a brown Crayola Washable marker (highfalutin, i know!)... i added the ribbon using the Xyron 150 and then mounted my sentiment on dimensionals...

what excited me most about this card was how the bird stamp turned out... i ended up doing a strange hybrid of two techniques, Rock n' Roll and Thumping... i inked up the stamp in the Cameo Coral and then rolled the edges in the Close to Cocoa... i then took my Close to Cocoa Stampin' Spot and lightly tapped it all over the stamp... the result was a weathered look that let lots of the pink tone show through... not sure if this technique has another name - anyone? Bueller? here's a close-up of my lovely little bird...

finally, i don't know if you can tell from the smaller version of the card, but if you click on it you'll see on the enlargement that i fudged a rectangular Nestabilities behind the sentiment by shortening one of my squares... it's a little noticeable, but a quick little fix until i can afford to buy the rectangles (and ovals)...

Recipe:
Inspiration: Sarah from my scrapbook table
Paper: Close to Cocoa, Whisper White, pink and peach cardstock
Ink: Close to Cocoa, Cameo Coral
Stamp Set: Always © Stampin' Up
Embellishments: ribbon
Tools: Cuttlebug, Nestabilities (circles, scallop square), Crayola Washable Marker in brown, Mini Glue Dots, Xyron 150, double-sided tape, dimensionals, Cutterbee scissors, paper trimmer

Mojo Monday 42

because i'm on a roll lately, i decided to do another card challenge this week... this one was for the Mojo Monday challenge that Julee has weekly... please check out her blog, Poetic Artistry... i only changed the sketch slightly by having a few less stripes/panels on the left hand side...

Recipe:
Inspiration: Julee's Mojo Monday sketch
Paper: Purely Pomegranate, off white, black & pattered paper from a Costco block
Ink: Purely Pomegranate
Stamp Set: Garden Whimsy, Baroque Motifs © Stampin' Up
Embellishments: brads
Tools: sponge, dimensionals, double-sided tape, paper trimmer

Nestabilities blog candy...

Sarah over at my scrapbook table is celebrating her 50K visitor in style: she'll be giving away a set of Nestabilities to the winner!

of course, she's not just giving these babies away... you've got to work for it... so get on over there, see what you have to do to qualify and enter before June 20th at Noon...

June 16, 2008

Card for Baby Julia!

if you've perused the SCS gallery at all, you've probably noticed the work of markie's mom... her style of card-making is one of the most distinctive in the galleries... sponging, contrasting colours, layering and dots are key to her designs... needless to say, i've been stalking her blog for a good while...

one of my friends, S, was blessed with another little girl yesterday morning... i wanted to make something special for baby Julia and i knew i wanted to use the lovely little elephant stamp from the Just Celebrate set, as the raised trunk is a sign of good luck... once i started to play with colours, i decided to use markie's mom's style, mostly to see if i could do it...

each background layer of the Soft Sky and Pumpkin Pie cardstock was stamped with the large Baroque Motifs stamp in it's co-ordinating ink, and then i sponged the edges with the ink as well... i've come to learn that i much prefer sponge daubers to do my edging, as markie's mom posted in a tutorial last week... i ran out of them and had to use a regular craft sponge for my edging and, while it looks great in person, it doesn't show up as much as i'd like on camera...

since the dots tend to add all the embellishment one would need, the only things i added were a piece of orange ribbon and i coloured the elephant and flower with Sakura Gel Pens...

Recipe:
Inspiration: markie's mom
Paper: Soft Sky, Pumpkin Pie, Basic Black
Ink: Soft Sky, Pumpkin Pie, Dew Drop Brilliance in Graphite Black
Stamp Set: Just Celebrate, Baroque Motifs © Stampin' Up
Embellishments: orange polka dot ribbon, Sakura Gel Pens (Stardust pens in clear & blue, Gelly Roll pens in white & orange), black Zig marker
Tools: Cuttlebug, Petite Scallop & Standard Circle Nestabilities, double-sided tape, dimensionals, paper trimmer, X-acto knife

June 15, 2008

Father's Day Card 2008

nothing says Father's Day like sock monkeys... i don't have any Father's Day stamps, so the origami shirt that i had seen used many times on SCS seemed like a good idea... i CASE'd westamp's card...

i found the origami shirt folding instructions here...

Recipe:
Inspiration: westamp
Paper: Sock Monkey DP by Daisy D, Bordering Blue, More Mustard, Real Red
Ink: Bordering Blue
Stamp Set: All Year Cheer I © Stampin' Up
Embellishments: yellow eyelets
Tools: Crop-a-Dile, Cuttlebug Spots & Dots folder, Cuttlebug, double-sided tape, dimensionals, paper trimmer

Beate's Challenge WSC52

while i've been a big fan of Beate's for a long time, i've yet to participate in one of her challenges... having a little bit of free time this afternoon, i sat down and made this little something something... clearly, i need to work on my sponging technique, but i kind of like the heavy-handed effect in the end...

Recipe:
Inspiration: Beate's WSC52 Challenge, this card by the fabulous Ms. M...
Paper: Close to Cocoa, Not Quite Navy, Purely Pomegranate, River Rock
Ink: Close to Cocoa, Not Quite Navy, Purely Pomegranate
Stamp Set: Baroque Motifs © Stampin' Up
Embellishments: none
Tools: sponge dauber, double-sided tape, dimensionals, paper trimmer

June 12, 2008

the fabulous Ms. M...

so, i've posted before about the fabulous Ms. M who is my card-making guru and SU dealer... she gave me this card the other night that, by chance, just happens to use the same technique as the "Make Your Own Dew Drops" link i just posted...

i love these little Popsicle cards...

link: Make Your Own Dew Drops...

Heather posted this tutorial on her blog a little while back but, due to some computer difficulties, i just saw it yesterday... all i can say is genius! i've never been able to find Dew Drops locally in colours that i'd want to use...

photo credit: Heather @ Stamp With Heather

June 9, 2008

Card Exchange - All Occasions

this card is for the third card exchange i've participated in (the first one can be seen here and the second here)... i bought a few packages of Soft Sky and River Rock and decided i finally should start using them... this exchange was an "All Occasions" theme, so i opted to omit the sentiment to make them a universal card...

i CASE'd 3 different cards for this project... thanks to Lynn Larson (the colour scheme), scrapshappen (the layout), and kaloso05 (the paper piercing for the band) for their inspiration...

Recipe:
Inspiration: Lynn Larson's Baroque Motifs Scallop Note Card, scrapshappen's Cherish Challenges, and kaloso05's Monochrome Old Olive Kindess
Paper: River Rock, Soft Sky, Whisper White
Ink: Soft Sky
Stamp Set: Baroque Motifs © Stampin' Up
Embellishments: River Rock double-stitched grosgrain ribbon, brushed gold brad
Tools: scallop, 1 3/8", 1 1/8" and 1/16" punches, paper piercer, SU Mat Pack, paper trimmer, double-sided tape, glue stick, dimensionals card (the paper piercing on the band)

May 27, 2008

Congratulations Card for Greg & Alicia

this particular card was made last month and was the reason i found myself in Vancouver...

i tried a different technique for the bow on this card, which can be found here... i'm pleased with how it turned out, mostly because i still need to work on my bow tying skills (which sounds ridiculous, as i'm almost 30 years old, but there you go!)...

this full-time working mum bit is a lot harder than i ever expected... after yet another particularly busy month, i've not found the time to craft at all... which better change because this blog has been sorely neglected, i have a card exchange deadline looming, and i'm leaving for a family visit halfway across the country in a week!

Recipe:
Paper: Whisper White, Chocolate Chip
Ink: Whisper White craft ink, VersaMark
Stamp Set: Always
© Stampin' Up
Embellishments: Perfect Pearl Pigments in gold, chocolate brown ribbon from Michael's
Tools: Cuttlebug, Textile Texture and Word Hearts Cuttlebug embossing folders, ribbon punch, paper trimmer, Cutterbee scissors, dimensionals, tape roller

May 8, 2008

Thank You Card for Normande

last month we went to Vancouver for the weekend and were treated to lush greeness, beautiful cherry blossoms, and a lovely garden owned by my sister's friend, Normande, who hosted us for the weekend... i took many beautiful pictures of her spring garden and i wanted to use them as a Thank You to her for her hospitality...

this card is based on the accordian card tutorial from SCS... the only thing i changed was to add an extra panel so i could fit more pictures on the card...


Recipe:
Paper: Chocolate Chip, Old Olive, Real Red, Whisper White, Summer Picnic DSP
Ink: Chocolate Chip, Old Olive, Crayola Washable Markers
Stamp Set: Garde
n Whimsy, Friendship Blooms, Just Celebrate © Stampin' Up
Embellishments: SU Love & Happiness rub ons,
Icon rhinestones, brown eyelets, brown ribbon from Michael's
Tools: SU scallop, 1 3/8", corner rounder, & 1/16" punches, Cutterbee scissors, Fiskar's Ultra Shape Express & 2½" circle template, paper trimmer, tape roller, photo mounts

April 24, 2008

a different kind of blog candy...

the lovely Anne, all around talented felter and occasional guest blogger here at MCIYN, is having a giveaway on her blog where you can win a set of 3 felted bangles...

kasanika - enter by 12:00 AM PST, April 30th...

photo credit: Anne @ kasanika

April 21, 2008

even more blog candy!

a new week and more blog candy to be found!

Pickled Paper Designs - enter by 9:00 AM, April 25th...

Heather Rolin's Creations - enter by 4:00 PM CST, April 25th...

congrats to both Amy and Heather on their milestones / releases this week!

other places to win these stamp sets are:

my scrapbook table
- enter by April 25th...

Stampin' With Markie's Mom
- enter by 5:00 PM, April 25th...

and one more great blog candy:

No Time To Stamp? - enter by April 26th...

April 16, 2008

blog candy!

so many of my favourite blogs right now are giving away blog candy, it's unreal... so if you want to get in on the fun, please visit these great blogs!

fresh & fun - enter by 2:00 PM CST TODAY!

i{heart}2stamp - enter by Saturday morning, April 19th...

Inkling of Love - enter by April 19th...

The Voices In My Head - enter by 8:00 PM, April 20th...

my scrapbook table - enter by April 21st...

Sharing My Obsession - enter by 12:00 PM, April 21st...

L'il Buck's Creations - enter by midnight, April 21st...

April 10, 2008

Tutorial: Partially Embossed Card

when looking for ways to use my Cuttlebug (the item i just had to have, yet rarely use to its full potential), i stumbled across Heart Prints by Sue Nelson... i loved the look but just didn't "get" how she was able to partially emboss part of her cardstock... and those embossed lines intrigued me...

after searching out everything i could on the technique and then being blessed with
three great tutorials (thanks to Sue, Jay and Beate), i decided to add a tutorial of my own... not because it was needed but, rather, because i wanted to try my hand at doing a tutorial...

i started by getting my supplies together and cutting and scoring my cardstock... i went with a standard 4¼" x 5½" card for this tutorial... just keep in mind that you are somewhat limited by the size of both the Cuttlebug opening and the embossing folder... i stack my plates as you would for any Cuttlebug dies or embossing folders, with the B plate on top of the A plate...

next, i took my embossing folder (Birds & Swirls, which co-ordinates perfectly with the Always stamp set) and lined the edge of the embossing up with the line i scored earlier... i apologize that you can't really see that in my picture, but it's hard to get a clear image of the score line... it's really important that you look at your cardstock placement and ensure that everything is square so you don't end up with a slanted edge to your embossing...

once you have your embossing folder lined up to your liking, place it on your A & B plates with the portion you do not want embossed hanging over the edge of the two plates... in my example, i've left about 2" overhanging in order to fit my sentiment in later... then place the second B plate on top, lining it up with the A & B plates below... make sure that your cardstock hasn't shifted and then begin to feed the stack through your Cuttlebug...

when you're done, you should end up with a partially embossed card front that looks like the example on the left... you can see that i've gone ahead and stamped my sentiment...


now it's time to embellish! i selected the small dotted circle embossing folder because i wanted to keep the whole card fairly simple and clean in its design... i've always found that my smaller embossing folders can leave indentation marks where the folders end, but Sue suggested instead of running the folder all the way through, reversing the stack back towards you to solve that problem and it has worked perfectly... another suggestion is to shim it with another piece of cardstock...

here's a close up of the dotted circle... it's very subtle and doesn't look half as smart in the picture as it does in person...




time for the final embellishments: black ribbon to border the partial embossing, the lovely bird from the Always stamp set (also stamped in Graphite Black and mounted with a dimensional, although it's hard to see in the picture), and a few black brads to give some visual interest to the upper corner...

Recipe:
Paper: SU Whisper White
Ink: Dew Drop Brilliance in Graphite Black
Stamp Set: Always © Stampin' Up
Embellishments: black ribbon, black brads
Tools: Cuttlebug, Birds & Swirls and small dotted circle Cuttlebug embossing folders, Xyron 150, 1/16" hole punch, dimensionals


what i love most about this card is the simplicity... there's not a lot going on, but the different textures and images work well together yet are subtle... i have a feeling a lot more of my cards are going to be of similar design in the next little while (i have another card exchange coming up in June with a Thank You / Congratulations theme and i could see something like this working perfectly for that)...

something i didn't do with this card was the embossed lines, like the other tutorials show... that, dear readers, is simply because i'm still awaiting my Scor-Pal, the lovely tool that allows you not only to score your cardstock perfectly but to emboss lines as well... i'll be sure to do a product review / demo when mine arrives...

Card Challenge 3 - Monochromatic

the latest card challenge i was participating in was simple: use whatever you like but keep it to one colour, black and white excluded... i decided to go for something very simplistic and just stick to black and white in order to showcase one of my latest favourite techniques: partial embossing with a Cuttlebug... i won't get too far into explaining how i made this card, as i'm adding my first tutorial later today on how i did it exactly... in the meantime, here's the recipe...

Recipe:
Inspiration: Sue's beautiful cards at Heart Prints
Paper: SU Whisper White
Ink: Dew Drop Brilliance in Graphite Black
Stamp Set: Always © Stampin' Up
Embellishments: black ribbon, black brads
Tools: Cuttlebug, Birds & Swirls and small dotted circle Cuttlebug embossing folders, Xyron 150, 1/16" hole punch, dimensionals

April 7, 2008

Love Your Sweaters The Frog Way

Today the buzz word is UPCYCLING. Have you heard this word before? It's my new favourite word. Upcycling is taking things that would otherwise be destined to be thrown out and turning it into something else--something usable, something beautiful, something wonderful. Upcycling is taking plastic bags and making them into reusable bags, or taking an old pillowcase and making it into a dress for a little girl, or taking previously loved sheets and turning them into a rug. Seriously, the possibilities are endless with Upcycling! Whatever you can imagine, you can do.

Let's think about sweaters. Everyone has them. Everyone gets rid of sweaters for whatever reason (you grow out of them, they have a hole in the arm, they are out of style)...but really quite a few of them could be reused by unraveling them. If you take the time to unravel (or 'frog' as it's called in crocheting circles) a sweater and then crochet or knit it into something else then you are recycling (turning it into something else), reducing (saving a sweater from a landfill) and reusing (sweater into dishcloth or bag--it's even better when the new product can be used many times).

There are some wonderful websites that have tutorials on how to unravel sweater. This one is my favorite. Here is another one with good information. I gave them a thorough reading and then I just jumping into frogging my sweater.

The first thing you need to learn about frogging a sweater is... IT'S ALL ABOUT THE SEAMS. A good sweater has a double seam. A double seam indicates that the pieces have been sewn together whereas a sweater that has a single seam is one that has been serged. A serged sweater won't unravel. Well, it will but it will unravel into short pieces (the length of the sweater). When I am at second hand looking for sweaters to buy to unravel I am turning them inside out and seeing if I can spot the double seam - the good seam.

So, if the first thing is seams, the second thing to learn about frogging a sweater is this... IT'S IMPORTANT TO KNOW WHAT KIND OF MATERIAL YOUR POTENTIAL SWEATER IS MADE OUT OF. Some sweaters are really made out of several thin threads. You can still unravel them but it is a pain since one of the threads usually has some elasticity to it while the others don't. Cotton seems to be a good choice for unraveling. It doesn't fray and stays intact with no pilling.

The third thing I've found is that HOMEMADE SWEATERS ARE WAY EASIER TO UNRAVEL then a store bought one. The little seam is simple to spot. Everything unwinds easily. It's one piece of thread rather then the many little ones that store bought ones seem to have. There's no tags to deal with cutting out. It's just a nice time all around.

The fourth to keep in mind is this... DON'T BE AFRAID. Seriously. When it comes time to cut that little thread that is in the double seam. Just. Do. It. There is no fear in frogging.

Now, lets jump in...

I started with this sweater. It was a nice green. 100% cotton. It had a good double seam with a wonderful little thread and best of all it was $5.99 at Value Village. I washed it and when it was thoroughly dry I began the process.


First, I separated the good double seam and found the little thread. In the tutorial I posted the author says 'you have to love the little thread' & it's true. The little thread is your best friend in this process. Find the little thread and cut!


As you rip you get something like this...


Eventually, by following the tutorial, you'll have your sweater in pieces.



Now you can start the unraveling. This is the fun (and scary) part. The top of the sweater will have these little loops (like you get when you knit). You might have to cut some 'bad' top off... but be patient... stick with it and don't get frustrated. If it gets bad, just remind yourself that this sweater was free (or very cheap) and any amount of wool you get out of it is excellent.




I ended up with this much yarn from the sweater. I expect to have enough yarn there to do about a dozen crochet dishcloths.




And there you go. That's how you love your sweaters the frog way.

Carrie :)

P.S. I realize the pictures aren't the greatest... maybe I'll try to take better pictures of the next sweater I unravel and change them out.

Ms. Crafty says: Carrie is an avid crocheter and has launched her own business, 4Star, selling upcycled plarn bags...

March 31, 2008

J's Birthday Cake


we had a small party for my son's first birthday this past Sunday... i made way too much food and had a great time visiting with everyone... thank you to all who came!

one of the highlights was the amazing cake that the fabulous Ms. M made... of course, she made me help and told me i had to put it up on my crafting blog... see that blue hump? i had to do all the star-tipping and it sucked hard... i guess the plus side is that i learned how to make butter cream icing... the bad news is that i now know what's in butter cream icing...

this cake was made with lots of passive aggressive humour, one too many giggle fits on my part, and a few lewd jokes about boobie cakes and having a 3rd testicle when we were assembling it...

the letters were made using my Cuttlebug with the Cuttlekids "Happy" alphabet die set... i ran them through my Xyron 150 to make them stickers...

oh! i almost forgot the best part! the antennae were modified Cakesicles, made from cherry chip cake and store bought frosting... they were rolled into the appropriate shape, molded around a sucker stick, and then smothered in red chocolate... yum!

Recipe:
Inspiration: a cake online, found by the fabulous Ms. M
Materials:
chocolate cake mix, cherry chip cake mix, shortening (which i shall affectionately call lard), icing sugar, butter, food colouring, SU Tempting Turquoise cardstock
Tools:
blood, sweat, tears and icing induced hysteria... also an offset spatula, piping bag, star tip, Cuttlebug, Cuttlekids alphabet die set, and a Xyron 150...

March 29, 2008

avert your eyes!

please, don't look at my "Work-In-Progress" section... the same 3 projects have been sitting there since i started this damn blog... the sadder thing is that those two scrapbook pages need a little embellishment and a title and they'd be complete... but since knitting and card making have caught my attention, scrapbooking has fallen by the wayside... my goal this week is to finish those two pages and at least finish one dishcloth... oh, and make a "Twisted & Demented" card for my second card challenge...

in other news, i'm busy, busy, busy today preparing food and cleaning before my son's first birthday party tomorrow... so much left to do, yet here i am... with the assistance of the fabulous Ms. M, i managed to put together his birthday cake yesterday... stay tuned for pictures... they'll follow after the party is done...

March 27, 2008

Card Challenge 1 - Tool-Less


i first saw this card on SCS when i was searching out cards made with the Just Celebrate stamp set... Angie was kind enough to do a tutorial on how to make this card and my spinner card obsession was born...

the owl i stamped with Black Staz On ink on to watercolour paper and used my watercolour pen and my SU inks to paint him... i used Close to Cocoa for the body colour and Old Olive, Creamy Caramel and Summer Sun for the accents... i then cut it out and mounted it on one of the pennies...

the paper i used was Chocolate Chip for the main card, patterned paper from a Costco block, then Old Olive for the slider window... i used Whisper White behind the window to stamp the "Whoo! Hoo!" in Chocolate Chip... i finished of the card by using the white rub ons from the Love & Happiness set...

i actually quite like how this card turned out... a few things i would change would be the crooked "for you" that bugs me to no end... i also sort of wish i had done something more to accent the Old Olive cardstock (either put a rub on flower on it or dragged the edges in Chocolate Chip ink)... let me tell you this, though... i've made this card a few times and it's much easier with a word window punch than an X-acto knife and a ruler... silly challenge contraints!

because i'm a big loser and i think pictures just don't do justice for a spinner card, here's a little video i took of my little owl in action...

video

Recipe:
Inspiration: Angie at Chic N' Scratch / Stampin' Academy (that little owl is the whole reason i bought this stamp set
Paper: Old Olive, Chocolate Chip, Whisper White, patterned paper from a Costco block, watercolour paper
Ink: Black Staz-On, Chocolate Chip, Old Olive, Creamy Caramel, Close to Cocoa, Summer Sun
Stamp Set: Just Celebrate © Stampin' Up
Embellishments: SU Love & Happiness rub ons
Tools: X-acto knife, ruler, paper trimmer, tape roller, watercolour pen, dimensionals

March 25, 2008

link: Paper Pleasing Ideas - No Copics ?? NO PROBLEM !!

although you wouldn't know it from my entries, over the last few months i've started to fall deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole that is rubber stamping... i'm positively obsessed with stamping, reading about stamping techniques, trolling SCS for card making ideas, maintaining a detailed inventory and spending ridiculous amounts on insanely cute Stampin' Up sets...

one tangent of my obsession has been colouring my images... i've read lots about it and even tried a few techniques (water colour pencils, pastels, using my SU ink pads and an aqua pen), but i haven't found a method i love yet...

the one technique that i was struggling with was water colour markers, such as SU's Many Marvelous Markers set... i had seen some demos with the markers and i wasn't impressed with their ease of use... in fact, i had ruled out buying a set, even though i really wanted to use them for inking and they coordinate with the rest of SU's line, because i just couldn't justify the cost for something i wasn't going to use for colouring images...

until now...

i stumbled across Paper Pleasing Ideas and an amazing tutorial on how to get the look of more expensive water colour markers... more importantly, it shows you step-by-step how to use the markers to get "the look" (aka: the lead pencil and mineral spirit technique) that is so popular right now in the stamping world... great job, Julie!

photo credit: Julie @ Paper Pleasing Ideas


Julie just posted a video to go along with her previous tutorial... you can watch it here...

i have a feeling my next order will have a set of Many Marvelous Markers included...

March 12, 2008

Crocheted and felted clutch

Felt crafts of all types are all the rage right now. I’ve been crocheting and felting totes and clutches for several months now so thought I’d share this simple little project. If you can SC (single crochet), you can make this clutch in less than a few hours and for less than $5 (that’s WITH your 40% Michael's coupon).


All it takes is one skein of wool and a size 6 hook. I use Patons Classic Merino Wool. You must use 100% wool or it won’t felt.

My inspiration for this clutch was a leather bag I drooled over in a magazine. Since I winged this one, there isn’t a true pattern. I just chained the length of the desired base, keeping in mind that felting will reduce the size by approximately 30%. SC several rows then SC in the round until it reached the height that I wanted. No adding or reducing required. The only tricky bit was leaving a gap for the handle. The nice thing about felting your crocheted pieces is that it’s very forgiving and you’re not going to notice any small errors.

Here comes the fun part. Throw your completed bag in the wash, preferably in a zippered pillowcase or lingerie bag. Toss in an old pair of jeans to help agitate and wash hot on the lowest water setting. After one cycle check it. It should feel thick and dense and there shouldn’t be any visible stitches. Different colours and types of wool shrink differently so you might want to pop it in again (it will shrink a little more).

Before:

After:



Once you have the desired look simply air dry and add some cute little embellishments (or not) and voila, you have the cutest little felted clutch bag in town!

Ms. Crafty says: kasanika is a second time guest blogger on MCIYN... you can view her Etsy store here...

March 4, 2008

100 Good Wishes Card for Hilary & Darrell

Started: March 4, 2008
Finished: March 4, 2008
Made For: Hilary & Darrell
Pattern: my own design
Materials: 3 colours of card stock, SU Stampin' Emboss powder in clear, VersaMark stamp pad, Dew Drop Brilliance ink in Graphite Black, ladybug ribbon
Tools:: SU Little Holiday Wishes stamp set, SU 1" circle and ticket corner punches, Fiskars 3/8" hole punch, Xyron 150, Zig Writer black pen, heat gun, rotary cutter, roller adhesive
Cost: less than $5
Would I Do It Again? probably not...
Notes / Comments: family friends of ours are going through the process of adopting from China... as part of their journey into parenthood, they've chosen to honour a Chinese tradition and make a Bai Jia Bei, or a 100 Good Wishes quilt... family and friends give pieces of cloth to be made into a quilt and send a wish as well for the child and family... ladybugs are also a sign of good luck, so many times they are a desired fabric choice for these quilts... i happen to have a piece of ribbon with ladybugs on it, which inspired the colour scheme for this card...

and just for fun, here are the fabrics i'm sending for the quilt... the first i found on clearance, but it definitely is baby-themed... the second is actually a scrub top that i've had forever and rarely wore... since part of the Bai Jei Bei tradition is that the fabric come from something you've worn, it seems appropriate that i use a scrub top (especially since Hilary's mum was one of my nursing instructors)...


February 28, 2008

link: quick to blush - Stamping tiles...

i read some great crafting blogs, so i've decided to start highlighting projects that i think are fantastic... the first such project is from quick to blush, which is published by my friend, Jes... she recently shared this beautiful stamped tile she did and a mini-tutorial... i'm so excited to try it myself...

photo credit: Jessica @ quick to blush

February 24, 2008

All Occasion Criss Cross Cards

Started: February 23, 2008
Finished: February 23, 2008
Made For: me!
Inspiration: suen from SCS
Materials: SU Classic Stampin Pad in Ruby Red, Luxe Designs Multi-Coloured Floral rub ons, My Mind's Eye Confetti/Kaleidoscope pattern papers in Surprise "Summer" Dots / Yellow Orange, Surprise "Girlfriends" Polka Dots / Pink, and Surprise "Summer" Stripes / Light Pink
Tools: SU Curvy Verses, Edgy Eloquence, and Much Appreciated stamp sets, McGill Mini File Tab punch, rotary cutter, roller adhesive
Cost: $15
Would I Do It Again? i think i've done this style to death, so probably not...
Notes / Comments: these turned out really well, although i don't dig them as much as the birthday cards i just did...

i used rub ons for the first time since i've started paper crafting... i have memories of rub ons coming with McDonald's Happy Meals and had shied away from them because they never seemed to transfer correctly when i was a kid... as the fabulous Ms. M said last night, "The Hamburglar always ended up without a head." i was surprised at how easily the rub ons transferred and i only screwed it up once (i accidentally scraped the rub on away, as you can see in the last picture)... overall, i give Luxe Designs rub ons a big thumbs up!

February 17, 2008

Selling on Etsy...

Ms. Crafty says: i've asked some of the crafty ladies in my life to guest blog... first up are Spots and kasanika, who have tackled the world of Etsy, a hip online market place...






Etsy is "Your place to buy and sell all things handmade." It's sorta like a cross between eBay and a high-end craft fair. There truly is something for everyone.

Selling on Etsy is super easy and economical. All you need is an original art or craft you can ship, some good photographs, and a credit card. Etsy fees are currently in USD; it's 20 cents to list an item, plus 3.5% when you sell. Each item is listed until it sells, up to 4 months. Most buyers pay using PayPal, so having a PayPal account is a good idea.

The importance of taking good digital photos is crucial. An eye catching photograph draws people into your shop. It's also important to stagger your listings. Keyword searches bring up newest items first, it's ideal to always have one of your items at the top of the pile.

On the front page, the community button leads you into a wealth of information from policies and resources to workshops and chats. Be sure to visit the forums to get tips and tricks from others and to promote your own shop.

Feel free to stop by ours shops, say hi, and add us to your favourites too.

AngelaSpots

kasanika

Ms. Crafty says: as an aside, and a very happy customer, i wanted to mention that kasanika was recently featured in The Storque (Etsy's online zine)... you can read all about it here...