Saturday, November 2, 2013

Amped Up!

I know I've been AWOL... believe me, I've not be idle!

For now though I just wanted to share a quick post about the My Digital Studio challenges going on right now at the MDS Blog. I had a go at the first one, with the kit "Amped Up Ampersands". Today they have a FREE stamp brush set to download so be sure to check it out!

This is a little tag enclosing a Lego Minifig package for each of my nephews. I love choosing & giving gifts and usually I tie one of these minifigure packs to my tag, but I thought I'd try something different this year and make it a mini gift all of its own! When I saw the kit "Amped Up Ampersands" I thought it'd be perfect for just adding that little extra...

The tag measures 3.5" x 9.5" when printed, you just score it at 4.5" and 5" to get the little enclosure, then tie your ribbon through punched holes & the Minifig package itself. Voila!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Googly Tags

This is a guest blog post for my sister's shop, Millymog (her blog is here). 

Hello! My name is Bexx and I am Emma's much younger sister (Sorry Em, couldn't resist!). I live in Southern Maryland with my husband, two little boys & cat. I occasionally help Emma out tweaking images for the Millymog website but more often you can find me sewing, knitting, crocheting or papercrafting. Emma asked me if I would share an easy craft project on her blog, so here it is!

When we were kids, our mum & dad would wrap our Christmas presents and separate them out in the living room. Our older brother Richard's presents would be on one chair, mine on another, and Emma's on the sofa. However, they would NEVER EVER have tags on them, so usually at least twice on Christmas morning, a non-plussed Emma would open up some underpants, or Richard would be stunned by a beautiful make-up set. I am now a huge fan of using gift tags, one per gift.

I'm going to share with you today how I whip up cute and easy gift tags for all occasions. They don't need a lot of fancy equipment, although there are a few things that would be helpful, if you REALLY get into making tags.

Step 1: Make or buy your tag. You can usually buy luggage labels from WHSmith, or from places like Amazon or eBay. If you've bought them, skip to step 2. However, if you want to make them super personalised, it isn't difficult. First up, find some good card. I like to use neutral colours so that when you're writing them, you don't need a fancy pen. But coloured card also looks awesome.

Next, you need to cut your card to about 10cm x 5cm, or 4in x 2in. Then, mark a spot in the middle near the top of your tag. That's where your string is going to go.

If you want to reinforce the hole, punch out two 1/2" circles and stick them over the dot. You can use any colour for this, cheerier the better!

You then need to punch your hole in the tag. A standard office hole punch works perfectly for this, or if you have a craft punch, that works too. Just make sure that, if you used reinforcement, you wait until the glue has dried. Otherwise your punch is going to mangle the whole thing up.

Next, you need to add your string. I use a lot of baker's twine - it's cheap, readily available & cheery! But you could use garden twine for a rustic look, wool if you have it lying around, anything really. You need to fold your length of string in half, poke the loop through the hole, then string the ends through the loop. You just made a Lark's Head knot, former scouts & guides!!

Step 2: Stamp your image on your tag. I used a stamp set called Fox & Friends from Stampin' Up!, but you could use anything with eyes. I also used Stampin' Up! ink as I have it on hand, but there are lots of different brands available from craft shops.

Step 3: Take your googly eyes (get them from that craft shop we mentioned, or raid your kids' art box, or sometimes you can find them in haberdasheries) and glue them on. You're all done! Easy eh?

Step 4: Run with the concept and make tags for all occasions. Here's a Hallowe'en tag using exactly the same idea, and a Christmas tag to which I added a couple of jingly bells and replaced the googly eyes with glitter glue.

I've enjoyed blogging with you today. I'd love to see your tags - check out my own blog, the Dented Spoon, if you'd like to share your tags with me, or to see more ideas.

Bexx xxxxxx

Friday, April 19, 2013

Beautiful Basics match report!

Well, I did my FIRST CLASS today - Beautiful Basics!

My aim was to help people release their creativity by showing them how to START card making. So, we covered cutting cardstock, scoring, matting, making the most of your stamps, colour coordination... etc etc. It was great because as I got them to do all the cutting, I just put the stacks of paper out & let them loose! That probably wouldn't work with too many more people but I am going to limit numbers. In fact, I already have 3 sign-ups for the next class, Embossing Extravaganza! (May 23rd - more details to follow)

Janette (and Solomon!) fiddling with ribbon.

Laura working away!

Janette's cards. Didn't she do a fab job!?

And Laura's cards! Can you believe it was her first time stamping?

It was lovely to stamp with friends today. I also did MORE stamping today, my upline Heather and I had a stamping lunch at Panera. I managed to get all of Jacob's (admittedly very simple - I'm ninja'd out!) thankyou cards done. All I have to do now is write them & mail them! 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Where WERE you Bexx?

So, looking at my blog last night I noticed it had been neglected for weeks earlier in late March/April. Well, I was very busy!

Both Jacob and Leo had the same due date (March 30th) however Jacob was 8 days overdue (April 7th 2008 he burst into the world!) and Leo was a planned c-section on March 27th 2012. So, both my boys have birthdays at around the same time. Well, as it was Leo's first birthday, I couldn't let that pass by unnoticed. And Jacob had his little heart set on a Ninjago party.

I thought I'd show a couple of pics from Leo's birthday tonight. I was inspired in the colour scheme by Stampin' Up!'s "Sent with Love" bundle.

Sent With Love Designer Series Paper

I just love this paper & colour scheme! It'll be all gone come April 30th though so if you fancy it, you need to jump on it!

Here was Leo's party. I chose to use pinwheels as the main theme and did a candy buffet. It was a lot of work, but really fun & I was thrilled with the results.

Cake pops! Took ages but tasted divine.

Cupcakes. Not my strength, but my 2013 resolution is to learn to cook a good cupcake. Without a packet mix! 

The boys in the morning before the big do. Jacob chose the tunnel for his pressie for Leo. Leo was very puzzled by the whole concept!

I'll post a few more pics of what I've been up to in the last few weeks over the next few days.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Something slightly different!

I've been preparing for my Beautiful Basics class on Thursday (only two spots left!) and I thought I'd share the little handout I put together. It's full of hints & tips, such as guidelines for cutting & scoring cardstock, colour selection, matting, a few useful links, and all the details of the supplies I'll be using on Thursday.

Beautiful Basics Handout

I've tried to keep things very simple & used just one stamp set to create a versatile birthday card, a Christmas card and a fun general purpose card. It's a great starting point for newcomers to the craft & I know that more seasoned stampers would find the class interesting too. Here's a sneak peek:

I'll share some more pictures after Thursday. Don't want to steal my own thunder! Ha!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Beautiful Basics & Balti....more!

Just a quick heads-up about Beautiful Basics on Thursday. I am going to attempt to teach the basics of stamping, and we will be making 3 gorgeous cards from scratch. Nope, I'm not going to do all the cutting. Nope, you will not get a lovely little stack of all the pieces you need. YOU are going to LEARN how to do all that, all using one versatile stamp set & punch. Doesn't that sound brill? Well, I still have 3 spots left. A reminder of the details:

Beautiful Basics

Apr 18 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM  (Eastern )

OK so you have a few stamps, a bit of paper & some cardstock. How do you take the next step & turn them into gorgeous hand-made cards? This class is for you if:
- you bought stuff and now don't remember what to do with it (!)
- you want some fresh ideas for making the most of your stamps
- you just need a little prod in the right direction
- you just fancy stamping, chatting & giggling with friends
Class is $10 (this covers the cost of supplies) and you will come away with 3 gorgeous cards. Please bring your own scissors & adhesive. Place an order of $25 (before shipping & handling) and your class is HALF PRICE. Place an order of $50 (before shipping & handling) and your class is FREE. Can't say fairer than that! :D

I am going to have a sneak peek of one of the cards for you tomorrow. I'd love for you to join us so drop me a line if you're interested.

OK now another Baltimore snap! It was fabulous, and I am now really wanting to go to Convention. Sadly I can't this year, but I very much hope to be there in 2014!

Yup - it had to be done! (l-r) my upline & awesome friend Heather, SHELLI GARDNER (!!!!!!) and me. (If you aren't a stamper, Shelli Gardner is one of the co-founders of Stampin' Up! and a lovely person. I don't hug strangers though!) Spot the Brit - clue, it's all in the teeth! My hair started off all swooshy & straight too, then I had to dash out to a very sunny but very windy Charm City and it all went wrong. However here's a pic of me "mainlining" before kick off, when my hair still looked good! 

Please note, YES I am always that red! I have a naturally pink complexion & don't do makeup. Ever!

Do you like our lanyards? I sewed them with this fantastic tutorial! I fear the SU! fabric may not be around too much longer so if you have your eye on any of our beautiful designs, it might be a good time to stock up. But, what do I know!? :D
Right, enjoy your day, think of me as I catch up on chores I missed out on over the weekend!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Baltimore regional part 1!

Oh I have had such a fab weekend. My upline Heather and I came to Baltimore for the Stampin' Up! Regional. I have so much to share but here's a quick highlight whilst I'm on my iPhone...

Heather at breakfast looking... Sleepy! And me with just some of the awesome swaps. Can you tell I have been super energised?

Monday, March 18, 2013

Actual Ninjago Invitation Tutorial!

Sorry about failing to do this yesterday. Here it is for your delectation!

First up - a preview. The yellow bit slides out of the card and has all the info about the party below the eyes. I used Garden Green (for Lloyd / the Green Ninja) but of course you could use Real Red (Kai), Pacific Point (Jay), Whisper White (Zane) or Basic Black (Cole, my personal favourite Ninja!).

1. Take an 8.5" x 11" sheet of Garden Green cardstock and cut it in half lengthwise. This means cutting the sheet to measure 4.25"x11", you end up with two halves, each a long rectangle. Score the card across at 5.5" and fold to make a card. The fold should be at the bottom so that you can slide the insert in. A quick pic for visual learners:

2. Making the eye hole: Grab a small oval punch/framelit and punch an oval in the top on one side only, around an inch from the top. Then, punch two 1" circles at either end of the oval cut, to give you your eye hole.

3. Making the head piece: Take Champagne Gold glimmer paper (silver would work too) and put it into the 5 petal punch (this is retired - that's a bit tragic!) so that you get 3 petals punched:

Tip - hold the punch upside-down so that you can see what you're doing. Then take your largest circle punch (2 1/2"), and grab the 3-petal piece by the middle petal. Holding the circle punch upside-down, slide the piece into the punch so that you will get a nice curved base to the headpiece.

This is what you should end up with!

Stick this piece onto your card, having the bottom curve overhang the eyehole slightly to give that characteristic shape:

4. Making the shirt & collar: Using the Full Heart punch, cut a heart from black cardstock:

Adhere this to the card at about 1/4" up from the base fold:

Next, cut some 1/4" strips from your glimmer paper:
Use Tombow mono-multi to adhere them on, trimming once they are stuck down:

5. Making the headscarf:

Cut a rectangle of Garden Green paper 2" x 4.25". Place this into your Woodgrain embossing folder & emboss using your Big Shot.
Stick this firmly across the top of the heart, covering up the blobby bits (such a technical term!) AND the bottom of the eye hole:

6. Finishing off the "wallet" part - using your 1" punch, cut a semi-circular notch into the top of the back of the card, to allow the recipient to slide the insert out:

Then, using Snail adhesive, stick the two long-sides of the card to seal the wallet:

Ta-da! The wallet part is DONE:

7. Making the insert - cut a rectangle 3.25" x 5" from Daffodil Delight cardstock.

I then printed off the details of the party onto a 2.5" x 2.5" square of Whisper White card and adhered it to the bottom of the yellow piece. But I didn't take any pics because I don't want a million people at this blinking party! :D

8. Doing the eyes - the faffy bit! - put your Daffodil Delight card into the wallet, to ensure correct placement of the eyes:
Cut 2x 1/4" circles from Basic Black cardstock and stick in place. I used the my Xyron to do this as I had 24 of these to make:

Then, using your hand-held 1/8" circle punch, make the white specks from Whisper White cardstock and stick them on using 2-way glue:

See the spike tool with a grim-looking blob at the end? I grabbed a blob of used adhesive from my adhesive remover & stuck it to the end of the spike to help me control the placement of the white bits.

Finally, the brows. I cut some super-thin (1/16" or possibly even smaller) strips of Basic Black cardstock, ran them through the Xyron & cut them into equal-length chunks. Adhere those to the card at an angle and you're done!

Hope that helps if you are planning a similarly crazy party. Or even if you just have a Ninjago-crazed little guy in your life! Feel free to ask questions if I wasn't clear.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Ninjago Invitation Tutorial

Wahoo! I got Jacob's party invitations finished. I also took loads of pictures and I am going to share a tutorial with you... Tomorrow. Bit of a dramatic day chez Spoon and I'm wiped out!

Here's a teaser!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Crossing my fingers....


Cleaned my floors today, did the groceries, changed the beds, did the laundry... what a fun Saturday! But hopefully it leaves me with a clearish run on Sunday crafting.

I am hoping to knock together some instructions for Jacob's birthday party invitations. I googled & Pinterest'ed "Ninjago Punch Art" without much success so I had a go at my own. My first ever punch art and I have to say, my nearly 5 year old was impressed so it must be kind of ok!

Also, my "Beautiful Basics" only has 3 spots left so get in quick if you fancy it! I am ruminating over some ideas at the moment... you may even see sneak peeks!

Wish me a good night's sleep and an obliging husband for tomorrow!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Beautiful Basics Class

Mark your calendars now - I'm hosting a Beautiful Basics class on 18th April.

"OK so you have a few stamps, a bit of paper & some cardstock. How do you take the next step & turn them into gorgeous hand-made cards? This class is for you if:

- you bought stuff and now don't remember what to do with it (!)
- you want some fresh ideas for making the most of your stamps
- you just need a little prod in the right direction
- you just fancy stamping, chatting & giggling with friends

Class is $10 (this covers the cost of supplies) and you will come away with 3 gorgeous cards. Please bring your own scissors & adhesive. Place an order of $25 (before shipping & handling) and your class is HALF PRICE. Place an order of $50 (before shipping & handling) and your class is FREE. Can't say fairer than that! :D"

 Let me know if you fancy it - I only have space for 5 stampers!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Virtual Stamp Night

Oh, how I love Splitcoast Stampers! Every so often they arrange a "Virtual Stamp Night". The latest was yesterday evening and all day today (Theme: Bugs, Birds & Butterflies). Well, I didn't manage any challenges last night, and today I was flying solo with the boys all day while Stew worked, so I only got to start at 7pm. But it was still loads of fun & I love the cards I made!

MAR13VSNL was a challenge to use things beginning with B. Well, I included a few. How many can you count? :D

I had Jacob "helping" me with this one (cue lots of random small pieces of cardstock all over the floor). The stamp of the zeppelin (though it could also be called a Blimp!) is from Moving Forward, the Ronald MacDonald House set in the current SU! catalogue. Love, love, LOVE that set.

MAR13VSNM asked for a scene inspired by the rhyme "Incey Wincey Spider", incorporating some kind of weather, and a bug:

Shockingly that one isn't SUO, it isn't even close. Whenever I'm using stamps from another company, I always pair them with SU!'s cardstock, ink & accessories. They're just awesome quality and I wouldn't be without them!

MAR13VSNN emphasised that bugs aren't just for boys! The challenge was to make a girly, blinged up bug card:

Believe it or not, this was my SECOND attempt at heat embossing, and it still messed up. I ran out of time & couldn't do it again so I'll aim to fix it another time! I also used my precious stash of textured paper here... UPSIDE DOWN!!! The texture just doesn't show up well!

MAR13VSNO asked for the Cracked Glass Technique. And I gave up! I am too tired tonight to be running back and forth from the freezer... :D

With a bit of luck and a following wind, I might be able to get a few more challenges done tomorrow. But I have to say, there's nothing like doing them live!