Sunday, December 4, 2011

More cards for sale

Last week I sold all of the gift boxes and 10 general greeting cards, and I made $50 for the church because the guy who bought all the envelopes was so generous he gave me $40 and wouldn't take change... and I have four people who told me that they will definitely be buying some today. So I sat down and made some more (after I went out and spent $10 buying some more glue! The ATG tape runner made 50 cards and expired.) I also bought a new Christian sentiment stamp on sale for four bucks. I think I'll get a lot of use out of it, especially if I keep on selling cards at the church. Right now I'm thinking that I'll repeat the card sales for each holiday that comes up and see how it goes.

In other news, I've ordered my christmas present online - I really wanted to get a $400 Zing cutting machine... but somebody put the Cricut Cake machines on sale for $50 each with two cartridges included, and I'm assured by people who have already bought one that yes, you can use it for paper if you change out the cutting blade for a 'paper' one instead and buy a sticky mat (the frosting mat is nonstick). Even with the extra cost of the  mats and blade, it's less than $100 for a machine that can cut 12x24 (the one I've got now only does 5.5x11.5) I'm so excited!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Christmas Cards for sale

Don't die of shock. I crafted! I've made 50 Christmas cards and 14 card-sized gift boxes to sell for a fund-raiser for my church. The gift boxes are easy once you figure out where to make the score lines... Want to buy any? Cards are $1 each, and if you buy 10 I'll throw in a free gift box.

We were challenged to use only $3 each for supplies for whatever we made/bought/came up with as our fund-raiser. I had $6 to play with because John gave me his. Cardstock is regularly going on sale at Joanns for $2 a pack, and the tape runner I use on my cards costs $3 each. I cut a few decorations with my Cricut, but most of them are punched or stamped. Miss Jo over at the library gave me a whole box of beautiful big Christmas stamps a few months ago, and they were a huge blessing for this project! I didn't use any bought papers - they were all either things people had given me, or I pulled them out of my scrap drawers. It was a real challenge to get into the swing of making cards with stamps and paper rather than all the fancy stickers and embellishments I reach for when cost is not an issue! But I'm very pleased with how they came out when I look at them together.
PS. If you're wondering where the envys came from (they're the most expensive part of a lot of cards), I got a huge stack of Hallmark envelopes for $2 at the thrift store last year. I probably got 500 envys for my $2. That makes them how much each? About 1/4 of a cent! lol These cards haven't even started to make a dent in the pile.

A mixed bag. Cards at the top are cut with my Cricut.

Poinsettias - this was a stamp that I cut out, with punched leaves behind it. I love the way it comes out.

Some traditional holly

Angels/Christian cards

Florida snowmen?

Gift Boxes

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Monogrammed notelets and a quick tutorial

One of the ladies at church wanted me to make her a set of monogrammed notelets, so I took the challenge on with my Cricut. I showed her a few samples last week and she chose the background and floral border punch, and asked me to put a relatively simple monogram in the center.

I wanted to do a classic oval monogram with her last initial in the middle and larger, but I couldn't make it work out the way I wanted it to, so I switched to the more modern rectangular format. But that was too plain, so I made a floral accent for the frame to spiff it up a bit. If she likes these, I have another dozen card bases prepped and waiting for their monogram. The hardest part of the challenge was finding an appropriate alphabet for the lettering. I wanted it to be curly and to SEEM ornate, but if the lines are too delicate or intricate the Cricut won't cut it without tearing the paper. The vine on the frame is really as fine as the Cricut can go. But I was very happy with it in the end, and I hope that Judy is too!
PS. Want to make the simple folder? It's dead easy - just take a regular sheet of cardstock and a scoring tool (I used a bone folder and a metal ruler.) Score the cardstock about two inches from the bottom, then score vertically in the center - but don't forget to do TWO lines so that your little folder will have a spine. Fold the bottom up and fasten the two ends of the flap into a pocket (I just used green staples), and use a hole punch to make small holes further up the cardstock on either side of the spine and on the outside of the card. 

Thread a ribbon through the holes and it will serve to hold the contents in place and to fasten the folder closed at the same time. This folder will hold a dozen flat cards and envelopes if you use an 8-1/2x11 base. If you want make your folder thicker, you'll need to use a larger sheet of cardstock and trim it down to the height you need.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Kiddy cards

Last year I bought a couple of 'sporty' paper packs and some diecuts... and I decided it was time to finally use some of them up and make some kid cards. Not at all my usual style, but fun once I decided what to do with them. I started making them before the challenge was posted, but these match last week's 'Cards for Kids' challenge on the Stars and Stamps blog.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Last cards for the weekend!

We went out to watch the fireworks tonight, and here are some cards I whipped up after we got home. I didn't quite get all the challenges done - in the end I missed the photo inspiration challenge, because I don't have a colour printer to print out the (lovely) photo and I drew a blank when I tried to think about what to do on my own... but it's nearly midnight over here in Florida and I'm about to drop in my tracks, so that will do. My final tally for the weekend is 15 out of the 16 challenges, and 26 cards completed (plus a few false-starts). And my scrap basket looks like it's in imminent danger of avalanche because there's so much stuff piled on top of it. I'll have to clean all that mess up in the morning.

CHALLENGE 9 - EASY AS 1, 2, 3.

Maybe it's just me, but I didn't find this challenge easy! I usually use a bunch of patterned paper on my cards, and not many stamped images. For this challenge I had to set that aside and use ONE paper, TWO different stamped images, and at least THREE words in my sentiment. It took me a couple of attempts to make a card  that would match all three criteria at once. I guess that's what happens when you're hurrying to try to finish something off so late at night! I made another card for this challenge but when I came to scan it, it had mysteriously acquired a big black mark in the middle of the printed sentiment, so I had to put it aside and start again. I got this paper at Joanns and I just love it. I stamped 'for me' with individual lettering stamps to finish the sentiment (it's not quite even but I hope that adds to the charm!), and I layered two seperate cats on top of each other. I love the way they came out, and I'll probably make more of this card when I'm not so tired.


I found some diecuts that I assembled earlier, which would make perfect cards for this challenge, and my 'Nana's Nursery' cardstock pad had a cute strawberry sheet, so it didn't take long to whip these up.


This was going to be for the 1, 2, 3 challenge, but I realised the sentiment only had two words, so I brought in an orange cow to finish it off... I think it's cute.

Something fishy this way comes

These two cards fit two challenges - Challenge 15 and Challenge 16. The first challenge was to make a card with a pun in the sentiment... the second was to use animals as your theme. That makes this pair a twofer... (and yes, that's yet more of the camo sheet transformed into waterweed. The card base went down crooked and I had to cover the bottom corner up so you wouldn't see the white underneath!

Mooning around yet again

I literally dreamed this card up last night... I almost got up to make it at 3am, but I decided that it would keep till morning. At last, my train border punch gets put to good use. (You could also count this for the camo challenge, because I cut up one of the 'camo'-style sheets to get the dark moonlit green...)

4th July Weekend - Sunday

Here are the last of the cards I made yesterday... I'm still way behind!

 Sandy challenged us to make a matching pair of cards using the same paper/images, but reflecting different seasons. I was inspired by a sheet of double-sided paper in my collection. One side is spring green leaves and branches, and on the back it's transformed into a wintery blue. I had a matched pair of gingham ribbons and sparklies that sealed the deal!


Kate demonstrated yet another variety of pinwheel for her challenge - this one uses double-sided paper, and if you can get enough glue in the center to hold it firmly, it's super-simple. Since I already had some double-sided cardstock out from the last challenge, I whipped up a pair of pinwheels and made my cards. (the paper is white, but because the pinwheels are folded they pushed the rest of the card far enough off the scanner to add a big shadow.


How could I go past this one? One sheet of absolutely gorgeous printed paper, a few cuts, some distress ink for the edges, and a sentiment stamp, and I had three almost-instant Wintery cards to start off my box for the next challenge.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

4th July Weekend - backing up to yesterday

I didn't get any of today's challenges done yet because I had church all morning, and some errands to take care of in the afternoon. We also spent some time out by the pool with friends, even though it was very grey today - at least it wasn't raining! But I did make time to back up and do some more of the ones I missed out on yesterday.

Challenge 1 - Camouflage
I bought some camo paper at Joanns specially for making this card... and I used part of a sheet of military paper from the scrapbook shop. It needed something cute to finish it off, so I paper-pieced the little turtle stamp (boy that was fiddly!) and put it on the brown part of the camo paper for contrast.The browny paper is old gold metallic.

I also did Challenge 6 - Howl at the Moon.
I wondered how to get a moon on my card when I didn't have any stamps to use... but then I remembered this cute baby sticker, so I made a sweet little card for somebody's sweet little girl. The cloud paper is a scrap that's been sitting around in my 'pink' box for years waiting for its purpose in life, and it finally found it...

Vintage before and after

I really wasn't quite happy with how this card came out yesterday... I had a brainwave today, so I modified it slightly. I'm much happier with it now! The colours are much more unified, and the punched piece is no longer 'floating' in mid-air... and the butterfly serves more purpose too, because I carefully tucked the new sentiment block underneath the wing.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

More 4th July Challenges

It's getting mighty late so I'm just going to put these in one post, so I can get to bed. I didn't get all the challenges today, but I made a bunch of cards... I didn't get to the first challenge, to number 6, or the last challenge for the day, so I'll try to fit them in tomorrow. I'd like to get ALL the challenges done if I can!

Challenge 4 - What does freedom mean to you (Americana)
Make a patriotic card. Easy enough! This card was so easy it feels like cheating. Somebody gave me this country-style flag image a long time ago, so I coloured it in with markers and coloured pencils, and the card was basically done! I didn't like the blue swirly thing in the center of the star, so I covered it with a star-shaped button that adds a little extra interest to the card. 

Challenge 5 - Vintage cards.
I wasn't quite happy with how my first card came out. I like the stamped background, but the sentiment bar is just kind of floating there and it doesn't tie in very well to the rest of the card...

Then I remembered that I had some lovely vintage diecuts, and I made a second card that came out much better.The diecut is basically olive green with a VERY pale image, so I used a fine tipped marker to lightly trace over the edges of the bird and vine, and I added a little pale pink colour to the flowers. Then I rubbed some distress ink over the top to pull it back into line with the rest of the card.

Challenge 7 - Subway Art.
Nobody was really quite sure what we were meant to do for this challenge, but the gist of it is to use different fonts and colours and to make a block of text the centerpiece of your card. At least that's what I got from it! I don't have a working printer atm, so I used a Thankyou stamp, and coloured in some of the lettering. The little hearts are punched out to add a bit more interest, and I tied a skinny red ribbon around the mat just to finish it off.

4th July Challenge 3

Challenge Three is brought to us by Tanya... she's challenged us to Tie a Yellow Ribbon around this colour combination.
When I saw these lovely rich colours, I leaped to grab my coppery-orange metallic cardstock and a sheet of glittery yellow from DCWV (yes, it has glitter on it, but it's thoroughly embedded in plastic, so it's OWH-safe... how do you tell? - scratch a fingernail over the card as hard as you can and not a fleck comes off.)

My first card uses the now-familiar starburst design that was demonstrated on the Stars and Stamps blog a few weeks ago. I hope everyone isn't tired of it yet - it's a wonderful way to show off a bunch of different patterned papers in one card without it's seeming overcrowded and messy.I kept things super-simple so the papers could sing, and I love how it came out.

After I made my first card, I saw that everyone else was using an actual yellow ribbon on their cards... oops! Luckily I had another sheet of the dark brown cardstock, and after much fiddling around with the offcuts of the other sheets, I came up with a second design. (You'll see more of the dark brown and yellow in another challenge - I tried a few things before I was satisfied with my design.) This card features a baby-sized yellow bow. Believe me it was challenging to get it tied that small, but a big one was just too much of a good thing. I punched two holes in the paper and threaded the ribbon through, then tied a bow on the front. And it wasn't intended to have the skinny stripes on it - I was going to leave a white space between each paper and put some more of the yellow ribbon in, but the gap was uneven and it looked silly, so I covered it up with the offcuts, and fortunately THAT worked out okay.

Challenge 2

Challenge 2  comes to us from the 2 Paw Prints blog. Sheila has challenged us to make a fishbowl card. I thought I had a sheet of patterned paper with a fishy pattern on it, but I couldn't find it, so I dug out my Cricut and I made one from scratch. A fishbowl is basically a circle with the top and bottom cut off, so it wasn't hard. I cut one out of cardstock to check that it would work, and then I made one with patterned paper. They both worked out fine, so I made two cards. The top card uses some cut-up vellum leaves for water-weed, and the bottom is cut from a scrap of patterned paper, and they both use stickers for the fish and shells.

4th July Weekend Party

Operation Write Home is hosting a Challenge Party this weekend to celebrate the 4th July. They'll be linking to a new challenge every two hours today and tomorrow... and I'm going to see how many I can get done! See the Stars and Stamps blog for links to all the challenges as they go live.

Oh yes, and there are prizes!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Randomly hopping the bloghop

If you are looking for my OWH bloghop entry, please scroll down one entry to see my card.

I've been looking through the many beautiful cards in the Operation Write Home bloghop, and there are so many ideas that I couldn't possibly remember them all! So I took a tip from another blogger and plugged the blogs into It gave me a number from 1-132 and I used the card in that blog for inspiration to make my own. And since it's Memorial Day today, I'm trying to stick to the red-white-blue theme.

The first number produced was 93 - the Fiskateers blog. Now that's a good place for me to start! Border punches and shaped scissors are two of my favourite tools, and their simple patriotic card used both (I decided to just use scissors on mine.) I mounted a patriotic sticker onto white cardstock, trimmed it down with my favourite pair of edging scissors and added a touch of red and blue ink. The rosette is raised off the card with some scrap cardstock behind it (popdots are really too thick) and my card was done.

The next cab off the rank is #12 - Lisa's blog Stuff-n-such.  She probably won't recognise her card as my inspiration because she used a Cricut cartridge and a bunch of bling... but I took her basic design and transformed it into a patriotic card. I played around in my supplies and transformed her design into something that would work for my self-challenge. The paisley became a starry patterned paper, and I used a cuttlebug border die to make the 'ribbon'. I wanted to use this heart sticker but it was too small and it looked a bit silly on the card by itself, so I backed it with a scattering of metallic heart stickers and that made it much more of a focal point. Finally, the card needed a little something more, so I dug out my tiny lettering stamps and added an extra sentiment. The biggest challenge with those tiny stamps is getting the wretched things to stick to the acrylic block. They keep sliding around and falling off!

I'd love to do another few cards but I have a shoulder injury and it's telling me that I've been reaching and lifting quite enough for now. I'll come back to this later on.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

It's bloghop time! OWH Memorial Day Bloghop

Time for another blog hop... I almost had to miss out on this one - we were supposed to be out of town, but we had to cancel at the last minute. So here I am to wish you a happy memorial day weekend on behalf of Operation Write Home. If you're following along in order, you should have come from Jennifer's blog - Ink n Scrap Habits. If not, click on the image above to go back to the beginning, or follow along from here.

The theme for this weekend is Missing You cards. I used a pre-printed card base, but covered all but a tiny border with my own cardstock (the back has a 'shadow' pattern printed on it so if they flip the card over it's decorated too.) I used my three favourite techniques for decorating - an reverse-inked embossed sheet for the background using bright cheery orange and golden yellow ink, punch art flowers, and I finished with a few carefully chosen metallic stickers for some bling. (the centers of the flowers are tiny stickers, and the butterfly is metallic orange.) The sentiment is stamped directly onto the cardstock in basic black.

Off to your next blog now - Patty has something for you at her blog Psmitty Papercrafts. But before you go here's your little surprise. Take careful note of it!

PS. People have been asking how to do the reverse embossing. It's simple. Just run your cardstock through the embossing machine, and then flip it over and ink up the BACK of the sheet instead of the front. The ink will go onto the flat parts of the cardstock and stay out of the holes.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

More brown cards

I know it's not Autumn yet, but I love the browny vintage colours, even if I never make fussy lacy cards!
Martha Stewart border punch $4 at Ross! Butterfly is a metal charm, and sentiments are from a printed sheet.

Trying out my texture plates. Top card uses a diecut.

And just so you know that I don't ALWAYS make brown cards here's a couple of oddments with my new border punch.