Friday, December 24, 2010

Die Cut Magnets

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  Cookie Dough Is Not An Ingredient!
I was watching tv the other night and a Pillsbury commercial came on.  The commercial claimed that you could bake cookies with just 3 ingredients and my ears perked up....until I heard what they meant by 3 ingredients...cookie dough, icing and sprinkles!  Since when is "cookie dough" (let alone icing and sprinkles) an ingredient????  What I really wonder is how many ingredients are ACTUALLY in those cookies that Pillsbury is claiming can be made with just 3 ingredients...I might have to go to the store and start counting.  I bet that I'll need 2 columns - one column for the ingredients on the labels of the cookie dough, icing and sprinkles that I can actually pronounce and one column for all of the ingredients I can't pronounce!  No Pillsbury, I likely can't make a cookie from 3 real ingredients, but I can say that whatever I do make with real ingredients will be a lot healthier for me and the ones that I love than the cookies you are selling :) (Okay, I'll get off of my soap box now...but I reserve the right to get back on it at a later date :)
Four Ways Friday will return next Friday.  For today I wanted to share with you a fun gift that I am giving to my friend Emily for her birthday.  Each of these is a refrigerator magnet!  I had thought about spraying them with an acrylic sealer, but since I hadn't tested the ribbon with the sealer, I didn't want to take the chance.  I'll have to try the sealer out another time and see how that works since I think it would make the magnets keep their pretty look for a lot longer.  The letters were die cut from the piece of white chipboard that comes with the Stampin' Up! designer series paper (don't throw that chipboard out - you can definitely use it!).  I then used Tombo Mono multi adhesive to adhere the fine silver glitter and then covered the glittered letters with Crystal Effects and let them dry.  I used mini glue dots to adhere all of the little ribbon loops.  Here is a close up of one of the magnets...I hope you like them!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

2011 CD Calendar Continued!

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  Whatever You Have Is Exactly What You Need To Produce Your Best Work
Today's lesson, like yesterday's, comes from the book Art & Fear by David Bayles & Ted Orland.  I've realized that there are many ways that I avoid the risk that art making involves.  I tell myself that I need to straighten/clean/organize the craft room before I can create.  Or I tell myself that I need to run out or jump on-line to purchase that special, amazing art tool/item/product that is going to finally change everything and make everything that I create worthy of the walls of the National Gallery of Art!  What I need to keep reminding myself is that whatever I have is exactly what I need to produce my best work - whatever my craft room looks like, whatever tools I'm using, whatever I'm feeling like at the moment, is exactly what I need to create my best work at that time.  I think about artists who drew pictures on the walls of caves and those who found whatever tools they could use to express the art inside of them during the Holocaust.  The need to create, is exactly that, a need - and everything necessary to fulfill that need is right there with you.  All you need to do is take the risk to let that art out!
Today I'm sharing the remaining half of the year from my 2011 CD calendar with you (you can see the first 6 months in yesterday's blog post).  Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

2011 CD Calendar

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  To Require Perfection Is To Invite Paralysis
Today's lesson comes from the book Art & Fear by David Bayles & Ted Orlando (I highly recommend it!).  When making a handcrafted project, it can be easy to fall into the trap of trying to be "perfect."  Trying to make your work look like it was created by a finely adjusted technological marvel that can apply ink evenly to every spot on a rubber stamp and can apply even and consistent pressure to make the exact impression every time....let alone come up with the perfect, harmonious design elements that elicit ooh's and ahh's from anyone who views the final project!  Well, I don't know about you, but whenever I start trying to achieve anything close to "perfection," I find myself stiffening up, stamping like a whirling dervish with vertigo and, at the worst, walking out of the craft room altogether, totally deflated!  It's time to recognize that requiring perfection from ourselves in inviting paralysis.  If, instead, we can approach our craft with a heart filled with love and a playful spirit, no matter what we create, we will grow and change in the process.  I wish you many moments of playfulness as you create!!!!
Today's project is my yearly calendar.  This year I decided to do a CD case calendar.  I created the template for the months in Pages on my Mac and then printed them off onto Whisper White card stock cut to 4 3/4" x 4 3/4".  This is the perfect size to slide into the opened CD case.  I used current Stampin' Up! stamp sets to stamp all of the months.  Once I stamp all of the months, I wrap them together in this card stock holder that can sit on the back of the CD case once it is opened on a desk/tabletop.
I will share half of the year with you today and the other half tomorrow! :)
Don't forget that you can use hearts to make great shamrocks for St. Patrick's Day!  Try it freehand, or use your stamp-a-ma-jig if you want to be a bit more precise (but watch out for trying to be perfect!).  I drew the stems freehand.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Elizabeth Anniversary Card

Today's Question From The Craft Room:  What Does It Take To Be Married For 41 Years?
Today's card is for the 41st wedding anniversary of a couple who lives down the street.  As I made the card I began to wonder, what does it take to be married for 41 years?  I guess it is a question I could ask them and I'm also interested in my own answer to the question.  What I think the ingredients must be to sustain a loving relationship for that length of time.  I believe it would take unconditional love - loving someone when they act in ways you appreciate and still loving them in those times when they act in ways that you wish they wouldn't.  It also must take some selflessness - a recognition that the person you are in relationship with, like you, has needs and wants and goals and aspirations and sometimes that means that both of you make sacrifices to support each other in pursuing and achieving goals.  I also believe it takes a lot of laughter - the ability to not take life or each other so seriously.  Patience must have something to do with it too - the ability to persevere when things aren't exactly as each of you would like.  I'm sure I'll spend more time pondering the essential ingredients - but for now, that's my recipe.  What do you think?
Today's card was my first use of the Elizabeth stamp and I fell in love immediately! :)  I stamped the image with Chocolate Chip ink onto Confetti card stock and it immediately looked elegant!  I used my stamp-a-ma-jig to center the greeting from Teeny Tiny Wishes in the center of the oval in Early Espresso ink.  I added some dazzling diamonds with my 2-way glue pen and place a few pearl jewels around the image.  I used the Calendar Alphabet & Numbers set to stamp the "41" in Soft Suede ink on Very Vanilla card stock and punched it out with a 1/2" circle punch.  I sponged the edges and added a bit of crochet thread and a tiny pearl and then popped it up on 1/2 of a dimensional.  I hope you like it!