Friday, March 30, 2012

Four Ways Friday #84: Decorative Label Punch

F'or this week's Four Ways Friday I decided to play with the Decorative Label Punch!  This punch is one of my all-time favorites and it was fun to discover a few new ways to use it!  Enjoy!
I began with a traditional use for the punch.  I stamped images from Rue Des Fleur and Established Elegance onto Baja Breeze card stock using VersaMark and then heat embossed with vanilla scented embossing powder (yum!).  I then punched it out using the decorative label punch.  I also punched another label out of Naturals Ivory card stock and used it to create a layer underneath the first punch (you can see how I did this in the video below).  I used VersaMark, Crumb Cake ink and vanilla scented embossing powder to stamp the Young Vermilion bird and then cut him out.  I punched a bunch of Crumb Cake 1" circles and glued them to the Crumb Cake card base.  Next I tied a piece of Baja Breeze seam binding around the card and added the stamped pieces using dimensionals.
You can use your decorative label punch to create great brackets for your cards and scrapbook pages!  Here is a video to show you how I created the brackets with the punch!

Spring is definitely in the air here in Denver, so I decided I had to make a card with flowers!  For this card I punched out a decorative label from Pool Party card stock.  Next I cut it in half and then ran the half through the Big Shot with the Elegant Lines embossing folder.  I stamped the sentiment from Teeny Tiny Wishes onto the Whisper White card base and then added the "vase" with dimensionals.  Next I punched a bunch of branches/leaves using my 2-step bird punch and adhered them to the card using glue.  Finally, I punched some Melon Mambo flowers using my Itty Bitty Shapes Punch Pack and adhered them to the card with glue.  Adhesive pearls were added for the flower centers.
My final card was inspired by this card by fellow SU! demonstrator Lisa Young (thanks Lisa!).  I made quite a few modifications, but the idea to use the decorative label punch to make little train cars was put in my head after seeing her card!  I punched the labels from designer series paper and then cut them down to train car size :)  I added 1/2" circles with brads as the wheels.  The animals are all from Furry Folk.  It's hard to believe that Sale-a-Bration ends tomorrow!  If you haven't gotten ahold of the Outlined Occasions stamp set (the set I used for the sentiments on this card), now is your last chance!  You can get this set for free through March 31st with a $50 product purchase.  Click HERE to shop now!
I hope you've enjoyed this week's Four Ways Friday!!!!  I hope these ideas inspire you to play around with your Decorative Label punch to see what you can come up with!!!!  Wishing you a wonderfully creative and peaceful weekend!!!!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Flirtatious Designer Fabric Bookmark

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  Quality Makes A Difference
Have you ever bought matches at a store?  We keep matches around the house for emergencies, to light candles, and also to mask unpleasant odors in the air (a pack of matches can always be found in the bathroom...that might be too much information to be sharing :)  Anyway, I had bought our last matches on a trip to the dollar store.  For $1 I got two large boxes of kitchen matches.  I thought that was a pretty great deal...until I started trying to light them!  They would not "catch" when I tried to light them.  Most of the time, the match would just break in half!  I thought maybe it was me - I mean I haven't spent a lot of time working on my match striking technique.  But after weeks of trying, the outcome was no different.  So, on a recent trip to another store - not of the "dollar" variety - we decided to splurge and actually paid almost $3 for two boxes of matches that were the same size as the ones we had gotten at the dollar store.  The matches, however, were a different brand.  These were by Diamond.  Well let me tell you, it was definitely not my technique!!!!!  These matches are outstanding!!!!!  The minute I strike them they light!  It doesn't even take much pressure!  And I have yet to break a match in half!!!!!  Did you ever think someone could be so happy about matches?!?!  Well, I am!  And when I think about the price, I realize that the "expensive" matches really aren't costing more because I have wasted so many of the cheap ones just trying to get them to light (not to mention my frustration!).  So this consumer has learned, yet again, that quality really does make a difference! :)
Speaking of quality, have you tried Stampin' Up!s Whisper White card stock?  If not, I strongly encourage you to give it a try!  I LOVE it...and believe me, I went through a lot of different card stock before recognizing that quality makes a huge difference in my cards and paper craft projects!  (I love our other card stock as well, but I have a particular special love for Whisper White and Very Vanilla - they are so smooth!!!)
Have you gotten your free Flirtatious designer fabric yet?????  Sale-a-bration ends on at the end of March so there are just a few more days to take advantage of getting a free item with every $50 product purchase you make!  I used my free Flirtatious designer fabric to create this fabric bookmark.  I began by stamping the greeting from Loving Thoughts using Staz-On ink onto Whisper White satin ribbon.  I machine-sewed the greeting to the front of the bookmark and then hand-sewed the buttons.  Next came the Pear Pizzazz pleated satin ribbon.  Once all the sewing was done on the front of the bookmark, I sewed the back piece of fabric to the front piece of fabric.  Next came the crop-a-dile to add some large eyelets.  Finally I added some fabric strips to the eyelet and frayed the edges of the ribbon!  I hope you like it :)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Out On A Whim Wednesday: Compost Collage

Today's Question From The Craft Room:  Where Is The Beauty Around You?
We have a double sink in the kitchen.  In the left-hand side of the sink we keep a stainless steel bowl.  Whenever we have vegetable scrapings, coffee grounds, tea bags, even used napkins, they find their way into the stainless steel bowl.  It is our compost bowl.  Every day we walk the bowl out to the backyard and place the contents into one of our compost bins.  We began composting a few years ago and now it is one of my favorite things!  To watch what would have otherwise been put in a garbage can and eventually into a landfill actually turn into rich dark earth is an amazing thing!  Every year in the Spring we use our amazingly rich compost dirt to add soil to our vegetable garden and the process begins all over again.  It really is the circle of life...right in our own backyard!
On this particular day, as I went to grab the compost bowl out of the sink, the contents struck me as being amazingly beautiful!  I had to grab my camera and take a picture of the collage that was staring up at me!  Yes, you are looking at my compost bowl - coffee grounds, the base of bok choy, water and all :)  And what I see is beauty :)  Where is the beauty around you?
If you're interested, here is a quick video of what the compost looks like after it has been left to sit over the winter months...

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Blossom Punch "Love" Altered CD

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room: You Can't "Win" Unless You Are Willing To Enter
Today's project is one that I sent in to Stampin' Up! for one of the monthly contests in the Stampin' Success magazine.  I am always a bit jittery about sending my creations out there into the world to be "judged."  I have sent in submissions to this contest a number of times.  One time I received an honorable mention (and a free stamp set!) and another time, after not hearing anything, I actually saw my creation on one of the boards at the yearly convention (it was a nice surprise!).  I also have a bit of a hard time entering this contest because, unlike some of the other magazine contests where you only have to send in photos of your creations to determine if you then need to send in the actual item, for this one you need to actually send the item in to enter (and sometimes I get a bit attached to the things I create :)  So, with my reluctance and with a lot of love, I sent this creation in.  It did not win anything...other than my knowing that I tried.  I have to say that "I tried" is a reward in and of itself.  You can't "win" unless you are willing to enter.  I may not have won the recognition or the 3 stamp sets that come with winning this contest.  What I did "win" is the knowledge that I'm willing to take risks.  The knowledge that I am willing to let go, even when it's not easy.  The knowledge that I put myself out there and was willing to see what would happen.  Now if I can take those lessons into the rest of my life I know a lot of personal growth will happen!!!!!
I love altering CDs.  In the job that I do I often have CDs to store back-up presentations (just in case my computer gets stolen/damaged when I travel).  After the event, the CD is no longer of use to least not for work outside of the craft room! :)  I love to cover CDs with designer series paper and embellishments to create door hangings, wall hangings, mini books...the sky is the limit!  Here I used Flirtatious designer series paper and my blossom punch to create a bouquet of flowers for both the front and back of this CD.  I used the crop-a-dile to add an eyelet at the top of the CD so that I could thread my striped ribbon through.  The paper doily adds a bit more interest to the CD.  The letters were stamped and embossed using the Lovely Letters Alphabet, Melon Mambo ink, VersaMark and clear embossing powder.
I hope you like it...and if you don't, that's okay...this piece has given me the lessons that I need :)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Top Note Bunny Box

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  A Change Is Gonna Do You Good!
It felt great to take a break from blogging last week!  And it is also good to be back :)  I haven't yet made up my mind about how I want to change my blogging habit, but I know I do want to change it and have it not feel like such a "must do."  I may move to blogging 2 to 3 times per week.  As soon as I figure out which days I'll be blogging and which days I'll be taking "off," I'll let you know :)  Of course, if you have a preference or some thoughts about what you would like to see, I would love to hear from you!  I haven't made up my mind yet and your thoughts would definitely be part of my consideration!!!!!  What would you prefer to see?  2 times a week?  3 times a week?  What days work best for you?  I would love your feedback!  Whatever we decide, I definitely know, a change is gonna do me good :)
A friend came over last week and wanted to make some Easter gift boxes for her nieces and nephews.  I didn't have anything planned in advance, but I knew she loved the top note boxes we had made for Halloween last year.  So, we jumped on the computer and googled "top note bunny" and "top note rabbit," and the ideas came pouring in!  A lot of times I like to do things from "scratch," without looking at other ideas, but this time since we had a limited amount of time to get her boxes done, we decided to look for inspiration from our fellow crafters.  And needles to say, they definitely delivered!!!!!  There are a TON of ideas out there!!!  We particularly liked the bunny that Dee had put together (thanks for the inspiration Dee!).  We made some changes to the bunny - adding pipe cleaner whiskers and a pom-pom tail as well as a greeting from Teeny Tiny Wishes.  Here is a side view of the box that we created (I'm not sure how others have made the box, but we found this to work perfectly.  You may be wondering why the inside box is black...they were leftover boxes from my Halloween Treat workshop!!!! :)
Here is the photo of what happens when you leave two bunny boxes alone in the craft room: