Thursday, December 11, 2014

Washi tags

Every year I decide to make my own tags.  Some years they are pretty elaborate.  One year I cut tag shapes with my cricut and called it good.  This year, I've made a few pretty elaborate tags, but for the most part I am using shipping tags and washi tape.

I have tons of washi tape - does anyone ever finish a roll? So this is a great way to use some of it up and add a personal touch to my packages.  So I am layering on the washi, adding an embellishment or two, and calling it done.  Here are some examples.
You can create really different looks by mixing different washi tapes and placing differently.  And you can coordinate perfectly with your wrapping paper.  (Or just make tags you like and buy wrapping paper that matches your tags - I've done that before.)

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Using Scraps - Banners

Not everything in December can be about Christmas.  And over the weekend I really needed a break from the holiday rush.  So I decided to do a layout that is not about Christmas.  

When I'm working with my Studio Calico kits for the current month, I save every scrap - no matter how small.    So as the month ends, I tend to have lots of bits of patterned paper.  And I know I will throw some of them away when I mix the kit in with my stash, so I feel pressured to use them.

So this month I decided to mix lots of scraps to create banners to set off a photo block.  

The mix of colors and patterns created a fun, bright layout that was perfect for these pictures celebrating the one year anniversary of "gotcha day" with our sweet Jerry.  We adopted him from our local animal shelter, and he has brought us so much joy. 

But I was a bit stuck with title placement.  I finally decided to use the large wood veneer number like another banner and really love the way it works with the rest of the design.

Monday, December 8, 2014

A Quick and Easy Christmas Card

This time of year is super crazy at my house.  No matter how often I say that we are going to have a relaxed and enjoyable holiday, it seems like everything goes nuts starting the day after Thanksgiving.  And this year is no exception.  So last week passed in a blur of holiday craziness with work and school squeezed in. 

But over the last couple years, I've learned that a few quiet minutes in my scrap room each day go a long way to maintaining my sanity.  So this weekend I was determined to get back on track.  My craft room is a disaster right now which makes me crazy, but I squeezed in some crafty time - the organizing is going to have to wait.

I woke up Sunday with an idea for a card inspired by paper from Studio Calico's card kit last month.  I knew it would come together quickly, so it was perfect project for this time of year. 

I started with a plain white card base - I know they are easy to make, but I buy them just because it makes things so quick and easy.  I trimmed the great tree paper from the Walden card kit so that it was slightly smaller than the card.  Then I added a piece of vellum over the patterned paper. 

I knew I wanted to create a simple cluster in the bottom corner of the card.  I pulled out the stamp from this month's embellishment kit - Waldorf.  It had a small pine branch that was just what I had in mind.  I stamped the image a couple of times with Studio Calico Color Theory Yes Peas Ink and made sure the images overlapped slightly.

For the sentiment I used the stamp from the Garland Road project life add-on (November 2014) from Studio Calico and Gold Galax Brilliance Ink.  I placed the image just to the side and below the branches.  I pulled out one of those "vintage" wood veneer "tweets" from Studio Calico to link my sentiment and pine branches.  I colored it a soft red with a pale tomato Hero Arts ink dauber.    It just took a few tiny gold star sequins to finish it off.

I love when a project is inspired by a paper or embellishment.  They always seem to come together so quickly.  Link me up with your last project inspired by a supply in the comments.  I will pick one link at random for a $5 Studio Calico gift card.  I will choose a winner on December 21 - that way you will have the gift card in plenty of time for the January kit reveal.

I still have to pick the winner of my holiday giveaway - hopefully in the next few days. It totally got away from me last week.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, December 1, 2014


For the first time in more than 20 years, I wasn't hosting Thanksgiving.  So I had some extra time.  So I decided to make some special holiday tags.  (It was the perfect project because I could work easily in small bits of time and finish each tag pretty quickly.)  Plus I made a dent in my never-ending holiday stash. 

I started with 10 plain white shipping tags.  I laid them out on an old piece of cardboard like this.

 I pulled out my favorite multi-media product ever - the gold martha stewart liquid gilding and a foam brush.  (I've learned that foam brushes work really well with this product and, because they are so inexpensive, you can just throw them away when you are done.)

 I painted the tags with the liquid gilding and had 10 shiny gold tags that would serve as the base for my project.  The liquid gilding dries super fast, so I was ready for the fun part in no time.  I pulled out a box of miscellaneous christmas embellishments and started to put together different combinations of paper scraps and embellishments. 

The best part of this project was the ability to create a really different feel for each tag.  Here are some of my favorites.

 I love the vintage feel of this one.  And the soft texture from the scrap of handmade paper that is behind the Santa.  Initially the red twine was not a bold enough finish but when I doubled up, it was perfect.

 These colors are way less traditional, and the effect is much cleaner than the first tag.  I doubled up the twine again here for a stronger impact from the trim.

Tags are also a great way to experiment with different techniques.  I experimented with silkscreen and acrylic paint over the liquic gilding on this tag.  The result wasn't as clean as I wanted, but it still created a fun look.  Tags are a great place to experiment with techniques!

This is my favorite - I had been looking for a chance to use that plaid washi from Freckled Fawn.  And the deer from the Gossamer Blue Get Happy wood veneer is awesome (I used a couple coats of black color shine to color it).  I finished it off with wide red satin ribbon which helped to balance the visual weight from the deer.

And here is a picture of all 10 tags. 

Some of them will end up on gifts and others will end up as part of holiday projects (like my December Daily-ish album).  They were so much fun to make, that I will probably make more - and maybe with the silver liquid gilding.  I've never tried it.

If you have a chance experiment with some tags - they are fun, quick and inexpensive - and a great way to use up bits and pieces in your stash.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Repetitive Stamping

I want to use my stamps and my ink pads.  I have all the Studio Calico Color Theory stamp pads and the colors are gorgeous.  And I get stamps in my kits each month, so my stamp collection is a little out of control.  But I have to admit that using my stamps is not my first instinct.  So I almost never buy a stamp set outside the kits.  I just don't use them enough.

But a few months back, I couldn't resist this stamp set offered at Studio Calico as an add-on to the card kit.  It is called the Circles set by Splendid Finn,

Picture 1 of 4x3" Circles Stamp Set by Splendid Fiins
I couldn't tell you exactly why, but I fell in love.  And it turns out that so far the solid circle is my favorite stamp in the set.  I am a little addicted to using it for repetitive stamping, mixing colors to create custom backgrounds.  Earlier this week I needed a quick retirement card for a friend at work.  I pulled out inks in color theory, blush crush, flamingo, lavender soda and purple rain - and that circle stamp.  I randomly stamped circles in different colors to fill in a piece of white cardstock.

After that it was easy.  I used a Pebbles tag that said celebrate and edged it with gold brilliance ink.  I added gold glitter embossing powder to a wood veneer "m" to create a monogram to make the card more personal and finished with a strip of gold glitter washi from My Minds Eye.  And then just for a little sparkle, I added lots of tiny pink star sequins.  Mitali deserved a lot of sparkle.

I used the same technique to create a quick and easy Christmas card.  This time I used inks in the green and aqua color range - emerald city, lime light, yes peas, mint hint, and glass slipper.

I added a red holiday banner sticker and a gold star from my stash (both from old Studio Calico collections) and I was done.  If I had more of  those banner stickers, I might just mash produce this card.

If you try this, don't forget to stamp multiple times with your stamp before you re-ink.  This creates lots of variety in the colors you het for your circles (or whatever image you stamp.)

Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Obsessing Over Die Cuts

I love adding layers and little details to my layouts.  So I am thrilled with all of the die cut and ephemera packs that have been coming out with the new collections.  They provide quick and easy layers, can provide places to journal and add details that pull your eye through a layout.  I think thee are die cuts on almost every layout I do these days.

I sort my die cuts by color and store them in Elle Avery envelopes that way.  So most often I mix and match die cuts from different manufacturer's and collections.  But this layout was a layout I made using the November Studio Calico kits.   One of the add-ons included the ephemera pack from the newest Maggie Holmes collection - Open Book.

When working with a kit, I usually start with the patterned papers.  I pick 3-5 that I really like together and lay them on the desk.  For this layout I had 3 papers picked - the navy text, the pink dot, and the mossy green chevron.  I had a scrap of the purple Basic Grey paper sitting there from a prior project.

My initial idea was to layer the three papers I'd chosen on the picture.  But I couldn't get it to "work."  Eventually I pulled the layers apart to create a horizontal block across the layout .  I really liked that, but the picture didn't look right (I'd already cropped it with my original concept in mind and I had way to much space on one side of my layout)  

I started by building up the photo block, adding a piece of the purple Basic Grey scrap and another paper from the kit - the white with cork polka dots.  I folded a glassine bag that was used to pack kit embellishments in half under the photo  - this is a great way to add texture and dimension and to reuse packing material.  This gave the photo more weight but I still needed to balance it on the other side of my layout.  

Those die cuts really came to the rescue - I took a smaller piece of the purple scrap on my desk and placed it opposite the picture.  I layered three die cuts to create an element on my layout that balanced the photo.  I added a gold polka dot tag from Pebbles to the cluster and placed a kraft thicker heart from Amy Tangerine on top of the tag.  I used enamel dots to hold the tag string so it looks like the tag is hanging on the layout.

To finish I added another diecut cluster at the top of the page, mixing in antoher one of those kraft thickers and a label from my kit. I love that floral banner

 A shipping tag die cut went under the photo, a phrase label from the kit went on top of the photo and I added one more die cut to create a third element in the large horizontal piece across my layout.  I pulled some old thickers from my stash for the title and created some hand-written journaling strips to finish off the the design.  (I may be the last person in the world to figure this out, but those journaling strips don't have to be white - I used pale blue cardstock and love the softer look.) And of course, every layout needs some ink splatters (I just need to learn to let them dry before I touch them.I used navy color shine from Heidi Swapp here.

Thanks for stopping by today.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Leather Feathers and Old Photos

I am more than a little addicted to my Studio Calico kits - I get super excited for sneaks, presale and getting that box each month.  One of the biggest reasons is that those kits often push me in new directions.  For example, I am pretty sure I never would have tried doilies or sequins without those kits - and now those are crafting staples.  Same goes for shipping tags.

But this month was really out there.

When sneaks came out, the Concord add-on was super expensive.  And I already had most of the papers.  I did love the Amy Tangerine kraft thickers and I really liked the stamp set, but I still wasn't sold.  But at reveal there were two items that sold me.  The first was the wood veneer world mask.  And I will admit that I'm hoarding that, waiting for the perfect photo and layout.  The second was the leather feathers.  I was fascinated by the idea.  I was pretty sure I wouldn't be able to figure out how to use them, but still couldn't resist.  That kit went right in my cart.

Picture 1 of Concord

And when it came it was beautiful - and I loved the leather feathers -- and I had no idea what  I was going to do with them.  Until Tuesday night.

My son was driving through the night with friends to come home from college in South Carolina for Thanksgiving.  I knew I wouldn't sleep (that mom worry gene)  and was hanging out in my scrap room.  And old picture of Nicholas (he's about 1 in the photo) caught my eye and I decided to pull together a layout to help pass the time.

I started with this week's sketch at Studio Calico.  I loved all the horizontal lines (and am now thinking about trying a vertical version).

I pulled out some papers from my kit and got to work.  As the layout came together I kept thinking about those 3 leather feathers.  They seemed like the perfect finishing touches for this layout.  So before I knew it, the first one was highlighting the journaling.

The second one found its way onto the layout too - it accents the photo block.  And the third and largest feather created the final horizontal element on the layout.

But I was out of feathers and felt like I needed something at the top of the page.  I pulled a wood veneer heart that said love from my stash, colored it with navy colorshine  and added it with a paper strip.

And then the layout was finished

 - and Nicholas pulled in the driveway about 30 minutes later.

Think about scrapping some of those old photos.  Its so much fun to play with those memories.  And it helps remind us of why we love scrapbooking so much!

Thanks for stopping by!