Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Cardmaker's and Scrapbooker's Inspiration Sticks: Never Run Out of Ideas Again

Earlier this year I wrote about "Inspiration Sticks". I learned of the idea from a video put out by Claudia Rossi. Her Inspiration Sticks were made for art journaling and it was such a great idea that I thought it would also be very useful for card-makers and scrapbookers. I would just have to make a list of ideas related to those topics to make the sticks work for me. 

Below are the ideas I chose to write on my Inspiration Sticks and I add ideas as I discover them or think of things I've overlooked. Also preceding the list are two examples of using the sticks for an entire project and it can be quite fun going through your crafting materials to see what you have to work with.
  1. Plaid paper
  2. Add a die cut that you've decorated
  3. Glitter
  4. Bows are for more than little girls
  5. Star
  1. Two patterns or more
  2. Tie it up with some twine or string
  3. Embossing powder
  4. Let's see some stitches
  5. Tree

Card-making/Scrapbooking Inspiration Sticks

NOTE: The sticks below can be further separated into categories such as paper, shapes, etc.
Click on a highlighted phrase and it will take you to an example card in a new window.
  1. Reach for the small stamps
  2. Feeling Blue can be a good thing
  3. Make it look older than you 
  4. Make some embellies to use
  5. Add a die cut that you've decorated
  6. Freehand cut a shape ( i.e. tree branches and trunk)
  7. Use two embossing folders
  8. Sing it pretty with Sheet Music
  9. Tie it up with some twine or string
  10. Bows are for more than little girls
  11. Don't scream, it's just a Ladybug/Butterfly/Dragonfly...
  12. Two patterns or more
  13. It looks bolder with a banner
  14. Add something unusual (i.e. feathers)
  15. Button it up
  16. Greenery makes it look more alive (plant/flowers...)
  17. Make it a gift set
  18. Digital Image
  19. Special fold card
  20. Let off some steam and "punch" it
  21. Make something hang
  22. Layers, layers, layers
  23. Tag it
  24. Generation Stamping
  25. Where's the bling
  26. The hills are alive...(Create snowbanks or hills from ink or paper)
  27. Silhouette
  28. Burlap
  29. Lace it up
  30. Go for the glitter
  31. Doily
  32. Let's see some stitches (sewn or drawn stitches)
  33. Quilting is not just for grandmas (add many papers in squares to front of card)
  34. Make it two-toned
  35. Bird
  36. Textured paper
  37. Add an ornament or wooden piece on the card
  38. Book page
  39. Stack die cuts
  40. Masculine
  41. Black and White
  42. All White (one color)
  43. Incorporate pearls and/or gems
  44. Pretty in Pink
  45. Stamped Image
  46. Homemade patterned paper is perfect
  47. Flowers aren't just for a vase
  48. Polka-dots
  49. Tree
  50. Plaid paper
  51. Wrap it up with a wreath
  52. Vines
  53. Don't forget the swirls
  54. See through it
  55. Messy torn edges 
  56. Border or fancy edge or two or three
  57. Embossing powder
  58. Don't be so afraid of watercolors
  59. Dryer sheet
  60. Embossed border with ink
  61. Tissue paper
  62. Lots of texture
  63. Ribbon
  64. Something made of wood
  65. Numbers
  66. Add a tag
  67. Shape the corners
  68. Incorporate some quilling
  69. I'm stuck with Sticker(s)
  70. Parchment paper or Vellum
  71. Special shaped card (i.e. The Gardening card)
  72. Leave it looking good (leaves)
  73. Being square isn't a bad thing
  74. Round and round we go (circles)
  75. Make it a shaker
  76. Hearts
  77. Snow
  78. Moon
  79. Sunrise/Sunset
  80. Star
  81. Three or more solid colored papers
  82. ...anything you can come up with

I have a small separate holder for these sticks and only use them when I'm drawing a complete blank.
  1. Birthday
  2. Winter/Christmas
  3. Spring
  4. Mother's Day
  5. Father's Day
  6. Halloween
  7. Special Friend
  8. Thank you
  9. Fall/Thanksgiving
  10. Love/Valentines Day
  11. Red, White and Blue
  12. Sweet 16
  13. New baby
  14. Tag
  15. Layout
  16. Wedding
  17. Anniversary
  18. Hello
  19. ...and whatever else you want to include
Happy crafting! Thanks for stopping by. Stop back again to see new projects.
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Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Bring Nature Indoors with these DIY Wood Slice Snowflake Ornaments

These do-it-yourself ornaments are fun, simple and inexpensive to make and will give your tree a rustic touch. They also make great gifts, wintry tags, and name plates for a winter wedding.  

Tools and Materials:
  • Wood slices (2 1/2" diameter)
  • Drill (to make the holes for the twine in the wood slices)
  • Bag of wooden snowflakes
  • Rubber Stampede Ink in Fresh Mint (any light bluish color will do)
  • Colorbox Ink in Frost White (to lightly sponge over the Fresh Mint color)
  • Glossy Accents (to cover the snowflake once it's colored)
  • Strong glue to attach the snowflake to the wood slice
  • Twine to hang the ornament

  1. Use a sponge to apply a coat of Fresh Mint colored ink to one side of your snowflake. 
  2. Sponge the white ink over the top of your Fresh Mint ink. Don't try to completely cover the bluish ink, you're just trying to give the snowflake an icy appearance.
  3. Add a coat of Glossy Accents over the ink to give the snowflake a shine. You may notice the white ink begin to swirl which is just an added bonus. Allow to dry.
  4. Place glue onto the unfinished back of your snowflake, center on your wood slice and adhere. Let dry overnight.
  5. Use your twine to hang your ornament.

Note: If you don't have ink or want to make this a family project with smaller children you can easily substitute markers or acrylic paint to color your snowflakes. The ink just gives your snowflakes more depth in color and has a softer appearance.

Check back for more projects and tutorials.

Happy Crafting and thanks for stopping by!
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Monday, November 30, 2015

Make Your Own Rustic and Adorable Country Inspired Wood Slice Ornament

Make use of those broken branches other than in the bonfire! :)

Crafting your own holiday decorations allows you to personalize your decor and gives you the opportunity to create inexpensive gifts and keepsakes to be treasured for years to come. The holiday season can become quite stressful and research shows that being creative and finding a craft to enjoy is not only a natural way to relax, but it's great for brain health. 

So take some time for yourself this busy season, roll up your sleeves, create and relax.

This is just the beginning of the ideas for making your own wood-slice ornaments and other projects.

Stick around for more!

Below, you will find a Materials List, detailed Project Instructions, and a Sneak Peak of some of the future projects coming up. 
Please read through the instructions prior to starting your project.

NOTE: If you do not have all the materials and tools used in this project you may be able to substitute things you already have on hand. For example, if you do not have clear stamps and ink you can always use a black permanent marker to draw the plaid lines on the elk and use craft paint or markers to color in the squares. If you don't have any wood to use, you can find pre-sliced wood online, but it can be expensive. Check with your friends, family and neighbors. 

Materials and Tools List:
- Ranger Archival Ink in Jet Black for plaid on elk
- StazOn Ink in Timber Brown for sentiment
- Rubber Stampede Ink in Green for elk's plaid coat
- Rubber Stampede ink in Scarlett for elk's plaid coat
- Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Vintage Photo for elk fur
Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Peeled Paint for trees
- 4" wood-round
- Creatology Christmas Wood Stickers in trees and elks 24 piece sets
- Glossy Accents
- White acrylic Craft Paint
- A thin tool or paperclip opened up
- A strong glue made for crafting
- Pine Trees Hampton Art Stamp and Die Set (SCO718)
- Snowman Hampton Art Stamp and Die Set (SCO703)
- Recollections blender pen to fill in plaid on elk with ink
- Clear stamp block
- Twine

- Make sure to sand your wood-round smooth
- Drill a hole into the top of your wood slice, but be careful not to get too close to the edge where you can break through.

Project Instructions

Step 1 - Stamp your wooden trees with the patterned tree stamp set. The stamps will not cover perfectly and this is fine, just line them up the best you can. When you're done stamping, take the same green ink and a sponge to darken the edges of the tree. This will blend in where the stamp and wooden tree didn't match up. After doing the edges lightly color the rest of the tree green. Use brown ink for the trunk of the trees.

Step 2 - Stamp your wooden elk with the plaid tree stamp. Use a piece of paper to cover the legs. Place the tree sideways with the top of the tree facing your left hand. The elk should be facing left as well. Use the black archival ink or an ink like StazOn in black on your tree stamp so you don't have any smearing when you add the color to your elk later. Color the blocks on your elk and then finish up with making the head and legs brown and the antlers gold. 

Step 3 - Once your trees and elk have been colored, top coat them with Glossy Accents to seal the ink. Not only does this make the ornament easier to clean later, but it also keeps the ink from bleeding into the white that you'll be adding later as well as protects any surfaces the ornament may come in contact with. Let it dry for at least a few hours. I usually just let my pieces sit overnight.

Step 4 - Sit your trees and elk onto you wood base where they will be glued. DO NOT glue them on now. This is just to make sure you line up your sentiment (Let It Snow) correctly in the open space between the trees. Place ink on your sentiment stamp, move the trees and the elk with your other hand and then place your sentiment.

Step 5 - Place glue on the back of each tree and glue into place. Since the tree behind the elks face is sitting partly on the tree behind it I glued a couple of small pieces of wood to the back of the front tree to make it lay flat. Then I glued some stabilizing wood on the elks buttocks too. This keeps everything flat and much easier to glue. Craft foam or thick glue dots could also work.

Step 6 - Use the tip of a small tool, paintbrush handle or paperclip to paint the snow on your ornament. Dip just the tip into your white acrylic paint and carefully drag along the edges of the trees and antlers of the elk. Then use the same tool to make snow dots all over your ornament and snow drifts along the bottom of your trees and elk. Let dry

Step 7 - I used strings from burlap to hang my ornament, but you can use anything such as ribbon, string, yarn or wire.

Congratulations! You just made an adorable ornament to either give as a gift or keep for your own decorating. 

Here's a glimpse of some of my other Christmas projects.

#CraftForBrainHealth  #aNaturalWayToRelax  #TheNewYoga

Happy crafting and thanks for stopping by!
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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Look What Happened When My Crafty Side Met the Heart Disease Awareness Ribbon

How many times in your life have you heard that little voice in your head say, "There's got to be a better way to do this", and then you tried to do something about it? Well, I heard that little voice and then my crafty side went to work.
Whether we're trying to save money, find a more efficient way of completing a task or just feeling frustrated with our existing options, it's a worthwhile undertaking to work toward positive change. I was looking recently for the Awareness Ribbon that represents the genetic heart disease I have and to say the least it was a very disappointing endeavor.

Have you ever looked at "The Colors and Meanings of Awareness Ribbons"?
After I visited Disabled World and a page pulled from Facebook to see all of the ribbons I realized Awareness Ribbons are in a very sad state.

The Awareness Ribbon has become so overused that it's difficult to tell what ribbon stands for what anymore and it appears that many people just think of cancer these days, especially since each type of cancer has its own color now. There is not a thing wrong with these ribbons representing cancer or HIV/Aids or Heart Disease, but when those three things and more are all the same color they kind of miss the boat on awareness. The yellow ribbon for example represents, bone cancer, soldier support, Endometriosis, Obesity, and suicide prevention, just to name a few.

The whole point is to have someone see the ribbon you're wearing and be reminded about the cause you wish to represent.

A ribbon in the shape of a heart is very easy to understand.

There shouldn't be any guessing going on and not every person who sees you wearing it is going to have time to have the meaning of it explained to them. Breast cancer has been so well advertised that there is no question what the meaning of a pink ribbon is. Most of us recognize a yellow ribbon these days from seeing them so often on people's car bumpers and I think for most of us the red ribbon is identifiable as heart disease, but once you get past that, it's difficult to know whether you're wearing that ribbon to signify some sort of heart condition or just being pro-choice or pro-life for example.
There may be some other meaning under the ribbon color you wear for your disease that you do not want your ribbon confused with.

So as all these thoughts swirled around in my head I had to ask myself,
What is the cure for that? 

I think the cure is a new ribbon design specifically for Heart Disease that leaves little if any room for question. 
The design is very easy to make. Just wrap the ribbon around your finger twice and then cross it as you would the regular ribbon.

Let me know what you think.
The ribbon design can also be found on my other blog and on Facebook.  

#heartdiseaseawarenessribbon #heartdiseaseawareness
Thank you for stopping by and Happy Crafting!
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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

More Crafty Fun Coming Soon

Hello crafters and craft lovers.

Hope this post finds all of you in good health and enjoying your summer. I just wanted to drop in and say, I'm still here and trying to get things in order so I can do some crafting again. I still plan on returning, it just didn't happen when I thought it would.

I'm half way through stage 2 of cardiac rehab and although I can't change my circumstances I can make myself as strong as possible. I've mostly just been focused on my family and taking life day by day. My exciting news is that a wonderful person helped me by giving me the use of an electric wheelchair, so now I finally have freedom again. This means I can keep up with my friends and family and do many of the fun things I've always enjoyed.

Speaking of doing things that I enjoy, my husband and I are members of the Society for Creative Anachronism and while in our medieval clothes during a day of celebration recently, one of my favorite photos EVER was taken of us. I love when someone catches people at just the right moment. We had been rained on, I had no time for any makeup, I didn't brush my hair and I was wearing my glasses, but I don't even care. When it's perfect, it's perfect.
During my down time I created a heart blog for anyone who suffers from heart disease and is having difficulty finding information or could just use some support. The blog is still a work in progress and new information is always being added.

The title of my blog is Rare Bird in a Rare Flock, which is a phrase my cardiologist used when he gave me my diagnosis this past February. 

For a few years now I have run a Facebook page
Heart Problems/Diseases which also provides information and is a source of new information as I come across it.

Anyway, I miss being creative and creating fun things with you and for you. Hope you'll hang in here with me.

Happy Crafting and thanks for stopping by!
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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Heartedly Handcrafted Inspiration Sticks

Hello crafty friends!
I started a project recently to help myself with future projects. Yes, you read that correctly. We can all use a little help from time to time with coming up with ideas and even when we do have an idea it doesn't always carry us to the very end. I have found myself staring at a sheet of paper to make a card while not having a clue where to start. I've also had those moments when there just seems to be something missing and this can help with that too.

A crafty friend shared this video

Inspiration Sticks Challenge - Art Journal Ideas - Mixed Media

and I just love it! The video is from +Claudia Rossi and she talks about a challenge her and her friend is doing/did with what she is calling "Inspiration Sticks". Under that video is a link to how to make them and she provides a link to a list of what to write on your sticks to get you started. Claudia's list idea is for art journaling, but can be easily carried over to other types of projects. My list will consist of things that I do specifically for cardmaking and therefore be different, so what it comes down to is, YOUR list can be for anything you want. When I've completed my list I will be sure to share it right here.

UPDATE: List for card-making

Scroll down for another project using this idea, "Spontaneity Sticks".

Here are some of the sticks I've made so far. I haven't decided yet how I want to store my sticks or if I want to further embellish them.
To make mine I used large tongue depressors that I coated with pastel chalk ink by VersaMagic. Then I used rubber and clear stamps with Rubber Stampede ink in the color Wheat to make designs on them. 
Once the ink was dry I used a fine tipped, black, permanent marker to write with. I had a little trouble with bleeding, but unless I were to use a magnifying glass or hold it close to my face the bleeding is really not noticeable. I would suggest experimenting with what you have and see what works best for you.
The great thing about the idea of "Inspiration Sticks" is that they can be used for anything, even outside of crafting. How often do we skip over all the sightseeing opportunities, museums, etc. in our own towns or regions. You could write down all the places to visit on sticks and then randomly pick one on a nice day. Maybe in this case you might call them "Spontaneity Sticks"  and as you accomplish each one, you might frame, or place in a scrapbook, your stick as your title with the photos you took. The possibilities are endless :)
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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Handmade Card for a Wedding: The Happy Couple

Hello crafty friends!
Today I'm sharing an embossed white, silver and black card that I embellished using stickers and ribbon.

During the month of December I won a prize for a challenge I entered and included with the awesome rubber stamp set I received were a couple of sheets of foil stickers. I hadn't used stickers much before, aside from adhesive backed gems, but the foil stickers were so pretty I began incorporating them into my projects. 

Now when I go to the craft store I look at the stickers too and that is how I found the gorgeous silver butterflies by Jolee's Boutique that I used on my card. In fact one thing I realized while looking at the 3 dimensional stickers is that I can learn what steps to take to make specific embellishments and when I need a card quickly, I can make a beautiful one without having to produce every detail myself.
I used Recollections Adhesive Rhinestones to make the butterfly trails.

To make the sentiment I used Sticko stickers and I added a rhinestone to the engagement ring. To make the label shape I used Spellbinders Labels Eleven (S4-246). After making my die-cut I used black Rubber Stampede ink around the edges and then to get a very deep black defined line around the edge I finished it off with Ranger Archival Ink in Jet Black. 

I used the Darice Butterflies embossing folder to make the decorative background and on the other side of the card I used Cuttlebug's Polka Dots Page embossing folder.
Since the theme of my card is butterflies I decided to add a bow that also gave that feeling. The white bow in the background is actually two bows hot glued together and then I glued a small bow on to the front of them.

Supplies List
Click on photo to enlarge
Happy crafting and thanks for stopping by!
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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Handmade Greeting Card: Celebrate You Today

Hello crafty friends!
This has been a heck of a week, but I managed to make at least one card in some pretty colors with a lot of bling. My favorite color combinations involve green (pink and green, blue and green, purple and green) so this card, with it's bright yellow-green accents and shades of purple, is right up my alley.
The gorgeous paper is from the DCWV Violet Leaf tablet. To make the sentiment I used one of the Spellbinders Valiant Honor Card Creator dies, made two die-cuts (one on purple paper and the other on white) then I cut some of the edges off the white die cut, used two green inks to color it and adhered it to the purple one. 
For the pretty purple ribbon flowers running up the left side I cut the mesh off the back of a pre-made dimensional ribbon and only left mesh were the ribbon flowers attach.
Supplies List

Happy crafting and thanks for stopping by!
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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Handmade Gift Tag: Sunset Silhouette

Hello crafty friends!
I'm back with a gift tag I designed with Spellbinders Die D-lites. I used the die-cuts in silhouette and I was completely amazed once I placed them on my colorful background. My tag glowed! I was inspired when doing a Google search on sunsets and came across many beautiful handmade cards and tags.

I was so excited about the results, I made it a challenge over at Sketches4All

The first step I took in making my tag was to cover the tag in color. I began from the top with the blue and worked my way down. I used the same blue behind the Cattails, but first I lightly applied the yellow further toward the bottom of the card, (just in the center), and then lightly went over it with the blue. By mixing these two colors I got a bit of a green cast and glow down the center that the sun would cause on the water.
 To make the sun I used a circle and adhered it to my tag. I wasn't sure where I wanted the sun initially, which is why I didn't add it until after I colored my background. This allowed me to make it match up wherever I wanted it.

Using the Cattails die I cut out two die-cuts and then cut one of them into sections while removing the Cattail that is laying down through the other ones. To do this, just use your scissors to cut it at each point it joins another Cattail. I also tried to cut away or change certain areas so it wouldn't look like I used just one die-cut twice.  

I used the Stampabilities Rubber Stamp, Dragonfly 02 which is my favorite dragonfly stamp since it is so realistic looking.

Supplies List

Happy crafting and thanks for stopping by!
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Monday, February 2, 2015

Handmade Valentine's Day Card: Love is in the Air

Happy Groundhog Day!

Today I'm sharing a Valentine's Day card and a link to the challenge I made it for, then on to what Punxsutawney Phil had to say this morning.

First things first. There's a lot of inspiration over at Sketches4All. I made the card below for the February DT Challenge from a sketch. If you prefer to do scrapbook layouts, there's a sketch for that too, so come join us and have some fun. 

There's nothing that says Valentine's Day to me more than seeing the colors red and pink together and roses and hearts together. So once I saw the sketch I wanted to incorporate those ideas as well.  

To get that pink striped paper to look like it's part of the white paper beneath it I used a border punch on the bottom edge of it and then taped it in place before embossing it with the heart embossing folder.

The red stripe is made from the same red cardstock I used to mat the front. To dress it up I placed silver, vine shaped, tape on it.

To make the pink border on the doily heart I cut off the edge of a pink colored heart and glued it onto a white one. 

Supplies List 

Punxsutawney Phil says we have 6 more weeks of Winter. From the way it looks right outside my front door and all the snow coming down I would have to agree with him this year.

Pictured below is right out my front door. There should be a sidewalk and a road. You can see where my husband shoveled the sidewalk recently and it's being covered back up, but the road has vanished and has been gone for quite a while. My home is marked as a historical house and the wooden sign out front is half under snow. Love it!  
Happy crafting and thanks for stopping by!
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