It’s Beginning To…

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…look a lot like Christmas!

No, I’m not one of “those” people.  I don’t have my Christmas shopping and baking done.  I don’t even have lists started.  However, I have packed away most of my Halloween craft supplies and I’m prepping for Christmas crafts and cards.

Today, I ordered some stamps from Paper Smooches (can’t wait to get them!) and it made me want to use one of the sets I already own to make a card.

I found a great CAS (clean and simple) card on THIS blog today (linked from Limedoodle – she’s awesome!).  She used washi tape for the “patterned paper” on the side of the card and it inspired me to use my new Christmas washi tape (My Mind’s Eye) to make a similar card.  The layout used on Cassie’s blog was the same layout I used back in April on THIS post.

I’m not sure how Cassie proceeded with her diagonal lines of tape but if you’re interested I’ve included my process a little further down in this post.

Let’s start with the cards:

I looooooooooove non-traditional colour on Christmas cards.  I think it works best when there’s at least one colour associated with Christmas in the mix.  In this case red is the dominant colour and there’s a hint of green but there’s some aqua/blue hues in there too and I think it gives the cards a really fun and fresh look.

I knew I was going to make two cards and I also knew that the “patterned paper” portion of the card wouldn’t be as wide as the stamped panel so I cut two plain white panels for the stamped images at 3″ wide by 5.5″ high. 

I used a full sheet of cardstock (8.5X11″) and scored it down the centre.  To ensure my washi tape overlapped the stamped panel, I ran a pencil line (using a ruler) down the card 2.75 inches in from the right to give a 1/4 inch overlap.  I folded the sheet at the score line and alternated the three different patterns of tape that came in the package down the side of the sheet making sure I overlapped my pencil mark.  The tape tears easily so there’s no need to use scissors except to trim the botton and top pieces of tape level with the cardstock.

Here’s what it looked like when I was done. (the right hand side is not even but the stamped panel will cover this):

 Once that was done, I cut the cardstock in half to create two card bases:

 The next step was to stamp my images on the panels and colour them in:

Once they were coloured, I added some dimensional foam to the back and attached them to the card bases.

See?  Nice and even!

I added a button to the single snowman card as there was plenty of white space.  I couldn’t really find a good balance for an embellishment on the card with the two snowmen so I left it plain. 

Two down, a kajillion to go!

Halloween Neighbour Gifts

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As it’s still not quite October (I’m ahead of schedule for a change this year – hope it lasts during my Christmas card making sessions!) I can’t say for certain this is my last Halloween post but I’m itching to put away the ghosts and pumpkins and whip out the snowmen and santas.

Last week I went browsing through Winners (Canadian version of Marshall’s) and found a package of Bazzil Halloween themed patterned paper.  I didn’t even know Bazzil made paper – they do fabulous textured cardstock though – it’s what I used when I first started papercrafting.

Anyway, the paper was $10 for 48 sheets and the patterns were so cute I couldn’t resist buying the darn thing.  I need to join a support group for my patterned paper habit.  I mostly buy 6×6 paper so I was trying to think of things I could make using a larger piece of paper when I realized I could make my new notebook folders using this paper as it’s quite stiff.

I don’t really need to make more Halloween treats but decided I’d make folders/notebooks for all the children on the street that I actually know (we don’t have kids so I only know the children of the neighbours that I’m particularly friendly with).

Out came the paper cutter and scoring board – plus a lot of other crafting tools and before you know it I had this on my work top:

Once all the components were pulled together, it didn’t take long to get to this point:


I tried to design the treats around the ages of the children – two of them are a bit too old for Halloween (the oldest is a 16-yr old girl – she gets the skull-themed set).  Three of the children are 3 so I bought some twistable crayons (Playskool brand) and used those instead of pencils.  I’m not sure what age pencils are okay to give but I didn’t want to give something potentially dangerous to the younger children so I erred on the side of caution.  I had exactly 9 and then I ate 3 6 bags of jellybeans left from a previous project so I put a bag with each notebook  set. 

Here’s a better shot of the skull set so you can get an idea of how cute these papers are:

I stuck with a plain green pencil for the oldest recipient.  I think she could use the skull notebook and the pencil in general and it would just look a little funky/cool rather than Halloween-ish…maybe?!

She also got a button embellishment.  I didn’t put them on the others but the 3-year olds have some rhinestones on their folders for a little sparkle.

I just need to make tags – with their names stamped on them for that extra cool factor – and I can put these aside for trick or treat day.

Ghost Poop – that’s right…I said Poop!

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I’m winding down the Halloween output even though it’s not quite October.  I’m really anxious to get started on Christmas stuff while the mood strikes me.  I’ve got this crazy idea that I’ll be ahead of the game this year and won’t find everything so hectic.  I know it’s a bit of a dream but it’s worth a shot!

I had two packages of tic tacs left over from another little project and decided to make some “poop” holders.  Normally, these would be used as snowman poop at Christmas but I made a couple of Ghost Poop holders.  The one on the right shows what the back of the holder looks like:

The patterned paper is some Martha Stewart I bought last year and didn’t use.  The image is Whipper Snapper (Anna Wight!), and the cardstock is Pumpkin Pie by SU!.  Ribbon is from Dollarama (also from last year).  I love how the tic tacs are showing in the ghost’s belly!

I might still whip up a couple of Halloween items but it’s not a big holiday for me – I do enjoy the colours and the fun stamps that are available for Halloween and it’s easy to find inspiration but Christmas is my big crafting season (like so many people, I’m sure).  Another project or two and I’ll be swapping out the Halloween Inspiration Station.  Can’t wait!

Ghostly Gifts

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I made these little gifts last weekend after I saw a folder with a cider packet (or hot chocolate – you know the ones I’m talking about – there’s a stir stick or a treat tied to the side of the folder and the pouch of drink mix goes in the pocket of the folder) in the SCS gallery.  It made me think that these folders would be a great way to package a notepad and pen (or pencil).

I was right!  Here’s a shot of one of the notepads (I didn’t embellish it as the outside of the folder is embellished and it would have made the notepad a little bulkier meaning I’d need an even bigger folder) along with the folder and the pencil:

And here’s what it looks like “closed”:

I made a second set with only tiny changes:

…and then I packaged them up and made tags to finish off the set:

Here’s a close up of a tag:

My folder is a little different than the drink folders beause notepads are bigger and thicker than pouches of powder so I had to make myself a template for the project.

I added a strip at the bottom of my folder so my folder was more box-like to accomodate the notepad.

If you want to give it a try, I used 4×5.5″ notepads from Dollarama (the ones I usually use for short notepads) and my cardstock was cut at 9.5 x 6.25″.  I then scored just under 4 9/16″ in from each long  side leaving just under 3/8″ for the spine. (sorry, measurements are not exact…you have to tweak a little to fit your notepad)  I then scored at just over 5.5″ along the long side and again roughly 3/8″ from that score.  I cut out a diagonal section of the front of the folder so the notepad could be seen when the folder is closed. 

Here’s a rough template (first time I’ve done this so apologies for the simplicity) – if you look at the template and then at the measurements above you might understand the instructions.  Dashed lines are scores.  I shaded the area at the bottom that you have to cut off:


Once you’re done with cutting and scoring, fold the scores and place the notebook inside the folder to see where you should punch a couple of holes with a hole punch or cropadile.  The holes should be just past the edge of the notepad.  I believe mine are just under a half inch from the edge.  Now put a little score tape on the botton tab, fold in in and adhere it to the other side of the folder to create your box.  You don’t need an end flap because the ribbon will keep the folder tied and hold the notepad inside. 

To make my pencil the right size for the folder, I sharpened it 5 times (broke the lead off 4 times after sharpening).  Previously, I’ve had my husband saw them for me but it damages the ends a little so I prefer to sharpen.  When you have the right length of pencil, insert the ribbon (12 – 14″) through the bottom hole of the folder all the way through both bottom holes of the folder leaving a tail of about 4″ or so in the front for tying.  Then bring the ribbon around to the front of the folder (not through any holes) and thread through both top holes  all the way through to the back of the folder.  This creates a loop to insert the pencil in.  Place the pencil in the loop then bring the back tail of ribbon around to the front again (not through any holes – just around the right side of the folder) and tie into a bow.

Voilà!   A cute folder with a notepad and pencil (or pen).  I’m definitely going to be making some Christmas versions of this once Halloween is over.  They’d make great gifts.


Ghost Pumpkins

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I whipped up a batch of 12 Halloween treats in a very short amount of time tonight – a fairly simple project.  Including working out the dimensions, choosing papers, cutting, adhering, and assembling this project took just under an hour.  Now that I’ve got the “blueprint” worked out I could make a lot of these in one evening (if I had to!).

I made 6 of each colour – ribbon choices varied but are all Halloween-approved!

I hope the kidlets that get these don’t think it’s false advertising that there’s a pumpkin lollipop inside the ghost-themed folder.

I used dollar store lollipops and a $1 stamp from Michaels ($1.50 in Canada).  The stamp actually has a scroll kind of border around the ghost image but I used a 1 3/8″ punch to cut out just the circular image – this was what made the project so fast.  I stamped the image 12 times on a sheet of white cardstock and punched them out.  Then I punched 6 orange circles and 6 green circles from a 1 1/2″ punch and 12 scallops out of black cardstock.  I then glued all these layers together and added a dimensional to the back.

My cardstock tents were made from a 2 1/4″ X 6″ strip of cardstock scored at 2 1/2 and 3 1/2 inches. (you can get 5 out of a sheet of 8.5X11″ cardstock)  I adhered a piece of patterned paper (measuring 2 X 2 1/4″) to the front of each tent and put a strip of scor-tape across one end of each tent.  I then placed the lollipop upside down inside the tent and carefully pressed the ends together so the tape would hold the ends shut and keep the lollipop in place.  Here’s a side view if it helps (the scor-tape is at the top):

Once the tops were sealed, I stuck the ghost scallops to the front of each holder and tied a piece of ribbon to the lollipop stick.

Super fast and way cuter than just handing out the lollipop without its decorative packaging.

Halloween Inspiration Station

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Today I’m sharing my 2012 Halloween office treat for my co-workers.   I usually buy just a little something and then decorate it so it’s a little bit more exciting than simply handing them the candy I bought.  With 18 treats to buy, I have to go with something budget friendly.

This year I found some Halloween coloured jellybeans.  I know it’s not much but it’s the thought that counts.  They’re small enough that I can make 18 of the same item without spending a fortune on cardstock and paper and the size of the treat helps the project get done before I’m tired of making them. (there have been complicated projects in the past that made me almost ill with the thought of whipping up 18 of the same thing!)

I used some kraft cardstock, Echo Park Halloween paper (though you can barely see it in the project – bit of a miscalculation on my part), some baker’s twine, green textured cardstock and an Anna Wight Whipper Snapper image and sentiment from one of my design team stints.

The pumpkin was actually coloured and cut out of white cardstock, then glued to the front of the green cardstock.  This was the most time-consuming part of the project.  I coloured and cut out 6 images each night for 3 nights to get my 18 pumpkins. (I don’t have the attention span to do all 18 at once).

The cardstock is about 8 inches long and 3 inches wide.  I scored it so I could make a little accordian fold in the centre for enough room for the jelly beans and so the treat could stand up on its own.  Here’s a side view:

The green panel is popped up on dimensionals and some baker’s twine is wrapped around the bottom of the patterned paper and tied in a bow.  I used my ATG gun to close the back of the treat holders.

Before I go, you might have noticed the title of this post is Halloween Inspiration Station.  I have a white organizer on my countertop that I keep seasonal items in – I just swap it out and put away the previous supplies for each “season” (e.g. Valentine’s, Easter, Summer, Halloween, Christmas).  Sometimes when I’m “in between” seasons I just fill it with my newer stuff that I want to play with.

I just switched over to Halloween last week and here’s what the organizer looks like:

All my paper, stickers, rhinestones, etc are in the organizer and the few Halloween stamps I own are in the little basket along with some spools of Halloween themed ribbon.  Loose ribbon is held on the side of the organizer with a clothespin.  You might notice the large paper pad is upside down – this is because smaller pieces of paper from this pad are tucked inside to be used up first and if I put the pad in the right way up the smaller pieces fall out and I never use them.

Once I’m done with Halloween, I’ll put all the smaller items in labelled photo boxes and store them in my craft closet.  The paper just goes in a stack on a closet shelf.  Then the Christmas stuff comes out – I have way too much of that to fit in the organizer so I put the most used stuff in there and keep the photo boxes of ribbon and embellishments on the floor next to my crafting area.

Kitty Cat (and friend)

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Ah, Whipper Snapper, it’s been a while!

I love my Whipper Snapper stamps soooo much!  It’s just about time to place an order – it will be so hard to choose which stamps to add to my collection.

The stamp I used on today’s card is my favourite image for making a “friend” themed card.  I used some soft papers from MME – the two smaller flags are actually cut right out of one of the pages from this paper pad – I made the larger flag but cutting a strip and punching it with a square punch that I rotated.  The angle was a little more extreme than I wanted so I trimmed some of the paper with scissors. (I know some people have dies that cut these flags but I usually just chomp out a piece with a square punch).

Since my image is so large, it was no trouble to add a HUGE button to the card – I find them difficult to use up sometimes but this card can definitely pull off such a large button.  The “thread” in the button is a couple of thin strips of the background paper.

I machine stitched around the edges of the paper as the card was a little plain and then I decided I might as well stitch around the image too. 

I’ll be back tomorrow with a Halloween post.

It’s a Date(loaf)

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Another day, another CASE.  I wish all my cards were created solely from the ideas in my head but sometimes I need a little more direction to get things going – especially when I NEED a card within a specific time frame.

This is the card I made for my Aunt to go with her gift of a set of birthday cards and a date loaf. (date bread if you prefer) 

It’s rather traditional for me to make a date loaf for her birthday. She’s not a baker and she loves dates. I make it using a standard recipe but I use extra dates and I have to swap out the walnuts for sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds as I’m allergic to tree nuts. (this year I used sunflower seeds)

Once I’d done the card, I decided to make a belly band for the date loaf and I also made a belly band for the box I packaged the cards in.  I was going to put a bow on the bag the bread is packaged in but there wasn’t a lot of bag left on the end and I didn’t want to draw attention to that.  Here’s what it looked like:

I chose to put the green card in the front of the box because the colours coordinated the best with the papers I chose for the bands.  Here’s a close up of one of the belly bands:

I had these glittered chipboard butterflies in my stash and I stuck some puffy plastic hearts on them for a little extra dimension.  I think she liked the bands as much as the gift itself! 

It’s just about time to move on to Halloween projects so I guess I’d better put away glittery butterflies and summer-hued patterned paper…back soon!

Birthday Card 4

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The last of the set of cards I made for my aunt.  I still have to show you the actual birthday card I made plus the rest of her gift – I’ll get there.  I’m very behind on my blogging!

I had cut this elephant image out while I was making a batch of notepads a few weeks ago and this little guy wasn’t the right colour for the project I was initially going to use him for.  Since the image was already cut and coloured, I held on to it in hopes I could use it elsewhere.

Here’s elsewhere:

I had this great piece of Three Bugs in a Rug paper left from a notepad project and HAD to use it (because I love elephants).  My image was originally blue so I swiped over the whole thing with a Copic to make him more teal.  I chose a few buttons to scatter over the card to pick up the other colours in the patterned paper and finished it off with a bow in my favourite PTI colour (Simply Chartreuese).  The elephant is popped up on a couple of layers of “grass” made from patterned paper.  The sentiment is Hero Arts and is actually a loooooooooooong sentiment so I used my positioner to make it a two-row sentiment.   I find using a positioner a bit too fussy but it does have its uses!

Check back tomorrow for packaging for my card set and the rest of the gift!

Birthday Cards (2 and 3 of 4)

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Two cards to show you today.

I was trying to make this set of cards using the significantly large “scraps” of paper I had left from recent projects.  I also wanted the cards to coordinate somewhat in the set so I chose this patterned paper from the pile as it’s from the same line as yesterday’s card and I’d only used a tiny piece of it on a bookmark (yet to be shared).

Again, the layout and the image are simple.  I just tore the edges of the paper and adhered it to a brighly coloured cardstock base.  I added a little bling to the sentiment banner.  The above picture doesn’t do it justice but it really adds to the look of the card.  Here’s a really close look at the embellishment:

My next card is a CASEd layout.  Sadly, I was already running out of steam on my little project by the time I got to the third card:

I loved the banner treatment on the card I CASEd this from.  (and can’t find the owner of now)  It was a great way to use some of the pretty papers in my scrap pile.   As I’m still getting the hang of my Mr. Huey spray I just used a bitty background stamp to stipple the card.

Back tomorrow with my final card. (for this set)

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