Old Saint Nick

Cards, House 1 Comment »


ETA: The wreath is hung on the mirror using a suction cup with a hook on it.  It’s not perfect but it’s better than having string or cord hanging down from the mirror.

A quick card to show you today plus a couple of fuzzy pictures of some decorating.

This is the last in the group of PTI button bits cards I’ve been making for Christmas.  After this card, it’s on to some basic mass-produced cards. (I only have 1  card left to make which is exciting!)

Today’s card is a sweet little santa claus with a big button for a belly.  I CASEd the layout from SCS including the little jingle bell/twine embellishment.  If you are stressing about all you have left to do for Christmas at this point, don’t even try to come up with an original layout.  Give yourself a maximum of 10 minutes to pick something you like from SCS and use that card as your starting point.  If it’s a clean and simple card, try to make multiples to save yourself some stress.

This was not a “multiple” card.  With the fussy cutting for the head, the glitter on the beard/hat etc. and the machine stitching around the paper, it’s not the best card for mass production.  If you want to see a good card for mass production, come back in a day or so and I’ll show you the simplified card I made based on a card from Anna Wight’s blog (or visit her blog and see the sweet snowflake card she CASEd…see!  Even the famous card-makers know when to take a trick or two from a fellow crafter!)

Moving on from the card, I have a couple of pictures to show you of some of the decorations we put up in our living room.  We keep things fairly simple for Christmas – we don’t have children so we put up what time and energy allows (bearing in mind that everything you put up must come down in the new year!)

I apologize for the fuzziness of the pictures – I just got an IPod Touch for my birthday last week and I was playing with the camera rather than actually deliberately capturing the decorations.  One of the pictures features our beagle, Jack and it was too cute to delete.

The above photo is the corner fireplace in the living room.  The green on the walls is not minty IRL (it’s Asparagus by Behr)  I have white lights in the garland but they were not lit up in the picture.  The santa, sleigh and reindeer on the left are from Wicker Emporium and the lamp is always in that spot.

This is Jack.  In this photo he is an illegal beagle as he is not really allowed to sit on the leather furniture in our living room.  He was upset about the decorations (he does not do well with change) so I took pity on him and let him cuddle with me for a little bit.  He also doesn’t like cameras so getting a half decent picture of him is like trying to meet Mr. Snuffleupagus if you’re not Big Bird. (was that a vague reference?)

Back soon with a simple card and that will wrap up my 2011 craft projects.  I won’t be blogging much over Christmas as I’ll be spending time with family rather than puttering in my craft room.

A Card, A Craft, and a Tour!

Cards, House, paper crafts 9 Comments »

warning – long post…

Sadly, it’s time to move on to Christmas season. (I did make my co-worker Halloween treats but they weren’t blogworthy so I’m not sharing this time around)  I’m not really ready to stop playing with my Halloween stuff but there’s no reason to keep creating ghost and goblin themed paper crafts at the moment and Christmas will be here before you know it.

Combine that with the awesome tour Anna Wight gave of her craft room yesterday and you get enough inspiration to put away the Halloween goodies, tidy up the craft room and put out the Christmas Inspiration Station.

Before I did all that though, I did make a card (using Mercy’s Tuesday Sketch) and an ornament (using SCS Try a New Technique Challenge)  Here’s the result:

I think the ornament turned out quite well and that this layout will be another of my go-to Christmas card layouts this year.  The ornaments are a bit on the small side if you’re thinking Christmas tree but I’m sure you could up-size then no problem if you can find long enough pins.  My pins were 2 inches long but I think I’d like to find 3 inch pins so I can add more beads to the bottom of the ornament.

The stamp is RAM Magical Christmas from PaperWorks Co and the paper is MME Colorful Christmas – which you’ve seen a few times lately.  I love it.   (it’s “retired” I believe but you might score some on the Net…PWCO is sold out)

Let’s move on to that tour.  A few disclaimers first:

1.  I took these pictures quickly.  They are NOT awesome but will show you the layout of my room.

2.  The room does NOT always look like this.  The surfaces (except the floor – that’s the only thing that’s changed since I moved to a bigger room) are usually covered in paper, cardstock and other crafty items.  However, it only takes about 15 minutes to tidy up if I want to as everything has a place. (today took longer because I was swapping out Halloween for Christmas).  I like my house to be tidy but I am a messy worker both at my place of employment and in my craft room.  I think it’s because of my short attention span.

3.  Nothing is staged.  Except for the fact that the stuff in my room is not covered in patterned paper and cardstock, this is where everything lives all the time – including the broom you might see in the background.  I spill zillions of tiny things on the floor every day (glitter, paper scraps, abandoned bits of tape) and there’s no point in putting the broom in the closet so out it stays.

Picture 1:

The green is off in this picture – it is not so yellow in real life (Asparagus by Behr).  You can see that there is a strip of wood that needs painting under the counter – this counter was put in at the beginning of the Summer and I’ll paint the wood the next time I have to paint something else white (which will be soon because Jack ate our french door the first week he arrived).  Pretend it’s white.  My room is in the basement so there’s not much natural light.  The chairs at the counter are for guest crafters…if Karen or Melanie Mac are reading…you know you’re invited.

Picture 2:

This is taken from the other side as I couldn’t get the whole room in one shot.  Here you can see my computer area to the far right (I’m there right now) and my sewing machine on the little shelving unit to the side of the big counter.  I actually crouch over the machine and sew.  I used to move the machine in front of my computer monitor which is a little more comfy but I don’t like moving it back and forth.

Picture 3:

The colours in this picture are a little more accurate.   Here you can see that the “working” side of the counter has JetMax cubes filled with crafty stuff.   There’s a closer look coming up next.

Picture 4:

Here’s a better idea of what’s contained under the counter.  You can also see the neglected elliptical and the wall of closets in the background.  I do all my cutting and scoring at this counter and this is where the majority of the paper and cardstock piles up when I’m working.  The shelves directly under the Cuttlebug hold my plates and all my Nesties (nesties are in one brown box and my other dies (except alphabets) are in the other).  The magazine holder to the left of the nesties etc. holds all my clear stamp sets.  I used to keep them in a drawer but it’s easier to flip through them when they’re upright.  Most of my single stamps are still kept in a drawer.  To the left of the clear stamps is all my 12X12 cardstock plus rarely used paper like vellum, photo paper, watercolour paper etc.  I also keep anything that is packaged “in a cool tin” in this area.

Picture 5:

This is the other side of the counter.  In addition to my Tonic trimmer (a birthday gift from my parents last year) I have my inspiration station.  This is where I keep seasonal papers and embellishments.  I also have seasonal ribbon which is stored in a photobox and kept on the floor just to the right of the radiator you can see in the picture.  Seasonal stamps are kept in a wooden tray on the top right-hand shelf right under the inspiration station.  I just pull the tray out when I want to select a stamp and then put the rest of the stamps back on the shelf (in theory) so they are out of the way while I’m creating.  Larger Christmas stamps and sets are kept in a second photo box on the floor nex to the ribbon.  Christmas is the only occasion that I need to keep the boxes on the floor for.  Valentine’s and Halloween easily fit in my seasonal storage area.  Other items kept in the cubes on this side of the counter are patterned paper pads, white cardstock, glitter and fun flock (also on wooden trays that can easily be removed and returned to the shelf), alphabet dies (rarely used), and the drawers hold all my Basic Grey 6X6 paper, notepads, pens, coasters, and any other items that can be altered to make a gift for someone.  There’s a LOT of stuff in those drawers!

Picture 6:

Now we’re moving on to the other side of the craft area.  The black filing cabinet holds all my 8.5X11 cardstock and scrap cardstock.  I mostly use SU cardstock and will continue to do so for now.   I keep my colouring pencils in the wooden crate (I have 6 glass candleholders in the crate and my pencils are sort of grouped by colour)  The three-tier tray holds cut cardstock and paper that needs to be put away (I only do this every week or so depending on how full the tray is…it’s due to be emptied), white cardstock scraps that can be used for stamped images, and I usually keep my UFOs here too (unfinished objects).  They are in another wooden tray but are currently resting on top of the shelf above this cabinet.  You can’t see it in the picture because it’s decorated with green paper and is blending into the wall.

The shelf unit holds my SU inks (I have the cubes – they’re in the white 5-drawer container), Cricut mats and instructions that I use frequently (sewing machine, cropadile, etc), and my non-Basic Grey 6X6 pads and mat packs.  The drawers hold stuff that have no home…they’re kind of like junk drawers and some day will be put to better use.

Picture 7:

This is what’s hiding under my desk – lots and lots of patterned paper.  I keep my loose paper here by brand.  MME in one drawer, Echo Park in another, etc.  There are also some K&Co pads on top of these drawers and I keep my SU markers and stamp scrubber here too.  The white basket holds scrap paper for stamping off or testing colours.  The drawers on the left hold acrylic blocks, brads and bling in the top drawer, then all my reinkers and misc ink pads in the next, the third drawer holds my heat gun, circle scissor, eyelet setter and other tools, and the bottom three drawers hold my punches.

The drawers on the right hold adhesive, two drawers of ribbon, a drawer with clear stamps (singles) and acrylic paint, my cuttlebug embossing folders and spare plates are in the fifth drawer and the bottom drawer holds packaging  and finished cards that are awaiting packaging.

I do most of my colouring and assembling on this counter.  I keep most of my tools in the spinner on the desk and I would not be able to colour if I didn’t have that lamp nearby.  Because my ceiling light is in the middle of the room I usually am casting a shadow over my work when I’m using this space.

Picture 8:

My shelf!  I love this shelf.  Rich made it for me a couple of years ago for my old craft room (which was tiny) and I never cease to be amazed at how much this thing holds.  Obviously, all my Prima flowers are on the top two shelves followed by my unmounted stamps (there are a LOT of stamps here…if you are a stamper you know how much is crammed into these cd cases).  The bottom shelf has all my buttons in little glass jars to the left and my “liquid” craft supplies to the right.  I love having everything within reach.  Out of sight, out of mind truly applies in my case.

If you go back to the first couple of pictures, you’ll see that my “photography studio” is between my colouring area and my computer area.  It’s just a piece of foam board (got the idea on SCS and gave proper credit at the time but it was a couple of years ago so I can’t repeat the credit) and two daylight lamps.  They’re kind of in a weird spot – I’d like to have my Cricut set up here – but it’s the best place for them because I refuse to take the “studio” down and put it back up every time I want to take a picture.

So, that’s the tour…I know it was really long but I wanted to get the details blogged.   Now I have to go make some birthday cards before I switch over to Christmas mode.

Enjoy your day!

Mission: Organization – and a giveaway!

Cards, House 4 Comments »

Before I babble about my card today I’d like to chat about an ongoing project – a painfully drawn out and unpleasant project… (and there’s blog candy if you can make it to the end of this post)

There is a great thread on SCS at the moment about purging your stash of paper crafting supplies.  I was hoping to purge a lot of stuff before moving to my new craft room so I wouldn’t be bringing the clutter with me but the room was done in stages (we’re in the final stage now…) and my supplies were brought down in bits and pieces.  As a result, it was more important to tuck things out of the way than it was to have a proper place for everything.

The result is that I’ve hardly purged any of the outdated/unused/unloved items in my stash and I’m feeling a little overwhelmed at the thought of going through EVERYTHING so my room can be fully functional.

However, today I spent HOURS moving the contents of my old craft room closet to my new closet.  It took lots of trips and some quailty time sitting on the floor going through bags, boxes, bins, etc. (my back will be killing me in the morning!)  I wish I’d tossed more than I did but I’ve made a good first attempt at sorting my craft supplies. (note: I don’t just papercraft – the majority of stuff in my closet is for other crafts)

Here’s a picture:

The top two shelves are for my cross stitching and general crafting, then there are two shelves for paper crafting stuff (kept in photo boxes – two are empty) and another shelf of containers for altering/gift giving.  My chipboard and paper are on the bottom shelf and my coil binding machine and boxes of coils are on the floor of the closet (the purple sewing box to the left is actually the majority of my cross stitching supplies)

I’ve been crafting for about 20 years so I have quite a collection of “stuff”.  I did put a dozen unopened tubes of tulip fabric paint, older stamps, punches, ribbon, etc. in a “Give” pile and will take that to work tomorrow and give it to the children of my most creative co-worker.  There are also stickers, paper, glitter, sequins, my card boss (an expensive toy I HAD to have when I first started making cards) and a lot of odds and ends throw in.  It’s only one bulging shopping bag worth of things though so there is room for improvement.

I’ll quickly share today’s card and then tell you about my blog candy…

I mentioned last week that I got my first Greeting Farm stamps.  One of them is “Ebony” (but we all know it’s Alice from Twilight) and I managed to squeeze in some time colouring her in and creating a card in between the horrible closet project.  This is what I came up with:

I used some paper I bought at M’s last summer (it’s good paper for teen cards but is a bit thinner than I like to work with – I think it’s MAMBI.  I thought the skulls would tie in nicely with Alice’s shirt and I used the pink colour in the paper as the springboard for my colour choices.

Alice’s face is done with Copics.  The hairband and skirt are paper pieced and I glittered the icon on her shirt.  I used my newest Nestie shape to die cut the image and I thought it would be fun to stitch around the edges of the paper.  I think it turned out quite cute!

On to my blog candy…while I am giving away the majority of my purged items to a friend, I did keep a few things to give away on my blog (I’ll be having a giveaway every day that I post this week).  I stuck with things that weren’t too heavy to mail to the winner.  Today’s goodies are a selection of Making Memories ribbon.  I did use a little bit of the purple ribbon but I think everything else is the full length indicated on the packages.

All you have to do to be entered is leave a comment.  It can be about anything (but keep it clean, please!).  Oh, and check back tomorrow because I’ll have another prize.

A Little Tour

House 8 Comments »

The sun has managed to shine just a little bit today so I thought I’d take another go at blogging my craft room.  At this point it’s just a couple of shots of the room.  There are still a few things to do (which I will point out on this tour) but I’ve been using the room since late January. 

Picture 1 – This is the view of my room from the door.  The colour is still off – if you want to know what it really looks like you’ll have to find the paint chip – it’s Asparagus by Behr.  We’ve used the same colour in our living room and bedroom as the windows on our house (except for the basement, ironically) face East/West and we don’t get much direct sun so the rooms are a little dark.

In the above picture, the bank of Jetmax cubes where my Cuttlebug and Tonic trimmer live will eventually be covered with another countertop.  There will be a bookshelf running along the back for extra storage.  I’m hoping to have that done by mid-April but I’m not holding my breath!

Picture 2

This is the view from the other side of the room.  You can see that we have a wall of closets.  The smaller closet is for my craft stuff (and still needs to have shelving installed – for now there’s a plastic shelf in there but it isn’t an efficient use of the space so “real” shelves are next on the list of things that need doing.)  The larger closet is for household storage and doesn’t have any shelving in it at the moment.  We’ll store board games, seasonal items, etc. in that closet.  There are also no handles on the doors at this point.  We are sourcing some longer screws so we can use some small metal knobs that we already own. (this project was a huge budget suck – it took longer and cost much more than we had anticipated – the room was previously part of the unfinished basement)

Note that my trimmer doesn’t quite fit on top of the Jetmax cubes.  The countertop will add an additional 10 inches to the depth and will also make for a more durable work area.

Eventually, our elliptical machine will have to live in here as well (boo hoo) but maybe it will inspire me to use it. (ha!)

Picture 3 – This is the main event.  My desktop is a 10 foot countertop with Jetmax cubes as pedestals.  My computer is on one side of the work top and my crafting area is on the other.  I still have to get my Cricut set up in here but there’s no room at the moment (DH is going to put in a shelf for my printer and I’ll put the cricut where the printer was)  The cost of finishing this room in the basement was pretty steep  so we spent as little as possible to outfit the room.  I already had all these cubes (I have 12 in total.  My old room had 9 and I got 3 for my birthday last year but didn’t assemble them because I knew I’d be moving downstairs within a month or so) and the filing cabinet.

The only things that are new (i.e. weren’t used in my old room) are the wall mounted magazine holder (where I keep my cricut cartridges and my SU ink cubes) and the white desk organizer that is on top of the filing cabinet (both were birthday gifts back in December) – oh, and the trash can is new too!  

The black filing cabinet holds my SU cardstock.  It’s filed alphabetically, rather than by colour family.  The In Colour cardstock is filed by year except for the first year or two and is kept in the bottom drawer along with CS from other companies and SU neutrals

In the cubbyhole under the desk, you’ll see some Rubbermaid organizers.  The majority of my 12X12 patterned paper is kept there and is filed by brand.  It needs some culling – which I do several times a year.  I give away a fair bit of paper and keep some of the outdated stuff for making envelopes or practicing a 3-D project.  My SU markers are also kept in this cubbyhole – they’re in the tin my Prismacolour pencils came with.  I just grab the tin and put it on my desk when I want to use my markers.  It keeps them stored horizontally and makes it easy to tuck them out of the way when I’m not using them.

I would have to take a lot more pictures to show you how I organize things.  I like to have my everyday stuff close at hand (thus the messy looking shelf on that wall unit) and to tuck away things that I use less often or that take up too much space.  My clear stamps, acrylic blocks, reinkers, and adhesives are all in the Jetmax cubes under the countertop.  Less used items are either in the bottom drawer, over in the bank of Jetmax cubes or boxed up in photo boxes and placed in the closet (I put all my seasonal things in photoboxes and store them away until I am going to use them).

Picture 4 – this is where “everything else” lives.

I use my paper cutter, scor-it and Cuttlebug over on top of the bank of Jetmax Cubes rather than dragging them over to the work top.  It’s a bit awkward at the moment but when I get my second countertop I’ll have it overhang the cubes slightly to give my knees a little space.

All my smaller than 12X12″ paper lives over here too.  There’s a magazine holder in one of the cubes that I use to store my Basic Grey (and other brands) 6X6″ paper – I have a label on the spine of each package and store them alphabetically.  Any scraps are placed back inside the package so I know where they are next time I use that pad. (I do the same thing with the 12X12″ paper – just throw the scraps back in the drawer on top of everything else.)

I keep my Nestabilities dies in a small photo box on one of the shelves in the cube.  I just throw them all in the box.  It’s not a perfect solution but it will do for now.  I don’t have a lot of Nesties – I carefully select the shapes I want (except for the first 2 sets I bought…they were new back then so I got EVERY plain and scalloped circle and did the same for the rectangles – now I just get the largest set)

All my glitter is stored here too…it’s all in a wooden tray I got at the dollar store – very easy to grab the tray, select the glitter I want and then put the tray back on the shelf.

There is a lot of cardstock and paper stored in these cubes as well.  I have some Bazzil CS, some cheap CS from Costco (I use it to experiment with templates, etc so I don’t waste the expensive paper), watercolour paper, vellum, photo paper, and a few 12X12 pads (as well as a small stack of 8×8″ pads (I have a LOT of paper) all tucked away in there somewhere.

Once the room is finished (new countertop, shelving in closets, elliptical in place, etc.)  I’ll probably put a few ornamental items in here.  It doesn’t really bother me if there are any pictures on the walls – the room is more for function – but I’m sure it will become a little more cluttered as time goes by.

Hope you liked the tour! (oh, and it’s not always this tidy…but that’s another post!)

Sweet Pea

Cards, House 1 Comment »

Today’s card is inspired by some new Cosmo Cricket paper that I recently bought online.  When I saw this particular sheet of paper I instantly thought of an SU hostess stamp that I have – not sure if it’s seen ink before. (hey, they’re free when you buy a butt-load of SU stuff…I’m not obligated to use them!)

I think I coloured this three times before I was happy with it.  You can only do so much with a solid green image.

I used my new Pixie on this card.  In fact, this was the first card I used it on. (I tried the machine with some scrap paper first)  The shade of blue that I matted the paper and the image on were chosen because the machine comes with some weird colours of thread.  The threaded colour is yellow but they kindly throw in a spool of turquoise and a spool of orange…interesting.

As mentioned yesterday, you can’t use standard spools of thread on the Pixie so I was stuck using one of the colours it came with to take it for a spin.  Yellow was probably the obvious choice but I went for the turquoise.

Here’s the final product:

My peas were stamped twice and pop-dotted on top of the image.  I made a couple of custom “dew drops” and made a bit of a strange bow – I just couldn’t get a nice bow tied so I tied a knot and added a second piece of ribbon for a little more “pouf”.

I tried a few colours of cardstock to go with the green and Cool Caribbean.  Kraft was the winner.  I am surprised at how much I like this combo.

I was going to share some pictures of my craft room but the weather has been quite dull and the colours are too washed out in my shots.  I’ll have to try again on a nicer day…but here’s a little tease (colours are a little off):


New Bed…

House No Comments »

…but no time to sleep!

I do have things to share but no time to take pictures and blog about them at the moment.  I’m just dropping in to state that I’m still alive and to exclaim quite cheerfully that our new boxspring and mattress were delivered tonight. (plus some over-priced pillows that we got free at Sears when we bought the bed)

The spots in the picture are because I used my flash – I hope!

New bedroom furniture is next on the wishlist…well that plus a bathroom reno, new kitchen, my own car, etc.  Perhaps I’ll settle for a new duvet cover and window curtains. (the headboard and bedding in the pic is the same old, same old, it’s just the mattress and foundation – and pillows! – that are new.)

I’m dying to go to bed early to see if the mattress is worth the $$$.  However, Christmas cards and customer orders await so time to break out the cuttlebug and ATG gun.

Martha to the rescue!

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Leave it to me to choose a Christmas colour scheme that just isn’t happening in St. John’s – I’m into the “funky” green with gold.  Gold, no problem, the green – a sort of peridot green…- a much bigger problem.

Because we moved our Christmas tree to the recroom we installed over the summer, we had to buy some new decorations for the living room to prevent family and friends from thinking we are total scrooges. (partially true but only in a bah, humbug sort of way – we dig the giving and getting of gifts though!)  We decided on a small table-top tree ($13 at Walmart) and gold and green decorations as noted above.  The walls are a funky green so we didn’t want to use a traditional green as the accent colour.  So began my dilemma.

I managed to score 9 green bulbs at Zellers of all places (in packs of 6 – 3 green and 3 gold) so there was enough of a pop of green for the mini (3.5 foot) tree.  The gold is just going to have to carry the rest of the room.  I’m sure the colour will become more popular next year but for now we’ll limp along with the little we have.

My only disappointment was that I planned on putting ornaments in a cool footed bowl/candle holder that we purchased at Pier 1.  My table runner is gold so I was relying on the green as a contrast.   You can’t get blood from a stone (or a turnip!) so I was planning on “sucking it up” and just using gold ornaments.  When shopping for the ornaments for the bowl we decided to go with smaller ornaments and a nice fat candle in the centre instead of filling the whole bowl with ornaments.   Nice, but a bit monocromatic.

Yesterday, while working on yet another Christmas project, I realized I had some Martha Stewart glitter in a similar colour to the ornaments I wanted (the colour is a cross between golden beryl and heliodor if you own the MS glitter).  I also had a few tiny styrofoam balls from a Christmas ornament project that were the same size as the decorations that are already tucked inside the vase.  I covered the balls with some glitter and scattered them around the bowl.  I now have my colour pop and here’s what it looks like:

It’s kind of hard to see the contrast in the picture but it is noticable in real life and I’m thrilled that I was able to find a solution in time for the holidays.

Here’s a larger picture – the background is blurry because I used the macro setting but you can see the contrast a little better:

We’re waiting until Christmas Eve to light the candle as we are having company over – I hope this looks nice in candlelight.

Check back tomorrow for some personalized ornaments.

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