Friday, October 29, 2010 2 comments

Simple Bind It All Planner #1

I originally saw this wonderful planner idea at Leigh's blog. She, in turn, was inspired by another blogger at An Altered Life. I loved the concept and was itching to try out my new Bind It All, so I made two of them, one for each of my Secret Sisters. This is my first one.

Supplies: paper (Making Memories); Nestabilities Labels 8; chipboard letters (unknown); ribbon (unknown); binder clips; tiny adhesive rhinestones; Bind It All.

For the mini-sized notepads, I simply cut a mini legal pad in half lengthwise with my X-acto knife. I discovered that you get a nicer cut when you work from the front to the back, instead of the back to the front!

Here is the front of the planner, with my Secret Sister's initials on it. I covered the binder clips with scraps from the rest of the planner, and it was super-easy!

Did you notice that I goofed on the binding holes? It was my first binding project, and from it I learned how to properly line up my covers. Oh well! My Secret Sister didn't even notice.

Here's the back of it. As you can see, there is ribbon holding in the monthly calendar part. This way, it can be switched out next year if they want.

I'll show you my second one on Monday!
Thursday, October 28, 2010 2 comments

DIY Easel-Backed Recipe Book

I've had this idea running around in my head for awhile now. Since I got my Bind It All, I got the chance to try it out. What is it? A stand-up recipe card book:

Supplies: stamps (free digital stamp from Leaves of Time, letters by Studio G); paper (K&Co, unknown); ink (BIC Mark-Its, SU Chocolate Chip); Nestabilities Labels 8; Bind It All; recipe cards; manilla file folder for easel part.

Here's a picture of the inside, using a set of $1 recipe cards that I got on clearance for $0.50:

And here's a straight-on view of it:

So, how do you make an easel stand? It's super-easy! For this project, you will need to cut a manilla file folder to 6 x 10". Score the 10" side at 4, 5, and 6". Mountain-valley fold the middle section (to create the stand). Bind as usual.

It's that easy! Enjoy! :)
Wednesday, October 27, 2010 1 comments

I Challenge You Wednesday: Nature's Beauty Rose Stamp

Oops! I thought I had this all lined up to post automatically, but here I had saved it as a draft. Sorry about that! It's been a super-busy day, and this is the first I've been online today. :)

My friend belongs to a monthly stamp club (Creative Stamping Kit of the Month Club) that sends her a new stamp set/kit every month. These roses were one of the first sets to come, and she let me stamp a few to try them out. They're really pretty, so I decided we needed to see what we could do with them.

Supplies: stamps (Creative Stamping Kit of the Month Club, PSX sentiment); paper (Making Memories); ink (SU! Rose Red; Versamark with black and Stardust embossing powders); MS corner punch (Gothic Arches?) and branch punch; Nestabilities Labels 8; green gingham fabric ribbon; mini rhinestones; CB corner die; dimensionals.

I was inspired by this gingham ribbon, believe it or not! It has tiny pink flowers in it, so I thought I'd try these pink-edged roses with a green gingham. I really like the results!

Size: 5-1/2 x 7-1/2".

I was going to try to get at least one more card done, but it just didn't happen this week. But you can go see what my friend made for more ideas. Enjoy! :)
Tuesday, October 26, 2010 1 comments

Prettier Presentation

Have you seen all the DIY apothecary jars in blogland recently? I just love them, and I've been keeping my eye out at thrift stores for likely glass pieces. Well, I finally got a chance to make one of my own.

But first of all, let me show you what I've been using to store my clear dew drops:

Yes, that's a recycled peanut butter jar. It's not the prettiest thing ever, but it did the job. However, I now have a much prettier container:

You probably recognize the base as a candlestick. I got this one at a thrift store for $0.20. I also happened to get the top part at the same thrift store for $0.20. It was as dirty as glass can possibly get - so dirty that we weren't sure the grime would come off. But for $0.20, it's worth taking the chance, right? We were pleasantly surprised when it cleaned up perfectly!

And here you can see it holding my clear dew drops, in much prettier fashion:

I'm addicted to these glass things on pedestals, can you tell? :)
Monday, October 25, 2010 1 comments

Chair Cards

I have loved this free chair digital stamp from Birds Cards for ages, but I just recently got around to making a card with it. My friend originally gave me the idea of printing it onto patterned paper, and I love the results! I made a whole set like this with different sentiments.

Supplies: stamps (chair by Birds Cards, sentiment by Inkadinkado); paper (Making Memories, vellum, $1 section notecard); ink (Versamark with black embossing powder, BIC Mark-Its); Nestabilities Labels 8; rhinestones.

Friday, October 22, 2010 1 comments

Masculine Car Card

I needed more masculine birthday cards, so I made a few just like this:

Supplies: stamps (unknown monthly club stamp, Studio G sentiment); paper (ATD, The Paper Company); ink (black dye, Versamark with silver embossing powder, BIC Mark-Its); Nestabilities Labels 1; grosgrain ribbon.

My favorite tip for this card is this: Instead of edging your card with multiple layers of cardstock, simply draw a thin solid line around your layers. It only looks like you've used a few sheets of cardstock, and it doesn't weigh as much to mail, either. Alcohol-based markers work best for this technique, since they create a bold enough color to fool the eye.

Thursday, October 21, 2010 1 comments

Reworking $1 Spot Notecards

I saw these really cute notecards in the Michaels $1 bins, and I just had to bring them home with me. They were pretty boring, but I really liked the image and decided to see what I could come up with. I've finished two cards so far:

Supplies: paper (The Paper Company, repurposed $1 notecard); CB corner die; CB Swiss Dots embossing folder; paper doily; dew drops; dimensionals.

I like this one a lot, especially since I popped it off the paper doily with dimensionals.

Supplies: paper (scraps; repurposed $1 notecard); MS corner punch.

This one was fun and easy, yet I really like the results.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010 2 comments

I Challenge You Wednesday: Recycling

My friend chose the challenge for this week, and the challenge was to recycle (i.e. repurpose) something on your card. Well, I have just the thing to share with you today - two whole sets of cards from a coordinating large and mini calendar that I picked up at the beginning of the year for $0.10 each.

Here's the first set:

I loved the flowers on this mini calendar, so I just mounted them onto coordinating cardstock with a thin mat around the edges. Here they are, matched up with their coordinating envelopes (made from the large calendar):

If you'd like to make envelopes from a 12x12" calendar, you can get two envelopes from each sheet (as long as the design cooperates). Here's how:

Cut it in half to measure 6x12". Score the 6" side at 1/2" and 5-1/2". Turn and score the 12" side at 2" and 7-3/4". Cut off the sides from the top and bottom and round the corners of the flap. Add adhesive to the outside edges of your bottom panel, then fold it up in place and press down. You're done!

Okay, on to the second set ... These are probably my favorite calendar cards to date. You know what's funny? They were made from the thumbnail pictures on the back of a big calendar, and the envelopes are the other half of the calendar pages from the last set.

Supplies: stamps (Hero Arts sentiment); paper (The Paper Company, Georgia-Pacific); MS corner punch; calendar.

These stamps were a lovely accent to the flower images!

It's a bit harder to see the embossing on the lighter cards in the pictures, but it's pretty easy in real life.

I hope you've enjoyed these calendar cards. I know I have!

Now you can hop on over to my friend's blog to see what she recycled this week!
Tuesday, October 19, 2010 3 comments

What to do with paper leftovers and/or scraps

If you're like me, you have a paper stash bigger than you'd like to admit. Unfortunately, that sometimes means you have some papers that haven't seen the light of day in ten years or so.

Last month, a lady asked on Splitcoast about how to use the decorative paper she had hoarded so long that she didn't even like it anymore. After reading that thread, I don't feel bad about my paper stash. One of the ladies said she had 30,000 sheets of paper!

Anyway, I have a few sheets of paper that were given to me that aren't my style (as well as a few I've kept too long), but I can't bear to throw them away. One of the suggestions from Splitcoast was to make envelopes out of this paper. What a great idea! I immediately went through my paper and did just that. I got 36 envelopes out of this purge:

See? Even papers that would look hideous on a card or scrapbook page look cool as an envelope!

But you know me ... Even if I'm just trying to get good use out of otherwise-useless paper, I can't bear to waste it. :) So I figured out how to get two standard envelopes out of a sheet of 12x12" paper. Here's how:

  • Cut the 12x12" sheet in half to measure 6x12".
  • Score the 6" side at 1/2" and 5-1/2".
  • Turn it and score the 12" side at 2" and 7-3/4".
  • Cut off the sides from the top and bottom and round the corners of the flap.
  • Add adhesive to the outside edges of your bottom panel, then fold it up in place and press down.

There you have it - a cute decorative envelope made out of horrid paper. :)

You'll notice that these close on the short end, but you can still address them as usual (with the longest side horizontal) so you don't have to pay extra postage.

If you have 8-1/2 x 11" paper (I had two sheets), you can only get one envelope per page. Here's how to do that:

  • Cut the 8-1/2" side to 7-3/4".
  • Score the 7-3/4" side at 1" and 6-1/2".
  • Score the 11" side at 2" and 6-1/2".

Follow the directions above to finish the envelope. (This one will close at the longest end.)

Now that we've figured out what to do with all those full sheets of paper we're never going to use, how about we tackle those tiny scraps we can't bear to throw away? (I admire anyone who can throw away small scraps of paper, but I just don't have it in me.)

Recently I sat down with my tiny scraps, a small flower punch, and medium star punch and made a few months' supply of these cute mini roses:

I borrowed an idea I saw at my friend's house - store them in recycled plastic packaging. These came from manicotti, but my friend used an empty chocolate box insert (like Russell Stover's) to organize her brads by color and shape. Just store the plastic insert in a chocolate box (the whole box, or just the lid would work), and you're good to go! You can organize just about any small items in these.

Lest you think I have no more scraps to deal with, these are not all the scraps in my stash. They are just the small pieces leftover from making the dress box favors! :)

Have fun putting all of your supplies to good use!
Monday, October 18, 2010 1 comments

Gray dress box favors

This was another of those colors that I thought "YUCK!" when she told me about them. How in the world could I make gray look pretty??

Then I found this paper at Michaels, paired it with some silver Stickles, and I actually like it!

Supplies: paper (C-Thru Ruler Company, vellum); circle punch; Kassie's Brocade CB embossing folder; silver Stickles; dress box from Dollar Tree.

This is the last of the dress box favors. I hope you've enjoyed them!
Friday, October 15, 2010 0 comments

Green dress box favors

Here are the green dresses:

Supplies: paper (American Crafts, vellum); circle punch; CB Kassie's Brocade embossing folder; dress box from Dollar Tree.

I love this embossed paper from American Crafts! I got a whole pack of it (25 sheets) at Tuesday Morning for $2.99 awhile back. I haven't even made a dent in the stack yet. :)
Thursday, October 14, 2010 0 comments

Orange dress box favors

Here are the orange dresses:

Supplies: paper (ATD, vellum, unknown); CM flower punch; dress box from Dollar Tree.

The colors are a bit "off" in the picture, but this was the best I could do under the current lighting conditions.

When the lady first mentioned orange as a dress favor color, I thought "YUCK!" I'm not an orange person, and I didn't know how I was going to pull it off. But then I found this elegant orange paper in my stash, and it worked out okay after all. :)
Wednesday, October 13, 2010 1 comments

Yellow dress box favors

I need to finish sharing these dress box favors before I forget all about them! :) Here are the yellow ones I made for the ladies meeting:

Supplies: paper (Provo Craft, vellum); Swiss Dots CB embossing folder; dress box from Dollar Tree.

It's hard to make out the color of this one, but it's a really pretty pale yellow with a faint polka-dot pattern. I love yellow!
Tuesday, October 12, 2010 0 comments

A girl with flowers in her hair

I got this free digital image at Coloring Fun a year or so ago, but it appears to be gone from the site now. Sorry!

Supplies: stamps (digital image from Coloring Fun; sentiment by Studio G); ink (SU! Rose Red, BIC Mark-Its); paper (Best Occasions); Nestabilities scallop circles large; circle punch; dimensionals.

I absolutely loved how well this paper (that I just bought) went with this image (that has been colored for months)! I was originally thinking of going with a more muted card, but this paper was too perfect not to use.

I'm putting this one in my teen girl birthday card stash.
Monday, October 11, 2010 0 comments

Dress Form Composition Notebook

Supplies: paper (decorative Dollar Tree file folder, recycled book page by Karla Dornacher, The Paper Company); Cuttlebug corner die; paper doily (Dollar Tree); composition notebook.

Here is another notebook I made, finishing up what was leftover from these pages:

I love sewing, so this is another favorite of mine!
Friday, October 8, 2010 0 comments

Blue Dress Favors

Supplies: paper (American Crafts, The Paper Company); ink (BIC Mark-Its); CB Kassie's Brocade embossing folder; CM flower punch (used to make the mini roses); dress boxes (Dollar Tree).

This paper is a lovely metallic blue, and when I embossed it, it exposed a little of the white core. It's a lovely 3D effect!
Thursday, October 7, 2010 0 comments

Purple Dress Favors

Supplies: ink (BIC Mark-Its); paper (Making Memories, The Paper Company); dollar store dress boxes; CB Swiss Dots embossing folder; Creative Memories flower punch.

I haven't posted any of these boxes in awhile, but they're all finished and delivered. (They loved them!) I'm working through the pictures on my camera, so here are the purple ones I made. Enjoy! :)
Wednesday, October 6, 2010 4 comments

Getting a head start on Christmas gifts!

My friend and I are taking a few weeks' break from our Wednesday challenges since she has quite a lot going on the next several weeks.

So today I thought I'd share my most recent project, one that I'm totally excited about: I've started making my Christmas gifts. Please don't hate me! :)

I was browsing through my local Dollar Tree last week and saw these cute house-shaped boxes:

They reminded me of the house box template from Papertrey Ink (called Home Made), but these are made a lot sturdier than a cardstock house could ever be. They are also a lot larger. These measure 5-1/2 x 5-1/2 x 7"! (There were several different sizes of these house boxes, but I chose the largest one.)

Well, I bought one to see if I could do anything with it. I wanted to make something for our church board members with the theme, "from our house to yours". I wanted to make it look like our house. Here's what I ended up with:

If you want to get technical, our house is about twice as wide as this (proportionally), but I had to adapt it to the square house box. Our doors aren't red, either, although I'd love to paint them red! I had to make it something that wouldn't blend in with the white house, so I chose red. Of course, there's no ribbon running all around our house, either ... :)

I asked my kids whose house it was, and they knew immediately. Success! I looked all through my files and couldn't find an outside picture of our house for you to compare it to, so you'll have to take my word for it. :)

Here's the side (complete with our side door) ...

... and the back ...

The other side looks pretty much the same as the back, but there's a window up on the side of the upstairs, just like the other side. I keep uploading the wrong photo, so I'm not going to bother with that one!

Once I made that one, I just had to make more! My husband was going out visiting the next day, and I had him stop by and get me three more house boxes to complete the board member gifts.

I made another one exactly like the first one, but then I had to switch ribbon. So the other two look like this:

I was awfully proud of myself for figuring out those dormers! The design has eluded me for over a year. For some reason, it came quite easily when I sat down to design it this time. (Probably because I wasn't too concerned about it. If I didn't get them designed, I was just going to leave them off.)

Don't ask me how I did it because I honestly can't remember. I do remember that I first drew the front of the dormer onto graph paper. I know another part of it involved finding the pitch of the roof (laying it down on the paper and actually drawing the angle) so it would sit flush against the roof. Other than that, I don't remember how it all came together. It makes senses mathematically, I do know that.

Anyway, a few more particulars about how this was done ... First of all, I considered covering it with white cardstock. Then my common sense kicked in. Just paint it! So I did. I used regular acrylic paint, and it took anywhere from 2-3 coats, depending on how dark the design was underneath (and how much paint I used on each coat). One small bottle should easily do four houses.

I used my large Marvy tree punch for the bushes, punching so that I eliminated the trunks.

The windows are just rectangles of cardstock glued together with lines drawn for the window panes. Nobody will miss the fancy window stamps (that look nothing like my windows anyway).

Once I got it figured out, each house took about an hour, including painting time. However, I was making things assembly-line-style, which makes those windows and doors go a lot faster.

I'm not totally sure what I'll be packaging in these boxes, but I'm leaning toward something homemade - like cookies or fudge. The box is part of the gift, so I probably have the hardest part behind me.

If you make one of these, be sure to let me know. I'd love to see yours!
Tuesday, October 5, 2010 1 comments

"Relax" Composition Journal

Supplies: paper (The Paper Company, recycled book page by Karla Dornacher); CB embossing folders (D'vine Swirls, Victoria); composition notebook.

I made this notebook for the mother of the two boys who received the notebooks from yesterday. It was a two-page spread, so I continued the image onto the back of the journal:

The color scheme didn't end up thrilling me that much, but the overall effect was alright, so I guess I'm pretty happy with it.
Monday, October 4, 2010 1 comments

Tigger mini composition notebooks

Recently, we had some overnight guests who have two young boys. I thought they were coming along, so I made each of them a little gift that included these mini composition notebooks. (They ended up staying with their grandparents, but they travel a lot as missionaries, so I sent the bags along in hopes that it would help out their mother sometime!)

Supplies: paper (Sandy Lion); stickers (Sandy Lion); pens (Target's $1 Spot); peach grosgrain ribbon; mini composition notebooks.

What kid doesn't love Pooh Bear and Tigger, right? My kids thought they were cute, so I imagine the boys liked them, too.

I recently ran across this method of adding a pen to a mini composition notebook, and I really liked it. You can find the post that explains how it's done at Poppy Paperie here. Genius!
Saturday, October 2, 2010 3 comments

This week's shopping deals

On Monday, we took the day and went north for some thrift store shopping in a town we hadn't shopped at before. We also hit a few other stores while we were there, and I was thrilled with everything we found.

Remember the Bind It All I just got? Well, I had no wires for it. I also have no local source for the wires, so I'd have to buy them online. The best prices were on boxes of 50, but I didn't want to spend that kind of money until I had played around with it a bit and discovered which sizes were the most versatile to stock up on.

Well, someone at Splitcoaststampers alerted me to the fact that Michaels' $1 section notebooks are the same pitch (2:1) as Bind It All, and she stocks up on them when they go on clearance for $0.50 or less. You just carefully pry the wires apart and save them for your own binding projects.

I had looked at our Michaels, but they only had two notebooks left, and I was really hoping for them go to down to $0.25 each. I hit the jackpot at this particular Michaels! I bought 20 of these journals for $0.25 each, and they still had over half a bin left. Yeah!! I've been playing with the Bind It All, so look for some projects soon.

I also needed some hanging file folders for in our schoolroom (for that $5 filing cabinet we got a few weeks ago). I had fully intended to pick them up last week at Wal-Mart when I went shopping (even put them on my list), but I completely forgot to check for them. Well, am I ever glad! These two boxes were still full, complete with all tabs, for $1 a box at a thrift store. I'm sure Wal-Mart couldn't have beat that price!

Isn't it wonderful how God looks after us? :)

I've been doing a lot of doubling recipes and freezing meals lately, since we're a bit busier with homeschooling. I quickly ran out of plastic containers, though, so I was thrilled when I saw all of these (mostly meal-sized) containers along with a hamper for $2 at the same thrift store! Most of these didn't look like they had ever been used.

At another thrift store, I went to the book section to browse and ran across a lady who was putting out books. She looked at me and asked if I homeschool (I get asked that a lot - I wonder why). When I told her that I did, she directed me to four large boxes of school books that had been donated. The books were regularly $0.50 each (a great deal!) but she said I could have any that I wanted for $0.25 each since I'd be saving her the trouble of pricing and filing them.

I got all the books above, as well as all of these:

It felt like Christmas as I was browsing through these fabulous resources, most of them with original price tags still attached that were $10.95 and up. Would you believe that I left a lot of books? I only bought the ones I knew I could use - whether for the reproducible graphics or for the worksheets or just for the ideas.

Apparently, someone retired from teaching and donated everything to this store. (Her last name was on all the books.) Thank you, Mrs. F! :)

Then just yesterday I had the chance to run to Food Lion for some awesome deals. I got everything in the picture for $18.70. Check out some of these awesome deals:

  • Ronzoni pasta - $0.25 each after BOGO sale and blinkie coupon
  • Ritz crackers - $1.90 each after BOGO sale
  • Smuckers squeezable strawberry spread - $1.50 on sale (buy 5/save $5)
  • JIF peanut butter - $1 each on sale (buy 5/save $5)
  • Capri-Sun - $1 each on sale (buy 5/save $5)
  • 5 packages Kraft shredded cheese - $0.39 each after BOGO sale and $5/5 coupon!!
  • ground beef - averaged out to $1.59/meal (4 meals' worth)

I was thrilled with the deals at Food Lion this week, and I'm planning to get more cheese and pasta before this sale goes off next Tuesday! My kids were thrilled with the treats (Ritz crackers and Capri Sun) because I rarely buy them. :)

I hope you've had a great shopping week, too!
Friday, October 1, 2010 1 comments

Sewing-Themed Composition Journal

Supplies: paper (Creative Memories, recycled pages from a Karla Dornacher book, The Paper Copmpany); MS doily lace punch, composition notebook.

I'm getting a lot of mileage out of this book! :) I just loved this sewing-themed image, and I have a friend that I wanted to make something for. This friend is great at sewing and enjoys writing, so I decided to make her a journal.

I actually combined two of the pages for this notebook. I cut out the main image from one page and added the word border from a coordinating page.

As usual, I lined the front and back inside covers with coordinating paper.

I really liked how this one turned out!