Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I am so grateful for the fabulous designers who took the time to come up with this special project for you so close to the holiday! I am truly thankful for their friendship and willingness to share their talents. Tonight I had a fun time over at Angela's Happy Stamper in Reston. I taught a class using the ScoreBoard dies. I invited them to stop by the Blog Hop and also to join the Sizzix fan page where you can see the latest new products, coupons and great ideas. Also, a new feature will be added soon to the Sizzix.com site and someone you know might be participating! :-) OK, getting down to business, the featured die this week is the Notebook Pocket. There are so many uses for this die- it's inspiring to see all the different ways the designers have created with it! I decided to emboss the matboard. Now, embossed matboard is actually available for purchase BUT the price is steep. For the little time spent experimenting with this technique, it was well worth my while considering the rich textured effect that resulted. First I laid the embossing folder sideways over a piece of white matboard and the die, roughly estimating where the folds would lie, and marked these areas lightly in pencil. Then I sandwiched the matboard inside a Sizzix embossing folder where I wanted the design to appear and rolled the die through. Some adjusting of the plates are needed to get the deeply etched effect but I think the finished product is very elegant. I added a ribbon where the pattern stops- bought at the Offray outlet up in Hagerstown, MD a few weeks ago- and what a fun road trip that was... (A big old bag of this wide green ribbon was in the clearance section for a dollar! Love it!) Then I just had to make a card to put IN the pocket! The card base is a soft green and I used the Sizzix cake folder to emboss the design onto a small scrap of matboard which I trimmed, then bumped up from the card and accented with white ribbon. I think this set has the look of fine letterpress. And it was done for pennies using the Sizzix embossing folders! OK, time for someone to get married- I can't wait to give this! Where Creativity Knocks designer Cindi Bisson sent me this cool project. That would be a fun item to have on the dinner table to get positive conversations going. Or considering what day it is, this could be a great favor for your Thanksgiving dinner too. Lay at everyone's place with "Why I am grateful for you..." written on the front with their name... so special, such a nice thought. Thanks Cindi! Now grab your beverage of choice and get comfy. Check out the other outrageously creative projects the ScoreBoards designers have come up with for you! Jennifer Ellefson Candice Windham Denise Clason Ann Butler Fabrizio Martellucci Korie B Barbara Matthiessen Brenda Pinnick Karen Burniston Bonnie Bruns And thanks to all of you for visiting. Please stop back on December 9 to see what we do with the business card holder (which also fits gift cards!). Now on to the business of turkey eating!
Friday, November 20, 2009
A great big THANKS to all who attended the Barn Sale. We were able to collect 6 giant Rubbermaid tubs of food for LINK, our local food pantry, and our sales were up 24% over last year! What a great weekend, despite the rain. We so appreciate our loyal customers who come every year and buy from our local (and some not local) craftspeople. We truly give thanks for your loyalty and support! Last night I had the pleasure of showing some of my latest projects on an Inspired at Home Pajama Party. This was hosted by Tiffany Windsor and Maria Nerius. They provide a comfy forum for crafters from all around the globe to share their latest craft projects, tips and techniques. One of the best things about the show? PJ's are perfectly acceptable! Click here to see a (not hideous) shot of me and a project :-) Let's see... what else is new? There is going to be some exciting news from Sizzix very soon. Can't wait to share that with you all... I am still working on the order of 1800 cards. The first 800 were delivered and now the next batch of 600 is due on Monday and the remaining 400 the week after! Thanks to Jenn and Amy for coming over this afternoon and getting a good number put together and ready to go. Tomorrow is packing and prepping for the show at Fairfax High School on Saturday and Sunday. Another Blog Hop is coming up this Wednesday. Hope you can stop by and see what my prolific designer buddies have come up with using my Sizzix ScoreBoards dies. HEY! I just went to Sizzix.com to grab the web address for you and see that ScoreBoards are scrolling through on the banner! (you have to watch for a few seconds... but it's there- WOW- cool :-) One of my projects will be coming out in an e-magazine called Totally-Creative. You should definitely check this publication out- primo designers, great range of mediums and projects and beautifully photographed and laid out. OK, now it's back to work for me. Next time I will have a pic for you... Enjoy your weekend!
Friday, November 13, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Welcome to our third Blog Hop! The featured project today is the checkbook holder. Of course there are many other uses for this die which I'm pretty sure you will see as you visit each designer's blog. And here's a more little background on some of our Blog Hop designers. I am happy to welcome back my good friend, reluctant blogger and partner in crime, Lorine Mason. Lorine is a fabric artist and has authored many books. Denise Clason joined us last week with her cool pin cushion cupcake project- Denise has also written several beautiful quilting and sewing books. From across the pond, I am happy to welcome Fabrizio Martellucci. He is a designer in London and loves working with anything Brenda Pinnick designs! We met in the Inspired at Home chat room. Gabriela Delworth is another great photographer and project designer. She is from Toronto and teaches classes in gift wrapping and other paper projects. I was so happy when Karen Burniston (of pop-up fame) introduced me to her friend Bonnie Bruns a few weeks ago. Her work is amazing- you may remember seeing her dog Bella posing with a cupcake die crown for the last Hop. Laura Bray is a fellow CHA Designer member whose work I have been admiring for quite some time. Laura shares my love for making crafts that look like yummy food! Brenda Pinnick is an amazing designer and fellow licensed artist with Sizzix. She has just started a color series entitled Color U. Check out her blog for details. This summer I was so happy to have some time to talk with the Golden Press Kit- Designer award winner Candice Windham. She is another matboard/foamboard fanatic! I loved what Barbara Mattheissen did last week with the cupcake holder die. I am fascinated with how many techniques she has mastered and manages to make them look fun and easy to try. Did you see the sweet cupcake projects from Niki Meiners? She has a fun and contemporary style that just makes you smile. Thanks to all of the fabulous designers whose work is truly outstanding. I am blessed to have you all as part of my die promotion events. Readers please stop by their blogs for inspiring projects and insights! And now... on with the Hop! I designed a notepad with this die. My inspiration was a book called "Elegance- a Complete Guide for Every Woman who Wants to be Well and Properly Dressed on All Occasions" originally published in 1964. I found it in the thrift store and was fascinated by the advice of the author. The page I used on the cover of the notepad is telling the reader why you should not go shopping for clothes with good friends and it's hysterical. VERY proper. So not me :-) Here's how I created it... This project requires you to cut out 2 covers, which means you need one and a half pieces of matboard to make the project. I coated the front and back covers with spray adhesive, adhered the book pages to the outside cover of the folder, then ran the whole thing through the Big Shot. The added pressure of the rolling through ensures that the paper will stay adhered to the matboard. The binding was attached with brads and the faux crystals adorn the closure. One piece of advice... magnets may be the way to go with the closure on this project instead of Velcro. The paper is tearing away from the base layer and ripping paper. Darn it! While I was working on it, I realized that I had a bunch more ideas that I could use this die for... stay tuned... Here are some fantastic designs that the Blog Hop Designers have come up with for you! Thanks for sharing them with us. Brenda Pinnick Fabrizio Martellucci Jennifer Ellefson Ann Butler Lorine Mason Karen Burniston Bonnie Bruns Gabriela Delworth Candice Windham
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
It's a challenge. And a check! I took a custom job a few weeks ago to produce 1800 holiday cards for a non-profit organization in DC. It has been really pushing me to work on a schedule and a budget. Maybe you are considering making your own Christmas cards and wonder where to begin. I'd like to share some tips with you for mass producing cards of any kind. First, keep the design simple. Every little touch and flourish that you add, will also add time. I had a general idea of what the client wanted so instead of using a lot of stuff, I tried to focus on using beautiful papers that had texture and contrast. You will pay a little more, but the time saved is worth it. I printed the cards at home. It took a little fiddling and adjusting in Illustrator (any program would work- Publisher or probably even Word) to line everything up so it prints in the center and right colors. I was so impressed with my 3 year old HP OfficeJet 6210. It printed 600 cards on one color ink cartridge! I have been refilling my ink at CostCo for $13.99 per color cartridge so that's not bad at all. The only thing is my tray can only hold about 20 sheets at a time- I am using heavy 80# cardstock. I did purchase a heavy duty paper trimmer and am sad to say I am going to send it back. It will not cut cardstock- only text weight paper :-( so I wound up using my Logan mat cutter to stack and cut all of the cards which worked just fine. I cut all of the specialty paper on this too and it really went pretty quickly. The largest layer of the stack of presents has a scrolled shape punched out. I made a jig for the punch so all I had to do was insert 2 pieces of the paper and punch, over and over! Watched several episodes of Project Runway and that was done. I am currently working on the second layer which requires a 11" piece of ribbon wrapped around the paper and tied in a knot. My friends Lorine and Jenn came over to help today but this is the most time consuming stage so far. The third layer is just a plain piece of paper which was cut very quickly. Measure and cut carefully. Order enough paper so that mistakes are factored in. Nothing like the last minute stress of having to run out and locate more supplies! The funny thing was that the ribbon was the hardest thing to locate (at a good price and enough of it). I finally found that at a local floral supply wholesalers. If you have a tax number, this is a good time to use it. I am setting up a work station on my dining room table to assemble the cards. The contract calls for 800 by Monday so I am hurrying to get it done. GOOD NEWS! My army captain son is on his way home from Iraq! He may have a quick layover in NJ so if I get the call, want to be ready to zip up and say, "Welcome HOME!