Thursday, January 26, 2012

Love is Blooming at the Clubhouse

Usually Valentine's Day just comes 'n goes without much of a blip on my radar screen. But 2012 continues to feel a bit different.

Prototypes of all of the Love Blooms materials have been arriving at Club Scrap, and I have been having a ball making project samples, filming the workshop videos, writing instructions, etc. (Well, maybe not the "writing instructions" part. . . not necessarily at the top of my list of favorite things in the whole wide world.)

Pursuant to Club Scrap tradition, I should really keep the results of my Love Blooms playtime tucked away safely until the big online event on February 7. However, I'm gonna break the rules just a wee bit and show 'ya some of the sweet, sweet cards that we made to fit inside Kay's amazing "Love in a Box" Project.

The half dozen cards and envelopes are created with our speedy-quick assembly line method, and I'll walk you through that on the workshop video. The cards fit right into Kay's box, along with a multi-page accordion album that pops outta the box, too.
OK, so you have to admit, this is a pretty sweet set. The postage stamp images (five of them on the UM) are gonna be terrific for year-round stamping--not just for Valentine's Day! Each "stamp" contains an image of a flower and the type of love it symbolizes. Also, we added a practical quote that says, "I love that we're friends." I think it's nice for kids who exchange valentines and would feel a little strange telling their classmates that they love them. :)

Check out that adorable sewn heart-shaped garland! (Thank heavens, no sewing required.)
Love Blooms ships soon, and I guess I just don't want you to miss out cuz you're afraid you might not like the collection. We have just a few left, so snag yours, K?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Kissing isn't just for Valentine's Day

Hetty Sanders, a very talented and creative Club Scrap member from the Netherlands, hosts a technique challenge each month on our chat forum. This month's challenge is to use a stamp "kissing" technique, which basically means that you ink a solid stamp, and then stamp another image onto the stamp. Just like "the real deal," there are many methods to stamp kissing. :) The challenge submissions this month have been absolutely exceptional, and I wanted to give 'er a try, as well.

I began with the wood mounted stamp from Sparkle and inked it with Ruby. Ink well, my friends. . . just like a nice coat of lipstick!!!

Next take another image. I used the pattern from the Navajo Club Scrap JR unmounted sheet and inked it with India Black.

Stamp the pattern image onto the solid inked stamp. Be careful not to slide that second stamp. This is not a French kiss, my friends.

Stamp your kissed image onto some awesome Club Scrap paper. And just 'cuz, I stamped it twice without re-inking. Wanted to get as much mileage out of this kiss as possible.

Then, add some text. I like this quote from the yet-to-be-released Navajo Club Stamp unmounted sheet. "Have faith, brighter days are coming." (Spoiler!!!)

Now that you're all warmed up, try it again. For this version, I used the nifty four-square tile image from the Club Scrap JR Tilescapes unmounted sheet, and added the daisy from "Little Blessings." (Lagoon and India Black inks used here.) Next thing you know, you're looking through your entire stamp stash for kissable images! But then you realize that you have a deadline to meet, so you have to stop, and that's irritating.

Before I go, I wanted to mention something here on this photo. Do you see my nifty Club Scrap Desk Blotter? Notice that I've stamped my unmounted greeting images onto the grid. After I place the image onto the acrylic block, I stamp onto the grid to double check that the quote is perfectly aligned. If I need to adjust, I'd rather do it here than on my final project! This has saved me much heartache.

And my final kissed cards. . .

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Origami Envelopes and Valentine Garland

I'm just so excited about Valentine's Day this year! Kay Williamson started it. She began creating all of these super-cool cards with our in-house love-themed stuff. (Note to self: Bring Kay hot coffee tomorrow morning.) Plus, we have the amazing "Love Blooms" Event right around the corner, and I'm thrilled about how that is all coming together.

But in the spirit of Efficient Crafting, I wanted to crank out some super-quick Valentines with handmade envies to deliver to my dear friends and family this year. Plus, I was also "Pinspired" by this awesome handmade Valentine garland that you and the kids can make together. We put all of the supplies and instructions together for 'ya so that you can make some of your own with our Quick 'n Easy Valentine Card Kit.

The kit makes 16 cards using our assembly line card making techniques of speedy-quick scoring, cutting, folding, stamping and comes with all of those nifty assembly instructions.

I've also made a video that will help with the envelope and garland assembly.

What do you think? Easy enough to try for yourself? Hope the video helps.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Masked Band-it

I fell victim to more "Pinspiration." (That's my made-up word.) Pinterest has continued to inspire me, for sure. It also makes time evaporate into thin air. Consider yourself warned.

This is the original pin created by Susan Roberts and posted to the gallery at Split Coast Stampers.  I thought this seemed like a cleverly simple masked background.

I fancy my Faber-Castell Oil Pastels, so I thought I'd try this technique with a something besides my go-to  hybrid inks. I masked a band on a white panel with painter's tape. (Removal of this inexpensive tape is easier if you add a little lint from your jeans to the tape before sticking it onto your paper. I forgot to do this and tore the paper upon removal.)  I then carefully, and I mean carefully, scribbled some color into the masked area. 

Then I took a cloth (the same one I use to clean my stamps), and rubbed the pastels into the paper to blend the color. Pretty, isn't it? Carefully peel off that tape. (Or use a much better masking tape designed for paper, like Eclipse from JudiKins.)

Next, I stamped the trees from the Aurora Borealis Club Stamp Unmounted Sheet onto the panel. If I were to do it again, I'd try it with StazOn. Oil 'n water don't mix. So the stamping over the oil pastels looks a wee bit different than it does on the raw paper. But I still liked it enough to keep going. . . 

I added a greeting from that same UM sheet and stamped it above the masked band. And, of course, had to hide my damaged paper from my tape removal debacle with a ribbon and bow.

Next, I tried it with our Hybrid inks and a CS Ink Applicator. I used Topaz, Earth, Leaf and Moss inks.

Hindsight had me adding more intensity to my ink application. We had a nifty sprig in the Gratitude kit, so I just grabbed that one. I think it works just fine!

I allowed the inks to dictate the papers for the card base. Paisley Olive and Matrix Brown!

And there 'ya have it. . . my masked band-it! Don't just "pin it". . . try it!

Monday, January 9, 2012

What's Gnu with Ewe?

Are you still as tarp as a shack?

I recently discovered that we have some of these adorable "Three Hour Tour" stamps in stock. It's just a little sheet of unmounteds poised for bringing a smile to your face.

I thought I'd personally challenge myself to combine every image on the sheet along with one Assembly Line Cardmaking formula to create an 8-pack of silly cards. I grabbed a more "mature" Club Scrap kit from my stash: Artifacts. One of my faves.

Formula: 6 of Clubs, double batch.
Materials: 12x12 Artifacts Dark Aqua Plain, 12x12 Artifacts Light Aqua Plain, 8.5x11 Artifacts Orange Print, 8.5x11 Artifacts Light Teal Print (Try this with your new Navajo collection!)

In keeping with my reputation for being "the efficient crafter," you'll need to know that you can pick up the Card Making Idea Deck anytime so that you can get busy crafting and saving time!

You're as tarp as a shack!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Laundry Pinspiration

It was exactly one year ago that my brother and I spent some time in Arizona with my mom and dad. I've been thinking about mom and missing her a lot lately. So, in the spirit of her infamous frugality, I decided to try something that she did when she was feeling up to it. . . make homemade laundry soap. I'd stumbled upon a recipe for a "high efficiency" washer, low-suds formula on Pinterest. Cost per load: 3/1000ths of a penny. Seriously, folks. That's amazing.
I picked up the three ingredients at WalMart. They were all sitting next to each other in a row on the shelf.

I used my large stainless steel Pampered Chef bowl to make the brew and their mandolin cheese grater to grate the hard soap before melting. 
It made a huge batch of 24 cups, and it wouldn't all fit into the empty laundry soap container that I had on hand, so I put some into canning jars. It's still "concentrated" and will be combined with the same amount of water when I'm ready to use it.

In fact, I'm using some right this moment. Exciting times at the Morris house this weekend: Friday night--make laundry soap. Saturday--do laundry. All day. Oh, and do some crafting while everything is spinnin'!
Let me know if you give this a try!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

It Started with a Sketch

Each month a Club Scrap member (aka "ScrappinJen") organizes a very popular card sketch challenge. She posts a simple sketch, and members utilize their Club Scrap stash to create a card based on that sketch.

Here it is, folks, the January 2012 card sketch:

3:16pm I thought it might be fun to see if I could put my "Assembly Line Cardmaking" skills to work by creating a simple cutting diagram to create the sketched card. . . I'm adding the time that my camera took each picture as I worked through this project so that you could see how "efficient" this method can be! Here's the diagram. Nothing fancy.

3:18pm I grabbed four different brand spankin' new 12x12 Navajo Prints (oh, right. . . the Gray one is plain) and checked for grain direction, knowing that I'd want to fold the cards in half easily. (Life is so much better when you work with the grain.) See how the paper dips down? I put it into my 12" Tonic Trimmer with the paper dipping from top to bottom, rather than left to right.

3:18pm Cut each 12x12 piece at 11.75 and 6". Trim the 5.75x12 horizontally at 11.25 and 5.75". Cut the 5.5x5.75 horizontally at 5.5".

3:19pm Next, score each 6x12 horizontally at 6" and fold the scored pieces into four 6x6 cards.

3:20pm Layer the 5.75x5.75" panels onto the folded cards, alternating colors.

3:22pm Use a craft knife, ruler and cutting mat to cut the 5.5x5.5" panels from corner to opposite corner.

3:23pm Uh, oh. How do I cut them perfectly into four quarters? Club Scrap's 8x8 Grid Ruler to the rescue. Simply line up the corner of the ruler with the 45-degree angle with the corner of the paper. Cut along the edge of the ruler. Perfection.

3:25pm And there they all are. . . 16 flawless triangles.

3:27pm Arrange the triangles onto the card panels like this. Stick everything down.

3:32pm Next, grab that very, very cool Navajo Stitching Stencil that you're about to receive in your monthly shipment (if you happen to be a member of Club Scrap). Also get some ink and a CS® Ink Applicator. Handy thing!

3:34pm Add any stitch you like, both on the seams between paper colors, and around the perimeter.

3:39pm Isn't that cool? I used a different stitch on each one, and stayed with a "blanket stitch" around the outside edges. Fast 'n easy.

3:46pm Grab the unmounted Greetings and Art Nouveau stamps. Let's play.

3:49pm For an accent in each card center, I carefully mounted a triple arrow image onto my etched acrylic block so that the tip of the arrow was lined up with the "x" in the middle.

3:49pm "X" marks the spot.

3:51pm Off to the studio with the finished cards. . .

Thanks for the great monthly card sketch challenge, Jen! Join us here

Execution of my plan took precisely 35 minutes. Posting and writing the blog took 33 minutes. Funny how that works.