Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I needed a Motivator

Have you seen the television show Wipeout? Yes, it's one of the stupidest shows on tv. Nevertheless, we have let it amuse us on occasion. (My four year loves it and pretends he's going through the obstacle course and getting "wiped out" into the water pool. It's pretty entertaining.)

One of the obstacles on the course is a set of four "Big Balls" that people are usually afraid to jump across to get to the finish line. So there's this giant swinging padded arm that drops down if the contestant takes too long to get a move on and "motivates" them by pushing them off the platform into the water below. They call it "The Motivator." (That's the role I'm assigned to when my four year old plays Wipeout.)

I needed a Motivator of my own to get crafting for my own personal life. I tend to get caught up in the projects I'm doing for class because I love figuring out the techniques and teaching them to others, but I find that my personal crafting falls by the wayside. My Motivator this week? Two five year old birthday parties at the same place, on the same day, with an hour break in between. Of course I waited until the night before the parties to make the cards. Sigh. I will never learn.

Here's what I came up with - you know how I love to match!

Here I took some plain white butcher paper and stamped it with the On a Pedestal stamp set, tied some pretty pink bows with taffeta ribbon in Pretty in Pink, and made a matching card (below).

For the second party I used the Lots of Bots stamp set and stamped with the nuts and bolts stamp all over a plain white gift bag. I made a matching card and thought that a matching plate for the bag would really tie it all together. Since I took this picture with my iPhone the sentiment is hard to read: Happy Birthday Human. The chubby little robot is holding a balloon and gift bag and he's just so cute. I colored him in with my blender pens and my Basic Gray and Baja Breeze ink pads. Four silver brads at the corners add to the metallic feel of the card. The back of the envelope got sponged and stamped with the nuts and bolts stamp from the set.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

It's called a "ha-noo-kee-uh"

My kids have special lunchboxes. These lunchboxes require them to get someone to help them open their lunch everyday. That was not supposed to be the point of these lunchboxes. The point of these lunchboxes was to reduce waste. They have these special little containers that fit oh-so-perfectly inside along with a special ice pack that fits just perfectly, of course. It's a great idea and design except that the containers are hard for little hands to open and they frequently spill their lunches all over their clothes.

Anyway, the point of all this is that the lunchboxes also have really cool interchangeable faceplates. You can order custom plates from their site, or if you are crafty (ahem) you can make your own. My friend Jennifer  first showed me the lunchboxes and had the fabulous idea of making our own faceplates and I loved it. With the help of a laminator from Costco we've been cranking them out for our children. (She in a much more timely fashion than me of course!)

Ok, the point! I finally took off the Halloween plates (yes, I'm that belated) and replaced them with these:

I tried to convince Gwenny it would be cool to tell her friends that the menorah we use for Hanukah is actually called a "hannukiah", but she wasn't buying it. It's true though. A hannukiah is a special menorah that has spots for eight candles plus one helper candle (called the shamis), whereas a regular menorah only has room for seven. Do you recognize Stampin' Up!'s Modern Label punch as the candles and the wing from the 2-Step Bird punch as the flames? Super quick and easy!

"It's Santa's big fat belly!!!" was apparently the chorus that rang out when the kids at school caught site of the other side:

I just cut a square of silver glitter paper and punched a square out of the middle with my 1 1/4" square punch from Stampin' Up! It came out a little crooked but Santa likes to call that "jaunty".

Sorry for the picture quality - I was in a hurry and used my iPhone instead of setting up my little photo studio. And really, I should have taken pictures before I laminated them to eliminate the glare. Oh well, you get the idea.

Until next time - happy crafting!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sneak Peak of Stamp Class

Hey there crafty people! I hope you are coming to Stamp Class this Friday because you're going to love the new technique I'll be teaching you! Here's a sneak peak of one of the three projects we'll be completing this month.

New to Stamp Class? Your first class is free! I need to know that you're coming so that I can have your materials prepared so please send me an email if you'd like to join us!

I'll be starting up a new Hostess Club in February - contact me if you'd like to join! Hostess Club allows you to earn free Stampin' Up! products just by placing a minimum order (usually $30, depending on the number of members) each month. Members take turns receiving hostess benefits - one member per month. Months are assigned according to preference on a first-come first-served basis, so if you have a preference let me know right away!

Hostess Club members are also allowed to bring in additional orders during their month (through word of mouth or by hosting an in-home workshop) to earn even more free products! As a thank you to each member I allow Hostess Club members to attend my monthly Stamp Class for free.

Guess who else gets to come to class for free? My Stampin' Up! downline demonstrators! Today is the last day to sign up as a demonstrator for 50% off the Starter Kit - that's $87.50 for more than $300 worth of Stapin' Up! products and materials! Let me know if you'd like to join my team - signing up is easy, you can even do it online.

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Westoak Woods Craft Bazaar this Saturday!

Come out and shop this Saturday from 9-4 at the Westaok Woods Craft Bazaar. I'll be there and there will be tons of cute stuff and yummy food! I'd love to see some friendly faces at my first real craft bazaar!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Wow - can I join again?

I could not believe what I read this morning when I logged into the Stampin' Up! Demonstrator web site. Starter Kits are about to be half off. That means they're $87.50 for over $300 of stuff!

If you have a wishlist and want a discount or if you are looking to make some extra money, now is the time. It's for two weeks only. This is crazy! Let me know if you want to know more.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Best Homemade Project Ever!

I can't take any credit for this one - my brother and sister-in-law worked hard for 9 months on this project. I think it turned out just darling! I mean, look at the attention to detail! See how nicely they blended the colors? Oh and the texture - pure genious!

This is my new niece Cassandra and she's just the cutest sweetest thing. Congratulations to her parents and thanks for sharing her with the rest of us!
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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Fork Bows

As promised to my class attendees last night, here's the link to the blog that I got the tutorial from. It teaches you how to tie a super cute bow using a fork. http://dianagibbs.typepad.com/stampin_with_di/2008/06/lets-fork.html

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Custom Order/Chaos

A week or so ago I participated in a Fall Bazaar at my hair dresser's salon in Buda - Sapphire Salon. I had made an adorable memo pad folder from a Stampin' Up! decorated file folder.

Inside is a mini legal pad and a pocket for coupons, etc.

A couple of the girls loved it but wanted to know if they could order custom designs, specifically a pink & black one (no biggie) and a zebra print one (umm, sure?). I agreed and off I went in search of a zebra print file folder. Let me tell you, they are not easy to come by locally!

So I decided to try to wrap a standard file folder in decorative paper and Modge Podge it. (That's a decorative glue that dries hard and clear.) I started with the pink and black folder.

As you can see, things didn't go so well. The paper had bubbles under it that just wouldn't smooth out with the Modge Podge. "I know! I'll put Crystal Effects (a really hard super glossy drying glue from Stampin' Up!) on it." Well, apparently when you apply Crystal Effects over a large flexible surface this happens.

Anyone in the market for a super warped custom memo pad folder?

Back to the drawing board! I found some super cute file folders at an office supply store and went with those. Here I heat embossed the Melon Mambo (pink) panel with Stampin' Up!s Irridescent Ice embossing powder then overlayed some Black Flourish Designer Jewels from the Holiday Mini Catalog. I heat set the jewels briefly to ensure the glue would hold firmly to the glittery pink surface.

I used the same embossing technique on the paper inside the matching pen.

The zebra print one was a bit more complicated since I never found a zebra print file folder to work with. (More on that later!) I found this paper called "embroidery paper" that you can sew on and it also happens to be water resistant and flexible. Very cool. I used that to cover the front outer cover and backed the entire piece with Stampin' Up!s Sticky Pages, which are 12" x 12" super sticky double sided adhesive pages.

For the inside I lined it with some 12"x12" zebra print paper. I used the embroidery paper again to make the matching pen and the topper for the memo pad.

I love the way it turned out!

I packaged them up in cellophane bags and made matching paper toppers with brads and a thank you tag for each. Super cute!

Oh, and after going to five different stores around town looking for the zebra print folder and finally giving up, yesterday I found these at the one craft store I didn't visit on my Great Hunt for the Zebra Print File Folder.

I bought them just on principal.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Handmade Holiday Gifts and Gift Wrap Class

Want to create a beautiful handmade gift for a loved one, teacher, or coworker this year? Come to my Handmade Holiday Class and I'll show you how! Sunday, November 28th beginning at 1pm - please see specific times below for each project. We'll be creating handmade gifts as well as gift wrap throughout the afternoon. I'll provide all the materials you need. You may come and stay all afternoon or just at the times assigned to your projects.

Please see the details below and respond no later than Thursday, November 11 to let me know how many of each project you wish to make. Space is limited and all participants must prepay by November 11th. Please respond via evite and include your project list in your reply. You will also find a PayPal link on the evite if you wish to pay by PayPal or credit card. Cash and check accepted by payment deadline as well.

Small Glass Block Light $19.50

Large Glass Block Light $24.50

1pm - 2pm

Create a beautiful hand etched glass block light that will become the focal point of the room! These lights are completely customizable for the winter holidays or any other occasion. You choose which stamps you would like to use - the possibilities are endless! (optional bow topper available) I'll provide the glass blocks, stamps, etching cream, and everything else you need.

Dazzling Hand Stained Glass Ornaments $1.50 ea
2pm - 2:30pm

Stain these beautiful ornaments your favorite color and then add the glitter! The beauty is, the glitter stays on the inside, so there's no mess. Choose from any of my ink colors or order your favorite color ahead of time from my Stampin' Up! online store.

Hand Stamped Tumbled Travertine Tile Coasters - set of 4  $7.50
2:30pm - 3:30pm

Create a matching seasonal set or a year round set with your choice of my extensive stamps and colors! Travertine tile is naturally absorbent, so these gorgeous coasters soak up the condensation from your glass, keeping your table pristine. Each set will be heat set and coated with a sealant before being tied up in an adorable ribbon and bow, ready for gift giving! Tiles will be supported by cork "feet" to prevent scratching table tops.

Custom Jewelry for Yourself or Your Loved Ones

5/8" square pendant $10.66
1" x 1" square pendant $21.37
1.25" x 1" pendant $22.56
1.5" x 2" pendant $26.17
24" chain $13.04
34" chain $15.42

Make a monogrammed pendant or a dazzling snowflake charm, or any other design you like! You can then change the design as often as you like by replacing the insert. Please specify which pendant and chain you would like so that I may place your custom order.

Hand Stamped Scented Candles  $7.50 ea
4pm - 4:45pm

You'll never believe how easy it is to create hand stamped candles! You choose the stamps; I show you how! Wrap them up in these cellophane bags, tie them with a bow, add a tag and they're ready to be given as a gift! Please specify red or white.

Quick and Easy Gift Tags - 10 cents ea
Time - ongoing throughout the afternoon

Making gift tags has never been easier than with my coordinating stamps and punches! You'll fly through these quickly and love presenting your gifts with a handmade touch. (String used in class will be white.)

Need just a few tags? Take them home in this adorable pillow box so you can see what's inside.  - 50 cents

Need a lot of tags? Create this beautiful gift tag box to store them!  $4.50
4:45pm - 5:30pm

Handmade Bag & Card Sets
4:45pm - 5:30pm

The recipient will flip over these gorgeous handmade bags and the matching envelope (attached) and card! They are so easy to make and they couldn't be cuter! Small bag measures approximately 3.5"x4.5"x2". Large bag measures approximately 9.5"x8"x3.5". Bag designs will vary.

Small bag & card  $3
Large bag & card $5

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Secret Pal and "Oh, these are not what I thought they were - good thing I bought 30!"

I volunteered to be a Secret Pal at Gwenny's school. This means that four times a year I get to give something to a faculty/staff member anonymously. Of course that means it's time to get CRAFTY!

So, funny story. Stampin' Up! recently had a big Clearance Rack Blitz where I scored these adorable hinged metal tins. I thought they would be just perfect fr packing up sets of cards since they measure slightly larger than an A2 size card.

Ba hahahahahaha! Yeah, notice the nice rounded corners? That would make them too small to fit a regular card. Me so sad. Good thing I bought 30 of them!

So I've been getting creative about using them. I made an adorable gift tag set that I'll show you when I post about the Fall Bazaar that I partcipated in. This time I decided to use it as a candy box for my Secret Pal.

I gave one box to my friend Jennifer so she could help solve this dilemna (what to do with 30 too small boxes). I called her this afternoon and she described how she had decorated hers with a Top Note Die Cut (using her Big Shot machine) and I thought that was an excellent idea.

I filled the inside with Hershey's Nuggets. I made custom wrappers for the nuggets using my brayer to ink up some address labels. I think they turned out pretty cute! The green ones say "Spooky" and the orange ones say "Have a wicked Halloween." Those are monster eyes looking out of the dark on teh purple ones. The black ones I stamped in VersaMark ink and embossed with white embossing powder.

Bath & Body works had these cute Halloween themed hand sanitizers for $1 so I made a little holder for it by following a tutorial I found on www.splitcoaststampers.com.

The outside has a shimmery moon punched out of Shimmery White cardstock with our new 2.5" circle punch and a couple bats with the super cute new bat punch. I held it shut with some Raven Lace ribbon from the current Holiday Mini catalog. On the inside I used a stamp from the Sweet Centers stamp set.

Happy Halloween!
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