Crafter’s block {when the “muse” goes away}

I tell you, I have not been able to get out of my own way in my studio lately! It is clean and organized, I have time to create but where is that darn muse when you need her? Well, today instead of waiting for inspiration to strike I was just going to force myself to make something, my expectations were not high, mainly I just wanted to get inky and enjoy myself and here is what I made:

To kick myself into action I checked out the weekly sketch at Oriental Stamp Art (OSA is a great stamping yahoo group, the ladies there are so inspiring and it helps to surround yourself with like-minded stampers either in real life or online) and decided to grab some stamps and go from there. I used stamps from About Art Accents/Art Neko. Another way to overcome crafter’s block is to use colors you don’t normally reach for, in my case SU! Orchid Opulence (there is a reason they discontinued this color LOL!) I inked up the Chinese Coin Border stamp with that somewhat hideous purple, rocked the edges of the stamp in Elegant Eggplant and then used my rose red brush tip marker to color the coins-just be sure to scribble your marker on scrap paper after to remove any ink you may pick up from the stamp. I stamped that 3 times on white bristol board (Strathmore) then I colored the coins with my mustard and yellow-green copic markers. I was pleasantly surprised that the ink underneath did not smear.

Stamps: About Art Accents, Paper: Basic Grey, Ink: SU!, Markers: Copic, Die Cuts: Lettering delights

I decided that the card needed some die cuts so I used my Cricut and SCAL software to cut pretty tags-one for the happy birthday sentiment, one for my label on the envelope and one for the inside of my card. I lined the inside of my card with an “experiment” from a few months ago. The die cut labels are from an SVG set called Delilah Tags from Lettering Delights, they look like the new Spellbinder tags and labels that arte hot right now but these are $5 and you can cut them any size you want!

So there you have it, sometimes you have to force the creativity…when I started a project with orchid ink and mustard markers I seriously doubted I’d have anything post-worthy but you never know, get inky and enjoy the process! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

New FREE Cricut software and SVG freebies too!

OK, the biggest deal in crafting is happening now, the CHA Winter show. I heard-tell of some new software that Cricut is releasing to work with all Cricut models-even the Imagine-and it is 100% free and online. I do not know when it will be officially released but I bet this week. I found my info on the Cricut Facebook Page, I “liked” it so I will catch any news on the new program, gotta love free!

As you know I am a Sure Cuts a Lot girl! I love SCAL and being able to design my own die cuts as well as cut my computer fonts. I’ve told you many times that I love using the fonts and doodlebats from Lettering Delights, and I’ve also told you that they design many of Cricut’s cartridges. Well now they are in the SVG business and they have like 40 SVG sets for sale! Cool huh? and many are 40% off right now so check out all their new SVG designs!

They also have a free Monster love bundle up for grabs, download it now while it is free!

Don’t forget you can cut these cool SVGs in Sure Cuts a Lot (SCAL) software that is also on sale right now! These will work with Make the Cut software too BTW :)

All these sets are 40% off!

I’m gonna play with some of theses new SVGs today-inbetween helping DS with his pinewood derby car-it’s sure to get the creative juices flowing! Till next time happy crafting!

A Pizza Party Playdate!

Howdy there! Yesterday afternoon I let my kids each invite a friend over to play, I told their parents that the kids could ride home on the bus (to our house) and they could pick them up around 6, after I feed them supper. So how to you entertain 6 kids aged 6-8 for 3 hours and feed them something everyone will like? Easy, you have a Make-Your-Own Pizza party!

 

The biggest tip I can give parents is to do all of the prep work before the kids get there. I made the pizza dough in the bread maker (recipe at the end of this post) and chopped up all the topping ahead of time. I printed labels/place cards from my new Pizza Party Kit with the toppings typed on them so the kids would know what they had. Also the “Menu” sign was a fun touch and the kids could think about what they wanted to make before it was time to cook.

Also I made some banana muffins for dessert because I had 3 ripe bananas on my counter. I am very proud of myself because they are all puffy and round on the top, that never happens-so I took a pic, I love the happy cupcake toppers from the kit, I ended up giving them the muffins with a glass of milk when they arrived off the bus (I’m such a softie :)

OK so while the kids were playing a prepared the toppings and dough. I did not have enough matching bowls for the toppings and I hate to use disposable so I used  a bunch of teacups to display the toppings. Don’t worry, the kids won’t notice LOL! Also I divided the dough in 8 equal portions (two were reserved) and set a sheet of waxed paper at each place at the table. The wax paper will limit the mess and make it easier to get the pizzas in the pans later for cooking. Be sure to sprinkle the waxed paper with flour before you put the dough down so it does not stick. Let the kids pound the dough flat (they will have a ball with this!) and when they have it flat go around the table and put a tablespoon or two of sauce and let them spread it around. Then let them decorate their pizza!

Don’t forget to make them wash their hands before and after they make the pizza! After they are done you can send them off to play again you can put the pizzas on cookie sheets covered with foil. Use a toothpick to engrave their name next to their pizza so you can remember who made it. You might want to spray the foil with cooking spray, I did not and at first the pizza felt like it might stick but I let it cool for a few then I could lift it off the foil with a spatula. Look at the pretty pizza!

The kids had a blast and I am so glad that I can see my kids interact with their friends, hear them chatter about stuff and laugh, what a nice afternoon! It was no more work than making dinner and they all ate what they made, only 2 kids had leftovers!

The party printables only took a couple of minutes to print, cut and assemble and they add such a nice touch. Here is a look at the Pizza Party Kit:

Here is Linny’s Famous Pizza Dough recipe (I’m Linny LOL)

4 cups bread flour

1 1/2 cups water

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil (soybean, olive or canola)

2 Tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon yeast

Put everything in a bread machine and run on the dough cycle, it will take about an hour and a half. I divided it to make 8 pizzas and that was good for the kids and me for a portion. Let the kids flatten the dough and decorate the pizza then bake the finished pizzas for 10 minutes at 400. Check that the crust is golden and I like to peek underneath to make sure the underside of the pizza is a light golden-brown.

I am entering this project in the Paper Playtime “Party” challenge. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

U-R-Sweet!

It is getting to be that time again, Valentines day is just a couple of weeks away (can you believe it!) and I used the Vintage Christmas Labels to make a Valentine card! Remember, the labels in that kit can be used anytime of year! Check last Thursdays post for the add-on freebie for that kit! I like to print out a bunch of labels so I always have them on hand for a quick card or scrapbook page.

Here is a look at the kit I used on this card:

Vintage Christmas Labels

And here are some other Valentine themed products you might like:

Posh'n Trendy StampsValentine Party Add-onValentine Party Printables & SVGFreebie: Vintage Sheet MusicA Lttle Lovin' Clips & CuttingOn The Line StampsPretty Favors SVGSweetTreat SVGPretty Banners SVG3-D Mailbox TemplateLove Grows Here Digital Stamp SetDoodle Flowers Digital Stamp Set

Now for something completely different, a flaming basketball SVG file, I had to make a sign for the basketball team this week and they wanted a flaming basketball so I used my Cricut and SCAL software to make the signs.  I did not take a picture of the finished sign so here is the screenshot :) Click the pic to download!

 

I cut these shapes from vynal and layered them, they looked awesome on a sign for the cheerleaders halftime floor cheer!

Now let’s see what the Lindsay’s Stamp Stuff DT had made this week. This week we say goodby to out DT coordinater Cheryl Gorka, we have enjoyed her projects for over a year and will miss her dearly.

 

Cheryl Gorka DT Coordinator

Shannon Neparko

Margie Visnick

Tracey Allen

Leanne Garner

Tamara Bennett

Cindi Hooks

Micki Harper

Karin Martin

Jennifer Bliss

Rhonda Walker

Diane Bove

Oh, by the way, today’s project qualifys for the following challenges: audsentimentschallengeblog , bunnyzoescrafts, craftyourdaysaway, Pile it On, dancinginpajamas, Whoopsie Daisy (love), claudiaandcompany(recipe),  craftyourpassionchallenges (2 pattern papers), creataliciouschallenges, reasonableribbon (ribbon) and the sketch from mojomonday.

Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Cutting The Card Clutter!

There is something about January…for me anyway…that makes me want to get rid of stuff! Maybe it is the influx of Christmas and the feeling of being choked by stuff or maybe it is just a fresh start. I shared my newly organized craft room with you the other day and yesterday I hauled 2 lawn and garden bags of clothes and shoes out of my closet to send off to GoodWill. Then I went into my craftroom and hauled out the baskets of cards I’ve made throughout the year. This is another January tradition of mine. I separate my cards into 4 boxes: To submit, to use, to sell and to donate.

Card from the Dec/Jan issure of Ready Set Create by Lindsay Weirich.

Every year a local woman’s shelter has an auction and I give them a heaping box of cards to raffle off, the money goes to the shelter, I feel really good about my craft helping that cause! The donation box goes to them. You could also drop a box of cards off at a nursing home or send it to Operation Write Home too. They will all gladly take your handmade cards. Be sure to include envelopes as well.

For my cards I want to sell I put a card with its envelope in a clear self sealing bag. I get them by the thousand at uline.com in 6″x9″and 7″x7″ for protecting my cards and these sizes work for all. I do this  for both the donations and the to sell cards. In the to sell cards I put a strip of paper with “handmade cards by Lindsay Weirich” and the price ($3-$5) in the envelope too so it is ready to put in one of the shops I sell at. I don’t bother with selling cards on line but if you do this would be a good habit to get into after you photograph your cards.

Time-saving Tip: Always make an envelope when you make a card! unless…

All my pretty cards that I did not make an envelope to match I pop in the submit box. Then I sit down with my box of cards and my laptop (usually while watching TV) and type up all the supplies and directions and stick return address labels with my info on the back of the cards so I can mail a heaping priority mail box full of cards out to my favorite publisher:) I used to hate mailing out unsolicited artwork but with the prolific amount of stuff I make I can afford to ship off 30 cards and not miss them:) You can even get together with friends and submit a bunch of cards together and share on the cost of postage. It is so fun to get a free magazine in the mail showcasing your work! Plus most magazines donate the cards after they publish them to charity :) Twice as good-and I don’t want them back LOL!

If you want to download my submission from you can for free here. You can copy and paste it as many times as you need (one table for each card) and fill in the fields. Then print it and tape it to the back of you card to submit so all of the info on the card is ready for the publisher. For more tips and info on getting published please join mt “Get Published” group at MyGrafico Community, it’s free!

I only hang on to half a dozen or so cards to use, usually of the cute birthday variety so I have a quick card to grab for my kid’s friends birthdays. I usually make a fresh card (inspired by the recipient) when I need a card :)

I like to make things, but ironically after they are made I don’t feel the need to keep them, I love having them gone from my studio so I can start creating fresh new projects.

Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

 

 

Digistamping for Dummies!

Hold on a minute, I’m not calling anyone a dummy, I just want to show you how easy it is to print and use digital stamps. Here is a card I made with my new Posh ‘n Trendy Digital stamp set. (the card die cut is from Envelope Bonanza):

Digital Stamp and Envelope template: Lindsay's stamp stuff, Papers: American crafts, DCWV, Clear stamps: Crafty secrets(sentiment), Ingue boutique Bird, small swirl), autumn leaves(big swirl), Markers: Copic

OK if you have never used a digital stamp before you need to know how to unzip a file. Most digital stamps will be in a zip file containing JPG and PNG files and all of my multi-stamp sets come this way. Unziping a file is easy. Just download the set (save the set to your computer) then right-click on the icon and chose “Extract files”. See the next two photos for help.

Now that you have the files in a folder on your computer you can print them. You can print them in whatever software you would use to print photos but if you don’t want to bother with that you can print them in Microsoft Word or my personal favorite, the free software Open Office. Open Off ice is free, safe, legal and very similar to MS Word (I actually like it better and am using it for this tutorial). Here are the steps:

Now you give it a try! Feel free to try this with some of my blog freebies or with my new Posh ‘n Trendy set $5 at Lindsay’s stamp Stuff:

Now think of all the cute digistamps you can print and use, it is a great way to expand your creativity! Digital stamps can work great with you traditional stamps too. I stamped a rubber stamp sentiment and flourish on my card and even inked the edges. It was really fun!

Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

10 minute Thank You card

nope, I’m not kidding, you can make this card in 10 minutes using my Vintage Christmas Label digital stamp set. When I designed the Vintage Christmas labels set I wanted to a. Make a set that was quick to use and could be cut out with your nestie die cuts in a snap and b. Make a set you could use all year-long! I need a lot of Thank you cards after the holidays so I thought I’d show you how to make a chic, vintage, elegant one in 10 minutes flat:

To begin I printed the labels from the Vintage Christmas label kit on Staples cream cardstock (I love this for ink jet printing and it is heavyweight and affordable $15 for 250 sheets) to change the color I went into the adjust menu in Paint Shop Pro, then clicked hue/saturation then chose hue/saturation/lightness and played with the sliders until I got the color I wanted. There are many different ways to re-color, that works best for me:) I used the font Rosewood to type the “thank” on the bingo card and the “U” that I simply punched out. Then it was just a matter of cutting and gluing!

I used some crinkled seam binding and stick pins for a little vintage flair and that was it, easy peasy!

Here is a look at the Vintage Christmas Labels set I used in the project:

Vintage Christmas Labels

and here is an add-on freebie so you can get more use out of that set:

click on the preview to go to the download page :)

Now let’s see what the fabulous Lindsay’s stamp stuff DT has for us this week:

Cheryl Gorka DT Coordinator

Margie Visnick

Tracey Allen

Leanne Garner

Tamara Bennett

Cindi Hooks

Micki Harper

Karin Martin

Jennifer Bliss

Rhonda Walker

Diane Bove

Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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