Quillin’ like a villain!

Howdy! Would you like to try your hand at making some charming embellishments that are quick and cute and cost pennies? Great! Today I will show you how to twirl paper so you can create whatever you like. It only takes a few inexpensive tools to make the following creations and today’s video will show you how easy it is!

Ready to try some quilling? I apologize for the long video, I wanted to cover as much on quilling as I could. If it plays jerkily (is that a word?) just let it play through (go do something else for a while and come back and 30 minutes) and start it again and it should be smooth. Watch the video:

Here is a look at the scrapbook page from the video.

And the full halloween tag.

Here are some great quilling resources:

Quilled Creations (a quality supplier of quilling patterns, supplies and kits, lots of great ideas too!)

Quilling.com, the home of Lake City Crafts, they have high quality supplies and a wonderful beginner quilling instruction page.

I am entering these projects in the following challenges:  4 Crafty Chicks, Just For Fun, Crafting for all Seasons, Crafts and Me, Freshly Brewed, Inky Impressions, Little Darlings Challenges, Penny’s Paper-Crafty, Simon Says Stamp, Whimsical Wednesdays, Anything Goes Challenge, Partytime Tuesdays and Critter Sketch.

Happy crafting!

Another batch of quick Christmas cards…

…I’m noticing a trend here…quick cards! Honestly I often spend more than 10 minutes on a project but I do love a quick craft now and then especially when making batch cards. Here is one that is easy to mass produce, the stamps are from Papertrey ink (Year of Flowers and Garden Variety) but you can use any frame and flower set you have:

This was so simple to make. First cut ATC sized panels of cream cardstock. You can get the most from a sheet of 8.5″x11″ cardstock by cutting 2-2.5″x11″ strips and you are left with 1-3.5″x11″ strip, then cut the strips us so you have 10 2.5″x3.5″ standard ATC sized cards (there will be a teeny bit leftover). Stamp the seed packet on each card in brown and once on a post it note. Cut the middle of the seed packet image out of the post it note and use it as a mask to stamp the poinsettia from the year of flowers set in red and green. Easy peasy! This is a great card to use up scrap holiday papers simply by glueing them to a standard card base and adhering the faux seed packet on top and it is quite pretty!

That’s it for tonight, I stayed up WAY to late scrapping with the girls last night (I spent from 7:30pm-12:30am working on a 2 page layout that I did not finish because I was too busy flapping my gums LOL!) and I had to be up bright an early to get my kids ready for school pictures and get my own tired but to a dentist appointment at 8am…yawn…so thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

John Deer Green….

My nephew turned 2 yesterday and had a John Deer themed party so I sat down to make a card and I did not have a single tractor stamp, I must remedy that LOL! So instead I used bright green and yellow as the inspiration for this card and tag set that took 15 minutes to make:


I was thrilled to see that the scallop punch I have fits a stamp set by Fiskars that I got for $3 on clearance at JoAnns a few month ago. I grabbed assorted stamps and patterned paper (DCWV) and some homemade seam binding and set to work!


My sister is a scrapbooker so I made sure the tag and card could easily be recycled on a page if she wanted…and she usually does too!


Thanks all for today, thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Simple Stamping for your Saturday {or Sunday!}

I hope you are having a great weekend! I am looking forward to apple picking and my nephew’s birthday tomorrow! Even with a busy weekend you can sneak in a little time to stamp. Here are 2 cute and simple cards I made in minutes with Papertrey Ink’s Button Boutique set, the first one is shabby…

…and the second one is chic!

I went to a yard sale this summer and bought 2 boxes of 100 cards and envelopes for $1 each thinking “well a penny an envelope is nothing to sneeze at!” but I did not think I would use the cards but the little silver border is just the touch to add a bit of chic-ness (OK, not a word but you get my drift) to a card. So, only 189 more cards to go LOL! 🙂

I want to enter these cards in the following challenges: Alphabet Challenge, Delicious Doodles, and Freshly Brewed.

Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

How to make a custom die cut

Happy Friday folks! Are you doing any stamping this weekend? Well how you like to lean how to make custom die cuts to match your stamps using Sure Cuts a Lot software. I am going to show you 3 ways to make a custom mat, the first is very easy, the second is a bit more tricky and the third will require the use of a free program called inkscape. I used these techniques to cut the mats for the stamped images in this batch of 5 minute Christmas cards:

The mat I made for the stamped oval uses the first easy technique. To do this simply measure the hight and width of the stamped image and type those measurements into the properties box of scal. Then select appearance and chose a shadow of .5 to 1 and that will leave a nice border to your stamped art and smooth the edges of the design. I used an oval scallop from the free font 09 Kutups by Clever Someday.

After you size the shape try cutting it, then stamping you image on the die cut. If it fits perfectly great! If not tweak it a bit and try again. When it is perfect you want to save this as an SVG so you can use it again and again without having to test it. Simply click “file” and “Export” then type the name of the new file, I recommend including the stamp name so you will know what stamp it goes with such as Notably_ornate_scallop.svg because it matches the oval from the Notably Ornate Stampin’ Up set. ***You will use this step after any of these methods to save your die-cut to size & scale.

So basically that technique would be acceptable for any label/frame stamp you have, all you need to do is alter the width and height of your shape. You can even do it in Cricut design studio or gypsy as long as you have the cart to cut it out. I am so glad I got SCAL to use with my Cricut before it went off the market!

For your next trick we will do a simple image trace in scal2 (or scal3), you can also do this in inkscape, see my tutorial here. So first you need to find (or stamp and scan) the image you want to make a mat for. I went online to find images from the stamp set I wanted to create die cuts for. I love this stamp set (The Maison Frame set from Inkadinkado) and I have had it and used it a lot for years! I right-clicked on a picture of the stamp set that I found online then clicked “save as” to save it to my computer. Then I opened my SCAL program and I clicked the button that looks like a tree in scal and chose the file I just saved:

when you click OK the converted images will show up on your mat, now you need to get rid of everything except for the outlines that you want. You simply select the shape and go into the object menu and choose break apart, then click on the lines you do not want and hit delete.

You will be left with outline shapes that are clean and good to cut.

Copy one of the designs and past it into a new page. Measure your stamp and type measurements into the properties box. Then you can add shadows if desired and test your cut. When it is perfect export the SVG as explained in the first example. Repeat for each shape.

Sometime you end up with a stamp that has broken or sketchy lines for a border so you cannot simply trace it. In that case you need to create a file from scratch Like I did for the die cut I used on the journal block on these cards. The Journal block is also from the Notably Ornate set from Stampin Up:

Having a bit of a border allows a bit of “wiggle room” when stamping so it looks great even if you stamp a bit crooked 😉

One of the frames from the maison frames set was good for this technique. It is a bit more advanced but one you do it you will find it quick and easy. You will need to use the free (and AWESOME!) program inkscape for this. Did you know that you can cut directly from inkscape with a Silhouette die cutting machine? Anyway you need to open the jpg that you saved earlier but this time we are going to draw our design over the calligraphy looking frame. Select the pen tool (see photo) and click on the top point of the frame, then click on each indent as shown (note: since we have a symmetrical design we are just going to do one corner and copy & past the other 3) then click in the middle of the frame and close the path by clicking on the node where you began. It it like making a child’s dot-to-dot game.

Now copy that shape and paste it, flip the second shape and line them up to make the top of the frame:

Drag a box around both of the shapes and copy and past and flip it to make the bottom:

Save this file and import it into SCAL as you would any SVG. Size it and add a shadow and test cut as above before exporting it as a final file. I like to cut sheets of the frames at a time and store them with the stamp set for quick and easy crafting! Here is a look at the frames we made today:

Please excuse my beat up Cricut mat, I’ve been on a Provocraft boycott since they sued SCAL and my mats are totally scuzzy BUT I just found out that Sizzix Eclips mats and blades will work in my Cricut Expression so I just ordered a bunch, they are cheaper too and they say the blades will last longer which is great because I just replaced a cricut blade last week and it is already dull! I’ll let you know how the Eclips mats and blades work. I’m thinking when my Cricut machine breaks I will get a Sizzix Eclips or a Silhouette because they both endorse SCAL software so I know they won’t leave the customers high and dry. I’ll probably get an Eclips because the mats and blades are cheaper.

So I fretted a bit about sharing these mat files I think I am OK to do so since they are just basic outlines and the stamp companies do not offer die cut shapes (plus they will probably sell more copies of their stamp sets LOL!) but if anyone form Stampin Up or EK Success has any problem with this I will remove them ASAP 🙂

Here are the 2 files that coordinate with the Notably Ornate Stampin Up set:

Journaling mat

Oval Note (thanks to Kay from Clever Someday for letting my use the 09KutUps font!)

Here are the 4 files that match the Inkadinkado Maison Frames set (I’m not crazy about the way the bracket-square one came out but there is a very close shape in the 09Kutups font you can use in place of it)

Maison Frame 1

Maison Frame 2

Maison Frame 3

Maison Frame4

So there you have it! You can create custom dies cuts for all of your stamps, neat huh? Thanks for sticking with this extremely long post and til next time happy crafting!

How to make a shaped pinata!

Nothing adds an element of fun to a birthday party as a pinata. Instead of spending $20 for a store-bought one I decided to make my own to match my Rock & Roll party favors and decorations with stuff from the recycling bin and craft supplies and it only cost me $2!

Here’s How: You will need masking tape and cardboard, I used a large box but if you don’t have any cardboard call you local large appliance store and ask for some.  First cut two identical shaped from the cardboard, then cut a 4″ strip of cardboard and attach it to the shapes at the sides as shown.

You need to leave a part of the side open so you can fill it with candy.

Before I decorated mine I filled it and glued the hatch shut. Then I had my daughters fringe the crepe paper with scissors (both safety scissors and fringing scissors, use what you have) as I hot glued it on.

I used the die cuts I had cut out for my own reference to decorate the pinata, don’t forget to decorate the back too! I had some metallic embroidery thread so I made strings with that and I used scraps of metallic vinyl to make the knobs and tuning pegs. You can use aluminum foil too.

I love how the pinata matches the decor of the party perfectly and I was able to recycle and save money at the same time. One of the moms at the party asked if it was worth it (making the pinata with my time vs. the cost of buying one) and I said absolutely because it only took about an hour and I had a blast making it. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

A Party and a Freebie!

Well it is good to be back to blogging after a busy few days. My twins turned seven and we had their birthday party over the weekend. My girls chose to have a “rock star diva” themed party and it was a lot of fun to do and I really liked the results! I used the Rock and Roll and Zebra Party Printable freebie kits on this party. We had the shin-dig in the backyard so I took advantage of what was there already. I cleaned the kids’ clubhouse and turned it into a “Tattoo Parlor” and face painting station:

I painted the kids faces and while they waited they could apply rock ‘n roll themed temporary tattoos to themselves. I also had a stash of glam necklaces they could wear and some microphones and inflatable “air guitars” for them to grab and play with. I made the pinata hanging outside the tattoo parlor out of a cardboard box and crepe paper, I’ll post a tutorial on that tomorrow.

We had 15 kids come to the party and they each took 3 swings and it wasn’t until they were on their second turn that it broke apart!

I borrowed an industrial snow cone maker from a friend and it was the hit of the party. I had a hard time finding snow cone syurp so I went to Bed Bath & Beyond and bought chef’s condiment bottles then went to the grocery store and got 100% juice concentrate (the kind in the frozen cans) and filled the bottles with the juice concentrate. They were the best snow-cones I have ever tasted!

I used the water bottle labels in the freebie kit to label the snow-cone  flavors. I used packing tape to laminate the labels so my inkjet printer ink would not run when it got wet, and trust me it would have!

I also used packing tape over the labels on the glass water pitchers. I had looked for glass pitchers with a spigot on the side for a long time and do you know where I found them? Big Lots! And they were a steal at $10 each, I’d grab some now if you want them because they might be seasonal.

I couldnt resist grabbing my camera when the kids all tried to get on the teeter-totter at once (no, I did not put them up to it just to get a good scrapbook photo) how funny!

It is nice to have a pop up canopy over the food table, it keeps leaves from falling in the food and it keeps the sun from heating it up too much AND it provided a decorating opportunity! My friend Glenna found this awesome guitar trim for me and I simply clipped it to the fabric of the canopy with clothespins. I taped 3 balloons to each of the posts and I hung nine paper chandeliers (that I cut with my die cutter) to the metal supports with fishing line.

I like to find decorations that will do double duty and these black chandeliers look glam for a rock party but will also look spooky next month when I decorate for Halloween. I used poster board to cut the chandeliers, it was 50 cents a 22″x28″ sheet at the Dollar Tree and I got 2 chandeliers from each sheet. I used the Summer in Paris Cricut cartridges (I bought it well before my ban on buying provocraft products started in June but I bought it so I am darn well using it LOL!) I will warn you that you need to cut this large and you need poster board or very heavy cardstock (Bazzill was not heavy enough) to make them sturdy. I used a decorative cart to hold the gifts as they came in and it added to the decor.

I did a bit of decorating in my front yard too. I made the double-sided banner from the freebie kit and folded it over our dog-run in the front yard. Of course this would not be a good idea if you needed to use your dog-run but Hazel, our 3-year-old retriever is good so she can roam free so our dog run is purely decorative haha 😉 Also we pit the traditional balloons on the mailbox.

I made the guitar favor boxes using the SVG file in the Rock and Roll party kit but I left off the handle so I could fit more inside. I am trying to get away from putting crappy toys and too much candy in my favor bags (especially since we had a pinata) so here is what I put inside: nail polish, all natural fruit snacks, tattoos, a large glam cocktail ring, a ring pop, sunglasses and a little game in leu if the nail polish for the boys.

The kids had a great time and the only complaint from my girls was that the party was too short! Oh, I forgot to mention that I let the kids have a snowball fight with the leftover snow-cone “snow” after the party…good times;) Here is a look at the kits I used:

Zebra Party FreebieRock & Roll Party SVG

And here is a look at the invitations I posted a couple of weeks ago, I think it is fun to give a hint of what to expect on the invite:

Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

35% off and new DT projects!

Have I told you lately how much I love my design team? I have been swamped with custom work and planning my twins 7th birthday party this week. I’ve hardly had time to breathe but luckily my DT was hard at work creating some goodies for you to feast your eyes on! Best off all if you fall in love with the Lindsay’s Stamp Stuff products they used you can snag them for 35% off now through Sunday!

Now, on with the show! First we have Tracey with a funky card using the Steampunk SVG set:

Tracey also made this swell tag using stamps from Sew Much Fun and the Sewing Bits SVG set:

Great minds think alike because Cindi used the same tape measure from Sew Much Fun and paired it with the School Rules set to make this great back to school card:


If you like border punches you will love Micki’s cheerful scarecrow card using the new stamp set Halloween doodles:

Karin also used Halloween doodles on her non scary ghost card:

Diane made this beautiful saphire blue creation using  Flourished Peacock Stamp and the Mod Summer Papers (she changed the color before she printed it!).

Cassandra shows us her arts side this week with this beautiful altered canvas using School Papers and Fancy Flower digistamps:


So now that you are good and inspired take a look at the products they used and remember they are all 35% off through Sunday at Lindsay’s Stamp Stuff.

Sewing Bits SVGSew Much Fun StampsSchool Rules! stampsHalloween Doodles StampsPeacock Digital StampMod Summer PapersFancy Flowers Digital StampsShipping Tag SVG FreebieSchool PapersFreebie: Vintage Sheet Music

Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!