An Easter Freebie, a 40% Off Sale & WOYWW!

Boy, it seems like I have a lot going on today! I have a 40% off sale going on at Lindsay’s Stamp Stuff now through Friday so stock up on your crafting goodies! Also I made this cute little Easter basket freebie and you can snag it free in my shop. It is a really fun project to do with the kids. It is just the right size to hold an Easter Egg:

The directions are included in the freebie kit. Also there is a smaller version that I used to make this basket with a class full of 2nd graders when they studied Native Americans. The smaller basket is about 1.5″-2″ wide. Perfect for Barbie or GI Joe to play with. 😀

Since it is Wednesday I had to snap a pic of my desk for What’s On Your Workdesk Wednesday. I am starting a knitting group at my local library today (it’s the first meeting) and I am going to make a headband with a big honkin’ flower on it as a first project. They can pick that or a coin purse to make cuz it’s just to warm for scarves!

Be sure to check out all of the new stuff at Lindsay’s Stamp Stuff today so you can save 40% and make sure to grab the freebie while you are there! Here is a look at some new and Easter kits:

Chevron Chic! SVGApril Showers Clips & CuttingPretty Dress SVGBunny Basket SVGOwl Party!Funky Jar StampsCake Box Favors SVGIce Cream Party Kit!Bag Bonanza!Build A Blossom SVGBasket BonanzaBasket FreebieSweet Baby SVGEgg Basket TemplateCute Easter Digital StampsEaster Sentiment Freebie

Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

A St. Patty’s Day Free Craft & $1 Retirement Sale!

Happy President’s Day! I know many people are off work today and many kids are on school vacation so it is the perfect day to share the craft I plan to teach next month at my free craft class at the local library. This craft is fun! Feel free to teach it to your childs classroom, scouts or home school group, that is why I am sharing it 🙂 Although if you know me in real life you can just bring your kids to my free class 😉

 

The most fun thing about this project is the Magic Rainbow Paintbrush and you can make it your self. Just take a 1″ foam paintbrush (they are on sale for 5 cents each at ACmoore this week!) and squeeze yellow paint on the cent and red and blue at the sides as shown. This needs to be tube watercolor, gouache, or tempera paint, I tried liquid watercolor and it was a mess, the colors blended together too much. Now spritz the brush with water. Then you want to work the paint into the brush by painting the brush back and forth on a palette, don’t flip the brush, keep the color lined up. Now you should be able to make a lot of rainbows, just give the brush a spritz of water when it dries out. You can let the paint dry up in the brush and spritz it with water when you are ready to use it again! You can make these in other colors too, oh the possibilities!

 

You can download the instructions and template for free here. They are in PDF format so no need to worry about sizing.

Since you are going to my shop anyway please check out my retiring products on sale for $1! The sale ends on Wednesday the 22nd so Don’t Wait!

Chic Calendar Scrapbook kitHoliday Sweets Party PrintablesHomemade Holidays Paper PackBowling fun PapersArcade Party PrintablesSweet Treats 2Strawberries & Watermelon StampsSchool Rules! stampsCrafty Tools & Puns StampsSew Pretty StampsBirds & Branches StampsPretty Favors SVGLayered Waterlilly Stamp & SVGPretty Primative Digital Stamp SetPeacock Digital StampSweet Stuff Digital Stamp SetRecipe Digital Stamp SetCoffee Talk Digital Stamp Set

Phew, that’s a lot of $1 steals! Don’t wait tho, they are only availble at MyGrafico until Wednesday during the Semi Annual Retirement sale! Thanks for stopping b nd til next time happy crafting!

Last-Minute Valentines & a FREEBIE!

 Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, don’t panic! Here are a few last minute cards & favors you can whip up tonight. Here is a teacher’s valentine using the library pocket from the Valentines Galore SVG set:

 

I love the sweet pockets, you could use them for anything. I think they would be sweet holding a journaling tag on a scrapbook layout.

 

My girls have a Brownie meeting tomorrow so I thought they could make these quick cute lollipop cards tonight:

I got this stamp set for $5 when ACmoore was clearencing their stamp department, when I saw them I thought “valentines!” There is no coloring, you just stamp the outline then stamp the layers in differnt colors, cool! You can use any wild animal stamp you have on these cards tho.

 

You can stamp any wild animal on the card. You get 6 cards from one sheet of cardstock. Click on the picture below to download.

 

To download: Click on the picture, it will open a larger picture of this printable, then right click on the big pic and choose "save as"

My son is making the iPod valentines from the Valentines Galore kit, I have prepared all of the supplies he will need to make them in the photo below. This is a very easy project that uses few supplies; to make 24 valentines you only need 3 sheets of cardstock and string. You can cut 8 of the mp3 die cuts from the kit on each 8.5”x11” paper then mix and match the colors when you glue them on. Fast & frugal! The boxes of conversation hearts are 4/$1 at the supermarket or dollar store.

Here is a look at the Valentines Galore SVG and Printable template set, if you need to make some quick valentines tonight it will o the trick!

 Valentines Galore! SVG

Thanks so much for stopping by today. I have 3 dozen cupcakes to bake (and 3 expert cupcake decorators to help!) so I better get going on that! I hope you enjoy the freebie and til next time happy crafting!

 

Brown Bags & Old Books & WOYWW

I don’t often do a WOYWW {what’s on your workdesk Wednesday} post, either my desk is tidy or I am too ashamed of he slovenly mess I have created 😀 to share. I decided to snap pick halfway through the project (you can see the pic at the end of this post) I am making with he kids at the library this month. The theme is valentines and old books…yeah baby, we are recycling!

 

I grabbed a .25 cent book from the library book sale table after making sure the librarian would not have a heart attack if I defaced the book in the name of crafting and she was cool with it (in fact she suggested a few other books she wouldn’t mind seeing altered 🙂  so yesterday I tore out a bunch of pages and painted them with watercolors and let them dry overnight. Then I die-cut a bunch of  hearts from the painted pages and set to work!

I love the fringed edges on the circles. I watched an episode of Heidi Swapp’s Create to Remember show on My Craft Channel (lots of great free shows-do not go there unless you have some time to kill LOL!) and she showed us how to make fun things with fringe scissors and I was so inspired I ran down to my craft room and played with my newly painted papers. I love the effect and since I already had the old book pages and fringe scissors it cost me nothing. Of course you can create fringe with regular scissors too, just cut slits ever 1/8 if an inch.

The brown background paper is brown grocery bags. I simply cut a grocery bag into panels (you get a ton from one bag!) to cover a card nd ran it through my BigShot with an embossing folder. I am going to emboss lots of panels with different textures for the kids to use for their cards tomorrow. I know the kids might not dig my vintage projects so I am going to have some stamped Robots and Aliens (You’re out of this World Valentine) and some animals (I’m wild about you, Valentine!) and I will emboss the bags to match. I will have my special “artist” colored pencils for them to use and if they want to highlight the embossed texture of the paper they can rub it with crayons. Oh the possibilities!

 

OK, now here is my desk, thrilling huh? Actually, I love seeing that pile of watercolor book page hearts!

 

If you want to see the tutorial on how to make the hanging heart pocket you can see it here. If you want to download my tutorial and sheet music freebie you can here.

 Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

A Kid’s Craft, a Freebie & a 40% Off Sale!

I was going to aim this craft to all of the teachers and moms out there but after I made it I have to say it was a ton of fun and I urge everyone to try it! I am teaching a craft program at the local library next week and I thought it would be fun to do Chinese New Year. I planned on the kids decorating “lucky money” envelopes, coloring dragon masks {for the preschoolers} and for the big kids we could make dragon puppets:

Wow, it was so fun to make the samples. The lucky money envelopes are freebies. I used the SVG in the kit to cut my envelopes from red paper but there is a printable version too if you do not have a die-cut machine. Also There is a full color printable with a Chinese dragon (2012 is the year of the dragon) on the back if you just want to print them and not have to decorate. BTW {shameless plug} Everything at Lindsay’s stamp Stuff is 40% off now through Sunday so after you snag that freebie be sure to have a look around at all of the new products I have added this month!

When I went looking for inspiration on making a dragon puppet I did an internet search and came across a cute template on the Martha Stewart website, well, there was no need to reinvent the wheel there!

Did you know you can cut PDF files with SCAL?

Oh yeah! I saved the PDF dragon template and imported into scal2 (click file-import-then pick the pdf file you want) and with a little tweaking (there is a rogue node on the dragon’s head, just drag it over to the node next to it and click union to make it one shape) I had a great file to cut! Note: I enlarged it and moved it around on my mat to make best use of space. I’d love to share the SVG but I don’t know if that would be cool with Martha.  😀 You can check out her template and instructions here.

I love how the body is jointed so it wiggles and moves when you hold the sticks. I made a few changes in my puppet: I added crepe paper party streamers, they fly wonderfully when you are using the puppet and the pleated crepe paper adds more bulk without weight. I used skinny sticks because I had no chopsticks and I added glitter, sequins would be nice too I think;)

Here is a look at the  Lucky Money Envelopes Freebie:

In the preview you see the color version of the money envelope, for my project with the kids I am cutting them from red paper and they can stamp Chinese characters with gold pigment ink. The stamps I used are from About Art Accents. I heat embossed mine, I think I will let the kids try that too as long as I have an adult to man the heat gun 🙂

And be sure to snag lots of goodies at Lindsay’s stamp Stuff for 40% off! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Stop me if you’ve heard this one…

Phew! What a day (and it is not half over!) we have been to the eye doctor, Christmas shopping, an indoor bounce house and now we are home to take a breather before heading to the mechanic to get an oil change and have snow tires put on. I hear it’s gonna snow tonight, and tomorrow…. With Thanksgiving traveling coming up I need those snow tires on. (Let’s face it, no one wants to go to the vegetarian’s house for Thanksgiving LOL!) 😉 So, what does all of that have to do with frugal crafting? Absolutely nothing. But it does explain why all I have time to do today is post a simple card I made a couple of weeks ago…I’m pretty sure I haven’t posted it yet 🙂

I printed the jars out on cream cardstock (staples) then colored it with really light markers and stamped the hearts (stampin' up!) inside. Stamp twice without re-inking for two shades of red. The cheeky envelope stamp is by Judikins-Love it!

Charming eh? I have been searching high and low for a canning jar stamp and haven’t found one I liked or was large enough (So I think I need to design a set) but in the meantime I found a beautiful freebie vintage clip art at the Graphics Fairy. You can download it free here. Nifty.

In closing please disregard the run-on sentences, spelling mistakes and grammatical errors and look at the pretty card. Til next time happy crafting!

Frugalcrafter Podcast Episode #1: Ask a Crafter

Howdy folks! I am so excited, today I have my very first crafty radio show for you to listen to! I answered the questions that came to me on my blog and through email and I have answered them for you today! So, if you can stand hearing me gab for 23 minutes straight have a listen:

If the above player is not working you can listen here.

 As promised I have the envelope tutorial I mentioned in the podcast:

Here is a very easy way to make a custom envelope with your cricut using either SCALor Design Studio. all you need to do is take 2 rounded rectangles (make sure you check “weld” on each shape you use) and overlay them like this:

An easy way to make an envelope in DS or SCAL!

On the envelope I made here I did that but also I welded a label shape to the flap to fancy it up a bit:)

Freebies!!!

I know it is easy to do but You can download my envelopes if you like. They are sized to make a 5.5″x5.5″ envelope but you can simply drag them to the size you need.

Download a scut file to cut with your cricut and any version of scal here. *note this is a plain flap envelope, you can shorten the vertical  flap and weld on a scallop or fancy shape if you wish.

Download a cut file if you have a Cricut and Design Studio and the George cartridge. There are 3 envelopes in this file, each on separate layers, The first layer only used George, the other two also use accent essentials, there is a fancy flap one like the envelope pictured and a scallop flap one. these make 5.5″ square envelopes but you can adjust them as needed:)

I’d love your comments, tell me what you think, just leave a comment on this post or email me at craftpodcast@yahoo.com.

Next Friday on the podcast we will be talking about homemade gifts for the holidays so if you have a great handmade gift idea let me know and I’ll feature it on the show! As always I’ll answer any of your crafty comments too. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

50% off at Lindsay’s, a freebie and new Christmas products!

Howdy folks, I know it is a bit too early to start thinking about Christmas…well, unless, that is, you are selling at craft fairs and in that case you need cute packaging ASAP! And today is the perfect time to grab your needed supplies because it is 50% off today at Lindsay’s Stamp Stuff! I was asked by a crafty customer to come up with some printables for her to sell her movie gift kits at craft fairs so I came up with the Holiday Bazzar set. How cute would it be to wrap a few bags of microwaved popcorn, soda bottles and candies and package them in one of those large plastic popcorn boxes from the dollar store, you could throw in a DVD too for a super cute and inexpensive gift!

If you wanted to really spread some holiday cheer you could leave the baskets on a friends doorstep with a note saying “You’ve Been Elfed!”, the 5″x7″ notes in the kit would be perfect for that! You can also used the cards for invitations to a cookie swap and recipe cards!

If you want a cute gag gift for the folks in the office how about some reindeer poop? I found this funny poem online that you can print and slip in the bag:

I woke up with such a scare when I heard Santa call…
“Now dash away, dash away, dash away all!”
I ran to the lawn, and in the snowy white drifts,
those nasty reindeer had left “little gifts”.

I got an old shovel and started to scoop
Neat little piles of “reindeer poop.”
but to throw them away seemed such a waste,
So I saved them, thinking you might like a taste!

As I finished my task, which took quite a while,
Old Santa passed by and he sheepishly smiled.
And I heard him exclaim as he rose to the sky~~~
“Well, they’re not potty trained, but at least they can fly!”

 

For the kids you might like to send them to school with “Snowman Soup” for their teacher and classmates! I found a poem for this too:

Snowman Soup
Was told you’ve been real good this year.
Always glad to hear it!
With freezing weather drawing near,
You’ll need to warm the spirit.
here’s a little Snowman Soup
Complete with stirring stick.
Add hot water, sip it slow.
It’s sure to do the trick!

Isn’t that cute! Both of the poems I found at The Organized Home.com.

Here is a look at the new printable kit and some other Christmas products you might enjoy, remember they are 50% off today only and two of the below products are freebies!

Holiday Bazzar Craft KitChristmas Follies Clips & CuttingPretty Packaging SVGFun Favors SVGWinter Wear SVG freebieNifty Gifties SVGGingerbread House SVGHoliday Sweets Party PrintablesVintage Christmas LabelsWee AlbumsHomemade Holidays Paper PackChic Calendar Scrapbook kitBox Bonanza!Envelope Bonanza!Recipe Cards & Folio SVG3-D Advent Calendar and Favor KitChristmas Cookies Freebie

It’s been a while since I had a freebie so here are 2 sheets of tags you can use for your holiday gifts and packaging:

click the preview to download;)

While you are on the topic of holidays Halloween is right around the corner. Check out these spooky sets also 50% off today:

Halloween Odds 'n Ends Digital Stamp FreebieMasquerade Mask SVGHalloween Favors SVGVintage Halloween LabelsStampunk SVG TemplatesBold Black & White PapersHalloween Doodles StampsClassic Fall Clips & Cutting

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!