French Country & Lots of FUN Techniques!

My apologies to all of my subscribers who had an unedited draft of this post emailed to them.

I love a card that uses a lot of techniques but doesn’t cost a fortune to make.

That is the case with this card. I was going to save it for Earth Day next month but I was afraid I would forget so you get it today instead!

Technique #1: Fabric flowers with homemade “Gluebers”

What’s a glueber you might ask? Well, it is a really big glue dot and it is used to make fabric and twine flowers. It is also expensive so here is how you make your own gluebers and glue dots: You need a bottle of Aleens Tack It Over & Over glue (you can order it online line from joann or custom crops and most craft stores for about $3 a bottle-it lasts a LONG time!) Squirt out a circle of glue on waxed paper the size you want. For the flower my circle was about 2.5″ wide. Let the glue dry. After the glue is dry cover the sheet of dots with another sheet of waxed paper to save for later. Cut apart the large dots. To make the flower cut a 2″ wide strip of fabric (whatever kind you like and have on hand) and tie a knot close to the end. Press the knot in the center of the glue circle and twist the remaining fabric as you wrap it in a spiral around the knot pressing the fabric in the glue as you go.  Stick the fabric tail to the back and snip off any excess. I used about 24″ of fabric for this. It took all of 3 minutes. You can try low temp hot glue as well for this technique, just work on a silicone mat:)

Technique #2: Make Your Own Baker’s Twine

I did a post on that, you can read it here.

Technique #3: Make a yarn nest!

I love this technique and it is so easy, just wrap yarn around 3 fingers and scrunch up some in the middle and press into a gob or hot glue. EASY! then you can add little plastic eggs. FUN!

Technique 4: Raid your back yard!

When I needed a bit of organic goodness for my card I poked around in my back yard for twigs and pinecones. Free & fabulous!

Technique #5 (for those of you with Stampmakers) Stencil & Embosss!

I made a stencil with my TC Stampmaker and stenciled the background. I’m not sure I am in love with the stencil packs because I could cut a better stencil on my die cut machine. The stencil is thicker than it should be I think HOWEVER  I tried embossing with the stencil in my big shot die cutter and it worked beautifully. Also I made a woodgrain embossing plate with my stampmaker (see the kraft paper under the nest) and I quite enjoy that.

 So, there you have it! Lots of fun techniques you can try! Til next time happy crafting!

Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day folks! Many of my favorite craft supplies are free and found right in my recycle bin or made out of scraps and leftovers. I decided to make a video today showing you how to make your own free art supplies and help the earth at the same time, we will also make this card:

I used rubber stamps from About Art Accents, watercolor crayons, dye based ink, gesso and watercolor paper for real supplies and for recycled supplies I used old credit cards, old tooth brush, cardboard boxes and magazines to name a few. Check out the video:

I mentioned using a pen that would tell me if something was acidic or not but I got flustered when my daughter crashed my video (gotta love school vacation:) so I’ll tell you about it now. It is called a PH tester pen and it is made by American Crafts, here is what it looks like.

American Crafts Scrapbook Utility Pen, PH Tester

This pen has a purple cap and purple ink. Make a mark on the material you want to test and if the ink stays purple it is acid free, if it turns yellow it is acidic and should not be used in scrapbooks.

There are many more ways I have a green craft room:

  1. Use CFL lights instead of incandescent, it saves 66% electricity for the same amount of light!
  2. Keep a recycle bin handy for paper/cardboard scraps when you cannot get any more use from them (I die cut small shapes from my scraps before tossing them in the recycle bin. Alternately you can use the scraps for paper making!
  3. Use rags made from old clothes and towels instead of paper towels, they work better and last longer! Remember to save buttons and trims off of old clothing to use as embellishments!
  4. Decorate/paint tin cans to store supplies.
  5. Make your own custom patterned chipboard by glueing pattern paper to cereal boxes and die cutting as shown on the video. This thin chipboard cuts well with a Cricut too!
  6. Save plastic packaging to make clear accents or for use as painting palettes for acrylic paint.
  7. Use the tall plastic tubes that drink mix comes in (like Crystal Light) to store colored pencils and pens. 
  8. Use a cardboard box as a color catcher- place items inside before spraying with glimmer mist.
  9. Save old spray bottles for making your own stamp cleaners, ink sprays and glimmer mists.
  10. Decorate tins and nice boxes to package gifts in. the box will be a gift in and of itself!

I’m sure you have more crafty recycling ideas, if so please leave a comment and share them:) Together we can make a difference in the environment (and in out wallet) by crafting a little greener!

BTW this project qualifies for the following challenges: Aud Sentiments Challenge , Moving Along With The Times, The Outlawz POM, Paper Play, Pixie Dust Studio , Creative Card Crew, Paper Shelter Challenge, Simon Says Stamp, Creative Craft Challenges, Ladybug Crafts Ink TLT Challenge, Sparkle Creations Rubber Stamps Challenges, Top Tip Tuesday, and Try It On Tuesday   

Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Earth week day 5

OK I’m gonna be straight with you, I am in a creative rut, I had a very productive week last week and made loads of cards and scrapbook pages and even banged out an article but this week I have been just plain flat, like an old can of soda! So I started to clean, and I found an old {worthless} comic book, I was about to toss it in the recycle bin but then thought “Hey! I can make something with this!”

It ain't the greatest but it's something...

I know these cards will not win any awards but I think the best way to break through a creative rut is to push right through it, well, it sure beats cleaning anyway! I used my Cricut and scal software to cut the solid robot out of the Cricut Cuttables stamp material {be sure to use a brand new sticky mat and follow the directions on the package!} using the free font EFON. I welded the head to the body with a rectangle in scal. I used some cute stamps from Basic Grey and a diamond plate embossing folder on the other. I love the screw top brads, they are by Creative Imaginations but other companies have them too. Well the present in the photo is for a birthday party we are rushing off to and one of the cards is too!

Thanks for listening to my crafting rut rant, til next time happy crafting!

Earth Week Continues!

I like to think of everyday as Earth Day, hey that is kind of what this blog is all about: Crafting in a frugal way and what is more frugal than upcycling? another way to craft greener is to pay attention to what you buy, on this layout I used paper from the Green Stack for Die Cuts With a View, it is made from 70% recycled materials, that is voting with your dollar folks! I made this for two challenges over at Gingersnap Creations: The found object challenge (GC50) and the Copper and Rust challenge:

Paper: DCWV (The Green Stack), Stamps: Autumn Leaves, We R Memory keepers, Gears: Found objects, Photo collage software: shapecollage.com, tool: Cricut and SCAL software

I used my Cricut and SCAL software to cut the arrows, words, number and bike. I love how I can cut my compter fronts and dingbats and make whatever I want with my Cricut. There is an amazing sale over at Lettering Delights-All fonts are a buck! I love to cut them with my Cricut!

The gears I saved from an old 3-puzzle (I wish I save the while puzzle because it was one of the moveable carousel ones, what was I thinking!?!) and some pieces I left as is but the white ones I coated in clear ink and copper embossing powder to fit the theme of the layout. The photo turns are done that way as well.

The photo collage was made with some free software I just found called Shape Collage, I used the free version and with that you get a small watermark at the bottom of the collage but the arrow die cut covers over that so no biggie, it is really fun and easy software. After I printed my photos I simply cut the collage out and adhered it to my page.

Happy Earth week and til next time happy crafting!

Blog Hop Winners!

Happy Tuesday, after a week of rain and gloom the sun is shining and I have prizes to give away! Woohoo! First of all I want to thank everyone who participated in the blog hop and virtual crop last week, it was so fun getting to know you all:) I have picked wild card winners who left comment on my blog during the hop and they are:

Sandy Christy

April Stevens and

Lisa Kamphuis

Congrats Ladies, you can pick ant stamp set from the Lindsay’s stamp stuff Shop as your prize!

But wait, there are more prizes that are to be won! Did you leave a comment on any of the design teams blogs? Well better go and check to see if you won, here is a handy list of links to their blogs:

Shannon Neparko

Margie Visnick

Lisa Jurecek

Erin Bailey

Tracey Allen

Melissa Craig

Leanne Garner

Tamara Bennett

Cindi Hooks

Micki Harper

Rebekah Doak

Cheryl Gorka

Karin Martin

Jennifer Bliss

Cassandra Cushman

Rhonda Walker

Now, as you know it is “Green Week” or “Earth week” and we all want to do our part to save the planet (not to mention our pocketbook) so here is a set of projects that use only 2 8.5″x11″ sheets of kraft cardstock and 2 sheets of pattern paper (one sheet was used to make (two 4.25″x5.5 envelopes!) I used digital stamps from Lindsay’s stamp stuff that I printed out ages ago and were in my “someday” folder, I colored them with markers and put these together in a flash:

Look at those cheeks, can you stand it! The stamps are from Fancy Flowers set and the paper is from DCWV. I swipe of pastel yellow paint along the edge gives it an instant shabby feel!

The paper is a patchwork style so it has lots of patterns, I cut the blocks of pattern apart and stitched them down, it was fun to make! I colored the daffodil stamps with markers and added them with foam tape. I crocheted the little flower with some cotton thread using a free pattern off the internet and viola, cute, fun and easy!

I made the cards the same way as the scrapbook page. I cut both envelopes from one sheet of 12x12 paper using my envelope bonanza templates that are available along with the featured stamps from Lindsay's stamp Stuff. I colored the stamps with Prisma markers.

I used stamps from Doodle Flowers and Sweet Stuff on these cards. I cut both envelopes from one sheet of pattern paper using the “bb envelope” (that stands for “Baby-Bug” because you can cut the envelope full size on the original 6″x12″ cricut using SCAL software) that is in the envelope bonanza kit. If you do not have a cricut all of the templates are printable too! This file will give you an envelope just big enough for a standard size card that is not embellished very much but since I had some lumpy doo-dads in my cards  made liners from my scrap paper and added then to the envies to make a bit of decoration and give me a bit more room to accommodate the lumps. I punched the flaps with a border punch, pretty, no?

Well I’m off to enjoy this beautiful day with my kids who are on vacation this week, If you won a prize and have not got it yet via email you will receive it tomorrow. For my wild card winners, let me know what set you want and I’ll send it out tomorrow! Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

Happy Earth Day! (a wee bit late!)

To celebrate Earth day and also because they have a tree themed project over at Caardvarks I thought I would share this tree mini album with you. The best part is you are recycling! Instead of cutting the pages out of chipboard I used a cereal box.

"chipboard" tree minibook to cut with scal/cricut, download links below.

"chipboard" tree minibook to cut with scal/cricut, download links below.

I used a postmark stamp from Close to my Heart and circle punches to make the tire swing.

I used a postmark stamp from Close to my Heart and circle punches to make the tire swing.

I had a leftover tree so I made this card. More recycling! The clear base for the card was plastic packaging material that my Scor Pal came in!

Digtal stamps: Lindsay Stamp Stuff, Rubber stamps: SU!, Paper MME, DCWV, Other: Plastic Packaging

Digtal stamps: Lindsay Stamp Stuff, Rubber stamps: SU!, Paper MME, DCWV, Other: Plastic Packaging

The inside of the clear card.

The inside of the clear card.

I used my brand new Dear Deer stamp and  Primitive Bird digital stamps as well as the Trendy Trees set from Stampin Up. I colored the digi-stamped images with colored pencils and blended them with a Prismacolor clear marker.

I designed it in Inkscape so you can download my files can cut it with your cricut if you have SCAL software. I cut the tree shape out of a cereal box using the deep cut blade depth 5.5 and the pressure on my cricut on max (or 5) and yes it is baby bug compatible 🙂 Don’t forget to change back to your regular blade and housing and set the pressure to medium (or or 3) to cut the paper. To cover the back of each page either flip the shape in scal or place the paper pattern side down on the mat to cut. Here are the download links:

Download the tree shape  SVG file here, the treetop svg here, and the tree trunk SVG here. You can get a printable template here.

Tip: Cut the tree shape from the cereal box first then line up the trunk and tree top shapes on the virtual mat in scal to make sure you have the right size for the pattern paper before you cut.

Until next time happy earth day and happy crafting!

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