Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Challenge Sticks #2

Hello all,

I just finished publishing that last post, but wanted to enter this card in a challenge, so I find it's much easier to split the posts up.

I drew some challenge sticks out of the COI (Cup O' Inspiration).

Oh boy.  A St. Paddy's day card.  In June.  and hand stitching.  goodness. Anyone who knows any of the Davis women knows we don't hand stitch ANYTHING.  But! It was to be a challenge, and let me just say, I WON!

Anyways, I'm entering this card in the Unity Stamp Co. Kit of the Month challenge.  (It can be found HERE.) It's a sketch challenge and here's the sketch. 

It happens to be a very nice sketch. 

It occured to me that with the popsicle sticks and the sketch, my card is pretty much made, all I had to do was put it together.

Here's what I came up with...

I know, odd to see a St. Paddy's day card in June, but oh well.  Really the only thing I'm sure about on this card is that the stamps are from Unity and the flowers are from Spare Parts.  Solid color CS is from SU.

Hope you enjoyed!

Feel free to play along in the Stick Challenges!


Challenge Sticks #1

Hello again crafty people.

Well, I said I would blog more, so here it is! And theres also one for after this!

Mom and I have been crafting tonight, so it's time to show and tell!

I had Justin draw a random set of popsicle sticks from the cup o' inspiration and here's what he drew:
I had to case ANOTHER card! Geez!

So here's my inspiration card:

It can be found HERE.'s the card I made:

Ok so a cool thing that Mom and I found out a while back is that you can emboss metallic posterboard and it looks just like metal.  You can even use alcohol ink on it just like it was metal, and when it is on your project, it looks just like metal.  Well, apparently we used all of ours, because I couldn't find any. :-( So, seizing a moment of inspiration, and not wanting to cop out by using a metal brad...I went right on down to the kitchen and grabbed the good old reynold's wrap. Remembering that it looks really cool when embossed, I thought it would be perfect.

I got it all trimmed up and perfect (PS be very careful, what you may not know is aluminium foil can cut you as easily as a sharp knife, just be careful with the edges.)  I sent it through my cuttlebug, and was ecstatic with the results..COOL!  Then...I tried to glue it down.  yeah, not cool.  As you might can imagine, as I rolled my tape runner along the foil, it smashed my cool design right out.  Can you say UGLY?  Not to be deterred, I cut another piece of foil and stuck it immediately to a piece of white CS, THEN embossed.  That worked much better. Lesson learned. 

The rest of this card is pretty self explainatory.  If you have questions, feel free to comment below.

Thanks for checking out AbbysCrafty!


It's been a while...

Hello crafty people!

Boy, do I have a LOOOOOONG post for you today. Mom and I have been hard at work at many different things.  The most pressing of which was moving me and Justin down here to Midlo with her and daddy. We can finally declare that one done, though.

I, of course, brought many craft items with me.  (A VERY small amount compared to everything I packed up, but still, we had to find somewhere to put it all.) So that's was project #2, organization!!!  Sometimes, I think Mom and I enjoy organizing our craft supplies better than we like actually USING them.  Anyone else feel that way?  So after finding a place for everything...I sat down this week to actually do some crafting.  I looked around the room.  I started to pick up some cardstock.  Then some ribbon.  Then some pins.  Then switched gears and decided to color, so I started looking at my stamps...then realized...I'm COMPLETELY overwhelmed in our craft room.  Which is nice, it's like having our very own Michael's/Hobby Lobby in our house.  But it really wreaks havoc on a crafter when you can't nail down what you really want to do. 

Enter: the cup o' inspiration.

What is this, you might ask? Well, every time I come into our craft room, I am finding that I get so utterly overwhelmed by all the different embellishments, stamps, cardstock, ink, techniques, etc, that I resort to just cleaning instead.  So, I created a solution to my creation problem. These are colored popsicle sticks that you can buy at any craft store, probably walmart as well.  On each stick I wrote something.  Each of the colors is a different category.  My scheme was that I would chose one of each color, then make a card that must utilize those four things.  On the yellow sticks are basic colors that must be used, on the blue ones: supplies/embellishment, on the red ones: an occasion, and the green ones: a technique that must be used. I figured that would narrow my focus and challenge my creativity, and boy, was I right!  Here is my first challenge:

So I was to "case a card."  For those of you who don't know what that means, it's where you go find a card that you like, that someone else made, and "borrow" design elements from them. This is the card I chose to case"

It is from  I also thought, wow...a BROWN christmas card, how in the world will I pull that off?!  Well, I'm pretty pleased with the result:

As you can see, I edge punched the black layer like in my inspiration card, and also used a similar stamp.  All the CS is Stampin' Up CS (Early espresso, basic black, and very vanilla) as well as the ink (early espresso).  The stamps, I'm not real sure about.  I believe the focal image was from a Michael's Recollections stamp set, and the sentiment was a $1 stamp. The border punch is Fiskars and the ribbon is just out of the scrap bin. I'm pretty sure the pin is Maya Road.

All that to say, that it didn't take me long at all to come up with this card! It REALLY helped me to narrow down what to include on the card.

On to the next project: Indexing stamps.

What am I talking about, you ask?  Well, I have more stamps than any person in their right mind should own.  I know you all know what I'm talking about. Well, I came to the point where I had so many, I forgot what I had or where it was. At the point when I started this project, I was still living in a small apartment, and needed to find a space that was expandable for all my stamps, but didn't take up much room.  I tried everything, binders, buckets, bins, wall name it, I tried it. Everything worked....ok.  But was either WAY out of my meager nursing salary budget, or wasn't expandable or took up too much room, or just plain didnt make sense.  So I developed my OWN system.  It may not work for everyone, but it's cheap, and expandable forevermore. 

Here's the system: 
1. Unmount all your wooden blocks, if you can't afford the space.  (I certiantly couldn't, and I found that a properly mounted stamp on EZ Mount, stamps just as well as a stamp on a wooden block, some people will disagree.  That's ok.  Don't do it.  I don't care.) You can usually just get your fingernail between the rubber and the foam and pop them right off.
2.  Remount rubber from wooden stamps onto EZ Mount.  You can get this at most scrapbook stores, and online.
3. stamp ALL of your stamps (that's right, ALL of them) onto what I like to call "index sheets."  Make sure you stamp them in the order, and position you want to store them in.  IE: all christmas stamps together, all of one manufacturer together, whatever works for you. This takes the longest and is the most tedious.  I got around some of this by using the index sheets from the actual stamp set and just taping it to a piece of white paper, but that also adds a step later (you will see what I mean in a second).
4. Scan in all of your index sheets to a computer. If you have a crappy computer like me, that in itself takes DAYS.
5.  Time to print! If you used the short cut in #3 (taping index sheets to a white piece of paper) make a plain old copy of those (this just prevents you having to muck with all the tape and pieces flopping about when you place your index in the sheet protectors.  If that bothers you.  It bothers me. If not, disregard.) Otherwise, take ALL of your scanned in images, and reverse them using whatever means available.  Some printers are snazzy and you can just tell it to print the "mirror image." This feature can usually be found in the ADVANCED properties section of the printer properties.  If not, you have to do it the long way. If all else fails, you can bring your image into microsoft word, blow it up to fit your page, and in the picture toolbar, you should have an icon that looks like two triangles with an arrow (rotate).  click that, and one should be a rotate horizontally (or mirror image, which is what every other program known to man calls it.)  Print those out (on cardstock.  regular printer paper works, but your sheets will be much sturdier with cardstock)!!!
6. If you have a lot of stamps, and not a lot of time, this is the point where you might want to pay someone to do some of the work.  Take those reversed images to kinko's (FedEx office, now I think) and have them laminated.  This is the magic of this storage idea.  Cling mounted stamps stick BEAUTIFULLY to laminated cardstock. So get to sticking all your stamps to your laminated cardstock. Now you see why we reversed the images, so when you stick your stamps to it, theyre all facing the same way. You could skip the scanning/reversing/sticking steps all together and just opt for a sheet of plain laminated paper.  However, I like being able to glance at my laminated sheets and see immediately which stamp is missing. But I'm a little crazy like that.
7. Get yourself a file cabinet.  Standard size.  Or those file crate thingys.  and some file folders.  Number and letter them in any order you choose.  use the dewey decimal system.  i dont care.  Just make up a system you can understand.  For example, I have a two drawer file cabinet and a file crate.  One drawer is A, one is B, and the crate is C.  The the folders within are numbered, A-1, A-2, get the idea. 
8.  Get yourself a binder.  I needed a BIG binder.  You may not.  And you will need some clear top loading sheet protectors.  Place your (non reversed) index sheets in the sheet protectors and label them, in some form or fashion, the same way you labeled the file folders in your cabinet/crate. That way, when you are looking for a stamp, you can look through your paper index, find what you need, and VOILA! its right where it's supposed to be.  No more sifting through HUNDREDS of stamps, having to try to look at everything backwards...etc.
9. You can take it a step further and catalog all of your Stampin Up stamps (I did, however I didn't stick mine to an index sheet, I just left them in their cool DVD cases, but I like being able to see all the images I have in one place). I indexed my dollar stamps as well.  Did you know those fit perfectly in baseball card holders?

Yes, this is a LOT of work.  But believe me, for the money and the ease of use, I haven't found a better way to do it.  I can see all of my stamps in less than a minute. If I'm looking for the PERFECT Merry Christmas, I can see at a glance every single Merry Christmas that I have.  Trust me, it's worth the work.

Ok enough about that. 

Did anyone catch that Craft Wars show (Tuesdays at 9c on TLC)?  Mom and I (and Justin, because we made him, lol) watched it last night.  It's like cupcake wars only with crafts. Could turn out kinda interesting.  I would like to do it, but I don't think I could think under pressure like that. Who knows.

Oh! project #3.

Me and Mom started a Stampin Up stamp club.  Currently we have 5 members.  It has been fun chosing cards for the group to make.  We're having our Christmas in July club in a few weeks, and already have the cards picked out for that!

Wow.  That was a long post.  Hope it was helpful to someone!!

Happy crafting to everyone, and hopefully I will be posting more often!