Friday, August 28, 2009

Back to School with Mini Composition Notebooks

Oh, those glorious words........BACK TO SCHOOL! I'm giddy just thinking about it! Not that I don't love my kids.........but I am SO READY for them to be back in a routine and using their brains again other than looking for ways to annoy each other and ME.

While shopping for school supplies, my eye fell upon these bundled mini composition notebooks from Target (.99 for 2 notebooks). How could I resist? We had done these in a class maybe a year ago, and the jumbo paperclip bookmarks even earlier than that.

First, gather your supplies:
mini composition notebook
2 pieces designer paper, 5 1/2" by 6" each
coordinating cardstock, 2" X 4 1/2"
ribbon, 18" to 24" depending on how big you want to make the bow
jumbo paperclip
supplies to make the paperclip coordinate with the DP-- Big Shot, punches, etc
rhinestone brads, regular brads, as desired
optional: Build a Brad kit

Recognize the paper and ribbon? Yep, Afternoon Tea DP and Groovy Guava ribbon and cardstock. Told you I hoard supplies!

Fold the DP in 1/2 so that the paper measures 5 1/2 by 3 when closed. Slide one side (make sure the side of the paper you don't want to use is facing up) into the front cover of the comp book-- it will go almost the binding. Run adhesive of choice along the edge of the binding and close the paper over the front of the notebook. Use a bone folder to bond the adhesive, cover, and paper together.

Flip the notebook so that you see the inside of the notebook. Press the edges of the paper along the edges of the notebook to create score lines. You may cut these away before adhering the paper to the exposed cover, or just fold them in and use some extra adhesive (smoothed with a bone folder to bond it).
Blurry picture, sorry! Now close the notebook and line the edge of the DP by the binding with Sticky Strip. Do the other side. Do not peel that liner yet! First use the crimper (if desired) on the 2" X 4 1/2" cardstock, and gently make the short edges meet so the cardstock can curl around the binding. No, you still can't peel the liner.
Slide your ribbon into place-- the middle of the ribbon should hug the binding. Open the ribbon back up. NOW you can peel the liner on one side!! Press the ribbon into the sticky stip, and gently curl the crimped cardstock around the binding. Flip and repeat on the other side.
Tie your ribbon into a pretty bow to hold the notebook closed. Yes, it took me a few tries!!
Petra was prepping for a project while I made these, and she suggested this Embosslet would go well with the design on the paper. I agree! I just wish I had eyed that paper a little more carefully-- can you see my mistake? I cut two of these, one for the front and one for the back.
After I added leaves to the flower (that 5 Petal Punch is worth the price just to be able to use it for leaves!), I added a Build A Brad element to the front. Then I placed dimensionals on the INSIDE of the front flower to keep the paper clip in between the two flowers. I stacked them so I wouldn't have to press the flowers too thin, and added some others on the side for stability). A little bit of ribbon knotted on the bookmark completes it.
Finally, slide the bookmark into the ribbon and voila! a neat little BACK TO SCHOOL (I'm singing this-- if only you could hear) gift for a friend, a teacher, the office ladies......
Here's a close up of the one masculine notebook and bookmark. I thought the macho DP deserved a star (OK-- the other side of the DP had a cowboy theme).
As the star has extended points, I felt there was a greater chance of it getting messed up with everyday use, so first I adhered DP to thin cardboard (you get a 12" x 12" piece of this with every packet of designer paper) and punched out two circles for a base. Then I stuck the stars to the circles. The front circle got a Build A Brad.
This little star (flower?) is from Little Pieces, which is now retired. I stamped it, then used the 1/2" circle punch to punch it out.
Use a little bit of adhesive or glue and adhere the punched shape to the brad. Then pop the clear rubber button (how do you describe those things?) over the top for a little bit of shine!

Here's the finished product!
One afternoon chatting with a friend (luckily all the kids got along today!) and yippee! 8 of these ready to go! Let me know what you think, please-- I love comments! If you already made one of these with me, did you give it away or did you keep it? 'Fess up! Does this make you want to head to Target to check out those school supplies? Let me know by leaving a comment before September 4. On that date, I'll put everyone's name in a hat and have one of the kids draw a name. The winner may choose one of these notebooks as a prize! Yes, even you long-distance readers are eligible for this one-- I'll mail it to you. Good luck!

til next time,

when school (SCHOOL, GLORIOUS SCHOOL!!) will be in session---


Friday, August 21, 2009

Swap Cards!

I absolutely love to swap cards with other stampers! I get into ruts sometimes with my stamping, and swapping cards is a good way to shake everything up. The details, color choices, composition.....I pour over all of it, and often incorporate something I noticed or learned into my next projects. And nothing beats having a stack of cards ready to go! My fellow swappers graciously agreed to let me post their cards here-- thanks, everyone!

Tracy's card

Sharon's card

Petra's card

Nancy's card

Lori's card

Kathy's card

Donna's card

Audrey's card-- can you see the embossed background?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Stamps for sale!

Stamps for sale: I have tried to really pare the amount of stamps I am keeping (though I do not know if I will be able to EVER part with some favorites). I'm trying to avoid eBay, so let me know if there is something on the list that interests you. I'll do this sale for one week, then head to the 'Bay.

All I have seen used 5.00
Amazing to zany New, unmounted 20.00
Be happy used 8.00
Big blossom stained 3.00
Calendar Cues new, unmounted 5.00

Carte postale some staining 15.00
Give thanks used 8.00

Greetings Galore, used 8.00

Hung Up on the Holidays used 4.00

Little pieces, only 2 mounted 5.00
Looks like spring used 10.00

Make it count used 5.00
On gossamer wings 12.00
Perfect presentation only some mounted 12.00

Season by Season mounted but not inked 5.00

Small Script used 3.00

So Many Sayings only one used 8.00
Wild rose used 12.00

Wonderful Words used 10.00

Yummy new unmounted 6.00

HOUSE MOUSE-- very clean—I didn’t use most of these!
Making a snowmouse 1997 7.00
Marshmallow Bounce 8.00
Pogo Stamp Limited Edition #3840 8.00
Sitting on a branch 1997 8.00
Sleeping with strawberries 1998 5.00
Stamp a kiss limited edition #3793 10.00
Squeaky clean 1999 8.00
Wrapped and Ready 1998 7.00

Coronado Island Stamp

Jungle Tiger 8.00

Misc Stamps

Tiger Eyes 8.00

Tiger face (small) 4.00

Flower pot change of address cards

Last night some friends came to craft. It was great to have some time with them! I worked on my change of address cards. I had one all planned out that used Heart and Home in red and black. Then I surfed SCS for a little while in the afternoon and saw the flower pot card-- I loved it. I have done these once before, for thank you cards. I still had some of the So Saffron grosgrain from SAB-- that is the prettiest ribbon. I used the Big Shot first for Daisies but they didn't look exactly right --one size was too big, one was too small. The Flower Burst embosslit looked better. I wanted dimension so I sponged the white flowers with So Saffron and the So Saffron flowers with Pumpkin Pie. The leaves behind them are punched with the 5 Petal Punch with my last sheet of Wild Wasabi. The tag is punched (and printed, because I didn't have a stamp that says "we've moved") and the info is printed as well (covered up of course because ANYONE can see it on the web!). Now I can address envelopes and send these out, hoping the people will realize they have to pull the flowers up to reveal the card with our new address!!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

I'm back!!

Yes, I know, pick your jaws up off the floor. It has been a VERY long time since I posted. I'm happy to report that we are almost 100% moved into the new house and loving being here. The kids are having a blast in the pool, and getting to know the new neighbors while having plenty of visits from friends from the old neighborhood. Best of all-- BYRON HAS FINISHED HIS MASTERS!! Wooo hooo! I am so proud of him, and so so glad that life can get back to some semblance of normal. In fact, he is responsible for the this blog entry---after church he took the kids to see Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs so I could stamp. Then, he took them outside to ride bikes before dinner-- and after dinner, watched them outside again so I could finish up my cards. It felt so good to have some time to myself again.

My first order from the new catalog arrived during the week (aren't you amazed I was able to wait until August? I know I was!) and included the "Many Thanks" sizzlit. My list changed many times, but that item always stayed on there. I have to tell you that I was a little apprehensive about the size, and whether I would have a problem getting the letters to "release" cleanly (sometimes that is a problem with the leaf one). For this project, I used Bella Rose DP and the letters popped out easily. This is the other side of the paper I chose to use with the Big Shot Top Notes die.

Are you wondering why I chose the Bella Rose DP-- after all, it is retired! I had to. No, not another example of using up my hoard (although I do need to do that). When the move was mostly done and I could start organizing my craft room, I used up all my 48 regular colors reinkers to reink my pads. They needed it, but it also meant I could throw away some boxes and save some space. This technique, however, needs reinkers! And the only ones I had left were the In Colors. So I dug into containers for first the DP, then coordinating colors: Kiwi Kiss, Riding Hood Red, Pink Pirouette.

First, emboss a line image with white or clear embossing powder. I prefer white because there is more definition. After it cools, squeeze a drop or two of reinker onto a plastic lid. Spritz your embossed image with water-- not a little , A LOT. Then use an Aqua Painter to pick up some reinker and touch it to the water. The color stays in the "well" created by the embossing, and the paper sucks it up. Let dry, then spritz again and use the deeper color for a contrast. You do have to let this dry thoroughly (overnight should do it) before attaching it to a card, and voice of experience-- use more color than you think you will need, because for me, this time at least, the roses faded a bit. I am still very pleased with it though!

Another hint-- emboss the images on separate pieces of paper. I ruined an entire sheet trying to put nine on one page. Plus-- cut them out after you color them. Much easier to see what you are cutting that way!

The finished card! I used the large swirl from Baroque Motifs in Kiwi Kiss on the Kiwi Kiss layer because it needed something. Then I stamped the swirl in Riding Hood Red on the inside corners of the card, and the envelope, and finally I was happy with it.