Crafts

Hosting a Creative Card Making Party

My birthday was two weeks ago, and I wanted a fun way to celebrate. I thought the perfect way to honor becoming another year older, was by doing what I love, paper crafting! I invited to my home, a few ladies from church and my sister. I really enjoy smaller, more intimate gatherings. Its less hectic to plan, and host, and gives everyone the chance to talk to each other. I recommend no more than six guests.

Fall is my favorite time of year. The colors are beautiful, and relaxing. The weather is perfect, and I fell in love with my husband on an indian summer afternoon in October. Summer is nearly over, which is why I decided the theme of my party was going to be autumn. A little early, but I’m getting ahead start.

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Crafts

Crafting on a Budget

Let’s be honest. We all spend more than we would like to admit! You might go a little crazy (ok, maybe a lot), buying supplies you really don’t need. Two questions I ask myself are, do I need this? and do I already have a product that is similar? We should all be practicing self control. Often times before I step foot in a craft store, I set a limit of how much I can spend, otherwise, there is no telling what will end up in my shopping basket or cart. It will be piled to the top before I know it. buying-craft-supplies-meme.jpg

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Crafts

Summer Shaker Greeting Cards

Card making is a relaxing activity, during a rainy afternoon. I’ve got some really fun summer themed cards planned for today. Grab your scissors and let’s begin!

Besides paper, these are my six must haves, for card making:

  • Paper cutter and/or scissors. My paper cutter is from Michael’s. I use Fiskars micro-tip scissors, that are recommended by the Arthritis Foundation. The spring-action design helps reduce hand strain while cutting. They are definitely pricey, but worth it!
  • Adhesives, such as, Scotch double sided tape or a tape runner. I use Scotch advanced tape glider. It’s a little tricky to set up, but once you get the hang of it, it’s easy to use.
  • Rubber stamps and ink. I really like clear stamps, which are used with transparent stamping blocks. You can achieve more precise images, due to, seeing exactly where you are stamping on the paper. I can never seem to get an image where I want it, when using wood stamps. My preferred black ink is Tsukineko VersaFine. Its great for very detailed stamps! I’m currently using Tim Holtz distress ink in various colors.
  • Ribbon or trim. All colors, designs and textures!
  • Die cutting machine and die cut templates. The die cutting machine I use is a Sizzix Big Kick.

Three useful tips:

  • Instead of cutting cards freehand, from a sheet of card stock, I buy packs of pre-cut and pre-scored cards. It saves me a lot of cutting time, when I’m making a batch of cards. My preferred card sizes are 5 x 7, which is A7 and 4 1/4 x 5 1/2, which is A2. A2 is a popular size, as it’s very easy to make, from folding in half, a standard 8 1/2 x 11 inch piece of paper.
  • Choose lighter colors for the inside of the card, where words will be stamped, or written. No one can read writing on heavily deep shades of blue, brown, or purple, even with black pen and ink. I always use white or cream for the base card.
  • Use tape, not glue, to attach paper to paper. Glue is messy and can leave your cards feeling sticky and looking not so pretty. Also, liquid glue will make your paper soggy, (especially thin paper) causing it to tear easily.

Shaker cards have dimensional transparent windows with moveables inside, such as, sequins, beads, rhinestones, glitter, etc.

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Crafts

Scratch Art

Welcome to my very first weekly craft blog post! Today’s project is from a book of Mandalas. I found this book at Michael’s for around $16. As far as I know, they won’t allow coupons on the sale of books, because their retailer doesn’t give permission. I found it slightly cheaper online at Barnes and Noble and Amazon for $13. There are 36 beautiful scratch off designs, of all different colors. A pointy wooden tool is included. Some pages are more challenging than others. If you want to start with an easy Mandala, choose one with thicker lines, rather than really thin hair lines. Beware: Use caution with this project. Finger nails can easily scrape the surface, revealing unwanted color. I used a sheet of paper under the palm of my hand to help with this. I still managed to nick a few spots here and there. When wiping away black specs from scratching, flatten your hand and gently sweep across. Instead of following the precise detailing, make it your own! When I first started scratching I loved it, but realized about a quarter through, there was too much of the black showing. I wanted more of the pretty colors so I filled in several areas.

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