Gotta love a bargain!

Dollar tree, greeting cards, stencil, pay it forward

I like shopping at Dollar Tree.  Whenever I’m in there, I go up and down all the aisles, looking for interesting things I can use for crafting.  And I always find them!

When I spotted this little notepad/journal thingie, I was, “Oh, that can’t really be cutouts – it must be black printing on the green cover!”  But when I picked it up, I found out I was wrong!  The cute plastic cover has a chevron pattern cut into it.  Score!  One stencil for me!  And it’s just the right size to cover the entire front of a card!

I was able to pry up the edge of the comb binding just enough to pull off the covers.  Luckily, the back cover is the same stiff plastic as the front.  I wonder if I might be able to cut another stencil out of that?  Yet another project to add to my never-ending list.

What’s your go-to place for awesome craft finds?

 

Let it go! Let it go!

Rose, flower, card, greeting card, flower

Okay, I love that song from Frozen, but it’s sometimes tough to do.

i have a hard time using liquid adhesives.  Give me a tape runner, a glue stick, self-stick embellishments, foam tape and I’ll do fine.  But lately I’ve been trying to use more of the supplies I’ve collected over the years, and some of them call for (four-letter word here) GLUE!

I’ll pull bits and pieces off shelves and out of drawers, and mix and match to get a “design” I like.  And then, I have to GLUE something.

Now I have the vision of the end result in my head, but I have to stop working on it until the glue dries.  And that’s so hard for me that I generally need to leave the craft room entirely.  Because if I stay to work on something else, I’ll go back and check on the glue, which is never dry yet! lol  (I sometimes think glue simply won’t dry when I’m in the same room with it.)

Having experienced a number of glue-related mess-ups, I’ve retrained myself pretty well now.  I’ll squeeze out that dollop of glue, position my two pieces, peer down over them to check the placement, then actually pull my hands up and step back from the table, reminding myself to let it go instead of fiddling with it any further.

For me, I’d rather find myself wishing I got more done, than find myself swearing over a project I’ve just ruined because I couldn’t wait for the glue.  Just let it go!

Now, if I could just figure out how to do this with food!  lol

I’m grateful for people who do hard jobs

We had a big hornet’s nest on the side of the house, so I contacted Cascadia Venom Collection – they’ll remove the nest for free as long as you haven’t sprayed it.

I idly wondered at the time if there were any women who did this kind of work – well, the answer is “Yes!”  I talked to her about how she got into that line of work; she was happy to talk about it.  (She knew someone who worked for the company.)

A pleasant young woman doing what most of us would consider a very unpleasant job.

I’ve always been aware of the many types of work that I would hate to do (garbage collection is an easy example), and am grateful that there are people out there willing to do them.  There are so many fundamental occupations that are necessary to our health, safety, economy and/or comfort that people are filling all around us.

I’m so glad they are!

That’s one of the reasons I decided to make pay-it-forward thank you cards, to express my gratitude to the various people I run into during each day, who make my life a little better with each interaction.

I just wish I could make enough cards for them all…

That’s where you come in!  Who’s done something nice for you lately?  What’s an occupation that you think is under-appreciated in our society?  Thank somebody with a little card, or just a few kind words, and you can be one of those people that others appreciate, too!

 

Crafting While Desperate

greeting card, card, handmade, glitter, gold, anniversarygreeting card, card, handmade, anniversary, gold, glitter

Now that I’m retired, it’s easier to spend an exorbitant amount of time making a card! lol

It’ll get faster with practice, I’m sure.  For example, I hadn’t done any heat embossing in years.  So I had to look through all my embossing powders to see my options (after I remembered where I’d stored them!) and then do tests to see which gold I wanted for this card.  Then I had to destroy some glitter paper while trying to emboss on it (see previous post lol), find my de-static stuff to prep the paper with, find a paint brush to brush off powder still sticking in the wrong places, etc.

But now I’ll be ready to heat emboss again.  Sort of. 🙂

While the experimental “fails” were frustrating at the time, I actually enjoy the results: finding new ways to use my papercrafting supplies.  I never would’ve chosen to combine gold glitter paper and gold heat embossing if I weren’t cutting out multiple pieces and switching them around to see what I liked best.  Putting the gold glitter paper under the gold-embossed paper was actually kind of a desperation move, as I wasn’t finding the look I was hoping for while trying my more conventional choices.

So don’t discount desperation as a source of inspiration – you never know where it might lead you!  lol

How NOT to use glitter paper!

heat embossing, embossing, glitter, glimmer

I was working on a “golden” anniversary card, and having a hard time deciding: gold glitter paper, gold foil paper, brushed gold paper, glittery gold embossing powder, or plain gold embossing powder.

In the course of trying out combinations, I tried something I’d never done before, which was heat embossing on glitter paper.  You can see the result above!

In case you can’t tell, the glitter coating on top of the paper is embedded in/on what’s probably a plastic film.  When you heat it, it melts, bubbles up from the surface, then starts curling up and shrinking in on itself.  The card stock underneath is a yellowish color, although the reverse of the paper is white.

It’s always interesting to see how a “new technique” will turn out.  This isn’t one I ever plan to duplicate! Yuck!  lol

Tiny treasures in my own back yard

embellishments, cards, greeting cards, cardmaking

I don’t spend enough time outdoors.  But yesterday I walked around our shady yard trying to figure out if there was any place that got enough sun to put in a small garden (next year, and my sister will be rolling her eyes if she reads this, because I have never gardened lol).

While I was out back I spotted these teeny tiny pine cones in the grass.  So naturally I thought, “Those would be cute on a card (because really, what tiny thing wouldn’t, right?).”

So I picked some up and brought them in.  When I put them on a card, I’ll post a picture.

And now I have another reason to get outside every day – to go on a tiny treasure hunt!

What tiny treasures have you found to put on your cards?

 

Update, September 19:

Greeting cards, pay it forward, cards, pine cone

Free at last!

Greeting card, papercrafting, stamping
Your kindness is always appreciated!

The long-anticipated day finally arrived – I am officially retired!

All my life I thought it was sad that so many of us go through life working at a job we don’t necessarily like, just because we have to, and wishing impatiently for the weekend/next day off/vacation.

I hear that the millennial generation feels very strongly about finding work they can be passionate about, and where they can actually make a difference.  But that’s not unique to them.  Wouldn’t most of us like to spend our time doing something fulfilling, while knowing that we were leaving the world a better place because of what we did?

We don’t always have the luxury of waiting for the perfect job.  But as human beings, we can make a difference in the world, one day at a time, one person at a time.

Practice kindness.  Tell someone they’re appreciated.  Offer help when you can.  Smile at people.

We’re all in this together.  And you never know what little gesture or word of encouragement may inspire someone to “pay it forward,” or to go on to do great things that benefit us all.

Brush it off and move on

All dies are not alikeDie, dies, diecut, diecutting, cutting, brush, card making, papercraft

I resisted getting a die brush for a long time.  But I love dies, and have been buying more detailed dies for a while now, so I went for it.  Now I’m really glad I did.

The die in the photo above was one of a set that I bought already used, and hadn’t tried.  When I needed to add a white panel for writing inside a dark card, I decided I didn’t want a plain rectangle — I wanted an interesting shape or edge.

Finally, a chance to use this lace-edged rectangle!

It was only after I ran it through my Big Shot that I realized there was something different about this die.  While it clearly has cutting lines that cut out little triangles, the holes in the die are just little dots.  On most of my dies, the shape of the “hole” in the die is the shape of the piece it cuts out.  On those dies, the larger holes mean I can pop out most clinging pieces with a fingertip or fingernail.

Not this time!

But, in spite of the tiny size of the little dot-holes, the stiff bristles of the brush poked through and saved the day!

(And, no, these won’t be die-cut scraps that I save for use elsewhere — just too darn small! lol)

Using up the bits and pieces

Okay, maybe I’m a paper hoarder.  Or a craft hoarder in general. 🙂

I can see crafty possibilities in so many things, that I have a hard time getting rid of them.  Take paper scraps, for example.

I often find myself trimming down card layers to get the framing of the layers a little different.  Which leaves me with teeny little strips of paper that I’ve taken to calling “whiskers.”

Instead of tossing them, I found a place to put them away, and eventually used some as an embellishment on a card.  The card turned out great (one of my favorites, actually), and so I decided to find more ways to use my whiskers.

On this particular card, I sifted through my little stack to find reds and pinks and just criss-crossed them to create a little interest.  But I felt like a little something more was needed.

Which led me to poke through some odd-shaped pieces left over from some intricate die cuts.  Yes, I sometimes save those, too, if they’re a decent size and an interesting shape!

So I was able to add a couple of these curlicue scraps to my whiskers to fill in my design a little more.  And I think it turned out great!  Which is why I guess I’ll continue to save these little bits and pieces.  🙂

Whiskers, scraps
Using up little bits and pieces is fun!

Oops! I was bad! :)

I got to see how easy it was to do this marbling technique – although I didn’t buy any of their products (yet).

I meant to take photos at the Scrapbook Expo today…

The first booth we went to had a “no photography” sign.  After that, it was too late!  I was so busy gawking at things (does anybody use that word any more?) to remember to take any pictures.

But I did come away with this nifty little sample of a marbling technique.  It’s from a company called Local King Rubber Stamps.  They specialize in solid-image stamps like the car above.  Instead of a stamp where the outlines of the image are raised up, they make the outlines indented and the insides of the image raised up to take the ink.

They scribbled (literally) directly on the stamp with their markers to get the marbling.  They have their own line of water-based markers that they say will stay wet for 6 minutes on the rubber.  As they scribble one color over another, the inks blend to give the marbled effect you can see on the car.

It was an awesome demonstration, but I couldn’t buy everything!  I’m going to try to see if I can get a similar effect with markers I already have.  But I will share some of the things I saw and did buy in other posts to come.

It was sooo much fun!