Tuesday, January 22, 2008

"L" is not always for "Loser"!

I intended for my card templates to be posted on Mondays, but since yesterday was a holiday, I held off posting until today! Last week's card template was a simple cross design. This week's template is somewhat similar--it's an 'L' shape. In the card above, the 'L' has actually been flipped vertically, as it goes up the left side of the card, and across the top. Balance is important in any card design, so I made sure to place a saying in a coordinating color at the bottom right, to ensure the card didn't seem top heavy. And if you're looking at that saying trying to figure out where it came from, I'll give you a hint--it's not in any of our catalogs. I'm giving you a little sneak peek at one of the stamp sets you can earn for FREE between February 1st and March 17th, during the annual Sale-A-Bration! (more on that to come at the end of the month...)
In the cards below, you'll see the 'L' again (this time right side up!) with a third element at the top right of each card for balance. Laying out a design with an odd number of elements is always pleasing to the eye. I used a triangular placement of 3 focal points on each card, which also helps the viewer to sweep across the entirety of the card at a glance.

I have to confess that, as awesome as they are, I did not come up with the color combinations for any of these cards on my own. I used a particular package of Designer Series Paper in the design of each one, and "borrowed" the combinations of colors from the package of paper I used! The coordinating colors are not listed in the catalog, but I can help you find coordinating supplies for each Designer Series Paper package when you contact me with your order.

Wanted Card Supplies: Wanted stamp set; Western Sky Designer Series Paper; Blue Bayou card stock and ink pad, River Rock, Soft Sky and Whisper White card stock; Star punch; 1-1/4" Square punch; Crop-A-Dile (3/16" hole punch); Jumbo Eyelets; Hemp Twine; Mini Glue Dots®; Stampin' Dimensionals®.

One of a Kind Card Supplies: One of a Kind stamp set; Bali Breeze Designer Series Paper; Taken with Teal, Rose Red and Old Olive card stock; Basic Black ink pad; Word Window punch; 3/16" Corner Rounder; 1/16" and 1/8" Circle hole punches; Build-A-Brad; Hodgepodge Hardware; Black 1/4" Grosgrain Ribbon, Urban West Rub-Ons.

Sweet Shapes Card Supplies: Sweet Shapes stamp set; Berry Bliss Designer Series Paper; Purely Pomegranate and Close to Cocoa card stock and ink pads; Pretty in Pink card stock; 1" and 1-1/4" Circle Punch; Stampin' Dimensionals®.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Pinwheel Parade

Okay, so I don't really have a literal "parade" of pinwheels to show you yet, but I do have a tutorial that I hope will be handy for you. You can see other finished samples of pinwheels on page 67 of the Spring/Summer Collection catalog--just click on that link over in the right sidebar to view that catalog.

My tutorial will contain two parts, as I have made these pinwheels both with straws and with pinwheel kits. The straw pinwheels are more decorative than functional, though you can get them to spin a little if you construct them carefully. The kit pinwheels work like a charm! Click here for ordering information on the pinwheel kits, currently you get enough supplies to make 24 pinwheels, for $4.95. I don't like the shape of the card stock in the pinwheel kit, so I use this PINWHEEL PATTERN instead. This is actually the same pattern I'll be using for both types of pinwheels. You'll see that with this pattern you can make your pinwheels either 6" x 6" or 3" x 3", but my tutorials will be made only with the 6" x 6" pattern.

[As you go through the tutorial, remember that you can click on any picture to see it enlarged.]

You'll start out by cutting two coordinating sheets of double-sided stamped or patterned paper to 6" x 6" squares (I have used our new Western Sky Designer Series Paper), and trimming two patterns to the same size, as you see below in the picture on the left. Then you will place a pattern on the top of each of the patterned paper squares, with a temporary adhesive, such as Dotto®. For the best results and the least amount of slippage, I put a bit of Dotto® in the center, then under each of the "hole" marks on the corners, and also right under the curvy tip on each corner. Just a little dab of Dotto® works wonderfully--and you are then ready to trim out the pattern for each square, by following the solid lines with your Paper Snips. Note: make sure that the side of each patterned of paper you want to use is facing up before putting the pattern over it to cut it out.

After you have cut the pattern out of both squares, you'll need your Crop-a-Dile (CAD) to punch out all 5 of the marked holes. Orient your CAD with the marking for the 3/16" hole punch facing up towards you, as shown in the picture below. Loosen the dial that the white arrow is pointing at in the picture, and then move the measuring slide all the way to your right, and tighten the dial back up again. This will ensure that your hole punch has the maximum reach, which you will need for the middle hole.

After punching all 5 holes on each square, take ONE of the squares, and begin pulling each of the punched ends towards the middle of the pattern. These 4 "arms" will ONLY be adhered to each other, they will NOT be adhered to the center of the pinwheel pattern. You will want to put some sort of adhesive on the TOP of each of these "arms", so that there is something for the next "arm" to stick to. I used Mini Glue Dots® because they were the most convenient. Check out the picture below on the left for placement of the Mini Glue Dots®. The picture on the right, below, shows what it should look like when you are finished. Notice that all the holes in the "arms" are perfectly centered over one another. This alignment is critical to allowing your pinwheel to spin freely.

This next part may get just a tad confusing, but bear with me. You will take your 4-point pinwheel that you just glued together, and place that ON TOP of the second 6" square you have trimmed out from the pattern. In the picture below on the left, the white diamond shows the orientation you will want between the square on bottom, and the 4-point pinwheel on top. You will then pull the "arms" of the second pinwheel up one at a time, and line each up with the punched hole in the middle and adhere, just like you did with the arms of the first pinwheel. Each "arm" of the second pinwheel will come up between two "blades" of your first pinwheel. In the picture below on the right, you can see the pattern starting, as two of the "arms" of the second pinwheel have been adhered. Note the altered placement of the Mini Glue Dot® for adhering the "arms" of the second pinwheel...use the placement you feel works best, and which will prevent the Mini Glue Dots® from entering the area of the punched hole. The third picture below shows the completed 8-point pinwheel.

Now that the paper portion of your pinwheel is complete, you will need some pieces from your pinwheel kit--you'll need one straw, one elbow joint and one washer. (I have no idea what the names are for each of these pieces, but that's what I'm calling them!) Because of the thickness of the paper I used, and the added thickness of the Mini Glue Dots® between each of the "arms", I found that I needed to cut the washer in half. I simply took my Hobby Blade and sliced carefully through the middle of the washer, then trimmed as necessary to make the cut end flush and flat. You can see the before and after in the photo on the bottom right.

For the next step, you will place the elbow joint on one end of the straw. The end of the elbow joint will then be inserted through the pinwheel from the back, as shown on the right, below. Be sure that the back of your pinwheel slides back until it stops at the little "bump" that's about 1/4" from the straw. Turn the pinwheel over, and you should see the tip of the elbow joint sticking out there.

I wanted to cover up the overlapping of the "arms" at the front of my pinwheel, so I stamped a coordinating image from the Wanted stamp set, and punched it out with the Scallop Circle punch, then adhered that to the front of the pinwheel (again, using Mini Glue Dots®). I then placed the washer over the end of the elbow joint, to complete my pinwheel!

The method of making a pinwheel using a flexible drinking straw involves the same steps used above, all the way up until you use the pieces from the pinwheel making kit, so I'm just going to start at that point. You should have an 8-point pinwheel completed, as you'll see below. If you want something to cover the area where the arms go together in the front of the pinwheel, go ahead and create and adhere that now, too. (Any stamped image or patterned paper used with the Scallop Circle Punch is ideal, though you could also use the new Large Star punch if it coordinates with your design.]

The next step is to take your flexible drinking straw and create a 90 degree angle, as you'll see in the photo below on the left. You'll be using a Rhinestone Brad to connect the pinwheel to the drinking straw, so you'll need to poke a small vertical slit on each side of the end of the drinking straw, as pictured below on the right. This will allow the "legs" of the brad to be fastened to the straw. The exact placement of the slit will depend on the length of the "legs" on the brad you use, and the thickness of the stacked and adhered pinwheel "arms". I used the largest of the Rhinestone Circle Brads, and made the slits approximately 1/8" from the end of the straw.

After making the slits in the straw, and checking that they are large enough for the legs of the brad to go through, you will place the straw through the back of the pinwheel, as shown below. The straw should not go through the hole in the front of the pinwheel, but should sit just behind the hole.

At this point, you will need to modify your brad slightly. As you can see in the first of the pictures below, the Rhinestone Brad's "legs" are not flush with the back of the brad. Take the round-tipped pliers from your Crafter's Tool Kit and squeeze the "legs" together and down towards the back of the brad. The last picture in the series below will show how the brad looks from the side angle, after the "legs" have been set flush to the back of the brad.

Pick up the pinwheel with the drinking straw in it, and insert the brad through the hole in the front of the pinwheel, into the drinking straw. Work each "leg" of the brad through its respective hole in the straw. Check out the white arrows in the picture below to see how the legs of the brad should stick out from the straw.

To complete your drinking straw pinwheel, you will carefully insert your round-tipped pliers through to the middle of the pinwheel, and bend each leg of the brad towards the front of the pinwheel, to secure the pinwheel front onto the straw. Though it was hard to photograph, I think you can get the general idea from the picture below--the arrows are pointing at the bent ends of the brad "legs" coming out of the straw. [Click the picture to enlarge it, and you'll be able to see it better!]

Congratulations, you've just learned two ways to make pinwheels for your next party or special occasion. If you don't like the color of the straws you are using, you might consider taking strips of coordinating paper, or lengths of ribbon, and wrapping them around to cover the straw. Or, you can use any other color of vinyl or cloth tape...the advantage of the latter is that you could sponge ink onto white cloth tape for color (though you'll want to use ink that will not bleed onto hands).

Stampin' Supplies: Wanted stamp set, Ruby Red ink pad, Western Sky Designer Series Paper, Dotto® temporary adhesive, Crop-a-Dile®, Paper Snips, Mini Glue Dots®, Scallop Circle Punch, Hobby Blade, Rhinestone Circle brad.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Just another Manic Monday...

Today's card template features a simple cross pattern. Your main image, or focal point, will be the vertical bar of an imaginary cross. Behind that, you will place a horizontal bar of card stock, ribbon, or patterned paper, to stretch the eye across the width of the card.

On the 6" x 3" foldover Happy Heart Day card (above), white tafetta ribbon is used for the horizonal bar. The horizontal slot punch was used to hold the ribbon in place. On the Office Accoutrement card (below-left), a sheet of coordinating card stock was used, with some spiral punching down the left side to add interest. On the New Baby card (below-right), a sheet of card stock was used, and this time the punching is across the bottom of the strip. [As always, click on any image to see a larger view!]

Happy Heart Day Card Supplies: Happy Heart Day stamp set (special in January ONLY!); Rose Red Textured Card Stock, Prints Designer Series Paper, and ink; Pretty in Pink card stock; Versamarker (to color in heart), White Gel Pen, 1/2" Circle punch, 3/16" Corner Rounder punch (for corners, and with guide removed to make scallops--scroll down through this post to see tutorial), Horizontal Slot punch, White Tafetta ribbon, Mini Glue Dots, Stampin' Dimensionals®.

Office Accoutrement Card Supplies: Office Accoutrement stamp set, Blue Bayou ink pad, River Rock card stock and ink pad, Wild Wasabi card stock and ink pad, More Mustard card stock and ink pad, Whisper White card stock, Hodgepodge Hardware, Spiral punch, 1/16" Circle punch (center of small flower), White 1/4" Grosgrain ribbon (dyed Blue Bayou with ink pad and sponge).

New Baby Card Supplies: Jumbo Alphabet stamp set, Fundamental Phrases stamp set, Fun 'N Fast Phrases stamp set (baby carriage), Holiday Blitz (baby rattle), Pretty in Pink card stock, Pixie Pink ink pad (full strength for baby carriage, stamp off once for baby rattles in background), Blush Blossom card stock and ink pad, Pretty in Pink 1/4" Grosgrain ribbon, Soft Subtles brads (Pretty in Pink), Word Window punch, Versamarker (to color in Jumbo letters), Pale Plum ink pad (to stamp words inside Jumbo letters).

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


The New Year is a great time to evaluate what's going on, and what can be improved. I started my blog this year, and I'd like to get back to my original posting plans. I had intended to post a new card or scrapbooking template every week, with at least 3 stamped samples using the template. Unfortunately, I didn't maintain this goal this year.

This year, I pledge to do better! I intend to post one new template every Monday.

I also have a lot of photos that need scrapbooking. I have been neglecting scrapbooking in favor of the instant gratification of stamping cards, but I know that getting those photos in an album will give me a great sense of fulfillment.

This year, I want to complete 104 scrapbooking pages--that's two per weekend throughout the year.

I hope you'll join me in making some stamping resolutions. Whether you prefer creating cards, gifts, home decor items, or scrapbook pages, I hope to help inspire your creativity with my blog entries this year! It really helps to write down your resolutions, so definitely do that, and post your goals in a place where you will see them regularly. If your goals can be tied to specific times, like mine, consider actually entering the event on your calendar or planner.

For instance, I could put a reminder in my Palm Pilot (because it has an alarm!) every Saturday, to get two scrapbook pages done over the weekend. This may work well for some folks, though I have the tendency to "snooze" those reminders to death. If you're a procrastistamper like me, you may want to actually set "appointments" to meet your goals. You can do this by determining the time it will take you to reach your goal, and splitting it up into increments. For my scrapbooking goal of two pages per weekend, I only want to spend 30 minutes per page from start to cleanup. So, I can set an "appointment" for either one hour on Saturday, or 30 minutes each on both Saturday and Sunday.

Just a note about planning for scrapbooking--if you don't have your photos all gathered together in a logical sequence, you may do well to set goals for regularly spending a certain amount of TIME organizing your photos each weekend, instead of getting a certain number of pages done.

Whatever your resolutions, I wish you the best in your efforts to Create in 2008!

Thursday, January 3, 2008


The new 2008 Spring/Summer Collection catalog is here! There are tons of new stamp sets and accessories you'll want to add to your wish list. And there are a couple ways you can cash in on some sweet savings during the month of JANUARY only:

• Host a Workshop* - get a FREE stamp set
• Buy the Valentine's Day Bundle** - get free ribbon

*When you host a qualifying workshop of $350 or more in total orders, choose one stamp set FREE! There are seven to choose from...here are links to the sets in the online catalogs, with their accompanying page numbers: Happy Heart Day (p.65), A Beautiful Thing (p.82), A Little Birdie Told Me (p.65), Mark the Date (p.125), Celebrate Everything (p.142) Embrace Life (p.84) or Nursery Necessities (p. 69).

**When you purchase the Happy Heart Day set, one spool of Real Red 5/8" Grosgrain Ribbon, and a package of Medium Cellophane Bags, you'll get one spool of Regal Rose 5/8" Grosgrain Ribbon absolutely FREE!

The new catalog is beautiful, and looking at these stamp sets online hardly does them justice. So, contact me today to get your hands on a hard copy of the 2008 Spring/Summer Collection. Book a workshop with me and get one for FREE!