Faded Shabby Blogs

06 January 2013

Spanning the Space

It's been far too long. The school year has demanded much in the way of adjustments for us all, but perhaps me the most. I'm currently working on a fairly big project which I'll be happy to share with you all soon. But in the meantime, enjoy Kristine & Monica's video of the technique of stamping across multiple surfaces!


07 October 2012

Baby booties!!

I don't know about you, but baby showers are just a delightful event in my mind. Having been privileged to have had five baby showers (and only two children; yes, we were spoiled!), I can attest that people like baby showers much more than they like bridal showers. It's always fun to see how people at the showers react to games - I was at one where, blindfolded, guests had to compete to try to match socks (different sizes, no problem; different colored bands on different sizes? Yeah...right). One woman spent her entire game time just holding the little socks to her cheek and cooing about the time when her children fit into such precious little socks. That was the same event at which they had a piƱata in the shape of a bear. That thing came back to smack me in the face, and we all joked that the headlines would read, "Bear mauls woman in the woods." We were a little off the beaten path at a retired colleague's house.

But I digress. I've taken on some fun and wonderful challenges this year (meaning academic year), with new roles in every organization to which I belong. I'm becoming more involved. AND I was even hired recently to make baby shower favors.

Here's a snapshot or two:

The "It's a Boy" banner had more embellishments before I actually shipped it off. One booty was filled with kisses that spelled the baby's first and middle names (Aidan Ryan), the other had his last name spelled out on kisses. And I just couldn't resist making "yo-yos" out of the zip strips off the Wonderland  B&T papers I used to cut the booties and the banner pieces.

My many thanks go to my friend who thought enough of my paper crafting skills to allow me to be a part of her daughter's baby shower in this special way! I had such fun using my new CTMH Cricut Artiste cartridge to make these booties. If you'd like to learn more, let me show you how!

01 August 2012

Cricut Artiste will bring out your inner artist!

I'm so excited to get to share with you the latest in the Close To My Heart-Cricut exclusive cartridges: Artiste Cricut Collection. This set features a cartridge designed by CTMH, three Dimensional Elements chipboard sheets, and three coordinating stamp sets. The cartridge is like none I have worked with before (and I've had my Cricut Expression for nearly four years and own dozens of cartridges - although I'm going to admit that I've sold some since CTMH came out with its first Cricut Art Philosophy Collection a year ago)!

The 700 shapes feature 3D flowers, boxes, and objects (oh, there's even a pair of baby booties - can you imagine these adorning the centerpieces of a baby shower?!), cards and envelopes, shapes, tags, a font, phrases. There are one-key themed sets to create the invitations, favors and decorations for a party (Halloween, birthday, Valentine's Day). Something I really love is that this cartridge is set up with linked keys, and those are designed to pair perfectly in relative dial size. If you select a 4 inch card and cut its coordinating envelope, the two will fit perfectly together (no fussing and recutting one or the other!). If you want a 3D box to stand 3 inches in height, you set your dial to 3 inches, and the finished product is that size!

I have already made two birthday presents using the new Artiste cartridge, both using the L-key mini album. (That's right...all the pages of the album are made using a combination of the L key, shift, and feature keys!) In the instruction booklet, it has in red by the back cover ("3D Object" feature, "SHIFT" + L) "3 in.", with an arrow to show that the finished album will be three inches in height if you select that. I made the first album using this standard. I was curious how "large" I could cut this back cover, using only a 12x12 piece of cardstock and the Fit to Page feature on my Cricut. The tallest this particular album (complete with front and back covers) could be is 4 1/4 inches. (Note: the back cover will ONLY cut if you select "Fit to Page", as it scoots out the side margins a bit. All other pieces were able to be cut by setting the size to 4 1/4 inches.)

I used the Dotty for You papers for the second (larger) mini album, which is for our niece's birthday. My husband leaves in the wee hours of the morning for a business trip within an hour of his sister's new home, so he'll visit her family while out there! And today I put together this album. (If I had been thinking far ahead, I might have had lots of stamping within the pages. But Riley is turning 7, and I'm sure she can create whatever she wants to see adorning her pages! Plus, this is a new cartridge...but it's helping me dust off my creative edge!)

Below is the outside of the album. You can see that it is about 8 1/2 inches wide too. It's a good sized mini album. I hope Riley has some fun filling it with photos and memorabilia! Oh...that rosette on the closure? That's one of several rosettes included on the Cricut Artiste. It cuts decorative edges, different shapes out of each one (this has beveled edges, two diamond cut-outs) AND scores with precision. Our B&T papers work great with this feature!

Here is the inside of the front cover, with a little "envelope" like an interoffice kind (flap opened) and tags within. I've always loved office supplies...now I can create miniature versions of them out of any papers in no time!!

Here's the side showing all the cuts, each perfectly cascading. The shapes are sometimes so fussy, I would never cut them (the first), or so artistic (the second) I would fail. This photo also shows the underside of the rosette and my closure (these are thin craft magnets, but I'm just kicking myself for not having ordered the small hook-and-loop dot closures CTMH carries. I had magnets flying across the room from polarity issues when I was trying to line everything up! Plus I don't really like having magnets everywhere...perhaps that paranoia is old, but it's in me).

I wanted to show a couple of the pages opened/turned. My decision to use the front or back side of our B&T paper was partly just trying to break up the patterns when you look at the entire album. But in some cases, it made for a coordinated double-page spread!

I put some tags within the pages (adhered to the page, not just in the envelopes). This is one, and a little ribbon detail. This is actually hiding the backside of a brad that was used for the envelope closure on the back!

Here's the envelope on the back, with CTMH Baker's Twine in Outdoor Denim wrapping between the stitched button and the brad. I didn't want to use another set of magnets, didn't yet have the hook-and-loop dots, and had adhered this envelope before I devised the closure.

One twist of the Baker's Twine and the envelope opens to reveal more tags for journaling and capturing memories! Before I spend too much more time here, I should take my hubby the album so he can pack it for Riley! (If he forgets it, I can always ship it...we have enough time for that!)

Hope this helps you get excited to see this new product! The Autumn/Winter Idea Book is live as of today...check it out on my OBA and let me know if I can answer any questions about our new products!!

19 June 2012

Convention Studio J Assignment

I think I've spent plenty of blogspace extolling the virtues of Studio J, the Close To My Heart digital scrapbooking studio. But our corporate creative staff have really helped me to go from loving this tool to being ecstatic over it! I feel like a bit of a heel for not having explored more of what I could be doing with Studio J. I knew SOME of the things that I was assigned to do...but really, I've been a "lazy" user of Studio J.

I have accepted the kits as they are assembled, utilized the toggled embellishments that I personalized with various colors. I've changed out the color scheme of a paper, rotated pages. But OH MY! There is more! I'm grateful for the opportunity to have received 5 Studio J layouts as part of my Convention 2012 registration, but I feel something beyond gratitude for the techniques I learned in following the instructions in order to get the following layouts. Of course, I made them my own, changed titles, added journaling and my photos. But what I learned along the way...priceless! I know I'll still make some Studio J pages as they are "presented", when I'm short on time or maybe demonstrating how quickly I can achieve a completed layout. But I can see that I'll be creating even more personalized pages that reflect this new knowledge!

I'm sharing only three of the five, because the other two have other people's children in the pictures. And...well, I don't have the go ahead to share their faces on my blog (I could probably obtain that from the friends who are their parents, but I am just making my life simpler here).

Above is the layout done with the Lucy paper pack. We toned down the femininity of this pack with a few color changes, a more neutral B&T selection, and these multi-colored streamers rather than flowery accents. Vincent has a place with this paper too!

I cannot believe that the above layout begins with the Mischief paper. That was our tribute to Halloween and autumn in 2011. I LOVED learning to crop My Stickease and layer elements to create those cupcakes on a table in the upper left part of this layout!

I thought I was going to find some Fourth of July, Memorial Day or military photos to go with the Victory paper pack. While these pictures are from the Independence Day weekend, our experience with the Wooden Boat Festival is not necessarily "patriotic". I enjoyed mixing the flavor of the paper with a different life experience. And I like the effect in the lower right portion of layering a text box over a 'watermarked' embellishment. It adds to the depth of this layout! And I can't achieve the same with my printer or my handwriting...

I'm eager to learn more!

05 June 2012

MIA in May, apparently

An entire month escaped me. I apologize. It might be the combination of Mother's Day (which seems that much more difficult to "enjoy" without my Mommers here) and Memorial Day (away from my dad, for whom this is a charged day both professionally and personally; made harder in that my Mommers is buried in the Great Lakes National Cemetery alongside many fallen soldiers).

I apologize for anyone who clicked over here and wondered where I was. I can't even say that I've been whipping up a load of crafts. Right now (5 June) I am thinking of end-of-year teacher gifts to show appreciation and what I will do to keep my precious little Vs from making me batty with their bickering. I guess I should return to reading "Siblings without Rivalry" and listen to a few more CDs on practicing "Love and Logic". And I should get to work on my projects for Convention 2012. I've got a Studio J assignment from CTMH. And I have roomies...

Hey, I still have a few gifts I need to ship out based on a promise that I would send homemade items to people. And thank you notes to get to my friends who helped me when I couldn't walk or was too sick to cook. It's been a bad spot these past couple of weeks. Made worse by a little virus called Hand, Foot & Mouth Disease. I particularly loved the CDC information page that indicated that there are people out there with this who have absolutely no symptoms. No wonder it spreads. Fear not, I've had every symptom. In spades. So at least you know not to kiss me!

Let's see if I have some image worth posting before I close. I've got a visual side too! Nothing to do with paper crafting, but more with my purpose. Here we are, celebrating Mother's Day by taking a hike on Squak Mountain. I really appreciated that both my Vs were able to manage it on their own feet. And I also appreciated the great brunch we had at A Terrible Beauty in Renton. For me, the day was about spending time with my family. But I want to be a little "productive" when we're together. The hike was a good way of combining these goals. (The Sunday Bloody Mary Sunday at brunch was a good way to remember some other things too!) In case you're wondering, I changed between brunch and the hike. I think we all did, except maybe Matt's shirt....

28 April 2012

Saw Similar on Etsy

I've been spending too much time dallying on Pinterest (but really HAVE been doing things I saw there, from baking new recipes to making my own laundry detergent and shower cleaner). Yesterday a good friend sent me a text message asking if I had those little wine glass labels. I had several sets. Where have they gone? Did I get rid of them? Are they still packed?

Well, I had seen something on Etsy months ago. And I thought, "I can do that." And for cheaper than what the vendor was charging. But I get it...we all have to make our profits where we can. The ones I saw for sale were a plain scalloped circle in your choice of colors. I knew I had plenty of white CS, asked my friend what colors she would like to see on the wine glass labels, and selected some purples, as she requested.

I used the Cricut Art Philosophy flower#5 to cut a 2 1/2" flower then used another cutting system to cut the center holes (it really is good not to get rid of every other tool just because I adore the Close To My Heart products so much), random stamped some flowers (from a long-ago Aspiration stamp set; still one of my favorites) in Amethyst and Gypsy, leaving enough white space so people could write their names. Then I made a slit at a weird angle so the stem of the glass could slip in but not so easily slip out. Here's what the "final" product looked like:

I can see having fun at future parties. It's really quite easy to customize them for the type of party. Thanks, Etsy vendor, for the idea!

22 April 2012

In progress

Was it more than two years ago that my friend Sally Simon showed up with a bag of photo frame inserts and said, "I think you might be able to do something with these!" They have moved three times since that day. But I hadn't forgotten them. And just recently, I actually started to DO something with these terrific tidbits that I just couldn't let find their way into the recycling bins before I had a chance to repurpose them. These are still in progress. Because I have some ideas but they aren't fully formed. Here are the pictures, thus far. The first one is the back side of the insert, showing that one could hang this from three sides or use the stand to prop it up on a desktop or shelf.

I inked the edges of this one. What was I thinking? I should have used Staz-On ink as the surface was semi-glossy. But this was an item that would have been discarded by any other. It's trial and error. Even with my errors, I will probably still display it. I'd hate for anyone to think I can only show total success (let's face it; I'd never have anything displayed if I were waiting for that!)! 

I used my own version of decoupage glue (yes, that's Elmer's with some water added in; stock up when it's back-to-school time!) to adhere the Key To My Heart paper I had trimmed to fit the front of this insert. It's only been three or four years since this paper was the CTMH National Scrapbook Month limited-edition paper. But I loved it so much I managed to procure several packs. You might have noticed this paper on some other projects I've done. Because I am STILL using it up! (It has some of my all-time favorite colors: Sorbet, Juniper, Creme Brulee, Tulip; and it looks awesome with my number one favorite color, Cocoa. You might think I was hungry when I selected my favorites. You could be right about that too!) I swear this is the last pack I have of this paper, and it's almost gone. We'll discuss my stash of Perfect Day paper some other time.

I was looking through some little container and found these three roses that I had created (from the Art Philosophy cartridge, of course) and distressed. All made from Key To My Heart papers. What had I intended to do with them? Perhaps it was merely an effort to practice making 3D roses. Perhaps I was going to create hair clips out of them or brooches to put on something. I have no idea. But they were hot-glued to this frame insert. My thinking was that it will be so much easier for me to see the end of my hoard of this paper if I could look up on the walls in my craft studio and see a little sample of it. Do any of you think it would be too much for this room to be painted Sorbet? Because that is really what I want. Or maybe I should go Creme Brulee on three walls and have an accent wall of Sorbet? I digress. It's a tendency of mine. I added some Creme Brulee ribbon to cover a bit of the flawed direct-to-frame inking of Cocoa that I had done on the edges. Somehow, I think it works. The piece needs something more. Perhaps a frame of some sort with a terrific sentiment stamped or pieced onto it. I haven't yet decided, so it waits to be completed.

This one was the first I attempted, with the new CTMH cardstock-weight Background & Texture paper from the Stella collection. I had wrapped this around the edges of the frame (cumbersome with the heavier paper...but it does give it a different finish that I like). I intend to cut some of the flowers like I had done on Elliana's weekly calendar (gift) and then perhaps put a chipboard piece letter E so I could send this to her parents to adorn her room. 

Here's the side of this one. Ooh...I'm so pleased that I had this ribbon in a collection of Chocolate ribbons. I love the rouching on it, and it just finishes off my awkward edges so perfectly! Elliana might not get this. After all, the colors are close enough to my faves; I might just want this to stick around! Oh wait...I'm trying to cull my belongings. I'll post when I get this done!

One last one, still with that Key paper. I'm thinking about cutting out little squares and then creating a crossword-like pattern to put all the names in our family. I saw something like this where they were Scrabble pieces. I just don't want to go through the effort to create all that. This definitely needs embellishing, some sort of interest. I could make a third panel to go with the first pictured item and have the three be one cohesive design. I'm just not sure. I might get bored if it's all in my face. But I'd like to use my paper crafting to do some decorating around the house. Just to try that out! I'll report back to you when I know better what I'm doing with all these bits and pieces. It's not just all final product, as you well know!