Friday, 8 March 2013

Small Space Craft Area

I dont have a dedicated room for paper crafting.  I share our home office with my husband.  My craft table is right across his computer desk.  My "office" aka computer desk is located in our living room, BUT that is another story for another time :)

So with what little space I have, I make sure every little bit counts.  The key is to be as organized as possible.  In my case, I want everything out in the open and accessible.  The downside of having a small space?  Even when you dont have much, it looks like its too much.  And packed.  But as long as you can move around without knocking things off, its all good.  :)

So, this is what my craft area looks like.  I converted a once computer desk into a craft desk.  Its not very big, but big enough to hold my supplies and tools.  Above it, I have plastic containers that are all labeled accordingly.  THIS is partially because I have a very bad habit.  I dont put stuff back to where I found it.  Just ask my husband who is constantly in the hunt for the can opener.

A few days back, I saw a ribbon organizer at Michael's which I almost bought.  Thank goodness I didnt, because its NOT what I need.  It will only hold 10-15 of my ribbons and I have a little more than that.  So last Friday I went to the dollar store and bought a curtain rod.  YES a curtain rod.  My husband installed it on top of my desk and now I have all my pretty ribbons in one place.  ALL FIFTY or so of them.  :)  Not 10, not 15.  ALL FIFTY.  And it only cost me $2.50.  And not $39.  Trust your instinct and save money.  Also, now I have a permanent place to hang my embossing heat gun.  WIN-WIN.  wooohoooo.

On my table, I have pretty much all the things that I constantly use.  My cuttlebug, my slice machine, my craft mat, paper trimmer and ATG.  I also have little containers to hold my buttons, craft strings, embellishments, gel pens and other tools.  I also have several little cubbies on top of my table which houses my scrap papers, my 12x12 papers, my stamp pad, inks, glitter glues, distress ink and embossing powders.  The smaller cubbies are for my die cuts, glitter stickers, fiskars embossing plates and for some of my finished projects.

Beside my table I have a small shelf for my cricut, my stamps and my paints and brushes.  My stamps are purposely arranged like this for easy access.  Right beside it, is a little 3 drawer storage where I put some other random craft supplies.  On top of it is my cardstock organizer.

Its not a lot but its all I need.  FOR NOW.  :)

Monday, 4 March 2013

Mini Scrapbook Album


My first try @ mini scrapbook album for a special little girl.  Going through old photographs made me a little teary. When a child becomes a part of your life, they stay in your heart. They may grow up but their memories never leave. :) it stays. For as long as your heart beats.


Saturday, 2 March 2013

Spring Flower

Paper Roses

Decided to try something new.  I'm not a big fan of roses.  And now I know why.  Because when I try to make one using paper cardstock, they look more like rose shaped cinnamon buns.  :)  But you know what they say, "Practice makes perfect."  The size of these roses is 1".  They are really tiny :)

Pretty Flowers

Using the same technique from last night, I made a couple more flowers today.  Also, instead of plain white card stock, for the first flower I used a purple one and for the other flower, I just used a plain white printing paper.  Also, I played around a bit with the petals and used my paint brush handle to curl them up a little bit.  Practice makes it perfect.  But in order to practice I need to get more cardstock.  So off to the store I went after making these two.

While at the store, I picked up a few acrylic paint.  For a change, instead of using distress inks, I decided to give it a try.

And here's the result!  :)  I love it!

Friday, 1 March 2013

DIY Flower Embellishment

I have never tried making my own flower embellishment until today.  So I thought what better way to remember my first time than to share it with others?

Step 1
Using my cricut, a piece of plain white cardstock and cricut cartridge alphabet, I cut out seven different sizes of the same flower shape, the largest is 2 1/2 inches and the smallest is 1 inch.  ( 2 1/2" - 2 1/4" - 2" - 1 3/4" - 1 1/2" - 1 1/4" & 1").

For Step 2, I used Distress Stain by Tim Holtz in Bundled Sage, a spray mist bottle and a pair of latex gloves.  I didnt want any ink on my hands so I made sure I was protected.

Step 2
Dab some Distress Stain on your mat and mist it with some water, feel free to add more stain or water until you are happy with the color.

Step 3

Take your paper flowers and dip them right on to the mix.  Make sure that you ink both sides of the flowers.

Step 4
When you are done dipping all the pieces, carefully crumple them up.

Step 5

Open up your flowers and by using a heat gun and a pair of tweezers (so you dont burn your precious hand!) dry them up one by one.

Step 6

I then carefully dabbed Tim Holtz Distress Ink Walnut Stain using a cosmetic sponge on each of the flowers.

Step 7

Using Glue dots, I glued all my flower layers together.  I also glued a small rhinestone embellishment on top of the smallest flower layer.

and ta daaaaaa



Till next post!  Happy crafting!  (Oh, and my husband said the picture does not give justice to what it really looks like.  When I showed it to him, his reaction was, "That's pretty snazzy!" I guess I should get a new camera? )


Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Basic Tools for Scrapbooking/ Card Making/ Paper Crafting

If you are new or considering giving "Scrapbooking/Card Making" a try, you are in for a huge surprise.  One word to describe it would be OVERWHELMING.  Have you ever come across a "how to make a card" video on youtube?  The first time I saw one, I was in awe.  "What IS that thing she's using to cut that paper?  Did she just say stamp?  Ha, I thought stamps are those little sticker thingy you'd find on the top right hand corner of your mail."
I was so inspired by the video I saw that I decided to give it a try.  I googled "scrapbooking stores" in my area and went to one the very next day.  When I opened the door, I froze for a moment.  What the heck is this place?  Paper stacked everywhere.  Ribbons.  Adhesives.  Cut out shapes.  Artificial flowers.  Glitters.  Ink pads.  Scissors.  And for the first time in my life, I learned what "punches" were in the paper crafting world.  At that moment, it was hard to process everything in my head.  I was in front of stuff I did not know existed until then.  I was overwhelmed.  I left after buying a few basic coloured cardstock, an elmer's glue and a pair of scissors.  Oh, and some glitter that was on clearance that day.
I went to work straight away when I got home.  It was November, so I thought about making something "Christmassy".  I searched for some DIY christmas cards and decided to try a couple.
I would link the website where I got the inspiration for these two cards 4 1/2 years ago, but I can't find it.  I will re-edit this post when I do find it and give them the credit that rightfully belongs to them.  These two cards were made just by using plain cardstocks, a pair of scissors, some glue, white glitter glue, a silver gel pen I didnt know I had, a ruler, some coins (I used them as templates for drawing the circles for the eyes, the small circles for the mouth of the snowman card were hand-drawn) and a pencil to draw the shapes for the reindeer nose and ears.  I still have these two cards in my drawer.  A reminder of my humble beginning as a paper crafter.

As a beginner, here are some tools you may find useful.  Forget about buying die cutting machines or fancy tools for now.  See first if scrapbooking/card making is for you before you spend hundreds of dollars on something that you may end up not using.
1.  Paper trimmer.  A good paper trimmer is the key to making your cuts look "clean" and straight.  It is also equipped with a built in ruler to ensure precise cutting measurement.  My first paper trimmer is a cricut one.  I fell in love with it instantly.  Now I have another one made by Fiskars, slightly bigger and sturdier.

2.  Craft Knife.  This is essential for precise cutting.  I remember using my husband's Exacto knife before I finally got my very own craft knife.  This craft knife came with my making memories tool kit and by far, my most favorite tool of all.  I dont just use this knife for crafts.  I use this to open up boxes and cutting loose threads from my clothes.

3.  Scissors.  Invest in a good pair of scissors.  You will find yourself using this most of the time.  Had I known this when I first started I wouldn't have gone through so many pair of scissors.  I own several pair of scissors but these two are my favorites.  One is made by Recollections and the other pair also came from my making memories tool kit.
4.  Ruler.  If you already have one at home, just use that one for now.  If you have to buy one, I would suggest getting the metal one, your craft knife is so sharp it can easily cut through the plastic and wooden rulers.

5.  Adhesives.  There are several types of adhesives available at the stores.  Glue dots, double sided tapes, multi-purpose glue, spray glues, etc.  Choose the one that you feel comfortable using.  When I started, I chose to use Elmer's glue because its the one I was most familiar with.  I am now using an ATG (Advanced Tape Glider by Scotch) but Elmer's glue is still my go-to adhesive from time to time.

6.  Punches.  Comes in a variety of shapes and sizes.  You can use this to decorate the card or to add some fancy edges to your borders.

7.  Embellishments.  To decorate your card you can try adding some buttons, ribbons, artificial flowers, stickers, felts, beads or glitter.

8.  Rubber stamps.  This will come in handy if you are not very good at drawing (*cough* like me *cough*).  It is available in many designs.  And of course, if you choose to use rubber stamps, you will also need an ink pad.

9.  Paper.  There are so many types, colors and designs of paper to choose from.  From plain coloured cardstock to textured ones.  Basic coloured cardstocks are a must have.

These are the basic tools that can get you started.  If you decide to pursue this hobby, make sure to bring a drool rag when you visit an arts and crafts store.  Stepping into Michael's or Joann's will make you feel like an overly excited child stepping into Toys R Us.  You'll soon find out that the list of supplies you need (and WANT) is surprisingly endless and at times, pricey.  I would suggest checking out your weekly flyers to take advantage of coupons that your local Michael's or Joann's has from time to time.
Happy crafting and till next post!