Random Craftiness

Here are some bits and pieces of crafty news:

Let’s give a warm welcome back to Prickley Pear Rubber Stamps. Prickley Pear, which opened in 2003 by Nicole LaCour and closed last August, is back with new owners but the same fun, whimsical designs.

Tanya Doner-Kostynuk, owner of Riley & Company and Cornish Heritage Farms stamps, and Sue Helm are the proud new parents.

With nearly 900 products in 36 categories, Prickley Pear boasts a large assortment of vintage designs, many of which remind me of the cards my grandmother used to send me! Stamps come in clear polymer or red rubber and there are many matching dies.

Here’s a card I put together very quickly, using just scraps that were on my desk, and the birdcage stamp and die set:

prickleypear birdcage on white 711 DSC_0776

I die cut the bird and cage from some card stock that I think was made using Ranger Distress stains and/or sprays. The butterflies were from punches, the sequins from Doodlebug Designs and the cool background is the Art Deco Texture Plate from Spellbinders.

It’s great to have Prickley Pear back!

. . . . . . . .

If you love fabric and you love vintage, take a look at 7gypsies‘ new Gypsy Seamstress line here and here, which  brings together the look of old fabric prints, quilt-like bunting shapes and gypsy style printed banners.

Aren’t these yummy: 7 gypsies fabric IMG_6498_large

The collection includes banner making surfaces, totes and an apron.  Besides adding lace, fabric, charms and other bits and baubles, you can color them with  markers, acrylic paint, watercolor, glimmer mist, ink, etc. 7gypsies is part of the Canvas Corp Brands. 

. . . . . . . .

WOW! Embossing Powder (www.wowembossingpowder.com) has come out with its own embossing “mixing” jars so you can create custom-made embossing powders. Why, you ask, do you need to buy a special jar? (Well, that’s what I would ask …) Because these jars are treated with an anti-static material on the inside so your powders don’t cling to the sides. They also have a label so you can jot down your mixology notes. Check out the video here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDAm7lU_SCE

If nothing else, check out the website for lots of embossing facts and to see the company’s wide range of powders and more. You’ll say “Wow!”

Thanks for stopping by for this little craft update.

 

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Fabulous Finds Friday from Fiskars

(Wow. How many times do you get to write a five-F sentence???? Without using a dirty word?)

Anyway … For cutters, scissors and punches, Fiskars is still golden.

Fiskars has a tool for every need, but my focus is usually on those that are particularly useful for paper crafters.

For example, it was punch lust at first sight when I saw this adorable XOXO punch:

Fiskars xoxo 704 DSC_0772

This was perfect for Valentine’s Day cards — so fast and easy. But I see more uses. I have several weddings coming up and I think this could be a card making winner. Here’s a quick one I made, inspired by some scraps on my desk:

XOXO fiskars 703 DSC_0784

(The sequins are from Lawn Fawn.)

The punch was also perfect for some foiling:

XOXO foil grid bkgrd 707 DSC_0798

(I am somewhat obsessed with foiling since I’ve been playing with various foils and adhesives from Therm O Web. But that’s another post…. stay tuned. The background embossing plate on the above card is the grid folder from Spellbinders. Love it.)

At the Januray CHA show, crafters of all types were checking out the new Paper Trimmer with Aluminum Cut Rail*.

Fiskars paper cutter 704 DSC_0773

I sometimes get a little wobble with smaller personal trimmers, so this should be a boon to my cutting. The reinforced aluminum cut rail (with a locking system) promises to eliminate cutting wobble – which is a problem with my old personal trimmers. (Or maybe it’s me? Either way, this one is a delight.) Other nice features include a paper clamp/smudge guard (something else I need!), a self-leveling extension arm that stretched to 15 inches, and an extra wide base for a bigger work space.

(Here’s my big admission — I was recently working on a small, crowded desk and put the trimmer on my lap so I didn’t have to move to a larger, cleaner work table, assuming I could find one. I know, I know … lazy crafter. Don’t judge. But the good news this, this is so sturdy, it still cut fine with just my flabby thighs for support.)

More exciting Fiskars punches are in the works.

*Fiskars was kind enough to send me this cutter to try. 

CHA Highlights — We R Memory Keepers

The engineers at We R Memory Keepers  deserve medals for constantly coming up with the best crafting tools I didn’t know I needed. Let’s look at a few that debuted at the 2016 Craft & Hobby Association MEGA Show (and some old ones that need to be noted).

Two on my must-have list are the Alphabet Punch Board and the Goodie Bag Guide.

WeRMK alphabet punch board

WeRMK alphabet punch board

The Alphabet Punch Board (coming in February) creates any letter or number up to 3×5 inches in size with a few simple punches. (Don’t worry, there’s a guide book.) Use them for signs, cards, on scrapbook pages or create a banner. For banners, you’ll also want the Link Punch, which punches out a paper link. Here’s a great video link.

Goodie Bag Guide: This acrylic tool looks a bit like an oddly shaped ruler. It guides you in tearing and folding goodie bags. And if you want to add food to the bag, make it from their food safe, grease resistant glassine paper. It’s a treat you’ll want to repeat.

WeRMK party bag finished

WeRMK party bag finished

The Magnetic Staple Board (coming in April) let’s you staple ANYWHERE! The board comes with a small, medium and large stapler. You move the magnetic board into position on your paper, insert the desired stapler in the slot, and press away.

WeRMK anywhere stapler

WeRMK anywhere stapler

And here are some random things I love:

I love the look of letterpress, but hate using the thick oil-based letterpress ink. Ta da! Letterpress ink in a pad! Be still my heart! There are even gold and silver inks. Can’t wait to try this.

Get your foil on with the Heatwave tool, a battery-operated wand-like tool that lets you apply foil in your designs, using heat to transfer foil. Simply go over the foil, drawing your own designs or working through a stencil. Magic.

Confetti Punch – I don’t know why I need this, but I do. Have you ever spend hours punching out tiny bits of confetti? This punch makes it easier because it punches out multiple dots of various sized pieces. Shaker cards anyone?

Another kit I didn’t know I needed is the Mini Piñata. Especially the donkey.

Other cool tools include the Laser Square and Mat, a boon for perfect aligning (coming in March); a gem die that cuts out two gem shapes, a popular trend today; lots of 3D projects; more Next Level deep embossing folders; a snappy storage system (literally – there’s a bar and snaps and you just snap on the containers); ruler décor (yes, you create wall hangings with these rulers); and … maybe the oddest thing … a DIY teepee kit.

Thanks for stopping by!

More Ornament Cards

Once I had my ornaments cut out from Stampin’ Up’s Delicate Ornaments die set (as mentioned in my last post!) it was fast, easy and fun to create the cards. Here are some more:

SU ornaments 679 holly bkgrd red orn DSC_0664

First, I created the holly background using a large Hero Arts stamp, stamped in VersaMark and embossed in Judikins Detail Metallic Gold powder. The inside (or base) of the ornament was die cut from an old greeting card, then covered with the red outer piece. A few punched pine sprigs (Tim Holtz punch) gives the impression that the ornament is hanging on a tree (although to be more realistic, I should have die cut the hanger piece that comes in the die set. Sigh.)

SU ornaments 679 DSC_0657

I started here by die cutting the ornament from the plaid paper (Paper Source) and again from a scrap of white card stock, which I then heat embossed using Zing! gold glitter embossing powder. I mounted the plaid paper to a white card base, glued in the glittery ornament and added some Ranger red stickles. The sentiment (from (Stampin’ Up’s Embellished Ornaments stamp set, which matches some of the dies) was also gold embossed, layered and added using foam tape.

Thanks for stopping by! But wait … there’s more coming ….

You Saw the Beginning … with Avery Elle

In my last post, I showed my first experiments using Avery Elle’s nifty Custom Panels die set, which has so many possibilities!

Here are more finished cards:

AveryElle 642 flowers celebrate DSC_0606

To finish this top-folding card I stamped and embossed (in white) two flowers and a butterfly (both from Stampendous!). One flower was stamped on vellum, the other flower and the butterfly were stamped on a patterned paper from Bazzill Basics. They were adhered with Tombow Power Adhesive Tags, which I like because they are clear and not too thick. I stamped Celebrate! in the lower right hand corner using black ink. A little Ranger Diamond Stickles was the finishing touch.

AveryElle 642 V with flowers DSC_0612

This one was fun to build. The thank you sentiment is from Technique Tuesday’s Smile Borders (A fun set that I will soon be using with a pull-tab die!), stamped in Marvy #12 grey ink (an oldie but still one of my faves). The flowers were punched using Tonic Studios flower punches on scrap cardstock and the leaves are from a new Tim Holtz/Sizzix punch. I just punched and layered, adding tiny Candy Fix and Stix 2 foam squares for dimension. I added some Ranger gold Liquid Pearls to some of the flowers, which I regret (although it looks a bit better in person than in the photo.)

AveryElle 642 side left  flower DSC_0614

Here’s the last of that batch! Whew! And a very simple card, indeed. Using a Spellbinders Rose Creations die, I cut the three smallest petal shapes, plus the leaves, from the Core’dinations Gemstones paper, held them together with a brad from Eyelet Outlet, and attached to the card using Pop Up Glue Dots.

Bear with me … just two more cards

AveryElle 642 white,gold scallops DSC_0610

First, I gold embossed on scrap paper, then cut three pieces using the pie shaped die. I stacked the pieces on the left side of the card. Ad a sentiment (Hero Arts) and bam! Done!
The chevrons are from Lawn Fawn backdrops, the text from Hero Arts Old Letter stamp. I believe the sentiment is also Hero Arts.

Last one:

AveryElle 642 baloon animal DSC_0586

First, I die cut a piece from white scrap paper using the Avery Elle curved die, then dry embossed it with a Cuttlebug pattern. (Tip: Die cut first so you don’t flatten out the dry embossed portion when you run the piece through the die cutting machine.) The balloon animal and sentiments are alsofrom Avery Elle. The balloon animal was stamped in a denim blue, fussy cut, and popped up with foam squares. The embellishment pieces were die cut with that same Avery Elle die and glued randomly.

That’s a lot of dies in one package! Check it out.

Fabulous Finds Friday — Scrumptious Succulents

I have had a thing for succulents for a long time so when I found this stamp and die set from Simon Says I had to have it!

I’ve only started to play, but check out these cute tags:

succulents tags 601 DSC_0548

The stamps and dies — designed by the talented Sandy Allnock — are so dang clever. You can stamp the succulent and the containers together or separately, and die cut them the same way. (Sandy has a great tutorial here showing how to do this.)

I used a variety of tools to make these tags, including a corner rounder and the tag and ticket punch from Tonic Studios, which creates the straight corner as well as the ticket punch.
succulents tags 601 DSC_0579

I colored them all with watercolor pencils then used my water brush to blend the colors. When they were dry, I added some dots and trim using Faber-Castell’s white PITT artist pen.

Thanks for stopping by!

Fabulous Finds Friday — Fiskars Tag Maker

I love, love, love making tags. There is something so appealing about decorating tiny little surfaces. Having a creative slump? Try making a few tags as a way to prime those creative juices.

The new *Tag Maker Punch from Fiskars is right up my alley. I love that the punch has three functions: it punches the tag shape, punches the hole, and sets an eyelet. Cool, huh? No annoying hammering.

Look what I made in about 10 minutes (it took me longer to find paper scraps than it did to punch these!):

Fiskars tags 596 group shot DSC_0562

I used mostly scraps to make these tags — and we all know how much I adore using my scraps! These tags are fairly simple and quick to make. But you could easily stamp and embellish to make tags with more flair.

There are currently four tag shapes: the rounded top one I show above, a traditional tag cut (like a shipping tag, on my wish list!), and two curvy label-tags with holes on two sides. The tags measure about 2″ x 3″ and the punch handles cardstock up to 80 lbs.

The Tag Maker accommodates two sizes of eyelets: 3/16 and 5/32. According to the company, these are among the brands tested that work: Recollections (Michael’s store brand) 3/16, ColorBok 3/16, Dritz 5/32 and Sewology 5/32. I have not tried any others (because I have to dig them out! I got so tired of having to hammer them in, I stopped using them! This will solve that problem.)

I also love that the Tag Maker perfectly centers the hole.

Here are some closer looks:

Fiskars tags 596 stamped DSC_0563

These were stamped using whatever was handy on my desk, including scraps from other projects (like the bright neon tag!)

Fiskars tags 596 glitter, chpbd DSC_0566

These have some chipboard embellishments (an old K&Company set).

Fiskars tags 596 Distress DSC_0569

Love these tags made using leftover watercolor paper that had been colored with Ranger’s Tim Holtz Distress Spray Stains (another must have product).

And finally, look how I used up old greeting cards:

Fiskars tags 596 old greeting cards DSC_0572

For more info, check out the Fiskars video here.

*Disclaimer: This product was provided to me to test by Fiskars.