Wednesday, January 30

Thank You Snow Day(s)

Yep, we had three snow days in a row (brain screaming:  wooottt!!!).  

On the first day, I was able to do chores at home.  Laundry done, dishes washed, carpet vacuumed, floors cleaned, furniture and knick-knacks dusted...  My Mommy would be proud (and yes, I still call her Mommy).

On the second day, I just took it easy.  Oh and yeah, DH and I had a lunch date followed by some grocery shopping.  No, I didn't go to any craft store.  In fact, I haven't gone to one really.  I just want to concentrate on what I have (for the Nth time... I know), and start purging (really!).  And this time, I really want to stick to it (for the Nth time, again.).  Let's just say, I will do my best.

The third snow day was a surprise.  I was ready to go to work.  In fact, I even went to bed earlier than usual the night before.  I was surprised when I got the call stating it was another snow day.  So I went back to bed.

Then I got a text from one of my GFs asking if she can come over and play.  I didn't think twice.  The house is clean and presentable.  Why not?  So she came around 10 am, and we gabbed while crafting til about 4 pm.  What fun!  It's been a while since I did that. I used to have friends over and make cards and stuff.  But since I got my new job, I wasn't able to put together craft nights like before.

To be honest, that "play time" inspired me to clean my planet, and do some more organizing.  And to be honest again, I get more inspired to create when my craft room is spic, span and in order.  

I took some pics, where you can see some changes in my planet.  In this photo, you can see my planet as you enter.




See the vacant space on the wall above the printer?  I'm thinking of what to put there, but for now, I'm enjoying the "white".




It's very rare to have my craft desk in this state.  I really cherish it.




I got rid of the door sometime last year.  And that's one of the best "ordinances" I have made for my planet.




Now, It's time to start heading for bed.  For some reason, I'm really ready to go back to work tomorrow.  Two work days in one week is not bad at all.

'Til next blog!

Saturday, January 26

Busy-ness

Hello crafty friends!  It was the end of the semester - a real busy time of the year at work.  Real life sure gets in the way of crafty fun.  But with the latest turn of events, there will be more time for play.  Let's just say that I got my Saturdays back.  Yeah!

But that didn't stop me from spending time in my planet.  I have this project that I've been working on:




Now that all the pieces are done... the cards are ready for assembly.

But for now, I'll sit back, have a glass of pop and some chocolates, and take a break.

'Til next blog!

Saturday, January 12

Quick Card Set

I made another card set for another co-worker, but I wanted it quick and easy.  I basically picked 4 cards from the Simple Elegance card set by The Paper Studio.  Then I picked 4 sentiments from my RAKed images bin and cut with Spellbinders.  After that, I layered with more die cuts, then on vellum.

I always like how vellum can soften a background and give it a classic look.





 

Materials used:
cardstock/dp:  The Paper Studio, vellum, leftovers
image/sentiment:  RAKed/unknown
tools:  Spellbinders, Martha Stewart
embellishments:  rhinestones
adhesive:  Scotch, mounting tape


Have a great weekend, fellow crafter.... 'Til next blog!

Friday, January 11

Dream...

The first time I saw the Phyllis Harris Stamps from Unity, I fell in love.  They are very fresh, and perfect for coloring.  And then they just released another line of stamps by Angie Blom called ANGIEgirls.  I fell in love again.  So yesterday, Unity started a big 40% off sale in celebration of Angela Magnuson's birthday.  Definitely a perfect time to buy the Unity Stamps I've been craving for.

And that inspired me to make a card last night with one of Phyllis Harris' stamps "Just Breathe".  I really enjoyed coloring this image.




And because we didn't have school being a snow day, I'm able to post and share this with you today.  

 


Materials used:
cardstock/dp:  Prima, The Paper Company, leftovers
image/sentiment:  Unity
ink:  Copic, Tsukineko
tools:  Spellbinders, Fiskars
embellishments:  flowers, pearls, ribbon
misc.:  embossing poweder (Ranger)
adhesive:  Scotch, Glue Dots, mounting tape


More time for play in my planet... or maybe some cleaning up or organizing (again).

'Til next blog!

Monday, January 7

Product Review: SPOOL & STORE

Best Craft Organizer is one of my trusted craft organizer manufacturers.  If I have all the money in the world, my planet's walls walls will be covered with their Stackables.  I have one, and I absolutely love it!

While browsing through their website a few weeks ago, I saw one of their product lines called "Spool & Store".  It's a ribbon organizer system, specifically meant to storing leftover ribbon.  And since it was after Thanksgiving and they had a special going on, I decided to buy the "Deluxe Ribbon Storage".




This kit consists of a Ribbon Spooler, 23 Ribbon Dispensers, 4 Storage Trays and 30 Divider Discs.  I have to say though that I was a tad disappointed, because I counted my divider discs, and I only got 17.

So last night, I decided to play.  I took out my stash of Stampin' Up ribbon and started winding.  I have to say that the process is very easy and the Ribbon Spooler is well designed.  Winding the ribbon was a breeze.  

Putting the now rolled ribbon in the dispenser was a bit of a challenge at first, especially the thinner ones.  But once you get the hang of it, it's ok.


 


My favorite part of this system is the Ribbon Spooler.  With that one tool, you're all set to at least make a nice, neat roll of your leftover ribbon.  The rest is optional.  I would say the Ribbon Dispenser would be good to have if you're travelling or going to a crop.  But for the price, there is still a lot of "cheaper" options out there.

'Til next blog!

Friday, January 4

CAS Card Set

TJ Maxx is a nice place to find good craft deals.  I often find Martha Stewart and Inkadinkado items there - at a really good price.  During one of my visits, I chanced upon the Collectibles Note Card Set by Tim Holtz from his Idea-ology District Market line.  I got it for only $4.99.  




So I made a card set of 4 using these note cards.  I wanted it clean, quick and simple.  I just cut kraft cardstock with Spellbinders Labels 17, then stamped and embossed with sentiments from Stampin' Up's Pursuit of Happiness set.  After that, I embellished each label with twine, then adhered each to the notecards.







I hope the recipient liked this card set.

'Til next blog!

Thursday, January 3

hAPPy for you!

Ah... the beauty of technology. You can do so many things so easily now compared to many years ago. In the craft scene, we were so limited on what we can do during the "primitive" years. I was browsing through scrapbooking and paper crafting magazines from the mid 2000s, and I can really say that crafting was pretty boring back then, if you're going to compare to the present time. Punches were the big thing before, then came the manual die cut machines, followed by the electronic die cut machines and those that you hook up to the computer. And the world of die cutting continues to evolve. Stamping just used to be rubber, mounted on wood blocks. Now they come unmounted, not to mention the clear types. And there's digital stamping now too. There is software for almost any kind of crafts - from scrapbooking, stamping, card making, and even cross stitching.  It maybe hard for most crafters, but you have the option to get rid of all your physical tools and supplies and just go digital all the way. Imagine all that space you'll get back. But who wants to do that?

So what's with all the blabber anyway? Well, for the past two weeks I have been exploring my new cellphone. I have been an android phone user for many years, with the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 as my third one. I specifically chose this phone because I really like the big screen and can do a lot more things with it.  Even though I still have to get used to typing on digital keyboard, I get to love this phone more and more as I discover more ways to use it.

First of all, I can update my blog through the Blogger App which you can download for free. I'm typing this post through my phone right now. I love the fact that I can write blog posts wherever I am - with pics and videos if I want to. 

The fact that I can use the internet through my phone is already a big thing. I can access Facebook at anytime, use the GPS and find craft stores, locate the best deals of certain products, video chat with my family and friends from around the globe through Skype, send and receive emails, take photos and videos then edit them afterwards... and a lot more!  All with just one gadget.  I don't need to depend on a computer to do all those anymore.  I don't need to have a laptop so I can do those when I'm not at home.  I'm not saying this cellphone can beat the overall use of a computer.  I just like the fact that I can do more things with it wherever I am at any time.  Cellphones nowadays are not just for calling anymore. 

But what I really want to talk about are the Mobile APPS, short for Applications.  There are tons out there that can be real handy in the crafting side of life, no matter what phone (or tablet) you have.
 
I already mentioned the Blogger App, which I am using right at this second.  There's the Facebook App as well, and also Twitter, Youtube and Pinterest.  I can access these anytime and be updated with almost anything - from the personal side of life, to business and crafts.  And they can be downloaded to your phone at no cost.  With the YouTube App, I can easily watch craft video tutorials, mark my favorites and watch them again anytime I want.

Almost all big crafting stores have their own app as well.  Michaels, Joanns and Hobby Lobby do, and they are free. Right from their apps, you can get their coupons and find out their current deals and special events. No need to wait and search for coupons on flyers, magazines or newspapers.  They are right in your phone.  Check with your favorite online or brick-and-mortar stores. They might have an app you just don't know about.

*At this point, I continued writing my post on the computer, as I needed to take photos of my cellphone.  I haven't figured out how to make screen shots with my cellphone yet.

While browsing and searching through Google App Store, I realized that the big name brands don't have apps yet.  You would think that Provocraft, EK Success or Stampin' Up would.  But nada.  Even Copic doesn't have one.  Wouldn't it be cool if Provocraft comes up with an app for Cricut, so you can actually use your cellphone as a Gypsy and cut images from your phone to your Cricut machine? 
 
I was really excited though when I searched and discovered Tim Holtz' app.  Yep, Tim Holtz the designer and brand name.  It's a very cool looking app, and the best part?  It's free.

 
 
Through this app, you can access Tim Holtz' blog, videos, FB page and even Twitter.  But what I like most is that you can see all his products (from different brands) and mark which ones you already have.  And what's more, you can even make a wish list so you know which ones to buy in your next shopping trip.  This app clearly depicts how brilliant Tim Holtz is.  He adapts to the trends, including technology.  Hats off to him!

Even though the big name brands don't have apps (yet), there were still really cool people/companies who came up with some really awesome apps for crafters like us.

If you search "Cricut" in the App Store, you will see a bunch.  I ended up installing "My Cartridge Checklist".  It's a free app, thus the ad banner on the top screen, but it works for me.  For now.




This app carries a list of all the Cricut cartridges out there.  Then you can mark which ones you already own.  So when you chance upon a good sale of cartridges, you can just open this app and you can easily decide which ones you may want to buy.

If you search "Copic" in the App Store, a bunch of apps will come up as well.  Some apps are more for inventory, while some are more for digital drawing on your phone.  I bought "MyMarkers" ($1.99), which helps you create an inventory of your art media - from markers, pens, pencils and pastels.




You can see above a screen shot of the Copic Sketch markers section, where I have marked the particular colors in my possession.  I can mark a particular marker as "want" so I can generate a wish list ready for me at any time.  This app lists a lot more brands from Bic, Letraset, Marvy Uchida, Prismacolor, Sakura, Zig, Memento, Sharpie, Spica, Faber Castell, Pilot, Staedler, Stabilo, Koh-I-Noor, Tombow, and a lot more.  Some of them I have never even heard of.  So in my next Hobby Lobby visit with a 40% coupon, I know which Copic marker to get.  And maybe some other brand of pens and such.  Hopefully they will add ink pads and paint to their list.  That will make this app a lot more helpful.

And finally, the last app I would like to share with you is the "Barcode & Inventory Pro" ($2.49).  If you are OCD-ic like me, you would love this app.  With this, you can have an inventory of all your craft tools and supplies.  You can even have an inventory of everything you own - from books, to cds and dvds, etc.  But I won't go that far.




In this app, you can set up categories, sub categories, and more categories under those.  You can see in the screen shot above left what categories I have already set up.  Then on the right, you can see the sub categories I set up under stamps.  And under each of those, I have sub categories by brand.  You can also set up "tags" - mine was set up as Christmas, Birthday, Military, Asian, etc.  There is even a "location" option so you can easily locate each item in your inventory.  Once you have all those set up, then you can start putting in individual items.  Another cool feature of this app is you can monitor which items you have loaned out.  Now there is no reason for you to forget what you loaned to whom.  There is a lot more to this app, but right now I'm focusing to what will work for me as far as my tools and supplies are concerned.

I hope you enjoyed my post today.  I was really excited to share with you my app discoveries.  If you have an android phone, iPhone or any tablet, might as well use it for something crafty and make every cent count, given their price tag.  Besides, they won't be called smart phones or tablets for nothing.

'Til next blog!

Tuesday, January 1

Happy New Year!!!

I'm sure you had a super awesome holiday with family and friends.  Mine was busy but really great!  I stayed out of my planet during the holidays, concentrating more about real life and spending time with family.  I couldn't even believe it myself that I didn't sit in front of the computer for a few days, and just hanging out with my DH and our dog in the living room.  Well, of course, I had my Samsung Galaxy Note 2 (won't trade it for any iPhone) where I can access the internet from the couch.

But I wanted to make sure I post on the first day of the new year.  I have lots I want to share - things I discovered from the past couple of weeks.  

My last post was about the Polish Star.  I decided to make a tutorial using tools we commonly use as paper crafters.  We will also make sure to maximize our materials, so as not to waste any, especially designer paper.

We will need the following materials:
  
  •  ten 4-inch squares of designer paper
     
 




  •  liquid adhesive (I used Martha Stewart)
  •  pencil
 
The video tutorials on the internet recommend cutting 3 to 4 inch circles.  The Spellbinders Standard Circle Large dies is perfect for this.  Using the largest die, you'll be cutting 3.5 circles  from the 4-inch squares.  

Take note:  with one sheet of 12 x 12 designer paper, you'll be able to cut nine 4-inch squares.  We need ten 4-inch squares to make one polish star.  That means you will be able to make 9 polish stars with ten sheets of 12 x 12 designer paper.   




Once you have 10 circles, fold each piece as shown:




I describe the folds as a whole pizza with 8 slices.




With the smallest die from the Spellbinders Standard Circle set, draw a circle right on the center of each "pie".






Then we will cut each fold from the edge to the inner circle, ending up with 8 "petals".







Apply small dabs of glue on the upper right corner of each "petal.




With a pencil as your guide, roll each petal as shown, ending up with 8 cones.






Repeat the same steps with all 10 circles, ending up with 10 "stars".




Assemble your yarn, button and needle as shown:




Thread through the first star as shown below.  This will be the bottom piece.  Make sure the button is against the "right side" of the star.




Thread the next star, and the rest of the stars as shown.  Make sure the "right side" of each star is facing up, which is the exact opposite of the bottom piece.





Thread the yarn through the second button and make a slip knot.  Pull each end of the yarn, tightening each star against each other, achieving a "sea urchin" look. 




Make another slip knot to secure the Polish Star.  Then make another knot at the other end of the yarn.




You now have a Polish Star...  woot!!!

From this base tutorial, you can embellish and make variations.  Some have applied glitter on the tips of each cone.  You can also add a hanging embellishment at the bottom.  

If you use this tutorial, please link back to this post.  I would love to see how it worked for you, and what you came up with.

Happy New Year fellow crafter.... 'til next blog!

You might want to check this out:

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