12.30.2009

Product Spotlight: Papertrey Ink Templates

Hello friends. Hope everyone is recovering from all the Christmas festivities and gearing up for the new year. It seems so strange to me to say and write 2010! Do you guys make New Year's resolutions? I always do, but halfheartedly I think, which may explain why I can never seem to keep them up... :)

This year, though, instead of really making resolutions per se, I am focusing on my crafting and my Etsy shop. My one year Etsy anniversary is coming up-Jan 8, so stay tuned for a special about that- and in that spirit I am trying to stop being less of a blog slacker here. I am starting a new (hopefully) weekly post called Product Spotlight, where I will showcase my use of a particular product, be it a stamp set, tool, paper collection, whatever. This is the first of these posts!

Today, as promised, I am showing some gift card solutions. This Christmas I was feeling somewhat Scroogy and rather than spend hours in stores, I went the easy route with gift cards/cash. But I like people to still have that thrill of opening something, instead of just a plain envelope, so I went in search of something a little more fun.

Enter Papertrey Ink.

If you have been reading this blog at all, you know I am a huge fan of anything PTI. They make delicious papers, ribbons and fabulous stamps, among many other goodies. But one thing I hadn't gotten around to attempting was their My Timeless Templates, a line of printable templates for all sorts of packaging, designed my the insanely talented Lauren Meader.

(Note: Lauren has recently left PTI, but you can still buy her templates there and they have designed more in their new Click Simple template collection here.)

THE INFO: The templates are $5 each for a digital download which includes the templates for a full-size (and often a mini-size as well) version of the project and includes a full-color step-by-step PDF with design ideas, which is SUPER helpful when putting these together the first time. (The new Click Simple templates-and eventually the older MTT-will also be available in SVG files for cutting straight from your die-cutting machine, if you're into that.) Most of the templates use one to two sheets of cardstock, extra if you're adding embellished panels, but for those you can use scraps, like I did, which saves on paper. I had a little bit of trouble at first getting things lined up properly, but after you practice once, you get the hang of it and the results are fabulous!!

The first one I'm showing is the Time for Takeout box. This is the full size version. I put the gift cards in the bottom (they fit perfectly lying flat) for my nieces and nephew and then filled the boxes with chocolate money to trick the kids into thinking that was all there was ;) They loved them!

The second template I used is the Cash or Charge template collection, which actually includes three card/boxes specifically designed for gift cards or cash. The first one is a thin box with a slot that holds your gift card in place. It ties together, when untied, the front panel comes down to reveal your gift.

The last template I used is the third one in the Cash of Charge Collection, which is a sleeve and tabbed insert to slide your gift card into. I liked the simplicity of this one and it is super easy to put together, plus very versatile. I added patterned paper on the flaps and a button on the tab to jazz it up. I also used a punch to make tabs on the slide-out panel to securely hold the gift card in place.

All of these projects use PTI cardstock, stamps (on the #3 template), ribbon; patterned paper is al from Basic Grey's Eskimo Kisses collection and the stripey twine is Martha Stewart. I also highly recommend using Scor-Tape to adhere these together-it's super easy to use, really strong and mess free. And it's not too pricey either-find it here.

Anyhow, I really enjoyed these templates and look forward to doing more. You should give them a try and let me know what you think!

Thanks for sticking with me on this long post! Hope you enjoyed.

Happy hump-day!

12.23.2009

Two Years

Kids seem to grow up so fast. I never believed that exaggeration when I was younger, but the older I get, the more I see it happening!

Tomorrow is my niece Phoebe's birthday. And since, yes, it is Christmas Eve, I wanted to make her birthday card as non-Christmas-y as possible.


Now, I know she is only two, but she is old enough to be able to enjoy the card a bit, so I thought long and hard about what to make. I wanted to do some sort of interactive card and I have had
this card by Jennifer McGuire on my mind lately as I've been wrapping up gift cards-I decided to use something else for those (coming soon *wink!*), but really liked the idea of this card. Since P is at the age where she likes to look at photos and name the people she knows, I thought it would be fun instead of a gift card to include a photo of her in the card. This peek-a-boo shot was perfect!

Here are some photos of how it opens up:

I used mostly Papertrey Ink supplies (Raspberry Fizz, Aqua Mist and Summer Sunrise cardstock; Fresh Alphabet stamp set), but was in the mood to color, so I chose my favorite birdie image form Hero Arts (CL231 Happy Hello). A few ribbons and some metal accents was all it needed to finish it up. We'll see if she likes it.

I'm off to finish up some laundry, fix dinner and to relax, maybe with a movie, before the frenzy of celebration beginning tomorrow. Check back soon for some Christmas-y gift card solutions...


Happy Christmas Eve Eve! :)

12.22.2009

brown paper packages...

...you know how the song goes. Today has been a quiet day here at home. J went back to work after having a week or so off and I am glad. I love him, and have been happy to have time with him, but a girl needs the house to herself once in a while. :) I got a lot accomplished and enjoyed the silence. Just thought I'd pop in to share a couple photos.

I finished my wrapping today. I kind of like to keep it simple at Christmas time-kraft paper, twine and simple hand-made tags. It is faster, cheaper and easier than monkeying around with all sorts of papers and curling ribbon (which for some reason I can't stand) and I just like the classic, old-fashioned look to it.

Sorry for the bad photos. When I went into the living room to snap a couple of photos, I found this on the couch and didn't want to disturb him:
Our cats are so weird...

Wishing everyone a very merry Christmas!!

11.24.2009

Raspberry Suite Color Challenge #19

Hi folks! I am back again, today with a card share!! It has been so long since I have been able to play in any kind of challenge, and I so love them! This weekend though I had a few minutes to play with some awesome colors from Dawn McVey, inspired by her Pioneer Woman t-shirt. Love the colors, love P-Dub, so I had to play along. Here are the colors:

There are lots of them, but I wanted to make a fun spin on a holiday card. I also got to break out a few new Papertrey Ink goodies that just arrived-including the Turning a New Leaf stamp set ( I am already in love!). Here's my card:

I used the small branch in the leaf set and stamped repeatedly to make a semi-wreath, then cut it out and accented with flowers from PTI's Peaceful Poinsettia set. Also stuck on some gems, clear that I colored with a Bic marker to sort of match Lavender Moon. Lots of cutting on this one, but I am pleased with the result.

Thanks for looking!

Supplies used
Cardstock: PTI Raspberry Fizz, Dark Chocolate, Spring Moss, Aqua Mist, Lavender Moon, and Vintage Cream (on pink flower)
Stamps: PTI Background Basics Polka Dot Basics II, Turning a New Leaf, Peaceful Poinsettia, and Signature Christmas
Ink: PTI
Spring Moss, Aqua Mist, Lavender Moon, and Raspberry Fizz; Versamark; Colorbox Chesnut Roan
Other: PTI satin ribbon in Aqua Mist, PTI cream button twine, Kaiser Craft and Hero Arts gems, Bic marker, Paper Source envelope in Pool
Tools: Fiskars scallop sentiment border punch, Marvy corner rounder, hole punch, pop dots

11.21.2009

Ranunculus

Just a simple share for you today.

I have loved Ranunculus flowers forever. I see them in magazines artfully arranged with their lush petals piling out of cute containers. I coveted them when planning my wedding but opted for locally grown buds. I have one picture, torn from a magazine, that looks at me everyday from my bulletin board. I love them.

Nevertheless, I have never actually seen them in real life. That is, I hadn't, until yesterday. I went to the store to pick up some things for dinner and I opted for Fresh Market, which isn't my normal choice because it is pricey, but on occasion I go and make some good finds (particularly in the produce department). I always check out their fabulous flower dept and keep walking but yesterday I noticed, tucked into the corner, were bunches and bunches in all colors of these delightful flowers. Alongside them were another of my constant favorites, hypericum berries. As a little treat for the past rough weeks I've had, I scooped up some bunches and when I got home, set immediately to arranging the petite blooms in a small vase. The fading sun was streaming in the back door right onto the kitchen counter where I was arranging them, and it struck them in such a way that I had to grab the camera and take some snaps:




There was just something about fresh flowers, finally seeing these in real life, and the setting sun that just made my day. It is sometimes the simple things that make life so sweet.

Hope you're having a great weekend...look for the sweet things.

:)

11.05.2009

And the award goes to...

Me. For being possibly the worst blogger ever. I know, I know. I have missing for quite some time now, but rest assured, missing IN ACTION, definitiely applies here. This is a busy busy time for work and school for me, as always as the last third of the semester approaches. This year the last day is Dec 2--less than one MONTH away!! And that includes three days off for Thanksgiving. Yikes! This frenzy is not going to end any time soon...

The real reason I am posting today, and another reason I haven't had anything crafty to post here lately, is that my work has gone wholesale!! For the past few weeks I have been working like crazy in my (few) spare moments to complete my very first wholesale order!

I already have some holiday items in place (and more things coming) in a little shop called The Lemon Tree, in downtown Wake Forest, NC. It is a new shop, soon-to-be cafe as well, and in fact, it just opened on Tuesday. They specialize in handmade local products and on top of that, are part of a downtown revitalization project, and I am always a fan of keeping history alive and kicking. They are having a grand opening party today, so all you in the NC triangle area should stop by and check out this shop. Their website is here: http://www.thelemontreewf.com/index.html and you can become a fan on facebook, too: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wake-Forest-NC/The-Lemon-Tree/158271496198

Thanks to Stacey for working with me. I am excited for them and this oportunity for me. Hopefully soon I will have some new goodies posted in my Etsy shop and get back to our regular scheduled programming...is there even such a thing around here?

Have a great Thursday!

10.10.2009

Reading Materials...

Today I am going to share the last of my September birthday projects with you. This gift set was what I decided to give one of my good friends. She is tough to buy for, but is an avid reader, so I thought, why not hand-make some things she can use for her reading hobby. I made the entire set coordinating, because that's what I like to do (and it makes it much easier and quicker to put things together when you use one color scheme and several basic design elements), using Cosmo Cricket's Early Bird collection, another one that I have been hoarding. And I will apologize in advance for the picture quality; I took them quickly in my studio as I was getting ready to run out the door (more on why below), so they are not the best, but I REALLY wanted to share this little project, so here goes...

First up is the card I made her. I went with a little different size than I normally do, tall and skinny (and like her in that regard, in fact...):

The flap on the front pulls up to reveal a birthday sentiment:

Then, a few coordinating bookmarks, because voracious readers can never have too many:

The third element is a set of bookplates--which leads me to why I was late taking the pictures. I got this idea for bookplates just before Papertrey Ink released their new Vintage Labels stamp set, and once they did, I knew I had to wait until my order arrived, because it was too too perfect for these, and I ended up cutting it close--I printed the text and dotted line from my computer onto PTI's adhesive sheets, then stamped and cut them out by hand. Here they are!
The final element is a journal for her to keep track of books read. I kept this tall and skinny too, and easy, because rather than cut pages and somehow get lines on them, I used sheets from my Making Memories Slice ledger paper pad (an 8 x 8), just trimmed in half. Final size is 4 x 8 inches.

There are a lot of supplies used in these projects, so I am not listing them all, but if you have questions, just ask. Thanks for stopping by!

10.09.2009

Three for Four


Today I have just a quick post to share the third (and final) money holder/notebook combo that I did for September birthdays this year. And yes, I realize that it is now almost midway through October and that I am a lame blogger...but that's part of my charm! :)

This one is for my nephew Nate, who turned 6 this year. Like most little boys, he is very into trucks (and cars and planes and boats...), and since little boys don't care too much about cards, I thought an interactive one that was like a toy in itself was the way to go. I used a truck stamp from a Sandy Lion boy set to make my spinner, and papers from October Afternoon's Road Map collection (stripe) and My Mind's Eye Round & Round collection (signs), which worked perfectly for this project.


Here's the card:


And the inside:

This is the notebook. I tried my hand at stamping a plaid pattern, a technique that I saw Dawn McVey do, but try as I might, I cannot seem to get my lines lined up as straight and evenly as she can! :) The car stamp is from the same Sandy Lion set, but note, the paper color got a bit distorted when I heat embossed it...weird, but I decided to just leave it. It was for a 6 year old, after all.

These letter stickers I *think* came from Michael's in a set of their own brand--love the colors!

That's it for now. I am off to work on a custom Etsy order and some Christmas items. Thanks for stopping by and happy weekend!

10.03.2009

Birthday Projects-episode 2


Okay, so I am finally getting to part 2 (of 4) of my birthday project series (see part 1 here). I have been beyond busy with work and school and we are finally coming up here on a mini break (fall vacation days on Monday and Tuesday). Jimmy and I are headed tomorrow morning to this antique fair in Charlotte on the way to Asheboro to visit the zoo, provided that the cold I've acquired this week isn't worse by morning (I know, I should be in bed right now). But it seems that Fridays, my days off, are the only days for blogging lately...

Anyway, let's get to the project! I thought I'd show a girlie one today. This was for my niece Alexis who turned 10. She is into girlie stuff and pink and purple and so I thought I would go glittery and fun for her. I used Cosmo Cricket's Girl Friday line, which I have been hoarding. I love love this line and one thing I like to do when I finally bring myself to use collections that I love so much is make gift sets like this to really get some good use out of them. Give it try!

Here is the card, using PTI's Button Bits set--adorable!!:

And the inside:

And her note/sketch book, featuring my favorite Hero Arts butterfly stamp all glittered up:
That's all I've got for today. Soon I'll have the other two birthday installments, and a blog award, so check back! Happy weekend!!

9.24.2009

Birthday Projects-episode 1


As I explained previously, this month is a crazy time for birthdays in my social circle. Seven, that's right, SEVEN, in one month. I have been busy lately working on various projects for friends and relatives and can now share them! I am going to start off with the kids: my younger sister, nephew, and niece.

This year, perhaps because I am lame, perhaps because I have been running around like a crazy chicken for too long, I decided to go the easy way and give them all the same gift, with variations. I was recently reminded of these drawing books that I remember from when I was a kid:

And, always one to try and foster the arts in young minds, I decided they would be a fabulous gift. So each kid got one of these books, a pack of brand new markers, a handmade (of course) card, and a coordinating handmade note/sketchbook personalized for each of them. (They also each got $25, too. Come on, I'm not that lame...)

The first project I will share is for the earliest birthday, my sister Hannah, who turned 13. She is most definitely not your typical tween. Any favorite outfit of hers requires camouflage. She hates pink and anything that might look like it could possibly belong to a girl. So, making her something is always tricky, but I think I succeeded! Here are the goods:

The card. The inside has a pocket and reads "just sending birthday wishes".
This airplane took some serious hot glue, but was well worth it for the cool factor! :)This book is a basic Canson sketchbook from the craft store (about $2 each, I think). I removed the cover and added a new one. They are a nice size for small notes/drawings: 3.5" x 5".

I used the new Cosmo Cricket line, The Boyfriend, which I love love! Other supplies listed below. One day here soon I'll be back with another card/notebook set. Until then...

Card:
cardstock, ink, twine, green bitty box patterned paper: Papertrey Ink
patterned paper: Cosmo Cricket
stamp (hey!): Hero Arts
other: white gel pen, hot glue

Notebook:
cardstock, ink, stamps (letters, grid, text): Papertrey Ink
patterned paper, journaling spot, arrow sticker: Cosmo Cricket
Other: white gel pen, embroidery floss