Friday, February 20, 2009

Make your own paper - on the cheap!

How many of us have looked at those expensive handmade paper presses in the craft store? I for one, have always been intrigued by them, but with no desire to spend that kind of money and add all the "stuff" to my already packed craft room. This morning, while browsing at Wal-mart, of all places, I found a crafter's bargain!

Shown is the Bill Nye (the Science Guy) Paper Recycling Factory for kids from Elmer's. What do I love about it?
  1. Everything is hand powered. No electricity, no batteries. Just people power.
  2. No extra "stuff" to buy. This box has everything you need; just add your paper scraps and water, and a sponge. (You'll also want some plain gelatin if you want to be able to write or stamp on the paper you make.)
  3. Recycling at home! My kids can get a hands-on demo of how recycling really works, and I plan to talk about the whole reduce, reuse, recycle thing. And I feel better for reusing my scraps at home than tossing them in the recycle bin.
  4. The price: this fun new "toy" was on clearance for $11 near the kid craft section in this store. Cheaper than most toys I have brought home (both mine and the kids'), and looks like it might hold our attention longer!
By the way, in case you didn't know, the steps in Reduce, Reuse, Recycle should be followed in order for the most positive impact on our environment! Luckily for me (I think), I was brought up to reuse pretty much everything. But I don't copy everything my mother & grandmother taught me; I went to school every winter with bread bags over my socks inside my boots because Mom insisted it would keep my feet dry. She was right, but I'm sure we'd all get some pretty strange looks wearing Wonder bags on our feet these days!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Just for Fun - Digi Papers

Now, those who know me well will know that I am a hands-on kind of girl. There will be no full-blown digital scrapping for me, thank you very much! HOWEVER, I am certainly not averse to all the wonderful things we can create with our computers. I was just introduced to some fab digital paper kits, as well as coordinating digi "stamps" from a brill UK company called Pink Petticoat.

Upon my first visit to their site, I immediately purchased and downloaded a reduced collection called Big Bloomers and it is awesome! I haven't even bothered to count how many papers come in this kit, but there are a LOT.

Inspired by a challenge over on the Pink Petticoat blog, I made this cute little sour cream container gift pouch using my newly acquired digi papers. There were even templates to print for the flowers! I just punched some circles for the centers, added a little bling, and voila! Took me less than 10 minutes.

This pouch was made using a 1/4 sheet of letter sized paper; perfect for just a few little tidbits (or maybe a piece of jewelry, hint hubby!).

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Multi-purpose Stamps (Mystery Blog Candy)

Do you ever think of buying a set of holiday-specific stamps, then wondering what you would ever use them for? Being a CTMH consultant, I have more than my fair share of holiday stamps, and of course this month's Stamp of the Month is an Easter set. Now, let me tell you, I like Easter, but I don't send cards for it and I already had an Easter egg stamp set for scrapbooking.

However, I found the current set to be very versatile, simply due to the variety of designs included on the eggs. I've even seen these stamps used to make allover texture designs on cardstock. There are 18 patterned eggs and one solid egg, plus a little poem, included in this set, so I could use it for many different styles or feels.

A few ideas for egg stamps include using one end to make scallops, using the pattern to stamp on chipboard letters or small shapes, or punching a small shape from the stamped image. But my hands-down favorite technique for egg stamps is making flowers. Check out this cool card I made using one of the designs in this current set, and a scalloped card template from Jeanette Lynton's Originals book. I simply stamped 5 separate images, cut them out, and adhered them in a circle on another piece of cardstock. I then cut around the whole flower s hape, leaving a small border. I freehand cut the stem, and used circle punches for the flower center and leaves. I sponged on some ink for shading, glued it all down, and stuck a circle Window Charm in the flower center - voila! I also sanded the edges of the scalloped flap, and textured the Juniper green cardstock by scoring it in my paper trimmer and sanding the raised edges.

Do you have alternate ideas for any of your holiday stamps collecting dust at your house? Use your holiday stamp(s) for something other than the holiday for which it was intended. Send me a description of what you did, along with a picture of what you made. I'll randomly choose a winner of a little something from all ideas received by 2/28/09. Just post a link here in a comment so we can all see your creation!
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