Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Bits and Pieces

Today's post is going to be bits and pieces of tips, tricks, links, and projects.   Just a few little things I thought I'd put all together in one post to (hopefully) help or inspire someone.
FIRST UP: A little "Thank You" Gift and Tag...for a friend who let me borrow her ($98) teacher's manual last year instead of buying one! What lady doesn't like Bath and Body Works stuff?  Here's the little tag card I made to go with it.
Supplies used:
Red - Cream Cardstock ---- Martha Stewart border punch ----- Sewing machine ----Pink Button-----Red Ric Rac-----Stamps: Stitched With Love (JustRite), Clipboard Bracket (Stampendous)

 Second Item: Make It Monday
My (8 yr. old) daughter and I enjoy watching Make It Monday each week over on Nichole Heady's blog. She was inspired by this particular episode and disappeared into my craft room - she later resurfaced with several cards she made following Betsy's tutorial -- the only difference is she used my chalks instead of ink.
 I thought they turned out pretty good - all things considered! 
Now on to some organizational tips....

Third Item: Clear Stamps Storage
Thought I'd share my preferred method of storing my clear stamps -- standing up in a basket.  It's so easy to flip through them and find what I'm looking for this way, and it doesn't take up loads of room.  
(Side note: Lest you think I'm a millionaire that can afford to spend lots of money on stamps - let me assure you that none of these were purchased at full price -- many were clearance items, a few gifts, and many more I found at Ollies or Big Lots for $1 and $2 a set.  I HAVE been collecting for a while too!)

Fourth Tip: Embossing folder names
I personally don't read the entire supply list of other crafter's projects, but once in a while I'll see something and wonder "what embossing folder is that?" OR "who makes that punch?" etc. etc.
Because of that I try to post the supplies I use, but it can be overwhelming to keep track of the makers and titles of all my supplies.  
Recently I went through all my embossing folders and attached a small label to the back with the official name of that particular folder to it.  Some I knew, others I looked up on-line.  Now when I list supplies it will be easy to find the name and I'll remember to call the Swiss Dots folder "Swiss Dots" instead of "Polka-Dots!" (oops!)

Five: Stamp Cleaner
Last year sometime I bought a black Stazon Ink pad and realized that my normal method of cleaning stamps (a little bit of soap and water in a squirt bottleand a soft cloth) wasn't going to work on Stazon ink.  
After searching around on-line for something that would clean my stamp without "breaking the bank" I hit upon the perfect solution...
...Hand Sanitizer! I now use it to clean all inks off my stamps.....just pump a little onto the stamp, spread around with your finger, and wipe with a soft cloth! It lasts a good while--- I've had the above bottle for several months now and it's not even 1/2 used up! 

Six: Do-It-Yourself Spiral Notebook Page
Has anyone besides me noticed all the spiral notebook dies and punches everywhere? 

Whether or not you've noticed -- I have -- and I thought about purchasing either a die or border punch sometime.  THEN I got the bright idea to try and make my own look alike notebook page using my comb binding machine.
A friend of mine actually found this at a thrift store for $2!  I'm not sure I would have even known what it was had I seen it there -- but thankfully she knew what it was and knew it was a good deal too!
I started out by punching the edge of my cardstock with the above machine:
I then took my scissors and snipped a little bit out of the center of each punch and wa-la - my own imitation notebook page!
If you're thinking "BUT I don't have a comb binding machine!" -- keep reading.....
For a slightly different look (that I like just as well if not better) -- I took a small hole punch and punched
along the border of my page....
Snip the centers from these and you get a rounded notebook page look.
Last but not least....

Seven - Spiral Roses
I'm sure the paper crafters in my reading audience have seen the dies they have out now for spiral roses.
 I've admired the roses out there with the pretty edges - especially the scalloped edged roses -- BUT I'm too cheap to buy the die.  I came up with my own solution to the problem, and while it may not look exactly like a die cut rolled rose -- I'm happy with the results.
Here's the supplies I used: 
1. Circle or Scallop Nestabilities OR Circle Punch
2. Scallop Scissors (Guess they are officially called "Clouds")
Punch your circle and cut into a spiral with the scallop scissors.  Roll up starting from the outside and you'll get these -- pretty scallop edged roses. 
 Another way to achieve the scalloped look is described in this little tutorial from Valita!
 Hope you've enjoyed my Bits and Pieces today!
Happy Crafting!
This post linked to:
Penny Pinching
Whatever You Want Wednesday


Christa said...

I love the spiral notebook effect! As you know, I have a comb binding machine AND a Bind It All. I may have to try that soon!

I also love your rolled roses. I think I still have a pair of scallop scissors here, so I may give it a try.

Anonymous said...

Well, Es - This was a great post! So informative and custom designed for a paper crafting novice like me! My little studio is coming along nicely. Things will all be in place after this weekend when I'm finally clearing out the basement from over two years of show props that have made it impossible to get to things easily. Many of those "things" are my own crafting supplies from my craft show days in the '90's. I have so many scraps and such that I can't recall - it will be like Christmas again to go through them to see what I will hold onto that may assist my paper crafting these days. I shall have to try that paper rose . . .

Little Birdie Blessings said...

Wow, what great ideas you shared here today Esther. I'm off to do some visiting but will study these more closely later. I'm working on my paper flowers (thanks to you) and have some to show you soon. ~ Abby

Babs said...

Hi there, I found you because you left a comment on my blog. I'm so glad I did. You have some great ideas, I'll be back later to have another look around. Thanks for visiting me.

Mynn xx said...

Gorgeous paper flowers--must try!!!! Thanks for your awesome ideas, once again! :)

Pamela said...

Oh, what a fun post. So many ideas swimming around in my head. Can't wait to try those roses. Makayla is amazing. I always forget she's only 8.