I can’t tell you how badly I feel for not keeping up with my blog, but since my sister passed away and we had covid, my level of ambition is low. Tonight we went to our college alma mater, and I conducted an etiquette dinner for a group of juniors and seniors. Rich gave a speech about his career in pharmaceutical sales, and it was a nice evening. I always feel a lot better about myself when I donate time, and since covid, that’s another thing that’s been tough to do.
I’ve been reading a lot lately. I like crime dramas and murder mysteries, and have just finished a series of books by James Patterson that are NYPD Red..they’re numbered 2-6…they’re entertaining and very fast reads.
I’m lucky because here in Pennsylvania, we have the Philadelphia Free Library where we can get up to 6 ebooks at a time to read for free. You have them for two weeks and then they go away, and I really love this service. I’m not sure how I found out about it, but it’s a great thing for avid readers. I read a lot and like books that are fast reads. I’ve never been into books that are tough to get through and I remember when Oprah had her book club and would talk about a book that took her a while to get through, I always thought “I’ll pass on that one.” I enjoy James Patterson’s books that he writes with another author, and I wonder how much of these books he actually writes, as he puts out a ton of books a year. If you’ve ever looked at the number of books he says he’s written, it’s unbelievable. I have often wondered if he writes any of the co-authored books. Let me know what you think.
As for my craft room, it’s still a terrible mess. I wish I could get one of those women that organize to come in and figure out what to do with all of the things I’ve accumulated. It’s crazy (or maybe I am.)
I have been doing a lot of crafts and Rich is lagging behind on editing the videos. I probably have four or five that he needs to upload. I don’t like to push him because he’s got his own interests and I don’t want to take away from them.
You can tell that I’m not doing much and don’t have much to talk about. I wish I had more to say, but sadly, during covid, I think we all struggle to keep busy.
I wanted to make a box to hold chocolates for my nephew and his wife for Valentines Day. I saw a video on Mixed Up Craft link: https://tinyurl.com/4s792zmo that was adorable, and wanted to recreate it.
Start with: Two pieces of cardstock that are 9 1/2″ square. I used white Park Lane cardstock from Joanns link: https://tinyurl.com/1midk49o One piece you’ll want to trim about 1/16″ of an inch off of two sides, and this is your base..then you’ll score it on all four sides at 2 1/2″. Sam recommends you score at 2 1/2″ and then rotate your paper, so the scores are all the same. Then put this piece aside.
Take the other 9 1/2″ square piece and score it at 2 1/2″ on all four sides, then score it at 1 1/4″ on all four sides. Take a ruler and make a square that is 5/8″ from each of your scores in the center of the paper and mark the square with a pencil. Then cut out the square you just made with your paper trimmer. Use a piece of acetate that is 3 3/4″ square and put tear tape on the four sides and adhere it to the back side of the box lid, covering the opening. Then put foam tape on the edges. I used 1/16″ foam strip. She recommended clear tape, link: https://tinyurl.com/y3w6ex4kMake sure you don’t have any gaps in the foam tape as the shaker elements will fall out.
I added Sizzix Pinks and Reds (gold and red shaker elements) link: https://tinyurl.com/1i52hgzt that I got in the Simon Says Stamp monthly stamp kit for February as well as some red and white circles I got in a clearance pack from Hobby Lobby after Christmas (I eliminated the green circles for this project.) I took the backing off the foam tape and adhered another 3 3/4″ acetate piece to the lid. You want to try to make this look as good as you can, as people will see this under the lid.
Then I cut out the two outside scores on all four sides then cut out the next bottom score and cut the upper score on all four sides, then trimmed a little off each side to make it easier to fold into the box. Fold all of the scores and then put Bearly Art Glue link: https://bearly.art/on the outside of the flaps you created, then fold each into the side flap lining them up so the make a clean corner, hold them until the glue sets, then do the same to the other corners. Then take Beacon 3 in 1 glue link:https://tinyurl.com/1r2qelt4or Colall glue if you’re in Europe and cover the inside of each side, then fold the side down and hold it or clothes pin it in place until it sets. Beacon 3 in 1 glue should make the box more sturdy as it sets up like hot glue from a glue gun. Decorations for the lid are below.
The box base: Cut all four side scores up to the 2 1/2″ mark, and cut a notch out of both sides so they will fold into a box shape easier. Glue with Beacon 3 in 1 glue a 4 1/4″ square piece of designer paper into the center of the box as a decoration. Do this before building the box, as it will be tricky to do if you wait until the box is built. Fold all four side scores in and use Beacon 3 in 1 glue to the outside (front) of each flap, then fold them into the side making sure the corners line up at 90 degree angle. Put a clothes pin or two on them to hold them until they set up. Do this to all four sides. Use a bone folder or a ruler to press the sides to ensure they are well flattened. My bone folder is from Fiskars link: https://tinyurl.com/47cn3wqc
Paper used to decorate box and lid came from Simon Says Stamp, link: https://tinyurl.com/ymmsrywa Paper for lid measurements: 4 pieces of 4 1/4″ x 1″ pink pieces
4 pieces of 4″ x 3/4″ decorated paper from Simon Says Stamp Link is above
I adhered these pieces to the lid with Beacon 3 in 1 glue
Paper for Box: 4 pieces of 4 1/4″ x 2 1/4″ pink paper
4 pieces of 4″ x 2″ designer paper from Simon Says Stamp (link’s above)
Glue these on with Beacon 3 in 1 glue
Decorating the lid:
Bear stamp: link: https://tinyurl.com/yovcnwggI also used the “I love you” stamp from this set to stamp inside the bear’s heart. I colored the images with alcohol markers and used Glossy Accents link:https://tinyurl.com/3vevuqgjon the stamped images, including the heart that the bear is holding. Candy/Cupcake link: https://tinyurl.com/1ci0ryh4I used alcohol markers to color these and added Glossy Accents as decoration.
I die cut hearts out of red and gold mirror cardstock and glued all of the elements listed here onto the lid of the box..
I saw that Graphic 45 has Wizard of Oz paper that was retired and I bought the Collector’s Edition from Amazon link: tinyurl.com/4owk5oe8 and chose one of the papers to use for covering the planner I bought at the Dollar Tree that is (closed) 5″ x 7 1/2″ tall. My Dollar Tree still has these planners if you’d like to try to cover one. I cut an inch off the top of the Graphic 45 paper, making sure the paper’s pattern is facing up and down.
I took the planner and removed the outside cover and wrapped the Graphic 45 paper around the top and folded the sides so they are about 1/4″ away from the outside edges of the opened planner. I put the paper in my score board and scored the side folds and the top and bottom fold and should have also put score for the center fold of the planner, but forgot. This was a crucial error…and I hope you don’t have this issue. I used a bone folder link: tinyurl.com/4gv8tzk5 and made all of the folds so they were flat, then put the paper into a laminating pouch making sure one of the side folds is closest to the top of the pouch. When I ran it through my laminator., I made sure that the other side fold stays flat while it goes through the laminator.
I made another pad with one of the papers from Graphic 45 and put it into a smaller laminating pouch and ran it through the laminator. I made sure the laminating pouch wasn’t as long as the open pad cover so the paper could be adhered to the inside of the laminated cover we just made. If I was to laminate the entire pad cover, it wouldn’t stay glued to the cover, as laminated surfaces don’t like to adhere to each other. I took a Dollar Tree note pad and adhered it to the inside of the pad cover we made and used tear tape on the back to adhere it to the inside of the planner folder.
I put the planner under a dictionary and let it sit for a couple of days and it still didn’t stay closed, so I made a closure for it. I took elastic ribbon I got at the jewelry department at Walmart and a hair elastic I got at the Dollar Tree, and wrapped the ribbon around the hair elastic and hot glued the ribbon to itself and then made sure I hot glued the ribbon to the metal part of the hair elastic, then wrapped it around the planner and cut off the excess, and hot glued the other end of the ribbon after wrapping it around the other end of the hair elastic. I put the note pad inside and then decorated the ribbon with buttons and crochet thread that I threaded through the buttons.
I’ve made men gnomes before and linked that video to the current one. But, I’ve never made a girl gnome, or a pair of gnomes, or ones that are “attached” to each other with magnets. I’ve changed all of that with this video.
I saw a woman make a diy dollar tree girl gnome and she inspired me to give a girl gnome a try…but I didn’t really use a lot of her technique, because I wanted to make my girl connect to her boyfriend for Valentine’s Day.
I started by making my girl gnome’s braids. I have a spool of thick twine and I used nineteen 6″ long strands, and took one of the 6 inch strands to tie a double knot around the top, and tying it tightly around the strands. I separated the strands into three sections of six strands each, and braided them. I tied a pink ribbon around the bottom and made a bow.
To make her shoes, I took a heart die and cut two hearts of black cardstock and one of a matt board (cardboard) and then hot glued the matt board between the two black cardstock pieces, so both sides of the shoes look finished. Hot glue these to each other quickly or the glue will get cold and not hold the shoes. To make the edges black, I used Gina K’s Amalgam Black ink to rub the edges.
To finish my boy gnome, I took red mirror cardstock and die cut it six times with a small stitched heart die. I hot glued the hearts together to make a box of chocolates with the last red heart glued upside down so it’s finished on the top and bottom. and then took Gina K’s cherry red ink and rubbed it around the edges of the box of chocolates. I also used an alcohol marker to finish making sure there was no white paper visible. Once I was done, I cleaned fingerprints off with 1 tsp. baby shampoo in a spray bottle of water on a rag. I hot glued a red heart shaped button and two acrylic flowers link: tinyurl.com/tapm6usm To adhere the box to his mitten, I took a 3 x 3mm magnet link: tinyurl.com/3hsq57tr (you won’t want to use this link as the shipping costs are too high), and glued one half under his thumb and the other half under the box. Then I decided I needed another magnet, so glued half under his mitten and the other half to the top of the heart box. I show how it looks at the end. I had already glued half of a magnet inside his other mitten to allow him to hold hands with the girl gnome, and left the other half on top of his mitten to remind me to glue it inside her mitten (and of course I forgot.)
To make the body of the gnome. I took a sock from the Dollar Tree link: tinyurl.com/1jagwkhe and filled the bottom with flat marbles link: tinyurl.com/cqdev8tg and the stuffing from a stuffed animal to fill most of the sock tightly. Then knot the top with embroidery thread link: tinyurl.com/bht79vqp or twine and take a handful near the top to make a nose, and using embroidery thread to tie it off. Then take the Snugadoo socks from Dollar Tree (I couldn’t find a link) and cut one at an angle on the heel and put the gnome into it. Hot glue under the nose and hold the sock under the nose until it’s set, then glue on either side and on her upper back. Using mica powder or pink eye shadow with a brush and color the nose. I tied a knot around the top of the pink sock and the white sock by taking the embroidery thread and wrapping it around the top a few times and then tying a double or triple knot.
I took the braids and added heart brads to them and then hot glued a larger heart brad into the center of her dress and added a button above and below the heart with hot glue. I cut the red sock on an angle at the heel and put a styrofoam ball in the top and tied a knot to keep it in place, then hot glued the hat to her mid back and to the top of her nose. Don’t glue the sides down yet as you need to glue the braids and arms under it.
I hot glued the braids on either side of the gnome’s nose and then made arms for her out of a child’s sock link: tinyurl.com/4krttsf8 that I cut the bottom off. You only need about 1″ wide piece (using the entire cuff of the sock) roll it and hot glue it as you go, and then wrap the pink sock around it and hot glue the pink sock to it.
To make mittens, I took white felt and drew a mitten then cut it out, and cut out three more. I cut them larger than they need to be and hot glued the arm inside and then hot glued around the inside edges of one mitten to lay the other piece on top. I trimmed it to fit the arm before gluing it together. I should have hot glued half of a magnet inside her left hand so she could hold hands with the boy gnome, but I forgot. So I hot glued the magnet under her mitten. I had hot glued her hat down and shouldn’t have done that before I glued her arms under…I used an Xacto knife and cut the hat and then hot glued the arms under the hat.
I started with printing out a bunch of lined pages and once I copied the front side of the pages I photocopied, then I flipped them over and printed the back sides. I had to cut 1/4″ off of the left edge and the right edge of each piece of lined paper to ensure the pages would fit inside my folder..
I made two signatures with eight pages and two signatures with five pages. I scored the pages at 5 1/4″ and put the pages in my punch board and punched a notch in the top and bottom of the center of my pages. If you don’t have an envelope punch board, you can cut notches out of the top.
To create the signatures, I clipped my pages together and then using a ruler in the center, made a mark with a pencil from the bottom at 1″, 4 1/4″, and 7 1/2″ and using a pokey tool, I poked a hole in the three marks on the center score line with a piece of foam under the papers. I took a needle and used dental floss (without mint) and starting from the back of the signature, put the needle into the center hole, then out through the bottom hole and then back through to the front on the top hole and out through the middle hole. You want the two threads on the back to end up on both sides of the center thread and then knot them..I use two or three knots to ensure the signature is secure. Fold the papers to make sure they lay flat.
I use a Crop a Dile Big Bite link: https://tinyurl.com/y55cz2us …Making a mark with a black water based marker, from the top 1/2″ to the left of the center score of the folder, make a mark 1/2:” from the bottom and 1/2″ from the top. You’ll make the same marks 1/2″ to the right of the center score on the top and bottom, again 1/2″ from the top and bottom. Once you’ve made these marks, you’ll take the Crop a Dile Big Bite and poke holes with the 3/8″ mark on the Big Bite. Take eyelets and put the finished part of the eyelet through the hole from the outside and then moving the lever on the Big Bite to the front so it squeezes your eyelets shut. You’ll do this with all four holes you’ve punched.
You’ll need elastic, and I found mine in the jewelry department. The elastic was from a company called Jewelry Fundamentals. Start your elastic from the top right outside into the folder to the bottom hole and then to the left side bottom and out through the left side top, then back into the right side top to the inside, and put it into the right side bottom to the outside then over to the left side bottom and into the folder and then out through the top left. Then you’ll want to tie the two cord ends and if you want to hang a bauble or charm from them, now’s the time to do this. I hung a few beads from mine and then knotted the ends so the beads stayed in place. Insert a signature under each of the elastic cords. I made four signatures to correspond with the four elastic cords. You can also put two signatures under one elastic cord, but I liked the way it segmented each signature when I put each one under a different elastic cord.
I got this laminator and thought you might like to see a review on it.
Here’s a link to the Ragu Laminator on Amazon. https://tinyurl.com/yxvtn8fq It’s currently selling for $55.99, but prices change regularly on Amazon. It is available in black or white, and I chose white.
With the Ragu laminator, you’ll also get:
-1/4″ hole punch
-paper trimmer (on top of laminator)
-three O ring (paper clamps)
-40 various size laminating sheets, including large ones to hold 12″ x 16″ paper.
I turned on the machine by holding the on button for a second, and it only took two minutes to warm up. Once it was warm, I put the large laminating sheet into the front, making sure to line the folder up between the two marks that are the same size as the pouch.
I made a folder by using a 12 x 12″ piece of retired Stampin’ Up cardstock and putting it into my score board (with the back of my scrapbook paper face up) and scoring it at 6″ (the other scores I made are unnecessary.) Turn the paper one turn, and score at 2 1/2″ inches then you’ll turn the paper another turn, and score at 5 1/2″ and 6 1/2″ up to the 2 1/2″ score line. Then take scissors and find the 5 1/2″ score and cut to the 6 1/2″ score and cut up to the 2 1/2″ score line.
Then fold the 2 1/2″ score line for both pockets, then round the top inside corners of the pockets. I use a Kadomaru Pro corner rounder from Amazon link: https://tinyurl.com/y4ycy8ll You’ll also want to round the top outside edges of the folder. Then take your folder and leaving it open, put it inside the largest 12 x 16″ laminating pouch and with the pockets at the top with the opening of the pockets facing you, run it through the laminator, holding the pouch as it exits the laminator. Using an Xacto knife, link: https://tinyurl.com/y3fw8of3, cut out the pockets by laying the knife on it’s side and cutting between the two pages of cardstock at the top of the pocket.
Once I cut out the pockets, I ran the laminating pouch through the laminator again, to ensure the pockets are firmly laminated to the paper beneath. You’ll want to put the folder into the laminating pouch so the bottom of the folder isloaded into the laminator first to ensure the pockets don’t get jammed in the laminator.
I wanted to make a covered mug for a girlfriend who had a stroke and uses a walker. I bought her a cup holder for her walker that not only holds the travel cup, but also holds a small bottle of hand sanitizer and her cell phone.
Dollar Tree has changed the pattern on the outside of their travel mugs and here’s the link to how they look now. https://tinyurl.com/y4bltpfr
The paper I used was the 12 x 12″ cover sheet for Graphic 45’s Home Sweet Home. Here’s a link to it on ebay, as it is a retired collection, so I’m not sure where else you can find it. https://tinyurl.com/y58wol46
I took the paper that’s inside the mug and laid it on the bottom back of the Home Sweet Home paper I was using, and traced it, then cut it out. I then cut out the front of the image, including the woman hanging clothes and two pieces of the border that I could glue on either side of her. I glued them down then put it back in the mug and called it done.
I wanted to use the dies I got from Inloveartshop.com to make a few cards. Inloveartshop.com is giving my viewers a 20% discount by using the code S30626 at checkout. This code is good indefinitely. (So kind of them to do this.)
The center card in the thumbnail photo for this video was made before this video, but I used the “hello” die on that card from the inloveartshop.com haul, link: Hello die $3.72 link: https://tinyurl.com/y2nnolkj.
The other two cards I show in the photo, the card on the right, I made off camera, but made sure toward the end of this video to walk you through how to make it. The card on the left, I’m making in this video.
I started by using cream colored Recollections heavyweight cardstock from Michaels, and cut a piece of cardstock in half on the 8 1/2″ length to end up with a card base that is 11″ long scored at 5 1/2″ and 4 1/4″ wide. Here’s a link to the cardstock: https://tinyurl.com/y947o9hq
I used a stamp set from Stampin’ Up called Always in my Thoughts. Even though the set is very old and retired, there are a lot of them available on ebay…Here’s the link to them… https://tinyurl.com/y3r2775h I stamped the vase near the center of my card base with Gina K Amalgam Black Ink link: https://tinyurl.com/y557qebw Then I used Arteza TwiMarkers link: https://arteza.com/dp/twimarkers-set-of-48-colors-dual-tipto color the image. I used two colors of orange and gold for the vase/flower pot and two greens for the leaves/stems of the plant and two colors orange/red for the flowers. Then I colored below the vase/flower pot to give the vase a place to sit. I glued the doily from the inloveartshop.com haul link: Circle Nesting Floral Lace Frame Dies: $4.08 https://tinyurl.com/yxhrhez7 to the card and then took some pearls I had and laid them into each of the openings of the doily and then took an orange alcohol marker and colored the pearls.. I used a Spellbinder mini die from their monthly small die set and stamped a sentiment from the same Stampin’ Up stamp set as the vase and adhered the sentiment to the card using foam squares from the Dollar Tree.
For the second card, I used the same sentiment from the Stampin Up set called Always in my Thoughts, and the same die set from Spellbinders small monthly die kits. Unfortunately, I can’t find these dies to give you a link to them. I use them all the time, but sadly, can’t give you a link. I added the die from inloveartshop.com link: Crosswise Diamond Grid Background die:$6.21 https://tinyurl.com/y3j3akveand attached it to a red glitter cardstock from Crafter’s Companion Luxury cardstock link:https://tinyurl.com/y67f9h95 I used a lightweight pad of 6 x 6″ paper to cut the crosswise diamond grid background and glued this to the glitter red cardstock with Bearly Art Glue links: https://bearly.art/
I really recommend this glue as it is the only wet glue that I can easily squeeze out of a fine tip applicator (that comes with every kit but the refill in the information above.)
I laid the glitter cardstock on fun foam and glued the fun foam to an off white Michaels Recollections heavyweight cardstock in cream (link is above)..I cut the cardstock in half on the 8 1/2″ length creating a card base that is 4 1/4″ wide by 11″ tall, scored on the 11″ length at 5 1/2″. I adhered the sentiment die with foam squares from the Dollar Tree.
I was sent some great tools from Inloveartshop.com and thought I’d share them with all of you.
If you are interested in purchasing anything from Inloveartshop.com, they will give you a 20% discount. The discount code is S30626 and it doesn’t have an expiration date. I am not an affiliate and do not make any money from any orders you might place with inloveartshop.com. I’m thrilled that they have sent me their products to try..
Layering Creative Bubble Pattern Stencil: $2.58 https://tinyurl.com/yxe5gmcvThe foam blender tool I used I bought on Aliexpress and here’s a link to them: https://tinyurl.com/y6m9um65 To make these work, squirt them a couple of times with a water bottle and then ink them. I was amazed at how much better it worked once I tried that. I think this will be my go to tool for stencils going forward.
I decided to make a quick card at the end of the video and used Recollections (Michaels) Heavyweight Cardstock in cream. I cut the cardstock to measure 4 1/4″ across and 11″ tall, scored on the 11″ length at 5 1/2″ The bone folder I used is made by Fiskars and I found it on ebay (now): link: https://tinyurl.com/y55r5her I used the Rectangle Lace Flower Background Die to cut peach cardstock and laid it on a darker orange piece of cardstock and glued the two together. I added fun foam to the back of the orange cardstock so that I could make the card have more dimension. I used the Hello die from the information above and glued it to a rectangle stitched die and glued both with foam squares to the front of the card…then added matching orange pearls to the sentiment.