Archive for spring 07

The art of CASEing

Explosion BoxOne of the fabulous things about the rubber stamping community is that we’re crafters who love what we do so much that we always encourage others to try new things. And we never hesitate to show others the ease and beauty of our crafts. One of the best ways to expand our horizons and improve our skills is to push our limits. To do that, we often Copy And Share Everything, or CASE.

The bevy of projects in the annual (and soon to be semi-annual, woo hoo!) Stampin’ Up! Idea Book & Catalog is a great starting place to CASE others’ ideas, but sometimes I need different or new fodder to spark my creativity. Sometimes I find great ideas for patterns in catalogs or advertisements. Sometimes I turn to stamping or paper crafting magazines or other publications. But often I find myself surfing the Web and I always end up at splitcoaststampers.

Last week, Beate did a tutorial on one of my favorite projects: explosion boxes. I already knew how to make these in any size, but I found inspiration there nonetheless. I loved her use of Au Chocolate designer series papers along with Mixed Bouquet.

I wanted to give Mixed Bouquet, one of my favorite retiring sets, a final farewell. Besides, I needed the inspiration for my first-ever {blog candy} that Alison won a couple of weeks ago. (Yeah, yeah, I did it backwards. Next time, I’ll make the candy first, then give it away…I get it.) I hope she thinks it’s worth the wait (fingers crossed)!

Nesting Explosion

Nesting Explosion Boxes openSo I decided to CASE Beate’s project, but with a little twist. I used one of my favorite colors ever, Cool Caribbean, which is also retiring along with the rest of the In Color lineup (another adieu). Then I looked over at the little Russian nesting doll in my stamp room and it occurred to me that maybe a nesting set of explosion boxes could be a fun thing too.

So this is what I came up with. If you like it, feel free to CASE it for personal use. Shake it up, change it, make it your own. Have fun and share it with a friend. (Just be nice and tell folks where you got your inspiration, especially if you post in on the web.) Complete recipe and cutting dimensions available here.

Folks, my apologies for the long delay since my last post and delays in my responses to any personal emails. I expect to be able to reply to emails shortly. Custom orders may be delayed, but you will receive an email from me in the next several days if that is the case. Life is, once again, in overdrive. If you’d like to read about the crazy stuff in my personal life, you can visit my adoption blog.


Something for mom (or grandma, or…)?

Mother Clipboard

This is one of the projects we made at my last stamp class. I couldn’t resist this gorgeous color combination in shades of sherbet (click on image for recipe).

The basic layout is the same as my Chipboard Clipboards, but this time I used the double-sided paper from the Spring mini. Aren’t these stripes just scrumptious?? As with the previous edition, these are intended to be photo magnets. Perfect for the fridge!

Here’s an idea: simply replace the word “mother” with “daughter” or “son” or “family,” trim a favorite photo to 3×3 and clip in for a Happy Mother’s Day! Or, make for each of the (grand)kids and I’ll bet they find a favored spot on the fridge!

Alternative: the clip is completely removable, so you could alter both sides with different (seasonal?) colors. Then mom/grandma can flip it over for a change of scenery!

Perfect for the office

Notations NotebookWhile trying to come up with some interesting projects using the new Notations designer paper, I just couldn’t help but come back to the office theme. No matter how creative and original I tried to be, this paper just screams “office!”

Since I had several blank composition books laying around, I decided to take the easy road. I did, however, distress the notebook and I really like the end result. It’s simple, but a little funky too.

These altered composition books are sooo easy to make. To create one on your own, click on the image for full ingredients and directions.

I make these a little differently than most people because, well, because I’m anal and I like my rounded corners to be perfect (with no obvious folds). 😉

So even with a couple of extra steps, these are still a cinch to make. Try one yourself!

You won’t change a thing

write-on-fridge-magnet-notations-black-background-web.jpgStampin’ Up!’s new Notations paper is incredibly versatile — and so pretty, you won’t want to cover it up or add to it at all! But this paper can seem intimidating since some of the designs are not repeat patterns. Instead, Stampin’ Up! has basically designed beautiful 12×12 layouts. So you could just add photos. In theory, at least.

When I examined these papers more closely, I noticed that some pages have fabulous smaller designs all squished together to make up the “layout.” This “daily notes” design was just screaming to live on my fridge as a write-on wipe-off board. (The colors were perfect! See small photo below for a better example of color. Sorry that the colors in the larger photo are washed out…)

But cutting such beautiful designs — on two-sided paper, no less — takes some willpower (at least for me). So, I took a deep breath…and cut. Notations Write-on Fridge MagnetIt was actually pretty liberating and I ended up with several other pieces to play with (so my “clean up” time will be fun too!).

The rest of the project is history. I didn’t do one single thing to alter the paper: no stamping, no distressing, no nothin’! I ran the paper through my Xyron with a laminate/magnet cartridge, trimmed the edges, rounded the corners and slapped that baby on the fridge. Who can beat that for simple?!

Snip, Fold, Staple, Done!

Petals Matchbook - frontOK, OK, I’m off the chocolate kick – for 5 minutes at least. Speaking of 5 minutes, that’s all it took (less maybe) to whip up this little goodie made from one single scrap!

The Petals & Paisleys designer paper in the spring mini has some awesome designs and color combinations. One of my favorites is the page that says “together” because it looks like a pre-assembled scrapbook page — complete with title! And if you flip it over, the opposite side features a Pretty in Pink background with a darling array of multicolored polka dots.

So the other day when I stumbled across a leftover strip of this paper, it occurred to me that the varying width of the stripes might be perfect spacing for score lines on a little matchbook card. Sure enough, they were!Petals Matchbook - inside

The only paper added on this card is the stripe on the front (and, of course, the solid cardstock for “find joy” and the flower). Otherwise, the entire card is one piece of paper. Too cool! Petal Matchbook card - outside full view

I made this card without the inserts or “matches” (one or more small pieces of cardstock) so that you could see the design on the inside too. Hint: I didn’t measure anything…just scored on the edges of each stripe where I thought the folds would work!

A not-so-cheesey way to be green

A not-so-cheesey little boxWhile I’m always tempted to (and often do) buy those groovy tins, boxes, and other goodies at cheapy $1 prices (hello, Target Dollar Spot!), the “greenie” in me realizes that we toss (or hopefully recycle) way too much stuff everyday. So, I’m always looking for ways to reuse and repurpose would-be “trash.”

A not-so-cheesey little box (open)

I always “recycle” boxes with better-than-average thickness by punching shapes out using my Sizzix. I’ve even done that with decent flat plastic containers to create cool clear images. But sometimes really awesome containers are just dying for a quick facelift!

(Remember my altered versions of a Viactiv box and a Glide dental floss tub?)

Today I made this darling round box from an empty Laughing Cow (cheese) box. (And no, it’s not stinky…the cheese is foil-wrapped, which leaves the box in perfect condition.)

Click on the (big) image for ingredients. Note: these photos don’t do this box justice. It is just tooooo cute, if I do say so myself!

You could fill this with any small goodies, candy, round cards, or….guess what? 4″ round coasters are a perfect fit. Cool beans!

What do you think? Got anything headed for the trash that could find new life with a little paper, stamps, and ink??? I dare you to make something and post it for all to see, then be sure to come back here and comment with a link to your masterpiece!

Chocolat Cravings


Well, if I can’t stuff myself full of chocolate every minute of every day, these Au Chocolat papers are the next best thing! Last night, I went downstairs to clean up the mess in my stamp area and decided that rather than putting away the paper scraps from my last couple of Au Chocolat projects, I’d just try to make a few simple cards. The card on the left was inspired by Kristina Werner. The card on the right practically made itself. The layers of cardstock were leftover scraps and I noticed that they were the perfect sizes to layer, so no cutting needed (except for length)! I love it when that happens. Envelope Pocket Card

Then I remembered that I had forgotten <blush> to make a card for my little brother’s birthday on Tuesday, so I whipped up this fun envelope pocket card with another large scrap piece.

Envelope Pocket Card (inside)

I really wanted to maximize the double-sided nature of the paper (it just kills me to hide one side of such gorgeous papers). So, I let the paper’s design be the focal point, inside and out. I did struggle with embellishments for the front of the card. The stripes are so bold that they really do stand on their own. Hint: when working with bold images such as the stripes shown here, minimize embellishments to avoid the “cluttered” look. I also made a point of centering the stripes when cutting. In hindsight, I might consider stamping the sentiment on paper that more resembles a sticky note to keep to the “office” theme. But I’m pretty happy with the results as-is. My little brother is an artist, not a cube dude, and I think he’ll appreciate the design.

trifold-card-web-small.jpgopen-tri-fold-card-web-small.jpgweathered-choc-stripe-web-small.jpgHere are a couple of other cards I made with the rest of the scraps. The two images on the left show the outside and inside of the same vintage card, respectively. Oh, and I never did clean up my stamp room!

Vintage style, modern convenience

gift-card-holder-spring-07023-web.jpgI needed a gift card holder and found this cute and easy design from Paper Crafts thanks to mckeans23 of splitcoaststampers. Of course, I had to use more of these gorgeous Au Chocolat papers, especially since I had scraps from the other day just sitting there.

I made a few design changes (surprise, surprise), namely the ribbon attachment (slot hole punch on the outside flap – easy peasy) and a scalloped edge (small corner rounder without the guard).


The instructions on the website don’t provide all the details, so here’s the basic run-down: cut double-sided paper (or cardstock) to 3-1/2 x 11. Score at 3-1/2 and 7-3/4. Cut/scallop the longer flap (and cut/scallop the shorter side too if you want). Glue the edges only of the shorter flap to the inside of the card. Embellish as desired and voila!

Ingredients as shown: Warm Words stamp set, Au Chocolat designer-series paper, brown textured cardstock (DCWV), and Very Vanilla cardstock; chocolate grosgrain ribbon; Chocolate Chip Classic Stampin’ Pad; sponge; Slot Hole, Daisy, Small Corner Rounder, Large Oval, 1/16 and 1/8 handheld punches; Hodgepodge Hardware (large oval frame and brads); making memories brad.

simple yet elegant

5-in-1-box-au-chocolate004-web.jpgI saw this cute box concept shared by DannieGrvs on splitcoaststampers and just had to recreate it using the new Au Chocolate double-sided designer paper from the spring mini. It was so simple, it took me about 10 minutes to make!

For the lid, cut a 7×7 square and score at 1-1/2 on all four sides. Then trace and cut the rounded edge of the 5-in-1 Card Cover template along each edge of the square to create rounded flaps. Fold along score lines. Also cut four semi-circles out of coordinating designer paper and fold in half to crease. (I recommend gently sanding all rounded cuts for a smooth finish.) Glue the four loose semi-circles to each “corner” of the box lid.

For the base, cut a 8-1/2 x 8-1/2 square and score at 2-1/4 on all sides. On each side of the square, cut 2-1/4 along one score line (from edge of paper towards bottom), which should create a flap on each side of the square. Then fold along score lines and tuck in/glue flaps to sides to create the box bottom. To create “feet,” adhere four flat-bottomed floral marbles with glue or high-tack glue dots to the bottom of the box. Slide lid on top of box and embellish as desired.

quick & simple

easter-baskets011-web.jpgI was inspired by tallymom on splitcoaststampers to make this cute little basket. What a clever use of punches to create this super simple card!

I used the argyle line pattern from Looks Like Spring in Creamy Caramel ink on Creamy Caramel cardstock to simulate a basket-weave design. Then I used the new Round Tab punch to punch out the basket. I created a frame (aka handle) using the Small Oval and Large Oval punches and decorated the basket with a small flower from the Spring Bouquet punch and gable green brad. The darling polka dotted paper is from the Petals & Paisleys double-sided designer paper layered on a 3×3 Pretty in Pink card. No distressing makes it super easy… Can it get cuter than that?!

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