Monday, December 8, 2014

My First Video!!!

Hey! I finally got My Paper Pumpkin so I did the video that I promised. It is not the best quality and I wish I had done a few things differently, but I think it turned out ok for my first one.  Please let me know what you think so that I can work to improve the quality of future videos. I think next time I am going to try my digital camera (I used my webcam for this one) and I'm going to actually talk while I open it instead of adding the little text bubbles. I will also include me working on the projects.  I was so nervous during the making of this video because I didn't know how it would turn out that I forgot everything that I wanted to do / include. Anyway, I hope you like my video. Enjoy!!! P.S. I tried viewing it in the viewer below, but some of the text bubbles get cut off. I recommend either viewing it in full screen or on YouTube.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Big News!

So it's been a really long time since I have posted (shocker!). I've been pretty busy with things and a lot has changed in my life. Someone I knew a long time ago (referred to as A in my last post) decided he needed a change of scenery and, after much talking and planning, decided to move here, to northern KY, from upstate NY. It's been a rough transition. He moved here permanently at the end of January of this year.  He lived nearby in an apartment from February until August and then moved in with my family while he looked for another place to live (he didn't like where he was living). He was only supposed to be here for a month, but ended up staying for 3 1/2 months. It was rough. At first, I thought that it would be fun since I wouldn't have to drive back and forth, but it turns out that putting two grown adults and a beagle in a tiny bedroom is not a good idea. We had to put his futon in here so that he had a place to sleep so the space in here dwindled quickly.  His sleep schedule is opposite mine and I was pretty much not allowed in  my room unless I was sleeping or getting dressed.  He FINALLY got another apartment (back at the same complex, but a different building) and he moved in this past Friday.  I'm excited for him because he's back on his own again and in his own space. More importantly, I'm excited for me because I now feel like my life and space is my own again.  I have big plans with my rediscovered freedoms.

On June 21, I became an Independent Demonstrator for Stampin' Up! It's something that I had thought about doing for a while, but had never jumped into.  My upline, S, has been a great support for me.  I did stamp-a-stacks at her house for a few years and got to know her and the other ladies a bit.  Another lady from the classes, L, joined shortly after I did.  We have both been getting our feet wet in this new endeavor together and I think it's been better that she joined, too.  It's nice having someone that is going through the same thing that I am.  We both got into it as a hobbyist demonstrator (basically joining just to get the discount on product), but we have both expressed interest in doing parties, classes, etc. I think it will be nice to be able to bounce ideas off of each other and help each other out as we work to grow our business. On that note, here is the BIG NEWS - I'm planning on growing my blog and utilizing it to help grow my business!

 I want to do tutorials, and videos and different posts for each day of the week.  There will also be a monthly post/video to correspond with the Stampin' Up! Paper Pumpkin product. I'm going to start slowly as I get my life back in order and work it all out, but I hope to do at least 3-4 posts per week by the beginning of next year.  My ideas are to do a technique day (showcasing a certain technique), a tool day (showing you how to utilize/multiple uses for a specific tool), a stamp set day (grab a stamp set and make a few projects with it), a Pinterest attempt/CASE day (pick something from Pinterest to use as inspiration for a project), a Paper Pumpkin post (showing the kit for that month), Ask Me videos and possibly more.  I'm working on clever names for them right now. There are so many Make It Mondays and Technique Tuesdays; I just want something that's original and unique, but still gets the point across.  I think that it will take a lot of work, but I'm hoping that it will help with my creativity, growing my business, and be a resource for other crafters in the world!

As soon as I get my Paper Pumpkin kit for this month, I will begin with that.  I may also be doing a welcome video with a tour of my craft room (aka my bedroom).

I'm really excited to go on this new journey and I hope you guys are excited, too!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Stampin' Up! awesomeness

This last month has flown by!  My friend A moved here from NY.  Helping him adjust to the area has been a roller coaster ride.  I was so stressed that I did some retail therapy.  After the Stampin' Up! idea book came out last year, I made a wish list of about $350 worth of product. I ordered a few things last year, but didn't really order anything after that... until now lol. I ordered a few "bundles" as well as an In Color kit that has 5 ink pads and coordinating cardstock.  Since it's Sale-abration, for every $50 you order, you get to choose a free product from the selection they have.  I was super excited about this because, not only do I get to order stuff that I have wanted for a while, but I got free stuff... So I took a look at the free products and decided that there was two things that I wanted - the Banner Blast stamp set and the coordinating punch. I went about ordering my items (at least $100 worth) and then chose those as my freebies.  I can't wait to make some fun stuff with my new toys!

BTW - if you haven't checked out Stampin' Up! and you love using stamps and other awesome products, you should look at their website.  They have amazing stuff, from ink and stamps to paper and embellishments to tools and storage. I love that they now have punches to coordinate with the stamp sets.  It means you can stamp an image and then punch it out. Easy peasy! They also have framelits (dies to use with the Big Shot) that coordinate with certain stamp sets.  It's the same concept as the punches, but using the Big Shot.

In Color Ink and Cardstock

Mosaic Madness "bundle" plus coordinating embossing folder

Six Sided Sampler  "bundle"

Square Lattice Embossing Folder

Banner Blast stamps and coordinating punch

Friday, January 24, 2014

Hey! An unplanned tutorial! Yay!

So I was killing some time on Sunday since someone woke me up early and I couldn't go back to sleep (...thanks dad...), and I decided to make something that I have been wanting to make for a while.  It's a book that has samples of the embossing folders I have.  This will come in handy when I am at the store and think "oh that's cute! but I think I already have that... maybe I don't... no, I think I do...". Instead of not buying it because I "have it" (which I usually don't), I can simply check my handy dandy little book and make sure.

It was really easy to make and I used materials that I already had on hand.

-Some plain cardstock (I used some yellow, pink and light green)
-A paper trimmer
-A sharpie
-Your embossing folders
-Your embossing machine (I used my Texture Boutique, but you could use the Big Shot, Cuttlebug, etc)
-Chipboard or cardboard
-3 Hole Punch; single hole, handheld, punch; Anywhere Eyelet Punch with hammer; Crop-a-Dile, etc
-Binding rings (not sure what these are called exactly, but I got them at Staples)
-Patterned Paper
-ModPodge or similar adhesive
-Elmer's Paint Pen
-Contact Paper, packing tape, or other laminate (optional)
Supply Shot - some supplies not pictured... oops!

First, I decided what size I wanted to make my book.  I was using 12x12 cardstock so I was thinking either 3x3 or 4x4 since they would be easy to cut. 3x3 seemed too little when I looked at it so I went with 4x4. Using a 12x12 sheet of cardstock, you can get 9 "pages" for your book.  I counted my embossing folders after guesstimating that I had around 20... Boy was I wrong! I ended up needing 5 sheets of cardstock because I had over double what I thought.

Once I got all of my pages cut using my paper trimmer (you could also use scissors), I labeled them with my Sharpie.  I put the brand as well as the folder name at the bottom. When I had those all done, I started embossing.  I tried to keep the writing out of the folder as much as possible so that it would be easier to read, but it won't be the end of the world if you put the whole thing in the folder. Also, some of the folders are a little thicker/thinner than others so you may need to adjust your "sandwich" accordingly. [for those of you that don't know what a sandwich is, it is what you make when you stack the cutting plates of your Big Shot or the embossing plates of your Texture Boutique. You layer it plate, embossing folder, plate thus making a "sandwich". Sometimes when the folders or paper you are using is a little thin, you need to add a shim to help you get a good emboss. For most of my folders, I had to use the shim that came with my machine].

Use Sharpie to write name of folder on page before embossing

Make your sandwich!
embossed page

OPTIONAL STEP - I then used clear Contact Paper to "laminate" my covers.  I cut it slightly larger than the covers and then applied it to the front. I flipped it over and made some cuts so there would be no overlap and then I folded all of the sides in. Now, this didn't work quite like I wanted it to. Contact Paper is apparently not as sticky as I thought, so I ended up using packing tape to secure it on the inside of the cover.

Now it is time for assembly! I used a 3 hole punch that is more on the industrial side, so it had no problem going through the cardboard.  You may have to use any Anywhere Punch with a hammer if your hole puncher won't work.  You could also use a binding machine if you have one.  The best part about the hole puncher I have is that the holes can be moved to where you need them.  I figured out how far apart I wanted the holes to be and placed the holes on the punch accordingly.  I punched the covers first and then did the pages and few at a time. Once everything was punched, I assembled my book.  I sorted the pages by brand alphabetically, but you can do it however you would like. So, to assemble mine, I placed a cover all of the pages and then the other cover on one ring and closed it. I then set it on the table to help line things up and then thread the other ring through all of the holes and closed it. And your done! Enjoy shopping now since you will be able to buy new embossing folders since you won't have to worry about buying duplicates :)

cover after hole punching

punching the pages - the blue sticky note (on the left) helped
me to line up where to punch so they were all the same
Finished Book

pages inside the book

anyone see my booboo?!?
(hint - I didn't think about the orientation of the pages when I wrote the title)

Added some blank pages to the back so I can add any new ones I will eventually buy

Let me know if you have any questions, edits, comments, etc

P.S. I'm not sure why the text about halfway through changes size, but I can't fix it.  Sorry if it causes problems with you being able to read it.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

First post of 2014

It's been a realllly long time since my last post :( Hopefully this year I will be better at keeping this thing up to date!  So a lot has happened since my last post.  I won't bore you with the details, but, as always, I've been keeping myself pretty busy...

I had a friend over today whom I hadn't really seen in a while, but she's one of those friends that you can be away from for a long time and when you are reunited feels like it was just yesterday that you saw each other so it wasn't super awkward or anything.  We talked for about an hour and  a half before we actually got down to the crafting we had planned on doing... we get carried away sometimes...

Even though I was looking forward to today since we planned it, I wasn't very productive in the creativity department.  I helped her with a few cards, but I couldn't bring myself to make much.  I ended up making something from a Paper Pumpkin kit (if you like stamps and cards, you should check these out.  They are from Stampin Up! and they are awesome!) that I got a few months back. I signed up for these monthly kits with the mind set that I would get to do at least a little crafting each month, but they are all still sitting in the boxes because I never have time.  This is the first one that I've actually completed.  So I made those while helping HM with her cards and showing her my fun toys (read framelits and big shot). I put them together in just a few minutes so then I got a little angry. I was mad because, just a short while ago, I couldn't wait for today because I'd get some cards done, but the time was here and I had zero motivation and my creativity was out the window.  I ended up on Pintrest, trolling for motivation, inspiration or something to get my creative juices flowing, but nothing was happening... I don't know what's wrong with me :/  I do know that we have come up with a solution to the problem.

HM and I are going to (hopefully) get together more often since we live close to each other now.  We are either going to pick a theme or a paper stack or stamp set to use or something and then make some cards using them.  Having such a blank canvas to work with was a little daunting. I think that's why I get into ruts like this. I have too many options to choose from. If you could see my craft stuff, you would understand what I mean. (Maybe that will be a future post...). She also suggested that we do different crafts, like painting on canvases, sewing things, etc.  I'm hoping that we will be able to stick with our plan this time (since you don't know us, you will need to know that this will be very hard because we are both very busy and we tend to not stick to the plan of getting together every so often lol) so that I can get my craftiness back.  I miss it and wish that I hadn't let it slip away...

With that being said, I hope that I will talk to you soon.  One of my new year's resolutions (cliche, I know) is to do more crafting.  It's something I'm good at and enjoy doing. That's why I really hate when I let this happen.

Anyway, sorry for rambling and I will post more soon!