TIPS AND TECHNIQUES

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Old Heat Gun?

Recently I read about someone wondering if a heat tool can get old.  Of course there were alot of responses to this question and no one had a definitive answer.  So I thought I'd investigate it a bit.  I do own 4 heat guns and have access to 1 other one.  My oldest one was bought back in the 1980's.  Two of the ones I own are the blue Darice.  I've had these the longest.  The Darice is about 9" long and has 320w.  These both take a bit of time to heat up..maybe it's their age?? LOL
The 1 heats a tad quicker than the other and both do an ok job once heated up. 

 The other one I have is a newer Recollections one that I bought just a few months ago mainly because it's Pink and Black!  I'm a sucker for pretty!  It really doesn't work any faster than the one I got in the 80's (1 of the blue Darice ones).  This is a bit longer than the Darice measuring a bit over 9.5" and it's only 300w.  Maybe that's why it doesn't work any faster!  It too needs to heat up for a bit and the length of it makes it a bit awkward to hold.  Who would have thought a half inch would make such a big difference.  So pretty ISN'T always better. NEWER isn't either in this case.  I find I let my pink Recollections one just sort of sit and look pretty while reaching for my old ones.

Recently I bought a Martha Stewart heat gun.  I have to say it has a bit more sturdy feel to it.  If that makes sense??? This one is a shorty being only about 7.5" long.  It fits perfectly in my hand and is not awkward.  I might even like this better than the Darice which really fit nicely in my hands.  This one is also a whoppin' 350w.  I found No need for heat up with this one.  I had decided for this review to use the heat gun as it's suppose to be used and not just leave it running until I was ready to use it like I do with the others.  It is a quick embosser.  I'm kind of liking this one.  It also has an industrial cord.  I don't know anything about cord thickness but I would assume a thicker cord is better???
Two heat guns that I do not own but have used before are the Stampin Up one and the Marvy Uchida one.  

The Marvy one has 360w so heat wise it is quite close to the Martha Stewart one.  I have only been able to locate these on line at Amazon and directly from Marvy Uchida.  Reviews on both sites averaged only 3 stars.  The bad reviews were primarily about the tool stops working after a short time.  The one I tried looked like an older model and seemed to work fine for me.  Personally I've only used it on 2 separate projects consisting of 6 cards each so I'm not very knowledgeable to recommend this heating gun.  

The Stampin Up gun reminds me alot of the Darice one.  They look similar to me and feel about the same in my hands.  I tried to find the wattage on line but nothing out there that I found told me the wattage of the current Stampin Up one.  Many places referred to the old one that was 350w and there were quite a few remarks of disappointment that Stampin up reduced their watts by lowering it by 50w on all their new heat guns.
  I am not sure if I was trying a new or old heat gun but it seemed to need warming up to emboss.

I have to admit that I keep my heat guns hanging in a non-traditional way.  I have an old wooden barrel that I use for trash in my craft room and hang the heat guns on the rim.  I also turn on a heat gun and let it run while I'm working on the desk doing the EP. (embossing powder)  So by the time I'm ready to heat set, my gun has been running for at least 5 min.  I have never had a heat gun that has gotten too hot.  The only time I have scorched the paper is when I was nearly touching the paper with the heat gun. (something your not suppose to do anyway!  hahaha) 

Someday I may try out the Tim Holtz one but for now. I'm loving my Martha Stewart one!  No I'm not going to get rid of the other "Not so Great" heating tools after all you never know when you need less heat right?  Or maybe I'm just a collector of old but still working tools!  LOL  YEP....that's it!   That's my reason and I'm sticking to it! hahaha

Later

HAPPY CARDING!





Tuesday, December 2, 2014

TOTALLY "NOT" A CARD

Just wanted to share this totally adorable gift idea I had the grandkids make for Christmas presents this year.   These plates are "ALL" over the Internet.  There must be at least a dozen different pinterest pages that have a bunch posted.  So we decided to try them ourselves.

The kids had so much fun.  My 3 year old grandson was the funniest.  As we were painting his foot he just says "It Gween Ha Ha".  He just giggled away.  My daughter-in-law and I couldn't help but laugh too!
Doing the feet wasn't as easy as we thought.....painted feet slip easily on glass plates! LOL But doing the lights around the plates was easy.  The kids used their fingertips to dot color lights all around.  The little one had a bit of help though.  We then showed my granddaughter how to connect the lights by drawing the string.  Top left photo showed we'd had to try and contain my grandsons enthusiasm!  LOL 







  We used glass paints from the craft section at Michael's and a glass paint marker to draw the string for the finger tip lites and for the writing.  These then had to cure for 4 days before heat setting in an oven at 325 degrees for 30 minutes.  The results beautiful and they are going to make perfect gifts!  This is just one of a couple upcoming crafts I'll be doing with the kids.

So for this post I will close with..........

HAPPY CRAFTING!!!!!!












ARRAY OF CHRISTMAS CARDS

Oh my goodness I can't believe that it's been nearly a month since my last post!!!  I'm going to call this my "CATCH UP TUESDAY".  There has been so much going on over here.  Mostly colds sweeping through the household and spreading on to the grandkids and into their homes. :(  Then of course the week of Thanksgiving, being grandkid free, I had a ton of errands and though I did not participate in the Black Friday madness I did do alot of Internet shopping which of course made my fingers achy.  LOL  Ok maybe a bit of an exaggeration.  Anyway "Onward and Forward"!!  Cards cards cards!!!
  So June and I got together one evening and made 2 really awesome cards I believe both cards are C.A.S.E.'d.  The pine cone one was from Dawns Stamping thoughts.  I didn't have the Stampin up set that she used but a quite similar one from Hero Arts.  But we did the same technique.  Which was to versa mark the entire card and emboss it with sparkly embossing powder.  Beautiful!  I wanted to make more but......life happened!  hahaha.
The snowflake one, I believe June C.A.S.E.'d from Stampin up.  If I'm wrong I'm sure she'll tell me!  LOL  The stamp set is from Stampin Up and I love it.  I just might have to borrow this one from her.
  I had then put together a couple more styles of paper bag cards.  I made enough of the pieces for our card group to assemble during one of our gatherings before Thanksgiving.
The first one I really like the simplicity of.  I got the Santa's at an Antique store in Door County back in September.  I had no clue as to what I was going to use them with and came up with this. 




















The next one is similar to the one I posted in the post entitled Paper Bag Card.  The card group was just shown this example as we instead made the first card listed in the above post.
Then a few of the ladies brought supplies for us all to make the following.  Awesome!!!













I love the size of the Snowflake card!  And the vintage Children on the red and white card just screamed "Stamp more of these"!!!  So I did to do later.  Love them all!!
Ok I think I'm caught up.  Now I need to start addressing envelopes and get all these beauties into the mail!!  But first....I think I need to get more Christmas shopping done!

Till later (and hopefully it won't be a month later haha)

HAPPY CARDING!





Friday, November 7, 2014

PAPER BAG CARD

I am so excited!  This card turned out so darn cute and its a paper bag!  I saw a YouTube video by Claudia Rosa where she showed a card made from an everyday brown paper lunch bag.  I think her card was a birthday card for a male but with Christmas right around the corner I thought I'd transform it into a Christmas card.   Drum roll please..............


















This is a large size lunch bag that I got from Target.  The papers are from a Christmas Paper pack by Paper studio that I bought from Hobby Lobby and some Kraft paper.  Ribbons are from an old spool of ribbon so I have no idea where I got it from.  I used misc cling stamps and some green snowflakes to add a little bling.  The 2 ribbon on the front side pull out to expose little tags which the recipient could use as gift tags if they'd like.  I put together some kits for my ladies group to put together the next time we do our stamping.  These are large cards so homemade envelopes would be a good idea.

Decided to try one that doesn't open and just has a tag pocket in front.  It turned out real cute too.  Kind of wondering what other color combinations I could use and whether or not the smaller lunch bags would work.  I'll have to give that a try.


I'll write up the directions for these after I try the smaller bag size.  I can't wait to mail these as I'm sure the people who get them are going to love it!


Until Later....................

HAPPY CARDING!!!











Wednesday, November 5, 2014

GLUE STICKS,,,,,Which Ones???

I'm back!  It's been such a crazy fall.  Closed up our summer place and got back in time to watch our granddaughter "Cheer" for our local football team.  The next thing I know it's Halloween and everyone is coming down with an annoying virus.  UGH! 
So the other day I was working on a project and I was using WAY too much of my tape runner.  When working on bigger cards with large mats you do tend to use alot of tape.  You also have to be sure it's right on the edge so the ends don't lift and heaven help you if you don't get it smooth the first time down.  Ripping it up to reposition is a royal pain.  So I headed for my glue stick bin and of course I have more than one brand so which one is going to work best?  I need to adhere a 6x8 piece of designer paper to a paper lunch bag.  I've tried liquid glues before and have had multiple problems.  Besides being messy, depending on the glue you use it could cause bumps where the glue was placed.  Or depending on the paper it could cause wrinkles.  I therefore decided a glue stick was the way to go. But which one?  One to never use in my opinion is the Children's School Glue stick.  Sure its safe (non-toxic) but as soon as it dried you can peel off what you glued down sprinkling glue flakes as you do.  

Here are the four I tried with my paper bag project (I'll share that in a later post...it's pretty cool).

The top stick is made by Scotch.  It's permanent and glides on nicely.  I did not have any wrinkling or bubbles and it did not take long to dry.  Maybe 15min or so.  It had a decent bond that I was happy with.  The one on bottom left is by Avery.  It too is permanent but I found it didn't have a long lasting hold.  Maybe a week later you could tell that it was lifting around the edges of the large piece and on smaller pieces some completely fell off.  No glue flake sprinkles tho.  In the middle I have Elmer's Craft Bond.  It would have been the brand I thought would work great but I was disappointed.  By the time I finished adhering the glue to my 6x8 sheet it had already dried in some places and if I went back to re-glue the previously wet surface was now drying.  It was a big race against the clock.  A race I didn't like!  It was a strong bond but not much different then the Scotch brand one.  If I had to choose between the Elmer's and the Scotch I'd pick Scotch because of it's open work time.  The last one on right is by Thermo-Web.  Definitely holds but the glue in this stick is kind of soft making it a bit messy to use.  Not easily accessible.  I use to be able to get this at Archivers until they closed.  I haven't seen it at my local craft stores recently so altho I love the hold it's not going to be my go to glue.
  So my conclusion?????  Personally I'd go with the Scotch Brand.  Available at local craft stores, strong bond, glides nice, no wrinkling or bubbling.  Do you have a favorite?  Let me know so I can give it a try.

Well till later when I share my paper bag project!

HAPPY CARDING!!!












Tuesday, October 7, 2014

A Non-Card Halloween

So I decided to post a non card Halloween greeting.  I was looking for a Halloween craft to do with my granddaughter and saw these Halloween blocks at a craft show.  They looked super easy so I thought what the heck a 6 year old can do this along with a little help from my Cricut for the letters.


The blocks are just scrap 2 x 4's that I had my husband cut into 5" pieces.  We painted the sides with Black acrylic paint and then picked out some printed Halloween card stock and cut it to fit.  Ours were cut 3.5 x 5 but all 2 x 4's are different and not true 2x4 so cut your papers according to your block size.  We then went to my Cricut and using the Plantain School cartridge we cut out 3" letters to fit on the block.  We liked the way the blocks with the O's on them looked sideways but you could place them upright.   These sit on our fireplace mantles along with some wooden pumpkins and wooden candy corns for decoration.   Whats also cool about these is that you can reverse them for Christmas.
Back side of BOO
Same blocks .... different season!  Pretty cool huh?  My granddaughter loved making these and we just might make a few more for gifts.  I was thinking of using 4 blocks instead and have 1 side read FALL  and the other Noel.  
Well that's my little non card greeting.  Just wanted to share!

HAPPY CARDING!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Oh Christmas Tree!

Another day...another Christmas!  This stamp is certainly getting a work out!  Then again it could because I only brought 3 stamps with me to the cabin.  LOL  This one I really don't like much and I will be re-doing it in the future.  I tried to make a scallop on the side using a salt shaker for the template and a razor knife to cut it.  First it's way too large of a scallop and secondly cutting with a razor knife stinks!  Or maybe I just stink at using a razor knife which is definitely possible.  

  To hide all my bloops when I cut the scallops I added little dashes to them.  Not my best idea for sure and then I had made a slight score, in order to keep scallops even, that I thought I could press out but that failed too.   Now looking at it I guess I should have also dashed the banner so it stands out more but........

  This card is definitely a would of, should of, could of!  LOL.  I guess we can't get it right all of the time and I just thought I'd share my mistakes.  We all make them right?  
  
  I think I'm going to go through my granddaughters decorative scissors and grab a few for the cabin so I have a few more options.  She'll never miss them!

  Back to the drawing board........lets see what I want to do next.  Until then..........................





HAPPY CARDING!


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Simply Christmas update

Well I mentioned in my post "Simply Christmas" that I was going to try using that stamp on different color cardstock and with silver or gold ink.  So down to my craft room I went, dug out paper, ink and emboss powders.  I just so happened to have silver and gold powders and decided to put it over silver or gold ink.  First let me say that just using the silver or gold on the darker cardstock alone looked great.  I did the gold both on the black and the red cardstock and used elegant gold embossing powder and on the green paper I used the silver ink and embossing powder.




Ok this pic I used a flash













             And this one had no flash












What is with and taking pictures.  I swear I never get the result I want.  As usual these card fronts look waaayyyy better in real life.  Guess you'll just have to take my word for it.  Go ahead an give these a try with a similar stamp for a really elegant looking card.  I especially love the gold on the black.  can't wait to put these cards together.

  Well tanks for checking back.  I just wanted to show the results using different ink and colored paper.

HAPPY CARDING!!!!!!!! 

Simply Christmas

Ahhhhh.....I think I'm really getting into the Christmas season and Halloween isn't even here yet!  Plus I still need to make 3 more Halloween Cards!  I think I'll work on those this weekend.  But for now it's another Christmas card and this one is sooooo darn simple!
  I used a stamp by Our Daily Bread called Christmas Tree Collage.  It's a cling stamp so very easy to position.

The card base is a basic 4.25" x 11" white cardstock 110# Recollection brand, scored at 5.5".  I then matted with a piece of cherry red cardstock 4 1/8" x 5 3/8".  Next was white card measuring 4" x 5 1/4" .  Centering the stamp so that there is a white border I stamped using color box black ink and then covered it with clear embossing powder.  The ornaments are colored in with a glitter gel pen.  Organza ribbon with a clear rhinestone finishes it off.  This card seriously only took like 8 minutes to make.  Imagine how many of these you could whip up in an afternoon!  As usual my inside is not stamped since I tend to like to write something personal to each person receiving my cards.  Well I know if I need just a few extra cards I'll be making these.  Maybe change up the mat color to blue or green and color ornaments to match or maybe stamp the image in red or green or gold and leave the ornaments clear with glossy accents.   Ohhhhh....another idea would be to stamp silver or gold on Red, Green or Black cardstock.  I bet that would look pretty elegant.  Maybe I'll try that this afternoon.
Hope you have a wonderful day........................

HAPPY CARDING!









Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Cardinals in a Pine Tree

Good Morning!  Ready for another Christmas card?  This one was one I also had to try to be creative with since I made it at the cabin too.  I usually don't bring my big shot up with me and although I have a Texture Boutique that I don't use at home, I have not yet decided to take it to the cabin to keep there but it sure would come in hand when I want some texture to my cards.  This time I took a piece of Kraft card stock, wrinkled it up, and

then ironed it flat again.  I wasn't totally thrilled with the look so then I decided to rub a versa pad over the top and sprinkle clear embossing powder over it.
The left side had the powder all over it and the right was when I started to heat set it.  I pretty much liked that result.



Although the paper above looks all wavy, it's really pretty flat.  The camera doesn't do it any real justice because in real view it looks more leathery.   So now to design the card.  I used a Northwoods stamp of a pine tree with cardinals in it.  If you are familiar with Northwoods Stamps, alot of their winter stamps have cardinals in them and I really love how the red really pops!

Of course after all that work of embossing the kraft paper.....nearly none showed up in the card.  Guess I could have just inked the edges of the kraft paper.  I used old olive for a mat and found a piece of blue card stock ( not sure where I got it from) as the base of the card.  I had a small piece of green ribbon that just so happened to match the old olive paper.  The inside of the card is still blank.  There are little dots of Diamond Stickles around and on the tree.  I think in the future doing this wrinkle and emboss will only be used for tiny accents though.  Right now with the way I used it, this has turned out to be quite a heavy card.  I'm sure that if the kraft paper was just textured with an embossing folder the card would be much lighter.  I think the powder added too much weight.  But you make do with what you have.  Maybe this won't be a mailed card but a hand delivered one instead.  Well that's it for today.  Check back tomorrow for another super simple Christmas card!  Til then............................

HAPPY CARDING!































Monday, September 29, 2014

Have your "Elf" a Merry Christmas!

  I'm back!!  What a totally relaxing 10 days.  I can't wait until we go back in a few weeks.  We need to close of the cabin for the season so we will be going back  mid-October.  Did I ever mention where our cabin is?  Well it's right smack in the middle of Door County Wisc and we are right on the lake!  Beautiful sunrises and sunsets along with awesome breezes.  Though sometimes I swear they are hurricane speeds!  LOL!
I of course went to my favorite stamp store "Door County Rubber Stamp and Scrapbooking" (check out their Facebook page).  I picked up a few of the new Northwoods stamps and this cutie was one of my favorites.

















We have the Elf on the Shelf so when I saw the cloths line of elf cloths I just had to have it!  The "Welcome Winter" and "Christmas is on the way" are just misc. stamps I had laying around.  Not having all my tools readily available seems to keep giving me challenges to create cards with next to nothing.  Both cards have 1 layer and that's the sentiment.  I used Recollections 110 lb white card stock.  First I stamped the image, then using my scoreboard I scored a top and bottom border of 2 lines 1/8" apart and then went over those lines with a glitter gel pen in red.  The cloths were colored with the glitter gel pens as well for instant sparkle.  I then proceeded to score lines on both cards making each different by switching the direction.  Can the left have lines 1/2" apart while diagonal is 1/4" apart.  I thought they made really cute simple cards and I'm definitely going to bring these for our group to make.

Well I made a few more cards while I was up there and I'll be posting those later after they are unpacked and I get some pictures.  All were done with my limited supplies so as you can see you don't need alot to start card making but I guarantee once you start.......your supply stash WILL GROW!!!  I really need to work on a system of carting more tools up with me on my extended stays at the cabin.  Or..............maybe I just need more tools that I can leave up there????  Hmmmmmmm.....wonder what Hubby would think!  LOL
Until next time.......

HAPPY CARDING!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

BOO !!!!!

Busy weekend ahead!  It's my grandsons 3rd birthday party.  My daughter -in-law and son always have the birthday parties here since we have quite a bit of room so this weekend has been chosen.  But before I get too involved in the cleaning up for the guest I thought I'd slip in 1 more Halloween card.  This time a tri-shutter card.



The Bats were separated from the bat border punch from ek success.  The bats over the moon stamp was one of those in the dollar bins at Michael's.  Did you know the dollar bins are now $1.50?  Crazy!!!  Anyway it was stamped with black ink and clear embossed on white card stock.  It was then cut into a 2.5" circle with a circle cutter.  Moon was colored with a yellow glitter gel pen to add just a touch of sparkle.  Though you can't tell from photo but the bats are also glittered.  Papers were from a Halloween paper pack called Ghouls and Goodies by Doodlebug Designs.  They had some cute papers in there.   

Well I still have a couple of ideas up my sleeve for some more Halloween cards so stay tuned and I'll share a few more.  Until then.....................


HAPPY CARDING!













OMG.....Christmas in 100???

That's right everyone Christmas is only 100 days away!  Can you believe it?  We haven't even hit fall and Christmas is on everyones mind.  Is it on yours?  So I'm scrambling around trying to come up with a simple Christmas card just for today's celebration of the 100 day mark!  I am once again taking off for my summer place to enjoy the crisp fall air and relax my mind for a bit.  Wouldn't you know it I can't find a single thing and I haven't the time to make one.  Not even a simple one.. Sorry :( But I did want to wish everyone a Happy Happy 100 Days Away!  I promise in 12 days I should be able to come up with something.  So until then get your stuff together and Christmas stuff will be flowing soon!

HAPPY CARDING!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Paper Weights..Makes my head hurt!

65 pound.....................80 pound......................110 pound...................Walmart.......Stampin Up.....
Hobby Lobby.............Joann's.............Michael's................Gina K.............Owwwwww!!!!!

When it comes to paper I think we all get "HHEADACHES" and then when you realize that the poundage is not always the same its a whole nother ball game!  Here are some typical paper sources and their weights which we shall review One by One.


Georgia Pacific (Wal-mart) white is 110 lb.

Paper Studio (Hobby Lobby) is not listed

StampinUp is 80 lb.

Recollections (Michael's) is 65 lb. (50 sheet pack)
Recollections (Michael's)  is 110 lb.  (Large 100 sheet package for $12.99)

Joann's is 65 lb.

Gina K is 100lb


Ok.....lets start with  Georgia Pacific from Walmart.  While the price is a deal with 100 sheets for approx $6.99, the weight of this paper is deceiving.  The packaging states 110 lb weight but honestly is seems pretty flimsy to me.  I have only seen this paper in white and cream so you do have a limited range.  I'm sue this is just fine for die cuts but to hold up for a base of a card it acts more like its 65 lb competitors.  I have not tried coloring in a stamped image on this brand so I cannot remark on that but if you were only stamping a colored ink image with no detail coloring I'm sure it would be fine.  This is probably an ok paper for digital cards.  It can be run through the printer...printed out..fold..& send.

Paper Studios from Hobby Lobby...This paper doesn't actually state the weight on it's package so it's a guess.  Many people have  stated that it's 65 lb also.  But as you continue reading you'll find not all 65 lb paper feels the same, making it difficult to determine which brand is the "REAL TRUE BLUE" 65 lb paper!  That being said.....I have found that it does not feel quite as sturdy as the Michael's 65 lb paper but it is thicker than the Joannes Core-dination 65 lb paper.  This paper comes in limited solid color packs and only a few of the multi color packs.  Michael's has a bigger selection.  This paper is also available in limited 12 x 12 packs too.  The plus of having some 12 x 12's available does not outweigh the fact that the paper is still kind of flimsy.  I would use this in a pinch (Like if my local Michael's suddenly ran out of ALL their papers) but even then it would be for layering and not for a card base.


Stampin Up...........At 24 sheets for about $6.99 its by far not the most economical but the most versatile.  At 80 lbs it makes great bases and the plus is you don't have to stick to white or cream for your card bases.  You have an entire rainbow of colors to use.This paper can give you very clear crisp stamped images and holds up well to markers (Stampin Ups, Tombow, Tim Holtz) as well as Gel pen coloring and Copics.  If you watercolor you do need to be sure you don't over saturate the paper because it will start to pill. (For your information even certain watercolor papers will pill if totally soaked)  With all the colors this can be used for bases, mats, die cuts and punches.   Be aware though that some people (me included) have had some problems using the Martha Stewart punches with this paper.  Her punches prefer thinner card stock. 
This card stock is also available in 12 x 12 sheets. The 12x12 and the 8.5x11 paper packs can be bought in all the solid colors as well as assortment packs.  All papers need to be purchased through Stampin up.  It is not available in local craft stores.



Recollections from Michael's....First and foremost let it be known that Michael's carries 2 different Recollection lines.  The first being 65 lb paper packs with 50 sheets for $3.99.  These packs are all multi color packs.  There is a wide assortment in the colors but you cannot buy a pack of just lime green.  It would have to be a pack of assorted greens.  A bit of a pain if you needed 30 sheets of bright red and you have to buy 3 entire multi packs to get your 30 reds.  Solid packs are available in Black white and cream too.  This paper can be used for card bases but it is alittle flimsy, your cards will still look great but the feel just seems off.  Personally I use it any way for alot of my 3x3 cards or tags.  I have also used it and still occasionally do, for my card bases.  But truth be told I'm preferring Stampin Up for my bases.  Difficult to use with the electronic die cut machines since often the paper won't release from the sticky mat.  Michael's Recollection also has some printed card stock packs for the same price and they are also 65 lbs.  I will have to say that alot of times I love what I see and since the weight is fine for layering I buy these often.  Especially the seasonal ones!  Some of the Christmas packs are awesome!  These are single sided but for layering who cares!
The second Recollection line is their 110 lb 100 sheet paper packs.  These packs are $12.99 and until recently only came in white or cream.  It is now available in Black! YAY!  If I want a white , cream, or black I tend to use this card stock.  You really need some pressure when scoring.  Huge difference between the 110 Georgia Pacific and the 110 Recollections!  I am a huge fan of the Recollections 110 lb.  Wish it came in more colors.  This too has a real hard time though with Martha Stewart punches which saddens me because I love some of the border punches and had quite a few ideas for some card bases with borders.  Paper Studio punches from Hobby Lobby had a hard time too.  Some Ek success punches had to be used with 2 hands but when used with your Cricut, Brother scan & cut, Cameo, Slice or dies it worked just fine.
If you are a light handed marker user you can color on the 110 lb or use gel pens.  Excessive water can make it pill.  The 65lb paper does not color well with markers or watercoloring.  Paper seems to pill quickly. 


Core-dinations from Joann's....Though I was somewhat excited when I saw this paper I was quickly disappointed.  First of all the paper has that textured look to it like Bazzil but a must thinner quality.  Though it claims to be 65 lbs it is a much thinner feeling than the Michael's brand.  The packs are 40 sheets for $3.99 and mostly come in assorted color packs Like Michael's brand.  They do have some basic solids like cream,
black, white, and a few others but not many.  This paper makes terrible bases in my opinion.  For example a simple tent card will not stand up but rather fall flat.  It has no problem however with any punches that I have tried.  Do not use this paper on your sticky mats for any electronic cutters.  The paper sticks so tightly that you have to pry it all off resulting in terrible die cuts.   You cannot color on this paper.  Texture makes it awkward and if you did use markers or watercolor it would definately pill.
  

Gina K..............At 100 lbs this is a beautiful card stock pretty much like Stampin Up.  You get 25 sheets for $6.95 and can only be ordered on line.  This too comes in solid paper packs in an entire rainbow of colors.  It hold up really well for card bases and gives you quality card results just like Stampin up.  This paper seems to do well coloring with most mediums.  This card stock is not available in 12 x 12 sheets.

So what do I like?  If I want black, white or cream base cards I'll go for the Michael's Recollections 110 lb.  Mainly because its the best bang for your buck.  The heaviest, sturdiest and economical.   Michael's Recollections 65 lb Printed card stock packs gets my vote for really nice seasonal pattern packs as well as some of the everyday pattern packs.   For other color bases and mats I'm definitely leaning more and more to Stampin Ups.  I love that you can get an entire pack of a solid color and I like that I can get 12 x 12 sheets to use in my Cricut and Brother Cut & Scan.    
I probably would never bother using the Georgia Pacific because it does not meet all my needs.  As for the 65 lb Recollections and Joann's brand......I do keep those on hand mainly for my granddaughter to use in her crafting and if by chance I need just a small mat of a certain color I will definitely use it as a layer or for punching with a Martha Stewart Punch.  The Hobby Lobby Paper Studio is also a no.  Though I do have some on hand for my granddaughter, it's limited color packs make it not worth my while.

Well there you have it!  My opinion.  Understand we all have different quality expectations.  Mine happen to be pretty high for the most part.  I do sway every now and then if a certain pack catches my eye.  I wish you all luck in trying to find what works best for you.  I hope my reviews can help you in your decision making.  Many of us prefer going to the stores instead of online or through Demonstrators.  I was exactly the same way and ALWAYS bought my papers at Archivers until they had the nerve to close ALL retail stores!  The nerve of them!  LOL  SO my recommendation if you want to store shop ................ MICHAEL'S for the RECOLLECTION line.

I'm getting WORDY!  So.................Later and......................

HAPPY CARDING!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

SIMPLY HALLOWEEN

Hi everyone!  Things have settled down here a bit so it's time for another 2 Halloween cards!  This time we are talking simple, simple, simple!  Sometimes there is a need to whip something up with very limited supplies.  Not all of us have alot at our disposal (I'm a hoarder! LOL).  So I was thinking simple but "cute".



So the first one is pretty easy and if you don't have a hexagon punch you could use circles or squares.  I used the hexagons mainly because I got this new embossing folder and want to see how may different cards I can use this design with.
I used the chicken wire embossing folder on the purple matt and then put a little Halloween ribbon about 1/3 of the way down.  Then evenly spaced 3 hexagons over the ribbon and pop dotted another smaller hexagon over those.  I just used Halloween stickers in the center of each hexagon.  Happy Halloween is an Ink-adink-ado stamp.

The second one is just as easy.  And no punches needed!!!  The 3 black ghosts were made by using a scallop corner rounder on a strip of 3/4 x 2 3/4 inch strip of black card stock.  

This can also be done with just a corner rounder too with just having round edges instead of scalloped.  Eyebrows were drawn on with silver gel pen and pearls were used for the eyes.  I stamped Boo and then stamped Spooky twice.  Any Halloween word stamps can be used these just happen to be what I have.  Glued down some ribbon and tied a bow!  This might look cute with googly eyes too!  Orrrrr....maybe googly eyes in the O's of spooky!  Hmmmmmm....Maybe I need to make another!
Hope you enjoyed the Simple Simple but Cute cards!

HAPPY CARDING!!






  

Monday, September 8, 2014

HALLOWEEN FLIP!!!

So as promised I have 2 more Halloween cards for you.  I wanted to get this done early because I have an extremely busy week this week.  Lucky for me one of the ladies of our stamp group also brought in a Halloween card for us to make so all I really needed to do was get one more done over the weekend!  I know I'm cheating!  LOL
  So decided this week there would be Two Flip it cards.  The one from our group on Friday was a flip it card and so I decided to give a different die a try over the weekend that was also a Flip it but also 3-D..
Here's the first one from Friday night.  I believe it was cut from a Sizzix flip it bigz die. 


























The original one was stamped with a border stamp of pumpkins but with 4 of us trying to stamp our backgrounds, I sort of went off on my own and used a ghost stamp I had just bought the week before by Northwoods.  I also made a booboo on the flip part with a stamp so I had to create the little black border by just using the side of my marker to hide the mistake.   June had all the other pieces cut out like the circles, owl pieces and hat.  I liked the idea of googly eyes instead of the punched eyes and it just happened that I had these really cool ones with green backgrounds.  With everything else being just orange and black, that green really "POP'S"!

Next is also a Sizzix die called Flip 3-D accordion card.  Unaware of how these work I did not have the companion die for the label and frame.  So...............I cut the card out 4 times (to make a card you need 2)  2 were cut out of black card stock and 2 out of patterned paper.  With the pattern paper ones I cut off the tabs and cut out the center labels.  I connected the 2 black ones and adhered the pattern paper on top.  Continued decoration with some Punch's, stamped a bit and TA DA!




















Not too shabby!  I know a little 5 year old that's going to love it!
Well the wheels are turning....I have a few ideas for my next post but your going to have to wait till next week I think.  Unless I have a slow period I doubt that I'll be on my blog.  So until then..........................................

HAPPY CARDING!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

HALLOWEEN?????

September!!!  OMG!!  I don't think we really had a summer.  Cooler temps and alot of rain and all of a sudden it's September and Halloween is right around the corner.  Are you getting ready?  I'm trying!  Since I'm in need of at least 8 Halloween cards I decided to start now.  If I do 2 cards a week I'll be finished way before Halloween!  Ok well maybe at least 2 weeks before Halloween.
While up at my cabin over labor day weekend I stopped at my local stamp store and picked up 2 of the new 2014 Northwoods Halloween stamps.  1 being a spider web and 1 just a little wee ghost.  I C.A.S.E.D the card fronts from the display board changing them just a little bit.

little ghost stamped a few times















On the ghost card I cut a 4x4 piece of whisper white card stock and drew a 1/8" border.  I then stamped the ghost randomly and colored 3 of them with glitter gel pens.  The green border was done with a Tombow marker.  Spooky stamp was an old unmarked stamp I had in my stash.  The card base was a typical 4.25 x 11 scored at 5.5 with a layer of 4  1/8  x  5 3/8 of orange cardstock.  Bats are from an EK border punch.

On the spider web card I colored the web with glitter gel pens (love this!!! Tried tombow markers but preferred the look of the gel pens) It was stamped on a 3  7/8 x 4 whisper white card stock and matted onto a 4 x 4 1/8 piece of black glitter stock.  This was then layered onto a 4 1/8 x 5 3/8 piece of purple card stock.  A separate ghost was cut out and dimensionaled as well as a bat from the border punch.  A small spider web was punched from another EK punch.  Both the bat and small web were embossed with clear emboss powder to give them shine.  The Boo stamp was also and old unmarked stamp in my stash.

I think both of them turned out adorable and I'm making the kits for our stamping gathering tomorrow.  I think the ladies are going to like these but probably not as much as the little 2 year olds I'll be giving them to!  

Time to get the wheels turning....next week is coming and I want to bring you 2 more Halloween ideas!!


HAPPY CARDING!