TIPS AND TECHNIQUES

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Envelope Pocket Happy Mail

 I LOVE HAPPY MAIL!  Shhhhh.....don't tell anyone, not that I'm begging but I wish I got more!  LOL  I love going out to the mail box and finding a mystery envelope from someone unexpected.  Sometimes it's a pretty card and boy there are talented people out there and sometimes I feel undeserving of someone's kindness but it's always fun!  So it is not surprising that I am always looking for cute little ways to make my Happy mail a little bit unique.  Since I love fancy folds my fall back is usually a fancy fold card and then all the makings and instructions for the receiver to make one themselves.  

I came across this video on YouTube for pocket tags using envelopes.  She filled the pockets with scraps of book pages just torn and folded in half.  I think it was just an embellishment to look at not something functional or useable.  I decided to make mine a useable/useful, pocket/ephemera, happy mail/embellie.  They are fun, can be mass produced and are relatively flat for mailing.  That is if you don't go crazy lol.  I do have that "Crazy" trait.

So what do you need?  Oh???  You want to see what I'm talking about?  Geeze, I thought we'd just skip the formalities! hahaha.  Ok here you go.  This is what we are going for.  This is the sneak peak.



This little beauty measures about  3  1/4" x  3  5/8" without the tag part sticking up.  It all depends on how you tear and how much of an edge you have exposed on the side and how much sticks out of the pocket.  You'll want to remember that it cannot be bigger than the size of the envelope you are going to slide it into to mail.  So take that into account when making these.  The main Envelope will have 2 pockets.  1 pocket will have another envelope in it.  Remember those Teabag envelopes I made in my post Ephemera Embellishment Fun?  Well those are what I used in the first pocket and in the second pocket I made vellum sleeves.  So now for supplies:

1   sealed standard white envelope 6  5/8" x 3  5/8" I used Dollar Tree envelopes. 

Scrap DSP

Rose Printable Journal card (I used a freebie from internet)

Distress ink in brown/grey/blue or rose for distressing envelope (your choice)

Misc die cuts etc (for putting into pockets)

sequins, glitter etc to pretty up your pocket fronts if you want.


 First seal top of envelope. After sealing it closed hand rip each end to make jagged edges and then fold in half to allow both jagged edges to show.  With Distress ink of choice, ink all the edges of both sides of the envelope.  Making sure you get those jagged edges real good.



I then took a printable Rose journal card that I printed onto lightweight printer paper. I tore the edges so that the piece would fit on to the front portion of my pocket piece and then inked the edges and glued it to the front.  Before gluing the first pocket flap down I cut a piece of scrap DSP into a tag top shape, inked it and glued it in place and then glued the front pocket flap to the back flap.  Added a homemade grommet to the tag part and basically your envelope pockets are done except for any embellishments you would like to add to the front.

Next I just grabbed one of my little teabag envelopes I made previously and put 2 work die cut out and some tiny words in there and then slipped it in the first pocket.  My next pocket (and this you will need to measure because each one may be different) I needed a strip of 3.5 x 7" piece of vellum scored in 1/2.  I used washi tape on each end to seal 2 of the ends leaving 1 end opened for filling and I used a 5/8" hole punch to put a notch at the open end.  I filled that pouch with 2 small tags,  2 matching tickets, and a small journal card.  I tried to keep everything pretty flat.  Also since I used a printable from the internet, the page I chose had a couple different journal cards on the sheet and different sizes so I printed 2 sheets and used all the extras for making my embellishments.  That way all 4 of mine were tied in together by the color and pattern.  Obviously if you are only going to make one, by all means use scraps if you have them but if you are going to make multiples or gift some it is always nice to have things blend.  My only difference is in the teabag envelopes since these were made at a different time.  They seem to work though.



I see me making alot more of these.

Til next time.......................................................



Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Ephemera Embellishment Fun

 Hello!  I think Spring is finally here.  Well maybe lol.  Anyway a friend of mine shared a video of recycled teabag envelopes.  Those little envelopes the tea bags come in when you buys a box of tea.  So often we just throw those out.  There have been many people on the internet that have done tea bag art where they discard the tea leaves and use the little thin sashes to make an embellishment for a junk journal of scrapbook but usually people just threw out the little envelopes that those tea bags came in.  Well my friend found this cute idea and knew it was right up my alley.  Boy I came home and wanted to gathered all I could find and get to work.  Not knowing what I was going to do with them at the time just that I had to make them.  Well Guess what?  There was not ONE SINGLE tea bag in an envelope in my entire house!  I have tons of different brands of teas as I love tea.  I won't go into all the different brands but everyone one knows the main one that has been around forever.  The one in the big yellow box.  Dare I say the name?  I mean I don't want to "Diss" them because they no longer put their tea bags in individual envelopes.  I mean everyone is making changes to their product packaging.  But geeze just when I counted on my box I opened it to find they are now in 4 separate trays of 25 bags wrapped in gold cello type paper.  UGHHHHH.  Yes Lipton I see your point but.  Then I ripped through my other herbal teas and they were all individual pouches but the type you had to rip open not an envelope.  I may have to reach out to friends to check their cupboards.

Time to pivot.  So with nothing to go by I decided that a normal teabag envelope is 2.5" x 2.5   A friend of mine one time gave me a box of linen paper from her office when the office was moving to a different building and all paper products with logos had to be discarded.  Although it was super thin paper (thinner than normal printer paper) she figured it could be used as an insert sheet for sentiments inside of cards so instead of trashing it she brought some home.  I was lucky to get some and decided this was the perfect weight for the teabag envelopes.  I cut a bunch of strips 2.5" by 6" and scored at 2.5" and at 5" .   Since these were already white I didn't need to Gesso so I went right into watercoloring each piece just to give color.  I used a Pearl pan watercolor set.  My first attempt I was way too heavy on the color and I chose too dark of colors for Shabby Chic.  My later ones are much softer in back ground color.  But it's fun just to play and get messy.  I splattered after the paints were dried too.  

Next was to make them look like teabag envelopes.  If you remember those envelopes had little ridges along the sides.  Hmmmm, how to do that only on the sides.  Using the scoreboard did not give me what I wanted but I had a pastry roller in the kitchen and when placed on the edge of my envelope as it sat on the edge of my Cuttlebug platform right after I applied wet glue it seemed to give me what I wanted.  Perfect?  No, but it'll do.



Now to embellish.  You can use whatever you'd like.  Left over stickers.  Some of those Tim Holtz ephemera 's.  Scrap lace. Buttons or bows.  Charms or even pop can tabs.  What ever you have laying around.

Now how to use these.  First the could have a paper clip added to the back and be used as a paperclip inside your journals or books.  Add to the front of a tag making the open side the front and gluing the one side to the tag, you can then insert another smaller tag into it or maybe folded cash. Add inside pockets of mini albums to hold little tag messages or cropped photos.  Fill with little extra sequins, tiny tags, punch outs, or how about mini envelopes in the envelope lol then seal flap and punch a hole in the corner tie a ribbon and add to a package or tag as an extra gift to a crafty friend.  I just add a ticket and thread to the front of mine and inside I slipped in a few extra tiny word die cuts.  Maybe a few grommets will be added later too.



Careful....these are so addicting to make.  I could go on and on and on and on.  I really wish they were the real deal.  Re-cycled teabag envelopes.  They might have turned out to be a bit of a more perfect envelope but I'm happy with these


Til next time........................................................................................

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Puzzle Card

 Well Hello there!  Is Spring coming yet?  I think the groundhog lied.   Both the famous Punxsutawney Phil and our Local Woodstock Willie predicted an early Spring.  Well we had some beautiful days and then BAM we got back into the 40's again and yesterday it was into the 80's but today it will be in the 50's then this weekend 1 day in the 80's the next in the 60's.  Good Gravy!  Let's get with the program guys!!!!  The only thing good about the weather is the time I get to spend watching Susan Campfields videos and she has not failed me again.  If you remember last time she brought me the lovely Double Stack Display Card that I turned into a Sympathy card.  Susan has all her PDF's for her fancy folds available on her site at a reasonable price.  You can head over there for all the measurements.  

Today I'd like to share with you the Puzzle card.  This one is a "Let the Paper be the Focus" for the front of the card.  You really don't need to put a sentiment on the front if you don't want to.  What a great card.  So quick to put together and I bet it would be a great card for beginners too.  Although I wanted to add to my Birthday collection I also wanted to add a quick card into the Christmas pile too and this one is going to be a favorite.  This is one that will be great for scraps too and you know I'm all about scraps.  All together you would only need 1 piece of 3.75" x 5" DSP for this card all the rest would be solid cardstock.  So can you imagine how many cards you could get out of a pad of paper or better yet out of mix and match scraps?  Take a look at these beauties!  Now the first 2 had actual patterns/scenes.  One is from Heartfelt Creations and the Other is G45 Let's Get Cozy Collection (this is going to be a great Christmas card).  These 2 you have to be quite careful to make sure you are gluing in the correct order.

The next one was a sheet of Charcoal & blush floral border 12 x 12 DSP in a    pad.  When this piece was cut and glued together it would be wise to note the order but you might be the only one to really notice if it is out of order.



This one was done with an "All Over" pattern.  It would not matter which direction the placement of the puzzle goes since every piece looks the same.  I feel as those with this one though it would benefit from a sentiment on the front of the card.  To me it looks a bit naked with out.  



But as you can see the Puzzle idea can work on this type of pattern too.  Don't you just love this G45 print?  I swear I have been hording this one sheet forever.  LOL This type of print doesn't have to line up like a puzzle so it gives you an idea where you can use any scraps you have laying around for this type of card.   I think they are all very adorable cards that are pretty easy to whip together.  Vamp them up a bit with a little bling.  I think I will with some extra small flowers and they are then super duper cute.  As I said before these when folded are 4.25 x 5.5.

Head on over to Sue's blog to purchase her PDF.  I do not benefit at all promoting her blog.

Til next time................................................................... 

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

It's for the BIRDS

Birds of a feather want to stay out of the weather and what better way to do it than with the beautiful cedar houses my husband made for me and my lady friends to decorate at my ladies weekend of crafting this past weekend.  We are just a small group of 4 who get together for the weekend and socialize and craft and this time I brought birdhouse for use to put in our yards.  I posted the before houses in my last post and could not wait to get at the paint.  

I will admit when I mentioned that I thought it would be cool to make whimsical houses all 3 of them sighed unenthused.  I really had to rev them up and I was failing.  I swear it felt like there were 3 toddlers in the room throwing mini tantrums because the mommy wanted them to take a nap.  LOL  Most of the complaint was the fact that nobody thought they could paint whimsically.  Then there was disappointment that I did not bring stencils to make it easier (duh...then it's not whimsical  right?).  So after some prodding I finally got them up and at 'em and got them started.  Guess what?  Once they saw I brought a couple embellies they got a little more excited.  Next thing you know they were off and running.   

Now for the reveal.   


I think they turned out great!  I wasn't quite done with mine because I always seem to keep on adding details as time goes by.  I swear if my husband doesn't hang it soon I'll just keep on adding to it.  Maybe I should start another house.  Heeheehee.


The ladies enjoyed this craft so much they asked for my husband to make more in different styles so we can do it again.  Guess we will all have new Gated "Bird Communities" coming to our yards soon.


Til next time..........................................................

Thursday, May 2, 2024

A No Card Day

Hello friends!  I have a spring in my step and the birds have "Spring" on their mind.  They are "Twitterpated" all over my back yard.  What is Twitterpated you say?  Have you not seen Bambi?  I believe a conversation between Thumper and the Wise Old Owl discuss the birds being Twitterpated.  I'll just leave it to your imagination. Or you can google ...Bambi movie twitterpated...and a short YouTube video with that scene pops up.  Cute as can be.   Lets just say I think all that Twitterpating should be done in nice whimsical birdhouses.  So this weekend my lady friends and I are gathering for our annual "Girls Weekend"  We craft, we eat, we eat, we, gab, we eat, we craft, we eat, we gab, we eat, we snack, we craft......lol get my drift?  We eat alot!  But we do craft a bit and this year I thought it would be fun to decorate birdhouses for our yards.  Make them Whimsical. I got my hubby to make them for me though he made 5 and I only needed 4 but that's ok as I'm sure at a later date my granddaughter would love to decorate one. 

I thought I'd share a quick post with the starter houses.  Truth be told I nearly forgot to take a picture before I packed them up and as soon as I get to my friends house it will be too late because my mind will be else where like eating.  Hahahaha.  So for now here's the before.  Stay tune for the after's.  I bet they will be amazing.


Til next time.................................................................................

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

With Sympathy

Hello.  Well not my favorite card to do but sometimes they have to be done.  I know I  am never in the mood to make a sympathy card when I need one so now is probably a good time to make some.  When they are not needed so they can be put into a folder safely tucked away until needed.

Today I have 2 of them.  One a 5 x 7 and the other a fancy fold but when folded it fits into a regular 4 .25 x 5.50 envelope.  

First up the 5 x 7.  Its a trellis looking front very similar to what I did back in April.  You can see that one  HERE .  The Sunflower I have dimensionaled with 3 layers.  The stamp and die set is from Temu so it is unbranded.  The tear drops are the punch outs from the with sympathy die.  I just saved the tiny pieces and they looked like tear drops so I used them.   In my original post I stated that I followed a Jennifer Mcguire video to make the card   WATCH   The solution to the writing on the inside that I had with my original cards I fixed this time by making the trellis on a 4.75 x 6.75 piece of card stock the same color as the base of the card and then adhering it to the front with foam to the 5 x 7 base.  I think it turned out awesome.


My second card is a fancy fold that I learned from Susan Campfield.  Its called the Double Stack Display Card.  Super super cute.  I am going to make alot of these types of cards.  These are adorable.   Sue has her PDF's for sale at a reasonable price so you can head on over there for directions for this card.  The papers I used were from an old 12 x 12 pad of DCWV I had in my stash.  I love the colors. 




Well I hope you like these.  I will be working on a few more to build up a small collection so I'll be ready if needed.

Til next time......................................

Friday, April 19, 2024

FANCY FOLD RE_VISITED

 So the other day I was searching the craft room for a music note punch that I knew I had but for the life of me couldn't find.  My DIL wanted to borrow it for a project so I was on a mission.  While on my search I came across a card I had made a Million years ago.  Ok maybe not a Million but sure looked like a Million LOL.  It was probably one of the first fancy folds I had done (and not very attractive) .  Boy I've come a LONG way BABY hahahaha.  I definitely had a good laugh.  First, I had no idea what the fold was called. Second, I was not very creative.  I mean where are the layers?  Or shall I say why is the base DSP?  Third, what the heck size card is that?  I must have just "Willy Nilly" said "Yep! this can be a card size!"  Probably never sent it to anyone because I could never find an envelope.


So I decide to go to my favorite browse area (Pinterest) and see what I find.  To see if this card really does exists.  Guess what it does.  Strangely though I do not find it as far back as I am sure this card was made.  Mine is definitely made back in maybe 1998 and the only ones I am finding on Pinterest are on blogs dated only as far back as 2019.  So I'm thinking this card that I had originally made is from one of those card making books that were so popular back in the 90's when we didn't really have the internet to cruise through.

Right now this card is called a Mini Miura or a Tri-fold Miura Ori card.  It is a form of origami.  Not difficult to make.  In fact the base is rather easy.  The layers take some time and it would be helpful if you make templates if you are going to make multiples of this card or want to make more in the future or want to teach it to a class because those will be the most time consuming.  I will share a picture of those measurements at the end of the post.  For my sample though I just grabbed some of the papers I have that I let my granddaughter play around with.  Since I wasn't sure how the card would turn out I didn't want to waste precious papers.  Well ends up I love how it turned out.  This one would make a great kids card. There's an extra piece put on the back so it can stand.  My original one does not stand at all which is a problem for me.  The extra piece on the back can be done a couple different ways.  I chose to angle cut mine but it could be left straight.


Its kind of hard to see the bottom right but if you look at the shadow on the table you can see how there are 2 little points.  The one on the left is from the back piece I attached to the right side of the card allowing it to stand when opened.  If you don't angle cut that piece it will still stand but instead give a straight across look.  I used 65# cardstock for this card and it does seem sturdy enough to stand but if I am to make one with my usual papers I would definitely put more thinking into my papers.  For example if I am only going to use 1 layer (like above) of DSP I would make sure that my base cardstock is at least 80# so that I am sure it will with stand multiple openings and closings.  But if I am going to put a layer on the base and then DSP I may just use 65# for the base.  Otherwise the card may end up rather thick for mailing.  

To write out the directions will make this sound way too complicated.  Trust me.  I tried writing it out in this post and ended up deleting the whole thing.  I was confused just reading it.  So instead here's pictures.  Just zoom up.




Way easier.  The Yellow is your base.  The orange are the solid layer and if you want a DSP on top of that cut a second set 1/8" smaller of each piece out of DSP.  If you are omitting a solid layer then the orange measurements are to be used for your DSP as I did for my card.

A piece I forgot to photograph was the piece for the back to make it stand.  All I used was the templet (Orange piece size) of the right back piece flipped so point is on left corner.  Or do not cut a point at all just glue this piece to the back and it will support the card for standing.

I hope you give this a try.  I'm going to make a few to have on hand.  They're quick and cute for little ones.


Til next time..............................................................