Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Melting pony beads...

I decided to try melting some pony beads after seeing several posts by people who had tried it.
These are the larger size (9 mm) beads on the parchment paper before I put them in the oven. I tried melting them at 350°, but found that it worked better at 400°. I honestly don't know how long I baked them - I just kept checking until they looked right.

Here's what resulted after a short while (15-20 minutes, maybe). After they cool, they easily lift right off the parchment paper.

So what did I do with these?  Here's an example using them as a flower center:
You can see that these make a fairly large embellishment. The beads do come in smaller sizes (5 mm and 7 mm), and my sister purchased some of the smaller ones. Since they come in bags of hundreds--sometimes thousands--of beads, we're going to share so that we each have some of the different sizes to melt and use.

In this photo you can see the dimension they add to a card.  I adhered them with an adhesive called "Gem-Tac" which worked well and held them securely. They really do look like the enamel dots that are so popular right now.

Be aware that baking these beads does elicit some unpleasant fumes--not a lot, but some. You'll want to have your windows open and kitchen fan on when starting this process. If you have a portable toaster oven, you might want to use it to do this outside.

Thanks so much for stopping by, and remember to laugh--a little or a lot--every day.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Washi tape banner...

Here's an idea for you when you need a quick thank you card that looks like a lot more work than it really is.

I tied a couple of bows in a length of baker's twine so that they could be placed at either side of a mat with a little bit of a downswing toward the center. This took a little bit of trial and error.  Once I had the placement of the bows figured out, I then began to take 4-inch (or so) lengths of 5/8" Washi tape and, centering them on the twine, folded them over so that the sticky sides met. This left me with about 2-inch "flags" across my twine.

To keep the flags evenly spaced, I first applied the two end ones, then the center one and finally the last two. I notched the end of each flag and adhered it to my mat with some clear foam tape. I then took the tail ends of my twine and tucked them behind the mat on either side,securing them with a little double-sided tape. Once that was done, all I had to do was adhere the mat to the card base, apply the letter stickers (they're actually a glittery black) and I was done! Easy peasy.

I love the ease of working with Washi tape. My daughter gave me a dispenser filled with the stuff last Christmas, and I love it! You can see my post about it here.

That's it for me today. Hope you have a marvelous week! Just remember to laugh--a little or a lot--every day.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

It's a "Blue Christmas" in July...

I managed to make seven Christmas cards this month with the help of my sister. She sent me seven ice skate die-cuts made from white card stock. She also sent me a cute Darice embossing folder. Thank You, Michelle!!!  I decided to glitter up the ice skates and use them, along with the embossing folder, right away.

I selected three different shades of blue for my background mats, which I embossed. To apply glitter to the skates, I first sprayed them with an adhesive and then added the glitter, making sure to burnish it into the adhesive. The skates are popped up on foam tape, but the bow has been glued directly to the mat, and has a tiny, clear, flat-backed gem added to its center.

Here's the deep teal blue mat, and I think you can just see that I have added a bit of sparkle to the embossed images with a glitter pen.

I used some Core'dinations card stock for the navy blue mat, which I embossed and sanded first before adding some glitter highlights.

For the paler blue mat, I embossed and then lightly inked the embossed design with a white ink pad. I used the direct method of gently swiping the ink pad over the raised design. I also added a tiny bit of sparkle with my glitter pen.

The inside sentiment was heat-embossed, using Versamark ink and some sparkly silver embossing powder. I've tried to take an angled photo to show you some of that sparkle (I have the WORST photography skills - no aptitude at all!)

I am entering these cards into the Winter Wonderland Challenge Blog's "Blue Christmas" challenge.

Thanks so much for stopping by, and remember to laugh--a little or a lot--every day.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Ooh, la la...

This spring, my 11-year-old granddaughter spent 10 days in France seeing a number of sites in Paris and also spending a few days in the home of a French family in Normandy. She even attended a school there with one of her host family's children.

Since Kindergarten, she has attended a French Immersion School here in the Minneapolis area, and this trip was the culmination of that part of her elementary education. Next fall she moves on to Middle School (6th grade) where she will still take French courses, but her days will not be "immersed" in the language.

When she returned home from her trip to France, I knew she would  have a few thank you notes to write, so I decided to make some for her. I happened to find some Eiffel Towers made out of flat-backed gems, and thought they'd be just the right embellishment. I also found some black and white pre-made card blanks that would work well and save me lots of time.

I used a label die to frame the Eiffel Tower and added a tiny frame for a splash of color on each card. I think the gold frame was my favorite.

These notecards came together in just minutes. I thought they were so cute, that I went back to Michael's to see if I could find some more of the Eiffel Towers (they had been in one of the $1.50 bins), but they were gone!

Isn't that how it always is? You find a bargain that works well, but when you go back to get more, they're gone!

Here's a photo of all four cards. If ever I find some more fun bling in a bargain basket, I'm not going to be shy about buying several packs!!

Thanks so much for stopping by, and remember to laugh--a little or a lot--every day.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Art Impressions "Big Birthday" challenge...

My husband just celebrated another birthday, and I decided to make him a birthday card with an Art Impressions image and enter it into one of their challenges.

I used my "Norm" stamp from Ai, but I just had to dress him up a bit:
See that balloon on a string tied to his finger? Yup. I added that. I also added the birthday hat. You can't really see it in the photo, but the tassels at the top of the hat are even glittery. I couldn't help myself, I had to add a touch of glitter even if it is a masculine card!

I colored Norm with my ProMarkers and free-handed some ground for him to sit on and some sprigs of grass around his chair.

He has a bit of a pout going on, but I think he's just putting on a show. He really is a lovable guy who doesn't mind some special attention on his birthday. He just doesn't want you to know that he's actually enjoying himself!

You can tell he's fun-loving by the clothes he chose to wear on his birthday. He picked out his wildest shirt and his brightest shorts. He would have worn purple socks, too, if only he had some. Maybe someone will give him a pair as a birthday gift.

My DH really is young at heart, but he has the usual aches and pains for someone who just turned 73. That doesn't keep him from riding his bike 12 miles to work and playing outside with the grandkids. He's a wonderful life partner, and I'm a lucky woman to have him in my life!

I like to tease my DH about being older than me and "robbing the cradle" when we married. ha ha

I am entering this card into the Art Impressions Challenge #140 "Big Birthdays" All Birthday Cards. I hope they enjoy seeing my card as much as I enjoyed making it.

Thanks so much for stopping by, and remember to laugh--a little or a lot--every day (even if it's at your DH!).

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Fluttering by to say thank you...

I really love this Marianne Creatables butterfly die. It makes a great focal point! This card was made for another co-worker to let her know how much I had appreciated working with her.

The turquoise edge down each side is actually Washi tape. When you're looking for a matching mat color, be sure to check out your Washi tape. It's such a quick and easy addition to a card. The "Thank You" was cut out with an Elizabeth Craft die and adhered to the CS.

The fancy square behind the butterfly was cut with a Spellbinders die (Marvelous Squares). I inked it a little around the edges to soften the transition from DSP to white CS and to better focus the attention on the butterfly.

This card was actually much prettier IRL than it is in the photos. Even my husband was impressed with it. It was fun to make and I plan on using this layout more often - especially when I can use my Washi tape!

Thanks so much for stopping by, and remember to laugh--a little or a lot--every day.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Life is sweet...

Cherries are one of my very favorite fruits. You just can't beat a sweet, juicy, dark red cherry! So when I think of the "sweet life," cherries naturally come to mind.

When I retired, I made this card for a former co-worker who had helped make my working life "sweet." I wanted to let her know how much I had loved working with her.

The cherries were cut from the Preserves cartridge. The pretty doily behind them was cut with the Prima Doily Die #1.

I backed only the center part of the doily to give the cherries a little simpler background. This plain aqua paper is actually the back side of the cherry-patterned paper, so it matches perfectly, even though it doesn't appear to in the photo.

The sentiment was heat embossed onto the banner, and the button is one that I had made using one of my favorite button dies. I like to cut out several layers and then glue them together for extra dimension and stability.

I really like how this card turned out. I am so glad I have an extra sheet of the cherry-patterned DSP, so I can make another card similar to this one.

That's it for me today. Thanks so much for stopping by, and remember to laugh--a little or a lot--every day.