Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Artist Trading Blocks

Artist Trading Blocks are all the rage these days. If you have not heard of this art form, here is a Pinterest Link to get you started! Some of the blocks are made of wood, but many are made from cardstock using some sort of template. I created my "block" using WorldWin Cardstock and the We R Memory Keepers Gift Box Punch Board! {'cause that's how I roll}


I selected the WorldWin Papers Elan Metallics Candied Violet cardstock for the lovely color, but more importantly, for the heavy weight of the cardstock. I needed something that would be easy to work with, but that would also be very sturdy. The cardstock is 111 pound cover and worked perfectly for the project. Plus, the paper is all shimmery and puuurrrty!


The finished box is 4 x 4 x 4 inches, which means you need one 12 x 12-inch sheet of cardstock to create the box. Follow the directions on the punch board to score and fold the box. Use a strong adhesive to assemble the box. Since my box is for display only, I glued the top flap closed. 

With this board, you can make boxes in sizes from 1 3/4 x 1 3/4 x 1 3/4 inches to 4 x 4 x 4 inches. If you have access to paper larger than 12 x 12-inches, I am sure you can figure out how to make larger boxes! (And please forgive my very messy desk mat! It is well loved and well used!)


Trim 6 pieces of printed paper to 3 3/4 x 3 3/4-inches and attach to the sides, bottom, and the top of the box. I am using Graphic 45 Secret Garden, because I love the luscious purple! Remember, if you want to use the box as a gift box, you will NOT cover the top and you need to be aware of how the closure works before gluing any decor to the top of the box.


To create the flowers, I cut various flower shapes from Elan Metallics Candied Violet and Petallics Ice cardstock. I also cut leaves from Elan Metallics Moss cardstock. I used a variety of die cut templates to cut the flowers (see the supply list below).

Lightly spray all the flower and leaf die cut shapes with water. Crumple the flowers and leaves and allow to air dry. Since I am using such heavy weight cardstock, I needed the moisture to break down the fibers of the paper, allowing me to work with it easier. (You could also spray the flowers with a colored mist, rather than plain water.)


Trim out two doily shapes from the Candied Violet and Ice cardstock and ink with distress inks. (If you do not have access to a doily-shaped die cut template, you could use paper doilies, purchased from a craft store.) Using foam tape, attach the doilies to the top of the box as shown.

After the paper flowers and leaves are dry, gently unfold each item. Ink the flowers and leaves with distress ink as desired, and then shape them with a stylus and a foam mat or with your fingers.


Glue each layer together to form flowers. My flowers resemble carnations or dahlias. Arrange the flowers and leaves onto the top of the box and glue in place. You may choose to add a chipboard tag or other element to the box, as desired.


Cut several 1 1/2-inch wide strips of Petallics Ice cardstock and wrap them around the box to form a "belly band." Trim excess cardstock and glue the seams securely. Cut several 3/4-inch wide strips of printed paper and wrap them around the cardstock band as shown.


Add more flowers and leaves to the front and sides of the box, as desired. (I used flowers to hide the seam on the side of the box.) IT is hard to see in the photos, but the Elan Metallics and Petallics cardstock is very shimmery, adding an elegant touch to the project.


Place your box on your desk or table and enjoy! Thanks for looking! I sure had fun creating my first ever artist trading block. {Please, do NOT ask me why they are called that!}


WorldWin Papers:
Elan Metallics Candied Violet, Moss
Petallics Ice

Designer Paper: Graphic 45 Secret Garden Sun Kissed
Chipboard tag: Graphic 45 Secret Garden
Ink: Ranger Distress Dusty Concord, Shaded Lilac
Die cut templates: Spellbinders Jewel Flowers and Flourishes, Carnation Creations, Foliage, Lotus Pendant
Tools: We R Memory Keepers Gift Box Punch Board
Adhesive: Scotch 3M ATG tape; Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L 3D Foam Squares; Aleene's Tacky Glue; Scor-tape

Monday, April 21, 2014

Craft Hoarders Anonymous Challenge #6

Hello and happy Monday! I hope everyone had a blessed Easter! This is my project for Challenge #6 at the Craft Hoarders Anonymous Challenge Blog! Remember, you have two weeks to play in the new challenge! Challenge closes May 4th at midnight PT.

Challenge #6 Sketch Challenge, with a Twist
Use the sketch below as inspiration for creating your project. You can modify the sketch to create a card, scrapbook layout, altered canvas, mini book cover, and so on. Now, for the TWIST! You must search your hoard and find one item that is OLD and one item that is NEW and use them BOTH on your project. Show us how you combine older items from your stash with something recently purchased.


Please note: you may change the elements of the sketch design. The flowers can become gears, stars, or a bow. The banners can become buttons or a folded edge. Please feel to rotate or flip the sketch. The sketch is just a guide to your creativity.

Yes, I sure love me a sketch! I love creating sketches to use, but I also love using sketches that I find on other sites. I created this sketch just for Craft Hoarders Anonymous. Here is my card.



First...my old items are my Spellbinders circle dies. They are SUPER old. I think they were my first ever Spellbinders purchase...back in 2008 or 2009! My new items are the Graphic 45 Botanical Tea papers and the Hampton Art/Graphic 45 Botanical Tea bird stamp. Soooo pretty! I am in love with blue and brown together, plus I sure love me a polka dot paper! I am so happy to find lots of new papers with polka dots!


I followed the sketch pretty well. I pulled the circle to the front, rather than keeping it in the background. My stamped images just did not work well as a square or rectangle. I added some pretty flowers, just like the sketch. Some of the flowers are old but the larger blue flower is new. I stamped another new stamp, the Hampton Art/Jillibean Soup Just a Note sentiment. Truth time, the sentiment stamp is about a year old, but I have only just inked it up!


Instead of banners at the top left corner, I created a paper bow. I know that I have oodles of ribbon in my hoard...but...I saw a technique for creating paper bows with the We R Memory Keepers Envelope punch board on Pinterest, and I had to try it out. It worked pretty well! It is really easy. You don't need the punch board, but it helps take all the guess work out of the process. I may try to do a tutorial on it, but if you cannot wait for me to get it in gear, just search on the technique on Pinterest or Google.


I love the blues of this paper. So soft and pretty. I also love the WorldWin Papers Smooth Natural cardtstock. It is so luscious!


And the inside. I used an older stamp from Hampton Art/Ki Memories. {I may have too many stamps....said no one ever!} I am a huge fan of Teddy Roosevelt, so I am happy to have stumbled across this Quote stamp in my stash! 

I hope you had fun today! Make sure you stop by the Hampton Art Website or Blog  or Facebook and tell them hello! They are our AMAZING sponsor for April! Thanks for looking! 

Challenge Rules are HERE. Make sure you LINK your project up using the Link Tool on the Craft Hoarders Anonymous Challenge Blog. PLEASE DO NOT LINK YOUR PROJECT TO MY SCRAPS OF LIFE BLOG! (Yes, that was shouting, sorry.)

Make sure you visit the Design Team and check out what they have to share!

Amber Milone

Christy Butters
Debbie Seyer
Donna Idlet
Ginny Nemchak
Glenda Brooks
Gloria Stengel - YOU ARE HERE
Jan Marie Ennenga
Karen Zueger
Pam Bray
Tammi Bennett


One talented participant will receive this prize, donated by Hampton ArtPlease note: since this is such a large prize, we will only pick one prize winner for April. We will choose from the entries to both April challenges. The winner will be announced May 7th.

Over $100 Value  - Product is NOT included

Hampton Art, founded in 1980 in picturesque Long Island, NY, has been inspiring stampers, crafters and papercraft enthusiasts for over 20 years. One of the earliest “art stamp” companies, Hampton has transformed over the years to become a complete provider of creative products such as stamps, inks, papers, kids crafts, stationery, scrapbooking supplies, and card making accessories for crafters of every age and skill level. We focus on working together with other companies through strong, personal relationships and licensing partnerships to consistently bring fun, inspiring products to market. We have a portfolio of brands including Hampton Art™, Studio G™, Diffusion, Ditto™, and our latest addition, Ki Memories®, acquired in 2012. Our products can be found via most national craft retailers at over 5000 stores across the US and Canada. We also ship to 20 different countries across the globe. Hampton was acquired by National Spinning Co, Inc. of Washington, NC, our current home, in 2008. For more information, visit our Website

Hampton Art Stamps:
Hampton Art/Ki Memories Celebrate Life
Hampton Art/Jillibean Soup Just a Note
Hampton Art/Graphic 45 Botanical Tea One

Cardstock: WorldWin Papers Original ColorMates Deep Creamy Cocoa, Smooth Natural

Printed paper: Graphic 45 Botanical Tea
Ink: Tsukineko Memento Rich Cocoa; Clearsnap Colorbox Chalk French Blue
Flowers: Wild Orchid Crafts
Die cut shapes: Spellbinders Nestabilities Circles; My Favorite Things Sentiment Strips
Tool: We R Memory Keepers Envelope Punch Board
Adhesive: Scotch 3M ATG tape; Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L 3D Foam Squares; Aleene's Fast Grab Tacky Glue

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Easter Freebie

Hello, Blogger Peeps. (Easter pun intended.) We will be celebrating Easter Sunday on April 20th. In my family, that means lots of church activities, lots of Bible reading and study, charity works, and such. We attend church multiple times over the course of the week, ending with a wonderful Sunday Service. We normally have some goodies and a nice meal later in the day. 

My thoughts and feelings about Easter have changed much over the years as my faith has grown. I weep on Good Friday and rejoice on Easter Sunday! I wanted to share the Good News with all of you in the form of a Free Digital Stamp - because the Grace of God and Salvation is also a FREE gift...from God.

I designed this word art for you. Simply right-click on it and select "Save Image As." You can then add it to your favorite word processing or photo editing software and print it out. (You can also use "copy/paste" to add the image to Microsoft Word or similar program, and then size it as needed.)

I decided to make a card with the graphic, too!


I used Adobe Illustrator to create the word art, but I think I sized and printed it with Photoshop Elements. I printed it with my Epson printer onto my "good Copic cardstock." I used Spellbinders circle dies to trim out the sentiment, then I used various inks to "grunge" it up.


The paper is from Carta Bella - from their Baby Mine collection. I snagged some of this last week while on a shop hop with my friends. I love the "old school" look of this paper. It reminds me of old fabric or wall paper! It is a baby line, but....many of the patterns are useful for other things.

I used some lace that I found in my stash, and some lovely flowers to make a cluster on the card. I love flowers!

I wanted to have an "insider" sentiment also, so I created one for you!
I always like to add something to the inside of the card.


When using digital stamps, you do need to think about how to print them out. You can print onto your cardstock or printed paper, or you can use a die cut template to cut them to the size and shape you need. (Or use a paper trimmer.)


This card is a tad on the lumpy side. I use padded mailers to mail my cards. I know that I create lumpy cards, so there is no use making a fuss over postage every time, right?!

I hope you enjoyed this Easter Freebie. May this sentiment bring a blessing to you and yours!

Digital Stamps: Gloria Stengel Designs
Cardstock: WorldWin Papers Smooth Pink, Natural; Copic Bright White
Printed paper: Carta Bella Baby Mine
Lace: Really Reasonable Ribbon
Flowers: Wild Orchid Crafts (dark pink and buds); Inspired by Stamping (pale pink)
Die templates: Spellbinders Nestabilities circles
Ink: Ranger Distress Old Paper, Tattered Rose
Adhesive: Scotch 3M ATG tape; Beacon Fabri-tac; Scarpbook Adhesives by 3L 3D Foam Squares

Monday, April 14, 2014

One Week to Go!

Make sure to drop over to the Craft Hoarders Anonymous Challenge Blog to see the FANTASTIC Guest Designers for April! Plus, there is still time to participate in Challenge #5 - Pick a Stamp, Any Stamp! Here is another peeky at my project. 



See all the details HERE

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Really Reasonable Ribbon April Blog Hop - GUEST


Welcome! I am the special guestie for the April Really Reasonable Ribbon Blog Hop, which starts at the RRR Blog! If you are a long-time follower of my blog, then you know that I was part of the RRR team for a long time. I hated to step down last fall when my back started acting up! Well, Bonnie has been so kind as to offer me the occasional RRR guest spot. Woohoo!

In fact, you should be coming to my blog from the Really Reasonable Ribbon Blog. (For the complete blog list, scroll to the bottom of the post.)

Here is a peeky at the RRR April Ribbon Club Assortment


I am a huge fan of gray and yellow. Huge! However, once I started to figure out my project, I totally tossed the gray ribbon aside and went with a yellow and brown scheme! (But, the good thing is, I have tons of ribbon to make something else!)


This card has a long story associated with it. I was in a FEVER to purchase this stamp back when it first came out at Taylored Expressions. I finally snagged the stamp set (I think my bestie Melody actually gave it to me) about 18 months ago or so, maybe longer! And then....never used it. {who does that?!} I finally colored this image while I was on my crafty girls' retreat in March. And then it sat on the desk for weeks. {whew, poor little stamp!}


When I saw all the luscious yellow ribbons from the April Ribbon Club, I knew I had to use this image! I used the yellow and yellow check ribbons from the club. I also used the white lace from the ribbon club set across the top of the card.


 I even made a flower with a bit of the white lace and a button! I also used the brown twine from RRR. I stamped a mini sentiment onto some white cardstock and cut it out with a teeny, tiny punch. 


And here is the inside. I used a new stamp set that I just purchased. I love these sort of subway art/chalkboard art type stamps. The pretty yellow paper is from Graphic 45 (naturally).

That's all from me! Now, hop over to Kathy's Blog next!

Here is the RRR Blog Hop Order in case you get lost!



Cardstock: WorldWin Papers Smooth Cocoa; Neenah Natural White
Designer paper: Graphic 45 Secret Garden 6x6 pad
Ribbon: Really Reasonable Ribbon April Ribbon Club, Natural Hemp Cord dark brown
Die cuts: Couture Creations Nesting Rectangles, Scallop Rectangles
Stamps: Taylored Expressions Daisy Bouquet, Jillibean Soup Just a Note; My Favorite Things Chalkboard Greetings
Ink: Memento Rich Cocoa, Tuxedo Black; Copic Markers; Clearsnap Colorbox Chalk French Blue
Buttton: unknown
Punch: Stampin' Up
Adhesive: Scotch 3M ATG tape runner; Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L 3D foam squares; Beacon Fabri-tac

Monday, April 07, 2014

Craft Hoarders Anonymous Challenge #5

Hello and happy Monday! This is my project for Challenge #5 at the Craft Hoarders Anonymous Challenge Blog! Remember, you have two weeks to play in the new challenge! Challenge closes April 20th at midnight PT.

Challenge #5 Pick a Stamp, Any Stamp!
You don't have to be a card maker to hoard stamps! With the popularity of pocket-style scrapbooking (Project Life and Photo Freedom) and the explosion of journaling stamps on the market, many scrapbookers have also become stamp hoarders. Digital stamps are more popular than ever. I am sure that most of us have at least one stamp in our stash! You may "collect" wood mounted stamps, clear stamps, cling rubber, or even digital stamps! Get one out, dust it off, and make it the STAR of your project! We want to see a stamp (sentiment, word art, image, etc.) on your project! Feel free to use more than one stamp, but you must have AT LEAST ONE stamped item on your project. 

One talented participant will receive this prize, donated by Hampton Art! Please note: since this is such a large prize, we will only pick one prize winner for April. We will choose from the entries to both April challenges. 

Over $100 Value  - Product is NOT included

Hampton Art, founded in 1980 in picturesque Long Island, NY, has been inspiring stampers, crafters and papercraft enthusiasts for over 20 years. One of the earliest “art stamp” companies, Hampton has transformed over the years to become a complete provider of creative products such as stamps, inks, papers, kids crafts, stationery, scrapbooking supplies, and card making accessories for crafters of every age and skill level. We focus on working together with other companies through strong, personal relationships and licensing partnerships to consistently bring fun, inspiring products to market. We have a portfolio of brands including Hampton Art™, Studio G™, Diffusion, Ditto™, and our latest addition, Ki Memories®, acquired in 2012. Our products can be found via most national craft retailers at over 5000 stores across the US and Canada. We also ship to 20 different countries across the globe. Hampton was acquired by National Spinning Co, Inc. of Washington, NC, our current home, in 2008. For more information, visit our Website

I am super excited about this challenge, for several reasons. First, I have worked with Hampton Art (on and off) for over three years. Second, I am a (sometimes) stamp designer for Hampton. And third, I love me some stamps and a stamping challenge!

After a few "duds" I came up with this card. I used 6 different stamped images! I had such fun paying with stamps and inks and more stamps! I did have blue hands by the time I was finished, but it was worth it!

First, I created a black, top-fold A2 size card (5 1/2 x 4 1/4 inches). I used peacock feathers distress ink to "grunge up" three different sheets of designer paper. I trimmed each sheet just a tad smaller for each layer.


On the third layer, the striped designer paper, I not only "grunged" it with the blue ink, but I also stamped with the Hampton Art/Graphic 45 Harlequin Background stamp. I inked the stamp with Clearsnap Colorbox Black Pigment ink and stamped the image in the corner of the paper. I then heat embossed with Black Soot distress embossing powder.


The top layer of the card is a stamped image from the Hampton Art/Diffusion Butterflies Are Free stamp set. First, I used Squeezed Lemonade and Mustard Seed distress ink to "color" a sheet of white cardstock. Then, I stamped the image with black dye ink. After the ink was dry, I fussy cut the image and rubbed the edges with Peacock Feathers distress ink. I used foam tape to pop the image off the card.

I stamped the butterfly image from the Hampton Art/Graphic 45 Botanical Tea Three stamp set onto the main stamped image with Peacock Feathers distress ink. I stamped the image again onto white cardstock and fussy cut it. I added a bit of the yellow inks to the fussy cut butterfly. I used some foam tape to pop the butterfly from the main image.


Next, I stamped the butterfly postage image from the Hampton Art/Graphic 45 Botanical Tea Three stamp set onto white cardstock with Peacock Feathers distress ink. I used deco scissors to fussy cut it the postage stamp and then added a bit of the yellow inks. I used some foam tape to pop the postage image from the main image. It is hard to see in the photo, but I added some glitter to the edge of the postage image with a Wink of Stella pen. {Yes, I drank the Wink of Stella Kool-Aid!} 

I decided that the card needed more dimension, so I die cut some flowers and leaves from white cardstock. I inked them with distress inks (Peacock Feathers, Squeezed Lemonade, Shabby Shutters). I put the flowers together as shown.

I stamped a sentiment from the Hampton Art/Authentique Keep Me Posted stamp set onto white cardstock. I trimmed out the sentiment with a die cut template and inked the edges with the blue distress ink. 

I always decorate the inside of my cards. I added some of the blue striped paper and some off-white (inked with the yellow distress inks) to the inside. I stamped the sentiment from the Hampton Art/Graphic 45 Botanical Tea Three stamp set with black ink. 

I hope you had fun today! Make sure you stop by the Hampton Art Website or Blog  or Facebook and tell them hello! They are our AMAZING sponsor for April! Thanks for looking! 

Challenge Rules are HERE. Make sure you LINK your project up using the Link Tool on the Craft Hoarders Anonymous Challenge Blog. PLEASE DO NOT LINK YOUR PROJECT TO MY SCRAPS OF LIFE BLOG! (Yes, that was shouting, sorry.)

Make sure you visit the Design Team and check out what they have to share!

Amber Milone

Christy Butters
Debbie Seyer
Donna Idlet
Ginny Nemchak
Glenda Brooks
Gloria Stengel - YOU ARE HERE
Jan Marie Ennenga
Karen Zueger
Pam Bray
Tammi Bennett



Hampton Art:
Studio G i craft tag cards white (used instead of white cardstock)
ki memories Enchanted designer paper
Hampton Art/Authentique Keep Me Posted
Hampton Art/Diffusion Butterflies Are Free
Hampton Art/Graphic 45 Botanical Tea Three, Harlequin Background

Cardstock: WorldWin Papers Treasures Pitch Black

Ink: Ranger Distress Peacock Feathers, Squeezed Lemonade, Mustard Seed, Shabby Shutters; Colorbox Clearsnap Pigment Black; Tsukineko Memento Tuxedo Black
Glitter: Wink of Stella Clear
Die cut shapes: Memory Box Fabulous Phlox; Sweet n Sassy Stamps Mini Tags
Other designer paper: Authentique Flourish
Embossing powder: Ranger Distress Black Soot
Adhesive: Scotch 3M ATG tape; Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L 3D Foam Squares; Aleene's Fast Grab Tacky Glue

Monday, March 31, 2014

Craft Hoarders Anonymous Fifth Monday Feature - March

Craft Hoarders Anonymous is having some extra fun this week! For every month that contains a fifth Monday, we will do a FEATURE WEEK and a LINKY PARTY! The next challenge will post on Monday, April 7th. 

ETA: The Challenge #4 winner and favorites have been posted. Come and see if it is you. Click HERE!

This week the design team members will share how we store our hoard! Three designers will share each "fifth week" during the year! You will get to peek into the designer team's craft spaces and see how they manage to "contain" their hoarded supplies! 

Plus you will have the opportunity to share your own storage solutions, tips, ideas, etc., by joining our Linky Party HERE! One RANDOM WINNER will win this prize:


For March the designers who are sharing their storage tips are....

Gloria - Monday, 3/31- YOU ARE HERE!
Pam - Tuesday, 4/1
Tammi - Friday, 4/4

Which means I am up first! I have tons of supplies. If you doubt me, check out the video at the end of this post! I shot the video last spring, and it does a pretty good job of showing most of my supplies. Not all...as I was embarrassed to show it all. Plus...I am pretty sure more stuff got added to the hoard since last year!


I wanted to chat about my favorite storage solution...clear totes! I love my clear totes more than any other item in my storage arsenal! As you can see from this set of shelves...there is a lot of tote action going on! I have 81 of these totes in various sizes, and they hold everything from reinkers to embossing powder to glitter to chipboard to stamps to everything in between!

My favorite size of clear tote is the "shoebox" size, which are roughly 14 x 8 x 4 1/2 inches.


The best feature of the "shoebox" totes is that they are inexpensive! You can find this size at most discount stores for under $2, including the lid. Many times they go on sale for a 10 for $10 deal. The other great feature is that these boxes are stackable. You can see how I have them stacked, one on top of the other, on book shelves. 


I also love that the boxes are clear! I can see what is inside! I do have them labeled, but...just in case I don't label them (or if they contain more than one type of item), it is so easy to see what's inside!



The totes are very sturdy as well. I can cram a bunch of  heavy items inside and the boxes work perfectly. I even have boxes filled with small punches and wood mount stamps. They work for all my crafty items!



The totes also work for odd-sized packages. There are many things that are easier to deal with when they are kept in their original packaging (like self-adhesive pearls and gems). The boxes are a great for things like packages of bling, fancy brads, flowers, and more!



I also store my 6x6 paper pads in the totes - I just toss the lid (or don't bother to buy the lid). The pads fit perfectly! I can get approximately 35 pads in one box! (Dare I say that I have 4 boxes of 6x6 pads?!)


I love that I can pull the box I want and carry it to my work space! This box contains my metal "do-dads." I have all sorts of things in here that just won't fit into my little bin storage containers. When I have some metal items that are bulky or that I don't have a place for....I stick them in this box!

I know that these plastic bins are not pretty or fancy, but they hold tons of product and are super easy to use! I love them! In fact, I may need to buy more...

Here is a peeky at that video from last year. Have fun watching. Some things have changed since then, but you can still get a feel for my space!




Remember, the Linky Party closes on April 6th at midnight PT. Click HERE to join the fun!