Monday, December 31, 2012

The Very Best of 2012

Welcome... I'm glad that you have stopped by! As an end of the year treat, I'm going to share my very favorite things about 2012. Some of them are cards, some are not! But all of them have to do with my love of paper crafting. Enjoy the list... and let me know what were your favorite things of the year too! :)

The Best Of 2012!

10 - Shaped Cards - At number ten, this is my favorite style of card of the year. I really need to make more of them next year because I love the shapes and the surprising ease of assembly. The pieces are all cut (except for the lacy edge border punch) from the Cricut Cartridge "Art Philosphy" by Close To My Heart, as well as the flowers and leaves. The purple one in particular was my favorite card also because of the use of my favorite "Sonoma" paper. I made a just a few of these for some very great friends. Next year, more!

9 - Sentiments - Being primarily a card maker, I've always been on the search for more sentiments for my cards. The right ones are always hard to come by and it's very good to have a variety to work with. This year, I invested in several CTMH sets called "Card Chatter" - available in different themes like love, sympathy and birthday. Each set has several sentiments and now I've got tons to work with. These sets are definitely worth the buy which is just one of the things I love about My Acrylix stamps!

8 - Moneysavers -  Earlier in the year I was on a roll with Moneysaver Monday in which I shared some fun tips on how to save money on scrapping supplies. One tip that I did use a lot was making my own striped twine. On several occasions I found myself in need of just a few inches of striped twine for tying a button or adding to a card. Many of these times, I wanted a specific color to match my card. I can't imagine how much I would have spent investing in each color of twine. This tip worked for me many times over, and as for that 400 yard roll of crochet thread? I'm pretty sure I still have 390 yards of it left. :) Maybe I need to learn to crochet?
7 - Best Bang For Your Buck - Another smart investment of the year - Titanium blades by Friskars. Maybe this is not a new thing to you where you live, but here in the back woods of Idaho, they were new to me. I found them on a spontaneous trip to the craft store one day and I've never looked back. They are a little more expensive than the original blades, but so worth the money. I hate the boogered edges of paper cut with a dulling blade and these blades seem to last a very long time. Four blades lasted me all year long - and I cut A LOT OF PAPER. No really, A LOT.
6 - Best Tool, Ever Ever Ever - The ATG- I'm finishing out my first full year of use with this adhesive applicator and I am still singing that lame Taylor Swift song about my old glue runners. (Weee-eee are never, ever, ever getting back.. together...) the ATG inspired my favorite tutorial of the year as well and I think that I love this tutorial because it is such an awesome conglomeration of helpful hints from lots of people. The money I have saved on adhesive alone makes the ATG so worth it... but it's not just that. My ATG and I have bonded. Without it, I would be sitting here, staring at these piles of paper with nothing to do. :)
5 - Authentique - In the past, I have had favorite paper packs or product lines such as Imaginisce or DCWV  or Echo Park. This years' favorite was Authentique... sorry guys, please don't squabble amongst yourselves and don't take it personally. I just loved the texture and colors of the papers that I got from Authentique this year and my very favorite of all was the Glory line. Thanks Kim, for surprising me with this paper my July Express The Moment kit... it was the best surprise treasure of all!
4 - Embossing Folders - Every year I also tend to have one product or another that I just have to collect because... well... I NEED THEM ALL. I know that some of this is the thrill of the hunt. I can't possibly ever own or even see every embossing folder that is out there on the market, but I can have a danged good time trying. :) I added several folders to my collection this year and I know that these are tools that I will use over, over, over and over again. They are definitely one of my favorite things. And hey, isn't this a cool Pinteresty way to keep track of the ones that you own? I need to do that next year.

3 - Border Punches - See #4 above, lol! My border punches are another tool that I moved to be strategically closer to hand because I tend to use them on nearly every card. I even discovered a way to store them in the paper organizer next to my desk so that the ones I use the most are easy to grab. IMHO these EK Punches are the very best quality. My first one was purchased on a trip to Seattle two years ago and I haven't been the same ever since. :)

2 - Lawn Fawn - I have so much to say about Lawn Fawn - this is definitely my new very favorite website. I love their stamps - they have such a cute little doodle look to them with bold lines and cute little smiley happy faces! They are fast and easy to use and they come with lots of sentiments. I used Lawn Fawn stamps to create lots of cards this year for Operation Write Home (and kept a few for myself... hehe). I haven't tried their paper or twine yet but with the great customer service I got from my other orders this year I know that I will be ordering again soon. WATCH THEIR VIDEOS when you have time. I love watching them while enjoying my crafting time because you always learn something and they all make me smile. Especially the ones with Kelly Marie - she just cracks me up and I feel like I want to play some kind of drinking game every time she says "cute." This is why I do this kind of stuff folks, to make other people smile... and if Lawn Fawn always brings a smile to my face, I know that the cards I make with their stamps will make other people smile too. :)

1 - None of this would be possible without... the iPad - I've always been somewhat of a techno-geek. I do love new beepy, electrical, computery type things and gadgets, but when I broke down and purchased an iPad at the end of 2011 I had no idea that I could use it so much in paper crafting. It's amazing - and I'd love to share some of these things this year if there is enough interest. (Interested? Leave me a comment!) 

In the past year I have used my iPad to:

  • Surf my favorite websites and blogs to keep in touch with others - I have favorite blogs and websites just a touch away by storing them on my desktop.
  • I used Skype with some of my favorite people while working together on projects.
  • I used it to organize and keep track of special dates like card making parties and blog posts.
  • I can easily organize files like photos .pdf files and more.
  • I can sketch a card or jot down an idea fast and easily without scrambling for paper/pen.
  • I can always read up on my favorite paper crafting magazines and publications on the go. So much easier than subscriptions and magazines that will just pile up after I read them once! I can download just the ones I want. And there are some great prices for this.
  • I can listen to music, watch YouTube or Netflix while crafting.
  • I made my own iBook for a tutorial on creating Card Holders.
  • and so much more!
Did you know that you can keep a digital copy of all of your Cricut cartridge books on your iPad for fast and easy reference?

Did you know that anything that comes in a .pdf file can also be stored on your iPad for fast and easy browsing? I keep all of my OWH and deconstructed sketches... without having to print them out any more! Hooray for saving printer ink!

As you can tell from above, I'm a pretty frugal spender when it comes to my supplies. The iPad was something that I really had to save for and plan carefully to purchase but it was so worth it.

More resolutions for 2013? I'd like to post more... quality posts and I'd like to improve on my photos. I did learn a lesson about blogging using my iPad this year. (Don't do it.) Without a doubt I will be continuing to work hard for Operation Write Home and make as many cards as possible for our deployed heroes. 

Thanks all of you, who stopped by to see my list of Top Ten and I wish you all the very best of everything in 2013, I hope that you will stop by again soon. :)

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Kid Cards 6-9

How are your holidays? We've sure had a good time here! I'm really looking forward to the new year and lots of fun things. Don't forget to stop by on Tuesday! Over at OWH we are doing a top ten blog thing. It will be fun... I'm currently collecting my top ten favorite things of the year to post for you!

For now, here are my kid cards for the 26 project. I made some cute ones with some Lawn Fawn stamps (More about these on Tuesday... stay tuned!)

Here are cards 6-8.

I've really enjoyed the challenge of making girly cards. With a house full of boys, I'm not real big on the pink flowery kinds of things around here, if you know what I mean.

I colored all of my images using my new CTMH alcohol markers and I can say that I really have enjoyed them quite a lot. They are really fun to work with.

What a cute stamp set, right? I love them!

Here is one last one for today to play along with sketch #153 over at Stars & Stamps. If you have a moment, stop over there as todays' is a very special post. It's Julie's last one as our sketch wrangler and although she will always be around, this is a nice opportunity to tell her what an awesome job she has done with our sketches over the last two years. Two years! That is so cool! And that is a LOT of sketches! 
I made this card with a little Hello Kitty because when I think of girly things, Hello Kitty is right up there on my list. I can remember that as a kid, going to the mall and picking out some Hello Kitty stickers, pencils, erasers and such was a special treat at one of the shops. I wasn't quite sure what sentiment to put on this card, but this one seemed to fit best. :)

Have a great rest of the weekend and a safe and Happy New Year too. I'll be back on Tuesday with my top ten list. Thanks for stopping by!

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Saturday, December 22, 2012

26 Cards... 1-5

Sometimes, in light of the bad things that happen in the world, it is hard to find inspiration. I know that I have been feeling particularly down, after the events that happened in Newtown last week. It's difficult to know what to do or say about these kinds of events. It's so hard to know how to help. But I think that I have found my way. Let me explain.

On Friday, I read several Facebook posts by other moms like myself. They all said something to the effect of, "I just want to run home / to school and pick up my child and hug them as long as I can."  I know that I felt that way too and I did... at least as long as a squirmy thirteen year old would let me. (Moooommmm!! Geeeees!)

I did get to thinking about how fortunate I was to be able to do this. I thought a lot about the cause that is nearest and dearest to my heart, Operation Write Home and how we send cards to the deployed troops for them to send home to their loved ones. How many heroes out there, I wondered, were feeling the very same way but were thousands of miles from their children and were helpless to do anything about it?

More inspiration came my way in the form of last week's episode of OWH TV. Sandy talked a little bit about the same thing, and offered a challenge for those of us who want to participate. Making cards especially for the troops to send home for their children. Surely, they are ever more so in need of these little tokens of love at this time. Both the parents, and the kids.

I'm also inspired by the challenge of 26 Acts of Kindness. I've tried holding doors, making treats and leaving tips when I can. These small acts seem kind of insignificant on the scale of things, even if they are all that I can afford at the moment. What I CAN do is start by making 26 cards for kids. So I dove into it today. I'm spending a little more time and pouring a little more love into each of these cards. I'm hoping that 26 kids will receive these cards from 26 deployed parents and maybe even more people will be inspired.

Here are cards 1-5 (I made five of these, because they are so cute and fun for boys) and there will be many more to follow. Why stop at 26? I think that this will be my pet project for a while.

Here is a list of supplies:
Paper from the "Boy's Universe" 12x12 stack by The Paper Studio
The little robot stamp is by Imaginisce.
I stamped/embossed with black and colored with a silver marker by CTMH.
The stars were cut using George and Basic Shapes -Cricut at 1.25 and .75"
The music notes were cut using Joys of the Season - Cricut at 1"
"You Rock" was printed on grey paper from the same stack at 36pt using a little font called "Computer" which I am sure was a free font from somewhere.

I love the shiny silvery foil in the patterned paper and tried to replicate it with that shiny silver marker. I don't suppose that many children will recognize that there is a cassette tape in the body of the cute little robot and recognize it as something that is related to music. :) But it is cute anyway. I do love this stamp.

Thanks for looking. I'll have many more kids' cards to come and I hope that maybe some of you will play along with me too. Thank you for stopping by! You rock!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Snowy Scene Tutorial

How fun - don't miss out on this week's Snowy Scene tutorial over at Stars & Stamps. Debbie did a really great job of showing us how do do this. I don't have one of those clear stamp liner-uper kind of things that is shown in the tutorial, and I don't have any clear acrylic "foilage" stamps so I had to just kind of wing it with a wood mount stamp. I found that working on a surface with a lot of graph lines on it was helpful. I had to close one eye and squint to get the stamp to line up off-center just so for the second stamping with the black ink.

Hey! I'm a Squint! If you watch the TV show Bones, you will find this as terribly funny as I just did. If not, move along. :)

Here is my little snowy scene card. I can't wait to give this another try some time. It was really very fun.

I used "Twilight" ink and a sentiment from the 4 My Friend CTMH set. The branch stamp is an old wood mount one by "Great Impressions."

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Craft Fairing!


The craft fair was a fun time this weekend if I do say so. :) one of my favorite memories will be of the cutest little elderly gentlemen, picking slowly through my cards for sale, trying to find a pretty one for his wife. Awwww!! I loved it. I have lots of fun things to share from this years' experience but I figure I will spread them over time. For today, here is an offer I have been sharing with a few friends just to see how it goes.

I made several of these for the craft fair:

They are little books that hold four hand made cards with matching envelopes. I made lots of different styles... Thank You, Valentines and Christmas Card sets turned out really nice.

I've made a iBook file that shows how to make these little holders. It includes the instructions and template of how to cut the pieces.

I have this file available in .pdf and iBook format (for reading on your iPad or iPhone) and can mail it to you for free if you would like. Since this is my first one in this format, I'm just sort of giving it a try to see how it goes. If you would like one, just drop me an email brujahrose @ gmail dot com and please indicate if you would like a .pdf or iBook format. Here are a few more preview photos of the finished projects. :)

Thanks for stopping by! :)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Triple Stamping!


Well hello! I know that it has been a while. I've got so many fun things going on. Want some great news? I'll be continuing to do the weekly tutorials over at Stars & Stamps next year! This has been such a fun project. I've loved every bit of it and I am really excited to be able to continue.

I've been super busy making my inventory for a big craft fair coming up this weekend. I have so many fun things to sell. I'll have to share these things soon... but for today I wanted to share my take on this great tutorial that came from Donna. It's featured over at S&S today and I just love how it turns out.

The triple stamping technique is really a lot of fun and it is so versatile. I can't wait to try this all year 'round with different stamp sets. For now, I used the "Snowflakes" set from CTMH. What a fun way to showcase this pretty set!

The only problem that I had was trying to decide what colors to use. For the one above,  Iused a pretty selection of reds and greens. I haven't added a sentiment yet. I thought that these made pretty wintery themed cards that could be used for just about anything - maybe a thank-you or a birthday.

Here's one done with purples and blues!
I do think that this one is my favorite. I used a selection of teals, a light grey and baby pink with some teal cardstock as the accent color.

If you would like, the link to the full tutorial can be found here. If you are loving these snowflakes, they are still available here.  Thank you for stopping by!


Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sketch # 142 and a new toy!

Did you snag sketch #142 from Stars & Stamps today? This is a really fun one. I like that you can use scraps of paper to make those cute ribbon strips.

Today I used some sample scraps of the new Christmas Pear & Partridge paper from CTMH. I love this set almost as much as the Mistletoe pack from a few years ago. It does have some really fun patterns and colors. I'm trying to get a few more Christmas cards done before the deadline for OWH... It's October 31st!

I also picked up a new toy yesterday. It was only $14 at Walmart and at that price I decided to give it a go. I'm a terrible seamstress and I can't even replace a button. I have no idea how to use a sewing machine. I failed Home Economics in Jr. High school. No kidding. So I was a little scared to try this tiny stitching machine out. But Eleanor Roosevelt says that you should challenge yourself by doing something that scares you, every day.

Challenge accepted, Lady Roosevelt! This little hand held stitcher is called a "Singer Stitch Sew Quick" and I was able to use it right out of the box. It comes with three bobbins and some other little tools and three thread colors. I know that as soon as I run out of thread I am in trouble because I will have to read the instructions again on how to fix that. Also I don't remember how to make a bobbin. :)

Pros: I stitched these cards in just a few seconds. The stitching is tiny and cute for cards making. The machine stitched easily through several layers of paper and it appears that you could stitch pretty far into a page if you wanted to, instead of just the edges. It is very light weight and it was much easier on my fingers and hands than hand-stitching an entire card. (My arthritis is beginning to become enough of an issue that things like this are important to me.)

Cons: Investing in a big sewing machine is not something that I have the money / space / need for at the moment. All I wanted was something to stitch on cards with. If I want to do stitching that is neat and tidy and even I am going to have to stick with piercing/hand stitching, or I am going to have to practice a LOT more with this little thingy. My stitches are uneven and wavy, but that's ok if you are going for that grungy stitched look. :) There doesn't seem to be an edge guide or way to help keep the stitch perfectly straight. I'm off to investigate this issue on YouTube. Also, the machine does not come with four AA batteries, and if you don't have any, you'll have to steal them out of your camera for a while. And that means that your blog photos will be crummy... Sorry about that.

All in all. If I can use this little stitcher, ANYONE can. I am pleased that it didn't jam, tangle or get stuck even once. I didn't poke myself with the needle, I didn't end up in a pile of knotted thread, I have minimal heartburn from the stress of trying something new AND I don't think that I even used any cuss words, at all! And i like how my cards turned out. Fourteen dollars, well spent. :) Thanks for stopping by!

Hop winner!

I'm searching for my hop winner, Ann! Congrats! I'll send you some of my shiny hop paper!

Please email me, Ann!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I'm Toast!

Please help... I'm feeling old. I've always enjoyed kids in the teen/tween stages of life. I've been hearing a new phrase though, that I'm not sure I understand. I'm sure that this must be how my parents felt, when my friends and I started saying, gnarly, radical or... totally awesome!!!

My youngest has thrown a new one at me. It goes like this: Errr merrr gerrrrd!!!I even know that it is spelled that way, because he texted it to me once. (I never texted my parents. Then again, our phones were plugged into walls, and had rotary dials.) Another version of this expression is spelled and pronounced, "Oh Emm Gee!" I figured that one out on my own, it is also OMG, Oh My Gosh - which is sort of the same as "totally awesome, dude!" NOW I get it.

A few weeks ago, our birthday bash at Stars & Stamps included a week of features from Lawn Fawn. I was instantly smitten. . . So much so that I ordered lots of their stamps and I have really been enjoying their tutorial videos too. OMG, you should totally check them out. ;)

This stamp set is one of my favorites. I just happened to trip over this paper (literally, I didn't see the display until it was too late...) at a local store last week and it matched my cute new little stamps perfectly. (Retro Kitchen, by Nicole.)

The stamp set by Lawn Fawn is "Love 'n Breakfast." Are you ready?

OMG!!! Look at this muffin!!!

OHHH EMMM GEEE!!! We go together, little salt and pepper!!!

Errr merrr gerrrrd!!!1!!1!!!!! TOAST!!!!!

(If you put ones in with your exclamation points, that means you really, really mean it!!!!1!!111!)

So now maybe you can see why I am so full of smit... I love these little stamps! Who wouldn't? I know that I will use them for lots of cards. They are quick and easy to color. And I just love that toast. Err merrr gerrrrd! Indeed! !!!!1!

For my honey...we are old, but I <3 U!

Friday, October 5, 2012

World Card Making Day Blog Hop

One day doesn't seem like quite enough to celebrate the best occasion of the whole year does it? Thank you for joining me for the Operation Write Home bloghop... If you would like to see THE BEST card making bloghop of the whole year, be sure to Start Here for tons of beautiful inspiration. Here are two cards (no one can make just one...) following OWH sketches 22 and 45 that I made to prepare my box of holiday cards for our heroes. Please scroll back one post for credits inspiration and supplies used, as well as the chance to enter for some candy!

Thank you for stopping by and thank you, Operation Write Home for another fabulous hop.

Blog hop - Credits and candy!

Here's a little story behind my bloghop cards for world card making day. One of my favorite places to shop for card making supplies is a local storefront to a company called Artco. They make those really fancy schmancy wedding and graduation announcements and such. I can buy odds and ends of some really great paper from them by the pound. Since they are always making different sorts of announcements or invitations, their supply is always different. It's kind of like a box of chocolates, as Forrest Gump would say.

The paper that I used to make my cards this week is a heavy cardstock with a solid core. I'm not sure how to describe it adequately other than it is shiny but not metallic and glittery without the glitter. It dry embosses really nicely without cracking and you can heat emboss on it without warping or melting the way that some metallic papers do. Here are some close ups.

I love this paper... It reminds me of a paint job on a new car. So shiny! It also goes really nicely with gel pens, if you enjoy using those.

A few credits for my hop cards... I did use sketches 22 and 45 for basic layout inspiration but changed the measurements a little to make some layers and match the stamps a little better.

The stamp sets that I used that are still available for sale are Happy Hanukkah and the Snowflake set by Close to My Heart (I used the sentiment.) Bundled Buddies (the little Raccoon) is retired but is a favorite of mine.

I must also give credit to one of my favorite card designers, Jenny Gropp - I have always been inspired by her use of multiple layers and rhinestones and I fashioned the red white and green card similarly to one that she made last year. I love the snowflake design used as a layer behind the circle mats.

CANDY... Yes, I have candy... I purchased two extra packages of that awesome metallic paper to share with one lucky winner for the blog hop. One package has the red white and green color used in my first card, the other has white blue and more of the same red. Could be fancy for making patriotic cards too, no? The paper is an odd size. 5 x 7" but it is so pretty. I just know that someone will have fun with it. I'll even emboss a few pieces with some fun patterns.

I'll pick one random winner - I do insist that my random pick is here for the OWH bloghop... I don't mind if you are not a participant in the hop (as in one of the stops,) as long as you are hopping along with the rest of us. Sometimes when you offer blog candy, you get some odd entries...knowwhatimean??? I won't be shipping outside the U.S., ok? :) Please leave me a comment on this post along with some way that I can contact you, to enter to win.

Thanks for stopping by and a very happy card-making day to each of you.

Friday, September 28, 2012

SRM Stickers - A Spinner Card!

Hey there... thank you for joining me for the blog skip this weekend. I will be out of town camping (I know, big shocker, right?) But won't you please leave me some love for when I get home? I hope that you are all having fun. If you came here from Yolanda's Place you're doing it right. Or, stop over at Stars & Stamps to start at the beginning! Here is my little Christmas SRM Sticker card.

For this card, I added a strip of "'tis the season" stickers under the track.

So for the blog skip i've decided to showcase these awesome SRM Stickers by demonstrating how to use them to make these sweet little spinner cards. I love spinner cards. Mostly because I am easily amused... but just watch how these stickers are PERFECT for making these cards! If you've never seen a spinner card in action, check out the video to see just what they do.

Happy Birthday, Operation Write Home! OWH has made such a huge impact on my life. I've met so many fun people both online and in real life by gathering people together to make cards for our heroes. I'll always be grateful for each and every one of you.

Please enjoy this video now, or save it for later to watch on your internet-enabled television... I don't reccomend the latter... I had no idea this was possible until my son pulled up my YouTube channel on our living room TV and watched in horror as his mother embarassed him to death with all of my card videos. :) No dancing in this one, son, just some gang signs!

Now then, hop on over to Paula's Blog to see what she has done with these SRM stickers. Don't forget to stop by Operation Write Home if you are new to OWH and you can also find out more about these awesome SRM Stickers here.