Monday, April 15, 2013

Got scraps? Make bookmarks!

Do you have loads of patterned paper scraps that you can't bear to throw away? Here's a fun way to use some of them. I make bookmarks with all kinds of crazy combinations. The librarian at my daughter's school loves them. My mom has taken them to the ladies in her quilting club. My kids run off with them as fast as I can make them. And I always have at least a few in books that I'm reading. So let's get that pretty paper out of the dark and make something useful and beautiful!

I have two of Papertrey's bookmark dies - I had one, but I made so many bookmarks that I decided to add another one to speed up the process a bit. As you can see below, the two of them together measure about 3.5 inches wide and 5.5 inches tall.

This is ordinary white Contact paper. It comes in a roll 18 inches wide and 24 feet long. I've found that it's a very economical alternative to using my Xyron for this project. A roll of Contact paper only costs a few dollars and will make - get this - over 500 bookmarks!

I use my scissors to cut an 11 inch piece from the roll of Contact paper - it's the height of two bookmark dies, and conveniently, small enough now to put in my paper cutter.

Next, I take my 11 inch piece of Contact paper and cut it into 3.5 inch strips. Each strip will make four bookmarks. So this one piece that I cut from the roll is enough for 20 bookmarks.

 Now it's time for the pretty paper! Get out your scraps and dig around for the ones that are strips, preferably with a nice square end. I find that good 90 degree corners at the ends of my strips make this process the easiest it can be (less trimming as you go).

Okay, I've got a bunch of strips to play with. Now I peel the backing part way off of one of my Contact paper strips. Then I start laying strips on the sticky paper as close together as possible. One of the great things about using Contact paper for this is that the bond is not permanent yet - if you mess up the placement, you can pull up your paper and fix it. After it's been through your die cutter and had some time to set, the bond will be strong.

Just keep sticking scraps onto the Contact paper. Let the ends hang off for now - we'll trim them soon. I switch directions sometimes. This is where the 90 degree corners come in handy. I don't get too concerned with what kind of patterns I'm mixing on these. Some of the craziest combinations have been my favorites once the bookmarks are finished.

Here you can see the front and back of a strip that is completely covered in scraps.

Here's my strip after I've trimmed off the excess length of the scraps. Beside it are the pieces that I trimmed off. Keep those smaller pieces - you can still use them on another bookmark!

Here you can see how the two bookmark dies fit nicely on the strip that I just made. I'll run it through my Big Shot with the two on one end of the strip, then again with them on the other end, resulting in four bookmarks.

Here are the four bookmarks after die cutting. The bookmarks are a little bit floppy at this point. The Contact paper alone isn't really sturdy enough. So I cut cheap white cardstock with the bookmark dies and glue them to the back of the patterned bookmarks.

 Frugal note - I use cheap white cardstock in my Tim Holtz folders that hold my stamps. For that, I use 6 by 8.5 inch pieces. This means that I have tons of 5 by 8.5 inch pieces leftover. Each of these will yield three bookmark die cuts.

Here are the bookmarks all glued together, with their holes punched out at the top. I've found that the hole in the die cut is pretty hard to push out of the Contact paper, so I use my Cropadile to punch a hole in the completed bookmarks. 

Here are a few other bookmarks I've made. As you can see, sometimes I place the first strip of patterned paper at an angle and work from there. Again, the 90 degree corners at the ends of the strips make placement easier. These are really fun to make. Have fun with your scraps!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

CASE Study #136

I have admired the work of JJ Bolton for a long time, so I'm thrilled to see that she's this month's muse for the CASE Study challenge! This week's inspiration card is an awesome one - so fabulous, in fact, that I had already CASEd it before.

Here's the inspiration piece by JJ:

For this week's challenge, I wanted to try something different. The little chevron stamp in the To You From Me set from Papertrey was the very stamp that sold me on the set. It's also a perfect choice for creating a stamped version of JJ's design. This stamped version ended up being even more labor-intensive than the die cut original. Lots of cleaning of the stamp, and the use of my Stamp-a-ma-jig - yes, it's sometimes needed even with clear stamps! I love the way it turned out, though, so it was worth the effort. I admit that I made multiple cards so that I could get a few impressions before cleaning the stamp every time.

Details: stamps - To You From Me (PTI), Movers & Shakers Sentiments (PTI); ink - Burano, Cranberry, Watermelon, Ocean, Evergreen, Blackberry (all Amuse), Mango (Fresh Ink), Onyx Black (Versafine); cardstock - stampers select white, kraft (PTI); other - Corner Chomper, Stamp-a-ma-jig

Here is the card that I made awhile ago - this is not my entry for this week's challenge, but I wanted to show it because JJ's instructions for making the card are fantastic and resulted in a set of gorgeous cards.

Details: stamps - Birthday Bash Sentiments (PTI); cardstock - stampers select white (PTI), kraft (PTI), and lots of miscellaneous colors (PTI and SU); ink - Onyx Black (Versafine); dies - XL Rickrack (PTI), Double Ended Banner (PTI); other - Corner Chomper

Saturday, April 13, 2013

OLW135 - Tall and thin

This week's One Layer Wednesday challenge is to create a clean and simple card that is also tall and thin. Hmm. Off to the stamp stash to look at tall skinny stamps! Here's the result:

This card is 3x6 inches. I've had this Eiffel Tower stamp for quite awhile, but never found a reason to use it before. I just love the style of it.

Details: stamps - Eiffel Tower by Impress Rubber Stamps, unknown sentiment; paper - Rustic White (PTI); ink - Onyx Black (Versafine), Pure Poppy (PTI), red rhinestone

Thursday, April 11, 2013

A special congrats card

I don't often make a special card for a particular person and occasion - I'm more of a "grab a card from the stash on the way out the door" kind of person. This card is an exception. My Weight Watchers meeting buddy, Jeanette, is about to reach a big milestone - 50 pounds lost. So I made a congratulations card just for her.

Details: stamps - Think Big Favorites #5 (PTI), Congrats All Ways (PTI); dies - Fishtail Banner (Your Next Stamp); cardstock - stampers select white (PTI), Tangerine Tango (SU), Hawaiian Shores (PTI), patterned paper from stash; ink - Chocolate Chip (SU), Pool (Fresh Ink)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

CAS97 - chevrons and flowers

I'm starting to get back in the groove of playing some of the challenges. This week's CAS-ual Fridays challenge is to create a clean and simple project using both chevrons and flowers. This one was fun! Here's my card.

Details: stamps - Simple Sunflower (PTI), Floral Frenzy (PTI); dies - Fabulous Frames (PTI); cardstock - stampers select white (PTI), patterned paper from stash (unknown)

Monday, April 8, 2013

Less is More Week 114 Colour Challenge - birthday card

Here's another card for the Less is More colour challenge using lime and black. I really enjoyed using these colors together!

Details: stamps - vine from Borderlines (Stampin' Up), tiny flower from Love Lives Here (PTI), sentiment from Wishful Elegance (Verve); ink - Basil (Fresh Ink), Onyx Black (Versafine); cardstock - stampers select white (PTI)

Less is More Week 114 Colour Challenge - thank you card

I've decided to try a few more challenges as a way to motivate myself to post more. This week's challenge at Less is More looked like fun. This week's colour challenge is to create a clean and simple card using lime and black. Here's my first card. I had fun with these colors, so I'll post another card shortly.

Details: stamps - Background Basics: Retro (Papertrey Ink), tiny dot stamp from Merry & Bright (PTI); ink - Basil (Fresh Ink), Onyx Black (Versafine); cardstock - stampers select white (PTI)

Monday, April 1, 2013

Ugly card blog hop

To celebrate April Fool's Day, I'm joining Suzanne Dahlberg's Ugliest Card Ever blog hop. We all have cards that we once thought were oh so cute that didn't stand the test of time, don't we? I sure do! I couldn't even narrow it down to one card, so I'll post my ugliest plus a few runners up.

I think that I'll have to call this one my ugliest:

Wow, these colors are kind of blinding, aren't they? And paper tearing as an embellishment - I'm totally over that!

Here are a few others that stood out to me as great examples of ugly cards:

An example of fussy cutting for no good reason!

Too busy, and the colors are so not pretty to me now.

A beginner attempt to use some pretty awful patterned paper.

Thanks, Suzanne, for the opportunity to remind ourselves just how far we've come!