A website to inspire creativity.

I am a Stampin' Up demonstrator and use mostly SU products on my projects. If you see something you like, you can contact me for more info on it or go directly to the site (see link). Disclosure: I am an independant demonstrator and SU does not endorse my tutorial site.

If you'd like to order something I can help with that too! If you need further instructions on how to make a project seen here, let me know; I'm always happy to help!

Monday, December 31, 2007

Altering to make it yours

Altering is a hot thing right now. There are altered notebooks, clipboards, paint cans and picture frames to name a few. All you do is start with a basic item and embellish to your heart's content! Sounds easy, right? It is! Here, I started with a picture frame and mat...added a few pieces of chipboard, some ribbon...and viola! Art! The great thing about altering is that you decide when to stop embellishing...you may like things more on the simple side or maybe you like wild and over-crowded. It's all up to you. This mat took me about a 1/2 hour to complete.

Here's a notebook that I altered for my grandmother who travels a lot. I thought she may like to have a handmade journal to take on an adventure with her. I started with a composition notebook (you know, the black and white spotted ones?) and started layering paper, ribbons, chipboard and stamped images. I then embossed and added micro beads for texture. I also stamped every 3rd page inside to keep it jazzy throughout. I attached a ribbon bookmark to mark her place too. This project was not a quick one, it consumed the better part of a day, but what a fun day it was!

Never underestimate the basics!

Black and white are so simple that we tend to overlook them. I recently needed a lot of cards, fast, and so I wanted to do something simple but elegant. I figured I'd use it as an example for you to see how striking black and white can be with a burst of color added. I stamped my image in SU Basic Black on SU Whisper White card stock. I then colored the flower with SU Stampin Write Markers. Striking isn't it?

You could also add a cardstock layer behind the image if you want to bring it out a little more but I was happy with simplicity this day.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Stamping in 2 Colors & Omitting

Lots of new stampers don't know the small tricks so I figured I'd post some every once in a while just to bring everyone up to speed on the easy stuff. I'm going to show you how to stamp one image in two colors and also, how to omitt part of the image. I'll do it all in one project.

You'll need:
2 Markers
A Stamp with some detail

1. Lay the stamp on it's back (rubber up). Color, starting with the lightest color and ending with the darkest. Huff on it once or twice to remoisten the ink before stamping your image. Stamp.

2. Clean your stamp well so that no ink residue remains. This time ink only the part of the stamp that you'd like to show up on the paper. (I left out the flower here.)

3. Stamp image. You should have a void where there was no ink.

4. Fill in the void with markers. Or, you can stamp another image there (a word would look nice).

Omitting makes it look like I've used 2 different stamps where I've used only one! Your possibilites are endless!

An Easy and Elegant Lampshade for a Wineglass

Here's a really simply way to make a great table centerpiece!

You'll need:
A 12x12 Sheet of Vellum
A Dinner Plate
A Coffee Mug or Drinking Glass
A Pencil
Sticky Strip

If you'd like to emboss an image on the lampshade, you'll also need:
Embossing Powder
Heat Tool

1. Trace half of the plate onto the vellum.

2. Place the mug halfway onto the sheet, centering it to make a half-donut shape with the plate being the outer ring. Trace it also.

3. Cut the half-donut shape out of the vellum.

4. If you'd like to emboss, do it now. If not, skip to the next step.

5. Run a piece of Sticky Strip along one edge of the lampshade. Hold shade together to check the fit to your wineglass. You don't want any vellum sticking up above the lip of the glass. If it does, trim it now so that you don't have a fire hazard. Peel the remaining paper off the strip and adhere it to the opposite side of the shade.

6. Put a tea light in the wineglass and set the shade on top. The glow at night is lovely! (Please don't leave this unattended!)

You Can Make A Dry Erase Tile

There are a few different methods to chose from when making a dry erase tile. I'll share 2 of them here.

You'll need:
A Glossy Tile (any size)
StazOn Ink
Stamps (I used SU's Like It A Latte)
Heat Tool (or an oven set on low heat)
Glossy Acrylic Sealer or Clear Embossing Powder

1. Wash and dry your tile. Make sure it's really dry. Stamp your image in StazOn ink and immediately wash your stamp off, as this ink is very permenant.

2. If you choose to have a smooth tile, you'll want to use the acrylic spray. So you'll want to either heat set with a heat tool or in a low temp oven. If you'd like a raised image you need to pour embossing powder on your image while it's still wet and then heat set. If you choose to use a heat tool it will take FOREVER to set the embossing powder. This is however, the method I do because I can monitor it more closely.

3. If you embossed, you're done now. If you chose to spray, you'll now need to mask off the tile leaving only the image exposed. Spray about 12 inches away to avoid running ink. Let dry, and you're done. A note: do not get ink on the image regardless of the method you used. It will become permenant if it touches the image.

You can stand it in a wood block w/ a notch cut in, place it on a photo easel or apply a strong magnet to the back and hang it on the fridge.

Note: Since the original posting I've received a tip from a fellow stamper. She stamped the image, embossed, and then pressed packing tape over the image. She then cut around the tape, leaving the image covered so as to protect it from ink that may stain the image. Thanks Julie H. for the tip! (She suggested it would be more child friendly that way.)

Monday, December 17, 2007

Lighted Glass Block

These are a great project for anytime of year! I made mine with a Christmas theme but it can easily be adapted for any occasion. The block gives off a really lovely glow at night. Click on the thumbnails to enlarge the photos.

Here's what you'll need:
Glass Block of any size (pre-drill a hole large enough to fit your lights near the bottom of one large side)
50 Christmas lights
Tissue paper (cut 2 pieces 1/2" smaller than the raised edge that runs around the large side of the block)
Snail Adhesive
2 Double-sided sticky sheets trimmed to be the same size as the front of the block, between the raised edges (regular adhesive won't work here)
Micro beads
2 1/2" or 3" wide ribbon, enough to go around the block and tie a bow
*I also used SU markers and a SU Color Spritzer (optional)

1. Cram the lights one at a time into the glass block via the hole. You can sort of rearrange them with a chopstick to spread them out once they're in. (Our hole was only 3/4" because my husband spliced the wire so that the plug on the end wasn't in the way. If you don't splice, your drilled hole will need to be big enough to accomodate the plug too.)

2. Stamp one piece of tissue paper to be the front of your block. (I used the color spritzer here to fill in the empty spaces a bit.) The other piece of tissue paper will be the back of the block; you can stamp it with a message, an image, or leave it blank.

3. Put a small amount of SNAIL adhesive in two places on the face of your block, then secure the main image. Smooth it out good.

4. Peel a corner of the double-sided adhesive sheet back and position it on the front of the block over the tissue paper. Continue peeling as you move, covering the entire area. THIS IS VERY PERMENANT. THERE IS NO REPOSITIONING!

5. Repeat steps 4 & 5 on the reverse side of the block. You may need to cut a wedge out of both the tissue paper and the adhesive sheet to accomodate the cord.

6. Slowly peel the remaining paper of the adhesive sheet off to reveal the adhesive. Pour the glass beads liberally over the face of the block. You can reuse any that don't stick, so you're not wasting. You may want to set the block in a pan or a tray to catch the runaway beads, these little suckers bounce! Rub the beads in circles with your hand until no sticky areas remain. Tip block and brush off excess beads.

7. Repeat step 6 on opposite side.

8. Tie the ribbon around the outside of the block and tie a bow on top to finish.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Stamp Tiles to make Magnets

These make nice personalized magnets for the home or office. Gather your supplies before you start and you'll be done in no time!

2" tumbled (not polished) tiles
A stamp set(s) of your choice (I used Stampin' Up's Fantastic Folliage)
StazOn ink (I offer the StazOn cleaner too, as it is very permenant ink and needs to be cleaned off immediately after each stamping)
Chalk Pastels (I used Stampin' Up's Stampin' Pastels)
A matte finish sealer
Very strong magnets, not pictured

1. Thuroughly clean and dry the tiles. Stamp image in StazOn ink. You may want to immediately clean the stamp to avoid permenant staining. If you don't have StazOn Cleaner, use an old toothbrush (or your husband's!) and running water. Let image dry.

2. Color image with chalks and blow off any excess dust.

3. Spray with matte sealer. Make sure that you hold the spray can about 12 inches away from the tile to avoid running and smearing. Let dry.

4. Adhere magnets to the backs of the tiles.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Make a paper lantern with only 3 supplies!

Here's how to make a fun paper lantern. It's easy enough that my 3 year old helped make it! Here are the three things you'll need:

12 pieces of 1x6 cardstock (I used double sided but it won't make any difference if you don't)
about 12" of ribbon or string
a hole punch

1. Punch a hole near the end of each strip. You may need to use the first punch as a guide to line up the rest. If needed to fit ribbon, make a series of holes in a line. Repeat on opposite ends so that each strip now has a hole at both ends.

2. Thread the ribbon through one set of holes so that all 12 paper strips are lined up. (If you use double sided paper and want to flip every other one for variation, now is the time to do it.)

3. Tie a knot in the ribbon on the side that you want facing out when the lantern is finished.

4. Bring the ribbon up to the other end of the stack and thread it back through to the opposite side. Be careful not to twist your ribbon.

5.Carefully bend paper into a "U" shape and secure with one hand while you tie a knot where you want the paper to stay.

6. Start to fan out the paper strips evenly to form the lantern shape. If you think it needs to be more round or more oblong you can adjust your knot accordingly.

7. Ta-dah! A paper lantern!

Make a gift box with card stock

Here are instructions on how to make a box using cardstock. It may seem confusing at first, but after you've done it once or twice you may not need instructions anymore. This makes a great gift box for small thoughtful items! You'll need:

2 sheets of 12x12 cardstock (I used SU Very Vanilla & SU Designer Series paper)
Paper cutter
Hole punch
Pencil & ruler (or anything with a straight edge to draw a line)

1. Using the piece of 12x12 cardstock that will become your lid, draw lines from point to point, diagonally, so that the two lines intersect at the center.

2. Starting at one corner, fold point up and into the center point, crease. Repeat on all four corners so that all points are in the center.

3. Unfold the paper so that it is flat again. Now fold a point up to meet the previous score line above it, crease. Unfold. Reapeat on all corners. (Yeah, the picture is crummy, deal with it.)

4. Your paper should look like this now. Lots of squares w/ a few triangles around the edge.

5. Now, take a point and fold it to the first score line it meets. Crease. Repeat on all sides.

6. Starting at one point, cut with the scissors until you meet the center four squares of your box. STOP AT THE FOUR CENTER SQUARES. You will cut a depth of one triangle and two squares. Repeat on the other side of the same point so that this part is independant of the rest of the cardstock.

7. It should leave a section like this on each side of the cut portion.

8. Repeat on the point opposite the one already cut. You should get a mirror image of the first cut. Your cardstock should look like this.

9. Taking one of the uncut points,

10. fold the point into the center of the cardstock. At this point you may wish to put a small amount of adhesive in each of the center squares. When a point meets the center of the cardstock, the adhesive will hold it in place.

11. Repeat on the opposite side. It will leave "tails" sticking out on either side.

12. Bring two of the tails together.

13. Lift the point that rests behind them and bring it up and over, securing the point in the center of the box. Your box now has three sides.

14. Repeat on opposite side. This completes the box lid.

15. To make the bottom: take the remaining sheet of cardstock and trim 1/2" off of two adjoining sides. Reserve these pieces.

16. Repeat steps 1 through 14. Your box will now have a top and a bottom.

17. To make the bow you will need the two pieces of paper cut off of your box bottom. Cut the 12" piece into two 6" pieces. Cut the 11 1/2" piece into one 6" piece and one 5 1/2" piece.

18. Fold the three 6" pieces in half to find the center. Fold one side up to the center and one side down to the center, overlapping slightly. (Think of a figure 8.)Punch a hole where the overlap is. The hole should be through 3 paper layers. This will be the loops of the bow.

19. Cut the 5" strip in half. Punch a hole in one end of both pieces. Cut tails in the opposite ends. These will be your ribbon tails.

20. Insert the brad into one of the loops, follow with the remaining two pieces, then the two ribbon tails. Open brad to secure paper. Adjust loops evenly.

21. Your bow is done and can now be applied to the box top for a finishing touch!

I've found other ways to make this box online but this is the one I prefer. One of the other styles has creases that will show on the finished box top where your pencil lines are hidden. I know it seems complicated, but it's really not.