Giveaway #2–Hearts Flutter

It’s time for giveaway #2…and of course, it’s inspired by the upcoming salute to St. Valentine. So put your cupid wings on and enter for a chance to win this week’s loot.

Up for grabs, a package that includes:

  • Fancy Pants “French Market” rub-ons
  • 7 Gypsies “Zanzibar” rubbings
  • Prima Marketing Journaling Bloc-Notes & Storage Box (30 sheets, 4″x6″)
  • Heidi Swapp “Crowns” Journaling Spots
  • K&Co. “Smitten” Holographic Puffed Heart Stickers
  • K&Co. “Smitten” Adhesive Chipboard Heart Collection
  • Pebbles Inc. Ribbon Sampler in “Chocolate Box”
  • Papertrey Ink 6″ x 6″ Patterned Paper Pad in “Pink Patterns” (36 sheets)

    For a chance to win, leave a comment on this post telling us: “What makes your heart flutter?”. The winner will be chosen by random draw. Entries accepted until 11:59 p.m. MST on February 3, 2010. The winner will be announced on February 4, 2010 on this blog. As always, consider officially “following” my weblog to stay abreast of giveaways and updates (see right sidebar).

    Good Luck and have a terrific weekend ahead!

  • Note Card File Prototype

    The project I’m sharing today is one that I’ve been working on for a while now. This is actually the fourth prototype I’ve created continually tweaking the design. I was inspired by all of the envelope albums that seem to be in vogue right now.

    I knew I didn’t want to create an album per se. I was interested in taking the “pouch system” created with the envelopes and adapting it to a type of holder or file system. I originally thought it would be a cute idea to use as gift packaging for a set of personalized note cards. However, after working with the design for a while now, I think this would be a great design to hold tags, photos, gift certificates or coupons.

    The main problem I encountered was coming up with an appropriate closure system. Previous versions used a hook and loop closure, a constructed tab closure, and a button closure. Through trial and error, I’ve decided the most effective (and best looking) closure was made by using simple eyelets and ribbon.

    The base for this project was a piece of thin chipboard measuring 11″ in length and 5″ in width. I scored the chipboard piece at 5 1/4″ and 5 7/8″. This creates the spine of your book, which measures 5/8″ in width.

    With the interior structure of the folder created, I chose a lovely patterned paper from SEI’s ‘Oasis’ collection to cover my chipboard with. I allowed a 1/4″ overhang allowance on all sides of my covers to allow for the paper to wrap over the edges and be adhered to the interior backing of the chipboard. I used separate cut pieces to cover the front and back covers and the spine.

    At this point I punched holes on each side of the covers and set eyelets to hold my ribbon closure. For the actual ribbon, I used some 1/2″ Stampin’ Up! silk ribbon in Old Olive. By threading each piece of the ribbon through the eyelet and then using my ATG 714 adhesive, I taped the ribbon to the interior raw chipboard. Not only does this allow you to anchor your closure, but it allows you to hide the backsides of your eyelets and the ends of your ribbon. I then used the same decorative paper to cover the inside panels of my folder book.

    For the actual accordian fan folders, I used some Stampin’ Up! A2 sized Kraft envelopes. I took four envelopes and sealed them. Then I cut 2 1/2″ off each end of the envelopes to create the eight pockets used to create my filing system. To create the fan file, I used two strips of ATG adhesive in the center of each of the envelope pockets, adhering the back of one pocket to the front of the next. Once all eight pockets are adhered to one another, all that is left to do is adhere the pocket bundle to your chipboard covers. I covered the front of the first envelope pocket and the back of the last pocket and attached them to my cover.

    Overall, I’m pretty happy with the results. I might work on a couple other design modifications, but the basic folder shape is there and it is very functional. [TIP: A cute Valentine’s Day idea for a project like this is to create eight coupons to place in your file folders (e.g., “redeem for one kiss”, “redeem for a massage”, “redeem for a candlit dinner”, etc.)]

    Giveaway #1 Winners Announced!

    First, I must apologize for the tardiness in posting this much-anticpated post. Some time between Saturday night and Sunday morning, I had an unexpected visitor in the form of some nasty flu bug. Now, I love bugs–especially Cricuts–but I do not care for the flu variety. Needless to say I was knocked for a loop with a fever and chills–but I think I’m finally starting to kick its little gross butt. (But no one wants to hear about that, lol.)

    So, my first giveaway winners chosen by random draw are:

    **Cricut Cartridge: Plantin Schoolbook:

    Jacqui said…
    Just discovered your blog. love your work. I have become a follower.
    January 24, 2010 8:46 PM

    **Stampin’ Up! Good Neighbors Clear Mount Stamp Set:

    Jeanette T. said…
    Nice to see a guy doing this. Thanks for a chance to win some candy. Have a great weekend.
    January 22, 2010 4:08 PM

    Congratulations to JACQUI and JEANETTE T.! If you will please e-mail me your mailing addresses, I’ll get your packages on the way to you.

    I really want to thank everyone for participating and for leaving such wonderful and encouraging comments. I do take the time to read each and every one–and they all mean so much to me.

    Look for Giveaway #2 to appear sometime Friday! Wanna know what I’m giving away? Uhm…not so fast. You’ll have to come back for the goods…


    After an internal battle with my will and common sense ended in gory defeat, I finally succumbed to this itch that has been plaguing me for nearly two months and begrudgingly (with a slice of giddiness) gave in an purchased the illusive Cricut cartridge ‘Picturesque’ on the secondary market. It goes without saying that this has become my most expensive cartridge yet (replacing ‘Potpourri Basket’).

    Finally, it came down to a simple matter of supply. It does appear (via information from a well-placed source) that ProvoCraft will NOT be making ‘Picturesque’ available for individual sale any time in the near future. Originally, paired with a champagne-colored Expression, ‘Picturesque’ was to be an exclusively bundled cartridge to Home Depot. However, a contractual problem occurred and the deal fell threw. It is my understanding that the rumored 300-500 bundles were sold to a warehouse club–and were quickly broken up to sell on the secondary market by some savvy consumers. My source says that the cartridge will reappear in a new set of exclusive machine bundles that will be exclusive to a major retailer in approximately the same quantity. The retailer has been chosen, but has not been officially announced. Meanwhile, there are no plans through 2010 to offer ‘Picturesque’ as a solo cartridge.

    In my opinion, that really is a great shame as this is a bursting-at-the-seams chock-full content cartridge. The artwork by Noralee Peterson is intricately detailed and filled with decorative flourishes and embellished elements. The cartridge features the following creative features: tags, corners, frameworks, cards and seals, shadow and blackout on over 99 individual pieces of artwork. Among the images included are: florals, dragonflies, butterflies, birds, nests, swans, vines, scallops, celtic knot elements, greek key elements, and iron work elements.

    Here are a few photographs of some of the elements from the enclosed handbook:

    My first project using ‘Picturesque’ was a quick greeting card. The three lighter blue cardstock pieces (card base, mat, and die cut) are all Bazzill cardstock from a Fourz pack with a grasscloth texture. The mat cardstock was punched with an EK Success border punch called “Swiss Cheese”. The backing paper on the diecut tag is an SEI glitter cardstock. The “love” sentiment was cut on the Making Memories Slice (from the ‘Think Pink’ card) out of silver foiled SEI cardstock. The actual diecut tag I chose to cut on my Cricut Expression is called “cotton blossom” and was cut at 4″ (Shift + Tag). The polka-dot ribbon is from Papertrey Ink’s “Enchanted Evening” collection and the mabe pearl accent is from the Stampin’ Up! Pretties kit. I used my ATG 714 adhesive to assemble the card. The inner sentiment is from a Stampin’ Up! Sale-a-Bration stamp set entitled ‘Whimsical Words’ (#119119). Finally, I used a Martha Stewart corner rounder punch to shape the final card.

    With the addition of ‘Picturesque’ to my cartridge library (and Gypsy), I am now only down three cartridges of all that have been released thus far: ‘Keystone International’, ‘Don Juan International’, and ‘Pink Journey’. As always, the search continues…

    Well, I was rather wordy today. I hope you enjoyed the peek at ‘Picturesque’. If you have a way to add it to your collection, I highly recommend it. It really is a beautiful set of images.

    As always, have a terrific Friday ahead…and keep crafting!

    Let The Games Begin!

    In a shameless effort to promote myself and my crafting blog, this month I’m going to start what hopefully will be a monthly tradition of giving back to my loyal readers and fellow enthusiasts.

    First up this week, your opportunity to win either a new Stampin’ Up! Sale-a-Bration stamp set or a new Cricut cartridge.

    The stamp set is entitled ‘Good Neighbors’. Not only is this set not available for individual purchase, but it’s one of the new clear-mount rubber stamp sets introduced exclusively for Sale-a-Bration. It consists of ten individual rubber stamps with a new cling-mount foam system packaged in a new DVD style storage case. All you need is a clear acrylic mounting block and you’re ready to stamp away.

    The Cricut cartridge is ‘Plantin Schoolbook’. This cartridge is usually bundled with the Cricut Expression and is a great basic shapes and font cartridge. It is brand-new, never registered nor linked to a Gypsy. (I received a new Green Expression for Christmas and already own this cart. So I hope someone out there can use it).

    To win either prize (winners determined by random draw), you only need to do one thing: Leave a comment on this post. However, I’d really love it if you would consider “following” this blog by signing up on the right sidebar. This will keep you informed of updates to the blog and other giveaways coming down the pipeline. The deadline for this giveaway is Sunday, January 24, 2010 at 11:59 p.m. MST. Winners will be posted on Monday and they can contact me with their mailing information.

    As always, thanks for reading and helping get the word out that men can craft too! Be on the lookout for some really great giveaways right around the corner.

    Butterflies Are Free

    I know it’s not proper etiquette to rave about your own work, BUT…I LOVE this card. It started out as something entirely different and morphed into what you see below. It features a new Stampin’ Up! exclusive Sizzix Embosslits die that was just introduced in the new 2010 Occasions Mini Catalog.

    The die is called ‘Beautiful Wings’ (#118138, $ 11.95) and it cuts and embosses four different delicate butterfly diecuts. Measuring a scant 2 1/4″ x 2 1/2″, this must have die will fit into anyone’s collection (lol). The A2 sized card below was made from a sheet of DCWV ‘Latte’ cardstock. The mat is from the gorgeous SEI collection entitled ‘Jolie Chocolate’. Throw in a little tea staining, glitter, a corner rounder and you have a card with implied motion, dimension and joyful charm.

    Now, pardon my overindulgence in the photography department. (Oh, and just a friendly reminder: If you are ever looking for any Stampin’ Up! products, feel free to check out my on-line boutique.

    Wherever the day takes you, flutter your wings…and create! Keep crafting!

    Up Close: Aging & Staining

    This tri-fold card was an experiment to use several aging/staining techniques I will be sharing with you in the near future. I really like the effects you can obtain by using tea stains, inking, paint, masking and overlaying. It gives a bit of the vintage feel, but still retains an overall modern and stylish look.

    Also, next week be on the lookout for your chance to win some cool prizes, including:

    Wanna know what they are and how to win them? Stay tuned…and tell a friend. Have a terrific weekend Crafty peeps…