Friday, November 29, 2019

Quick Holiday Gifts for Teachers or Students

Hello, Crafty Peeps,
Here is an idea for quick gifts that take almost no time to create!  I find they make wonderful gifts and are fabulous stash reducers!  I am including a detailed step tutorial but there are several hundred videos on YouTube if that is your preference!
 Note Pad/Post It Note Holder

Supplies Needed:
1 8-1/2" x 11" sheet of cardstock (at least 110lb)
1 6"x6" Designer Pad or paper scraps cut to 
3-1/2"x3-1/2" and 2-1/2" x 3-1/2" 
3"x3" Sticky pad
Tiny Calendar Sheets 
Small Ink/Gel Pen
Small Detail Paint Brush
Wet Glue (I use PH Neutral PVA)
(same consistency as Tombow Mono Glue)
Corner Rounder (Optional)
Paper Trimmer
Bone Folder

Cut cardstock to the following sizes:
  • 1 pc  -3-3/4" x 11"
  • 1 pc  -4-3/4" x 7-1/4"
  • 1 pc - 2-1/2" x 2-1/2"
Cut DSP to the following sizes:
  • 3-1/2" x 3-1/2"
  • 2-1/2" x 3-1/2"
The papers I use have been retired.  I am listing them in case you have them in your stash.
Card:  Bazzill Basics - Sea Glass
DSP:  American Crafts-Amy Tangerine " Sketchbook."

Mini Calendar:
If you decide to place the calendar on the front of your noteholder.
  • cut out your calendar pages and attach them to a piece of chipboard.  I covered my chipboard with a piece of my DSP.
  • Use clamps or alligator clips to secure your calendar pages.
  • Use a detail brush to apply glue to the calendar assembly.  Apply 2 or 3 coats.  Set aside to dry while you construct your holder.
  • Score the 3-3/4" x 11" card on the 11" side @ 4", 8", 9", 10"
  • Score the 4-3/4" x 7-1/4" card on the 4-3/4" side @ 1/2" then turn and score the other side at 1/2".  Turn to the long side and score @ 4" and 4-1/2"
  • Score the small 2-1/2" square piece at every half inch 1/2",1",1-1/2", 2"

  • Burnish the scorelines on the small piece (this is your pen holder).Apply glue to one end and join the two ends together to form a square tube.  Set aside.

  • Burnish the score lines on the 11" piece.  Make a valley fold on the three 1" scorelines.  This will form the standing base for your holder.  Apply glue to the edge of the valley fold and join with the flap.  Set aside.

This is my circus and these are my monkeys

  • Burnish the scorelines on the final card.  On each side, cut on the vertical score lines up to the horizontal scoreline.  Cut a small, angular slither to form your tabs.

  • Round the corners at the top of your holder (this is the long section.) Glue the large piece of DSP to the back of your holder.  The paper is smaller than the back, so make sure it is centered.  Add the smaller DSP to the front of the holder.

  • Fold your tabs in and apply glue.  Adhere them to the inside of the side pieces as shown below.

  • Next, apply glue to three sides of the pen holder.  Make sure the side without glue faces toward the sticky notes space as shown.

  • Now, apply glue to the bottom sides and adhere to form your pad holder. Apply double-sided tape and glue to the back of your holder and attach it to the standing base.

If you are adding the calendar, apply glue and d/s tape to the back of the calendar and then adhere to the base.


Jot Sticky Notes- Neon
These are $1.00/ea @ Dollar Tree.  I buy in bulk (36 units/case.) If you divide them in half you can create 72 projects.  Each pad has 125 pages.
View Jot Neon Icon Sticky Notes,
By Jeanette Cobb

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Let it Snow - My Self Challenge 2019

Hello, Crafty Peeps!
Moving right along with my holiday card creations. 
I purchase a stamp set (breaking my diet) just to get this cute little snowman.  Actually, I had to purchase the stamps to complete a customer order and that cost is billed directly to the client, so technically, I still haven't spent money on stamps.   Anyway, I am looking for more ways to present this little guy!
Stuff I Used:
White Cardstock
Copic Markers

Noel - Challenging Myself in 2019

Hello, Crafty Peeps!
Well, my Christmas Card Making Challenge continues.  
I have quite a collection of "scene making stamps."  When I first started stamping, that was all the rage.  But then I discovered that I really am not very good at coloring and I focused on creating cards (using wallpaper samples) to create my card projects.  The stamp used in this project has been in my stash since 2000 this year seemed like a great time to break it out and use it.  This is my second card using the stamp.
I combined two stamps to create this card and I am so happy with the final card.  I wasn't sure about using a sentiment on the front of the card until I remembered that I had purchased some Tim Holtz holiday dies last year.  The noel sentiment worked perfectly!

Challenges Entered:

Stuff I Used
Gold Cardstock - The Paper Place
Winter Cabin Stamp - INKADINKADOO (discontinued)
Gina Marie Designs - Stitched Oval Dies (discontinued)
Sizzix Thinlits "Season Greetings" by Tim Holtz (not available. New dies shown below)

Friday, November 8, 2019

Merry Christmas - To Shaker or Not To Shaker - A Step Tutorial

Hello, Crafty Makers!
As we near the end of 2019, I am feeling great about the progress of my 2019 self-challenge.  I successfully refrained from purchasing stamps, dies, etc., I have significantly reduced my stash, I have created cards that were out of my comfort zone, and I was able to relaunch A Place To Start, a challenge blog I hope to expand into a crafter's resource site.  This month, it seems that I am facing a different kind of challenge...Christmas Cards.
I normally don't make Christmas Cards.  Last year, I received a rather substantial order for Christmas Cards. This year, My sister-in-law has asked me to create custom cards for her church and for her personal use.  My supplies are limited but this image, I thought would work well as a generic holiday greeting.
Merry Christmas - The Tutorial
Shaker Version
Tools Needed
Die Cutting Machine or Circle Cutter
Metal cutting dies -Circle (2)
Blending brushes or other blending tools
Stamping Platform
Paper Trimmer
Craft Knife
Paper Piercer
Self-healing cutting mat
Small circle punch or die (3/4")
Supplies Needed
White Cardstock - 2 Sheets - 8.5" x 11"0
   Card Base - Cut to 4.25"x 11.0", Scored at 5.50" 
   Window Panel - Cut to 4.25"x 5.50"
   Image Panel - Cut to 4.25" x 5.50"
White Craft Foam
    1 pc cut to 4-1/8"x 5-1/4"  (you can use double-sided foam tape to create your shaker window if you do not have craft foam.) 
Distress Inks/Oxides (or other ink pads)
    Tumbled Glass, Iced Spruce, Stormy Sky, Salty Ocean, Blueprint Sketch, Faded Jeans, Squeezed Lemonade, Weathered Wood, Broken China    
Acetate - Must be large enough to cover the smallest circle size.
Sequins, Chunky Glitter or other shakers materials
Image Stamp or Die
Double-sided tape
Wet Glue
Wink of Stella (or some other glitter brush)
Stickles - Diamond
Image Stamp or Die
Post It Notes
White Paint Pen
Helpful Hint:  Before you start your project, create a template that can be used to make sure your image positioning is correct.  I used a scrap piece of Kraft card.  Use the smaller (window size) of your two circles.

Step 1
Cut your cardstock down to the proper sizes (See above).   Use your small die to cut a circle shape. This is your window.  Position your sentiment and stamp it onto your window panel.  (if you are making multiple cards, I would suggest cutting and stamping all of your window panels at this point.)
Step 2
Next, use the larger die to cut a circle in your craft foam. Later, this piece will be added to the back of your window panel.  If you place your craft foam on the back of your panel it should look like this.  Your craft foam may stretch a little when you run it through your die cutter.  Trim the excess.  It will also be flat but will regain its fullness. 
Step 3
Apply double-sided tape to the back of your window panel. Remove the release paper.   Adhere the acetate sheet to the back of the panel.  Apply tape to the back of the acetate sheet.  Now attach ds tape to the back of your craft foam.  If you are making the shaker version of the card, it is important to create a tight seal so that none of your shaker elements fall out.  

Your taped pieces should look something like this.

Remove the release tape from the acetate sheet and place the craft foam on top with the taped side up. This will be added to your card base.  For now, set this assembly aside.

Step 4

Use your remaining A2 panel to color your image.  If you are going to use watercolors, you will want to use the appropriate paper.
Create templates for your snowdrifts.  You can do this by tearing/cutting across the sticky edge of a Post-It note.  You may also used curved dies.
Use your 3/4" round punch or circle die to cut a circle from the sticky edge of a Post-It note.
Using your circle template, position your moon and the first layer of snowdrifts where you want them to appear in your card window.
Use removable tape to secure your panel to your work surface.
Begin coloring around your moon.  I used Weathered Wood to create my halo, however, Tumbled Glass is probably a better choice.  Work your way outward from light to dark colors.
I used Iced Spruce Distress Oxide to create my snowdrifts.  Keep positioning your templates until you achieve a pattern that you like! 
 Use your template to define the area that will be in the window of your card.
I stamped my image onto a scrap piece of paper to help me determine where I wanted to place my cabin.  If you are using a clear stamp, this step is not necessary. 
Place your stamp on your platform and position it.  
 Remove the yellow sticky and stamp your image with black ink. I used Momento Tuxedo Black.  Clean your stamp and then stamp the image again using Versa Mark Embossing Ink.  Heat emboss using "CLEAR" Embossing Powder.
 Decorate your image.  I added stickles to the trees, the wreath on the front of the house and the Christmas tree in the window.  I used "Wink of Stella" and Iridescent Watercolor Medium to add frost to my snowdrifts and the roof of the cabin.  I used a white Sharpie Paint Marker to color the snowflakes.
Next, apply double-sided tape to your card base. Add the image panel to the card base. If you are making a shaker card, place the shaker materials on top of your image before proceeding to the next step.
Remove the release paper from the back of your window panel and adhere it to your card base.  You are done.
Thanks for stopping by!  
Challenges Entered

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Gnome for the Holidays!

Hello, Crafty Peeps!
The time between Halloween and Christmas is normally a non-crafting period for me. Since I don't celebrate Christmas, I usually hibernate, clean my studio, reduce my stash, and watch a ton of videos on techniques I want to learn.  This year, I am, however, creating Christmas Cards for my SIL's church!
I wish I could capture the awesome sparkle of the embossed elements, but you guys all know how that goes!  I plan to create several iterations of this card.  I am going to create a white-on-white version with gold embossing.  In any event, she will have a ton of sample cards to use for her own purposes.
Chana Malkah

Challenges Entered:

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Shopping Our Stash #408 - Here Comes Suzy Snowflake

Hello, Crafty Folks!
Welcome to another fun challenge at Shopping Our Stash!
The theme this fortnight is Here Comes Suzy Snowflake!
I have had these snowflakes hanging around since last year and this challenge is the perfect opportunity to finally use them.  I planned an entirely different project but computer issues forced me to make something simple.  I do, however, love my embedded snowflakes!
I have not purchased crafting supplies in almost a year now, well, actually it has been nine (9) months.   From now on, every project I create will be "shopped from my stash!" I have been tempted, but I would rather have a new floor and new furniture in my studio!

My Snowflake card was created using this tutorial:  

I usually don't do Christmas challenges, but I found a new (to me) challenge "Christmas Kickstart" that I thought would be fun for my friends who do celebrate Christmas.   I did not create this card specifically for their challenge...but I think Dotty Jo will let me slide this time!  Check them out!

Challenges Entered
Christmas Kickstart Challenge - Snow 
A Perfect Time To Craft - Always Anything Goes

Monday, November 4, 2019

A Place To Start - November Challenge - Color Challenge - Caffeinated Tones

Hello, Crafty Peeps!
Color Challenge
"Caffeinated Tones"
 You may add neutrals or other spot colors!
 Keeping faith with my 2019 self-challenge, I created my first Tent Card.  I love it!
This style card is quite easy to construct and is a great way to use up paper scraps.  I will say that using a heavyweight acetate will make a sturdier card, particularly if you use heavy card stock.  
My stamp and die set included a die for the belly band of the cup. The Java Nice Day Sentiment was a perfect fit!
  I am always happy when I can mix and match stamp/die sets and still get a cohesive design.
As you can see, my acetate front is slightly bowed.  Next time, I will use heavier acetate sheets. 

 Creating the background for the card is a great way to reduce your stash!  I also learned a new crafting tip.  I have a lot of scrap sticker paper and I used it as backing for my background scrap strips, image, and die-cut. I cut a piece of sticker paper slightly larger than my card base.  I removed the release paper, adhered my scrap paper strips, and then trimmed the background panel down to the correct size. 
Here is a link to the Tutorial I used

Challenges Entered:

What I Used:
Basic Grey Life of the Party 6"x6" pad. (Discontinued)
Tim Holtz, Nostalgic Cardstock - Aged Mahogany(Discontinued)
Sizzix Framelit Stamp/Die Set Coffee 
     by Stephanie Barnard (Discontinued)
Unbranded Coffee Stamp Set (Image, Sentiment, Coffee Rings)