Monday, March 6, 2017

papertrey ink :: guest blogger :: packaging ambassador introduction

Hey, guys!  I want to direct your attention to Nichole Heady's blog today.  I'm introducing my new role as the 'Packaging Ambassador' over there.  You can find out just exactly that is, get some background on why I love gift wrapping so much, and see a few more photos.  On the 6th of each month I'll have a new post on Nichole's blog, as part of that series, also known as Paper & Package.

I'm fulfilling a bit of a dream in this role, wherein I get to dig deep into my affection for all things Paper & Package and share them with you.  It's an in-depth look into gift wrapping and will provide you with more than just a pretty picture.  I'll share tips, tricks, techniques, tutorials, and favorite products so I encourage you to check it out each month.

There are some really exciting things coming to my series in the next few months!  I hope you'll have a look and let me know what you think!


Friday, March 3, 2017

winnie & walter giveaway winner!

Hello, all!  My apologies for the late post, but I have a winner for the Winnie & Walter gift card giveaway I hosted in February.  Thank you to everyone who left a comment and played along.

*The winner is: DEE EARNSHAW

Such pretty projects. My go to technique would have to be embossing and distressing. I love how they produce amazing results:)

Congratulations, Dee!  If you'll just send me your email, I'll pass it on to the lovely Shay at W&W and she'll get you your prize.  ( Email me: thurstonpostblog(at) )  Happy shopping!!

Again, it was such an honor to be a big part of the Winnie & Walter community last month.  I DO plan to reply to the comments you took the time to leave me because I truly appreciated each one.  It will probably happen over the next week and in batches, but I will reply.  Thank you so much for your patience!

I've got a whole lot happening behind the crafty scenes in March, and April, too, so stay tuned for some big news dropping in that period of time.  I'm really excited about it all and I hope you will be, too.  I can mention that I'll be a monthly guest blogger for Papertrey Ink starting Monday, March 6th.  I'm over the moon about this opportunity--you have no idea!  I'm taking on the role of Packaging Ambassador (yeah, like that title didn't go to my head or anything :).  Packaging, gift wrapping, et al, is totally my jam and I'm looking forward to sharing some tips, tricks, and favorite products with you.  My first post, again, is Monday March 6th, over on Nichole Heady's blog, so give it a look if you have a moment.

There are a few other things going on, too, but I can't say much about them yet.  Soon, though!  I wish you all a fantastic weekend!  We are celebrating my daughter Nemy's 4th birthday on Sunday which entails a drive to LA and a visit to the American Girl store to pick out a playmate and a pet for her Bitty Baby Alice.  "Baby" Alice, incidentally is also 4 years old, never wears clothes, and is repeatedly mean to Nemy's other dolls, thus frequently ending up in timeout.  Don't ask me why we're getting Alice a playmate and a pet.  She clearly doesn't deserve either of them!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

winnie & walter :: february leading lady, part 4 :: diy embellishments

Oh, I'm sad!  It's my last Saturday with you wonderful folks at Winnie & Walter, being their Leading Lady.  I've had a blast, challenged myself in more ways than one, worked with amazing products, and connected with a bunch of new friends--it's been an awesome month!  (**Don't forget the giveaway!  Keep scrolling for details!)

I'm leaving you with a few fun little DIY tricks.  The beauty of many paper crafting products is all the different ways you can use them.  A designer may have one intention, but then another creative comes along and shows us all a different way to work with it.  Those are my favorite products because of their versatility.  So I took one of the best W&W dies and used it in a few different ways, essentially making do-it-yourself embellishments.

If you don't have the Lulu Fringe cutaway, go and buy it right now.  It is the best thing ever!  I started by using it to make the fringe hearts that are all the rage right now.  I'm sure you've seen them, so here's one way to make your own...(okay, two ways ;)

I started by cutting a heart out of white card stock using the True Multifaceted Heart cutaway.  Then I picked a few papers to fringe.  All the papers seen here today are Pink Paislee's Fancy Free line by Paige Taylor Evans.  I used prints with smaller patterns from the 6x6 paper pad.

I cut small strips for the hearts, approximately 3/4" by 6".  When I had a few strips cut, I lined them up on my heart, starting from the bottom up.  Be sure to put adhesive only on the flat, un-fringed part of your strip or the fringe won't stick up and be fringy!  You can trim the excess as you go or trim all at once in the end.  Either way, when you've finished, you have a pretty fringe heart!

(*Here's a tip that might be even easier, but it was one of those things that didn't dawn on me until I was writing up my post: Take a 4"x4" piece of white card stock and adhere your fringed strips to it, just as I did with the heart.  When you've reached the top, run it through your die cutting machine with the heart die.  Done!  Way less trimming, and much faster!  But, if you don't mind taking your time, you can try my first way!!)

To show it in use, I've simply used it as a gift topper here with some seam binding and a simple tag, also cut from Fancy Free paper.  The hearts are pretty enough to not need much else on a small package.

The second embellishment I made with the Lulu Fringe cutaway is a paper tassel.  If any of you stopped by my blog during the W&W World Card Making Day Blog Hop, you saw me use them on a card there.  It's still my favorite thing to make with the die and it's so easy!

Again, trim your papers--longer this time, around 1 3/4" long.  If your paper stock is thin, 6" is a good width; if it's thick, 5" is best.

You will need some tassel caps--I've used these small gold plated pieces here, which are 4mm in diameter.

Starting at one end, start rolling your strip.  It should look like this when you're done:

Pop your cap on (some adhesive inside the cap will ensure that your paper doesn't slip out) and you're done!  Super easy!

I made a fringe tag next, similar to the heart.  I actually had white shipping tags that I used, but the tag from Essentials: Katharine Cutaways would be a great die to use if you wanted to do it the card stock way.  Again, had I thought of that trick earlier, I would have done it!!  But, honestly, this way is not hard.  I didn't put fringe all the way up, but opted instead to use coordinating paper for a hole reinforcement.

It's all about the fringe on this present!  Yup, I absolutely did cover the box top with fringe strips, too, because once you start fringing, it's difficult to stop fringing!

For my last DIY embellishment, I made a little bow clothespin.  While I didn't use the Lulu Fringe die to make it, I'm including it because it still qualifies as a DIY embellishment.

I used the Take A Bow cutaways to make the big looped bow and adhered it to a chunky wood clip.  That's all.  Easy, again, but effective, especially with a few fringe scraps on a plain white gift box.

That's a wrap!  I hope you try some of these fun DIY embellishments!  Thank you so, so much for welcoming me into the W&W family and being so hospitable.  Don't forget to enter the giveaway!  You have until Monday, February 27th to leave a comment on this week's post or last week's to be eligible for the $30 W&W gift card.  I'll announce the winner on Tuesday, February 28th.

Your comments on last week's post were awesome and so many of you had terrific ideas for last-minute cards.  This week, I'd love it if you'd tell me one thing about yourself--your favorite season (give me autumn, please!), the state, city, or country you live in (Southern California here), your guiltiest pleasure (mine are donuts and Roxette :)...any little nugget you'd like! 

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Winnie & Walter (and friends) for making my February AMAZING!!

~Rebecca xo

Saturday, February 18, 2017

winnie & walter :: february leading lady, part 3 :: a trio of "simple" cards

Hi, friends!  I have to say that Winnie & Walter maybe have the best fan following in the paper crafting business.  You guys are awesome!  Thank you again for all the love and kind words you have left for me.  I love being able to create but when I hear that I've inspired you or that you get where I'm coming from, that, in turn, inspires me.  Your comments are truly appreciated and taken to heart.

**Be sure you read all the way through as I'm hosting a giveaway over the next 2 weeks!  Keep scrolling for all the details :)**

I actually had a different project in mind for this week than the one I'm sharing here today, but life got a little out of control last week and, as my deadline for submitting this post was approaching, I realized there was no way I'd be able to complete it on time AND be thorough in my photos and written content.  The good news is, you'll still get to see it as my finale next week!

So without my planned project, I was facing a nerve-wracking dilemma.  What can I come up with in 24 hours to share this week?!  Remember, I'm not a super-fantastic-amazing-mindblowing stamper...but I do really love to make cards and I do have other awesome Winnie & Walter products at my fingertips--like Cutaways!  And after a somewhat panicky brainstorming session, I had a few ideas for some quick and simple cards.

The first one I made was the simplest, and it inspired the two that followed.  I have acquired a W&W product collection that would make most people drool and I set out to use as many different sets as I could, while still keeping the feel of each canvas clean and easy.  A thank you card is always useful, I thought, eyeing the bold brushed style of the From the Bottom of My Heart stamp set.  So I started by die cutting some leaf stems with the Framed with Evelin T Designs in different papers.  All the papers seen here are from Pinkfresh Studio's gorgeous Indigo Hills line.

I clustered 3 of them together and added a tiny glitter heart at the bottom.  There's always a careful laying-out process to all of my projects, and this card trio was no different.  I was about to stamp RIGHT ON THE CARD, which is always an anxiety-ridden task because what if I mess up?!  It's right there on the card!  So planning for these kinds of things is a must, and honestly, while each of these cards maybe took 10 minutes to put together, the concept and layout of each one probably took over an hour!  (So when I say quick and easy, I really mean: these are quick and easy after the whole design and layout finally came together :)

I carefully stamped "thanks" on the card, emitting a huge sigh of relief when I lifted the stamp and found a complete image, sans smears and weird discoloration.  Then I stitched on a strip of lace with some gold thread, adhered the leaf cuts, and added a few sequins.  See?  Quick, easy, simple...after all of the mind-changing and anxious hemming and hawing over the actual design of the card!  But surely we've all been there, right?!

My second card was a a bit less agonizing as I was using a much smaller stamp this time and it isn't one of the main focal points.  I wanted to be sure I got to use the In a Word: Precious Script die at least once during my Leading Lady tenure because it's gorgeous.  I had the idea to cut the word out of floral paper and pair it with the phrase "You are."  "You are my" is one of the sentiments from the Sentimental: Endearments set so I masked off the my.  It worked, yay!

I decided to take the small flag die from the Essentials: Lana Cutaways and create a little bunting (who can resist buntings?!) to accompany my statement.  A little bit of lace underneath, because precious and lace go together like milk and cookies.  When I adhered the flags for the bunting, I didn't glue down the entire piece, leaving the bottoms raised and even curling them up a bit with my fingers for some extra dimension.

Just for a little interest, I stitched a few doily scraps along the bottom edge of the card.  It adds another kind of texture without making the card too busy.

I had a different idea for my last card, but when that wasn't really working so well, I scrapped the original idea and decided to use a few less elements, which actually made me like the card a lot better when it was all done.  I was going to do another bunting-type card, but with a different die.  In my mind I pictured a drapey sort of look with scalloped lace, a banner-type stamp, and this other bunting, however, the scale of the card was much too small to achieve this and it ended up just looking way too chaotic.  I got rid of the DIY bunting and just went with the lace and the stamp, which is from the New Release set of Scenery: Stripes 2 and I curved it when I placed it on the acrylic block to make it look like a party banner.  I like the simplified look much better.

Again here, though, I had to stamp directly onto the card--TWICE!--and let out a huge sigh of release when it worked again!  This time, I used the new 'sweet' cutaway from The Big, the Bold, and Baby and paired it with 'heart' stamped in pink.  I stitched pale pink tulle to the bottom edge this time, added another doily remnant and glitter heart.  (*Those hearts are pieces I've cut over and over again because they're the perfect finishing touch item to almost everything.  The last time I needed one, I went ahead and cut 20 just to have at the ready!)

While my original bunting idea was unsuccessful, I still felt as though this card needed a little something more so I tested out a glitter bow (another item I cut and assemble in bulk) and it was perfect!  It's such a cute card for a baby or little girl, don't you think?

Well, hopefully the cards don't look too thrown together in haste (because, remember, the concepts took me quite awhile :).  I'm actually pretty pleased with them and feel they are definitely MY signature style.  I'm really looking forward to sharing my LL finale with you next week, though.  I hope it's fun for everyone!

**Until then, I've got a Winnie & Walter Giveaway happening this week and next!  I'm sure you could all use a $30 gift card to the W&W shop, right?  Simply leave me a comment here telling me your favorite go-to technique or product when you're in need of a quick project.  (Mine are generally textures and layers.)  The giveaway will run next week, as well; there might be a different question but all comments for this blog post and next Saturday's W&W LL Part 4 post will be eligible to win.  I'll announce the winner on Tuesday, February 28.

Have a fantastic weekend!
~Rebecca xo

Saturday, February 11, 2017

winnie & walter :: february leading lady, part 2 :: floral gift wrap

Hello all!  I'm back with my second post as February's Leading Lady over on the Winnie & Walter blog.  But first, I just want to say how unbelievable you all have made me feel about my first project.  The outpouring of kindness in your comments, both here and on the post at W&W, blew me away.  I read every single one with a little flush in my cheeks and a grateful heart.  Thank you so, so much!  (If you've asked me a question and are awaiting a reply, I promise it is coming!)

Second, let's have another project, yes?  I will confess to not having the stamping prowess of most of you out there, and certainly nothing I stamp could even come close to what the amazing W&W Talent does every day.  That doesn't mean that I don't love and covet stamp sets, though.  And if you're a simple stamper like me, the good news is that there's a place for everyone in the crafting community.  That said, I really wanted to challenge myself at least once this month.

I've seen people do such amazing things with stamping and watercoloring--especially when it comes to florals--so I told myself I would give it a shot.  It sort of worked.  I suppose I didn't end up actually doing any watercoloring, but I still got the results I was hoping for and what I did was way more involved than I usually get when I stamp.

Also, I just flew by the seat of my pants.  I bought watercolor paper (because I intended to use them), and rummaged through my box of tools that I put away years ago looking for one of those blue water brushes.  I know my mom gave me one about 9 or 10 years ago, but of course I couldn't find it.  I did, however, find a box of unused blender pens, again years old, but I thought I'd give them a go just to see what happened.

The result?  Darn near exactly what I pictured when I imagined myself watercoloring!  I stamped a floral image in Papertrey Ink's Melon Berry, then dabbed my blender in the ink and started coloring.  I got the shade variation I had hoped for and when I added some minty leaves, it looked even better.  I'm officially hooked!

I did a whole 9" x 12" page of the florals and leaves (which, by the way, are from The Big, the Bold, and Extras set) and then tried to decide what to do with them.  In the end, gift wrap won out (as is usually the case for me).  The paper size was large enough to wrap a small box (mine is just under 4" x 4" square).

It's thicker than most wrapping paper so a bone folder to press down folds and creases, as well as super sticky tape are handy tools.  It's definitely a labor of love, but some people are just worth the extra time and effort, don't you think?

When it came time to add finishing touches, I tried to keep them simple, not wishing to cover up the pretty florals I had spent the last hour painting, er, blending.  A thin strip of lace tied on with some coral pink twine was my trim.  Then a gold glitter bow that I made with the Take A Bow cutaways (*possible new favorite die set!!!), and a little tag with 'dearest' stamped on it.

I didn't really mean to return this week with another gift box and card set, but I had a 4" x 12" length of stamped paper left so I couldn't resist turning it into a card.  I cut 4" off and folded the remnant into a 4" x 4" card.  Again, I didn't want to add a lot of elements to it, nor did I wish to cover up the flowers, so I stitched a piece of lace along the bottom edge and cut 3 banners out of gold glitter (2) and pink (1) paper, then matted them together, the pink sitting center on top of the 2 golds.  The banner die comes from The Big, the Bold, and Extras cutaway set, which matches the stamps I used for the florals.

I needed a sentiment and was hoping for something that would coordinate with the package.  The Sentimental: Love stamp set offered the perfect words; I just had to add a little bit of a curve to them when I stuck them to my acrylic block.  It looks like it was meant to be, doesn't it?

I'm not sure what took me so long to try adding a little color variation to my stamps, but I am hooked now!  I encourage you to try something 'new to you' this week, too.  I HIGHLY recommend Winnie & Walter stamps and cutaways (dies).  They're such good quality and I swear that every new item I use instantly becomes my most favorite thing ever ;)  I'm really excited about my next W&W post so definitely check back here in a week's time.  (There just might be a giveaway happening and you don't want to miss it!)  Have a lovely weekend!