Monday, August 31, 2015

papertrey ink :: quick stitch kits :: beaded holiday

Papertrey Ink's third Quick Stitch Kit will be released on September 1st and it is entitled "Beaded Holiday".  This kit reminds us of days gone by.  When women spent quiet evenings by the fire, doing handwork.  A time when handmade was best.  The basic holiday stitching shapes in Beaded Holiday can be used for so many different types of projects, everything from keepsake gift tags, to tree ornaments, to holiday garlands.  Think gift card holders, holiday party favors and more!  Erin even has you covered when it comes to decorating your holiday stitching projects.  The clever beaded motif dies pre-cut all of your holes so the beading process is a snap and perfectly precise.  Get your kit tomorrow night so you can get a head start on holiday projects!

Beaded Holiday Kit Contents:
Custom tote bag
Beaded Holiday: Mitten die collection
Beaded Holiday: Stocking die collection
Beaded Holiday: Star die
Beaded Holiday: Motifs die collection
Beaded Holiday: Garland die collection
Bead storage box (ten compartments)
6mm Bugle Beads, Silver
6mm Bugle Beads, White
3mm Seed Beads, Red
3mm Seed Beads, Chartreuse
3mm Seed Beads, Teal
3mm Seed Beads, Silver
8mm Cupped Sequins, Red
8mm Cupped Sequins, Chartreuse
8mm Cupped Sequins, Teal
8mm Cupped Sequins, Silver

The total retail cost of the "Beaded Holiday" Kit is $105. There will be a limited number of these exclusive kits available, so be sure to get yours while you can! The Beaded Holiday: Garland dies are the ONLY item from this kit that will be available for purchase separately at a later date.  All other items are limited edition to this kit and will never be offered again!  "Beaded Holiday" Kit will be available for sale beginning on September 1st at 10pm EST, only at Papertrey Ink. Read all the details on Nichole's blog or contact Customer Service with any questions.

It's that time of year when crafty companies are beginning their festive releases.  While I always think that I'm in no mood for Christmas in August when our sizzling hot weather is only just beginning (at least the way these past few years have gone), I always end up getting pulled into the vortex of holiday spirit and generally stay there until January!  So with the PTI Quick Stitch kits being my premiere holiday party for 2015, I'm wishing it was cold enough here to light candles and drink hot cocoa as I head down into a rabbit warren of holiday projects.

But shall we begin with something that is a bit less Christmas-y and ease our way into tinsel and glad tidings?  I created these lacy star home decor pieces to take me from Christmas into the New Year.  I stuffed them with a bit of poly-fill before stitching them up and also die cut a lace star for the front.  {Tip:  Placing a sheet of card stock in between my cutting plate and the lace helped give me a seamless cut.}

The idea here was to make these stars to give as tree ornaments or package toppers, and because they have mostly ambiguous sentiments, when Christmas is over, they can be kept on display all year.  I was particularly fond of the 'dream big this year' and 'out with the old / in with the new' messages from the Happy New Year stamp set.  So many of us have such big dreams and plans for a new year and these little stars can hang from or sit on a shelf as a reminder of those aspirations.

I stamped the sentiments on swatches of muslin and after some testing, found the more saturated inks worked best.  Used here are Harvest Gold and Tropical Teal.  I used 3 sequins from the embellishment kit to add extra details.  (These could be a really cute idea for the 4th of July, too!)

Supplies: (All dies, felt, ink & stamps - Papertrey Ink)
Quick Stitch Kits: Star Die, Sequins
Felt: Aqua Mist, Melon Berry, Harvest Gold 
Stamps: Happy New Year, Sparkle & Shine, 'Tis the Season Sentiments
Ink: Hawaiian Shores, Harvest Gold
Cream,  eggplant embroidery floss (DMC), cream & purple lace, muslin, silver thread (Coats), metallic blue thread (Coats)

One thing I always love to do when I receive my QSK is look over all the contents and decide how else to use them.  I think that's important with any kit or supply, for that matter, because they're more useful when you can do more with them, right?  So the good news about September's QSK is that even though it's called Beaded Holiday, you don't have to save it just for holidays!  You're also not obligated to only make a garland with the garland dies, nor must you save your sequins and beads for the delicate motif handwork (though you can if you'd like ;).

The star die is completely versatile because you can have stars at any time of the year; you've seen what I did with them, and if you prefer a more traditional holiday look, simply change the colors to red and green and switch to more festive sentiments.  Aside from the star, the garland dies, in particular, have a plethora of uses.  How about stitching the loops to ornaments or gift card holders to hand on the tree or a package?  I even made little decorative bows with them.

Let's discuss the bows first--I've fallen so hard for bows lately, and everything is cuter with a bow on it, right?  Especially at Christmas.  So when I realized how easy it was to make a bow out of the garland dies, I made a bunch of them and used them everywhere!  I'm not sure if Erin knew they could be turned into these beforehand or if this was a just a happy a-ha moment for me, but I consider it a huge bonus! 


This is all you need to make some bows:

Shortest garland die
Longest garland die
Glue (I used Fabri-Tac by Beacon)
Optional: thread or embroidery floss, needle

Cut 2 short garland pieces and 1 long one.

Fold the long piece into an 'infinity' symbol.  I made one loop on the top and a loop on the bottom.  The reason I did it this way is so I could use the die cut holes as a guide to stitch them together.  (Stitching is optional; you can also glue the ends to the middle.) 

Next, take one of the shorter pieces and nest it under your bow loops.  A dab of glue in the center keeps the two pieces together.  (Note: Each end of the short pieces have stitching holes.  I did NOT poke out the holes in these pieces, though you can if you'd like for added detail.)

Last, take the 2nd short piece and wrap it around the center of the bow, adhering it in place on the underside.

That's it!  So easy, right?  You can now make lots and lots of bows for lots and lots of pretty packages.

Bows do not have to be saved for holiday-only occasions, either!

After the bows came the loop.  You can stitch a loop to anything.  I know that both the mitten and the stocking came with a cute loop die all their own, and you'll see a bit later that I did indeed use them.  However, I also used the longest garland die to make a different loop for my stocking package topper.

I used the stitch guides on the ends to sew it into my stocking, lining it up with a few holes in the bottom of the cuff line.  Because it was not made as a loop for the stocking, it won't fit seamlessly together, but it's firmly in place and since all the stitching is inside the stocking, it's unnoticeable on the outside.  I can now tie it firmly to the bulky trims on my package and I know it's going to stay put!

I love using lots of different textures on my projects so I was happy to use the long garland die again to make felt loops for paper tags.  These I glued in place with Fabric-Tac instead of stitching, though that is always another option.  Instead of sewing, I covered the loop ends with buttons, sequins, and beads for the added bit of glitz.

I got a little carried away with the projects because I ended up using the sequins and beads for more tags--but I really wanted to stretch the kit and show you as many ways as possible to use all of the contents.  Forgive me.

Supplies: (All dies & felt - Papertrey Ink)
Quick Stitch Kits: Garland Dies, Stocking Dies, sequins, beads
Felt: Pure Poppy, Aqua Mist, Vintage Cream, Spring Moss, Autumn Rose, Lavender Moon
Adhesive: Fabri-Tac (Beacon)
kraft & glitter tags (Michael's), white embroidery floss (DMC), silver thread (Coats), cream lace, aqua fabric, tulle, metallic red yarn & buttons (vintage), glitter Thickers (American Crafts), seam binding (Hug Snug)

Of course, I had to make some gift card holders, too!  My love for wrapping gifts has surpassed my love for any other type of crafting (except maybe making tags), and I put making gift card holders in that category, as well.  I'm always in search of all kinds of 'pockets' that will fit a gift card so the stocking and mitten absolutely HAD to be made into gift card holders!  They are so easy to make, too!

I made these for my young nieces so I used slightly nontraditional colors, though I did manage to get the red and the green in there anyhow.  I guess I got on kind of a lace kick with all of my projects because I used it again here on the cuffs and stocking toe.  I was trying for a cohesive feel throughout the entire suite and mixing elements (like the lace and the bows), because I actually intend to use all of these pieces on my holiday gifts this year so if there are like elements on every piece, it's easier to mix and match when December arrives.  

I opted for a simple beading pattern on my mitten, using the silver sequins and teal beads.  The pop of Autumn Rose against the Spring Moss and Aqua Mist is so feminine and cute for a little girl.  And, well, that bow!

Supplies:  (All dies & felt - Papertrey Ink)
Quick Stitch Kits: Mitten Dies, Stocking Dies, Garland Dies, Motifs Dies..., sequins, beads
Felt: Spring Moss, Tropical Teal, Aqua Mist, Autumn Rose, Vintage Cream, Pure Poppy
White embroidery floss (DMC), cream lace

Don't forget, the kit goes on sale September 1st at 10pm EST.  You can find all the details on Nichole's blog and please be sure to check out the rest of the gals and their gorgeous projects!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

gossamer blue inspiration blog hop :: august :: jar of tags

It's the 15th of the month, which means it's time for the Gossamer Blue Inspiration Blog Hop!  Hopefully you've been finding these monthly tours helpful; we do it to give you plenty of ideas for using up the contents of your GB kits.  I always come away with some great concepts from the other girls.  You've probably just arrived from Patricia's blog and she's definitely had some brilliant ideas!

My project today couldn't be simpler...a jar of super-duper easy tags.  I always have a lot of embellishments left from my monthly kits; most of them I tell myself I'm going to save and use later.  Sadly, though, I rarely ever get the chance to revisit them, so this month I told myself I'm going to find a way to use up as much from August's kits as possible.  The beauty of a kit subscription is that there will be another one (or 8!) next month, right?  So...No. More. Saving! 

August's kits come with a lot of small elements--puffy stickers, enamel dots, adhesive brads, to name a few--and to utilize them, all I did was take multiple sizes of white strung tags (these are Avery brand, sized 3/4" x 1" to 1 3/4" x 2 3/4") and put one or two of those embellishments on them.  Really.  I made 50 or so small tags in about 15 minutes and now I have an entire jar of them for all my needs.

  While some of them are summery, most of them aren't so I'll be reaching for these when I need a tag for teacher's gifts, thank you notes, and maybe even some birthday presents.

The stamps in the kits also worked well for this project.  

And so did the cork shapes and washi tape!  

And did I mention die cuts?  I think you get the point.  

If you want to take it a step further, make up a jar for someone else.  It's a practical, inexpensive, handmade gift.  I quickly whipped some up for a friend of mine and even embellished the tags on the jar (simply) with some alpha stickers and a glitter heart die cut.

If you have similar embellishments to use up from past kits, I encourage you to get them out and make yourself loads of tags!  Use those kits up!  You don't even need to use these white tags; I have a feeling that paper scraps would work just as well, and by using scraps, you're working double-time to shrink your stash.  Out with the old to make room for something new...

If you don't own August's kits yet, you're in luck because there a few left (links below).  Check out the GB Shop and then be sure to visit Sian Fair's page (or vice versa :).  She's the next stop on the Blog Hop and her blog is simply gorgeous!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

gossamer blue :: august :: enclosure cards

For most of us, summer is a hustling and bustling time.  It's full of vacations, picnics, reunions, showers, weddings, parties; I could go on.  It's all very well and fun, but most of those things often require a gift, and, if you're on the go all the time with a hectic summer schedule, you may find yourself falling short on time when it comes to wrapping or making cards and tags.

Using this month's Life Pages cards, along with glassine envelopes and a few embellishments, I came up with a basket of gift enclosure cards that should get me through the rest of my summer and maybe even take me into autumn.  It's quick and easy if you want to do it, too!

To make the enclosures, I gathered some of my favorite LP cards and packaged them in glassine.  Depending on the size, I used either an envelope (2x2 / 4x4) or a bag (3x3.75).  {You may need to slightly trim each card.}  Mostly, the cards speak for themselves and sometimes there's room to compose a short message.  If not, I'll insert a blank card behind it with my hand-written well wishes.

The possibilities are simple but endless when you stick to a few simple components:
1. glassine bag/envelope
2. Life Pages card
3. embellishments--tags, stickers, fabric, washi tape, die cuts
4. clothespin for secure closure
So easy!

I generally let the LP cards do most of the favorites are the ones with minimal but striking graphics, like this 'Shine, shine, shine' sentiment.  The color is gorgeous and I love the typography so it was easy to slip it into a glassine bag and allow the message to show through (albeit, the bags are less transparent than the envelopes).  A strip of bright yellow fabric and clothespin from my personal collection paired with the pink and orange tag from the Bits & Pieces kit makes for a warm greeting.  And may I tell you how much I love that this month featured rolls of washi tape in some of the kits?  I don't think I'm alone in my washi compulsion.  It goes so well with this little ensemble so I used a piece to help secure my bag closed.

Another set...this one completely different but just as summery with that yummy pink ice cream! There are so many patterns at play here, and even the type in the ice cream scoop creates a pattern, which is brilliant!  For this card, I also added a transparent photo sticker from the LP Themed Add-on kit--'chill out'--for an extra detail.

I travelled back east in July where my family lives and we spent a couple of days at the lake with them. I wish I had had this card to give to my cousin; we have countless memories from childhood summers spent at our grandparents' house on the lake...running around in flip flops (or maybe just bare feet), in and out of the water, collecting shells.  We've tried to re-create some of those days for our own children in the last few years.  I might just end up sending this one to her.

Here is a good one for a reunion with an old friend...but, it's also just right for a wedding!  Simply remove the 'YOU + ME' tag and you're all set!

I have enough LP cards and embellishments to tackle every season with a project like this.  And if we think summer is a busy time, wait until we're in the midst of the holidays, right?  I think I'll be really happy to have something like this ready-made when it comes to surprise get-togethers and last minute gifts.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

gossamer blue :: july :: pink and gold packaging

You may have seen this last month on the Gossamer Blue blog, but in case you didn't, I'm re-posting it here.  I hope I never outgrow pink & gold...

July's kits were full of bright, happy colors that are so perfect for summer.  While I loved working with the full spectrum of rainbow hues on my other projects, I just couldn't resist my favorite color palette of blush pink, gold, and a bit of black.

The first thing I see when going through the monthly kits is the big picture.  That means my brain is focusing on all of that color and automatically wants to take the products and produce something like this...

I love projects like these mini cards (they photograph so well, for one!), but they are a bit of a departure for me, as I tend to gravitate toward softer colors, for some reason.  It's always good to step outside your comfort zone and challenge yourself, but admittedly, it was a sweet moment when I was able to break down the kit pieces and isolate the blush pink and gold in the midst of all the bold, primary-esque tones. 

Hiding amongst the reds, oranges, and blues this month were the slightest bits of pale pink--stickers from Shimelle and vellum circles, both in the Main Kit.  I adore pink and gold as a soft, sweet palette (I hope it's not passé yet), but I also love what happens when you add black to the mix; it's like going from the bridal shower tea to the bachelorette party!

Another thing I'm excited about is that the Life Pages cards now come in these kraft bags because I can always find a way to incorporate them into packaging.

'Happy Hello' was the first card I made and it started when I put a pink sticker over the 'Today's Top Story' card from LP Kit #3.  There is a smidge of the spring green showing and a thin black line, both of which I liked for their classic design elements.  Initially, these tags were going in an entirely different direction, but as I got into the project and began putting the phrases together, I let the cards and color palette define themselves.

The 'Hello' card went in the direction of layered, trendy, almost geometric, but the ideas and aspects I was trying on the other two cards for that same look weren't working.  I was sure I wanted to keep black as a component, though, so I had to find a way to incorporate it elsewhere.  The first thing I did was use black glitter clothespins to secure the tags to each bag.  They looked pretty bare, so I tried black twine, black ribbon, and a couple of black and white washi tapes from my stash, none of which I was happy with.

Then I remembered the black and gold labels by Seven Paper and they worked like a dream!  They had the edge I wanted and I loved that they were a true black so they really pop against the white cards.  They're sticky so they work just as well as tape, too.  I chose fun phrases and snipped a V out of them, and the packaging was complete.  Oh, and a little lace, of course.

The gold foil stickers (Main Kit), also from Seven Paper, were another facet I used on each card.  The tags don't have to match exactly, but a few like elements gives the set a cohesive feel.

In the July kits, with their full spectrum of colors, I managed to come up with something entirely different (nearly color-less), so it just goes to show that if you look carefully, Gossamer Blue kits have you covered for any situation!