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!


Saturday, February 4, 2017

winnie & walter :: february leading lady, part 1 :: from the card to a gift

I have the honor of being Winnie & Walter's Leading Lady this month--which actually means I have a standing date every Saturday in February to guest star on their blog!  I'll have 4 fun posts using W&W products and I'm even hosting a giveaway one of those days.  You'll have to tune each week to find out more about that, though ;)  

I started out in the papercrafting industry making cards and while I still make them, I've become obsessed with wrapping gifts and packaging.  So when I was trying to decide what to do for my first Leading Lady project, I thought I'd take a W&W cutaway item and show you how to take it from a card to a gift.

I'll start with the card...The stamp and cutaway set I focused on was Sketchy Thoughts.  The reason I chose it was because the large word bubble cutaways were the perfect size for a tag on a smallish package.  Plus, I knew I'd have no trouble using them on a card.  (I'm loving everything about this stamp set from the Jan/Feb Release!)

By papercraft nature, I'm a layerer and clusterer.  I'll admit that I prefer to make a big fat card with lots of girth and texture!  So my projects might be a bit untraditional in the stamping sense, but I hope you'll get a few ideas from things I show you.  True to form, I used a few cutaways to trim some shapes like tags and tabs from glitter and patterned scrapbook paper.  Then I made sure to cut out my Sketchy Thoughts bubble (the more circular one in this case).  I adhered two tabs from the Essentials: Katharine Cutaways set, then glued down some pale pink tulle in a ruffled manner--for depth--before adhering the glitter tag on top of it.

After that, I embellished the tag with a black sticker, small tag cut from the new Essentials: Lana Cutaways in the same Maggie Holmes dotted yellow paper, a wooden heart, and a purple fringe bow.  For the card sentiment, I chose 'lots of love' from Sending You with Evelin T. Designs with a close crop and a glitter tape matte.  Then I cut out the Sketchy Thoughts bubble from a sheet of Hazelwood patterned paper (1Canoe2).  I love that shade of pale pink and wanted the single bunch of flowers to be partly visible behind the sentiment.  Adding a few foam adhesive dots to prop it up and add dimension, I stuck it onto my card as the finishing touch.

To complement the card, I wrapped up a small personalized ring dish for a friend. Small packages like this one are so fun and easy to wrap.  Truth be told, I hate pulling out huge rolls of gift wrap so whenever possible, I love to use scrapbook paper or my own stamped wrap on simple copy paper instead.

In this case, I wrapped the box with more of the pink floral Hazelwood paper and used the yellow Maggie Holmes paper for my word bubble tag.  I wanted to keep the packaging somewhat consistent with the card (but not exactly the same) so after dressing up the package with some leafy black fabric and lace, I tied on the smaller Essentials: Katharine Cutaways tag (in gold glitter) and a purple embroidery floss tassel (instead of a bow).  I also swapped out the tulle with a strip of lace.

When it came to the word bubble, I used the square-ish one and a sentiment from the Sketchy Thoughts stamp set because I wanted something a bit bigger than I had used on the card.  Instead of glitter tape as a matte, I used lace.  I tied it to the fabric with a length of metallic thread because the thread gives it kind of a wispy, delicate feel.

This little box is ready to send off to my friend.  It's a 'just because' gift and I like the idea of the little sketch bubble used as a tag.  It's almost as if I'm actually saying "Hello!" from far away!  I have 4 of these little dishes to send to friends across the country and because I made the tags myself from the stamps and cutaways, I can easily replicate all the packaging.  The same goes for the matching card.

I have to mention the cute little ring dishes...they're handmade from Az and Airalee and they are just too sweet--and make the best photo props!  Check out their website if you have a chance.  And, of course, head over to Winnie & Walter and pick yourself up a few stamp and die sets (I'm completely in love with Sketchy Thoughts)!  I can't wait to share a few more W&W projects in the coming weeks!