Mother’s Day Lace Frame

Mother Lace Frame

After going to a recent trade show, I fell in love with this new (to me) craft called Hasty Lace. Such a relaxing craft. Can be done almost anywhere including watching TV. Pity I found this at the end of this dreadfully long, cold Winter. None the less, the sample shown were amazing! I just had to give them a try. Since Mother’s Day is coming up, I thought it would be nice to do something to show my appreciation that was more than just a card. You basically have two options. The main technique is using a very tiny ball tool with the stencil. You can attach it to a light box and just start poking. If you want to add more detail and refinement you can use a single needle tool on certain areas of the design. This is similar to Pergamano but with much less work.  One nice thing about these stencils is they come in relatively small sizes so you can finish one in about 20 minutes. An added bonus of the stencils is that many can be extended to create a larger design, creating bookmarks, photo mats etc. They have larger designs and scenes as well. I hope you check out the Some-Assembly-Required website (SAR). They are a wonderful couple with great products and lots of helpful advice. Have you discovered any new crafts lately? All the best,

Diane Long

 

Snow Day Frame

Snow Day Frame

Wow, it’s been quite awhile since I sat down to write a post. Every time I’d start something, I’d get distracted, (or do more shoveling…) and I just didn’t feel like it.

Finally had an afternoon to myself so play I did. Loving these clear frames from Deflecto. Because the back is clear, you can play around with the different layers sandwiching things in the middle, attached to the back or adding dimension right on the front.

What better theme than a snow day! There are so many great paper punches to use and a tried using several different papers, glossy, vellum and even a few covered in translucent glitter.

Sure hope the cold doesn’t last much longer. Who’s ready for Spring??

All the best,

Diane Long

 

Garden Tile Card

Garden Tile Card image

 

I really think that July is my favorite month. Seems to be the only month on the calendar where there are no major events to plan, deadlines, back to school, holiday prep (well, fourth of July is an easy one) There seems to be less cars on the road, everyone seems a bit more laid back, Things are growing, the corn is sweet, The days are sunny and the water is refreshing. So on one of these lazy days I wondered off into the craft studio.

Garden Tile Card

It is a pity this time of year is so brief, The flowers leave too soon. Perhaps that’s why I enjoy making flower themed cards, It lets me hold on to them a little bit longer.

You can use this technique with most any stamp and it’s fairly easy to do. For this particular flower stamp. (Outlines- no longer available) I stamped on glossy paper with India Ink. I colored the flowers with Prismacolor Markers. On the back I found the center and measured for four equal pieces and cut. Of course, you could do smaller tiles depending on the size of your stamp, being a square or rectangle design. I could have done this piece in 9 tiles for example. I would just take the measurement of the design and divide by 3 giving me 3 tiles across and 3 tiles down.

I went over all the edges of all the squares with a black sharpie marker. I just like not seeing white edges on the paper when I cut something out. Then I pressed the stamped side of the tile down on to a Versamark ink pad. Covered with UTEE (Ultra Thick Embossing Powder) that I placed in a tray. heat set. I did this with 2 more layers of UTEE. The final layer though, I didn’t completely heat with the heat gun, I placed them in the toaster oven at about 350 degrees on a ceramic tile. This helps the UTEE lay more evenly on the surface. After they cool completely, attach to a card with strong double sided adhesive.

Although I didn’t use the UTEE on this card, here is an example of using smaller tiles with words. It’s a great way to salvage a card you’ve made mistakes on. This is a Antique tile card using the UTEE.

Keep summer alive by creating something with flower tiles, and brighten someone’s day.

All the best,

Diane Long

 

Craft Storage Flea Market Find

Craft Storage Flea Market Find Image

Summer pastimes

One of Summer’s many pleasures that I enjoy is finding treasures and unusual things at tag sales and flea markets.  I think adding some one of a kind or refurbished pieces to your home gives depth and a rich character. They store memories of where you found them, what you were doing that day, or even how little your kids were at the time.

Craft storage flea market find

Believe it or not, when I laid my eyes on this, I didn’t even see the white cabinet sitting underneath the colored blue and pink little cabinet. There was so much stuff around it, and I was amazed that anybody would take such a cute piece and write on it with what I’m guessing was a bottle of fabric paints. I was thinking of all the sanding it would take to get off, and when I picked it up I saw the white one below. Well, that sealed the deal, sanding or no sanding, I had to have them both. They were marked with a combined total of $14 and with my negotiating skills brought it down to only ten bucks!

Wood cabinet flea market find

Wood cabinet flea market find

 

The process

It did take a fair amount of sanding to get that writing off but the task was much easier with the electric sander. My first mistake was spray painting on a hot and sticky day. It seemed to bring all the gnats out. As my shady spot was getting smaller in the afternoon, I had to keep the boxes closer together. The paint just dries way too quickly in the sun. My second mistake was choosing a spray paint with a lacquer finish. It was too glossy and there were imperfections that I didn’t get out with the sanding. This was going in my craft studio so total perfection was not my goal (ie; I’m lazy!)

craft storage boxes outside

After some re-sanding I went back to the trusty Rustoleum I normally use. Much better. After a few coats and a very gentle touch with steel wool, They looked much better. Also added a coat of paste wax to help the drawers slide better.

For the labels, I took a cereal box and cut out ovals. I used 2 Spellbinder dies that I’d taped together to give me an opening on the inside. Spray painted them with a few coats of gold. Keep in mind that if you go to spray paint something small like that, the spray will blow it away. I took a strip of green painters tape, laid it in a pizza box with the sticky side up and bringing the two ends down onto the box to secure the strip. Then I placed each cardboard oval onto the sticky tape.

When making the labels, I couldn’t commit to what supplies I wanted in each drawer. What if I changed my mind? What if I outgrew that drawer size and it didn’t hold enough? So, I came up with the general terms of Stuff, Things, Supplies and Crafts. I printed out 3 sets of them since I had a total of 12 drawers, traced outside the smaller oval Spellbinder around each title. I placed a piece of clear acetate over the titles and cut the oval through both the acetate and the paper.

gold oval

Next I cut narrow strips of scotch tape and taped the titles and the acetate to the back of the gold ovals and attached them onto the drawers with Wonder Tape

Craft storage closeup

Craft storage closeup

craft storage cabinet

craft storage cabinet

 

Now I get to decide what I’ll put in them. The largest drawer already has my Cuttlebug plates and the medium drawers can hold my Spellbinder dies. The rest will have to wait.

Have you picked up any great finds lately? Would love to hear about them!

All the best,

Diane Long

 

 

Dad Scrapbook Layout

Our Dad Scrapbook Layout image

Our Dad

Although my dad has been gone many years now, I wanted to make this page in honor of Father’s Day. These are a few of my favorite pictures of him and I wanted to keep the page simple as to not distract from the photos.

I especially love the one of my mom and dad together. That was their engagement picture. I remember it beautifully framed on the mantle of my grandmother’s house and just staring at it. Such a glamorous shot. They looked like movie stars.

Our Dad Scrapbook Layout

Our Dad Scrapbook Layout

It’s amazing to think of it but my dad and all three of his brothers were in the war at the same time. All my grandparents had to hold onto was four framed photos of their beloved sons- their whole world. As a parent, I couldn’t imagine such a thing.

Dad Scrapbook Layout

I wanted to capture the vintage feel and the glamour of the time so I settled on this frosted brown paper from DCWY Luxury Stack. After stumbling on this solid pewter-ish paper I knew they had to be together. Again, I wanted to keep the layout simple and focus on the photos, Couldn’t bear to even crop them.

Whether or not you will be with your dad this Father’s Day, I hope that you can find some way to honor him, and celebrate his importance in your life.

All the best,

Diane Long

 

 

Mason Jar Card – Fireflies in a Jar

Mason Jar Car fireflies in a jar

Fireflies in a jar

I’d had this mason jar rubber stamp on my desk for ages, trying to think of something to do with it. It has been 2 years since I lost my brother and I was thinking about how incredibly funny he was. I started recollecting about all the many summer nights we used to catch fireflies: or lightning bugs as we called them. Well, one night our mom called us in as it was getting late. We’d collected so many fireflies that we brought our jars inside for show. My brother was older, so I really didn’t know any better than to listen to him when he said “take the lid off”

You can imagine what the house began to look like as these tiny blinking beings were spreading throughout the rooms. When I saw what was happening, I quickly jumped into bed and pretended to be asleep. Needless to say, that was merely one of the many, many pranks he pulled on us.

Mason Jar Card

Working with inkjet printable acetate. I stamped the jar (Inkadinkado) and the fly (unknown) with India Ink. Also stamped the jar on a piece of white cardstock. Colored the flies in with a yellow Painty marker on the front of the fly. Went over it with iridescent watercolor. Painted the lid with a silver Sharpie marker.

jar step 5

 

 

When the flies were dry I outlined the bottom with yellow sharpie marker and took a bit of Blending Solution on a brush and blended the color outward.

On the white card, I ripped a piece of scrap paper to use as a mask and added various blue inks shown (lighter to darker) with a Color Box applicator, also added a bit of pink. Did the same with the greens. Cut out the jar shape with a utility knife.

jar step 2jar step 3jar step 4

To layer the card, I taped the acetate pieces on the back of the cut out. then a piece of white vellum behind it, followed by a gold piece of vellum. This helps give the illusion of light shining through glass.

What summer memories can you recreate?

All the best,

Diane Long

 

 

 

Thomas Kinkade Rubber Stamps

Thomas Kinkade rubber stamps, Cornish Heritage Farms

I just love using the Thomas Kinkade rubber stamps from Cornish Heritage Farms. They can be challenging to say the least. Especially for someone like me who doesn’t have the best eyesight. Through trial an error I found a way to color the scenes in, yet keep all the brilliance that Thomas Kinkade is known for.

I made 2 videos to show you how. The first video is how to stamp them. The second video is how I color them.

Here are a few samples.

Thomas Kinkade Card Delft Blue

Thomas Kinkade Card Delft Blue

Thomas Kinkade Card with Verse

Thomas Kinkade Card with Verse

Thomas Kinkade Rose Garden

Thomas Kinkade Card, Cornish Heritage Farm stamp

Thomas Kinkade Card, Cornish Heritage Farm stamp

 

 

If you have these stamps I hope you try this technique. I would love for you to email me or tweet me a link to your card.

Happy Stamping!

Diane Long

 

Stamped Winter Scene Card

Stamped Winter Scene Card

Had enough of winter yet?

It seems with a winter of back to back storms ice and cold, it can begin to wear on anyone. Maybe it’s the Turning Lemons into Lemonade motto or what but when the snow is falling, it looks spectacular. When the light hits the snow a certain way, it actually does look like falling glitter. You would have thought with all the days that I was actually snowed in, I would have gotten so many projects done. Truth be told, it takes a LOT of time to remove all that snow!

I did manage to make this winter scene card for a friend, somewhat different from the grey snowy card I’d done last season. It’s amazing how these stamps let you create nature’s beauty in every season. Here’s a video tutorial on using Stampscapes stamps  Their website is also a source of great information.

As 2014 is chugging along, I continue to hold onto focus, keeping my One Word in the forefront of my mind. Pursuing order, although at times I’ve fallen short, has made a tremendous impact on my life.

I guess we just have to keep remembering that in another month we’ll be turning the clocks ahead. Spring can’t be far off. right?

All the best,

Diane Long

 

 

Valentine Keepsake Box

Valentine Keepsake Box

The thought of Valentine’s Day can be a little daunting since most retailer’s put all the Valentine merchandise on the shelves the very day after Christmas! With so many back to back events during the holiday season, a bit of a break is most welcome.

Valentine Keepsake Box

I do love receiving valentine’s and have accumulated a number of them, especially from my son and daughter. I wanted someplace special to keep them- aside from my other keepsakes, cards, and letters.  I had a bunch of cigar boxes someone gave me and had been meaning to use them for quite some time. If you don’t know anyone who smokes cigars, many cigars shops are willing to give, or sell boxes to you for a small fee. They come in so many shapes and sizes, I know I will find uses for the others throughout the house.

I took some red velvet paper and lined the inside bottom to give it a finished touch. I took some clip art (the couple on the lower left) printed it on acetate then layered it over gold vellum. In addition to the other vintage clip art, I used a doily, Floral stickers, LOVE sticker, and edged the picture of flowers with an edge punch. I didn’t have any antique keys at the time so used a punch and gold paper for that.

The center was done by typing Valentine’s Keeper on the computer, cutting out and layering with a Spellbinder’s die. I bet you have bits and trinkets that you could use on a keepsake box. Keep those loving sentiments in a special place in a box that’s pretty enough to leave on display.

All the best,

Diane Long

 

 

Christmas Poinsettia Tag

Christmas Poinsettia Tag

Wow is Christmas coming quickly this year! I just might finish everything on my to-do, to-make, to-buy, to-clean list. Of course back to back snow storms on the east coast are not really helping. I think it’s vital to keep tons of supplies on hand so you can execute a Plan B or even a Plan C.Couldn’t make it to the mall to get some shopping done but had lots of baking supplies on hand. I was able to prepare several batches of cookie dough to freeze for later. Always try to keep a stock of craft supplies and grab when they are on sale. Then the cabin fever is not likely to set in if I get inspired to create something and have plenty to work with.

Gift Tag

I love dressing up a bottle of wine, gift card or a batch of cookies with a handmade gift tag. You can purchase pre-cut ones or trace your own out of card stock. This tag is done with some gold embossing powder and a poinsettia painted with iridescent watercolors. Not as hard as you may think.

Add a personal note on the back. If you add a ribbon it can be hung from the Christmas tree. If you’d like step by step instructions, you’ll find them HERE

If you’d like more ideas and inspiration for the creative journey, sign up for the FREE MONTHLY NEWSLETTER  HERE

All the best,

Diane Long

Join in on Project Inspire here

Set of Handmade Cards With Storage Box

Handmade Card Set with Gift Box

It’s always nice to have some hand made gifts stashed away. It’s easy to forget a birthday, need a last minute hostess gift or have someone on your list who says “ you don’t have to buy me anything”

I found this great little suitcase at Hobby Lobby and thought I’d do something with it. It was a great size to put a set of cards in so I got to work.

I used a variety of different greetings stamps but stamped them all in the same color. I dry embossed a border with a brass stencil and cut ¼ from the edge. Added a strip of patterned paper over the top of the verse with enough tan paper to stick over the top about ¼  inch. Layered that over the larger piece of patterned paper from K & Co. I used the Life’s Journey paper pad. and added some gold sticker dots to finish them off.

I used some self-stick black felt for the lining (it’s sold by the sheet) I didn’t really do any formal measuring. I cut a piece for the lid by tracing around the outside of the box.

I took an envelope and marked the back of the felt allowing enough room for clearance, drew a line, then I made 2 lines ½ inch apart. I scored and folded these lines  I cut away the backing on these marks to expose the adhesive, then I put a little strip of cardboard down and folded over the other ½ inch section to make a lip. I measured again to the edge of the box and cut off excess. This little section is where a pen will go.

Now to make a section for the postage stamps, Again, I just placed stamps on the back of a piece of felt, allowed a bit for clearance, made a line, made 2  ½ inch lines, scored and folded. Removed the backing paper from just in between these lines, laid down a strip of cardboard, folded over the other ½ inch section to seal. Now I have 2 pieces of felt that each have a lip. These will be attached to the inside of the box after it’s painted.

I painted the box with  Plaid acrylic paint in Country Tan. I wanted a subtle look since the cards were fairly light. Surprisingly, the paint was close to the actual color of the box. I covered the painted box with some Distress inks from Ranger in Brushed Corduroy and Frayed Burlap. I applied the ink directly to a non-stick mat, sprayed the ink lightly with water, then applied with Cut N Dry foam.  I went in a circular motion than switched in a straight line as it dried. I heat set it to make sure it was dry. Went over it with a quick coat of Mod Podge to give a bit of a leathery sheen.. The ink may smear some but that even coloring is the look you want to achieve.

I added ribbon around the outside adhering with some WonderTape

Hope you find some time for crafting before the Summer ends.

All the best,

Diane Long


Beach Flip Flop Card

beach card

There’s nothing like some fun in the sun! and why not bring that into your craft studio? This Beach Flip Flop card was made using a brass stencil, a rubber stamp and some sandpaper (ladies, check with your hubby first!)

If you would like to create a card like this or use elements in a scrapbook layout. you can read the step by step tutorial here

We’re past the summer’s half way mark, so enjoy what’s left!!

All the best,

Diane Long