Monday, June 29, 2015

Get Well Card

Right now my favorite stamp company is Heartfelt Creations.  I love their stamps with matching dies.  At the Scrapbook Expo, I bought their Blazing Poppy set, and this is a card I made with the Blazing Poppy flowers.

The leafy flourishes were done with Spellbinder dies.  The lattice with labels behind are a Silhouette Store cutting file.

The only problem is the flowers are too thick to put into an envelope for mailing. I had to make a box to send the card, which I gave to my brother to hand carry to my sister.

Stamp Positioner Tool Hack

After reading a message thread on the Two Peas Refugees Stamping board, I really wanted one of the nice stamp positioners available for sale.  The only problem was that there were reports of cracking with the tool I had intended to buy.  There were suggestions for how to do a basic hack to create your own tool.  I adapted those suggestions slightly.

I bought two 8x10 sheets of polycarbonate at Home Depot, one 8x10 photo frame from WalMart, printed off a one inch graph sheet that was divided by quarter inches (from, and grabbed a roll of Gorilla Tape that I had on hand.

I replaced the glass in the photo frame with one of the sheets of polycarbonate.  I put the graph sheet behind the polycarbonate, then put the fiber board back of the frame back on.  However, first I ripped off the hinged stand from the back of the board back of the frame.  I needed it to be flat.  I filled in the rest of the cavity of the back of the frame with cardstock and chipboard from my stash, until the back was level. I taped the chipboard/cardstock layer in place with Gorilla Tape.

I added the other sheet of polycarbonate to the front of the frame.  It overlaps all the edges.  Once I had it straight, I taped it down one of the long sides with a long piece of Gorilla Tape for my hinge.

It took about 10 to 15 minutes or so, and it works.  I stamped one of the Blazing Poppy flower stamps, but I wasn't happy with the washed out color, so I stamped it again.  It gave me perfect placement on top of the first stamping, and it deepened the color which made me a lot happier.  I have tried it several times, and so far, the Gorilla Tape "hinge" works fine. If I need to replace my "hinge" at some point, it will be easy.

Total cost: a little over $12 with tax.

Now for the pictures of my tool hack.

My completed stamp positioner hack on the left. Yes, that is a Cuttlebug A Plate next to it. It comes in handy.

The Cuttlebug A Plate gives stability under the polycarbonate sheet when I ink the stamp.

I didn't get a dark enough color when I stamped the first time. So I inked it again and re-stamped. It stamped in exactly the same spot, which is what I wanted a good stamp positioner tool for.  This makes it SO easy!

The above photo shows the back of the photo frame. Normally a photo frame has a cavity. By adding additional cardstock and chipboard behind the polycarbonate sheet and fiber board back, it had a firm surface for stamping on.

I still need to cut some fun foam to use for inserts for using this with clear stamps. I don't have time to do that right now, but I am mainly using it with cling stamps at the moment, anyway.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine Box Card

I have purchased some of the SVG Cuts Box Card sets, and I get excited every time I see a new set released by them.  Unfortunately, I was disappointed with their 2014 Christmas box card set, and I liked only one of the 2015 Valentine set.  If they sold designs individually, I would have bought their Valentine mailbox box card design in a heartbeat (pun intended), but I couldn't bring myself to spend $7 for just one design.  (See the Halloween Box Card entry--this was recent history repeating itself.)  The Valentine mailbox box card looked fairly easy to make.  I figured I could just use some designs from the Silhouette store for the embellishment, which is what I did.

It took me two days to make it.  It took longer than I expected to create the actual mailbox design, and longer than it should have to find shapes to use, cut them, and assemble everything.  Seriously, I need to just buy the SVG Cuts set next time, even if there is only one design I like.  This is the second time I have created my own version strongly inspired by an SVG Cuts design.  I am obviously a slow learner.  My time is worth more than the cost of the set.

I was pleased with how it turned out, though, even if it did take a ridiculously long time to make.  I made it for my husband for Valentine's Day.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Stair Cards

I love unusual cards, and these are the kind I have been making lately.  I got the cutting file for the card from the Silhouette online store, but I am guessing the instructions can probably be found on SplitcoastStampers.  I did split the right panel of the cutting file, instead of it being one piece.  For this first one, I just used older scraps and have no idea who the manufacturers are.  I will have to look up the stamp manufacturers, but don't expect it to happen unless someone is dying to know.  The stamps are both a couple of years old, though, so they probably aren't around any more.  I used a Technique Tuesday stamp from several years ago for "Let it" and cut the stamp into two separate words so I could place them the way I wanted to.

This second one I used Graphic 45 papers from last year's 12 Days of Christmas collection.  It's not obvious, but I did some fussy cutting and popped pieces.  The letters used for SNOW and PEACE were cut with a Sizzlit Tim Holtz alphabet die.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Halloween Box Card

I love a lot of the designs created by SVG Cuts (, and have bought a bunch of them.  However, although I liked their Halloween box card with spiderweb side flaps, I did not think I would use any of their other designs in that particular set, and $6.99 would be a lot to pay for one box card cutting file.

So I spent the better part of a day and made my own version, using several files which I had bought with my subscription from the Silhouette Online Store. My box card is definitely very similar to the SVG Cuts box, and inspired by theirs about 80%.

Both have the spiderweb flaps, a fence (their fence was wrought iron), trees, and a haunted house.  Their design had gravestones and Jack-o-Lanterns.  Instead, I used a cat and lamp post, as well as a back panel with a moon and bats.  The SVG Cuts had patterned papers on the front and side panels, which I did not do.  Theirs was very cool.  If I had thought I would use at least one or two of the other designs in the set, I would have just bought their Fright Night collection, just as I have bought other sets from them.  Unfortunately, they don't sell files individually.

First, the front view of mine:

Here is a side view, so you can sort of see the bats flying across the moon.

And just in case anyone wonders, no, I can't share or sell the cutting file for my version.  It wouldn't be legal.  However, SVG Cuts does offer some absolutely awesome files, and here is a link to their Halloween set with their box card (it's a little hard to spot in the photo, but it's there), so you can purchase theirs.

I have bought all of their box card sets, and a few other sets they sell. If you haven't looked at what they offer, you should. They have great designs!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Stamped House Mouse Card and a Silhouette Card

I don't know why I love House Mouse stamps, since I absolutely detest the little critters in real life (and thankfully have seen no sign of any in my house for years), but I have bought a few House Mouse stamps and almost never seem to use them.  Today I decided to at least use one of them.  The paper is from Little Yellow Bicycle's Poppy collection.  The flower is die-cut using a Spellbinder die set (it was a royal pain and took forever to cut and emboss enough petals and glue them together).  I also used it to cut the flower petals strewn at the bottom of the card. I added a little Stickles to the center of the flower.  Inside is stamped "Wishing you an awesome day."

This card and matching envelope are from the Silhouette store, with the exception of the die-cut leaves on the left side.  They are a Memory Box die set.  Relatively fast and easy.  I made 4 of these cards in far less time than the House Mouse card took me to make.  No sentiment inside as yet.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Cutting stencils with the Cameo

Kiwi Lane is a company that produces templates used in scrapping.  You use them to help in designing your layout, and you can also use them to trace and cut out the shapes to put on your layout.  I recommend that you check them out here:  Kiwi Lane

Recently, at the Scrapbook Expo, I stopped at the Kiwi Lane booth.  I looked at their layouts on display and decided to buy the templates I liked. Sadly, I actually only liked two sets, the bracket borders and the bracket accessories.  I love their concept, just not many of their templates.  They just aren't my style.

Last week, while scrapping with a friend, I pulled out the templates I had bought and used them to help me create a layout.  It went really quick.  I am a super slow scrapper, so I got pretty excited about the templates after that.  Usually what takes me the longest is actually designing the layout itself.

I decided that I really needed to make some of my own border and accessory templates with my Cameo, using Silhouette designs that I had purchased. 

First the pictures, then the instructions/tips.

These are the real Kiwi Lane templates that I bought.  They are high quality, and definitely much nicer than the ones I made.

This next photo shows most of the borders that I made.  I also cut a few specialty borders that are not shown, such as a fence, a mountain border, and a cloud set and wave set that are multiple pieces and are put together in layers.  My templates are not as tall as the Kiwi Lane's are, but they are a little taller than the photo makes them appear.

Below you can see my accessory or embellishment templates.  They will be used for general layout design only.  I also cut pinwheels in a couple of sizes.  I happen to really like pinwheels.  I figured this assortment was a good beginning:

In addition, I cut templates for a variety of photo mats to help with layout design.  No picture seemed needed.  They are 5 rectangles, 1 square, circles, and 1 oval. Use your imagination.

Now for the information and tips on how to do this:

I found a link on the soon-to-be-gone Two Peas in a Bucket message board.  The link went to a great site with detailed instructions for using the Show Offs brand of stencil blanks.  You can find the site with the detailed info including settings here:

The larger sheets (12x18) cut very well with the settings listed in her directions.  What the instructions do not say (or maybe I missed it somewhere) is that there is a thin plastic film on one side that you should remove.  I discovered this by accident, since the film was peeling off one of the 8x10 sheets.  I had to scratch at the corner of the other blanks with my fingernail to get a corner of the film for peeling off.  Nowhere do the directions on the package mention removing the film. The gal whose instructions I was following said that her stencil did not cut completely in a couple of spots, so maybe she didn't remove the film and that made the difference.  Mine cut beautifully and completely cleanly, even the detailed flourishes. They are thinner, flimsier templates than the Kiwi Lane ones, but they should still be relatively durable as long as I don't do anything stupid to them.  I am storing my embellishment templates in a zip lock baggie rather than punch a hole and add an eyelet like I did for the borders (yes, I copied Kiwi Lane on that, but their eyelet is much nicer than the kind you use with the Crop-o-dile, too).

The larger sheets of the Show Offs' stencil blanks are definitely thinner than those in the 8x10 pack.  I tried to cut the thicker 8x10 sheets, but even increasing the blade to 8, and having it do the double cut a second time without removing the mat, it still would not cut all the way through.  It cut into the plastic, but not through it.  I had to finish with scissors.  Thankfully, all I was cutting at that point were simple shapes (the photo mats), so they were easy to finish cutting with scissors.  If they are slightly imperfect, it doesn't matter, since I am using them for designing the page, not tracing and cutting actual photo mats.  Some of my borders and embellishments were more intricate, and I was glad they had been cut from the leftovers of the larger, thinner sheets. I would not have wanted to use an Exacto knife to finish cutting them out.

My mock templates are definitely not as nice as what you can buy from Kiwi Lane, but they should work pretty well for helping me with my page designs, and that's all I really wanted, anyway.  I let my Cameo do my actual cutting for me, whenever possible.