CHA 2016 – My top picks

Before I get on with my list I just want to explain what CHA is (in case anyone is wondering). The CHA (Craft & Hobby Association) Mega Show is like the prom of crafting events. It’s the industry’s biggest tradeshow and it’s where companies showcase their newest products.

Some of these products won’t even be available until February / March but I like to make a list ahead of time so I can prepare my poor wallet for what’s coming :).

So first up is We Are Memory Keepers (WRMK). I’m a big fan of their products, particularly their punch boards, so it’s no surprise that the first thing on my list is the Alphabet Punch Board. I literally flipped when I saw this!

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I love making banners but I often find that after I’m done preparing things for a workshop or a birthday I run out of time and I end up not making one. But what if it only took a few minutes to make ? Yes, please!

This thing can make all the letters of the alphabet, plus numbers and some symbols. And if that wasn’t enough they even have these super cute 3×5 paper pads to go with it. Just pick one out and start punching. I can see myself using this for everything from baby showers, birthdays, bake sales, craft fairs and more.

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The next thing on my list is the WRMK Organization Gallery. This is the most gorgeous wall display I have ever seen! Period!

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Six different ways to display your artwork, things that inspire you or store some of your favourite things. I’ll be ordering these as soon as they’re available.

Next up is Heidi Swapp. She always comes up with the most amazing products. Her Minc and Marquee Love collections are some of my faves. This year she came out with a Light Box collection and it literally brought tears to my eyes. This reminds me of those old movie theatre signs where they would switch out the plastic letters (here’s a visual to help with that https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ieaYv50BTdU).

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Also new in her Minc line is the reactive paint. This means that you can paint anything you want and then foil it. Check out a pic here. I mean come on…genius!

Next up some stamps, because that’s my main jam :).

There are a couple of awesome stamps from Altenew that caught my eye. Altenew is known for its beautiful floral stamps and this Peony Bouquet set is just stunning.

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The other Altenew stamp that I really like is Way too Sweet. This stamp set is just sooooo adorable. Can you ever have too many ice cream stamps ? Not in my book 🙂

PicMonkey Collage2The next stamp comes from Pinkfresh Studio and it’s called Bibliophile. I don’t even have to explain why I love this, it just ticks all the geeky boxes of my heart.

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Next up is Lawn Fawn. They are known for their cute stamps and silly puns. And in this category are Year Six and Donut Worry. Both of these just crack me up :).

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For me however, the most exciting thing coming out from Lawn Fawn is the Stamp Shammy. This was created specifically for cleaning off photopolymer stamps. Can I get a woot-woot ? No more lint or fibres stuck to your stamps and no more worry over chemicals and cleaners damaging them. Just good ol’ water and the shammy 🙂

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Next up we have scrapbooking. I mostly do Project Life these days but I still like to put together the occassional mini album or layout so I do like to have a few things to play with. The collection I’m most excited about is Better Together by Amy Tangerine. Mix tapes, postcards, records, donuts, polaroids, this is retro amazingness. The colors are super vibrant and there’s a lot of watercolor elements and textures. You can check out some close-up pics here. Love it!

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Another collection I really like is Shimelle‘s Starshine. This one also has a retro feel to it but it’s more a nod to the 50’s. It’s all about dreams and exploring and it’s awesome. That set of washi tapes…get outta here! Love it!

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And last but certainly not least is the Fancy Free collection by Paige Evans for Pink Paislee. This one has a softer look to it and it’s just gorgeous. Those string art templates are amazing!

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So hold on to your wallets folks, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride 🙂

Just my type #GDP019

Hey guys! TGIF 🙂

I have a cute little set of notecards for you today using (you guessed it) the typewriter from Tap Tap Tap! I’m playing along with this week’s GDP theme challenge.

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These are very easy to make (you can see here the supplies I used):

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The notecards are 5″x7″, scored at 3 1/2″. I used the inks to watercolor the typewriter but, because I’m using Very Vanilla (which is not as thick as regular cardstock), I used minimal amounts of water to avoid any warping or bleed through. I also used a watercolour graphite pencil to do some shading.

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For the sentiment I used my (actual) typewriter. The great thing about this is that you can make up your own fun sentiments. I actually came up with a second one which cracks me up :).

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Aren’t they silly ? I love them!

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You’re Vintage

Hey guys! Today’s project(s) features some of my favourite elements (vintage, retro, type, quotes). I’m also using the Tap Tap Tap stamp set which is one of my faves.

If you’re giving someone a book as a gift it’s always nice to also include a bookmark. If it’s a hand made bookmark even better! I wanted something simple since the design of the book was very minimal.

I cut a piece of Very Vanilla cardstock (if you’re going for a vintage look it’s always better to work with a cream color rather than a bright white) to 2″ wide and I punched the top using one of my tag topper punches (quick and easy). The length of the tag or bookmark doesn’t matter as you can always trim it down later (in fact it’s better to leave it long so you don’t run out of room for your writing/stamping).

Next, I picked a quote and used my old typewriter to type it out. I know what you’re gonna say, not everyone happens to have a typewriter and, while I think having one is amazing, you can either write the quote by hand or download a typewriter font and use a printer to get a similar look.

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I really liked how this came out so I ended up making a couple more for two other gift-giving occassions.

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The tag particularly cracks me up :). There really is no end to the puns and funny sentiments you can come up with using a typewriter.

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DIY Die Storage

Hey guys! I’ve been meaning to share a few tips with you on craft room organization. I’m hoping to do a whole series on this as it’s something that a lot of us struggle with (particularly those of us who don’t have a lot of space).

I’m always looking for new ways to efficiently organize my art/craft supplies. Often, as your supplies multiply, you end up outgrowing the system you originally had in place.

This was the case with my die storage system. The dies I have from SU come in nice, thick plastic envelopes. What most people do with these is put them on a piece of magnetic sheet and store them in their envelope.

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This worked really well for me while I only had a few die sets. You can see here that all my Big Shot items fit into one little Variera basket from Ikea.

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However, as my collection grew, the basket got pretty full. It still worked ok but I wanted something more accessible (less rummaging to find what I needed). So yesterday, as I was sitting at my desk, the perfect idea came to me! I already had a magnetic board from Ikea which I wasn’t using for anything important (it was holding some miscellaneous items, postcards, old drawings, etc.) so I repurposed it!

All you need for this DIY magnetic die storage system is:

6 A4 magnetic sheets (if you can find a bigger size even better) You’ll see that I initially only got five and I ended up with a naked corner :)) )

1 Spontan magnetic board from Ikea

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Regardless of the size of your sheets just make sure they are strong enough to hold your dies in place.

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Put some double-sided tape on the back of each sheet.

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After using four full sheets, you will have to cut a few long, narrow pieces to cover the remaining space. Here’s where I realised five sheets were just shy of what I needed…

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No worries, I fixed that later :). Here’s how the finished board looks on the wall. It took me maybe ten minutes to put it together so I’m very pleased with the result.

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I put my most used dies on the bottom (for easy access even when I’m sitting down) and the seasonal ones (mostly Christmas) at the very top since I won’t be reaching for them for a while. The beauty of this is that you can see everything at a glance and move them around as you like. It’s also easier and quicker to put them back after you’ve finished with them (considering how messy my desk usually gets anything that helps with clean up is awesome).

Let me know if you guys give it a try!

A little bit of bling #tgifc36

Hey guys! Today I’m taking part in the TGIF Challenge.

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Challenges are a great way to step outside of your comfort zone and try something different. So I got my embossing powders out and while I was trying to decide between the silver and the gold I thought why not use them together ? So I did!

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I really liked the way the embossed sentiment turned out so I experimented further with the box. I embossed it with the Woodland Embossing Folder, then I ran my Versamark Ink Pad over the raised surface and sprinkled some parts with silver and the rest with gold embossing powder. This gave it a nice grainy, grungy texture.

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I’m really happy with the way it turned out. I encourage you to challenge yourself and experiment, you’ll be surprised by the result!

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Colored Pencil Box #GDP016

Hey guys! Happy new year 🙂 !

I have a lovely project to kick things off for 2016. It’s a pencil box! In case this sounds a little underwhelming I’ll give you a little context to get why I’m so psyched about it…

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Some of you might know that adult coloring books are all the rage right now (and have been for the last couple of years). I’m a little late to the party but ever since I came across this phenomenon (seriously, it’s huge) I’ve been sharing it with people and promoting it as a great stress-relief activity. So when a close friend of mine’s birthday was coming up I decided to get her a copy of Secret Garden (there are literally hundreds of adult coloring books out there right now but my favourites are by far Johanna Basford‘s).

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As part of the gift I also included some colored pencils so she could get started right away (but really any excuse to make a cute box right ?). But as I had them out on my desk I wasn’t feeling the inspiration…the illustrations in the book are so gorgeous I felt like I had my work cut out for me if I wanted my box to impress alongside.

For me it’s all about the colors; if I can’t figure out what colors I want to use for a project I can’t really visualise what I want it to look like. So as I was looking through some pages in my browser I came across the latest Global Design Project Challenge… and boom…problem solved! I loved the look of this card so I decided to go with blues (Night of Navy & Bermuda Bay), white and gold embossing.

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Once I had my color combo everything fell into place. I decided on a matchbox style for the box and I picked out some DSP (I still had some Birthday Bash DSP in my stash and this design worked great with the arty theme). I stamped the birthday sentiment in Versamark ink and used Wow! Gold Rich embossing powder.

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I tied some Gold Baker’s Twine around it to hold it closed and give it a nice finishing touch. I really love the way it turned out and my friend did too. She’s been happily coloring ever since :).

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