31 May 2010

This post is called, "October Afternoon - Using up your scraps."

Hey, or should that be 'hay',

Because I like October Afternoon paper so much, thou shalt not waste any.


Thou shalt use them up on cute cards just for fun.

To do this thou shalt find a base colour of a fairly neutral tone and cut it into 15 cm x 15 cm squares (or a 12 x 12 into quarters).

Thou does not have to cut them into 15 x 15 squares, but thou might like to.

Remember, thou is using scraps, so 15 x 15 is a good size.

13 x 13 is a good size, but thou will have wastage from a 12 x 12 sheet.

17 x 17 is also a good size, but thou will also have wastage from a 12 x 12 sheet.

The point of using scraps is to avoid wastage, so go the quarters, yes?

Wondering if thou is keeping up with the terminology - 15 x 15 is in cm and 12 by 12 is inches. You knew that. Thought I'd go between the two, just to keep you on your toes.

Summary of above: Cut your 12 x 12 cardstock into quarters to make four card bases. It's quick and there's no scraps.

To continue with the cards - fold card bases in half and decorate at will.

Use your strips.

Use your scraps.

Try not to create scraps.

Pretend you have to make 100 cards with your scraps and conserve them, so you can make lots.

Or not.

Am suggesting that thou has a feature on each card.

A cow might suit thou?

A sow might suit thou?

A fowl might suit thou?

Cow, sow and fowl might suit thou?

Thou might like to add a subtle use of glitter with a clear Stardust pen.

Thou might like to purchase a clear Stardust pen from Photo Continental - they have many in stock. Thou will have to walk to the back wall where all the quills and inks are kept. Thou will find quite a choice.

Thou might like to spend the time sewing actual thread through the holes. This takes extra time (and a needle) and thou might not like to go there.

But thou could, if thou chooses.

Thou might also like to pull out a heart punch to add another feature to the cards.

Big or little, grab a heart and glue it where thou likes.

Please though, make sure it's in red. Red should be thou's friend.



A red heart on the card below wouldn't go astray. Following one's advice is, in fact, a good idea...oh well.

Now, thou might be over using card bases of the neutral variety, so thou might like to use a different colour. Blue is nice.

All thou has to do after that is continue to use all thy October Afternoon scraps until there's none left. If thou doesn't, the paper police will come to thy abode, book thou for Obstruction of Papercrafting, search thy house, take thy October Afternoon scraps and send them to me... heh heh.

Thus ends the "October Afternoon - Using up your scraps" post.


28 May 2010

A coupla bits...


Here's a sample of Crystal Stickles on lolly pink buttons that I talked about yesterday.

Oooh, nice.

They look even better in real life actually.

(Remember you can put Dimensional Magic on them too)


Here's a sample of Pappa's handwriting that I said I'd try to find.

Look how neat it is. I love the capital letters...

...especially the M.

So posh.

He called himself "Poppa" when he wrote his name - everyone spelt it differently.

And the letter came to my mailbox in 1984 when stamps were 30c. Three for a dollar, thanks.

Aren't I lucky to have a sample of his handwriting?

Yep, I know.

27 May 2010

Apple for the teacher


A card for you today that's got nothing to do with anything, it's just totally random!

This is one of my favourite techniques - cutting two of the same shape to form the card and then creasing the back one for the flap.

That's Doodlebug pre-glittered paper. Love it. So fun.
You can see above too that the yellow button is really shiny. I covered it in Dimensional Magic - it needed the punch because it was too matte.
You can glitter your buttons with Stickles too. I love Crystal Stickles on lolly pink buttons. They look good enough to eat!
Must go, work to do,

26 May 2010

Punch Art Fun 1 - Look in the Book - page 23

Hello to you blogging friends,

Today I'm on page 23 for Look in the Book. It's all about teddy bears. I don't make them as much as I used to, but they're still cute.

I know, cute, cute, cute, everything's cute. Cute does it for me, so cute it is. I think I like the cute because it gives the punch art some personality. No point just sticking some bits on a card, where's the personality in that? So, cute it is and cute it shall be.

In the paragraph at the top of page 23 I talk about Mr and Mrs Gustafus - the bears my mum made for me. You've seen them before, but here they are again.

My favourite and so CUTE.

The original Gus she made for herself had a turned-down mouth, but I asked her to make a smiling one for me. I couldn't have a non-smiling bear looking at me.

No way.

Ah, teddy and balloons.

This is the first punch art card I ever put in a class. I've taught so many people to make this one. It's always a crowd pleaser because he's cute.

Mum and I sold cards at a huge market thing a couple of times. It was a yearly event and we prepared for it for weeks. We made a lot of the teddy balloon cards - they always sold well. I used to put some cards in a gift shop too - yep, more teddy balloon cards. I guess he could go to anyone - boy, girl, man, lady. Not a bad that a card can do that.

So, teddy balloons and I know each other very well. And after making hundreds (and hundreds) I still have to fanangle the balloons in place. You'd think they'd just fall there.

A simpler version.

Cream with red, blue, green and yellow. Always a good colour combination. I love all the colours together. If I did a pink and white card, I'd be having an off day!

These bears look like they're in the firing line!

Or they look like they're about to burst into song...

Or start dancing...

Or about to spring a joke of some sort...

Don't they look like they know something we don't?

I lined them up on the bottom of page 23 just like this. There's a rogue one at the end I can see in the book now. There's always a rogue somewhere.

The kicker with the bears is the fabric paint. Gold for the arms, feet and stomach, and bronze for the ears.

Here's what the bottle of fabric paint looks like - you may have some in your cupboard already.

I've shared this photo before. It shows the tools I use - tapes, the glue I like, the scissors I'd replace tomorrow if I lost them, the punch art helpers (love those - one is from Quickutz and the other is a Jewel Picker from Marvy) etc.

Page 24 is all about teddies too. Do you think I like them, or what?

What about you? What are your favourite things to make? After talking about inspiration stations, I guess I'm asking what inspires you? It's helpful to know these things, don't you think?

Remember, like I said yesterday, it's also good to know what doesn't inspire you so you can avoid those things.

Okay, bye for now. Have a great day!


25 May 2010

This is an Inspiration Station to me.

Hey there,

I've been talking about inspiration and their stations lately, and this is one for me.

It's the shelf above my computer, so I see it all the time. Since it's near the computer it could be functional and hold papers and stuff, but I don't like looking at all that. So boring and very uninspiring. I have a big hunka filing cabinet next to me that I shove stuff in to keep it out of sight, way out of sight. Superannuation and tax office are not my favourite words and they do nothing for me in the creative stakes. They take the stakes away!

Pretty is more important, so the shelf is a place to put fun stuff. It also houses a photo frame, a little red suitcase and a bird album I made.

It's an inspiration station for sure.

I wonder what inspires you? What's your style like?






A bit of everything?

On the other hand, what doesn't inspire you? Get rid of it, move it or hide it if you have to keep it...just get it outta sight. It'll make a difference to your crafting process. It will!

PS. That's not the jug I was talking about making a card from, but it's similar to it.

24 May 2010

Inspiration station - Striped plate (card 2)

Oooh, inspired....

How are you today?


Hope so!

It's not fun when you lose your crafting mojo, is it? I'm not sure if I lose it as much as I don't have time to outwork it. There's always more important things to do, I know.

But man, I crave a few hours at my desk every now and then. Okay, more than every now and then...

Just reminding you of this plate because I used it to make a second card.

I was on a roll and kept rolling right along...

Wanted a border this time.

Did faux stitching around the small cream bit. And then added glitter on it.

Put a red button with a pink flower. Unusual, but nice.

(I love blue and green together too. Remember blue and green should never be seen? Rubbish)

The flower is the big 3" daisy from EK Success (their biggest one). I love this flower and use it a lot. The petals and leaves have been curled slightly too.

Well, inspiration all over the place!

Hope you've caught some!

This idea would be a fun challenge with friends, don't you think? It'd have to be something that everyone liked, but it'd work, and you'd get lots of ideas.

Anyway, enjoy, and have a great day,


PS. Oh yes, forgot to say something about the three plates in the photo at the top. Your inspirational bits and pieces can be used together - I'd make a card using all three plates. I kinda think a card is sitting right there, ready to happen, don't you?

Blue card with a fancy edge, striped patterned paper layer, cream layer with flowers on it. That's the plan I'd go with, at least in the beginning!

21 May 2010

Punch Art Fun 1 - Look in the Book - Page 22

Hello there!

Thought I'd share a Look in the Book today.

Page 22, in fact.

Got your book open?

If not that's okay, I've managed to find a few things from the page.

Bees and bears - lots of them.

Big and small, like, hello, bees in all sizes, just to prove it can be done. I like making lots of options for things, but sometimes I go a little too far. Three versions of bees - that's fine. Fourteen? Too many, but I'd do it if I could!

Anyway, onto the bees.

Small bees.

These are made with 3/16" Circles for the heads and small Music Notes for the bodies. You could use a tiny balloon if you have one too.

I love these little bees and use them all the time. So cute. Fiddly, but cute.

Note the wings are drawn on. It's always good to make your bee, put it on the card where you want it to go in the end and then draw the wings etc in that spot. Then you can stick the bee on with confidence. Done. The idea is that you cover the beginning of the lines you drew with the bee itself, so it looks neater.

PS. The black lines on the bee bodies are drawn on too. Could you imagine doing the technique below on the bees above. Can I hear a resounding no??

Bigger bees this time.

They have 1/2" Circle heads and medium-sized balloons (Sullivans green size) for the bodies.

The technique for the stripes is to punch a black balloon and cut it into strips for the black stripes. My strips are rounded, but you can do straight ones if they're easier. They just get stuck on. I've noticed one bee has two stripes, while the other has three. I'd do three on each, but the world won't come crashing down if you don't.

And again, could you imagine doing this technique on the tiny, tiny bees above? Ummm....no.

The bees above have balloons for the wings too. They look quite huge actually. I think smaller balloons would be the go in the future (Sullivans orange size).

Okay, HUGE bee this time. All you need is circles and ovals (and/or balloons) and you've got yourself a bee.

Above, the body is an oval. Looks just as good as the balloon. Once again, black oval cut into strips for the stripes. Say that a couple of times fast!

If you've got your book open you'll notice the big bee on the top right has half hearts for the wings. Anything goes, except squares, but that's obvious.

Okay, onto the bears now.

Before that just want to mention the bee wings. See them? They're ovals cut in half. The blue card needed a little bit of white, so I made the wings as opposed to drawing them.

I taught a class where I got the ladies to make wings like this and I remember them moaning and groaning because it was so fiddily (is it fiddly, or fiddily?). It was hard! "Oh Debra, what are you doing to us?" I remember one lady saying that as clear as day.

Sometimes I make stuff for classes at my desk and then when I get to class to teach it, it becomes more of a challenge than I (and the ladies) expected. We always thwart the issues and everyone goes home smiling in the end - at least they do when they leave the room. What they do when they're out of my sight is a mystery!

No, seriously, it's all in good fun, but I know I worked those ladies with the bee wings and we were laughing about it in the end. And to tell the truth, I'm not sure if I've made tiny wings like that since. Not that I wouldn't, I just haven't. Oh yeah, and we all know it's hard to keep up in class sometimes and something like a little bit of paper that won't do what it's supposed to can be a source of frustration sometimes, can't it?

I always say, It's Punch Art FUN, not Punch Art Stress or Punch Art Science or anything like that.

Fun, fun, fun (but I do crack the whip in class, don't I girls? Oh, how fun would it be if my brother actually came in and cracked his real whip? And without telling you? No, I'd never do that to you, but I wish I could! But I'd tell you first!)

Okay, so what was I saying? Can't remember, hold on...scrolling up....bees, wings and whips. What a ramble I'm on today.

Onto the bears...there are bears up there. And that's all I have to say. That, and they could be cuter.

To make them cuter:

  • Glue the pink inner ears in the middle of the outer ears.

  • Glue the ears down further behind the heads.

  • Don't mount the circles on their faces with mounting tape.

  • Draw more vertical lines for eyes - those are too round and not good.

  • Make the arms and legs bigger - ie. use bigger hearts. That little bear's arms are tiny!

  • Put gold commas on their noses.

  • Don't write "big bear" or "small bear" on your card. That's dumb, but I did it for a reason when I made it.

Ah, much cuter.

Not all the things above have been applied, but a few have...thus, much cuter. And a baby bear in a nappy, well, the cute factor skyrockets with that.

(To make the overalls I punched the neckline with a circle and cut the arm holes out with a knife)

So, bees and bears. Fun, huh?

Have a grrrreat day! ha ha


19 May 2010

Inspiration station - Striped plate

Hey there,

I mentioned the other day that staying inspired with crafting is necessary in order to want to craft.

Being inspired is good.

Not being inspired is good too. It means you need to take a break and do something else for a while to re-charge, that's normal.

These inspire me...

(not the greatest photo, they're better in real life, but still, they inspire me)

Some are old, some are new.

Some were gifts, some I bought.

They've formed quite the little collection, which I love.

This is what I've realised (and I mentioned this before) - if you like something in decor, you'll probably like it in papercraft too.

I like these colours. I have them in paper too.

I like flowers. I have those too (in paper form, as punches, as embellishments).

I like seeing all colours together. I have papers with lots of colours on them. And lots of papers with single colours on them that I can combine to make colourful projects.

I like the fancy edges. I have punches that can do that. And scissors.

Get my drift?

Does your home decor match your papercrafting style? I reckon it does.

Remember I said I used plates to give me a jump start on a card idea?

(I didn't want to reproduce the plate exactly, just use it as inspiration).

This is what I ended up with.

It's a big card - A5, in fact.

I found the paper in my stash - I've always liked it. It's quite old, I think. I usually like cream bases, but because my patterned paper was white-based, I went with a white card base to match.

The Martha doily punch is along the bottom - it doesn't relate to the plate, but that's not the point. It doesn't have to. I used it because I wanted to.

I did two red and one yellow flower with leaves like on the plate.

(The inspiration piece can give a jump start, but it also can make some decisions for you if you want it to. I did this time because I didn't want to think up every little detail. So, I did the same colour flowers and added red middles. I always add red middles.)

I also misted the whole card - unusual for me, but I did it.

You can see a little of the mist here. And the neighbour's shed!

Got a fun item around your house that you can use to inspire you?

Take it to your craft area and let it be the jump start for your next project. I had plates piled on my desk for weeks!

I've had a jug for ages that I love and one day I'm going to use it as my starting point for a card. I know I have paper in my stash that'll work too. Love that.


18 May 2010

Inspiration station thoughts

Hey there and hello to you!

Just a thought I had the other day - in order to actually want to craft, you have to stay inspired, yes?

How do you do that?

What makes you want to sit down and make something?

For me, it's product.

Sometimes it's other things, but mostly it's product.

I took this photo probably 18 mths ago. These things still inspire me today, which is lucky because I've still got some of that paper.

I love bright colours, fun prints and punches, of course. I keep all those things around me to keep me inspired and wanting to sit at my desk.

Something else I've been doing lately (ie. in the last year maybe?) is using fun items from around my house as starters for projects.

I mean things like fun plates, jugs with pretty patterns - things like that. I already love them because they're in my house, and one day I saw them and thought they'd make a good starting place for a card.

I started with my fun plates - was interesting to see how the cards turned out.

I'll share them soon!


17 May 2010

Mum's tag...

This post will tell you why I like the Martha Stewart Embroidered Floral border punch...just so you know.

And just because I told you I'd tell ya.

And just because I don't like forgetting things like that.

Firstly though, this is the tag I gave to my mum for Mother's Day.

I give her a tag three times a year - birthday, Mother's Day and Christmas. She collects them on a ring, just for fun. I always use favourite products on them and we always chat about them on at the hand over.

This year she remarked about everything on the tag (of course she would, she's my mother and she's crafty, she has to!) and was impressed to find out that she could cut chipboard with her big Sizzix dies. The eyebrows went up and I could see her mind spinning...funny.

I just created a label on the right - Mother's Day cards 2009 - that'll take you to the card and tag I made for her last year if you'd like to see.

Things I used on this year's tag:

~ Stampin Up! Top Note die.

~ Tulle from Spotlight.

~ Martha's bakers twine. I know, she rocks.

~ Tim Holtz's Vintage Market alpha letters. You get all numbers and letters on the one die, it's great value. Got it at PC.

~ October Afternoon Thrift Shop paper.

~ An October Afternoon wild card. I'm not sure of the collection it was from. Maybe their school one? I cut around the edges with mini deco scallop scissors.

~ A little heart punch. Mine came from a border punch that was near me on my desk.

~ Crepe paper in cream. Stuck behind with tape and pleated. Thank you, Johanna. I've done this with paper before, and ribbon, but not crepe paper.

(Check out vblog 96 for a fun Mother's Day card. I had the same Oct Arvo wild card as her, although I didn't discover it until much later...vblog 92 shows the crepe paper idea. The link takes you to Leah Fung's blog)

~ Martha's Embroidered Floral punch - see why it's a good one? You can hide the top bit and have a tiny scallop border...so lovely. I only discovered this because the tag needed a bit of red at the bottom and the 7 other borders I tried first didn't work.

Okay, that's it for the Mother's Day offerings this year. Actually, not true. I put some on the table at PC, but forgot to photograph them before I took them over. Will do that when they come back home...

Okay, bye now.


14 May 2010

Mother's Day cards...

Hey, how's it going?

Today I thought you might like to see the rest of the Mother's Day cards. What fun these were to make. Totally cool and I had some of the desk time that I love (and need).

I seem to be making a lot of big cards lately and these are big too. They're A5 and I made my own envelopes to match (in yellow).

This first one's for my mum.

Incidentally, I made these together. You know, chose the papers for both, then chose the bits for each of them at the same time. Punched out the borders, punched out the labels.

Much easier than making a full one then going back and make another whole card, even if it's the same type. Yes?

As I said earlier in the week, the papers are from October Afternoon - their Thift Shop line.

It's old-worldy and vintage and perfect for those lady embellishments from GCD Studios. They're the chipboard shapes from their Homespun Chic Collection by Melody Ross.

(You can see the pack of shapes here)

Here's the sneaky peek one of the cards.

Nope, my mum doesn't wear those shoes while cooking.

The two border punches I used are both new EK Success Slim Edger punches - the top is a paper ribbon one called Zig Zig Chain and the other is called Open Scallop.

These rock.


I'd like a smaller ric rac one and a smaller donut chain one now. They don't exist, but I wish they did.

Ah, this is EK too.

It's called Journal Plate and Bracket (it comes with two brackets).

I drew the gold edging on it, just to outline it a bit.

The tiny type stickers are from My Little Shoebox. Tiny type stickers are a favourite too. So many uses and a lot of companies are doing them now.

The bakers twine is Martha Stewart. Not surprised? Exactly - she rocks it.

Speaking of Martha - this edger punch is hers too. It's called Embroidered Floral and I love it.

Now, mind you, it wasn't love at first sight, but it grew on me and now I love it. There's a second reason why - I'll tell you about that another time soon.

It has a corner punch to match it as an option too. Would make nice doilies, don't you think? I really must try the whole punch-around-the-page thing one day.

Honestly, doilies used to be so out, but now they're so in. Anything that reminds me of my grandmothers is a winner for me, so doilies are always in, regardless of their trend status.

Don't you love the trends? In, out, in, out. I use whatever I want, when I want - what about you? Hey, love the trendy stuff, but it doesn't have to be trendy for me to use it. Plus, who can keep up with it all, everything changes so fast...know what I mean?

Oh, hello border punches.

You used to be so out too. Lol. But someone made some nice ones and all of a sudden, ka-bam, border punch explosion!

A final word - it took me ages to figure out what to put on the signs.

Happy Mother's Day? Too obvious.

For you? I do that all the time.

Love you? Too mushy (we wrote that inside!)

Finally (in amongst doing other things and then coming back to it) I thought, "What are they saying? Well, ta-da!" So, I put that.

Both mums liked 'em.


13 May 2010

Punch Art Fun - Look in the Book - page 21 (part 2)

Hi there blogging friends!

Funny, when I typed that I made a mistake and typed blooging. Hello there, blooging friends, hope you're having a great week so far. It's turned pretty chilly actually. Feel the breeze, feel the breeze.

I went looking for a few of the characters from page 21 yesterday, but came up empty (except for the card below), so I just took a photo of the animals in the book instead. They're my images, so I can do that. Lucky for me, hey?

Firstly, the little chicks.

Reminds me of a story my mother tells us about my brother, Pete. She and he were at shops when he was about two or so, and she couldn't find him anywhere. Gosh, imagine the panic. She eventually found him on top of their car in the carpark, and he had crossed a road to get to the car! Oh, my goodness...

Anyway, onto the chicks and their house.

Glad our chook shed doesn't look like that.

Pretty precarious...

Good old corro card. Makes for a good chook shed. Can you still buy plain corro card like this? I'm not sure.

Look at those skinny legs.

They're cut with a ruler and a knife - the only way to get precision cuts.

This white one was the first one I made. Golly, I loved her. I made the rooster next and then the brown hens above.

At least I think that's what happened. I just remember loving them and I've not stopped making them since. I tend to make them a bit bigger now though, using a 3/4" Circle for the head and a 1" Circle for the body.

(The ones above have 1/2" Circle heads and medium balloons for their bodies. Smaller and fiddlier, but worth it)

And now the big animals.


Hello, Horse.


Hello, Pig.

Hello, Pig's friend, Chick.

And Cow.

Hello, Cow.

Don't tell the others, but aside from the chicks, you're my favourite.

Sometimes I like you better than the chicks actually, depends on what mooood (ha ha) I'm in and if my micro motor skills are working or not. You're a lot more work than the bigger chicks, thus the No. 2 position you get put in sometimes.

Summary: You're gorgeous.

Here's Cow and Bear.

They're friends.

Not sure when a cow and a bear would ever get their photo taken together in real life, but on my desk they do. That's because on my desk, we aren't tethered to reality, are we fellas?

Ummm, no.

No, no reality here.

What's reality is that you're looking a little chunky there, Cow.

You might want to lay off the feed, darlin'...I'm just sayin'.

Summary: You're still gorgeous.