Friday, April 25, 2014

Still Undecided

I have the $25 gift certificate I won to spend at Peachy Keen Stamps and, after spending a couple days "shopping" on their website, I was still totally undecided what to get. I had not ever been on their website before and found that they have a lot of really cute stamps and a ton of different styled face stamps to suit just about anything you could ever want a face on.  One of their face stamps is called Baby Animal Faces and is made to go with the New Arrival Cricut cartridge, so that looked promising (maybe owning this stamp would get me to bust out that cartridge and actually use it)!  This particular stamp comes in different sizes; one for characters cut at 3", 4", or 5".  It was hard to visualize which stamp size would work best for me, so I thought there was only one way to figure that out... grab the cartridge and cut out the animals that match the stamp faces! Here are the 3" and 4" size sample cuts I made:

Click to view larger image

To start with, I was pretty amazed at what seemed to be a huge difference between the characters cut at 3" and the ones cut at 4".  I placed them on a 12x12 sheet of scrapbook paper to get a better idea of their size and to think about how I might actually use them.  Even though I do tend to lean towards larger diecuts (which in this case I think would look best on a card), I believe the smaller 3" size might be just the ticket for me.  I know, I know, I could always get both sizes but what's the fun in that LOL!  Think I'll get the 3" set, try it, and then decide if I need the larger one also.  Oh, just in case you might be wondering about the one little giraffe and green frog in the picture, they were both cut at 4"! BIG difference between the giraffe and all the other 4" cuts don't you think?

Well I guess my decision is made.  I will add the Baby Animal Faces 3" to my shopping cart along with the other items I couldn't live without and call it good!  Here's a link to Peachy Keen Stamps in case anyone is interested in checking them out:

The Baby Animal Faces are listed under Stamps, then click on Faces.

As I mentioned above, Peachy Keen Stamps has some really adorable stamps. Something else they offer on their website is a really good selection of their very own svg files that go with quite a few of their stamps. By cutting out their svg on your electronic cutting machine (I have the Eclips) and then stamping the image on the cut-out, that saves you from stamping and then hand-cutting around the image. How cool is that???

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


All last week there was a Blog Co-Hop between Miss Kate Cuttables and Peachy Keen Stamps.  Each day both companies featured Easter projects from two of their designers.  If you commented on each project and became a follower on all the designers' blogs each day, then you were eligible for a free cutting file from Miss Kate Cuttables (one of my FAVORITE websites for svg files) that was totally separate from their normal daily freebie.  You were also eligible to win a daily $25 gift certificate or a $75 grand prize certificate from Peachy Keen Stamps, or a $25 grand prize from Miss Kate Cuttables. Loved seeing the cute projects each designer posted and, figuring there wasn't a chance to win anything else, I was more than happy to just get the extra free svg files from Miss Kate Cuttables.  So imagine my surprise when I checked their blog Monday morning to find that my name had been randomly chosen from Day 7's comments and won a $25 gift certificate from Peachy Keen Stamps -- Yay for me! So now comes the hard part...selecting just a few things from their huge selection of stamps!  Decisions, decisions...

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Cute Bunny Hat Box

Well, it's almost Easter and I was really hoping to have my mantel decorated by the beginning of the month with a bunch of cute little projects I was going to make from my ever growing stash of SVG files.  Sadly I only got around to making one, but it turned out so stinkin' cute (if I say so myself)! So here it is, my one and only handmade Easter project.   It's from My Scrap Chick and is called Bunny Hat Box.

Here's the link:

(click on image for larger view)

(click on image for larger view)

This may look like a tricky little project, but it was actually pretty easy.  I have to admit that when I printed off the pdf pages provided in the file that I had a momentary panic attack because there aren't any detailed assembly instructions.  But after taking a deep breath, eating a piece of chocolate and really looking at the pdf drawings, it was pretty self-explanatory. Very quickly I was pulling out papers, turned my Eclips and laptop on, and was "going to town" (as my grandma used to say) with the paper pieces, adhesive, pens, chalks, and my clear Wink of Stella brush (a new fav!).  Because I was over-thinking, which tends to make things seem harder than they really are, it took me about an hour to put this little guy together. Now that I have "experience", the next one should only take a half hour at the most.

I had entertained the idea of making seven of these -- one for each grandkid and putting See's Suckers in them -- but then did a reality check and reminded myself Easter is just three days away and not to stress over it.  If it happens, it happens.  If not, they'll still have fun with our usual Easter Egg Hunt and the little prize baskets.

So there you have it, my one and only handmade Easter decoration. In case you're wondering, he (she???) stands just under 8" tall.  

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Organizing My Embossing Folders

After trying numerous ways to store my embossing folders, I FINALLY found a way that works best for me.  Even though each of these ideas were actually really good ones, it just boils down to be one of those "preference" types of things which reinforces what's good for one person may not work for another. Here are some of the different storage methods I tried and the reasons they just didn't work for me:

  • Stored loosely in photo boxes:  This method was okay when I only had like 20 embossing folders, but then as my stash grew and grew, it became a pain every time I was looking for a certain one and had to dump them out of the box and go through all of them individually just to find what I was looking for.  Something had to change...
  • Hanging on my Clip It Up:  This was actually a good system but not as functional for the number of embossing folders I own (now totals 73 - and not really sure how THAT happened since I'm not much of a cardmaker LOL!).  I purchased some of the smaller 5.5" x 8.5" sheet protectors from Staples and placed an embossing folder and an embossed sample in each one and hung them on the Clip It Up.  Even though I have a lot of embossing folders, there really wasn't enough to fill the Clip It Up all the way, which caused it to sometimes get too heavy on one side (not balanced all the way around).  So rather than purchase a ton more embossing folders in order to fill the Clip It Up, I decided to chuck that idea and hang all my Thickers alphabets and loose/bagged flowers on it instead.  This works much better for me as I use the Thickers and flowers a lot more often than the embossing folders.
  • Stored in 7" x 9" binders:  I basically took the sheet protectors with the embossing folders/samples from the Clip It Up and put them into some small binders I purchased at Staples.  This turned out to be a great system, except for the fact there were four binders and still had to go on a hunting expedition just to find the one I was looking for.  My search for the perfect storage answer was back on... Bummer... 
  • Darice Embossing Folder Binder:  I TRULY thought this would be the absolute answer for storing my embossing folders but, in reality, it just didn't work for me at all.  Don't get me wrong, this binder is a GREAT product - IF you have the right sized embossing folders. I made the mistake of not realizing that even though 99% of my folders are the regular 4-1/4" x 5-3/4" size, the majority of them are the Sizzix brand and, therefore, would not fit in the plastic slots of this binder.  I had NO IDEA the Sizzix folders are just ever-so-slightly larger than the Darice, Cuttlebug, and The Paper Studio (Hobby Lobby) brands. Lesson learned, and SO disappointed!  I toyed with the idea of just buying the larger Darice binder, but then wondered where in the world would I store THAT???  The smaller binder I already owned barely fit in my Ikea Expedit unit, and the larger binder is like 2"+ bigger which would definitely be longer than the openings in my shelving unit, so that purchase was no longer an option.  Plus, with my ever-growing supply of embossing folders, I would need TWO binders. What to do, what to do???
  • Iris brand Card Keeper with adjustable dividers:   One day while on the Internet, I saw a posting on Pinterest where someone was using one of these to store their embossing folders/samples and got so excited about it that I jumped in the car and headed to Michaels to get one right then and there.  Made my 50% off purchase (perfect sale timing...yay!), got home, and couldn't wait to fill this baby up! Gotta say, this was a GREAT system except for the fact that I had a few too many embossing folders/samples to fit into just one of these containers.  Total let down. I really didn't want to just purchase another Card Keeper because, again, where would I put it???  My Expedit only has so many openings and there was no where else in my scraproom to store a couple of these.  So my happy purchase is now (still!) sitting in a bag on top of my Expedit waiting to be returned to Michaels.  So bummed...
  • FINALLY ~ My New Embossing Folder Storage Answer!!!   Again, while surfing Pinterest, I came across another post that totally peaked my interest.  This lady had taken regular binder sized page protectors, the ones with the opening on the SIDE, marked the center of each page protector, and then heat-sealed that center line using her Seal-A-Meal, thus creating two openings instead of one.  I was like OMG...EUREKA...WE OWN A SEAL-A-MEAL...I CAN DO THIS!!!  I immediately opened another tab on my computer and searched the Staples website to see if they carried these types of page protectors and, by golly, Yes They Did!!!  Woo Hoo...grabbed my purse, got in the car and off I went.  After getting home and getting a little lesson from the hubs on how to work our Seal-A-Meal (it's HIS toy, not mine!), I was heat sealing away.  I did find that with our particular sealing machine that I actually had to "seal" each one three times in order for it to totally seal. Not sure why, but maybe because it's a different type of plastic than the Seal-A-Meal bags???  Who knows...just happy it worked!  So after spending some quality time with the sealing machine, I finally have a great system for storing my embossing folders!
Here you can see where I marked the middle on the left and right sides of the sheet protector so I could line it up and create a straight and centered seal in the Seal-A-Meal machine.

You can see the seal better with a black sheet of cardstock behind the sheet protector.

I cut an 8-1/2 x 11 piece of black cardstock in half and placed a piece in each opening.  I then slid in an embossed sample paper on top of the black cardstock and next placed the corresponding embossing folder in the same opening but behind the black paper.  Even though the openings are on the side, I did find the embossing folders could slip out of its opening.  My remedy for this was to put a Removeable Glue Dot on the middle edge between the black cardstock and plastic right next to the opening.  If you look at the top embossing folder in the picture above you can barely see the Glue Dot on the edge next to the binder ring.  I'm also wondering about how using small Velcro dots instead would work.  Hmmm.....

I used a 3" Binder and 30 sheet protectors, which holds 60 embossing folders and their samples.  Now all I have to do is go through my binder, find the embossing sample I want to use, and easily grab the embossing folder right behind the sample.  I have them organized in the binder by theme: Birthday, Floral, Swirls, Dots, Backgrounds, and Miscellaneous.

So did you notice that I didn't mention a "Seasonal" theme above???  Yeah, well I very quickly realized that the 3" binder still wasn't going to hold ALL my embossing folders so decided that the easiest "fix" was to keep all my seasonal ones separate.  Since the smaller binder method had already worked for me as an option - just not for ALL of my folders - it was the easiest solution; plus I already had the needed supplies.  Happy, Happy, Happy!

My pretty little binder for Seasonal embossing folders.

It took some trial and error time and some effort (not to mention gas going to and from Michaels and Staples!), but I finally have an embossing folder storage system that works for me.  The best part is that this storage solution didn't cost much in the long run, takes up less room, is easily accessible, AND fits perfectly in the Expedit.

Wish I could say this was totally my idea, but gotta give credit where credit is due.  Like I mentioned above, I got the idea from a link that was posted on Pinterest:

There are so many great storage ideas for embossing folders on Pinterest. If you want to see if there is one out there that just might be exactly what you're looking for, I'd highly recommend starting your search there.  Good luck...and Happy Crafting! 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

They're Here...

I received an email from Consumer Crafts about 10 days ago telling about a limited time sale they were having on embossing folders.  I really didn't need any more (don't really use the ones I already own very often), but this sale was sooo good that I couldn't resist picking up a few (ahem...10) more at $1.97 each.  I had purchased three embossing folders in March at Scrapbook Expo for $3.99 each and thought THAT was a bargain....

So here's what I received today in the mail:

Love them!

I'm thinking that the chevron ones will be adorable on some upcoming Easter layouts.  I wasn't too sure about the music one when I was shopping online, but then thought it might come in handy if I ever get around to scrapbooking all the beautiful photos I have of the granddaughters performing in various dance recitals/The Nutcracker.  Now all I need to do is unwrap them, make some sample embossed sheets for each one, and get them in my newly organized embossing folder binder which I will share photos of with you soon.