Saturday, April 20, 2013

Bring the SPARKLE to Sin City!

I am so pleased to announce that I will be doing a workshop at the CHA conference on 
July 23rd in VEGAS!

It is called
Bring the SPARKLE to Sin City!

I will be demonstrating a variety of ways that you can use the products from 
for cards, scrapbooks, fashion and home decor!

If you are planning on attending the CHA conferenece I would love to see you at this workshop.  
Here is the link to the workshop listing on the CHA website


Can't wait to see you there!

Monday, April 15, 2013

How to Find The Best Resources for Handmade Crafts

Today I have another guest blog post for you!

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How to Find The Best Resources for Handmade Crafts
A lot of people really love to make craft and are truly pros. That said, a lot of us want to get into the world of crafts but have no idea how! We need a bit more guidance - nothing wrong with that! There are lots of resources all over the place to get started. Where exactly can you look? Read on to find out!

Local Craft Shops
In many cities and towns, local craft stores are opening their doors to residents who love to make absolutely beautiful things! Actually going to a physical store is really helpful because you can truly get a feel for the look and texture of the items that you are selecting. In fact, many of these stores are staffed with very knowledgeable craftspeople, and they will be able to help you pick out the best materials for your project. You can choose large enterprises or privately owned shops - but it'd be best to check out both before casting any aside.

Take a Class
Regardless of the craft you're hoping to make, it's important to ensure that you have the right tools. Classes are perfect for this task - instructors will usually only use the most appropriate tools to get job done. Whether it be at an arts and crafts store or a community college, you will learn a lot and most likely make some friends that you can hopefully trade pointers with over time.

Internet Forums
Another way to learn all about crafts is to check out Internet forums dedicated to the topic. Some towns have their own message boards, but the best info will be found on niche-social media sites. Try the likes of Craigslist, Reddit, Pinterest, Tumblr and Facebook. Then you can search for whatever products or tips they suggest in your local area.

Shopping Online
Online storefronts are a great way to get the best resources for handmade crafts. Of course, you always want to be careful. It can be really difficult to tell the size of a product online, and it can also be hard to tell if it is really from the designer that it claims to be. Reading the reviews of any product or vendor is wise, as is a Google search (try the name plus the words "scam" "satisfaction" etc), and if you are unable to decipher certain features from the picture or description online, it's time to call the store. When it comes beautiful handmade crafts, you want to ensure that everything's just right!

Finding the best resources for homemade crafts can be a little bit difficult at first. However, don't be overwhelmed. Whether you want to find resources and materials online or in person, many avenues exist for you to explore. Soon enough, you'll have all that you need to make something that truly emulates the definition of beauty.




Vanessa Rodriguez writes about crafting and design. Her recent work is on the Top Online Colleges for a Web Design Degree

Sunday, April 14, 2013

5 Audacious and Creative Card Craft Ideas


Today I have a guest blog post for you

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Whether you're looking for ways to keep the kids entertained during the summer break from school or methods for amusing yourself during rainy days, crafts are an excellent way to keep busy and make something beautiful. What are some creative card craft ideas that everyone will love?

Singing Cards
At the store, you've probably seen cards that sing or play a song when you open them. Instead of paying for these often pricey cards, learn how to make one by yourself. If you're particularly handy with technology, you could easily create the mechanism by yourself. In the event that you are not, team up with a family member or friend to make the coolest card out there.

Sew a Card
Some people assume that cards always need to be made out of paper, but this simply is not true. Are you skilled at sewing or knitting? Take out some yarn and start to craft a simply square. In the middle of the square, you could write out the cover message of the card. You can put a few different squares together to create a piece that actually looks just like a card you would find in the store.

Poster Board Cards
Instead of going for the usual small-sized card, make something that people will really want to open. For example, at Christmas time, you could paint an entire scene of Santa and his reindeer flying across the sky in a small town. You might also dedicate a different section of the card to one of the 12 days of Christmas. Whatever you do, be sure to consider the price of postage. If you plan to mail these cards, you are certainly going to need to pay more than the average rate for postage.

Card Collage
Another fun idea is to make a collage out of the card. This project can be a really exciting one for children, and this is especially true for children who do not quite yet know how to right. They don't have to write out their thoughts in the card - they can easily use pictures to express their feelings. Simply put, your loved ones will love receiving these. On the back, you might want to note that it was made especially by your child.

Cookie Cards
Here's another great idea for people who don't want to make a traditional card at all. Use cookie dough to bake a big cookie in a square or rectangular baking dish. Once it comes out of the oven, you'll basically have a cookie cake. You can write a special message on the face of the card with icing and even make a little stamp in the corner. Not only does this card look gorgeous, it tastes delicious!



Ashley Jerrod is an art teacher who writes about the arts and education. Her recent work is on the Best Degree Programs for art in the US.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Scrap Your Stash - Ribbon Challenge

I am so happy to share this project with you today!  When I was at the CROPPED Event this last year I met Britten, who is a dear friend of Megan Elizabeth's and has worked on Megan's Design Team.  Now Britten is starting a new adventure with the website Scrap Your Stash.  She is encouraging us to stop shopping and start using what we already have.  Make sure to check out the Scrap You Stach Facebook page.  
Tell them Shawn sent you!

Britten asked me to be her Guest Blogger for her first challenge
The Ribbon Challenge

Make anything you want, but you have to use ribbon from you stash.
Fist, I would like to introduce you to my ribbon stash


You can see that at one point I even tried to organize it by cutting an opening in a photo box that I already had and feeding the ribbons out of the box so I could see all of the colors I had.  The the stash grew and just shoved the extra stuff in the back of the box thinking that some day I would get time to alter another photo box and have all of the ribbons visible again.

For this project I wanted to think of something different . . . anyone could show you a card or scrapbook layout with some ribbon on it . . . been there, done that.  Then I started to think about how summer is coming and how my niece LOVES to have a cute pair of flip flips to wear in the summer.

I had the plain pair of flip flips that I wanted to do something with to give to her as a gift.  What if I braided some ribbons to embellish the straps of the flip flops?


I grabbed 4 colors of ribbon from my stash and started to do this fun braiding technique for a rolled 4-ply braid that I found HERE.  I am going to try to do my best to explain it to you, but if you want to refer to the link I used to learn this technique then you have that information also.

To start with I would recommend using a piece of foam core or corkboard as a work surface to pin the ribbons to.  Cut 4 ribbons about one-third longer than the desired overall length that you want the finished braid to be.  Pin the ribbons in sets of two at right angles from each other in the manner shown below.  In the directions I will refer to the two ribbons in a set as "partners".


If you want to do a quick slip stitch to hold the ribbons in place that might be a good idea.  I did not do this on mine, and when I went to take it off the board I almost lost some of the weaving.

I forgot to take photos with the first few rows of the weave, so the next photo comes in after I had already done about an inch of work, but you will get the idea.  


ROLL/FOLD the top two partner ribbons down at a right angle as shown in the photo below.



See how the ribbon is folded forward, not twisted like you might do for a normal braid.  So now we take the ribbon on the far right and FOLD it under the first ribbon, weave it up over the second ribbon and then weave it under the last ribbon.


So now it looks like this . . . 


Now let's do it again with the far right ribbon . . . FOLD that one under the first, and over the next one and then it will be at a right angle aligned with it's partner.


Notice how I keep pinning things as I go?  This helps to keep the tension in the braid so that things don't come undone, especially if you don't have time to do the whole braid in one sitting.

So now you just repeat that all again by taking the top two partner ribbons and ROLL/FOLD them at a right angle down, then take the far right riboon, which would be the yellow one in the photo above and roll/fold it under the purple, over the teal and under the blue.

It is kind of confusing until you get the hang of it.  Again, if my photos are not clear, try looking at this tutorial.  

Once the braid is done I would recomend doing some stitching at the end of the braid so that things don't come undone.  I did a small zig-zag stitch with my sewing machine on both ends.

Once the braid is complete I wanted to make it lay nice on the straps of the flip flops.  I knew that if I did a sewed an angle in the ribbon it would give it a nice point like I wanted at the front, but I did not want to just sew on the ribbon and risk messing up all of that work, so I cut a piece of scrap fabric that was the same width as the completed braid, folded it in half and sewed a few stitches in that at an angle as shown below.  
I drew a black line over the stitching to make it stand out for the photo. 


Then I opened that up and tested to see how it fit on the straps of the flip flop


PERFECT! 
That is JUST how I wanted it to look
(the painter's tape is just to hold the fabric while I took the photo)

So now I just folded the braid over and used my tester piece of fabric as a guide to sew a few stitches into the braided ribbon.  The picture below shows the ribbon once it was stitched.


Now it is time to pull out the hot glue gun and adhere the ribbon braid to the flip flops.  I started with just a little bit of glue right at the front of the straps so I could line that seam in the ribbon up with the center of the straps.  Then I added just a little glue at a time and pressed the braid down into it.  I did it in sections of about an 1" to 1 1/2" so that I could line up the braid before the glue cooled off .  I didn't want to be sticking it down and then pulling it back up to re-align things.


If you don't want any of the stitching that you put at the end of the braid to show you can roll that part underneath the ribbon as you are finishing gluing the last part down.  The end of the braid goes so close to the main part of the shoe at the end of the strap, so it helps to hid any stitching you might have done at the end anyway.


And there you have a finished pair of flip flops all ready for summer!
Think of alll of the different color combinations you could make!  You could give new life to an old pair of flip flops, or wait for one of those good sales where some stores sell flip flops for $1 a pair.

I hope you enjoyed this project and that it gives you some ideas 
for new ways to use the ribbons that you 
already have in your crafting stash!

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Shawn Mosch is the mother of the family that created the website MyCutSearch.com, a searchable database of images found on Cricut cartridges.  She enjoys sewing, crocheting, cardmaking and scrapbooking.  If it is a Disney themed craft project then you REALLY have her attention.  Shawn’s shares her love of crafts on her blog, http://craftychicsblog.blogspot.com/






Sunday, April 7, 2013

Simply Perfect

I am a part of a group that was put together by Jennifer over at http://craftycardgallery.blogspot.com/ . . . she gathers products from sponsors and then everyone in the group is challenged to create a card from that product. This time the sponsor is MyCutSearch.com, which as many of you know is the website that my family created so that you can search for images found on Cricut cartridges.

Since we don't sell any products I donated some items I had in my crafting stash.  I had several die cut pieces with the phrase "Simply Perfect In Every Way" that I sent off to Jennifer . . . so now let's see what I created and then you can go over to http://craftycardgallery.blogspot.com/ and see what other crafters made with this same item.


I needed a card to give to my husband for our 14th wedding anniversary which is coming up this week.  Since I think he is perfect, I thought this would be a good match.  I used some papers in deep browns and burgandy.  The ribbon trim in the middile of the card is actually some ribbon from a project I made for our wedding . . . I made a LOT of the wedding items.

It is simple, but sweet.  I kept the card more simple and basic since there was a lot of flourish in the die cut with the saying on it.  I did not want it too look like there was too much going on.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Easter layout . . . better late than never

I wanted to share this layout with you on Easter, but I did not have a photo of it . . . I made it with the Glitter Sheets from The Buckle Boutique.  Now that I have a photo I can finally share it with you!


I actually used a pre-printed layout sheet.  The rectangles for the photos are printed right on this sheet so you can just stick your photos on top and be done.  But I did not want to do something THAT easy!

In the top header I cut the letters for the word SPRING.
Then I cut some Easter eggs and cut the layers from the Glitter Sheets in a variety of colors.  I also added a piece of ribbon with a little bow at the bottom.

Make sure to check out The Buckle Boutique and their Facebook page.
Make sure to tell them Shawn sent you!



Monday, April 1, 2013

SPARKLE!

I had to share with you that there are some products on sale right now at The Buckle Boutique!

If you are looking for some of the gold Dazzling Diamonds cuttable rhinestone sheets, NOW is the time to stock up!


or