Tool Envy. The roadblock to creativity.

Sometimes, not often, a bit of envy creeps in on us in the paper crafting arena.  There are so many tools on the market for paper crafters.  Die cutting machines, embossing machines, die cutting AND embossing machines, Score Boards AND Scor-Pals, electronic cutting machines like the Cricut.  Paper trimmers, hand tools, and punches.

It would cost a fortune to trick your craft space out with the latest and greatest.  Or even with the oldies and goodies found at yard sales, thrift shops, and auction sites.

Having been a new craft person myself, years ago, I spent a lot of time watching YouTube videos on creating all manner of things.  I found myself in a catastrophic “Hoarder” position. Each video I watched I knew I just HAD TO HAVE the tools used in the videos.  It got so bad that I had to stay out on the road as a truck driver to (1) earn back the money I spent in the craft stores and (2) STAY OUT of the craft stores so I wouldn’t spend any more money.

My YouTube channel is all about using what you have.  No More Tool Envy PART 1 and PART 2.

So for those new to the paper crafting world that don’t have a die cutting machine to use the Tim Holtz rosette die; or can’t quite afford to plonk down over $30 for a Score Board or Scor-Pal; or find the $15 to $20 border punches.  I have two videos up today on creating accordion fold rosettes using nothing more than a pencil, ruler, bone folder, a pair of scissors, a paper trimmer, some kind of adhesive, and a bit of your time.

Accordion fold rosettes

Accordion fold rosettes

Making the rosettes the “Old Fashioned Way” is easy to do.  I have quite a number of Christmas themed stickers that are 15 years old that need to be used up instead of neglected and stuffed away.

My second video, or Part 2 of No More Tool Envy, I use those old stickers by giving them a face lift, if you will.  Adding glitter glue and a bit of ribbon.  Or take two stickers that are exactly the same and making them dimensional.

Dimensional stickers

Dimensional stickers

OLD stickers, lace, and glitter glues

OLD stickers, lace, and glitter glues

OLD chipboard pieces, stickers, and lace

OLD chipboard pieces, stickers, and lace

Even OLD decorative edge scissors

Even OLD decorative edge scissors

Make use of your new found creativity and explore the avenues that open to you as you USE WHAT YOU  HAVE to create awesome things.

 

Leslie

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Collaborating with a friend.

I’m very excited to announce that one of my YouTube subscribers, Bobbie Demster,  of CraftyCritter919 has agreed to do a collaboration with me on an Operation Write Home card sketch #197 today.

Bobbie is all about the lace, flowers, and bling.  If you have read my blog before you may know that I have a crazy fear of all “girly” stuff.  Glitter, flowers, lace, and bling in general.

Here is Bobbie’s card.   To watch her video on how she put this card together – CLICK HERE.

CraftyCritter919, Bobbie Demster's, OWH #197 card

CraftyCritter919, Bobbie Demster’s, OWH #197 card

This is my version of OWH Card Sketch #197.  You want to see how I put it together CLICK HERE.

OWH Card Sketch #197

OWH Card Sketch #197

I can’t believe that I have over 1400 YouTube Subscribers on my channel.  This is my “Thank You” to each and every one of my them for sticking with me through all my crazy blathering and tutorials.  I am grateful for the following and the wonderful comments left on my videos.

If there is anyone out there that would like to participate in the Collaboration on OWH Card Sketches, leave your request in a comment below.

Leslie

Altered Christmas glass ornaments.

Today is the day the video is up on my YouTube channel showing the process of altering these glass ornaments.

Altered glass ornaments

Altered glass ornaments

I used a couple of Sizzix dies – Flourishes and Snowflakes – with my metal duct tape from the hardware store.  The first six I left clear.  The bottom six I used Ranger Industries Alcohol Inks in the colors of Current, Stream, and Butterscotch.

The first three are Current on the left, Stream in the center, and Butterscotch on the right.  The bottom left one is a remix of the colors on the same felt pad and it turned a little brown.  I like that one.  For the final two I used a new felt pad to finish them off.

This flourish was a real bugger to work with.  So many intricate swirls and curves.  This one was way too fiddly for me.  By the time I adhered the second one of this flourish die cut from the metal duct tape….I was so over this whole entire project.  I had to get encouragement from my daughter with the twins to keep going and see it through to the end.

Intricate flourish

Intricate flourish

The Snowflake dies were the easiest to cut out, take apart, and adhere.  I did have a few problems with them but nothing like the really intricate flourish.

Snowflake die

Snowflake die

The less intricate flourish dies were really great to work with.

Less intricate flourish die

Less intricate flourish die

This project took me over two days to complete.  I have the attention span of a gnat and a shorter patience span than that.  Altering Christmas clear glass balls will NOT be on my list of must do decorating again.

My daughter with the twins suggested that I make a whole bunch of these and sell them at a craft fair.  My answer to her was “Not just NO, but H*&L NO!”  I’ll leave that job to someone that enjoys fiddly things.  The other nuisance was having to use the hot glue gun for the ribbon around the neck and the fork bow on each of the balls.

I do get to have the pride and privilege of saying “I made these” and there will never be anymore like them.  Someone else may take a stab at creating these for themselves but they won’t be the same as mine are.

Leslie

Texts from my husband: “Where are U”

I have been putting off a trip to my local big box craft/hobby stores for several months.  My supply of foam mounting squares is getting really low.  So low that a project I’m working on will require more than what I have on hand.

The temptations that await me at a craft/hobby store are more than I have the power to resist.  Even if I take Joe with me as the sane adult.  I have come to flippantly calling my journeys to these stores….seeing my drug dealer.

Just as soon as I walk in the doors I get a rush.  Some endorphin, or whatever the chemical rush is, kicks in and I become hyper focused on the goods displayed.  A joy wells up within me.  An excitement that is akin to a child let loose in a toy store.  The mantra in my head is “I WANT IT!”   The major problem with that is, I can’t seem to muster the restraint required to end up leaving the store with what I had gone in to get in the first place.  Invariably, I wind up leaving the store with a whole lot of stuff and NONE of what I went in for.

I don’t watch the plethora of “HAUL” videos on YouTube because of the same thing.  I see what people have and I feel the great need to say “I WANT IT!”.  This is the main reason why all of the things I create are from my burgeoning stash of old items.  I have way too much stuff from my many previous visits to my “drug dealer”.

So, with Joe in tow, I went to my local Hobby Lobby.  I told him before we got out of the car that I needed to get “Foam Dots”.  My husband is totally awesome in so many ways.  He is, however, an “Enabler”.  He can make the process worse for me.  He’ll see something on display and say “You don’t have this do you?” or “Do you want that?”.  He was going in to find balsa wood strips to prepare for the day he creates a model train landscape with all the bridges and towns.  He has been acquiring bits and pieces since 1993 and has yet to build more than one trestle bridge.

My recent trip to Hobby Lobby

My recent trip to Hobby Lobby

I felt that the best way to handle this was to not stroll next to him.  If I go off on my own, maybe, I can be less tempted and actually get the foam dots.

The foam dots used to be in the back of the store where the Clearance items are located.  Of course, I immediately headed to the clearance area.  First thing that caught my eye was a border punch.

A border punch

A border punch

Who cares that we are nearing winter and the Holiday season.  It is shiny and “I Want It”.

No foam dots in the cart, yet.

The project I am working on needs to have some winter embellishments.  Snowflakes or something winter like.  The butterfly punch, although lovely, is not what I need.  The foam dots were no longer displayed near the Clearance wall.  A small, very small, selection of dies was on display near there.  I saw this die for making snowflakes.  Yes, it is shiny and it went into my cart.

Snowflake die

Snowflake die

I got a text message from Joe.  “Where r u?”

Where r u?

Where r u?

When I left the aisle with the dies I went in search of Joe.  Only to find a couple more things I could not resist.  Clear Christmas balls just waiting to be altered.  Then fake snow to go inside the clear balls.

Clear Christmas balls

Clear Christmas balls

Fake snow

Fake snow

I did, finally, find the foam dots and get them in my shopping cart.

Foam dots

Foam dots

Ultimately, this was the extent of my shopping trip.

Results of my shopping trip

Results of my shopping trip

Well, as  you might imagine…the project I had been diligently working on was put on the back burner.  The whole reason for the trip to the craft/hobby store.  Here is a little teaser for what will be coming to my YouTube channel this coming Tuesday.  It is only a little over one minute long and packed with music, excitement, and a bit like a professional movie trailer 😀

Leslie

Card making supplies at your local hardware store.

Metal duct tape used on cards

Metal duct tape used on cards

In the storage cabinet above my work table is a plethora of adhesives I use.  One of those adhesives is a roll of metal duct tape I’ve had for a number of years.  I used it to make my ink pad, ink refill, and shimmery spritz storage units several years back.

Ink pad and spritz storage from foam core and metal duct tape

Ink pad and spritz storage from foam core and metal duct tape

The metal duct tape comes on a roll about two inches wide and I don’t even know how many yards.  I have used this tape with embossing folders but not with my dies.  I thought I would do some experimenting.

Metal duct tape and dies

Metal duct tape and dies

In my scrap stash I have a lot of three inch square pieces of paper.  So if I screwed up there would be no hardship on me.

An experiment with metal tape and dies

An experiment with metal tape and dies

The die cut snowflakes disappeared in the patterned paper.  I wondered what they would look like on white paper.

Metal tape die cuts on white paper

Metal tape die cuts on white paper

Finding success in using dies with the metal tape I took it one step further and smoothed the tape over a piece of card stock to be used on a card front and ran it through my Big Shot with a snowflake embossing folder from Stampin’ Up!  Some glitter, a bit of Distress Stickles, and a Stampin’ Up! “Let it snow” rubber stamp were the feature items of the card front.

Embossed metal tape

Embossed metal tape

I made two sets of cards.  One dark and one light.  I can’t decided which one I like the best so I sent it out to my Facebook followers to chime in.  The consensus has gone to the darker card.

And here is the card with the snowflake die cuts peeking out from behind the snowman.

Metal tape die cuts on card front

Metal tape die cuts on card front

I used Operation Write Home Card Sketch #16 on this project if you want to know how I made it.  The metal duct tape at the hardware store will make you gulp at the price when you see it.  It is almost $20 for a roll of the metal tape.  Keep in mind that this tape will last for a long time.  It is not used in everyday crafting projects like other adhesives are.

Here is my YouTube video showing the process I used to make these cards with the metal duct tape.

Leslie

Trash to Treasure – Recycling

Okay, that “Treasure” part is a bit of a stretch, but I figured it would be a catchy title.  😀

I have not done a video tutorial on repurposing or recycling a food box that is bound for the trash.  I did take photos of my progress throughout the process and I will share it with you here.

Joe likes the strawberry flavored Pop Tarts.  We purchased a giant sized box of them from our local Sam’s Club.  Inside the box were two more boxes…which I didn’t keep because of the way they opened.  Even with the perforated cut lines the boxes tore all kinds of ways that were not even along the perforations :/

Anyway…..Once I had the box in my craft room I cut the flaps off first thing.

Cut the flaps away to have an open box

Cut the flaps away to have an open box

No fancy tools needed to do this.  Just a pair of scissors will work.

Use scissors or a craft knife

Use scissors or a craft knife

I saved the long flaps to cover the hole in the bottom of the box.

Hole in bottom of box

Hole in bottom of box

Flaps to cover the hole

Flaps to cover the hole

The paper I used is from my stash of design paper.  It measures 11-3/4 x 11-3/4.  I cut the paper at 5-7/8 to get it, roughly, cut in half.  With one sheet of the paper I laid it against one side of the box leaving about 1/2 inch over the top of the box so I could cover the rough edges.  Where the paper rounds the corner I cut a notch out at the fold line for ease of turning the corner and relieving a bulky pinch point.

Place the paper over the front of the box, excess paper folded over and a notch cut out for the corner

Place the paper over the box front, with the top excess fold and cut a notch where it turns the corner

Apply adhesive of your choice to the back of the paper then attach it to the box.

Apply adhesive of your choice and apply to the box

Apply adhesive of your choice and apply to the box

Smooth the paper over the box and press the top edge inward.

Smooth the paper over the box and tuck the top edge inward

Smooth the paper over the box and tuck the top edge inward

Cover the inside of the box to  hide the edges and cover the box flaps that are now the bottom of the box.

Cover the inside of the box to hide the edges

Cover the inside of the box to hide the edges

Decorate the outside of the box to finish it off.

Altered Pop Tart box

Altered Pop Tart box

Coming up in my repertoire of ideas is a trip to the hardware store to purchase a roll of metal duct tape.  I’m going to be using the tape on some dies for a couple of winter themed cards.

Metal duct tape and dies

Metal duct tape and dies

Leslie

Subscriber Question Monday – Where do I find measurements for card pieces

One of my YouTube Subscribers is a beginning card maker and has posed some really great questions.  The most recent one is where to find the myriad of measurements for elements on greeting card fronts.

The internet is rife with card sketches of all types.  Operation Write Home is the very best place to seek out when it comes to fully answering this question.  The people over there have done an amazing job at documenting the size of elements to be placed on cards.  They leave the designing of the card to you.

I have used Operation Write Home card sketch #09 for today’s YouTube tutorial.

Using a card sketch

Using a card sketch

Last week, on my YouTube channel, I introduced the concept of getting your stash of used card stock and design papers cut up and sorted.  I showed  how I store my scraps in one video.

The card front for today, like I said, from Operation Write Home Card Sketch #09 I selected several pieces of my card stock and designer paper scraps for the elements of the card front.

Scrap pieces for a Birthday card

Scrap pieces for a Birthday card

The two stamp sets I used on the card front – the birthday cakes and the Happy Birthday sentiment – are old stamp sets from Stampin’ Up! that have been discontinued.  You may have a stash of rubber stamps similar in height and width for the right portion of the card front and for the boxy area to the left.  You are the card designer.  Have a look at your stamp stash and come up with your very own card using the paper scraps from your stash.

One final item.  That Pop Tart box….well I have battled with the devil (my hot glue gun which I totally dislike using).  I ventured into “Girly” territory and used some glittery pieces given to me by one of my YouTube Subscribers and some flowers she sent to me.  Now I can say that crazy box is done!

Altered Pop Tart box

Altered Pop Tart box

If you want to watch the video I made featuring today’s Subscriber Question, I have added it below.

Leslie

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