Trying to get back on track with my YouTube videos.

On my YouTube channel I have designated Monday’s as being “Subscriber Question Day”.  Whatever the question is, no matter what it is about, I try to answer the question from my personal experience with a product or a tool.

Monday, September 5, is the second video in my Beginner Series.  This video was made possible by a question from Joke (YO-ka) Smits from The Netherlands.  She has a problem with paper.  Her problem is she doesn’t have any.

The specialty papers available for purchase, in stores or online, here in the US is mind boggling.  To those outside the US availability is not so easily attained, what with the cost of the product and shipping charges.

Joke, on Monday you will find a video that will help you in your quest for paper.  I hope anyway.  I have used Operation Write Home card sketch #59 for the card I feature.  Everything to create the card came from my junk mail.  Advertisements, catalogs, magazines, and whatever else I could find.

Belated Birthday Card from junk mail

Belated Birthday Card from junk mail

Joke, this card I have made does not come close to being “professional” quality but it is meant as a guide in helping you, and others like you, to “get your feet wet” before diving into the pool.

One day, Joke, you will have a space full of paper.  Colors, textures, sparkly, plain, thin and heavy weight.  AND you will have the very same problem with all the “proper” paper.  Like having a closet full of nice clothes and nothing to wear.

You have to find out if you even “Like” making greeting cards or would rather do something else.  Art journals, altered items (change them into something different than what they began life as), scrapbook layouts, or any other type of paper crafting.  It is a process that everyone goes through.  Everyone!

Yesterday, September 2 (Friday), I had my second go round of chemotherapy shots.

Round 2 of chemotherapy shots

Round 2 of chemotherapy shots

About 30 minutes after getting the shots…….Lord have Mercy.  My left breast with the cancer tumor was letting me know it was not dying without a fight.  Good grief!  The pain was intense at times, and unrelenting.  I had to take one of my heavy duty pain meds…..a current prescription of Hydrocodone.  In fact, I ended up taking one shortly after we got home and another before I went to bed last night.  Today the pain is manageable.

I will be in my craft room until I do something stupid.  Like bang my boob on something as I try to get around in my small space crammed to the gills with “stuff”.  Reach too high for something and a whole lot of “stuff” comes crashing down on my poor boob.  I will be trying to get ahead of the game in my YouTube videos.  Here at my blog, I will have to figure out some kind of a schedule for it also.  My friends and family on Facebook and Instagram, I’m trying to keep up with that, and  you, as well.  Forgive me being hit and miss.  More miss than hit.

Hope y0u enjoy the Holiday weekend of Labor Day here in the US.  A three day weekend for most everyone not in the service and hospitality industry.  Service and hospitality workers never get holidays off.  Nurses, doctors, food servers, hotel staff, grocery store workers, and all the other service workers.  Military families included.  For my military readers…..THANK YOU for your service.

Leslie

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Instant Gratification – Fan Template

sunshinelynable left a comment that made me say “YES!”  I totally forgot that I could trace the chipboard template pieces, scan them into my computer, make it a PDF file, then put it on my Template Page here on my blog!

So.  For INSTANT GRATIFICATION.  No waiting for the snail mail to arrive.  Do the following:

  1. Click on the TEMPLATE link on the right column of this blog.  Right under “Message In A Fold Pages”.
  2. Scroll down to the bottom.
  3. Click on FANTEMPLATE.jpg.pdf
  4. Download it to your computer
  5. Print it off on regular paper or card stock
  6. Cut out the two (2) fan pieces
  7. Trace the templates on chipboard
  8. Cut them out of your chipboard
  9. Then create your beautiful fan(s)

IT IS FREE!  NO CHARGE TO YOU.

Create a fan using the Fan Template

Create a fan using the Fan Template

If you want to see how this all comes together…my YouTube video is just below.

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

Leslie

Craft Life Hack – DIY Magnetic Platform

Getting into card making, scrapbook layouts, or the Project Life series of documenting our daily lives can be over the top expensive.  Especially if you spend any amount of time watching craft videos on YouTube where every new tool or convenience is displayed for you to drool over and covet.

Die cutting is one such tool.  The machines themselves are over $100 and they come with the bare necessities.  Extra items are all add-ons and can destroy your budget quickly.  With the advent of wafer thin dies that serve dual duty, cut and emboss, the industry has been finding more ways to deplete your budget with these tools that we “Just Have to HAVE”.

Sizzix created a “Magnetic Platform” just for the wafer thin dies.  This acrylic pad with a magnetic top has allowed the paper crafter to do more with their dies.  That Magnetic Platform will set you back $30 or more.  The good thing about this tool is that you no longer have to fuss around with dies shifting on you through the cutting process.  You no longer have to tape everything down to get a good and clean cut without wasting a lot of paper while keeping track of where the die is before it goes under the pressure rollers.

I have not gotten into the wafer thin die aspect of paper crafting.  Mostly because of the initial cost of the die set.  These dies come in sets, or “Nested” sets.  Each die is graduated in height and width from smallest to largest and ideal for layering on your card fronts or your scrapbook layouts.  One set of dies will cost over $25 and it would be really easy to get to the check out with a total of over $100 just for three or four of these sets.  Add on the cost of the magnetic platform and your crafting budget will be gone in seconds.

Storing these wafer thin dies can be a challenge in itself.  Keep the packaging they came in or find an alternate storage solution.  One of my friends, Maureen Criss Mathis, told me about her purchase of Magnetic Vent Covers from her local hardware store to use for her die storage.  This was a few years back.

While in my local Lowe’s Home Improvement Center I went to the heating aisle and right to the section that sells the vent covers.

Vent covers at my hardware store

Vent covers at my hardware store

Magnetic Vent Covers are sold in this section.  When you want to block air flow over one or more registers in your home it can be accomplished with these covers.  The cost is $4.97 at my store for a set of 3.

Magnetic vent covers

Magnetic vent covers

These magnetic sheets cut easily with a pair of scissors.  So I had to see if I could make my own “Magnetic Platform” using this product on my three Sizzix machines.  The Big Shot, Original Sizzix Machine, and the Side Kick.

Sizzix Big Shot, Original Die Cutting machine, and the Side Kick

Sizzix Big Shot, Original Die Cutting machine, and the Side Kick

I was able to use the magnetic sheets on all three of my machines successfully.  The cuts I got using this home heating product were clean without any mistakes.

So, if you have been thinking about getting the Magnetic Platform from Sizzix for your wafer thin dies then head on over to  your local hardware store.  Spend your craft budget money on the acquisition of more wafer thin dies 😀

Here is my demonstration video for this new tool in my paper craft arsenal.

Leslie

Creating on a budget.

The temptations are out there.  Online, in big box craft stores, YouTube videos, things you see in other people’s craft space.

Sometimes, it seems, there is just as much of a problem for “impulse shoppers” within the crafting community as is in your local grocery or convenience store.  See it and you gotta get it.  I know this only too well and have fallen prey to the temptation many times over the years I have been doing paper crafts.

Ribbon bows are not my forte.  I can tie the bows but they look like I enlisted the aid of a three year old.  Wonky, squished, disproportionate, and just plain sad looking.  My bows always need help.

A couple years ago I wandered the aisles of my local craft/hobby store, Hobby Lobby, and saw a template to make paper bows.  At nearly $5 I thought it would be a great deal.  The template has various sizes and types of bows that can be made so it seemed economical.  I got it home and quickly made a paper bow using the template.  Even the template was no insurance against the three year old bow maker.  :/

The template was chucked into a storage device and forgotten about.  Then I watched a video showcasing the new “Envelope Punch Board”.  The bow that came from the punch board was every bit as good as the one I made using the template.  Albeit done by someone that knew how to work with the paper to make it look like a bow and not some mangled thing.

While making my Christmas gift tags I took that template back out and gave it one more try.

Bow making template

Bow making template

Hello my new little friend!  At the cost of $5 I can make about five different styles of bows.  The $20 Envelope Punch Board can make one style.

The template takes longer than the Punch Board.  You have to trace around the stencil item, cut it out, fuss around with it, and then get  your bow made.  The Punch Board has no messing about.  Stick the paper in an area and punch, turn and punch, move and punch.  Just that fast, lickety split, you are ready to fold and create the bow.

Sorry, I don’t have any photos of the Bow Punch Board for your comparison.  Here is a link to a blog post featuring this tool – Envelope Punch Board.

You decide which you would like to have in your craft space.  I have a video showing how I used the template to make the bows on the Christmas gift tags.

Leslie

Winter is looming.

I am seeing a lot of crafting people posting YouTube videos with all manner of Christmas themed items.  Some of them have been dedicated to this effort for well over a month.

Boxes, cards, gift certificate envelopes, gift card creations to name a few.  The Christmas Spirit is alive and well over on YouTube and it is coming from Australia, New Zealand, Norway, and here in the US.

The weather here in Oklahoma has cooled to overnight highs of 45 to 48 degrees Fahrenheit and warming up to 75 to 78 during the daytime.  Leaves are falling from the giant tree in our yard.  Windows and doors are open to let in the crisp fresh air.  I love early Spring and early Fall for the mild temperatures and the cool weather.

Many years ago I watched a YouTube video, I don’t remember who created it.  The person used Glossy Accents to create an icicle effect on a card front.  I am trying to get into the spirit of this upcoming season and am experimenting in my craft room.

I have an embossing folder from Stampin’ Up! – purchased many years ago – which features snowflakes.

Snowflake embossing folder

Snowflake embossing folder

With this embossing folder and my Original Sizzix machine….frankly I can’t get to the closet where my Big Shot is due to the log jam of boxes and bins on the floor that I have been using recently.

In my stash of several years, I have a bottle of “Water Effects” that is sold at hobby stores catering to the model railroad enthusiasts.  This product is used to make the lakes, rivers, streams, and waterfalls on dioramas featuring little towns and wooded areas for the model trains.  It comes with a hefty price of $16.99 for an 8 ounce bottle.

Water Effects

Water Effects

Okay, now for the big news.  Get a hold of your seat so you don’t go crashing to the floor as you faint.  I’ve used GLITTER!  The photo below is after 48 hours of the Water Effects drying.

Water Effects and glitter to make icicles

Water Effects and glitter to make icicles

I decided to give my Glossy Accents a try at the icicle business.  Once again, hold on tight.  There is GLITTER used.

Glossy Accents with glitter to make icicles

Glossy Accents with glitter to make icicles

The Glossy Accents has not had time to dry.  It will be clear when it finally dries.

What I’m going to do with these?  I don’t have any idea.  I am in the experimental stage right now.  In fact, I am in the “Mojo has left the building” stage and I’m trying to get it enticed to come back.

Leslie

Scrapbook Layout – Library Pocket Tag

Library pocket tags for journal spots on layouts

Library pocket tags for journal spots on layouts

My twin granddaughters turned one in June, 2015.  They are so cute.

My twin granddaughters

My twin granddaughters

When my daughter was pregnant with them she would tell me, during phone conversations, how much she was looking forward to them being born.  She was so excited to be a Mom.  She read books about child birth and child rearing.  She read everything she could get her hands on preparing to become the best mother she could be.

When these precious girls were just a couple days old I told Carissa, “Now it will be milestones”.  She looked at me like I had started speaking in an unfamiliar language.

You will, I told her, think you had passed out from total sleep deprivation and didn’t hear their cries the first night they sleep more than two hours between feedings.  Fear will grip your heart and panic will set in.  NORMAL.

The next milestone will be when the babies try to hold a hand still before their eyes so they can see this marvel of human construction.  They will, often, hit and punch themselves as they inspect this odd thing.

The next milestone will be when the babies learn how to hold their heavy little heads up while on their tummies.  The weight of their heads on the weak neck muscles will cause them to bang their little noses and faces on your shoulder bones, the floor, or whatever surface they are laying on.

The next milestone will be when they roll over on their own.  I told her “You will be giddy with excitement when you see this for the first time”.  This, I told her, is the harbinger of doom to you as a Mother.  Carissa whipped her head around and looked at me as if I had suddenly become some kind of demon.  “Why do you say that?!” she asked in a voice tinged with anger.

Because, my love, it won’t be long before they begin crawling and getting into everything.  You won’t believe how fast those little tiny bodies can move.  When they begin crawling your vocabulary as an adult woman will consist of one word.  “NO!”

The next milestone will be when they begin to pull themselves up to a standing position using furniture to steady them.  Oh boy.  Being higher off the ground will mean they have access to everything within their reach.  Exploration of their world really begins.  Your vocabulary will change a little bit.  It will become “No, no, NO!” instead of just the single “NO!”.

I then told Carissa what she needed to pay attention to was “Total Silence”.  That will NOT be good.  She laughed at me.  She actually had a belly laugh at that.  Hmmm, we’ll see.

So, at this time I am creating a scrapbook layout titled “Mischief”.  I have a video showing you how to make Library Card Pocket tags.  This is so easy to do.  You don’t need a template.  You don’t need to download a PDF to cut out a template.  You don’t need specialty tools.  You only need a pencil, ruler, scissors, adhesive, and paper.

So here is the tutorial on making the Library Card Pocket tag and the tag insert for journaling.

Lighting for my videos.

I can’t afford the fancy lighting for professional photographers.  I don’t have the space to set up that type of lighting, either.

Joe dabbles in photography when the whim hits him.  He has a lot of stuff scattered throughout our house…in places where it can be stored….to create a fully functioning dark room and for proper lighting of his subjects.

When I started making videos for YouTube I “appropriated” some of his lights.  Hey, they were shoved away on the shelf in our bedroom closet and not being used.  He was gone on the road and not home to declare that the lights were his.  😀

Like most things in my life that require expertise….of which I have not one iota of…..I pretend that I do.  😀

For quite a long time I used his lights in my room for filming.  I have a standard overhead light and sometimes harsh sunlight coming in through the window blinds.  I tried to combat the shadows with my genius.  :/

My lighting for several years

My lighting for several years

These lights are of the “Older” variety with the ceramic doodads that hold the light bulbs.  You can purchase similar lights at a hardware or a farm store.  The farm store will sell them as “hatchery” lights to keep the little baby chicks warm after they hatch out.

You can see, from the above photo, I have the spring clamps attached to the handles of the cupboard doors above my work table.  Sometimes this lighting works but mostly I get a lot of shadows.

Last week, I asked Joe to help me with setting up my lighting in a better way.  Notice I said “My lighting”?  Using HIS lights.  😀

I had him watch a video on making light stands with PVC tubing.  I’ll include that video at the bottom of this post.  He went to our local big box hardware store to purchase the items  he would need.  Within about 20 minutes he had me all fixed up.

The lighting in my room after Joe did his magic

The lighting in my room after Joe did his magic

The PVC tubing light, to the far left in the above photo, took him about 5 minutes to cut the pieces and attach them with connecting doobitties.  Joe made the “feet” into a three leg pattern instead of the four leg pattern you will see in the video.  This adds more stability to the tall pole and keeps it from tipping over.  I don’t need to weight down the supports with anything.

3 legged stand on the light pole

3 legged stand on the light pole

I told Joe I needed to have one of my lights, to the left of my work table, higher and back further than it had been.  Previously the light was attached to one of the door handles of the cupboard above my head.  Joe purchased some metal piping and elbow joint thing-a-ma-bobs, along with a “flange” to attach this to the wall.

Light to the right of my work table

Light to the right of my work table

Before Joe created my light setup, I “appropriated” some of his PVC pipe that had been in our  hallway for a few years.  It wasn’t long enough to reach from the top of the cabinets to the left and to the far right.  I had to “appropriate” a 3/4 inch dowel to add the length I needed.  Having this overhead light helped me to see what I was doing on my work table as I video taped.  I still had shadows but not as bad as had been before.

 

Stolen PVC pipe from Joe's stash

Stolen PVC pipe from Joe’s stash

With Joe’s help, and expertise in all things – as usual….I now have better lighting for my creative blathering.

Nearly professional lighting

Nearly professional lighting

For about $35 you can set up your lighting with things from the hardware or farm store.  The light things at the hardware store will be in the section where they sell “Work Lights”.  They are about $10 each.  The PVC tubing and connectors will be a little over $5.  Beats the heck out of $400 to set up this same kind of lighting.

Here is the video I had Joe watch to get my lighting set up.

Leslie

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