There’s a Punch for that!

My hoard of punches

My hoard of punches

I am working on a video for Monday, September 12th, as a continuation on my series of videos for paper crafting beginners.  What hand punches do I recommend for a beginner.

First off…..Just because it is a paper punch does NOT mean you HAVE TO HAVE IT!  Trust me.  In that mess of punches, about 3/4 of them have not been used once since I purchased them.  Not once.  Never had its teeth (punch) sunk in paper.  NEVER!

Think about the many videos you have watched on YouTube.  What about the blogs you have read?  Someone has trotted out a punch.  Told you how amazing it is.  Shown you how to use it.  Made the paper piece look amazing.  Told you numerous times (in print or in video) how easy and smooth the punch was to work with.

Your precious sweet mind is full of ideas for projects to make.  Oh,  you tell yourself, having that punch will make those projects pop and be even more amazing!  You check on the availability of the punch at your favorite online stores, or even take a trip to your local craft/hobby store in search of this (cue a choir singing) punch that will make your creative life so much easier and even glorious!

Yep, yep, yep.  Detour.

Do a search for a particular punch and several types show up.  Down near the bottom of the page – or off to the right – are suggestions for something similar.  OR WORSE YET a row of hand tools with the heading “What others bought along with this item”!

You go into your local craft/hobby store looking for a particular hand punch……and

You hop from one hand punch to the next. Which one?  Which one?  WHICH ONE SHOULD I CHOOSE?  This one is more frilly.  This one is so straight and I can use it with lots of stuff.  If I get this one and this one I can layer them together.  Oh, oh, oh!  This one, that one, and THIS one!  Yes!

So…..you are at the check out.  Online or at the actual store.  Did you really intend to spend $45 to $60 dollars today?  Small punches range in price from $4.99 to $6.99.  Medium punches range in price from $7.99 to $10.99.  Large punches range in price from $15.99 to $24.99.

That mess of punches on my work table equates to about $400.  Seriously!  Punches can be expensive.  For a beginner paper crafter the price can be way to far out of their budget.  So how do you go about acquiring a set of punches?  One at a time.  If you keep watch on the sales of your favorite stores – even their clearance sections – you can find good deals on punches.  Those days you may be able to get two punches for under $20.

Start off with the BASIC SHAPES.  These can be used in so many ways.  Their versatility will always make for interesting scrapbook layouts and/or greeting cards.

Circle punches

Circle punches

Square punches

Square punches

I hope to have a video up on Monday to show these punches.  I’m having some difficulty right now.

How long does it take you to vacuum your home, do a quick dusting, clean the toilets, sweep and mop the kitchen and bathroom floors?  Used to take me about 2 hours. Do that in 2 hours now and the rest of the day, along with tomorrow is spent napping most of the day away.  Fighting the pain that comes with it.

Grocery shopping by myself for 3 hours then putting things away is getting harder and harder to do.  Recovery time is about the same, nearly 2 days.  So I’m learning that to get done what I want and need done can be as long as 4 days to do.  If I want to remain awake and able to function or be comatose.

So….until Monday my friends.

Leslie

Tim Holtz January 2014 tag.

Once I finished making my granddaughter’s mini album, last week, I thought it was time to begin a project I am totally unfamiliar with.  Doing a bit of “Altered Art”.

There are some things I have to be drug kicking and screaming into.  This is one of them.  Using Tim Holtz, and Ranger Industries, Distress Stains.  I don’t have any of the black and gray that Tim used on his tag.   I used Weathered Wood and Vintage Photo on the tag base.

Tim Holtz - January 2014 tag

Tim Holtz – January 2014 tag

Using the items that I have on hand I thought I’d give this a try.  The numbers Tim  has on his tag are rub ons.  I have some really OLD number stickers that have been hanging around in my craft room since 2006.

Number stickers

Number stickers

After I applied the stickers, rubbed and mashed on them with my bone folder to make sure they were stuck on good, then rubbing them some more on the back side of the tag I figured it was time to get out the sanding block I have had from a home improvement store.

 

Distress the number stickers

Distress the number stickers

Tim’s tag has some black spatters on it so I broke out my black acrylic paint, watered it down a bit using a paint brush.  Next I set to banging the paint brush on my left index finger.  Uhm, OUCH!  It smarts when you  hit your knuckle with a wooden stick!  I can actually say that I did get some spatters going on.

Black paint spatters

Black paint spatters

I had to do a bit of scheming to come up with a pocket watch.  YES!  I remembered I had a Graphic 45 paper pad called “A Proper Gentleman” and there is a pocket watch in there.  Looked to be about the right size I would need, too.

From A Proper Gentleman

From A Proper Gentleman

My old Sizzix dies are being brought out and into the light.  This time I have used the Circles die.  The largest circle will fit in the time piece area of the image.  I hope anyway.

Sizzix Circle dies

Sizzix Circle dies

A piece of scrap packaging, a bit of metal tape and I’m in business here.

 

Metal tape and packaging

Metal tape and packaging

Tape on the package piece

Tape on the package piece

Metallic circle die cut

Metallic circle die cut

Next was to run the die cut through a Tim Holtz embossing folder.  I think this is the one he used on his tag…

Embossed die cut

Embossed die cut

I don’t have the die that Tim used, and I don’t have the grunge board he used.  I do, however, have a silver gel pen and an image of a pocket watch.  I went around the outside of the watch with the gel pen.  Note to self…..next time maybe don’t do this.

Silver gel pen around image

Silver gel pen around image

Very carefully, I cut the watch face out from the image and inserted the embossed metallic circle.  The test fit worked very well.  Take the piece out and then smear some black acrylic paint on the embossed piece and wipe it off – quickly.

 

Remove the watch face

Remove the watch face

Distress the embossed piece

Distress the embossed piece

I then taped the embossed piece into the pocket watch “ring” that I had left after cutting the face out.

Tape the embossed piece into the pocket watch image

Tape the embossed piece into the pocket watch image

I don’t have a ticket the size used by Tim Holtz.  However, I do have one or two tickets that I can use.

A ticket, anyone?

A ticket, anyone?

I do have the rubber stamp set that Tim used on his ticket.  I stamped it on one of my yellow tickets then had to use a Stampin’ Up! Ticket Corner Punch to make this look like a ticket.

 

Stamped sentiment

Stamped sentiment

I don’t have the little hangy down thing that Tim used on his safety pin doo dad.  BUT I do have some Memory Makers Page Pebbles and a bit of paper with a sort of time theme.  I used a Stampin’ Up! 3/4 inch circle punch to cut out an image from the paper.  Then I attached the Page Pebble to the punch.  Hey, that turned out pretty good 😀

3/4 inch circle punch

3/4 inch circle punch

Decorative paper

Decorative paper

Page Pebble

Page Pebble

Hey, pretty cool!

Hey, pretty cool!

And, lastly, I have the word stickers from Tim Holtz that match his tag.

Word stickers

Word stickers

I think I’ve already told you that I am a “Sissy La La Pants”.  I survived the making of this tag challenge and have come pretty close to what Tim has done.

Lesson learned in this piece?  Doesn’t matter what you have OR DON’T HAVE.  The important thing is to get out of your comfort zone and try something totally not of your ilk.  I learned that Distress Stain is pretty fun to work with.  Having a sample to experiment with is freeing.  Sanding blocks and distress techniques have their place in crafting.  The right coach can help through the squeamish times.

Was I successful at making a Tim Holtz Tag?  Yes, indeed I was.

My January 2014 tag

My January 2014 tag

Hey, Tim.  Bring on February.  I’m ready for whatever you have to throw at me.

Uhmmm, maybe :/

Have you tried the tag challenge?  What do you like about it?  What have you learned about it?  I want to know.

Leslie

 

 

 

Masculine birthday card and some packing.

Looking through my stamps, for inspiration, my eyes fell upon this stamp from Club Scrap.

A Club Scrap stamp

Close up of stamp

What would I ever think of to use this stamp?  Looking through my notebook of birthday sentiments I found this one.

Birthday sentiment

So this is what I came up with for a birthday card for a boy.

Birthday card for a boy

I have some Club Scrap card stock that has been embossed.  This is an old, very old, set of paper that I’ve had for years.  The card stock is in both dark blue and brown.  I’ll show you the embossed brown card stock.

Embossed card stock from Club Scrap

I’ve covered the front of the card with a piece of card stock, not sure who it is from.  See the photo above.

For this project, I’ve used….

  • Paper:  Club Scrap and Stampin’ Up!
  • Stamp:  Club Scrap Sun/Moon; Stampin’ Up! Fundamental Phrases (birthday), and All Night Media’s Jive Alphabet (A).
  • Ribbon:  My stash.
  • Ink:  Ranger Archival Ink (black on tag); Stampin’ Up! Summer Sun (Sun/Moon); Walnut Stain Distress Ink around the paper edges.
  • Punches:  Stampin’ Up! Word Window and Curly Label; EK Success 1-3/4″ Circle; Coluzzle Circle template (blue card stock behind the Sun/Moon image)
  • Pen:  Gold Kodak gel pen to enhance some of the sun’s rays.
  • Foam Squares:  Recollections dimensional foam squares behind the Sun/Moon and the tag.

These super dark card stock papers are difficult to apply my little “signature”.

My "signature"

I have some 1″ x 3/4″ labels.   I just keep finding really old stuff in my craft room and getting to use it.  I stamped my little “bee” on a sheet of labels and left the ink to dry.

Small labels

Once the ink was dry I colored the image with Stampin’ Up! markers and a silver gel pen.  I’ve cut the bee out using a 1/2″ circle punch from Stampin’ Up!

1/2" circle punch

Punch out bee

The packing has been an on and off thing since yesterday.  I spent 12 hours of my day being totally indecisive.  Take this?  No.  Wait, YES!  No, maybe not.  I’ve got it down to this for now.  There is still time for me to change my mind :-}

The Martha Stewart Portable Work Station gets packed first 😀  Bling, rulers, and stickers will go here….

Bling and stickers

In the outside pocket.

A pocket just for those items

Tools from my craft tote will go here.  I have the new tool kit from Maureen in the big tote.

The tools I had in the big tote

Perfect Pearls and glitter glue in this little pocket.

Perfect Pearls and glitter glue

Adhesives in this pocket.

Adhesives

Glitter and Mica water colors to take along with go……

Glitter and mica water colors

In this pocket.

In this pocket

 

My big tote has been packed and repacked.

 

 

My big tote

 

Punches in the top pockets.  I’d cram more in there if I could….and I have tried.

Punches to take along

The fantastic gift from Jann Gray of What You Make It holds multiple colors of Cat’s Eye ink pads, brads, and all manner of goodies.  That is in the brown cigar box.

The goodies from Jann

Traveling craft kit

Filled with goodies

 

Stampin’ Up! markers in another cigar box I had stashed away.  Then it is tucked in a Tyvek envelope to keep the lid closed.

Stampin' Up! markers

My little embossing machine, acrylic stamp blocks, embossing folders, and the awesome tool kit from Maureen.

Embossing machine and folders

The embossing folders.  I wonder if I can get more in here?  Hmmmm.

Embossing folders

I’m working on getting packets made to work on while away.  I’ve got some “girly” birthday cards to make.  I will be using an old Stampin’ Up! Hostess set – Birthday Bakery – for these cards.  I’ve selected the colors of card stock and ribbon to use.

Three birthday card kits

Two birthday card kits

One birthday card kit

I can’t decide on which sentiment to use so I stamped both of them three times.  I also stamped three of the multi cake images from the stamp set.

Three images and two sayings

I did a “trial run” with coloring.  The paper I’m using for the birthday cakes is some LetterPress stuff that was in the clearance bin at Hobby Lobby.  I’ve used Copic markers, Stampin’ Up! markers, and Mica water colors to test which I like.  The Mica water colors are getting my vote.

A sampling of all three

Okay, now that I’ve tied you up for most of the day I’ll let you get about your business.  Hope you have a wonderful day.  Enjoy the festivities of the New Year tonight and be careful out there if you will be driving.  Weather and inebriated people will try to mess with you.

Leslie

Circle punch challenge

Today’s challenge comes courtesy of Petro Truck Stop in Milan, New Mexico.

I “Triple Dog Dare You” to come up with something using embossing folders and circle punches or dies.

Use your creation on a card front, scrapbook layout, or an altered item.

Rules: only rule is embossed circles.
Time frame: whenever

Inspiration? Look at this beauty I found hanging on a wall in the women’s bathroom at a truck stop.

20120503-221801.jpg

Get out your spritzes, shimmer paints, acrylic paints, or your inks.

I wanna see what you make. Send me an email, leave a link here to your blog, OR put it on YouTube mentioning “Circle Punch Challenge”. Some how, some way, let me know what you did 😀

Leslie

Embossing Powder inventory

I don’t have much of this stuff.  About the same amount as my glitter.

I have the obligatory clear, white, black, gold, and silver.  Like the glitter this stuff doesn’t get used much.  I’m hoping to amend that in the future.  Hmmmm, seems like a good idea for a lesson for Heather 😀

I have this sewing stamp set from Stampin’ Up! – “Sew Suite”.  It has an extra rubber piece that has been separated from the “Button Card” stamp.  I’ve been using that punch out piece with VersaMark and the Heat & Bond for the glitter bit.  So I’ve used it once again for the VersaMark and the embossing powders.

Sew Suite stamp set

Sew Suite stamp set

This is how I’ve been using it.  Stamp it with VersaMark then cover with the Heat & Bond or the embossing powder – works well for both.  Then cover with the powder and heat set it.

Blank from the Sew Suite set and embossing powder

Blank from the Sew Suite set and embossing powder

Once the embossing powder is heat set then I use my 1″ circle punch to cut out my sample.

1" circle punch to cut out sample

1" circle punch to cut out sample

Doing this project has reintroduced me to the products I have at hand.  I have three containers of embossing powder from “Personal Stamp Exchange“.  I can’t find a website for them 😦

One of the powders is called “Turquoise Tapestry”.  This stuff is beautiful!  It also has a texture to it, similar to the texture of fine sand paper.

Turquoise Tapestry

Turquoise Tapestry

I also have “Ochre Tapestry” from Personal Stamp Exchange.

Ochre Tapestry

Ochre Tapestry

And I have “Desert Tapestry”.

Desert Tapestry

Desert Tapestry

I bought these from eBay way back in 2006 or early 2007.  I guess it is  high time that I find something to use this stuff on.  One note I found on Google, during my search, is that Personal Stamp Exchange has disappeared.  That is a shame because this embossing powder is, by far, the most interesting stuff I have in my small supply.

While Joe has been home I have not been able to do much of anything so I steal time to do little things.  He will be leaving today to deliver the trucks he picked up in California to where they belong in Grand Island, Nebraska.  Then he will be back briefly Saturday then off once again to California.

I will take advantage of his absence to get things done…..like mail off Lynn’s long overdue package of her winnings from the Writing Contest.  Each time I’ve had to go out and run an errand with Joe I forget that thing.  It sits on a stool near my front door.  All ready to be mailed.  I just have to go to the post office and purchase postage.  I’ve got the thing filled out for Customs and everything.

Getting so frustrated with myself for not getting this done I have resorted to putting up sticky notes on my bathroom mirror, the refrigerator, and the front door to remind me to get that package mailed off to Lynn 😦  Next I have to find a box the right size to mail off Tim’s Post-Its!

My website building class on CSS and XHTML WAS going well until I hit a snag yesterday and it has all come crashing down.  I can’t seem to get the lesson done right and I’m having a terrible time with it.  Distractions have really impeded  my concentration.

Truthfully, this is all my own fault.  I have no one to blame for any of this except myself.  Joe is a grown man and can take care of himself.  I have no idea why I feel the need to “babysit” him while he’s home!  It’s not like he is going to get into something that could harm him….like a child would.

We’ve been together for so long and old habits are hard to break.  Spending 24/7 with each other…working side by side every day….I just can’t seem to get myself in gear when he comes home for a few days.

Taking the winter months off and leaving Joe to run the highways by himself I’m kind of crazy.  While he’s gone I’m up early and get a lot of things done until late at night.  When he’s home all my dedication and workaholic tendencies go by the wayside.  I really need to get a grip!

Okay, time to get him packed and ready to head back out for another couple days.

Ink and glitter inventory.

Time to do a little more towards getting my products inventoried.  Thankfully I don’t have a huge amount of ink pads and glitter so this task was done in two days with just a few hours each day.

For both the glitter and the ink pads I used a pad of index cards purchased from my local office supply store.

Index cards

Index cards

I used Stampin’ Up!’s “Heat & Bond” along with VersaMark.  I found a plain rubber block, the inset from one of the sewing stamp sets, attached it to a clear block then inked it with VersaMark then stamped on the back side of one of the index cards.

Next I poured the Heat & Bond over the stamped image on the index card, tapped off the excess then heated the product with  my heat gun until it became shiny.  This only takes a few seconds.  Don’t linger with the heat or you will dry the adhesive and nothing will stick to it.

Once I had the product heated and the sticky stuff created through the process I sprinkled glitter liberally over the stamped part.  Then I added more heat from the heat gun to make the glitter stick to the stuff.  There will not be any fallout from the glitter as it is encased in a sheet protector later.

Using a 1″ circle punch to cut out the glitter sample to be attached to the inventory sheet.

1 inch circle punch

1 inch circle punch

For the chunky glitter from Stampin’ Up! I didn’t trust the Heat & Bond so I spread some glue on an index card then liberally sprinkled the chunky glitter.  Waited for the glue to dry fully to make sure the glitter would hold.

Chunky glitter

Chunky glitter

I had to use the circle punch twice to cut this sample from the index card.  Punch once from the top side.

Punch once from the top side

Punch once from the top side

Then I took the index card out and turned it to the other side and fed it back in the punch.  Lined up the marks from the previous punch then pressed it a second time to get the sample cut out.

Sample punched out

Sample punched out

This is all the glitter I have.  Glitter inventory sheet completed.

Glitter inventory sheet

Glitter inventory sheet

My ink collection is fairly small.  Mostly involve the small Spot Stamps from Stampin’ Up! in their older collections.

Ink spots

Ink spots

Inking up a small stamp with the “Spot” pad….

Ink the stamp

Ink the stamp

Stamp the image on the back side of an index card…..

Stamp image on back of index card

Stamp image on back of index card

I used a 15/16″ square punch to get my ink color sample…..

15/16" square punch

15/16" square punch

I used double sided sticky tape on the back side of the sample……

Double sided sticky tape

Double sided sticky tape

Then I attached the sample to one of the PDF’s I downloaded a couple weeks ago.

Attach to inventory sheet

Attach to inventory sheet

Then write the name of the ink in the box for that particular sample.

If I found a reinker for any of the pads I placed it in the sample box until I finished with the set.  Then I put a “*R” within the sample box with a notation at the bottom of the sheet indicating that “*R” indicated a REFILL for that color.

The few Tim Holtz Distress Ink pads I own were a snap to do.  I think I have a total of six (6).  Plus I made a sheet for my odd assortment of single pads that I don’t know how long I’ve had around or who the manufacturer is.

Embossing powders will be my next foray into the inventory stuff.  That will be for another day.  Heather will be coming over this afternoon for  her next lesson.  I’m thinking of having her create a page for the boy’s birthday photos.  Surely she will be having some photos to put on those pages some day soon.

A bit of rubber stamping and I think some playing around with some of my sparkly water color paints.  I think that would be a fun lesson.  Rubber stamping and water coloring.  I’ll show you the results tomorrow after we play for a while 😀