Social media and my awkward attempts

People!  I’m trying to get my act together.

It is safe to say that I am running around in circles while my clothing is on fire.  Or similar to a dog chasing its tail.  Or a cat chasing a red laser light beam all over the place.

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube.  I am so unorganized in this Social Media stuff.  Then I see videos of people using more platforms to promote their offerings.

Seriously!  How do they keep up with the comments, messages, tweets, and links received from their followers?!

I don’t think I have ever made a statement about WHY I do this.  WHY I make YouTube videos and have this blog.  WHY I am on Facebook.

So here it is.  WHY I make YouTube videos.

  • It started out….way back in 2004 or 2005 to help my youngest daughter learn to do scrapbooking.  We had a common interest and she lived so far away from me.  I couldn’t just bring a car load of totes to her  house and the two of us learn and play together.  So I thought making YouTube videos would be the best place to start.
  • I am totally self taught.  Most everything I know has been hard won from small to major errors.
  • That led to other people finding some of my videos and a little community began growing.  Friendships developed and are still going to this day.
  • Although I don’t “Promote” this openly and talk a lot about this…..I have a philosophy of “Pay It Forward“.
  • When I found YouTube *angel choir singing* and How To Videos on making scrapbook layouts I realized my mistakes and made corrections from there.
  • There are new “CONVERTS” all the time.  Kind of makes me sound “cult-ish” but when a person finds something that makes them feel excited about life and has that powerful feeling deep in their soul of having created something amazing from bits of paper….
  • If I can help a newcomer to paper crafting learn something to make their creative life easier or get a spark of inspiration  then I am passing on what someone else DID FOR ME.

This blog.  Oy Vay!  I have a website connected to this blog.  It was last updated about seven years ago.  Nothing has happened there since then.

My website started as an attempt to be a Top Seller for Stampin’ Up! products.  I wanted off the road.  My life as an over the road truck driver kept me away from home for long periods of time.  So I figured starting a website would bring in customers right and left to pay for me to stay home.

Yep.  That worked out so well for me.  That is why I have not touched the website in ages.  I really need to get it cleared out and just blank until I can come up with my next scheme.

So this blog, as sporadic as I am at keeping up with it, is just to reiterate what is happening on my YouTube channel for those that don’t often go there.

Why I am on Facebook.  That one is the easiest to answer.  MY KIDS!  They live in Kansas, Colorado, Arizona, California.  Spread out far and wide.  I don’t get to see my kids often.  My grandchildren I don’t get to see much.  So my Facebook page is where I keep up with the happenings in their lives and the growth of my grandchildren.  Not quite the same as being there to actually give each one a big hug and spend time with them though 😦

So….I have a question for YOU.  My dear readers and friends.  I have this idea brewing in my head.

Would anyone be interested in purchasing a packet of scraps?!  There is no delicate way of phrasing this other than that.

I have the idea to have a packet filled with papers cut to specific sizes for cards using the Operation Write Home sketches.  I would ONLY SELL MY PAPERS and embellishments that would fit the card sketches.

I WILL NOT BE SELLING OPERATION WRITE HOME CARD SKETCHES.

Each packet would have the Operation Write Home Card Sketch number you can download from their site.  Click on the link above to download the AMAZING sketches.

The packet would include two (2) card bases from good quality card stock.  Colors and choices would be determined by me.  Coordinating patterned paper or card stock elements to create the card.  Ribbon, brads, or other embellishments to complete the card.

You would supply the stamped sentiment or sticker for the greeting card occasion – birthday, holiday, get well, sympathy, hello, or season.  I am not a good enough stamper to make you pay for my bad job of stamping sentiments.

This, I believe, would be a good source for beginning card makers to have the pieces necessary to create a card.  This would get them started and gain confidence in their creative endeavor.  Eventually that beginner can use the card sketches on their own with confidence.  I would also create a special YouTube channel which would feature the contents of each packet for a particular card sketch with instructions showing how to put the elements together.

Since I am home now, dealing with my breast cancer, for the next several months I want the time to be productive and more focused.  Get the fire put out on my clothing……stop chasing my tail……ignore the bright pin point of light that is so distracting.

So, please let me know what you think of my idea.

Leslie

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Let’s do some Punching!

If you have an electronic cutter with shapes similar to what I have in punches you can use them.  Or even if you have a selection of nested dies you can do this.  Paw through your assortment of tools to see what you come up with.

My punch collection is from my days as a Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator.   Most all of them are no longer available (maybe on eBay).  I am using what I have on hand.

The inspiration for this current state of affairs is from watching quite a number of DIY Embellishment videos on YouTube.  You will find these at the end of this post.

As you can, plainly, see….I have one or two punches in my collection *eye roll*.

My collection of punches

My collection of punches

I have a plastic holder full of various shapes of craft paper….card stock and printed papers….that have been stashed out of sight until I was ready to tackle the task of cutting them into usable sizes for card fronts.  These papers are, instead, going to be mauled by my punches.

Collection of scrap paper

Collection of scrap paper

I have amassed quite a new collection of paper items that I have no storage space for.  Yay ME!  *groan*

Piles of punched items

Piles of punched items

Using some of the, CAN YOU BELIEVE IT, 500 coin envelopes I bought several years ago because I could not purchase less than that.  I have put each type of punch item in its own coin envelope.  I have selected an assortment of four (4) punch elements and roughly layered them together.  Attempting to figure out color combinations that work together.

My attempt at color coordination

My attempt at color coordination

These four (4) punches from Stampin’ Up! were used for this endeavor.  And you can see how I layered them together to create an embellishment for a card front.

My assortment of DIY Embellishments

My assortment of DIY Embellishments

Here is a better view of my creations.  I have used Tim Holtz “Chit Chat” word stickers on most of these.  I’ve also used a stamped sentiment I recently purchased from a dear friend who sells for “A Stamper’s Journey”.

My creations

My creations

I will have a YouTube video up later today or possibly on Monday (July 4, 2016) showing what I have done to create these.  You can then do the same, or something similar, with your punches or electronic cutters.  Hey, give  yourself the chance to have the “Go To” pieces for  your mini albums, scrapbook layouts, greeting cards, and even your art journals.  You may even find your creations rival those of K&Co., Anna Griffith, or whomever you adore and spend precious money on.

As promised, here are the videos that inspired me to give this a try.

A chipboard Stationery Box.

Joe left to wander the highways a week ago today.  During his absence I have been working on a project that I had done a long time ago.  Check out Splitcoast Stampers to view the tutorial by Jackie Topa who has a fabulous project for a “Stationery Box” constructed entirely of heavy weight card stock.

After I made the original one way back in about 2009 or 2010 I sent it off to one of my daughters as a gift.  I have a photo of it somewhere but can’t remember where it is.

Since I have been playing with chipboard lately I thought I would give this stationery box a try.  I’m really trying to improve my skills in construction.  This box measures 6 inches wide by 5 inches tall and 2 inches deep.  The lid is roughly 6-1/4 x 1-1/2 x 2.

Stationery box

Stationery box

I noticed on Pinterest there is a color trend happening in 2014.  One of the colors is Green.  Note to self….watch more YouTube videos on floral placement :/  I’ve also decided to break into my stash of stuff I don’t use often.  The paper flowers I’ve had for a long time, with the exception of the little bitty yellow paper roses.  They are the newest addition to my stash.

I broke into my stash of chipboard pieces I’ve had for years and years and covered them with paper.  I chose the pieces because of their shapes and not what was originally on the pieces.  The lid of the box holds the altered chipboard embellishments that have been hanging around all this long time.  I covered one of the chipboard pieces with a bit of an old map book/atlas we used in our truck driving job before we started using the GPS.  I figured the map part would be appropriate since the cards I would be putting in this box would be mailed all over this country…..eventually.

Altered chipboard pieces

Altered chipboard pieces

The lid comes off the top of the box.  It holds the box closed.  I was tempted to make a flap style lid but decided against that since I have had enough trouble with flaps and the closures of them :/

Removable lid

Removable lid

Once the lid is removed the front of the box falls down for easy access to the contents.  Yes….I had to fuss around with a flap :/  However, I had more success with this flap than I have most of the others.

Front of box is a flap

Front of box is a flap

There are three compartments in this Stationery box, as you can see.  The large section in the back will hold A2 greeting cards.  The 4-1/4 by 5-1/2 cards that are frequently made by nearly every card maker.  The accompanying envelopes will also fit in this slot.  The two front areas are to hold tags (on the left) and 3″ x 3″ note cards (on the right).

This Stationery box is meant to have matching greeting cards, tags, and note cards.  I have not got that far in the process.  The next photo is to show you what it would look like when the compartments are used as intended.

Slots for cards and tags

Slots for cards and tags

If anyone would be interested in learning how to make this Stationery Box out of chipboard I would be happy to make a video of the process.  It might take a few videos to accomplish it.  I have vowed that I will NEVER make another video that is an  hour long.  I, for one, can’t sit still and watch a video that is an hour long.  I have the attention span of a gnat.

You might want to fiddle with Jackie Topa’s fabulous creation (click on the link at the top of this post) before you consent to making this out of chipboard.  Trust me….it will make understanding the process easier if you follow her instructions first.

What have you done lately to “Show someone how special they are”?

Leslie

The untold story of perfect art projects.

For new art creators, newby crafters, the inspiring YouTube videos speak to your creative soul.  You watch several videos and get so stoked.  Totally excited to take on the world and show the people in your life just exactly how totally AWESOME you are.  Some of the videos come with Step-By-Step tutorials to break down the process.  Other videos show you the finished product then explain the tools and products they used.

I am not a “newby crafter” but I am not a “seasoned crafter” either.  Believe me…I get just as frustrated as you do when my creations FAIL.  I have had some epic failures.

I’ve been watching some YouTube videos on creating storage boxes from chipboard.  The person I like to watch is “ozegran“.  Her videos are very inspiring…to me anyway.  I have a mechanical bent to my personality.  I get so excited when I see someone make useful products out of plain old stuff.  This woman is from Australia, I think that is where the “OZE” part comes from.  Get it Aussi….OZE?

I don’t have ready access to large sheets of chipboard but I do have access to corrugated cardboard.  I purchase sheets of corrugated cardboard from my local Budget Box and Bag store.

Corrugated cardboard sheets.

Corrugated cardboard sheets.

Jim, The Gentleman Crafter, has a video on making “Structure Strips“.  Spending time watching these two crafters I knew I could make a box to store the greeting cards I have made.  Now they sit on my table and are in danger of getting damaged.

Piles of cards

Piles of cards.

Cards jammed into a container

Cards jammed into a container

The last two weeks I was out on the road doing my “Day Job” I had plenty of time to think about building a box to store my cards in.  I got so excited!!!  I could picture the finished box in my head.  Covered with bright fabric.  The edges would have piping on them to make the box look like no other box out there.

Monday I went to Michaels and purchased some chipboard.  Tuesday I got myself into my craft room and began creating the box I had in my head.

Beautiful, isn’t it?!

Fabric covered storage box

Fabric covered storage box

There are some problems with this box.  First problem is the fish.  They are UPSIDE DOWN on the box.  They are Right Side UP on the inside of the box :/

 

Inside of fabric covered box.

Inside of fabric covered box.

The next problem is….the box is TOO BIG for my greeting cards :/

Box too big for greeting cards

Box too big for greeting cards

The lid.  That is another story.  I wanted to make a “Hinged” lid.  I have some really wide taffeta ribbon. That would be perfect for the supporting hinge.  Trouble is….I couldn’t figure out how to attach it :/

Ribbon hinge.

Ribbon hinge.

Crapazoid.  Don't know how to attach it.

Crapazoid. Don’t know how to attach it.

All is not lost.  I can use this box to store my embossing folders in.  It is just the right width and  height for these specialty tools 😀

 

Trying out the embossing folders.

Trying out the embossing folders.

YES!  They fit!

YES! They fit!

I created a second box that would be just the right size for my cards.  This time I was going to get the fish fabric to be right side up.  I cut only the front and back panels to test my theory out.  Well….that went all pear shaped :/  And the lid….that was a catastrophe.

Box #2

Box #2

The lid was too big.

The lid was too big.

The cards FIT!  Yippee Skippy!

The cards FIT! Yippee Skippy!

Having the cards fit in the box was a major WOO HOO for me.  Success!  I was totally stoked.  I cut panels of the fish fabric to fit on the front and back end of the box.

Fabric panels cut to fit.

Fabric panels cut to fit.

I cut strips of upholstery piping to be attached on the edges and bottom of the box.

Upholstery piping for a pop of color.

Upholstery piping for a pop of color.

I glued the fabric on wonky and the piping only pointed to the wonky fabric.

Crapazoid the box shows through.

Crapazoid the box shows through.

So I tore it all off.

Tear it all off.

Tear it all off.

I did make a lid that would fit 😀  So now I have to fix the torn cardboard and do something else to this box.  I think those plastic packages the embossing folders came in would fit in this poor box.  YES!  They do fit.

Plastic packaging to be used later.

Plastic packaging to be used later.

And the lid fits snugly on the box.  Woo Hoo!

The new lid fits perfect.

The new lid fits perfect.

So now I have a serious mess in my craft room.

One serious mess is happening here.

One serious mess is happening here.

Box #1 took over 8  hours to build.  Because I didn’t know what I was doing.  Box #3 took 4  hours to create.  Lid included.

Box #3

Box #3

The lid looks so good and I am thrilled with the whole box.

Box and Lid #3

Box and Lid #3

Just look at this awesomeness 😀  I won’t be putting the fabric on this box.  THAT IS FOR SURE!

Perfection!

Perfection!

So, in conclusion, this message is for new crafters….and not so new crafters.  When you begin a project that you have never done before be prepared for the “Learning Curve”.

DON’T STOP BECAUSE THE FIRST ATTEMPT FAILED.

Learn from your mistakes.  Make the necessary adjustments.  Keep at it.  Your head will be full of condescending voices that will tell you how much you stink at this.  There will be soul crushing crap running full tilt in your head.

  • See.  I knew you couldn’t do it!
  • Now look at all the stuff you have wasted!
  • You don’t know what you are doing!
  • Just leave it alone.  You’ll never figure it out.
  • Just look at that junk you have made.
  • Other people can do this better.
  • Leave this “pro-ject” to someone that knows what they are doing!
  • Seriously.  You have wasted time that could have been better spent on washing dishes!

DON’T LISTEN TO THE VOICES IN YOUR HEAD!!!!!

It took me three tries to make the box correctly.  The two “Failures” are going to work just fine for me in my craft room.

AND BEST OF ALL!!!!!  I MADE THEM.  ALL BY MYSELF!!!!!!

Take that you dirty birds!  Stick it up your nose with a rubber hose you rotten voices!

Now….I have to figure out how to decorate my PERFECT box :/

 

 

 

 

Scraps! The dilemma of a paper hoarder :/

A warning before hand….this post is PHOTO HEAVY.

I don’t know how you are with the paper you purchase and use in your scrapbook albums, on greeting cards, or for altered projects.  I find that I am a looney toon when it comes to card stock and paper.  I will use one sheet, cut it up, create something with it then tuck the scraps in a plastic bag of some kind and jam it away in a cupboard where that paper I fell in love with will be forgotten and not used again.

I’m fickle….to a fault :/

Here is a very small example of what I am referring to.

Paper scraps

Paper scraps

Last year, I forget when but before I went back out on the road as a truck driver, I went through a big portion of my scrap paper and had a marathon of cutting.  Watch this video by Sandy Allnock if you need some inspiration.

 

Several hours in the morning for paperwork, followed by a couple hours of house cleaning, and the rest of the afternoon and evening for crafting is how my days go now.  The Mileage Journals and Note Pads are being created on my dining room table because my room is a total wreck.  WRECK I tell you!.

Current state of my craft room

Current state of my craft room

Joe is due home late Thursday  night, more likely Friday sometime.  He and Jim are both cooling their heels at a Kenworth dealership in Springfield, Illinois having their trucks diagnosed.  Those two guys are having so much fun they can hardly stand it.  Joe sounds so tired, poor guy.

I have taken on a project that is scream worthy.  Cleaning my craft room and getting it in a more efficient work flow environment.  Sorting through all of my paper and getting it ordered in the shelves better has been my number one priority.  Going through all the paper pads and plastic sheath new paper comes in.  Separating the cut papers from the uncut has been a massive job.

What size to cut the scraps?  Cut them to fit on a A2 greeting card.  Need a little more inspiration?  Check out this blog post by Sandy Allnock and how she used the cut scraps for some really cute cards.

Sizes to cut your scraps

Sizes to cut your scraps

This scrap piece measure 3-1/4 by 9.

3-1/4 x 9 scrap

3-1/4 x 9 scrap

Cut this scrap at 5″ and 3″.

Cut at 5" and 3"

Cut at 5″ and 3″

This is what you will be left with.

Off cuts

Off cuts

Throw these pieces in the recycling bag, box, or bin you have close by.

Have a long and thin patterned piece?  Cut it to a width of 2 inches.

Patterned paper with selvedge

Patterned paper with selvedge

 

2 inch piece of useable scrap

2 inch piece of useable scrap

I got two pieces of 2 x 4 and one 2 x 2 out of this.

Two pieces of 2x4 and one 2x2

Two pieces of 2×4 and one 2×2

Have a scrap with an image on one area of the paper?

Scrap with an image

Scrap with an image

Cut the 11 inch piece down to 5 inches

Cut the 11 inch piece down to 5 inches

The back side of the 3 x 5 with the image is solid.  You can use the back side of the paper on your card.

After about four nights of chopping through the paper scraps, while watching television, this is what I have accomplished.

4-1/4 x 5-1/2 inch background paper

4-1/4 x 5-1/2 inch background paper

4x5 paper

4×5 paper

 

4x4 paper

4×4 paper

 

3x5 paper

3×5 paper

3x3 paper

3×3 paper

 

Stack of scraps

Stack of scraps

2x4 paper

2×4 paper

 

2x2 paper

2×2 paper

1-1/2 x 5-1/2 paper

1-1/2 x 5-1/2 paper

 

1 x 5 paper

1 x 5 paper

 

1 x 4 paper

1 x 4 paper

1-1/2 x 3 paper

1-1/2 x 3 paper

 

1 x 3 paper

1 x 3 paper

One basket of the cut paper.

One basket of cut paper scraps

One basket of cut paper scraps

Holy Crap!  All of these are chock full of cut paper scraps!

Baskets and boxes of cut scraps

Baskets and boxes of cut scraps

Next project, after I get my room cleaned, is to sort these cut scraps into color order.

Okay, that’s enough for now.

Card #2 from the highway

A little bit of stamping in the truck while Joe drove. A little bit of glitter glue administration to the stamped image.

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Photo by Joe.

I took Shelly’s advice and cut up some card stock for card bases before leaving the hotel. Joe took this photo.

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The dashboard looked like a good place to let the glitter glue pieces dry.

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Having arrived to the hotel in Lost Hills, California I set up shop and this is now Card #2.

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A shot of the dimension on the card front. A half back rhinestone in the flowers center.

20120530-195954.jpg

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I’m liking this color combination. Still on the look out for the next color challenge so keep watch.

Have fun crafting and enjoy your slide down to the weekend 🙂

Leslie