Hello. My name is Leslie and I am a paper hoarder.

Scraps.  Man those bits of paper can take over your craft area.  They are the abandoned children of the whole sheets of paper.

Most paper crafters get so excited about the new lines that come out several times a year.  We hot foot it to the nearest scrapbooking store or craft/hobby store to romance the new collections.  I do mean romance these papers.

Alright, I have to speak for myself and no one else.  I’m really bad about this.  I love paper with texture and that has some weight.  I’m not a big fan of the design paper that is almost the weight of photocopier paper.  I like my paper to have some heft to it….some meat on its bones – kind of like me 😉

If you have gone to Hobby Lobby or Michaels and picked up a pad of paper by DCWV, K&Company, or Recollections to find the 2 inch round sticker holding the pad closed torn away that means I have beat you to the paper.

I have to see the full page, feel the texture, look at the printed designs, feel the weight of the paper, listen to it as I flick from one page to the next.  If a particular sheet of paper captures my total attention I have spent several minutes looking at the colors, images, and light reflection.  If the paper has that machined embossing that shines over some of the images I have to feel the whole sheet.

My craziness is akin to when Joe and I were first married.  Every chance I got I would run my fingers through his hair, touch the skin on his arm, brush my hand over his clothing, give a little squeeze of his backside.  This paper “fetish” is almost the same.  I have to touch my fingertips to the sheet of paper.  Let my fingers gently run across the face of it.  Open my hand and let my palm run over the texture caressing the slick surface of the product applied to the paper.  Let my fingertips trace the glitter applied to the papers.  Give the paper a gentle squeeze to feel the thickness of it.

When I have made my purchase I fantasize what I could make with the paper once I get home.  Sometimes I get so caught  up in my solo orgy that I forget to purchase glue, adhesive, or any other type of embellishments to go with the paper.  When I reach home I can’t wait to rip the packaging from the paper and freely run my  hands over each and every sheet enjoying it to the fullest without looking over my shoulder to see if there is someone else close looking askance at me.

When I have a project in mind for the papers I get out my trimmers and begin cutting away.  The scraps are shunted off to the side to be later dumped, unceremoniously, in a storage bin somewhere.  These scraps will languish away and be forgotten.  They no longer serve a purpose in my creative life.

One morning earlier this week I found a website whose sole aim is to gather greeting cards from crafters to be sent to our service people to be able to have cards to send home to their loved ones.  OWH “Operation Write Home” has lots of information about creating cards.  Videos on making cards, tips, techniques, and a really fun site to check out.   One of the videos and blog posts was on scraps to be used in card making.  Using Scraps is the title for the tutorial that I have used to reacquaint myself with my abandoned scrap children.

I made a note of the sizes used in card making.  The sizes for scraps on this website is to fit card fronts that are A2 or measure 4-1/4″ x 5-1/2″.

Measurements to cut the scraps

In cleaning off my work surface yesterday I had a huge pile of scraps from the Christmas Card Boxed Set.  A massive pile.  I thought I would start there first before I gathered all the rest of my scraps.

You can see, off to the left of the photo, I have a white storage bin with the scraps of white and cream that I dumped in the bin last year.  I got a start on the papers on my work surface and began placing them in neat little piles with a small sticky note stuck to the top of the stack.

Starting the scrap cutting

Once I finished with clearing my table I went to work on the basket of white scrap papers and got that bin empty.  This is what my scrap bins looked like.  Poor things.

Bins full of scraps

This is not a project that is fast.  It is quite time consuming to be exact.  I worked on two of the baskets yesterday all the time wondering if I had lost my mind and taken on a project with no end in sight.  The cutting and stacking went on today for another several hours.  I am happy to say that I have gotten through it all and am quite happy with the results.

Stacks of uniform sized scraps

This bin has all of the 4″ scraps ranging in size from 4″ x 4″ to 4″ x  5-1/2″.

4" wide scraps

This bin holds all of the 2″ x 2″, on up to 3″ x 5-1/2″ scraps.

2" x 2" up to 3" x 5-1/2" scraps

This bin holds all of the 1″ x 3″ to 1-1/2″ x 5-1/2″ scraps.

1" x 3" up to 1-1/2" x 5-1/2" scraps

These bins hold an assortment of card stock and designer series paper.  This project took so long to do there is no way I’m going to put these in color order.  I thought about it but decided I’m not that energetic.

I have one final bin that is full of cut apart embellishments from Club Scrap and various other unique papers I did not want to cut up.

Specialty papers and embellishments

I am really happy that I took the time to do this.  I think I may actually use these scraps to create things.  At least I had some ideas floating around in my head as I whacked away with the paper trimmer.  Rest assured I’ll be blabbing about any project I come up with to use these scraps.

How do you store your small-ish scrap pieces of paper?  Are you a card maker and find you need to cut up whole sheets of paper to use your punches?  Do you end up creating more scraps from whole sheets when you have a die cutting project?  If you do take this project on I’d love to hear what your solution has been.

Leslie

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A Dragonfly card

Well, it is Friday.  This week has gone fast and it has had a plethora of problems that have required my full attention.

Joe had another incident with the front bumper of his back truck,

Another torn bumper

Another torn bumper

high winds blew our new shingles to flapping in the breeze.  Lifting up like they were in a stadium doing the “Wave”.  That was the week before but this week it got even worse.

Flapping shingles

Flapping shingles

The contractor was back to have a good look at the job he had hired others to do and has diagnosed the shingles were old and their sticky patches were no longer sticky.

Our old pickup truck that was taken to Colorado for our daughter is acting up and leaving her stranded frequently enough that Tiffany has found the most direct route to where she needs to go but off the major traffic ways.

And if all this wasn’t nerve wracking enough we have our bank doing some investigating.  Someone hacked into our accounts and totally emptied one of them.  They suspect it was either from an online purchase one of us made or from one of those darn machines you have to sign at the check out when using a card.

Okay, enough of the troubles that will all be righted in the coming weeks.  On to my card.

Dragonfly card

Dragonfly card

The card base is a 5-1/2 x 4-1/4 Brocade Blue (or something like that from Stampin’ Up!

I rummaged through my scraps to find the rest of the pieces used on this card.

Scrap papers

Scrap papers

I chose the blue double sided printed paper from Stampin’ Up!.  It was one of their pads I bought last year – 12 x 12 in the various color lines they had.

Blue DSP (Designer Series Paper)

Blue DSP (Designer Series Paper)

These were used as the front pieces.  The stripe is 1″ x 5-1/4″ and the other is about 3-1/2″ x 5-1/4″.

I used a Splitcoast Stamper sketch as my inspiration.

Splitcoast Stamper sketch

Splitcoast Stamper sketch

I also drew from the book I have from Becky Higgins on making your own embellishments for scrapbook layouts.  I saw the Dragonfly paper pieced one and remember from my inventory work I had three of them I could use.

Becky Higgins inspiration

Becky Higgins inspiration

I used a small punch, a Sizzix green die, and a Spellbinders impression die.

Punch, Sizzix, and Spellbinders

Punch, Sizzix, and Spellbinders

More scraps pieces were used for these punch and dies.

More scraps

More scraps

The little guy from the punch I used the brown area of one of the scraps….the thin long strip of paper.  The Spellbinders Dragonfly I used the green paper in the forefront.  I used the polka dot vellum and the green mini polka dot paper for the medium size Dragonfly from the Sizzix green die.

Small Dragonfly

Small Dragonfly

Medium Dragonfly

Medium Dragonfly

Large Dragonfly

Large Dragonfly

I’m not over the moon with this creation but I’m pretty happy with how it came out.  The stamp set is an old “Sale-A-Bration” set from Stampin’ Up! “Whimsical Words”.   The Splitcoast sketch indicated a ribbon bow was to be put to the bottom left of the stamped image area.  I wanted to use the Dragonflies instead.

I did get one thing totally accomplished this week.  The card.

Life has a way of getting in and taking the stage from time to time in everyone’s life.  I chose to deal with the problems we’ve been plagued with head on as much as possible.  When the sun goes down I have found myself watching Makeup Tutorial videos or playing online games until past midnight.

Between telephone calls, running around town to talk to various people who are helping, and getting my mind otherwise occupied with Heather and her creativity blossoming which is so exciting, working on Tim’s things, and keeping Joe in the loop has kept my sanity in check.

Oh, ya.  I forgot.  Joe blew out both front tires on our pickup as he was traveling to his next load.  He sat beside the road for over six hours waiting for the road service truck to come, then leave with the tire rims, then come back with the new tires mounted on our rims.  Joe stopped the guy from tearing up our rims and damaging them while he was trying to take the rubber off, hence having to wait.

I have a website class today, Heather will be over for more fun.  Do you remember my little friend Katy?

Katy

Katy

She and her family moved away during the summer while I was out on my “Day Job”.  She stopped by, with her Mom and her sister, to sell Girl Scout cookies last week.  Katy wanted to take part in the contest to tell her story of how she got into crafting but was unable to.  She and her sister, Elora, will be spending time with me on Saturday.

In honor of Katy I will put up another challenge for next week.  A “Coloring” challenge that will run through the month of February.  Katy is very excited to show me her Fairy she will color for this challenge.

Life’s problems are just that.  Bumps in the road.  My life is totally blessed with the people who enter, stay a while, leave, then come back.  Daily I am filled with gratitude for each and every one of you all, my friends who keep me focused on what is really important in this life.  Being grateful for everything, even the problems that arise.

Heather got “Punchy” :D

I received the big box of goodies from Maureen on Friday afternoon while Heather was at work.  Heather also had to work on Saturday so she came by last night to see what had been sent to her.

I have video of the box which will be downloaded to my iMovie thing later then edited.  My camera’s battery died shortly after Heather opened the box and began digging through it but you can see the generosity of Maureen.

Appropriately for the scrapbook lesson for Heather was the use of punches.  She now has some of her own, thanks to Maureen.  Also the next product I was intending on introducing Heather to was Rub-Ons and Maureen met that as well.

Do you remember the first time you used a border punch?  I do.  Trying to make sure you get the piece of paper jammed in the punch base straight before you mashed on the handle and worked extra hard at not wiggling the paper and getting wonky cuts.  Then moving that strip of paper along the punch to get a good border.  Man did I mess up several times.  Over cut on some places and missed entirely in others leaving a gap between the punched areas.

I had Heather practice on scraps of paper first before we tackled her pages.  Fun?!  You bet!  She was so excited to see the results.  Tools are so much fun to use 😀

Using her new punches

Using her new punches

The Rub-Ons were a bit tricky to explain.  How do you tell someone that the Popsicle stick is necessary without them laughing their heads off at you?

Do you remember the first time you used Rub-Ons?  I didn’t cut the pieces I wanted to use from the strip and had bits of adjoining images on my paper.  I didn’t rub the vellum hard enough in places, for fear of tearing through, so when I lifted the vellum I found open spots on my paper with parts of the image left on the vellum.  Have you tried to line that piece back up?

Heather had mixed feelings about the stick and wanted to use her fingernails. I remember thinking the same thing.  I just watched and encouraged as she worked away.

Rub-Ons as embellishments

Rub-Ons as embellishments

I opted to not use photo mats on this layout because the photos were already taking up a lot of “real estate”.  These boys are just so very cute.

This project with Heather is my way of giving back.  Reaching out to a soul going through a difficult time.  Heather’s little boys are in foster care.  No fault of Heather’s, just a really bad family situation that Heather wanted to get out of and the family had other ideas.

She sees these precious little guys on Friday mornings.  DHS is working hard at getting her reunited with her boys.  While she goes through this bit of trouble I am making it a priority for her to remember this time as only a moment in her life.  This is not forever.  While she has the time with her boys she can make it special and have something to cling to while she is getting through this.

Her assignment last week was to get down at her boy’s eye level to take photos of them.  I think she did an excellent job.  She is beginning to open up and be a bit more playful in this process.  Learning about scrapbooking and the importance of having an outlet that is not totally dictated by someone else.  I guide her, make suggestions, but she is free to make this book her own.

This week's lesson, punches and Rub-Ons

This week's lesson, punches and Rub-Ons

Heather called me today to see if I wanted to look at what she had done.  Of course!  Get over here 😀

She spent time going through the box from Maureen after she went home yesterday.  She added bits of items to her recent pages.

"Love" Thickers Rub-On

"Love" Thickers Rub-On

"Son" card stock sticker

"Son" card stock sticker

"Brother" card stock sticker

"Brother" card stock sticker

Heather's additions

Heather's additions

Heather was also pretty excited to show me how she used a frame thing she received from Maureen.  There were three of them in the box and this is the first one she made.  Am I proud of her or what?!

A picture frame Heather made

A picture frame Heather made

She wanted to make sure I got a picture of the back as well 😀

Back of the frame

Back of the frame

Maureen.  Your gift to this  young lady has made a huge difference in her life.  You being a stranger but my Friend, your generosity of giving from your stash has opened a world to her that we both get to be a part of.  Thank you Maureen.

You will be receiving a card I made last year with a letter from Heather enclosed.  You will also receive this card she made that comes from her heart.  I know this will put a smile on your face.  It sure as heck did mine!

From Heather

From Heather

Yep.  This says it all 😀  I could not say it any better.

From Heather's  heart

From Heather's heart

Okay, I’m bawling all over again.  I’ll get the video up in the next couple days.  I have some tutorials on things I’ve found out about Spellbinders and the Big Shot, plus I want to make sure you get a glimpse of the gift from Maureen.

Yes, Girlfriend.  You want to kill me about now because I’ve mentioned your name numerous times in this post but I am blown away by your generosity and your loving spirit and heart – everyday not just today.

Craft paper flowers

I’m working daily on trying to become friends with flowers.  I love, love, love to look at real flowers and wonder at their beauty.  I just have a problem making them myself or using them on projects.  The problem is simply – FEAR.

Fear of not putting them in the right place.  Not using the right color.  Not combining sizes right.  Mostly it is just a fear of being judged and found wanting.  This year I am attempting to get over myself and “Just Do It”.

Fear holds me back from so many things.  Over the years I have conquered some of my fears and lived another day 😀  So now I’m working on this one.  So far…..I’m still alive.  I’m surviving the ordeal, and I’m pretty pleased with the results.

Kathy, from Paper Phenomenon, has a video on making little roses.  You can watch this video and hopefully become inspired as well.

I have a huge roll of craft paper.  Don’t know when we got it, where we got it, or even why we got it.  I just have it.

Roll of craft paper

Roll of craft paper

It resides in a corner of my foyer.  If you want a giant roll of paper you can find this at your local home improvement store.  I think it is used to protect floors from paint and other construction/remodel stuff.

This paper is NOT ACID FREE and I don’t recommend using it in scrapbook layouts.   You can use the products you make from this paper on cards or anything else that will not be placed in scrapbooks.

This roll of paper makes a great umbrella stand 😀

Umbrella stand

Umbrella stand

I had to make a box for the clock going to our friend at Dependable.  I don’t have card stock in a large enough size to cover a box that measures 12″ x 11″ with 2″ sides.  So I figured I’d use this craft paper.

I cut up a piece of the cardboard sheet I have for my Post-It-Note Holders.  Let me tell you, making the box for the clock was a trial in Math and construction.

Cardboard sheets

Cardboard sheets

The roll next to the cardboard is cork.  That will be used on bulletin boards I am going to be making later.  Nice thick stuff.  The stick pin won’t be going through the back of the frame I will be using.

These are the pieces of craft paper I have left over from covering the box and lid I made.  I just could not bring myself to throw this stuff away.  Crazy old broad 😀

Craft paper scraps

Craft paper scraps

Here is the box and lid I made for the clock.

Box and lid closed

Box and lid closed

The paper strips inside the box on either side of the clock are to make it easier to get the clock out.  Man did I make it a tight fit 😦  That thing isn’t going to be moving around inside the box.

Paper strips to help get the clock out

Paper strips to help get the clock out

This craft paper is extremely hard to get smoothed flat after it comes in contact with moisture.  I’m not over the moon about this box and the way that it looks but it will do.  I’ll have to find some other kind of paper to use the next time I build another one of these boxes.

Wrinkles in the paper

Wrinkles in the paper

This is the first cardboard box I’ve ever constructed.  Covering it with the craft paper left open edges that I needed to hide.  So I used a wide piece of satin like ribbon I’ve had for a long time.

Ribbon hiding the edges

Ribbon hiding the edges

I tied the stand on the outside of the box with some jute twine.  Not very pretty but it will do.  At least Joe won’t have to keep putting his hand on the box while he drives to Akron, Ohio to deliver his trucks with a stop over in Joplin, Missouri to deliver this clock.

Stand tied to outside of box

Stand tied to outside of box

Okay, now for the flowers.  I have a “Baby Cricut”.  I bought this one in Wichita, Kansas just after this machine hit the market.  It has been a long time….since around 2006.  If you have a Cricut Expression or one of the newer models I think what I’m about to show you is pretty much the same.  The Expression has buttons on the side for other things and I can’t help you with any questions about that machine since I don’t have one.

The cartridge I have been using is the “George and Basic Shapes”.

Original Cricut with George cartridge

Original Cricut with George cartridge

I have the “Paper Saver” button on.  This will not leave a lot of space between cuts.

Paper Saver feature

Paper Saver feature

I have the “Shadow Black Out” button on.  This feature cuts the outside shape of the item with no other details.

Shadow Black Out button

Shadow Black Out button

I have used the flower feature that is in black.  Using the Shadow Black Out feature the hole in the center of the flower will not be cut.  I pressed the black flower button six (6) times to get that many shapes cut.

Flower image to be cut

Flower image to be cut

I stuck a piece of the craft paper to the sticky sheet thing and cut several of the flowers out.

Craft paper used to cut out flowers

Craft paper used to cut out flowers

I forgot to tell you.  I cut the flowers out at the size of one inch (1″).

1" flower

1" flower

This craft paper is pretty coarse.  The first thing I tried for was SPARKLE using one of my concocted spritz.  This one is Bashful Blue from Stampin’ Up!.

Bashful Blue spritz

Bashful Blue spritz

Bashful Blue spritz rose

Bashful Blue spritz rose

The color and sparkle didn’t show on that one so I decided to use some acrylic daubers from Ranger.  The first one is Red Pepper and I only daubed it on one side of the paper.

Red Pepper acrylic dauber

Red Pepper acrylic dauber

Red Pepper acrylic daubed rose

Red Pepper acrylic daubed rose

Next I tried Sunset Orange acrylic dauber and put the paint on both sides of the paper.

Sunset Orange acrylic dauber

Sunset Orange acrylic dauber

Sunset Orange acrylic daubed rose

Sunset Orange acrylic daubed rose

The brown craft paper needs a heavier hand with the acrylic paint to overpower that brown.  So the next one I tried was with Broken China Distress Stain.

Broken China Distress Stain

Broken China Distress Stain

Broken China Distress Stain rose

Broken China Distress Stain rose

And here are the four roses I’ve made this morning.  Kathy, from Paper Phenomenon, says these are quick to make and she is right.  It doesn’t take long to make these.  For a “beginner” it took me about an hour to make these four flowers.  It would have been less time involved had I used just one color thing – spritz, acrylic dauber, or stain – instead of trying to figure out what would work best.

As you can see from the results.  This is a good way to make the roses.  The craft paper still is very evident and the color does not take well to this paper.  I kind of like the way they have turned out.

Four paper roses

Four paper roses

Okay, now I have to get back in my craft room and get cracking on the seven Post-It-Note Holders I have been requested to make.

“Later Gators” 😀

Happy New Year

I am attempting to conquer my fear of flowers.  2012 I am determined to make these things my FRIEND instead of my FOE.  Are you up for a challenge?

Go to your craft space and find your Prima flowers, or other loose flowers.

Loose flowers

Loose flowers

I’ve found a photo tutorial on working with these flowers.

In my Google search for using paper flowers I stumbled upon this blog.  Following her directions on these larger loose paper flowers I was able to create these.   The yellow and orange flower with the pearl center.

Yellow and orange flower

Yellow and orange flower

Lynn – I finally received your Christmas card.  Thank you for the delightful card you made.

Christmas card from Lynn

Christmas card from Lynn

Lynn, I am loving the paper  you used on this card.  It is all so thick and stiff.  I especially like the gold foil snowman 😀

Gold foil snowman

Gold foil snowman

Cool easel card you have made.  Someday I think I may have to try making one of these.

Easel card

Easel card

If there is anyone out there that has a favorite tutorial on making flowers let me know where to find it.  This flower challenge is open to anyone that wants to give it a try.

What you will have to do…..Take pictures of your flower creations and how you used them.  Upload the pictures to your blog along with anything you want to say about how you made them and used them.  Go to your finished post.  Up in the link line of your browser highlight your blog post  – SPECIFICALLY the link to your flower creation – and copy that link.  Then come back to this blog post and go to the COMMENTS section of THIS post.  Paste your link in the Comments section.  That way I can go out and have a look at your stunning creation 😀

Lynn…you want to do a Challenge with ribbon.  Let’s get this year started off right and conquer our phobias 😀  Bring it on Girlfriend 😀

Leslie