Friday, October 31, 2008

My Ribbon Storage Solutions

I have had ribbon storage nightmares for years!! I end up with messy drawers, tangles of ribbon, loose pieces with no home, and endless frustration. I thought carefully about my ribbon dilemma for a long time before deciding what to do about it. If you have any wall space at all, even the back of a door, this is a great storage solution! I have had a number of requests for the details of my ribbon storage, so I am finally getting smart and posting it here.

This is a view of my ribbon storage system. This is the system I use for ribbon on spools. These are made of rain gutters that I purchased at Lowe's and had them cut for me. I had them cut in 2 1/2' lengths. They gave me grief about it, but I stood my ground and made them cut it. They thought I was nuts when I told them it was for ribbon storage. The gutters are hung on pegboards. They are actually white on the back, but my hubby cut a chunk out to accommodate the kitchen cabinet on the wall (just barely visible at the top right corner of the photo). He accidentally cut out the wrong corner, so rather than get my panties in a bunch, I just said "Thanks hon!" and left it at that. I can always paint them white later. Let me back up a bit to say that my stamping space is located in a 2nd kitchen that we have in the daylight basement of our house. I'm lucky enough to have built-in cabinets, counter tops, a sink, and even an oven for those Shrinky-dink projects!

This is a closeup of my gutters. After much debating, I finally settled on this system of organization. I started by organizing according to pattern, but quickly realized it was a pain and that I'd rather organize by color. This makes it so easy to bring my project over to the gutter and choose a ribbon that fits. I don't have even a fraction of the ribbons I carry in my store down here in my storage. I add ribbons to my personal collection on an "as needed" basis. So far I have not had any problems with storing ribbons like this and love the color sorting.

I thought about installing curtain rods instead of rain gutters but there are a few problems with those. First, if you are pulling on one spool of ribbon, the ones next to it end up spinning as well and you have to end up respooling them. Second, if you want to remove a spool or you run out, you have to take all of the spools off to get to that one. For these reasons, I decided I was a rain gutter gal.

When purchasing your rain gutters, make sure to buy the ones that are shaped like a 1/2 octagon. You don't want any lips curling in on the top edges. Also, you don't have to purchase end caps (they cost more than the gutter by the time you purchase 8 of them), but I prefer the nice looking ends, and you'll need to do something to keep your spools from falling out.

The cost was about $10 for 10 feet of gutter, which I cut into 4 pieces. The end caps were somewhere in the range of $1.35 each, if I remember correctly.

I apologize for the small photo, but if you click on it, it will get bigger. I can't find my original, so I copied from my gallery at SCS. This photo shows a closeup of the hooks my hubby used to hang my gutters. (Notice the white pegboard, this was taken before our move and the ill-fated cutting error.) The hook on top is what the hooks look like when purchase from Home Depot or Lowes. The one going through the gutter is what it looks like after my hubby bent it to provide more support for the gutter. If you leave it straight like the one on top, your gutter will flop forward. Also, note the spot my hubby drilled for the hook to go through the gutter. He experimented and found the optimal place for the hole to get the gutters to stay upright and not dump the ribbon out. It's hard to see in the photo, but the hole is actually angled, not drilled straight through. It is angled in the direction that the hook is going through the gutter. Aim your drill bit the same direction as you see the hook going through in this photo, and drill from the outside in.

OK, so the gutters are all fine and great for ribbon on spools, but what about loose yardage, or sets purchased from my store? The perfect solution, in my opinion, after trying many other options are the Ribbon Rings. Here is a photo from Michelle's Blog showing her fabulous setup of Ribbon Rings.

The best things about Ribbon Rings is that they are inexpensive. They are also easily portable and sortable. I have all of my different kinds of ribbon stored by color. Michelle prefers to separate hers by ribbon type. they are easy to switch around, easy to see what you want and get just the ribbon you're looking for. They can also hold an incredible amount of ribbon in a small space. Melissa, the Ribbon Ring inventor suggests cutting 1-1 1/2 yards of each ribbon you need to store and putting it on the ring. Then you take an inventory dot and mark if you have more of that particular ribbon and store the remainder in a drawer or bin, out of the way. These are amazing, and a starter set sells for only $10!!

Feel free to send me a message if you have questions about my storage solutions.

Happy Stamping~~

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Everyone at SCS was making cute little spiders out of this Stampin' Up! scalloped punch. These guys are pretty self-explanatory, but here's the details anyway. The feathers are actually petals from the Cuttlebug Cut & Emboss Combo "Build a Flower". The feathers are all embossed. The waddle is the candy from the 3x3 "Halloween" die, and the arms are from the Cut & Emboss Combo "Snow Fun". I used a 1/2" circle punch for the whites of the eyes, a 1/4" punch for the pupils and a white gel pen for the highlights. The beak is hand-cut.

Materials Used:
  • SU Cardstock: Chocolate Chip, Close to Cocoa, Riding Hood Red, Pumpkin Pie, Marigold Morning, Wild Wasabi, Blue Bayou, Perfect Plum, Whisper White, and Basic Black
  • Cuttlebug and accessories listed above
  • 1/2" circle punch, 1/4" circle punch
  • Mint Patties
  • SU Scalloped Circle Punch
  • White Gel Pen
  • ATG Adhesive and Quickie Glue Pen

Monday, October 27, 2008

Michelle (sf9erfan) and I tackled the sketch on Taylored Expressions Blog today while she was at my house. It's too late to get it in the weekly look-see, but I loved this card and wanted to post it anyway.

The reindeer are from a retired Stampin' Up! set called Holiday Sampler. The sentiment is from Papertrey Ink's Take a Bough, and the little bow making my reindeer girls are from Verve Visual's Black Tie Birdie. I realized after I made this card that I'm not sure if female reindeer have antlers or not. No matter, these ones do!

To make the ties, I stuck a small piece of 3/8" chocolate satin ribbon to the back of each of the paper strips, then positioned each strip on the card front and wrapped the ribbon to the back of the chocolate chip paper and taped it down. I then tied tiny bows around each piece using gold cord. I added gold brads to the right side of each strip.

  • Paper~~SU Ski Slope DP, Chocolate Chip, Riding Hood Red, Old Olive
  • Ink~~Chocolate Chip, Close to Cocoa (Reindeer), Adirondack Espresso (Bows & Sentiment), Riding Hood Red, Old Olive (Watercoloring)
  • Accessories~~Embellishments from Pink Hedgehog Paper Crafts
Happy Stamping!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

What Can you Put in a Tin Part 1--Teacher's Emergency Sewing Kit

We started carrying these square tins in our store a while back. We all know you can use them as party favors with candy inside. Add a bow or embellishments for a quick and easy favor. But, beyond holding candies, what else are these good for? I've been thinking about this for a while and I have a few ideas, which I will post here in a series of tutorials.

I gathered together a bunch of things a teacher might need for him or herself. I made this more on the simple side since my son's 3rd grade teacher is a man. I didn't think he would be as excited about scallops as I am!! All images are from Gina K's Whimsical Autumn. I used 5/8" red and 1/4" Christmas green grosgrain around the center of the tin. The sentiment is computer generated. At the end of my tutorial series, I will post a document with all of the templates. I cut the ovals with my Nestabilities and embossed the top layer. The tiny apples are cut out with SU!'s 1/2" punch and the larger circles are a 3/4" punch.

I used black, white, blue, and pink thread. I thought these would be the most commonly used in a school. I didn't have time to get to a store or I would have looked for a small pair of folding scissors to put in the tin. The buttons are from our button collections and are threaded on a piece of our 1/8" organdy.

Here is a closeup of two of the components of the sewing kit. Both cards are 1 1/2" x 2 1/2". To make the thread card, I marked along the edges starting 3/8" from the bottom and then every 3/8" along the side, making 4 marks in all. I marked both the right and left hand sides of the card. Using my 1/4" square punch I nipped just a bit of cardstock out at each marking. This is not a full 1/2 square. To make the needle holder, I used my paper piercing template and paper piercer to poke several holes along the card in 3 columns to accommodate different needle lengths. To make the card toppers I stamped the basket of apples from Gina K's set and colored using Prismacolor pencils and gamsol. I used Creative Memories 1" punch to punch out just a portion of the basket and a 1 1/4" punch to punch out the green and red circles.

This tin was made using the 8 oz. (large) tin.

Happy stamping!

My friend Diana and I needed a really quick, yet elegant favor for a church dinner we are in charge of. I came up with this simple design. This is a tri-fold project, and very easy to make.

Start with a 12" x 12" sheet of cardstock and cut it into 1/2. I used an old piece of Egglant Envy from Stampin' Up! that I had laying around. Score across the piece at 2 1/2", 7 1/2", and 8". Fold on all of the folds and glue the short flap just along the outside edges to make a pocket to hold a hot chocolate packet and a mini candy cane.

I made the top edge with an extra 1/2" width, front to back, to accommodate a baggie of marshmallows. I adhered the baggie on the inside of the top flap. I tied the packet shut with 5/8" ivory polka dot ribbon from Pink Hedgehog Paper Crafts.

I cut a piece of Mellow Moss cardstock 3 1/4" by 5 1/2". All images are from Papertrey Ink's Snowflake Serenade. I stamped the words in Handsome Hunter and the snowflakes in Mellow Moss. We need to make 60 of these, so we needed a super quick and inexpensive design. I think this fits the bill!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Time for Another Wedding

Well, another wedding in our family this year!! This time I did not get asked to make the invitations, so all I had to make was one measly wedding card. I was going for something elegant but not too formal, and I think I hit it just right!

Supplies used:
  • I put a few (probably about 12) drops of copper ink refill on a 1/2 sheet of glossy white paper. I soaked a cotton ball in alcohol, then added 2 drops of More Mustard & 2 drops of Really Rust ink. I dabbed the cotton ball all over the paper, making sure to get all of the drops of copper ink moved around the paper. For anyone unfamiliar with this technique is called polished stone.
  • While letting that dry, I decided on the dimensions for my main panel, which ended up being 3" x 4 1/4". I cut the piece to mat it with 3 1/4" by 4 1/2".
  • After the polished stone piece was dry, I sprayed it with hairspray. Funny that more hairspray ends up on my cards than on my hair!
  • I stamped the birds and sentiment in Staz-On. I then assembled the card and it's as simple as that. The finished size is 5 1/2" by 5 1/2".

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Paper Piecing Goes Retro!

I started this card in my head after attending the OR/WA SCS gathering on Saturday. One of the shoebox swap projects on my table involved paper piecing. This is such a simple technique and yet I rarely do it. I love this flower from a CTMH set called For You. I love this paper pack from Basic Grey called Stella Ruby. I just love the earthy colors and the stripes on this paper remind me of my Grandma's sofa when I was a kid. Good memories! The finished size on this card is 5" x 5".

To make this card, I cut a piece of So Saffron 4 7/8" x 4 7/8". I stamped the top and bottom in So Saffron using SU's Twill background stamp and sponged the edges in Close to Cocoa. I stuck just the center of the DP down to hold it still and headed over to my sewing machine. I stitched down the edges of the DP, then I also stitched up the middle of a piece of 3/8" Artichoke Grosgrain from Pink Hedgehog Paper Crafts. I adhered the ribbon to the paper using my ATG. I also cut leaves out of 5/8" Moss Grosgrain ribbon. The flower is stamped in Adirondack Espresso on a piece of the Basic Grey DP and cut out. The center is re-stamped, also in Espresso on So Saffron and also cut out, then covered with Glassy Glaze. I used Hunter Burlap String in the center of the buttons from the Sylish Shoes Collection. The So Saffron piece is mounted on another piece of the Stella Ruby paper.

The sentiment is from the Out on a Limb Sayings (revised larger set) from Papertrey Ink. I stamped Laughter in Ruby Red and the rest of the sentiment in Chocolate Chip.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Ways to Use it Challenge

Oooh, was this card fun to make today. I actually made 3 cards for today's challenge. You can see the other two in my gallery at SCS.

The challenge was to make a card using quotes in a creative way. I love the Smarty Pants set from Stampin' Up!, and decided to use it today since it has such fun sayings. I also love Stampin' Up!'s Booglie Eyes set, which is now retired. I was wondering what kind of "friends" Frankenstein would have, and these two are just the type I would imagine he has hanging out at his house. This finished card measures about 6" x 4.5".

The Designer Paper I used is brand-new from Stampin' Up! and called Ghostly Greetings. The other papers I used in the card are Pumpkin Pie and Basic Black, and the inks are Basic Black, Kiwi Kiss, and Adirondack Pitch Black. I stamped the friends in Pitch Black and let it dry before coloring in with my Prismacolor Pencils and Gamsol.

The buttons are from the Gentle Times Collection at Pink Hedgehog Paper Crafts. I threaded the buttons with our 1/8" organdy in black. I love the look I got with this!! I punched out a 3/4" circle in Pumpkin Pie and glued it to the end of my white sentiment strip, then trimmed with scissors around the circle to make the end rounded. After sticking the white strip down to the black strip, I hand cut the black to fram the orange circles. The 3/8" polka dot grosgrain and 5/8" orange grosgrain are also from our store. If I'm being honest, the jaunty angle of the sentiment strip is because I accidentally stamped the sentiment a bit crooked and I was too lazy to remake the strip. I love the look, though and some of the best things come out of accidents! LOL

Happy stamping!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I made this great set for my sister-in-law, Lisa for her birthday. I used Stampin' Up!'s retired Bali Breeze paper for the whole set. The main cardstock colors I used are Regal Rose, Old Olive, Purely Pomegranate, Pumpkin Pie, Taken with Tea, and Tempting Turquoise. This was a really fun set to design, and she had fun getting it. She was so surprised!!

Here's the deets:

  • The handcovered jounal used Bali Breeze DP, plus Tempting Turquoise and Pumpkin Pie cardstock. I stamped the backround on the turquoise panel using a background stamp from Cornish Heritage Farms. The letters were cut out using the Sizzlets Slim Jim alphabet. I used 3/8" Orange grosgrain ribbon from our store for the attached bookmark.
  • The all-purpose card set is housed in our clear boxes. I used solid cardstock with strips of DP on the left side and then tied our 7/8" organdy around the card before mounting it to a card base.
  • The monogram card set is also in one of our clear boxes. I used two retired SU sets, Headline Alphabet and Label Classics to create the monogram.
  • The 3" x 5" memo pad is stamped using SU's One of a Kind stamp set. After stamping, I pressed the entire white stamped panel into my Versamark ink pad and embossed the whole thing using Iridescent Ice embossing powder. This technique is called "Dazzling Diamond Dust". It's a really fun way to add some sparkle to a project without making a mess and leaving glitter all over the gift recipient.
  • The little Post-It holder is also made using the One of a Kind stamp set. I just cut out the larger flower, the punched out the smaller one and used a brad to hold them together.
  • To make the pens, I used a 3.25" x 1" piece of DP and rolled it up and inserted it into the barrel of the pen. I find the easiest way to do this is to remove the bottom cap from the pen, then use the ink tube to roll the paper around. The non-roller ball end of the ink tube serves as a good tool to push the paper down inside the barrel.

Two Christmas Cards

It's been a busy couple of weeks with the new satin ribbons coming into our store. I've hardly had time to stamp but finally made time yesterday and today!

Michelle (sf9erfan) on SCS came over this morning with her boys. The boys played outside, eating blackberries and grapes, swinging on the tire swing, and then ended up blowing the fir needles off of my driveway on their hands and knees!!! LOL

Meanwhile, Michelle and I were inside, up to our elbows in the retired SU paper pack Wintergreen. We've done this in the past, usually with amazing results. We get together and do the SCS sketch challenge using the same paper and stamps. Today she brought over this great set from Inkadinkado. I'm loving this set! We both stamped in Versamark and embossed using dark brown embossing powder. From there, her card took a different look from mine. I used differen sides of the DP than she used. The only thing we have in common on our cards is the 3/8" chocolate satin ribbon from Pink Hedgehog Paper Crafts , the stamped image, and the white DP I used on the background. To take a peek at her card, click here: Michelle's Card

I designed this card for a couple of reasons. First, there is an Oregon/Washington gathering for SCS this Saturday, andI designed this card for the shoebox swap. Second, I'm loving chocolate in my Christmas cards for some reason, and I need to make about 2o more to be done for the year, so I made 10 of these for my own stash.

To make this card and get the triangles perfect, this is what I did: I cut my card base 5.5" x 11" and scored, then folded it in 1/2. The largest chocolate layer is cut 5 3/8" square. I cut two pieces of DP (Almost Amethyst and Old Olive) 5.25" square. After cutting the squares of DP, using my Fiskars paper cutter, I put the square into the paper cutter on the diagonal, so the two opposite corners were right on the cutting line. This way, when I cut, I get two even triangles. Then, I take each of the triangles and put them in the paper cutter with the longest flat side towards me and the point facing up. Then, when I cut again, I end up with 4 equal triangles that I can then use for the card. When I do it with two different papers, I can alternate them as shown in the photo. I did the same thing with solid papers for the layer directly under the snowflake.

The snowflake is embossed using dark brown embossing powder. The Polka Dot ribbon is May Arts, currently available in our ebay store and coming soon to our website. The brads are from our custom colored brad collection. These brads match Old Olive and Almost Amethyst. The sentiment is stamped in Chocolate Chip and is from Papertrey, in their Out on a Limb set.