Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Eric Carle ATCs

These are all of the ATCs that were made for the Eric Carle Swap I hosted. I think they are fabulous... nice job, ladies!!! (I made the purple dragonfly with a verse from The Very Quiet Cricket.)

And here's a somewhat related but nevertheless humorous story...

I made a binder for Abby to keep some ATCs in. I'll cut her some cardstock pieces and she'll color them, then tell me which ribbons she wants to decorate them with, etc. So, she's got a couple of ATC page protectors with about a dozen ATCs that either she's made or I gave to her. Last night, she brought the binder to Stephen and said "Read A T C Book" and he was kind of stunned, because he didn't know that SHE knew what they were called. Later, I said to her "Abby, what is this?" (holding up an ATC) and she comes back with "Trading Card"!!!!!!!!!!! You KNOW you're addicted when the two year old picks up on it!

It only took 3 years!!!

I started to cross-stitch this stole 3 years ago, when my brother-in-law was in his first year of seminary. I was so proud of myself for getting such an early start on his ordination gift! (It's not my favorite design or color, but I could only find ONE source for stole x-stitch charts so I had to take what I could get!) Last summer, before Joanna was born, I finished the cross-stitch part. I procrastinated on the sewing-assembly part because I just knew it was going to be a headache.

Well, last night I got tired of having it hanging over my head. At 8:30 I dug out the sewing machine and started. Around midnite, it actually started to LOOK like a stole! I still have to hem the bottoms (that's why they aren't the same length) and embroider a little message on the inside... but the worst is over. Thank goodness!

I know it's not papercrafting, but cross-stich IS my first love, so I had to share.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

I've been busy!

Just because I haven't been posting as often doesn't mean I haven't been busy! I joined FIVE ATC swaps hosted by the same gal (hi Pepper!) and had lots of fun using different techniques on each of them. While I'm not sure I'll ever be using the crayon method again, it was neat to broaden my horizon and come up with something that isn't my normal style. I encourage you to do the same. What follows are the results of my endeavors. Enjoy!

Melted Crayon ATCs

Ok, so when Stephen and I first started talking about getting married, I made it clear to him in no uncertain terms that I would NEVER EVER iron his uniform, or any other clothing, for that matter. It's a chore I hate more than cleaning the toilet or emptying the dishwasher (which I really can't stand!!!). So, needless to say, it's been awhile since I've used one. (I was going to say "it's been awhile since I've touched one" but that would be a lie, since I'm always the one who has to put it away after he's ironed his uniform!!!!)

Here's the method... cover the iron with foil and turn it to medium heat (no steam). Color the foil with crayons (which will turn to liquid immediately, so hold the iron horizontally to avoid drip marks) and then lay a piece of cardstock onto the iron. It will then pick up the color from the crayons.

Originally, I wanted to use blue and green crayons for a sky/grass look, and then stamp a tree in black. Well, needless to say I had no control over where the melting crayons went and I ended up with a mess. So, then I decided to try for a monochromatic look and used blue crayons. But when I tried to stamp over it, the was was too dark and I couldn't see the stamped image. So, back to the iron I went.

This time, I used light grey and the lightest blue I could find. When I cut the cardstock into ATC-sized pieces, I decided it looked like the sky in a storm. So, I got out the lighthouse stamp, remembered this quote, and bing, bang, boom... they were done!

Double-Stamped ATCs

This is a technique I'd heard about, but never tried. Here's what I did:
1. Stamped the square in pink ink.
2. Stamped the flower onto the square, which removes the ink
3. Stamped the square onto white cardstock.

It works much better with a solid stamp. I had several stamps I had wanted to use, but they were all outlines and didn't 'pick up' the ink that well. It's hard to tell from the picture, but it almost looks like it's been bleached, if any of you have every done THAT technique. I tried it once and wrecked the shirt I was wearing, so never again!!! The pretty flower paper is from Michael's (like I said previously, 4/$1 this week. Can't go wrong!)

Quilled ATCs

It's been years since I did any quilling! It was something I started to dabble in while Stephen was deployed to Okinawa with the Seabees. So, of course, one of the first things I had to quill was a bee! For this swap, I dug out my supplies and found lots of yellow and black strips, so I resorted back to my old favorite.

Folded ATCs

The only rule for this swap was that the ATCs had to be folded, which allows for a larger canvas to decorate. Since I wanted to be different, I decided to go with the Christmas Theme. I embossed the Gingerbread Man in white on brown paper. Then, I embossed him in white on green paper and cut out the bow, which I mounted on the original. I chalked his cheeks with red, and the paper is from The Christmas Stack. Love that stuff!

Not once, BUT TWICE, I toppled over the container of embossing powder. I said a very bad word the second time!!! And no matter how hard you try, it's impossible to get that powder off of the floor. It's stuck between the crevices, too, since the wood floors are old and separating!!!

Patriotic ATCs

For this swap, I killed two birds with one stone. You see, the students that I taught at the Naval Academy Prep School (we were stationed in Newport, RI) are graduating tomorrow here at the Naval Academy. I have kept in touch with several of them, and wanted to send a unique Congratulations card. So, I made many extra of these ATCs, mounted them on a white card, and voila! It's hard to see in the picture, but behind the Navy Seal are the words to the Oath that they will take as they are commissioned into the Navy (and will continue to take every time they are promoted.) Also, it's impossible to tell from the picture, but the seal is raised with a thin pop-dot to give it some dimension.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Live, Laugh, Love

I made these ATCs for a swap... anything goes as long as they are based on a design from either of the JOCM magazines. This one is from the original... I think it's recipe 23 or something like that. I forget. The big 'L' is from a set of foam stamps I got off e-bay, and the sentiment is done on the computer. Paper is Wild Asparagus which happens to be on sale this week at Michael's... 4/$1.00 (If you didn't get any last time, I highly recommend a trip!!!)

Monday, May 15, 2006

UTEE Christmas

I made these ATCs for a Technique swap I joined yesterday. I chose UTEE. It stands for Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel and until yesterday I had never used it. (I got a jar in my $10 bargain bag at the craft flea market. Considering it usually sells for $6.99 that was almost worth the whole bag right there!).

To make the shiny metal-like embellishment, I stamped a square with Versamark and embossed it with gold powder. Immediately (while it was still hot) I poured a layer of UTEE over it and melted that until it was smooth. Then, I firmly pressed the ornament stamp in it and held it for 10 seconds. Voila! It's a very small image, since this IS an ATC, but I have a larger ornament stamp (so do you, Anita!) that would look cool if I decided to make a Christmas Card. The paper is the "Blitzen" Collection by Basic Grey.

You can also do 2 and 3 layers of UTEE for deeper impressions. Plus, if you wait until it cools, you can twist it and it'll look like shattered glass. It's pretty cool. I'm definitely gonna play with it some more.

Monday, May 08, 2006

The Quilt of My Life

Any one who knows me knows that I love all things 'country'... baskets, quilts, pottery, and "furniture that looks like you tossed it down a flight of stairs" as my husband is fond of saying. I was born and raised in New England not far from Old Sturbridge Village, and I am truly a country girl at heart. I am also a cheap Yankee, so I save ALL of my scraps from papercrafting.

So today, when I saw a swap for quilt ATCs, I knew I had to join (even though I'm trying to drastically cut down time spent on swaps). I was so excited that I had to make my cards tonight or I wouldn't be able to fall asleep (how pathetic is that?) So, here they are. I had SO MUCH FUN making them. I'm going to make more in the future, I think, with a more complicated quilt pattern. This is a simple nine-patch. The quote reads "The quilt of my life is made of imperfect pieces lovingly fitted together by the Master Craftsman to form a beautiful pattern. He makes no mistakes." I'm super happy with the way they came out... probably because they are so 'me'!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

I Can't Go On Like This!!!

So, hubby made a comment a few days back about how nice it would be to have the hammock set up in our back room again (when we first moved in, didn't have the 2nd child, and I had no clue what The Angel Company was... we actually had the space to set up a hammock in the 3rd 'bedroom'... since there's no closet in the room, and has windows on 3 sides, it's obvious to me that it was originally meant as a SUN ROOM! And with those windows open, on the third floor, it IS a nice place for a hammock. The problem is that I had slowly taken over the space as my own, and filled it with lots of craft stuff!)

Figuring it was the least I could do for the guy who so seldom wants anything at all... I started cleaning out. No small task. Not fun. After awhile I got really sick of it and just started shoving stuff in boxes! So now I have 8 boxes that I have to empty before we move... and my craft space just got cut in half! Hello, ebay! Must list more stuff tomorrow, I think! If only I had the self-control to NOT buy more stuff! Then I could use up what I have and make room to breathe.

Wish me luck in my sorting/cleaning endeavors. It's not pleasant!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Military ATC Swap

These are the result of a Military-Themed ATC swap at PCMB! Aren't they fabulous??? The only one I made was the bottom left. It says "United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD" I'm telling you... if you haven't gotten into these, you're missing out on some fun. There are lots of places on-line to trade them. Look into it!

Monday, May 01, 2006


Yes... You! The one sitting there at your computer reading my blog... I'm talking to YOU! How about leaving some feedback? I have almost 250 hits and only 4 different people have ever left comments. So, how about it? Tell me what you'd like to see. What would help you to be a better stamper? What would you like to learn? What kinds of card samples would you like to see? What can I do to make this blog more helpful to you?

Let me hear it...