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Tuesday, April 23, 2019

A to Z Challenge - 2019 - T is for Tools

For the letter "T" in the 10th Annual A to Z Challenge I am talking about tools.  Every good craftsperson has their tools.  My husband was a mechanic and he has a garage full of tool boxes with multiple varieties of tools.  The neighbors come by asking for this size wrench or that type screwdriver and he has them all.

I have my tools too.  Of course I have the standard pens, markers, scissors, ink, stamps, all that stuff.  I showed them a little bit in my post for the letter "S" last year when I talked about the Scrapbooking section of Michaels.  These are a few of my more specialized tools. 

The first is my Slice machine.  Many (most) people have the Cricut, Sizzix or a version of them to make their die cuts and alphabet letters.  The Slice machine came out about 10 years ago or so and I was so excited to get one.  It is a portable machine whereas some of the others are not.  I can use the Slice to cut out lots of different letters and shapes for almost any theme.  It comes with a design card that plugs into the machine.

Design cards
 Once the card is inserted you have lots of options to choose from.  I used this guitar to make the guitar embellishment I talked about yesterday in the "Special Order" CD Music mini.

It goes from 2 to 4 inches.
 Each card comes with a booklet that shows all the designs you can make.

 These are two journal tags I made using elements from the Slice design cards and then stamped some lines on them for the writing.

Unfortunately the company that made the Slice went out of business and the Slice is no longer supported by anyone.  I will be sad if something happens to mine.

We R Memory Keepers is a company that makes a lot of punch boards that you can use to make things as well.  This one makes envelopes, bows and boxes.  On the inside it tells you what size paper to use for whatever size envelope, bow or box you want to make and then just by punching the paper at certain points and then scoring and folding, you have your finished product.  I haven't used the bow or box feature much yet but the envelopes I use a lot with my cards.

This one makes different sizes of frames for pictures or whatever. 

 This one makes party favor bags.  I made the orange one below.

 I have a lot of regular punches too.  Some are to punch things like flowers or leaves and some are border punches to use for making pretty borders on the page or edges on cards.

This one will take a 6 inch piece of paper and turn the edges into really detailed finishes.

This is another type of border maker from Creative Memories.  I am a consultant for them so of course I have to try out the product, right?  Next to it are two sticker makers.  You put small pictures or embellishments through them and they turn them into stickers.  

Sticker makers

Another tool I use a lot, mainly in my scrapbooking, is the stencils from Lea France.  Creative Memories just started making some too.  These stencils allow you to put a lot of pictures on one page.  I showed some examples of how I used them two years ago in the A to Z when I showcased my concert scrapbook album.  Check A for Adele.  I just got the one called "Cruise" and I'm looking forward to using that one!

 Of course there is the Fairy Tales castle!  How cool to use that for pictures of a Disneyland vacation!

The last example of tools I'll show are the templates from Paper Wishes that I used to make the gift card holders I talked about in the letter "G."  

This one made the Christmas holders

This one made the ice cream and mug holders

Those are some of my tools.  Do you use special tools in your work?  Is there a scrapbooking tool you think I NEED to try?  Lemme know.  

Quick aside, using the "tools" on WP I see I have at this moment 146 "followers" on my Word Press version of this blog and 23 on Blogger.  Can I get to 150 and 25 before the end of the A to Z?  Hope you come back tomorrow for the letter "U."

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter

Monday, April 22, 2019

A to Z Challenge - 2019 - S is for Special Orders

We are starting the last week of the A to Z 10th Anniversary Challenge!  It has really gone by quickly this year I think, don't you?  During the challenge I've been showcasing the crafty things I do and I hope you've been enjoying them.  

In my Etsy shop I offer Special Orders for people who want a unique item.  I love connecting with people to make something special just for them.  I have done many personalized School Days Paper Bag albums and Baby's First Year albums, but here are a couple of the more interesting Special Orders I've had.  

I got a message from a fellow who wanted to know if I could make two of the CD case mini's for his wife.  He said it was their anniversary and he wanted one mini that had a beach theme and one that was music themed.  He said he was giving her tickets to see Bruno Mars (lucky girl!)  This is what I came up with.  

I immediately thought of the Beach Boys for the beach themed one so I printed the album cover from their greatest hits and used that for the cover of the CD case.   

Inside I made room for pictures and writing.

And put some fun papers to decorate it.

I used the song list for the back cover.    

I did the same thing with the Bruno Mars CD, using the front and back cover of his Doo-Wops and Hooligans album.

I used quotes and papers that would go with a music theme.  I have a lot of that for my concert albums.  

I loved the black and yellow colors together.  The guitar is something I made with my Slice machine, a tool that makes cut outs. 

There was a pocket inside that he could use to put the tickets in or a note about them. 

Here's the back cover.  I used some music washi tape because the bottom was kind of plain.  I think that this man's wife is very lucky to have him.  Not all husbands would do something like this!  

One of the most challenging special orders I got was from a friend of ours who was the officiate at a wedding.  He wanted to put the program from the ceremony in an album.  He wanted it to be simple and elegant.

The colors were red and black.  The white patches are where the program went.    

The challenging part is that I am used to using a lot of detail and embellishments so to just have "plain" pages was hard for me.  There were no pictures in it except for the cover page.  I really had to stop myself from adding more to the layout.     

I did use some punches to make borders.  He was pleased with the result and when he gave it to the couple, they were very touched.    

Another fun special order was from a friend of my son's who was getting married.  She had a box full of her old school drawings and a few pictures of her as a child that she wanted made into a scrapbook for her mother.  She was going to give it to her at the rehearsal dinner before the wedding.  Here is what I made for her.  

This was a picture of her whole family.  I colored in the background flowers.  

It was such fun looking at her kindergarten and grammar school drawings. 

It was slightly challenging because some of the pictures were longer than the album pages so I had to improvise.  

Of course I made sure it was okay before I altered any of the artwork.

I added some appropriate quotes and colored in this page too.  

She even had some of her old Christmas letters to Santa!  

I think it came out great and she told me her mother cried when she saw it.  That is the kind of response I'm looking for when I make my Special Orders.  

If you were paying attention, I might have dropped a hint about what the letter "T" will be.  Come back tomorrow to see if you are right!  

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter

Saturday, April 20, 2019

A to Z Challenge - 2019 - R is for Repurpose and Recycle

Moving right along in the 10th Annual Blogging from A to Z Challenge we come to the letter "R" which stands for Repurpose, Reuse and Recycle.   I love experimenting with things and when I see some ordinary item I immediately start thinking about what else I could use it for.  Take these Laughing Cow cheese containers.  I really like this cheese so we had quite a few empty ones and I wondered what I could do with them.

This is what I came up with.  A little Halloween container for a mini-album of course.  

There is a string of about 8 to 10 circles held together that pull out from the base. 

I thought it would be fun to put pictures of the kids in their Halloween costumes.   

It might also be a cute gift for the hostess of the costume party!

Another thing we seemed to have a lot of was CDs.  They came in some magazines we were getting and they used to get sent in the mail so you could install AOL (yes, I am dating myself!).  

So I decided to cover them and make a Christmas mini.  I punched a hole in the side so I could use a ring to hold them together. 

I think this would make a great gift for the hostess of the Christmas party or as one of the gifts in a Secret Santa.

There is a pocket inside so if you wanted to use it as a gift card holder that would work too.  

There is ribbon around the metal ring that holds it closed. 

These were some water bottles that I used as gift holders for Easter.  Inside I put candy, pencils, little toys and things like that.  I tied a ribbon around the top with a tag with the initial of the recipient on it.  They came out okay but I've never done them again.  Water bottles are too small to use I think. 

My daughter was putting all her CDs into a holder and had lots of cases leftover. 

Guess what?  Another mini album!  This one is for Mother's day.  Inside the case I glued paper so that it opens up and there is a flower pocket to hold a message or a gift card. 

This one is for Halloween.  

And then there are the tea boxes.  I drink A LOT of tea and the boxes were just so cute.

I covered the boxes with paper and put a bunch of tags inside with messages and spots to write notes.

This one is for Mother's Day but I have done them for Father's Day as well.  Ribbon is again tied around the ring that holds the tags together. 

I love the tags and colors in this one.  

I bought some sheets a while ago and they were wrapped around these cardboard holders.  Of course I saved them.  They will make great sturdy covers for... mini-albums!  I just haven't figured out what themes to use yet.  Maybe travel.  I've been meaning to do one of those.    

Am I the only one who sees these things and wonders what to do with them?  All of them can easily be thrown into the recycle bin and the garbage company will take them away to melt them down or whatever they do but I think my way is more fun, don't you?  You can find these and others on my Etsy site and if you can think of a theme you'd like to see one made into let me know!

"Rib" is the prompt for the #SoCS today so I'm glad I've been able to incorporate it into my little story here.

Tomorrow is Sunday so there is no A to Z.  I missed last week's Song Lyric Sunday but maybe I'll be able to play this week.  I'm going to try to make the rounds to some new A to Z-ers too and make sure I have the letters ready for the last week of the Challenge.  Have a Happy Easter!

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter