Mar 19, 2017

Cute Pot-holders!

I just made these two pot-holders and had to post them.  They're so cute!

Pink Pot-Holders, 6 3/4" square and 7 3/8" square.
They are made from 2 fat-quarter cotton fabrics, 9"x 18" (1/8 yard) of aluminized ironing cover fabric, 10" x 45" (1/6th of crib-size) cotton batting, and about 5.5 yards of thread.  Supply cost was about $6.25. Sewing time was about 6 hours.  I could have sewed them a lot faster, but I was meticulous about my stitches.  I also hand stitched one-side closed after turning right-side out, which took some time.

front - pot-holders
back - pot-holders
layered - pot-holders
Top is made from 2 triangles cut from one square.  Layer 2 square pink fabrics right-sides together with 1 square batting to make a sandwich.  Cut in half to make 2 triangles.  Sew on the diagonals.  Flip the triangle right-side out, then sew a top stitch on the diagonal 1/4" from the edge.  For the bottom, place 1 ironing fabric face-down, 2 layers of batting on top of that, and 1 pink fabric face-up. Quilt together in a large block pattern, so it will be easy to manipulate. Make a loop from a 7"x 2" piece of fabric.  

Assemble the "bag".  Lay the quilted piece on the bottom, pink fabric face-up, lay 2 triangles on top with a gap between them, pin the loop to one corner with loop pointing inside, then lay on top a 2nd pink fabric face-down.  Sew along the four edges to make a "bag", leaving a 4" space in one edge for turning.  I cut all squares to 9"x 9", and sewed inside to about 7.5"x 7.5" square.  Remove bulk by cutting batting close to stitching lines, about 1/4" or less.  Turn right-side out.  Push in corners well. Mark sewing lines for the unfinished 4" edge.  Hand stitch closed along marked lines.  Iron well. Hope this will inspire you to make some for yourself!  They will also make good gifts. :-)
Reference:  Lorine Mason Designs, Learn Easy Sewing Skills: Simple Steps for 11 Sunny Projects, copyright 2014 Annie's.

---  Cheers!  Jennifer  --- 

Jul 20, 2015

Baby cards

A collection of baby cards that uses Two by two stamp from Stampin' Up, and one shaker card with a different smaller stamp.

Colored baby card.

Jun 26, 2015

Cards for Summer

Alisa and Cami came over this week and helped me make some cards.  The first card uses Maritime Designer Paper from Stampin  up.  I cut out the octopus grabbing a boat and whale.  I put "I've got  you,  Babe!" As a sentiment inside.  Card base is night of navy.  Bottom small waves is also from the designer paper.  A real red cardstock and cherry cobbler twine adds accents. All supplies SU.  

The second card uses Two by Two single stamp from SU.  I made waves using scallop edge punch.  Yellow card base and bright marker coloring makes the card cheerful.

Jun 20, 2015

Fathers Day horse card with Blendabilities

I used my new blendabilities to color this card.  The middle horse used crumb cake light base and 2nd layer of pumpkin light to add slight orange tint.  The right horse is colored with pumpkin dark, which my version looks like mustard color instead of dark pumpkin, lighter and more yellow.  I ordered but never received daffodile blendabilities, so I need to get some copic yellows to blance out my set.  I can't belive Stampin Up discontinued blendabilities within months of offering them.  I feel bad for demonstrators who bought them, and now can't use them.  I finally got a replacement stamp in place of the daffodile blendabilities, so I am alright.  I think Stampin Up quality is going down after the IPO.

Jan 28, 2015

Crafting Work Space -- Lots of white, empty spaces - helps me stay focused.

Hello Friends,

I was thinking about work flow and organization last week.  I try to come up with a good solution for my own working style.  I looked at a lot of craft room tour videos on YouTube.  Many crafters seem to like having LOTS of products out and visible to provide "inspiration".  Or at least the ones who take the time to record and post a video seem that way.

I am not like that.

I need a clean desk and uncluttered work area, because I am too easily distracted by other cute products that are visible.  I like to clear off all items from my working desk except for items I am using on my current project.  I also limit what is on the wall in front of me to decrease distraction.

Crafting Work Desk:
Below is a photo of my focused work desk.  Every item on it is related to my current project -- making sailboat and snowmen cards, using the same blue-themed supplies.

Crafting Desk
Crafting Desk - Only supplies related to the current project are on the desk.
You can see that I have cutting tools, ruler, glue, tape, pens, inkpad, and cleaner on my right. A few possible embellishment choices are laid above the pink mat.  A few stamp embellishment choices are on my left.  Pop-up tape, hole punch tools, and extra blank cards and envelopes are in the 6"x6" CD case on top left.  Cards in various stages of construction are along to top.

This is fine once I have finished designing, and I am ready to make them.  But when I am in the midst of designing, I tend to pull lots of supplies from other places and pile them on top of my work desk as I try them on and then reject those choices.  When the desk got overwhelmed, I used to stop in the middle of my designing and try to put some of the supplies away.  But this took me out of my designing groove, and it was very frustrating.

So, I need a place to put these rejects until I finish designing, and I have time to put them back nicely. I strongly recommend having an "overflow" area right next to your main work desk for this purpose.  

Overflow - Temporary Storage Area:
I use the top of a low closed storage unit for my "overflow" temporary holding area.  I like the closed storage solution, again to minimize visual clutter while I am crafting.  This one is Besta from Ikea with gloss-white doors.  The units are $80 each (two units stacked).  Gloss white doors are very expensive ($100/2 doors), but there are non-gloss white doors at about half the price.

Prime Storage Area:
Next, I only keep very frequently used tools and supplies in this low dresser unit next to my crafting desk.  Other supplies are stored at locations that are further away from my desk.  It is important to maximize your prime location, and move less used items to 2nd and 3rd storage locations.

  • Inside this prime location storage unit, the top row holds the Cuttlebug and basic cutting mats and embossing tools on left, and on right selected cardstock and main markers.  
  • Next row holds my 12" multiple-sheet guillotine cutter on left and my most used coloring supplies such as ink pads, re-inkers, color pencils, and chalk palette.  
  • Next row holds stickers & embellishments, MS 12" cutter, shape cutting flat stencils, punches in 4 large boxes, Crop-a-Dile, and extra acrylic blocks in a small box.
  • Bottom unit left side holds ribbons, buttons, brads, and other embellishments, Sizzix cutting dies, clear envelopes, and card catalogue index of stamping supplies.  
  • Bottom unit right side holds envelopes, Work-In-Process projects, alphabets and journaling stamps in a box on the bottom, and currently using paper, stamp sets, glitters, and supplies.

Stamp Storage in Secondary Location
2nd & 3rd Storage locations:
My 2nd storage location is the far corner of the same room.  I store almost all of my stamps here. Amazingly, my entire collection seem to fit into 8 large plastic containers (14" x 18" x 10.5"h).  I was under the impression that I had much more than this.  I moved into a new, large home from a small apartment and had kept some of my supplies in a storage building.  I was finally able to spread them all out in one place and organize them.  :-)  Plastic tubs are for holding letter sized files, $10 each.

My 3rd storage location is an upstairs bedroom and closet.  Bulk purchased tape, glue, chip board, and other coloring supplies, and my main supply of cardstock, and designer paper are stored there.

Main scrap paper storage - used often.
Scrap Storage: 
Finally, I store my frequently used scraps in a 6"x6" CD container.  I usually have it out on my desk when I am designing, but then store it inside the Besta afterwards.  I sort them by rainbow-color order in clear plastic sleeves.  Maximum cut size is 6.5" x 5.5".  I tend to keep all scraps produced by one project together in one sleeve.  I sometimes re-use them on another project with similar colors.  I find this container quite useful for household uses too, when I need to make a quick label or tag.

Hope this will get your mojo flowing and help you organize your own work flow.
Now go make some cards! :-) :-) :-)

Jan 11, 2015

Best Curated Craft Tools - for a new card maker.

What are the very best basic items to start making cards?  

My blog is titled Budget Crafter.  It is not titled frugal crafter or cheap crafter.  While I am interested in saving money, my main goal is to help the new crafter acquire quality tools that will be used over and over.  In this way, I feel a crafter will get the most return from her money.  She will also enjoy using high quality tools, and won't feel the frustration from badly made tools.

I post two photos of tools that I use most often, and that I recommend to a beginning card maker.

The first photo shows cutting mat & work surface, measuring, marking, and cutting tools.
   *  EK Success, 12"x12" pink cutting mat with 1/4" grid marks in white.
            Use grid marks to help line up card layers. Bright color and white line is easy to see.
            Can cut on top of it to protect your table.  Use a metal edged ruler and knife.
            Most inks wipe clean, and it can be washed with water.
            Can be stored in most containers designed to hold 12"x12" paper.
   *  Fiskars 9.5"x5.5" sliding cutter with cutting blade and scoring blade installed.
            I find this cutter to have the best combination of cutting size, portability, and cut quality.
            It is large enough for 90% of cutting needs, since most people make A2 sized cards.
            To cut 12" paper, you can mark with a pencil and use scissors or the cutting mat & knife.
            Refill blades are affordable and easy to find. 
            Both scoring blade (black) and cutting blade (orage) fits at the same time.
            Just cut from one end and score from the other end. (The blade blocks 1/2" from end.)
            Cuts cleanly up to 2 sheets of 60-80 lb card stock.
            Black 1/4" grid marks are easy to see, and a silver wire on the track is very nice.
            It's not too bulky on top, and also stores in a 12"x12" paper storage container.
   *  Other items include a sharp scissors (DuraSharp stainless 3" blade, 6.5" overall), 
         a solid knife with refillable blades (OLFA cutter model A), 
         several rulers (EK Success 6" clear with one metal cutting edge, Gaebel 12" stainless steel ruler -      
         has cork back to prevent sliding while cutting, and Omnigrid 12" clear ruler - has easy to read 
         yellow & black markings), markers (Pentel 0.5mm mechanical pencil with eraser and silver 
         Quilter's Pencil - pencil mark is faint so it does not need to be erased), 
         and a bone folder for pressing down crease.

I also have a second cutter, Quartet 6"x4" photo trimmer - with a blade that comes down. This is faster and cleaner for cutting smaller pieces and for accurately trimming precut pieces.  I taped a 1/8" lined gridded template on top.  Squeeze the cutting blade towards the inside for clean cuts.

The second photo shows a black inkpad, stamp scrub cleaner, wet wipes, and several clear blocks for mounting unmounted stamps or cling stamps.  

Getting a good quality black inkpad is important because the cheap ones are not the same.  My favorite one is Tsukineko VersaFine Archival pigment inkpad.  It dries in 2-3 seconds.  You can use markers to color over a stamped image and the black does not smudge.  Word stamps come out crisp and detailed.  It does not fade due to its archival pigment.  Also, the ink lasts many years.  You want to tap lightly on this inkpad to avoid getting a big glob on your stamp.

Using unmounted or cling stamps is an easy way to save storage space in your craft area and to save money.  Unmounted stamps and cling stamps that do not provide its own wood mountings are usually cheaper than wood mounted stamps.  It adds a bit of hassel because the stamp needs to be mounted each time on a block, and sometime the mounting is crooked and needs to be fixed. Generally it's a good trade-off.  Photo shows clear blocks in useful sizes.  Gridded blocks are better than blank ones.  1/2" thick blocks are easier to hold than 1/4" thick blocks.

Hope you liked reading about my curated list of most useful tools for a new card crafter.  
Now go make some beautiful cards!

Aug 10, 2014

Doggie birthday card, Pacific Point blue

This is a variation of a doggie birthday card using stamps from Stampin' Up! Animal Talk.  It's quick and easy to make.  Pacific Point blue is the anchor color and is used in blue dot and corner polka dot paper.  Other colors are Bashful Blue, Tempting Turquoise, Kiwi, and Pumpkin.  Finger daubers were used to create colorful dots.  Dog is colored using yellow and mustard markers.  VersaFine black is used to stamp the dog to avoid smudging.

Jul 18, 2014

Our New Home

Here is a photo of our new home being built.  Bill is posing in front. :-)

This is before, and how it would look finished.

Update - peace lilies

The lilies are really doing well!  Here is a photo of 7 blossoms in full bloom.
I think it is a lucky sign that things will go my way this month!

Jul 4, 2014

Lucky 7 Peace Lilies

My peace lily plant produced the most white lilies that I have ever seen.  It is fully Blooming now. I somehow feel it is a lucky sign with 7 blossoms.  Maybe it is a portend of good things to come? Including a new job? Maybe?

Anyway, it's a far cry from before, when it looked like it was dying.  When I first brought it home from my Mom's place in 2011, I took it outside on the balcony, and it withered in direct sun.  All leaves were limp like wet kleenex.  I cut off all the leaves to their stalk, and then all these new leaves grew from regenerated stalks!  The 2nd photo is a close up of the smallest 7th blossom. I will later add a link to their previous unhealthy state photo.