Thursday, January 29, 2009

The circle of life

I took this picture out in my back yard last summer. It was just one of those playing around shots, learning about my new camera. It wasn't until I downloaded it later that I realized that the picture told such a story about life and death. It has since become one of my favourites.

6 O'Clock Card - Thinking of you

Sorry for the poor lighting. There's not a lot of natural daylight when I get home. The next few days I'll show some cards I made with this ProvoCraft series of papers. I've always liked this collection. The sentiment stickers are from a package I picked up at the Dollar Store. They are pretty cute.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Want a simple science project for the kids?

Last year my daughter (ahem, little apprentice) did her grade 4 science project of observing what happens to a bar of Irish Spring soap over 5 days in water. One bar was kept in cold water, the other had the water reheated for 2 minutes in the microwave at the same time every day for the 5 days. She charted the weight of the soaps every day, and measured their width, length and thickness. She should have weighed the water at the end of the experiment too but we didn't think of that.

Here was her final outcome, with the pink tag showing the soap that was left in hot water and the blue tag shows the soap left in cold water, the control soap is in the middle. The leftover water from the cold side remained fluid with some chunks of soap inside. The water from the hot side became a semi-solid gelatinous mass. She thought this was VERY cool and we both ended up being surprised at the final outcome as it was different from what we projected.

If you have any questions about the process, let me know.

6 O'Clock Card - I Heart You

Playing with my new Basic Grey adhesive chipboard letters.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

6 O'Clock Card - One Happiness in Life

This romantic card is made from Amy Butler die-cuts from K&Co. The card stock is Bazzill and the ribbon is from Martha Stewart.

Monday, January 26, 2009

6 O'Clock Card - Friends

The kraft frame is recycled from Amy Butler packaging, as discussed here.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

This Year's School Valentine Cards

Like last year, my little apprentice and I made a bevy of little Valentines for her class. They are a bit different this time around as we mostly used the little pictures from the back of a couple of expired calendars. We used a Tinkerbell calendar as well as one with dog pictures (for the less sensitive boys...). We hope you enjoy our efforts.

First a view of all the cards:

Then a few of our favourites:

6 O'Clock Card - My Style

This card has three recycled elements on it. The "My Style" tag, the ornate border and the scalloped oval are all cut from Amy Butler packaging from K&Co. I talk more about that here.

I send this card to the DBU. You can get the details here.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

I won an award today!

I attended the yearly Kick Off event for my day job today and won a Silver Service Excellence Award. Yay! I'm so happy! Now I'm going to be able to get the ipod touch I've been wanting for a year.

6 O'Clock Card - Family Vacation

The cold blast has got me thinking about warmer weather and Summer vacation. Wouldn't this be a great card to spring on somebody announcing vacation plans?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Glue, gloo and glew

How many different kinds of glue can one crafter have? I never seem to have enough and am always trying different kinds for different purposes.

I use glue sticks for quick jobs on projects that will be kept only for a short time. Glue sticks are nice and sticky, forgiving if you want to reposition them a bit after sticking it down, and they are very inexpensive. But after a while, the glue on a project seems to crack and elements, even papers stuck together, pop apart. Not good so I don't use it on my heirloom type projects.

I love my rolling glue dispenser cartridge from Tombow Mono. They are very easy to use, stick quite well, but I find them expensive. I've even had a few that popped apart after a while too but only on coated or textured paper. I did pick up a new, stickier version at the craft store this week so I'll see if it holds better.

Then there is double sided tape on a roll. I've used the white roll and am now about to try the red one. Apparently that one is quite good so we'll see. These can range from inexpensive to expensive and can be a pain to apply as you have to cut each piece and then peel off the top layer, which can be aggravating too as the edges are often difficult to find.

Similar to double-sided tape is my Xyron machine. I have one that is 8.5" wide and another that is 2" wide. I've been known to punch out paper printouts and run them through the Xyron to add a sticky layer of glue to the back for instant stickers or peel and stick labels. The smaller tool is perfect for tiny cutouts from my daughter's Cuttlekids die cutter. The Xyron can also laminate and apply either permanent or re positionable adhesive or even special magnet paper.

I've recently discovered glue dots. Oh my! I LOVE glue dots. They are a bit more expensive but they stick and stick and stick. They work especially well for bulkier elements like buttons and flowers and such. I even find myself cutting them down to work on smaller elements. These are super sticky wonders.

I use Perfect Paper Glue for bookmaking projects and to hold my little envelopes and 3d snowflakes together. It works well for those applications but is a bit too wet for cardmaking and when you spread it thinly, it dries almost too quickly.

Aleene's Tacky Glue works well for projects like button wreaths and even on cards in a pinch. It's not too wet and sticks well, and dries clear.

Mod Podge is great for my decoupaged clothespins. I use it to glue the paper to the wood and then to seal the top of the paper with a nice glossy finish.

Diamond Glaze from Judikins works wonderfully for the pendants I make with either Scrabble or glass tiles. I use it to adhere the paper to the tile and in the case of the Scrabble tile, Diamond Glaze is applied to the top to seal the paper in.

E6000 glue is perfect for gluing the bails to the backs of the Scrabble and glass pendants mentioned above. It gives off pretty strong fumes though so I recommend good ventilation.

Finally my other favourite type of adhesive comes in the form of double stick dimensional foam, sometimes referred to as dimensional adhesives or Pop Dots. They come in varying thicknesses and are great for layering paper and embellishments on a card or scrapbook layout for added textural interest and depth.

I hope that gives you a good glimpse at all the different kinds of *gloo* I use. I can't believe I have 15 different adhesives!

6 O'Clock Card - Crafty (card made by my little apprentice)

Another card made by my little apprentice. This time she used the tan Bazzill card stock, my pretty new butterfly satin ribbon, a butterfly stamp and some Amy Butler die cuts from K and Company. The "Crafty" tag is a cut out I saved from the back of some Amy Butler packaging. (See my post about that here) Enjoy!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Great Canadian Salsa

I have been anxiously awaiting for an order of salsa from the Great Canadian Salsa company. I had heard that they had fantastic salsa, sweetened with maple syrup and a touch of beer added for an even more authentic Canadian taste. They even donate a part of every sale made to Canadian minor league hockey. What a great company!

So today my salsa finally arrived. I couldn't wait. I had to crack open a jar right away and steal a taste. It was as great as I had hoped it would be. So for supper we cooked up some elephant rice and stirred in some salsa, and we also made soft shelled tacos, topped with more Great Canadian Salsa. What a treat! Check them out.

6 O'Clock Card - I Heart You (card made by my little apprentice)

This cute card was made by my little (10 year old) apprentice a few nights ago. (Excuse the photo lighting as it was after dark already). I helped with a few placement suggestions but by and large, she made this card. I think she did a great job and love how she turned the scallop border around. She wanted a bit of bling on it too and the crystal she picked goes nicely with the card. Her only dilemma now is which boyfriend to give it to...
Stay tuned for another card from her tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

6 O'Clock Card - Believe in Love

Ah another romantic card. Every cloud has a silver lining. Believe in Love. Sweet huh?
Card stock is Bazzill, die cuts and glittery paper strip are Amy Butler from K&Company. Ribbon again is from Martha Stewart.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Great Handmade Soaps

Check out the roster of handmade soaps blogged over at Autonomous Artisans. Our SudsMuffin shaving soap was featured so my Hubby couldn't be more pleased.

We are also here and here, and probably a few other places too.

Happy Tuesday all and best wishes to Barack Obama on his historic inauguration!

6 O'Clock Card - 10 Reasons to Smile

I love these Amy Butler die cuts. They lend such a sweet antiqued caracter to the card. The "buttons" are die cut gems covered in clear adhesive raindrops. The ribbon is from Martha Stewart. Card stock is Bazzill.

Monday, January 19, 2009

My Little Secret - I am NOT Christina Hill

Well I am sortof... It's really a pseudonym that I came up with because it sounded snappier than my real name. I came to it using the classic method of combining your middle name with a street you grew up on. I like how it sounds and I like being able to shorten it to "chill". Cool huh?

Well just like when you think that you picked a unique name for your child, and they start school alongside a few other kids with the same name, so did it dawn on me that there are an *awful* lot of Christina's, and Christine's, and Kristina's in the scrapping/card-making world. Are they all snappy sounding pseudonyms too? Probably not. But I just wanted to clear that up for the people I know who visit my blog and are confused that they don't recognize the name. Snappy is in folks. Unfortunately, it's everywhere I want to be too.

Monday Finds- Purchases at Michael's

I didn't really have any plans for these cool Amy Butler dimensional purse stickers but the sale price was too good to resist.

These holiday themed glittery frames and photo corners from K&Company are absolutely gorgeous. They were another "can't resist" sale.

Digging out from another storm

It snowed all day yesterday and then it warmed up enough for the snow to turn to rain. It rained all night, on top of all the snow. So now there's a nice coat of ice everywhere and it's raining on top of ice. Doesn't that sound like a recipe for disaster? Anyhow, schools are closed today, for which I'm glad since my little apprentice will be able to stay home with hubby, who doesn't work until tonight. I just wish I could work from home so I wouldn't have to risk the roads today.

I hate the winter. grrr

6 O'Clock Card - Thank You

Another simple card with that favourite ribbon of mine.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Recycling retail packaging

A lot of the crafting products we buy have a fair bit of packaging, which ends up in the garbage and landfills. I challenge you to take a second look at the packaging before throwing it away. These can often be cut apart and used in other projects. Clear plastic can be used to make window cards, the openings in boxes can be used as frames, and some companies even include elements on their packages which can be cut out and re-used.

These photos show how I cut up just two Amy Butler packages from K&Company, similar to the new package also shown. I saved the plastic from the front of the box, the frames from the window opening, the printed strips on the sides and bottom of the box, and the flowers and sentiments from the back. These are fantastic to re-use in your craft projects, if not your own, you can give them to your kids, or a local school or a Boys and Girls club. They would be very happy to have these kinds of art supplies.

So before you throw it out next time, think first if you can re-use any of it.

6 O'Clock Card - Thanks

A very simple card using one of my favourite ribbons (which is almost all gone now). Bazzill card stock is used for the base card. I love Bazzill!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Home Alone

Hubby is working at our store today and our little apprentice had art classes in town, as well as a swimming date this afternoon with her grandmother and her partner and his kids. So I decided to stay home and try to get some things done around here. Honestly I haven't done much other than blog, take pics and surf around the net a bit. But I still feel as though it was productive. I did write my DVD case tutorial, so that's something.

Here are a few random pics I took throughout the house today.

Here is my craft room, in desperate need of some reorganization now that the Christmas rush is over. My little apprentice and I made quite a few things in here over the holidays and now it's time for some order. A job for tomorrow I think.

Here are the girls in their favourite lounging spots. Miss Willow on the back of the couch and Miss Chai Chai on my little apprentice's bed.

I realized that I hadn't shared a pic of the lampshade which my little apprentice and I re-covered with pages from a Tinkerbell calendar.

This picture is very typical of my daughter/little apprentice. Ever since she was a baby she has loved very girly things. She has always owned wings and loves velvet, and anything that sparkles.

And this one is just because I had to share. I walked by her playroom and had to giggle when I read her white board. I should take pictures of it more often because there are little gems like this on there quite often.

Dear Kingdom, I won't return because I'm in Camelot. I'm terribly SORRY.
Your Queen Zelda
She's still learning to write in English. She goes to a French school and they only started English either last year or this year. See the huge multicoloured chalk stick in the picture above? She made that with plaster of Paris and tempra paints. That was a fun, simple project.

Hope everybody is staying warm!

A gift for my hubby this Christmas

I surprised my hubby with 5 DVDs of Dr Who this Christmas and wanted to give them to him as a collection. I didn't want to use regular plastic CD cases. Besides being easily broken, I also didn't want him guessing what I had given him. So I searched online for something I could make from heavy paper or card stock. I never did find anything I liked. The thought of how I would do this was on my mind for a few days. Finally one day at work an idea came to me and I sketched it out quickly on scratch paper. I even made a quick sample of my idea, showing my coworker, who thought I was quite insane. haha

Anyhow, here is the final result. I didn't really embellish it though it could be done quite easily. The individual sheets could even be run through a printer if you wanted to add text to them. In the end, he heard me hammering away to punch the holes and had NO idea what in the world I could be making him for Christmas, which required a hammer and assembly. He was thrilled beyond belief with his gift.

Instructions are as follows. All measurements are in inches.
To make each pocket, start with a 12x6 piece of card stock.
Score 1/4" line all the way down each long side. Fold the scored edges inward.
With the edges still folded in:
Score a line 3 1/4" down from the top of the page, all the way across.
Score a line 1/2" up from the bottom of the page and another 3 3/4" up from the bottom of the page, all the way across.
Fold down the top scored line first, then fold up the bottom 1/2" line, then the last line above that.
You should now have the start of a pocket shape without the sides tacked down.
Use a 1/8" hole punch (one that you hammer is recommended) and punch 4 holes down each open side of the pocket where the 1/4" fold is, all the way down through all the layers of card stock. Try to make sure that the edge of the punched hole is no more than 1/8" from the edge of the pocket or it will be a tight fit for the DVD (trust me on this). The hole spacing should be an inch apart from the center of each hole. If they are not exact then the jump rings will be very difficult to line up.
Once the holes are punched, set a 1/8" eyelet through all the layers of card stock to secure the sides of the pocket together. When you are done setting your eyelets (you will need 8 per pocket), attach your completed pockets to each other using 1/2" jump rings (I got mine at Michael's) or you can use ribbon, twine, leather/suede cording, whatever you wish. I went with the jump rings because it had a more masculine "hardware" feel to it, considering who the recipient was.

Let me know if you have any questions about this project!

6 O'Clock Card - With Gratitude

The gratitude sticker is from another Dollar Store purchase, as are the green ribbon and gold spiral clip. The card paper is KandCo and the envelope paper is ProvoCraft.

Friday, January 16, 2009

So glad it's Friday

It's been bitterly cold here these last few days. I hear the same story across Canada and the US. Even my friends in San Diego are complaining though I challenge them to think about their complaints if they experienced our coldness for even a few minutes.

I got a chance to use some of my new paper punches last night as I made about 100 gifts tags with them from used Christmas cards. Some of the cards were perfect for punching multiple tags with and others called out for being snipped by hand with my new Cutter Bee scissors. I never knew what a difference good scissors could make. These ones are super precise, they corner well and cut right to the fine tip of the blades without making a tear in the paper. I still have dozens more cards to play with, not to mention a foot high stack of expired calendars. I honestly don't know what I will do with them all. I am open for any suggestions, truly...

This weekend I want to make some new cards. I hope to make use of the of the great tips and ideas from Kristina Werner. She has fabulous little videos of the cards she makes. I love LOVE her style; simple and elegant. If it stays sunny, I may be able to take a few good pics of my newest cards made this week too. Stay tuned and have a great week end.

6 O'Clock Card - Happy Birthday Holographic

These holographic stickers are a bit hard to capture because the image on them changes depending on the angle they are viewed on. My sweet hubby picked up these stickers for me at a local dollar store. I can find some great little treasures there every now and again.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Crafty goodies in my mailbox today

I arrived home today to find a nice heavy box waiting for me. Inside was a 7 fantastic paper punches. These are not available at my local supply store and were a great price from an online vendor. I have 5 Marvy Ushida Clever Lever scalloped punches- 2 rectangles, 2 ovals, 1 circle, and 2 McGill paper punches- both ovals. Also in the box is a new pair of Cutter Bee scissors for detail cutting, and a pack of Heidi Swapp flowers. I think I need to take a vacation just so I can do some more crafting. haha

I'm SO happy to have my car back

We were involved in a vehicle mishap two weeks before Christmas that required having a few dents and scratches fixed on the hood of our car, which is a Ford Focus Wagon. There were finally able to take it in this week for the repair (it's been a busy season for accidents with all the snow apparently). We only bought the Focus in October and so far it's been my favourite car of all the previous ones we've owned. My second favourite was a Ford Taurus. I never considered myself to be a Ford girl. I've had a Dodge, a Buick and a Pontiac too, but my best cars have been my Fords. Anyhow, we had a rental car for a few days. It was a 2009 Dodge Caliber. Oddly enough my mother's rental car this week from a different rental spot is also a 2009 Caliber. She was in a different accident the same week we were. So the Caliber was just not the right fit for me. I have long legs and larger proportions and I had to contort myself just to get into the driver's seat. My head had to practically touch the steering wheel while getting in so I wouldn't crack my head on the door frame. Then there were little things that just irked me like the position of the heat vents. The hot air wouldn't land directly on the steering wheel, which is pretty important in our Canadian winters. Also the vent on the left was at 7 o'clock on the one on the right was at 2 o'clock so I had to grip the wheel unevenly and stick my fingers out to warm them. Yes, I actually wear furry polar mittens but my fingers still get cold so I warm them with the car heat vents. Speaking of which, in the Caliber, they never really got quite hot enough. It took at least 20 minutes last night for the air to finally feel hot rather than lukewarm. Suffice it to say, I love my Focus and never thought I would be so happy to have my car back. One thing is for sure, I would never buy a Caliber. It's just the wrong car for me. My Focus is Fab and the repairs were done perfectly. Happy Thursday all!

6 O'Clock Card - Love

Another love card.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Tonight's buys at Michael's

I joke that I shop at Michael's more often than I shop for groceries, but it's not really a joke. I go to Michael's every Wednesday while my daughter (my little apprentice) is at dance class. Now that she's going to art classes on Saturdays too, I may have another opportunity to case Michael's some more.

Anyhow, tonight I went to Michael's, natch, and picked up the last pad of Basic Grey's limited edition paper pack that was produced apparently specially for Michael's. The collection is called Mistletoe and Pear and comes with 36 sheets of heavy single sided papers, two pages each of 18 designs. This is a gorgeous set!
I also picked up these 5 pretty spools of ribbon, some gros grain and some printed satins, in pinks, browns, dots, stripes, and butterflies. I can't wait to use them!

6 O'Clock Card - Walk beside me and be my friend

It's time for another 6 o'clock card. This one has been very popular on Flickr and I'm not quite sure why. It's a very simple card and maybe that's what the attraction is. I've certainly preferred other cards I've made. Ah well, enjoy.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Two things I loved about Tuesday

Hubby and I made a great supper tonight. A quick and easy chicken alfredo spaghetti with mushrooms and green peppers. It was delicious in a hurry! And the best thing is that I will be having leftovers in my lunch Thermos tomorrow. Yummy.

The other thing I loved about today is that I finally got to watch last season's last Dr Who episode. I can't believe I have to wait a whole year to see the next season. Bummer. But that's ok. Dr Who is well worth the wait. I love it!

6 O'Clock Card - Life