Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Watercoloring with Distress Inks

Hi, everyone!

Today I'll share with you a card I made using disress inks.  I bought some distress inks two years ago, so I could ink my scrapbook/mini-album pages.  I bought the full pads (the mini's were not available at the time), but did not get to complete the "collection."

I saw some YouTube videos of other papercrafters using the distress inks to watercolor, and I was itching to try it out, so I broke out my distress inks and started watercoloring:

I stamped the image in watercolor paper, die cut it, and then embossed using Versamark and black embossing powder.

Then I got carried away, and decided to try my hand at blending with the blending tool, too:

I used the blending tool for the sky.  First, I made mask for the buildings in the background, then blended the blue (Salty Ocean) around them.  Then, I stamped the buildings (sorry, as you can see, they were not spot-on) in black ink, and colored in the windows with a marker.

I'm entering this card to the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge.  They are highlighting Tim Holtz's products this week, and the challenge is to make a masculine card.  I hope my card fits the bill!

I don't think I did an awesome job with watercoloring or blending, but I think it was not too bad -- especially since this is my first time to try out both techniques.  I definitely need to work on them, but I love how well the inks flowed into the watercolor paper.  I will definitely be purchasing more of this distress inks in the future.

I used these products for this card:
Black cardstock (Recollections)
Black embossing powder (Stampin' Up!)

Thanks for looking, and have a great day!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Organization: Planner Pages

As promised, I'm sharing with you today what's inside my planners.  I use the Junior size Arc planner that I got from Staples.

My Work Planner
I keep my work planner fairly simple, because I need to be able to find things in it quickly.  I also carry it with me always.

On the left, I have the 2015 calendar.  On the right, I have my birthday and anniversary list.

Then I have the monthly calendar (or the month-at-a glance).  If you notice, the months are left blank, because these were from the Unplan pages that I was talking about in my last post.  I had previously printed out a several of these pages, so I am going to use them up before I switch to the monthly pages from the 2015 bundle.

I use the monthly calendar to jot down meetings, appointments, projects and deadlines, as well as days off (or days that I've called in sick).  I never used to track my vacation and sick days (I've always just trusted on the fact that our unused vacation days roll over to the next year, but our work decided to stop the "roll over" recently -- boo!).  

For specifics on scheduled meetings/appointments/projects and deadlines, as well as for daily goal-setting (to-do lists), I use the week on two pages spread:

I only keep around three months of weekly pages at a time, so as not to overfill my planner.

For any notes that I have to write, and for my brain-dump, I use these pages that came with the planner when I bought it:

Lastly, I keep my work contacts on these pages:

So, there you have it -- my work planner.  Let's take a look at my personal planner now.

My Personal Planner
I use my personal planner mostly track finances, and to write out lists.

My first page is a 2015 calendar:

I use these monthly pages to write down bill payments (amount and due dates).  Once I've paid off a bill, I check it off with a pen (it gives me satisfaction to do that ;p).  I also write down reminders for me to put some money to my savings account every month.  I know it's easy to set up recurring electronic transfers, but I think it's more fun for me to actually transfer the money (makes me more excited to save).  As weird as that may sound, it does work for me.

There are mortage payment and car payment printables as well, and I use that for those purposes, but I had forgotten to take a photo.  For the other debts that I had to pay down (financing from the furniture store, student loan, etc), I use this page:

Also, shortly after Thanksgiving, I decided to do 52-week savings challenge.  That means that I put aside the equivalent of the week in dollar amount to a savings account.  For example, for Week 1, I put $1, for Week 2, $2, for week 3, $3, and so on (so the savings add up).  I reversed it, though, and started putting $52 on the first week, then $51 on the second week, and so on.  That is to take advantage of this "motivation" that I'm still feeling early in the challenge.  However I do it, I still end up with $1,378 (or somewhere in the ballpark of it) by the week of Thanksgiving in 2015.  And what will I do with the money?  Black Friday shopping for crafty stuff, of course!

But I digress (sort of).  I use this to stay on track with the 52-week (reverse) challenge:

Okay, on to fun stuff: I list down books that I want to read on this page:

Then, to reward myself on days when the going gets tough, I buy one or two books for my Kindle reader (for iPhone and iPad) from Amazon.

And then I list the books that I've read on this page.  I rate the books by shading the hearts.

Lastly, I use this page for my craft wish list:

There is also a page for "Things I Need" but I chose not to use it, because, if you can't already tell, I lose all objectivity when it comes to craft-related purchases.  Meaning, I always feel that I need everything that I want to purchase.

If you notice, I don't have a specific cleaning list, grocery list, and meal planning pages, although those are also included in the bundles that I purchased.  It's because I haven't decided on whether I'll be using them, or using a different planning system altogether (more about it in a future post).

Again, I bought these pages here.

So there you have it -- my work and personal planners.

Thanks for looking, and have a great day!

Organization: Sharing My Planner

When I was a student, I carried a planner with me everywhere.  It was nothing fancy -- just a monthly calendar, and a weekly calendar -- so I can keep track of my homework, projects due, and upcoming exams.

When I graduated from school, I kissed my planner goodbye.  It was taking too much real estate in my purse.  Besides, I had a smart phone, and I could keep track of everything there.  For the most part, though, I only kept meetings and appointments in my phone.  I kept track of my bills and payments, etc. in my memory.

Fast forward several years later, and here I am,   Relying on my mental capacity worked for me for a little bit, and then I had r, and all of a sudden, I was trying to remember my personal and work schedules, and R's and r's schedules as well.  I needed a more systematic approach to keeping track of everything, especially as I took on more responsibilities at work, too.

I searched high and low for a planning system that I could work with, and finally chose these Arc planners (both in Junior size) from Staples:

My work planner

My personal planner

I chose the discbound system mainly because of its flexibility.  I can switch out the discs to accommodate more (or less) pages in my "planner," as my needs change.  My work planner has the 1.25-inch discs, and my personal planner has the 2-inch discs:

I also chose to print my own planner inserts/pages, instead of buying the ready-made ones at the store.  I bought my planner inserts here.  I purchased both the Unplan pages, and the 2015 bundle.  The Unplan pages had no dates in them, so I could definitely just keep printing more forever (well, in theory, I could).  The 2015 bundle were more structured, had pre-printed pages, and had more "categories."  Both sets of pages complemented each other nicely, although the monthly and weekly pages (if I remembered correctly) were pretty similar.  It was well worth it, though.  I loved the pretty colors, it made me more excited to actually use my planner.

I'll share more about what's inside these planners in a future post.

Thanks for looking, and have a great day!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Flower Note Cards

Still in line with keeping my stash of cards well-stocked for the new year, I CASE'd these note cards from Pinterest (see the original cards here).  As soon as I saw these, I knew I wanted to re-create them.

They were so cute, and so simple, and so easy to make.  Making these 6 note cards took me around 15 minutes.

Each note card is 3 inches x 3 inches, which is the perfect size for a quick note, or for enclosing with a gift.

I purposefully left the note cards without a sentiment, so that I will have more versatility in using them.  I figured I can easily stamp and add a sentiment (to fit my needs) later on.

What about envelopes, you ask?  Please check out my quick tutorial here.

I used these supplies and products (please click on the link to buy):
Posy Punch stamp set (Stampin' Up!)
Rich Cocoa ink pad (Memento)
Tangelo ink pad (Memento)
Mini brad (my stash)
Kraft cardstock (Recollections)
White card stock (Georgia Pacific)
Patterned paper (my stash/scraps)
Fancy Flower punch (Stampin' Up!)
3/4 circle punch (EK Success)

I love, love, love these 3x3 note cards!

Thanks for looking, and have a great day!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Masculine Star Birthday Card

I hope everyone had a great Christmas/holiday.

New Year's Day is around the corner, and I'm starting the new year right by replenishing my stash of cards.

I have little inspiration when it comes to masculine cards, which is a shame since I live with two boys (my husband, R, and my son, r).  So what happens when you hit crafter's block? Pinterest to the rescue!

I saw a similar card, and decided to CASE (copy and share everything) it, since it's a great masculine card:

And since I was making one, it was easy enough to make three:

It's not visible in the photos, but I popped up a few stars to give the cards some dimension.  
Again, this was not my original idea.  The original card can be found here.

I used the following for these cards (you can click on the links below to buy):
Word Play stamp set (Stampin' Up!)
Solid cardstock, different colors (my stash/scraps)
Rhinestones (my stash)

Thanks for looking, and have a great day!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Organization: Wood Mounted Stamp Sets

After Cricut cartriges and punches, I decided it was time to organize my wood-mounted stamp sets.  I didn't think I really had lot of them, since I tend to buy the clear-mount (Stampin' Up!), or the clear photopolymer stamp sets (from other companies), but after finishing organizing them, I did have more than I thought (does this sound familiar?).

Moving on, I needed a uniform way to store my stamp sets.  I originally kept them in their Stampin' Up! clamshell, or in their original boxes (for other companies), but because the boxes have different  sizes, it was really hard to store them.

I liked the idea of the Stampin' Up! cases (for wood-mounted stamps), but I couldn't wait for the longer time it took to place an order (in my previous experience, it took maybe 7-10 working days for me to receive an order).  I needed something that was readily accessible, or at least will get here in a shorter time than that.

Enter these boxes.  They fit the bill perfectly!  They were uniform in size and accessible.  And they came in this carrying case, so I can pack up some of my wood-mounted stamps and take them to crops with me if I wanted to (and you can bet I will be going on more crops in the future, after going to my first one!):

I labeled each individual box with the stamp set's name, using my label maker and paper refills.

And if I had a larger stamp set that won't fit in one box, I just split the set into two boxes.

I really love this method.  If you're looking for a way to organize and store your wood mount stamps, please give this a try.

Thanks for looking, and have a great day!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas Cards and Tags

I'm interrupting the organization theme of my posts to share with you my Christmas card this year.  I know, I can't believe I'm posting it just three measly days before Christmas.  I also can't believe I've forgotten to post it before.

Anyway, here it is:

This year, I decided that I wanted to simplify my card-making process, so I chose to mass-produce a single card design (see last year's card, gift card holders for teachers and coworkers, and tags).  This will serve as our Christmas card and our gift card holder this year.

This card is my interpretation of a card I saw at the crop I attended.  I only saw a peek of it (the lady next to me was mass-producing them) because I was busy making my own project, but I'm fairly satisfied with how it turned out.

Here is a closer view of the ribbon, the snowflake (it was so hard to capture it well on camera, since it's shiny surface was reflecting light like crazy) and the embossing:

And here is the inside of the card:

I also made some tags for my husband's and my presents to our coworkers.  Again, I decided to simplify by using and coloring a single stamp for our tags:

Please excuse the smear of ink on the bottom of this photo.  I saw this while I'm posting this photo.  I was able to change the tag before giving it to the recipient, but I didn't have time to take a photo).

Products Used:
Snow Swirled (Stampin' Up!)
Tags Til Christmas (Stampin' Up!)
Greetings of the Season (Stampin' Up!)
Stampin' Write Markers (Stampin' Up!)
Black embossing powder (Stampin' Up!)
Snowflake embellishment (Jo-ann's)
Black and white twine (my stash)
Red, white, shimmer, kraft, black cardstock (my stash)

Thanks for looking, and have a great day!