A Simple Thank You

As we officially head into the holiday season, the Dream Team are challenging all of our followers to be especially “Thankful and Thoughtful” during the month of November. Link your creations with this theme on the Dream It Up! blog using the Inlinkz tool and the end of this post. Our “thanks” to you is providing you with the opportunity to win the stencil of your choice, and a bonus stencil of our choosing could be yours for using Dreamweaver product(s) in your artwork.
I hope you enjoy my post today. There are times I tend to over-think a project or struggle to come up with a new idea when all that is required is clean-and-simple. I struggled to come up with a creative approach to use this Dreamweaver Pine Cones Embossing Folder and finally settled on clean-and-simple and love it!
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I used some Fall-colored card stock as matting for the embossed tag. I tore some of the tag bottom off so it fit on the card better then placed it in the embossing folder and ran it through the Vagabond. It embossed so beautifully on the manilla tag that it required nothing else but a little “Thank You” to go with this month’s theme.
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The detail that comes out in the embossing is amazing!
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I layered up the mats on the card front and wrapped a piece of May Arts ribbon around the top mat and inserted the tag with adhesive on the back to hold it in place.
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I love the simplicity of this card – how about making a set of four or five and wrap as a gift for a special someone? They make cute little Thank You notes.
I thought you might like a flashback to one of my Dreamweaver guest designer posts from last year. I came across this adorable little Christmas decoration when unpacking holiday decorations this week. Here’s the link for the how-to information: Quick and Easy.
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By the way, the Dream Team are very thankful when our followers are thoughtful enough to leave us a nice comment on our posts! Here’s the “A” team lineup for this week.
Don’t forget to link your creations with this theme on the Dream It Up! blog here: An InLinkz Link-up

Creating perfect layers

10487465_10203247648726859_5415453188514283000_nlinda_mug_2014I’m so happy to be back with the Xyron Design Team! As you all know, I LOVE my Xyron and it’s so easy to work with products that I already know and love. Our first post for the new team came up rather quickly and we were presented with products from Perfect Paper Crafting and Xyron.

I had no idea what Perfect Paper Crafting was all about – especially their Perfect Mini Layers rulers. It didn’t take but cutting a couple mats around a photo before I realized I really needed these tools! The Perfect Mini Layers rulers are very easy to use. They’re all well marked with easy-to-read measurements.

They have a little edge that grabs the paper and then all you need to do is run a nice sharp craft knife down the edge. A perfect straight mat edge each time!

I started by putting Xyron Double-Sided High Tack 1/2″ Tape on the back of my photo and adhered it the paper I was using for the mat. Placed the ruler against the edged of the photo and used a sharp blade to slice down the edge.

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I was able to build up the layers in matting and with so many width choices it was easy to do.

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This beautiful paper is DCWV and I used several papers to layer color and pattern. All embellishments came from the pack; they were made by cutting out quotes and phrases and using punches to make some flowers.

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The pieces for this layout were so quick and easy to assemble by using Xyron to evenly distribute the adhesive on all the small pieces. That old Karen Foster corner punch was used to make pieces to stack along a border strip as an added decorative element.

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The punched scallop circle serves as the background for the flowers. I used Xyron Adhesive Dots to stack the flowers then finished off with an Adhesive Dot for the flower center and sprinkled with a bit of glitter.

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This layout came together so easily and I really like it. It’s the perfect photo of my brother and our cousin Liz. Just two fun-loving cousins sharing a moment at a Father’s Day gathering.

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I also used the Perfect Paper Crafting Mini Layers rulers to create this quick little card. The mats were extremely easy to cut and create with the rulers – even in calculating the larger spacing on the top and bottom of the center mat. After the mats were assembled and the ribbon tied, the entire front was passed through the Xyron 5″ Creative Station and placed on the folded card – Ta Da!

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Be sure to hop on over to Xyron’s blog – Ain’t She Crafty and the Perfect Paper Crafting blog for so many more tips, techniques and projects using these fantastic products!

Quick cards for the New Year

Linda_Neff_mini_mug_shotEvery year I always miss someone or two or three on my Christmas card list. I’m sure that never happens to happen of you! My solution is to send a New Year’s card and include a little family newsletter. That way it looks like I haven’t forgotten them – I just choose to wish them a Happy New Year!

I made these cards from left over Heidi Swapp Christmas papers and embellishments. Who says you can’t use Christmas paper for other occasions? Without the phrase Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays, these papers are just lots of pretty prints!

This set of cards came together really quickly: using a paper trimmer, a couple of punches, some Distress Ink and my trusty Xyron Creative Station.

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After gathering all supplies I cut simple rectangles to fit my standard A2 cards. I punched some borders with a Martha Stewart border punch and used a Fiskars hexagon punch to create some coordinating hexagons. I also used some of Heidi’s Believe Banner Delights as added elements. I just played around and did a quick layout of designs before inking all edges with Ranger’s Black Soot Distress Ink.

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I don’t seem to own a ‘Happy New Year’s’ stamp so printed my sentiment on white cardstock. I punched some with a Marvy scallop circle punch and trimmed out the others with the paper trimmer. I used my Teresa Collins Stapler to add some detail to one of my sentiments before attaching it to the card.

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All my card pieces are run through my Xyron 9″ Creative Station. I like to use this size when I have lots of pieces. I can line them up before shipping them through so adhesive is not wasted.

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Then the fun begins – peel and stick! So easy!

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These are the finished cards so now I only need to type up the newsletter and pop them in the mail after Christmas! This makes me feel like I’m actually ahead of the game.

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Happy birthday, precious

Linda_Neff_mini_mug_shotOur baby turned 30 last week.

It’s been a rough road for her over the past year or two but she’s a survivor and I know in my heart she will come out on top and happy. She’s been tough and head-strong since day one and always presents an upbeat and positive attitude – if only on the outside some days. The photo I pulled out to use in these projects reminded me of that.

When this picture was taken, it had been a rough week. She was so sick but still smiling and happy through it all – just taking it all in stride.

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I had some projects due for Xyron – birthday and baby themes. The timing was perfect to work both those projects around Rachel and her birthday.

For this card I started with a plain A2 card cutting a pattern and coordinated cardstock to use for the matting on the front and inked all the edges with Ranger’s Archival Pitch Black Ink.

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Then I ran all the paper pieces and photo through my Xyron 5″ Creative Station.

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It is so quick-and-easy to assemble the card once the adhesive is on the back of each piece – just peel-and-stick!

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I used the same photo on a scrapbook layout as well. I have to admit, the layout isn’t my usual distressed style but I really like it. I started with the die-cut hearts (Sizzix Primitive Hearts), some burlap cut for the photo mat, coordinating yarn, a couple vintage white buttons, and some scrap lace. I cut the title from my Sizzix Go Slim alphabet die. I was able to process all these pieces through my Xyron Creatopia using the Stickz Fabric Adhesive at one time – love it!

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Once I peeled off the top cellophane layer all I had to do was peel-and-stick onto my background cardstock. I am so happy with the results of this layout and couldn’t believe just how quick-and-easy it was to put together using the Creatopia. It just makes me smile every time I pass by this layout on the table. I’m going to have to put away soon.

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This layout is one piece of a three-piece collection centered around a baby theme. The other pieces include an adorable fabric bunny and a cute frame for baby’s room.

The fabric bunny is one of three that was cut and processed through the Xyron Creatopia with the Stickz Fabric Refill. I then stuffed them, ever-so-slightly, with a tad of polyester stuffing and stuck them together. The Xyron Fabric adhesive holds the stuffing and opposite side into place for stitching.

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I also cut more fabric hearts, stuffed and stitched and processed the title ‘Precious,’ and the hearts through the Xyron 5″ Creative Station with the 5″ Permanent Adhesive Refill. These were used to decorate a black, framed mirror. The entire collection looks really nice together and would make wonderful gifts as a group or on their own.

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Projects like these make me realize that sometimes simple really is the way to go!

ATC sparkles and shines

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Well, I’m finally delving into the art of Artist Trading Cards thanks to our Cracker Jack Stamp Club! We’re hosting an ATC swap at our April meeting so I’ve been experimenting with products to use on them. This one is stamped, glittered and inked. Skip on over to Art Glitter’s blog for a tutorial on how it was created.

Creating projects using Childhood Memories …

Linda_Neff_mini_mug_shotThis week the Xyron team has the opportunity to share projects made with Imaginisce paper and stamp collections donated by the scouts who did a little fundraiser at a Staples near Me. I received their Childhood Memories line and had fun creating several projects over the past couple weeks.

xyron imaginisce logoI started off with a discounted and discarded frame due to its broken glass. Without the glass it opens the possibility for dimensional embellies that I knew would be fun to play with.

This frame is the perfect accessory for a child’s room and it was way too easy to create with Imaginisce and Xyron. Here’s how: I removed the broken glass and measured the openings using the faux photos that came in it. I kept the background paper of faux photos to use as a template. The Imaginisce papers (Carefree, Snapshots, Day in the Life, and Tree House) were cut slightly larger than the openings then processed through my Xryon 5″ Creative Station.

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Once processed, it’s a simple matter of peel-and-stick! The papers are adhered over top of the faux photos for a perfect fit.

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Once the papers are were in place a put the frame back on and decorated the front with a variety of stickers from the Childhood Memories collection. I used stickers from the Just Be Little Icons and Kid’s Stuff 5X7 Sticker Stacker. To create a very stable dimension on flat stickers I run scrap chipboard pieces through my Xyron 1.5″ Create-a-Sticker (both sides) to make my own dimensional pop-ups. This works great and the chipboard is very sturdy.

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Here’s the finished frame. I think it would make a great piece of wall decor in a kid’s room as is or pop photos onto the pattern paper backgrounds.

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But that’s not all! I had fun making a little wall hanging from corrugated cardboard and more of the Imaginisce Childhood Memories collection.  This is a scrap of cardboard box painted with Claudine Hellmuth Gesso from Ranger, strips of Childhood Memories papers processed through the Xyron 2.5″ Create-a-Sticker and the photo through my Xyron 5″ Creative Station. I used the Childhood Memories ABC Sticker Alphas to spell out siblings and popped the ‘Cherish the little things’ sticker up for some added dimension. I bet my Aunt Alice will love this when she receives it in the mail!

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Next up is a simple coin envelope mini book using scraps of the Childhood Memories papers and stickers along with Snag ’em Stamps that go with this collection. They are just too cute! I inked my tags first then stamped with Ranger’s Archival Jet Black Ink and used Ranger’s Perfect Medium Pen to color in the images, sprinkled it with UTEE and heat set. This creates just a bit of dimension and shine on the tags that easily slip in and out of the coin envelope pages.

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And, there’s one more! I made this card for my Aunt Jane’s birthday recently. She turned either 88 or 89 (I got contradictory ages from different people). It’s a picture of her and my dad many years ago. I love making photo cards as much as most people love receiving them. They seem to bring back fond memories.  This card uses paper from the Childhood Memories line as well along with a coordinating sticker. The paper was processed through the Xyron 5″ Creative Station. Hope you’re inspired to give one of these projects a try soon.

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Adding simple elegance to everyday cards

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Linda Neff

I rather enjoy the challenge of making cards nowadays. It took me a long time to feel comfortable creating a card, but it isn’t nearly as scary as it once was. I’ve learned to keep my designs simple, use my scrap papers and stick with simple embellishments. This first card is a design I use often. It’s great for using two pattern papers that coordinate and the pieces can be moved around, put at angles, left uneven and the design also works horizontally or vertically. The embellishments used here are by Globecraft & Piccolo, known as G&P.  They’re a local company out of Midland, Michigan and I like their products.

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I’m on their design team, but I was using their products long before that ever happened.  What I like about the bookboard accents for card making is that they are pretty thin. If they’re adhered directly to the page and not lifted, they will go through the mail at a normal rate.

For the card above I removed the pieces from their backing and coated them with Glastique Gloss Finishing Glaze. This product leaves a nice shiny finish on the piece and acts as a sealer. These pieces are from the Birds & Butterflies Accents. There are enough pieces in this collection to easily stretch over two to three cards.

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The Glastique is applied directly to the  bookboard piece from the bottle with the fine tip and left to dry for a bit. I also used the Glastique as an adhesive to attach the bookboard pieces to the card.

The next card uses the G&P Girl’s Night Out Embossing Powder applied with the G&P Embossing Powder Adhesive with a dabber top. The dabber top on the embossing powder adhesive really helps it to apply easily and with good coverage. We always recommend rolling our jars of embossing powder to blend the granules rather than shaking which could cause the larger granules to sink to the bottom of the jar. The heart on this card has three coats of powder on it; each applied after the previous coat is cool to the touch and then heat set again till smooth. The variegation of colors in the powders gives the embossed pieces a great dimensional look.

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The key is embossed with two coats of G&P Vintage Silver Embossing Powder in the same manner as the heart. Each piece is adhered to the card with Glastique. The embossing powders help to create a faux metal look which blends well with the paper selection.

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Cardmaking is a fun activity that anyone can learn. It doesn’t have to be difficult and over-the-top. Keep your cards basic and simple and easy to mail. It’s the sentiment that you write on the inside that touches people’s heart and the just the thought alone that you cared enough to send a hand-made card.