Sunday, September 30, 2012

Cupcake Inspirations Challenge Sponsorship

Good morning everyone! Its gorgeous here and the best part is there's still no snow, lol. However... we might have the white stuff by Wednesday, yuck! Today Doodle Pantry is sponsoring Cupcake Inspirations and what gorgeous cupcakes!

I took the colours of fall and leaves to do my card with Quirky Scarecrow

Glenda also used the colours and leaves with the Hotrod Pickup for her card. 
Awesome colours, great challenge! Hop on over to Cupcakes Inspirations and give the challenge a try. Have a great day and I hope its not snowing where you are!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Winners of Doodle Pantry Digital Challenge #27

A BIG thank you to all our challenge participants for the Doodle Pantry Digital Challenge 27 (DPDC#27)! Two winners have been chosen and everyone should have received their complementary  'Mr. Monkey' stamp set (please check your spam and junk folders if not yet received)!
What wonderful projects you have made and linked up, it was so much fun to see them all! 

The two winners and recipients  of the $15.00  gift coupon to spend at Doodle Pantry .com   as chosen by Random.Org are:

Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:
10 19
Timestamp: 2012-09-25 15:31:32 UTC 

And that would be: #10  Jeannie
                             #19 Lola

Congratulations ladies!!  I have e-mailed you about your prize. If you have not received the e-mail please check your spam and junk folders. Thanks again to all who played and we hope to see you back on  OCT 1st (12 noon eastern) for the start of the Doodle Pantry Digital Challenge #28

Thursday, September 20, 2012

To sew or not to sew?

Woe is me!  I made a card today for my Dad's birthday, but I couldn't sew on it!
My sewing machine is out of service at the moment.  I was sewing a little tote for my son to carry things in last week, and the bobbin ran out of thread with 2 inches left to sew.... and so I re-threaded the bobbin, and when I switched back to sewing mode, I heard/felt a dull click inside.  Tried sewing and it was struggling.... I could hand crank with great stiffness, but I couldn't figure out what happened.  I even tried opening it up to see if there was any obstruction.... and there were too many screws (different sizes) laying around from me trying to take the covers off, that I was afraid if I kept going, I wouldn't be able to get the cover back on properly, so I closed it up. And there is a spacer that fell from somewhere inside that I didn't know where it went.   I'm really bummed!
My machine has NEVER given me a problem and I have sewn on it for 13 years now.  Mostly just simple things like curtains or pillow cases and of course, my cards for the past 3 years.  But let's keep in mind, it did NOT break while sewing on PAPER (wink).  I did something to it when switching back from bobbin load mode to sewing mode, and I just don't know what I knocked out of place.

Here's the card I made.  I made the sentiment myself in MS Word. And no sewing.  I guess it turned out alright.  I would have been more pleased if I could have sewn on it.
I used the new Hotrod Pickup image at Doodle pantry.
Paper is The Paper Studio.  Tombow watercolor markers on 90 lb. Canson watercolor paper.
 I put the crystal effects stuff on the windows and headlamps. And then wrote HTRD on the license plate.

This reminds me that I asked a friend if I could use her machine to sew this card on... just 2 panels. And she said no. She said she preferred no paper in her machine.  OK.  I understand it is her machine and she has that right, so I respected her decision politely and old her it was alright.  I was trying to keep an open mind about it.  BUT, I spent HOURS wondering if she knows "why" she doesn't prefer it?  I didn't ask her.  I didn't want to be a nuisance.  But I do know that if she were to give me a reason, it would have to be something better than "I don't think paper is good for it", because she would have to tell me WHY the paper isn't good for it, and WHERE she heard that  (with url links), and if there were ACTUAL personally witnessed accounts of a sewing machine completely breaking from sewing on paper (and if the person was using their noggin while sewing the paper).   LOL.

If myself, or someone I knew closely, witnessed first hand, someone sew on paper for the first time, and it was just one piece of paper, and their $2000 machine broke and was unrepairable... that might keep me from sewing on paper.  But only if I hadn't yet ever sewn on paper.  I already have and know that I can do it safely when I follow some basic guidelines.

However, I haven't and I don't think I will ever see or hear that exact situation/scenario.  I have sewn on my cards for 3 years now, without a hitch.  QUESTION:  If it was really dangerous to sew on paper THE PROPER WAY, wouldn't we be able to find these stories all over the internet?  I couldn't find ONE bad story, and I REALLY tried to find them.
I only found ALL GOOD (and some of them quite helpful) reviews/comments/blog posts/forum discussions.   With the exception of ONE discussion dated from 2008 at SCS ( where ONE commenter said they personally called pfaff and genome (sp?) of which both companies told her (this is NOT an exact quote, just a sum up of what I understood from the comment)... that these companies representatives suggested NOT to sew on paper "because of the accumulation of teeny tiny paper particles and "possible" oils in the papers."    My first thought was: You get a very similar result when sewing a lot of fabric, don't you.... ?  Even sewing machines that only see fabric need to be blown clear of dust and/or particles inside every once in awhile, right?  What's the difference?  Just use your head and keep your machine clean. Maybe clean it out more often?  I just couldn't wrap my head around what was different.

I USE A KENMORE manual sewing machine (nothing digital), a "BASIC plus" type model with about 30 stitches, and it is a 1999 or 2000 make. It has served me well, and if I can figure out where this spacer goes that fell out, it will probably work again!

I am NOT an expert, and I don't claim to be.  I am just an average citizen of the crafting community who has had  FIRST HAND PERSONAL EXPERIENCE of sewing on my paper project's and I have a few common sense ideas that have WORKED for me.
These are my 7 basic guidelines for sewing on my cards:
By the way, I'm NOT telling anyone to go sew on their paper in their high dollar machines. That is a personal choice that you must make on your own.  I just think there may be people who have a misconception about sewing on their cards, and they may not even really know WHY.  So I want to share my own success story in the hopes to spread the card sewing joy around.
But don't just take my word for it.  Search the web.  Verify for yourself if sewing on paper is the right choice for you.  If you choose to do so, please use your noggin!

#1 - Sewing through ANY adhesive, wet or dry, is just plain dangerous.  Not even scotch tape.  And especially not that crystal liquid stuff that dries semi-hard.   When I put my cards together, I only put the adhesive in the middle of the sections that I know I am going to sew, so that when I sew around the edges, it is only going through paper. And if I know I need to use crystal liquid stuff, I add that after the panels are sewn.  SUM UP:  DO NOT SEW THROUGH ADHESIVE OR THE CRYSTAL ACCENT PAINT STUFF, WET OR DRY!

#2 - Whenever your needles goes through ANYTHING, it does "punch out", in a way, tiny particles of the material. This is not rocket science.  So it only goes to figure that your needle will also do this to paper, if you sew on paper.  Therefore, always keep a can of air (or the air that comes in your lungs), and blow out any particles/dust from the bobbin compartment and the needle area after each card sewn, or after a few cards sewn, however often you feel you need to do it, to feel like you are not creating build up of these particles. Fabric seamstresses have to do this occasionally too, so it makes sense.  SUM UP:  KEEP YOUR MACHINE AS CLEAN INSIDE AS POSSIBLE. BLOW OUT THE DUST PARTICLES SO THAT THEY DON'T BUILD UP.

#3 - Because of #2, always use a nice thin needle for your machine to sew for paper, and don't use that same needle for your fabric projects. Again, just common sense, here.  Be safe!  Don't share needles!  SUM UP:  ONE SMALL NEEDLE FOR PAPER. OTHER NEEDLES FOR FABRIC.

#4 - Some paper is "too thick" for your machine.  Alright, c'mon. Think, brain, think.  If I know my machine can't handle a piece of leather, I know it isn't going to handle 10 sheets of 100 lb. cardstock stuck together. Common sense.  I only sew the individual panels together.  I have a personal rule:  No more than 200 lb. worth of papers at one time.  My scenario: I use 80-90 lb. cardstock for my main image (90 lb watercolor paper), 24 lb designer papers (1 or 2 of them) these are the THIN patterned papers, and 1 or 2 layers of 40-80 lb lightweight solid color cardstock.  This all adds up to UNDER 200 lb per piece, and my sewing machine never struggles to go through this. BUT I usually have MUCH thinner panels anyway, around 150 lb worth of paper for each panel.  If you keep your layers to a minimum and your machine doesn't "grind" or slow down when sewing, then you aren't pushing your machine too hard, and not any harder than if you were sewing a normal garment together.  SUM UP:  KEEP YOUR PAPER LAYERS TO A MINIMUM. IF YOUR MACHINE SOUNDS LIKE IT IS STRUGGLING, STOP SEWING AND LESSEN YOUR PAPER LAYERS.

#5 - If a designer paper has all kinds of glitter and shiny hardened glue all over it.... best NOT put that through your machine. See #1.  It is the same as trying to get it to sew through the adhesive or crystal effect stuff.  SUM UP:  DON'T SEW THROUGH SPECIALTY GLITTERED ACCENTED PAPERS.

#6 - Concerns with "oils in the paper"...?  I have thought and thought about this.  I don't see oils or feel them in my paper. I don't even see any oily residue on my sewing machine needle.  If there were harmful amounts of oils in the papers, I think I would have seen SOME sort of build up or SOMETHING on my sewing machine that I have used for 3 years now on my cards.  I had a sewing friend look at my machine about a year ago because I was worried that I was "damaging" mine from sewing on cards.... she told me the inside of the important areas on my machine was CLEANER than hers!  And she is a distinguished/accomplished seamstress.  SUM UP:  IF YOUR PAPER ACTUALLY FEELS OILY/SLIPPERY, DON'T SEW ON IT.

#7 - Using a serger on cards/paper....?   Now I'm not that smart/knowledgeable about sergers, and I don't own one, but I've seen them being used... and using my common sense here....  it just doesn't make sense.  My suggestion is don't serger your paper projects unless you REALLY know what you are doing.  SAVE YOUR SERGER FOR YOUR FABRIC PROJECTS.

So that's all I have today.  Most of it is opinion based on actual experience, and I am not offended if you don't agree.  Feel free to send me links to actual accounts of sewing machine/paper mishaps too.  I am interested to read about them and add to my knowledge base.   But I do hope you are inspired to go create something of your own, whether you sew on it or not!  And I hope that whatever you make, blesses a friend!
Have a beautiful week, see you again soon!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Fab 'n Funky Challenge sponsorship

Good morning! Another great fall day here, maybe I'll even get my back deck painted, lol. Today Doodle Pantry is sponsoring Fab 'n Funky and their challenge is Things with Wings. Glenda and I both have cards to share with you.
Glenda used Doodle Pantry's new release Caroling Friends 

and I used an older stamp Ant Masquerade
Drop on by Fab 'n Funky and give the challenge a try. If you use a Doodle Pantry image you can enter our challenge too and receive a free image! Have a great day and happy stamping.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sentimental Sundays Challenge Sponsorship

Good morning! Fall is finally here, there's a nip in the air (thank goodness) and school's started again. Today Doodle Pantry is sponsoring Sentimental Sundays and their challenge is Back to School!

Glenda has used Mister Monkey which you can get free just for entering Doodle Pantry's challenge. 

Lori has used pre coloured Book Ants 

and I (Dawn) have used the uncoloured Book Ants and coloured them myself. 

We have two guest Designers from Sentimental Sundays, first Kathy who also used Book Ants

and Tracy who used School Sheep

I hope we've all inspired you to hop on over to Sentimental Sundays and give their challenge a try. If you use a Doodle Pantry image you can enter our challenge too! 

Friday, September 14, 2012

A gift for a friend

Hello!   I just posted a surprise mini release a few minutes ago, and this is a project I made for a friend.  The instructions for putting it together are included in the mini release.  It's not really anything super complicated, but the instructions are intended for those who are familiar with this kind of project, and who already have the neccessary equipment (and who know how to use their equipment) to pull it together.
However the tag design and the pocket design alone, might make it worth to buy, as you can use them on almost anything, not just a large guestbook.

On to my project!   I worked on this on and off for about 4 months, as my time allowed.  My original intention was JUST to make a card with it, LOL.  Most of the time I would sit and stare at what I had done so far, then thinking about what I was going to do with it.
I started out with coloring the sunflower/jug image.  I digitally combined the PNG images from the Sunflower set and the Jug & Bucket set.  My friend likes old farmy looking things and sunflowers.  I put stickles and some flower soft in the centers.

Then I created the Cowboy gear set last month and decided I just HAD to add a pair of boots to the image panel.  My friend likes boots/cowboy stuff/barbed wire too.  SO I colored up those boots and cut them out.   At this point I still thought it was just going to be a card.  A large square card.

I wanted to use the matching digital papers that came with the Sunflower set, so I cut my paper and layered them and sewed them up.
I created my own "barbed wire accent" using some 24 ga craft copper wire and some antiqued copper star brads.  Didn't quite turn out as vintagey as I'd envisioned, but rather a bit more cutsey.... hope she still likes it OK.  She's a Texan, so she does like stars too, so hopefully it will all be OK.

At this point, I realized this card was getting to be pretty big.  6" square.  Maybe I should find a frame for it so it can be a picture?  Couldn't find any that would fit it right.  Sigh, what was I going to do?  It had to be something "useful" and not just hanging there.  I wanted her to "use" it.   That is when I decided to make these long tags with 3 months of the calendar on them... and then I could make a clear pocket for it to sit in and set it next to the 6" "card" panel.  Perfect!   But where was I going to put the extra years tags?  They had to get stored somewhere.  I decided it had to be some sort of spiral board something so that I could have a place to store the extra tags. This is the inside of the back cover.

My last thought process was that I wanted her to be able to USE this thing as often as possible so it wasn't just a wall hanging to walk by unnoticed, and finally I thought of making matching "pages" with lines on it (barbed wire lines using the new Barbed Wire Accents) to be a journal or guestbook... with the calendar on it. FINALLY!  My mind was made up.

I used the THICK boards that I had been saving up from my empty 11x15 watercolor paper pads, for the covers.  I finally found a good use for them!  I am so glad I didn't throw them away.  I cut them to 6-1/2 x 10-1/2 for the covers, and covered them with the wood paper (Remember the wood paper I went to get at Hobby Lobby??? And then came home with a bunch of other paper???  Sigh.).

Here is the final project all completed!
The front of the book.  The calendar tag in the clear pocket on the right.
AND A LAST MINUTE ADDITION to this book (after taking all the other photos) was the hardware at the right end so that it can be tied together shut. I added the little aged copper hangers to the front and back covers, and then used the "rope" to tie them shut.

I added little rope loops secured with the copper wire, for a pencil or pen to slide in.  (My friend likes anything cowboy related, so I knew "rope" added to it would be an acceptable accent!)
I had to go find as many antique accents as I already owned to add to the front.  I found these mini paper clips!!  I don't even remember buying them!  I think this is the first time I used them.
And of course, there are teeny tiny round copper brads ALL OVER the thing.

I designed my inside pages with Word. I made a landscape oriented page, added the barbed wire images, and copied them a bunch of times to make the lines.  Then I digitally colored the boots and horseshoe images from the Cowboy Gear set and put those images alternately and printed a total of 40 pages.  I used my 80 lb Neenah cardstock for this, as I wanted a good quality book for her.

 Just a picture showing the thickness of the bound book.  It's a nice good size!  Like a coffee table piece.  I hope she will get years of enjoyment and perhaps a keepsake.

Thanks for visiting today, and I hope you have been inspired to create!!

Surprise! New products today!

Surprise!   I had a couple images I needed to get drawn for cards I need to make for family before the next release day (Oct 1), so I decided I may as well make these available for everyone!   AND I made one of them FREE with any purchase!!

Just check them out below, or click straight to our NEW RELEASES and scroll to the bottom to see the newest items.

PIRATEY SHIP - Ahoy matey!  This little ship will work perfect for a backdrop for the Ant Accents to play on!  Or as a backdrop for the Pirate Birdie.  This ship is in honor of "National alk like a pirate day" which is on September 19.  Have fun talking like a pirate and renting/watching a piratey movie! (My favorite "pirate" movie of all time?   "The Princess and the Pirate" with Bob Hope!  It's an old one.)

WATERING CAN - This is FREE with a purchase!  And not for a limited time either!  I am going to leave this one in the free section.  It was time to get a new image in there with the other freebies.
Perfect for gardners or get well cards.

QUIRKY SCARECROW - I really love scarecrows.  ALL scarecrows. I think I buy all the scarecrow images/stamps when I see them, they are all so cute!  You just can't go wrong with a scarecrow... (Unless they are scary looking!)  So of course, I had to make one in my own quirky style, just to even out my collection of scarecrows to color.
This set even includes a separate image of the fence with 1 bird, a separate image of the pumpkins with the birds, and a separate image of just the scarecrow!  Lots of versatility!

HOTROD PICKUP - I drew this one for my dad.  I have to make him a birthday card this year, and didn't want to use an image I used in the past few years.  He used to buy junk cars and fix them up like new and resell them when they were shiny and "hotrod" style again.

CALENDAR POCKET TAG GUESTBOOK TEMPLATE instructions - This is actually just something I made for a friend recently, and decided I would go ahead and put the instructions together just in case someone else wanted to make the same thing.  I will be posting my project just after this post.  HOWEVER, the instructions for this are not for beginners who have never done any kind of crafting.  You've got to know the basics and have had a few experiences of covering chipboard, the types of glue to use, some tricks to get the paper flat, etc. As well as, you need a Bind-it-all or equivalent machine to bind the book.  I do NOT give instructions how to use the machine (that comes with the machine).  This template/instruction is really only good for the tag and pocket printable templates if you want them. That is why it is priced so low.

BARBED WIRE - this goes PERFECT with the Cowboy Gear set and sentiments!!  I used them on my little Guestbook creation, I used the straight barbed lines to make the inside pages lines.

Thanks for visiting today!  I hope you found some inspiration to go create!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Robyn's Fetish Challenge Sponsorship

Good morning! Today Doodle Pantry is sponsoring Robyn's Fetish Challenge, their theme is more than one fold AND we have three cards from Robyn's Fetish DT!

Christine did a gorgeous Tri-shutter card with Hang in There
Edwina also used Hang in There for her card, love it!
and then the inside
Lilia used the Love Birdies for her card (closed)
and open
Our team also did some gorgeous creations.
Lori used  Nature Calls on a centre step card.
Glenda used Quirky Snowmen 
and I also used Nature Calls on my Joy Fold card (closed)
and open on one side
and open completely

I hope we've all inspired you to hop on over to Robyn's Fetish and give their challenge a try! If you use a Doodle Pantry image you can also enter our challenge here. Either way have a great day crafting!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Are you a Paper Cheater too?

Today I HAD to go to Hobby Lobby (local craft store) to get a couple more sheets of a particular woodgrain paper in order to finish up a project I have been slowly working over the past couple months.  (When it's done, I will be showcasing it here, hopefully in a week or two). But here is a little peek on it. See the wood paper on the right?
That's ALL I really needed, the wood paper, so I knew I wasn't going to be at the store very long.
LOL.  Right.

I walked straight to the little counter where the weekly special paper is first, to see what was on sale.  Even though I KNEW I didn't need anything else, and certainly was NOT going to be buying anything else except the 2 sheets of paper I really needed.  Now stop laughing, this is a serious problem.

HOLY COW!  Scrapbook paper is 50% OFF!!!!!    Off to the paper aisle I start walking jogging and I was just beaming with joy that my 2 sheets of paper was going to be really cheap!  I wondered if I had enough change in my pocket to pay for it....
I got my 2 sheets of wood paper in my hand basket... hmmm.... well since it was on sale, I threw a couple more sheets of that woodgrain in there.  I mean, seriously, I didn't want to use it all up on my project and then not have any left at all, right?  Who knows when I suddenly would need the wood paper and it was all gone?   4 sheets.  That was enough.


My eyes couldn't stop looking at all the paper I DIDN'T have yet.  OH my gosh, this paper was going to make some really nice cards or boxes, the ideas were already flowing with what I could do with some of it, and then some others were just so darn pretty.  STOP, I said to myself.  I don't need this paper, do I?  I mean, I have SOOOOO much paper at home being totally ignored.  GASP!!   I'm CHEATING on my paper at home!     That paper has been loyally sitting beside me while I craft and color, some of it for YEARS, and here I was thinking I had to have MORE paper.   I was feeling a bit guilty.   And I was arguing with myself in the paper aisle.   But 50% off... how could I walk away from THAT!?  OH, the agony of what to do.   Do I put this paper back, or in my handy hand basket?   (Actually it was easy to do the RIGHT thing, LOL)

How much paper do I have ignore?

White cardstock up there... actually, this stuff isn't ignored too much (Oh gosh, it's getting low, I think I need some more white)

Lightweight Cardstock Paper ...  at my left side on the floor

And MORE cardstock paper (thicker)... on the carpet right in front of my feet under the desk area

Oh my, I forgot about this stuff.... bottom drawer on the left side of the room, 4 feet away from the desk where I sit

And the top drawer too....

And all the rest of that cardstock that I had to stock up on before the colors were discontinued....
in another desk behind me on my right (behind my viewing area of the craft table)

Designer papers here..... left side of my feet on the carpet, two 12x12 big pads, and three 6x6 pads

Designer papers there..... right side of my feet on the carpet, too many to count single sheets and/or SU and Basic Grey 12x12 Dp packs

Mylanta!  Designer paper everywhere!  above my head on a shelf to the right, almost 3 dozen 6x6 pads from various companies

Oh and this stuff is REALLY ignored.... (poor paper!) to the right and behind my twirly-around inkpad holder, three 8x8 pads and three or four 6x6 pads

And this is printed digi paper.... at the left of my feet behind the thicker cardstock paper container on the carpet

So why did I need to cheat on all this paper, to get this new paper today???  I can't help it.  I CAN'T SAY NO!   Sigh.  I am a paper cheater.  I admit it.     And I could have put more in my handy hand basket, but I did find a way to stop myself at 27 sheets. (WAIT A SECOND.  I must have been crazy to stop there!)
I finally paid and then left with a cute 3/4" fat style star punch, a few jewelry items to use with my many ignored charms and accents, and my 27 sheets of new paper!

I felt guilty ALL the way home that I just cheated on all my neglected paper!
But I sure didn't feel guilty when I swiped my card to pay, because I got the paper at 50% off and the punch at 40% off!   Yippie!

Are you a paper cheater too?  PLEASE tell me I am not the only one!    I feel really bad.   Unless I can get some consoling comments.     Now if you're like me, then you know you need to stop neglecting your paper and just USE IT UP!   Resist -- buying -- new -- stuff.   Why is it so hard!?

What I really need is a good space makeover, so that I can put all my paper in one place so that I can see it all when I am making something. If I see it, maybe I'll start using it!

Maybe I need to take a day sifting through it all and set some aside for a BIG paper giveaway..... Hmm....  there's an idea.....  what do you think?