Monday, August 26, 2013

Yikes - I See This Blog Didn't Post on the Scheduled Day!!!

Can you believe that summer is almost over and the children will be returning to school very soon?  It seems just a few short weeks ago that we were at the Grade Eight Graduation!

I am typing this up on Wednesday August 21 which was a special day for my sister and brother in law some 42 years ago.  I'll leave you to figure out what it was but I hope they received their card on time.

They are at a trade show together today (August 21st), so not sure how much celebrating they'll have been doing.

Have you been crafting this week, or are you enjoying the last weeks of summer? I've been busily crocheting my craft for Emily.  I gather from some of you that the image I inserted in last week's blog didn't show up, so I guess you'll have to wait until I take a photo of Mike.

Speaking of crochet, I came upon these really easy crocheted slippers on a blog. If you go here, Rachel Symons has prepared and shared a really clear tutorial and pattern.

If you don't know how to crochet, then maybe now is the time to do something for the first time? 

Take the opportunity of learning to crochet at one of our Friday night Crop and Craft Nights.  You simply have to give us the heads up as you register and we will arrange to teach you the beginning steps.

Knitting Washcloth QuartetPerhaps knitting is more your forte? We've just received lots of new cotton yarns in the store that can be used to make these lovely dishcloths.  
Not only that, here is a website with numerous patterns that you can enjoy making.  The same thing goes with knitting, if you don't know how and would like to learn, then Friday night Crop and Craft Nights would be ideal for you too. 

And for all you crafters that love to embroider, here's a fantastic blog where she shows you more stitches than you might sew in a lifetime.  This lovely flower is stitched using long and short stitches and begins as nothing much, but ends looking lovely as you can see.  She has a very clear picture tutorial  here to stitch this design, but on her sidebar, you will see links to many other tutorials.  This is definitely a keeper blog for any needle artist.

Now for the paper crafters among us. 

Specifically those who have either the Cameo or Portrait digital cutters.  Have you ever wanted to use a particular font but wanted it to be fatter than it was?  Kerri Bradford goes through the steps here to show you how you can thicken the font quite easily.  

You don't have a Cameo or Portrait machine?  Well drop into the store and we'll be pleased to tell you all about them and arrange a demo if you would like. See pictures of them both to the right.  You can do the most amazing things with your machine using it not only for paper cutting and your scrapbook pages or cards that you make.  Crafting will never be the same for you again with one of these machines.  

Linda's stepson has become quite adept at it as he decorates his vehicle with the outdoor vinyl.  He even has his own folder on the computer where he stores the files he's made.  On Sunday we were putting logos on a tent trailer and pin-striping on a vehicle.  

My daughter Sandra's machine is hardly still at the moment as she's designing and cutting in readiness for our Disney Cruise later this fall.  
The possibilities really are endless and either machine is only limited by your imagination.

Remember that....
                       .Why You Should Craft Your Heart Out
....Until Later....Happy Crafting


Monday, August 19, 2013

Super Garage Sale Saturday!

Were you there? As Linda said in the newsletter, there were a few eager beavers waiting at the door for us to arrive.  
Were you one of them? 

However even some out of town latecomers told me that they thought they  had walked into a goldmine on Saturday!

Today we had some happy vendors in the store to collect their credit notes and begin their shopping spree.

We had great fun at class this past two weeks with the moving lever card that we made.  With two cards placed together and some careful measuring and cutting, the centre panel appears to move out of the card as you open it. The economical scooter stamp at just $1.99 was the perfect image for this card I thought. Don't forget to drop into the store to see the other two cards.  

A technique that we first taught a couple of years ago, stamping outside the die was a great hit with the ladies. Simple and yet effective with the right choice of stamp.

One of my questions to you last week was have you've ever made an ATCsee the link here.  We've had some response to this question, but I wondered how many people may not have understood just what an ATC swap was.   
Pauline is challenging us to offer this swap, but as of yet we don't have enough people to participate in a group...are you interested?.  

What happens in a swap is that once a theme is decided upon (Pauline suggested Christmas) and any
particular elements that may have to be included in the ATC swap are chosen, each person makes ten artist trading cards all of the same design.  No having to think up ten different designs, one design - ten trading cards

Once a date is decided upon, you bring your artist trading cards into the store by that date, we will sort them so that each person in the group gets one of their own cards back PLUS nine different ones. One from each member of the group.  It's such a great way to not only have a small lesson in your hand with each different trading card, but nine new focal pieces for future cards that you may want to send.

So if you're interested in participating in an ATC swap group, call or email the store and let us know. 

It's Linda's youngest daughter's birthday coming up very soon now, so once again I have been racking my brain for a unique card for her.  It just seems that on each birthday now they are looking for something different and exciting in their card and I struggle sometimes to find it.  

I think this time I've come up with an idea that will cause Emily to have a happy laugh when she opens it.  I can't show it to you yet as it's still in the "mock-up" stage.  Made out of used computer paper as I fine tune the measurements, but I'll show it to you soon.  Suffice it to say it will be popping out at her when she opens it up!

Emily also has a love of Mike Wazowski, so I'm busy crocheting a soft toy for her. Although she's long outgrown soft toys I know this will bring a happy smile to her face. Mike is a cute little character from Monsters Inc.  I purchased the pattern from my favourite knitting and crochet site   It was a quick and easy PDF download.  This is what Mike looks like, when I get him finished I'll show it to you.

The other week Judy mentioned to me that she was having some trouble with some of her new acrylic stamps and not getting a good image from them.  I told her that I'd almost posted a link that gave some insight into that problem, but I didn't.    Then last week I totally forgot about it, so here it is now, click below.

Another tip to get a better stamped image with your acrylic stamps is to have a soft foam mat under your cardstock when you stamp. 
If you think about it, the wooden block stamps have foam built into them below the rubber, giving a little bit of bounce to the stamp.  By placing a thin foam mat under your cardstock you will be doing the same thing. 
In classes we always provide a piece of fun foam for the stampers.   At just 49cents a sheet it's a great way to improve your stamping. 

Another tip we give them is to ink your stamp well...did I say well...yes when you think you have enough ink on the stamp, tap it a couple of more times.  

The next thing then is not to press too hard.  This is acrylic not rubber and if you press hard, then you will get a thick stamping, which is hateful if you are stamping words.  I just rub my finger firmly across the entire stamp and I attain a nice clear image.  

Hopefully these tips will help you as you stamp.

Just a reminder to all the anxious scrapbookers waiting to register for the October Mega Crop.  Have you cleared your calendars?  Have you coordinated your time off from work and family?  Have you  arranged with your friend(s) to join you for a fun time of continuous scrapbooking and education?  

Linda has been giving you a heads up about registration starting soon, so make sure you read your e-newsletter faithfully in the next couple of weeks so that you are one of the early birds that get the worm not the hare who slept through and lost the race. 

 Here's my last thought for tonighfrom a blog I often visit.
Christine asks.

Have you thought you'd like to try a new needle craft or paper craft technique?  Maybe you thought you'd like to learn to crochet or knit...I know it's summer, but winter will follow soon and a scarf or two in your closet wouldn't be out of place would it.  

A perfect time to learn any of these crafts is at our Friday night Crop and Craft events. Although they are a little irregular at the moment due to all the activities at the store, they will be offered regularly in the fall.  

So make sure you keep them in mind.  Just ten dollars for five hours with some instruction in there for the craft of your choice, you CANNOT find a better deal.

Until later....Happy Crafting


Monday, August 12, 2013

Have You Ever Made an ATC?

An ATC is the short form for an artist trading card.  
What's that you say?  Well it's a small piece of artwork usually approximately 2.5" x 3.5" that you would place on the front of a greeting card as the focal point. 

Now why am I talking to you about these cards?  Well one of our customers asked us the other day if we would organise an ATC swap. We've done this in the past and a number of people have thoroughly enjoyed the activity, so Pauline was wondering if others would like to participate in a Christmas ATC swap. What do you think?

Pauline has kindly made some samples here and although they are not the traditional ATC size, we could decide to be non-traditional in our swap with our sizes. 

You can see how they would make a beautiful focal point on a Christmas card can't you.


How it works is that once you've decided to participate, you contact us and sign up to the swap.  You will be required to make 10 of your ATC designs all the same and bring them into the store by a pre-determined date.
Once everyone has their ATC's in, we will sort them and return to you one of your ATC's along with 9 different ones made by others. 

What you submit to the swap should be of high quality and something you would be happy to have on the front of a Christmas card you would send to a friend or family member. 

So if you're interested, please get in touch with us and we will get things underway.

We've had a number of people calling the store this week about all the All Day Christmas Card Classes, as well as the Mega Crop Weekend.  Hopefully you have looked at the dates and begun to organise your time for whichever of these you are interested, because once we announce registration I know the dates will quickly fill up.

For any of you interested in the Mega Crop and getting organised for it, here are a few free sketches that you can download from Creating Keepsakes.
As you begin to plan for your Mega Crop weekend, this blog post from earlier this year is worth another read.  Just scroll down a little way for some great tips on getting organised for a scrapbook weekend.

Did you register as a vendor for the Garage Sale at the store?
There's still a couple of days left to move on that if you want to wean or refresh your scrapbooking/card making "stash".  If you chose not to be a vendor, then don't miss your opportunity to be a customer.
Believe me there's some good "stuff" that's already been brought in ready to be sold on Saturday.
That's this Saturday August 17th, at the store on Wellington Street from 9 am to 5 pm.        And remember the early bird gets the worm.

For those card makers among us, perhaps you would like to take up Pauline's challenge and become involved in the ATC Swap.  Don't be discouraged if you don't understand how it works, just drop into the store and we will go over it all with you.

pattern image
I've often thought that I'd like to add some beads to a piece of knitting, but the thought of adding the required number, whatever that may be, to the yarn before I even start to knit has always put me off. 
However.........the other day I came across this tutorial that shows a quick and easy way of adding them to your garment as you knit..........
YAY I may even try this.  

The photo above gives you some insight into how it works, but go to the website for clear instruction.  

Also click on their link below the tutorial to find hundreds of free knitting patterns for you to download.

I found this one that I thought would suit my cousin beautifully. She feels the cold and loves to wear shawls. 

With a few added beads it could be dressy as well.

You simply have to click on the download button to get the pattern by PDF.

Here's a link to some free fonts that you may like to download.  When you have a Silhouette Die Cutting Machine and can cut any True Type Font with it, then you can never have too many fonts in your library.

And last but not least, here's a word that you can use on either a greeting card or for a title on a scrapbook page. Simply right click on the word and take it into your program of choice to print it out. 
Great font for colouring too isn't it.

Until Later....Happy Crafting


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Moving On....

From All Day Card Class on now to thinking of Christmas Card Classes.  Before we were finished with two very successful and happy card classes we had booked our venues for the All Day Christmas Card Classes. 

So...clear you're calendar...don't be disappointed and find you can't get into the date that works best for you.  Class sizes are always limited and once we open registration, it's a first come first served opportunity. 

The dates will be Saturday, October 26th.  Tuesday October 29th and Saturday November 2nd.  As I said we aren't taking registrations just yet, but clear your calendar and be ready in a few short weeks to drop in or phone to register.  Each class will be held in the Community Room at Your Independent Grocers.

Remember too to clear your calendar for the Mega Crop Weekend. We have dates for that which are October 18-20th, Friday through Sunday. The venue for that will be The Rotary Centre for Youth
Lots of people have told us that they are planning to attend, so watch your newsletter for the notice of registration.

New friendships were made and old friendships once again shared during the All Day Card Classes that we held, it was indeed a happy time. Here are a few of the cards that we made in the All Day Card Class.

Two lovely stamps for colouring and one making use of masks and the ever popular Distress Inks.
To see the other seven we made, pop over to our Flickr site here.

Have you been busy crafting this past week? Rachel and Emily have found the love of friendship bracelets once again.   Rachel has been making knotted bracelets and Emily has been weaving different designs on the weaving wheel.

I mentioned to one customer that it isn't summer unless they make a few friendship bracelets and she agreed.  

If you want to make some bracelets, or use the weaving wheel idea to make belts, straps, necklaces as well as bracelets, then hop back here for some great links to ideas and patterns like these.

If you prefer knotted bracelets such as these to the left, then there is a great tutorial to be found here.

We have one customer who developed a "bored" board for her three boys. They chose things that they liked to do and put it on their board. 

Subsequently when they were "bored" they had only to look at their "bored" board to find something to keep their little hands busy.

With all the crafting ideas available to us, we should never be bored!

I was thinking I should try to inspire all our scrapbookers too, ready for October.  I was shopping the other day and saw Krista who told me that she would be scrapping with us for sure as she had two birthdays and a trip down east to get done.

So here's a great article on how Nathalie works on a new layout.

I realised when I read her post, that many of her tricks are ones I use myself too.  She has a bunch of copy paper cut into different photo sizes that she uses to get the feel for her layout before printing her photos. 

I like to start with a sketch and then I do the same thing, pulling out my copy paper to the suggested sizes on the sketch and making sure it works for me.  I'll often fit another photo into the layout, or maybe change the suggested size of a photo so that the layout becomes my own.  

Here's a lovely one page layout that Nathalie put together.  
Take careful note of her detailed embellishments. 
The feathers which are still so very popular right now. 
The stitching that enhances the page in a number of places and pay attention to the little "you & me" button that you could easily re-create with a large jump ring glued on top of the printed or stamped words of your choice, then filled with Glossy Accents.  

We've shown this technique in the past at one of our Mega Crop Weekends.

Make  sure you bookmark this article so that you don't forget it. I had something to say about forgetting things in this post here.    

Just scroll down a little and you'll see what I mean.

I'd like you to re-look at these two lovely layouts that Linda made for the Spring Mega Crop Weekend too.
Here's one titled Wonderland and you can find the other one here, titled Coco Cay.  

Again scroll down just a little and then click on the photo for a larger view.

I love the bright colours of the papers above along with the detail of pinwheels, banners, circles, the subtitle on the tickets the various sizes of the photos that keep my interest on a page.  

With Coco Cay I love the way Linda incorporated so many small embellishments that again keep you looking.  The beautiful ombre design she made with her large punch, the stitching that made you think of the sun in the photos.  The clever use of the otherwise plain border sticker all add up to make a really eye catching page. Last but not least I love the fact that the photos are sized differently and grouped together making it easy on the eye to look at them all.

Linda was kept busy last Friday with customers receiving more instruction from her on their Silhouette machines.   Such an in depth machine that you will continually learn new things you can do with it. If you missed that free lesson opportunity on Friday, then talk to us about creating another opportunity for you to learn more about your machine. 

Have you signed up for the Indoor Garage Sale at the store....a great opportunity to pass along the sweetness from your stash that you no longer use and perhaps exchange it for newer product.   
Don't delay it will be here before you know it.

Until Later.....Happy Crafting,