Wednesday, January 27, 2010

January Jackpot at EFA!

Etsy for Animals (EFA) is a team of artisans and crafters who support animal causes. Each month, there is a team challenge and the creations are showcased on the EFA challenge blog. Members are encouraged to submit challenge ideas. This month, the challenge is one that I submitted: January Jackpot! The challenge is to use gold somewhere in your item.

Lately, I've been playing a lot with my micro-fine glitters. When I was a girl, I was attracted to sparkly, flecked things. (Do you remember jelly shoes? I always wanted the sparkly ones!) I was terrible at applying glitter to my art though. It made such a mess. I used to use nail-polish to paint intead of using glitter and glue. (I also have a hard time waiting for glue to dry.)

Well, now I am armed with some super tacky tape from Scor Pal. My glitter stays in place the first time! (Okay, it's still a little messy, but I can handle it now!) I made this card with gold and red glitter and gold ribbon. (Shh, I made an extra for my husband for this Valentine's. I'm SO proud of the poem I've composed.)

10% of the proceeds of this card will go to SOAR: Southern Ontario Animal Rescue. This charity rescues dogs and finds them foster homes until later adoption. It is a very small organization and it needs all the help it can get - even my pennies per card!

Remember to check out the EFA challenge blog for more January Jackpot entries! I love always finding such diversity from a single theme!
- Scrapninny

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Animal Sanctuary Raffle

For the Animals Sanctuary is having a raffle! A call has gone out to Etsy For Animals team members to provide handcrafted raffle items. Lately, I have been brainstorming about my business. In fact, I think I've let myself be swept away by the "in things" instead of focusing on my true goals. So, I've gone back to basics and started fleshing out a game plan for 2010. Supporting animals is my primary goal so, when this call came out, I knew I had to answer. This is the first step in the right direction in a few months.

I've be a die-cut lover since the year 2001 when I first found Quickutz at a local scrapbook store (sadly, now closed). I had purchased some punch art books before, but punches are costly and space hogs. Quickutz was by far the better choice at the time. While I still love my Quickutz stuff, I now have a Boss Kut Gazelle so I can design and cut my own die cuts. I wanted to make a bunch of animal cards for the raffle, but I just didn't have the time to think of any cute sayings that worked, except for one: Thinking of Ewe. I searched for some punch art animals and found the cutest sheep! I had already drawn some scalloped circles in my Gazelle, so completing the parts for the sheep was a breeze! (I still need to brainstorm some more animals!)

To package my raffle item, I have made a 3D envelope. I have a tool called the Enveloper by Crafter's Companion. It makes envelopes with triangle flaps, including some 3D ones. However, I prefer the rectangle flap envelopes. My Scor Pal came with intructions on how to make a standard envelope. (I preferred wider sides, so I have modified the Scor Pal recipe.) I decided to study the 3D sytle envelope and then translate that into the rectangle flap version. The result is this case for my raffle cards!

I went looking for some magnetic snaps by Basic Grey but I couldn't find any!! So, I wondered how to close my flap since I didn't want to use ribbon to tie it shut. I had to be innovative. Anyone who knows my husband knows that he keeps piles of coins all over the house. He hates carrying around small change. So, I went around pilfering his piles for the shiniest pennies I could find! (The old, tarnished one in my coin pouch did not stick as well!) Then I stole a magnet from our fridge (it used to be part of something but the housing broke and we just have a few exposed magnets). Voila! Instant closure!

I'll be shipping off my contribution tomorrow for the February 20th raffle. I hope it goes over well! If you have any ideas on good animal card sentiments, PLEASE LEAVE ME A COMMENT!

Baaah Baaaaah for now!

- Scrapninny

Sunday, January 17, 2010

PaperPlay Challenge - Furry Friends

This week, the PaperPlay challenge is Furry Friends - "Make something dedicated to our friends that bark, squeak, meow, roar, moo or neigh."

In my last post, I commented on how difficult I found it to draw dogs. Well, nothing inspires me more than having to admit a fault! So, I searched for "how to draw a dog tutorial" because I struggled with the barrel of the body. Do I draw two ovals and connect them? Do I draw a rectangle in the middle? I came up with something skectched on paper, went in to my scraproom and, wouldn't you know it?, found something better!

This dog is modelled after my "shake a paw" dog I had drawn last year. I drew the original on a cereal box and cut it out as a template for me to trace. (That one had a fluffly chest and fluffy tail, but I made this one simpler.) Then I just turned his paw upside down so he could hold a mini-cupcake!

I tell ya, I am really getting the hang of writing with my Gazelle and then cutting around it. The blade just needs a small adjustment for perfect alignment. Generally, the barrel of a pen is skinnier than the blade housing, so the point at the bottom is pushed left of where the pen point is. Scoot the blade over and VOILA, great looking sentiments. (One day, I'll learn how to colour in with it... one day.)

Thus far, my support of the Southern Ontario Animal Rescue has been from my workshops. I've been brainstorming ways to improve the support from my shops. This doggy card is the start! Also in my scraproom was a quilled dog. Quilled shapes are made from basic shapes. So... here I had ALREADY drawn something with basic shapes! Silly me!


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Santa Kitty - Christmas 2009

I have friends and family with cats. Here I am, trying to support a dog charity (I'm a dog person) and EVERYONE around me has CATS!! Well, I find it easier to draw cats than dogs. Most cats have the same basic shape. Dogs... well.... the breeds are SO varied!

So, I had drawn this kitty in my digital cutter. (Actually, it started as a doggy, but I continued it into a kitty version and I like the kitty better.... SHHHH don't tell!) Then, I was browsing on the web for ideas and I kept finding the CUTEST ever mouse stamps with long santa hants. Darling, I tell you. I thought to myself... I can make a hat. In fact, I made a bunch of snow man hats, toques, and earmuffs for some paper snowmen. I could make a santa hat!

I sketched it at work. (It's a nice eyeball break after you stare at flickering computer screens with numbers galore for a while.) It wasn't as easy as I had hoped to digitally reproduce it when I got home. I scrapped it and redid it about three times, but boy am I happy with the result!

I had been on a quest to use up older papers in my stash (see this post). I also had what is known as flock in my stash. I had bought a bottle to try it out. It happed to be kind of a big bottle though. Well, I was able to flock the santa hat brim and puff ball. I think it added a nice touch.

This is CERTAINLY my crowning glory of 2009. I love this card so much because it accomplished so much: used up older supplies, has my own die cut as a HUGE focal, fits my style of clean and uncluttered, and his a big BOLD message. I think I will put some in the shop next year!

- Scrapninny

Hmm... "fits my style of clean and uncluttered". That is certainly how my designs come out but not my workspace! The design chaos extracted from my cards is surely still present on my desk! (Where's a fairy godmother when you need one to make it just go poof!?)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Christmas Angel 2009 - Simple Card Background

Simple. Clean. Clear.

That's my motto! I am a paper hoarder. I have paper from at least 6 years ago still in my stash. I finally found a good way to use up my pieces and strips of left over paper. All you have to do is sort your paper in to co-ordinating colours and - voila! - you can make a stunning card background.

I have a Creative Memories square punch but you could use a paper trimmer for this technique. I liked using three different patterned papers, but you could use one solid pattern or make every block different if you wanted to! I punched out a good chunk of my scraps making these cards! Creative Memories products was my first forray in to scrapbooking and the paper on this card is also from there!

The trick I sometimes use to break up the sterility of so many straight lines is to ink the edges. One way to do it is to use a stencil brush (or a cotton ball) with chalk or an ink dauber with stamping ink in a circular motion on the edges. I used a small ink pad and applied it directly to my edges by dragging the ink pad accross the edge of the paper held perpendicular to it.

Once your background is finished, you can dress it up simply with a ribbon or with a large focal point. Large chipboard shapes are perfect for this design! I used an angel that I designed in the software for my Boss Kut Gazelle (a digital die cutter).