Friday, May 25, 2012

Project Grad Recovery

Graduation was last Sunday. I always get more emotional with other peoples' kids than I did with my own. I guess because I know I will still see mine, but after they graduate, I probably won't see these other kids that I've grown so close to. For example, Kara, in the above photo, was my preschool student fifteen years ago, then ten years later tried out for Color Guard. She and Nikki marched with the guard for five years (even as eighth graders!) Kara asked me to make her graduation announcements, and now she and Nikki are leaving me!
At least I got to spend some time with several of the girls at Project Graduation. Each year for the past five years I've put together six inch mini albums and kits with paper and embellishments for anyone who wanted to make one. Project Grad pays for the supplies and my gas to get to the event (it's about 45 minutes away).  

Our school mascot is a Houn Dawg, and there are no scrapbooking papers or embellishments in existence with a dog that looks like ours or that uses the "correct" spelling. So I make them myself. I use my Silhouette to make a diecut of the school logo. Here it is cut from black paper, adhered to white on the back of Michael's book from last year:

I make "Sr 2012" and "Prom" diecuts and let the girls punch their own stars, swirls, and paw prints.
There's also a paper that says Houn Dawg all over it and each class gets a paper with every graduate's name listed. 
The thing they seem to love the most is the doodle page. I change it up a little every year, so each class gets a unique page, but I don't have to start from scratch. Instead of using the same lightweight white cardstock that I use for the names and the Houn Dawg paper,  I use lined notebook paper for the doodle page. That makes it look like each sheet is drawn by hand. 

Several girls from Color Guard were signed up to make an album, so I added the words to the school song around the edge for them. (I insist they learn the words so they can sing along while the band plays the school song and the National Anthem.)

Twenty young ladies signed up, and I think we had fourteen at the tables. Two of the others (Nikki and Calli) came to my house to make theirs so they could try to play poker, and Calli made an extra to give to her friend who didn't get signed up. We even had some boys sign up. Ok--I just put their names on the list so their mothers could have kits. They helped me keep up with the girls and took their kits to finish at home. 
I think all the girls had a good time even though they were exhaused. They look pretty happy in the pictures: 

So.... That's what Project Grad looks like to me. I think I've finally caught up from staying up all night! I hope they ask me back next year! 
That's it for now. I won't be able to post next week, but I'll come up with a new calendar and some new ideas and be ready to go in June!
Thanks for stopping by! See you next month!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Three Cards in One!

I hope you know someone who is about to graduate. If not you can always adapt this card to another occasion. Either way, I want everyone to make one! I wasn't sure where I was going when I started (Am I ever?!), but I'm really pleased with where I ended up! 
It was inspired by several different cards, all projects from the stamp club I go to once a month. A handful of us have been participating for several years and have become good friends with each other and with Sherry, the SU demonstrator who lets us invade her home one Friday night each month. Last week one of the girls asked if I'd come up with a neat graduation card yet. (She's the one who got me started with the airplane images a couple of weeks ago.) We talked about some of the cards we have made that have special cuts or moving parts, and I "free associationed" to this! (I can take free association a lo-o-o-o-ong way! Who says being on the verge of ADD is a bad thing?!)

The folds and cuts make a step card, but usually there's an image stamped or adhered to the front layer. I decided to use the negative space behind the front layer. It's hard to tell in a photo, but when the card is standing, there is about a half inch of space between the black paper that is the front of the card and the silver paper behind it. Kind of like a diorama. 

You'll need a piece of sturdy cardstock, 4 1/4 x 11. Just cut your 8 1/2 x 11 in half lengthwise instead of across like you normally would for a 4 1/4 x 5 1/2 card. You also need a different color for the background, 4 1/8 x 4 3/8. I used two different sizes of star punches, a congratulations stamp with VersaMark and silver embossing powder, my Embossing Buddy to keep the powder from sticking where I didn't want it, a bone folder or something you can make a really good crease with, a stardust Gelly Roll pen, and some silvery Smooch Spritz.

Place the long edge of your paper at the 1/2 inch mark. Start your cut at 1 inch and stop at 6 1/2.  Make the same cut on the other long edge so you have a long slit running down each side of your paper. 

Next you will make six small scores and one long score. Score at 1 inch from the slit to the edge of the paper on each side. Then again at the 2 inch mark and the 6 1/2 inch mark. Now find the 5 1/2 inch mark and score from slit to slit, across the middle.
This shows the slits cut at the 1/2 inch lines (marked in green) and all the score lines marked in pink.

When everything is cut and scored, your card will fold like this. Use your bone folder or something similar to  go over the edges very well. If you don't have good creases the card will do the splits and end up flat!
The base of you card is finished! You could stop now and decorate the front the way it is, but if you want to have that diorama effect, grab some punches or dies!

Just punch a few shapes from the middle section of the card front. Put your punch in through the slit to reach further in toward the center of your paper. 
Don't punch any shapes from the top inch. The backing won't reach that high.

Run adhesive down the 4 3/8 inch edges of your background paper, staying very close to the edge. Position the background paper so the adhesive sticks to the 1/2 inch strips between the 2 inch score lines and the 6 1/2 inch score lines

Now when you pick up your card, the background paper will show through the punched shapes. I punched some stars from the same silver cardstock I used for the background and placed them around the front. Then I embossed "Congratulations" in silver on a one inch strip of black cardstock and backed it with another piece of silver cardstock. It was still just kind of blah so I gave it a little pop by tracing around the star shaped holes with a stardust Gelly Roll pen and shooting the entire front with some Smooch Spritz. (FYI--sometimes cursing does help. My Smooch stopped spritzing after just a few squirts, so I hurled a couple colorful phrases at it and, low and behold! It worked again without my having to take it apart and clean all the pieces parts!)  It's amazing how just that little bit of sparkle made such a dramatic difference!

Here it is again. I hope you got through my instructions without consuming a bottle of Excedrin! I found the tutorial for the basic folds of a step card at Splitcoast Stampers.  This link will take  you to the tutorial, although you might have to be a registered member to access it. She uses a bigger piece of paper so her measurements are just a little different. I wanted this to fit in a 4 1/4 x 5 1/2 envelope so I tweaked her instructions a bit. If you aren't a member of SCS, you really should register. It's a great place to go for help and to get ideas!

Thanks for the inspiration Val and Sherry! I could see this done with all kinds of punches--especially hearts or flowers. I could even see squares punched in a grid with images showing behind them. Or a single large shape--maybe from a die--with an image on the background paper. I might make one with "Sr 2012" cut out of the front. Go experiment and see what you come up with! Please let me know if I need to clarify anything.

Thanks for stopping by! See you Friday! (Probably!)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

More Weddings

I know. I didn't show up Friday. I ran around Springfield with my husband all day. He bribed me with food! What can I say?

In one of my first blog posts, I put up pictures of some of the wedding invitations I've made. This is how the most recent order turned out. The bride-to-be found some invitations she liked, but they were quite pricey (I do mean QUITE!) and it just wasn't practical. She sent me a picture of what she found and I managed to design this for about one-sixth the price! The only similarity between this and the inspiration piece is the kraft paper, but it still has the same feel. The wedding is in an old cotton mill near Dallas, so the muslin seemed appropriate. It wraps around the invitation and the RSVP and ties closed with twine. It took a good little while to make 220 of those little muslin flowers, and I had strings all over from tearing the fabric, but I think it was worth it! I made half of the note cards with "Thank You" and half with a "C" for the couple's last name so they can use them as blank note cards if they have any left after all the thank you notes are written.

Now I'm ready to start throwing ideas at my cousin's fiancee to see what we can come up with for their wedding. But that's in the fall of 2013, so I'm not in a huge rush!

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great week and I'll see you Friday (probably)!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Happy May Day! (and a Free Calendar!)

Oh My! It's already May! Wow! The good thing for me is I don't have to think about what to make for today's post. teehee. Last month I said I might make a no-frills calendar that you can download if you want to decorate your own. I made one in landscape form, one in portrait, and one with a different font. So the choice is yours. And if you aren't ready to decorate your own, you can always download the one above. It's nowhere near what I pictured. I made a page for a scrapbook calendar a few years ago that was cream and black with a page of handwriting for the background, butterflies for embellishments, and shimmery black cardstock mats for the photos. For some reason that just felt like May to me. I guess the butterflies, the vintage feel of the colors, and the handwriting seemed to go with Mother's Day. That's where I was headed when I opened the Coolibah app on my iPad, but I sure didn't get there! This one still manages to feel like May. I have flowers and ribbons for May Baskets (does anyone else remember delivering May Baskets?) and some of the flowers are even crocheted, tying into Mother's Day. Don't all mothers and grandmothers crochet?

Coolibah has the Pristina font, so I made a couple with that....

If you use one of these you wll be able to type "May" in the app using the same font.

Since I was going for the antique-ish look, I also made one using a font called Porcelain. Coolibah doesn't have that font, so I made a big label with "May 2012." The 2012 was too much on mine, so I cropped it out. 

For a quick lesson on using Coolibah to create your own calendar page with one of these blank calendars, click here. You won't have to Google "free printable May 2012 calendar" because you already know where this one is. You will, however, save it the same way and everything else will work the same.

If you're not comfortable with that yet, you can learn how to save my calendar to your iWhatever by clicking here. iWhatever. Good one, right?!

If you have any problems, leave a comment and I'll see if I can clarify. I'm always afraid that my instructions are terribly confusing, but I think as long as I'm able to type them and edit as I go I do OK. It's just when I try to speak that my brain jumps ahead and  I'm the one that ends up confused!

Thanks for stopping by! See you Friday!