A2 Card

This is the most basic card you can make apart from taking a sheet of printer paper and folding it together to make a 5.5″ x 8.5″ card or I guess if you really want a 4.25″ x 11″ card. An A2 size card can be folded without cutting simply by folding the paper in half twice. This isn’t the most professional and clean look for a card but if it is your first home made card and you want your significant other to give you all the kisses it works. It is up to the designer to take an other wise boring design of the base card and turn it into something unique. A2 is one of the most common cards out there because it is easy to take it to the printer and mass produce with little cost and you can find standard invitation envelopes to fit in it. Tools you will need are:

  1. A utility knife, you can get one at any craft store, hardware store, or any store with a craft section. Starting price is about $2. The blade is usually included when you buy the knife but you can pick up cheap blades for $1 for 5 blades. The blades do get dull so always have a scrap piece to test if your not sure if the blade is any good. (You can get away with scissors but the blade makes for a nice straight cut.)
  2. A metal ruler with a cork base that measures a minimum of 12″. The cork base gives a better grip so the ruler doesn’t slip easily making a safer and more accurate cut. The price is about $4.00 for a 12″ one. Cheaper with a coupon at a craft store. If you plan on doing a lot of crafts buy a large one that is at least 24″
  3. Something to cut on. This can be a cutting matte or just a scrap piece of card board. If you want to ruin your tile or make cuts on your table that’s cool too but it makes for trouble later for other crafts. I would hold out till you find a coupon at your local craft store and buy a large cutting matte that has the words “Self Healing” on it. A small self healing matte cost about $10 and you can find it at any craft store or office supply store.
  4.  A pencil to mark your lines for cutting. You can also take a pin if your are confident on measuring.
  5.  Bone folder is optional. I find a paper clip or depending on the paper weight a finger nail, also works just fine for making folds in paper.
  6. And Paper. 8.5″ x11″ or larger to cut it down to 8.5″ x 5.5″.

Once you have all your tools you will cut out the paper so it is sized at 8.5 X 5.5 or  4.25″ x 11″. It all depends how you want the card to open up. You then will take the long side and fold in half. So 8.5″ becomes 4.25 or 11″ becomes 5.5″. Decorate as much as you would like. I made a quick 5 minute card  out of some scraps to show. I realized most of my supplies are in the car and I really didn’t want to delay writing this blog any longer than I already have.

In other crafty events. I have a really hard challenge ahead. My nephew wants to be Emmet from The Lego Movie and my niece wants to be the house that fell on the wicked witch. My sister handed me a bunch of boxes and I have the kids measurements. Problem one is if I need the kids to try on the costume they are 4 hours away. Problem two is my budget is $5 maybe $10  at the most since I currently am saving for a new car. Problem three is making a costume for kids so they can see fine, have use of their hands so they can get at candy, and are able to walk without any trouble. The good part is there are others who also made these costumes in the past and have posted both pictures and tutorials.  Wish me luck.

A to Z Card Making

It has been long enough. I have decided to post something. I will be making an A to Z card making Tutorial/ explanation. Why because I know what my husband got me for my birthday. A custom die cutting machine. It is amazing! I will post about it later, however, since it is not my birthday yet, it is still neatly in the package, taunting me. SOON! Soon it will taunt me no more. SOON!

My mother’s birthday is the same day as mine so we have to head back to our home town. This makes it difficult to play with it, however, I will be dreaming of it and reading the beautiful instruction manual beginning to end. I will learn so much about her, the most beautiful die cut machine in the world. I already named her, Ziggy. If you didn’t know, I name things, though I am not great at it. My spider plant is named Side Show Bob (or Bob for short) , My all-in-one printer is Jack, and my car is Old Betsy (Formerly known as Betsy).

Just because I don’t have Ziggy yet doesn’t mean I can’t start the A to Z Card Making list. I will attempt one card a week from my list.

Here is my list of cards I plan on using:

  • A2 – This is a standard 4.25″ x 5.5″ when folded card
  • Accordion Card – A card that uses a long sheet of paper and is folded left and right. Sometimes called Concertina.
  • Aperture card – A card that cuts a shape on the front base of a card
  • Book Box Card– a card with pleated interlocking sides to make it look 3D.
  • Box Card – A box made into a card.
  • Braided Card – this is a card you cut slits and fold down the paper to make a pattern in the paper.
  • Building Block Card – This is basically a pop out card and accordion card put together.
  • Cascading Card – This is a card that works like the zig zag card but with a gate fold.
  • Concertina Card– also known as an Accordion card.
  • Exploding Card – Not really a card, it is a box that when you lift the lid pops open
  • Gate Fold Card – A card that opens with two doors
  • Peek-A-Boo Card – A card that has a new image show up when opened
  • Pocket Card – A card with a pocket in it.
  • Slider Card – A card you slide instead of open
  • Shutter Card – A card that when opens opens like a a camera shutter.
  • Waterfall Card – Taking many images and flipping them simultaneously.
  • Z-Fold Card– Is an accordion card but each fold is cut at an angle to make a z shape card.

I put together a list of terms just to have, just in case I use any of the material mentioned so you know what it is:

  • A4 – 8.3″ x 11.7″ is the Standard paper size used outside the  USA. But I am American and we use 8.5″ x 11″
  • Acetate – comes in clear or colored transparent sheets. It comes in a wide variety of sizes, and has a thickness  ranging from .003, to .007. You probably don’t want anything thicker than .007. Because then it makes it difficult to cut. You can get it at an office store like Staples, Dick Blick, or just do an Amazon search for clear acetate. Dura-Lar is the acetate alternative but it cost about the same and works about the same. For colored acetate it will cost more and depending on what color you want with the size you want can be really hard to find or impossible. My suggestion is depending on the project just use the acetate from packaging such as toy packaging. Christmas time you will find a lot for free that friends and family are more than happy to hand you. Plus free boxes too!
  • Adhesive – The material used for boding paper and other material together. It can very from a liquid glue to tape. Make sure for card making to get acid free adhesive. Remember to grab the right glue for the job otherwise your card will turn into a fun puzzle to reassemble or a crinkled mess.
  • Aperture – A shape cut out from the front base.
  • Bleed – For printing it is when the color goes past the margin so it can be cut with the color. In art it is when a dark color seeps through a lighter color.
  • Blender Pen – used to blend colors in a nice subtle way or to clean up bleeding colors.
  • Blending Tool – a foam brush used to blend inks together.
  • Bone Folder – a flat tool  with a round tip used to score and fold paper. Can be made of bone or plastic. How you get the bone is your business.
  • Brads – This a term for paper fasteners, it has split ends that go in the paper and then fold flat to secure the paper in place. Any office store or craft store carries them in a wide selection of sizes and designs. I have no idea why they are called brads.
  • Brayer – A small rubber roller.
  • Burnish – means to rub or smooth. I probably will never use this term but if you do see it in a tutorial were someone says to burnish the paper down, don’t burn it.
  • Cardstock– or CS for short is the a paper usually with a heavy weight, used for card making. weight, size, design, and texture can vary.
  • Chip Board – it is used to make 3D embellishments
  • Core’dinations –  This is a brand of paper. The inside part of the paper is a different color or shade than the outside paper. When you rip or sand down the paper you get two different colors.
  • Craft Foam – also known as fun foam is foam sheets that come in a wide selection of shapes, and sizes and can be used many things including diy stamps.
  • Crimp – Making a thin accordion texture
  • Crop – cutting part of an image off
  • Debossing – This is the opposite of embossing where the image is indented instead of raised up
  • Decoupage – Decorating objects with paper cut-outs.
  • Die Cut – in terms of card making is  to cut out a piece of paper that is not a standard cut.
  • Digi Stamping – is a silly term I found and felt the need to include to describe printing an image on the paper rather than using an actual stamp. Also known as printing.
  • Distressing – is when you intentionally make old and worn out.
  • Embellishment – Anything you add to your card, it can be stickers, ribbon, flowers, glitter
  • Embossing – The image/pattern is raised up
  • Eyelet – Small metal pieces you can add using an eyelet setter. They look like hollow in the middle mushrooms that you press down.
  • Foil –  is affixed to a certain material by a heating process. Take an vector image and foil color of your choice put it though a laminator and peel the excess foil away. There even is a new brand out to DIY called Minc. The applicator is basically a laminator. Did I mention we carry this where I work at A.C.Moore and accept coupons, making it really cheap to make a fancy shine finish to a card.
  • Glitter – The herpes of the art world
  • Heat Embossing – This is were heat is applied to a quick melting powder to raise it up.
  • Light box – this one is is an obvious one. a box that creates light so you can trace an image.
  • Masking – Hiding the parts your don’t want covered with the medium of choice, such as paint.
  • Mountain fold– a fold that resembles a mountain. Sort of makes the letter A minus the line going across.
  • Origami – The art of paper folding without cutting the paper.
  • Quilling –  The use of taking long thin strips of paper and creating swirls and coils into images
  • Rub-ons – Are like stickers except you have to rub them on the paper.
  • Scoring – Making a groove into paper, usually to make it easier to fold
  • Scoring Board – A board with long straight grooves used to score paper and make cards. It is your best friend when card making or putting together 100 memorial programs together two nights before.
  • Stamping – putting ink on rubber embossed image to make a copy
  • Stencils – cut out images you trace around to copy
  • Stickers – images with a sticky bottom for quick application.
  • Valley fold – A fold that makes a V shape and resembles a valley.
  • Vellum – Semi translucent paper similar to parchment. in fact it derived from the Latin word “vitulinum” meaning “made from calf”. Paper Vellum is no longer made from a calf but plasticized cotton, so no worries to any animal loving artists.
  • Watermark– a mark left from an artist/design to mark an image as copyright. do not try to Photoshop watermarks but respect the artist.
  • Weaving – Taking fabric, ribbon, strips of paper, and other long materials over then under one another to create a woven effect.

There are more terms I am sure I could have listed. Meh.

A great glossary list of printing terms I found is http://www.printingforless.com/printingglossary.html

Good News

I got the part-time job at A. C. Moore and that means employee discount for me. Life is good. I already took advantage and got 18 count Aida fabric (a.k.a. Java canvas). Also, In time for the reddit exchange, Arbitrary day, I found a perfect Snoo cross-stitch pattern : http://www.adamkonieska.com/archives/reddit-snoo-cross-stitch-patterns/. It is adorable! I had some scrap aida fabric so I made snoo.

Now all I need is to sew scrap fabric to the back to make a nice, clean, simple, book mark for the one I am gifting. Yay!

Happy crafting.

Guess who is going to Brony Con in August?

This girl! I bought the tickets recently for 3 days though I am not sure  I will be attending all three days or not. To celebrate I made a simple Fluttershy skirt. I added a petticoat to exaggerate the fullness of the skirt using the cheapest tulle I could find, (.50 a yard on sale) scrap fabric that went around my waist twice, and elastic. I also decided to make my own cross-stitch butterflies, because, it felt like a very Fluttershy thing to do. I am not sure if this will be a cosplay costume or not. I really don’t want to invest in blue contacts since my vision is terrible and they would have to be prescription. I also don’t really know where I will store a long pink wig, and boots that are a split between go-go boots and cowboy boots.

The lace and thread I already owned. My cost was $2.50 for a green curtain I got at the thrift store (about 4 yards of fabric), $3.00 for the elastic, and $2.50 for the mesh. After I finished the skirt I proceeded to organize my floss making cute kitties and bobbins, because, the messiness and difficulty finding the colors I wanted, had to come to an end: The kitty pattern I got from http://little-white-whale.com/2013/09/diy-string-organizers/. The bobbins I made because it was what was left over measuring 12″ x 12″ paper.

I think my next project  will be attempting to make the Fluttershy back-pack. Her cutie mark is on the back and it looks like a fairly simple design. I already got the fabric, $1.50/yard of yellow canvas, white canvas I got for free at my mom’s house, $1.50/yard cotton liner because I was cheap and didn’t want to spend $7.00 on actually liner made for jackets, and $1.00 zipper. I think I will cross-stitch the cutie mark on the back pack while I am at it. When I am done I will show you eventually, unless I forget, or end up not doing it. Well that is all for now.

Happy crafting.

To boldly sew where no one has sewn before

I may or may not have mentioned I was making a robe recently. My goal is to make a Star Trek warm fleece robe. I didn’t want to spend $50 on a robe, only to find out it comes in one size, too big. Because of my size I tend to need children sizes with alterations to fit a lady. If you want a Star Trek robe you can find it here: thinkgeek.com.  JoAnn Fabrics had a sale on fleece and so I picked up four yards of red anti pill fleece fabric and a $1.99 robe pattern. The total came to about $25. I forgot a small remnant piece of black fabric for the neck so my robe is only sort of done.

Sales and red tag are how I buy fabric, however, I did find fabric.com is reasonably priced and you can order swatches for $1.75 plus $1.50 ($3.75 for Hawaii, Alaska, and international) shipping on most fabrics. Cotton prints don’t have sample swatches, however, for the price, on most projects, I would take my chances. The site even has a fabric glossary so you can learn what the different fabric types are.  Shipping is reasonable and they have a huge selection that you may not be able to find at your local fabric store. For a beginner I would suggest going to a local fabric store to find some remnants  to practice sewing with first. Because the store writes the type of fabric it is, it is a cheap way to find what type of fabrics you like working with, and lets you practice without going bankrupt. Another way to practice is using clothes you don’t want anymore. check the tags to find out what fabric you are using and see how it sews. You can also use a seam ripper to take out zippers and buttons to practice sewing with them. Practice is the best way to get better at anything and sewing is no exception.

My mother was the one who taught me to sew. I thought for fun I would see all the different tutorials offered on-line to learn to sew and was a little shocked to find most of the sites were for beginner projects only, with tips thrown into the directions, and most didn’t mention the very basics of good sewing practice. One of the sites I found helpful for very basic beginners was at tillyandthebuttons.com. The bummer is that she is located in England so the fabric stores she likes are crazy expensive to ship the fabrics to the USA and attending her class is tricky. She does have a book you can order on her site or from amazon prime. Remember to smile.amazon, so some of the money goes to charity. I want this book, but I don’t feel I need this book. Wish List it is.

This project would need an insignia and I had the perfect book, Star Trek Cross-Stitch.  I got this book from my Reddit Secret Santa and found it has a nice selection of patterns and project ideas. The book has a price tag of $19.99 on it but you can get it cheaper on-line. A favorite place to get used books online is thriftbooks.com, it is free shipping for orders over $10 and most books are only around $4 for new/slightly used condition. I prefer the actual book rather than the Kindle version simply because I have a bad habit of counting using the needle and when I guide my finger to where I am in my pattern I don’t want to accidentally go to the next page. I also like, for patterns that have a lot of the same color, to scan the image, and print so I can scribble out each section as I work on it, such as page 116, an all white cross-stitch of Picard’s head.

On my pilgrimage to my mother’s land to seek out love and adorable advice I finished the cross-stitch for my robe. Finishing this insignia was just bonus to an awesome weekend with some awesome ladies. I love you mom and mom-in-law.

The project turned out pretty good, even if the gold thread was a pain to work with.

I am off to dig in my fabric scraps I brought back to find black fabric for the neck part so I can finally finish this warm robe. Just in time for summer.

Happy Mother’s Day

This is the first year I had to make a road trip to hug my mother in person. I am fortunate to have a wonderful mother, who is loving and kind, and a mother-in-law, who makes me feel like part of the family, even before I was officially part of the family.

Both are the same style card. I picked mom’s favorite colors, used up my rub on letters I had in my miscellaneous craft bin, and embossed a little flower on one of the panels by hand.

I don’t like stickers, or rub on letters because after one project I am left with a bunch of letters I can’t use again, or am stuck trying to make a d into a p. Yeah, one of the letter p’s you see use to be a d, and I turned two letter g’s into two y’s (I did have one y in the set, but I wanted it to look uniformed). It is easier, and cheaper just to design and print.

Some of the Fancy Cards

I like making my own cards, they are more personal, and I love hearing the words, “Wow, You made that.” These cards are the cards I wish I had a custom die cutting machine for. They look neat but not professional:

A flip card, birthday card. You can buy the die cutting pattern that does the same effect (all the brands I checked are around $20-$50), however, as long as you have a ruler and know how to measure, making the template isn’t bad. Cutting the circle is.
Here is the birthday card open. Magic! The template was made in illustrator, and printed on plain paper. I then placed my template on top of the paper I wanted cut, secured all layers with blue painters tape, and cut with a very sharp blade.
This is the Christmas cards I made. I know it is early but I was in my sticker box and saw my two die cut stickers I bought for 50 cents and just had to use them. They seem to look very nice in the card. The pattern for this is here: Beccy’s Place. She calls it a napkin fold. If you have time she has a neat A-Z list of different cards.
This is my, Star Trek II Wrath of Khan, birthday card I made for a friend. I remembered he said it was one of his favorite Star Trek uniforms. The insignia was such a pain to cut out that I just got a golden marker for the button part and painted the metal.
Here it is, open to the side. I realized I was out of good magnets and so substituted some stick on Velcro I had in my random craft bin. It worked okay. Magnets, if you have them, would be better.

Those are all the cards for now. I will post my mom’s day cards on Sunday to avoid spoilers. I already scheduled it so I can’t forget.

My Wedding Crafts

Just to let you know, free comic book day was awesome! I even got a free Doctor Who t-shirt, and a Batman paper mask.

The store only allowed four free comics. The other four are my husband’s, A.K.A. mine.

And Now The Wedding Crafts:

Angie and Victor 9-6-14
I ended up not making my own wedding dress. I did, however, make the d20 boutonniere on Victor. Photo by: Bridget Banik of Top of the Mountain Photography.
This is the up close picture of the boutonniere. I used the Chessex Scarab Scarlet with gold numbers. All the dice I used to make the boutonnieres for my husband,the best man, and the groomsmen (and a set of dice for myself), I got at GenCon last year. Also, the die can come out and be used.
This is the up close picture of the boutonniere. I used the Chessex Scarab Scarlet with gold numbers. All the dice I used to make the boutonnieres for the groom, bestman, and groomsmen (and a set for myself), I got at GenCon last year. Also, the die can come out and be used.
I am not sure if you can see but I made metal hooks to attach the little dice on my shoes. They can slip off so I can wear the shoes without the dice. Together the dice add up to makes 9-6 for the date of our wedding.
I am not sure if you can see but I made metal hooks to attach the little dice on my shoes. They can slip off so I can wear the shoes without the dice. Together the dice add up to makes 9-6 for the date of our wedding.Photo by: Bridget Banik of Top of the Mountain Photography.
My dad made my card box. The roof opens with hinges for guests to put wedding cards in. My dad also carved the little people (it took him about 5 minutes) and I painted them to look like Victor and me.
Because we had a game table I kept the Center Pieces simple with just a frame that had the table number in it. The Chocobo is from a cross stitch template.
Because we had a game table I kept the center pieces simple with just a frame that had the table number in it. All are from 8-bit and 16-bit games. The design of this Chocobo is from a cross stitch template I found online. Photo by: Bridget Banik of Top of the Mountain Photography.

TableNumbers1-12.pdf Here are the twelve table numbers and the bonus two extras I made.

Happy Star Wars day and may the forth be with you.

Happy free comic book day!

Every year, the first weekend of May is free comic book day. I will be heading out today to pick up my comics. I may try the DIY comic book shoes. Another tutorial says to put a few layers of Mod Podge on and after each coat letting it dry over night and then using steel wool and nail buffer to buff out the bumps from the Mod Podge.

Free comic book day was the inspiration of my logo. (I love my cheesy 50’s portrait) I still want to change the font to a 50’s/60’s retro font from Dafont.com. Most fonts are free for personal use, but if you use it commercially (like making wedding invitations for a client or for a logo for your Etsy site) Price range is usually between $0 – $20 and the selection of fonts is huge. The price really depends on the user who made the font but if you are cheap like me you can go into more options and click the  100% free button to view only images that are free for both personal and commercial.

On a side note, in a folder I store my fonts in a simple word document. I am actually now making this in a spread sheet, so It is cleaner looking. Why I didn’t do a spread sheet earlier, I don’t know. I like to have a separate folder to store several word documents that have the font info.  I have a separate word document for each type of font (script, serif, san-serif, etc.). Each document the font is written (use the font to write its name), listing the website I got the font from in a readable font, and what rights I have to that font. This seems like a lot of work but trust me it saves time in the long run and it makes it easier when your looking for a font from your library. If you don’t do this one quick google search of the font name usually brings it up but when you have someone who is a paying customer asking what other fonts you have, this is a god sent.

For the type I used, though it will be changed later, the title font I am using is “Imprint MT Shadow.” It is one of the already installed fonts on my computer and the tag line under my floating head is “Old Newspaper Type.” I really like this font by Manfred Klein. His fonts are all 100% free, and can be found at Dafont.com as well.

Alright I have to leave soon. Sorry I got carried away talking about fonts and still didn’t post the wedding reception crafts. They are coming. I promise.

the old logo and tag line.
the old logo and tag line.

My Wedding Crafts

Hello. I promise to keep this short after my almost 800 word entry yesterday. Today is my show off day of the invites I made.

 This is the save the date I made for my wedding. It is just a simple 4″ x 6″ post card so it was pretty cheap to mail. Cartoon Victor is so cute!

Here is the invitation. I feel like the info in the front is still too crowded, but over all I am happy with it. I love making custom illustrations of people.

  • I made the band by cutting 12″ x 12″ paper that I got at A.C. Moore with a 50% coupon
  • I printed and then cut by hand the picture of me kissing Victor. It was extra work for me but it turned out nice and saved money. I caught up with all of Pod Castle stories during the boring print and cut so it wasn’t bad.
  • The pocket fold card I got at: cardsandpockets.com. They had the most reasonable price (this design was 80 cents a card, which was so much cheaper than doing it myself. You can custom order as many as you need with a minimum order of 10, the quality and selection of colors was good, and the shipping was pretty reasonable at about $8 or $9 for I think 3-5 business days shipping.
  • I also got the same color card stock in 8.5 x 11 inch paper (4 packs) to make the wedding programs and thank you’s, and I ordered all the the envelopes with my shipping. Planning ahead saves money, who would have thunk it.
  • All 63 invitations plus the save-the-dates, programs, thank you’s, and stamps to mail rsvps, invitations, thankyou’s, and save-the-dates came to about $315. My budget was $500. I was really happy.

I think I will save showing off the reception wedding crafts for tomorrow or Sunday.

Till then.