Quivk Tip: How to tell Copic marker ends apart

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I recently swatched my Copic markers and have been getting more use out of them than ever – if you have trouble figuring out which marker blends work best, I highly recommend making blending swatches (using 2-3 markers each time) to get the most out of your existing collection.

While reaching for markers, I found that I was often uncapping the wrong end – the chisel nib – instead of the brush nib I prefer for coloring. I was considering wrapping some washi tape around the “right” end, when I discovered this this hack:

Here’s another look at the marker ends…the brush nib end has a gray band all around the marker which is missing on the chisel nib end. This is so handy when your markers are front side down because you’ll still be able to tell the two ends apart!

 

Jennifer McGuire inspired dimensional gift tag

I watched this video by Jennifer McGuire recently and her three dimensional die cut tags inspired me to create my own:

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I cut the second largest tag shape from the “Cutting Tags” set by Little B and stamped the “Snowy Backdrops” by Lawn Fawn in Hero Arts Unicorn White pigment ink on top of some pool colored cardstock.

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For the star, I used the “Stitched Stars” dies from Gina Marie Designs and cut 5 stars out of bright blue cardstock. I used strong double sided adhesive to create my 3 dimensional star, but found it difficult getting the stars to adhere completely with tape, so I switched to Tonic Nuvo’s deluxe adhesive. I’ve been using that adhesive ever since I watched Amy Rysavy use it in her videos a few months ago – I LOVE IT! A little bit goes a long way and the tip is narrow enough for most applications without requiring a fine/needle tip. It is much easier on my hands than Ranger’s multi medium in the matte finish.

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I cut the sentiment using the “Merry” die by Mama Elephant, out of some silver glitter cardstock by DCWV. I then added ice blue gems to my star on the three points on both the front and back sides. I loved that effect so much from Jennifer’s video that I had to recreate it. It makes the most brilliant sparkling effect when the tag catches the light.

I finished my tag by tying some blue and white twine through the hole. This is obviously not a tag you can mail but it will look stunning on a gift for someone special.

 

 

Organizing stamps: Sticker labels

Guess what came in the mail yesterday? My Avery Elle Stamp Storage Pockets! I have been waiting eagerly for them to arrive so that I can get started organizing my stamps and dies.

My stamps are still mostly in their original packaging. Before my collection grew to the size it is today, that never bothered me. Now, however, I’m finding that smaller packages get lost in between larger sets and some even fall to the side of the container I store them in, getting lost for months until I empty the entire container.

I bought the large stamp pockets and am using those for all sets that are 4×6 or smaller. I did consider getting the small pockets as well, but I have so few “smaller” sets that I just don’t think I will get as much use out of them.

I used printable sticker paper to label my dies. I do have a label maker and love using it, but with so many stamp sets to transfer over AND label, I knew printing them all at once would be easier.

On my computer, I created a document in Microsoft Word, set my font to Calibri (Body), font size 11. Then, I clicked on “Layout” and under “Columns”, selected three. This meant that after typing up all my text, I would have three columns on each page. Doing this saved me a LOT of sticker paper!

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Then, I loaded my printer with the printable sticker paper and hit print! Some tips for printing: depending on your printer (I use a low end Canon printer), load 1 sheet of sticker paper at a time. If you have multiple pages, print 1 page at a time. This will save you time and money, I promise.

To cut the labels out, I used my Fiskars paper trimmer. I cut off the top and bottom to eliminate the extra space from printing borders. Then, as in the left picture below, I made slits close to, but not past, the edge of the paper. This allowed me to make multiple slits along the rows but not separate the rows…yet. 🙂 I promise…this is another MAJOR time saver.

Once I cut all the rows (cut to *just* before the edge..) I turned my paper the right way around and made ONE  cut all the way down. This cut out ALL my rows at once for each column. 🙂

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(Sidenote: I love my Fiskars paper trimmer – I’ve had so many trimmers in the past that just don’t cut straight, or don’t “grip” on to the paper tight enough, but I’m having none of those problems with my current trimmer. Plus I love that it’s so easy to see exactly where to cut with the wire guide!)

With all the labels cut out, all I had to do was remove the sticker backing, adhere the labels to cardstock and fill my pockets with stamps! I am close to done with my entire stamp stash, and will update with pictures once I’m finished.

Lastly…I do apologize for the bad lighting in the photos – I left my phone in the office and had to rely on my husband’s phone for the pictures instead. Lesson learned…

Craft Room Tour!

Today, my craft room is going on tour on my Instagram channel @shakercards ! I will be posting a new picture every hour. While I am lucky enough to have a dedicated room for crafting, my space is on the smaller side, so I will probably only be hosting this series for 6-8 hours. 😉 When the day is over, I’ll be sharing all the pictures here as well.

If you’d like to follow along, check out my Instagram page here. Feel free to share your own pictures and tag me in them too!

Shaker tags

IMG_20171117_191308_411My latest obsession has been making shaker tags. I made the two tags pictured in this post and brought them in to work. My coworker was shocked and said it was an awful lot of time to spend on something most people throw away.

When you look at it like that, I kind of agree with her! But they are so adorable, I just can’t help myself. And, I might just gift them with a note that suggests alternatives to tossing them…like hanging them on the Christmas tree or recycling them for next year.
IMG_20171118_215611_050The circle shaker was easy to make. The hardest part was trying to fiddle with foam tape to go around the circle. I gave up on the foam tape and die cut 5 more scalloped circles instead and layered them. Problem solved.

The rectangle shaker tag was slightly more time consuming because I couldn’t find a die that was proportional to the tag. In the end, I made the shaker portion square and called it a day. The sequins are so sparkly on both tags that I can’t help but play with them and shake them back and forth.

I think I will be making many more of these tags throughout the holiday season – I am already dreaming of a gold and silver microbead shaker!

Happy mail!

I got some happy mail that made me smile so hard this week!

I received a card in the mail from Jennifer McGuire! Some time back, I sent her a card with some puffy stickers for her daughter, Lila, and she surprised me by sending me a card back. It is GORGEOUS (everything she makes is, after all) – and the best part is, I saw her make the card in a video! Totally surreal. It now lives atop my piano. 🙂

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It also happens to be my birthday this week and my family spoiled me by sending me these goodies in the mail.

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I cannot WAIT to break open these dies and get crafting this weekend!

Magical birthday card: Lawn Fawn Fairy Friends

 

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You can’t go wrong with Copic coloring, Lawn Fawn stamped images and cute pattern paper!

If I had to choose just ONE stamp company I could buy from, for the rest of my life, it would have to be Lawn Fawn. (Let me digress and say that it would be a horrible world to live in, where we didn’t have the choice of all the wonderful and amazing stamp designers out there today, and I am so glad that is not our reality today!)

Lawn Fawn’s images are always fun, adorable and quirky. Their sentiments have the most excellent puns – they never fail to make me smile.

The “Fairy Friends” stamp set is part of Lawn Fawn’s Spring 2016 release. When it came out, I had just quit my job and couldn’t justify a craft purchase. It stayed on my wish list till a few weeks back, so, when I got my hands on it, I HAD to make a card right away!

I used the “Meadow Border” die for the grass, also from Lawn Fawn, out of some scrap green cardstock. My images were colored in with Copic markers. I am still very much a beginner at using these markers, but once you get past the initial learning curve, it is easy to get good results, even if you aren’t a pro.

I used Memento Tuxedo Black ink to stamp my images (because it is a Copic-friendly ink – don’t use Versafine if you plan on coloring with Copics!) on Neenah Solar White 110lb cardstock. I then cut my images out with my Brother ScanNCut as I don’t have the coordinating dies for this set…yet.

I then used some polka dot pattern paper from American Crafts (not Lawn Fawn unfortunately – didn’t have any in my stash!) for the background and cut the sentiment (a die I received free from SimonSaysStamp.com in October 2017) out of gold mirror cardstock.

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Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have a “fairy” good day!

Happy Birthday Jaide’s dad!

My coworker, Jaide, is a beautiful soul. She has been through a lot, but does everything in her power to maintain an uplifting, positive take on life. Her dad had a birthday recently, and she offered to pay me to make him a birthday card. I said I would make it, but wouldn’t take payment…so she left a giant chocolate cake on my desk the day after her dad’s birthday!

This was me, upon discovering it:

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Mmm, cake….chocolate…chocolate AND cake…

Where was I? Oh, right. Birthday card!

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Jaide’s dad’s nickname is Moose, so I used a moose silhouette from Cricut Design Space, cut out 5 times out of kraft cardstock. I used walnut stain distress ink to add depth and shading (or at least that was what I was aiming for…).

I also diecut some red pattern paper (also treated with walnut stain distress ink) from a stitched scalloped rectangle set from Gina Marie designs. I’ve said this before but I LOVE GMD dies. They are priced so affordably and cut just as good, if not better, than their more expensive counterparts. You may not get bells and whistles with the packaging, but I repackage my dies anyway, so this doesn’t bother me in the slightest.

The shimmery yellow/gold accents are actually gold shimmer vellum I had in my stash. I used it as a mat as well as to cut out the stitched squares behind the word “dad”. The individual letters (from Concord and 9th) were stamped in Versafine Onyx Black ink then heat embossed with clear embossing powder from Ranger.

The sentiment (Sending birthday wishes) is from an Avery Elle set that I got on clearance a few weeks back – if you didn’t shop their clearance sale, you missed some amazing deals! Thankfully, it’s the time of year when sales are in abundance, so keep a look out on their website for more deals…

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I finished the card by adding some gold enamel dots and stripey twine. I’ve had that roll of twine forever and it never seems to run out (knock on wood). I love that stuff!

Video: Die cut dimensional card

Having been the newest member of my work team not too long ago, I know firsthand what it feels like to join the ranks of employees who have been with the company over 5, 10, and even 20 years. When we added two new employees to our work family last month, I wanted to let them know they had our support and encouragement to so I organized a brunch and made two identical cards for our team to sign.

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5.5″ square top folding card. Pattern paper from the 12×12 Silver Lining Stack by DCWV

I used DCWV white glitter paper (LOVE!) to mat the background. I then cut some silver foiled pattern paper with the largest die from the Spellbinders Labels 42 etched dies and adhered it with foam tape. I also added some ribbon for a decorative accent.

For the sentiment, I heat embossed “You’ve Got This” from Avery Elle’s “Brushed” stamp set in silver embossing powder from Ranger. It is one of my most used stamp sets (I’ve used the “happy birthday” in the same font countless times…).

I cut the scalloped circles out of Neenah cardstock and vellum using dies (2nd and 3rd largest) from Gina Marie Designs. They are priced affordably and cut like a dream!

I filmed myself while making these cards (my first time ever!), quickened up the speed so you aren’t watching me fiddle for 20 minutes, and added some music over top…here is my very first card making video…don’t laugh too hard!

I also made the envelope pictured below using the We R Memory Keepers envelope punchboard. I’m much more confident making “odd” sized cards now that I have the punchboard – I never have to worry about not having the right sized envelope for whatever size card I choose to make.

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Critters | Avery Elle and Penny Black

When I first started card making, I gravitated towards florals and abstract/geometric patterns. One of the reasons for that is, simply, I’m not great at coloring. With flowers, I can usually get away with 1-2 colors in whatever medium I’m using and do simple blending from dark to light.

With critters, there are so many different parts to the image (face, belly, arms, hoofs, tusks, noses, cheeks…) that I find it overwhelming to pick the right shades, and then to also coordinate colors. The problem is that stamp companies keep releasing adorable critter stamp sets that I simply must own, and it seems a little ridiculous to own them for the sake of petting them and going “awww” heheh.

So, I got brave and worked on two “critter” cards using images from Avery Elle and Penny Black:

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Unicorn, stars and sentiment from Avery Elle “Be a Unicorn”. Coloring with Zig Clean Color Real Brush markers. I used dies from Gina Marie Designs for the clouds and stitched details.

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This was a “must have” set for me, which then set in my stash for a good couple of months, because I was too intimidated to tackle the coloring.

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I’ve owned this wood mounted stamp from Penny Black (Christmas at my Window) for a long time – it was a garage sale find! I cut out the image by hand and used vellum cut with a stitched hexagon die to center the image.

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I colored in the image using my Zig clean color real brush markers as well. Really loving my Zigs – they are getting less intimidating with every use.