Canned Snowmen

Hi everyone!

Today I am sharing some “Canned Snowmen”. Blanket stitched stuffed cotton batting snowmen dusted with Dazzling Diamonds glitter are tucked inside canning jars. They have stitched eyes/mouths, wood carrot noses and twig arms. They are wearing cozy wool scarves and have peppercorn buttons down their bellies. In one of their twig arms, they hold either a rusty jingle bell, sparkly snowflake, snow balls or sheet music as they stands in a pile of glittery snow. Tags are tied around the jars with natural twine. Some of the tag sayings are “Let it snow!”, “Happy Winter!”, “NOEL” and more.

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Please note:

*I will be doing a blog post to let everyone know when all of the winter/Christmas items are available at Sparkling Dahlia in Carstairs, Alberta.

 

 

 

*Please feel welcome to sign up as a follower to receives updates by email so you don’t miss a thing!

 

 

 

Until next time,

Erin

The Country Touch

Website: http://www.thecountrytouch.weebly.com

Email: ctrytch@telus.net

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Tuesday’s Tip #12

Hi everyone!

Welcome to today’s Tuesday’s Tip. These posts are tips about different products, crafting and also ways of stretching the supplies that you already may have. I alternate Technique Tuesday and Tuesday’s Tip just to change things up a bit.

Today I want to share with you some ways of using brads in paper crafting projects. Brads are two pronged paper fasteners that have a colored or decorative top and come in practically all shapes and sizes, as well as a variety of colors. They can be used in any paper crafting project as they are functional as well as decorative ~ adding color, texture and interest. After punching or piercing a small hole in the paper, they are pushed through the paper and the two prongs {now on the back side} are spread apart which holds the brad in place.

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#1} Bookplate nails ~ use a brad on each side of a bookplate {a decorative frame that holds a label} to attach it to the cover of album or journal.

#2} Eyes for critters ~ use a very small size. If black or brown are not available, color them with a permanent black/brown marker, such as a sharpie or alcohol marker.

#3} Attach embellishments ~ most embellishments can be attached with a brad and the prongs stay hidden behind.

#4} Bullet points ~ brads used as bullet points would be great for lists or details on a scrapbook layout.

#5} Tag pull tabs ~ these work great for attaching a loop of ribbon as a pull tab to a tag.

#6} Flower centers ~ a coordinating brad makes the perfect flower center. Add a bit of glitter for extra sparkle.

#7} Hold down photos ~ attach photos to a scrapbook layout without the need for adhesives.

#8} Hangers ~ attach a loop of bakers twine or cord behind a square or rectangle of card stock with a stamped image or patterned paper image to look like a hanging framed print. Hang the loop over a small brad that imitates a nail. This would make a lovely focal point for a card, album/scrapbook layout page.

#9} Securing Vellum ~ as vellum is see through, brads can be a very handy way of adhering it to a project while adding some prettiness and not the worry of adhesive showing through.

#10} Add rub ons/stickers ~ liven up an otherwise plain looking brad by applying a decorative rub on or sticker that will coordinate with your project.

#11} Door handle ~ use a large brad to look like a door knob on the front cover of a mini album or journal.

#12} Embellishment ~ because there are so many styles of brads, any project can benefit from some of these added it. Everything from flowers and cupcakes to pumpkins and snowflakes. You can get just about image in brad form!

 

Hints:

*When piercing a hole in the paper, be sure to do it over a paper piercing mat or mouse pad. For larger brads, a 1/8″ hole punch may be necessary.

*A pack of assorted white or cream brads can be a very useful thing to have in your crafting supplies. Using permanent colored makers will result in any color you need.

*Sparkle can be added by applying a coat of liquid glue and then a dusting of fine glitter. Or spread a thin layer of Stickles. Glossy accents is perfect for adding some shine.

 

 

 

I hope you enjoyed this weeks tip. As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. See you next time!

 

 

 

*Please feel welcome to sign up as a follower to receives updates by email so you don’t miss a thing!

 

 

 

Until next time,

Erin

The Country Touch

Website: http://www.thecountrytouch.weebly.com

Email: ctrytch@telus.net

Handmade Paper

Hi everyone!

Making handmade paper is a pretty simple process. It’s also a great way to use up and recycle your old scraps of paper such as envelopes, junk mail and any other paper that you were ready to throw into the recycling bin. With just a few supplies you will be well on your way to making handmade paper for any of your paper crafting projects.

You will need: water, scrap papers, Rubbermaid bin, plastic dish tub or large roasting pan {big enough to hold the pulp/water and fit the mould & deckle}, *mould & deckle {instructions for creating this is found below}, blender, spoon, absorbent material such as towels, felt squares or chamois, iron, sponge or cloth, cutting board or cookie sheet. *Please note: I have not included a picture of all these supplies as there were too many big items to fit in one picture.

 

*Creating a mould and deckle:

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You can purchase a mold and deckle from an arts and crafts store or make one yourself. But regardless of which way you choose to do it, you must have one as it is a neccesary piece of equipment for paper making. The two pieces to the mould and deckle are:

the mould ~ this is a frame that has some type of screen attached

the deckle ~ this frame does not have a screen and when it is laid on top of the mould, it forms the edge of the piece of paper.

 

1} You will need: 2 – 8″ x 10″ frames, varnish/paintbrush {if they are not already sealed}, window screen mesh or plastic canvas, no-rust staples/staple gun, ruler, pencil, scissors, duct tape {optional}, foam weather strip tape.

2} If the frames have glass and a backing, remove them.

3} For the mould ~ Measure and cut a piece of mesh or canvas 1/4″ narrower and shorter than the frame.

4} Stretch taut and staple in place all the way around on the flattest side of the frame. *It is very important that the mesh/canvas is stretched tightly and evenly.

5} This step is optional {it just makes the finished piece a little neater looking}. Cover all four edges with duct tape but do not go past the inside edge of the frame. I didn’t do this for mine though.

6} For the deckle ~ Apply the foam weatherstrip tape to all four edges on the flatter side of the frame. This creates a tight seal and prevents the pulp from leaking out between the mould and deckle when you’re forming the sheets of paper.

The mould and deckle is now complete and ready for paper making!

 

Hints:

*I think a mould made with a screen would work better than the plastic canvas. The plastic canvas leaves some marks on the paper but I ironed it a bit and that seemed to help.

 

 

*Making the paper:

1} Choose the paper that will be used and tear into small pieces or run through a paper shredder. *Please note: if using mailing envelopes with clear windows, remove the clear plastic window before tearing up the envelope. Cover the paper pieces with hot water and let sit for 30 minutes to allow the paper to soak up some water.

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2} Put soaked paper/water mixture into the blender {about 2/3 full} and run the blender slowly at first, then increase the speed until the pulp looks smooth and well blended ~ about 30 -40 seconds. Check to make sure that no bits of paper remain whole. If there are, blend a bit longer.

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This is what the blended pulp should look like.

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3} Fill the Rubbermaid bin {what I used} about half way with water. Then add about 2 blender loads of pulp. *The more pulp you add to the water the thicker the finished paper will be. Stir the mixture well to combine and bring to the surface of the water.

*I apologize for the glare in some of these pictures ~ I was doing this at the kitchen sink and there is a window above it.

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4} Press the mould down into the pulp. Level it out while it is submerged by gently wiggling it from side to side until the pulp on top of the screen looks evenly spread out.

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5} Lift the mold up slowly until it is above the level of the water. If the paper seems too thick, submerge the mould back into the water and remove the pulp from the screen and stir the mixture. If the paper is too thin, add some more pulp and stir. Repeat step 4.

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6} After lifting the mould out of the water, tip it on an angle to drain off some water before laying it flat. When it stops dripping, gently place one edge onto the side of the absorbent material. Gently ease the mould down so that it is laying flat with the paper right on the fabric. Using a sponge or cloth, press out as much water as possible.

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7} While holding the edge of the fabric down flat, carefully and slowly lift the edge of the mould. The wet sheet of newly made paper should stay on the fabric. If it ends up sticking to the mold, it’s possible that not enough water was pressed out. Or maybe it was lifted up too quickly. Try pressing some more water out with the sponge or cloth and lift the mould.

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8} If more than one sheet of paper is needed, repeat all of the steps above until there are enough sheets.

9} Put the sheets on a cutting board or a cookie sheet individually. Place another cloth on top of the sheet and iron firmly to partially dry it. Then remove the cloth so that the paper can dry the rest of the way naturally. Placing the sheets outside in the sun or hanging them on a clothesline will dry them quickly but they will also dry indoors just fine. It will just take a little bit longer.

Congratulations! You’ve just created handmade paper 🙂

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Hints:

*To the pulp you may add natural items such as flower petals {as shown in the picture above}, leaves and pine needles. Or bits of colored paper and threads. Even glitter or tiny confetti will give some pretty sparkle and shimmer. These little extras add pretty color and texture. *Please note: Be sure to use these extras sparingly or the paper will not hold together properly.

 

 

 

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

 

 

*Please feel welcome to sign up as a follower to receives updates by email so you don’t miss a thing!

 

 

 

Until next time,

Erin

The Country Touch

Website: http://www.thecountrytouch.weebly.com

Email: ctrytch@telus.net

Technique Tuesday #23

Hi everyone!

Welcome to this weeks Technique Tuesday. In these posts I share a technique that can be applied to many forms of paper crafting ~ card making, scrapbooking, albums and tags. I alternate Technique Tuesday and Tuesday’s Tip just to change things up a bit.

This week’s technique: PAPER STRIPES.

The technique results in the look of patterned paper and it is a great way to use up scraps. The strips can be laid vertically, horizontally or diagonally.

 

You will need: assorted card stock, thin paper {copy paper}, adhesive {tape runner, adhesive sheet or a glue stick works fine}, cutting tool of choice, bone folder.

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Cut various widths of card stock in the color combination you want. Or they can all be the same width and shades of one color ~ it’s entirely up to you. Have some fun with different color combinations 🙂

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I used a 4 1/4″ x 5 1/2″ piece of copy paper for adhering the strips. Of course, the base paper can be any size you want. Cover it with your chosen adhesive. *Please note: I used lines of tape runner placed about 3/4″ apart. Wide double sided tape could be used also. Then just peel off the backing when you’re ready to lay on the strips.

Now lay the strips right next to each other {touching} on the adhesive for a nice, smooth look. *Please note: The smoother the strips are, the nicer it looks. This also makes it easier to stamp on should you decide to do so.

Once the copy paper is covered with strips, burnish them with a bone folder for a smooth finish.

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Turn over the strip covered piece of copy paper and cut off the ends.

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Now the striped paper can be cut to whatever size is needed for the project.

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You can use as much or as little as you want of your new “paper stripes” paper. I cut off a small section of mine to add to the card front along with a stamped sentiment, a ribbon knot, some punched flowers and sparkly rhinestones.

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Hints:

*Wouldn’t glitter paper stripes would be so pretty for Christmas or wedding cards? Even just a few glitter stripes here and there in the sequence of stripes.

*Try die cutting shapes in the striped paper and stamp an image or sentiment in the opening. The stamping could be right on the card front or on a scrap of paper. Then lay the striped paper with the die cut shape over top.

 

 

I hope you enjoyed this weeks technique. As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. See you next time!

 

 

*Please feel welcome to sign up as a follower to receives updates by email so you don’t miss a thing!

 

 

Until next time,

Erin

The Country Touch

Website: http://www.thecountrytouch.weebly.com

Email: ctrytch@telus.net

 

Tuesday’s Tip #11

Hi everyone!

Welcome to today’s Tuesday’s Tip. These posts are tips about different products, crafting and also ways of stretching the supplies that you already may have. I alternate Technique Tuesday and Tuesday’s Tip just to change things up a bit.

Quite often the first few stamped images from new clear acrylic stamps can turn out splotchy and uneven. Today I want to share with you a couple of ways to prep new clear acrylic stamps to achieve clear crisp images.

To show you what I mean, here is a picture of a stamped image before and after the prepping/conditioning process. The “before” looks a bit blotchy and uneven. Whereas the “after” is more clear. There are probably many other methods besides these but I find these are what work best for me and my stamping. If you have any ideas, please feel welcome to share 🙂

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The first thing I do before using a new clear acrylic stamp is to remove the coating the manufacturing leaves on the stamp. This is done by washing the stamp with a bit of mild dishwashing soap {like Ivory} and warm water. Rinse well and pat dry with a soft microfibre cloth. It works better to pat it dry rather that wipe the cloth across it as doing that can leave small fibres behind.

 

The next step is to condition the stamp. This can be done by rubbing the stamp gently with a pencil eraser {either pink or white}. Then use a soft toothbrush to brush off any tiny crumbs of eraser. Follow this by inking up the stamp with VersaMark ink and stamp off on scrap paper a couple of times. *Please note: before stamping an image on your good card stock, ink up the prepped/conditioned stamp in the desired color of ink and do a couple of practice stamps on scrap paper until you are happy with the image. It’s better to waste a bit of inexpensive scrap paper than card stock.

 

Finally, using a piercing mat, piece of craft foam or a mouse pad under the cardstock while stamping with a clear acrylic stamp can help achieve a crisper image. The cushioning is what helps to do this.

 

 

I hope you enjoyed this weeks tip. As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. See you next time!

 

 

*Please feel welcome to sign up as a follower to receives updates by email so you don’t miss a thing!

 

 

Until next time,

Erin

The Country Touch

Website: http://www.thecountrytouch.weebly.com

Email: ctrytch@telus.net

 

Notes of Kindness

Hi everyone!

These little notes are perfect for adding a bit of unexpected kindness to someone who really needs it. They are a great surprise for tucking into a child’s lunch bag, your husband’s briefcase, a neighbors mail box or to give out to someone who just needs a little lift in their day. They could also be added to a hand made card, journal or scrapbook layout.

Any note base shape can be used ~ die cut, punched or hand cut card stock. Stamp some little images and color them in. Then add a sentiment, a few embellishments and you’re done! If you don’t want to use stamps, how about some cute stickers and hand written messages? These can be as plain or as fancy as to want them to be. *Please note: I stamped, heat embossed and colored in my images. Then added a few different sequins to each note just for a bit of shine and sparkle. Very simple. They are meant to be tokens of love and encouragement. A bunch can be made up to have on hand when you need one. Please feel welcome to share what you create 🙂

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*Please feel welcome to sign up as a follower to receives updates by email so you don’t miss a thing!

 

 

Until next time,

Erin

The Country Touch

Website: http://www.thecountrytouch.weebly.com

Email: ctrytch@telus.net

 

Fancy Fold Friday #5

Happy Friday everyone!

Fancy Fold Friday posts are posted on the first Friday of each month and are about making a wide variety of card styles just by varying the way that the paper is folded. Knowing how to fold cards from a single sheet of cardstock is a useful technique to learn. Many different styles of handmade cards can be created from standard sizes of paper and card stock ~ typically 8 1/2″ x 11″ {letter size}. The various methods of card folding each provide different design opportunities. Very unique looks can be achieved simply by changing the fold or orientation of your card and special folds are a great way to create eye catching cards!

This week: CRISS CROSS FOLD.

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The “Criss Cross” fold gets it’s name from the two side panels that cross over the front of the card. *Please note: This card fold does require a 12″ x 12″ piece of card stock as the card base measures 5″ x 12″. The finished size measures 5″ x 5″. Since we are now into October, I thought this card should have a Halloween theme 🙂

 

You will need {to make the card base}: card stock, scoring board, bone folder, paper trimmer or cutting tools of choice. *Additional supplies may include patterned paper, adhesive and whatever embellishments/extras need to complete the intended design.

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Begin with a piece of card stock measuring 5″ x 12″.

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Place the piece of card stock horizontally on the scoring board and score at 3 1/2″ and 8 1/2″.

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Place a small pencil tick mark along the right hand side 1 1/2″ up from the bottom of the card.  Line up a ruler edge at the very top of the right fold and line it up with the tick mark.

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Cut along the ruler using a trimmer or craft knife. Repeat for the left side.

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Then fold along the score lines as shown using a bone folder for nice sharp creases.

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Now it’s time to decorate the card base.

 

#1} Cut some patterned paper 4 7/8″ x 4 7/8″ to fit the the center inside section and glued it on.
#2  Now cut 4 smaller pieces of a different patterned paper to fit the 2 panels, both inside and out. Then glue them on. *Please note: once you have a piece measured and cut for one of the panels, lay it on top of 3 more layers and cut through all 3 at the same time. This way, they all turn out exactly the same. I find angle cuts a bit trickier so anything to make it a bit easier is always nice.
#3} Add whatever other embellishments you like. For the inside, I stamped a sentiment in black ink, matted it on orange card stock and added a few coordinating rhinestones for some sparkle. A 3D sticker was centered across the two front panels. *For the small section of sticker that sticks out at the edge of the flap, I just touched it with my finger until the “stick” was gone. *Be sure that your finger is clean so that the backside of the sticker doesn’t get dirty. A couple of K & Company epoxy stickers were also added ~ one on each side.
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I hope you enjoyed this months Fancy Fold!

 

 *Please feel welcome to sign up as a follower to receives updates by email so you don’t miss a thing!

 

 

Until next time,

Erin

The Country Touch

Website: http://www.thecountrytouch.weebly.com

Email: ctrytch@telus.net