Alcohol Inks on Glossy Photo Paper

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A few months back my friend Amy bought me some Tim Holtz Ranger Alcohol Inks for my birthday. I’ve played with them on ceramic tile, which is a lot of fun, but I wanted something I could use as a paper element. The standard medium for alcohol inks is Yupo Paper, which can be pretty pricy, generally over $1.00/sheet. I did some research and found that some people have had great luck with glossy photo paper – on the back side. I happened to have quite a bit of glossy photo paper on hand, so I gave it a try, and I was pretty pleased with my results. It doesn’t wipe clean like Yupo, but it does allow the ink time to spread and mingle well, and at 1\10 the price, you can afford to play. If you would like to see the alcohol ink in action, check out the video below. You can also scroll down for some photos. 

The paper I had on hand has some printing on the back, but it is possible to find it without any printing. However, for my purposes I only need the middle space, so it didn’t matter. I also ran my finished sheets through embossing folders, and I loved the results! I punched 1.25’ circles from this one and made a simple but beautiful card with loads of color and texture.

Photo paper also looks stunning when embossed or die cut plain, as you can see on this card I made a few years back. Excuse the awful flash photo. I was trying to really capture the embossing.

If you’ve got a box of glossy photo paper on hand and don’t print your own photos, don’t toss it! Get out your die cutter, embossing folders, or just some paper punches and make some really striking card and scrapbook elements!

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WRMK Punch Board Birthday Card

This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through the link, I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.

Today I’d like to share a fun birthday card made using a few We R Memory Keepers Punch Boards – some of my all time favorite crafting tools! If you’d like to see a video of the process, including a demo of how to use the Punch Boards I used, check out my YouTube video below. If you’d prefer a written tutorial, keep scrolling.

 Here’s what you need to make the card as shown below.

*Two coordinating 12×12 sheets of scrapbook paper cut to the following dimensions: 12×7.5 for the card base, and 10.75×10.75 for the envelope.

*Eight different patterned 6×6 sheets of scrapbook paper. Cut 2 inches from one side of each sheet. From that 2×6 section, cut a piece 1.5×2.5. From the remaining 4×6 section, cut a piece 4×2.75.

*We R Memory Keepers Mini Alphabet Punch Board

*We R Memory Keepers Pocket Punch Board

*We R Memory Keepers Envelope Punch Board

*Adhesive Runner

*Paper Cutter

*Score Board (optional but helpful)

*Heidi Swapp Word Dies Happy Die

*Sizzix Big Shot or other die cutter

First, from the 1.5×2.5 paper pieces, cut the letters to spell BIRTHDAY using the Mini Alphabet Punch Board.

Use the Pocket Punch Board to create eight 1.75×2.25 notch pockets.

Pair each letter with a pocket with a different pattern.

Score your card base on the long side at the 6” mark and fold in half. With the adhesive runner, adhere the pockets to the front of the card in two rows of four, with the pockets holding the letters B,I,R,T on the top row and the letters H,D,A,Y on the second row.

Cut the word Happy from coordinating/contrasting scrapbook paper using the Heidi Swapp die. Add adhesive to the back and adhere across the top row of pockets.

Using your WRMK Envelope Punch Board, create your Envelope from the 10.75×10.75 piece of paper.

All done! I left the inside blank for a handwritten message, but you could also stamp a sentiment if you’d like.

The card pictured at the top of the post was made for my nephew Max using more boy friendly paper, and instead of die cutting the word Happy, I’m just lettered it across the top using a Stabilo Fine-liner. I also made one for my niece Adelaide, who turned 5 yesterday. Instead of the word Birthday, her pockets held the letters of her name. She’s headed to kindergarten and just learning to spell, so I know this card will be a hit with her.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial!

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Handmade Gifts

Guys, the craft room is coming together! I’ve still got a little organizing to do, but I’m getting there. So anyway, I wanted to show you some of the handmade gifts I’ve made and given over the last few months. Fair warning, a lot of these are quick cell phone pictures I grabbed on my way out the door rather than pretty staged shots, but I’m going on the theory that done is better than perfect.

Let’s start with a few things I made for Christmas gifts.

I made paracord fishing flies for the dads and brothers in my life, and I really liked the way they turned out. They were quick and easy, and you can find the tutorial I followed here. I wrapped mine with fishing line instead of an interior filament of the paracord and sealed it with super glue, and I was really pleased with the way they looked. I made some from bright colors and some from muted shades, which made them good for different applications.

I also made several of these paracord lanyards that hang from the straps of waders and hold the tools used in fly fishing.

I made this shirt for my cousin. You can buy a similar one here if you don’t want to DIY your own. (Not an affiliate link)

I made Taylor and her best friend Lexye each a Taco Bell Is Life pillow from hand dyed drop cloth.

These were various bracelets I made for moms, aunts, and sisters.

 (I might have kept this one for myself. Shhhh!)

This was the shirt I made Lily for Valentines Day. It was her very specific design.

This was the shirt I made for Levi, which matched the one I made for Sawyer, although Sawyer’s said Heartbreaker.

 (No, I have no idea why he was wearing a helmet)

They also got matching Plex shirts.They’re both big Yo Gabba Gabba fans.

Speaking of Yo Gabba Gabba, I made Sawyer this Brobee shirt. I passed this little green striped shirt at the thrift store 4 or 5 times before I bought it. I really liked the stripes, but I couldn’t think what I wanted to do with it, and Sawyer has a ton of t-shirts. Then one day it just clicked what a perfect Brobee shirt it would make, so into my cart it went. It’s one of his favorites.
These little Jesus Loves Me shirts for Lily and my niece Adelaide were made at the request of Adelaide’s mom Rachael. You can buy a similar one here. (Not an affiliate link)

This was Lily’s St. Patrick’s Day shirt.
This little shirt was for my nephew Lawrence who looooves his little guitar!
My brother Cary is a huge duck hunter, so as part of his birthday gift Nick and I made him this duck hunting themed key fob. It was a metal tag from the Target Dollar Spot. I cut a stencil out of vinyl, and Nick sand blasted it. The quote on the back is a scripture reference. We also sand blasted his favorite sports logo into a metal tumbler, but I didn’t get a picture of it. (I know, lame.)

This was Lily’s shirt for Dr. Seuss Day at school.
This coral earrings and bracelet set was for my sister-in-law Leah’s birthday.
Just before we moved into the new house we had the biggest blessing! A lovely lady from our church got some new furniture for her living room and gifted us her previous couch, chair, and recliner. They were in pristine condition – she just wanted some smaller pieces, and they were perfect for our living room! She is a pilot, and I made her this bracelet as a thank you.
This Minnie shirt was for my niece Adelaide’s 2nd birthday.
I also found these sweet leggings and made shirts to match them.

 
For Mother’s Day I made a few of these fun potholder purse organizers. The floral one came from Walmart and the quatrefoil one came from Target.

On Mother’s Day our church gives a small gift to every woman and girl there. This year we gave these lovely fancy paper clips. My mom, Taylor, her friend Lexye, and I added the buttons to the clips, and I cut, punched, and stamped all the cards.
I added vinyl to these cups as thank you gifts for our realty team and they loved them! FYI, these are the Ozark Trail brand from Walmart. I have the same cup in the 30 ounce, and it is identical in looks and performance to Nick’s 30 ounce Yeti tumbler for oh, 1/4 of the price. Seriously. Get one.

My friend Melissa’s birthday was a few weeks ago, and I made her this sweet little cross stitch necklace. 

This wreath was for Lily’s room. It has been on my to do list since I saw it on Capture the Details like six years ago, but I couldn’t ever seem to find the fun fur yarn in this shade of green. Then when we were “in storage” as I refer to the time of our life when we were on the market and everything fun that I own was in a storage unit, I found a couple of skeins at a thrift store. I finally got to put it together a couple of weeks ago.  
These were gifts for Nick’s grandmother for Mother’s Day (the yellow set) and her birthday (the red white and blue set and the cards).

The cards are blank inside and were hand embroidered. I made them using this Amy Tangerine Stitched set I found at Tuesday Morning. They were actually pretty time consuming to make, but also kind of a soothing activity, and I hope she likes them.

   

These were the cards I made her to give her with the gifts, and I am SO excited with how they turned out. Okay, here’s the deal. As I was going through all the mountains of stuff I was putting away in my craft room I came across a couple of sheets of 4×6 photo paper. I have tons of this stuff. Tons of it. But I never print my own pictures. I have a photo lab that I love, and I just couldn’t begin to touch their quality on a home printer. But several people have given me boxes of the paper, and I was always at kind of a loss what to do with it. I was on the verge of tossing the couple of loose sheets in the trash when my eyes fell on the box housing my ridiculously large collection of embossing folders. I grabbed my Big Shot and some dies and cranked out the coolest paper elements ever! Okay, maybe not really, but I love, love, LOVE the way the photo paper looks with some embossing!

Anyway, that’s some of what I’ve been up to. What have you been making?
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Poking my head up…

I’ve been trying to post for like a week now, but I’m sick, and it just seems like by the time I finish all the necessary tasks like feeding the kids and putting on pants, I have nothing left in me. It’s nothing terribly serious, just a sore throat, but I’m on antibiotics now, so hopefully it’s on its way out.

So here’s what’s happening. We have a contract on the house. Yay us! Actually, we had a contract before this one, but the buyer backed out because the inspection turned up some foundation damage. Boo! BUT, we are getting it fixed in 10 days, with a lifetime transferable warranty, so it shouldn’t be an issue. Even with that, the first buyer didn’t want to stay on board. Fortunately, he’d been in a bit of a bidding war with another buyer, and they were happy to take his place with the assurance that the foundation work is being done.

So now the race is on to find our next house. We found one that we really liked, but it sold the day before the contract went on ours. And we’ve since found one that we really love, but there are some issues with it that would have to be resolved for it to be an actual option for us. It’s all very much up in the air from our viewpoint, but God has definitely been moving and providing, so we will see what happens.

So as far as crafting goes, there’s been a little bit. Not much, but a little. And I don’t have any tutorials for you right now, but here are a few things I’ve made.

Back in July a little girl at our church had a birthday, and I made her this fun candy colored paracord bracelet and earrings set. The bracelet actually ended up being a little small for her, so I made her a bigger one and she sent this one back to Lily.

My friend Melissa just had her gorgeous baby girl MacKenzie. Her nursery is done in gray and yellow with accents of teal in an elephant motif. So back in August for her baby shower I made her a few gifts. First was this paper banner with bows made using my Sizzix Bow Die.

I found this yellow and gray photo box at Hobby Lobby to put it in for gifting, and she can use the box in baby girl’s room.

I made her a couple of curved burp cloths out of white terry cloth and this super soft cuddle minky.
And I also made her a faux chenille blanket. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t entirely happy with how the blanket turned out. The blue looked more teal in the store, and I should have used it as the one of the chenille layers and not the base fabric on the back. I should have sewn the lines half as far apart so the chenille strips would have been more even and stuck out less from the blanket. But it’s still super cuddly, and she said she loves it.

My mother-in-law Brenda’s birthday was also in August, and I made her this card.

It’s very simple, but I like it. I’d really like to get into making cards on a more regular basis. I’ve got stamps, stamp pads, and embossing folders for days, but not much of a place to do it right now. And most of my stamps and ink pads are in storage right now anyway. When I get a craft room one of these days I plan on making up a bunch of different elements and having my girlfriends/sisters in law over for a card making party.

I also made Brenda this pretty patchwork zipper pouch.

The mint fabric was a duck cloth remnant from Hobby Lobby I think, and the coral polka dot fabric was from a pair of pants in the giveaway pile. I made my Mom a very similar one for her birthday in July.
Inside the pouch for Brenda I included this simple bead and chain set I made with these awesome metal filigree beads I got on clearance at Hobby Lobby.
We also had another Walridge Baptist Church Ladies Craft Meeting last month, but that one deserves a post of its own.
We could really use your prayers that God will show us to the house He has for us and that everything will go smoothly with the sale/closing on our own house. It looks like the timing may end up pretty tight on it – for us to close on the new home the same day as we close on the old home we will have to find the right house and have an offer accepted in the next week or so. Exciting times, people!
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What’s been going on lately…

I know I’ve been scarce around here, but it’s not because I haven’t had anything to post about! It’s just been very, very busy. A few things that have been occupying me:

My SIL Rachael’s birthday was just a few days after my last post. I got her a Marvy Uchida Border Punch System a few weeks ago, but I wanted her to have something special on her actual birthday too, so I whipped up this fun little window pillow box and packed it with a couple pairs of handmade earrings.

To make the pillow box I used my WRMK Pillow Box Punch Board, then just used a large scalloped circle paper punch to create the window. Then I cut a piece of transparency film to cover the opening, adhered it to the inside with an adhesive roller, then folded the box up and glued it.

The ball shaped earrings were one of the pairs I featured a few weeks ago. The second pair looks really impressive, but truthfully, they almost don’t qualify as handmade. The wire wrapped circles came in a string of four from Walmart, and I literally just added the ear hooks and backings. She really seemed to love them though, and she’s worn them several times already. 🙂

I used a Sizzix die and embossing folder I got recently to create a mason jar themed card. I added various buttons as filler for the “jar”, and on the envelope I added a fun little pennant I got at Tuesday Morning.

The day after was my BIL Scott’s birthday. He and his family live in Texas, so his gift needed to be something that would do well in shipping. He does a lot of traveling, so I thought he might like a new Dopp kit.

I sewed him up a good sized zipper pouch using men’s tweed suiting and sturdy cotton, and filled it with some nice poured soaps, a new razor, and some shave cream. He loves to grill, so I also sent him a bratwurst grill cage that very narrowly escaped staying here with Nick. 🙂

My Lily girl turned 5 a few days later on October 5th! That morning before church she woke up to a new baby doll that looks just like her baby cousin Adelaide :), and this assortment of pillow boxes:

My girl loves accessories (as you can tell lol), so each one contained a new piece (or pieces) of jewelry:

This necklace and bracelet set was a clearance find at Hobby Lobby.

The charm bracelet was one I put together using charms from Walmart and basic findings.

The rings are actually midi rings from Rue 21, but they fit her 5 year old fingers like regular rings.

The rose necklace was one I made. The rose pendant came from Hobby Lobby on clearance, and I added the crown and chain. The crown was another charm from Walmart. I cut the top ring off, then sealed it into the well of the rose using Lisa Pavelka Magic-Glos.

The rhinestone crown necklace was yet another Walmart charm added to a chain, and it ended up being one of her favorites.

We had a party for her on the 11th, and I’ll tell you about that in my next post!

I’ve also been having some fun playing with my new Pinwheel Punch Board, which We R Memory Keepers was kind enough to send me to try.

It was my intention to make some pinwheels for Lily’s party to use as favors and decorations, but I wasn’t able to get my hands on any of the pinwheel attachments that makes the pinwheels functional. Every craft store I’ve gone to has been sold out of them, but as soon as I find some to snatch up I’m going to do a review post on the punch board.

In between everything else I’ve also been doing some mending and altering jobs, as well as giving the growing laundry a meaningful glance and a promise. But hopefully I’ll have a bit more time to post now that the cluster of birthdays is past!

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Teachers of Good Things Craft Day

At my church (shout out to Walridge Baptist Church!) we have a monthly Ladies Meeting for our women’s ministry, Teachers of Good Things. Up until now it’s consisted of a potluck/Bible study combo, which has been wonderful (and tasty!). But recently we have decided to change things up a bit. We’re going in cycles each quarter, with one month being focused on missions, one month a prayer meeting, and one month…a CRAFT DAY!!!

I may have been a little excited about it. Our first craft day was this past Saturday, and I was really nervous about it because Leah, our pastor’s wife (who is also my sister-in-law and married to my brother Toby, er, our pastor) asked me to head it up. We decided to do cards this month, and Leah and I went on several crazy, madcap supply runs that may have involved various milkshakes and some total geeking out over craft tools.

I was up till I-don’t-want-to-share-this-info-with-my-husband o’clock the night before, slicing cardstock, die cutting circles, and embossing all the things I could reach. Here’s what we ended up doing:

First of all, Christmas tags. These were crazy simple. To make them, I first used my Sizzix to die cut a crap-load (that’s just for Toby, who teases me because I recently stood up to give my testimony in church and managed to include the word “crap” in it twice, because I’m way classy), anyway, a crap-load of circles from cardstock. The circles were about 1.5 inches, and I used various colors of cardstock, including some pretty shimmery red and white that we got at Tuesday Morning, 25 sheets for $1.99. All of these I embossed with winter/Christmas designs using my Sizzix Big Kick and various embossing folders. I also cut scalloped circles the same size from plain cardstock. To assemble, the ladies just used Elmer’s Glue-All to glue a scalloped circle to the back of an embossed circle, punched a hole through both layers using a hole punch, and attached either jute twine, baker’s twine, or ribbon.

Next, we did note cards, both a Christmas version and an everyday use version. This is where all my paper slicing came in. Leah and I found tons of gorgeous cardstock stacks at Tuesday Morning, Joann, and AC Moore. The stacks were all 12×12 or 6×6, and we needed the cards to measure 4×6 before they were folded. So I cut the 12×12 sheets down into six 4×6 pieces each, and just sliced 2 inches off one side of the 6×6 sheets. Those 2 inch remnants were put to use as well, which I’ll tell you about in a minute.

We folded the cards in half, then punched the front edge with Marvy Uchida Border Punches, like I did for Nick’s grandmother here. I love my border punch system, and I got one for my friend Amy for her birthday last month. She was kind enough to let us borrow it for the craft day, and Leah and I found another for the church on one of our trips to Tuesday Morning. Then I found two more on another day and snatched them up for an early Christmas gift for Leah and a birthday gift for Nick’s sister Rachael. So we had 5 to go around, but honestly we could have used twice that many.

We had all 8 different cartridges on hand, but most ladies chose the ribbon stitch one, and they had so much fun choosing pretty ribbon to weave through the slots.

The border punch does 2 inches at a time, so a four inch card was perfect. Also perfect about that size is the fact that an envelope made with a 6×6 inch sheet will fit it perfectly. We had several 6×6 stacks that we used for some of the envelopes, and I cut down a couple of 12×12 stacks for the rest. We had three of the WRMK Envelope Punch Boards on hand, and I wish we’d had more of those too. But several ladies said they planned on getting one of their own, so perhaps next time we’ll have more. 🙂

The other project we did was to turn some of those 2 inch cardstock remnants into gorgeous bookmarks using the border punches and more ribbon.

I was really afraid that it wouldn’t go well, that maybe I had too many projects planned and maybe the border punch and the envelope punch board might seem overwhelming to some. But every lady there picked right up on it within a few minutes, and the mistake pile was surprisingly small. I was also afraid that maybe they just wouldn’t enjoy it, but most of them stayed over an hour past the scheduled end time!

I’m so excited it all went so well, and I can’t wait for next quarter!

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Tooth Fairy Surprise

My Lily girl lost her first tooth Wednesday! On our way to the store she told me her tooth was hurting and moving, so when we got where we were going, I checked it out, and it was ready to fall out, which was crazy since it hadn’t been loose at all the day before!

I took a few shots of the wiggly stage.


That night at dinner it came out, and she declared it the best day of her life. 🙂 Then she misplaced the tooth. She actually thinks she might have swallowed it, which I suppose is possible since she was in the other room when it happened and may have been too busy touching the empty socket to pay attention to where the actual tooth went. Anyway, this devastated her, because she was sure that the Tooth Fairy wouldn’t visit if she couldn’t pony up a baby tooth for her. I assured her that I had a picture of her smiling without the tooth, and the Tooth Fairy would certainly accept that as proof.

When I was a kid we got a quarter under our pillow, or maybe a dollar if we were lucky. But Lily is not yet at a stage where money means much to her, and I knew she would much rather have a girly accessory as a prize. But I wanted her to have the choice, so I asked her, if I happened to see the Tooth Fairy when she came, if I should tell her she wanted money or a present, and she assured me that she would much prefer a gift!

After she went to bed I got busy making a card and a bracelet for her. The card I made using my Marvy Uchida Border Punch System, which has been so much fun!

I made the envelope using my Envelope Punch Board and this fun heart motif vellum. The other day I found a little Xyron Sticker Maker I’ve had in my craft stash for years, so I used my questionable scissor skills to cut her name and a heart out of pink cardstock, then turned them into stickers and stuck them to the front of the envelope.

In the card I wrote:

Dear Lily,

        Congratulations on losing your first tooth! You are such a big girl! I heard you might have swallowed it, but that’s okay. I saw the pretty picture of you smiling without it, so I can still leave you a present. I hope you like it!
                           
                                                                       Love,
                                                                       The Tooth Fairy

I made the bracelet out of a little pre-made chain of blanks I got ages ago at Hobby Lobby on clearance and some mini bottle caps and cabochons I found at Tuesday Morning. I took a couple of links out of the bracelet, and it made it just the right size. I flattened the bottle caps using my Sizzix Big Kick. The Big Kick/Big Shot works very well flattening full size bottle caps, but I ran into some problems on some of the little ones. I’m not sure why, but some of them folded under, and I wasted probably 4 or 5 trying to get a good one of each color. I used a 1/2 inch circle punch to cut circles from scrapbook paper, then glued them to the backs of the cabochons. I just used my hot glue gun on high heat to attach the cabochons to the bottle caps and the bottle caps to the blank trays. If I’d had more time I probably would have used E6000, but I was trying to get it done so I could leave it for her and go to bed. I think this will hold up well enough, and she’s not the sort to put things other than food in her mouth, but if you’re making one for a child, make sure that they can be trusted not to put things they shouldn’t in their mouth or use a stronger glue.

She LOVED both the card and the bracelet, although she woke up upset because she couldn’t find them on the bed at first and was sure the Tooth Fairy had passed by because of the misplaced tooth. As if the Tooth Fairy could resist this face!

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