Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Paper Maniac Fun Starts Now...Pre-Opening Blog Hop!!!

Finally, what you have been waiting so eagerly for...

Paper Maniac LLC is going to open up its virtual doors to the public on Tuesday, September 1st. To help celebrate Paper Maniac's Grand Opening, all of the DT members have been busily creating to show you some fabulous samples for our first ever BLOG HOP. This a long post, so make sure to read through to the end!!!

If you missed the beginning of the hop, head over to the PAPER MANIAC BLOG and follow the links. If you are coming from Patti's blog, then you are headed in the right direction.

So, I hear you asking...what makes Paper Maniac different from other online crafting stores? Here are a few features why Paper Maniac LLC will become your one-stop shop for all of your crafting needs:

1) Paper Maniac will carry over 200 different stamps, more than 700 unique items (including Unity stamp kits only sold to retailers), full range of Bazzill textured cardstock and over 150 different kinds of ribbon (all sold by the yard so you can get as much or as little as you want).

2) Take N' Makes Card Kits
Paper Maniac Take N' Makes are card kits with 5 themes (Autumn Leaves/Autumn Birthday, Halloween, Homey/Vintage Christmas, Bright Christmas, General/Bright/Birthday) that will be available for purchase on opening day. It will consist of two levels:

- ALMOST DONE KIT: This card kit will have everything all cut out with illustrated instructions. All that will remain will be stamping a focal image (or creating a non-stamp focal point) and adding a sentiment.

-  MAKE IT YOUR OWN KIT: Allows fore more creativity. It will include the same materials as in the Almost Done kit, but nothing will be precut. In other words, you get cardstock, patterned paper, envelopes and all the embellies, but you get to decide how to put it together. In most cases patterned paper will be double sided to increase the options.

Special Features of these kits include:
* Each kit makes at least 8 cards
* Envelopes included: all high quality, some theme printed
* Quality materials throughout. Card bases are at least 80# cardstock, with many even heavier including Bazzill, Neenah, Papertrey Ink, and other vendors that have high quaility cardstock
* Each kit will arrive at your door packed in an 8" pizza box for easy storage.


Look at what you can do...

Autumn Harvest

Stamps: Artistic Outpost (Bluebirds)
Paper/Cardstock: Bazzill, Papertrey Ink (First Fruits)
Ink/Embossing Powders: Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Tea Dye), Computer Generated Sentiment
Accessories/Tools: Stampin Up (Slit Punch), Spellbinders (Classic Rectangles Nestabilities), Assorted Ribbon, String, Scotch Mounting Tape

Happy Holidays

Stamps: Studio G (Christmas)
Paper/Cardstock: imaginisce (Polar Expressions), Neenah (Solar White), The Paper Company
Ink/Embossing Powders: Palette Noir
Accessories/Tools: Stampin Up (Slit Punch), Robin's Nest (Christmas Dew Drops), Ribbon,
Small Corner Rounder

3) Dollar Store
There will be an area in the store called Dollar Store. This is your chance to come across terrific bargains. When Patti comes across a terrific bargain at the wholesalers, she will pass on the savings along to you. This month, Paper Maniac will be offering 2" acrylic stamps from imaginisce that will be selling for an amazing .25 cents (sets with multiple stamps will sell between .50-.75 cents). It will hard to pass up these fantastic deals!

4) Unity Store Kits
Paper Maniac is fortunate enough to be one of the few retailers to carry a line of Unity Store kits. Each month, a new Unity kit will be offered for a fabulous price. You can only get these kits in stores and most of are limited editions - so once they are sold out, they are gone. An AUTOSHIP feature will be offered for those who want to receive a kit every month and don't miss future shipments. Make your way to this post for more details on the Autoship feature.

You didn't think that I wouldn't let you read all the way through my long post without offering anything. did you? You won't want to miss this...This is where the fun starts:

Blog Candy consists of:
- Unity Stamp Company's Store Kit for August - 100% Happy
- Nikki Sivils Scrapbooker – 6 x 6 Paddie – Victoria's Street
- Victoria's Street Clear Stamp Set
- Pack of Warm Cord Brads
- Robin's Nest – Bottle of new Tear Drops – Under the Sea
- American Crafts - Thickers – Rainboots
- Pack of Flair
 - Pack of glittered chipboard shapes

* You must leave ONE comment on the Paper Maniac Blog Hop post and all of the other DT's blog hop posts in order to be eligible to win this yummy-licious blog candy.

The Blog Hop ends on September 6 and the lucky winner will be announced on the Paper Maniac blog on September 7.

From September 1 through September 6, you will get a chance to get "15% off your total purchase". Use code GRAND15 to take advantage of this special offer!

On September 1, make sure to come back to the Paper Maniac store blog and my blog for a chance to win even more prizes!!!

Your next stop on the Blog Hop is ** Amy's Blog **

If you get lost along the way, check the master list on the Paper Maniac store blog. Thanks for visiting, and I hope you'll enjoy the rest of the hop.

Sheetload of Cards September 2009 Issue: Sneak Peeks

The sneak peeks at the September issue are up over at SheetLoad of Cards. The new issue will be available for FREE download starting Tuesday, September 1st.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Children May Know...Thank You Card and Check Holder

One of the our neighbors had invited my son to vacation bible study last week. This was the first time he would be attending bible study and was so nervous he wouldn't know anyone. But I kept reassuring him that most likely he will find children who had gone to his preschool and some of the other neighbor kids were attending as well. Vacation bible study was held for 5 days for 2 hours long so hubby and I got a chance to spend some one on one time with my daughter - it was very nice.

On the last day of the class, I made a yummy dessert, Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars, for the kids during snack time and created a two-in-one project that was a thank you card and check holder at the same time. I used the template from Designs by Lisa Somerville (Grad Money Holder Tutorial). She has a lot of tutorials so make sure to check out her blog!

In Lisa's sample, the inside piece almost looks like a bookmark, but because of time constraints (I was trying to finish it within the 2 hour timeframe before I had to pick up my son), I opted not to put all of the frillies at the top. My hubby and I decided to give the church a pretty hefty donation because my son absolutely LOVED going to bible study. So I created a slit underneath the sentiment (way at the bottom) with the SU slit punch to hold the check in place.

I thought a religious sentiment/verse was appropriate for the card so I downloaded some Elegant WordArt by Bethany you can find in this post. She is one super talented gal and has a great eye for putting words together so elegantly! There were 5 separate pieces to the verse so I hope I pieced the whole verse the right way. I used 2 different flower images from Inkadinkado Garden Delight stamp set colored with Stampin' Up markers on both sentiment layered pieces - oh yes, I actually inked some neglected stamps!!! I actually tried the rock and roll technique (I know it's hard to see it in the pictures but there really are two different colors on the flower petals).

When I finally picked up my son, I took a picture of the whole class and handed the card to the volunteer coordinator. After she read the card and message I wrote on the back, she was crying (in a good way)! I think she was just touched mostly because she loved having my son there! He is such a good boy! We are so proud of how grown up he is!

Thanks for stopping by! Happy Digi - Stamping!

Digital Stamps: Elegant WordArt by Bethany (Children May Know)
Stamps: Inkadinkado (Garden Delight)
Paper: Memory Block (Inspirations)
Cardstock: Georgia Pacific (White), The Paper Company (Dark Blue)
Ink: Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Antique Linen), Stampin Up (Old Olive, Positively Pink, Ruby Red, Close to Cocoa)
Accessories: Stampin Up (Paper Piercer, Slit Punch), Offray (Baby Blue Ribbon), Crop-a-Dile

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Angels Landing: Best Friends Fur-ever

This week at Angels Landing, the theme is Friendship. I chose to create a viewmaster card that I have always wanted to try out. You can find the tutorial here located in the Resources forum on SCS. I had this vision of cats getting stuck in a tree and that is what inspired me to create this card. LOL! In lieu of my inspiration, I chose to use images from the newly released sets: Cats and Kittens and Cat Paw Prints.

According to steps 3-5 on the tutorial, a 1/8 inch handheld punch was used to create notches on the final circle. For those of you who don't own that many handheld punches, like me you learn to improvise. I used my trusty ol' crop-a-dile to make the notches (I used both the big and small punch making sure you are only punching out a half of a circle - worked beautifully!).

After the circle was complete with notches, I lined it up behind the front panel to make sure it was placed perfectly behind it before poking a hole for the brad (the brad is covered by the top of tree). I don't own any circle punches, so I used my classic circle nestabilities to punch a hole through the top panel covered with patterned paper just a little above the brad. I used my circle coluzzle to create the partial hole on the side of the front panel as well as the base layer so you can access and spin the circle.

I followed the tutorial to a tee until I got to the part on stamping images through the punched hole. Because I was using digital images, it took a lot of time of toying around with the placement of the images through the punched area of the tree. I had to also play with the sizing of the images to fit the circle. It would have been very difficult to directly print onto the circle so after the images were printed and colored, I used the same size circle die cut I used for the front panel to cut out the images as you can see below.

For the tree trunk, I used one of Mel McCarthy's digital images, tree trunk, you can find here. I printed it on chocolate cardstock and cut it out. I used Elmer's glue to stick the tree trunk to the front panel. The top of the tree was cut with the blossom nestabilities die cut and embossed with the Cuttlebug leaves embossing folder for a 3D effect. I finished off the card with another image of a cat sitting at the bottom of the tree waiting for his friends to come down. For a more vintage look, I added a crochet ribbon adorned with buttons and string. I added a ground embossed with the Swiss Dots embossing folder distressed with Antique Linen ink and glitter glue (I drew in the curves for the ground and hand cut).

For the inside of the card, I used some scrap pieces of patterned paper to line the inside cardstock layers. I adjusted the circle sentiment that reads "Have a great birthday...Hope it's the cat's meow" from Cat Paw Prints in my PSE software program so that two kitty friends could sit nicely inside the circle. Again, the cardstock edges were inked with Antique Linen distress ink.

On a sad note, this is my very last project for Angels Landing...Waaaahhhhhh!!! I can't believe that 3 months had already gone by. It really gives the meaning to the age old saying "Time flies when you are having fun!"

Judi planned it perfectly for the theme this week: FRIENDSHIP. I am dedicating this last project to Judi. She was one of the first people to give me this wonderful opportunity to work in one of the best DT environments you could ever ask for - she is one SUPER organized gal and one SUPER talented artist - I've become a BIG fan of her artwork!! She is a SUPER friend and boss!

So for all of you who applied for the Fall DT and get a chance to work with Judi and her images, you won't regret it...She is fabulous to work for! Thanks so much from the bottom of my heart Judi for believing in me and my work! I won't ever forget your generosity! Love yah!

This might be my last project as an Angels Landing DT member, but you will still see me creating cards and projects with Judi's images...only I'll be the spectator this time! *wink*

Thanks for visiting and till next time...have a paws-itively purr-fect day!!!

Digital Images: Angels Landing (Cats and Kittens, Cat Paw Prints), Melstampz (Tree Trunk)
Paper: K&Company Classics
Cardstock: The Paper Company (Chocolate), Georgia Pacific (White)
Ink: Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Antique Linen)
Die Cut: Spellbinders (Classic Circle, Blossom Nestabilities)
Embossing: Cuttlebug (Swiss Dots, Leaves Embossing Folders)
Accessories: Crop-a-Dile, Scotch Mounting Tape, Glitter Glue, Crochet Ribbon, Vintage Buttons, String

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Sheetload of Cards: August '09 Simple Special Stunning

It is time for the August edition of Simple Special Stunning at the SheetLoad of Cards blog, featuring samples by Barbara DeBose.

Each month one of our artists will share three different cards that use the current layout. Each card is a "step up" from the previous one, but they are all fabulous.

It is a good way to show how SheetLoad is geared toward papercrafters of all levels.

Here are some sneak peeks to whet your appetite...

Friday, August 21, 2009

Paper Maniac Grand Opening Special and Unity 100% Happy Store Kit

Paper Maniac will be opening its virtual doors on September 1st! Patti is offering a generous discount to share with its first customers...

15% off your entire purchase from
September 1 - September 6
Code: GRAND15

Make sure to mark your calendars for September 1st and come back to see all of the yummy-licious products available in the store!

What's happening RIGHT NOW at Paper Maniac? Paper Maniac is offering the Unity 100% Happy Store Kit. This stamp set is only sold through retailers. The first batch sold out rather quickly so make sure to purchase this set and sign-up for the Autoship program so that you will be one of the first ones to receive future Unity kits. For more information on how to purchase, the Autoship program and to check out fabulous samples from some of the our DT, click here and more samples here.

Here is a taste of the Unity 100% Happy Store Kit available for purchase right now...

The DT is busily creating more samples for you to feast your eyes on so make sure to come on back, ya hear?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Tea and Cookies Birthday Card

My father-in-law's birthday is coming up next week so I needed to make a quick masculine birthday card. I have been having fun using vellum lately that I was inspired from my acetate kitty card shown here to create a card using vellum this time as the card base. Just like the acetate, the vellum I used is very flimsy so the more layers, the better.

Back in the Spring, I bought a whole box of aged newspapers (you can kind of see the front of the newspaper in the background), music sheets and bound books from a local flea market. The lady said she found these in her attic while cleaning up and did not want to throw them away so I took some off of her hands since I am such a fan of vintage items as you couldn't tell already. LOL!

The front of the card uses a newspaper clipping I scanned and created a jpeg file out of so that I could resize it for my card. I recently acquired a digi stamp set called Relax from Bean Pod Frog Shop (an etsy store) whose very new to the digital stamp world. Ann and her daughter have teamed up to create some wonderful digital images. Her daughter is the illustrator and Ann creates samples for the Bean Frog Pod blog you can find here. I thought this was the perfect image to use except I had to alter it a bit since it was going to be a masculine card (Ann - I hope that is ok! SMILE). There was an area in the cup where flowers were doodled in it and I just simply replaced it with curvy lines in my PSE software program. The image is printed twice - once directly on the newspaper clipping and a second time on cardstock, colored with prismacolor pencils blended with baby oil, cut out and popped up with Scotch mounting tape. The edges were inked with Tim Holtz distress ink (Antique Linen) and the edges of the cardstock panels were distressed using the edge of my scissors using a back and forth motion until the amount of distressing is achieved (I don't currently own a distressing tool).

Again, I used the newspaper clipping as a base for the inside of the card so that I had a sturdy base and created a panel to write a message on distressed with Antique Linen ink to match the front cover. When the front cover is closed, you can see a silhouette of the newspaper clipping through the vellum which makes for a very cool effect!

So make sure you stop by the Bean Pod Frog blog and leave some lovin'!

I've attached a scanned image of the newspaper clipping if you would like to use it on your cards/projects. It's a clipping from the Dakota-Farmer published in 1930. You should read some of the articles and ads - they are hilarious!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Angels Landing: Back to School Gift Set

Hello's Wednesday and you all know what that means! Yup, it's time for Angels Landing Wednesday Themed DT Projects. This week is all about Back to School.

Sigh! Summer is shortly coming to an end and the start of school is just around the corner...And as you all know, a couple months back, my son graduated from preschool and will be starting kindergarten in two weeks! He's grown up so fast and I am going to miss my little man! Boo Hoo!

To welcome my son's teacher to the new schoolyear, I created a back to school gift set. The gift set includes a journal (a composition notebook cut in half) with matching beaded pen, a bookmark and card. Doesn't this bring you back to the good ol' days of being in school?

There are so many cute Angels Landing images that I couldn't just one so I've incorporated 3 different adorable bear images on all 3 pieces from the Mini Bears and Birds digi-stamp set.

This bookmark uses Bearly Adequate bear - isn't he just adorable??? I used my classic rectangle nestabilities to frame the little guy and rounded the corners. The edges are inked with Antique Linen distress ink and Stampin' Up Rose Romance inks. The pink scallop border is actually a piece of felt. This is the first time I've cut felt using my nesties and cuttlebug. It was somewhat difficult to cut through one layer of felt but if you run through a couple of times, the felt will be cut enough that you can just cut away the rest with scissors. (Cuttlebug Recipe: Plate A + Plate B + Felt + Nestie + a piece of scrap paper folded in fourths + Plate C). The Big Shot might cut through the felt a little better.

I wanted to somehow incorporate a calendar that the teacher could quickly glance at during the schoolyear so I created an all in one bookmark inspired by a template that a fellow SCS'er is gracious enough to share every year. You can download the 2009 calendar here especially made for a bookmark (here's a link to the 2010 calendar template).

In lieu of the school theme, I used a fun cool font called LA El 2 that you can download from (click on name of the font for a direct link). It is in the category under "elementary" if you want to see more versions to use for school themed projects. Most of the fonts on this site are compressed files (zip files) so you will need to do the following in order to save it to your fonts folder:

- Click on Download button for desired font
- A new menu (File Download) will open up, click on Open
- A new window will open up with the font files, click on Extract Files
- Once the files have completely been extracted, another window of the extracted files will pop up
- Right click your mouse and copy the file with the symbol "TT" that stands for TrueType font (in this case the file was called LA_E_2)
- Go to the Start menu, open up My Computer
- Click on the C: drive, open up the Windows folder
- Scroll down to fonts folder, right click on mouse and paste

** Unfortunately, you have to take these extra steps just to save a font to be able to use it (unless you can find a shorter way, please let me know - LOL!)

I created a little tag that says "Read" at the top of the bookmark. Since we didn't know who my son's teacher is going to be yet, I wasn't able to customize the gift set so I created a little tag that says "This book belongs to _________" for her to put her name on it.

Next up is a mini journal that the teacher can use for notes. I bought a whole bunch of composition notebooks awhile back and went to OfficeMax to have them cut in half. It costs $1 per cut. The half composition notebooks are a lot of fun to decorate as much as the full version. Again, staying with the school theme, I added a border of the font underneath the main image. For the image, I used Chubby Cubby bear. I thought he was the perfect image to use on a notebook. I created the same technique on the main panel as I did with the bookmark. I topped it off with a wide grossgrain ribbon tied with srting on the side, crochet fleurette with button and crochet thread. I also made a matching beaded pen (you can find the tutorial here on SCS).

And, of course, you can't give a gift without a matching card. I used scraps of patterned paper from the notebook and created two panels behind the main image. This time, I used Cubby Cousins bear. Doesn't he look like he is lovingly looking at the teacher? I just love the expression on all of the bears it was hard to use just one main image. Since teachers are a special part of a child growing up, I added a sentiment that says "Inspire" on the card. I used the spiral punch on the background panel to make it look like it was torn out of a notebook. For added effect, I added some piercing on the top and bottom of the panels along with a wide grossgrain ribbon tied with string.

Thanks for stopping by! Make sure to check out the other DTs creations for today at the Angels Landing blog!!!

Digital Stamps: Angels Landing (Mini Bears and Birds)
Paper: Me and My Big Ideas
Cardstock: Georgia Pacific (White), Jo-Anns Value Pack (Brown), Unkown (Kraft)
Inks: Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Antique Linen), Stampin Up (Rose Romance)
Die Cut: Spellbinders (Rectangle Nestabilities)
Punches: Stampin Up (Spiral)
Accessories: Pink Felt, String, RSVP Pen, Microbeads, Terrifically Tacky Tape, Scotch Foam Mounting Tape
Coloring: Prismacolor Pencils blended with baby oil

Monday, August 17, 2009

Click on the image above to learn more about the August '09 sponsor at SheetLoad of Cards - Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

McMahon Five Designs Blog Candy

Sue from McMahon Five Designs is graciously offering some fab blog candy. You only have till 5:00pm EST today to enter. You can find more deets here...

August '09 Show Us Your Sheetload

It is time once again to show us what you have created with the latest issue of SheetLoad of Cards; August 2009.

All you have to do is create one (1) card and enter it in the August '09 Show Us Your SheetLoad Challenge for a chance to win Two (2) FREE Stamp Sets from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Angels Landing August Blog Hop: Have a Paws-itively Purr-fect Day

Welcome to Angels Landing August Blog Hop. If you missed the beginning of the hop, head over to Judi's blog and follow the links.

Today, the Design Team is introducing two new digital image sets for August, Cats and Kittens and Cat Paw Prints. And like all of the other AL sets, they are absolutely adorable!

For my sample, I created an acetate card. If you've never tried to make an acetate card, check out this tutorial on SCS. I went a little vintage on this (not a surprise since I always tend to go that way on most of my cards) and used the cracked glass technique (you can find the tutorial here) since the cats were calling for an antiqued look. I thought it would be fun to use the sketch layout from Sheetload of Cards August ezine.

As you can see, you have to be pretty creative with the placement of your cardstock and/or patterned paper when using acetate. In this case, I just used a good ol' transparency sheet (I bought a whole box from an office supply store). Transparency sheets are a bit flimsy but it becomes sturdier as you add your layers of cardstock and/or patterned paper. This card is a 5.5 inch square card. I thought it would be fun to print out the kitties from the Cats and Kittens digi set on an offset position in each square. Then I used the cracked glass technique on each square. Then I added the sentiment from Cat Paw Prints to finish off the card. I used my slit punch for the scalloped border and adorned each scallop with a dot of 3D Scribbles Iridescent White Mist paint to make it look like faux pearls. Then I used one of my favorite combo embellishments using wide grossgrain ribbon, a crochet fleurette (which I made myself), button and string.

The inside of the card is lined with layered cardstock and patterned paper with polka dots and pawprints which has unfortunately been covered with a square piece of vanilla cardstock for a place to write a message on. I guess I could have put the inside layers underneath the top layer on the front side of the card, but then it would have covered the whole front of the card and you wouldn't be able to tell it was an acetate card.

So there you have it...hope you enjoyed my sample!

I am currently enjoying my camping trip this week and was able to schedule this post ahead of time. With that said, I am your LAST stop on the blog hop.

Head on back to the ** Angels Landing blog ** to make sure you didn't miss anyone's blog. Make sure to leave some lovin' cuz you might just win some sets for yourself to play with.

Thanks for coming by the Angels Landing Kitty bloggity hop!

Have a Paws-itively Purr-fect Day!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Diving Deeper into the DigiWorld: Elegant WordArt Creative Team

Wowza! It's been such an unbelievable ride down the DT road! I've personally been invited to join the Creative Team at Elegant WordArt by Bethany. It will be an honor working beside the other CT gals. Mentioned in a previous post, I just recently discovered the work of Bethany Harty! She specializes in digital wordart and one truly talented gal - you can see her work at Elegant WordArt by Bethany. I never knew how powerful a sentiment can add to a card/project.

I'll be joining Bethany's team of digi scrappers which I want to dive into one of these days, but they also create hybrid samples as well using Bethany's wordart in combination with digi scrap kits found at ScrapOrchard. It's kind of scary knowing I will be stepping in the digiscrapping world (it looks so intimidating), but I'll be able to introduce them to a whole new side of papercrafting.

To see more of and to purchase Elegant WordArt sets, head on to ScrapOrchard.

More samples to come! Thanks for stopping by!

P/S - Notice my new siggy? You like? I made it myself...finally learning the tricks of the trade on PSE and blogger techniques. Woo hoo!

Friday, August 7, 2009

August '09 Shoutout to Sheetload Challenge

It's time for the monthly "Shout Out to SheetLoad" Challenge over at the SheetLoad of Cards blog!!

Head over there today to find out how you can win...

Two (2) FREE Digital Stamps from - Whimsie Doodles!!

Paper Maniac will be opening its virtual doors on September 1. For the grand opening, Patti has something special in store for all of its new customers. Patti's been hard at work entering in a lot of fabulous products you can drool over. And while you're droolin' ... for the first 6 days after grand opening, Patti will be offering a 10% discount off your total purchase.

Make sure to come back later so I can share the code for the 10% discount! You won't want to miss what she's got in store!