Thursday, April 30, 2015

Introducing The Quick Stitch: Design-A-Softie Kit

Good morning, friends! Today is the much-anticipated introduction to Erin Lincoln's new Quick Stitch: Design-A-Softie kit from Papertrey Ink.

The second Quick Stitch Kit will be released on May 1st and it is entitled "Design-A-Softie". This is one collection of tools and stamps that you will turn to again and again to make heirloom quality gifts with heart. Everything you need to make customized softies will be right at your fingertips! Besides the basic softie body parts, there are dies for different facial expressions, eyes, ears and even trendy accessories! You will be able to create special one-of-a-kind stuffed animals according to a child's favorites colors, interests and personality! Think of this as your own person build-a-bear, just on a more affordable level! Get your kit tomorrow night so you can get a head start on holiday gifts!

You are totally going to love this kit! The features Erin has included can be mixed and matched to create just about anything you can imagine. I was able to put together some one-of-a-kind handmade gifts that I know will be treasured for years to come. I had so much fun exploring the possibilities and I'm absolutely certain you will, too! Are you ready to see what this kit has to offer?

How cute is all of that?! This kit truly made everything so easy!

Let's meet Sleepy Bunny first, ok? My cousin had a baby recently and I thought a sweet little naptime friend might be the perfect gift. I had (and still have) a heavy-lidded stuffed bunny as a baby. And this bunny comes with a handy secret that's great for the new mom.

Since this softie is headed for the hands of an infant I made sure to keep the construction very simple, no buttons or loose bits. I created her out of Lavender Moon felt with accents in Vintage Cream, Autumn Rose, and Smokey Shadow. The little heart on her chest is actually one of the leaf images from the Sewing Staples kit.

Erin has included quite the array features to allow you to create any expression your heart desires. There is also a fabulous selection of ears that will take you to any corner of the animal kingdom you wish to visit.

Erin has also designed a mini stamp set that gives you the option to create tiny tags and notes for your little handcrafted friends. I whipped up this sweet accessory tag and just attached it with a simple stitch through the ear, much like the tags you find on stuffed critters in retail stores.

There's also a "tushie pocket" included in this kit that is a special level of genius. You can use the pocket for notes to your favorite kiddo or, as I have here, as a perfect place to tuck a gift card. I'm sure the new parents will appreciate the handmade toy, but the gift card is sure to be a big hit, too. I decided my bunny needed a tail, so I stitched on the heart from Seasonal Stitching: Eggs to dress up her bum a bit.

Next up is Pirate Pete (Sean named him and it stuck)! This kit can do so much more than animals! Pete's modeled after our nephew, Charlie. He's much more detailed than Miss Sleepy Bunny, but he's also going to live with a little boy that won't chew on him, so I'm not worried about the buttons and such.

Pete has a removable hat, treasure map, a peg leg, and even a little anchor tattoo (embroidered with a single strand of floss)! His body was created using natural-colored flannel backed with heavy interfacing. I created his striped t-shirt by stamping a piece of iron-on transfer paper with Background Basics: Super Stripes using Pure Poppy ink. I ironed that to a piece of Vintage Cream felt and die cut as normal. The peg leg was created similarly by transferring the Background Basics: Woodgrain pattern onto Kraft felt.

I used the tiny black buttons in the kit on his eyes. The "holes only" facial expressions are perfect for adding details that you want to include, but don't want to give too much dimension. I cut his hairline freehand and left the bottom edge loose to make it look like his hair was just falling into his eyes. His little ears were created by cutting a couple of the smallish circles and tucking them into the edge as I sewed up Pete's outer seam.

His pants were created by cutting two tushie pockets from Blueberry Sky felt and stitching them onto the front and back (though only the one in the back actually functions as a pocket). The belt was made by die cutting two tushie pockets from True Black felt and trimming off the portion below the second row of stitching lines. His belt buckle is actually the necktie "knot" that I die cut from Harvest Gold felt. His boot is just the lower half of his leg cut from True Black felt and then fashioned with a cuff made with the same strip that I used for the belt. ETA: I realized that I forgot to mention Pete's peg leg construction. It was made with the Baby Bootie: Details die using the Mary Jane strap.

As I mentioned, Pete has accessories! His map is the landscape from Summer Camp, the Crackled Mini in Fine Linen and Classic Kraft, and an "x" from Moments Inked: Posted that I stamped onto iron-on transfer and then pressed onto linen fabric.

Pete's hat was made from a Stitched Circle, half a Mat Stack 1 Layerz, and a circle die from the new kit. The star button is also a kit item and I think it makes for the perfect medallion. The feather is because I can't leave well enough alone.

Here's Pete's backside. He's got his treasure map tucked safely in his pocket and he's ready for his next adventure! It looks like he's already made out like quite the bandit!

This kit also has some really fun possibilities for your cards! From the moment I got this kit in my hands, I couldn't get the idea of Groucho Marx glasses out of my head. Turns out, Groucho Marx glasses make a pretty entertaining Father's Day card.

I began by die cutting my mustache and eyebrows from black, faux-fur fabric. Then I created a nose from Kraft felt. I die cut the glasses frames from True Black cardstock twice and the lenses from clear cardstock once. I smooshed one of the frames onto a VersaMark pad and then heat embossed them with clear powder to give a shiny finish. I stitched the three layers of the glasses together with black embroidery thread and then set them aside.

I used the "holes only" dies to create the stitching holes for the mustache and eyebrows in a piece of Fresh Snow Linen cardstock. I stitched the fuzzy bits into place and then added the glasses and nose with flat and foam adhesives. If you make a card like this be aware that the die cutting process totally flattens the faux fur. I suggest stitching your shapes into place before fluffing it back up (just rub lightly with your finger). It will make seeing your stitching holes much easier. I finished off the card with a sentiment from On The Links on a Soft Stone card base.

So there you have it! This kit is truly a blast to play with. I already have two more completely unique softies in the pipeline and I'm sure there are more to follow. Erin's Quick Stitch: Design-A-Softie Kit will be available tomorrow, May 1st at 10pm in the Papertrey Ink store, so be sure to pick up your kit then. In the meantime, check in with Erin, HilaryRebecca, and Tracy for as much inspiration as you can handle! See you again soon!

More Kit Details:

Design-A-Softie Kit Contents:
Custom tote bag
Design-A-Softie mini stamp set + index label
Softie die collection
Softie Ears die collection
Softie Expressions die collection
Softie Glasses & Mustaches die collection
Softie Kerchief die collection
Softie Patches die collection
Softie Collar & tie die collection
Softie Exclusives die collection
Custom button mix (50 buttons total)
(4) Iron-on 8-1/2" x 11" Transfer sheets

The total retail cost of the "Design-A-Softie" Kit is $105. There will be a limited number of these exclusive kits available, so be sure to get yours while you can! Some individual items will be available for sale at a later date. The "Design-A-Softie" Kit will be available for sale beginning on May 1st at 10pm EST, only at Papertrey Ink. Read all the details on Nichole's blog or contact Customer Service with any questions.

Miss Sleepy Bunny
Felt: Lavender Moon, Vintage Cream, Autumn Rose, Smokey Shadow - Papertrey Ink
Dies: Softie Die Collection, Softie Ears Die Collection, Softie Expressions Die Collection, Softie Patches Die Collection, Softie Exclusives Die Collection, Seasonal Stitching: Eggs, Sewing Staples Floral Cluster Die Collection - Papertrey Ink
Stamps: Design-A-Softie Mini - Papertrey Ink
Ink: Smokey Shadow, Autumn Rose - Papertrey Ink
Other: Vintage Cream Cardstock - Papertrey Ink; Embroidery Floss - DMC; Stuffing - Polyfil

Pirate Pete
Felt: Vintage Cream, Classic Kraft, Harvest Gold, Pure Poppy, True Black, Blueberry Sky - Papertrey Ink
Dies: Softie Die Collection, Softie Expressions Die Collection, Softie Kerchief Die Collection, Softie Collar And Tie Die Collection, Softie Exclusives Die Collection, Baby Bootie: Details Die Collection (peg leg), Stitched Circle Die, Mat Stack 1 Layerz Die - Papertrey Ink
Other: Star Button, Small Black Buttons - Papertrey Ink; Embroidery Floss - DMC; Stuffing - Polyfil; Feather; Natural Flannel; Interfacing; Linen

Groucho Father's Day Card
Stamps: On The Links - Papertrey Ink
Cardstock: Soft Stone, Fresh Snow Linen, True Black, Clear - Papertrey Ink
Ink: True Black - Papertrey Ink; VersaMark - Tsukineko
Dies: Softie Die Collection, Softie Expressions Die Collection, Softie Glasses And Mustaches Die Collection - Papertrey Ink
Other: Classic Kraft Felt - Papertrey Ink; Embroidery Floss - DMC; Faux Fur Fabric; Clear Embossing Powder - Filigree; Foam Tape - Scotch

Monday, April 27, 2015

Make It Monday: Using Vellum To Soften Patterns

Good morning, friends! I have the pleasure of presenting another Papertrey Ink Make It Monday video for you this week and this time around I'm playing with vellum!

I love the versatility of vellum and I'm particularly fond of using it to soften background patterns, be they stamped or printed (as in patterned paper). I also wanted to share a few of my favorite ways to attach vellum so that you don't have to worry about visible adhesive. That's a question I've seen floating around the Papertrey Ink forum lately so I thought my tips might be helpful to someone. You can watch the video below for the techniques and supply lists and then head over to Nichole Heady's blog to link up your own project.

I share three different cards in the video with varying vellum coverage. The first one uses all-over coverage to soften a whole card front. I used special vellum tape to secure the vellum on this card.

The second uses a layer of vellum only behind a Text Block to allow the sentiment to pop, but give the pattern the space to shine around the edges. I hid my adhesive under the border of the die cut shape to attach the vellum to this card.

The third uses just a flag of vellum to give the sentiment a place to live while leaving the background pattern largely unobscured. Stitching was the method for attaching my sentiment flag on this card.

I hope you enjoy the video and play along with the challenge this week. It's a fun one! Have a great week and I'll see you all again soon!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Moments Inked Details

Good morning, Papertrey Ink fans, and welcome to the final April countdown day! Today I have the great pleasure of showcasing some of this month's Moments Inked additions. The Moments Inked line just keeps getting better and better! Each month there's something fresh and fabulous that makes my planner even more practical...and pretty too! I'm so happy to have an easy way to keep my favorite pens close at hand and the new Edged dies are already an essential that I can't seem to put away!

I began by creating a pencil pouch to keep my pen, eraser, and a pencil at the ready. This new die by Erin Lincoln is totally amazing! She has videos on the Papertrey Ink Youtube Channel showing you so many different ways to assemble your pouch. I used the trim die to create a contrasting edge and embellished my little snap covers with tiny flowers from the Quick Stitch: Sewing Staples kit.

I had a tough time finding the Basic Grey magnets locally, so I went a slightly different route, using mini magnetic purse snaps instead. These are the 14mm size (not the standard 18mm size) and they fit perfectly! I followed this video tutorial on YouTube and it truly couldn't have been easier. It was a different brand, but that didn't seem to matter. 

The inside is roomy enough to carry a few choice writing instruments or accessories you might find handy (paper clips, lip balm, hair ties, etc). I used basic white elastic to secure my pencil pouch to my planner. So easy and it looks nice, too!

Another of my favorite Moments Inked accessories coming out this month is the new Moments Inked: Edged die. You may have already noticed that I used it to insert my niece's birthday party invitation in with my party planning lists (HERE in case you missed it). Today I'm using the perforated edge die to create a mini calling card notebook to keep in my planner.

I learned last week that the moment you start tearing up the neighborhood (by putting in a new gas line) all of your new neighbors suddenly want to make your acquaintance. Ha! As a result I've been caught unprepared several times by very nice folks who would like to say hello and gather contact information. I figured, since my planner is often nearby, I could make a tiny notebook that would make handing out names, phone numbers, and email addresses a little easier.

I began by trimming out about 15 little business card-sized (2" x 3 1/2") pieces of Fresh Snow Linen cardstock. I figured that was a good size because it would fit in most wallets easily. I ran each one through my die cut machine with the new Moments Inked: Edged perforated edge die (I used the edge of the die as a guide to make sure they were all the same) and stamped them with assorted images from Seeds of Knowledge (available April 15th), just to give them a little color.

Then I assembled my notepad by adding layers of Scor-tape between each card, taking care to keep the adhesive to the outside edge of the perforated line. I repeated that until I had everything stuck together and then added a chipboard backing under the bottom card.

That chipboard piece then slides into the pocket (I made one just for collecting neighbor info and put it in the back of my planner with the "important contacts." I shortened it by a few holes so the "important contacts" heading would still be visible.) and the cards hang on the outside, unencumbered.

When I need to use a card, I can simply fold along the perforated edge and tear it right off. I can also use these little cards for notes or other little tidbits since they're such an easy thing to recreate and replace when these are used up.

See, it's the perfect place for a blog address (which I get asked about fairly regularly and never have a great place to write it down - now I do!). I'm sure to have fun discovering new ways to use this month's additions to the Moments Inked line! I hope you are too!

I have one last thing to share before I wander off on you today. There's another terrific Quick Stitch kit coming at you on May 1st! Erin has really outdone herself with this newest Quick Stitch kit. These softies are just simply the cutest! There are so many options to customize these little guys; from expressions to accessories and beyond. I can't wait to create a whole herd of adorable stuffed critters!

Make sure to pop over to Nichole's blog for a few more sneak peeks! I'll have additional projects to share with you in just a couple of weeks. See you then!

Felt Pencil Pouch
Dies: Pencil Pouch (available April 15th), Pencil Pouch Trim (available April 15th), Sewing Staples: Floral Cluster Die Collection - Papertrey Ink
Other: Mini Magnetic Purse Snaps - Everything Mary (found at JoAnn's in the teenager purse design aisle); Floss Colors 504, 742, pure white - DMC; White Fold-over Elastic - Dritz

Calling Card Booklet
Stamps: Seeds Of Knowledge (available April 15th) - Papertrey Ink
Cardstock: Fresh Snow Linen, Summer Sunrise Polka Dot - Papertrey Ink; chipboard
Ink: Berry Sorbet, Summer Sunrise, Harvest Gold, New Leaf, Aqua Mist - Papertrey Ink
Other: Moments Inked: Edged Die (available April 15th), Moments Inked: Pocket Page Die - Papertrey Ink; Scor-tape

Monday, April 13, 2015

Moments Inked: Party Planning


Good morning, All! It's my week to share how I've been using my Papertrey Ink Moments Inked planner lately. This planner and the accessories came in super handy while putting together my niece's recent first birthday bash. I wanted to make sure it was extra special (you only get to celebrate your first birthday once, after all), so I used a few of the Moments Inked stamp sets and dies to create lists that were both functional as well as cute enough to add to a scrapbook now that the party has come and gone.

I began by creating daily task lists for the days leading up to the party. This allowed me to break down the workload into manageable chunks, so I never felt too overwhelmed.

I used the Moments Inked: Divided die to cut the pages from Fresh Snow Linen Cardstock and then trimmed two of the rounded bits from each page to achieve the small tabs. I embellished each tab with a circle cut from one of April's colors that was stamped with the first letter of the days of the week.

I used the new Pencilgrams mini set (available April 15th) for the letters. Another handy thing about having lists like this available is that when someone asks you how they can help, you just direct them to the list! No more fumbling for an's all right there in black and white.

The next page is a decorative way to break up the lists a little bit. It's one of those piece that could easily be removed and used in a scrapbook with just a quick trim.

I simply die cut the largest Basic Page shape from polka dot vellum and added a Text Block: Let's Party die on top. We used a good bit of pink in the decor, so this will blend in perfectly with the photos from the big day.

I found these next lists essential for keeping track of important details in the days leading up to the party.

I used the Moments Inked: Tabbed List Die to create a series of stair step lists. In order to get them layered like this, I simply trimmed off the bottom two, four, and six holes on the bottom three pages. I also needed to trim ever so slightly up by the tab, but it was a minimal adjustment and well worth the effort.

I decorated the "Guest List" page with the streamers from Birthday style.

The "Shopping" page was perfect for any non-food items I needed to pick up. I just added to the list as things occurred to me. I decorated this one with a balloon from Balloon Bash.

The "Menu" page gave me a place to write everything down which triggered the items that I needed to put on the grocery list. I thought this cupcake from Blue Skies was the perfect embellishment.

The "Groceries" list seemed to keep growing and growing! The candles from Wishes Come True added just enough whimsy to this page.

I also inserted the party invitation into my planner with help from the new Moments Inked: Edged Die (available April 15th).  It was a breeze to die cut that edge and pop the invitation in there with everything else.

I think all the planning paid off. Look at that happy, little (sugar-covered) face!

So there you have it! In the past when I've organized similar events I've had everything written out on little scraps of paper that inevitably get lost right when I need them most. The planner and the coordinating dies and stamps made it easy for me to keep everything in one place...and it's cute to boot!

Thank you so much for joining me today! I'm sure you have plenty of countdown to check out, so I won't keep you. Have a wonderful week!

Daily Tasks Tabbed Lists
Stamps: Moments Inked: Listed, Pencilgrams (available April 15th) - Papertrey Ink
Cardstock: Fresh Snow Linen, Sweet Blush, Melon Berry, Canyon Clay - Papertrey Ink
Ink: Terra Cotta Tile, Melon Berry, Canyon Clay, Smokey Shadow - Papertrey Ink
Dies: Moments Inked: Divided - Papertrey Ink

Vellum Divider Page
Cardstock: Sheer Basics Patterned Vellum, Sweet Blush - Papertrey Ink
Dies: Moments Inked: Basic Page Die, Text Block: Let's Party Die - Papertrey Ink

Party Details Tabbed Lists
Stamps: Moments Inked: Listed, Birthday Style, Balloon Bash, Blue Skies, Wishes Come True - Papertrey Ink
Cardstock: Fresh Snow Linen,
Adhesive Sheets - Papertrey Ink
Ink: Sweet Blush, Canyon Clay, Melon Berry, Smokey Shadow - Papertrey Ink
Dies: Moments Inked: Tabbed List Die - Papertrey Ink

Invitation Page
Dies: Moments Inked: Edged Die (available April 15th) - Papertrey Ink

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

April Color Play

Good morning, Friends, and welcome to this month's Papertrey Ink Color Play feature! This month we're playing with a color palette of Berry Sorbet, Melon Berry, Ocean Tides, and Enchanted Evening inspired by this photo from Style Me Pretty:

Isn't that gorgeous?! I’ve been having a serious moment with coral. It’s so pretty and it looks lovely with so many other fabulous colors. Perhaps because of my recent coral-crush, when I saw this photo I knew I wanted to use it as the inspiration for this month’s color scheme.

I decided to use these beautiful colors to make a Mother's Day card for today. Obviously I was inspired by more than just the photo's colors. I brainstormed for days, but in the end I couldn't get the idea of a cluster of flowers out of my head. I went with it and I'm glad I did!

I began by doing some test stamping with the Sweet Life stamp set on a sheet of scrap paper. I wasn't sure how best to achieve the depth of color I wanted, so playing around with it really helped. I found that generational stamping was a wonderful way of getting the different colors I needed without introducing additional ink colors.

My final roses are stamped like this:

  • Base: Melon Berry stamped off once
  • 1st Layer: Berry Sorbet at full strength
  • 2nd Layer: Melon Berry at full strength

The stamped off Melon Berry is much pinker than the full strength version, so it was the perfect base for Berry Sorbet. Then, the darker, more orange full strength Melon Berry finishes the blooms with a bit of a shadow effect.

My leaves are stamped like this:

  • Base: Ocean Tides stamped off once
  • 1st Layer: Ocean Tides at full strength

The leaves look almost sage when Ocean Tides is stamped off and the full strength leaf detail has an almost vintage appearance.

I die cut my flowers and leaves and stamped them with the combinations that I've detailed above. Then, I stamped the frame from Boutique Borders: Thanks on a white panel. I knew I needed extra space between the borders, so I masked off one of the sides of the stamp and stamped the other image twice, leaving plenty of space between. I added the sentiment and adhered the panel to an Enchanted Evening card base.

I mounted the flowers and leaves with flat and foam adhesives and curled the leaves upward. The card still needed something, so I went in with a fine point glue pen and added glitter to places where dew might rest. It's not much, but that tiny detail adds a nice bit of sparkle and interest. I love it when a card turns out exactly how it appeared in my imagination! Don't you?

Well, that's all for me today. Thank you so much for joining me for this month's Papertrey Ink Color Play! I'll see you again soon!

Stamps: The Sweet Life, Keep It Simple: Mother, Boutique Borders: Thanks - Papertrey Ink
Cardstock: Enchanted Evening - Papertrey Ink; white
Ink: Berry Sorbet, Melon Berry, Ocean Tides, Enchanted Evening - Papertrey Ink
Other: Sweet Life Die Collection - Papertrey Ink; Foam Tape - Scotch; Fine Crystal Glitter - Martha Stewart Crafts; Glue Pen; Scor-Tape