Welcome to my blog!

Thank you for visiting my blog about cards and other hobbies. Stamp Club is for anyone that would enjoy making cards and learning new techniques - we would love to have you come! We meet the first Saturday of each month or the following Monday (unless changed because of holidays). (Each monthly get together is held those two days - sometimes one day is more convenient than the other!) An Evite is sent out each month - so if you would like to come to Stamp Club, just email me and let me know to put you on the Evite list: helencashon@gmail.com . Sometimes we have Stamp-A-Stacks or other classes also.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Erin's Straw Knitting

I thought this was so neat I just wanted to share it with everybody! I was over at Erin's house one day in early December and went up to see her room and her craft areas. She showed me these scarves she makes -- she designed her own method of knitting - with straws! Yep -- regular drinking straws! I was fascinated. So I got her to show me and took pictures. (And I went right out and bought some yarn!)

Oh -- before I get into that - I was reading Erin's CaringBridge site today -- Erin was at a craft store in Memphis, Tennessee, for a class and her mother went shopping several stores down since it was going to be a couple of hours. When it was about time for Erin to be finished, Ann texted her to see if she was ready. Erin texted back to her -- "No, I just saved someone's life!" Ann wrote on CaringBridge that one of the employees choked on a peppermint. Someone asked if anyone knew the Heimleich manuever and Erin said yes and ran to the lady. After performing the Heimleich four times, the lady coughed and out came the peppermint! We're so proud of you Erin! That lady was blessed that you were there!

Here is one scarf that is getting close to being finished - she is still working on it though - you can see how it is still attached to the straws.

Straw knitting, as explained by Erin, (but in my words, so I hope got it right - I'll get her to proofread before uploading!):

Yarn needs to be thicker than just regular yarn. What she was using was Homespun and it was kinda curly - so that gives it more bulk than just a regular skein on yarn.

1. Decide how many straws you want -- i.e., width of scarf. She recommended about 6 to 10 - have to remember need to be able to hold them in your hand. Cut the flex part off if they are flexible straws.

2. Decide how long you want your scarf to be. Erin usually measures her lengths of yarns by the armspan -- from fingertip to fingertip. Some scarves she does by one armspan; some scarves are 1 1/2 armspans. Cut yarn to length desired - one length for each straw.

3. Then thread one end of one length of yarn up through the straw. You might need a skewer to help poke it up through there. When you have it through - pull about an inch down and scotch tape it to the straw - wind tape around straw. Do this for all straws and lengths of yarn.

4. Go to other end of lenths of yarn and holding the batch together, tie a knot.

5. Then take the end of the yarn from the skein and tie it to one of the straws, which will be the first straw on your left when you line all the straws up in your left hand. It can be kinda toward the middle or bottom.

6. Then line all the straws up in your hand, and with the yarn from the skein, weave it behind the first straw, in front of the second one, then behind the third one, in front of the fourth and so on.

7. When you finish the weave with the last straw on the right, then go back the other way, doing the same thing.

8. See how it builds up a weave? Let it build up on the straws for a little while.

9. Then as you get more and more, push the weaved part off the straws and down the lengths of yarn. As you work more and more, just push the weaved parts off and closer together.

10. Here's a closer up view with a darker yarn she was making a different scarf with. See how the weave is built up on the straws and you can see how it is close together soon after coming off the straws.

And here is one even closer to completion than the one at the top. She is still working on this one too though as the skein of yarn is still attached.

And here is the explanation for the end step - Erin typed it in Comments - but I copied the straw knitting specific info back over here to make it easier for y'all to see.
From Erin:
"Before you take it off the straws, you tie your string in a knot to one of the outside straws like you did in the beginning. Push all the yarn off of the straws. Then, you cut the “guide strings” at the top of the straws between the top of the straw and the tape. Slide the straws off of the loose yarn and tie the ends together! Trim your fringe if you want and VOILA!"

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Stampin' Saturday 1.2.10

Happy New Year to you all! I am trying something different with the blog this time. I also scanned the direction sheets that I put on the table at Stamp Club which gives the step by step directions -- so we will see if they can be read.

The first thing I showed was a reminder that we can make a subtle background on a card or card layer -- two ways. One by using Versamark ink and just stamping on the cardstock. I just quickly picked up a stamp from Sincere Salutations and stamped it on Pretty in Pink Cardstock. It is hard to see at first, but as the Versamark Ink dries, it leaves am image that looks like a watermark. Almost the same thing can be done stamping with ink that matches the cardstock color as you can see in the other example. You can see that it is very similar -- just a little bit darker. As Kristina said when I was talking about this -- "it can give your card a more finished look." It just adds a little more personality to what might be a plain cardstock layer.

The next thing we talked about was the new Clear Mount option for Stampin' Up! stamps beginning with the new Occasions Mini Catalog and the Sale-A-Bration catalog that start January 5. When I talked about them in a recent email, I had not tried them yet. Now I have, and I am loving them! The actual stamp is still the same red rubber that SU! uses -- but you temporarily mount them on clear acrylic blocks. One thing I read was that you can put several different images on one block and stamp them all at the same time -- and line them up the way you want them. And one place I was reading pointed out that you could line all these houses from the Good Neighbors stamp set (from the Sale-A-Bration catalog) up level, whereas with wood mount, you would need to stamp each house separately. And since you are using the clear block, you can see where you are placing your stamp. And the blocks are grooved on all 4 sides so that they feel good in your hand.

Here is a card below that I made using the stamps and block above. I did mount each roof separately on a smaller block and just visually stamped them in Melon Mambo on top of the houses -- you do have to remember there is a little bit of a margin around the image, but I think it turned out fine. And I stamped the trees separately using Green Galore ink. And the cloud I stamped separately also. If you wanted the roof to fit exactly on top of the house rectangle, you could use a Stamp-a-ma-jig. The "welcome" sentiment came from the Short and Sweet stamp set -- the "welcome baby". I just inked the "welcome" part with a Melon Mambo marker.

There are a number of advantages to this Clear Mount option (indicated in the catalog with a square with a C in it -- i.e., like a clear block with a C in the middle. The stamps are also available in the wood mount that we are used to, so we will need to be careful and make sure we pick up the correct item number according to which we want - wood mount or clear mount -- on the stamps where clear mount is available.

There are a number of advantages to this Clear Mount Option --

1. It was so easy -- no having to mount stamps on the blocks. This was the fastest "get a set ready" I have ever done! I just popped the stamps out of the rubber like I usually do, took the paper off the back sticky part, and stuck the stamps in the case. (there is a label that you could put on this sticky part so you can see what your image is when you're looking at your block, but I haven't felt a need to do this yet, so I have left my labels untouched. The labels are sticky also so they stick to the sticky part of the stamp and also stick to the clear mount block or the case.)

2. The cases are close to the size of a CD case. Since the cases aren't very thick, they will take up much, much less storage room!!!!

3. I always scanned the label to put in my other stamp cases in the past. With these new cases, the image of the stamps in the set is on the front and also on the spine of the case. So I don't have to scan a sheet for the case so I know what stamps go in each case.

4. You can see better where you are placing your stamps on your cardstock.

5. The clear mount option for a set is less expensive than the wood mount option.

Stampin' Up! has some new punches in the new Occasions Mini Catalog and Sale-A-Bration catalog too. Below is a red square where I used the Pinking Hearts Border Punch on the right side, and then I punched both top corners with the Pinking Hearts Corner Punch. This was just a quick demo I did to show those new punches - it was not made for a card.

Also in the new Occasions Mini is a heart shaped Embosslit die. It cuts out the scalloped heart shape and embosses dots on it at the same time. And it coordinates with the Full Heart Punch. You can see below where the bottom scalloped hearts were made using the Scallloped Heart of Hearts Embosslit die and the top hearts are made with the Full Heart Punch.

Now -- for the cards we actually made Saturday! Hope you've made it this far in your reading!

This first card was made using the Clear Mount I {Heart} Hearts stamp set abd Real Red ink. One of the stamps in the set coordinates with the the Heart to Heart punch (that has 3 different sized hearts.) I know you can punch out the "friend" heart in this set with the Full Heart Punch - it has a white border around it, but the shape is the same; I think the polka dot heart will coordinate the same way with the Full Heart Punch - the punch is larger so there is a white border, but the shape is the same. The other hearts are different shapes. The "happy valentine's day" sentiment is from A Happy Heart set in the regular catalog. (That is the set that has the heart dandelion that I made a sample card where I embossed the dandelion in white on red cardstock. The white on the red is very striking and a lot of people have indicated they liked it. I CASED it.)
Instead of me "talking" about how to make each card this time, I also scanned the direction sheet. So we will see if those are readable and if you can enlarge them if need be when you look at the blog. (And I'll check that out too.) So if you're not able to enlarge and read the directions and want them, email me and ask for them and I'll send by email attachment. (See end - I was able to click on directions and they popped up bigger and was also able to print one.)

This card was CASED from Stamp Addict 77 who posted on splitcoast on December 3, 2009.
Lines look crooked here - but they are not on actual card. The thickness of the ribbon knot causes that when the card was scanned.
This next card showcased the SU! Perfect Polka Dots embossing folder (Stampin' Up! embossing folders cover a whole A2 card front - they do not leave an unembossed border area).
The white rectangle in the back was embossed with this folder.
Also showcased is the Scalloped Heart of Hearts Embosslit die mentioned at the beginning of this blog. And the Pinking Hearts Border Punch and the Small Heart Punch - both of which are the new punch style. All these items are in the new Occasions Mini and are available until April 30 - although with some of the heart items, they will probably be more popular now before Valentines -- so might want to consider ordering them early in case a backorder situation occurs. The 1" red stitched ribbon is in the regular catalog - I wasn't too sure about 1" wide ribbon, but I really like this ribbon. The sentiment is from Short and Sweet set and was stamped and then punched out with Wide Oval Punch. The card from which I cased this had a the "Love You Much" sentiment from the Well Scripted Set in the Occasions Mini - I didn't have it to use for this card -- but it is on my order this time -- I LOVE the curls on the words!
The layers look a little crooked in this picture -- again that is caused when the card was scanned because of the ribbon knot thickness.

Card CASED from Technique_Freak posted December 4, 2009 on splitcoaststampers.

This card below intrigued me the first time I saw it - to me it is an optical illusion -- the center part around the Thank You looks like a brown square with a vanilla square on top of it and then another vanilla square turned diamong shaped and the sentiment stamped on it. But it's not!
And Wendy W. pointed out that it makes a Star of David.

Card CASED from favre821 and uploaded to splitcoaststampers April 30, 2009 (I think 2o09 - I didn't write that part of the date down.) This card has one change from hers - I used the Elegant Thank You stamp.
The background stamp is French Script, which is retired. The current catalog as En Francais, which is very similar.
She called the Technique Quilting Pattern. Below shows you how it is made:
First a 2 5/8" (actually I went a smidgen over -- so between 2 5/8" and 2 11/16") Very Vanilla square as shown here. (Ignore the yellow background - that was so you could see the square really well. Many times I will use a backing sheet when I am scanning to make things show up better.)

Then I punched out photo corners out of Chocolate Chip using the Photo Corner Punch. There are two sizes of photo corners on this punch -- this card uses only the large one. Kristina said that you can position the punch on the edge of the cardstock and only cut out the large one.

After I glued the 4 large photo corners on each corner of the Very Vanilla square I had that part and then just stamped the Elegant Thank You sentiment in the middle - it fits perfectly and the photo corners being there don't affect the stamping. I'm really liking that Elegant Thank You. I've seen it used where the sentiment was stamped and then punched out with the Scalloped Square Punch -- diamond shaped orientation.

Here's the directions for the Chocolate Chip and Very Vanilla card above.
And -- the BASIC POP UP CARD. I plan for us to do some different pop up cards in the future, so thought I'd start with this basic one.

This is just the front of the card which I had embossed with the Manhattan Flower embossing folder. It could use something else on the front, but I was more focused on the inside.

The white part is cut smaller -- 4" wide -- to fit inside as you will see further down. On the fold, mark the center at 2" and then make bigger cutting indicator marks 1/4" on either side (i.e., at 1 3/4" and 2 1/4") and then I came down about 1/2" and made two dots. Then you cut down to the dots.

Then you open up and push the tab inside - you made need to help with where it needs to fold so that you end up with a step. See directions and picture below. I had done a google search on pop up card and some directions indicated to make a score line where it needs to bend.
Beate Johns has a tutorial on her blog for this card.

Then we stamped the rose from Fifth Avenue Floral in Bermuda Bay ink to match the BB cardstock, cut it out, and adhered it to the front of the tab.
This pop up concept could be varied some -- you could pop up more than one item, and you could make different tabs different lengths so that the pop ups would be staggered when you opened the card. I thought it might be interesting to try the pop up idea with the Good Neighbors set and have the houses and trees on different length tabs so the trees might be closer up and the houses further back or vice versa.

Card CASED from hudsonhannah on splitcoast - card was uploaded June 9,2009.

Erin stamped her sentiment on the top instead of the bottom, leaving more room on the bottom to write a note and sign her name, and everybody liked that idea.

So that's what we did Saturday!
I may upload some other cards a little later - sample Valentine ones I had on display.
Ok -- now to go upload and see if you will be able to look at the scanned directions. I am wondering if you will be able to click on the picture and enlarge it.
I checked it out -- YES! You can click on the picture of the directions and it will pop up big so that you can read it. I also told it to Print on one of them and it printed out the directions just fine. (If you try this, experiment with one first like I did to make sure it will just print out that picture and that it will fit it all on one sheet - all these directions this time are on one page.
Happy stampin',