Card Challenge Corner: Helping Hand

My Favorite Day
In 2008, CardMaker launched the popular Readers Reach Out column where readers were invited to send their handmade cards to various charitable organizations. Since then, readers have donated thousands of handmade cards to 37 different campaigns. Create a card this week and send it to a charity organization. For a list of organizations previously featured in CardMaker, click here.

Editor’s Note: Remember to post photos of your designs on the CardMaker Facebook page!

Card shown above from CardMaker’s special issue called Beautiful Blooms-order a copy here!

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Lois’s Storage Tip: Die Storage System

Hi, Lois here with my storage tip for the day. You’ll notice I titled this article my Die Storage System. In my case I really needed a System. If you’re like I am, you have many, many dies, and finding one particular die in your vast inventory could present a small scavenger hunt. After many trials and errors, I have devised a system which works for me. I purchased some ArtBin die storage boxes at Jo-Ann’s. Michaels also sells these type of boxes under their own brand called Recollections. The only difference is that the Recollections brand does not include the magnetic sheets on which the dies are stored. Other than that they are identical. I have purchased extra packs of magnetic sheets at both Jo-Ann’s and Hobby Lobby.

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Before I began the storage process, I needed to take inventory of my dies. I created an Excel spreadsheet, listing the name of each die and/or die set. After listing each die or set, I alphabetized them which is a simple task in Excel.

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Then I placed the dies on the magnetic insert sheets, identified them with a label maker strip, numbered the sheets, and placed them in the boxes. Each one of my boxes is labeled with a letter.

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At this point I went back to my alphabetical list and inserted the box letter label and sheet number in another column. As you can see, I can now identify exactly where each die is located. Let’s say I wanted the QuicKutz Lemon Drop Alphabet die. I would just go to Box E and pull out sheet 16.

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I now sorted my Excel sheet by the first column (the location of each die/set), placing a Page Break at the end of each page list and printed the list. On the front of each box, I taped the list of the dies inside that particular box for easy reference.

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My boxes are stored on a shelf near my cutting area. They are pretty heavy, and you can see how my shelf has bowed. I put a little brace under the shelf, and that keeps it from bowing any further.

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I hang my alphabetical list on a nail in the cabinet next to this shelf unit so it is quickly accessible.

I hope you found my storage idea helpful. If you think it would work for you, I’m happy I could get you a little more organized.

-Lois

Supplies used: Magnetic die storage cases and magnetic die sheets from ArtBin; LetraTag label maker from Dymo.

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Sarah’s Outside the Box

When I leaf through my issues of CardMaker magazine and decide to try a card, I rarely re-create one exactly as it appears. Rather, I’m looking for inspiration, whether it’s a particular stamp or paper that makes my mouth water, an artful arrangement or simply an eye-catching combination of colors. I’m waiting for that “Aha!” moment.

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When I saw the background flowers on Carolyn King’s You Are Fabulous card in the July 2012 issue of CardMaker magazine, I immediately thought of a mum flowers embossing folder that I received from my sister this past Christmas. Editor’s Note: Order a digital download of the July 2012 issue here!

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I cut and scored a 4 1/4 x 5 1/2-inch card from sky blue cardstock and ran it through an embossing machine with the embossing folder. I lightly sanded the front to make the flowers stand out a bit more and then I applied a generous dot of yellow acrylic paint to the center of each flower.

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I cut a strip of patterned paper about an inch wide to fit across the width of the card front. I inked just the word “Happy” on the clear stamp and stamped it onto the paper strip.

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I attached the strip to the card with brads and used a corner-rounder punch to round the card corners.

You can make up a bunch of these—in a rainbow of colors—in no time. I intend to! And then I’ll head back to CardMaker and wait for that next “Aha!”

-Sarah Ashley

Supplies used: Sky blue cardstock from Core’dinations; patterned paper from K&Company; Perfect Day stamp set from Hero Arts; Memento tuxedo black dye ink pad from IMAGINE Crafts/Tsukineko; yellow acrylic paint from Royal & Langnickel; mini blue brads and A2 Mum Flowers embossing folder (#946905)  from Hobby Lobby/The Paper Studio; Cuttlebug embossing machine from Cricut; corner-rounder punch from EK Success.

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CardMaker Presents Beautiful Blooms Issue

Beautiful Blooms
Here’s a little peek at a special issue of CardMaker that just went on sale and should be on your local newsstands soon! Beautiful Blooms is filled with over 50 designs and techniques for creating handmade flowers. You’ll learn unique ways of crafting floral embellishments from paper, fabric, ribbon, metal, clay and more. Click here to see more and to order a copy!

Kusudama Flower Easel Card

Kusudama Flower Easel Card by Connie McCotter

Hello

Hello card by Lisa Silver

Die-Cut Pansy Card

Die-Cut Pansy Card by Teresa Horner for Spellbinders® Paper Arts

Rolled-Ribbon Rose Card

Rolled-Ribbon Rose Card by Keri Lee Sereika

Order a copy here!

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Card Challenge Corner: Outside the Box

Red Butterfly
Card makers know embossing powder is a great way to add dimension to stamped images, but this versatile powder can also be used to create colorful and textured backgrounds. Check out designer Sara Naumann’s Embossed Backgrounds article in the spring issue of CardMaker and create a card using one of the embossing techniques she describes or create your own embossed background technique!

Editor’s Note: Remember to post photos of your designs on the CardMaker Facebook page!

Card shown above designed by Sara Naumann-complete instructions are available in the spring issue of CardMaker available here!

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FREE Pattern: Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday
Design by Melanie Muenchinger

Materials

Instructions

1. Form a 4 1/4 x 5 1/2-inch card from light purple cardstock.

2. Stamp frame image onto three different patterned papers; cut out.

3. Color border around lightest stamped image with marker; adhere to card front.

4. Cut bottom section from second patterned paper, trimming along inside border. Stamp large butterflies along bottom, creating a border as shown. Adhere to card front.

5. Cut side sections from remaining stamped image, trimming along inside border; adhere to card front.

6. Stamp sentiment on card front.

7. Stamp one large and two small butterflies onto desired patterned papers; cut out. Attach to card front as shown using foam squares.

8. Attach pearls to card front.

9. Decorate inside of card as desired.

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Creative Space: Patti J. Gilliam

Hi everyone! I’ll be sharing my creative space with you today. My dear hubby and I share a home-office space that was previously a two-car garage. Neither of our vehicles would fit in the garage so we repurposed the space. I hope you enjoy the tour of my beloved girl cave!

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As you walk in from the carport, you can see my computer desk, my 8 1/2 x 11-inch cardstock stash, Silhouette machine, printer, etc. Next to the desk is an old oak entertainment center that I painted. The top section holds completed 3-D projects. I store 12 x 12-inch cardstock and envelopes inside the glass door space. The section below that area holds my ribbon collection.

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Continuing around the room you can see the doorway into the house. The office door is covered with photos of our little kids from St. Jude’s. We’ve donated monthly since the early 80’s. To the left is my basic work space. Nothing is nailed to the wall. There are two 2-drawer file cabinets the countertop rests on. On the counter are two plastic drawer units with a plywood board across them. My hubby mounted halogen lighting on the underside of this board. The stamp units are placed against the wall. The plywood shelf holds a bin of assorted supplies like adhesives, glossy accents, reinkers, embossing powders and more. This 5-foot area used to be my only space! The bookcase is where I take photos of my finished projects. The white baskets below hold clear stamps.

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To the left of my work space you will see the area where my dies hang and a closet door to the right. There is another L-shaped desk to the left in this photo. The furniture was being thrown out by someone and we rescued it!

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Here is a better view of the closet. I get the lower section and hubby gets the upper section.

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The basket on the left in this photo holds paper pads that are seasonal; the basket on the right holds papers that can be used all year. You can see a corner of a 2-drawer file cabinet which was also in the throwaway pile that we rescued. It holds my Cuttlebug, Dream Kutz, and another stamp rack. Inside the drawers are years of CardMaker magazines.

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Here is a better photo of the rescued office furniture. This piece holds my Grand Calibur®, bling, Copic® markers, current design team stamps, catalogs, colored pencils, etc. The glass jar holds baker’s twine that I’ve wrapped around my grandma’s old wooden spools. Under the desk is a rolling cart that has current 12 x 12-inch patterned papers in it.

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On the desk behind the paper cutter are two spinning kitchen organizers that hold rulers, scissors, Perfect Layers cutting tools, paper punches, etc. A good friend made the fun desk photo of me many years ago and it is one of my favorite things.

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Under the other section of the desk are plastic drawers. The left three drawers hold white, black and kraft cardstock scraps. Directly above that is a bin with current 6 x 6 paper pads. The blue bins hold “important stuff” like felt, feathers, cheesecloth, etc. The three white drawers hold finished cards and cards from my creative friends that I can never part with.

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This view sort of puts my space in perspective size-wise. I’m standing behind the back of the L-shaped desk. From here you can almost see my whole room. The bookshelf holds other creative hobby items like spray paints, glass jars, alterable items, etc.

Well, that’s it! I have a LOT of stuff crammed neatly organized in this space. For some of you, it’s probably a tiny room. For others, it’s probably a dream come true space. I love being in this room. From the Cherish Each Precious Day (my blog name) sign above my work space to the furry critters on the wall watching me work, it’s my zen room!

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In full disclosure, this room does not always look like it does in the above photos. Most days it looks like the photo above!

Thanks for looking!

Hugs,

-Patti J.

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Anita’s CardMaker Tip

Card sketches are a great starting point when it comes to making cards. I used a card sketch from PageMaps as the inspiration for the set of birthday cards shown below. The sketch came from the January 2015 CardMaps. I always need birthday cards and thought it would be great to make a set of four to have on hand for those months when so many of my family and friends have birthdays.

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I used a wonderful new collection from Doodlebug Design called Hello Sunshine to make some bright and happy cards.

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The stamp set that I used is from Fiskars and is called Cupcakes and More. It’s been discontinued, but you can still find it online in a few places. This particular stamp set lent itself well to being used on four different cards. One tip that I love to do is to use one long sentiment and break it up to suit the purpose of my project.

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When getting ready to stamp the sentiment, I placed the acrylic sheet that comes over the top of the stamps over the part of the stamp that I didn’t want ink on. I then applied ink to the area I wanted to use. It’s so clean and easy, you simply lift away the acrylic sheet and wipe it off to clean and use again. This trick gives you many more options for using your sentiment stamps.

Have a great day and I’ll be back soon.

Hugs,

-Anita

Supplies used: Cardstock from Doodlebug Design Inc. and Stampin’ Up!Hello Sunshine collection and sequins from Doodlebug Design Inc.; stamp set from Fiskars; Memento tuxedo black ink pad from Imagine Crafts/Tsukineko; bubblegum, sour apple, blu raspberry and razzle berry ink pads from My Favorite Things; Copic® markers (R63, RVI3, Y08, YG13) from Imagination International Inc.

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Card Challenge Corner: Sketch Challenge

Sketch

Sketches are a great way to jump-start your creativity and there’s a new one in each issue of CardMaker! Take a look at this issue’s sketch and use it to help you create a card. Remember that a sketch can be rotated anyway you’d like for your design.

Editor’s Note: Remember to post photos of your designs on the CardMaker Facebook page!

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Lois’s CardMaker Tip: Keep Essentials Close at Hand

Hi, Lois here with a storage tip for you. Although I have a craft room where I store all my supplies, it doubles as my guest room. Since there is no place for a desk, my “stamping place” is my kitchen bar, which fortunately is not far from the guest/craft room. However to avoid multiple trips back and forth, I was looking for a way to keep the items I use most frequently close at hand.

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While I was in Harbor Freight, I found this four-tray carousel which fit the bill perfectly.

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I have it sitting at the end of my bar, out of the way when I need the bar for other things, like eating dinner!

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The items I keep in this carousel are the mainstays of stamping like my adhesives,

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inks that I use most often, sponge applicators,

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small scissors, adhesive foam dots, sanding blocks, small tools,

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glue dots, stylus kit

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and my paper piercer.

Even if you do have a desk in your craft room, this type of carousel would help keep your essentials close at hand.

-Lois

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