Thursday, May 31, 2012

Christmas Quilled Card 2011 # 3

This is the 3rd wreath card I made last Xmas. This wreath was made in a completely different style. You first fringe a strip of paper of your desired length. This length will determine how large your wreath will be initially. Of course you can extend it to however long you want it later by gluing additional paper together. The larger the wreath, the longer the width you'd want the paper strips to be because you don't want it to look too awkward with the open space.
The paper behind the candles is made from a pattern stamp. Then I brushed some perfect pearls to make it shimmer without being an overpowering background.
Here is a close up of the fringed wreath:

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Apples Basket Post-It Note Thank You Teacher Handmade Card

Did everyone have a great Memorial Day weekend? I did many things such as bowling and singing karaoke, but we didn't barbecue as many of my neighbors were doing (and probably a lot of America). It was definitely a relaxing time with friends though.

So I'm back today with another Tuesday Alchemy challenge project and this week we are having a fruit party! That's right...any fruit, any project! Let's see what you come up with! 

I don't think I've ever made a card with so many apples on it, but here it is--always a first for everything, right?

This is a card of appreciation for a teacher. These are apples that I cut out of card stock and painted. The basket was weaved with pattern paper. I stuck on a pack of post-its because it's a neat way to personalize the front of a card any way you'd like and the card is functional in that they can continue to use the rest of the pad (since teachers are always in need of supplies). In my case, I wrote in a thank you sentiment but you can write anything you'd like!

Here is a picture of the card without the pack of post its:

As an added level of fun, play for a chance to win a prize from Meljen's Designs this week! 

Also entered in Party Time Tuesday #70 Anything Goes & Love to Create #17 Add a Sentiment.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Why Craft Challenge Blogs and How to Get Started

With the invention of the internet, everyone from all corners of the globe are brought a little closer. For those people who craft, the blog world is a place to display your creations and connect with others who share similar interests. I would imagine not to long ago, someone came up with a fun idea to create a challenge blog and invite others to a common area where crafters flourish.

It is a blog dedicated to contests that may or may not give away prizes or choose winners. Challenge blogs are hosted by either an individual or a team of people. The goal is to invite people to play along with a theme or set of requirements that the hosts come up with. Since they set the guidelines, the frequency of the challenges may vary: daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, etc.; the requirements vary: create a card, stamping only, any project, etc. In general, you should read rules carefully, so you are not disqualified. 
These are some of the reasons why joining a challenge blog might be for you:
  • meet others who have similar interests
  • share with others your creations
  • bring new visitors to your blog/site
  • gather inspiration from others (especially good for those days when you are stuck)
  • CHALLENGE yourself to think outside of the box given specific instructions
  • develop your craft resume if this is your goal (if you win, you may want to note it)
  • win prizes
For the purpose of showing you how to enter challenges, I will use examples of challenges from various blogs. One of which is Tuesday Alchemy--the current challenge blog where I am on a design team (also known as "DT"). For this particular challenge blog, the requirements are simple: 
  • You can enter anything NEW that you have made that fits into that week's theme
  • You can enter up to 3 times (or 3 different new creations)
  • You have to be a follower of the challenge blog to win the prize
  • You have to put up and mention the challenge blog's link in your blog post with the creation
  • You don't need a blog to enter, but you need to put a DIRECT link to the post (I will explain more later)
  • You have to enter within the time frame given (see below)

NEW means something you have made and uploaded online AFTER the challenge week has started, but before the deadline. 

3 times means you can submit 3 different cards, for example, for that challenge if you want, but no more (if you put in a 4th card, one of your entries will not count).

Be a follower of the challenge blog means you need to "join this site." Many of you already know what this means, but I will show you what I mean on Blogger since this is where I blog (you can do the same on any other blogging interface like Typepad or Wordpress).

  1. Look for something that looks like this image on the left (from Tuesday Alchemy blog as of 5.25.2012). Most of the time it is very apparent and can be on any of the side, top, or bottom.
  2. Click "Join this Site" and sign in if you haven't already. That's it!

Not every site will offer a prize, but some will at least choose winners for the challenge. Tuesday Alchemy partnered up with sponsors to offer digital stamp prizes. Digital stamps (or digi stamps) are cute clipart images that was designed to be printed and used in your different crafting projects--cards and scrapbooks are examples of what you can use it for. You can color it in with computer software to be printed or color it in with the supplies you have on hand (markers, crayons, chalk, colored pencils, paint, etc.). If you are announced as the winner at the end of the challenge, you follow the directions on how to receive your prize on the blog post that tells you that you have won (usually receive digi stamps by e-mail or through the sponsor's website). Some challenge blogs may even offer physical prizes like crafting supplies that they will ship to your home! For these types of prizes, you should contact the blog owner to make sure that you qualify for this prize if you live outside of their country.

You should always mention and link the challenge blog that you are entering in on the same post as your creation because it helps to promote places where you like to play and allows others to join you. All of the hard work that goes into managing and setting up a challenge blog deserves the proper credit also.

Nowadays there are so many other places where you can upload pictures, so a personal blog is not necessary to play. You can upload to Pinterest or Flickr for example, but the most important thing is to put a DIRECT LINK. It is important that you put a direct link to the project and not just a link to the general blog because it makes it hard for other viewers and the challenge blog moderators to know which project you are entering when you send them blindly to your blog. If you point exactly to where they should go, no one will question which one it is that you're entering. Here I will show you how to put a direct link using Blogger. 
  1. Take pictures of what you have made that fits the challenge you want to enter.
  2. Start a blog if you don't have one already (instructions here).
  3. Create a new post and add pictures, a title, and any other descriptions you might want to add.
  4. Locate the title (first line of words after the date) of your new blog post, hover your mouse over it.
  5. When you hit the right click button on your mouse, this menu should pop up: This was my entry for the Beautiful Butterflies challenge. You can see that my tags have butterflies on it to fit the theme.
  6. Roll over to select "Copy link address." Tap your right click button on your mouse and the box should close. Now you have copied the direct link! Don't copy anything else at this time as you will lose the link when you paste it!
  7. Go to the challenge blog and find the link widget which is usually all the way at the end of the challenge blog post. Tuesday Alchemy uses the widget (other sites may use something different, but the idea is similar).
  8. When you see the image above, click "Add your link" and this short form will drop down.
  9. URL (stands for uniform resource locator) is where you will want to enter your direct link--which I showed you how to copy before. Now that you have it saved in your computer's memory, all you have to do is paste the link to the new post. Hover over the box next to URL and right click: 
  10. After the pasting the link and typing in your information into the field, it should look like this: As you can see, the link that is displayed next to URL is not simply the link to your blog, but there are a string of numbers and words trailing it. To double check if this is the correct post with the project you want to enter, paste the link into your browser and hit enter or go. Your post should show up when the page loads. 
  11. Click "Submit link" and you're all done! Now your name should be displayed. If you click on your name, it should direct you to the post with your project that you are entering. 

Notice that you see a red "x" next to your name after you've tried. You can delete the entry if you entered something wrong.

Deadlines for submissions should have a time frame. You can poke around the site to find this information. Sometimes you'll see when the submissions link closes: 
In this case, submission collections ends in 2 days, 23 hours, and 34 mins. 

*Note: every challenge blog's rules differ so please read carefully before playing!*

Theme Challenges

Some challenge blogs will ask you to follow their theme. If they want a wedding themed item, then make sure that whatever you make will be suitable to be used for a wedding. If they ask for glitter, then put some glitter on whatever you make to fit the challenge.

Color Scheme Challenges

Sometimes challenge blogs will ask you to create items that fit into a certain color scheme. What this means is that if they ask you to make something yellow, then choose things that are yellow to create your art work--yellow flowers, paper, etc.

Sketch Challenges

Sometimes you stumble across a challenge blog that posts a sketch. If you're new to this, you might not know where to begin and it looks a bit intimidating. Once you get the hang of it though, you may find that you prefer it. Here is an example of a sketch challenge I entered in April at  CPS#262:

The first image is the sketch from the challenge site and the second image is the card I made for the challenge. Do you see the resemblance? The basic idea is to place paper, embellishments, or anything else you may want to use on your project in the locations where the sketch shows. You can follow this strictly or follow it loosely, but in the end people should see that you were following it. You can see the white strip going down on the left, the large circle in the middle sitting on top of the rectangle panel underneath. 

Feel free to choose any papers you'd like and of course, decorate it to your taste!

Combining Challenges

Some challenges limit the maximum number of challenges you can enter but, unless otherwise noted, you can combine multiple challenges. For example, if one blog challenge is a sketch and another one's theme is happy birthday, then you can work around it by using the sketch but adding things to it to make it fit into the happy birthday theme also. In this way, you can enter 2 or more challenges with the same creation. It gets a little tricky because you need to make sure that the challenges that you want to combine will have overlapping submission times.

Even though I gave you a detailed explanation of everything (because I love details), the whole idea is to still have fun!

I have created a small list to get you started (if in the future you find that the challenge blog no longer exists, please leave me a note to update). If you know of any other challenge blogs, feel free to add it by submitting the link in the widget below to help others!
If you have other questions, you can ask them in my comments section and I will try my best to answer them here. Good luck! :)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Christmas Quilled Card 2011 # 2

This is another card I made last year. It is very similar, but can you see the difference?
I added a strip of glittered paper to add more sparkle. Also, The wreath itself was made using a different pattern of quilled marquis. It is 3 per set versus the 2. 

Happy crafting!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Stamped Butterfly Chipboard Tags

For the butterflies challenge at Tuesday Alchemy this week I decided to keep it simple and make some tags out of chipboard. I've never made tags before, but I bought a bunch of chipboard sheets on impulse a few months ago and I figure it is time to put them to use. :D

I set an eyelet on each and used cream colored ribbon at the top. I have a large, ugly, but cheap green candle from IKEA and thought I'd dress it up a bit. :) Each tag measures 1.5"x2.5".

There are two sponsors this week  Floppy Latte's Digital Designs The Doodle Garden, which means 2 prizes to be won, so find some time to stick in a butterfly or two into anything you make this week and share it with us! 

Have a 'FLY day!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Pink Happy Birthday Flower Metal Charm Card

I haven't played with pink for a while, so I was itching to take all of these pink papers out! 

The second picture shows how the Perfect Pearls shimmers at an angle. Sentiment is a rub-on.

You can find this card listed at:
It has been pouring rain here and will be for the next few days. :( Hope it clears up soon!!!

Sweet dreams!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Christmas Quilled Card 2011 # 1

It's never too early to show off your Christmas cards. Unless you're like me and always gets a late start on holiday card making, you're probably a card crafter who is always getting inspirations and ideas for the upcoming season. My goal is to start earlier this year, so I'm not overwhelmed later. In order to get myself motivated as well, I will upload my projects from last year.
I made a few versions of quilled wreaths in 2011. I changed the style of the actual greenery, but kept the poinsettia on all of them.

Here's to a successful crafting holiday season!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Personalize Graduation Cap 2012 Card

The school year is coming to an end (or already has for some college students) in the US, so that means there will be a lot of new graduates to congratulate! I made a card to celebrate these milestones in life. It is simple, but sweet. I have listed it on Etsy as a personalized graduation card. 

The entire graduation cap is cut out and then painted with acrylic paint. Outside flap has a tassel and the inside of the cap says 2012. This one is painted in black and silver, but I can paint it in other colors if needed.

The words can also be customized and they are laser printed in black.

I thought it would be a cute idea to allow the graduation cap to open up and say the year "2012." 

The rain ended last night, so today was a nice day to go out and take pictures. 
And now I will leave you with a picture of a rose from the front yard. People always stop to look and comment about the roses.

Have a fantastic evening!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Happy Wedding: Framed Wedding Quilling Art

It's a new week at Tuesday Alchemy and we're all talking about weddings! Now is a great time of year to get things ready for summer weddings. Enter any wedding related project that you make into this week's challenge for a chance to win digital stamps from Karen's Scraps And Graphics!

This is what I made for this week:
It is a framed quilling piece that can be given to a couple as a gift or displayed to celebrate your love everyday of the year!
It sits inside of a shadow frame that holds up to a 5x7 inch piece.
This is how it looks outside of the frame.
The words were wet embossed with silver. They are from a Fiskars wedding set. The patterned paper is from American Crafts and appropriately named, "I Do." The white frame is by Sizzix.

The 2 roses and leaves, below, flourishes and light blue flower, above, were quilled. You can see that I added a bit of glitter at the end. The white flower is from Prima and I dotted the center with Liquid Pearls.
It's a rainy day here. I hope you're seeing sunny skies wherever you live!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day! Yellow Quilled Tulips Bouquet

Wishing you a Happy Mother's Day! That's what it says in Chinese! Thank you to my best friend, Jen, for translating it and to Alex for commissioning! I've never done anything with actual Chinese characters, so I'm pretty proud of it. :) 

Well here's the mother's day card for Alex that I made. I borrowed the tulips from a previous card I made and put it on top of a simple layout.

 I sprayed it with glitter too! It is stunning in person!
The yellow handmade envelope that goes with it.

This year my mom is in Maine taking care of my grandma, so we aren't doing anything for Mother's Day. Instead, we chatted over the phone. :)

This whole weekend has been super HOT, so my bf and I are going for a long walk to get frozen yogurt in a little bit--it's to make us work for the extra calories. :D Yesterday we had bagels in the park overlooking the East side Manhattan skyline which is 2 blocks from us. It has been a very enjoyable weekend (I'm a very simple girl to please). lol

Good day to all the mamas out there!