Friday, December 23, 2011

Brand New Memory Box Dies-Arrived December 23

We just received the newest release of dies from Dave Brethauer at Memory Box. These are Valentine and Spring oriented...there is a window box for each size window, with flowers and vines to go in well as a great assortment of hearts and borders...I have included as many pictures as I could get away with as I was leaning over my staff who were trying to get the items into the register. (I might need to go home now for the day.) Please enjoy. Feel free to call and place an order, we can hold it for you if it is prepaid. 978-887-6397. We will get them up onto the online store sometime next week.

One more thing...we have the neatest "letter to Santa' here...all it needs is a child who wants something....really badly. One side has room for the "list. The other side has an area to address and stamp...

Friday, December 16, 2011

Ten-Day Countdown to Christmas

We are having a crazy event now at the store. Every evening for the ten days leading up to Christmas, I send out an e mail with info about a super deep sale for the following day only. The next night, there is another e-mail. Today is day nine before the Day Eight notice is about to go out. If you sign up for the newsletter , you will receive all the notices. For example, today, we had Elisabeth Crafts glitter ritz on sale at 70% off. Again, it was a one-day deal. There is definitely an advantage to getting the newsletter!!
This is an in-store event..we are not able to run it with phone orders or online if you live nearby, there are people out there who are very jealous of you!
Tomorrow's announcement will be equally as astounding, so sign up for the newsletter by going to the link on this page, over in the left hand column, where it says "sign up for the newsletter."

Some new samples...

We have been busy making holiday samples here these last few weeks. I will post a few of them here, with some simple instructions. First up is the snowboarder, from MFT, colored with Copic markers. Also, the snow is from one of their border dies, cut out of felt.

These next six samples are all done with the Memory Box sets of dies and stamps. Cardstock is mostly Bazzill cardstock. Images are mostly colored using Copic marker techniques. The peace word is cut out using the Tim Holtz die, then an oval punch to give it an oval shape, and hand-trimmed for the red glitter edge. In the "deer" card, the background paper is Basic Grey Nordic line, with the frostyville border and deer trio from Memory Box. The wreath card has the Memory Box wreath embossed in Hero Arts white Ep, and die cut with the matching die.

This is the large memory Box window frame, with a silhouette stamp from Flourishes. Snowflakes are embossed with hero Arts white EP, and the snow comes from the very cool "Snow Writer." The snow globe and stamp are both from Memory Box. Gift tags are Ranger kraft small tags, trimmed to the height of an ATC, with Memory box matching stamps and dies, colored with Copics.

This frame is a set by Darcie. It includesd all the die cut pieces as well as a matching clear acrylic piece, in case you want to include shaker material. The reindeer are hand punches, flying over the pine tree background from Impression Obsession, and colored using the Ranger Perfect Pearls over VersaMark clear ink.

Here we have Melissa Frances' miniature houses, that come plain and unassembled. Using Ranger's Picket Fence Stain, it was quick and easy to paint. It is also super easy to add decorative paper. Just adhere to the paper, and trim around the edges. Everything went together with a glue gun.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Playing with Ice Resin

I have been making a few little things here and there, using the Ice Resin product developed by Susan Lenart Kazmer.

It is a two-part thick liquid that you mix slowly together in equal parts. The larger kits comes with two large bottles, mixing cups, wooden sticks for mixing, and directions. The smaller set has a double-barreled syringe so there is no measuring ...just push on the plunger and you get equal amounts.

The caution is that you cannot mix a really small amount of you need to make at least a 20-30 cc batch. I always have more than enough items that are to be "resined." That way, I don't have any left over.

You will need to gently stir the combination of the two liquids for a full two minutes, and then let it sit for two or three minutes. Once you get it mixed, you havea about 20-30 minutes of "open" time, where you can pour or paint it on your piece.

If I am filling a bezel, I will pour it half full, let it sit a bit, then fill the rest. If I am using the resin on flat or 3-D elements, I will paint it on with a throw away (but not foam) small paint brush. In the photos above, I used the new Sizzix Die and embossing template of the ornate dove. You cut first with the die, than align it properly in the embossing folder and run this through the big shot (or whatever you have.)

After the embossing step, I will sand the paper piece and the area where it turns white (from the sanding) will become translucent with the application of the Ice resin. Once I am done and have used it all up, the mixing cup and the brush are no longer usable and should be thrown away. Some people wear rubber gloves to protect their is a bit sticky and oily...I prefere to just wash my hands well, and I use the Ranger scrubby tool to get the resin off my hands while washing.

It takes a good 24 hours to dry and three days to cure, meaning it is better not to work with it in a project until it is cured, but it can be handled at the 24 hour mark.

Some papers will warp a bit with the resin, so I have taped the piece down to my craft sheet to get an even application. While the resin is still quite wet, you can add glitter, or charms. I like to add a resin layer over anything I have added just to keep it in place well.

So far, I have played with quilled flowers (from the Cuttlebug dies), medallions from the tim holtz dies, bottle caps, bezels, and flat papers...old dictionary paper makes an especially nice, translucent element for altered art.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

New Website...

We are officially up and running now, with photo albums, all the new stuff, links to the newsletter sign-ups, to the blog, ...and I am going to keep it very up-to-date!. Please feel free to offer suggestions for improvement, or additions. We will honor your suggestions where we can, unless we think it is a really ridiculous idea.
Lots of new classes scheduled...check the calendar..again, at the new website!!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Beautiful Birdcage

I saw this sample in the catalog when I ordered these fortuitous!!

As mentioned in my newsletter of Sunday, August 21, these three new dies are here now. There are two different birds, and one cage. Here is how I made this project.

I used white water color paper, medium weight, cold press. I cut each bird once and the cage four times. To make the square cage, cut eight "1/4 inch" pieces, about one inch long, fold in half so the short ends meet, put double-sided tape on one side, the full length of the paper. (I use the same watercolor paper for this to make it less noticeable.) These will be used to connect the sides at the top and bottom--half the paper attaches to one side, half to the other side...only in the areas where the cages actually touch.

Bend all the tops over to meet in the middle and hold them together with a brad.

I used Studio Matte Medium, by Ranger, to glue the wings on, and double-sided tape to attach the feather, and to attach the birds to the cage. The cage is hanging by a white vine ribbon. We have all of this at the store.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

These are the two winners from our International Auto Show Contest. Congrats to Sally, in France, and to Connie, in each won a $50 gift certificate to AE. PLease pick it up when you come into the store. (Sally, Patti will take care of you!!) Thank you to all who played...we had some great entries, and we were delighted to see them all "roll" in.

This is a photo of the new Idea-ology Sampler pack we have put together. It is available in our online store, which you can get to by clicking any of the scrolling images above. If you bought one package of each item, it would come to about $250. The sampler is available for $24.99, and it includes one or two of every Idea-ology style.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Ranger-inspired, Grungy, Tim-Holtz style Weekend, with Kate

Here are a few new classes coming up for the weekend of August 6 & 7. On Saturday, we have a full day with two projects in one class. From 10-4 pm, we will be working on a "travel-themed" printers tray, and a small suitcase with a small journal inside. This class is $69 for both projects.

Then, on Sunday, from 11-1 pm, we will make four Distress/Grunge style cards, for $20

and from 2-4 pm, we will make the "Playtime" configuration box...and, yes, each student will receive their own toy telephone and etch-a-scetch to work into their piece.!! The configuration box will be $39, and will include a kit with all the items pictured, with some variations as you desire. Feel free to bring along some small items of your own to place into the box. Photos of the cards will appear in the newsletter on Sunday.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Glubers and Thick Felt!!

We have been playing with Glubers lately. This is a new product from Cosmo Cricket. At first I was thinking that it would be just as easy to puch a circle out of double-sided adhesive. Then I used a Gluber and saw the difference. What it is is a two-sided , huge glue dot, but one that is super-sticky and easy to work with, plus it is already cut into the shape you need. It comes in a pack of twelve, with three different sizes, or else you can get a whole pack of the medium size. Basically, you take off the protective covering, and set it aside.

Now you make your flower. We chose to use the very thick and gorgeous felt we sell here, with the Sizzix Pro die, as shown in the photo.

Once the flower is cut, you open it up and begin at the outermost end..I like to wind it around an awl, or a pencil tip, just to get it going. Once it is going, I don't need to keep the instrument there. With felt this thick, you don't even need a tool, you can just start winding it. The flower will start to form as you wind.

Every now and then, I turn it over and clip some of the points that form at the underneath part of the flower. I may do this once or twice as I roll.

As you get near the end, you can clip off that little round circle that is often used to anchor the flower to. At this point, just hold the flower over the Gluber, and press down.

There is a little re-arranging you can do, not much, but I usually just squish it all down nice and hard and it stays really well. We are using this technique in our Not-Your-Ordinary-Book-Club special project next Friday. If you would like to see the project, click the link. If you want to be surprised, then don't click!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Here are some entries to our "Auto show." Read the post right before this one to see more. (so actually, that means scroll down to read more below.