Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Halloween Busy-ness

It is that time of year again, where I think I should get out my decorations, but just don't find the energy until the last minute!

The reason is, I'm usually so busy with card classes, craft fairs, Cross Country "stuff" and overall busy-ness of the crafting holiday.

This year is no different! Every waking moment is spent on making stuff for the craft fair.  I have 8 Advent Calendars that are "near" finished, but not quite....and the list goes on and on!

Tonight, we are hosting the pasta party for my son's Cross Country Team (GO THUNDERBIRDS!) and so I have been busy preparing for that.  The team is large this year, and more kids seem to be attending the pasta feeds, so I'm planning on food for MANY!

Here is some of the FUN food I made for the party:

The monster eyes are made by first making some German Chocolate "cake pops" in my cake pop maker, dipping them in melted chocolate, dipping one side again in white chocote, drizzling the red, and then the eye pupils were found in the halloween section at walmart!

The monster fingers are long pretzles in the candy mold, and two different colored chocolates.

I also made chocolate pudding moose with  "oreo" dirt and gummy worms (it's all made and ready, just have to assemble the parts tomorrow, so it doesn't get all "gooey".....

If nothing else, they should enjoy the sweet treats, though hopefully the pasta will be a hit too!

Take care my craft friends,

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Telescoping Snowman!

So, I didn't come up with the idea myself, I was doing a little research for a card class I taught last Monday....trying to come up with a fun but easy technique for the ladies to make a nice holiday card.

Of course, if you are ever researching for ideas and inspiration, there are a few sites that you just MUST hit every time (beside the Paperthreads Gallery/Forum...which has another GREAT sketch challenge for you this month and is always inspirational....hint...hint!) But....besides that, I like to troll the pages of Split Coast Stampers.

It's crazy to me to see the phenomenal growth that website has seen over the past 6-7 years. I remember when it was first launched and became popular, because at that time, I was a Stampin' Up Consultant, trying to peddle some stamps and make a little spending money to supplement our income until I could land a job. That site has just continued to evolve and be an inspiration!

Anyway, I came across the telescoping card idea...and I realized what an easy card to put together. Especially being a digital die cut machine owner, because I could easily make the pattern for the various parts, cut out a few sheets of paper, and then assemble!

This card was so easy to assemble, and all the pieces were cut on my KNK Zing machine....I cut out enough to assemble 20 cards.  We didn't have that many at the class, so I have enough cut outs to finish assembling and add to my stash of ready made holiday cards!  (Maybe I'll actually get around to mailing them....)

Have a GREAT Tuesday!

Michelle Hessler

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Freebies, Challenge, and celebration!

Can you believe it's that time of year again.....where we celebrate Paperthreads 6 years of selling digital die cut files, die cut machines and accessories!

Wow, how has time changed! Seven years ago, I got my first machine (wishblade) and within weeks, I was writing my first tutorials and hints and sharing them in a Yahoo group.  Then, I started to get brave enough to share my designed files, and before the year was out, had a full fledged forum, and store site!

Now, this month, we are excited to bring you two brand new machines!  For the first time ever, we haave a WIRELESS machine, the new KNK Maxx Air!  I never thought this would be possible, and was proven wrong, that's for sure!  I'm ptty excited about the possibilities of this new machine, especially if it's going to be like my already beloved KNK Maxx machine, which I couldn't live without!

Then, the Silhouette is bringing back a version of their smaller model machine, the new Silhouette Portrait, which is basically a Cameo in a smaller platform.

Ok, now onto to the fun stuff!  In celebration of our anniversary, many if the designers are having sales, up to 50% off!  We are also hosting the challenge over at the MTC forum this month, and for that, several designers are offering FREE files in the store, available through this whole week!  So make sure you visit the MTC forum at for the challenge details and links to the free files in the store!

Hope to see you doing the challenge!!

Thanks for all your support the past 6 years!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

World Card Making Day...

World Cardmaking Day is this coming SATURDAY!

Are you all ready for the fun?

The designers at Paperthreads are going to be hosting a sale, and there will be some free files offered, as well as a challenge being sponsored by us over at the Make-The-Cut forum!

Hope to see you on Saturday!

(Kind of hard to start thinking holiday stuff, with the warm weather we've been having, but it's time to buckle down if I want to get it all done in time!!)

Friday, September 28, 2012

Coffin Fun!

So....I try to participate in recipe swaps, and this is one that I changed the "card" by adding it onto a 6x6 background and making it into a recipe page for an exchange!

I cut the coffin, letters, and pop out bat on my cutting machine.

The background paper of the 6x6, I used that webbing paint spray, that comes of of the can in a web of paint.  I used a gold web spray, and sprayed it on black.

Then, I used a paper with the words "boo" printed all over it.

On top, I attached the coffin card. For the Base of the card, I stamped a spider stamp with versamark ink, then used the powdered pearls over the top, to make it glimmer.

I outlined the letter cutouts with a glitter pen, to add a little dimension.

Instead of a greeting inside, I have a recipe printed...but you could just have your spooky greeting there instead!

Hope you enjoyed,

Monday, August 20, 2012

Like our Facebook Page and Enter to Win!

Like our Facebook page, and get entered to win a prize drawing!!

There are several ways to get entered into the drawing, so make sure you click on over to enter to win!

Friday, July 27, 2012

August Color Challenge

It was a BUSY month for me...spent much of it on vacation, visiting with family!  We went to Michigan to see all the family on Adam's side, and had a nice visit with everyone!

Now that Brianna is going into her second year of College, it's most likely the last time she will join us on family vacations!  We tried to take every advantage of having her along!

I have uploaded the August Color challenge!  It's pretty easy to join in...and the colors are great this time!!

Check it out by clicking on the link on the right side!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Card Shower - Meet Tracy

I hope it's ok to post this here!

At my website, we have done a Monthly RAK, where we would feature someone either in the crafting community, or who someone in the crafting community knows. What we would do was send cards to the hostess, who would then send all the cards to the receiver in one big envelope. This got to be a burden on the hostess, with the rising costs of postage.

So we have decided to change up the format a little, and I'm hoping this easier format will get more people involved!

The new format is in the form of a CARD SHOWER. Where we will have everyone sign up for 1 or 2 days in the two week time period, and on their date, they would mail a card to the recipient.


Information provided by Tammy (a very good personal friend of mine) on behalf of her sister.

"This is my sister, Tracy. She is one of the strongest, most God-fearing Women one will ever know. She loves God, life, family, friends, her 3 & 4 year old church kids she teaches every Monday night about how much God loves them, and everyone she meets. Tracy is full of Grace and Love. This is easily the most inspiring experience that one can share. Tracy has an extremely special place in my heart and so many others. Please pray for her continued strength and that God continues to heal her."

We would like to SHOWER HER with cards of love and happiness.

How to participate:

1. Post here, with a date that you promise to mail your card on. MAILING DATES for the cards are: July 15-30.
2. I would like 1 or more people to post a new card out to her every day, for a period of 2 weeks. This way, she will be showered with approximately 1-2 cards a day....I know it will vary because of where everyone lives, the but goal is to get the cards mailed on those specified days, so that they keep coming for a couple weeks!
3. I will mail each person that posts a sign up date the mailing address to mail their card.
4. DON'T MISS YOUR MAILING DATE!! (Sometimes things happen, in that case, please mail a day before or after, but to make this successful, it's important to try to hit your mailing date that you sign up for!)

July 15
1 Michelle H

July 16
1. Sandy Mc

July 17
1 Wanda B

July 18
1 lynnscraps

July 19
1 Shelly

July 20

July 21
1. Deba
2 Mariel014

July 22

July 23
1. Sandy Mc

July 24
1 Wanda B
2 Shelly

July 25

July 26
1. Corwins

July 27
1. Corwins
2. Maxine

July 28
1. Deba

July 29
1 Michelle H

Thanks so much for participating!

If the dates fill up, we will add a 3rd and 4th slot to any of the please spread the word! The family has been so focused on trying to raise the funds for her care expenses, that sometimes, they really just need a pick me up, and hopefully this will do it! Feel free to make kid friendly cards too, addressed to her beautiful girls! As I'm sure one or two like that would be welcome!

ALSO, I'm always in search of new recipients, please PM me if you have someone that you think would benefit from a card shower. I would be more than happy to feature them.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Gallery Fav this Week

It's that time for another Gallery Pick!

I love this card....for many reasons, but the main one is, I have such a hard time making a "masculine" style card, and this one hits the spot!

This one is by forum member lilred38!

Here is what she posted with her card:

I used the monthly sketch file and Every Hunter's Dream by Butterfly Designs and All Purpose Sentiments by Shelly's Art. Oops it is really a CTMH paper pack. Tree buttons and Star brads and copper button I have had in my stash for a long time.

Also....just a little FYI...if you post in the gallery, and I feature your card here on Wednesday's, your name will go into a drawing, and I will draw a prize winner 4 times a year!  (Once a quarter!)  So make sure you are adding your works to the gallery!

And...I have a drawing for a free stamp set on the last post about organizing my stamps, make sure you comment there, and get in on the prize drawing!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Stamps Organized....FINALLY!

So, I love stamps.  I can't help it!  I see one, and I have to have it.

I started my foray into stamps on a serious note sometime in 2001.  I became obsessed, buying stamps on sale, sets, kits, hosting parties, and even becoming a Stampin' Up demonstrator at one time!

My stamp set grew from one or two, to quickly become a collection that I could no longer control!

Through the years, I sold off a lot of my Stampin' Up stamps.  I had to, in order to get stuff in the latest and greatest catalogs.  Selling off sets that were discontinued and that I didn't figure I would use much.  I also knew I had to figure out a better way of storing.

That was about the time (2005) that I discovered the world of UNMOUNTED stamps!  I went to a Stamp show, which is like a scrapbook show, but it was ALL about stamping!  There I found all these wonderful unmounted stamps and the material to mount them and then use them on acrylic blocks.  My obsession for stamps then grew OUT OF CONTROL!

In late 2008, I finally decided I had to find a better way to store and keep my stamps.  I had shelf after shelf of the wooden block mounted stamps in their plastic tubs, and they were just taking up WAY too much room.  I had previously come across some sites where people had unmounted their stamps, thrown away the blocks, and started storing them in page protected sheets in binders.  I tried it this way, with my unmounted ones, and found that my binders were too bulky and took up space, plus I didn't seem to access them as much.

Then, I came across a site where someone has stored their stamps in CD cases.  I had the white Crop N Style storage cubes that had the "library file" type drawers and found the CD cases fit in here very well.  So then began my journey of storing my stamps in CD cases.

Here are the steps I first took:

  1. I used UNDU to unmount all my stamps from wooden blocks.  Some of them, the foam came completely off, some the foam stayed intact.
  2. For those that the foam backing stayed intact, I usually found they were sticky enough to simply stick into the CD case.
  3. For those that the foam backing came off, I but a half and half solution of Aleene's Tack it Over and Over and water.  Let them dry overnight, and then they were sticky enough to go in the CD case, and sticky enough for when I want to use them and stick them onto an acrylic block.
  4. I did a bunch of these stamps like this....over a period of several weeks, I would pop out some stamps and remount them and store onto CD trays.  Then I realized I needed to label them, because I forgot where the stamp was made or came from....duh!  By this time, I had a  bunch done, I went back and looked up in catalogs and online to find them and got whatever I could labeled, either the actual stamp set name or at least the company it came from!
  5. I eventually got all my stamps unmounted and into CD cases.  From that point on, any new stamps that I invested in would immediately get put into a CD case and labeled!
So, no I had a dilemma...I have all these CD cases of stamps, but no real way to catalog them and easily find them in the CD's.  I tried organizing the stamps by themes.  I changed my mind, and then organized by company....neither of those seemed to work for me.  First, as I added stamps into the collection, I had to change EVERYTHING around, reorganizing the drawers they were stored in, and it was a constant shuffle.

I then thought I would scan an image in of each individual stamp and get them labeled and organized by category, theme, and company (I could place that picture, for instance of a fisherman by Stampin' Up into several folders, including Stampin Up, Outdoors, Animals, Father's Day, Masculine).  While in theory this works, for me it doesn't, because I don't want to have to go to my computer to browse through the folders of images (using Adobe Bridge)

So while a great concept, it wasn't one that works for me....though I kept the library of stamps on my computer that I have already done, and some day I may finish scanning and doing all the stamps, as it would be a great additional tool!

I finally got to thinking more on what to do, and here is what I came up with!

I took every CD case, labeled them with a number (I used my label maker machine to make the numbers, making a set of two numbers, one for the CD label and one for my sampler)

I then took Georgia Pacific card stock and cut each sheet into half sheets.  I labeled the bottom corner of each sheet with a numbered label.

Then, I took all the stamps from the CD labeled "1" and stamped a quick image onto the half page of paper also numbered "1".

I then hand wrote on any of the half sheets that stamp name and or company that made it, if it was known to me.

(On some of the stamp sets, I had a sticker image of the stamps, so rather then stamping it, I used that!)

I did this process with ALL of my stamps.  I wasn't too careful in how good of a stamped image I got, as the point of it was to have a quick visual catalog to flip through when I'm looking for stamps, and to be able to quickly see the size of the image as well.  Then, when I find the image I want to use for my project, i look at the page number, then go to the CD drawers and find the CD with the same number...and that is where my stamp is that I want!!

I then took the half sheets of paper, and bound them into two books, using 1½" o-wires.  Each of my CD drawers will hold a total of 38 CD cases, so I made each book to cover 4 of the drawers with a colored divider page in between, to indicate a new drawer.

This works wonderful for me...and I plan to also use the colored post its to mark out some of my favorites or some of the themes.

The great thing about this is now that it's set up, I have the empty numbered pages in the catalog, and the corresponding empty CD case in the drawer, so I have room to grow!

Also, as I add on, I"m not having to constantly reshuffle in order to get a stamp included in a drawer with a certain theme or something.

I also added labels to each drawer (i took the picture before I did this) so I can quickly see which numbered CD cases are in the drawers!

Hope this brings inspiration for you all...and if you are struggling with organizing your stamps, maybe something like this will work for you too!

And...just for those that want to know...after all was said and done, I have 8 drawers, with 38 CD cases in each, for a total of 304 CD cases of stamps!  Of those, I only have 3 available left to fill!

I also have 12 more library file type drawers (3 cubes of 4 drawers) where I can fill more with stamps!  So I have room to then again, there is "stuff" in all those other drawers, so before I do too much buying, I better start thinking of what I'm going to do with all that other stuff to make room for the stamps!

Shhhh...don't tell hubby how much I have...I cringe to think of the money spent!

SPEAKING of stamps.....I found some duplicates, stuff I had bought or gotten to give as gifts during my Stampin' Up days! make this get entered each time for:

  1. One entry to everyone who "likes" my page at Paperthreads  on Facebook (see facebook link on right bar)
  2. One entry to everyone that subscribe to my on Twitter (see twitter feed on right bar)
  3. One entry for commenting on this blog post
 This is a Stampin' Up Set, it is unmounted, and the WOODEN blocks for the stamps are NOT included (during my conversion process, I tossed them all out!)

If you win, I will send them to you in the mail!  You have until June 15th to enter the drawing!

(*Please note, I don't ship international, but you can pay for shipping if you are overseas and win the prize, if not, I will draw a new winner)

***********EDITED TO ADD***************
Someone emailed me, asking where i got all the empty CD cases, and I ordered a couple of cases of them from ULine.  I ordered them about 4 or 5 years ago.  You can now get them without the insert, and it's slightly cheaper then what I paid. 

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