simple paper flowers

simple paper flowers

I was given the fantastic opportunity to work with the new EKSuccess Tools that are hitting stores now. I decided to make flowers because they are definitely one of my favorite paper crafts to make. They can be used for so many projects—framed 3D art, scrapbook pages, cards, as party decorations, gift toppers (like above!), Christmas ornaments, etc.


The first thing that caught my eye about these tools is the new packaging. It's bright, cheerful and each product includes an inspiring project photo and QR code that can be scanned for more information.


ORANGE FLOWER

Materials:
- Orange card stock
- Blue card stock
- Rotary paper trimmer
- Dotted scallop edge punch
- Permanent adhesive dispenser
- Medium circle punch
- Foam dot circles
- Button (or other embellishment)
- Glue

1. Using the rotary paper trimmer cut 5 1/2" strips that are 12" long.

- I didn't need to use the extended measuring guide that you see to the left but I opened it up to show you the additional feature. When it's not in use it neatly tucks in under the main section of the trimmer.


2. Using the edge punch add the cut out design to one side on each of the strips.

- I love the fact that the EKSuccess Tools punches have a mechanism that allows the punches to lock into a flat position (easier storage!) when they are not in use. 


3. Use the permanent adhesive dispenser to glue the tips of the strips towards the center of each one. Glue all the strips (that look like elongated 8 shapes) one over the other in crisscross fashion and set aside to dry.

- I was looking forward to testing this adhesive dispenser because I've always had bad luck with other brands. Other dispensers have unraveled (à la old cassette—remember those?) but the EKSuccess Tools version worked perfectly from the start. Finally one that works for me!


4. Using the circle punch cut out 10 circles out of blue card stock. Fold 9 circles in half and glue around the edges of the remaining one.


5. Add a button to the center of the flower using one foam dot circle to make it a bit elevated.


6. Glue the blue flower to the center of the orange base. Done! 



YELLOW FLOWER - Another flower that is even easier to make!
1. Using the rotary paper trimmer cut several strips of red and yellow paper into 1/2" wide strips
2. Use scissors to cut the strips into 3" lengths and split them down the middle (lengthwise) with a pair of EKSuccess Tools decorative scissors.
3. Curl each strip with the bone folder.
4. Glue the yellow strips around the edge of a piece of paper punched out with the 1" circle punch.
5. Glue another circle on top of all the strips (red circle)
6. Glue the red strips in the center in crisscross fashion.
7. Add a button or embellishment to the center and you're done!



For more information about EKSuccess Tools and more inspiration please visit their Facebook page and Spotted Canary (for project ideas) and a cute video here. The new EKSuccess Tools can be found in WalMart stores.

I received the EKSuccess Tools products and was compensated by Blueprint Social on behalf of EKSuccess but all opinions are my own.


get out of your comfort zone - i went skydiving!

skydive 1
[climbing, climbing to 14,000 ft. my brother in blue]

Something a little different for today.

Shaking up things a bit can be a good thing. A really good thing.

I did it by skydiving on Saturday and it was SO, SO AWESOME! However many hours later and I still feel like I'm running on the effects of the jump. I want to hop on a plane and do it all over again. It was the most fun experience I have ever had.

skydive 3

My advice for whoever is thinking about doing it—just DO IT and if you can convince family and/or friends to go it's even better. I'm glad that I got to share the experience with my brothers and sister-in-law. It wouldn't have been the same if I'd gone alone (the original plan).

Mr. Z, the kids, my parents and my other sister-in-law also went for moral support. Our daughter was seriously upset that she couldn't jump with me (even at 9 she's definitely our little daredevil—oh scary!), but I promised her that we'll go together on her 18th birthday.

skydive 4
[if I look like I'm in a crazy position, what about the photographer?!]

Things I didn't really expect because I hadn't thought about them:
- It's pretty cold at 14,000 ft—more than I would've thought but it didn't phase me. I was more concerned with other things!
- Free falling is loud... like REALLY loud—like having all your car windows open while driving down the freeway x10!
- The stopping force when the parachute deploys is incredible! Wow.
- I thought I'd scream at some point and I didn't but like my DD said I was probably screaming on the inside all the way down—not out of fear but just out of shear excitement.

skydive 5
[free falling at 120mph!]

But... I'm no daredevil. Today I was asked if I would:
- Bungee jump — Nope! Never. It scares me to death and I don't see the point.
- Go down a zip line — Nope! Something just freaks me out about hanging by a 'thread'.
It doesn't make sense does it?

Oh and I don't like roller coasters although I've been on several. I keep thinking one will help me understand what everyone likes about them—still waiting. For those that have asked, no, skydiving doesn't feel like that at all. No yucky stomach upturn feeling.

skydive 6
[the best view of a sunset- EVER!]

What you don't see... At least 5-8 minutes of dropping peacefully with the parachute and looking out as far as the eye can see (our side of Texas is so boringly flat!). It's as peaceful and quiet as I imagine what a hot air balloon ride would be like. It gave us enough time to have a conversation with my instructor about how people react to the experience so differently. His weirdest experience = in midst of the serene descent his jumping partner started crying and said that she needed to ask her husband for a divorce! What!?

skydive 7
[whew! made it!]

I seem too calm in the video—it's not a reflexion of what I was really feeling. After the jump I wanted to literally scream my head off, jump up and down and high-five everyone. The adrenaline rush was just incredible and the feeling of just WOW was overwhelming—it's hard to describe. I couldn't even come up with anything other than "awesome"-ha! I don't know how I kept it all in check. Thank you to my instructor Kieran and videographer Nick for making the experience so incredible (really nice guys!).

You may not want to go the skydiving route but I highly recommend getting out there and just doing something different. It's so worth it! What are you waiting for?

In the video, right before I start speaking, you'll see my younger brother (blue suit), my sister-in-law (long hair and in red) and her husband/my brother (black suit). Oh and please ignore the crazy hair—quite justified right? ;)

Have a fantastic day!

(All photos and video taken by Nick at Skydive Spaceland)
The video is embedded below. If you are reading this post in a reader you may not see it but you can click here to see me in all my craziness.




simple monday: scrap swatches

scrap swatches

Thank you so much for all your lovely comments on my Scraps Wall Art piece! I love that it's gotten such a great response. It's even more gratifying since it's one my favorite totally handmade projects—no cutting machine on this one!

To carry on the scraps theme a bit (can you guess what the book was going to be about now?) how about making small swatches of scraps? If you don't have the time or the inclination to make something as big as the project I showed you last week, then make smaller pieces that can be made in few minutes and can be used for cards, tags or as an embellishment for any other type of paper craft (above: offset linear, random, monotone squares, circles in a spiral)

The card
Use a round punch to cut out bits and glue them to a square piece of card stock. Trim the circles that extend over the edges when it's almost completely covered (white negative spaces are interesting too!). Attach the square (or any other shape—how about a flower, a star?) and attach it to the front of a card. Done!

Happy Monday!

scraps card


use paper scraps to make wall art

scraps to wall art 6

Something that every paper crafter has after a completed project is a pile of scraps. I'm no different and let me tell you my pile of scraps can get quite out of hand! To put it to good use, this solution is really simple, uses up a lot of scraps and can be made leisurely over a long period of time.

I don't remember exactly how the idea for this piece came about but I can tell you that I made it many months ago and as I walked by it the other day it occurred to me that it was high time that I share it with you. I have the step-by-step photos of the process because it was going to be part of a book that never came to fruition (I would've loved a close up of this project for the cover).

Since we've had it on our wall for weeks and weeks I can also tell you that it holds up really well and yes I did actually use my scraps—no new sheets of paper were harmed for this project. ;)

Materials
- Scraps of card stock paper
- Scissors
- Glue
- Canvas
- Pencil

Steps
1. Lightly draw a spiral that starts a little off center and gradually expands throughout the canvas. Don't worry about making the spaces between each spiral even. Just gently move your arm around and around and it will come naturally. If you feel you need it, practice on a scrap piece of cardboard or on the back of the canvas.

2. Cut out scraps of paper in the shape of a leaf that has a flat end (my scraps where about 1" (2.5cm) wide and varied in length. Fold 1/4" (6mm) of the flat end over to form a tab. Cut off the corners of the tab as seen in the scrap on the right hand side in the photo below.

scraps to wall art

TIP! Don't cut all your scraps at the same time and at the same length or width. Variety makes this more interesting. The spacing in the spiral may vary in different sections so cut your pieces as you decide where to place them. I made sure that my "leaf" shapes where at least 1-2" (2.5-5cm) past the line of the following spiral mark. Remember these are just scraps so if you cut one that is too short or too long, it's not a big deal.

3. Glue the scraps to the canvas by lining up the edge of the folded tab over the pencil markings of the spiral. Make sure that you cover the pencil markings as you add paper to the canvas.

scraps to wall art 2

4. Continue until you feel you're done or until all the pencil marking are covered. I decided to stop where I did because I felt like I didn't need to fill the entire canvas (although that was my initial thought).

To finish off the piece I thought of erasing the pencil markings. It didn't work. The small part that I tried got smugded and looked awful. The drawn spiral now seems like part of the piece and I feel like it'd be missing something if I got rid of it.

scraps to wall art 3

TIPS!
- Take your time
You probably won't have time to do this in one shot. Place a basket in front of your canvas with scissors, some scraps and a small bottle of glue and add pieces whenever you have a few minutes. It doesn't have to be a one afternoon project—it really can be something that evolves over time. For the curious—my piece was made over a couple of days at a crazy pace. I only did that because I was on a deadline, otherwise I would've taken my time with it.

- Spread out your favorite pieces of paper
If you are doing a multi-color or multi-pattern version of this make sure to spread out the scraps of one sheet of paper throughout the piece. It'll give the piece a bit more balance. It helped me to squint to see where I was missing paper of a certain color.

- Make tiny versions of this to place inside of shadow box frames or for the front of an abstract card.

- Use only one color of paper in different shades for a monochromatic look.

- Make your cut out shapes with a rounded tip (like petals) for a softer look.

scraps to wall art 4

Great for babies too!
When I babysat my adorable 3-month old nephew, for a few days during the summer, I discovered that this is perfect for babies. He LOVED it. He couldn't stop staring at it and would completely calm him down if he was a bit upset for whatever reason. It completely commanded his attention and he'd forget about everything else. It was pretty fascinating to watch.

scraps to wall art 5

I hope that you like the project and that you give it a try. Have fun with it!


still hanging around

I'm still here! Just super busy. But it's the type of busy that has me awake at night thinking up new designs and ideas—so it's a good busy—a fun busy. Unfortunately it's all on my computer and not ready to take a peek into the world.

For now how about some eye candy?
- Donnaville is back with great finds on Discover Paper.
- I agree with Kristen—I love these cards she recently featured on Paper Crave.
- Print and Pattern is back and running after a summer holiday—thank goodness!
- New and beautiful fabric collections by Daisy Janie & Cloud 9
- I can see this inspiring a paper version. Can't you?
- Moyo - a new surface and pattern design magazine

That's all I have for now. Have a great week my friends!

• • •

PS - I wish Target would hire me to design in-store hanging holiday designs (you know the big ones that are usually close to the main door ceilings). I always have crazy ideas of what to do when I walk in there.

simple monday: just textures

simple monday

This is a birthday card that I will be giving to my brother today on his birthday (Happy Birthday P!!!). All I did was use two embossing folders (dots from Cricut and chevron from Stampin' Up), a round corner punch, a circle punch, scissors (I drew/cut the tee by hand) and a paper trimmer. Simple. Simple.

Happy Labor Day to those of you celebrating today!

Off to hang out with the family...

PS - I changed the card after taking this photo. I recut and embossed the golf ball and glued it on the reverse side. That way the indentions are towards the card, not outward—like a real golf ball. ;)