Thursday, April 30, 2015

pti :: quick stitch kits :: design-a-softie

Hello, hello!  It's time for another Quick Stitch Kit release from Papertry Ink!  Have you got your preferred beverage within reach?  All right then, let's take a peek!

The second Quick Stitch Kit will be released on May 1st and it is entitled "Design-A-Softie".  This is one collection of tools and stamps that you will turn to again and again to make heirloom quality gifts with heart.  Everything you need to make customized softies will be right at your fingertips!  Besides the basic softie body parts, there are dies for different facial expressions, eyes, ears and even trendy accessories!  You will be able to create special one-of-a-kind stuffed animals according to a child's favorites colors, interests and personality!  Think of this as your own personal build-a-bear, just on a more affordable level!  Get your kit tomorrow night so you can get a head start on holiday gifts!

Design-A-Softie Kit Contents:

Custom tote bag
Design-A-Softie mini stamp set + index label
Softie die collection
Softie Ears die collection
Softie Expressions die collection
Softie Glasses & Mustaches die collection
Softie Kerchief die collection
Softie Patches die collection
Softie Collar & Tie die collection
Softie Exclusives die collection
Custom button mix (50 buttons total)
(4) Iron-on 8-1/2" x 11" Transfer sheets
(1) pdf download with full instructions

The total retail cost of the "Design-A-Softie" Kit is $105. There will be a limited number of these exclusive kits available, so be sure to get yours while you can! Some individual items will be available for sale at a later date. The "Design-A-Softie" Kit will be available for sale beginning May 1st at 10pm EST, only at Papertrey Ink. Read all the details on Nichole's blog or contact Customer Service with any questions.

When the email went out to the Quick Stitch Team last month about this month's kit from Papertrey Ink, I was really excited that I was going to have the chance to make something for my kids.  I spend time every single day crafting but when it's all said and done, it's a rarity that I've made something for them.  So this was going to be a treat!

I knew even before receiving the kit's contents that I was making a puppy for Gus and a bunny for Nemy.  Then it was time to choose the colors--my favorite part of all of these QSK projects, given that the felts are so gorgeously saturated.  I tried to let Gus choose his own colors but he picked Raspberry Fizz and Tropical Teal so I intervened and guided him toward Ocean Tides and Smokey Shadow.  That said, I see making another one in Gus's preferred hues in the near future (and I'll be sure to share the finished product)!

I decided on Harvest Gold and Melon Berry for the bunny, based on some fabric I had and an irresistible little bow given to me by a dear friend.  I nervously but desperately wanted to try out Erin Lincoln's iron-on-transfer-paper-to-fabric technique for this bunny.  As I told Erin, I'm useless with an iron but I made myself try it out and it was so simple!  It took me longer to actually dig my iron out from the back of the closet than it did to make the transfer.  And just in case you're wondering, by ironing the fabric to the transfer paper, you get a beautiful, clean cut when you use it with your dies.

I am absolutely hooked on this technique!  The fabric is an absolute delight on this little bunny.  It belonged to my grandmother so I find Miss Bobo Rabbit that much more endearing.  I only had 2 minuscule swatches of it, too, which was just enough to make all the pieces of the bunny and then use it for a couple smaller details on a project you'll see later in this post.

The Tushie Pocket and card might just be my favorite things about this entire set (excluding, of course, the chance to create something extra special for my little ones).

I made the card using just basic white card stock and used the accompanying stamp set to identify this sweet thing.  Her name is Bobo because if you ask Nemy what anyone's name is, she'll answer Bobo.

I finished Gus's puppy a couple of weeks ago and he's been begging me to play with it since then, but I  kept saying, no, no, no!  We have to wait for Nemy's to be done so we can have a photo shoot.  When they finally got to actually play with these guys, they were so happy!  (I know they don't look happy here, but that's because the landscapers were mowing the lawn at the park while we were trying to take photos and they were both very unnerved by that.)

I chose to make a bulldog for Gus because he misses our sweet American Bully Rudie who left us almost 2 years ago.  It blows my mind all of the ways you can use these dies to make an infinite amount of different animals.  I can't even wrap my brain around Erin's creative process at work here, but between the face and ear pieces, you can interchange, turn upside down, and stack them all to make--I swear--every kind of animal that exists.

And yes, in case you were wondering, these are a couple of grubby little kids who love to play outside so, when I photographed them with their Softies, it was dirty nails and all!  This is real life, folks.  (The other real life thing here is that I put the tie and collar on wrong!  The collar pieces are sewn on OVER the tie!  Duh!)

I have a thousand ideas about the different Softies I want to make, but I also have as many ideas for non-Softies I can't wait to create using this kit.  From pillows to gift card holders to envelope labels...the possibilities are, again, limitless!

This set of pocket notes makes me squeal with excitement!  They're just darling and, although I completely forgot to include the gift cards I got to tuck inside them, they are the perfect size for those.  To make them, I simply stitched 2 pockets back to back, leaving the top open to slip the note inside.  So easy!

I used the fabric technique again to make a small pouch for the front of the pocket and a couple of tags to perch in them.  I used the oval patch die and cut it in half to create the pouch.

Again, I used white card stock for the note and the stamp set, plus coordinating inks.  *A quick tip:  I stitched around the rectangle at the top of the pocket before sewing the 2 pieces together.  I did the same thing on the bunny pocket.  If you sew them together, you close the pocket!

And here's a quick look at the patch die as an envelope label...I cut this out of adhesive sheets--another simple idea and just one more way to get the most out of this amazing kit!

Well, are you sold yet?  If not, be sure to check out what the rest of the team has made...oh my, these ladies have amazing ideas!

I'm so happy you came by today!  XO

Supplies used:
All supplies from Papertrey Ink unless otherwise specified
All stamps and dies from Design-A-Softie Quick Stitch Kit (Available May 1st)

- Puppy -
Dies: Softie Dies, Softie Ears, Softie Expressions, Softie Collar & Tie,
Felt: Ocean Tides, Smokey Shadow, True Black, Vintage Cream
Embroidery Floss: white, light gray

- Bunny -
Dies: Softie Dies, Softie Ears, Softie Expressions, Softie Patches, Softie Exclusives
Felt: Harvest Gold, Melon Berry
Fabric: Vintage Floral
Embroidery Floss: melon (DMC 352), white
Ink: Melon Berry, Harvest Gold
Cardstock: Stamper's Select White
Bow: Dunne With Style

- Pocket Notes -
Dies:  Softie Exclusives, Softie Patches
Felt: Aqua Mist, Spring Moss, Raspberry Fizz, Melon Berry
Embroidery Floss: melon (DMC 352), raspberry (DMC 956), aqua (DMC 964), white
Ink: Aqua Mist, Spring Moss, Raspberry Fizz, Melon Berry
Fabric: Vintage Floral and Jo-Ann stores
Cardstock: Stamper's Select White

Monday, April 20, 2015

papertrey ink :: moments inked :: correspondence pockets

There are a million and one inspirations driving this post today...I owe many, many people thank you notes, April is National Letter Writing Month, I have a couple of sweet pen pals I've been shamefully neglecting, the phrases #snailmailrevolution, #happymail, and #sendmoremail practically dominate my Instagram feed (the only slightly more popular hashtag being #plannernerds), I just received a lovely letter from my cousin who reminded me that few things are as heartfelt or appreciated as the hand written note...The bottom line is that I need to #sendmoremail.

Feeling utterly disorganized and scatterbrained (not to mention extremely guilty) when it comes to doing so, I turned to my Papertrey Ink Moments Inked planner to set me straight.

When I received my planner a couple of months ago, I vowed that it would not sit idly on the shelf doing me no good for the whole of 2015.  I was going to use it to make me a better person.  I'm doing so-so in that department, but it definitely doesn't help that I have yet to send thank you notes to the kind people who took the time to choose a thoughtful birthday gift for Nemy when she turned 2 back in the beginning of March.  I think that is the real catalyst for creating my little mailing station at the back of my planner--guilt!

Arguably, guilt shouldn't be the reason one does anything, but in this case, I feel it's important to acknowledge the thought and time spent on us.  Inasmuch as guilt is not a reason to take action, being busy and disorganized is not a reason to not take action.  So I've created something that works fairly well for me and keeps me functioning at a somewhat organized level.

I began by making a couple of pockets using the Pocket Page die and some pretty patterned papers.  These could not have been easier to make!  I then took glassine envelopes in assorted sizes (6 x 4 || 3 5/8 x 2 15/16 || 2 7/8 x 1 3/4) and die cut the notches with the Basic Pages dies so I could stick them into my book.  I used the largest size to hold stamp sheets and the smaller sizes for various address labels.

My first PTI pocket houses notecards and envelopes.  I can also tuck in a list or two of the cards I need to send so I don't lose track and forget about them--which is what usually happens, and then 4 months later I remember I never sent Auntie Norma a thank you note for the Christmas gifts she so kindly sent to the kids.

Before I adhered my two pocket pieces together, I stitched a few Planner Banner die cuts along the side of the top piece and stamped 'NOTES' on one of the tabs.  The stamp is from the coordinating Blog Banners stamp set so it fits perfectly onto the flag.

The second pocket holds the cards that are ready to be mailed.  I used the same banner tabs but the 'mail card' stamp is from the Planner Banners set.  It fits just as beautifully...this planner has been so thoughtfully coordinated and designed.  The stamp sets also offer just about every phrase you might need.

The back of my planner is my one-stop-spot for storing postage, notecards, envelopes, and labels, neatly corralled in the paper pockets and glassine envelopes.  Bonus: With the Contacts section already included in the book, all I have to do is turn the page and I have all of the addresses handy.  There's no excuse to put off writing those ever-important thank you notes--or any notes for that matter.

Armed with my simplified mailing station, I am ready when correspondence calls.  I just need a pen and there's always (usually) one of those within arm's reach.

I so appreciate you stopping by today!  I'll be back here later this week with a closer look at the stationary I created to keep in my planner.  I used a few different dies and stamps for quick and easy ready-made cards and labels.  I'm really happy with the way they turned out so I hope you'll come back for that!

Papertrey Ink:
Moments Inked Planner System
Dies:  Pocket Page, Basic Pages, Planner Banner, Divided
Stamp Sets:  Planner Banners, Blog Banners, Bountiful Banners, To You From Me
Ink: Smokey Shadow
White Adhesive Sheets
Stamper's Select White Cardstock

Envelopes: Paper Source
Patterned Paper: Crate Paper, Heidi Swapp

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

gossamer blue inspiration blog hop :: april :: cards and tags

Hi there, all you paper fans!  Have you come for the Gossamer Blue Blog Hop?  You should have arrived from the lovely blog of Michiko Kato if you're going in order--I'm always amazed by everything she does!  Are you having fun with your April kits?  Aren't they just ridiculously happy and bright?!

In particular this month, there were all kinds of journaling card options and I've become a huge fan of the 3x4 cards.  I'm not a pocket page memory keeper, although I've sure seen enough fantastic layouts to wish that I was, but I like the cards because they are the perfect base for greeting cards and layered gift tags.

I couldn't decide this month whether I wanted to make a set of cards or a set of I made both.  I made 3x4 layouts that can be either.  With the addition of twine or clip, they can be easily attached to a gift bag or package...

...or they can be adhered to a folded card.  Shown here, I simply took a 4x4 card, layered on a 4" doily, and then adhered my ready-made piece on top of that.  All done!

Everything about the kits this month was so 'me'--the colors, the typography, the images.  It's all just incredibly pretty.  And I adore pretty things.  The April kits have really captured the essence of spring, and not just in the Themed Add-On, which happens to be dedicated to the season.  Each kit is happy and colorful and bursting with sunshine.

And then there are the feathers, with which I, like so many others, am smitten at the moment.  These chipboard feathers are part of the Main Kit and the entire time I was working on my projects, I saved them, not wanting to use them on just anything.  That tendency to hoard the best things is not a good one!  What always ends up happening is I save them until they're no longer relevant. 

So when it came down to this, the very last assignment to make with the April kits, I willed myself to use them and I'm happy that I did.  They're much better off ready to be gifted to someone special than they are sitting in a basket waiting to be used.

Thanks for coming by today...I hope you've been encouraged to put the April kits (and maybe even a few supplies you've been hoarding) to good use.  Up next is my friend Sabrina Alery's page where you'll always find something inspiring.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

wrap it :: a closer look at dunne with style

Good morning!  It's a rare occasion when you cross paths with someone with whom you instantly admire that person, you share many commonalities, you can talk for hours and never run out of things to say--it's like you've known each other forever, when in fact you've only known each other a few short months.  Meet my new bestie Sam Dunne of Dunne With Style...I've never actually met her (she lives in Australia and I'm in the US) but in this day and age of technical wizardry--email, Facebook, Instagram--meeting face to face has proven unnecessary to accommodate our blossoming friendship.

I think I've mentioned before how over the moon I was to be asked to participate in Wrap It.  For one, I was asked by this very special lady to join her talented group of gift wrapping artists; and two, gift wrapping and embellishment kits are so close to my heart and I love to conjure them up.

There is something special about Sam and there is something calming about her kit and her photos.  They are akin to a warm bath--you sit back, relax, and soak them in, all the while being infinitely inspired.  Perhaps it's in all the lovely shades of mint and aqua and the cozy introduction of fabric...I can't quite put my finger on it, but her ensemble just warms my heart.  She has spent countless hours ruffling the fabric wrap; she watercolored the paper rosettes and the white tag, and you will read of all the other personal touches that are woven into this assortment.  If you've ever wished to delve into the art of prettying up your packages, Sam's Wrap It kit is the perfect place to start.

As part of this journey, Sam will conduct a short interview with each of us on the Wrap It team to coincide with our kit release.  Being that her kit is shipping this month, I asked if I in turn could interview her.  She nicely agreed to answer some questions and even sent me a few photos of her lovely ensemble in action.  So please read about this beautiful soul, my friend Sam...

What is your intention with Wrap It?  What do you hope customers will get out of purchasing these kits?

I've always had an obsession with gift wrap; I think it has an effect on the receiver that is difficult to describe.  It's like an unwritten expression of thoughtfulness, an unwritten note that exudes generosity. But sometimes where to begin and having to source and stockpile all the little 'bits and pieces' can leave inspiration and motivation levels low.  I wanted to create a series of kits that showcased the amazing talents of 8 creatives and let them inspire and simplify the way we create beautiful gifts.

Tell us a little bit about your kit...

My Wrap It kit is the culmination of my favourite supplies to use in my most loved colour palette: mint, white, black and kraft brown.  I wanted to include as many textural elements as possible and teach people how to add depth and layers with just a few elements.  It was inspired by the fabric which I've turned into a ruffle (it comes all ruffled up and ready to use!) which is a fabric I used for Nate's 1st birthday party, so not only do I love the colour and the print but it comes with fond memories of his birthday.  From there I painted some watercolour paper and made the rosette, which are often my go-to items to quickly jazz up a gift. The Dailylike 'dandelion' washi tapes are my favourite patterns and the colours tied in perfectly, too.  The mints are balanced by the vintage browns in the tea-stained dictionary sheets and vintage music sheets, and the hint of black begins in the print of these papers and is carried through to the spots on the fabric ribbon and tape and the black mini pegs.  A few white doilies brighten up the collection, and no wrap kit is complete without a roll of twine, so a mini bobbin of hemp twine is included, too.

When did you fall in love with gift wrapping and what inspired that love?

As a child I remember asking Mum if I could keep the ribbon when she received a birthday present; I'd sneak the tissue paper from bunches of flowers Dad would bring home for her and stockpile my 'collections' to re-use and re-wrap gifts later on.  These days I can often be found spending more time wrapping the gift than I did shopping for it.  I've always found it a really cathartic exercise and everyone that receives a well-wrapped gift is always so grateful, so it's a feel-good project for both the giver and the receiver.

Where do your crafty ideas come from?  Certainly, we'd love to know where the Wrap It idea originated, but also, your everyday crafting projects:

Everywhere!  I'm always looking for inspiration and find if you keep your eyes open the world is a pretty inspiring place. I find colour and colour palettes the most inspiring, so I'm always looking at colour combinations in homewares, fabrics, rugs, bed linen - I often find the way they combine or contrast colour will inspire an entire project.  And if I'm really stumped I head to the local hardware store and stand in front of the paint chip section (and often come home with an armful of them).  I'm always looking outside for the way that colour and texture work in the natural world, too, as nature never seems to get it wrong! 
The Wrap It idea originated when someone said to me, "I wouldn't even know where to start to wrap something like that."  I instantly wanted to hand them a box of 'where to start' and inspire them to get creative.

What 3 items would you be lost without when it comes to gift wrapping?

Brown paper (matte, never shiny or glossy, and the more textural the better) - it's a staple in my house that I buy in bulk; it's the perfect base for an infinite amount of colours, textures, and toppers.
String - in as many forms and varieties as possible--baker's twine, garden twine (it's thick and rustic and ridiculously cheap from the hardware store!), hemp cord...whatever I can lay my hands on.
Fabric - gift wrap should always involve texture.  Texture gives depth, which is an inviting property, it draws people in; you want the recipient to want to touch and feel it and fabric is so good at doing this.  My favourite is simple cotton fabrics, plain colours or small prints - tear it up into strips and use as ribbon or a band with it's frayed edges.

And, just for fun...What do you listen to when you're crafting away?

Today, Above the Clouds of Pompeii, by Bear's Den.

Wow!  Are you inspired to get wrapping yet?!  Just a reminder, there is a new kit shipped each month.  There are a limited number of kits available so the sooner you purchase, the better.  Sam's is shipping now!

You can see more of Sam here (and trust me, she is an individual of whom you want to see more!):

Website // Shop // Wrap It

Please feel free to ask any questions about Wrap It in the Comments section of this post--I'm more than happy to answer them!