Thursday, December 12, 2013

30 Days of Holiday Projects with Xyron - Holiday Books Advent Tags

Welcome back to my second post for 30 Days of Holiday Project Ideas with Xyron.  Today, I wanted to share with you our family's Advent Calender for this holiday season.

Instead of 24 days of candy or activities, we are doing 24 days of holiday books!  Between the books we already own, checking out books from the library, and stocking up on some new affordable books from Scholastic Books, it's been a great month of reading thus far!

Using the new holiday papers from American Crafts, Crate Paper and Imaginesce, I made some super simple and easy tags to decorate the tissue paper wrapped books.  Here's how!

1.  Die Cut Tag Shapes.  I have recently (within the past year or so) started collecting steel dies to use in my manual die cutting machine (i.e. Xyron Creatopia with Shapez Component or Sizzix Big Shot).  Don't get me wrong.  I love my Silhouette Cameo (electronic die cutting machine) but there is something nice about not having to be at my computer and being able to cut other materials like felt or foam that keeps me reaching for my steel dies.

Here are the dies that I used for this project - from Spellbinders and Xyron, Sizzix, Lil' Inker Designs, My Favorite Things and Avery Elle.

I then die cut them out from a selection of super cute holiday papers from Studio Calico, American Crafts, Crate Paper and Imaginesce.

2.  For Layered Tags, Distress Edges with Ink.  For some tags that have layered pieces, I like to use Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Vintage Photo to distress the edges.  It makes the top layer stand out more.

3.  Apply Adhesive to Tag Pieces and Adhere to Tag Bases.  For the pieces that will be layered on the top of the tag bases, I run them through the Xyron 5" Creative Station with Permanent Adhesive.  This ensures that there is edge to edge adhesive on the shapes and it makes the process go SO RIDICULOUSLY FAST!!

 Then simply assemble the tags together.

4.  Punch Holes in Tags.  Using a We R Memory Keepers Crop a Dile, I punched little holes in the top of my tags.

5.  Apply Number Stickers to Tags.  Since it's an advent calendar, you need numbers!  I used a variety of American Crafts Thickers to put the numbers of the different tags.

6.  Choose your Books and Wrap Them Up!  Finally, choose a selection of books and wrap them up.  I personally like to use tissue paper since I have so much of it after buying some from Costco like 20 years ago.  :)  Using a white or kraft base also really helps the tag to be the main embellishment on the wrapped books.

7.  Add the Tags with Twine.  Finally, add the tags to your wrapped books with some pretty twine.  I used some Lawn Trimmings from Lawn Fawn.  Then display them all out for the kids to enjoy!

Since we don't have a mantle, I displayed ours on the piano along with some other homemade holiday decorations.

I hope that inspired you to try something new this holiday season (or for any holiday)! And just so you know, I don't put all the books out at once.  I get a good number of them from the library and mix them in with books we own.  That way, I don't have to have 24 Christmas themed books!  We also always have The Night Before Christmas reserved for Christmas Eve.

Check out these other advent calendar ideas from my blog.  Here is a banner advent calendar and a muffin tin advent calendar.

And please make sure to visit the Xyron Facebook Page all month for more awesome holiday inspiration.  As always, thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Xyron and Heidi Swapp Blog Hop

When I think of inspiring and beautiful and so amazingly creative, I think of Heidi Swapp as a person and as a brand.  So when I learned that I would get to work with Xyron and some amazing Heidi Swapp products, I was super excited and honored.

I have been a big fan of the Heidi Swapp memory file concept and wanted to create a mini album inspired by the concept - using her file folders, including lots of photos and making for easy yet photo filled books to document our December 2012.  This was super simple by just cutting up different patterned papers and file folders, punched them all with the Teresa Collins 2 Hole Punch, and fastened everything together using some book rings.


Supplies:  Heidi Swapp - Believe Collection (Patterned Paper, File Folders, Rub-ons, Stickers, Color Shine, Embellishments); Adhesives (Xyron 5" Creative Station, Xyron Mega Runner, Xyron Adhesive Dots, Xyron Double Sided High Tack Tape); Xyron/ Teresa Collins 2 Hole Punch; Other Letter Stickers (American Crafts, October Afternoon); Other Sprays (Studio Calico, October Afternoon); Other Stickers (Imaginesce).

As always, thanks so much for stopping by and make sure to visit the Xyron and Heidi Swapp blogs all week for some more inspiration!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

30 Days of Holiday Projects with Xyron - Holiday Yard Sign

I'm so super excited to be part of the 30 Days of Holiday Project Ideas with Xyron!  Make sure to follow the Xyron Facebook Page all month for awesome inspiration from our design team!

For today's project, I wanted to make some Christmas decor.  I have been obsessed with signs lately after walking around a local craft fair and wanted to make my own using some delicious Holiday paper from Studio Calico.

Supplies:  Adhesives (Xyron 5" Creative Station, Xyron High Tack Double Sided Tape); Patterned Paper (Studio Calico); Chalkboard Paper (DCWV); Die (Lil' Inker Designs); Letter Stickers (America Crafts Thickers); Stamps (Stampin' Up); Washi Tape (Freckled Fawn); Die Cuts and Stickers (Imaginesce); Foam Board, Fence Post.

You will be shocked at how easy it is to make.  And if you don't want to adhere the little signs onto a fence post, just use them individually around the house!  Want to make one yourself??  Here's how.

1.  Cut Down the Foam Board and Patterned Paper.  Cut out three pieces of foam board and holiday patterned paper to 12" x 3".

Craft Tip:  Instead of foam board, you could use any strong base like cardboard or even wood.

2.  Adhere Patterned Paper to Foam Board.  Using the Xyron 5" Creative Station, apply adhesive to the patterned paper.  Apply the paper onto the foam board.  Using a craft knife, trip the paper as needed to make sure that the the front of the signs are completely covered.

3.  Distress Edges.  Distress the edges of the sign with some ink to give it an antiqued look.  Here, I used Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Antique Photo) applied with a foam applicator.

Craft Tip:  Notice the difference that distressing does.  The bottom sign is already inked along the edges while the top two are not.  This is a trick that I apply to almost all of my paper crafting projects.

4.  Embellish the Sign Bases.  Using just American Craft Thickers (dimensional letter stickers) and some simple embellishments, create your holiday signs.

For the top sign, I wanted to make a chalkboard Christmas countdown.  Cut out a small piece of DCWV Chalkboard Paper with a Lil' Inker Designs Stitched Rectangle die and then adhere onto the patterned paper with the Xyron 5" Creative Station.

And here is a shot of all three signs, ready to be mounted onto the fence post.

5.  Cover Fence Post with Washi Tape.  I bought this little fence post from Home Depot for 50 cents.  Super cheap!  I just covered it with Freckled Fawn washi tape to add some extra holiday flair.

6.  Adhere Signs onto Fence Post.  Finally, I just adhered the signs onto the Fence Post with some Xyron High Tack Double Sided Tape.

Craft Note:  If you want them to be more secure, I would suggest using a small nail to adhere the signs onto the wood.  But you're using it inside and don't have little ones, I think the double sided tape will work fine.

And here is another look at the finished project!  I will note that because it is unsealed paper, I would probably not leave it outside.  Even in Hawaii, it rains a lot this time of year.  But it would be the perfect sign for placing inside a potted plan indoors.  Or just use the signs individually around the house!  So many options and so super easy!

Make sure to visit the Xyron Facebook Page all month long (and into December) for daily inspiration!!!

As always, thank you for stopping by!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Kiwi Lane Designs Blog Hop Winner!

We have a blog hop winner (and apologies for the delay)!  The Random Number Generator powers have selected comment number THREE from lindaplus3!

Beautiful layout... love the colors you chose... all goes well together :)

Linda, please contact me with your mailing address and I'll get the KLD templates out to you!
Congratulations and thanks again to everyone for hopping along!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Kiwi Lane November Blog Hop - Happy Fall Layout

If you're hopping on here from Joy Nielsen's amazing blog, welcome!

I'm so honored to be part of the Kiwi Lane Designs Blog Hop this month to bring you some scrapbooking inspiration.  The ever so talented and inspirational Kristy Lee is leading the troops over at Kiwi Lane Designs and she is the individual responsible for getting me into this scrapbooking hobby!

I was tasked with making something using the super cute Nature Accessory Set

Since it's the fall, the maple leaf instantly caught my eye and I wanted to create a scrapbook page around it.  The reason I love Kiwi Lane Design templates is because it it allows you to easily create shaped embellishment using some non traditional mediums.  In my case, I wanted to use some cork.  My Silhouette Cameo does not cut cork and I don't have a maple leaf die to use with my manual die cutting machine (i.e. Xyron Creatopia with Shapez Component, Sizzix Big Shot, ProvoCraft Cuttlebug).  Enter the Nature Accessory Set!  All I had to do was trace the leaf shape onto my cork and then cut with scissors.  As simple as that! 

Here's my fall themed layout.

Supplies:  Kiwi Lane Designs - Nature Accessory Set; Xyron Mega Runner; Patterned Paper (Little Yellow Bicycle - Acorn Hollow); Enamel Dots (Doodlebug); Stamps (Lawn Fawn - Milo's ABCs, American Crafts); Versafine Ink; Tim Holtz Tonic Scissors; Fiskars Paper Trimmer.

When using such large and bold elements, I like to keep my layouts simple.  Here, I created a photo strip to make sure the lines were straight and clean.  And may I also add that I LOVE the look of stamping right onto the cork. 

Here's another close up of that cork leaf.

GIVEAWAY TIME!!  Make sure to leave a comment here on my blog and all the other participating blogs in the November hop (including the Kiwi Lane blog).  ONE winner will receive a $25 gift certificate to the Kiwi Lane Shop for leaving a comment and will be announced on the Kiwi Lane blog on Thursday, November 7th.

I will also be selecting ONE winner to receive a free Nature Accessory Set.  Just make sure you are FOLLOWING my blog and leave a comment on this blog post.  Winner will be announced on Thursday, November 7th as well. 

Next on the hop is my dear and amazingly talented friend, Minousha Bari!  And if you get lost along the way, here is a list of all the blog hop participants.
  1. Kiwi Lane
  2. Cristine Redmond
  3. Joy Nielsen
  4. Van Nguyen
  5. Minousha Bari
  6. Lissa Mitchell
  7. Arin Flynn
  8. Kerri Smith 
  9. Christine Meyer
  10. Christina Steel
 As always, thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Throwback Thursday - Happy Halloween!!!


Trick or Treating.  Candy.  Jack-o-Lanterns.  Spooky Bats and Cats.  Mr. Bones.  I love it all!!!

For today's post, I thought I'd just take a quick walk down memory lane.  Call it a Thowback Thursday - Halloween Style.  :)

2009 B.C. (Before Children - albeit pregnant).  Oh Grandma, what big ears you have!!  I actually made these costumes in 2007.  I'm a terrible sewer so I was pretty pleased with myself.  :)

2010.  And we have a duck now.  The Halloween post with more photos from 2010 can be found here.

2011.  Buzz, buzz, buzz!!  Our little bumble bee.  See more photos on this blog post.

2012.  Adding another pumpkin to our patch.  This was Benjamin's first "outing" since getting discharged from the NICU.  He was still 11 days shy of his due date in this photo but doing great. 

And here's the monkey ballerina with her baby pumpkin.  Monkey Ballerina.  Hehehe, I mean, awesome, right?  :)

This year shall involve some monsters and princesses.  We'll see how it all goes.  :)  Hope everyone has a very happy and safe Halloween!!!

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Xyron and Maya Road Blog Hop

So this week, Xyron is teaming up all week with Maya Road!!!!!!  Okay, did you just see me do my amazingly awesome and geek-filled happy dance.  I mean, can you think of a better partnership?!?!  Maya Road makes some of my favorite alterable embellishments in the industry.  Chipboard, metal, wood, twine, trim, paper...the list goes on and on and on. For this week's project, I wanted to make a book for my daughter using this gorgeous Maya Road Scroll Edge Chipboard Binder.

The motivation behind this project was the desire to make my daughter a special Daddy book.  Most of my mini albums or books are usually geared for her - to integrate those photos and memories into our daily bedtime/ reading routine.  Even when Daddy isn't gone on deployment, he is away from home quite a bit.  There are those long and unpredictable underways when the ship is gone to sea for various exercises.  There are the weekly duty nights.  There are those tireless work days gearing up for inspections or tests or trainings.  Regardless the reason, it inevitably results in my daughter crying for her dad and telling me how much she misses him.  He's only gone for a night, I reassure her.  But he's not here right now, she persists.  A little girl missing her dad is heart breaking - if it is for months or just a night.

So using the amazing products from Maya Road and Xyron, I made my daughter this "Fun Times with Dad" book.  Because even though Daddy can't be here all the time, we can still remember the fun times we have had with him.

Supplies: Maya Road (Scroll Edge Chipboard Binder, Chipboard Alphabet, Twine Cording, Antique Angel Wing, Love Chipboard Banner Set, Wood Shaped Button Embellishments); Adhesive (Xyron 1.5" Create-a-Sticker, Xyron Adhesive Dots, Xyron Creatopia (Permanent Adhesive), Xyron 2.5" Create-a-Sticker); October Afternoon - Sidewalks (Patterned Paper, Stickers); WRMK (Journaling Cards - Simply Happy); Lil' Inker Designs Stitched Mats: Rectangle; Doodlebug Designs - Crushed Velvet Flocking Powder; Epiphany Crafts Heart Shape Tool; Basic Grey Letter Stickers; Bossy Joscie Flair; Core'dinations Sand It Gadget; Tim Holtz Distress Ink. 

My daughter already adores the little book and thankfully the Maya Road Scroll Edge Chipboard Binder is amazingly sturdy and can easily hold up to little hands.  Using edge-to-edge adhesive with my various Xyron products also ensures that everything stays adhered on despite the frequent handling of the book.

And here is a peak at the entire album (along with some tips and tricks along the way).

1.  Flocked Letters.  For the "dad" title, I embellished Maya Road Chipboard Alphabet letters by applying adhesive on the top of the letters using my Xyron 1.5" Create-a-Sticker and then rubbing in some Doodlebug flocking powder.  Then, just run the letters back through the Xyron 1.5" Create-a-Sticker again to adhere them directly onto the chipboard album.

2.  Securing Twine.  Simply roll up some Xyron Adhesive Dots and place them directly underneath the bow and where the Maya Road Twine Cording is wrapped along the binder to keep it in place.  May I also say that the Maya Road's twine is some of the thickest that I have ever worked with!!  Just stunning.

3.  Embellish with Trinkets.  Tying on a single Maya Road Antique Angel Wing really adds a lot of charm to the cover.

4.  Covering Album Pages.  After cutting out the patterned paper to cover the album pages, I used my Xyron Creatopia (Permanent Adhesive) to quickly apply edge to edge adhesive onto the backsides to then just stick onto my unfinished pages.  It literally took seconds.  Awesome!  To finish off the edges, I sanded them down using the Core'dinations Sand It Gadget and distressed the edges with Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Antique Linen and Vintage Photo).

5.  Adhering Little Embellishments.  The little heart in the corner of the WRMK "I love us" card is from the Maya Road Love Chipboard Banner Set.  I inked the little heart with some My Favorite Things Dye Ink and adhered them both using my Xyron 1.5" Create-a-Sticker.   

6.  Printing Little Photos.   To print those tiny photos, I created a photo collage in Picassa set for four photos set on 4x6 paper.  I then cut them each out using my favorite Stitched Mats: Rectangle dies from Lil' Inker Designs.

7.  Writing in Pencil.  I was a bit uneasy about writing directly onto the album pages with ink.  So, I wrote in pencil!  It's acid free and archival safe.  And if I mess up (which I did), I can just erase and try again!

8.  Working with a Single Collection.  To keep it easy, I primarily used papers and embellishments from a single paper collection to make it easy on myself.  Since many of the Maya Road embellishments are unfinished, you can make them coordinate perfectly with any collection!  For this project, I used October Afternoon - Sidewalks.


9.  A Personalized Trinket.  For the back cover, I added another charm I made using the Epiphany Crafts Heart Shape Tool and the coordinating jewelry setting.  You can see a tutorial here.

So there you go, 9 tips and tricks to make your own mini album!  Make sure you head over to the Xyron Blog and Maya Road Blog all week long for more awesome inspiration and giveaways!

As always, mahalo for stopping by!
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