Tuesday, November 30, 2010

December Daily

Have you made a December Daily album?
I know a lot of people have joined the D.D. band wagon and this year I'm going to jump on.

I think the first conception was made by Ali Edwards (you can learn more about Ali at her website: aliedwards.com) but the basic idea is to make a scrapbook focusing on each day in the month of December. As I'm sure you will agree, December is the busiest month of the year and this album is the perfect way to record your daily activities and traditions. You can make your album in any size and style you want, be creative!

Here is the beginning of my album:
I started with a bunch of paper that I cut down to 5x7 for the pages. I decorated the cover and will complete a page a day throughout the month.
I plan on trying to take take a photo each day in December to help record the month. I am sure that I will add/take away pages as well as change the order. Some people almost totally complete the album before the month so all they have to do is add journaling and photos, which is also a great idea!

If you look around the internet you can find a bunch a really great albums to get you inspired. My favorites are this one and this one!

I hope you join in on the fun!
Happy December,

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Christmas Treats

Every year a few of my family members and friends get together for a cookie exchange. There are 8 of us that will participate this year. Each of us has to make 48 cookies or treats and pack them up in 6's. Then we all trade so each of us ends up with 8 different kinds of goodies to last us through the weeks leading up to Christmas. This year I decided to do rum balls. I've tried a few different recipes, but I always come back to this one beacuse it's so easy and they turn out so good!

Rum Balls

6oz (1 cup) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup rum
3 tbsp. corn syrup
2 cups crushed vanilla wafers
1 cup ground walnuts
extra sugar to roll the balls in

Melt the chocolate in a sauce pan. Once melted, add the sugar, rum and corn syrup. Combine until well-mixed. Remove from heat and fold in the crushed wafers and walnuts. Once cooled, form into balls and roll in granulated sugar. Such a simple recipe!

I decided to be fancy with my packaging this year, so I used these cute little treat bags from Meri Meri. The reindeer is my personal favorite!

Add a glass of egg nog and you have the perfect holiday treat! I love this time of year!

Happy Holidays Everyone! - Amanda

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

3D Snowflake Pattern

Every year our Beaverton store makes these great hanging snowflakes and this year I snagged the pattern to share (thanks Darlla!). This is another simple decoration that is super easy and only requires paper, scissors and glue or tape.

In 5 easy steps you'll have a snowflake that won't melt or snarl traffic. Click here for a FREE template and instructions for making the 3D snowflake. The template contains the steps below, along with a diagram to guide you through the cutting and folding.

Start with a square piece of text weight paper any size. A 4" by 4" square will result in a medium sized snowflake. I suggest using a heavier text weight paper, such as a metallic, because they tend to hold their shape better and look festive. If you go with a 4" by 4" square, you will need 2 1/2 sheets of paper to make one snowflake.

Step 1: Fold the square diagonally to form a triangle.
Step 2: Fold the triangle again so that there is one side with a double fold and one side with 2 single folds.
Step 3: Cut 4 or 5 slits in the paper as pictured in the template.
Step 4: Unfold the paper carefully and attach the tips of the square to each other, alternating the direction you fold the paper. Attach the tips with either glue or tape. I like to cut a piece of tape into tiny strips before start
ing each section to make this go quicker.
Step 5: Attach 6 of the sections you made using Steps 1 - 4 by gluing, taping or stapling the tips together. Honestly this is the trickiest part, but I found a stapler works best.

This video demonstrates making one section:

I hope this is a bit of snow everyone can enjoy!! Have a great Thanksgiving everyone! --Kim

Monday, November 22, 2010

Holiday Waterfall Card

This is one of my favorite cards to make. I have made it for all sorts of different kinds of cards from Birthday, Father's Day, to just hello. It is very versatile and you can adapt it to many different occasions and designs. Check out this little video to see how it works

My latest use is for a Christmas card. I came across these small square stamps that were perfect for the project at our store. As soon as a saw them, I knew what I was going to do with them.

Materials Needed

Neutral-colored cardstock - Neenah Classsic Natural White
Colored cardstock - Making Memories 12x12, Postage stripe Noel; Stardream Mars
Assorted stamps - Inkadinkado
Embossing pad and gun - Versamark Watermark Pad
Embossing Powder - Stampendous Jewelled Gold
Paper Trimmer
Scoring board
Ribbon or cord

Step 1
Cut your Neutral Cardstock (Classic Natural White) in the following measurements: 5¼" x 8 1/2" (1), 1 7/8" x 1 7/8" (4).Cut your Colored Cardstock in the following measurements: 2" x 2" (Mars) (4), 51/4" x 4" (Mars) (1), 9" x 2" (Noel) (1), ¾" x 4" (Noel) (1).

Step 2
Fold the largest piece of neutral colored cardstock in half.

Step 3
Emboss your images on the 1 7/8” squares.

Step 4
Attach your embossed squares to the slightly larger colored cardstock squares with your adhesive.

Step 5
Next you will need to score your 9 x 2 strip of colored cardstock. Starting at end of strip, score 2", 2¾", 3 ½", and 4 ¼" from the end.
You can then fold along the scored lines and you should have a strip which looks something like the following picture (let's call this Piece A).

Step 6
Attach your first stamped image to the bottom 2" x 2" space at the scored end of piece A. (Reverse Side)

Step 7
Apply adhesive to the scored sections of piece A only, and attach remaining stamped pieces.

Step 8
Attach the horizontal strip (the one which measures ¾" x 4") to front Piece A.

Step 9
Next, attach the horizontal strip to the front of your card. Note: it is very important that you do not use any adhesive in the middle of this piece, just on the ends.

Once you've attached these pieces, you should be able to gently pull the bottom of the longest section of piece A directly down and watch the stamped images flip one at a time and then slide behind piece A.

Step 10
Use a small hole punch to punch the bottom of piece A. Thread ribbon through hole punch and tie. Trim ends with scissors. You're done!

Happy Crafting


Friday, November 19, 2010

Shadow Box Ornament

We recently ran a tree decorating contest in our stores... We ended up with really beautifully decorated trees. One of my favorites was a shadow box ornament created by Hue in Shoreline. As soon as I saw it I knew I had to make my own! Below is the step-by-step on how to create a shadow box ornament.

Step 1:
Gather ornament supplies. You will need paper (I used 12x12s from Basic Grey's Jovial line), scissors, glitter glue and a two piece jewelry box (You can find EVERYTHING at Paper Zone!) Step 2:
Take the fuzzy stuff that comes inside the box and tear it apart. You will use this as the snow that the deer sits in.
Step 3:
Cut a piece of paper you want to use a background (I used one that looked like snow falling!) and glue it to the back of the inside of the box.

Money saving tip: You can get two ornaments out of each box, simply use the lid for one and the box for the other!

Step 4:
Cut your favorite deer out of the 12x12 "Nordic" piece of paper.

Step 5:
Glitter your deer up with glitter glue.

Step 6:
Place the cut-out deer into the fluffy "snow" and glue it into the box.

Step 7:
Attach a ribbon or string to the back of the box and hang your ornament on your tree!

Wasn't that easy? After making this cute deer shadow box I started thinking about all the other things I could place into a snow scene... I'm thinking a snowman would be cute!

Happy Ornament Making!

Note: You can dress up the outside of the box using wire ribbon and paper similar to the ornament featured on our Facebook wall. This ornament, and a dozen fabulous other ideas, are hanging on the gorgeous tree in our Shoreline store if you want to stop by and see it!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thanksgiving Placecards: Haystacks!

I think Thanksgiving gets the short end of the crafting and
scrapbooking stick. There are rare amounts of scrapbooking papers out there with Turkeys on them and as cute as gourds are I think they come in second to holiday trees. Here is a little bit of Thanksgiving dinner inspiration: haystack place cards. At just $0.85 each to make and being kid friendly they are a good one to whip out before the turkey goes in the oven.

Five 8.5 x 11 text sheets of astroparche natural, one 8.5 x 11 text sheet of stardream bronze, paper cutter or scissors, and glue of your liking. I am using a double sided adhesive tape gun.

Step 1: Cut your light colored sheets in half, you will get 2 haystacks out of the whole sheets.

Step 2: Using your paper cutter or scissors cut 1/2 inch cuts across one side of your paper. Only cut about half way up the paper. Turn your paper over and cut the same on that side, leaving about a 1" not cut strip through the middle.

Step 3: Using your tape or glue, glue a strip down one whole long side of your now cut paper. Roll your paper allowing the glue strip to hold the stack together.

Step 4:
Using a pen or pencil roll upwards with your thumb so your paper curls outwards. Do this on both sides.

Step 5: Take your bronze text sheet and cut 3 strips that measuring 1 1/2". Run some glue down one strip and wrap it around the middle of your haystack to create a sash. It will overlap.

Step 6: Use another strip of bronze paper to make a bow. Place a strip of glue on each end and curl in to meet in the middle. Using your last bronze strip, cut a 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" square from it. Place a strip of glue on the back and place it in the middle of your looped strip to finish your bow. Adhere the bow to your hay stack.

Step 7:
To make a name card I used the new Basic Grey Pyrus and some matching Carnival Vellum Thai Gold. Cut some printed paper of your liking to 3 x 2 1/2. Cut a matching solid sheet to 2 x 1 1/2. Glue the two sheets together. After writing your guests name place a strip of glue on the back of this card an adhere anywhere you like on your haystack.

Place around your festive table for your turkey day feast! Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
--Andrea and the Portland Paper Zone.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Here Comes Santa Clause?!

Sooooo...are you ready? Are you in the process of getting ready? Do I even dare ask? What might we be getting ready for, you might wonder? Well, CHRISTMAS don't you know! Oh my goodness, it's hard to believe that it is only six short weeks away. But it is. I see it on my many calendars. Sometimes, despite being able to see important dates on the horizon, I'm still behind the ball.

But, I am excited. I watched the Family Stone last night. Oh, I love that movie! Sad but funny, warm and touching all the same. And, I've pulled out the recipe binder and started thinking about what I will be cooking, since I am hosting Christmas at my house this year. For the first time. Yikes!! I have not, however, given much thought as to what I am going to do for holiday correspondence or decoration. Luckily, we've got some great stuff in our stores to inspire me. Something that I am particularly fond of right now is Making Memories Noel line. There are some truly great pieces to work with. Check out these 12x12, which are perfect for making cards or a background for a menu:

And these very fun and useful Findings Kit and Rosettes which are perfect for making gift tags and embellishing hand-made ornaments and cards:

And last, but definitely not least, an Advent Calendar Kit to count down the days 'til Santa Clause comes to town! Yes, I know, I am obssessed with calendars!

So what do you think? Don't you just love it? For me, it has that old-timey, curl-up-with-a-cup-of-cocoa feel, which is sure to sooth one's shopping, chopping, and tree trimming nerves. Oh, and just a reminder, pieces from the line are also included as a part of our Holiday Crafters Challenge!
Stay tuned for more crafting inspiration as we head into this most wonderful time of year!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Letterpress to Die Cut

My new favorite tool just keeps getting better! I recently invested in the Epic 6 Letterpress machine. Usually I am pretty frugal when it comes to craft purchases, but I had so much fun testing out this machine, I had to have one for myself. I have been happily printing thank you cards and other miscellaneous things the past few weeks and absolutely loving it. I finally decided to test out the cutting feature on this machine-yes, it die cuts too! The combo kit comes with a set of various sized circle dies, but I managed to get my hands on some samples of some upcoming holiday designs as well. To test these out, I decided I would make a collection of gift tags, because you can never have too many gift tags. :) It's easy to get started with the tools below:

Just place your dies cutting side up on the gray cutting platform, then place your sheet of paper front side facing down over the dies. Place the cutting mat over the top and crank it through the machine. It's that easy.

The result is a perfectly clean cut, even when using extra heavy weight cardstock. I used some beautifully printed cardstock (approximately 100# cover) from Envelopments to create the little pocket tag below.

Another great die that will be part of the upcoming holiday release are these snowflakes below (also cut from 100# cover). I absolutely love these!

There is also a wonderful set of nesting trees, a kit to make snowmen, and many other holiday inspired themes. The possibilities for cards, gift tags and all kinds of other decor are endless. Here's how my gift tags turned out:

Look for these dies along with new holiday letterpress plates to arrive next week!

Happy Crafting!


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Paper Tweets

Because I like my crafts simple, I jumped at the chance to try this wonderful bird ornament that has been 'flying' around our stores. Practically all you need to make this is a sheet of cardstock and a pair of scissors.

Start with the Bird Ornament Template that can be printed off Paper Zone's website. Simply cut out the two shapes and trace them onto a piece of cardstock paper.
Tip:trace with a pencil because it's very faint and can be removed after the final pieces have been cut. You don't want a bird with marker on her wings! (note that in the pic I am using a marker and it didn't quite work out, thus the tip to use pencil)

Next, cut the pieces out of the cardstock. Using either your scissors, an xacto knife, or a box cutter, cut a slit where indicated by the dotted line on the template. The slit needs to be long enough to fit the wing piece through, but not much longer so the wing is snug.

Slide the wing through and you're done, that easy! Punch a hole and add a loop of ribbon and this little birdie is ready to fly. People will be oohing and awing over your amazing skills to make handmade ornaments.

Use colored or patterned paper for variations. Make a whole bunch and put a new meaning to "flocking" your tree! Enjoy. --Kim

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sublime Stitching

Hi Everyone

At a recent visit to one of our stores, I was checking out all the gifts ideas that we have and saw this embroidery stencil book. I haven't done any embroidery for a very long time, but something about it struck me as something I was going have to give a try. I am now stitching up a storm.

There are over 75 different stencils in the book. The stencils can be reused up to about 9 times, and there are also some easy-to-follow instructions included in the craft pad, if you are not sure how to apply the stencils. (I have used the same stencil now 4 times, and it is still working!)

In order to start this project, I did need a few extra items from a craft store. I had to get some cotton towels, and embroidery ring, some embroidery floss, and embroidery needles. You can also use pillow cases, bibs, napkins, or really anything cotton to stitch on.

As I had previously mentioned, it had been a while since I had done any embroidery work, so I started with a practice piece of material. It really only took about a half hour in order for me to get the hang of it. The patterns are not too difficult, and the most challenging aspect is getting the stitches to be uniform, which is really just a patience.

This is the finished first project I was working on. I made two matching dishtowels. My kitchen is red and white, hense the red cake plate!Happy Crafting


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Do the Twist!

As I was walking along the Seattle Waterfront yesterday at lunch, I saw people hanging Christmas lights on the trees lining the sidewalk. Although the sun is still shining and it's so nice and warm out, it got me excited for the holidays and the cozy weather that is right around the corner. I'm ready to take advantage of the gray days and let the holiday craft inspiration emerge. Now, I am definitely not the craftiest person, but given the right inspiring piece, I can really go to town on a project. This brings me to a new item that I HAVE to use on my holiday cards this year: Envelopments Twist Cards.

If you are trying to find a holiday card that is simple to create but is still personal, makes a big statement, and looks like you spent a lot of time creating it, then these cards are for you! All you need to do is add your own photo and message. Look at how fun these holiday card samples are from Envelopments.

You can go more sophisticated like this:

...or a little more contemporary and bright like this:

And you get the bragging rights of sending a card that "does the twist!" Check out how these cards twist to reveal both sides of the card, and the shape stands up so nicely on their own, so they can be displayed easily on a tabletop or mantel:

These cards are just in stores today, so be sure to come check them out. There are 12 holiday colors available for special order in case you don't find exactly what you are looking for in the store. So be sure to talk to an associate if you want to place an order - it is really quick and easy to do and you will receive your cards well in time to put them all together and get them in the mail for the holidays! Now that we're all in the holiday cardmaking mood, be sure to check out our free card templates that we created using PZ facets. Do you have any holiday card ideas to share with all of us? I'd love to hear them! --Lauren