Sunday, December 23, 2012

Polka Dotted Teacher Gifts...

Don't forget the teacher's this holiday season! You may remember last year that I had a few of these made for my girl's teacher's. This year I decided to make them myself due to being overseas and limited resources for these types of cups. I was able to find these little gems at the local exchange and they're approx. 20 oz. or so...can we say LOTS of coffee?! I like to think that chocolate is the 'new black' and it goes with just about any BRIGHT colors...hence the pink and neon green I chose!

Filled with Crystal Lite Lemonade packets!  I added the shredded kraft paper to keep the packets from sliding around.  I didn't photograph the back, but there is a special note slipped in from the girls.  I gave them each the prompt 'I'm thankful for my teacher because...' and I'm so proud that each chose to write their own individual, yet special messages for their teachers.

It's A Girl Banner + Tips...

I've been working like a 'busy bee' these last few weeks before Christmas! So since I have a few new creations and some helpful tips to share, I'll be brief because I plan on posting several tonight...squeezing it all in before the New Year!   First up is this festive and girly, shower banner!
I had originally started out with an argyle pattern, and even after I stamped all 10 banner cards in argyle, I decided it just wasn't working for me!  I went back to my 'stamping board' and came up with this little number...POLKA DOTS!  If you've followed my blog for even a short period, you'll find me using polka dots A LOT!  They're so versatile and stripes are also a great compliment to polka dots!  For the top border I 'scrunched' up some crate paper(party streamer paper!) and glued it down with a 1 inch strip of certainly celery cs.  On top of the cs, I used a chocolate circle border and strategically cut it just so...evenly spaced out for room to add a few rhinestones!
For the lettering, I tried something NEW!  Normally on my banners I use regular old cs for the lettering...not today!  I knew I had some espresso chocolate vinyl in my stash so I thought I'd give it a whirl!  I have to say, I may start using this a whole lot more than cs now!  It goes on smooth and I don't have to double matte the letters like I normally would with regular cs.  If you're not comfortable sticking the vinyl on 'blindly', you can use line contact paper like I did below with the 'G'.  Letters with a lot of curve can sometimes be tricky to get on straight and I can't tell you how many times I've had to re-cut letters!  Go with the contact paper...especially with extra curvy fonts.
Sweet little embossed star!
A quick tip!  When you're punching holes in the banner cards, simply put 2 cards 'back-to-back' and  you'll get evenly lined up holes for every card.  Once you have 2 cards punched, use 1 as a guide for the next card and so on and so forth!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Camo-themed Baby Shower...

There is a FIRST for everything...including camo for a baby shower! I wasn't sure where on this island I would even find anything 'camo-themed'!  Luckily with a little ingenuity and a great printer, I was able to make my very own camo paper! Sure I could have ordered some, but this custom request needed a quick turn around and it everything came together wonderfully in a very short amount time!

Detail shot of the banner.  I used my Cricut to cut the letters and a star embossing folder on the bashful blue cardstock.  Letters are raised with foam tape and coated with Crystal Effects for a glossy shine...we've talked about this in a prior post where I use 'obscene' amounts of Crystal Effects...LOL!

Simple and clean design for the diaper cake!  Had the oppurtunity to try out my new chevron embossing folder too.  Crystal Effects on the monogram as well.

First time for candy bar wrappers too!  I printed these wrappers on vintage creme cardstock and score on the 4 edges.  The cardstock provided a nice wrapper 'casing' that is very sturdy, more so than traditional, thin wrappers.  What an exciting way to celebrate a baby on the way!  Congrats to Melissa & Christopher.

Festive Joy Banner...

Tah-da!!! I know, I'm a little late posting 'as promised', but I've been busy with life in general, and my sis-in-law is in from Tokyo so we are playing with babies and catching up! With out further ado, I finally have a few minutes to post my new Joy banner! I love these rosettes and they are really easy and simple to make! This is the first vertical banner I've made and it's a nice change from always doing my traditional horizontal banners! Gotta switch it up every now and then, right?!
This door is so 'sterile'...especially with no window!  I think I'm going to dress her up often!  The angle of the pic also makes the banner appear smaller than it really is.  Each rosette is approx. 8 in. in diameter.

If you've been following along on FB with the 'sneak peeks', this is where I felt something was missing and added the gold doilies behind the always artichoke card stock.  The doilies added just the right amount of depth to the letter circles without being overbearing.
Thought I'd share this quick tip on how to line up your rosettes on the ribbon! I used my self-healing mat that I've used for sewing.  It's a larger mat so it allows you to turn either way and works great for longer banners.  I'm going to try this design again, either for a Valentine banner or maybe even a Spring theme!  Happy Crafting! 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Jolly Star Tags...Mini Tips!

Tags, tags, and more tags! I have to admit, sometimes working with a smaller medium is just as fun, if not more, than making a card! Don't get me wrong, I enjoy all things paper crafting, but sometimes with a smaller work area, your main design can really POP! So today I'm sharing these fun tags along with some tips for working with larger focal points that may slightly hang off your smaller cut of paper. Follow along my crafty friends!
Love this color combo! It's a nice break from the traditional Christmas colors.  Anyhow, I knew I'd be using larger die cuts and my card stock would slightly hang over my paper base, so I needed to add some extra support as to not bend my thinner card stock.  I remembered in my stash of supplies that I'd purchased some super thin chipboard coasters and they are just the correct thickness to run through my Big Shot.  You don't want to go too thick on the chipboard otherwise it 'flakes' on the edges when cut...not too mention your die cutting machine will be REALLY upset with the added stress due to thickness!
The chipboard cut like buttah!  Once you have all your chipboard cut, you can now apply your choice of card stock directly over the chipboard.  Any adhesive will do, but I prefer Tombo because it has a nice thin applicator on top to reach the tight areas as well the tips of the stars.  Easy peasy, right?! 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Tag Time x's 2...

Festive and jolly, but not much be found in Japan!  After living here a few months, it's evident to me that the 80's never left this island.  If fact, the 80's thrive here, along with all the tacky tinsel and holiday decor you may remember from your childhood!  For the most part, I do love it, but you will NOT catch me in a neon green shirt or hair scrunchies any time soon, but the 80's music I will always LOVE!

Anyhow, aside from my 'flashback' moments, today I'm sharing more festive Christmas tags!  I used a lot of Crystal Effects here as well as foam tape for 3-D effects. 
Hello there Rudolph!  I added the red glitter strip at the last moment and I love how it accentuates the sentiment.

Sweet mittens!  Colored these with my Copic markers.

Lovely birdies!  You cannot see in the photo here, or at least it's hard to tell, but the birds are stamped and cut out with a die.  I also cut out the same die shaped birds from thin chipboard so they are 'raised off' the tree branch.
Great detail shot of what Crystal Effects can add to your art work.  It adds a nice shine, right?  It took me some time to use Crystal Effects correctly.  After a few tries of overloading when I poured and numerous air bubbles, I've been using it for years now and absolutely love it!  It's important to let it dry COMPLETELY before running your fingers over it...unless you want to give gifts of's best to let it dry overnight before touching.

Snowflake dies with Martha Stewart snowflake glitter!  YUMMY!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Peppermint Candy Tutorial...

It's beginning to look A LOT like Christmas! At least at my crafting station it is...the weather being in the 70-80's...not so much! It still puts me in a crafty mood and I was really excited to try something new for my tags this year. Follow along and I'll show you how I made some easy-peasy candy tags!
SO pretty and glitter-y!  I love the 3-D effect the twine gives to the candy.  The candy twists on the ends are made with my small SU! heart punch.
Here we go!  I've showed all the steps here...looks tedious, but I promise it's 'easy as pie'!
Step 1:  Punch out a 1 1/4 circle and cover with double sided tape.  My tape does run over onto the table, you may not want to do this, but I prefer this method because it holds my circle in place as I wind the twine around and around.  To find your center point, use a circular piercing mat, place your punched circle right on top and VOILA, you can punch a center dot with  your piercer.
Step 2:  Once your circle looks like a candy, pull up gently from the table.  I used a small pair of mustache scissors that I keep in my tool box...these scissors are great for fine detail cutting as well!  You can simply fold under the excess tape tabs onto the back.

Step 3:  You can certainly stop here if you want to keep the 'soft threaded look', but I really wanted to achieve a shiny piece of candy.  I love SU! Crystal Effects for many reasons and I use it often!  Squeeze a generous amount over your candy and let dry overnight.  Once your candy is dry, the Crystal Effects not only makes your candy shiny, but it also helps keep a nice BIND of all the twine. 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Glitter...So Much Glitter!

What's a Mom to do for a little girl who's just GOT to have red glitter shoes for her Dorothy costume, yet you KNOW full well you will not find a pair her size?! Well, once again we 'make-do'! We searched high and low for the REAL Dorothy shoes but when I saw my 6 year old prancing around in her Old Navy RED flip flops, I knew I could work some Mommy ingenuity and make good use of that over sized bottle of red Martha Stewart glitter I bought years ago! Yes, YOUR crafty/hoarding side can totally relate to me here, right? We gathered our supplies and headed out on the balcony.
VOILA! The E6000 provided ample and smooth adhesive coverage and the glitter went on smoothly. I did let them dry overnight and washed down the excess glitter in the sink. There were no issues with glitter rubbing off or shedding...SCORE! She ran around all day with these on and they stayed PERFECT!
My posse! This is a daytime party with Daddy's work and boy was it HOT!
There's just something pretty awesome about 'aircraft trick or treating', right? This was such a special treat for the kids and they hopped from plane to plane, and then back again for a second round. These are the planes my hubby started out on when he first joined the MC. They are old REALLY old and these are headed for the scrap yard and being replaced with new, more modern aircraft. Fun and bittersweet day for sure!
Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Making Do With What I've Got...

Living abroad now, I really have to 'make-do' with the supplies I've got on hand. Case in point, I REALLY needed black glitter paper for my Halloween banner...what's a crafty girl to do?! My sweet SU! lady(HEY, Susan!) recommended a few options and since I have a few sheets of the SU! silver glitter paper the 'inking' option is what I chose! This can get a little messy, so have plenty of wipes or moist towelettes on hand for clean-up! The lighting is terrible in the first pic, but follow along you'll see the difference in color tones.
I used a sponge tip and Hybrid Palette Ink for this project. I'd probably stay clear of regular ink dies as it's not going to stick to the glitter paper as well and probably just smear right off. Here you can see the BIG difference between what I started with and how it turned out after I applied the ink. Now, you won't get a super dark black, but more of a vintage black which I think is just as fitting for Halloween. You will still get a great twinkle/sparkle even through the ink.
Here are all my letters(cut with the Cricut)and as you can see it does get messy, but just have a scrap paper pad when inking because you will go off the edges. I'm really pleased with how well the ink took and I would definitely try it again. Just a little advice if you're impatient(like me!)be sure to break out your embossing heat gun and do a quick pass-over to 'set' the ink.
Happy Crafting!  Dawn ;)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Stamp Organizing Filing System...

Ack, achoo, achoo! This blog sure has acquired a large amount of dust in my posting absence! So much so it took an Act of God, my sister, to help me 'hack' back into my account. Blogger support is great, but when it only comes in Japanese, it's not much help now, is it? Anyhoo, after about an hour on the phone and setting and re-setting passwords, I'm back in business!!! I plan to do a post about our journey to Japan, but that has quite a few more pics and time that I will share at a later date ;) While I've had plenty of downtime to catch up and re-organize after the move, I really wanted a simple way to get my stamps cataloged so I'm not having to pull out each individual CD case to see what stamps were where! VOILA!!
I went through all of my stamps by manufacturer. No rhyme or reason, other than I just wanted to keep them together by brand. I saved the stamp images directly from each respective website. Once all my images were gathered, I printed them with the 4x6 option so I could get 4 per page.
With the stamps sets where I only had a few, like these Tim Holtz, I just used the image guide from the stamp set and copied it on  my printer.
Nice and organized!  After all was said and done, I realized I wanted to add one more thing!  I'm now going to go back and add a colored doton the spines for those sets that have matching dies. I won't even share my die drawer, it's screaming to be cleaned!!  When we packed up i just threw everything in my plastic storage bins even it if shouldn't have been! I just wanted to protect everything from damage in the long trip over! 
Yes, life is easier with just this one simple change!  I flip through my binder for images, see the coordinating number, then go over to pull out exactly what I need!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Vinyl Tutorial and Updates...

You know it has been some time since you logged into your blog when you cannot remember your password and have tried every combination! As you can see, I did finally get in! The break from blogging was much needed as it's been very busy around here with company, the holidays, morning sickness, and SURPRISE news of a move in our future. I also felt with as long as I've been blogging, my posts were getting very repetitious to write out etc. Maintaining a blog requires a lot of work behind-the-scenes and although it appears they may be quick to type up and share, they can become time consuming and overwhelming. That being said, I will try my best to update regularly here on the blog as much as I do on the Jademingmei FB page. Facebook has made it very easy to post a quick pic and if you ever have any inquiries, it's a much quicker response!

We have a busy year ahead of us! Pregnancy is going well and Jack is an aspiring gymnast in the womb. We are 25 weeks along now...only 99 days to go as of today! On top of baby coming, the military has also given us our 'eviction notice' to move this summer. We were not expecting to go anywhere and felt very settled in our home so with overwhelming excitement(took a while to sink in!) and somewhat bittersweet feelings, our family is headed to Japan this summer. I know once we get there and settled, it will be a wonderful experience for not only us, but the girls and baby as well. I do plan to continue all my craftiness when we move abroad and suspect I will be seeing LOTS of Hello Kitty in my future...ha!

Anyhoo, during my blogging break I decided to start dabbling in vinyl on my Cricut. I must confess(you can too!) here that I've had this machine for several years but never used it as much as I thought I would. Quite frankly, my husband has used it more than I have and he uses to cut reflective vinyl for decals etc. If you've never used reflective vinyl, its pretty cool as it 'glows' when light reflects off of it....hubby made me an EGA(Marine Corps symbol of the eagle, globe, and anchor) for the back window of our van and I love it! For all of my latest projects I only use matte or glossy vinyl...the finish only differs for if you're using it on inside/outside projects. I certainly prefer the matte over glossy any day, but I'm learning to like both! Below I've shared a quick tutorial on my new 'Welcome' sign that I put on yesterday...yup, that quick and simple! Step 1: Before you install any vinyl, make sure you clean all surfaces of dust and dirt. I just eye-balled it here to see how placement would look before completely pressing down my transfer tape. Step 2: You can buy grid or non-grid transfer tape, but I will tell you this, go with grid! You can purchase transfer tape by the roll or sheet...I've cut mine down to 12x12 sheets(same size as my Cricut cutting mat) for easier I'm using a 12x6 cut size...cut your transfer tape to the size of your vinyl as not to waste too much! While 'Welcome' was cut and still sitting on my Cricut cutting mat, I simply laid my transfer tape over it using the grid blocks to keep it nice and straight. Since my transfer tape was 6 inches in the middle, I lined the up with the lead line in my glass window(finger pointing to it). Step 3: Press transfer tape slowly onto your door. I used a spatula from my Cricut tool kit but a CC or ruler works just as good! Once you have the bubbles worked out you can press more firmly.Step4: Time to peel off! When you go to peel back the transfer tape, be sure to pull back slowly! Step 5: Voila! I really love this gold matte vinyl! If you didn't want to put the vinyl directly on your paint, you could always opt for putting it on the window above or also your glass storm door. I had considered putting it on the storm door at first but figured since the sun never shines directly on my door, I wouldn't have to worry about fading or painting my door anytime soon.

Happy Crafting!
Dawn ;)