Sunday, November 27, 2011

Fool Proof Tool Winners

Thanks to all of those who participated in the "Fool Proof Tool Giveaway"!  I am excited to share some of my beloved tools with you.  The five lucky winners are:

Trish Cook (from the blog)-Wins a set of my 5 favorite colors of chalk ink and a roll of scor-tape
Tickles and Giggles (from the blog)- Wins a set of my 5 favorite colors of chalk ink and a roll of scor-tape
Bonnie(from the blog)-Wins a roll of scor-tape and a mini scor-pal-perfect for cards!
Meghan Em (from Facebook)-Wins a Fiskars Sure-Cut Paper Trimmer
Shannon Brown Peterson (from Facebook)- Wins a Fiskars Sure-Cut Paper Trimmer

Winners need to email me with your contact information so I can mail you your goodies!! Prize packages are valued at $15-$30 Each!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Fool Proof Tools

I love playing with tools of all kinds....cooking, building, sewing and especially paper crafting.  Today on Studio 5, I got to highlight 5 of my favorite FOOL PROOF TOOLS for playing with paper.  These tools are all essential to my crafting collection.  They are the tools I grab for when I have to do a project on the run and I am not sure what I will be crafting.  They are the tools that work for any project, anywhere.  I LOVE these tools!!!

My First Fool Proof Tool is: The Sure Cut Paper Trimmer from Fiskars

With all of the amazing specialized tools on the market, you still can't live without a basic paper trimmer!  This particuar trimmer is my absolute fav for a few reasons:
1. Light Weight
2. Clearly marked 1/4" increments
3. Wide base with swing-out arm
4. Magical marking wire that shows you exactly where you will be cutting ***THE BEST***

My Second Fool Proof Tool is: My Scor-Pal (and Scor-Tape)
Okay, so maybe I am cheating by listing my tool and tape in the same measurement, but I couldn't spotlight one without the other.

I have to admit that when I was first introduced to the scor-pal, I was skeptical.  However, I have found it more handy than I could have ever imaginged.  I use it for creating cards, boxes, fans and all kinds of other folded projects.  I love it because it easily creates nice sharp folds and creases in paper. I also love that there is a whole catalog of amazing ideas for using the scoring tool on the Scor-Pal site.  I have found patterns for tons of boxes, favors and even mini albums there.  A little birdie also told me that Scor-Pal is having a special 25% OFF Sale for Black Friday, so now is a great time to pick one up.

I love a really strong adhesive. Ya' know the kind that is impossible to remove?  Scor-Tape is amazing for details that need a permanant fix.  This tape comes in a whole variety of sizes (my top favorites are 1/4 and 1/2 inch).  You just tear off what you need and place it on your project.  It is so delightfully sticky!  It works like magic on glitter and ribbon.  I use it for all of my projects that need to be really durable.  It is also my go to adhesive for boxes and 3-D projects.  The best part is, Scor-tape is super economical.  You get a ton of yardage for a really good price. Can't beat that, right?

My Third Fool Proof Tool is: Colorbox Cat's Eye Ink
Nothing takes a project from blah to WOW like ink on the edges! Simply brushing the edges of your paper pieces with one of these magical ink pads gives dimension and pop to any project.  Distressing with ink is really so easy and provides a lot of bang for your buck!

You can distress your edges with any old ink pad, but the Colorbox Chalk Inks are by far my favorites.  I am a neutral inker (meaning I like to use Browns and Blacks).  Many people like to use lots of different colors, so experiment and see what you like best.  Here are the reasons that the chalk inks are at the top of my list:
1. Rich color that doesn't smear or smudge
2. Small size and shape make tight corners a breeze
3. Inexpensive- pads usually retail for $1.99-$2.49
4. Color Variety-My go to colors are:
Creamy Brown
Dark Brown
Chestnut Roan 
Blackbird
Charcoal

My Fourth Fool Proof Tool is: The Silhouette Digital Cutter
Although the silhouette machine is a little more of an investment than my other tools, I still classify it as an essential.  And, remember, Christmas is just around the corner!

My Silhouette is fool proof because it allows me to cut any shape or font directly from my computer. No cartridges required!  The software that comes with the Silhouette is very user friendly and has loads of special features like welding and tracing.  One of my favorite uses for the Silhouette is finding images from the internet and tracing them to create my own custom images.
The Silhouette cuts very fine images from any paper or cardstock. After the image is cut, you simply peel it off the cutting mat and adhere it as desired.  The machine also cuts vinyl so it is great for home decor.

Silhouette has now made a 12" cutting platform called Cameo. It is the latest addition to their line.  I am excited to get my hands on one of these and start to play.

My Third Fool Proof Tool is: a Circle Punch in any size
Circle punches are a quick and easy embellishment creator.  I love using circles to create backgrounds or centers on my art.  They are also essential for making quick and easy tags.   As you probably have noticed, a circle is my go-to shape for backing labels on countdowns.

I love all sizes of circles, but if I had to pick 2 punches to use for the rest of my life, it would be my 1 1/2" and 1 3/4".  They layer nicely together and seem to be the perfect tag or label size. One of my favorite circle punch brands is EK Success.  I love their punches because they are very ergonomic and easy to use.  They have also created a new slim brand of punches that don't take up much storage room but still pack quite the punch!

Martha Stewart once said, "Anything is easier with the right tool."  I am a firm believer in that statement!  I have found that investing in good, basic tools saves me money, time, and a whole lot of stress in my creative process. 

Just for fun...if I got to increase my list to 10 tools, I would add:
6. Cropadile Hole Punch
7. Laptop and Printer
8. Sharp Straight Scissors
9. Adhesive Tape Runners
10. Corner Rounder

Fool Proof Tool Giveaway

Okay, so you know what my top five tools are, now I want to know yours? Thanks to my generous sponsors: Fiskars, Clearsnap (Chalk Ink), and Scor-Pal, I have a few of my favorite things to give away to FIVE LUCKY WINNERS!

Here's how you can enter to win:
1. Leave a comment on this post telling me some of your favorite "fool proof paper crafting tools"
2. Like Simply KellyB on Facebook and leave a post on my wall with your favorite non-paper crafting tool

You will be given one entry for commenting on the blog and one for a Facebook Post. Contest closes Saturday, November 26th at 8 p.m. Winners will be announced Saturday, November 26th at 10 p.m.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Ann's "You Are Special Day"

My cute friend Ann turns 30 today!  Since I just crossed the 30 threshold myself, and know that it can be a little unnerving, I got together with Ann to help her celebrate her birthday.  A few weeks back, we did her hair and got her all fancied up and then did a little photo shoot. I called it her "You are Special Day!" Let's face it, it is always fun to get dressed up and pose for the camera.  I had so much fun photographing this beautiful blue eyed girl!  I especially love the color contrast in these photos. Her red coat (and my favorite mustard hat) were the perfect pops of color! Happy Birthday Friend!!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Vintage Thanksgiving

It has been a while since I have shared some great vintage images.  These little beauties are perfect for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.
Here are some fun ideas for incorporating these images into your big feast:
-Print out the images and write a name on each image. Attach them to a folded paper to create a name card for your table.
-Print out images in 4x6 or 5x7 sizes.  Frame images and place them around the table to add to your centerpiece.
-Tie images onto napkin rings and let them dangle from ring like a tag.
-Print out images and have guests write things they are thankful for on the back of the images.  Hang the images from a ribbon with clothespins.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Few of My Favorite Things

One of my favorite days of the year came this last weekend. For four years now, my friends and I have been hosting a "Favorite Things" party.  It is something we all look forward to and plan for all year round.  The idea behind the party is to share a few of your favorite things with your best friends.  Each guest purchases multiples of their favorite things and gives them away at the party. There are no minimums or limits.  We just say do what you want and it has turned out well. Everyone gets one of everyone's favorite thing. This year was definitely the best year yet! We rented an amazing cabin and made it an overnight getaway for the ladies.  It was so much fun and each of us came away with some fabulous gifts. Here are the fun things I brought home from the party.  I am looking forward to using them all!
One of the best parts of the party is the wrapping.  Everyone goes over the top to present their gifts in a beautiful way. This year, I made handmade boxes using Graphic 45 paper. These boxes were made using the same techniques as I used for the 12 Days Advent tree.
You can't go wrong with good friends and everyone's favorite things!
I highly recommend starting a Favorite Things tradition with your friends.  It will shortly become one of your favorite days of the year too.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Christmas Countdowns on Studio 5

It is that time of year once again! I am thrilled to share this year's Christmas Countdown Creations with you!  This year, I created 5 different countdowns, so you can find the perfect one for you!

12 Days Christmas Tree (My Personal Favorite!)
I love the this large countdown which doubles as an easy centerpiece!  Each box is easily handmade with your own patterned paper.  Treats and activities or a special gift can be placed in each box to be opened throughout December.
To create the 12 Days Christmas Tree, you will need 20 sheets of heavyweight patterned paper.  I used the Teresa Collins Christmas Home Collection.  I love the colors, the designs and the overall feel of this line.  Use your favorite line to customize your tree.  You will also need ribbons and number tags (mine came from a sheet of the Christmas Home Collection paper).

Create a top and bottom for each box:
1. Cut and score two papers for each box (top and bottom) according to the dimensions below. Score each side of each page and then turn and score the next side until all sides are scored and the scores in the corners overlap.
2. Cut one side of fold in each corner to create a flap in each edge.
3. Fold flap in and apply adhesive so that the flap will adhere its adjoining side.
4. continue until all four sides are complete and you have a box.
5. Place one box inside another for top and bottom.

Box Dimensions
12th Day- Cut to 12X12, Score each side at 1"
11th Day- Cut to 12X12, Score each side at 1 1/2" 
10th Day- Cut to 12X12, Score each side at 2"
9th Day- Cut to 10.5X10.5, Score each side at 1 1/2" 
8th Day- Cut to 12X12, Score each side at 3"
7th Day- Cut to 8.5X8.5, Score each side at 1 1/2"
6th Day- Cut to 10X10, Score each side at 2 1/2"
5th Day- Cut to 7.5X7.5, Score each side at 1 1/2" 
4th Day- Cut to 6x6, Score each side at 1"
3rd Day- Cut to 6X6, Score each side at 1 1/2" 
2nd Day Day- Cut to 5X5, Score each side at 1 1/2"
1st Day- Cut to 4.5X4.5, Score each side at 1" 
Once all boxes are assembled, fill with gifts, activities or treats and stack on a cake plate for display. Decorate your boxes with ribbon and numbers as desired. My numbers came from a pre-designed sheet by Teresa Collins.  I simply cut around each number and punched a hole in it to tie my ribbon through.  So simple!

Vintage Santa Flip
Remember the fun Flip Countdown from Halloween?  Well here is a vintage Santa version of the easy to create advent.  This makes a great early gift for friends and neighbors!
To make a vintage flip calendar, you will need: a 5X7 frame (I got mine at the dollar store), two 3" binder rings, the Vintage Santa Download, paper for backing, decorative elements, adhesive, hole punch, ink pad.
*I used an inkpad to distress all of the pieces in my countdown.  Just rub an inkpad along each edge to create a darkened, finished edge.*
1. Print the Vintage Santa Download on cardstock.  Cut out each image and use a 1 1/2" circle punch to cut out numbers (You can also free hand cut if you don't have the punch).
2. Cut backing paper slightly larger than printouts and adhere printouts to backer.  Use a 1 3/4" circle punch to punch backers for the numbers. Adhere the numbers to the images as desired.
3.Remove the glass and backing from your frame. Punch two holes in the cardboard backing.  You want the holes to be as close to the edge of the frame as possible.
4. Place a 5X7 patterned paper in frame with backing and punch holes through paper.
5. Trace holes onto each of the Santa images and punch.
6. Place rings through images and then through frame backing.
7. Decorate frame as desired with ribbons, bells and embellishments.
Magnetic Tin Calendar
It's easy to see how counting down with this magnetic calendar would be a favorite holiday tradition.
To create this magnetic treat board, you will need: 12X12 wood frame painted as desired (I used the Martha Stewart glitter paint on top of a coat of red paint to create the glitter finish), 25 favor tins (I purchased mine in the wedding section at Michaels), 25 magnets and adhesive (i use E6000 to adhere my magnets), the Christmas Countdown Numbers Download, 12x12 pattern paper for backing, 12X12 galvanized steel (I got mine from Heartland Paper for $5.99), additional embellishments as desired. *1 1/2" and 1 3/4" circle punches make this project much easier.
1. Adhere a magnet to the back of each favor tin using a strong adhesive.  Allow to dry well.
2. Print out the Christmas Countdown Numbers Download on cardstock and cut out using circle punches or free hand. (Numbers should be 1 1/2", Letters should be 1 3/4"). Cut the December title out along the brown line.
3. Ink pieces as desired with ink pad.
4. Place magnet board and 12X12 patterned paper in frame.
5. Adhere the "SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN" letters to 12X12 paper so that they will fit directly under tins.
6. Adhere numbers to the top of each tin.
7. Decorate as desired with bling or other embellishments.
8. Fill tins and then open one tin each day until Christmas! *empty tins can be stored on the back of the frame so that the message is revealed each day.

Matchbox Sliders

Slide into Christmas with this fun vertical advent.  Small matchbox style boxes hold treats to be enjoyed each day until Christmas.
This little matchbox hanger is perfect for those skinny little spaces that need a little holiday flair.
To create this countdown, you will need: 24 sheets of 12X12 patterned paper, 24 1.75x6" strips, letter/number stickers, ribbon, scoring tool, hole punch, strong adhesive (I used scor tape) embellishments as desired.  

1. Fold each 6X6 piece of paper in half and score at 1.25, 2.25, 4 and 5
2. Scor each 1.75X6 strip at 1", 2" and 5"
3. Fold pieces on scor lines.
4. Apply adhesive to edge of strip that only has one fold.
5. Adhere to inside of box along the raw edge(not the folded edge)
6. Fold box closed (slip one side in the pocket of the other side) with strip going inside the box.
7. Staple box seam shut. *At this point you should have one closed end and one open end with a flap
8. punch a small hole in the flap and top of box, thread ribbon through.
9. Add a treat in each box and then tie shut.
10. Adhere boxes together using strong adhesive (I used scor tape!)
11. Adhere ribbon to the back of boxes.
12. Secure back of boxes with strips of 12X12 paper to add a little support and hide the seams and staples.
13. Add number stickers and letters as desired.
14. Add a label tag and additional ribbon at the top for a little more color and flair.

Candy Pouch Countdown
This versatile banner can hang from a mantle, shelf, doorway or railing.  Let your kiddies countdown to Christmas by opening a treat pouch each day until Santa arrives!

To create this banner, you will need: 24 6X6 pieces of paper (I used Basic Grey's Nordic Holiday), 24 2X3" pieces of patterned paper, number tags (I made mine with a 1 1/2" circle punch and letter stickers), ribbon, hole punch, adhesive
To make each pouch:
1. Adhere two edges of 6X6 paper together to create a tube.
2. Fold over one edge of tube and staple shut, add a treat or note.
3. Fold open edge in opposite direction as stapled edge.  Fold 2X3 paper in half and place on top edge like a cuff.
4. Punch a hole through top edge and paper cuff and tie shut with a ribbon.
5. Add tags and string onto banner ribbon.  You can also place these in a basket if you don't want to string the banner.

With five fun ideas, it is just tough to decide which one to create! Luckily, you have plenty of days before December begins.  I hope you enjoy crafting up Christmas with these unique calendars.  Have a Happy Holiday!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Be Thankful with Tom

Today I have been creating fall inside (despite the snow on the outside!)  I did some shopping around for cute fall decorations, and sadly, there are none to be found.  I needed something to brighten up my walls, so I decided to create Tom.  The background for Tom the Turkey was created much the same as the Frankie background.  I created my Tom using the Forever Fall collection from Bo Bunny Press.  I love the rich colors with a vintage twist.

You can bring Tom into your home by purchasing the complete PATTERN for just $4.  Patterns come complete with color pictures and instructions and will be emailed to you within 24 hours of purchase.  The completed Turkey Hanger is about 16" square so it is perfect for a door or wall.
To complete Tom, you will need 6-8 sheets of patterned paper, pencil, scissors, chipboard or cardboard, adhesive, glue gun, ribbon, hole punch and ink.

Tom the Turkey Digital Pattern $4



Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Chain of Gratitude

Although most of me is sad to be taking down my Halloween decorations, I am so happy to be heading towards Thanksgiving.  November is typically a month where we focus on gratitude and giving thanks for our many blessings.  I thought it might be fun this year to make a "Chain of Gratitude".  Starting with today, I am going to make three "thankful strips" each day. The strips will join together and by Thanksgiving I will have a nice long chain.  I am also going to let friends and family who stop by add onto the chain.  Life is so wonderful and I think this little chain will be a fun way to focus on my many blessings each day.
Each link of the chain will be made from a 1x6" strip of patterned paper that is stapled into a loop.  I just used a sharpie to write on my strips.  Keep it simple and enjoy the beauty of your blessings!