Browsing "Tips"

Simple, Cute and Inexpensive Project…

Day LillyThought I would post a real easy project.  I did this project when I was creating my Craft Studio.  I got the idea from an overhead banner in the ribbon department at Michael’s.  I happened to notice it is still up when I went the other day.

I had a can that some word graphics came in; however, a Pringle can would work equally well.  I painted the cylinder black and then wrapped it in 3 styles/colors of ribbon, tying the ribbon in a knot to secure it to the cylinder.  You are not limited to the number of colors or patterns.  I just have a tendency to work in odd numbers (3, 5, 7 etc.).

Since my craft studio Cylindar/Ribbonis in yellow, white and black I chose ribbon to match the decorating theme.  By the way this is $1 ribbon from Michael’s.  Yes, some of the ribbon has a little glitter on it.  We need the bling!

The length of ribbon you will need will vary depending on how big the cylinder is you are wrapping the ribbon around.

Tip:  Once you have figured out the length of ribbon you need to wrap around the cylinder and tie it off with a knot, cut 1 each of the different styles/colors  of  ribbons to the correct length and then lay them out in the pattern you want to achieve.  This will show you how much ribbon you need to cut and keep the pattern in tact as you start tying it around the cyclinder.  It also gives you a chance to play around with the ribbon to figure out a pattern before you cut more than you need.

I worked from the bottom up.  I then folded each strip of ribbon in half to find the center of the ribbon and attached a glue dot.  Press the ribbon (which has the glue dot)  to the center back of the cyclinder and wrap the ribbon around to the front and tie the knot.  The glue dot keeps the ribbon in line and secure as you tie the knot and move up the cyclinder.  I also put a glue dot under the knot to hold it in place.

Decorated Cyclinder -Rulers

Here it is sitting on my workstation holding all my rulers.  It’s pretty, has a great form, recylced and functional.  What more could you ask for?

There is something about this piece that makes me smile everytime I see it.  It’s probably because I did something good for the environment….or it could just be I like getting to look at the ribbon!

The flower at the beginning of the post is an orange Day Lily on the Southeast side of my flowerbed.  They are so beautiful but you have to catch them early because their flowers are only here for one day.

Remember, you can click on the picture to enlarge it and get a better look.  Be sure and leave me a comment, I love hearing what you think and as always thank you for stopping by.

May 7, 2009 - Tips, Tutorials    No Comments

Design Studio – Welding Within a Frame – Video Tutorial #5 – Capadia Designs

Double Knock-Out RoseThis is the latest tutorial by Capadia Designs and again Diane does an excellent job.  Be sure and read the instructions on her blog before you jump right into the tutorial.  Diane has upgraded her software and the video is now embedded in her blog.  So that means you access it a little differently than what you have had to do in the past.

I had some knowledge of how to do some of the things she shows in this tutorial but she makes it look so easy.  The tip about using the Alt key to remove the handles when you are moving things around is great!  My Tip: Be sure and have your cursor on the handle you want to use to move your object around,  as you start to move your object (that handle turns yellow) and then hit the Alt key.

You can access her link from the right hand side of my website under blog roll or you can go out on Youtube and search for her tutorial or here is her link (  

The flower you are seeing at the beginning of this post is my Double Knock-Out Rose.  I just planted it this year, we’ll see if it drowns in all the rain we are having here in Texas.

Thanks, for stopping by and be sure and vist the other links on my blog roll. 

May 3, 2009 - Organization, Tips    No Comments

What Size is that?

I recently bought a card-making tool from Paperwishes.  You know it was one of those webisodes that showed how easy it was to make envelopes with this tool.  Of course, you just have to have it because it is the best thing you have ever seen and it will make your life so much easier.

“The Enveloper” makes 9 different size envelopes, what they called an “Envelopbox” and included a scoring tool.  The Envelopbox is a 3-dimensional envelope that will hold a card that has been embellished and might need a scooch more room.

The Enveloper

What you are seeing is The Enveloper and an envelope I made with it.  I make my envelopes with paper that usually has a white back.  When I make the envelope I fold it so the print is on the inside of the envelope.  This gives me a white envelope to write the address on and a pretty pattern on the  inside when it is opened. 

Tip:  Watch the clearance paper at your local craft stores, I often get paper (12 x 12)  for envelopes at $.10 – $.25 per sheet.  This way I have a pretty envelope but I’m not using my stash.

As I read the instructions I became amused at the names they gave the various sizes of envelopes that could be made with this new tool.  There was the  1/2 US letter, 1/3 US letter tri-fold and 1/2 depth tri-fold.  I have to say I didn’t know what these types of letters were, nor what size that meant.  Sometimes I’m too visual to get my brain to understand.

I really didn’t want to have to pull out the instructions to figure out what size of paper I needed or what lines I was suppose to score to make the various envelopes, but I had thought I would glue the instructions to the underside of The Enveloper.  Wasn’t crazy about the ideal but thought I could live with it.

However, Tanya T on the Paperwishes MB said that she made each individual envelopes and put them on a ring so she could see what size they made (  Awesome idea and so I too started the process.

So, I pulled out some very colorful papers and followed the instructions on making all the various sizes of the envelopes.  Then I wrote on each envelop the name, the measured size, the paper size that was needed to make the envelope, and the lines I needed to follow (F&G or B&E).

Tip:  I placed a ruler along the scored lines to ensure that I got a straight fold and then used the score tool (or a bone folder will work also) to get a good sharp crease.


The Enveloper - PapersMarked with sizing informationFold using a ruler

Once all the envelopes were finished I punched a hole in the upper right hand corner, stacked them in size order (biggest to smallest) and put a ring through the holes.  Now it has a happy home on my bulletin board and when I need an envelope I can easily choose the size and see the information I need to make that particular size.

Finished Product

Tip:  If you look closely you can see where I also used Velcro to attach my scoring tool to The Enveloper, that way I know exactly where it is at all times.




Thanks Tanya T, from the Paperwishes MB,  for such a good organizational tip and an easy way to see exactly what you need.  Who would have known that a 1/2 depth tri-fold envelope measured 4-9/16″ x 4″.  Put the ruler down…. now all you have to do is flip to that envelope and see if that is the size you need.

Thanks for stopping by and remember you can click on the picture to get a larger view.  Be sure and leave me a comment.  I love hearing from you.

May 1, 2009 - Tips, Tutorials    4 Comments

Skittles – Candy or Emblishments???

What are skittles? 

If you asked my daughters they are candy!  However, in the crafting world they are an embellishment that is rounded on top and flat on bottom.  Skittles are small acrylic discs.  They are actually labeled as “Decorative Accents” and are intended for use in floral arrangements, and home decor projects. They are usually found in the floral department of your local craft store.  You can also find them on-line often referred to as “Dew Drops”.  My understanding is Dew Drops are usually smaller than the Decorative Accents.

I sat down some time back and made “Homemade” skittles for the first time and at the same time taught my 80 year old Mother how to do it.  She actually got the technique down before I did.

The following is a tutorial on how to make your own using hot glue (or low temperature hot glue).  Items you need:

1. A non-stick surface (aluminum foil, wax paper, butcher paper, or even a cookie sheet sprayed with Pam and then wiped off, etc.).  I used my silpat and it worked perfectly.

2. A hot glue gun (go ahead dig them out of your closets or drawers where they have been hiding for years).

3. Glue sticks (any kind, including colored or glitter).

4. A type of coloring agent (Alcohol Inks, Perfect Pearls, nail polish, etc.).  You can even put glitter on them while they are still hot and it will stick.

5.  Plastic bags one for each color. 

In this tutorial I used alcohol inks, but you can use “Perfect Pearls”, or nail polish, or even marks-a-lots.  The items you can use to color these skittles are endless and only limited by your imagination.  You can color them all over or just put the color on the flat bottom for it to show through.

Tip:  If you freeze your glue sticks first you will have less strings to wrap.

1.  I used the low temperature mode on my glue gun.

 2.  The technique has as much to do with trigger pressure, when you release the trigger, and how to wind the glue string around the base of the skittle to prevent “nipples” as it does with how big you make them.  Think smaller than you think it should be, slow wrapping and even pressure.

 3.  I found it easier to make the skittles if I stood up over the mat.

 4.  Hold the nozzle about a 1/4″ away from the mat and squeeze the trigger with steady pressure holding it in one spot.

5.  When the skittle gets to a little less than the size you are looking for start winding the glue around the base of the skittle as you release the trigger on the glue gun. 

6.  This will cause the strings of glue to melt into the skittle.

Note: The hot glue expands a little bit as you are wrapping the strings around the base. That is why you want to stop just a little before the skittle gets to the size you are trying to make.

The more you make the better you get.  It’s like piano or driving a car with a stick shift…..keep practicing.

The next thing I did was take a nail buffer and sanded some of the skittles after they dried.  When you color them with alcohol ink the sanded skittles will take on a frosted look.  So you can have translucent skittles and frosted skittles.

As you can see the skittles on the left are more translucent; the ones one the right are frosted.

I used plastic bags (one for each color) and made sure all the skittles were down in a corner of the bag.  I dropped 3-4 drops (or more if you want a saturated color) of alcohol ink on top of them and then twist the bag.  I then just rub the alcohol ink over the skittles until they looked like they were the color I wanted them.






Spread them out on paper (I used wax-paper) and let them dry.  You can make various sizes and colors.  I store them in baby food containers (the rectangular ones).  These containers fit perfectly in the Jetmax Cube drawers that have the slots.

Finally, I decided to free hand a dragon fly, this is called “Spun Glass”.  The picture below is my second dragon fly. 


1. Build a base of what you are creating, then go back and add more to it.  It gives you great dimension and an opportunity to correct an uneven base.
2. Before you color it you can take scissors and clean up any burrs or mis-shapened items you want to take off.
3. If you want light coloring; color the top only.  For more depth color both underneath and top.
4. You can put a picture of what you want to create under the mat and use it as a pattern.    Just make sure the lines of the image are dark enough to see through the mat.

Thanks for looking at the tutorial and remember you can just click on the picture to see a larger version.  Be sure and leave me a comment, I love hearing from you!

Apr 27, 2009 - Tips    No Comments

Tips – Saving & Recycle

Here are a couple of ways that I save and recycle at the same time.

Tip #1

The plastic containers and wrap  from around various items that you buy can be recycled and used for acetate.


Cut it a part and then cut out the flat center part of the packaging.  This is what I used to cut out the acetate bubbles on my “May Your Day Bubble Over” post (



Tip #2:

Use the cardboard boxes that cereal, cookies and frozen dinners come in as chipboard.  You can alter this chipboard the same as the kind you buy at the craft store.  I’m thinking why pay for chipboard twice?


You’ll be surprised how much acetate and chipboard you can collect when you cut it down and recycle it.