10/3/22

World Cardmaking Day: Using Tear Strips

Even though I make all of the cards that our family sends, I don't really consider myself a cardmaker. I don't follow many cardmarking blogs or creators, I don't have many of the tools or equipment most cardmakers use, and I don't have the same passion for making cards that I do for making layouts. Basically, I am a scrapbooker who also happens to make cards. 

Earlier this year I participated in a scrapbook event (I don't remember which it was) with a challenge that seemed really strange to me. I couldn't do the challenge at the time, but decided to put the idea on hold and try it on a card. Last Saturday was World Cardmaking Day, so it was time to tackle it. This is the result:


Can you guess what the challenge was? It basically said, "We all have a bunch of tear strips sitting around, so use them to create a cute element for a layout!" My thought was, "You all have tear strips sitting around?"

In case you aren't familiar with the term, these are tear strips: 


Most high-quality 12" x 12" scrapbook paper is actually 12" x 12.5" when it's sold. The extra half-inch strip is where the manufacturer prints their brand name, the collection name, the paper's name(s), and a bar code. In the early days of modern scrapbooking, they used to be perforated (hence, a tear strip) but now they need to be cut off with a trimmer. 

In the picture above, I've displayed the side of the tear strip that has the most of the patterned paper showing. For example, the first piece is entirely patterned on one side (printed info is on the reverse), but that is not the norm. Most have just a few inches of pattern. Apparently people are hanging onto these and had them on hand for a scrapbook challenge? 

Not me. If I'm using the entire sheet, I cut the collection name/paper name out and glue it into my supply notebook. If I'm not using the whole sheet, I keep the tear strip attached to the paper so that I'll know what the paper is the next time I use it. For example, my Christmas Eve 2020 layout used three patterned papers. I used the entire "Sparkle Flurries" paper from the Cozy Christmas collection by Simple Stories. I didn't use the entire "Charlotte" (Country Boutique collection from Fancy Pants Designs) or all of "Blush/Green" (Spring Farmhouse collection by Simple Stories). 


Anyway, I've been saving tear strips ever since that challenge and was eager to see if I could use them to make a decent card. ("Decent" was my goal. I'm not a cardmaker, so I gotta keep those expectations low!) Arranging the bits and pieces was actually really fun. 


I glued them all down except that white grid piece in the center. I stamped a sentiment on it and then outlined it with a brown pen. I added the punched Rinea leaves (affiliate link) to form an orange visual triangle, then finished the card with a sparkly gem. I'd say the results are... well, decent. 


I ended up making four more cards on Saturday, all inspired by various World Cardmaking Day challenges. I'll share those over the next few days. 

9/30/22

Scarecrow Mason Jar

This Scarecrow Mason Jar is such a fun way to share a fall treat with friends! You can fill it with anything you want, but I designed it with Cinnamon Spice Caramel Apple Popcorn in mind. Affiliate links below. 



Scarecrow Mason Jar


Materials:


Steps: 


Use the pinking shears to cut a circle of fabric approximately 6" in diameter. Glue the lid to the center of the fabric. 

Use regular scissors to cut lengths of yarn for the scarecrow's hair. Then cut a triangle nose from orange craft foam and a pointy hat from brown craft foam. Cut a length of ribbon to make a hat band, then tie another piece of ribbon into a small bow. 


Fill the mason jar with the popcorn or other treat, then add the lid. Screw on the ring tightly. 

Glue lengths of hair to the scarecrow, trimming as necessary. Glue the hat on top. Glue the eyes, nose, and bow into place. Use the Sharpie to draw the scarecrow's mouth. 

9/29/22

Cinnamon Spice Caramel Apple Popcorn with Felt Apple Tag

Tis the season for Pumpkin Spice Everything, but personally I don't get it. Pumpkin is fine, but for me fall is all about apples. Apples are sweet, sometimes tart, crisp, and full of flavor. They are delicious on their own, as juice or cider, mashed up as applesauce, baked with savory dishes (like pork), and excellent in desserts of all sorts. I like squash (though pumpkin is not even one of the best squashes), but there's no comparison. Virtually everyone agrees that Apple > Pumpkin. Spices definitely improve pumpkin, but I firmly believe Apple Spice > Pumpkin Spice. Don't even try to argue. 

If you're tempted to argue, make some cinnamon spice caramel apple popcorn first. Then get back to me and tell me that pumpkin spice is better than apple spice. Affiliate links below. 



Cinnamon Spice Caramel Apple Popcorn

  
Ingredients:                                                           


Steps: 


There is no right or wrong when making your own flavored popcorns. It's not like baking a cake where chemical reactions mean that quantities matter. You can add more or less of any ingredient. I was hesitant to even put quantities above, as I didn't measure when I was making mine. Those are my best guesses. 

Start by crushing some crisp dried apples until about half of the apples are powder and the rest is pea-sized bits. Stir in some brown sugar and cinnamon, then add a dash of nutmeg. Mix thoroughly. 


Pop and generously butter approximately 10 cups of popcorn. Immediately pour the apple mixture over the popcorn and stir well. Some of the apple mixture will remain at the bottom of the bowl instead of stuck to the popcorn, but that's not a problem. 

Follow the directions to melt the Salted Caramel Candy Melts. Drizzle half of the melted candy over the popcorn and immediately stir well. Repeat with the remaining candy. Most of the apple mixture should now be stuck to the popcorn. 


If you eat the popcorn immediately, the tiny apple bits are still crispy. If you let the popcorn sit for a while, or bag it up, the apple bits will soften, but remain equally delicious. 

I made a cute felt apple tag to label my bagged popcorn. It's a quick and easy project. 

-------


Felt Apple Tag


Materials: 



Steps: 

Cut out an apple from the red felt, using pinking sheers. Cut the leaves and stem from green felt with regular scissors. Apply green Stickles to the leaves and set them aside to dry. 

Use two strands of black embroidery floss to backstitch a smile and two eyebrows.

Cut a piece of red cardstock that is slightly smaller than the felt apple. Glue it to the back of the apple, covering the knots from your stitching. Write a message to your recipient. 

Glue the googly eyes and the leaves to the front of the apple. 

9/28/22

Ellia at 12

Yesterday, I shared my Andrei at 15 layout; today it's time for their sister's 2021 birthday page. Here is Ellia at 12. 

Ellia at 12 (affiliate link)

As with Andrei, Ellia's mom picked the adjectives for this layout. As little time as I've spent with Andrei recently, I've spent even less with Ellia. Thank goodness for social media where I can keep up with their lives (and ever-changing hair colors!). Speaking of which, I had a lot of fun pulling colors for this layout. Between her shirt and hair, there were lots of possibilities. I'm happy with how this page turned out. I look forward to making both kids' 2022 layouts as soon as they do their photo shoots. 

9/27/22

Andrei at 15

In 2020, my godchild announced that their name and pronouns had changed. I put the new name on their annual birthday layout, but posted a censored version on my blog at their request. They've asked me to update that with the full layout revealed, which you can now see. 

This is Andrei's birthday layout for 2021. They haven't done their photo shoot for 2022, so at least they'll have the 2021 page before that one. 
 
Andrei at 15 (affiliate link)

I used to see Andrei on a near-daily basis, but the combination of the pandemic and our lives and activities going in different directions means that I don't know Andrei the way I used to. I had her mom, Courteney, pick the adjectives to go on the layout this year. I hope to spend more time with Andrei in the future. But in the meantime, spending time with their picture working on this layout was a pleasure. I hope they like it.