Archive for October, 2010
No black eyes necessary!
Punches are small devices that quickly cut shapes from paper. Punches are a great investment, as you can reuse them as long as they last. With care, they should last years.
Here are some of our Spark a Smile favorites. Upper left: Fiskars brand Squeeze punch. Upper right and lower right: EK Success brand. Lower right: Martha Stewart Crafts brand.
Here’s a quick demonstration of how to use the Martha Stewarts Crafts style punch. Place your paper in between the slot, squeeze, and your punch falls out! I didn’t demonstrate this here, but I usually flip the punch upside down so I can see what I’m punching out.
The Fiskars brand punches are a bit different. Instead of pushing a button, you squeeze the handles together to cut the shape. The benefit is that you can easily see exactly what you’re punching.
You’re welcome to try any of these punches at our next Spark a Smile party: Wednesday, November 10th, from 5-7 PM at Yang and Horsley Dentistry.
There are many different ways to stick paper and embellishments to your cards.
At Spark a Smile, we most often use tape runners (far left – works like a White-Out runner, good for paper and light embellishments like buttons, ribbons, or rhinestones) and glue sticks (far right – good for paper).
But if you’re crafting on your own, you can use liquid glue (center – good for paper and embellishments, but takes time to dry), Glue Dots (not pictured – single sticky dots, mostly for heavier embellishments), or double-sided tape.
If you’re more comfortable with a different style of adhesive, please share your thoughts in the comments!
There are several different ways to store your scraps, but this is my method.
I make cards away from home quite often, so I needed a space-saving way to store my scraps. Big sheets of paper (12×12 or 8.5×11) sheets get stored at home in hanging vertical file folders. This is my travel kit of scraps. I cut page protectors in half, and designated one for each color family (Red, Orange, Yellow, Blue, Green, Purple, Browns, Black/White) and I store them in a Rubbermaid box that I found at Walmart for $1.88! Teeny pieces go into snack-sized zip top bags in each page protector.
How do you store your scraps? Please share your method in the comments!
Today we’re proud to feature a local non-profit organization called the Casa Grande Alliance. Their office is located right next door to ours! We were honored when they invited us to share Spark a Smile with local community leaders, and thanks to their interest, we were able to share SAS with many more people. Thank you, CGA!
Here’s a bit more information about the CG Alliance, in an interview with their director, Mrs. Cindy Schaider.
What’s the CG Alliance all about?
How long has the Alliance been in Casa Grande?
Wow! That’s a great legacy you’ve created. What types of people do you interact with most (kids, teens, parents)?
Tell us about some of the Alliance’s most significant accomplishments.
What an amazing thing you’ve done for our community. Is there any way Spark a Smile can help the Alliance keep up their great efforts?
You can find the Alliance online at: www.casagrandealliance.org
Thank you so much for your time, Mrs. Schaider, and for all the great things that the CGA is doing to improve our community!
We celebrated Spark a Smile’s first birthday with a card-making party on October 13, 2010. Here are a few highlights!
Miss Marlene made yummy carrot cake cupcakes with cute cupcake toppers (personalized a bit, but original design courtesy of the fun Write.Click.Scrapbook blog).
Miss Marlene also brought these adorable mini water bottles!! So tiny and cute.
Hope you’ll join us for all the fun either next Tuesday, October 19th from 5-7 PM (we’ll be creating matchbook mints for the American Cancer Society!), or Wednesday, November 10th, from 5-7 PM.
Here are three design tips that will help you create eye-catching cards!
1. Common Margins
Margins are the space in between different items on your card. In the following example, see how there’s the same amount of space between each of the pieces of green and blue paper? That little boundary space helps tie everything together, even though the pieces aren’t touching.
Your brain naturally likes to find patterns, so using repeating elements can help create a visual balance. What can you repeat? Anything! Use blue in one area? Use it again in another. Use one heart? Use three or four more!
Remember that game called “Opposites”? The key to creating contrast is to use opposites. Pair big things with small things. Pair dark things with light things. Use a black marker on a pastel background to make the greeting stand out as much as possible.
Any questions? Post them in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer!
(These very basic design tips are based on information learned in Cathy Zielske’s Design Your Life class at Big Picture Classes, and Before and After’s How to Design Cool Stuff.)
I LOVE to read blogs for a bit of free inspiration. Here’s a small part of my regular blog-reading list to inspire you!
Mrs. McGuire really inspired the creation of Spark a Smile with her nationwide card drive called Cards for Kids
This is a stamp/paper/ribbon/button manufacturing company that always has really cute card demonstrations
A Print a Day (APAD)
Cute daily freebies that you can print and use for cards or other paper projects
The Cuttlebug Spot
Advanced information on Spark a Smile’s most “high-tech” gadget
The following ladies are primarily scrapbookers, but all are quite inspiring with both their design styles and philosophies on living a smile-filled life!
What reminds you most of Birthdays?
Cards? Cupcakes? Party Hats? Parents (creators of Birthdays)? Presents? Or maybe… parties?
Join us tonight for Spark a Smile’s first birthday party! 5-7 PM, at Yang and Horsley Dentistry on 325 E. Cottonwood Lane. We’ll have cards and cupcakes! Come celebrate with us!
Over the last year, we’ve recycled many items. Here are just some of the jewels that came from “junk”!
Marlene made several cards from ONE pink floral recycled card donated by Miss Verna H.
I used the Cuttlebug machine to cut the orange flower on this card from a piece of junk mail.
You know those fancy envelopes that have silver or gold foil lining inside of the flap? Marlene cut these letters by hand from the metallic pieces!
These apples are scraps of contact paper from when my mom relined her cabinet shelves. Yeah, you can pretty much use anything to make a card!
Vivian K LOVES to use scraps. She finds it challenging to create something from an item someone’s tossed away. She made this flower from trashed circle shapes.
This silk flower was on its way to the dumpster when I saved it, and Vivian K put it to good use! Much prettier here than in a landfill somewhere!
And finally, here are the snack-sized cards we made for the Seeds of Hope hot lunch program in August. With a little ingenuity and tricky trimming, we made 49 happy little cards!
(Disclaimer: If you ever become interested in making the transition from card-making to scrapbooking or paper crafts that need to last years down the road, I would recommend you research (google, wikipedia) the importance of “acid-free” items. While using random items is great for card-making, the longevity of scrapbooks can be compromised.)