Tuesday, July 31

I'm Going to be Published! AGAIN!!!

It's official! Another one of my cards is going to be published, this time in Paper Crafts magazine! The card is the "Gift" Card from my "Birthday Bubbles" series. Look for it at the end of the year in the upcoming Card Creations special issue of Paper Crafts magazine!

Yay!!! This is so exciting! I love Paper Crafts magazines. Every time I flip through one of their issues I find at least half a dozen cards that inspire me in some way. That is what makes this an extra special honor!

Once again, I have to remove the card from my online portfolio. However, I will post it here in December a couple of weeks before the issue goes on sale. Now I really can't wait until December!

Saturday, July 28

Creating Keepsakes Scrapbook Convention

My sister and I went to Creating Keepsakes Scrapbook Convention in Valley Forge, PA. It was a scrapper's heaven! We got there later in the day, but somehow I still managed to purchase a lot of cool products! Thought I'd share some with you...

I was actually somewhat restrained in my purchases, until I got to this huge display of Heidi Grace products. (Da dat da da... CHARGE!!!)

Let's see, I think I got almost all of Heidi's Maple Crest Court line... I love the corals and evergreens and the muted teals combined with the cream and tan. There are some really beautiful papers and cardstock with flocked, embossed or glittered elements. Not to mention some plastic embellishments, chipboard, and printed or flocked flowers.

And I also didn't miss much of her Cherrywood Lane collection... This line is full of varied shades of pink -- blush and raspberry and mauve -- combined with rich chocolate browns and cool silver. Again, a lot of really pretty paper with flocking, embossing or glitter. I also got the flocked and printed flowers as well as some chipboard, stickers, and rub-ons.

I also got a bunch of BasicGrey paper and ribbon. I love their stuff! And I have a hard time finding their ribbon, paper collection packs of and paper pads at my local craft stores. (Yup! That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it!)

I rounded out my purchases with a few alterable items, some really cute stickers, and a bunch of double-sided paper. I can see a lot of shirt-making in my future...

Well, that's all folks. At least until the next big scrapbook event...

I would like to thank Creating Keepsakes for organizing this wonderful convention. And all of the vendors for putting together such lovely displays that just draw you in to their retail web. And even The Skinny Cow for providing free, low fat ice cream sustenance right in the middle of the convention, thus enabling me to speed-shop my way through the second half of the show! Last, and certainly not least, so many thanks to my dear husband. For none of this would have been possible without his generous support...

Thursday, July 26

Paper Crafts Magazine's Home Page

Click to enlarge

I just saw that I'm on Paper Crafts home page! Well, ok, not me personally, but the Hawaiian Shirts that I made for Janice's Senior Services Meals on Wheels fund raiser (see earlier post).

Ok, so it's kinda small, but it's there! No! On the right! Look down a little! Advertising their user gallery...

Wednesday, July 25

Painter's Palette Card

Since I didn't do any paper crafting today, (although I did customize my blog header...) I thought I would share an older card with you, dear reader.

This is my version of a card which appeared in the April/May 2007 issue of Paper Crafts magazine. I used PC's painter's palette pattern, but modified the design. It was perfect for my artist friend Shirley Lu, who had an exhibition at a NYC gallery in June. Congrats again, Shirley!

The outside of the card was actually very easy to make, once I had Paper Crafts' pattern. I simply used my 1¼" punch to make the "paint" circles from patterned paper, which I attached to the "palette" with foam tape for added dimension.

Tip #1: To get the sentiment on the circle, I first printed the text on a larger piece of paper. Then I attached a smaller piece of yellow patterned paper over the printed text with repositionable adhesive, and printed it again.

Tip #2: To give the patterned paper more structure, I glued 2" squares of patterned paper to a piece of thin cardboard. (Bonus Tip! Used cereal boxes are the perfect weight and the perfect price!) I then punched out the circles with my punch upside-down so that I could accurately position the punch over the paper.

The interior of the card I designed entirely in Photoshop CS2. I used Photoshop's Custom Shape Tool to create the sun, and then added an Inner Glow layer style to give it some texture and depth. Complete Mr. Picasso's quote, add a sentiment and VoilĂ ! Finished design!

To achieve the full bleed (printing right to the edge of the paper), I again printed my design (which is larger than what appears on the card) on a full sheet of paper, with crop marks where the cardstock should end. I then attached my cardstock to to the larger paper with repositionable tape. I printed my design again, and only the part of the design that I wanted ended up on the cardstock, the remainder printed on the larger paper.

Then it was simply a matter of gluing the completed palette to the front of the card. Yay! Another completed card!

Thanks for looking...

Tuesday, July 24

Hawaiian Shirts for a Great Cause!

When Janice asked for my Hawaiian Shirt template, she mentioned that she wanted it for a fund raiser for her retirement community's Senior Services Meals on Wheels program. I thought that this was such a wonderful use for the little shirts, and I decided to make some to send to her. Please join me in sending your own version of my Hawaiian Shirt to Janice for her retirement community's fund raiser. Here is some event info that she sent me at my request:
The Fundraiser is for our Senior Services Meals on Wheels program. Arbor Acres for the past 4 years has been hosting an event on campus in conjunction with Senior Services Community wide "Edible Evenings" Campaign. Our event's all have CAR in them since the symbol for Meals on Wheels is a paper car it looks like a volkswagon bug! So we've had such events as a CAR-be-Que, a CARnival and this year is the CARibbean Cruise.

All our events are FUNdraisers!!!! Stressing the word FUN! Last years Carnival was a huge success in the FUN department and thus as a FUNd
raiser we were able to present our local Senior Services office with $17,000!!

This year we hope to raise even more. This is a resident run event with staff support. The committees and sub committees have been very busy planning and getting things ready. ...
I'm coming up with decorations and signage and articles in our newsletter monthly to get everyone excited about the event as well as the craft classes.
Janice is going to use the shirts to remind residents of special events, and plans on putting them on all the tables in the dining room (that's 65 shirts!). I'm going to send her a few shirts to help her get started (see photo above). If any of you are interested in joining me, here is the necessary info...

You can find the Hawaiian Shirt template on my blog here. Janice would need the shirts by August 27th. This would give her enough time to print the info on stickers and affix to the inside of the shirts. Please keep all shirts blank inside and Hawaiian/Caribbean themed. Also, please put your first name as well as your city and state on the back of the shirt, so that Arbor Acres' residents will know where they came from!

Here's her contact info:

Janice Lutz-Vanhoy, LRT/CTRS
Director Recreation Services
Arbor Acres United Methodist Retirement Community
1240 Arbor Road
Winston-Salem, NC 27104

Thanks in advance to all who participate! If even a fraction of the recipients of my template sends just ONE shirt, she'll have every table covered in no time!


I just found out that my "Charmed Birthday" cards and favors are going to be published in Paper Trends' Dec/Jan 2008 issue! Woo Hoo!!! I'm soooo excited!!! My first publication!

I have to remove the project from my online portfolio gallery until March 1st, 2008. So sorry, I can't post a photo. But look for it on newsstands in December. I can't believe that I get to say that!


I've gotten a bunch of questions regarding my Hawaiian Shirts as well as some of my other creations in my portfolio. I will try to answer them here...
Q: Where do you get your inspiration?

A: Everywhere! I buy/subscribe to a lot of craft magazines like Paper Crafts Magazine, Cards, Paper Trends, Stamper's Sampler as well as Making Memories' line of books. Fellow crafters are a great source of inspiration. I love Paper Crafts' and SplitCoastStampers' galleries! And I will often browse card stores to get ideas (look at the gift wrap section as well as the card section!). However, I also look at product packaging, catalogs (Pottery Barn!), websites, advertising, billboards, clothing, store displays, even architecture. And nature! There are tons of great color schemes in nature!

Q: Are the projects in your portfolio your own design?

A: Everything in my portfolio is of my own design, unless otherwise stated. I always try to give credit if I use/modify someone else's template or pattern. I often incorporate store-bought elements, which of course, are not mine. The Hawaiian Shirt and Tuxedo cards I designed from scratch (with the exception of the mini roses on the tux).

Q: Do I have to enlarge the Hawaiian Shirt template or use it as is? How about if I am printing on 8.5" x 11" paper?

A: Print the template at 100% to get a finished size of 5" x 4-3/8". This is the perfect size to hold a business card or gift card. This is also true for letter size paper.

Q: Where do you get the paper for your Hawaiian Shirts?

A: I live in New Jersey and am fortunate enough to have a number of craft stores (Michaels, AC Moore and Jo-Ann Fabric & Crafts) within driving distance. I got a lot of the paper for the shirts from Michaels and Jo-Ann's, as well as my LSS (Local Scrapbook Store).

(If you are inquiring about a specific paper, email me and I will send you the info.)

Q: Where do you get the flowers for your Hawaiian Shirts?

A: The flowers are from Prima's Sweet N Sassy Floral Embellishments line. They come in little clear plastic jars (like vitamin bottles). I got them from my LSS. I have not seen them in either my local AC Moore, Michaels or Jo-Ann's.

Bonus Tip! If you can't find any paper flowers that are small enough for the shirts, try the silk flower section of your local craft store. Just look for any plant that has tiny flat flowers and simply take them apart by carefully pulling them off of their plastic stems. With some flowers, you may have to cut off the plastic stem from the back of the flower.

Q: Can I use your Hawaiian Shirt Template in my card making class?

A: As long as you are not selling the cards themselves, and it is a general technique class (in other words, it is not a class designed entirely around my Hawaiian Shirt template), or if you are not charging for the class, go ahead! Just please give me credit for the design.

Q: Can I sell the Hawaiian Shirt cards? How about for charity?

A: Please do not sell the cards that you make from my Hawaiian Shirt template (or any of my templates or patterns that I post on my blog). That is a copyright infringement. (See here for more info on U.S. copyright laws.) You may sell the cards if it is for not-for-profit only, and all proceeds go to the charity (i.e. you do not get a commission). Again, please give me credit for the design.

If you found one of my templates or patterns in a publication, please check the Publishers' Copyright Info (usually found near the beginning of the magazine) for the appropriate permissions. I know that Paper Trends and CARDS magazines do not allow commercial use of their projects, but Paper Crafts magazine does, with some limitations.

If you have any questions regarding other usage, please contact me.

Q: Can I get a copy of your other templates?

A: Sorry, no. The only template that I am freely distributing at this time is my Hawaiian Shirt template. I have submitted most of my projects to various publications. So hopefully you will be able to obtain my instructions/templates there!

Updated to Add: I have added additional templates and patterns to my blog -- check out the "Downloads :: Patterns" section, as well as the "Tutorials" section in the box to the right. And check back often, as I will continue to add additional tutorials. Also, the template and complete instructions for my Tuxedo Card can be found in the Feb/March 2008 issue of Paper Trends magazine, as well online in their Idea Gallery.

Q: What transparency film do you use to make your cards?

I use two different types of transparency film, both by 3M. If I am going to print on the transparency, I use 3M's Transparency Film for Ink Jet Printers (CG3480). This film has a textured, rough side for printing, that also gives the transparency film a slightly opaque look.

If I am not going to print on the transparency, I use 3M's Write-On Transparency Film (AF4300). This film is crystal clear, and also of a slightly lighter weight. I will sometimes use the Ink Jet transparency film, even if I am not printing on the film, just to take advantage of its heavier weight and/or slight opaqueness. (Yes! That's an actual word!)

Bonus Tip! When printing on transparencies, I flip my text/image to print backwards on the rough side of the film, and then flip the printed transparency so that I am using the smooth side for my card.

Q: How do you obtain such a nice crease on your transparency cards?

First I score the transparency film using a ruler and a bone folder or a stylus. Then I fold the film on the score and crease with the bone folder. Hope this helps!


Q: How do you pronounce your last name?

That's a funny question! But one that I get a lot. It rhymes with "grow." Just put an "S" in front of "grow" (one syllable, not two) and you've got my name! BTW, it is 100% Italian. Not shortened or anything. My husband's father's family is from Calabria, Italy.


Monday, July 23

Hawaiian Shirt Tutorial

I've gotten so many requests for the template and instructions for my Hawaiian Shirts, that I decided to post the tutorial here.

Remember that this template is for personal or not-for-profit use only (no commercial gain) and if you use it, please give me credit as the designer. I'd also love to see what you do with the template -- feel free to email me a photo of your finished creation!

  • Template
  • Patterned Paper
    (small pattern is more effective)
  • 6” x 12” Solid Cardstock (to coordinate with PP)
  • Mini circle brads
  • Adhesive
    (Any adhesive should work to glue the pp & cs together. I’ve used both my tape runner and Xyron successfully. However, I do recommend a very strong paper adhesive like Scotch's Quick Dry Tacky Adhesive for step 4.)
  • Paper piercer or pushpin
  • Computer & printer
  • Ruler
  • Exacto and/or scissors
  • Bone Folder

Step 1:
Download template.

Print template at 100% on wrong sides of solid and patterned paper and cut out pieces on solid lines.

Note: I designed the pattern so that I could get 2 shirts from one 12” x 12” piece of solid cardstock. If your printer cannot accept this size paper, the pattern also fits on 8.5” x 11” paper @100%.

Step 2:
Glue patterned paper to front shirt pieces.

Glue lapels on top.

(Note: align pp with outside edges of shirt; some solid paper should show on inside edge to make shirt placket)

Step 3:

With the wrong side facing you, score back of shirt on dashed lines using a ruler and a bone folder or stylus.

Fold on scored lines.

Step 4:

Flip the shirt over.

Apply glue to the front of the shirt
on outside folded areas only (sleeves & shirt sides).

Glue shirt fronts to shirt back.

I recommend using a very strong adhesive (like Scotch's Quick Dry Tacky Adhesive) for this step.

Step 5:

Poke holes at dots with paper piercer or pushpin and attach brads.

Your shirt is done!
Finished Size 5" x 4.375"

Optional: attach business card-sized sentiment with adhesive dots or gift card with removable adhesive dots

Variation: punch a hole in the shirt to turn it into a cute gift tag!

For additional versions of this shirt, see my portfolio...

Yay! I won my first contest!

Click to enlarge

These little shirts were my entry for Paper Crafts Magazine's online "Get Inspired Challenge" for the month of June. Viewers were challenged to design a project inspired by a favorite summer item. I chose Hawaiian Shirts as my inspiration. I originally chose this size to fit in a 5" square envelope, but it turned out that the shirts were the perfect size to hold a business or gift card! I also chose this size to maximize my paper -- I can get two shirts from one 12" x 12" piece of cardstock.

I was so excited when Kelly from Paper Crafts emailed me to tell me that I was one of three June Gallery Challenge Winners! Woo Hoo! And congrats to the two other talented ladies who also won. Lemme tell you, there was some stiff competition!

What did I win you ask? My Hawaiian Shirts won a place of honor in the Paper Crafts Gallery for the month of July, a free subscription to Paper Crafts Magazine, and these wonderful products...

Doodlebug paper, stickers & ribbon.
The stamps are from Scrapworks.

For additional versions of this shirt, see my portfolio...