Crafty Buys & Supplies #1 | Simon Says Stamp

To be honest, I didn’t really use YouTube for anything in my personal life until card making became a hobby. When I started binging through crafty videos, a type of video I’ve gotten into are “hauls”. I don’t know how the term came about but essentially it’s a view of the items bought during some shopping trip or maybe a buying streak online or in person.

I primarily love watching crafty hauls because it helps inspire me or helps me get a “real life” look at a product or brand that isn’t the curated or photo-shopped persona that the online marketing world portrays to the public.

I’ve mentioned in a previous post some of the blog post ideas I’m going to try in 2017 and one of the ideas was to do blog posts on my crafty purchases.

So this is my first post and I think the future heading I’ll use for these types of posts will be “Crafty Buys and Supplies”. For this first blog post, I’ve purchased the following goodies from Simon Says Stamp. The Simon Says Stamp brand items from this post are from a specific release called Hey Love. Simon Says Stamp carries almost all of the Lawn Fawn goodies but if you wanted to visit Lawn Fawn’s specific site, just click here. Quick info, as of now, Simon Says Stamp doesn’t offer free or reduced shipping. Check in from time to time for specials, sales, discounts, and sometimes they have $5 off coupon codes mailed with your order OR listed on-line! I’ve purchased these items with my own money and I wasn’t asked to feature these items, I’ve just purchased from these brands before and loved them 🙂

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Lawn Fawn Lawn Fawndamentals in Jet Black

I’m adding this new ink to my collection because it’s designed to work with alcohol based markers (no smudging!) and is supposed to be waterproof. I have a few black ink pads from different brands that state they have the above properties but I’m trying to figure out which one is my go-to ink.

 

Lawn Fawn Octopi My Heart Stamp and Coordinating Die

This is one of the Valentine’s Day releases from Lawn Fawn. Lawn Fawn holds a special place in my heart because it was the first brand I’ve stamped with and is currently the brand in my craft stash that I have the most products in. I think Lawn Fawn is one of those brands that can help you stretch your supplies because a lot of their sets complement one another so I think I can use this with other releases that have an underwater theme to them. I’m a sucker for puns and cute, whimsical images. Ideas for this are watercolor techniques, emboss resist and then watercoloring or ink blending, and of course making love cards.

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Hero Arts Cocktail Party Stamp & Cut

I’m slowly starting to build up my Hero Arts collection and what made me purchase this card was the theme. It’s a stamp set that can be used for more “adult” cards such as celebrating with drinks or invitations for happy hour get togethers. I don’t have a stamp set like this in my collection, so I thought it could be versatile when I felt like adding some “fizz” to my projects. I’m actually thinking after 2017 gets into full swing, I may want to create mini invitations to do a get together with friends out somewhere, or to create a set for a great friend who is known as a fun hostess.

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Simon Says Stamp Laura’s Love Set

This was on the pricier side because the set comes with three components. The first is the beautiful cling background stamp that speaks for itself. The second component is the stamp set titled All My Love which was created by Laura Bassen, one of my favorite crafters. Finally, the third component is a coordinating die for one of the love stamps. Interesting, there are two stamp images of the word “Love” but only one coordinating die. This set perfect for Valentine’s Day cards but I primarily purchased this for year-round occasions! There are plenty of “builder” sentiments you can coordinate to give an extra special message to your recipient.

Simon Says Stamp Kristina’s Love Set

In the same vein as the previous product, this set was slightly less expensive and comes with two components. The first is the stamp set Love which was designed by another favorite crafter of mine, Kristina Werner. Like the All My Love set, it has many wonderful sentiments that can be coordinated with one another and you have two different love stamp images in script font to use as well. The second component is coordinating die for both of the love stamp images.

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I can’t wait to play and share the projects I’ve made with these new and old supplies. I’d love to make a couple love cards for my husband to give in January and in February just because. We are going through some big planning and changes on the homefront and he has taken all of it in stride.

Simon Says Stamp just released a new “Work It Wednesday” challenge and I’d love to start participating more in the cardmaking community. I’ll share the card that I’ve decided to create for the challenge after I get around to it. Click here if you’re interested in looking at the challenge!

Any fun buys you’ve gotten recently? Entered any fun challenges lately? Until next time, crafty friends!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Coffee Card | Altenew Stamps

I made this card back in October on a dreary rainy day. I was actually craving a coffee drink (surprisingly, since I don’t drink coffee on the regular) and I was really missing one of my great friends, Alexa.

Alexa is one of my favorite friends. She is funny, kind, and one of the most selfless people I know. She graduated from nursing school with me and now she is abroad involved in one of the Peace Corp programs for the next year and a half. What I’ve appreciated about my friendship with Alexa is how she has always supported any of my goals or dreams without an ounce of criticism. We got together every few weeks or couple of months and she would always introduce me to local coffee shops or fun restaurants. The day I made this card I really missed her and missed the yummy coffee drinks and pastries we would buy as we gabbed about life.

For this card I used the Altenew Coffee Love stamp set. It was also fitting to use the Altenew mini ink cubes that resembled coffee drink “hues”. I wanted to tone down the stark white cardstock hue, so I did some ink blending with the Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Vintage Photo. Finally, I used some generic red cardstock and used the Lawn Fawn Stitched Scalloped Border die to add some interest to the edges.

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I haven’t sent this card to Alexa yet because 1) I forgot to be honest 2) I’m not sure how reliable international mailing is.

After I made this card, I did Facebook message Alexa to tell her I’ve missed her and filled her in some life tidbits, though, so the effort wasn’t totally wasted.

What kind of coffee drinks do you like to indulge in? I love a good iced mocha or a piping hot chocolate.

Supplies Used

  • Altenew Coffee Love stamp set
  • Altenew mini ink cubes in: Coffee Break, Espresso, Mocha, Rocky Shore, Sand Dunes
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Vintage Photo
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink Mini Ink Blending Tool
  • Lawn Fawn Stitched Scalloped Border Die
  • Scor-pal double sided adhesive tape
  • 3M Foam Tape
  • Red Cardstock (from a generic pack from Michael’s)

Messy Watercolor Thank You Cards | Honey Bee Stamps

My favorite cards to make are thank you cards. Practicing daily gratitude is something I strive to do but like most people, I can easily stray from this practice because of a hectic, stressful or unexpected event or week. However, I’ve had a couple really great days this week and then work was pretty rough. In the midst of the crappy work days I’ve experienced, I had to remind myself that I’ve had some pretty amazing days off and extraordinary people in my corner. To practice gratitude this week, I wanted to make a couple thank you cards!

For this post, I wanted to share a couple thank you cards that I’ve made with wonderful Honey Bee Stamps products and some messy watercoloring.

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I wanted to play with my Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush markers for this project, with a “messy watercolor” look in mind. Like many others, I get the best results when using Strathmore Bristol Smooth cardstock in combination with the stamped images and the Zig markers. Doing messy watercolor is a work in progress for me. I’m such a control freak in “real life” that imagining myself doing it in cardmaking is a little bit of a foreign concept to work around. I see tons of cardmakers that I follow have great luck with messy watercoloring and I’m comforted hearing them say that this technique is more forgiving in projects, haha.

I used a combination of the following Honeybee Stamp sets of Thanks & Giving, Country Blooms, and Country Wreath to create this card front. Since I’d be working with the water-based markers and a waterbrush, I needed to make sure that the ink I’d use to stamp would be water-proof. I stamped all these images in Hero Arts Intense Black ink, using my MISTI to help get the bold and clean impressions.

After stamping, I went to town on this card using a variety of colors from the marker set (there are a total of 80 colors as of today). I worked in sections because I found that if I waited too long to use my water brush, the marker ink would dry and it would become a little harder to add water and move the color around (in my experience).

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There are sections that were messier than others and there were times I thought, “Did I go too far?”. I liked that despite having two identical stamped card fronts, I’m glad I experimented with the colors and the varying degrees of “messiness”. I am okay that they aren’t perfect because I think the stamped images and the bold black ink are the main attention grabbing components of these cards. I mounted them to card bases with double sided adhesive tape and wrote a quick note on the inside of the cards!

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One of these cards will be going to a co-worker who is helping me out tremendously for a shift swap and the other card is going to a professional contact who took time out of her day to help me out with a professional interest.

What are your favorite cards to make? Do you like to do messy water coloring?

Supplies Used:

  • Honey Bee Stamps stamp sets: Thanks & Giving, Country Blooms, and Country Wreath
  • Hero Arts Intense Black Inkpad
  • Pentel Aquabrush
  • Scor-pal Double Sided Adhesive tape
  • Absorber shammy
  • Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush Markers in the following:

063 Ochre, 031 Cobalt Blue, 040 Green, 022 Carmine Red, 083 Lilac, 020 Red, 202 Peach Pink, 027 Dark Pink, 047 May Green, 062 Dark Brown, 066 Dark Oatmeal, 024 Wine Red, 037 Cornflower Blue, and 080 Violet

  • Strathmore Bristol Smooth cardstock

 

YOU… Encouragement Card | Honey Bee Stamps

I had a lot of fun and love go into this card for a dear coworker/friend who needs some major encouragement right now. This was also the first time I got to play with some wonderful Honey Bee Stamps stamp sets. I’ve purchased two sets off of Simon Says Stamp and then I stumbled upon an announcement from Honey Bee Stamps on Instagram of some discounted, ‘Factory Second’ products. I joined a Facebook group and found lots of sets I’ve had my eyes on and was meaning to buy being offered at about 50% off! From the owner, Melissa, she explained ‘Factory Second” products as having minor imperfections where she didn’t want to sell these at full price. The only imperfections found on my stamp sets were that the plastic backing that has the inked impressions weren’t printed dark enough or aligned with the stamp. However, the quality of the stamp sets were high quality so I totally felt that the several sets I bought were definitely a steal!

I wanted to make a card to remind my sweet co-worker how special she is to the world. I used different elements from SEVERAL stamp sets to be able to create this card. I used some fun Simon Says Stamp and Hero Arts ink colors to make the words colorful. Since I was going to color with alcohol-based markers, the Nuvo markers, I wanted to stamp in Memento Tuxedo Black ink, which wouldn’t smear with these markers. I didn’t feel like coloring in the lines of the stamped images, so I tried a messy technique to give it more of a whimsical feeling. I liked how it turned out!

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You want to know what else was perfect? I was filled with so much happiness and gratitude for this coworker’s friendship after finishing this card. It was a very chilly day but sunny and the darn ice that plagued us for a couple days (Portland’s dubbed Snowpocalypse!) was finally melting.

Have you given someone down in his/her luck some encouragement lately? I think creating a card to remind someone how special they are helps lift your spirits too.

Supplies Used:

  • Honey Bee Stamps stamp sets in: Thanks & Giving, Smile, Country Wreath, Prayers, Kindness, and Country Blooms
  • Simon Says Stamp ink in: Dark Chocolate, Twirling Tutu, Hollyhock, and Teeny Bikini
  • Hero Arts ink in Strawberry
  • Memento Tuxedo Black ink
  • Tonic Studios Nuvo Markers
  • Shammy Absorber (“Mini” from Amazon)
  • Glossy Accents
  • Neenah Solar White cardstock in 80lb.

2017 Planner for Paper Tokens

As mentioned in my previous post, I have made a goal for me to start using a planner for Paper Tokens so I can keep myself more organized and accountable for being consistent in my crafting and blogging.

For 2017, I settled on a spiral bound, horizontal layout from Michael’s.  For those that are familiar with the PNW in the winter time (although I’m sure this would be applicable to other states too), the natural lighting is limited during the day, making it hard to give a lot of my projects the “picture justice” they deserve (though I’m working on timing when trying to take pics, techniques, location in the house, etc). So click here if you would like to see my new planner off the Michael’s website and learn the specs of it.

It’s a 9″ by 11.5″ planner that is spiral bound and in a horizontal layout. This planner offers a large monthly view and lined daily view.  I specifically chose this large of a planner because of the space it offered. Since I’ll be using this planner to organize projects, posts, ideas and inspiration, I thought I could benefit from the amount of space I’m able to write in. Plus, I have big handwriting so this was another factor. Depending on where you live, this planner’s retail price is $29.99 but if you’re familiar with Michael’s, they often have huge discount coupons you can use (like 40-50% off coupons!).

Some of my ideas for utilizing this planner:

  • Monthly and weekly goals for crafting and blogging
  • Important due dates and deadlines (if I entered a challenge, a contest, design team call application, etc)
  • Mapping out the types of projects I want to tackle within the month
  • Keeping track of numbers (blog posts and numbers from my blog and Instagram)
  • Dates of new releases, sales, blog hops, special promos, etc.
  • Reflections
  • Supply lists
  • Writing down inspiration
  • Writing down dates of webinars, blog posts of others, online classes related to this hobby

What about you? Have you tried using a planner? Any tricks or tips for this?

After I’ve planned and written in it consistently, I will have to do a post for an update!

 

Card Confessionals | 2017 will be more Crafty!

Hello!

Currently in my part of the PNW, outside temperature is in the very low 30s and snow/ice are covering most of the roadways. I’ve lucked out and I don’t have to commute to work today (my work education class got canceled!) and my next shift is Saturday.

I get to enjoy the day doing whatever the heck I want… so I’m writing this post and will probably work on my next craft project or blog post for the rest of the afternoon… bliss. This is my first of many that will be lumped into “Card Confessionals” (more on that below). I have to warn you, this may be a longer post so I apologize in advance!

This winter season has been a WHIRLWIND so far and I cannot believe how 2017 is almost upon us. I know that changes and resolutions can happen anytime in the year, but call me old-fashioned, but January or even September (due to the numerous years I’ve been in school for a majority of my life so far) symbolize fresh starts, new beginnings, clean slates, etc. Yes, I fall into this camp and I love spending time reflecting, planning, and initiating new changes during these times.

 

For Paper Tokens, I have spent spurts of time in the past few weeks to scribble down new ideas, goals, and hopes for my blog and crafting endeavors for 2017 which I wanted to share with you.

For those of you who don’t know, I started papercrafting within this past year, including having a crafting Instagram and blog. In just the past several months, I have spent tons of money buying all these fun products and supplies(the struggle is real). I have gotten hooked on crafting. It’s been a stress reliever from my daily nursing grind, challenging different parts of my brain and personality, and so fun participating and interacting with others in the crafting community.

I’ll be honest… I didn’t want to put a lot of pressure on myself because I had this gut feeling if I treated all of this as a big looming obligation instead of a hobby, I’d lose interest. All I knew was that I wanted to create, craft, share, be inspired by other crafters, support crafting businesses and brands, and learn from others. Very broad and generalized goals for myself and Paper Tokens.

In terms of blogging and Instagram, I wanted to create 4 cards  or so to share monthly. I’ll be real, I didn’t have a formalized plan or a planner for this because I wanted this to be fun, not a chore. What I realized though is that if I didn’t make a cognizant effort to create,share and blog… competing interests would take over. Real talk… some weeks I didn’t create, craft, or share because of those competing interests and not prioritizing this crafty time for myself.

Do you know what I realized? When I went a long period of NOT creating, I realized that I became unhappy and restless. The truth of it is, I LOVE cardmaking because it’s a stress reliever, creative outlet, and something satisfying that my professional life and other hobbies don’t satisfy me the same way. When I was younger, I wanted to be a writer. I love writing and I think that’s partly why I am hooked on this hobby because I can continue this form of self-expression and reflection.  I NEVER would have thought this possible when I started cardmaking. These past few weeks I’ve realized that  I have  to prioritize this crafty time in 2017 as a part of my self-care.

Which brings me to what I want to work on and do in 2017:

  • Continue to craft and write
  • Continue and be consistent in blog posts and Instagram posts
  • Brainstorm new content that will be fun and meaningful for those that support me
  • Share more about myself and my Paper Tokens journey
  • Share my other “paper” interests: Memory Planning and Planner related topics
  • Experiment with new products, new brands, and new techniques
  • Utilize my new Recollections Planner (more on this in the future) to keep me more accountable and organized regarding this hobby
  • Participate in cardmaking challenges
  • Apply for design team opportunities
  • Continue to engage and support other crafters
  • Possibly consider a YouTube channel to share my creations
  • Possibly create small volumes of cards to potentially sell for residual income
  • Possibly consider affiliate marketing like other crafter bloggers

This is just a rough sketch of what I thought about, especially the last three. Please know that if I choose to do affiliate links, I would definitely be transparent in this on my blog. It is something I was told to think about by other bloggers and friends.

One of the points was brainstorming new content ideas. Well, “Card Confessionals” is one of those brainstorming ideas that I plan on introducing to my blog.

As a newer crafter, I looked at social media accounts and YouTube videos lamenting that I was such a “newbie” and not a great crafter compared to so and so. I had crafting sessions that I envisioned having a wonderful card after all of it… and finding that I wasn’t in love with what I was working on and had to scrap it.

But I know for a fact (and thanks for those crafters that keep it real and admit this) not every project is picture perfect or satisfying. Or feeling like it’s worthy to share on social media because other crafters have better pictures or posts showcasing a similar technique or product. But the reality is, there are a lot of crafters and bloggers who only choose to share the pretty and curated  videos, projects, and pictures. This can be discouraging or confusing to new crafters or bloggers.

So when I title something, “Card Confessionals”, it’ll be blog posts where I share  projects that didn’t meet the “pretty” cut (but still were created). Or, maybe to write about topics that crafters/bloggers don’t always share with others… like having technique difficulties, “what was I thinking?!” crafting moments, having a crafty funk, a relevation, a rant or rambling, etc.

What about you? Any new 2017 crafty goals? Suggestions? I’d love to hear them!

Thanks for reading such a lengthy post! I hope all the rambling I did will manifest into worthy content for Paper Tokens accounts!

 

 

 

Kitschy Kitchen Card | My Favorite Things

In my previous post, I’ve shared that I’ve purchased MFT’s (My Favorite Things) November card kit, lovingly called “Kitschy Kitchen”. This was the first time I’ve used MFT products and I have to say… LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! This was particularly a very fun card-making session for me because I was taking my time using the products and mentally comparing the quality to my favorite and trusted crafty brands.

First I stamped the 2 different bowl stamps from the Kitschy Kitchen stamp sets in the mini ink cubes on MFT’s Smooth White card stock that was included in the card kit. The colors I’ve used were Blue Yonder, Ripe Raspberry, Orange Fizz, and Gumdrop Green. I used my die cutting machine to cut them out and set them aside to work on my panel.

The panel I’m working on is also on MFT’s Smooth White card stock. Also from the Kitschy Kitchen stamp set was that fun, dotted chevron pattern which I used the same ink cubes. From the You Bake Me Happy sentiment stamps, I chose the obviously appropriate and punny, “I’m bowled over by your generosity” sentiment. This was stamped using my MISTI and in the gorgeous Summer Splash ink. Lastly, I used some Zots Bling glue dots to place the bowls haphazardly.

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As I’ve read and heard from other MFT fans, the products are high quality and produce really great results. I was most impressed by the quality of the card stock (it didn’t mention in my kit what lb. of card stock this was) and the inks. The inks weren’t splotchy and are just as vivid in “real life” as they appear in photos. The colors I have are very welcomed into my ink collection  because I feel like they supplement and complement my existing ones. It gives me ideas of trying to create ombre-effect cards, shadowing, and rainbow cards in the future.

I’m definitely looking forward to adding more wonderful MFT products into my stash soon!

Supplies Used (No Specific Order)

  • MFT Smooth White Cardstock
  • MFT mini ink cubes in colors: Orange Fizz, Summer Splash, Ripe Raspberry, Blue Yonder, and Gumdrop Green
  • MFT You Bake Me Happy stamp set
  • MFT Kitschy Kitchen stamp set
  • MISTI (Most Incredible Stamping Tool Invented) stamping tool
  • Sizzix Big Shot die cutting machine
  • Zots Bling Glue Dots