Monday, December 24, 2012

It's Christmas Eve!

Good morning, everyone!

It's Christmas Eve! 

Aaaaaaand:  I'm at work.  Sitting in the office in a close to empty building.  Wondering why I'm here-  I'm not doing anything except 'playing.'  I've been entertaining a few coworkers with jokes and stories.  I've been designing layouts on my brand new graph-paper-pad (Thank you, STAPLES!) and a bit of coloring some images I stamped on cardstock and brought to work with me-  so all in all, it's pretty much like I'm a pre-schooler sitting in an office. 

A moment ago, I was taking a trip down memory lane in my little lounge act on a file cabinet that I perform, daily, for coworkers.  I picked up the big plastic spoon that I use as a 'microphone,' and was remembering one of my favorite Christmas presents.  I was 11 years old.  It was a PXL-2000 from Fisher Price.

Do you know what a PXL-2000 was?  It was a little movie camera made for kids.  It recorded sound AND VIDEO onto normal little audio-cassette tapes.   You do remember cassettes, right?   Well, it could record about 5 or 7 minutes worth of sound and video on a 90-minute cassette tape.  The footage came out black and white, and fairly grainy.  But to a kid, it looked amazing.  I had my own CAMCORDER! 

You gotta Google it to get the full idea, if you don't know what I'm talking about-  I just did, to see pictures of it- and wow, even seeing a picture of the BOX brought back a heap of good memories.  And now I see that the format has been 're'adopted by filmmakers, using the cameras to create weird little movies.  There's even been film festivals devoted to short films made on the little toy camera.  Oh what I'd give to still have mine!  (If I remember correctly, it finally stopped working after much, much use...)

I've gots three more Christmas cards to share, today.  I can't say I won't be back tomorrow with more Christmas cards- I've just grown so addicted to making them.  I don't know what it is...  I've never loved making Christmas cards more than I have this season.  (And I've been making Christmas cards since kindergarten, when I sat next to a kid who would try to eat all of my paste.)

Up first is the card that I made for my great friend, Carolyn.  She's such a classy lady that I tried my best to make a classy card.  I used papers from the My Mind's Eye ALL IS BRIGHT 'Accessories Pad.'  The cream and deep red background has been one of my favorite papers from this pad and I'd been dying to use it- but it was bigger than any of the card bases that I had laying around.  I didn't have the heart to cut it smaller, so I made an A7 card base with a 12X12 sheet of thick kraft cardstock.  With the matching ALL IS BRIGHT stamp set, I stamped the '12.25.' pennant with Iced Spruce Distress Ink and cut it out.  I embossed a strip of kraft cardstock (left over from cutting the card base) with the chevron border strip embossing folder from Cuttlebug.  I layed a couple of pieces cut out from other pages in the ALL IS BRIGHT pad and layered them on with the stamped pennant and topped with a brad from the 'Decorative Bads' pack. 

Normally, I don't buy SO MUCH of one set.  Yeah, I did buy nearly two complete sets of BasicGrey's CLIPPINGS, but that collection was too great to NOT buy two sets!  But it seemed as if I had the entire ALL IS BRIGHT line sitting around!  Then I remembered- when I was at the Creating Keepsakes Convention last summer, I bought a very nicely priced package of stuff, just to get the three rolls of washi tape- and it had the rest of the set in there, too!  All for 7.00! 

More KRAFT!  I'm sorry, I don't know if this love affair will ever end.  No, no- I'm NOT sorry.  I love KRAFT and I'm PROUD, dammit!!! 

I used the Studio Calico 'Wonderland Star' pattern mask and Mister Huey's 'Calico White,' to spray the star background.  Then I just picked up random scraps and layered them on-  a dictionary page label cut from a Spellbinders set, a creamy cardstock I'd once cut out with the Spellbinders 'Lacey Circles' set, a pine branch left over from using Mr. Holtz's pinecone die...  I topped it off with my favorite HAPPY HOLIDAYS stamp over a stamped light gray chevron.  (I think I love that Happy Holidays stamp so much because of the font- doesn't that look great?!)

On my third card, I couldn't resist another of my favorite stamps- the man with the crown and a circle around his eye.  I don't 'get' this stamp, but I freakin' love it...  I colored him a bit with some Distress Inks, layered on my favorite Happy Holidays (again: THAT FONT!) and two My Mind's Eye '12.25.' banner stamps.  The retro-ey looking snowflake is from QuickKutz.  When I was at Staples, yesterday, buying anything and everything that caught my eye, I stocked up on blank tags, too.  You can't beat the price- a box of 500 for 5.97?!  Yes, please and thank you!  I stamped the tag with a woodgrain stamp (Stampabilities) and distressed it a bit.  The striped paper is from 7gypsies 'Postale' collection and the light blue paper that I used as a mat is from Carta Bella. 

I'm gonna try to get a little work done-  hopefully I'll get to leave early and go home to get ready to leave for my Aunt's home, for a little family Christmas party time. 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, everyone!!!


Friday, December 21, 2012

Dear Santa...

While running thirty-six minutes late for work this morning, I started thinking about Christmas.  As we do at this time of the year. 

When I was a classy little kid, I made the best Christmas lists.  I had some software (remember when we called it SOFTWARE) called The Newsroom Pro for my DOS (remember DOS?!) computer.  For a good laugh- check out these screenshots I found when I searched for proof of my Newsroom Pro memories.  I mostly used The Newsroom to create crazily offensive and libelous newspapers to pass out at school, because I loved trips to the Principal's office.  However, when December rolled around, I stopped writing up accounts of what teacher was caught with what teacher in what room by what janitor and began making up my CHRISTMAS LIST.  In the style of a newspaper. 

To make a long story short, I thought it would be fun to make a Christmas list.

Some of the things I put on the list don't exist, I just wish someone would make them FOR me.  Yes, I'll be playing 'Creative Director,' for a bit.  Some of the things might exist and I don't know it- so if you say, "But Kory!  You CAN get that!"  And if you tell me where, I'd be so excited.  And some of it, it's just product I've seen online and obsess over, wishing I could make myself place an order.

1)  A "Whatever Happened To Baby Jane" rubber stamp and craft set.  Complete with a Jane stamp, a Blanche in her wheelchair stamp, a rat on a plate stamp and a two text stamps:  one that reads, "But y'are in that chair, Blanche!" and one that reads, "You mean all these years we could've been friends?!"  And a roll of washi tape printed with the sheet music for "I've Written A Letter To Daddy."

2)  A year of Studio Calico monthly kits.

3)  A "BAD SEED" rubber stamp kit.  One stamp: a close of little Rhoda making crazy eyes.  A stamp of Rhoda making one of her 'perfect curtsies.'  And a text stamp that says, "YOU GIVE ME BACK MY SHOES!"

4)  A Silhouette Cameo.  And someone to teach me how to use it.  I'm not kidding.  It took me forever to figure out my Cricut Expression 2.

5)  A Box Of Wine A Week Club.  I prefer Franzia's Crisp White.  I'm not proud or fancy.

So that's that.  My Christmas list.  It's PayDay Friday, too- so I'm a little more cheerful than usual.  Because it makes me so happy to pay bills.

Oh! Oh!  To make a "PayDay Friday" even BETTER- guess what the mailroom just delivered to me?!  A PRESENT!  I recently won a prize from Shelly Hickox, at her blog, Stamptramp.  Isn't that one of the greatest blog names ever?  I know.  She even WRAPPED the prizes and included one of her beautiful and genius tags.

I can't say thank you well enough or enough.  This is the only wrapped present (and possibly the only present) that I'll get for Christmas- so I'm doubly touched and ... just very thankful.  Thank you so so much, Shelly!!!  The tag is beautiful (beyond belief- you should see what it does when it opens) and I am gonna make something with the dies when I gets home!


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Cards! More Christmas Cards!

Hi everyone!

it's Thursday!  I love coming into work on Thursday mornings- not only because I know that tomorrow is Friday, but because I love walking past the receptionist, Miss Cathy, who always shouts, "IT'S FRIDAY EVE!"

Not that I have a weekend- I'm working all the time, ladies and gentlemen.

"There's a difference between  having a job and WORKING."  -Kiki DuRane

Anyways,  I'm back this fine and COLD Thursday morning with more Christmas cards.  Yesterday was the 'White Collection.'  Today, I'll share the 'Color Collection.'  Of course, by 'color,' I mean kraft, silver, and red.  There ain't no elves shooting neon Christmas trees out their butts-  I was TRYIN to keep the cards CLASSY!  Not there's nothing wrong with color- I love it, I'm not putting it down, don't send me hate mail.  I'm just lazy.  It's so much easier to crank out the Christmas cards when you stick to a limited color scheme.  If I weren't so @!#$%& popular, I could make some colorful cards.*

*of course, by popular, I mean people I must send cards to because I've offended them in one way or another.

Alright already!  Enough rambling!  Here's the cards:

Up first:  Another card using my beloved Tim Holtz retro-Santa stamp.  Remember how I was whining about how I've had trouble coming up with ways to use him, as the stamp is so gloriously large?  Well!  It occured to me- WHY do I think I have to use the entire image?!  I went home for lunch yesterday- another perk of living four blocks from work- and made this card.  I just pressed half of him on my big ink pad and stamped him on a scrap from another card.  Look at that surprise I got when I lifted the stamp from the paper!  Because I never clean my stamps and Distress Ink takes forever and a day to dry, some Festive Berries remained on the stamp from the previous day- and it created a nice subtle effect of the black fading into the red fading into the paper.  I've got to come up with a technique to replicate this or Google for the genius who already has!

I tore the top of my stamped piece of paper and added two strips of (My Mind's Eye: All Is Bright) washi tape.  I stamped the sentiment and pop-dotted it on and THIS IS MY SECOND FAVORITE CARD!

I love Daniel Torrente's stamps from Stampotique.  Some people just say they're scary and think they're only for Halloween or deranged people.  I think they're strangely sweet and adorable.  So to turn him from Halloween to Christmas, I cut the hat from Mr. Holtz's Santa and gave it to this little guy.

Another very simple card.  I die cut one of Mr. Holtz's 'Carved Ornaments' from silver glitter paper (1.99 a sheet?! This ain't REAL silver, people!) and added a sentiment stamped from a dollar bin stamp.   The kraft background is embossed with my favorite emobossing folder set EVER,  "James' Set" from Cuttlebug.

This is the card I made for my boss.  I knew she'd like something different than the clean 'n simple cards that I prefer- so I did a few things on this one to bling it out a bit more while still keeping it classy.  After embossing with that 'frame,' I rubbed an embossing ink on it and sprinkled some 'Pewter' embossing powder all over it- after heat embossing, I randomly sanded parts of the card then colored randomly around with two different colors of Distress Ink.  I die cut the heart and rubbed Rock Candy Distress Stickles over it,  punched out a silver snowflake and added a brad from the My Mind's Eye All Is Bright brad set-  I think it's pretty lovely.

I got the idea to emboss two bingo cards- one for the base, one to cut the '25' out and pop-dot it over the '25' on the piece used for the card base.  I liked the plain silvery base with only the red '25' and the red sentiment.

I guess the previous card put me back into the embossing mood.  I clipped out a piece of December calendar from a Jenni Bowlin paper I'd picked up somewhere and added a pointy-finger charm from Hobby Lobby.  The sentiment is embossed with a new embossing powder called 'Silver Tinsel' that I picked up at Michaels.

Whaaaaat?  How'd that blue and white beat out the kraft and sneak its way onto a card?!  I picked up a 6X6 Carta Bella Christmas paper pad at Basket Market for only 3.00 and, since I bought it, forced myself to try out a card with a color other than brown.  It was tough.  It hurt a little.  But I like it and I'm a better person for it.

And we're back to the simple kraft cards!  But there's a little blue under the pennant-y shape and the dollar bin sentiment stamp.

Alright- that's it for the cards- OH WAIT, no it's NOT! 

Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present to you: 

Kory K's FAVORITE Christmas Card

I love this card.  I'm proud of this card.  I used one of my most favorite stamps of all-  I call it "The Classy Guys Stamp."  It's really just another simple card- but all the pieces tricked me into thinking it's quite a work of art.  ;-)  IF you count five bits of cardstock as 'lots o' pieces.'  But I made this to be my version of the 'Perfect Gentleman's Christmas Card.'  Which then inspired me to try to make more 'manly cards.'  This evening.  That's my challenge and goal for what looks like it'll be a cold Thursday evening..  Make at least three clearly masculine Christmas cards.  We'll see what happens!

Enjoy the rest of your Thursday.  I guess the world isn't going to end.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

It's Almost Christmas: So How 'Bout Some Cards?

I like making Christmas cards more than I like Christmas. 

My family doesn't really celebrate holidays.  I don't know why - or even if there is a reason- but we really don't do much of anything.  I'm the only one who even puts up a tree.  I probably wouldn't even do that if I hadn't bought a perfect vintage aluminum tree from an antiques store during a prescription painkiller induced Christmas euphoria a few years back and I'm determined to get my money's worth.

So- I like making Christmas cards.  And I like them to be fairly simple.  Because then I'm less likely to knock somebody out when they throw it away.

One of my 'design techniques' is my use of ... 'placeholders,' I guess I'll call them...  I'm sure there's an actual word for this, but I don't know it-  when I get a new die, I use it right away with some plain (or scrap) cardstock.  I keep all these 'samples' in a box on my desk- and when I'm trying to come up with a layout or card, I go through the box and pull out the pieces that grab my attention.  I move these placeholders all around on the page to see what I think looks best.  I recommend it- it definitely keeps me using the dies that I have available!

I'm obsessed with this Cuttlebug embossing folder set.  It's called JAMES' SET.  It's classy, ladies and gentlemen.  The folder I used on the above card is my favorite, but the other three in the set are fine, too.  Another great feature is that there's a slot on the top hinge- so's you can easily emboss the center of a tag OR emboss a long strip for a border.  I also used some of Mr. Holtz's TINSEL TWINE.  The sentiment is a one dollar stamp from a bin at MICHAELS.  I stamped it in Tsukineko's London Fog ink and colored in the alternating boxes with a Worn Lipstick Distress Marker. 

My next 'white card.'  I embossed the wing with a Tim Holtz embossing folder- from the nearly 3inX4in French Connection set- and cut it out.  I embossed the edge of the card with some snowflakes and added the sentiment.  Too easy!

One more 'white card!'  Even thought it's mostly red- I'm counting it.  I love this Tim Holtz Santa stamp.  Really love it.  It's always sitting in plain view.  Because just looking at it makes me smile.  But I've had trouble coming up with ways to use it- it's so big, and- well, I don't know.  But I adore it.  I added the 'seal' with a pop-dot.  It's from My Mind's Eye. 

That's it for KORY'S KARDS, today!  I'll be back soon with more!  Because every card I make is different.  As much as I intend to, and TRY to- I just can't come up with a design and assembly-line it-  even when I do attempt to do THAT-  each one still comes out different.  I just love to play with the paper too much, I guess.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

"NOEL" Christmas Banner

I really can't get enough of the banner craze.  I eat, sleep and Pinterest banners. 

At a local shop, My Heart's Fancy, I've had the damn fun chance to participate in two banner 'swaps.'

For anyone who is not 'in the life,'  a swap is when a group of people all make a series (or collection of) of things and then send them all to one person, who re-distibutes the things back to the people who submitted things.  Did I explain that well?  Maybe someone, someone more into the swap-world, will jump in and give a better description.  They're always happening around on the online scrap-sites.  And they often come with a fair amount of drama- someone always seems to be 'flaking,' about to 'flake', or has 'flaked' in the past.  'Flaking' is when you don't do what you promised to do in the swap- whether it's not sending in your stuf or if you're the one in charge of the swap, absconding with either all the stuff or the postage, or whatever.  It's its own whole thing, let me tell you. 

I've never participated in an online swap, because I hate going to post office more than I hate doing laundry.  Seriously.  I've had the same DVD from Netflix since I opened my account because I don't know where my outgoing mail slot is at and I don't want to go to the post office. 

But I will do a swap at My Heart's Fancy- because, well, it's more personal-feeling to me AND I don't have to go to the post office- I just gotta MAKE the things and then drive them up to the shop.  I did have to get over my fear of people getting a piece of mine, holding it up, and exclaiming, "I MADE SUCH AND SUCH AND SUCH AND *THIS* IS THE KIND OF THING I GET IN RETURN?!" 

Okay- to make a long story short- here are some of my results from the 2012 My Heart's Fancy Christmas Banner Swap!

I used Prima's 'LEDGER' stack for my most of my pennant bases.  I love that stack.  I made a huge (if you consider that huge) rosette from kraft cardstock and layered on a 'Lacy Oval'  cut from a Spellbinders die.  On top of that, I placed a 'Styled Label' cut from thick chipboard with the Tim Holtz die that I 'painted' with the amazing BRUSHED PEWTER Distress Stain.  Do you have the new metallic Distress Stains?  They're too cool for words.  Trust me.  They'll make anything look like metal and, well, just plain incredible. Aaaaand on top is a chipboard letter that I covered with silver glitter.  At this point, my aim was to stay away from traditional Christmas colors and try to make something that appeared more timeless, yet still Christmas-sy.  Christmassy?  Christmas-y?

Aaaand then I just had to have something RED, so there went my first intention for something pale pink and silver and cream.  Besides, nobody is getting the entire banner, so I figured to just make each one independent of each other.  Excuses, excuses.  But dangit, I suddenly had the urge for a red glitter reindeer.  I love Mr. Holtz's Reindeer Flight die.  I love those precious damn deer. 

And here's where I thought I needed to use green.

And here's where I completely abandoned my original idea and: more red AND a 'Santa' Bingo card.  The kraft 'ornate' frame was cut from the 'Happy Hauntings' Cricut Cartridge... and I had a plan to use it front and center on another pennant, until I noticed that there were bats in the design motif on the sides.  I thought I had been so so clever to cut off the majorly Halloween-y part at the top- and then SURPRISE!  Bats!  So.. it ended up there- hidden enough to cover the bats.  I guess I could've glittered the entire thing and claimed it was a foreign Christmas tradition of 'The Christmas Bats,' but I thought, no, not with all the Wikipedia and smartasses around the internets.

As part of the swap's directions, I also made another set of N-O-E-L pennants.  But for some reason, I didn't photograph them all- I can't remember if it was because I was in a hurry or if it was because I didn't like them- but now I am thinking there were others I liked more than the ones above.  My life is one complicated moment after another, I tell you, and this is just the crafts. 

My FAVORITE part of the banner swap were the instructions to create three 'decorative' banners- no letters.  Just whatever I wanted to die cut, cut, glue and glitter.  Oh, that would be a good craft rap song.  Die CUT, CUT, GLUE AND GLITTER.  Yo.  Crafts.  Let's tip over a cop car.

I made the pleated ruffle with a piece of vintage dictionary paper.  Where do I get all of my classy vintage dictionaries that I can cut up without a shred of guilt?  At the Friends of the Library Booksale.  Every February.  1.00 each.  I used a strip of seam binding over the edge of the pleated dictionary ruffle.  Some metal photo corners (Hobby Lobby brand), a piece of embossed white letterpress paper, another red glitter reindeer, and a tag cut from a piece of some brands (sorry) Christmas paper from last year.  I am now obsessed with pleated dictionary ruffles.  Look for more of that, ladies and gentlemen.

On top of this pennant, I used a pre-made sheet music ruffle from Bazzill.  Which is where I got (stole?) the idea to make my own paper ruffles.  Theirs are not made from actual sheet music/newspapers- but appear to be printed on near-cardstock.  They're very thick and sturdy.  I'm now confused as to why I used an uncolored piece of kraft 'greenery' (kraftery?) there under the rosette.  That just looks....bad. 

And now, for my favorite piece of my NOEL banner:

I made the 3-D ornament with a Tim Holtz Carved Ornaments die and (yeah, more) dictionary paper.  I cut a stack of dictionary with a piece of thick chipboard.  I folded each piece in half and (very carefully) glued them together side of back to side of back (now THAT makes sense, doesnt it?!) until they fanned out when glued to the chipboard backing.  I love how it looks and I want to make more... the only trouble is that it's hard to find a spare 90 minutes to MAKE EACH ONE.  Who knows, maybe I'd get faster with each one.  But I love this one and it was hard to part with...

I couldn't resist but to share another angle.

Okay.  I've got work to do and it doesn't have anything to do with Glossy Accents.  I'll see y'all later when I'm back with some CARDS! 


Monday, December 17, 2012

Movers and Shapers - Base Tray or No Base Tray?

I am addicted to dies.  And the Movers and Shapers dies from Sizzix and Mr. Holtz are just more crack for my scrap pipe. 

I've been picking up the Movers and Shapers since the Halloween Mini-Cat and Raven set (Remember those? So cool!). 

When I bought that first set, I thought, OHHHH now I gotta buy the MOVERS AND SHAPERS BASE TRAY!!!  But then, as I picked up the BASE TRAY- the Vintage Cabinet Card die caught my eye, and I thought, "Wow, I love that die and this cat and raven will fit inside it- so I'll just buy it and put off the base tray, for now..."

Then, as I should've expected, my Movers and Shapers collection grew and grew- and when I happened upon the Mini-Baroque die-  you know- the 'not so mini' baroque die? - well, I found myself saying, I NEED MORE ROOM!  I'VE GOTTA GET THE BASE TRAY!

When I went to buy the base tray, my hard earned twenty dollars clutched in my hand and another patch on the knees of my britches and a smear of coal on my forehead-  the WREATH AND BOW set caught my eye... and I put off the base tray for yet another time.

So, I get home.  And a real-life Christmas miracle happened!  I pulled out my Vintage Cabinet Card die for what is obviously its 3000th use and OH NO!  The DIE just FELL RIGHT OUT!


I loaded up my dies and went to BigKick town!

Now, I'm not saying that you should run to your craftroom and pop your dies out of their cases- and I'm still much in need of a Base Tray- because just like apartments and paper storage options, we can always use more space.  But, if you're in a pinch and you want to spend your next twenty bucks on that other set of Movers and Shapers instead of the Base Tray-  well, you know what I'm saying...


How excitment!

Guess what?  I'm not here to complain about my mistreatment at the hands of a craft store's mean manager (Jo-Ann on NW Expressway, you know what I'm talking about) or to show you yet another Christmas banner that I've made (but just wait, I'll be back very soon for yet another BANNER post) but yes, I've got an actual exciting announcement.

Guess who is the one of the newest staff reporters on the Craft Critique team?

That's right- it's ME!

Craft Critique is one of the newest sites from the legendary Nancy Nally's scraptabulous empire.  (Do you keep up with all the news and hap-haps at Scrapbook Update?  Yeah, I'm sure you do, you're smart.)  As the new owner and editor of Craft Critique, Nancy promises to "continue to bring the craft community product reviews that are reliable, honest, and comprehensive."

And if any of you know me- you know I love to review product as much as I love to buy it and use it (usually to make a banner, it seems these days).

Be back soon with that banner!  (and some cards, too!)  For now, tho- check out the 'official announcement' and bookmark the site- you don't want to miss anything!


Thursday, December 6, 2012

how is it nearly CHRISTMAS?!

For reals- how is it this close to Christmas, THIS FREAKING SOON?!

How fast does time fly, these days?  It seems like it was just two days ago that I was trying to decide what I wanted to be for Halloween. 

I'm here to share a Christmas project with you classy people.  Yeahp.  I made a lovely piece just exploding with Christmas spirit.  Unlike me.  I'm not full of the Christmas spirit, yet.  But I will be tomorrow evening, when I stop by the liquor store after work.

So what did I make?  A banner.  Well, not really- it doesn't hang.  But it is banneresque.  It's made to sit on a mantle.  Or a bookshelf.  Or whatever surface is available. 

There is a TON of hot DIE action going on up there- can you spot them all?

I was playing around with Mr. Holtz's 'Vintage Cabinet Card' die (trying to make a cute card) when I noticed it standing up and thought I'M MAKE A BANNER!  Because, that's the thought that seems to be running rampant through every crafter's mind right now-  "Ooooh lookit!  I'MA MAKE-A BANNER!"

But again, this doesn't hang.  So we'll call it a SITTING BANNER.  Catchy, huh?

There's a close-up of the middle/word part.  Again- can you spot all the dies?   The only bits not done with a die are the letters.  I used the Cricut Expression 2 to cut the letters.  And how fun is Mr. Holtz's PINECONE die?!  It took me three attempts to get the pinecone to look right.  Then I gave in and watched his so-so-helpful video.  Yes, I break many male stereotypes but I still put up a helluva fight when it comes to asking for directions.  And boy are my arms tired.  I'll be here all week, folks!

I am obsessed with making these pinecones.  And: Since you can also use the pinecone die to make flowers- well, how is that for something being worth its money?  Another die worth its money?  The Festive Greenery strip die.  I love cutting a few different colored strips of paper and arranging and rearranging all the bits.  So fun.  So adaptable. 

And here's the parting shot: a close up of the end-pieces.  Why?  Because I love that reindeer die.  They look so...classy.  Have you notice how much I love that word?  Classy.... it just  And classy.

What's everyone else up to, in the Christmas craft department?  An advent calendar or banner?!  You don't say! 


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Amazing Discoveries!

Anybody remember that infomercial, AMAZING DISCOVERIES, from the early nineties?  Maybe it was the very late eighties.  Yes, yes, I know- I look too good to be able to have memories from the eighties.  But seriously- anybody remember AMAZING DISCOVERIES?  It was an informercial (poorly disguised as a talk show) all about some new tooth-whitening product.  My favorite part of the show was when an ex-Miss Universe appears as a guest star and tells an outrageous story about how she and her husband would point and shout 'CAMEL TEETH!' at each other until they discovered the new tooth whitening product.

This informercial was on, every day, at 6:30AM.  I watched it EVERY MORNING FOR AN ENTIRE SCHOOL YEAR.  Eventually, I taped it (awww, memories- remember 'TAPING' things?!) and then my brother and I studied it to perfect our live staged version of...AMAZING DISCOVERIES.

We were very enthralled with acting out things we become obsessed with from television.  There was our live version of the Christopher Reeve hosted "HOW TO RAISE A STREET SMART CHILD," complete with lines such as, "Yeah, that's good Julie- now, just lower the strap on your swimsuit just a little bit lower..." 

Aaaaand, there was also our live version of the infamous GERALDO 'race-riot' episode- complete with simulated chair to Geraldo's face.  This was quite the hit production at our family's Thanksgiving celebration one year.

I'm sorry, ladies and gentlemen.  I don't know what I'm talking about, anymore.


I'm here to share an AMAZING DISCOVERY!

I know that many of you, like myself, planned to wake up this morning to find out that you're a brand new BILLIONAIRE, thanks to the lottery.  So, we'll say this post is a consolation prize to all of us papercrafters who thought we would have enough money to buy Sizzix and tell Tim Holtz that his new job is to spend all day hanging out and crafting at our side.  Obviously that didn't happen.  So I'm left to my own devices.

You all know how much I love to buy gadgets- kitchen, craftroom or otherwise.  Almost as much as I love one dollar lap-dances in New Orleans.  Imagine my excitement when I saw this:

photo from

That's the "Get-It-Straight" Laser Square from KellyCraft.  

What is it?  It's pretty simple- yet ingenious.  You lay your scrapbook paper on the thing, then use the column on the right to align a laser pointer thingy in a straight line across the page so's that you have a nice straight line to use to properly line up embellishments, titles or whatever else you're determined to glue to your scrapbook page in a classy straight line.  You know- it's basically a tool to keep your pages from looking like you do your scrapbooking while tossing back vodka-and-tonics at bar.  Like I do.

Believe it or not- my heart stopped for a moment.  I HAD to have this thing!  Then, I saw the price tag.  89.95.

I'm sorry, Kellycraft.  But I can get a lot more bang for my hundred bucks than a plastic square with a laser pointer stuck on its side.

But I still thought it was a good idea.  And it is, Kellycraft.  I'm sorry if I'm coming off too harsh.  It's a great idea- but this thing isn't worth 89.95.  It isn't worth 79.95.  It's not worth 49.95 plus an extra one if I just pay extra 'P&H.' 


A dollar.

Yeahp.  One dollar.  But I would pay 14.95 for one, at a store.

So if I'd pay 14.95 for one at a store, freely and gladly- why is it worth a buck?

Because, for one dollar- THAT'S RIGHT, ladies and gentlemen:

FOR ONE DOLLAR, I 'made' my very own KellyCraft Get-It-Straight Laser Square System.  And I'm here to tell you how you can get your VERY OWN!

Kory's SCRAPiVERSE version doesn't include a 'patent pending sliding laser design,' of course.  And I'm not even going to charge you a hundred bucks or even 14.95 for the idea.  Like everything I do, I'm gonna give it up freely.

First thing you gotta do:  GO TO DOLLAR TREE.  Buy this:

It's a level, intended to stick on the wall to -get this- help you hang artwork in a straight line across the wall.  Since it's from DOLLAR TREE, it costs ONE DOLLAR.

Next, line your paper up against one of the lines on your cutting board or whatever lined surface that I'm sure you have on your scrapdesk.  (Mine, below, is the mega-sized Martha Stewart cutting mat- which I found at BIG LOTS for 3.99.  It's priced at like 59.99 at craft stores.  Clearly, crafters are #@$%&ed in every direction.)

Now that your paper is against a line, as above, place your laser-picture-hanger-helper-thingy on one of the horizontal straight lines:

See how I so-helpfully pointed at the straight line, there?  Very infomercialesque, huh?

Next- use your right (or left, if you're so inclined) index finger to push the red button.  (It's always a red button if a laser is involved.)  AND TA-DAAAAA!  See that?

Classy, huh?  A nice, straight line.  Now you don't have any excuses for a wonky title.  Unless you're scrapping in a bar while throwing back a couple of highballs.  Like I do.

Of course, if a trip to the Dollar Tree would be too traumatic, you may always purchase an official KELLYCRAFT GET IT STRAIGHT LASER SQUARE here: or from

It's almost happy hour.  As my best friend's mom, Mrs. Busch, always says:  I've gotta make like a baby and head out.



Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving: a card and Thanksgiving wishes

I can't believe it's already time for Thanksgiving.  It doesn't feel like Thanksgiving.  Why?  Because of the warm weather (thanks, global warming!) or because I haven't had any time to make HAND TURKEYS (thanks, work) or because I just don't care much for Thanksgiving?   I don't know. 

I'll be surprised if this post even catches any views- everyone seems too busy updating their Facebook statuses with daily "I'm thankful for..." posts.  That's something I'm thankful for- those of you that've not jumped on that bandwagon.  Actually, I think I'll go update my F'book status with that and see how many people I can anger. 

No, I won't do that-  it's the holiday season and I've gotta be nice.  So how about I share a little Thanksgiving card that I whipped up during a lunch hour break on an especially stressful day at work, recently?

I am in love with that embossing folder.  It's from Tim Holtz/Sizzix, of course.  What a great frame!  I used a piece of that new embossing folder sized KraftCore paper.  How convenient is that?! 

I also used four dies (also from Tim Holtz/Sizzix) to make this card:
Tattered Leaves
Tattered Banners
Autumn Gatherings
Festive Greenery

Okay- so do you have the last two on that little list?  Autumn Gatherings and Festive Greenery?  They're both Mr Holtz's "Decorative Strip" dies.  And they're incredible.  If you don't have them- go get them.  They're so freakin' versatile.  I have too much fun cutting about fifteen strips of paper and then arranging and rearranging and playing with all of the little pieces of holiday decor fun.  If you have to choose just one, go with 'Festive Greenery.'  It includes some flourishes and different pine-y wreath-y bits of beautifulness that work wonders. 

photos from SCRAPBOOK.COM
See all those great pieces?  I love the tiny leaves and branches on the Autum Gatherings die, too. 

I'll be back, soon, with more fun!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!


Friday, November 16, 2012

Pardon me, I've gone CRICUT CRAZY!


Yeahp- you saw that right- I'm shouting, not just typing all in CAPS, email-from-Mom-style.

Why am I so Cricut-Crazy tonight?

Maybe you're something like me- prone to excitement, a tad obsessive and suffering from a severe case of SILHOUETTE envy.

You know what SILHOUETTE envy is-  it's the feeling you get when you're cruising the scrapblogs with your mouth open, drooling a bit over all the classy cuts the Silhouette can do...

Then, you turn to your Cricut.  It's sittin' at its spot.  Staring at you, like a kid with a runny nose.

Before I get too far with my story, let's take a trip down memory lane.

I got my first Cricut a little over a year ago.  It was the 'baby' Cricut.  Is that the Cricut Create?  The Cricut Personal Cutter?  I can't remember its official name and I'm too lazy to open a new tab on the old browser here and Google it- but you know what I'm talking about- the 'baby' Cricut that cuts on those 6x12 mats.  Yeah, that one.

I didn't buy my Cricut at a store.  I got it from a scrappy co-worker, who had recently upgraded to the Expression.  I kinda lucked into CricutLand.  She even gave me a cartridge (Home Accents).  My first Cricut and my first cartridge!  What a day!  Because I have such an obsessive personality, I didn't have 'just one cartridge' for long.  That evening, I was combing Wal-Marts and lucked into a couple of 'lite' cartridges in the clearance aisle for 7.00 each.  I also scored DON JUAN.  I'm guessing someone tore up the box for the Cricut machine it was packaged with- as an employee had found it and it's keypad overlay and taped them together.  The cashier didn't know what to do with a box-less, no book-no machine cartridge so she let me have it for 7.00, too.

I was hooked!  I loved cutting things out.  I'd cut things out just to watch the machine cut them out.  When I saw (about two months later) that MICHAELS was going to sell the BRAND SPANKIN' NEW and beautiful CRICUT EXPRESSION 2 at their 'open at 4pm on Thanksgiving DAY sale,' I took that as a sign that YES, I must buy it...  So, after Thanksgiving din-din, I bugged my Mom into braving Michaels with me.  And BRAVING, it was.  The place was packed.  And crazy.  As I cruised aisles with my CE2 in my cart, no less than SEVEN women started up conversations with me by saying, 'Ohhhhh! You're gonna make a girl happy on Christmas DAYYYYY!'

Yeah.  No less than SEVEN women assumed I was there to buy the thing for a lucky little lady back home.  The first lady, I crushed her excitement by exclaiming, "WHAT? WHO? HUH?  WHAT THE HELL YOU TALKIN' BOUT?!  THIS BE MINES!"  She looked as if I'd hit her with her own knock-off Coach bag.  Huhhhhhh?  I didn't know it provided a vicarious thrill, imagining another lady opening up a Cricut on Christmas morning.

So, the rest, I allowed their joy.  I told great stories.  Nice stories, too.  Nice, sweet stories.  Even while I fought the urge to make up a story like, "Yeah, I'm trying to make it up to her, for sleeping with her sister- hope the new Cricut does the trick!"

Wow- how I digress.

Anyways.  I ended up being the head of a two Cricut household.

But shortly after my big CE2 purchase, I began seeing all these Silhouette cuts on all these kick-ass layouts.  Dangit.

I started shopping for a Silhouette.  No store carried this elusive thing.  I don't know if you're like me and/or I don't know if you know this about me- but I HATE to order things online.  I hate paying for something and waiting for it to arrive.  I go crazy.  And then I usually end up needing a vacation day from work on the scheduled delivery day so that I don't have to risk the mailman putting a slip of paper into my mailbox cuz the box was too big and THEN HAVE TO WAIT LONGER TIL I CAN MAKE IT TO THE POST OFFICE DURING THE TEN MINUTES THEY'RE OPEN WHEN I'M NOT AT WORK to pick up my treasures.  Therefore- I've remained Silhouette-less.

But this week, something magical happened.

I began to USE my CE2 again.  While cruising online for Cricut tips, I downloaded the newest Cricut Craft Room software onto my MacBook.  I know this isn't a brand new thing and you're probably gonna shout "WHAT'S NEW AND EXCITING ABOUT THAT?!"

Well, it's NEW to me.  Not so new to me, as I used the 'online only web version' a tiny bit, in the past, while pretending to be working but really just playing at the office.  But now, with the app on my computer- I had a brainstorm.  A real hurricane.  (Sorry, East coast.)

See that?!  Silhouette style frames with attached WORDS!  Yeah!  And IT'S EASY!  Click on an image.  Resize it.  Size it.  Weld letters to it.  Make a new shape by sticking another shape on its side.  (Note to my readers: going forward, I have changed the terminology.  'Sticking' means 'welding.'

And there's those cute little effers all cut out.  I'm in love.

Couldn't stop cutting all night.  There's an arrow with a word attached! 

And...well, I'll stop with the show-n-tell, now.  It just kinda went on like that for hours and hours- 'designing' in the Cricut Craft Room, cutting and squealing like a pig in CARRIE.

Thank you, Cricut Craft Room.  You made me love my Cricut again.  I still want a Silhouette.  Sure, I do.  But I no longer feel like the ugliest scrapper at the crop.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012


So, last night, I was cruising around MICHAELS.  You know, how I like to do...  I spent some time checking out Martha Stewart's Christmas stuff - they're stocking all of her Christmas 'paper tape,' which thrilled me.  I headed over to shake down the SMASH book endcap, hoping to find the new '365' SMASH book.  They didn't have it, yet.  I turned around, a bit sad- but then: OH! Look!  MICHAELS has their own brand of SMASH books.  Yeah, they're not SMASH books- it's like when you go to Walgreens, to buy some Benadryl, cause you can't sleep and your Doctor is on to you and cut you off the sleeping pills so you're making your own with Benadryl and Budweiser beer- but instead of buying Benadryl, you buy Waladryl, cuz it's the same thing but cheaper.  I'm not making any sense at all- I guess what I thought I was going to explain was that MICHAELS has a 'store brand' SMASH book, now. 

But I don't even want to say it is a 'generic' SMASH book. 

Cuz it's better. 

It's the new CREATIVE CHAOS line from MICHAELS.  And it's beautiful.  I love all of their books.  I love that they're BINDERS instead of spiral bound.  I love the papers.  And isn't the name great?  Creative Chaos.  Love it.

Check out this one:

photo from MICHAELS.COM

Classy, huh?

They have a nice range of embellishments, cardstock stacks- everything.  Go check it out.  You won't be disappointed.  Well, if you are, there's something wrong with you.

I picked up a pack of these Polaroid-style frames:

photo from MICHAELS.COM
They're nice, sturdy thick chipboard.  And they're left plain.  Which I loved.  I love them as they are- but you could definitely add some design to them if you wanted them a bit more flashy.  I usually prefer my embellishments how I like my strippers:  totally nude.  That way, if you want to add something you can.  But once they're covered in glitter, it's all over.

I also like that the frames are left plain because of the tragedy that often befalls product too heavily decorated.  The frames are so nice- plain and sturdy- that I must give credit to the creative director or either prevented (or wasn't demanding enough to think they needed) pre-printed sayings like 'INSTANT PHOTO VINTAGE LOVE!' or even the dreaded LIVE LAUGH LOVE across the bottom.

My other favorite Creative Chaos embellishment pack that I picked up?  This nice set of envelopes in WAIT FOR IT:  KRAFT! 

photo from MICHAELS.COM
Yeahhhhh.  Two styles of sexxxy kraft envelopes.  For 3.99.  That's a bargain, dammit.

Get out to MICHAELS and pick up this stuff before the holiday shoppers pick the place clean!

I'll be back, soon, with my SUPER CHRISTMAS BANNER GOOD TIMES!


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Jo-Ann be JUMPIN!

Reporting LIVE from JO-Ann Fabric and Crafts! Twenty people in line. Store out of control. Their corporate geniuses have somehow, someway biologically engineered their product to JUMP OFF SHELVES AND INTO YOUR BASKET. They baskets must have mutated, on their own. I didn't even have a basket and one rolled up to me ON ITS OWN just as product started jumping in OF ITS OWN VOLITION!

Lady in Papercraft aisle tried to help me by tossing a 25% off entire purchase into my hands before she tried to escape.

Okay, now to make it through the line and into the safety of the parking lot where I must wait for my cousin, eh just called me, requesting help buying CLOTHES. Why is my cousin lost and naked and needing me to run into Target to buy clothes?! Is this the beginning of the end or just the good times that run in my family? More later! Tim Holtz reindeer die is flying into my cart!

Friday, November 2, 2012

does anyone still wear a hat?

A few days ago, the lovely lady who worked on the recent production of HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH with me posted on Facebook- looking for ideas on what to wear to a semi-formal steampunk themed masquerade birthday party.  A party happening this Saturday night.  My mind immediately sparked up- I've got gears and clocks and assorted bits shooting out my @$$! 

I know what you're thinking-  lovely language, Kory- but isn't this supposed to be a craft blog?

I offered to help and instanly thought A FASCINATOR!

She delivered a 'mini-bowler hat' that she found at a costume shop and I dragged out anything that looked appropriately steamy.

And here's what I came up with:

I cut the gears with the Tim Holtz GADGET GEARS die to use as a base- I embossed them with some aged copper embossing powder, then layered clock faces, game spinners, some random gear charms and a metal hand from my 'embellishment bin.'  I made spirals of copper wire by twisting it around pencils then stretching it out a bit...

I even sewed a new trim around the brim of the hat.  It's a nice lookin' trim, ain't it?  Would you guess I found it for 1.00 in a bin at Michaels? 

I've discovered a few things while making this hat:

1)  I LOVE making hats.
2)  I need to use my metal bits more- there's no sense hoarding them in their little labeled bins, is there?
3)  God bless you, Glossy Accents.  You hold like a mother.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Check me out at SCRAPUTANTE!

Hey there!!!

Happy Halloween!  A day late- so I guess I should say:  I hope you HAD a happy Halloween!

And speaking of Halloween and all the happiness the holiday brings to me- check out my nifty Halloween project over at the Scraputante blog.  And buy something, cuz she's having a sale.  I'd like to say the sale is in honor of me.  So I will.  Buy some product, because it's on sale in honor of ME!

What is my Halloween project?  It's a pretty love child made from the products of Graphic45 and the great Tim Holtz.  It's this:

But the backside is even prettier (in my opinion).  Wanna see my backside?  Head over to SCRAPUTANTE and check it out!!!