West Coast (Michigan) Classes

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I’ve been neglecting my blog … I apologize for that. March is one of my busiest times of year (just behind October). Getting ready for all of the classes and crops means February is also very busy and I can’t seem to keep up with my blog …

One of the reasons I have been behind is a new venture in Muskegon, Michigan.

I’ve teamed up with Bayview Scrappers (a new papercrafting store opening in Traverse City this month!!!) to bring classes to one of the best west Michigan crops — Krop Around the Klock March 10-11. Bayview has rented a classroom at the Holiday Inn in Muskegon and we will be offering classes all day Friday and Saturday.

The classes (and shopping) are open to the general public, so if you want to sign up, just drop me a line, or stop by and say, “hi.” There is a limit of 12 per class, so be sure to contact me for prices, supply lists and reservations.

Of course, I am still behind, so I can only show you a few of the classes, but here they are …

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This one features products from Pink Fresh Studio. I’ll show you a technique to get perfectly stamped images, and a couple ideas for using washi tape. As an added bonus, you get an entire package of Pink Fresh paper to make additional pages!

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Next up is a pair of layouts from Echo Park. Except for the photo mats, these pages were made entirely with the products from one mini kit, which sells for less than $7! I’ll show you how easy it is to work with these kits and Bayview Scrappers will have a variety of them for sale.

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Of course, I will also be teaching Mosaic Moments with this two-page layout featuring summer strawberries and picnic baskets. I’ll show you how to cut by hand and with the dies.

img_3644Card makers will enjoy this class which uses Elizabeth Craft Designs stickers and glitter, along with alcohol ink markers. We’ll also learn the transfer technique so you can put a little bit inside …

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I am also teaching a shaker card class using a new ocean die from Memory Box (I am so into fish right now!), but I don’t have the sample finished yet. However, this technique will show you how you can make a shaker card with any die or punch … no special kits or products needed.

Lori, from Bayview Scrappers, will also be teaching card classes and some of the other vendors will be offering classes as well — some of which are free!

Since I will be teaching much of the weekend, Matt will be on hand to do demos and make and takes with you at the Candy Scraps booth. Never in my wildest dreams did I think he would be a crafter, but when left with nothing to do but play with my “toys,” his creative side has come out and he is quite good. He’s also good at diagnosing problems with machines, cutting tools, cars and even GPS systems during crops. (It’s amazing the things that can wrong …) So if you have a question, don’t be afraid to ask him.

I hope you get the chance to stop by, take some classes and explore all of the wonderful new products that will be available! Happy cropping!

Samples, samples and more samples

sample_candy_spiegel10Whenever I have a big crop to attend as a vendor, like Boyne Highlands’ “Girls Just Wanna Crop” with 331 women, I create samples for as many of the products as I have for sale as possible. After all, how do you know you need that product unless you can see (and touch) what someone has done with it for yourself?

I finally had a chance to get photos of all of these card creations … this post will be long, but hopefully it will be inspiring!

 

Elizabeth Craft Designs’ A Way With Words Dies
Elizabeth Craft Designs makes these dies using hand-drawn words from Suzanne Cannon. They are beautiful and unique and fit perfectly on cards and scrapbook pages alike.fullsizerender-14

My husband, who used to just run my register and serve as chauffeur and pack-mule at the larger crops, has gotten a bit crafty lately. Every time I taught a class, I would come back to either new samples or a group of ladies hanging on his every word! The coolest thing is I have not shown him how to do a single thing … he has absorbed it all from listening to me teaching and/or discussing products with him over the years. It turns out he is quite creative. I know I should not have been surprised, but I was!

For these words (to show the differences in the Elizabeth Craft Designs’ Cool Diamond Silk Microfine Glitter and the Warm Diamond Silk Microfine Glitter), he adhered ECD clear, double-sided adhesive to black cardstock and then used the Believe die to cut each one out. Then he applied the glitter and polished it with his finger. Super easy and super beautiful!

By the way, the top one is Cool Diamond — it has a silver or blue tint. The bottom one is Warm Diamond — it has a gold or yellow hue.

sample_candy_spiegelFor this one, I cut the words out twice — once from brown cardstock and once from Bazzill’s Foil Cardstock (one of my new favorite products). I layered the foil die cut slightly to the right of the cardstock one to create a bit of a shadow.

The foil background is embossed with the ECD snowflake embossing folder. I used the medium die from the ECD Entwined Circles die set and added a few Glitter Dots. Easy and stunning!

 

Elizabeth Craft Designs Silk Microfine Glitter

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Did you know ECD double-sided adhesive and Warm Diamond and Cool Diamond glitters are transparent and can go over photos? I did the fairy and birds with Cool Diamond. Matt made the mosaic with Warm Diamond (he was looking for ways to join my two lines).

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Matt also made this one using the Warm Diamond Glitter and Mosaic Moments RTC Grid Paper in Black.

 

Elizabeth Craft Designs’ Chevron Backgroundsample_candy_spiegel4

I love this new die from ECD. On this card, I put back in some of the chevron pieces it cut out (flipping some over to take advantage of the double-sided paper). But the coolest thing is all of the pieces along the top and bottom of the chevron have tiny holes cut in them so you can take out those pieces and create a banner, like I did at the top of the card. Ingenious!

I also used Halloween Charms and Alphabet Die from ECD on this one.

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This time, I covered my card base in ECD double-sided adhesive, added the die cut to the top (cut out of silver foil cardstock) and then filled in the open areas with ECD Silk Microfine Glitter. Then I colored them in using Copic markers. This idea is totally stolen from Kelly Booth and hers looked much better than mine, but you can get the idea …

 

Elizabeth Craft Designs Animal Dies

These are part of the Karen Burniston Pop It Ups Collection for ECD. I love that they have little props, like a Santa hat and glasses, that fit on any of the animals.sample_candy_spiegel7

This is new paper from PhotoPlay … I used Honey the Bear with Props 5. He’s sitting on the Holly Flourish (trimmed and mangled from transport) with Glitter Dots for berries. The stamp is also from ECD.

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Cheepers the Chicken wearing Props 5 and a stamp from Karen Burniston, as well.

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Jolly the Mouse, stamps from Karen Burniston (the same set as the chicken) and the new Labels & Circles die

 

Iron Fence Pop Upsample_candy_spiegel12This ECD die, also by Karen Burniston, came out for Halloween, but it is easily made into a Christmas fence by using glitter paper. I added the Labels & Circles dies and a stamp by Joset Designs for ECD. The paper is from BoBunny.

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Here’s the fence again … this time not as a pop up. In addition to the Labels & Circles (love that set) and the stamp from Joset, I used the Chevron Background Die to cut out the pieces for the banner from glitter paper.

 

Winter Sweater Diesample_candy_spiegel9

I can’t get enough of the Winter Sweater Die by Joset Designs for ECD. It is way too much fun to play with. These are just cut out of paper … I added the Holiday Garlands 2 and Holiday Charms dies, along with Glitter Dots to these ones. The hanger is cut from foil cardstock.

sample_candy_spiegel21Matt did this one … he used foil cardstock for the cuffs, antlers and nose … I love how it shows the embossing that is part of the die. And, he added googly eyes and Glitter Dots. The bow is from the balloon die set by ECD. Quite clever!

 

ECD Peel-Off Stickers

sample_candy_spiegel19I love these stickers. They are so versatile … you can use them with any coloring medium and on just about any surface.

Matt made this card on Mosaic Moments RTC Grid Paper with Cool Diamond Silk Microfine Glitter and Copic markers. I love how he colored the background in.

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I did these on patterned paper (from Graphic 45) and fussy cut them out.

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More glittered and colored stickers … it never gets old.

The card on the top right uses the Transfer Sheet to use the remains of the sticker after the outline has been used. The paper on that card is made using the new stencils from Karen Burniston for ECD.

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Two more samples … I thought the Kitchen Time set would be fun to make tags to adhere to your homemade gifts this holiday season.

 

More Dies from ECDsample_candy_spiegel10This one uses the largest die in the Entwined Circles set. I added the Holly Flourish, Joset’s Birds and some Glitter Dots. The birds are cut from glitter paper (Close to My Heart) and the hats and scarves are cut from felt. I love how versatile the dies are!

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I made this one the last day of the show using the new Pinwheel die from Joset Designs for ECD. I cut most of it out of foil cardstock (I told you I love that stuff). Because the foil is white on the back, I added Cool Diamond Silk Microfine Glitter to the backside before creating the pinwheel. The paper is from Doodlebug. And, yes, the pinwheel is adhered with a brad and spins!

 

Stencils

sample_candy_spiegel11Finally, I purchased this beautiful Memory Box stencil from Bayview Scrappers, another vendor at the show. I made a sample for their booth using Distress Ink and dies, which I neglected to take a photo of.

But, I also did this one with Viva Decor Glitter Paste in two different colors for my booth. I love how it turned out. It will become a card eventually!

And there you have it … Are you inspired?

Stay tuned … page samples are coming soon!

From Boyne Highlands

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Boyne Highlands in Harbor Springs, MI is one of my favorite places to visit.

It’s a ski lodge and features some of the best golf courses in the state, but I go to work — and relax. The place is truly magical. Less than four hours from my house, I feel like I am in another country every time I visit. The buildings have a Tudor vibe and are covered in ivy. Inside, the decor is quite Scottish — which I absolutely love. There are rustic log tables in the lobby, vintage Scottish posters in the halls, and lamps with antlers in many of the rooms. The hotel has a tower, although I still haven’t gotten my Rapunzel photo from it, with beautiful stone, spiral staircases. The bar has amazingly comfortable chairs to relax in and the carpet is red tartan. The rooms have robes to borrow and the hot tub and heated swimming pool are open the entire time we’re there. Every employee — from the front desk to the cleaning staff to the security staff — is polite and happy and they will go out of their way to do whatever you need. In the fall, you can ride the ski lift to look at the colors — more on that to come later. There are many other amenities to enjoy, but we never have the time to enjoy them.

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I love this place. I feel like a fairy princess living in the castle with a beautiful room I get to call my own for 3-4 days, twice a year. Honestly, I never have to make my bed or my own coffee and wine is available by the glass or bottle. What more could a girl ask for?

candyscraps_boyneThis year, we got to go three times, since they added an additional Girls Just Wanna Crop weekend, the weekend following the traditional fall one. For me, these two October weekends were monumental.

candyscraps_boyne3On a professional level, I developed a new business plan limiting my products to Mosaic Moments, Elizabeth Craft Designs and my unique page and card kits. My husband built me some new displays to showcase my new lines and Boyne was the first time I got to try them out. I also worked out a deal with another vendor while I was there (you’ll see more about this later). And, I taught Mosaic Moments, in the form of a two-page layout, for the first time to a group of 15. The class sold out quickly, I had to turn many away and I was very nervous … but the ladies loved it. (Of course, I forgot to take any photos the entire first weekend)

candyscraps_boyne4As usual, I did free make and takes to show new techniques throughout the weekend. Here’s a card one cropper made after learning to use Elizabeth Craft Designs glitter and peel-off stickers.

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And a pair of sweaters my new Canadian friends made with the Elizabeth Craft Designs Sweater Die.

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Another created this amazing page with Mosaic Moments … the empty spot will be filled with a photo, once it is reprinted. It suffered a slip of the knife …candyscraps_boyne5

And, in the last few minutes of the second weekend, Sandy Wilkinson and Tami Migda came to show me these amazing pages they made … They liked them so much, they bought frames from another vendor and framed them! (Naturally, they were the only ones I managed to remember to take a photo of and get their name … you would never know I was a journalist for decades.)

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I did not get a photo of a winning layout … one customer bought one of the Mosaic Moments dies from me and then created a two-page layout. During the crop, they have a contest and her layout was voted the winner! I had nothing to do with it, other than showing her how to use the die, but I felt pretty darn proud!

On a personal level, the second weekend at Boyne was also monumental. I drove there by myself — the longest drive I’ve ever done alone. And, on the way home, I drove with a custom-designed rack on the back of the car to hold all of my products. It wasn’t a big deal, but it was something I had never done before, so it made me feel pretty good.

For the first time in my life, I got out of the hot tub and pool without feeling self-conscious. This was a huge moment for me in my personal growth. I was so calm going from one to the other — even with others around and all of the hotel rooms looking onto the area — that I didn’t even notice I wasn’t uncomfortable until the third time I did it. I guess I’m finally learning to accept myself for who I am — well, and losing 75 pounds doesn’t hurt either.

Finally, I actually rode the ski lift to see the fall colors. I was scared to death — especially before we figured out there was a bar we could pull down in front of us. I held onto that bar with white knuckles, but I didn’t have a panic attack and I did manage to take pictures. (I have yet to download them, but I’m hoping the stabilizer on the lens combated the shaking in my hands.) From someone who a few months ago couldn’t climb up a step ladder, this was a HUGE deal! Thanks to the guys operating the lift for slowing down and even stopping it so I could get on and off.

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So now I’m back down below the 45th parallel and getting special orders ordered and shipped, restocking my inventory and getting ready for my next crop … I have lots of samples I made for Boyne to share … stay tuned!

A Fox in a Pot

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Karen Burniston came out with a great die for Elizabeth Craft Designs … The Flower Pot Pop Stand comes with 12 dies and costs only $21.95 … a great value, in my opinion.

The package includes the dies to make this adorable flower pot, a piece that attaches it to a card base, and a variety of flowers, leaves and a butterfly. The flower pot folds flat and can be placed in a card or stand on its own.

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This one was made using only the dies in the package … (paper is from Ken Oliver; Glitter Dots are from ECD)

christmas_fox_candy_spiegel3but then I wanted to have a bit more fun, so I put Dutch the Fox (a die from Elizabeth Craft Designs) in the pot and added some of the holiday props to him. I mean, who doesn’t love a fox in a Santa hat with wire rimmed glasses!?

I attached the fox pot to a card.

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Here’s the front … (the paper is from Authentique and the stamps are also from Karen Burniston and Elizabeth Craft Designs.)

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Here’s how it would look if you opened it the way a card is traditionally opened. You can see I had a lot more space to add stuff, but I stuck to just the fox and a few pieces of holly (also an ECD die).

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And, amazingly, this is the card folded flat for mailing. You just open it and

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here he is! I love it!

Here’s a great video that shows you how easy it is to make

And, once you make the pot, you can add anything you want to it! Amazing!

Staying Warm

sweater5Elizabeth Craft Designs just released the most adorable sweater die and I have been having a blast playing with it!

It is part of the Joset’s Designs collection and can be purchased through me, or here …

The set includes the sweater die, the cuffs, a reindeer face and antlers, a snowflake and the hanger. It is such a fun and versatile set!

 

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In the card above, I cut the sweater out of felt and the cuffs and reindeer out of paper. I added a Glitter Dot for the nose and googly eyes, because I thought it needed them! I used the snowflake die that comes with the set to make glitter snowflake accents.

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On this card, I cut all of the sweater pieces out of felt. I used a marker for the eyes and colored a tiny pom pom for Rudolf’s nose!

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For this one, I cut the sweater out of canvas. Then I trimmed off the collar, sleeves and bottom cuff to make it into a t-shirt. I took one of the sweater cuffs and cut it out to make the pocket. I added a bit of black faux stitching to bring out the details.

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Now to show you how I did it …

First I cut the hangers out of wooden paper and then a second time from foil paper. I trimmed the foil paper and put it on top of the wooden cut to make the hangers. Too cute!

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Next I cut the sweater die out of felt. I found if you don’t use a metal plate, it cuts, but you might have to use scissors in a few places to get the sweater separated from the fabric. When I used the metal plate, it cut like butter and added some embossed detailing, as well.

If you have a Sizzix machine (Big Shot, Big Kick, Vagabond, etc.), I highly recommend the Precision Base Plate. It will make all of those intricate dies cut out so much easier!

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Before cutting out the smaller pieces, like the cuffs and snowflake, I adhered double-sided adhesive to the felt, leaving the backing on. (Elizabeth Craft Designs makes the best for this, since the backing paper is so thin and the adhesive is crystal clear. Scor-Tape also makes some.)

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See how cleanly they come out? And the back side has adhesive on it and is ready to stick!

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Just peel off the backing and stick the parts to the sweater. I love how the die embosses the ribs into the cuffs even on felt!

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It then put the sweater on it’s hanger and adhered it to the card. Then I stamped the sentiment (I used this new set of stamps, also from Joset’s Designs, on three of the cards pictured.)

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I added few gems for a little extra bling …

I have so many more ideas using this die, I cannot find more time to play!

 

Let It Snow, Let It Snow Banner

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Since things were so busy before the holidays and I had so many plans for the new year, I decided to make my holiday banner a winter banner, so I could leave it up on my tree all season. Of course, I still have the holiday stuff up, so this photo shows the banner with all of it’s holiday attire, but I assure you, the ornaments and Christmas cards will soon be packed away…

snow_banner_Candy_Spiegel3I started with a 6×6 paper pad from Michael’s and cut out tags using dies from Elizabeth Craft Designs to make the banner. I added a few cut outs from the paper pad, as well.

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Then, I embellished with silver glitter paper using dies from Impression Obsession and a deer punch. I used the Sizzix Precision Base Plate to get the thin metal dies to cut through the glitter paper.

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Then I added ribbon and buttons and strung it up with a bit of twine … since the tree is in my hallway where the lighting is poor, the photos on the tree never look great, but you get the idea!

Mason Jar Pincushion

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For Christmas this year, I made my future daughter-in-law a mason jar pincushion to go with her new sewing machine. The idea originally came from Pinterest, but when I tried to follow those directions, it failed. So I ripped it apart and started fresh with my own way of doing things …

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I found a circle die that was about the same size as the lid and cut out two thin chipboard pieces from it. (I actually used the thin piece of chipboard that was in the fat quarter of fabric I bought. You do not want it to be too thick because then the jar will not close properly — that was the problem I had the first time. I also neglected to use the jar lid this time around in order to make it thinner.)

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Then I used a circle die that was about 1/4″ larger all the way around than the lid. By using it with the Sizzix Precision Base Plate, I was able to cut out the fabric easily with it. (If you have a Sizzix machine and do not have this plate, you need it!)

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Next, I placed one of the chipboard circles in the center of the fabric circle and used Elizabeth Craft Designs’ Transparent Double-Sided Tape to adhere it. (Scor-Tape or Red Line Tape would also work. The initial attempt used a hot-glue gun, but it was messy and thick and lumpy, so I opted for a strong tape the second time around.)

Then, I added strips of tape all along the chipboard circle and folded and pressed the fabric over the tape, leaving a few inches for stuffing. I added a bit of stuffing, and then sealed off that final part.

I added the second circle on top to cover all of the edges and give it a clean, finished look. Since my chipboard was white, I left it plain, but you could paint the circle first, if you liked.

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Finally, I filled the jar with ribbons, fibers and lace (but you could fill with buttons, pins, candy or anything you wanted). Then I put the jar’s ring over the little cushion I made, carefully pulling all of the stuffed area through the center of the hole, and then screwed it on top. It was a tight enough fit that I didn’t feel adhesive on the ring was necessary.

I love how it turned out … what do you think?!