Sunday, June 29, 2008

#42: Transparencies

We've been "talking" about transparencies on GW a lot recently and I've been asked about a type I described as a little "cloudy." The type I mean is for highly detailed copies and therefore it has a special coating to help the copier toner adhere better to the transparency. I'm not sure if "cloudy" is the correct term to use. The coating results in a very slight rough feel and perhaps just a touch of dullness, as opposed to a super shiny/slick surface. I kind of like this type, as my inked up stamp is less likely to slide because there's a faint texture from the coating. But that's definitely a personal preference.

Some types of transparencies also have a white strip running the length of them. It's called a "sensing strip" and is there so that certain types of copiers can recognize a clear sheet coming through and can sort of grab onto it. The strip removes cleanly, without residue. Sometimes I pull the strip off and other times I leave it on, incorporating it into my card design.

This is a card I made for the DH. It isn't a great image because I scanned it, but trying to get a photo of a transparency is waaaaay beyond my limited photography skills. The deer is a sticker Mike had admired and looks much better than anything I could color; the zig-zag design is a gold metallic sticker over the sensing strip.



I am absolutely not any kind of an expert on using transparencies in card making-- I know more about using transparencies from the days of overhead projectors and pre-PowerPoint. Now that's showing my age, isn't it??!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

#41: The winner-- and more!

Thank you to everyone who took the time to comment or send an e-mail regarding the Heat Gun Holder Tutorial. It was delightful to know that I'm not the only one who thinks the Holder is a must-have-- or that my DH, Mike, is a sweetheart!

However, it just gets better: Mike was very pleased with how appreciative everyone was and decided to put together "kits" for three runners-up. The winner will receive a fully put-together/complete Heat Gun Holder, as shown in the tutorial. Additionally, though, three more Holders will be shipped, unassembled, to the runners-up. These "kit" Holders have already been put together, but then unassembled to make shipping a little easier. All that needs to be done is to insert the screws and cup hook (all included) into the correct holes.

So, here's the list:
THE WINNER!!: sandie994

RUNNER-UP #1: Cathy in AZ

RUNNER-UP #2: Renée K.

RUNNER-UP #3: SilverDragoness

I have sent e-mails out to Sandie, Cathy and Renée; SilverDragoness, I need contact information for you, please.

I do wish I could send out a Heat Gun Holder to every single one of you. However, you just never know what the DH might come up with in the future, when he's fiddling around in the basement...

Many thanks and best wishes to each of you!
~Mary (and Mike)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

#40: Heat Gun Holder Tutorial & Giveaway

More than any other post on my blog, the wonderful heat gun holder my DH made for me has generated many lovely comments and e-mails (see post #29 HERE).

I've e-mailed quickie instructions to those who have asked, but finally decided to do a step-by-step photo tutorial of Mike in action, creating one. As a result, I have an extra heat gun holder, and will be giving it away to a lucky random poster. Details at the end of the tutorial!

STEP #1:

Measurements of the wood pieces are approximate. Mike uses scraps of pine that he has in the basement, so no two holders are exactly the same. Don't be afraid to experiment.
(1) BASE: 5" wide x 6" long x ¾" thick
(1) TOP: 3½" wide x 5½" long x ¾" thick
(1) UPRIGHT STAND: 3" wide x 10½" long x ½" thick
(6) Wood Screws, 1½" long
(1) Ceramic Tile, 4¼" x 4¼"
(1) Cup Hook [not shown]
2" hole saw for cutting hole in TOP
Polyurethane Spray [not shown--optional]
Silicone Glue [not shown]
STEP #2:
Lightly sand rough edges of wood, if desired.

Center UPRIGHT STAND piece onto edges of BASE and TOP.


STEP #3:
Drill 3 evenly spaced holes along ends of UPRIGHT STAND into TOP and into BASE pieces (total of 6 holes).


STEP #4:

Use hole saw to cut 2" opening into TOP. Center the hole side-to-side, but place it more to front edge of the TOP.

STEP #5:

Re-align TOP and BASE pieces with UPRIGHT STAND piece and insert screws. An electric screwdriver or a drill bit for screws speeds things up!

STEP #6:

Almost done!

STEP #7:

OPTIONAL: Sand the entire holder lightly with fine sandpaper and spray with one coat of fast-drying polyurethane. DH uses Minwax Clear Gloss or Matte Finish. Do not paint the wood as it may not withstand the heat from the heat gun.


STEP #8:
Use Silicone Glue to adhere the Ceramic Tile to the base.

STEP #9:
Center Ceramic Tile on BASE and press down firmly.

Screw a cup hook into the back of the UPRIGHT STAND to help control the cord on the heat gun (see original photo at top of page).

Is this guy great or what??!
Now, for the Giveaway:
Since creating this tutorial meant that a new heat gun holder was created, too, Mike and I thought we'd share the extra. If you could use this handy tool, here's your chance to win it!
Just leave a comment with your e-mail address, or send me a brief message [handsandheart (at) live (dot) com]. I'll have the DH choose a random number on Sunday, June 22nd, 2008 at 12:00 noon EST and will be in touch with the winner.

Monday, June 9, 2008

#39: Fiskars Border and Corner Punch

I love-love-LOVE punches of all kinds, but I'm really impressed with one of the new Fiskars Border and Corner punches. I haven't seen them in stores, yet, but did purchase one at a recent Rubber Stamping and Scrapbooking show in Syracuse, NY.

The names of the punches are truly, truly awful (one that's a woven-type of style is called "Lattice Entertain You".....), but I just adore the beautiful intricacy of the one I purchased, called "Comin' Up Roses."

You must start with a square or rectangle that's measured in full inch increments. There are actually two punches, side-by-side: the corner punch and the border. You begin by pressing both simultaneously, then move your paper/cardstock along the very clearly marked base, pressing only the border punch, to make your design. When there's one inch remaining, turn the paper 90 degrees and repeat. One of the easiest punch systems I've ever used, with spectacularly intricate results. It almost appears laser-cut.

On this sample, I used a heavy cream paper matted on black cardstock, resulting in a simple, but elegant, sympathy card. With the right stamp and by substituting a pretty pink or green mat, and it could be a wonderfully feminine birthday card.

Stamp: My Sentiments Exactly! Clear Stamps "Sympathy Sentiments" (Set #M123)

Saturday, June 7, 2008

#38: A tradition, of sorts...

The first card I posted on this blog last year was the card I made for my Mom for Mother's Day, 2007, so I guess I should keep up with the tradition. (Is something a tradition when it's only been done twice? Close enough, I guess!)

My Mom is one of my biggest fans when it comes to the cards I create. She has been battling Alzheimer's for several years, so I find that she enjoys cards that are kind of bold and obvious-- she can't really appreciate things like subtle stamping or shading. So I get a kick out of using some of the offbeat Sizzix dies I have and she always enjoys receiving them, too.
*Sizzix Originals Die: "Toaster"
-Toaster made with Crayola Brand "Stardust" Inkjet Sticker Paper
*Sizzix Originals Die: "Toast, Butter & Jam"
-Toast made with PSX Paper Designs 12x12 "Antique Wallpaper" and edge colored with a gold/brown Sharpie marker
*Pink background paper by Frances Meyer, Inc. (unknown pattern name)
*Sentiment is computer generated

Sunday, June 1, 2008

#37: Maybe I'm on a roll....

Lots of birthdays in May and June. Here's a quick card made for a friend. The little squares are tiny (2¼") notecards from Michael's, available in a variety of colors. They come with coordinating colored envelopes, so all you need to do is seal the envelope and stick the card to it to have an instant mat.

I love the delicate little gingham and tiny watercolor style hearts and flowers. The best part? I got a TON of different colors on sale for 50¢ per package of 12!
The ribbon is also from Michael's. It was labeled as an Easter ribbon, but I purchased it on sale after the holiday.