Saturday, January 31, 2015

6 Websites With Awesome Free Paper Craft Downloads

When it comes to crafting, the internet is full of websites offering cool ideas and great downloads. Unfortunately, there aren't enough hours in a day to take advantage of it all. (Or, I suppose, paper in my craft stash but that could be fixed ;) ) The following six sites are ones which I have had my eye on but have yet to use (but they will be! Some day...). I just want to share them in case any one of you were thinking of doing your own crafting projects. they announced that Paper Crafts had run its last issue, I was saddened. This was a great publication for card making inspiration and I always enjoyed thumbing through their glossy pages. I'm not sure how long they will continue keeping the site up but they offer some lovely quality downloads for sentiments and images to use for cards or scrapbooking. Paper CraftsHave a look:

CREATIVE PARK I discovered this website through a patient of mine who was admitted to the hospital for two weeks. During that time, she filled her room with paper models which she had printed from this site and meticulously pieced together. There are hundreds of things you can print out and make if you have a colour printer and a stack of paper. The animal models are definitely on my 'to try' list:

Paperpokés - Pokémon PapercraftsOn the theme of paper models, I came across this site ages ago and was exceptionally impressed with this group's creativity and dedication. They are steadily working their way through all the Pokémon and even if you don't plan on creating your own collection of paper Pokémon, you should still browse their site to admire their amazing work.
It's so tempting to make 'em all though!

Sweetly SweetOkay, so there's only one download offered here but it is such a cute one that I couldn't resist adding it to my list. Her Sweet Berrylicious Collection is just waiting for me to host a summer tea party so that I have an excuse to print these out:

Ellinee - handcraft your life I found this blog through Pinterest when I came across a picture for some cute paper orchids. Turns out that she has a lot more than paper orchid templates for download:

Robert Sabuda, New York Times Best-selling Children's Book CreatorPop-ups are my new fascination - they just awaken the kid in anybody. This site has clear instructions on making all your basic pop-ups. There are also templates available if you need them. Just you wait, one day, I'll be making something as cool as the Game of Thrones pop-up book.

These are just a few many, many websites out there offering free crafting downloads. Do you have any that you like and would recommend? I'm always up for suggestions!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Butterfly Notes (Lil' Notes II)

These number as one of my more extravagant crafting purchases and if you know how much punches usually cost, you will understand why I say that.

The guilt was taken away by an Amazon gift card and free shipping though!
I have discovered a love of punches but their price is the only thing that keeps me from purchasing tons of them. Honestly, that is probably a good thing as I do not craft enough to justify to myself buying so much stuff.

I see butterfly punches used in many, many Pinterest projects. When the punches arrived in the mail, I immediately put them to work punching through my stack of paint chips.

I really enjoy the ombre look.

Some punches are elaborate but although they look beautiful, they are less versatile compared to simpler designs. However, I really couldn't pass up this monarch butterfly punch. They look so good when punched out with rich colours.

There's a butterfly mobile that I've seen on Pinterest and Etsy that I want to try one day. We shall see when I finally have the time...

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Post Christmas Deals and Finds

I love the unexpected find. I was shopping at Mexx two weekends ago, 6 days before they closed, when my sister came across these among the furniture and fixtures they were selling:

I was so excited!

"What are those?" you ask. Well, let me back up.  Last year, I bought a Detolf cabinet for displaying my crafts (creating a real showcase to match my online one). As much as I like it, it has several problems, one of which is that there is too much space between shelves resulting in wasted space when it comes to arranging my small creations. Because the majority of the cabinet is glass, I wanted to find clear sub shelves to maximize that space. I had never seen any in stores so to be honest, I wasn't sure exactly what I was looking for. 

Until 2 weeks ago.

These were perfect! And they were only $0.50 each! So I bought 6 (of course) :)

While I'm on the topic of shopping finds, I might as well share the rest of my post Christmas horde. The best time to shop for Christmas decorations is after Christmas as stores are trying to clear their shelves for Valentine's day stuff (and occasionally, Chinese New Year stuff depending on the store). Things can be priced incredibly cheap. Over the past two years, I have found some really great deals and neat stuff on the Christmas clearance shelves. 

Ribbon can normally be pretty pricey so I was delightfully surprised to find these rolls being sold off for $0.25 each at Giant Tiger. I'm not too sure what I'm going to do with all this plaid but I'll think of something.

Lastly, I might as well confess that while I don't normally go for Boxing Day sales, this year, I ended up going to Michaels because I couldn't pass up the price of their paper pads (only $5.00). As you can see, that's not the only thing I got while I was there.

Michaels is a dangerous place...

My unexpected find at Michaels that day were Christmas snaps for making Christmas crackers. That's on my 'to try' list for next year. Now I just need to figure out what to put in them...

Normally, I'm not big on shopping but clearly, that does not apply to craft supplies ;). 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Heart Punch Notes (Lil' Notes I)

I have decided to start a multi-post feature called Lil' Notes. I really like decorating note cards because they are fast projects and a simple design tends to work out best. I made these two a while back when I was playing with the small heart punch that I found. Remember these cards?

I usually use these cards to add a cheery message to my aunt's lunch when I am delivering it to her at work (we work at the same hospital).

More to come!

{Update 16/02/15 - I added him to the Gluesticks blog's Friday Finds Linky Party. Check it out. There's a lot of neat stuff there.}

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Upcycled Colouring books

I found several half-completed colouring books in my basement a while back. My pack rat tendencies warred with my purging tendencies. It seemed like such a shame to just throw everything out when there were so many pages which were untouched and in good shape. Then Pinterest, yet again, came to the rescue. I came across this pin for colouring pages stationary. I thought it was a neat way to transform these pages.

The pictures actually lend themselves very nicely to envelopes.

To go with the kiddy theme, I made cards out of construction paper to match. I also took the cover of the book and made an extra envelope.

There were several pages worth of stickers in the book. I punched them all out and placed them in the envelop which I made from the cover.

It's almost like a gift set!
Okay, if I am honest with myself, even though I made this stationary set, I still don't really have anything to do with it. Maybe I'll give it away as a gift. I wish I could sell it on Etsy but the images are copyrighted so I can't. Ah well...I'm sure it will come in handy some day.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

It's a Boy!

Now I'm sure you've all been waiting with baited breath to find out what I made during our Sunday of crafting back in November. Here it is!

Worth the wait? Okay, probably not but my last post had been getting a little long and I had wanted to save some crafts to post this year.

One of the residents in my program is pregnant and so I made a card for her baby shower (which I assume she will be having...I'm actually not sure...). She's not due for months but I had this idea floating around in my head at the time and I wanted to catch that inspiration. Overall, the design is very simple but I like the whimsy of it.

While wandering through Dollarama one day, I caved in and bought these sticker letter sets. At last I actually use them.

I thought about just using pen to draw in the strings but I thought, 'What the heck! Let's go all out and actually tie a string to each balloon.' A tad tricky but do-able. 

I've got another friend who is also pregnant but with a girl this time. Time to start on another card!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

A New Year, A New Planner

Happy 2015! *Throws glitter and confetti into the air*

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday with friends and family. Now that the Christmas decorations have been packed away, the turkey leftovers have been polished off and the guests have been waved home, it's time to get back to the daily grind. 

Do you remember the planner I made back in July? If you don't, that's it on the left in the picture above. Sadly, it wasn't quite up to the rigors of resident life and you will notice that the edges and corners look a little worse for wear. That's why, I really couldn't pass up the chance to make a new one for New Year.  

I decided I needed a better core for this one. Since my bookbinding skills weren't passing muster, I thought to start with a book and build from there. 

Conference swag is awesome for crafting because it is usually quality stuff that I don't mind altering and best of all, it's free.
I really like the clear plastic covers for the front and back - they will protect my designs nicely.

Even though the covers were laminated, I decided to reinforce them anyway to make sure that this one lasts the whole year. 

I designed the calendars again on Microsoft Word, keeping things simple. This time, I cut out each of the calendars and glued them to the pages of my notebook.

During one of Michael's open paperstock sales, I picked up some lovely floral patterns. I decided to do the same thing as my previous planner and picked two different patterns for the front and back covers.

The key to any professional-looking paper wrapping is in the corners.

So what earth-shattering organizational system am I using now? Well, I have developed a love of sticky notes and a realization that I do not need to keep a record of every minute thing in my day. My to-do lists are going to be written on stickies which are stuck to the first page of my agenda. As things are accomplished, I will have the satisfaction of ripping up said stickies. 

Major events will be laid out on my month-at-a-glance calendars. All the rest of the pages in the notebook will be for other lists, notes or even some impromptu journaling.

I have collected so many stickers over the years and never seem to know what to do with them. Time to add a little colour and fun to my agenda!

And that's it! Of course, an organizational system is only as good as the person who is using it and I am hit-or-miss at best. We shall see how this year goes. 

Allison and I want to wish everyone who has been following our blog a very happy new year. It's been a lot of fun sharing our hobbies with all of you - 2014 was an awesome year for crafting. As I glance back at my first post of last year, I am happy to note that during this last year I posted 'work in progress' shots, created a tutorial, and got Allison to post some of her creations - all things that I said I would do. I fell short of my goal of having a post up per week but I posted twice as much as I did in 2013 - progress!

So what are my crafting goals for 2015? I'm aiming for a total of 52 posts this year and a lot more crafting afternoons with friends. So get your scissors and glue ready - it's going to be another amazing year!

Happy New Year!