Stitched tag Cards

I'm sure many of you have been seeing lots of cross stitching making its way onto cards recently - which I'm sure is mostly due to Jennifer McGuire's recent video, starting this obsession. And I have happily joined onto the bandwagon! I started cross stitching when I was pretty young, and it's been one of my many on-and-off hobbies. I was happy to pick it up again, since I already have lots of supplies and embroidery floss. But the great thing is, even if you've never done this before, the supplies are very inexpensive to try it out!

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Many people are using dies that are available now that cut out the holes for stitching for you - like this Paper Smooches die, or this MFT stitched tag die. However, I was too impatient to wait for either of these to ship to me - plus, I wanted to just try this out first to see if it was something worth the investment of a $25 die. So I actually just poked all the holes by hand with a paper piercer :) I used some graph paper as a template of where to poke the holes, and did all of these onto a basic Simon Says Stamp tag die.

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I love stitching on these tags because it is a smaller area, so it doesn't take too long to stitch it up. Each of these tags took around 1-2 hours. Not bad compared to how long I would guess a full card front would take! And once you're done, you have a really nice element to add to a card that can be finished really quickly.

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You can see how I did a combination of different stitches on most of the dies, and added sequins to some too. I didn't really plan too much ahead of time what stitches I would do. I would basically just pick my colors first, and then decide on what to stitch as I go. It'll turn out awesome no matter what, I think!

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These stitched tags really make for some special cards, and it's always fun to try something new and different and incorporate different kinds of crafting together!

Have you tried stitching on cards yet? What do you think of this trend?

Chibitronics Light Up Interactive Card - Sweet Stamp Shop Collaboration

Do you (or your kid) LOVE science? Are you always looking for a new way to make a unique and clever interactive card? Are you up for a little creative problem solving? Well then, keep reading!!

Today I am SO excited to share a collaboration between Sweet Stamp Shop and Chibitronics with this fun interactive card. If you've never tried Chibitronics (like I hadn't before this), you are in for a real treat. These great products are such a unique way to use both your right AND left parts of your brain for cardmaking!

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Chibitronics was so generous and let me try out a Starter Kit, which has everything you need to teach you the basics of LED circuit stickers and still have some supplies left over for a couple of cards. If you're new to all of this, this kit is a great place to start. Doing each "lesson" would also be a REALLY fun and educational experience for kids, too!! I'm not even exaggerating when I say that I'm just looking forward to the day when my (newborn!) nephew is old enough to buy this kit for haha ;)

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Anyway, definitely start with the lessons in this workbook because it will teach you a lot, and you'd rather make mistakes here than on a card that you worked so hard on, right??

Once you've gone through and have a good grasp of the basics, it's time to put it all on a card! Decide what kind of system you would like to use, and I would HIGHLY recommend starting with a sketch on your card base. This is what my initial sketch looked like, but as you'll see later, I had to do some troubleshooting and move things around a bit. But, that's all part of the fun process! 

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I probably was a bit of an overachiever with my first card, because I wanted to make a red LED light up behind my Dream Princess (my thought was that it would be like her heart hehe), BUT I also wanted to make a few stars (from Lil Moon) light up in the sky at the same time - so four LED lights total... I know, what was I thinking?? You could definitely keep it much more simple and just have one thing light up per card. It might save you some sanity and crumpled copper tape! Speaking from experience..

So to get my card started, I inked up a nice background using Distress Inks. I didn't want to deal with masking, so I stamped my princess and a few stars onto Sweet Sticker Paper. Another big reason I wanted to use sticker paper was that I wanted to keep the thickness of my images as thin as possible so that the lights would be able to shine bright through the cardstock of my inked piece AND another layer, and sticker paper is much thinner than another layer of cardstock.

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Then, I just colored up my images with some colored pencils (one of my favorite coloring methods recently), and fussy cut them out.

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Then, it's time to lay down your copper tape and LED stickers onto your card base! Here is what mine looked like when it was done. You might be able to tell that I messed up some of it, had to pull it out, and put some new tape down. But in the end, no one will see what I like to call the "guts" of the card anyway. In my case, ugly guts ;)

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Guys, I can't even explain the excitement of that first test, just crossing your fingers to see if all the lights will light up... it's such a great feeling when it does - especially if you messed up once like me and they didn't like up the first time, lol!!

And... it works!!!

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Now to put all the pretty stuff on top and cover up my mess! In order to leave space for the battery, and have the top flap of wires only touch it when it's pressed down, I ended up having to use THREE layers of foam tape in between the card base and the top layer. Just place some around the border of your card and in between the copper tape, and you'll be good!

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Isn't that SO COOL!? It's hard to completely do it justice in a photo. You really have to try it out with your own hands, or at least see it in a video - check out my Instagram (@michelleyuen_) if you want to see this card in action!

I hope you enjoyed reading about my first try with some Chibitronics. It was such a cool learning experience, and I can't wait to jazz up some more cards with these lights!

Puerto Rico Relief Fundraiser

Hi, everyone. I'm a little late writing this post, but I just wanted to share this little fundraiser I have been doing this month. 

If you're here reading this, you're probably already a part of this wonderful, small, crafty community and know how kind all the companies and people in our little world are. I have been so touched and inspired by all the good things that big companies have been doing (like the donation boxes put together by Simon Says Stamp) to help provide relief for all the natural disasters that have occurred in the past month.  It is because of this generosity, led by others, that I have decided to contribute my own efforts in any way I can.

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For the entire month of October, I have been donating 100% of sales at my Etsy shop, and will also match 50% to donate to United for Puerto Rico.

It is just a small thing, but sometimes I think it is not about the size of something you do, but the fact that just for a bit, we are united in helping others and together spreading a little bit of love and kindness. 

Thanks for reading today, and I would love for you to check out my store if you'd like to contribute.

Distress Oxide Inks with Stencils

Okay, so I know I'm a little late to the game because Distress Oxide Inks have been out for a few months. But I finally got my hands on a few of them to see what the big deal was. I mean, I have a dozen pads of Distress Inks that have been doing just fine, so I was wondering if I really needed to cave and switch to Distress Oxide Inks. (Especially since these only come in full size pads instead of minis, which I love)

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Well, short answer - YES. 

This ink is AMAZING! It is a blend between dye and pigment ink, which makes it super creamy and it blends like a dream. It stays wet on the paper for a little bit after you apply it - just long enough for you to blend it out. No more of those lines I always seemed to get with normal distress inks, no matter how lightly I tried to ink! Just smooth, buttery yumminess ;)

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Right now I only have a few colors, so this was just a first test run for me (Peacock Feathers shown on blue cardstock in the card above). But you can be sure that they will be used on many future cards.

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One thing I really like is that it is easier to blend very different colors together. Look how nicely the Cracked Pistachio blends into the Fossilized Amber on this card to make it look like there is a third shade in there!

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For both of these cards I used this Simon Says Stamp Stencil, which is just absolutely gorgeous. I've already used it on half a dozen cards, and I love that you can use stencils over and over again and get different looks and styles each time.

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Thanks for stopping by today, and I hope you enjoyed this quick look at the projects I made with these new inks. Have you tried Distress Oxide Inks yet? What is your favorite thing you like to use them for?

Mother's Day Cards with paper quilling

Hey! It's been a while... just getting back into the swing of this whole blogging thing so I'm easing back into it with a short and sweet post today sharing some Mother's Day cards I made this year. So yeah, I only have one mom to give a card to so I didn't need to make more than one, but I did to put them up on my Etsy shop as well. They're all extra special because they have paper quilled elements! I really love this technique to add interest and dimension to cards with a simple design.

Here's one of my classic designs, with a basic flower and leaves.

This card is similar, but with some extra added elements.

Then, I played around with a simple yet fun idea of making a heart wreath out of heart shapes. I like how this one turned out!

Here's a shot where you can really see that dimension! Cool, huh? ;)

One last one - I made a single butterfly to be the showcase element for this card, and easily finished it off with some dashed line paths and matching sequins.

By the way, the sentiment stamp I used for all these cards is from this Lawn Fawn stamp set. I love the style of the handwriting, which I think goes so well with the swirls in paper quilling, and at just a few bucks, it's a steal!

Hope you enjoyed this quick share and for all you mothers out there, Happy {early} Mother's Day!! You are awesome and loved, and don't forget it :)