Monday, July 28, 2014

My ATC card for CI's July trade.

The theme for July was Books. This was a really fun theme because there are so many different ways to go. Like do you do something about reading, or a specific book or images of books? I choose to go with reading as the main focus.
Once again, I choose a Some Odd Girl digi stamp, this one is of Mae reading. It is colored and shaded with Copics and fussy cut. (The old fashioned way this time.)  In the background is a card that looks lije a book page. It is from a set i bought that were close to ATC dimensions. I thought they were so cute, I even cut up the cover page and used the tiny preview cards. I attachedvthem to tge cardcwith a tiny Tim Holtz paper clip. I inked the edges of both with brown ink.

As embellishments to finish the ATC, I added a few bits of bling and a punvhed glitter heart. And to the bottom, the phrase "I ♡ to read" with a plastic strip style label maker.

I think it came out cute and makes me think of books and reading.  What do you think? Would you have tackled the subject of books as a general theme (like I did) or been inspired by a specific book?

The ATC trade is the last Sunday of the Month at Custom Impressions. Please call ((562) 430-8100) for details and themes. Hope to see you next month! 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Paper Phenomenon Files (Part 2) OR: Taking the Next Step

As I wrote in an earlier post, I had ordered a few Kathy Orta tutorials from . And since then, I ordered a few more. So when the enrollment for her Everyday Kit Club (EKC) #12 opened up, I was pretty intrigued. 

Each Kit Club (EKC) has three main projects and three bonus projects plus a bonus tool. The three main projects are breifly described before purchase and come with all thecl supplies. And I mean ALL, chipboard, pattern paper, embellishments- the works.  The three bonus projects are a surprise. Generally they will either enhance the main project or enchance each other. And the bonus tool is kind of like a gift with purchase.

Now when I first looked at it I thought it looked cool and fun, but I wondred if it was worth the price. I don't fo kits often. In fact I have a tendency to disect kits for the paper. BUT, Kathy had one more special feature for EKC #12. She included a teaching and selling licence with this specific kit.  Yeah, I was in.

I will be participating in the July, August & September projects, which are as follows: My Design Mini (MDM), Life is an Open Book & Cascade Parade. I will also be getting the directions for the three bonus projects and a nifty teflon Trib bone folder.

I plan to post more about each project as I make it. This should be a fun adventure!
To order the digital version of EKC #12 click here. To order a future EKC please check for open enrollment period.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Paper Phenomenon Files (Part 1) OR How I Learned to Embrace My Inner PITA and Became a Kathy Orta Fan.

A bunch of my friends were doing it but I wasn't sure it was for me. But the projects I saw were really cool and I I liked them . So eventually I decided I would try it too. And now I just can't stop. What am I talking about I'm talking about doing the Kathy Orta tutorials from

It started innocently enough. I decided to buy three tutorials on her website. The three I chose were the file m for memories, the vintage camera and the vintage typewriter. Now clearly I didn't choose the easy tutorials. I chose projects that were things that I wouldn't normally make. I wanted these to be projects where I learned something new. So I chose projects that were heavy on the construction which I hadn't done often.


First up with a vintage typewriter. The first step was to make sure I had all the materials and supplies I needed. After that I cut down all my chip board according to the instructions in Kathy's tutorial. And although there are a few moments where I struggled in the construction it wasn't very hard to follow the directions and put the typewriter together.


I did do one thing differently from the tutorial and added a small mini album to the inside of the typewriter instead of the calendar cards that were in the original tutorial. I used the Prima / Marion Smith Romance Novel paper for the mini album. It was based on a mini album in Kathy's Interactive Mini-Albums book. (I bought a digital copy from It is aldo available signed on


I was really pretty thrilled with the end result. And was proud to give the typewriter and album to a friend of mine (who is a romance/ya writer) as a birthday gift. I also made another Vintage Typewriter for a friend as a graduation gift. (I used Graphic 45's  Bohemian Bazaar for the mini album.) I also put black painted grunge board over the "roller" of the typewriter on the second version, this gave it a very realistic look.


To make your own Vintage Typerwriter, you can buy the tutorial here at Kathy Orta's blog, And some of the hardware can also be purchased here at the blog shop. Many of the items are Tim Holtz items and can be purchased at craft stores. But getting them from Kathy can save time and having to buy extras. For the typewriter's keys, I bought laser cuts from PorkchopShow's Etsy store. (The black ones seem to fit better than the silver.)

The second project I chose to make was the File M for Memories album. One of the reasons I really like this album is that it is full of pockets.  I think that this makes the File M album a great gift for my non scrapbooking friends because they can use ot like a journal or diary. Notes, poems, drawings or just about anything can be tucked into the pockets with out having to add glues.

This level of complexity to the pages did make it a bit harder at first. In fact, I found this album harder to make than the typewriter. The trick for me was that I needed to see a page completed and understand how it worked. However, once I understood how the flaps and the pockets come together it was much easier to visualize and itn"clicked" for me. And then the process of construction for the rest of tne album went pretty fast. I was very lucky and met one of the women I crop with had made the album before and help me put together my first page.


I matted the album mainly with Kaisercraft's Telegraph Road but I also used some of their other lines like Kaleidoscope, BeYOUtiful and Storyteller because this album is pretty large and takes a lot of paper to decorate. I also used some of the Kaisercraft Captured Moments cards. (These are like Project Life or journaling cards.)  I think all the papers matched very nicely. I think sometimes when you use a group of papers all from the same company the colors and the themes can work well together. This project was also I gift, this time for a friend of mine who recently moved to China.


Some tips for making the album: Choose a file folder that has a nice large tab on it. I think this is a nice look for the album. (I decided not to use the printable templates in the tutorial.) Definitely make a template for matting the tabs (it should be slightly, 1/8 inch, smaller than the tab base.) That way it will look consistent, I did not do this and regretted it.


Another tip I learned that really helped was that adding a. thin layer of glue stick over the scor tape (or other double sided adhesive), gives an extra few seconds where you can move the item before it's fixed permanently.  This helped me a lot. I sometimes need a second chance, so this avoided alot of boo boos. In the tutorial Kathy used  Scotch wet glue to attach the pattern paper(snd it looked fab). I tried, but it didn't work as well for me(maybe I used too much adhesive). I then tried using a glue pen (Martha Stewart), but it seemed to stay a little too tacky even after it dried. I now use Scor Tape with the glue stick trick and it has been pretty successful.


To get the tutorial for the File M album at go here. The main supplies you will need a chipboard cardstock and pattern paper. And since this is a nice big album you can use that whole line of pattern paper you have tucked away for just the right project.

The final project in my triptych of Kathy Orta projects is the Vintage Camera. This is the tutorial I was most intimidated by. Both because of the difficulty and the fact it was going to be a gift for my Dad and Stepmom. But this also made it the tutorial I looked forward to the most. And in the end had the biggest "pay off" for me.

I have to admit I did stray from the tutorial. The biggest change was using Kraft Tex instead of regular cardstock for the bellows.  For those of you who haven't used it, Kraft Tex is a paper/fabric hybrid. It is made from paper fiber, but has the strength, texture and durability of fabric. Heck you can even throw this stuff in your washer! So basically i followed the cutting, scoring and folding directions the same as Kathy gave for paper. The difference was that I had to score a little harder and use a strong wet adhesive. I used the brown Kraft Tex and painted it black with Tim Holtz' Distress Paint. I then distressed, sanded, repainted and distressed again until it had an antiqued leather look. It was a bit of work to get it just right, but it was SO worth it.


The second place I was forced to make changes was in the hardware. While most of the hardware is pretty easy to find, the Graphic 45 Staples Metal Tags are not. I was lucky and had a pack with all but one of the six tags. So i only had to replace one. (The "P" medallion at the front of camera base, under lens.) The metal piece that curves around the lens is sldo different. Instead of the clip for binding documents (which I could only find in a box of 100), I used a Tim Holtz metal word band and curved it gently with pliers.


I highly recommend that you have a really good trimmer that cuts medium to heavy weight chipboard before tackling this project. Some of the pieces are cut quite small and can be difficult without one.
Inside the camera is a really cute album. Since this was an anniversary gift, I used Teresa Collins' Save the Date (with a little You Are My Happy and Something Wonderful.) The angled pocket construction of the album is very striking and would look good as a stand alone piece.

I think the camera ended up being my favorite piece. I plan to make a couple more, including one for myself. The tutorial can be found here. It includes video for the bellows portion, so be prepared to play you tube on this one.

I hope you enjoyed this first foray into the Paper Phenomemon files of Kathy Orta. I really enjoy making these tutorials and plan on trying more. Let me know what you think. Have you done any of Kathy's projects? What are your favorites? Or is there a different paper craft
er's tutorials that you love?