Quick & Easy Last Minute Christmas Cards

For the crafty card procrastinator…

Happy 1st day of Winter!  If you happen to be like me, you’ve been in gift buying and making mode for the past month.  You may also be like me if all of a sudden, you’ve decided that you do indeed need to hand out a few holiday cards over the next few days. Eek!  Of course, you could purchase pre-made cards, but chances are your friends and family know about your craftiness and expect something you’ve created yourself.  If that sounds familiar, don’t panic.  You can create a handful of cards tonight, all ready to hand out at your holiday festivities.  As an added bonus, you get to use up scraps you have on hand from other projects!

Grab your scraps, card bases, adhesive, twine, holiday sentiment stamps and follow along with me in the video below!

Supply Stash Saturday Review: The Stampin’ Up Cable Knit Dynamic Textured Impressions Embossing Folder

Everything Old is New Again.

When I say embossing folder, what crosses your mind. So three years ago, right? Or maybe not. Everything old becomes new again is definitely true in the arts and crafts world. Someone makes a minor change to a tool or discovers a new technique with an old, semi-forgotten supply and voila! it’s hot again.  If the crafting community comes out with more designs like the Stampin’ Up Cable Knit Dynamic Textured Impressions Embossing folder by Sizzix, mark my words, embossing folders will be hot again.

What’s different about this particular folder you ask? Let’s start with an entirely awesome, elegant and versatile design. The cable knit pattern screams both cozy and winter while not being strictly a holiday design.  Then add the crazy deep texture that gives you the impression of a soft, knit sweater at a glance and you’ll be thinking of dozens of ways to use this ‘throwback’ tool.

Check out my video below to see it in action.

*Note: While writing this post I also stumbled across the Sizzix 3-D Textured Impressions embossing folder in Woven, which I think I must have since it’s another really classic, classy and yup, versatile, design.  Keep ’em coming Sizzix!

Supply Stash Saturday: Creating Craft Supplies with Cricut Explore

I’ve found most crafters love collecting supplies.  The truth is, the more you craft, make and create art, the more supplies you find yourself needing. The problem is those supplies can get expensive, especially with the holidays right around the corner.  That’s when it’s time to get super creative and come up with ways to use what you have to create what you need.  Identify some of your most versatile tools, and discover what exactly you may be able to create that you might normally just go and buy.  This week I want to talk about the Cricut Explore cutting machine.  If you don’t have a cutting machine like the Cricut or Silhouette, you could also use a traditional die cut machine like the Big Shot or Vagabond, although you would need to have the right dies or invest in them.

So just what have I found I can stop buying and make myself?

My favorite is craft tags. Ranger sells three sizes of craft tags, #5 which is 4 3/4  x 2 3/8  , #8 which is 6 1/4 x 3 1/8”,  #10 which is 4 1/8 x 8 1/2” and recently added #12 a 5.13 x 10.5” giant tag. If you are a fan of Tim Holtz, you know all about what you can do with craft tags. They are also great embellishments for handmade cards.  When I pay between $4 and $7 for 10 or 20 tags, I found myself hoarding them. I never just played around with ideas that may or may not work out because the thought of wasting a tag was too painful.  That changed when I got my Cricut Explore. There are tons of cut files for tags in the Cricut Design Space library. If you subscribe to Access like I do, most of them are free.  If you don’t, purchasing the cut file for the tag you prefer will most likely only cost you 99 cents and you can use it over and over again.  You could also create a tag image in a program like photoshop with a transparent background and upload it to Design Space for no cost at all.

Once I had chosen my tag, I simply duplicated it four times and resized them to match the Ranger sizes.  I tend to cut one size at a time, so I simply hide the three tags I’m not cutting and then cut multiples changing the number on my mat screen.  I most often cut tags from my Pacon manila tagboard (heavy card stock weight) which is your traditional creamy tag color, but the cool thing is I can cut them from just about anything.  I’ve used Kraft card stock, 140 lb. Watercolor paper, 100 lb. Bristol and even heavy weight chipboard.  Anything you can cut with the Cricut can become a tag. (I’m desperately searching my supplies for a sheet of cork I know I have somewhere. Cork tags would be so cool.)

It’s pretty awesome to have a never ending supply of tags and it’s really freed me up so that I experiment more with designs and techniques since I don’t feel I have to hoard them for perfection. I’ve even created a super sized tag that I use with my Julie Nutting stamps.

My assortment of tags on a ring.
My assortment of tags on a ring.

Now for the really cool thing about creating my own crafting supplies with my Cricut.  Tags aren’t the only things I now make myself. I recently discovered that I could create a custom material and cut things that aren’t on the pre-loaded list.  I had a stencil blank and created a stencil and mask of the state of Maine. I’ve also used sticker paper (or full page labels) to create planner stickers, cut words, letters and names from cardstock and fun foam and I just saw a YouTube video about cutting foam stamps.

Of course the best part of creating your own supplies means that the money you save can be use for yummy supplies that you can’t create yourself.

Do you create your own supplies?  Share in the comments below!

Artist Trading Cards: The Three Muses Part II

A few weeks ago I posted the first of a two part video that followed along as I created my first hand-drawn set of ATC’s (artist trading cards). The second part of the video documents the creation of the second and third cards in the set.  (as always, the materials list is below the video.)

Please note that many of the links below are affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a little money when you purchase via the link. It does not add any additional cost for you, but does help defer the cost of maintaining this blog.

Supply Stash Review: Precision Press by We R Memory Keepers

Supply Stash Review: WRMK Precision Press

As my stash of awesome stamps grows, in large part thanks to the Simon Says Stamp Monthly Card Kits, I’ve found myself looking longingly at the MISTI stamp tool. Every time a sentiment ends up crooked or an image doesn’t stamp completely I understand why people are willing to pay such a high price for one.  And it is a high price.   I’ve found myself close to clicking the ‘buy’ button, only to think of how many stamps, dies, inks and markers I could buy for that price and I stop myself.  That’s why I was so excited when We R Memory Keepers announced the release of their Precision Press.  I promptly scooted over to Scrapbook.com and bought it.  Why no hesitation?

  1. W R Memory Keepers are a reputable company in the papercrafting/scrapbooking industry
  2. It was affordable.
  3. One relatively small, easy to store tool fits small to large pieces of paper. No need to buy a small, medium or large version.

Since I’ve never owned the MISTI, I couldn’t compare it, but I did record a quick video review of the Precision Press below.

I’m over the moon happy about my decision to purchase the Precision Press. No buyer’s remorse and still money left to buy more stamps, dies, inks and markers.

Supply Stash Saturday: Repackaging to Fit You

Welcome to the first Supply Stash Saturday! Like Technique Tuesdays, these posts will be a regular feature here at Artful Geek Girl. In them I’ll talk about craft and art supplies.  What to do with the ones we have, new ones on the scene and even how to store and organize them.

Today it’s about supplies you have and may not use because the way they are packaged doesn’t work for you. Either you have to store it away where you never remember it or it’s form for one reason or another makes it hard for you to use.

Crafting and creating art is a personal thing, which means packaging that works for lots of other people just may not work for you.  For me, that supply was Dylusions paints.

I love the paints themselves.  They are fluid, blend fantastically when wet and dry fast. Best of all, for an art journaler or scrapbooker is that they are designed to be written on once dry. I truly love them.  What I didn’t love was the wide mouth jars they come in.

I know why the creator of the paint, Dyan Reaveley, chose the packaging, for her it was important to easily be able to get into the paint with finger, baby wipes, etc. but for me that just wasn’t how I found myself using them.  I always found myself scooping out a bit and putting a puddle on my non-stick craft sheet the same way I did my tubes of Liquitex and Golden paints. Leaving them open on my craft desk just wasn’t an option for me. First, space is limited and second, I just knew the cat would step in the jar or I would knock it over.  So they sat on a shelf, out of sight and pretty much unused unless I remembered to grab one now and then.

While watching a YouTube video by Effy Wild, she happened to mention how much more useful these same paints would be for her if they came in a flip top bottle instead of the jars.  I realized I wasn’t alone.  Other people had the same problem with the packaging as I did.

Because I loved the paints so much I decided to do something about it.  I purchased 12 empty 2 oz. flip top bottles and a silicone funnel.  I then proceeded to do the slightly messy job of transferring the paint from jars to bottles.

The video below will show you exactly how I did it.  I removed the Dylusions sticker from the tops of the jars with Un-du and applied them to the bottle, but you could just create your own labels. And although, yes, there was a small amount of paint ‘wasted’, actually having the paint in packaging that I would use made it worth it for me.  [Material list is below the video as always.

Please note that many of the links below are affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a little money when you purchase via the link. It does not add any additional cost for you, but does help defer the cost of maintaining this blog.

2oz. plastic flip top bottles


Silicone funnel

Dylusions Paints

Do you have supplies that you love but hate the packaging?  Have you ever considered repackaging to make it work for you? Share your story in the comments.




Technique Tuesday: Paper Mosaic

October 2016

It’s time for this month’s Technique Tuesday.  Last year around this time Tim Holtz released his Paper Mosaic Kit. I absolutely loved the examples I saw online but with all of the mediums and glues in my current stash, I wondered if I could get the same effect with materials I already had.

I started with a chipboard letter A. I cut mine with my Cricut Explore, but you can also purchase them in craft stores.  I started by laying down a very thin layer of texture paste with a palette knife and let it dry completely.  While I waited for it to dry, I collected a variety of leftover scraps of paper and cut them into small pieces (you can see the approximate sizes in the video below).  I then laid out my entire design on the now dry, texture paste covered letter.

Once I had the design exactly the way I wanted it, I adhered each piece with matte medium, applying it to the back of the paper piece as well as covering it with medium once it was in place.  Once this step was completed I allowed it to dry completely and then applied Tim Holtz’s Crazing Medium.  As I mention in the video, I wasn’t thrilled with the result of this step, but felt it was my own fault for applying it too thinly.  Once the Crazing was dry, I opted not to use any ink or paint to highlight what cracks did appear because they weren’t consistent.  The final step was to cover each individual piece with a layer of glossy accents, making sure it covered the paper completely and let it dry completely.

The result was amazing! I’ve shown the finished product to several friends and family members and they have to touch it because it really looks like little pieces of glass or porcelain.  You might ask why do paper mosaic rather than actual mosaic.  First, it’s lighter, so hanging on a wall, etc is super easy.  I hate putting holes in my walls, so I use a lot of the 3M Command products. The lightweight nature of the paper mosaic means the Command products hold just fine.  Second, you can apply paper mosaic to rounded items like holiday ornaments!

If you’d like to watch the process of creating the paper mosaic letter, the video is below.  The complete materials list is beneath the video.

Please note that many of the links below are affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a little money when you purchase via the link. It does not add any additional cost for you, but does help defer the cost of maintaining this blog.

Chipboard letter

Leftover paper scraps

Ranger Texture Paste

Ranger Glossy Accents

Liquitex Matte Medium

Tim Holtz Crazing Medium

Palette knife