Gifts for 2011 teachers

If you know me at all, you'd be well aware that I am a big fan of handmade gifts - for teachers in particular - and this last year was no different, other than the fact that I now have two girls at school and more than double the number of gifts to make.

This year for the girls' class teachers, I struck upon an idea quite early - which, while it didn't translate into my actually completing the gifts any sooner than they were absolutely required (some things will never change), it allowed me to ruminate over how best to execute my plan...

The plan started with this little seed of an idea from a back issue of Creating Keepsakes (Nov/Dec 2010 for those of you playing along at home)...

Happily, the plan also required a trip to The Happiest Place on Earth ("start the CAR!!") to pick up the frames that feature in the project :-)

Here's what I did with mine...

cheerful-treat-advent

With the addition of a good many grinds of my Timeless Type Junior Alphabet and Simple Numbers dies through the Bigshot, plus my trusty laminator, I put together a perpetual calendar and was rather chuffed with the result ;-)

The one pictured above uses the very sweet and pretty Cheerful Treat Designer Series Paper, which is one of many options you have to choose from in the way of exclusive Hostess Products should you opt to host a workshop of your own.

Next up, I put one together using some very lovely paper that you may not yet be familiar with depending on whether or not you've clapped eyes on the upcoming Sale-a-bration brochure (can anybody say FREE STUFF?!!)

sab_advent

One tip that I will give you should you decide to embark upon a similar project, is that it's a good idea to mark a little notch for the rings to sit in so that they don't slide over the edges of the frame.

Like this...

I just used a little metal file that I have and after measuring the correct spot for the rings to hang, ground it back and forth to create the little divot :-)

The gifts I made for the Teacher's Aides in the kindy class were of a sewing persuasion and didn't involve Stampin' Up! fabrics, plus they were finished off at such a cracking last minute-ish pace that I'm not even sure I have photographic evidence that they exist...  If I dig some up, I will post them on my other blog for your viewing pleasure ;-)

So there you have it, my 2011 teacher gifts.

Should you be liking the idea of getting your hands on either set of the Designer Series Papers that you've seen glimpses of here, be sure to contact me to book yourself a workshop.  Sale-a-bration starts on the 24th of this month and is shaping up to be the best ever!  Contact me to book your date...

Inlaid embossing - the new black...

I can't remember when or where I first saw the inlaid embossing technique, aside from it being some time in the past couple of months and on any one of several blogs and forums that I may have visited during that time.

It seems to be the "it" technique of the moment and it's no wonder as far as I'm concerned as it doesn't happen very often that I see a technique that I haven't seen at any point prior and that literally makes my jaw drop.

I made it the focus of my workshops last month, so that all my February hostesses and workshop guests got to see this fabulous technique in action and the hostesses got to keep the cards that I made.

Want to see what has me in such a spin?!

This...!

inlaid-1

See the image panel there with the Little Leaves die and the Itty Bitty Bits flowers that's also embossed?  That there is the inlaid embossing technique - sticking some punched or die cut shapes onto a background the whacking the whole lot through the Bigshot inside an embossing folder with a nice and closely repeated pattern (the Square Lattice folder from the Summer Mini is perfect).

That is quite literally, all there is to it and of course I was immediately bustling about my craft room, excitedly trying out all combinations of shapes and colours and giving my Square Lattice embossing folder the workout of its life!

Here is my second workshop sample...

inlaid-2

I loved this one the most as the number background - easily replaced with alphabet letters from the same Timeless Type Sizzlits set for a fabulous teacher card or in pastels for a baby card or just some gorgeous brights for a school aged birthday party (somebody stop me!!) - is as simple as cutting out a bunch of numbers in your choice of colours and sticking them randomly to make a background.

I started in the bottom left corner and stuck alternating numbers and colours to fill in the space before popping it all through the Bigshot.  Easy peasy!

Here's the third one...

inlaid-3

For this one, I stuck to the same colour scheme as before and this time cut out an assortment of flowers using my Blossom Party Originals Die and some different sized circles using my punches.

I also wanted to play with this technique from a scrapbooking perspective, so I got out every circle punch I own (also known as every circle punch in the catalogue...) and made myself a range of different sized and coloured circles and rings, which I stuck in no particular order onto Whisper White before embossing it and coming up with this...

inlaid-scrapping-close

inlaid-scrapping

...which may lead you to ask how I embossed such long pieces of cardstock when the embossing folder is only around the size of a card front, the answer to which is that I embossed one end first, then put the other end of the cardstock in the folder, being careful to line up the pattern on the folder with the previously embossed part and Robert's your mother's brother ;-)

As you can see, when I get excited about a particular new technique or idea, I do it to the extreme, but you can see how amazingly versatile and impressive but incredibly simple this technique is, and how the sky is the limit as far as what you can do with it.

Pivotal to the whole idea though is the Square Lattice embossing folder - the one that I think gives it the best outcome, and being that this folder is in the Summer Mini catalogue (page 17 for those of you playing along at home) you have only until tomorrow evening to secure yourself this fabulous little tool and have yourself hours of fun coming up with your own combinations of shape and colour!

Although you may want to wait until later to contact me for yours, as I'm going to show you what else I've been doing with Itty Bitty Bits and the co-ordinating Punch Pack and Bitty Buttons at this month's workshops, and you might want to grab them at the same time.

Just a thought... ;-)

Inlaid embossing technique" Stamps: Occasional Greetings, Perfect Punches, A to Z, Itty Bitty Bits Paper: Pear Pizzazz, Melon Mambo, Daffodil Delight, Pumpkin Pie, Chocolate Chip, Brights DSP stack, Play Date DSP, Whisper White Ink: Pear Pizzazz, Melon Mambo Accessories: Square Lattice embossing folder, Scallop Edge, Eyelet and Scallop Trim border punches, Itty Bitty Punch Pack, Wide Oval PunchTimeless Type Junior Alphabet Sizzlits, Blossom Party originals die, Top Note die,  Little Leaves Sizzlit, Daffodil Delight 1/4" grosgrain, Pear Pizzazz Stitched Poly, Brights brads