Friday, October 31, 2014

A Spooooky Halloween Shaker Card featuring Chibitronics!

Hi everyone,

Happy Halloween!  I have an awesome treat for you today.  No tricks, I promise!  I love making shaker cards and this one is special because it incorporates an awesome new product called Chibitronics, which are tiny circuit stickers that light up when you connect it to a battery source.  If you're a non-engineer like me, you might scratch your head and say "huh - circuits?" -- but TRUST ME... this product is so fun and easy to learn how to incorporate into your craft projects.

So, here's the light-up shaker card I made and below I will outline the steps and materials I used to make this SPOOOOOKY greeting card.

Chibitronics Spooky Halloween Card


  • Chibitronics Starter Kit (stickers, copper tape and battery).  For this card, I used approx. 8" of tape, 4 Chibitronics stickers (2 yellow, 2 red) and 1 battery.  If you're new to Chibitronics, I highly recommend reading the tutorial to understand the product.  Or just read the steps below!
Chibitronics Starter Kit

Chibitronics materials used for this card

  • Card Making Supplies: Die Cuts (Sizzix Oval Nesting Dies - 3 sizes, My Favorite Things Stitched Square, IO Stamps Picket Fence), Decorative Paper, Foam, Acetate, Adhesive, Embellishments (ribbon, stickers and confetti for the shaker window).


  • Step 1: Cut the different pieces of paper, acetate and foam.  For this card, I used:
    • Orange card stock for the card base (5.5"Hx11"W), scored down the center
    • Black card stock for the borders (5" square), two pieces
    • Inside page die cut with the stitched square die (approx. 4.75" square)
    • Front page die cut with the stitched square die and also the smallest oval die in the center to make a window.
    • Picket fence cut out of black paper
    • Halloween patterned paper for the shaker window interior and frame (small and medium oval die cuts)
    • Foam die-cut from the large and medium oval dies
    • Acetate die-cut from the large oval die
Die-cutting Fun!

  • Step 2: Plan Battery Placement and Create Battery Holder
    • I created simple battery holder using a piece of black card stock (1"x2.125", scored at the 1" and 1.125" mark).
    • To keep myself from getting confused I added "+" and "-" to the paper so I knew where to place the battery.  
    • I cut the copper tape in half lengthwise so I could have a thinner strip and also have more tape to use in another project.
    • I decided to place the battery in the bottom right cover of the card
    Battery Placement

  • Step 3: Chibitronics Circuit Sticker and Copper Tape Placement
    • Use post-it notes (my preference) to mark off where to place the lights
    • Add copper tape according to the layout.  Note, one piece runs to the negative side of the battery holder, the other to the positive side)
    • Move post-it note markers out of the way to put the circuit stickers on the tape
    • Add pieces of foam around the battery to hold it in place and keep from rolling
Mark off placements for the circuit stickers

Lay out the copper tape according to the guide and add the circuit stickers

  • Step 4: Test the Lights

    • Test the lights to make sure everything worked (I placed an acrylic block on the battery holder cover so I could have two hands free to take this photo).
    • It works!
It Lights Up!

  • Step 5: Assemble the Shaker Window
    • Add Halloween confetti to the center of the shaker window.
    • Cover the foam window with the piece of acetate that we cut out in Step 1.  You can use any kind of clear liquid glue for this. 
    • Add foam around the top and right edges for structural support.
Sequins and Foam!

  • Step 6: Assemble and decorate the front of the card
    • Using small black foam dots, add the bats to the front of the card (I pulled these bats out of the confetti... they're so cute, I mean spooky).  I like the black foam dots for these smaller embellishments because the blend in when you look from side view.
    • Add the picket fence and ribbon to the front.
    • Notice the circuit stickers show through this front paper.  If you used a darker card stock, the stickers may not show through.  Vellum and light card stock work best.  Or, you can cut holes to really see the lights.
Decorating the front

Completed front and back panels
  • Step 7: Add both panels to the card base and you're done!
    • That was easy, wasn't it?

    • Here's a side view of the card so you can see the lights glowing:

Stay tuned for more cards incorporating these Chibitronics circuit stickers.  I have a few things cooking...  For more information about these products and to order your own starter kit, head to the Chibitronics site.

Happy Haunting!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Bubblerific Paper Find: One Canoe Two Menu Pad

As many of you know, I LOVE paper products.  Even when I'm shopping for something entirely unrelated to paper, if I see a glimmer of a journal, greeting card, or stationery, I immediately change course and march straight towards that section (or store).  It's almost as if I were a robot with a chip planted in my brain that says "Paper, Paper, Paper" -- and I drop everything and go straight there.

This happened to me at Anthropologie.  I was running an errand during my lunch break and "happened" to stumble into Anthropologie.  I love that store! In addition to their impeccable merchandising and fashionable clothing, I think they have the coolest selection of books, gifts and house wares.  I found this menu notepad made by One Canoe Two and just had to check it out.

This cute 11"x11" pad comes with 50 sheets of menus and a magnetic strip if you want to hang it on your fridge. You can plan out your meals for the week and the BEST part is the grocery list at the bottom.  It's perforated, so you can write down your shopping list and tear it out.  The paper is also perfectly sized to fit into a 3-ring binder if you choose to keep a record of your meals.

How fun is that?  I purchased this notepad a while back, so I'm not sure if this exact design is still available.  However, you can purchase the Let's Eat Veggies Menu Notepad direct from the One Canoe Two website.  While you're there, check out some of their other awesome stationery products!

Happy Eating!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Event Recap: 2014 Scrapbook Expo - MEGA Make & Take Extravaganza!

Hello everyone!

I am so excited to bring you this recap from the 2014 Scrapbook Expo MEGA Make & Take Extravaganza that took place on October 9, 2014 in Ontario, CA.  I was looking forward to this event for a while.  In fact, I was so excited that I got there on time only to realize the actual Make & Take event didn't start until 5:30pm.  That still gave me time to organize my supplies and get situated for an evening of fun.

I brought all the recommended supplies with me, but it turns out I didn't need all that much.  Each of the Make & Take kits came with all the supplies and the pieces were pre-cut/pre-scored and in some cases even included all the adhesive.  If any of you plan to attend a future event, I suggest you bring scissors, adhesive runner, distress ink (if you like to ink edges of paper).  I thought I overpacked for the event with my backpack stuffed with a paper trimmer, adhesive, stamp pads & acrylic blocks, craft tools, etc... but then I saw the room filled with other scrapbooking fans many of whom had rolling carts and/or giant suitcases stuffed with their entire scrapbook collection.  Some even had shelves & drawers for their tools and paper supplies.  There were so many die-hard fans in the room.  It was a fun, creative environment.

So, here's a preview of everything we made that evening:

It's kind of hard to see everything in detail, but I'll recap each of the projects below.  Get ready, this is going to be a long post :-)

Event Format

The format for the evening consisted of 12 different Make & Take projects spaced approximately 30 minutes apart.  All of the vendors present had a booth at the Scrapbook Expo and this event offered a unique opportunity to pitch new products and sales/deals happening in their booths throughout the weekend. The actual expo floor didn't open until Friday morning, so this was essentially a "preview" night for us.  Each vendor presenting a Make & Take also had time allotted to sell their merchandise... many of whom had special Thursday night event-only sales.  Yes, they knew how to speak to a room filled with scrapbooking shopaholics.  Myself included!

There were also door prizes, raffles and BINGO!  Yes, we played BINGO!  I managed to score myself a My Mind's Eye pack of paper as a door prize raffle winner.


The following vendors presented Make & Take projects:

Sparkle N Sprinkle

Sparkle N Sprinkle - Winter Wonderland Tag
First up was Sparkle N Sprinkle's Winter Wonderland Tag.  This kit came with some awesome items.  A bottle of dimensional glue, two jars of glitter (one for the project, one as a bonus gift), ribbon, paper and a coffee filter.

Now, this coffee filter was pretty cool.  I guess it's a widely-used trick in the industry, but you basically put your project on top of the filter, toss as much glitter as you want on top and once you're done with the glitter, you can fold the coffee filter and funnel the unused glitter back into its jar.  I still have one of those plastic trays with a stopper at the end for this kind of thing.  I must be so old fashioned.  This coffee filter trick is much easier!

Anyhow, assembling the holiday tag was pretty straight forward. First you remove the sticky side of the oval-shaped image and put glitter all over it.  Then you stick that to the foil piece.  Save 4" of the ribbon to make a bow and use the rest of the ribbon to make a loop for hanging the tag.  That's all.  Super easy to do and pretty cute!

Craft Fantastic

Craft Fantastic - Fantastic Tray Pendant
The second project came from Craft Fantastic.  They're known for jewelry more so than Scrapbooking, so we made a "Fantastic Tray Pendant" otherwise known as a key chain.  The kit included a piece of glass, the tray, Halloween images, a Jeweler's Dot (adhesive sticker), cotton swabs and we all shared the bottles of "Fantastic Glaze & Glue" (you just need a nickel-sized portion of it).  I wasn't a fan of the various Halloween images they gave us in the kit.  However, I happened to have some of the cutest gold heart paper with me (okay, I purchased it at the show)... and I cut a piece of that paper and used it instead of the Halloween art.  Note: the paper should be slightly larger than the glass piece.

Assembly for this was also easy.  First you apply the glaze/glue to the flat side of the glass and then stick that to the front side of the paper.  The key is you need to let the glaze/glue dry before putting this glass & paper piece into the tray. Otherwise it gets all yucky under the glass.  Yes, I used the word "yucky" -- first time in a few decades.  Haha.  Once the glue is dry, you can trim the excess paper and then use the pink jeweler adhesive dot and stick the glass piece into the tray.  Add the keychain elements and you're done!  Note: this is NOT waterproof... so keep it out of the rain.  That's not hard to do here in Southern California given the drought.  Hope it rains soon!

Scrap That!

Scrap That! - Fleur de lis Card
Our third project was from Scrap That!  I'm bummed their website URL isn't working because these are the guys who provided the raffle prize I won!  I love My Mind's Eye paper and they had tons of it.  Having said that, I actually didn't care for the combination of patterned paper used in this card.  Felt a little too gothic. The polka dots were nice.

This kit included some pretty awesome stuff: paper to make the card, bling adhesive, pop dots/foam adhesive, and the coolest ever chalk marker.  It was a cross between a marker and a crayon.  Had the consistency of a crayon, but the effect of a liquid chalk marker.  Hard to explain.  You'll just have to get one for yourself! I wish I could provide a link directly to the product.  Did I mention their site was down?  I looked for a link on Amazon, but couldn't find it.  You don't need chalk paper to use these... you can just write on plain old black paper and it has the same effect.  OMG it's pretty awesome.  Hmm... I might have to do a special blog post just about this marker.

The card was a gatefold card.  First assemble the front pieces of paper and cut them down the center.  Then glue to the front of the card on each side of the fold.  On the inside, glue the black paper to the center of the card and use pop dots to "pop" the frame up over the black paper forming a cool chalk board.  Write your greeting in the center.

The bling dots were cool, but I didn't really like how they looked on this card.  However, I do plan to incorporate them into an upcoming Halloween card.  So, stay tuned!

The Rubber Cafe

The Rubber Cafe - "A Gift for You" Folder
The next project we had was from The Rubber Cafe.  The irony of this project is The Rubber Cafe sells tons and tons of rubber stamps...  with tons of details.  All you Copic Marker fans would really like their stamps!  But this project did not involve any stamping.

Instead, we made a cute notepad gift holder.  Materials included: precut, scored and punched paper, a sticky note pad and ribbon.

You adhere the different strips of patterned paper to the front of the card.  The multi-colored floral piece is glued to just one side of the card, not both, otherwise you can't open it.  Inside, you glue the pink paper and add the sticky note pad.  Wrap the package with the pink paper sleeve and green ribbon and voila!  A cute, simple, fun gift.  I think these would make awesome party favors.  You can customize the paper to each occasion. I can picture some baby shower favors using this technique somewhere in the distant future.  Which one of my friends is expecting a baby next...?

Mon Ami Gabby

Mon Ami Gabby - Scrapbook Album Page
Most of you know that I'm a card maker more so than a scrapbooker.  I do love scrapbooking, but the project always feels more daunting than making a card.  Then again, the amount of time I spent making a card is probably less than I spend on a scrapbook page.

Mon Ami Gabby presented a few techniques to make this scrapbook page.  The kit included an 8"x8" piece of paper, sparkly ribbon, burlap, two kinds of pull ribbon (the kind that you pull to make flowers) and a leopard print button.  As you know, I am not a fan of animal prints, so the button was not up my style, but I still used it.

The pull ribbon threw many of us off.  I start pulling and then it unraveled on the other side.  Oops!  I was supposed to hold onto both sides before pulling.  Anyhow, I managed to cover up my mistake and rethread the ribbon through using a paper piercer.  Not a good use of time.  It's better (and faster) to get another piece of ribbon.  We created the flowers and bow using the ribbon, adhered the burlap strip to the paper using glue dots, added sparkly ribbon for more drama and tied a few bows.  This page can be added to a 12"x12" piece of paper for a larger album.

Paper Wizard

Paper Wizard - Mickey Banner
The Happiest Place on Earth is just an hour drive from me.  And, I just happen to be a huge fan of Mickey and his Friends.  So imagine my delight when I saw this next project!

Paper Wizard is known for their intricate laser-cut designs.  These designs aren't the cheapest thing... they cost a pretty penny, but the quality is exceptional.  This kit was super simple.  It probably took less than five minutes to assemble because everything was precut and labeled for us.  We added pop dots to the shoes to add a little more dimension.  Everything else was just glued onto the paper.

Krazy Kreations

Krazy Kreations - Owl Notebook
My first experience with Krazy Kreations was about a year ago when I took a Copic Coloring workshop at another Scrapbook Expo.  They offer a great selection of Copic Markers and did a great job teaching different blending techniques.

The project at the Make & Take this year showcased their outline stickers and shimmer papers.  Materials included: a notepad with a  magnetic closure, owl & leaves outline stickers, shimmer paper, patterned paper and adhesive.

The shimmer paper reminded me of the "oily stickers" from the 80s.  Do you remember those?  I think I got my first set of oily stickers during a field trip to the New England Aquarium in the 3rd or 4th grade.  My oily stickers were shaped like dolphins and whales.  This project was focused on the ever-popular owl.  You'll see another owl-themed project later in this post.

The outline stickers were pretty cool.  They're pretty durable, but also delicate when laying them down.  The trick is to use your finger nail (or a set of tweezers) and pick up just one small side of the main outline.  As you lay it down, you let the shape take hold on its own.  We had to "fussy cut" the owl from the background and do them same with the two leaves.   That was probably the most time intensive part of this project.  The rest was just assembly.  Paste the two pieces of patterned paper in respective sections of the notepad cover, add bling to the bottom, put the own on a scalloped circle tag along with the leaves and glue to all together.  A cute gift for sure!

Shoestring Productions

Shoestring Productions - Hittin' the Road layout
Shoestring productions had a very cute 6"x6" scrapbook page layout project for us to try.  Materials included: different patterned background papers, die cut shapes and letters with matching black shadow paper, brads and glue.

Similar to Paper Wizard, the patterns and shapes came pre-cut and we just had to punch them out by hand.  However, the quality of the cuts were not as precise as Paper Wizard, so you were left with some extra tabs on the edges.  Just simply cut those off with scissors if they bother you (like they did for me).

This layout was supposed to say "hittin'" and matched a second layout that read "the road."  Shoestring decided to give us the "hittin'" part for free and if we wanted the matching kit, we would have to pay.  I wasn't really in the mood to pay for "the road" so I changed the page to read "hi" instead.  It worked out fine.  The page was easy to assemble... just glue!  Overall, I like the shadow/separation effect from the black pieces of paper.

It's Cheaper Than Therapy

It's Cheaper Than Therapy - Owl Bags
This was one my favorite projects for the evening.  A cute owl-themed favor bag.  If you know me, you know how much I love party favors, so this was right up my alley.

It's Cheaper Than Therapy sells tons of Sizzix dies.  They sell other stuff too, but Sizzix is one of their main products. This Owl Bag die is so cute... it costs approximately $38 if you want to buy the die set.  We were lucky in that everything was provided in our kit to make one owl bag.

Assembly was pretty straight forward, but the only hard part was the piece of paper that looks like two sets of teeth.  These teeth provide the structural support for the bag and can be curved to match the curve of the owl.  Everything else was easy to glue and follow.  You should use some really strong adhesive so the owl is strong enough to support itself and anything that might go in the bag.

BEE Creative

BEE Creative - Spectrum Noir Gift Tag
BEE Creative partners with Spectrum Noir and gave us a fun project.  BEE Creative sells all kinds of scrapbooking supplies.  I remember them most for their craft Scrapbooking bag/tote and tons of adhesive.  Spectrum Noir makes markers similar to Copic Markers.  I don't know their product well enough to do a precise side by side comparison, but maybe something for a future post.  This kit included: two alcohol markers from Spectrum Noir, two pre-stamped images, paper for the tag and sign.

The rabbit is holding a sign that says "Bring the Figgy Pudding."  The stamped image was pre-colored in some areas to save us time, but the stamp was available on its own for purchase as well.  The focus of this project was on the markers and the ability to create blended coloring and more texture to the images (leaves and holly berries).

First you color both images, then cut out the head and paws from one of the images.  You glue it all together and then use pop dots to adhere the second head and paws to add more dimension. The sign is also propped up on pop dots.  Super cute, easy to make.  Although... if we had to hand color the image for each tag, that might take a bit of time!

Melissa Frances

Melissa Frances - Santa's List Card
This was a classy and elegant Christmas card from Melissa Frances.  Many of the Melissa Frances products have a more sophisticated, traditional craft look to them (think Hallmark vs. Paper Source).  I liked this design... it was an antique Santa image... it almost had a Norman Rockwell quality to it.

The kit included: patterned paper for the sleeve and lists, tag, ribbon and envelope.  Everything was super easy to assemble.  I inked the edges of the tag, envelope and all the papers.  This gave it a more antique feel.  Just glue pieces together by following this diagram.  Tie a ribbon to the tag and you're done!

Queen & Company

Queen and Company - Halloween Shaker Card
The final project for the evening was a Halloween Shaker card from Queen & Company.  Queen & Company is known for their washi tape and bling designs along with really good discounts on paper.  Their paper isn't as heavy as My Mind's Eye or Echo Park/Carta Bella paper, but it's still very cute.

Shaker cards are very popular these days (I have one coming up in a future post).  This was a very quick and easy shaker card we made using washi tape to hold it all together.

First, glue the Happy Halloween greeting to the front of the card.  Place the acetate sheet on top.  Using washi tape, cover the bottom, left and right sides of the card.  Fill the card with sequins and tape the top section with another piece of washi.  And... we're done!  A quick and easy shaker card!

Final Thoughts....

The event lasted all the way to midnight.  I had a fantastic time.  It was well-organized and well-paced.  While I may not recreate all the projects we made that night, I definitely learned some new techniques and had exposure to some new products.  All in all, a very rewarding experience.  If you made it to the end of this post... CONGRATS!  I'm impressed and thank you for reading the whole thing!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Halloween Goodness: Trick or Tea!

Greetings everyone!

This is a project from last year, but I thought I'd share it given Halloween is just around the corner.  It seems fitting that Halloween is synonymous with candy (or in my case, bubblegum).  I hosted a party back East for my parents.  There really wasn't a theme for the party -- it was just an excuse for old friends to gather together and eat (a lot) of food.  Considering my parents and practically 99.9% of their friends don't go trick or treating on Halloween night I figured it would be a nice touch to surprise all the guests with a trick or treat party favor.

I wanted to give them something practical and since we're Asian, I decided to go with these wicked cute mini teapots which can double as soy sauce holders (or cream or oil or vinegar), but I like to call them soy sauce teapots.  Aren't they cute?

Teapot with Pumpkin Tag
Teapot with Black Cat tag

I made a tag using my awesome Sizzix Big Shot machine, added some cute Halloween stickers I picked up at a scrapbook show, added some baker's twine and voila!  They look like little teabag tags hanging off the side.  The ribbon was an extra bonus to add color to the overall display.  The back of the tags read "Happy Halloween! Thanks for coming."

Materials used:

  • Mini Teapots (approx 2.5"H x 4.5"W, available at my favorite site for favors:
  • Orange grosgrain ribbon (1/4 inch wide)
  • Sizzix Big Shot (scallop circle framelit dies)
  • Cardstock (orange, black and kraft)
  • Baker's Twine in Mandarin Orange (from The Twinery)
  • Halloween stickers (sorry, don't remember the brand of stickers...)
  • 1.25" circle labels for the back (from Paper Source - one of my favorite paper stores)
  • Glue and tape
Enjoy and Happy Halloween!

Teapot Mania!