Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Kaisercraft Saturday Challenge # 3 - August

If I get to continue on with this crafting streak of mine, I'll be punching out a blog post every night! granted the internet connection lasts that is...Truth is, I really hope I get more time to craft, it's a huge stress reliever in my life.

So, the third Kaisercraft Saturday challenge was an anything goes, but using this colour scheme:

Pretty, don't you think? I thought so too!! So much so that this card only took me 20 minutes to produce - pretty quick when you consider I used sit for four hours and come up with only one! lol!

Read more about this challenge here.

Did you ever think that Christmas themed paper could make such pretty non-Christmas colour combination? I didn't either, but desperate times call for desperate measures crafters. I don't really have blue themed paper in my 12x12 Kaisercraft paper stash, so I had to really dig deep with the imagination.

The patterned paper is from the Christmas Collections 6" Paper Pad (which strangely enough does not have a product code on it?), the blue cardstock is a scrap piece that I scrounged from my pile so I don't know what brand it is really. The buttons are chipboard elements from the Up, Up and Away Collection, CB111. I used the Kaisercraft self-adhesive pearls again, SB713; and used a sentiment from the Mini Clear Stamp Set called Friends, CS920. The silver twine is no-name brand and the rose ribbon is Prima.

You'll notice that I used an edge punch on this card as well, it's a Pick it Up punch, but I'm not sure what it's called. Sorry. I used it on the card front, as well as on the inner.

I finished off the envelope with a few more pearls - plain, simple and elegant. It was a fussy yet non-fussy card, and I wish the photographs would do it more justice.

Hope you are having just as much fun with the challenges as I am!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Kaisercraft Saturday Challenge #2 - Hello

We had Telkom install an internet line here at the house - the darn thing is off more than it is on and it becomes frustrating when I need to use the internet and can''s taken an hour to post this short recollection of my card for this challenge...sigh* short rant over...

The second Kaisercraft Saturday Challenge this month has a few requirements for entry, your artwork needs to be:

- Sparkly
- Floral
- have at least one three dimensional element

And don't forget the 75% Kaisercraft product rule :)

Read more about this challenge here.

I used a square card blank from the pack of 50 that I told you about in my last post. Kaisercraft products included paper from the Hippy Girl Collection, P551 Sunshine (I used the reverse side for the long banners to the right). The sentiment was put together using letter stickers from the Timeless collection, SS143. The pearl accents were self adhesive pearls, SB713 Pearl. The silver bling is a no-name brand, as is the ribbon (which was actually recycled off of a gift!). the flower was handmade by moi, using a brad and circles cut out of tissue paper.

The sentiment was raised on foam squares to give them a little more prominence. I matched the envelope again, using a scrap piece of ribbon, and some bling.

The inside of my card was finished with die cut elements from the Hey Birdie Collection, DC317 Die Cut Elements. Remember when I made co-ordinating cards from this collection? if you'd like a reminder, have a look at the links below to refresh your memory :) the cards fully utilised Kaisercraft paper and die cuts, and were made into card kits that sold like hot cakes in a local scrapbook store.

- Hello Birdie! Card Kit Collection Card #1
- Hello Birdie! Card Kit Collection Card #2
- Hello Birdie! Card Kit Collection Card #3
- Hello Birdie! Card Kit Collection Card #4
- Hello Birdie! Card Kit Collection Card #5

I can hardly believe that it's been 3 years since I designed that particular card kit! hectic! I'm off to work on an assignment now, hope you feel inspired and get a little crafting in tonight - I sure wish I could! :)


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Kaisercraft Saturday Challenge #1 - August

I am a huge fan of Kaisercraft products, I have a variety of clear stamps, paper and embellishments. I can't say that I have any of their colouring mediums, but maybe one day :)

I was browsing the internet for inspiration lately and came across their newly launched Saturday challenges. they are posted weekly and at the end of the month the entries are added into a draw to win one of two prize packages. The bonus here is that it's ok to be an international participant :) This is always a good! Anyway, I have been crafting up a storm, not only because of the chance to win some product, but because the challenges have different themes and requirements. This helps stir up the creative juices and gives some guidance while I am at my table. If you decide to enter these challenges yourself, you need to keep in mind that 75% of your artwork must be made up of Kaisercraft product. This should be easy though, all their stuff is just beautiful :) you could go and buy some if you don't have :)

Before I show my entry for the first Saturday of August's challenge, I want to share some information with my South African crafters. If you love to make cards, and prefer square bases (like me) you can now find packs of 50 envelopes and 50 cards at CNA. I don't know if this is country wide, but here in Johannesburg, at the  Clearwater Mall, I found them. They are R100 for the pack of 50, which works out to R2 per set of card and envelope - this is a real bargain! Way cheaper than cutting a sheet of cardstock that costs R5 into the square card shape, and then you still have to worry about finding or making a square envelope to match. The brand is docrafts, and the pack is called "Anita's Square Quality Cream Cards & Envelopes".

So, the first Saturday Challenge is to make a birthday card, you can see some inspiration and read more about this challenge here.

I used some pretty old generation Kaisercraft that I had hiding in my pile of paper, it's from the Sugar Sugar collection, P370 Chocolate Drops. I also used die cut shapes from the Technologic collection, CT710 Collectables; as well as a Happy Birthday sentiment from the Mini Clear Stamp Set, CS903 Wishes. I also added two rub on's which came off the SB528 All Boy sheet.

I've also really enjoyed finishing off the inside of my cards as well, matching them to the theme on the front. I feel it gives it that added 'extra' and adds a bit more of a personal touch.  I don't think it would be missed if it wasn't done, but it sure would make a difference once seen by the recipient!

To avoid wasting any paper or cut off's, why don't you try using them to finish off the insides of your own cards? you will see that the main gear on the front of the card has two ends cut off of it, I used these cut off's on the inside of my card and it really pops!

Another thing I've recently started doing, is personalising the envelope that the card comes in, here, I've used a few of the die cuts.

I have another three cards that I'll be entering over the next couple of days, for the other challenges that Kaisercraft has set - got to space the blog posts out :)
Have a fantastic week ahead!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Just bag it!

I don't know about you but I often look for last minute gift bags for gifts and I hate buying them from the store. I.e. Scratch around in the gift wrap cupboard looking for a bag previously received to 're-cycle' - I feel bad about it but what can I do?

So I thought I should build a little stock pile of my own hand-made bags, something I don't need to feel bad about giving a gift! And, I won't have to panic about not having anything to place a gift in either! Two birds with one stone...although that imagery is more gory to me than anything else...moving along swiftly.

I've made this before, the bag-a-lope. A wonderful little idea that some genius came up with. I used an A4 UNISA envelope, I have so many of them lying around due to the fact that I submit my university assignments through the electronic medium they have, rather than through the post. You could use any A4 envelope for this project really, I love the brown of my UNISA envelopes though :)

If you are looking to make this for yourself, you can follow the tutorial on
It's really simple, and the most time you will spend on putting the bag together, is decorating the front panel. I had to decorate the back of my bag as well, due to the return address information that UNISA requires on their envelopes - I had to cover this up.

This is literally a 30 minute or less project and I strongly encourage you to try it for yourself. Once you've made a few, the folding becomes second nature and the project an even quicker finish. I've also adapted my score lines to enable the bags to fold flat for storage...tutorial to follow for those interested.

Happy crafting!


Saturday, May 17, 2014

My happy place

Like many crafters before me, I can confess that my happy place is at my desk. Cutting paper soothes the busy mind, and keeps idle hands busy. Today has been no exception. Albeit a form of procrastination against my studies.

I'm having a pink day actually, the paper is speaking to me from the depths of their piles...let's just pretend that it's not my favourite colour to work with shall we? Let's pretend that I hate it, and that I did a fantastic job moving out of my element.

I've been avoiding my silhouette of late, and paying more attention to my 'older', more traditional tools. Tools like my punches, embossing powders and Cuttlebug. I find it a good way to get back to basics, and besides , not everyone has the luxury of owning their own electronic die cutting machine. I'm trying to keep this blog simple, somewhere that new or inexperienced crafters can come to for inspiration, without feeling overwhelmed by the things that they don't have...keeping in mind that I don't exactly buy every single tool and accessory out there either.

I think my favourite card today  is the one on which I sewed. All it took was some scrap paper (good way to diminish your ever growing pile), a circle punch, a stamp (and clear embossing powder) and my sewing machine. Granted, it would look just as pretty if you didn't sew on it.

Easy, quick, simple, effective. Just the way I like it.


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Sewing: A Pink Plaid Winter skirt

Do you remember the disaster that was the checked skirt? If you don't, here's a direct link... I guarantee it will make your day! lols!

It's taken some time to get back into the swing of sewing clothes...not that I was swinging in the first place. More like hanging from my fingernails? Granted, I have yet to go for lessons so that I can actually sew from patterns, but I've always been one to wing it so this wasn't any different.

This material is over a year old, let's not go into the topic of hoarding shall we? I always knew what I wanted to do with it, so there. It's almost like a flannel, yet not quite? If you'd like to come and examine it, you may, but I don't really think it matters.

This is probably the sum total of tools that I used, not pictured is a needle (to sew on the buttons). I didn't even use a tape measure people, I just wrapped the fabric around my body (shakes head and laughs).Please note that I have finally acquired my own pair of Fabric scissors :)

So, anyway, moving along swiftly. This was a really quick project, it took me two hours from start to finish (including making a salad to go with dinner). Maybe it was the fact that I had a furry helper? I don't know, maybe it was the fact that I just cut and sewed...professional seamstresses are cringing at me right now.

I thought I would take a moment to show you how stylishly I pushed the foot pedal, and show you my stunning new shoes from Brazil. I received them from visitors to our offices, after assisting them with travel arrangements. How sweet? and thoughtful? I was only doing my job after all :)

If I had to explain how I did this, it would be:

Step 1: Wrap the material around your body, measure how long and how wide it needs to be, add a bit extra for hem lines
Step 2: Cut the needed fabric out
Step 3: Sew hems along the top and bottom. Make sure you iron the hem down first, to ensure easier sewing, and avoiding the use of too many needles. Sew hems into the sides following the same principle.
Step 4: Wrap the fabric around your body again, make sure the lines of the fabric run straight. Pin the areas you need to sew together. Pinch the pieces at your sides (muffin tops), to indicate where your darts need to be.
Step 5: Sew the darts in
Step 6: Measure the fabric around your waist again to make sure you know where to sew the pieces together.
Step 7: Sew the skirt hindsight I should have just created button holes, as now I have to put the skirt on over my head!
Step 8: Sew on the buttons
Step 9: Put skirt on and pose for camera

I will actually be wearing this skirt this winter, and am quite pleased with the result...who would have known?

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Decorating the Schmikal household

I've been working on a number of projects over the last month, and though I can't seem to find myself blogging about them, I sure have spent a lot of time on them. I've made cards, I'm working on a revamp of an old scrapbook album (this is going to be a post by next month...complete with advice on why you should ALWAYS complete your themed albums), I've sewn, and I've been working on another altered canvas.

I've taken on a new style of crafting, I can't quite put my finger on it, but I'm sure you've noticed it in my more recent posts. I am seeing cleaner lines, more colour, bigger variety. I went through a couple of my older projects (say 4 years back) and I just about doubled over laughing at my earlier attempts...we all have to start somewhere and I firmly believe I still have a long way to go.

So, I have this friend at work. Her name is Michelle, awesome woman. She saw my blog post on the altered canvas I did of Charlene and I last year and commissioned me to do one for her, of her beautiful twin girls. Let me tell you, it is a lot more nerve wrecking when you are being paid to craft something like this for someone else. When you do it as a gift, you don't really put as much pressure on yourself, and you're a bit more selfish in terms of the items you use (because it's more to your taste, and not really the recipient's). When you are being paid, you have to make sure it is perfect, you have to make sure that they like it, you have to make sure it is against spec, you have to make sure that you don't mess it up.

This canvas was MUCH bigger than the one I made for Charlene. It was probably about a good meter wide, where the one for Charlene was around 15cm wide.

I did take a few photo's as the canvas progressed, but I don't think it's necessary to post them here. I started prepping the canvas by painting the entire piece with white paint (Note: all paint used on this was acrylic - Heritage brand), followed by the hand stencilled pink and blue circles and horizontal lines.

Next came a layer of Modge Podge to act as a sealant, and an adhesive for the four photographs (all identical). A second layer of Modge Podge followed after this.

I then added a base layer of crackle paint, and followed with a layer of 'Large Crack' crackle paint. It worked out really well and the cracks look beautiful, they added so much depth to the piece, more texture.

Once this layer had dried, I added the pink swirls (Making Memories), blue rhinestones (Prima), and flat backed pearls (in three colours, creating an ombre effect from dark to light). I lathered it with two layers of Heritage varnish and placed all of the flowers (All Petaloo - my absolute favourites), and butterflies (Prima).

I hid the Twins names in the canvas, Max & Lex. Ironically, I got it exactly right, without asking, with regards to which sides of the photo the twins are sitting :) Max is on the left, with Lex on the right.

Michelle says she loves it, and I really hope that she does. She got to open it on Friday at work, and I took the camera with to get her reaction...

May the piece have a long and happy place in your home Michelle! I absolutely loved putting it together for you!