Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Money Envelopes - Great for Making a Boring Gift Extra Special

I always feel a little guilty when I gift someone money because it seems like the easy way out - rather than take the trouble to find a really thoughtful gift, I end up giving cash. Well now I found a way to feel better about it - with handmade money envelopes. I mean you can seriously go nuts with them and then suddenly presenting money will actually be a welcome prospect!

My first envelope is a dramatic black one. I found that Itsy Bitsy has launched this new line of masculine coloured flowers aptly titled 'Gentleman'. And I decided to take that colour scheme forward with a whole lot of greys and blacks. What do you think? Does it say drama?

For my second envelope, I kept it simple and just went crazy with the flap. I used Itsy Bitsy's heart lattice punch to create that border for the flap and edged it off with a line of purple pearls. The end result was this fun frilly envelope. Totally love how it turned out!

For my third envelope, I went all soft and summery - after all we are in the middle of a sunny Indian summer right. I used the Cuttlebug Vintage die to cut little panels in the envelope and then trimmed that off with some pretty Itsy Bitsy flowers and pearls. Buttons were perfect for the centre, what do you think?

Have you tried making your own money envelopes? We would love to see. Leave a comment and we'll pop by!

Supplies Used

Monday, April 29, 2013

There's Still Time To Play in our Color Logo Challenge so here's some Fresh Inspiration

The Itsy Bitsy Color challenge ends tomorrow at midnight so there is still a little over 24 hours remaining to create something using our logo colours and submit it for the challenge. We have seen some truly gorgeous creations so far so competition is stiff, but don't let that stop you from creating your masterpiece. And to inspire you along the way, I have made a TriFold Card in the gorgeous hues of greens, blues and neutrals with a coordinating box envelope.

The picture above shows the card when it's closed. A trifold card has a number of panels to decorate so there was plenty of space to add the colours. I started with some bottle green card stock and after I scored, cut and folded it into the tri-fold shape, I then began decorating. 

For half the panels I embossed some blue punch paper, and then created a lattice design over it using some Itsy Bitsy glitter strips. For the other set of panels, I used a gorgeous pattern paper from the Fresh Floral Stack and cut it using a Rotary Cutter to get that wave edge. Here's a close up of the details.


 For the front side, I used some gorgeous blooms from the Itsy Bitsy Gardenia series to cover the panel. The leaves protrude from the card so much so that it doesn't quite look like a standard Tri Fold Card, don't you think! 

Then I made a box envelope for this card. I had seen Kavitha create this really nice box for a card which had a see through panel, so that you can see the card through the panel. I thought that was a wonderful idea so I decided to give it a go. I used a scallop rectangle die to cut out a window in the envelope. Then I glued a Transparency/ OHP sheet on the inside and voila - my see-through panel was done! Here's a look at the envelope when the card is inside. 

Isn't it awesome that you can see that gorgeous bloom. You can barely make out the plastic cover but it's there, protecting the card from bursting out. As you can see I've gone berserk with the new range of adhesive pearls at Itsy Bitsy - they're so affordable and available in so many colours, I just can't resist them!

That sums it up for me. If you haven't yet attempted our color scheme, you still have time to give it a shot! We love to see your creations so head over to your craft corner and get crafting!!!

Supplies Used:

Sunday, April 28, 2013

3D Corrugated Sheet Quilled Flowers - A guest post by ArtsyCraftsyMom

I love to use craft materials in a way that is different from what its intended purpose is.. So when I saw that the latest kit from Itsy Bitsy contained Corrugated sheets in lovely colours, I decided not to make a collage and instead made some large 3D Corrugated sheet Quilled Flowers. The idea behind that was simple. Whenever we visited the Itsy Bitsy Store in HSR, my daughter used to love the quilled flowers on display there. Quilling however was a little tough for my 6 year old to handle. So I thought why not use corrugated sheets instead.

First I took the A4 sheets and cut them into 1/2 inch strips. Make sure you cut along the short edge to get a the lovely ziz zag pattern on the strip. The advantage of using an A4 sheet is that the length is the same for each strip & you can cut it as thin or thick as you want the 3D effect to be.

I needed 6 strips of Red colour & 1 strip of yellow to make this flower. The step is simple. For the petals, roll each strip in a loose circular fashion and glue the end in place. We used a hot glue gun. You can use craft glue like fevicol also. Once the glue dries, pinch one end to form a petal like shape. The key to a nice petal is to roll it loose. For the center, tightly roll the yellow strip and glue in place. Now arrange the petals in a circular arrangement around the center and glue in place. Let dry.

We made another flower using Blue sheets. Since there were no green sheets, we coloured the yellow sheet green using lovely soft pastels to give it depth and then cut them into leaf shapes. If you don't have pastels, you can use crayons too. Now the Corrugated sheets were white on one side so to give it a better 3D look, I cut some petal shapes from the corrugated sheets and stuck them on the front. (See the red flower). Also added some stems by rolling a black sheet into small pipes. Then I arranged the flowers in a glass with some pebbles and a corrugated strip tied to the center of it.  Makes for a perfect Mother's day gift don't you think?

Supplies Used:

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Paper Dolls for your Pre-Teen Daughter

When I was about 7 or 8 years old, my mother got me a paper doll set. A paper doll is a very simple 2 dimensional doll made out of card and it usually comeswith 4 to 5 dresses. Everything was printed on some kind of light card and I spent all day changing my paper doll's outfits and playing little pretend games. I haven't seen paper dolls in stores anywhere so I thought why don't I try to make it. And let me tell you it's not just easy peasy but also such fun to do!!! The picture above is the doll with the 5 dresses I made for her.

I started out with a piece of white card stock on which I hand-drew the doll outline. After much erasing and redrawing it was finally ready and although I did and still do feel the head is a little big for the body, I went ahead and colored it. My doll was ready.

Then I got to work on the dresses and OMG, it was SO MUCH FUN! I started with a sleek contemporary look first. I took a piece of printer paper and placed my doll underneath. Then I drew out the dress by hand, following the curve of the doll's body which I could see below my sheet. Then I  using some green pattern paper from the Fresh Floral Stack, some card stock and some ribbon I put the whole look together. What do you think!

My next creation was a pink, poofy princess dress which every girl must have in her collection. The base of the skirt is pink pearl card stock which I covered with lace and some net. The belt is made out of some really pretty roses form Itsy Bitsy and the blouse is white card stock embossed with a pretty floral design. Isn't it a hit!

Next I tried doing a pant and top duo. Itsy Bitsy has this amazing new range of jute/ burlap sheets which I cut to form the leggings. For the red top I used a felt sheet and the button belt was made out of some of the Itsy Bitsy Fashion Buttons. 

How about this gorgeous evening gown! It's by far my favorite of the lot. I used purple felt to create that rich luxurious feel and added a trim of pearls around the neckline and the hem for just a little glam. Itsy Bitsy has just launched this amazing range of pearl stickers. You get so many in a pack for just Rs. 50 and in so many colors. It's really my new favorite thing!

For my final dress I used one of Itsy Bitsy 5" doilies to create this lacy pearl dress. I didn't have to do much except cut the shape and add the pearls, the doily was so pretty by itself. As a backing I used a pattern paper from the Fresh Floral Stack. 

When I showed this set to my mother, it got her in a nostalgic mood. She started telling me about her paper doll set that she had when she was a little girl in Calcutta. Her mother got her this fabulous set which came with an album where you could store the doll and dresses. That got me thinking - what a super idea! The dolls and dresses are all pretty much 2 dimensional so why not make a little album to store them! And so I got to work. 

Here is the album. It measures 6" wide and 12" long and I bound it using my Cinch and some Cinch binding wire. The embellishments are all some of my favorites form Itsy Bitsy - fabric flowers, a paper flourish and oodles of pearls. 

When you open the book, I added a little pocket to store the doll and for each dress, I created a ribbon 'rod' on which I could hang the dresses. I made a little hanger out of flower wire and  hooked it on. To keep it place I added a little ribbon band below. Isn't it cute!

And if you're wondering how the dresses stay fixed onto the doll, I had to improvise on the original attachment approach. Traditionally there is just a paper flap that folds behind the doll to keep the dress in place. But my dresses were quite heavy and ornate so a paper hook was not going to do the trick. Instead I glued some flower wire to the back of all the dresses so that when I place the dress on the doll, I just have to bend the wire down to keep the dress in place. 

 This is a great project to do with your daughter during the summer. She will have a blast designing different dresses and decorating them. If you're not to drawing and cutting a doll shape yourself, not to worry! Just print out the doll picture above as big as you can, stick it on a card and cut the outline. That's it, you have a paper doll ready for dressing! If you're still note sure, I can share a video tutorial so leave a comment and let me know.

Supplies Used:

Friday, April 26, 2013

The Grand Opening of the 3rd Itsy Bitsy Store in Bangalore

April 21st 2013 was a very exciting day for crafters in Bangalore as Itsy Bitsy, the hobby and craft Megastore was opening its third branch in the city. Located in OMBR Layout, Banaswadi, the store was stocked and packed with the choicest craft supplies, a virtual treasure trove of crafty treasures. As far as I'm concerned there is no better way to spend a Sunday so naturally I spent the entire day at the new store!!

Rashmi and Harish Closepet, the brains, brawn and drive behind the Itsy Bitsy venture were at the door to greet each and every visitor and there were close to 3000 of them. A little gift box containing a laddu was presented to all guests and as the browsing began, the cash counters got busy! 2 additional cash counters were created outside the store to manage the demand. 

The Itsy Bitsy Creative team was at work conducting craft workshops all through the day and everywhere you looked, crafters young and old were proudly walking away with their freshly made projects, created during the workshops. 

As evening drew near, the crowd only got bigger! So much so, that we had to step out of the store to allow the shoppers some space to shop! You could see eyes widening as they found literally EVERYTHING they could think of - from dies, to embossing folders, to embellishments, to pearls, to beads, to art supplies to party supplies and quilling - everything under the sun was in front of them to buy.

On a personal note, I had a really great time at the grand opening. I spent most of they day doing demos of the die cutting machine and foam cutter. I was thrilled to finally meet dear blogger friends like Tanvi Shah of Paper Fantasee, Dr. Sonia of Cards and School Projects and Juhi Khanna of Juhi's Handmade Cards. Sonia and Juhi even brought their little girls and that was a special treat as I've read and heard so much about them! I was able to show my husband, parents, in-laws, brother and sister-in laws this amazing franchise that I've been associated with for some time now and of course get some craft kits for my son who is bored out of his mind this summer!

It was all in all a very exciting, stimulating and exhausting day. We are so thrilled to have the support of so many people and we look forward to your continued support in this journey!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Desktop Flip Album - Guest Post by Juhi Khanna

Hi this is Juhi from Juhi's Handmade Cards. Last week I received a box of gorgeous goodies from the Itsy Bitsy store, there were boutique elements flowers, ribbons, Patterned Paper, Laser cuts, cinch binding wire among other things. Going with this month's theme everything was in the Itsy Bitsy Logo colours, I couldn't wait to get started!
What I came up was this
a desktop flip photo album featuring my 15 month old daughter Kriti.
I had got the We R memory keepers Cinch Binding Machine from Itsy Bitsy last year but this is the first real project I have made using it. Here's a short tutorial on how to make the base of the flip album. 
I started off with 2 pieces of heavy duty cardboard measuring 6.5x8” and one piece of heavy duty cardstock measuring 4.5x8”. Make sure that the 6.5x8” pieces of cardboard are tough enough to take the weight of your album (embellishments et al). 
Score the 4.5x8” cardstock at 1", 2.25" and 3.5".
Create folds as shown in the picture below
Stick fold 1 to one 6.5x8" piece of cardboard and stick fold 4 to the other cardboard piece.
 Cover the base with patterned paper and your album base is ready. 
For the pages I’ve used 8x6” blue cardstock.
 I used the Cinch Binding Tool to bind everything together; I am not going into the details on how to bind as the instruction manual of the tool gives all the steps in great detail. But I would like to give a few tips that I found really handy for first time users.
a.    Read the instruction manual carefully and also if possible see some YouTube tutorials before using the tool for punching holes, especially if the dimensions of your project are greater than 6”.
b.    The tool requires some practice. Always practice on scrap paper first. I managed to damage a set of completed scrapbook layouts while trying to bind them.
c.    For greater than 6” project stick to the dimensions mentioned (), this helps in getting even binding at both ends.
d.    Match the diameter of your binding wire exactly with that on the tool’s dial. The diameter of the binding wire is mentioned on the packaging of the wire.

I used 0.75” binding wire for my desktop flip photo album project. While binding press very slowly and keep checking if you are getting a perfect circle.
This is what my album looked like after binding.
Finishing the pages was a breeze with Itsy Bitsy embellishments. I’ve used boutique element flowers, butterfliesself-adhesive paper frills, patterned paper, giant crystalspearlslaser cuts and also some die cuts all from the Itsy Bitsy store. Here’s a collage of the completed pages.
The following pictures show the details of Itsy Bitsy embellishments on 2 pages (I'm too lazy to edit images of all the album pages :P)

I had so much fun making this; I hope I have inspired you to create something for this month’s challenge!
Supplies Used: Please Click on the image to visit the product page on our website