Lickety Split: hugs and kisses in 10 minutes

Here we are with another Lickety Split post: super-speedy projects that can be made from scratch in less than 15 minutes. This one didn’t even take 10 minutes. Of course this means they are simple – not being a superwoman – but hopefully they still look good.

xoxo

Coming from a generation that was taught that punctuation and grammar matter I am not the biggest fan of text talk generally. Although I often break the language rules now, either deliberately, or because I have genuinely forgotten them! But some of this new shorthand is winning me over, gradually. I do like ‘hugs and kisses’ expressed like this. I have embraced LOL and although I will probably never love it or send it XOXOs I understand and appreciate its usefulness. It is good for language to change, but I hope it remains colourful, descriptive and rich. That would be amazeballs! OK, so that new word is pretty darn spanking….

To make this I used a set of letter dies in a quite unfussy font, one card blank, a scrap each of black and red card and that was it. I cut the X and O to represent hugs and kisses twice each and then, because the die set had a small heart too (along with numbers and ordinals, very handy) I thought I may as well add a couple of those for good measure.

For the positioning of the letters I laid a good solid ruler across the card at the height I wanted the letters to be. Then I found the centre point: my card measured 14.5cm across, so the centre was 7.25cm. I know, I should have made it a bit easier on myself! So, back to noting the centre point. I then positioned an O at 7cm on the ruler and an X at 7.5cm to get good spacing, and butted them up to the edge of the ruler as I stuck them down, to get them straight. Personally I find this easier than lots of fiddly measuring and marking. After that I just eyeballed the spacing for the outer two letters and the hearts.

You don’t need dies to do this – stamps would work but the alignment might be a little trickier. Although you could always just go for the trusty ‘intentionally wonky’ instead. Letters could also be printed and cut out, or just printed onto card and folded.

There are, after all, plenty of words out there!

Dies: Docrafts Xcut Wedding Alphabet & Numbers

 

 

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Lickety Split: If I were a dinosaur, I would be a velocowrappter….

Gift wrapping seems to give so many people stress, and at this time of year it is like immersion therapy for the daunted. I will happily hold my hand up to being a gift wrap nerd. I love to wrap a present, to make it look pretty, or fun, or glamorous or just different. But I am not one of those who can tie an immaculate bow, and I dont use the most expensive gift wrap, just whatever the high street stores have to offer.  The gifts don’t have to be perfect, or ‘shop style’ or works of art. ‘Pretty’ will do fine! Dont get me wrong, if I could spend bazillions on wrappy stuff it would ABSOLUTELY happen. I once heard that the Spelling family (of TV and/or movie fame) had a gift wrap room in their house. I swear I have never in the whole of my life wanted to be someone else more than I did right then. But now I have a craft room and maybe that is better!

Gift wrap is my spiritual home as a crafter. However, I have been told so often by people that they struggle with it. I can’t think how many times someone has handed me a gift and apologised about the wrapping. Well, they should NEVER feel they have to apologise. It IS the thought that counts and a person shouldn’t feel pressurised into striving for some kind of perfect presentation. Realistic and achievable will do nicely, if someone wants to give it a go. But if is just not in their skill set, who really cares?! Not me, for sure.

But, if you are despondently soaking your paper cuts in antiseptic before taking another deep breath, maybe also a fortifying swig of mulled wine before getting back in there amongst the paper rolls and curling ribbon, here is a little something that might help.

The PaperPuff Pockety Pouchy Thing. Yes indeed. So maybe the name needs a little tweaking. Bear with. Imagine you have some little presents for the girls at work. Maybe some hand cream tubes and a nail colour, or body lotion in a squeezy bottle, that kind of thing. Or male grooming products. All lovely gifts, but a struggle to wrap. Now this won’t be pristine angles and hospital corners, but it is easy, it works, and it looks fine and dandy. Plus, it takes just a few minutes.

Lock and load.

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So, now there are plenty of options to close it up. You can:

Cut the edge with fancy scissors (or you could have die cut the edge at an earlier stage if you wanted), cut or punch several holes, or just two holes, and thread some ribbon through, or even a strip of paper

Use pretty pegs or clips to fasten it

Here I have just done the simplest thing. I folded the top open edge over twice to the back (neat edges = happy) and then knotted some organza ribbon around it.

This really takes just a few minutes and then you can add whatever embellishments you fancy! I like tiny baubles/ornaments, jingle bells, candy canes or chocolate coins, or sometimes a bit of real evergreen and a pine cone.

wrapping-final

Sorry some of the pictures are a bit blurry. I think my eyes need polishing. The basic idea is just to create your U shape and don’t worry about the height of it: it can be shallow or tall, and longer on one side than the other is also fine! I only wrapped one item here, but you can wrap several things together and you can always secure them to the card with a bit of sticky tack, or tape if it makes it easier for you.  This isn’t meant to win us any competitions, after all, just get us through Christmas!

Hope everyone is having fun, or at least surviving anyway!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lickety Split: masking off

This is the ‘series’ I was mentioning in my post on coincidences the other day. It might only be a one-off, but hopefully will be an occasional themed post, if I can come up with enough projects. Who knows? Maybe the universe does, but certainly not me!

Basically the idea is to make a card from scratch in about 10 – 15 minutes. And in real person time, not ‘I had everything out, cut, matted, and all my stamps layered onto different mounts ready to go’ time as they do on craft telly. More like a smash and grab raid on your stash. So obviously nothing too complicated. But I am a fan of ‘clean and simple’ anyway, so this should be fun, right?

Of course a lot of you will know all this, but for those who have not yet tried card making or are relatively new to the party, this is a ‘how to’ post, with pictures, to produce a simple, simple card.

One of the easiest ways to create impact quickly is with a masked stamped area and a clean stamped sentiment. So, you lay a bit of masking tape (you can use any low tack tape, or post-it notes) over a section of the card, but it is very important to make sure it is straight – anything off true will show up big time. Well, for me it does, anyway. To ensure the making of it was super-speedy I used a card blank with scalloped edges. This means I can bypass any measuring and just run the post-it note from scallop to scallop. Easy peasy!

here-for-you-1

Now you want to cover that section with one or more (depending on size) stamped images to fill the space; make sure you stamp over the masked line, as much as possible, because this is what will give you a nice defined look when the tape is removed, and give you a good effect.

here-for-you-2

Here I used Altenew Freeform Greenery, which is a set full of outline-only leaves, in many forms and sizes. When I first came across this stamp set I was not sure, but the more I saw them, the more possibilities there seemed. Then they went on SALE! Which meant they now have a forever home with me. It was an easy decision in the end!

So, we have a masked off area filled as much as possible with stamps. Now remove the masking tape carefully and add a suitable sentiment just above the line of stamping.

Maybe a knotted band of ribbon at the top and job done. Took way longer to write and photograph than it did to make!

here-for-you-8

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I used more than one stamp set here, but a beginner could easily choose one set with a mixture of greetings and images, just to try it out.

I’d be interested to know if you think posts like this are a good idea or whether I am teaching grandmother to suck eggs. A phrase which I have never understood and always found frankly bizarre. Try a mental image of your gran doing it. See?!

Supplies from Altenew:

stamps: Freeform Greenery, Sentiments and Quotes, and Thinking of You. Inks: Cotton Candy, Forest Glade and Moon Rock

Ribbon and card from stash.