What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday – #429

Hello, I’m back WOYWW friends! It has been a very long time since I joined in the fun of snooping on craft desks around the world. My last WOYWW post was over 3 years ago. Can you believe it? Where does the time go?  I think moving forward I will manage my expectations and aim to create my WOYWW post a minimum of twice a month.  That way I won’t find myself overwhelmed.  For those of you that aren’t familiar with WOYWW (What’s On Your Workdesk Wednesday),  head on over to Julia’s Stamping Ground and you will find desks from all around the world for What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday.

Today I have a semi-tidy desk because I have actually been putting in some creative hours.  I spent much the first half of my summer vacationing with my family and neglecting my wonderful garden and now as school time has arrived for at least of one of my children, I am finding the pull to come back to my craft room and play.

So in the picture on the left are two books that I recently read that need to write reviews for to post in my Book Nook section. You can also see some cute stamps from the Target’s dollar section. I used the dumbell stamp in my planner for workout days.

One thing I also have been doing is revisiting online classes that I purchased and never completed. So in the center of the desk, you see the result of a bit of color theory with my Copics.  My goal is to complete all the courses I own this year over the next few months.

On the right of my planner is the most beautiful kit I purchased from Papertrey Ink in May. I received it right before I started my vacations in June and have yet to crack the seal and use them. So another item I have placed in my line of sight to promote action.

Well enough about my desk, I am off to come see your desks.

I hope you all have a blessed day.

Belinda

Learning Something New

I still like to read the summer reading requirements along with the boys each year and this year, Nick’s selections have stepped up. Our first book we read was “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” by Sherman Alexie. Now, I actually had purchased the e-book over a year ago so I was thrilled it was on the list (no new purchases necessary!). The book was fantastic and throughout he and I talked about the various topics it raised.

When we went to choose our second book, I picked one but after reading a few chapters felt the content was a bit too much for him so we went back to the list. I jumped for joy when I saw “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett. I own and read it a few years back and then saw the movie adaptation. So we chose this as our second selection and although I don’t read books more than once (simply because my TBR is too long) I have to say, I am still loving this book. We even found the overdrive audiobook version and have been taking turns, he reads, I read, we listen to the amazing voice talents read. So while they read, I have been learning how to create botanical line drawings. I really love using my hands and like learning new skills so I ordered this book and have been giving it a try.

It’s funny how you forget what it’s like to be a beginner and then you try to learn something new and you find yourself revisiting those old feelings of insecurity. But I know I have been growing over the years because I didn’t beat myself up for not drawing them perfectly like the examples. I just let myself have fun trying and when one came out pretty good, I would smile.  Another reason I know that I’ve grown is that in the past, I would never have shared a picture of my attempts online. So progress is happening over here.

Nick’s first day of school went well yesterday and I pray he has an amazing year.  I hope you are all enjoying the last few weeks of summer.

Have a blessed day!

Belinda

Tool Time: Product Review

Hello, how are you?  Despite some plumbing issues that we are dealing with at the current moment, I am actually feeling great. But repairs goes with owning a home and I have no regrets. I love our home and enjoy renovating it with my husband. It’s been a lovely journey watching it evolve as well as our tastes.

But I digress so let’s talk craft stuff. As you know, I have curbed my craft budget and spending habits so I don’t feature as much stuff on this site.  But I recently came across a tool I thought I could use quite nicely for some projects.  I also don’t mind spending money on tools because they can be used again and again.

The Product: WPlus9’s Large Butterfly frame die

For this test, I used the WPlus9’s steel die with two types of paper. I used the Recollections’ paper pack called Soda Pop. I also used Georgia Pacific Cardstock. Although the Georgia-Pacific did not work well the Reflections worked smooth like butter. The beauty is that out of one 8 1/2 x 11 sheet  I was able to cut one full die frame and then use the remaining as a contrasting background for a card. The nice thing is that the colors all coordinate quite nicely. So less time hunting for colors that go together. Then there is still a small piece of paper left that I thought would be great to use to punch out coordinating tiny butterflies with one of my Martha Stewart punches. I laid out the frames on the coordinating colored paper scraps but could easily cut them down and stamp a sentiment and stick them on a card.

My thoughts:

I own a load of dies and some I like and some I rarely use. But let’s talk about the die.

The Design:

What I like:

  • The fact that the butterfly frame is a standard A2 size (4 1/4 x 5 1/2) so it can rock the front of a card.
  • The steel is thick and not flimsy so it produces a nice clean cut.
  • The framing of the butterflies leaves room for sentiments which is very important if you want to make cards.
  • They include a lot of holes so that if your paper should stick, it’s very easy to use a pin to poke them out without tearing the paper.
  • The die was made in the USA. It’s really great to know it’s made here and reduces our carbon footprint as well as provides jobs in local factories.

What I don’t like:

  • I tried using it with the inexpensive Georgia Pacific cardstock from Walmart and it ripped. So you will need to try out a few types of paper to see which works for you.
  • That even when I used paper that worked, I had to run it through a few times to ensure all of the detail in the butterfly wings were cut.

Overall:

I love this die and see that it will be a versatile tool for my projects moving forward. I like the sturdiness and I found that the oh so inexpensive paper packs by Recollections that you can buy at Michael’s works beautifully with the die. The paper pops out easy and the cost per sheet is so inexpensive, you can make a large number for a few dollars. I love that I can use it with my sentiment stamps and custom one’s that I design on the computer. If you look at the first set of photos the white one on the left was cut using the Georgia Pacific and it didn’t cut out all of the butterfly detailing. But all of the other ones were cut using the Reflections paper.

Product reviewed: Large Butterfly Frame by WPlus9

I love using mine and will share some finished cards with you soon.

Have a blessed day!

Belinda

This to That: Packaging –> Valentine’s Accents

Good afternoon!! Wow, the weather is crazy today. Wild wind and rain for the entire today.  I am pretty sure my tea kettle is trying to hide from such excessive use but that is simply what I do on days like this.

So in order to fight the gloom, I thought I would share another ‘This to That” with you. I have been paying close attention to packaging lately and recently I decided to replace the bulb covers on my Heidi Swapp marquee letters that are in my craft room. I had clear and wanted to go to pretty fuschia colored covers. What timing, they were are on clearance for a $1.99 a pack so I put them in my basket. When I got home I changed the bulbs out but I have this thing about looking at packaging design and also simply for repurposing purposes.

I liked the thickness of the paper. It was like a heavy cardstock and it was a nice neutral color – white. The paper also has a nice coating that gives it shine. So I measured it and sat down to create the dimensions on my Silhouette.  I measured the logo on the top of the packaging and use a pink box to represent it on my cut file. The reason I did this is so that the machine would know where to begin cutting. I only wanted to cut on the white areas of the packaging.

I decided it would be great to cut out some Valentine’s accents since January seems to be rushing by so fast. I picked some cute files that I owned and right before cutting it I removed the pink box so as not to create an additional cut.

Do you see how it began cutting below the logo? The paper was thick enough and with the coating, I could have used the hearts and key as a stencil to create additional art.

I used the second one to create more hearts. Let’s face it, you can never have too many hearts.

I placed them in my hand so you could get an idea of the size of the accents I created.

I laid them on a colored cardstock so you could see them cut out. I am thrilled with how they came out and can’t wait to use them on some cards and scrapbook pages.

So now, I challenge you to hesitate before throwing away the packaging and see if you can make something fun.

Have a blessed day!

Belinda

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