Thursday, February 26, 2009

Long time, no see

Um, sorry for such a lack of posting! Suffice it to say, the April-May issue needed some TLC.

So we're doing a feature on die cut machines in this issue. (Lucky me, I got to try a bunch of different ones out! Incidentally, can you believe that it is 2009 and I have never used a Cricut before? I feel so stone age.) Anyway, we look at 5 machines and show some of our favorite die shapes from each:

QuicKutz Silhouette
Pazzles Inspiration
Sizzix/Stampin' Up! Big Shot
Provo Craft Cricut
Making Memories Slice

I am really into die cutting right now thanks to this, and as I was browsing online the other night I found that Sizzix is having a sale on some of their dies. Computerized die cutting is super cool, but I do love running a steel die through a machine. Here's the list I'm trying to narrow down:

Christmas star $9.99 (reg $19.99) You could do such cool felt flowers with this. UPDATE, 3/6: NOW ON SALE FOR $5

3-D Circle ornament $9.99 (reg $19.99) Great price, could make these for any occasion. UPDATE, 3/6: NOW ON SALE FOR $5

Telephone & Address card $11.99 (reg $15.99) Look at the outline of this die. Tons of possibilites. There is another notch in there to the left of the one you can see. UPDATE, 3/6: NOW ON SALE FOR $6

Pocket $5.99 (reg $19.99) Great price. I like basic shape dies, they're a great blank canvas and come in handy on lots of different projects. UPDATE, 3/6: NOW ON SALE FOR $4.79

Not on sale, but very cute:

Flower Layers #2 $14.99

Dog $19.99 At first I rejected it as cutesy, but the plaid paper they cut it from makes me realize it could totally have a great 50s retro vibe. Great to cut from vintage fabric and applique on a quilt/bib/onesie.

Flower Layers w/ Leaf $19.99

Elephant $11.99 Again, almost cutesy, but really just plain cute. Love the silhouette of it, lots of baby project possibilities. UPDATE, 3/6: NOW ON SALE FOR $6

And there's also this cute owl on sale for $8.

Monday, February 16, 2009

And while we're looking...

These flowers from the Prima blog are pretty dang hot too.

Signs of Spring

With Valentines Day over and done, spring is right around the corner. (Right? Please say yes!) And what better way to celebrate than to break out the new Signs of Spring line from Prima. I love love love this clothesline pattern. And the bright colors on the bird paper. Ok, and all of it. I still have a lot of love leftover from Valentines Day, I guess. But really, what's not to love?

And a cute layout by Cindy Tobey tying it all together.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Anne Spencer

For anyone who lives on the Wasatch Front here in lovely Utah, our amazing Simply Handmade photographer, Anne Spencer, is having a show tonight at the Kayo Gallery in downtown Salt Lake. 177 E. 300 S. Check it out.

Fridge Valentine

Loving this little Fridge Valentine that Laura McCollough of A Kiss on The Chic whipped up. I bet her little girl adores it, and if she's anything like mine, opening the fridge 20 times per hour, then she has a constant reminder of how much she is loved!

Last Minute Valentine Inspiration

left to right:
1. Be Mine Card by Betsy Veldman
2. I Love You Card by Jen Gallacher
3. Teacher, Be Mine Gifts by Betsy Veldman
4. Crocheted Heart Card by Julie Masse
5. Icecream Cone Cupcake Boxes by Betsy Veldman
6. You're so Tweet Tea Towel by Lisa of Always Home, pattern by Joan Gorman

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Simple, quick AND stylish

Amy is on the hot tamale train this week! As promised, here are more super-hip valentines that you can simply print, fold, and give. Thanks, Amy -- muah!

Click on each image to download a pdf.

10 cent Valentines

Seriously, and that's rounding up. It's more like 8 cents. If the paper is $0.70.

You can get 8 valentines from 1 sheet of double-sided patterned paper (this is Making Memories) and whatever heart punch/die cut you have (or you can just fold the paper in half and cut out a heart the old fashioned way). These dies are Sizzix/Stampin' Up!.

1 Cut your 12 x 12" paper into four 3" strips.
2 Cut each strip at about 5" and 10" (maybe more like 4 7/8" and 9 3/4" if you want to get technical). This gives you three pieces: two cards and one 2 1/4" block to cut a heart from. The cards are a little less than 5" long (half that when folded).

Note: The strips in the picture are a little on the skinny side, I threw that together a bit too fast...your hearts probably won't be that crunched for room.

3 Cut out a heart from the 2 1/4" block. Use the negative of the heart, too, and you have decorations for both card fronts.

4 You could add other stuff, like buttons or ribbon -- whatever you have on hand. This is an American Crafts felt flower and a Kaiser Craft gem (the gem is from the current Fortune Cookie Studio Calico kit).

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Hearts Afire

It might be a little late to decorate the halls with this beauty from Skip to my Lou this year, but since it would take me at least 10 months to make this anyway, I think it's perfect timing to add to the list for next year. Wow, look at me being all prepared.

There's still plenty of time for making valentines for vday 2009 though. If you're really cool and the thought of staying up extremely late for the next 2 or 3 nights doesn't make you want to cry, you could make these fortune cookie valentines courtesy of Martha or these cute offerings from Molly at the purl bee.

If you're pretty cool, but who are we kidding, you need your sleep, maybe these quick cards found in the Prima Hybrid gallery would be worth a shot.

And if you're insanely cool but need a quick "print and sign" valentine for all of your "acquaintances" (i.e. people you don't love enough to give a fortune cookie or a painstakingly hand-stitched heart to), then check back tomorrow for another free valentine option.

Vision Statement

Our vision for our publications is to showcase the work of amazing everyday artists and inspire beautiful new projects/layouts/cards/jewelry in the process. So, seeing Julie's post on the Cosmo Cricket blog the other day with a layout inspired by one of our favorite projects in the feb/mar issue of Simply Handmade is really exciting for us! (In fact, I think my mention of it was the first time Tammy cracked a smile in a week filled with 2 very sick, snotty, and clingy kids, doctor visits, impending work deadlines, and a cold of her own to boot.)

We get the opportunity to work with such wonderful and talented people every day and it is a lot of fun to see how one great piece can inspire another work of art. Thanks to Julie for posting and to Pamella Brown for the inspiration! Oh, and you can download directions for Julie's layout and that cool flower on their blog.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


Our fabulous art director, Amy, whipped up these super cute valentines to print (click on them to download a pdf). She doesn't need any more work to do, but doesn't this look like a great start to a beautiful scrapbooking/fabric line, hint hint? Maybe next year...

P.S. When you print, be sure to reduce the page to fit your printer's margins.