Wednesday, May 30, 2012

CCL Monthly Theme Challenge - Altered Items

Howdy, crafty friends! Time for June's theme challenge from Creating the Crafty Life! This month our theme is altered items. HOW FUN IS THAT?! As a member of CCL's design team, I have created an altered project to share with and hopefully inspire you. The challenge is to not only alter an item, but to include LACE somewhere (anywhere) in your project. Here is what I made:

I snatched this wooden flower basket from one of the dollar bins in Michael's. Right away, I though it would be perfect for a pin cushion, and I love the fact that it doesn't look like a "normal" pin cushion. I took the handle off and painted & crackled the flower faces. I adhered lace to the sides and created a butterfly out of the same lace, using mesh bling for its body and flower stamen for its antennae. I added more trim here and there along the lace edges, then filled the inside with rocks. I attached a fluff-filled bit of black leather to the inside top of the basket, creating the pin cushion. Last thing to do was stick a couple of pins in it for effect! Hope you like!

'Til then,

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Run Away from Cheap Tape Runners!

Let's talk about adhesive runners. (Or, I just call them all tape runners, but I'm not entirely sure that's always correct.) Ok, I have been around the mountain and back when it comes to these things and I've finally found a couple that I like. But first, let me show you some that I grabbed from my stash:

Most of these are junk and I hate them. I'm a cheap person -- I have three kids in a single-income family, so I'm always attempting to wiggle out of whatever expenses I can. Consequently, I frequently find myself learning the hard way that you get what you pay for. Generally speaking, the cheaper the runner, the more stupid it will behave.

There is one in the pile above that I do like. It is the Creative Memories tape runner. The thing I do not like is that bad boy cost me somewhere in the area of $8.00. The other chink in its armor is that I have to attain refills for it either through a Creative Memories consultant or by ordering online. Ordering isn't so horrible, and I've never experienced problems with their shipping, but what if I want it right here, right now? I suppose the answer is a no-brainer and just buy a bunch of refills and keep them stocked up, so as never to be caught high and dry. But I'm not always good at that. Also, the refills are $5.50, which is way more pricey than some of the cheaper actual runners. On the other hand, the tape in CM's runner seems to last a lot longer than the cheapo ones.

As far as the cheapo ones go, there are many, MANY different runners on the market. I have paid anywhere from $0.99 to $6.99 for runners, trying to find one that I'm good and happy with. Some consist of tiny gluey dots (hated it!), some are comprised of some sort of gluey film (hated it!), and some have actual little white strips of double sided stickiness. That's where I've found my happy place in Tape Runner Land. Here is the one I've found to be my favorite:

 It is Scrapbook Adhesives E-Z Runner.  **But be forewarned -- Scrapbook Adhesives produces all the other kinds I've mentioned. I just always buy the "red one" and I love it. The only complaint I have is that it doesn't seem to last very long. (Although it still lasts longer than any other of the really cheap runners.) But, for being such a cheap individual, I really am adhesive-happy, so I probably going through these a lot faster than necessary, admittedly. It just really depends on how much you use it. This particular runner is around $6.00, but you can get it at Jo-Ann's with a 405 off coupon most of the time. Also, I am fortunate to have a Flower Factory right by me and they will sometimes carry this runner for around $3.00. Sweet deal.

There's a big daddy tape runner worth mentioning. It's the ATG, which is just short for Adhesive Transfer Gun. ((**Some people say "ATG Gun" and this makes me twitch because it's like saying "Adhesive Transfer Gun Gun," much the way "ATM Machine is like saying Automated Teller Machine Machine, but that's my nerdiness roaring its ugly head and I'll push it back away now.**)) I don't yet own an ATG, but it's certainly up there on my wish list. I've borrowed them on occasion at crops and they are COOL! The *only* reason I do not own one is because, say it with me, "Carli is cheap!" But I plan to arm myself with that good ol' 40% off coupon and bite the bullet before too long. Here's a photo of a Scotch ATG I want:

These guys last FOREVER. I guess one might complain about it's bulkiness, but they aren't really heavy or anything. And I feel a little excited, in a power-hungry sort of way when I'm using one. Maybe that's a much smaller scaled man-with-power-tool syndrome. At any rate, you will find these for around $35.00 and the refills just depend on where you shop and which type pf tape you buy.

Just remember this, my friends: Not all adhesive runners are created equal!

Til then,