Thursday, December 30, 2010

Hero Arts "Giving Thanks & Color Challenge" Entry

I created this card as an entry for the December Hero Arts Challenge. Follow the Hero Arts Challenge link for more information and while you’re there, visit the Hero Arts Flickr Group and view all the entries for the challenge. You won’t be disappointed!

For my “Giving Thanks” themed card I’m using the kraft, cranberry, pine and snow color combo from the challenge. I added heat embossing to the copper cardstock to give the card a little “shine”.

Supplies for my “Thanks” card:

Kraft Card – 7” X 10” (Folded to 5” X 7”)
Brown Cardstock – 4 ¾” X 6 ¾”
Green Cardstock – 4 ½” X 6 ½”
White Design Panel – 4 1/4” X 6 1/4”
Cranberry Velvet Paper – Ornamental Die Cut
Green Cardstock – Ornamental Die Cut Mat
White Tissue Paper – 3 5/8” Scallop Oval
Black Cardstock – 3” Oval
Copper Cardstock – 2 3/8” Oval
Black Cardstock – ¾” Circles (6)
Copper Cardstock – Scrap for Six 5/8” Circles

Hero Arts CL483 My Type 2011 Stamp Set
Black Pigment Ink
Black Embossing Powder
5/8” Hole Punch
¾” Hole Punch
Tim Holtz Ornamental Die
Nestabilities Scallop Oval Die
Nestabilities Oval Dies
Swiss Dots Embossing Folder
Black Ribbon
Nailhead Metal Stickers

1. Card Front - Attach cardstock layers to card:  Green to brown and brown to kraft card.  (Photo 1)

2. Ornamental Image - Cut the Ornamental image from the cranberry velvet paper and attach to a scrap of green cardstock. Cut out around the image, leaving a small border of green around the cranberry for a mat. Fold the top edge of the Ornamental unit to the back about 3/8”. (Photo 2) Slide the white design panel inside the fold as shown and glue in place. (Photo 3) Attach the completed unit to the green layer of the card. (Photo 4)

3. Embossing the Typewriter Keys – Cover every other letter (T-A-K) with masking tape. (Photo 5) Ink the stamp with black pigment ink. (Photo 6) Remove the tape from the stamp. (Photo 7) Stamp the image onto the copper cardstock. Repeat this process covering letters (H-N-S) as shown in Photo 8. Once all images have been stamped, cover them with embossing powder, tap off excess and heat to emboss. (Photo 9)

4. Finishing the Keys - Punch out the embossed images with the 5/8” circle punch. (Photo 10) Punch six black ¾” circles and attach the embossed images to the black circles. See the example "S" as shown in Photo 11.

5. Typewriter Section - Cut out a 2 3/8” oval from copper cardstock. Stamp the typewriter image onto the oval with black pigment ink. Sprinkle with black embossing powder, tap off excess powder and heat to emboss. Cut a 3 5/8” scallop oval from the tissue paper and emboss with the Swiss Dots embossing folder. Next, cut a 3” black oval and attach it to the scallop oval. Attach the embossed copper oval to the black oval. (Photo 12) Center and attach the layered oval section to the cranberry Ornamental image on the front of the card.

6. Finishing Up - Arrange the typewriter keys to form the word, “Thanks” along the bottom of the white panel. Make a small bow from black ribbon and attach to the lower edge of the Ornamental cut image. Add the Nailhead stickers along the lower right side of the black oval.

I hope you are enjoying my blog and will visit again soon. Have a safe and Happy New Year – Jane, the Polka Dot Gypsy

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Hi everyone. I hope you are all having a wonderful Christmas. I received some really exciting news last week and wanted to share it with you this evening. I am extremely pleased to announce that I have been chosen to be a Guest Designer for Peachy Keen Stamps during the week of September 19 through September 23. I hope that I will be able to do some Halloween projects. You all know how much I love to make Halloween cards! Also during that week I will be giving away a Peachy Keen Stamp set here on my blog.

Please check out the other guest designer blogs at They are a wonderfully talented group of designers. You won't want to miss their projects throughout the year.

I would like to thank Peachy Keen Stamps for giving me this great opportunity! I am looking forward to this and hope that you will enjoy all of the other great projects by the PKS Guest Designers.

I can't end this post without a crafting tip. So here it is . . .

My Christmas card to you is a photo of my Christmas decorations above my front door. I purchased the lamp post at Jo-Ann Fabrics last year and decided that it needed something more. Knowing that I was going to sit Minnie Mouse on the bench next to it, I decided to add Mickey to the lamp. I used the Cricut, "Mickey Font" Cartridge to cut the image from vinyl and attached it to the lamp. I also cut the images in a smaller size and added them to the ornaments on the tree.

Have a wonderful Holiday! - Jane, the Polka Dot Gypsy

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Peachy Keen Stamps Challenge 42 - Emboss It!

Today's note card is another Peachy Keen Challenge entry using either heat or dry embossing.


PK-401 Patty Cake Jr.

Black Card - 5 1/2" X 8 1/2" (Folded)
Silver Panel - 4" X 5 1/4"
Pearl Panel - 3 3/4" X 5"
Silver Scallop Oval - 3 5/8"
Watercolor Paper Oval - 3"

Silver Pigment Ink
Silver Embossing Powder
Wild Plum & Shell Pink Adirondack Alcohol Inks
Adirondack Alcohol Blending Solution
Blending Tool
Heat Tool
Spellbinders Nestabilities Scallop Oval & Oval Dies
Swiss Dots Embossing Folder
Silver Ribbon

Basic Card Instructions

1. Apply Wild Plum and Shell Pink alcohol inks to the watercolor oval with blending solution and blending tool.

2. Let dry and stamp image onto the oval using the silver pigment ink. Cover with embossing powder. Tap off excess and heat emboss. Set aside.

3. Cut out the silver scallop oval with the Nestabilities die and emboss before removing the die cut from the die. Set aside.

4. Use the Swiss Dots embossing folder to emboss the pearl panel. Set aside.

5. Attach embossed Pearl panel to silver panel.

6. Attach embossed oval to the silver scallop oval and attach both to pearl panel at optical center.

7. Wrap ribbon around all the layered panels below the scallop oval. Tie ribbon in a bow or knot and attach the silver panel to the front of the note card.

I hope you enjoy this cute little card. It is a simple card to make and has many creative possibilities for all those special occasions. - Jane, the Polka Dot Gypsy

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Part Four - "Brown Bag Table Setting"

Let’s Decorate the Tree and Finish it Up!


To make individual tree lights, punch out six 7/8” flowers (2 each of teal, red and green). Use the Double Rectangle Punch to punch out the copper rectangles for the base of the light. The rectangles need to be a little smaller. So, place the edge of the cardstock ¾ of the way into the window of the punch as shown.

Each flower will make five lights. Glue five bases to the flower as shown in the "Assembling Lights" photo. Cut apart the flowers and trim off excess cardstock even with the bottom of the copper base. Place the lights on your tree as desired. I added tiny pearl embellishments to the tree for interest.

Shoes & Socks

For shoes, use the word window punch and punch two oblong shapes. These shapes are too long for shoes and will need to be shortened as shown in the “Punching Shoes” photo. For the socks, use the Pinking Hearts edge punch and make a strip about two inches long. Cut two sections for each sock and layer over the shoes.

To complete this adorable little Christmas Tree Girl, add a copper star to her hat, and a bow to her collar. Attach the completed doll to the front Design panel with Pop Dots.

Menu Insert

For the menu insert, cut one Teal Cardstock Panel 4 ¾” X 7 ¼”. Print out a menu to fit the panel. Attach the printed menu to the top of the Panel where the ornament and bow will be placed. Leave the bottom of the printed menu unattached. Align both polka dot ornaments at the top, sandwiching the menu panel in between the ornaments. Leave the top part of the ornament extending above the panel about ¼”. Punch two holes through all layers at the top of the ornament and make a Martha Stewart bow with ribbon to hold all the pieces together. Slide the completed menu into the main bag section.

Finishing Touches

Cut rickrack with the CottageCutz rickrack die and use the Dotted Swiss embossing folder to emboss dots. Place rickrack along the top edge of the pocket section. Cut out your guests name and attach to the lower part of the pocket/flap section on the back of the completed Easel back. Insert plastic table service into the small pocket on the back and set at your holiday table.

Tip: It is important to use cardstock for the layers and not thin paper. The cardstock gives the easel section stability to stand. The easel will not support anything heavier than the plastic table service. Do not add a lot of weight to the upper back portion of the easel.

Stamp set for this project is from Peachy Keen Stamps, punches from Stampin’ Up, die cuts from Nestabilities, Sizzix, CottageCutz and Cricut. Color was added using Copic Sketch Markers.

This completes the tutorial on the “Brown Bag Table Setting”. I hope you have enjoyed this project and have been inspired. This project has so many possibilities. I hope you will give it a try and let me know what you did with it. “Happy Holidays” – Jane, the Polka Dot Gypsy

Monday, December 13, 2010

Part Three - "Brown Bag Table Setting"

Making the Christmas Tree Girl

Welcome back to the third day of instructions for the “Brown Bag Table Setting”. Today I will explain how I made the Christmas Tree Girl. Below is the list of the punched shapes that I used for this project.

Paper Shapes

For the Christmas Tree Girl
Curious Iridescents Cryogen White - 1 3/8” Circle
Curious Iridescents Cryogen White - Doll Body
Color of Choice – Doll Hair (2)
Green – 2 1/8”, 3 1/8” & 3 5/8” Scallop Circles (Tree)
Green – 1 5/8” & 2 5/8” Scallop Circles (Tree Hat)
White – 1 5/8” Scallop Circle (Collar)
For Tree Decorations
Copper - Small Rectangles from Slot Punch (30)
Red – 7/8” Five Petal Flower (2 Each)
Teal – 7/8” Five Petal Flower (2 Each)
Green – 7/8” Five Petal Flower (2 Each)
Copper Star
White Pinking Hearts Border Strip (About 2” long)
Green Strips from Window Punch (2)

For Menu and Back
Red Polka Dot Extra Large Ornaments (2)
White Rick-Rack

Christmas Tree Girl Assembly

Punch out a 1 3/8” Circle from Cryogen White cardstock. Stamp the face image with one of the faces from Peachy Keen’s “Snow Cuties” set using Black Memento Ink.

Cut out the Doll Body from Cryogen White cardstock using the Sizzix Doll Body Die.
Add color to the face and doll body using Copic Sketch Markers. Set aside.

For the Main Tree section cut three Scallop Circles from green cardstock (one each 2 1/8”, 3 1/8” & 3 5/8”). Cut wedges from the Scallop Circles as shown. The 2 1/8” and 3 1/8” wedges should have 12 scallops along the curved edge. The 2 5/8” wedge should only have 10 scallops along the curved edge. Pieces marked with the red “X” in the photo will not be used.

For the hat cut two green Scallop Circles (one each 1 5/8” & 2 5/8”). For the hat brim cut across lower edge of the 2 5/8” Scallop Circle. For the top of the hat cut a wedge from the 1 5/8” scallop circle. Both hat pieces will have seven scallops along the edges.

Use the Snow Cap Acrylic Paint Dabbler along the scallop edges of the tree and hat pieces. Layer the Scallop Circle wedges, bottom to top (largest to smallest) and glue in place. Attach the Cryogen White Scallop Circle at top of the three layers.

The doll body is not tall enough for the layered tree and will need to be cut apart. Cut the  doll body in half above legs, cut away the doll’s head and separate arms. Attach to the back of layered tree as shown below.

Attach the top of the hat to the brim and set aside. Attach the face to one of the hair pieces. Trim the second hair section as shown in the photo and attach to the front of face. Attach hat to the top of doll face. The Christmas Tree Girl is now ready to decorate.

Thanks for stopping by today. Next I will show you how to make the lights, decorate the tree and finish the “Brown Bag Table Setting” project. Have a great day! - Jane, the Polka Dot Gypsy

Friday, December 10, 2010

Part Two - "Brown Bag Table Setting"

Making the Lunch Bag Easel

Welcome back for the second day of instructions for the“Brown Bag Table Setting”. Today I will present the instructions for making the easel and Design Panels.

You will need 1 Brown Paper Lunch Sack (5” X 10 ¾”) and cardstock cut as described below to make the Easel.

Front and Back Design Panels
Cut two of each piece. You will need one of each for the Front Design Panel and the Back Design Panel.

Brown Background – 4 ¾” X 7 ¼”
Teal Mat – 4 ¼” X 6 ¾”
Polka Dot Panel – 4” X 6 ½”

Pocket Design Panel
Cut one of each piece.
Brown Pocket Background – 2 ¾” X 4 ¾”
Teal Pocket Mat – 2 ¼” X 4 ¼”
Polka Dot Pocket Panel – 2” X 4”

Make two large Design Panels. Glue the Teal Mat to the Brown Background cardstock. Then attach the Polka Dot Panel to the Teal Mat and set aside.

For the Pocket Design Panel attach the smaller panels as described. Attach the Teal Pocket Mat to the Brown Pocket Background cardstock. Then attach the Polka Dot Pocket Panel to the Teal Pocket Mat and set aside.

Photo #1 - Completed Design Panels

Tip: The red polka dot cardstock has a white core that shows along the cut edges. To soften the edges I sponged red ink along the white edges. Chalk may also be used instead of ink. The ink is not on the top of the paper, just on the edges. I use this same technique with chalk for pictures in scrapbooks.

Making the Lunch Bag Easel

The “Front” of the lunch bag is the side with the tabbed opening at the top and the bottom of the bag folded upwards as packaged. Working from the front side of the lunch bag, fold the bottom section of the bag to the back, folding just above the top edge of the bag bottom. See Photo #2. Crease along the fold line. The bottom of the bag forms a pocket on the back side of the lunch bag. See Photo #3.

Photo #2 - Lunch Sack Front & Photo #3 - Folded Lunch Bag
Attaching Panels

Photo # 4
Working on the back side of the lunch bag, unfold the pocket and attach the back Design Panel to the back of the paper lunch bag, centering the panel within the larger section of the lunch sack above the fold. Attach Sticky Strip adhesive along short edges of the inside pocket section as shown. See Photo #4.

Photo #5 - Flap
Remove the protective coating from the tape and fold the bottom section back up and over the lower portion of the Design Panel to form the pocket (3” X 5”). Once the pocket has been secured a 1 ½” flap will pop up along the bottom edge. See Photo # 5. This flap supports the bag and will allow it to stand up. At this time it may still be a little flimsy and try to fall over. Adding the cardstock Design Panels will help to stabilize it.

Photo #6 - Reference Fold
Fold the bottom edge of the small flap up to the top edge of the pocket, crease and release. This fold will serve as a visual reference point to be used to align the Pocket Design Panel. See Photo 6.

Photo # 7 - Tick Marks

To accurately position and fold the Pocket Design Panel, place the panel in position, print side down and make tick marks at the fold line on the wrong side of the panel. See photo 7.

Photo #8 - Scoring
Score from tick mark to tick mark on the wrong side of the Design Panel. See photo 8.

Attach Sticky Strip to wrong side of folded Pocket Design Panel. Gently fold polka dot side together. Attach the Pocket Panel to the bottom section of the folded lunch bag, aligning the tick marks to the crease of the pocket section of the sack. I use Sticky Strip or a strong double-sided adhesive tape for this panel. It needs to be strong to support the weight. See Photo #9.

Photo #9 - Attaching Pocket Design Panel & Photo #10 Finished Back of Easel

Attach the finished front Design Panel to the front side of the paper lunch Bag. The easel is now ready to be decorated.

I hope you will join me again to see how to make this adorable Christmas Tree Girl.

Monday, December 6, 2010

This Week Learn How to Make the "Brown Bag Table Setting"

Welcome back to Polka Dot Gypsy. This week I have created the “Brown Bag Table Setting” for the Let’s Face it Friday Challenge at the Peachy Keen Stamps blog. Follow this link to see all the other wonderful challenge entries and view the fun line of Peachy Keen stamps.

The rules for the challenge are as follows: Use a lunch sack or grocery bag with a winter inspired theme. The design must be new and you must use a Peachy Keen face.

Everyone who knows me, knows just how much I love using lunch sacks in my card making and scrapbooking. When I read about this challenge I had the perfect card in mind. However, I only had one size face stamp and it was too large to use with my Christmas tree idea. So, for most of the day I folded and manipulated lunch sacks until this idea hatched itself. And I couldn’t be more excited. I was going to use a tried and true project but was forced to come up with something that I think is one of a kind.

Here is the basis for this project. The lunch bag is folded in such a way that an easel is formed on the back to allow the lunch sack to sit upright. Once folded, a pocket is created that will hold a paper napkin and plastic tableware. Below the pocket section is room to add your guest’s name. The lunch sack opens at the top, creating another pocket to hold a menu. And the front of the sack is the main design panel.

I hope you will be inspired to make a “Brown Bag Table Setting” of your own and post your ideas of what you’ve done with it here. Ideas for this project are endless: showers, picnics, birthdays and family reunions. How about photos, wedding invitations or birth announcements instead of the hidden menu? This is the perfect project to try out some new techniques.

The “Brown Bag Table Setting” has so many creative possibilities that it amazes me to even think about it. My mind is just spinning with all kinds of ideas. Maybe I could feature a “Brown Bag Table Setting” Monday on my blog once a month featuring a new theme or technique. Hmmm. Something to think about. 

Well, I hope you’ll stop by again this week because I’m going to post the bag instructions next, followed by the Christmas tree instructions and finish the week with some details of how I did the lights. 

Here is a list of the tools and embellishments I used to make my Holiday Version of the “Brown Bag Table Setting”. Paper sizes will be posted with the basic instructions later this week. Have a wonderful day! – Jane (the Polka Dot Gypsy)

Peachy Keen Stamp Set (PK-501 Snow Cuties 1 1/8”)
1 Brown Paper Bag (5” X 10 ¾”)
Black Memento Ink
Copic Sketch Markers (E000, E00, E011, E13, R22 & R35)
Snow Cap Acrylic Paint Dabber
Scallop Circle Nestabilities
CottageCutz Rick-Rack Die
Sizzix Paper Doll Die
Sizzix Paper Doll Hair
Cricut George & Basic Shapes Cartridge
1 3/8 Circle Punch
Swiss Dots Embossing Folder
Stampin’ Up! Spring Boquet Punch
Stampin’ Up! Slot Punch
Stampin’ Up! Star Punch
Stampin’ Up! Ornament Punch
Stampin’ Up! Word Window Punch
Stampin’ Up! Pinking Hearts Border Punch
Pearl Embellishments & Ribbon
Sticky Strip