Saturday, January 29, 2011

More inspiration for our taking!

So last night, I thought I'd get my craft on while watching some thought-provoking TV on the Discovery channel with my hubby.  Alright. Who am I fooling? I'd love to say I was watching a documentary on fireflies, but it was (hangs head in shame).... a TiVoed Jersey Shore. I know, I know, it's awful. But my husband likes to watch it, and being the kind, loving and generous wife I am, I don't want to take that little pleasure away from him. ;)

I was looking over one of today's steals, the Simply Handmade magazine, and thought there was some really fun ideas for home decor --- that looked fairly simple and fast! I took two different projects (a pillow and a clutch purse) and melded them into the this pillow for my daughter's bedroom. 
It took about an hour from start to finish and I loved that I was able to use up bits and pieces of felt, ribbon and buttons that I had laying around already!

One thing that I really like about this magazine is the awesome step-by-step instruction. There are a lot of different techniques shown on how to make fabric flowers. I adore these kinds of flowers when I see them, but never realized how SIMPLE it is to make them.  Until I saw the instructions AND templates in the back of the book. I have a sneaking suspicion that my daughter is going to be the proud recipient of many a felted flower from now on!

Now, I have a word about the Cricut magazine.  I know I probably suprised the die-hard Cricut lovers when I talked about how I never use mine, (even though I really do think it does cool things!).  I am pleased to report that his magazine really does give a fresh perspective on ways to use the Cricut.  For example, I had never thought to cut fabric with the Cricut.  I feel so silly for never thinking of this. All you have to do is attach some fusible interfacing, and you can make your own appliques! I guess I need to think out of the box when it comes to the Cricut.  I'd love to hear what other things you do with your Cricuts beyond making titles and shapes for layouts and cards.  It might be the push I need to dust that sucker off!!!

Go grab your Simply Handmade and Cricut magazines before we run out (a lot of people are asking about these so I'd guess they'll go fast!).  These idea books are chock-full of ideas and instructions!  And please don't forget to share your creations on our Facebook page.  We love to see your "steals" in action and your talents at work!

Have a great day and Happy Crafting!

Friday, January 28, 2011

It's Party Time!

We are a sports loving family. When my husband and I got married, our wedding favors were glass ornaments with our favorite sports team logos etched onto them (painstakingly etched, by yours truly). If you didn’t like the San Antonio Spurs, the Texas Longhorns or the Denver Broncos, then you probably weren’t all that excited to open your gift as you left our reception!

We wanted to make sure we fostered that love of sports in our children, so as soon as my son possibly could, we had him dressed in miniature jerseys, practicing dunks on his mini basketball hoop. My husband would take him into the backyard to play golf with a little plastic set of clubs, set him up with a tiny t-ball tee, or toss a miniature football to him.

Well, we got what we wanted. In fact, it went a little bit TOO far, and I think we’ve created a five (almost six) year old sports monster. The child WON’T STOP throwing, hitting, tossing, rolling and kicking balls. Heck, he doesn’t even need a ball. If I’ve taken all of the footballs, baseballs, and bouncy balls away (for being thrown in the house), the child will just pretend he’s pitching an invisible ball to an invisible hitter or throwing an invisible football to an invisible receiver. He even does his own commentating! (If someone from ESPN is reading, he's pretty darn good - give him a call!).

Well, for his birthday party this year, he wanted a sports themed party. Shocking! So, we’ve booked the place (the kids will be playing indoor wiffle ball, basketball and flag football), figured out what he wants on his cake (he doesn't care, as long as there is lots of icing), and made the list of friends and family to invite. All that was left was for me to figure out invitations and party favors. I played with today's HUGE American Crafts Junior Collection steal, did a little work in Photoshop Elements, and here’s what I came up with!
I made some faux tickets in Photoshop Elements for the invitations, mounted each one on the gorgeous AC cardstock, and finished it off with a sticker from the collection.
I even made some favor bags with some cheap lunchbags and my scraps!
Then I decided no scraps could go to waste, so I decided pre-make a few simple Thank You cards!
Here's a tip for moms of kids who complain about writing thank you cards. I make my son write out a template:

Dear ____________, Thank you for the ___________.
I love __(it/them)_______.
Thanks for coming to my party!
Love, _________.

I then scan and copy this template, and he writes in the specifics. I know they sell templates such as these in many stores, but this seems a little more personal than the store-bought thank yous. The thank you card template in general is arguably impersonal (in fact, *I* used to argue that pre-kids), but it has been a lifesaver at our house. Now, when it's time to write a thank you note, there are less threats (mine) and accusations of torture (his)!

For any moms of sports lovers (boy or girl!), you will adore all of the colorful, fun papers, stickers, rub-ons and stamps to use in your crafting and scrapping! The kit even includes other themes that kids love, like cars, robots, aliens, and dinosaurs!

We’d love to see everything YOU create with your American Crafts Junior kit! Don’t forget to post them to our Facebook page!

Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

"Steal"ing some trendy inspiration

I don't know about you all, but some days, I don't know where to start. And so I end up walking away from my craft room and heading up to the media room to catch up on my TiVo.

The lack of inspiration (which leads to zero scrappy motivation) is a huge problem for me. It's the reason I have no less than 1000 printed photos and not so many completed albums.

When Stephanie told me that she was going to be putting the new Scrapbook Trends and Cards up for today's steals, I told her I wanted to take a look at one. I've seen other idea books, and even subscribe to two scrapbooking magazines, but I had never once picked up a Scrapbook Trends (mainly because it seemed so expensive and I didn't want to WANT it badly enough to pay $14.95 for it!). So I went over to the Crafty Steals headquarters and picked one up.

Let me tell you, I am really impressed! I love that the layouts are a full page! Not teeny-tiny pictures you see in some other idea books. And there are tons of them! Not even thirty pages in, (there are 130 pages in Scrapbook Trends), I was drawn to this layout:

This was just one of the layouts in a section called "Years & Counting", all showcasing ways to document the length of a relationship. This got me to thinking about my husband. You see, our 14 year anniversary is coming up (on Valentine's Day - cheesy, yes, I know, but that really was the first night we thought of each other romantically, did a little smooching, and haven't been apart since). So....I decided to give it a whirl and see if I could do a little scraplifting in honor of our anniversary.
Here's what I came up with:
I kept her idea of the circle, but added more pictures - documenting our whole relationship from college (where we fell in love), to wedding, to babies. I used the My Mind's Eye Love Me Do line from the past steals page, added some of those famous Thickers letter stickers and journaling, and voila! An easy, quick layout (the thing that took the most time was finding the photos - note to self to organize those things!).

Beyond layouts, there are Valentine's card ideas, mini albums, and some really great instructions on how to use ink, and rub-ons on your pages. Truly, I was really suprised at the wealth of information this little book has! And thumbing through Cards and Simply Handmade, I am filled with so many ideas (well, I'm filled with other people's ideas) for not only scrapping, but cards, crafts for my kids, and even home decor! Go get yours before they're gone, you won't be sorry!

Happy crafting!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

We have a winner AND a sneak peek!

Happy Sunday!

You guys are awesome! All of our CraftySteals fans helped Maya Road's Facebook page break past the 10,000 fan mark! I am impressed! Thank you all so much for hopping around the 'net to participate in our giveaway.

Our winner (thanks to has been chosen!

Jewel said...
I am a new follower and I gave Maya Road some FB love, too!

January 22, 2011 6:21 PM

Congratulations, Jewel! Please send an email to Stephanie and we'll make sure your Maya goodies start their journey to you! Enjoy!

After reading all of your wish lists, we wanted to make sure that everyone can enjoy some of Maya Road's fabulous products - soon! A recurring want seemed to be some of their fab chipboard and Maya Mist. Well, you asked for it, and you will get it! Here's a sneak peek at tomorrow's steal.

Here's a link to a Maya Mist tutorial from their in-house design team.
Maya Mist Tutorial
And a few pictures from the Maya Road design team to get those creative juices flowing (while you wait for your steals to arrive)!
Have a fabulous day and happy crafting!

Friday, January 21, 2011

We're giving away Maya Road!!!

Hello Crafty Stealers! Today we have some very exciting news! Maya Road has sent us a special prize pack for one of our lucky fans!

Maya Road makes some of the most beautiful, fun, and *different* products in the craft world! Their chipboard and chipboard albums are so great to work with – the quality is fantastic! They come in such unique styles - definitely something for everyone's taste. Maya Road is also the creators of the innovative Maya Mist that makes it so easy to paint chipboard (among other things). And it comes in some seriously beautiful colors! They have even come up with some really cool alterables and embellies that you won't see from anyone else (some of the new stuff for CHA 2011 include “naked” wooden mini-spools and buttons that you can let your imagination run free on!).

Now I know you probably knew how awesome their products were, but did you know that Maya Road was started by someone just like you? Two sisters, who loved to scrap, went shopping one day and got to thinking that the crafting world needed some really unique products that we can all afford to use! (Crazy, right?). Fast forward about 7 years to today, and Maya Road has succeeded in bringing us some really incredible supplies that you don’t feel guilty buying (Please tell me I’m not the only one who has to sneak a few crafty supplies into the house past my husband every now and then!). Plus, they are so easy on the wallet, you don’t have to hoard them for that "perfect" project- you can always buy more! (And when we have them at Crafty Steals it's almost criminal how much you get for the money!)

Okay, now for the sweet stuff. Are you wondering how to win this fabulous prize, that is jam-packed with Maya Road chipboard goodness (a $36 retail value)? Here is what you need to do:

1. Go and visit the Maya Road Facebook Page. “Like” them and leave a comment on their page telling them that Crafty Steals sent you over.
2. Come back to the Crafty Steals blog and become a follower of our blog. Then, leave us a comment telling us that you gave Maya Road some FB love. And while you are at it, let us know what favorite Maya Road product that you’d like to see on Crafty Steals.
3. We'll close the comments on Sunday morning at 9 a.m. CST. We’ll randomly pick one of your comments and announce the winner right on the blog on Sunday evening -- plus a sneak peak of Monday's awesome steal.

It’s that easy! Can’t wait to see how many of our Crafty Steals fans get over to check out Maya Road’s page!

Happy Crafting this weekend, and don’t forget to visit Maya Roadon Facebook!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Thicker Love

I have a confession to make. I have a Cricut Personal Cutter (die-cutting machine). A Cricut that has a layer of dust on it. A nice thick layer of dust. I HAD to have that machine. I just knew it would make all of my crafty dreams come true. I had seen the awesome things you could make using it (anyone remember that infomercial?). After coveting it for about a year, I found a killer deal and proudly brought it home. I gave it a special place of honor in my office/craft room and searched high and low for the best prices on cartridges (after I stalked message boards to figure out which cartridges were must-haves). Yet, it sits on my desk, completely unloved and untouched. I think I've used it a total of 8 times. That poor, poor little bug.

Want to know why I never use it? I'll tell you in one word. Thickers. Oh, how I love me some Thickers. The people over at American Crafts were pretty genius when they came up with these awesome, thick letter stickers. They come in some fabulous colors and so many fun fonts. Want vinyl? Check. Fabric? They have those too. Chipboard? Yep. Puffy, glitter and felt too! The best part, is that they make it insanely easy to put a title on a page. No setting up a machine or figuring out the best way to adhere those little letters to your paper. Just peel and stick.

Of course, they aren't just great for layouts. They make your sentiments on cards stand out in the perfect way. (Love all of the textures to choose from!). They are perfect for just about any project. I used them to personalize my son's altered Valentine's Day mailbox. I even use them to personalize birthday presents for my children's friends!

Have I peaked your interest in trying out some Thickers on your next project? Well, lucky for you, Stephanie scored a great deal to pass on to you. Check out today's steal of assorted American Crafts Thickers. But watch out, if you haven't used them before, you might get addicted!

I'll leave you with some of the American Crafts Design Team's incredible work!

AC Design team member Kathy Thompson-Laffoley created this mini-album using not only the Apricot Letterman Thickers from today's steal, but the American Crafts Junior collection papers (available on the past steals page):

Here is a creative way AC Design Team Member Paige Evans came up with to use up any leftover Thickers (because, let's face it, there are only so many ZOO layouts a person can do to use up those Zs!):

Happy crafting!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Special Delivery

A few years ago, I heard about people altering small metal mailboxes for Valentine’s Day. I thought it was an adorable idea (what kid or adult doesn’t like getting love notes?). Well, I never could find any of those little mailboxes! Empty spots on the shelves, yes! The actual mailboxes, never! I made a mental note to keep my eye open, and last week, when I was running into my favorite big-box store, I saw a full basket of little metal mailboxes – for a dollar! I picked up a few to experiment with. For a dollar, what could I lose?

So, I sat down last night with my husband, and while we watched Exit through the Gift Shop Door (pretty interesting documentary about street art, that was on the Dallas Morning News list of Top Ten Movies of 2010), I knocked out two mailboxes. I could have done a few more, but I ran out of adhesive – yes, I know, what kind of crafter am I to run out of adhesive?

Here’s how I did it, if you want to try it out.
1. First, I picked out two pieces of coordinating patterned paper. For my daughter’s box I used My Mind’s Eye’s Love Me Do (still available on the Past Steals page. Next, I measured the width of my mailbox (in between the ridges on each end) – which turned out to be a little less than 4”. A strip of 4” by 12” was the right size to wind entirely around the mailbox.
2. This is the trickiest part. I took the strip of paper and held it on top of the mailbox where the flag is attached to the mailbox. I pressed the paper down a little so that the head of the rivet attaching the flag to the box made an indentation. I then cut a slit in the side, and a circle around the indentation, about ½ inch in diameter.

3. Using glue dots (I am sure another adhesive might be easier to work with, but with my limited stock, I just stretched the glue dots into a line and they worked perfectly), I adhered the to the mailbox, sliding the paper around the flag.

4. Next up, were the lids of the mailbox. I took both lids off, traced them on the coordinating paper, cut them out and adhered them with the Glue Dots.
5. The last uncovered space was the perimeter of the lids. It’s a very small width and could be left plain. I thought about putting ribbon around it, but I decided to use more of the gorgeous MME paper. Using the lid, I measured the width of the lip, and then cut a strip that size to wind around the entire lid. Again, adhering with glue dots. (you know, now that I think about it, even if I did have any other adhesive, I probably still would have chosen Glue Dots. Those things are awesome).

6. Then I embellished the flag with some American Craft ribbons, and fancied up the mailbox with more paper strips and die-cuts from the Love Me Do paper pack.
For my son’s mailbox, I chose some paper from the American Crafts Junior Collection. It's also a Past Steal– and can I just say that this kit is AWESOME! It is LOADED with stickers, stamps, thickers, rub-ons, ribbons and perfectly BOY double-sided paper! I’m using it for my son’s upcoming birthday party invitations and favor bags as well!. He’s such a sports nut (he would like to actually change his middle name to “Sports”), so I thought he would appreciate a basketball mailbox a wee bit more than one covered in hearts. (And I was right – he saw it on a shelf the next morning and wanted to know if he could have it! :)) Oh, and if you are wondering about the "E-Dawg", it's my son's nickname that his dad (and our male friends) gave to DS as a baby. I guess he needed a "manly" nickname to be part of the crew.
These mailboxes are so adorable and ridiculously easy. So easy, that I'm now pondering making one for each of my kids’ teachers to “deliver” a giftcard or two (either now or at the end of the school year). These could be made for Mother’s Day, birthdays, or even as a suggestion box for your office! The possibilities are endless!

Happy crafting! Please don’t forget to check out the Past Steals page – there are some awesome treasures that you may have missed the first time around!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

And the winner is...

Good morning CraftyStealers!

Before I announce the winners, I just want to say a big thank you! Thank you for the warm welcomes and thank you for sharing your OLWs with us! You guys have chosen some funny, unique (I’ve got to say that "canine" tops the “unique” list!)and inspiring words! I have loved reading all of your posts. It seems like so many of us share the same struggles and goals (I think we all seem to NEED a little more "me" time!). I sincerely hope that in this year, your OLWs take root and help you grow!

Without further ado, and thanks to, our winners are:
Alison Day said...
I am joining Ali for the first time this year and I'm so excited! My word is release (as in, let go of the resentment, the fear, the weight, the frustrations and most especially the anger.) January 11, 2011 12:17 AM

Alison! I love that you are letting go of the negative to let in more room for the positive! How cool that you are taking the class! Be sure to share some of your creations with us on our FB page!

Kelly Sas said...
How fun to meet and learn more about you Andreanna! My word for 2011 is Optimistic. I need to be more of this! I am a the glass is half empty person. So, for this year I am working on being optimistic. A t-shirt with this on it certainly would help! I think if I don't win I will make one myself because I am not very confident it will turn out.... See what I mean?!? LOL January 11, 2011 11:21 AM

Kelly, I laughed the first time I read your post and had to laugh even louder when your name turned up as the winner! Maybe this is YOUR year!!

Congratulations ladies! Please send Stephanie an email with your t-shirt size and address and she’ll get out her trusty Silhouette and make you your custom t-shirts!!

Thank you all so much for participating and sharing! I am looking forward to this new year and am filled with inspiration from all of our “little” words!! I hope you are too! And don’t forget to check out today's steal (some gorgeous Jillibean Soup Stalks) to get those creative juices flowing!!

Friday, January 7, 2011

A New Year, A New Giveaway!!

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a wonderful time celebrating the holidays and saying goodbye to 2010! In this new year, I’m sure some of you have been planning new projects (or trying to tie up loose ends from last year’s projects). Some of you may be making New Year’s cards if you didn’t quite get the Christmas ones out in time (believe me, you are NOT the only one!). Some of you may be getting ready to embark on a big memory-keeping endeavor, like Becky Higgins' Project Life or trying to tackle a photographic journal like Project 365. Or maybe you’ve made a goal to do some organizing, try something new or just make a change! Well, at CraftySteals, we’ve also been making goals (beyond bring you guys the best steals!) and looking for a fun way to start the year out right!
Before we go any further, I need to introduce myself. You see, I’m not Stephanie. I’m not even Mr. CraftySteals. My name is Andreana, and I’m a fellow fan of all things crafty and creative, and I’ll be here blogging every now and then. Stephanie will definitely still be around, but I'm going to help her out so that she can focus on getting you guys some awesome deals!

To let you get to know me, let’s do an ice-breaker: I’ll tell you four things about myself. Three factual statements and one lie. You have to guess the lie. Are you game? Here goes...

1) My son has been “friends” (“friends” meaning they tackle each other) with one of Stephanie’s sons since they were 18 months old.

2) I am a girly-girl AND a die-hard sports fan. My husband loves that I make sports-themed Christmas cards every year.

3) I’m a Yankee transplant to the South. I moved down here after college and just never left. My husband would never leave, so I am stuck.

4) Don’t tell my husband, but I’m a patterned paper hoarder. I love the stuff. I can’t get enough of it. I have an entire rack under my desk that is dedicated to it. As long it’s pretty, I want to get my hands on it! And as weird as it sounds, I almost hate to use it because I love it so much!

So…which one am I lying about?

Number 3. I’m a Texas girl, born and bred. I love visiting other places, but I can’t imagine living anywhere else. (I mean, it would be plain odd to go through four whole seasons rather than the two we have here).

I’m thrilled to be able to help Stephanie out here at the Crafty Steals and Stich Steals blogs! I'm looking forward to showing you my creations, seeing all of your fabulous work, and sharing tips and ideas about not only paper-crafting, but getting the best pictures, organizing our stashes, and whatever else comes up!

My first official task, is to tell you about a giveaway! (Rough first day, right?) It is easy to enter, and it might just help give your new year a little purpose! As some of you probably know, there’s been a lot of buzz about an idea called One Little Word. For the last few years, scrapbook celebrity Ali Edwards has been encouraging her fans to choose a word for the year. The big buzz, is that Ali Edwards is doing a year-long class filled with projects related to your word.

What's the big deal about one word? Well, this word becomes a YOUR word. You can use it to inspire you, to remind you of what you’d like to focus on, or maybe what you'd like to become. The beauty of One Little Word as an idea, is that you don’t have to be a scrapper and do the class to have a word. You can keep a journal, you can keep a blog, or you can just simply write that word on a post-it and stick it on your bathroom mirror. Scrappers, crafters, writers, photographers and creators in general can use this word as a springboard for layouts, paintings, ideas for stories…the list goes on and on.

Stephanie and I both chose our words for this year. Hers, is BREATHE! (I loved that! Don’t we all need a reminder to “just breathe” in our hectic lives?). Mine, is PATIENCE. With two crazy kids, a sweet but hard-working husband, and a pile of laundry and toys that seem to multiply whenever I look away, patience is something that I not only need more of, but something I need to encourage my children to have more of as well!

What is YOUR word for 2011? What do you need more of? What do you need less of? What do you want to do, or be this year? Leave us a comment and let us know what your One Little Word is. We’d love to hear your plans. From your comments, we’ll be randomly choosing two winners to receive a custom-made t-shirt with your One Little Word on it!!

(P.S...there is a sneak peek in this photo for tomorrow's steal)

Thanks for sharing, we can’t wait to hear your inspiration for the coming year!