Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tutorial Tuesday

Today's tutorial is brought to you from the very talented Kinsey Wilson. I am so excited that she is allowing me to share this with you. It was originally posted on her handstich blog. Check it out for some way awesome tutorials like the one I am sharing with you today.

four little stitches that pack a wallop

back stitch. loop stitch. zig zag stitch. border stitch.

these are my top 4, go to stitches...in no particular order, because technically, the zig zag stitch is my all time favorite. forever. as promised, i made a video tutorial [with lots of help from my bestie, abbey] of how *i* do each stitch...

disclaimer: this is our maiden voyage with the whole video tutorial thing...so take it easy on us, hahaha!

as promised...close-up money shots of each stitch. front and back.

1 backstitch

2 loop stitch

3 zig zag

4 border stitch

and here's a sketched diagram of each styles piercing pattern...

5 stitch sketch

leave me a comment if you have any questions or if you do one of these stitches differently i'd love to hear about it!

Now before I leave you for the night I know many of you are really into cards and so for your viewing pleasure Kinsey just posted a super cute card she made making her new stitching templates.

Want to see more of this card check out her blog kinseygirl and you can find her templates at
dot dot dot etcetera.

Be back later this week to share some more stitching coolness before the month is up.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

My Stitching Idol

I am so happy to share with you my idol, Kinsey Wilson! Kinsey has a gift with needle and thread I swear. All her work is done by hand. I can't say enough about her work so I will shut up and let her layouts do the talking.

Isn't she amazing! Not only does Kinsey have her blog kinseygirl she also has a blog called handstitch. I am so in love with the tutorials she shares there. Now for even more good news. Her etsy store dot dot dot etcetera has stitching templates now available! They are only $8 and oh so cute. My favorite is "the basics." I love all the edges and the nesting shapes.
Well that is it for the night I will bring you one of her tutorials this weekend. Special thanks to Kinsey for her generosity in allowing me to post her awesome work with you all.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Inspiration Monday on Tuesday moved to Wednesday

I suck at keeping to a schedule...lol. Last night I got caught up pumpkin carving with the little one. She was loving the pumpkin guts, but I digress. You all came to see some cool stitching and boy do I have some to share with you but supposedly I can't post any images tonight because Blogger is doing maintenance so you will have to wait till tomorrow night after 5pm on the west coast. And yes I promise I will be back tomorrow!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Make-up Thursday

Well it is amazing how time flies when you miss a deadline, or two! I hurt my back last week while my husband was out of town, so I have been trying to get better. In addition, we had baby fish unexpectedly Monday night and it was midterm at work so by the time I was home and my daughter was asleep so was I.

Tonight I will combine my inspiration Monday and show and tell Wednesday so I can be back on track :)
When I checked my mail yesterday, I was happy to see the new issue of Scrapbooks etc. and low and behold on page 55 was an article all about sewing on scrapbook projects. I guess we are ahead of the trend here at Blue Velvet Muse! I was quiet impressed with several of the pages they shared and a new product they shared. The new product The Sew Easy Stitch Piercer, is from We R Memory Keepers.
I have added this to my wish list for sure! Do you have one? Have you tried one? Let us know what you think.
Check out some of these pages and projects from the We R Memory Keepers web site
I don't know about you but I think these are way too cute!

Anyways, a quick search of the Scrapbook etc. website brought up a slide show of pages and sewing tips for scrapbook pages. However, the specific link they list in the article and others seem not to be active or working at this point but if they come up I will be sure to share it with you. I hope to try out some of the fun things they shared and then share them with you soon.

How are you all doing with your stitching projects? Any questions or do you need any help? Let me know and I will be back this weekend to answer them and help out where I can.
See you then!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tutorial Tuesday

This is the first Tutorial Tuesday so I thought I would share the first ever tutorial I made. It's also the only one I have ever made but not for long I suppose. Anyways, I apologize in advance for the poor pictures I took them all with a little snappy because my other one was getting fixed at the time. This originally was posted on my blog Addicted to Scrap last year. I hope you like it and I hope it gets you creating.

Now gather your supplies, you will need:
a permanent marker
a piece of acetate (I use left over pieces of transparency paper from work)
a piercing tool (a push pin will work just fine)
a mouse pad or piece of cardboard
the design you would like to stitch (this could be a print out, a piece of chipboard, a stamp...)
Needle and thread

Start with your acetate over your desired design and grab your marker.

Trace your design like in the picture below with the marker.

Once the whole thing is traced use your piercing tool to punch holes in the acetate. It doesn't have to be perfect that is part of the charm. Remember to put a mouse pad or piece of cardboard underneath first. You are done creating your template. It will look like this.

Place your layout on top of the mouse pad or piece of cardboard then place your template on top of that in the area you want your stitching. Hold down with one hand firmly while you punch holes with the other. Make sure to go in the holes you created when making your template and you may need to push the piercing tool a little harder depending on the # of layers you are going through.
Once your holes are in the layout thread your needle and go to town! Here is a layout using this template.

For my smile page I traced one of the flowers from the red pattern paper to create the template for the red flower on the bottom right corner.

Finally, here is an example of a very detailed template. I got the tree body from a 2 piece foam tree stamp.

I hope you enjoy creating your own templates! Please feel free to ask questions or ask for clarification or better examples. I would also love to see what you come up with so share your pages with us on our tumbler photo stream and include a picture of your template inspiration piece. Remember every thing you create and share using this months theme gets you entered for a chance to win a prize so get to stitching!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Stitch in Time

Today is the day I get to share the theme for the month of October. It was an easy choice because I love love love this technique. Want to know or did you already guess? This months theme is stitching. Its funny that stitching has become such a go to technique in paper arts. I remember my mom teaching me to cross stitch when I was really young. My first project was an image of a sun and cloud. I was so into trying to complete the project that I took it with us to the 4th of July fireworks program at the local community college. I can see myself sitting in the grass on the football field trying to keep the back looking as nice as the front. From there I had fun working on a project with my mom for a Hollywood film. In the movie, Kathy Bates sits in an igloo working on our project. Seriously true story! don't believe me check it out...

You so have to love YouTube.

Anyways, anytime I stitch on a project I feel like I am putting a little bit of my mom on a page. See I told you she inspires a lot of my creativity. Well, I really wanted to use the black leaves from the Muse challenge in a non Halloween way. Boy was that hard! I thought for weeks and then I came up with this fall layout.
I actually made this before my album cover. Look close at the cover in the last post, you will see the sparkle from the spray on the leaf I used as a mask. I am still not totally satisfied because the leaves are not actually on the page but hopefully something will come up before the end of the month and if not as soon as the light bulb comes on I will be sure to share.

Now for the rest of the month things will be centered around stitching and here is what you can look forward too.
10/5 & 10 /19 Tutorial Tuesday
10/11 & 10/18 Inspiration Monday
10/13 & 10/27 Show & Tell Wednesday
Now don't limit yourself to checking just those days. I am so excited because one of my crafting idols, I like to call her the queen of stitching, will be joining us later this month. Want to know who she is? Here is a hint her initials are KW, she is a guest designer this month for a major kit club who also makes awesome products like stamps, and she loves wood grain.

Stay tuned all will be revealed soon...

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Reveal Day

Today is reveal day! I am so excited to share with you what we created using the black fall leaves. Here is the picture again of what they looked like when I bought them.Now with out having to wait any longer here they are:

Close to Nature by Jen Davis:
Spooky Bats by Kim Chard
Halloween album cover by Melissa Martinez
Aren't these fun! I love the clean and simple design by Jen, and Kim's awesome bats are so creative.

Now you are probably wondering how you can play along with this months Muse challenge. Well I have some leaves left over for some of you to create with! There are 2 ways to get your hands on some.

First, the 2 winners of the inspiration contest will get some sent to them. Random.org picked comment 6 and 13 from the first post here at Blue Velvet Muse. side note: I so totally could not figure out how to include the picture of the little generator so you will just have to trust me till I can figure it out for next time :) (If you know how to do this, shoot me an email-see side bar-and there will be a little something special in it for you promise). I am proud to announce our winners of the share your inspiration contest Sandra and SusieJ.
Sandra said, "I can't wait to see what you're up to Melissa! Three things that inspire me is my dog, Billie, music, and seeing what others create. I am actually inspired by so much more, but that's a good start."
SusieJ said, "Hi Melissa! I arrived here via wescrap - a little late but I made it.
Three things that inspire me:
Nature (particularly in autumn)
My "inner circle" (close family and friends)
Vintage - whether it's images or objects."
Ladies email me at the address in the side bar so I can get you your goodies, which will include a few leaves to play with!

Now If you didn't win them you can email me and I will send you some for $1 and the cost of a stamp! This will be on a first come first serve basis. At the end of the month one lucky peson who creates something and posts the image in the Blue Velvet Muse Photo Stream on Flicker will win a special prize. So send me an email so I can get these out ASAP.

But wait there is more! Each month Blue Velvet Muse will have a special theme and tomorrow I will announce the October theme. In addition I will share a second creation I made using the black leaves. In the weeks to come I will be posting tutorials and introducing you to all kinds of cool stuff and people that all go along with the theme. Follow along all month and get creative. Post your creations in our Flicker group and be entered to win cool stuff! Now doesn't that sound like fun?
Come back tomorrow and find out the theme for October. See you soon.

Friday, October 1, 2010

We are ready for launch!

Today is the official launch for Blue Velvet Muse. Let me introduce myself. My name is Melissa Martinez and I have been crafting for to many years to count.
My very first job at the age of 14 was at a stamp and sticker store in the mall that became the mail order company called Sticker Planet. I moved on to work with my Mom (her night job) at House of Fabrics before it became Joann's. I then worked for a production company, Bradley Ireland Productions, that specialized in natural history and underwater photography. I was even a Creative Memories consultant before my daughter was born in 2008. All these experiences have contributed to who I am as a crafter. As a classroom teacher by day I love challenges and providing challenges. I also obviously love to teach and I plan to bring all this to you through this blog.

To start us off I want to share with you a challenge I shared with two amazing women. I had walked past these black fall leaves for months and every time I saw them I would stop and think, "what can I do with these?"
When I decide to launch this blog I knew our first challenge would be to use these in a creative way. I am always on the lookout for non-craft items that I can convert. Anyways, I bought up a bunch and asked a couple friends to create something with them. Luckily they said yes :)
Our First guest muse this month is Jen Davis
I met Jen at Paper Studio. She is an amazing teacher and designer. I always find her so inspiring. Here is a bit more about Jen in her own words:"Scrapbooking to me is an art form; a form of therapy and an outlet for my creativity. A way to record memories, milestones, journal thoughts and feelings and a way to provide my very personal history for the future generations to remember and enjoy. Srapbooking to me is celebrating my passion for living and life. I am honored to have had some of my work published in Simple Scrapbooks, Creating Keepsakes, Scrapbooks, Etc., Memory Makers and more. I also have had the pleasure of being on the design teams of some major scrapbooking manufacturers and now currently do work for Creative Imaginations and Petaloo, International." You can check out more from Jen here at her blog live.life.create.art
Our other guest muse is Kim Chard
Kim is my mother in law. She is enjoying her recent retirement from teaching high school art and getting ready to travel to Japan. I have learned a lot about design elements from her. I stole her Scrapbook.com bio to share with you all. " I have 3 grown sons, one lovely daughter-in-law (who is responsible for starting this addiction), one beautiful cocker, and FINALLY one gorgeous grand daughter. That should keep me busy for awhile...."

So are you ready to see what they created?
Well then you had better check back in tomorrow. I will post all 3 of our creations and the posting schedule for the month. I will also be announcing some winners based on the very first post which you can find here. You have until tomorrow at 5pm cst to add your post and be entered to win one of 2 RAK's from me.
Before I sign off I want to thank you all so much for joining us. I am so amazed at all the participation so far. The blog already has 2o followers and a winner. Here is to many, many more!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

We Have A Winner

I am pleased to announce our first winner here at Blue Velvet Muse!
Dot created this beautiful page for the Pre Challenge
Congratulations Dot!!!
Please email me at the address to the right so I can send you your prize.

Don't forget to come back Friday for the reveal of Octobers guest muses and the projects they created to inspire you.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Today is the day

Today is the last day to enter your project for the pre challenge! You have until the end of the day your time. Remember to upload your image to our flicker group the link is on the right side of the page. Here is my project for the challenge. I hope to frame it and put it up in my craft room. Isn't she beautiful! The color is a little off in my picture but you get the idea. Now last week when I was out I picked up a little something, something for one lucky lady who meets the challenge, and here it is... There are 2 pieces of card stock, and 2 pattern papers that are double sided. You cant make a page with out some ribbon and there are 4 different diecut embellies for you too. So get your creating on and show us what inspires you!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Pre-Challenge Update

Hi lovely ladies! So I bet you thought I had disappeared. Well yes and no. This weekend I went out of town and got some goodies for the upcoming moths challenges and the prize for the Pre-Challenge. I will post the picture of that tomorrow. I am happy to see that we have people who have posted in the flicker gallery (beautiful page Dot) and I know pages are in the works. Mine is all laid out but not put together. Why is it not done you ask since the deadline is tonight? Well I came down with a cold Sunday and have been fighting to stay awake past 6 pm ever since. Well since I am behind you all benefit! I am going to give you all an extension until Sunday the 26th at the end of day your time. Remember, you need to pick something from your list of inspiration in the very first post here on the blog and it needs to include the color blue on it somewhere. I am looking forward to October first when I can reveal all the fun and creativity. See you soon!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Just checking in on you

How is everyone doing? Are you all working on a project for the Pre-Challenge?
I wanted to make sure you knew that you are not limited to a scrapbook page. You can create a quilt, card, home decor piece, painting, art journal page... the possibilities are endless. Don't forget to post you projects to our flicker group when you are done to be entered for an RAK from me. I got my picture for my project printed today and hope to be busy on it later tonight. I am so looking forward to seeing what you are working on!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Pre-Challenge to get you started

Hi everyone!
I am so excited to meet you all and create with you. Twelve followers so far is awesome if you ask me. I thought I would share a bit about how I came up with the idea for this blog and the name. I am a teacher so it is in my blood to want to impart knowledge on everyone I meet and I hope I can share what I know with you and you all can share things with me. I wanted to start a challenge blog because I was getting tired of seeing the same people win the challenges on other sites. I don't think creating should be about popularity. We all have something to share through our creativity and we should celebrate that. I plan on having DT members but it will be constantly changing because we all have different strengths and I want to bring out those strengths in each of you. I hope you will enjoy the interactivity (is that even a word?) and I hope we can all encourage and inspire each other.
When I talk to people and tell them about the site they usually ask me, "How did you come up with the name?" Well that is easy to explain I had, had this blog idea in my mind for a while but when I was home in California visiting my mom we were taking about my hopes and dreams beyond the right now. I told her how I love teaching but am fed up with the politics and wish I could just teach people who wanted to learn and create things every day. I told her how I would love to be part of the scrapbook industry and design, market, and live in it. Just to be around so many creative people would be so amazing. Well she did her part as a mom and said that I need to stick it out but that I need to be creative and do what makes me happy (thanks mom). I knew then that I needed to take the first step and ideas started flying. I felt I needed to capture part of my mom into the whole process and so I introduce you to my Blue Velvet Muse: Suzan Martinez.

She was a single mother of two, who taught me to be creative. She worked 2 jobs for 10 years to make sure we had opportunities and fun. We worked together for several years at House of Fabrics which is now Joann's. She taught me to crochet, cross stitch, quilt, and the list goes on. I am in the process of getting her to scrapbook. I hope to share more of her creativity with you like the prom dress she made me and literally sewed me into seconds before I walked out the door. Oh and by the way she loved the name her first comment to me was, "How did you come up with that name?"
Alright so now for the Pre-launch challenge:
Create something inspired by one of the things on your list from the first post. If you haven't seen the first post scroll down and introduce yourself, tell us 3 things that inspire you and how you heard about the site. (Do that now there are prizes!!!) There is only one other thing your creation must have...Your project must include the color blue (my mom's favorite). If you look at the layout above you will see my mom who inspires me and obviously the color blue. This layout was created for Page Maps last summer so it is not new. However, I will be creating one for this challenge as well. I have set up a group over at Flicker so when you finish your project please upload it to the Blue Velvet Muse Flicker Group so we can leave some love and you can be entered to win an RAK for participating. Entries are due by the end of the day your time, what ever that may be, on Sept. 23rd, 2010. That gives you 10 days so what are you waiting for go be creative!

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Blue Velvet Muse is a new creative crafting challenge blog that will be ready to launch on October 1st, 2010!
Anyone looking for a challenge and inspiration are invited to join me and the other creative guests for an adventure I hope you will all enjoy. We look forward to sharing our creations with you and we hope you will share with us too.
Please become a “Muse” (follower) and leave a comment sharing three things that inspire you, and how you heard about Blue Velvet Muse so we can all get to know each other better. Two lucky people will get a special gift for joining. One more gift is available for the person who refers the most muses!
Don’t for get to check back soon for some pre-launch challenges!!!