Sunday, February 26, 2012

Tutorial: Easter Basket

A couple people asked me how I made the Easter baskets I made last year.  The basket was a make n' take project from A Muse Artstamps.  So, the credit goes to's very clever, cute and super duper easy!! 

This is my first tutorial I have ever posted.  Quite different than teaching the make n' take in person.  I hope it makes sense.

Here is the completed basket:

I used our new Petite Polka Dot cardstock in Sage along with the For Peep's Sake and Bunny Business stamp sets:

Step 1:   Cut cardstock
                      one 6" X 6" piece
                      one 1.5" X 9" piece

Step 2:   Score the 6 X 6 piece at 2" and 4".  Turn and score again at 2" and 4". 

Step 3:   Using a border punch of your choice (I used the Martha Stewart Doily), punch both pieces as shown.

HINT:  to punch evenly so that the doilies are aligned on the handle piece, I started punching at the very end of the strip, then turn it around and started at the same spot.  Otherwise, the doily (rounded) parts will have more of an "s" shape.  Hope this makes me if you have questions.

Step 4:  Fold each score line and then cut the middle "squares" on each side to the center as shown.

Step 5:   Bring up the wings of the basket and adhere the corners (do not adhere to the center flap).

Step 6:   picture of the side once it's adhered.

Step 7:   Open the flap and adhere the handle in place.  

Step 8:   Adhere the flap once you have the handle in place.

 Step 9:   Decorate!! Done!!

     I used our new Grapefruit Solid cardstock to punch out a scalloped circle piece.  I punched the colored image with a 1 3/4" circle punch.  (I used the masking technique to stamp the eggs in the basket)  Use foam tape to make the image stand out.  Use a silver brad to attach the sentiment to the basket.

That's it!!  Super easy, huh?  Hope you liked my first tutorial.  I think that hardest part was taking all the pictures of each step.  


Friday, February 24, 2012

Getting started and staying organized:

The anniversary date of A Muse | Studio is just around the corner (March 1, 2011)!!!!  Wow, I can't believe it's already been a year. 

For years and years, I have tried to keep organization as one of my top priorities in life.  If you are organized, you can actually get more done and it helps you live a more efficient life.....sounds boring, huh?  Being organized keeps you on top of things so that your time and money can be used for the more exciting things in life. 

One of my huge pet peeves when it comes to buying things, whether it's craft-related or not, is when I buy duplicates of things....just because I didn't "remember" that I already had it.  While I am still working on this....I have tried my best to keep a list of what I own, to avoid duplicate purchases.  Over the years, the list has become a book!!  As a crafter, think of all of the goodies you own.....stamps, dies, embossing folders, punches, tools, on and on and on!!!!  Do you know from memory what you own?  Well, as I get older I realize that my memory isn't as crisp as it used to be.  I find myself having to write things down more and more.

Why am I bringing up this subject?  I have found a new way of keeping an inventory of what I own!!!!  If only I had thought to keep an inventory when I FIRST started hoarding stamps and everything that goes with card making!!!!  The one thing that I have kept up with is what a|s products I own.  With the launch of a|s last year, it's been easy to keep up. 

Here is what I have found:

Once I figured out the website, I was convinced that this would be my new method for keeping an inventory. I've only gotten started, so we'll see.... 
  • you can create your own custom list
  • you can keep everything you input as being "PRIVATE"
  • you can put whatever information you want/need
  • you can upload an image
  • you can export a report showing you what you own (then you can sort it however you want....the only thing I wish it did was show the image in the CSV file)
  • you can create a property loss report which can be helpful when negotiating with your insurance company if your insured property is lost, stolen, or damaged. 
    • it's a little comforting to know that your inventory will still be available if your hard copy list or computer gets, let's say, burned in a house fire.
  • you have access to your inventory as long as you have online access...with smartphones and Ipads now, who doesn't have access to the internet at any given time?
  • you don't have to physically carry a list (or a book) with you...just your phone/Ipad with internet access
It's not the absolute perfect solution.  If only I were highly tech savvy, I'd create my own program....I consider myself about average or slightly below average when it comes to technology.  So, I have to rely on either what I can do or what's available out there.  We'll see if this indeed works out for me....only time will tell.

Other things to inventory:
  • electronics with serial numbers (our house was broken into a few years back and luckily I had the receipts with the serial numbers for my laptop, ipod, etc.)
  • movies
  • books
  • valuables
  • even make-up (so many times I've gone to the store to get powder, lipstick, etc and can't remember the color)

Hope you find this useful in managing your life.



Update:  Trying to input all of the data that I want is a time consuming and cumbersome job.  But, you only have to do it once.  Here are some things that I'm finding:
1)   When listing items into my collection, I am including a category in the title ahead of the name of of the item (for example a|s stamp, a|s die, tools, etc).    It makes it easier to keep them grouped on the main collection page for the purposes of adding to your custom lists.  Also, when sorting alphabetically by title, you have all "like" items together.
2)   I have been putting the item codes in the Personal ID box
3)   Like I said, it's not perfect and can be a bit frustrating, but once it's done, it's done....then I just need to keep up with adding new items.
4)   The best thing I like about's portable!!!  I can access it from anywhere!!

Sunday, February 19, 2012


A Muse | Studio consultants who attended the National Conference last month not only got previews of the items in the new 2012 catalog, but they received some fantastic goodies.  One of the things that caught my eye from pictures posted by those who attended were the swatch rings for different products. 

What's great about the swatches is that you don't have to haul everything to a workshop for you to show the attendees what these items look like in real life.  They can see and feel.  

So, I created my own swatches with items that I have in stock.  I'd love to order more items to finish my swatches with the glitter, flock, embossing powder, etc.  For now, here's what I put together:

I used a screw post to keep all the  different swatches together.  I know I have some rings, but they are nowhere to be found.  I had some left over screw posts from when I used to scrapbook....I knew I'd find some use for these some day. LOL!!

Here's a picture of the package of screw posts.  They come in different lengths.  These were a tad bit too long for my swatches, but still worked. 


ETA:  If you want a copy of the template, become a follower and post a comment with your email address. 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Organizing Dies (and reinkers recap)

I had a few people ask me to post something about how I organize my dies.  I've tried several methods, but I'm loving how I have my dies organized now.

I bought several Univenture 3-ring 1.5" binders when they were on clearance ($1.09 per binder...wish I had bought more!!!).  The outside dimensions are 7" x 9 3/8" x 1 1/4".

 You can find magnetic vent cover sheets at your local hardware store (Home Depot, Lowes, Ace Hardware, etc).  As you can see, they come in packs of 3 that are 8" x 15".  I bought mine at Home Depot for less than $5 per pack.  Much more economical than buying the smaller packs of magnet sheets at the craft stores.

 I bought a few binder panels from Joann Fabric and Craft Store.  You can find these panels elsewhere online.  I try to wait until they are on sale and use Joann's free shipping coupon.  I buy the full sheet panels (sale price $5.39) and then cut them in half.   You get twice as many than buying the half size would have to punch your own holes and have extra holes on the bottom.   (You can also use chipboard or thick acetate).

I cut the magnetic sheet into strips.  You can cut them however you want (like covering the entire panel).  You could just use the magnetic sheet without the panel, but I find it too flimsy/bendy.  By cutting them into strips, I get more out of them.  I used double sided tape to adhere them to the binder panel.  

 Of course, having 2 strips of magnet isn't "pretty".  So, I covered them with white cardstock.  I corner punched each corner on one edge to match the binder panel.  Again, I used double sided tape to adhere the cardstock to the binder panel, covering up the magnets.  For my Spellbinders nesties binders, I used designer paper to cover up the binder panel....I like the clean look of the white cardstock though.

With the a|s dies that come with templates, I created a pocket on the back of the binder panel by using some thick acetate.  Now, they won't fall out and get lost.

I organized my binders by theme:  shapes, frames, 3-D, borders, etc.  The Univenture binders come with a clear cover, so you can design your own cover.  I just labeled the spine with the theme.  

I'd love to see how others organize their dies....please leave a comment with either a link or description. 

Thanks for visiting.


ETA:  Also, someone asked me about how I store my ink refills.  I found these storage containers at to shop at IKEA!!!  They are the Krus containers and these were $4.99 each.  They are the perfect size for a|s refills (too small for SU refills).  

Friday, February 3, 2012

Hey, Cupcake.

In the lounge (consultant message board), there was a discussion on what else you could do with the cupcake wrapper other than use it with cupcakes.

As I was driving home from work tonight, I remembered a project that would be great to use with the cupcake wrapper die!!  I saw this project 2 or so years ago and kept it in the back of my mind to use...just never found the time.  I even bought all the supplies back then!!!  Well, with an a|s more procrastinating.  Of course, with the new items JUST (February 1, 2012) being made available, I don't have my grubby little hands on the die.  But....I did have some leftover wrappers from an Acucut die that we had at the A Muse shop.  So, this project was not made with the new a|s cupcake wrapper die, but thought I would give it a shot and do a "practice" one since I had all the other supplies on hand.

Here is the new a|s cupcake wrapper die:

The dies have a pinking edge.  You get a set of 2 dies.  Visit my webstore (under Tools; Dies) for more information.

I know that we just got over Christmas, but this project is a Christmas project.  Knowing me, I probably need to get started now if I want these ready for Christmas 2012!! LOL!!!  

Cupcake Christmas Tree Ornament

I went from memory of what I saw 2 years ago.  If I find the link of the original blog, I will update this post.  

The wrapper is cut on the Onyx Shimmer Damask.  The cupcake part is a styrofoam ball.  I applied glue to the top of the ball and sprinkled it with a|s Silver Glitter (might need to try it with flock too).  The cherry is a pompom that I colored with Copic Lipstick Red.  I used a glue gun to attach the a|s Organdy Cherry Ribbon to the cherry and then adhere it to the top of the cupcake.  I used the glue gun to adhere the cupcake (styrofoam ball) in the wrapper.

I love cupcakes!!!  I would love to have a tree full of these ornaments.  I'm thinking....cupcakes covered in glitter, flock, ribbon, buttons........

My craft desk is a mess, so I better go clean up before the cats get any more glitter on them....BWHAHAHAHA!!!


Thursday, February 2, 2012

New Catalog and February Spotlight

The 2012 A Muse Studio catalog is now available!!!  You can view the new catalog in pdf format here:

If you would like to order a catalog, please contact me at the email address below.

Retiring items are still available...extended date.  They are available until 11:59PM February 29, 2012.  After this time, the retired items will no longer be available. 

Each month, select stamp sets will share the spotlight with a gorgeous color palette to create projects that showcase the versatility of paper crafting.

Recycle, recycle, can decorate cans with paper and stamps.

Use washi tape to dress up your pencils.

Add some fun to plain file folders with stamps and embossing powder!

Create a message board using ribbon and buttons.

Use maple tags to help you organize.


More fun things with washi tape!!


Decorate magazine holders using stamps, washi tape, ink, paper....possibilities are endless!

Spotlight pricing expires on 11:59PM EST February 29, 2012.

Visit my webstore to place your order.  If you have an order of $150 or more, please contact me at bjlee717 "at" comcast "dot" net.  Let me know if you have any questions about the projects or specials.