Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Not As Dreary As It Sounds

Some time ago, we read, on Yogi's blog, (,  that she had given herself a challenge:
I've given my self an on going self imposed challenge, 
to use only the scraps of card stock and paper I have saved over the past many years, to create any new cards... It would take me the rest of my life to use all my scraps, but I'm going to give it my best effort (started Feb 2012)

This intrigues ggd because.......given no parameters, we do nothing. Given guidelines we may stretch and bend and tweak them but are far more apt to get something done.

That is why....for this holiday season, we have decided to use  brown paper grocery bags to wrap all our gifts. In previous years we have wrapped SOME gifts in brown craft paper......but NOT grocery bags and NOT ALL of our gifts.
Here is our first start.............

Box adapted from a pattern by Ellen Gibson

The design is just random swirls made with a Sharpie and trimmed with glitter. Nothing too challenging or exciting.......
until we got to the "Medallion."

We watched a number of You Tube videos that made this seem exceedingly easy and since we already own a Martha Stewart scoring tool (one of several models shown in the videos) we figured we were "home free!"

Because we are recycling paper bags the folds were not quite as precise as when using pristine scrapbook 12 x 12 pages. No problem......we are not into perfect (for obvious reasons) and our family doesn't expect it. So we forged ahead. (Several videos noted that imperfections in the pleating did not show up in the finished project.)
Of the many hours of medallion making videos we watched several "hints" seemed to be most valuable. One particular video the demonstrator scored whole pieces of decorative paper to save time and make multiples instead of one at a time.
Another, one of the most clever, we thought, was from a crafter in who figured a way to "capture" the accordion pleated base into a jar lid so she could manage it and glue a restraining center on to it without calling in reinforcements. Great tip.
But ggd couldn't make it work  : (  Ours slipped away  and repeatedly escaped--bouncing around the table like an inebriated slinky. It had looked so easy in The Mad Stamper's capable hands.
Finally, in desperation ggd resorted to a decidedly low tech old fashioned approach. Not fast but IT WORKED. We fastened the ends together (all versions  seemed to require approximately 24" accordion folded strips--if wider, more length is required) with rubber cement. Is ggd the only person still using this versatile adhesive? It was chosen out of habit and convenience-- the jar was handy and double stick rubber cement  fastens paper together as well as anything else. (Most demonstrators used hot glue guns or double stick tape.) After making sure the ends were secure we sewed the "fan" together. Rather reminiscent of "darning" but pleasanter : )  In our limited, unsuccessful experience with darning, it was just a time-consuming, futile attempt to rescue a sock no one would ever wear again. Back to the medallion package toppers.......With the thinnest needle we could fine we gathered the pleats together, adjusted them and then tied them securely. By attaching a square or circle of paper on the bottom to stabilize the pleated circle and placing a decorative circle center on the top (all using trusty rubber cement "drollups" again) we ended up with a passable topper.

We'll let you know, in the next few weeks, how our brown paper bag wrapping experiment goes.

MEANWHILE whether you call them...."Lollies," "Rosettes," or "Medallions," for the clearest video we found for this project see:

This video shows the first of the best tips we noted above and found after looking through literally dozens of you tube videos and other tutorials.
From the Mad Stamper,  •  How to use a jar lid to help tame the wild ruffle
Two other "best tips"  
(sorry, can't find the videos associated with them)    •  Score full sheets and cut the depth you need after scoring
    • Score every half inch. Turn sheet over and score in between the score lines previously made. Makes the accordion folding much easier.  
Here's our start on the next package. We considered "ironing" the sheet...but vetoed that immediately...reasoning that we could use the pieces that were not creased. This probably won't work, at least for all packages so yet another "laundry-like" step may be added to this project.
See you next week!
ggd Charlotte 
gg designs stamps used: 

Thanks for your help. We really want you to be able (easily) to see what other folks visiting here have to say. Some really valuable, interesting information gets "lost" in the almost invisible "comments world."       ggd
P.S. Feel free to send photos of you and your projects. Thanks. ----------------- We will start with the comments received for this post:  
I love the look of this. I would probably iron the bags as my iron is in use at least once a week anyway and I steam block the larger tatted pieces.

  gg designs T hursday, November 29, 2012 11:37:00 AM
: ) Most people would iron them : ) I probably will have to too. Oh well : )

some good tips. I also like scoring a larger piece of paper and then cutting the strips. Never tried the jar lid... but that means I need a jar lid handy that is the right size. Scoring at 1/2" and turning paper over sounds like a good idea, will have to try that. Thanks for all the tips, maybe a medallion making afternoon - after painting a wall... Have a great day
Painting a wall? As in "painting" painting or PAINTING, painting? Utilitarian (ugh) or artistic (yay)! Glad my HOURS spent on You Tube could be of value to somebody : )
Just found your stamp blog and catalog through Rubberstampchat ~ they are FABULOUS!! I'm already working on my wish list! Have a Wonderful weekend!
Welcome! Delighted you are enjoying the catalog and the blog. We are not presently actively promoting the sale of stamps but any that are shown in the catalog can be ordered. A few are in stock.    In any case.....we're glad you're here. 
 Loved the video on how to create lollies; the lids to hold them would help immensely, as my 3rd arm went home for the holidays.   Loved the idea of scoring every 1/2 inch.   Great ideas, great blog, great video!   Thanks Sharon
: )   Not ggd's ideas......just the things that stood out after LOTS of watching of videos and tutorials. 
Monday, December 03, 2012jennifer said... sorry but if I go to email you I am really likely to forget what I am doing and will end up never replying so here I am. like the brown wrapping paper idea, it is so hard around here to get paper sacks anymore and just don't see it by the roll either. guess I could order some but maybe I can find something to substitute something for ironing them? wow, what dedication - I don't even buy clothes that need ironing  
Monday, December 03, 2012 "gg designs said...  " I don't even buy clothes that need ironing" : ) With you there! Posting under "Comments" is fine.....just want to be sure everyone READS the comments...and just haven't been able to figure out how to do that using Blogger software so for now, will be resorting to "cut & paste." In California we have the "Paper or Plastic" option so always opt for paper...double bagged if items are heavy! As far as substitutes....newspapers? Comics are fun but regular pages are fun too. Fabric? Burlap or Holiday prints? Hmmmm.....maybe NEXT year : )