Sunday, July 24, 2011

And Here They Are!

Hi Everyone,
Wow, I finished the ping pong ball party favors without a hitch.  I am so glad they are done.  I really wanted to take a great picture but once again my photography skills got in the way.  I like to think its the camera and not me.  I really did have a blast with these.  I just love the clear boxes.  I didn't even have to use any adhesive to hold them together.  When you slip the belly band off the box opens.  I am always happy when I use the crafty good tools I own.  Kinda makes me feel like I was right to buy them.  I used my new TC rubber stamp maker, the cricut expression to cut the boxes, the HP large format for the printing and even my fiskers cutter got a work out.  I really liked making these favors because I don't often make party favors that don't use candy.  Now I think I can think a bit further out of the candy box and start to think of other things to stuff into a cute box.  I love when I make a project and it sparks another thought in my mind.  I also don't usually make something geared toward this age group.  I do a lot of little girl style things because of my grand daughter. I make so many holiday style items too.  This project allowed me to stretch a bit.  I must say the tag is a tad rude but come on this is a party for the 20-30 set.  They deserve a laugh.  I hope Anthony and his friends like them and get a kick out of them.  I hope they all have a great time at the birthday party.(rumor has it that there will be a bouncy house and a dunk tank too!)
Thanks for visiting,
Next up on my project list:
"Oh my, there are bats at the BarMitzvah"

Sunday, July 17, 2011

I Am So On The Ball (the ping pong ball that is!)

Please just indulge me as I continue to work on Anthony's 30th ping pong ball favors.  I was not going to be happy until I somehow got his name on 100 ping pong balls.  I know, I know they can be ordered online for about $1.00 a ball.  I know the printing would be fabulous but really, is that the crafty way to go?  I ask you ... Had I just ordered them I would have never taken apart the Barbie nail printer and explored  all the fun of that!  I would have never tried to put a different ink into my Brother flash stamp.  I also tried printing on a plastic transparency and using the rub on method.  I tried some old fashion store bought rub on letters.  I even tried a printable vinyl sticker.  I was going to try an ink jet water slide decal paper ... but I didn't have any. As you can see I was failing.  I knew a rubber stamp was the thing that would work best but my flash stamp machine is really for things like address stamps.  It makes those self inking stampers that are in a plastic holder.  You know like a return address stamp.  So even though it made a great stamp I just could not stamp the ball.  So my last shot was the Teresa Collins polymer stamp maker from Photocentric.
WOW!! Not only do I love this product, It worked first time!  I can't wait to make my next stamp. In five minutes, using the small polymer packet I had four tiny stamps in four slightly different sizes.  I did this as I just was not sure which would fit the ball the best.

 As you can see the smallest (1/2 X 1/2) inch is the size I needed.  I used my DSA2 to print my negative on my HP 7500 wide format printer (after market ink system) and it came out perfect the first time using the recommended printer settings. I did stamp with stazon ink which is not the recommended ink (I think it is because the solvents to clean the stamp effect the polymer over time) But hey I will most likely never use this stamp again.  This was a very cost effect way to go as the cost was less than $2.00 for all four little stamps!  I first mounted the stamp to my smallest acrylic block but I was having a hard time rolling it across the ball and then it hit me (like a ton of bricks) get a glue dot and stick the stamp to your finger.  YES ... it worked like a charm!  I stamped 100 ping pong balls in about an hour or so with only a few mistakes here and there.  After all the failed attempts it was the Teresa Collins Stampmaker  that was the winner. And true to form I have the picture to prove it.  And here it is:
Now, just wait because by the end of this week all 100 boxes will be filled, decorated, bowed and ready to go! Thank you Teresa Collins and Photocentric.  You guys saved me! Everyone check out this stamp machine it is amazing.  Here is a link:
Thanks for visiting and please stop back to see the finished favors!

Monday, July 11, 2011

As The Ping Pong Ball Bounces...

Welcome to the next episode of "As The Ping Pong Ball Bounces" ... Yes, my friends now we move to the production of 100 ping pong balls happily stuffed into little plastic boxes.  OK, I think of this little blog page as my diary so I can pretty much say what I want.  I love quantity.  Yes, I said once and I'll say it again ... I love to make a lot of the same thing.  I don't really know why.  I think it has to do with my OCD!  There is just something about lining up all the parts.  It's just CRAZY, I know but hey like I say "I 'yam what I 'yam"!  So I thought it might be fun (for me anyway) to follow this ping pong ball project (yes, it's a project now!) from start to finish.  I am laughing to myself because there are 60 blank wooden bats in a box up in the living room that need to be labeled with vinyl stickers for a Bar Mitzvah.  Come on people, this is crafty goodness at it's best.  Did I mention I work full time. (please take this jokingly as I could never really be happy if I was not in crafty turmoil) So really it is all good.  So this weekend I started the ping pong ball line up.  All went well.  I have to tell you if you have a cricut and either SCAL or MTC you can cut boxes to your hearts content.  I don't want to step on toes here but ProvoCraft made a big mistake by suing those companies or at best not making an open source software for their plotters.  I love the the expression and use it more than my other plotters. So sad that they felt the need to shut out all the creative mojo people have.  The expression is really a work horse and I cut 100 boxes (2 on a 8.5 X 11) acetate sheet in less 3 hours.  Wow ... I didn't have a glitch ... not one!  Now about the boxes:
Yet again, I am using the favorite bakery box(3rd in a row).  Same one I used at Easter and for Emma's graduation.  I rarely use the same box 3 times in succession but it just seemed to work out that way. I am pretty sure I killed this box for Halloween or Christmas 2011.  Oh well, 2012 is just 'round the corner if you know what I mean. So like I said I cut the boxes using SCAL and so far I have printed the larger front graphic (25 to a page) using DSA2.  I also printed and deckle cut the "solo cup belly band" (pics to follow) I also finished hand scoring the boxes (thank you Martha Stewart for your oh so awesome scoring board) I just can't wait to start to get all the parts of the whole in place.  I also have a new plan in regard to printing on the ping pong ball.  I am determined to get that done too (can you say Teresa Collins Stampmaker)  Well, OK, we'll see it's my last shot and like I said I am determined to get Anthony's name on the ping pong ball!!  I am really into this favor as it steps outside my normal crafting. A little bitty favor with the target demo as 30 somethings ... NOW THAT'S CRAFTY GOODNESS!!
Thanks so much for visiting,

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Funny Story!

Hi Everyone, Ok, so I just could not think of the right title for this post.  I tried them all, things like "How I Print On Odd Objects" or "Never Give This Girl A Screw Driver!" maybe even ... "Don't Leave Your Toys Where Nonna Can Play With Them" So I just settled on "Funny Story" and here it is.....
So Donna (remember Donna, sure you do .. she is the friend, co-worker and library volunteer that I always mention) needed a favor for her son Anthony's 30th Birthday bash.  So true to form if there is a party you know I believe it needs a favor. Yes, it is a belief not a need!! So we went back and forth with a few ideas (s'mores) REALLY, S'MORES!! People the mass of the party is 20-30 somethings.  I can't relate. Well maybe I can.  Anthony and his peeps are big into beer pong.  I so don't promote drinking games (pause to take a sip of my martini) no really I so so so do not promote drinking games. (But, somewhere in the back far reaches of my mind I remember playing a simple drinking game called THUMBER!) Enough!!! I just needed a favor that these kids might get a kick out of and this is what happend ...
Lysa said "Paul, how do you think I can print on a ping pong ball"
"try rubber stamping with stazon ink"said Paul
And it worked, but the rubber stamp was a flower and sadly I had no rubber stamp that said Anthony's 30th Birthday. So then Paul said ..."make a flash stamp with your Brother flash stamp machine and fill the stamp with stazon ink."
Wow, that worked too but I could not apply the stamp to the ball correctly .  Round objects are rough!
Then Paul said "check youtube, maybe you'll get an idea"
and that's where it really starts ....
so I see on youtube all these printers that print on rounded objects.  For like a thousand dollars you can buy a cool printer that prints on anything from coffee mugs to tote bags.  But wait! the little girl that lives in my house (and happens to be on vacation at the beach!) has a printer that prints on finger nails.  Finger nails are kinda round ... kinda! Darn the ball is to big for the slot. OK get a screw driver and let's take the housing off of the printer guts and then we can just hold the ping pong ball up to the print head.  Did it work? You tell me. Here are the pictures .....
                                                                               In my own defense I was able to get the Barbie Nail Printer back together and in working order. Rory is never going to know what happened to her printer while she was happily playing on the beach in LBI. (well that would be true as long as she does not read this post when she comes home)