Saturday, December 15, 2012

French theme Notecards

I drew the name of a very chic woman for Secret Santa.  She loves all things French.  I was inspired by the most recent cover of Take Ten, which featured French theme stamps in red and kraft.  Here's the result: 6 notecards for her stocking.

I'm pretty impressed with myself!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Retro Sketch Challenge

This is my submission for two challenges. The first is for Jammin' Stampers, the group of Stampin' Up demonstrators I belong to.  The challenge was for an embossed layer, a dsp layer, a sentiment and a 3D embellie.

The second challenge is for Retro Sketch #41. Play along at

 It's fun to use these challenges.  Sometimes they speak to me, and sometimes, not so much!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Ready to Get Organized?

You may have noticed photos in earlier postings that showed items that I have sewn to help me store and organize my card making.  I am referring to my marker rolls, embossing folder holders, and most recent creation, my piercing mat and template holders.

I am now offering these items for sale.  I will sew the holders in whatever colour you prefer.  If you are a Stampin' Up devotee, you can request SU only fabric.  The two folders above are sewn in Springtime Vintage, currently on the Clearance table (limited availability).

Want to look really good at your next crop?  Order all three in co-ordinating fabrics!

Marker roll: holds 12 markers, ties shut, $10.00
Piercing Template holder: slightly padded to protect the templates.  Has a large pocket inside to hold the mat, and three smaller pockets on the other side to hold the templates.  Smallest pocket holds the original SU piercing template and mat.  Lots of room for future piercing templates. There is also a pocket for the piercing tool.  Button closure. $15.00
Embossing Folder Holder: Slightly padded, button closure.  Eleven pockets to hold LOTS of Framelits and Embossing folders.  Pockets are sized to hold the Framelits packaging, to further protect delicate dies. $20.00  Or do like Christine did, above, and use a magnetic sheet to hold the dies in place.

Interested?  send me an email at, and let me get sewing for you!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Broken Tile technique

I've written before about InkStains with Roni ( and how inspirational I find her techniques.  here is a card I created after visiting her site this week.  She calls the technique Broken Tile.

Rip low-tack tape, like painters' tape, or tissue tape, into strips.  Don't worry if the strips are straight!  Place them on white cardstock in various directions.  You're looking for shapes that look like broken tiles.  In the area created by the tape, stamp an image and sponge around the edges.  You may have to mask the area to prevent ink getting onto another "tile".  Remove the tape carefully -- even low-tack tape can rip the paper underneath.  Stand back and admire your background paper!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Two more simple cards using the Bella Boutique dsp from last year.  I confess -- I had to remove the cellophane wrapper.  I haven't been using my supplies at all, just buying more!

This is such versatile paper, I'm going to regret only buying the one pack.  I have used a layer of dsp on cardstock, so they were very simple cards to make.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Stephanie and I enjoyed the final class for the season at Kathy Mostardi's.  It was a collage class.  We were given a huge sheet of watercolour paper.  We glued all sorts of papers to the surface, and when it was dry, we added paint through stencils, punchella and bits of grids.  It was so fun!  When that layer was dry, we sliced the sheet into postcards and ATCs.

I added some stamping and emphemera to the cards, but still don't feel they are ready to mail.  A bit more playing, and they'll be ready.

Here are 8 of the cards:

Monday, July 16, 2012

At school, the Child and Youth Worker asked me to come up with a Mother's Day card that the kids could make to give to their mums.  it was so popular, we did the same for Father's Day.  I kept the cards very simple -- minimal stamping, some punching, some gluing.  I was able to work through my stash of old dsp, and i think the kids really enjoyed giving something hand-made to their parents.

Here are the cards:

the Mother's Day card is on the left.  On white cardstock, the students layered dsp and embossed, punched white cardstock.  I created the salutation in Word, the had them cut the label out.  It's popped up.  Inside, they stamped "love" in big letters.

The Father's Day card used some of the dsp that I had cut for Mother's Day, plus some of the more masculine papers from my stash.   The postage stamp images involved six different ink colours.  I was worried about contamination, so I stamped the images first, and the kids punched and glued.  Inside, there is a tag with Happy Father's Day,and a bit of linen string.

The cards were quick to put together assembly-line fashion, and inexpensive for me.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Bad Blogger

Although I have been creating, I have not been posting.  Here are two cards I made today.  Unfortunately, the card project is back on.  Louise is back in chemo, and I am making cards for patients to write thank-yous.

This card uses Gumball Green cardstock, possibly one of the more ugly colours SU has come up with.  I sponged a tally sheet using Basic Black and a Crafter's Workshop stencil.  I had some SU black and white houndstooth, which I spnged with Lucky Limeade.  There's some black cardstock "ribbon" between.

I watercoloured this little pear (a hostess SU set) with re-inkers, popped it up on some Old Olive c/s and mounted it all on Crumcake cardstock, which I background stamped with a distressed SU vintage amp.  The label is a piece of grundge paper, inked with Kiwi Kiss ink, and Distress Stains in Vintage Photo and Painted Shutters.  Two vintage brads from SU hold it to the card.

I promise to post more frequently!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

More Submissions

Okay, I think I am done with the bottle template from the April/May/June issue of the Stampers Sampler.   I still have ideas -- Alice in Wonderland,  and the label says "Drink Me" or something with Sting and the Police (message in a bottle ) or "Drink to me only with thine eyes". Maybe I'm not done, after all!

Here are the five I am submitting.  Try the template out for yourself at

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Every issue, the Stampers Sampler posts a template.  I don't know why,  but this template was really inspirational.  I was proctoring the AP French exam and had lots of time to doodle. These two cards were two of the ideas I had.

The card, Go Confidently,  was inspired by Christine Kokiw.  She did a masculine card for our recent Jammin Stampers Meeting that featured the peragamo technique.   Using a stylus, rub the back of an image stamped on vellum.  The result is white, textured sails.   Christine found the method at Still Stamping.  I added the idea of a message in a bottle.   The stamp sets are Open Seas and French Foliage

The second bottle features the Green Man, a mythical creature from England. The Green Man brings health and growth to your garden. The stamps are: face - inkadinkadoo, leaves - Baby Blossom (SU), label - Le Jardin Botinique (SU)

Friday, May 11, 2012

It is so exciting to be published!  In November,  I was contacted by the Stampers' Sampler to submit some cards using the stamp "Have a Seat" from Stampin' Up.  I sent them a handful....and then waited until this April.  Such a thrill to open the magazine and find 3 cards.  And then to find 2 more later on....and that two cards had been chosen to be spotlighted!

Then, open the mailbox door and -- there's the Catch Up issue and another card!

If you have submitted in the past, and haven't been chosen, keep trying!  And if you've never sent cards, why not?  It's so fun to see your name in print.  And your cards look unbelievable when they are professionally photographed.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Storage and Organization

Sometimes it feels like my craft room is exploding.  Could I have too much stuff?  Really -- is that possible? No, I just need to clean up!  Lately, I have been cleaning up and clearing out, and one of my goals has been to use up all of my Fabrics.  I've been making marker rolls.  They each hold 12 markers and fit into my tool caddy quite nicely.

I alos used the same strip method with a storage folder for my embossing folders.  Christine sent a link some time ago of a folder created by an SU demonstrator which she created to hold her Framelits.  Since I have heard that there will be more Framelits, I thought the folder needed some extra "pages".  I think it works, but I will add another 1" to the length next time.

I am pretty pleased with the two items:  they keep supplies in one place, they are quick to grab if I'm going "playing" and they cleaned up some of my fabric stash!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Spring is here!

There's lots of ways I know spring has arrived at my home:
     - gravel trucks start running at 6:00 am
     - redwing blackbirds show up at the feeder
     - tulips, iris reticlulata and snow drops are up
but best of all, the swans return to the pond!  You'll have to zoom up on the photo -- they are the white blur in the lower left corner:
They stay for 3 - 4 days, and then fly off.  They have been coming to the pond for 5 years now.  When they are on the pond, nothing else is.  No Canada geese, no ducks.  I know they've left when i start hearing the geese.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Yet Another Technique

To get my own mojo going, I take classes with artists in my area.  Sandra Spagnuolo is one, and so is Kathy Mostardi.  They introduce me to using materials other than ink and stamps (though, those things show up, too!).  I really enjoy expanding my knowledge of materials and techniques.  At UTreat, we want to emphasize the flexibility of SU supplies, so I am challenging myself to come up with new ways to use product.  One thing I have been playing with is re-inkers, and above, you see re-inker mixed with gel medium. 

 Gel medium is an acrylic-based liquid that can glue paper to canvas, can transfer ink from paper to another surface, can seal and protect a layer from the next -- it's used a lot in collage and mixed media.

The challenge I set for myself was to use SU stencils and re-inkers to modify SU dsp that I no longer like.  So, I tinted gel medium and gesso to see how it works!

Well, you're seeing the gel medium experiment above, because it was successful.  The gesso, although it tinted well, bled under the stencil.  I tried both Classic and Craft re-inker.  The Classic reinker dried very clear (you see Baja Breeze in the sample above).  The Craft was the most successful, I think.  It dried semi-opaque, and depending on how much I swiped away, I could see more or less of my background.  The reason you aren't seeing a card with it is because I used Tangerine Tango  dsp to experiment with.  I dislike the colour orange, and have little or no cardstock to make a card with!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Another Technique

I have been obsessed with garbage lately -- how can I use otherwise thrown away "stuff" in my creating?  Corrugated cardboard has been used with lots of success by many people.  Rubbed with a bit of white acrylic paint or White Craft ink, it adds a shabby chic texture interest to card fronts.

Recently, the Stampers' Sampler showcased an artist who repurposed used plastic gift cards.  I have a stack of those on my desk, which I use for painting, but I had never thought of painting ON them.  I swiped some gesso on, waited impatiently for the cards to dry, and then stamped with my Greeting Cards Kids outline stamps.  The gesso takes Staz-On very well, and SU markers and blender pens flow over the surface.  Don\t scrub -- you can lift the gesso with the blender pen!

I know the gesso is only one sharp edge from chipping off the surface, so my next experiment will be to sand the cards before gessoing, so that the surface isn't so slippery.

I combined my little kiddle with the Starbusrt card pattern found on Stampin' Connections.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

techniques and trolling

Some sites are just fonts of inspiration for me.  Inkstains with Roni is one, and so is Tim Holtz.  I had found the "Broken China" technique some time ago, and although I liked it, it wasn't really successful for me.  Tim taught me two things:  use papers that were designed to go together and put a drop of Crystal Effects on each of the paper "chips".  These two tips made all the difference!

This is an all SU card:  sentiment from Full of Life.  cs is Pool Party, Basic Black.  dsp is SAB set, as is the ribbon in Melon Mambo.

Friday, January 6, 2012

So good to be back!

Well, between a busy new job that sucked ambition out of me, and a laptop that died,i had a fall with no creativity in it!  Fortunately, two weeks at Christmas helped, and today, I made this card.  I credit Jamilla with the idea.  She suggested running my home-made bird texture plate through the Big Shot and a piece of dsp.  As the Clearance Rack order with Botanical Gazette had arrived just yesterday, I felt inspired to try her suggestion.  The base card is textured Not Quite Navy.  The top layer is embossed with my bird texture plate, and then rubbed with an IBT and CrumbCake and Navy inks.  Merci, from the long retired, but still adored Carte Postale, is glued to the back of an SU charm.  Anna Griffin ribbon holds it in place.

What I haven't figured out is the scanning function in Windows 7.  No cropping tool showed up, so you get a lovely shot of my scanning bed!