Sunday, October 3, 2010

Have you heard of Zentangles?

These are my first zentangles. I think these are so cool! I heard about these maybe a year ago, but didn't investigate them at the time. This weekend I was checking out another paper crafter's blog, and she had just tried zentangles herself. She linked a website that had a video showing you how to create one particular pattern. I watched the video, tried out the pattern they were describing, and I was kind of hooked. I zentangled until late into the night. And I did more the next day. And the next. Very fun, and addictive. I like the way they look - just simple black and white art. I will see if I can incorporate them into cards.

I'll try to describe zentangles here, but you should go to for more info. They are little pieces of artwork made up of doodles. I don't think they're supposed to be called "structured" doodles, but there can be some structure to them. You draw repetitive patterns within a defined space. You use white paper and a Sakura Micron 01 black pen. (I tried it with a black gelly roll pen, and that was too gloppy.) If you really want to know more about them, check out the zentangles website. You can get an overview, you can see lots of samples, you can see some easy to follow instructions on how to create various "named" patterns. Give it a try!

Mini-scrapbook - My Cats

Here is the mini-scrapbook I made several years ago, which gives you an idea of what the ones below will look like when photos are added to them. This is a great little project to make for yourself or give as a gift.

Mini-scrapbook - The Cat's Meow

This is a cat-themed mini-scrapbook I made last week. It's a 4x4 book. The top photo shows the cover, which was really cute. Unfortunately, I didn't realize my photo had that flash glare in it until I downloaded it to the computer several days later, by which time the book had already left my house. So, the glare wiped out the cute kitty face. (You can see the cover in the middle photo, on the right-most page. This was put together primarily with paper and stickers from a Die Cuts With A View 8x8 cat-themed paper pad. I added a few rubber stamped images as well. Just add photos to the solid-colored photo mats, and you have an adorable mini-scrapbook about your favorite cat(s.)


Mini-scrapbooks --- I have one that I bought as a kit several years ago. A scrapbook store, which is no longer in business, was selling themed kits of 4x6 mini-scrapbooks and I just loved them. I put together the cat one and filled it with pictures of cats I've owned, and other cats I've known over the years. It is just adorable, and I have it displayed in my living room where I see it every day. It is a very simple construction; it has two chipboard covers for front and back, and then cardstock  pages that accordion fold, and they are simply glued to the front and back covers. This gives you a book which is double sided. Every so often I turn my cat book to the opposite side, so I give all my cats equal face time. The only thing I originally disliked about it is that the photo mats end up being 3" x 3", so you have to really cut down your photos, or shrink them in a computer program and print them out smaller. But the whole thing is so cute that when it's all put together you don't mind the smaller photo size. I'll post photos of my own cat book in a little bit.

So, this Halloween book is a 4x6 book. I decorated the pages with paper that I used in my Halloween card making, and various rubber stamps that I own (Studio G $1 stamps, SU.) The cover stamp is a Tim Holtz ATC stamp. I sponged the background colors on lightly after stamping the image in black. The tag below it which says "Halloween" I stamped on white paper and sponged ink over it. Then I covered it (rather liberally) with Ranger's Glossy Accents and let it dry for a day. When I went back to work with it the next day it had left a rather pliable piece of embellishment. On the backside, the paper was soft like cotton. The front was glossy and the whole piece was bendable without cracking. I then punched the corners with my SU ticket punch and glued it onto the book cover. The middle photo shows how the book looks when you open it up, and the bottom photo shows the back side. You can add photos of your favorite ghosts and goblins on each solid cardstock square, and display it in your home or on your desk at work.

It's Time for Halloween!

I've been having fun making Halloween cards. I always find it weird that I love to make the cards, collect Halloween stamps, enjoy the purple/green/orange/black combinations in the Halloween papers, but I never send Halloween cards out to anyone. I keep telling myself, "Just mail them to anyone!" But I don't. Anyway, these are just some simple cards using two different booklets of patterned paper, some solid cardstock and ribbons from my stash, and some of the $1 stamps from Studio G.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Machine Applique

A week or so after I finished the hand-stitched applique pillow, I made this two-foot square wall quilt for my bathroom. The colors match my shower curtain and towels, and the dragonflies I appliqued on this quilt were traced from the dragonflies on my shower curtain. I had such fun making this quilt over Labor Day weekend. I never realized you could make a whole quilt in one weekend. Granted, it is a very small quilt! But still...

I tried my hand at machine appliqueing the two dragonflies on this quilt. You set your sewing machine to do a very tight zigzag stitch, and it looks like a satin stitch all around the edge of the dragonflies. I practiced on a small dragonfly on scrap fabric first, and then I just went for it. I was a little fearful of messing up my quilt, but the stitching went fine. I dressed it up by adding some irridescent bugle beads to the wings of the dragonflies, and randomly added some assorted seed beads around the perimeter of the quilt as I hand quilted it. This was lots of fun, and I love the colors!

Learning to Applique

I have been taking another break from paper crafting to do some more quilting. I decided to try my hand at some applique. I saw this bird pillow in a quilt magazine and decided to see if I could do this. I found out there are several different types of applique, and many variations on those types. This pillow uses a hand sewing method, sometimes called a slip stitch or blind stitch, where you fold under the edges of each cut out piece and sew it to the background fabric so that the stitches don't show on the front. I found it tedious to first trace the pattern from the magazine onto freezer paper, then cut out the shapes, then place the shapes on fabric and trace around them again, and then cut out each shape from the fabric, leaving an extra quarter inch all the way around to be sewn under later. But, I did enjoy making this pillow overall, and I like the way it looks on my bed. Eventually I'll be putting a new quilt on my bed (first I have to hand quilt it, very time consuming!), and this pillow will match the colors in that quilt better. I also plan to use more of the pink and green paisley fabric to make dresser scarves in the bedroom, so it will all tie in together nicely.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


I just bought a glue pad and a glue pen and some glitter and wanted to play with them. I stamped this image from Club Scrap and then used the glue pen to highlight a few areas on the petals of the flower and to dot the center of the flower. Then I sprinkled two different shades of glitter over the glue. The scan does not show up the shininess of the glitter, which makes a nice accent on the card, but you can see the darker areas on the petals where the glitter was used. Then I used 3 matte brads, and I'm not sure matte was the right way to go. It may be too much contrast against the glitter.
Glitter is fun, but messy! But I will be playing with glitter and stamping again.

Monday, August 16, 2010

For the Birds

I was having a little fun with birds today. I love all the new bird images that are coming out in the craft world these days. This was a quick little card where I tried out some punches, an embossing folder, and a bird stamp.
The corner punch is Martha Stewart; cuts and embosses a fold line to make an actual photo corner.
The little brown bird was stamped twice with different inks and cut out.
The stamp is an unmounted stamp from Club Scrap's Birds of  a Feather kit.
The flying bird is a Martha Stewart punch.
The embossing folder is from QuicKutz, my first folder of theirs. I am a bit disappointed that the image is not embossed deeper. Other brands have a deeper embossed image than this. So I tried to ink the grass along the bottom and did not do such a great job of it. But I was just playing around, and didn't decide to ink it until after the whole card had been put together. So next time I will ink the panel first, and if I don't like it I can make another and try again.
The blue card base is paper from Club Scrap's Birds of a Feather kit, and the green mat is from Club Scrap's Refresh kit. The light green paper is SU, Green Galore. 

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Matching up different papers

Here was an attempt to use up some paper, and try to match up some miscellaneous patterned paper from my stash with some Club Scrap cardstock. I think these went well together.

Fun cards

Here are some fun cards I made using Club Scrap products. It was part of a challenge to mix and match things from multiple kits. I used papers from 4 kits and stamps from 3 others. I really like the fun color combination.

Sympathy Card

Here's a sympathy card I made out of Club Scrap paper and stamps.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Some new cards

Here are a few more cards I made using Club Scrap materials.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Ivory and Chocolate - paper, that is

I made some new cards using Club Scrap's Ivory Elegance paper and fibers. The stamps are also from Club Scrap - Ivory Elegance and Celebration of Love. I had seen a card that used a page from an old book on another blog. The woman distressed the page and used it in the background of the card. I did something similar, using Distress Inks. I'm not sure I like mine as much as the other card I had looked at, but it will do. I used some lace along the edge of the card. These cards were for a challenge at Club Scrap's PSL (Pro Scrapbooker's League), the challenge being to use ribbon or fibers on a card or scrapbook page.
Also, these cards were made from a card formula created by Club Scrap. They do something like Pagemaps, where they create formulas for cutting 8 1/2 x 11 and/or 12x12 paper to create scrapbook layouts and cards, using up almost all of the paper. No waste, and fun formulas to try.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Fun with Stickles

I was playing around with my Stickles and glitter glue. The stamped image is from Club Scrap's Henna kit. I just stamped it with black hybrid ink and filled in some areas with green and gold Stickles and glitter glue. The paper used here is all Club Scrap from their Mirror, Mirror kit.
It's fun to play with the Stickles, but some of those little bottles are harder to squeeze than others. My hand got very tired after playing with various colors. I discovered that some cheaper brands of glitter glue were much easier to squeeze than Ranger's Stickles. But, Ranger has lots more color choices!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Using Perfect Pearls

I made this card for the Club Scrap PSL - the Pro-Scrapbookers League. This is a contest they hold where you compete in teams of scrapbookers, cardmakers, or digital scrapbookers using mostly Club Scrap products. Each week there is a different challenge to encourage you to use different materials or techniques in our work. This week the challenge is to use an art medium, such as glimmer mists, paint dabbers, Stickles, Perfect Pearls, etc. I decided to play with my Perfect Pearls, as I love the effect I get with them. They are time consuming though. I stamped the stamp for this card on 3 different papers and colored them in. It took a few hours to color them. Perfect Pearls is a powder and you use a water brush to paint them onto paper. You have to have just the right amount of water flow in your brush - too much and the result is soupy and the color isn't vibrant enough, too dry and the powder doesn't stick. Anyway, here is one of my cards.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


I wanted to send some reminder postcards to the ladies in my Book Club. We're meeting at my house this month. So I played around with some Club Scrap stamps (and one Hero Arts stamp) and my Tim Holtz Distress Inks. I did some collage stamping and masking and inking. Lots of fun! I used a tan/light brown paper from Club Scrap's English Garden kit. It has a really nice feel and finish to it which doesn't show up in this photo.
I like the effect you get from masking a main image. You stamp a focal image first. You also stamp it onto a Post-it note and cut out the image. Then you place the Post-it note over the stamped image as you create the rest of the piece. It keeps you from stamping on top of your focal image. When you're all done stamping everything you want on the card, then take the same color ink that you stamped the focal image with, (it is still covered by the Post-it note) and use a blending foam or sponge tip to lightly dab ink around the entire Post-it note. When you remove the Post-it note, you will see that this highlights your focal image because the background of that stamping will be lighter and brighter than all the stamping around it. It will let the original cardstock show through.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

One sheet wonder cards

I was browsing Split Coast Stampers gallery the other day and I ran across something called One Sheet Wonders by Dakotastamper / Laurie D.. She had designed a set of 8 notecards using one sheet of patterned paper, and a bunch of cardstock. I used her template and cut up a sheet of pale River Rock flower paper from Stampin' Up. About 95% of the cards are Stampin' Up materials. The stamps, cardstock, patterned paper and some ribbon are SU. The rest of the ribbon and other embellishments are from my stash. (Two ribbon slides are SU.) The scallop punch is SU and the bird border punch is Martha Stewart.

This was a fun project to play with. I made up all the elements for each card, and then did the stamping after I put the cards together. This is not my usual style of card making, but it worked for this set.

The SU colors I used were: Purely Pomegranate, Groovy Guava,True Thyme and Kiwi Kiss.

Not a card, but a Quilt!

I took up quilting a couple of months ago, thanks to two of my sisters who had a great influence on me! I made a lap quilt, but my cat seemed to like it so much that I could never use it because he was always lying on it. So I made him his very own quilt. Buddy seems to like this quilt just as much as the lap quilt, so now we're both happy. And I can just throw this in the wash whenever I need to, and it protects the couch from his fur. I love the bright green and turquoise with the black and white. And I especially love the dancing kitties along the border!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Patchwork Pandemonium

I took a class from Tim Holtz in Buffalo this past weekend. It was fabulous! He taught his very last class called Patchwork Pandemonium to 90 women in an empty store. It was fast paced, lively, and loads of fun. We used his Grunge Paper to try out all kinds of techniques with his Distress inks, crackle paints, paint dabbers, Distress Stickles, alcohol inks, etc. We just used the inks randomly, and when all the little pieces were done we put them together into a patchwork. Then we had fun attaching all kinds of metal findings, game pieces, buttons, etc. to the front of it. We finished it off with some stitching to tie in with the patchwork theme. This was a great introduction to many of Ranger's products, especially the Grunge Paper, which I had not yet tried.

The little buffalo tied on to the bottom of the piece was not part of the kit. But we took the class at Buffalo Stamps & Stuff, and the owner had these cute buffaloes made up, stamped with "Enjoy he Journey", Tim's signature saying. So I thought it only appropriate that the buffalo get added to my work. (The store owner even passed around buffalo cut-out cookies during the class. Yum!)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Bird in a Cage

Here's a fun card I made. It took far too long for a single card, but I like it. Yesterday I took a class with Tim Holtz and it inspired me to do something a little different. I bought his bird and birdcage die. I pretty much copied his bird from the package; I found some music ephemera and inked it with two Ranger distress inks - Broken China, Spiced Marmalade; I adhered the paper to Grunge paper, die cut the bird, inked around the edges of the bird and wing, and that's about it. I used Stampin' Up Groovy Guava paper for the card base, a K&Co. patterned paper for the next layer, white from my stash which I ran through an embossing folder and swished a Distress ink pad over (Shabby Shutters) to ink the raised dots. I used some snippets of SU ribbon tied onto the bottom of the birdcage. I put a crystal dot at the top of the bird cage. I applied a light application of Distress Stickles (Faded Jeans) along the wires of the birdcage. I think that's it.

Monday, June 7, 2010


I made a graduation present and card for a young woman in our church. She has sung with the adult choir for several years, and is graduating from high school this month. The choir director wanted to give her a present from the choir, something combining music and religion. We had shopped around a bit, but couldn't find quite what we wanted (at a reasonable price!) After some discussion I offered to make a 12x12 shadow box, using scrapbook papers and embellishments. This is what I came up with. I made the graduation card that everyone in the choir could sign, and the card incorporates a few elements from the shadow box.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Herringbone cards

Here is another use for carpet tape. Lay strips of carpet tape down on scrap cardstock. Use thin strips of various, coordinating cardstocks and lay them down in a herringbone pattern. You may stamp on plain cardstock, or leave it plain; you may mix plain paper with patterned paper. You may stamp over the whole piece, or leave it to stand on its own.

Carpet Tape cards

This is a technique shown on a Club Scrap video as part of several ideas you can use carpet tape with. Carpet tape is simply double-sided sticky tape in wider widths, like 2 or 3 inches wide. It can be found in home improvement/hardware stores, or in hardware departments of most department stores.

In this particular style, you stamp the same image on 3 coordinating pieces of cardstock. Then you stack all 3 pieces together and cut them in a good paper trimmer, like a Tonic guillotine trimmer. Shuffle the pieces into 3 sets again, distributing the colors evenly among the 3 sets. Then lay the pieces on the carpet tape to put the stamped image back together again.

Cards using Alcohol Inks

For the background on the first card and for all the stamped squares on the second card I used a glossy white paper and daubed alcohol inks all over it. Then I stamped over it with black Staz-on ink. The second card used some of my inchies stamps.