Sunday, November 27, 2011

Shimmery mist...

I have a little tip for you that I hope you will like.

I make my own shimmery mist for my projects with VERY inexpensive materials... I fill a mini spray bottle for mere pennies!

I use metallic or pearlescent acrylic paint. I just put a few drops of the paint in a mini-mister, with just a tiny bit of water, and then fill almost to the top with rubbing alcohol (need to leave enough room to be able to shake up the contents), and I have a wonderful spray mist that will dry quickly when sprayed onto my card and leaves me with just gorgeous shimmer or a beautiful pearlescent sheen!

Just imagine all the different effects I can have with all those different colors of metallic and pearlescent paints! And I can even layer them; blue and silver, red and gold... the possibilities are mind boggling! Lay down a cut shape mask and spray with one color, then use the negative of the mask and spray with another.

I would love to share a project that uses it, but it is really hard to get a good photo of. I will keep trying (before and after shots, perhaps) and if I have success I will update this post with some photos!

Until then,


Monday, October 31, 2011

Eat, Drink, and Be Scary

Eat, Drink, and Be Scary



  • Make The Frankenstein's Monster:
    • Cut a rectangle of green card stock about 1 1/4" x 1 1/2". Holding the rectangle in portait orientation, use the Angle corner chompers to trim the bottom corners, forming a tag. Sponge black ink around all of the edges. Cut a rectangle of black card stock about 1 1/4" x 1/2". Cut one edge to form hair for the monster. Glue to the base of the monster face. Cut a small rectangle of green card stock to serve as a neck. Punch the hydrangea out of green card stock. Punch three 1/4" circles out of green. Punch two 1/4" circles out of white. Punch two 1/8" circles out of black. Cut one of the petals off the large hydranea for a nose. Cut one of the green 1/4" circles in half to form eyelids. Sponge black ink around the edges of each of the pieces. Glue a black circle to each of the white circles to make eyes. Add a small mark with a white gel pen to each of the black circles. Glue a green half-circle to the top of each of the eyes to form eyelids. Glue the head onto the neck of the monster. Glue each of the small hydrangeas into place on the underside of the neck, forming the neck bolts. Glue the nose into place. Glue the eyes into place. Glue the remaining two green circles to the underside of the head to make ears. Draw a crooked smile and a couple of little scar lines, using a black gel pen.
  • Make the vampire:
    • Cut a rectangle of blue cardstock, about 1 1/4" x 1 1/2". Cut a rectangle of black paper about 1/2" x 1 1/4". Use the heart punch to punch the hairline in the black rectangle. Glue the hair to the blue rectangle. Corner round all of the corners of the rectangle using the 1/4" side of the rounder chomper. Punch two 5/16" red circles. Punch two 1/4" white circles. Punch two 1/8" black circles. Punch four 5/16" blue circles. Cut one of the blue circles in half. Sponge black ink around the edges of all of the pieces. Glue the white circles to the red circles. Glue the black circles to the white circles. Add a little dot of white gel pen to the black circles. Glue the half circles to the eyes to form eyelids. Glue the eyes in place. Glue a blue circle below the eyes to form a nose. Glue the other two blue circles to the underside of the face to form ears. Draw a smile using the black gel pen. Draw white fangs with the white gel pen. Cut a rectangle of black cardstock about 1/2" x 1 1/2". Wrap it around the bottom of the face to form a cape. Glue it into place.
  • Make the Mommy Mummy:
    • Cut a rectangle of white cardstock, about 1 7/8" x 2 3/4". Tear 9 strips of white cardstock about 1/4" wide and about 2 1/4" long. Sponge the edges of the strips with black card stock. Adhere 8 of the strips to the white cardstock, going off the edges, horizontally crisscrossing the rectangle. Trim the strips so they are even with the edges of the rectangle. Corner round all 4 corners using the 1/4" side of the rounder corner chompers. Sponge black ink lightly all over the mummy's body. Punch two 1/2" circles out of green cardstock. Punch two 5/16" circles out of black. Punch one 5/16" circle out of white. Sponge black ink around each of the pieces. Adhere the black circles to the green. Add white dots to the black circles. Adhere the eyes to the mummy. Adhere the white circle to the mummy, just below the eyes. Tie a knot in the remaining strip, and glue into place.
  • Make the Baby Mummy:
    • Cut a rectangle of white cardstock about 1" x 1 1/2". Tear 5 strips of white cardstock, about 1/8" wide, and about 1 1/4" long. Sponge black ink along the edges of each strip. Adhere all of the strips to the white cardstock, going off the edges, horizontally crisscrossing the rectangle. Trim the strips so they are even with the edges of the rectangle. Corner round all 4 corners using the 1/4" side of the rounder corner chompers. Sponge black ink lightly all over the baby mummy's body. Punch two 5/16" circles out of green. Punch two 1/4" circles out of white. Punch two 1/8" circles out of black. Punch one 1/8 circle out of white. Ahdere the 1/4" white circles to the green circles. Adhere the black circles to the white circles. Glue the eyes into place. Glue the 1/8" white circle below the eyes to form the nose. Glue the baby mummy onto the mommy mummy.
  • Make the grave stone:
    • Cut a piece of craft cardstock to 3"x 2 1/4". With the piece in landscape orientation, corner round the top two corners using the 1/2" side of the corner chompers. Stamp the spider and web in the top right corner. Stamp the saying centered. Sponge black ink all over the grave stone.
  • Make the grass and pumpkins:
    • Cut a rectangle of green cardstock 5 1/2" x 1 3/4". Cut grass blades as desired. Draw lines in in the grass with the fine point side of the green marker. Stamp the pumpkins onto orange cardstock. Cut them out carefully. Adhere to the grass, just above the bottom edge.
  • Make the card:
    • Cut a piece of black cardstock to 5 1/2" x 11". Fold in half to form a square card.
  • Assemble the card:
    • Glue the monster and vampire in place first. Adhere the gravestone in place, covering the very bottom edges of the monster and vampire. Glue the mummies in place. Glue the grass in place.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Get Better...

My mom, who lives three thousand miles from me, was hospitalized this past weekend. She had to have surgery to install a stent just below her kidney to deal with a blockage caused by a very large kidney stone. The stone has not yet fully resolved so she is still in some discomfort, but she is being medicated and was sent home yesterday.

I wanted to make her a somewhat special card to let her know I was thinking about her. I wished I could be there to do things for her, but that just isn't possible right now, so I decided to send her some soup from here. Well, not real soup, but some virtual soup. Here, you can see what I mean...

The soup can is one of my favorite pop-up mechanisms, the cylindrical pop-up. Here is a view that shows how much it pops off the page. It really made a wonderful soup can, don't you think?

I am not going to tell you how I made the whole card, but I did think you might like to know how I made the soup can. I didn't take pictures as I made this card, and I didn't actually measure my mechanism as I made it, so I have made a second soup can to show you how I did it.

For this new can I started with a piece of card-stock 4 1/2" x 8 1/2". With it in the landscape orientation, I scored it at 3/4" and at 3 3/4". I then cut it according to the following template:

The most important parts of this template is that the little cutout parts on the left edge align perfectly with the long tabs on the right edge, and that the cutout parts go right to the score line at 3/4".

Once I had cut out my mechanism, I decorated it. I simply hand-sketched my can and colored it with COPIC markers. I used a scrap of card stock from which I punched a circle to help me make the gold medallion at the center of the can. Everything else is just free-hand.

Next, I trimmed a little wedge off the sides of the small tabs on the left of the mechanism, just to allow the mechanism to glide a little better. I put strong adhesive on the tabs (on the right side), folded on the score line, and affixed it to the right side of my card (this is a piece of cardstock, 8 1/4" x 5 1/4", scored at 4 1/8" in landscape orientation to form a card. It will be glued into a standard sized dark red card.) The mechanism piece now sat near (but not quite at) the bottom of the card, about 3/4" from the fold, with the right tabs extending past the edge of the card, but the score-line on the right of the card was about a 1/4" from the right edge.

Next, I folded back the score line on the right side so that the tabs extend under the mechanism, toward the left. I passed them through the slots formed by the gaps cut between the left tabs, and across the fold.

I pulled on the ends of the tabs until the can started to pop up. When it was rounded enough to look like a can, I made sure the tabs were even, and then with a pencil, marked on the left side of the card where the tabs extend. I marked around the whole end of the tab so I knew where I could place my adhesive.

I placed a generous amount of strong adhesive in the areas marked, peeled off the liner, and attached the ends of the tabs.

Lastly, I carefully closed the card. This allowed the mechanism to return to the flat position, and for the tabs to fold where they need to fold to allow that to happen. Once flat, I carefully went over the card's fold with a bone folder, and over the folds in the tabs from the outside of the card, just to reinforce the folds. If you look carefully at this picture of the card re-opened, you can see the folds in the tabs about a quarter of an inch to the left of the center fold of the card. Those were NOT pre-scored. The mechanism determined where they needed to lie and caused them to be formed.

Once the mechanism is complete, all that was left to do was insert it into my standard card and then decorate the front and inside left. I added a decorative panel to the inside left of the card, being careful that it didn't extend beyond the folds in my tabs, but right up to them, and then added a layer with a saying on top of that.

On the front, I prepared a panel of the same decorative paper with my little moose image (just LOVE Riley!!) layered onto a piece of white card stock whose bottom edge I had punched with a lace border punch. I added three square brads, and a black organdy bow before affixing it to my main card.

I hope you have enjoyed my little "get better" project and will give the cylinder pop-up a try sometime. I hope to be back with a little variation on this mechanism soon... but it does kind of depend on how much I can stand to sit.


Saturday, September 24, 2011

A Moving Princess Card

WOW! A post two days in a row! Don't fall over! I am starting to be able to be vertical for longer periods of time now, so I am not having to save all that time for household chores and can actually sneak in a little bit of stamping. I hope to be able to post here a little more regularly, but don't count on does seem to have its way of getting in the way. lol.

Here is today's card.

I saw a version of this card on a YouTube video a long time ago and have wanted to make one ever since. It is very similar to my auto-pop birthday card that I shared with you as the second project in this post.

The basic assembly is very much the same as for that card, even though the size is a little different since that card was done in portrait orientation, and this will be in landscape. Also, instead of putting a rubber band on the tabs, I put a dragon and a princess. Additionally, my window is bigger (3" scalloped square), and I used a transparency sheet to make my tabs which are a single layer instead of a doubled. I started with two 7 1/2" x 4 1/4" rectangles of sturdy (pink!) card-stock. I scored each of them at 1", 1 1/2", 6", and 6 1/2".

Next, I die cut the hole in my card front, just centering the die in the center of the piece.

Next, I folded the card back so that the folds at 1" and 6 1/2" were mountain folds, and the ones at 1 1/2" and 6" were valley folds.
I folded the card front so that the folds at 1" and 6 1/2" were valley folds, and the ones at 1 1/2" and 6" were mountain folds.

I stamped and colored (and glittered) my dragon and princess images, and then cut them out. I attached each of them to a piece of acetate sheet 1" x 3.5" (dragon on the right end of one and the princess on the left end of the other.

I also stamped and colored my castle background on a scrap of white card-stock cut to 4 1/2" x 4 1/4". I glued the background to the back panel so that it would be visible through the card front's hole.

I added my strong tape to the 1" edge panels of the my card back and peeled off the liner. I then placed my clear tabs onto the card back so that the dragon and princess met in the middle. I made sure they were well adhered to the card back, then added a little strong tape to the front of the tabs so that I could adhere the tabs to the card front, too.

I peeled off the liner on the tape, then carefully attached the card front to the card back. I trimmed the excess of the two tabs.

The last thing I did was decorate the card front and the pull tab panels with dimensional stickers and punched paper lace.

This card is meant to be viewed in the stand-up position, but also in the fully opened position, where the whole sentiment and castle are revealed.

Friday, September 23, 2011

My Copic Marker Solution

I finally got the complete collection of Copic Ciao markers!

I bought them as 5 different sets of 36 markers, and the sets each came in a crystal box. At first I thought those cases would be great store the markers, but I soon found that I really struggled to use them. I couldn't see any of the numbers on markers that weren't on the edges of the box, and when I was stuck in bed while recovering from my surgeries the boxes would tip over pretty easily and dump all the pens out. They just didn't meet my needs.

So I started looking for another solution. In my search I saw a lot of different shelf units with dividers But I didn't like having the fact that the markers wouldn't be a lot more visible since they wouldn't all be at eye level. And I was worried that the markers wouldn't be secure in the horizontal shelves (I have a very curious cat who just loves anything cylindrical and who loves to watch things drop to the floor; I was concerned that he would be able too easily to knock markers out of the horizontal cubbies and run off with them.)

Then I went to lunch at a cafeteria, and my solution popped out at me! I realized that what I needed was a cafeteria silverware server! I found a 6-cup one at a restaurant supply store, and I have to say it is PERFECT! Each cup snugly holds 30 Copic markers, meaning that the entire set of 180 markers fits just right! I sorted the markers by color family, then split them into groups of 30 and placed them into the cups.

But then the trouble of finding just the marker I wanted recurred. It is impossible to see the numbers on the side of the marker, so it is hard to find the right pen.

I solved THAT problem by labeling my Ciao caps. I saw several different solutions for doing that on-line, and I combined my favorite ideas into my solution. I created a file with all the colors in numerical order by color family, complete with little circles around the numbers. I printed two copies of the file (I did both ends of my markers.) You can get the file here.

I then colored each of the circles with the matching color and then cut the paper into strips by color family.

I punched each circle with a 1/4" circle punch, and affixed them to the caps with mini glue dots.

Though it was a tedious and time-consuming job, it was totally worth the effort since I can now find the right color with little effort. I just choose the color I need using my color chart and then go to the right cup and grab the right pen pretty quickly. I really love my new solution!

How do you store your Copic markers so they are easy to use?

Til next time, and hopefully sooner rather than later!


Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day Card

In honor of the Mother's Day, I would like to share a CD album I made for my mom. Each of the tags you can see tucked into each page has part of a poem and a photo (of mom's four children and three grandchildren) scrapped on it.

The papers I used are all from the Je T'Adore collection by Making Memories (and for the record, J'adore these papers! They are absolutely gorgeous!) The dimensional flowers were hand-cut from those papers and layered. The letters were gel stickers I had hanging around that just happened to match...and magically I had all the letters I needed to spell "MOTHER".

To make the album, I glued three CD folders together, back to front. I then added a ribbon around the album to tie it closed. Next I glued on front and back covers and decorated the front of the album. I covered the front edges of the CD folders where they were glued together, and then covered the inside pages. Lastly I made the six tags and decorated them with the poem and photos.

I hope you will enjoy it. My Mom sure did!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Easter Egg...

I know it has been a long time since I have posted. Life seems to have a way of getting in the way of blogging. My father passed away in February, and since then I have been in a bit of a creative funk. Additionally, I am the facilitator for the design team over at the FranticStamper blog, and we have been undergoing some pretty significant changes that have absorbed large pieces of my time. I have managed to keep up with that blog's demands, but blogging here has just had to take a back seat.

Over at the FranticStamper blog the design team is hosting an Easter Egg decorating contest. As the facilitator for the design team it fell to me to announce the contest, and now I need to try to drum up some interest in it. So far, a week into the contest, we have only received one entry (boo hoo) so I am going to ask my readers to hop on over to FranticStamper's blog and check out the contest rules and play along.

I will be sharing this egg on that blog tomorrow, but I wanted to give you a special preview. I wish the photos could actually do this egg justice... it is just so much more sparkly and rich looking in real life than comes across in these photos. I guess the camera just doesn't like the reflective surfaces very much. But I hope you will still enjoy what I have made.

This decorative egg started out as a medium-sized plastic hinged egg, meant for holding candy or small trinkets, to put in an Easter basket or for hiding for an egg hunt. This particular egg was very pale yellow, with small specks of darker yellow and light brown. It was not a particularly attractive color, so before I started to embellish this egg, I needed to change its color. I immediately thought of alcohol inks which work delightfully well on plastic. I found a lapis blue alcohol ink that I thought would be just right for what I had in mind. And anyone who knows me knows that I love ANY color, as long as it is blue!

I coated the exterior of the egg with the alcohol ink... and got exactly the effect I had hoped for. The plastic egg took on the gem-like quality of lapis lazuli! After giving it a few minutes to completely dry, I colored the inside of the egg with a silver-gray alcohol based marker.

Once the egg was dry inside and out, I started on my embellishments, most of which are made from aluminum flashing tape from the hardware store. This tape is self adhesive, with a liner, fairly easy to punch, and very shiny and silvery. Don't confuse this with duct tape... they are very different!

I used a Martha Stewart border punch to punch the silver lattice out of the tape. I applied my punched lattice to the egg, just above the egg's closure. I then applied narrow strips of the tape to the bottom portion of the egg, criss-crossing across the bottom of the egg. I added a small punched circle of tape to the very bottom of the egg to cover the point where the tape strips cross.

I then continued with the decorations for the top portion of the egg. I added a scalloped ring of tape near the top of the egg, around its circumference. Then I mirrored the small strips of tape on the bottom with self-adhesive rhinestones at the top. I finished it all off with another little punched circle of tape placed at the apex of the egg.

Finally, I made a platform for the inside of the bottom of the egg by punching a 1 3/4" circle (which just happened to be the exact diameter of the inside of my egg's bottom) out of card-stock, and attached the circle to the egg via a strip of the silver tape around the belly of the egg, folded over the platform at its edges. I added a punched 1 3/4" circle of the silver tape over the card-stock, hiding the top of the tape strip.

Next, I needed to put something on my platform. The egg that had inspired the platform had a miniature model (in rare metals) of the Winter Palace. I didn't have the means to produce anything like that, and I really didn't want to copy the Fabergé egg, I just wanted to be inspired by it. I finally decided to make a quilled rose to put on display.

I took a 3/4 strip of the flashing tape, and folded onto itself so that there was no adhesive exposed, and the tape was metallic on both sides. I used this strip as though it were a 3/8" strip of paper, and proceeded to produce a paper rose by scrolling and folding, as shown in this wonderful video:

I added some punched and scored tape leaves to the base of the egg, and then glued the rose into place.

My egg was completed, but now I needed a way to display it. Fabergé eggs often had stands that were nearly as ornate as the eggs themselves. I decided to create a trophy style stand. I used a soft drink bottle cap and a cap from a medicine bottle along with a small square piece of wood to create my stand. I wrapped each piece individually with the flashing tape, and then assembled them into the stand with a strong glue.

I finished the stand with a silver-toned ornament hanger and a little rhinestone bling.

I hope you will be inspired by my Fabergé-inspired egg, and will join the contest over at FranticStamper. There isn't a lot of time left, so get creating!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Faith's Album

Faith's Album

I made a little photo album using CD folders and cardstock for someone dear to my family. The album has eleven 5" x 5" pages for photos, plus six pockets. Each of the pockets held an insert with two photos, for a total of 23 photos in the book.

I wanted to share the album with you today. Please note, the photos I used in the album have been altered digitally to remove people to protect the privacy of the subjects.


  • Paper and Cardstock
    • 2 sheets of sturdy 12"x12" Cardstock
    • 2 sheets of coordinating patterned paper (I used K&Co Tim Coffey Cottage Garden, Day Lillies)
    • Additional coordinating paper and cardstock for tags and mats as desired
  • Embellishments
    • Dimensional embellishments of choice
      (I used K&Co's Susan Winget Spring Blossom Daisy Layered Accents & Tim Coffey Cottage Garden White Floral Grand Adhesions.)
  • Miscellaneous
    • 3 CD Folders


  • Cut and score the cardstock as shown in the above diagrams (or as described below.)
    • One piece 5 1/4" x 11 1/4", scored at 5 1/4", 5 1/2", 5 3/4", and 6" in landscape orientation.
    • Two pieces 5"x5" each
      My cardstock wasn't sturdy enough for my tastes so I used DOUBLED cardstock on my inserts.
      I cut them all from a separate sheet of 12"x12" yellow cardstock rather than from the cover sheet as shown in the diagram, 4 pieces, 5"x5" each
      and glued them back to back to make my two 5"x5" inserts.)
    • Two pieces 5"x12", each scored at 5", 5 1/2", 6", 6 1/2", and 7" in landscape orientation.
  • Accordion fold the two 12" long pieces on the score lines.

  • With the cardstock turned so that the first and last folds are mountain folds, place glue inside the valleys, as shown.

    Once glued together, the front of the cardstock at the fold will look like this:

    This is the INSIDE of the insert.
    Fold it closed.

    Repeat with the other insert.
    Set both inserts aside.
  • Fold the cover piece so that the outer-most score lines form valley folds, and the other two score lines form mountain folds.
    Make hard creases using a bone folder only on the outer score lines (the other scores will allow the book to open more easily but do not need to be hard folds.)

  • Form the album:
    • Start by folding all of the CD Folders so that the media pockets are on their insides.
    • Make a "sandwich" of the CD Folders and inserts... folder, insert, folder, insert, folder... making sure the folders all face the same way.
    • Glue the sandwich pieces into place, back of CD folder to outside of insert.
    • Glue the cover piece in place on the outside of the sandwich.
  • Glue the insert pages into place by putting glue on both sides of the valley and gluing the page into place.

  • Decorate the insides of the CD Folders with the patterned paper, cut into 5"x5" squares.
    • Slip the paper inside the CD folder pocket with the punched circle.
    • Mark the cut out area with a pencil.

    • Remove the paper from the pocket.
    • Punch the half-circle out of the paper using a 3/4" punch.

    • Glue the paper onto the pocket front, aligning the punched circle.
    • Slip a paper into the slotted folder pocket.
    • Mark the pocket's edge with a pencil.
    • Remove the paper from the pocket.

    • Cut along the marked line.
    • Glue the two pieces of paper into place.
  • Repeat with the other two CD Folders.
  • On the outside of the album, attach an 18" piece of ribbon to enable the album to be tied closed.
  • Decorate the front of the album with a paper doily and dimensional stickers as desired.
  • Decorate the inside of the album with photos and dimensional stickers.
    • Use a large scalloped square Nestabilites die to cut the mats.
    • Make tags to insert into the CD folders from scrap coordinating cardstock.
    • Mount photos directly onto the mats and tags using acid-free glue.
Here is the completed album.