Vision Board meets Paper Bag Album

I made this for someone very dear to me. There are plenty of pockets and tags for her to write inspirational quotes and affirmations and to place pictures she finds inspirational.

Most of the paper is CTMH "Notebook" - now retired. Most of the stamps are Tim Holtz and the embellishments are left-over bits and pieces.

The roses... I'm totally in love with paper roses.  They're super messy from the Mod Podge and  glitter gets everywhere.  Glitter and glue = fun day.  Experimentation with with various rose-making techniques continues. Here is the tutorial  for these roses. I like pictures better than the YouTube tutorials.  The videos just move too fast for me.

Happy crafting!

Spooky Banner

I've caught the banner bug! But, there's no place to put them.  My mantle is brick and they look too busy against the brick. This one is temporarily pinned on the cabinets in the studio so it would stand out against the white for the photo.

The paper is the new Hooligans by CTMH, the ghosts and Jack-O-lanterns are Sizzix cutouts and everything else is leftovers from past projects. As you can see, I continue with the use-up-the-stash theme.

Michael's has giant containers of Martha Stewart fine glitter. It would have been more wise to purchase the small container. There's enough black glitter left over to tag all the neighborhood fences with glittered greetings.

I suppose that's what happens when paper crafters go wrong - they tag with glitter.

Here: for directions to do the banner. Easy. Takes a while, but easy and fun.

Happy crafting!



Here is a reasonable facsimile of one of the Make-n-Takes we did yesterday. The one we made wasn't sewn at the edges. This uses the new "Mistletoe" Workshop on the Go kit. The kit includes a paper packet, a super cute package of poinsettia brads (really, SUPER cool) and a stamp set perfect for holiday stamping and scrapping. The punch for the evergreen boughs was an aged and worn contraption that would not produce evergreens until we really threw our weight into it. Happily, I have plenty of weight to contribute so we ended up with enough boughs.

The ornaments were first stamped in black, then I stamped them again in different colors, cut them out and glued them over the black stamped image. That way I had black hooks. A dab of gold Stickles for the top of the ornament and the card was done.

Happy Crafting!



Love this creepy image from CTMH's September stamp of the month, "Thriller." I don't usually like the "hash mark" distressed edges, but the look goes with Halloween.

I used CTMH, Hooligans and Olivia papers. I love making Halloween cards - and now I'm totally in the mood for autumn and inevitable cold weather.

Happy Crafting!


Thankful Banner

This took forever to make!

Next time I might include pictures on each of the squares. After the holiday, the squares could be dismantled and added to scrapbook pages. Each of the squares would serve as a frame for the picture on the page. Truthfully, if I spend an entire day on a project, I want it to last long enough for many generations of progeny to enjoy.

The banner took several hours to complete, but they were such happy hours. Sometimes I feel a little sad as summer winds down and this project helped me transition from summer nostalgia to enthusiasm for the next season.

The product list is far too long and I won't even bother to include everything. Most of the products are CTMH. I tried to use up bits and pieces of retired embellies that I've been hoarding.

Happy Crafting!


Passages 6 inch mini album

Here is another project inspired by the incredibly creative Lisa Stentz. This little book was an accordion transformed into a book. This technique allows you to make it with as many pages as you would like. This example has three inside pages with lots of pockets for journaling tags and additional pictures. This particular paper makes it a wonderful book for vintage photos or for vacation photos; however, with different paper it would also make a wonderful baby album, or a keepsake for a wedding or retirement.

Paper is CTMH "Passages" , Passages Stickease, and CTMH stamps. To order materials visit my website:

If you want specific information to make your own mini album, send me an email:

Happy Crafting!


Acrylic cards and Irresistibles

The round card was inspired by Lisa Stentz who creates the most amazing things. I LOVE acrylic cards - so fun when you don't want to send/give the same 'ol thing. Learning to layer them takes a bit of practice - which makes the workshop a good thing. Also the Pizzazz Irresistibles are so cool! They're bits of chipboard that have a resist design on them, so when you ink them up, you get dots... and lines... and squiggles. Basically, they're cool.

For more information on the workshop go to and click on calendar.

Happy Crafting!

August Stamp of the Month - it's Splendid!

This is probably my favorite ever Stamp of the Month from Close To My Heart
Stamp of the Month

August's Stamp of the Month is:
Something Splendid (Set of 13)
Recommended Blocks: 1" × 1 1/2" (Y1001), 1" × 3 1/2" (Y1002), 4" x 4" (Y1008)

Want to join an exclusive club? Every month Close To My Heart offers you an exclusive My Acrylix® D-size stamp set FREE or at a large discount. The stamp set is available to qualifying customers for that month only. It’s our way of saying thank you, and your way of getting fantastic deals on our amazing stamps!

Here’s how to get a fabulous deal on your very own Stamp of the Month!

You spend You save You pay only
$25 25% off $17.21
$50 50% off $11.48
$75 75% off $5.74
$10 100% off FREE

[Go Shopping]


Baby Album

I put these pages together last week. I only had a couple of pictures of the new arrival and they were grainy because they were emailed to me, so I used removable adhesive on the photos. The parents can replace them with better photos later.

Using the supplies I already own continues to be a key component of my budget plan. For this project I used up paper from several different kits including K and Company and CTMH. I also had a beautiful pink suede album that was perfect for the project.

This is the last page in the book. The pictures go on the tags. I wasn't sure if the parents would know that so I did one picture to get them started. Now that I'm looking at photos of the layouts, I see some improvements to make. This one needs three flowers on the ribbon. Off I go to make improvements before shipping this off.

Happy Crafting!



Collage. What's not to love about a gathering of goodies tossed in with bits of wisdom and a smattering of acrylic paint? I simply adored the time spent with my proper little polymer clay lady and her whimsical glitter slippers. I believe she may have sisters and cousins yet to make their appearance on canvas.

This piece was inspired by Julie Haymaker Thompson, a mixed-media artist and teacher whose work was featured in the January issue of Somerset Studio. Check her out - I love her amazing artwork!

Happy Crafting!


House Warming

Several friends and family members have made the home-ownership plunge this spring. This card fit the bill for some of them. Since some of them know each other, I had to make different cards. I'll post those later (I hope). I used CTMH "Sweet Home" paper and CTMH "Around the Block" stamp set.

Happy Crafting!


More Clear Cards "Baby"

This is missing something, but I'm not sure what? Any ideas?

Happy Crafting


Joy Forever

The most used and one of the best-loved stamp sets I own is CTMH "Joy Forever". It was inexpensive (under $15) and yet the simple design of the flower makes it perfect so many applications. The paper is CTMH "Sweet Home"

Happy Crafting!


Veranda and Clear Cards

I like the new clear cards from CTMH because the cards are so unique. Sometimes it feels as if everything I make is just a remake of some earlier card. Notice the flowers stamped with Stazon (timber brown) on the corners of the cards?

The card below was cloned about a dozen times. One of the joys of aging (and having aging friends) is the increased need for "sympathy", "get well", and "thinking of you" cards. Cards of this nature have unique requirements. Not only must they convey a hopefulness that happier times are around the corner as well as a thoughtful message that speaks of our genuine concern for them, but they must do so in an understated manner so as not to communicate that their distress is yet another opportunity to showcase our paper crafting skills. Hence, simple and thoughtful are in order.

The card below uses the "Bulls eye" from Close To My Heart's Wishes card making program. Sometimes at the monthly crops someone will want me to help them design a card. A busy crop isn't the best environment to spark my creativity (I need to be alone to create). So, my daughter suggested I just put out samples using the book. Then, it will be easy to direct people to the book for directions.

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Crafting!


More Valentine's Day Goodies

Red paper is a retired CTMH product.

From the retired "More to Adore" CTMH collection: I made and sold several of these. With this tutorial, the nugget boxes are a breeze. Super fun to make!

Happy Crafting!


Valentine Treat Box and Challenge Update

No, I am not late with the Valentine blog offerings. I'm early.

There's no time like now to make cards and gifts for Valentine's Day 2011. Right now the guilt of not creating something special for each of your friends is still fresh in your mind. Can you imagine how you will feel when you welcome Valentine's 2011, smug in the knowledge that you've secured a stash of thoughtful handmade gifts?

These little boxes are ideal make-and-store gifts. After decorating them, just store them flat. Wrapped in tissue and hidden away in a covered box, they are ready for you to give when the time is right.

Materials: All materials were from a rather large stash accumulated over several years. Thankfully, the stash is decreasing!

Challenge Update:
Eight days ago I challenged myself to "enjoy what I already have." The intention was to address a situation in which I had stuff stacked on top of stuff, and my favorite past time was adding new stuff to the stuff that was already stuffed in the cupboards. Clearly, it was time to address the issue.

These gable boxes are a prime example. There are approximately 30 of them on my shelves. Thirty. How absurd. And yet, none of my friends ever receive thoughtful gifts from me. I have no time for thoughtfulness. Accumulating and storing stuff takes all my time.

This week I've had more time to engage in those activities that feel like "quality" to me. More time with friends, more time creating, more time reading, exercising, and being.

Saturday was tough - that's the day specifically set aside for going places and buying things. Happily, advance planning eased the challenged. I issued an invitation and spent the day with people who matter to me. People instead of things: Awesome.

Happy Crafting!


Your Money or Your Life?

Remember the popular book by that name a few years ago? Recently I was perusing their website when this phrase slapped me: "what’s actually going on when we are overbusy, overspending, overeating – and overwhelmed – and how we can get back to “enough” when it’s all too much…"

I ruminated on that phrase as I shelled out $280 for an overpriced fruit juice guaranteed to cure all. It lurked in the back of my mind as I spent $125 for a set of Copic markers that complemented the several dozen markers I already own. I pondered it standing in line at the supermarket - the few "essentials" I picked up totaled $139 and some change. Of course, there's nothing wrong with any of those expenditures, but none of them bought me what I really wanted.

I wanted health. Most reasonable people know that health is purchased at a cost of exercise, good nutrition, adequate sleep, and a handful of medical screenings for early detection. Most reasonable people know that a daily dose of juice won't replace any of those other things.

I wanted to express creativity. For me, creativity ranges from "making cute stuff" to communicating an inner emotion using everyday items in unusual ways (that kind of "art" is never blog-worthy when I do it, but its fun for me anyway) Granted, a certain number of tools are required for crafting projects, but I have cupboards stuffed with enough supplies for a millennium-long outpouring of creative expression.

I wanted to fill my refrigerator with a selection of goodies to satisfy any appetite. For goodness sakes, two fat adults shouldn't be spending either money or time satisfying their food cravings. What was I thinking?

Obviously, I wasn't thinking. I was reacting. So, I have a plan to stop the over-consumption that is robbing me of time and peace-of-mind. I'm going on a 28 day "Enjoy What I Already Own" challenge. As part of the challenge, I'm not buying anything except the most basic materials needed for a quality life. Clearly, the phrase "quality life" lends itself to interpretation. My plan is to buy nothing from any store, except a grocery store.

At the grocery store my plan is to only buy the absolute essentials necessary to make meals using food in my freezer or cupboard. I'm certainly not giving up butter, wine, or toilet paper, but since I have a few cases of each of those things, my shopping list should be quite minimal. No clothes, books, magazines, hair gadgets, art supplies, cleaning supplies, etc. I already have enough of everything and I want to enjoy what I own.

I hypothesize that if I don't spend a single second shopping online, in stores, in magazines etc., then I will find the time I need to enjoy a better quality of life. That's my challenge, and I'm totally jazzed about it.


Vintage Valentine and More to Adore

In keeping with my New Year's Challenge (similar to a resolution, but without the pressure,) no new products were purchased for this year's Valentine's projects. If I hope to actually use up the stash of paper I've been hoarding, I will probably have to give Valentines to total strangers.

I normally give exactly three each year. One to my husband and one to each of my two children. To accomplish my goal of giving 3 Valentines per year, I've purchased 8 sets of stamps, 11 individual stamps, 7 punches, 2 embossing folders and an assortment of stickers. Many of these products have never been used.

I'm a tidy hoarder, so I will never attract Oprah's attention; however,I do believe using up the stash and resisting the urge to add to it pushes me to the healthier end of the spectrum.

These cards were made with:
CTMH Vintage Valentine and Butterfly kiss
CTMH More to Adore paper packet and Chocolate ribbon
Martha Stewart border punch, Marvy punches, Spellbinders, and Sizzlets

Happy Crafting!