Shameless Self Promotion

I have a fun project on the Crafts ‘n things blog site today — cute favor boxes made using Lifestyle Crafts dies.

Check it out at

Thanks for indulging me! (And feel free to leave some love there … Grin.)


Fablous Finds Friday — Die Cut Basket

I am crazy for this basket template from Lifestyle Crafts:


(Do check out my fun Easter baskets that are featured as the Craft of the Day on the Crafts ‘n things website.)

What I like about his die set (besides the fact that it is stinkin’ cute) is the variety of baskets and boxes you can make with this one set. Here’s a look at the first set I made, just for practice:

Lifestyle basket 397 DSC_0321

Above is the basket, using all four of the lattice inserts. But you can use just one or two of the inserts and keep the other sides solid, or leave them all solid.

The set also comes with a cover so you can make a box:
lifestyle box solid 397 DSC_0324

I’ve been playing with a variety of paper to create more boxes and baskets, some of which will be featured soon at
Have a wonderful weekend and thanks for hopping on over!


Last week I mentioned my explorations in texture. When I get a writing assignment, I tend to immerse myself in that process or technique. The more I play, the more I love whatever it is I’m doing! (Yes, I am THAT fickle!) Writing about texture for the October issue of Crafts ‘n things magazine was no exception. I got to play with embossing folders, specialty papers and letterpress. I am one lucky gal.

This week I will show you some of my playtime, er, I mean, work time results. (And be sure to pick up the October issue of Crafts ‘n things!)

First up are some tags and an ATC made using embossing folders.

This ATC (unfinished) uses Core’dinations paper (love the built-in texture already on this paper; then when you emboss and sand you get the white core for more definition.) The embossing folder is from Tim Holtz Alterations, French Connection (for Sizzix) and is designed specifically for the smaller scale of an ATC. But wouldn’t it make a pretty additon to the corner of a card?

Same paper (but in tag form) with the addition of the beautiful Elegant Bouquet embossing folder from Stampin’ Up!. I love this folder because the pattern is just in the corner, leaving you plenty of stampable space.

And here is that same folder, but on white. Yum.

Stay tuned for more texture!


Fabulous Finds Friday — Paper, stamps and more!

So much crafty goodness coming up in the craft world. Here are a few snippets:
Tim Holtz is working like a mad crafter on new ideas that he will present in January at the big Craft and Hobby Association show. One highly anticipated item is the sequel — yes, part deux — to his technique book A Compendium of Curiosities.
A Compendium of Curiosities, Vol. II follows the same format as the first — it’s not a traditional how-to book, but rather what Tim calls a “creative field guide” for crafting. It will be released in January, and I, for one, can’t wait. For more info, check out his blog.
And for all you Tim fans (and there are oh, so many!) check out my interview with Tim in the February 2012 issue of Crafts ‘n things magazine. (YES! The February 2012 issue is out now!) He talks about how he got started in the craft world, what inspires him, and more.
(and now a photo to break up this post!)
* * * * *
Sigh…. Every time I think I can’t love Hero Arts any more, they come up with something new! Page through the new catalog. I adore text backgrounds, and Hero Arts has some new dandies — including a city scape and an owl. (I thought I was over owls, but apparently I’m not.)
If you love your die cuts, you’ll go wild over the 10 new Frame Cuts made for Hero Arts by Sizzix. There are frames and flowers and… oh, just go see. I love the new letter matching system — the dies are given a letter designation and the stamps are similarly labeled so you know which dies work with which stamps. Brillian.
Another new product I’m crazy about is the Add Your Message set. There are 12 pre-printed cards in each set, which come with envelopes and four wood mounted stamp sentiments. Talk about quick and easy! (I must find out if you can buy replacement cards — that would be so cool.) This is a great gift idea to entice a new stamper! (Go ahead, be an enabler!)
And one more … new Basic Grey items. The Kissing Booth collection is just in time for some serious Valentine’s Day stamping. Can’t wait to break into this set for some delish cardmaking.
* * * * * * *
Before I forget … I hope you will take a look at the February issue of Crafts ‘n things magazine, which has my annual exhaustive look at what’s new in the wonderful world of ink. PLUS the famous ink chart (found online.) I hope to have some ink-inspired projects soon.
Doesn’t that look yummy?
Happy stamping!

Fabulous Finds Friday — Close To My Heart

I have come late to the exciting world of electronic die cutters, and have just recently become the proud (and excited and nervous!) owner of a Cricut electronic cutter. I have, I admit, been a bit intimidated. (Even though I just finished writing an article about die cutting machines for the August issue of Crafts ‘n things magazine. Sheesh, you’d think I would be an expert after all that research!)

But last week I received a new Cricut cartridge (Art Philosphy) with designs from Close To My Heart. The nifty thing about the cartridge is that several of the designs match CTMH stamps. What was I waiting for? Taking a deep breath (and my least favorite card stock) I plunged. My learning curve is pretty steep on some things (like learning about anything electronic or digital — sheesh, am I getting to be an old fogy?)

The best way to learn something, I’ve found, is to do just that — jump in and play. So I did. And spent several hours just cutting things:

After getting a feel for the machine, the dials, the cutting parameters, etc. I decided that again, the best way to learn was to make an actual project. One thing I like about the Cricut cartridge books is that they all come with instructions for one project. So I popped in the Art Philosphy cartridge (page 12-13 of the catalog, which you can see online), and followed the simple instructions. Here’s what I made:

Not too bad, eh? (Remember, I used my least favorite cardstock and random scrap papers, so cut me some slack here!) And now I’m hooked.

I have been dying to make a box, so I tried it in two sizes (just to see if I could!):

(Yes, I have a LOT of this card stock!!!)

Thanks for stopping by, and thanks to Cricut and Close To My Heart for the impetus.


Hybrid Stamping

It’s Christmas already?! Well, it is in the magazine world. The December holiday issue of Crafts ‘n things is out already and my feature article in this issue is all about hybrid stamping — combining digital images with rubber-and-ink stamping.

Does this cover make you want to hang your stockings by the chimney with care and break out the Hanukkah menorah? It sure makes me want to craft!

Anyway… I was not into digital creating at all when I proposed this article, so I had a huge learning curve putting it together. (You can read about my personal — and pathetic — learning curve in the sidebar to the main piece.)

To start by hybrid adventure, I began with an easy project, just printing a background on card stock. Then I stamped and embossed the Aloha and the butterfly on scrap card stock, colored the butterfly, cut out both and added them to the card with dimensional foam. 

The digital background is from, the images are from Rubber Stamp Plantation.

Then I decided to experiment and thought, “Well, heck, let’s play with color!”

Wow! That was fun! Same images, stamped and cut, then colored to match.

For my next experiment, I decided to go entirely digital, which was super easy, but just to be sure, I started with a single image that fit the entire card front:

The hardest part was figuring out the printing parameters so the image lined up in the center of the card. The tulip above and deco lady below are both from Twisted Papers. Both are colored with watercolor pencils. (When using an ink jet printer, you have to be careful not to get the ink wet or it can bleed. Don’t ask me how I learned that lesson….)

(To get the lovely texture, I ran the base card through my Sizzix using a Cuttlebug embossing folder.)

For my last card, I used a digital kit from Basic Grey:

I stamped, colored and cut out party hats from Hero Arts.

And there ya go! I still have a looooooooong way to go before I feel comfortable with digital cardmaking, but at least I have a toe in the new technological waters!

Do check out the December issue for lots of great holiday ideas. And come back next Friday for some Halloween cards.

Thanks for stopping by!


Vintage Cards from Crafts ‘n things

Happy Friday!

Time to catch up on some card making. In this post  I mentioned the article I wrote for the October issue of Crafts ‘n things (on the newstands now!)

Three of my cards were featured and a few people asked me about the stamps or techniques I used for these cards. So, with permission from my editor, here is the 411:

“Road Trip”

Doesn’t this image remind you of road trips with the family? (“Mom, he’s touching me….” “I’m thirsty…” “Do I have to turn this car around?”) All images are from Artistic Outpost. The focal image (the car) was stamped first, then masked. Then the map was stamped in brown Distress ink. The edge of the card was distressed, inked, then slipped into photo corners.

“Old Friends”

The background image for “Friends” is from Alpha Stamps, the “sisters” image is from The Stampsmith, the fun film strip felt is from Creative Imaginations, the saying from Hero Arts, and the buttons are just random. The plain and scalloped circles are cut using Spellbinders Nestabilities.

“Bathing Beauty”

I’ve had this bathing beauty (A Tin Can Mail stamp from Inkadinkado) in my collection for ages — love her, but hardly ever use her. Until now! This was such a fun card to put together. She was stamped first on white scrap stock then cut out and painted using watercolor pencils. The “sand” is a piece of textured card stock from Core’dinations. Don’t you just love the darker “core” color peeking through? The paper was lightly sanded to bring out even more texture. The blue sky is also from Core’dinations, run through a Cuttlebug embossing folder (on my good ol’ Sizzix Big Kick) and sanded to bring out the other shade. The ribbon is from Maya Road. Yum.

And while the gal was hangin’ at the beach, I made another card. So here’s a bonus card that did not appear in the magazine:

“Blue Beauty”

The flower background (dotted with Perfect Pearls)  is from Hero Arts, the damask image (stamped in white on blue) is from Judikins and the ribbony thing is from Making Memories.

Thanks for stopping by!