Fabulous Finds Friday — Pinster Winster

A book featuring Pinterest pins?

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When I first saw the book Pinterest Perfect! (published by Walter Foster), I thought, “Why do I need a book? Why not go directly to the source?”

But have you ever gone down that rabbit hole, disappearing into a never-ending spiral of great ideas and fetching projects? Where one pin leads to another … and another … and before you know it, it’s Easter and you completely missed Valentine’s Day?

Anyway, this book is a wonderfully curated collection of inspiring ideas, complete with step-by-step projects, creative tips and techniques directly from the artists, and hints on how to use Pinterest as inspiration. The book is broken up into eight sections, from paper crafts and doodling to mixed media and “crafts.” There are also empty pages ripe for sketching, brainstorming, note taking, doodling, etc. Skim the book with sticky notes in hand for marking favorite pages. Read it order or sip and glide as you will, randomly selecting a project here and there.

Here’s a peek inside:

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Curious? Intrigued? You could win it! I have a copy of the book, donated by publisher Walter Foster, to give away! Just leave me a comment by July 28 on what you love about Pinterest and a random generator will pick a lucky winner. Sorry, you must be in the continental U.S. to win.

Have fun, and thanks for joining me today.

Fabulous Finds Friday — Odds & Ends

So many fun and fabulous things happening in the craft world … here is a quick round-up:


There are two fun new products from Scotch Brand — the above Scotch Expressions Tape comes in vibrant blue, pink and purple. It’s colorful AND repositionable. You can also write on it. I haven’t tried stamping on it, but I bet you could easily stamp using a permanent ink such as StazOn.

Then there are new Scotch Restickable Dots:


According to the company, these double-sided adhesive tabs remove cleanly from walls, desks, windows, mirrors, etc. When you’re done, wash them with soapy water and they’ll be sticky again.

Spellbinders has pretty new additions – from elegant to whimsical – in the Die D-Lites™ line. What I love about these is that they are sized for cards, tags and Artist Trading Cards.

New dies include flowers, holiday and decorative pieces. Check them out here

The colorful world of Tombow is a little brighter thanks to an expanded website that features more than 50 craft projects using Tombow products. Projects include art frames, coasters, gift tags, mixed media projects and more. Check it out at www.tombowusa.com (where you can link to a blog, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.) Besides the nifty pencils, markers and adhesives, Tombow also has a line of recyled products.

BasicGrey has a fun a flirty new collection coming out … Fresh Cut. Perfect for a spring bouquet of stamping. Check out the fresh ideas here. http://www.basicgrey.com/files/catalog/FreshCut_Catalog.pdf

Have a crafty weekend!

Crazy With Collage and PaperCraft Inspiration

As we all know by now, I am a scrap hoarder. I haven’t met a scrap I don’t like (or try to keep.) They sit on my desk, sometimes for what seems like decades, because I KNOW I will use them … eventually.

So imagine my joy in reading an article in the recent issue of PaperCrafts magazine talking about making a “messy collage.”
Well, THAT spoke to me!
The premise is that you just toss things together, and somehow, if the paper gods are smiling, you actually have a cute card.
Let’s see if it worked.

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I started by dabbing two colors of Distress Ink onto my craft mat, misting, then picking up the ink with my water brush and splattering it on my cardstock. After drying with my heat tool I began adding paper bits. I finished with a rosette (see this blog entry for more on rosettes!), a sentiment (Hero Arts) stamped on a die cut piece (Sizzix Framelets set) and attached with my Tiny Attacher (Tim Holtz). It still needed a little somethin’ somethin’, so I added Dew Drops from The Robin’s Nest (attached using Zots minis) and a leftover bit from a Stampin’ Up’s Mosaic Medly (previously stamped and embossed, discussed here.)

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Here, the background was stamped using an old splatter stamp from Endless Creations, in ColorBox Butter and Hero Arts Wet Cement. Then I just grabbed pieces. (Recognize the happy birthday paper?) Gee, surprise, I found a use for a rosette. The special wishes image (Hero Arts) was one stamped a while ago for another project, but I never could find something else to use it on. The embellies are from the Robin’s Nest.

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You’re So Special:
Splotches stamped using Marvy Matchables Terra Cotta and #12 grey. Pieces are from a Core’dinations sampler. Sentiment from Hero Arts.

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Bird Cage:
Not crazy about this one. It started with the dry embossed piece (Tim Holtz embossing folder colored with sponged on Distress Inks) and the bird cage (Hero Arts?, embossed in Stampendous! PearLustre). But then I decided it needed a background. So I sprayed ColorBox’s Stephanie Barnard Blueberry and Chocolate inks). And it was truly awful. So I just kept adding things. Not sure it’s much better, but I decided to include it anyway. Thanks for not laughing.

Embracing My Bad Ballet

My friend and writing colleague, Kathy Sena, who writes the popular Parent Talk Today blog, is embarking on another adventure — a new blog called Bad Ballet,  celebrating the”bad ballerina” in all of us.

Kathy, the mom of a 15-year-old son, was inspired by the fearless comedy of the late Gilda Radner. “Bad ballerinas,” Kathy says, are “women of any age who
are leaping onto the next stage of life — no tutu required.”

Why, she asks, do so many women give up on fun and exploration and silliness? Why not take that leap, even if we might fall flat on our tu-tus?

The world, she says, should still be our oyster! Who can resist that?

Bad Ballet is having a launch party tonight, and in honor of the new venture, I made a necklace to give away at the soiree:

The necklace was made using a wood base covered with the Bad Ballet logo and computer-generated words “Be Brave,” a good motto for anyone, dontcha think? A string of red sequins line the side and it’s hard to see, but there’s some Stickles glitter glue adorning her outfit.

I made a matching box, using some purple card stock and my Ultimate Crafter’s Companion (a great tool):

Before folding and gluing the top together, I used a decorative punch — here’s a closer view:

I used the boxmaking portion of the Ultimate Crafter’s Companion — a nifty tool that comes complete with various scoring lines, tools and a handy carrying case.  The box making function is so simple — one section has scoring lines for the top of the box, the other has lines for the bottom, just a smidge smaller. So you don’t need to measure a thing! I like that. I also like that it folds and unfolds neatly and has space for the necessary tools. Here’s one of the inside sections (the box making lines are at the ends.)

And here it is all folded up, neat and compact:

Do check out the bad ballerinas!

In the meantime, I’m cleaning my desk (yet again) to make room for more crafting.

Gift Giving

Undergoing chemotherapy is no fun. And since I find stamping, coloring, cutting and glueing therapeutic and relaxing, I thought my friend — who is not a stamper but has expressed her appreciation for the hand made cards I’ve been sending — might like some creativity-in-a-box to help pass the time.

I wanted to create a very portable kit that would be easy to tuck into a purse or bag, so first I looked for the perfect box and found a great plastic pencil case at a dollar-type store. (It is important to find the box before you make the cards because the materials must fit inside!)  Then I cut some gift tags (making sure they would fit in the box), and stamped them with fun images.

Digging into my scrap bag, I punched some shapes:

I tossed in some colored pencils and a glue stick and packed the box…

…then wrapped it with some pretty tulle (which I told her can also be cut and used on the tags!). I added  more tags to the front, then tied on a larger tag that had simple instructions:

The box was a big hit — and I may have converted another stamper!

How have you used your stamps to cheer up someone?

More desert inspiration — Cool Coaster

Last week I showed you a card I made using a scrap paper found at our hotel. Remember the green coaster that was also in this photo? Here’s how I used the coaster:

The coaster had the hotel name in the center, but that wasn’t a problem with this image from Stampers Anonymous.  I’ve had this stamp for years and hardly ever use it. When I saw this flowering tree in the desert I knew what image to use:

(The day was SO bright that in order to focus on the flower, the sky got completely over-exposed. I love the effect.) 

The card is textured using Tim Holtz’s collage  Texture Fades embossing plate (Sizzix). The sentiment is by Hero Arts, the ribbon from Making Memories.

Thanks for indulging my desert inspirations obsession!

Friday Inspiration, Coasters and Scraps

I am getting a lot of mileage out of this whole desert thing! Not only did the flowers, colors and textures of the desert inspire me, but I also found some very cool paper at the hotel where we stayed.

Check out the colors and patterns:

The striped paper is from the little packet that held our room keys. (Notice the white part on the lower right — that’s where I tore it open. I almost cut it off, but just in the nick of time I realized I could hide it!) The coasters were such a delicious weight and color. They had the hotel name stamped across the center, but that didn’t stop me. Here is a card I made using the striped paper:

See how I hid the white scrappy part? To make this card I first ran my cardstock through my new Tim Holtz Texture Fades embossing folder (Sizzix.) I edged the striped paper with a black marker, then glued it to the card front, off-setting it to the left. I white embossed the Michael Strong pot on rust-colored paper (to match the rust-colored stripe) then cut the top part of the pot to make the little one. (I love the versatility of this pot, which I also used here)

The pot screamed for greenery, so I stamped the pod-looking flowers (Hero Arts CL338) on scrap paper in Old Olive (Stampin’ Up), then cut them out and cut them apart. I stuck them to the back of the pot, then glued the whole shebang to the bottom right of the card. I attached the smaller pot using foam dimensional tape. All that was left was to add the sentiment (Hero Arts) and three gemstones.

Next week I’ll show you what I did with that coaster!

Thanks for coming by.

Friday Floral

Still more desert inspiration….

While putting away some of the material I took with me to the desert, I came across some random bits of scrapbook paper. This big blossom reminded me of some of the desert flowers — I’m not sure why… I certainly didn’t SEE anything like this! Maybe it was the muted colors…

At any rate, it was a quick card to make! I trimmed the paper down a bit (sorry, I don’t remember the source. Ugh, I hate when that happens because I love the colors.) Edged it with a gold pen, layered it on black and added it to a cream colored card. The saying is by Hero Arts (from Archivers). I slapped on two flowers (Prima) and some rhinestones, but looking at it now, I don’t like the blue flowers at all. Ah, well.

Thanks for stopping by.

Desert Inspirations

A week or so ago I talked about my visit to the desert and how I was looking for inspiration.

As soon as I snapped the photo of the wall panel at the hotel, I knew exactly what I wanted to make.

Here, again, is the photo that inspired me:

And here is the card I made: (The photo is a little wonky, but you get the idea.)

Strong vase

I used my Cuttlebug embossing folder (branches) to dry emboss just the top half of the cream colored card stock. I then white embossed this Michael Strong stamp (cloissone pot) on tan card stock. (I love this stamp — you can cut it apart and use the pieces in various ways. So clever!)

I cut some strips of green scrap paper into slivers that I hope look like long leaves, glued them to the back of the pot and added the image to the card bottom. So simple!


It’s Friday and I am in the desert. I was never a great desert lover — I much prefer the cool breezes and the blues and greens of the ocean — but since I have started stamping and creating, I have learned to appreciate the warm earth tones and the light and shadows found in the desert.

This morning I went for a walk, looking for inspiration. Here are some photos I took:

It seems that the more you look for inspiration, the more you find it! When I returned to my hotel room, I noticed the beautiful decorations in the hallways. Check out the soft, wavy lines of the wall decor and the beautiful colors and lines of the ceiling lights!


Tonight I will try to create something that was inspired by these sights. What inspires you?