Feb 072011

I started scrapbooking in 1998, and was told to scrap the most recent layouts so the memories would be fresh.  My boys were 8 & 10 at the time and that made sense.  But now,  it’s 13 years later, and I want to do the baby pictures!

So, I’ve started. Let’s hop into our time machine and blast back to 1988:

great-expectations scrapbook page right

You might recognize the flowers from this card I made.  Those were actually leftovers from this project.

To make the flowers, I covered Grunge paper with book paper, inked with a variety of distress inks and then cut out with the Sizzix Flower Charms #2 die.  The shine you see is because I used a gloss finish Mod Podge to decoupage the papers.  I think I would have preferred a Matte Finish, but gloss is what I had.

great-expectations scrapbook page left

I know the photo with the purple dress is terrible,  but believe me, it’s a HUGE improvement over the original polaroid. Thank you, Photoshop.

great-expectations two page scrapbook layout

The title letters were cut with the Sizzix “Bounce” Sizzlits alphabet set, and the tags were made using the Sizzix red die “Scallop Tags.” (I know most of these dies are discontinued, but you can often find good deals on them on eBay or Craigslist.)

I kept the layout fairly simple, just wanting to highlight the photos and accented the papers with distress inks.  Some of the colors I used were Worn Lipstick (perfect to go with the pink jumper!), Broken China, Aged Mahogany, Shabby Shutters and Spiced Marmalade.

Feb 022011

A Valentine’s card seems appropriate for my first post in February.  This one is a lot of fun, combining many simple, yet beautiful techniques.

valentine's card with stamped and embossed hearts and perfect pearls

Believe it or not, this lovely background starts with a sheet of plain white cardstock. First, apply a mask to your background.  I used a stencil that had been hanging around for ages and sprayed the back with spray adhesive.  (Check the instructions first, many spray adhesives will become a tacky removable adhesive if applied according to the directions.)

Next, you’re going to make your own custom pearlized mist.  In a Mini Mister combine one dropper of Distress Reinker (I used Vintage Photo) and one scoop (use a craft stick) of Perfect Pearls (I used Heirloom Gold.) Fill the rest of the mister with water and replace the cap, shake well.

Now mist over your cardstock, covering completely.  You’ll get a gorgeous pearly shimmer. Blot up the excess ink with a paper towel and remove the mask.  You can use a heat tool to speed up drying, but make sure to remove your mask first.

Ink up entire card, including the masked area with distress inks (I used Worn LipstickFired Brick and Aged Mahogany.)  Ink the edges of the card with browns (Vintage Photo and Walnut Stain.)

Here’s how to make those cool, blotchy spots (it’s SO easy!)  Spritz a little water into your hand, then flick the water onto the card with your fingers.  Here’s the important part:  Let the water droplets sit on the paper for 10 secondsand then blot up with a paper towel.  Now you have cool faux bleach spots! (This works best with distress inks, they play nicely with water, not all inks do.)

valentine's card with stamped and embossed hearts and perfect pearls close up

The hearts were made by stamping a variety of flower and scroll stamps onto white cardstock with Clear Embossing Ink, then embossing with Black Soot Distress Embossing Powder.  After the embossing powder cools, color the paper with a variety of distress inks.  I used Dusty Concord, Worn Lipstick and Fired Brick.  I used the Sizzix Heart Set red die to cut several hearts from this paper. Ink the edges of all the hearts with Vintage Photo.

The gold hearts were cut with the same die, but they were painted with perfect pearls.  Again, SO easy!  Use a paintbrush to mix a small amount of perfect pearls (Heirloom Gold is what I used here) with a few drops water until you have a paint-like consistency.  Use this to paint the outer edges of your larger hearts. Sparkly. 🙂

Of course, you need to add some bling!  I only buy gems in clear, and then color them to my hearts contnet (pun intended)  with alcohol inks.  These were colored with Cranberry.  Perfect!

To finish it up, add a strip of torn music paper inked with Vintage photo and a stamped sentiment.

Oh, and here’s the inside (composed mostly of leftover scraps on my table.)

valentine's card with stamped and embossed hearts and perfect pearls, inside greeting

Jan 312011

The UPS guy arrived the other day with a lovely, squishy package for me – fabric!  Six yards of it, as a matter of fact.


These will be made up into spring dresses for me.  Looking at the photo on fabric.com made me a little concerned about the scale of the dots on the red fabric.  If they were too big, I might end up looking like Betty Rubble, lol.

I’m going to use Simplicity 4014.  I love the princess seams and the nice flair at the bottom of the skirt.  I still haven’t decided if I’m going to make them sleeveless or not.  I’m thinking about using a flutter sleeve pattern I have elsewhere.  Hmmmm . . .


Just need to find a nice raspberry wool or silk for the jacket to go with the floral.  Maybe a green, too.

Jan 292011

This floral wreath may look complicated, but the process is quite simple.  I thought it made a charming baby quilt.  The original pattern is by The Quilt Company and is called Summer Bouquet Wreath.

spring wreath baby quilt

To make the wreath, first choose a floral fabric that has areas with lots of flowers and areas that are just background.  A yard will be more than enough to make this wreath. Use your rotary cutter to cut it into 2.5″ strips, then cut in the other direction to make 2.5″ squares.  (Note:  If you can’t find a floral with lots of open areas of background, find 1/2 yard of fabric that matches the background in your print.)

Next, sort your squares into five piles:

  • all floral
  • all background
  • sparse floral
  • sparse background
  • 50% floral/50% background

Don’t over-think this step!  Just sort them quick, you can always change something later.

Next, lay out your squares like this:


  • white = all background
  • black = all floral
  • grey solid = sparse floral
  • checked = sparse background
  • stripes =50% floral/50% background

It’s helpful to do this on a flannel design wall.  Make sure to step back from your project, squinting at it and rearranging to get a nice shape.  Once you’re pleased with your design, carefully stitch the squares together, keeping them organized in rows.

Add borders as desired to frame your wreath.

Jan 282011

I LOVE this picture of my youngest son.  He was so delighted to get his hands on a real M-16. (I’m just glad there weren’t any bullets in it!)

wishful-thinking scrapbook page left

To make all these solid papers more interesting and rugged looking I did allover stamping with distress inks.  I used Vintage Photo, Faded Jeans, Walnut Stain and Pine Needles inks. The stamps I used were the All Night Media Splatter Pattern, a crackled background stamp by Rubber Stampede, Map of the World Rubber Stamp (Inkadinkado) and the Harlequin Background Stamp(Inkadinkado.) (All quite manly and Marine-like, you know.)

wishful-thinking scrapbook page right

I also spritzed random areas with mini misters filled with distress reinkers and perfect pearls in heirloom gold, green patina and pewter.  (Ranger Perfect Pearls Embellishment Pigment Kit, Aged Patina) This kept it from looking too clean.

wishful-thinking two page scrapbook layout

I love making pockets in my pages to hold memorabilia.  The newspaper I wanted to include in this one was so thick that I had to mount the entire page on dimensional adhesive Squares Foam Tabs to accomodate the thickness.

To keep your pockets from ripping any further from stress, make a small round punch at each end of your slit.  I do this on the page as well as in the page protector.

Oh, and I’ll leave it to you to try to find Josh in the platoon photo.  🙂

Jan 262011

Why do I have a photo of my workdesk posted on the blog?

Because it’s “What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday,” that’s why!

To learn more about it, go here.  It’s kinda fun to see what other bloggers have going on midweek.

This week my desk area is loaded with unfinished projects.  I think I need to spend less time on the computer and more time crafting!


Jan 262011

I received a phone call a while back from a young lady who had spent three years with the Peace Corps in Tanzania.  She had had to leave suddenly, and the only souvenirs of her time consisted of several t-shirts and some pieces of Tanzanian fabric.  Could I use these to make her a memory quilt?

It was quite a design challenge, let me tell you!  What I finally came up with was to frame each t-shirt panel with the Tanzanian fabrics, and added black borders to set everything off.

tshirts from africa quilt

The bottom center panel is an embroidered purse that she’d carried with her everywhere and it contained a LOT of memories.  But the thing was terribly ratty and falling apart.  What I did was to fuse it to interfacing, and then carefully hand baste fine tulle over the whole thing.  Now there will be no more abrading to further deteriorate it.

She had many special requests that I was happy to accommodate: embroidering  names & dates, appliqueing bits and pieces from the sleeves and backs.

The final result was something she was utterly thrilled with.  (Wished I’d taken a clearer picture!)

Jan 242011

Have I mentioned that I love all things Tim Holtz(Maybe once or twice, lol.) Last fall I got to take not one, but TWO classes with him.  It was a blast, and a highlight of my year.

I’ve already posted one of the projects we made, the Christmas Configuration.  The other was this book made of grungeboard, which I LOVE so much, it’s been sitting out in my craft room as decor.  One of these days I may put photos in it, but I think it’s fantastic just as it is.

tim holtz grunge book class cover bird cage alterations

The front & back covers and all of the pages are made of Grungeboard(This link leads to a pack of 10 sheets which will make the entire book, with 2 sheets left over.)   The pages were embossed with a variety of embossing folders, including the Swirls Textured Fades Embossing Folder(You can see this one on the magenta page on the left, below.)

tim holtz grunge book class distress ink

One side edge of each page was cut with a Sizzix Alterations on the edge die.  My favorite of these is the Scallops On The Edge Die(Used on the green and magenta pages below the cover.) The Bracket On The Edge Die is also great, it’s not too busy and works well for manly or feminine uses.  (Used on the turquoise and mustard pages.) The Scrollwork On The Edge Die is used on the cover.  (I own that one, too, it’s quite fancy and nice for girly pages and cards.)

The first step in making our pages (once they were cut to right length) was to paint them all with paint dabbers.  I tell ya, if you haven’t tried them, you need to, paint dabbers are terrific!  Instead of having to get out paint, paintbrushes and a dish for the paint, you simply pick up a paint dabber, give it a squeeze and use it like a marker.  No mess and so easy!

Some of the colors we used:

Pitch Black Adirondack Acrylic Paint Dabbers
Pearl Adirondack Metallic Paint Dabber 1 Oz.
Lettuce Adirondack Acrylic Paint Dabbers
Cranberry Adirondack Acrylic Paint Dabbers
Espresso Adirondack Acrylic Paint Dabbers
Red Pepper Adirondack Acrylic Paint Dabbers
Bottle Adirondack Acrylic Paint Dabbers
Denim Adirondack Acrylic Paint Dabbers
Stream Adirondack Acrylic Paint Dabbers
Eggplant Adirondack Acrylic Paint Dabbers

 Tim warned us while we were painting to only put on one thin coat of paint, or we would regret it.  You see, the next step after the paint dried was to use the Sanding Grip and sand the paint off the raised areas and the edges of the pages, exposing the raw grungeboard.

To give them a wonderfully distressed and aged look (and quite change the colors) we then inked our pages with Distress Inks.  The paint resisted the ink, but the exposed grungeboard took it, resulting in awesome looking pages.  You can see this page below was painted with a Lettuce Paint Dabber, sanded, then inked with Faded Jeans Distress Ink . It was great fun trying out different combinations of paint and ink colors! (After you apply the ink, use a damp paper towel to wipe the excess off the painted areas.)

tim holtz grunge book class distress dyed silk ribbon

 For additional pages we make little pockets out of Tim’s Lost & Found Paper Stack.  I asked Tim where he got all these images (license plates, game pieces, and bottle caps, to name a few, all vintage) and he told me that he owns all of it!  It all gets laid out and then scanned to make the paper.  That is ONE serious collection.  Wow.

We also got tags to ink and bind into our books.  They were embossed with several different embossing folders, including, Tim Holtz Rays & Retro Circles Sizzix Textured Fades Embossing Folders , the Tim Holtz Bingo & Patchwork Sizzix Textured Fades Embossing Folders , Tim Holtz Damask & Regal Flourishes Sizzix Texture Fades Embossing Folders and the Tim Holtz Bricked & Woodgrain Sizzix Texture Fades Embossing Folders. (The Bingo folder is used on the tag above, the Patchwork folder on the tag below.) 

tim holtz grunge book class embossed tag

 We also colored the silk ribbon from the Lavish Trimmings set.  (It started out white.) First it got dipped in water, then wrung out so it was just damp.  Then we swiped a variety of distress ink colors over the ribbon, crumpled it in a ball and set it aside to dry.  Once it had dried the colors had transferred and bled from different areas and it was just gorgeous!  This one yard piece got snipped into seven pieces and tied to our tags.  Yummy.

We used the Cinch Book Bindery Tool to put everything together (a very cool machine, I think I gotta get me one) and then got to decorate the cover.

tim holtz grunge book class gears flourishes

The cover was decorated with grungeboard cut with the Tattered Florals Bigz DieHardware Findings Bigz Die, Gadget Gears Bigz Die, Elegant Flourishes Bigz Die, and the Caged Bird Bigz Die.  These were all painted with paint dabbers, sanded, scratched with the Craft Scratcher, then inked with Vintage Photo Distress Ink and Walnut Stain Distress Ink.

tim holtz grunge book alterations bird cage dangles

As finishing touches, we hung crystals on the bird cage (you could use Baubles,) glued Accountrements to the flower centers and used a Swivel Clasp to hang Adornments, Type Charms, and Muse Tokens from the spine.


tim holtz grunge book class tattered florals

If any of you would like complete directions, including a supply list, all dimensions, all techniques and how to assemble the covers, leave me a comment and let me know and I’ll get it right out to you.

Jan 222011

When my oldest son graduated from Marine Corps boot camp, all of us (plus a family friend) drove down to South Carolina to be there.  (AND to bring him home with us afterwards!)

These scrapbook pages show the pin ceremony that happened the day before the actual graduation.  You might be able to tell that I’m just a little bit happy to see him!  (It had been over 13 weeks since he left.)

pin-ceremony scrapbook page right

Here’s what the journaling says:

 “At noon on Thursday we headed to the facility for the pin ceremony.  At this ceremony the recruits would receive their Eagle Globe Anchor pins and be called Marines for the first time.  Since it was overcast and looking like rain, it was held inside.  This was a bummer as there were a lot of drills the guys had practiced and there wasn’t room for them to do them indoors.  It was impressive however, to hear 300 young men shouting the Marine Corps Hymn.  (“From the Halls of Montezuma…”)

After the ceremony was over it was mayhem as all the family members streamed down from the bleachers and tried to find their new Marines. We finally did locate Josh and couldn’t have been more proud.”

pin-ceremony scrapbook page left

The snaps are by Making Memories and I found the Eagle Globe Anchor brads here.  I punch a small circle and then punched a smaller circle out of that to make a way to spotlight where Josh was in formation.

The photo corners are chipboard that I painted with Peeled Paint Distress Crackle Paint  and then edged with
Brushed Pewter Metallic Distress Crackle Paint . To make them look a bit more “real” I highlighted portions of the stickers along the right with Glossy Accents.

pin-ceremony two page scrapbook layout

Jan 192011

If you’re a scrapbooker, cardmaker or a crafter of any sort, I challenge you to save your plastic packaging and see what you can come up with.  The possibilities are really endless:  ink with alcohol inks, embossing, sanding, or use as a window in a card.  You could even try applying heat, and get some interesting melty effects, (for this you should be very careful to have excellent ventilation.)

Here’s a really cool card that I made with the clear packaging that my Sizzix Big Kick embossing machine came in:

thinking inking thank you card with inked flowers

First I cut the plastic to the size of a standard card, 5.5″ x 8.5″ and then embossed it using the Sizzix Cuttlebug A2 Embossing Folder, D’vine Swirls. This was heavy plastic, and it took a little muscle to get it through the machine.  Try experimenting with plastics from various packaging.  Some will turn frosted at the embossing, which is another great look.

Next it was time to score along the fold line, just firmly enough to make the card fold.  If you crease too hard, you may cause the plastic to crack along the line.  It might take some experimenting with what you have.

When cutting the paper strips for decoration, keep in mind that you’ll need four.  One for the front of the card, one for the inside, so you’ll have someplace to write a greeting and sign, and the others  will go behind the first two (so, one on the inside of the card, behind the front decoration, and on the back of the card, behind the greeting/signature.)  This will cover up any adhesive and give a professional, finished look.

To make the flowers, I covered Grunge paper with book paper, inked with a variety of distress inks and then cut out with the Sizzix Flower Charms #2 die.  The shine you see is because I used a gloss finish Mod Podge to decoupage the papers.  I think I would have preferred a Matte Finish, but gloss is what I had. 

Have fun making something wonderful out of what would have been thrown away!

A few of the products used:

Broken China Tim Holtz Distress Ink
Faded jeans Tim Holtz Distress Ink
Peeled Paint Tim Holtz Distress Ink
Shabby Shutters Tim Holtz Distress Ink
Dusty Concord Tim Holtz Distress Ink
Fired Brick Tim Holtz Distress Ink
Tumbled Glass Tim Holtz Distress Inks

Wild Honey Tim Holtz Distress Inks
Spiced Marmalade Tim Holtz Distress Ink 
Glue Dots 3/8-Inch Memory Dot Roll, 300-Clear Dots
Scallop Punch: Scallop Sentiment Border Punch(Fiskars)