Project Ideas

Project Ideas

Hello fellow crafters!  I am taking a time-out for a few weeks to move.  Please check for new project ideas in July!


June 5, 2023  “Hot Air Balloon Day”

To fly a balloon you need to have sky. I started with a Heffy Doodle stitched circle. I used Distress Oxide Broken China and Lawn Fawn’s “Lawn Clippings” cloud mask.  I mounted the circle onto Sizzix scalloped circle (660021).  The adorable balloons are from a Honey Bee Stamps set “Sup, Up and Away”.  I stamped the balloons using a Sizzix embloss pad and sprinkled it with Ranger Ink gold emboss power, then heated it until it was set.  Using Copic markers I colored the balloons to match the Lawn Fawn background paper.  The “dreamer of Dreams” gold embossed strip is Idea-ology.  The sentiment on the card is Honey Bee Stamps.  This set is so versitile you could use it for a birthday, graduation, promotion or any other ocassion to celebrate someone you know.


May 28, 2023   “Directionally Challenged Driver”

 I usually begin a card with a stamp or die in mind.  However. I laughed out loud when I saw this quote from Riley and Company and immediately bought the stamp. Life, admittedly, life is an adventure in my directionally challenged world! Apparently, a lot of other delightful people in this world can relate. There was no doubt in my mind that I had to combine the quotes with Tim Holtz’s car die.  The senior driver is from Art Impressions and was the perfect size for the car.  I happened to have a local city map and made a copy to use for the background.   What makes this very simple card work is the simplicity – nothing fancy – just a humorous quote that makes people laugh out loud, a fun car and driver who can’t use the GPS any better than I can!


May 25, 2023  “I Wet My Plants!”

I love a humorous card and this stamp collection from Art Impressions made me laugh out loud.  I fussy cut the “Golden Oldies” gardener and flowers and glued them over a background I created using Spellbinders fence and grass dies, and Distress Oxide inks.  The sentiment is included in the stamp set.  I found the cute little bee at Craft Consortium.  I used a Honey Bee background die to add the scalloped border and the delightful garden paper from Photo Play Paper.



May 15, 2023  “Sparkle in the Rain”

As we all know life happens.  And sometimes we are so weighed down with problems and stress we literally lose our shine.  I found this wonderful stamp set from Visible Image (UK) and thought it would be of encouragement to someone you know.  I let Distress Inks run down the top of the card with a little help from a spray bottle.  Then I splattered a little white paint in spots.  I had a strand of rhinestone embellishments in my stash to add the “sparkle” to the card.  I always pull colors out of my design to layer as borders and layered a solid turquoise paper over a pink check background from Simple Stories (Summer Lovin’ Pink Gingham).  This is one of those fast and easy cards that requires few supplies to make.


May 8, 2023  “Close Encounters of the Alien Kind”

Our daughter who will soon turn 40, is fascinated with aliens. Roswell, New Mexico, became a major tourist destination, after a “supposed” UFO crash in 1947. Soon after she visited she began to collect aliens. I found this fun alien die set at Whims Stamps.  I think it adds a fun twist to a 40th birthday card.  The photos show the front, inside, and back of the card.  I used Lawn Fawn’s “glow-in-the-dark” embossing powder on the aliens and the “Happy Birthday”.  It is so cool!  It would be great to use for stars or a moon for a card, especially for children.  The rock on the back of the card was just a scrap I cut from card stock and colored with Distress Rusty Hinge and Tea Dye Ink.



May 1, 2023   “Mother’s Day”

My mother-in-law loves pink and I make a card for her every year that features pink.  Honey Bee Stamps created this wonderfully layered peony die which was perfect.  I used Distress Oxide Sugar Spun ink and a “dip and dry” method to create the background on this 6 x 6-inch card.  I added the ‘Mom’ (Simon Says Stamp) and a few pearl embellishments, with two layers of paper to create a border around the card.


May 1, 2023   “Tickets Please”


Color Swatch is all the rage this spring and 49 and Market are on the bandwagon.  They just released an entire collection of color swatch products that includes paper packs, acetate leaf embellishments, rub-ons, printed tickets, paper embellishments, frames, color swatches, film strips, and laser cuts.  You can choose from Blossom (pink), Inkwell (blue), Eucalyptus (green), or Toast.

For this project, I started with a base of natural mulberry paper for texture. I glued a strip of music over the top to begin my collage. I covered a standard Ranger tag with paper from the Color Swatch  Blossom collection.  I used a Stamperia lettering stamp and Ranger Archival black ink to stamp several spots on the tag.  Then I used a Tim Holtz stencil and light molding paste to stencil over the top. I distressed the edges of the tag with Distress Vintage Photo ink.  I found three girls in Tim Holtz’s paper dolls collection that I cut down to fit the 49 and Market coordinating pink film strip.  I backed the strip with vintage newspaper and then glued the girls’ heads over the top.

I glued one branch of leaves from the pink collection on the tag.  I will add an observation. Not all glue works well with the new acetate embellishments.  I tried several before I found one that would stick and then I had to hold it down for a while to secure adhesion. (Art Glitter Glue).  Then I arranged three ticket stubs from the collection on the tag along with the “cast of characters” strip from Tim Holtz.  I topped it off with fiber trim from my stash (Etsy) and flat-backed pearls to add a bit of a feminine finish. I mounted the card on corrugated cardboard.



April 1, 2023  “Spring Blessings”

The base of this spring tag is an Etcetera Mini Tag (4-1/2 x 7-1/2) inches.  I painted the front and side with white craft paint and let it dry.  Then I used a Tim Holtz stencil from Stamper’s Anonymous and Liquitex Light Molding Paste to create a background.  Next, I selected a window from the Idea-ology Window Frames Collection and paper to back it from Tim Holtz’s “wallpaper” collections.  I cut a piece of wallpaper just enough smaller than the frame so that you can’t see the edge. I added adhesive dots to the back of the frame before I attached it to the tag. I cut two bunnies and flowers using the die.  I carefully cut the flowers off of one.  This one I edge-colored with a very light gray Copic marker for shading.  I added some pink to his little ears and a pink nose.  Using a cotton thread I cut very small whiskers and glued them to his face.  I also glued a pom pom to his little bunny bottom.

Using Copic markers I colored the flowers on both the cut with the bunny and the scrap.  I arranged the scrap over the top of the cut with the bunny and glued it to make it look like there were more flowers and give it some dimension.  Then I glued my bunny over the original die cut and glued him to the bottom of the window.

Using Tim Holtz’s Thinlit’s Sizzix border set die (665435), I used a scalloped wide and narrow strip cut out on Ranger’s woodgrain paper. I colored them both with an aqua Copic marker and glued them to the bottom of the window to create a ledge.  (I put adhesive dots under the top of the window box.) Then I decided the window needed something in it, so I die-cut a flower pot from Sizzix (665363).  I used Sizzix floral die (664381) to cut a single flower and some leaves.  I saturated the top of the flower with glue and covered it with (I Cannot Tell a Lie) purple mini prills and let it dry.  Then I glued the flower and two leaves to the inside of the pot and mounted it in the window.  I really love the way Prills add texture to flowers.

I usually add ribbon at the very end of a project, but I added natural sari ribbon to the top because I wanted to see how much room I had to decorate at the top of the tag.  I always arrange flowers or anything else in odd numbers for balance. (Something I was taught in an art class years ago.)  I made two of the smallest Wild Asters from Heartfelt Creations.  I colored them with the same shade of aqua Copic marker as the window box.  After I shaped them I added (Third Place) Copper Mini Prills to the centers.  Next, I cut leaf vines from my favorite Sizzix leaf die set (661206) and colored them using Tim Holtz’s “Dip and dry” method of coloring and Mowed Lawn Distress Ink.  I shaped them on my foam flower mat and arranged them on the top left corner of the tag.  After I glued the two Asters over the top I filled in with additional leaves.  The three yellow flower stems are premade and sold by Heartfelt Creations.

Lastly, the “Spring Blessings” sign is from Penny Black’s “April Showers” stamp set and stamped with Ranger Ground Espresso Archival ink.  The side was hand-cut using woodgrain paper and colored with Distress Lost Shadow Ink and attached with adhesive dots to the top of the tag.

I made four different tags for my daughters and daughter-in-law using different color schemes based on their decor colors.  Some flowers were handmade and some were from Hobby Lobby.  My personal goal as a crafter, mother, and grandmother, is to handmade each member of my family something for each holiday throughout the year for keepsakes.  One more season dow



March 10, 2023   “How the Irish Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day”

Here’s a little something dedicated to my Irish family and friends!  Riley and Company have the cutest mushroom village collection ever.  I thought this one would be fun for St. Patrick’s Day.  I used Tim Holtz’s “Bubble” background stamp and Archival Ink to stamp a background for my pub.  Had I wanted to just stamp the design on cardstock and color it in the background I could have, but I really wanted another design in the back so I had to trim around part of the design before I could mount on in the background paper.

The quote is also from Riley and Company.  How perfect for the pub!

I am one who likes lots of layers of background papers behind my design.  I always pull colors out of the design for these layers.  And I find that I often use corrugated cardboard behind my designs for a little dimension.  I embellished the design with copper brads from Doodle Bug Designs and added a couple of red ones on the hanging light.

When I use this stamp again I will cover the entire card front and use the quote on the inside.  I wanted something large for this card.  As I can’t make cards for all my friends and family,  I sometimes post a card on Facebook and wish friends and extended family happy holiday.


February 2023  “Bee Mine!”


Bees and honeycombs have been a thing for a while in paper crafts and mixed media and it’s easy to see why.  You can use them for so many occasions throughout the year. This is a quick tag I created for Valentine’s Day using a mix of dies and paper I had on hand.  I cut the bottom inch off of a standard tag and covered it with two layers of solid and coordinating printed paper.  The background papers are from a bee Craft Consortium collection.  The white honeycomb layer is cut from a die by Honey Bee Stamps.  I added a little trim to the bottom of the tag to provide a “ledge” for the lettering. (Tim Holtz Impresslits trim is now retired.)

The lettering is Tim Holtz/Sizzix as is the lavender tiny heart.  The bee is a Honey Bee Stamps layered die.  You can’t tell on a screen, but I painted the wings and body of the bee using a clear shimmer pen from Tonic Studio.  It sparkles when it picks up the light without distorting the color of the paper or ink.  I think this is one of my favorite new products.  I topped off the tag with a piece of sari ribbon (Amazon).   A colorful non-traditional Valentine for your friend or family member.



February 2023 “A Jar of Valentine Wishes”

It’s always fun to pull out a die you haven’t used in a while and do something new with it. To create my Valentine Shaker card I cut four sheets of 6 x 6-inch paper:  1 red print, 1 white cardstock,  1 white craft foam, and 1 from clear acetate. I cut a jar from a vintage Sizzix jar die (660784) using a scrap of cardstock.  I used it as a pattern and centered the jar on the back of the print paper and traced around it.  Then I fussy-cut it leaving a jar hole in the paper.  (It was too difficult to just center the jar on the die before I cut it.)  From the same die set, I cut out the lid on white cardstock and colored it using Distress Oxide Hickory Smoke, and did a little shading around the edges.  I cut two hearts using the same die set. (You can use white, red, or whatever colors you want.)  I turned the printed paper over and glued the acetate to the back of it.

I cut a freehand large square hole out of the inside of the craft foam large enough so that it can’t be seen from the front of the card (but leave the outside border) when you center it on the 6 x 6 cardstock.  This provided the dimension I needed to create the “shaker” for my card.  When it was centered I glued it to the white cardstock.  I added a shaker mix of hearts and sequins from Lilac Lane.  I’m careful to not overdo it – I want room for it to move around when I shake it.  And I DO like shakey cards!  Finally, I glued the art foam side to the acetate.  I let it dry before I attempted to shake it and test it out.

Meanwhile, I cut a piece of red and white cord ( Lawn Fawn) to make a tie for the jar.  I tied it like a regular bow and added a dab of hot glue to the back of the knot to secure it.  Then I glue it to the card.  I used hot glue to attach the lid to the jar and arranged the hearts on the top side of the card and glued them down.

Using a white card I stock cut “Happy Valentine’s Day” using a die from Simon Says Stamp and glued it to the bottom front of the jar.  I cut another length of cord and attach it around the edges of the card to create a border and hide the art foam. I cut a 6-1/2 inch square of white cardstock and glue it to the back of your card for a border.  Then I cut another square 7 inches x 7 inches and glued it to the back of the card for a final border.



January 2023  “The Best Things in Life”

Unlike a lot of folks in Colorado who head for the ski slopes this time of year, I’m more the “stay in the lodge and drink hot cocoa in front of the fire” kind of person. lol  On this cold winter day, I pulled out this fun die set from Honey Bee Stamps (Mugs and Kisses).  I used Ranger’s woodgrain cardstock on the background and several Tim Holtz/Sizzix.  The greenery in the top corner was cut from dies in the Tim Holtz/Sizzix Thinlits set (658759).

I love to add a little dimension to all of my cards and I couldn’t resist smearing some molding paste around the top of the mugs to look like whipped cream.  I added a sold and print border to the back of the card and a tag with a sentiment also from Honey Bee Stamps.  This is another set that can be used throughout the year.  So here’s looking forward to hot cocoa and warmer temperatures!



November 2022     “Tribal Art”

I love Stamperia’s collections and I love the tribal vibe from the Savanah collection.  I started with a cradled painting panel board (and used the inside) with dimensions of approximately 6-1/2 by 10-1/2 inches.  I stained the wood inside and out using a light walnut Mini Wax (and rubbed it off).  Then I used a Stamperia stencil and molding plaster to stencil the front and side edges of the frame.  I attached a sawtooth hanger to the back before I started the actual design.  (It’s almost impossible to attach a hanger to the back of a project once it’s finished especially if you use nails.) I glued a trimmed sheet of background paper from the collection to the bottom inside of the frame and that created my substrate.

Using the clay molds from the set I made three masks using Stamperia’s ceramic powder.  I will say if you use the powder that you have to experiment with the thickness of your paste.  If your water is too warm it will dry faster.  If it’s too thick it globs going into the mold and be lumpy when you unmold it. If it’s too runny it takes much longer to set. – much like plaster.  It creates lovely castings when they dry that can be finished with paint, stain, or wax.  I especially like to use the powder on the smaller molds.  (The only online store I have been able to locate the Stamperia ceramic powder is The Rubber Buggy.)

I used a combination of Tim Holtz’s Foundry wax and Stamperia’s new Allegro paint that I rubbed on with my finger.  I do not recommend using hot glue to attach the castings to any substrate.  Use a glue formulated for clay or one you know can hold the weight.  Lay the frame flat and let dry at least 24 hours.  I used a thick coat of Art Glitter Glue.

For embellishments on the bottom, I cut up scraps of paper from the collection into small squares. I then cut frames for the squares out of black paper using Sizzix stacked square shape dies.  I cut a strip of corrugated cardboard the length of the frame and covered it with more paper from the collection.  I then stung tribal beads (Hobby Lobby) on a cord.  Before I glued the cardboard strip to the top inside of the make, I cut a strip of Mummy Cloth (Idea-ology) and layered it under the cardboard, and left a little bit of an edge.  Then I glued the cardboard strip in place.  I carefully unraveled the exposed edge of the Mummy Cloth to create fringe along the edge.  Lastly, I pulled the string of beads tight and glued them to the side of the frame a little above the paper using hot glue



December 2022  “Van Gogh’s Tulips”

Our family loves to explore art exhibits and museums.  When the interactive traveling Van Gogh exhibit came to Colorado we had to go. It was mind-blowing!  A trip like this always seems to stimulate my own creativity.  It just happened after we saw the exhibit that browsing through Instagram one day I discovered Van Gogh Washi Tape (from the Washi Tape Shop).  I see something shiny and I’m off in a new direction! And I will say, the quality and colors in this Washi Tape are stunning.

I thought I’d try a card front using the Washi Tape and A Die-Namics background die from My Favorite Things. I like the “waves” the die makes. The “Sketch Iris” from Simon Says Stamp was perfect to compliment the background scenes.  I embossed the flower using Ranger Gold Emboss and then filled it in with color using my Copic markers.  I did a fussy-cut job around the Iris and then glued it to the card.

Tim Holtz’s gold metallic sentiment completed the card front.  I picked colors out of the Van Gogh scenes to use to create backing for the card.  I think they accentuate the colors in the Washi Tape tell.  This was a fun change from the usual stamps and dies I use and one I recommend everyone try.



December 2022  “Just Believe in Your Dreams”

If ever you think you are too old to read fairy tales, it’s time to give it a try again.  I love fairy tales!  Stamperia of Italy has lovely paper collections and embellishments and  I fell in love with Winter Tales because of its fairytale charm and winter blues and whites.   I painted the top, back, and inside of the back of an art cradle board with white acrylic paint. (I love to turn the cradle boards around and use them as a shadow box frame.) Using a Tim Holtz stencil and white molding paste, I stenciled the front sides of my frame. Then cut a sheet of background paper from the collection and glued it to the bottom inside of the frame.

I used paper trims from the collection along with corrugated cardboard and gold metallic paper for embellishment.  I added a chipboard embellishment of the horse and rider from the collection and a tag that reads, “Just Believe in Your Dreams”.  The trees are Tim Holtz’s Idea-ology which I glued and sprinkled with sheer sparkle glitter.  The flowers and vines are cut from a vintage Heartfelt Creations Christmas set.  The poinsettias were stamped with light blue ink.  After they were shaped and glued together I sprayed them with glue and then dusted them with  Art Glitter Crystal Ultrafine Transparent glitter – one of my absolute favorites!  To embellish I added Tim Holtz’s Idea-ology pearls to the centers with hot glue.

Another Tim Holtz touch was the icicles glued to the top of the frame and snowflakes.  I sprayed them with glue and dusted them with the same Art Glitter.  A last-minute addition to the project was the naturally dried olive branches and olives that came from a tree in the yard


December 2022  “Christmas Wreath”


A wreath is one of the Christmas traditions familiar to all of us.  This layered die that Tim Holtz released this year is charming.  I used various shades of Distress Ink to color the leaf sections by the “dip and dry” Tim Holtz method.  I used red alcohol (Tim Holtz/Ranger) ink to dye very small Idea-ology pearls to use for Christmas balls.  Tim’s bell was of course perfect along with a bow of sari ribbon I died with Distress Candied Apple spray.

The background was stamped using a Tim Holtz stamp he released several years ago and edged with Distress Vintage Photo ink.  I layered red paper, corrugated cardboard, printed holly paper, red gingham paper, and then another border of red paper under the card front.  I stamped my Christmas sentiment to the back.   Often times when I use a lot of layers on a card I don’t attach it to a card.  It becomes a gift and a card all in one that the recipient can display or frame if they would like.   As a matter of fact, this card will be on display on top of my vintage distressed pie safe this Christmas!


Thanksgiving 2022  “Fields of Plenty”

This scene with the rolling hills and farmhouses reminds me of the Midwest.  The die sets are from a company I just discovered called The Greetery.  I have been really impressed with their die and stamp sets, their blog, and their creative designers.  (The stamps and dies arrive in zip lock bags with their logo for storage.  This set is a combination of “Countryside” and “Rolling Hills” (which are compatible with several other stamps and dies in the complete set).

I will admit it is somewhat time-consuming to cut out the rolling hills in various colors, especially if you are mass-producing cards for Thanksgiving as I did.  (You can also use calico-type printed paper which I saw on their blog that was charming.)  I started with a 6-inch white card stock background. I used Distress Oxide Tumbled Glass and Sugar Spun Pink to create the sky and layered the field piece over it.  The fence pieces are curved a tad bit which allows you to follow the curves on the fields.

There is so much potential with all the components of this fall set that I will have many falls of fun with it!


November 2022 “Fall Blessings”

Fall is my favorite season of the year.  I love the crisp air, the variegated leaves, the hot cider, and the yummy produce that is ready for harvest.  In my neck of the woods, you would probably not see a cart like this one.  Farmer’s Markets are more common here.  I chose this market cart from Honey Bee Stamps because it is so versatile and can be used throughout the year.  I also used the “Loads of Fall” stamps set and Honey Bee’s “Itty Bitty Leaves” and “Itty Bitty Pumpkins” die sets.

I used Ranger’s Woodgrain cardstock for the cart.  The brick wall is a 6 x 6-inch piece of paper that I had in my stash.  I embellished the whiskey barrel and wagon wheel with Idea-ology hardware.  The cat is cut using a Paper Rose die.  Finally, the sentiment is also from a Honey Bee Stamps set.



October 1922:  Day of the Dead Celebration

My family lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico for 14 years.  The rainbow of colors in the cultural celebrations, fabrics, and even the food is amazing!  Tim Holtz’s die (Sizzix 664969) provided the centerpiece for my make.  I started with a substrate of chipboard in two sizes from Retro Arts Cafe.  I used the floral side of Prima Marketing’s “Solecito Collection” for the base and the reverse side of the paper for the top. I placed the top layer over turquoise card stock and traced around it leaving a small margin around it to frame in the black and white checks.

To create a window (inspired by Disney’s Coco) I used Tim Holtz’s cathedral window die (Sizzix 664974). I gave it a whitewash coat of Distress Picket Fence paint then sanded it in places to distress it and then backed it with black paper. I often pull the colors out of a background paper to use in a project.  Here, I used turquoise and pink to create my fiesta lady, which I then glued in the center of the window.

The lettering is cut using Tim Holtz’s Thinlits (Sizzix 664406) and turquoise paper.  I wanted to edge the make with something and as it happened, Tim Holtz introduced a new black fringe for Halloween that I thought was really fun!  The finishing touch was a total accident.  When I was on the website for Retro Arts Cafe searching for the chipboard I stumbled into the pre-painted cat spirit which I absolutely had to have!   So to all my Southwest friends, here’s to you!



October 2022 “Life is the Journey”

This 9 x 12 inch framed mixed media project is from Stamperia’s Sir Vagabond collection.  The brick on the frame was made using Tim Holtz’s brick embossing folder and colored with Distress Ink (Ranger) in Fired Brick, Vintage Photo, and Aged Mahogany.  I added spots of gesso in spots for weathering.  The background paper is Stamperia Rice Paper.  I cut a number of the buildings in the foreground out of paper from the Sir Vagabond collection and layered them over the identical building with pop dots.  The brick wall at the waterfront was cut freehand, colored with Distress Inks, and sprayed with Resist Spray (Ranger) to give it a glossy finish.

I used dimensional leaves on the trees.  (You can find them at hobby shops that carry model train scenery.)  The main feature is the distressed steampunk train.  The Stamperia mold can be used with their clay or plaster, or any clay from your local hobby shop.  I’m not gonna lie.  I had to make three attempts to make the train as it broke every time I tried to remove it from the mold.  I finally made the train and the balloon separately and then glued them together on the substrate.



09-2022   “Gothic Beauty”

Tim Holtz never ceases to amaze me.  I used Tim Holtz’s stamp set (Stamper’s Anonymous “Gothic Tapestry” CMS454) for this make.  I pulled elements from the stamp out to give them dimension.   I began with a background of black card stock with a scrap of white lace over the top. The sugar skull and large flower were colored with Copic markers and then covered with a coat of Resist Spray (Ranger Ink) to make it glossy. (I discovered that the colors I used were true to the authentic Mexican sugar skulls!)  The smaller flowers came from a Heartfelt Creations Set.  They were colored with a Copic marker, shaped, and then glued onto the background.  The leaves came from a Tim Holtz set (Sizzix 661206) – also colored with a Copic marker and shaped.

The frame is a chipboard (Retro Art Cafe) and painted with gold metallic paint (Distress by Ranger).  The fantastic gothic lettering is from one of Tim’s stencils. I used molding paste over a lovely rice paper.  The scrollwork is also a Tim die (Sizzix Alterations 656639) cut from chipboard and painted with metallic paint.

The frame is from Tim’s Idea-ology collection.  I found a fun tutorial on YouTube for making homemade “crackle”.  I painted the frame with Black Soot Distress paint.  Then I brushed a generous coat of Elmer’s glue over the top.  As it started to become tacky I brushed a layer of white Distress paint over the top.  I let it air dry for about ten minutes and then used my dryer to finish it.  As the glue dries under the paint it shrinks and produces these wonderful cracks.  You can use any acrylic paint.  The trick is to use two colors and layer the darker color on the bottom.



What can you do with a handmade paper doll?

08-15-2022  “Paint Your World”

I am so happy that big girls can still play with paper dolls!  This make began with Julie Nutting’s Frida doll. The substrate is a chipboard paint pallet from Retro Cafe Art covered with paper from Prima Marketing’s Sollecito collection.  The color wheel is a Sizzix vintage die (658558).  I used Prima flowers for accents, and enamel dots from Craft Consortium to trim around the inside edge of the paint pallet.  Copic markers were used to color the paper doll and scraps of printed paper for her clothing.  This would be a fun gift for a friend or family member.



08-01-2022    “You are Beautiful”




This oversized stamp from Simon Says Stamp is just amazing!   It fills a 5 x 7-inch card front.  The person I made this card for loves pink so I used pink cardstock for the background.  (I also experimented with pastel lavender and blue to see how the stamp would look.  I think pink was my favorite.)  I used my Tim Holtz stamp platform to stamp it.  In order to have solid lines in the flower designs just using black archival ink was not enough.  I stamped the image using Ranger archival ink. Then I went back and used embossing ink over the top and clear embossing powder which I set with my heat tool.  I used enamel dots for the centers on several of the flowers for a little embellishment.

“Beautiful” is also from Simon Says Stamp and is perfect to accompany the floral stamp.  I stamped it using my stamp platform with Ranger archival ink, then again with embossing ink, then covered it with clear embossing powder and heat set it. These are easy-to-use stamps that have a huge impact on paper.



How can you create a pirate adventure using paper?  Check this out.

07-20-2022   “Captain Jack Sparrow’s Island”











Fans of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island and the movie Pirates of the Caribbean will enjoy Tim Holtz’s Skelly die used in this project.  I used a shadow box I found at Hobby Lobby for the substrate and extended it on the bottom with a board from my craft stash to allow more room to play.  The sunset and pirate ship photo background is one I found on the internet in the public domain and copied on white vellum.  I mounted Tim Holtz’s tiny lights behind it. I had to build up one end of the extended board in order to accommodate the treasure chest I would be using. Crayola Modeling clay provided the solid base I needed.

Skelly is the focal point with his metallic gold-painted tooth, a craft bandana cut down to his size, and a pierced earring. I poked a small hole in his ear with my “poky thingy” (as everyone calls it) and ran a gold jump ring through it. I glued Skully to the box so that I could build everything else around him.  I started with a palm tree behind him from Tim’s Village set “hut” (Sizzix 661208) for some island color and dimension.












A pirate’s priority is treasure and rum.  I incorporated both.  I found a paper mache treasure chest at Hobby Lobby and covered it with faux wood using Tim Holtz’s woodgrain paper.  I added screws and “leather” embellishments at the corner. (Idea-ology hardware heads and buckle). The diamonds (from the jewelry-making section at Hobby Lobby) are embedded in layers of Elmer’s Glue.  The spider keeping watch over the jewels is from Sizzix Halloween (664747).  I smeared a little glue on parts of an Idea-ology bottle that was used for the bottle of rum to “age” it.  I found the label on the internet and drastically re-sized it to fit the bottle.  I filled it half full of water and glued the cork in it.  Capt. Jack left the bottle behind and hauled it to the beach when he saw the Black Pearl awaiting him in the bay.














Capt. Jack’s compass was duplicated using cracked leather paper colored with Tea Die Distress Ink, an Idea-ology compass coin, a game piece, and a hitch fastener. I covered the front of the dial with a light coat of Picket Fence Distress paint.





The exterior of the shadow box was painted with random streaks of Black Soot and gold metallic Distress paint and finished using Rock Candy Crackle.  The Tiki head came from Tim’s Village series hut and was attached to both sides of the frame.


I like to finish the back of my projects.  Every pirate has a treasure map and I searched the internet but found none in the public domain that I could copy.  So I had to do a free-handed map on parchment paper that I distressed using Vintage Photo Distress Ink.  The pirate ship was created using a die from my stash and stamped on heavy card stock and cut out with Sizzix die #661188. Its purpose is to hide the battery for the tiny lights.  There is just enough room to stick a finger under it to turn the lights on.

I used Idea-ology trim for the edges of the shadow box.  The finishing touch was beach sand.  I like to add a touch of realism to my makes.  In this case, sand has a very practical use in that I needed something to cover the clay and all the glue I used to hold everything together.  You can purchase jars of beach sand from craft stores to use for craft projects.  However, sand does not have enough tooth to use with glue for this type of project.  When it comes to resourcefulness you use what you have on hand and I happened to have a new bag of kitty sand on hand. (I know, right?)  The little rocks provided the tooth I needed to use with a thick coat Elmer’s Glue smeared all over the base. (I have found good ole Elmer’s Glue is perfect to use with sand, moss, etc in a make because it’s durable, dries clear, and is very inexpensive.)  This was a project that took a great deal of time, but it was really fun to do and that is the point of crafts!



06-30-2022    “July 4th Celebration


Lovers of “House Mouse” will not be able to resist this adorable trio wrapping themselves in a patriotic blanket of celebration!  I started this project with the cling stamp “Star-Spangled Mice” from Stampendous.  I used a combination of Copic markers and Tim Holtz Distress Inks to color my mice and then cut them out.  Using “Stars and Stripes” paper from fabric scraps, I created a rosette to use as a backdrop for the mice.  To complete my card I used “America” paper from Echo Park layered over blue and red heavy cardstock from Gina K Designs.  Four Metalic Droplets (Tim Holtz-Idea-ology) embellish the corners of the card.




06-28-2022  “A West Side Story”

I love to give gifts based on a theme.  My grandson’s 16th birthday is coming up and I wanted to give a gift and handmade card around a theme. I have to admit that teenage boys are the most challenging to find ideas for.  Evan is a theater kid so that narrowed it down. His favorite musical is West Side Story.  That was easy! I found an LP (yes he has discovered how cool they are) – the original Broadway cast of West Side Story and I found the novel the play was based on. Give Gramma two stars!  A card?  I had no clue.  I even watched the movie again to see if something inspired me.  There is nothing “theater” out there in the paper crafting world.  And believe I looked.  I went through the list of vendors on my own blog and could not find anything!

I remembered a new stamp that Stamperia just released with a New York theme (N.Y. Building by Antonis Tzanidakis). West Side Story was set in New York City.  If you have ever seen the movie it is about rival gangs – the Jets and the Sharks staking out their territories.  The choreography is amazing so I envisioned the brick building in the background with gang members dancing in the foreground.  After major research, I found a very cool stamp by Visible Image (Street Dance Boys).

The card front is stamped using Versa Fine Clair by Tsukinko in Nocturne.  It is the only ink that was thick and dark enough to saturate the stamp.  I had to place the oversized stamp (5-1/2 x 7-1/2 inches) on Tim Holtz’s stamp platform covered with Sticky Grid to keep the stamp in place and then stamp it numerous times.  Color is very important in the West Side Story movie.  The primary colors are black and red in the opening credits. (There is an entire lecture on the internet you can read that explains why the creators used specific colors for the set and costumes if you are interested.)  I used a Zig Clean Color marker in Red Wine to color the windows.  I backed the card front with layers of black and red cardstock.

I stamped the Street Dance Boys with several coats of VersaFine Claire Nocturne so it was the same shade of black as the building.  I fussy-cut the dancers out and mounted them in front of the building with foam dots behind them for dimension. To mount the card on cardstock to open top to bottom in the correct size, I had to use black heavy cardstock 18 inches wide and cut it down to size. (The finished card size is 5-3/4 x 7-3/4 inches.)

Sometimes I decorate the inside of a card that I make and I wanted to continue to NYC theme.  On the top half of the card, I mounted a copy from my printer of the movie poster I found in the public domain on the internet.  On the bottom half of the card, I wanted to restamp the building in red (in keeping with the color scheme from the movie).  I sprayed Distress Inks (Aged Mahogany and Worl Lipstick) on heavy card stock and let it dry.  Then I positioned that card cut down to size in the stamp platform once again.  This time I used white ink.  I tried several but they were too light.  I finally used VersaColor by Tsukineko.  It took several tries to get it covered evenly because of the detail in the brick stamp.

When it was dry I stamped and die-cut a “Happy Birthday” sentiment from Honey Bee Stamps and glued it to the card.  Using Die-Namics stitched letters and numbers (My Favorite Things) I cut out letters for 16 and Evan’s name and glued them to the card.  For the final embellishment, I used a Stabilo black pencil and created my own “graffiti” scribbling the names of the two gangs – the Sharks and the Jets on the wall.





06-02-2022     “The Reluctant Dragon”

When our kids were growing up, one of their favorite stories was Kenneth Graham’s “The Reluctant Dragon”. I envisioned this teapot as a home for a tiny tea-drinking and well-mannered dragon.  Disney made it into a movie that we also enjoyed.  I bought this metal teapot from Prima Marketing several years ago and finally decided to alter it.  I covered the entire pot with gesso and then white paint.  Then I covered small sections with Stamperia’s Mixed Media Art White Crackle Paste.  When it was dry I “flaked off” tiny spots here and there to make it appear more vintage I painted the handles and feet at the base with a pink acrylic craft paint I had on hand.  I trimmed the exterior with Prima flowers.

I created a garden inside of the teapot. I began by covering the entire inside with gesso, and then a coat of sky blue acrylic craft paint.  Every garden needs flowers, which I created using a Sizzix thinlits die (664381) and colored with Copic markers.

I placed a picket fence I found at the local craft store in front of the flowers with pop dots behind it for dimension.  Next, I painted three of Tim Holtz’s Idea-ology mushrooms red and added white dots to the top.  I glued them to the bottom of the teapot with hot glue.  I covered the bottom of the teapot with green moss.

I created a “table” out of a natural wood slice.  I found an adorable doll house tea set on Amazon just perfect for an afternoon tea, which I glued to the wood.  Finally, I found the main character for my teapot at a local craft store and secured him to the bottom of the teapot with hot glue.  Our family has always felt everything should have a proper name.  One of our adult daughters came up with a proper British name for my little dragon, which suited the afternoon tea theme.


05-24-2022   “Oliver’s Summer Garden”

The inspiration for this project came from the tales of Peter Rabbit.  I was thinking of Mr. McGregor’s garden when I created Oliver the rabbit with Tim Holtz’s adorable die.  I used an Idea-ology 12 x 6-inch vignette box for the base.  Using Broken China and Sugar Spun Distress Inks on heavy cardstock, I created a sky background.  The florals behind the fence were shaped with a Sizzix die (664381) and then colored with Copic markers.

I found the pre-painted wood fence at Hobby Lobby and distressed it around the edges with Walnut Distress Ink.  The fence was not long enough to extend the full length of the vignette box, so I decided to create a potting shed to fill in the empty space beside the fence.  Using Tim Holtz’s/Sizzix wood strips die (665860) I cut strips of heavy card stock and colored them with Distress inks in Tea Dye, Walnut, and Espresso.  An Idea-ology hardware head was used as a knob.

The centerpiece of this summer project is, of course, Oliver the rabbit.  I used Tim Holtz’s/Sizzix Oliver die to cut various shades of brown stock. I distressed the edges with Walnut Distress ink.  Oliver’s hard work digging in the garden was rewarded with this oversized carrot (Simon Says Stamp carrot die #112338). The carrot was colored using Distress inks in Mustard, Carved Pumpkin, Peeled Paint, Citrus, and Mowed Lawn.

I added grass to the garden foreground using packaged moss (Hobby Lobby).  Idea-ology flowers painted with Mustard Distress Ink add a pop of color.  To add dimension to the foreground I added a trio of Idea-ology mushrooms and garden tools I found at Hobby Lobby.   I added a little stringy green moss to the top of the vignette box for embellishment.

Lastly, I attached two of Tim Holtz’s word chips to the fence that express Oliver’s enthusiasm for his adventure and offer encouragement to crafters everywhere.



05-18-2022   “A Sunflower for the Ukraine”

Colorado Craft Company designed this wonderful Ukraine sunflower stamp in honor of Ukraine.  All the profits went directly to the people in Ukraine.  I stamped and fussy-cut the sunflower using Copic markers. I glued brown Prills (Express-O Yourself) in the center.   I mounted the flower on a sheet of printed paper from my stash.  I tucked a little cheesecloth under the sunflower and glued a ladybug on the leaf that I also had in my stash.  The sentiment is from the sunflower set.  I mounted the paper with the flower on royal blue card stock to honor Ukraine’s flag color. I glued one crystal raindrop to the top corner of the picture to tie in with the sentiment.

The Idea-ology frame was finished with a homemade crackle using Elmer’s glue and white acrylic paint.  (I found the instructions on a video on YouTube.)    As of July 2022, Colorado Craft Company is still raising money from this stamp set and sending it to Ukraine to assist them in their war efforts.  Thank you Colorado Craft Company for caring!



05-09-2022   “Spring Chicks”








I love it when I discover a stamp and die set that is

so versatile that I can use it for numerous projects.

This set is one of those special sets.  Bonnie Krebs of Art Impressions released this set for Easter this year.  I

created two different cards using the adorable chicks.  The first card, “Wishing You a Beautiful Spring” incorporated Photo Play paper (Egg Hunt), a photo booth strip from My Favorite Things, and lettering from Alesa Baker Designs at Impression Obsession Inc.  It’s so easy to stamp and die cut an embellishment for the envelope as well.

The second card “You’re Amazing” incorporated a My Favorite Things/Die Namics frame and coordinating paper (“Double Dots” by Bo Bunny) and (“Fruitstand” by Doodlebug).  I cut the pickets fence from a die from the Honey Bee Stamps “Horizon” set using Ranger Woodgrain paper. Then I embellished the foreground with flowers from the Art Impressions “Easter Chicks Set”. (I mounted a white brad in the center of each flower.)

The lettering “You’re Amazing” is a Simon Says Stamp die.  You can use the chick or flowers to embellish the inside of the card and/or the envelope.



05-06-2022      “Happy Mother’s Day”

Here is a lovely garden bouquet to send your mom or mum for Mother’s Day.  The base of the card was created using Heartfelt Creation’s “Elegant Swirl Gateway” die set.  I laid the die along the fold of pink heavyweight cardstock, and cut it so that the card would open from the left side.  I really like being able to make a card in an unusual shape.  I used another die in the set to cut the white overlay which I embellished with pearls.

The flowers were created using Heartfelt Creation’s “Wild Asters” set.  I colored the flowers that I stamped on heavyweight cardstock with Ranger’s “Archival Picked Raspberry” ink and filled the centers with “Express-O-Yourself” brown Prills.  “Mowed Lawn” Distress inks were used to color the leaves.  The flowers and leaves were shaped on a foam mat with the help of a stylus tool. I tucked some little stem embellishments from Heartfelt Creations into the flowers to add color.  My favorite delicate butterfly is from a die set from  Memory Box  (Pippi Butterfly), which I “dip-and-dried” using Ranger’s Carved Pumpkin and Mustard Seed Distress Inks.

The “Mom” sentiment was cut using a Simon Says Stamp die and Metalic Gold cardstock.  Flower sets like this one are so versatile and can be used for so many occasions.  The “Elegant Gateway Swirl” is also one of my favorite sets and has four dies to choose from for papercraft projects.



04-18-2022     “Spring Blessings”

The weather is trying to pretend like it’s spring here in Colorado.  We see signs that it’s coming – baby bunnies, flowers starting to poke through the ground.   With Easter behind us, it seems like a good time to focus on a spring project. The foundation of my project begins with a Tim Holtz 8 x 4  1/2 inch Etcetera tag and 5-inch Etcetera Trim covered with Folkart Wicker White acrylic paint.  I embossed the tag using Liquitex Light Modeling Paste and a Tim Holtz/Stamper’s Anonymous stencil (#143).

For the next layer, I embossed heavy white card stock using Tim Holtz’s/Sizzix Texture Fades Bricks (664259).   I used the “dip-and-dry” method of coloring the brick using Ranger Distress Weathered Wood and Sugar Spun ink pads smooshed onto my Tonic Studios/Tim Holtz craft mat.

I backed a Tim Holtz/Idea-ology Window Frame with Idea-ology Worn Wallpaper (TH94122) with pastel grey, white, and pink/peach flowers. (I used pop dots in between the frame and wallpaper.)  I made a candle from the Sizzix Thinlits colorize die set (66552) and glued it to the back of the window frame bottom.

Next, I wanted a bunny to be the focal point and used the Sizzix Thinlits bunny by Sophie Guilar (663316)  I cut him out of grey check paper by Doodlebug Design.  I added some whiskers made from white thread, colored ears, and a pom pom tail. I colored the flowers around the bunny using Copic markers. I added “Third Place” brown Prills to the centers of the little flowers.

To embellish the window frame I used the “Pippi Butterfly” die from Memory Box to create a butterfly.  I colored it with Distress Mustard Seed Distress ink. I love the lacy look it adds.  The flowers mounted on the top of the frame are from the 49 and Market “Tutti Frutti” collection and they coordinate with the flowers in the wallpaper behind the window frame.  (I painted the centers with Wicker White paint.)

I cut Idea-ology flowers off the stems and painted them with Distress Mustard Seed and Salt Water Taffy paint.  I used green moss from Hobby Lobby at the base of the window, and glued flowers to the moss.  I randomly tucked some raveling Mummy Cloth from Idea-ology around the right edge of the frame. Mummy Cloth is great to use year-round.

Using the Tim-Holtz/Sizzix BigZ die set (662705), I cut a “sign” out of Ranger Woodgrain paper and colored it with Distress Shabby Shutters ink edged with Vintage Photograph.  I used a Penny Black stamp from her “April Showers” set for the “Spring Blessings” message on the tag.

To top off the project I used variegated grey sari ribbon from Ranger’s Ice Resin collection.  I wanted the ribbon to bring out grey from the wallpaper.   I backed the Etcetera tag with a scrap of Tim Holtz’s paper to give it a finished look.

Whether you keep it for yourself to display or make it as a gift,  this spring project is sure to bring smiles and maybe even warm weather!



04-13-2022   “My Favorite Peeps”

These little chicks from Art Impressions are just too cute! The “Easter Chicks” set includes stamps and dies.  I love this set because it can be used for Easter and a general spring card.  I cut my little peeps from card stock and colored their little bills and legs with Copic markers.  I used a Honey Bee Horizon Slimline Border die with white cardstock to create the shape at the top of the card.  The background was colored with Broken China using a Simon Says Stamps blending tool.  The little clouds were created using a Die Namics (My Favorite Things) die.   I added some grass to the picture using the Honey Bee Grass die.

I glued the picture to a background paper called “Lemon Dot Stripe” from Doodlebug.  That was attached to a sheet of Ranger Ink Woodgrain paper colored with Gathered Twigs Distress Ink. The entire picture was glued to a heavy-weight white card using Art Glitter Glue.


04-01-2022   “He Is Risen”

Simon Hurley (Ranger Inks) created this beautiful Easter stamp set.  There are a lot of options with this set. The bottom layer of the card was colored with Copic markers.  The top layer background was a blend of Distress Oxide Sugar Spun and Broken China inks.  I used Ranger gold embossing powder for the words.  I hand cut the flowers and glued them over the flower portion of the stamp to add a little dimension.  I layered both backgrounds over gold metallic card stock and then glued it to a heavy-weight card.


03-24-2022  “Bloom Where You Are Planted”

What’s not to love about Dyan Reaveley’s stamps?  Her big bold designs and bright-colored paint help create the perfect journal spread.  I started with a background of Funky Fuchsia and Calypso Teal paint smeared across the pages of Dyan’s 8 x 8-inch journal with Ranger Ink’s mini blending tool and foam applicator.  I created a border around the edges using Dyan’s stenciled border and a black Posca marker.  I went back and added some white lines with a white gel pen. Dyan recommends using a black border to frame your page.

I used the Dylusions “Toadstool Town” (DYR-63254) and “Shrooms” (DYR 45529) stamp sets to create my toadstool forest.  Leaves from “Shrooms” were added to the top and adorable bugs from “Toadstool Town” to fill in.  The art was colored using Dylusion’s Paint Pens.  The sentiment is from Honey Bee Stamps’ sentiments (HBST-170) “Bloom Where You Are Planted”.


03-14-2022   “Something Egg-stra Special”

Here comes Peter Cottontail hopping down the bunny trail and into your next Easter project.  I started this card with a Clear Shaker chipboard shaker base from Clearscraps.  I painted it with lime green acrylic paint, glued a scrap of acetate to the bottom of the top layer to create a window, and filled it with colorful egg Sprinkletz from Buttons Galore and More.

I glued the large egg to a background cut out of fun “Egg Hunt” paper from Photo Play layered over solid card stock in pink and purple.  Peter was cut from Tim Holtz’s die set “Carrot Bunny” (665213).  I glued a mini craft pom-pom over his tail so that he could live up to his name!   The “Egg-stra Special” sentiment is from  Honey Bee Stamp’s “Hoppy Easter” collection and was embossed with Ranger’s magenta-colored embossing powder.



03-08-2022     “St. Patrick’s Day Toast”

I spent three years doing genealogy research for my family and discovered our Irish roots and all my Irish ancestors.  We now celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in style.  This year,  Bart is celebrating with us, and toasting the occasion with a mug of iconic Guinness. It has been said that it is the most “liquid” symbol of Irish pride on St. Patrick’s Day.  He was created using Whimsy Stamp’s “St. Patrick’s Day Bart” stamp.  (They have a whole series of Bart stamps to offer customers if you like dragons.) I colored him using Copic markers and then did some fussy cutting to allow me to mount him on the edge of the background.  His wings are embossed with white embossing powder on vellum and then fussy cut and shaped to give them some dimension.  The sky background on the card was created with Distress Oxide ink in Broken China and Spun Sugar and blended with a Simon Says Stamp blending brush.

The foam on the beer was created using a Marvy Uchida Snow Marker that puffs up when heat is applied.  (I love this marker!) I made the grass in the background with a Magnolia Doohickey grass die and green card stock.  The clover on the top of the card is done using Tim Holtz/Sizzix’s Lucky Love 3-D Impresslits die.  I colored it with Versa Fine Clair ink from Tsukineko in the Green Oasis shade. (Versa Fine Clair is an extremely fluid ink with intense colors.) I sealed it with a coat of Glossy Accents from Ranger Ink.   The lettering was made with Tim Holtz’s “Tiny Type Thinlit” dies.  It’s a simple card with a simple message to all:  Happy St. Patrick’s Day!


03-04-2022    “Think Pink”

This mixed media project was inspired by an article in the November/December 2021 issue of Somerset Studio magazine by Stampington (pages 31-35).   This is easily my favorite craft magazine.  Chris Karpiak, is a mixed-media teacher and artist from Canada who expresses her love of nature in her projects.  Taking a cue from her, I gathered natural fiber fabrics – linen and unbleached Muslim and a twig to incorporate into my own project.  I found a scrap of ephemera from Tim Holtz’s Idea-ology that was the perfect size, and a scrap torn from an old book.  I died the Muslim fabric with Distress Sugar Spun spray.  (I put the fabric in an old loaf pan, sprayed it with the Distress Ink, then use tweezers to lift it out and set it on paper towels.  Blot it, with paper towels and then leave it to dry.)  I cut a piece of ridged cardstock to use for the substrate.












I have been experimenting with polymer clay recently and chose to mold a shell using Scupty clay. I used a craft tool to make a hole in the top.  After it was dried in the oven (200 degrees for 30 minutes), I dipped it in Distress Sugar Spun ink that I had smooshed onto my craft mat and spritzed with water.  Then I added a little Distress Vintage Photo ink to the mat and dipped the shell in the ink mixture.  I made beads from the clay and strung strands of white cheesecloth through them.

I covered metal washers with Ranger Distress Grit paste. When dry, I used Rusty Hinge and Tea Dye Distress Ink to “rust” and color them.  Heavy cotton thread was used to hang them.

I tend to keep projects using natural “found-objects” very simple.  I don’t want my projects to become so cluttered that I lose the beauty of nature.  I appreciate Chris’s ideas and instruction.  I highly recommend this issue to anyone searching for mixed-media inspiration.


03-01-2022     “Faith-Hope-Love”


This lovely stamp from Colorado Craft Company embraces a timeless message that reminds us of what is truly important.  The oversized stamp covered the 6 x 6-inch card stock. I used Copic markers to color the image that was mounted on kraft card stock.  I flicked a little white acrylic paint onto the kraft stock using a paintbrush. The words were stamped with Tsukineko’s Versa Mark Emboss Ink Watermark pad, and then covered with Ranger Ink’s Gold fine embossing powder and set with a heat tool. The words were then mounted on gold metallic card stock and glued to the card.  This was a very simple card that was easy to make and would be a great project for beginners.  It can be used for St. Patrick’s Day, or the word expressions could be used year-round for cards and craft projects.


02-16-2022   “Happy Camper”

It’s snowing where I live and that means I still have time to get some winter scenes in while I’m rotating with spring projects.  This snow-loving penguin decided to take a little camping trip in the Colorado Rockies.   She’s sitting under the beautiful Milky Way, and roasting a fish she caught earlier in the day.  She even brought along her guitar for some “round-the-campfire” singing.  The mountains, trees, and penguin are all Sizzix/Tim Holtz dies.  The Milky Way is a spritz of Brutus Monroe Shimmer Mist over Distress Oxide inks.   The camp set-up is a great collection of dies from Elizabeth Crafts.  It came with the tent, lantern, campfire, stick and fish (with an optional marshmallow), and the guitar.  A little artificial snow and an Idea-ology vignette box to frame it all, make this scene a fun display piece I can use over and over again.


02-10-2022  “My Steampunk Heart”

While I have yet to make it through the huge pile of Jules Verne books I have collected, I am fascinated with the whole Victoria-era adventure and mad scientist – clocks, gears, under-the-sea, and out-of-this-world sort of look of “Steampunk”.   The inspiration for the heart pendant I made, came from the fantastic book, “Steampunkery: Polymer Clay and Mixed Media Projects”.  (Christi Friesen)

Sculpy clay has to be worked with your hands until it is warm and soft to be molded. I used red clay.  After I molded a chunky heart, I inserted a jump ring into to top.  I pressed the gears I purchased from Amazon into the clay and left an impression so that I could glue them into place when the clay had been baked.  Sculpy has to bake at 200 degrees for 30 minutes.  When it was cool, I distressed the heart with Vintage Photo Distress Ink. I glued the gears into place and attached an 18-inch chain I purchased from Hobby Lobby.



02-05-2022   “Glamour Girl”

Every girl should have a fluffy pink tutu and a fresh pedicure for Valentine’s Day!  (Many thanks to Paula Cheney for the inspiration for the tutu!)  Tim Holtz’s adorable hippo, Berniece, wears a designer tutu made of fine pink tulle.  I cut a scrap of tule double the width of her tummy (roughly 12 inches). Then I folded it into thirds and sewed a casing at the top.  I ran a thin strip of elastic through the casing and sewed it at both ends to secure it. (Anytime you gather something whether it’s a skirt, crafts, or curtains, you cut double the width of whatever it is.)   Berniece was made with a combination of textured cardstock and painted leather paper from Ranger.  The pink paper came from my stash and just happened to work well with an Idea-ology gum drop clear heart for embellishment.  I  used a 6-1/2 x 4-1/2 inch Idea-ology frame panel painted with Art Alchemy Metalic Acrylic finished with Opal Magic (Prima).  It is as pretty as it sounds!  Berniece would be lovely for other occasions, too – a birthday or even just a “hello”.


02-02-2022   “Valentine Shaker”

Shaker cards are so much fun!  Clear Scraps chipboard “albums” are so easy to work with.  I used Ranger Candy Apple Distress Paint on the chipboard. Lilac Lane (Buttons Galore and More) has dozens of shaker packs of colorful sequin mixes and this one with the hearts was just perfect.  I layered my chipboard album on pretty plaid paper and several layers of solid cardstock.  A fast and easy project for someone you love.


02-01-2022     “He Loves Us”

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and I created a simple card for the occasion.  This stamp is from Divinity Designs LLC (formerly Our Daily Bread). This wonderful quote by Michael Card speaks of the ultimate love our Heavenly Father gives us.  A lovely valentine for a friend or family member.  I used Distress Sugar Spun pink and the “dip and dry” method to create the background.  I embossed the design and quote with Ranger gold embossing powder.  The butterfly stamp could be used for a wedding card, to decorate a gift bag or any number of projects.  I love having stamps that are so versatile in my collection.


1-15-2022   Snowflakes!

I like to do simple projects that would be easy for a new paper crafter to do.  If you are not familiar with Magnolia of Sweden’s adorable Tida, let me introduce you to her.  One of many winter Tilda’s – I used “Tilda in Cozy Coat”.  I found this wonderful chipboard snowflake from Blue Fern Studios (Winter Flake Frame), painted it white, and covered it with white glitter.

The print paper is from Maja, also from Sweden.  The flower embellishment is Heartfelt Creations newest poinsettia colored with Ranger Archival ink and embellished white Tim Holtz Idea-ology baubles.  A quick and easy card to make for a home display or a gift.


12-20-2021    “Christmas Party”

I decided this year to make “cat” themed projects for Christmas. This is my first project and features Tim Holtz’s cats.  Next year I will add a “cat” themed tree. With the help of a variety of Sizzix dies, Idea-ology embellishments, and tiny lights for the tree and fireplace, these cool cats will have a great party!


12-15-2021   “Jingle All the Way”

Crafty Individuals created this adorable penguin with antlers.  Bells jingle, and, of course, I had to use bells and where else would you hang them except his antlers (which I textured with a little Ranger Grit Paste).  I used an Etcetera Tag for a substrate along with an Ideaology (Advantus) frame to highlight Jingle Penguin.  The background was created using Tim Holtz’s/Stampers Anonymous set “Vintage Holidays CMS423” and repeating four of the patterns over and over again.  I wanted the ink to be very bold and bright so I used VersaFine Clair ink pads from Tsukineko. For the trim, I used a Christmas Ideaology Quote Chip and tied off the tag with a sari ribbon that dyed with Ranger’s Distress Candied Apple spray.

12-12-2021  “Just Believe in Your Dreams”

The Winter Fairy Tales collection from Stamperia is absolutely magical! Using the back of a wood canvas to create a shadow box, I used white acrylic paint to cover and prime it.  Then I stenciled it with a Tim Holtz flourish stencil and Light Modeling Paste from Liquitex. Ice cycles from Ideaology covered with white glitter stretch across the top of the frame to create the illusion of a cold winter day.  Layers of paper from the collection form the background and ornamental strips on the left side of the shadow box. Three Ideology trees were sprayed white and then dusted with artificial snow.

A chipboard horse and her lovely rider along with the tag “Just Believe in Your Dreams” are the focal points of this winter scene.  Poinsettia flowers and flourish were stamped with Sky Blue Ranger Archival Ink and covered with white glitter. Ideology baubles were covered with glitter to form the center of the flowers. Because I like to incorporate something natural and more organic in my projects, I used a dried branch from a Russian Olive tree on the bottom of the box. For the finishing touch, I added artificial snow for ground cover and a random sprinkle across the sky.

12-10-2021  “Happy Holidays Wherever You Are”

Some of o

We have family that lives in Florida where snow never touches the ground.  That was the inspiration for this tropical Christmas card. Honeybee’s adorable trailer was decorated for the holiday season with lights from a Sizzix die set. The palm tree was created using a tree from Tim Holtz’s beach hut village set.  The tree was from another of Tim’s Christmas sets and decorated with Glitter Sprinkles from Doodlebug Designs. Of course, no tropical scene would be complete without a flamingo, created with a die from my stash.


11-22-2021  “It’s A Pink Christmas”

Who says Christmas has to be red and green? Stamperia created this gorgeous pink Christmas paper and chipboard embellishments to use with it. I used an Etcetera Tag (Stamper’s Anonymous) for my substrate for my Christmas project. I covered it with one of the papers from the Pink Christmas collection.  I also covered the back of the tag.  I believe that both sides should be finished, especially if the project is a gift for someone.  I added an Etcetera Trim on the bottom of the front of the tag to create a ledge.  Using white cardstock and a die from Heartfelt Creation’s  Elaborate Oval Frames set (HCD2-7309), I cut an oval out and glued it to the center of my tag.  I wanted to add some sparkle to the tag. Using a cotton swab and Art Glitter Glue, I carefully glued the front of the oval and then glittered it with Art Glitter Crystal Ultrafine Transparent glitter. (Heartfelt Creations)  I placed my tag over a sheet of copy paper to glitter it. Then I folded the paper in half and shook the remainder of the glitter back into the jar. When the area was dry, I glued a photo embellishment from the Pink Christmas collection inside the oval frame.

Next, I dyed an Ideaology half tree with Ranger’s Distress Evergreen Bough spray, I glued it to the top of the ledge. I spread glue on the tip of a small sponge and dabbed it randomly onto the tree.  I quickly covered the tree with artificial snow (Prextex Artificial Snowflakes) and then carefully shook off the excess.  I wound a strand of pearls around the tree for a garland and added some rose-colored ribbon roses I had in my stash.  To make Christmas balls, I used Ideaology pearl Baubles that I dyed with Ranger’s Pink Sherbert alcohol ink.

The Pink Christmas collection has a wonderful chipboard deer I tucked in behind the tree, and a little squirrel I attached in front of the deer.  I glued several other chipboard embellishments to the top of the tag.  I painted the wood ring at the top of the tag with white acrylic craft paint and glued it in place.

Every winter scene needs snow. I spread Elmer’s Glue on top of the ledge and covered it with Prextex Artificial Snowflakes. When it was dry I added more glue and a second layer of snow.  I tied a bow at the top of my tag with a sheer pink ribbon and glued it to hold it in place.  This collection is sure to express your love to a friend or family member this Christmas season!


11-20-2021  “Beary Cozy Winter”

Cozy Bear is having a cup of hot chocolate to warm up.  Crystal clear skies and snow are the perfect combinations for a Colorado winter day.  Cozy Bear and his woodpecker friend are the creation of Tim Holtz.  I used Tim’s Thinlits mountain die (665580) and trees (665583) to create the background scenery.  Distress Oxide Spun Sugar and Broken China were blended using Simon Says Stamp’s blender brushes.  I mounted Cozy Bear on scraps of cardstock I had in my stash.  It was framed with an Idea-ology 9 x 6.5 frame panel stained with Mini Wax pine stain.  To add a little embellishment I used Lawn Fawn’s Sparkle Green twine.


11-15-2021    “There is Magic in the Air”

This magical Christmas Eve scene was created using Tim Holtz’s Stamptember 2021 set from Stamper’s Anonymous.  I love to add dimension to a project and this one required a lot of fussy cutting on the sleigh, as well as gluing stars to nylon thread in order to suspend them in the air.  The background was colored using various shades of blue Distress inks and the “dip and dry” method.  Santa and the reindeer were colored with Copic markers.

I pictured Santa flying over a cabin in the mountains (the Rockies, of course).  I made a log cabin using the Sizzix/Tim Holtz Village set and created the typical green tin roof that is so common in the mountains here, using corrugated cardboard.  The deer were colored with alcohol ink.  The trees are part of the Christmas Idealology line that was embellished with faux snow.  I had to add an Etcetera extension to the vignette box to create more space for the cabin and trees.  I added oodles of faux snow (using Elmer’s Glue) and then frosted the edges of the vignette box with Distress Mica Flakes which added a dreamy texture to this wintery make.

Sometimes we view a stamp set through a one-dimension lens and a flat card.  With a little imagination, I have found you can add dimension to just about any stamp and turn it into a display piece.  That said, right after I fussy cut this project, Tim released a special die set with the Santa and Reindeer as a part of Simon Says Stamp Stamptember.  Yes, I did order the die.

11-07-2021  “So Very Thankful for You”

If you are looking for a card for Thanksgiving, this could be it.  I love the new Sizzix-Tim Holtz Thinlits die (665558)!  It just makes my primitive heart happy!  I used my favorite primitive decorating colors and Distress Inks to create this Thanksgiving card for my friends and family.  If you would like to see a full tutorial, please see the “Craft Tutorial” section of my blog.  Happy crafting everyone!


15-2021   “Happy Spirits: A Celebration for the Day of the Dead”

This colorful Sante Fe-style house was inspired by a Disney movie.  My family lived in Albuquerque for 14 years and remember well the architecture and the colorful celebrations.  With the help of Tim Holtz and Sizzix, I was able to create this fun celebration for the Day of the Dead.

As I open the door, I invite you into my adobe home, to see the alter the family has created to honor their loved ones that have left them for the spirit world.   The family’s alter in the movie was adorned with photos, skulls, food, bottles, and bouquets of colorful flowers, so I tried to replicate that as much as possible. Candles are very important. Each departed soul is represented with a candle, and an extra candle is lit for the forgotten soul.  I learned dogs are important in this celebration because some believe dogs were a guide to accompany a soul to their final resting place in the afterlife.  I recently discovered candles are also a symbol of fire and a light that guides the spirits back to visit the land of the living on the Day of the Dead.

Tim Holtz’s fabulous senora skeleton is dancing and singing.  As you peer into the window behind her, you can see well-worn wallpaper behind the table, that is covered with mama’s favorite tablecloth.  The interior walls of the house are traditional stucco and the floor is wood.  No southwest home is complete without cactus and you will find several varieties growing in this “yard”.

This musical spirit is tuning his guitar that has become a little rusty since his visit back to the land of the living a year ago. Notice the detail in Tim Holtz’s incredible skeleton dies.

A spirit dog plays an important role in the celebration.

If you are curious to know how I assembled this project, please go to the “Tutorial” page of the blog.  I provide supplies used and detailed instructions.

10-12-2021  “Let’s Party!”

I created this card using Tim Holtz’s skeleton dies and a Sizzix background.  This would be fun to send to someone you know who celebrates the Day of the Dead, or as a colorful decoration in your own home.

10-14-2021  “Ricky and Lucy”

One of our daughters is a serious “Lucy” fan.  She also loves skeletons and hipsters.   I thought I would combine all of those elements for a fun seasonal project for her.  Ricky and Lucy were created using Tim’s Holtz’s “Wicked Hipsters” stamp, one of his background papers, his Idea-ology film strips, and frame.  I wanted to use crackle on the frame and sadly discovered I had run out of my favorite Ranger Rock Candy crackle. I did some research online and found a tutorial for creating a homemade technique for crackling using Elmer’s glue so I was able to complete the project.


10-14-2021    “Gorgeous Hipster Chick”

I am really into Tim Holtz’s “Wicked Hipsters” stamps this season.  Who said spooky can’t be glamorous?  This glamour chick is decked out with false eyelashes, and a great black pearl necklace. (Idea-ology baubles dyed with black alcohol ink.) Stampers Anonymous Halloween stamps and Ranger Distress Inks provide a backdrop that has an eerie feel to it.  The house reminds me of the “Adams Family” show that I loved.  And bats. You can’t do Halloween without bats.


10-07-2021  Hello Pink Autumn

I will admit that I am a “traditionalist” when it comes to fall projects.  I look forward to the leaves turning and the incredible fall pallet of golds, reds, and browns that are displayed.  However, this new set from Prima is really lovely. And the pink and mint colors are very popular right now.

I made three different projects that would be easy for someone new to papercrafts and card making. For “In All Things Give Thanks” I used Prima embellishments and flowers, gluing them over the printed paper. Where there is a bird, there is a bird on the paper.  Where there is a flower, there is a flower on the paper.  Where there are toadstools, there are toadstools on the paper.  I have found this is a quick way to highlight the art in the paper that you really like and don’t want to cut up or cover up.  I used a Tim Holtz lace frame in the center of the card.

“Give Thanks” is a 6 x 6-inch card created using the paper embellishments from the collection and layered with their 8 x 8-inch papers.  I used one of the papers to cover the envelope flap as well.  Just glue the paper to the envelop flap and then trim off the excess paper.  It’s a nice way to add a special touch to a card you are giving as a gift.

“Autumn ” was created using a wood plaque (from Hobby Lobby) that I painted with black acrylic craft paint. I glued paper from the Hello Pink Autumn collection on the top to create the background.  I painted a Tim Holtz Etcetera Cathedral arch white and then sanded part of it to give it a “distressed” look.  I arranged Prima embellishments from the collection and pink flowers on top.  If you wish to hang the plaque you can hot glue a sawtooth hanger to the back. Dimensional projects are so much fun to make and display.

I painted a white heirloom pumpkin pink for the display using acrylic craft paint, which I think is kind of cool and I have already used it for other fall projects and displays.   Yes, you can paint pumpkins. (The small heirloom pumpkins are charming painted in metallic gold.)

10-02-2021  World Card Day

In honor of World Card Day, I created three cards that would be easy projects for someone new to card making.  Each was from a different artist showcasing their different styles.

“Hello My Friend” features a new Tim Holtz 3-D Texture Fades Embossing Folder (665252) for the background, and is colored using a blend of yellow Distress inks.  The leaf is an older Alterations colored “dip and dry” style with Shabby Shutters and Peeled Paint, tipped with Rusty Hinge.  The sentiment is from “Bold Sayings” (CMS433).

“Hello, Sunflowers” is from a recent Heartfelt Creations release, “Rustic Sunflowers”  stamps and dies. I used several of their older dies in the background.  I used Distress Inks for the bucket and flowers.  If you have never made flowers, Heartfelt provides numerous instruction videos on their website.  I do recommend using their heavy card stock for the flowers.  You can use any marker or ink pad with their stamps. Of the three cards I made, this one requires a little more skills and more time to make.

“Have a Beary Cozy Fall” is a Lawn Fawn release. The bear family comes from an adorable stamp and die set called “Sweet Den”. The den and tree dies are part of the “Forest Backdrop” set. And the background paper is Lawn Fawn “Perfectly Plaid Remix Mini” 6 x 6-inch pad.  The die sets are very versatile and could be used year-round for card projects.

Fall 2021

Fall is my favorite time of the year.  I love the crisp air (especially in Colorado where I live), cooler temperatures, and the mountains painted with massive patches of yellow aspen trees.  Our house has been decorated for fall since the beginning of August with no apologies.  We set the pumpkin and spice candles out, fill the house with fall colors and textures, and dig out our favorite fall recipes.  Yesterday I made a display for our front porch with bundles of corn husks and heirloom pumpkins.  What traditions do you have in the fall?  What are your favorite ways to decorate and celebrate the season?  Whatever it is, savor every wonderful moment of it and make the most of the season!  Oh, and don’t forget to make the most of “making” during this season – cards, scrapbook layouts, mixed media projects, seasonal journal pages, and fun decor for your house. Whatever brings you happiness in creating – do it!     Happy Fall Wishes to you!   Dee Ann


Summer at our house (May through August) was spent packing, moving, and unpacking.  Few things in life are as stressful as moving. And nothing can throw off my creative groove faster than packing up my craft supplies and studio and relocating it.  After an exhausting four-month intermission from my blog, my crafts, and my life, my creative “space” is finally organized!  I have a basket full of new fall supplies I’m anxious to use and I’m ready to make!

09-18-2021  “Under-the- Sea Wonder”

I finished this project before we began a moving adventure in May, and can finally share it with you.  This make was inspired by a 2020 collection created by Antonis Tzanidakis, a mixed media artist from Athens, who designs for Stamperia.  It’s called  Seaworld and has a great “mechanical” vibe perfect for any mixed media project.

I started with a background paper from the collection.  I used’s double-sided tape to attach the sheet of 12 x 12 paper to the inside of the frame backing to create a sturdy substrate to work on.  (Then I trimmed the edges down.) I smooshed Ranger’s Distress Inks – Mermaid Lagoon, Broken China, Rusty Hinge, and Gathered Twigs, onto my craft mat.  I sprayed a little water onto the ink with my Ranger spray bottle, then smeared blobs of ink in random spots all over the background paper.

I found a dimensional weathered wood frame at Hobby Lobby for my make.  I actually laid the frame over the substrate as I was working to keep everything centered properly.  Mixed media is all about layers.  The Stamperia paper with splattered paint was the bottom layer.  For the next layer, I tore two strips from lightweight chipboard.  One strip for the left side which ran the entire length of the project, and another shorter strip for the right side.  I smooshed Crackling Campfire, Mermaid Lagoon, Rusty Hinge, and Gathered Twis Distress Paint on my craft mat.  I spritzed a little water from my Ranger spray bottle over the paint and then dipped the chipboard into the ink.  This “dip and dry” method is one of my favorite.  Each time I dipped the chipboard into the ink I would dry it.  While the chipboard was still damp, I used my finger to curl up the inside edges.  When the chipboard was dry I sprayed it with a coat of Ranger Resist Spray to give it a gloss finish.  Then I glued the strips to the picture using the frame as a guide.

To embellish the chipboard, I used an older Tim Holtz Ideaology metal compass that I embossed with his Crackling Campfire Distress Emboss Glaze.  I cut out sea plants using Sizzix/Tim Holtz Alterations Big Die (659436).  I speared Ranger Distress Grit Paste in random places on the leaves for a distressed texture.  Using the “dip and dry” color method, I used a combination of orange distress inks on heavy card stock.   I glued one plant to the left side and two plants to the right side.  (I find using an odd number of anything in a make gives it more balance.)

Then came my favorite part of the make.  I am still learning to use clay molds in makes and my octopus was challenging.  I actually made it twice.  The first time I used Stamperia’s Extra Light Soft Clay. (Which I do love because it has no weight at all when set.)  This clay is so different from other crafts clays I’ve used.  (Instructions for Stamperia products are not in English, so if you have questions about their products you have to go to their website or YouTube.)     I filled the mold and let it dry.  When I attempted to remove the hardened clay from the mold, several arms broke off.  Not having the level of expertise that the professionals at Stamperia have, I concluded that the clay was too lightweight to accommodate the very large mold I was using. I went back to the drawing board and dug out a large block of Sculpey clay that I had on hand. (Premo and Sculpey clays are both excellent for craft projects and jewelry.)

If you have never used Sculpey you have to work the clay and make it soft before you can use it. I had to break off little chunks and work them with my hands to warm them up.  I kept this process going until I had enough soft clay to press into the octopus mold.  This is time-consuming and took almost an hour. I keep a set of clay tools with metal balls on the end to help press the clay into the tight corners. (Clay tools look exactly like the tools you use to mold paper flowers. I keep one set for clay and one for paper flowers.)  When the mold was full, I ever so carefully pressed the octopus out of the mold and laid him on a pyrex pie plate.  After preheating my oven to 275 degrees, I baked my project for 25 minutes.  (Sculpey advises 15-30 minutes depending on the size of the project. )  When it was cool, I had a solid in-tact white octopus for my project!

To give my “octo-man” some texture I dabbed Ranger Grit paste on his arms.  I painted a combination of Distress Bundled Sage and Rustic Wilderness Inks on various parts of his arms.  Some parts I left untouched.  I highlighted spots with Finnabair Patina Green Wax Paste.  Using a cotton swab, I covered all of the arms with a walnut wood stain.  Then I carefully rubbed it off.  Using a paintbrush, I colored in the tentacles with white craft paint.

To achieve the moss look on the diver’s helmet, I rubbed a lot of Ranger Grit Paste over the surface.  Again, I used Distress Bundled Sage, Rusty Hinge, and Gathered Twigs ink.  For the silver portions,  I used Finnabair Art Alchemy Old Silver.  For the embellishments, I used a variety of Ideology metal gears and hardware I had on hand.

Using the Sizzix Alterations Big foliage die again, I cut three more sea plants out of heavy card stock. I used the “dip and dry” method to color them with several shades of green Distress Ink.  I arranged them along the bottom of the project.  Next, I used Prima stones to add dimension to the seafloor. I used two different shades of blue, and two different shades of green Ranger alcohol ink.  I put a few drops of ink in the bottom of a disposable bathroom cup, added a few stones, and then carefully whirled them around in the cup until they were all colored.  Then I poured them out on a paper towel to dry.  I glued them to the seafloor with good old Elmer’s glue.

Because I had used so much orange and rust, I wanted to bring in some turquoise.  I dyed a piece of cheesecloth using Broken China Distress Spray and added touches of Gathered Twigs in spots to give it a “weathered” look.  Using Art Glitter Glue, I attached the “fishing net” to the bottom.

With a Stamperia mold from the Seaworld set, I sculpted a mechanical fish using the Stamperia Extra Light Soft Clay.  After I let it air dry, I pushed it out of the mold and it was perfect.  I used Finnabair Art Alchemy Patina Blue, Faded Denim, and Old Silver to color the fish.  I had a stash of watch parts I found on Amazon several years ago that were just perfect for the mechanical elements.  When my fish was done, I glued him to the bottom portion of the frame.

I love the quote on the Tim Holtz Ideaology tag I used at the top to complete the make.  To make the coiled springs attached to the tag, I wrapped 26-gauge craft wire tightly around the handle of a paintbrush.  I carefully pushed it off and attached it to the tag and a screw I had mounted on the frame.  Sometimes I embellish a frame and sometimes I don’t.  This time, I chose to leave the weathered wood so that the focus was on the project.  The message to all makers is “Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder”.   Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the routine of life that we miss small and wonderful things that make life worthwhile.

07-06-2021   Is It Friday Yet?

Have you ever had one of those Mondays – the kind where you are frazzled before the week ever begins?  Today was a day that I seriously needed to work on my journal.   I have searched for a new journal with quality paper that came in several sizes and I finally found what I think is perfect.

She even has a journal with black paper that is on my wish list.  Dyan’s journals are fantastic.  You can decorate the cover to suit yourself  (for a rainy day) and the paper is the best I’ve found – something that she has said was very important to her as an artist.

I wanted to go, Dyan, all the way and try her Dylusion paints, sprays, paint pens, stamps, and stencils.  Because I am new to her style and techniques, I also discovered a guide to journaling Dyan assembled distributed by Ranger Inks that was very helpful.

I chose a simple technique Dyan recommends for the background.  I sprayed my journal page with several shades of orange and yellow, then blotted the page by rolling an entire roll of paper towels across the page.  Then I used a darker shade of Dylusion’s orange to stencil various spots on the page, following Dyan’s instructions. She firmly believes for balance that you should stencil three corners.  Dyan is also very big on black borders around her pages and I can see why.  Her stencil border made the perfect frame for the page.

I picked a stamp set that just summarized the day I was having and chose colors that I would not normally use together. Another tip I got from Dyan is “doodling”.  She loves to doodle.  I was never the kid in school that doodled on their papers. (I was the ADHD kid that was watching the fly on the ceiling and looking out the window waiting for recess so I could move!)  I did very subtle “doodle” marks around the sassy lady, flower, and lettering.

Dyan’s lettering stamps are intended to give a cut apart look and are arranged to suit your personal taste.  I like the very casual imperfect look they give you – as you had just cut the words out of a book.

I was having so much fun, that I dug out a clay flower pot and used Dylusions paint and stencils to decorate a place to keep all my new paint pens!

Whether or not you have ducks or squirrels, I highly recommend you experiment with Dyan’s very bold and unique art and products.  It’s fun, sassy, and great therapy!


06-27-2021  A Magical Dragon

Has a song ever influenced a project that you have made?  If you listened to the 60’s group “Peter, Paul and Mary”, you will recognize my magical dragon whose life was depicted in Peter Yarrow’s lyrics.  To house this whimsical collage, I began with an Ideaology vignette box.  The very pastel sky is colored with Tumbled Glass and Spun Sugar Distress inks on heavy stock card stock.   In my imagination, anything magical sparkles, so I had to use glitter paper to edge the box inside and out.

The CHORUS of the song says that the magic dragon lived in a wonderful land that was called Honah Lee.  I pictured a land with glittering mountains and tropical trees that swayed in a gentle breeze.  I created a beach with sand using Distress Grit Paste and Distress Tea Dye ink.  The palm tree came from the Tim Holtz beach village house set, with Ideology baubles colored with Latte alcohol ink for cocoanuts.  To create a fun cast of characters for my story I used Tim Holtz’s Walrus, starfish and crab (Sizzix 665378), and a delightful dolphin, fish, and octopus (Sizzix 6653777). And a little fellow that shows up frequently in my makes, a Snarky Bird perched on top of the palm tree (from one of Tim’s Christmas Snarky Cat releases last year.)  The lighthouse idea came from the children’s picture book that Peter Yarrow released with the CD version of the song some years ago.  (Of course, I own the book!)  The mountains, villages, and moons/stars came from Sizzix (661603).  Who said the moon and stars can’t shine during the day?  The greenery behind Mr. Walrus was part of a Sizzix set (661206).  The colored shells came from my stash.

Beginning with VERSE 1 of the song, you will meet the main character – the magical dragon.  If you sing the words to yourself, you will remember the dragon’s young friend, Jackie, and the gifts he brought to his beloved dragon friend – strings, sealing wax (in a jar behind the boy in the boat), and other fancy stuff (a shiny compass), in the dragon’s hand. The dragon, and star of the show,  is made from Tim Holtz’s Colorize set (Sizzix 665361).  He is colored on Ranger’s Leather Heavy Stock paper using Salvaged Patina, Evergreen Bough, and Rustic Wilderness Distress inks (dip and dry method).  I dabbed cheap blush on his cheeks.

Jackie came from Jayne Nestorenko’s Summer Collection and is colored with Copic markers.  I thought the boy and his outfit were perfect for the make.  The boat die was designed by Lifestyle Crafts (Mayflower).  I used Ranger’s Woodgrain Cardstock “dipped and dried” using Walnut Stain Distress ink, and distressed it with patches of Distress Crackle Texture Paste.   The sail, which is made from a scrap of fabric, is anchored to the boat with a small popsicle stick died with Walnut Stain Distress ink. Finally, the boat is embellished with Ideology hardware heads on the corners.

You can’t see it in this photo, but there is a life preserver attached to the back of the boat cut from white craft foam and colored with a red Copic marker.

VERSE 2 of the song, tells of great adventures that the two friends have as they set sail, with Jackie perched on his friend’s gigantic tail.  Noble kings and princesses are impressed by the magic dragon and pay him great honor by bowing in his presence. The royalty is represented by a glittery castle (Inkadinkadoo stamp) and colored to resemble Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle in pink and blue (I couldn’t resist) with Copic markers.

The vast blue ocean was created using heavy cardstock using the “dip and dry” method and Salty Ocean and Tumbled Glass Distress inks.  The musical notes attempt to illustrate the cheerful chorus of music created by the polka-dot singing octopus and her fish friends as they follow the boat across the wide blue ocean. (If you look carefully at the boat behind Jackie, you can see the jar of sealing wax, and yes, it is full of melted sealing wax – ie:hot glue.)  No one would notice, but to be true to the lyrics, I had to include the jar of sealing wax.

And of course, I don’t want to leave out the dancing dolphin and his starfish friend, noticeable as the boat nears the shore. The last verse of the song I left out of my collage as it often makes me puddle up and I wanted to keep a happy theme going.

Just as an FYI,  Peter Yarrow took the lyrics from the song from a poem written by a high -school-age boy – no doubt sharing his own reflections on the joys of boyhood and the sorrows of growing up and leaving your boyish friends and imaginative world behind. This is one of those songs that when you sing it, sticks like velcro to your mind. I found my brain singing it at 2:00 a.m. when I seriously needed sleep.  Only when I finished the project did I get a good night’s sleep, LOL!    I hope by sharing my magical dragon collage, it might bring back fond childhood memories for you!  And if you’ve never heard the song about the magical dragon, you can find it on YouTube.  It’s a Peter, Paul and Mary classic.

06-07-2021  Checkmate!

Here is an easy dimensional papercraft project designed to use for Father’s Day or for a favorite guy for a birthday or special occasion.  If you are like me, you have men on your list that are hard to buy for.  Instead of searching for a gift, make a “gift box” like this.  I use them as a card/gift and the recipients love them because they are something they can display. I covered an Ideaology vignette box inside and out, with paper from Craft O-Clock’s “Age of Gentleman” collection (find at the Rubber Buggy).  Using a Sizzix Impresslits border die, I cut strips out of the same paper to trim the front edges of the box.

Paint Idealology chess pieces black (or ivory) and glue them to the bottom of the box.  In keeping with the theme of the paper in the collection, I stamped the face of a clock using a vintage Tim Holtz stamp and inserted it into the Ideology pocketwatch. Ordinarily, I would use clock hands with the clock, but I ran out in my stash.  So, I used Ideaology game spinners instead.  Sometimes, I just need to improvise and use what I have on hand.  I deliberately kept the contents of the box simple.  I use odd numbers of items when I create a make as it provides a better balance,

To complete the project I used an Ideaology quote chip across the top, appropriate for any occasion.

To personalize the gift box, you can use lettering or word dies “Happy Father’s Day” or “Happy Birthday” on the back and then sign your gift.


06-01-2021   Wild and Free on the Road

This rusty grunge mixed media project began with a background paper from Ciao Bella’s “Collateral Rust” collection cut to fit an Ideaology frame.  This collection was designed to celebrate “life on the road” and the “free and wild”.  Perfect for the guy who loves motorcycles or vintage cars.  The inspiration for this make came from the design in the paper.

I added touches of Tim Holtz’s distress ink (Cracking Campfire, Rusty Hinge, and Vintage Photo) to the paper. I cut the garage, gas tank, and all the signs out of one of the Collateral Rust papers.  “Jack’s Garage” paper I ran through my Vagabond die machine using Sizzix’s Texture Fade Embossing Folder to give it dimension.  I distressed the edges of all the signs using Tim Holtz’s Walnut Stain ink.  To create the brick wall I used heavy white card stock which I ran through my Vagabond with the Brickworks Texture Fades Emboss Folder.  I used a combination of Distress inks including Rusty Hinge, to color the bricks.  I used my finger to smear Tim’s opaque grit paste over the bricks.  The designs in the Collateral Rust paper I used, emphasized white in the brick, and so I took a cue from the background paper.  When everything was dry, I randomly cut out the brick in two separate shapes.

I cut out the garage doors and distressed the edges with Walnut Stain ink.  To create the background for the interior of the garage, I did the “dip and dry” technique using a combination of Rusty Hinge, Salty Ocean, Mermaid Lagoon, and Crackling Campfire distress inks.  I smeared the ink pads onto my craft mat and spritzed them with water.  I dipped heavy white cardstock into the inks and dried with my heat tool. I repeated the process until I achieved the look I wanted.  When dry I cut the cardstock to the same size as the garage doors and windows.

To create the broken glass in the windows, I cut acetate to fit the windows. Then I cut into it randomly in several places. Then I smeared Walnut Stain ink across the “glass” with my finger to make it look dirty and worn.  I then glued the “glass” to the back of the window frames.   I bent the left side of the gas tank under to give it dimension.

To assemble the make I used pop dots under the edges of the garage and attached them to the background paper.  I tucked the “Jack’s Garage” sign under the top edge of the garage panel and tucked the bricks under the right edge of the garage panel.  I used pop dots on the gas tank to attach it.  I glued the signs to the background paper as you see them.  I used one of Tim Holtz’s numeral stamps to add embellishment to the design.  To embellish the make I added Ideaology hardware heads.  I rubbed a Mermaid Lagoon Distress crayon across the top of the frame that I painted with Black Soot distress paint and rubbed it in to bring out a little more of the teal color in the make.

05-03-2021  Umbrella Cat

Tim Holtz’s Snarky Cat may not be Gene Kelly, but what he lacks in talent, he makes up for with snarky enthusiasm! I made a “dip and dry” background using watered-down Hickory Smoke Distress Ink and made little “puddles” for Snarky to dance in.  I used one of the snarky cats and birds from the stamp and die set. (This is the only Snarky cat stamp set that came with the coordinating dies.) One of Tim’s Alterations sets (that was created with accessories for the dogs and cats), had a fun hat that was just perfect for the occasion.  I deliberately colored only the umbrella for “artistic emphasis” and sprayed it with Resist Spray for a gloss finish.  Clear dots added a little embellishment.  This quote always sends a positive message and was perfect for an “Umbrella Cat”.

04-25-2021     A Passion for Jazz

You can feel the emotions of jazz in these fabulous papers by Ciao Bella of Italy.  I chose to feature all of the Jazz greats in a double-framed collage.  Tim Holtz’s brick embossing folder provided the perfect backdrop for a saxophone player.  Splashes of Crackling Campfire and Black Soot Distress Ink add a little improv of my own.  When you begin with a beautiful background paper and add a little ink, die cuts, and dimensional embellishments, you can create a great project for yourself or someone else.


04-20-2021    A Bouquet for Mom

This Mother’s Day card was created using Heartfelt Creation’s large floral urn dye and stamp set.  The background behind the urn was created using the Flourish Gateway dye. The flowers are a combination of stamps and dyes from several of their lovely sets.


04-04-2021     Home Make Over

I had a dark metal craft birdhouse that I bought from Prima Marketing that needed to be altered.  I decided to do it “Tim Holtz” style.  Using  Tim’s woodgrain paper with brown distress inks was perfect for the outside walls.

Little bird is my favorite from Tim’s bird die sets.  I thought a Robin would be nice since I’m seeing them more in the yard every day.  Little Robin was distress-dyed and topped off with a real feather tail.  A little Spanish moss made a great nest inside. While you can’t see inside the house, I had to do a cover-up job inside. There was a picture glued to the back wall attached by the manufacturer that could be seen.  Most likely, no one but me would notice it, but it really bugged me. So, I used a Tim Holtz embossing folder and brown distress ink on card stock, cut to the shape of the wall, and squeezed it inside.  (I’m sure little Robin will appreciate it!) Idea-ology hardware screws were attached to all the corners to “hold the walls together”.

A Sizzix Thinlits leaf die was used to create an ivy vine to wrap around the pole of the birdhouse.  The trim was also a die

from a Tim Holtz village set


The shingles were cut from a village set and distress dyed with several shades of blue distress ink and distressed with Gathered Twigs. Of course, every house should have windows and a proper chimney (also from a village die set). A little butterfly made its way to the roof (found in my ephemera stash).  This is a nice spring house to display on my very weathered potting table. If I decide to leave it outdoors, I will seal the birdhouse with a coat of Ranger Resist spray to protect it.


04-01-2021    Twilight Fairy Blossoms

More Lavinia Stamps!  I’m in fairy heaven! Today I was in a purple mood and created a background with Oxide Inks and Copic markers. This little fairy must be sprinkling magic on one of the blossoms.

03-22-2021   He is Risen!

This is a simple Lawn Fawn die used over a Ranger Oxide ink background.  I really love the vibrant color blend and experimenting with the new Ranger rounded blending tool.


March 2021   “Poppies”

I will never have enough poppy stamps and dies!  This stamp and die set from My Favorite Things, is colored using Copic markers and centered on a background distressed with Oxide Antique Linen ink.  Bo Bunny had the perfect medium-weight poppy cardstock to use for the bottom layer. Next time I use this stamp, I would like to try coloring it with watercolors and watercolor pencils.  I am never afraid to try new mediums as each has unique properties and looks.


March 2021   Little Brown Bird

“Little Brown Bird”. Normally you make a project and then find a frame for it.  I actually started with this cool screen-backed from I found on sale at Hobby Lobby.   Tim Holtz’s thinlit floral dies were just the right size for the frame.  Of all of Tim’s bird dies, this one is my favorite. I distressed the little bird with oxide brown inks.  I found a feather in my craft stash that I could use for his wing and tail feathers. I’m finding that I like the combination of real elements from nature and paper ones.  The frame needed a little trim so I wrapped jute around the corners and secured it with hot glue.   The make looks really nice on my indoor plant table.


March 2021    Take Risks

“Take Risks”. Now and then I just need to play with something 3-D.   This assemblage started with two Tim Holtz vignette trays and a desire to make a vintage-grunge-project I’ve never attempted.

The background in the bottom box is stamped using Tim Holtz’s Inventor 7 light bulb stamped over distressed pumice stone ink.  I found the two glass jars at Hobby Lobby. Who knew they’d be just the perfect size and shape to fit the stamp?  The center of each bulb contains a wood dowel that was wrapped in 26-gauge floral wire.  I needed a base to hold the dowels in place and pondered it for a while before using Crayola air-dry clay cut to fit the base of the bottles.  After the clay dried with the dowels in it, I carefully wrapped Idea-ology tiny lights around the base and then made a loop over the tip of the dowels. To insert the tiny lights, meant drilling a hole in the back of the box and feeding the lights through to the front.  As Tim has warned, if hot glue touches one of the lights, you will blow the entire strand. So I, who am not necessarily patient, had to be very slow and careful in hot gluing the lights to secure them.

The siding around the boxes was made using Idea-ology silver metallic paper and Tim’s 3-D Alterations Texture Fade emboss folder, Foundry.  After I cut the individual strips for the boxes, I covered the paper with a layer of Nuvo Embellishment Mousse in Black Ash.  I wanted to play with it for quite a while and see how it worked.  It’s different from anything I have tried before and I love the metallic effect. The walls on the inside of the boxes are covered with strips of paper colored with a solid coat of Back Ash Nuvo Embellishment Mousse and then stenciled with texture paste and a Stampers Anonymous circuit stencil. When it was dry I used steel wool to sand most of the color off – leaving it around each of the indented areas of the paper.  Then, using my finger, I spread Fresh Copper Nuvo Embellishment Mousse over spots on the siding to add a little grunge. As you can see by the photo, my top box leans just a tad and I will have to go back and reglue it so that it is straight. Sometimes we miss something until a project is done.  Most of the time we can go back and adjust it.  Sometimes we can’t. Don’t sweat it. Or as Tim Holtz would say, “Don’t freak your freak!” I cut strips of black paper and ran them through my die-cutting machine using Sizzix 3-D Impresslits Star Trim. I colored them with Copper Gilding Wax using my finger and then glued them around the front of the boxes to seal the edges.

I know very little about electronics and had to do some research to find out what a circuit board looked like.   Using odds and ends I had in my craft stash, I literally invented a circuit board and wrapped floral wire through it. I cut a piece of acetate to make a faux glass window for the top box before attaching the trim to the outside of the box. And to add more interest and dimension to the make I glued an Idea-ology faucet knob to the side of the box.  I also glued two chipboard word labels to the front of the boxes.  It is a reminder to me that when you make anything, you have to be willing to take risks. Sometimes a project turns out the way you picture in your mind that it will. Sometimes – not so much. But either way, you have had fun in the process and probably learned something new along the way.

For me, the best part of the project? It lights up!


March 2021   Believe in Magic.

I discovered Lavinia Stamps not too long ago.  This background is a blend of Prima and Lindy’s Stamp Gang metallic spray inks. I used three stamps from the Lavinia collection for the fairy, mushrooms and flowers, plus the wording. The background paper is from a DCWV collection.


March 2021   Point of View

There are days I definitely need to change my perspective on something. This make was an experiment, using a combination of Tim Holtz’s background paper, gear and letter dies, and primarily, Crackling Campfire and Rustic Wilderness Distress inks.


03-17-2021    Under the Sea

I am a firm believer that making and crafting skills should be passed down to younger generations.  Today, I am a happy gramma.  Our grandson is visiting and I was able to introduce him to mixed media art.  This is totally his creation inspired by a Tim Holtz stamp set. He experimented with molding paste and spray shimmer inks for the background, and chose a quote that he liked, saying he could relate to both genius and crazy!  I love it!


March 17, 2021    Irish Blessing

After I spent three years researching my family’s genealogy, I discovered that many of my ancestors came to the US from Ireland.  That means we can officially celebrate St. Patrick’s Day now!  I love this traditional Irish blessing, and I think it is even more appropriate after a year of Covid-distancing from our friends and family.  The border is an authentic Celtic design that I thought went well with the make.


03-08-2021    Bunny Blessings

I love bunnies and I really love this big bunny. This make was a combination of two of my favorite artists – Tim Holtz and Sizzix, and Heartfelt Creations.  The background, bunny, and background for the Alterations Frameworks on the bottom, are made from lovely Maja papers from Sweden.  Big bunny, the paper lace, the Alterations Frameworks on the bottom, and the tag are all Tim Holtz dies. Big Bunny is cut from chipboard, covered with paper, and distressed around the edges using Gathered Twigs Distress Ink. I cut the tag from a course weave unbleached muslin fabric and died it with Gathered Twigs Distress spray and then printed it with a Tim Holtz stamp. The “Spring Blessings” tag I just cut freehand. I also did a little stamping on the background paper.  The sign and the frameworks were embossed with the Tim Holtz lumber emboss folder. The flowers are made using  Heartfelt Creations Small Wild Rose set.  I colored them with Gina K Designs Bubblegum and Tsukineko Brilliance Archival Pearlescemnt Coral inks. To frame my Shabby Chic bunny, I used an Ideaology Framed Panel painted with white semi-gloss acrylic paint. I spread Ranger Distress Crackle in random places on the frame with my finger, for the vintage look I love. Finally, I gently and very sparingly rubbed a little gold gilding wax in places around the frame with my finger. The finishing touch was a bow around the bunny’s neck, which I died with Abandoned Coral Oxide Spray to match the flowers in the bunny paper. I think I’m ready for spring now!


March 2, 2021   The Cat in the Hat

Theodor Suess Geisel wanted to write books that were fun and easy to read. I grew up on Dr. Suess, as did our children and grandchildren. A man who devoted his writing career to children and children’s literacy should be celebrated.  So Happy Birthday Dr. Suess!


03-2021    Welcome Friends

Lavinia’s Stamps helped to create this magical tree in the enchanted forest.  The background was colored using a combination of blues, pinks, and brown Distress Inks.  The tree was colored using Copic markers.  I opened the door in the tree to reveal a delightful fairy waiting to greet her hedgehog guests. I used 3-D leaves to form the moss around the tree which I think added a nice touch. I had never used this medium before but I love the realistic look it adds.  I used Glossy Accents on the mushroom caps and the berries in the leaves for a little shine. The leaves were also dusted with green glitter.  I added pop dots to the back of the hedgehogs before adding them to the picture for dimension.  The frame was handmade.


03-2021   Fairy Petals  I’ve been on a Lavinia Stamp roll recently. I wanted to create a “magical” background for my 6 x 6-inch card. In my mind, anything fairy should involve glimmer and sparkle. I played with Lindy’s Stamp Gang and Prima sprays for the background and this was the result.  Rather than add embellishments for the make, I framed my fairy blossom in a lovely coordinating paper and backed it with gold metallic to coordinate with the gold in the blossom.  I think a lot of what I do is a personal preference and there are times I feel simple is best.


02-2021    Happy Birthday Gent I love this new Tim Holtz die set. I just happened to have this Tim Holtz background paper in my stash which was perfect for the recipient who collects watches. I didn’t want to cover up the print on the background paper so I deliberately limited the embellishments.  This umbrella is going to be used in a lot of makes. I lifted the edges a bit a glued them in place to add dimension.  I sewed around the edges of the top layer, then added 4 more layers of coordinating paper.


02-14-2021   I Love You

This adorable Penny Black tabby cat stamp is perfect for all the cat lovers I know.


02-2021  Valentine Collage

The inspiration for this scrapbook page actually came from the design on a piece of cardstock I saw somewhere.   I used an assortment of scraps and embellishments I had on hand.


02-14-2021   Young Love

I think there are times a card can be simple in design because the message is so strong. This is a great Art Impressions Stamp colored with Copic markers and mounted on coordinating paper.


02-14-2021   Be My Valentine

This card began with an authentic Victorian valentine I found on eBay from England.  Tim Holtz frames and paper, along with Heartfelt Creations flowers added just the right touches.


12-2020  Santa’s Toy Bag When Tim Holtz released this adorable toy bag die, I knew it had to be made of Distress-dyed muslin fabric, and it had to be mounted in front of this vintage stamp. I think the real pine cut added some cool dimension, along with the “believe” metal tag I colored. Vintage just makes me happy and I love the little teddy bear!


12-2020  Joy to the World!   I needed a large winter display this year to match my new decor and color scheme. This is Tim Holtz from start to finish.  I began with two vignette boxes, vintage paper, his cathedral windows, and tiny lights. I added natural colored trees, along with deer and tree dies.  I may have been carried away with the mica flake snow.  The Reindeer moss, mini pine cones, and pearl baubles added some nice embellishments. It may be difficult to see, but there are tiny birds sitting in the tree made with stamps and cut out.


12-2020   A Christmas Collage Paula Cheney provided the inspiration for this fun winter project.  This is the first time I was able to play with Tim Holtz’s tiny village houses, and the first time I used this large vignette box.  There are so many possibilities for projects using these little houses!


12-2020    It’s a Wonderful Life After I sat through Tim Holtz’s demo on making paper candles, I decided to try them in a vintage project. This antique lantern die is one of my favorites and it reminds me of the original pioneer lantern I have on display that belonged to my grandparents. I wanted to be able to hang this lighted Etcetera tag from my shaker peg rack.

12-2020   Vintage Christmas


This project began with Tim Holtz’s vintage Christmas box filled with an assortment of his holiday goodies. I painted a paper mache book (using Tim’s leather card stock and distress inks for the covers) to use under the box on a display.


12-2020  Little Chapel in the Forest Stacy Hutchinson provided the inspiration for this vignette box project.  I changed my Christmas colors and decor this year.  I went with natural colors, deer, and even found a large cathedral window that looks just like the die for the wall.


12-2020  O Holy Night Walking through the gift shop at Cracker Barrel one day, I saw a sign that was similar to this one.  I found the board for the backdrop at Hobby Lobby and painted it with midnight blue acrylic paint.  I used Tim Holtz dies for the deer and trees which I embossed with gold glitter.  The snow is white glitter over the glue. The lettering is done on heavy-weight card stock and free-handed.



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