Thursday, January 20, 2011

Penny Black 2nd Birthday

We have a very special birthday coming up for a soon to be two year old and I wanted to make a very special birthday card to celebrate the day. I just love this darling Penny Black stamp. In fact, it was a rare occasion that my husband happened to be with me when I saw this stamp and he pointed it out and suggested I get it for his grand daughter's upcoming birthday.

It couldn't have been more fortuitous as well that this week's Penny Black Challenge Blog offered a "buffet challenge" that helped me how to put this card together. Below is the Penny Black buffet menu in which the participants are to choose 4 items from the menu:

The four buffet menu ingredients that I used on my card are: Patterned Paper (from the October Afternoon collection), Ribbon (a pretty pink gingham and some lace too), 3 pink Prima flowers and 3 Gems (which I put in the centers of the flowers).

For the cupcake I used a mixture of yellow and ivory Flowersoft for the cake and white Liquid Pearls for the 'vanilla icing.' While the Liquid Pearls was still wet I sprinkled some microbeads on to serve as 'sprinkles.'

The original stamp only has one candle and I wanted two candles so I stamped the image twice, cut two candles and adhered them to the image on tiny pop dots. I also stamped, colored and cut a second set of balloons and mounted them on pop dots too.

The card has a lot of dimension and I am pleased with how it turned out. I hope our little special girl will enjoy it too for her second birthday.

Now that the card is finished, I need to finish up her little birthday present.



Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Snail Mail for You !

I was looking through my pail of images I've previously stamped and colored but hadn't used on a card yet and found this fun lunch pail filled with letters. I decided that it would work well for this week's MOJO MONDAY SKETCH #174. Below is Julee's sketch/layout challenge:Card Recipe:
Stamps: Papertrey Ink "Vintage Picnic"
Ink: Momento Black
Designer Paper: Making Memories "English Garden"

Wow! That's a lot of strawberries! I love this paper and I have had the ribbon in my sewing basket for years and years. I used it on a summer outfit probably 20 years ago and still have a sufficient amount left for another project so I decided it coordinated with this paper and I'd use a bit of it.

On the layout you'll see the two circles to the lower right of the focal image. I thought about buttons or brads or jewels but then decided why not cut out the strawberries from the ribbon and adhere them on the card in the places where the two small circles were to be placed.

Until next time,



Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sorry to be such a Knit Wit

The past two days I've posted cards using my new Taylored Expressions sewing set of stamps but today I want to show you a fun card I made with the Taylored Expressions stamp set for knitters that is called "Knit Wit." It contains several different knitting related stamps to include this sweet lamb and sentiment. Isn't it fun? The set has more great knitting themed stamps.

The layout is the FRIDAY SKETCHERS layout # 137 challenge shown below. This layout provided the opportunity to use the coordinating designer papers by October Afternoon.

I colored the lamb with copic markers and then sponged the edges with teal and then blue colorbox ink for a little shading. Using Nestibilities circle dies I punched out the lamb and mats and using a zigzag stitch, stitched all of the papers and image. Next it was a matter of assembling the card in the layout design and adding a couple of pearls at the top and bottom corners. The last step, soas not to smudge it, I applied lumpy dots of Ivory colored Liquid Pearls to the lamb for a woolly effect.

I hope you are having a terrific day and staying warm. Do you know that yesterday the temperature here was -21 C and with the windchill it felt like -30 C ! YIKES! It was a bit nippy out!



Monday, January 17, 2011

Sewing supplies notecard

I am having so much fun with my new Taylored Expressions stamps set. This set is called "Sew Happy." I used these three sewing notions stamps and a bit of lace and ribbon for a very simple card that, I hope, will appeal to my needlewomen friends.

There really isn't much to tell about the card. The salmon colored cardstock is from Stampin' Up! and the designer/patterened paper is from October Afternoon. This dp stack is called "The Thrift Shop." I love the lacey look of the paper and the color is lovely.

For this card all I had to do was color the little stamped images with copic markers, use my small circle and hexagon nestabilities dies to cut them out, apply the lace and ribbon to the card. attach a few colored jewels to the pin heads and then using pop dots dimension foam dots I adhired the circles to the card.

My sewing room is calling me with some unfinished projects, but I'm having a hard time pulling myself away from my stamp studio. I am thoroughly enjoying the Taylored Expressions stamps. They are my first and they're great!



Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sew happy!

I have some new sewing and also new knitting stamp sets from Taylored Expressions and have been having just the best time this weekend stamping. I'm getting this card which I'm titling "Sew Happy!" posted in time for this past week's Mojo Monday layout sketch challenge. Below is Julee's sketch #173 for this week and I thought this let lent itself well to the layout.
With my new stamps I also bought some new designer paper. These papers are from the Cosmo Cricket stack called "Material Girl and Garden Variety". If you follow my blog regularly you might remember that I mentioned I used Cosmo Cricket fabric for the pillow cases. They have wonderful fabric and paper designers.

With all of the images from the new stamp sets I've stamped and colored I should be able to produce a lot of cards this week.

Until next time,


Saturday, January 8, 2011


***** Disclaimer: Tango the cat thinks I made these for him. He is sadly mistaken!! *****

My husband and I have been complaining about our pillows and their lack of substance for the longest time. FINALLY, rather than complaining more, we bought some extra large, super fluffly, down pillows. comfortable! However, there was a slight problem. These pillows were so lofty and big that regular and even king-sized pillowcases didn't fit properly.
What to do? Make my own custom pillowcases to fit, of course! I don't know why I didn't think of it sooner. Pillow cases sew together in a jiffy and give the bed a whole fresh new look.

A few months ago I had purchased a few yards each of three different cotton fabrics in Andover's Cosmo Cricket line's Early Bird collection. I mixed and matched the trim facing on the pillow cases with coordinating fabrics to tie the theme together. By the way, any of my papercrafting friends will recognize the Cosmo Cricket fabric from their line of paper craft products and designer papers. I'm glad that I have a sufficient amount of fabric left to make an apron and also a little girl's sundress too! Isn't it a sweet print? In my notions stash I happen to have coordinating piping to add to the seam line where the facings attached. So each set of cases coordinate but are also different.
I don't know why it hadn't occured to me to freshen up the look of the bedroom and bed linens with colorful cotton fabrics that are so abundant these days. It was an easy solution to the "too large pillow" problem for standard cases, and also a great way to add a fresh new look to the bedroom.


Friday, January 7, 2011

100 Books in a Year Reading Challenge

Ever since I bought my e-reader (I have a Kobo) I cannot be found without it in my hand and reading. I've always enjoyed reading but for a variety of personal reasons that I won't go into at the moment, I didn't finish as many books as I'd start. Well, this has changed! I've been devouring books and thoroughly enjoying it.

When I read a post my friend Jovi posted about this challenge on her blog, I knew that this was a challenge I'd like to attempt too. I don't know if I'll reach my 100 or more book goal by the end of the year, but it is going to be a lot of fun reading as many books as I can. So with this post I'm announcing my goal to read 100+ books by the end of 2011.

Would you like to participate in this challenge? Here is the scoop about the 100 books in a year reading challenge. Hop on over to Book Chick City’s reading challenge for fun!

The rules are simple:
• Read 100 books by 31st December 2011
• Only print books & ebooks count – (no audiobooks)
• Any genre counts!
• Twitter tag: #100booksinayear
• You can join along anytime

I will continue to post my monthly book reviews as I have in the past. As well, I'm adding this ticker to my sidebar to track my progress:

If this challenge is one you'd like to participate in too, just click this link to Book Chick City or the button in the sidebar for more details.


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Crayon Holder Roll-up

I have been having such fun making children's toys and accessories. This crayon holder roll-up caddy was a snap to make and isn't it cute?
It holds a 16 count box of large toddler sized crayons, but you could also make it to hold the smaller, regular sized crayons too.

Just slip a crayon in each slot of the holder and roll it up.

Tie the ribbons and it is ready to throw in the diaper bag, purse or napsack. The holder holds the crayons so they won't slip and it is portable to carry with you into restaurants, waiting areas or even in the car. No worry that a box will spill. is cute! I think these would be fun birthday party favors or as a gift with a large pad of newsprint paper or coloring book.
Want to make one (or two or three...)? Here you go:
Crayon Holder Roll-up
Two 22" by 6 1/2" lengths of fabric for the front and back of the holder
Two 22" by 3 1/2" lengths of fabric for the pocket to hold the crayons
Trim to edge the pocket (I used rick rack)
24 inches of Ribbon cut in half for the ties
Interfacing (optional)
Step #1: Apply interfacing and then stitch the rick rack trim to the top edge of one of the pocket pieces (the 22" X 3 1/2" piece).

Step 2: With right sides together stitch the pocket lining (the second piece of 22" X 3 1/2" rectangle) using the trim stitching line as your stitch guide. Stitch only the top trimmed edge and turn and press carefully. You now have your trimmed pocket.

Step 3: Apply interfacing to the wrong side of 22" X 6 1/2" fabric. On the right side of this piece of the 22" X 6 1/2" fabric length, align the pocket to the bottom edge. Pin and baste the bottom and side edges. You are now ready to mark the crayon holder slots so be sure you've aligned and basted well.
Step #4: Using a chalk line, pins and ruler, carefully measure and mark the stitching lines for the divider. I marked my dividers at one and one eighth inches apart. This allows for a snug fit of the crayon so that they won't fall out but not so snug that little hands can't pull them out. Be sure to leave space at each end for your 1/2" seam allowance as well as 1" space so that a crayon won't be at the very edge. Step #5: Once you've carefully measured, marked and stitched your crayon holder lines through the pocket a inside lining it is time to place and stitch the ribbon ties to the side seam of the holder. Tack the ribbon in the center of one side.

Step #6: Next, with right sides together pin the remaining 22" X 6 1/2" fabric to the holder, carefully aligning the edges. You may want to temporarily tape or pin the free ends of the ribbon to keep them out of the seamlines.

Stitch all the way around your crayon pocket holder leaving an approximate 3" opening at the bottom edge to turn it rightside out. Finish your seam lines and I suggest reinforcing the corners with a couple of stitches in the corners.
Step #7: Turn your crayon holder rightside out. Press firmly. Slipstitch the bottom opening closed and topstitch 1/4" around the perimeter of the pouch.

YOU'RE FINISHED! Grab a box of crayolas and fill the slots with crayons.

To roll up the holder start from the outside edge to the right and roll toward the ribbon ties that are on the left.

Tie up a pretty bow around the crayon holder and you've completed your Crayon Holder Roll-up! Easy peasy!

There are a number of tutorials for similar crayon holders on the internet. This is one I put together using my own method. I am happy to share my method with you free of charge. If you do make one, I just ask you link back to my blog where you've found it and be sure to show me photos of yours!



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Monday, January 3, 2011

Have Your Cupcake and Eat it Too!

I'm having such a good time relearning the glitter and stencil technique. I've been going through my brass stencils after making the bicycle glitter card the other day (if you missed it you can see it by scrolling down a few posts or HERE. )

This card uses a cute and very fancy cupcake stencil made by DREAMWEAVERS Stencils. The process for glittering that I used is the same as the bicycle card. This is such a fun process. I decided to go ahead, while I had all of my glitter and supplies out, to make 8 cupcake image pieces so they will all be ready to mount to a card layout in the future since the glittering process is what takes the longest.

Above is a closeup photo of the cupcakes. This card is very feminine but depending upon your card layout and what colors of cupcake "paper" you make you could easily make this into a guy's card too without so much ruffles, ribbon and eyelet.

The sentiment stamp, Have your cupcake and eat it too!, is from a very old set titled "Sweet Delights - Have your Cupcake" and was made by Sherry Graves company called INKSPIRATIONS. Sadly for those of us who bought up Sherry's stamps as fast as she could create them, Sherry is no longer making stamps.

I found the sweet cupcake ribbon on little spools at Michaels. The border punch is the eyelet scallop punch made by Martha Stewart. The Designer paper is from K & Company.

If you have brass stencils sitting around in your craft drawer that you haven't used in a while, I urge you to give this technique a try. It is a fun change from using them only with embossing paste or dry embossing. If I can manage it ("IF" because I'm not the greatest with a camera), I'm going to try to do a short video tutorial on the glittering process using a small stencil so if my instructions and description of the process aren't clear. You can read those instructions here.

Until next time...



Sunday, January 2, 2011

Let it snow!

Well...if I were to be perfectly honest, now that we've had snow I really wouldn't mind if that was all for this winter. But since I live in Canada, I know we are in for months of more snow. sigh..........

This fun stamp is from a Stampin' Up! set titled, Big on Christmas. I've had the set for years and it had never felt ink on it so I decided to make some thank you notecards to send out and use the snowman image.

It is a simple card and I used up some bits I'd had left in the scrap bin from Christmas cards, such as the glitter snowflakes I'd punched using a Martha Stewart snowflake punch. The cardbase was one I'd previous embossed with my Cuttlebug and snowflake embossing folder. The blue background mat happened to be a small scrap in my bin too, so it was fun to put this together quickly using up some pieces. In fact, I had enough left overs to make several of this card in the same colors and design.

Until next time...

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy 1st day of 2011

Happy New Year! A whole new year is ahead of us with exciting possibilities and I can't help but be curious what 2011 will bring. Do you write down resolutions you resolve to accomplish in the new year? I don't write mine down, but I do make a mental list of things I hope to do new or do differently or more efficiently.

One resolution I plan to do is send lots and lots of snail mail this year. Whether it is for a birthday, thinking of you, simpathy or just to say hi, I plan to keep in touch with my family and friends in a more tactile way than merely the internet. This is my first birthday card for 2011. January and February birthdays are plentiful so had better get started!

Have you ever tried ultra fine glitter on sticky paper and using a brass stencil for the design? In a nutshell, this is how I created this bicycle birthday card.
Card Ingredients:
Dreamweaver Bicycle Stencil
Glitter Glitz glitter in Real Red, Chromium, NST Copper, Blueberry, Licorice, Pine Forest
PK Glitz Sticky paper
Preprinted happy birthday grosgrain ribbon
K&Company Designer Paper
The process is a bit time consuming but a lot of fun to do. Actually, I find it relaxing. You don't want to rush. First cut a piece of the sticky paper the size of your stencil. Remove the printed film from one side of the sticky paper and stick the sticky side to the stencil. (Note: The other side of the paper is white and has no adhesive.)

Once your sticky paper is on the back of your stencil you'll work from the outside toward the inside of the stencil filling in colors as you work. The glitter sticks immediately to the open spaces of the stencil so you must be very careful to work in small areas at a time to fill in just the color you want and changing to another color as needed. I use white coffee filters under the various colors to catch, hold and return excess to the jars.

The little scoop spoons are excellent for scooping a small amount of glitter and then use the brush to brush off the excess.

Once you've covered the entire area of the stencil carefully peel the sticky paper off your stencil. Using clear crystal glitter, pour it over the entire area of your paper. This will create the background. Don't worry about pouring it over the colors you've already painstakingly put in the stencil areas. The glitter stuck immediately and you can't cover it up. Only the open areas of the stencil will grab the background crystal glitter.

Now once you've removed the sticky paper and glittered the background you'll find the lightweight paper image will roll up, so take your favorite adhesive and adhere the back of the stenciled area to a plain piece of lightweight cardstock. You've now created your glittered stenciled image and are ready to put it together on the card.

I thoroughly enjoy using the beautiful Dreamweaver stencils with this glitter process. Of course I love to use embossing paste as well as dry embossing with the stencils too. I find this glittered technique adds a whole new look to working with stencils.